Posts Tagged ‘Franklin Delano Roosevelt

22
Jun
09

On This Day, June 22: FDR Signs the G.I. Bill

June 22, 1944

FDR signs GI bill

On this day in 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the GI bill to provide financial aid to veterans returning from World War II. Upon signing the legislation, Roosevelt voiced his belief that ensuring veterans’ employability was critical to “a sound postwar economy.”

The “GI” bill, named after the slang term for soldiers whose wartime goods and services were “government issued,” provided funding for education, home loans, unemployment insurance, job counseling and the construction of veterans’ hospital facilities. It also greatly strengthened the authority of and scope of services provided by the Veterans Administration. Tuition for advanced education or technical training was covered up to $500 per school year, along with a monthly living allowance while the veteran was in school. GIs could also apply for guaranteed home and business loans.

In his speech at the signing of the bill, Roosevelt acknowledged the sacrifices of America’s men and women in uniform and emphasized the moral responsibility of the American people not to let their veterans down once they returned to civilian life. He and his economic advisors foresaw potential problems as the then-robust wartime economy transitioned to peacetime. He hoped that the GI bill would help prevent a situation in which the return of 2.2 million servicemen from war created massive unemployment, economic depression or social unrest. Also in his speech, Roosevelt appealed to Congress to enact some sort of future legislation that would reassure current civilian workers that their services would still be needed in a post-war economy.

Roosevelt urged that “the goal after the war should be the maximum utilization of our human and material resources.” After his death and the end of the Second World War, veterans of wars in Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and U.N.-led coalition conflicts continued to benefit from an evolving GI bill.

“FDR signs GI bill,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=665 [accessed Jun 22, 2009]

 

1807 – British seamen board the USS Chesapeake, a provocation leading to the War of 1812.

1933 – Germany became a one political party country when Hitler banned parties other than the Nazis.

1940 – France and Germany signed an armistice at Compiegne, on terms dictated by the Nazis.

1942 – A Japanese submarine shelled Fort Stevens at the mouth of the Columbia River.

1964 – The U.S. Supreme Court voted that Henry Miller’s book, “Tropic of Cancer”, could not be banned.

1969 – Judy Garland died from an accidental overdose of prescription sleeping aids. She was 47.

1977 – John N. Mitchell became the first former U.S. Attorney General to go to prison as he began serving a sentence for his role in the Watergate cover-up. He served 19 months.

 

June 22, 1941

Germany launches Operation Barbarossa–the invasion of Russia

On this day in 1941, over 3 million German troops invade Russia in three parallel offensives, in what is the most powerful invasion force in history. Nineteen panzer divisions, 3,000 tanks, 2,500 aircraft, and 7,000 artillery pieces pour across a thousand-mile front as Hitler goes to war on a second front.

Despite the fact that Germany and Russia had signed a “pact” in 1939, each guaranteeing the other a specific region of influence without interference from the other, suspicion remained high. When the Soviet Union invaded Rumania in 1940, Hitler saw a threat to his Balkan oil supply. He immediately responded by moving two armored and 10 infantry divisions into Poland, posing a counterthreat to Russia. But what began as a defensive move turned into a plan for a German first-strike. Despite warnings from his advisers that Germany could not fight the war on two fronts (as Germany’s experience in World War I proved), Hitler became convinced that England was holding out against German assaults, refusing to surrender, because it had struck a secret deal with Russia. Fearing he would be “strangled” from the East and the West, he created, in December 1940, “Directive No. 21: Case Barbarossa”–the plan to invade and occupy the very nation he had actually asked to join the Axis only a!

month before!

On June 22, 1941, having postponed the invasion of Russia after Italy’s attack on Greece forced Hitler to bail out his struggling ally in order to keep the Allies from gaining a foothold in the Balkans, three German army groups struck Russia hard by surprise. The Russian army was larger than German intelligence had anticipated, but they were demobilized. Stalin had shrugged off warnings from his own advisers, even Winston Churchill himself, that a German attack was imminent. (Although Hitler had telegraphed his territorial designs on Russia as early as 1925–in his autobiography, Mein Kampf.) By the end of the first day of the invasion, the German air force had destroyed more than 1,000 Soviet aircraft. And despite the toughness of the Russian troops, and the number of tanks and other armaments at their disposal, the Red Army was disorganized, enabling the Germans to penetrate up to 300 miles into Russian territory within the next few days.

