Posts Tagged ‘Russo-Japanese War

04
Feb
09

On This Day, February 4: Confederate States of America

February 4, 1861

States meet to form Confederacy

In Montgomery, Alabama, delegates from South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana convene to establish the Confederate States of America.

As early as 1858, the ongoing conflict between the North and the South over the issue of slavery led Southern leadership to discuss a unified separation from the United States. By 1860, the majority of the slave states were publicly threatening secession if the Republicans, the anti-slavery party, won the presidency. Following Republican Abraham Lincoln’s victory over the divided Democratic Party in November 1860, South Carolina immediately initiated secession proceedings. On December 20, its legislature passed the “Ordinance of Secession,” which declared that “the Union now subsisting between South Carolina and other states, under the name of the United States of America, is hereby dissolved.” After the declaration, South Carolina set about seizing forts, arsenals, and other strategic locations within the state. Within six weeks, five more Southern states had followed South Carolina’s lead.

In February 1861, representatives from the six seceded states met in Montgomery, Alabama, to formally establish a unified government, which they named the Confederate States of America. On February 9, Jefferson Davis of Mississippi was elected the Confederacy’s first president.

By the time Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated in March 1861, Texas had joined the Confederacy, and federal troops held only Fort Sumter in South Carolina, Fort Pickens off the Florida coast, and a handful of minor outposts in the South. On April 12, 1861, the American Civil War began when Confederate shore batteries under General P.G.T. Beauregard opened fire on Fort Sumter in South Carolina’s Charleston Bay. Within two months, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee had all joined the embattled Confederacy.

“States meet to form Confederacy.” 2009. The History Channel website. 4 Feb 2009, 09:13 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4734.

On This Day

1783 – Britain declared a formal cessation of hostilities with its former colonies, the United States of America.

1789 – Electors unanimously chose George Washington to be the first president of the United States.

1865 – The Hawaiian Board of Education was formed.

1904 – The Russo-Japanese War began after Japan laid seige to Port Arthur.

1932 – The first Winter Olympics were held in the United States at Lake Placid, NY.

1941 – The United Service Organizations (USO) was created.

1945 – During World War II, U.S. President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin began a conference at Yalta to outline plans for Germany’s defeat.

1964 – The Admistrator of General Services announced that the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution had been ratified. The amendment banned the poll tax.

1985 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s defense budget called for a tripling of the expenditure on the “Star Wars” research program.

1998 – In northeast Afghanistan, at least 5,000 people were killed in an earthquake that measured 6.1 on the Richter Scale.

1999 – Amadou Diallo, an unarmed West African immigrant, was shot and killed in front of his Bronx home by four plainclothes New York City police officers. The officers had been conducting a nighttime search for a rape suspect.

Bruce Springsteen:  American Skin (41 Shots)

February 4, 1976

Earthquake rocks Guatemala City

In the very early morning of February 4, 1976, a 7.5-magnitude earthquake levels much of Guatemala City, killing 23,000 people and leaving 1 million others homeless.

It was 3:04 a.m. when the first large tremor, centered six miles under the Earth’s surface 120 miles northwest of Guatemala City, struck. The quake was the result of a clash between the Caribbean and North American plates on the Motagua Fault. In a matter of minutes, about one third of the city was destroyed. All over the city, sleeping residents were crushed and killed when their weak adobe homes collapsed on top of them.

Immediately, efforts began to rescue the thousands of people buried beneath the rubble. Many people could not be saved, as it was extremely difficult to get help to the city. The roads and bridges leading to Guatemala City had been extensively damaged. Thousands of those people lucky enough to be pulled out alive suffered broken backs and pelvises. It is estimated that more than 70,000 people suffered serious injuries. The U.S. Air Force assisted by airlifting food and medicine into the area. With all the available hospitals filled beyond capacity, the United States also set up a field hospital in Chimaltenango. The number of deceased overwhelmed the authorities, so communal grave sites had to be established. To make matters worse, strong aftershocks followed for an entire week, terrorizing the survivors, who were staying in improvised shelters.

“Earthquake rocks Guatemala City.” 2009. The History Channel website. 4 Feb 2009, 09:12 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=53068.

