Posts Tagged ‘Sir Francis Drake

13
Dec
08

On This Day, 12-13-2008: Nanking

December 13, 1937

The Rape of Nanking

During the Sino-Japanese War, Nanking, the capital of China, falls to Japanese forces, and the Chinese government flees to Hankow, further inland along the Yangtze River.

To break the spirit of Chinese resistance, Japanese General Matsui Iwane ordered that the city of Nanking be destroyed. Much of the city was burned, and Japanese troops launched a campaign of atrocities against civilians. In what became known as the “Rape of Nanking,” the Japanese butchered an estimated 150,000 male “war prisoners,” massacred an additional 50,000 male civilians, and raped at least 20,000 women and girls of all ages, many of whom were mutilated or killed in the process.

Shortly after the end of World War II, Matsui was found guilty of war crimes by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and executed.

“The Rape of Nanking.” 2008. The History Channel website. 13 Dec 2008, 05:12 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=5599.

1577 – Five ships under the command of Sir Francis Drake left Plymouth, England, to embark on Drake’s circumnavigation of the globe. The journey took almost three years.

1636 – The United States National Guard was created when militia regiments were organized by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

1862 – In America, an estimated 11,000 Northern soldiers were killed or wounded when Union forces were defeated by Confederates under General Robert E. Lee, at the Battle of Fredericksburg.

1944 – During World War II, the U.S. cruiser Nashville was badly damaged in a Japanese kamikaze suicide attack. 138 people were killed in the attack.

1981 – Authorities in Poland imposed martial law in an attempt to crackdown on the Solidarity labor movement. Martial law ended formally in 1983.

1998 – Puerto Rican voters rejected U.S. statehood in a non-binding referendum.

2000 – U.S. Vice President Al Gore conceded the 2000 Presidential election to Texas Gov. George W. Bush. The Florida electoral votes were won by only 537 votes, which decided the election. The election had been contested up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which said that the Florida recount (supported by the Florida Supreme Court) was unconstitutional.

December 13, 1942

Goebbels complains of Italians’ treatment of Jews

On this day, Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels records in his journal his contempt for the Italians’ treatment of Jews in Italian-occupied territories. “The Italians are extremely lax in their treatment of Jews. They protect Italian Jews both in Tunis and in occupied France and won’t permit their being drafted for work or compelled to wear the Star of David.”

Joseph Goebbels had made the persecution, and ultimately the extermination, of Jews a personal priority from the earliest days of the war, often recording in his diary such statements as: “They are no longer people but beasts.” “Their destruction will go hand in hand with the destruction of our enemies.” “[T]he Jews … are now being evacuated eastward. The procedure is pretty barbaric and is not to be described here more definitely. Not much will remain of the Jews.” It was on his recommendation that all Jews in occupied Paris be forced to wear a yellow star on the left side of their coats or jackets in order to identify and humiliate them.

His vituperative anti-Semitism, which included blaming the war itself on the Jews in a screed published in the German magazine Das Reich, could not be contained within the boundaries of Germany. He expected the same of his allies. But, truth be told, in the earliest days of fascism, Mussolini had denied any truth to the idea of a “pure” race and had counted Jews among his close colleagues-and was even a Zionist!

But with Italy’s failing fortunes militarily, Mussolini needed to stress the Italians’ “superiority” in some sense, and so began to mimic many of the racial and anti-Jewish legislation of the Nazis. Nevertheless, Mussolini never had the stomach-or the conviction-for the extremes of Goebbels, Goering, and Hitler. And certainly the majority of the Italian people never subscribed to the growing anti-Semitic rhetoric of the regime. In fact, the Italians refused to deport Jews from Italy-or from Italian-occupied Croatia or France-to Auschwitz.

The majority of Italians’ courage to reject the worst of fascist ideology–its anti-Semitism–remains one bright spot in Italy’s otherwise appalling World War II record.

“Goebbels complains of Italians’ treatment of Jews.” 2008. The History Channel website. 13 Dec 2008, 05:11 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6642.

