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bojangles
08-04-2015, 08:31 AM
Home Rule came to dominate domestic British politics in the era 1885 to the start of World War One. Home Rule effectively started in Ireland in 1870 but in British politics, Gladstone was converted to it in the 1880's. Home Rule was the name given to the process of allowing Ireland more say in how it was governed – freeing them from the rule of London and thus appeasing those in Ireland who wanted Ireland to have more home derived power.

One of the main barriers to Home Rule for decades had been the House of Lords. In 1911, the Parliament Act effectively reduced their power to that of delay as opposed to one of outright rejection. In 1886 and 1893, there had been two Home Rule bills but both were rejected and killed off by the Lords. The House of Lords saw the introduction of Home Rule as the start of the process whereby the power of London was reduced, first in Ireland – and then where else? The leader of the Irish Nationalist Party, John Redmond, had stated quite clearly in 1910 that it was the Lord’s veto alone that came between Ireland and a successful Home Rule bill.

In 1910, Herbert Asquith’s Liberal government had fought two general elections and they only held onto power by forming political alliances. In 1910, this was with the Irish Nationalist Party. In exchange for supporting the government, Redmond wanted something in return – Home Rule.

However, Home Rule was not a political vote winner for the Liberals and Asquith. When the Lords rejected the Home Rule bills of 1886 and 1893, there was barely a whimper of protest in mainland Britain. Gladstone’s crusade in the 1880’s and 1890’s was not matched even in the Liberal Party. Even Asquith was not a natural supporter of Home Rule. In 1902, he said:
"Is it to be part of the policy and programme of our party that, if returned to power, it will introduce into the House of Commons a bill for Irish Home Rule? The answer, in my judgment, is No."

However, by 1910, Asquith was not in the position to bargain. If he wanted power in Britain as a whole, he needed Redmond’s support. During the two election campaigns of 1910, very few campaigning Liberal politicians even mentioned Home Rule. It was as if there was an attempt to bury the issue in mainland Britain – especially as it was known to be a contentious issue amongst the voting public at large. Even senior Liberal politicians were not in favour of Home Rule in 1910: Asquith, at best, was lukewarm; Sir Edward Grey was barely in favour of it; Lloyd George and Winston Churchill were more concerned with social reforms to the welfare system than with Ireland.

Redmond knew exactly where he stood with the Liberals. No-one could call the relationship between the Liberals and the Irish Nationalists a positive one and Redmond did not delude himself about this. However, in 1910, he was very much the reason why Asquith found himself Prime Minister again. Redmond could push for a speedy introduction of a Home Rule Bill but he had little control over what details was in it.

One of the major problems faced by Asquith was appeasing those in the region known as Ulster who were against any form of Home Rule.

The opposition to Asquith in Parliament had now adopted the title the Unionist Party. It comprised of an assortment of parties but was dominated by the Conservative Party. They were naturally opposed to Home Rule. Before 1910, the Unionists had put their faith in the House of Lords rejecting any form of Home Rule Bill – as proved to be the case in 1886 and 1893. After the Parliament Act of 1911, they could no longer do this. The Unionists feared that any form of Home Rule would lead to the break-up of the United Kingdom. In this they had the full support of many.

Some Unionists like George Wyndham, believed that the country had every reason to use every means at its disposal to stop Home Rule in its tracks – including using the army to stop Asquith!
"(The Tories and the King) have the money, the Army and the Navy and the Territorials, all down to the Boy Scouts. Why then should they consent to a change in the constitution without fighting?" (Wyndham)

By 1911, the Unionists were led by Arthur Bonar Law who was against Home Rule. However, despite all the arguments for and against Home Rule, a Home Rule Bill was introduced into Parliament in April 1912. Its contents were similar to the ones of 1886 and 1893. It would introduce:

1. Purely Irish questions would be dealt with by an Irish Parliament

2. Parliament in Westminster would deal with all issues relating to the crown, army and navy, foreign policy and custom duties.

3. Irish members would still be in Westminster.

Asquith saw this bill as the start of a process that would free up Westminster from would could be seen as local issues to deal with more important imperial issues – especially as Britain was the world’s largest imperial power. In this sense, the Home Rule Bill was the start of a devolutionary process. Asquith knew that the Lords would not support the bill. He also knew that he had about two years from the start of the process (the bill being introduced) before time ran out to get a compromise through. In a letter to Winston Churchill, it is clear that Asquith knew that a compromise was needed:
"I always thought that, in the end, we should probably have to make some sort of bargain about Ulster as the price of Home Rule."

However, all talk of Home Rule ended when World War One broke out. Redmond agreed that the issue should be postponed for the duration of the war. Many in Ireland agreed that this was the patriotic thing to do - even staunch supporters of Home Rule. They saw the threat of Germany as being a far greater issue to overcome. Many Irishmen joined the call to arms and fought in Western Europe. However, there were those who were greatly angered by what they saw as Redmond's acquiescence to Westminster, even if they were small in number. It was these people - James Connolly, Patrick Pearse, Eamonn de Valera etc. - who led the Easter Uprising in 1916.

bojangles
09-04-2015, 08:03 AM
9th of April 1984
A husband attempts murder for money in England


Margaret Backhouse turns the ignition of her husband’s car, setting off a pipe bomb filled with nitroglycerine and shotgun pellets in the small farming community of Horton, England. Hundreds of pellets lacerated her body and practically tore away her legs, but she was relatively lucky in that most of the bomb’s force was deflected away from her. Passersby found Backhouse and brought her to a local hospital, where she was treated and later recovered.

The explosion of the car bomb came only days after a worker at the Backhouse’s Widden Hall Farm had found a sheep’s head impaled on a fence with a note attached that read, “You Next.” Graham Backhouse had complained to police that he had been receiving threats for some time. The police had ignored the complaints until the bombing incident.

After the explosion, authorities closely examined the note previously found with the sheep’s head. At a forensics lab, investigators found the impression of a doodle on the back of the threat note. The police also interviewed Graham Backhouse extensively to see who might be responsible. He told them that he had been feuding with Colyn Bedale-Taylor, a neighbor who was known to have been acting irrationally after the sudden death of his son.

While Margaret was recovering in the hospital, Graham refused police protection. Then, on April 30, police were called to Widden Hall Farm to find an appallingly bloody scene: Graham Backhouse slashed several times across the face and chest, and Bedale-Taylor dead from two shots in the chest. Backhouse told the police that Bedale-Taylor had come over and admitted planting the bomb before slashing him with a Stanley knife. He said that he then ran and got his shotgun, which he used to kill Bedale-Taylor.

Although the police found evidence at Bedale-Taylor’s house linking him to the bomb, they also found evidence suggesting that he did not own the Stanley knife found in his hand. In addition, physical evidence at the crime scene did not correspond with Backhouse’s description of events. This led police to search the Backhouse home. A notebook in Graham’s drawer showed a doodle that perfectly matched the impression on the “You Next” threat note.

Investigators then pieced together the whole plot: Backhouse had increased his wife’s life insurance, created the false threats, set the car bomb, and then, to avoid detection, framed and killed Bedale-Taylor. In 1985, Backhouse was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

bojangles
09-04-2015, 09:49 AM
Saddam statue topples with regime
There have been scenes of jubilation in Baghdad as US tanks rolled into the very heart of the Iraqi capital, confirming that the government of Saddam Hussein has been ousted from power.
In the main square in Baghdad, a group of Iraqi men attempted to pull down a massive statue of Saddam Hussein in an unprecedented show of contempt for the Iraqi leader.

The metal plaque at the base of the statue was torn off and the statue's marble plinth attacked with a sledgehammer.

The men scaled the statue to secure a noose around its neck but were unable to pull it down.

Then US troops joined in, and used an armoured vehicle to gradually pull down the statue.

Flag controversy

The extraordinary scenes were watched by millions across the world live on television.

The square is opposite the Palestine Hotel, used as a base by the world's media during the war in Iraq.

A little before the statue came down, a US soldier climbed up and draped the face with a US flag.

The crowd did not welcome the move, seeing it as a step too far towards American triumphalism, and the flag was quickly removed.

A few minutes later, it was replaced by the old Iraqi flag, to roars of approval.

Contempt

As the statue fell to the ground at last, the crowd surged forward and jumped on it.

Chanting and jeering, they danced on the fallen effigy, kicking it and hitting it with their shoes in a symbolic gesture of contempt as it was torn to pieces.

They then severed the head, tied chains around it, and dragged it through the streets.

As news of the events in the square spread, more and more Iraqis gathered to watch, with women and children joining the crowds of men.

There were similar scenes across the capital, as the many hundreds of statues and pictures of Saddam Hussein that came to symbolise his regime were attacked and torn down.

The military campaign will continue, although the US Army has delivered its most upbeat assessment yet of the gains it is making in Iraq.

"Much of Iraq is free from years of repression," said Brigadier-General Vincent Brooks, the US Central Command spokesman in Qatar.

"With every day that passes, we are breaking the grip of the regime."




In Context
The toppling of Saddam Hussein's statue became one of the enduring images of the war in Iraq. Although there has since been some speculation that it was staged by US forces.
One BBC correspondent, who was in Paradise Square and watched the statue being pulled down, said his impression was of "a newly free people" expressing their "overwhelming joy".

US troops continued to advance north for another week, taking key towns such as Saddam Hussein's home town of Tikrit, before President Bush declared victory on 1 May.

The honeymoon period for US troops was short.

In the power vacuum which followed the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime, law and order broke down and US troops became targets for many Iraqis resentful of the continuing occupation.

In the six months after the war ended, more US soldiers died in guerrilla attacks and suicide bombings than during the whole of the war.

Saddam Hussein himself was captured in December 2003.He was tried by and Iraqi court, sentenced to death and was hanged on 30 December 2006.

bojangles
10-04-2015, 07:55 AM
On April 10, 1778, Commander John Paul Jones and his crew of 140 men aboard the USS Ranger set sail from the naval port at Brest, France, and head toward the Irish Sea to begin raids on British warships. This was the first mission of its kind during the Revolutionary War.

Commander Jones, remembered as one of the most daring and successful naval commanders of the American Revolution, was born in Scotland, on July 6, 1747. He became an apprentice to a merchant at 13 and soon went to sea, traveling first to the West Indies and then to North America as a young man. In Virginia at the onset of the American Revolution, Jones sided with the Patriots and received a commission as a first lieutenant in the Continental Navy on December 7, 1775.

After departing from Brest, Jones successfully executed raids on two forts in England s Whitehaven Harbor, despite a disgruntled crew more interested in “gain than honor.” Jones then continued to his home territory of Kirkcudbright Bay, Scotland, where he intended to abduct the earl of Selkirk and then exchange him for American sailors held captive by Britain. Although he did not find the earl at home, Jones crew was able to steal all his silver, including his wife s teapot, still containing her breakfast tea. From Scotland, Jones sailed across the Irish Sea to Carrickfergus, where the Ranger captured the HMS Drake after delivering fatal wounds to the British ship s captain and lieutenant.

In September 1779, Jones fought one of the fiercest battles in naval history when he led the USS Bonhomme Richard frigate, named for Benjamin Franklin, in an engagement with the 50-gun British warship HMS Serapis. After the Bonhomme Richard was struck, it began taking on water and caught fire. When the British captain of the Serapis ordered Jones to surrender, he famously replied, “I have not yet begun to fight!” A few hours later, the captain and crew of the Serapis admitted defeat and Jones took command of the British ship.

One of the greatest naval commanders in history, Jones is remembered as a “Father of the American Navy,” along with fellow Revolutionary War hero Commodore John Barry.

John Paul Jones is buried in a crypt at the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis, Maryland, where a Marine honor guard stands at attention in his honor whenever the crypt is open to the public.
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bojangles
10-04-2015, 07:58 AM
10th of April 1970
Paul McCartney announces the breakup of the Beatles


The legendary rock band the Beatles spent the better part of three years breaking up in the late 1960s, and even longer than that hashing out who did what and why. And by the spring of 1970, there was little more than a tangled set of business relationships keeping the group together. Each of the Beatles was pursuing his musical interests outside of the band, and there were no plans in place to record together as a group. But as far as the public knew, this was just a temporary state of affairs. That all changed on April 10, 1970, when an ambiguous Paul McCartney “self-interview” was seized upon by the international media as an official announcement of a Beatles breakup.

The occasion for the statements Paul released to the press that day was the upcoming release of his debut solo album, McCartney. In a Q&A format in which he was both the interviewer and the interviewee, Paul first asked and answered a number of straightforward questions involving the recording equipment he used on the album, which instruments he played and who designed the artwork for the cover. Then he got to the tough ones:

Q: "Is this album a rest away from the Beatles or the start of a solo career?”

PAUL: “Time will tell. Being a solo album means it’s ‘the start of a solo career…and not being done with the Beatles means it’s just a rest. So it’s both.”

Q: “Is your break with the Beatles temporary or permanent, due to personal differences or musical ones?”

