Archive for the 'Quotes' Category



25
Aug
08

On This Day, 8-25-2008: Council of Nicaea

Council of Nicaea concludes

The Council of Nicaea, the first ecumenical debate held by the early Christian church, concludes with the establishment of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Convened by Roman Emperor Constantine I in May, the council also deemed the Arian belief of Christ as inferior to God as heretical, thus resolving an early church crisis.

The controversy began when Arius, an Alexandrian priest, questioned the full divinity of Christ because, unlike God, Christ was born and had a beginning. What began as an academic theological debate spread to Christian congregations throughout the empire, threatening a schism in the early Christian church. Roman Emperor Constantine I, who converted to Christianity in 312, called bishops from all over his empire to resolve the crisis and urged the adoption of a new creed that would resolve the ambiguities between Christ and God.

Meeting at Nicaea in present-day Turkey, the council established the equality of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in the Holy Trinity and asserted that only the Son became incarnate as Jesus Christ. The Arian leaders were subsequently banished from their churches for heresy. The Emperor Constantine presided over the opening of the council and contributed to the discussion.

“Council of Nicaea concludes.” 2008. The History Channel website. 25 Aug 2008, 12:31 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5289.

 

The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.

And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Arianism:

Arius, though he did not come straight down from the Gnostic, pursued a line of argument and taught a view which the speculations of the Gnostic had made familiar. He described the Son as a second, or inferior God, standing midway between the First Cause and creatures; as Himself made out of nothing, yet as making all things else; as existing before the worlds of the ages; and as arrayed in all divine perfections except the one which was their stay and foundation. God alone was without beginning, unoriginate; the Son was originated, and once had not existed. For all that has origin must begin to be.

Such is the genuine doctrine of Arius. Using Greek terms, it denies that the Son is of one essence, nature, or substance with God; He is not consubstantial (homoousios) with the Father, and therefore not like Him, or equal in dignity, or co-eternal, or within the real sphere of Deity.

Source:  http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01707c.htm

In discussing Arianism the phrase that always seems to escape logic is “For all that has origin must begin to be.”  In my mind and perhaps in Arius’ mind, though I cannot presume to think as he thought, everything has to have had an origin.  Does this also include God?  If God had an origin then something other than God begat God.  Dangerous doubts within the early church caused much arguing among the high scholars of the time.  Branded as heretics the fate of Arius’ followers, like so many other people who throughout history opposed the Roman Catholic Church, was persecution.

 

On This Day

1941 – Soviet and British troops invaded Iran. This was in reaction to the Shah’s refusal to reduce the number of German residents.

1941 – Allied forces invaded Iran. Within four days the Soviet Union and England controlled Iran.

1978 – The Turin shroud believed to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ went on display for the first time in 45 years.

1987 – Saudi Arabia denounced the “group of terrorists” that ran the Iranian government.

1988 – Iran and Iraq began talks in Geneva after ending their eight years of war.

1990 – Military action was authorized by the United Nations to enforce the trade embargo that had been placed on Iraq after their invasion of Kuwait.

1993 – Amy Biehl was killed in South Africa by a mob.

1993 – Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman was indicted by a federal grand jury for terrorist activities, one of which was the World Trade Center bombing.

1995 – Harry Wu, human rights activist, returned to the United States. He said the spying case against him in China was “all lies.”

 

Samantha Smith dies in plane crash

Samantha Smith, the 13-year-old “ambassador” to the Soviet Union, dies in a plane crash. Smith was best known for writing to Soviet leader Yuri Andropov in 1982 and visiting the Soviet Union as Andropov’s guest in 1983.

In late 1982, Smith, a fifth-grader at Manchester Elementary School in Manchester, Maine, wrote a plaintive letter to Soviet leader Andropov. She said that she was “worrying about Russia and the United States getting into a nuclear war. Are you going to have a war or not?” A few months later, Smith’s letter was reprinted in Russia and it was announced that Andropov was writing a response. Smith received his letter in April 1983. Andropov assured Smith that he did not want a nuclear war with the United States or any other country. Calling Smith a “courageous and honest” little girl, Andropov closed the letter with an invitation for her to visit the Soviet Union. In July, accompanied by her parents, Smith embarked on a two-week trip. She was a hit in the Soviet Union, and although she did not get to meet with Andropov, she traveled widely and spoke to numerous groups and people. In the United States, some people branded her as a patsy for the communists and claimed that Soviet propagandists were merely using her for their own purposes, but Samantha’s enthusiasm and contagious optimism charmed most Americans and millions of other people around the world. During the next two years, Smith became an unofficial U.S. goodwill ambassador, speaking to groups throughout the United States and in foreign nations such as Japan. On August 25, 1985, while traveling with her father, their small plane crashed and both were killed.

