Posts Tagged ‘Russo-Finnish War

08
Sep
08

On This Day, 9-8-2008: Korea

American troops arrive in Korea to partition the country

U.S. troops land in Korea to begin their postwar occupation of the southern part of that nation, almost exactly one month after Soviet troops had entered northern Korea to begin their own occupation. Although the U.S. and Soviet occupations were supposed to be temporary, the division of Korea quickly became permanent

Having secured the establishment of a communist government in North Korea, Soviet troops withdrew in 1948; and U.S. troops in South Korea followed suit in 1949. In 1950, the North Koreans attempted to reunite the nation by force and launched a massive military assault on South Korea. The United States quickly came to the aid of South Korea, beginning a three-year involvement in the bloody and frustrating Korean War. Korea remains a divided nation today, and the North Korean regime is one of the few remaining communist governments left in the world.

“American troops arrive in Korea to partition the country.” 2008. The History Channel website. 8 Sep 2008, 11:15 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2784.

On This Day

1565 – A Spanish expedition established the first permanent European settlement in North America at present-day St. Augustine, FL.

1664 – The Dutch surrendered New Amsterdam to the British, who then renamed it New York.

1892 – An early version of “The Pledge of Allegiance” appeared in “The Youth’s Companion.”

1900 – Galveston, TX, was hit by a hurricane that killed about 6,000 people.

1935 – U.S. Senator Huey P. Long, “The Kingfish” of Louisiana politics, was shot and mortally wounded. He died two days later.

1951 – A peace treaty with Japan was signed by 48 other nations in San Francisco, CA.

1974 – U.S. President Ford granted an unconditional pardon to former U.S. President Nixon.

1997 – America Online acquired CompuServe.

Siege of Leningrad begins

During World War II, German forces begin their siege of Leningrad, a major industrial center and the USSR’s second-largest city. The German armies were later joined by Finnish forces that advanced against Leningrad down the Karelian Isthmus. The siege of Leningrad, also known as the 900-Day Siege though it lasted a grueling 872 days, resulted in the deaths of some one million of the city’s civilians and Red Army defenders.

Leningrad, formerly St. Petersburg, capital of the Russian Empire, was one of the initial targets of the German invasion of June 1941. As German armies raced across the western Soviet Union, three-quarters of Leningrad’s industrial plants and hundreds of thousands of its inhabitants were evacuated to the east. More than two million residents remained, however, and the evacuated were replaced by refugees who fled to Leningrad ahead of the German advance. All able-bodied persons in the city–men, women, and children–were enlisted to build antitank fortifications along Leningrad’s edge. By the end of July, German forces had cut the Moscow-Leningrad railway and were penetrating the outer belt of the fortifications around Leningrad. On September 8, German forces besieged the city, but they were held at bay by Leningrad’s fortifications and its 200,000 Red Army defenders. That day, a German air bombardment set fire to warehouses containing a large part of Leningrad’s scant food supply.

Aiming to tighten the noose around Leningrad, the Germans launched an offensive to the east in October and cut off the last highways and rail lines south of the city. Meanwhile, Finnish forces advanced down the Karelian Isthmus (which had been seized from Finland by the Soviets during the Russo-Finnish War of 1939 to 1940) and besieged Leningrad from the north. By early November, the city was almost completely encircled, and only across Lake Ladoga was a supply lifeline possible.

German artillery and air bombardments came several times a day during the first months of the siege. The daily ration for civilians was reduced to 125 grams of bread, no more than a thick slice. Starvation set in by December, followed by the coldest winter in decades, with temperatures falling to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. People worked through the winter in makeshift armament factories without roofs, building the weapons that kept the Germans just short of victory.

Residents burned books and furniture to stay warm and searched for food to supplement their scarce rations. Animals from the city zoo were consumed early in the siege, followed before long by household pets. Wallpaper paste made from potatoes was scraped off the wall, and leather was boiled to produce an edible jelly. Grass and weeds were cooked, and scientists worked to extract vitamins from pine needles and tobacco dust. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, resorted to cannibalizing the dead, and in a few cases people were murdered for their flesh. The Leningrad police struggled to keep order and formed a special division to combat cannibalism.

Across frozen Lake Ladoga, trucks made it to Leningrad with supplies, but not enough. Thousands of residents, mostly children and the elderly, were evacuated across the lake, but many more remained in the city and succumbed to starvation, the bitter cold, and the relentless German air attacks. In 1942 alone, the siege claimed some 600,000 lives. In the summer, barges and other ships braved German air attack to cross Lake Ladoga to Leningrad with supplies.

In January 1943, Red Army soldiers broke through the German line, rupturing the blockade and creating a more efficient supply route along the shores of Lake Ladoga. For the rest of the winter and then during the next, the “road of life” across the frozen Lake Ladoga kept Leningrad alive. Eventually, an oil pipeline and electric cables were laid on the lake bed. In the summer of 1943, vegetables planted on any open ground in the city supplemented rations.

In early 1944, Soviet forces approached Leningrad, forcing German forces to retreat southward from the city on January 27. The siege was over. A giant Soviet offensive to sweep the USSR clean of its invaders began in May. The 872-day siege of Leningrad cost an estimated one million Soviet lives, perhaps hundreds of thousands more. The Soviet government awarded the Order of Lenin to the people of Leningrad in 1945, paying tribute to their endurance during the grueling siege. The city did not regain its prewar population of three million until the 1960s.

“Siege of Leningrad begins.” 2008. The History Channel website. 8 Sep 2008, 11:09 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=7014.

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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




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