Posts Tagged ‘Jesse James

21
Aug
08

On This Day, 8-21-2008: Frank James

Trial of Frank James begins in Missouri

The trial of Frank James begins in Gallatin, Missouri. It was held in the city opera house in order to accommodate the crowds of spectators.

After having robbed dozens of banks and trains over nearly two decades, Frank James finally turned himself in October 1882. Discouraged by the murder of his brother Jesse the previous spring, Frank feared it was only a matter of time before someone also shot him in the back for reward money. He decided to try his chances with the courts, hoping that his considerably public popularity would win him a short sentence.

Frank’s trial went even better than he had hoped. Although Frank and Jesse James and their gang of desperados had killed many people, the majority of Missourians saw them as heroes who took money from ruthless bank and railroad companies and redistributed it to the poor. The state prosecutor had a difficult time finding jurors who were not prejudiced in Frank’s favor. Looking at the panel of potential jurors, he concluded, “The verdict of the jury that is being selected is already written.”

After the trial began, several prominent witnesses testified to Frank’s character. General Joseph O. Shelby, who had known him during his days as a Civil War guerilla, encouraged the jurors to see Frank James as a defender of the South against corrupt big businesses from the North. When asked to identify Frank in the courtroom, the distinguished general exclaimed: “Where is my old friend and comrade in arms? Ah, there I see him! Allow me, I wish to shake hands with my fellow soldier who fought by my side for Southern rights!”

Rural Missourians were unwilling to convict the legendary Frank James. The jury found him not guilty. The states of Alabama and Missouri tried to convict him twice more, on charges of armed robbery, with no success. In late 1883, Frank James became a free man. He lived quietly for 32 more years. The only shots he ever fired again were from starter pistols at county racetracks, one of the handful of odd jobs he took to earn a living. He died at his family home in Missouri in 1915 at the age of 72.

“Trial of Frank James begins in Missouri.” 2008. The History Channel website. 21 Aug 2008, 10:28 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4619.

 

On This Day

1680 – The Pueblo Indians drove the Spanish out and took possession of Santa Fe, NM.

1878 – The American Bar Association was formed by a group of lawyers, judges and law professors in Saratoga, NY.

1923 – In Kalamazoo, Michigan, an ordinance was passed forbidding dancers from gazing into the eyes of their partner.

1940 – Exiled Communist revolutionary Leon Trotsky died in Mexico City from wounds that had inflicted by an assassin.

1943 – Japan evacuated the Aleutian island of Kiaska. Kiaska had been the last North American foothold held by the Japanese.

1945 – U.S. President Truman ended the Lend-Lease program that had shipped about $50 billion in aid to America’s Allies during World War II.

1959 – Hawaii became the 50th state. U.S. President Eisenhower also issued the order for the 50 star flag.

1963 – In South Vietnam, martial law was declared. Army troops and police began to crackdown on the Buddhist anti-government protesters.

1971 – Laura Baugh, at the age of 16, won the United States Women’s Amateur Golf tournament. She was the youngest winner in the history of the tournament.

1984 – Victoria Roche, a reserve outfielder, became the first girl to ever compete in a Little League World Series game.

1989 – Voyager 2, a U.S. space probe, got close to the Neptune moon called Tritan.

1992 – Randall Weaver, a neo-Nazi leader, opened fire on U.S. marshals from his home in Idaho. Weaver surrendered 11 days later ending the standoff. During the standoff a deputy marshal, Weaver’s wife and his son were killed.

1996 – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 was signed by U.S. President Clinton. The act made it easier to obtain and keep health insurance.

1997 – Afghanistan suspended its embassy operations in the United States.

1998 – Samuel Bowers, a 73-year-old former Ku Klux Klan leader, was convicted in Hattiesburg, MS, of ordering a firebombing that killed civil rights activist Vernon Dahmer in 1966.

 

 

Slave revolt erupts in Virginia

Believing himself chosen by God to lead his people out of slavery, Nat Turner launches a bloody slave insurrection in Southampton County, Virginia. Turner, a slave and educated minister, planned to capture the county armory at Jerusalem, Virginia, and then march 30 miles to Dismal Swamp, where his rebels would be able to elude their pursuers. With seven followers, he slaughtered Joseph Travis, his slave owner, and Travis’ family, and then set off across the countryside, hoping to rally hundreds of slaves to his insurrection en route to Jerusalem.

During the next two days and nights, Turner and 75 followers rampaged through Southampton County, killing about 60 whites. Local whites resisted the rebels, and then the state militia–consisting of some 3,000 men–crushed the rebellion. Only a few miles from Jerusalem, Turner and all his followers were dispersed, captured, or killed. In the aftermath of the rebellion, scores of African Americans were lynched, though many of them were non-participants in the revolt. Turner himself was not captured until the end of October, and after confessing without regret to his role in the bloodshed, he was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. On November 11, he was hanged in Jerusalem.

Turner’s rebellion was the largest slave revolt in U.S. history and led to a new wave of oppressive legislation prohibiting the movement, assembly, and education of slaves.

“Slave revolt erupts in Virginia.” 2008. The History Channel website. 21 Aug 2008, 10:29 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5278.

Sack of Lawrence, Kansas

The vicious guerilla war in Missouri spills over into Kansas and precipitates one of the most appalling acts of violence during the war when 150 men in the abolitionist town of Lawrence are murdered in a raid by Southern partisans.

The Civil War took a very different form in Kansas and Missouri than it did throughout the rest of the nation. There were few regular armies operating there; instead, partisan bands attacked civilians and each other. The roots of conflict in the region dated back to 1854, when the Kansas-Missouri border became ground zero for tension over slavery. While residents of Kansas Territory were trying to decide the issue of slavery, bands from Missouri, a slave state, began attacking abolitionist settlements in the territory. Abolitionists reacted with equal vigor.

“Sack of Lawrence, Kansas.” 2008. The History Channel website. 21 Aug 2008, 10:31 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2290.

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21
Jul
08

On This Day, 7-21-08: Stonewall

The First Battle of Bull Run

In the first major land battle of the Civil War, a large Union force under General Irvin McDowell is routed by a Confederate army under General Pierre G.T. Beauregard.

Three months after the Civil War erupted at Fort Sumter, Union military command still believed that the Confederacy could be crushed quickly and with little loss of life. In July, this overconfidence led to a premature offensive into northern Virginia by General McDowell. Searching out the Confederate forces, McDowell led 34,000 troops–mostly inexperienced and poorly trained militiamen–toward the railroad junction of Manassas, located just 30 miles from Washington, D.C. Alerted to the Union advance, General Beauregard massed some 20,000 troops there and was soon joined by General Joseph Johnston, who brought some 9,000 more troops by railroad.

On the morning of July 21, hearing of the proximity of the two opposing forces, hundreds of civilians–men, women, and children–turned out to watch the first major battle of the Civil War. The fighting commenced with three Union divisions crossing the Bull Run stream, and the Confederate flank was driven back to Henry House Hill. However, at this strategic location, Beauregard had fashioned a strong defensive line anchored by a brigade of Virginia infantry under General Thomas J. Jackson. Firing from a concealed slope, Jackson’s men repulsed a series of Federal charges, winning Jackson his famous nickname “Stonewall.”

Meanwhile, Confederate cavalry under J.E.B. Stuart captured the Union artillery, and Beauregard ordered a counterattack on the exposed Union right flank. The rebels came charging down the hill, yelling furiously, and McDowell’s line was broken, forcing his troops in a hasty retreat across Bull Run. The retreat soon became an unorganized flight, and supplies littered the road back to Washington. Union forces endured a loss of 3,000 men killed, wounded, or missing in action while the Confederates suffered 2,000 casualties. The scale of this bloodshed horrified not only the frightened spectators at Bull Run but also the U.S. government in Washington, which was faced with an uncertain military strategy in quelling the “Southern insurrection.”

