Posts Tagged ‘Panama Canal

14
Mar
09

On This Day, March 14: Alexander Hamilton

March 14, 1776

Alexander Hamilton is named captain of artillery company

On this day in 1776, Alexander Hamilton receives his commission as captain of a New York artillery company. Throughout the rest of 1776, Captain Hamilton established himself as a great military leader as he directed his artillery company in several battles in and around New York City. In March 1777, Hamilton’s performance came to the attention of General George Washington and he was commissioned lieutenant colonel and personal aide to General Washington in the Continental Army.

After serving under Washington for four years, Hamilton resigned in February 1781 after a dispute with the general, but remained in the army. In July 1781, Hamilton took a position as commander of a regiment of New York troops and served with distinction at the Battle of Yorktown in the fall of that year.

After resigning from the army and working at a law practice, Hamilton was elected to the Continental Congress from New York in 1782, where he quickly became known as a proponent of a stronger national government. In the years to come, Hamilton became well-known for his political philosophy and published several papers with James Madison and John Jay that became known as the “Federalist Papers.”

Hamilton became the first secretary of the treasury in September 1789 after the election of President George Washington and served in that office until resigning in January 1795. Hamilton then returned to the private sector and a law practice in New York City, but remained a close advisor to President Washington.

In 1800, Hamilton became embroiled in a bitter dispute when he threw his support behind President John Adams’ reelection campaign instead of presidential candidate Aaron Burr’s. After his defeat, Burr ran for governor of New York in 1804; Hamilton again opposed his candidacy. Humiliated, Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel on July 11, 1804, in Weehawken, New Jersey. Alexander Hamilton was shot in the duel and died of his wound the following day, July 12, in New York at the age of 49.

“Alexander Hamilton is named captain of artillery company.” 2009. The History Channel website. 14 Mar 2009, 01:12 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=310.

 

 On This Day

1743 – First American town meeting was held at Boston’s Faneuil Hall.

1794 – Eli Whitney received a patent for his cotton gin.

1900 – U.S. currency went on the gold standard with the ratification of the Gold Standard Act.

1901 – Utah Governor Heber M. Wells vetoed a bill that would have relaxed restrictions on polygamy.

1903 – The U.S. Senate ratified the Hay-Herran Treaty that guaranteed the U.S. the right to build a canal at Panama. The Columbian Senate rejected the treaty.

1914 – Henry Ford announced the new continuous motion method to assemble cars. The process decreased the time to make a car from 12½ hours to 93 minutes.

1918 – An all-Russian Congress of Soviets ratified a peace treaty with the Central Powers.

1936 – Adolf Hitler told a crowd of 300,000 that Germany’s only judge is God and itself.

1938 – Germany invaded Austria. A union of Austria and Germany was proclaimed by Adolf Hitler.

1939 – Hungary occupied the Carpatho-Ukraine. Slovakia declared its independence.

1945 – In Germany, a 22,000 pound “Grand Slam” bomb was dropped by the Royal Air Force Dumbuster Squad on the Beilefeld railway viaduct. It was the heaviest bomb used during World War II.

1947 – Moscow announced that 890,532 German POWs were held in the U.S.S.R.

1954 – The Viet Minh launched an assault on Dien Bien Phu in Saigon.

1976 – Egypt formally abrogated the 1971 Treaty Friendship and Cooperation with the Soviet Union.

 

March 14, 1969

Nixon discusses the possibility of U.S. troop withdrawals

At a news conference, President Richard Nixon says there is no prospect for a U.S. troop reduction in the foreseeable future because of the ongoing enemy offensive. Nixon stated that the prospects for withdrawal would hinge on the level of enemy activity, progress in the Paris peace talks, and the ability of the South Vietnamese to defend themselves. Despite these public comments, Nixon and his advisers were secretly discussing U.S. troop withdrawals. On June 8, at a conference on Midway Island with South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu, Nixon formally announced a new policy that included intensified efforts to increase the combat capability of the South Vietnamese armed forces so that U.S. forces could be gradually withdrawn. This program became known as “Vietnamization.” The first U.S. troop withdrawals occurred in the fall of 1969 with the departure of the headquarters and a brigade from the 9th Infantry Division.

“Nixon discusses the possibility of U.S. troop withdrawals.” 2009. The History Channel website. 14 Mar 2009, 01:13 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=1728.

Advertisements
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.

