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April 26th, 2009 Sun.
April 26th, 2009

Quiz: In honor of the imminent demise of the Pontiac brand automobile- What does Pontiac mean?

Yesterday’s question answered below: what does it mean to gin-up something?
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History for 4/26/2009
Birthdays: Roman Emperor-philosopher Marcus Aurelius, Queen Marie De Medicis, John James Audubon, Frederick Law Olmstead, Eugene Delacroix, Syngman Rhee, Dr. Lee DeForrest, John Grierson founder of the National Film Board of Canada, Rudolf Hess, Bobby Rydell, Anita Loos, I.M.Pei, Carol Burnett, Eyvind Earle, Alan Arkin, Amos Otis, Joan Chen, Koo Stark, Jet Li- born Li Lian jie is 46

1478-THE PAZZI CONSPIRACY- Pope Sixtus planed to take over Florence by arranging a hit on Duke Lorenzo de Medici "The Magnificent". Francesco Pazzi and Bernardo Bandini attacked the Duke in church just as the consecrated Host was being raised.

Lorenzo escaped harm but his brother Giuliano was slain. Furious Florentines fell on the felons (repeat three times fast) and nailed their smoking hearts to the door of the cathedral. People blamed Archbishop Salviati for being part of the plot. The mob chased the archbishop up the bell tower, wrapped the bell chords around his neck and tossed him out to ring the bells for awhile.



The people shouted "Long Live the Balls!" for the six gold balls that were the heraldic emblem of the Medici Family Bank. This emblem of three gold balls has come down to us as the universal sign for pawnbrokers.
Michelangelo created a beautiful tomb for murdered Giuliano de Medici. Duke Lorenzo ordered artists to paint the portraits of the murderers corpses. Giuliano’s illegitimate son became Pope Clement VII.

1607-THE ENGLISH LAND AT JAMESTOWN....The good ship Susan Constant and two small pinnaces land 150 men . These men were mostly professional adventurers and gentlemen. Capt. Martin and Capt. Archer served with Sir Francis Drake . Of the 150 only 12 men actually could do a trade other than fighting. Their actual purpose was to find Aztec Empires like the Spaniards found in Mexico and send gold back home. In a years time most of them would be dead from fever and cholera. Oh yeah, there was that John Smith guy too. He wouldn’t meet Pocahontas until around Christmas.

1846- Since annexing Texas the U.S. and Mexico quarreled over where the border was. Mexico said it was the Nueces River while the U.S. said it was the Rio Grande. President Polk had ordered an army into a disputed border area in the hope Mexico would attack them and then Washington could declare war with a clear conscience. This day outside Matamoros Mexican General Arrista ordered his men fire on some Yankee woodcutters. General Zachary Taylor wrote to Washington " Hostilities have commenced" The War with Mexico was on.

1865-Near Bowling Green Virginia, President Abe Lincoln’s assassin John Wilkes Booth was cornered in the barn of Garretts tobacco farm. The troopers set fire to the barn and as Booth emerged he was shot by Sgt. Boston Corbett. Booth died looking at his hands muttering "Useless, useless..."Corbett was a religious fanatic who had castrated himself with a bayonet to be free of sin. Years after killing Booth he committed suicide.

1877- The people of Minnesota held a state-wide day of prayer to ask the Almighty to deliver them from a plague of grasshoppers infesting their farmland. It must have worked because they were gone by the end of the summer.

1928- Los Angeles City Hall dedicated.

1937- GUERNICA- In Spain the Stuka bombers of the German Condor Legion ,
Nazi freelancers for Franco, bomb an innocent basque village provoking an international outcry and a painting by Picasso. Attacking at the height of the market time for three straight hours, the planes bombed the helpless civilians with no military target in sight. As many as 5,000 may have died.

1965-Fred Smith, a student at Yale, got his economics paper back with a "c'" and a note stating the idea he espoused was impractical. The idea was an overnight air-freight service which he founded six years later as Federal Express.

1969- PAUL IS DEAD. The height of a strange rumor that excited the rock & roll world that Paul McCartney of the Beatles had died and the news was being kept a secret. Evidence was presented in the cryptic lyrics of "I am the Walrus", songs played backwards and the record album photo where Paul is the only figure with his back to the camera. A t.v. special hosted by famed attorney F. Lee Bailey explored the controversy. Finally this day Paul and Linda McCartney held a news conference and declared he was very much alive and what on Earth was everyone on about.

1977- In New York City, the mecca of 70’s Disco culture, Studio 54, opened.

1982- Argentina gave in to Britains demands ending the Falklands War. The military junta ruling in Buenos Aires fell a year later.

