Posts Tagged ‘Benito Mussolini

28
Apr
09

On This Day, April 28: Benito Mussolini

April 28, 1945

Mussolini is executed

On this day in 1945, “Il Duce,” Benito Mussolini, and his mistress, Clara Petacci, are shot by Italian partisans who had captured the couple as they attempted to flee to Switzerland.

The 61-year-old deposed former dictator of Italy was established by his German allies as the figurehead of a puppet government in northern Italy during the German occupation toward the close of the war. As the Allies fought their way up the Italian peninsula, defeat of the Axis powers all but certain, Mussolini considered his options. Not wanting to fall into the hands of either the British or the Americans, and knowing that the communist partisans, who had been fighting the remnants of roving Italian fascist soldiers and thugs in the north, would try him as a war criminal, he settled on escape to a neutral country.

He and his mistress made it to the Swiss border, only to discover that the guards had crossed over to the partisan side. Knowing they would not let him pass, he disguised himself in a Luftwaffe coat and helmet, hoping to slip into Austria with some German soldiers. His subterfuge proved incompetent, and he and Petacci were discovered by partisans and shot, their bodies then transported by truck to Milan, where they were hung upside down and displayed publicly for revilement by the masses.

“Mussolini is executed,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=54053 [accessed Apr 28, 2009]

On This Day

0357 – Constantius II visited Rome for the first time.

1282 – Villagers in Palermo led a revolt against French rule in Sicily.

1788 – Maryland became the seventh state to ratify the U.S. constitution.

1818 – U.S. President James Monroe proclaimed naval disarmament on the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain.

1910 – First night air flight was performed by Claude Grahame-White in England.

1919 – The League of Nations was founded.

1932 – The yellow fever vaccine for humans was announced.

1946 – The Allies indicted Tojo with 55 counts of war crimes.

1947 – Norwegian anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl and five others set out in a balsa wood craft known as Kon Tiki to prove that Peruvian Indians could have settled in Polynesia. The trip began in Peru and took 101 days to complete the crossing of the Pacific Ocean.

1952 – The U.S. occupation of Japan officially ended when a treaty with the U.S. and 47 other countries went into effect.

1967 – Muhammad Ali refused induction into the U.S. Army and was stripped of boxing title. He sited religious grounds for his refusal.

1974 – The last Americans were evacuated from Saigon.

1997 – A worldwide treaty to ban chemical weapons took effect. Russia and other countries such as Iraq and North Korea did not sign.

April 28, 1969

De Gaulle resigns as leader of France

Following the defeat of his proposals for constitutional reform in a national referendum, Charles de Gaulle resigns as president of France.

A veteran of World War I, de Gaulle unsuccessfully petitioned his country to modernize its armed forces between the wars. After Henri Petain and other French leaders signed an armistice with Nazi Germany in June 1940, he fled to London, where he organized the Free French forces and rallied French colonies to the Allied cause. His forces fought successfully in North Africa, and in June 1944 he was named head of the French government in exile. On August 26, following the Allied invasion of France, de Gaulle entered Paris in triumph. Three months later, he was unanimously elected provisional president of France.

He resigned in January 1946, however, claiming he lacked sufficient governing power. De Gaulle formed a new political party that had only moderate electoral success, and in 1953 he retired. However, five years later, a military and civilian revolt in Algeria created a political crisis in France, and he was called out of retirement to lead the nation. A new constitution was passed, and in late December he was elected president of the Fifth Republic.

During the next decade, President de Gaulle granted independence to Algeria and attempted to restore France to its former international stature by withdrawing from the U.S.-dominated NATO alliance and promoting the development of French atomic weapons. However, student demonstrations and workers’ strikes in 1968 eroded his popular support, and in 1969 his proposals for further constitutional reform were defeated in a national vote. On April 28, 1969, Charles de Gaulle, 79 years old, retired for good. He died the following year.

“De Gaulle resigns as leader of France,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4955 [accessed Apr 28, 2009]

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07
Mar
09

On This Day, March 7: The Rhineland

March 7, 1936

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.

