Archive for May 19th, 2009

19
May
09

White-tailed Deer: Summer Coat

White-tailed Deer have two types of fur coats, a winter coat and a summer coat.  The Winter coat has two layers made up of long thick hairs.

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This picture of a young doe shows her with her winter coat.  The hairs are long and there are actually two layers of fur which, of course, will help protect her against the cold.

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This doe has shed most of her winter coat.  The hairs are shorter and there is only one layer of fur, which will help keep her cool as temperatures rise.

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The healthier the deer the faster they shed their winter coat.

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Here you can still see some of the remnants of her winter coat on her neck, sides and legs.

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19
May
09

On This Day, May 19: Grant Heads South

May 19, 1864

Battle of Spotsylvania concludes

A dozen days of fighting around Spotsylvania ends with a Confederate attack against the Union forces. The epic campaign between the Army of the Potomac, under the effective direction of Ulysses S. Grant, and Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia began at the beginning of May when Union forces crossed the Rapidan River. After a bloody two-day battle in the Wilderness forest, Grant moved his army further south toward Spotsylvania Court House. This move was a departure from the tactics of the previous three years in the eastern theater of the Civil War. Since 1861, the Army of the Potomac had been coming down to Virginia under different commanders only to be defeated by the Army of Northern Virginia, usually under Lee’s direction, and had always returned northward.

But Grant was different than the other Union generals. He knew that by this time Lee could not sustain constant combat. The numerical superiority of the Yankees would eventually wear Lee down. When Grant ordered his troops to move south, a surge of enthusiasm swept the Union veterans; they knew that in Grant they had an aggressive leader who would not allow the Confederates time to breathe. Nevertheless, the next stop proved to be more costly than the first.

After the battle in the Wilderness, Grant and Lee waged a footrace for the strategic crossroads at Spotsylvania. Lee won the race, and his men dug in. On May 8, Grant attacked Lee, initiating a battle that raged for 12 awful days. The climax came on May 12, when the two armies struggled for nearly 20 hours over an area that became known as the Bloody Angle.

The fighting continued sporadically for the next week as the Yankees tried to eject the Rebels from their breastworks. Finally, when the Confederates attacked on May 19, Grant prepared to pull out of Spotsylvania. Convinced he could never dislodge the Confederates from their positions, he elected to try to circumvent Lee’s army to the south. The Army of the Potomac moved, leaving behind 18,000 casualties at Spotsylvania to the Confederates’ 12,000. In less than three weeks Grant had lost 33,000 men, with some of the worst fighting yet to come.

“Battle of Spotsylvania concludes,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2036 [accessed May 19, 2009]

On This Day

1536 – Anne Boleyn, the second wife of England’s King Henry VIII, was beheaded after she was convicted of adultery.

1568 – After being defeated by the Protestants, Mary the Queen of Scots, fled to England where she was imprisoned by Queen Elizabeth.

1796 – The first U.S. game law was approved. The measure called for penalties for hunting or destroying game within Indian territory.

1911 – The first American criminal conviction that was based on fingerprint evidence occurred in New York City.

1921 – The U.S. Congress passed the Emergency Quota Act, which established national quotas for immigrants.

1926 – Benito Mussolini announced that democracy was deceased. Rome became a fascist state.

1926 – In Damascus, Syria, French shells killed 600 people.

1958 – Canada and the U.S. formally established the North American Air Defense Command.

1967 – U.S. planes bombed Hanoi for the first time.

1992 – The 27th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution went into effect. The amendment prohibits Congress from giving itself midterm pay raises.

1999 – “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” was released in the U.S. It set a new record for opening day sales at 28.5 million.

2005 – “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” brought in 50.0 million in its opening day.

May 19, 1967

Soviets ratify treaty banning nuclear weapons from outer space

One of the first major treaties designed to limit the spread of nuclear weapons goes into effect as the Soviet Union ratifies an agreement banning nuclear weapons from outer space. The United States, Great Britain, and several dozen other nations had already signed and/or ratified the treaty.

With the advent of the so-called “space race” between the United States and the Soviet Union, which had begun in 1957 when the Russians successfully launched the Sputnik satellite, some began to fear that outer space might be the next frontier for the expansion of nuclear weapons. To forestall that eventuality, an effort directed by the United Nations came to fruition in January 1967 when the United States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and dozens of other nations signed off on a treaty banning nuclear weapons from outer space. The agreement also banned nations from using the moon, other planets, or any other “celestial bodies” as military outposts or bases.

The agreement was yet another step toward limiting nuclear weapons. In 1959, dozens of nations, including the United States and the Soviet Union, had agreed to ban nuclear weapons from Antarctica. In July 1963, the Limited Test Ban Treaty was signed, banning open-air and underwater nuclear tests. With the action taken in May 1967, outer space was also officially declared off-limits for nuclear weapons.

“Soviets ratify treaty banning nuclear weapons from outer space,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2672 [accessed May 19, 2009]




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