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May 5th, 2008 mon
May 5th, 2008

Quiz: What does DC comics stand for?

Yesterday’s Quiz Answered below: Who was the first Superhero?
History for 05/05/08
Birthdays: Tyrone Power, Karl Marx, Elizabeth Cochrane called Nellie Bly, Soren Kierkegard, Alice Faye, James Beard, Michael Palin, Pat Carroll, Patrick Ewing, John Rhys Davies, Lance Henriksen, Pat Carrol the original Ursula the Sea Witch is 81.

National Teacher's Day.

National Cartoonist's Day.

2349BC- According to Flemish Bishop Ussher, a XVI Century cleric who tried to calculate a date for every event in the Bible, today is the day Noah’s Ark struck dry ground on Mount Ararat.

840- Louis the German, a son of Charlemagne, died of fright after witnessing a total eclipse of the sun.

1504 -Sir Anton of Burgundy, known as The Great Bastard, dies at 82. We don’t know much about this knight but you gotta wonder how he got that nickname!

1800- Shortly after winning his Federalist parties nod to run for re-election President John Adams was told by his wife Abigail Adams” Tis a pity that politicians would sacrifice all that Good men hold dear and Sacred just to win an election.” Of course, that doesn’t happen today, now does it?

1821"...le Armee'......Josephine....." Napoleon Bonaparte died on the island of St.Helena at age 52. Recent radioactive analysis of his hair samples reveal that in his last 18 months the arsenic level in his body went up 150%. Did he die of stomach cancer like his father or was he poisoned as he stated in his memoirs ? Was there too many bits of mercury and arsenic in his prescribed medicines or the wallpaper ? The debate continues to this day.
When the news reached England King George IV was in the middle of trying to get divorced from his estranged wife Queen Caroline so he could marry his mistress. When an aide announced to him :"Sire! Your Majesty's greatest enemy has died !" George replied: " She is-? Oh, Thank the Lord !"

1862-HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO- Battle of Puebla-Mexican Juaristas under a daring young general named Porfirio Diaz defeated a French invasion force. After Benito Juarez’s presidency Porfirio Diaz made himself dictator and reigned until being ousted in the Mexican Revolution in 1910.

1889- THE PARIS WORLD EXHIBITION opened. This exposition was what the Eiffel Tower was built for: it was the centerpiece of this World's Fair. At the time, it was the world's tallest free-standing metal structure, and hailed as a marvel - and now as an enduring symbol - of the Industrial Revolution. Yet it is still almost a hundred feet shorter than the largest building ever constructed (presumably by mass of construction materials!), the
Great Pyramid at Giza, which is 500 feet tall; only six feet short of Seattle's Space Needle! Americans remembered it as the event where American painting first stood out on the world stage, despite being given a small gallery space between Bosnia and Denmark. The judging of the artwork was controversial. Here they are trying to show the world the uniqueness of American painting yet with not a single Copley, Bierstadt, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer or Mary Cassatt was accepted. James McNeill Whistler considered himself American although he lived most of the time in London. When the show was announced he patriotically entered a dozen paintings but the American judges rejected them all. He angrily re-submitted them as a British artist and won a gold medal.

1891-Carnegie Hall in New York opens. One old musician told me the acoustics are so perfect that you can fart in the trumpet section and you'll be heard in the second balcony.

1953- Broadway Director Jerome Robbins was riding high after directing hits like On the Town and King & I when he was labeled a Communist by Ed Sullivan. To save his career, this day he testified before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee HUAC and named names. One actress he finked on Jack Gilford's wife-Margaret Lee said” I’ve just been stabbed by a wicked fairy”. Ironically Robbins went on to direct two of his biggest hits “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and the Fiddler on the Roof using blacklisted actors like Zero Mostel, Bea Arthur and Jack Gilford, who all hated him.

1960- Soviet Premier Khruschev announces to the world press the shooting down of an American U-2 spy plane over Russia. President Eisenhower vigorously denied anything of the sort until Khruschev in a world media news conference produced the planes wreckage and pilot Lt. Francis Gary Powers. The incident not only deepened the Cold War, but for the first time in modern history a U.S. President was caught lying his head off. For the most recent time, uh, what’s in the news today?

1961- Alan Shepard became the first American in space on board Friendship VII. The rocket took him 115 miles into space but not high enough to achieve an orbit. That was done one year later by John Glenn. Shepard was kept on the ground in his capsule for so long he had to pee in his suit. In the upside down position the fluid ran up his back and puddles in his helmet behind his head. Ick.

1968- Albert Dekker, star of monster movies like Dr. Cyclops, was found hanged in his bathroom, handcuffed, and wearing ladies lingerie. A narcotics needle was sticking in his arm. The police declared it an 'auto-erotic episode that had gone wrong."

hey, so I like to party in my own way. Don't go all Hollywood Babylon on me!

1975- Anne Rice’s novel The Interview With The Vampire first published.

1985- President Ronald Reagan started a firestorm of controversy among WWII veterans when he laid a wreath in Germany at a cemetery in Bitburg that contained graves of 49 Nazi Waffen-SS soldiers. Some of them may have participated in the infamous Malmedy Massacre of US prisoners. When looking for a place for Reagan to stay the State Department scouted around for a German host who was conservative but had no Nazi connections. Finally they found a Baron who was born in 1942. So Reagan stayed at his castle. Once there the Baron revealed even though his father was not in the Nazi party, his godfather was Adolf Hitler! Doh!

Quiz: Who was the first Superhero?

Answer: The problem is to define where the concept of Superhero, a fictional character with superhuman powers, differs from a Hero of Legend, like Hector, Achilles, Theseus, Robin Hood, Siegfried, Mushashi Miyamoto. In this definition then the first superhero was the Sumerian King Gilgamesh, the hero warrior of the epic story of 2600BC, who was “ two thirds god and one third man”.

You could argue the first superhero of American literature was Natty Bumppo called Hawkeye. In the James Fennimore Cooper novels like The Last of the Mohicans (1826) he was the super-frontiersman- drawn out of stories of real life heroes Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett. This form later adapted to the Western cowboy, making a fictional hero out of real scout Buffalo Bill Cody, then into the Industrial Age with Tarzan the Apeman in 1910. In modern comics the supra-human superhero began with 1938’s Superman, and from then on it was Up, Up and Awaaayyy!!