“Hitler reoccupies the Rhineland.” 2009. The History Channel website. 7 Mar 2009, 05:20 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4815.

On This Day

0322 BC – Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, died.

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

1848 – In Hawaii, the Great Mahele was signed.

1850 – U.S. Senator Daniel Webster endorsed the Compromise of 1850 as a method of preserving the Union.

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

1906 – Finland granted women the right to vote.

1918 – Finland signed an alliance treaty with Germany.

1925 – The Soviet Red Army occupied Outer Mongolia.

1945 – During World War II, U.S. forces crossed the Rhine River at Remagen, Germany.

1954 – Russia appeared for the first time in ice-hockey competition. Russia defeated Canada 7-2 to win the world ice-hockey title in Stockholm, Sweden.

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

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

1989 – Poland accused the Soviet Union of a World War II massacre in Katyn.

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.

March 7, 1941

British forces arrive in Greece

On this day, a British expeditionary force from North Africa lands in Greece.

In October 1940, Mussolini’s army, already occupying Albania, invaded Greece in what proved to be a disastrous military campaign for the Duce’s forces. Mussolini surprised everyone with this move against Greece, but he was not to be upstaged by recent Nazi conquests. According to Hitler, who was stunned by a move that he knew would be a strategic blunder, Mussolini should have concentrated on North Africa by continuing the advance into Egypt. The Italians paid for Mussolini’s hubris, as the Greeks succeeded in pushing the Italian invaders back into Albania after just one week, and the Axis power spent the next three months fighting for its life in a series of defensive battles.

Mussolini’s precipitate maneuver frustrated Hitler because it opened an opportunity for the British to enter Greece and establish an airbase in Athens, putting the Brits within striking distance of valuable oil reserves in Romania, which Hitler relied upon for his war machine. It also meant that Hitler would have to divert forces from North Africa, a high strategic priority, to bail Mussolini out of Greece-and postpone Hitler’s planned invasion of the Soviet Union.

The Brits indeed saw an opening in Greece, and on March 7, 1941, Prime Minister Winston Churchill diverted troops from Egypt and sent 58,000 British and Aussie troops to occupy the Olympus-Vermion line. But the Brits would be blown out of the Pelopponesus Peninsula when Hitler’s forces invaded on the ground and from the air in April. Thousands of British and Australian forces were captured there and on Crete, where German paratroopers landed in May.

“British forces arrive in Greece.” 2009. The History Channel website. 7 Mar 2009, 05:20 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6734.

18
Nov
08

On This Day, 11-18-2008: Abraham Lincoln

November 18, 1863

Lincoln travels to Gettysburg

President Lincoln boards a train for Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to deliver a short speech at the dedication for the cemetery of soldiers killed during the battle there on July 1 to 3, 1863. The address he gave became perhaps the most famous speech in American history.

Lincoln had given much thought to what he wanted to say at Gettysburg, but he nearly missed his chance to say it. On November 18, Lincoln’s son, Tad, became ill with a fever. Abraham and Mary Lincoln were, sadly, no strangers to juvenile illness: they had already lost two sons. Prone to fits of hysteria, Mary Lincoln panicked when the president prepared to leave for Pennsylvania. Lincoln felt that the opportunity to speak at Gettysburg and present his defense of the war was too important to miss, though. He boarded a train at noon and headed for Gettysburg.

Despite his son’s illness, Lincoln was in good spirits on the journey. He was accompanied by an entourage that included Secretary of State William Seward, Postmaster General Montgomery Blair, Interior Secretary John Usher, Lincoln’s personal secretaries John Hay and John Nicolay, several members of the diplomat corps, some foreign visitors, a Marine band, and a military escort. During one stop, a young girl lifted a bouquet of flowers to his window. Lincoln kissed her and said, “You’re a sweet little rose-bud yourself. I hope your life will open into perpetual beauty and goodness.”

