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May 9, 2020
November 9th, 2020

Question: Hedy Lamar was a top Hollywood screen goddess in the 1940s, but today she is famous for something quite different. What is it?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What is meant by being prosaic?
History for 11/9/2020
Birthdays: English King Edward VII, Hedy Lamar- born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler,
Confederate Gen. Ambrose Powell Hill, Stanford White, Marie Dressler, Ed Wynn, Ann Sexton, Spiro Agnew, Tommy Dorsey, Dr. Carl Sagan, Whitey Herzog, Dorothy Dandridge, Dr. Herbert Kalmus the inventor of Technicolor film, Lou Ferrigno is 68, Sisqo

In ancient Rome, this was the Mundus Patet, The Feast of Mania, with Pluto another god of the dead, The Mother of the Underworld. Like the Greek Anthesterion it was a time when the Gates of Underworld were said to be open and the shades of the dead could come up and visit their old haunts. This is where we get the word Maniac.

64BC- Marcus Tullius Cicero delivered the first of his great speeches against Catiline, a Roman noble he accused of gathering an army of the disaffected to overthrow the Republic. Catiline was present in the Senate, but later in the day fled Rome.

1518- Pope Leo X tried some reform to calm the Protestant protests in Germany by repudiating some of the more outrageous claims of what buying indulgences could do. And that as Pope he could not get loved ones released from Hell or Purgatory, but could merely pray for God to forgive them. But it had no effect, the Protestant Reformation in Germany was going full steam ahead.

1781- After the Battle of Yorktown, George Washington watched his only stepson Jackie Custis die of camp fever or meningitis. Washington never having direct heirs probably saved America from ever developing an aristocracy. George Washington would not believe his Yorktown victory had really ended the Revolutionary War. He proposed to Rocheambeau an immediate attack on Charleston South Carolina. but his French allies told him they were done for the season. The French fleet returned to the Caribbean for the winter. George could not know that back in London the government was falling, and the Crown now just wanted peace.

1799- THE COUP OF THE 18TH BRUMAIRE- Napoleon seized power in France. The name referred to the date in the French Revolutionary calendar. The little general began by giving a speech in the National Assembly denouncing the Jacobin menace and the need to restore order. Throwing around the term Jacobin then was akin to calling people Terrorists today. However he was never as good a political speaker as he was a soldier. The senior politicians recognized baloney when they heard it and mobbed him. His brother Lucien who was a senator pulled him out of the crowd. So Nappy called in his troops and cleared the hall, pushing some senators out of the windows, it was a one-story building so the effect was purely symbolic.
At 2:00 AM a small group of friendly senators were convened to vote to create a leadership system of three Consuls with Nappy to share power, but he soon outmaneuvered the other two. Napoleon became dictator of France and declared the French Revolution completed and further action unnecessary. “I am the Revolution!” He was 31.

1872- The Great Fire of Boston. Much of the city center was destroyed because an equine virus, The Great Epizootic, had killed off the horses of the fire brigades.

1875- A treaty signed in 1868 had declared all of the Black Hills of South Dakota to be sacred protected Indian land “ So Long as Grass grows and Water Flows.” But prospectors supported by General George Custer had discovered gold in those hills and a gold rush began, Indians or no. This day a confidential memo from Supreme Commander of the U.S. Army Phil Sheridan with President Ulysses Grant’s approval ordered the frontier cavalry to cease preventing settlers and gold prospectors from entering the Black Hills. This memo violated the Treaty of 1868 and would lead to Custer's Last Stand next June.

1888- the last victim of Jack the Ripper found. 25-year-old prostitute Mary Reilly. After her murder the Ripper attacks ceased as mysteriously as they had started.

1906- President Teddy Roosevelt departed on board the battleship Louisiana to go inspect the Panama Canal dig. TR is the first sitting U.S. President to travel abroad.

1911-The first Neon sign illuminated.

1918- KAISER WILHELM ABDICATED. A curious fact was that in World War I the allies never made it to Berlin, much less even entered Germany. After four years of war, the German state collapsed from within- bread riots, the economy in shambles, The entire Navy mutinied, Bolshevik Revolutionary Workers Committees were set up in eleven cities including Cologne, Munich and Hamburg.
At first Kaiser Wilhelm hoped to first sign the peace with the Allies, then turn the German army around to restore order. But he changed his mind when 40 combat officers polled at random said 38 to 2 that they would refuse to kill other Germans to save his monarchy.“What about the Fananeider-The German Soldiers Oath to die for the Monarchy?!” Wilhelm asked Gen. Von Groener. “Sire, today the Oath is just some empty words!” Even the Kaiser’s personal bodyguards were setting up a Revolutionary Workers Committee. So rather than wind up arrested and maybe murdered with all his children like his cousin Nicky the Czar of Russia, Wilhelm abdicated. He packed up his family into a secret train and escaped to neutral Holland. The Hohenzollern Dynasty, which had ruled Germany since 1685, was now gone. Wilhelm’s first words when reaching the Castle of Daun were : "I should now like a strong hot cup of English tea."