Smith’s legacy lived on, however. Her mother began the Samantha Smith Foundation, which has as its goal bringing people from different nations and cultures together to share their experiences. In particular, the foundation established a student exchange program with the Soviet Union. In the Soviet Union, news of Smith’s death was met with great sadness. The Russian government responded by issuing a stamp in her honor and naming a mountain after the young girl.

“Samantha Smith dies in plane crash.” 2008. The History Channel website. 25 Aug 2008, 12:31 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2770.

Start every day with a smile and get it over with.
– W. C. Fields

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15
Aug
08

On This Day, 8-15-2008: Woodstock

Woodstock begins in upstate New York

The Woodstock Music and Art Fair, “An Aquarian Exposition,” opens at Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in upstate New York. Promoters expected the music festival, modeled after the famous Monterey Pop Festival, to attract up to 200,000 for the weekend, but nearly a half a million people converged on the concert site. Promoters soon realized that they could not control access to the site and opened it up to all comers free of charge. Because of the unexpected size of the audience, volunteers were needed to help alleviate many of the logistics problems, while helicopters were used to fly in food, doctors, and medical supplies, as well as many of the musical acts that performed during the three-day festival. Despite rain and mud, the audience enjoyed non-stop performances by singers like Richie Havens, Janis Joplin, Arlo Guthrie, Joe Cocker, and Joan Baez, as well as the bands Creedence Clearwater Revival; The Grateful Dead; The Jefferson Airplane; Sly and the Family Stone; and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Although many different types of people attended the festival, many were members of the counterculture, often referred to as “hippies,” who rejected materialism and authority, experimented with illicit drugs, and actively protested against the Vietnam War. Much of the music had a decided anti-war flavor. Representative of this genre was the “Fixin’ to Die Rag” by Country Joe and the Fish. This song and its chorus (“And it’s one, two, three, what are we fighting for…Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn, next stop is Vietnam….And it’s five, six, seven, open up the pearly gates…There ain’t no time to wonder why…Whoopie, we’re all gonna die!”) became an anti-war classic. Jimi Hendrix closed the concert with a freeform solo guitar performance of “The Star Spangled Banner.” Woodstock became a symbol of the 1960s American counterculture and a milestone in the history of rock music.

On Aug. 12, 1994, the much-publicized Woodstock II music festival takes place in Saugerties, New York, near the site of the legendary Woodstock concert of 1969. An estimated 300,000 people attended the event, marked–as was the original–by bad weather and pervasive mud. Some 50 bands and singers performed, including the Neville Brothers, Nine Inch Nails, Bob Dylan, Green Day, Jimmy Cliff, and Crosby, Stills and Nash.”Woodstock begins in upstate New York.” 2008. The History Channel website. 15 Aug 2008, 04:22 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=1271.

Jimi Hendrix:  The Star Spangled Banner

 

The Japanese emperor speaks

On this day in 1945, Emperor Hirohito broadcasts the news of Japan’s surrender to the Japanese people.

Although Tokyo had already communicated to the Allies its acceptance of the surrender terms of the Potsdam Conference several days earlier, and a Japanese news service announcement had been made to that effect, the Japanese people were still waiting to hear an authoritative voice speak the unspeakable: that Japan had been defeated.

That voice was the emperor’s. In Japan’s Shinto religious tradition, the emperor was also divine; his voice was the voice of a god. And on August 15, that voice-heard over the radio airwaves for the very first time–confessed that Japan’s enemy “has begun to employ a most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is indeed incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives.” This was the reason given for Japan’s surrender. Hirohito’s oral memoirs, published and translated after the war, evidence the emperor’s fear at the time that “the Japanese race will be destroyed if the war continues.”

A sticking point in the Japanese surrender terms had been Hirohito’s status as emperor. Tokyo wanted the emperor’s status protected; the Allies wanted no preconditions. There was a compromise. The emperor retained his title; Gen. Douglas MacArthur believed his at least ceremonial presence would be a stabilizing influence in postwar Japan. But Hirohito was forced to disclaim his divine status. Japan lost more than a war-it lost a god.”The Japanese emperor speaks.”2008. The History Channel website. 15 Aug 2008, 04:33 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6552.

 On This Day

1057 – Macbeth, the King of Scotland, was killed by the son of King Duncan.

1848 – The dental chair was patented by M. Waldo Hanchett.

1914 – The Panama Canal was officially opened to commercial traffic as an American ship sailed from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.

1918 – Diplomatic ties between the U.S. and Russia were severed.

