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November 8th, 2010 mon.
November 8th, 2010

Question: Who was Dr Christiaan Barnard?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Who were Castor & Pollux?
History for 11/8/2010
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Nerva, Bram Stoker, Sir Edmund Halley, June Havoc, Margaret Mitchell, Joe Flynn- the cranky Captain Binghampton in the 60’s TV McHales Navy, Ricky Lee Jones, Bonny Raitt, Dr. Christiaan Barnard, Ester Rolle, Katherine Hepburn, Gretchen Mol is 38, Tara Reid, Parker Posie is 42.

1519- Spanish Conquistador Hernan' Cortez first met the Aztec Emperor Montezuma II. Cortes was guided by Malinche', the "Pocahontas of the Aztecs". This noblewoman guided Cortez's little band into the heart of the empire. Cortez was also offered a cup of chocolate, then a bitter brew called Tchocolatl.

1620 -Battle of White Mountain.- Austrian Catholic armies crush the Czech rebels and their leader Frederick of the Palatinate, who is nicknamed: "The Winter King" for his brief reign. The Czech Protestant rebels mostly came from the province of Bohemia and their wandering exile in the cities of Europe caused the word "Bohemian" to become synonymous with a rootless lifestyle.

1789- Elijah Craig first distilled whiskey from Indian corn and strained it through a wool blanket. He lived in Bourbon County, Kentucky, so the stuff soon became popularly known as Bourbon. Abraham Lincoln praised Bourbon as the most American of drinks.

1793- In one of the positive results of the Reign of Terror, the French Revolutionary Government opens the royal art collection of the Louvre to the public as a museum.

1805- Lewis and Clark stand on the sand at the Pacific Ocean near the mouth of the Columbia River.

1880- Famous actress Sarah Bernhardt made her American stage debut in La Dame aux Camelias. She made a further ten tours of the US, all billed as Farewell Appearances.

1887- Dentist-gunfighter Doc Holliday dies of tuberculosis or consumption at 35. He knew he had it for a long time, and in the 1800's it was as irreversible as AIDS is today. So some say this knowledge is what made him such a bold pistolero. But unfortunately for him, he won all his gunfights and died in bed anyway. His last words after taking a shot of whiskey were:" Well I'll be damned!"

1889- Montana became a state.

1910- Patent for the first insect electrocutor. FHZZZZITT !

1910- Congressman Victor Berger of Wisconsin became the first Socialist to be elected to Congress. Revisionist histories since the Red Scares and the superpower Cold War tend to ignore the achievements of the American Socialist Party. But in the first decades of the 20th century a number of big city mayors and congressmen were socialists. In the 1912 presidential election when Woodrow Wilson won by a slim one million votes, third party socialist Eugene Debs polled over a millions votes.

1918- German and Anglo-French negotiators began meetings in a railroad car in the remote Compiegne forest to negotiate an end World War One. Meanwhile the Kaiser’s government continued to collapse from within. Today revolutionary German sailors seized the town hall of Cologne and declared a workers state.

1923- When it sounds like they would be found out early, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler put into motion his attempt to overthrow the Weimar government. Because they started in a beer hall in Munich the coup is called the Beer Hall Putsch.

1926- New York Mayor Jimmy Walker, a former vaudeville hoofer who wrote the hit song: "Will You Love Me in December like You do in May? ", met chorus dancer Betty Compton at the Gershwin musical "Oh Kay!" and fell in love. His romancing his mistress openly in front of New York society, not to mention in front of his wife, was the scandal of the Roaring 20's.

Crooked as a dog's leg, Mayor Walker was forced to resign after a probe unearthed massive corruption in his administration, Jimmy tried once more to run for mayor against Fiorello Laguardia in 1933. But he was blocked by the Roman Catholic Cardinal of New York and NY Governor Franklin Roosevelt, who had just become president and found Walker an embarrassment. Jimmy Walker and Betty Compton lived in Europe for the next ten years. In 2000 married NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani lost the chance to run for the US Senate in part because he made open appearances at shows and dinners with his girlfriend, even meeting her in Gracie Mansion while his family was in an adjoining wing.

1929- New York’s Museum of Modern Art opened.

1932-Soviet dictator Josef Stalin’s second wife Nadehzda Alleyuieva shot herself, or so the official story said. It may have been the KGB, on orders of Stalin himself. Their daughter Svetlana later escaped to the U.S.

1943- The first one man show of American abstract painter named Jackson Pollock. Pollock later created his brushless dripping form of painting that earned him the nickname:” Jack the Dripper”.

1950- In Korea two Chinese MIG fighters tangled with US Sabre jets. The first jet-to-jet dogfight.

1952- The Supreme Court upholds a 1922 ruling that Baseball a sport, not a business. Therefore it is exempt from anti-trust laws.

1965- The Days of Our Lives soap opera first premiered on TV.

1966- Former actor and SAG president Ronald Reagan elected Governor of California trouncing two-term incumbent Pat Brown. Uber-Conservative Reagan declared a tough line with the Hippies of Haight Ashbury and Berkeley. He declared hippies “ Dressed like Tarzan, had hair like Jane and smelled like Cheetah..”

1991- Marion Barry was re-elected Mayor of Washington D.C. despite serving time for smoking crack cocaine. Comedian Chris Rock wondered:” Who did he run against that was so bad you’d rather vote for a crackhead?”

2004- The Second Battle of Faluja began. U.S. Marines had to fight their way back into an Iraqi city they were forced out of the previous April. Faluja erupted in violence after civilian outrages committed by Blackwater mercenaries, called “contractors”. Citizens ambushed the mercs and danced with their charred bodies, so in went the Marines.
Yesterday’s Question: Who were Castor & Pollux?

Answer: According to ancient Greek Mythology, Castor & Pollux were the original Gemini Twins, sons of Leda. According to some myths, one was
mortal and one was immortal, via Zeus "visiting" Leda as a swan while,
later the same night, she also shared her affections with her husband,
the king of Sparta. Helen (later of Troy) is their sister and, in some
stories, she was also the product of the Zeus/Leda dalliance, so she
would be their triplet. I think there may even be a version, where
Clytemnestra is also added into the mix, making the whole group
quadruplets. (Thanks Frankie G for the answer).

One story goes that, when the mortal son, usually designated as
Castor, died, Pollux asked Zeus if his brother could share his
immortality, so the old fellow put them both into the sky as the
Gemini constellation.