Posts Tagged ‘Julius Caesar

15
Mar
09

On This Day, March 15: The Ides of March

March 15, -44

The Ides of March

Gaius Julius Caesar, dictator of Rome, is stabbed to death in the Roman Senate house by 60 conspirators led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus.

Caesar, born into the Julii, an ancient but not particularly distinguished Roman aristocratic family, began his political career in 78 B.C. as a prosecutor for the anti-patrician Popular Party. He won influence in the party for his reformist ideas and oratorical skills, and aided Roman imperial efforts by raising a private army to combat the king of Pontus in 74 B.C. He was an ally of Pompey, the recognized head of the Popular Party, and essentially took over this position after Pompey left Rome in 67 B.C. to become commander of Roman forces in the east.

In 63 B.C., Caesar was elected pontifex maximus, or “high priest,” allegedly by heavy bribes. Two years later, he was made governor of Farther Spain and in 64 B.C. returned to Rome, ambitious for the office of consul. The consulship, essentially the highest office in the Roman Republic, was shared by two politicians on an annual basis. Consuls commanded the army, presided over the Senate and executed its decrees, and represented the state in foreign affairs. Caesar formed a political alliance–the so-called First Triumvirate–with Pompey and Marcus Licinius Crassus, the wealthiest man in Rome, and in 59 B.C. was elected consul. Although generally opposed by the majority of the Roman Senate, Caesar’s land reforms won him popularity with many Romans.

In 58 B.C., Caesar was given four Roman legions in Cisalpine Gaul and Illyricum, and during the next decade demonstrated brilliant military talents as he expanded the Roman Empire and his reputation. Among other achievements, Caesar conquered all of Gaul, made the first Roman inroads into Britain, and won devoted supporters in his legions. However, his successes also aroused Pompey’s jealousy, leading to the collapse of their political alliance in 53 B.C.

The Roman Senate supported Pompey and asked Caesar to give up his army, which he refused to do. In January 49 B.C., Caesar led his legions across the Rubicon River from Cisalpine Gaul to Italy, thus declaring war against Pompey and his forces. Caesar made early gains in the subsequent civil war, defeating Pompey’s army in Italy and Spain, but was later forced into retreat in Greece. In August 48 B.C., with Pompey in pursuit, Caesar paused near Pharsalus, setting up camp at a strategic location. When Pompey’s senatorial forces fell upon Caesar’s smaller army, they were entirely routed, and Pompey fled to Egypt, where he was assassinated by an officer of the Egyptian king.

Caesar was subsequently appointed Roman consul and dictator, but before settling in Rome he traveled around the empire for several years and consolidated his rule. In 45 B.C., he returned to Rome and was made dictator for life. As sole Roman ruler, Caesar launched ambitious programs of reform within the empire. The most lasting of these was his establishment of the Julian calendar, which, with the exception of a slight modification and adjustment in the 16th century, remains in use today. He also planned new imperial expansions in central Europe and to the east. In the midst of these vast designs, he was assassinated on March 15, 44 B.C., by a group of conspirators who believed that his death would lead to the restoration of the Roman Republic. However, the result of the “Ides of March” was to plunge Rome into a fresh round of civil wars, out of which Octavian, Caesar’s grand-nephew, would emerge as Augustus, the first Roman emperor, destroying the republic forever.

“The Ides of March.” 2009. The History Channel website. 15 Mar 2009, 07:03 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6837.

On This Day

1781 – During the American Revolution, the Battle of Guilford Courthouse took place in North Carolina. British General Cornwallis’ 1,900 soldiers defeated an American force of 4,400.

1820 – Maine was admitted as the 23rd state of the Union.

1892 – New York State unveiled the new automatic ballot voting machine.

1916 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson sent 12,000 troops, under General Pershing, over the border of Mexico to pursue bandit Pancho Villa. The mission failed.

1935 – Joseph Goebbels, German Minister of Propaganda banned four Berlin newspapers.

1938 – Oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia.

1939 – German forces occupied Bohemia and Moravia, and part of Czechoslovakia.

1944 – Cassino, Italy, was destroyed by Allied bombing.

1955 – The U.S. Air Force unveiled a self-guided missile.

1960 – The first underwater park was established as Key Largo Coral Reef Preserve.

1996 – The aviation firm Fokker NV collapsed.

2002 – U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell told the Associated Press that the U.S. would stand by a 24-year pledge not to use nuclear arms against states that don’t have them.

March 15, 1917

Czar Nicholas II abdicates

During the February Revolution, Czar Nicholas II, ruler of Russia since 1894, is forced to abdicate the throne by the Petrograd insurgents, and a provincial government is installed in his place.

