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July 12, 2020
July 12th, 2020

Question: What is a Bowdlerism?

Yesterday’s question answered below: When in Ireland, you meet the Taoiseach, what should you do?
History for 7/12/2020
Birthdays: Gaius Julius Caesar, Henry David Thoreau, Impressionist painter Eugene Boudin, Oscar Hammerstein, Kirsten Flagstad, Andrew Wyeth, Pablo Neruda, George Eastman, Milton Berle, Cheryl Ladd, Van Cliburn, Buckminster Fuller, George Washington Carver, Josiah Wedgewood- of Wedgewood china and pottery, Michelle Rodriguez, Richard Simmons, Krysty Yamaguchi, Bill Cosby is 83, Ben Burt- George Lucas’ sound effects guru who created the sounds of Darth Vader and R2D2, is 72.

783AD – Queen Bertha "with the big feet" died, the wife of Frankish King Pippin III.

1174- King Henry II of England does public penance on his knees and allowed himself to be whipped for the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury, St. Thomas Beckett.

1290 –All Jews were expelled from England by order of King Edward I Longshanks. A few lived on secretly in British society- Queen Elizabeth’s doctor Rodrigo Lopez was Jewish. Jews would not officially be allowed back into England for four hundred years, when Oliver Cromwell lifted the ban in the 1650’s.

1389- King Richard II appointed writer Geoffrey Chaucer to the choice job of Chief Clerk of the Kings Works at Westminster.

1543- Henry VIII marries his sixth and last wife Catharine Parr.

1562- Spanish monks burn hundreds of priceless books and scrolls of the ancient Mayan Civilization as works of the Devil.

1679 - Britain's King Charles II ratified the Habeas Corpus Act.

1691- The Battle of Aughrim- The largest battle ever on Irish soil was fought in Galway as a leftover action of the Williamite Wars, when William of Orange deposed King James II of England. Ireland’s lords had backed the Catholic James. Even after James had been defeated and driven off in the Battle of the Boyne the previous year, William’s forces had to subdue the remaining resistance. The battle was bloody, and only decided when a lucky cannonball struck off the head of the Jacobite general, the Marquis de Ruth.
This was when a small fragrant white blossom was nicknamed “Sweet Williams” by one side and “Stinking Billys” by the other.

1742- Battle of Bloody Marsh- As part of a larger European war, James Oglethorpe’s English colony in Georgia was attacked by a large Spanish force from Florida under royal governor Don Manuel de Montiano.

1776- During the American Revolution, the British 44 gun warships HMS Phoenix and HMS Rose showed how little they thought of George Washington’s puny rebel defenses, by boldly sailing right up to New York City, and firing on the town. Staten Island was a stronghold of Tory Loyalists, so there was little George could do to refuse them entrance to the harbor.

1759- British General Wolfe began to bombard the French held city of Quebec.

1789- At the Palais Royale in Paris, radical lawyer Camille DesMoulins climbed up on a table in front of the Café du Foy to address a crowd. The people of Paris had been seething since the king had sent Swiss and German mercenary troops into the city to restore order. DesMoulin alleged that the true object of the King's foreign troops were to kill all Frenchmen who wanted freedom. For the first time the Parisian streets rang with the cry: "Aux Armes, Citoyens!" -to arms, citizens! A mob marched to the Place Vendomme where they showered the troops with rocks and bottles, until a volley from their guns dispersed them. The French Revolution would begin in two more days.

1794- At the siege of Calvi in Corsica, young Captain Horatio Nelson lost his right eye.

1808- With the encouragement of Governor Meriwether Lewis, of Lewis & Clark fame, the first newspaper west of the Mississippi is founded, The Missouri Gazette and Louisiana Advertiser.

1817- For the first time in many years America wasn’t at war with anyone and political feuding had died down. Old Revolutionary War veteran James Monroe was easily elected President in what was considered a decidedly boring election. A Boston newspaper named the Columbian Sentinel described the climate of the times as “The Era of Good Feeling”. The name stuck.

1843- Mormon prophet Joseph Smith said God told him in a revelation that it’s okay to marry more than one wife.

1861- The McCanles Massacre, the most famous Western shootout until the OK Corral. At Rock Creek Station (todays Fairbury Nebraska), James Hickok earned his nickname Wild Bill by killing ten desperadoes in a free for all with sixguns and bowie knives. Interviewed by Harpers Weekly, Mr. Hickok explained, ”I was wild then, and I struck savage blows.”

1863-The NEW YORK CITY DRAFT RIOTS- Arguably the largest civil disturbance in American History. Poor immigrant laborers, sick of the Civil War and being forced into the army while rich men bought their way out, ran wild in the streets in three days of looting.
The riot was sparked by the opening of a new draft office on 46th St & 3rd Ave. They began calling names while by coincidence the first long lists of the dead from the Battle of Gettysburg were being published. A mob of 15,000 attacked and burned the Draft Board offices and overwhelmed the police. Writer Herman Melville watching the flames from a rooftop said: “The Rats have taken over the City.” Newspaperman Horace Greely defended his New York World office with a small cannon packed with nails in his lobby. The New York Times posted Gatling Guns on its roof and Wall St. banks boiled oil to drop from the rooftops, like something out of the Middle Ages.
Labor history mentions that most of these laborers worked a 12-14 hour day, seven days a week. So fighting slavery seemed a moot point to them. The mob attacked well dressed men “There goes a three hundred-dollar man!” Modern apologists for the rich rather to focus on the racism of the mob. Indeed the Irish poor, targets of racism themselves, singled out black people as the cause of all their misfortunes and hanged many from lampposts. They even torched a black little girl’s orphanage. The terrified children had to be escorted by bayonet wielding troops to a barge in the East River for their safety.
N.Y. Governor Horatio Seymour, who’s own public contempt for Lincoln's policies help encourage the riots, had to borrow Union Army regiments from the battlefields to restore order in New York City.

