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Sept. 13, 2022
September 13th, 2022

Question: A plain pizza is called a Margherita. Why?

Question: Italy became a monarchy under the House of Savoy at unification in 1859. When did Italy stop being a monarchy?
History for 9/13/2022
Birthdays: Gen "BlackJack" Pershing, Clara Schumann, Milton Hershey, Arnold Schoenburg, Yma Sumac (Star of Brazilian jazz- real name Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chavarri del Castillo, from Ichocán, Peru. Descendent of Inca royalty), Jacqueline Bissett is 77, Frank Marshal, Laura Secord, Jesse L. Lasky, Richard Kiel – Jaws in the James Bond movies, Maurice Jarre, Mae Questel the voice of Betty Boop. Roald Dahl, Don Bluth is 85, Fred Silverman “The Man with the Golden Gut.” Tyler Perry is 53

509BC- Romans dedicated the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus (Greatest and Best) in the Forum.

81AD- the Roman Emperor Titus died. His brother Domitian took over.

122AD- In England, Roman legions began to construct Hadrian’s Wall.

398AD- THE FEAST OF ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM- John "Golden-Mouth" for his preaching. Ever since Roman Emperor Constantine had raised up the Christian Church from a despised cult and made it dominant throughout the Roman world, the Church was left with a philosophical question-" Can you blame Rome for Jesus death?" Chrysostom came up with the solution- It was the Jews fault! So even though Christ’ disciples called him rabbi, and the Last Supper was a Passover Seder, Christianity officially blamed Judaism for the death of Jesus. It took centuries of oppression, pogroms and the Holocaust, for the Vatican to officially "forgive" the Jewish people in 1947.

1515- Battle of Marignano- The French under King Francis II defeated a large force of Swiss south of Mantua in Italy. Francis fought hand-to-hand out front all day and was knighted by the great chevalier Bayard on the field. Cannons had begun to be mounted on wheels and rolled around instead of being dragged like catapults. And military scientists discovered a new thing- when you line up a lot of cannons and fire them all at once, the enemy go away!

1759- THE BATTLE OF THE PLAINS OF ABRAHAM. England took Canada away from France. Gen. Wolfe defeated The Marquis De Montcalm and captured the great fortress of Quebec. Both Wolfe and Montcalm are killed, one of the few times both commanding generals were killed in a battle at the same time. Gen. Wolfe (32) was aware he was asking his redcoats to scale a sheer rockface in a driving rainstorm, then defeat a larger army with their backs to a cliff. So to boost their morale, he read them his favorite poem: "Elegy in a Country Churchyard". with lines like:" The paths of Glory lead naught but to the Grave..." Gee, that would cheer me up....

1782- THE ROCK OF GIBRALTAR. Ever since Britain had taken control of the rock and established a fortress there Spain had burned to get revenge. When France and Spain decided to join in the American Revolution on the rebel side they sent a massed fleet and army to attack Gibraltar. The Rock withstood a three year siege climaxed by a grand assault this day from 50 warships and 30,000 troops. By 1:00 a.m. most of the enemy’s fleet was burning and their troops fleeing in disorder. A fortnight later Admiral Hood arrived with reinforcements and Gibraltar has stayed British ever since.

1805- Admiral Nelson leaves London to take out HMS Victory and his fleet to sea. He will achieve death and glory at the Battle of Trafalgar. The day before, he had a conversation with the artist Benjamin West. He told West his portrayal of the Death of General Wolfe at the Battle of Quebec was his favorite painting and why had he not painted anything as good since? West replied that there had not been any comparable incidents of heroism lately. Nelson laughed, and said: "Well, then I shall make it a point to get myself killed in my next battle to provide you with suitable inspiration!"

1812- Napoleon’s army makes camp within view of the domes and cupolas of Moscow.

1814- After destroying Washington DC and Alexandria, the British Navy began a bombardment of the forts surrounding Baltimore. Baltimore then was the main port of the many American privateers pirating English shipping. After 25 straight hours continuous bombardment of Fort McHenry, the forts big Stars & Stripes flag was still flying. A simultaneous land attack failed when General Ross, who was a veteran of Wellingtons’ army, was shot down by American snipers. That morning, Ross ate his breakfast on shore in a local inn. When the proprietor asked if he should have a dinner ready for him, Ross replied:" No thank you. Tonight, I shall sup in Baltimore or in Hell!" After the failure of the bombardment and the land assault, the British gave up and sailed away, leaving lawyer Francis Scott Key on shore with notes for a neat little poem. More tomorrow.

1835- The Tuba invented. Deep-throated horns called Tubas were used by the Romans. Modern tubas awaited creation of the valve. This day Prussian Patent No. 19 was granted to Wilhelm Friedrich Wieprecht and Johann Gottfried Moritz for a “basstuba” in F1. The original Wieprecht and Moritz instrument used five valves of the Berlinerpumpen type that were the forerunners of the modern piston valve.

1845- THE IRISH POTATO FAMINE- In Ireland, The Gorta Mor, The Great Hunger. This day an Irish newspaper announced that a fungus named Vituperia Infestae was affecting most of that year’s potato crop, the primary food staple for the poor.
The same parasite carried over in American fertilizer had affected continental European agriculture as well, but a drought minimized its effect. Ireland was more devastated by the famine than she had ever been by any war.
The Potato Famine raged for three years and killed millions. And all this while Ireland was administered by the richest nation in the world, the British Empire. Irish companies were still exporting other grains at the time as well. Instead of feeding the starving, they made them do work on public roads for wages, which killed even more people.
Truth be said, most industrialized countries at this time were hard on their poor, poverty was viewed then not as circumstance, but as a lack of character. Society was too slow or apathetic to realize just how great a disaster was occurring in Ireland.
By the time the famine eased in 1849, one quarter of the entire population of Ireland had died, or immigrated.

