Posts Tagged ‘USSR

11
Aug
08

On This Day, 8-11-2008: The Evil Empire

Reagan jokes about bombing Russia

On this day in 1984, President Ronald Reagan makes a joking but controversial off-the-cuff remark about bombing Russia while testing a microphone before a scheduled radio address. While warming up for the speech, Reagan said “My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.”

Although the press throng and his aides in attendance laughed at the obvious joke, the comment unnerved Democratic opposition leaders and those already fearful of the hard-line posturing Reagan had displayed toward the USSR since assuming office in 1981. Others simply dismissed his remark, which came at a time of heightened tensions between the U.S. and Russia, as a moment of poor taste.

Although it is not known what Soviet leaders thought of Reagan’s joke, the comment did color some Americans’ opinion of Reagan, whose approval rating dropped in the aftermath of the incident, temporarily boosting the electoral hopes of Democratic presidential hopeful Walter Mondale. Reagan recovered and beat Mondale; he began his second term in 1984.

“Reagan jokes about bombing Russia.” 2008. The History Channel website. 10 Aug 2008, 03:43 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=50722.

 

On This Day

1860 – The first silver mill in America to be successful began. The mill was in Virginia City, NV.

1877 – The two moons of Mars were discovered by Asaph Hall, an American astronomer. He named them Phobos and Deimos.

1896 – Harvey Hubbell received a patent for the electric light bulb socket with a pull-chain.

1909 – The American ship Arapahoe became the first to ever use the SOS distress signal off the coast of Cape Hatteras, NC.

1924 – Newsreel pictures were taken of U.S. presidential candidates for the first time.

1934 – Alcatraz, in San Francisco Bay, received federal prisoners for the first time.

1945 – The Allies informed Japan that they would determine Emperor Hirohito’s future status after Japan’s surrender.

1954 – Seven years of fighting came to an end in Indochina. A formal peace was in place for the French and the Communist Vietminh.

1965 – Riots and looting took place in the Watts section of Los Angeles, CA. During the week that followed 34 people were killed. In addition, over 1,000 were injured, 3,000 were arrested and over $40 million in damage was done.

1990 – Egyptian and Moroccan troops joined U.S. forces in Saudia Arabia to help protect from a possible Iraqi attack.

1992 – In Bloomington, MN, the Mall of America opened. It was the largest shopping mall in the United States.

1995 – All U.S. nuclear tests were banned by President Clinton.

 

 

Weimar Constitution adopted in Germany

On August 11, 1919, Friedrich Ebert, a member of the Social Democratic Party and the provisional president of the German Reichstag (government), signs a new constitution, known as the Weimar Constitution, into law, officially creating the first parliamentary democracy in Germany.

Under vicious attack from both the militarist right and the radical socialist left and identified by both sides with the shame of Versailles, the Weimar government and its constitution—signed into law on August 11, 1919—seemed to have a dim chance of survival. In this atmosphere of confrontation and frustration, exacerbated by poor economic conditions, right wing elements began to take an ever more pervasive hold over the Reichstag. This process, intensified by the worldwide depression that began in 1929, would culminate in the rise to power of Adolf Hitler, who exploited the weakness of the Weimar system to lay the foundations for himself and his National Socialist German Workers’ (or Nazi) Party to dissolve the parliamentary government and take absolute control over Germany.

“Weimar Constitution adopted in Germany .” 2008. The History Channel website. 10 Aug 2008, 03:44 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=50625.

Last U.S. ground combat unit departs South Vietnam

The last U.S. ground combat unit in South Vietnam, the Third Battalion, Twenty-First Infantry, departs for the United States. The unit had been guarding the U.S. air base at Da Nang. This left only 43,500 advisors, airmen, and support troops left in-country. This number did not include the sailors of the Seventh Fleet on station in the South China Sea or the air force personnel in Thailand and Guam.

“Last U.S. ground combat unit departs South Vietnam.” 2008. The History Channel website. 10 Aug 2008, 03:45 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=1262.

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06
Jul
08

On This Day, 7-6-08: Althea Gibson

Althea Gibson is first African American to win Wimbledon

On this day in 1957, Althea Gibson claims the women’s singles tennis title at Wimbledon and becomes the first African American to win a championship at London’s All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

Gibson was born on August 25, 1927, in Silver, South Carolina, and raised in the Harlem section of New York City. She began playing tennis as a teenager and went on to win the national black women’s championship twice. At a time when tennis was largely segregated, four-time U.S. Nationals winner Alice Marble advocated on Gibson’s behalf and the 5’11” player was invited to make her U.S. Open debut in 1950. In 1956, Gibson’s tennis career took off and she won the singles title at the French Open–the first African American to do so–as well as the doubles’ title there. In July 1957, Gibson won Wimbledon, defeating Darlene Hard, 6-3, 6-2. (In 1975, Arthur Ashe became the first African-American man to win the men’s singles title at Wimbledon, when he defeated Jimmy Connors.) In September 1957, she won the U.S. Open, and the Associated Press named her Female Athlete of the Year in 1957 and 1958. During the 1950s, Gibson won 56 singles and doubles titles, including 11 major titles.

