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May 21, 2023
May 21st, 2023

Quiz: To what country are the Balearic Islands part of?

Yesterday’s Question: Custers Last Stand, the Battle of the Little Big Horn was one of the greatest battles on U.S. soil. What state is the Little Big Horn in?
history for 5/21/2023
Birthdays: Plato, Fats Waller, Albrecht Durer, Andre Sakharov, Armand Hammer, Raymond Burr, John Hubley, Dennis Day, Al Franken, Harold Robbins, Judge Reinhold, Larry Terro called Mr. T. is 73

1420- After the great victory of Agincourt King Henry V of England and King Charles VI the Mad of France concluded a peace treaty at Troyes. Harry of England would marry the French king's daughter and become heir. But Henry's early death from dysentery at 35 canceled these plans. That would have been an early end to the Hundred Years War, making it the 75 Years War.

1471- King Henry VI of Lancaster had been captured in the battle of Tewkesbury when he was defeated in the War of the Roses. On this day the imprisoned king was murdered in the Tower of London while at prayers. Many say he was done in by King Edward IV hunchbacked brother Richard of Gloucester (later Richard III). To this day the spot where the king was murdered is covered with flowers every May 21st.

1506- Christopher Columbus died in Valladolid Spain. Bitter, forgotten, watching other people take credit for his discoveries. He was 54.

1540- Hernand DeSoto discovered the Mississippi River, the "Father of the Waters."

1542- Hernand DeSoto's yellow-fever ridden body was dumped in the Mississippi to keep it from being violated by angry Indians.

1661- GAWD BLIMEY! TEA COMES TO ENGLAND- King Charles II of England, married Catherine of Braganza, the Princess of Portugal. Her dowry included Tangiers and Mumbai. Catherine never gave Charles any children, and she had to endure his constant philandering with a steady stream of mistresses. But she did introduce Britain to a new custom. She preferred drinking tea to the more traditional English Ale. None understood germ theory yet, but people knew you could die from drinking bad water. But nothing lived in alcohol. Catherine demonstrated drinking tea was safe as well. Nobody understood it was because you had to boil water to make it. Soon everyone had to have some.

1674- Hetman of the Ukraine, Jan Sobieski crowned king of Poland. He replaced King Michael Wisnowiecki, of whom it was said ' He could speak nine languages, but had nothing intelligent to say in any of them!'. Jan Sobieski became a warrior king.

1780- Off the coast of Connecticut, General George Washington conferred with his allies Admiral DeGrasse and the Comte Du Rochambeau aboard DeGrasse’s flagship. Washington wanted to attack the British in occupied New York, but Rocheambeau had a better idea: to pretend to assault New York, then their troops and ships would rendezvous down in Virginia and trap British General Cornwallis in Virginia at a little place called Yorktown.
During this time a French officer wrote home about the curious American custom of whittling. “Whenever the American generals need to ponder great strategies, invariably they take out a knife and carve fruitlessly upon a small stick!”

1796- The President’s Slave is Missing- Ona Judge called Oney was a slave in the home of President Washington. When Washington brought his household slaves north to New York and Philadelphia, it created a delicate legal problem because they were free states. When Washington decided to send his slaves back to Virginia 23-year-old Ona learned Martha intended to give her as a wedding present to her granddaughter. She chose this night to run away. Philadelphia friends put her on a ship to New Hampshire. Washington angrily offered a $10 reward, and even discussed having her kidnapped and brought back South. But relented when advisors warned him it would cause an abolitionist riot on the docks. Ona stayed free in New Hampshire, married, and died peacefully of old age in 1845.

1800- Napoleon crossed the Alps into Italy at the Great Saint Bernard Pass. Napoleon waited for his last troops to complete the crossing, then thanked the monks who aided his men and crossed himself. Artist David portrayed Napoleon as crossing on a fierce white charger. In actuality he did the crossing on a donkey and at one point tucked his big gray overcoat between his legs and slid down a snowy mountain slope on his butt.

