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June 13, 2016
June 13th, 2016

Question: What is the origin of the phrase- “At the drop of a hat”?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Charlemagne was the emperor of the Frankish Empire. Just who were the Franks?
History for 6/13/2016
Birthdays: Gnaeus Agricola- 40AD, Harriet Beecher Stowe, W.B. Yeats, Red Grange, Basil Rathbone, Dorothy Sayers, Ralph Edwards, Paul Lynde, Tim Allen, Darla Hood, Ally Sheedy, Simon Callow, Christo, Malcolm McDowell is 73, Stellan Skarsgard is 65, the Olsen Twins are 30.
313 A.D. Constantine, the Roman Emperor of the West and Licinius the Emperor of the East publish a joint edict throughout the Roman Empire granting religious toleration : "All men to worship what Gods they will." This edict officially lifted the 250 year persecution of Christianity.
1381-THE ENGLISH PEASANT REVOLT OCCUPIES LONDON. -Wat the Tyner and his pissed-off peasants chase young King Richard II into the Tower of London and drag the Archbishop of Canterbury up to Tyburn Hill to chop his head off. The Archbishop was in charge of economic policy and taxation for the young king, so he was the focus of the people's rage. They used a non-union executioner, so it took several chops to get the job done...

1777- General “Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne began his invasion down from Canada into New York State to smash the American Revolution. The Great North River, called the Hudson, was the jugular of America, because it divided militant New England from the moderate Mid-Atlantic and Southern States. Before Burgoyne left London he had wagered politician Charles Fox 20 guineas that he would finish off the Yankees by Christmas.

Burgoyne immediately annoyed most of the senior British officers in America. He refused orders from Canadian Governor General Carleton or Lord Howe in New York. He declared that his was an independent command and so could not be ordered about by anyone but London.
By October, defeated and surrounded by hordes of rebel soldiers at Saratoga, he got a letter out to Carleton “requesting instructions”. Carleton understood a weenie attempt to shift the blame, so he ignored him. Burgoyne surrendered and was prisoner exchanged. He did get home by Christmas, just without his army...

1777- Count Casimir Pulaski embarks from Marseilles to join the American Revolution. Pulaski was a hotheaded Polish patriot who had fought Russians, served in the French and Turkish armies, and had been in a conspiracy to kidnap the King of Poland. The American ambassadors trying to recruit European military experts found Pulaski in a Marseilles prison for non-payment of bills. Pulaski thought the Americans had paid his debts as part of his enlistment, but the truth was the French forgave his debts because they were glad to be rid of him.
Count Pulaski became the Father of the American Cavalry and the only person to ever hold the rank in the U.S. Army of Commander of Horse. He was killed in battle outside of Savannah Georgia at age 31.

1793-Captain Napoleon Bonaparte relocated his family from Corsica to mainland France.

1807- Former Vice President Aaron Burr was on trial for treason because of his plot to create a new kingdom for himself in Mexican Texas. As part of the defense, this day Chief Justice Marshall subpoenaed President Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson refused, citing the concept of Executive Privilege. That a President can’t be put under oath, for reasons of national security. So Justice Marshall acquitted Burr for lack of evidence.
Pres. Jefferson then considered arresting Chief Justice Marshall. 1877- The Russo-Turkish War begins. Russia attacks into he Balkans after a Turkish governor commits a massacre of Bulgarian peasants. When the Russian armies get down to Istanbul the British and Austria threatens war if Russia goes any further.

1878-The CONGRESS OF BERLIN OPENS- German Chancellor Bismarck offered to mediate the argument between Russia and Britain and Austria over the Russo Turkish War. It is the first world conference where all the great powers and statesmen appear not to divide conquered spoils but actually prevent a larger war from happening. As Bismarck joked in English to retired U.S. President Ulysses Grant, then vacationing: "Russia has bitten off a bit too much Turkey, and we must make him give some back."
1905- The workers of the Russian city of Odessa go on strike and the Tsar's troops shoot them down on the Odessa steps. This causes the Battleship Potemkin's sailors to mutiny. Twenty years later Sergei Eisenstein to make a famous film of the same name.

1920-The US Government rules Americans cannot mail their children through the Parcel Post System.

1927- Wall St. tickertape parade for Lucky Lindy- Charles Lindbergh.

1941-The American Federation of Labor the AF of L called for a nationwide boycott of all Disney products and films. This was to support the Disney Cartoonists strike.

1942- President Roosevelt by executive order created the Office of Strategic Services or the OSS. Under director Wild Bill Donovan its job was to coordinate espionage and intelligence gathering against the Axis powers in cooperation with its British counterpart , the SOE. On the agencies personnel roster were experts from spymasters William Gates and William Casey to tourist book author Eugene Fodor and chef Julia Child. Child recalled the outfit was nicknamed “Oh So Secret!” and “Oh, So-Social” for all the New York society hoi-paloi in it. After World War II, the OSS became the CIA.
1944- The first Vengence-1 (V-1) Buzz Bombs hit London. The first 21 launched missed most targets and one even spun around and landed near Hitler. This is when the auto-destruct button was conceived. Of the ones that hit England the worst damage was to Bethnel Green tube station. Unlike bombers, these guided missiles were almost impossible to shoot down. By wars end 1,800 would hit London along with 5,000 V-2s, and drive a lot of the population into the countryside.

1958- Frank Zappa graduated Antelope Valley High School.
1962- Three convicts, Frank Lee Morris, and the brothers Anglin, escape from Alcatraz with a crude rowboat. They are the only prisoners to have successfully escaped from the Rock. Alcatraz was closed by attorney general Robert Kennedy later that year.

1967- President Lyndon Johnson nominated Thurgood Marshal to the Supreme Court. Marshal was the first African American to sit in the nations highest court, and as an attorney successfully pled the 1955 case Brown vs. Board of Education that struck down school segregation.
1971 -The day after Tricia Nixon's wedding the Washington Post and the New York Times began printing THE PENTAGON PAPERS. They were leaked by dissenting intelligence specialist Daniel Ellsberg. Ellsberg was on the staff of Defense Secretary Robert MacNamara when McNamara ordered a fact paper drawn up explaining step by step just how the U.S. managed to get in as big a mess as Vietnam. The papers revealed damaging secrets as the U.S. had secretly been fighting alongside the South Vietnamese much earlier than the "Tonkin Gulf Incident" of 1965, all the while claiming neutrality.

The U.S.S. Maddox, the ship that was fired on in the Tonkin Gulf, was ordered to violate Vietnamese waters and provoke a Communist attack; and that the opinion of the Pentagon Joint Chiefs was that they knew the war was unwinnable as early as 1965, yet we kept fighting anyway until 1973.

The publication was very damaging to the Nixon White House, even though it was all about events taking place in the previous Democratic administrations. Robert McNamara said he himself never got around to reading the Pentagon Papers but kept a copy in his garage.

1978- Henry Ford II fired Lee Iacocca from the Ford Corporation. The creator of the Ford Mustang would later move on to run Chrysler. When asked why Ford said: “Sometimes you just don’t like somebody.”

1991- Boris Yeltsin becomes the first popularly elected leader of Russia.

2010- Pixar’s Toy Story III premiered.

Yesterday’s Quiz: Charlemagne was the emperor of the Frankish Empire. Just who were the Franks?

Answer: The Franks were a German Barbarian people who occupied the ancient province of Gaul when the old Roman Empire fell. They intermarried with the populations to create the French race. By Charlemagnes time their empire extended from Hungary to the Pyrenees and Denmark to Sicily.