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February 11, 2008 mon
February 11th, 2008

Quiz: As we near Valentines’ Day, why is a holiday dedicated to love and courtship named for a Saint? Did he date other saints?

Answer to yesterdays question below…Was Sherlock Holmes a real person?
History for 2/11/2008
Birthdays: Thomas Edison, Leslie Nielsen, Eva Gabor, Tina Louise-Ginger on Gilligan’s Island, Rudolph Firkusny, Joe Mankewicz, Sidney Sheldon, Burt Reynolds, Sergio Mendes of the band Brazil 66, Al Eugster, Brandy Norwood, Bobby Picket -who recorded the Monster Mash, Jennifer Aniston is 39

1789- In Italy William Short wrote his friend Thomas Jefferson that as per his request he had obtained for him a pasta mold. The first known introduction of pasta in America.

1801- THE FIRST DEADLOCKED PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION decided in the House of Representatives after 35 separate votes were held. Upstart Aaron Burr managed to come out of nowhere and put together enough anti-Jefferson and anti-Adams votes to tie the election with Thomas Jefferson. President John Adams and Senator Charles Pickney were a distant 3rd and 4th. Former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton was furious that fellow New Yorker Burr threatened to eclipse his power. New York and Pennsylvania were the swing votes in any deal between Yankee New England and the Aristocratic South. Since foreign born Hamilton could never be President, he liked to play kingmaker. So in retaliation Hamilton gave Adam's 36 votes to Thomas Jefferson, not out of any love for his old enemy, but just to screw Burr. Cranky old John Adams was furious that he was rejected by the public: “Damn Them! Damn Them! Anyone can see this elective government won’t work!” He took his sweet time moving out of the White House, making the president-elect wait in a tavern. All this political chicanery doomed the Federalists, the first American political party, and Burr would get his revenge on Hamilton with pistols in 1804.

1936- Famed German Expressionist animator Oscar Fishinger fled Germany for the U.S.

1963- Bell Jar author Sylvia Plath laid out bread and butter and two glasses of milk for her children, then stuck her head into an oven and committed suicide. Her poet husband Ted Hughes who had abandoned her waited until 1998 to tell his side of the story. Hughes wrote stories for his children like The Iron Giant.

1975- Margaret Thatcher became the first woman to lead the Tory Party in England. The green-grocers daughter from Finchley became the Iron Lady and dominated British politics until 1990.

1976-Chuck Jone’s tv special “Mowgli’s Brothers.”

1990- Nelson Mandela was freed by South African authorities after 27 years in prison. He was jailed in 1962 for a life sentence and became the conscience and symbol of the black resistance to white South African rule, called Apartheid.

1995- Disney Studios planned neighborhood suburban community Celebration opened.

2003- A small satellite named U-Map, while studying the faint glow at the center of the Universe, calculated the exact age of the Universe to be 13.7 billion years old. That stars first appeared at 200 million years after the Big Bang, and that the Universe will ultimately expand forever, not crunch back in on itself or explode in one big cataclysm.

2005- Playwright Arthur Miller died at 90.

2006- While hunting for quail, Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot his hunting partner in the face. After being treated the victim, an attorney named Whittington, went before the press and apologized to Cheney.
Cheney became the first Vice President since Aaron Burr in 1804 to shoot someone while in office.
Yesterday’s Question: In a recent survey a large part of British youth polled think Sherlock Holmes was a real person. Was he?

Answer : Nope. Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle studied to be a doctor in Edinburgh. To pass the time he wrote stories inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s Auguste Dupin, an eccentric sleuth who could solve crimes that baffled the police. Conan-Doyle’s teacher at Edinbugh Univ. was a Dr. Joseph Bell, who excelled at deductive reasoning, and had an assistant named Dr. Watson. Arthur Conan-Doyle also admired another doctor turned writer, the American Oliver Wendel-Holmes. A Study in Scarlet, the first Sherlock Holmes story, appeared several months after Conan Doyle attended a talk given by Oliver Wendell Holmes in London. No one is sure where he got the name Sherlock from, possibly a neighbor.
Despite these facts, Sherlock Holmes London address 221b Baker Street receives hundreds of letters a day requesting advice from the famous sleuth. The bank that occupies the site maintains a full time secretary to answer the mail.

Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle