Posts Tagged ‘Jimmy Carter

07
Sep
08

On This Day, 9-7-2008: Turtle

World’s first submarine attack

During the Revolutionary War, the American submersible craft Turtle attempts to attach a time bomb to the hull of British Admiral Richard Howe’s flagship Eagle in New York Harbor. It was the first use of a submarine in warfare.

Submarines were first built by Dutch inventor Cornelius van Drebel in the early 17th century, but it was 150 years later before they were first used in naval combat. David Bushnell, an American inventor, began building underwater mines while a student at Yale University. Deciding that a submarine would be the best means of delivering his mines in warfare, he built an eight-foot-long wooden submersible that was christened the Turtle for its shape. Large enough to accommodate one operator, the submarine was entirely hand-powered. Lead ballast kept the craft balanced.

Donated to the Patriot cause after the outbreak of war with Britain in 1775, Ezra Lee piloted the craft unnoticed out to the 64-gun HMS Eagle in New York Harbor on September 7, 1776. As Lee worked to anchor a time bomb to the hull, he could see British seamen on the deck above, but they failed to notice the strange craft below the surface. Lee had almost secured the bomb when his boring tools failed to penetrate a layer of iron sheathing. He retreated, and the bomb exploded nearby, causing no harm to either the Eagle or the Turtle.

During the next week, the Turtle made several more attempts to sink British ships on the Hudson River, but each time it failed, owing to the operator’s lack of skill. Only Bushnell was capable of executing the submarine’s complicated functions, but because of his physical frailty he was unable to pilot the Turtle in any of its combat missions. During the Battle of Fort Lee, the Turtle was lost when the American sloop transporting it was sunk by the British.

Despite the failures of the Turtle, General George Washington gave Bushnell a commission as an army engineer, and the drifting mines he constructed destroyed the British frigate Cereberus and wreaked havoc against other British ships. After the war, he became commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stationed at West Point.

“World’s first submarine attack.” 2008. The History Channel website. 7 Sep 2008, 05:02 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=5325.

 

On This Day

1533 – Queen Elizabeth I, of England, was born in Greenwich.

1812 – Napoleon defeated the Russian army of Alexander I at the battle of Borodino.

1813 – The nickname “Uncle Sam” was first used as a symbolic reference to the United States. The reference appeared in an editorial in the New York’s Troy Post.

1822 – Brazil declared its independence from Portugal.

1901 – The Boxer Rebellion began in China ending the Peace of Beijing.

1936 – Buddy Holly was born.

1940 – London received its initial rain of bombs from Nazi Germany during World War II.

1942 – During World War II, the Russian army counter attacked the German troops outside the city of Stalingrad.

1977 – G. Gordon Liddy was released from prison. He had been incarcerated for more than four years for his involvement in the Watergate conspiracy.

1979 – ESPN, the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, made its debut on cable TV.

1995 – U.S. Senator Bob Packwood announced that he would resign after 27 years in the Senate.

 

Panama to control canal

In Washington, President Jimmy Carter and Panamanian dictator Omar Torrijos sign a treaty agreeing to transfer control of the Panama Canal from the United States to Panama at the end of the 20th century. The Panama Canal Treaty also authorized the immediate abolishment of the Canal Zone, a 10-mile-wide, 40-mile-long U.S.-controlled area that bisected the Republic of Panama. Many in Congress opposed giving up control of the Panama Canal–an enduring symbol of U.S. power and technological prowess–but America’s colonial-type administration of the strategic waterway had long irritated Panamanians and other Latin Americans.

On September 7, 1977, President Carter had also signed the Neutrality Treaty with Torrijos, which guaranteed the permanent neutrality of the canal and gave the United States the right to use military force, if necessary, to keep the canal open. This treaty was used as rationale for the 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama, which saw the overthrow of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, who had threatened to prematurely seize control of the canal after being indicted in the United States on drug charges.

Democratic rule was restored in Panama in the 1990s, and at noon on December 31, 1999, the Panama Canal was peacefully turned over to Panama. In order to avoid conflict with end-of-the-millennium celebrations, formal ceremonies marking the event were held on December 14. Former president Jimmy Carter represented the United States at the ceremony. After exchanging diplomatic notes with Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso, Carter simply told her, “It’s yours.”

“Panama to control canal.” 2008. The History Channel website. 7 Sep 2008, 05:06 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=7013.

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02
Jul
08

On This Day, 7-2-08: Amistad

Mutiny on the Amistad slave ship

Early in the morning, Africans on the Cuban schooner Amistad rise up against their captors, killing two crewmen and seizing control of the ship, which had been transporting them to a life of slavery on a sugar plantation at Puerto Principe, Cuba.

In 1807, the U.S. Congress joined with Great Britain in abolishing the African slave trade, although the trading of slaves within the United States was not prohibited. Despite the international ban on the importation of African slaves, Cuba continued to transport captive Africans to its sugar plantations until the 1860s, and Brazil to its coffee plantations until the 1850s.

On June 28, 1839, 53 slaves recently captured in Africa left Havana, Cuba, aboard the Amistad schooner for a sugar plantation at Puerto Principe, Cuba. Three days later, Sengbe Pieh, a Membe African known as Cinque, freed himself and the other slaves and planned a mutiny. Early in the morning of July 2, in the midst of a storm, the Africans rose up against their captors and, using sugar-cane knives found in the hold, killed the captain of the vessel and a crewmen. Two other crewmen were either thrown overboard or escaped, and Jose Ruiz and Pedro Montes, the two Cubans who had purchased the slaves, were captured. Cinque ordered the Cubans to sail the Amistad east back to Africa. During the day, Ruiz and Montes complied, but at night they would turn the vessel in a northerly direction, toward U.S. waters. After almost nearly two difficult months at sea, during which time more than a dozen Africans perished, what became known as the “black schooner” was first spotted by American vessels.

On August 26, the USS Washington, a U.S. Navy brig, seized the Amistad off the coast of Long Island and escorted it to New London, Connecticut. Ruiz and Montes were freed, and the Africans were imprisoned pending an investigation of the Amistad revolt. The two Cubans demanded the return of their supposedly Cuban-born slaves, while the Spanish government called for the Africans’ extradition to Cuba to stand trial for piracy and murder. In opposition to both groups, American abolitionists advocated the return of the illegally bought slaves to Africa.

The story of the Amistad mutiny garnered widespread attention, and U.S. abolitionists succeeded in winning a trial in a U.S. court. Before a federal district court in Connecticut, Cinque, who was taught English by his new American friends, testified on his own behalf. On January 13, 1840, Judge Andrew Judson ruled that the Africans were illegally enslaved, that they would not be returned to Cuba to stand trial for piracy and murder, and that they should be granted free passage back to Africa. The Spanish authorities and U.S. President Martin Van Buren appealed the decision, but another federal district court upheld Judson’s findings. President Van Buren, in opposition to the abolitionist faction in Congress, appealed the decision again.

On February 22, 1841, the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing the Amistad case. U.S. Representative John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts, who had served as the sixth president of the United States from 1825 to 1829, joined the Africans’ defense team. In Congress, Adams had been an eloquent opponent of slavery, and before the nation’s highest court he presented a coherent argument for the release of Cinque and the 34 other survivors of the Amistad.

On March 9, 1841, the Supreme Court ruled, with only one dissent, that the Africans had been illegally enslaved and had thus exercised a natural right to fight for their freedom. In November, with the financial assistance of their abolitionist allies, the Amistad Africans departed America aboard the Gentleman on a voyage back to West Africa. Some of the Africans helped establish a Christian mission in Sierra Leone, but most, like Cinque, returned to their homelands in the African interior. One of the survivors, who was a child when taken aboard the Amistad as a slave, eventually returned to the United States. Originally named Margru, she studied at Ohio’s integrated and coeducational Oberlin College in the late 1840s before returning to Sierra Leone as evangelical missionary Sara Margru Kinson.

“Mutiny on the Amistad slave ship.” 2008. The History Channel website. 1 Jul 2008, 12:50 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5142.

1566 – French astrologer, physician and prophet Nostradamus died.

1776 – Richard Henry Lee’s resolution that the American colonies “are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States” was adopted by the Continental Congress.

1850 – B.J. Lane patented the gas mask.

1858 – Czar Alexander II freed the serfs working on imperial lands.

1881 – Charles J. Guiteau fatally wounded U.S. President James A. Garfield in Washington, DC.

1890 – The U.S. Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act.

1926 – The U.S. Congress established the Army Air Corps.

1937 – American aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart disappeared in the Central Pacific during an attempt to fly around the world at the equator.

1944 – American bombers, as part of Operation Gardening, dropped land mines, leaflets and bombs on German-occupied Budapest.

