Nov 28, 2023
November 28th, 2023

Question: What does it mean to have a Shakespearian flaw?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: In Pixar’s Toy Story, who are the characters Woody and Buzz named after?
History for 11/28/2023
Birthdays: Jean Baptiste Lully, William Blake, Frederick Engels, Stefan Zweig, Ernst Roehm, Brooks Atkinson, Berry Gordy the founder of Motown Records, Anton Rubinstein, Gary Hart, Vern Den Herder, Paul Warfield, Hope Lange, Paul Schaefer, Joe Dante, Michael Ritchie, Anna Nicole-Smith, Randy Newman is 80, Ed Harris is 74, John Stewart is 61

885 A.D. est. date that the VIKINGS ATTACKED PARIS-Viking warchief Ragnar Lothbrock had attacked Paris a generation earlier. Now dragonships led by his sons Sigfred and Sinric rowed up the Seine to attack again. The Parisians under Duke Odo and Bishop Gozlin put up a stout resistance from the city walls until the summer, when the plague and an army Frankish King Charles the Fat, son of Charles the Bald, rescued the city.

1493- On his second voyage to the New World, Christopher Columbus returned to discover his first colony he founded La Natividad had been wiped out by angry local natives.

1520- Having recovered and refitted from navigating the Straights of Magellan around the tip of South America, Fernan Magellan struck out across the Pacific.

1812-THE CROSSING OF THE BEREZINA- Napoleon' army on it's frozen Retreat from Moscow had to get across two rickety spans over an ice swollen river while Russian armies fire down on them from all sides. Napoleon said to his chief of staff Berthier, ” Well, how do we get out of this?”
Engineer General Eble, the artillery chief who called his cannon “my children” oversaw the maintaining of the bridges. He constantly waded into waist deep frigid water and with his men worked feverishly to keep patching up the rickety span. The bridges broke down frequently and the span of a wooden board was the difference between life and death. General Eble made it out of Russia, but soon died of pneumonia and exhaustion.

1815- After Waterloo and a prisoner on the island of St. Helena, Napoleon Bonaparte for the first time put away his uniform, and appeared in civilian clothes. It was his admission that after more than twenty-five years of politics and war, his career was indeed over.

1870- Painter Jean Bazille was shot and killed while serving in the French Army fighting the Prussians. He was only 29. He had been one of the early leaders of the new movement called Impressionism. Had he lived he might have become as famous as Monet or Cezanne.

1895- The Chicago Times-Herald Race- the first American auto race. Two electric and four gas powered cars raced from Chicago to Evanston and back, 54 miles despite several inches of snow on the ground. The winner Car # 5 driven by inventor Charles Duryea reached a top speed of 7 miles an hour! Only one other car finished, the rest broke down. Duryea won $2,000, and caught a cold.

1905- The Sinn Fein political party founded in Dublin by Arthur Griffiths. Sinn Fein –pronounced “shinn-fain”is gaelic for “We ourselves alone”. Griffiths signed the Anglo-Irish treaty with Michael Collins the IRA chief. The subsequent outcry over giving up the six counties of Ulster hounded him into an early grave, Griffiths died of a heart attack and Collins was assassinated.

1907- 23 year old Russian-Canadian scrap metal dealer Lazar Meir, now renamed Louis B. Mayer, bought an old burlesque house in Haverhill Massachusetts to show the new moving picture shows. Originally called The Gem, it was such a dump locals called it The Germ. Mayer renamed it The Orpheum, and on Thanksgiving Day opened with the film “ From the Manger to the Cross”. L.B. Mayer grew his film business to become MGM, and at the time of his retirement in 1950 was the most powerful man in Hollywood. The Motion Picture Academy was his idea.

1911- The Chevrolet Automobile Company founded by the brothers Chevrolet.

1919- Nancy Viscountess Astor became the first woman ever elected to the British Parliament. She succeeded her husband William Waldorf Astor as Conservative MP for Plymouth. Although a fellow Tory, Lady Astor was the political as well as verbal nemesis of Winston Churchill. She once said to him "Mr. Churchill, if I were your wife I'd put poison in your coffee!" To which Churchill replied:" Madame if I were your husband, I would drink it!"

1922- The first skywriting display. Former RAF pilot Cyril Turner wrote HELLO USA, CALL VANDERBILT 7-200 in the skies above New York City. 47,000 people immediately telephoned the Vanderbilt Hotel..

1925- First radio broadcast from the Grand Ol' Opry in Nashville.

1926- California oil tycoon Edward Doheny went on trial for his role in the Teapot Dome scandal. That he and Harry Sinclair had bribed the Secretary of the Interior to lease them U.S. Navy strategic oil reserves. And like most millionaires, he was acquitted.

1942- THE COCONUT GROVE FIRE-The U.S. public was distracted for awhile from war news by reports of a terrible disaster in Boston. A fire broke out at a popular nightclub called the Cocoanut Grove and killed 492 people in only twelve minutes. The clubs decorations caught fire and created carbon monoxide gas and there were only two exits. Among the dead was western movie star Buck Jones. The tragedy created the first mandatory laws requiring public buildings to have fire exits opening outwards and safety testing of decorative materials.

1942- Fleischer Paramount cartoon short “Superman and the Mechanical Monsters” opened in theaters. For the first time we see Clark Kent change into Superman in a phone booth. In 2004 the cartoon was the inspiration for Kerry Conran’s scifi epic “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” With Jude Law, Gwynneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie.

1946- During the traditional Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in NYC, Hollywood cameras filmed the Macy Parade scenes for the movie “The Miracle on 34th St.”Star Edmund Gwenn posed as Santa. At this time, Hollywood movies were rarely filmed on location. But the studio had little faith the film would be a success, and did not want waste a lot of money building big sets on their lot.

