Posts Tagged ‘Bolsheviks

06
Nov
08

On This Day, 11-6-2008: Bolshevism

November 6, 1941

Stalin celebrates the Revolution’s anniversary

On this day in 1941, the 24th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, Joseph Stalin, premier and dictator of the USSR, delivers a speech to a rally of Moscow Party workers.

The rally was held underground, in the marbled halls of the Mayakovsky train station. There, Stalin encouraged the assembled Communist Party workers with the promise that if the Germans “want a war of extermination, they shall have one.” The very next day, standing atop Lenin’s Mausoleum in Red Square, Stalin took the salute of his troops and encouraged them to defend “holy Russia”–even as German tanks, previously mired in mud, began to roll over now–frozen ground in their advance toward the Soviet capital.

But Stalin would have more than just his military to rely on. As the Red Army marched down Gorky Street, President Franklin Roosevelt officially extended the scope of the Lend-Lease Act to include the Soviet Union. The USSR would now be eligible for an influx of American arms-including British weaponry manufactured in the United States. What had begun as a military aid program for Great Britain was growing to include other allies in their fight against fascism-even fascism’s left-wing mirror image, Bolshevik Russia.

“Stalin celebrates the Revolution’s anniversary,” The History Channel website, 2008, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6372 [accessed Nov 6, 2008]

For more on the Bolshevik Revolution see:  Bolshevik Revolution

On This Day

1789 – Father John Carroll was appointed as the first Roman Catholic bishop in the United States of America.

1832 – Joseph Smith, III, was born. He was the first president of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He was also the son of Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism.

1860 – Abraham Lincoln was elected to be the sixteenth president of the United States.

1861 – Jefferson Davis was elected as the president of the Confederacy in the U.S.

1917 – During World War I, Canadian forces take the village of Passchendaele, Belgium, in the Third Battle of Ypres.

1986 – Former Navy radioman John A. Walker Jr., was sentenced in Baltimore to life imprisonment. Walker had admitted to being the head of a family spy ring.

1986 – U.S. intelligence sources confirmed a story run by the Lebanese magazine Ash Shiraa that reported the U.S. had been secretly selling arms to Iran in an effort to secure the release of seven American hostages.

 

November 6, 1988

Renowned Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov visits United States

Soviet scientist and well-known human rights activist Andrei Sakharov begins a two-week visit to the United States. During his visit, he pleaded with the American government and people to support Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s policies of glasnost (political openness) and perestroika (economic reforms), and so ensure the success of a new, more democratic, and friendlier Soviet system.

Sakharov had not always been a favorite of the Soviet government. During the late-1930s and 1940s, he was a respected physicist in the Soviet Union, and was part of the group of scientists who worked to develop Russia’s first hydrogen bomb in the 1950s. By the late 1950s, however, he began to have serious doubts about Russia’s open-air testing of nuclear weapons. He also began to protest for more scientific freedom in the Soviet Union. By the mid-1960s, he was openly criticizing the Stalinist legacy and current laws designed to muzzle political opponents. In 1968, he had an essay published in the New York Times calling for a system that merged socialism and capitalism. Because of this, Sakharov was stripped of his security clearance and job. In 1970, he co-founded the Moscow Committee for Human Rights. His work resulted in his winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975.

Sakharov also urged the United States to pressure the Soviet Union concerning the latter’s human rights policies, and harshly criticized Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. He and his wife were arrested and sentenced to internal exile. Despite his isolation, his supporters continued to smuggle his writings out of the country.

In December 1986, Gorbachev released Sakharov and his wife from exile. It was a pragmatic move on Gorbachev’s part: He desired closer relations with the West, and Sakharov had become a hero to many in the United States and elsewhere. Sakharov became a spokesman for the reforms Gorbachev was trying to push through, and praised the construction of the new Soviet Union. His November 1988 trip to the United States was part of this effort. Nevertheless, he continued to press for more democracy in the Soviet Union. On December 14, 1989, shortly after delivering a speech denouncing Russia’s one-party rule, Sakharov suffered a heart attack and died.

