Posts Tagged ‘NATO

18
Dec
08

On This Day, 12-18-2008: Plymouth Harbor

December 18, 1620

Mayflower passengers come ashore at Plymouth Harbor

On December 18, 1620, passengers on the British ship Mayflower come ashore at modern-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, to begin their new settlement, Plymouth Colony.

The famous Mayflower story began in 1606, when a group of reform-minded Puritans in Nottinghamshire, England, founded their own church, separate from the state-sanctioned Church of England. Accused of treason, they were forced to leave the country and settle in the more tolerant Netherlands. After 12 years of struggling to adapt and make a decent living, the group sought financial backing from some London merchants to set up a colony in America. On September 6, 1620, 102 passengers–dubbed Pilgrims by William Bradford, a passenger who would become the first governor of Plymouth Colony–crowded on the Mayflower to begin the long, hard journey to a new life in the New World.

On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower anchored at what is now Provincetown Harbor, Cape Cod. Before going ashore, 41 male passengers–heads of families, single men and three male servants–signed the famous Mayflower Compact, agreeing to submit to a government chosen by common consent and to obey all laws made for the good of the colony. Over the next month, several small scouting groups were sent ashore to collect firewood and scout out a good place to build a settlement. Around December 10, one of these groups found a harbor they liked on the western side of Cape Cod Bay. They returned to the Mayflower to tell the other passengers, but bad weather prevented them reaching the harbor until December 16. Two days later, the first group of Pilgrims went ashore.   
After exploring the region, the settlers chose a cleared area previously occupied by members of a local Native American tribe, the Wampanoag. The tribe had abandoned the village several years earlier, after an outbreak of European disease. That winter of 1620-21 was brutal, as the Pilgrims struggled to build their settlement, find food and ward off sickness. By spring, 50 of the original 102 Mayflower passengers were dead. The remaining settlers made contact with returning members of the Wampanoag tribe and in March they signed a peace treaty with a tribal chief, Massasoit. Aided by the Wampanoag, especially the English-speaking Squanto, the Pilgrims were able to plant crops–especially corn and beans–that were vital to their survival. The Mayflower and its crew left Plymouth to return to England on April 5, 1621.

Over the next several decades, more and more settlers made the trek across the Atlantic to Plymouth, which gradually grew into a prosperous shipbuilding and fishing center. In 1691, Plymouth was incorporated into the new Massachusetts Bay Association, ending its history as an independent colony.

“Mayflower passengers come ashore at Plymouth Harbor.” 2008. The History Channel website. 18 Dec 2008, 10:49 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=52289.

On This Day

1787 – New Jersey became the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

1796 – The “Monitor,” of Baltimore, MD, was published as the first Sunday newspaper.

1865 – Slavery was abolished in the United States with the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution being ratified.

1903 – The Panama Canal Zone was acquired ‘in perpetuity’ by the U.S. for an annual rent.

1912 – The U.S. Congress prohibited the immigration of illiterate persons.

1915 – U.S. President Wilson, widowed the year before, married Edith Bolling Galt at her Washington home.

1916 – During World War I, after 10 months of fighting the French defeated the Germans in the Battle of Verdun.

1917 – The Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the U.S. Congress. (Prohibition)

1940 – Adolf Hitler signed a secret directive ordering preparations for a Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. Operation “Barbarossa” was launched in June 1941.

1944 – The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the wartime relocation of Japanese-Americans, but also stated that undeniably loyal Americans of Japanese ancestry could not be detained.

1950 – NATO foreign ministers approved plans to defend Western Europe, including the use of nuclear weapons, if necessary.

1957 – The Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania went online. It was the first nuclear facility to generate electricity in the United States. It was taken out of service in 1982.

1972 – The United States began the heaviest bombing of North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The attack ended 12 days later.

1987 – Ivan F. Boesky was sentenced to three years in prison for plotting Wall Street’s biggest insider-trading scandal. He only served about two years of the sentence.

1998 – Russia recalled its U.S. ambassador in protest of the U.S. attacks on Iraq.

