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February 12, 2008 tues.
February 12th, 2008

Quiz: What is the origin of the rounded shape with the point that symbolizes a heart?

Answer to yesterdays question below:
History for 2/12/2008
Birthdays: Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin are born on the same day in 1809 although an ocean apart. Austrian Emperor Francis II, Thaddeusz Kosciuszko, Joe Garagiola, Luigi Boccherini, John L. Lewis, Bill Russell, Franco Zeffirelli, Lorne Greene, Joe Don Baker, Arsenio Hall, Christina Ricci is 28

1502-Ferdinand and Isabella had thrown all the Jews out of Spain, now what about the Moslems? This day all Moslems not accepting baptism were given until April 30th to leave the country. They complained that when the Moors ruled they tolerated all religions, but the Spanish monarchs were deaf to all entreaties. Up to 3 million Moors eventually left. A century later Cardinal Richelieu called the Edict of 1502 "the most barbarous act in history."

1733- General James Oglethorpe landed with a prison colony near present day Savannah to found the colony of Georgia.

1789- Ethan Allen, the frontiersman who's Green Mountain Boys were heroes of the American Revolution, died from injuries gotten from drunkenly falling out of a sleigh crossing frozen Lake Champlain. His last words were when someone said :"Ethan, the Angels await thee!" Allen replied:" They do? Well G-ddamn 'em, let em wait!"

1798- LORD NELSON AND MRS. HAMILTON DO THE NASTY..... Admiral Horatio Nelson had been increasingly shivering his timbers over his friend Sir William Hamilton's sexy young wife Emma. He was staying with the Hamilton's in their villa in Naples during his tour of duty in the Mediterranean. According to historians analyzing their love letters to each other Emma and Nelson make specific references to the 'Delightful Twelfth of February", and Mrs. Hamilton bore a daughter nine months later she named Horatia. Their open love affair in the face of polite society was one of the scandals of their age.

1809 -Happy Lincoln's Birthday, Because of Richard Nixon’s law creating President’s Day in 1970, you do not have today off as a holiday. One of my favorite Lincoln quotes is :" If I'm supposed to be two-faced, then why did I settle for this one?"

1924- RHAPSODY IN BLUE- Big Band leader Paul Whiteman had commissioned a rhapsody for Jazz Band from the famous composer George Gershwin. Tonight at a concert at the Aeolian Hall in New York City it premiered in a long bill of "Modern Music". Also on the bill was jazz interpretations of "Yes We have no Bananas" and "Kitten on the Keys." Sergei Rachmaninoff, Fritz Kriesler, Igor Stravinsky and Leopold Stokowski were in attendance.
Interestingly enough Gershwin’s orchestrator was Ferde Grofe’ the composer famous for the Grand Canyon Suite. It was Grofes’ idea to bring in a jazzman named Ross Gorman to do the opening clarinet solo. While rehearsing the piece Gorman took Gershwin’s opening 17 note ascent and ‘smeared’ the riff to the long high note, creating the famous opening. Gershwin liked it so much he told him to play it always that way. Gershwin was originally going to call his piece Concert Rhapsody for Jazz Band & Piano or American Rhapsody but his brother Ira Gershwin was inspired by some Whistler paintings he saw recently at a museum called Nocturne in Blue and Green and Harmony in Grey and Green. He suggested Rhapsody in Blue.

1941- General Irwin Rommel lands in North Africa to take over the Italian forces and his new Afrika Korps. Using lightning tactics and brilliant improvisation in the desert he became legendary as the "Desert Fox". He took over from an Italian general named Barbazioli, who because of his wild facial hair was nicknamed "Electric Whiskers".

1947- THE BIRTH OF THE 'NEW LOOK' The Paris fashion show where designer Christian Dior defined the look for women of the 1950s into the early 60's: Wasp waists, gloves and patent leather accessories, pleated mid length skirts.

1967- London police arrest Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Marianne Faithful for doing drugs and doin’the nasty.

1994-"WHY ME! WHY ME?!" The Winter Olympics at Lillehammer began, which are remembered mainly for figure skater Tanya Harding hiring a hit man to break her rival Nancy Kerrigan's kneecaps with a steel pipe. Despite all the hub-bubb the gold was won by Ukrainian skater Oksana Baiyul who was arrested a year later for drunk driving.
Nancy Kerrigan signed a multi-million dollar endorsement contract with Disney, which she succeeded in blowing within a month by making fun of Disneyworld during a parade. Within range of a microphone she whispered." This is all so corny!" When someone asked if Tanya Harding could get any commercial endorsements, it was pointed out that she's an asthmatic who smokes Marboros.

1999- President Bill Clinton was acquitted in his Impeachment trial in the Senate stemming from his affair with young intern Monica Lewinsky. During the trial word leaked out that several of the president’s chief critics like Representative Robert Livingston and Newt Gingrich also had extramarital affairs or sexually harassed their female employees. Chief Justice William Rheinquist, high on painkillers, presided over the trial with his dark Justices’ robes adorned with some gold stripes on the sleeves, the first time any Supreme Court Justice robes had any such adornment. He got the idea watching the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta Iolanthe. The Parker Pen Company had created special monogrammed pens for the Senator’s use during the trial. But when the pens were used it was discovered they all had the name United States misspelled on them- they read the Untied States of America. Others said it was a fitting statement on the state of the government at the time.
Yesterdays Question: Why is Valentines day, a day that celebrates love and courting, named for a saint? Did he date other saints?

Answer: Part of the strategy of the Roman Church to convert the pagans of Europe was to displace pagan feast days with Christian worship days. Feb 14th was the Roman fertility festival Lupercalia, with lots of orgies and wild goings on. The Church re-sanctified the festival for Saint Valentine, who was martyred on that day by Emperor Claudius II Gothicus. While in prison Valentine communicated with his flock by tossing messages out of his jail window- Valentines.