When Lincoln arrived in Gettysburg, he was handed a telegram that lifted his spirits: Tad was feeling much better. Lincoln enjoyed an evening dinner and a serenade by Fifth New York Artillery Band before he retired to finalize his famous Gettysburg Address.

“Lincoln travels to Gettysburg.” 2008. The History Channel website. 18 Nov 2008, 10:09 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2391.

 On This Day

1865 – Samuel L. Clemens published “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” under the pen name “Mark Twain” in the New York “Saturday Press.”

1883 – The U.S. and Canada adopted a system of standard time zones.

1903 – The U.S. and Panama signed a treaty that granted the U.S. rights to build the Panama Canal.

1916 – Douglas Haig, commander of the British Expeditionary Force in World War I, calls off the Battle of the Somme in France. The offensive began on July 1, 1916.

1936 – Germany and Italy recognized the Spanish government of Francisco Franco.

1951 – Chuck Connors (Los Angeles Angels) became the first player to oppose the major league draft. Connors later became the star of the television show “The Rifleman.”

1966 – U.S. Roman Catholic bishops did away with the rule against eating meat on Fridays.

1987 – The U.S. Congress issued the Iran-Contra Affair report. The report said that President Ronald Reagan bore “ultimate responsibility” for wrongdoing by his aides.

1988 – U.S. President Reagan signed major legislation provided the death penalty for drug traffickers who kill.

1993 – The U.S. House of Representatives joined the U.S. Senate in approving legislation aimed at protecting abortion facilities, staff and patients.

 

November 18, 1940

Hitler furious over Italy’s debacle in Greece

On this day in 1940, Adolf Hitler meets with Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano over Mussolini’s disastrous invasion of Greece.

Mussolini surprised everyone with a move against Greece; his ally, Hitler, was caught off guard, especially since the Duce had led Hitler to believe he had no such intention. Even Mussolini’s own chief of army staff found out about the invasion only after the fact!

Despite being warned off an invasion of Greece by his own generals, despite the lack of preparedness on the part of his military, despite that it would mean getting bogged down in a mountainous country during the rainy season against an army willing to fight tooth and nail to defend its autonomy, Mussolini moved ahead out of sheer hubris, convinced he could defeat the inferior Greeks in a matter of days. He also knew a secret, that millions of lire had been put aside to bribe Greek politicians and generals not to resist the Italian invasion. Whether the money ever made it past the Italian fascist agents delegated with the responsibility is unclear; if it did, it clearly made no difference whatsoever-the Greeks succeeded in pushing the Italian invaders back into Albania after just one week. The Axis power spent the next three months fighting for its life in a defensive battle. To make matters worse, virtually half the Italian fleet at Taranto had been crippled by a British carrier-based attack.

At their meeting in Obersalzberg, Hitler excoriated Ciano for opening an opportunity for the British to enter Greece and establish an airbase in Athens, putting the Brits within striking distance of valuable oil reserves in Romania, which Hitler relied upon for his war machine. It also meant that Hitler would have to divert forces from North Africa, a high strategic priority, to Greece in order to bail Mussolini out. Hitler considered leaving the Italians to fight their own way out of this debacle-possibly even making peace with the Greeks as a way of forestalling an Allied intervention. But Germany would eventually invade, in April 1941, adding Greece to its list of conquests.

“Hitler furious over Italy’s debacle in Greece.” 2008. The History Channel website. 18 Nov 2008, 10:23 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6384.

12
Sep
08

On This Day, 9-12-2008: Boston Integration

Violence in Boston over racial busing

In Boston, Massachusetts, opposition to court-ordered school “busing” turns violent on the opening day of classes. School buses carrying African American children were pelted with eggs, bricks, and bottles, and police in combat gear fought to control angry white protesters besieging the schools.