1999 – After living atop an ancient redwood in Humboldt County, CA, for two years, environmental activist Julia “Butterfly” Hill came down, ending her anti-logging protest.

December 18, 1941

Japan invades Hong Kong

On this day, Japanese troops land in Hong Kong and a slaughter ensues.

A week of air raids over Hong Kong, a British crown colony, was followed up on December 17 with a visit paid by Japanese envoys to Sir Mark Young, the British governor of Hong Kong. The envoys’ message was simple: The British garrison there should simply surrender to the Japanese–resistance was futile. The envoys were sent home with the following retort: “The governor and commander in chief of Hong Kong declines absolutely to enter into negotiations for the surrender of Hong Kong. …”

The first wave of Japanese troops landed in Hong Kong with artillery fire for cover and the following order from their commander: “Take no prisoners.” Upon overrunning a volunteer antiaircraft battery, the Japanese invaders roped together the captured soldiers and proceeded to bayonet them to death. Even those who offered no resistance, such as the Royal Medical Corps, were led up a hill and killed.

The Japanese quickly took control of key reservoirs, threatening the British and Chinese inhabitants with a slow death by thirst. The Brits finally surrendered control of Hong Kong on Christmas Day.

On this same day: Censorship is imposed with the passage of the 1st American War Powers Act

The War Powers Act is passed by Congress, authorizing the president to initiate and terminate defense contracts, reconfigure government agencies for wartime priorities, and regulate the freezing of foreign assets. It also permitted him to censor all communications coming in and leaving the country.

FDR appointed the executive news director of the Associated Press, Byron Price, as director of censorship. Although invested with the awesome power to restrict and withhold news, Price took no extreme measures, allowing news outlets and radio stations to self-censor, which they did. Most top secret information, including the construction of the atom bomb, remained just that.

The most extreme use of the censorship law seems to have been the restriction of the free flow of “girlie” magazines to servicemen-including Esquire, which the Post Office considered obscene for its occasional saucy cartoons and pinups. Esquire took the Post Office to court, and after three years the Supreme Court ultimately sided with the magazine.

“Japan invades Hong Kong.” 2008. The History Channel website. 18 Dec 2008, 10:57 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6647.

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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.

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.

12
Apr
08

On This Day, 4-12-08: FDR

President Roosevelt dies

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the longest serving president in American history, dies of a cerebral hemorrhage three months into his fourth term.

In 1932, at the height of the Great Depression, Governor Roosevelt of New York was elected the 32nd president of the United States. In his inaugural address in March 1933, President Roosevelt promised Americans that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself” and outlined his “New Deal”–an expansion of the federal government as an instrument of employment opportunity and welfare. Although criticized by the business community, Roosevelt’s progressive legislation improved America’s economic climate, and in 1936 he swept to re-election.

During his second term, he became increasingly concerned with German and Japanese aggression and so began a long campaign to awaken America from its isolationist slumber. In 1940, with World War II raging in Europe and the Pacific, Roosevelt agreed to run for an unprecedented third term. Re-elected by Americans who valued his strong leadership, he proved a highly effective commander in chief during World War II. Under Roosevelt’s guidance, America became, in his own words, the “great arsenal of democracy” and succeeded in shifting the balance of power in World War II firmly in the Allies’ favor. In 1944, with the war not yet won, he was re-elected to a fourth term.

Three months after his inauguration, while resting at his retreat in Warm Springs, Georgia, Roosevelt died of a massive cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 63. Following a solemn parade of his coffin through the streets of the nation’s capital, his body was buried in a family plot in Hyde Park, New York. Millions of Americans mourned the death of the man who led the United States through two of the greatest crises of the 20th century: the Great Depression and World War II. Roosevelt’s unparalleled 13 years as president led to the passing of the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which limited future presidents to a maximum of two consecutive elected terms in office.

“President Roosevelt dies.” 2008. The History Channel website. 12 Apr 2008, 07:47 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4913.

