Posts Tagged ‘Cuban Missile Crisis

28
Oct
08

On This Day, 10-28-2008: The Volstead Act

October 28, 1962

The Cuban Missile Crisis comes to an end

The Cuban Missile crisis comes to a close as Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev agrees to remove Russian missiles from Cuba in exchange for a promise from the United States to respect Cuba’s territorial sovereignty. This ended nearly two weeks of anxiety and tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union that came close to provoking a nuclear conflict.

The consequences of the crisis were many and varied. Relations between Cuba and the Soviet Union were on shaky ground for some time after Khrushchev’s removal of the missiles, as Fidel Castro accused the Russians of backing down from the Americans and deserting the Cuban revolution. European allies of the United States were also angered, not because of the U.S. stance during the crisis, but because the Kennedy administration kept them virtually in the dark about negotiations that might have led to an atomic war. Inside the Soviet Union, hard-liners were appalled at Khrushchev’s withdrawal of the weapons. Two years later, in 1964, Leonid Brezhnev and Aleksei Kosygin pushed him from power and proceeded to lead the Soviet Union on a massive military buildup.

There was perhaps one positive aspect of the crisis. Having gone to the edge of what President Kennedy referred to as the “abyss of destruction,” cooler heads in both nations initiated steps to begin some control over nuclear weapons. Less than a year after the crisis ended, the United States and Soviet Union signed an agreement to end aboveground testing; in 1968, both nations signed a non-proliferation treaty.

“The Cuban Missile Crisis comes to an end.” 2008. The History Channel website. 28 Oct 2008, 12:27 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2467.

On This Day

1636 – Harvard College was founded in Massachusetts. The original name was Court of Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was the first school of higher education in America.

1776 – The Battle of White Plains took place during the American Revolutionary War.

1886 – The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York Harbor by U.S. President Cleveland. The statue weighs 225 tons and is 152 feet tall. It was originally known as “Liberty Enlightening the World.”

1904 – The St. Louis Police Department became the first to use fingerprinting.

1922 – Benito Mussolini took control of the Italian government and introduced fascism to Italy.

1936 – The Statue of Liberty was rededicated by U.S. President Roosevelt on its 50th anniversary.

1940 – During World War II, Italy invaded Greece.

1949 – U.S. President Harry Truman swore in Eugenie Moore Anderson as the U.S. ambassador to Denmark. Anderson was the first woman to hold the post of ambassador.

1965 – Pope Paul VI issued a decree absolving Jews of collective guilt for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

1976 – John D. Erlichman, a former aide to U.S. President Richard Nixon, entered a federal prison camp in Safford, AZ, to begin serving his sentence for Watergate-related convictions.

1986 – The centennial of the Statue of Liberty was celebrated in New York.

1988 – Roussel Uclaf, a French manufacturer that produces the abortion pill RU486, announced it would resume distribution of the drug after the government of France demanded it do so.

1996 – The Dow Jones Industial Average gained a record 337.17 points (or 5%). The day before the Dow had dropped 554.26 points (or 7%).

October 28, 1919

Congress enforces prohibition

Congress passes the Volstead Act over President Woodrow Wilson’s veto. The Volstead Act provided for the enforcement of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, also known as the Prohibition Amendment.

The movement for the prohibition of alcohol began in the early 19th century, when Americans concerned about the adverse effects of drinking began forming temperance societies. By the late 19th century, these groups had become a powerful political force, campaigning on the state level and calling for national liquor abstinence. In December 1917, the 18th Amendment, prohibiting the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes,” was passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification. In January 1919, the 18th amendment achieved the necessary two-thirds majority of state ratification, and prohibition became the law of the land.

The Volstead Act, passed nine months later, provided for the enforcement of prohibition, including the creation of a special unit of the Treasury Department. Despite a vigorous effort by law-enforcement agencies, the Volstead Act failed to prevent the large-scale distribution of alcoholic beverages, and organized crime flourished in America. In 1933, the 21st Amendment to the Constitution was passed and ratified, repealing prohibition.

