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May 3, 2020
May 3rd, 2020

Question: Who were the Bobsey Twins?

Yesterday’s question answered below: What is a riposte?
History for 5/3/2020
Birthdays: Niccolo Macchiavelli, Bing Crosby, Golda Meir, Sir Richard D'Oly-Carte, Peter Gabriel, James Brown, Pete Seeger, Betty Comden, Doug Henning, Beaulah Bondi, Mary Astor, Sugar Ray Robinson, Alex Cord, 70’s singer Englebert Humperdinck, Dule Hill

Happy World Press Freedom Day.

328 A.D.- Discovery of the True Cross-According to medieval legend St. Helena the mother of Roman Emperor Constantine, unearthed three old crosses on the Mount of Calvary. She tested it out by crucifying someone on it who gets up after three days. After all, it might have been someone else's cross! Ick!
Byzantine Emperors carried the True Cross around and into battle like a flag until it was thought to be too precious to lose, so it was broken up and the wood distributed to the kings of Christendom. By Luther's time it was said so much of the Good Wood or Holy-Rood was around that if you got it all together you could build a nice house. The custom of saying "Knock on Wood" comes from touching the True Cross for luck.

1494- Columbus discovered the island of Jamaica. He called it St. Iago.

1536- Huron Indian chief Donnaconna noticed that the French explorer Jacques Cartier and the other white men got excited whenever he mentioned gold or riches. So Donnaconna made up fantastic stories about a powerful kingdom upriver called Sanguenay, about where present day Ottawa is. He said the people were fabulously wealthy and had no anus's so they could only drink fluids. Cartier not only swallowed the gag this but he was so impressed he had poor Donnaconna kidnapped and brought to France to tell his stories to the king. The old chief never saw his home again.

1559- At Perth Scotland, Presbyterian preacher John Knox delivered his first sermon openly calling for the Scottish Church to throw off the authority of the Vatican.

1675- Massachusetts Puritans passed a law that church doors be locked during Sunday services. Too many people were leaving during long, boring sermons.

1702- William Hyde, aka Lord Cornbury arrived from England to be Royal Governor of colonial New York. This English aristocrat surprised the solid Dutch Calvinists of former Nieu Amsterdaam by his eccentric behavior. His favorite pastime was dressing up in ladies clothing and jumping out at people at night and pulling their ears. When in drag he bore an odd resemblance to England’s Queen Anne. He later explained he only dressed this way so the colonists could see what their queen in England looked like. Of course, nobody believed him.
There is today a painting of the Lord Governor in drag at the New York Historical Society. It was alleged that he was a fence for pirates and once asked the New York City council for money to repel a fictitious French attack, which he pocketed and bought the land today called Hyde Park.

1791- Polish Constitution of 3rd of May. This radical document was inspired by the American Declaration of Independence and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man. But being situated in between autocratic monarchies Russia and Prussia who were unimpressed and crushed the Poles.

1812- A new poem called Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage became a huge hit in London and sold out in just three days. The author Lord Byron became the toast of London overnight. He said: "I awoke one morning and found myself famous."

1848- Working people of Saxony revolt against their king. Leo Bakunin the father of anarchism and the composer Richard Wagner were two of the leaders. The Prussian army was sent to help put down the workers and Wagner fled into Switzerland, but not before he had the pleasure of burning down the Leipzig Opera House.

1851- San Francisco burned down.

1863-2nd Day Battle of Chancellorsville-Lee sent Stonewall Jackson 12 miles swinging around the Yankee Army flank to attack them from behind. O.O. Howard, the Union General in charge of that area wouldn’t believe the scouts reports of an imminent attack. When a German immigrant officer demanded he prepare, Howard accused him of being drunk. Then Jackson’s men burst out of the woods and sent the Yankees running.

The fighting lasted well into the evening and confusion reigned in the darkness. General Daniel Sickles division got into a vicious three way firefight with a Confederate division shooting at him from one side and his own reinforcements shooting at him from the other.

Stonewall Jackson and his staff had ridden out beyond his lines to observe the Yankee preparations for tomorrow. He was riding back towards his own lines when a shot or two rang out. General A.P. Hill called out " Don't shoot! Were Southerners! ". But the Mississippi colonel in charge had been surprised once already that night by enemy cavalry:" It's a Yankee trick! Pour it into them!" A volley hit Jackson and several other officers." My boys, my own boys!" Jackson groaned. He died two weeks later.