Roosevelt left a controversial legacy in terms of U.S.-Soviet relations. Critics charged that the president had been “soft” on the communists and naive in dealing with Stalin. The meetings at Yalta, they claimed, resulted in a “sellout” that left the Soviets in control of Eastern Europe and half of Germany. Roosevelt’s defenders responded that he made the best of difficult circumstances. He kept the Grand Alliance between the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain intact long enough to defeat Germany. As for Eastern Europe and Germany, there was little Roosevelt could have done, since the Red Army occupied those areas. Roosevelt’s successor, Harry S. Truman, decided that a “tougher” policy toward the Soviets was in order, and he began to press the Russians on a number of issues. By 1947, relations between the two former allies had nearly reached the breaking point and the Cold War was in full swing.

“President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies.” 2008. The History Channel website. 12 Apr 2008, 07:48 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2635.

1204 – The Fourth Crusade sacked Constantinople.

1770 – The British Parliament repealed the Townsend Acts.

1782 – The British navy won its only naval engagement against the colonists in the American Revolution at the Battle of Saints, off Dominica.

1861 – Fort Sumter was shelled by Confederacy, starting America’s Civil War.

The Civil War begins

The bloodiest four years in American history begin when Confederate shore batteries under General P.G.T. Beauregard open fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina’s Charleston Bay. During the next 34 hours, 50 Confederate guns and mortars launched more than 4,000 rounds at the poorly supplied fort. On April 13, U.S. Major Robert Anderson surrendered the fort. Two days later, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for 75,000 volunteer soldiers to quell the Southern “insurrection.”

“The Civil War begins.” 2008. The History Channel website. 12 Apr 2008, 07:42 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4911.

1864 – Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest captured Fort Pillow, in Tennessee and slaughters the black Union troops there.

The Fort Pillow Massacre

During the American Civil War, Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Confederate raiders attack the isolated Union garrison at Fort Pillow, Tennessee, overlooking the Mississippi River. The fort, an important part of the Confederate river defense system, was captured by federal forces in 1862. Of the 500-strong Union garrison defending the fort, more than half the soldiers were African-Americans.

“The Fort Pillow Massacre.” 2008. The History Channel website. 12 Apr 2008, 07:44 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4912.

1892 – Voters in Lockport, New York, became the first in the U.S. to use voting machines.

1927 – The British Cabinet came out in favor of women voting rights.

1944 – The U.S. Twentieth Air Force was activated to begin the strategic bombing of Japan.

1955 – The University of Michigan Polio Vaccine Evaluation Center announced that the polio vaccine of Dr. Jonas Salk was “safe, effective and potent.”

1961 – Soviet Yuri Alexeyevich Gagarin became first man to orbit the Earth.

On April 12, 1961, aboard the spacecraft Vostok, Soviet Major Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human being to travel into space. During the flight, the 27-year-old test pilot and industrial technician also became the first man to orbit the planet, a feat accomplished by his space capsule in 89 minutes. The only statement attributed to Gagarin during his historic one hour and 48 minutes in space was, Flight is proceeding normally; I am well.

http://www.thehistorychannel.co.uk/site/this_day_in_history/this_day_April_12.php

1963 – Police used dogs and cattle prods on peaceful civil rights demonstrators in Birmingham, AL.

1966 – Emmett Ashford became the first African-American major league umpire.

1969 – Lucy and Snoopy of the comic strip “Peanuts” made the cover of “Saturday Review.”

1981 – The space shuttle Columbia blasted off from Cape Canaveral, FL, on its first test flight.

1983 – Harold Washington was elected the first black mayor of Chicago.

1985 – U.S. Senator Jake Garn of Utah became the first senator to fly in space as the shuttle Discovery lifted off from Cape Canaveral, FL.

1989 – In the U.S.S.R, ration cards were issued for the first time since World War II. The ration was prompted by a sugar shortage.

1993 – NATO began enforcing a no-fly zone over Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Galileo is convicted of heresy

On this day in 1633, chief inquisitor Father Vincenzo Maculano da Firenzuola, appointed by Pope Urban VIII, begins the inquisition of physicist and astronomer Galileo Galilei. Galileo  was ordered to turn himself in to the Holy Office to begin trial for holding the belief that the Earth revolves around the Sun, which was deemed heretical by the Catholic Church. Standard practice demanded that the accused be imprisoned and secluded during the trial.

