Posts Tagged ‘The Thirteenth Amendment

05
May
09

On This Day, May 5, Alan B Shepard

May 5, 1961

The first American in space

From Cape Canaveral, Florida, Navy Commander Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. is launched into space aboard the Freedom 7 space capsule, becoming the first American astronaut to travel into space. The suborbital flight, which lasted 15 minutes and reached a height of 116 miles into the atmosphere, was a major triumph for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

NASA was established in 1958 to keep U.S. space efforts abreast of recent Soviet achievements, such as the launching of the world’s first artificial satellite–Sputnik 1–in 1957. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the two superpowers raced to become the first country to put a man in space and return him to Earth. On April 12, 1961, the Soviet space program won the race when cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was launched into space, put in orbit around the planet, and safely returned to Earth. One month later, Shepard’s suborbital flight restored faith in the U.S. space program.

NASA continued to trail the Soviets closely until the late 1960s and the successes of the Apollo lunar program. In July 1969, the Americans took a giant leap forward with Apollo 11, a three-stage spacecraft that took U.S. astronauts to the surface of the moon and returned them to Earth. On February 5, 1971, Alan Shepard, the first American in space, became the fifth astronaut to walk on the moon as part of the Apollo 14 lunar landing mission.

“The first American in space,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4977 [accessed May 5, 2009]

On This Day

1494 – Christopher Columbus sighted Jamaica on his second trip to the Western Hemisphere. He named the island Santa Gloria.

1798 – U.S. Secretary of War William McHenry ordered that the USS Constitution be made ready for sea. The frigate was launched on October 21, 1797, but had never been put to sea.

1814 – The British attack the American forces at Ft. Ontario, Oswego, NY.

1821 – Napoleon Bonaparte died on the island of St. Helena, where he had been in exile.

1862 – The Battle of Puebla took place. It is celebrated as Cinco de Mayo Day.

1865 – The Thirteenth Amendment was ratified, abolishing slavery in the U.S.

1901 – The first Catholic mass for night workers was held at the Church of St. Andrew in New York City.

1917 – Eugene Jacques Bullard becomes the first African-American aviator when he earned his flying certificate with the French Air Service.

1925 – John T. Scopes, a biology teacher in Dayton, TN, was arrested for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution.

1942 – General Joseph Stilwell learned that the Japanese had cut his railway out of China and was forced to lead his troops into India.

1945 – The Netherlands and Denmark were liberated from Nazi control.

1955 – The Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) became a sovereign state.

1981 – Irish Republican Army hunger-striker Bobby Sands died at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland. It was his 66th day without food.

May 5, 1945

Six killed in Oregon by Japanese bomb

In Lakeview, Oregon, Mrs. Elsie Mitchell and five neighborhood children are killed while attempting to drag a Japanese balloon out the woods. Unbeknownst to Mitchell and the children, the balloon was armed, and it exploded soon after they began tampering with it. They were the first and only known American civilians to be killed in the continental United States during World War II. The U.S. government eventually gave $5,000 in compensation to Mitchell’s husband, and $3,000 each to the families of Edward Engen, Sherman Shoemaker, Jay Gifford, and Richard and Ethel Patzke, the five slain children.

The explosive balloon found at Lakeview was a product of one of only a handful of Japanese attacks against the continental United States, which were conducted early in the war by Japanese submarines and later by high-altitude balloons carrying explosives or incendiaries. In comparison, three years earlier, on April 18, 1942, the first squadron of U.S. bombers dropped bombs on the Japanese cities of Tokyo, Kobe, and Nagoyo, surprising the Japanese military command, who believed their home islands to be out of reach of Allied air attacks. When the war ended on August 14, 1945, some 160,000 tons of conventional explosives and two atomic bombs had been dropped on Japan by the United States. Approximately 500,000 Japanese civilians were killed as a result of these bombing attacks.

