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February 9th, 2009 sun.
February 9th, 2009

Quiz, What is the term for American politicians re-drawing borders of a district to heavily favor one party? In England it is called a rotten borough.

Answer to yesterdays question below-: What is the origin of the term “to whip up the crowd?”
History for 2/9/2009
Birthdays: Constantine XI Paleaologus- the last Byzantine Emperor 1404, President William Henry Harrison, Samuel Tilden, Carmen Miranda, Alban Berg, Ronald Colman, Mia Farrow, Ernest Tubb, King Vidor, Mamie Van Doren, Roger Mudd, Illustrator Alberto Vargas, Carole King, Bill Veeck, Fred Harman, Joe Pesci is 66, Zhang Zhi-Yi., Painter Frank Frazetta is 81, Mena Suvari is 30

Today is the Feast of St. Appollonia, who wore a necklace of her own teeth, yanked out by her torturers. She is the patron saint of Dentists. She finished the session by throwing herself on the bonfire prepared for her. I wonder if she paused to rinse...

1567- Young, sexy Mary Queen of Scots had tired of her abusive, husband Lord Darnley and had the hots for macho Lord Bothwell. Darnley was convalescing from the Pox in a small cottage outside Edinburgh castle, annoyed that the Scottish parliament refused to confirm him as king. Mary had the cellar filled with gunpowder, so she could say he accidentally exploded -after all, isn't everybody’s basement filled with gunpowder? The scheme didn't work. After the explosion Darnley staggered out of the smoldering ruins alive. So Lord Bothwell had to "accidentally " throttle him. Hoot-Man!

1674- The British had taken New Amsterdam from the Dutch and renamed it New York in 1661. In 1671 a Dutch battle fleet came back, recaptured the port and renamed it New Orange. Today another British fleet arrived and made it New York again. Oy! Make up yer minds!

1800- France first received news of the death of American leader George Washington who had died December 14th. Napoleon ordered all French flags at half mast and ten days of official mourning in honor of "This great champion of the rights of man".

1807-THE GREAT SANHEDRIN- The French Revolution had finally given its Jewish citizens political rights and spread these rights throughout Europe as the French armies conquered. This day Napoleon had called for a grand council of European rabbis to discuss issues dividing Christians and Jews. A Sanhedrin (Greek for sitting together) of the Jews had not met since 66AD. Napoleon himself wanted to attend but at the time he was busy in Poland conquering more people.

1856- An early tabloid The London Illustrated News reported a live Pterodactyl dinosaur popped out of a rock and flew away when workers were excavating a railroad tunnel in Culmont France. Believe it or Not!

1861- The new Confederate States elected as their first and only president former US secretary of state Jefferson Davis. Among other projects Davis was once in charge of introducing Egyptian camels to the Southwestern deserts and creating the First US Army Camel-Corps. When the Southern states seceded Davis was hoping to become a general of Mississippi volunteers since he went to West Point, but not be made president. Old Sam Houston said Davis was "cold as a lizard and ambitious of Lucifer". Former Republican Senate leader Trent Lott has said Jeff Davis was his role model.

1864- George Armstrong Custer married Miss Elizabeth Bacon. Despite Custer’s reported taking Indian women as mistresses he remained wildly in love with his Libby. He once risked a court martial for leaving his post to go see her. After Custer was killed at the Little Big Horn Libby Custer became the custodian of his memory. She created the romantic image of him with books like "Mornings on Horseback" and " They Died With Their Boots On". She lived for 60 years and met President Franklin Roosevelt before dying in 1933 in her 80s.

1909- The First US narcotics legislation, this one against opium. At this time heroin, morphine and cocaine were all available in patent medicines. Marijuana wasn’t outlawed until 1939. Cab Calloway reminisced about the Reefer Man on the streets of Harlem selling marijuana cigarettes 3 for 25 cents.

1923- Russia’s passenger airlines Aeroflot established.

1932- Mobster Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll was a hit man for Dutch Schultz when he decided to go freelance and start shooting up New York. He earned the name "Mad Dog" for once gunning down school children who accidentally strayed into his crossfire. Finally he was so violent even the underworld couldn't stand him any more. This day Mad Dog Coll was waiting for a meeting in a soda shoppe on 23rd and 7th in Manhattan. Some one called him to the phone. While waiting on the line two gunmen jumped out and sprayed the phone booth with tommy gun fire. Dutch disliked freelancers...

1945- The US Air Force drops tons of incendiary bombs on Tokyo, destroying the city in a firestorm and killing more people than Hiroshima (130,000 to Hiroshima’s 90,000)

1950- THE WHEELING SPEECH- Wisconsin Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy "Tail-Gunner Joe" delivered his speech in Wheeling West Virginia in which he blamed Communist subversion for all the ills of American society: the Soviet atomic bomb, the loss of China, fluoridated water, post nasal drip, the works. He dramatically waved a paper:" I have in my hand a list of 205 names- names given to the Secretary of State of known Communists who continue nevertheless to work and shape policy in the State Department !" The paper was blank, he had no such list. But the effect was electric. From 1950-1956 McCarthy’s anticommie witchhunt ruined hundreds of careers and elevated to national status folks like Richard Nixon, Whittiker Chambers, Roy Cohn and Bobby Kennedy.

1964- Ed Sullivan introduced the English rock band the Beatles to a nationwide TV audience. It was a "Rrrreally Big Shewww!" ( Sullivan’s signature line)

1967- The" Lindsay Snowstorm". John Lindsay was the handsome if confused mayor of New York in the sixties of whom the Robert Redford character in "The Candidate" was partially based. He tried to cut budget expenses by stripping New York of it's snowplow fleet, thinking they were unnecessary. The city was immediately paralyzed by 14 inches of snow. Plows had to be brought from as far as Montreal.

1968-"You did it! You Finally did it! Oh, Damn you all to Hell!!" the film the Planet of the Apes with Charlton Heston premiered.

1971- The Sylmar Quake (6.8) rocks L.A.

1989- In testimony before the New Jersey State Senate World Wrestling Federation officials including President Vince McMahon admit that the sport of wrestling is purely entertainment and no one actually gets hurt. I’m shocked, shocked!

1990- Singer Del Shannon, who had a hit with the 1961 song Runaway, shot himself with a 22 rifle. Del Shannon was supposed to replace Roy Orbison in the Travelling Wilbury's, the group that featured Dylan, George Harrison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynn. Orbison had died the previous year of heart failure and the Wilburys were starting to rehearse with Del Shannon. After Shannon's suicide, the group decided to disband.

1991- Lithuania voted for independence from the crumbling Soviet Union.

1996- German World War II fighter ace Adolf Galland died at age 86. While other aces had skulls or dice painted on their planes, Galland preferred a Mickey Mouse on the tail of his Messerschmidt ME109F. Ach Adolf, ist dat der RAF on your tail? Nein, izt der Disney Legal Department! Himmel!

2001- Actor Tom Cruise filed for divorce from Nicole Kidman.
Yesterday’s Quiz: What is the origin of the term “to whip up the crowd?”

Answer: In Czarist Russia , when crowds in the streets grew unruly, the Czarist police sent out mounted Cossacks wielding a small whip called a Nagaika. It was a thin leather strap with a lead ball at the end. They would ride into the crowd, whipping up enthusiasm for the government.