1821- Democratic delegates from several states gathered in Baltimore to consider their candidate for president. The first American political convention.

1856- CONGRESSIONAL SLUGFEST- During an angry debate on the slavery issue South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks attacked and beat unconscious Massachusetts Representative Charles Sumner right on the floor of the House of Representatives. "I wore out my cane on his head!” Brooks boasted. Admirers sent Brooks more canes.
The slavery argument had become so ugly Congressman took to carrying concealed pistols and daggers to Capitol Hill. The news outraged abolitionists. In far away Kansas territory it affected preacher John Brown. "Dad went a little crazy when he got the news."-his son admitted. Brown would break into slave owners homes in the dead of night and announcing he was the Avenging Angel of the Lord, behead them with an antique broadsword.

1863- ARMY CHOW... The standard ration for soldiers in the Civil War was a baked flour biscuit called HardTack. Soldiers loved complaining about how awful it tasted and how hard it was to eat. ( Examples of hardtack 150 years old are still edible ). When Ulysses Grant marched his men around the back of the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg Mississippi he cut himself off from his supply lines and let him men loot the local farms for food. His men feasted three weeks straight on roast turkey and goose, smoked hams, bacon, buttermilk and sweet potatoes. This relentlessly rich diet sparked an unusual protest on this day. As Grant was riding past his troops digging trenches they started yelling out loud: "Hardtack! Give us Hard Tack! A man can't work with this heavy food!" Soon thousands of men were chanting in unison "HARD-TACK! HARD-TACK!!' General Grant was forced to stop and pledge on the spot to restrict their diet back to the bland biscuit.

1881- Clara Barton convened the first meeting of the American Red Cross as a branch of the International Red Cross.

1885- The pieces of the Statue of Liberty leave for the U.S. I wonder if the crates said "Some Assembly Required"? .The sculptor, Felix Bartholdi was requested to do something so that “Liberty does not leave France”, so he a made a smaller copy of the lady that is placed on the Seine facing westward. She and the Liberty in New York are facing one other.

1878- Mr. D.A. Buck of Waterbury Conn. received a patent for a low-cost, mass-produced pocket watch. Within a few years he was selling half a million Waterbury Watches a year at $3.50 each.

1892- Leoncavallo's opera "I Pagliacci" debuted at La Scala in Milan.

1906 - Louis H Perlman patented a de-mountable tire-carrying rim for cars.

1908 - 1st horror movie “Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde” premiered in Chicago.

1914 - Greyhound Bus Company began in Minnesota.

1916 - Britain began "Summer Time" Daylight Savings Time. The US adopted the system in the 1930s.

1921- LEOPOLD & LOEB- Two preppie millionaire's sons who were pumped up on Nietzsche’s theory of the superman, decided to commit the perfect murder. Just because it would be fun. They lured Loeb's 15 year old cousin into their car, bludgeoned him to death with a chisel, then had lunch. Despite their confidence in their superior intellects, they were quickly identified and tried for murder. Their rich families hired famed social-progressive lawyer Clarence Darrow for the defense. Darrow made no attempt to prove their innocence but got them off on a life sentence. In 1936 Loeb was cut up with a razor while trying to rape another prisoner, Leopold was paroled in 1958 and died in 1971. The pointless cold bloodedness of the murder today would seem like just another news show, but it horrified 1920's America. F. Scott Fitzgerald said the Jazz Age lost some of its innocent fun after Leopold & Loeb.

1921- The Soviet Army re-conquered Chechnya. They had been conquered in Czarist times but after the Revolution tried to break free. The Red Army came back, executed their Imam Godzhink and reasserted the rule of Moscow. The Chechens tried to rise again in 1991 and were put down after another bloody war.

1922- On the Road to Moscow, the first political cartoon to win a Pulitzer prize. The cartoonist Rollin Kirby, was passionate about Prohibition. He had a regular character to extol temperance named Mr. Dry. When Prohibition was repealed in 1933 Kirby killed off Mr. Dry in print.

