Sept. 28, 2022
September 28th, 2022

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

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: Walt Disney was known for winning more Academy Awards than any other studio. What was the first competitive academy award did he win?
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History for 9/28/2022
Birthdays: Michel Caravaggio, Georges Clemenceau, Al Kapp, William Paley, Max Schmelling, Frederic Engels, Marcello Mastroianni, Moon Unit Zappa, Ed Sullivan, Sylvia Kristel, John Sayles, Arnold Stang, J.T. Walsh, Seymour Cray, Janeane Garofalo is 58, Mira Sorvino is 55, Hillary Duff is 35, Naomi Watts is 54, Bridgette Bardot is 88

48 B.C.- Pompey the Great, fleeing Julius Caesar after he was defeated by him, was assassinated by the Egyptians as he landed on their shore. A Roman officer named Septimius was hired to do the murder. The Egyptians thought it would please Caesar to present him with his enemy’s head. When one of Pompey's supporters was approaching the coast by ship and saw a Roman-style funeral pyre, he knew their cause was lost. He sighed:" Even thou, Pompeius Magnus?"

855AD- The Frankish Empire of Charlemagne had covered Europe from Hungary to the Pyrenees, Denmark to Sicily. This day Frankish Emperor Lothar died, and according to custom his kingdom is divided among his sons. Lothar had fought against his brothers Charles the Bald, and Louis the German to keep the empire together. By the Treaty of Verdun, Louis and Charles acknowledged the fact that Charlemagne’s Empire was just too big to manage. They broke it up, creating the kingdoms of France, Germany, and Austrasia, later Austria and Italy.

1043- Battle of LyrskogHede. Viking King Magnus the Good defeated a Baltic tribe called the Wends. Magnus psyched out the enemy by taking off his armor, and put on a loud red shirt. He then ran ahead of his charging warriors swinging a large double bladed axe (he named it Hel) over his head in wide circles, until he crashed into the foe.
Back then, kings were kings for a reason!

1216- CORONATION OF KING HENRY III- English King John I died when an evil monk poured poisonous toad venom in his ear. His son Henry was left a situation that didn't make for a good coronation. The country was racked by civil war and invasion because of the dispute over the Magna Charter, the great document that granted broad ranging civil rights. Henry couldn't have his coronation at Westminster because London was occupied by a French army. He couldn't have the Archbishop of Canterbury preside over the ceremony because he was under house arrest in the Vatican. And to top it all off his father had lost the Iron Crown of Alfred the Great at the beach. Boy, what a downer of a party! Henry III would reign for 56 years and he would demand extravagance at all subsequent royal functions.

1542- The European Discovery of California- Juan de Cabrillo sailing up from Mexico stepped ashore at Cabrillo Point in San Diego Harbor. He had hoped that San Diego Bay would be the Straights of Anian, a mythical sea route back to the Atlantic that would be safer than Magellan’s Straights. All through the 1500’s conventional thinking was that America was just one big island with sea routes all around it. California was supposed to be the Kingdom of Califa, the Brown Amazons who wield Golden Swords.

1774- Seven Months before Lexington and Concord, Pennsylvanian Joseph Galloway proposed in the first Continental Congress that the solution to America’s problems with England was to petition the mother country for dominion status:” since the colonies hold in abhorrence the idea of being independent communities.” The Dominion idea was defeated by just one vote.

1781- Washington and Rochambeau’s troops entered the siege trenches around Yorktown. They were amazed at the British army’s lack of activity. Lord Cornwallis knew he was being surrounded by land and sea for two weeks, yet he did nothing to break out of the trap. He decided to wait until his superior General Clinton would arrive with a rescue force. But Clinton was busy in New York entertaining King George’s younger son the Duke of York who was visiting America to buck up the troops morale. Clinton’s relief force showed up to Yorktown two weeks late for Cornwallis’ defeat.

1794- France’s Ecole Polytechnique first opened.

1850- Congress abolished flogging on US Naval vessels. Captains came up with other clever means of discipline like hanging a seaman from his thumbs.

1857- Wall Street collapsed and the ensuing panic created recession and unemployment.

1864- CENTRALIA RAID- Confederate Guerilla "Bloody-Bill" Anderson stops a train of 150 disarmed Union recruits and has them all killed and scalped. Because of the chaos of civil war, nobody noticed that this guy was a complete psychopath. He hung human hair from his saddle and galloped into battle weeping aloud as he fired his pistols. He would put a knot in the sash around his waist for every time he killed a Yankee. By the time Bloody Bill was finally gunned down his sash was full of knots.

1864- THE FIRST INTERNATIONALE opens. European and American trade unions came together in a mass meeting in London, with the goal of attempting to centralize the struggle for labor rights. The meeting became sidetracked by radical and anarchist politics, and soon disbanded. The Second and Third Internationales were more about communist politics. One positive accomplishment was Frenchman Pierre de Guyter wrote a melody for the meeting that became the song of revolution, "The Internationale".

1904- A woman was arrested on New York’s Fifth Ave for openly smoking a cigarette. Look how far we’ve come. Today, almost anyone can be arrested for smoking a cigarette!

1918- At Imperial German headquarters, master strategist General Erich Ludendorff monitored the reports of his armies being driven back from their final defensive lines. Ludendorff dismissed his staff, gently closed his office door, and went into a fit of hysterics- screaming that the Kaiser, the Reichstag, and the Liberals had ruined everything. Then, after regaining his composure, he calmly walked downstairs to a meeting with General Von Hindenberg and Kaiser Wilhelm. There he told them that hopes for winning World War I were now kaput. The German army was defeated, the people demand peace. Negotiations need to begin immediately.