1947 – An object crashed near Roswell, NM. The U.S. Army Air Force insisted it was a weather balloon, but eyewitness accounts led to speculation that it might have been an alien spacecraft.

1961 – Ernest Hemingway shot himself to death at his home in Ketchum, ID.

1976 – North Vietnam and South Vietnam were reunited.

1980 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter reinstated draft registration for males 18 years of age.

 

Johnson signs Civil Rights Act

On this day in 1964, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs into law the historic Civil Rights Act in a nationally televised ceremony at the White House.

In the landmark 1954 case Brown v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in schools was unconstitutional. The 10 years that followed saw great strides for the African-American civil rights movement, as non-violent demonstrations won thousands of supporters to the cause. Memorable landmarks in the struggle included the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955–sparked by the refusal of Alabama resident Rosa Parks to give up her seat on a city bus to a white woman–and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I have a dream” speech at a rally of hundreds of thousands in Washington, D.C., in 1963.

As the strength of the civil rights movement grew, John F. Kennedy made passage of a new civil rights bill one of the platforms of his successful 1960 presidential campaign. As Kennedy’s vice president, Johnson served as chairman of the President’s Committee on Equal Employment Opportunities. After Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, Johnson vowed to carry out his proposals for civil rights reform.

The Civil Rights Act fought tough opposition in the House and a lengthy, heated debate in the Senate before being approved in July 1964. For the signing of the historic legislation, Johnson invited hundreds of guests to a televised ceremony in the White House’s East Room. After using more than 75 pens to sign the bill, he gave them away as mementoes of the historic occasion, according to tradition. One of the first pens went to King, leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), who called it one of his most cherished possessions. Johnson gave two more to Senators Hubert Humphrey and Everett McKinley Dirksen, the Democratic and Republican managers of the bill in the Senate.

The most sweeping civil rights legislation passed by Congress since the post-Civil War Reconstruction era, the Civil Rights Act prohibited racial discrimination in employment and education and outlawed racial segregation in public places such as schools, buses, parks and swimming pools. In addition, the bill laid important groundwork for a number of other pieces of legislation–including the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which set strict rules for protecting the right of African Americans to vote–that have since been used to enforce equal rights for women as well as all minorities.

“Johnson signs Civil Rights Act.” 2008. The History Channel website. 1 Jul 2008, 12:41 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5145.

Stephen Hawkings breaks British bestseller records

Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawkings breaks British publishing records on this day in 1992. His book, A Brief History of Time, has been on the nonfiction bestseller list for three and a half years, selling more than 3 million copies in 22 languages.

A Brief History of Time explained the latest theories on the origins of the universe in language accessible to educated lay people. The book was made into an acclaimed documentary in 1992, which focused largely on Hawkings’ own story.

Diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease in his 20s, Hawkings was told he had only two years to live. Despite the sobering prognosis, Hawkings pursued his studies in theoretical physics, married, and had a son. Eventually, his disease left him paralyzed except for his left hand. He was able to speak, although his speech was difficult to understand, until he underwent a tracheotomy in 1985 during a bout with pneumonia. Afterward, he relied on a mouse-controlled voice synthesizer, which improved the clarity of his speech.

His familiar, synthesized voice can be heard in the Brief History of Time documentary, a popular Pink Floyd song, and an episode of The Simpsons.

“Stephen Hawkings breaks British bestseller records.” 2008. The History Channel website. 1 Jul 2008, 12:51 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4020.

27
Jun
08

On This Day, 6-27-08: The Korean War

Truman orders U.S. forces to Korea

On June 27, 1950, President Harry S. Truman announces that he is ordering U.S. air and naval forces to South Korea to aid the democratic nation in repulsing an invasion by communist North Korea. The United States was undertaking the major military operation, he explained, to enforce a United Nations resolution calling for an end to hostilities, and to stem the spread of communism in Asia. In addition to ordering U.S. forces to Korea, Truman also deployed the U.S. 7th Fleet to Formosa (Taiwan) to guard against invasion by communist China and ordered an acceleration of military aid to French forces fighting communist guerrillas in Vietnam.

By May 1951, the communists were pushed back to the 38th parallel, and the battle line remained in that vicinity for the remainder of the war. On July 27, 1953, after two years of negotiation, an armistice was signed, ending the war and reestablishing the 1945 division of Korea that still exists today. Approximately 150,000 troops from South Korea, the United States, and participating U.N. nations were killed in the Korean War, and as many as one million South Korean civilians perished. An estimated 800,000 communist soldiers were killed, and more than 200,000 North Korean civilians died.