1927- Charles Lindbergh-Lucky Lindy, The Lone Eagle, etc. reaches a field outside Paris called Le Bourget after flying nonstop across the Atlantic. There was no such thing as an auto-pilot yet, so he had to stay awake and alert for 33 hours straight. His fatigue would have let him crash, if the gremlin ghoulies he was hallucinating hadn’t kept him company. As soon as he was sighted over Paris, huge searchlights were beamed on his plane. The light temporarily blinded him so that he almost crashed. As he landed people swarmed around the whirring propeller, narrowly missing another tragedy. But Lindy was safe and history made. He said he had never been to Europe and had wanted to see the sights, but almost immediately he was whisked by battleship back to the U.S. for tumultuous ovations and parades.

1933- 23 year old Woolie Reitherman’s first day at Walt Disney Studio.

1945- BOGEY LOVES BABY-Humphrey Bogart married Lauren Bacall on a friend’s farm in Ohio. He was 48 and she was 21. Her real name was Betty Persky, but she passed for wasp. So when the publicity photographers came, they were under strict instructions from Jack Warner to frame out Bacall’s more Jewish-looking relatives. His nickname for her was “Slim”, and she called him “Steve”, after their characters in the film “To Have and to Have Not.”

1945- The remaining barracks of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp were destroyed by the U.S. Army with flamethrowers.

1952- Actor John Garfield died. Some say he died in the midst of wild fornications; in truth he died in his sleep of heart failure aggravated by stress and alcoholism. He was 39. The matinee idol of “The Postman Rings Twice” and “Kid Galahad” was too politically left for the conservative postwar age. When a young stage actor he had run guns to the IRA, later he supported progressive union movements, anti-fascism and desegregation. His outspoken politics got him blacklisted in Hollywood, his friends deserted him, and he was ruined.

1952- Famed writer Lillian Hellman (The Little Foxes, The Children’s Hour) testified before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee HUAC, but refused to name names. “I cannot cut my conscience to fit the fashions of the day.” She escaped a contempt of Congress wrap but she was blacklisted and at one point was working the makeup counter in Magnins department store. By the late 50s she was back with plays like Toys in the Attic.

1954- The Disney short Pigs is Pigs, directed by Jack Kinney, released.

1966 - Heavyweight Cassius Clay KOs Henry Cooper in London

1968- Future President George W. Bush graduated Yale with a C average.

1971- Marvin Gaye’s song “ What’s Going On?” Released.

1972- A lunatic shouting I am Jesus Christ, attacked Michelangelo’s statue La Pieta with a hammer. He is the reason why today we can only enjoy this beautiful sculpture from behind 3 inch thick bulletproof glass.

1979 - Elton John becomes the first western rocker to perform live in USSR.

1980 – Star Wars “The Empire Strikes Back" premiered.

1983 - David Bowie's "Let's Dance," single goes #1. The tracks featured a then little-known guitarist named Stevie-Ray Vaughn.

1991- Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Ghandi was blown up by a girl suicide bomber carrying a bomb in a bunch of flowers. She was believed to be one of the Tamil Tiger separatists.

1992- Tonight Show host Johnny Carson did his last show “I bid you a very heartfelt goodnight.” Johnny spent his remaining years in privacy, even refusing an invitation to appear at the NBC 75th anniversary special.

2011- 89 year old California Pentecostal minister Harold Camping caused a sensation in the U.S. when he declared today would be the Rapture, the Christian End of the World. It didn’t happen.

2017- In Nassau County NY was the final performance of Ringling Bros, Barnum & Bailey Circus. The Greatest Show on Earth had been a tradition for 146 years.
Yesterday’s Question: Custers Last Stand, the Battle of the Little Big Horn was one of the greatest battles on U.S. soil. What state is the Little Big Horn in?

Answer: Montana.