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May 1st, 2008 thurs
May 1st, 2008

Quiz: Martin Luther King and Gandhi fought the establishment with Civil Disobedience.
Who coined the term- Civil Disobedience?

Yesterday's question answered below: What is ersatz? like ersatz coffee?
History for 5/1/2007
Birthdays: Mary Harris a.k.a.Mother Jones, Marshal Vauban 1633, Benjamin Latrobe, Calamity Jane, Joseph Addison, Kate Smith, Jack Paar, Joseph Heller, Rita Coolidge, Steve Cauthen, Judy Collins, Glen Ford, Ray Parker Jr., Maurice Noble, Fyodor Khytruk, Louis Nye, John Woo, Wes Anderson,

Happy Birthday Eric Goldberg!

May or Maius is named for Maia, Roman god of flowers, daughter of Fauna and Vulcan.

62BC- Publius Clodius Pulcher- The Handsome, seduced the wife of Julius Caesar by dressing like a woman and sneaking into Caesars home while the women were celebrating the secret sacred mysteries of Bona Dea. Caesar wasn¹t too upset because he was sleeping around as well. Part of Greco-Roman religious mysteries was the drinking of a wine mixed with herbs approximating the effect of modern LSD. Sex, Drugs and Latin Conjugations!

1373- Dante Alighieri met the love of his life Beatrice at a MayDay party in Florence. Although she married another he was inspired to write his Divine Comedy to her.

1886- MAYDAY- In most of the world except the U.S. this is Labor Day. Ironically the tanks and red banners that used to parade down Tianamehn or in Havanna celebrate events that began in the United States. In 1886- The Knights of Labor- an underground movement of unions came out in the open and announced itself America's first national labor organization. On this day they called for strikes against all employers who wouldn't institute an 8 hour workday. The norm in America was 12 hours, 7am to 7pm six days a week. 500,000 people go out on 1,700 strikes and paralyze the nation's economy. The authorities crushed the strikes with violence, shootings, arrests and firings with a brutality that shocked the rest of the world. Karl Marx said: " Isn't it amazing what's happening in America ?". The 8 hour day doesn't become normal in America until 1913. In 1889- in Europe the International Socialist Congress declaring itself in sympathy with the embattled American worker designated May 1st as International Worker's Day. In 1894 American Federation of Labor, a less militant successor to the Knights, ask President Cleveland to move Labor Day from May 1st to the end of August. This was so people can have a holiday between Independence Day and Thanksgiving, but also a Labor Day free of "radical politics".

1893- The WORLD COLUMBIAN EXHIBITION opened in Chicago. A great White City topped by the first Ferris Wheel, a giant that carried passengers higher than the crown of the Statue of Liberty. Worlds Fairs then still had a certain amount of cheap sensationalist burlesque to attract customers uninterested in dynamos and new farming exhibits. Candy maker Milton Hershey inspected some new German milk chocolate machines and was inspired to build his business around chocolate. This exhibition was made famous by the erotic gyrations of an hootchie-cootchie dancer named Little Egypt. It was the first example of belly dancing in America but the famous tune "In the Land of Oz Where the Ladies Smoke Cigars" was not written in Egypt but by a local songwriter named Joe Blume. It also displayed the World¹s Largest Red Cedar Bucket, then filled with lager beer. I had the pleasure of seeing the Bucket at Mufreesboro Tennessee, minus the beer.

1898- BATTLE OF MANILA BAY- Admiral Dewey's fleet sinks the Spanish fleet when
he gives the order to the captain of the USS Olympia :"You may fire when ready, Gridley:" I'm sorry, Bugs Bunny didn't say it first. The Spanish admiral Marquis de Montijo is remembered in Spain as a hero for even trying to engage the Americans with his outdated and outgunned fleet. Forgoing the support of shore batteries he deliberately drew his ships up away from the city of Manila so civilians wouldn't get hurt in the battle and his ships could sink in shallow water. Hundreds of Spanish sailors were killed but the only Yankee swab who died was an engineer who had a heart attack from all the excitement.

1902- Richard Outcault's comic strip Buster Brown and Tige first appeared. Outcault, the creator of the first hit cartoon the Yellow Kid was so famous that as part of his deal to do this strip he negotiated the first back-end deal for a percentage of the merchandise sales.

