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July 29, 2011     Post-Gazette
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Page 2 POST-GAZETTE, JULY 29,2011 by Prof. Edmund Turiello A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. Aulus Vitellius was born on September 24, 15 A.D. During those ancient times it was the custom to prepare a horoscope for male chil- dren. His parents were so horrified at his signs that even in later years every- thing possible was done to prevent his assignment to any high office. We are told that Vitellius spent his boyhood on the island of Capri among the lewd and immoral youths at the Villa of Tiberius. History also implies that he was branded with the nickname *Spintra" which translates into "male prostitute," and this stain upon his moral character stayed with him for the rest of his life. He was on very friendly terms with Caligula, Claudius, and Nero, and because of this closeness he was honored with many political appointments in- eluding proconsul in Africa. Although he served with great integrity there are some reports of, his stealing VITELLIUS gold ornaments from the temples and substituting brass in their places. Galba surprised everyone by, sending Vitellius to gov- ern in Lower Germany. That emperor felt that no one could be feared less than a person who thought of noth- ing but eating, and it be- came clear that the new gov- ernor was chosen through contempt rather than favor. It was also fairly common knowledge that Vitellius lacked even the funds to pro- vide transportation to his new assignment; conse- quently, he moved his wife and children into a rented garret, leased his house, and pawned some of his mother's jewelry in order to defray his travel expenses. Even as he prepared to embark upon his journey a throng of creditors detained him but he man- aged to forestall any action on their part. When Vitellius eventually arrived in Germany he found that there was an intense dislike for this emperor, Galba, and the troops were on the verge of mutiny. They received Vitellius with open arms be- cause of his past consulates, favorable age, and easy-go- ing disposition. He granted all requests that were made of him and even freed some of the prisoners. Within the first month on the job he made such a favorable im- pression on his, troops that they took him from his quar- ters, carried him through some heavily populated ar- eas, and hailed him as em- peror. The news spread throughout the province with great speed and within a few days he was also ac- cepted by the forces in the north. He approved their gift of the name Germanicus but refused that of Caesar. As soon as the news of Galba's murder and Otho's seizure of the government was received, Vitellius corn- (Continued on Page 13) And the Stanley Cup Goes to ... onnors Publica by David Trumbull i "Good evening Mr. and Mrs. America from border to border and coast to coast and all the ships at sea." For those too young to remember, the quotation above was the "catch phrase" of Waiter Winchell, one of the most popular radio entertainers of the 1930s through the 1950s. I've got radio on the brain. First, the other night I was re-reading a chapter from Only Yesterday, Boston native Frederick Lewis Allen's informal history of the 1920s. According to Allen, '~l'he first broadcasting station had been opened in East Pittsburgh on November 2, 1920 -- a date which school children may someday have to learn." School is out on whether Allen was correct in cred- iting KDKA as the first -- there are several contenders for that honor -- but he correctly predicted the future; I clearly remember that in school "KDKA in Pittsburgh in 1920" was i one of the *facts" of American history we had to memorize. I I also wasthinking about radio on a recent automobiling excursion to Provincetown. If you know the Lower Cape, you have probably visited, or at least seen the signs for, Marconi Beach in Wellfleet. Yes, indeed, it is named for Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi. In 1903, the first transatlantic wireless communication originating in the United States was successfully transmitted from nearby Marconi Station, a message from U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt to King Edward VII of the United Kingdom. The story of Marconi's invention of radio has been well documented by other Post-Gazette writers. What struck me was how quickly, according to Mr. Allen's book, radio took off. *In 1922: he informs us, "the sales of radio sets, parts, and accessories amounted to $60,000,000." By 1929 the annual expenditure of Americans on radios had grown 1,400 percent to $843 million! In his column last week John Christoforo wrote of the -- now sadly past -- golden age of radio and the programs of old -- the names of which live on fifty years after they left the airwaves. Today, Boston radio offers sports, many musical styles. Most importantly. Boston has local talk radio, which, along with the Post-Gazette, is one of the few local outlets for news and views not sanctioned by an in- ment -- mille grazie, signor Marconi! NON DESTARE IL CAN CHE DORME. Let sleeping dogs lie. s T@Um s nwm Pc, Ounco! 24K 781-286-CASH We Buy Diamonds, Gold and Silver Jewelry'~z~ We Buy Gold and Silver Coins Fe,6Ce 345 Broadway, Revere Serving the Community for 33 Years sellgoldmass.com Hours lO-5:30 pm every day. Saturdays until 3:30 pm Left to Right: Jim Martorano; Gordon Hyde, owner of Waxy O'Connor's; Richard Buccheri and Dr. Dragone, Richard Buccheri get their shot at the Stanley Cup. Connection, a not-for-profit agency dedicated to providing original art worl North End Athletic Association ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT to Benefit the North End Athletic Association MONDAY, AUGUST 1,2011 7:30 a.m. SHOT GUN start ANDOVER COUNTRY CLUB Canterbury Street, Andover, MA More than 144 golfers participate in this sold-out tournament annually. It is important that you save the date and plan on joining us on Monday, August 1st. golf, lunch and raffle prizes... Money raised from this tournament allows the North End Athletic Association to purchase uniforms and equipment for sporting events and add to the existing program. The North End Athletic Association is a 50-year-old organization, which provides athletic, social, educational and civic activities within the community and the City of Boston. For further information, please contact Louie Cavagnaro at 617-523-7410