Posts Tagged ‘Mark David Chapman

08
Dec
08

On This Day, 12-8-2008: United States Declares War on Japan

December 8, 1941

The United States declares war on Japan

On this day, as America’s Pacific fleet lay in ruins at Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt requests, and receives, a declaration of war against Japan.

Leaning heavily on the arm of his son James, a Marine captain, FDR walked haltingly into the House of Representatives at noon to request a declaration of war from the House and address the nation via radio. “Yesterday,” the president proclaimed, “December 7, 1941-a date which will live in infamy-the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.”

Roosevelt’s 10-minute speech, ending with an oath-“So help us God”-was greeted in the House by thunderous applause and stamping of feet. Within one hour, the president had his declaration of war, with only one dissenting vote, from a pacifist in the House. FDR signed the declaration at 4:10 p.m., wearing a black armband to symbolize mourning for those lost at Pearl Harbor.

On both coasts, civilian defense groups were mobilized. In New York, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia ordered the rounding up of Japanese nationals, who were transported to Ellis Island and held in custody indefinitely. In California, antiaircraft batteries were set up on Long Beach and the Hollywood Hills. Reports on supposed spy activity on the part of Japanese Americans began pouring into Washington, even as Japanese Americans paid for space in newspapers to declare unreservedly their loyalty to the United States. The groundwork was being laid for the tragic internment of Japanese Americans, thought a necessary caution at the time but regretted years later as a hysterical and bigoted response.

“The United States declares war on Japan.” 2008. The History Channel website. 8 Dec 2008, 10:32 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6637.

Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives:

Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island.

And this morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph — so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.

**********************************************************************************************************************************

To listen to the speech and responses from members of Congress follow this link.

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/fdrpearlharbor.htm

On This Day

1765 – Eli Whitney was born in Westboro, MA. Whitney invented the cotton gin and developed the concept of mass-production of interchangeable parts.

1776 – George Washington’s retreating army in the American Revolution crossed the Delaware River from New Jersey to Pennsylvania.

1886 – At a convention of union leaders in Columbus, OH, the American Federation of Labor was founded.

1941 – The United States entered World War II when it declared war against Japan. The act came one day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Britain and Canada also declared war on Japan.

1949 – The Chinese Nationalist government moved from the Chinese mainland to Formosa due to Communists pressure.

1984 – In Roanoke, Virginia, a jury found Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt innocent of libeling Reverend Jerry Falwell with a parody advertisement. However Falwell was awarded $200,000 for emotional distress.

1987 – U.S. President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed a treaty agreeing to destroy their nations’ arsenals of intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

1987 – The “intefadeh” (Arabic for uprising) by Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied territories began.

1991 – Russia, Byelorussia and Ukraine declared the Soviet national government to be dead. They forged a new alliance to be known as the Commonwealth of Independent States. The act was denounced by Russian President Gorbachev as unconstitutional.

1993 – U.S. President Clinton signed into law the North American Free Trade Agreement.

1998 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that police could not search a person or their cars after ticketing for a routine traffic violation.

1998 – The FBI opened its files on Frank Sinatra to the public. The file contained over 1,300 pages.

 

December 8, 1980

John Lennon is murdered

Singer John Lennon is shot and killed by Mark David Chapman outside his apartment building in New York City. After committing the murder, Chapman waited calmly outside, reading a copy of The Catcher in the Rye.

Chapman was a troubled individual who was obsessed with Holden Caulfield, the protagonist of J. D. Salinger’s novel about a disaffected youth, and with various celebrities. While working as a security guard in Hawaii, he decided that Lennon was a phony and, while listening to Beatles tapes, Chapman decided to plan his murder.

Chapman purchased a gun in Hawaii and then traveled to New York. Although he called his wife to tell her that he was in New York to shoot Lennon, she ignored his threats. Unable to buy bullets in New York due to strict laws, Chapman flew to Atlanta and purchased hollow-nosed rounds to bring back.

On the day of the murder, Chapman bought an extra copy of The Catcher in the Rye and joined fans waiting outside The Dakota, Lennon’s apartment building. That evening, as Lennon walked by on his way into the building, Chapman shot him in the back and then fired two additional bullets into his shoulder as the singer wrenched around in pain.

On June 8, 1980, just two weeks before he was scheduled to present an insanity defense at trial, Chapman pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 20 years-to-life. Ironically, Chapman was sent to Attica prison, where–10 years earlier–rioting had inspired Lennon and wife, Yoko Ono, to record a benefit song to “free all prisoners everywhere.” In prison, Chapman became a born-again Christian and spent his time writing evangelical tracts for publication.

“John Lennon is murdered.” 2008. The History Channel website. 8 Dec 2008, 10:35 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=1213.

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24
Aug
08

On This Day, 8-24-2008: Communist Control Act

Congress passes Communist Control Act

Congress passes the Communist Control Act in response to the growing anticommunist hysteria in the United States. Though full of ominous language, many found the purpose of the act unclear.

In 1954, the Red Scare still raged in the United States. Although Senator Joseph McCarthy, the most famous of the “red hunters” in America, had been disgraced earlier in the summer of 1954 when he tried to prove that communists were in the U.S. Army, most Americans still believed that communists were at work in their country. Responding to this fear, Congress passed the Communist Control Act in August 1954. The act declared that, “The Communist Party of the United States, though purportedly a political party, is in fact an instrumentality of a conspiracy to overthrow the Government of the United States.” The act went on to charge that the party’s “role as the agency of a hostile foreign power renders its existence a clear and continuing danger to the security of the United States.” The conclusion seemed inescapable: “The Communist Party should be outlawed.” Indeed, that is what many people at the time believed the Communist Control Act accomplished.

