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April 17, 2019
April 17th, 2019

Quiz: Where is Asia Minor?

Yesterday¹s Question: Why is the French national anthem called Le Marseillaise? Why Not Le Parisiad or Orleanaise?
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History for 4/17/2019
Birthdays: artist Tobias Stummer-1539, Duke Maximillian Ist of Bavaria- leader of the Catholic League 1579, Nikita Khruschev, Thorton Wilder, Clarence Darrow, Arthur Schnabel, Olivia Hussey is 68, Gregor Piatigorsky, Don Kirschner, William Holden, Harry Reasoner, Boomer Eiseason, Sean Bean is 60, Victoria Beckham, Martha Sigall, Ron Miller, Jennifer Garner is 47, Rooney Mara is 34.

161 AD- Today is the Feast of Saint Anicteus, who may have died a martyr's death in the reign of the Roman Emperor Antoninus, but more likely he was simply worn out over the argument about when exactly Easter should take place.

1421- Dort Dyke, one of the largest water barriers in Holland, ruptured and the ensuing flood killed thousands.

1492- After 8 years of interviews, waiting in antechambers and being laughed at and called crazy, King Ferdinand of Spain finally signed a commission for Christopher Columbus to outfit a fleet and sail west across the Atlantic to find Asia. Ferdinand gave him a diplomatic letter for the Great Khan of Cathay- now called China. The legend of Queen Isabella pawning her jewels to give him money didn¹t happen. She suggested doing so, only to embarrass the Royal finance minister to accelerate Columbus’ funding.

1524- A French expedition led by Florentine navigator Giuseppe De Verrazano sailed into New York Harbor. He thought at first it was a lake. Verrazano claimed the lands for France but upon returning home found the French King Francis too busy with his wars in Germany and Italy to bother with discoveries in faraway TerraNuova, i.e. The New World. Verrazano was later eaten by cannibals in the Caribbean. The big harbor was forgotten until Henry Hudson with the Dutch came upon it 80 years later.
This is probably good in the long run because then New York Harbor would have been called the Bay of Angouleme, and Manhattan the Isle de Valois. The Indian settlement that would one day be Newport Connecticut, he called “Refugio”. The Verrazano Narrows Bridge at the mouth of New York Harbor, is named for him.

1525-THE MASSACRE OF WEINSBURG- Count Ludwig von Helfenshein was a German lord hated by his people for his cruel severity. This day the Great German Peasant Revolt army reached the walls of his castle at Weinsburg near Heilbronn. A small group under a flag of truce asked for a parley. Count Ludwig’s knights slew them.

So the peasant army with enthusiastic help from the townspeople stormed the town and captured the Count. Now he begged for his life and offered his entire fortune as ransom. But the peasants only wanted revenge. They made Count Helfensheim run a gauntlet of peasants armed with knives, pitchforks and axes. As they chopped away at him they added their curses" You killed my father! You imprisoned my brother for not taking off his hat as you rode by!" etc. Then they slaughtered all the other nobles.

1534- Sir Thomas Moore the Chancellor of England was ordered to the Tower of London by his King Henry VIII.

1656- Battle of Warka- Poles under Hetman Czarniecki defeated the Hungarians under Georgi Rackoszy.

1792- British Captain Vancouver explored Puget Sound. He founds a settlement and names it for then Prime Minister Granville. In 1886 Granville (sometimes called Gastown after Gassy-Jack the saloon keeper) was renamed Vancouver.

1770- At a dinner party in Versailles, Madame Necker, the wife of France¹s first minister, suggested a subscription be held for the great artist Pigalle to make a statue of old philosopher Francois Voltaire. Rousseau and King Frederick the Great of Prussia donated money. The bust of the smiling old cynic became one of the well-known images of the XVIII Century.

1793-The Battle of Warsaw- American Revolution hero Thaddeus Kozciuszko tried unsuccessfully to defend the Polish capitol from Catherine the Great’s Russian army led by Marshal Suvarov.

1800- The Senate passed a bill for the moving of the U.S. government from Philadelphia to the new Federal City, being called Washington D.C.

1808- Napoleon ordered US ships trading with England seized when entering French harbors.

1839- The Republic of Guatemala declared.

1861- The State of Virginia voted to secede from the United States and join the rebel Confederacy. Virginia, The largest and most populous Southern State had wavered undecided and in a preliminary vote had voted 2-1 not to leave. But the violence at Fort Sumter and Lincoln's call for troops to put down rebellion made her decide to join her Southern brethren. Abe Lincoln now could see out of his White House office window a Confederate flag flapping in the breeze across the Potomac at Alexandria.