1935 – Will Rogers and Wiley Post were killed in an airplane crash in near Point Barrow, AK.

1939 – “The Wizard of Oz” premiered in Hollywood, CA. Judy Garland became famous for the movie’s song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

1944 – The Allied forces of World War II landed in southern France.

1947 – India became independent from Britain and was divided into the countries of India and Pakistan. India had been under British about 200 years.

1948 – The Republic of Korea was proclaimed.

1961 – East German workers began construction of the Berlin Wall.

1971 – U.S. President Nixon announced a 90-day freeze on wages, rents and prices.

1986 – The U.S. Senate approved a package of economic sanctions against South Africa. The ban included the importing of steel, uranium, textiles, coal, and produce from South Africa.

1997 – The U.S. Justice Department decided not to prosecute FBI officials in connection with the deadly 1992 Ruby Ridge siege in Idaho. The investigation dealt with an alleged cover-up.

2001 – Chandra Levy’s parents appeared on CNN’s “Larry King Live.” They discussed Levy’s disappearance on April 30, 2001. 

1968 — Heavy fighting erupts in and around the DMZ

Heavy fighting intensifies in and around the DMZ, as South Vietnamese and U.S. troops engage a North Vietnamese battalion. In a seven and a half hour battle, 165 enemy troops were killed. At the same time, U.S. Marines attacked three strategic positions just south of the DMZ, killing 56 North Vietnamese soldiers.”Heavy fighting erupts in and around the DMZ.” 2008. The History Channel website. 15 Aug 2008, 04:41 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=1272.

1969 — Regional Forces victorious

South Vietnamese officials report that regional forces killed 308 Communist troops in four days of heavy fighting along a coastal strip south of the DMZ. This was one of the biggest victories of the war for the regional forces in the war and was extremely significant since one of the prime objectives of Nixon’s Vietnamization policy was the strengthening of the regional/popular forces so that they could help secure the countryside.”Regional Forces victorious.” 2008. The History Channel website. 15 Aug 2008, 04:48 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=1273.

1970 — North Vietnamese capture Vietnamese marine base

In South Vietnam, North Vietnamese troops increase operations along the DMZ. This activity had begun on August 12 and continued until the 15th. The North Vietnamese captured the South Vietnamese marine base at Ba Ho, two miles south of the DMZ; most of the defenders were killed or wounded, but the Communists suffered 200 dead in taking the base.”North Vietnamese capture Vietnamese marine base.” 2008. The History Channel website. 15 Aug 2008, 04:43 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=1274.

 

You don’t have to teach people how to be human. You have to teach them how to stop being inhuman.
Eldridge Cleaver 

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

The Declaration of Independence

13
Aug
08

On This Day, 8-13-2008: The Battle of Britain

The Battle of Britain begins

On this day in 1940, German aircraft begin the bombing of southern England, and the Battle of Britain, which will last until October 31, begins.

The Germans called it “the Day of the Eagle,” the first day of the Luftwaffe’s campaign to destroy the RAF, the British Royal Air Force, and knock out British radar stations, in preparation for Operation Sea Lion, the amphibious invasion of Britain. Almost 1,500 German aircraft took off the first day of the air raid, and 45 were shot down. Britain lost 13 fighters in the air and another 47 on the ground. But most important for the future, the Luftwaffe managed to take out only one radar station, on the Isle of Wight, and damage five others. This was considered more trouble than it was worth by Herman Goering, commander of the Luftwaffe, who decided to forgo further targeting of British radar stations because “not one of those attacked so far has been put out of operation.”

Historians agree that this was a monumental mistake on the part of the Germans. Had Goering and the Luftwaffe persisted in attacking British radar, the RAF would not have been able to get the information necessary to successfully intercept incoming German bombers. “Here, early in the battle, we get a glimpse of fuddled thinking at the highest level in the German camp,” comments historian Peter Fleming. Even the Blitz, the intensive and successive bombing of London that would begin in the last days of the Battle of Britain, could not compensate for such thinking. There would be no Operation Sea Lion. There would be no invasion of Britain. The RAF would not be defeated.

“The Battle of Britain begins.” 2008. The History Channel website. 12 Aug 2008, 11:59 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6550.

 

On This Day

1792 – French revolutionaries took the entire French royal family and imprisoned them.

1846 – The American Flag was raised for the first time in Los Angeles, CA.

1907 – The first taxicab started on the streets of New York City.

1932 – Adolf Hitler refused to take the post of vice-chancellor of Germany. He said he was going to hold out “for all or nothing.”

1942 – Walt Disney’s “Bambi” opened at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, NY.

1960 – “Echo I,” a balloon satellite, allowed the first two-way telephone conversation by satellite to take place.

