Archive for May 14th, 2009

14
May
09

Still Pregnant

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14
May
09

While One Watches

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I’ve noticed this behavior before.  One eagle sits on or perches near the nest.

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Presumably to watch over the eaglets.

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A few weeks ago I had tried to get some pictures of this same pair of eagles.  One sat inside the nest and I could barely see its head. 

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The other had perched in a tree with its back to me.  It seemed more concerned with the farmer and his son working in their field about a half mile away than with me sitting in my car.  Eventually the farmer and his son left the field, got in their truck and drove away, leaving me in my car watching the eagles.  As soon as the farmer left, the eagle flew up on top of a hill and perched.

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When I photographed them last weekend, I saw one eagle perched above the nest.  When I had taken some pictures, I looked up onto the hill above the nest and sure enough there sat the other eagle.  This eagle has found a perch on top of a hill where it can watch the entire valley above their nest.  So, apparently, one eagle tends the nest, while the other one watches.

14
May
09

On This Day, May 14: The Constitutional Convention

May 14, 1787

Constitutional Convention delegates begin to assemble

On this day in 1787, delegates to the Constitutional Convention begin to assemble in Philadelphia to confront a daunting task: the peaceful overthrow of the new American government as defined by the Article of Confederation. Although the convention was originally supposed to begin on May 14, James Madison reported that “a small number only had assembled.” Meetings had to be pushed back until May 25, when a sufficient quorum of the participating states–Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia—had arrived..

As the new United States descended into economic crisis and inter-state quarrels, the new nation’s leaders had become increasingly frustrated with their limited power. When in 1785, Maryland and Virginia could not agree on their rights to the Potomac River, George Washington called a conference to settle the matter at Mt. Vernon. James Madison then convinced the Virginia legislature to call a convention of all the states to discuss such sticky trade-related issues at Annapolis, Maryland. The Annapolis Convention of September 1786 in turn called the Philadelphia Convention, “to devise such further provisions as shall appear to them necessary to render the constitution of the Federal Government adequate to the exigencies of the Union.”

Between Madison’s initial call for the states to send delegates to Annapolis and the presentation of Madison’s Virginia plan for a new government to the convention in Philadelphia, a fundamental shift in the aims of the convention process had taken place. No longer were the delegates gathered with the aim of tweaking trade agreements. A significant number of the men present were now determined to overhaul the new American government as a whole, without a single ballot being cast by the voting public.

“Constitutional Convention delegates begin to assemble,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=622 [accessed May 14, 2009]

On This Day

1643 – Louis XIV became King of France at age 4 upon the death of his father, Louis XIII.

1804 – William Clark set off the famous expedition from Camp Dubois. A few days later, in St. Louis, Meriwether Lewis joined the group. The group was known as the “Corps of Discovery.”

1811 – Paraguay gained independence from Spain.

1897 – Guglielmo Marconi made the first communication by wireless telegraph.

1940 – The Netherlands surrendered to Nazi Germany.

1942 – “Lincoln Portrait” by Aaron Copland was performed for the first time by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

1948 – Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the independent State of Israel as British rule in Palestine came to an end.

1961 – A bus carrying Freedom Riders was bombed and burned in Alabama.

1973 – Skylab One was launched into orbit around Earth as the first U.S. manned space station.

1975 – U.S. forces raided the Cambodian island of Koh Tang and recaptured the American merchant ship Mayaguez. All 40 crew members were released safely by Cambodia. About 40 U.S. servicemen were killed in the military operation.

May 14, 1955

The Warsaw Pact is formed

The Soviet Union and seven of its European satellites sign a treaty establishing the Warsaw Pact, a mutual defense organization that put the Soviets in command of the armed forces of the member states.

The Warsaw Pact, so named because the treaty was signed in Warsaw, included the Soviet Union, Albania, Poland, Romania, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Bulgaria as members. The treaty called on the member states to come to the defense of any member attacked by an outside force and it set up a unified military command under Marshal Ivan S. Konev of the Soviet Union. The introduction to the treaty establishing the Warsaw Pact indicated the reason for its existence. This revolved around “Western Germany, which is being remilitarized, and her inclusion in the North Atlantic bloc, which increases the danger of a new war and creates a threat to the national security of peace-loving states.” This passage referred to the decision by the United States and the other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on May 9, 1955 to make West Germany a member of NATO and allow that nation to remilitarize. The Soviets obviously saw this as a direct threat and responded with the Warsaw Pact.

The Warsaw Pact remained intact until 1991. Albania was expelled in 1962 because, believing that Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev was deviating too much from strict Marxist orthodoxy, the country turned to communist China for aid and trade. In 1990, East Germany left the Pact and reunited with West Germany; the reunified Germany then became a member of NATO. The rise of non-communist governments in other eastern bloc nations, such as Poland and Czechoslovakia, throughout 1990 and 1991 marked an effective end of the power of the Warsaw Pact. In March 1991, the military alliance component of the pact was dissolved and in July 1991, the last meeting of the political consultative body took place.

“The Warsaw Pact is formed,” The History Channel website, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2667 (accessed May 14, 2009).




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