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February 10th, 2008 Tuesday
February 10th, 2009

The Afternoon of Remembrance came off very nicely at the Hollywood Museum last Saturday. My gratitude and thanks to all the volunteers and Hollywood Heritage who worked so diligently to make it all run smoothly. Thank you also to all the speakers who contributed and sent in reminiscence of their friends and colleagues.

We had to honor a record 54 people who passed on in 2008, including Ollie Johnston, Bill Melendez, the composer of the first Spider Man theme, the creator of Bagpuss and the Clangers, The creator of the Rocketeer and Bozo the CLown.

I heard later that one or two bloggers complained that the ceremony was too long. Well, all I can say is if everyone stopped dying,it wouldn't be so long!

So, for this year, please stay off my list!
Quiz: On the 12th the world will note two bicentennial birth anniversaries. Who are they?

Answer to yesterdays question below: 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.
History for 2/10/2009
Birthdays: Former British PM Harold Macmillan, Jimmy Durante, Bertholdt Brecht, Leontyne Price, Roberta Flack, tennis great Bill Tilden, Lon Chaney Jr., Stella Adler, Mark Spitz, Boris Pasternak, Dame Judith Anderson, Greg Norman, Donavan, Dr Alex Comfort author of the Joy of Sex, Michael Apted, Jerry Goldsmith, Robert Wagner, Laura Dern is 42

1531- King Henry VIII demanded the Convocation of English Bishops acknowledge him as “only Supreme Head of the Church and Clergy of England” After much dallying, rejected compromises and threats the Bishops agreed. Their spokesman archbishop Warham later denounced the decision on his deathbed.

1763- THE TREATY OF PARIS- Ending the Seven Years War ( or French and Indian War in the U.S.). Europe makes peace and England wins an empire. France cedes her territory in India and all of Canada. Spain gets Louisiana. “Half a continent changed hands with the scratch of a pen”. To ensure speedy approval of the treaty, Prime Minister Pitt the Elder set up a booth outside the Parliament to distribute cash bribes to the members as they went in to vote.
The French were bitter but philosophical. Minister Choiseul predicted:" With our threat removed the Americans will try for independence in ten years." American colonial representative Benjamin Franklin assured London:" Freedom is the last thing Americans want...."

1799- Napoleon marched out of Cairo at the head of his French expeditionary Army. He headed north towards Jerusalem and Syria but was stopped at the city of Jaffa. Around this time French soldiers discovered marijuana. The tough old soldiers thought it cheaper than brandy and didn’t leave you hung-over the next morning.

1814- THE GREAT WEEK- Napoleon's enemies, figuring the little bastard can't be everywhere at once, invade France from five directions with five armies, all aimed at Paris. Napoleon with a small force of 15-year-old draftee’s defeated all five spearheads in one week. Today was the Battle of Champaubert.

1825- Gideon Mantell reported the discovery of an Iguanadon from the sandstone in Tilgate Sussex. He called it such because the teeth of the fossil resembled to him those of a large iguana.

1837- Russian poet Alexander Pushkin dies of wounds from fighting a duel defending his wife's honor. His last words were to his books "Farewell, my friends..." Pushkin was the great, great grandson of a black man sent to serve Czar Peter the Great in his Moorish Guard.

1840- English Queen Victoria marries a minor German prince named Albert of Saxe Coburg-Gotha. It becomes a real love-match and they produce children who will occupy the thrones of Europe. Their common belief in strong moral values above all transform English society into something truly Victorian. Albert set men’s fashion trends like tuxedos, neckties and sideburns; he also introduced to Britain and later to America the German custom of Christmas trees. He also is the origin of the famous dumb joke: "Do you have Prince Albert in a can? Well, Let him out!! " yuk, yuk...

1846- After their temples in Navoo Illinois were burned by mobs, the Mormons under Brigham Young leave for their trek to Utah.

1862- After a hard night partying with fellow poet Swinburne, pre-Raphaelite Dante Rossetti returned home to find his wife dead of an opium overdose.

1863- Alanson Crane invented the Fire Extinguisher.

1907- THE EUHLENDBERG SCANDAL- Three of Kaiser Wilhelm's closest aides are accused by a socialist newspaper of being homosexuals. The aides, including the Kaiser's personal friend Count Phillip zu Euhlenburg, sue in court but are disgraced and ostracized in the way writer Oscar Wilde was suffering in England. The scandal shocked German society and the Kaiser suffered a nervous breakdown.
Discreet approval of gays in the military was common in the pre-war Austro-German officer corps. Around this same time Wilhelm witnessed the spectacle of one of his top generals, 56 year old Count von Hulsen-Haesler, did a dance for the army general staff in a pink ballet tutu and rose hair garland ! The general had done these pirouettes before but this time he suddenly seized up and dropped stone dead of heart failure. The generals in a panic squeezed his stiff body back into his uniform and monocle before calling the doctor.

1920- Major League Baseball banned the spitball pitch.

1929- Elsa Lanchester married Charles Laughton.

1938- RKO screwball comedy with Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant “ Bringing Up Baby” premiered.

1940-MGM's "Puss gets the boot" the first Tom and Jerry cartoon and the first collaboration of the team of Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.

1949- The premiere of Arthur Miller’s play "Death of a Salesman".

1966- CBS co-ops broadcasting the senate Kennan Hearings on the conduct of the Vietnam War with reruns of "I Love Lucy'. CBS news division president Fred Friendly quits in protest.

1966-Jaqueline Susanne’s novel The Valley of the Dolls first published. Although critics considered it cheap and trashy- Time Magazine called it “Dirty Book of the Month” and Truman Capote called Susanne in her heavy sixties eye shadow a “Truck Driver in Drag” Valley of the Dolls sold like wildfire. Its frank portrayal of single women enjoying casual sex and taking drugs was a big step in the sexual revolution of the 1960’s.

1966- Author Ralph Nader gained national fame when he testified to the Senate about the lax standards of auto safety. His greatest criticism was for GM’s Corvair. General Motors responded with a smear campaign trying to paint Nader as gay and anti-Semitic. Nader successfully sued them in court and many of the consumer advocates ideas are mandatory today like seat belts and listing gas efficiency on the sales sticker.

1993- Former black man Michael Jackson told Oprah Winfrey in a television interview that he wasn’t deliberately trying to whiten his skin, but he was suffering from a rare pigment disease. And what about that nose?

1992- The children’s book- The Stinky Cheese Man debuted.
Yesterday’s question: 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:. Gerrymandering, Elbridge Gerry. IN 1812 while Gov of Massachusetts Gerry redrew all the political districts to suit his party.