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May 6, 2013 tues.
May 6th, 2013

Quiz: According to German Emperor Charles Vth, when speaking to God, what language should you use?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: Composers Luigi Boccherini and Francesco Geminiani were born in the Italian town of Lucca. But they are overshadowed by an even more famous composer from there. Who was it?
History for 5/6/2013
Birthdays: Maximillien Robespierre, Sigmund Freud, Rudolph Valentino, Orson Welles, Robert Peary, Willie Mays, Stewart Granger*, Bob Seger, Toots Schoor, Weeb Ewbank, Andriana Caselotti- the voice of Snow White, Ruben Hurricane Carter, Christian Clavier, Tony Blair, George Clooney is 53.

*English actor Stewart Granger had to change his name to get into Hollywood movies. His real name was Jimmy Stewart.

1096- Massacre of Mainz- As mobs of Crusaders massed to war on the Holyland, they deliberately chose a route of march through Central Europe. As they passed through cities like Prague, Wurms, Mainz and Spier they could vent their religious zeal by massacring the Jewish communities there.
Many well meaning bishops like the Bishop of Mainz tried to stop them and hide Jews, but the pogrom was terrible. In some cities when faced with death or baptizing, hundreds of Jews committed suicide. When at the walls of Jerusalem the Crusaders saw the Jewish community fighting shoulder to shoulder with their Moslem-Arab cousins against them.

1527- THE SACK OF ROME- Pope Clement VII "the Medici Fox" played the diplomatic tango with the world powers a bit too clumsily and Emperor Charles V of Spain, Holland and Germany launched an army at Rome. Charles gave his general Charles De Bourbon a hangman's noose dipped in gold, a "Golden Rope to Hang the Pope"

The Vatican armies were led by the late Pope Julius's bastard son Maria Della Rovere who didn't like Clement so he kept his army out of the whole war. The city of Rome’s defense was organized by the artist Benevenuto Cellini. He managed to get off one shot before escaping out the back door and that shot killed Charles de Bourbon, so now a loot crazed mercenary army with no commander was let loose in the richest city in Europe. The troops pillaged for months, only the plague drove them out. Many of the troops were newly converted Protestants, so they looked forward to despoiling the Great Whore of Rome.

They entered the orphanage of Santo Spirito and slaughtered all the patients, then ran into St. Peters and massacred all the harmless people who sought sanctuary there. They dressed a donkey in cardinals robes, proclaimed Martin Luther pope and made campfires in the Sistine chapel-which is why the fresco was darkened by smoke. 147 of the Pope’s elite Swiss Guard held off the rampaging enemy army until the Pope could escape. They were massacred to a man. Ever since, May 6th is the day new members of the Swiss Guard are installed at the Vatican.

Pope Clement escaped the golden rope, but the Vatican never regained the power it once had and popes actually started to concentrate on spiritual stuff!

1603- After a triumphal procession down from Edinburgh James VI of Scotland enters London as James Ist of England. Although the treaty of union was not formally signed until 1717 James can truly be called the first king not just of England but of Great Britain.

1682-THE GLOUCESTER DISASTER- The good ship Gloucester was carrying the Duke of York and his court back from Scotland when it struck a reef off Norfolk and sank. It was said the good Duke, who would soon be King James II, courageously stayed until it was almost too late then escaped in a longboat. Later the Duke of Marlborough revealed in letters to his wife that if James had left sooner instead of worrying about his image they might have been able to save more people. As it was James took the only longboat and filled it with his luggage, hunting dogs and priest. He then posted guards with drawn swords to keep anyone else coming on board. James and only 40 people survived while 300 perished with the ship. Later as King James II he was overthrown and driven into exile with the help of Marlborough.

1793- American artist Gilbert Stuart arrived back home after a stay in Europe dead broke. In the Age of Gainsborough, Romney and West, Stuart didn’t do so well. He left America because he was tired of being pestered to do copies of his famous portrait of George Washington, the one that is currently on our dollar bill.

1833 - John Deere makes his1st steel plow.

1840- Britain issued the Penny-Blacks, the first perforated adhesive postage stamps.

1862- Henry David Thoreau dies at age 44. When his sister asked him :"Have you made your peace with God?" Thoreau replied:" I was unaware that we had ever quarreled."
His last words as he faded away were “Moose…Indian…”

1864-Ulysses Grant started his armies moving south towards Robert E. Lee in Virginia. One general cynically noted :” The fourth act of our comedy has begun.”