The original figure of American troops lost–54,246 killed–became controversial when the Pentagon acknowledged in 2000 that all U.S. troops killed around the world during the period of the Korean War were incorporated into that number. For example, any American soldier killed in a car accident anywhere in the world from June 1950 to July 1953 was considered a casualty of the Korean War. If these deaths are subtracted from the 54,000 total, leaving just the Americans who died (from whatever cause) in the Korean theater of operations, the total U.S. dead in the Korean War numbers 36,516.

“Truman orders U.S. forces to Korea.” 2008. The History Channel website. 27 Jun 2008, 02:37 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6941.

0363 – The death of Roman Emperor Julian brought an end to the Pagan Revival.

1787 – Edward Gibbon completed “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” It was published the following May.

1893 – The New York stock market crashed. By the end of the year 600 banks and 74 railroads had gone out of business.

1905 – The battleship Potemkin succumbed to a mutiny on the Black Sea.

1918 – Two German pilots were saved by parachutes for the first time.

1924 – Democrats offered Mrs. Leroy Springs for vice presidential nomination. She was the first woman considered for the job.

1929 – Scientists at Bell Laboratories in New York revealed a system for transmitting television pictures.

1931 – Igor Sikorsky filed U.S. Patent 1,994,488, which marked the breakthrough in helicopter technology.

1944 – During World War II, American forces completed their capture of the French port of Cherbourg from the German army.

1954 – The world’s first atomic power station opened at Obninsk, near Moscow.

1973 – Nixon vetoed a Senate ban on bombing Cambodia.

1980 – U.S. President Carter signed legislation reviving draft registration.

1985 – The U.S. House of Representatives voted to limit the use of combat troops in Nicaragua.

1986 – The World Court ruled that the U.S. had broken international law by aiding Nicaraguan rebels.

1998 – An English woman was impregnated with her dead husband’s sperm after two-year legal battle over her right to the sperm.

2005 – In Alaska’s Denali National Park, a roughly 70-million year old dinosaur track was discovered. The track was form a three-toed Cretaceous period dinosaur.

Mormon leader killed by mob

Joseph Smith, the founder and leader of the Mormon religion, is murdered along with his brother Hyrum when an anti-Mormon mob breaks into a jail where they are being held in Carthage, Illinois.

“Mormon leader killed by mob.” 2008. The History Channel website. 27 Jun 2008, 02:38 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5129.

Buffalo hunters and Indians clash at Adobe Walls

Using new high-powered rifles to devastating effect, 28 buffalo hunters repulse a much larger force of attacking Indians at an old trading post in the Texas panhandle called Adobe Walls.

The Commanche, Kiowa, and Cheyenne Indians living in western Texas had long resented the advancement of white settlement in their territories. In 1867, some of the Indians accepted the terms of the Treaty of Medicine Lodge, which required them to move to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) but also reserved much of the Texas Panhandle as their exclusive hunting grounds. Many white Texans, however, maintained that the treaty had ignored their legitimate claims to the area. These white buffalo hunters, who had already greatly reduced the once massive herds, continued to hunt in the territory.

By the early 1870s, Commanche, Kiowa, and Cheyenne hunters were finding it harder to locate buffalo, and they blamed the illegal white buffalo hunters. When the federal government failed to take adequate measures to stop the white buffalo hunters, the great chief Quanah Parker and others began to argue for war

“Buffalo hunters and Indians clash at Adobe Walls.” 2008. The History Channel website. 27 Jun 2008, 02:44 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4564.

Wobblies unite

The dawn of the twentieth century witnessed a sustained burst of progressive activities as various disenfranchised elements of American society pushed to assert their rights. This was especially true in the world of organized labor, as workers marshaled their forces in the battle against Big Business. Along with heading to the picket line, workers formed new and increasingly more strident unions, such as the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), which was formally consecrated in Chicago on this day in 1905. Organized by industrial labor’s more militant members, including Eugene Debs, William D. Haywood (also known as “Big Bill” Haywood) and the long-stymied Socialist segment of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), the IWW tilted at the formidable windmills of industrial capitalism and its caste-like wage system. As Haywood told the union’s first convention, the IWW’s “purpose” was the “emancipation of the working class from the slave bondage of capitalism.” Towards that end, the IWW’s leaders sought to build a massive union that, rather than give in to labor’s nativist tendencies, built its numbers by pooling members from all races and ethnicities. Once the IWW became large enough, its leaders planned to call an apocalyptic strike that would effectively fell the capitalist system. Though the IWW did score some key victories, including leading a successful strike by textile workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts (1912), it also drew heavy fire from business leaders, government officials and conservative sectors of the union movement alike.