A careful reading of the act, however, indicates that the reality was a bit fuzzier. In 1950, Congress passed the Internal Security Act. In many respects, it was merely a version of the Communist Control Act passed four years later. It used the same language to condemn communism and the Communist Party of the United States, and established penalties for anyone belonging to a group calling for the violent overthrow of the American government. However, it very specifically noted that mere membership in the Communist Party, or affiliated organizations, was not in and of itself sufficient cause for arrest or penalty. The 1954 act went one step further by removing the “rights, privileges, and immunities attendant upon legal bodies created under the jurisdiction of the laws of the United States” from the Communist Party. The Communist Control Act made it clear that “nothing in this section shall be construed as amending the Internal Security Act of 1950.” Thus, while the Communist Control Act may have declared that the Communist Party should be outlawed, the act itself did not take this decisive step.

In the years to come, the Communist Party of the United States continued to exist, although the U.S. government used legislation such as the Communist Control Act to harass Communist Party members. More ominously, the government also used such acts to investigate and harass numerous other organizations that were deemed to have communist “leanings.” These included the American Civil Liberties Union, labor unions, and the NAACP. By the mid-to-late 1960s, however, the Red Scare had run its course and a more liberal Supreme Court began to chip away at the immense tangle of anticommunist legislation that had been passed during the 1940s and 1950s. Today, the Communist Party of the United States continues to exist and regularly runs candidates for local, state, and national elections.

“Congress passes Communist Control Act.” 2008. The History Channel website. 24 Aug 2008, 01:15 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2769.

 

0079 – Mount Vesuvius erupted killing approximately 20,000 people. The cities of Pompeii, Stabiae and Herculaneum were buried in volcanic ash.

0410 – The Visigoths overran Rome. This event symbolized the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

1456 – The printing of the Gutenberg Bible was completed.

1572 – The Catholics began their slaughter of the French Protestants in Paris. The killings claimed about 70,000 people.

1814 – Washington, DC, was invaded by British forces that set fire to the White House and Capitol.

1867 – Johns Hopkins died. The railroad millionaire left $7.5 million in his will for the founding of a new medical school in his name.

1932 – Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the U.S. non-stop. The trip from Los Angeles, CA to Newark, NJ, took about 19 hours.

1949 – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) went into effect. The agreement was that an attack against on one of the parties would be considered “an attack against them all.”

1959 – Three days after Hawaiian statehood, Hiram L. Fong was sworn in as the first Chinese-American U.S. senator while Daniel K. Inouye was sworn in as the first Japanese-American U.S. representative.

1968 – France became the 5th thermonuclear power when they exploded a hydrogen bomb in the South Pacific.

1970 – A bomb went off at the University of Wisconsin’s Army Math Research Center in Madison, WI. The bomb that killed Robert Fassnacht was set by anti-war extremists.

1981 – Mark David Chapman was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for the murder of John Lennon.

1989 – The U.S. space probe, Voyager 2, sent back photographs of Neptune.

1992 – Hurricane Andrew hit southern Florida causing 55 deaths in the Bahamas, Florida, and Louisiana.

1998 – A donation of 24 beads was made, from three parties, to the Indian Museum of North America at the Crazy Horse Memorial. The beads are said to be those that were used in 1626 to buy Manhattan from the Indians.

 

Elusive Mount of the Holy Cross photographed

William Henry Jackson becomes the first person to photograph Colorado’s elusive Mount of the Holy Cross, providing reliable proof of its existence.

Rumors had abounded for years that a natural cross of snow lay hidden high in the rugged mountains of Colorado. Many claimed to have seen the cross, but others were unable to find it. In August 1873, the photographer William Henry Jackson set out to prove its existence by taking a picture of it. Jackson was an experienced wilderness photographer who had accompanied wagon trains to California in 1866 and was employed as expedition photographer on Ferdinand Hayden’s survey of the Yellowstone region in 1871. Published in popular mass-circulation magazines like Harper’s Weekly, his images became immensely popular and showed Americans a rugged western wilderness that most would never see firsthand.

Jackson had heard rumors of the extraordinary cross of snow that occasionally appeared on the face of a high mountain peak. Jackson led a small party to the supposed site in north central Colorado in the summer of 1873. Jackson found the cross, though there was nothing miraculous about its cause. After thousands of years of erosion, two deep ravines had formed in the steep rocky face of a mountain peak. Intersecting at a 90-degree angle, the ravines sheltered the winter snow from the sun well after the rest of the mountain snow had melted away. For a brief time, a nearly perfect cross of snow appeared on the rock face, though it often melted away later in the summer.

In the pre-dawn hours of this day in 1873, Jackson prepared the heavy camera equipment he had carried up the mountain opposite the cross. He took his photos of the cross just as the first rays of the sun angled low across the crevassed face, emphasizing the lines of the cross. The best of the resulting photos became one of Jackson’s most popular and famous images, and it ended any further doubts about the existence of the Mount of the Holy Cross.

“Elusive Mount of the Holy Cross photographed.” 2008. The History Channel website. 24 Aug 2008, 01:11 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4621.

B-52s conduct heavy raids along the DMZ

U.S. B-52s carry out heavy bombing raids along the DMZ. In the United States, a radical protest group calling themselves the New Year’s Gang blew up in the Army Mathematics Research Center at the University of Wisconsin Army Mathematics Research Center in Madison. A graduate student who was working late was killed in the blast. The center, which reportedly was involved in war research, had been a focus for protest in the past, but previously protests had all been nonviolent.

“B-52s conduct heavy raids along the DMZ.” 2008. The History Channel website. 24 Aug 2008, 01:20 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=1303.

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.




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