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September 13th, 2008 sat
September 13th, 2008

Question: For all you art history majors, who was Ghiselbertus?

Question: What does it mean when you call a law Draconian?
History for 9/13/2008
Birthdays: Gen"BlackJack" Pershing, Clara Schumann, Arnold Schoenburg, Jacqueline Bissett, Frank Marshal, Laura Secord, Jesse L. Lasky, Richard Kiel – Jaws in the Roger Moore James Bond movies, Maurice Jarre, Roald Dahl,Network Programming exec Fred Silverman “The Man with the Golden Gut.” Don Bluth is 71

122AD- In England the Roman legions began to construct Hadrians' Wall.

1759- THE BATTLE OF THE PLAINS OF ABRAHAM. England took Canada away from France. Gen. Wolfe defeated The Marquis De Montcalm and captures the great fortress of Quebec. Both Wolfe and Montcalm are killed, the only time both commanding generals were killed in a one battle at the same time. Gen. Wolfe (32) was aware he was asking his redcoats to scale a sheer rockface in a driving rainstorm then defeat a huge army with their backs to a cliff. So to boost their morale he read them his favorite poem: "Elegy in a Country Churchyard". with lines like:" The paths of Glory lead naught but to the Grave..." Gee, that would cheer me up....

1805- Admiral Nelson leaves London to take out HMS Victory and his fleet to sea.
He will achieve death and glory at the Battle of Trafalgar. Shortly before he had a conversation with the artist Benjamin West. He told West his portrayal of the Death of General Wolfe at the Battle of Quebec was his favorite painting and why had he not painted anything as good since? West replied that there hasn't been any comparable incidents of tragic heroism lately. Nelson laughed and said: "Well I shall make a it a point to get myself killed in my next battle, to provide you with suitable inspiration !"

1812- Napoleon’s army makes camp within view of the domes and cupolas of Moscow.

1814- After destroying Washington DC and Alexandria , the British Navy began a bombardment of the forts surrounding Baltimore. Baltimore then was the main port of the many American privateers pirating English ships. After 25 straight hours continuous bombardment of Fort McHenry, the forts big Stars and Stripes flag was still flying. A simultaneous land attack failed when General Ross, who was a veteran of Wellingtons’ army, was shot down by American snipers. Ross had ate his breakfast on shore in a local inn. When the proprietor asked if he should have a dinner ready for him Ross replied:" No thank you. Tonight I shall sup in Baltimore or in Hell!" After the failure of the bombardment the British gave up and sailed away leaving Francis Scott Key on the shore with notes for a neat little poem. More tomorrow.

1845-THE IRISH POTATO FAMINE- An Irish newspaper printed this day announced that a fungus named Vituperia Infestae was affecting most of the years potato crop, the one food staple for the poor. The same parasite carried over in American fertilizer had effected continental European agriculture as well but a drought minimized it’s effect. Ireland was more devastated by the famine than she had ever been by any war. The famine raged for three years and killed millions. And all this while Ireland was administered by the richest nation in the world, the British Empire. Irish companies were still exporting other grains at the time as well. British relief agencies that were set up were inadequate and refused to just dispense food for fear of creating "a race of dependents". They established works projects that killed more as the starving were made to clear roads and move boulders. Also to pay for the programs landlords were taxed based on how many tenant farmers they had, so they evicted the poor. Truth be said most industrialized countries at this time were hard on their poor, poverty was viewed as a lack of character. It’s just everyone was too slow or apathetic to realize just how great a disaster was occurring in Ireland. By the time the famine eased in 1849 one quarter of the entire population of Ireland had died or immigrated to North America.

1848- The first lobotomy.

1899-First man hit by an automobile. (74th and Central Park West in New York City).

1916- A Tennessee judge orders Margo the circus elephant hanged for killing three men. It took a railroad crane and steel cable but it sure taught her a lesson!

1928- Riding high on their big hit film the Jazz Singer, the Warner Bros. buy out First National Pictures and move into their big Burbank studio lot, where they still are today.

1945- Henchmen of mobster Bugsy Siegel buy a 30 acre roadside tract from a widow in Las Vegas. On it will rise the Las Vegas Casino resort, the Flamingo. There were two little hayseed casinos in Vegas already, but the big glitzy hotel strip of mega casinos was Bugsy's dream.

1961- TV sitcom Car 54, Where Are You? debuted. Can you still sing the opening theme? " There's a fire in the Bronx, Brooklyns' broken out in fights, there's a traffic jam in Harlem that's backed up to Jackson Heights; There's a scout troop lost a child, Khruschevs' due at Idylwild...Car 54 Where are you?!"

1963- The sci-fi thriller series The Outer Limits premiered- Do not attempt to adjust your television- we control the horizontal, we control the vertical, etc.

1969-Hanna Barbera's "Scooby-Doo,where are you?" and "Dastardly and Mutley and their Flying Machines" premiered.

1971- ATTICA, ATTICA! Mass prisoner riot in a top New York State Penitentiary acquired counter-culture celebrity status and heavy race-war overtones. The legend was cemented after Governor Nelson Rockefeller used a massive military force to retake the prison this day.

1974- The Rockford Files TV series with James Garner debut.

1979- Animator Don Bluth quits Walt Disney Studios taking a third of the top artists with him. Often controversial, Bluth becomes Disney's most serious rival since Max Fleischer and helps sparked the animation renaissance of the 1990s. A whole new group of young talent, "bluthies", exert great influence throughout the animation business.

2001- As the world was still in shock from the Sept 11th terrorists attacks, controversial televangelist Pat Robertson issued a statement interpreting the tragedy as God’s punishment on America for our permissive society that tolerates homosexuality. Ralph Bingham, one of the hero passengers of United Flt. 93 who fought the terrorists and sacrificed his life so that his plane could not be used as a bomb to hit the White House, was a gay man. A New York Times columnist angrily wrote: "If I am ever in a plane that’s being hijacked, I’d rather have a Ralph Bingham seated next to me than a Pat Roberston!"

2001- Two days after the World Trade Center terrorist attacks, all civilian air travel was banned over the skies of the US. Despite this ban, a special flight evacuated two dozen members of the Saudi Royal family attending school in the US. Among their number were relatives of 9/11 mastermind Osama Ben Laden. None were ever detained or questioned. One FBI agent complained:" It’s like if after the Oklahoma City bombing we had let all members of the Timothy McVeigh family fly out of the country!"

Yesterday’s Question: What does it mean when you call a law Draconian?

Answer: Overly harsh law judgements. Named for the ancient Athenian judge named Draco (621BC), who sentenced death for everything.