Crowned on May 26, 1894, Nicholas was neither trained nor inclined to rule, which did not help the autocracy he sought to preserve in an era desperate for change. The disastrous outcome of the Russo-Japanese War led to the Russian Revolution of 1905, which the czar diffused only after signing a manifesto promising representative government and basic civil liberties in Russia. However, Nicholas soon retracted most of these concessions, and the Bolsheviks and other revolutionary groups won wide support. In 1914, Nicholas led his country into another costly war, and discontent in Russia grew as food became scarce, soldiers became war-weary, and devastating defeats on the eastern front demonstrated the czar’s ineffectual leadership.

In March 1917, the army garrison at Petrograd joined striking workers in demanding socialist reforms, and Czar Nicholas II was forced to abdicate. Nicholas and his family were first held at the Czarskoye Selo palace, then in the Yekaterinburg palace near Tobolsk. In July 1918, the advance of counterrevolutionary forces caused the Yekaterinburg Soviet forces to fear that Nicholas might be rescued. After a secret meeting, a death sentence was passed on the imperial family, and Nicholas, his wife, his children, and several of their servants were gunned down on the night of July 16.

“Czar Nicholas II abdicates.” 2009. The History Channel website. 15 Mar 2009, 07:04 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4838.

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26
Aug
08

On This Day, 8-26-2008: The Missile Gap

Russia tests an intercontinental ballistic missile

The Soviet Union announces that it has successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of being fired “into any part of the world.” The announcement caused great concern in the United States, and started a national debate over the “missile gap” between America and Russia.

For years after World War II, both the United States and the Soviet Union had been trying to perfect a long-range missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Building on the successes of Nazi Germany in developing the V-1 and V-2 rockets that pummeled Great Britain during the last months of World War II, both American and Russian scientists raced to improve the range and accuracy of such missiles. (Both nations relied heavily on captured German scientists in their efforts.) In July 1957, the United States seemed to win the race when the Atlas, an ICBM with a speed of up to 20,000 miles an hour and an effective range of 5,000 miles, was ready for testing. The test, however, was a disaster. The missile rose only about 5,000 feet into the air, tumbled, and plunged to earth. Just a month later, the Soviets claimed success by announcing that their own ICBM had been tested, had “covered a huge distance in a brief time,” and “landed in the target area.” No details were given in the Russian announcement and some commentators in the United States doubted that the ICBM test had been as successful as claimed. Nevertheless, the Soviet possession of this “ultimate weapon,” coupled with recent successful test by the Russians of atomic and hydrogen bombs, raised concerns in America. If the Soviets did indeed perfect their ICBM, no part of the United States would be completely safe from possible atomic attack.

Less than two months later, the Soviets sent the satellite Sputnik into space. Concern quickly turned to fear in the United States, as it appeared that the Russians were gaining the upper hand in the arms and space races. The American government accelerated its own missile and space programs. The Soviet successes–and American failures–became an issue in the 1960 presidential campaign. Democratic challenger John F. Kennedy charged that the outgoing Eisenhower administration had allowed a dangerous “missile gap” to develop between the United States and the Soviet Union. Following his victory in 1960, Kennedy made missile development and the space program priorities for his presidency.

“Russia tests an intercontinental ballistic missile.” 2008. The History Channel website. 26 Aug 2008, 04:38 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2771.

 

On This Day

55 B.C. – Britain was invaded by Roman forces under Julius Caesar.

1743 – Antoine Lavoisier was born. He was the chemist that proved that the union of oxygen and other chemicals is used in burning, rusting of metals and breathing.

1883 – A two-day eruption of the volcanic island Krakatoa began. The tidal waves that were associated with the eruption killed 36,000 people when they destroyed the island.

1920 – The 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution went into effect. The amendment prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex in the voting booth.

1937 – All Chinese shipping was blockaded by Japan.

1957 – The first Edsel made by the Ford Motor Company rolled out.

1998 – The U.S. government announced that they were investigating Microsoft in an attempt to discover if they “bullied” Intel into delaying new technology.

1998 – Sudan filed a criminal lawsuit against U.S. President Clinton and the United States for the bombing of the El-Shifa Pharmaceutical Industries Company. The Sudanese claimed that the plant was strictly civilian.

 

Washington urges Hessians to desert

Falsely confident that the British would not attack New York’s Manhattan Island, General George Washington pours additional reinforcements into the lines around Brooklyn Heights, then considered part of rural Long Island, on this day in 1776. Washington also ordered the dispersal of certain documents among the Hessians, about which he wrote “The papers designed for the foreign (Hessian) Troops, have been put into several Channels, in order that they may be conveyed to them, and from the Information I had yesterday, I have reason to believe many have fallen into their Hands.” The “papers” induced Hessian troops to desert the British army.

“Washington urges Hessians to desert.” 2008. The History Channel website. 26 Aug 2008, 04:34 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=50706.