“Germany launches Operation Barbarossa–the invasion of Russia,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6494 [accessed Jun 22, 2009]

06
Jun
09

The Sixth of June

My Fellow Americans:

Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest — until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home — fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them — help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too — strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment — let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace — a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.

Amen.

Franklin D. Roosevelt – June 6, 1944

http://www.historyplace.com/speeches/fdr-prayer.htm

 

June 6, 1944

Allies invade France

On this day in 1944, Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower gives the go-ahead for the largest amphibious military operation in history: Operation Overlord, code named D-Day, the Allied invasion of northern France.

By daybreak, 18,000 British and American parachutists were already on the ground. At 6:30 a.m., American troops came ashore at Utah and Omaha beaches. At Omaha, the U.S. First Division battled high seas, mist, mines, burning vehicles—and German coastal batteries, including an elite infantry division, which spewed heavy fire. Many wounded Americans ultimately drowned in the high tide. British divisions, which landed at Gold, Juno, and Sword beaches, and Canadian troops also met with heavy German fire, but by the end of the day they were able to push inland.

Despite the German resistance, Allied casualties overall were relatively light. The United States and Britain each lost about 1,000 men, and Canada 355. Before the day was over, 155,000 Allied troops would be in Normandy. However, the United States managed to get only half of the 14,000 vehicles and a quarter of the 14,500 tons of supplies they intended on shore.

Three factors were decisive in the success of the Allied invasion. First, German counterattacks were firm but sparse, enabling the Allies to create a broad bridgehead, or advanced position, from which they were able to build up enormous troop strength. Second, Allied air cover, which destroyed bridges over the Seine, forced the Germans to suffer long detours, and naval gunfire proved decisive in protecting the invasion troops. And third, division and confusion within the German ranks as to where the invasion would start and how best to defend their position helped the Allies. (Hitler, convinced another invasion was coming the next day east of the Seine River, refused to allow reserves to be pulled from that area.)

Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, commander of Britain’s Twenty-first Army Group (but under the overall command of General Eisenhower, for whom Montgomery, and his ego, proved a perennial thorn in the side), often claimed later that the invasion had come off exactly as planned. That was a boast, as evidenced by the failure to take Caen on the first day, as scheduled. While the operation was a decided success, considering the number of troops put ashore and light casualties, improvisation by courageous and quick-witted commanders also played an enormous role.

The D-Day invasion has been the basis for several movies, from The Longest Day (1962), which boasted an all-star cast that included Richard Burton, Sean Connery, John Wayne and Robert Mitchum, to Saving Private Ryan (1998), which includes some of the most grippingly realistic war scenes ever filmed, captured in the style of the famous Robert Capa still photos of the actual invasion.

“Allies invade France,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=52586 [accessed Jun 6, 2009]

27
May
09

On This Day, May 27: Unlimited National Emergency

May 27, 1941

FDR proclaims an unlimited national emergency

President Franklin D. Roosevelt announces a state of unlimited national emergency in response to Nazi Germany’s threats of “world domination” on this day in 1941. In a speech on this day, he repeated his famous remark from a speech he made in 1933 during the Great Depression: “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

In a radio address delivered from the White House, FDR tried to rally isolationists to his philosophy that aid to Europe was purely in America’s self-interest. In March 1941, he had successfully pushed through the Lend-Lease Bill, which gave military aid to any country vital to the defense of the United States. Roosevelt recounted for his audience how German submarines were boldly attacking British shipping and threatening American shipping in the Atlantic and how Londoners endured nightly raids of German bombers. He painted an almost apocalyptic vision of a Nazi-controlled Western Hemisphere where American workers would be enslaved by Germany, godless Nazis would outlaw freedom of worship and America’s children would “wander off, goose-stepping in search of new gods.”

Roosevelt also took pains to define what he meant by America being “attacked.” He insisted that an attack on the United States “can begin with the domination of any base which menaces our security,” for instance Canada, Brazil or Trinidad, and not just when “bombs actually drop in the streets of New York or San Francisco or New Orleans or Chicago.” He appeared to be urging Americans to consider actively engaging in the war in Europe stating “it would be suicide to wait until they are in our front yard.”