PAUL: “Personal differences, business differences, musical differences, but most of all because I have a better time with my family. Temporary or permanent? I don’t really know.”

Q: “Do you foresee a time when Lennon-McCartney becomes an active songwriting partnership again?”

PAUL: “No.”

Nothing in Paul’s answers constituted a definitive statement about the Beatles’ future, but his remarks were nevertheless reported in the press under headlines like “McCartney Breaks Off With Beatles” and “The Beatles sing their swan song.” And whatever his intent at the time, Paul’s statements drove a further wedge between himself and his bandmates. In the May 14, 1970, issue of Rolling Stone, John Lennon lashed out at Paul in a way he’d never done publicly: “He can’t have his own way, so he’s causing chaos,” John said. “I put out four albums last year, and I didn’t say a f***ing word about quitting.”

By year’s end, Paul would file suit to dissolve the Beatles’ business partnership, a formal process that would eventually make official the unofficial breakup he announced on this day in 1970.

bojangles
11-04-2015, 09:01 AM
On this day in 1814, Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor of France and one of the greatest military leaders in history, abdicates the throne, and, in the Treaty of Fontainebleau, is banished to the Mediterranean island of Elba.

The future emperor was born in Ajaccio, Corsica, on August 15, 1769. After attending military school, he fought during the French Revolution of 1789 and rapidly rose through the military ranks, leading French troops in a number of successful campaigns throughout Europe in the late 1700s. By 1799, he had established himself at the top of a military dictatorship. In 1804, he became emperor of France and continued to consolidate power through his military campaigns, so that by 1810 much of Europe came under his rule. Although Napoleon developed a reputation for being power-hungry and insecure, he is also credited with enacting a series of important political and social reforms that had a lasting impact on European society, including judiciary systems, constitutions, voting rights for all men and the end of feudalism. Additionally, he supported education, science and literature. His Code Napoleon, which codified key freedoms gained during the French Revolution, such as religious tolerance, remains the foundation of French civil law.

In 1812, thinking that Russia was plotting an alliance with England, Napoleon launched an invasion against the Russians that eventually ended with his troops retreating from Moscow and much of Europe uniting against him. In 1814, Napoleon’s broken forces gave up and Napoleon offered to step down in favor of his son. When this offer was rejected, he abdicated and was sent to Elba. In March 1815, he escaped his island exile and returned to Paris, where he regained supporters and reclaimed his emperor title, Napoleon I, in a period known as the Hundred Days. However, in June 1815, he was defeated at the bloody Battle of Waterloo. Napoleon’s defeat ultimately signaled the end of France’s domination of Europe. He abdicated for a second time and was exiled to the remote island of Saint Helena, in the southern Atlantic Ocean, where he lived out the rest of his days. He died at age 52 on May 5, 1821, possibly from stomach cancer, although some theories contend he was poisoned.

bojangles
11-04-2015, 09:04 AM
On April 11, 1979, Ugandan dictator Idi Amin flees the Ugandan capital of Kampala as Tanzanian troops and forces of the Uganda National Liberation Front close in. Two days later, Kampala fell and a coalition government of former exiles took power.

Amin, chief of the Ugandan army and air force from 1966, seized control of the African nation in 1971. A tyrant and extreme nationalist, he launched a genocidal program to purge Uganda of its Lango and Acholi ethnic groups. In 1972, he ordered all Asians who had not taken Ugandan nationality to leave the country, and some 60,000 Indians and Pakistanis fled. These Asians comprised an important portion of the work force, and the Ugandan economy collapsed after their departure.

In 1979, his eight years of chaotic rule came to an end when Tanzania and anti-Amin Ugandan forces invaded and toppled his regime. Amin had launched an unsuccessful attack on Tanzania in October 1978 in an effort to divert attention from Uganda’s internal problems. He escaped to Libya, eventually settling in Saudi Arabia, where he died in August 2003. The deaths of 300,000 Ugandans are attributed to Idi Amin.

Eileen
12-04-2015, 08:57 AM
I remember when he went into exile. It was the first time I had heard of Cannibalism. Riccardo Orizio interview him in the 90s. The article stated "...When asked about allegations of cannibalism, instead of denying it he answered: ''I don't like human flesh. It's too salty for me.''..."

bojangles
12-04-2015, 09:13 AM
I remember when he went into exile. It was the first time I had heard of Cannibalism. Riccardo Orizio interview him in the 90s. The article stated "...When asked about allegations of cannibalism, instead of denying it he answered: ''I don't like human flesh. It's too salty for me.''..."

I wonder was that a morbid joke ? although he was no angel.

bojangles
12-04-2015, 09:15 AM
Galileo is convicted of heresy


On this day in 1633, chief inquisitor Father Vincenzo Maculano da Firenzuola, appointed by Pope Urban VIII,begins the inquisition of physicist and astronomer Galileo Galilei. Galileo was ordered to turn himself in to the Holy Office to begin trial for holding the belief that the Earth revolves around the Sun, which was deemed heretical by the Catholic Church. Standard practice demanded that the accused be imprisoned and secluded during the trial.

This was the second time that Galileo was in the hot seat for refusing to accept Church orthodoxy that the Earth was the immovable center of the universe: In 1616, he had been forbidden from holding or defending his beliefs. In the 1633 interrogation, Galileo denied that he “held” belief in the Copernican view but continued to write about the issue and evidence as a means of “discussion” rather than belief. The Church had decided the idea that the Sun moved around the Earth was an absolute fact of scripture that could not be disputed, despite the fact that scientists had known for centuries that the Earth was not the center of the universe.

This time, Galileo’s technical argument didn’t win the day. On June 22, 1633, the Church handed down the following order: “We pronounce, judge, and declare, that you, the said Galileo… have rendered yourself vehemently suspected by this Holy Office of heresy, that is, of having believed and held the doctrine (which is false and contrary to the Holy and Divine Scriptures) that the sun is the center of the world, and that it does not move from east to west, and that the earth does move, and is not the center of the world.”

Along with the order came the following penalty: “We order that by a public edict the book of Dialogues of Galileo Galilei be prohibited, and We condemn thee to the prison of this Holy Office during Our will and pleasure; and as a salutary penance We enjoin on thee that for the space of three years thou shalt recite once a week the Seven Penitential Psalms.”

Galileo agreed not to teach the heresy anymore and spent the rest of his life under house arrest. It took more than 300 years for the Church to admit that Galileo was right and to clear his name of heresy.

bojangles
12-04-2015, 09:17 AM
1954
Bill Haley and the Comets record “Rock Around The Clock”



On April 12, 1954— Bill Haley and the Comets recorded “(We’re Gonna) Rock Around The Clock.” If rock and roll was a social and cultural revolution, then “(We’re Gonna) Rock Around The Clock” was its Declaration of Independence. And if Bill Haley was not exactly the revolution’s Thomas Jefferson, it may be fair to call him its John Hancock.

Bill Haley put his enormous signature on rock and roll history during the final 40 minutes of a three-hour recording session in New York City—a session set up not for the recording of “(We’re Gonna) Rock Around The Clock,” but of a song called “Thirteen Women (and Only One Man in Town).” It took the group nearly all of their scheduled session to get a useable take of “Thirteen Women,” a song that was entirely new to them but was chosen as the A-side of their upcoming single by their new record label, Decca. With time running out and no chance of extending the session, Haley and his Comets were eager to lay down the song they’d been playing live for many months to enthusiastic audience response. The lead guitarist brought in for the session, Danny Cedrone, had not had time to work up a new solo for the instrumental break on “(We’re Gonna) Rock Around The Clock,” so he repurposed one he’d used on a Haley recording two years earlier called “Rock This Joint.” Cedrone was paid $31 for his work that evening, which included performing what is still recognized as one of the greatest guitar solos of all time.

Haley and the band had time for only two takes, and in the first, they played so loud that Haley’s vocals were almost inaudible on tape. In an era before multi-track recording, the only solution was to do a second take with minimal accompaniment and hope for the best. Later, a Decca engineer painstakingly spliced together segments from both takes—a near-miracle given the technology of 1954. The finished version was judged good enough to include as the B-side on “Thirteen Women,” which was released in May 1954.

The single sold a respectable but underwhelming 75,000 copies in the coming months, and was destined to be forgotten until a 10-year-old kid in Los Angeles flipped “Thirteen Women” and fell in love with the now-famous B-side. That kid, Peter Ford, happened to be the son of actor Glenn Ford, who was slated to star in the upcoming teenage-delinquency drama Blackboard Jungle. Peter turned his father on to “(We’re Gonna) Rock Around The Clock,” and soon enough, the song was chosen to play over the opening credits of Blackboard Jungle, which is how it became a pop sensation, selling a million copies in a single month in the spring of 1955.

bojangles
13-04-2015, 09:22 AM
Handel’s Messiah premieres in Dublin

Nowadays, the performance of George Friedrich Handel’s Messiah oratorio at Christmas time is a tradition almost as deeply entrenched as decorating trees and hanging stockings. In churches and concert halls around the world, the most famous piece of sacred music in the English language is performed both full and abridged, both with and without audience participation, but almost always and exclusively during the weeks leading up to the celebration of Christmas. It would surprise many, then, to learn that Messiah was not originally intended as a piece of Christmas music. Messiah received its world premiere on this day in 1742, during the Christian season of Lent, and in the decidedly secular context of a concert hall in Dublin, Ireland.

The inspiration for Messiah came from a scholar and editor named Charles Jennens, a devout and evangelical Christian deeply concerned with the rising influence of deism and other strains of Enlightenment thought that he and others regarded as irreligious. Drawing on source material in the King James Bible and The Book of Common Prayer, Jennens compiled and edited a concise distillation of Christian doctrine, from Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah’s coming through the birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ and then to the promised Second Coming and Day of Judgment. Jennens took his libretto to his friend George Friedrich Handel and proposed that it form the basis of an oratorio expressly intended for performance in a secular setting during the week immediately preceding Easter. “Messiah would be directed at people who had come to a theater rather than a church during Passion Week,” according to the Cambridge Handel scholar Ruth Smith, “to remind them of their supposed faith and their possible fate.”

This didactic mission may have inspired Jennens to write Messiah, but it is fair to say that George Friedrich Handel’s transcendent music is what made the work so timeless and inspirational. Messiah gained widespread popularity only during the final years of Handel’s life, in the late 1750s, but it remains one of the best-known musical works of the Baroque period more than two centuries later. When you consider that Handel composed the score for Messiah in just 24 days, you begin to understand the incredible esteem in which some of his followers held him. As Ludwig van Beethoven said of Handel: “He is the greatest composer that ever lived. I would uncover my head and kneel before his tomb.”

bojangles
13-04-2015, 09:27 AM
1360
Hail kills English troops


On so-called “Black Monday” in 1360, a hail storm kills an estimated 1,000 English soldiers in Chartres, France. The storm and the devastation it caused also played a part in the Hundred Years’ War between England and France.

The Hundred Years’ War began in 1337; by 1359, King Edward III of England was actively attempting to conquer France. In October, he took a massive force across the English Channel to Calais. The French refused to engage in direct fights and stayed behind protective walls throughout the winter, while Edward pillaged the countryside.

In April 1360, Edward’s forces burned the Paris suburbs and began to move toward Chartres. While they were camped outside the town, a sudden storm materialized. Lightning struck, killing several people, and hailstones began pelting the soldiers, scattering the horses. One described it as “a foul day, full of myst and hayle, so that men dyed on horseback [sic].” Two of the English leaders were killed and panic set in among the troops, who had no shelter from the storm.

The heavy losses suffered by the English were seen by many as a sign from God. King Edward was convinced to negotiate peace with the French. On May 8, 1360, the Treaty of Bretigny was signed, marking the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years’ War. Edward agreed to renounce all claims to the throne of France, though he was given control of land in the north of the country. Fighting resumed nine years later, when the king of France declared war, claiming Edward had not honored the treaty. The last phase of the Hundred Years’ War did not end until 1453.

bojangles
14-04-2015, 08:43 AM
On this day in 1865, John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer, fatally shoots President Abraham Lincoln at a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. The attack came only five days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his massive army at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, effectively ending the American Civil War.

Booth, a Maryland native born in 1838, who remained in the North during the war despite his Confederate sympathies, initially plotted to capture President Lincoln and take him to Richmond, the Confederate capital. However, on March 20, 1865, the day of the planned kidnapping, the president failed to appear at the spot where Booth and his six fellow conspirators lay in wait. Two weeks later, Richmond fell to Union forces.

In April, with Confederate armies near collapse across the South, Booth hatched a desperate plan to save the Confederacy. Learning that Lincoln was to attend a performance of “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theater on April 14, Booth masterminded the simultaneous assassination of Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William H. Seward. By murdering the president and two of his possible successors, Booth and his conspirators hoped to throw the U.S. government into disarray.

