Posts Tagged ‘Abigail and John Adams

25
Oct
08

On This Day, 10-25-2008: Teapot Dome Scandal

October 25, 1929

Cabinet member guilty in Teapot Dome scandal

During the Teapot Dome scandal, Albert B. Fall, who served as secretary of the interior in President Warren G. Harding’s cabinet, is found guilty of accepting a bribe while in office. Fall was the first individual to be convicted of a crime committed while a presidential cabinet member.

As a member of President Harding’s corruption-ridden cabinet in the early 1920s, Hall accepted a $100,000 interest-free “loan” from Edward Doheny of the Pan-American Petroleum and Transport Company, who wanted Fall to grant his firm a valuable oil lease in the Elk Hills naval oil reserve in California. The site, along with the Teapot Dome naval oil reserve in Wyoming, had been previously transferred to the Department of the Interior on the urging of Fall, who evidently realized the personal gains he could achieve by leasing the land to private corporations.

In October 1923, the Senate Public Lands Committee launched an investigation that revealed not only the $100,000 bribe that Fall received from Doheny but also that Harry Sinclair, president of Mammoth Oil, had given him some $300,000 in government bonds and cash in exchange for use of the Teapot Dome oil reserve in Wyoming.

In 1927, the oil fields were restored to the U.S. government by a Supreme Court decision. Two years later, Fall was convicted of bribery and sentenced to one year in prison and a fine of $100,000. Doheny escaped conviction, but Sinclair was imprisoned for contempt of Congress and jury tampering.

“Cabinet member guilty in Teapot Dome scandal.” 2008. The History Channel website. 25 Oct 2008, 07:24 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5469.

On This Day

2137 B.C. – Chinese Royal astronomers, Ho and Hsi, were executed after not predicting a solar eclipse caused panic in the streets of China.

1415 – In Northern France, England won the Battle of Agincourt over France during the Hundred Years’ War. Almost 6000 Frenchmen were killed while fewer than 400 were lost by the English.

1812 – During the War of 1812, the U.S. frigate United States captured the British vessel Macedonian.

1854 – The Charge of the Light Brigade took place during the Crimean War. The British were winning the Battle of Balaclava when Lord James Cardigan received an order to attack the Russians. He took his troops into a valley and suffered 40 percent caualties. Later it was revealed that the order was the result of confusion and was not given intentionally.

1881 – The founder of “Cubism,” Pablo Picasso, was born in Malaga, Spain.

1917 – The Bolsheviks (Communists) under Vladimir Ilyich Lenin seized power in Russia.

1931 – The George Washington Bridge opened to traffic.

1962 – U.S. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson presented photographic evidence to the United Nations Security Council. The photos were of Soviet missile bases in Cuba.

1962 – American author John Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature.

1971 – The U.N. General Assembly voted to expel Taiwan and admit mainland China.

1983 – U.S. troops and soldiers from six Caribbean nations invaded Grenada to restore order and provide protection to U.S. citizens after a recent coup within Grenada’s Communist (pro-Cuban) government.

1999 – Golfer Payne Stewart and five others were killed when their Learjet crashed in South Dakota. The plane flew uncontrolled for four hours before the crash.

October 25, 1764

John Adams marries Abigail Smith

On this day in 1764, future President John Adams marries Abigail Smith. This devoted couple’s prolific correspondence during their married life has provided entertainment and a glimpse of early American life for generations of history buffs.

Future first lady Abigail Adams was the daughter of a parson. She was home-taught and read everything from the classics to contemporary law. When she met her future husband, Adams appreciated her intellect and outspokenness. Both were staunch Federalists and abolitionists, but when their views did diverge, Abigail never hesitated to debate her husband on political or social matters. Their letters to each other during long absences imposed by his ministerial duties in France and England have been archived, published and analyzed in great detail. They discuss an array of public issues of concern to early Americans and shed a special light on the debate over the role of women in the new nation.

While Adams was attending the first Continental Congress in 1774, Abigail wrote to him to “remember the ladies” when he and his revolutionary cohorts began drafting new laws for the fledgling nation. She asserted that “all men would be tyrants if they could” and pointed out that male Patriots who were fighting British tyranny would appear hypocritical if they should disregard the rights of half the population, the country’s women, when drafting a constitution. Abigail warned “if particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.”

With the rise of political factions, Adams and his wife found themselves attacked in the press by their Republican opponents during his presidency (1797 – 1801) and unsuccessful reelection campaign against Thomas Jefferson in 1800. The couple subsequently returned to their home in Quincy, Massachusetts, where Adams spent his last years writing his memoirs.