“Congress enforces prohibition.” 2008. The History Channel website. 28 Oct 2008, 12:11 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5476.

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27
Oct
08

On This Day, 10-27-2008: Quakers

October 27, 1659

Quakers executed for religious beliefs

William Robinson and Marmaduke Stevenson, two Quakers who came from England in 1656 to escape religious persecution, are executed in the Massachusetts Bay Colony for their religious beliefs. The two had violated a law passed by the Massachusetts General Court the year before, banning Quakers from the colony under penalty of death.

The Religious Society of Friends, whose members are commonly known as Quakers, was a Christian movement founded by George Fox in England during the early 1650s. Quakers opposed central church authority, preferring to seek spiritual insight and consensus through egalitarian Quaker meetings. They advocated sexual equality and became some of the most outspoken opponents of slavery in early America. Robinson and Stevenson, who were hanged from an elm tree on Boston Common in Boston, were the first Quakers to be executed in America. Quakers found solace in Rhode Island and other colonies, and Massachusetts’ anti-Quaker laws were later repealed.

In the mid 18th century, John Woolman, an abolitionist Quaker, traveled the American colonies, preaching and advancing the anti-slavery cause. He organized boycotts of products made by slave labor and was responsible for convincing many Quaker communities to publicly denounce slavery. Another of many important abolitionist Quakers was Lucretia Mott, who worked on the Underground Railroad in the 19th century, helping lead fugitive slaves to freedom in the Northern states and Canada. In later years, Mott was a leader in the movement for women’s rights.

“Quakers executed for religious beliefs.” 2008. The History Channel website. 27 Oct 2008, 11:13 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5472.

On This Day

1787 – The first of the Federalist Papers were published in the New York Independent. The series of 85 essays, written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay, were published under the pen name “Publius.”

1795 – The United States and Spain signed the Treaty of San Lorenzo. The treaty is also known as “Pinckney’s Treaty.”

1880 – Theodore Roosevelt married Alice Lee.

1938 – Du Pont announced “nylon” as the new name for its new synthetic yarn.

1954 – Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio were divorced. They had been married on January 14, 1954.

1978 – Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin were named winners of the Nobel Peace Prize for their progress toward achieving a Middle East accord.

1994 – The U.S. Justice Department announced that the U.S. prison population had exceeded one million for the first time in American history.

1997 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 554.26 points. The stock market was shut down for the first time since the 1981 assassination attempt on U.S. President Reagan.

2002 – Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was elected president of Brazil in a runoff. He was the country’s first elected leftist leader.

October 27, 1962

The United States and Soviet Union step back from brink of nuclear war

Complicated and tension-filled negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union finally result in a plan to end the two-week-old Cuban Missile Crisis. A frightening period in which nuclear holocaust seemed imminent began to come to an end.

Since President John F. Kennedy’s October 22 address warning the Soviets to cease their reckless program to put nuclear weapons in Cuba and announcing a naval “quarantine” against additional weapons shipments into Cuba, the world held its breath waiting to see whether the two superpowers would come to blows. U.S. armed forces went on alert and the Strategic Air Command went to a Stage 4 alert (one step away from nuclear attack). On October 24, millions waited to see whether Soviet ships bound for Cuba carrying additional missiles would try to break the U.S. naval blockade around the island. At the last minute, the vessels turned around and returned to the Soviet Union.

On October 26, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev responded to the quarantine by sending a long and rather disjointed letter to Kennedy offering a deal: Soviet ships bound for Cuba would “not carry any kind of armaments” if the United States vowed never to invade Cuba. He pleaded, “let us show good sense,” and appealed to Kennedy to “weigh well what the aggressive, piratical actions, which you have declared the U.S.A. intends to carry out in international waters, would lead to.” He followed this with another letter the next day offering to remove the missiles from Cuba if the United States would remove its nuclear missiles from Turkey.

