Posts Tagged ‘President Clinton

26
Aug
08

On This Day, 8-26-2008: The Missile Gap

Russia tests an intercontinental ballistic missile

The Soviet Union announces that it has successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of being fired “into any part of the world.” The announcement caused great concern in the United States, and started a national debate over the “missile gap” between America and Russia.

For years after World War II, both the United States and the Soviet Union had been trying to perfect a long-range missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Building on the successes of Nazi Germany in developing the V-1 and V-2 rockets that pummeled Great Britain during the last months of World War II, both American and Russian scientists raced to improve the range and accuracy of such missiles. (Both nations relied heavily on captured German scientists in their efforts.) In July 1957, the United States seemed to win the race when the Atlas, an ICBM with a speed of up to 20,000 miles an hour and an effective range of 5,000 miles, was ready for testing. The test, however, was a disaster. The missile rose only about 5,000 feet into the air, tumbled, and plunged to earth. Just a month later, the Soviets claimed success by announcing that their own ICBM had been tested, had “covered a huge distance in a brief time,” and “landed in the target area.” No details were given in the Russian announcement and some commentators in the United States doubted that the ICBM test had been as successful as claimed. Nevertheless, the Soviet possession of this “ultimate weapon,” coupled with recent successful test by the Russians of atomic and hydrogen bombs, raised concerns in America. If the Soviets did indeed perfect their ICBM, no part of the United States would be completely safe from possible atomic attack.

Less than two months later, the Soviets sent the satellite Sputnik into space. Concern quickly turned to fear in the United States, as it appeared that the Russians were gaining the upper hand in the arms and space races. The American government accelerated its own missile and space programs. The Soviet successes–and American failures–became an issue in the 1960 presidential campaign. Democratic challenger John F. Kennedy charged that the outgoing Eisenhower administration had allowed a dangerous “missile gap” to develop between the United States and the Soviet Union. Following his victory in 1960, Kennedy made missile development and the space program priorities for his presidency.

“Russia tests an intercontinental ballistic missile.” 2008. The History Channel website. 26 Aug 2008, 04:38 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2771.

 

On This Day

55 B.C. – Britain was invaded by Roman forces under Julius Caesar.

1743 – Antoine Lavoisier was born. He was the chemist that proved that the union of oxygen and other chemicals is used in burning, rusting of metals and breathing.

1883 – A two-day eruption of the volcanic island Krakatoa began. The tidal waves that were associated with the eruption killed 36,000 people when they destroyed the island.

1920 – The 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution went into effect. The amendment prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex in the voting booth.

1937 – All Chinese shipping was blockaded by Japan.

1957 – The first Edsel made by the Ford Motor Company rolled out.

1998 – The U.S. government announced that they were investigating Microsoft in an attempt to discover if they “bullied” Intel into delaying new technology.

1998 – Sudan filed a criminal lawsuit against U.S. President Clinton and the United States for the bombing of the El-Shifa Pharmaceutical Industries Company. The Sudanese claimed that the plant was strictly civilian.

 

Washington urges Hessians to desert

Falsely confident that the British would not attack New York’s Manhattan Island, General George Washington pours additional reinforcements into the lines around Brooklyn Heights, then considered part of rural Long Island, on this day in 1776. Washington also ordered the dispersal of certain documents among the Hessians, about which he wrote “The papers designed for the foreign (Hessian) Troops, have been put into several Channels, in order that they may be conveyed to them, and from the Information I had yesterday, I have reason to believe many have fallen into their Hands.” The “papers” induced Hessian troops to desert the British army.

“Washington urges Hessians to desert.” 2008. The History Channel website. 26 Aug 2008, 04:34 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=50706.

Democratic convention besieged by protesters

As the Democratic National Convention gets underway in Chicago, thousands of antiwar demonstrators take to Chicago’s streets to protest the Vietnam War and its support by the top Democratic presidential candidate, Vice President Hubert Humphrey. During the four-day convention, the most violent in U.S. history, police and National Guardsmen clashed with protesters outside the International Amphitheater, and hundreds of people, including innocent bystanders, were beaten by the Chicago police. The violence even spilled into the convention hall, as guards roughed up delegates and members of the press, including CBS News correspondent Mike Wallace, who was punched in the face. On August 29, Humphrey secured the nomination and the convention ended.

