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August 20th, 2010 friday
August 20th, 2010

Quiz: Colin Powell called the invasion of Iraq the Pottery Barn Principle. What is that?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Where did the term originate “ dancing in the aisles.”…?
History for 8/20/2010
Birthdays: President Benjamin Harrison, Sukenoba Nishikawa, Bernardo O’Higgins, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, H.P. Lovecraft, Art Tatum, Issac Hayes, Connie Chung, Jacqueline Susanne, Rajiv Ghandi, Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin- who co-wrote Stairway to Heaven, Joan Allen is 54, Fred Durst, Alan Reed -the original voice of Fred Flintstone, Slobodan Milosovic’, Amy Adams is 36

480 B.C. -THE THREE HUNDRED SPARTANS- When Persian King Xerxes invaded Greece the King of Sparta Leonidas decided the best place to try and stop him was in the narrow pass of Thermopylae. But the Spartan senate and other allied Greek states refused to send troops until they completed the Olympic religious festival. It was forbidden for Greeks to wage war during the Games. So Leonidas went with the 300 Spartans of his bodyguard, and a thousand more allied troops, to try and stall ten times their number. After repulsing several attacks a traitor showed Xerxes a goat path around the Spartan position. Leonidas could still have retreated but he, his three hundred and some other Greek allies decided to stand and fight to the last man. They were wiped out, but they bought enough time for the Greeks eventual victory.

Later a monument was erected over their bones: O xein angellin Lakdaimoniois hoti tede keimetha tois keinon rhemasi peithomenoi- which means "Go Tell the Spartans, stranger passing by, that True to their Command, Here We Lie."

636 A.D. Battle of Yarmuk- The armies of Islam led by Caliph Omar defeat the Byzantine Greeks and captured Palestine and Jerusalem. The Caliph Omar received the defeated and captured Byzantine Emperor Romanus Diogenes with a cup of fruit flavored ice called Sherbat or sorbet. Omar was a very devout Muslim and spurned the vanity of a white charger, preferring to travel by donkey, as the Prophet Mohammad had done. The custom was for high born prisoners like an emperor to be ransomed back. But the Byzantine court was so annoyed, they refused to pay for big loser Romanus.

1191- At St. Jean d'Acre, Richard Lionheart had his crusaders slaughter 3,000 Arab families in front of Saladin to piss him off. Also to see if they had swallowed their gold. In olden days when you were captured it was wise to swallow your gold. Gold never tarnishes and err... well...lets just say, you'll get it back three days later.

1619- A Dutch ship anchors at the English colony at Jamestown Virginia and landed the first African slaves. Twenty people. By the American Revolution three million African people had been forcibly brought to America to serve as slaves. There was white slavery as well in the form of indentured servitude, but that had mostly died out by the formation of the American Republic.

1741-VITUS BERRING DISCOVERED ALASKA and helps colonize California. Well, he didn't actually help but for 200 years Spain had ignored it's Southwest colonies because there were no gold sodden Inca empires there. But when Berring opened the Pacific coast to Russian colonization the King of Spain freaked and ordered towns and missions built up the California coast. Britain also rushed it's claims to Washington State and British Columbia. This is why Juan DeCabrillo explored the California coast in 1542 but cities like L.A. and San Francisco weren't founded until 1770's.
Berring was a reluctant explorer. The Dane had heard Tsar Peter the Great was giving cushy salaries to skilled European sailors. But when Berring arrived in Russia the Tsar ordered him to travel 3700 miles to Siberia, build a fleet and explore the arctic because the Tsar had always wondered if America and Russia are connected. He went off and fooled around in the Arctic Sea for awhile then went back and said it wasn't. The Tsars scientists said that wasn't good enough, go back and do it again! Finally he discovered his Berring straights but died of scurvy in the Aleutians before he ever saw any money

1866- One year after the Civil War ended President Andrew Johnson declared the great insurrection officially over and rescinded all remaining wartime regulations and edicts, reinstating Habeas Corpus, etc.

1882 -Peter Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" premiered in Moscow. The composer said of all his works the two pieces he liked the least were the 1812 Overture and the Nutcracker Suite. Overture 1812 was Richard Nixon’s favorite classical piece.