“Wobblies unite.” 2008. The History Channel website. 27 Jun 2008, 02:47 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5909.

18
Jun
08

On This Day, 6-18-08: War of 1812

War of 1812 begins

The day after the Senate followed the House of Representatives in voting to declare war against Great Britain, President James Madison signs the declaration into law–and the War of 1812 begins. The American war declaration, opposed by a sizable minority in Congress, had been called in response to the British economic blockade of France, the induction of American seaman into the British Royal Navy against their will, and the British support of hostile Indian tribes along the Great Lakes frontier. A faction of Congress known as the “War Hawks” had been advocating war with Britain for several years and had not hidden their hopes that a U.S. invasion of Canada might result in significant territorial land gains for the United States.

“War of 1812 begins.” 2008. The History Channel website. 17 Jun 2008, 02:10 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5103.

 

1155 – Frederick I Barbarossa was crowned emperor of Rome.

1778 – Britain evacuated Philadelphia during the U.S. Revolutionary War.

1873 – Susan B. Anthony was fined $100 for attempting to vote for a U.S. President.

1928 – Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean as she completed a flight from Newfoundland to Wales.

1942 – The U.S. Navy commissioned its first black officer, Harvard University medical student Bernard Whitfield Robinson.

1959 – A Federal Court annulled the Arkansas law allowing school closings to prevent integration.

1983 – Dr. Sally Ride became the first American woman in space aboard the space shuttle Challenger.

1997 – Sirhan Sirhan was denied parole for the 10th time. He had assassinated presidential candidate Robert Kennedy in 1968.

Napoleon defeated at Waterloo

At Waterloo in Belgium, Napoleon Bonaparte suffers defeat at the hands of the Duke of Wellington, bringing an end to the Napoleonic era of European history.

“Napoleon defeated at Waterloo.” 2008. The History Channel website. 17 Jun 2008, 02:11 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6932.

SAC B-52s are used for the first time in South Vietnam

For the first time, 28 B-52s fly-bomb a Viet Cong concentration in a heavily forested area of Binh Duong Province northwest of Saigon. Such flights, under the aegis of the Strategic Air Command (SAC), became known as Operation Arc Light. The B-52s that took part in the Arc Light missions had been deployed to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam and more bombers were later deployed to bases in Okinawa and U-Tapao, Thailand.

In addition to supporting ground tactical operations, B-52s were used to interdict enemy supply lines in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, and later to strike targets in North Vietnam. Releasing their bombs from 30,000 feet, the B-52s could neither be seen nor heard from the ground as they inflicted awesome damage. B-52s were instrumental in breaking up enemy concentrations besieging Khe Sanh in 1968 and An Loc in 1972. Between June 1965 and August 1973, 126,615 B-52 sorties were flown over Southeast Asia. During those operations, the Air Force lost 29 B-52s: 17 from hostile fire over North Vietnam and 12 from operational causes.

“SAC B-52s are used for the first time in South Vietnam.” 2008. The History Channel website. 17 Jun 2008, 02:14 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=1915.

Carter and Brezhnev sign the SALT-II treaty

During a summit meeting in Vienna, President Jimmy Carter and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev sign the SALT-II agreement dealing with limitations and guidelines for nuclear weapons. The treaty, which never formally went into effect, proved to be one of the most controversial U.S.-Soviet agreements of the Cold War

“Carter and Brezhnev sign the SALT-II treaty.” 2008. The History Channel website. 17 Jun 2008, 02:11 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2702.

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.
Susan B. Anthony

I do not consider divorce an evil by any means. It is just as much a refuge for women married to brutal men as Canada was to the slaves of brutal masters.
Susan B. Anthony

Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less.
Susan B. Anthony

24
Apr
08

On This Day, 04-24-08: With Us or Agin Us

Hostage rescue mission ends in disaster

On April 24, 1980, an ill-fated military operation to rescue the 52 American hostages held in Tehran ends with eight U.S. servicemen dead and no hostages rescued.