1914-THE BIRTH OF THE BIG BLUE- Thomas Watson got a job at a little business machine company called CTR, the Calculating, Typewriter and Regulating Company. He quickly rose to the top and renamed the company International Business Machine or IBM. When he retired in 1956 it employed 60,000 and is one of largest companies in the world.

1931- The Empire State Building in New York dedicated. For fifty years it was the worlds tallest office building and King Kong¹s hangout. It¹s topmost deck was designed to be a dirigible mooring post but despite several tries no zeppelin has ever been able to park there. A Goodyear Blimp attempted mooring there in 1976 but the highwinds bobbed it around like a bucking bronco. The building was dedicated during the depths of the Great Depression when business was so bad it was nicknamed the 'Empty State Building'.

1939- The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia exports it's first barrel of crude oil.

1939- The first Batman comics created by Bob Kane appear on newsstands.

1941-ROSEBUD- Orson Welles film "Citizen Kane" debuted at the Paramount theater (the El Capitan) in Hollywood. At the last minute William Randolph Hearst's friend Louis B. Mayer tried to buy and destroy every print of the film and the Hearst press went crazy attacking it. Hearst spokesperson Louella Parsons threatened "A Beautiful Lawsuit" if the film was not pulled. Despite winning some Oscars the film didn't do well in it's initial release, but it remains one of the greatest films of all time. Welles said later:" The problem I've always had is my movies become classics ten years later."

1960- THE U-2 INCIDENT Soviet authorities shoot down a high observation U-2 spy plane violating Soviet airspace and capture the pilot Francis Gary Powers. Ironically President Eisenhower had ordered a halt to the U-2 spy program but the Pentagon tried to get one more flight in. After 1989 the US Government admitted the overflights of Russian airspace had been going on since 1950. In those ten years the Soviets had shot down around 20 planes with a loss of 100-200 U.S. servicemen killed or sent to die in Siberian Gulags, ignored by their government to whom they did not officially exist. Powers¹s plane was hit and disintegrated. He fell 70,000 feet but miraculously he survived. Before he was captured he at first hitchhiked a ride from a Russian couple going to a wedding. They saw nothing strange in the uniformed man and when they noticed he couldn¹t speak Russian in the middle of Russia they decided he must be Bulgarian.

1967- Elvis Presley marries Priscilla Beaulieu at the Aladdin Casino in Las Vegas.

1989- Walt Disney Feature Animation in Orlando Florida opens. It closed in 2006.

1993- The Florida Animation Union Local 843 chartered.

1997- Frank Gifford, ABC television sportscaster and husband of morning show celebrity Kathy Lee Gifford, was caught on videotape doing the nasty with stewardess Suzie Johnson. She got paid by a tabloid and posed nude for Playboy.

1997- Bebe, the dolphin who played Flipper on the television show, died at age 40.

1997- Tony Blair defeated Tory John Major to become Prime Minister of Britain.

2003-MISSION ACCOMPLISHED? President George W. Bush lands a military jet onto the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln to deliver a speech declaring the war in Iraq to be officially over. In the next three years 2800 more Americans would be killed, 25,000 wounded. A big banner on the carrier read Mission Accomplished. The White House said it was set up spontaneously by crewmen, but later admitted it was conceived, printed and hung by West Wing functionaries. George also broke the 220 year tradition of a sitting president never appearing in military uniform, scrupulously kept by real soldiers like Washington, Jackson, Grant and Eisenhower.

I got my George W. Bush flight suit G.I.Joe packed away in storage next to my sixpack of BillyBeer, as an investment in the future.

2005- The Sunday Times of London first printed the Downing Street Memo. It was minutes of a meeting between US and British strategists that proved that the Bush White House was irrevocably settled on removing Saddam Hussein from the leadership of Iraq by force in 2002. This while the official spin in the media was that America was only going to war as a last resort. The US Media gave this story little coverage.


Yesterday's Question: What is something that is Ersatz? Like Ersatz Coffee?

Answer: Towards the end of WWII, as shortages of basic staples wracked Germany, the Nazi government created fake consumer goods like coffee made from sawdust and chicory. These products were called Ersatz, replacements, and touted by the Propaganda Ministry as better than the originals.
So long after the war is over, the term ersatz lives on to denote fake products.