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April 09, 2008 weds
April 9th, 2008

Quiz: What was the original purpose of an Olympic torch runner, besides being a magnet for protestors.?

Yesterdays quiz answered below: Why are people who peddle influence in Washington called Lobbyists?
History for 4/9/2008
Birthdays: Tartar conquerer Timur the Lame called Tamurlane, , Vladimir Ulyanov called Nikolai Lenin, Paul Robeson, Jean Paul Belmondo, Dennis Quaid, Ward Bond, Seve Balesteros, Carl Perkins, Michael Learned, Tom Lehrer, Paula Poundstone, Cynthia Nixon, Hugh Hefner is 82, Elle Fanning is 10

192 AD.- Septimius Severus hailed Emperor by the African Legions. Septimius was as tough as his nickname suggests but he was also superstitious. Just to play it safe he prayed every night to statues of Jupiter, Isis, Sol Invictus the Sungod, Mithras and Jesus..

1553- French writer Francois Rabelais died. His last words were: ” I go to seek a Great Perhaps.”

1859- Mark Twain received his Mississippi riverboat pilot’s license.

1865- APPOMATTOX COURTHOUSE, THE END OF THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR. Robert E. Lee surrenders the remains of his army to Ulysses Grant ( just 11,000 men from an 1863 peak of 70,000). Grant had had a migraine headache all morning until he received the note from Lee requesting terms. Grant’s staff understood that Lee’s note meant the end of the greatest cataclysm in U.S. history. One staff officer called for three cheers but the men could only manage one weak hurrah, then they broke down in tears. All realized that at last the killing was truly over. Lee arrived wearing his best dress uniform, Grant rode in from the field wearing an old muddy private’s jacket. Grant recalled when they met during the Mexican War but Lee didn’t remember. Grant was happy to make small talk until Lee brought them back to the business at hand. Grant’s secretary was a Seneca Indian named Captain Ely Parker. Lee paused to say ”I’m glad there’s at least one real American here.” The house they met in was owned by a man named Wilbur McClean, who moved his family for Bull Run to Appomattox to get away from the fighting. He managed to keep his belongings safe for four years of war. Now, after Lee and Grant left the historic meeting, the officers looted his place for souvenirs, George Custer riding off with the little surrender table perched on his head.

1914- The first all color film” The World, The Flesh and the Devil” premiered in London.

1917- Shortly after declaring war on Germany President Woodrow Wilson was confronted by old former President Teddy Roosevelt who volunteered to lead a new regiment of volunteer Rough Riders into the World War One trenches. Wilson said thanks but no thanks. At the same time he also declined an offer from Annie Oakley to lead a company of lady sharpshooters into combat “Oakley’s Amazons”.

1942- Black opera star Marian Anderson gives her concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington to an audience of 75,000. She was snubbed from giving a recital at the Daughters of the American Revolution Hall which caused a furious Eleanor Roosevelt to resign from the DAR and arrange this concert.

1948- Variety columnist Ben Mortimer had been needling Frank Sinatra for his advocacy of liberal causes. He accused Old Blue Eyes of draft-dodging and hinted maybe he had pro-Communist sympathies. This day Sinatra responded by meeting Mortimer in front of Ciro's restaurant on Sunset Blvd and punched his lights out.

1953- The first issue of the T.V. Guide.

1974- Ray Kroc the founder of MacDonalds Restaurants was the owner of the San Diego Padres baseball team. After yet another sorry performance, losing 8-0, Kroc stormed over to the broadcast booth, grabbed the mike and out loud apologized to San Diego fans for his teams lousy playing” You Guys Stink!” Despite this morale boost the Padres eventually did win championship pennants and get to the World Series.

1975- As North Vietnamese armies stream towards the South Vietnamese capitol of Saigon, US President Gerald Ford issued an advisory to all Americans to evacuate the country.

1991- The last Horn & Hardardt Automat was closed on 42nd St in Manhattan. Philadelphia restauranters Joseph Horn and William Hardart saw German experiments in mass market automated restaurants and imported the equipment to start one in Philadelphia in 1902.

1999- American planes flying for NATO bomb the Serbian factory that make the economy car the Yugo. Car enthusiasts rejoice!

2003- Baghdad fell to invading US and British armies.

2004- Archaeologists in Cyprus discover a 9,000 year old grave of a New Stone Age man. In his arms is the remains of a kitten. This is the oldest evidence of man domesticating cats. So rest in peace- Gronk and Fluffy.

2005- Prince Charles wed Lady Camilla Parker-Bowles, his mistress of thirty years. They were not allowed to marry in Saint George’s Chapel in Windsor, the Queen avoided the ceremony and his father didn’t feel like interrupting his trip to Germany; and because of a delay to respect Pope John Paul II’s funeral, all the commemorative cups and dishes have the wrong date on them. Among the thirty invited guests were Mrs. Bowles divorced husband.
Yesterday’s Quiz: Why are people who peddle influence in Washington called Lobbyists?

Answer: in 1868 newly elected President Ulysses Grant stayed at the Willard Hotel waiting to move into the White House. He used to rise early, and not wishing wake his wife Nelly, he would sit in the lobby with his feet by a stove and read his morning paper.

But after awhile he was annoyed by so many jobseekers asking for favors, he gave
up on the practice. Too many revolutionists? He was asked. Nope, too many Lobbyists,
was his answer, and the name stuck.