1961 – Berlin was divided by a barbed wire fence to halt the flight of refugees. Two days later work on the Berlin Wall began.

1994 – It was reported that aspirin not only helps reduce the risk of heart disease, but also helps prevent colon cancer.

 

Aztec capital falls to CortÉs

After a three-month siege, Spanish forces under HernÁn CortÉs capture TenochtitlÁn, the capital of the Aztec empire. CortÉs’ men leveled the city and captured Cuauhtemoc, the Aztec emperor.

TenochtitlÁn was founded in 1325 A.D. by a wandering tribe of hunters and gatherers on islands in Lake Texcoco, near the present site of Mexico City. In only one century, this civilization grew into the Aztec empire, largely because of its advanced system of agriculture. The empire came to dominate central Mexico and by the ascendance of Montezuma II in 1502 had reached its greatest extent, extending as far south as perhaps modern-day Nicaragua. At the time, the empire was held together primarily by Aztec military strength, and Montezuma II set about establishing a bureaucracy, creating provinces that would pay tribute to the imperial capital of TenochtitlÁn. The conquered peoples resented the Aztec demands for tribute and victims for the religious sacrifices, but the Aztec military kept rebellion at bay.

“Aztec capital falls to CortÉs.” 2008. The History Channel website. 12 Aug 2008, 11:51 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5257.

Patriots ambush Loyalists as French set sail

On this day in 1781, Patriot forces led by Colonel William Harden and Brigadier General Francis Marion, known as the “Swamp Fox,” lure British commander Major Thomas Fraser and his 450 soldiers into an ambush at Parker’s Ferry, 30 miles northwest of Charleston, South Carolina. Meanwhile, 3,000 soldiers set sail with the French fleet on their way to aid the Patriot cause.

Fraser’s command consisted of 450 Loyalists who had begun an uprising in the region. Marion, who earned his nickname for his ability to “outfox” his opponents in the swamps of the South Carolina backcountry, sent his fastest riders ahead to tempt Fraser into a waiting Patriot trap. The maneuver succeeded. Fraser ordered his men to charge, and three successive volleys of musket fire by the Patriots mowed down the ranks of the Loyalist cavalry. Only a shortage of ammunition among the Patriots saved the Loyalists, who lost half their force in the skirmish. Fraser himself was hit three times in the course of the engagement, but managed to continue in command of his men.

“Patriots ambush Loyalists as French set sail.” 2008. The History Channel website. 12 Aug 2008, 11:53 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=50693.

Deep Bottom Run campaign begins

Sensing a weakness in the Confederate defenses around Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia, Union General Ulysses S. Grant seeks to break the siege of Petersburg by concentrating his force against one section of the Rebel trenches. However, Grant miscalculated, and the week-long operation that began on August 13 failed to penetrate the Confederate defenses.

Grant was operating on the information that General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, was sending part of his force to the Shenandoah Valley to support General Jubal Early, who had spent the summer fending off Union forces and threatening Washington, D.C. Without realizing that this information was false, Grant believed that a section of the Confederate trenches around Deep Bottom Run, between Richmond and Petersburg, was now lightly defended.

Grant shipped parts of three corps north across the James River on August 13. Led by General Winfield Scott Hancock, the plan called for a series of attacks along the Confederate fortifications. Beginning on August 14, the Yankees tried for six days to find a weakness. Although a Union force broke through at Fussell’s Mill, a lack of reinforcements left the Federals vulnerable to a Confederate attack, and the Rebels quickly restored the broken line.

The campaign cost 3,000 Union casualties and about 1,500 for the Confederates. The Southern defensive network, stretching over 20 miles, remained intact, but the failed operation prevented Lee from shipping troops to Early in the Shenandoah; Early would soon face defeat at the hands of a larger Union force commanded by General Philip Sheridan.

“Deep Bottom Run campaign begins.” 2008. The History Channel website. 12 Aug 2008, 11:55 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2282.

 

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.
Winston Churchill

Politics is the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.
Winston Churchill

27
Jul
08

On This Day, 7-27-08: Frederick Banting and Charles Best

Insulin isolated in Toronto

At the University of Toronto, Canadian scientists Frederick Banting and Charles Best successfully isolate insulin–a hormone they believe could prevent diabetes–for the first time. Within a year, the first human sufferers of diabetes were receiving insulin treatments, and countless lives were saved from what was previously regarded as a fatal disease.

