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June 19th, 2010 sat
June 19th, 2010

All you Dads out there, have a Happy Father's Day.

Question: When Christopher Columbus reached Cuba, the local Indians greeted him with something they called cohiba. What did Columbus do with it?

Yesterdays Quiz answered below: At Hogwarts, what house does Harry Potter belong to?
History for 6/19/2010
Birthdays: Euclid, Blaise Pascal, King James Ist Stuart, Wallis Simpson Duchess of Windsor, Moe Howard, Kathleen Turner, Spanky McFarland, Lou Gehrig, Guy Lombardo, Gena Rowlands, Mildred Natwick, Charles Coburn, Louis Jourdan, Pauline Kael, Salman Rushdie, Dame Mae Whitty, Lucie Sloane, Ang Sung Soo Chi, Paula Abdul.

240 BC- Greek mathematician, Erastosthenes, measuring the cast shadows made by sticks placed in the ground, first calculated the total circumference of the Earth. He was off by only a few miles.

1312- Piers Gaveston- royal courtier and openly gay paramour of English king Edward II, was executed by angry lords of the realm. Thoroughly-Out Eddie then went on to another boy-toy named Hugh Despenser. The memory of Piers Gaveston is preserved as the name of a mens’ fraternity at Oxford University.

1389- At Kosovo, the huge Turkish army of Sultan Murad Ist, faced the Balkan warriors of Serb Prince Lazar Ist. A Serb knight named Milosh Kobilich got an interview in the Sultan’s tent by claiming to be a deserter with vital information. Once there he sprang upon Sultan Murad and stabbed him. Milosh was hacked to pieces by the Sultans’ guards. This should have been decisive but, unfortunately for the Serbs, Murad’s son, Bajazet, turned out to be an even better military leader than his old man. The following day the Turkish army destroyed the Serb Army .

1588- The Spanish Armada sailed from Cadiz and Lisbon to invade England.

1619- THE OLD GLOBE THEATER FIRE. During a performance of William Shakespeare’s Henry VIII, a prop cannon fired a salute that set afire the straw thatch on the roof. Soon the blaze consumed the old theater. Shakespeare, as a partner in the company that owned the Globe, paid to rebuild it. He soon retired home to Stratford. Fifty years later, during Cromwell’s Puritan rule, the Globe was pulled down because the Puritans frowned on theatrical entertainment as unGodly.

1754- Six American colonies and three Iroquois Indian tribes sent delegates to a meeting in Albany, New York to discuss how to work together more closely. Ben Franklin and Thomas Hutchinson submit plans to form a congress of all the Anglo colonies except Georgia and Nova Scotia (remember Canada was still New France at this time), with a President-General appointed by the King. But London rejected the plan.

1803- Captain Meriwether Lewis sent a letter inviting Captain William Clark to come join him and explore the route from the Mississippi to the Pacific Coast. Lewis had a backup in mind in case Clark said no, a Lt. Moses Hook. But Clark said yes so today we remember Lewis & Clark, not Lewis & Hook.

1846-THE EARLIEST RECORDED BASEBALL GAME- The famous legend is that Abner Doubleday invented the game but that's been mostly disproved. No one is sure of the exact date the game was invented, but, on this day, a New York newspaper ran a notice of a "base-ball" game played by the New York Knickerbocker Baseball Club and the New York Nines Cricket Club at the Elysian Fields in Hoboken, New Jersey. The cricketeers won 23-1. This was the first game played under Cartwright’s Rules. Alexander Cartwright created a finite system of three outs and nine innings. Baseball spread nationwide because of the Civil War. When men of all the states would spend leisure time in army camps they learned to play the "Boston-New York Game”. After the conflict, they went to their homes in the various states and took the game with them.

1863- In one of the most famous ship-to-ship duels of the American Civil War the USS Kearsarge fought and sunk the Confederate commerce raider CSS Alabama in the harbor of Cherbourg, France. Young Impressionist painter Claude Monet was in the area and made a painting of the event. Confederate raiders hunted US shipping around the sea-lanes of the world, which is why today you can find Confederate grave markers in Capetown, South Africa and Alaska.

1867-The Emperor of Mexico, Maximillian Hapsburg, shot by firing squad. Maximillian distributed bribes to the riflemen asking them not to aim for his head, but one hit him there anyway. Mexican President Benito Juarez felt this drastic gesture had to be taken to discourage any future European adventurers. And Maximillian routinely ordered the execution of any Juaristas who fell into his hands. Austrian Archduke Maximillian was the younger brother of the Austrian Emperor Franz Josef, who Johann Strauss wrote so many pretty waltzes for. Max was talked into taking the throne of Mexico by French Emperor Napoleon III, who assured him the Mexican people would welcome him with loving arms. People in Europe nicknamed the gullible Maximillian the "Arch-dupe". Franz Josef remembered the loss by not helping France during her struggle with Prussia in 1870.

1867- The first Belmont Stakes horse race. The winner was Ruthless.

1889- Beginning of the Sherlock Holmes adventure, the Man with the Twisted Lip.

