Posts Tagged ‘Symbionese Liberation Army

16
Jun
09

On This Day, June 16: Nureyev Defects

June 16, 1961

Russian ballet star Nureyev defects

Rudolf Nureyev, the young star of the Soviet Union’s Kirov Opera Ballet Company, defects during a stopover in Paris. The high-profile defection was a blow to Soviet prestige and generated international interest.

Nureyev became a star of Russian ballet in 1958 when, at barely 20 years old, he was made one of the Kirov Opera Ballet’s featured soloists. The Kirov and the Bolshoi ballet companies were two of the jewels of Soviet cultural diplomacy, and their performances earned worldwide accolades and respect for the arts in the USSR. In June 1961, the Kirov Company finished a run in Paris. On June 16, just as the company was preparing to board a flight home, Nureyev broke from the group and insisted that he was staying in France. According to eyewitnesses, other members of the troupe pleaded with Nureyev to rejoin them and return to the Soviet Union. The dancer refused and threw himself into the arms of airport security people, screaming, “Protect me!” The security officials took Nureyev into custody, whereupon he asked for political asylum. The Kirov Company fretted over the loss of its star and Soviet security guards fumed over Nureyev’s defection. Eventually, the troupe flew back to Russia without the dancer.

Nureyev’s high-profile defection was a double blow to the Soviet Union. First, it detracted from the quality of the Kirov Company, which had featured the young prodigy prominently in its performances throughout the world. Second, it severely damaged Soviet propaganda that touted the political and artistic freedom in Russia.

Nureyev continued with his career after his defection. During the next 30 years he danced with England’s Royal Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre. He was in great demand as both a dancer and choreographer, and even made a few films (including a disastrous turn as the silent film star Rudolf Valentino). In 1983, he took over as ballet director of the Paris Opera. In 1989, he briefly returned to the Soviet Union to perform. He died in Paris in 1993.

“Russian ballet star Nureyev defects,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2700 [accessed Jun 16, 2009]

On This Day

0455 – Rome was sacked by the Vandal army.

1815 – Napoleon defeated the Prussians at the Battle of Ligny, Netherlands.

1858 – In a speech in Springfield, IL, U.S. Senate candidate Abraham Lincoln said the slavery issue had to be resolved. He declared, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

1897 – The U.S. government signed a treaty of annexation with Hawaii.

1909 – Glenn Hammond Curtiss sold his first airplane, the “Gold Bug” to the New York Aeronautical Society for $5,000.

1922 – Henry Berliner accomplished the first helicopter flight at College Park, MD.

1932 – The ban on Nazi storm troopers was lifted by the von Papen government in Germany.

1952 – “Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl” was published in the United States.

1958 – Hungarian prime minister Imre Nagy was hanged for treason. He had been the prime minister during the 1956 uprising that was crushed by Soviet tanks.

1963 – 26-year-old Valentina Tereshkova went into orbit aboard the Vostok 6 spacecraft for three days. She was the first female space traveler.

1977 – Leonid Brezhnev was named the first Soviet president of the USSR. He was the first person to hold the post of president and Communist Party General Secretary. He replaced Nikolai Podgorny.

1989 – Hungarian prime minister Imre Nagy was reburied. The funeral brought at least a quarter of a million people to the streets of Budapest. Nagy had been prime minister during the 1956 uprising that was crushed by Soviet tanks. He was hanged for treason on June 16, 1958.

June 16, 1999

SLA member captured after more than 20 years

On this day in 1999, Kathleen Ann Soliah, a former member of the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), is arrested near her home in St. Paul, Minnesota. Soliah, who now calls herself Sara Jane Olsen, had been evading authorities for more than 20 years.

In the mid-1970s, the SLA, a small, radical American paramilitary group, made a name for itself with a series of murders, robberies and other violent acts. They were most well-known for the 1974 kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst, who became a member of the group. In April 1975, members of the SLA robbed a bank in Carmichael, California, and, in the process, killed one of the bank’s customers, Myrna Opsahl. According to Patty Hearst, who served as the group’s getaway driver that day, Soliah took part in the robbery.

Four months later, in August 1975, Lost Angeles policemen discovered a bomb where one of their patrol cars had earlier been parked. Though police believe it had been designed to explode when the car moved, it had failed to detonate. Soliah was indicted for the crime in 1976 but by then she had already left town, and did not return, becoming a fugitive for nearly 23 years. Soliah eventually settled with her husband, a doctor, and three children in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she continued to advocate for various causes under the assumed name Sara Jane Olsen.

