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June 22, 2008
June 22nd, 2008

Quiz: In the US, what is Title Nine?

Yesterday’s question answered below: Americans have been called Yankees since colonial times. What does Yankee mean?
History for 6/22/2008
Birthdays: Captain George Vancouver, Eric Maria Remarque, John Dillinger, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Mike Todd, Billy Wilder, Joe Papp, Bill Blass, Oscar Fischinger, Pistol Pete Maravich, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Ed Bradley, Emmanuelle Seigner, Prunella Scales, Meryl Streep, Kris Kristofferson, Matt Doherty

168 BC -Battle of Pydna- Roman general Lucius Aemelius Paulus defeated the Macedonian army of King Perseus. This victory, besides giving Rome control over Greece, destroyed the reputation of the army of Alexander the Great, and announced to the world Roman supremacy. The old tactics of the Greek Phalanx was eclipsed by the more versatile Roman Legion.

After the battle was the Romans destroyed the Greek city of Corinth, whose agora or town square was dominated by a huge gold sundial -the Gnomon. Paulus figured that sundial would look neat in the Roman Forum so he had is men pry it loose and drag it to Rome. But once in the Forum they noticed a problem. Rome is on a different latitude line than Corinth and the stylus of a sundial has to be adjusted or it won’t tell the proper time. The Greeks were still too angry with the Romans to tell them how to do it. So the great gold sundial sat giving the wrong time for 150 years before someone fixed it.

1342 – According to JRR Tolkeins’ book the Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins returned to his home at the Shire with the Ring.

1876- Gen. Custer and the Seventh Cavalry ride out of Fort Lincoln. Custer was to scout for a larger army under General Terry and not to engage the Indians when he found them but wait. Custer turned down an offer of two companies of Colorado militia, artillery and Gatling guns for fear it would slow him down. Many men upon leaving the fort immediately emptied their canteens and refilled them with rotgut whiskey bought from peddlers outside the walls. Gen. Gibbon called out to Custer as he rode out: "Remember George, save some Indians for us!" Custer replied: "No I won't!"

1898- US Troops including Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders landed on the Cuban coast near the town of Daiquiri. This is when the mixed drink named Daiquiri was introduced to American drinkers as well as the Cuba-Libre, which we now call a Rum & Coke.

1941- THE CURSE OF TAMERLANE- In the 15th century Timur Khan or Tamerlane conquered an empire almost as large as Genghis Khan’s. Today Russian archaeologists in Samarkand excavated his tomb. The grave had an inscription:” Do not disturb my Tomb, ere a Fate Worse than Mine awaits You.” This same day the Nazi invasion of Russia began. 27 million Russians died.

1941-BARBAROSSA- The code word “Dortmund” issued to leading Wehrmacht units. Operation Barbarrossa, the Nazi invasion of Russia begins. Three million steel helmeted troops and three thousand tanks in three huge pincers pierce the Russian heartland.
Hitler boasts:"We have only to kick the door in, and the whole rotten structure will collapse!" It seemed like that at first, if only because Stalin had already shot most of his best generals in his paranoid purges. Despite the data pouring in from Soviet spies and even a warning from Winston Churchill that an attack was imminent Stalin refused to believe his buddy Adolf would go back on their treaty of Peace and Friendship. He figured the western democracies were counting on the Nazis and Bolsheviks destroying one another so it was in their mutual interest to avoid war. But he miscalculated depth Hitler’s hatred of Communists and lust for world domination. Hitler called it: “The Final War of Extermination with the World Conspiracy of Jewish-Bolshevism.” Jews find this sadly ironic because Stalin himself was anti-Semitic. Many peoples forcibly subjugated by Moscow like the Baltic Lithuanians, Latvians and Ukrainians welcomed the Nazis as liberators, until the Gestapo & SS set up a worse tyranny than they had yet known.
While 695,000 Americans died in World War II almost all of which were military personnel, 27 million Russians died, 20 million were civilians. More than half the 7 million German casualties in the war, 3 out of every 5, were caused by the Red Army.

1943- British tanks and Indian troops broke the Japanese siege of Imphal. Since March the Japanese 15th Army had attacked from Burma into India in what Japanese troops hoped was “ The Drive to Delhi”. They fought for months with tanks, planes, samurai swords and Gurkhas wielding their Kukhris- the famous boomerang shaped knife.

1944- Congress passed the Rankin-Barden Servicemen’s Adjustment Act, better known as the "GI Bill" giving college and home loans and college tuitions to returning veterans.

1948- Answering the need for manpower in a war-depleted economy the first ship load of immigrants from the Caribbean arrived in England. They had no place to stay so for awhile the government reopened the Clapham Junction WWII bombshelter. This day marked the beginning of the pluralization of British society.

1966 – The film "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" opened. Based on the play by Edward Albee and starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor it was the first to use four letter words. Just a year before comedian Lenny Bruce had gone to jail for saying the same words, although everyone including President Johnson swore in everyday parlance.

1969- Singer actress Judy Garland OD’s on sleeping pills. She was 46. Whether it was an accident or a suicide we will never know. A pillhead from early age, she had gotten hooked when MGM chief Louis B. Mayer ordered studio nurses to put her on amphetamines so she would have the energy to finish the Wizard of Oz. Fellow contract actress June Allyson explained- “You didn’t argue when the nurses brought them to you. They told us they were vitamins!”

1970- President Nixon signed the law lowering the voting age from 21 to 18.

1978 - James Christy's discovery of Pluto's moon Charon announced.

1990- "Checkpoint Charlie" in Berlin dismantled. John Le Carre' and other spy novel writers mourn. There is a replica and a Cold War Museum at the site today.
Yesterday’s Quiz: Americans have been called Yankees since colonial times. What does Yankee mean?

Answer: There’s much debate as to the origin of the word. One is when Dutch and English tradesmen bartered in colonial New York and Connecticut, one would accuse the other of being like a local pirate they nicknamed Old Jack Cheese. In Dutch it the name is Jan Quess, so the name evolved. In 1761 the song Yankee Doodle was first heard.