On the evening of April 14, conspirator Lewis T. Powell burst into Secretary of State Seward’s home, seriously wounding him and three others, while George A. Atzerodt, assigned to Vice President Johnson, lost his nerve and fled. Meanwhile, just after 10 p.m., Booth entered Lincoln’s private theater box unnoticed and shot the president with a single bullet in the back of his head. Slashing an army officer who rushed at him, Booth leapt to the stage and shouted “Sic semper tyrannis! [Thus always to tyrants]–the South is avenged!” Although Booth broke his leg jumping from Lincoln’s box, he managed to escape Washington on horseback.

The president, mortally wounded, was carried to a lodging house opposite Ford’s Theater. About 7:22 a.m. the next morning, Lincoln, age 56, died–the first U.S. president to be assassinated. Booth, pursued by the army and other secret forces, was finally cornered in a barn near Bowling Green, Virginia, and died from a possibly self-inflicted bullet wound as the barn was burned to the ground. Of the eight other people eventually charged with the conspiracy, four were hanged and four were jailed. Lincoln, the 16th U.S. president, was buried on May 4, 1865, in Springfield, Illinois.

bojangles
15-04-2015, 08:35 AM
15TH OF APRIL 1998 Pol Pot, the architect of Cambodia’s killing fields, dies of apparently natural causes while serving a life sentence imposed against him by his own Khmer Rouge.

The Khmer Rouge, organized by Pol Pot in the Cambodian jungle in the 1960s, advocated a radical communist revolution that would wipe out Western influences in Cambodia and set up a solely agrarian society. In 1970, aided by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops, Khmer Rouge guerrillas began a large-scale insurgency against Cambodian government forces, soon gaining control of nearly a third of the country.

By 1973, secret U.S. bombings of Cambodian territory controlled by the Vietnamese communists forced the Vietnamese out of the country, creating a power vacuum that was soon filled by Pol Pot’s rapidly growing Khmer Rouge movement. In April 1975, the Khmer Rouge captured Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, overthrew the pro-U.S. regime, and established a new government, the Kampuchean People’s Republic.

As the new ruler of Cambodia, Pol Pot set about transforming the country into his vision of an agrarian utopia. The cities were evacuated, factories and schools closed, and currency and private property was abolished. Anyone believed to be an intellectual, such as someone who spoke a foreign language, was immediately killed. Skilled workers were also killed, in addition to anyone caught in possession of eyeglasses, a wristwatch, or any other modern technology. In forced marches punctuated with atrocities from the Khmer Rouge, the millions who failed to escape Cambodia were herded onto rural collective farms.

Between 1975 and 1978, an estimated two million Cambodians died by execution, forced labor, and famine. In 1978, Vietnamese troops invaded Cambodia, capturing Phnom Penh in early 1979. A moderate communist government was established, and Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge retreated back into the jungle.

In 1985, Pol Pot officially retired but remained the effective head of the Khmer Rouge, which continued its guerrilla actions against the government in Phnom Penh. In 1997, however, he was put on trial by the organization after an internal power struggle ousted him from his leadership position. Sentenced to life imprisonment by a “people’s tribunal,” which critics derided as a show trial, Pol Pot later declared in an interview, “My conscience is clear.” Much of the international community hoped that his captors would extradite him to stand trial for his crimes against humanity, but he died of apparently natural causes while under house arrest in 1998.

bojangles
15-04-2015, 08:50 AM
1989: Football fans crushed at Hillsborough
At least 93 football supporters have been killed in Britain's worst-ever sporting disaster.

They were crushed to death at Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield during the FA Cup semi-final between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool.

The crush is said to have resulted from too many Liverpool fans being allowed in to the back of an already full stand at the Leppings Lane end of the ground.

More than 2,000 Liverpool fans had still not got into the stadium when the match started at 1500.

A police spokesman said orders were given for the gate to the stand to be opened because they believed the pressure of fans outside the ground was "a danger to life".

But as fans rushed in, those already there were pushed forward and crushed against the high, wired-topped safety fences.

However, it was more than five minutes into the match before what was happening became apparent to those not in the Leppings Lane stand.

Then, alerted by fans spilling through a narrow gap onto the pitch or being lifted by others into the seating areas above, a policeman ran onto the field and ordered the referee to stop the game.

Bodies

But improved security measures recently introduced at grounds to keep rival fans apart meant, for many, there was no escape from the crush.

Police and match officials attempted to help those trapped clamber over the safety barrier.

Bodies were lifted forward and laid out on the pitch - many of them teenagers and children.

Other injured fans were ferried to ambulances on stretchers improvised from crash barriers and advertising hoardings.

At least 200 people were injured, about 20 seriously.

Some fans have said bad ticket allocation contributed to the disaster.

Liverpool has far more supporters than Nottingham Forest but were given 6,000 fewer tickets and allocated the smaller Leppings Lane stand.


In Context
The previous worst sporting disaster was in 1971 when 66 fans were crushed to death during the Glasgow Derby in Scotland.

In 1985, 39 Italian fans were crushed to death at the Heysel ground in Belgium in 1985 after a wall collapsed during a stampede by Liverpool supporters.

A total of 96 fans died as a result of the Hillsborough disaster.

After a public inquiry, new safety measures were introduced at football grounds around Britain.

Relatives of the victims pressed for police officers in charge of safety at the Hillsborough ground to be prosecuted.

Finally in 2002 the two most senior officers were put on trial.

One was acquitted, charges against the other were dropped when the jury could not agree on a verdict.

bojangles
16-04-2015, 08:23 AM
On April 16, 1889, future Hollywood legend Charlie Chaplin is born Charles Spencer Chaplin in London, England.

Chaplin, one of the most financially successful stars of early Hollywood, was introduced to the stage when he was five. The son of London music hall entertainers, young Chaplin was watching a show starring his mother when her voice cracked. He was quickly shuffled onto the stage to finish the act.

Chaplin’s father died when Chaplin was a toddler, and when his mother had a nervous breakdown Chaplin and his older half-brother, Sydney, roamed London, where they danced on the streets and collected pennies in a hat. They eventually went to an orphanage and joined the Eight Lancashire Lads, a children’s dance troupe. When Chaplin was 17, he developed his comedic skills with the help of Fred Karno’s company, for which his half-brother had already become a popular comedian. Soon, Chaplin’s bowler hat, out-turned feet, mustache and walking cane became his trademark. He joined the Keystone company and filmed Making a Living, in which he played a mustachioed villain who wore a monocle. It wasn’t long before he also worked on the other side of the camera, helping direct his 12th film and directing his 13th, Caught in the Rain, on his own.

Chaplin refined what would soon become his legacy, the character Charlie the Tramp, and signed on with the Essanay company in 1915 for $1,250 a week, plus a $10,000 bonus–quite a jump from the $175 that Keystone paid him. The next year, he signed with Mutual for $10,000 a week, plus a $150,000 bonus under a contract that required him to make 12 films annually but granted him complete creative control over the pictures. And in 1918, he signed a contract with First National for $1 million for eight films. A masterful silent film actor and pantomimist who could elicit both laughter and tears from his audiences, Chaplin resisted the arrival of sound in movies. Indeed, in his first film that featured sound (City Lights in 1931), he only used music. His first true sound film was 1940’s The Great Dictator, in which he mocked fascism.

Chaplin founded United Artists Corporation in 1919 with Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and director D.W. Griffith. Chaplin married twice more, both times to teenage girls. His fourth wife, Oona O’Neill, who was 18 when she married the 54-year-old actor, was the daughter of playwright Eugene O’Neill. Though he had lived in the United States for 42 years, Chaplin never became a U.S. citizen. A vocal pacifist, Chaplin was accused of communist ties, which he denied. Nevertheless, in 1952, immigration officials prevented Chaplin and his wife from re-entering the United States after a foreign tour. The couple did not return to the United States for 20 years; instead they settled in Switzerland with their eight children. Chaplin returned to America 1972 to accept a special Academy Award for “the incalculable effect he has had on making motion pictures the art for and of this century.” He was knighted Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin in 1975. He died two years later.

bojangles
16-04-2015, 08:25 AM
Bat Masterson’s last shootout 16th of April 1889

On the streets of Dodge City, famous western lawman and gunfighter Bat Masterson fights the last gun battle of his life.

Bartholomew “Bat” Masterson had made a living with his gun from a young age. In his early 20s, Masterson worked as a buffalo hunter, operating out of the wild Kansas cattle town of Dodge City. For several years, he also found employment as an army scout in the Plains Indian Wars. Masterson had his first shootout in 1876 in the town of Sweetwater (later Mobeetie), Texas. When an argument with a soldier over the affections of a dance hall girl named Molly Brennan heated up, Masterson and his opponent resorted to their pistols. When the shooting stopped, both Brennan and the soldier were dead, and Masterson was badly wounded.

Found to have been acting in self-defense, Masterson avoided prison. Once he had recovered from his wounds, he apparently decided to abandon his rough ways and become an officer of the law. For the next five years, Masterson alternated between work as Dodge City sheriff and running saloons and gambling houses, gaining a reputation as a tough and reliable lawman. However, Masterson’s critics claimed that he spent too much as sheriff, and he lost a bid for reelection in 1879.

For several years, Masterson drifted around the West. Early in 1881, news that his younger brother, Jim, was in trouble back in Dodge City reached Masterson in Tombstone, Arizona. Jim’s dispute with a business partner and an employee, A.J. Peacock and Al Updegraff respectively, had led to an exchange of gunfire. Though no one had yet been hurt, Jim feared for his life. Masterson immediately took a train to Dodge City.

When his train pulled into Dodge City on this morning in 1881, Masterson wasted no time. He quickly spotted Peacock and Updegraff and aggressively shouldered his way through the crowded street to confront them. “I have come over a thousand miles to settle this,” Masterson reportedly shouted. “I know you are heeled [armed]-now fight!” All three men immediately drew their guns. Masterson took cover behind the railway bed, while Peacock and Updegraff darted around the corner of the city jail. Several other men joined in the gunplay. One bullet meant for Masterson ricocheted and wounded a bystander. Updegraff took a bullet in his right lung.

The mayor and sheriff arrived with shotguns to stop the battle when a brief lull settled over the scene. Updegraff and the wounded bystander were taken to the doctor and both eventually recovered. In fact, no one was mortally injured in the melee, and since the shootout had been fought fairly by the Dodge City standards of the day, no serious charges were imposed against Masterson. He paid an $8 fine and took the train out of Dodge City that evening.

Masterson never again fought a gun battle in his life, but the story of the Dodge City shootout and his other exploits ensured Masterson’s lasting fame as an icon of the Old West. He spent the next four decades of his life working as sheriff, operating saloons, and eventually trying his hand as a newspaperman in New York City. The old gunfighter finally died of a heart attack in October 1921 at his desk in New York City.

bojangles
17-04-2015, 08:47 AM
17th of April 1961
The Bay of Pigs invasion begins

The Bay of Pigs invasion begins when a CIA-financed and -trained group of Cuban refugees lands in Cuba and attempts to topple the communist government of Fidel Castro. The attack was an utter failure.

Fidel Castro had been a concern to U.S. policymakers since he seized power in Cuba with a revolution in January 1959. Castro’s attacks on U.S. companies and interests in Cuba, his inflammatory anti-American rhetoric, and Cuba’s movement toward a closer relationship with the Soviet Union led U.S. officials to conclude that the Cuban leader was a threat to U.S. interests in the Western Hemisphere. In March 1960, President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered the CIA to train and arm a force of Cuban exiles for an armed attack on Cuba. John F. Kennedy inherited this program when he became president in 1961.

Though many of his military advisors indicated that an amphibious assault on Cuba by a group of lightly armed exiles had little chance for success, Kennedy gave the go-ahead for the attack. On April 17, 1961, around 1,200 exiles, armed with American weapons and using American landing craft, waded ashore at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba. The hope was that the exile force would serve as a rallying point for the Cuban citizenry, who would rise up and overthrow Castro’s government. The plan immediately fell apart–the landing force met with unexpectedly rapid counterattacks from Castro’s military, the tiny Cuban air force sank most of the exiles’ supply ships, the United States refrained from providing necessary air support, and the expected uprising never happened. Over 100 of the attackers were killed, and more than 1,100 were captured.

The failure at the Bay of Pigs cost the United States dearly. Castro used the attack by the “Yankee imperialists” to solidify his power in Cuba and he requested additional Soviet military aid. Eventually that aid included missiles, and the construction of missile bases in Cuba sparked the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, when the United States and the Soviet Union nearly came to blows over the issue. Further, throughout much of Latin America, the United States was pilloried for its use of armed force in trying to unseat Castro, a man who was considered a hero to many for his stance against U.S. interference and imperialism. Kennedy tried to redeem himself by publicly accepting blame for the attack and its subsequent failure, but the botched mission left the young president looking vulnerable and indecisive.

bojangles
17-04-2015, 08:50 AM
Eddie Cochran dies, and Gene Vincent is injured, in a UK car accident


Eddie Cochran, the man behind “Summertime Blues” and “C’mon Everybody,” was killed on this day in 1960 when the taxi carrying him from a show in Bristol, England, crashed en route to the airport in London, where he was to catch a flight back home to the United States. A raw and exciting rocker with a cocky, rebellious image, Eddie Cochran was very different from the polished and packaged idols being heavily marketed to American teenagers in the years between the rise of Elvis Presley and the arrival of the Beatles. And while he may have faded from popular memory in the years since his tragic and early death, his biggest hits have not.