1893 - Lizzie Bordon acquitted of the axe murders of her abusive parents. The murderers were never found. She lived alone peaceably and when she died she left all her money to the ASPCA.

1910 - Father's Day celebrated for 1st time. It was organized by the Spokane, Washington by members of the local YMCA and Spokane Ministerial Assoc.

1917- Still in the depths of World War One, King George V ordered members of the British royal family to dispense with German titles & surnames. Before that the official name of Queen Victoria’s family was the House of Saxe-Coburg Gotha. It now became the House of Windsor. Prince Louis Von Battenberg became Lord Louis Mountbatten.

1921- Distributer AmadeeVan Beuren announced production of a new series of "Aesop’s Fables" cartoons to be done by former Bray director Paul Terry. Terrytoons studio is born.

1923 - "Moon Mullins," a Comic Strip, debuts.

1934-The Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, created.

1941 - Cheerios Cereal invented. The name Cheerios comes from a town in Italy called Cheerigalia, where grain and cereals had been grown since Roman times.

1944-" The Marianas Turkey Shoot"- the Japanese tried to defeat a landing on the strategic island of Saipan by sending a task force of 9 carriers and 400 aircraft, many new generation Zeroes nicknamed Judys. But most of Japan’s veteran combat pilots were gone and the planes were manned by inexperienced novices rushed through training. In the last big carrier to carrier battle US forces shot down 346 Japanese planes and sank three carriers to a loss of only 30 American aircraft.

1953- THE ROSENBERGS GO TO THE CHAIR- Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, "The Atomic Spies", were electrocuted at Sing Sing for spying for the Soviet Union. When the Russians detonated their first nuclear weapon no one in America thought they could do it without spies giving them our secrets. We now know, in 1945, Manhattan project physicists Klaus Fuchs and Ted Hall had given Stalin the plans to the Nagasaki bomb. According to KGB archives from 1989, Julius Rosenberg was on their payroll, but just what and how much he did is controversial. Dr. Fuchs gave away much more vital information yet he only got a moderate prison term. Ted Hall was never discovered until he wrote a book in 1997. Housewife Ethel Rosenberg probably didn’t do anything and died horribly, screaming when the current was turned on. It took three tries for two full minutes. Only hours before the execution, a young lawyer had found a clause in the law statutes that execution of spies could not take place except in time of war, but the judge who could have stopped it refused because he was Jewish and he feared an even greater anti-Semitic backlash if he saved them. To conservatives the Rosenbergs were dangerous traitors; to progressives they were innocent martyrs of the red hysteria of the times and of anti-Semitism, even though their prosecutor Roy Cohn was also Jewish. The executions were moved up a day so they would not be killed on a Friday, the Jewish Sabbath. The final record still is not clear. Roy Cohn became one of the first celebrities to die of AIDS.

1952 - "I've Got A Secret" debuts on CBS-TV with Garry Moore as host.

1956- The comedy team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis announce their breakup.

1964- THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT. African Americans finally get the basic rights promised them by Abe Lincoln 100 years earlier. In the South blacks were routinely disqualified from voting and forced to take humiliating tests, like guessing how many bubbles were on a bar of wet soap. Several Civil Rights bills had been proposed since but they were all blocked by the Southern Caucus in Congress. Those who remember Lyndon Johnson only as the warmonger of Vietnam should also recall that his arm twisting was the main reason this act was approved. Chief Justice William Reinquist, Senator Strom Thurmond, Billy Graham and Claire Booth Luce of Time Magazine begged LBJ not to sign it. The Civil Rights Act started the shift of Southern white conservatives from the Democratic Party to the Republicans. This ended the image of the Southern Dixiecrat.

1964- While flying home to Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy was almost killed in a small plane crash. He broke several verterbrae but survived. Years later whenever his nephew John Kennedy Jr would offer to take Ted on his small plane Ted always refused.

1964- The Condor Club of San Francisco becomes the first to offer Topless Dancers. Carol Doda became the first topless waitress and a mainstay of San Francisco’s nightclub scene. She augmented her already ample bosom to 44 inches with silicon implants. She joked: "I dunno, I guess I just expand in the heat!"

1973 – Do not hurt her…Frank-Furter…The Rocky Horror Picture Show stage show opened in London. The film version became a midnight cult classic. Writer Richard O’Brien himself plays the bald doorman.

1975- Mobster Sam "Momo" Giancana was rubbed out while frying sausages. He was scheduled to testify the next day about what he knew of Pres. John F. Kennedy’s assassination to the Church Committee’s Senatorial Inquiry on Assassinations. The following year Jimmy Roselli, a Giancana hit man who always claimed he was the second gunman in Dallas, was found dismembered in an oil drum floating in Florida’s Biscayne Bay.

1978 – Garfield the Cat, created by Jim Davis, 1st appears as a comic strip

1987 - Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream & Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia announce new Ice Cream flavor, Cherry Garcia.

1987 –David Geffen Records sign their 1st artist -Disco queen Donna Summer.
Yesterday’s Quiz: At Hogwarts, what house does Harry Potter belong to?

Answer: Gryffndor.