Diabetes has been recognized as a distinct medical condition for more than 3,000 years, but its exact cause was a mystery until the 20th century. By the early 1920s, many researchers strongly suspected that diabetes was caused by a malfunction in the digestive system related to the pancreas gland, a small organ that sits on top of the liver. At that time, the only way to treat the fatal disease was through a diet low in carbohydrates and sugar and high in fat and protein. Instead of dying shortly after diagnosis, this diet allowed diabetics to live–for about a year.

A breakthrough came at the University of Toronto in the summer of 1921, when Canadians Frederick Banting and Charles Best successfully isolated insulin from canine test subjects, produced diabetic symptoms in the animals, and then began a program of insulin injections that returned the dogs to normalcy. On November 14, the discovery was announced to the world.

Two months later, with the support of J.J.R. MacLeod of the University of Toronto, the two scientists began preparations for an insulin treatment of a human subject. Enlisting the aid of biochemist J.B. Collip, they were able to extract a reasonably pure formula of insulin from the pancreases of cattle from slaughterhouses. On January 23, 1921, they began treating 14-year-old Leonard Thompson with insulin injections. The diabetic teenager improved dramatically, and the University of Toronto immediately gave pharmaceutical companies license to produce insulin, free of royalties. By 1923, insulin had become widely available, and Banting and Macleod were awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine.

“Insulin isolated in Toronto.” 2008. The History Channel website. 27 Jul 2008, 01:52 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5211.

 

On This Day

1245 – Frederick II of France was deposed by a council at Lyons, which found him guilty of sacrilege.

1663 – The British Parliament passed a second Navigation Act, which required all goods bound for the colonies be sent in British ships from British ports.

1777 – The marquis of Lafayette arrived in New England to help the rebellious American colonists fight the British.

1789 – The Department of Foreign Affairs was established by the U.S. Congress. The agency was later known as the Department of State.

1804 – The 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. With the amendment Electors were directed to vote for a President and for a Vice-President rather than for two choices for President.

1866 – Cyrus Field successfully completed the Atlantic Cable. It was an underwater telegraph from North America to Europe.

1909 – Orville Wright set a record for the longest airplane flight. He was testing the first Army airplane and kept it in the air for 1 hour 12 minutes and 40 seconds.

1914 – British troops invaded the streets of Dublin, Ireland, and began to disarm Irish rebels.

1944 – U.S. troops completed the liberation of Guam.

1955 – The Allied occupation of Austria ended.

1964 – U.S. President Lyndon Johnson sent an additional 5,000 advisers to South Vietnam.

1967 – U.S. President Johnson appointed the Kerner Commission to assess the causes of the violence in the wake of urban rioting.

1980 – The deposed shah of Iran, Muhammad Riza Pahlavi, died in a hospital near Cairo, Egypt.

1995 – The Korean War Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, DC, by U.S. President Clinton and South Korean President Kim Young-sam.

1996 – At the Atlanta Olympics a pipe bomb exploded at the public Centennial Olympic Park. One person was killed and more than 100 were injured.

1999 – The U.S. space shuttle Discovery completed a five-day mission commanded by Air Force Col. Eileen Collins. It was the first shuttle mission to be commanded by a woman.

 

Bugs Bunny’s debut

On this day in 1940, Bugs Bunny first appears on the silver screen in “A Wild Hare.” The wisecracking rabbit had evolved through several earlier short films. As in many future installments of Bugs Bunny cartoons, “A Wild Hare” featured Bugs as the would-be dinner for frustrated hunter Elmer Fudd.

“Bugs Bunny’s debut.” 2008. The History Channel website. 27 Jul 2008, 02:00 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=3482.

First jet makes test flight

On this day in 1949, the world’s first jet-propelled airliner, the British De Havilland Comet, makes its maiden test-flight in England. The jet engine would ultimately revolutionize the airline industry, shrinking air travel time in half by enabling planes to climb faster and fly higher.

“First jet makes test flight.” 2008. The History Channel website. 27 Jul 2008, 01:53 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=52735.

Armistice ends the Korean War

After three years of a bloody and frustrating war, the United States, the People’s Republic of China, North Korea, and South Korea agree to an armistice, bringing the Korean War to an end. The armistice ended America’s first experiment with the Cold War concept of “limited war.”

“Armistice ends the Korean War.” 2008. The History Channel website. 27 Jul 2008, 01:58 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2741.

House begins impeachment of Nixon

On this day in 1974, the House Judiciary Committee recommends that America’s 37th president, Richard M. Nixon, be impeached and removed from office. The impeachment proceedings resulted from a series of political scandals involving the Nixon administration that came to be collectively known as Watergate.

“House begins impeachment of Nixon.” 2008. The History Channel website. 27 Jul 2008, 01:48 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=59458.

