Archive for March 25th, 2009

25
Mar
09

Ice Free

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25
Mar
09

On This Day, March 25: The Coercive Acts

March 25, 1774

Parliament passes the Boston Port Act

On this day in 1774, British Parliament passes the Boston Port Act, closing the port of Boston and demanding that the city’s residents pay for the nearly $1 million worth (in today’s money) of tea dumped into Boston Harbor during the “Boston Tea Party” of December 16, 1773.

The Boston Port Act was the first and easiest to enforce of four acts that together were known as the Coercive Acts. The other three were a new Quartering Act, the Administration of Justice Act and the Massachusetts Government Act.

As part of the Crown’s attempt to intimidate Boston’s increasingly unruly residents, King George III appointed General Thomas Gage, who commanded the British army in North America, as the new governor of Massachusetts. Gage became governor in May 1774, before the Massachusetts Government Act revoked the colony’s 1691 charter and curtailed the powers of the traditional town meeting and colonial council. These moves made it clear to Bostonians that the crown intended to impose martial law.

In June, Gage easily sealed the ports of Boston and Charlestown using the formidable British navy, leaving merchants terrified of impending economic disaster. Many merchants wanted to simply pay for the tea and disband the Boston Committee of Correspondence, which had served to organize anti-British protests. The merchants’ attempt at convincing their neighbors to assuage the British failed. A town meeting called to discuss the matter voted them down by a substantial margin.

Parliament hoped that the Coercive Acts would isolate Boston from Massachusetts, Massachusetts from New England and New England from the rest of North America, preventing unified colonial resistance to the British. Their effort backfired. Rather than abandon Boston, the colonial population shipped much-needed supplies to Boston and formed extra-legal Provincial Congresses to mobilize resistance to the crown. By the time Gage attempted to enforce the Massachusetts Government Act, his authority had eroded beyond repair.

“Parliament passes the Boston Port Act.” 2009. The History Channel website. 24 Mar 2009, 04:23 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=321.

On This Day

1306 – Robert the Bruce was crowned king of Scotland.

1655 – Puritans jailed Governor Stone after a military victory over Catholic forces in the colony of Maryland.

1807 – British Parliament abolished the slave trade.

1813 – The frigate USS Essex flew the first U.S. flag in battle in the Pacific.

1911 – In New York City, 146 women were killed in fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in New York City. The owners of the company were indicted on manslaughter charges because some of the employees had been behind locked doors in the factory. The owners were later acquitted and in 1914 they were ordered to pay damages to each of the twenty-three families that had sued.

1941 – Yugoslavia joined the Axis powers.

1960 – A guided missile was launched from a nuclear powered submarine for the first time.

1965 – Martin Luther King Jr. led a group of 25,000 to the state capital in Montgomery, AL.

1966 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the “poll tax” was unconstitutional.

1970 – The Concorde made its first supersonic flight.

1993 – President de Klerk admitted that South Africa had built six nuclear bombs, but said that they had since been dismantled.

March 25, 1994

Last U.S. troops depart Somalia

At the end of a largely unsuccessful 15-month mission, the last U.S. troops depart Somalia, leaving 20,000 U.N. troops behind to keep the peace and facilitate “nation building” in the divided country.

In 1992, civil war, clan-based fighting, and the worst African drought of the century created famine conditions that threatened one-fourth of Somalia’s population with starvation. In August 1992, the United Nations began a peacekeeping mission to the country to ensure the distribution of food and medical aid. On December 4, with deteriorating security and U.N. troops unable to control Somalia’s warring factions, U.S. President George Bush ordered 25,000 U.S. troops into Somalia. Although he promised the troops involved that the humanitarian mission was not an open-ended commitment, “Operation Restore Hope” remained unresolved when Bill Clinton took over the presidency in January 1993.

Like his predecessor, Clinton was anxious to bring the Americans home, and in May the mission was formally handed back to the United Nations. By June, only 4,200 U.S. troops remained. However, on June 5, 24 Pakistani U.N. peacekeepers inspecting a weapons storage site were ambushed and massacred by soldiers under Somali warlord General Mohammed Aidid. U.S. and U.N. forces subsequently began an extensive search for the elusive strongman, and in August, 400 elite U.S. troops from Delta Force and the U.S. Rangers arrived on a mission to capture Aidid. Two months later, on October 3-4, 18 of these soldiers were killed and 84 wounded during a disastrous assault on Mogadishu’s Olympia Hotel in search of Aidid. The bloody battle, which lasted 17 hours, was the most violent U.S. combat firefight since Vietnam.

Three days later, with Aidid still at large, President Clinton cut his losses and ordered a total U.S. withdrawal. On March 25, 1994, the last U.S. troops left Somalia.

“Last U.S. troops depart Somalia.” 2009. The History Channel website. 24 Mar 2009, 04:25 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4864.

25
Mar
09

A Cowboy and a Shepherd

A cowboy was out riding when he noticed a shepherd with a horse, a dog and a sheep.  He rode up to the shepherd and greeted him.  The shepherd greeted him back and the cowboy stated.  “That’s a nice lookin’ dog.  Mind if I talk to it.”

The shepherd replied, “Dogs can’t talk!”

The cowboy looked at the dog and said, “Hi.”  The dog replied, “Hi.”

Shocked, the shepherd stood by in disbelief as the cowboy asked, “How’s this guy treat you?”

“Pretty good.  I get lots of exercise, good food and a warm place to stay when we’re home.”

The shepherd, still in shock at his talking dog, looked at the cowboy as the cowboy asked, “That’s a nice lookin’ horse.  Mind if I talk to it?”

“Horses can’t talk!”  Exclaimed the shepherd.

The cowboy looked at the horse and said, “Hi.”

The horse replied, “Hi.”

The cowboy asked the horse, “How’s this guy treat you?

“Pretty good,” replied the horse.  “I get lots of exercise, he brushes me down at the end of the day, I get plenty to eat and have a nice dry barn to stay in.”

Lastly the cowboy asked, “That’s a nice lookin’ sheep.  Mind if I talk to it?”

The shepherd looked at the cowboy and said, “Sheep Lie.”




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