In the convention’s aftermath, a federal commission investigating the convention described one of the confrontations as a “police riot” and blamed Chicago Mayor Richard Daley for inciting his police to violence. Nevertheless, eight political radicals–the so-called “Chicago Eight”–were arrested on charges of conspiring to incite the violence, and in 1969 their trial began in Chicago, sparking new waves of protests in the city.

“Democratic convention besieged by protesters.” 2008. The History Channel website. 26 Aug 2008, 04:32 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=5292.

 

By 1968 John Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy had been murdered, and the Vietnam War had escalated into an epic struggle between capitalism and communism.  Anti-war protesters descended on the Democratic convention in 1968.  Before Chicago in 1968 the protests had been relatively peaceful, after Chicago anti-war violence escalated.

“Hello, I’m going to read a declaration of a state of war…within the next 14 days we will attack a symbol or institution of American injustice.” ~ Bernardine Dohrn http://www.upstatefilms.org/weather/main.html

This is a full length film documentary and has graphic violent content.

“The Weather Underground”

Port Huron Statement of the Students for a Democratic Society, 1962

Introductory Note: This document represents the results of several months of writing and discussion among the membership, a draft paper, and revision by the Students for a Democratic Society national convention meeting in Port Huron, Michigan, June 11-15, 1962. It is represented as a document with which SDS officially identifies, but also as a living document open to change with our times and experiences. It is a beginning: in our own debate and education, in our dialogue with society.

published and distributed by Students for a Democratic Society 112 East 19 Street New York 3, New York Gramercy 3-2181

http://coursesa.matrix.msu.edu/~hst306/documents/huron.html

“Violence didn’t work.”  Mark Rudd

A policy is a temporary creed liable to be changed, but while it holds good it has got to be pursued with apostolic zeal.
Mohandas Gandhi

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
Mohandas Gandhi

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11
Aug
08

On This Day, 8-11-2008: The Evil Empire

Reagan jokes about bombing Russia

On this day in 1984, President Ronald Reagan makes a joking but controversial off-the-cuff remark about bombing Russia while testing a microphone before a scheduled radio address. While warming up for the speech, Reagan said “My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.”

Although the press throng and his aides in attendance laughed at the obvious joke, the comment unnerved Democratic opposition leaders and those already fearful of the hard-line posturing Reagan had displayed toward the USSR since assuming office in 1981. Others simply dismissed his remark, which came at a time of heightened tensions between the U.S. and Russia, as a moment of poor taste.

Although it is not known what Soviet leaders thought of Reagan’s joke, the comment did color some Americans’ opinion of Reagan, whose approval rating dropped in the aftermath of the incident, temporarily boosting the electoral hopes of Democratic presidential hopeful Walter Mondale. Reagan recovered and beat Mondale; he began his second term in 1984.

“Reagan jokes about bombing Russia.” 2008. The History Channel website. 10 Aug 2008, 03:43 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=50722.

 

On This Day

1860 – The first silver mill in America to be successful began. The mill was in Virginia City, NV.

1877 – The two moons of Mars were discovered by Asaph Hall, an American astronomer. He named them Phobos and Deimos.

1896 – Harvey Hubbell received a patent for the electric light bulb socket with a pull-chain.

1909 – The American ship Arapahoe became the first to ever use the SOS distress signal off the coast of Cape Hatteras, NC.

1924 – Newsreel pictures were taken of U.S. presidential candidates for the first time.

1934 – Alcatraz, in San Francisco Bay, received federal prisoners for the first time.

1945 – The Allies informed Japan that they would determine Emperor Hirohito’s future status after Japan’s surrender.

1954 – Seven years of fighting came to an end in Indochina. A formal peace was in place for the French and the Communist Vietminh.

1965 – Riots and looting took place in the Watts section of Los Angeles, CA. During the week that followed 34 people were killed. In addition, over 1,000 were injured, 3,000 were arrested and over $40 million in damage was done.

1990 – Egyptian and Moroccan troops joined U.S. forces in Saudia Arabia to help protect from a possible Iraqi attack.