Kennedy and his officials debated the proper U.S. response to these offers. Attorney General Robert Kennedy ultimately devised an acceptable plan: take up Khrushchev’s first offer and ignore the second letter. Although the United States had been considering the removal of the missiles from Turkey for some time, agreeing to the Soviet demand for their removal might give the appearance of weakness. Nevertheless, behind the scenes, Russian diplomats were informed that the missiles in Turkey would be removed after the Soviet missiles in Cuba were taken away. This information was accompanied by a threat: If the Cuban missiles were not removed in two days, the United States would resort to military action. It was now Khrushchev’s turn to consider an offer to end the standoff.

“The United States and Soviet Union step back from brink of nuclear war.” 2008. The History Channel website. 27 Oct 2008, 11:22 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2466.

22
Oct
08

On This Day, 10-22-2008: Cuban Missile Crisis

October 22, 1962

Cuban Missile Crisis

In a televised speech of extraordinary gravity, President John F. Kennedy announces that U.S. spy planes have discovered Soviet missile bases in Cuba. These missile sites–under construction but nearing completion–housed medium-range missiles capable of striking a number of major cities in the United States, including Washington, D.C. Kennedy announced that he was ordering a naval “quarantine” of Cuba to prevent Soviet ships from transporting any more offensive weapons to the island and explained that the United States would not tolerate the existence of the missile sites currently in place. The president made it clear that America would not stop short of military action to end what he called a “clandestine, reckless, and provocative threat to world peace.”

The Cuban Missile Crisis seemed at the time a clear victory for the United States, but Cuba emerged from the episode with a much greater sense of security. A succession of U.S. administrations have honored Kennedy’s pledge not to invade Cuba, and the communist island nation situated just 80 miles from Florida remains a thorn in the side of U.S. foreign policy. The removal of antiquated Jupiter missiles from Turkey had no detrimental effect on U.S. nuclear strategy, but the Cuban Missile Crisis convinced a humiliated USSR to commence a massive nuclear buildup. In the 1970s, the Soviet Union reached nuclear parity with the United States and built intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of striking any city in the United States.

“Cuban Missile Crisis.” 2008. The History Channel website. 22 Oct 2008, 11:27 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=7058.

On This Day

1746 – The College of New Jersey was officially chartered. It later became known as Princeton University.

1836 – Sam Houston was inaugurated as the first constitutionally elected president of the Republic of Texas.

1844 – This day is recognized as “The Great Disappointment” among those who practiced Millerism. The world was expected to come to an end according to the followers of William Miller.

1934 – Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd, the notorious bank robber, was shot and killed by Federal agents in East Liverpool, OH.

1954 – The Federal Republic of Germany was invited to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

1968 – Apollo 7 splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean. The spacecraft had orbited the Earth 163 times.

1975 – Air Force Technical Sergeant Leonard Matlovich was discharged after publicly declaring his homosexuality. His tombstone reads ” “A gay Vietnam Veteran. When I was in the military they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.”

1979 – The ousted Shah of Iran, Mohammad Riza Pahlavi was allowed into the U.S. for medical treatment.

1998 – Pakistan’s carpet weaving industry announced that they would begin to phase out child labor.

October 22, 1775

Peyton Randolph dies

After years of poor health, Peyton Randolph, former president of the Continental Congress, dies on this day in 1775 at the age of 54.

On September 5, 1774, Randolph was elected by unanimous vote as the first president of the Continental Congress. He resigned as president in October 1774 to attend a meeting of the Virginia House of Burgesses but remained a powerful and influential figure within Congress. He returned to Congress in May 1775 and was again elected president, but was forced to resign less than one month later due to his failing health.

Randolph briefly returned to Congress in September 1775, but died just one month later in Philadelphia. He did not live to see America achieve independence, a goal toward which he had worked for most of his adult life.

“Peyton Randolph dies.” 2008. The History Channel website. 22 Oct 2008, 11:40 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=51324.

October 22, 1965

173rd Airborne trooper saves comrades

In action this day near Phu Cuong, about 35 miles northwest of Saigon, PFC Milton Lee Olive III of Company B, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry, throws himself on an enemy grenade and saves four soldiers, including his platoon leader, 1st Lt. James Sanford.

