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Nov 5, 2014 weds
November 5th, 2014

Question: Speaking of elections, was George Washington a Republican or a Democrat?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What is the origin of the phrase to “ eat humble pie”?
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History for 11/5/2014
Birthdays: Gen Benjamin "Spoons" Butler, Eugene V. Debs, Art Garfunkel is 73, Roy Rogers, Tatum O'Neill, Elke Sommer- born Baroness Elke Von Shletz is 74, Ike Turner, Vivien Leigh. Will Durant, Joel McCrea, Sam Shepard is 71, John Berger, Robert Patrick is 56, Tilda Swinton is 54

1414- THE COUNCIL OF CONSTANCE- Since 1378 the Catholic Church had rent itself in pieces over politics, with no less than three Popes claiming the loyalty of Christians. This day the German Emperor Sigismund made Pope John convene at Constance the largest church conclave since the Roman Empire. Five thousand priests, bishops, cardinals, patriarchs, princes with an army of servants, secretaries and retainers. Even fifteen hundred prostitutes.

The published the declaration Sanctissima " This Holy Synod of Constance represents the true Church Militant, and has it’s authority directly from Christ, and everybody of whatever rank including the Pope is bound to obey." They healed the schism by deposing all three Popes and electing one acceptable to all sides. They also pledged to reform the Church. Then after accepting a promise from new Pope Martin V that he would do so, they dissolved. Martin did no such thing and future Popes worked to ensure a council would ever get that powerful again. Too bad, if the Council of Constance had reformed the Church maybe the Reformation and all the terrible religious wars could have been avoided. The council also confirmed the right of Christians to claim any lands occupied by heathens in foreign lands.

In Jolly Old England it is
HAPPY GUY FAWKES DAY! in -1605 Sir Guy Fawkes, a Catholic nobleman, was caught digging a tunnel under the English Parliament and filling it with gunpowder. His goal was no less than blowing up the King and the entire blinkin' government! Sir Roger Catesby was actually the mastermind of the plot, but Sir Guy gets the fame.
Modern day Brits commemorate this as a kind of April Fools Day with bonfires and merrymaking. Children go from door to door asking : "A penny for Sir Guy, please." But in olden times it was also a let's have a good laugh on the Roman Catholics day.
This is why George Washington was against transplanting the holiday in America. Pope Day was celebrated in some American colonies but it died out after the Revolution. In 1775 Washington called it: A ridiculous and childish festival, burning effigies of the Pope." Many English folks I know told me they celebrate the day they tried to blow up the government because wouldn't things have been lovely if he had succeeded!

1688- William and Mary of Orange land in England from Holland to start the 'Glorious Revolution' against daddy James II.

1699- According to Jonathan Swift, this is the day Llemual Gulliver was shipwrecked on the isle of Liliput.

1757- Battle of Rossbach- Frederick the Great defeats a French Army led by two generals Marquis de Soubuise and Hildeberghausen, whose only qualifications were that they were lovers of Madame De Pompadour. Frederick referred to La Pompadour as Madamoiselle Poisson- Miss Fish.

1805- The Royal Spanish Governor of New Mexico, Joaquin del Real Alencaster, dispatches a cavalry troop under Don Pedro Vial on a secret mission. On this day Vial's force is attacked by hostile Indians on the Arkansas River. Vial drives off the Indians but his command is too battered by the fight to continue and has to return, their mission aborted. What was their mission? To kill or capture the American explorers Lewis and Clark. The Spanish government in Madrid knew full well the object in the American President Jefferson’s mind in sending this "scientific" expedition to find a land route to the Pacific, over territory Spain still claimed, despite the Louisiana Purchase. Lewis and Clark, at this point in the Columbia River Gorge, were unaware of the drama around them.

1820- Old British sea dog Lord Thomas Cochrane had joined the Latin Americans fight to gain independence from Spain. He decided the best way to do that was to board the flagship of the Spanish Pacific fleet, the 44 gun Esmerelda. This night Cochrane with 80 Chilean sailors rowed up to the frigate and captured her after a brief but violent hand to hand struggle. As they rowed silently past the neutral USS Mendocino they were almost given away by the American sailors cheering them.

1830- The day after leading a protest march in Rochester Woman’s Rights advocate Susan B. Anthony defied the law by casting a vote in a New York election.

1857- Oxford professors at a dinner hear Sir William Trench call for a new Dictionary of the English Language, this time not just a sampler of difficult words but an attempt to inventory all the words used in English at the time. The OED, the Oxford English Dictionary took 70 years to write and was the biggest effort since Dr. Samuel Johnson’s dictionary of 1755.

1872- Susan B. Anthony was arrested and fined again for trying to vote in the presidential election.

1895- Invention of the Car Clutch.

1917- After the collapse of the Czar’s government, the council of the Russian Orthodox Church reinstated the office of Patriarch, suppressed by Peter the Great in 1700.

1937- Disney's silly symphony The Old Mill debuted. The first film featuring the multiplane camera technique.

1938- Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings premiered.

1940- President Franklin Roosevelt was re-elected to an unprecedented 3rd term. His defeated Republican opponent- Wendell Wilkie, became the butt of jokes in many Looney Tunes.

1946- Two punk kids fresh out of the Navy were elected to the US House of Representatives- John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon.