18
Nov
08

On This Day, 11-18-2008: Abraham Lincoln

November 18, 1863

Lincoln travels to Gettysburg

President Lincoln boards a train for Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to deliver a short speech at the dedication for the cemetery of soldiers killed during the battle there on July 1 to 3, 1863. The address he gave became perhaps the most famous speech in American history.

Lincoln had given much thought to what he wanted to say at Gettysburg, but he nearly missed his chance to say it. On November 18, Lincoln’s son, Tad, became ill with a fever. Abraham and Mary Lincoln were, sadly, no strangers to juvenile illness: they had already lost two sons. Prone to fits of hysteria, Mary Lincoln panicked when the president prepared to leave for Pennsylvania. Lincoln felt that the opportunity to speak at Gettysburg and present his defense of the war was too important to miss, though. He boarded a train at noon and headed for Gettysburg.

Despite his son’s illness, Lincoln was in good spirits on the journey. He was accompanied by an entourage that included Secretary of State William Seward, Postmaster General Montgomery Blair, Interior Secretary John Usher, Lincoln’s personal secretaries John Hay and John Nicolay, several members of the diplomat corps, some foreign visitors, a Marine band, and a military escort. During one stop, a young girl lifted a bouquet of flowers to his window. Lincoln kissed her and said, “You’re a sweet little rose-bud yourself. I hope your life will open into perpetual beauty and goodness.”

When Lincoln arrived in Gettysburg, he was handed a telegram that lifted his spirits: Tad was feeling much better. Lincoln enjoyed an evening dinner and a serenade by Fifth New York Artillery Band before he retired to finalize his famous Gettysburg Address.

“Lincoln travels to Gettysburg.” 2008. The History Channel website. 18 Nov 2008, 10:09 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2391.

 On This Day

1865 – Samuel L. Clemens published “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” under the pen name “Mark Twain” in the New York “Saturday Press.”

1883 – The U.S. and Canada adopted a system of standard time zones.

1903 – The U.S. and Panama signed a treaty that granted the U.S. rights to build the Panama Canal.

1916 – Douglas Haig, commander of the British Expeditionary Force in World War I, calls off the Battle of the Somme in France. The offensive began on July 1, 1916.

1936 – Germany and Italy recognized the Spanish government of Francisco Franco.

1951 – Chuck Connors (Los Angeles Angels) became the first player to oppose the major league draft. Connors later became the star of the television show “The Rifleman.”

1966 – U.S. Roman Catholic bishops did away with the rule against eating meat on Fridays.

1987 – The U.S. Congress issued the Iran-Contra Affair report. The report said that President Ronald Reagan bore “ultimate responsibility” for wrongdoing by his aides.

1988 – U.S. President Reagan signed major legislation provided the death penalty for drug traffickers who kill.

1993 – The U.S. House of Representatives joined the U.S. Senate in approving legislation aimed at protecting abortion facilities, staff and patients.

 

November 18, 1940

Hitler furious over Italy’s debacle in Greece

On this day in 1940, Adolf Hitler meets with Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano over Mussolini’s disastrous invasion of Greece.

Mussolini surprised everyone with a move against Greece; his ally, Hitler, was caught off guard, especially since the Duce had led Hitler to believe he had no such intention. Even Mussolini’s own chief of army staff found out about the invasion only after the fact!

Despite being warned off an invasion of Greece by his own generals, despite the lack of preparedness on the part of his military, despite that it would mean getting bogged down in a mountainous country during the rainy season against an army willing to fight tooth and nail to defend its autonomy, Mussolini moved ahead out of sheer hubris, convinced he could defeat the inferior Greeks in a matter of days. He also knew a secret, that millions of lire had been put aside to bribe Greek politicians and generals not to resist the Italian invasion. Whether the money ever made it past the Italian fascist agents delegated with the responsibility is unclear; if it did, it clearly made no difference whatsoever-the Greeks succeeded in pushing the Italian invaders back into Albania after just one week. The Axis power spent the next three months fighting for its life in a defensive battle. To make matters worse, virtually half the Italian fleet at Taranto had been crippled by a British carrier-based attack.

At their meeting in Obersalzberg, Hitler excoriated Ciano for opening an opportunity for the British to enter Greece and establish an airbase in Athens, putting the Brits within striking distance of valuable oil reserves in Romania, which Hitler relied upon for his war machine. It also meant that Hitler would have to divert forces from North Africa, a high strategic priority, to Greece in order to bail Mussolini out. Hitler considered leaving the Italians to fight their own way out of this debacle-possibly even making peace with the Greeks as a way of forestalling an Allied intervention. But Germany would eventually invade, in April 1941, adding Greece to its list of conquests.