 

Everything in the world exists to end up in a book.
Hosea Ballou

26
Jul
08

On This Day, 7-26-08: The National Security Act

Truman signs the National Security Act

President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Act, which becomes one of the most important pieces of Cold War legislation. The act established much of the bureaucratic framework for foreign policymaking for the next 40-plus years of the Cold War.

By July 1947, the Cold War was in full swing. The United States and the Soviet Union, once allies during World War II, now faced off as ideological enemies. In the preceding months, the administration of President Truman had argued for, and secured, military and economic aid to Greece and Turkey to assist in their struggles against communist insurgents. In addition, the Marshall Plan, which called for billions of dollars in U.S. aid to help rebuild war-torn Western Europe and strengthen it against possible communist aggression, had also taken shape. As the magnitude of the Cold War increased, however, so too did the need for a more efficient and manageable foreign policymaking bureaucracy in the United States. The National Security Act was the solution.

The National Security Act had three main parts. First, it streamlined and unified the nation’s military establishment by bringing together the Navy Department and War Department under a new Department of Defense. This department would facilitate control and utilization of the nation’s growing military. Second, the act established the National Security Council (NSC). Based in the White House, the NSC was supposed to serve as a coordinating agency, sifting through the increasing flow of diplomatic and intelligence information in order to provide the president with brief but detailed reports. Finally, the act set up the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The CIA replaced the Central Intelligence Group, which had been established in 1946 to coordinate the intelligence-gathering activities of the various military branches and the Department of State. The CIA, however, was to be much more–it was a separate agency, designed not only to gather intelligence but also to carry out covert operations in foreign nations.

The National Security Act formally took effect in September 1947. Since that time, the Department of Defense, NSC, and CIA have grown steadily in terms of size, budgets, and power. The Department of Defense, housed in the Pentagon, controls a budget that many Third World nations would envy. The NSC rapidly became not simply an information organizing agency, but one that was active in the formation of foreign policy. The CIA also grew in power over the course of the Cold War, becoming involved in numerous covert operations. Most notable of these was the failed Bay of Pigs operation of 1961, in which Cuban refugees, trained and armed by the CIA, were unleashed against the communist regime of Fidel Castro. The mission was a disaster, with most of the attackers either killed or captured in a short time. Though it had both successes and failures, the National Security Act indicated just how seriously the U.S. government took the Cold War threat.

“Truman signs the National Security Act.” 2008. The History Channel website. 26 Jul 2008, 12:42 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2740.

 

On This Day

1775 – A postal system was established by the 2nd Continental Congress of the United States. The first Postmaster General was Benjamin Franklin.

1788 – New York became the 11th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

1881 – Thomas Edison and Patrick Kenny execute a patent application for a facsimile telegraph (U.S. Pat. 479,184).

1945 – Winston Churchill resigned as Britain’s prime minister.

1948 – U.S. President Truman signed executive orders that prohibited discrimination in the U.S. armed forces and federal employment.

1953 – Fidel Castro began his revolt against Fulgencio Batista with an unsuccessful attack on an army barracks in eastern Cuba. Castro eventually ousted Batista six years later.

1956 – Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal.

1971 – Apollo 15 was launched from Cape Kennedy, FL.

1999 – 1,500 pieces of Marilyn Monroe’s personal items went on display at Christie’s in New York, NY. The items went on sale later in 1999.

 

Liberian independence proclaimed

The Republic of Liberia, formerly a colony of the American Colonization Society, declares its independence. Under pressure from Britain, the United States hesitantly accepted Liberian sovereignty, making the West African nation the first democratic republic in African history. A constitution modeled after the U.S. Constitution was approved, and in 1848 Joseph Jenkins Roberts was elected Liberia’s first president.

“Liberian independence proclaimed.” 2008. The History Channel website. 26 Jul 2008, 12:43 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5208.

FBI founded

On July 26, 1908, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is born when U.S. Attorney General Charles Bonaparte orders a group of newly hired federal investigators to report to Chief Examiner Stanley W. Finch of the Department of Justice. One year later, the Office of the Chief Examiner was renamed the Bureau of Investigation, and in 1935 it became the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“FBI founded.” 2008. The History Channel website. 26 Jul 2008, 12:44 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6970.

Real-life Psycho Ed Gein dies

On July 26, 1984, Ed Gein, a serial killer infamous for skinning human corpses, dies of complications from cancer in a Wisconsin prison at age 77. Gein served as the inspiration for writer Robert Bloch’s character Norman Bates in the 1959 novel Psycho, which in 1960 was turned into a film starring Anthony Hopkins and directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Edward Theodore Gein was born in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, on July 27, 1906, to an alcoholic father and domineering mother, who taught her son that women and sex were evil. Gein was raised, along with an older brother, on an isolated farm in Plainfield, Wisconsin. After Gein’s father died in 1940, the future killer’s brother died under mysterious circumstances during a fire in 1944 and his beloved mother passed away from health problems in 1945. Gein remained on the farm by himself.

