BACK to Blog Posts

April 11, 2014 fri.
April 11th, 2014

Quiz: If you went out on the street in a diaphanous gown, how would people react to you?

Yesterday’s question answered below: In New York, when you ask for a Sicilian Slice, what do you get?
History for 4/11/2014
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Septimius Severus, Frederick the Warlike of Saxony-1370, Ethel Kennedy, Joel Grey, Louise Lasser, Mason Reese, Oleg Cassini, Cameron Mitchell. Famed Canadian animator and first ASIFA President Norman McClaren would be 100, Bill Irwin, John Milius, Jennifer Esposito

1034- The Byzantine Emperor Romanus III Argyrus was poisoned by his wife.

1241- Battle of Sajoria- Mongol hordes of Subotai destroy the Hungarian army of King Bela and burn Buda. Pest was across the river.

1506- Pope Julius II laid the corner stone for the new Saint Peter’s Basilica. It was completed in 1626.

1512-BATTLE OF RAVENNA -The first battle decided by artillery. The armies of Pope Julius II and his Spanish allies are defeated by Duke Alfonso D'Este of Ferrara and his French allies. The D'Este' family were patrons of Leonardo daVinci but this Duke was an artillery buff. For his birthday friends gave him cannons. In true Renaissance fashion during the battle the Duke pulled his guns to the side of the battlefield where he could fire on both sides at once. When someone explained he would be firing on his friends as well the Duke answered:" Well, they'll probably be enemies tomorrow!" Despite this curious strategy, he won anyway.

1713 - FIRST TREATY OF UTRECHT- Ending the War of Spanish Succession. George Frederich Handel premiered the Royal Fireworks Music in celebration. France yields to England the eastern coastal provinces of Canada. When the French speaking inhabitants of Arcadia refuse to swear allegiance to the English King they are driven out of their homes at bayonet point. Scottish colonists are brought in who rename the island Nova Scotia -New Scotland. The French exiles migrate to Louisiana and settle in the swampy bayous. They call themselves Arcadians, which slurs to A'cajun or Cajun.

1854- Depressed by his go-no-where career and drinking heavily, Captain Ulysses Grant resigned from the US Army.

1861-In the dark night outside Fort Sumter in rebel held Charleston Bay, Confederate commissioners call on Major Robert Anderson to lower Old Glory and surrender the fort. The Kentucky born major said he would surrender if after three days he received no food resupply. (a stalling tactic) The Confederates had sighted an approaching Union rescue fleet and knew this answer meant they would have to fire on the fort. Anderson knew it too, for as he said goodbye to the commissioners he added: " And if we don't meet again in this life, I'm sure we'll meet again in the next."...

1865-Abe Lincoln sends his aide Lehman on an errand to occupied Richmond. This meant Lincoln's only bodyguard could not be at his side at Ford's Theater on the 14th. Lehman had long flowing hair and maintained a belt full of guns, a Bowie knife and brass knuckles to guard the president. He also occasionally produced his banjo and played for the President his favorite song, “Jimmy Crack Corn”.

1865- That night a crowd of well-wishers stood under Lincoln’s window at the White House to celebrate the end of Civil War. In the crowd was assassin John Wilkes Booth and 23 year old Charles Leale, an army doctor seeing Lincoln for the first time. Lincoln made a short speech calling for the first time for African-Americans to be given the right to vote. Booth came away from the crowd in a fury and said to a friend:” That means N*gger Citizenship. By God, that’s the last speech he will ever give!” . Dr Leale would want to see Lincoln again. He bought a ticket to Ford’s Theater the night Lincoln was shot. Leale was the first doctor to reach the stricken president and administer CPR.

1873- General Canby and several army commissioners were slain by Modoc Indian chief Cap'n Jack while in a tent talking peace. Canby becomes the only U.S. general killed in the Indian Wars. Remember Custer was a brevet major general (i.e. honorary general) in the downsized post-Civil War army, but he was doing the job of a colonel. Cap'n Jack got a really cool general's jacket to wear until he was captured and hanged. The Modoc Indian Wars were in the Northern California lava beds.

The Modocs themselves were peaceful until a mining company wanted their land. So they threw them a picnic and laced the food with rat poison. Cannons were hidden in the bushes to finish off the survivors. The remainder of the tribe went on the warpath and the U.S. Army came in to conquer them. A war correspondent photographer travelling with the army was future cinema pioneer Edweard Muybridge.

