Posts Tagged ‘Ponce de Leon

02
Apr
08

On This Day, 4-2-08: Falklands Islands

Argentina invades Falklands

On April 2, 1982, Argentina invades the Falklands Islands, a British colony since 1892 and British possession since 1833. Argentine amphibious forces rapidly overcame the small garrison of British marines at the town of Stanley on East Falkland and the next day seized the dependent territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich group. The 1,800 Falkland Islanders, mostly English-speaking sheep farmers, awaited a British response.

The Falkland Islands, located about 300 miles off the southern tip of Argentina, had long been claimed by the British. British navigator John Davis may have sighted the islands in 1592, and in 1690 British Navy Captain John Strong made the first recorded landing on the islands. He named them after Viscount Falkland, who was the First Lord of the Admiralty at the time. In 1764, French navigator Louis-Antoine de Bougainville founded the islands’ first human settlement, on East Falkland, which was taken over by the Spanish in 1767. In 1765, the British settled West Falkland but left in 1774 for economic reasons. Spain abandoned its settlement in 1811.

In 1816 Argentina declared its independence from Spain and in 1820 proclaimed its sovereignty over the Falklands. The Argentines built a fort on East Falkland, but in 1832 it was destroyed by the USS Lexington in retaliation for the seizure of U.S. seal ships in the area. In 1833, a British force expelled the remaining Argentine officials and began a military occupation. In 1841, a British lieutenant governor was appointed, and by the 1880s a British community of some 1,800 people on the islands was self-supporting. In 1892, the wind-blown Falkland Islands were collectively granted colonial status.

For the next 90 years, life on the Falklands remained much unchanged, despite persistent diplomatic efforts by Argentina to regain control of the islands. In 1981, the Falkland Islanders voted in a referendum to remain British, and it seemed unlikely that the Falklands would ever revert to Argentine rule. Meanwhile, in Argentina, the military junta led by Lieutenant General Leopoldo Galtieri was suffering criticism for its oppressive rule and economic management, and planned the Falklands invasion as a means of promoting patriotic feeling and propping up its regime.

In March 1982, Argentine salvage workers occupied South Georgia Island, and a full-scale invasion of the Falklands began on April 2. Under orders from their commanders, the Argentine troops inflicted no British casualties, despite suffering losses to their own units. Nevertheless, Britain was outraged, and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher assembled a naval task force of 30 warships to retake the islands. As Britain is 8,000 miles from the Falklands, it took several weeks for the British warships to arrive. On April 25, South Georgia Island was retaken, and after several intensive naval battles fought around the Falklands, British troops landed on East Falkland on May 21. After several weeks of fighting, the large Argentine garrison at Stanley surrendered on June 14, effectively ending the conflict.

Britain lost five ships and 256 lives in the fight to regain the Falklands, and Argentina lost its only cruiser and 750 lives. Humiliated in the Falklands War, the Argentine military was swept from power in 1983, and civilian rule was restored. In Britain, Margaret Thatcher’s popularity soared after the conflict, and her Conservative Party won a landslide victory in 1983 parliamentary elections.

“Argentina invades Falklands.” 2008. The History Channel website. 2 Apr 2008, 05:22 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4884.

1513 – Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon landed in Florida.

1801 – During the Napoleonic Wars, the Danish fleet was destroyed by the British at the Battle of Copenhagen.

1865 – Confederate President Davis and most of his Cabinet fled the Confederate capital of Richmond, VA.

1902 – The first motion picture theatre opened in Los Angeles with the name Electric Theatre.

1917 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson presented a declaration of war against Germany to the U.S. Congress.

1958 – The National Advisory Council on Aeronautics was renamed NASA.

1963 – Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King began the first non-violent campaign in Birmingham, AL.

1966 – South Vietnamese troops joined in demonstrations at Hue and Da Nang for an end to military rule.

1967 – In Peking, hundreds of thousands demonstrated against Mao foe Liu Shao-chi.

1972 – Burt Reynolds appeared nude in “Cosmopolitan” magazine.

1984 – John Thompson became the first black coach to lead his team to the NCAA college basketball championship.

1987 – The speed limit on U.S. interstate highways was increased to 65 miles per hour in limited areas.