Cochran was on a triumphant concert tour of Britain in the spring of 1960—a tour that had been extended 10 weeks beyond its scheduled run due to intense demand for tickets. In America, a tamer brand of pop was in fashion, exemplified by the likes of Frankie Avalon, Paul Anka and Bobby Darin. In England, however, harder-edged rhythm-and-blues artists and rock-and-rollers like Eddie Cochran and his tour-mate Gene Vincent (of “Be Bop a Lula” fame) were far more popular. Theirs was the kind of music that the future members of the British Invasion were listening to in the late 50s and early 60s. It was “Be Bop A Lula,” in fact, that John Lennon was playing at the 1967 garden party where he first met Paul McCartney, and it was Cochran’s “Twenty Flight Rock” that Paul taught John to play that same afternoon, shortly after being invited to join Lennon’s Quarrymen. At least one Beatle, George Harrison, saw Eddie Cochran in Liverpool during his final tour, and both his guitar-playing and his stage persona made a strong impression. “He was standing at the microphone and as he started to talk he put his two hands through his hair, pushing it back,” Harrison later recalled. “And a girl, one lone voice, screamed out, ‘Oh, Eddie!’ and he coolly murmured into the mike, ‘Hi honey.’ I thought, ‘Yes! That’s it—rock and roll!”

Gene Vincent was traveling alongside Eddie Cochran in the cab to London after what would prove to be Cochran’s final performance. Tour manager Patrick Thompkins and Eddie’s fiancée, songwriter Sharon Seeley (she wrote Ricky Nelson’s #1 hit “Poor Little Fool”) were also in the Ford Consul that was later estimated to have been traveling in excess of 60 mph through a dark and winding section of the two-lane A4 in the village of Chippenham. Gene Vincent would break a leg and walk with a limp for the rest of his life, but beyond that, the only serious injuries among the passengers were Eddie Cochran’s. Having been thrown from the vehicle when it smashed into a light post, Cochran sustained a serious head injury. He died at hospital in Bath in the early hours of April 17, 1960.

bojangles
18-04-2015, 08:16 AM
The Great San Francisco Earthquake

At 5:13 a.m. 18th of April 1906 , an earthquake estimated at close to 8.0 on the Richter scale strikes San Francisco, California, killing hundreds of people as it topples numerous buildings. The quake was caused by a slip of the San Andreas Fault over a segment about 275 miles long, and shock waves could be felt from southern Oregon down to Los Angeles.

San Francisco’s brick buildings and wooden Victorian structures were especially devastated. Fires immediately broke out and–because broken water mains prevented firefighters from stopping them–firestorms soon developed citywide. At 7 a.m., U.S. Army troops from Fort Mason reported to the Hall of Justice, and San Francisco Mayor E.E. Schmitz called for the enforcement of a dusk-to-dawn curfew and authorized soldiers to shoot-to-kill anyone found looting. Meanwhile, in the face of significant aftershocks, firefighters and U.S. troops fought desperately to control the ongoing fire, often dynamiting whole city blocks to create firewalls. On April 20, 20,000 refugees trapped by the massive fire were evacuated from the foot of Van Ness Avenue onto the USS Chicago.

By April 23, most fires were extinguished, and authorities commenced the task of rebuilding the devastated metropolis. It was estimated that some 3,000 people died as a result of the Great San Francisco Earthquake and the devastating fires it inflicted upon the city. Almost 30,000 buildings were destroyed, including most of the city’s homes and nearly all the central business district.

bojangles
18-04-2015, 08:20 AM
18th of April 1955: Albert Einstein dies
Albert Einstein has died in hospital in Princeton, New Jersey, aged 76.

The eminent scientist and originator of the theory of relativity was admitted to hospital three days ago with an internal complaint.

In recent years Dr Einstein had lived a secluded life although he was still a member of staff at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University.

In a statement issued following the scientist's death, US President Dwight Eisenhower said: "No other man contributed so much to the vast expansion of the 20th century knowledge.

"Yet no other man was more modest in the possession of the power that is knowledge, more sure that power without wisdom is deadly.

"To all who live in the nuclear age, Albert Einstein exemplified the mighty creative ability of the individual in a free society."

'Disruptive' behaviour

Albert Einstein was born on 14 March 1879 to Jewish parents at Ulm, Wurttenburg in Germany.

Soon afterwards the family moved to Munich where the young Einstein began his education at the Luitpold Gymnasium.

His early academic career was notable only for the fact he was asked to leave his school for "disruptive" behaviour.

But he had always excelled at mathematics - a subject which would later make him the most renowned scientist in the world.

In 1896 Einstein entered the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich to train as a physics and maths teacher.

But he struggled to get a job, largely due to the fact he was German, so, in 1902, he accepted a job as a technical assistant in the Swiss Patent Office.

It was during his seven years at the Patent Office that, in his spare time, he worked on his mathematical theories which would eventually take the world by storm.

The Special Theory of Relativity, which describes the motion of particles moving close to the speed of light, was published in 1905.

In the years that followed, Einstein took up senior academic posts in Berne and Zurich. In 1911 he became Professor of Theoretical Physics in Prague but returned to Zurich a year later.

However, well-known German physicists, Walter Nernst and Professor Planck, were eager for Einstein to return to Berlin.

In 1913 they persuaded him to take up the position of director of the projected research institute for physics in the University of Berlin and become a member of the Royal Prussian Academy of Science.

Einstein's General Theory of Relativity was published in 1916. In 1921 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for physics.

He kept the positions in Berlin until 1933, when he accepted a part-time post at Princeton University in America.

His plan was to divide his time between Germany and America but in the same year the Nazis came to power and Einstein, being a Jew, never returned to his birthland.




In Context
Albert Einstein's work laid the groundwork for many modern technologies including nuclear weapons and cosmic science.

After his death, Einstein's brain was removed and preserved for scientific research by Canadian scientists.

It was found that the part of Einstein's brain responsible for mathematical thought and the ability to think in terms of space and movement was 15% wider than average.

It also lacked a groove which normally runs through this region suggesting that the neurons were able to communicate.

In 1999 Albert Einstein was named "person of the century" by Time magazine.

bojangles
19-04-2015, 09:14 AM
George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, dies in what is now Greece, where he had traveled to support the Greek struggle for independence from Turkey. Even today, he is considered a
Greek national hero on this day in 1824.

Byron’s scandalous history, exotic travels, and flamboyant life made such an impression on the world that the term “Byronic” was coined to mean romantic, arrogant, dark, and cynical. Byron was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1788. His clubfoot and his impoverished environment made his childhood difficult, but at age 10 he inherited his great uncle’s title. He attended Harrow, then Trinity College, Cambridge, where he ran up enormous debts and pursued passionate relationships with women and men. His first published volume of poetry, Hours of Idleness (1807), was savaged by critics, especially in Scotland, and his second published work, English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (1809), attacked the English literary establishment.

After getting his master’s degree in 1809, he traveled in Portugal, Spain, and the Near East for two years. His experiences fed into his later works, including Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (1812), which brought him almost instant acclaim in England. As he said at the time, he “awoke one morning and found myself famous.” His poetry, manners, fashion, and tastes were widely imitated.

In 1815, he married Anne Isabella Milbanke, and the couple had a daughter, August Ada, the following year. Ada proved to be a mathematical prodigy and is considered by some to be the first computer programmer, thanks to her work on Charles Babbage’s computing machine.

The marriage quickly foundered, and the couple legally separated. By this time, scandal had broken out over Byron’s suspected incest with his half-sister, Augusta Leigh, and he was ostracized from society and forced to flee England in 1816. He settled in Geneva, near Percy Bysshe Shelley and his wife, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. There, he became intimately involved with Mary’s half-sister, Claire Clairmont, who bore his daughter Allegra in January 1817.

Byron moved to Venice that year and entered a period of wild debauchery. In 1819, he began an affair with the Countess Teresa Guiccioli, the young wife of an elderly count, and the two remained attached for many years. Byron, always an avid supporter of liberal causes and national independence, supported the Greek war for independence. He joined the cause in Greece, training troops in the town of Missolonghi, where he died just after his 36th birthday.

bojangles
19-04-2015, 09:19 AM
19th of April 1943
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising begins


In Warsaw, Poland, Nazi forces attempting to clear out the city’s Jewish ghetto are met by gunfire from Jewish resistance fighters, and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising begins.

Shortly after the German occupation of Poland began, the Nazis forced the city’s Jewish citizens into a “ghetto” surrounded by barbwire and armed SS guards. The Warsaw ghetto occupied an area of less than two square miles but soon held almost 500,000 Jews in deplorable conditions. Disease and starvation killed thousands every month, and beginning in July 1942, 6,000 Jews per day were transferred to the Treblinka concentration camp. Although the Nazis assured the remaining Jews that their relatives and friends were being sent to work camps, word soon reached the ghetto that deportation to the camp meant extermination. An underground resistance group was established in the ghetto–the Jewish Combat Organization (ZOB)–and limited arms were acquired at great cost.

On January 18, 1943, when the Nazis entered the ghetto to prepare a group for transfer, a ZOB unit ambushed them. Fighting lasted for several days, and a number of Germans soldiers were killed before they withdrew. On April 19, Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler announced that the ghetto was to be emptied of its residents in honor of Hitler’s birthday the following day, and more than 1,000 S.S. soldiers entered the confines with tanks and heavy artillery. Although many of the ghetto’s remaining 60,000 Jewish dwellers attempted to hide themselves in secret bunkers, more than 1,000 ZOB members met the Germans with gunfire and homemade bombs. Suffering moderate casualties, the Germans initially withdrew but soon returned, and on April 24 launched an all-out attack against the Warsaw Jews.

Thousands were slaughtered as the Germans systematically progressed down the ghettos, blowing up the buildings one by one. The ZOB took to the sewers to continue the fight, but on May 8 their command bunker fell to the Germans and their resistant leaders committed suicide. By May 16, the ghetto was firmly under Nazi control, and mass deportation of the last Warsaw Jews to Treblinka began. During the uprising, some 300 German soldiers were killed, and thousands of Warsaw Jews were massacred. Virtually all those who survived the Uprising to reach Treblinka were dead by the end of the war.

bojangles
20-04-2015, 06:40 AM
20th of April 1914
Militia slaughters strikers at Ludlow, Colorado


Ending a bitter coal-miners’ strike, Colorado militiamen attack a tent colony of strikers, killing dozens of men, women, and children.

The conflict had begun the previous September. About 11,000 miners in southern Colorado went on strike against the powerful Colorado Fuel & Iron Corporation (CF&I) to protest low pay, dangerous working conditions, and the company’s autocratic dominance over the workers’ lives. The CF&I, which was owned by the Rockefeller family and Standard Oil, responded to the strike by immediately evicting the miners and their families from company-owned shacks. With help from the United Mine Workers, the miners moved with their families to canvas tent colonies scattered around the nearby hills and continued to strike.

When the evictions failed to end the strike, the Rockefeller interests hired private detectives that attacked the tent colonies with rifles and Gatling guns. The miners fought back, and several were killed. When the tenacity of the strikers became apparent, the Rockefellers approached the governor of Colorado, who authorized the use of the National Guard. The Rockefellers agreed to pay their wages.

At first, the strikers believed that the government had sent the National Guard to protect them. They soon discovered, though, that the militia was under orders to break the strike. On this day in 1914, two companies of guardsmen attacked the largest tent colony of strikers near the town of Ludlow, home to about 1,000 men, women, and children. The attack began in the morning with a barrage of bullets fired into the tents. The miners shot back with pistols and rifles.

After a strike leader was killed while attempting to negotiate a truce, the strikers feared the attack would intensify. To stay safe from gunfire, women and children took cover in pits dug beneath the tents. At dusk, guardsmen moved down from the hills and set the tent colony on fire with torches, shooting at the families as they fled into the hills. The true carnage, however, was not discovered until the next day, when a telephone linesman discovered a pit under one of the tents filled with the burned remains of 11 children and 2 women.

Although the “Ludlow Massacre” outraged many Americans, the tragedy did little to help the beleaguered Colorado miners and their families. Additional federal troops crushed the coal-miners’ strike, and the miners failed to achieve recognition of their union or any significant improvement in their wages and working conditions. Sixty-six men, women, and children died during the strike, but not a single militiaman or private detective was charged with any crime.

bojangles
20-04-2015, 06:48 AM
The Conservative right-winger Enoch Powell has made a hard-hitting speech attacking the government's immigration policy.

Addressing a Conservative association meeting in Birmingham, Mr Powell said Britain had to be mad to allow in 50,000 dependents of immigrants each year.

He compared it to watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre.