1992 – In Bloomington, MN, the Mall of America opened. It was the largest shopping mall in the United States.

1995 – All U.S. nuclear tests were banned by President Clinton.

 

 

Weimar Constitution adopted in Germany

On August 11, 1919, Friedrich Ebert, a member of the Social Democratic Party and the provisional president of the German Reichstag (government), signs a new constitution, known as the Weimar Constitution, into law, officially creating the first parliamentary democracy in Germany.

Under vicious attack from both the militarist right and the radical socialist left and identified by both sides with the shame of Versailles, the Weimar government and its constitution—signed into law on August 11, 1919—seemed to have a dim chance of survival. In this atmosphere of confrontation and frustration, exacerbated by poor economic conditions, right wing elements began to take an ever more pervasive hold over the Reichstag. This process, intensified by the worldwide depression that began in 1929, would culminate in the rise to power of Adolf Hitler, who exploited the weakness of the Weimar system to lay the foundations for himself and his National Socialist German Workers’ (or Nazi) Party to dissolve the parliamentary government and take absolute control over Germany.

“Weimar Constitution adopted in Germany .” 2008. The History Channel website. 10 Aug 2008, 03:44 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=50625.

Last U.S. ground combat unit departs South Vietnam

The last U.S. ground combat unit in South Vietnam, the Third Battalion, Twenty-First Infantry, departs for the United States. The unit had been guarding the U.S. air base at Da Nang. This left only 43,500 advisors, airmen, and support troops left in-country. This number did not include the sailors of the Seventh Fleet on station in the South China Sea or the air force personnel in Thailand and Guam.

“Last U.S. ground combat unit departs South Vietnam.” 2008. The History Channel website. 10 Aug 2008, 03:45 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=1262.

26
May
08

On This Day, May 26, 2008: Dunkirk

Britain’s Operation Dynamo gets underway as President Roosevelt makes a radio appeal for the Red Cross

On this day in 1940, American President Franklin D. Roosevelt makes known the dire straits of Belgian and French civilians suffering the fallout of the British-German battle to reach the northern coast of France, and appeals for support for the Red Cross

“Tonight, over the once peaceful roads of Belgium and France, millions are now moving, running from their homes to escape bombs and shells and machine gunning, without shelter, and almost wholly without food,” broadcast FDR.

On May 26, the British Expeditionary Force was evacuated from Dunkirk in France. Ships arrived at Calais to remove the Force before German troops occupied the area, and it was hoped that 45,000 British soldiers could be shipped back to Britain within two days. The German air force, though, had other plans. Determined to prevent the evacuation, the Luftwaffe initiated a bombing campaign in Dunkirk and the surrounding area. British, Polish, and Canadian fighter pilots succeeded in fending off the German attack in the air, allowing finally for a delayed, but successful, evacuation nine days later. But the cost to civilians was great, as thousands of refugees fled for their lives to evade the fallout of the battle.

“Britain’s Operation Dynamo gets underway as President Roosevelt makes a radio appeal for the Red Cross.” 2008. The History Channel website. 25 May 2008, 10:27 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6422.

0017 – Germanicus of Rome celebrated his victory over the Germans.

1521 – Martin Luther was banned by the Edict of Worms because of his religious beliefs and writings.

1647 – A new law banned Catholic priests from the colony of Massachusetts. The penalty was banishment or death for a second offense.

1736 – The British and Chickasaw Indians defeated the French at the Battle of Ackia.

1791 – The French Assembly forced King Louis XVI to hand over the crown and state assets.

1805 – Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned King of Italy in Milan Cathedral.

1831 – Russians defeated the Poles at battle of Ostrolenska.

1864 – The Territory of Montana was organized.

1868 – U.S. President Andrew Johnson was acquitted, by one vote, of all charges in his impeachment trial.

1896 – The last czar of Russia, Nicholas II, was crowned.

1938 – The House Committee on Un-American Activities began its work of searching for subversives in the United States.

1946 – A patent was filed in the United States for an H-bomb.

1959 – The word “Frisbee” became a registered trademark of Wham-O.

1972 – The Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I) was signed by the U.S. and USSR. The short-term agreement put a freeze on the testing and deployment of intercontinental and submarine-launched ballistic missiles for a 5-year period.