“Hitler furious over Italy’s debacle in Greece.” 2008. The History Channel website. 18 Nov 2008, 10:23 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6384.

09
Nov
08

On This Day, 11-9-2008: A Night Without Light

November 9, 1965

The Great Northeast Blackout

At dusk, the biggest power failure in U.S. history occurs as all of New York state, portions of seven neighboring states, and parts of eastern Canada are plunged into darkness. The Great Northeast Blackout began at the height of rush hour, delaying millions of commuters, trapping 800,000 people in New York’s subways, and stranding thousands more in office buildings, elevators, and trains. Ten thousand National Guardsmen and 5,000 off-duty policemen were called into service to prevent looting.

The blackout was caused by the tripping of a 230-kilovolt transmission line near Ontario, Canada, at 5:16 p.m., which caused several other heavily loaded lines also to fail. This precipitated a surge of power that overwhelmed the transmission lines in western New York, causing a “cascading” tripping of additional lines, resulting in the eventual breakup of the entire Northeastern transmission network. All together, 30 million people in eight U.S. states and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec were affected by the blackout. During the night, power was gradually restored to the blacked-out areas, and by morning power had been restored throughout the Northeast.

On August 14, 2003 another major blackout occurred which affected most of Eastern Canada as well as most of the Eastern United States.

“The Great Northeast Blackout.” 2008. The History Channel website. 9 Nov 2008, 10:14 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5510.

On This Day

1872 – A fire destroyed about 800 buildings in Boston, MA.

1906 – U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt left for Panama to see the progress on the new canal. It was the first foreign trip by a U.S. president.

1918 – Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II announced he would abdicate. He then fled to the Netherlands.

1923 – In Munich, the Beer Hall Putsch was crushed by German troops that were loyal to the democratic government. The event began the evening before when Adolf Hitler took control of a beer hall full of Bavarian government leaders at gunpoint.

1935 – United Mine Workers president John L. Lewis and other labor leaders formed the Committee for Industrial Organization.

1961 – Major Robert White flew an X-15 rocket plane at a world record speed of 4,093 mph.

1967 – A Saturn V rocket carrying an unmanned Apollo spacecraft blasted off from Cape Kennedy on a successful test flight.

1976 – The U.N. General Assembly approved ten resolutions condemning the apartheid government in South Africa.

1989 – Communist East Germany opened its borders, allowing its citizens to travel freely to West Germany.

1990 – Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed a non-aggression treaty with Germany.

1998 – A federal judge in New York approved the richest antitrust settlement in U.S. history. A leading brokerage firm was ordered to pay $1.03 billion to investors who had sued over price-rigging of Nasdaq stocks.

November 9, 1938

Nazis launch Kristallnacht

On this day in 1938, in an event that would foreshadow the Holocaust, German Nazis launch a campaign of terror against Jewish people and their homes and businesses in Germany and Austria. The violence, which continued through November 10 and was later dubbed “Kristallnacht,” or “Night of Broken Glass,” after the countless smashed windows of Jewish-owned establishments, left approximately 100 Jews dead, 7,500 Jewish businesses damaged and hundreds of synagogues, homes, schools and graveyards vandalized. An estimated 30,000 Jewish men were arrested, many of whom were then sent to concentration camps for several months; they were released when they promised to leave Germany. Kristallnacht represented a dramatic escalation of the campaign started by Adolf Hitler in 1933 when he became chancellor to purge Germany of its Jewish population.

The Nazis used the murder of a low-level German diplomat in Paris by a 17-year-old Polish Jew as an excuse to carry out the Kristallnacht attacks. On November 7, 1938, Ernst vom Rath was shot outside the German embassy by Herschel Grynszpan, who wanted revenge for his parents’ sudden deportation from Germany to Poland, along with tens of thousands of other Polish Jews. Following vom Rath’s death, Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels ordered German storm troopers to carry out violent riots disguised as “spontaneous demonstrations” against Jewish citizens. Local police and fire departments were told not to interfere. In the face of all the devastation, some Jews, including entire families, committed suicide.

In the aftermath of Kristallnacht, the Nazis blamed the Jews and fined them 1 billion marks (or $400 million in 1938 dollars) for vom Rath’s death. As repayment, the government seized Jewish property and kept insurance money owed to Jewish people. In its quest to create a master Aryan race, the Nazi government enacted further discriminatory policies that essentially excluded Jews from all aspects of public life.