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05
Dec
08

On this Day, 12-5-2008: A Friendship Treaty

December 5, 1978

USSR and Afghanistan sign “friendship treaty”

In an effort to prop up an unpopular pro-Soviet regime in Afghanistan, the Soviet Union signs a “friendship treaty” with the Afghan government agreeing to provide economic and military assistance. The treaty moved the Russians another step closer to their disastrous involvement in the Afghan civil war between the Soviet-supported communist government and the Muslim rebels, the Mujahideen, which officially began in 1979.

The Soviet Union always considered the bordering nation of Afghanistan of interest to its national security. Since the 1950s, the Soviet Union worked diligently to establish close relations with its neighbor by providing economic aid and military assistance. In the 1970s matters took a dramatic turn in Afghanistan, and in April 1978, members of the Afghan Communist Party overthrew and murdered President Sardar Mohammed Daoud. Nur Mohammed Taraki, head of the Communist Party, took over and immediately declared one-party rule in Afghanistan. The regime was extremely unpopular with many Afghans so the Soviets sought to bolster it with the December 1978 treaty. The treaty established a 20-year period of “friendship and cooperation” between the Soviet Union and Afghanistan. In addition to increased economic assistance, the Soviet Union promised continued cooperation in the military field. Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev declared that the treaty marked a “qualitatively new character” of relations between the two nations.

The treaty, however, did not help Afghanistan. Taraki was overthrown and killed by members of the Afghan Communist Party who were dissatisfied with his rule in September 1979. In December, Soviet troops moved into Afghanistan and established a regime more amenable to Russian desires. Thus began what many pundits referred to as “Russia’s Vietnam,” as the Soviets poured endless amounts of money, weapons, and manpower into a seemingly endless civil war. Mikhail Gorbachev finally began the withdrawal of Russian troops nearly 10 years later.

“USSR and Afghanistan sign “friendship treaty”.” 2008. The History Channel website. 5 Dec 2008, 11:47 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2505.

On This Day

1492 – Christopher Columbus discovered Hispaniola (now Haiti).

1776 – In Williamsburg, VA, at the College of William and Mary the first scholastic fraternity in America, Phi Beta Kappa, was organized.

1792 – The trial of France’s King Louis XVI began.

1812 – Napoleon Bonaparte left his army as they were retreating from Russia.

1848 – U.S. President Polk triggered the Gold Rush of ’49 by confirming the fact that gold had been discovered in California.

1904 – The Russian fleet was destroyed by the Japanese at Port Arthur, during the Russo-Japanese War.

1932 – German physicist Albert Einstein was granted a visa making it possible for him to travel to the U.S.

1933 – Prohibition came to an end when Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

1945 – The so-called “Lost Squadron” disappeared. The five U.S. Navy Avenger bombers carrying 14 Navy flyers began a training mission at the Ft. Lauderdale Naval Air Station. They were never heard from again.

1955 – The American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merged to form the AFL-CIO.

1979 – Sonia Johnson was formally excommunicated by the Mormon Church due to her outspoken support for the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution.

1985 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose above 1,500 for the first time.

1998 – James P. Hoffa became the head of the Teamsters union, 23 years after his father was the head. His father disappeared and was presumed dead.

December 5, 1941

American carrier Lexington heads to Midway

On this day, the Lexington, one of the two largest aircraft carriers employed by the United States during World War II, makes its way across the Pacific in order to carry a squadron of dive bombers to defend Midway Island from an anticipated Japanese attack.

Negotiations between the United States and Japan had been ongoing for months. Japan wanted an end to U.S. economic sanctions. The Americans wanted Japan out of China and Southeast Asia and Japan to repudiate the Tripartite “Axis” Pact with Germany and Italy before those sanctions could be lifted. Neither side was budging. President Roosevelt and Secretary of State Cordell Hull were anticipating a Japanese strike as retaliation-they just didn’t know where. The Philippines, Wake Island, Midway Island-all were possibilities. American intelligence reports had sighted the Japanese fleet movement out from Formosa (Taiwan), apparently headed for Indochina.

The U.S. State Department demanded from Japanese envoys explanations for the fleet movement across the South China Sea. The envoys claimed ignorance. Army intelligence reassured the president that, despite fears, Japan was most likely headed for Thailand-not the United States.

The Lexington never made it to Midway Island; when it learned that the Japanese fleet had, in fact, attacked Pearl Harbor, it turned back-never encountering a Japanese warship en route or employing a single aircraft in its defense. By the time it reached Hawaii, it was December 13.

“American carrier Lexington heads to Midway.” 2008. The History Channel website. 5 Dec 2008, 11:49 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6401.

