Posts Tagged ‘Khmer Rouge

16
Apr
09

On This Day, April 16: LSD Discovered

April 16, 1943

Hallucinogenic effects of LSD discovered

In Basel, Switzerland, Albert Hoffman, a Swiss chemist working at the Sandoz pharmaceutical research laboratory, accidentally consumes LSD-25, a synthetic drug he had created in 1938 as part of his research into the medicinal value of lysergic acid compounds. After taking the drug, formally known as lysergic acid diethylamide, Dr. Hoffman was disturbed by unusual sensations and hallucinations. In his notes, he related the experience:

“Last Friday, April 16, 1943, I was forced to interrupt my work in the laboratory in the middle of the afternoon and proceed home, being affected by a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness. At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant, intoxicated-like condition characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours this condition faded away.”

After intentionally taking the drug again to confirm that it had caused this strange physical and mental state, Dr. Hoffman published a report announcing his discovery, and so LSD made its entry into the world as a hallucinogenic drug. Widespread use of the so-called “mind-expanding” drug did not begin until the 1960s, when counterculture figures such as Albert M. Hubbard, Timothy Leary, and Ken Kesey publicly expounded on the benefits of using LSD as a recreational drug. The manufacture, sale, possession, and use of LSD, known to cause negative reactions in some of those who take it, were made illegal in the United States in 1965.

“Hallucinogenic effects of LSD discovered,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4924 [accessed Apr 16, 2009]

On This Day

0069 – Otho committed suicide after being defeated by Vitellius’ troops at Bedriacum.

1065 – The Norman Robert Guiscard took Bari. Five centuries of Byzantine rule in southern Italy ended.

1746 – The Duke of Cumberland defeated Bonnie Prince Charlie (and his Jacobites) at the battle of Culloden.

1818 – The U.S. Senate ratified Rush-Bagot amendment to form an unarmed U.S.-Canada border.

1862 – Confederate President Jefferson Davis approved conscription act for white males between 18 and 35.

1862 – In the U.S., slavery was abolished by law in the District of Columbia.

1905 – Andrew Carnegie donated $10,000,000 of personal money to set up the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

1917 – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin returned to Russia to start Bolshevik Revolution after years of exile.

1942 – The Island of Malta was awarded the George Cross in recognition for heroism under constant German air attack.

1944 – The destroyer USS Laffey survived immense damage from attacks by 22 Japanese aircraft off Okinawa.

1945 – American troops entered Nuremberg, Germany.

1962 – Walter Cronkite began anchoring “The CBS Evening News”.

1972 – Apollo 16 blasted off on a voyage to the moon. It was the fifth manned moon landing.

1975 – The Khmer Rouge Rebels won control of Cambodia after a five years of civil war. They renamed the country Kampuchea and began a reign of terror.

1982 – Queen Elizabeth proclaimed Canada’s new constitution in effect. The act severed the last colonial links with Britain.

1992 – The House ethics committee listed 303 current and former lawmakers who had overdrawn their House bank accounts.

April 16, 1972

United States resumes bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong

In an effort to help blunt the ongoing North Vietnamese Nguyen Hue Offensive, the United States resumes bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong after a four-year lull.

In the first use of B-52s against both Hanoi and Haiphong, and the first attacks against both cities since November 1968, 18 B-52s and about 100 U.S. Navy and Air Force fighter-bombers struck supply dumps near Haiphong’s harbor. Sixty fighter-bombers hit petroleum storage facilities near Hanoi, with another wave of planes striking later in the afternoon. White House spokesmen announced that the United States would bomb military targets anywhere in Vietnam in order to help the South Vietnamese defend against the communist onslaught.

These actions were part of the U.S. response to the North Vietnamese offensive, which had begun on March 30. The North Vietnamese had launched a massive invasion designed to strike the knockout blow that would win the war for the communists. The attack was called the Nguyen Hue Offensive by the North Vietnamese, but was also more commonly known to Americans as the “Easter Offensive.” The attacking force of North Vietnamese included 14 infantry divisions and 26 separate regiments, with more than 120,000 troops and approximately 1,200 tanks and other armored vehicles. The main North Vietnamese objectives, in addition to Quang Tri in the north, were Kontum in the Central Highlands, and An Loc farther to the south. The fighting, which continued into the fall, was some of the most desperate of the war as the South Vietnamese fought for their very survival. They prevailed against the invaders with the help of U.S. advisors and massive American airpower.