1924 -the first airplane flight around the world landed back at it's point of departure. Commander Leslie Arnold took off from Seattle with 5 converted torpedo bomber seaplanes. One crashed, another sank but the remaining three circumnavigated the globe.

1928- For his birthday, William Paley, son of a cigar manufacturer, was given control of a little radio company called the Columbia Broadcasting System. He turned CBS into a corporate broadcasting giant, and threw his support behind developing television and long playing records.

1950- In a media rich ceremony, General Douglas MacArthur restored South Korean President Sygmun Rhee to the presidential palace in liberated Seoul. The Marines complained that though they had done the bulk of the house-to-house fighting, they were left out of the ceremony by old Army man MacArthur. Colonel Chesty Puller looked at all the crisp Army MP’s standing guard and growled to a correspondent “ Today my First Marines took 25 combat casualties, while these little cookies were still flying out from Tokyo!”

1960- Ted Williams hit a home run at his last at-bat. Number 521.

1961- Richard Chamberlain made a name for himself by playing the handsome Dr. Kildare on TV, Raymond Massey co-starred.

1961-The Hazel TV show with Shirley Booth premiered.

1967- Speed Racer premiered in the U.S.

1970 - After spending three days making peace between King Hussein of Jordan and Yassir Arafat of the PLO, President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt died of heart failure. Five million people in the streets of Cairo attended the funeral and took over the coffin draped in the Egyptian flag and passed it above their heads across the city to the intended mausoleum. Nasser had been the first native leader of Egypt since the last Pharaoh Nectanebo, was driven out by Persian King Cyrus in the fourth century BC.

1976- Stevie Wonder released his album Songs in the Key of Life.

1978- Pope John Paul I dies after only 34 days in office. The rumor was some sort of pills were found by his bedside. The Vatican refused any autopsy, fueling many conspiracy theories.

1994- Michael Eisner cancelled plans for a theme park called Disney’s America in Northern Virginia. The idea was dropped after much resistance from local homeowners in Northern Virginia. Many of them were retired Washington D.C. power elites, who didn’t want a huge theme park next to their quiet estates.

1996- The Ambiguously Gay Duo premiered on the Dana Carvey Show. Created by SNL writer Robert Smigel. J.J. Sedelmier created the animation, Steve Carrell and Stephen Colbert did the voices.

2015- Scientists discover liquid water on the planet Mars.
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Yesterday’s Question: Walt Disney was known for winning more Academy Awards than any other studio. What was the first competitive academy award did he win?

Answer: The first year of the new category of Best Animated Short, for the Disney film Flowers and Trees.


Sept. 27, 2022
September 27th, 2022

Question: Walt Disney was known for winning more Academy Awards than any other studio. What was the first competitive academy award did he win?

Quiz: The place names in the board game Monopoly like Park Place, Montrose Ave., St. Charles Place, are all taken from one particular American city. What is it?
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History for 9/27/2022
Birthdays: King Stefan Bathory of Poland, Thomas Nast, Arthur Penn, Mike Schmidt,
Meatloaf, William Conrad, Dick Schapp, Samuel Adams, George Cruikshank, Jayne Meadows, Wilford Brimley, Shaun Cassidy, Greg Morris, Amanda Detmer, Avril Lavigne is 38, Gwyneth Paltrow is 50

1538- The Battle of Preveza- The huge navy of German-Spanish Emperor Charles V, Venice, Genoa, the Pope and the Knights of Malta have a showdown with the Great Turkish fleet off Corfu. At one point the Turkish Corsair Barbarossa "Red Beard" tried to lure the Christian ships into the same Bay of Actium where the Roman Augustus defeated Anthony & Cleopatra 1,500 years before. The Turks won the battle but this may have had to do with the fact that the Christian admiral Andrea Doria was a Genoese who didn't mind seeing the Venetians lose.
The one other significant fact of the battle was at one point Turkish galleys surrounded Venice's powerful new warship named 'La Galleon". It bristled with more cannon than anyone had ever seen on one boat. As the Turks attacked with light forecannon and prepared to board, the Venetian commander Carmandiolo ordered all his guns to fire at once- the first Broadside.
The tactics of using armed rowing galleys, which had ruled the Mediterranean since the Anthony & Cleopatra was now obsolete to square rigged sailing ships bristling with guns. The Turkish “Barbary Corsairs” would continue to raid Christian Mediterranean ships for another three hundred years.

1771-Young artist Francisco Goya entered a scholarship competition sponsored by the Art Academy of Parma. He lost to an artist named Bettino. Judges said about Goya’s work: "Crude and ugly colors".

1810- Battle of Bussaco. The Duke of Wellington stopped the French army of one of Napoleon’s Marshal Massena in Portugal. One of the reasons for Wellington’s successes in Spain and Portugal was he had a top rate intelligence gathering system run by a man named Grant.
Colonel Grant was once captured by the French and imprisoned in the fortress of Verdun. He soon escaped, and while on the run, he paused to spend three weeks partying in Paris! He would brazenly walk down the Boulevard St. Germain in his bright redcoat of His Majesties 11th Foot. When French police would ask him who he was, he would say he was from France’s ally, thehgtr United States Army! Since not many Parisians had ever seen a real American yet, nobody disputed his story. So he got away.