On This Day in Wisconsin: December 5

1879 – Humane Society of Wisconsin Organized
On this date the Humane Society of Wisconsin was organized in Milwaukee. Inspired by Henry Bergh, a New York City philanthropist, and his Humane Movement, the state Humane Society was formed to protect both animals and children.  However, with the formation of child protection laws in the early 1900s, the Humane Society of Wisconsin began to focus primarily on animal protection. [Source: Humane Society of Wisconsin]

05
Sep
08

On This Day, 9-5-2008: Black September

Arab terrorists take Israeli hostages at the Olympics

In the early morning hours of September 5, six members of the Arab terrorist group known as Black September dressed in the Olympic sweat suits of Arab nations and jumped the fence surrounding the Olympic village in Munich, Germany, carrying bags filled with guns. Although guards spotted them, they paid little attention because athletes often jumped the fence during the competition to return to their living quarters.

Twenty hours after Black September had begun their attack, a German police official, 5 Palestinian terrorists, and 11 Israeli athletes lay dead. Three of the terrorists who survived were imprisoned but were set free a month later when Arabs hijacked a Lufthansa 727 and demanded their release.

A few days after the tragic event at the Olympics, Israel retaliated with air strikes against Syria and Lebanon, killing 66 people and wounding dozens. In addition, Israel sent out assassination squads to hunt down members of Black September while Israeli troops broke through the Lebanese border, igniting the heaviest fighting since the Six-Day War of 1967.

“Arab terrorists take Israeli hostages at the Olympics.” 2008. The History Channel website. 5 Sep 2008, 06:05 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=1117.

On This Day

1698 – Russia’s Peter the Great imposed a tax on beards.

1793 – In France, the “Reign of Terror” began. The National Convention enacted measures to repress the French Revolutionary activities.

1836 – Sam Houston was elected as the first president of the Republic of Texas.

1877 – Sioux chief Crazy Horse was killed by the bayonet of a U.S. soldier. The chief allegedly resisted confinement to a jail cell.

1905 – The Treaty of Portsmouth was signed by Russia and Japan to end the Russo-Japanese War. The settlement was mediated by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt in New Hampshire.

1914 – The Battle of the Marne began. The Germans, British and French fought for six days killing half a million people.

1917 – Federal raids were carried out in 24 cities on International Workers of the World (IWW) headquarters. The raids were prompted by suspected anti-war activities within the labor organization.

1953 – The first privately operated atomic reactor opened in Raleigh, NC.

1957 – Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” was first published.

1975 – A Secret Service agent foiled an assassination attempt against U.S. U.S. President Gerald R. Ford. Lynette A. “Squeaky” Fromme was a follower of Charles Manson, who was incarcerated at the time. 17 days later, Sara Jane Moore attempted to assassinate Ford.

1983 – U.S. President Reagan denounced the Soviet Union for shooting down a Korean Air Lines. Reagan demanded that the Soviet Union pay reparations for the act that killed 269 people.

September 5, 1969

Calley charged for My Lai massacre

Lt. William Calley is charged with six specifications of premeditated murder in the death of 109 Vietnamese civilians at My Lai in March 1968. Calley, a platoon leader in Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry, 11th Infantry Brigade (Light) of the 23rd (Americal) Division had led his men in a massacre of Vietnamese civilians, including women and children, at My Lai 4, a cluster of hamlets that made up Son My village in Son Tinh District in Quang Ngai Province in the coastal lowlands of I Corps Tactical Zone on March 16, 1968. The company had been conducting a search and destroy mission as part of the yearlong Operation Wheeler/Wallowa (November 1967 through November 1968). In search of the 48th Viet Cong (VC) Local Force Battalion, the unit entered Son My village but found only women, children, and old men. Frustrated by unanswered losses due to snipers and mines, the soldiers took out their anger on the villagers, indiscriminately shooting people as they ran from their huts and systematically rounding up the survivors, allegedly leading them to nearby ditch where they were executed.