1947- Disney's cartoon "Chip and Dale".

1948- Hopalong Cassidy premiered on television.

1951-Truman held a crisis cabinet meeting over the War in Korea.
U.S and United Nations forces had been attacked by 180,000 Communist Chinese, lost the capitol Seoul and were being driven back down the Korean peninsula. Gen. Douglas MacArthur recommended dropping ten atomic bombs on Chinese cities, spreading a belt of nuclear waste across the Sino-Korean border and inviting Chiang Kai Shek's Nationalist Chinese to attack and restart the Chinese Civil War. This would mean Russia would step in with its nuclear weapons, and World War III would result.
Truman made the decision to keep the Korean War a "limited war", and not let it expand, no matter how bad allied losses became.
Gen. MacArthur was horrified. He was told we are not at war with China, even though thousands of Chinese soldiers were even now locked in deadly battle with his troops. At first, his call for nuclear weapons sound crazy, but his argument was it was crazy to fight wars to preserve a status-quo. If you go to the extreme of risking men's lives, do it to win or don’t go to war at all. In 1964 from his deathbed, MacArthur sent a note to Pres. Johnson begging him not to go into Vietnam.

1953- Dr. Frank Olson, one of the US Army’s foremost experts on biological warfare, smashed out of a window of the New York Statler Hotel and fell 9 stories to his death. In 1975 it was revealed Olson had been given LSD by Dr Sidney Gottlieb, as part of a government “mind-control” experiment. Gottlieb had the drug spiked into Olson’s after dinner glass of Cointreau without his knowledge. At the time the gov’t thought LSD under controlled conditions could expand the human mind. The CIA kept the truth from his family until compelled to do so by congressional hearings over twenty years later.

1953- Cartoonist & writer Milt Gross died.

1989- Opposites Attract, Paula Abdul dancing with cartoon MC Skat Kat, was released. It became one of the most popular R&B & dance-pop singles of 1990 and won a Grammy.

1994 –At the Columbia State Penitentiary in Portage Wisconsin, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was cleaning the prison bathroom when he was attacked and beaten to death with a broomstick by inmate Christopher Scarver. Scarver explained God told him kill him. Dahmer’s brain was preserved in formaldehyde, but a year later his mother ordered it destroyed.
Yesterday’s Question answered below: In Pixar’s Toy Story, who are the characters Woody and Buzz named after?

Answer: Woody was named for Woody Strode, a black actor who excelled in cowboy roles. Buzz is named after Buzz Aldrin, who walked on the moon with Neil Armstrong in 1969.

Nov. 27, 2023
November 27th, 2023

Question: In Pixar’s Toy Story, who are the characters Woody and Buzz named after?

Yesterday’s answer below: What does it mean to have a Napoleon Complex?
History for 11/27/2023
Birthdays: Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jimi Hendrix would have been 80, Bruce Lee-original name Lee Jun Fan, would have been 83, James Agee, Chaim Weizmann, Mobster Vito Genovese, Czech leader Alexander Dubcheck, David Merrick, Marshal Thompson, Robin Givens, Judd Nelson, Buffalo Bob Smith, William Fichtner, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg is 66, Kathryn Bigelow is 72

43BC-THE SECOND TRIUMVERATE- Marc Anthony, Octavian Caesar and Marcus Lepidus compelled the Roman Senate to declare them The Board of Three with Consular Powers for the Reorganizing of the State. This legitimized what they were in fact anyway, the rulers of the Roman Empire. They used this new pact to hunt down the killers of Julius Caesar, and they published a list of "Proscribed Persons" who were declared enemies of the state. An estimated 4,000 Roman politicians and noblemen were executed, including the philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero.

176AD- Marcus Aurelius named his son Commodus as co ruler and heir to the Roman Empire. He died four years later. This ended Rome’s second Golden Age of Peace and prosperity called the Augustan Age. The Augustan Age was successful in part because the Emperors, who were mostly gay or bi-sexual, would adopt the best man for the job instead to rule Rome. So Rome enjoyed a series of excellent leaders- Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. But Marcus Aurelius spoiled the whole system by letting his natural son Commodus succeed him. Commodus turned into another sicko-tyrant like Nero and Caligula. It was rumored Commodus wasn’t even Marcus’ son but the Empress Faustina sired him with a gladiator, thus his fondness for the profession.

221AD- Today is the Feast Day of Saint James Intercisus, or Saint James "Chopped up into tiny pieces", which leave little doubt as to the method of his martyrdom.

1519- Martin Luther squared off with Catholic scholar Dr. Johann Eck in a grand public debate in Leipzig. Audiences sat in bleachers and cheered like a sports match. The debate about Luther’s new Protestant views would go on until July 8th. Luther won the audience with his superior eloquence and logic but Eck succeeded in getting Luther to publicly speak heresy against Rome. The Reformation now moved from a small local argument about indulgences to a major challenge to the authority of the Vatican to own the Christian Faith.

1582- William Shakespeare 18, married Ann Hathaway 26. They married quickly, and their first child Susannah was born after only six months. They had a son who died and two daughters. Three years later Will left Ann in Stratford on Avon, and by 1591 was known as an actor in London. He invested in land in Stratford, and in 1616 retired to the country to spend time with his daughters and grandchildren, but he never went back to Ann. It’s been speculated that she became a Puritan and disapproved of his profession. Shakespeare enjoyed making fun of Puritans in his comedies like "Twelfth Night"."