FDR then laid out his administration’s policy with regard to the current war in Europe. Without committing troops, he promised the protection of shipping in the Atlantic, continued humanitarian and military aid to Britain, the establishment of a civilian defense and warned of saboteurs and “fifth columnists” (communist infiltrators) who threatened democracy in America and abroad. He also condemned war profiteering and urged organized labor to resist disruptive strikes in war-production industries.

Finally, FDR warned Germany that the U.S. was prepared to go to war in case of attack and pledged to strengthen America’s defense “to the extreme limit of our national power and authority.”

Just over seven months later, the United States entered World War II after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

“FDR proclaims an unlimited national emergency,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=541 [accessed May 27, 2009]

On This Day

1647 – Achsah Young, a resident of Windsor, CT, was executed for being a “witch.” It was the first recorded American execution of a “witch.”

1668 – Three colonists were expelled from Massachusetts for being Baptists.

1919 – A U.S. Navy seaplane completed the first transatlantic flight.

1929 – Colonel Charles Lindbergh and Anne Spencer Murrow were married.

1937 – In California, the Golden Gate Bridge was opened to pedestrian traffic. The bridge connected San Francisco and Marin County.

1941 – The German battleship Bismarck was sunk by British naval and air forces. 2,300 people were killed.

1985 – In Beijing, representatives of Britain and China exchanged instruments of ratification on the pact returning Hong Kong to the Chinese in 1997.

1994 – Nobel Prize-winning author Alexander Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia. He had been in exile for two decades.

1999 – In The Hague, Netherlands, a war crimes tribunal indicted Slobodan Milosevic and four others for atrocities in Kosovo. It was the first time that a sitting head of state had been charged with such a crime.

May 27, 1863

Ex parte Merryman issued

On this day, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney issues ex parte Merryman, challenging the authority of Abraham Lincoln and the military to suspend the writ of habeas corpus in Maryland.

Early in the war, President Lincoln faced many difficulties due to the fact that Washington was located in slave territory. Although Maryland did not secede, Southern sympathies were widespread. On April 27, 1861, Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus between Washington and Philadelphia to give military authorities the necessary power to silence dissenters and rebels. Under this order, commanders could arrest and detain individuals who were deemed threatening to military operations. Those arrested could be held without indictment or arraignment.

On May 25, John Merryman, a vocal secessionist, was arrested in Cockeysville, Maryland. He was held at Ft. McHenry in Baltimore, where he appealed for his release under a writ of habeas corpus. The federal circuit court judge was Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, who issued a ruling, ex parte Merryman, denying the president’s authority to suspend habeas corpus. A Marylander himself, Taney shrilly denounced the heavy hand played by Lincoln in interfering with civil liberties and argued that only Congress had the power to suspend the writ.

Lincoln did not respond directly to Taney’s edict, but he did address the issue in his message to Congress that July. He justified the suspension through Article I, Section 9, of the Constitution, which specifies a suspension of the writ “when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.”

Although military officials continued to arrest suspected Southern sympathizers, the incident led to a softening of the policy. Concern that Maryland might still secede from the Union forced a more conciliatory stance from Lincoln and the military. Merryman was remanded to civil authorities in July and allowed to post bail. He was never brought to trial, and the charges of treason against him were dropped two years after the war.

“<I>Ex parte Merryman</I> issued,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2044 [accessed May 27, 2009]

12
Apr
09

On This Day, April 12: FDR Dies

April 12, 1945

President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies

While on a vacation in Warm Springs, Georgia, President Roosevelt suffers a stroke and dies. His death marked a critical turning point in U.S. relations with the Soviet Union, as his successor, Harry S. Truman, decided to take a tougher stance with the Russians.

By April 1945, Roosevelt had been elected president of the United States four times and had served for over 12 years. He had seen the United States through some of its darkest days, from the depths of the Great Depression through the toughest times of World War II. In early 1945, shortly after being sworn in for his fourth term as president, Roosevelt was on the verge of leading his nation to triumph in the Second World War. Germany teetered on the brink of defeat, and the Japanese empire was crumbling under the blows of the American military. In February 1945, Roosevelt traveled to Yalta in the Soviet Union to meet with Russian leader Joseph Stalin and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to discuss the postwar world. Roosevelt returned from these intense meetings drawn and sick. He vacationed in Warm Springs, Georgia, but the rest did not lead to recuperation. On April 12, 1945, he suffered a massive stroke and died.