1865- In Washington DC At ten o¹clock in the evening Federal agents show up at Mary Surrat¹s Boarding House and arrest the remaining conspirators in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln: George Atzenrodt, Lewis Paine and Mrs Surrat. Their leader John Wilkes Booth with David Herold were on the run in the back country of Virginia. The four mentioned were hanged and a dozen others implicated were given prison sentences. But historians disagree about how extensive the conspiracy was. As Lewis Paine said when he was captured:" You don¹t know the half of it!" perhaps we never will.

1869- The first professional baseball game ever played saw the Cincinnati Reds defeat the rival Cincinnati Amateurs, 24-15.

1875- The billiard game Snooker was invented by Sir Joseph Chamberlain, the uncle of the future British Prime Minister.

1924- Metro Pictures, Goldwyn and Mayer Films all merged to become Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer. By 1940 MGM was the largest studio in Hollywood.

1929- Baseball great Babe Ruth married Ziegfeld Follies dancer Marge Colson in a morning ceremony. Then he drove to Yankee Stadium and hit a home run.

1937 "Porky's Duck Hunt" The birth of Daffy Duck. One legendary story is that newly hired voice actor Mel Blanc in part designed Daffy’s distinctive lisp to be an impression of the Looney Tunes boss Leon Schlesinger. When they screened this cartoon all the artists stood in dread of how Leon would take the joke. Leon never made the connection that the Ducks voice was an imitation of him:" Gee Fellers, dat Duck iz pretty Ffffunny!"

1941-Yugoslavia surrendered to the Nazis. Serb guerillas rallied in the mountains and continued to fight under Josef Broz Tito.

1945- As Allied armies overran Germany a massed raid of American bombers destroyed 752 German planes on the ground. This was all that was left of the Luftwaffe, once the world¹s largest air force.
At the same time Field Marshal Walter Model, who had been directing much of the German army operations in the west since Normandy, was sitting in a forest listening to Propaganda Chief Goebbels on the radio tell the German people that everything was going well. “ I’ve sacrificed my life to those bastards!” Model sighed. He then drew his pistol, put it in his mouth and pulled the trigger.

1946- Syrian Independence Day. The last French colonial troops leave Damascus.

1960- Cleveland Indians traded Rocky Colavito to the Detroit Tigers.

1961-THE BAY OF PIGS INVASION-.The CIA started landing 1,400 anti-Castro Cuban fighters in La Bahia de los Cochinos. When John Kennedy became president he was shown a CIA plan that had been developed to land anti-Castro guerrillas in Cuba. Once there they would start a popular uprising to overthrow the cigar smoking commie. Kennedy went along with the plan, it failed and he looked stupid to the rest of the world.

1964-The Ford Mustang introduced by Lee Iacocca.

1971- The song "Joy to the World" by Three Dog Night tops the pop charts.

1975- The Khmer Rouge entered Pnom Penh, the Cambodian War ends. The Khmer Rouge led by a junta with Premier Pol Pot at it's head declare it to be Year Zero and began emptying the city people into the countryside. The holocaust known as Killing Fields began and when it was finally ended by a Vietnamese invasion a few years later almost one third of Cambodia's population had been murdered or driven into exile.

1987- Comedian Dick Shawn ­the Hippy-Hitler in the original Mel Brooks film the Producers- was doing his one-man show The Second Funniest Man in the World at UC San Diego. After one particularly funny punch line he fell over dead from a heart attack. The audience roared for several more minutes at him lying there face down because they thought it was part of the act.

1989-The Polish Government removes the ban on the Solidarity trade union. During the attempts to round up and imprison the ringleaders of the movement, one Zomo (secret police) got so close he had collared a man who leaped out of his jacket to escape. Later the same cop and dissident found themselves across a table discussing government powersharing. The cop nonchalantly mentioned:" Oh, by the way, here is your coat."

2011- The first season of Game of Thrones premiered in the U.S. on HBO.
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Yesterday’s Question: Why is the French national anthem called Le Marseillaise? Why Not Le Parisiad or Orleanaise?

Answer: During the French Revolution, an officer named Rouget de Lisle wrote it as Chant for the Army of the Rhine. A young volunteer from Montpellier called François Mireur sung it at a patriotic gathering in Marseille. The troops liked it so much they adopted it as the marching song of the National Guard of Marseille. By the time The Marseilles guards made their entrance into Paris on 30 July 1792 the fame of their song had spread. Le Marseillaise quickly became the clarion call of the Revolution.


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