1868- THE GREAT BATTLE ON THE WASHITA -as it was called in those days. Generals Sherman and Sheridan had had enough of chasing small bands of Indian warriors all over the prairie. They now ordered George Armstrong Custer to introduce to the plains their style of "Hard War"- that burned Atlanta and brought the Confederacy to it’s knees. With the sound of a band playing " Gary Owen" shattering the pre-dawn quiet Custer and his 7th Cavalry surprise attacked the village of Chief Black Kettle. The warriors were out foraging so they mostly killed women and children. They even shot their ponies.
Chief Black Kettle had recently signed a peace treaty with the white-eyes and felt so safe he flew a U.S. flag over his teepee. Black Kettle had survived a similar attack in 1864 called the Sand Creek Massacre. The excuse for the attack was that a white woman homesteader kidnapped by renegade Cheyenne may have been deposited for awhile at Black Kettle's encampment. The Victorian horror over inferred sexual outrages committed on Christian maidens goaded the troopers to ruthless fury, however after the battle Custer freely encouraged his officers to divide up the prettiest native women for themselves.
One legend says Custer took a mistress named Meotzsi who bore him a child. When Custer died at the Little Big Horn, his body was not scalped and mutilated like the others. Because the Cheyenne considered him family.

1910- New York’s Penn Station opened.

1921- English writer Alastair Crowley proclaimed himself Outer Head of the Order Templeis Orientalis- or Order of the Temple of the East. Alastair Crowley had spent years studying and mastering various occult devotions- Freemasons, Rosicrucians, Gnosticism, Bavarian Illuminati, and others in order to fuse them into his own form of devotion- Thelema he called it, based on the satires of the 1500’s French poet Rabelais. He boasted often that he wanted Crowleyism to eventually replace Christianity. His own mother called him: "The Wickedest Man in the World".

1924- The First Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. The marvel of the parade were large displays that moved down the street thanks to small automobiles concealed under them. They seemed to "float", so they were called parade floats today. The huge balloons were added in 1927. Originally after the parade the balloons were let go to float away into the sky. Macy’s offered a bounty to people who found them after they landed, usually in rural New Jersey.

1932- Former Terrytoons animator Art Babbitt, now at Walt Disney, wrote to fellow animator Bill Tytla, encouraging him to come out to California. "Terry owes you a lot and Disney has plans for a full length color cartoon!"

1936- Max Fleischer's cartoon featurette, "Popeye meets Sinbad the Sailor".

1941-While Admiral Yamamoto’s carrier fleet was preparing to put to sea, at Pearl Harbor the U.S. army commander General Short received a top secret coded message from Washington: " Negotiations with Japan seem at an end for all practical purposes...future moves unpredictable but hostile action possible at any moment. If hostilities cannot be avoided the United States desires that Japan commit the first overt act...Measures should be carried out so as not to alarm the civilian population or disclose intent."

1942- Admiral Laborde had received orders from Vichy to put the French fleet at the Nazis disposal so they attack the Allied beachheads in North Africa. Instead Laborde scuttled the French fleet in Toulon Harbor.

1950- THE CHOSIN RESEVOIR- In Korea this day the US First Marine Division and British Commando 411 was cut off and attacked on all sides by massed Red Chinese armies. Commander Chesty Puller, a veteran of Guadalcanal, when told he was surrounded replied: "That just simplifies our problems of finding these people and killing them." The Marines slowly fought their way the trap in subzero cold, across the frozen ice, bringing out most of their wounded and some POWs. Survivors of the epic march refuse to call their campaign a retreat, they said they merely attacking in another direction. They called themselves "The Chosin Few" and the "Frozen-Chosin".

1953- Playwright Eugene O'Neill died of pneumonia, Parkinson's Disease, and alcoholism at 65. He had been writing on cardboard laundry shirt boards because he needed something large to write on because his hands trembled so violently. When O’Neill realized his end was near he tore up six plays he was writing because he wanted no one else to complete them. He was staying at the Shelton Hotel in Boston. As his father was an actor his family traveled frequently. O'Neill's last words were: "I knew it! Born in a hotel room, and goddammit, I'm dying in a hotel room! "

1957- The Hollywood Reporter announced NBC had purchased a season of cartoons especially made for TV by former MGM animators Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera. They will be called “Ruff and Ready” and will debut in a half hour slot on Saturday Mornings.

1960 – Gordie Howe became the first NHL player to score 1,000 goals.

1963- The Beatles release the single “ I Wanna Hold Your Hand.”

1967- The Beatles release Magical Mystery Tour.

1973- Conjunction Junction, by Jack Sheldon, first played on the TV show Schoolhouse Rock.

1973- According to the X-Files this was the night Fox Mulder’s sister Samantha was abducted by aliens.

1975- Ross McWhirter, publisher of the Guinness Book of World Records, was assassinated by the IRA.

1978- San Francisco Mayor George Mosconi and openly gay City Supervisor Harvey Milk were shot and killed by embittered city councilman Dan White. Councilwoman Diane Feinstein discovered their bodies, and took over as mayor. Dan White was acquitted on an insanity plea using the "Twinkie Defense", that junk food raised his blood sugar to such an extent that he went berserk. He served only 5 years in prison, moved to Orange County, then committed suicide. Diane Feinstein became a long time Senator from California and just died this year at age 90.

2002- Disney’s animated feature Treasure Planet opened in theaters.

2009- Tiger Woods was the greatest golfer of his time and could have been the greatest in history. He didn’t just win tournaments, he dominated the entire sport. While other athletes were tainted with drugs and scandal, Tiger had a squeaky clean image.
This Thanksgiving night at 2:30AM, Tiger Woods crashed his SUV into a tree as a result of an argument with his Swedish bikini model wife, who chased him from their home waving one of his golf clubs. This incident revealed Woods as a compulsive philanderer. More than a dozen women- cocktail waitresses, bimbos and porn stars came forward to admit riding the Tiger. His reputation in tatters, Tiger Woods’ game never again really regained his champion form.

2013- Disney film Frozen premiered. Directed by Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck. Let it Go! Let it Go!
Yesterday’s Question: What does it mean to have a Napoleon Complex?