“United States resumes bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=1789 [accessed Apr 16, 2009]

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18
Mar
09

On This Day, March 18: Fighting the Red Menace

March 18, 1950

Nationalist Chinese forces invade mainland China

In a surprise raid on the communist People’s Republic of China (PRC), military forces of the Nationalist Chinese government on Taiwan invade the mainland and capture the town of Sungmen. Because the United States supported the attack, it resulted in even deeper tensions and animosities between the U.S. and the PRC.

In October 1949, the leader of the communist revolution in China, Mao Zedong, declared victory against the Nationalist government of China and formally established the People’s Republic of China. Nationalist troops, politicians, and supporters fled the country and many ended up on Taiwan, an island off the Chinese coast. Once there, they declared themselves the real Chinese government and were immediately recognized as such by the United States. Officials from the United States refused to have anything to do with the PRC government and adamantly refused to grant it diplomatic recognition.

Nationalist Chinese leader Chiang Kai-Shek bombarded the mainland with propaganda broadcasts and pamphlets dropped from aircraft signaling his intention of invading the PRC and removing what he referred to as the “Soviet aggressors.” In the weeks preceding the March 18, 1950 raid, Chiang had been particularly vocal, charging that the Soviets were supplying the PRC with military advisors and an imposing arsenal of weapons. On March 18, thousands of Nationalist troops, supported by air and sea units, attacked the coast of the PRC, capturing the town of Sungmen that lay about 200 miles south of Shanghai. The Nationalists reported that they killed over 2,500 communist troops. Battles between the raiding group and communist forces continued for weeks, but eventually the Nationalist forces were defeated and driven back to Taiwan.

Perhaps more important than the military encounter was the war of words between the United States and the PRC. Communist officials immediately charged that the United States was behind the raid, and even suggested that American pilots and advisors accompanied the attackers. (No evidence has surfaced to support those charges.) American officials were cautiously supportive of the Nationalist attack, though what they hoped it would accomplish beyond minor irritation to the PRC remains unknown. Just eight months later, military forces from the PRC and the United States met on the battlefield in Korea. Despite suggestions from some officials, including the commander of U.S. troops Gen. Douglas MacArthur, that the United States “unleash” the Nationalist armies against mainland China, President Harry S. Truman refrained from this action, fearing that it would escalate into World War III.

“Nationalist Chinese forces invade mainland China.” 2009. The History Channel website. 18 Mar 2009, 11:08 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2610.

On This Day

0037 – The Roman Senate annuls Tiberius’ will and proclaims Caligula emperor.

1532 – The English parliament banned payments by English church to Rome.

1541 – Hernando de Soto observed the first recorded flood of the Mississippi River.

1766 – Britain repealed the Stamp Act.

1865 – The Congress of the Confederate States of America adjourned for the last time.

1917 – The Germans sank the U.S. ships, City of Memphis, Vigilante and the Illinois, without any warning.

1937 – More than 400 people, mostly children, were killed in a gas explosion at a school in New London, TX.

1938 – Mexico took control of all foreign-owned oil properties on its soil.

1943 – American forces took Gafsa in Tunisia.

1945 – 1,250 U.S. bombers attacked Berlin.

1949 – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was ratified.

1965 – Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov became the first man to spacewalk when he left the Voskhod II space capsule while in orbit around the Earth. He was outside the spacecraft for about 20 minutes.

1969 – U.S. President Nixon authorizes Operation Breakfast. It was the ‘secret’ bombing of Cambodia.

1974 – Most of the Arab oil-producing nations ended their five-month embargo against the United States, Europe and Japan.

1981 – The U.S. disclosed that there were biological weapons tested in Texas in 1966.