Over 100,000 Jews fled Germany for other countries after Kristallnacht. The international community was outraged by the violent events of November 9 and 10. Some countries broke off diplomatic relations in protest, but the Nazis suffered no serious consequences, leading them to believe they could get away with the mass murder that was the Holocaust, in which an estimated 6 million European Jews died.

“Nazis launch Kristallnacht.” 2008. The History Channel website. 9 Nov 2008, 10:15 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=52085.

On This Day in Wisconsin

1968 – Earthquake Shakes Wisconsin
On this date one of the strongest earthquakes in the central United States occurred in south-central Illinois. Measured at a magnitude of 5.3, press reports from LaCrosse, Milwaukee, Port Washington, Portage, Prairie Du Chien, and Sheboygan indicated that the shock was felt in these cities. [Source: Mid-America Earthquake Center]

07
Sep
08

On This Day, 9-7-2008: Turtle

World’s first submarine attack

During the Revolutionary War, the American submersible craft Turtle attempts to attach a time bomb to the hull of British Admiral Richard Howe’s flagship Eagle in New York Harbor. It was the first use of a submarine in warfare.

Submarines were first built by Dutch inventor Cornelius van Drebel in the early 17th century, but it was 150 years later before they were first used in naval combat. David Bushnell, an American inventor, began building underwater mines while a student at Yale University. Deciding that a submarine would be the best means of delivering his mines in warfare, he built an eight-foot-long wooden submersible that was christened the Turtle for its shape. Large enough to accommodate one operator, the submarine was entirely hand-powered. Lead ballast kept the craft balanced.

Donated to the Patriot cause after the outbreak of war with Britain in 1775, Ezra Lee piloted the craft unnoticed out to the 64-gun HMS Eagle in New York Harbor on September 7, 1776. As Lee worked to anchor a time bomb to the hull, he could see British seamen on the deck above, but they failed to notice the strange craft below the surface. Lee had almost secured the bomb when his boring tools failed to penetrate a layer of iron sheathing. He retreated, and the bomb exploded nearby, causing no harm to either the Eagle or the Turtle.

During the next week, the Turtle made several more attempts to sink British ships on the Hudson River, but each time it failed, owing to the operator’s lack of skill. Only Bushnell was capable of executing the submarine’s complicated functions, but because of his physical frailty he was unable to pilot the Turtle in any of its combat missions. During the Battle of Fort Lee, the Turtle was lost when the American sloop transporting it was sunk by the British.

Despite the failures of the Turtle, General George Washington gave Bushnell a commission as an army engineer, and the drifting mines he constructed destroyed the British frigate Cereberus and wreaked havoc against other British ships. After the war, he became commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stationed at West Point.

“World’s first submarine attack.” 2008. The History Channel website. 7 Sep 2008, 05:02 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=5325.

 

On This Day

1533 – Queen Elizabeth I, of England, was born in Greenwich.

1812 – Napoleon defeated the Russian army of Alexander I at the battle of Borodino.

1813 – The nickname “Uncle Sam” was first used as a symbolic reference to the United States. The reference appeared in an editorial in the New York’s Troy Post.

1822 – Brazil declared its independence from Portugal.

1901 – The Boxer Rebellion began in China ending the Peace of Beijing.

1936 – Buddy Holly was born.

1940 – London received its initial rain of bombs from Nazi Germany during World War II.

1942 – During World War II, the Russian army counter attacked the German troops outside the city of Stalingrad.

1977 – G. Gordon Liddy was released from prison. He had been incarcerated for more than four years for his involvement in the Watergate conspiracy.

1979 – ESPN, the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, made its debut on cable TV.

1995 – U.S. Senator Bob Packwood announced that he would resign after 27 years in the Senate.

 

Panama to control canal

In Washington, President Jimmy Carter and Panamanian dictator Omar Torrijos sign a treaty agreeing to transfer control of the Panama Canal from the United States to Panama at the end of the 20th century. The Panama Canal Treaty also authorized the immediate abolishment of the Canal Zone, a 10-mile-wide, 40-mile-long U.S.-controlled area that bisected the Republic of Panama. Many in Congress opposed giving up control of the Panama Canal–an enduring symbol of U.S. power and technological prowess–but America’s colonial-type administration of the strategic waterway had long irritated Panamanians and other Latin Americans.

On September 7, 1977, President Carter had also signed the Neutrality Treaty with Torrijos, which guaranteed the permanent neutrality of the canal and gave the United States the right to use military force, if necessary, to keep the canal open. This treaty was used as rationale for the 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama, which saw the overthrow of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, who had threatened to prematurely seize control of the canal after being indicted in the United States on drug charges.