1864- The day before his armies were set to move Union General Ulysses Grant laid out final plans for his campaign against the Confederacy. In a drawing room in Culpepper Virginia he told his staff that up till now union armies had acted independently like a bad team of horses that won’t pull together. He would now coordinate five armies attacking simultaneously from Washington to Atlanta to Shreveport Louisiana. Their goal would not be the taking of Richmond but the destruction of the main Confederate field armies like Robert E Lee’s. Grants plan was to hold Lee down near Richmond while the armies of Sherman, Banks and Butler completed the destruction of the Confederacy.

1888- The Poem "Casey at the Bat" by Ernest Thayer first published.

1906- British controlled Egypt seized the Sinai Peninsula from the Turkish Empire.

1917- The Great French Military Mutinies. During World War I, after three years of appalling conditions and being slain by the thousands in suicidal charges against machine guns, the average French "poilus" soldier nickname like G.I., had enough. Whole regiments refused to go to the front. The mutiny was so bad that to this day official records are vague as to just how many men were involved. A safe estimate is at least 100,000 men.

1933- Fritz Lang’s movie M released in the US. It made a star of Peter Lorre.

1936- Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio first game for the New York Yankees. He got three hits.

1938- The Vatican recognized Generalissimo Franco’s fascist regime in Spain.

1941- Battle of Amba Alagi. Britain vs Italy for Ethiopia.

1948-THE PARAMOUNT DECISION- In 1938 the independent theater chains had brought suit in Federal court against the major Hollywood Studios over their monopolistic practices. Ten years later the Supreme Court ruled the Motion Picture Studios did constitute a monopoly and under the Sherman AntiTrust Act ordered them to sell their theater chains. One casualty of this rule was the short cartoon. Because theater managers no longer were forced to run a cartoon, newsreel and short with a feature (block-booking), they opted for the time to run more showings of the main feature. Many people were starting to become interested in that new television machine, anyway.

1952, U.S. Lieutenant Colonel Joseph O. Fletcher of Oklahoma stepped out of a plane and walked to the exact North Pole, the first known person to do so. Commander Robert Peary claimed to have reached the Pole in 1909 as did others, but modern scholars think they were all off by several degrees.

1963- Birmingham police attack Civil Rights marchers with attack dogs, clubs and high powered hoses. The brutality was captured on nationwide TV. The images shocked the nation and President Kennedy, who had been assured by Governor George Wallace by phone that everything was under control. JFK resolved to fast track the Civil Rights Act through Congress.

1968- THE PARIS '68 REVOLT- Police are sent into the Sorbonne University in Paris to break up student demonstrations. The grounds of the university had never been violated by police, even during the Nazi occupation. This act enraged the student leaders who are joined by labor unions and there is fighting in the streets of Paris for the next three weeks that eventually brought down the DeGaulle government.
All night political meetings center in the Odeon theatre as the likes of Jean Paul Sartre and John Luc Goddard make intellectual manifestations of aesthetic freedom. "The More I make Love, the More I make Revolution!" One of the student leaders was Daniel Cohn-Bedit "Danny the Red". Conservative media tried to draw attention to Cohn-Bendit’s Jewish foreign background. This caused an even larger, angrier, march of Parisians shouting: "We are all Jews!"

1969- Groundbreaking in Valencia for the California Institute of the Arts.

1971- National Public Radio’s news program "All Things Considered" goes on the air, the first national news program with women news anchors like Susan Stanberg.

1971- President Nixon’s administration arrested 13,000 anti-war protestors in one week.

1973- Chicago’s Sear Tower was topped off at 443 meters, to be the tallest office building in the U.S.A.

1978- THE FIRST SPAM E-MAIL- Gary Thuerk, a marketing manager for Digital Equipment Corp wanted to invite all the scientists and professors on the ARPANET system to an event. It was too much work to do one e-mail at a time, so he devised a way to mail 600 people at once. So thank Gary that you get endless messages like "Nigerian Bank Trustee offers you $10 million."

1979- Margaret Thatcher became the first woman to be Prime Minister of Great Britain. The green grocer’s daughter called the Iron Lady dominated British politics for the next twenty years.

1985- The White House confirmed rumors that President Reagan would occasionally adjust his schedule when Nancy would seek the advice of a San Francisco astrologer.

1991- Steve Jobs agreed to the deal between Walt Disney and Pixar to create the film Toy Story.

1997- The Chairman of Phillip Morris Tobacco Company James J. Morgan testified to a congressional committee that cigarettes are no more addictive than Gummy Bears candy.

1999- Oklahoma City was hit by a force 5 tornado with wind speeds of over 300 miles per hour, the strongest ever recorded.
Yesterday’s Quiz: What is a riposte?

Answer: In fencing it means a counterstrike. After you deflect your opponents thrust, you return one of your own. Its come to mean a quick comeback to a wisecrack.