1954- THE WRONG DOOR RAID- Baseball great Joe DiMaggio was stewing over the collapse of his marriage to sexy movie star Marilyn Monroe. He was especially sensitive to the rumors that she was seeing other men. This night Joltin Joe was having dinner with Frank Sinatra and a few friends when a detective brought him a report that Monroe’s car was spotted parked in front of an apartment complex on Kilkea Dr. in West Hollywood. Enraged, he drove out to the building and kicked in the back door hoping to catch her en-flagrante. But Marilyn was staying in a girlfriend’s apartment upstairs. This was the home of a terrified old lady named Mrs Florence Klotz. We don’t know what she thought about her door suddenly kicked in by Joe DiMaggio, Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, but the tabloids had a lot of fun with it.

1956- SUEZ CRISIS ENDS. The United States and Soviet Union bring heavy pressure on Israel, France and Britain to stop their war with Egypt. Egypt kept the Suez Canal, Israel no longer looked like a pathetic little country about to get stomped, and the world now saw that the only countries who’s opinion now mattered were Russia and the U.S.. British historian Jan Morris called it the official end of the British Empire. Israeli diplomat Chaim Herzog was visiting Mount Sinai when he got the cablegram to come to New York for the peace talks. He joked:" I am only the second Jew in history to receive a message on Mount Sinai."

1968- After losing to John Kennedy in 1960, Richard Nixon ran for governor of California and lost that too. He was thought politically finished. Today Richard Nixon capped an amazing comeback by being elected President. He won over a democratic majority badly divided over Vietnam, and third party racist nutbag George Wallace.

1975- Mormon lumberjack Travis Walton was abducted by aliens and experimented on for five days, then returned to his Snowflake Arizona home. The encounter was seen by seven adult men, who were his co-workers. Walton published a bestseller Fire in the Sky, that was made into a movie.

1977- George W. Bush married Laura Welsh. Laura was once a Democrat who campaigned for lefty George McGovern in 1972.

1979- National Public Radio’s news show Morning Edition started.

1990- In New York City the founder of the Jewish Defense League, Rabbi Meir Kahane, was assassinated. The JDL was an extremist organization that advocated violent responses to Arab extremism. Even though he was elected to the Israeli Knesset, Meir Kahane was refused a seat because of his racist views. So no one was too surprised that he was a target. But what was surprising was that the assassin, El Sayyid Nossair, was a member of a terrorist cell operating in the US. His apartment was a "treasure-trove of information" according to NYPD detectives. They found terrorist manuals written in Afghanistan, bomb making instructions and plans to NY city landmarks. The NYPD turned over all this intelligence to the FBI, who filed it and promptly forgot about it.

1991- Basketball star Ervin “Magic” Johnson revealed he had HIV.

1994- Retired President Ronald Reagan gave his last public speech. He confirmed he had Alzheimers Disease.

1994- 45 year old fighter George Foreman capped off an amazing comeback by becoming the oldest person to win the Heavyweight Championship of the World.

1999- A man was arrested in Minneapolis for stealing and keeping 150 shopping carts in his apartment.

2004- Pixar's The Incredibles premiered.

2009- Army Major Hassan goes nuts and shoots 13 other soldiers in Ft. Hood, Texas. Major Hassan’s job was as a psychiatrist who helped other soldiers.
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Yesterday’s Question: What is the origin of the phrase to “ eat humble pie”?

Answer: In the Middle Ages, a poor family could feed itself by trapping small game, usually crows, and bake them in a pie crust. So eating Crow, means the same as eating humble pie, namely having to admit your defeat and humiliation and live with it.


Nov 04, 2014
November 4th, 2014

Quiz: What is the origin of the phrase to “ eat humble pie” ?

Yesterday’s Answer Below: What war was called The Great War, and the War to End All Wars…?
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History for 11/4/2014
Birthdays: Will Rogers, Art Carney, Disney animator Ben Sharpsteen, Loretta Swit, Martin Balsam, Gig Young, Darla Hood, Joe Neikro, Robert Mapplethorpe, Ralph Maccio, Andrea McArdle, Walter Cronkite, Matthew McConnaughy is 45, Laura Bush is 68, Kathy Griffin is 54

1530- Cardinal Wolsey had been the chief minister of King Henry VIII and dominated English politics for a decade. He was a European power broker and fancied himself a future Pope. But he lost favor with the King over his inability to get him a divorce from his first wife and his alliances on the continent lost them Calais, the last English stronghold on the continent. This day the King's men arrested Cardinal Wolsey for treason. But being old and infirm he died on the way to the Tower.

1640- THE LONG PARLIAMENT- British King Charles I didn't much like parliaments. He found them pushy, always demanding rights for the common man and such. It had been 11 years since is last parliament, and he had dismissed that one after three weeks. It was called "the Short Parliament". But he needed money to put down rebels in Scotland. So Charles I reluctantly convened the Long Parliament. This one stayed in session for the rest of Charles' life and defeated and beheaded him in the English Civil War. The Long Parliament was finally disbanded by Cromwell and his army in 1652 and after Charles II 's restoration, the English parliament stayed more or less in regular sessions.

1646- The Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony started to feel threatened by all the Quakers, Shakers, Anabaptists and other weirdoes coming in by the boatload from Europe. So they announced that the crime of Heresy was punishable by death. And of course heresy was anything the Massachusetts Bay Colony said it was. After hanging two Quaker preachers and driving other like Anne Hutchinson outside the walls to death at the hand of hostile Indians, the heresy statutes were revoked today by King Charles II.

1677- William III and Mary of Orange are married at St. James Palace.

