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June 7, 2013
June 7th, 2013

Question: What are you wearing when you put on your Daisy Dukes?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: Was Napoleon really short?
History for 6/7/2013
Birthdays: Pope Gregory XIII, Beau Brummel, Paul Gauguin, Chick Corea, George Szell, Watergate congressman Peter Rodino, Tom Jones, Jessica Tandy, James Ivory, Virginia McKenna, Liam Neeson is 61, Prince is 55

The First Friday in June is commemorated as DONUT DAY, when we reflect on the origins of the portable cake. It’s birth in 1847 is credited to a Maine sea captain Hanson Crockett Gregory. Out at sea, the old salt had his breakfast interrupted by a New England squall. So he stuck his cake onto the spoke of his ship’s wheel, while he steered out of danger, thereby creating the legendary hole.

Today is the feast day of the Fifth century Saint Meriodoc of Ploughganou. Among his relics was a magical bell that when you placed it over the head of people with migraines and the deaf made them well. I can just imagine the scene- Here, can you hear this? BOONNNGGG!! Praise Be, You’re cured!

1099- After three years of marching and fighting, the massed armies of the First Crusade finally sight the Holy City of Jerusalem.

1191- Richard the Lionheart arrived in the Holy Land for the Third Crusade, he went by ship via Sicily and Cyprus- the easy way. The Crusaders met him on the beach with an old song that today is "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow".

1520-THE FIELD OF THE CLOTH OF GOLD- A Renaissance international summit organized by Cardinal Woolsey. King Henry VIII of England, King Francois Le Bel of France and Emperor Karl of Germany, all pitched their expensive gold cloth tents together, and held feasts, revels and tournaments while discussing politics.

1523- After a century of being united with Denmark in the Union of Clamar, Sweden broke away and established a new monarchy. Their rebellious noblemen gathered in a new Riksraad- Parliament, and declared their king a young blonde-bearded noble named Gustavus Ericksson Vasa. At times he was an outlaw like Robin Hood. Now Gustavus established his Vasa dynasty, and made Sweden a major power in Europe.

1594- All during Queen Elizabeth Ist reign there were plots and attempts on her life. This day the Queens Spanish-Jewish doctor Rodrigo Lopez was executed on suspicion of his attempting to poison the Queen. The evidence was circumstantial and Elizabeth took several weeks to decide to sign the death warrant. When the news got out there was a wave of Anti-Semitic feeling among the English populace, even though most Jews had been banned from England since 1388. This is seen as the time when William Shakespeare got the inspiration to create Shylock the money lender in his play the Merchant of Venice.

1654- French Louis XIV "the Sun King" was crowned.

1692- Port Royal, was the Jamaican port that became a haven for buccaneers and pirates of the Carribbean. Today it was destroyed by a huge earthquake. After Tortuga was cleaned out of pirates by the Spanish Navy, Port Royal became the unofficial pirate capitol. At its height with a harbor that could shelter 150 ships, she boasted more citizens than Boston and more money per capita than London. Trade was so extensive that among the treasures, divers found was a Japanese samurai sword.

1769- Frontiersman Daniel Boone reached Kentucky by charting a way through the Cumberland Gap. Though they seem quaint hills today in Colonial times the Allegheny Mountains presented an insurmountable barrier preventing further movement west from the colonies of the Atlantic coast. Boone’s achievement was the first penetration of this wall. Daniel Boone was once asked if he ever got lost. “ Nope” he said: “But I was bewildered once.”

1776- In the Continental Congress representative Richard Henry Lee stands up and proposes a resolution calling for American Independence. " Be it Resolved that these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States." This began the fateful debate that lasted until July 2nd. John Adams calculated that at this time only one third of the American public was for full independence, one third was for reconciliation with Britain and one third was fence sitting.

1810- THE TREATY of TILSIT- Another international summit. While dozens of conquered and allied princes stood in the rain, Napoleon conferred with Czar Alexander I of Russia on a raft moored in the middle of the Neiman River. It was the height of the little corporal's power. Napoleon said of the young Czar:" He is so beautiful ! If he was a woman I would fall madly in love with him !" And he later said of Queen Marie Louise of Prussia: " She is so strong she is the only real man in Germany." Obviously Napoleon was having issues with gender association .

1856-CONGRESSIONAL SLUGFEST- During an angry debate on the slavery issue South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks attacks and beat unconscious Massachusetts Representative Charles Sumner right on the floor of the House of Representatives.
"I wore out my cane on his head!” Brooks boasted. Admirers sent Brooks more canes. The slavery argument had become so ugly Congressman took to carrying concealed pistols and daggers to Capitol Hill. The news outraged abolitionists. In far away Kansas territory it affected preacher John Brown. "Dad went a little crazy when he got the news."-his son admitted. Brown would break into slave owners homes in the dead of night and announcing he was the Avenging Angel of the Lord, behead them with an antique broadsword.