1986- CHERNOBYL- The Chernobyl nuclear reactor explodes. While the Soviet Government acknowledged 400 deaths, accounts put it as high as 9,000. 100,000 square miles of the Ukraine contaminated and tainted food shipped to 65 million people. Historian Igor Medvedev (who died from radiation induced cancer) reported on the bizarre fumblings at the beginning of the crisis.
When one engineer entered the reactor core, he saw the devastation of the explosion while absorbing the radiation equivalent of 23 Hirsoshima atomic bombs. He went out and told his supervisor: "Reactor Number Three has exploded." His supervisor told him: "That’s impossible! Go back and look again." So he dutifully re-entered the reactor core, absorbing another 23 atomic bomb’s worth of radiation and came out and said:" Yes, it’s true, it’s really blown up." Yes, he did die shortly afterwards.

1986- Arnold Schwarzenegger aka Conan the Republican, married Maria Shriver, the niece of John F. Kennedy and candidate for a tray of lasagna.

1993- NBC announced former Simpsons and Saturday Night Live comedy writer Conan O’Brien would take David Letterman’s old Late Show spot.
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Yesterday’s question: what does it mean to gin up something?

Answer: Before a major engagement, British redcoats were doled out a ration of gin in a tin cup to settle their nerves for the slaughter to come. Since then, ginning up means to bolster your spirit with false courage.




I got my copy of the two volume Walt Stanchfield book. Walt Stanchfield was one of Disney animation's secret weapons in the 2D Renaissance of the 1990s. He was our own generations answer to Don Graham, who at 80 could still kick all our butts at tennis. When I first heard about this, I confess, I was skeptical whether Don Hahn could make a practical useful tome out of 462 pages of unrelated notes. But yumpin' yiminy, he did it! Congrats Don. And for anyone interested in animation and continuity drawing, you should pick this up. It doesn't cost and arm in a leg, and these lessons don't grow on trees. Enjoy the book.


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Quiz: What does it mean to Gin Up something?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Do you know more Supreme Court decisions than Sarah Palin? What is the meaning of the ruling Plessy vs. Ferguson..?
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History for 4/25/2009
Birthdays: Roman emperor Otho -32ad, English King Edward II-1284, Oliver Cromwell-1599, Guiseppi Marconi, Edward R. Murrow, Ella Fitzgerald, Al Pacino is 68, Meadowlark Lemon, Talia Shire, Paul Mazursky, Hank Azaria, Jason Lee, Ron Clements the co-director of the Little Mermaid is 54. Rene Zellwellger is 39

TODAY is the feast of the Roman god ROBIGUS, dreaded god of Rust and Mildew.

It is also the part of the Festival of Venus for the male prostitutes of Rome to celebrate. It’s Raining Men!!

404BC- ATHENS SURRENDERED TO SPARTA- After the victory of Aegespotamoi, Spartan General Lysander had the Long Walls of Athens torn down to the sound of flutes. It ended the Peloponnesian War and the Athenian dominance of Greece. Lysander had delayed the surrender at one point to allow for the funeral procession of old Sophocles the playwright to move between the lines. Spartan domination of Greece was short lived. They were defeated by a coalition led by Epaminondas of Thebes and in 323 Macedonian armies led by Alexander the Great’s father Phillip crushed all resistance to his uniting Greece under Macedonian rule. The Spartans were renowned for their military prowess but were also reputed to be the worst cooks in the Ancient World –their favorite dish was Spartan Black Broth. Writers said most Spartan men sought death on the battlefield so they may avoid going home for dinner.

799AD- Pope Leo III was attacked by a Roman mob. He was beaten up and he had to hide in a monastery until Frankish King Charlemagne came to rescue him.

It is also the FEAST OF ST. MARK- the evangelist whose mummy was smuggled by Venetian traders out of Moslem held Egypt in a case of pig fat in 981 A.D. Venetian clerics later made up a great story to justify the act. St. Mark was rowing a boat in the marshes where Venice would one day stand. Suddenly God appeared to him and said: "Pax Tibi Marce, Evangalista Meus- Tues Corpus Reposituam." "Peace be with you Mark, my Evangelist, here your bones will lay".(after the pig fat) You see this inscription on most Venetian stuff along with the saint’s symbol, a winged lion.



. The Italians returned his bones to Egypt in the 1970’s. So the gold sarcophagus people file past in the Basilica of San Marco is now empty.

1185- Battle of Dan-no--mura. Epic Japanese sea battle when legendary warlord Minamoto Yuritomo defeated the Taira Clan.

1684- The Thimble invented!

1719- The Life and Strange Adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe first published.

