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April 14, 2008 monday
April 14th, 2008

Quiz: Why were U.S. Southern country folk sometimes called Rednecks?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Who was the first U.S President to be born in the United States?
History for 4/14/2008
Birthdays: Christian Huygens, Arnold Toynbee, Sir John Gielgud, Robert Doisneau, Rod Steiger, Loretta Lynn, Morton Sobotnick, Frank Serpico, Pete Rose, Greg Maddux, Julie Christie, Anthony Michael Hall, Robert Carlyle, Steve Martin is 58, Sarah Michelle Geller is 31, Adrien Brody is 35. Brad Garrett is 48

1828- The first edition of Noah Webster’s Dictionary published. In the 70.000 entries Webster made it a point to separate American English from the King’s English. This is when “Colour” became “Color” Theatre became Theater and Checque became Check.

1865- ABRAHAM LINCOLN ASSASSINATED-Actor and Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth shot the President in the back of the head as he watched the play "Our American Cousin". Lincoln had seen the play several times and knew most of the lines by heart. Booth lept onto the stage and shouting something. It may have been” Sic Semper Tyrannus-And thus with Tyrants” the motto of the State of Virginia, or “The South is Avenged”. No one is sure. That same night Booths accomplice Lewis Paine, stabbed Secretary of State William Seward in his bed. When Seward’s son tried to stop him Paine broke his skull and ran out into the street shouting "I am Mad!" Another man named George Atzenrodt was supposed to kill the Vice President but he lost his nerve and did nothing.
In the box with the Lincolns were a Major Henry Rathbone and his fiance' Miss Clara Harris. Lincoln had asked General & Mrs. Grant to join them at first but the Grant's declined. Nellie Grant didn’t like Mary Lincoln. Anyhow, to Clara Harris this was a pretty lousy first date, watching the president get a bullet in the brain, her dress splattered with Major Rathbone's blood from being slashed by Booth and seeing Mrs. Lincoln go insane, but she married Rathbone anyway. Rathbone was never the same man. Ten years later while living as ambassador to the German city of Hanover Rathbone murdered Clara and was confined in an asylum for the criminally insane.

1865- After shooting Abraham Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth had broken his ankle when jumping to the stage from the Presidential box. He galloped across the Navy Yard Bridge into the Virginia countryside. He knocked on the door of the first doctor who would see him, a man named Dr Samuel Mudd. Dr Mudd set the strangers leg and saw him off into the night. These actions eventually earned Dr Mudd arrest in the conspiracy and a live sentence at hard labor. This is when the term came into being “My Name is Mudd” meaning you were in big trouble.

1912-RMS TITANIC SINKS- At 11:40PM The unsinkable luxury liner, going too fast and 14 miles off course, strikes an iceberg and goes down taking millionaires and immigrants alike. As the stricken liner sank, the cruiser SS Californian watched a short distance away. They could have saved more people, but their radio man had gone to bed, and they thought the emergency flares lighting up the night sky were just party skyrockets. No one was saved until the SS Carpathia arrived on the scene at dawn. John Jacob Astor IV upon being told only women and children were allowed in the lifeboats went back and dressed in his smoking jacket and had some champagne. Izadore Strauss, the creator of Macy's Dept. Store success ordered his wife onto the lifeboat. She said "Izzy, I've not followed you everywhere for 40 years to separate now!" . She put her fur coat on the shoulders of her maid and they went down to their cabin. The heroism of the wealthy was admirable but it was still the Age of Privilege- the poor immigrant passengers were kept from the upper decks by locked gates. 1,500 drowned while half empty boats were lowered. Another legend was when the rescue ships reached the site they found floating among the frozen corpses a kitchen mate who survived 4 hours in water so cold your life expectancy was only 20 minutes. His secret was he was drunk out of his skull and all the alcohol in his system acted like anti-freeze.
Another strange fact is in 1898 a writer named Morgan Robertson wrote a novel called Futility, in which a 880 ft luxury liner sank on her maiden voyage in the month of April. The fictitious ship was named the Titan.

1914-At a baseball game in Washington William Howard Taft becomes the first President to throw out the season's first ball. He also stood up and stretched during the Seventh inning, creating another custom.

1925- WGN broadcasts its first regular season baseball game. Quinn Ryan behind the mike as Grover Cleveland Alexander and the Cubs defeated the Pirates on Opening Day, 8-2.

1927- The first Volvo automobile rolled off the assembly line in Goteborg Sweden.

1931- In Spain Socialists and Anarchists unite to drive out the King Alphonso XIII and the monarchy and proclaim the Second Spanish Republic. Salud Republica!

1935- THE DUST BOWL - The drought conditions and over farming in the plains states had been building for years but this storm climaxed the decade long event. On this day a big dust storm struck Cimmarron County Oklahoma. It blacked out the sun over five states. Cattle choked, calves and children disappeared in the drifts. Not even weeds would grow in it. The dust got through cracks in houses and when you awoke in the morning the only clean spot on your pillow was where your head lay. After this storm the migration of farmers rose until the estimate was 40% of the populations of the drought stricken areas. People from Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Texas and Missouri piled their worldly goods onto their jalopies and got on Route 66 West to California. They were nicknamed 'the Oakies, and their plight was dramatized in the songs of Woody Guthrie and John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath.

1956- In Redwood City, Cal. Charles Ginsburg, Ray Dolby and Charles Anderson demonstrate the first videotape recording machine. They were going then for a mere $75,000 each.

1960- The musical Bye Bye Birdie opened on Broadway.

1962- Bob Dylan recorded “Blowing in the Wind”.

1963- Beatle George Harrison was impressed by an unsigned rock band he just heard called the Rolling Stones.

1986- President Reagan ordered U.S. military places bomb Libya in retaliation for a terrorist bombing in a nightclub in West Germany. 15 civilians were killed including a son of Libyan President Mohammar Kadafyi. It later comes out that the bombers in Germany were from Syria, but they were a Middle East country we were trying to reach out to at the time.

1999-Former Baywatch actress Pamela Anderson stunned the male population of the world by announcing she had her breasts implants removed. She soon had them put back.

2005- Baseball returned to Washington D.C 34 years after the Washington Senators left to Texas, the Washington Nationals played their first game.

Yesterday’s Question: Who was the first U.S President to be born in the United States?

Answer: George Washington, Adams and Jefferson were born colonial subjects of the British Crown, and so were British citizens. President Martin Van Buren was born in 1782, after the Declaration of Independence, but the Revolutionary War was not over. John Tyler was born in 1790, in the nation now known as the United States.