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March 4th, 2008 tues.
March 4th, 2008

Quiz: Keith Olbermann’s MSNBC show Countdown uses some devices that are homage to older more famous news shows. Olbermann’s theme song, the opening notes of the 2nd movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, was once the theme song of an older news program. What was it?

Yesterday’s Question: Why are people with politically left-leaning opinions called Liberals?
History for 3/4/2008
Birthdays: King Henry II Plantagenet, Antonio Vivaldi, Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal, Count Casimir Pulaski, Miriam Makeba, Nancy Wilson, Bernard Haittink, John Garfield, Knute Rockne, Chastity Bono, prizefighter Ray Boom-Boom Mancini, Patsy Kensit. Katherine O’Hara is 54, James Ellroy is 60

1517- HERNANDO CORTEZ LANDS IN MEXICO. With a hostile Viceroy of Cuba between him and Spain, and only 508 soldiers he resolves to attack the Aztec Empire of many millions. He even burns his ships to force his men to conquer or die.

TRADITIONAL PRESIDENTIAL INNAUGURATION DAY-1792-1933 "March Forth with a New President" -get it ? Transportation being what it was in early America, and the time it took to count votes, and the Electoral College to ratify the election results, this seemed a convenient time. Inauguration ceremonies have been as simple as Tom Jefferson addressing a few guests indoors, then returning to have dinner by himself at Conrad's Tavern to George W. Bush's $40 million dollar 8 inaugural balls.
At Jefferson' inaugural John Adams was so mad he lost that he refused to attend the ceremony. Truman wouldn't speak to Eisenhower, Eisenhower wouldn't speak to Kennedy. In 1841 President William Henry Harrison insisted despite his great age on attending the ceremony without his hat and overcoat in the March chill and caught pneumonia and died a month later, the shortest term in office. His inaugural address was 2,000 words while George Washington's was 137. The wildest Inauguration was Andrew Jackson's in 1829. Common folks were invited into the White House and went wild breaking crystal, muddying the carpets and spitting tobacco juice on the floor. Jackson jumped out of a back window to avoid being crushed. The butlers got the crowd out only by moving tubs of liquor onto the south lawn. At Abe Lincoln's second inaugural in 1865 he switched vice presidents. Outgoing v.p. Hannibal Hamlin encouraged new v.p. Andrew Johnson to calm his nerves with whiskey, knowing the man had a low tolerance for alcohol. So before Lincoln's beautiful speech 'With Malice Towards None, With Charity for All..." Johnson went up drunk- burbled incoherently and was seen dribbling on the Bible until Lincoln angrily ordered him pulled off the stage. In 1877 Rutherford Hayes wife "Lemonade-Lucy" banned all alcohol from the White House and it was said of the party:” Water flowed like Champagne!" In 1937 Franklin Roosevelt moved the inauguration date to the third week in January.

1887- William Randolph Hearst buys the little San Francisco Examiner and builds the Hearst newspaper empire. Hearst’s father was owner of the famed Comstock mine and thought his son crazy for wasting his time with the penny-paper business. Hearst died in 1951 at age 88, leaving an estate of $160 million. Today Hearst publications is still 15 magazines and broadcast networks..

1887- The first Daimler motorcar introduced in Essenlingen Germany- the Daimler Benzin Motorcarriage. Daimler’s chief competition was the motor company of Dr Carl Benz. In 1899 Austrian Emile Jellinek invested heavily in Daimler’s motorcars provided he name them for his daughter Mercedes. Mercedes and Benz merged in 1926 but the two founders- Gottfried Daimler and Carl Benz never met face to face.

1902- AAA the Auto Club founded.

1917- Jeanette Rankin became the first female member of Congress.

1924- The song “Happy Birthday to You” copyrighted by Claydon Sunny.

1933- Franklin Roosevelt gave his famous speech“ The Only thing we have to fear is, Fear itself.”at his first inauguration.

1936- Screenwriter Dudley Nichols publicly refuses the Best Screenplay Oscar for John Ford’s “The Informer” as protest in support of the struggling Writer’s Guild.

1944- Louis Lepke Buchalter went to the electric chair at Sing Sing prison. Buchalter with Albert Anastasia headed the heavy enforcement arm of Lucky Lucciano’s New York Mafia Syndicate. Nicknamed “Murder Incorporated ”the Brooklyn gang committed at least 100 murders, including Dutch Schultz and Lucciano’s mentor Joe the Boss Masseria.

1946- Alex Raymond's comic strip 'Rip Kirby" premiered.

1952- Ronald Reagan married Nancy Davis at the Little Red Church on Coldwater Canyon L.A. William Holden was best man.

1952- Ernest Hemingway wrote a letter to his publisher:" I've completed a new novel. I think it's my best one to date." The Old Man and the Sea.

1956- Burger King introduced their signature hamburger, the Whopper.

1961- In the early stages of filming Cleopatra in London actress Elizabeth Taylor developed pneumonia and slipped into a coma. She would have died had not doctors at a convention at London’s Dorchester Hotel performed and emergency tracheotomy. When you seen the film today you can still see the tracheotomy scar at the base of her throat.

1994- Basketball legend Michael Jordan comes to bat for the first time in a Chicago White Sox Baseball uniform. Jordan will give up baseball after one season and return to the NBA.

1994- Obese comedian John Candy died of heart failure.

1997- The senate of Brazil allowed women to wear slacks to work.

2004- A New York court convicted interior decorating guru Martha Stewart of four counts of stock fraud. This was for dumping her stock in a pharmaceutical firm called InClone after getting an inside tip that their cancer cure didn’t work.

Yesterday’s Question: Why are people with politically left-leaning opinions called Liberals?

Answer: When Napoleon’s armies occupied Spain in 1808 the Spanish people formed independent bands and fought on in the hills as "guerrillas"- "Little Wars". These militias sent delegates to an free, independent parliament called the Supreme Cortes in the Southern city of Cadiz. They formulated a constitution advocating free speech and assembly, and abolishing torture and the Inquisition. These men were called the Free Men party, Los Liberales or Liberals.