With the Iran Hostage Crisis stretching into its sixth month and all diplomatic appeals to the Iranian government ending in failure, President Jimmy Carter ordered the military mission as a last ditch attempt to save the hostages. During the operation, three of eight helicopters failed, crippling the crucial airborne plans. The mission was then canceled at the staging area in Iran, but during the withdrawal one of the retreating helicopters collided with one of six C-130 transport planes, killing eight soldiers and injuring five. The next day, a somber Jimmy Carter gave a press conference in which he took full responsibility for the tragedy. The hostages were not released for another 270 days.

“Hostage rescue mission ends in disaster.” 2008. The History Channel website. 24 Apr 2008, 11:58 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4948.

1519 – Envoys of Montezuma II attended the first Easter mass in Central America.

1547 – Charles V’s troops defeated the Protestant League of Schmalkalden at the battle of Muhlburg.

1800 – The Library of Congress was established with a $5,000 allocation.

1877 – Russia declared war on the Ottoman Empire.

1884 – Otto von Bismarck cabled Cape Town that South Africa was now a German colony.

1898 – Spain declared war on the U.S., rejecting America’s ultimatum for Spain to withdraw from Cuba.

1915 – During World War I, the Ottoman Turkish Empire began the mass deportation of Armenians.

1916 – Irish nationalist launched the Easter Rebellion against British occupation forces. They were overtaken several days later.

1948 – The Berlin airlift began to relieve the surrounded city.

1961 – U.S. President Kennedy accepted “sole responsibility” following Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

1968 – Leftist students took over several campus buildings at Columbia University.

1970 – The People’s Republic of China launched its first satellite.

1981 – The IBM Personal Computer was introduced.

1989 – Thousands of students began striking in Beijing.

1990 – The space shuttle Discovery blasted off from Cape Canaveral, FL. It was carrying the $1.5 billion Hubble Space Telescope.

1997 – The U.S. Senate ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention. The global treaty banned the development, production, storage and use of chemical weapons.

 

General Orders No. 100 issued

The Union army issues General Orders No. 100, which provided a code of conduct for Federal soldiers and officers when dealing with Confederate prisoners and civilians. The code was borrowed by many European nations, and its influence can be seen on the Geneva Convention.

The orders were the brainchild of Francis Lieber, a Prussian immigrant whose three sons had served during the Civil War. One son was mortally wounded while fighting for the Confederacy at the Battle of Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1862. Lieber’s other two sons fought for the Union. Lieber was a scholar of international law who took a keen interest in the treatment of combatants and civilians. He wrote many essays and newspaper articles on the subject early in the war, and he advised General Henry Halleck, general-in-chief of the Union armies, on how to treat guerilla fighters captured by Federal forces.

Halleck appointed a committee of four generals and Lieber to draft rules of combat for the Civil War. The final document consisted of 157 articles written almost entirely by Lieber. The orders established policies for, among other things, the treatment of prisoners, exchanges, and flags of truce. There was no document like it in the world at the time, and other countries soon adopted the code. It became the standard for international military law, and the Germans adopted it by 1870. Lieber’s concepts are still very influential today.

“General Orders No. 100 issued.” 2008. The History Channel website. 24 Apr 2008, 11:49 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2183.

The Bandung Conference concludes

The Afro-Asian Conference–popularly known as the Bandung Conference because it was held in Bandung, Indonesia–comes to a close on this day. During the conference, representatives from 29 “non-aligned” nations in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East met to condemn colonialism, decry racism, and express their reservations about the growing Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The United States government was generally appalled by the Bandung Conference. Although invited to do so, it refused to send an unofficial observer to the meetings. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles was already on record as equating neutralism in the fight against communism as close to a mortal sin. For the United States, the issue was black and white: join America in the fight against communism or risk being considered a potential enemy. This unfortunate policy brought the United States into numerous conflicts with nations of the underdeveloped world who were struggling to find a middle road in the Cold War conflict.

“The Bandung Conference concludes.” 2008. The History Channel website. 24 Apr 2008, 11:52 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2647.

Westmoreland makes controversial remarks

At a news conference in Washington, Gen. William Westmoreland, senior U.S. commander in South Vietnam, causes controversy by saying that the enemy had “gained support in the United States that gives him hope that he can win politically that which he cannot win militarily.” Though he said that, “Ninety-five percent of the people were behind the United States effort in Vietnam,” he asserted that the American soldiers in Vietnam were “dismayed, and so am I, by recent unpatriotic acts at home.” This criticism of the antiwar movement was not received well by many in and out of the antiwar movement, who believed it was both their right and responsibility to speak out against the war.