The MP for Wolverhampton South West called for an immediate reduction in immigration and the implementation of a Conservative policy of "urgent" encouragement of those already in the UK to return home.

"It can be no part of any policy that existing families should be kept divided. But there are two directions on which families can be reunited," he said.


Like the Roman, I seem to see the river Tiber foaming with much blood
Enoch Powell

Mr Powell compared enacting legislation such as the Race Relations Bill to "throwing a match on to gunpowder".

He said that as he looked to the future he was filled with a sense of foreboding.

"Like the Roman, I seem to see the river Tiber foaming with much blood," he said.

He estimated that by the year 2000 up to seven million people - or one in ten of the population - would be of immigrant descent.

Mr Powell, the shadow defence spokesman, was applauded during and after his 45-mintue speech.

However, it is likely his comments will be less warmly received by the Conservative party leader, Edward Heath.

In Context
Enoch Powell's so-called "Rivers of Blood" speech was his defining political moment.

It led to him being sacked from the shadow cabinet, ending his hopes of a post in a future Conservative government.

However, thousands of workers staged strikes and marches in support of his views and he was inundated with letters from well wishers.

In February 1974 Enoch Powell left the Conservative party because of his opposition to Edward Heath's intention to join the European Community.

He became an Ulster Unionist and represented the seat of Down South, Northern Ireland, from 1974 to 1992.

He died in 1998 aged 85.

In 1968 he predicted that by the year 2000, up to seven million people living in Britain would be of ethnic descent

The Census in 2001 showed 4.6 million people living in the UK were from an ethnic minority, or 7.9% of the population.

bojangles
21-04-2015, 05:37 AM
21st of April 1945: Red Army enters outskirts of Berlin

Russian troops have captured some outlying suburbs of Berlin at the beginning of what promises to be a bitter battle for control of the city.

The Red Army approached the German capital from three directions, north, east and south-east. The northeastern suburb of Weissensee is the closest to the centre being only three miles away.

The Nazi minister of propaganda, Josef Goebbels, has issued a statement saying Berlin will be defended to the last.

He said anyone who showed cowardice, hoisted the white flag or attempted sabotage would be treated as outlaws.


The Russians were advancing and all POW camps were being evacuated

People's War memories »
The Germans are understood to be terrified of what might happen to them if Berlin falls into Soviet hands. Since 1941 Nazi forces have laid waste to large parts of the Soviet Union.

The Soviet troops under Marshal Georgi Zhukov are pushing towards Berlin from the north and east and Marshal Ivan Konev and his forces from the south. They are both keen to achieve the honour of capturing Berlin, the heart of the Nazi movement.

American forces are also pushing towards Berlin from the west and are now said to be only hours away from joining up with Russian troops.

Reports from Berlin say shells have begun to fall in the centre of the city. Correspondents say they have been fired from southern positions taking the Germans by surprise. They had been expecting Marshal Konev's forces to press on towards Prague and Dresden.

The Russian advance has been supported by its air force. Although the weather has been poor it has not stopped its low-level attack aircraft, the Stormoviks, sweeping the enemy lines and the improved Soviet dive-bombers are also halting counter-attacks.

The final assault on Berlin began on the night of 15/16 April when Soviet forces launched a powerful artillery barrage against the German forces dug in west of the Oder River and to the east of the city in an area known as the Seelow Heights.

A German military spokesman said they were attacking under what he called a permanent "air umbrella" with "fresh Soviet troops coming forward as though on a conveyor belt."

After two days of fighting and failing to make any significant breakthrough at Seelow, however, Marshal Konev's forces were ordered south and Marshal Zhukov's to the north thus bypassing the German 9th Army at Seelow and surrounding Berlin.

Hitler is reported to have celebrated his birthday yesterday in his underground bunker in the city, cut off from the reality of the fighting above his head.

Reports say Marshal Konev's forces to the south of Berlin have taken more than 10,000 prisoners in the past four days. They also claim to have captured 96 aircraft and more than 150 tanks and self-propelled guns.

Marshal Zhukov's troops, heading from the north and east, claim to have taken more than 13,000 prisoners. They have captured 60 aircraft and more than 100 tanks and self-propelled guns.

But in their haste to capture Berlin many Soviet soldiers have also been killed and tanks lost.




In Context
Hitler ordered a counter attack. But the Wehrmacht's 9th Army was cut off by Marshall Konev's forces in the forest south of Berlin, near the small town of Halbe.

Over 50,000 soldiers and civilians died. Their bodies were left piled high beside the narrow paths in the forest.

The Red Army meanwhile pressed on into the heart of Berlin. Zhukov's and Konev's troops were still racing to be first to capture the city and in their haste many lives appear to have been needlessly lost.

Figures vary but one source says the battle for Berlin cost the Red Army some 70,000 troops.

They used tanks to force their way into the city but these were very vulnerable to Germans firing bazookas from destroyed buildings. Ultimately, however, the German forces, mostly made up of old people and members of Hitler Youth were no match for the Soviet forces.

As the Red Army took control it also wreaked revenge on the people of Berlin. Hospital records suggest some 100,000 women were raped in Berlin in the last six months of the war.

Hitler and his mistress Eva Braun committed suicide in his bunker on 30 April only hours after they were married.

By 2 May the old German parliament building, the Reichstag, had fallen. Marshal Zhukov claimed the honour of being Berlin's conqueror.

quinner
21-04-2015, 11:06 AM
21st of April 1945: Red Army enters outskirts of Berlin

Russian troops have captured some outlying suburbs of Berlin at the beginning of what promises to be a bitter battle for control of the city.

The Red Army approached the German capital from three directions, north, east and south-east. The northeastern suburb of Weissensee is the closest to the centre being only three miles away.

The Nazi minister of propaganda, Josef Goebbels, has issued a statement saying Berlin will be defended to the last.

He said anyone who showed cowardice, hoisted the white flag or attempted sabotage would be treated as outlaws.


The Russians were advancing and all POW camps were being evacuated

People's War memories »
The Germans are understood to be terrified of what might happen to them if Berlin falls into Soviet hands. Since 1941 Nazi forces have laid waste to large parts of the Soviet Union.

The Soviet troops under Marshal Georgi Zhukov are pushing towards Berlin from the north and east and Marshal Ivan Konev and his forces from the south. They are both keen to achieve the honour of capturing Berlin, the heart of the Nazi movement.

American forces are also pushing towards Berlin from the west and are now said to be only hours away from joining up with Russian troops.

Reports from Berlin say shells have begun to fall in the centre of the city. Correspondents say they have been fired from southern positions taking the Germans by surprise. They had been expecting Marshal Konev's forces to press on towards Prague and Dresden.

The Russian advance has been supported by its air force. Although the weather has been poor it has not stopped its low-level attack aircraft, the Stormoviks, sweeping the enemy lines and the improved Soviet dive-bombers are also halting counter-attacks.

The final assault on Berlin began on the night of 15/16 April when Soviet forces launched a powerful artillery barrage against the German forces dug in west of the Oder River and to the east of the city in an area known as the Seelow Heights.

A German military spokesman said they were attacking under what he called a permanent "air umbrella" with "fresh Soviet troops coming forward as though on a conveyor belt."

After two days of fighting and failing to make any significant breakthrough at Seelow, however, Marshal Konev's forces were ordered south and Marshal Zhukov's to the north thus bypassing the German 9th Army at Seelow and surrounding Berlin.

Hitler is reported to have celebrated his birthday yesterday in his underground bunker in the city, cut off from the reality of the fighting above his head.

Reports say Marshal Konev's forces to the south of Berlin have taken more than 10,000 prisoners in the past four days. They also claim to have captured 96 aircraft and more than 150 tanks and self-propelled guns.

Marshal Zhukov's troops, heading from the north and east, claim to have taken more than 13,000 prisoners. They have captured 60 aircraft and more than 100 tanks and self-propelled guns.

But in their haste to capture Berlin many Soviet soldiers have also been killed and tanks lost.




In Context
Hitler ordered a counter attack. But the Wehrmacht's 9th Army was cut off by Marshall Konev's forces in the forest south of Berlin, near the small town of Halbe.

Over 50,000 soldiers and civilians died. Their bodies were left piled high beside the narrow paths in the forest.

The Red Army meanwhile pressed on into the heart of Berlin. Zhukov's and Konev's troops were still racing to be first to capture the city and in their haste many lives appear to have been needlessly lost.

Figures vary but one source says the battle for Berlin cost the Red Army some 70,000 troops.

They used tanks to force their way into the city but these were very vulnerable to Germans firing bazookas from destroyed buildings. Ultimately, however, the German forces, mostly made up of old people and members of Hitler Youth were no match for the Soviet forces.

As the Red Army took control it also wreaked revenge on the people of Berlin. Hospital records suggest some 100,000 women were raped in Berlin in the last six months of the war.

Hitler and his mistress Eva Braun committed suicide in his bunker on 30 April only hours after they were married.

By 2 May the old German parliament building, the Reichstag, had fallen. Marshal Zhukov claimed the honour of being Berlin's conqueror.

The reality of the situation was...General Busse's 9th Army was more interested in holding open a corridor for the Germans to escape to the west.......

bojangles
22-04-2015, 07:43 AM
On this day in 1915, German forces shock Allied soldiers along the Western Front by firing more than 150 tons of lethal chlorine gas against two French colonial divisions at Ypres in Belgium.

Toxic smoke had been used occasionally in warfare since ancient times, and in 1912, the French used small amounts of tear gas in police operations. At the outbreak of World War I, however, the Germans began to actively develop chemical weapons. In October 1914, small tear-gas canisters were placed in shells that were fired at Neuve Chapelle, France, but Allied troops were not exposed. In January 1915, the Germans fired shells loaded with xylyl bromide, a more lethal gas, at Russian troops at Bolimov on the Eastern Front. Because of the wintry cold, most of the gas froze, but the Russians nonetheless reported more than 1,000 killed as a result of the new weapon.

On April 22, 1915, the Germans launched their first and only offensive of the year. Now referred to as the Second Battle of Ypres, the offensive began with the usual artillery bombardment of the enemy’s line. When the shelling died down, the Allied defenders waited for the first wave of German attack troops but instead were thrown into panic when chlorine gas wafted across no-man’s land and down into their trenches. The Germans targeted four miles of the front with the wind-blown poison gas, decimating two divisions of French and Algerian colonial troops. The Germans, perhaps as shocked as the Allies by the devastating effects of the poison gas, failed to take full advantage, and the Allies managed to hold most of their positions.

A second gas attack, against a Canadian division, on April 24, pushed the Allies further back, and, by May, they had retreated to the town of Ypres. The Second Battle of Ypres ended on May 25, with insignificant gains for the Germans. The introduction of poison gas, however, would have great significance in World War I.

Immediately after the German gas attack at Ypres, the French and British began developing their own chemical weapons and gas masks. With the Germans taking the lead, an extensive number of projectiles filled with deadly substances polluted the trenches during the next several years of war. Mustard gas, introduced by the Germans in 1917, blistered the skin, eyes and lungs, and killed thousands. Military strategists defended the use of poison gas by saying it reduced the enemy’s ability to respond and thus saved lives in offensives. In reality, defenses against poison gas usually kept pace with offensive developments, and both sides employed sophisticated gas masks and protective clothing that eventually negated the strategic importance of chemical weapons.

The United States, which entered World War I in 1917, also developed and used chemical weapons. Future President Harry S. Truman was the captain of a U.S. field artillery unit that fired poison gas against the Germans in 1918. In all, more than 100,000 tons of chemical weapons agents were used in World War I, some 500,000 troops were injured from their use and almost 30,000 died, including 2,000 Americans.

bojangles
22-04-2015, 09:27 AM
Headlines 22nd of April

1971: Haitian dictator dies
Haiti's ruler, Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, has died after 14 years in power.
President Duvalier, who declared himself "president for life" in 1964, died at the presidential palace in Port-au-Prince.

He is believed to have been seriously ill for some time - his ailments included prostate cancer, heart trouble and diabetes.

During his time as Haiti's absolute ruler Mr Duvalier, 64, survived at least six assassination attempts.

A doctor by profession, Francois Duvalier was elected as president in 1956.

He then set about consolidating his power by means of force and playing on the superstitious nature of many Haitians.

He destroyed the power of the Roman Catholic Church by expelling its archbishop in 1969 and encouraging the pagan cult of voodoo.

His safety was ensured by his personal militia, the feared Tontons Macoutes - Haitian slang for "bogeymen".

President Duvalier made sure the Tontons Macoutes vastly outnumbered the Haitian army, reducing the chance of a successful coup.

Lucky 22nd

He was as superstitious as many of those he ruled and, in later years, would only venture outside the presidential palace on the 22nd of each month.

He believed that on the 22nd he was guarded by his voodoo spirits and organised many significant events of his life for that date.

He was delighted when US President John F Kennedy, on whom he had placed a curse, was assassinated on 22 November 1963 - a fact which enhanced the reputation of his alleged voodoo powers.

President Duvalier is believed to have left orders for his death to be announced on the 22nd although it is thought he may have died several days ago.

