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Sept 15, 2012 Sat
September 15th, 2012

Question: What does it mean when you call someone a Torquemada?

Yesterday’s Question What does it mean when you call a law Draconian?-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
History for 9/15/2012
Birthdays: James Fennimore Cooper, William Howard Taft, Porfirio Diaz- Mexican President 1884-1911, Agatha Christie, Julian Cannonball Adderly, Bruno Walter, Yuri Noorstein, Merlin Olsen, Hank Williams, Oliver Stone, Jean Renoir (film director and son of painter August Renoir), Alexander Korda, Jesse Norman, Robert Benchley, Ron Shelton, Merlin Olsen, Fay Wray, Tommy Lee Jones is 66, Prince Harry, the second son of Charles and Di is 28

In Japan, this is Respect For the Aged Day.

7 BC.- THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM..? According to astronomical records kept by the Persian Magi starting this day an alignment of Jupiter, Saturn and Mars caused a rare bright star that glowed both day and night . Another explanation of the star may have come from Chinese astronomers who recorded a comet during the year 5 BC.. Remember according to the many modern calculations Jesus may actually have been born in August, 6 BC

533 A.D. BATTLE OF THE TENTH MILESTONE (Decimum)- Byzantine general Belisarius defeated the Vandals of Africa -a really, really lost tribe of German Barbarians. Belisarius was sent by his emperor Justinian to win back the Western half of the Roman Empire for him. The Vandals while in Spain didn't leave much except giving their name to the Southern Spanish coast- Andalusia (Vandalusium) and the custom of defacing walls.

After conquering North Africa and half of Italy and Spain, Justinian rewarded Belisarius by taking away his army, having him blinded with boiling vinegar and given a begging bowl. Justinian thought he was getting TOO successful, that he might grab his throne. The Byzantines couldn't hold on to the African and Italian provinces so Rome stayed fallen. 1776- The BATTLE OF NEW YORK- Lord Howe's British Army crossed the East River from Brooklyn and attacked Manhattan at Turtle Bay, approximately between E 30th and 31st Streets. Colonial troops panicked and fled uptown while George Washington futilely tried to rally them where the 42nd St. Public Library now is. As the last panic stricken farmer scampered off tossing his weapons away, George Washington threw down his hat and exclaimed: "Lord, have I such soldiers as these?"

Legend has it the only reason the British let the Yankees escape was the commanders paused to have tea with a Quaker lady acquaintance. New York was an occupied city for the rest of the Revolutionary War. Hundreds of colonial prisoners were kept in rotting prison ships moored in the harbor, where many died of disease and neglect.

1810 -El GRITO aka MEXICAN INDEPENDENCE- As the bells ring peasant priest Father Miquel Hidalgo waved the banner of the Virgin of Tonantzin-Guadalupe and published a revolutionary tract-The Cry of Dolores. New Spain declared their Independence as Mexica, the name of the ancient Aztec nation. Hidalgo was later captured and shot but not before setting the people aflame:" Will you recover the lands stolen three hundred years ago from our forefathers by the hated Spaniards? Long Live Our Lady of Guadalupe! Death to the gachupines!” -Aztec for Euro- Honkies. The war continued for a decade until Spain acknowledged Mexican independence in 1821.

1858- The Butterfield Overland Mail service started up, driving stagecoaches throughout the Old West.

1894- Japanese defeat the Chinese at Ping Yang. They take Korea and Taiwan.

1901- After the funeral of assassinated President McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt strode into the White House for his first day as President. Bully !

1925- The Grand Order of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan take out a copyright on their logo – the white cross on the red circle with the black square in the center. After all, some other racist hate group might try to copy their cool duds!

1930- The first Blondie comic strip.

1930- Hoagy Carmichael first recorded “Georgia on My Mind”.

1935-“The Law Protecting German Blood and German Honor” aka the Nuremberg Edicts passed in Nazi Germany. They make Anti-Semitism official state policy. It took civil rights away from Jews and set up levels of Jewishness to determine pure Aryan bloodlines.”Jews are forbidden to marry other Germans or hold public office, including college professorships.

1936-MGM producer Irving Thallberg, the "Boy Genius" of Hollywood, died of a cerebral hemorrhage at 31. He was the inspiration for F.Scott Fitzgerald's "The Last Tycoon". His boss Louis B. Mayer was beginning to resent his popularity. When actress Gloria Swanson asked Mayer how he felt about Thallberg's death Mayer replied:" God has been very kind to me."

