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March 10th, 2008 mon
March 10th, 2008

Question: We call the Spanish speaking countries below the Rio Grande, Latin America. Who came up with that phrase?

Yesterdays’ question answered below: How do you make a Molotov Cocktail?
History for 3/10/2008
Birthdays: Lorenzo da Ponte -libretist of Mozart's operas the Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni, Barry Fitzgerald, Claire Booth Luce, Heywoud Hale Broun, James Herriot, Pablo de Sarrasate, Chuck Norris is 68, Shannon Tweed, Sharon Stone is 50, And where is Osama Ben Laden? He’s celebrating his birthday- 51

241 B.C.- NAVAL BATTLE OF AEGATES INSULAE- Romans under Gaius Lutatius Catullus defeat the Carthaginians under Hamilcar Barca (The Thunderer) and win the First Punic War. The Carthaginians were much better sailors than the Romans, so Catullus lashed his ships side by side and laid planks over the decks. This way his legions could fight infantry style. The Romans had another nasty trick of taking clay beehives filled with angry hornets and shooting them by catapult onto enemy ships. The Romans won Sicily and Hamilcar taught his son Hannibal that the Romans were not nice people.

1842-Vigilantes of Virginia City, Montana hanged an outlaw named Jack Slade. Accounts say Slade was "More feared than God, but all in all a good citizen." (?)

1862- FIRST U.S. GREENBACK PAPER DOLLARS ISSUED- "Dollar" is a corruption of Jacobsthaler- named for silver coins minted in St. James valley in Czech lands, which became 'Thalers' then 'Dollars'. Lincoln was originally annoyed that Secretary of the Treasury Samuel Chase put himself on the one-dollar bill while he was on the five. Lincoln thought Chase wanted some cheap advertising for a presidential bid in '64. Lincoln made him Supreme Court Justice to get him out of the way. The money was printed with green ink because it was cheap and plentiful. Union troops when issued the new money instead of silver or gold specie promptly rioted. People nicknamed the fat bills“ Chases Shinplasters ” but got used to them. After the civil war when the U.S. Treasury tried to recall the paper currency and go back to coins, people complained again that they were now used to the stuff.

1876- THE FIRST TRUE TELEPHONE CALL. Alexander Graham Bell had applied for the phone patent several weeks before but he still couldn’t get the signal clear enough to be understood. He even had a surgeon send him a human ear from a corpse to study. This day when trying a new variation Bell spilled acid on his lap and called out over the wires " Watson ! Come Here! I Need You!" Watson heard it clearly and rushed to his aid. Some say Watson made up the story of the acid later to explain why Bell couldn’t think of anything loftier or profound to say as the very first message.

1926- The First Book of the Month Club – The Lovely Willows by Sylvia Townshend Warner.

1933- THE LONGBEACH EARTHQUAKE- There had not been a serious seismic event in LA since 1857, so most Angeleanos thought it was a thing of the past. Today the walls shook and brick buildings crumbled, killing 200. The quake sparked the first serious earthquake-proofing building codes.

1935- The First Smokey Stover comic strip ( notary sojac).

1947- Ronald Reagan becomes President of the Screen Actor's Guild after President Robert Montgomery and V.P. Franchot Tone resign to become independent producers. In the violent gangster-ridden atmosphere of Hollywood unions in those days Reagan took to wearing a .32 Smith & Wesson in a shoulder holster under his coat.

1948- Zelda Fitzgerald, the socialite wife of writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, died in a fire at the mental hospital where she had been committed for more than a decade.

1953- PANCHO AND THE GENERAL- Florence Lowe "Pancho" Barnes was the granddaughter of Thaddeus Lowe, inventor of the U.S. Army balloon corps in the Civil War. She became an aviatrix and in 1930 broke an air speed record set by Amelia Earheart. In the late 1940s she moved to Maroc California in the desert and opened up a saloon "The Happy Bottom Riding Club' where the test pilots flying dangerous experimental craft trying to break the sound barrier came to blow off steam. Chuck Yeager and the future astronauts were frequent guests. She once told famed General Jimmy Doolittle "Jimmy, you know I can out fly and out f**k you any day of the Week!!" The bar was famous for wild parties with lots of booze and rough housing. One time Pancho got a baker to make several 6 foot long pieces of sandwich bread that she had young ladies lie down in to pose as human sandwiches.
Pancho Barnes

In 1952 a General Holtoner took over command of Maroc, now renamed Edwards Air Force Base. He tried to have Pancho evicted so the Air Force could expand it's supersonic runway. When she objected to the General's lack of respect, he implied that she ran a house of prostitution. On this day Pancho sued the US Air Force for 1 1/2 million dollars. General Holtoner was replaced, the Happy Bottom Riding Club was destroyed in a fire and Pancho Barnes moved away. The bar was immortalized in the film 'The Right Stuff'.

1954- In a letter to studio heads director Elias Kazan worried that young actor James Dean was “too odd” and unpredictable to star in his movie “East of Eden”.

1954- First day of shooting on Stage 3 of the Giant Squid battle on Walt Disney’s production of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. The director was Richard Fleischer, the son of Disney’s onetime competitor Max Fleischer.


1963- Pete Rose first took the field in a Cincinnati Reds uniform. During an exhibition baseball game with the Yankees, Mickey Mantle hit one of his monster 400-ft home runs. Young Rose was the only outfielder scrambling and jumping hopelessly to catch it. Mantle laughed and said:” Hey, look at Charlie Hustle over there.” The nickname stuck. Charlie Hustle would go on to break Ty Cobb’s all time hitting record and manage winning teams. But after his retirement he was banned from baseball for betting on sports.

1980- This year one of the most popular diets in the country was the Scarsdale Diet by Dr. Herman Tarnower. This day a woman named Jean Harris entered his Purchase NY home and shot Dr. Tarnower to death.
Yesterdays’ question: How do you make a Molotov Cocktail?

Answer: Take a bottle, fill it with gasoline or another flammable liquid, stuff a rag in the opening, light and throw. In 1940 Stalins’ Russia took advantage of the world distracted by the Hitler war to attack their neighbor Finland. The Finns fought back valiantly, although hopelessly outnumbered. Stalin’s Foreign Secretary Vasceshlav Molotov claimed in the press that Soviets were not dropping bombs on Finnish cities but food parcels! Finns nicknamed bombing raids “ Molotov’s Food Baskets” then calling the petrol bombs they threw on Russian tanks “ Molotov’s Cocktails”.