In November 1957, police found the headless, gutted body of a missing store clerk, Bernice Worden, at Gein’s farmhouse. Upon further investigation, authorities discovered a collection of human skulls along with furniture and clothing, including a suit, made from human body parts and skin. Gein told police he had dug up the graves of recently buried women who reminded him of his mother. Investigators found the remains of 10 women in Gein’s home, but he was ultimately linked to just two murders: Bernice Worden and another local woman, Mary Hogan.

Gein was declared mentally unfit to stand trial and was sent to a state hospital in Wisconsin. His farm attracted crowds of curiosity seekers before it burned down in 1958, most likely in a blaze set by an arsonist. In 1968, Gein was deemed sane enough to stand trial, but a judge ultimately found him guilty by reason of insanity and he spent the rest of his days in a state facility.

In addition to Psycho, films including Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Silence of the Lambs were said to be loosely based on Gein’s crimes.

“Real-life Psycho Ed Gein dies.” 2008. The History Channel website. 26 Jul 2008, 12:47 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=57191.

 

The very concept of history implies the scholar and the reader. Without a generation of civilized people to study history, to preserve its records, to absorb its lessons and relate them to its own problems, history, too, would lose its meaning.
George F. Kennan

Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.
John Maynard Keynes

24
Jul
08

On This Day, 7-24-08: …Safely to Earth

Kennedy’s goal accomplished

At 12:51 EDT, Apollo 11, the U.S. spacecraft that had taken the first astronauts to the surface of the moon, safely returns to Earth.

The American effort to send astronauts to the moon had its origins in a famous appeal President John F. Kennedy made to a special joint session of Congress on May 25, 1961: “I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth.”

“Kennedy’s goal accomplished.” 2008. The History Channel website. 23 Jul 2008, 01:41 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5203.

 

On This Day

1866 – Tennessee became the first state to be readmitted to the Union after the U.S. Civil War.

1923 – The Treaty of Lausanne, which settled the boundaries of modern Turkey, was concluded in Switzerland.

1929 – U.S. President Hoover proclaimed the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which renounced war as an instrument of foreign policy.

1956 – Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis ended their team. They ended the partnership a decade after it began on July 25, 1946.

1974 – The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that President Nixon had to turn over subpoenaed White House tape recordings to the Watergate special prosecutor.

 

Mormons settle Salt Lake Valley

After 17 months and many miles of travel, Brigham Young leads 148 Mormon pioneers into Utah’s Valley of the Great Salt Lake. Gazing over the parched earth of the remote location, Young declared, “This is the place,” and the pioneers began preparations for the thousands of Mormon migrants who would follow. Seeking religious and political freedom, the Mormons began planning their great migration from the east after the murder of Joseph Smith, the Christian sect’s founder and first leader.

“Mormons settle Salt Lake Valley.” 2008. The History Channel website. 23 Jul 2008, 01:42 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6968.

Battle of Kernstown, Virginia

Confederate General Jubal Early defeats Union troops under General George Crook to keep the Shenandoah Valley clear of Yankees.

Early’s victory led to significant changes in the Union approach to the Shenandoah Valley. President Abraham Lincoln urged Grant to secure the area once and for all. Grant sent General Philip Sheridan to command the district in early August, and in the fall Sheridan dealt a series of defeats to Early and pacified the valley.

“Battle of Kernstown, Virginia.” 2008. The History Channel website. 23 Jul 2008, 01:43 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2257.

Operation Gomorrah is launched

On this day in 1943, British bombers raid Hamburg, Germany, by night in Operation Gomorrah, while Americans bomb it by day in its own “Blitz Week.”

“Operation Gomorrah is launched.” 2008. The History Channel website. 23 Jul 2008, 01:44 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6529.

 

I believe every human has a finite number of heartbeats. I don’t intend to waste any of mine.
Neil Armstrong

15
Jul
08

On This Day, 7-15-08: Nixon to Visit China

Nixon announces visit to communist China

During a live television and radio broadcast, President Richard Nixon stuns the nation by announcing that he will visit communist China the following year. The statement marked a dramatic turning point in U.S.-China relations, as well as a major shift in American foreign policy.

Nixon was not always so eager to reach out to China. Since the Communists came to power in China in 1949, Nixon had been one of the most vociferous critics of American efforts to establish diplomatic relations with the Chinese. His political reputation was built on being strongly anti-communist, and he was a major figure in the post-World War II Red Scare, during which the U.S. government launched massive investigations into possible communist subversion in America.