1940- Climax of the BATTLE OF BRITAIN-Herman Goring tries some final huge bomber raids to flatten London and wipe out the R.A.F., in preparation for Operation Sea Lion, the German invasion of Great Britain. Germans thought this was the day the attack across the Channel would happen at last. Hundreds of planes dogfight in the skies over London and Saint Pauls Cathedral is wreathed in flame and smoke. 65 German planes were shot down in one day. American CBS news correspondent Edgar R. Murrow gained national fame by fearlessly standing on a rooftop at the height of the battle and reporting a live radio broadcast.

1945-In occupied Berlin, composer Anton Webern is shot and killed by an American sentry when he went outside for a smoke in violation citywide night curfew orders.

1950- The INCHON LANDINGS. Gen Douglas MacArthur's masterstroke to amphibiously land an army behind the North Korean invaders and drive them from South Korea. It was an unlikely landing beach- short pebbly beach with a high craggy cliffs and the high tides in the world – 37 feet, from low to high tide, make the area inaccessible for most of the day. But MacArthur had remembered the Japanese had used this spot as a landing site in 1894 and it worked decisively. Mao Tse Tung had guessed that MacArthur might try a landing at Inchon and warned North Korean leader Kim Il Sung but Sung ignored the warnings and was taken completely by surprise. Within a week Seoul was recaptured and the North Korean Army was in full retreat.

1954- The day of shooting on the film the Seven Year Itch. Marilyn Monroe in her little white dress stood over the subway grate and let the breeze blow her dress up, much to the annoyance of her husband, baseball star Joe Dimaggio. Her white halter outfit was thereafter known as a Marilyn Dress.

1956- Surgeons Walter Freeman and Egas Moniz perform America's first prefrontal lobotomy on a depressed, 63-year-old Kansas woman in Washington, D.C.

1957-The tv series Bachelor Father starring John Forsythe premiered.

1959- Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev arrived in the U.S. for a good will tour that included farms and factories. Americans found the earthy bald peasant with the broad smile charming, and not at all the bogeyman everyone feared. At one point Khruschev requested to visit Disneyland, the “workers playground” but Walt Disney refused:” In 1942 we lent those Commie bastards a print of Snow White and they released in their theaters with their own credits on it!” Khruschev also praised American white bread. “Russian Bread is made one day and goes stale. American bread can stay on shelf for weeks and still be soft!”

1963- Four little girls were killed when a bomb set by white racists destroyed the First Baptist Church in Birmingham Alabama. The Church was seen as the headquarters of the Black Civil Rights activists and Freedom Riders, but these girls had only arrived early for choir practice. The Klansman who planted the bomb was not convicted until 2001. One of the slain little girls schoolmates would one day grow up to become a Secretary of State- Dr. Condoleeza Rice.

1965- "Green Acres" t.v. show debuts. Arnold Ziffle the pig gains national prominence.

1971 –The environmental political movement Greenpeace founded in Vancouver by twelve members of the Don’t Make a Wave Committee.

1973- Star Trek animated series by Filmation premiered. This was the first time Kirk, Spock, Sulu and Uhura were untied again with a Roddenberry script since the original series was cancelled in 1967.

1982- During the Lebanese Civil War the Christian Maronite President of Lebanon Bashir Gemayel had made a deal with the Israelis to rid his country of the PLO, who were using South Lebanon as a base since being thrown out of Jordan in the Black September of 1971. Israel invaded Lebanon but Gemayel refused to sign an alliance, just a non-aggression pact. This day Gemayel was assassinated by Muslim fighters. His murder provoked the Sabra and Shatila massacres.

1998- Rap star Coolio is busted in Lawndale Cal for driving on the wrong side of the road, using an expired license and having a 9mm pistol and bag of marijuana in his car.

2004- A mob of demonstrators protesting fox hunting season break into the English House of Commons. The last time Parliament was attacked like this, was the Gordon Riots in 1744. There was a swipe card security gate, but it was broken that day, and no one had bothered to fix it.

2008- THE GREAT RECESSION- George W. Bush touted himself as the CEO President, proud of his cabinet’s business experience. Today the US Stock Market went into a panic nosedive after two of the nation’s oldest investment banks- Merrill Lynch and Lehman Bros collapsed. Lehmans was $613 billion in debt. This shock added to the news of the government taking over mortgage insurers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and gas prices suppressing car sales. The American financial crisis panicked stock markets around the world. It was the greatest financial collapse since the Great Depression of 1929.
Yesterday’s Question: What does it mean when you call a law Draconian?

Answer: Dracon was a judge in ancient Athens circa the 620s BC. He was infamous for being harsh, giving out death sentences for almost everything.
Since then Draconian came to mean an unusually harsh law or edict.