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November 13th, 2008 thurs
November 13th, 2008

Question: What is so significant about what a U.S. President does in his first 100 Days?

Question: What does it mean to “ turn the tables” on someone?
History for 11/13/2008
Birthdays: Saint Augustine 354 AD, King Edward III of England, Robert Louis Stephenson, Edwin Booth, Oskar Werner, Jean Seberg, Whoopi Goldberg- real name Karen Johnson, Erte'*, Jack Elam, Judge Louis Brandeis (the first Jewish U.S. Supreme Court Justice), Alexander Scourby, Eugene Ionesco, Garry Marshall is 74, Mel Stottlemyre, Joe Mantegna, Vinny Testaverde, Jimmy Kimmel, Gerald Butler is 39- This is SPARTAA!!

from the
• Erte’ the great art deco designer was from a very old Russian military family. Their names were the Tschichagoffs. A Tschitchagoff had fought Napoleon in 1812 and all had been generals and admirals under the Tsar. But young little Emelyan Tschitchagov didn’t want to be an admiral or general, he wanted to design ladies clothes! So he moved to Paris to seek his fortune. When there, impresario Serge Diaghilev suggested he change his name to something non-Russians could pronounce, he gave the same advice to Gyorgi Balanchivadze- or George Balanchine. So Emelyan Tschichakov adopted as his name his initials E.T. - in French "Erte’".

In Ancient Rome, today was Epulium Jovis, or the Feast of Jupiter Reclining.

1749- The University of Pennsylvania, originally called the Franklin Institute is established as the first non-sectarian American college. See below**.

1789- Ben Franklin wrote " Nothing is certain except Death and Taxes."

1842- Lewis Carroll noted in his diary today:" Began writing the fairy tale of Alice. Hope to be done by Christmas.."

1861- THE TRENT AFFAIR- All through the American Civil War, Abe Lincoln's biggest fear, and Jefferson Davis’ greatest hope, was direct intervention of the great European powers. With England in Canada and France in Mexico and the British Navy ruling the seas this was a real possibility. The British and French thought nothing of intervening in conflicts all over the world like the Greek Revolution or the war between Argentina and Uruguay. Almost as soon as the guns of Fort Sumter boomed, Emperor Napoleon III of France and the German Elector of Baden were offering their services as mediators.
On this day a U.S. Navy frigate fired on the British ship HMS Trent and removed from her two Confederate diplomats. Mason and Slidell were being sent as ambassadors to the Court of Saint James. They claimed diplomatic imunity, the U.S. said they were citizen in rebellion. London reacted to the insult to her flag with an explosion of war talk. General Garnet Woolsey volunteered to raise new regiments for an invasion of New York State via Canada. Lincoln's reaction was "One War at a time." He apologized and offered reparations. On the other side Prince Albert helped keep the peace.

1868- Giacomo Rossini died at 68. He retired at 31 from active life and lived on royalties. It was said he became so lazy he laid about in bed all day. One day when writing a concerto his score dropped to the floor as he leaned over to fill his glass. Rather than bend down to pick it up he took a fresh sheet and wrote a sonata.

1874 -At the sesquicentennial celebrations of the University of Pennsylvania Robert Green invented the Ice Cream Soda.

1914- Clothing designer Carez Crosby took two handkerchiefs and some ribbon off some baby bonnets and invented the Brassiere.

1917- THE RUSSIAN CIVIL WAR- After Lenin’s Communist Party seized power in Saint Petersburg disaffected officers and businessmen fled to the edges of the Russian Empire to organize resistance to the new regime. This day some "White" soldiers under General Krasnoe skirmished with some of Trotsky’s Red Guards. These were the first shots of a bloody Civil War that would rage for 4 years and kill millions. After just completing a World War and two Revolutions, when she heard this news one Russian poet exclaimed : "Oh God, You Mean its Not Over?!"

1921- Premiere of the silent classic "The Sheik" introducing young actor Rudolph Valentino. Valentino’s wife Alla Nazimova made sure his image was pure male sex appeal. " Rudy looks best when he’s naked."

1940- Walt Disney's 'Fantasia' opened. as Walt put it, "this'll make Beethoven!"
Frank Lloyd Wright's opinion was 'I love the visuals, but why did you use all that old music?" Of all the composers used Igor Stravinsky was the only one still living. He was approached for the rights to his "The Rites of Spring". He was told if he refused, his Russian 1910 copyright was invalid in the U.S. because Russia never signed the international copyright pact of 1905, so they would could it anyway, ya bald commie! Stravinsky gave permission and when he saw the final result with George Ballanchine publicists said he "Speechless with Admiration!" In actual fact he told Vanity Fair in 1960 that he thought Stokowski's orchestration was "execreble' and the visuals "imbecillic". But his opinion didn't stop him from selling Disney the rights to two more works, Renard and the Firebird.

1953- An Indiana Judge ordered his local school district to remove any school books with references to the character Robin Hood. All the "take from the rich and give to the poor" it was obvious to the judge that the medieval rogue of Sherwood Forest was a Communist.

1969- President Richard Nixons’ Vice President Spiro Agnew accused the national news media of bias and partisanship. He excoriates them as "Nittering nabobs of Negativism" and gains a reputation for pithy use of the language. In reality Nixon speechwriter Pat Buchanan wrote all of Spiros’ best lines. Up to then White House reporters were a compromising bunch when asked, winking at John Kennedy’s bimbos and Franklin Roosevelt’s wheelchair. But Nixon’s paranoia led him to declare the press his enemy and the press reacted in kind. With no friendly Fox News yet to run interference for him. You can date the birth of the modern rapacious, scandal obsessed press corps from this speech.

1970- A giant typhoon carrying 100 foot tidal waves smashed into Bangladesh, then called East Pakistan. 150,000 died.

1971- ABC TV. movie "the Duel" premiered. It starred Dennis Weaver as a hapless motorist on a lonely freeway menaced by an unseen truck driver. The was directed by a young protégé of Lew Wasserman named Steven Speilberg.

1974- Atomic plant worker Karen Silkwood was the first person to expose lax safety practices at the US nuclear power plants. For this she was rewarded with demotion, harassment, lawsuits. Even a radioactive isotope was put under her car seat. On this night she was finally killed in a car accident. She was on her way to talk to a New York Times reporter and it’s been alleged her car was deliberately run off the road. The files she was going to hand over to the press were taken from the car. The crash was ruled an accident.

1978- Mickey Mouse got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1986- President Ronald Reagan attempting to explain the festering Iran Contra Scandal said on nationwide TV:" We did not and I repeat did not…trade weapons or ransom for hostages, or would we ever." We now know that was exactly what we did.

1986- John Huston and Woody Allen denounced the fad of computer colorizing classic Black & White films like the Maltese Falcon. Supposedly one of the last things Orson Welles said on his deathbed was "Keep Ted Turner and his crayons away from my movies!"

1991- Disney's animated film Beauty and the Beast opened, the first animated film ever nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.
Yesterday’s Question: What does it mean to “ turn the tables” on someone?

Answer: In some ancient board games like Backgammon, one maneuver allows you to turn the board around so you play your opponents winning pieces, and he suddenly is at your mercy. The earliest use of the term “ the tables have turned” can be traced to the 1630s.