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February 10th, 2008 Sun
February 10th, 2008

Well, it looks like we will have an uninterrupted Oscars after all. the WGA rank and file discussed the new deal with the producers and liked that they heard. Now every single person will not be totally happy with the deal, there is always one or two remaining hotheads wanting to fight on. But here is where pragmatism has to win out.
Quiz: In a recent survey a large part of British youth polled think Sherlock Holmes was a real person. Was he?

Answer to yesterdays question below…
History for 2/10/2008
Birthdays: Former British PM Harold Macmillan, Jimmy Durante, Bertholdt Brecht, Leontyne Price, Roberta Flack, tennis great Bill Tilden, Lon Chaney Jr., Stella Adler, Mark Spitz, Boris Pasternak, Dame Judith Anderson, Greg Norman, Donavan, Dr Alex Comfort author of the Joy of Sex, Michael Apted, Jerry Goldsmith, Robert Wagner, Laura Dern is 41

1722- Although not as famous as Blackbeard or Captain Kidd, Bartholemew Roberts was one of the most notorious pirates that ever flew the Jolly Roger. This day he met his end when the British warship HMS Swallow caught up with his ship the Royal Fortune near Cape Lopez in Gabon. The pirates had taken a merchantman the night before so most of them were too drunk or hung-over to fight. Captain Roberts bellowed defiance but as luck would have it he was struck dead by the first cannonball from the very first broadside the British fired. “ARR-MATEYS, ARR ….OUCH!” His men threw his body overboard and after a short fight surrendered. The pirates were rounded up and sent in chains to the Cape Coast in Ghana where an Admiralty Court hanged 54, the largest one time pirate hanging ever.
This stern treatment brought to an end the high period of piracy in the Atlantic and the Caribbean. Sea Piracy mostly died out by the mid 1800’s but vestiges persist even today. In 1999 China executed 15 men for piracy and in 2001 the New Zealand captain of the ship that won the America’s Cup was killed by pirates off the coast of Brazil.

1763- THE TREATY OF PARIS- Ending the Seven Years War ( or French and Indian War here). Europe makes peace and England wins an empire. France cedes her territory in India and all of Canada. Spain gets Louisiana. “Half a continent changed hands with the scratch of a pen”. To ensure speedy approval of the treaty, Prime Minister Pitt the Elder set up a booth outside the Parliament to distribute cash bribes to the members as they went in to vote. The French were bitter but philosophical. Minister Choiseul predicted:" With our threat removed the Americans will try for independence in ten years." American colonial representative Benjamin Franklin assured London:" Freedom is the last thing Americans want...."

1799- Napoleon marched out of Cairo at the head of his French expeditionary Army. He headed north towards Jerusalem and Syria but was stopped at the city of Jaffa. Around this time French soldiers discovered marijuana. The tough old soldiers thought it cheaper than brandy and didn’t leave you hung-over the next morning.

1837- Russian poet Alexander Pushkin dies of wounds from fighting a duel defending his wife's honor. His last words were to his books "Farewell, my friends..." Pushkin was the great, great grandson of a black man sent to serve Czar Peter the Great in his Moorish Guard.

1863- Alanson Crane invented the Fire Extinguisher.

1888- The City of Long Beach incorporated.

1907- THE EUHLENDBERG SCANDAL- Three of Kaiser Wilhelm's closest aides are accused by a socialist newspaper of being homosexuals. The aides, including the Kaiser's personal friend Count Phillip zu Euhlenburg, sue in court but are disgraced and ostracized in the way writer Oscar Wilde was suffering in England. The scandal shocked German society and the Kaiser suffered a nervous breakdown.
Discreet approval of gays in the military was common in the pre-war Austro-German officer corps. Around this same time Wilhelm witnessed the spectacle of one of his top generals, 56 year old Count von Hulsen-Haesler, did a dance for the army general staff in a pink ballet tutu and rose hair garland ! The general had done these pirouettes before but this time he suddenly seized up and dropped stone dead of heart failure. The generals in a panic squeezed his stiff body back into his uniform and monocle before calling the doctor.

1920- Major League Baseball banned the spitball pitch.

1929- Elsa Lanchester married Charles Laughton.

1938- RKO screwball comedy with Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant “ Bringing Up Baby” premiered.

1940-MGM's "Puss gets the boot" the first Tom and Jerry cartoon and the first collaboration of the team of Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.

1949- The premiere of Arthur Miller’s play "Death of a Salesman".

1962- U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, shot down over Russia in 1960, was finally traded back to the U.S. for top Soviet spy Alexander Abel. In his memoirs Khruschev Remembers Khruschev later confided to Kennedy that he wanted to hang on to Powers through the American election of 1960 because he didn't want "that s.o.b. Nixon", as representing the administration, to have the advantage.

1966- CBS co-ops broadcasting the senate Kennan Hearings on the conduct of the Vietnam War with reruns of "I Love Lucy'. CBS news division president Fred Friendly quits in protest.

1966-Jaqueline Susanne’s novel The Valley of the Dolls first published. Although critics considered it cheap and trashy- Time Magazine called it “Dirty Book of the Month” and Truman Capote called Susanne in her heavy sixties eye shadow a “Truck Driver in Drag” Valley of the Dolls sold like wildfire. Its frank portrayal of single women enjoying casual sex and taking drugs was a big step in the sexual revolution of the 1960’s.

1966- Author Ralph Nader gained national fame when he testified to the Senate about the lax standards of auto safety. His greatest criticism was for GM’s Corvair. General Motors responded with a smear campaign trying to paint Nader as gay and anti-Semitic. Nader successfully sued them in court and many of the consumer advocates ideas are mandatory today like seat belts and listing gas efficiency on the sales sticker.

1993- Former black man Michael Jackson told Oprah Winfrey in a television interview that he wasn’t deliberately trying to whiten his skin but he was suffering from a rare pigment disease. And what about that nose?

1992- The children’s book- The Stinky Cheese Man debuted.
Yesterday’s question: What is the origin of the phrase,” I gave him the whole nine yards”

Answer: 50 caliber Ammunition belts in the wings of a WW2 US fighter plane measured 27 feet, or nine yards...If the pilot shot off the entire belt, then he gave the enemy "the whole nine yards."