BACK to Blog Posts

November 25th, 2008 tues.
November 25th, 2008

Question: Why is classic Jazz from the 1950’s called BeBop or Bop?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: Where does the Ouija Board get its’ name from?
History for 11/25/2008
Birthdays: Lope de Vega, Pope John XXIII, Andrew Carnegie, Tina Turner, Joe Dimaggio, Carl Benz of Mercedes Benz, Virgil Thompson, Jeffrey Hunter, John Kennedy Jr., Joe Gibbs, Percy Sledge, Ben Stein, Ricardo Montalban is 88, Bob Matheson, John Larroquette, Gloria Steinem, Berny Kosar, General Augusto Pinochet, Christina Applegate is 37, Bucky Dent, Bill Kroyer

1177-Battle of Montgisard- 19 year old Baldwin the Leper-King and his Crusader knights defeated Salladin.

1758- In the Pennsylvania wilderness a British force including frontier scout Daniel Boone captured Fort Duquesne from the French. They renamed it for their current Prime Minister William Pitt, hence the name Pittsburgh.

1783- EVACUATION DAY- The treaties ending the American Revolution signed, the last British troops leave U.S. soil, sailing out of New York Harbor.Evacuation Day was a holiday in New York City for years afterwards. This also marks the beginning of the exodus to Canada of Americans who sided with England, maybe as many as 130,000. United Empire Loyalists,or Tories as you prefer. One other little reported migration was of freed African slaves. Slavery would soon be eliminated in the British Empire and whenever redcoats would capture an American town they would liberate the slaves. About 3,000 requested to return to Africa and were sent to Sierra Leone. A large number also fought on the American side as well. Among their number was a personal slave of George Washington’s, who bolted through the lines to the British the moment the offer was published.

1817- First sword swallower performed in the US.

1867- Alfred Nobel patented Dynamite. The riches he accumulated from this and Nitro-Glycerine he used to fund the Nobel Prize.

1869- Ned Buntline was a hack dime novelist who understood that selling stories about gunfighters of the west would be easier if you could occasionally produce one in the flesh. So on a trip to Nebraska he found among the cavalry scouts an accommodatingly colorful rogue named William Cody, who everybody called Buffalo Bill. This day Ned Buntline announced in the New York Weekly the first installment of a serial series “Buffalo Bill King of the Bordermen”. Buntline and Cody collaborated to make Buffalo Bill the first true American media star, entertaining millions including crowned heads until 1916.

1929- Alfred Hitchcock’s film Blackmail opened in London. It was the first full length talkie in Britain.

1932- At Sam Houston High School in rural South Texas, a young teacher got a phone call. It was from Congressman Richard Clayburgh. He said he needed an executive aide in Washington, and he heard this guy was a go-getter. The teacher said yes, and packed his cardboard suitcase. Lyndon B. Johnson’s career in politics began.

1944- A German V-2 missile hit a Woolworth’s store in Deptford England while people were shopping. 160 killed.

1949- Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer sung by Gene Autry hit number one on the musical charts. The story was written by an advertising exec for Montgomery Ward Dept Store in Chicago and his friend wrote the melody.

1952- The stage adaptation of Agatha Christie’s mystery the Mousetrap opened in London’s West End and it’s still running today.

1956- Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and 88 followers departed Mexico in a ramshackle boat called the Granma to start a revolution in Cuba.

1960- CBS cancelled it’s remaining five radio soap operas, most of them now on television.

1963- THE GREAT FUNERAL OF JOHN F. KENNEDY. The massed muffled drums, bagpipes, bands blaring Chopin’s Funeral March, the riderless horse with the boots in the stirrups turned inward, a tradition that went back to Genghis Khan, the black horse drawn artillery caisson modeled on Abraham Lincoln's. The day was also John Kennedy, Jr.'s birthday and a big party had been planned with lots of little tots. Jackie knew that John-john didn't understand the gravity of what had transpired so after the funeral she changed out of her widows weeds and ran a kiddie party.

1970- Japan's greatest modern poet-playwright Yukio Mishima committed suicide
(seppuku) after attempting a coup at a military base where the Japanese Defense Force soldiers just laughed at him. He felt Japan was losing her spiritual soul to crass materialism and the ancient Bushido warrior code was the only way back.
In a poll conducted in a magazine at the time about 75% of Japanese women said they would rather commit suicide than sleep with Yukio Mishima.

1971- Con man D.B. Cooper hijacked a Northwest Orient passenger plane after stealing $ 200,000. He parachuted out of the 727 airliner with the money during a thunderstorm over Washington State and disappeared forever. Searchers found rotting bits of money in the forest but never a body. D.B.Cooper became a folk legend. In 1999 a man in South Carolina named Dwayne Weber was dying of liver cancer. Before he died he turned to his wife Jo and said “Before I go, I gotta tell ya something. I’m Dan Cooper” His wife said he loved singing at piano bars and his favorite song was “You’ll never know..”

1975- According to the first movie Rocky, this was the date of the first prizefight portrayed in the film where we meet Rocky Balboa.

1975- Happy Surinam Independence Day.

1980- “No Mas!” Sugar Ray Leonard defeated Alberto Duran for the World Welterweight Boxing Championship.

1986- President Reagan announced the firing of National Security advisor Admiral Poindexter and his assistant Marine colonel Oliver North. That night North’s bimbo secretary Fawn Hall smuggled incriminating documents out of her office stuffed in her brassiere and under her skirt. The NSC was engaged in an illegal scheme of selling weapons to Iran through middlemen then funneling the money made to the Nicaraguan Contras rebels even after a direct order by Congress to stop all funding. A $40 million probe and Congressional investigations could never definitively tie Reagan to the scheme even though North openly admitted he was only the designated fall guy. Information is also leaking that Reagan's Alzheimers disease at this time may have been more far advanced than the public was led to believe. Admiral Poindexter got a job in the GW Bush administration and North became a radio talks show host.

1995- Legendary Corporate CEO Akio Morita resigned as the leader of Sony. Under his guidance Sony went from a little postwar maker of cheap electric rice cookers to the largest electronics giant in the world. His official reason was health problems but insiders said the real problem was his headaches with Sony's Hollywood studios -MGM, Columbia, TriStar losing $2 billion. By the time he died in 1999 the Sony movie studios had pulled out of their slump and were on top with movies like Men in Black.

1998- Pixar’s film A Bugs Life premiered.
Yesterday’s Question: Where does the Ouija Board get its’ name from?

Answer: Spiritual message boards, called planchette boards, had been around for centuries, but in 1891 Elijah Bond and William Fuld mass produced them and called it Oui yes in French, and Ja, yes in German. They claimed Ouija was ancient Egyptian for Good Luck.
ouija guitar courtesy of
The famous 1940's crime photographer Arthur Fellig was called Weegee by the NYPD because of his ability to get to a crime scene to photograph the corpse before the cops could throw a sheet over it.