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November 5th, 2007 mon
November 5th, 2007

QUIZ: What makes Italian Marinara Sauce, well…marinara sauce? Fish?
History for 11/5/2007
Birthdays: Gen Benjamin "Spoons" Butler, Eugene V. Debs, Art Garfunkel, Roy Rogers, Tatum O'Neill, Elke Sommer, Ike Turner, Vivien Leigh, Will Durant, Joel McCrea, Sam Shepard, Bill Walton, John Berger

In Jolly Old England it is

HAPPY GUY FAWKES DAY! in -1605 Sir Guy Fawkes, a Catholic nobleman, was caught digging a tunnel under the English Parliament and filling it with gunpowder. His goal was no less than blowing up the King and the entire blinkin' government! Sir Roger Catesby was actually the mastermind of the plot, but Sir Guy gets the fame.
Modern day Brits commemorate this as a kind of April Fools Day with bonfires and merrymaking. Children go from door to door asking :"A penny for Sir Guy, please." But in olden times it was also a let's have a good laugh on the Roman Catholics day.
This is why George Washington was against transplanting the holiday in America. Pope Day was celebrated in some American colonies but it died out after the Revolution. In 1775 Washington called it-A ridiculous and childish festival, burning effigies of the Pope." Many English folks I know told me they celebrate the day they tried to blow up the government because wouldn't things have been lovely if he had succeeded !

1805- The Royal Spanish Governor of New Mexico, Joaquin del Real Alencaster, dispatches a cavalry troop under Don Pedro Vial on a secret mission. On this day Vial's force is attacked by hostile Indians on the Arkansas River. Vial drives off the Indians but his command is too battered by the fight to continue and has to return, their mission aborted. What was their mission? To kill or capture the American explorers Lewis and Clark. The Spanish government in Madrid knew full well the object in the American President Jefferson’s mind in sending this "scientific" expedition to find a land route to the Pacific, over territory Spain still claimed as her own despite the Louisiana Purchase. Lewis and Clark, at this point in the Columbia River Gorge, were unaware of the drama around them.

1820- Old British sea dog Lord Thomas Cochrane had joined the Latin American cause trying to gain independence from Spain. This night he decided the best way to do that was to capture the flagship of the Spanish Pacific fleet, the 44 gun Esmerelda. Cochrance with 80 Chilean sailors dressed in white rowed up to the frigate and captured her after a brief but violent hand to hand struggle. As they rowed silently past the neutral USS Mendocino they were almost given away by the American sailors cheering for them.

1895- Invention of the Car Clutch.

1940- President Franklin Roosevelt was re-elected to an unprecedented 3rd term. His defeated Republican opponent- Wendell Wilkie, became the butt of jokes in many Looney Tunes.

1954- THE WRONG DOOR RAID- Baseball great Joe DiMaggio was stewing over the collapse of his marriage to sexy movie star Marilyn Monroe. He was especially sensitive to the rumors that she was seeing other men. This night Joltin Joe was having dinner with Frank Sinatra and a few friends when a detective brought him a report that Monroe’s car was spotted parked in front of an apartment complex on Kilkea Dr.. Enraged, he drove out to the building and kicked in the back door hoping to catch her en-flagrante. But Marilyn was staying in a girlfriend’s apartment upstairs. This was the home of a terrified old lady named Mrs Florence Klotz. We don’t know what she thought about her door suddenly kicked in by Joe DiMaggio, Frank Sinatra and the RatPack but the tabloids had a field day.

1975- Logger Travis Walton was abducted by aliens and experimented on for five days, then returned to his Snowflake Arizona home. Walsh published a bestseller Fire in the Sky.

1977- George W. Bush married Laura Welsh. Laura was a Democrat who campaigned for lefty George McGovern in 1972.

1979- National Public Radio’s news show Morning Edition started.

1994- Retired President Ronald Reagan gave his last public speech. He confirmed he had Alzheimers Disease.

1999- A man was arrested in Minneapolis for stealing and keeping 150 shopping carts in his apartment.


QUESTION: Why is German dark rye bread called Pumpernickel?

ANSWER: Referred to in writing since 1746, the Oxford English Dictionary is uncertain as to the origin of the name. One theory is the name means Pumper- German for Fart, and Nickel, for Old Nick, another nickname for Satan. So Devil’s Fart Bread.

My favorite version is Oxford historian Katharine MacDonnough related the story of Napoleon marching his army in triumph into Berlin in 1806. He was riding a young colt named Nicole for the occasion. Part of the ceremony of submission, the Berlin city fathers present the conqueror with the keys of the city and a platter of the local delicacies to eat. Napoleon sampled the dark bread, and allegedly said:” Ech! Give that bread to my horse!- C’est pain pour Nicole!”