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Nov. 3, 2020
November 3rd, 2020

Question: What is a parvenu?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What is the difference between Geography and Topography?
History for 11/3/2020
Birthdays: The Roman writer Lucan 39AD, John Montague the Earl of Sandwich, Jubal Early, Walker Evans, William Cullen Bryant, Stephen Austin, Bronco Nagurski, Andre' Malraux, Vincenzo Bellini, Bob Feller, Karl Baedeker author of the guidebooks, Ken Berry, Michael Dukakis, Gustav Tenngren, Lulu, Osamu Tezuka, Jim Cummings

55 BC- CLEOPATRA MARRIED PTOLOMEY VIII. They were brother and sister. Because the Pharaoh was a god, he couldn't mate with a mortal, and the only available goddesses were in the immediate family. This curious inbreeding in the Royal line insured that the mighty family of Ptolemy, general of Alexander the Great, would produce descendants like Orestes the Flute Blower.

361AD- JULIAN THE APOSTATE BECAME EMPEROR OF ROME, upon the death of his uncle Constantius II. Julian's life was much like Claudius 300 years earlier, except the Imperial Family's official religion was now Christianity. The family of Constantine the Great fought, intrigued, seduced and poisoned each other with great gusto, then went to Church. This had a funny effect on bookish young Julian, and he decided Christianity was the problem, and everyone was a lot better off worshiping Jupiter, Hercules, Mars and such like in the good old days. He was slain in battle with the Persians after only a five year reign, before he could affect any real change.

631 AD- Caliph Omar, the conqueror of the Holyland, was assassinated in Medina by Abu-Lulu, a Persian Christian.

1394- the Jews expelled from France by King Charles VI.

1503- MONA LISA- Leonardo Da Vinci was hired by a Florentine senator Francesco del Giocondo to paint a portrait of his third wife Madonna Elizabetha or Lisa. He fussed over the painting for four years and never gave it to Francesco. He said it was still unfinished and kept it for himself. Eventually he needed money so he sold it to the King of France and today it sits in the Louvre. Was her enigmatic smile because she had lost a child earlier that year and Leonardo was trying to cheer her up? He used to have musicians playing in the room when she posed. Or is she emblematic of Woman smiling at all the foibles of Men? One historian called Mona Lisa, “The Face that Launched a Thousand Reams Upon a Sea of Ink.”

1529- In England, the Reformation Parliament first met. This was the Parliament that supported King Henry VIII’s break with the Catholic Church, and the adoption of Protestant practices.

1623- The Dutch government in the Hague decided Henry Hudson had discovered something interesting in America after all, and ordered the Dutch West India Company to begin plans for a colony there to be called New Amsterdam. This settlement would eventually become New York City.

1717- Henry Luttrell was a general in the Irish Jacobite army against the forces of William of Orange. At key battles at Aughrim and Limerick, he betrayed his own side, and for that he was richly rewarded by the English. King William even gave him the estates of his own brother, who picked the wrong side. Needless to say, Henry Luttrell was not very well liked at home. This day while riding in a sedan chair through downtown Dublin, someone came up to him and shot him in the face. Luttrell died the next day, and nobody on that street seemed to see or recall seeing who did it….

1755- The Massachusetts Colony offered a bounty of 20 English pounds each for scalps of Indian children under the age of 12. Warrior scalps fetched a higher bounty, about 30 pounds.

1761- Battle of Torgau- Frederick the Great had his last big victory over the invading Austrian army. Frederick “ Alte Fritz”- Old Fritz, personally led his men into battle and had three horses killed under him. At one point he was actually struck in the chest with a cannonball, but it had been fired at such a great distance that it had lost velocity and merely knocked the wind out of him.” It’s nothing,” he said, and returned to the battle. If he had been killed then the Prussian kingdom would have collapsed, and the future capitol of Germany would have been Vienna or Frankfurt, rather than Berlin.

1836- Southern California ranchero Juan de Alvarado rallied local ranchers to overthrow corrupt territorial Governor Juan de Micheltorena sent from Mexico City. One of his followers was Pio Pico, who would become a general in the Mexican War. The story of Alvarado may have been an early inspiration for Zorro.