Young Berlin university professor Albert Einstein wrote in his class log-“ Class canceled today due to revolution….”

1918- Meanwhile Berlin was in a confused panic, monarchists fighting communists in the streets. Chancellor Prince Max of Baden said to Reichstag leader Fritz Ebert:” I hand over to you the care of the German Empire.” Ebert replied:” I have lost two sons to that Empire.” Social democrat Karl Scheiderman was having lunch at the Reichstag when he was told the German Bolsheviks Karl Leibknecht and Red Rosa Luxemburg were about to publicly announce a soviet-style state. Scheiderman got up from his soup, walked out on the balcony and declared the Republic of Germany. Fritz Ebert became the first President.

1923- THE BEER HALL PUTSCH-Adolf Hitler's first attempt at a revolution styled to coincide with Napoleon's anniversary of coming to power in 1799. Old German war hero General Ludendorf stood by him in support. The coup attempt was easily put down by Munich police and Hitler only spent a year under house arrest. Hitler had a long memory. Eleven years later in 1934 when dictator Hitler was purging his stormtroopers, he remembered to look up the same Munich constable who had him arrested and had the poor man shot.

1928- Anthropologist Margaret Mead arrived in Ta’u, Samoa to begin work on her book “Coming of Age in Samoa” which will have a great effect on how people raise their children.

1935- An aggressive group of labor unions led by United Mine Workers leader John L. Lewis break away from the AF of L and form the Congress of Industrial Unions or the CIO. The AFL and CIO reunited in 1951.

1938- KRYSTAL NACHT- In Paris, an angry German-Jewish exile shot and killed a German diplomat named Ernst Von Rapt. Ironically Rapt was anti-Nazi and was being watched by the Gestapo. Back in Germany the Nazis use this incident to order the mass destruction of 191 synagogues and 1,000 Jewish businesses. Then the Jewish community was ordered to pay fines up to $40 million to pay for the damage. The name Crystal Night pertains to the sound of smashing glass in the streets.
German boxing champion Max Schmelling was the media idol of Aryan Superiority for defeating American Joe Louis. One thing no one knew was that Schmelling concealed two Jewish boys on Krystalnacht and had them smuggled out of the country. In 1961 Schmelling was invited to a testimonial in his honor at the Sands Resort Casino in Las Vegas. It was owned by one of those boys.

1964- First "Wizard of Id" comic strip published.

1953- Welsh poet Dylan Thomas died of alcohol poisoning and liver failure in New York City, after downing 18 straight shots of whisky. There's actually some debate as to whether or not Dylan Thomas intended to drink himself to death. Scholars have recently suggested that he was a diabetic and died of hypoglycemia. Whatever the actual agent of Thomas' demise may have been, the coroner wrote on his death certificate under the cause of death heading, "Insult to the brain."

1965- "WHERE WERE YOU WHEN THE LIGHTS WENT OUT?" The first Great East Coast Blackout. A transformer near Rochester shorts out and the surge overloads station after station until the entire eastern seaboard from Boston to Delaware is in darkness for 12 hours. Nine months later there was a notable rise in the birthrate. I guess there was nothing else to do.

1966- In London, Beatle John Lennon went to an art exhibit and first met a Japanese avant-garde photographer named Yoko Ono.

1981- The Screen Actor's Guild under President Ed Asner votes emergency moneys for striking PATCO air traffic controllers fired by the former SAG president, now U.S. President, Ronald Reagan.

1979- National Public Radio goes on the air. The first US national news show with women as anchor reporters. It was also the first news program in stereo.

1989- THE BERLIN WALL FELL. The East German authorities backed down as the people dance and sing on the hated symbol of Cold War division. A student points up at the TV cameras and shouted: "Look, the Whole World is Watching!" Some West German politicians drove to the scene of the spontaneous demonstration and they tried to get everyone to sing patriotic songs like "Deutschlandlied", but the crowd drowned them out, dancing to the theme from the movie:"GhostBusters".
The next day people found the streets covered in banana peels. It was the first thing East Germans bought in the west, and they ate their bananas as they window shopped.

1995- PLO leader Yassir Arafat had been warned it wouldn’t be wise to attend the funeral of assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, killed on Nov 5th. This day he secretly sneaked into Jerusalem to make a courtesy call on Leia Rabin at her apartment to express his condolences. It was the only time the Jerusalem born Arafat ever visited Israel.

2004- The Jones Soda Pop Company of Seattle announced its new creation – Mashed Potato Flavored Soda. This was to follow up on their success last year of Roast Turkey and Gravy Soda.

2004- Mozilla-Firefox 1.0 started up.

2012- Steven Spielberg’s’ film Lincoln with Daniel Day Lewis premiered.

Yesterday’s Question: What is meant by being prosaic?

Answer: Being plainspoken, banal, simple, like prose, without poetry.