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May 19th 2008 Mon
May 19th, 2008

Quiz: Who were the Picts?

Yesterday’s Question answered below: What does the phrase mean ” Sometimes, you gotta drink the Kool-Aid” ?
History for 5/19/2007
Birthdays: Malcolm X- real name Malcolm Little, Ho Chi Minh- real name Ngyun Tat Tanth- Ho Chi Minh means the Enlightener, Giovanni Della Robbia, John Hopkins, Lord Waldorf Astor, Dame Nelly Melba –Australian opera singer for whom Melba Toast, Peach Melba and the cocktail the "Manhattan" were created, Frank Capra, Wilson Mizner, Elena Poniatowska, Jim Lehrer, Nora Ephron, Grace Jones, Peter Mayhew, Nancy Kwan, Pete Townshend, Pol Pot, Joey Ramone, Jimmy Hoffa Jr., Voice Talent Jim Ward, animator Andreas Wessel-Therhorn, and Tom Sito, aka me, your author.

988-Today is the Feast of Saint Dunstan, who pulled the Devil’s nose with hot tongs.

1536- Anne Boleyn beheaded-King Henry VIII's second queen was executed not by axe but by a French swordsman with a sort of golf-swing. The king was playing tennis at Hampton court but had a relay signal of cannons fired from the Tower of London so he would know the minute he was a bachelor again.

1571- Spaniard Miguel Lopez de Lagazpi founded the town of Manila in the Philippines.

1649- Oliver Cromwell’s victorious Puritan Parliament declared the British Monarchy extinct. England was to be a Commonwealth. They also stipulated that all nobles who had been for the King in the just-completed Civil Wars would be tax assessed to one-half the value of their properties. This tax drove many cash poor noble families to emigrate to American where they set up homes in Virginia- The Washingtons, Lees, Randolphs, Livingstons and Madisons. In the US Civil War many Southerners flattered themselves as being the descendents of the Cavaliers and the Yankees of New England the heirs of the Puritan Roundheads.

1798- Napoleon embarks to invade Egypt, trying to thereby cut off England's easy access to India and if possible conquering his way across Turkey and Persia to join forces with Tippoo Sahib, the Indian Sultan fighting against British rule. On the boat to pass the time Nappy played cards with his generals. Everyone noticed he was cheating. When a brave soul finally pointed this out he replied:" I know. I never leave anything to chance. I'll return everyone's money later."

1812-U.S. declared War on Britain, the War of 1812- The U.S. government tired of having it's shipping harassed by the British and having ambitions of conquering Canada sent off a declaration of war. Two weeks later a Royal Navy vessel landed in Baltimore with concessions to most U.S. demands. Doh! Napoleon, retreating from Moscow when he received the news, calculated that because the American Navy had had success against the British Navy during their Revolution they were the perfect ones to ferry his army across the Channel so he could get at England! He didn't know that after the Revolution most of the American Navy was scrapped and the Yankees weren't that thrilled with him anyway.

1857 -William Francis Channing & Moses G Farmer patents electric fire alarm.

1892 - Charles Brady King invented the pneumatic jackhammer- sleeping city dwellers rejoice.

1927- Sid Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood opened. Ushers and doorman were dressed in imported Mandarin silk robes and wall hangings were painted by young artist/actor Key Luke. Sid Grauman was the showman who also invented the Hollywood premiere with spotlights and limo's pulling up to red carpets, etc.

1934- Mickey Mouse short cartoon Gulliver Mickey.

1935- T.E. Lawrence "Lawrence of Arabia" died of injuries after a high speed motorcycle crash. The motorcycle was a gift from George Bernard Shaw. Lawrence of Arabia’s opinion of heterosexual relations: "I've never experienced, it and hope never to in the future."

1945- The German U-boat U-232 surfaced and surrendered in the harbor of Portsmouth, New Hampshire eleven days after the official surrender of Nazi Germany. Just before the fall of Berlin, they had been sent on a long-distance trip to Tokyo carrying military secrets, a disassembled jet fighter and a store of fission quality uranium. In the mid-Atlantic, the crew got the news of Hitler’s death and Germany’s surrender. An argument broke out between the crew, officers and two Japanese liaison officers about whether to proceed. The decision was made to sail to America and surrender. When in port it was discovered the two Japanese officers were missing. The Germans said “ they decided to walk home".

1956-Cecil B. deMilles film " The Ten Commandments" premiered. Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter and Edward G, Robinson.

1960 - DJ Alan Freed is accused of bribery in the radio payola scandal, the first scandal to hit the new world of Rock & Roll.

1962- Giant birthday party and rally held for President John F. Kennedy in New York's Madison Square Garden -his birthday was actually the following week. What made it memorable was Marilyn Monroe in a dress so tight she had to be sewn into it, singing her sexy version of the Happy Birthday song. 'Haapie (exhale) Burth- Day, Mister - Prezz- a -dent (sigh), Happy, etc. "

1970- Al Gore married Tipper Gore.

1977- Smokey and the Bandit with Burt Reynolds premiered.

1990-Amy Fisher 16,the "Long Island Lolita" shot the wife of her lover, Midas muffler salesman Joseph Buttafuco. Mary Jo Buttafuco survived the attack, and Amy went to jail. This case titillates the sensationalist media of New York City for the next three years to the amazement of the rest of the U.S.

1997- Matthew Broderick married Sarah Jessica Parker.

1998- George Lucas much anticipated film Star Wars Episode One the Phantom Menace premiered, the first Star Wars sequel in 20 years. It featured Jarr Jarr Binks, a character so annoying that web sites like www.I Want Jarr-Jarr to Die-Die.Com soon racked up tens of thousands of hits.

2005- Star Wars: The Revenge of the Sith premiered.

2006- Dreamworks animated film ‘Over the Hedge’ premiered.
Yesterday’s Question: What does the phrase mean ” Sometimes, you gotta drink the Kool-Aid” ?

Answer: It’s a phrase inspired by the tragedy at Jonestown Guyana in 1978. Where a thousand cultists of the People's Temple when ordered committed mass suicide. They used tubs of cyanide poisoned Kool-Aid and everyone drank it.

These days Drinking the KoolAid is generally used to indicate a following a mandated company policy that you personally believe is terminally stupid. Like releasing Surf’s Up not 6 months after Happy Feet and March of the Penguins. Or working on Son of the Mask with Jaimie Kennedy instead of Jim Carrey.