1792-THE NATIONAL RAZOR- Highwayman and murderer Nicholas Pelletier becomes the first man guillotined. Dr. Guillotine’s invention was considered a more humane way to kill a person than breaking on the wheel, which was the way of execution in France of lowborn malefactors. Ironically in the memoirs of the court executioner Charles Samson it is alleged that no less than King Louis XVI himself suggested the distinctive angled blade in place of a semicircular one. The King would discover for himself it’s killing power the following January. Contrary to myth Dr. Guillotine didn't die by his own device, he died in bed of old age. During World War Two the Nazis added their own personal touch, turning the victim on his back so he could watch the blade come down. The last man guillotined was in 1977.

1792- A captain from Arras named Roget du Lilse writes a patriotic song for his Marseille regiment . LA MARSEILLAISE is sung for the first time in Strasbourg. It became the French National Anthem and one of the most stirring revolutionary hymns ever sung. In 1986 French first lady Mrs. Francois Mitterand tried to get the more bloodthirsty parts of the song re-written but failed. Aux Armes Citoyens!

1850- Paul Julius de Reuter used 40 carrier pigeons to carry stock market prices between Paris and London. He went on to form Reuters, the first international news agency.

1865- Robert E. Lee’s surrender to Grant left Joe Johnston commanding the second largest army of Southern troops, still facing Sherman in North Carolina. After several meetings and confused negotiations this day Confederate President Jefferson Davis ordered General Johnston to resume fighting and fall back towards Texas. Johnston like Lee felt any further bloodshed was now pointless. He chose to ignore his President and accept Sherman’s surrender terms. Joe Johnston’s modern descendent Joe Johnston IV is a Hollywood film director who made "Honey I Shrank the Kids" and "Jurassic Park III".

1886- The New York Times attacks the outcry among American union workers for an 8-hour workday (the norm then was 12) as: A Seditious, riotous notion that would collapse the American economy and lead to sloth, drunkenness and debauchery. It was probably the work of foreign extremists." The eight-hour day doesn’t become a norm in America until 1913 (in animation until 1941) and is still under attack today.

1898- THE US DECLARED WAR ON SPAIN Teddy Roosevelt had his uniform tailor-made by Brooks Brothers in New York. Secretary of War John Hays (who was once Abe Lincoln's secretary) called it: "A splendid little War' It was the first time men from all the states would come together since the Civil War and eyewitnesses were amazed that all the old regional anger was gone

1901- New York State became the first to require automobiles to show license plates.

1915- ANZAC DAY- The Australian and New Zealand regiments fighting at Gallipoli rise from their trenches and charged headlong into the massed Turkish guns to achieve death and glory and not much else. The Peter Weir movie Gallipoli staring a young Mel Gibson dramatized the event.

1926- Giacomo Puccini's last opera Turnadot premiered in Milan. Puccini died before it's completion so students had to finish the work based on the masters notes. Conductor Arturo Toscanini put down his baton at the beginning of the Third Act, turned to the audience and said:" Here is where the Maestro died." He then left the podium and let another finish the performance.

1928- The German shepherd named Buddy became the first seeing-eye dog for the blind.

1945-U.S. Army advancing from Normandy and the Soviet Army advancing since Stalingrad finally meet each other at the Elbe River in Germany.

1953- Watson and Crick announced the DNA Molecular Construction Theory and the world sees for the first time the twisted ladder model. Watson went down to his local pub and told the barkeep:" Set up a round of lager, for I just discovered the Secret of Life!"

1956- Elvis Presley’s song Heartbreak Hotel goes to #1 in the pop charts.

1970- Policeman Frank Serpico’s story of rampant corruption in the NYPD explodes on the pages of the New York Times. The practices of decades of graft are exposed by the Knapp Commission and the police commissioner and several captains resign in disgrace.
Serpico’s story was made into a famous film starring Al Pacino.

1972- Witty, urbane actor George Sanders ( All About Eve, Samson & Delilah, Sher Khan in Jungle Book) had turned age 65. He complained he had been famous and rich and was not looking forward to old age and having a nurse wipe his bottom. So he committed suicide, and left a witty, urbane note. "Dear World: I am leaving because I am bored. Adieu, I leave you with your worries in this sweet cesspool."

1981- Dixie, the oldest living mouse died at age 6 1/2.

1982- In accordance with the Camp David Peace Accord, Israel completed its withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula, turning over the resort port of Sharm El Sheik, which returned to Egypt.

1996-"Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk" opened on Broadway.

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Yesterdays Question: Do you know more Supreme Court decisions than Sarah Palin? What is the meaning of the ruling Plessy vs. Ferguson..?