March 18, 1970

Lon Nol ousts Prince Sihanouk

Returning to Cambodia after visits to Moscow and Peking, Prince Norodom Sihanouk is ousted as Cambodian chief of state in a bloodless coup by pro-western Lt. Gen. Lon Nol, premier and defense minister, and First Deputy Premier Prince Sisowath Sirik Matak, who proclaim the establishment of the Khmer Republic. Sihanouk had tried to maintain Cambodian neutrality, but the communist Khmer Rouge, supported by their North Vietnamese allies, had waged a very effective war against Cambodian government forces. After ousting Sihanouk and taking control of the government, Lon Nol immediately set about to defeat the communists. Between 1970 and 1975, he and his army, the Forces Armees Nationale Khmer (FANK), with U.S. support and military aid, would battle the Khmer Rouge communists for control of Cambodia.

When the U.S. forces departed South Vietnam in 1973, both the Cambodians and South Vietnamese found themselves suddenly fighting the communists alone. Without U.S. support, Lon Nol’s forces succumbed to the Khmer Rouge in April 1975. The victorious Khmer Rouge evacuated Phnom Penh and began reordering Cambodian society, which resulted in a killing spree and the notorious “killing fields.” Eventually, hundreds of thousands of Cambodians were murdered or died from exhaustion, hunger, and disease. During the five years of bitter fighting for control of the country, approximately 10 percent of Cambodia’s 7 million people died.

“Lon Nol ousts Prince Sihanouk.” 2009. The History Channel website. 18 Mar 2009, 11:14 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=1735.

07
Jan
09

On This Day, 1-7-2009: Pol Pot

January 7, 1979

Pol Pot overthrown

On January 7, 1979, Vietnamese troops seize the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, toppling the brutal regime of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge.

The Khmer Rouge, organized by Pol Pot in the Cambodian jungle in the 1960s, advocated a radical Communist revolution that would wipe out Western influences in Cambodia and set up a solely agrarian society. In 1970, aided by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops, Khmer Rouge guerrillas began a large-scale insurgency against Cambodian government forces, soon gaining control of nearly a third of the country.

By 1973, secret U.S. bombings of Cambodian territory controlled by the Vietnamese Communists forced the Vietnamese out of the country, creating a power vacuum that was soon filled by Pol Pot’s rapidly growing Khmer Rouge movement. In April 1975, the Khmer Rouge captured Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, overthrew the pro-U.S. regime, and established a new government, the Kampuchean People’s Republic.

As the new ruler of Cambodia, Pol Pot set about transforming the country into his vision of an agrarian utopia. The cities were evacuated, factories and schools were closed, and currency and private property was abolished. Anyone believed to be an intellectual, such as someone who spoke a foreign language, was immediately killed. Skilled workers were also killed, in addition to anyone caught in possession of eyeglasses, a wristwatch, or any other modern technology. In forced marches punctuated with atrocities from the Khmer Rouge, the millions who failed to escape Cambodia were herded onto rural collective farms.

Between 1975 and 1978, an estimated two million Cambodians died by execution, forced labor, and famine. In 1978, Vietnamese troops invaded Cambodia, capturing Phnom Penh in early 1979. A moderate Communist government was established, and Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge retreated back into the jungle.

In 1985, Pol Pot officially retired but remained the effective head of the Khmer Rouge, which continued its guerrilla actions against the government in Phnom Penh. In 1997, however, he was put on trial by the organization after an internal power struggle ousted him from his leadership position. Sentenced to life imprisonment by a “people’s tribunal,” which critics derided as a show trial, Pol Pot later declared in an interview, “My conscience is clear.” Much of the international community hoped that his captors would extradite him to stand trial for his crimes against humanity, but he died of apparently natural causes while under house arrest in 1998.

“Pol Pot overthrown.” 2009. The History Channel website. 7 Jan 2009, 10:48 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6769.

On This Day

1558 – Calais, the last English possession on mainland France, was recaptured by the French.

1610 – Galileo Galilei sighted four of Jupiter’s moons. He named them Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.

1785 – French aeronaut/balloonist Jean-Pierre Blanchard successfully made the first air-crossing of the English Channel from the English coast to France.

1789 – Americans voted for the electors that would choose George Washington to be the first U.S. president.

1932 – Chancellor Heinrich Brüning declared that Germany cannot, and will not, resume reparations payments.

1935 – French Foreign Minister Pierre Laval and Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini signed the Italo-French agreements.

