BACK to Blog Posts

April 17th, 2008 thurs
April 17th, 2008

Quiz: When talking of George Washington and the Founding Fathers, you’ll hear mention of a Cincinattus. What does that mean? Someone from Cincinatti?

Yesterday’s Question: What is the origin of the slang term Dude? Dude, here’s a hint, it was before the Big Lebowski.
History for 4/17/2008
Birthdays: artist Tobias Stummer-1539, Duke Maximillian Ist of Bavaria- leader of the Catholic League 1579, Nikita Khruschev, Thorton Wilder, Clarence Darrow, Arthur Schnabel, Olivia Hussey is 58, Gregor Piatigorsky, Don Kirschner, William Holden, Harry Reasoner, Boomer Eiseason, Jennifer Garner is 37

1492- After 8 years of interviews, waiting in antechambers and being laughed at and called crazy, King Ferdinand of Spain finally signed a commission for Christopher Columbus to outfit a fleet and sail west across the Atlantic to find Asia. Ferdinand gave him a diplomatic letter for the Great Khan of Cathay- now called China. The legend of Queen Isabella pawning her jewels to give him money didn’t happen. She suggested doing so only to embarrass her financial minister to accelerate funding.

1524- A French expedition led by Italian navigator Giuseppe De Verrasano sailed into New York Harbor. Verrasano claimed the lands for France but upon returning home found the French King too busy with his wars in Germany and Italy to bother with discoveries in the distant New World. Verrasano was later eaten by cannibals in the Caribbean. The big harbor was forgotten until Henry Hudson with the Dutch came upon it 80 years later. This is probably good in the long run because then New York Harbor would have been called the Bay of Anghouleme, and Manhattan the Isle deValois. The Verrasano Narrows Bridge now spans the waters named for him.

1792- British Captain Vancouver explores Puget Sound. He founds a settlement and names it for then Prime Minister Granville. In 1886 Granville (sometimes called Gastown after Gassy-Jack the saloon keeper) was renamed Vancouver.

1869- The first professional baseball game ever played sees the Cincinnati Reds defeat the rival Cincinnati Amateurs, 24-15

1875- The billiard game Snooker was invented by Sir Joseph Chamberlain, the uncle of the future British Prime Minister.

1929- Baseball great Babe Ruth married Ziegfeld Follies dancer Marge Colson in a morning ceremony. Then he drove to Yankee Stadium and hit a home run.

1937 "Porky's Duck Hunt" The birth of Daffy Duck. One legendary story is that newly hired voice actor Mel Blanc in part designed Daffys distinctive lisp to be an impression of the Looney Tunes boss Leon Schlensinger. When they screened this cartoon all the artists stood in dread of how Leon would take the joke. Leon never made the connection that the Ducks voice was an imitation of him:"Gee Fellers, dat Duck iz pretty Ffffunny!"

1960- Cleveland Indians traded Rocky Colavito to the Detroit Tigers.

1961-THE BAY OF PIGS INVASION-.The US landed 1,400 anti-Castro Cuban fighters in La Bahia de los Cochinos. When John Kennedy became president he was shown a CIA plan that had been developed to land anti-Castro guerrillas in Cuba. Once there they would start a popular uprising to overthrow the bearded cigar smoking commie. Kennedy went along with the plan, it failed and he looked stupid to the rest of the world.

1964-The Ford Mustang introduced by Lee Iacocca.

1971- The song "Joy to the World"by Three Dog Night tops the pop charts and becomes the most popular song of the year.

1987- Comedian Dick Shawn –the Hippy-Hitler in the original Mel Brooks film the Producers- was doing his one-man show The Second Funniest Man in the World at UC San Diego. After one particularly funny punch line he fell over dead from a heart attack. The audience roared for several more minutes at him lying there face down because they thought it was part of the act.
Yesterday’s Question: Yo, Dude! What is the origin of the slang term Dude? Dude, here’s a hint, it was before the Big Lebowski.

Answer: Dude, the word Dude has a curiously winding pedigree. It began with the Irish word Dud, pronounced Dood, a silly person. Irish immigrants brought it to the American West where Dude became slang for an out of place city-slicker. From the Old West the word moved into Black urban areas of St Louis and Kansas City, from there into slang of the Jazz Age meaning a well-dressed dandy. Then it was taken up by 1960s California Surfer culture among other terms as white pop Rock & Roll adopted a lot of R&B trappings.
It became a universal term by hit films like Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), which featured the surfer character, Jeff Spicoli. So Dude, that the lowdown.