Posts Tagged ‘Anne Frank

12
Jun
09

On This Day, June 12: Tear Down This Wall

June 12, 1987

Reagan challenges Gorbachev

On this day in 1987, in one of his most famous Cold War speeches, President Ronald Reagan challenges Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down” the Berlin Wall, a symbol of the repressive Communist era in a divided Germany.

In 1945, following Germany’s defeat in World War II, the nation’s capital, Berlin, was divided into four sections, with the Americans, British and French controlling the western region and the Soviets gaining power in the eastern region. In May 1949, the three western sections came together as the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany), with the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) being established in October of that same year. In 1952, the border between the two countries was closed and by the following year East Germans were prosecuted if they left their country without permission. In August 1961, the Berlin Wall was erected by the East German government to prevent its citizens from escaping to the West. Between 1949 and the wall’s inception, it’s estimated that over 2.5 million East Germans fled to the West in search of a less repressive life.

With the wall as a backdrop, President Reagan declared to a West Berlin crowd in 1987, “There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace.” He then called upon his Soviet counterpart: “Secretary General Gorbachev, if you seek peace–if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe–if you seek liberalization: come here, to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” Reagan then went on to ask Gorbachev to undertake serious arms reduction talks with the United States.

Most listeners at the time viewed Reagan’s speech as a dramatic appeal to Gorbachev to renew negotiations on nuclear arms reductions. It was also a reminder that despite the Soviet leader’s public statements about a new relationship with the West, the U.S. wanted to see action taken to lessen Cold War tensions. Happily for Berliners, though, the speech also foreshadowed events to come: Two years later, on November 9, 1989, joyful East and West Germans did break down the infamous barrier between East and West Berlin. Germany was officially reunited on October 3, 1990.

Gorbachev, who had been in office since 1985, stepped down from his post as Soviet leader in 1991. Reagan, who served two terms as president, from 1981 to 1989, died on June 5, 2004, at age 93.

“Reagan challenges Gorbachev,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=52611 [accessed Jun 12, 2009]

On This Day

1099 – Crusade leaders visited the Mount of Olives where they met a hermit who urged them to assault Jerusalem.

1812 – Napoleon’s invasion of Russia began.

1838 – The Iowa Territory was organized.

1918 – The first airplane bombing raid by an American unit occurred on World War I’s Western Front in France.

1926 – Brazil quit the League of Nations in protest over plans to admit Germany.

1929 – Anne Frank was born in Germany. She wrote in her diary about growing up in occupied Amsterdam during World War II. She died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March 1945.

1937 – The Soviet Union executed eight army leaders under Joseph Stalin.

1963 – Civil rights leader Medgar Evers was fatally shot in front of his home in Jackson, MS.

1967 – State laws which prohibited interracial marriages were ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.

1979 – Bryan Allen flew the Gossamer Albatross, man powered, across the English Channel.

1985 – The U.S. House of Representatives approved $27 million in aid to the Nicaraguan contras.

1992 – In a letter to the U.S. Senate, Russian Boris Yeltsin stated that in the early 1950’s the Soviet Union had shot down nine U.S. planes and held 12 American survivors.

June 12, 1942

Anne Frank receives a diary

On this day, Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl living in Amsterdam, receives a diary for her 13th birthday. A month later, she and her family went into hiding from the Nazis in rooms behind her father’s office. For two years, the Franks and four other families hid, fed and cared for by Gentile friends. The families were discovered by the Gestapo, which had been tipped off, in 1944. The Franks were taken to Auschwitz, where Anne’s mother died. Friends in Amsterdam searched the rooms and found Anne’s diary hidden away.

Anne and her sister were transferred to another camp, Bergen-Belsen, where Anne died of typhus a month before the war ended.

Anne’s father survived Auschwitz and published Anne’s diary in 1947 as The Diary of a Young Girl. The book has been translated into some 30 languages.

“Anne Frank receives a diary,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=4000 [accessed Jun 12, 2009]

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04
Aug
08

On This Day, 8-4-08: Anne Frank

Anne Frank and her family arrested by Gestapo

On this day in 1944, a German-born Jewish girl and her family, who had been hiding in German-occupied Holland, are found by the Gestapo and transported to various concentration camps. The young girl’s diary of her time in hiding was found after her death and published. The Diary of Anne Frank remains one of the most moving testimonies to the invincibility of the human spirit in the face of inhuman cruelty.

“Anne Frank and her family arrested by Gestapo.” 2008. The History Channel website. 3 Aug 2008, 01:54 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6540.

 

On This Day

1735 – Freedom of the press was established with an acquittal of John Peter Zenger. The writer of the New York Weekly Journal had been charged with seditious libel by the royal governor of New York. The jury said that “the truth is not libelous.”

1753 – George Washington became a Master Mason.

1892 – Andrew and Abby Borden were axed to death in their home in Fall River, MA. Lizzie, Andrew’s daughter, was accused of the killings but was later acquitted.

1914 – Britain declared war on Germany in World War I. The U.S. proclaimed its neutrality.

1922 – The death of Alexander Graham Bell, two days earlier, was recognized by AT&T and the Bell Systems by shutting down all of its switchboards and switching stations. The shutdown affected 13 million phones.

1949 – An earthquake in Ecuador destroyed 50 towns and killed more than 6000 people.

1964 – The bodies of Michael H. Schwerner, James E. Chaney, and Andrew Goodman were found in an earthen dam in Mississippi. The three were civil rights workers. They had disappeared on June 21, 1964.

1972 – Arthur Bremer was found guilty of shooting George Wallace, the governor of Alabama. Bremer was sentenced to 63 years in prison.

