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February 20th, 2008 Weds
February 20th, 2008

Question: In New York City, people call the borough of the Bronx, The Bronx. No one calls the others The Brooklyn or The Manhattan. Why is it The Bronx?

Yesterdays Quiz answered below: Political pundits say President Bush will be hung around John McCain’s neck like an albatross. What does that mean?
History for 2/20/2008
Birthdays: Honore' Daumier, Nancy Wilson, Ansel Adams, Sidney Poitier, Cindy Crawford, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Robert Altman, Roger Penske. Phil Esposito, Jennifer O’Neill, Ivanna Trump ("Ivanna More Money") Mike Leigh, Lili Taylor

1702-British King William III of Orange goes riding around Hampton Court when his horse Sorrel steps in a molehole and throws him. William of Orange suffered a broken collarbone but being already elderly, tuberculant and asthmatic, died within a week. Friends of his enemy the exiled Stuart King James II drank a toast to the 'Little man in the velvet coat', meaning the mole who dug the hole.

1816- "Fee-Garr-Row! Fig-Ar- Roww- Figaro-Figaro,Figaro,Figaro"- Giacomo Rossini's opera 'The Barber of Seville' premiered. Rossini endured bad press and heavy criticism at the time because the another opera of the Marriage of Figaro had just been premiered by Paisiello, an inferior composer who was much more popular than he.

1824- The first attempt to name and classify a dinosaur. At the Geological Society of London Dean Willliam Buckland announced the Megalosaurus or the Great Fossil Lizard of Stonesfield . Based on a leg bone he estimated it at 40 feet long and a bulk larger than an elephant. Before Darwin the conventional explanation was that these fossils were the remains of dragons or creatures that perished in Noah’s Flood.

1845- The Battle of the Cahuenga Pass-Angry Spanish Californians led by Vaquero Juan de Alvarado clashed with the regular Mexican governor Miguel de Micheltorena. The only casualty was a mule. The story of Alvarado may be one of the origins of Zorro.

1925- Willis O’Brien’s silent movie the Lost World premiered. The stop motion animation of dinosaurs and exploding volcanoes issued in a new era of special effects films.

1936- The film “Follow the Fleet” premiered, with dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

1939- The American Nazi Party held their largest rally in Madison Square Garden in New York City. 20,000 Americans goose-stepped and Sieg-Heiled under a huge portrait of George Washington, while angry anti-Fascist and Jewish groups rioted outside. By 1941 most of the German American Bund dissolved. During the war 10,000 German Americans were interned along with the Japanese and Italians. Fritz Kuhn, the organizer of the rally was jailed for embezzling his organizations funds and deported to Germany in 1946

1962- "God Go with You, John Glenn !" Mercury -7 sends the first American into orbit.
Glenn later became a Democratic senator and in his 70’s went into space a second time on a space shuttle in 1998. His first words upon emerging from the space capsule were:”It was hot in there.” John Glenn was a combat Marine pilot, test pilot and astronaut but even he sometimes got the willies. In 1968 while traveling with the Robert Kennedy for President entourage their chartered plane hit turbulence. Bobby Kennedy undid his seat belt, stood up and said to the cabin “ I have an announcement- Colonel Glenn is Scared!”

2006- The animated film Wallace & Gromet: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, won the British Academy Award (BAFTA) for the best British Film of the year. It beat out the Constant Gardner, and Pride & Prejudice.
Yesterdays Question: What does it mean to have an albatross around one’s neck?

Answer: In Samuel Taylor Coleridges’ epic 1798 poem Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, a young sailor finds himself on a cursed ship full of dead people. When he kills an albatross, considered bad luck, he is condemned to wear the dead bird around his neck as a reminder to all of his mistake. Since then, to have an albatross around ones’ neck is to have a constant public reminder of a mistake, when you’d much rather everyone forget it.