Posts Tagged ‘John F Kennedy

24
Nov
08

On This Day, 11-24-2008: Jack Ruby

November 24, 1963

Jack Ruby kills Lee Harvey Oswald

At 12:20 p.m., in the basement of the Dallas police station, Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy, is shot to death by Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner.

On November 22, President Kennedy was fatally shot while riding in an open-car motorcade through the streets of downtown Dallas. Less than an hour after the shooting, Lee Harvey Oswald killed a policeman who questioned him on the street. Thirty minutes after that, he was arrested in a movie theater by police. Oswald was formally arraigned on November 23 for the murders of President Kennedy and Officer J.D. Tippit.

On November 24, Oswald was brought to the basement of the Dallas police headquarters on his way to a more secure county jail. A crowd of police and press with live television cameras rolling gathered to witness his departure. As Oswald came into the room, Jack Ruby emerged from the crowd and fatally wounded him with a single shot from a concealed .38 revolver. Ruby, who was immediately detained, claimed that rage at Kennedy’s murder was the motive for his action. Some called him a hero, but he was nonetheless charged with first-degree murder.

Jack Ruby, originally known as Jacob Rubenstein, operated strip joints and dance halls in Dallas and had minor connections to organized crime. He also had a relationship with a number of Dallas policemen, which amounted to various favors in exchange for leniency in their monitoring of his establishments. He features prominently in Kennedy-assassination theories, and many believe he killed Oswald to keep him from revealing a larger conspiracy. In his trial, Ruby denied the allegation and pleaded innocent on the grounds that his great grief over Kennedy’s murder had caused him to suffer “psychomotor epilepsy” and shoot Oswald unconsciously. The jury found him guilty of the “murder with malice” of Oswald and sentenced him to die.

In October 1966, the Texas Court of Appeals reversed the decision on the grounds of improper admission of testimony and the fact that Ruby could not have received a fair trial in Dallas at the time. In January 1967, while awaiting a new trial, to be held in Wichita Falls, Ruby died of lung cancer in a Dallas hospital.

The official Warren Commission report of 1964 concluded that neither Oswald nor Ruby were part of a larger conspiracy, either domestic or international, to assassinate President Kennedy. Despite its seemingly firm conclusions, the report failed to silence conspiracy theories surrounding the event, and in 1978 the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded in a preliminary report that Kennedy was “probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy” that may have involved multiple shooters and organized crime. The committee’s findings, as with those of the Warren Commission, continue to be widely disputed.

“Jack Ruby kills Lee Harvey Oswald.” 2008. The History Channel website. 24 Nov 2008, 01:02 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5546.

Oswald Has Been Shot!

by,

Ike Pappas WNEW Radio News Coverage

On This Day

1615 – French King Louis XIII married Ann of Austria. They were both 14 years old.

1863 – During the Civil War, the battle for Lookout Mountain began in Tennessee.

1871 – The National Rifle Association was incorporated in the U.S.

1940 – Nazis closed off the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw, Poland. Over the next three years the population dropped from 350,000 to 70,000 due to starvation, disease and deportations to concentration camps.

1944 – During World War II, the first raid against the Japanese capital of Tokyo was made by land-based U.S. bombers.

1971 – Hijacker Dan Cooper, known as D.B. Cooper, parachuted from a Northwest Airlines 727 over Washington state with $200,000 in ransom.

1987 – The U.S. and the Soviet Union agreed to scrap short- and medium-range missiles. It was the first superpower treaty to eliminate an entire class of nuclear weapons.

1993 – The U.S. Congress gave its final approval to the Brady handgun control bill.

November 24, 1859

Origin of Species is published

On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, a groundbreaking scientific work by British naturalist Charles Darwin, is published in England. Darwin’s theory argued that organisms gradually evolve through a process he called “natural selection.” In natural selection, organisms with genetic variations that suit their environment tend to propagate more descendants than organisms of the same species that lack the variation, thus influencing the overall genetic makeup of the species.

“Origin of Species is published.” 2008. The History Channel website. 24 Nov 2008, 12:59 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=7091.