He is expected to be succeeded by his son Jean-Claude, known as "Baby Doc".

The 20-year-old student was publicly declared his father's heir last year.



In Context
Jean-Claude Duvalier succeeded his father but fled Haiti in 1986 in the wake of mounting popular discontent.
A period of instability followed with two presidents ousted by military coups in 1988 and 1991.

In 1993 the UN imposed sanctions on Haiti after the military regime rejected an agreement to allow Jean-Bertrand Aristide to resume his role as president.

Mr Aristide was finally reinstated in 1994 after US forces entered Haiti to oversee a transition to civilian government.

In February 2004 US forces were back in Haiti, this time to airlift President Aristide out of the country after rebels had taken over most of the country. Boniface Alexandre, chief justice at the country's Supreme Court, was sworn in as interim president.

bojangles
23-04-2015, 09:19 AM
1564
William Shakespeare born


According to tradition, the great English dramatist and poet William Shakespeare is born in Stratford-on-Avon on April 23, 1564. It is impossible to be certain the exact day on which he was born, but church records show that he was baptized on April 26, and three days was a customary amount of time to wait before baptizing a newborn. Shakespeare’s date of death is conclusively known, however: it was April 23, 1616. He was 52 years old and had retired to Stratford three years before.

Although few plays have been performed or analyzed as extensively as the 38 plays ascribed to William Shakespeare, there are few surviving details about the playwright’s life. This dearth of biographical information is due primarily to his station in life; he was not a noble, but the son of John Shakespeare, a leather trader and the town bailiff. The events of William Shakespeare’s early life can only be gleaned from official records, such as baptism and marriage records.

He probably attended the grammar school in Stratford, where he would have studied Latin and read classical literature. He did not go to university but at age 18 married Anne Hathaway, who was eight years his senior and pregnant at the time of the marriage. Their first daughter, Susanna, was born six months later, and in 1585 William and Anne had twins, Hamnet and Judith. Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son, died 11 years later, and Anne Shakespeare outlived her husband, dying in 1623. Nothing is known of the period between the birth of the twins and Shakespeare’s emergence as a playwright in London in the early 1590s, but unfounded stories have him stealing deer, joining a group of traveling players, becoming a schoolteacher, or serving as a soldier in the Low Countries.

The first reference to Shakespeare as a London playwright came in 1592, when a fellow dramatist, Robert Greene, wrote derogatorily of him on his deathbed. It is believed that Shakespeare had written the three parts of Henry VI by that point. In 1593, Venus and Adonis was Shakespeare’s first published poem, and he dedicated it to the young Henry Wriothesley, the 3rd earl of Southampton. In 1594, having probably composed, among other plays, Richard III, The Comedy of Errors, and The Taming of the Shrew, he became an actor and playwright for the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, which became the King’s Men after James I’s ascension in 1603. The company grew into England’s finest, in no small part because of Shakespeare, who was its principal dramatist. It also had the finest actor of the day, Richard Burbage, and the best theater, the Globe, which was located on the Thames’ south bank. Shakespeare stayed with the King’s Men until his retirement and often acted in small parts.

By 1596, the company had performed the classic Shakespeare plays Romeo and Juliet, Richard II, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. That year, John Shakespeare was granted a coat of arms, a testament to his son’s growing wealth and fame. In 1597, William Shakespeare bought a large house in Stratford. In 1599, after producing his great historical series, the first and second part of Henry IV and Henry V, he became a partner in the ownership of the Globe Theatre.

The beginning of the 17th century saw the performance of the first of his great tragedies, Hamlet. The next play, The Merry Wives of Windsor, was written at the request of Queen Elizabeth I, who wanted to see another play that included the popular character Falstaff. During the next decade, Shakespeare produced such masterpieces as Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, and The Tempest. In 1609, his sonnets, probably written during the 1590s, were published. The 154 sonnets are marked by the recurring themes of the mutability of beauty and the transcendent power of love and art.

Shakespeare died in Stratford-on-Avon on April 23, 1616. Today, nearly 400 years later, his plays are performed and read more often and in more nations than ever before. In a million words written over 20 years, he captured the full range of human emotions and conflicts with a precision that remains sharp today. As his great contemporary the poet and dramatist Ben Jonson said, “He was not of an age, but for all time.”

bojangles
23-04-2015, 10:11 AM
Brian Boru, the high king of Ireland, is assassinated by a group of retreating Norsemen shortly after his Irish forces defeated them.

Brian, a clan prince, seized the throne of the southern Irish state of Dal Cais from its Eogharacht rulers in 963. He subjugated all of Munster, extended his power over all of southern Ireland, and in 1002 became the high king of Ireland. Unlike previous high kings of Ireland, Brian resisted the rule of Ireland’s Norse invaders, and after further conquests his rule was acknowledged across most of Ireland. As his power increased, relations with the Norsemen on the Irish coast grew increasingly strained. In 1013, Sitric, king of the Dublin Norse, formed an alliance against Brian, featuring Viking warriors from Ireland, the Hebrides, the Orkneys, and Iceland, as well as soldiers of Brian’s native Irish enemies.

On April 23, 1014, Good Friday, forces under Brian’s son Murchad met and annihilated the Viking coalition at the Battle of Clontarf, near Dublin. After the battle, a small group of Norsemen, flying from their defeat, stumbled on Brian’s tent, overcame his bodyguards, and murdered the elderly king. Victory at Clontarf broke Norse power in Ireland forever, but Ireland largely fell into anarchy after the death of Brian.

bojangles
23-04-2015, 10:14 AM
1968: Decimal coins reach the high street
The first decimal coins are making their way into purses throughout Britain, in preparation for replacing the current system of pounds, shillings and pence by 1971.
The five new pence and ten new pence coins operate alongside the shilling and the florin, and will have the same value. They are also the same size and weight.

They caused initial confusion to shoppers, many of whom refused to take them.

There was further misunderstanding over the value of a penny. Many thought the five new penny coin was worth five old pence - when it is in fact worth a shilling, or 12 old pence.


"I suppose it will take a bit of getting used to," said one newspaper seller in the City of London, "but I don't think it will bother me at all. I've seen the pictures in the papers and it looks pretty simple to me."

But a fruit-seller was concerned that the two new coins were being brought in ahead of the full range of decimal currency.

"People will get used to a tenpenny piece being worth 24 pence, and then they will have to change their ideas," he said.

Special training

Two of London's biggest stores have given special training to staff in the use of the new coins.

One supermarket manager was optimistic about his customers' attitudes to the changeover.

"I think they've more or less adjusted right away," he said. "I think, though, they tend to regard them as shilling and two-shilling pieces rather than five and ten pence at this time - I think this will take longer."

He added that it would be another six months before price tags changed to reflect the new currency, warning of "absolute chaos" if the change happened overnight.

About 15m 10p coins and 20m 5p coins will be issued to begin with - a small fraction of the number of shillings and florins in circulation.

Lord Fiske, chairman of the Decimal Currency Board, said the coins would be in the minority in tills and in change for a long time.





In Context
The conversion to decimal currency continued gradually over the next three years. The 50p coin was next to be released, replacing the 10 shilling note in 1969.
"Decimal Day" was 15 February 1971. The centuries-old tradition of using 12 pence to the shilling, and 20 shillings to the pound, was replaced by the new system of 100 new pence to the pound.

The term "new penny" was dropped in 1982, on the grounds that the decimal pennies were not new any more.

Britain is now facing another difficult decision over a wholesale change in currency: the transfer to the euro in place of pounds and pence. So far the government has held back, although 12 other European countries adopted the currency on 1 January 2002.

quinner
23-04-2015, 10:28 AM
1968: Decimal coins reach the high street
The first decimal coins are making their way into purses throughout Britain, in preparation for replacing the current system of pounds, shillings and pence by 1971.
The five new pence and ten new pence coins operate alongside the shilling and the florin, and will have the same value. They are also the same size and weight.

They caused initial confusion to shoppers, many of whom refused to take them.

There was further misunderstanding over the value of a penny. Many thought the five new penny coin was worth five old pence - when it is in fact worth a shilling, or 12 old pence.


"I suppose it will take a bit of getting used to," said one newspaper seller in the City of London, "but I don't think it will bother me at all. I've seen the pictures in the papers and it looks pretty simple to me."

But a fruit-seller was concerned that the two new coins were being brought in ahead of the full range of decimal currency.

"People will get used to a tenpenny piece being worth 24 pence, and then they will have to change their ideas," he said.

Special training

Two of London's biggest stores have given special training to staff in the use of the new coins.

One supermarket manager was optimistic about his customers' attitudes to the changeover.

"I think they've more or less adjusted right away," he said. "I think, though, they tend to regard them as shilling and two-shilling pieces rather than five and ten pence at this time - I think this will take longer."

He added that it would be another six months before price tags changed to reflect the new currency, warning of "absolute chaos" if the change happened overnight.

About 15m 10p coins and 20m 5p coins will be issued to begin with - a small fraction of the number of shillings and florins in circulation.

Lord Fiske, chairman of the Decimal Currency Board, said the coins would be in the minority in tills and in change for a long time.





In Context
The conversion to decimal currency continued gradually over the next three years. The 50p coin was next to be released, replacing the 10 shilling note in 1969.
"Decimal Day" was 15 February 1971. The centuries-old tradition of using 12 pence to the shilling, and 20 shillings to the pound, was replaced by the new system of 100 new pence to the pound.

The term "new penny" was dropped in 1982, on the grounds that the decimal pennies were not new any more.

Britain is now facing another difficult decision over a wholesale change in currency: the transfer to the euro in place of pounds and pence. So far the government has held back, although 12 other European countries adopted the currency on 1 January 2002.

For some reason I remember the day well.....I was working in a Hotel in West London that went on fire.....

quinner
23-04-2015, 10:32 AM
For some reason I remember the day well.....I was working in a Hotel in West London that went on fire.....

I also remember unofficially sleeping in the lift Motor Room of that Hotel on Census night....So, I would not be on the Census forms

bojangles
23-04-2015, 05:13 PM
I also remember unofficially sleeping in the lift Motor Room of that Hotel on Census night....So, I would not be on the Census forms

Bit extreme !

quinner
23-04-2015, 05:21 PM
Bit extreme !

lol.....sounds like that bo....

But, that was the time when hotel got a big room grant..and they had to be ready by a certain date....

The Builders went on strike for six months so everyone was behind.....

So, for the previous few months we were getting paid 24 hours a day and taking turns to sleep in the motor rooms etc.....So there were campbeds stoves and even a telly there....so not so extreme....thought for the previous week I had slept in my mates place in Vauxhall......

But, as far as I know I am still not on the census......

quinner
23-04-2015, 05:23 PM
lol.....sounds like that bo....

But, that was the time when hotel got a big room grant..and they had to be ready by a certain date....

The Builders went on strike for six months so everyone was behind.....

So, for the previous few months we were getting paid 24 hours a day and taking turns to sleep in the motor rooms etc.....So there were campbeds stoves and even a telly there....so not so extreme....thought for the previous week I had slept in my mates place in Vauxhall......

But, as far as I know I am still not on the census......

If I remember right...It was only 23 hours....Union rules, we had to book an hour off each day...

bojangles
24-04-2015, 12:19 AM
If I remember right...It was only 23 hours....Union rules, we had to book an hour off each day...

You must have made a fortune :cowboy:

quinner
24-04-2015, 12:30 AM
You must have made a fortune :cowboy:

Yes bo....but it did not last long enough....I mean the work...



But, I have always been very busy.....All our jobs needed to be ready in a short time.....so always plenty of overtime etc.....

bojangles
24-04-2015, 08:40 AM
Easter Rebellion begins


On this day in 1916, on Easter Monday in Dublin, the Irish Republican Brotherhood, a secret organization of Irish nationalists led by Patrick Pearse, launches the so-called Easter Rebellion, an armed uprising against British rule. Assisted by militant Irish socialists under James Connolly, Pearse and his fellow Republicans rioted and attacked British provincial government headquarters across Dublin and seized the Irish capital’s General Post Office. Following these successes, they proclaimed the independence of Ireland, which had been under the repressive thumb of the United Kingdom for centuries, and by the next morning were in control of much of the city. Later that day, however, British authorities launched a counteroffensive, and by April 29 the uprising had been crushed. Nevertheless, the Easter Rebellion is considered a significant marker on the road to establishing an independent Irish republic.

Following the uprising, Pearse and 14 other nationalist leaders were executed for their participation and held up as martyrs by many in Ireland. There was little love lost among most Irish people for the British, who had enacted a series of harsh anti-Catholic restrictions, the Penal Laws, in the 18th century, and then let 1.5 million Irish starve during the Potato Famine of 1845-1848. Armed protest continued after the Easter Rebellion and in 1921, 26 of Ireland’s 32 counties won independence with the declaration of the Irish Free State. The Free State became an independent republic in 1949. However, six northeastern counties of the Emerald Isle remained part of the United Kingdom, prompting some nationalists to reorganize themselves into the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to continue their struggle for full Irish independence.