Answer: It means to become so carried away with one’s success, you become convinced you are never wrong, and push away dissenting opinions. Finally surrounded with yes-men who would never disagree with you.

Nov. 26, 2023
November 26th, 2023

Question: What does it mean to have a Napoleon Complex?

Yesterday’s question answered below: Who was Elliot Ness?
History for 11/26/20233254
Birthdays: John Harvard 1607(founder of Harvard University), Bat Masterson, Eugene Ionesco, Bruno Richard Hauptmann, Marian Mercer, Charles Schulz, Cyril Cusak, Eric Severaid, Rich Little, Sister Wendy Turnbull, Robert Goulet, Don Hahn.

311A.D. Saint Peter of Alexandria, was the last saint to be martyred before Roman Emperor Constantine lifted the ban on Christianity in 312.

1539- Fountains Abbey, the largest and richest Cistercian abbey in England, was surrendered to the officers of King Henry VIII.

1716- In Boston, the first African lion ever seen in America was put on exhibit.

1804- Napoleon Bonaparte made public the results of a national referendum held to decide whether the French people wanted him to be their emperor. 3.5 million votes for yes, 2,500 for no. Since Napoleon was a dictator who was kicking the butts of most of the nations of Europe, most Frenchmen wouldn’t argue much, and he had been planning his coronation for months anyhow.

1825- Kappa Alpha of Union College NY is established. The first college Greek Letter fraternity house.

1832- In New York, the John Mason started service, a streetcar pulled along iron rails by a team of horses. This replaced horse pulled wagons. It went from Princes Street to 14th St. A ticket cost 12 pennies. The last horse car tram stopped in 1926.

1865- Charles Dodgson sent a handwritten copy of the manuscript of his fantasy Alice’s Adventures Underground to his 12 year old friend and inspiration Alice Liddell. He conceived the story three years earlier. He later published the book with his own money retitled Alice in Wonderland, under the pen-name Lewis Carroll. Alice in Wonderland was one of the first books written solely to amuse children, and not to educate or discipline them.

1868- At first baseball games were played in a convenient cow pasture. Today the first baseball game was played in an enclosed field. It was in San Francisco at Folsom & 25th St..

1896- AA. Stagg of The University of Chicago invented the football huddle.

1913- THE DISAPPEARANCE OF AMBROSE BIERCE- Ambrose Bierce was one of the more popular U.S. writers of the late 19th century. A savage wit and social critic, he pioneered sardonic anti-war fiction long before Kurt Vonnegut. But by 1913 the 71-year-old curmudgeon found himself alone, ill, his creative powers failing and not looking forward to old age. So on November 6th he announced his intention to travel to Mexico at the height of the revolution there and hopefully get killed.“Ah, to be an old gringo stood up before a Mexican firing squad, now that is Euthanasia!” This day he gave his last known newspaper interview in Laredo Texas, then disappeared forever. A niece claimed he sent her a letter from Chihuahua on Dec. 26th but that letter has never been found. The popular story is that he was executed by Pancho Villa. But Villa and his people never recalled meeting Bierce. Plus Villa was followed around by so many American news correspondents and newsreel cameras that a person as famous as Ambrose Bierce was sure to be noticed. Bierce’s family believed he was killed in action at Oijinaga in early 1914 and his body burned with the others.
As he planned, Ambrose Bierce has the last laugh. “I want no one to find my bones!” And no one ever has.

1917- The National Hockey League-NHL, was founded in Montreal. The first teams The Quebec Bulldogs, Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Arenas, and Montreal Maroons.

1926- Potato chips, or crisps in the UK, were invented in the 1880’s by African American chef George Crumm and served in restaurants and fairgrounds. This day Mrs. Laura Scudder was the first to put potato chips in a bag and sold them as a handy snack food. She sold them out of the back of her pickup truck until the business picked up. She ran her own company until 1959.

1938- Walt Disney was raised in a hard-scrabble, struggling family. He promised his parents if he ever made good, he would take care of them. After Snow White made him rich and successful, he moved his parents out to Los Angeles and bought them a beautiful home in North Hollywood. This night faulty furnace leak filled their bedroom with carbon monoxide. The housekeeper found them in the morning and dragged them out onto the lawn. Walt Disney’s father Elias barely survived but his mother Flora died. This left Walt so shattered he could never talk about it after.

1940- Woody Woodpecker first appeared in an Andy Panda cartoon "Knock-Knock.’

1942- Rommel's "Dash to the Wire"- After months of inconclusive melee' in the Libyan desert, Gen. Rommel's German Afrika Korps broke through the British 8th Army and made a beeline for the Egyptian border. His plan was to cut the Suez canal, overrun the Middle East oilfields and link up with Vichy troops in Lebanon and Syria, and Nazi units rolling down from southern Russia into Iraq. But the German army in Russia never got that far and on the road to Egypt, Rommel would finally be stopped at an Egyptian railroad crossing cal led El Alamein.

1943- The Donald Duck short Home Defense was released.

1945- Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie recorded KoKo, the first bebop Jazz single. Instead of big bands as was the fashion, they used a smaller quintet. The pianist at the session didn’t have his New York union card, so after his solo, Dizzy dropped his trumpet and did the piano backup to Birds’ solo. The song was from chord variations of an old Ray Noble song “Cherokee” that Bird and Dizzy knew. The term Bop came from an earlier Lionel Hampton hit “Hey-Bop-A-ReBop”. Jazz critic Ira Gitler picked up on the witty interplay between musicians, and wrote of the new sound as BeBop.