Roosevelt left a controversial legacy in terms of U.S.-Soviet relations. Critics charged that the president had been “soft” on the communists and naive in dealing with Stalin. The meetings at Yalta, they claimed, resulted in a “sellout” that left the Soviets in control of Eastern Europe and half of Germany. Roosevelt’s defenders responded that he made the best of difficult circumstances. He kept the Grand Alliance between the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain intact long enough to defeat Germany. As for Eastern Europe and Germany, there was little Roosevelt could have done, since the Red Army occupied those areas. Roosevelt’s successor, Harry S. Truman, decided that a “tougher” policy toward the Soviets was in order, and he began to press the Russians on a number of issues. By 1947, relations between the two former allies had nearly reached the breaking point and the Cold War was in full swing.

“President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2635 [accessed Apr 12, 2009]

 

On This Day

1204 – The Fourth Crusade sacked Constantinople.

1782 – The British navy won its only naval engagement against the colonists in the American Revolution at the Battle of Saints, off Dominica.

1811 – The first colonists arrived at Cape Disappointment, Washington.

1861 – Fort Sumter was shelled by Confederacy, starting America’s Civil War.

1864 – Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest captured Fort Pillow, in Tennessee and slaughters the black Union troops there.

1944 – The U.S. Twentieth Air Force was activated to begin the strategic bombing of Japan.

1961 – Soviet Yuri Alexeyevich Gagarin became first man to orbit the Earth.

1963 – Police used dogs and cattle prods on peaceful civil rights demonstrators in Birmingham, AL.

1981 – The space shuttle Columbia blasted off from Cape Canaveral, FL, on its first test flight.

1989 – In the U.S.S.R, ration cards were issued for the first time since World War II. The ration was prompted by a sugar shortage.

April 12, 1861

Fort Sumter fired upon

The American Civil War begins when Confederates fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.

The fort had been the source of tension between the Union and Confederacy for several months. After South Carolina seceded, the state demanded the fort be turned over but Union officials refused. A supply ship, the “Star of the West,” tried to reach Fort Sumter on January 9, but the shore batteries opened fire and drove it away. For both sides, Sumter was a symbol of sovereignty. The Union could not allow it to fall to the Confederates, although throughout the Deep South other federal installations had been seized. For South Carolinians, secession meant little if the Yankees still held the stronghold. The issue hung in the air when Abraham Lincoln took the oath of office on March 4, stating in his inauguration address: “You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors.”

Lincoln did not try to send reinforcements but he did send in food. This way, Lincoln could characterize the operation as a humanitarian mission, bringing, in his words, “food for hungry men.” He sent word to the Confederates in Charleston of his intentions on April 6. The Confederate Congress at Montgomery, Alabama, had decided on February 15 that Sumter and other forts must be acquired “either by negotiation or force.” Negotiation, it seemed, had failed. The Confederates demanded surrender of the fort, but Major Robert Anderson, commander of Fort Sumter, refused.

At 4:30 a.m. on April 12, the Confederate guns opened fire. For thirty-three hours, the shore batteries lobbed 4,000 shells in the direction of the fort. Finally, the garrison inside the battered fort raised the white flag. No one on either side had been killed, although two Union soldiers died when the departing soldiers fired a gun salute, and some cartridges exploded prematurely. It was a nearly bloodless beginning to America’s bloodiest war.

“Fort Sumter fired upon,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2168 [accessed Apr 12, 2009]

12
Mar
09

On This Day, March 12: Fireside Chats

 

March 12, 1933

FDR gives first fireside chat

On this day in 1933, eight days after his inauguration, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gives his first national radio address or “fireside chat,” broadcast directly from the White House.

Roosevelt began that first address simply: “I want to talk for a few minutes with the people of the United States about banking.” He went on to explain his recent decision to close the nation’s banks in order to stop a surge in mass withdrawals by panicked investors worried about possible bank failures. The banks would be reopening the next day, Roosevelt said, and he thanked the public for their “fortitude and good temper” during the “banking holiday.”

