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January 5, 2015 mon
January 5th, 2015

QUIZ: Which was the world’s first commercial airline?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Why are the older American universities like Rutgers and Princeton called The Ivy League?
History for 1/5/2015
Birthdays: Zebulon Pike, Stephen Decatur, Alven Ailey, James Stuart Blackton (the first American animator, born in Lincolnshire, England ), W.D. Snodgrass, Jack Norworth -composer of " Take Me out to the Ballgame' , Konrad Adenauer, Astrologist Jean Dixon, Umberto Ecco, Yves Tanguy, Walter Mondale, George Reeves, Roger Spottiswoode, Hiyao Miyazaki is 74, Robert Duval is 84, Dianne Keaton is 69, Spanish King Juan Carlos, Marilyn Manson is 46, January Jones is 34, Bradley Cooper is 40.

1463- French poet Francois Villon was kicked out of Paris.

1477- THE BATTLE OF NANCY- The Duke of Burgundy Charles the Rash dreamed of turning his duchy between France and Germany into one of the great powers of Europe. In the process he managed to annoy just about all his neighbors with his constant wars. This day Charles found out why the Swiss are left alone by most everybody. Upon invading Switzerland his army was cut to pieces. His body was found naked in a ditch with his head stuck fast in a puddle of ice. Battle axes were protruding from his butt. These last were for insults sake.

The King of France as his feudal suzerain annexed Burgundy to France, but just before his last battle Charles engaged his only daughter to the German Emperor. So the only thing Charles left to history was the ancient feud between Germany and France over who owned Alsace-Lorraine and the Low Countries, which raged until 1945.

1643- The first divorce granted in North America. Pilgrim Anne Clarke was granted a divorce by the Massachusetts Bay Colony from her deadbeat husband Dennis.

1757- A man named Robert Damiens attacked French King Louis XV and stabbed him. It was a flesh wound that Voltaire described as a pin-prick. The king survived and the court sentenced Damiens to the most horrible death they could think of, the medieval punishment for regicides.

Nobody had done it for generations so the court executioner, Charles Samson, had to consult the history books. Hmm...Drawing and quartering....cut off assailants hands and stick his bleeding wrist-stumps in pan of burning it! The execution was so ghastly that witnesses vomited and fled, Samson passed out from exhaustion, so his assistants had to finish the job. Robert Damiens believed he was doing it for the people but unfortunately he was 32 years too early for the French Revolution.

1762- The Seven Years War in Europe was a war of three powerful women against one gay man. Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, Madame la Pompadour the favorite of Louis XV of France and Czarina Elizabeth of Russia. They all made war on King Frederick the Great of Prussia, the country that eventually became Germany. Frederick called them the Three Petticoats. But after 6 years of war with his country overrun with foreign armies, and his treasury bankrupt, Frederick needed a miracle to survive.
His miracle came this day, when Czarina Elizabeth died. She was succeeded by her eccentric son Peter III. The new Czar idolized Frederick. He immediately changed sides and donned a Prussian uniform to serve “My Master”. Frederick thought Czar Peter a bit odd, but he welcomed the help nonetheless.

1825- Writer Alexander Dumas fought a duel with the Chevalier Saint George, a black duelist from Martinique, who played violin so well he helped Beethoven write his violin concerto. Neither man was seriously hurt and Dumas went on to write the Three Musketeers. Saint George also once fought a duel with Monsieur d¹Eon, a transgender who fought his duels in a woman’s ball gown.

1836- Davy Crocket crossed into Texas.

1895-Today was the famous scene of after Captain Albert Dreyfus was framed for espionage he was publicly humiliated in the courtyard of the Ecole Militaire in Paris. He was stripped of his insignia and his sword broken. As he was marched off to prison he shouted aloud ³Citizens of France I am Innocent!²

1896- A Vienna newspaper announced the invention by Dr. Wilhelm Roentgen of a machine that produces "X-Rays" to see inside the body. In England, scientist Lord Kelvin, who invented the Celsius temperature scales, declared x-rays a " ridiculous hoax "

1896- Josef Pulitzers’ New York World began printing the Sunday Yellow Kid comic strip with a yellow color on his shirt. The strip gave the name to the sensationalist tabloid press 'Yellow Journalism".

1914- The Ford Motor Company shocked the captains of American Industry by raising it¹s wage rates for work shift from $2.40 a day to $5.00 a day and voluntarily adopting the new 8 hour work day. Henry Ford¹s idea was ³when workers have more money they buy cars². The idea worked and sales of cars quadrupled and the economic climate of Detroit boomed.

1921- Famous Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton was preparing one last expedition to the South Pole. This day on his ship anchored in South Georgian Island Bay, he complained he felt ill. He said to his doctor “Oh, what do you want me to give up now?” then he fell over dead of a heart attack. He was 47.

1924- William Chrysler introduced his first automobile featuring an all steel chassis frame instead of wood. He created it for the failing Maxwell Car Company and in 1925 changed the name to the Chrysler Car Company.

1925- Nellie Taylor Ross was inaugurated as the Governor of Wyoming, the first woman to hold such an office.

1933- First day of construction on San Francisco¹s Golden Gate Bridge.

1933- Former Pres. Calvin Coolidge died peacefully. The laconic Coolidge was so low key and stand offish that he was a favorite target for political writers. H.L.Mencken said "Being fanatical for Coolidge is like being fanatical for double entry Bookkeeping" Dorothy Parker had the final word. When told that Coolidge had died she replied:" How could you tell?"

1934- Both the American and National Baseball Leagues agreed upon a standard size for a baseball.

1953- Samuel Beckett¹s play Waiting for Godot (En attendant Godot ) first premiered in Paris.

1959- Buddy Holly released his last single, It Doesn’t Matter Anymore.

1959- The first Bozo the Clown TV show premiered on TV. Larry Harmon played the famous children’s clown.

1961- “Hello Wilbur” Mr Ed the Talking Horse appeared on TV for the first time.

1968- A Boston grand jury indicted famous baby doctor Benjamin Spock for conspiring to abet violation of draft laws. The great scientist had come out as a vocal opponent of U.S. participation in the Vietnam War. "I helped them be born. I'm not going to abandon them now."

1970- Soap opera “All My Children” premiered.

1979- EMI Records ended their contracts with the punk band the Sex Pistols. They felt their outrageous behavior had gone just too far.

1980- The first Hewlett Packard Personal Computer or PC goes on the market.

1998-At the Heavenly Valley Ski Resort former pop singer turned Republican Congressman Sonny Bono died, when he skied headlong into a tree.
Yesterday¹s Quiz: Why are the older American universities like Rutgers and Princeton called The Ivy League ?

Answer: The main building of Princeton was called Nassau Hall, built in 1757. A tradition was the graduating class planted ivy by the hall with their school year. The custom gave it’s name to the Ivy League. (Note: an Ivy Leaguer informed me that Rutgers is NOT a member of the Ivy League. I stand corrected.)