November 24, 1947

“Hollywood 10” cited for contempt of Congress

The House of Representatives votes 346 to 17 to approve citations of contempt against 10 Hollywood writers, directors, and producers. These men had refused to cooperate at hearings dealing with communism in the movie industry held by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). The “Hollywood 10,” as the men were known, are sentenced to one year in jail. The Supreme Court later upheld the contempt charges.

The impact of the charges against the Hollywood 10 was immediate and long-lasting. Hollywood quickly established the so-called “blacklist,” a collection of names of Hollywood personalities suspected of having communist ties. Those on the list rarely found work in the movies. The contempt charges also created a chilling effect on the Hollywood film industry, and producers, directors, and writers shied away from subject matter that might be considered the least bit controversial or open them up to charges of being soft on communism. The blacklist was not completely broken until the 1960s.

“”Hollywood 10″ cited for contempt of Congress.” 2008. The History Channel website. 24 Nov 2008, 01:00 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2494.

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22
Nov
08

On This Day, 11-22-2008: President Kennedy Assassinated

“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt

CBS News Bulletin

by,

Walter Kronkite

November 22, 1963

Kennedy becomes fourth president to be assassinated

On this day in 1963, the nation is shocked by the assassination of its president, John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was riding in an open car in Dallas, Texas, when a gunman named Lee Harvey Oswald fired three shots at him from an upper-level window of a nearby building. Kennedy was pronounced dead upon arrival at a Dallas hospital. He was the fourth president in U.S. history to be assassinated.

A bystander named Abraham Zapruder happened to capture Kennedy’s shooting on his 8mm home-movie camera. Zapruder’s film provided graphic visuals of JFK’s death and has since been analyzed extensively for evidence of a potential conspiracy. Even decades later, some scholars, investigators and amateur sleuths continue to insist that Kennedy’s death was a coup d’etat committed by hard-line U.S. anti-communists who feared Kennedy would pull U.S. advisors out of Vietnam and act “soft” on the communist threat from the USSR. Another conspiracy theory that involves a coordinated effort by organized crime, the Pentagon and the CIA to murder the president was explored by director Oliver Stone in his 1991 film JFK. In 1964, however, the federally appointed Warren Commission issued a report on the assassination and concluded that Oswald acted alone. A second investigation conducted in 1979 concluded that there may have been a second gunman, but it concurred with the first report that Oswald was the actual killer.

In 1865, Abraham Lincoln became the first president to be assassinated when he was shot by a Confederate sympathizer while attending a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. In 1881, James Garfield was shot by a disgruntled federal employee and lived 80 days before succumbing to his wounds. William McKinley was killed by an anarchist in 1901. Several other presidents have survived or narrowly avoided assassination attempts. Ronald Reagan was shot in the chest in 1981, but survived. Gerald Ford escaped two assassination attempts. An attempt on Andrew Jackson’s life in 1835 was foiled when both of the gunman’s two pistols failed to discharge properly.

“Kennedy becomes fourth president to be assassinated.” 2008. The History Channel website. 22 Nov 2008, 03:07 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=52016.

John F Kennedy

Ask not what your country can do for you.  Ask what you can do for your country.

Celtic Woman:  The Voice

14
Nov
08

On This Day, 11-14-2008: Solidarność

November 14, 1982

Walesa released from jail

Lech Walesa, leader of communist Poland’s outlawed Solidarity movement, returns to his apartment in Gdansk after 11 months of internment in a remote hunting lodge near the Soviet border. Two days before, hundreds of supporters had begun a vigil outside his home upon learning that the founder of Poland’s trade union movement was being released. When Walesa finally did return home, on November 14, he was lifted above the jubilant crowd and carried to the door of his apartment, where he greeted his wife and then addressed his supporters from a second-story window.

Walesa, born in 1943, was an electrician at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk when he was fired for union agitation in 1976. When protests broke out in the Gdansk shipyard over an increase in food prices in August 1980, Walesa climbed the shipyard fence and joined the thousands of workers inside. He was elected leader of the strike committee, and three days later the strikers’ demands were met. Walesa then helped coordinate other strikes in Gdansk and demanded that the Polish government allow the free formation of trade unions and the right to strike. On August 30, the government conceded to the strikers’ demands, legalizing trade unionism and granting greater freedom of religious and political expression.