1876- Benevolent Order of Elks Lodge founded.

1890- In England John Merrick, who was known as the Elephant Man, died.

1906- Albert Einstein published his Theory of Relativity.

1907-Baseball N.Y. Giant's Roger Bresnahan becomes the first catcher to wear a mask and shin guards. He had the mask built based on a sword fencing mask.

1914- George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion premiered at the Haymarket in London.

1926- Horticulturist Luther Burbank died. His last words;" I don't feel good."

1931- Dorothy Parker resigned her job as drama critic for the New Yorker Magazine. Mrs Parker was known for her witty but caustic reviews like “Her performance ran the gamut from A to B.” She married an actor named Cambell and moved to Hollywood to become a screenwriter. While on her honeymoon the magazine bugged her for some more fixes on an article. She sent a telegram from Paris:” Don’t bother me. F*cking busy. And visa-versa. “

1933- the Bauhaus directed by Mies Van Der Rohe was closed down by the Nazis.

1941- Henry Ford had vowed he would never sign a union contract. His dreaded security goons, called the Service Department, prowled the plants firing union men and even patroled the toilets listening for loose talk. Ford kept machine guns on his homes roof and encouraged his executives to wear sidearms. But after a wildcat strike at River Rouge Ford he reluctantly signed the first union contract in it’s history.

1945-Concentration camp at Buchenwald liberated. The Nazi guards had already fled and an inmate answered the phone when the Gestapo called. They ordered the camp blown up and the remaining inmates killed. The inmate answered not to worry, that they were already doing that. Then he went out to welcome the American tanks. Among the survivors was Nobel Laureate Ei Weisel, Simon Weisenthal and future leader of Communist East Germany Eric Hoehnegger.

1950- First day filming on the movie All About Eve. As Bette Davis said “Fasten your seatbelts, its going to be a bumpy night.”

1951- When President Truman fired General Douglas MacArthur from his command in Korea a firestorm of protest erupted in Congress. Several leading senators called for the Presidents Impeachment! One California senator stood up and said he was for censure but was against impeachment. His name was Senator Richard M. Nixon.

1955- WABD in New York and KTLA in Los Angeles began running pre-1948 Warner Bros cartoon shorts in a half hour format, introducing the baby boomer generation to the world of Bugs, Daffy and Porky.

1957-Poet Pablo Neruda was arrested by authorities in Buenos Aires.

1961- As part of the Bay of Pigs Invasion the US Airforce bombed and destroyed most of Fidel Castro’s Cuban airforce on the ground.

1968- After the Vietnamese Tet Offensive and President Lyndon Johnson’s announcement that he would not run for another term, Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford announced the US would send no additional ground troops to Vietnam. Even with 450,000 there already the generals wanted an additional 200,000. Congress threatened to cut off funding. The US government began to talk of de-escalation and disengagement, but it took another 5 years to do it.

1970-Apollo 13 blasts off for the moon. Halfway there an explosion will force it to return.

1974- Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir and defense minister Moshe Dayan resigned under heavy criticism for their handling of the Yom Kippur War. Ytschak Rabin became PM, the first Sabrah, or native born Israeli to lead his country.

1979- Ugandan dictator Idi Amin-Dada driven out of power by a Tanzanian invasion. During his reign the mad dictator titled himself "Conqueror of the British Empire" and passed the time trying to wrestle crocodiles, rehearse mock invasions of Israel (a geographic impossibility ) and played drums in his own rock band.

1981- Valerie Bertinelli married rocker Eddie Van Halen.

1983- At that year’s Academy Awards the winner for Best Animated Short was Polish artist Zybigniew Rybcyzinski for his film Tango. During the ceremony he stepped outside for a smoke. When Security guards refused to let him re-enter he became combative, shouting the only English he knew:”I Have Oscar!”. He wound up in jail for assault and his Oscar wound up in the bushes.

2006- Italian police captured the capo-de-capo of the Sicilian Mafia, Salvatore Provenzano near the town of Corleone, the birthplace of Mario Puzo’s fictional Godfather. Don Provenzano had been hiding out for 43 years.
Yesterday’s question: In New York, when you ask for a Sicilian Slice, what do you get?

Answer: A square slice of pizza is called a Sicilian.