The action came during a patrol that made contact with Communist forces on the southern fringes of the infamous “Iron Triangle,” a traditional Communist stronghold. Private Olive’s body absorbed the full, deadly blast of the grenade and he died saving his comrades. Lieutenant Sanford later said of Olive’s act that “It was the most incredible display of selfless bravery I ever witnessed.” Olive, a native of Chicago, was only 18 years old when he died; he received the Medal of Honor posthumously six months later. The city of Chicago honored its fallen hero by naming a junior college, a lakefront park, and a portion of the McCormick Place convention center after him.

“173rd Airborne trooper saves comrades.” 2008. The History Channel website. 22 Oct 2008, 11:39 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=1436.

20
Jun
08

On This Day, 6-20-08: West Virginia

Oil flows in Alaska

With a flip of a switch in Prudhoe Bay, crude oil from the nation’s largest oil field begins flowing south down the Trans-Alaska pipeline to the ice-free port of Valdez, Alaska. The steel pipeline, 48 inches in diameter, winds through 800 miles of Alaskan wilderness, crossing three Arctic mountain ranges and hundreds of rivers and streams. Environmentalists fought to prevent its construction, saying it would destroy a pristine ecosystem, but they were ultimately overruled by Congress, who saw it as a way of lessening America’s dependence on foreign oil. The Trans-Alaska pipeline was the world’s largest privately funded construction project to that date, costing $8 billion and taking three years to build.

“Oil flows in Alaska.” 2008. The History Channel website. 20 Jun 2008, 07:50 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6934.

 

0451 – Roman and Barbarian warriors brought Attila’s army to a halt at the Catalaunian Plains in eastern France.

1782 – The U.S. Congress approved the Great Seal of the United States.

1791 – King Louis XVI of France was captured while attempting to flee the country in the so-called Flight to Varennes.

1793 – Eli Whitney applied for a cotton gin patent. He received the patent on March 14. The cotton gin initiated the American mass-production concept.

1898 – The U.S. Navy seized the island of Guam enroute to the Philippines to fight the Spanish.

1923 – France announced it would seize the Rhineland to assist Germany in paying its war debts.

1941 – The U.S. Army Air Force was established, replacing the Army Air Corps.

1943 – Race-related rioting erupted in Detroit. Federal troops were sent in two days later to end the violence that left more than 30 dead.

1955 – The AFL and CIO agreed to combine names and a merge into a single group.

1967 – Muhammad Ali was convicted in Houston of violating Selective Service laws by refusing to be drafted. The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the conviction.

1997 – The tobacco industry agreed to a massive settlement in exchange for major relief from mounting lawsuits and legal bills.

 

West Virginia enters the Union

During the Civil War, West Virginia is admitted into the Union as the 35th U.S. state, or the 24th state if the secession of the 11 Southern states were taken into account. The same day, Arthur Boreman was inaugurated as West Virginia’s first state governor.

When Virginia voted to secede after the outbreak of the Civil War, the majority of West Virginians opposed the secession. Delegates met at Wheeling, and on June 11, 1861, nullified the Virginian ordinance of secession and proclaimed “The Restored Government of Virginia,” headed by Francis Pierpont. Confederate forces occupied a portion of West Virginia during the war, but West Virginian statehood was nonetheless approved in a referendum and a state constitution drawn up. In April 1863, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the admission of West Virginia into the Union effective June 20, 1863.

“West Virginia enters the Union.” 2008. The History Channel website. 20 Jun 2008, 07:52 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5109.

United States and Soviet Union will establish a “hot line”

To lessen the threat of an accidental nuclear war, the United States and the Soviet Union agree to establish a “hot line” communication system between the two nations. The agreement was a small step in reducing tensions between the United States and the USSR following the October 1962 Missile Crisis in Cuba, which had brought the two nations to the brink of nuclear war.

“United States and Soviet Union will establish a “hot line”.” 2008. The History Channel website. 20 Jun 2008, 07:53 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2704.




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