Millions of Polish workers and farmers came together to form unions, and Solidarity was formed as a national federation of unions, with Walesa as its chairman. Under Walesa’s charismatic leadership, the organization grew in size and political influence, soon becoming a major threat to the authority of the Polish government. On December 13, 1981, martial law was declared in Poland, Solidarity was outlawed, and Walesa and other labor leaders were arrested.

In November 1982, overwhelming public outcry forced Walesa’s release, but Solidarity remained illegal. In 1983, Walesa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Fearing involuntary exile, he declined to travel to Norway to accept the award. Walesa continued as leader of the now-underground Solidarity movement, and he was subjected to continual monitoring and harassment by the communist authorities.

In 1988, deteriorating economic conditions led to a new wave of labor strikes across Poland, and the government was forced to negotiate with Walesa. In April 1989, Solidarity was again legalized, and its members were allowed to enter a limited number of candidates in upcoming elections. By September, a Solidarity-led government coalition was in place, with Walesa’s colleague Tadeusz Mazowiecki as premier. In 1990, Poland’s first direct presidential election was held, and Walesa won by a landslide.

President Walesa successfully implemented free-market reforms, but unfortunately he was a more effective labor leader than president. In 1995, he was narrowly defeated in his reelection by former communist Aleksander Kwasniewski, head of the Democratic Left Alliance.

“Walesa released from jail.” 2008. The History Channel website. 14 Nov 2008, 10:39 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=7081.

On This Day

1851 – Herman Melville’s novel “Moby Dick” was first published in the U.S.

1881 – Charles J. Guiteau’s trial began for the assassination of U.S. President Garfield. Guiteau was convicted and hanged the following year.

1935 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed the Philippine Islands a free commonwealth after its new constitution was approved. The Tydings-McDuffie Act planned for the Phillipines to be completely independent by July 4, 1946.

1940 – During World War II, German war planes destroyed most of the English town of Coventry when about 500 Luftwaffe bombers attacked.

1956 – The USSR crushed the Hungarian uprising.

1968 – Yale University announced it was going co-educational.

1969 – Apollo 12 blasted off for the moon from Cape Kennedy, FL.

1969 – During the Vietnam War, Major General Bruno Arthur Hochmuth, commander of the Third Marine Division, became the first general to be killed in Vietnam by enemy fire.

1979 – U.S. President Carter froze all Iranian assets in the United States and U.S. banks abroad in response to the taking of 63 American hostages at the U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran.

1989 – The U.S. Navy ordered an unprecedented 48-hour stand-down in the wake of a recent string of serious accidents.

1991 – After 13 years in exile Cambodian Prince Norodom Sihanouk returned to his homeland.

November 14, 1959

Kennedy publishes article on television and American politics

On this day in 1959, an article written by Massachusetts senator and presidential hopeful John F. Kennedy appears in an issue of TV Guide. In it, Kennedy examined the influence of television, still a relatively new technology, on American political campaigns.

In the article, Kennedy mused that television had the power to bring political campaigns—and scandals—immediately and directly to the public and illuminated the contrast between political personalities. Kennedy shrewdly noted that a “slick or bombastic orator pounding the table and ringing the rafters” fared poorly against a more congenial candidate and “is not as welcome in the family living room” as a candidate with “honesty, vigor, compassion [and] intelligence.” Kennedy strove to convey the latter image. He also compared Woodrow Wilson’s 1919 month-long cross-country railroad trek to promote his League of Nations proposal (an exhausting trip that ended when Wilson suffered a stroke) to then-President Eisenhower’s ability to reach millions of voters in a 15-minute television appearance.

A year after the publication of the article, Kennedy and his Republican opponent, Vice President Richard Nixon, faced off in the nation’s first-ever televised presidential campaign debates. A master at projecting the quintessential presidential image, Kennedy exhibited a calm demeanor and responded to questions with intelligence and decorum. While Kennedy appeared rested, well-groomed and in control, Nixon appeared flustered and his light beard, or “five-o’clock shadow,” created more of a stir than his responses to the moderator’s questions. As president, Kennedy continued to showcase his skill at handling the press on-camera and carefully cultivated a relationship with journalists by enlisting their direct involvement in balancing candor with secrecy.