1877- One year after Custer's Last Stand Crazy Horse, "the Napoleon of the Plains", surrendered to U.S. authorities. They obligingly assassinated him later.

1882 -Congress passed the First Chinese Exclusion Act.

1903-A bronze plaque was attached to the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. On it was a poem The New Colossus by a young Jewish immigrant woman named Emma Lazarus. She was disturbed by the Anti-Semitic violence in Russia and wrote this inspired by the symbol of the Statue. “Give Me your Tired, Your Poor..” The French creators had intended the Statue of Liberty to symbolize political liberty but Lazarus’s poem had confirmed the Statue as“ The Mother of Exiles ”.

1915-Babe Ruth hits his first home run. He was a Boston Red Sox pitcher at the time. He will finish his career with 714 home runs, a record that held for decades until Hank Aaron.

1919- Seattle dockworkers go on strike refusing to load weapons destined to fight fellow workers in the Russian Revolution.

1919- Wizard of Oz creator L.Frank Baum died of heart disease at 62. He was trying at the time to buy real estate in Los Angeles for an Oz- theme amusement park.

1937-The Giant Zeppelin Graf HINDENBURG EXPLODED while landing in Lakehurst New Jersey. Despite the horrible film images 63 of the 90 passengers and crew escaped.
People to this day aren’t sure what happened, from an igniting from static electricity to an anti-nazi saboteur firing a flare gun into the hydrogen gas bags. The explosion originated behind the large swastika on the tail.

The previous year a visit from a German luxury liner the S.S. Bremen caused a riot on the New York City docks as demonstrators fought police to tear the hated Nazi flag down. It was possible at that time to fly a dirigible with non flammable helium, but it was much more expensive than hydrogen and the worlds chief supplier of helium, the United States, was reluctant to sell Hitler that much of the strategic chemical.

The American ground crew wanted to give a gift to the German captain who was dying of 3rd degree burns, so they presented him with an engraved cigarette lighter! (tacky) My grandparents told me they drove out to see the wreckage with a huge crowd. Even though it was still smoldering people were prying chunks off it for souvenirs.

Zeppelins were once supposed to be moored to the top of the Empire State Building but that never came about. By 1939 Goring ordered all remaining zeppelins and hangers scrapped for their valuable materials.

1937- THE FLEISCHER STRIKE-Cartoonists vote to strike Max Fleischers Studio after Max fires 13 animators for union activity and complaining about the 6 day work week.
The strike was settled several weeks later when parent company Paramount forced Max to concede. Strikers sang "We're Popeye the Union Man! We're Popeye the Union Man! We'll Fight to the Finish, Cause We Can't Live on Spinach ! We're Popeye...etc."

1937- The Society of Motion Picture Art Directors formed.

1941- A friend of Bob Hope who was now in the military suggested the comedian come and entertain troops on their army post. Hope takes the suggestion and it becomes his signature event. Into his eighties he entertained servicemen around the world in five wars.

1945- Just as exhausted GI’s in Germany were beginning to celebrate the end of the war in Europe, an announcement in Stars & Stripes newspaper gave them the bad news that they won’t be demobilized and go home until Japan was defeated as well! European armies were scheduled for the invasion of the Japanese home islands in november if the atomic bombs didn’t work.

1946- Curly Howard, was the most outrageous of the comedy troupe The Three Stooges.
While people laughed at his antics, he lived a wild Hollywood life, lots of clubs, drinking, smoking and girls. This day while filming the short Halfwits Holiday, he suffered a massive stroke. He was 42. He survived 6 more years in deteriorating health, moved from hospital to hospital by his brothers. He died in 1952 at age 48.

1949-EDSAC did its’ first calculations in England. The first computer that could store data in it’s memory.

1954- Oxford student Roger Bannister ran the first Four Minute Mile. His time was 3:59.04.

1994- The Channel Tunnel or The Chunnel opened between Folkestone England and Calais France.

2001- Variety reported that the Walt Disney Company in promoting their upcoming summer film Pearl Harbor, had canceled plans for Pearl Harbor Happy Meals at McDonalds, as being in bad taste. …..Hmmm…do ya think..?

2003- A giant tornado destroyed the factory in Jackson, Tennessee that produced most of the world’s supply of Pringles Potato Chips.
Yesterday’s Question: Composers Luigi Boccherini and Francesco Geminiani were born in the Italian town of Lucca. But they are overshadowed by an even more famous composer from there. Who was it?

Answer: Giacomo Puccini