In the late 1960s, influenced in part by the U.S. civil rights movement, Catholics in Northern Ireland, long discriminated against by British policies that favored Irish Protestants, advocated for justice. Civil unrest broke out between Catholics and Protestants in the region and the violence escalated as the pro-Catholic IRA battled British troops. An ongoing series of terrorist bombings and attacks ensued in a drawn-out conflict that came to be known as “The Troubles.” Peace talks eventually took place throughout the mid- to late 1990s, but a permanent end to the violence remained elusive. Finally, in July 2005, the IRA announced its members would give up all their weapons and pursue the group’s objectives solely through peaceful means. By the fall of 2006, the Independent Monitoring Commission reported that the IRA’s military campaign to end British rule was over.( This was written from an American perspective )

bojangles
24-04-2015, 08:42 AM
1980
Hostage rescue mission ends in disaster

On April 24, 1980, an ill-fated military operation to rescue the 52 American hostages held in Tehran ends with eight U.S. servicemen dead and no hostages rescued.

With the Iran Hostage Crisis stretching into its sixth month and all diplomatic appeals to the Iranian government ending in failure, President Jimmy Carter ordered the military mission as a last ditch attempt to save the hostages. During the operation, three of eight helicopters failed, crippling the crucial airborne plans. The mission was then canceled at the staging area in Iran, but during the withdrawal one of the retreating helicopters collided with one of six C-130 transport planes, killing eight soldiers and injuring five. The next day, a somber Jimmy Carter gave a press conference in which he took full responsibility for the tragedy. The hostages were not released for another 270 days.

On November 4, 1979, the crisis began when militant Iranian students, outraged that the U.S. government had allowed the ousted shah of Iran to travel to the U.S. for medical treatment, seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran. The Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran’s political and religious leader, took over the hostage situation and agreed to release non-U.S. captives and female and minority Americans, citing these groups as among the people oppressed by the U.S. government. The remaining 52 captives remained at the mercy of the Ayatollah for the next 14 months.

President Carter was unable to diplomatically resolve the crisis, and the April 1980 hostage attempt ended in disaster. Three months later, the former shah died of cancer in Egypt, but the crisis continued. In November, Carter lost the presidential election to Republican Ronald Reagan, and soon after, with the assistance of Algerian intermediaries, successful negotiations began between the United States and Iran. On the day of Reagan’s inauguration, January 20, 1981, the United States freed almost $8 billion in frozen Iranian assets, and the 52 hostages were released after 444 days. The next day, Jimmy Carter flew to West Germany to greet the Americans on their way home.

bojangles
25-04-2015, 09:28 AM
1980
Air tragedy hits Canary Islands

A Dan-Air Boeing 727 carrying British tourists to the Canary Islands crashes and kills all 146 on board on this day in 1980. This terrible crash came just three years after another even deadlier accident at the Canary Islands airport.

In 1977, a KLM jumbo jet had collided with a Pan Am plane on the runway; 570 people were killed. The collision occurred when communication problems between the planes and air-traffic controllers exacerbated already dangerous foggy conditions. The heavily accented English spoken by the Spanish-speaking air traffic controllers was partly to blame.

On April 25, 1980, similar problems at the same airport had tragic results. It was late morning and cloudy when a chartered jet arrived from Manchester, England. The plane was carrying 138 passengers, bound for the beaches of Tenerife, and 8 crew members. Inaccurate navigation by the pilots set the tragedy in motion; they told the air traffic controllers that they were a mile east of their actual position.

The airport did not have radar capabilities at the time and cleared the plane to descend to 6,000 feet and wait to be assigned a landing area. Over the next critical moments, the plane’s crew and the air traffic controllers had difficulty communicating regarding the plane’s location and how they should proceed. Finally, the pilot, confused by an order he had been given by the air-traffic controllers, turned the plane directly toward the mountains on the small island.

Due to the intensely cloudy conditions, the pilots never saw the mountain directly in front of them. All 146 people were killed on impact when the jet crashed directly into the side of a mountain.

bojangles
25-04-2015, 09:30 AM
1915
Allies begin invasion of Gallipoli

On April 25, 1915, a week after Anglo-French naval attacks on the Dardanelles end in dismal failure, the Allies launch a large-scale land invasion of the Gallipoli Peninsula, the Turkish-controlled land mass bordering the northern side of the Dardanelles.

In January 1915, two months after Turkey entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers, Russia appealed to Britain to defend it against attacks by the Ottoman army in the Caucasus. Lord Kitchener, Britain’s secretary of state for war, told Churchill, first lord of the Admiralty, that no troops were available to help the Russians and that the only place where they could demonstrate their support was at the Dardanelles, to prevent Ottoman troops from moving east to the Caucasus. First Sea Lord John Fisher advocated a joint army-navy attack.

The naval attack of March 18, 1915, was a disaster, as undetected Turkish mines sank half of the joint Anglo-French fleet sent against the Dardanelles. After this failure, the Allied command switched its focus to a landing of army troops on the Gallipoli Peninsula, with the objective of securing the Dardanelles so that the Allied fleet could pass safely through and reconnoiter with the Russians in the Black Sea.

On April 25, British, French, Australian and New Zealander troops landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula. The Turkish forces were well prepared to meet them, however, as they had long been aware of the likelihood of just such an invasion. The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) was devastated by some of the best-trained Turkish defenders, led by Mustafa Kemal, the future President Ataturk of Turkey. Meanwhile, the British and French also met fierce resistance at their landing sites and suffered two-thirds casualties at some locations. During the next three months, the Allies made only slight gains off their landing sites and sustained terrible casualties.

To break the stalemate, a new British landing at Suvla Bay occurred on August 6, but the British failed to capitalize on the largely unopposed landing and waited too long to move against the heights. Ottoman reinforcements arrived and quickly halted their progress. Trenches were dug, and the British were able to advance only a few miles.

In September, Sir Ian Hamilton, the British commander, was replaced by Sir Charles Monro, who in December recommended an evacuation from Gallipoli. On January 8, 1916, Allied forces staged a full retreat from the shores of the peninsula, ending a disastrous campaign that resulted in 250,000 Allied casualties and a greatly discredited Allied military command, including Churchill, who resigned as first lord of the Admiralty and accepted a commission to command an infantry battalion in France.

bojangles
25-04-2015, 10:31 AM
Headlines 25th of April

1980: Tehran hostage rescue mission fails
A top-secret attempt by the United States to free American hostages held in Iran's capital,Tehran, has collapsed in failure, with the death of eight soldiers.
President Carter announced the disastrous mission in a broadcast to the nation earlier today.

"I ordered this rescue mission prepared in order to safeguard American lives and protect America's national interests, and to reduce the tensions in the world that have been caused among many nations as this crisis has continued," he said.

He took full personal responsibility for the operation, and its cancellation, but did not rule out another attempt.

It was the first the American public, or the wider world, had heard of the mission, although it had been planned since shortly after the US embassy in Iran was seized last November by Islamic militants. They have held 53 US citizens hostage there ever since.

The dramatic attempt to free the hostages began yesterday when six Hercules C130 transport planes set off to rendezvous with a group of nine helicopters at a remote desert airstrip, south-east of Tehran.

But the mission ran into trouble almost as soon as it had started.

From farce to tragedy

Two helicopters went down with engine trouble, and a third was diverted to help.

Then another helicopter was damaged as it landed on the airstrip, leaving only five workable helicopters. The mission had become impossible.

President Carter ordered the operation to abort. It was then that the farce became a tragedy.

As the aircraft took off again, another helicopter crashed into one of the C130 aircraft and burst into flames. Eight soldiers died, and another four men suffered burns.

'An act of war'

In Tehran there were jubilant scenes as thousands of people celebrated the failure of the mission.

The Foreign Minister, Sadeq Qotbzadeh, condemned the rescue effort as "an act of war".

In Europe, there was shock and surprise that the mission had taken place without advance consultation of America's allies.

EEC governments have recently agreed to threaten sanctions against Iran in the hope of preventing the use of force.


In Context
The hostage crisis marked the lowest point in the Carter presidency. It was 444 days before intense diplomatic activity secured the release of the remaining 52 hostages.
The hostage crisis ended in January 1981, on the same day as Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as president.

The United States broke diplomatic relations with Iran in July 1980 over the hostage crisis.

There was a slight thawing of the frostiness between the two countries under the reformist regime which came to power in 1989.

But in 1995 the US imposed sanctions, accusing Iran of sponsoring terrorism. In early 2002, President Bush described the country as one of a global "axis of evil".

The remark caused outrage in Iran, and the Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Khameini, said any move towards rapprochement with the United States would be "treason and stupidity".

Following the election of the hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June 2005, Iran announced it had resumed its nuclear programme.

In April 2006 it said it had succeeded in enriching uranium. The UN Security Council has ordered it to stop.

bojangles
26-04-2015, 08:23 AM
Girl murdered in pencil factory
26th of April 1913

Thirteen-year-old Mary Phagan is found sexually molested and murdered in the basement of the Atlanta, Georgia, pencil factory where she worked. Her murder later led to one of the most disgraceful episodes of bigotry, injustice, and mob violence in American history.

Next to Phagan’s body were two small notes that purported to pin the crime on Newt Lee, the night watchman at the factory. Lee was arrested, but it quickly became evident that the notes were a crude attempt by the barely literate Jim Conley to cover up his own involvement. Conley was the factory’s janitor, a black man, and a well-known drunk.

Conley then decided to shift the blame toward Leo Frank, the Jewish owner of the factory. Despite the absurdity of Conley’s claims, they nevertheless took hold. The case’s prosecutor was Hugh Dorsey, a notorious bigot and friend of Georgia’s populist leader, Tom Watson. Reportedly, Watson told Dorsey, “Hell, we can lynch a nigger anytime in Georgia, but when do we get the chance to hang a Yankee Jew?”

Frank was tried by Judge Leonard Roan, who allowed the blatantly unfair trial to go forward even after he was privately informed by Conley’s attorney that Conley had admitted to Frank’s innocence on more than one occasion. The trial was packed with Watson’s followers and readers of his racist newspaper, Jeffersonian. The jury was terrorized into a conviction despite the complete lack of evidence against Frank.

Georgia governor John Slaton initiated his own investigation and quickly concluded that Frank was completely innocent. Three weeks before his term ended, Slaton commuted Frank’s death sentence in the hope that he would eventually be freed when the publicity died down. However, Watson had other plans: He mobilized his supporters to form the Knights of Mary Phagan. Thousands of Jewish residents in Atlanta were forced to flee the city because police refused to stop the lynch mob.

The Knights of Mary Phagan then made their way to the prison farm where Frank was incarcerated. They handcuffed the warden and the guards and abducted Frank, bringing him to Marietta, Phagan’s hometown. There he was hanged to death from a giant oak tree. Thousands of spectators came to watch and have their picture taken in front of his lifeless body. The police did nothing to stop the spectacle.

Although most of the country was outraged and horrified by the lynching, Watson remained very popular in Georgia. In fact, he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1920.

Frank did not receive a posthumous pardon until 1986, on the grounds that his lynching deprived him of his right to appeal his conviction.

bojangles
26-04-2015, 10:07 AM
On this day in 1986, the world’s worst nuclear accident to date occurs at the Chernobyl nuclear plant near Kiev in Ukraine. The full toll from this disaster is still being tallied, but experts believe that thousands of people died and as many as 70,000 suffered severe poisoning. In addition, a large area of land may not be livable for as much as 150 years. The 18-mile radius around Chernobyl was home to almost 150,000 people who had to be permanently relocated.

The Soviet Union built the Chernobyl plant, which had four 1,000-megawatt reactors, in the town of Pripyat. At the time of the explosion, it was one of the largest and oldest nuclear power plants in the world. The explosion and subsequent meltdown of one reactor was a catastrophic event that directly affected hundreds of thousands of people. Still, the Soviet government kept its own people and the rest of the world in the dark about the accident until days later.

At first, the Soviet government only asked for advice on how to fight graphite fires and acknowledged the death of two people. It soon became apparent, however, that the Soviets were covering up a major accident and had ignored their responsibility to warn both their own people and surrounding nations. Two days after the explosion, Swedish authorities began measuring dangerously high levels of radioactivity in their atmosphere.

Years later, the full story was finally released. Workers at the plant were performing tests on the system. They shut off the emergency safety systems and the cooling system, against established regulations, in preparation for the tests. Even when warning signs of dangerous overheating began to appear, the workers failed to stop the test. Xenon gases built up and at 1:23 a.m. the first explosion rocked the reactor. A total of three explosions eventually blew the 1,000-ton steel top right off of the reactor.

A huge fireball erupted into the sky. Flames shot 1,000 feet into the air for two days, as the entire reactor began to melt down. Radioactive material was thrown into the air like fireworks. Although firefighting was futile, Pripyat’s 40,000 people were not evacuated until 36 hours after the explosion. Potentially lethal rain fell as the fires continued for eight days. Dikes were built at the Pripyat River to contain damage from contaminated water run-off and the people of Kiev were warned to stay indoors as a radioactive cloud headed their way.