Kennedy’s article also addressed the potential perils of marrying mass media to politics. He warned that political campaigns “could be taken over by public relations experts, who tell the candidate not only how to use TV but what to say, what to stand for and what kind of person to be.” He cautioned Americans to be vigilant about what they watched, and to be aware that, like game shows, political campaigns “can be fixed…It is in your power to perceive deception, to shut off gimmickry, to reward honesty, to demand legislation where needed.” Without the public’s acquiescence, he said, “no TV show is worthwhile and no politician can exist.”

“Kennedy publishes article on television and American politics.” 2008. The History Channel website. 14 Nov 2008, 10:48 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=52007.

On This Day in Wisconsin: November 14

1861 – Frederick Jackson Turner Born
On this date Frederick Jackson Turner was born in Portage. Turner spent most of his academic career at the University of Wisconsin. He published his first article in 1883, received his B.A. in 1884, then his M.A. in History in 1888. After a year of study at Johns Hopkins (Ph.D., 1890), he returned to join the History faculty at Wisconsin, where he taught for the next 21 years. He later taught at Harvard from 1910 to 1924 before retiring. In 1893, Turner presented his famous address, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History,” at the Chicago World’s Fair. Turner died in 1932. [Source: Bowling Green State University]

22
Oct
08

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

October 22, 1962

Cuban Missile Crisis

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

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

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

On This Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 22, 1775

Peyton Randolph dies

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

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

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

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

October 22, 1965

173rd Airborne trooper saves comrades

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

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

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

12
Sep
08

On This Day, 9-12-2008: Boston Integration

Violence in Boston over racial busing

In Boston, Massachusetts, opposition to court-ordered school “busing” turns violent on the opening day of classes. School buses carrying African American children were pelted with eggs, bricks, and bottles, and police in combat gear fought to control angry white protesters besieging the schools.

U.S. District Judge Arthur Garrity ordered the busing of African American students to predominantly white schools and white students to black schools in an effort to integrate Boston’s geographically segregated public schools. In his June 1974 ruling in Morgan v. Hennigan, Garrity stated that Boston’s de facto school segregation discriminated against black children. The beginning of forced busing on September 12 was met with massive protests, particularly in South Boston, the city’s main Irish-Catholic neighborhood. Protests continued unabated for months, and many parents, white and black, kept their children at home. In October, the National Guard was mobilized to enforce the federal desegregation order.

“Violence in Boston over racial busing.” 2008. The History Channel website. 12 Sep 2008, 03:28 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=5340.

On This Day

1609 – English explorer Henry Hudson sailed down what is now known as the Hudson River.

1814 – During the War of 1812, the Battle of North Point was fought in Maryland.

1916 – Adelina and August Van Buren finished the first successful transcontinental motorcycle tour to be attempted by two women. They started in New York City on July 5, 1916.

1918 – During World War I, At the Battle of St. Mihiel, U.S. Army personnel operate tanks for the first time. The tanks were French-built.

1938 – In a speech, Adolf Hitler demanded self-determination for the Sudeten Germans in Czechoslovakia.

1943 – During World War II, Benito Mussolini was taken by German paratroopers from the Italian government that was holding him.

1953 – U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier.

1953 – Nikita Krushchev was elected as the first secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1974 – Emperor Haile Selassie was taken out of power by Ethiopia’s military after ruling for 58 years.

1980 – Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini listed four conditions for the release of American hostages taken on November 4, 1979. The conditions were the unfreezing of Iranian assets, the return of the shah’s wealth to Iran, the cancellation of U.S. claims against Iran, and a U.S. pledge of noninterference in Iran’s internal affairs.

1992 – Dr. Mae Carol Jemison became the first African-American woman in space. She was the payload specialist aboard the space shuttle Endeavor. Also onboard were Mission Specialist N. Jan Davis and Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Mark C. Lee. They were the first married couple to fly together in space. And, Mamoru Mohri became the first Japanese person to fly into space.