U.S. District Judge Arthur Garrity ordered the busing of African American students to predominantly white schools and white students to black schools in an effort to integrate Boston’s geographically segregated public schools. In his June 1974 ruling in Morgan v. Hennigan, Garrity stated that Boston’s de facto school segregation discriminated against black children. The beginning of forced busing on September 12 was met with massive protests, particularly in South Boston, the city’s main Irish-Catholic neighborhood. Protests continued unabated for months, and many parents, white and black, kept their children at home. In October, the National Guard was mobilized to enforce the federal desegregation order.

“Violence in Boston over racial busing.” 2008. The History Channel website. 12 Sep 2008, 03:28 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=5340.

On This Day

1609 – English explorer Henry Hudson sailed down what is now known as the Hudson River.

1814 – During the War of 1812, the Battle of North Point was fought in Maryland.

1916 – Adelina and August Van Buren finished the first successful transcontinental motorcycle tour to be attempted by two women. They started in New York City on July 5, 1916.

1918 – During World War I, At the Battle of St. Mihiel, U.S. Army personnel operate tanks for the first time. The tanks were French-built.

1938 – In a speech, Adolf Hitler demanded self-determination for the Sudeten Germans in Czechoslovakia.

1943 – During World War II, Benito Mussolini was taken by German paratroopers from the Italian government that was holding him.

1953 – U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier.

1953 – Nikita Krushchev was elected as the first secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1974 – Emperor Haile Selassie was taken out of power by Ethiopia’s military after ruling for 58 years.

1980 – Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini listed four conditions for the release of American hostages taken on November 4, 1979. The conditions were the unfreezing of Iranian assets, the return of the shah’s wealth to Iran, the cancellation of U.S. claims against Iran, and a U.S. pledge of noninterference in Iran’s internal affairs.

1992 – Dr. Mae Carol Jemison became the first African-American woman in space. She was the payload specialist aboard the space shuttle Endeavor. Also onboard were Mission Specialist N. Jan Davis and Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Mark C. Lee. They were the first married couple to fly together in space. And, Mamoru Mohri became the first Japanese person to fly into space.

Situation deteriorates in South Vietnam

North Vietnamese Premier Pham Van Dong tells the French Consul: “You must remember we will be in Saigon tomorrow.” In November, he would tell the Canadian Commissioner: “We will drive the Americans into the sea.” The U.S. Embassy in Saigon eventually passed these remarks along to Washington as evidence of the deteriorating situation in South Vietnam. The United States had taken over from the French in the effort to stem the tide of communism in Southeast Asia. When President John F. Kennedy took office in 1961, he was faced with a dilemma in Laos and Vietnam. He decided that the line against communism had to be drawn in Vietnam and therefore he increased the number of military advisers to President Ngo Dinh Diem’s government in Saigon. By the time of his assassination in November 1963, there would be more than 16,000 U.S. advisers in South Vietnam. Under his successor, Lyndon Johnson, there would be a steady escalation of the war that ultimately resulted in the commitment of more than half a million U.S. troops in South Vietnam.

“Situation deteriorates in South Vietnam.” 2008. The History Channel website. 12 Sep 2008, 03:21 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=1353.

25
Jul
08

On This Day, 7-25-08: Louise Joy Brown

World’s first “test tube baby” born

On this day in 1978, Louise Joy Brown, the world’s first baby to be conceived via in vitro fertilization (IVF) is born at Oldham and District General Hospital in Manchester, England, to parents Lesley and Peter Brown. The healthy baby was delivered shortly before midnight by caesarean section and weighed in at five pounds, 12 ounces.

“World’s first “test tube baby” born .” 2008. The History Channel website. 25 Jul 2008, 02:35 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=59456.

 

On This Day

0326 – Constantine refused to carry out the traditional pagan sacrifices.

1394 – Charles VI of France issued a decree for the general expulsion of Jews from France.

1587 – Japanese strong-man Hideyoshi banned Christianity in Japan and ordered all Christians to leave.

1593 – France’s King Henry IV converted from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism.

1805 – Aaron Burr visited New Orleans with plans to establish a new country, with New Orleans as the capital city.

1845 – China granted Belgium equal trading rights with Britain, France and the United States.

