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Blog Posts from September 2010:

Sept. 1st, 2010
September 1st, 2010

Quiz: So was Alexander the Great gay?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: Which island is geographically closer to the continental U.S.? Cuba, Puerto Rico or Jamaica?
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History for 9/1/2010
Welcome to Septembrius, After August the Romans ran out of names for months. Septembrius means number 7, March being the first month of the Roman Calendar.

Birthdays: Joachim Pachebel, Gentleman Jim Corbet, Sir Roger Casement, Seiji Ozawa, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Walter Reuther founder of the United Auto Workers, Englebert Humperdinck- the 19th century composer, Conway Twitty, Jack Hawkins, Leonard Slatkin, Seiji Ozawa, Yvonne DeCarlo, Gloria Estefan, Mike Lah, Boxcar Willie, Richard Farnsworth, Lily Tomlin is 71,

338B.C. -BATTLE OF CHAERONEA- Phillip of Macedon, with his son Alexander the Great, defeated the combined armies of the Greek city states. . The Macedonian victory united Greece for the first time under their rule. Even among the hard drinking Macedonian warriors, King Phillip was considered a partyguy. It was said that night he went out on the battlefield and danced on the bodies of the slain.

1642- THE ENGLISH CIVIL WAR BEGINS- Charles I of England, tired of arguing with his Parliament over money, religion and legislative power, set up his standard at Nottingham and called for the nobles of the Realm to bring troops to put down his saucy subjects. The Royal flag was raised in a summer rainstorm and was soon blown down. This date is kind of a symbolic beginning of the conflict.

1661- King Charles II introduced England to a sport he picked up in Holland, Yacht racing. Yacght is Dutch for little ship. This day in front of the court the King and his brother James raced each other down the Thames.

1715- French King Louis XIV, the Sun King, died at 76. He said:"Idiots! Did you think I would live forever?" later " Hmmm, I thought dying would be harder." His mistress Madame DeMaintenon once complained to the Archbishop that the king still insisted on sex every day and at 68 she was tired. He replied :"It is all our duty to obey the king."

1730- Benjamin Franklin marries Deborah Regan, the supposed mother of his illegitimate son William. William nursed a lasting hatred of his father for his shoddy treatment of him. When the revolution broke out William Franklin was the Royalist Governor of New Jersey. When Ben Franklin died he left nothing in his will to his son: " It is as much as he would have left me were the roles reversed."

1774- EIGHT MONTHS BEFORE LEXINGTON AND CONCORD- Royal Governor in Boston General Thomas Gage had been ordered by London to get tough with these unruly colonials. This day he sent a force of redcoats to Cambridge to confiscate a store of gunpowder he believed would be used against him. The word spread that the troops were coming and the rumors grew to wild proportions. All the way in Connecticut and New York the rumor was Gage's men were burning farms and bayoneting innocent people in their beds. As the redcoat troops marched off they noticed hundreds of heavily armed farmers emerging from the woods, only dispersing after hearing that the atrocity stories were false. An army of Minutemen had materialized with hours before the British officer’s eyes and disappeared as quickly. Gage wrote London that things were getting out of hand.

1775- British King George III asks Czarina Catherine the Great for 20,000 Russian troops to put down the American rebellion . She declines but later said:"If I were my cousin George, rather than give up my American colonies I would sooner put a pistol to my head."

1799 - The Manhattan Company chartered. This was a clever bit of maneuvering by Aaron Burr to move in on the banking trade dominated by Alexander Hamilton’s rival The Bank of New York. The Manhattan Company was proposed as a concern to finance the building of new sources of fresh water. New York City’s mushrooming population was constantly beset by diseases of poor sanitation- yellow fever, typhus. Hamilton ruled the New York State Legislature but saw nothing wrong in building aqueducts. So the company was granted a charter. Deep in the companies boiler plate text was an amendment allowing it to open a bank as well. Much to Hamilton’s chagrin the Manhattan Bank opened. The Manhattan Bank in 1840 dropped it’s water projects and united with the Chase Bank to form the Chase Manhattan Bank. Burr and Hamilton would settle their rivalry with pistols in 1804 but Chase Manhattan is still around today.

1802 – The Aurora, a scandalous newspaper, first accused President Thomas Jefferson of having an 'improper relationship' with his slave Sally Hemmings. “Dusky Sally” was the child of Jefferson’s own father in law and his slave that Jefferson had inherited. When they met in 1786 he was in his late forties and she around fourteen. Friends said they lived together like man and wife for 38 years. The Aurora editor James Callander had also accused Alexander Hamilton of affairs, he called John Adams a “pernicious hermaphrodite” and even made fun of George Washington- calling him “the Dalai Lama of America.”. In August 1803 Callanders body was found floating face down in the Potomac. No murder enquiry was ever made.

1836- A wagontrain of Presbyterian missionaries reached the site of Walla-Walla Washington.

1836- In Jerusalem, Rabbi Judah Hasid began to build his synagogue and his reform movement- Hasidim.

1852-The Hot Dog or Frankfurter was invented by a group of butchers in Frankfurt, Germany. It didn't catch on in the U.S until it was served at the opening the Coney Island Exhibition in 1894, where it was billed as a Vienna Sausage or Red Hots. Dog was one newspaper's speculation upon the origins of the meat. It was first served at a baseball game in 1910.

1859- The first Pullman sleeping car train went into service.

1864- After Sherman threatened his last escape route at Decatur rebel General John Bell Hood finally abandoned the City of Atlanta to the Yankees.