1821- After a ten-year struggle, Spain acknowledged the independence of Mexico. The commander of the last royal army in Mexico, Juan Ituribe, changed sides and tried to become Emperor of Mexico. He was later deposed by young republican officers like Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. One Mexican leader who was killed in the conflict, Francisco Menars, had been a guerrilla chief in Spain fighting Napoleon’s occupying forces.

1854- The first modern steamship disaster. The SS Arctic collided with the SS Vesta in the mid-Atlantic. The captains ordered women & children first into the boats but the crewmen rebelled and took the lifeboats for themselves. 85 lived, 485 died.

1894- New York’s Aqueduct Racetrack, the Big A, opened.

1903- THE WRECK OF OLD 97- The Southern Pacific express jumps the tracks at 90 miles an hour and inspires the first great country music hit. Written in 1924, recorded by everyone from Woody Guthrie to Johnny Cash.

1910- The Black & Decker tool company formed. Starting with the first portable electric drill in 1919 they became the first power tool company.

1919- Entrepreneur Frank Toulet partnered with Oregon restaurant manager Joe Musso to open a new restaurant in the heart of Hollywood. First called Franks Café, then Musso & Frank, it became an important hangout for the movie industry. It is still in the business today, still the same menu, and you can still see Hollywood types having power meetings there where Chaplin and Barbara Stanwyck once sat.

1934- “ I’M SICK OF THIS CAT & MOUSE GAME!” shouted gangster Baby Face Nelson as he was cornered by two FBI agents on a rural road south of Chicago. While his gang and wife looked on in amazement, Baby-Face Nelson boldly walked out in the open, down the middle of the road, his tommy gun blazing away at the G-Men. He was riddled with 17 bullets, but still killed the two feds. Nelson died the next day and was left in a ditch.

1935- 13 year old singer Frances Gumm of the singing Gumm Sisters signed an exclusive contract with MGM Pictures. Louis B. Mayer changed Frances’ name to Judy Garland.

1937- J R Tolkien’s’ The Hobbit first appeared in bookshops.

1938- Bob Hope first sang “Thanks For the Memory” on his NBC radio show. It became a hit in his movie appearance in “The Big Broadcast of 1938.”

1939- WARSAW becomes the first world capitol to fall to a Nazi Blitzkreig. The city was surrounded and bombarded for weeks. German generals after the war admitted they had stripped their western front to deal with the unexpected Polish resistance; had the British and French attacked across the Rhine there wouldn’t be much they could do. But the western front stayed quiet, the armies of Democracy mobilized too slowly. As the Polish defenders were slowly wiped out with bombs and shells, Radio Warsaw kept broadcasting Chopin's Revolutionary Etude for Piano over and over as a sign that the city was still alive. Eventually the signal fell silent.

1939- The Mysterious Death of Werner Von Fritsch. Generaloberst Baron Von Fritsch was one of the architects of the rebuilt German Army after the World War defeat and oversaw it’s development into one of the most efficient killing machines in history. But the old Prussian nobleman was never an ardent Nazi and he grew resentful of Hitler’s mad plans for world domination. Hitler had him forcibly retired. This day during the Polish campaign Von Fritsch was reported killed by snipers leading a patrol. Why was a top general staff officer was leading a little patrol out in the middle of nowhere is a mystery. Was Von Fritsch courting death? Was he done in by the Gestapo, and the ambush story made-up?

1940- Germany, Italy and Japan sign a tripartite alliance aimed at the United States. They would be known as The Axis Powers. The diplomat who signed for Japan, Mr Kurusu, would later be sent to Washington to discuss peace while Pearl Harbor was being bombed.

1943- THE FOUR DAYS OF NAPLES- Naples was a city known for its tough street gangs. This day in advance of the American armies closing in the city the Neopolitans rose in revolt and fought the Germans with knives, scissors, clubs, rocks, anything they could get their hands on. Young actress Sophia Loren remembered seeing from her window a ten year old boy climb onto a Nazi tank and push a gasoline-bottle bomb through its view slit.

1944- Evangelist Aimee Semple MacPherson died in hospital from an overdose of sleeping pills. She was 53. MacPherson was one of the most powerful evangelists of the 1920s with thousands of followers donating millions of dollars.

1947- Disney’s film Fun and Fancy Free, featuring Mickey and the Beanstalk.

1950- After a week of hard house-to-house fighting the South Korean capitol of Seoul was declared liberated from North Korean occupation.

1954- The Tonight Show premiered. Steve Allen was the first host.

1961- Hanna Barbera's "Top Cat" show premiered. Do you remember the words to the theme song..? "Top Cat, the most effectual- Top Cat, who's intellectual: Close friends get to call him T.C., Providing it's with dignity. Top Cat, the indisputable leader of the gang... He's the Boss. He's a pip. he's the championship, He's the most tip-top, Top Cat !"

1962- Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring was published. The best seller first brought to the public’s eye how indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides, particularly DDT, was damaging the environment and killing off wildlife.

1964- The Warren Commission concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing President John F. Kennedy. Today, despite two investigations 8 out of 10 Americans still believe Oswald was part of a conspiracy. Even Lyndon Johnson had his doubts. Documents pertaining to the case, like Oswald's tax returns, and how he could re-enter the U.S. from Soviet Russia without a passport after renouncing his citizenship, are still kept top secret. Evidence like President Kennedy's brain disappeared from the lab and witnesses to contrary theories kept dying from car accidents and karate chops. Maybe we’ll know more when the CIA’s papers on the assassination are unlocked in 2060.