1850 – In Worcester, MA, Harvard and Yale University freshmen met in the first intercollegiate billiards match.

1850 – Gold was discovered in the Rogue River in Oregon.

1866 – Ulysses S. Grant was named General of the Army. He was the first American officer to hold the rank.

1909 – French aviator Louis Bleriot flew across the English Channel in a monoplane. He traveled from Calais to Dover in 37 minutes. He was the first man to fly across the channel.

1914 – Russia declared that it would act to protect Serbian sovereignty.

1934 – Austrian chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss was shot and killed by Nazis.

1941 – The U.S. government froze all Japanese and Chinese assets.

1946 – The U.S. detonated an atomic bomb at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific. It was the first underwater test of the device.

1946 – Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis staged their first show as a team at Club 500 in Atlantic City, NJ.

1952 – Puerto Rico became a self-governing commonwealth of the U.S.

1956 – The Italian liner Andrea Doria sank after colliding with the Swedish ship Stockholm off the New England coast. 51 people were killed.

1984 – Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to walk in space. She was aboard the orbiting space station Salyut 7.

1994 – Israel and Jordan formally ended the state of war that had existed between them since 1948.

 

Congress passes Crittenden-Johnson Resolution

The Crittenden-Johnson Resolution passes, declaring that the war is being waged for the reunion of the states and not to interfere with the institutions of the South, namely slavery. The measure was important in keeping the pivotal states of Missouri, Kentucky, and Maryland in the Union.

This resolution should not be confused with the Crittenden Compromise—a plan circulated after the Southern states began seceding from the Union that proposed to protect slavery as an enticement to keep the Southern states from leaving—which was defeated in Congress. At the beginning of the war, many Northerners supported a war for to keep the Union together, but had no interest in advancing the cause of abolition. The Crittenden-Johnson plan was passed in 1861 to distinguish the issue of emancipation from the war’s purpose.

The common denominator of the two plans was Senator John Crittenden from Kentucky. Crittenden carried the torch of compromise borne so ably by another Kentucky senator, Henry Clay, who brokered such important deals as the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and the Compromise of 1850 to keep the nation together. Clay died in 1852, but Crittenden carried on the spirit befitting the representative of a state deeply divided over the issue of slavery.

Although the measure was passed in Congress, it meant little when, just two weeks later, President Lincoln signed a confiscation act, allowing for the seizure of property—including slaves—from rebellious citizens. Still, for the first year and a half of the Civil War, reunification of the United States was the official goal of the North. It was not until Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of September 1862 that slavery became a goal.

“Congress passes Crittenden-Johnson Resolution.” 2008. The History Channel website. 25 Jul 2008, 02:33 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2258.

Mussolini falls from power

On this day in 1943, Benito Mussolini, fascist dictator of Italy, is voted out of power by his own Grand Council and arrested upon leaving a meeting with King Vittorio Emanuele, who tells Il Duce that the war is lost. Mussolini responded to it all with an uncharacteristic meekness.

“Mussolini falls from power.” 2008. The History Channel website. 25 Jul 2008, 02:36 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6530.

19
Jul
08

On This Day, 7-19-08, World War II: America Bombs Rome

America bombs Rome

On this day in 1943, the United States bombs railway yards in Rome in an attempt to break the will of the Italian people to resist as Hitler lectures their leader, Benito Mussolini, on how to prosecute the war further.

On July 16, President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill appealed to the Italian civilian population to reject Mussolini and Hitler and “live for Italy and civilization.” As an “incentive,” American bombers raided the city, destroying its railways. Panic broke out among the Romans. Convinced by Mussolini that the Allies would never bomb the holy city, civilians poured into the Italian capital for safety. The bombing did more than shake their security in the city — it shook their confidence in their leader.