Democratic convention besieged by protesters

As the Democratic National Convention gets underway in Chicago, thousands of antiwar demonstrators take to Chicago’s streets to protest the Vietnam War and its support by the top Democratic presidential candidate, Vice President Hubert Humphrey. During the four-day convention, the most violent in U.S. history, police and National Guardsmen clashed with protesters outside the International Amphitheater, and hundreds of people, including innocent bystanders, were beaten by the Chicago police. The violence even spilled into the convention hall, as guards roughed up delegates and members of the press, including CBS News correspondent Mike Wallace, who was punched in the face. On August 29, Humphrey secured the nomination and the convention ended.

In the convention’s aftermath, a federal commission investigating the convention described one of the confrontations as a “police riot” and blamed Chicago Mayor Richard Daley for inciting his police to violence. Nevertheless, eight political radicals–the so-called “Chicago Eight”–were arrested on charges of conspiring to incite the violence, and in 1969 their trial began in Chicago, sparking new waves of protests in the city.

“Democratic convention besieged by protesters.” 2008. The History Channel website. 26 Aug 2008, 04:32 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=5292.

 

By 1968 John Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy had been murdered, and the Vietnam War had escalated into an epic struggle between capitalism and communism.  Anti-war protesters descended on the Democratic convention in 1968.  Before Chicago in 1968 the protests had been relatively peaceful, after Chicago anti-war violence escalated.

“Hello, I’m going to read a declaration of a state of war…within the next 14 days we will attack a symbol or institution of American injustice.” ~ Bernardine Dohrn http://www.upstatefilms.org/weather/main.html

This is a full length film documentary and has graphic violent content.

“The Weather Underground”

Port Huron Statement of the Students for a Democratic Society, 1962

Introductory Note: This document represents the results of several months of writing and discussion among the membership, a draft paper, and revision by the Students for a Democratic Society national convention meeting in Port Huron, Michigan, June 11-15, 1962. It is represented as a document with which SDS officially identifies, but also as a living document open to change with our times and experiences. It is a beginning: in our own debate and education, in our dialogue with society.

published and distributed by Students for a Democratic Society 112 East 19 Street New York 3, New York Gramercy 3-2181

http://coursesa.matrix.msu.edu/~hst306/documents/huron.html

“Violence didn’t work.”  Mark Rudd

A policy is a temporary creed liable to be changed, but while it holds good it has got to be pursued with apostolic zeal.
Mohandas Gandhi

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
Mohandas Gandhi

14
Mar
08

On This Day, 3-15-08: Et tu Brute

The ides of March: Julius Caesar is murdered

Julius Caesar, the “dictator for life” of the Roman Empire, is murdered by his own senators at a meeting in a hall next to Pompey’s Theatre. The conspiracy against Caesar encompassed as many as sixty noblemen, including Caesar’s own protege, Marcus Brutus.

Caesar was scheduled to leave Rome to fight in a war on March 18 and had appointed loyal members of his army to rule the Empire in his absence. The Republican senators, already chafing at having to abide by Caesar’s decrees, were particularly angry about the prospect of taking orders from Caesar’s underlings. Cassius Longinus started the plot against the dictator, quickly getting his brother-in-law Marcus Brutus to join.

Caesar should have been well aware that many of the senators hated him, but he dismissed his security force not long before his assassination. Reportedly, Caesar was handed a warning note as he entered the senate meeting that day but did not read it. After he entered the hall, Caesar was surrounded by senators holding daggers. Servilius Casca struck the first blow, hitting Caesar in the neck and drawing blood. The other senators all joined in, stabbing him repeatedly about the head.

Marcus Brutus wounded Caesar in the groin and Caesar is said to have remarked in Greek, “You, too, my child?” In the aftermath of the assassination, Antony attempted to carry out Caesar’s legacy. However, Caesar’s will left Octavian in charge as his adopted son. Cassius and Brutus tried to rally a Republican army and Brutus even issued coins celebrating the assassination, known as the Ides of March. Octavian vowed revenge against the assassins, two years later Cassius and Brutus committed suicide after learning that Octavian’s forces had defeated theirs at the Battle of Philippa in Greece.

Antony took his armies east, where he hooked up with Caesar’s old paramour, Cleopatra. Octavian and Antony fought for many years until Octavian prevailed. In 30 B.C., Antony committed suicide. Octavian, later known as Augustus, ruled the Roman Empire for many more years. 

“The ides of March: Julius Caesar is murdered.” 2008. The History Channel website. 15 Mar 2008, 01:07 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=939.

1493 – Christopher Columbus returned to Spain after his first New World voyage.

1781 – During the American Revolution, the Battle of Guilford Courthouse took place in North Carolina. British General Cornwallis’ 1,900 soldiers defeated an American force of 4,400. http://www.nps.gov/guco/

1820 – Maine was admitted as the 23rd state of the Union.