“Westmoreland makes controversial remarks.” 2008. The History Channel website. 24 Apr 2008, 11:56 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=1803.

4037

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/iraq_casualties.htm

23
Apr
08

4034

darcy

http://www.cagle.com/politicalcartoons/pccartoons/archives/darcy.asp?Action=GetImage

4034

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/iraq_casualties.htm

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Excerpt from: The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

Top 10 Hybrid States (2006 Calendar Year): California led all states in hybrid sales with 67,533 last year. Los Angeles was the top market at 30,989, according to R.L. Polk. Combined Top 10 states accounted for 155,979 registrations at 61.3% of overall US registrations.

1. California – 67,533 (Hybrid Registrations); 26.5 (Hybrid Volume %)

2. Florida – 12,900 (5.1)

3. Texas – 12,550 (4.9)

4. New York – 11,634 (4.6)

5. Virginia – 10,424 (4.1)

6. Illinois – 9,495 (3.7)

7. Washington – 8,650 (3.4)

8. Pennsylvania – 8,407 (3.3)

9. Massachusetts – 7,365 (2.9)

10. New Jersey – 7,021 (2.8

http://www.metrics2.com/blog/2007/02/26/us_sales_of_hybrid_vehicles_jump_28_to_254545_in_2.html

End of Bretton Woods

On August 15, 1971, the United States pulled out of the Bretton Woods Accord taking the US off the Gold Standard (whereby the value of the dollar had been pegged to the price of gold), allowing the dollar to “float”. Shortly thereafter, Britain followed, floating the pound off sterling. The industrialized nations followed suit with their respective currencies. In anticipation of the fluctuation of currencies as they stabilized against each other, the industrialized nations also increased their reserves (printing money) in amounts far greater than ever before. The result was a depreciation of the value of the US dollar, as well as the other currencies of the world. Because oil was priced in dollars, this meant that oil producers were receiving less “real” income for the same price. The OPEC cartel issued a joint communiqué stating that forthwith they would price a barrel of oil against gold. This led to the “Oil Shock” of the mid-seventies. In the years after 1971, OPEC was slow to readjust prices to reflect this depreciation. From 1947-1967 the price of oil in U.S. dollars had risen by less than two percent per year. Until the Oil Shock, the price remained fairly stable versus other currencies and commodities, but suddenly became extremely volatile thereafter. OPEC ministers had not developed the institutional mechanisms to update prices rapidly enough to keep up with changing market conditions, so their real incomes lagged for several years. The large price increases of 1973-74 largely caught up their incomes to Bretton Woods levels in terms of other commodities such as gold.[4]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1973_oil_crisis

The Carter Administration began a phased decontrol of oil prices on 5 April when the average price of crude oil was US$15.85. Over the next 12 months the price of crude oil rose to $39.50 (its all time highest real price until March 3, 2008[7]. During this period domestic U.S. oil output rose sharply from the large Prudhoe Bay fields while oil imports fell sharply. However, since there were no price controls on imported oil, this had no impact on boosting the supply of gasoline in 1979. Hence, long lines appeared at gas stations, as they had six years earlier during the 1973 oil crisis.

As the average vehicle of the time consumed between 2-3 liters (about 0.5-0.8 gallons) of gasoline (petrol) an hour while idling, it was estimated that Americans wasted up to 150,000 barrels (24,000 m³) of oil per day idling their engines in the lines at gas stations.[8]

During the period, many people believed the oil companies artificially created oil shortages to drive up prices, rather than simply high prices caused by natural factors beyond any human influence or control. Many politicians proposed gas rationing, such as the Governor of Maryland, Harry Hughes, who proposed odd-even rationing (only people with an odd-numbered license plate could purchase gas on an odd-numbered day), as was used during the 1973 crisis. Coupons for gasoline rationing were printed but were never actually used during the 1979 crisis. [9]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1979_energy_crisis

darcy Carter

http://www.cagle.com/politicalcartoons/pccartoons/archives/darcy.asp?Action=GetImage

28
Mar
08

On This Day, 3-28-08: Jesse Owens

Nuclear accident at Three Mile Island

At 4 a.m. on March 28, 1979, the worst accident in the history of the U.S. nuclear power industry begins when a pressure valve in the Unit-2 reactor at Three Mile Island fails to close. Cooling water, contaminated with radiation, drained from the open valve into adjoining buildings, and the core began to dangerously overheat.