At the time, the U.S. was at the lowest point of the Great Depression, with between 25 and 33 percent of the work force unemployed. The nation was worried, and Roosevelt’s address was designed to ease fears and to inspire confidence in his leadership.
Roosevelt went on to deliver 30 more of these broadcasts between March 1933 and June 1944. They reached an astonishing number of American households, 90 percent of which owned a radio at the time.

Journalist Robert Trout coined the phrase “fireside chat” to describe Roosevelt’s radio addresses, invoking an image of the president sitting by a fire in a living room, speaking earnestly to the American people about his hopes and dreams for the nation. In fact, Roosevelt took great care to make sure each address was accessible and understandable to ordinary Americans, regardless of their level of education. He used simple vocabulary and relied on folksy anecdotes or analogies to explain the often complex issues facing the country.

Over the course of his historic 12-year presidency, Roosevelt used the chats to build popular support for his groundbreaking New Deal policies, in the face of stiff opposition from big business and other groups. After World War II began, he used them to explain his administration’s wartime policies to the American people. The success of Roosevelt’s chats was evident not only in his three re-elections, but also in the millions of letters that flooded the White House. Farmers, business owners, men, women, rich, poor–most of them expressed the feeling that the president had entered their home and spoken directly to them. In an era when presidents had previously communicated with their citizens almost exclusively through spokespeople and journalists, it was an unprecedented step.

“FDR gives first fireside chat.” 2009. The History Channel website. 12 Mar 2009, 10:41 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4829.

On This Day

1664 – New Jersey became a British colony. King Charles II granted land in the New World to his brother James (The Duke of York).

1755 – In North Arlington, NJ, the steam engine was used for the first time.

1884 – The State of Mississippi authorized the first state-supported college for women. It was called the Mississippi Industrial Institute and College.

1923 – Dr. Lee DeForest demonstrated phonofilm. It was his technique for putting sound on motion picture film.

1930 – Ghandi began his 200-mile march to the sea that symbolized his defiance of British rule over India.

1933 – President Paul von Hindenburg dropped the flag of the German Republic and ordered that the swastika and empire banner be flown side by side.

1938 – The “Anschluss” took place as German troops entered Austria.

1940 – Finland surrendered to Russia ending the Russo-Finnish War.

1947 – U.S. President Truman established the “Truman Doctrine” to help Greece and Turkey resist Communism.

1959 – The U.S. House joined the U.S. Senate in approving the statehood of Hawaii.

1993 – Janet Reno was sworn in as the first female U.S. attorney general.

1994 – A photo by Marmaduke Wetherell of the Loch Ness monster was confirmed to be a hoax. The photo was taken of a toy submarine with a head and neck attached.

2003 – In Utah, Elizabeth Smart was reunited with her family nine months after she was abducted from her home. She had been taken on June 5, 2002, by a drifter that had previously worked at the Smart home.

March 12, 1917

Russian army lends support to rebels in February Revolution

After being called out to quell workers’ demonstrations on the streets of Petrograd (now St. Petersburg), regiment after regiment of soldiers in the city’s army garrison defect to join the rebels on March 12, forcing the resignation of the imperial government and heralding the triumph of the February Revolution in Russia.

The most immediate cause of discontent among the Russian people was the country’s disastrous participation in the First World War. Despite enjoying success against Austria-Hungary in the first years of the war, the czar’s armies had suffered repeated crushing defeats at the hands of the German army on the Eastern Front. When combined with Russia’s backward economy, its repressive government and its huge population of hungry and frustrated peasants, defeat on the battlefield pushed the country into full-scale revolution in 1917.

Demonstrators took to the streets of Petrograd, the Russian capital, on March 8, 1917, clashing with police but refusing to leave the streets. By March 10, all of Petrograd’s workers were on strike; the next day, the troops of the Petrograd army garrison were called out to quell the uprising.

In some initial encounters, the regiments opened fire, killing some workers; the total number killed reached about 1,500. Though the demonstrators fled after being fired upon, they refused to abandon the streets altogether and returned to confront the soldiers again. Soon, many troops began to waver when given the order to fire on the demonstrators, even allowing some to pass through their lines. On March 12, regiment after regiment defected to join the demonstrators. Within 24 hours, the entire Petrograd garrison—some 150,000 men—had joined the February Revolution, ensuring its triumph.