Abigail Adams died in 1818 at the age of 73. Her grandson was the first to publish some of her letters 30 years later. John Adams died on July 4, 1826.

“John Adams marries Abigail Smith.” 2008. The History Channel website. 25 Oct 2008, 07:24 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=51404.

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07
Mar
08

On This Day, 3-7-08: The Rhineland

Hitler reoccupies the Rhineland

Nazi leader Adolf Hitler violates the Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Pact by sending German military forces into the Rhineland, a demilitarized zone along the Rhine River in western Germany.

The Treaty of Versailles, signed in July 1919–eight months after the guns fell silent in World War I–called for stiff war reparation payments and other punishing peace terms for defeated Germany. Having been forced to sign the treaty, the German delegation to the peace conference indicated its attitude by breaking the ceremonial pen. As dictated by the Treaty of Versailles, Germany’s military forces were reduced to insignificance and the Rhineland was to be demilitarized.

In 1925, at the conclusion of a European peace conference held in Switzerland, the Locarno Pact was signed, reaffirming the national boundaries decided by the Treaty of Versailles and approving the German entry into the League of Nations. The so-called “spirit of Locarno” symbolized hopes for an era of European peace and goodwill, and by 1930 German Foreign Minister Gustav Stresemann had negotiated the removal of the last Allied troops in the demilitarized Rhineland.

However, just four years later, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party seized full power in Germany, promising vengeance against the Allied nations that had forced the Treaty of Versailles on the German people. In 1935, Hitler unilaterally canceled the military clauses of the treaty and in March 1936 denounced the Locarno Pact and began remilitarizing of the Rhineland. Two years later, Nazi Germany burst out of its territories, absorbing Austria and portions of Czechoslovakia. In 1939, Hitler invaded Poland, leading to the outbreak of World War II in Europe.  http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4815

On This Day, 3-7-08

0322 BC – Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, died.

1774 – The British closed the port of Boston to all commerce.

1850 – U.S. Senator Daniel Webster endorsed the Compromise of 1850 as a method of preserving the Union. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p2951.html

1876 – Alexander Graham Bell received a patent (U.S. Patent No. 174,465) for his telephone.

1901 – It was announced that blacks had been found enslaved in parts of South Carolina.

1904 – The Japanese bombed the Russian town of Vladivostok.

1904 – In Springfield, OH, a mob broke into a jail and shot a black man accused of murder.

1906 – Finland granted women the right to vote.

1927 – A Texas law that banned Negroes from voting was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

1945 – During World War II, U.S. forces crossed the Rhine River at Remagen, Germany. http://www.thehistorychannel.co.uk/site/this_day_in_history/this_day_March_7.php

1955 – Phyllis Diller made her debut at the Purple Onion in San Francisco, CA.

1965 – State troopers and a sheriff’s posse broke up a march by civil rights demonstrators in Selma, AL.

1968 – The Battle of Saigon came to an end.

1971 – A thousand U.S. planes bombed Cambodia and Laos.

1989 – Poland accused the Soviet Union of a World War II massacre in Katyn. http://www.katyn.org.au/

1994 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that parodies that poke fun at an original work can be considered “fair use” that does not require permission from the copyright holder.

Five letters pass between Abigail and John Adams

On this day in 1777, Continental Congressman John Adams writes three letters to and receives two letters from his wife, Abigail. He is with Congress in Philadelphia, while she maintains their farm in Braintree, Massachusetts.

The remarkable correspondence between Abigail and John Adams—numbering 1,160 letters in total–covered topics ranging from politics and military strategy to household economy and family health. Their mutual respect and adoration served as evidence that even in an age when women were unable to vote, there were nonetheless marriages in which wives and husbands were true intellectual and emotional equals. http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=303

1917: February Revolution begins

In Russia, the February Revolution (known as such because of Russia’s use of the Julian calendar) begins when riots and strikes break out in Petrograd over the scarcity of food. Within three days, the strike was general in the capital, and the Petrograd army garrison was called out to restore order. The army, demoralized after three years of fighting along the Eastern Front in World War I, defected to the cause of the revolutionaries. On March 15, Czar Nicholas II was forced to abdicate. A coalition of workers’ and soldiers’ committees known as the Soviet joined with moderate provisional leaders in forming a new government, and an end to violent revolutionary activity was urged. Meanwhile, Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Bolshevik revolutionary party, left his exile in Switzerland and crossed German enemy lines to return home and take control of the revolution. http://www.thehistorychannel.co.uk/site/this_day_in_history/this_day_March_8.php

Arbitrary power is like most other things which are very hard, very liable to be broken.
Abigail Adams

Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of husbands. Remember all men would be tyrants if they could.
Abigail Adams




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