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September 17th, 2010 friday
September 17th, 2010

Question: What does it mean to “ go all in”….?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Politicians joke about being in a Cone of Silence. Where did that term originate?
History for 9/17/2010
Birthdays: Hank Williams, Spiro Agnew, Ken Kesey, Jerry Colonna, Roddy MacDowell, George Blanda, Wendy Carlos Williams, Elvira- real name Cassandra Peterson, Anne Bancroft, Jeff MacNelly, John Ritter, Sir Frederick Ashton, Rita Rudner, Bass Lehrman is 48

1179- Feast of Saint Hildegard of Bingen, the medieval female composer.

1630- Happy Birthday Beantown! The Puritan colonists of New England decide to name their new settlement Boston, after a town in Lincolnshire. The site was an Algonquin village called Shawmut.

1632-BATTLE of BRIETENFELD- One of the great battles of the religious Thirty Years War. South Germans, Austrians, Italians, Spaniards on the Catholic side, Swedes, Danes, Hungarians and North Germans on the Protestant side. Catholic general Joachim Tchserclas Von Tilly lost despite dedicating the battle to the Virgin Mary and having twelve cannon named for the Twelve Apostles. Protestant Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus sang morning prayers with his army from the saddle. I wonder if their battle cry was:" Prince of Peace! CHAAAAARGE !!"

1787- The U.S. Constitution signed by the representatives of 12 of the thirteen states. Rhode Island boycotted the convention. “The business is closed.” George Washington wrote in his diary. Alexander Hamilton signed as the only representative of New York since the others left in protest. He was a prime mover of the Constitutional rewrite but was unimpressed with the final result: “Just more pork with the same old sauce, but it might lead the way for a better one later.”Aaron Burr wrote” I doubt if it will last 50 years.”
Yet the US Constitution became the bedrock of the American system and is viewed with an almost religious dedication. When Ben Franklin emerged from the meeting, an old woman asked:’ Well, Dr Franklin, what have you given us now?” Franklin replied:” A Nation, mam, if you can keep it!”

1859- JOSHUA NORTON of San Francisco, a well known rice merchant, suffered a mental breakdown under the strain of work, bought a tricycle and a marching band uniform and declared himself Joshua Ist, By God's Grace Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico! Everybody went along with the gag including Abraham Lincoln, who Joshua would write to as "My Prime Minister" and Abe would answer "Your Majesty". When Joshua died in 1875, 35,000 San Franciscans turned out for a state funeral befitting royalty.

1862- BATTLE OF ANTIETAM or Sharpsburg. Abe Lincoln needed a Union victory before freeing the slaves so the act wouldn't look like the last desperate gamble of a losing side. Robert E. Lee had invaded Maryland but his secret orders wrapped around some cigars were discovered by Yankee trooper. "At last I've got him!' crowed Gen. George B. "Little Mac" McClellan, the Union commander who was a great organizer but a terrible battlefield commander. The two sides batter each other in one of the bloodiest days in U.S. history, double the U.S. casualties of D-Day in World War II. McClellan delayed sending in his reserves at a critical moment to break Lee's center, so the battle was a draw. Lee withdrew into Virginia -he was leaving Maryland anyway, so it was kind of, sort of, a Union success.
Yet despite Lincoln's pleading, McClellan refused to pursue. Lil' Mac was convinced Lee had 100,00 troops (he had barely 30,000.). Never one for modesty, McClellan wrote his wife: "Once again God has made me His instrument to be the Savior of my country."
Lincoln fired him ,but published his Emancipation Proclamation anyway.

1921-SWASTIKA- New leader of the German National Socialist or Nazi Party Adolf
Hitler sent his first letter to party members. He had spent a lot of time researching graphic symbols in a Munich library with a Professor Pluskau who specialized in Oriental cultures. Now Herr Hitler advised all party members to adopt as their emblem an ancient Aryan symbol of a crooked cross, called a Swastika. This was to be worn as an armband and on party stationary toped with an eagle in imitation of ancient imperial Rome. Early Nazi rallies actually sold name brand merchandise to fund their movement.