1860- Workmen in San Francisco began laying track on Market Street for a light rail system, the famous Cable Cars.

1863- A French army sent by Emperor Napoleon III entered Mexico City to set up Austrian Archduke Maximillian & Carlotta as rulers of Mexico. Napoleon III was the first to refer to Spanish and Portuguese speaking states in South America as Latin America.

1864- Abraham Lincoln was nominated for a second term as President. At this time even he didn't think he would win. Hi opponent George MacClellen was a popular general who ran on a platform of negotiated peace with the South.

1882- The electric iron was invented by Henry Seely of New York City. This event was pretty far sighted because not many homes were equipped with electricity yet.

1893- Young Indian lawyer Mohandas K. Gandhi was practicing in South Africa. This day he committed his first ever act of Civil Disobedience by refusing to comply with the racial segregation laws on a train out of Pietermaritzburg, Gandhi would win equality for so-called “coloreds “, meaning Indian and Asian citizens. Later Ghandi moved to India to become the Mahatma, or the Great Soul.

1917- In an army reorganization in preparation for entering World War One, the U.S. army merged four regiments with artillery to create the U.S. First Division. Later in the trenches a doughboy took a piece of red felt from a captured German uniform and made a shoulder insignia from it. It was the first sewn shoulder patch. The unit became famous as the Big Red One.

1924- This day marked the last known contact with the George Mallory Expedition. He was the first mountain climber to attempt to reach the summit of Mount Everest. They disappeared shortly after. Mallory’s bones were finally discovered in 1999. We all know that Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenjin Norgai conquered Everest in 1953, but Mallory reach the top first ? Unlike Scott of the Antarctic he left no diary or logbook so we may never know.

1932- During the Great Depression about one third of the independent banks in the U.S. failed. On this day Hollywood was affected because the First Bank of Beverly Hills went under, erasing the assets of many important Hollywood figures.
Greta Garbo lost one million dollars overnight. Louis B. Mayer, ever one to capitalize on a situation, offered her an advance if she would sign an exclusive 7 year contract with MGM. Garbo's back was to the wall so she signed, but then got her revenge in her own way- namely she immediately went on a 6 month vacation to Europe and took a lesbian lover named Mercedes DeAcosta whom she tongue-kissed in front of cameras.

1942- Japanese troops storm the beaches at Attu and Kiska in the Aleutians Islands, Alaska, the first foreign soldiers on U.S. soil since the British redcoats in 1814.

1954- Scientist Alan Turing helped break the WWII German Enigma Code, and was considered one of the fathers of the computer. Early computers were called Turing Machines. He predicted one day computers would be able to think like humans, and one day we would play games on our computers. But when Turing was revealed to be gay, was sentenced to a mental institution to undergo chemical castration. He was convicted with the same law used to jail Oscar Wilde in 1895. Alan Turing was a fan of the Disney film Snow White. This day he laced an apple with cyanide and bit into it. He was 42.

1955- The TV quiz show The $64,000 Question premiered.

1959- Boss of the Chicago Mafia Sam Momo Giancana testified to the Senate McClellan Committee on racketeering in the U.S. . While he was being grilled by chief prosecutor Robert Kennedy Giancana had a strange grin on his face. Bobby Kennedy lashed out:”Why are you giggling Mr. Giancana? Don’t only little girls giggle?”

What Bobby didn’t know was Giancana was being courted by his own father Joe Kennedy Sr to help with money and support in the upcoming Presidential Election of his brother Jack.
Giancana’s support of the Kennedy’s and later disappointment when there was no let up in the rackets probes after the election is a main feeder to the conspiracy theory that John F. Kennedy was killed by the mob. In 1975 the day before he was to testify to the Frank Church Senate Committee on Assassinations, Sam Giancana was murdered.

1975- This day Sony announced the first home videotape playing system, the Betamax. They were about $25,000 each, but we were promised as they became more popular the price would come down.

1993- Rockstar Prince celebrated his birthday by changing his name to that funny symbol no keyboard can reproduce and no one can say. In 2000 he switched back to Prince.

2002 –Kim Possible premiered on TV.
Yesterday’s question: Was Napoleon really short?

Answer: Napoleon was 5’ 6”, an average height for the era. The reputation Napoleon had for being short “ the Little Corporal” might be because of a discrepancy between the size of the English measured foot to the French measured foot. Or it may be more about his coming from humble background.