Three days later, Czar Nicholas II abdicated the throne in favor of his brother Michael, who refused the crown, ending the czarist regime and leaving Russia in the hands of a new provisional government, led by Russia’s minister of war, Alexander Kerensky, and tolerated by the Petrograd Soviet, the worker’s council formed by the February rebels. Kerensky hoped to salvage the Russian war effort while ending the food shortage and many other domestic crises. It would prove a daunting task: in April, Vladimir Lenin, founder of the radical socialist group known as the Bolsheviks, returned to Russia from exile to lead the October (or Bolshevik) Revolution and take over power of the country.

“Russian army lends support to rebels in February Revolution.” 2009. The History Channel website. 12 Mar 2009, 10:57 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=339.

06
Jan
09

On This Day, 1-6-2009: Roosevelt

January 6, 1941

Franklin D. Roosevelt speaks of “Four Freedoms”

On this day in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt addresses Congress in an effort to move the nation away from a foreign policy of neutrality. The president had watched with increasing anxiety as European nations struggled and fell to Hitler’s fascist regime and was intent on rallying public support for the United States to take a stronger interventionist role. In his address to the 77th Congress, Roosevelt stated that “the need of the moment is that our actions and our policy should be devoted primarily–almost exclusively–to meeting the foreign peril. For all our domestic problems are now a part of the great emergency.”

Roosevelt insisted that people in all nations of the world shared Americans’ entitlement to “four freedoms:” the freedom of speech and expression, the freedom to worship God “in his own way,” freedom from want and freedom from fear. After Roosevelt’s death and the end of World War II, his widow Eleanor often referred to the four freedoms when advocating for passage of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Mrs. Roosevelt participated in the drafting of that declaration, which was adopted by the United Nations in 1948.

“Franklin D. Roosevelt speaks of ?Four Freedoms?.” 2009. The History Channel website. 6 Jan 2009, 11:47 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=100.

On This Day

0871 – England’s King Alfred defeated the Danes at the Battle of Ashdown.

1838 – Samuel Morse publicly demonstrated the telegraph for the first time.

1912 – New Mexico became the 47th U.S. state.

1945 – The Battle of the Bulge ended with 130,000 German and 77,000 Allied casualties.

1950 – Britain recognized the Communist government of China.

1952 – “Peanuts” debuted in Sunday papers across the United States.

1987 – After a 29-year lapse, the Ford Thunderbird was presented with the Motor Trend Car of the Year Award. It was the first occurrence of a repeat winner of the award.

1998 – The spacecraft Lunar Prospect was launched into orbit around the moon. The craft was crashed into the moon, in an effort to find water under the lunar surface, on July 31, 1999.

January 6, 1942

Roosevelt commits to biggest arms buildup in U.S. history

On this day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt announces to Congress that he is authorizing the largest armaments production in the history of the United States.

Committed to war in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, the U.S. had to reassess its military preparedness, especially in light of the fact that its Pacific fleet was decimated by the Japanese air raid. Among those pressing President Roosevelt to double U.S. armaments and industrial production were Lord William Beaverbrook, the British minister of aircraft production, and members of the British Ministry of Supplies, who were meeting with their American counterparts at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington. Beaverbrook, a newspaper publisher in civilian life, employed production techniques he learned in publishing to cut through red tape, improve efficiency, and boost British aircraft production to manufacturing 500 fighters a month, and he felt the U.S. could similarly beef up armament production.

Spurred on by Lord Beaverbrook and Prime Minister Churchill, Roosevelt agreed to the arms buildup. He announced to Congress that the first year of the supercharged production schedule would result in 45,000 aircraft, 45,000 tanks, 20,000 antiaircraft guns, and 8 million tons in new ships. Congressmen were stunned at the proposal, but Roosevelt was undeterred: “These figures and similar figures for a multitude of other implements of war will give the Japanese and Nazis a little idea of just what they accomplished.”

“Roosevelt commits to biggest arms buildup in U.S. history.” 2009. The History Channel website. 6 Jan 2009, 11:48 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6668.

08
Dec
08

On This Day, 12-8-2008: United States Declares War on Japan

December 8, 1941

The United States declares war on Japan

On this day, as America’s Pacific fleet lay in ruins at Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt requests, and receives, a declaration of war against Japan.

Leaning heavily on the arm of his son James, a Marine captain, FDR walked haltingly into the House of Representatives at noon to request a declaration of war from the House and address the nation via radio. “Yesterday,” the president proclaimed, “December 7, 1941-a date which will live in infamy-the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.”

