Archive for April 27th, 2009

27
Apr
09

Pregnant White-tailed Deer

IMG_8091a

IMG_8098a

I’ve been able to count at least two yearlings and one two year old deer that associate with this doe.  And she’s pregnant again!

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27
Apr
09

On This Day, April 27: The Barbary Wars

April 27, 1805

To the shores of Tripoli

After marching 500 miles from Egypt, U.S. agent William Eaton leads a small force of U.S. Marines and Berber mercenaries against the Tripolitan port city of Derna. The Marines and Berbers were on a mission to depose Yusuf Karamanli, the ruling pasha of Tripoli, who had seized power from his brother, Hamet Karamanli, a pasha who was sympathetic to the United States.

The First Barbary War had begun four years earlier, when U.S. President Thomas Jefferson ordered U.S. Navy vessels to the Mediterranean Sea in protest of continuing raids against U.S. ships by pirates from the Barbary states–Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, and Tripolitania. American sailors were often abducted along with the captured booty and ransomed back to the United States at an exorbitant price. After two years of minor confrontations, sustained action began in June 1803, when a small U.S. expeditionary force attacked Tripoli harbor in present-day Libya.

In April 1805, a major American victory came during the Derna campaign, which was undertaken by U.S. land forces in North Africa. Supported by the heavy guns of the USS Argus and the USS Hornet, Marines and Arab mercenaries under William Eaton captured Derna and deposed Yusuf Karamanli. Lieutenant Presley O’ Bannon, commanding the Marines, performed so heroically in the battle that Hamet Karamanli presented him with an elaborately designed sword that now serves as the pattern for the swords carried by Marine officers. The phrase “to the shores of Tripoli,” from the official song of the U.S. Marine Corps, also has its origins in the Derna campaign.

“To the shores of Tripoli,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4952 [accessed Apr 27, 2009]

On this Day

1296 – The Scots were defeated by Edward I at the Battle of Dunbar.

1509 – Pope Julius II excommunicated the Italian state of Venice.

1521 – Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed by natives in the Philippines.

1861 – U.S. President Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus.

1861 – West Virginia seceded from Virginia after Virginia seceded from the Union during the American Civil War.

1865 – In the U.S. the Sultana exploded while carrying 2,300 Union POWs. Between 1,400 – 2,000 were killed.

1937 – German bombers devastated Guernica, Spain.

1950 – South Africa passed the Group Areas Act, which formally segregated races.

1961 – The United Kingdom granted Sierra Leone independence.

1967 – In Montreal, Prime Minister Lester Pearson lighted a flame to open Expo 67.

1989 – Student protestors took over Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

1987 – The U.S. Justice Department barred Austrian President Kurt Waldheim from entering the U.S. He claimed that he had aided in the deportation and execution of thousands of Jews and others as a German Army officer during World War II.

April 27, 1978

Afghan president is overthrown and murdered

Afghanistan President Sardar Mohammed Daoud is overthrown and murdered in a coup led by procommunist rebels. The brutal action marked the beginning of political upheaval in Afghanistan that resulted in intervention by Soviet troops less than two years later.

Daoud had ruled Afghanistan since coming to power in a coup in 1973. His relations with the neighboring Soviet Union had grown progressively worse since that time as he pursued a campaign against Afghan communists. The murder of a leading Afghan Communist Party leader in early April 1978 may have encouraged the communists to launch their successful campaign against the Daoud regime later that month. In the political chaos that followed the death of Daoud, Nur Mohammed Taraki, head of the Afghan Communist Party, took over the presidency. In December 1978, Afghanistan signed a 20-year “friendship treaty” with the Soviet Union, by which increasing amounts of Russian military and economic assistance flowed into the country. None of this, however, could stabilize the Taraki government. His dictatorial style and his decision to turn Afghanistan into a one-party state alienated many people in the heavily Moslem country. In September 1979, Taraki was himself overthrown and murdered. Three months later, Soviet troops crossed into Afghanistan and installed a government acceptable to the Russians, and a war between Afghan rebels and Soviet troops erupted. The conflict lasted until Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev withdrew the Soviet forces in 1988.

In the years following the Soviet intervention, Afghanistan became a Cold War battlefield. The United States responded quickly and harshly to the Soviet action by freezing arms talks, cutting wheat sales to Russia, and boycotting the 1980 Olympic games in Moscow. Tension increased after Ronald Reagan became president in 1981. The United States provided arms and other assistance to what Reagan referred to as the “freedom fighters” in Afghanistan. For the Soviets, the Afghanistan intervention was a disaster, draining both Soviet finances and manpower. In the United States, commentators were quick to label the battle in Afghanistan “Russia’s Vietnam.”




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