1963- The day after John Kennedy’s funeral at a secret location in Lindenhurst New Jersey a meeting was held of Mafia bosses to find out just what just happened in Dallas?
Mafia consiglierie Bill Bonano, the son of Joe Bananas, claimed he and other crime bosses were told by representatives of Tony Marcello and Santos Traficante that they were behind the JFK shooting, and it was all “a local matter”. Both men were the targets of heavy government racketeering probes pursued by Attorney General Robert Kennedy. They explained that there were four shooters that day including the patsy Lee Harvey Oswald. Dallas police officer Tibbets was supposed to take out Oswald right after the shooting, but Oswald killed him first, so Jimmy Roselli arranged for Jack Ruby to go in to fix things. Believe it or not!

1965- France launched its first space rocket, the Dianant-1, into orbit.

1970- During a visit to Manila, Pope Paul VI was attacked by a lunatic wielding a knife. The Pope was unhurt and continued his journey.

1975- Former Charles Manson follower Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme is convicted of trying to assassinate President Gerald Ford with a starters pistol.

1976- Sex Pistols Punk single “Anarchy in the UK” released.

1990- Acting on the example of Sony’s purchase of MGM-Columbia studios, Matushita (Panasonic) bought MCA- Universal studios for $6.6 billion. After a few fruitless years they sold it to The Bronfman’s Group, the distillers of Seagram’s Whiskey.

1998- Tony Blair became the first British Prime Minister to address the Irish Parliament.
He said: We can no longer afford to be the Prisoners of History.”

2001- Columnist William Kristol proclaimed:” The endgame in Afghanistan is in sight!” The war went on instead for 20 more years.

2008- Terrorists attacked several top hotels in Mumbai (Bombay). They focused on trying to capture or kill American and British citizens and they shot up an Orthodox Jewish Chabad charity house, killing a rabbi and his wife. After four days of battle with Indian forces, they were all killed.
Yesterday’s Question: Who was Elliot Ness?

Answer: Elliot Ness was a federal treasury agent who tangled with famous gangsters like Al Capone in Prohibition Era Chicago. Just before he died, he published a memoir about his racket-busting unit called The Untouchables. It became a best seller and a hit TV series and movie. He became the most famous lawman since Wyatt Earp.

Nov. 25, 2023
November 25th, 2023

Question: Who was Elliot Ness?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: On a ship, what does it mean when you have to “go to the head”?
History for 11/25/2023
Birthdays: Lope de Vega, St. Pope John XXIII, Andrew Carnegie, Tina Turner, Joe Dimaggio, Carl Benz of Mercedes Benz, Virgil Thompson, Jeffrey Hunter, John Kennedy,Jr., Percy Sledge, Ben Stein, Ricardo Montalban, Bob Matheson, John Larroquette, Gloria Steinem, General Augusto Pinochet, Christina Applegate, Bucky Dent, Bill Kroyer

1177-Battle of Montgisard- 19 year old Baldwin the Leper-King of Jerusalem and his Crusader knights defeated Saladin.

1758- In the Pennsylvania wilderness, a British force including frontier scout Daniel Boone and militia Captain George Washington captured Fort Duquesne from the French. They renamed it for their current Prime Minister William Pitt, hence the name Pittsburgh.

1783- EVACUATION DAY- Treaties ending the American Revolution signed, the last British troops left U.S. soil, sailing out of New York Harbor for Nova Scotia. This also marks the beginning of the exodus to Canada of Americans who sided with England, maybe as many as 130,000. Tories, or United Empire Loyalists, as you prefer. Also about 3,000 slaves liberated by the British requested to return to Africa and were sent to Sierra Leone. Among their number was the personal cook of George Washington, who bolted through the lines the moment he heard about the offer. Washington angrily demanded his return, but the British refused.
The last shot fired of the American Revolution was as the British fleet passed by Staten Island, so many people were at the shoreline jeering, a British warship fired a cannon at them. The shot landed harmlessly in the water. One British officer wrote “I wish Columbus had never discovered this cursed place.” George Washington led American forces into the city at around 1:00PM. Evacuation Day was a holiday in New York for many years afterwards.

1795- English architect Henry Latrobe left Europe for a life in the U.S.
Latrobe was the architect who built the U.S. Capitol building.

1817- First sword swallower performed in the US.

1864- In a production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar at New York’s Winter garden Theater the three Booth brothers- John Wilkes, Edwin and Junius Booth appeared together for the only time. Other famous acting families of the time included the Powers, whose descendant was the movie star Tyrone Power, and the Barrymores, who’s line continues down today from John to John Drew to Drew Barrymore.

1867- Alfred Nobel patented dynamite. The riches he accumulated from this and Nitro-Glycerin he used to fund the Nobel Prize.

1869- Ned Buntline was a hack dime novelist who understood that selling stories about gunfighters of the west would be easier if you could occasionally produce one in the flesh. So on a trip to Nebraska he found among the cavalry scouts an accommodatingly colorful rogue named William Cody, who everybody called Buffalo Bill. This day Ned Buntline announced in the New York Weekly the first installment of a serial series “Buffalo Bill, King of the Bordermen”. Buntline and Cody collaborated to make Buffalo Bill the first true American media star, entertaining millions, from crowned heads to street kids, until his retirement in 1916.

1915- In a rally at Stone Mountain Georgia, a group of white southerners inspired by D.W. Griffith’s film ‘The Birth of a Nation” declared the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan. The original Klan had been formed in 1865 by disaffected Confederate veterans as a resistance to the Yankee occupation. But by 1867 most had been rounded up by the authorities. It died out in part because all their goals of denying black Americans their civil rights had been achieved by political means anyway. This new Klan in 1915 broadened their appeal to hatred of not only black Americans but also immigrants, Jews and Catholics. Instead of the Lost Cause of the Confederacy, the modern KKK appealed to strict U.S. patriotism and the Protestant Religion. Many areas other than the Old South invited in the Klan, like in 1921 the governor and most of the state legislature of Indiana were Klansmen.