Answer: It was the 1896 ruling that codified Jim Crow, the segregated system that deemed it legal for institutions to be “separate but equal”. Segregation was overturned by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.




I'm very excited that I heard that my first book Drawing the Line is going to come out in a second edition. Thank you to all my readers who bought copies of the book. I have collected a little folder of notes and corrections from a number of friends that I hope I can get into this new edition. So if you are, or you ever have been, a communist or socialist, feel free to let me know. I'll let you know when it's out.

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Quiz: Do you know more Supreme Court decisions than Sarah Palin? What is the meaning of the ruling Plessy vs. Ferguson..?

Yesterday’s Answer below: People talk about Brainwashing. Where did that come from?
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History for 4/24/2009
Birthdays: Daniel Defoe, William de Kooning, St. Vincent de Paul, Morgan Earp, Shirley McLaine, Jack E. Leonard, Dame Ethel Smyth, Jill Ireland, Eric Bogosian, Sue Grafton, Robert Penn Warren, Barbera Streisand is 68, Cedric the Entertainer

1184 B.C.(est.)- TROY FALLS TO THE GREEKS- Despite the warnings of Cassandra and Laocoon the Trojans pull Ulysses' great horse into the city and at night the Greeks climb out and open the city gates to destruction. The reason we have any estimated date for this is this was the day the Romans celebrated a festival commemorating this event.
Conventional wisdom was always that Troy was a myth until Heinrich Schleimann found it in the 1800’s. The Romans loved a myth of their own origin that they were descended from the Trojan refugees led to Italy by the hero Aeneas. This seemed way more cool than being a grubby little Latin tribe who got their act together ahead of their neighbors.
They loved this myth so much that in 218 B.C. when the legions of Publius Scipio Asiaticus marched into Turkey to make war on Antipater the king of Syria, they paused first to go to the plains of Illium (the field where Troy once stood).
There the writer Livy states" The grim warriors embraced and wept aloud like babes, for after countless generations, the children of Troy had come home at last."

1584- Japanese Shogun Hideyoshi Toyotomi ordered the Heii Shrine in Edo (Tokyo) to dedicate a new heraldic design - the red disc Asahi - Rising Sun flag is created.

1833- The Soda Fountain is patented.

1874-Outlaw Jesse James married Miss Zerelda Mimms who he called Z.

1913- The Woolworth Building was dedicated in lower New York. It’s cornices decorated like the campanile of Saint Marks in Venice. At the time it was the tallest skyscraper in the world. President Woodrow Wilson illuminated its electric lights by flipping a switch long distance in the White House.

1933-Ub Iwerk's "Fiddlesticks" the first Flip the Frog cartoon, done in a simple two-color process. Iwerks was the first designer and animator of Mickey Mouse, who had left Walt Disney to open his own studio.

1945- As the Russian Army approached the center of Berlin, Adolf Hitler gathered his remaining staff in his bunker deep under the ReichsChancellery. He told his people that all was lost and that they should escape the city as best they could. Most decided to stay and began discussions on how to commit suicide. The Fuehrer himself lapsed into apathy. His secretary recalled seeing Hitler sitting quietly in a hallway, cradling a puppy in his lap, rocking back and forth, staring off hollow-eyed.

1949- The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) formed.

1948- The Chinese Communists under their leader Mao Zse Tung and their generals Chu Teh and Lin Piao began their final push to conquer all of China.

1954- Handsome English actor Peter Lawford married John F. Kennedy’s sister Patricia Kennedy. This union would give JFK his link to Hollywood, Frank Sinatra and the RatPack.

1961- First day of shooting on the film King of Kings, the Christ story starring Jeffrey Hunter. Called by one critic” I was a Teenage Jesus” . In 1966 Jeffrey Hunter turned down a TV series after doing the pilot episode. His wife worried that he’d be typecast. The role of Star Trek’s Captain Kirk, it went instead went to William Shatner.

1967- Soviet Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov became the first acknowledged fatality in the conquest of Space, when the parachute of his re-entering capsule got snarled and he fell four miles to Earth.

1980- After months of fruitless negotiations to get the U.S. hostages held in the American Embassy in Teheran freed, President Jimmy Carter tried force. A Delta Force of eight helicopters met at their staging area in the Iranian desert. Once there it was discovered three of the helicopters had mechanical problems and they had fallen badly behind schedule so the mission was scrapped. As they were leaving one of the helicopters crashed into a transport plane killing 8 soldiers. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance resigned in protest. No more military adventures were planned and the Iran Hostage Crisis dragged on throughout 1980. The hostages were released in January 1981.