Democratic rule was restored in Panama in the 1990s, and at noon on December 31, 1999, the Panama Canal was peacefully turned over to Panama. In order to avoid conflict with end-of-the-millennium celebrations, formal ceremonies marking the event were held on December 14. Former president Jimmy Carter represented the United States at the ceremony. After exchanging diplomatic notes with Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso, Carter simply told her, “It’s yours.”

“Panama to control canal.” 2008. The History Channel website. 7 Sep 2008, 05:06 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=7013.

15
Aug
08

On This Day, 8-15-2008: Woodstock

Woodstock begins in upstate New York

The Woodstock Music and Art Fair, “An Aquarian Exposition,” opens at Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in upstate New York. Promoters expected the music festival, modeled after the famous Monterey Pop Festival, to attract up to 200,000 for the weekend, but nearly a half a million people converged on the concert site. Promoters soon realized that they could not control access to the site and opened it up to all comers free of charge. Because of the unexpected size of the audience, volunteers were needed to help alleviate many of the logistics problems, while helicopters were used to fly in food, doctors, and medical supplies, as well as many of the musical acts that performed during the three-day festival. Despite rain and mud, the audience enjoyed non-stop performances by singers like Richie Havens, Janis Joplin, Arlo Guthrie, Joe Cocker, and Joan Baez, as well as the bands Creedence Clearwater Revival; The Grateful Dead; The Jefferson Airplane; Sly and the Family Stone; and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Although many different types of people attended the festival, many were members of the counterculture, often referred to as “hippies,” who rejected materialism and authority, experimented with illicit drugs, and actively protested against the Vietnam War. Much of the music had a decided anti-war flavor. Representative of this genre was the “Fixin’ to Die Rag” by Country Joe and the Fish. This song and its chorus (“And it’s one, two, three, what are we fighting for…Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn, next stop is Vietnam….And it’s five, six, seven, open up the pearly gates…There ain’t no time to wonder why…Whoopie, we’re all gonna die!”) became an anti-war classic. Jimi Hendrix closed the concert with a freeform solo guitar performance of “The Star Spangled Banner.” Woodstock became a symbol of the 1960s American counterculture and a milestone in the history of rock music.

On Aug. 12, 1994, the much-publicized Woodstock II music festival takes place in Saugerties, New York, near the site of the legendary Woodstock concert of 1969. An estimated 300,000 people attended the event, marked–as was the original–by bad weather and pervasive mud. Some 50 bands and singers performed, including the Neville Brothers, Nine Inch Nails, Bob Dylan, Green Day, Jimmy Cliff, and Crosby, Stills and Nash.”Woodstock begins in upstate New York.” 2008. The History Channel website. 15 Aug 2008, 04:22 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=1271.

Jimi Hendrix:  The Star Spangled Banner

 

The Japanese emperor speaks

On this day in 1945, Emperor Hirohito broadcasts the news of Japan’s surrender to the Japanese people.

Although Tokyo had already communicated to the Allies its acceptance of the surrender terms of the Potsdam Conference several days earlier, and a Japanese news service announcement had been made to that effect, the Japanese people were still waiting to hear an authoritative voice speak the unspeakable: that Japan had been defeated.

That voice was the emperor’s. In Japan’s Shinto religious tradition, the emperor was also divine; his voice was the voice of a god. And on August 15, that voice-heard over the radio airwaves for the very first time–confessed that Japan’s enemy “has begun to employ a most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is indeed incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives.” This was the reason given for Japan’s surrender. Hirohito’s oral memoirs, published and translated after the war, evidence the emperor’s fear at the time that “the Japanese race will be destroyed if the war continues.”

A sticking point in the Japanese surrender terms had been Hirohito’s status as emperor. Tokyo wanted the emperor’s status protected; the Allies wanted no preconditions. There was a compromise. The emperor retained his title; Gen. Douglas MacArthur believed his at least ceremonial presence would be a stabilizing influence in postwar Japan. But Hirohito was forced to disclaim his divine status. Japan lost more than a war-it lost a god.”The Japanese emperor speaks.”2008. The History Channel website. 15 Aug 2008, 04:33 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6552.

 On This Day

1057 – Macbeth, the King of Scotland, was killed by the son of King Duncan.

1848 – The dental chair was patented by M. Waldo Hanchett.

1914 – The Panama Canal was officially opened to commercial traffic as an American ship sailed from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.

