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I had a nice day today giving a talk at the LA chapter DAR at The Hollywood Los Angeles Fire Department Museum.

It has a lot of very cool exhibits, antiques of Old Hollywood firefighting, including a hook & ladder donated by Disney animator Ward Kimball. If I had kids, I'd bring them there and watch their faces light up. Thanks to Karen and her group and Don and all the firefighters for making me feel welcome.

Question: Where is Pangaea?

Yesterday’s Question Answered below: What does this mean- “Soylent Green is People!”....?
History for 10/17/2010
Birthdays: Arthur Miller, Rita Hayworth, Jean Arthur, Montgomery Clift, Jimmy Breslin, Tom Poston, Gary Puckett, Margot Kidder, Evil Knievel, Jerry Seigel (Superman co-creator), Virgil 'Vip' Partch, Charles Kraft the sliced cheese king, Beverly Garland- star of Attack of the Alligator People, George Wendt, Mike Judge, Eminem

641 A.D.- ALEXANDRIA, the "Paris of the Ancient World" fell to the advancing armies of Islam. The Byzantine Greek emperors had been persecuting the native Coptic Christians as a heresy, so the Egyptians bloodlessly opened their gates to the Arab invaders.
courtesy of 1776 Magazine
1777- SARATOGA- 'Gentleman Johnny' Burgoyne, and his British Army are surrounded in upper New York State and forced to surrender. This is seen as the turning point of the American Revolution, because the victory gave the rebels credibility in the eyes of England's traditional enemies- France, Holland and Spain. That evening General Burgoyne was invited to dinner by the American General Gates and his staff. When invited to give the first toast Burgoyne raised his glass and said:” To His Excellency George Washington!” When Burgoyne left England that spring he had wagered politician Charles Fox 50 guineas he would conquer America single handed and return by Christmas. Well, he did get home by Christmas...

1787- The US Constitution accepted and signed into law, U.S. Constitutional Convention adjourns.

1904-In San Francisco Amadeo and Giovanni Giannini opened the New Bank of Italy, which in 1930 became the Bank of America. Among the 40 or so independent banks in California Gianini’s bank grew because he encouraged immigrants to put their money in, instead of in their mattresses. After the great San Francisco earthquake Gianini they buried the records and total assets of their bank in a strongbox in their garden until their building could be rebuilt. The Bank of America grew from that garden to become the largest bank in the U.S. and a major Hollywood financier.

1928- Duke Ellington recorded The Mouche.

1943- The Burma Railway was completed by Japanese forces using prisoner of war as laborers, the infamous Bridge on the River Kwai. Contrary to the David Lean movie, the bridge was never blown up, and is still in use today.

1967- The Hippy musical “Hair” opened at the Anspacher Theatre on Broadway.

1973- THE OIL WEAPON- Arab nations of OPEC declare a crude oil embargo on any nation supporting Israel. Oil went from $12 a barrel to $79. Gas rationing and long lines appeared at gas stations in the US and England.

1989- In the late afternoon the BAY AREA EARTHQUAKE- called the Loma Prieta Quake, shook San Francisco and vicinity. For the first time since 1906 fires were seen in the Mission District. The epicenter was a little town called Watsonville. 67 people were killed. California was planning to relieve traffic pressure by building upper levels onto existing freeways systems. When one of these new doubledeckers, the Cypress Freeway, collapsed in this quake crushing motorists in a grisly concrete sandwich, all such plans were abandoned.
There was a world series baseball game under way in Candlestick Park, but miraculously no one was hurt. National TV audiences amazed that local fans laughed at the danger. They chanted to the TV cameras :"Welcome to California!".

1990-The Internet Movie Data Base( started up.

2005- The Colbert Report with Steven Colbert premiered on Comedy Central. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yesterday’s Questions: What does this mean- “Soylent Green is People!”....?

Answer: The last line of a 1973 Sci Fi film about a dystopian world coping with severe overpopulation. Society is fed by rations of a processed nutrition cracker called Soylent Green. At the end of the film, detective Charlton Heston finds out that the cracker is made from processing human remains. He shouts this warning but is drowned out in the crowds.