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Eleanor Of Aquitaine - by the Wrath of God
At age 15, Eleanor of Aquitaine married Louis VII, King of France. Her subsequent petition for divorce from Louis was based on the claim that they were too closely related for the marriage to have been legal in the eyes of God (and the church). In 1154, just two years after the marriage was annulled, Eleanor married Henry II of England. "I am Queen of England," she drily remarked, "by the wrath of God." [At age 19, she knelt in the cathedral of Vezelay (before the celebrated Abbe Bernard of Clairvaux) and offered him thousands of her vassals for the Second Crusade. Dressed like an Amazon, Eleanor galloped through the crowds on a white horse, urging them to join the ...
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 Everard Digby - Thou liest?
"'Twas Sir Everard Digby's ill fate to suffer in the Powder plott [the plot to blow up the English Houses of Parliment in 1605, a crime for which Guy Fawkes was later executed]. When his heart was pluct out by the Executioner (who secundum formam, cryed, Here is the heart of a Traytor!) it is credibly reported, he replied, 'Thou liest!'" [Needless to say, this tale may be apocryphal.]
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Edward James Olmos - Olmos Famous
Edward James Olmos, noted for his role as the laconic Lieutenant Castillo on television's "Miami Vice," once claimed to have been the highest-paid actor in the history of television, with one proviso. The proviso? He was the highest-paid actor in the history of television—per word.
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Jazz Singer Al Jolson - You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet
At one point during the filming of The Jazz Singer, Al Jolson called out to the technicians and extras on the set, "Wait a minute! Wait a minute! You ain't heard nothin' yet!" His unscripted words, due to be cut from the sound track, were left in at the last minute and soon became part of cinematic history.[A 1969 BBC telecast of The Jazz Singer was stopped for ten minutes while executives decided whether or not to continue. If Jolson's classic line ("You ain't heard nothing yet") was deemed to constitute an ad for his music, airing it would contravene the BBC's policy not to screen films in which products were advertised. (Karnataka Quiz Association)]
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When John Paul Jones' Opponent Was Awarded A Knighthood
On September 23, 1779, off Flamborough Head in northeast England, John Paul Jones, sailing the ramshackle Le Bonhomme Richard, defeated a convoy of British merchantmen under the escort of the royal naval ship Serapis.When Richard Pearson, Serapis's commander, returned to England, criticism for his defeat was drowned by the enormous praise for his generally heroic conduct.John Paul Jones, however, was less impressed. Indeed, when he learned that his opponent had been awarded a knighthood, he was rather peeved indeed. "Should I have the good fortune to fall in with him again," he declared, "I'll make a lord of him!"
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John Sobieski reports a victory to the pope
In 1683, John Sobieski's military brilliance drove the invading Turks back from the walls of Vienna, altering forever the history of central Europe. He soon announced victory to the pope. "I came, I saw..." he declared. And? "God conquered."[A play, of course, on Caesar's famous remark: "I came, I saw, I conquered" (Veni, vidi, vici).]
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How Avempace Walked On Gold
The Muslim governor of Saragossa was so delighted by the poet Avempace's verses that he promised the young scholar that he would soon walk on gold in his presence. Avempace, fearful that the governor would regret his extravagant vow and seek retribution, hatched an ingenious solution: He simply sewed small pieces of gold into each of his shoes, thereby ensuring that the governor's oath could be kept at no expense to himself.
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Lost Maharbals
In 216 BC, Hannibal won one of the finest tactical battles in military history at Cannae. The Romans, allowed to charge Hannibal's infantry, were routed by the flanking cavalry. 60,000 men were lost: ten for each of Hannibal's 6,000. Following the victory, Maharbal, Hannibal's cavalry commander, insisted upon a day's rest. "You know how to win a battle, Hannibal," he declared, "but not how to use it" (Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis). The Romans, in desperate need of recuperation and reinforcement, were thereby given a much-needed reprieve—and Hannibal's forces were soon defeated.[So grave were Rome's loses at Cannae that, of its 300 senates posts, 170 had to be refilled.]
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How Producers Stopped Elvis From Scandalizing Viewers
In 1956, Elvis Presley made a historic appearance on the "Ed Sullivan Show," reaching an audience of 56 million. Incredibly, lest Presley's trademark hip gyrations scandalize the era's conservative viewers, the show's producers issued an unusual order—that the cameras not shoot anything below Mr. Presley's waist. [Fun fact: Factor by which the number of Americans who have "tried to impersonate Elvis" exceeds the population of Tennessee? Three.]
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How A French King Spurred The Development Of Pockets
Because he (and his domineering mother, Catherine de Medicis) believed that money-purses and pouches could be used to conceal knives and other weapons, Charles IX of France passed a law banning their manufacture. This decision quickly gave rise to considerable annoyance—and to the development of tailor-made pockets.