1929- Alfred Hitchcock’s film Blackmail opened in London. It was the first full length talkie in Britain.

1932- At Sam Houston High School in rural Texas, a young teacher got a phone call. It was from Congressman Richard Clayburgh. He said he needed an executive aide in Washington, and he heard this guy was a go-getter. The young teacher said yes, and packed his one suit and a few shirts in a cardboard suitcase.
Lyndon B. Johnson’s career in politics began.

1944- A German V-2 missile hit a Woolworth’s store in Deptford England while people were shopping. 160 killed. German generals wanted the V-2’s aimed at the Allied beachheads where all their supplies were being unloaded. But Hitler had them fired at London, and wherever they came down they did.

1949- Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer sung by Gene Autry hit number one on the music charts. The TV program by Rankin/Bass premiered in 1964.

1952- The stage adaptation of Agatha Christie’s mystery the Mousetrap opened in London’s West End and became one of the longest running plays in history.

1956- Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and 88 followers departed exile in Mexico in a ramshackle boat called The Granma to start the revolution in Cuba.

1960- CBS canceled its remaining five radio soap operas, most of them now on television.

60 Years Ago 1963- THE FUNERAL OF JOHN F. KENNEDY. The massed muffled drums, bagpipes, bands blaring Chopin’s Funeral March, the riderless horse named BlackJack with the boots in the stirrups turned inward, a tradition that went back to Genghis Khan, the black horse drawn artillery caisson modeled on Abraham Lincoln's. Photographer Sam Stearns caught little John-John giving a salute, like everyone around him.
This day was also John Kennedy Jr.'s birthday, and a big party had been planned with lots of little tots. Jackie knew that baby John-john didn't understand the gravity of what had transpired, so after the funeral she changed out of her widow’s weeds and ran a kiddie party.

1963- In his family home in Queens NY, young songwriter Paul Simon was deeply depressed by the assassination of President Kennedy. He locked himself in his bathroom and kicked around chords on his guitar. That night, he wrote “ Hello darkness, my old friend….”

1970- Japan's great poet-playwright Yukio Mishima committed suicide(seppuku) after attempting a coup at a military base. He had his suicide filmed as it happened. He felt Japan was losing her spiritual soul to crass materialism, so the ancient Bushido warrior code was the only way back. The Japanese Defense Force soldiers he appealed to join his cause just laughed at him and thought he was crazy.
In a poll conducted in a magazine at the time, about 75% of Japanese women said they would rather commit suicide than sleep with Yukio Mishima.

1971- Con man D.B. Cooper hijacked a Northwest Orient passenger plane after stealing $ 200,000. He parachuted out of the 727 airliner with the money during a thunderstorm over Washington State and disappeared forever. Searchers found rotting bits of money in the forest but never a body. D.B. Cooper became a folk legend.
In 1999 a man in South Carolina named Dwayne Weber was dying of liver cancer. Before he died he turned to his wife Jo and said “Before I go, I gotta tell ya something. I’m Dan Cooper” His wife said he loved singing at piano bars, and his favorite song was “You’ll never know…”

1975- According to the movie Rocky, this was the date of the first prizefight portrayed in the film where we first meet Rocky Balboa.

1975- Happy Surinam Independence Day.

1986- President Reagan announced the firing of National Security adviser Admiral Poindexter and his assistant Marine colonel Oliver North. That night North’s secretary Fawn Hall smuggled incriminating documents out of her office stuffed in her brassiere and under her skirt. The NSC was engaged in an illegal scheme of selling weapons to Iran through middlemen then funneling the money made to the Nicaraguan Contras rebels in defiance of Congress.
A 40 million dollar Congressional investigation could never definitively tie Reagan to the scheme, even though North openly admitted he was only the designated fall guy. Admiral Poindexter served in the GW Bush administration and Ollie North became a radio talk show host.

1992- Walt Disney’s Aladdin opened in theaters.

1995- Legendary Corporate CEO Akio Morita retired as the leader of Sony. Under his guidance Sony went from a little postwar maker of electric rice cookers to the largest electronics company in the world. His official reason was he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage while playing tennis. Some insiders said he was tired of dealing with the stress of managing Sony's Hollywood studios -MGM, Columbia, TriStar losing $2 billion. By the time Morita died in 1999, the Sony movie studios had pulled out of their slump and were on top with movies like Titanic and Men in Black.

2009- Disney’s Princess and the Frog, directed by John Musker and Ron Clements, opened.

2015- In a speech in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Presidential candidate Donald Trump did a mocking impression of a NY Times reporter Serge Kovalevski, who is disabled. In his speech, Trump shook violently: “Now the poor guy — you ought to see the guy: ‘Uhh, I don’t know what I said. I don’t remember!’ To the cruel laughter of his audience. He later claimed his intent was misunderstood. For any normal candidate, this would have destroyed their chances. But Donnie was just getting started.
Yesterday’s Question: On a ship, what does it mean when you have to “go to the head”?

Answer: In the Age of Sail the toilets for the sailors to use were located under the bowsprit, or at the head of the ship.

Nov. 24, 2023
November 24th, 2023

Question: On a ship, what does it mean when you have to “go to the head”?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: There is the Roman Catholic Church. But what does it mean to use the word catholic, small c, as an adjective?
HISTORY FOR 11/24/2023
Birthdays: Spinoza, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Scott Joplin, Zachary Taylor, Carrie Nation, Dick Powell, Garson Kanin, Cass Gilbert-the architect of the first skyscraper, Alvan Barkley-Truman’s VP, Forrest J. Ackerman, William F. Buckley, John Lindsay, Dale Carnegie- author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, Steve Yeager, Denise Crosby, Billy Connolly is 82

800 AD- Charlemagne or Charles the Great, the King of the Franks (France), arrived in Rome to spend the Christmas season with his old pal Pope Leo III. At the Christmas service, Pope Leo would crown him Emperor.