1918 – Diplomatic ties between the U.S. and Russia were severed.

1935 – Will Rogers and Wiley Post were killed in an airplane crash in near Point Barrow, AK.

1939 – “The Wizard of Oz” premiered in Hollywood, CA. Judy Garland became famous for the movie’s song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

1944 – The Allied forces of World War II landed in southern France.

1947 – India became independent from Britain and was divided into the countries of India and Pakistan. India had been under British about 200 years.

1948 – The Republic of Korea was proclaimed.

1961 – East German workers began construction of the Berlin Wall.

1971 – U.S. President Nixon announced a 90-day freeze on wages, rents and prices.

1986 – The U.S. Senate approved a package of economic sanctions against South Africa. The ban included the importing of steel, uranium, textiles, coal, and produce from South Africa.

1997 – The U.S. Justice Department decided not to prosecute FBI officials in connection with the deadly 1992 Ruby Ridge siege in Idaho. The investigation dealt with an alleged cover-up.

2001 – Chandra Levy’s parents appeared on CNN’s “Larry King Live.” They discussed Levy’s disappearance on April 30, 2001. 

1968 — Heavy fighting erupts in and around the DMZ

Heavy fighting intensifies in and around the DMZ, as South Vietnamese and U.S. troops engage a North Vietnamese battalion. In a seven and a half hour battle, 165 enemy troops were killed. At the same time, U.S. Marines attacked three strategic positions just south of the DMZ, killing 56 North Vietnamese soldiers.”Heavy fighting erupts in and around the DMZ.” 2008. The History Channel website. 15 Aug 2008, 04:41 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=1272.

1969 — Regional Forces victorious

South Vietnamese officials report that regional forces killed 308 Communist troops in four days of heavy fighting along a coastal strip south of the DMZ. This was one of the biggest victories of the war for the regional forces in the war and was extremely significant since one of the prime objectives of Nixon’s Vietnamization policy was the strengthening of the regional/popular forces so that they could help secure the countryside.”Regional Forces victorious.” 2008. The History Channel website. 15 Aug 2008, 04:48 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=1273.

1970 — North Vietnamese capture Vietnamese marine base

In South Vietnam, North Vietnamese troops increase operations along the DMZ. This activity had begun on August 12 and continued until the 15th. The North Vietnamese captured the South Vietnamese marine base at Ba Ho, two miles south of the DMZ; most of the defenders were killed or wounded, but the Communists suffered 200 dead in taking the base.”North Vietnamese capture Vietnamese marine base.” 2008. The History Channel website. 15 Aug 2008, 04:43 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=1274.

 

You don’t have to teach people how to be human. You have to teach them how to stop being inhuman.
Eldridge Cleaver 

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

The Declaration of Independence

29
Feb
08

On This Day, 2-29-08: Gone With the Wind

1940: Gone with the Wind sweeps Oscars

Regarded as the most popular movie of all time, Gone with the Wind is honored with eight Oscars by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on this day. An epic romance set during the hard times faced by the South after the American Civil War, the movie swept the prestigious Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Cinematography, Art Direction, Film Editing, and Actress categories.

However, the most momentous award that night undoubtedly went to Hattie McDaniel for her portrayal of Mammy, a former slave. McDaniel, who won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award, was the first African-American actress or actor ever to be honored with an Oscar. http://www.thehistorychannel.co.uk/site/this_day_in_history/this_day_February_29.php

1288 – Scotland established this day as one when a woman could propose marriage to a man. In the event that he refused the proposal he was required to pay a fine.

1860 – The first electric tabulating machine was invented by Herman Hollerith.

1904 – In Washington, DC, a seven-man commission was created to hasten the construction of the Panama Canal.

1944 – The invasion of the Admiralty Islands began with “Operation Brewer.” U.S. General Douglas MacArthur led his forces onto Los Negros.

1944 – Dorothy McElroy Vredenburgh of Alabama became the first woman to be appointed secretary of a national political party. She was appointed to the Democratic National Committee.

1944 – The Office of Defense Transportation, for the second year in a row, restricted attendance at the Kentucky Derby to residents of the Louisville area. This was an effort to prevent a railroad traffic burden during wartime.

1960 – American entrepreneur Hugh Heffner opens his first ‘Playboy Club’ in Chicago.

1980 – Buddy Holly’s glasses and the Big Bopper’s wristwatch were found in old police files by the Mason City Sheriff. The items were worn by the men when their plane crashed on February 3, 1959.




June 2019
S M T W T F S
« Sep    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 281 other followers

Advertisements