BACK to Blog Posts

April 19th, 2009 sun
April 19th, 2009

Quiz- Of 44 American Presidents, seven had been generals- Washington, Jackson, Harrison, Taylor, Grant, Garfield and Eisenhower. How many British Prime Ministers were generals?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: what political party called themselves the National Socialists?
History for 4/19/2009
Birthdays: Paulo Verronese, Elliot Ness, Jayne Mansfield, Dudley Moore, Paloma Picasso, Ashley Judd is 41, James Franco is 31, Kate Hudson is 30, Tim Curry is 63, Anna Porchicova is 22

Cerealia-an ancient Roman agricultural festival. Ceres the mother of Porsephone, was the Happy Goddess of Growing and Planting. To say “Fit for Ceres” was the ancient Roman way of saying “Awesome”.

1775- LEXINGTON AND CONCORD- The American Revolution begins.
For years after the French and Indian War the British government tried to save money by getting the North American colonies to defend themselves. The local committees that organized the American colony's militia had slowly been taken over by radical political groups like the "Sons of Liberty". To the British, these Minutemen seemed to be training to fight them instead of Indians.
In 1774 a General, Sir Thomas "Old Tom" Gage was appointed Royal Governor of Massachusetts to show the colonists that Mother England was not going to tolerate any more foolishness. Gage pulled his troops out of frontier patrols and concentrated them in Boston harbor. This annoyed citizens further, thinking the only reason they pay taxes now is to have troops watching them instead of protecting them. In early 1775 Gage warned London that the situation was deteriorating fast. Ironically Gage liked America and had a good friend named George Washington. Finally Gage received permission to send out a force to seize a stockpile of illegal weapons and arrest some ringleaders. After awakened by Paul Revere, some 70 farmers spent all night at Buckman's Tavern drinking and trying to decide whether to fight or run away. By 4:00 a.m. John Hancock talked them into staying to fight. Then Hancock ran away. The redcoat column was met on Lexington green by the minutemen. "Stand aside, ye dammed Rebels!" Captain Pitcairn shouted. Pitcarin was later killed at Bunker Hill. " Stand fast boys, if they want a war, let it start here!" was Captain Parker's reply.

The regular troops open fire and easily dispersed that group. But by the time the British reached Concord bridge, hordes of farmers were shooting at them from bushes and rooftops. Finally they were forced to withdraw to Boston. Lord Percy complained even 'American women were pointing muskets out of their kitchen windows and firing at us!"And most of the Yankee muskets were British government-issue. One 80 year old man shot down three redcoats from his front porch, before he was bayoneted. Still, the tough old coot lived 7 more years.
Americans call Lexington “The Shot Heard Around the World”, but the British Crown regarded this situation at first as little more than mob violence. It barely made the back pages of the London newspapers. But by Bunker Hill they realized they had a real trans-ocean war on their hands. As late as December elements in the Colonial Congress in Philadelphia kept asking London if we could still be friends and talk it over.

1863- GRIERSON'S RAID. Gen. Ulysses Grant, laying siege to the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg, detaches a hard riding cavalry brigade to loot and burn their way through the deep south from Vicksburg through Baton Rouge to Union occupied New Orleans. Greirson himself was an Illinois music teacher who disliked horses and kept a jaw's-harp in his pocket he liked to play periodically. In the later Indian Wars it was said any unit he commanded invariably had the best band. John Ford’s movie “The Horse Soldiers” was based on this event.

1881- Former British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli died. When asked if he would like a final visit from Queen Victoria, Disraeli answered:" No, not now, she'd only ask me to take a message to Albert." His political arch-enemy William Gladstone wrote him a moving eulogy, but he confided in his diary that it gave him diarrhea doing it.

1910- The Earth passed through the tail of Halley’s Comet.

1927- Mae West found guilty of indecent behavior in writing, producing and starring in a Broadway musical entitled “SEX”. She then wrote a new play about homosexuals called DRAG that was never producer. He said:" I'm in favor of censorship.I made a fortune on it!"

1951- General MacArthur had been fired from his Korean command by President Harry Truman. This day he did his famous speech to Congress” An Old Soldier never Dies, He just Fades Away, and like that old soldier I now close out my military career, and just fade away. An Old Soldier who tried to do his duty, as God showed him the light to do that duty, etc.” Republican Senator Robert Short shouted “We’ve just heard the Voice of God!” President Harry Truman watched the speech on T.V. and called it “The biggest bunch of bullshit I ever heard!”

1956-Movie star Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco.

1961-The BAY OF PIGS INVASION DEFEATED The CIA sponsored landing of AntiCastro Cubans failed on the beach of Bahia De Los Cochinos. After sanctioning some initial US Air Force bombing attacks the first day, JFK relented and cut off any further help, including a refusal to evacuate them when trapped. This earned him the everlasting anger of the Miami Cuban community. 200 were killed and 1497 imprisoned. An aide said the day after the surrender, Kennedy went alone to a secluded D.C. golf course and spent hours hitting golf balls, moaning:” How could I have been so Stupid!” after each whack.

1970- XEROX PARC – The Xerox Company announced the set up of a research group in Palo Alto Cal. All but ignored by the main company for years this group pioneered the development of the personal computer. They invented the mouse, point and click windows, graphic interface and digital paint. Yet Xerox didn’t know what to do with them, they were in the copier business. They launched a personal workstation called the Alto that cost $16,500 each, but the idea bombed. One day in 1979 a group from Apple visited led by Steve Jobs. The group was inspired by their progress, and they went back to Apple and put what they learned into the development of the Mackintosh Computer.

1993- Branch Davidian cultists led by their messianic leader David Koresh immolate themselves in their compound at Waco, Texas during a furious shootout with the F.B.I.

1995-THE OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING- On the second anniversary of the Waco tragedy, emotionally disturbed Gulf War veterans named Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols wanted revenge against the U.S. Government. So they denoted a bomb at the Murrow Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Among the 156 dead were a dozen pre-school children in a daycare center on the first floor. McVeigh called the children “collateral damage “ He was executed in 2001 and Nichols got life in prison. Nichols brother was acquitted. Today he grows soy beans for tofu in organic restaurants.

2005- Habaemus Papam! We have a Pope. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany elected Pope Benedict XVI. The first German Pope since Hildebrandt in 1077 and the first pope to have been a soldier in the Nazi army. He was drafted in 1945 as a child. Italian writers call him the German Shepherd.
Yesterday’s Quiz: What political party called themselves the National Socialists?

Answer: The Nazi Party.