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February 19th, 2008 Tues.
February 19th, 2008

Quiz: Political pundits say President Bush will be hung around John McCain’s neck like an albatross. What does that mean?

Yesterdays’ question answered below: When you meet the President, what do you call him/her?
HISTORY FOR 2/19/2007
Birthdays: Copernicus, Luigi Boccherini, Smokey Robinson, Andre Breton, Lee Marvin, Sir Cedric Hardwicke. Karen Silkwood, Paul Terry, Paul Krause, Merl Oberon, Amy Tam the author of the Joy Luck Club., John Frankenheimer, Jeff Daniels, Benicio Del Toro is 41, Hilary Duff is 22

Today is the Feast of Saint Wulfstan of Worchester

197AD- General Septimius Severus of the African Legions had seized control of the Roman Empire and had himself declared emperor. This day he defeated his last rival, Albinus ,the Commander of the legions of Gaul. He left Albinus’ dead body in front of his headquarters, where for fun he trampled it repeatedly with his horse and wiped his shoes on it before entering his office. This was before office desk Nerf-basketball was invented. Albinus‘ corpse layed around being torn by dogs and vermin for a week. Finally it stank so bad, it was flung into a nearby stream.

1674- The Second Treaty of Breda settled the Third Dutch War with England. As part of the settlement Holland gave up any chance of getting back her colonies in North America, now renamed by the English New York and New Jersey. Truth be told they weren’t bringing in any income anyway. They were considered of little value.

1847-“ ARE YOU FROM CALIFORNIA OR ARE YOU FROM HEAVEN?” The Donner Party found at last. The wagon train of settlers had been trapped in the High Sierra mountains of California near Lake Truckee in blizzard conditions with no food since last October 31st. Half the settlers were dead and the rest subsisting on cannibalizing the dead for food. This day a survivor named John Reed who got to safety returned with a rescue party from Sutter’s Fort. Of the 89 original settlers only 45 made it out alive. One opened a restaurant.

1878- Thomas Edison patented the phonograph.

1913- Crackerjacks start putting toy prizes in every box. The name Crackerjack for the caramel corn was named for the reaction of someone trying it for the first time- These are Crackerjack!

1920- THE MYSTERY OF ANASTASIA- This day came the first news reports that a emotionally disturbed young woman who tried to jump into a Berlin canal claimed to be the Archduchess Anastasia Romanov, youngest child of the Czar and Czarina of Russia. She somehow escaped the 1918 murder of her family and tried to prove it by recalling minute details about the Imperial household. She was called Anna Anderson and was the toast of New York and Parisian society for awhile. But unlike the Ingrid Bergman movie the Romanov family in exile never took her seriously and Anna eventually married and settled down. In 1991 extensive laboratory attempts to match her DNA with the Romanovs proved she was not the little archduchess.

1942-PRESIDENT FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT signed Executive Order# 9066- The JAPANESE INTERNMENT ACT- All along the Pacific Coast first and second generation Japanese-Americans were uprooted from their homes and property and with what only they could carry were shipped off to camps in the desert. Few Japanese-Americans were interned in Hawaii however, because it would have seriously depleted the population. Many got no restitution for their lost property. America remembered how effective German agents were in the First World War, when bombs going off on Boston and New York waterfront docks was common. Throughout the Second World War no act of Japanese-American sabotage was ever recorded. Apologists would say it was because of the act. Although the F.B.I. kept tabs on German and Italian agents in U.S. and pro-Fascist groups like the American Bund flourished in the 30’s nothing like what happened to Japanese Americans occurred to them. Less than 10,000 were rounded up as opposed to over 100,000 Japanese Americans.

1945- THE INVASION of IWO JIMA-The nine mile square bit of barren beach cost over 50,000 lives. This island and Okinawa were the test cases to judge how fiercely the Japanese would fight for mainland Japan. Iwo Jima was the first island that wasn't conquered territory of some other people but was considered part of the home Japanese Islands, only 700 miles from Tokyo.

1944- Writer John Steinbeck asked that his name be taken off of the credits for the Alfred Hitchcock film version of “Lifeboat”. “In view of the fact that my script for the picture was distorted in production.”

1951-Poet philosopher Andre Gide died in Paris. Several things were quoted as his last words, my favorite is " Before you quote me, please make sure I'm conscious."

1954- The prototype Ford Thunderbird auto completed.

1960 - Bill Keane's "Family Circus" cartoon strip debuts.

1968- “ It’s a beautiful day in the Neighborhood…” Mister Roger’s Neighborhood debuted on National Education Television, later called PBS. Ordained Presbyterian minister Fred Rogers had been doing children’s shows similar in Pittsburgh and Canada since the 50’s but today was the start of his show that would run unchanged for thirty five years.

1985 - Mickey Mouse welcomed in China.

1995- Pamela Anderson married rocker Tommy Lee. On their honeymoon they shot that notorious video on Lake Powell.
Yesterdays’ question: When you meet the President, what do you call him/her?

Answer: Shortly after the US constitution was finalized in 1787, a furious debate broke out over how to address the President. America had been a colony answerable to a king, so you called him Your Majesty, or Your Highness. General Washington and Martha were addressed as His Excellency and Lady Washington. But what to call this newfangled Chief Executive? Your Electoral Highness? Finally, after weeks of debate, the formula approved by Congress was simply “ Mr. President.” And maybe soon “ Madame President.”