The Judgement:

“We pronounce, judge, and declare, that you, the said Galileo . . . have rendered yourself vehemently suspected by this Holy Office of heresy, that is, of having believed and held the doctrine (which is false and contrary to the Holy and Divine Scriptures) that the sun is the center of the world, and that it does not move from east to west, and that the earth does move, and is not the center of the world.”

The Penalty:

“We order that by a public edict the book of Dialogues of Galileo Galilei be prohibited, and We condemn thee to the prison of this Holy Office during Our will and pleasure; and as a salutary penance We enjoin on thee that for the space of three years thou shalt recite once a week the Seven Penitential Psalms.”

“Galileo is convicted of heresy.” 2008. The History Channel website. 12 Apr 2008, 07:25 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=970.

First gentile governor arrives in Utah

Salt Lake City offers an uneasy welcome to Alfred Cummings, its first non-Mormon governor, which signals the end of the so-called “Utah War.”

The Mormon acceptance of a gentile governor came after more than a year of tensions and military threats between the U.S. government and Brigham Young’s Utah theocracy. Sometimes referred to as the Utah War, this little-known conflict arose out of fundamental questions about the autonomy of the Mormon-controlled territory of Utah. Was Utah an American state or an independent nation? Could the Mormon Church maintain its tight controls over the political and economic fate of the territory while still abiding by the laws and dictates of the United States?

“First gentile governor arrives in Utah.” 2008. The History Channel website. 12 Apr 2008, 07:32 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4486.

18
Mar
08

On This Day, 3-18-08: William Durant

GM founder dies

William C. Durant, the founder of General Motors (GM), died in New York City at the age of 85. Economic historian Dana Thomas described Durant as a man “drunk with the gamble of America. He was obsessed with its highest article of faith–that the man who played for the steepest stakes deserved the biggest winnings.” General Motors reflected Durant’s ambitious attitude toward risk-taking in its breathtaking expansionist policies, becoming in its founder’s words “an empire of cars for every purse and purpose.” But Durant’s gambling attitude had its downside. Over a span of three years, Durant purchased Oldsmobile, Oakland (later Cadillac and Pontiac), and attempted to purchase Ford. By 1910, GM was out of cash, and Durant lost his controlling interest in the company. Durant would get back into the game by starting Chevrolet, and he would eventually regain control of GM–only to lose it a second time. Later in life, Durant attempted to start a bowling center and a supermarket; however, these ventures met with little success.

“GM founder dies.” 2008. The History Channel website. 16 Mar 2008, 01:42 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=7318.

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

1190 – Crusaders killed 57 Jews in Bury St. Edmonds England.

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

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

1766 – Britain repealed the Stamp Act.

1850 – Henry Wells & William Fargo founded American Express.

1881 – Barnum and Bailey’s Greatest Show on Earth opened in Madison Square Gardens.

1911 – Theodore Roosevelt opened the Roosevelt Dam in Phoenix, AZ. It was the largest dam in the U.S. at the time.

1922 – Mohandas K. Gandhi was sentenced to six years in prison for civil disobedience in India. He served only 2 years of the sentence.

1940 – Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini held a meeting at the Brenner Pass. The Italian dictator agreed to join in Germany’s war against France and Britain during the meeting.

1942 – The third military draft began in the U.S. because of World War II.

1943 – American forces took Gafsa in Tunisia.

1944 – The Russians reached the Rumanian border in the Balkans during World War II.

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

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

1968 – The U.S. Congress repealed the requirement for a gold reserve.

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.

1990 – The first free elections took place in East Germany.

12
Mar
08

On This Day, 3-12-08: Anschluss

Germany annexes Austria

On March 12, 1938, German troops march into Austria to annex the German-speaking nation for the Third Reich.