1981- Small companies like Apple and Commodore had dominated the personal computer market while giants like IBM stuck with large business systems. Now IBM weighed in with The IBM PC –personal computer, with basic software language DOS provided by Microsoft. It soon came to dominate the market.

1983- THE HITLER DIARIES HOAX- Gerd Heideman, a top correspondent for Germany’s top magazine Die Stern was contacted by a mysterious Professor Fischer that he had in his possession the long lost personal diary of Adolph Hitler. Heidemann was an eccentric who collected fascist memorabilia like Herman Goerings yacht and a pair of Idi Amin’s underwear! Fischer sold him the Hitler diary manuscripts for $4 million.
After Heidemann got British Historian Sir Hugh Trevor Roper and several handwriting analysts to declare them genuine, the Hitler Diaries went public in Die Stern and Rupert Murdoch’s London Times. When Sir Hugh began to express doubts over the authenticity of the diary, Times mogul Rupert Murdoch reacted in typical fashion: ”F**k him. I’m in the entertainment business!” This day a Bonn laboratory declared the diaries high quality but completely phony. Professor Fischer was actually an art forger named Konrad Kujau who knew suckers when he saw them. He had an expensive girlfriend and wife to keep so he was writing the diaries in his garage on 1940’s vintage paper and ink. Careers were ruined and everyone looked pretty stupid. Even when they were all in jail, Gerd Heidemann refused to believe the truth. Konrad Kujau sent him a letter in Hitler’s handwriting admitting he did the forgery.

1984- David Kennedy, the eldest son of Robert Kennedy, was found dead in his hotel room of a drug overdose. As a child he had watched his father assassinated on live television and had never recovered. He was a drug addict by 15 and dead at 28.

1990-The Hubble Space Telescope was carried into orbit by the Space Shuttle Challenger.
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Yesterday’s Question: People talk about Brainwashing. Where did that come from? Have you ever been brainwashed..?

Answer: During the Korean War 1950-1953, Americans wondered why Chinese soldiers were so dedicated to Mao and Communism . They also wondered why some American POWs were confessing to crimes and opting to stay in China. The Chinese term for coerced suggestive therapy in their re-education camps was the Mandarin for “ Wash Brain “. The term Brainwashing became all the rage in the 1950s.


April 23rd, 2009 thurs
April 23rd, 2009

Question: People talk about Brainwashing. Where did that come from? Have you ever been brainwashed..?

Yesterday’s question answered below: Who were Murray the K and Cousin Brucie?
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History for 4/23/2009
Birthdays: William Shakespeare, President James Buchanan, Sergei Prokoviev, J.M.W. Turner, Vladimir Nabokov, Senator Stephen Douglas the Little Giant, Shirley Temple is 80, Roy Orbison, Halston, Sandra Dee,Valerie Bertinelli, Lee Majors is 69, Judy Davis, Simone Simon, Michael Sporn, Tony Esposito, Michael Moore is 55, Herve Villechaise- da plane ! da plane!

This was the ancient Roman Feast of the Vinalia, the feast of the first grapevine plantings.

This is the Feast of St. George.- George of Nicomedia was a native of Illyria (Croatia) who went up to the Emperor Diocletian’s palace and tore up his edict banning Christianity. Then Diocletian had George torn up. In the old tradition of borrowing from pagan myths, the Coptic Christian monks took from the Ancient Egyptian religion the famous battle between Horus and his evil uncle Seth, God of Sandstorms, often represented in temple art as a weird dragon-like animal.

1014- BATTLE OF CLONTARF- Irish High King Brian Boru defeated the Vikings and drove them from Ireland. Boru himself was too elderly to fight, so he was praying in a church when a renegade group of Danes surrounded the church and set it on fire.
Oh well, at least he won...

1348- The Order of the Garter created in England.

1374- The King of England grants the writer Geoffrey Chaucer a pot of wine daily for the rest of his life. What more could a writer ask for !

1500- Explorer Pedro Cabral claimed Brazil for Portugal.

1538- Protestant theologian John Calvin was asked to leave his ministry in Geneva for being, uhh, well.. too Puritan. Geneva went party wild. Two years later the city fathers called Calvin back to clean up the town.

1616-After a night out partying with Ben Johnson, John Draydon and other old buddies from Ye Old Mermaid Tavern, William Shakespeare caught a fever and died on his fifty second birthday.

1784- Congress adopted Thomas Jefferson’s plan to extend government to territories west of the Appalachian Mountains but reject his suggestion that ten states be organized with classical names like Metropotamia and Polypotamia. Some of his suggestions for Indian names like Michigania and Illinoia sounded better however.