1977- Bob McKimson, Warner animation, director of many Looney Tune shorts, collapsed and died of heart failure in front of Friz Freleng and Yosemite Sam animator Gerry Chiniquy while having lunch. He was 66. Fellow animator Art Leonardi had asked Bob for a souvenir drawing that morning, Bob drew him a Bugs Bunny but as he was leaving Art reminded him that he neglected to sign it. Bob said as he walked out "Oh, I'll get to it after lunch..."

1989- The Japanese corporate giant Sony purchased Columbia Pictures.

1996- The Taliban captured the Afghan capitol of Kabul and established their hardline fundamentalist regime. They were driven out temporarily by the US invasion in 2002, and have been battling to get back control ever since.

2001- While America was still in shock over 9-11 and anthrax attacks, President Bush in a speech at O’Hare Airport stated that although we may be attacked again at any moment, and it may be more horrible than 9-11, the best thing we could do… is to go shopping; “ go to the mall, vacation at Disneyworld….enjoy life the way we want it to be enjoyed….”

2003- Hours after the season’s final concert, in the dead the night, the historic bandshell at the Hollywood Bowl was demolished. After a long legal fight with preservationists, the historic 1929 structure designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, that Gershwin and Stokowski played in, was replaced with a new shell promising better acoustics.
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Quiz: The place names in the board game Monopoly like Park Place, Montrose Ave., St. Charles Place, are all taken from one particular American city. What is it?

Answer: Atlantic City.


Sept. 26, 2022
September 26th, 2022

Quiz: The place names in the board game Monopoly like Park Place, Montrose Ave., St. Charles Place, are all taken from one particular American city. What is it?

Yesterday’s question answered below: When you describe someone describing staging as “proscenium” what does that mean?
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History for 9/26/2022
Birthdays: George Gershwin, T.S. Elliot, John Chapman (also known as Johnny Appleseed)-1774, Winsor McCay-1869, Theodore Gericault -1791, Olivia Newton-John, Cheryl Tiegs is 74, Marty Robbins, Pope Paul VI, Jack Lalanne, Melissa Sue Andersen, Phillip Bosco, James Cavaziel, Surena Williams, Linda Hamilton is 66.

303AD. Feast of Saints Damian & Cosmas. The Syrian twin doctors were nicknamed 'The Moneyless". They were martyred by being crucified, stoned, shot full of arrows, beheaded, and they had to read their own prescriptions.

1370- Battle of Nicopolis- During a pause in the Hundred Years War with the English, Count Egguerand de Coucy led the cream of French knighthood in one last Crusade to help the king of Hungary defeat the Turks. Instead their army was defeated and their leaders captured. By now Sultan Bajazet (nicknamed Ilderim- Lightning) was so fed up with crusaders, knights and chivalry, that he refused to ransom them, but had them all beheaded.

1529- Sultan Sulieman the Magnificent lays siege to the city of Vienna. At one point he told his troops that if they didn't capture the city he would fill the moat with their genitals. (ouch!) The goal of the Ottoman Empire was the "Completion of the Crescent" . Starting in Turkey the southern side swung out through Palestine, Egypt to the Atlantic. Now the Northern arm must go through Hungary and Austria through France to Spain.

1560- A Spanish expedition under Don Pedro de Ursua left Peru for the deep Amazon. Lost in the limitless rainforest almost all his men die or go mad. The expedition at one point was taken over by a deranged conquistador named Aguirre who declared himself 'Emperor of the Kingdom of El Dorado'! The incident is the subject of Werner Herzog's 1972 movie "Aguirre the Wrath of God".

1575-Writer Miguel de Cervantes was captured by Barbary Pirates and held a slave for five years until his family ransomed him. He wrote Don Quixote in 1604.

1579- Sir Francis Drake in his ship the Golden Hind entered Plymouth Harbor England, after sailing around the world for 33 months. He raided Panama, Peru and visited a strange new place they called Nova Albion and we call California. The Golden Hind was kept in dry-dock in a place of honor for years, until it finally fell to pieces from dry rot.

1687- The Ancient GREEK PARTHENON WAS BLOWN UP during a minor Venetian raid on Turkish held Athens. A random shell ignited a gunpowder magazine the Turks had been storing inside of it. For two thousand years the Greek masterpiece had survived mostly intact. Later on in 1801 English Lord Elgin will back up his frigate to the shore and pry off the frieze marble sculptures for his collection.

1739- THE WAR OF JENKINS EAR- A 9 year war between England and Spain started when a Spanish warship stopped an English merchant ship and cut off the ear of the captain named Robert Jenkins. Jenkins marched around Parliament loudly calling for war and waving his ear, pickled in a bottle of spirits. He wore his hair long so some doubted that it was his ear in that bottle.

1820- In Defiance, Missouri, 85 year old frontier scout Daniel Boone died of acute fever and indigestion after eating too many yams. He did all of his exploring without a compass. Someone once asked him - Didn't you ever get lost? He replied, No, but I was once bewildered for three days...

1835- Donizetti’s opera Lucia De Lammermoor premiered.

1863- In a secret meeting, several Confederate generals agree to petition President Jefferson Davis to replace their commander Baxton Bragg. Despite his just winning a victory- Chickamauga. Private soldiers like memoirist Sam Watkins wrote that most of Bragg’s army disliked him. His top cavalry leader, Nathan Bedford Forrest, once got angry enough to draw his sword on him. But Pres. Davis seemed to be the only man who liked Bragg, and kept him in command. Bragg humiliated the mutineers, and the rest of his staff refused to talk to him. Baxton Bragg’s next battle, Missionary Ridge, was a complete disaster and lost most of Tennessee to the Confederacy.