“The First Battle of Bull Run.” 2008. The History Channel website. 20 Jul 2008, 05:00 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5195.

 

On This Day

1733 – John Winthrop was granted the first honorary Doctor of Law Degree in the U.S. The honor was given by Harvard College in Cambridge, MA.

1873 – Jesse James and his gang pulled off the first train robbery in the U.S. They took $3,000 from the Rock Island Express at Adair, IA.

1930 – The Veterans’ Administration of the United States was established.

1940 – Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia were annexed by the Soviet Union.

1944 – American forces landed on Guam during World War II.

1947 – Loren MacIver’s portrait of Emmett Kelly as Willie the Clown appeared on the cover of “LIFE” magazine.

1949 – The U.S. Senate ratified the North Atlantic Treaty.

1954 – The Geneva Conference partitioned Vietnam into North Vietnam and South Vietnam.

1957 – Althea Gibson became the first black woman to win a major U.S. tennis title when she won the Women’s National clay-court singles competition.

1959 – A U.S. District Court judge in New York City ruled that “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” was not a dirty book.

1980 – Draft registration began in the United States for 19 and 20-year-old men.

1997 – The U.S.S. Constitution, which defended the United States during the War of 1812, set sail under its own power for the first time in 116 years.

 

 

Monkey Trial ends

In Dayton, Tennessee, the so-called “Monkey Trial” ends with John Thomas Scopes being convicted of teaching evolution in violation of Tennessee law. Scopes was ordered to pay a fine of $100, the minimum the law allowed.

“Monkey Trial ends.” 2008. The History Channel website. 20 Jul 2008, 05:01 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5196.

Hitler to Germany: “I’m still alive.”

On this day in 1944, Adolf Hitler takes to the airwaves to announce that the attempt on his life has failed and that “accounts will be settled.”

Hitler had survived the bomb blast that was meant to take his life. He had suffered punctured eardrums, some burns and minor wounds, but nothing that would keep him from regaining control of the government and finding the rebels. In fact, the coup d’etat that was to accompany the assassination of Hitler was put down in a mere 11 1/2 hours. In Berlin, Army Major Otto Remer, believed to be apolitical by the conspirators and willing to carry out any orders given him, was told that the Fuhrer was dead and that he, Remer, was to arrest Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda. But Goebbels had other news for Remer-Hitler was alive. And he proved it, by getting the leader on the phone (the rebels had forgotten to cut the phone lines). Hitler then gave Remer direct orders to put down any army rebellion and to follow only his orders or those of Goebbels or Himmler. Remer let Goebbels go. The SS then snapped into action, arriving in Berlin, now in chaos, just in time to convince many high German officers to remain loyal to Hitler.

Arrests, torture sessions, executions, and suicides followed. Count Claus von Stauffenberg, the man who actually planted the explosive in the room with Hitler and who had insisted to his co-conspirators that “the explosion was as if a 15-millimeter shell had hit. No one in that room can still be alive.” But it was Stauffenberg who would not be alive for much longer; he was shot dead the very day of the attempt by a pro-Hitler officer. The plot was completely undone.

Now Hitler had to restore calm and confidence to the German civilian population. At 1 a.m., July 21, Hitler’s voice broke through the radio airwaves: “I am unhurt and well…. A very small clique of ambitious, irresponsible…and stupid officers had concocted a plot to eliminate me…. It is a gang of criminal elements which will be destroyed without mercy. I therefore give orders now that no military authority…is to obey orders from this crew of usurpers…. This time we shall settle account with them in the manner to which we National Socialists are accustomed.”

“Hitler to Germany: “I’m still alive.”.” 2008. The History Channel website. 20 Jul 2008, 05:10 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6526.