1789- President-elect George Washington and Martha move in to their temporary U.S. capitol of New York City. Traveling from Virginia up to New York every town he passed through greeted him with huge parades and celebrations. When moving through Philadelphia the artist John Singleton Copley had designed a triumphal arch that as Washington moved under it sprang a strange mechanical device that plopped a gold laurel wreath on his head. Annoyed, the startled statesman tore it off.
Once set up as President, Washington realized that the first Presidential residence Franklin House had no furniture, and Congress was broke. He had to pay out of his own pocket for all the furnishings and dinnerware, large enough for state dinners of thirty or more. When he left office in 1796 he offered to John Adams to sell him his furniture. When the frugal New Englander balked at the price, Washington left the new President of the United States an empty mansion with a few candle sticks and one crystal punch bowl.

1867- William Lincoln patents the zoetrope, an optical toy predating motion pictures..

1896-THE FIRST PROJECTED MOVIES IN THE U.S.- The first projection of Thomas Edison’s kinetoscope film by means of Thomas Armat’s Vitascope at Koster & Bials Music Hall on 28th street and Broadway in New York City.. Edison had to be nagged into this by his engineer W.K.L. Dickson. Edison thought projecting movies like the Lumiere Brothers were doing in Europe would never catch on and the future of film was nickelodeon machines. The movie show featured the sultry Annabella the Dancer and a boxing match, but the real hit of the evening was footage of Waves Hitting the Rocks on Shore, which made people instinctively duck to keep from getting wet.

1900- A celebration held in Russian Georgia was addressed by a young revolutionary who had been expelled from the Tiflis Theological Seminary where he was studying to become a priest. Josef Dzugashvili was later encouraged by other revolutionaries to change his name so the Czar’s police wouldn’t pick up his family. He changed his name to Man of Steel- Josef Stalin.

1903- The first game of the New York Highlanders (later Yankees) baseball team. They defeated the Washington Senators, 7-2.

1945- As the Red Army was battling in the suburbs of Berlin S.S. Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler quietly contacted Swedish diplomat Count Bernadotte and requests peace terms with the Allies. From his hiding place in Bavaria Hermann Goring was also trying to make peace as well. When Hitler found out from Martin Bormann, he was furious and ordered both of them under house arrest.

1951 -Comedian Lenny Bruce was arrested for a stunt where he dressed as a priest and solicited funds in a leper colony.

1971- Vietnam veterans protest the continued U.S. presence in the war by ceremoniously tossing their service medals over the White House fence. One angry soldier who tossed his medals was future Democratic Senator John Kerry. Meanwhile Lt. George W. Bush was in the Texas Air Guard, tossing his cookies.

1985- Coca Cola introduces New Coke. It's reception by the public is so overwhelmingly bad that the company returned to the original formula 90 days later. The chairman of rival Pepsi Cola exulted: " We've been eye to eye for decades and I think the other guy's just blinked ! New Coke became a symbol for large scale executive incompetence, well…uh… until this year.

1998- Microsoft chairman Bill Gates introduced Windows 98 to a 4,000 industry leaders. When he ceremonially opened the first window, the system immediately crashed-.Doh!

2003- Boston area Catholic priests began to get busted for child molestation and the coverup by the Archdiocese was exposed. One priest, a Father Shayne was a registered member of the Man-Boy Love Society (NAMBLA). Outraged parishioners demanded the eventual resignation of Cardinal Law of Boston. Instead Cardinal Law was recalled to Rome were he was made pastor of the Church of Maria Maggiore. Pope Benedict XVI in America in 2008 apologized for the scandal and met with the victims.
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Yesterday’s question answered below: Who were Murray the K and Cousin Brucie?

Answer: Murray Kaufman and Bruce Morrow were local New York City radio DJ’s who filled the vacuum when Alan Fried fell from grace in the Payola Scandal. Murray the K gained a national audience when he was the first American to get exclusive interviews with the British phenomenon the Beatles, when they landed in NY for their first tour. Cousin Brucie introduced them at their first concert, and was close to Elvis Presley. Tom Woolf called Murray the K the “original loud crazy rock & roll DJ”. ( Maybe in NY, but out in- LA Wolfman Jack might dispute that..) Murray the K coined terms like “ A Blast from the Past”.


Murray the K died in 1982, but Cousin Brucie still is on the air on Radio XM.

More info from reader P.A.-

Anyone who spent a day in New York in the late 1950s and into the '60s knew those two. Murray was the top rated rock jock on the airwaves (and, ultimately, the top DJ in all formats, toppling John Gambling on WOR-AM). When WINS sold out to Group W in 1965 and went all-news-all-the-time, Murray pioneered the first FM rock station on WOR-FM, working as both the prime time evening DJ and program director and bringing Scott Muni and Rosko to the roster.