1887- Emile Berliner patented the gramophone, rejecting Thomas Edison's cylinder in favor of a flat disc record on a turntable.

1892- The John Philip Sousa Band makes its first public appearance.

1914- The Federal Trade Commission, or FTC created.

1918- THE MEUSE ARGONNE OFFENSIVE- To the rally cry of Marshal Foch “Everyone to the Battle!” the Allies began the final mass offensive from Denmark to Switzerland to finish the Germans and end World War I.
The Big Breakout was done by the fresh American divisions thrown forward by Pershing into the Argonne forest. Led by colorful officers like Douglas MacArthur, the Boy Colonel, who led his men calmly across No-Man's Land without a helmet or gun, and dressed in his West Point varsity sweater and cane. There was also artillery Captain Harry Truman and a pushy Lieutenant of a tank brigade named Patton. After fierce resistance, the exhausted German lines finally began to cave in. The offensive had started off in a dense fog. A whole Yank battalion got lost and surrounded by Germans. After being rescued they were hailed as the "Lost Battalion".

1920- The NFL, National Football League, created.

1926- Bullock's Wilshire department store opened. The Tea Room quickly became the in place for Hollywood Society to see and be seen in.

1937- "Queen of the Blues" Singer Bessie Smith died after a car accident in Mississippi. She crashed her Packard into a parked car. She was 43. One account said she died because she was refused treatment in a segregated hospital, but the truth was she was treated by a white doctor at the scene and sent to the nearest hospital, which was a black one.

1939- Nazi scientists led by Rudolph Heisenberg met to discuss how the fission of uranium could be used to create a super bomb. Meanwhile in America, Hungarian scientist Dr. Leo Szilard was warning the US government that they better start an atomic program fast.

1941- Max Fleischer's "Superman" cartoon debuts. The first animated action-adventure short. They were much more expensive that the usual short cartoons- $90,000 to the usual $40,000, but Paramount wanted them.

1946- In Vietnam, as pro-French and pro-Communists battled in the streets of Saigon, the American O.S.S. representative Col. Peter Dewey wrote back to Washington: “Vietnam is aflame. The French and British are finished here. America should pull out and let the Vietnamese settle their own affairs.” Two days later, on his way to the airport he was ran into an ambush and was killed. The first very American killed in Vietnam.

1955- Eddie Fisher married Debbie Reynolds.

1957- The musical West Side Story opened. The legend goes composer Leonard Bernstein was in the hospital to be operated on for a deviated septum. While recuperating he ran into lyricist Steven Sondheim, who was also recovering from an operation. To pass the time while convalescing they started talking about the idea of an updated Romeo and Juliet set to music in the slums. One early title was Gang Way!

1960-THE NIXON-KENNEDY TELEVISED DEBATE. The first televised presidential debate that really ushered in the era of the "media-candidate". People who heard the debate on radio thought Vice President Nixon had won because he scored more points on issues. But far more who saw it on Television lauded Kennedy because of his cool, calm Presidential bearing as opposed to Nixon's pale sweaty-lipped nervousness.
As he watched the debate on TV, Nixon’s running mate, Senator Henry Cabot-Lodge III, murmured “ We’re gonna lose…” For years Nixon put down his electoral defeat to the fact that he refused stage makeup before going on camera.
One New York Times analyst referred to Kennedy & Nixon as the Roadrunner & Wile E. Coyote of American politics.

1961- Nineteen year old folk singer Bob Dylan made his debut in a Greenwich Village coffee house Gerde’s Folk City.

1961- Fidel Castro gave a speech to the United Nations that lasted 4 and 1/2 hours.

1962- The Beverly Hillbillies debuts. The story goes that CBS mogul William Paley disliked farm-humor type shows, and this project was greenlit behind his back, while he was on vacation.

1964- The premiere of Gilligan’s Island. The good ship Minnow was named for Newton Minnow, the FCC Chairman who first called television “A Vast Wasteland”. Actress Natalie Schafer, who played the wife of millionaire Thurston Howell III, really was a millionaire. She took the role just for the free trip to Hawaii.

1983- Stanislav Petrov saved the world. At this time, America and Russia had the nuclear capability to destroy all life on Earth 23 times over. During the deadly game of nuclear brinksmanship, there were some close-calls. This day Soviet Air-Defense Ministry officer Stanislav Petrov received an alarm that the US had fired 5 nuclear missiles at Russia. Petrov had only a few moments to decide if the alarm was real, and alert for a full counterstrike. But he reasoned, “ Why only 5?” He guessed it was a false alarm, which it was.

1987- A market research group called Q-5 tried to use a bank of computers number-crunching demographic surveys to design the ultimate safe, wholesome, politically-correct children's show. They came up with "The Little Clowns of Happytown"-. Of the 26 children's series in syndication it remained dead last in ratings, He-Man, Jem and G.I. Joe on top. The people have spoken.

1990- The Motion Picture Association changed the rating for the naughtiest movies from X to NC-17.

2001- While the ruins of the World Trade Center were still warm, Pres. George W. Bush asked Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to draw up military plans to attack Iraq, a nation that had nothing to do with the 9-11 attacks.

2004- Florida gets hit with its fourth hurricane in six weeks. Hurricane Jean killed 6 and caused billions in damage. The last time Florida was hit by that many hurricanes was in 1886.