Reportedly, the killing was only stopped when Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, an aero-scout helicopter pilot landed his helicopter between the Americans and the fleeing South Vietnamese, confronting the soldiers and blocking them from further action against the villagers. The incident was subsequently covered up, but eventually came to light a year later. An Army board of inquiry, headed by Lt. Gen. William Peers, investigated the massacre and produced a list of 30 persons who knew of the atrocity, but only 14, including Calley and his company commander, Captain Ernest Medina, were charged with crimes. All eventually had their charges dismissed or were acquitted by courts-martial except Calley, whose platoon allegedly killed 200 innocents. He was found guilty of personally murdering 22 civilians and sentenced to life imprisonment, but his sentence was reduced to 20 years by the Court of Military Appeals and further reduced later to 10 years by the Secretary of the Army. Proclaimed by much of the public as a “scapegoat,” Calley was paroled by President Richard Nixon in 1974 after having served about a third of his 10-year sentence.

“Calley charged for My Lai massacre.” 2008. The History Channel website. 5 Sep 2008, 06:05 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=1337.

27
May
08

On This Day, 5-27-08: Bismarck

Bismarck sunk by Royal Navy

On May 27, 1941, the British navy sinks the German battleship Bismarck in the North Atlantic near France. The German death toll was more than 2,000.

On February 14, 1939, the 823-foot Bismarck was launched at Hamburg. Nazi leader Adolf Hitler hoped that the state-of-the-art battleship would herald the rebirth of the German surface battle fleet. However, after the outbreak of war, Britain closely guarded ocean routes from Germany to the Atlantic Ocean, and only U-boats moved freely through the war zone.

In May 1941, the order was given for the Bismarck to break out into the Atlantic. Once in the safety of the open ocean, the battleship would be almost impossible to track down, all the while wreaking havoc on Allied convoys to Britain. Learning of its movement, Britain sent almost the entire British Home Fleet in pursuit. On May 24, the British battle cruiser Hood and battleship Prince of Wales intercepted it near Iceland. In a ferocious battle, the Hood exploded and sank, and all but three of the 1,421 crewmen were killed. The Bismarck escaped, but because it was leaking fuel it fled for occupied France. On May 26, it was sighted and crippled by British aircraft, and on May 27 three British warships descended on the Bismarck and finished it off.

“Bismarck sunk by Royal Navy.” 2008. The History Channel website. 26 May 2008, 01:07 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5040.

1647 – Achsah Young, a resident of Windsor, CT, was executed for being a “witch.” It was the first recorded American execution of a “witch.”

1668 – Three colonists were expelled from Massachusetts for being Baptists.

1896 – 255 people were killed in St. Louis, MO, when a tornado struck.

1960 – A military coup overthrew the democratic government of Turkey.

1969 – Construction of Walt Disney World began in Florida.

1977 – George H. Willig was fined for scaling the World Trade Center in New York on May 26. He was fined $1.10.

1994 – Nobel Prize-winning author Alexander Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia. He had been in exile for two decades.

1999 – In The Hague, Netherlands, a war crimes tribunal indicted Slobodan Milosevic and four others for atrocities in Kosovo. It was the first time that a sitting head of state had been charged with such a crime.

 

Ex parte Merryman issued

On this day, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney issues ex parte Merryman, challenging the authority of Abraham Lincoln and the military to suspend the writ of habeas corpus in Maryland.

Early in the war, President Lincoln faced many difficulties due to the fact that Washington was located in slave territory. Although Maryland did not secede, Southern sympathies were widespread. On April 27, 1861, Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus between Washington and Philadelphia to give military authorities the necessary power to silence dissenters and rebels. Under this order, commanders could arrest and detain individuals who were deemed threatening to military operations. Those arrested could be held without indictment or arraignment.

On May 25, John Merryman, a vocal secessionist, was arrested in Cockeysville, Maryland. He was held at Ft. McHenry in Baltimore, where he appealed for his release under a writ of habeas corpus. The federal circuit court judge was Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, who issued a ruling, ex parte Merryman, denying the president’s authority to suspend habeas corpus. A Marylander himself, Taney shrilly denounced the heavy hand played by Lincoln in interfering with civil liberties and argued that only Congress had the power to suspend the writ.

Lincoln did not respond directly to Taney’s edict, but he did address the issue in his message to Congress that July. He justified the suspension through Article I, Section 9, of the Constitution, which specifies a suspension of the writ “when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.”

Although military officials continued to arrest suspected Southern sympathizers, the incident led to a softening of the policy. Concern that Maryland might still secede from the Union forced a more conciliatory stance from Lincoln and the military. Merryman was remanded to civil authorities in July and allowed to post bail. He was never brought to trial, and the charges of treason against him were dropped two years after the war.

Ex parte Merryman issued.” 2008. The History Channel website. 26 May 2008, 01:13 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2044.

