Posts Tagged ‘King George III

01
Sep
08

On This Day, 9-1-2008: World War II Begins

Germans invade Poland

At 4:45 a.m., some 1.5 million German troops invade Poland all along its 1,750-mile border with German-controlled territory. Simultaneously, the German Luftwaffe bombed Polish airfields, and German warships and U-boats attacked Polish naval forces in the Baltic Sea. Nazi leader Adolf Hitler claimed the massive invasion was a defensive action, but Britain and France were not convinced. On September 3, they declared war on Germany, initiating World War II.

“Germans invade Poland.” 2008. The History Channel website. 1 Sep 2008, 05:44 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=7007.

On This Day

1799 – The Bank of Manhattan Company opened in New York City, NY. It was the forerunner of Chase Manhattan.

1807 – Former U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr was found innocent of treason.

1859 – The Pullman sleeping car was placed into service.

1894 – A forest fire in Hinckley, MN, killed more than 400 people.

1923 – About 100,000 people were killed when an earthquake hit Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan.

1942 – A federal judge in Sacramento, CA, upheld the wartime detention of Japanese-Americans as well as Japanese nationals.

1969 – Col. Moammar Gadhafi came into power in Libya after the government was overthrown.

1972 – America’s Bobby Fischer beat Russia’s Boris Spassky to become world chess champion. The chess match took place in Reykjavik, Iceland.

1979 – The U.S. Pioneer 11 became the first spacecraft to visit Saturn.

1983 – A Soviet jet fighter shot down a Korean Air Lines Boeing 747 when it entered Soviet airspace. 269 people were killed.

King George refuses Olive Branch Petition

Richard Penn and Arthur Lee, representing the Continental Congress, present the so-called Olive Branch Petition to the Earl of Dartmouth on this day in 1775. Britain’s King George III, however, refused to receive the petition, which, written by John Dickinson, appealed directly to the king and expressed hope for reconciliation between the colonies and Great Britain.

Dickinson, who hoped desperately to avoid a final break with Britain, phrased colonial opposition to British policy this way: “Your Majesty’s Ministers, persevering in their measures, and proceeding to open hostilities for enforcing them, have compelled us to arm in our own defense, and have engaged us in a controversy so peculiarly abhorrent to the affections of your still faithful Colonists, that when we consider whom we must oppose in this contest, and if it continues, what may be the consequences, our own particular misfortunes are accounted by us only as parts of our distress.”

By phrasing their discontent this way, Congress attempted to notify the king that American colonists were unhappy with ministerial policy, not his own. They then concluded their plea with a final statement of fidelity to the crown: “That your Majesty may enjoy long and prosperous reign, and that your descendants may govern your Dominions with honor to themselves and happiness to their subjects, is our sincere prayer.”

By July 1776, though, the Declaration of Independence proclaimed something very different: “The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.” In fact, Congress insisted that Thomas Jefferson remove any language from the declaration that implicated the people of Great Britain or their elected representatives in Parliament. The fundamental grounds upon which Americans were taking up arms had shifted. The militia that had fired upon Redcoats at Lexington and Concord in April 1775 had been angry with Parliament, not the king, who they still trusted to desire only good for all of his subjects around the globe. This belief changed after Congress learned that King George refused to so much as receive the Olive Branch Petition.

Americans had hoped that Parliament had curtailed colonial rights without the king’s full knowledge, and that the petition would cause him to come to his subjects’ defense. When George III refused to read the petition, many Americans realized that Parliament was acting with royal knowledge and support. Americans’ patriotic rage was further intensified by the January 1776 publication by English-born radical Thomas Paine of Common Sense, an influential pamphlet that attacked the monarchy, which Paine claimed had allowed “crowned ruffians” to “impoverish the nation and set it together by the ears.”

“King George refuses Olive Branch Petition.” 2008. The History Channel website. 1 Sep 2008, 05:45 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=50884.

