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February 16th, 2008 saturday
February 16th, 2008

Quiz: Why did L. Frank Baum called his fantasy land over the rainbow, the Land of Oz?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: KILROY WAS HERE was scrawled everywhere in the 1940s. Was Kilroy a real person?

History for 2/16/2008
Birthdays: Charles Taze Russell founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Edgar Bergen, Sonny Bono, John MacEnroe, Frank Welker, John Schlesinger, Faith Hubley, Katherine Cornell, John Corligiano, Kim Jong Il, Levar Burton is 50, Ice-T is 50

In ancient Rome it was the Festival of Quirinalia- when the founder of Rome Romulus was taken up into the clouds and became the god Quirinus

Today is the feast of St. Juliana, who was tortured by both her father AND her boyfriend.I know a lot of you girls out there can relate to that. She also liked to wrestle winged devils in her spare time.

1923- Bessie Smith made her first recording-"Downhearted Blues".

1937- Chemist Wallace Carothers working for the Dupont Company received the patent for the synthetic fiber called Nylon. This fabric could replace expensive silk. By World War Two nylon stockings for women were so popular that limited by shortages resourceful women would draw a seam in pencil down their bare leg to impersonate the effect.

1978- The first computer bulletin board goes on live. Ward Christensen and Randy Seuss's Computerized Bulletin Board System was an S-100 motherboard and CP/M, and a Hayes 300 baud modem. It still runs to this day, but the Internet has taken the place that BBS's used to have

1985-"Family Dog" episode on Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories show. The first direction by Brad Bird.

1994- Apple announced the introduction of the digital camera, the first camera that needed no film but could load images directly into a computer.

2003- As part of his lavish birthday celebrations, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il called for this people to "Burn with Everlasting Hatred for the United States."
Yesterday's Trivia Question: All through World War Two the preferred American graffiti was a drawing of a big nosed man looking over a wall and the words KILROY WAS HERE, written over it. Was Kilroy a real person?

Answer: During World War Two, James Kilroy worked as a checker at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy Mass. His job was to check on the number of rivets completed. Riveters were on piecework and got paid by the rivet. Kilroy would count a block of rivets and put a check mark in semi-waxed lumber chalk, so the rivets wouldn't be counted twice. He continued to put his checkmark on each job he inspected, but added KILROY WAS HERE in king-sized letters next to the check, and eventually added the sketch of the chap with the long nose peering over the fence and that became part of the Kilroy message. Once he did that, the riveters stopped trying to wipe away his marks, and so get paid twice for the same job.

Ordinarily the rivets and chalk marks would have been covered up with paint. But with war on, however, ships were leaving the Quincy Yard so fast that there wasn't time to paint them. As a result, Kilroy's inspection "trademark" was seen by thousands of servicemen who boarded the troop ships the yard produced. To the servicemen he was a complete mystery; all they knew for sure was that some jerk named Kilroy had "been there first." As a joke, U.S. servicemen began placing the graffiti wherever they landed, claiming it was already there when they arrived. From Berlin to Tokyo.

Kilroy became the U.S. super-GI who had always "already been" wherever GIs went. It became a challenge to place the logo in the most unlikely places imaginable (it is said to be atop Mt. Everest, the Statue of Liberty, the underside of the Arch De Triumphe, and even scrawled in the dust on the moon.)

And as the war went on, the legend grew. Underwater demolition teams routinely sneaked ashore on Japanese-held islands in the Pacific to map the terrain for the coming invasions by U.S. troops (and thus, presumably, were the first GI's there). In 1945, an outhouse was built for the exclusive use of Truman, Stalin, and Churchill at the Potsdam conference. The first person inside was Stalin, who emerged and asked his aide (in Russian), "Who is this Kilroy?" ...

( Special Thanks to KARL COHEN of ASIFA/ SF for sending me this story)

courtesy of