Posts Tagged ‘Berlin

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

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04
Mar
08

On This Day, 3-4-08 Franklin Delano Roosevelt Inaugurated

Dulles asks for action against communism

Speaking before the 10th Inter-American Conference, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles warns that “international communism” is making inroads in the Western Hemisphere and asks the nations of Latin America to condemn this danger. Dulles’s speech was part of a series of actions designed to put pressure on the leftist government of Guatemala, a nation in which U.S. policymakers feared communism had established a beachhead.

Dulles was stern and direct as he declared that there was not “a single country in this hemisphere which has not been penetrated by the apparatus of international communism acting under orders from Moscow.” Communism, he continued, was an “alien despotism,” and he asked the nations of Latin America to “deny it the right to prey upon our hemisphere.” “There is no place here,” he concluded, “for political institutions which serve alien masters.” Though he did not mention it by name, it was clear to most observers that Dulles was targeting Guatemala.

The United States had been concerned about political developments in Guatemala since 1944, when a leftist revolution overthrew long-time dictator Jorge Ubico. In the years since, U.S. policymakers were increasingly fearful that communist elements were growing in power in Guatemala and deeply troubled by government policies that seemed to threaten U.S. business interests that nation. By 1954, Dulles and President Dwight D. Eisenhower were convinced that international communism had established a power base in the Western Hemisphere that needed to be eliminated. As evidence, they pointed to Guatemala’s expropriation of foreign-owned lands and industries, its “socialistic” labor legislation, and vague allegations about Guatemala’s assistance to revolutionary movements in other Latin American nations.

Dulles’s speech did get some results. The Latin American representatives at the meeting passed a resolution condemning “international communism.” As Dulles was to discover, however, the Latin American governments would go no further. In May, Dulles requested that the Organization of American States (OAS) consider taking direct action against Guatemala. The OAS was established in 1948 by the nations of Latin America and the United States to help in settling hemispheric disputes. Dulles’s request fell on deaf ears, however. Despite their condemnation of “international communism,” the other nations of Latin America were reluctant to sanction direct intervention in another country’s internal affairs. At that point, Eisenhower unleashed the Central Intelligence Agency. Through a combination of propaganda, covert bombings, and the establishment of a mercenary force of “counter-revolutionaries” in neighboring Nicaragua and Honduras, the CIA was able to destabilize the Guatemalan government, which fell from power in June 1954. An anti-communist dictatorship led by Carlos Castillo Armas replaced it.

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2596

1933: FDR inaugurated

On March 4, 1933, at the height of the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt is inaugurated as the 32nd president of the United States. In his inaugural address, Roosevelt outlined his New Deal–an expansion of the U.S. federal government as an instrument of employment opportunity and welfare–and famously asserted that the only thing that Americans had to fear was fear itself. Although criticized by some in the business community, Roosevelt’s progressive legislation improved America’s economic climate, and in 1936 he swept to reelection. He won re-election two more times, in 1940 and 1944, making him the longest-serving U.S. president in history.

http://www.thehistorychannel.co.uk/site/this_day_in_history/this_day_March_4.php

I AM certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our Nation impels. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.

For the complete text please see: http://www.bartleby.com/124/pres49.html  

1634 – Samuel Cole opened the first tavern in Boston, MA.

1681 – England’s King Charles II granted a charter to William Penn for an area that later became the state of Pennsylvania.

1766 – The British Parliament repealed the Stamp Act, which had caused bitter and violent opposition in the U.S. colonies.

1778 – The Continental Congress voted to ratify the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance. The two treaties were the first entered into by the U.S. government.

1789 – The first Congress of the United States met in New York and declared that the U.S. Constitution was in effect.

1791 – Vermont was admitted as the 14th U.S. state. It was the first addition to the original 13 American colonies.

1794 – The 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the U.S. Congress. The Amendment limited the jurisdiction of the federal courts to automatically hear cases brought against a state by the citizens of another state. Later interpretations expanded this to include citizens of the state being sued, as well.

1813 – The Russians fighting against Napoleon reached Berlin. The French garrison evacuated the city without a fight.

1861 – The Confederate States of America adopted the “Stars and Bars” flag.

1904 – In Korea, Russian troops retreated toward the Manchurian border as 100,000 Japanese troops advanced.

1908 – The New York board of education banned the act of whipping students in school.

1917 – Jeanette Rankin of Montana took her seat as the first woman elected to the House of Representatives.

1933 – Labor Secretary Frances Perkins became the first woman to serve in a Presidential administrative cabinet.

1952 – Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis were married.




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