Posts Tagged ‘Vladimir Putin

16
Aug
08

On This Day, 8-16-2008: Jonathan Wainwright

Senior U.S. POW is released

On this day in 1945, Lt. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright, (captured by the Japanese on the island of Corregidor, in the Philippines), is freed by Russian forces from a POW camp in Manchuria, China.

When President Franklin Roosevelt transferred Gen. Douglas MacArthur from his command in the Philippines to Australia in March 1942, Maj. Gen. Wainwright, until then under MacArthur’s command, was promoted to temporary lieutenant general and given command of all Philippine forces. His first major strategic decision was to move his troops to the fortified garrison at Corregidor. When Bataan was taken by the Japanese, and the infamous Bataan “Death March” of captured Allies was underway, Corredigor became the next battle ground. Wainwright and his 13,000 troops held out for a month despite heavy artillery fire. Finally, Wainwright and his troops, already exhausted, surrendered on May 6.

The irony of Wainwright’s promotion was that as commander of all Allied forces in the Philippines, his surrender meant the surrender of troops still holding out against the Japanese in other parts of the Philippines. Wainwright was taken prisoner, spending the next three and a half years as a POW in Luzon, Philippines, Formosa (now Taiwan), and Manchuria, China. Upon Japan’s surrender, Russian forces in Manchuria liberated the POW camp in which Wainwright was being held.

The years of captivity took its toll on the general. The man who had been nicknamed “Skinny” was now emaciated. His hair had turned white, and his skin was cracked and fragile. He was also depressed, believing he would be blamed for the loss of the Philippines to the Japanese.

When Wainwright arrived in Yokohama, Japan, to attend the formal surrender ceremony, Gen. MacArthur, his former commander, was stunned at his appearance-literally unable to eat and sleep for a day.

Wainwright was given a hero’s welcome upon returning to America, promoted to full general, and awarded the Medal of Honor.

“Senior U.S. POW is released.” 2008. The History Channel website. 16 Aug 2008, 04:05 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6553.

 

On This Day

1777 – During the American Revolutionary War, the Battle of Bennington took place. New England’s minutemen routed the British regulars.

1812 – Detroit fell to Indian and British troops in the War of 1812.

1861 – U.S. President Lincoln prohibited the Union states from trading with the states of the Confederacy.

1923 – Carnegie Steel Corporation put into place the eight-hour workday for its employees.

1937 – Harvard University became the first school to have graduate courses in traffic engineering and administration.

1948 – Babe Ruth, Born February 6, 1895, died at the age of 53.

1960 – Cyprus was granted independence by Britain.

1962 – Ringo Starr was picked to replace Pete Best as the drummer for the Beatles. Best had been with the group for about 2 1/2 years.

1978 – Xerox was fined for excluding Smith-Corona Mfg. from the copier market. The fine was $25.6 million.

1984 – John DeLorean was acquitted on eight counts of a $24 million dollar cocaine conspiracy indictment.

1999 – In Russia, Vladimir V. Putin was confirmed as prime minister by the lower house of parliament.

 

George Carmack discovers Klondike gold

Sometime prospector George Carmack stumbles across gold while salmon fishing along the Klondike River in the Yukon.

“George Carmack discovers Klondike gold.” 2008. The History Channel website. 16 Aug 2008, 04:04 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4614.

 

Poet Charles Bukowski is born

Charles Bukowski, leader of the “Meat School” of tough, masculine poetry, is born on this day in Andernach, Germany. Bukowski’s writing is filled with images of sex, violence, and heavy drinking.

“Poet Charles Bukowski is born.” 2008. The History Channel website. 16 Aug 2008, 04:03 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4065.

 

Paul Robeson loses appeal over his passport

Famous entertainer and civil rights activist Paul Robeson loses his court appeal to try to force the Department of State to grant him a passport. The continued government persecution of Robeson illustrated several interesting points about Cold War America.

“Paul Robeson loses appeal over his passport.” 2008. The History Channel website. 16 Aug 2008, 04:02 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=2761.

 

Elvis Presley dies

Popular music icon Elvis Presley dies in Memphis, Tennessee. He was 42. The death of the “King of Rock and Roll” brought legions of mourning fans to Graceland, his mansion in Memphis. Doctors said he died of a heart attack, likely brought on by his addiction to prescription barbiturates.

“Elvis Presley dies.” 2008. The History Channel website. 16 Aug 2008, 03:54 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6991.

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12
Jul
08

On This Day, 7-12-08: Boris Yeltsin

Yeltsin resigns from Communist Party

Just two days after Mikhail Gorbachev was re-elected head of the Soviet Communist Party, Boris Yeltsin, president of the Republic of Russia, announces his resignation from the Party. Yeltsin’s action was a serious blow to Gorbachev’s efforts to keep the struggling Soviet Union together.

