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June 28, 2021
June 28th, 2021

Quiz: In ancient Greece, what was a hetaera?
Yesterday’s Quiz Answered below: Tartar Sauce, Steak Tartare. Who were the Tartars?
History for 6/28/2021
Birthdays: King Henry VIII, Luigi Pirandello, Jean Jacques Rousseau, John Dillinger, Richard Rogers, Gilda Radner, Cartoonist George Booth is 95, Leon Panetta, Mary Stuart Masterson, Kathy Bates is 73, John Cusack is 55, Mel Brooks is 95

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Plutarch and Saint Theodichidia.

622 A.D. The prophet Mohammed arrived in Medina, completing the Haj.

1098- THE HOLY LANCE- Outside the city of Antioch Kerbogha the Saracen Emir of Aleppo was defeated by the warriors of the First Crusade inspired by the "Holy Lance". The Crusaders were surrounded and starving, when a monk from Marseilles named Peter Bartholomew began to have visions of St. Andrew. The Saint told him to instruct the Crusader warlords where to dig to find the legendary Spear of Longinus, the Holy Lance that pierced the side of Christ. At first the monk was too frightened to go up to the barons, but plucked up his courage after Saint Andrew appeared to him a second time and boxed his ears for not following his orders. Boy, that’s one touchy saint!
They dug in a church as instructed and found nothing, then dug up every other church in town until they found a rusty spike that looked close enough. The Crusader army was so jazzed over this obvious sign of divine favor that they stormed from the gates of the city and joyfully slaughtered all before them.

After the victory, Peter Bartholomew got real full of himself, and started to order the crusader barons around. The warlords told him that they were going to build a huge bonfire and that if he could walk through the flames unharmed, then God must surely be acting through him. By the morning of the test, the little monk had run off.

1119- Ager Saguinus "the field of Blood" Another crusader army doesn't do as well.

1519- THE MAN WHO MARRIED EUROPE- Charles V von Hapsburg was the grandson of Ferdinand & Isabella and so became King of Spain. At this time to be King of Spain meant he also ruled Portugal, the Netherlands and Belgium, Southern Italy, the Philippines and all of the Americas. This day he was elected Holy Roman Emperor of Germany, which meant he was now also ruler of all of Central Europe- Germany, Austria and Italy down to Sicily. Charles V became the most powerful man in Europe and France suddenly found itself surrounded. Both she and England faced a Hapsburg super-state, fueled by the limitless gold of the plundered Aztec and Inca empires. Charles was the first of his family to have the unique facial characteristic called the “Hapsburg Lip” – a large lower lip and protruding jaw.

1709- Battle of Poltava- Peter the Great of Russia defeats Charles XII of Sweden, the "Madman of the North". This battle wins Russia enough Baltic coastline needed for serious trade with Western Europe.

1751- The first volume of the ENCYCLOPAEDIA appeared in print. French philosophers Diderot, D’Alambert and Voltaire inspired by the ideas of English scholars Newton and Francis Bacon, decided to create a digest of all human knowledge into one reference work. Encyclopedia is from the Greek “Knowledge all in the Round”. It took thirty years to write all the volumes, the last volume the index was published in 1780. But in those days the Encyclopedists were as much a political movement as a source of trivia. That these humanist scholars should attempt to define concepts like “God”, The Soul” “Heaven and Hell,” without the Church involved, was considered a declaration of philosophical war. The liberal ideas in the Encyclopedia did a lot to advance the thinking of the Enlightenment, as well as the American and French Revolutions.

1778- BATTLE OF MONMOUTH- The largest land battle of the American Revolution. George Washington had gotten word that the main British army had quit the rebel capitol of Philadelphia and was headed back to New York City. He resolved to strike the British army while strung out on the march. It was the first battle where the Americans, their discipline stiffened by Baron Von Steuben’s drills, could slug it out face to face with the European soldiers.
The temperature was a stifling 90-100 % F and many men collapsed from heat exhaustion in their wool uniforms. This was where Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley, called Molly Pitcher, took her husband’s place manning a cannon. She laughed when an enemy cannonball flew between her legs taking away parts of her lower petticoats.
The battle was a draw, but Washington had shown his army wasn’t a mob of raggedy-ass farmers, but a true modern army.

His second, General Charles Lee, was retreating from the field when Washington rode up and rallied his men. Lee was fired from the service, but not before Washington gave him a piece of his mind. An eyewitness said: “As a connoisseur of swearing I can attest that General Washington excelled at calling Lee every swear word one could think of. It was wonderful. He swore until the leaves shook from the trees!”

1868- Twenty something artist Claude Monet was so broke and depressed he jumped in the Seine River. After splashing around for a while, he decided it’s silly to drown himself, so he swam to the riverbank and went for a drink. He outlived all the Impressionist painters of his generation, dying famous in 1926 at age 86.

1914- WORLD WAR I began- commenting on 40 years of European peace, Otto Von Bismarck had said:" The next European war can only happen if some damn fool thing happens in the Balkans." The Austro-Hungarian Empire was muscling the little kingdom of Serbia. Austria had already annexed Bosnia in 1909 and Serbia claimed it as theirs. The heir of the Austrian throne, Archduke Franz-Ferdinand went on a provocative tour of the Bosnian town of Sarajevo in an open limousine. One terrorist Nedjelko Cabrinovic, hurled a bomb at the car but the driver avoided it and took another route. The Archduke stopped at city hall where he and the mayor got into an argument. The mayor claimed:” This city is absolutely safe!”