The denizens of Rome were not alone in such disillusion. In a meeting in northern Italy, Hitler attempted to revive the flagging spirits of Il Duce, as well as point out his deficiencies as a leader. Afraid that Mussolini, having suffered successive military setbacks, would sue for a separate peace, leaving the Germans alone to battle it out with Allied forces along the Italian peninsula, Hitler decided to meet with his onetime role model to lecture him on the manly art of war. Mussolini remained uncharacteristically silent during the harangue, partly due to his own poor German (he would request a translated synopsis of the meeting later), partly due to his fear of Hitler’s response should he tell the truth — that Italy was beaten and could not continue to fight. Mussolini kept up the charade for his German allies: Italy would press on. But no one believed the brave front anymore. Just a day later, Hitler secretly ordered Field Marshal Erwin Rommel to take command of the occupied Greek Islands, better to “pounce on Italy” if and when Mussolini capitulated to the United States. But within a week, events would take a stunning turn.

“America bombs Rome.” 2008. The History Channel website. 18 Jul 2008, 04:56 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6524.

 

On This Day

1525 – The Catholic princes of Germany formed the Dessau League to fight against the Reformation.

1799 – The Rosetta Stone, a tablet with hieroglyphic translations into Greek, was found in Egypt.

1848 – The Women’s Rights Convention took place in Seneca Fall, NY. Bloomers were introduced at the convention.

1870 – France declared war on Prussia.

1942 – German U-boats were withdrawn from positions off the U.S. Atlantic coast due to effective American anti-submarine countermeasures.

1943 – During World War II, more than 150 B-17 and 112 B-24 bombers attacked Rome for the first time.

1974 – The House Judiciary Committee recommended that U.S. President Richard Nixon should stand trial in the Senate for any of the five impeachment charges against him.

1975 – The Apollo and Soyuz spacecrafts separated after being linked in orbit for two days.

1985 – Christa McAuliffe of New Hampshire was chosen to be the first schoolteacher to ride aboard the space shuttle. She died with six others when the Challenger exploded the following year.

1989 – 112 people were killed when a United Airline DC-10 airplane crashed in Sioux City, Iowa. 184 people did survive the accident.

 

Massachusetts begins ill-fated Penobscot expedition

On this day in 1779, Massachusetts, without consulting either Continental political or military authorities, launches a 4,000-man naval expedition commanded by Commodore Dudley Saltonstall, Adjutant General Peleg Wadsworth, Brigadier General Solomon Lovell and Lieutenant Colonel Paul Revere. The expedition consisted of 19 warships, 24 transport ships and more than 1,000 militiamen. Their objective was to capture a 750-man British garrison at Castine on the Penobscot Peninsula, in what would later become Maine. The expedition arrived on July 25 and proceeded to launch a series of inconclusive land attacks, leaving Patriot naval forces underutilized and allowing the British plenty of time to send for reinforcements. The land commander, Brig. Gen. Lovell, began to retreat at the arrival of Sir George Colliers seven British warships, expecting Saltonstall to engage in a naval battle. Saltonstall, however, did not fight for long: the naval engagement concluded in total disaster on August 14, when Saltonstall surprised both Patriot and British commanders by fleeing upriver and burning his own ships. The Patriots lost in excess of 470 men, as well as numerous Continental Navy and Massachusetts ships that were burned during the retreat. The British achieved their victory at a cost of only 13 men. Saltonstall and Paul Revere later faced court martial because of the fiasco. Saltonstall lost his commission, but Revere won acquittal. By contrast, Peleg Wadsworth, who served as Reveres second-in-command, won acclaim for his performance in the engagement. He had organized the retreat, which was the only well-executed aspect of the mission. Wadsworth’s family continued to play a celebrated role in American history: his grandson was the famed poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The failed Penobscot expedition was considered the worst naval disaster in American history until the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, more than 160 years later.

“Massachusetts begins ill-fated Penobscot expedition .” 2008. The History Channel website. 18 Jul 2008, 04:57 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=50382.

