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Aug 8, 2016
August 8th, 2016

Quiz: Who were Amram and Jochebed?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Who were Burke & Hare? (Hint: not a Bugs Bunny cartoon)
History for 8/8/2016
Birthdays: Emiliano Zapata. Esther Williams, Gene Deitch is 92, Dino DeLaurentis, Keith Carradine is 66, Rory Calhoun, Mel Tillis, Martin Brest, Peter Weir, Patricia Arquette, Dustin Hoffman is 78, Mamoru Oshii is 65

Today is the Feast of St. Dominic- Dominic was a Spanish zealot who wanted to preach to pagans but the Pope sent him to south France to try and re-convert the Albigensian heretics, who were all former Catholics. After ten years of fasting, begging and praying his legendary summary of his efforts was:" Someone should take a stick to those people!" The Holy Office of the Inquisition was later administered by Dominicans.
Saint Dominic is reputed to have said “Nothing Cleans like Fire.”

1143- Byzantine Emperor John II Comnenus was killed in a hunting accident, when a poisoned arrow sitting in his own quiver scratched his leg. I don't know who hunts with poisoned arrows, but that's Byzantine politics for you.

1502 – King James II of Scotland marries Margaret Tudor the sister of English King Henry VII. Their child was Mary Queen of Scots and their grandchild James would be selected by Queen Elizabeth to succeed her.

1588- THE GREAT PROTESTANT WIND- Most of the Spanish Armada was not destroyed by the English Navy, but by a huge North Sea storm that hit them off the coast of Northern Ireland. This is why if you want to view relics of the great Spanish galleons don't go to Cadiz, go to the Museum of Belfast. Supposedly the thousands of Spanish and Italian sailors marooned on the Irish coast intermarrying with the Irish population, who weren't crazy about the English either. They created the racial strain Black Irish, or Celts with milk white skin and black hair and eyes.

1662- We all have heard of how England captured New Amsterdam and named it New York, well on this date Dutch Admiral Van Tromp came back with a bigger Dutch fleet and took it back. He renamed New York "New Orange". But it didn't stick, and after the peace treaty of Utrecht was signed, New York went back to the English. New Yorkers didn't really much care so long as it didn't affect their business.

1709 - 1st known ascent in hot-air balloon indoors by Bartolomeu de Gusmao.

1811- THE IRON CROSS- Before medals common soldiers were rewarded for bravery with a few gold coins. George Washington and Napoleon made medals things soldiers competed of. General Gerhard von Gneisenau urged the King of Prussia to create a medal like the French Legion d'Honneur that all ranks in the German Army might aspire to. At first the sulky King was against anything that led soldiers to believe they were better than the common schweinhund he felt they were, but he finally was made to give in. The new medal was based on the heraldic symbol of the Crusader order of the Teutonic Knights, a black cross formed by four arrowheads. The "Iron Cross" medal was created. Goths, Surfers and Hells Angels rejoiced.

1818- 22 year old English poet John Keats returned from a trip to the Lakes District only to discover the first signs of the tuberculosis that would kill him.

1876 - Thomas Edison patented the mimeograph, a forerunner of the Xerox process.

1918- During World War I, this was the Breakout at Amiens, to the Germans "Die Schwarzetag" The Black Day. The British mass of those 500 newfangled tanks, and burst through the German front line trenches, impregnable for four years. For the first time since Napoleon, a German army was on the run. But with the typical shortsightedness generals showed through that entire war, the British commanders were so surprised by their success they halted the attack to analyze it. Yet, master strategist von Ludendorf now knew the Great War was now kaput, and the best Germany could hope for was to negotiate a decent peace with the Allies.

1920- The German National Socialist -NSDP or Nazi Party formed.

1925- The National Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan staged a massive march in Washington D.C. Twenty thousand white hooded members of the Invisible Nation marched down Pennsylvania Ave. in broad daylight. It was the height of Klan influence in American politics. Soon scandal, corruption and public revulsion of their violent methods would help break them down.
It was said the FBI had half the Klan informing on the other half. In 1944 they re-formed themselves from a national organization to regional cells.

