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November 22, 2007 thurs
November 22nd, 2007

Question: In Chuck Jones's cartoon"Tom Turk and Daffy" (1944) Daffy Duck helps to hide the Thanksgiving turkey, until Porky's description of how delicious his planned thanksgiving dinner will be seduces Daffy into revealing the turkey's hiding place. Tom Turkey comments on Daffy's betrayal by saying "Quisling..."
What does that mean?

Answer to Yesterday’s question below: We always read things like “Dick Cheney and his cohorts,” or “Move On and their cohorts..” So, what the heck is a cohort?

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!- Since the earliest recorded times societies have had harvest festivals to give thanks to the appropriate deities that they're not going to starve come winter. Whether or not you believe in 1626 Pilgrim Gov. Bradford and Massacoit and his Wampanoag Indians sat down to share their dinner, the custom of Thanksgiving was a New England custom for decades thereafter. A few years later the New Englanders exterminated these same Indians and stuck Massacoits son King Phillips dismembered head on a post. In 1789 George Washington had called for a thanksgiving celebration in late November to celebrate the new Constitution but the holiday didn’t really become an annual custom until the Civil War. Sarah Hale the editor of the Ladies Magazine had been lobbying the US Government to make the New England practice a national one.

In 1864 after the capture of Atlanta and Mobile Bay it looked obvious that the Union was finally going to win the Civil War. President Lincoln issued a decree that the last Thursday of November be set aside as a feast of national Thanksgiving –Old Abe had just won his re-election so he had lots to be thankful for as well. As blue clad troops chowed down on their turkey and chicken dinners the Confederates withheld their fire in honor of the new Yankee holiday. To this day Thanksgiving is still declared by Presidential decree, probably buried somewhere in the back of today’s newspaper.

In 1940 President Roosevelt tried to move Thanksgiving earlier in the month to help Depression-wracked business by spurring early Christmas shopping, but people were used to it where it was. If he was alive today he would see that Xmas shopping gets going before Halloween these days..

History for 11/22/2007
Birthdays: French explorer Sieur de LaSalle, George Elliot- pen name for Mary Anne Evans, Benjamin Britten, Charles DeGaulle, Andre Gide,Wiley Post, Billy Jean King, Boris Becker, Geraldine Page, Jamie Lee Curtis is 49, "Cactus Jack" Garner*, Hoagy Carmichael, Rodney Dangerfield, Terry Gilliam is 67, Robert Vaughn, Greg Luzinski, Tom Conti, Mark Ruffalo, Steven Van Zandt, Victoria Paris- porn star of such classics like Bimbo Bowlers from Buffalo, Scarlett Johanssen is 23

* Texan Cactus Jack Garner was a Senate leader and FDR's vice president for his first two terms. Lyndon Johnson was in Dallas visiting him on his 90th birthday when Kennedy's assassination occurred. Garner had advised Johnson about leaving his senate leadership to become Vice President: "Lyndon, the Vice Presidency ain't worth a bucket of warm spit !"

St. Cecilia's Day- Patron Saint of Musicians

1622- English poet John Donne ordained the deacon of Saint Paul’s Cathedral. The poet had written some of the most erotic poetry in English literature, now he devoted himself as fervently to religious contemplation.

1739- Georg Frederich Handel premiered the oratorio Ode to Saint Cecilia’s Day.

1809- Baltimore native Peregrine Williamson invented a re-usable steel pen. This finally freed the western world from sharpening goose quills and other feathers to write.

1880- Actress Lillian Russell made her debut on the New York Stage. Russell exemplified the sex appeal of the era- big figured, big bustle, tiny waist and BIG caboose.

1888- According to Edgar Rice Burroughs this is the birthday of the boy who would become Tarzan.

1916- Author Jack London died at 40 in Glen Ellen California of kidney disease. The author of White Fang and Call of the Wild was a lifelong socialist and supporter of the labor movement. In 1918 Emma Goldman eulogized in an article in The Masses: “It’s a pity that brother Jack never lived long enough to see the Red Flags of Freedom flying over the Kremlin!”

1917- The National Hockey League-NHL, founded in Montreal. The first teams The Quebec Bulldogs, Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Arenas, and Montreal Maroons.

1928- Long before Bo Derek ran down a beach, Ravel’s Bolero Suite premiered in Paris.