1870- THE BATTLE OF SEDAN. French Emperor Napoleon III lost his entire Empire losing to the Prussians and gets captured to boot. He had allowed himself to be bottled up in a fortress and pounded on all sides by new long distance German steel cannon. French general LaCroix wrote: " We are caught in a chamberpot and here comes la merde." When it came time to surrender the generals couldn't bear the humiliation so they sent LaCroix out to do the honors.

1885- Mrs. Emma Nutt became the first telephone switchboard operator. At first telephone companies used telegraph errand boys to connect calls, but switched to women after customers complained of the boys saucy wisecracks and rude attitude on the phone.

1897- The Boston T-train opened. First subway line in the U.S.

1913 - George Bernard Shaw’s play "Androcles & the Lion," premieres in London.

1919- Pat Sullivan's 'Feline Follies" cartoon staring Felix the Cat.Felix is the first true animated star, not depended on a previous newspaper comic strip. His body prototype, a black peanut shape with four fingers, will be the standard for years to come and copied for characters like Oswald and Mickey Mouse.

1923- Tokyo and Yokohama are destroyed by the largest earthquake recorded in the twentieth century. 100,000 died.

1928- Paul Terry premiered his sound cartoon RCA Photophone system for a short called "Dinner Time". Young studio head Walt Disney came by train out from Los Angeles to see it. He telephoned his studio back in L.A." My Gosh, Terrible! A Lot of Racket and Nothing Else!" He said they could continue to complete their first sound cartoon "Steamboat Willie".

1932-Mayor Jimmy Walker resigned as Mayor of New York. The corrupt but colorful Walker was a former vaudeville hoofer who wrote a hit song "Will you love me in September like you do in May.?" and flouted his chorus girl mistress at social functions. The man who served out Walker’s term was John P.”Boo-Boo” O’Brian, another Tamany machine politician who was so inept that when a reporter asked who he planned to name as the new Sewer Commissioner O’Brian said “A decision hasn’t been given me yet..”

1939- FIRST CANNES FILM FESTIVAL- The premiere film event in Europe had been the Venice Film Festival but western democracies tired of the bias of the judges for Fascist and Nazi films. For example Walt Disney was annoyed his Snow White, the box office and critical champ of 1938, lost out to Leni Reifenstahl's Olympia. So the little French Riviera city was chosen as the site for a new festival. Two days after opening World War Two was declared and the festival shut down until 1946.

1939- WORLD WAR TWO BEGAN. The Nazi Army blitzkreigs into Poland. Britain and France declared war two days later. Blitzkreig meant Lightning War- heavy motorized tanks and troops moving at full speed into an enemies interior while the airforce destroyed most of the Polish airforce still on the ground. The outdated Polish Army still fought with cavalry. The Nazis propaganda Ministry rigged up a border incident to claim Polish troops had fired first. They put dead concentration camp victims in German uniforms in a plan called Operation Canned Goods. So all through the massive invasion the operation was referred to in the German media as the “Counter Offensive”

1939- Hitler ordered the mentally ill sent to concentration camps.

1939 – The Physical Review published the1st paper on a celestial phenomena called "black holes".

1941- Hitler passed a law ordering Jews in Nazis occupied countries to wear yellow stars on their clothing for identification. The King of Denmark reacted by wearing a yellow star.

1955- Phillip Loeb was a TV star, playing Papa on the show The Goldbergs on radio and television. But the book Red Channels listed him as a Communist. He was blacklisted and the show dropped by CBS and NBC. This day Loeb checked into the Hotel Taft and swallowed a bottle full of sleeping pills..

1956- Elvis Presley bought his momma a pink cadillac.

1969- Col. Mohammar el Khaddafi seized power in Libya after deposing King Idris.

1972 - Bobby Fischer (US) defeats Boris Spassky (USSR) for the world chess title.The young eccentric genius Fischer was the Tiger Woods of chess and for a time a pop icon. He would after a few years of fame drop out of competition at the height of his powers and go into seclusion.

1977 - 1st TRS-80 Model I computer sold

1978 - Last broadcast of "Columbo" on NBC TV

1979 - LA Court orders retired TV star Clayton Moore to stop wearing his Lone Ranger mask in public appearances. Paramount was pushing a bad remake the Legend of the Lone Ranger starring Klinton Spillsbury, so they wanted the old man to stop competing for the spotlight. Today that movie is forgotten while many more remember the TV show,

1982 - Max US speedometer reading mandated at 85 MPH.

1995 – The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame opens in Cleveland Ohio

1998- THE STARR REPORT- The full text of Special Counsel Kenneth Starr’s investigation into the sexual wrongdoings of President Bill Clinton with his intern Monica Lewinsky was released on-line. It was the first major news story reported on the Internet, a full day before the other media could get it. Twenty million log-on’s in one day. It caused huge internet user jams and sparked a furious response from millions, all on electronic mail. Americans learned of their President’s many uses for his cigar, and Monica snapping her thong underwear at him. Many felt the salacious details ranked as soft-core pornography, but it was sent out without any child-proof guards, championed by conservative politicians who normally demand media censorship. Pornography publishing tycoon Larry Flynt jokingly offered Kenneth Starr a job.”Heck, any man who could get that much porn into 50 million homes so quickly should be working for me!”
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Yesterday’s Question: Which island is geographically closer to the continental U.S.? Cuba, Puerto Rico or Jamaica?

Answer: Cuba. Only 90 miles from Florida.


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