“Nixon announces visit to communist China.” 2008. The History Channel website. 13 Jul 2008, 11:42 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=52647.

 

On This Day

1099 – Jerusalem fell to the Crusaders.

1410 – Poles and Lithuanians defeated the Teutonic knights at Tannenburg, Prussia.

1788 – Louis XVI jailed 12 deputies who protested new judicial reforms.

1789 – The electors of Paris set up a “Commune” to live without the authority of the government.

1813 – Napoleon Bonaparte’s representatives met with the Allies in Prague to discuss peace terms.

1870 – Georgia became the last of the Confederate states to be readmitted to the Union.

1901 – Over 74,000 Pittsburgh steel workers went on strike.

1916 – In Seattle, WA, Pacific Aero Products was incorporated by William Boeing. The company was later renamed Boeing Co.

1942 – The first supply flight from India to China over the ‘Hump’ was carried to help China’s war effort.

1965 – The spacecraft Mariner IV sent back the first close-up pictures of the planet Mars.

1968 – Commercial air travel began between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., when the first plane, a Soviet Aeroflot jet, landed at Kennedy International Airport in New York.

2002 – John Walker Lindh plead guilty to two felonies. The crimes were supplying services to Afghanistan’s former Taliban government and for carrying explosives during the commission of a felony. Lindh agreed to spend 10 years in prison for each of the charges.

 

Pike expedition sets out

Zebulon Pike, the U.S. Army officer who in 1805 led an exploring party in search of the source of the Mississippi River, sets off with a new expedition to explore the American Southwest. Pike was instructed to seek out headwaters of the Arkansas and Red rivers and to investigate Spanish settlements in New Mexico.

Pike and his men left Missouri and traveled through the present-day states of Kansas and Nebraska before reaching Colorado, where he spotted the famous mountain later named in his honor. From there, they traveled down to New Mexico, where they were stopped by Spanish officials and charged with illegal entry into Spanish-held territory. His party was escorted to Santa Fe, then down to Chihuahua, back up through Texas, and finally to the border of the Louisiana Territory, where they were released. Soon after returning to the east, Pike was implicated in a plot with former Vice President Aaron Burr to seize territory in the Southwest for mysterious ends. However, after an investigation, Secretary of State James Madison fully exonerated him.

The information he provided about the U.S. territory in Kansas and Colorado was a great impetus for future U.S. settlement, and his reports about the weakness of Spanish authority in the Southwest stirred talk of future U.S. annexation. Pike later served as a brigadier general during the War of 1812, and in April 1813 he was killed by a British gunpowder bomb after leading a successful attack on York, Canada.

“Pike expedition sets out.” 2008. The History Channel website. 13 Jul 2008, 11:44 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5178.

Goldwater nominated for president

Senator Barry Goldwater (R-Arizona) is nominated by the Republican Party to run for president. During the subsequent campaign, Goldwater said that he thought the United States should do whatever was necessary to win in Vietnam. At one point, he talked about the possibility of using low-yield atomic weapons to defoliate enemy infiltration routes, but he never actually advocated the use of nuclear weapons in Southeast Asia. Although Goldwater later clarified his position, the Democrats very effectively portrayed him as a trigger-happy warmonger. This reputation, whether deserved or not, was a key factor in his crushing defeat at the hands of Lyndon B. Johnson, who won 61 percent of the vote to Goldwater’s 39 percent.

“Goldwater nominated for president.” 2008. The History Channel website. 13 Jul 2008, 11:52 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=1969.

Garbo makes an appearance

On this day in 1941, master spy Juan Pujol Garcia, nicknamed “Garbo,” sends his first communiqué to Germany from Britain. The question was: Who was he spying for?

Juan Garcia, a Spaniard, ran an elaborate multiethnic spy network that included a Dutch airline steward, a British censor for the Ministry of Information, a Cabinet office clerk, a U.S. soldier in England, and a Welshman sympathetic to fascism. All were engaged in gathering secret information on the British-Allied war effort, which was then transmitted back to Berlin. Garcia was in the pay of the Nazis. The Germans knew him as “Arabel,” whereas the English knew him as Garbo. The English knew a lot more about him, in fact, than the Germans, as Garcia was a British double agent.

“Garbo makes an appearance.” 2008. The History Channel website. 13 Jul 2008, 11:58 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=55032.

A public man must never forget that he loses his usefulness when he as an individual, rather than his policy, becomes the issue.
Richard M. Nixon

Any change is resisted because bureaucrats have a vested interest in the chaos in which they exist.
Richard M. Nixon




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