1791- ST. CLAIRS DEFEAT- When President Washington sent General Arthur St. Clair to put down the Indian raids on the Ohio Frontier, he advised him" Trust not the Indians, beware of surprise". St. Clair, who had a rather lackluster military career in the Revolution, must have forgotten Washington's advice because this day at dawn near what would be Celina Ohio, St. Clair's camp was surprise-attacked by thousands of Shawnee, Creek and Miami warriors. 900 American casualties including General Richard Butler.

The spectacular defeat and massacre was led by Chief Little Turtle, who although he defeated more US soldiers than Sitting Bull, is barely remembered today. After the peace treaty in 1795, St. Clair finished life running a tavern. Little Turtle was a guest of George Washington at Mt. Vernon. His grandson graduated from West Point.

1804- LEWIS & CLARK MET SACAJEWEA- The American explorers were spending the winter in a friendly Mandan village when a French Canadian trapper named Toussaint Charbonneau offered his services as a guide. He had two wives who were Shoshone (Snake) women. Sacajewea was then 15 and pregnant. Charbonneau won his wives in a bet with some Hidatsa warriors.

Lewis and Clark hired Charbonneau not because he would be useful as much as Sacajewea, because she spoke the languages of the western tribes beyond the Rocky Mountians. Sacajewea would speak to Shoshone and Nez Perce in their language, then translate into Hidatsa to Charbonneau. He would translate it into French to another trapper named Driar who would speak English to Lewis and Clark.
Despite the clumsiness, this system worked. Sacajewea braved every hardship the expedition faced to the Pacific and back, and with her baby on her back. One scholar said the European conquest of the America's could not have been done without the help of three women: Pocahontas, Malinche' the Aztec Princess and Sacajewea.

1842- Abe Lincoln, 33, and Mary Todd, 23, marry. Mary Lincoln came from a pro Southern Kentucky family and was always at odds with Washington society. At one point Congress even held a hearing on whether the First Lady was a Confederate spy.
Mary was as volatile as Abe was laid back and they would have marital fights right in front of officers and dignitaries causing everyone to hang their heads in embarrassment. Most of her children had died by the time Lincoln was shot and the grief broke her sanity causing her surviving son Robert Lincoln to lock her up for her remaining years.

1854- THE LADY WITH THE LAMP- English nurse Florence Nightingale arrived at Scutari Turkey to care for English wounded from the Crimean War. The English Army medical system then was a disaster of outmoded bureaucracy. Hundreds of sick and dying men were piled up bed to bed in a hospital 4 miles square without basic sanitary conditions- no blankets, fresh clothes or fresh food. Rich English aristocrat Florence Nightingale brought her own finances to clothe, feed and care for the sick. Even just doing laundry saved lives because men had clean linens to sleep on. She told her volunteers "The strongest women must stand with me at the washtub!" She had no official status or commission from the government, but she revolutionized the military hospital system and the nursing profession, often fighting stodgy old generals who saw her as a troublemaker. Chief surgeon Sir John Hall growled:" The woman insists on grotesque excess and luxury- after all, what does a soldier want with a toothbrush?"

1861- University of Washington founded in Seattle.

1862- Richard J. Gatling patented the machine gun. "It is to the pistol as the sewing machine is to the simple sewing needle." Gatling's idea was to invent machines to make war too terrible to be waged any longer. What he succeeded in doing was to indeed make war more terrible.

1879- James Ritty of Dayton Ohio patented the cash register, invented as a way to keep employees from pocketing receipts.

1913- William Mulholland's great aqueduct starts bringing water 200 miles from Northern California to L.A. by the force of gravity alone. Without the extra water L.A. would never have grown any larger than 180,000 people. ( L.A. Times estimate.)

1918- Wilfred Owen, one of the greatest English poets of the age, was killed in combat in World War I, only six days before the final cease fire.

1927- HOWARD CARTER OPENED THE TOMB OF KING TUT. Other royal tombs had been opened before but they had always been cleaned out centuries ago by grave robbers. King Tut Ankh Amon’s was the first unspoiled Pharoah's tomb to be discovered in modern times. The site was discovered under a house built for workers excavating the tomb of King Ramses IV.
There was King Tut's Curse guarding the door, and a few folks like Lord Carnaervon did go to an early grave: allegedly from scratching a zit and getting blood poisoning. Legend has it the same zit was found on King Tut's mummy! But Howard Carter, the man who broke the seal, rifled the tomb and did everything but stick his fingers in Tut's ears, lived to a merry old age and even pocketed a few artifacts he didn't feel like sharing with the British Museum. They were later returned by an embarrassed family descendant.

1928- Arnold Rothstein, top New York gangster who got vaudeville dancer Jimmy Walker elected mayor and rigged the 1919 World Series, was shot in the groin during a poker game. It took him hours to die. When asked by the police who shot him, Rothstein’s last words: "If I live, I'll take care of it..."

1931-One of the pioneering trumpet innovators of the new music called Jazz was Buddy Bolden. He was one of the first soloists to improvise within the body of a song, and so doing paved the way for the greats like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. But by 1931 Bolden was forgotten. This day he died broke in the Louisiana Home for the Insane. His family couldn't even afford a Dixieland Band to play at his funeral.

1939- President Roosevelt signs the Neutrality Act, declaring the U.S. would not get involved in the growing war between Hitler and Britain and France.

1939- Packard introduced the first air-conditioned automobile.

1952- UNIVAC, the first all electronic business computer, accurately predicted Dwight Eisenhower would win in a landslide. The first computer projected results for an election.