1935- The First Pan Am China Clipper service began from San Francisco to Honolulu and Manila. Captain Edwin Musik took off with 20.000 people waving bon voyage.

1942- Operation Uranus- The German 6th Army surrounded at Stalingrad. As the Russian pincers were closing behind him Gen.Von Paulus wired Hitler for permission to pull back and maneuver. Hitler promoted him to Field Marshal and ordered him not to withdraw one millimeter. When Hitler had given Ervin Rommel a similar order at El Alamein Rommel simply ignored it with no ramifications and saved his army. But Von Paulus believed in Hitler. It was his bad luck the Germans had kept their main supply dumps just outside the area surrounded by the Russians, so they were cut off from food. The Luftwaffe tried to feed his men by air drops but the 70 tons of supplies delivered could barely maintain starvation rations. The 6th Army was slowly starved, frozen and pounded on all sides. By February 100,000 surviving German troops surrendered. They were sent to Stalin's gulags in Siberia where most of them died. The bitter Von Paulus became as diehard a communist as he had been a diehard Nazi. After the war testified for the prosecution against his old commanders at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials.

1950- The Lowest Scoring Basketball game in NBA history. The Fort Wayne Pistons defeated the Minneapolis Lakers 19-18. They later became the Detroit Pistons and Los Angeles Lakers.

1957- The Miles Davis Quintet debuted.

1963- ONE DAY IN DALLAS- At 12:30 Central time President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed. Whether you believe the assassin was Lee Harvey Oswald, The Military Industrial Complex, Vice President Johnson, the Mob, Corsican contract killers, The C.I.A., Fidel Castro, Anti-Castro Cubans, space aliens or all of the above, it remains one of the traumatic moments of US History. Only 15% of Americans believe Lee Harvey Oswald did it alone. One Mafia don said in his memoirs:” If you believe Oswald, a rather lackluster Marine, could get off three carefully aimed shots from an old bolt action rifle in just six seconds, you have a vivid imagination.” One of the last things Kennedy heard before the bullets struck him was the wife of Texas governor John Connolly said:” Well Mr President, now nobody can say they don’t love you in Dallas!” After taking the oath of office on Air Force One Lyndon Johnson broke down and locked himself in the toilet crying hysterically “They’re out to kill us all!” Jackie Kennedy, who after flying to D.C. from Dallas still wearing the blood soaked pink Channel dress “let the people see what they’ve done!” immediately started going over the funeral arrangements. Before retiring she had her staff comb the National Archives for the details of the Lincoln Funeral. Cub reporter Robin MacNeil remembers after the shots running into the nearest building to phone in the story. He ran into the Texas Book Depository and asked a skinny t-shirted man who was just leaving where the nearest phone was. Two days later when watching the footage of the assassin being arrested he realized he had been talking to Oswald!
In 1966 key evidence from the Kennedy assassination including the presidents brain and Oswalds tax returns disappeared. People claiming knowledge of a conspiracy died in strange ways, like karate chops and boating accidents.

1963- Aldous Huxley died. The author of Brave New World had inoperable cancer, so his wife kept him high on LSD,

1965- The musical The Man of La Mancha opened on Broadway. “ To Dream, the Impossible Dreaaammm…”Brings back memories of Junior High School band practice.

1980- Screen goddess Mae West died at 87. He apartment suite at the Ravenswood in the Hancock Park section of Los Angeles has been lovingly restored since the owner claims her ghost nagged him to put her furniture back!

1986- 20 year old Mike Tyson knocked out Trevor Berbick to become the youngest man to ever wear the Heavyweight Champion’s belt.

1990- Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady of English politics, resigned her offices. After 11 years in power her popularity was low because of her poll tax and resistance to English cooperation in the European Community. So her resignation and replacement with her protégé John Major was seen as a way for the Tories to retain control of government.

1993- Sir Anthony Burgess died. The author of A Clockwork Orange had been diagnosed with a brain tumor and told he had one year to live, in 1959.
Yesterdays’ Quiz: We always read things like “Dick Cheney and his cohorts,” or “Move On and their cohorts..” So, what the heck is a cohort?

Answer: Smallest unit of the ancient Roman Army, equal to a platoon. Several cohorts make up a legion, three to ten legions can be an army. A legion was about 3,000-5,000 men. Roman generals like Caesar were always writing about sending three cohorts here, two cohorts there, etc.