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August 2nd, 2008 sat
August 2nd, 2008

Quiz: What do you mean by something being called apocryphal?

Yesterday’s Quiz: In old cartoons there always seems to be a big, dumb character saying” duh..tell me about da rabbits, George..” where did that come from?
History for 8/2/2008
Birthdays: Perre L’Enfant the architect –designer of Washington DC, Myrna Loy, Sir Arthur Bliss, James Baldwin, Carrol O'Connor, Joanna Cassidy is 63, Pete Sampras, Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster ), Jack Warner, Bob Beamon, Wes Craven, Apollonia, Edward Furlong, Kevin Smith is 37, Peter O'Toole is 76, Marie Louise Parker is 44

47BC- Battle of Zela. This day Julius Caesar took time off from Cleopatra and rushed up to Pontus where he destroyed King Pharnaces army in one large battle. Caesar sent a three word report to the Senate:“VENI VIDI VICI- I came,I saw, I conquered.”

1589- French King Henri III de Valois is stabbed in the guts by a demented Dominican, Brother Jacques Clement. He thought the King wasn't doing enough to stamp out Protestantism. The kings last words were: "That little bastard has killed me. Kill him!" Henry IV de Bourbon becomes one of Frances most well beloved kings. The children's song "Frere' Jacques" is about this assassin. "Brother Jacques, Why are you sleeping?" another King needs stabbing, in other words.

1865- The Confederate raider CSS Shenandoah, after sinking a dozen U.S whaling ships in the Bering Sea off Alaska, is told by a passing British merchantman that the American Civil War had ended over 3 months ago......doh! They refused to believe it until shown some newspapers.

1873- The first San Francisco cable car began service. Inventor Arthur Halliday had conceived the idea in 1869 after seeing a horse drawn tram fail to get up a steep hill.

1876- In Deadwood South Dakota at Nuttall & Manns No.10 Saloon gunfighter Wild Bill Hickock was shot in the back and killed while playing cards. He was 48 years old. He was holding the "Deadman's Hand" aces & eights, all black and a jack of hearts. His assailant 'Crooked Nose" Jack McCall was found hiding in a butchers shop and hanged for the murder. An eyewitness said:" It was very sad. Bill had won the hand too."

1914- THE GUNS OF AUGUST-General mobilization began throughout Europe for World War One. Large armies moved towards their frontiers amid hysterical street demonstrations of patriotism, Jubilant mobs shouting "A Berlin!" "Nach Paris!" ring out as Europe prepared to destroy itself. In Russia Czar Nicholas II in a solemn religious ceremony takes the oath his ancestor Alexander Ist had taken to drive out Napoleon. In Berlin a torchlight parade stopped under the Japanese Embassy to salute their friends. They were unaware that Japan had already decided to join the other side. The terrified diplomats thought the crowd was there to lynch them. From the Reichchancellory window German foreign minister Von Bethman-Holveig mumbled: "How did this all happen? If only I knew..." In London Lord Grey similarly reflected-" The Lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime."

1923- President Warren Harding died suddenly in San Francisco’s Palace Hotel. He was touring the country to get away from the festering 'Tea Pot Dome'' bribery scandal in Wash. The official cause of death was listed as “ a stroke of apoplexy”. It was rumored he may have committed suicide or had eaten bad crab meat. A popular idea was that First Lady Florence “Flossie” Harding had poisoned him. Harding was a womanizer and once locked a girlfriend he was entertaining in a closet in his office because his cabinet was coming. Flossie was well aware of his indiscretions; She refused an autopsy and had him quickly embalmed. She controlled all media coverage. To the press she was the Duchess. Nan Britton, the tootsie in the closet, immediately sued for $50,000 for the daughter she bore Harding. She lost but wrote a best selling book called the President’s Daughter in 1927. “Silent Cal” Coolidge became President.

1939- Albert Einstein then living in New Jersey wrote a famous letter to President Franklin Roosevelt describing the potential power of nuclear energy and that the US must develop atomic weapons before the Nazis do. The Manhattan Project was the result. In later years Einstein described this letter as “one of the biggest mistakes of my life.”

1961 - Beatles 1st gig as house band of Liverpool's Cavern Club.

1962- If you are a “Marilyn Monroe was done in by the Kennedy’s ” Conspiracy fan, a recently unearthed CIA document dated this day mentioned that Marilyn’s bungalow was under electronic surveillance and that she kept a “red book” diary. The diary disappeared after her death in two nights from now.

1990 –After Kuwait refused to waive Iraq’s outstanding debts. 100,000 troops of Sadam Hussein’s army invaded and occupied Kuwait.
Yesterday’s Quiz: In old cartoons there always seems to be a big, dumb character saying” duh..tell me about da rabbits, George..” where did that come from?

Answer: John Steinbeck’s 1937 novel Of Mice and Men had two characters. Lennie, the big simpleton with the mind of a child, and George the small flinty one. It was very popular with Warner Bros cartoonists. Director Tex Avery saw the story as a play and loved it. He did the voice of the Lenny character in his cartoons himself.