1862 – General John Hunt Morgan began four days of raids near the city of Gallatin, TN. http://www.equilt.com/morgan.html

1904 – Three hundred Russians were killed as the Japanese shelled Port Arthur in Korea.

1907 – In Finland, woman won their first seats in the Finnish Parliament. They took their seats on May 23.

1916 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson sent 12,000 troops, under General Pershing, over the border of Mexico to pursue bandit Pancho Villa. The mission failed.

1917 – Russian Czar Nicholas II abdicated himself and his son. His brother Grand Duke succeeded as czar.

1937 – In Chicago, IL, the first blood bank to preserve blood for transfusion by refrigeration was established at the Cook County Hospital.

1938 – Oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia.

1939 – German forces occupied Bohemia and Moravia, and part of Czechoslovakia.

1944 – Cassino, Italy, was destroyed by Allied bombing.

1955 – The U.S. Air Force unveiled a self-guided missile.

1964 – In Montreal, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor were married.

1996 – The aviation firm Fokker NV collapsed.

2002 – U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell told the Associated Press that the U.S. would stand by a 24-year pledge not to use nuclear arms against states that don’t have them.

Washington puts an end to the Newburgh Conspiracy

On the morning of March 15, 1783, General George Washington makes a surprise appearance at an assembly of army officers at Newburgh, New York, to calm the growing frustration and distrust they had been openly expressing towards Congress in the previous few weeks. Angry with Congress for failing to honor its promise to pay them and for its failure to settle accounts for repayment of food and clothing, officers began circulating an anonymous letter condemning Congress and calling for a revolt.

“Washington puts an end to the Newburgh Conspiracy.” 2008. The History Channel website. 15 Mar 2008, 01:14 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=311.

Nazis take Czechoslovakia

On this day, Hitler’s forces invade and occupy Czechoslovakia–a nation sacrificed on the altar of the Munich Pact, which was a vain attempt to prevent Germany’s imperial aims.”

Nazis take Czechoslovakia.” 2008. The History Channel website. 15 Mar 2008, 01:13 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6743.

S&Ls closed in Ohio

After watching vast chunks of his state’s savings and loans banks bleed money and shut their doors, Ohio Governor Richard Celeste took action on March 15, 1985. On this day, Celeste temporarily halted business at all of Ohio’s ailing thrifts. After being shut down for a bare three days, the S&Ls were allowed to reopen on March 21, albeit with a $750 cap on withdrawals designed to prevent an all-out assault on deposits. However, Ohio’s actions couldn’t stave off what became one of the largest fiscal crises of the 1980s: plagued by slow-downs in key sectors of the economy, thrifts across the country fell prey to bankruptcy. However, the so-called Savings and Loan Scandal was not simply marked by the mass failure of high-profile financial institutions; it was also steeped in corruption, as scores of S&L chiefs had abused their positions in the name of racking up gaudy fortunes. Following the tidal wave of thrifts closures, a number of the S&L chiefs were sent to jail for fraud and embezzlement.

“S.” 2008. The History Channel website. 15 Mar 2008, 01:12 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5776.

12
Jan
08

On This Day 1-12-08

49 BC – Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon River signaling a war between Rome and Gaul.

1773 – The first public museum in America was established in Charleston, SC.

1908 – A wireless message was sent long-distance for the first time from the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

1915 – The U.S. House of Representatives rejected a proposal to give women the right to vote.

1915 – The U.S. Congress established the Rocky Mountain National Park.

1932 – Hattie W. Caraway became the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate.*

1940 – Soviet bombers raided cities in Finland.

1942 – U.S. President Roosevelt created the National War Labor Board.

1943 – The Office of Price Administration announced that standard frankfurters/hot dogs/wieners would be replaced by ‘Victory Sausages.’

1945 – During World War II, Soviet forces began a huge offensive against the Germans in Eastern Europe.

1948 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could not discriminate against law-school applicants because of race.

1966 – U.S. President Johnson said in his State of the Union address that the United States should stay in South Vietnam until Communist aggression there was ended.

1966 – “Batman” debuted on ABC-TV.

1971 – “All In the Family” debuted on CBS-TV.

1986 – Space shuttle Columbia blasted off with a crew that included the first Hispanic-American in space, Dr. Franklin R. Chang-Diaz.

1998 – Linda Tripp provided Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr’s office with taped conversations between herself and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

It is not these well-fed long-haired men that I fear, but the pale and the hungry-looking.
Julius Caesar

Men in general are quick to believe that which they wish to be true.
Julius Caesar

Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.
Margaret Thatcher

*Hattie Caraway maintained a “housewife” image and made no speeches on the floor of the Senate, earning the nickname “Silent Hattie.” To learn more about Hattie Caraway follow the link http://womenshistory.about.com/library/bio/blbio_caraway_hattie.htm




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