1955- In Arizona, Willie Bioff, former IATSE union official, who tried to hijack the Hollywood unions (Including the Disney cartoonists) for Frank Nitti's gang, turns the key in his Ford pickup and explodes. He had turned informer and was in the Witness Protection plan.

1956- The Soviet army crushed the Hungarian Revolt led by Inver Nagy.

1958- Angelo Roncalli was elected Pope John XXIII. John 23rd was one of the best-loved popes of the twentieth century. He liberalized the Church through his council Vatican II, changed the Latin Mass into common language, encouraged folk masses and other reforms. Pope John Paul II has made more saints than any other Pope but withheld final sainthood for John XXIII because he was too liberal for his taste. Current Pope Francis I finally made him a saint just last year.

1963- The Beatles are part of the Queens Royal Command performance in London. John Lennon tells the audience: " Will the people in the cheap seats clap their hands?, and if the rest of you would just rattle your jewelry.."

1968- the first issue of Screw Magazine. Former reporter Jim Buckley and former industrial spy for the Bendix Corporation, Al Goldstein named their magazine Screw after trying Hump, Love and being told they couldn't name it F**k.

1979- THE IRAN HOSTAGE CRISIS- Iranian militants with the approval of the Iranian revolutionary government and the Ayatollah Khomeni attack the U.S. embassy in Teheran and take most of the 90 staff hostage for 444 days. The event infuriated US opinion and there were loud calls to nuke the Mad Mullahs. Truth be told, without condoning such an outrage the US public remained blissfully ignorant of how our CIA helped the overthrow of the democratic regime of Mossadegh in 1953 that established the Shah's autocratic regime and that the coup was directed from within the US embassy, but hey, that's just details.

The crisis seemed to paralyze the Jimmy Carter administration and probably helped elect Ronald Reagan. The incident also proved that the Cold War East-West way of judging world politics was now outdated, since the Ayatollah declared both America and Russia "Great Satans"!

1980- Yomiuri Giants baseball great Saduharu Oh retired after hitting 868 homeruns in his 22 year career.

1993- The Topanga-Malibu fires., Huge brush fries burn expensive homes in Malibu. The fires reached from the Santa Monica Mountains down to the ocean. Eyewitnesses said the 200 foot flames were reflected in the sky and water turning everything orange and the landscape looked more like Mars.

1995- YITSHAK RABIN ASSASSINATED- At a peace rally after making a speech where he declared "Violence will undermine Israeli Democracy" Israeli Prime Minister Yitshak Rabin was shot and killed by a young Yeshiva student Ygail Amir. Amir was mad at Rabin for daring to make peace with the Palestinians. The night before Amir attended a Likud political rally where people waved pictures of Yitshak Rabin dressed in a Nazi uniform. Ironically Rabin as chief of staff of the Israeli army was one of the strategists of the conquest of the West Bank. President Clinton was shocked by the act and said goodbye in Hebrew "Shalom, Haver" –Peace Brother. Despite this slogan becoming a popular bumper sticker in Israel, in the election Likud won anyway.

1999- Congress passed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. This law, drafted by conservative Republican Senator Phil Gramm, repealed many of the government safeguards enacted during the Great Depression against banks speculating in stocks and insurance. It created the free-wheeling Wall Street economy that collapsed in 2008.

2008- Barack Obama was elected first African-American to be President of the United States.
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Yesterday's Question: What war was called The Great War, and the War to End All Wars…?

Answer: World War I.


Nov 03, 2014
November 3rd, 2014

Question: What war was called The Great War, and the War to End All Wars…?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What is a hootenanny?
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History for 11/3/2014
Birthdays: The Roman writer Lucan 39AD, John Montague the Earl of Sandwich, Jubal Early, Walker Evans, William Cullen Bryant, Stephen Austin, Bronco Nagurski, Andre' Malraux, Vincenzo Bellini, Bob Feller, Karl Baedeker author of the guidebooks, Ken Berry, Michael Dukakis, Gustav Tenngren, Lulu, Roseanne Barr, Osamu Tezuka, Jim Cummings

55 BC- CLEOPATRA MARRIED PTOLOMEY VIII. They were brother and sister. Because the Pharaoh was a god, he couldn't mate with a mortal, and the only available goddesses were in the immediate family. This curious inbreeding in the Royal line insured that the mighty family of Ptolemy, general of Alexander the Great, would produce descendants like Orestes the Flute Blower.

361AD- JULIAN THE APOSTATE BECAME EMPEROR OF ROME, upon the death of is uncle Constantius II. Julian's life was much like Claudius 300 years earlier, except the Imperial Family's official religion was now Christianity. The children of Constantine the Great fought, intrigued, seduced and poisoned each other with great gusto, then went to Church. This had a funny effect on bookish young Julian, and he decided Christianity was the mistake and everyone was a lot better off worshiping Jupiter, Hercules, bulls and such like in the good old days. He was slain in battle with the Persians after only a five year reign, before he could affect any real change.

631 AD- Caliph Omar, the conqueror of the Holyland, was assassinated in Medina by Abu-Lulu, a Persian Christian.

1394- the Jews expelled from France by King Charles VI.

1503- MONA LISA- Leonardo Da Vinci was hired by a Florentine senator Francesco del Giocondo to paint a portrait of his third wife Madonna Elizabetha or Lisa. He fussed over the painting for four years and never gave it to Francesco, he said it was still unfinished and kept it for himself. Eventually he needed money so he sold it to the King of France and today it sits in the Louvre. Was her enigmatic smile because she had lost a child earlier that year and Leonardo was trying to cheer her up? He used to have musicians playing in the room when she posed. Or is she emblematic of Woman smiling at all the foibles of Men? One historian called Mona Lisa “ the Face that Launched a Thousand Reams Upon a Sea of Ink.”