“Renowned Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov visits United States.” 2008. The History Channel website. 6 Nov 2008, 01:53 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2476.

On This Day in Wisconsin: November 6

1837 – Burlington, Iowa Selected as Temporary Capital
On this date Burlington, Iowa was chosen as a temporary capital of the Wisconsin Territory. A year earlier, legislators offered a bill making Madison the capital with a temporary capital in Dubuque until which time a permanent building could be constructed in Madison. Legislators also proposed the City of Belmont as a temporary capital. One month later, on December 12th, a fire destroyed the two-story temporary capital in Burlington. The new legislature moved its headquarters to the Webber and Remey’s store in Burlington where they conducted government affairs until June 1838.[Source: Wisconsin Legislature]

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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.

30
Aug
08

On This Day, 8-30-2008: Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall confirmed as Supreme Court justice

On this day in 1967, Thurgood Marshall becomes the first African American to be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice. He would remain on the Supreme Court for 24 years before retiring for health reasons, leaving a legacy of upholding the rights of the individual as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

From a young age, Marshall seemed destined for a place in the American justice system. His parents instilled in him an appreciation for the Constitution, a feeling that was reinforced by his schoolteachers, who forced him to read the document as punishment for his misbehavior. After graduating from Lincoln University in 1930, Marshall sought admission to the University of Maryland School of Law, but was turned away because of the school’s segregation policy, which effectively forbade blacks from studying with whites. Instead, Marshall attended Howard University Law School, from which he graduated magna cum laude in 1933. (Marshall later successfully sued Maryland School of Law for their unfair admissions policy.)

Setting up a private practice in his home state of Maryland, Marshall quickly established a reputation as a lawyer for the “little man.” In a year’s time, he began working with the Baltimore NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), and went on to become the organization’s chief counsel by the time he was 32, in 1940. Over the next two decades, Marshall distinguished himself as one of the country’s leading advocates for individual rights, winning 29 of the 32 cases he argued in front of the Supreme Court, all of which challenged in some way the ‘separate but equal’ doctrine that had been established by the landmark case Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). The high-water mark of Marshall’s career as a litigator came in 1954 with his victory in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. In that case, Marshall argued that the ‘separate but equal’ principle was unconstitutional, and designed to keep blacks “as near [slavery] as possible.”

In 1961, Marshall was appointed by then-President John F. Kennedy to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, a position he held until 1965, when Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, named him solicitor general. Following the retirement of Justice Tom Clark in 1967, President Johnson appointed Marshall to the Supreme Court, a decision confirmed by the Senate with a 69-11 vote. Over the next 24 years, Justice Marshall came out in favor of abortion rights and against the death penalty, as he continued his tireless commitment to ensuring equitable treatment of individuals–particularly minorities–by state and federal governments.

“Thurgood Marshall confirmed as Supreme Court justice.” 2008. The History Channel website. 30 Aug 2008, 02:49 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=52777.

On This Day

30 B.C. – Cleopatra, the seventh queen of Egypt, committed suicide.

1146 – European leaders outlawed the crossbow.

1780 – General Benedict Arnold secretly promised to surrender the West Point fort to the British army.

1862 – The Confederates defeated Union forces at the second Battle of Bull Run in Manassas, VA.

1960 – A partial blockade was imposed on West Berlin by East Germany.

1963 – The “Hotline” between Moscow and Washington, DC, went into operation.

1991 – The Soviet republic of Azerbaijan declared its independence.

1994 – Rosa Parks was robbed and beaten by Joseph Skipper. Parks was known for her refusal to give up her seat on a bus in 1955, which sparked the civil rights movement.

Vladimir Lenin shot

After speaking at a factory in Moscow, Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin is shot twice by Fanya Kaplan, a member of the Social Revolutionary party. Lenin was seriously wounded but survived the attack. The assassination attempt set off a wave of reprisals by the Bolsheviks against the Social Revolutionaries and other political opponents. Thousands were executed as Russia fell deeper into civil war.