1848- The first lobotomy.

1899- First man was hit by a car. (74th and Central Park West in New York City).

1916- A Tennessee judge ordered Margo the circus elephant to be hanged for killing three men. It took a railroad crane and steel cable, but it sure taught her a lesson!

1928- Riding high on their big hit film The Jazz Singer, the Warner Bros. buy out First National Pictures and move into their big Burbank studio lot, where they are still today.

1940- During the Battle of Britain, Nazi bombs hit Buckingham Palace, just missing the Royal Family. The Queen later said:" At last, now I can look the East-enders in the face." RAF ace Sgt. Ginger Lacey volunteered to go up and get the bomber who did the bombing. In a fog he caught up to the offending Heinkel –111 bomber and shot it down., But his own Hurricane fighter was so shot up he had to bail out. His parachute caught in a tree, and as Sgt, Lacey looked down he saw an elderly man in a Home Guard helmet pointing a shotgun at him. He thought he was a German. Lacey explained he wasn’t a Jerry, but the old duffer remained unconvinced.
He was preparing to fire, when Sgt. Lacey let loose a torrent of invective- "YOU STUPID GIT, YOU G*DDAM F**KING OLD WANKER! WAIT TILL I GET MY BLOODY ID CARD OUT!”, etc. The old man then lowered his weapon with relief:" "Ere. He said:" Anyone who can swear like that, can’t be a German..."

1942- The aircraft carrier USS Wasp was torpedoed and sunk by the Japanese submarine I-15. With Enterprise and Saratoga under repairs, for several anxious weeks Admiral Nimitz had to defend the entire west coast of America with only one lone carrier, The Hornet. This against six heavy Japanese battle carriers. The Hornet was sunk, just as the Enterprise came back into service.

1945- NY gangster Bugsy Siegel bought a 30-acre roadside tract from a widow in Las Vegas. On it will rise the Las Vegas Casino hotel-resort, the Flamingo. There were two little hayseed casinos in Vegas already, but the big glitzy hotel strip of mega casinos was Bugsy's dream.

1961- TV sitcom Car 54, Where Are You? debuted.

1965 – Ghidrah the Three Headed Monster was released in the U.S.

1969- Hanna & Barbera's "Scooby-Doo, where are you?" and "Dastardly and Mutley and their Flying Machines" premiered.

1971- General Lin Piao, leader of the Red Guard movement and would-be successor to Mao Zedong, died in plane crash. The Cultural Revolution that had been raging since 1966 seems to fade away afterward.

1971- ATTICA. Mass prisoner revolt in a top New York State Penitentiary acquired counter-culture celebrity status and heavy racial- overtones. Governor Nelson Rockefeller used massive military force to crush the revolt this day. It has been argued that more inmates and hostages were killed because of the attack than if negotiations had been allowed to continue. Most of the prison guards held hostage were murdered, some killed by troops in the confusion. For years afterwards every street protest resounded with cries of "Attica, Attica!" as in the movie Dog Day Afternoon, which was based on a true incident.

1974- The Rockford Files TV series with James Garner debut.

1974- Kolchak the Night Stalker mystery TV series with Darin McGavin premiered. It was the show that inspired Chris Carter to create The X-Files.

1979- On his birthday, Animator Don Bluth quit Walt Disney Studios, taking a third of the top artists with him. Bluth becomes Disney's most serious rival since Max Fleischer and helped sparked the animation renaissance of the 1990s. A whole new group of young talent, "bluthies", exert great influence throughout the animation business.

1993- With President Bill Clinton smiling on, Israeli Prime Minister Ystchak Rabin and PLO leader Yassir Arafat signed the Declaration of Principles to the Oslo Agreement. In effect Israel recognized the Palestinians and the PLO has having legitimate national aspirations and the PLO renounced terrorism. This was the meeting with the famous handshake of Rabin and Arafat. Rabin’s great words "Enough of Blood!" were sadly ignored in subsequent years. Arafat refused to recognize Israel, and Rabin was assassinated in 1995, and everyone botched several more peace initiatives.

1993- The Animaniacs Show premiered.

2001- While the world was still in shock from the Sept 11th terrorist attacks, televangelist Pat Robertson stuck his withered old thumb in everyone’s open wound when he declared the tragedy was God’s punishment on America for our permissive society, that tolerates homosexuality, Liberals, Feminists and the ACLU. Mark Bingham, one of the hero passengers of United Flt. 93, who fought the terrorists and sacrificed his life so that his plane could not be used as a bomb to destroy the White House, was a gay man. A New York Times columnist angrily wrote: "If I am ever in a plane that’s being hijacked, I’d rather have a Mark Bingham sitting next to me than a Pat Robertson!"

2001- Two days after the World Trade Center terrorist attacks, all civilian air travel was banned over the skies of the US. Despite this, a special flight evacuated two dozen members of the Saudi Arabian Royal family attending school in the US. Among their number were the immediate family of 9/11 mastermind Osama Ben Laden. None were questioned and no explanation for the flight has ever been given.
Yesterday’s Question: Italy became a monarchy under the House of Savoy at unification in 1859. When did Italy stop being a monarchy?

Answer: 1946. Mussolini became Prime Minister in 1922, but after turning his power into a dictatorship he kept King Vittorio Emmanuele III as a figurehead. After liberation Italians wanted nothing to do with their collaborator king and voted for a parliamentary republic. Unpopular Vittorio abdicated hoping to preserve the throne for his son Umberto II, but it didn’t work.