1529- In England the Reformation Parliament first met. This was the Parliament that supported King Henry VIII’s break with the Catholic Church and the adoption of Protestant practices.

1623- The Dutch government in the Hague decided Henry Hudson had discovered something interesting in America after all and ordered the Dutch West India Company to prepare plans for the building of a colony to be called New Amsterdam. This colony would eventually become New York City.

1755- The Massachusetts Colony offered a bounty of 20 English pounds each for scalps of Indian children under the age of 12. Warrior scalps fetched a higher bounty, about 30 pounds.

1761- Battle of Torgau- Frederick the Great had his last big victory over the invading Austrian army. Frederick “Die Alte Fritz”- Old Fritz, personally led his men into battle and had three horses killed under him. At one point he was struck in the chest with a cannonball but it had been fired at such a great distance that it had lost velocity and merely knocked the wind out of him.” It’s nothing,” he said, and returned to the battle. If he had been killed then the Prussian kingdom would have collapsed and the future capitol of united Germany would have been Vienna or Frankfurt than Berlin.

1836- California ranchero Juan de Alvarado rallies local ranchers to overthrow Governor Juan de Michaltorena sent from Mexico City. This story may have been an early inspiration for Zorro.

1849-THE PNEUMATIC TRAIN- Alfred E. Beech, the publisher of Scientific American Magazine, first proposed an underground railway be built under New York City to ease traffic snarls. He had invented the pneumatic tube system of delivering messages in tubes pulled through buildings by means of suction and compressed air. He now proposed to build tube shaped railroad cars that would carry people along via suction like a big straw. In 1868 he spent $350,000 to build a Pneumatic train under Broadway that could go one block. Beecher eventually gave up the idea and his tunnel was sealed but the New York City Subway system was inaugurated in 1904.

1883- The Billy Hicks Massacre- near El Obeid a poorly trained colonial Egyptian Army led by British officers under General William Hicks march right into a trap set by Sudanese rebel leader El Mahdi. He led a messianic movement much like ISIS today.

1883- Outlaw Black Bart held up his last stagecoach. He liked to rob the Wells Fargo strongbox and leave behind poems. “ I’ve labored long and hard for bread, for money and for riches. But too long on my corns you’ve tread, you fine-haired sons of bitches!” Black Bart poe-8. Eventually Wells Fargo agents tracked him down to man named Bowles and he did 6 years in San Quentin.

1888- Jack the Ripper killed his last victim, a prostitute named Mary Reilly.

1918- the Austrians sign a preliminary armistice with Italy to end the Italian Front section of World War I. Soldiers like Benito Mussolini could go home and get into politics.

1930- Amadeo Gianini changed the name of his San Francisco based Bank of Italy to the Bank of America.

1948 -The Chicago Daily Tribune prints the famous premature headline “Dewey Defeats Truman” based on early poll returns. Truman himself was so sure he’d lost the election he went to bed early. When he awoke he discovered he had won and he had a ball mocking the newspapers and doing nasal imitations of hostile news correspondent H.B. Kaltenborn.

1957- The first living thing sent into orbit, a Russian dog named Laika. He never came back down but he probably was satisfied knowing he made history- woof.

1963- THE FIRST ALL COSMONAUT WEDDING- Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in Space, marries cosmonaut Andrisyan Nikolayev.

1966- President Lyndon Johnson signed the Truth in Packaging Act, which required all packaged foods to print their ingredients on the label.

1969- In a speech President Richard Nixon announced his opposition to young anti- Vietnam War protesters by appealing to what he called the Silent Majority.

1971- The first UNIX manual released.

1971- Carly Simon married James Taylor.

1976- Carrie starring Sissy Spacek opened in theaters.

1977- Disney's Pete's Dragon starring Helen Reddy and Red Buttons.

1979- T.V. sitcom Different Strokes premiered.

1990- GM's car line the Saturn announced.

1981- WALLY WOOD was one of the most influential cartoonists of the 1950’s and 60’s. His amazing versatility enabled him to draw everything from superhero comics to very cartoony to playfully naughty girls like Sally Forth. He drew EC Comics, the Mars Attacks series, Mad Magazine, Weird Science, THUNDER Agents and much more. He had done an infamous drawing of the Disney characters having sex that brought down upon him the wrath of the Disney legal dept. But hard living and deadlines took their toll. Suffering from a stroke, and failing kidneys, Wally Wood put a 44 cal pistol to his right temple and pulled the trigger. Today police found his remains.

1986- While American media sat on the story, Lebanese newspaper Al Schirrah first revealed the details of the Reagan Presidency’s illegal sales of weapons to Iran- the Iran Contra Scandal. It embarrassed the final years of Reagan’s presidency, even though George H.W. Bush gave executive pardons to all involved.
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Yesterday’s Question: What is a hootenanny?

Answer: Hootenanny was an Appalachian derivation of the word Hogmannay, the Scottish New Years. It came just to mean a party. When the Folk Music scene grew in America in the 1950s, a hootenanny came to mean a jam session of folk musicians.