“Six killed in Oregon by Japanese bomb,” The History Channel website, 2009, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4976 [accessed May 5, 2009]

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18
Dec
08

On This Day, 12-18-2008: Plymouth Harbor

December 18, 1620

Mayflower passengers come ashore at Plymouth Harbor

On December 18, 1620, passengers on the British ship Mayflower come ashore at modern-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, to begin their new settlement, Plymouth Colony.

The famous Mayflower story began in 1606, when a group of reform-minded Puritans in Nottinghamshire, England, founded their own church, separate from the state-sanctioned Church of England. Accused of treason, they were forced to leave the country and settle in the more tolerant Netherlands. After 12 years of struggling to adapt and make a decent living, the group sought financial backing from some London merchants to set up a colony in America. On September 6, 1620, 102 passengers–dubbed Pilgrims by William Bradford, a passenger who would become the first governor of Plymouth Colony–crowded on the Mayflower to begin the long, hard journey to a new life in the New World.

On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower anchored at what is now Provincetown Harbor, Cape Cod. Before going ashore, 41 male passengers–heads of families, single men and three male servants–signed the famous Mayflower Compact, agreeing to submit to a government chosen by common consent and to obey all laws made for the good of the colony. Over the next month, several small scouting groups were sent ashore to collect firewood and scout out a good place to build a settlement. Around December 10, one of these groups found a harbor they liked on the western side of Cape Cod Bay. They returned to the Mayflower to tell the other passengers, but bad weather prevented them reaching the harbor until December 16. Two days later, the first group of Pilgrims went ashore.   
After exploring the region, the settlers chose a cleared area previously occupied by members of a local Native American tribe, the Wampanoag. The tribe had abandoned the village several years earlier, after an outbreak of European disease. That winter of 1620-21 was brutal, as the Pilgrims struggled to build their settlement, find food and ward off sickness. By spring, 50 of the original 102 Mayflower passengers were dead. The remaining settlers made contact with returning members of the Wampanoag tribe and in March they signed a peace treaty with a tribal chief, Massasoit. Aided by the Wampanoag, especially the English-speaking Squanto, the Pilgrims were able to plant crops–especially corn and beans–that were vital to their survival. The Mayflower and its crew left Plymouth to return to England on April 5, 1621.

Over the next several decades, more and more settlers made the trek across the Atlantic to Plymouth, which gradually grew into a prosperous shipbuilding and fishing center. In 1691, Plymouth was incorporated into the new Massachusetts Bay Association, ending its history as an independent colony.

“Mayflower passengers come ashore at Plymouth Harbor.” 2008. The History Channel website. 18 Dec 2008, 10:49 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=52289.

On This Day

1787 – New Jersey became the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

1796 – The “Monitor,” of Baltimore, MD, was published as the first Sunday newspaper.

1865 – Slavery was abolished in the United States with the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution being ratified.

1903 – The Panama Canal Zone was acquired ‘in perpetuity’ by the U.S. for an annual rent.

1912 – The U.S. Congress prohibited the immigration of illiterate persons.

1915 – U.S. President Wilson, widowed the year before, married Edith Bolling Galt at her Washington home.

1916 – During World War I, after 10 months of fighting the French defeated the Germans in the Battle of Verdun.

1917 – The Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the U.S. Congress. (Prohibition)

1940 – Adolf Hitler signed a secret directive ordering preparations for a Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. Operation “Barbarossa” was launched in June 1941.

1944 – The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the wartime relocation of Japanese-Americans, but also stated that undeniably loyal Americans of Japanese ancestry could not be detained.

1950 – NATO foreign ministers approved plans to defend Western Europe, including the use of nuclear weapons, if necessary.

1957 – The Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania went online. It was the first nuclear facility to generate electricity in the United States. It was taken out of service in 1982.

1972 – The United States began the heaviest bombing of North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The attack ended 12 days later.

1987 – Ivan F. Boesky was sentenced to three years in prison for plotting Wall Street’s biggest insider-trading scandal. He only served about two years of the sentence.