1932- Mickey Mouse short The Whoopee Party, premiered.

1940- After the failure of the German Luftwaffe, Hitler postponed Operation Sea Lion, the invasion of the British Isles. The Battle of Britain was over. Hitler would resume bombing London with rocket weapons in 1943 in the period called 'The Blitz".

1941- As Stuka Bombers drop incendiary explosives over their heads, Dmitri Shostakovitch performs the first two movements of his Symphony #7 the "Leningrad" to a Leningrad audience. Shostakovitch wrote the symphony during the terrible 900 day siege by the Nazi's, often pausing to join the fire brigade in putting out fires.

1944- OPERATION MARKET GARDEN- British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery convinced Eisenhower that one way to shorten the war would be to drop the allied parachute divisions to seize key bridgehead crossings at Arnhem, Einhoven and Nijmegen in Holland and then send tank units racing up to secure their breakthrough. The area to be attacked was well behind the front lines and supposed to be undefended. But just before this attack two crack Nazi SS Panzer divisions had been withdrawn there to rest. The operation was one of the biggest Allied disasters of the war. The Allies dropped troops on one side of Arnhem and their supplies on the other side, with the Germans in between.
The assault was broken and the valiant British paratroops under General Urquhart & Col. Ross holding one side of Arnhem Bridge were forced to surrender. Of the 10,000 men of the British First Parachute Division only 2,000 were not killed, wounded or captured. An Arnhem eyewitness who would one day grow up to be a famous actress was a little Dutch refugee named Audrey Hepburn. General Patton, who was not fond of Montgomery, summed it all up unkindly: “Monty says he wants a dagger thrust into the heart of Germany. Knowing Monty, it would be more like a butter knife!” In 1967 shortly before his death, Montgomery stated:” I still feel Market Garden could have worked.”

1965- If you ever wondered what could be funny about being held in a Nazi prison camp you could watch the TV sitcom HOGANS HEROES, which debuted this day. Nazi Commandant Colonel Klink was acted by Werner Klemperer, whose father was the famous orchestra conductor Otto Klemperer who had to flee Germany because they were Jewish. Sergeant Schulz and the Frenchman LeBeau were also played by actors who survived the Holocaust- John Banner and Robert Clary.

1971- RCA gave up and pulled out of the retail computer market.

1972- Filmation's The Groovie Ghoulies" debuts.

1975- Psychotherapist Lucile Yaney opened one of LA’s most unusual restaurants- the Inn of the Seventh Ray in Topanga Canyon. Built on the site of a countryhouse 1920’s evangelist Aimee Semple MacPherson brought her lovers. Premiere organic cuisine with berry wines, then you can browse the store for power crystals, I-Ching sticks and literature from Alastair Crowley and Edgar Cayce. Faaar- Out !

1980- Saddam Hussein’s Iraq attacked the Ayatollah Khomeni's Iran. An 8 year war resulted. Because at the time we hated the Ayatollah’s Iran more, the US actively supplied Saddam with arms, CIA intelligence on Iranian troop movements and a lot of those hand held rockets Iraqis are shooting today.

2008- the entire country of Iceland declared bankruptcy.

2008- the first revelations that George W. Bush’s Department of the Interior officials were having sex and taking drugs with lobbyists for the Oil companies. One official admitted snorting meth off an office toaster oven. Meanwhile they winked at the oil companies forgetting to pay hundred of millions of dollars in environmental penalties and fees. Two years later, two oil rigs exploded and polluted the Gulf off Louisiana.

Yesterday’s Question: Politicians joke about being in a Cone of Silence. Where did that term originate?

Answer: It was a recurring joke in the 1960’s TV show Get Smart. A large Plexiglas dome descended on Smart and his chief, to allow privacy, but it never seemed to work.