On This Day in Wisconsin: December 13

1864 – Emil Seidel Born
On this date Emil Seidel was born in Ashland, Pennsylvania. His family moved to Wisconsin when he was a child. As a young man he lived in Germany where he trained as a woodcarver. While in Germany, Seidel became a socialist and when he returned to the United States he joined the Socialist Party of America. He settled in Milwaukee and in 1904 Seidel and eight other socialists were elected as city aldermen. In 1910, the Socialist Party in Milwaukee selected Seidel as their candidate for mayor. With the support of Victor Berger’s newspaper, the Milwaukee Leader, and the city’s large German-born population, Seidel became the first socialist mayor of a major city in the United States. One of Seidel’s achievements was to introduce the country’s first worker’s compensation program in 1911. Other initiatives included adult and worker education classes and free medical and dental examinations for school children. Emil Seidel also served as a city alderman from 1916 to 1920 and again from 1932 to 1936. He died on 24th June, 1947. [Source: University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Archives]

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19
Apr
08

On This Day, 4-19-08: Lexington and Concord

The American Revolution begins

At about 5 a.m., 700 British troops, on a mission to capture Patriot leaders and seize a Patriot arsenal, march into Lexington to find 77 armed minutemen under Captain John Parker waiting for them on the town’s common green. British Major John Pitcairn ordered the outnumbered Patriots to disperse, and after a moment’s hesitation the Americans began to drift off the green. Suddenly, the “shot heard around the world” was fired from an undetermined gun, and a cloud of musket smoke soon covered the green. When the brief Battle of Lexington ended, eight Americans lay dead or dying and 10 others were wounded. Only one British soldier was injured, but the American Revolution had begun.

When the British troops reached Concord at about 7 a.m., they found themselves encircled by hundreds of armed Patriots. They managed to destroy the military supplies the Americans had collected but were soon advanced against by a gang of minutemen, who inflicted numerous casualties. Lieutenant Colonel Frances Smith, the overall commander of the British force, ordered his men to return to Boston without directly engaging the Americans. As the British retraced their 16-mile journey, their lines were constantly beset by Patriot marksmen firing at them Indian-style from behind trees, rocks, and stone walls. At Lexington, Captain Parker’s militia had its revenge, killing several British soldiers as the Red Coats hastily marched through his town. By the time the British finally reached the safety of Boston, nearly 300 British soldiers had been killed, wounded, or were missing in action. The Patriots suffered fewer than 100 casualties.

“The American Revolution begins.” 2008. The History Channel website. 19 Apr 2008, 04:56 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4934.

Baltimore Riots

Residents of Baltimore, Maryland, attack a Union regiment while the group makes its way to Washington, D.C.

Baltimore’s hostilities to the North were already well known, as just two percent of the city’s voters cast their ballots for Abraham Lincoln while nearly half supported John Breckinridge, the Southern Democratic Party candidate. Lincoln was to pass through Baltimore on his way to Washington for his inauguration, but death threats forced the president-elect to slip through the city in the middle of the night in disguise.

“Baltimore Riots.” 2008. The History Channel website. 19 Apr 2008, 04:58 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2177.

1539 – Emperor Charles V reached a truce with German Protestants at Frankfurt, Germany.

1587 – English admiral Sir Francis Drake entered Cadiz harbor and sank the Spanish fleet.

1713 – Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI issued the Pragmatic Sanction, which gave women the rights of succession to Hapsburg possessions.

1764 – The English Parliament banned the American colonies from printing paper money.

1782 – The Netherlands recognized the new United States.

1861 – U.S. President Lincoln ordered a blockade of Confederate ports.

1897 – The first annual Boston Marathon was held. It was the first of its type in the U.S.

1927 – In China, Hankow communists declared war on Chaing Kai-shek.

1939 – Connecticut approved the Bill of Rights for the U.S. Constitution after 148 years.

1943 – The Warsaw Ghetto uprising against Nazi rule began. The Jews were able to fight off the Germans for 28 days.

1951 – Shigeki Tanaka won the Boston Marathon. Tanaka had survived the atomic blast at Hiroshima, Japan during World War II.

1967 – Surveyor 3 landed on the moon and began sending photos back to the U.S.

1971 – Russia launched the Salyut into orbit around Earth. It was the first space station.

1975 – India launched its first satellite with aid from the USSR.

1977 – Alex Haley received a special Pulitzer Prize for his book “Roots.”

1982 – NASA named Sally Ride to be first woman astronaut.

1993 – The Branch-Davidian’s compound in Waco, TX, burned to the ground. It was the end of a 51-day standoff between the cult and U.S. federal agents. 86 people were killed including 17 children. Nine of the Branch Davidians escaped the fire.

 

The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building explodes

A massive explosion at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, kills 168 people and injures hundreds more. The bomb, contained in a Ryder truck parked outside the front of the building, went off at 9:02 a.m. as people were preparing for the workday. Among the victims of America’s worst incident of domestic terrorism were 19 children who were in the daycare center on the first floor of the building.

“The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building explodes.” 2008. The History Channel website. 19 Apr 2008, 05:01 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=977.




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