“Vladimir Lenin shot.” 2008. The History Channel website. 30 Aug 2008, 02:41 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=5303.

First African American in space

U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Guion S. Bluford becomes the first African American to travel into space when the space shuttle Challenger lifts off on its third mission. It was the first night launch of a space shuttle, and many people stayed up late to watch the spacecraft roar up from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 2:32 a.m.

“First African American in space.” 2008. The History Channel website. 30 Aug 2008, 02:50 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5304.

20
Mar
08

On This Day, 3-20-08: Selma

Retired Marine Commandant comments on conduct of war

Retired U.S. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Shoup estimates that up to 800,000 men would be required just to defend South Vietnamese population centers. He further stated that the United States could only achieve military victory by invading the North, but argued that such an operation would not be worth the cost.

Also on this day: The New York Times publishes excerpts from General Westmoreland’s classified end-of-year report, which indicated that the U.S. command did not believe the enemy capable of any action even approximating the Tet Offensive. This report, Shoup’s comments, and other conflicting assessments of the situation in Vietnam contributed to the growing dissatisfaction among a large segment of American society with the Vietnam War. At the end of the previous year, Johnson administration officials had insisted that the United States had turned a corner in the war. The strength and scope of the Tet Offensive flew in the face of these claims, feeding a widening credibility gap. Despite administration assurances that the situation was getting better in Vietnam, the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong had launched a massive attack at 3:00 A.M. on January 31, 1968, simultaneously hitting Saigon, Da Nang, Hue, and other major cities, towns, and military bases throughout South Vietnam. One assault team got within the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon before they were destroyed. In the end, the communist forces were resoundingly defeated, but the United States suffered a fatal strategic blow. The Tet Offensive cost the government the confidence of the American people and public opinion turned against the war.

“Retired Marine Commandant comments on conduct of war.” 2008. The History Channel website. 20 Mar 2008, 03:54 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=1740.

1525 – Paris’ parliament began its pursuit of Protestants.

1616 – Walter Raleigh was released from Tower of London to seek gold in Guyana.

1627 – France & Spain signed an accord for fighting Protestantism.

1792 – In Paris, the Legislative Assembly approved the use of the guillotine.

1815 – Napoleon Bonaparte entered Paris after his escape from Elba and began his “Hundred Days” rule.

1852 – Harriet Beecher Stowe’s book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” subtitled “Life Among the Lowly,” was first published.

1865 – A plan by John Wilkes Booth to abduct U.S. President Abraham Lincoln was ruined when Lincoln changed his plans and did not appear at the Soldier’s Home near Washington, DC.

1868 – Jesse James Gang robbed a bank in Russelville, KY, of $14,000.

1890 – The General Federation of Womans’ Clubs was founded.

1897 – The first U.S. orthodox Jewish Rabbinical seminary was incorporated in New York.

1900 – It was announced that European powers had agreed to keep China’s doors open to trade.

1902 – France and Russia acknowledged the Anglo-Japanese alliance. They also asserted their right to protect their interests in China and Korea.

1906 – In Russia, army officers mutiny at Sevastopol.

1918 – The Bolsheviks of the Soviet Union asked for American aid to rebuild their army.

1922 – U.S. President Warren G. Harding ordered U.S. troops back from the Rhineland.

1922 – The USS Langley was commissioned. It was the first aircraft carrier for the U.S. Navy.

1933 – The first German concentration camp was completed at Dachau.

1976 – Patricia Hearst was convicted of armed robbery for her role in the hold up of a San Francisco Bank.

1985 – Libby Riddles won the 1,135-mile Anchorage-to-Nome dog race becoming the first woman to win the Iditarod.

LBJ pledges federal troops to Alabama civil-rights march

On this day in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson sends a telegram to Governor George Wallace of Alabama in which he agrees to send federal troops to supervise a planned African-American civil-rights march in Wallace’s home state.  “LBJ pledges federal troops to Alabama civil-rights march.” 2008. The History Channel website. 20 Mar 2008, 03:52 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=284.




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