The Battle of Tsushima Strait

During the Russo-Japanese War, the Russian Baltic Fleet is nearly destroyed at the Battle of Tsushima Strait. The decisive defeat, in which only 10 of 45 Russian warships escaped to safety, convinced Russian leaders that further resistance against Japan’s imperial designs for East Asia was hopeless.

“The Battle of Tsushima Strait.” 2008. The History Channel website. 26 May 2008, 01:08 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5039.

Golden Gate Bridge opens

San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, a stunning technological and artistic achievement, opens to the public after five years of construction. On opening day–“Pedestrian Day”–some 200,000 bridge walkers marveled at the 4,200-foot-long suspension bridge, which spans the Golden Gate Strait at the entrance to San Francisco Bay and connects San Francisco and Marin County. On May 28, the Golden Gate Bridge opened to vehicular traffic.

“Golden Gate Bridge opens.” 2008. The History Channel website. 26 May 2008, 01:09 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6910.

08
Feb
08

On This Day 2-8-08

1587 – Mary, the Queen of Scots, was executed.

1861 – The Confederate States of America was formed.

1861 – A Cheyenne delegation and some Arapohoe leaders accepted a new settlement (Treaty of Fort Wise) with the U.S. Federal government. The deal ceded most of their land but secured a 600-square mile reservation and annuity payments.

1896 – The Western Conference was formed by representatives of Midwestern universities. The group changed its name to the Big 10 Conference.

1904 – The Russo-Japanese War began with Japan attacking Russian forces in Manchuria.

1910 – William D. Boyce incorporated the Boy Scouts of America.

1922 – The White House began using radio after U.S. President Harding had it installed.

1924 – The first U.S. execution to make use of gas took place in Nevada State Prison.

1936 – The first National Football League draft was held. Jay Berwanger was the first to be selected. He went to the Philadelphia Eagles. (NFL)

1963 – The Kennedy administration prohibited travel to Cuba and made financial and commercial transactions with Cuba illegal for U.S. citizens.

1968 – In Orangeburg, SC, three college students died during a civil rights protest against a whites-only bowling alley after a confrontation with highway patrolmen.

1980 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter announced a plan to re-introduce draft registration.

Aggression unopposed becomes a contagious disease.
Jimmy Carter

We should seek by all means in our power to avoid war, by analyzing possible causes, by trying to remove them, by discussion in a spirit of collaboration and good will.
Neville Chamberlain

I believe it is peace for our time… peace with honour.
Neville Chamberlain

04
Feb
08

On This Day 2-4-08: Yalta

1945: Big Three meet at Yalta

On this day in 1945, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin meet at Yalta, a Ukrainian resort town on the Black Sea.

During their second and most controversial conference, the three allies compromised on their visions of the post-war world order and discussed military considerations in the war against Japan. With victory over Germany imminent, the leaders agreed to divide Germany into zones of occupation.

A frail President Roosevelt, two months from his death, concentrated most of his energies in petitioning Stalin to join the war against Japan. Stalin agreed, but only after being assured of an occupation zone in Korea and postwar possession of territories historically disputed between Russia and Japan.

Although the Soviets’ eventual entrance into the Pacific War hastened the Japanese surrender, Roosevelt was later criticized for delivering Eastern Europe and North Korea into communist domination by conceding too much to Stalin at Yalta.*

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

1783 – Britain declared a formal cessation of hostilities with its former colonies, the United States of America.

1789 – Electors unanimously chose George Washington to be the first president of the United States.

1794 – The French Revolutionary legislature abolishes slavery in the territories of the French Republic.

1861 – Delegates from six southern states met in Montgomery, AL, to form the Confederate States of America.

1904 – The Russo-Japanese War began after Japan laid seige to Port Arthur.

1932 – The first Winter Olympics were held in the United States at Lake Placid, NY.

1974 – Patricia (Patty) Hearst was kidnapped in Berkeley, CA, by the Symbionese Liberation Army.

1999 – Amadou Diallo, an unarmed West African immigrant (Gambia), was shot and killed in front of his Bronx home by four plainclothes New York City police officers. The officers had been conducting a nighttime search for a rape suspect.

A politician needs the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.
Winston Churchill

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Winston Churchill

From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.
Winston Churchill

*This seems revisionist, because through my own research I’ve found that until the United States dropped the atom bombs on Japan, the US expressed no interest in Korea.




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