In July 1990, Soviet Communist Party leaders met in a congress for debate and elections. Gorbachev, who had risen to power in the Soviet Union in 1985, came under severe attack from Communist Party hard-liners. They believed that his political and economic reforms were destroying the Party’s control of the nation. Gorbachev fired back at his critics during a speech in which he defended his reforms and attacked the naysayers as backward-looking relics from the dark past of the Soviet Union. He was rewarded with an overwhelming vote in favor of his re-election as head of the Communist Party. Just two days after that vote, however, Yeltsin shattered the illusion that Gorbachev’s victory meant an end to political infighting in the Soviet Union. Yeltsin had been a consistent critic of Gorbachev, but his criticisms stemmed from a belief that Gorbachev was moving too slowly in democratizing the Soviet political system. Yeltsin’s dramatic announcement of his resignation from the Communist Party was a clear indication that he was demanding a multiparty political system in the Soviet Union. It was viewed as a slap in the face to Gorbachev and his policies.

During the next year and a half, Gorbachev’s power gradually waned, while Yeltsin’s star rose. In December 1991, Gorbachev resigned as president of the Soviet Union and the Soviet Union officially dissolved. Yeltsin, however, retained his position of power as president of Russia. In their own particular ways, both men had overseen the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.

Yeltsin remained president of Russia until December 31, 1999, when he resigned. Despite his attempts at economic reform, his tenure in office saw the country’s economy falter badly, including a near-complete collapse of its currency. His administration was also marked by rampant corruption, an invasion of Chechnya and a series of bizarre incidents involving Yeltsin that were reputedly a result of his alcoholism. Yeltsin’s opponents twice tried to impeach him. With his resignation, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin became acting president until new elections could be held. On March 26, 2000, Putin became Russia’s new president.

“Yeltsin resigns from Communist Party.” 2008. The History Channel website. 11 Jul 2008, 10:24 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2726.

1543 – England’s King Henry VIII married his sixth and last wife, Catherine Parr.

1862 – The U.S. Congress authorized the Medal of Honor.

1864 – U.S. President Abraham Lincoln witnessed the battle where Union forces repelled Jubal Early’s army on the outskirts of Washington, DC.

1941 – Moscow was bombed by the German Luftwaffe for the first time.

1954 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed a highway modernization program, with costs to be shared by federal and state governments.

2000 – Russia launched the Zvezda after two years of delays. The module was built to be the living quarters for the International Space Station (ISS.)

Russians halt German advance in a decisive battle at Kursk

On this day in 1943, one of the greatest clashes of armor in military history takes place as the German offensive against the Russian fortification at Kursk, a Russian railway and industrial center, is stopped in a devastating battle, marking the turning point in the Eastern front in the Russians’ favor.

“Russians halt German advance in a decisive battle at Kursk.” 2008. The History Channel website. 11 Jul 2008, 10:27 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6517.

Ferraro named vice presidential candidate

Walter Mondale, the leading Democratic presidential candidate, announces that he has chosen Representative Geraldine Ferraro of New York as his running mate. Ferraro, a daughter of Italian immigrants, had previously gained notoriety as a vocal advocate of women’s rights in Congress.

“Ferraro named vice presidential candidate.” 2008. The History Channel website. 11 Jul 2008, 10:29 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=5173.

04
Dec
07

On This Day 12-4

Always recognize that human individuals are ends, and do not use them as a means to your end.
Immanuel Kant

1783 – Gen. George Washington said farewell to his officers at Fraunces Tavern in New York.

I know I’m not the first to make the comparison, but George Washington and Cincinnatus must have had the same virtues.

Cincinnatus was plowing his field, when he learned he had been appointed dictator. The Romans had appointed Cincinnatus dictator for six months so he could defend the Romans against the neighboring Aequi who had surrounded the Roman army and the consul Minucius in the Alban Hills. Cincinnatus rose to the occasion, defeated the Aequi, made them pass under the yoke to show their subjugation, gave up the title of dictator sixteen days after it had been granted, and promptly returned to his farm.  ( http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/rulersleaderskings/p/Cincinnatus.htm )

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
George Santayana

1812 – Peter Gaillard patented the power mower.

1918 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson set sail for France to attend the Versailles Peace Conference. Wilson became the first chief executive to travel to Europe while in office.

1942 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the dismantling of the Works Progress Administration. The program had been created in order to provide jobs during the Great Depression.

1942 – U.S. bombers attacked the Italian mainland for the first time during World War II.

1945 – The U.S. Senate approved American participation in the United Nations.

1965 – The U.S. launched Gemini 7 with Air Force Lt. Col. Frank Borman and Navy Comdr. James A. Lovell on board.

1973 – Pioneer 10 reached Jupiter.

1978 – Dianne Feinstein became San Francisco’s first woman mayor when she was named to replace George Moscone, who had been murdered.

1991 – Pan American World Airways ceased operations.

1993 – The Angolan government and its UNITA guerrilla foes formally adopted terms for a truce. The conflict was killing an estimated 1,000 people per day.

Anyone who doesn’t regret the passing of the Soviet Union has no heart. Anyone who wants it restored has no brains.
Vladimir Putin

A kingdom founded on injustice never lasts.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca




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