The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant was built in 1974 on a sandbar on Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna River, just 10 miles downstream from the state capitol in Harrisburg. In 1978, a second state-of-the-art reactor began operating on Three Mile Island, which was lauded for generating affordable and reliable energy in a time of energy crises.

After the cooling water began to drain out of the broken pressure valve on the morning of March 28, 1979, emergency cooling pumps automatically went into operation. Left alone, these safety devices would have prevented the development of a larger crisis. However, human operators in the control room misread confusing and contradictory readings and shut off the emergency water system. The reactor was also shut down, but residual heat from the fission process was still being released. By early morning, the core had heated to over 4,000 degrees, just 1,000 degrees short of meltdown. In the meltdown scenario, the core melts, and deadly radiation drifts across the countryside, fatally sickening a potentially great number of people.

“Nuclear accident at Three Mile Island.” 2008. The History Channel website. 28 Mar 2008, 12:17 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6850.

1774 – Britain passed the Coercive Act against Massachusetts.

1834 – The U.S. Senate voted to censure President Jackson for the removal of federal deposits from the Bank of the United States.

1854 – The Crimean War began with Britain and France declaring war on Russia.

1865 – Outdoor advertising legislation was enacted in New York. The law banned “painting on stones, rocks and trees.”

1898 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a child born in the U.S. to Chinese immigrants was a U.S. citizen. This meant that they could not be deported under the Chinese Exclusion Act.

1917 – During World War I the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was founded.

1933 – In Germany, the Nazis ordered a ban on all Jews in businesses, professions and schools.

1941 – The Italian fleet was defeated by the British at the Battle of Matapan.

1942 – British naval forces raided the Nazi occupied French port of St. Nazaire.

1945 – Germany launched the last of the V-2 rockets against England.

1986 – The U.S. Senate passed $100 million aid package for the Nicaraguan contras.

1990 – Jesse Owens received the Congressional Gold Medal from U.S. President George Bush.

Funeral held for the man behind the guillotine

The funeral of Guillotin, the inventor and namesake of the infamous execution device, takes place outside of Paris, France. Guillotin had what he felt were the purest motives for inventing the guillotine and was deeply distressed at how his reputation had become besmirched in the aftermath.

Guillotin had bestowed the deadly contraption on the French as a “philanthropic gesture” for the systematic criminal justice reform that was taking place in 1789. The machine was intended to show the intellectual and social progress of the Revolution; by killing aristocrats and journeymen the same way, equality in death was ensured.

The first use of the guillotine was on April 25 1792, when Nicolas Pelletier was put to death for armed robbery and assault in Place de Greve. The newspapers reported that guillotine was not an immediate sensation. The crowds seemed to miss the gallows at first. However, it quickly caught on with the public and many thought it brought dignity back to the executioner.

However, the prestige of the guillotine fell precipitously due to its frequent use in the French Terror following the Revolution. It became the focal point of the awful political executions and was so closely identified with the terrible abuses of the time that it was perceived as partially responsible for the excesses itself. Still, it was used sporadically in France into the 20th century.

“Funeral held for the man behind the guillotine.” 2008. The History Channel website. 28 Mar 2008, 12:24 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=952.

1939: Spanish Civil War ends

In Spain, the Republican defenders of Madrid raise the white flag over the city, and the bloody three-year Spanish Civil War comes to an end. The conflict began in 1936 when General Francisco Franco led a right-wing army revolt in Morocco, dividing Spain into two camps, the Republicans and the Nationalists. The Republicans, made up of Catalonian and Basque patriots and an uneasy alliance of leftist radicals, suffered steady losses against Franco’s Nationalists. Franco appealed to the fascist regimes of Germany and Italy for help, while the USSR aided the Republican side. In addition, thousands of idealistic radicals from France, America, and elsewhere formed the International Brigades to aid the Republican cause. In early 1939, Catalonia fell to Franco; soon after, Madrid fell too. Up to a million lives were lost in the conflict, the most devastating in Spanish history.

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

Although I wasn’t invited to shake hands with Hitler, I wasn’t invited to the White House to shake hands with the President either.
Jesse Owens




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