Bruce, who was the first to succeed Alan Freed at WINS, was quickly replaced in that slot by Murray and moved to WABC, where he ruled as the top jockey for a predominantly white, middle class demographic. Bruce also took over the Palisades Park rock shows that Murray had hosted in the '50s, often parading around in leopard print suits that were, well... not flattering. Yet the man has incredible staying power and even "appeared" in such unlikely places as Dirty Dancing as the voice on the radio.

In his 1958-1967 heyday, Murray held vaudeville-style rock 'n' roll extravaganzas three or four times a year at the Brooklyn Paramount (with Clay Cole) and the Academy of Music on 14th Street in Manhattan before settling in for six years at the Brooklyn Fox. Often running from 10 am to midnight, those six or seven-show-a-day bills featured the top performers on the charts... and introduced acts that Murray discovered before they got national notice, including Wayne Newton, the Lovin' Spoonful, and his one-time band leader, Bobby Vinton. When he moved to the RKO 58th Street theater in Manhattan for his last show, the roster featured the Who and Cream (in their first US performances) along with Simon and Garfunkel, Mitch Ryder, Wilson Pickett, and more.

Murray died in 1982, but his work reappears from time to time in clips from his groundbreaking 1965 CBS special It's What's Happening, Baby which was the pre-cursor to MTV -- fifteen years before MTV.


April 22, 2009 weds
April 22nd, 2009

Quiz: Who were Murray the K and Cousin Brucie?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: : I had mentioned that out of 44 U.S. Presidents, 7 had been generals. Were there any who had been Colonels ?
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History for 4/22/2008
Birthdays: Queen Isabella I of Castille, Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, Immanuel Kant, Madame De Stael , Alexander Kerensky, Arron Spelling, Eddie Albert, Glen Cambell, Betty Page, Marylin Chambers, Charlie Mingus, Peter Frampton, John Waters, Jack Nicholson is 72

Happy Earth Day (since 1970)

753 B.C.-Founding of Rome by Romulus and Remus. The Romans counted time from this foundation date. So A.D. 1 to them was 754 AUC or Anno Urbis Conditae- from the "Founding of the City". So this year 2006 is 2,760 AUC.

1370-Beginning of construction on the castle/prison in Paris called La Bastille.

1741- Georg Frederich Handel dipped his quill into ink and began to write the Messiah.

1769- Madame DuBarry officially presented at the French Court. King Louis XV’s earlier mistresses like Madame La Pompadour were women of breeding and culture. But DuBarry was a saucy little trollop who had already schtupped most of the men of the court. When the Duc d’ Richelieu asked Louis what he saw in this vulgar new toy, His Majesty replied:" She makes me forget that I shall soon be sixty."

1811- Last of the Parthenon Marbles pried off their walls in Greece and sent back to England on a British frigate. Lord Byron was on board and called Lord Elgin, the supervisor of this act, "The Spoiler". Today the marbles are still at the British Museum and the Greeks are still mad about it.

1876- Composer Peter Tschaikowsky completed his score for the ballet Swan Lake.

1889-At noon on the signal of a cannon shot The Great Oklahoma Land Rush began. The town of Oklahoma City was set up in one day-population 10,000. The settlers who slipped in early were nicknamed Sooners and Oklahoma became known as the Sooner State. This eats up the remains of the land of the Cherokee Nation, who once owned all of Georgia, the Carolinas and Alabama. The Cherokee kept their land in common, which to U.S. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge was their downfall: "The Cherokee possess many attributes except Greed, which we all know is the basis for Civilization."

1898- Teddy Roosevelt formed the First US Volunteer Cavalry, called the Rough Riders. It was a curious mix of Teddys' personal tastes- Harvard bluebloods and polo champions mixed with rough western cowboys and rodeo stars.

1906- In earthquake destroyed San Francisco, one day after the last of the fires were declared officially out, the Market Street cable car began running once more.

1915- Second Battle of Ypres- First use of poison gas on Western front battlefields. German Jewish Dr. Fritz Hauber and friend of Albert Einstein, was convinced his experiments to create poison gas would win wars. He ran from battlefield to battlefield ensuring it was being used correctly. At this time his wife committed suicide. The Chlorine clouds did cause a huge panic in the British ranks, that opened the way to Paris, but the German generals were too cautious to follow up their surprise and the Canadians fought fiercely to close the gap. Although they had no gas masks, a quick thinking Canadian doctor ordered his men to urinate into their own handkerchiefs, then tie it around their faces. Although exceedingly gross, the ammonia counteracted the gas enabling them to fight on.