Situation deteriorates in South Vietnam

North Vietnamese Premier Pham Van Dong tells the French Consul: “You must remember we will be in Saigon tomorrow.” In November, he would tell the Canadian Commissioner: “We will drive the Americans into the sea.” The U.S. Embassy in Saigon eventually passed these remarks along to Washington as evidence of the deteriorating situation in South Vietnam. The United States had taken over from the French in the effort to stem the tide of communism in Southeast Asia. When President John F. Kennedy took office in 1961, he was faced with a dilemma in Laos and Vietnam. He decided that the line against communism had to be drawn in Vietnam and therefore he increased the number of military advisers to President Ngo Dinh Diem’s government in Saigon. By the time of his assassination in November 1963, there would be more than 16,000 U.S. advisers in South Vietnam. Under his successor, Lyndon Johnson, there would be a steady escalation of the war that ultimately resulted in the commitment of more than half a million U.S. troops in South Vietnam.

“Situation deteriorates in South Vietnam.” 2008. The History Channel website. 12 Sep 2008, 03:21 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=1353.

12
Aug
08

On This Day, 8-12-2008: The Berlin Wall

East Germany begins construction of the Berlin Wall

In an effort to stem the tide of refugees attempting to leave East Berlin, the communist government of East Germany begins building the Berlin Wall to divide East and West Berlin. Construction of the wall caused a short-term crisis in U.S.-Soviet bloc relations, and the wall itself came to symbolize the Cold War.

Throughout the 1950s and into the early 1960s, thousands of people from East Berlin crossed over into West Berlin to reunite with families and escape communist repression. In an effort to stop that outflow, the government of East Germany, on the night of August 12, 1961, began to seal off all points of entrance into West Berlin from East Berlin by stringing barbed wire and posting sentries. In the days and weeks to come, construction of a concrete block wall began, complete with sentry towers and minefields around it. The Berlin Wall succeeded in completely sealing off the two sections of Berlin. The U.S. government responded angrily. Commanders of U.S. troops in West Berlin even began to make plans to bulldoze the wall, but gave up on the idea when the Soviets moved armored units into position to protect it. The West German government was furious with America’s lack of action, but President John F. Kennedy believed that “A wall is a hell of a lot better than a war.” In an attempt to reassure the West Germans that the United States was not abandoning them, Kennedy traveled to the Berlin Wall in June 1963, and famously declared, “Ich bin ein Berliner!” (“I am a Berliner!”). Since the word “Berliner” was commonly referred to as a jelly doughnut throughout most of Germany, Kennedy’s improper use of German grammar was also translated as “I am a jelly doughnut.” However, due to the context of his speech, Kennedy’s intended meaning that he stood together with West Berlin in its rivalry with communist East Berlin and the German Democratic Republic was understood by the German people.

In the years to come, the Berlin Wall became a physical symbol of the Cold War. The stark division between communist East Berlin and democratic West Berlin served as the subject for numerous editorials and speeches in the United States, while the Soviet bloc characterized the wall as a necessary protection against the degrading and immoral influences of decadent Western culture and capitalism. During the lifetime of the wall, nearly 80 people were killed trying to escape from East to West Berlin. In late 1989, with communist governments falling throughout Eastern Europe, the Berlin Wall was finally opened and then demolished. For many observers, this action was the signal that the Cold War was finally coming to an end.

“East Germany begins construction of the Berlin Wall.” 2008. The History Channel website. 11 Aug 2008, 11:51 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2757.

 

On This Day

1656 – “King Phillip’s War” came to an end with the killing of Indian chief King Phillip. The war between the Indians and the Europeans lasted for two years.

1865 – Disinfectant was used for the first time during surgery by Joseph Lister.

1867 – U.S. President Andrew Johnson sparked a move to impeach him when he defied Congress by suspending Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.

1877 – Thomas Edison invented the phonograph and made the first sound recording.

1898 – Hawaii was annexed by the U.S. Hawaii was later given territorial status and was given Statehood in 1959.