Soldier recounts brush with poison gas

On this day in 1917, American soldier Stull Holt writes a letter home recounting some of his battlefield experiences on the Western Front at Verdun, France.

Born in New York City in 1896, Holt served during World War I as a driver with the American Ambulance Field Service. He later joined the American Air Service, receiving his pilot commission as a first lieutenant.

“Dear Lois,” Holt began his letter, written while he was in Paris on leave, “enjoying the luxuries of life including ice cream, sheets, cafes and things.” The bulk of Holt’s letter discussed his experiences at the fortress city of Verdun, where French and German troops had battled for an excruciating 10 months in 1916 and where fighting continued throughout the following year. “The French have a saying to the effect that no one comes out of Verdun the same. As the fighting is stiff there always the statement is probably true for all times, it certainly is true of Verdun during an attack. It would take a book to tell about all that happened there and when I try to write, little incidents entirely unconnected come to my mind so I don’t know where or how to begin.”

Holt described the ruined countryside and villages around Verdun, as well as the sights—and stench—of constant battle. “Besides the desolation visible to the eye there was the desolation visible to the nose. You could often see old bones, boots, clothing and things besides lots of recent ones.” The letter’s most vivid passage, however, recounted his own experiences under fire, including an incident in which he was struck by a shell containing poisonous gas.

“Something hit me on the head, making a big dent in my helmet and raising a bump on my head. If it hadn’t been for my helmet my head would have been cracked. As it was I was dazed, knocked down and my gas mask knocked off. I got several breathes [sic] of the strong solution right from the shell before it got diluted with much air. If it hadn’t been for the fellow with me I probably wouldn’t be writing this letter because I couldn’t see, my eyes were running water and burning, so was my nose and I could hardly breathe. I gasped, choked and felt the extreme terror of the man who goes under in the water and will clutch at a straw. The fellow with me grabbed me and led me the hundred yards or so to the post where the doctor gave me a little stuff and where I became alright again in a few hours except that I was a little intoxicated from the gas for a while. I had other close calls but that was the closest and shook me up most. I think the hardest thing I did was to go back again alone the next night. I had to call myself names before I got up nerve enough.”

Holt’s letters were later published in The Great War at Home and Abroad: The World War I Diaries and Letters of W. Stull Holt (1999).

“Soldier recounts brush with poison gas.” 2008. The History Channel website. 1 Sep 2008, 05:50 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=50854

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22
Aug
08

On This Day, 8-22-2008: Althea Gibson

Althea Gibson becomes first African-American on U.S. tennis tour

On this day in 1950, officials of the United States Lawn Tennis Association (USLTA) accept Althea Gibson into their annual championship at Forest Hills, New York, making her the first African-American player to compete in a U.S. national tennis competition.

“Althea Gibson becomes first African-American on U.S. tennis tour.” 2008. The History Channel website. 22 Aug 2008, 08:22 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=52841.

 

On This Day

1485 – The War of the Roses ended with the death of England’s King Richard III. He was killed in the Battle of Bosworth Field. His successor was Henry V II.

1567 – The “Council of Blood” was established by the Duke of Alba. This was the beginning of his reign of terror in the Netherlands.

1762 – Ann Franklin became the editor of the Mercury of Newport in Rhode Island. She was the first female editor of an American newspaper.

1775 – The American colonies were proclaimed to be in a state of open rebellion by England’s King George III.

1851 – The schooner America outraced the Aurora off the English coast to win a trophy that became known as the America’s Cup.

1910 – Japan formally annexed Korea.

1951 – 75,052 people watched the Harlem Globetrotters perform. It was the largest crowd to see a basketball game.

1989 – Huey P. Newton, co-founder of the Black Panthers, was shot to death in Oakland, CA. Tyrone Robinson was later convicted and sentenced to 32 years to life in prison for the killing.

1990 – Angry smokers blocked a street in Moscow to protest the summer-long cigarette shortage.