1942 – The World War II siege of Bataan began.

1959 – The United States recognized Fidel Castro’s new government in Cuba.

1979 – Vietnamese forces captured the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, overthrowing the Khmer Rouge government.

1980 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter signed legislation that authorized $1.5 billion in loans for the bail out of Chrysler Corp.

January 7, 1953

Truman announces U.S. has developed hydrogen bomb

In his final State of the Union address before Congress, President Harry S. Truman tells the world that that the United States has developed a hydrogen bomb.

It was just three years earlier on January 31, 1950, that Truman publicly announced that had directed the Atomic Energy Commission to proceed with the development of the hydrogen bomb. Truman’s directive came in responds to evidence of an atomic explosion occurring within USSR in 1949.

“Truman announces U.S. has developed hydrogen bomb.” 2009. The History Channel website. 7 Jan 2009, 10:49 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=2539.

14
Aug
08

On This Day, 8-14-2008: Japan Surrenders

Japan’s surrender made public

On this day in 1945, an official announcement of Japan’s unconditional surrender to the Allies is made public to the Japanese people.

Even though Japan’s War Council, urged by Emperor Hirohito, had already submitted a formal declaration of surrender to the Allies, via ambassadors, on August 10, fighting continued between the Japanese and the Soviets in Manchuria and between the Japanese and the United States in the South Pacific. In fact, two days after the Council agreed to surrender, a Japanese submarine sank the Oak Hill, an American landing ship, and the Thomas F. Nickel, an American destroyer, both east of Okinawa.

In the afternoon of August 14, Japanese radio announced that an Imperial Proclamation was soon to be made, accepting the terms of unconditional surrender drawn up at the Potsdam Conference. That proclamation had already been recorded by the emperor. The news did not go over well, as more than 1,000 Japanese soldiers stormed the Imperial Palace in an attempt to find the proclamation and prevent its being transmitted to the Allies. Soldiers still loyal to Emperor Hirohito repulsed the attackers.

That evening, General Anami, the member of the War Council most adamant against surrender, committed suicide. His reason: to atone for the Japanese army’s defeat, and to be spared having to hear his emperor speak the words of surrender.

“Japan’s surrender made public.” 2008. The History Channel website. 13 Aug 2008, 12:46 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6551.

 

On This Day

1248 – The rebuilding of the Cologne Cathedral in Cologne, Germany, began after being destroyed by fire.

1756 – Daniel Boone married 16-year-old Rebecca Bryan.

1805 – A peace treaty between the U.S. and Tunis was signed on board the USS Constitution.

1848 – The Oregon Territory was established.

1873 – “Field and Stream” magazine published its first issue.

1880 – The Cologne Cathedral in Cologne, Germany was completed after 632 years of rebuilding.

1917 – China declared war on Germany and Austria during World War I.

1935 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law. The act created unemployment insurance and pension plans for the elderly.

1941 – U.S. President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill issued the Atlantic Charter. The charter was a statement of principles that renounced aggression.

1947 – Pakistan became independent from British rule.

1980 – People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was incorporated.

1995 – Shannon Faulkner became the first female cadet in the history of The Citadel, South Carolina‘s state military college. She quit the school less than a week later.

1997 – Timothy McVeigh was formally sentenced to death for the Oklahoma City bombing.

2000 – A Russian submarine Kursk sank to the bottom of the Barrent Sea. There were 118 sailors on the nuclear-powered vessel. All of the crew were pronounced dead on August 22.

 

Peking relieved by multinational force

During the Boxer Rebellion, an international force featuring British, Russian, American, Japanese, French, and German troops relieves the Chinese capital of Peking after fighting its way 80 miles from the port of Tientsin. The Chinese nationalists besieging Peking’s diplomatic quarter were crushed, and the Boxer Rebellion effectively came to an end.

“Peking relieved by multinational force.” 2008. The History Channel website. 13 Aug 2008, 12:42 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6989.

Confederate invasion of Kentucky begins

Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith begins an invasion of Kentucky as part of a Confederate plan to draw the Yankee army of General Don Carlos Buell away from Chattanooga, Tennessee, and to raise support for the Southern cause in Kentucky.

