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February 21st, 2008 thurs
February 21st, 2008

Quiz: Why is the smallest finger on your had called a Pinky?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: 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?
HISTORY for 2/21/2008
Birthdays: Leopold Delibes, C. Brancusi, Anais Ninn, W.H. Auden, Hubert de Givenchy, Era Bombeck, Sam Peckinpah, , Nina Simone, Robert Mugabe, Joe Oriolo, David Geffen, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kelsey Grammar is 53, Jennifer Love Hewitt is 29, Alan Rickman is 62

1838- The first telegraph message sent by Samuel Morse "What hath God wrought?" He strung electric cables up and down several floors of his art studio using wood stretchers normally used for oil paintings. Morse was an artist and never wanted to be an inventor, he just did it to finance his painting.

1848- THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO- In Brussels Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published their revolutionary work the Communist Manifesto, redefining history in terms of economic class warfare and creating the terms communist and communism. Interestingly enough they picked Brussels to publish because that year 1848 there were revolutions happening in most of the other cities in Europe. In the 1998 to celebrate it’s anniversary an international publishing conglomerate issued a deluxe designer edition complete with trendy graphics and gilt cover. What would Marx have thought?

1885- The completed Washington Monument was dedicated by Pres Chester Allan Arthur. Plans for the obelisk were first drawn up in 1792 by Pierre L’Enfant and the cornerstone laid in 1840 but construction was constantly suspended. For a time because of the Civil War, another time because strict Presbyterian workers refused to handle Italian marble blocks donated by the Vatican.

1901- Yankee outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with prostitute Hedda Place, sometimes called Mrs. Sundance, left New York City by ship for Latin America and hopefully a new life. They built a ranch in the Patagonian foothills of Argentina, but 4 years later took up their outlaw ways again, eventually fleeing to Bolivia. Hedda Place returned to the US and disappeared from history.

1916-VERDUN began- One of the most horrible battles in world history. World War One German commander Eric Von Falkynhen had planned to draw France into a battle that would ‘bleed her white”, but he wound up bleeding his German Army just as badly. German and French troops battled over some stone fortresses for ten months. Hundreds of thousands of men died in one battle. Names like Petain, Rommel, DeGaulle, the Red Baron, even Bavarian Lance-Corporal Adolf Hitler were all there. The French fired 1 1/2 million shells in this thirty mile square area and the Germans even more. Regiments would be marched into the trenches, blown to bits, then another marched in. One whole French regiment was buried alive by shellfire. Today in a shrine you can see their bayonets sticking out of the soil, still in a straight line waiting to attack.
In the fortresses like Donaumont and Vaux men fought underground in 12 foot high concrete tunnels in total darkness with grenades and flamethrowers, their ears bleeding from the concussions and choking on the fumes and stench of rotting corpses. The French commander of Douamount went mad after the war and shot himself. The surrounding countryside was turned into a shellhole pocked lunar hell. Frenchmen are still digging up unexploded bombs 90 years later. It is said even birds would not fly over Verdun and nothing could grow there. Even their monument by Rodin is macabre. The Verdun Tourist Office was trying to emphasize the positive sites of the city, like they are the birthplace of those candy-covered almonds you get at weddings.

1945-MARINES RAISE THE FLAG- During the Battle of Iwo Jima the Marines raise the flag on Mt. Suribachi. Associate Press photographer Joe Rosenthal takes the most famous image of the war. It's now the Marine monument at Arlington Cemetery. Actually, he photographed the second flag raising. The first was a small flag stuck on a piece of pipe to get the artillery below to stop shelling and to give the Marines pinned down on the beach some hope. The second larger flag raising was done for the press. It was still plenty dangerous, two of the six flag raisers were later killed in battle that same day. Rosenthal almost missed the shot because he turned around momentarily to see if he was in the way of another cameraman. Actor Lee Marvin was one of Marines in the furious fighting and was decorated for his gallantry. He was quoted as saying in an interview later the toughest most heroic Marine he saw that day on Suribachi was the man who ended his life as a kiddie show host- Bob Keeshan known as Captain Kangaroo- but that was a joke that has since become urban myth.

[Photographer Joe Rosenthal

1965- MALCOLM X was assassinated at the Audubon Meeting Hall in Washington Heights Manhattan. His last words were trying to quiet the crowd he was about to address-"Brothers, be cool." Three men then stood up and fired pistols and a shotgun killing him instantly. It has never been proven who ordered the killing.

1988- Televangelist Jimmy Swaggert tearfully confessed to his Baton Rouge congregation “Ah Have Sinned!!”. He had been busted for soliciting a prostitute. They forgave him, A year later he was busted again for the same reason but continues to preach morality on t.v. today.
Yesterday’s 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?

Answer: In colonial times, Breucklyn was a Dutch village, but the rural areas above Manhattan were dominated by a large farm owned by a Danish man named Jonas Bronk.
So going to visit him and his family was going to see The Bronxs’. In 1819 when Mayor DeWitt Clinton was codifying the plans for New York City, he fixed the name of the area as The Bronx.