1998 – Mark David Chapman said that he did not want any of the money that would be made from the sale of the signed “Double Fantasy” album that John Lennon signed for him the same day he was killed. Chapman was currently serving sentence for the December 8, 1980 murder.

 

 

Michael Collins assassinated

Irish revolutionary and Sinn FÉin politician Michael Collins is killed in an ambush in west County Cork, Ireland.

In the early part of the century, Collins joined Sinn FÉin, an Irish political party dedicated to achieving independence for all Ireland. From its inception, the party became the unofficial political wing of militant Irish groups in their struggle to throw off British rule. In 1911, the British Liberal government approved negotiations for Irish Home Rule, but the Conservative Party opposition in Parliament, combined with Ireland’s anti-Home Rule factions, defeated the plans. With the outbreak of World War I, the British government delayed further discussion of Irish self-determination, and Collins and other Irish nationalists responded by staging the Easter Rising of 1916.

“Michael Collins assassinated.” 2008. The History Channel website. 22 Aug 2008, 08:19 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5283.

Romania captured by the Soviet Union

On this day in 1944, Soviet forces break through to Jassy, in northeastern Romania, convincing Romania’s king to sign an armistice with the Allies and concede control of his country to the USSR.

As early as 1937, Romania had come under control of a fascist government that bore great resemblance to that of Germany’s, including similar anti-Jewish laws. Romania’s king, Carol II, dissolved the government a year later, but was unable to suppress the fascist Iron Guard paramilitary organization. In June 1940, the Soviet Union co-opted two Romanian provinces, and the king searched for an ally to help protect it and appease the far right within its own borders. So on July 5, 1940, Romania allied itself with Nazi Germany. Later that year, it would be invaded by its “ally” as part of Hitler’s strategy to create one huge eastern front against the Soviet Union.

King Carol would abdicate in September 1940, leaving the country in the control of fascist Prime Minister Ion Antonescu and the Iron Guard. While Romania would recapture the territory lost to the Soviet Union when the Germans invaded Russia, it would also have to endure the Germans’ raping of its resources as part of the Nazi war effort.

As the war turned against Germany, and the Soviet Union began to run roughshod over Eastern Europe, Antonescu started looking west for allies to save it from Soviet occupation. At this stage, King Michael, son of the late King Carol, emerged from the shadows and had the pro-German Antonescu arrested, imploring Romanians, and loyal military men, to fight with, not against, the invading Soviets. The king would finally sign an armistice with the Allies and declare war against an already-dying Germany in 1944.

King Michael would, ironically, be forced to abdicate by the Soviets, who would maintain a puppet communist government in Romania until the end of the Cold War. The king had virtually destroyed his nation in order to save it.

“Romania captured by the Soviet Union.” 2008. The History Channel website. 22 Aug 2008, 08:13 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6559.

Czechs protest against Soviet invasion

In the streets of Prague and in the United Nations headquarters in New York City, Czechs protest against the Soviet invasion of their nation. The protests served to highlight the brutality of the Soviet action and to rally worldwide condemnation of the Soviet Union.

“Czechs protest against Soviet invasion.” 2008. The History Channel website. 22 Aug 2008, 08:01 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2767.

Incident at Ruby Ridge

In the second day of a standoff at Randy Weaver’s remote northern Idaho cabin, FBI sharpshooter Lon Horiuchi wounds Randy Weaver, Kevin Harrison, and kills Weaver’s wife, Vicki.

“Incident at Ruby Ridge.” 2008. The History Channel website. 22 Aug 2008, 08:10 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5284.

30
Mar
08

On This Day, 3-30-08: 15th Amendment

Japanese set up puppet regime at Nanking

On this day, Japan establishes its own government in conquered Nanking, the former capital of Nationalist China.