1996 – Lech Walesa resumed his old job as an electrician at the Gdansk shipyard. He was the former Solidarity union leader who became Poland’s first post-war democratic president.

Democratic nations must try to find ways to starve the terrorist and the hijacker of the oxygen of publicity on which they depend.
Margaret Thatcher

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23
Mar
08

On This Day, 3-23-08: Liberty or Death

Battle of Kernstown, Virginia

Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson suffers a rare defeat when his attack on Union forces in the Shenandoah Valley fails.

Jackson was trying to prevent Union General Nathaniel Banks from sending troops from the Shenandoah to General George McClellan’s army near Washington. McClellan was preparing to send his massive army by water to the James Peninsular southeast of Richmond for a summer campaign against the Confederate capital. When Turner Ashby, Jackson’s cavalry commander, detected that Yankee troops were moving out of the valley, Jackson decided to attack and keep the Union troops divided.

Ashby attacked at Kernstown on March 22. He reported to Jackson that only four Union regiments were present–perhaps 3,000 men. In fact, Union commander James Shields actually had 9,000 men at Kernstown but kept most of them hidden during the skirmishing on March 22. The rest of Jackson’s force arrived the next day, giving the Confederates about 4,000 men. The 23rd was a Sunday, and the religious Jackson tried not to fight on the Sabbath. The Yankees could see his deployment, though, so Jackson chose to attack that afternoon. He struck the Union left flank, but the Federals moved troops into place to stop the Rebel advance. At a critical juncture, Richard Garnett withdrew his Confederate brigade due to a shortage of ammunition, and this exposed another brigade to a Union attack. The northern troops poured in, sending Jackson’s entire force in retreat.

Jackson lost 80 killed, 375 wounded, and 263 missing or captured, while the Union lost 118 dead, 450 wounded, and 22 missing. Despite the defeat, the battle had positive results for the Confederates. Unnerved by the attack, President Lincoln ordered McClellan to leave an entire corps to defend Washington, thus drawing troops from McClellan’s Peninsular campaign. The battle was the opening of Jackson’s famous Shenandoah Valley campaign. Over the following three months, Jackson’s men marched hundreds of miles, won several major battles, and kept three separate Union forces occupied in the Shenandoah.

“Battle of Kernstown, Virginia.” 2008. The History Channel website. 23 Mar 2008, 01:52 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2144.

1513 – Don Juan Ponce de Leon, a former governor of Puerto Rico, discovered Florida. He claimed the land for Spain.

1775 – American revolutionary Patrick Henry declared, “give me liberty, or give me death!”

1839 – The first recorded use of “OK” [oll korrect] was used in Boston’s Morning Post.

1840 – The first successful photo of the Moon was taken.

1857 – Elisha Otis installed the first modern passenger elevator in a public building. It was at the corner of Broome Street and Broadway in New York City.

1858 – Eleazer A. Gardner patented the cable streetcar.

1861 – London’s first tramcars began operations.

1889 – U.S. President Harrison opened Oklahoma for white colonization.

1901 – It was learned that Boers were starving in British concentration camps in South Africa.

1903 – The Wright brothers obtained an airplane patent.

1925 – The state of Tennessee enacted a law that made it a crime for a teacher in any state-supported public school to teach any theory that was in contradiction to the Bible’s account of man’s creation.

1933 – The German Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act. The act effectively granted Adolf Hitler dictatorial legislative powers.

1942 – During World War II, the U.S. government began evacuating Japanese-Americans from West Coast homes to detention centers.

1965 – America’s first two-person space flight took off from Cape Kennedy with astronauts Virgil I. Grissom and John W. Young aboard. The craft was the Gemini 3.

1980 – The deposed shah of Iran, Muhammad Riza Pahlavi, left Panama for Egypt.

Patrick Henry voices American opposition to British policy

During a speech before the second Virginia Convention, Patrick Henry responds to the increasingly oppressive British rule over the American colonies by declaring, “I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” Following the signing of the American Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, Patrick Henry was appointed governor of Virginia by the Continental Congress.

“Patrick Henry voices American opposition to British policy.” 2008. The History Channel website. 23 Mar 2008, 02:02 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4856.

Fear is the passion of slaves.
Patrick Henry

The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.
Patrick Henry




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