BACK to Blog Posts

Oct. 9, 2021
October 9th, 2021

Question: My mom used to say to me,” You keep doing all that reading and drawing you’re gonna be cockeyed!” What is the origin of cockeyed?

Quiz: The Nobel Prize. What did Alfred Nobel do that enabled him to endow a prize in his name?
History for 10/9/2021
Birthdays: Camille Saint Saens, E. Howard Hunt, Jacques Tati, Alastair Sim, Bruce Catton, Joe Pepitone, cartoonist Mike Peters, Savannah, John Lennon would be 80, his son Sean Lennon, E. Howard Hunt, Scott Bakula, Peter Tosh, Charles Rudolph Walgren-the inventor of the modern Drugstore, Guillermo Del Toro is 56, Tony Schaloub is 68, Pete Doctor is 53.

270AD- Saint Denis and several followers were sent to preach in Paris (then Lutetia, home of a tribe of Gauls called the Parisi). The local Roman authorities had them rounded up and beheaded on a small hill north of town. The hill is today called the Hill of Martyrs, or Montmartre. The legend goes Saint Denis was so indignant at this lack of hospitality, that he picked up his head and walked out of town. Where he reached the city limits his body dropped down lifeless. This is where basilica of St. Denis (1122) stands.

1000AD- VIKINGS DISCOVER AMERICA. Viking Leif Ericsson beached his dragonships in Labrador, Canada. He calls it Vinland. There are several theories why: one was because of an abundance of grapevines he discovered. Another is that the old Norse crossed with Latin Vinland could also be described as Land of Pastures. The Vikings settled a colony in America but it didn't take, and was withdrawn for unknown reasons. Perhaps the mini-Ice Age temperatures that made it tough even for Scandinavians. The second expedition under Thorfinn Karlsefni called the Indians they met Skraelings, and claimed they met a race of one legged men.

1192- Richard the Lionheart left the Holyland. End of the Third Crusade. He planned to return in 1196 and take back Jerusalem from Saladin, but he died first.

1609- Invalid Captain John Smith is put on a ship back to England. Smith had earlier gotten stung by a stingray and almost died. This time a powder horn exploded on his hip and blew out part of his side. While Smith was leader of the Jamestown Colony he had many enemies among the jealous gentry. Some don't think he had an accident. Opinions also differ as to why the Jamestown settlers put Smith through a two month Atlantic crossing that could kill even healthy men. Some say they were hoping he wouldn't make it.
He survived, but never returned to Jamestown. Nobody told Pocahontas, and when she visited camp the men told her he was dead and forget about him. She would meet him ten years later in England when she was a wife and mother of the children of settler John Rolfe.

1635- Pilgrim Roger Williams was banished from the Massachusetts colony for saying the government should not be involved in determining someone’s religion.

1701- Yale University chartered.

1744- Peace of Kleinschellendorf- Frederick II the Great makes peace with Maria Theresa of Austria ending Prussian participation in the War of Austrian Succession.

1779- THE LUDDITES- A movement of English peasants and tradesmen started by a man named Ned Lud who felt that all this newfangled machinery was going to cost them their jobs. The Luddites roamed the countryside smashing any looms, pistons, flywheels or other such devices they encountered. A similar movement in France. French peasants would remove their wooden clogs, called sabots, and throw them into a machine's gears to jam them, and coined the term Saboteurs.

1781- George Washington and the Comte du Rochambeau commenced the bombardment of English positions opening the Battle of Yorktown. Not much credit is given that although Rochambeau considered himself the more experienced tactician, he deferred to Washington as the commander of the allied army. Privately Rocheambeau didn’t think the American rebels had much of a chance. Still, when the Yankee payroll dried up, he paid the US troops out of his own fortune.

1809- The first Royal Jubilee celebrated in England. The monarchy had taken a number of hits lately. King George III was a blind, insane, shut in and the Prince and Princess of Wales were separated and quarreling. So an old widow named Mrs Biggs came up with the idea of a celebration of King George's 50th anniversary of his reign as a way to boost morale. It worked and it's been a custom ever since.

1855- James Stoddard patents the steam calliope.

1888- The Washington Monument finally opened to the public. Construction on it was begun in 1840 and discontinued for a decade during the Civil War. Work was also held up when Protestant workmen refused to use marble donated by Pope Pius IX. It was dedicated the previous year by President Arthur. But he did it in February, and only 300 people showed up in the cold.

1899- Chicago writer L. Frank Baum noted he had just finished a new book called The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. “It is the best thing I’ve written, so they tell me. We’ll see if the queer and fickle public will like it.” It became a huge bestseller.

1905- The World Series resumes after a one year haggle between the owners of the American and National leagues. A best of seven contest between the N.Y. Giants and the Philadelphia Athletics. It would continue undisturbed until 1994 with the players strike.

1938- Eugene O'Neill's play 'The Iceman Cometh' opened.

1951- RKO Pictures asked Marilyn Monroe to please wear panties while working, She was upsetting the film crew.

1963- Uganda became a republic from a British Colony.

1981- Sir Hugh Hudson’s movie Chariots of Fire, about British Olympians at the 1924 Paris Olympics became a sleeper hit. The decision to let Greek composer Vangelis score the period film with an all-electronic synthesizer soundtrack became a sensation. Soon most of the movies of that time had synthesizer tracks. People said orchestras and bands would all be obsolete.

1983- Ronald Reagan’s Interior Secretary James Watt was forced to resign. Watt was a former oil industry lawyer who galvanized popular anger over his views on ecology, such as what's wrong with a few MacDonald’s hamburger stands in the Grand Canyon? Yet he refused to allow the Beach Boys to perform at a public 4th of July concert in DC because he felt they attracted: ”An unsavory element”. The thing that proved Watt’s downfall was a comment he made about a government panel he had just convened. Quote Mr Watt:” We have all bases covered. We have a black, a woman, two Jews and a cripple!”

1986- People said there would never be more than three networks. Today the first show of the fourth network, The Fox Network's the Late Show with Joan River's, premiered. That show didn't last, but future hits like The Simpson's, Married With Children and the X-Files made Fox a major network within ten years.

1989- First edition of Penthouse Magazine in Hebrew. Oy Vey!

2009- President Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Yesterday’s Quiz: The Nobel Prize. What did Alfred Nobel do that enabled him to endow a prize in his name?

Answer: He invented dynamite and made a fortune in munitions. After his brother was killed using the stuff, in remorse he set up an endowment for a an international prize to promote world peace and progress.