Nov. 2, 2014 Sun.
November 2nd, 2014

Question: What is a hootenanny?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: American presidents have been victims of assassination. Has a Prime Minister of Britain ever been assassinated?
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History for 11/2/2014
Birthdays: Daniel Boone, Pres. James Knox Polk, Jean Chardin, Luchino Visconti, Giusseppi Sinopoli, Burt Lancaster, Pat Buchanan, Steve Ditko, Ray Walston, Stephanie Powers, k.d. lang, David Schwimmer is 48

Today is Dio de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. It derives from the Aztecs, who believed the life you are living now is a dream, when you die, you awake to your real life.

472AD- Next to last Roman Emperor Olybrius died.

1164- Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, fled into exile over his dispute with King Henry II of England.

1483- OFF WITH HIS HEAD! Whether you believe Shakespeares’ portrayal of King Richard III as a hunchback usurper or modern revisionist scholars who call him a maligned monarch, this day Richard III shows his friend the Duke of Buckingham how much he appreciated his help in becoming king, by cutting his head off.

1541- Archbishop Thomas Cranmer handed King Henry VIII a spy’s report that his hot young wife Queen Catherine Howard was getting-it-on with at least three other men.

1783- The American Revolution now over, General George Washington published his final orders to his disbanding army, congratulating them for their courage and allowing them all to go home now to their farms.

1789- The French Revolution seized all Church property in France.

1789- President George Washington had borrowed two books from the New York City Public Library that were due this day. The Chief Librarian noted that they were still overdue, in April 2010.

1804- Pope Pius VII was brought by French cavalry from Rome on to French soil so he could crown Napoleon emperor at Notre Dame in Paris. Napoleon later had the Pope locked up from 1809 to 1814. His Holiness excommunicated him.

1830- American Methodist reformers opposed to bishops met in Baltimore to form the Protestant Methodist Church.

1889- North Dakota and South Dakota are admitted into the Union. They argued for twenty years the position of a joint state capitol until finally deciding to go separately.

1904- London newspaper The Daily Mirror first published.

1915- Battle of Colunna. In World War One German Admiral Spee’s battle cruiser fleet defeated and sank a British fleet of the coast of Chile. This was very upsetting back home since it marked the first British naval defeat in 100 years.

1917- Britain passed the Balfour Declaration, calling for a national home for Jews in Palestine. Sir Arthur Balfour was the British Foreign Secretary under David Lloyd George. Britain once considered Uganda and Argentina for a Jewish homeland before settling on Palestine, then a sleepy border province of the Ottoman Turkish Empire.

1920- The first US Radio station, KDKA in Pittsburgh, began the nation’s first broadcasting with news of election results.

1921- On the fourth anniversary of the Balfour Declaration a huge mob of Palestinian Arabs attacked the Jewish quarter of Old Jerusalem. After the Great War sporadic violence had been happening since Arab nationalism had arisen as well as increased Jewish immigration from Europe. But for the first time the rioters were fought off in a pitched battle by an organized Jewish militia called the Hagannah. This force was formed by Av Avram and made up of Jewish World War I veterans. The leader of the militant Palestinians, Al Husseini, would be later elected the Grand Mufti of Palestine. This was the first large clash of Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem, and sadly, it would not be the last.

1928- The Little Carnegie Theater in New York opens.

1930- Ras Tafari crowned Halie Selassie Ist, Ethiopian Emperor. The Jamaican movement Rastafarians are named for him.

1932- Young star Katherine Hepburn first shines in the film A Bill of Divorcement, co- starring with John Barrymore.

1937- LaGuardia Airport opened. New York City’s first municipal airport.

1944- RAOUL WALLENBURG- The Jewish population of Budapest was driven off to Nazi concentration camps, but not after Swedish envoy Raoul Wallenberg saved over a thousand by granting Swedish (neutral) passports to them. Wallenberg once walked alongside an SS officer ordered to execute 25 people and pleaded for each person as they were shot. The SS officer finally tired of Wallenburgs pleas and spared the last two. When Wallenburg’s aide asked him “What good did all that begging do?” He replied: “What Good? We just saved two human lives!” When Hungary was conquered by the Red Army, Raul Wallenburg was arrested and died in one of Stalin's gulag prison camps. Russia didn’t officially admit this until 1991.

1947- Howard Hughes pilots his monster wooden airplane, the Hughes H-1 Hercules, known as “The Spruce Goose" for it's only test flight, one minute over Long Beach Harbor. Two hundred tons, Eight engines, a wingspan longer than a football field, it was conceived as an aid to win World War II but was completed long after it ended.

1950- Writer George Bernard Shaw died at 94. His last words were:" Oh well, it will be a new experience anyway."

1963- South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother were assassinated by a military coup of ARVN generals. President Kennedy was aware of the coup and pledged the US would not interfere. Still, he was surprised that Diem was killed.

1964- CBS television purchased the NY Yankees Baseball club. This is one of the dumber business deals in entertainment history. CBS thought they were buying the world champion Murderers Row team, if they had done their research they would have known most the Yankee top stars including Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra were scheduled to retire. Within a year of the deal the Yankees went from first to last place, and played bad until George Steinbrenner bought them in 1977.

1983- Yielding to nationwide lobbying, President Ronald Reagan created the Martin Luther King holiday in January. Arizona was the last state to officially celebrate the holiday.

2001- Pixar’s Monsters Inc opened.

2012- Walt Disney’s Wreckit Ralph premiered.
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Yesterday’s Question: American presidents have been victims of assassination. Has a Prime Minister of Britain ever been assassinated?

