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August 7th, 2009 Friday
August 7th, 2009

Quiz: What does it mean to be “engaging in hyperbole”?

Yesterday’s answer below: Who was the character named Ancient Pistol?
History for 8/7/2009
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Constantius II, Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene, Mata Hari, Rassan Rolling Kirk, Dr. Ralphe Bunche, Nicholas Ray, Dr. Richard Leakie, Grandma Moses, Alan Page, The Amazing Randi, David Duchovny is 49, Billy Burke aka Glenda the Good Witch " Come out, come out. wherever you are..." Garrison Keillor is 67, animation voice actor and radio star Stan Freeberg is 83, Animator Rudy Ising, Charlize Theron is 34

1674-The Bagel is invented in Vienna. Some say the hole is a tribute to the stirrup of Polish King Jan III Sobieski, more likely the hole was just so a street peddler could stack them on a stick.

1882- The legendary hillbilly Feud in Kentucky between the Hatfields and the McCoys began, supposedly over a prize hog. Ellison Hatfield was stabbed 26 times and shot in the back by Tolbert McCoy. The Hatfields then rounded up three McCoys and shot them execution style. Over the next forty years over 100 men women and children from both families would be killed in the argument.

1912 –After serving out murdered President William McKinley’s term Teddy Roosevelt pledged he would only serve one full term of his own, then his successor Taft became President. TR regretted this and ran again anyway, even though the GOP stayed with Taft. This day the Progressive Bull Moose Party nominated Theodore Roosevelt for president. TR’s splitting the presidential ticket not only enabled democrat Woodrow Wilson to win the White House, but the Bull Moose movement drew off the progressive left wing of the Republican Party, causing the Party of Lincoln to drift to the right.

1919- the First Actor’s Equity Strike.

1928- The US Treasury issued a smaller leaner dollar bill. Before this dollars were two times larger and wider than the ones we now use.

1931 - Leon Bismarck "Bix" Beiderbecke, jazz trumpeter died at 29 of drink and drugs. Bix along with his idol Louis Armstrong was considered one of the first jazz musicians to popularize the solo-riff, where in the body of a song the soloist would depart from the arrangement and improvise like a cadenza in classical music. His family in Davenport Iowa were horrified that their son dropped out of school to associate with black people and become a musician. Even after Bix was famous he returned proudly home only to discover his parents had stacked up every record he sent them in a box under the stairs. They never listened to a single one.

1933-The first "Alley-Oop" comic strip.

1942- GUADALCANAL BEGINS-10,000 Marines land on the Japanese held island in the first U.S. offensive of World War Two. Americans at home had to learn names like Tulagi, Savo, Gaivutu-Tanonbogo, Chesty Puller and Washing Machine Charlie as their loved ones slugged it out for six months in one of the most brutal battles of the Pacific War. The evenly matched Japanese and Americans went at each other with everything from bayonets to battleships. So many ships were sunk in the island’s lagoon that they nicknamed it "Ironbottom Sound". Marines not only had to battle crack Japanese soldiers and malaria in the steaming jungles, some of the local natives were cannibals and would drag off the wounded of both sides for supper.

1942-The first days aerial dogfights over Guadalcanal, Japanese fighter ace Saburo Sakai won fame for shooting down his 58th, 59th and 60th American planes. Then his Zero was badly shot up by Gruman F-4 Wildcats. Sakai was paralyzed on his left side and had one eye shattered by a bullet. Yet even in this state he managed to fly his smoking plane 500 miles to home base safely. In the air for 8 1/2 hours, he later said he would occasionally thrust a thumb into his eye wound to give himself a shot of pain to keep awake. Saboru Sakai survived, fought at Iwo Jima in 1944, volunteered for Kamikaze duty, but flew back with honor when he could find no suitable targets. He survived the war and wrote a famous memoir- Zero Pilot.

1963- Pres. John F. Kennedy and Jacky Kennedy tried to have one more baby, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, but he was born with a breathing disorder and died two days later.

1964-THE TONKIN GULF RESOLUTION-After the Tonkin Gulf Incident, President Johnson asked for permission to act in Vietnam without a formal declaration of war. Congress passed the Tonkin Gulf Resolution 93-2 in the Senate and 410-0 in the House to accelerate the U.S. combat troops role in Vietnam. President Johnson used the hotline to the Kremlin for the first time, to assure Premier Khruschev that the US did not plan to expand their role in IndoChina- (?) The American commitment went from 30,000 to 450,000, trillions of dollars and eventually decimated Cambodia and Laos as well. Congressman Mark Hatfield- "I can’t get over the feeling we’re making a big mistake."

1970 - Christine Perfect McVie joins the band Fleetwood Mac.

1970 – The first computer chess tournament.

1974- French daredevil Phillipe Petit strung a tightrope between the two 110 story towers of NY’s World Trade Center and walked across it. As New Yorkers watched in amazement, Petit kept his concentration by carrying on a conversation with the buildings.(?) Michael Sporn made a wonderful film about the event- the Man Between Two Towers.

1979- THE RUNAWAY WARS.-Hollywood Cartoonist’s Union strike against studios sending animation work overseas.
Yesterday’s Quiz: Who was the character named Ancient Pistol?

Answer: One of the scruffy drinking buddies of Sir John Falstaff in Shakespeare’s plays Henry IV Parts I & II and Henry V.