1916- THE IRISH EASTER SUNDAY UPRISING -Patrick Pearse, Richard Connolly, Michael Collins, Eamon De Valera and followers seize the O'Connell Street post office in downtown Dublin and proclaim the Irish Republic. After furious gunbattles with British troops diverted from the World War I battlefields the rebellion is put down. All the ringleaders were executed, Connolly was so badly wounded that they had to prop up his stretcher before the firing squad and pinch his cheeks so he'd be awake for his death. Future Irish President Eamon De Valera pleaded his U.S. citizenship to escape execution. The Irish people in the majority hadn't wholly supported the futile rising, but ironically the fierce police crackdown had the effect of arousing sympathy for their cause and sparked the major IRA campaigns in the 20's and eventual liberty. One young boy running errands aiding the British Black & tans would eventually grow up to be Lord Haw-Haw, the British traitor voice of Nazi radio

1934- In Little Bohemia Hunting Lodge in Wisconsin Public Enemy No.1 John Dillinger shot his way out of a FBI ambush. The FBI not only failed to stop Dillinger, they shot an innocent bystander who got caught in the crossfire.

1940- Writer Ernest Hemingway cabled his editor Max Perkins from Havana about a new novel he was writing.-" Title is "For Whom the Bell Tolls" from passage John Donne Oxford Book of English bottom page seventy one STOP Please register immediately."

1945- While the Red Army was attacking the outskirts of Berlin, Adolph Hitler sent away to the south his personal belongings and files in a final Luftwaffe flight of ten planes. One plane was shot down carried some of his most private possessions. Hitler called it a catastrophe. What was in that plane that he valued so much? See April 24th about the infamous Hitler Diary 1983 hoax. It’s a mystery to this day.

1952- The first nuclear bomb test shown on network TV -Tommy Turtle says duck and cover!

1954- THE ARMY–McCARTHY HEARINGS began. Conservative Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Senate committee chasing communists in the government had finally bit off more than it could chew when it took on the U.S. Army. Sparked by the drafting of Private G. David Shine, a young crony (and possibly lover ) of chief counsel Roy Cohn, a hearing was held to investigate Senator’s McCarthy’s charges that the Secretary of the Army and several other top Pentagon officers were in reality Russian spies. After a short time the hearing evolved from an indictment of the army into a probe of Senator McCarthy’s red baiting tactics. It lasted for three months and spellbound the nation on live t.v. At one point Senator McCarthy submitted a note that the television cameras be turned off for a minute so he could wipe his nose. After one heated session Roy Cohn and Robert Kennedy had to be separated or they would’ve come to blows. Finally under the withering voice of Joseph Walsh "Senator, have you no shred of decency?!" McCarthy was finished as a political force.

1954- The U.S. Congress added the phrase "In God We Trust" on to US currency

1970- The first Earth Day. The idea was started by Senator Gaylord Nelson as a Teach-In to bring attention to environmental issues.

1978- Comic actors Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi debut two new characters on the Saturday Night Live TV show, Joliet Jake and Ellwood Blues. The Blues Brothers are born.

1996- Christopher Robin Milne dies at age 75. The young boy who’s fascination with a bear in the London Zoo called Winnie inspired his father A.A. Milne to write the Winne the Pooh stories. Christopher Robin wasn’t always appreciative of all the attention. He said of his father: "Someday I’ll write some verses about him and see how He likes it!"

2000- The estranged wife of Mr Juan Gonzales of Cuba had grabbed their son Elian and tried to escape by boat to the United States. The wife and her lover drowned in the attempt but little 6 year old Elian survived and became a cause–celebre of the Cuban exile community in Miami. But Mr. Gonzales had come from Havanna to get his son back. Back in Havana Fidel Castro had a ball making political hay out of the Yankee Imperialistas stealing children from their parents. Finally after months of media circus US marshals under orders of Attorney General Janet Reno raid forcibly grabbed Elian Gonzales from his uncles home and gave him back to his father. His father pledged:" I want no one to ever stick a camera in my son’s face again!"

2004- Pat Tillman was a football star who gave up a lucrative future in the NFL to fight for his country. This day was killed in battle in Afghanistan. The Pentagon played up his heroism while lying to his grieving family and burning his diary. Turns out he was accidentally shot by his own men.
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Yesterday’s Quiz: : I had mentioned that out of 44 U.S. Presidents, 7 had been generals. Were there any who had been Colonels?

Answer: There were four- Col. James Monroe, Col. John Tyler, Col. William McKinley, and Col. Teddy Roosevelt.


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