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Nov 8, 2013 fri
November 8th, 2013

Question: In the 1950s and 60s a lot of TV ads were for Geritol. What was Geritol?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What is a Jeremiad?
History for 11/8/2013
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Nerva, Bram Stoker is 165, 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, Parker Posey is 45, Gretchen Mol is 41, Tara Reid.

641 A.D.- Cyrus the Greek Patriarch of Alexandria surrendered Egypt to the Arab army of Caliph Omar. Egypt had been a Byzantine province and the emperors in Constantinople had been persecuting their national church, the Coptic Rite, as a heresy. So the Egyptians opened their gates to the Moslem conquerors. The Byzantine Emperor Heraclius appeared at the port of Alexandria with a large fleet. But after removing some personal effects, he abandoned the Paris of the Ancient World without a fight.

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. Eyewitness Bernal Diaz described how after dinner the Spaniards were given tobacco pipes to smoke, but a special pipe with different tobacco was given to Montezuma, after smoking it "The Emperor became merry, as we do when drunk with wine.." 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. Unfortunately the Thirty Years War was just beginning. Future French philosopher Renes Descartes was a young soldier in the ranks. Although Frederick was married to the daughter of the English King, James wisely refused to get England embroiled in the European war. Fredericks son Prince Rupert later traveled to England and got involved in the English Civil War. 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.

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.

1864- Abraham Lincoln was re-elected president over Democrat challenger George McClellan. It was the first U.S. election ever held during a war, and set the custom that Presidents in a war year never lose. Even most of the army voted for Old Abe. The inmates of the notorious Andersonville Prisoner of War Camp cast ballots, even if they had no way to send them to Washington.

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. He knew he had it for a long time, and in the 1800's it was as irreversible as AIDS. 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!" He was 35.

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. 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.

Forced to resign as mayor 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.

1933- King Nadir Shah of Afghanistan was assassinated by Abdul Khallig.

1942- Operation Torch- Anglo-American soldiers began mass landings on the beaches in French North Africa. The first action of American soldiers in World War Two in Europe. The Pro-Nazi Vichy French fired on the Allies, until a deal was made with their commander Admiral Darlan. Charles DeGaulle was furious that fighting began before he could try to convince the French not to resist. But Eisenhower, FDR and Churchill were not yet ready to admit that the big nosed Colonel had become the de facto leader of Free-France.

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.

1966- Doctors at St. Josephs hospital remove one of Walt Disney’s cancerous lungs and discover the contagion had spread to his lymph nodes. They determine he did not have long to live.

1973- Walt Disney’s animated Robin Hood premiered.

1994- 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 non-military Blackwater mercenaries, called “contractors”. Citizens ambushed the mercs and danced with their charred bodies, so in went the Marines.
Yesterday’s Question: What is a Jeremiad?

Answer: Named for the Biblical Prophet Jeremiah, author of the Book of Lamentations. It is a bitter lament, complaint of indignation and/or a prophecy of doom.