In the spring of 1999, however, Soliah’s case was featured on an episode of television’s America’s Most Wanted; she was arrested several weeks later. In 2002, as part of a plea bargain, she pled guilty to two counts of planting bombs and was sentenced to five years and four months in jail. The Board of Prison Terms then changed her sentence to 14 years. After pleading guilty to the attempted bombings, she was arraigned for the Opsahl killing and was later convicted and sentenced to another six years.

In 2004, a judge threw out the adjusted 14-year term, saying the board “abused its discretion” in changing the sentence. Olsen remains in prison in California.

“SLA member captured after more than 20 years,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=1038 [accessed Jun 16, 2009]

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23
Feb
08

On This Day, 2-23-08: Huguenots

1574 – France began the 5th holy war against the Huguenots.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, Protestants in France were called Huguenots, a word derived from Besançon Hugues, the leader of a revolt in Geneva.

Most Huguenots were Calvinists. During most of the 16th century, the Huguenots faced fierce persecution, which towards the end of the century led to large internal religious wars. However, in 1561 the Edict of Orleans stopped the persecution for a number of years and the Edict of St. Germain recognized them for the first time (January 17, 1562). The French Wars of Religion then began with a massacre of 1,000 Huguenots at Vassy on March 1, 1562. In 1572 thousands of Huguentos were killed in the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre and amnesty was granted the next year. The 5th holy war against the Huguenots began on February 23, 1574 and persecution continued periodically until 1598 when king Henry IV gave the Edict of Nantes which granted the Protestants full religious freedom and equal rights to Catholics.

Louis XIV in 1685 revoked the edict and declared Protestantism illegal. After this, many Huguenots fled to surrounding Protestant nations, especially to Prussia.

For more, see Sources at the bottom of the page.

1660 – Charles XI became the king of Sweden.

1792 – The Humane Society of Massachusetts was incorporated.

1820 – The Cato Street conspiracy was uncovered.*

1836 – In San Antonio, TX, the siege of the Alamo began.

1847 – Santa Anna was defeated at the Battle of Buena Vista in Mexico by U.S. troops under Gen. Zachary Taylor. (see note below)

1861 – U.S. President-elect Lincoln arrived secretly in Washington to take his office after an assassination attempt in Baltimore.

1861 – Texas became the 7th state to secede from the Union.

1870 – The state of Mississippi was readmitted to the Union.

1896 – The Tootsie Roll was introduced by Leo Hirshfield.

1898 – In France, Emile Zola was imprisoned for his letter, “J’accuse,” which accused the government of anti-Semitism and wrongly jailing Alfred Dreyfus.

1900 – The Battle of Hart’s Hill took place in South Africa between the Boers and the British army.**

1904 – The U.S. acquired control of the Panama Canal Zone for $10 million.

1919 – The Fascist Party was formed in Italy by Benito Mussolini.

1927 – The Federal Radio Commission began assigning frequencies, hours of operation and power allocations for radio broadcasters. On July 1, 1934 the name was changed to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

1940 – Russian troops conquered Lasi Island.

1945 – The 28th Regiment of the Fifth Marine Division of the U.S. Marines reached the top of Mount Surabachi. A photograph of these Marines raising the American flag was taken.

1963 – The 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. It prohibited poll taxes in federal elections.

1974 – The Symbionese Liberation Army demanded $4 million more for the release of Patty Hearst. Hearst had been kidnapped on February 4th.

1997 – NBC-TV aired “Schindler’s List.” It was completely uncensored.

I grow dizzy when I recall that the number of manufactured tanks seems to have been more important to me than the vanished victims of racism.
Albert Speer

In all my activities as Armament Minister I never once visited a labor camp, and cannot, therefore, give any information about them.
Albert Speer

I knew that the National Socialist Party was anti-Semitic, and I knew that the Jews were being evacuated from Germany.
Albert Speer

Sources, Huguenots

http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html

http://faculty.ucc.edu/egh-damerow/huguenots.htm

See Also: http://huguenot.netnation.com/general/huguenot.htm

*http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/PRcato.htm

**http://www.indopedia.org/Boer_War.html

About Zachary Taylor, a few days ago I posted about a park called Tower Hill ( http://johnrandals.wordpress.com/2008/02/11/tower-hill/ ).  Click on the picture of the plaque and look at the names.




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