“Confederate invasion of Kentucky begins.” 2008. The History Channel website. 13 Aug 2008, 12:44 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2283.

U.S. bombing of Cambodia ceases

After several days of intense bombing in support of Lon Nol’s forces fighting the communist Khmer Rouge in the area around Phnom Penh, Operations Arc Light and Freedom Deal end as the United States ceases bombing Cambodia at midnight. This was in accordance with June Congressional legislation passed in June and ended 12 years of combat activity in Indochina. President Nixon denounced Congress for cutting off the funding for further bombing operations, saying that it had undermined the “prospects for world peace.” The United States continued unarmed reconnaissance flights and military aid to Cambodia, but ultimately the Khmer Rouge prevailed in 1975.

“U.S. bombing of Cambodia ceases.” 2008. The History Channel website. 13 Aug 2008, 12:47 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=1270.

Massive labor strikes hit Poland

Workers in Gdansk, Poland, seize the Lenin Shipyard and demand pay raises and the right to form a union free from communist control. The massive strike also saw the rise to prominence of labor leader Lech Walesa, who would be a key figure in bringing an end to communist rule in Poland.

“Massive labor strikes hit Poland.” 2008. The History Channel website. 13 Aug 2008, 12:45 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2759.

16
Apr
08

On This Day, 4-16-08: LSD

Hallucinogenic effects of LSD discovered

In Basel, Switzerland, Albert Hoffman, a Swiss chemist working at the Sandoz pharmaceutical research laboratory, accidentally consumes LSD-25, a synthetic drug he had created in 1938 as part of his research into the medicinal value of lysergic acid compounds. After taking the drug, formally known as lysergic acid diethylamide, Dr. Hoffman was disturbed by unusual sensations and hallucinations.

“Hallucinogenic effects of LSD discovered.” 2008. The History Channel website. 16 Apr 2008, 11:06 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4924.

0069 – Otho committed suicide after being defeated by Vitellius’ troops at Bedriacum.

1065 – The Norman, Robert Guiscard, took Bari. Five centuries of Byzantine rule in southern Italy ended.

1705 – Queen Anne of England knighted Isaac Newton.

1818 – The U.S. Senate ratified Rush-Bagot amendment to form an unarmed U.S.-Canada border.

1862 – Confederate President Jefferson Davis approved conscription act for white males between 18 and 35.

1912 – Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel.

1917 – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin returned to Russia to start Bolshevik Revolution after years of exile.

Lenin returns

On April 16, 1917, Vladimir Lenin, leader of the revolutionary Bolshevik Party, returns to Petrograd after a decade of exile to take the reins of the Russian Revolution. One month before, Czar Nicholas II had been forced from power when Russian army troops joined a workers’ revolt in Petrograd, the Russian capital.

“Lenin returns.” 2008. The History Channel website. 16 Apr 2008, 11:10 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6869.

1922 – The Soviet Union and Germany signed the Treaty of Rapallo under which Germany recognized the Soviet Union and diplomatic and trade relations were restored.

1942 – The Island of Malta was awarded the George Cross in recognition for heroism under constant German air attack.

1944 – The destroyer USS Laffey survived immense damage from attacks by 22 Japanese aircraft off Okinawa.

1945 – American troops entered Nuremberg, Germany.

1947 – The Zoomar lens, invented by Dr. Frank Back, was demonstrated in New York City. It was the first lens to exhibit zooming effects.

1947 – In Texas City, TX, the French ship Grandcamp, carrying ammonium nitrate fertilizer, caught fire and blew up. The explosions and resulting fires killed 576 people.

1962 – Walter Cronkite began anchoring “The CBS Evening News”.

1968 – The Pentagon announced that troops would begin coming home from Vietnam.

1972 – Apollo 16 blasted off on a voyage to the moon. It was the fifth manned moon landing.

1975 – The Khmer Rouge Rebels won control of Cambodia after a five years of civil war. They renamed the country Kampuchea and began a reign of terror.

1977 – The ban on women attending West Point was lifted.

1982 – Queen Elizabeth proclaimed Canada’s new constitution in effect. The act severed the last colonial links with Britain.

1999 – Wayne Gretzky announced his retirement from the National Hockey League (NHL).




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