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November 25, 2007 sunday
November 25th, 2007

My old shipmate Jerry Beck has a great new book out, which will look great under the tree of many a Hanna Barbera fan.

It's the Hanna & Barbera Treasury from Random House, richly illustrated with great artwork from H&B's long history of television memories. I particularly enjoyed the character studies by Ed Benedict developing future stars like Snagglepuss, Barney Rubble and Lippy the Lion! Check it out on Jerry's website and order it along with Amid's UPA treasury. See their website cartoonresearch for how to order. Squiddly Diddley, Touche Turtle, Penelope Pittstop and the Anthill Mob, oh...beat still my heart! Maybe they'll have some of my cleanup keys for Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels. Euh! Hope not!

NOTE: I'll be on the road this week working with CLick & Clack and giving the Distinguished Alumni lecture at SVA in Noo Yawk, so if my blogg doesn't pop up on time, please cut me some slack. I'll be back on the beat by the end of the week.
Distinguished Alumni indeed!

QUIZ: The term OK is understood all around the world. It’s some of the only English many recognize. What is the origin of the term- Okay or OK?

ANSWER TO yesterdays’ question, Why is your mug another nickname for a face?, below…..
History for 11/25/2007
Birthdays: Lope de Vega, Pope John XXIII, Andrew Carnegie, Tina Turner, Joe Dimaggio, Carl Benz of Mercedes Benz, Virgil Thompson, Jeffrey Hunter, John Kennedy,Jr.,Percy Sledge, Ben Stein, Ricardo Montalban is 85, John Larroquette, Gloria Steinem, Former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet, Christina Applegate, Bucky Dent, Bill Kroyer

1758- In the Pennsylvania wilderness a British force including frontier scout Daniel Boone and militia captain George Washington captured Fort Duquesne from the French. They renamed for their current Prime Minister William Pitt, hence the name Pittsburgh.

1783- EVACUATION DAY- The treaties ending the American Revolution signed, the last British troops leave U.S. soil, sailing out of New York Harbor. This also marks the beginning of the exodus to Canada of Americans who sided with England, maybe as many as 130,000. United Empire Loyalists, or Tories as you prefer. They mostly populated Southern Ontario and Nova Scotia. One other little reported migration was of freed African slaves. Slavery would soon be eliminated in the British Empire and whenever redcoats would capture an American town they would liberate the slaves. About 3,000 requested to return to Africa and were sent to Sierra Leone.Among their number was a personal slave of George Washington’s, who bolted through the lines to the British the moment the offer was published. A large number also fought on the American side as well. Evacuation Day was a holiday in New York City for years afterwards.

1795- English architect Henry Latrobe left Europe for a life in the U.S. Latrobe was the architect who built the U.S. Capitol building .

1817- The first sword swallower performed in the US.

1864- In a production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar at New York’s Winter garden Theater the three Booth brothers- John Wilkes, Edwin and Junius Booth appeared together for the only time. Other famous acting families of the time included the Powers, who’s descendant was the movie star Tyrone Power and the Barrymores, who’s line continues down today from John to John Drew to Drew Barrymore.

1867- Alfred Nobel patented Dynamite. The riches he accumulated from this and Nitro-Glycerine he used to fund the Nobel Prize.

1869- Ned Buntline was a hack dime novelist who understood that selling stories about gunfighters of the west would be easier if you could occasionally produce one in the flesh. So on a trip to Nebraska he found among the cavalry scouts an accommodatingly colorful rogue named William Cody, who everybody called Buffalo Bill. This day Ned Buntline announced in the New York Weekly the first installment of a serial series “Buffalo Bill King of the Bordermen”. Buntline and Cody collaborated to make Buffalo Bill the first true American media star, entertaining millions including crowned heads until 1916.

1929- Alfred Hitchcock’s film Blackmail opened in London. It was the first full length talkie in Britain.

1932- A young school teacher at Sam Houston High School got a phone call. It was from Texas Congressman Richard Clayburgh. He needed a executive aide in Washington and heard this guy was a go-getter. The teacher said yes and packed his cardboard suitcase. Lyndon B. Johnson’s career in politics began.

1949- Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer sung by Gene Autry hit number one on the musical charts.

1952- The stage adaptation of Agatha Christie’s mystery the Mousetrap opened in London’s West End.

1956- Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and 88 followers departed Mexico in a ramshackle boat called the Granma to start a revolution in Cuba.

1960- CBS cancelled it’s remaining five radio soap operas, most of them now on television.

1963- THE GREAT FUNERAL OF JOHN F. KENNEDY. The massed muffled drums, bagpipes, bands blaring Chopin’s Funeral March, the riderless horse with the boots in the stirrups turned inward, a tradition that went back to Genghis Khan, the black horse drawn artillery caisson modeled on Abraham Lincoln's. The day was also John Kennedy, Jr.'s birthday and a big party had been planned with lots of little tots. Jackie knew that John-John didn't understand the gravity of what had transpired so after the funeral she changed out of her widows weeds and ran a kiddie party.

1970- Japan's greatest modern poet-playwright Yukio Mishima committed suicide (seppuku) after attempting a coup at a military base where the Japanese Defense Force soldiers just laughed at him. He felt Japan was losing her spiritual soul to crass materialism and the ancient Bushido warrior code was the only way back. In a poll conducted in a magazine at the time about 75% of Japanese women said they would rather commit suicide than sleep with Yukio Mishima.

1971- Con man D.B. Cooper hijacked a Northwest Orient passenger plane after stealing $ 200,000. He parachuted out of the 727 airliner with the money during a thunderstorm over Washington State and disappeared forever. Searchers found rotting bits of money in the forest but never a body. D.B.Cooper became a folk legend. In 1999 a man in South Carolina named Dwayne Weber was dying of liver cancer. Before he died he turned to his wife Jo and said “Before I go, I gotta tell ya something. I’m Dan Cooper” His wife said he loved singing at piano bars and his favorite song was “You’ll never know..”

1975- According to the first movie Rocky, this was the date of the first prizefight portrayed in the film where we meet Rocky Balboa.

1980- “No Mas!” Sugar Ray Leonard defeated Alberto Duran for the World Welterweight Boxing Championship.

1995- Legendary Corporate CEO Akio Morita resigned as the leader of Sony. Under his guidance Sony went from a little postwar maker of cheap electric rice cookers to the largest electronics giant in the world. His official reason was health problems but insiders said the real problem was his headaches with Sony's Hollywood studios -MGM, Columbia, TriStar losing $2 billion. By the time he died in 1999 the Sony movie studios had pulled out of their slump and were on top with movies like Men in Black.

1998- Pixar’s film A Bugs Life premiered.

Yesterday’s question: Why is your mug another nickname for a face?

Answer: In London in the 1660’s politics were discussed in coffee houses on Fleet St. There only wealthy gentry could afford to dally over a cup of rare Java or hot cocoa imported from the Americas. And English King Charles II ‘s queen Catherine of Braganza introduced tea drinking. The opposition to the government’s policies was led by the Earl Of Shaftesbury. The Earl’s face was printed on coffee mugs by his partisans. Political arguments would include throwing or breaking these cups. This is when the word mug also came to mean a face:” I don’t like your mug!”