2020- President Trump tested positive for Covid-19. He kept it a secret and continued to meet people without a mask or other precautions. He probably gave it to the former governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, who wound up in intensive care and almost died.
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Yesterday Quiz: When you describe someone describing staging as “proscenium” what does that mean?

Answer: Proscenium comes from an old Greek word meaning the frame of a theater stage that separates the actors from the audience. The opposite of theater-in-the-round. In modern days when we say proscenium it means to stage programs straight on and flat.


Sept. 25, 2022
September 25th, 2022

Quiz: When you describe someone describing staging as “proscenium” what does that mean?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: On a motion picture location shoot, what are the Honey Wagons?
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History for 9/25/2022
Birthdays: William Faulkner, Jean Phillipe Rameau, Mark Rothko, Dmitri Shoshtakovich, Sergei Bondarchuk, Phil Rizzutto the Scooter, Bob MacAdoo, Christopher Reeve, Glen Gould, Barbera Walters, Red Smith, Aldo Ray, Heather Locklear is 60, Will Smith is 5, Michael Douglas 78 & Catherine Zeta-Jones-54, Mark Hamill is 71

Happy Rosh Hashanah!

1066- Battle of Stamford Bridge -the last great Viking raid. The king of the Northmen Harald the Dragon landed an army at the old Roman city of Eboracum, now called in Norse, Yoorvik or York. There he was met by the Anglo-Saxon army of King Harold Goodwinson. "Give us land." The Vikings said." We'll give you as much land as needed to cover your bones!" said Harold, then defeated the Vikings in a huge battle. Harald the Dragon went down fighting as did his English ally Earl Tostig.
Almost as soon as the fight was over, the Saxons learned a new invasion force had landed in the south near Dover. They were the Normans under William of Normandy. King Harold having to fight in north England, then rush by forced marches down to the south to fight another big battle, was a factor in his final defeat at Hastings.

1218- Simon De Monfort, leader of the Crusade against the Albigensian heretics of southern France, was hit in the face by a catapult stone whilst besieging Toulouse. Legend says the lucky catapult shot that nailed Simon was fired by the women & children of Toulouse, who knew they could expect no pity from him.

1493- Christopher Columbus sailed from Cadiz for the New World on his second trip, this time with seventeen ships. He had been named Governor General of the Indies and Admiral of the Ocean Seas.

1513- Vasco Nunez de Balboa emerged from the Panamanian rainforest to view the great expanse of the western ocean. He called it "Pacific" the "Peaceful Ocean."

1525- THE PEACE OF AUGSBURG- German Emperor Charles V wanted his rebellious people to knock off all this Protestant Reformation stuff and stay Catholic like him. But they fought him all over Germany in the Schmalkalden Wars. Even his own sister joined the new faith. Finally Charles made a peace. All could have religious toleration- well, not really. It just said whatever your local prince said was the official religion. This was the first official state acknowledgment that more than one version of the Christian faith now existed.

1690- The first American newspaper published in Boston; " Publick Occurances Both Foreign and Domestick, Issue Number One" There was no number two because the Royal Governor of Massachusetts colony promptly closed it down.

1775- American patriot leader Ethan Allen was captured by the British while attempting an assault on Montreal. He was sent to England for prison, but exchanged two years later.

1777- British Lord Howe after pushing aside Washington's little army CAPTURED THE AMERICAN CAPITOL OF PHILADELPHIA. The rebel congress had picked up their Declaration of Independence and hightailed it for Harrisburg.
It was the American's luck that at this time the colonies were so loosely knit and decentralized that losing the capitol wasn't very important to anyone except Philadelphians. Local Loyalists had a field day routing out rebel sympathizers. Because the Quakers espoused non-violence everyone thought they were on the other side, so they were singled out for especially rough treatment- pelted with stones, tar & feathers, etc.
Lord Howe complained to London that by now he had defeated the American army several times and captured it's capitol, yet the Rebellion showed no signs of dying out. America only had four major cities, Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Charleston and they all had been captured by His Majesties forces at one time or another. Except for little pirate John Paul Jones and a ship or two, they had sunk most of the American Navy. But the Yankees still wouldn’t give up. Obviously a military solution to the American problem was not the answer." I can only pacify the colonies if I had two soldiers for every colonist." London responded by replacing Lord Howe.

1789- James Madison proposed a series of ten amendments be added to the new Constitution guaranteeing basic personal freedoms, the BILL OF RIGHTS. This day it was approved by Congress and sent to the states for ratification.

1828- The September Conspiracy. Simon Bolivar the Liberator was confronted by assassins sent by his own vice president to kill him. He escaped death thanks in part to his mistress, Manuela Saenz.

1840- By order of the Mexican Government, slavery was outlawed in California- except.....Indian children were bought and sold for another ten years.

1887- The first Sears Catalog published.

1888- The beginning of the Sherlock Holmes adventure The Hound of the Baskervilles.

1890- Spurred on by the writings of John Muir and John Wesley Powell, Congress created Yosemite National Park in California.

1911- Groundbreaking in Boston for Fenway Park.

1917- After the Red Baron, Germanys greatest WWI air ace was Werner Voss. He shot down 48 enemy planes. This day Werner Voss died in one of the most spectacular dogfights in aviation history. Alone in his baby-blue Fokker Triplane, Voss took on 8 British planes, all aces like himself, and fought them all in a wild, whirling melee in the sky. Shortly before Voss went down, the British saw his propellor stop turning. Did he run out of fuel? Or was his so badly wounded he could no longer control his plane? No one is sure. He was 20.