1898 – The Spanish-American War was ended with the signing of the peace protocol. The U.S. acquired Guam, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. Hawaii was also annexed.

1944 – Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. was killed with his co-pilot when their Navy plane exploded over England. Joseph Kennedy was the oldest son of Joseph and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy.

1953 – The Soviet Union secretly tested its first hydrogen bomb.

1960 – The balloon satellite Echo One was launched by the U.S. from Cape Canaveral, FL. It was the first communications satellite.

1981 – IBM unveiled its first PC.

1988 – “The Last Temptation of Christ” opened.

1990 – The first U.S. casualty occurred during the Persian Gulf crisis when Air Force Staff Sergeant John Campisi died after being hit by a military truck.

1992 – The U.S., Canada, and Mexico announced that the North American Free Trade Agreement had been created after 14 months of negotiations.

 

 

Hitler institutes the Mother’s Cross

On this day in 1938, Adolf Hitler institutes the Mother’s Cross, to encourage German women to have more children, to be awarded each year on August 12, Hitler’s mother’s birthday.

The German Reich needed a robust and growing population and encouraged couples to have large families. It started such encouragement early. Once members of the distaff wing of the Hitler Youth movement, the League of German Girls, turned 18, they became eligible for a branch called Faith and Beauty, which trained these girls in the art of becoming ideal mothers. One component of that ideal was fecundity. And so each year, in honor of his beloved mother, Klara, and in memory of her birthday, a gold medal was awarded to women with seven children, a silver to women with six, and a bronze to women with five.

“Hitler institutes the Mother’s Cross.” 2008. The History Channel website. 11 Aug 2008, 11:52 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=6548.

Soviets test “Layer-Cake” bomb

Less than one year after the United States tested its first hydrogen bomb, the Soviets detonate a 400-kiloton device in Kazakhstan. The explosive power was 30 times that of the U.S. atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, and the mushroom cloud produced by it stretched five miles into the sky. Known as the “Layer Cake,” the bomb was fueled by layers of uranium and lithium deuteride, a hydrogen isotope. The Soviet bomb was smaller and more portable than the American hydrogen bomb, so its development once again upped the ante in the dangerous nuclear arms race between the Cold War superpowers.

“Soviets test “Layer-Cake” bomb.” 2008. The History Channel website. 11 Aug 2008, 12:02 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=5255.

01
Aug
08

On This Day, 8-1-08: Germany Declares War on Russia

First World War erupts

Four days after Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, Germany and Russia declare war against each other, France orders a general mobilization, and the first German army units cross into Luxembourg in preparation for the German invasion of France. During the next three days, Russia, France, Belgium, and Great Britain all lined up against Austria-Hungary and Germany, and the German army invaded Belgium. The “Great War” that ensued was one of unprecedented destruction and loss of life, resulting in the deaths of some 20 million soldiers and civilians.

For the most part, the people of Europe greeted the outbreak of war with jubilation. Most patriotically assumed that their country would be victorious within months. Of the initial belligerents, Germany was most prepared for the outbreak of hostilities, and its military leaders had formatted a sophisticated military strategy known as the “Schlieffen Plan,” which envisioned the conquest of France through a great arcing offensive through Belgium and into northern France. Russia, slow to mobilize, was to be kept occupied by Austro-Hungarian forces while Germany attacked France.

The Schlieffen Plan was nearly successful, but in early September the French rallied and halted the German advance at the bloody Battle of the Marne near Paris. By the end of 1914, well over a million soldiers of various nationalities had been killed on the battlefields of Europe, and neither for the Allies nor the Central Powers was a final victory in sight. On the western front–the battle line that stretched across northern France and Belgium–the combatants settled down in the trenches for a terrible war of attrition.

World War I was known as the “war to end all wars” because of the great slaughter and destruction it caused. Unfortunately, the peace treaty that officially ended the conflict–the Treaty of Versailles of 1919–forced punitive terms on Germany that destabilized Europe and laid the groundwork for World War II.

“First World War erupts.” 2008. The History Channel website. 1 Aug 2008, 02:43 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6976.