1221- The Mongol horde of Genghis Khan destroyed the Persian army of Shah Jelalladin in the Indus Valley in present northwestern Pakistan.

1326- Hugh Despenser the Younger, onetime gay lover of King Edward II, was executed by order of Eddie’s wife, Queen Isabella the She-Wolf of France. Lashed to a high ladder, she ordered his penis and testicles amputated and burned in front of him before he was disemboweled and cut his heart out.

1440- The Black Dinner- Sir Alex Livingston and Sir William Crichton were the regents ruling Scotland in the name of boy King James II Stewart. They were concerned about the loyalty of the Douglas Clan. So this night they had the Earl of Douglas and his brother over to Edinburgh Castle for dinner. At one point during the dinner a black bulls head on a dish was presented. This was the signal to grab the Douglas’s, who were peremptorily tried and beheaded on the spot.

Edinburgh Castle, town and tower,
God grant ye sink for sin;
And that even for The Black Dinner,
Earl Douglas get there-in…

1681- YOU UGLY MUG! The Earl of Shaftesbury acquitted of treason. In the politics of King Charles II’s England the Earl was frequently in opposition to the Kings policy. He started the first political party in loyal opposition, the Green Ribbon Club, later the Whig Party. This was a new idea. Before this, disagreeing openly with the Crown was considered treason. But now after the English Civil War and the Restoration, open political debate was considered acceptable.
Politics at the time was discussed in coffee houses on Fleet St. where only wealthy gentry could afford to dally over a cup of rare Java or hot cocoa imported from the Americas. The Earl of Shaftesbury’s face was printed on coffee mugs by his partisans, as were other images of leading politicians. This is when the word mug also came to mean a face:” I don’t like your mug!”

1688- English King James II was facing an invading army led by his own daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange. This morning in his camp, the King awoke to find his own army had run away! In the middle of the night the commander of the royal army, the Duke of Marlborough, and all 40 of his generals deserted and went over to the other side. These defections ensured that the Glorious Revolution of 1688 would be bloodless and not a repeat of the English Civil War of 1642-49.

1789- The first issue of France’s national newspaper Le Moniteur.

1832- THE NULLIFIERS- A controversy had been brewing since the U.S. Constitution was adapted whether the individual states or federal government had the final say on a law. Southern states in particular declared they had the right to “nullify” Federal laws they didn’t agree with. This day South Carolina refused to pay a new tariff imposed by Washington. President Andy Jackson, also a southerner, angrily ordered the army to mobilize. But the crisis was averted by a compromise the following spring. The issue continues to plague U.S. politics to this day.

1859- Charles Darwin published his book on evolution, The Origin of the Species.

1863- THE BATTLE ABOVE THE CLOUDS or Missionary Ridge. Gen. Grant's army had to break through a Confederate Army dug in on a mountaintop above Chattanooga, Tennessee. At first it was the 24th Wisconsin Infantry that was ordered to take the rifle pits at the base of Missionary Ridge. This was intended as a diversion for the two flanking attacks occurring at the same time. When the Wisconsin soldiers swept the pits, they confused their orders and just continued the assault. They felt stopping for cover or retreating on the bare mountain slope was more suicidal than attacking. More units joined in the mad scramble up the mountainside and soon the mistake became a general assault that blew the rebel army off the summit. Grant had a great, if unplanned for victory.
The first soldier to plant the U.S. flag on the summit was Lt. Arthur MacArthur, the father of World War II hero General Douglas MacArthur. Lt. MacArthur picked up the regimental flag after the rest of the officers had been killed and led the charge up the slope, for which he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. How did Lt. MacArthur inspire his men? He kept yelling "On Wisconsin!" This tradition inspired the Wisconsin football fight song "On Wisconsin" still sung to this day and perennially voted one of the five best fight songs in college football.
In the early 1960s, the Wisconsin assault on Missionary Ridge was the subject of a crayon/pastel painting by a young recruit of the 101st Airborne Division. The painting is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. The artist? Jimmy Hendrix.

1871- The National Rifle Association formed. For many years it was a benign association of amateur hunting and fishing enthusiasts. In 1991 CEO. Wayne LaPierre began filling its executive board with gun company executives and turning it into a major funder of lobbying for conservative culture war causes.

1874- Cacaobao, the high chief of the Cannibal Isles (modern Fiji) submitted to the British Empire. He figured they were going get it anyway. He sent Queen Victoria his personal war club as a gift.

1874- Joseph Glidden received a patent for barbed wire, which made it possible to fence in the Great Plains for farming. In 1899 in the Boer War it was the white South African Boers who first came up with the idea of using barbed wire to slow down enemy infantry.
Since then, barbed wire has been used to keep people in or out.

1904- Alfred Steiglitz and Edward Steichen opened 291, the first art gallery dedicated exclusively to the art of photography.

1909- THE UPRISING OF THE TWENTY THOUSAND. Mary 'Mother' Jones led three fifths of the immigrant garment workers of New York out on strike to demand better conditions and recognition of their union, the ILGWU. Several Golden 400 socialites would meet the strikers at the old Water Tower in Greenwich Village to dispense food and day care. One of them was Betsy Morgan, the youngest daughter of J.P. Morgan, who was also involved in a lesbian affair with designer Elzie DeWolfe.

1922- Irish writer Erskine Childers was the writer of the Riddle of the Sands, one of the first true spy novels, but he was also a leader of the IRA, and after Irelands Treaty with Britain he sided with the anti-treaty rebels in the Irish Civil War. This day Erskine Childers was shot by an Irish Army firing squad. His son became President of Ireland in 1973.