In early 1938, Austrian Nazis conspired for the second time in four years to seize the Austrian government by force and unite their nation with Nazi Germany. Austrian Chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg, learning of the conspiracy, met with Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in the hopes of reasserting his country’s independence but was instead bullied into naming several top Austrian Nazis to his cabinet. On March 9, Schuschnigg called a national vote to resolve the question of Anschluss, or “annexation,” once and for all. Before the plebiscite could take place, however, Schuschnigg gave in to pressure from Hitler and resigned on March 11. In his resignation address, under coercion from the Nazis, he pleaded with Austrian forces not to resist a German “advance” into the country.

The next day, March 12, Hitler accompanied German troops into Austria, where enthusiastic crowds met them. Hitler appointed a new Nazi government, and on March 13 the Anschluss was proclaimed. Austria existed as a federal state of Germany until the end of World War II, when the Allied powers declared the Anschluss void and reestablished an independent Austria. Schuschnigg, who had been imprisoned soon after resigning, was released in 1945. http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4830

Public Notice urges recognition of “humane ladies”

On this day in 1776, in Baltimore, Maryland, a public notice appears in local papers recognizing the sacrifice of women to the cause of the revolution. The notice urged others to recognize women’s contributions and announced, “The necessity of taking all imaginable care of those who may happen to be wounded in the country’s cause, urges us to address our humane ladies, to lend us their kind assistance in furnishing us with linen rags and old sheeting, for bandages….” On and off the battlefield, women were known to support the revolutionary cause by providing nursing assistance. But donating bandages and sometimes applying them was only one form of aid provided by the women of the new United States. From the earliest protests against British taxation, women’s assent and labor was critical to the success of the cause. The boycotts that united the colonies against British taxation required female participation far more than male—in fact, the men designing the non-importation agreements generally chose to boycott products used mostly by women.

Tea and cloth are perhaps the best examples of these products. While most schoolchildren have read of the men who dressed as Mohawk Indians and dumped large volumes of tea into Boston Harbor as a form of opposition to the hated Tea Act, few realize that women–not men–drank most of the tea in colonial America. Samuel Adams and his friends may have dumped the tea in the harbor, but they were far more likely to drink rum than tea when they returned to their homes. Conveniently, their actions served to deprive their wives, mothers, sisters and daughters, not themselves. The colonists only resorted to an attempted boycott of rum in 1774, after Britain had closed the port of Boston.

Similarly, when John Adams and other men in power thought it best to stop importing fine British fabrics with which to make their clothing during the protests of the late 1760s, it had little impact on their daily lives. Wearing homespun cloth may not have been as comfortable nor look as refined as their regular clothing, but it was Abigail and other colonial wives and homemakers, not John and his fellow men, who were forced to spend hours spinning clothes to create their families’ wardrobes.

Thus, in 1776, when Abigail begged John to “remember the ladies” while drafting the U.S. Constitution, she was not begging a favor, but demanding payment of an enduring debt. http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=308

1496 – Jews were expelled from Syria.

1755 – In North Arlington, NJ, the steam engine was used for the first time.

1789 – The U.S. Post Office was established.

1884 – The State of Mississippi authorized the first state-supported college for women. It was called the Mississippi Industrial Institute and College.

1894 – Coca-Cola was sold in bottles for the first time.

1903 – The Czar of Russia issued a decree providing for nominal freedom of religion throughout his territory.

1904 – After 30 years of drilling, the tunnel under the Hudson River was completed. The link was between Jersey City, NJ, and New York, NY.

1909 – Three U.S. warships were ordered to Nicaragua to stem the conflict with El Salvador.

1923 – Dr. Lee DeForest demonstrated phonofilm. It was his technique for putting sound on motion picture film.

1930 – Ghandi began his 200-mile march to the sea that symbolized his defiance of British rule over India.

1940 – Finland surrendered to Russia ending the Russo-Finnish War.

1985 – Former U.S. President Richard M. Nixon announced that he planned to drop Secret Service protection and hire his own bodyguards in an effort to lower the deficit by $3 million.

1989 – About 2,500 veterans and supporters marched at the Art Institute of Chicago to demand that officials remove an American flag placed on the floor as part of an exhibit.