Eisenhower presents his “Open Skies” plan

President Dwight D. Eisenhower presents his “Open Skies” plan at the 1955 Geneva summit meeting with representatives of France, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union. The plan, though never accepted, laid the foundation for President Ronald Reagan’s later policy of “trust, but verify” in relation to arms agreements with the Soviet Union.

“Eisenhower presents his “Open Skies” plan.” 2008. The History Channel website. 20 Jul 2008, 05:03 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2735.

03
Apr
08

On This Day, 4-3-08: Pony Express

Pony Express debuts

On this day in 1860, the first Pony Express mail, traveling by horse and rider relay teams, simultaneously leaves St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. Ten days later, on April 13, the westbound rider and mail packet completed the approximately 1,800-mile journey and arrived in Sacramento, beating the eastbound packet’s arrival in St. Joseph by two days and setting a new standard for speedy mail delivery. Although ultimately short-lived and unprofitable, the Pony Express captivated America’s imagination and helped win federal aid for a more economical overland postal system. It also contributed to the economy of the towns on its route and served the mail-service needs of the American West in the days before the telegraph or an efficient transcontinental railroad

“Pony Express debuts.” 2008. The History Channel website. 3 Apr 2008, 10:40 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4885.

1829 – James Carrington patented the coffee mill.

1862 – Slavery was abolished in Washington, DC.

1865 – Union forces occupy Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia.

1882 – The American outlaw Jesse James was shot in the back and killed by Robert Ford for a $5,000 reward. There was later controversy over whether it was actually Jesse James that had been killed.

1910 – Alaska’s Mt. McKinley, the highest mountain in North America was climbed.

1933 – First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt informed newspaper reporters that beer would be served at the White House. This followed the March 22 legislation that legalized “3.2” beer.

1936 – Richard Bruno Hauptmann was executed for the kidnapping and death of the son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh.

1942 – The Japanese began their all-out assault on the U.S. and Filipino troops at Bataan.

1946 – Lt. General Masaharu Homma, the Japanese commander responsible for the Bataan Death March, was executed in the Philippines.

1948 – Harry Truman signed the Marshall Plan to revive war-torn Europe. It was $5 billion in aid for 16 countries.

1968 – Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “mountaintop” speech just 24 hours before he was assassinated.

1979 – Jane Byrne became the first female mayor in Chicago.

1993 – The Norman Rockwell Museum opened in Stockbridge, MA.

1996 – An Air Force jetliner carrying Commerce Secretary Ron Brown crashed in Croatia, killing all 35 people aboard.

1996 – Unabomber suspect Theodore Kaczynski was arrested. He pled guilty in January 1998 to five Unabomber attacks in exchange for a life sentence without chance for parole.

ACLU says it will contest obscenity of HOWL

The American Civil Liberties Union announces it will defend Allen Ginsberg’s book Howl against obscenity charges.

The U.S. Customs Department had seized some 520 copies of the book several weeks earlier as the book entered the U.S. from England, where it had been printed. Poet Allen Ginsberg had first read the title poem, Howl, at a poetry reading in the fall of 1956 to enormous acclaim from his fellow Beat poets. The poem’s racy language, frank subject matter, and lack of form offended some conservative readers, but to young people in the 1960s, it sounded a call to revolt against convention. Along with Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, the poem served as the reference manual and rallying cry for a new generation. Ginsberg himself coined the term “flower power.”

After the seizing of Howl, American publisher and poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti announced he would publish it in the U.S. After its publication, he was arrested and tried for promoting obscene material. The ACLU successfully defended both Ferlinghetti and the book at Ferlinghetti’s trial, calling on nine literary experts to render an opinion on the book’s merits. Ferlinghetti was found not guilty.

“ACLU says it will contest obscenity of HOWL.” 2008. The History Channel website. 3 Apr 2008, 10:52 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=3927.

http://members.tripod.com/~Sprayberry/poems/howl.txt

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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