1942- The premiere of Walt Disney’s Bambi.

1942- THE BATTLE OF SAVO ISLAND- The US and Australian Navy suffer the worst defeat of the Pacific War since Pearl Harbor. In the waters between Guadalcanal and Tulagi Islands the Japanese warships of Admiral Murayama attacked the Americans and Australians at 1:30AM in a spectacular night surface battle. Four American and one Australian cruiser were sunk. The only Japanese ship sunk was done afterwards by a roving US submarine completely unaware of the battle. The Japanese ships slipped in and out under American air cover. One reconnaissance PBY Catalina plane actually spotted the enemy battle fleet early. But instead of radioing an alarm, he casually continued on his patrol and back at his base he filed a routine report in writing!

1944 - Smokey the Bear, named after NYC fireman Smokey Joe Martin born.

1945-Two days after the Hiroshima bombing, the Soviet Union declared war on the Japan and began landing troops in Manchuria, Korea and the northern Kurile Islands. The Japanese cabinet had hoped to avoid a total unconditional surrender by first negotiating a separate peace with Stalin, then using him to force a deal with the Anglo-Americans. But Stalin had his own ideas. Even today with Stalin dead and Communism long gone, the Russians still won’t give back the Kuriles
1960 – Brian Hyland’s song "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-dot Bikini" hits #1.

1963 – THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY- In Buckinghamshire England a small group of masked men stopped the London to Glasgow express and stole 2.6 million pound sterling about $7.3 million U.S.. English police netted most of the gang, but the ringleader Ronald Biggs escaped. Biggs lived well in Rio de Janiero for thirty eight years and gave frequent interviews to British media. Old and sick, he finally returned to England and jail in 2001. “I just want one more pint in a pub” he sighed.

1963 – The Kingsmen released the song "Louie, Louie". Many labeled it obscene, although no one is quite sure just what the song lyrics mean. In the 1980s Northwestern University staged Louie-Louie Marathons- 44 straight hours of Louie-Louie, played by punk bands, polka bands, marching bands, folk trios, and singing water glasses.

1964 - Rolling Stones 1st Dutch concert.

1973-Vice President Spiro Agnew vows not to resign. He resigned shortly afterwards.

1974 – KNEEL WITH ME, HENRY. Richard Nixon decided to resign the U.S. Presidency, after Senators Howard Baker and Barry Goldwater informed him his last supporting congressmen on the Senate Impeachment Committee intended to change their vote to yes for impeachment. Insiders say his last call before making up his mind was to Dixiecrat George Wallace, who told the President he could no longer count on the support of Southern white conservatives. Tonight he went on nationwide TV and told the nation.

1978- The character of Odie the dog first met Garfield in Jim Davis’ comic strip.

2008- Russia invaded Georgia. Part of the opening attack was a Russian Cyber-Attack, crashing all the websites and web communications in Georgia. Russian bombers also targeted cell phone towers. Estonia offered to keep the Georgian gov’t ministry channels open. Elderly senator John McCain declared “ We are all Georgians!” Even though no one asked him to and it was not the policy of the USA.

2008- The Beijing Olympic Games opening ceremony, using 20,000 performers. As director Zhang Yimou said “ Hey, we’ve got the people…”

Yesterday’s Question: Who were Burke & Hare? (Hint: not a Bugs Bunny cartoon)

Answer: In the 1820s they were the 'resurrection men' in Edinburgh, Scotland. This wasn't unusual since medical students had to turn to graverobbers when they wanted bodies to dissect. Burke and Hare just wanted them fresher, so they tended to murder their specimens. They were caught after 15 people disappeared. There is a Burke and Hare hotel in Edinburgh today. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote THE BODY SNATCHER about them. (Thanks NB)