After winning Wimbledon and the U.S. Open again in 1958, Gibson retired from amateur tennis. In 1960, she toured with the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team, playing exhibition tennis matches before their games. In 1964, Gibson joined the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour, the first black woman to do so. The trailblazing athlete played pro golf until 1971, the same year in which she was voted into the National Lawn Tennis Association Hall of Fame.

After serving as New Jersey’s commissioner of athletics from 1975 to 1985, Althea Gibson died at age 76 from respiratory failure on September 28, 2003 at a hospital in East Orange, New Jersey.

“Althea Gibson is first African American to win Wimbledon.” 2008. The History Channel website. 6 Jul 2008, 02:08 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=59462.

1483 – King Richard III of England was crowned.

1777 – British forces captured Fort Ticonderoga during the American Revolution.

1854 – In Jackson, MI, the Republican Party held its first convention.

1885 – Louis Pasteur successfully tested his anti-rabies vaccine. The child used in the test later became the director of the Pasteur Institute.

1893 – In northwest Iowa 71 people were killed by a tornado.

1917 – During World War I, Arab forces led by T.E. Lawrence captured the port of Aqaba from the Turks.

1923 – The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was established.

1944 – A fire broke out in the main tent of the Ringling Brother, Barnum and Bailey Circus. 169 people died.

1983 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that retirement plans could not pay women smaller monthly payments solely because of their gender.

1989 – The U.S. Army destroyed its last Pershing 1-A missiles at an ammunition plant in Karnack, TX. The dismantling was under the terms of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

1994 – On Storm King Mountain, in Colorado, 14 firefighters were killed while fighting a several-day-old fire.

1997 – The Mars Pathfinder released Sojourner, a robot rover on the surface of Mars. The spacecraft landed on the red planet on July 4th.

Frank family takes refuge

In Nazi-occupied Holland, 13-year-old Jewish diarist Anne Frank and her family are forced to take refuge in a secret sealed-off area of an Amsterdam warehouse. The day before, Anne’s older sister, Margot, had received a call-up notice to be deported to a Nazi “work camp.”

“Frank family takes refuge.” 2008. The History Channel website. 6 Jul 2008, 02:09 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5153.

U.S. policymakers express optimism

In the light of a deepening ideological rift between the Soviet Union and China, U.S. officials express their belief that Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev will seek closer relations with the United States. Unfortunately, the optimism was somewhat misplaced. Although China and the Soviet Union announced a serious split in mid-July 1963, Khrushchev’s days in office were numbered.

“U.S. policymakers express optimism.” 2008. The History Channel website. 6 Jul 2008, 02:10 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2720.

26
Feb
08

On This Day, 2-26-08: Luftwaffe

1935: Hitler organises Luftwaffe

On 26 February 1935, Nazi Germany’s ultra-modern air force – the Luftwaffe – is secretly organised under the direction of Hermann Goering. The Versailles Treaty prohibited military aviation in Germany, but the civilian airline Lufthansa allowed flight training for the men who later became Luftwaffe pilots.

After seizing power in 1933, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler began to secretly develop his military air force. In February 1935, the Luftwaffe was formally organised, and in March, Hitler revealed it to the world. Two years later, a stinging sample of Germany’s new air power was felt in the brutal bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. After September 1939, Poland, France, and especially Britain and Russia discovered the Luftwaffe to be the deadliest of Germany’s armed forces.

Britain’s Royal Air Force, although outnumbered 2 to 1, handed the Luftwaffe its first defeat in the Battle of Britain. Later in the war, American forces joined the RAF in the battle for Europe’s skies, and the once-proud Luftwaffe was destroyed.

http://www.thehistorychannel.co.uk/site/this_day_in_history/this_day_February_26.php

1815 – Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from the Island of Elba. He then began his second conquest of France.

1848 – The second French Republic was proclaimed.

1863 – U.S. President Lincoln signed the National Currency Act.

1907 – The U.S. Congress raised their own pay to $7500.

1916 – Mutual signed Charlie Chaplin to a film contract.

1919 – In Arizona, the Grand Canyon was established as a National Park with an act of the U.S. Congress.

1929 – U.S. President Coolidge signed a bill creating the Grand Teton National Park.

1933 – A ground-breaking ceremony was held at Crissy Field for the Golden Gate Bridge.

1945 – In the U.S., a nationwide midnight curfew went into effect.

1952 – British Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced that Britain had developed an atomic bomb.

1987 – The U.S.S.R. conducted its first nuclear weapons test after a 19-month moratorium period.

1993 – Six people were killed and more than a thousand injured when a van exploded in the parking garage beneath the World Trade Center in New York City. The bomb had been built by Islamic extremists.

A vote is like a rifle; its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.
Theodore Roosevelt

Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.
Theodore Roosevelt

No people is wholly civilized where a distinction is drawn between stealing an office and stealing a purse.
Theodore Roosevelt

To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.
Theodore Roosevelt

 




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