1863- After the defeat at Gettysburg, Robert E. Lee's retreating army was pinned for awhile against the rain flooded Potomac River. As the surrounding Union army massed to attack, a local minister went up to Yankee General Meade and protested fighting a battle on a Sunday. When Meade tried to reason with him, the minister replied:" As God's emissary I denounce the defiling of His day! Look ye to the heavens!" Almost as if on command a rainstorm burst out over their heads. Meade cancelled the attack.

1864- Jubal Early's Confederates tried to attack Washington D.C. Early didn’t think he could hold Washington but he was determined to loot and burn it and maybe in so doing draw Grant away from Richmond. Rebel skirmishers got as close as Georgetown, they could see the gleaming white dome of the US Capitol. Despite Union forces in the area being pathetically unprepared, Quartermaster General Meigs had to arm his accountants, and they bussed out hospital invalids with guns, they still managed to turn Early away.

President Lincoln went out to Fort Stevens near present day Walter Reade Medical Center to watch the fight. During the shooting Col. Oliver Wendell Holmes called out to the man in the $8 dollar stovepipe hat peering over the parapet:" Get down ya damn fool! You’re drawing fire. You wanna get us all killed?!" The only time a sitting U.S. President was under direct enemy fire.

1870- Celluloid film patented. The inventor had been trying to find a substitute for ivory billiard balls. Inventor George Eastman later perfected the sprocket and hole system of roll film for cameras, replacing the large glass plates.

1870- THE DISPATCH OF EMMS- The spark that ignited the Franco Prussian War, which caused the World Wars of the Twentieth Century. The Spanish had deposed their Queen Isabella IX and the French and Germans each had a new candidate for the throne. When the Prussian (German) King Wilhelm removed his candidate to diffuse international tension, the French Empress Eugenie pushed it by demanding an apology.

King Wilhelm was at the Baths at Emms. He wrote a short note refusing to meet the French ambassador about any apology. Wilhelm's chancellor Bismarck, who wanted a war with France to unite the separate states of Germany against their old enemy, intercepted the kings letter before it went out and rewrote it to be a real slap in the face. The furious French Empire declared war two days later, just as Bismarck had hoped.

1876- Gunfighter Wild Bill Hickok arrived in Deadwood South Dakota to prospect for gold, see some old friends like Calamity Jane, and play a little poker.

1901 – Baseball pitcher Cy Young wins his 300th game.

1906 – French Capt. Alfred Dreyfus was cleared of all charges of treason and espionage.

1914 – Young reform school graduate Babe Ruth makes his baseball debut, as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox.

1928 - 1st televised tennis match.

1937- The US Government passed the Marijuana Licensing Act, the first of many laws to try and regulate and eventually eliminate marijuana growing. The act was ruled unconstitutional in 1969, but by then marijuana was top on the list of illegal substances.

1948 - 1st jets fly across the Atlantic -6 RAF de Havilland Vampire bombers.

1960: The first Etch-a-Sketch goes on sale. Frenchman Andre’ Cassagnes, invented it. He was the son of a Parisian baker born allergic to flour. Getting a job as an electrician, he noticed the properties of aluminum powder sticking to a glass. (he called it Telecran’, or L’Ecran Magique, or “The Magic Screen”). His first corporate sponsor had their accountant Arthur Granjean do the paperwork for the invention. Granjean wrote his own name in instead of Cassagnes, so in many books he gets the credit as the inventor. After failing to get some of the bigger toy companies to bite, They sold the invention to the Ohio Art Company.

1962 – The Rolling Stones 1st performance at the Marquee Club, London. One band member named Elmo Lewis, changed his name to Brian Jones.

1979- Carmine "The Cigar" Galante, boss of the Gambino Mafia family, was blown away over coffee and spumoni at a small Brooklyn restaurant called Joe & Mary’s. He was finished off with a 45 cal. slug through his eye, his cigar still in his lips. The hit was ordered by Paul Castellano. Rupert Murdoch's New York Post set a new journalistic low when a reporter shimmied up a drainpipe and got a photo of the Don's bullet riddled body before the cops could throw a sheet over it. The Post put it in color on the front page.

1979- Disco Demolition Night. Disc jockey Steve Dahl of WLUP created an event where
Chicago fans could get into Comisky Park for 98 cents if they each brought a Disco record to burn. Instead of the usual crowd of 5,000, they got 50,000 who rushed the field. Thousands of records were thrown at the players like Frisbees while they were trying to play, and the field torn up when they dropped a crate of records on the pitcher’s mound. The Chicago White Sox were forced to forfeit the game to the Detroit Tigers.

1984- Geraldine Ferrarro named the Vice Presidential running mate of Walter Mondale. They lose in a landslide to Reagan-Bush.

1990- TV series Northern Exposure premiered.
Yesterday’s question: When in Ireland, you meet the Taoiseach, what should you do?

Answer: Bow, or salute. That is the Gaelic name for their head of state.