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I have known Lou Scarborough since he and Dan Haskett dropped in to visit my animation class at the High School of Art & Design in 1971.

Lou is a great animator and designer who is finally getting his stuff up on the blogoshere. Check it out.
Question: Why is a necktie sometimes called a cravat?

Yesterdays Question answered below: What is the origin of the phrase- “At the drop of a hat”?
History for 6/16/2008
Birthdays: Stan Laurel, Willy Boskovsky, Joyce Carol Oates, Nelson Doubleday, Brian Eno, animator Pete Burness, Martha Graham, Erich Segal, Jack Albertson, Helen Traubel, Ron LeFlore, Laurie Metcalf, Sonia Braga, Yasmine Bleeth, John Cho- Harold of Harold and Kumar, is 36

391 A.D.- Roman Emperor Theodosius Ist sent the Praefect of Egypt orders to close the pagan temples and forbid the any further practice of the worship of Isis, Serapis and Amon-Ra. It was Theodosius' policy to purge the now Christian Empire of the last vestiges of the old pagan religions. Theodosius closed Plato's Academy, silenced the Oracle of Delphi, burned the Sybilline Books and stopped the Olympic Games. Acting on the Imperial nod St. Cyrus of Alexandria whips up a mob of zealots that destroyed the Serapeum and Library of Alexandria, killing the last true Greek philosopher, the lady Hypatia. She was stripped and torn to pieces between the mob's frenzied Hosannas. Theodosius ordered the Senate to stop doing a sacrifice to Mars the Avenger before each session. One bitter Roman historian noted that Rome fell to the Barbarians not twenty years later –410 AD. This ceremony has a descendant -the US Congress always opens it daily session with a religious benediction.

1549- Catherine de Medici entered Paris as the bride of King Henry II of France. Many French noblemen objected to the “That Florentine shopkeepers daughter and her gang of corrupt Italians” but she dominated French politics for decades the way Elizabeth Ist dominated England. She inspired the Saint Batholemew’s Day Massacre which is why there are few French Protestants today. She also brought a brilliant retinue of Italian cooks using new foods like artichokes and parsley. Modern scholars say Catherines influences helped French cuisine break out of the medieval rut of burned meat covered with heavy fruit sauces and begin it’s ascendancy to Haute Cuisine.

1657- First recorded mention in London of chocolate for sale. Cocoa or Tchocoaltl was served to Hernando Cortez by Montezuma in 1517 but it was pretty bitter stuff. The Maya also gave Europeans the first Vanilla beans. They tamed Chocolate with sugar and kept the formula a secret for 100 years. The Dutch figured it out and added milk for Milk Chocolate and Sir John Sloan the British chemist invented a formula as well.

1857-WAR OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENTS-One of the strangest incidents in law enforcement history. The New York City Police Dept. under Mayor Fernando Wood was so unbelievably corrupt that Governor Samuel Tilden built a second police force called the Metropolitan Police Force and ordered it to take over the city and arrest the Mayor. They were stopped on the steps of City Hall by the original NYPD and a fight broke out. While citizens and criminals alike looked on in amazement as hundreds of blue-coated policemen clubbed, battered and shot each other in the street. Washington D.C. negotiated a settlement that if the state police force would disband Mayor Wood would resign. He ran for mayor again and was elected 5 years later in time to start the New York City Draft Riots of 1863.

1884 - On Coney Island Amusement Pier the Switchback Railway, the first roller coaster began operating.

1902- A musical play of L Frank Baum’s fantasy story the Wizard of Oz premiered at Chicago’s Grand Opera House. When Baum was writing down the stories at point he was stuck for a name for the magical kingdom. He looked down at his desk files that were labeled A-N and O-Z. Eureka!

1903 – The Pepsi Cola company forms.

1904- "Blume's Day" all the actions in James Joyce's "Ulysses" takes place on this one day in Dublin. This day Dubliners dress up as characters from the book and do readings.

1920- International Telephone and Telegraph incorporates- ITT.

1932- Broadway star Mae West heads for Hollywood to make movies.

1933-Franklin Roosevelt signs the National Recovery Act (NRA) and the Glass-Steagel Act, which orders big banks to separate commercial bond business from private savings and loans. This way big banks that ruined themselves in the Stock Market Crash couldn’t destroy the savings of average people who never saw a stock or bond. A heavy publicity campaign encouraged Americans to rally under the blue eagle symbol of the NRA. The NRA was struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1937 but Glass-Steagel stayed in effect, much to the chagrin of banking corporations. It was finally rescinded by supposedly liberal President Bill Clinton in 1999.

1939- Bandleader Chick Webb died at age 30. Webb was an unlikely pop star, a hunchbacked, tuberculant dwarf who played drums, but his band the Chick Webb Orchestra pioneered the new Jazz form called Swing Music and inspired the Big Band Sound. One of Webb’s last actions before succumbing to his debilitating health problems was to make a star out of 19-year-old street singer named Ella Fitzgerald.

1943-54 year old actor Charlie Chaplin married his fourth wife, 18 year old Oona O’Neill. In Hollywood Chaplin’s nickname was “Chickenhawk Charlie” for his fondness for dates of barely legal age. Oona did stay his wife until he died in 1977.

1947 –The 1st regular broadcast network news show began-Dumont's "News from Washington".

1952- The CBS television comedy My Little Margie premiered. It starred Gale Storm and Charles Farrell.

1959- Actor George Reeves, who played the first television Superman, went upstairs during a dinner party and shot himself with a German Luger pistol. It was said his show was cancelled and he was in despair. Actor Gig Young, who was a friend of Reeves, said the actor 's career was going fine, and he was getting his first opportunities to direct. He never believed the actor would shoot himself. Gig Young shot himself in 1981. Many of Reeves friends also wonder if it was a suicide because Reeves had been dating a socialite named Toni Mannix who’s husband MGM Production exec Eddie Mannix could call upon mob connections. The bullet entrance wound didn’t have the customary powder burns of a suicide and there were other bullet holes in the floor and ceiling. Also the gun in Reeves hands had been wiped clean of fingerprints.

1961- Alfred Hitchcock's thriller "Psycho" premiered.

1963- Valentina Tereschkova was the first woman to go into space.

1966-YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT… The Supreme Court handed down the ruling Miranda vs. Arizona, overturning the conviction of an Ernesto Miranda, who was jailed after he was tricked into confessing an assault of a Phoenix woman. This ruling established the famous Miranda Rights, read to every suspect upon arrest. Ernesto Miranda was retired and convicted again and was stabbed in a bar fight in 1972.

1967- The film “The Dirty Dozen” debuted.

1987- Italian porno star Ciccolina announced that since all politicians were whores and she was a whore she would run for office. This made sense to Italians who this day elected her overwhelmingly to a seat in Parliament.
Yesterdays Question: What is the origin of the phrase- “At the drop of a hat”?

Answer: In the Old West, horse races and prize fights were started by someone waving their hat, usually from a raised high position, then dropped down. So being ready to go at the drop of a hat means ready at a moments notice.