1999 – Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic became members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). All three countries were members of the former Warsaw Pact.

2003 – In Utah, Elizabeth Smart was reunited with her family nine months after she was abducted from her home. She had been taken on June 5, 2002, by a drifter that had previously worked at the Smart home.

Truman Doctrine is announced

In a dramatic speech to a joint session of Congress, President Harry S. Truman asks for U.S. assistance for Greece and Turkey to forestall communist domination of the two nations. Historians have often cited Truman’s address, which came to be known as the Truman Doctrine, as the official declaration of the Cold War. http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2604

1930: Gandhi leads civil disobedience

In his boldest act of civil disobedience against British rule in India to date, Mahatma Gandhi begins a long march to the sea in protest of the British salt tax. Joined by thousands of protesters, Gandhi and his followers eventually reached the Arabian Sea, where they made their own salt by evaporating sea water. The march, which resulted in the arrest of Gandhi and 60,000 others, earned new international respect and support for the leader and his movement. Gandhi’s nonviolent methods, including dramatic hunger strikes, eventually did bring to fruition his goal of Indian independence in 1947. In 1948, a Hindu extremist’s bullet ended his life at the age of 78.  http://www.thehistorychannel.co.uk/site/this_day_in_history/this_day_March_12.php

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.
George Washington

It is our true policy to steer clear of entangling alliances with any portion of the foreign world.
George Washington

A president either is constantly on top of events or, if he hesitates, events will soon be on top of him. I never felt that I could let up for a moment.
Harry S. Truman

28
Feb
08

On This Day, 2-28-08: Republican Party

1994: First NATO military action

In the first military action in the 45-year history of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, US fighter planes shoot down four Serbian warplanes flying a bombing mission in violation of Bosnia’s no-fly zone.

Founded in 1949 to combat Soviet aggression, NATO volunteered in 1994 to enforce United Nations resolutions enacted to end three years of conflict in the former Yugoslavia. In 1995, NATO deployed 60,000 troops to the war-torn region to enforce the Dayton Peace Accords, signed in Paris by the leaders of the former Yugoslavia.

http://www.thehistorychannel.co.uk/site/this_day_in_history/this_day_February_28.php

1827 – The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad became the first railroad incorporated for commercial transportation of people and freight.

1844 – Several people were killed aboard the USS Princeton when a 12-inch gun exploded.

1849 – Regular steamboat service to California via Cape Horn arrived in San Francisco for the first time. The SS California had left New York Harbor on October 6, 1848. The trip took 4 months and 21 days.

1854 – The Republican Party was organized in Ripon, WI. About 50 slavery opponents began the new political group.*

1900 – In South Africa, British troops relieved Ladysmith, which had been under siege since November 2, 1899.

1951 – A Senate committee issued a report that stated that there were at least two major crime syndicates in the U.S.

1953 – In a Cambridge University laboratory, scientists James D. Watson and Francis H.C. Crick discovered the double-helix structure of DNA.

1962 – The John Glenn for President club was formed by a group of Las Vegas republicans.

1983 – “M*A*S*H” became the most watched television program in history when the final episode aired.

1993 – U.S. Federal agents raided the compound of an armed religious cult in Waco, TX. The ATF had planned to arrest the leader of the Branch Davidians, David Koresh, on federal firearms charges. Four agents and six Davidians were killed and a 51-day standoff followed.

1998 – Serbian police began a campaign to wipe out “terrorist gangs” in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo.

2001 – The Northwest region of the U.S., including the state of Washington, was hit by an earthquake that measured 6.9 on the Richter Scale. There were no deaths reported.

I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of slavery.
George Washington

*I have personally heard many arguments during the several years I lived in North Carolina that the American Civil War wasn’t about slavery, and yet here we have the founding of the Republican Party based on the common goal of abolishing slavery.  Raised a Presbyterian in the Second Presbyterian Church and having done research into that church’s split prior to the Civil War, I know that Presbyterian reverends preaching abolition in northern churches caused that split.  But the American Civil War wasn’t about slavery?




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