1977 – U.S. President Carter signed the measure that established the Department of Energy.

1993 – Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell, Los Angeles police officers were sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for violating Rodney King’s civil rights.

1997 – Teamsters began a 15-day strike against UPS (United Parcel Service). The strikers eventually won an increase in full-time positions and defeated a proposed reorganization of the companies pension plan.

 

Union generals squabble outside of Atlanta

A Union operation against Confederate defenses around Atlanta, Georgia, stalls when infighting erupts between Yankee generals.

The problem arose when Union General William T. Sherman began stretching his force—consisting of the Army of the Ohio, the Army of the Tennessee, and the Army of the Cumberland—west of Ezra Church, the site of a major battle on July 28, to Utoy Creek, west of Atlanta. The Confederate army inside of Atlanta, commanded by General John Bell Hood, had attacked Sherman’s army three times in late July and could no longer mount an offensive operation. Sherman now moved General John Schofield, who commanded the Army of the Ohio, from the east side of Atlanta to the west in an attempt to cut the rail lines that supplied the city from the south and west. Schofield’s force arrived at Utoy Creek on August 3.

The Army of the Cumberland’s Fourteenth Corps, commanded by General John Palmer, had also been sent by Sherman to assist Schofield. But on August 4, the operation came to a standstill because Palmer refused to accept orders from anyone but General George Thomas, commander of the Army of the Cumberland. Although Schofield was the director of the operation, Palmer felt that Schofield was his junior. The two men had been promoted to major general on the same day in 1862, but Schofield’s appointment had expired four months later. Schofield had been reappointed with his original date of promotion, November 29, 1862, but Palmer insisted that the reappointment placed Schofield behind him in seniority.

“Union generals squabble outside of Atlanta.” 2008. The History Channel website. 3 Aug 2008, 01:55 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2272.

06
Jul
08

On This Day, 7-6-08: Althea Gibson

Althea Gibson is first African American to win Wimbledon

On this day in 1957, Althea Gibson claims the women’s singles tennis title at Wimbledon and becomes the first African American to win a championship at London’s All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

Gibson was born on August 25, 1927, in Silver, South Carolina, and raised in the Harlem section of New York City. She began playing tennis as a teenager and went on to win the national black women’s championship twice. At a time when tennis was largely segregated, four-time U.S. Nationals winner Alice Marble advocated on Gibson’s behalf and the 5’11” player was invited to make her U.S. Open debut in 1950. In 1956, Gibson’s tennis career took off and she won the singles title at the French Open–the first African American to do so–as well as the doubles’ title there. In July 1957, Gibson won Wimbledon, defeating Darlene Hard, 6-3, 6-2. (In 1975, Arthur Ashe became the first African-American man to win the men’s singles title at Wimbledon, when he defeated Jimmy Connors.) In September 1957, she won the U.S. Open, and the Associated Press named her Female Athlete of the Year in 1957 and 1958. During the 1950s, Gibson won 56 singles and doubles titles, including 11 major titles.

After winning Wimbledon and the U.S. Open again in 1958, Gibson retired from amateur tennis. In 1960, she toured with the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team, playing exhibition tennis matches before their games. In 1964, Gibson joined the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour, the first black woman to do so. The trailblazing athlete played pro golf until 1971, the same year in which she was voted into the National Lawn Tennis Association Hall of Fame.

After serving as New Jersey’s commissioner of athletics from 1975 to 1985, Althea Gibson died at age 76 from respiratory failure on September 28, 2003 at a hospital in East Orange, New Jersey.

“Althea Gibson is first African American to win Wimbledon.” 2008. The History Channel website. 6 Jul 2008, 02:08 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=59462.

1483 – King Richard III of England was crowned.

1777 – British forces captured Fort Ticonderoga during the American Revolution.

1854 – In Jackson, MI, the Republican Party held its first convention.

1885 – Louis Pasteur successfully tested his anti-rabies vaccine. The child used in the test later became the director of the Pasteur Institute.

1893 – In northwest Iowa 71 people were killed by a tornado.

1917 – During World War I, Arab forces led by T.E. Lawrence captured the port of Aqaba from the Turks.

1923 – The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was established.

1944 – A fire broke out in the main tent of the Ringling Brother, Barnum and Bailey Circus. 169 people died.

1983 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that retirement plans could not pay women smaller monthly payments solely because of their gender.

1989 – The U.S. Army destroyed its last Pershing 1-A missiles at an ammunition plant in Karnack, TX. The dismantling was under the terms of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

1994 – On Storm King Mountain, in Colorado, 14 firefighters were killed while fighting a several-day-old fire.

1997 – The Mars Pathfinder released Sojourner, a robot rover on the surface of Mars. The spacecraft landed on the red planet on July 4th.

Frank family takes refuge

In Nazi-occupied Holland, 13-year-old Jewish diarist Anne Frank and her family are forced to take refuge in a secret sealed-off area of an Amsterdam warehouse. The day before, Anne’s older sister, Margot, had received a call-up notice to be deported to a Nazi “work camp.”

“Frank family takes refuge.” 2008. The History Channel website. 6 Jul 2008, 02:09 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5153.

U.S. policymakers express optimism

In the light of a deepening ideological rift between the Soviet Union and China, U.S. officials express their belief that Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev will seek closer relations with the United States. Unfortunately, the optimism was somewhat misplaced. Although China and the Soviet Union announced a serious split in mid-July 1963, Khrushchev’s days in office were numbered.

“U.S. policymakers express optimism.” 2008. The History Channel website. 6 Jul 2008, 02:10 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2720.




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