1998 – Russia recalled its U.S. ambassador in protest of the U.S. attacks on Iraq.

1999 – After living atop an ancient redwood in Humboldt County, CA, for two years, environmental activist Julia “Butterfly” Hill came down, ending her anti-logging protest.

December 18, 1941

Japan invades Hong Kong

On this day, Japanese troops land in Hong Kong and a slaughter ensues.

A week of air raids over Hong Kong, a British crown colony, was followed up on December 17 with a visit paid by Japanese envoys to Sir Mark Young, the British governor of Hong Kong. The envoys’ message was simple: The British garrison there should simply surrender to the Japanese–resistance was futile. The envoys were sent home with the following retort: “The governor and commander in chief of Hong Kong declines absolutely to enter into negotiations for the surrender of Hong Kong. …”

The first wave of Japanese troops landed in Hong Kong with artillery fire for cover and the following order from their commander: “Take no prisoners.” Upon overrunning a volunteer antiaircraft battery, the Japanese invaders roped together the captured soldiers and proceeded to bayonet them to death. Even those who offered no resistance, such as the Royal Medical Corps, were led up a hill and killed.

The Japanese quickly took control of key reservoirs, threatening the British and Chinese inhabitants with a slow death by thirst. The Brits finally surrendered control of Hong Kong on Christmas Day.

On this same day: Censorship is imposed with the passage of the 1st American War Powers Act

The War Powers Act is passed by Congress, authorizing the president to initiate and terminate defense contracts, reconfigure government agencies for wartime priorities, and regulate the freezing of foreign assets. It also permitted him to censor all communications coming in and leaving the country.

FDR appointed the executive news director of the Associated Press, Byron Price, as director of censorship. Although invested with the awesome power to restrict and withhold news, Price took no extreme measures, allowing news outlets and radio stations to self-censor, which they did. Most top secret information, including the construction of the atom bomb, remained just that.

The most extreme use of the censorship law seems to have been the restriction of the free flow of “girlie” magazines to servicemen-including Esquire, which the Post Office considered obscene for its occasional saucy cartoons and pinups. Esquire took the Post Office to court, and after three years the Supreme Court ultimately sided with the magazine.

“Japan invades Hong Kong.” 2008. The History Channel website. 18 Dec 2008, 10:57 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6647.

31
Jan
08

On This Day 1-31-08: The Thirteenth Amendment

1606 – Guy Fawkes was executed after being convicted for his role in the “Gunpowder Plot” against the English Parliament and King James I.

1865 – In America, General Robert E. Lee was named general-in-chief of the Confederate armies.

1865 – The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified by the U.S. Congress. It was ratified on December 6, 1865. The amendment abolished slavery in the United States.

1876 – All Native American Indians were ordered to move into reservations.

1917 – Germany announced its policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.

1929 – The USSR exiled Leon Trotsky. He found asylum in Mexico.

1940 – The first Social Security check was issued by the U.S. Government.

1944 – During World War II, U.S. forces invaded Kwajalein Atoll and other areas of the Japanese-held Marshall Islands.

1945 – Private Eddie Slovik became the only U.S. soldier since the U.S. Civil War to be executed for desertion.

1946 – A new constitution in Yugoslavia created six constituent republics (Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia) subordinated to a central authority, on the model of the USSR.

1950 – U.S. President Truman announced that he had ordered development of the hydrogen bomb.

1971 – Astronauts Alan B. Shepard Jr., Edgar D. Mitchell and Stuart A. Roosa blasted off aboard Apollo 14 on a mission to the moon.

1985 – The final Jeep rolled off the assembly line at the AMC plant in Toledo, OH.

From being a patriotic myth, the Russian people have become an awful reality.
Leon Trotsky

I like whiskey. I always did, and that is why I never drink it.
Robert E. Lee

13th. Amendment
to the U.S. Constitution


Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.




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