Morgan’s raiders defeated at Buffington Island

Confederate General John Hunt Morgan’s raid on the North is dealt a serious blow when a large part of his force is captured as they try to escape across the Ohio River at Buffington Island, Ohio. Cut off from the south, Morgan fled north with the remnants of his command and was captured a week later at Salineville, Ohio.

“Morgan’s raiders defeated at Buffington Island.” 2008. The History Channel website. 18 Jul 2008, 04:57 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2252.

23
Feb
08

On This Day, 2-23-08: Huguenots

1574 – France began the 5th holy war against the Huguenots.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, Protestants in France were called Huguenots, a word derived from Besançon Hugues, the leader of a revolt in Geneva.

Most Huguenots were Calvinists. During most of the 16th century, the Huguenots faced fierce persecution, which towards the end of the century led to large internal religious wars. However, in 1561 the Edict of Orleans stopped the persecution for a number of years and the Edict of St. Germain recognized them for the first time (January 17, 1562). The French Wars of Religion then began with a massacre of 1,000 Huguenots at Vassy on March 1, 1562. In 1572 thousands of Huguentos were killed in the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre and amnesty was granted the next year. The 5th holy war against the Huguenots began on February 23, 1574 and persecution continued periodically until 1598 when king Henry IV gave the Edict of Nantes which granted the Protestants full religious freedom and equal rights to Catholics.

Louis XIV in 1685 revoked the edict and declared Protestantism illegal. After this, many Huguenots fled to surrounding Protestant nations, especially to Prussia.

For more, see Sources at the bottom of the page.

1660 – Charles XI became the king of Sweden.

1792 – The Humane Society of Massachusetts was incorporated.

1820 – The Cato Street conspiracy was uncovered.*

1836 – In San Antonio, TX, the siege of the Alamo began.

1847 – Santa Anna was defeated at the Battle of Buena Vista in Mexico by U.S. troops under Gen. Zachary Taylor. (see note below)

1861 – U.S. President-elect Lincoln arrived secretly in Washington to take his office after an assassination attempt in Baltimore.

1861 – Texas became the 7th state to secede from the Union.

1870 – The state of Mississippi was readmitted to the Union.

1896 – The Tootsie Roll was introduced by Leo Hirshfield.

1898 – In France, Emile Zola was imprisoned for his letter, “J’accuse,” which accused the government of anti-Semitism and wrongly jailing Alfred Dreyfus.

1900 – The Battle of Hart’s Hill took place in South Africa between the Boers and the British army.**

1904 – The U.S. acquired control of the Panama Canal Zone for $10 million.

1919 – The Fascist Party was formed in Italy by Benito Mussolini.

1927 – The Federal Radio Commission began assigning frequencies, hours of operation and power allocations for radio broadcasters. On July 1, 1934 the name was changed to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

1940 – Russian troops conquered Lasi Island.

1945 – The 28th Regiment of the Fifth Marine Division of the U.S. Marines reached the top of Mount Surabachi. A photograph of these Marines raising the American flag was taken.

1963 – The 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. It prohibited poll taxes in federal elections.

1974 – The Symbionese Liberation Army demanded $4 million more for the release of Patty Hearst. Hearst had been kidnapped on February 4th.

1997 – NBC-TV aired “Schindler’s List.” It was completely uncensored.

I grow dizzy when I recall that the number of manufactured tanks seems to have been more important to me than the vanished victims of racism.
Albert Speer

In all my activities as Armament Minister I never once visited a labor camp, and cannot, therefore, give any information about them.
Albert Speer

I knew that the National Socialist Party was anti-Semitic, and I knew that the Jews were being evacuated from Germany.
Albert Speer

Sources, Huguenots

http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html

http://faculty.ucc.edu/egh-damerow/huguenots.htm

See Also: http://huguenot.netnation.com/general/huguenot.htm

*http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/PRcato.htm

**http://www.indopedia.org/Boer_War.html

About Zachary Taylor, a few days ago I posted about a park called Tower Hill ( http://johnrandals.wordpress.com/2008/02/11/tower-hill/ ).  Click on the picture of the plaque and look at the names.




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