1918- Brazil declared war on Austria. This was seen as purely ceremonial, the Great War was just about over.

1928- Walt Disney wrote to his brother Roy and lead animator Ub Iwerks, “ Carl’s (Stalling) idea of a Skeleton Dance as a musical novelty has been growing on me…”

1933- Young writer John Huston was driving drunk on Sunset Blvd when he struck and killed a pedestrian. His father Walter Huston was a top movie star, so to avoid scandal, MGM head Louis B. Mayer paid $46,000 to cover it up. John Huston went on to become a great Hollywood director and screenwriter.

1953- Alfred Hitchcock wrapped filming on his only 3D film, Dial M for Murder.

1957- President Eisenhower sent the bayonet wielding 101st Airborne to enforce the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, after the governor refused to use the National Guard. Three days earlier the Guard stood by doing nothing when a mob almost lynched a 15 year old girl trying to enter the school. She was saved by a sympathetic white friend. Eisenhower was not exactly colorblind himself, but the Supreme Court ordered school desegregation, and to the old general, orders were orders. Escorted by troops, nine black students entered the school through hordes of jeering whites. One girl was spit on so many times she had to wring her dress out in a sink afterward.

1961- Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color debuted on NBC TV today. Moved over from ABC. This episode introduced the character of Ludwig von Drake.

1965- The Beatles animated cartoon show premiered.

1975- The Rocky Horror Picture Show opened. The movie version of the successful cult stage musical. Let’s Do the Time Warp Again.

1980- John Bonham of Led Zeppelin was found dead of alcohol poisoning.

1984- THE RUBBERHEADS STRIKE- Disneyland workers including the actors who stroll the park in big Mickey and Goofy heads went on strike.

1988 – Former President Jimmy Carter’s brother Billy died. Billy Carter was one of the more embarrassing presidential relatives- he used his influence as a paid lobbyist for Khaddafi’s Libya, and produced BillyBeer, undoubtedly the worst beer I ever tasted.

1992- Michael Mann’s epic film, “The Last of the Mohicans” premiered. “I will find you!”
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Yesterday Quiz: On a motion picture location shoot, what are the Honey Wagons?


Answer: They are a row of small, mobile dressing rooms, for actors who are not the stars. So named because in the 1930s they were for the pretty girls dancing in the chorus.


Sept. 24, 2022
September 24th, 2022

Happy 16th Anniversary to the Trivia Question.
Question: On a motion picture location shoot, what are the honey wagons?

Yesterdays Quiz: When King Charles III referred to the boarding school in Scotland his father made him go to, he described it as “Colditz in kilts”. What does that mean?
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History for 9/24/2022
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Vitellius, Duke Albrecht Wallenstein, Chief Justice John Marshall, Francis Scott Key, F. Scott Fitzgerald, George Raft, Chief Joseph, Sheila MacCrae, Anthony Newley. Phil Hartman, Mean Joe Greene, Billy Bletcher the voice of Pegleg Pete, Pedro Almodovar is 72, Jim Henson.

768 A.D. The two sons of Pepin the Short, Carloman and Charles, inherited the kingdom of the Franks, or France. Carloman then conveniently died, so Charles goes on to become Charlemagne- Charles the Great. The Franks had the strange custom of inheritance. Instead of primogeniture- eldest son inheriting all, they divided all their lands among all their male siblings evenly, who would immediately start fighting one another. Carloman supposedly died of food poisoning, but getting rid of rivals with poison was common in those days.

1561- Mary Queen of Scots first met Presbyterian reformer John Knox. The beautiful young monarch, reared in Catholic France, attempted to win the sour old preacher to her side. Unfortunately, Knox was not impressed by Mary’s personal charm and howled against her entire reign. He thought women as rulers were “an abomination in the sight of God.” When she was deposed and imprisoned in England he wrote Queen Elizabeth I constantly urging Mary be beheaded. John Knox also called Queen Elizabeth a beast and a whore.

1688- King Louis XIV of France declared war on Germany and moved his armies towards the Rhine. This had the unexpected consequence of deciding who became King of England. Dutch Prince William of Orange was waiting for the opportunity to invade and overthrow his father-in-law King James II Stuart, who many English despised for being a Catholic. But William would never have dared such a move if Louis and his large French Navy, who were allies of James, were watching him. Once Louis turned his attention eastward, William crossed the Channel with no trouble. William overthrew James in short order and became King William III of England.

1789- Congress passes the First Judiciary Act, which calls for an Attorney General and a Supreme Court. John Jay was first Chief Justice. When President George Washington formed the first cabinet, Thomas Jefferson asked if he could be Attorney General as well as Secretary of State, because representing a little country with no foreign policy was boring and had nothing to do.

1805- LE GRANDE ARMEE- Napoleon’s army had been cooling its heels for weeks on the beach at Boulogne waiting to invade England. This was not likely since the British Navy kept sinking the French Navy. While waiting in camp, Napoleon took the time to drill his troops to an efficiency far superior to any other army of the period. England meanwhile had subsidized Russia and Austria into declaring war on France.
This day Napoleons Grand Army turned around and began an epic march in 5 separate columns across Europe from the Normandy coast, to suddenly appear in Czechoslovakia. No one had ever moved troops so fast. Napoleon left Paris that evening with his Imperial Guard. There was a rainstorm and his famous felt hat got waterlogged and drooped around his ears like a black sombrero. Napoleon moved his Guard veterans like motorized infantry of the future by piling them into farm wagons.

