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May 13th, 2008 tues
May 13th, 2008

Quiz: What is a sofa called in Spanish?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Why are Marines called Leathernecks?
History for 5/13/2008
Birthdays: Sir Arthur Sullivan, Cyrus McCormick, Stevie Wonder, George Braque, Daphne DuMaurier, Joe Louis, Richie Valens, Gil Evans, Beatrice Arthur, Peter Gabriel, Harvey Keitel, Dennis Rodman

In ancient Rome this was the Liberalia, Festival of the gods of the Grape- Liber and Liberia. As part of the fertility theme people waved little carved phalluses or wore them around their necks to parties. Putting a big carved phallus in your garden was a sure way to make your flowers bloom. Is Martha Stewart reading this? I gotta admit, it would have been difficult to watch epic movies like Quo Vadis, if Robert Taylor and Jean Simmons were trying to act with a large stone wiener standing over them.

1637-French Cardinal Richelieu threw a dinner where he introduced a novel invention. He had each place at the table set with a fork, a spoon and a table knife. Guests didn't have to whip out their own blade to cut their food.

1846-THE U.S. DECLARES WAR ON MEXICO- The U.S had claimed the border of it’s new state of Texas was the Rio Grande, Mexico said it was the Rio Nueces. When American General Zachary Taylor was ordered to march his army into the disputed area and was attacked, the United States declared War. America won the Rio Grande line as well as the new states of California, New Mexico and Arizona, basically half the landmass of Mexico. Just in case you thought political dissent began with Vietnam; Daniel Webster said this war was unworthy of America for it could not be disguised as other than a old world-style imperial land grab for the Pacific coast. Henry Clay and Abraham Lincoln were anti-war congressman. Ulysses Grant said in his memoirs that the Civil War was God's punishment on the U.S. for attacking Mexico. Henry David Thoreau refused to pay his taxes and was fined, later writing his famous work On Civil Disobedience.

1910- James "Sugar Jim” Smith, the boss of the Essex County Democratic machine announced his candidate for the New Jersey governor’s race would be a tall, sour-puss Presbyterian professor named Woodrow Wilson, then President of Princeton University. Wilson had never run or held elective office and everyone thought they were out of their minds, until they heard him speak. Woodrow Wilson not only won the governorship but two years later became U.S. president.

1913- In Saint Petersburg Igor Sikorsky invented the first airplane toilet. Later he would move to the US and invent the helicopter. Without a toilet though..

1917- Three small children see the Virgin Mary in the town of Fatima in Portugal. All Catholics know about the story that the Madonna gave a letter to the Pope which was to be opened 50 years later which revealed secrets about the fate of mankind too horrible to say.

1950 - Diner's Club issued it’s first credit cards.

1956- Actor Montgomery Clift was disfigured in a car crash. He had to have his jaw wired until it could heal.

1957- THE MAIN BOUT- The McClellan Senate Committee was investigating organized crime inroads into the labor unions, but the "main bout" as it was then called was young prosecutor Robert Kennedy’s attempts to nail Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa. This day RFK tried a sting on Hoffa, arresting him at the Dupont Circle Hotel in Washington with $21,000 in kickback money handed him by an FBI plant. Hoffa’s attorney portrayed the money as a misunderstood legal fee and when he noticed half the jury was black Jimmy Hoffa had boxing champ Joe Louis flown in so they could see them embracing. Hoffa was acquitted in this trial but eventually convicted ten years later. When Bobby Kennedy was assassinated Hoffa ordered the flag over his office run back up to full staff and spent the day celebrating. His son James Hoffa Jr is current teamster president.

1965 - Rolling Stones record "Satisfaction".

1966 - Rolling Stones release "Paint it Black".

1982- President Reagan says he's certain that our nuclear missiles could be recalled in case of an accidental firing .He didn't say how we'd catch them when they came back.

1981-Pope John Paul II shot and almost killed by Turkish-Terrorist Mehmed Ali Agca.
It’s never been proven conclusively whether the hit on the Polish Pope was organized by the Soviet KGB through the Bulgarian secret service, or that Agca was a lone nut. Another source said the in 2001 the Vatican revealed that a prediction of the assassination attempt on the Pope was part of the secret message given by the Virgin Mary to three small Portuguese children at Fatima in 1917.

1992- Police arrest the manager of Comic Book Heaven in Sarasota Florida on seven counts of "displaying material harmful to minors", i.e. comic books.
Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: Why are Marines called Leathernecks?

Answer: When the US Marine uniform was reformed from the old Revolutionary Army, they were given a stiff leather collar “ to keep the head erect in a proper military bearing.” Hence the sobriquet Leathernecks.