1849-THE PNEUMATIC TRAIN- Alfred E. Beech, the publisher of Scientific American Magazine, first proposed an underground railway be built under New York City to ease traffic snarls. He had invented the pneumatic tube system of delivering messages in tubes pulled through buildings by means of suction and compressed air. He now proposed to build tube shaped railroad cars that would carry people along via suction like a big straw. In 1868 he spent $350,000 to build a Pneumatic train under Broadway that could go one block. Beecher eventually gave up the idea and his tunnel was sealed but the New York City Subway system was inaugurated in 1904.

1883- The Billy Hicks Massacre- near El Obeid a poorly trained colonial Egyptian Army led by British officers under General William Hicks march right into a trap set by Sudanese rebel leader El Mahdi. He led a messianic movement much like ISIS today.

1883- Outlaw Black Bart held up his last stagecoach. He liked to rob the Wells Fargo strongbox and leave behind poems. “ I’ve labored long and hard for bread, for money and for riches. But too long on my corns you’ve tread, you fine-haired sons of bitches!- Black Bart poe-8.” Eventually Wells Fargo agents tracked him down to man named Charles Bowles and he did 6 years in San Quentin.

1888- Jack the Ripper killed his last victim, a prostitute named Mary Reilly.

1918- the Austrians sign a preliminary armistice with Italy to end the Italian Front section of World War I. Soldiers like Benito Mussolini could go home and get into politics.

1930- Amadeo Giannini changed the name of his San Francisco based Bank of Italy to the Bank of America.

1948 -The Chicago Daily Tribune prints the famous premature headline “Dewey Defeats Truman” based on early poll returns. Truman himself was so sure he’d lost the election he went to bed early. When he awoke he discovered he had won and he had a ball mocking the newspapers and doing nasal imitations of hostile news correspondent H.B. Kaltenborn.

1957- The first living thing sent into orbit, a Russian dog named Laika. She was a stray found on a Moscow street. She never came back but died in space, but she probably was satisfied knowing she made history- woof.

1963- THE FIRST ALL COSMONAUT WEDDING- Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in Space, marries cosmonaut Andrisyan Nikolayev.

1966- President Lyndon Johnson signed the Truth in Packaging Act, which required all packaged foods to print their ingredients on the label.

1969- In a speech, President Richard Nixon announced his opposition to young anti- Vietnam War protesters by appealing to the social conservative middle Americans. "And so tonight—to you, the great silent majority of my fellow Americans—I ask for your support." It was basically a declaration of cultural war against the Rock & Roll Hippy countercoulture.

1971- The first UNIX manual released.

1971- Carly Simon married James Taylor.

1974- Hello Kitty created.

1976- Carrie starring Sissy Spacek opened in theaters.

1977- Disney's Pete's Dragon starring Helen Reddy and Red Buttons.

1979- T.V. sitcom Different Strokes premiered.

1990- GM's car line the Saturn announced.

1981- WALLY WOOD was one of the most influential cartoonists of the 1950’s and 60’s. His amazing versatility enabled him to draw everything from superhero comics to very cartoony to playfully naughty girls like Sally Forth. He drew EC Comics, the Mars Attacks series, Mad Magazine, Weird Science, THUNDER Agents and much more. He had done an infamous drawing of the Disney characters having sex that was so good, people assumed it was done by a rogue Disney animator. But hard living and deadlines took their toll. Suffering from a stroke, and failing kidneys, Wally Wood put a 44 cal pistol to his right temple and pulled the trigger. Today police found his remains.

1986- While American media sat on the story, Lebanese newspaper Al Schirrah first revealed the details of the Reagan Presidency’s illegal sales of weapons to Iran- the Iran Contra Scandal. It embarrassed the final years of Reagan’s presidency. In 1989, Pres. George H.W. Bush gave executive pardons to all involved.

Yesterday’s Question: What is the difference between Geography and Topography?

Answer: Geography is the study of land masses, how they are divided and the interconnected details of their location, raw materials, assets, inhabitants, etc. Topography describes the physical features of a given area; surface conditions, landscape, natural and man-made formations and barriers. Topography can be seen as a subset of Geography.