1806- The North German Kingdom of Prussia gave Napoleon’s France an ultimatum to get out of southern Germany or else! Prussia at the time was considered the most superior military power in the world, but the army of Frederick the Great was now a ghost of its former self, ruled by a timid king. Napoleon destroyed it and overran Prussia in 6 weeks. Prussia later became the kingdom German unified around in 1870.

1869- BLACK FRIDAY- A scheme by robber barons Big Jim Fisk and Jay Gould to corner the US gold market backfired into a major financial panic. The two tycoons had thought they had convinced the gullible President Ulysses Grant into halting sale of government bullion. The night before Gould tried to bribe Grants brother-in-law James Corbin with $100,000 to ensure the President wouldn’t change his mind.
But Grant smelled a rat and ordered millions in Federal gold put on the market to bring the prices down. Gold hoarders saw their investment shrink overnight. This day the value of gold dropped in three hours from $160 an ounce to $34. Up in the special part of the N.Y. Stock Exchange nicknamed the Gold Room, dozens speculators were ruined. One investor ran up and down shouting “Shoot Me! Someone Shoot Me!” “Let each man drag out his own corpse.”-Gould later testified.
Jay Gould recovered and died in 1892 worth $70 million. In 1872 Big Jim Fisk was shot dead in the lobby of the Grand Central Hotel by a jilted suitor of Fisk’s mistress actress Josie Mansfield. And Grant the war hero was labeled a financial simpleton by Washington insiders.

1890- Under pressure from the US Government before getting statehood for Utah, the Mormon Church officially renounced polygamy.

1906- Teddy Roosevelt designated Devils Tower Wyoming as our first national monument. Teddy’s desire to preserve natural resources was blocked by Congressmen bribed by rich developers. So, he circumvented Congress and by Presidential Executive order declared the entire mountain a national monument.

1934- Stanford graduate Frank Thomas’s first day as a Walt Disney Animator.

1936- Babe Ruth's last appearance in a baseball game. Yankees lost to Boston 5-0.

1936- Noel Coward's play 'Private Lives' opened.

1938- Bob Clampett's cartoon "Porky in Wackyland" ( Foo!)

1938- Tennis champion Dan Budge won the US Open in Forrest Hills. Budge became the first person to win a Grand Slam, all four major tennis meets in one year- Wimbledon, French Open now called Roland Garros, Australian Open and Forrest Hills, now called the US Open.

1941- This day the Japanese Consul in Honolulu was instructed by the Imperial War Ministry in Tokyo to quietly begin gathering information about the US Fleet in Pearl Harbor.

1944- President Franklin Roosevelt had been criticized by Republicans for wasting money in needless wartime excesses. This day he defeated his critics with humor when they accused him of sending a Navy destroyer to the Aleutian Islands just to retrieve his pet Scottie dog Fala. He said in a speech” Now I am used to personal attacks, My family is used to personal attacks, but Fala isn’t. (laughter) He’s Scottish, you know….and, well, he hasn’t been the same dog since.” (laughter)

1953- US Army scientist Frank Olsen jumped out of a NY hotel window to his death after getting high on LSD given him as part of a CIA monitored program. Olsen’s widow sued twenty years later when she finally found out the circumstances of her husbands’ death. The case was only resolved recently.

1953-UPA's "Unicorn in the Garden" directed by Bill Hurtz, based on the cartoon style and story by James Thurber.

1953- The movie "The Robe" premiered, the first movie in CinemaScope. It's success was part of a wave of 'Sword & Sandal" epics and fostered many variations on wide screen processes- Superama,VistaVision, Dynarama, WarnerVision, TotalScope-etc. There had been earlier experiments with wide screen - Abel Gance's 1925 Napoleon, which used three 35mm images shown simultaneously, and The Big Trail 1930, which was a true wide screen 70mm film starring a very young John Wayne. It was superseded by 1967 by the more advanced Panavision lens. For many years in Hollywood we called a wide screen picture a "Scope" picture.

1955- President Eisenhower suffered a heart attack while playing golf. While he recovered, Secretary of State Allen Foster Dulles and other White House staffers run things without bothering to tell anyone, even Vice President Nixon.

1960- the first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise is launched.

1960- The "Howdy Doody Time" children's show ended after thirteen years. The show remains a pivotal memory in the minds of thousands of American baby-boomers who grew up in the fifties. As the last song and the last credits rolled by, just before the cameras switched off, Clarabell the mute clown goes up to the lens and in a haunting voice said; "Goodbye, Kids."

1968- T.V. show "60 Minutes" debuts. Mike Wallace was pared with Harry Reasoner. The show was originally aired Tuesday nights at 10PM and fared poorly in the ratings. When it was moved to Sundays at 7:00PM it became a weekly institution.

1977- The TV series “The Love Boat “debuted.

1988- The Godfather of Soul Music James Brown got a little crazy sometimes. This day he burst into his office complex in Georgia waving a pistol and shotgun and demanded everyone stop using his washroom! After locking the bathrooms, he led police on high speed chase through Georgia and South Carolina, only stopping when the cops shot out his tires. He rode the sparking rims till they collapsed. James Brown did 2 years for being under the influence of drugs. Hey!

2006- Tom Sito began adding a trivia question to his daily history e-mails.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: When King Charles III referred to the boarding school in Scotland his father made him go to, he described it as “Colditz in kilts”. What does that mean?

Answer: Colditz was a maximum security Nazi prison camp where they sent all the Allied POW’s who kept trying to escape. Its name became a synonym for harsh incarceration.


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