Roosevelt’s 10-minute speech, ending with an oath-“So help us God”-was greeted in the House by thunderous applause and stamping of feet. Within one hour, the president had his declaration of war, with only one dissenting vote, from a pacifist in the House. FDR signed the declaration at 4:10 p.m., wearing a black armband to symbolize mourning for those lost at Pearl Harbor.

On both coasts, civilian defense groups were mobilized. In New York, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia ordered the rounding up of Japanese nationals, who were transported to Ellis Island and held in custody indefinitely. In California, antiaircraft batteries were set up on Long Beach and the Hollywood Hills. Reports on supposed spy activity on the part of Japanese Americans began pouring into Washington, even as Japanese Americans paid for space in newspapers to declare unreservedly their loyalty to the United States. The groundwork was being laid for the tragic internment of Japanese Americans, thought a necessary caution at the time but regretted years later as a hysterical and bigoted response.

“The United States declares war on Japan.” 2008. The History Channel website. 8 Dec 2008, 10:32 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6637.

Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives:

Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island.

And this morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph — so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.

**********************************************************************************************************************************

To listen to the speech and responses from members of Congress follow this link.

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/fdrpearlharbor.htm

On This Day

1765 – Eli Whitney was born in Westboro, MA. Whitney invented the cotton gin and developed the concept of mass-production of interchangeable parts.

1776 – George Washington’s retreating army in the American Revolution crossed the Delaware River from New Jersey to Pennsylvania.

1886 – At a convention of union leaders in Columbus, OH, the American Federation of Labor was founded.

1941 – The United States entered World War II when it declared war against Japan. The act came one day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Britain and Canada also declared war on Japan.

1949 – The Chinese Nationalist government moved from the Chinese mainland to Formosa due to Communists pressure.

1984 – In Roanoke, Virginia, a jury found Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt innocent of libeling Reverend Jerry Falwell with a parody advertisement. However Falwell was awarded $200,000 for emotional distress.

1987 – U.S. President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed a treaty agreeing to destroy their nations’ arsenals of intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

1987 – The “intefadeh” (Arabic for uprising) by Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied territories began.

1991 – Russia, Byelorussia and Ukraine declared the Soviet national government to be dead. They forged a new alliance to be known as the Commonwealth of Independent States. The act was denounced by Russian President Gorbachev as unconstitutional.

1993 – U.S. President Clinton signed into law the North American Free Trade Agreement.

1998 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that police could not search a person or their cars after ticketing for a routine traffic violation.

1998 – The FBI opened its files on Frank Sinatra to the public. The file contained over 1,300 pages.

 

December 8, 1980

John Lennon is murdered

Singer John Lennon is shot and killed by Mark David Chapman outside his apartment building in New York City. After committing the murder, Chapman waited calmly outside, reading a copy of The Catcher in the Rye.

Chapman was a troubled individual who was obsessed with Holden Caulfield, the protagonist of J. D. Salinger’s novel about a disaffected youth, and with various celebrities. While working as a security guard in Hawaii, he decided that Lennon was a phony and, while listening to Beatles tapes, Chapman decided to plan his murder.

Chapman purchased a gun in Hawaii and then traveled to New York. Although he called his wife to tell her that he was in New York to shoot Lennon, she ignored his threats. Unable to buy bullets in New York due to strict laws, Chapman flew to Atlanta and purchased hollow-nosed rounds to bring back.

On the day of the murder, Chapman bought an extra copy of The Catcher in the Rye and joined fans waiting outside The Dakota, Lennon’s apartment building. That evening, as Lennon walked by on his way into the building, Chapman shot him in the back and then fired two additional bullets into his shoulder as the singer wrenched around in pain.

On June 8, 1980, just two weeks before he was scheduled to present an insanity defense at trial, Chapman pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 20 years-to-life. Ironically, Chapman was sent to Attica prison, where–10 years earlier–rioting had inspired Lennon and wife, Yoko Ono, to record a benefit song to “free all prisoners everywhere.” In prison, Chapman became a born-again Christian and spent his time writing evangelical tracts for publication.

“John Lennon is murdered.” 2008. The History Channel website. 8 Dec 2008, 10:35 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=1213.




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