Answer: Only one. In 1812, A man named John Bellingham claimed the gov’ts endless war with Napoleon had ruined his business. He waited in the lobby of Westminister, and when Prime Minister Spencer Percival emerged from the Commons, Bellingham pulled a dueling pistol and shot him through the heart. Ironically, a descendent of John Bellingham serves in Parliament today.


Nov. 1, 2014 Sat.
November 1st, 2014

Question: American presidents have been victims of assassination. Has a Prime Minister of Britain ever been assassinated?

Question: When talking about college spirit, why do they say “Boola-Boola” ? What does boola-boola mean?
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History for 11/1/2014
Welcome to November, Roman Month #9-Novembrius.

Birthdays: Marie Antoinette, President Warren Harding, Stephen Crane, Marcel Ophuls, Benevenuto Cellini, Larry Flynt, Walter Matthau, Fernando Valenzuela, Lyle Lovett, Willie D, Rick Allen of Def Leppard, Jenny McCarthy is 42, Toni Collette is 42

To the ancient Romans this was the Feast of Homona, Goddess of the Harvest. Her offerings were bright apples, a staple of the Roman diet. In the Early Christian Church they changed the name to the Feast of All Saints Day. The custom of bobbing for apples at Halloween comes from a pagan ritual.

333BC – BATTLE OF ISSUS- Alexander the Great’s Macedonian army met the main Persian army of Darius the Great King and defeated it. Alexander declared the Greek cities of Ionia (the western coast of Turkey) liberated. Persian power would not return there for 900 years. Alexander captured Darius’s family and household who he treated courteously. After the battle Darius offered Alexander 300 tons of gold to go away, but little Alex was just getting started.
Alexander’s warriors were the first Europeans to try bananas, but they gave them diarrhea so he told them to throw them away. Alexander’s men also learned the painkilling characteristics of Opium bulbs, the herbal basis of Morphine and Heroin. They chewed opium “The Gift of the Gods” to recover from wounds and surgery.

307BC - Agathocles, Greek Tyrant of Syracuse, ran away abandoning his army and his sons in the middle of the Saharan Desert in front of the Carthaginian army, because things weren't turning out that well for him.

79AD- Erupting since last August and destroying the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, Mount Versuvius finally calmed down and went back to sleep.

1290- This was the deadline King Edward Ist Longshanks set for all Jews to leave England. Many drowned in small boats crossing the Channel. Once in France the French king told them they had to leave in one year. Jews would not be allowed to resettle in England until Oliver Cromwell’s time in the 1650s.

1478- THE SPANISH INQUISITION- At the request of Ferdinand & Isabella, Pope Sixtus IV promulgated a bull setting up the office of the Holy Inquisition in Spain. The royal couple tired of civil infighting among Moslems, Jews, Christians and converts in their country. As they united the land under their one rule, they wanted Spain united under one orthodox doctrine.

The Inquisition, also called La Suprema, dominated life and thought for centuries. Other offices for the Holy Inquisition were set up in Portugal and Brazil. The Inquisition was administered by the Dominican monks and supported by an elite group of nobles called the Santa Hermandad, or the Sacred Brotherhood. In 1709 King Phillip V broke with tradition by refusing to attend an Auto da Fe, a public festival featuring the burning of heretics. The Spanish Inquisition was stopped for awhile by Napoleon’s French invasion of 1808, but restored after liberation. It finally died out in 1819.

1503 –IL PAPA TERRIBLE- Giuliano Della Rovere was elected Pope Julius II. The Holy Father delayed his coronation until his astrologers told him the stars were right. Julius drove out Caesar and Lucretia Borgia and fought in armor more than he prayed. In his 10 year reign he commissioned the Sistine Ceiling, the rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica, Michelangelo's Moses, Raphael's "The School of Athens", created the Swiss Guard (uniform designed by Michelangelo), dug up the Laocoon, conquered most of Central Italy and left the Vatican a budget surplus for the first time in years. He was one of the greatest of the Popes, called "Il Papa Terrible'" the Terrible Father.

1512- Michelangelo's Sistine Ceiling was open to the public for the first time.

1604- William Shakespeare's play "Othello the Moor of Venice" first performed.

1700- The War of Spanish Succession began. King Charles VI "The Mad" died of enteric fever, despite being fed milk with ground pearls, freshly killed pigeons placed on his head and the hot entrails of a deer laid on his belly -i.e., the best modern medicine could do. He died leaving daughters and many Catholic countries worked under the tradition known as Salic Law, that women can't inherit property themselves.

So the King of France claims the throne of Spain for his son Phillip D'Anjou, and the Emperor of Germany claims it for his son Maximillian. The English and Portuguese and Dutch all get involved and fight it out all over Europe for 14 years. The Spanish parliament (Cortes) made it's own choice, but it changed nothing. After all, this is the business of kings, who the heck asked the people to butt in? Even in the remote forests of the New World it was called Queen Anne’s War. Orders came across the Atlantic from Europe so South Carolina and Georgia were ordered to attack Spanish Florida and Massachusetts men fought French Canadians.

1755- THE GREAT LISBON EARTHQUAKE-85% of the city destroyed, 50,000 killed, gallows erected around the city to punish looters. The earthquake happened on a Sunday at 9:40AM so most killed were in Church hearing Mass when the roofs collapsed on them. This irony was seized upon by humanist philosophers like Voltaire and Diderot. That a overwhelmingly Catholic city like Lisbon could be devastated in such a way while Paris, Venice and London went on their sinful hedonistic ways. This said to them that the great earthquake was not God’s punishment but a coldly impersonal act of Nature. This notion coupled with Sir Edmund Halley's recent discovery that comets are not a message from God, just a natural phenomena, led to the growing disillusionment with religion called the Age of Enlightenment.