1933- The RKO movie Flying Down to Rio released, meant as a starring vehicle for Dolores Del Rio, but what we remember is it is the first pairing of the famous dance team of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

1937- The Andrew Sisters record their Boogie-Woogie version of “Bei Mir Bist Du Schon”, an old Yiddish Klezmer song that was updated by Bennie Goodman.

1938- LENI DOES TINSELTOWN -Hitler's top filmmaker Leni Reifenstahl arrived in Hollywood to meet the film community and show off her new documentary 'Olympia". Nazis charges de’ affaires in L.A., Gerhard Gyssling, had bragged to the press that all Hollywood couldn’t wait to meet Reich’s top filmmaker. But Hollywood had different ideas. Sam Goldwyn said,” I’m not going to greet that N*zi bitch!” Paramount, Warner Bros., Columbia, Fox refused to speak to her and picketers hounded her every step. Well known Conservatives like Louis B. Mayer and Gary Cooper were polite but begged off the bad publicity.
The only studio heads who would meet Leni Reifenstahl were Hal Roach and Walt Disney. Uncle Walt gave her a tour of the studio but begged off running her film, saying the union projectionist would make trouble. ( uh-huh....) Years later Disney said he didn't really know who she was. (uh-huh......) In her 90s, Leni told LA historian Robert Nudleman that she thought Walt met her because his professional curiosity got the better of him. That he wanted to see Olympia, because it was the only film to beat his Snow White at the Venice Film Festival, then the world’s most prestigious film festival.

1941- After suffering a strike and declining revenue because of the war in Europe, Walt Disney’s studio was in trouble. Animator Ward Kimball noted in his diary for this day: “ 100 layoffs announced. Studio personnel from 1600 down to a Hyperion level of 300. Geez, It this the writing on the wall?”

1947- THE HOLLYWOOD BLACKLIST- 50 Hollywood moguls like Harry Cohn, Jack Warner and Dore Shary met at the Waldorf Astoria in New York to formulate a group response to the House UnAmerican Activities Committee anti-commie hearings that were targeting Hollywood. Besides the heat from the feds their stockholders were clamoring for them to get the Reds out! They agreed to enforce an industry-wide blacklisting of anyone refusing to cooperate with the HUAC Committee. Nothing was ever officially written down or published, if you were blacklisted you suddenly were unable to find any work.
Eric Johnston, spokesman for the Motion Pictures Assoc. said on this day: "As long as I live, I will never be party ot anything as unAmerican as a blacklist!”.
Two days later on Nov. 26th he said: " We will forthwith discharge and never again knowingly employ a Communist. Loyalty oaths for the Entertainment Industry are now compulsory." Many Hollywood artists signed Communist Party cards in the 1930's when it was chic' to be lefty, and the Communists were the only open opponents of segregation and Hitler. Writer Bud Schulberg’s excuse was CP parties had the prettiest girls. Out of an estimated 15,000 entertainment workers only around 300 were ever actually proven to be Communists. Famous blacklist victims included Zero Mostel, Lillian Hellman, Lloyd Bridges, Dashell Hammett, Gale Sondergaard, Edward G. Robinson, Howard Da Silva, Ed Wynn, Sterling Hayden & Dalton Trumbo. Sidney Poitier was blacklisted for no other reason than he was friends with black activist-actor Canada Lee; 'Somewhere over the Rainbow' composer Yip Harburg was blacklisted for writing a song: “Happiness is a thing called Joe" which the committee took to mean Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

1948- Hib Johnson, the President of Johnson's Wax had just moved into a home designed for him by the legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Called Wingspread, it was considered the culmination of Wrights Prairie style. But there was a problem. Johnson called Frank Lloyd Wright to complain that the roof was leaking rainwater onto his Thanksgiving dinner! The water was leaking right on Hib's head as he sat at the head of the table. He refused to budge, and had the phone cord stretched so he could make the
call, and spoke to Wright with the drops splashing off his bald head. What was Frank Lloyd Wright’s response? " So move your table..."

1950- Gen. Douglas MacArthur announced his "Home by Christmas Offensive" to finish off the North Korean army and end the Korean War. The next day he was attacked by 180,000 Red Chinese. MacArthur was fired, and the war dragged on until 1953.

1950- The musical Guys & Dolls opened. “ I got da horse right here, his name is Paul Revere, I know a jock who tells me Never Fear, Can Do- Can Do..The Jock sez da horse can –do ”

1958- The musical film Gigi opened, music by Lerner & Lowe. Based on the writings of French author Collette, Collette herself had insisted young unknown Dutch actress Audrey Hepburn play the lead.

1958- Comedian Harry Einstein, known as Parkyakarkus, did his bit at the Friars Club. He sat down at amid the laughter and applause, put his head down and died of a heart attack. His son is comedian-filmmaker Albert Brooks.

1963- To complete the surreal drama that shocked America into the Sixties, JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was shot on live nationwide T.V. by smalltime gangster Jack Ruby. He was taken to the same hospital and had the same doctors as Kennedy but still died. Ruby, real name Jacob Rubenstein, always hung around the Dallas police station, so no one thought it was unusual to see him around.

1968- Hey Jude by the Beatles topped the pop charts while Tammy Wynette’s Stand By Your Man headed the Country & Western listing.

1991- Freddy Mercury, lead singer of the rock group Queen, died of AIDS. He was 45.

1988- Mystery Science Theater 3000 premiered.

1998- America On Line bought their chief competitor Netscape.

1999- Pixar’s Toy Story 2. in theaters.

2000- Catherine Zeta-Jones married Michael Douglas.

2010- Disney’s Tangled released.
Yesterday’s Question: There is the Roman Catholic Church. But what does it mean to use the word catholic, small c, as an adjective?

Answer: It means something universal, all-encompassing. So a catholic history would be a general history of all peoples. On a personal level it means having a wide, open perspective, an egalitarian outlook.