 

On This Day

1498 – Christopher Columbus landed on “Isla Santa” (Venezuela).

1619 – The first black Americans (20) land at Jamestown, VA.

1774 – Oxygen was isolated from air successfully by chemist Carl Wilhelm and scientist Joseph Priestly.

1790 – The first U.S. census was completed. The population of the 17 states was 3,929,214.

1834 – Slavery was outlawed in the British empire with an emancipation bill.

1873 – Andrew S. Hallidie successfully tested a cable car. The design was done for San Francisco, CA.

1876 – Colorado became the 38th state to join the United States.

1894 – The first Sino-Japanese War erupted. The dispute was over control of Korea.

1907 – The U.S. Army established an aeronautical division that later became the U.S. Air Force.

1914 – Germany declared war on Russia at the beginning of World War I.

1936 – Adolf Hitler presided over the Olympic games as they opened in Berlin.

1943 – Several deaths occurred in a race-related riot in Harlem, New York City.

1946 – In the U.S., the Atomic Energy Commission was established.

1957 – The North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) was created by the United States and Canada.

1966 – Fifteen people were shot and killed and 31 others were injured by Charles Joseph Whitman from a tower at the University of Texas at Austin. Whitman was killed in the tower.

1973 – The movie “American Graffiti” opened.

1975 – The Helsinki accords pledged the signatory nations to respect human rights.

1988 – Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ” opened.

2006 – Cuban leader Fidel Castro turned over absolute power when he gave his brother Raul authority while he underwent an intestinal surgery.

 

 

PT-109 sinks; Lieutenant Kennedy is instrumental in saving crew

On this day in 1943, a Japanese destroyer rams an American PT (patrol torpedo) boat, No. 109, slicing it in two. The destruction is so massive other American PT boats in the area assume the crew is dead. Two crewmen were, in fact, killed, but 11 survived, including Lt. John F. Kennedy.

Warsaw Revolt begins

During World War II, an advance Soviet armored column under General Konstantin Rokossovski reaches the Vistula River along the eastern suburb of Warsaw, prompting Poles in the city to launch a major uprising against the Nazi occupation. The revolt was spearheaded by Polish General Tadeusz Bor-Komorowski, who was the commander of the Home Army, an underground resistance group made up of some 40,000 poorly supplied soldiers. In addition to accelerating the liberation of Warsaw, the Home Army, which had ties with the Polish government-in-exile in London and was anti-communist in its ideology, hoped to gain at least partial control of Warsaw before the Soviets arrived.

Although the Poles in Warsaw won early gains–and Soviet liberation of the city was inevitable–Nazi leader Adolf Hitler ordered his authorities to crush the uprising at all costs. The elite Nazi SS directed the German defense force, which included the Kaminiski Brigade of Russian prisoners and the Dirlewanger Brigade of German convicts. In brutal street fighting, the Poles were gradually overcome by the superior German weaponry. As the rebels were suppressed, the Nazis deliberately razed large portions of the city and massacred many civilians.

Meanwhile, the Red Army gained several bridgeheads across the Vistula River but made no efforts to aid the rebels in Warsaw. The Soviets also rejected a request by the British to use Soviet air bases to airlift supplies to the beleaguered Poles. The rebels and the city’s citizens ran out of medical supplies, food, and eventually water. Finally, on October 2, the surviving rebels, including Bor-Komorowski, surrendered.

During the 63-day ordeal, three-fourths of the Home Army perished along with 200,000 civilians. As a testament to the ferocity of the fighting, the Germans also suffered high casualties: 10,000 killed, 9,000 wounded, and 7,000 missing. During the next few months, German troops deported the surviving population, and demolition squads destroyed what buildings remained intact in Warsaw. All of its great treasures were looted or burned. The Red Army remained dormant outside Warsaw until January 1945, when the final Soviet offensive against Germany commenced. Warsaw, a city in ruins, was liberated on January 17. With Warsaw out of the way, the Soviets faced little organized opposition in establishing a communist government in Poland.

“Warsaw Revolt begins.” 2008. The History Channel website. 1 Aug 2008, 02:50 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5225.




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