In 1937, Japan drummed up a rationale for war against Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist China (claiming Chinese troops attacked Japanese troops on maneuvers in a so-called “autonomous” region of China) and invaded northeastern China, bombing Shanghai and carving out a new state, Manchukuo.

Money and supplies poured into Free China from the United States, Britain, and France, until the Burma Road, which permitted free passage of goods into China from the West, was closed after a Japanese invasion of Indochina. Making matters more difficult, Chiang was forced to fight on two fronts: one against the Japanese (with U.S. help in the person of Gen. Joseph Stillwell, Chiang’s chief of staff), and another against his ongoing political nemesis, the Chinese Communists, led by Mao Tse-tung. (Although the United States advised concentrating on the Japanese first as the pre-eminent threat, Chiang was slow to listen.)

The Japanese proceeded to prosecute a war of terror in Manchukuo. With the capture of Nanking (formerly the Nationalist Chinese capital, which was now relocated to Chungking) by the Central China Front Army in December 1937, atrocities virtually unparalleled commenced. The army, under orders of its commander, Gen. Matsui Iwane, carried out the mass execution of more than 50,000 civilians, as well as tens of thousands of rapes. Nanking and surrounding areas were burned and looted, with one-third of its buildings utterly destroyed. The “Rape of Nanking” galvanized Western animus against the Japanese.

On March 30, 1940, Nanking was declared by the Japanese to be the center of a new Chinese government, a regime controlled by Wang Ching-wei, a defector from the Nationalist cause and now a Japanese puppet.

“Japanese set up puppet regime at Nanking.” 2008. The History Channel website. 30 Mar 2008, 02:14 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6758.

1492 – King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella signed a decree expelling all Jews from Spain.

1533 – Henry VIII divorced his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.

1814 – The allied European nations against Napoleon marched into Paris.

1867 – The U.S. purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million dollars.

1870 – Texas was readmitted to the Union.

1905 – U.S. President Roosevelt was chosen to mediate in the Russo-Japanese peace talks.

1950 – U.S. President Truman denounced Senator Joe McCarthy as a saboteur of U.S. foreign policy.

1972 – The Eastertide Offensive began when North Vietnamese troops crossed into the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in the northern portion of South Vietnam.

1993 – In the Peanuts comic strip, Charlie Brown hit his first home run.

1998 – Rolls-Royce was purchased by BMW in a $570 million deal.

King George endorses New England Restraining Act

Hoping to keep the New England colonies dependent on the British, King George III formally endorses the New England Restraining Act on this day in 1775. The New England Restraining Act required New England colonies to trade exclusively with Great Britain as of July 1. An additional rule would come into effect on July 20, banning colonists from fishing in the North Atlantic.

“King George endorses New England Restraining Act.” 2008. The History Channel website. 30 Mar 2008, 02:15 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=326.

15th Amendment adopted

Following its ratification by the requisite three-fourths of the states, the 15th Amendment, granting African-American men the right to vote, is formally adopted into the U.S. Constitution. Passed by Congress the year before, the amendment reads, “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” One day after it was adopted, Thomas Peterson-Mundy of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, became the first African American to vote under the authority of the 15th Amendment.

“15th Amendment adopted.” 2008. The History Channel website. 30 Mar 2008, 02:16 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4876.

President Reagan shot

On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by a deranged drifter named John Hinckley Jr.

The president had just finished addressing a labor meeting at the Washington Hilton Hotel and was walking with his entourage to his limousine when Hinckley, standing among a group of reporters, fired six shots at the president, hitting Reagan and three of his attendants. White House Press Secretary James Brady was shot in the head and critically wounded, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy was shot in the side, and District of Columbia policeman Thomas Delahaney was shot in the neck. After firing the shots, Hinckley was overpowered and pinned against a wall, and President Reagan, apparently unaware that he’d been shot, was shoved into his limousine by a Secret Service agent and rushed to the hospital.

“President Reagan shot.” 2008. The History Channel website. 30 Mar 2008, 02:17 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6852.




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