1977 – George H. Willig was arrested after he scaled the South Tower of New York’s World Trade Center. It took him 3 1/2 hours.

1994 – U.S. President Clinton renewed trade privileges for China, and announced that his administration would no longer link China’s trade status with its human rights record.

Pequot massacres begin

During the Pequot War, an allied Puritan and Mohegan force under English Captain John Mason attacks a Pequot village in Connecticut, burning or massacring some 500 Indian women, men, and children.

As the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay spread further into Connecticut, they came into increasing conflict with the Pequots, a war-like tribe centered on the Thames River in southeastern Connecticut. By the spring of 1637, 13 English colonists and traders had been killed by the Pequot, and Massachusetts Bay Governor John Endecott organized a large military force to punish the Indians. On April 23, 200 Pequot warriors responded defiantly to the colonial mobilization by attacking a Connecticut settlement, killing six men and three women and taking two girls away.

On May 26, 1637, two hours before dawn, the Puritans and their Indian allies marched on the Pequot village at Mystic, slaughtering all but a handful of its inhabitants. On June 5, Captain Mason attacked another Pequot village, this one near present-day Stonington, and again the Indian inhabitants were defeated and massacred. On July 28, a third attack and massacre occurred near present-day Fairfield, and the Pequot War came to an end. Most of the surviving Pequot were sold into slavery, though a handful escaped to join other southern New England tribes.

“Pequot massacres begin.” 2008. The History Channel website. 25 May 2008, 10:26 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5035.

Colonel William Crawford proceeds toward the Ohio

On this day in 1782, American Colonel William Crawford marches his army towards the Ohio River, where General George Washington has charged him with attacking local Indians who had sided with the British in the American Revolution.

Colonel Crawford, a close friend of General Washington and a veteran of British military encounters with Native Americans in the French and Indian War, Pontiac’s Rebellion and Lord Dunmore’s War, had agreed to come out of retirement in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, to assist his fellow Virginian in the fight for American independence.

The expedition ended in a slow, harrowing death for Crawford. On June 6, his supply chain disintegrated and Wyandot Indians surrounded Crawford and his men. The Indians of the Ohio region were enraged by the recent slaughter of pacifist Christian Indians at the Moravian mission in Gnadenhutten, Pennsylvania. Unfortunately for Crawford, some of the perpetrators of the Gnadenhutten Massacre were among his men.

Patriots had shot the women and children of the Gnadenhutten mission from behind as they knelt in prayer on March 8, 1782. The Wyandots, under Chief Konieschguanokee (Captain Pipe), took their revenge by torturing the members of Crawford’s party. Crawford and his son-in-law William Harrison were scalped and burned at the stake; Crawford finally died after two hours of torment. At least 250 members of Crawford’s party were killed in the disastrous encounter.

Crawford’s horrendous death ensured that he would be remembered as a martyr. The site of his execution is included on the National Register of Historic Places and a monument has been erected there in his memory. Counties in Ohio and Pennsylvania also bear his name.

“Colonel William Crawford proceeds toward the Ohio.” 2008. The History Channel website. 25 May 2008, 10:27 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=634.

30
Nov
07

On This Day 11-30

1700 – 8,000 Swedish troops under King Charles XII defeated an army of at least 50,000 Russians at the Battle of Narva. King Charles XII died on this day.

1782 – The United States and Britain signed preliminary peace articles in Paris, ending the Revolutionary War.

1803 – Spain completed the process of ceding Louisiana to France.

1835 – Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born. He wrote “Tom Sawyer” and “Huckleberry Finn” under the name Mark Twain.

1897 – Thomas Edison’s own motion picture projector had its first commercial exhibition.

1939 – The Russo-Finnish War began when 20 divisions of Soviet troops invaded Finland.

1949 – Chinese Communists captured Chungking.

1954 – In Sylacauga, AL, Elizabeth Hodges was injured when a meteorite crashed through the roof of her house. The rock weighed 8½-pounds.

1988 – Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Co. took over RJR Nabisco Inc. with a bid of $24.53 billion.

1995 – President Clinton became the first U.S. chief executive to visit Northern Ireland.

In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good.
Sun Tzu

Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.
Sun Tzu




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