The motorcade proceeded until it was stopped by traffic at an intersection. Then 18 year old Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princeps stepped out of the crowd and fired his pistol. The first bullet hit the Archduchess Sophie Chotek who slumped lifeless over her husbands lap. Franz Ferdinand cried out: "Mama don't die! For the children!" when the next bullet killed him. Austria and Germany and Turkey declared war on Serbia and Russia and France and England. Later the whole world joined in the lunacy, about 58 nations and 22 million deaths, the last declaration was Honduras declaring war on Germany two months before the armistice. Gavrilo Princeps died in 1918 of tuberculosis in an asylum for the criminally insane, unaware that he had set the world aflame.

1918- The German Kaiser told Lenin that Germany and Finland would not violate the terms of their Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and so would not intervene in the Russian Civil War with a move against Petrograd. This enabled the Bolsheviks to move vital forces East to deal with Anglo-American supported White armies.

1919- The VERSAILLES TREATY is signed, finally ending the First World War. President Wilson had wanted a peace based on mutual respect and self-determination, but the winning powers led by Clemenceau and Lloyd George brushed aside his naive suggestions and wanted revenge. The German delegate was Count Brockdorff-Rantzau, a stiff monocled Prussian whose autocratic demeanor annoyed Wilson and lost probably the only sympathetic ear there.“ Isn’t it always the same with those people?” Wilson complained. Economist John Maynard Keynes warned the penalties heaped upon postwar Germany by article #232- The War Guilt Clause- would create a grave economic crisis for her and the world, all but predicting the Great Depression to come. The terms imposed on the defeated Germany were so crushing and humiliating that they were a major factor in the German public turning to Adolf Hitler. World War II has sometimes been called the "War to settle the Treaty of Versailles"

1928- Louis Armstrong & Earl Hines recorded West End Blues.

1944- German commanders in the West, Feldmarshalls Rommel and Von Rundstedt have a showdown with Hitler at Berschesgarten. They tell their Fuehrer bluntly that since the Allied breakout at Normandy the war in the West was already lost. Germany must make peace at any price before she is totally destroyed. Hitler said the Allies would never make peace with him, so he knows they mean he must resign. Hitler rants about the new miracle weapons that would turn the tide, but Rommel asks him about what to do right now?
Hitler angrily threw them out. Von Rundstedt was forcibly retired, and another officer promoted over Rommel’s head. Erwin Rommel decided to join in the generals plot to overthrow Hitler.

1950- General Douglas MacArthur flew out from Tokyo to see for himself the beginnings of the Korean War. He stood on a hilltop watching the terrible spectacle of the city of Seoul in flames. As bullets zipped around him and smoke and screams filled the air, he calmly lectured the newspapermen about the similarities to Napoleon’s assault on the Austrian city of Ratisbon in 1809.

1955- Walt Disney sent a memo to his studio employees to please come to the grand opening day of Disneyland Park on July 17. He was concerned not enough people would show up the first day, and it would look bad on live TV. He shouldn’t have worried. 100,000 people came that first day.

1964- Malcolm X said in a speech- “We declare our right on this earth to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.” Many took the phrase “by any means necessary” as an implied threat of force, breaking with Dr. Martin Luther King’s non-violence campaign.

1969- THE STONEWALL UPRISING- New York City Police got a false tip about a stabbing at the mob-owned Stonewall gay bar in Greenwich Village. Others claim the cops were there to get their money kickbacks, and when it wasn’t paid, they started arresting patrons. But for once the patrons didn’t go quietly but began to fight back. 
As she was being loaded into a paddy wagon, A drag queen began by kicking a policeman, then the others rushed out. People on the street began pelting the policemen with pennies and nickels, symbolizing there being there for graft. When the cops formed a blue wall to advance, gays formed a wall and fought them, shouting:” WE ARE THE VILLAGE GIRLS! WE WEAR OUR HAIR IN CURLS!” In the 60’s era of social revolution, the incident caused three days of urban rioting, and The Gay Pride Movement was born.
1970 -On the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, this day they marked the event with a march called at first The Christopher Street Liberation March. It marked the first Gay Pride Marches in New York, SF, Chicago and Los Angeles.

50th Anniv 1971- Mobster Joe Colombo tells an Italian/American Unity Day rally in Columbus Circle, NY that the term "Mafia" was a label invented to denigrate people of Italian ancestry. A minute later, hitmen sent by "Crazy Joe" Gallo, shot and killed him.

1971- The Supreme Court overturned the conviction of prizefighter Mohammed Ali for draft evasion.

1975- Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling died during open heart surgery. He was 50. His last movie script was called The Man, about resistance of the Washington powerful to the first black president of the United States.

1997- Heavyweight prizefighter Mike Tyson was banned from boxing and fined $3 million for biting off a chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear during a match.

2000- Little Cuban boy Elian Gonzales was taken by his father back home to Cuba after being in the US for 7 months. The 6 year olds estranged mother took the child and fled to Florida on a raft. But she and her boyfriend drowned, so the child was cared for by distant cousins in Miami.
Elian Gonzales case became sensationalized by the US media and the vocally militant anti-Castro Cuban community of Miami. Fidel’s regime also had fun making publicity out of the traumatized boy’s plight. Finally Attorney General Janet Reno ordered the family home raided by US Marshals to forcibly unite the boy with his father. Back in Havana, Juan Miguel Gonzales said: ”I never want anyone to stick a camera in my sons face again!”
Yesterday’s Quiz: Tartar Sauce, Steak Tartare. Who were the Tartars?

Answer: A Central Asian people, similar to the Mongols, but speaking a Turkic language. They rode as part of the Mongol horde in their invasions of Russia and Eastern Europe, where they settled in the Crimea. Their name Tatar was confused in Europe with the term Tartarus. Tartarus was a classical name for hell. When French King St. Louis was told of these “warriors of Hell” who were approaching them, he replied, “ Well, then we must send them back to Tartarus from whence they came.”