1776- Mission San Juan De Capistrano founded on the California coast.

1800- President John Adams, moves into the White House, first president to do so. First Lady Abigail Adams had her wash hung in the East Room because the walls weren't in yet so it had a nice breeze. The first three buildings erected in Pierre L'Enfant's new federal capitol city are the House of Congress, the White House, and Conrad’s Tavern. The first business in Washington City that was not part of the government was a brewery. Pennsylvania Avenue was still dotted with tree stumps. Abigail Adams wrote that Georgetown was “The very dirtiest hole I have ever seen.”

1835- Davey Crockett, after losing his bid for re-election to Congress tells his Tennessee voters:" You can all go to Hell, I'm going to Texas!"

1848 -The Boston Female Medical School opened with 12 students until it merged with Boston University in 1874

1858- The British Crown takes direct control of India from the Honorable East India Company. The period known as "The Raj" begins.

1880- Pat Garrett elected sheriff of Lincoln County, New Mexico Territory.

1895- Emil and Max Skladowsky set up a Bioscope Projector in Berlin's Wintergarden. Birth of German Cinema.

1911- During a little war between Italy and Turkey over Tripolitania (Libya) a dangerous new precedent was set. An Italian pilot reached out of his cockpit and dropped three small grenades on a Turkish oasis. The first aerial bombing. Guernica, Rotterdam, London, Dresden, Hiroshima, Hanoi and Baghdad to follow.

1913- Notre Dame quarterback Gus Doreias throws the first "Forward Pass" to center Knute Rockne. The forward pass was the solution to a request to the coach of Notre Dame by Teddy Roosevelt to do something to make the game more mobile and less bone crunching, since parents were beginning to complain about the injuries to their sons.

1918- The Hungarian subjects of the disintegrating Austro-Hungarian Empire declared themselves to be the new independent nation of Hungary.

1920- The first issue of American Cinematographer.

1936-Benito Mussolini in a speech coined the term “The Axis” for his new alliance with Hitler’s Germany. “There is now an “axis of mutual interest between Berlin and Rome”

1938- At Pimlico in Maryland this day was the famous horse race between War Admiral and Sea Biscuit, the two finest thoroughbreds of the age. War Admiral was sleek and aristocratic, sired from the blood of the great champion Man of War. Sea Biscuit by contrast looked ungainly and lame. But in the end The Biscuit he won the race by three lengths. The race was heard live on radio by one in three Americans.

1939- Rockefeller Center in New York City opened.

1945- OPERATION OLYMPIC- If the Atomic Bombs had failed to end the war this was the planned date for the U.S. Invasion of Japan. Based on the casualty figures to take Okinawa and Iwo Jima, Gen. MacArthur estimated 100,000 U.S. soldiers would be killed or wounded to land on the beaches of Kyushu, another 50,000 to take Tokyo and a guerrilla war in the mountains possibly lasting until 1948. The Japanese had stockpiled 2,200 kamikaze planes in mountain bunkers and had mobilized the civilian population to fight with spears for the Motherland. The Soviets were already in the Kurile Islands and had timed their mainland invasion for July. So the resulting actions would probably divide the island into a North Japan, South Japan situation. But things turned out differently...

1946- THE FIRST NBA BASKETBALL GAME- The first professional game was the New York Knicks 68, the Toronto Huskies 66. The first basket was scored by Ozzie Sheckmann.

1950- Two Puerto Rican nationalists, Oscar Coralzo and Griselo Torresola, tried to shoot their way to President Truman. Truman was staying at Blair House while the White House was being renovated. The two assassins were shot down by the Secret Service in a furious gun battle at the foot of his stairs. Secret serviceman Leslie Coffelt shot Collazo as he himself was killed. President Truman was awoken from a nap and went to the window to see what the noise was all about. " Get down ya G-ddamn fool !" the agents shouted at him.

1951- As part of their training US soldiers were made to witness an atomic bomb test at Desert Rock Nevada, then marched across the radioactive field.

1952- The first U.S. Hydrogen Bomb test vaporized the island of Elugelab. Once called the Super-bomb project, Dr. Edward Teller's brainchild was nicknamed-"Mike".

1954- Algeria began its uprising for independence. A French colony since 1832, the insurgency would be France’s version of the Vietnam War and last until 1962.

1959- Hockey goalie Jacques LaPlante became the first to wear a face mask during play. Before this many Hockey goalies lost their front teeth.

1968- To replace the outmoded Hays Production Code, the Motion Picture Ratings System introduced-"G, M, R, and X"- Later PG, PG-13, R and NC-17".

1972-John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company, who owned the Esso brand of gasoline, changed their name to the Exxon Corporation. Esso- S-O, Standard Oil, get it?

1988- Jeff Goldblum married Gena Davis. They divorced several years later.

2001- The Presidential Records Act of 1978 ordered that Presidential records be made public after 12 years. But not for Bush and Cheney. Today President George W. Bush signed an executive order that declared that the President and Vice President can keep their secret records sealed in perpetuity! Wonder what they don’t want us to read?

2003- Walt Disney’s Brother Bear.
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Question: When talking about college spirit, why do they say “Boola-Boola” ? What does boola-boola mean?

Answer: In 1900 three Yale football booster wrote the Yale Fight Song-Boola Boola. No one is sure what boola-boola means, but it became a best seller nationwide in 1901.


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