1896 – The Dial telephone patented. It was nicknamed the Gravediggers Dial because it was invented by funeral director Almon Strowger. It was the world standard until replaced by the touchtone button system in the 1980s.

1940- In Mexico City exiled Russian leader Leon Trotsky was assassinated. While writing at his desk he hacked in the neck with a mountainclimbers pick. His murderer Ramon Mercador- alias Jules Antoine, alias Jackson, was paid by Stalin's agents. He got into Trotsky's household by dating one of the maids. It was rumored that part of the Stalinist cell in Mexico was famed painter David Siquieros.

Trotsky was having an affair with famed painter Frida Kahlo. Leon Trotsky predicted Stalin would try to get him while the world's attention was distracted by the Hitler War. When Mercador was released from a Mexican prison Stalin presented him with the Order of Lenin.

1940- In a radio speech Winston Churchill praised the efforts of the Royal Air Force in fighting Hitler's bombers-"Never have so Many, owed so Much, to so Few.'

1953- The Kinsey Report on Sexual Behavior in Women first published. Alfred & Clara Kinsey’s study proved to the conservative American public that 50% of women had premarital sex, liked sex for more than just procreation and 25% had a extramarital affair. This document following his 1948 report on sexual behavior of men revolutionized social attitudes towards sex and feminism.

1971- THE ENEMIES LIST. FBI documents prove this day the Nixon White House began to covertly investigate journalist Daniel Schorr because of his anti-war editorials. President Richard Nixon kept an enemies list of people he imagined to be opponents to his administration. It began with obvious liberals like George McGovern and Ted Kennedy, then expanded as far as June Foray the voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel.

1972- Star Hollywood directors Francis Ford Coppola, Peter Bogdanovich and William Freidkin announced a partnership in a new production company called "The Director's Company" Young punks Martin Scorcese, George Lucas and Steven Speilberg were also involved. The partnership lasted two years then collapsed.

1977- NASA launched the Voyager One probe towards the outer planets of our solar system. Among the things Voyager discovered was that Jupiter had many more moons than previously thought and had a ring like Saturn. Part of NASA's program was an explanatory simulation film done totally on computer by Jim Blinn. The animation was so smooth and the graphics so breathtaking it expanded the use of the c.g.i. medium and inspired a new generation of digital artists.

1985- Israel shipped 96 American-made TOW shoulder held missiles to the Ayatollahs in Iran. This was part of the Iran-Contra scheme. When Congress had forbidden the Ronald Reagan White House to send them any money to Anti-Communist rebels in Nicaragua, Reagan’s West Wing cooked up this scheme to trade arms for secret funds. Irans’ cash payment for the missiles went to the Nicaraguan Contra-Rebels.

1989- George and Joy Adamson, the naturalists who inspired the book Born Free, were murdered by Somali poachers in Kampi Ya Simba, Africa.

1998- THE WAG THE DOG ATTACKS- After the Al Qaeda terrorist organization bombed US embassies in Africa the Bill Clinton administration looked for an opportunity to hit back. This day the CIA got word that senior Al Qaeda leaders including Osama Ben Laden were gathering in a remote Afghan camp for a meeting. President Clinton ordered a spread of cruise missiles launched to kill them. The missiles hit their target, but Ben Laden got away.
In Washington the hostile Neo-Con media had a field day accusing the Clinton of making the strikes only to distract public attention from the Monica Lewinsky Sex Scandal. It alluded to a popular movie out at the time called Wag the Dog, where a scandal ridden president rigs a fake crisis to distract attention. Bill Clinton was stymied in any further efforts, and Osama Ben Laden lived on to plan 9-11.

1999- Planet Hollywood, the theme restaurant started by movie stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Demi Moore filed for bankruptcy.
Yesterday’s Quiz: Where did the term originate “ dancing in the aisles.”…

courtesy of the
Answer: In the 1930s and 40s, the Swing Music era coincided with the end of Vaudeville theatrics. So big theaters like the Paramount and Palladium booked top Big Bands to play in between movie double features. When the music was hot enough, teenage jitterbugs would jump up from their seats and spontaneously dance in the aisles.