On May 9, workers began encasing the reactor in concrete. Later, Hans Blix of the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that approximately 200 people were directly exposed and that 31 had died immediately at Chernobyl. The clean-up effort and the general radioactive exposure in the region, however, would prove to be even more deadly. Some reports estimate that as many as 4,000 clean-up workers died from radiation poisoning. Birth defects among people living in the area have increased dramatically. Thyroid cancer has increased tenfold in Ukraine since the accident.

quinner
26-04-2015, 11:11 AM
On this day in 1986, the world’s worst nuclear accident to date occurs at the Chernobyl nuclear plant near Kiev in Ukraine. The full toll from this disaster is still being tallied, but experts believe that thousands of people died and as many as 70,000 suffered severe poisoning. In addition, a large area of land may not be livable for as much as 150 years. The 18-mile radius around Chernobyl was home to almost 150,000 people who had to be permanently relocated.

The Soviet Union built the Chernobyl plant, which had four 1,000-megawatt reactors, in the town of Pripyat. At the time of the explosion, it was one of the largest and oldest nuclear power plants in the world. The explosion and subsequent meltdown of one reactor was a catastrophic event that directly affected hundreds of thousands of people. Still, the Soviet government kept its own people and the rest of the world in the dark about the accident until days later.

At first, the Soviet government only asked for advice on how to fight graphite fires and acknowledged the death of two people. It soon became apparent, however, that the Soviets were covering up a major accident and had ignored their responsibility to warn both their own people and surrounding nations. Two days after the explosion, Swedish authorities began measuring dangerously high levels of radioactivity in their atmosphere.

Years later, the full story was finally released. Workers at the plant were performing tests on the system. They shut off the emergency safety systems and the cooling system, against established regulations, in preparation for the tests. Even when warning signs of dangerous overheating began to appear, the workers failed to stop the test. Xenon gases built up and at 1:23 a.m. the first explosion rocked the reactor. A total of three explosions eventually blew the 1,000-ton steel top right off of the reactor.

A huge fireball erupted into the sky. Flames shot 1,000 feet into the air for two days, as the entire reactor began to melt down. Radioactive material was thrown into the air like fireworks. Although firefighting was futile, Pripyat’s 40,000 people were not evacuated until 36 hours after the explosion. Potentially lethal rain fell as the fires continued for eight days. Dikes were built at the Pripyat River to contain damage from contaminated water run-off and the people of Kiev were warned to stay indoors as a radioactive cloud headed their way.

On May 9, workers began encasing the reactor in concrete. Later, Hans Blix of the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that approximately 200 people were directly exposed and that 31 had died immediately at Chernobyl. The clean-up effort and the general radioactive exposure in the region, however, would prove to be even more deadly. Some reports estimate that as many as 4,000 clean-up workers died from radiation poisoning. Birth defects among people living in the area have increased dramatically. Thyroid cancer has increased tenfold in Ukraine since the accident.

It is said in the bible that a star called Wormwood will bring death and pestilence onto this Earth......

A Nuclear reactor is similar to a Star.....

And Chernobyl in the local language means....Wormwood.....

Read that somewhere...?

cosmo
26-04-2015, 01:27 PM
back of a beermat in sheperds bush pub???? ha ha .

quinner
26-04-2015, 02:43 PM
back of a beermat in sheperds bush pub???? ha ha .

lol.......Can you remember which one.....?

A reminder......Mail Coach...Telegraph.....Wellington......Bush hotel......Railway Arms...Railway Tavern....Cunningham.....Seven stars....
The Eagle.....The Sun....Travellers Rest......Queen Adelaide....White Horse.....
The Hussar......One on the corner of Wood Lane Shepherds Green, Can't remember The Name......And the Duke of Clarence.....

Have I got them all...lol...

quinner
26-04-2015, 02:49 PM
lol.......Can you remember which one.....?

A reminder......Mail Coach...Telegraph.....Wellington......Bush hotel......Railway Arms...Railway Tavern....Cunningham.....Seven stars....
The Eagle.....The Sun....Travellers Rest......Queen Adelaide....White Horse.....
The Hussar......One on the corner of Wood Lane Shepherds Green, Can't remember The Name......And the Duke of Clarence.....

Have I got them all...lol...

I wonder which one ''big Mick'' used.....Nearest would be the Telegraph..

quinner
26-04-2015, 02:54 PM
I wonder which one ''big Mick'' used.....Nearest would be the Telegraph..

I have photographic memories of the Police station cells there....and the ones in Hammersmith.....

bojangles
27-04-2015, 07:50 AM
27th of April 1984: Libyan embassy siege ends
The siege of the Libyan Embassy in St James's Square in London is over.
In the end, the diplomats, holed up in the building for 11 days since the shooting dead of WPC Yvonne Fletcher which began the siege, simply walked out.

The first indication that a major development was under way came at 0847 BST (0747 GMT), when a group of neutral observers and two Libyan intermediaries walked into the Square and entered the building.

Half an hour later, a white van drove up to the door. Four diplomatic bags were loaded on to the vehicle by observers. They were followed by an assortment of suitcases, hand baggage and plastic carrier bags.

No emotion

In groups of five, led by the Libyan intermediary who has talked to them throughout the 11-day siege, the 30 diplomats made their way out of the embassy in single file.

They showed no emotion, even as they passed the spot where WPC Yvonne Fletcher was shot. Her hat, which had lain where she fell, was removed by one of her colleagues during the night.

The shooting, during a demonstration against the Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi, was believed to have been carried out from inside the embassy. It began a tense stand-off between police and the diplomats inside.

Just over a week later, at the inquest into the 25-year-old policewoman's death, witnesses spoke of seeing smoke and a flaming gun at a first floor window of the building.

Negotiations slow and tortuous

The Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi, countered with a siege of the British embassy in Tripoli. Negotiations between the two countries have been slow and tortuous, with politicians and the police frustrated by the lack of progress.

Finally on Sunday, diplomatic ties were severed, and those inside the embassy were given seven days to leave the country. The British ambassador to Libya was given the same deadline to leave Tripoli.

The Libyan diplomats have now been escorted to Heathrow and onto a plane out of the country.

Police have reluctantly had to accept that whoever shot WPC Fletcher will probably escape justice by claiming diplomatic immunity.

The Home Secretary, Leon Brittan, has said the government will press for changes in the Vienna Convention controlling diplomatic relations.


In Context
Nobody has yet been charged with the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher.
In 1999, Libya admitted "general responsibility" for her killing, and agreed to pay compensation to her family. The authorities in Tripoli also agreed to cooperate with detectives from the anti-terrorist branch investigating the case.

Diplomatic relations between the two countries were resumed later that year.

Police re-opened the file into the murder, and in May 2002 officers from Scotland Yard flew to Libya to further the investigation.

Their talks with the authorities were described as "useful", although newspaper reports suggested that their attempts to interview potential suspects were fruitless.

In 2004 it was announced that Libyan and British police would conduct a joint investigation into the killing.

quinner
27-04-2015, 08:08 AM
27th of April 1984: Libyan embassy siege ends
The siege of the Libyan Embassy in St James's Square in London is over.
In the end, the diplomats, holed up in the building for 11 days since the shooting dead of WPC Yvonne Fletcher which began the siege, simply walked out.

The first indication that a major development was under way came at 0847 BST (0747 GMT), when a group of neutral observers and two Libyan intermediaries walked into the Square and entered the building.

Half an hour later, a white van drove up to the door. Four diplomatic bags were loaded on to the vehicle by observers. They were followed by an assortment of suitcases, hand baggage and plastic carrier bags.

No emotion

In groups of five, led by the Libyan intermediary who has talked to them throughout the 11-day siege, the 30 diplomats made their way out of the embassy in single file.

They showed no emotion, even as they passed the spot where WPC Yvonne Fletcher was shot. Her hat, which had lain where she fell, was removed by one of her colleagues during the night.

The shooting, during a demonstration against the Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi, was believed to have been carried out from inside the embassy. It began a tense stand-off between police and the diplomats inside.

Just over a week later, at the inquest into the 25-year-old policewoman's death, witnesses spoke of seeing smoke and a flaming gun at a first floor window of the building.

Negotiations slow and tortuous

The Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi, countered with a siege of the British embassy in Tripoli. Negotiations between the two countries have been slow and tortuous, with politicians and the police frustrated by the lack of progress.

Finally on Sunday, diplomatic ties were severed, and those inside the embassy were given seven days to leave the country. The British ambassador to Libya was given the same deadline to leave Tripoli.

The Libyan diplomats have now been escorted to Heathrow and onto a plane out of the country.

Police have reluctantly had to accept that whoever shot WPC Fletcher will probably escape justice by claiming diplomatic immunity.

The Home Secretary, Leon Brittan, has said the government will press for changes in the Vienna Convention controlling diplomatic relations.


In Context
Nobody has yet been charged with the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher.
In 1999, Libya admitted "general responsibility" for her killing, and agreed to pay compensation to her family. The authorities in Tripoli also agreed to cooperate with detectives from the anti-terrorist branch investigating the case.

Diplomatic relations between the two countries were resumed later that year.

Police re-opened the file into the murder, and in May 2002 officers from Scotland Yard flew to Libya to further the investigation.

Their talks with the authorities were described as "useful", although newspaper reports suggested that their attempts to interview potential suspects were fruitless.

In 2004 it was announced that Libyan and British police would conduct a joint investigation into the killing.

I was working next to the mansard roof window in the Piccadilly hotel in Piccadilly that day.....Heard the shots through the open window....The angle of my view over the houses only allowed me to see the far corner of the South side of the square......chaos as people were running in all directions and the police klaxons drowned out all the noise......

bojangles
28-04-2015, 10:51 AM
On this day in 1945, “Il Duce,” Benito Mussolini, and his mistress, Clara Petacci, are shot by Italian partisans who had captured the couple as they attempted to flee to Switzerland.

The 61-year-old deposed former dictator of Italy was established by his German allies as the figurehead of a puppet government in northern Italy during the German occupation toward the close of the war. As the Allies fought their way up the Italian peninsula, defeat of the Axis powers all but certain, Mussolini considered his options. Not wanting to fall into the hands of either the British or the Americans, and knowing that the communist partisans, who had been fighting the remnants of roving Italian fascist soldiers and thugs in the north, would try him as a war criminal, he settled on escape to a neutral country.

He and his mistress made it to the Swiss border, only to discover that the guards had crossed over to the partisan side. Knowing they would not let him pass, he disguised himself in a Luftwaffe coat and helmet, hoping to slip into Austria with some German soldiers. His subterfuge proved incompetent, and he and Petacci were discovered by partisans and shot, their bodies then transported by truck to Milan, where they were hung upside down and displayed publicly for revilement by the masses.

bojangles
28-04-2015, 10:54 AM
On this day in 1996, 28-year-old Martin Bryant begins a killing spree that ends in the deaths of 35 men, women and children in the quiet town of Port Arthur in Tasmania, Australia.

Bryant, who is believed to have an extremely low IQ and may be mentally handicapped, began the day by killing an elderly couple who were the owners of Port Arthur’s Seascape guesthouse. Some theorize that the killings were Bryant’s retaliation for the owners refusing to sell his father the guesthouse. Bryant’s father later committed suicide, an action Bryant is said to have blamed on his depression over not being able to buy the property.

After having lunch on the deck of the Broad Arrow Cafe, located at the site of the historic Port Arthur prison colony, a tourist destination, Bryant entered the restaurant, removed an automatic rifle from his bag, and began shooting. After killing 22 people in rapid succession, Bryant left the restaurant for the parking lot, where he continued his shooting spree, killing the drivers of two tour buses, some of their passengers and a mother and her two small children, among others.

On his way out of the parking lot, he shot four people in a BMW and drove the car to a nearby gas station, where he shot one woman and took a man hostage, before driving back to the Seascape guesthouse. After an 18-hour stand-off with police, Bryant set the guesthouse on fire, ran outside and was captured. He had apparently killed the hostage sometime earlier.

Bryant initially pled not-guilty to the 35 murders, but changed his plea and was sentenced to life in prison, never to be released, Australia’s maximum sentence. The Broad Arrow Cafe and its environs were turned into a place for reflection and a memorial.

People across Australia and the world were horrified by Bryant’s actions. In the hopes of preventing similar crimes, gun-control laws in many areas of Australia were significantly strengthened in the aftermath of the tragedy.

bojangles
29-04-2015, 08:49 AM
The actor Daniel Day-Lewis, famous for his intense Method acting and chameleon-like ability to disappear into character, is born on this day in 1957, in London, England.

Day-Lewis’ father, Cecil Day-Lewis, was a British poet laureate; his mother, Jill Balcon, was an actress and a daughter of the film producer Sir Michael Balcon. After dropping out of England’s public school system, the younger Day-Lewis landed his first film role at the age of 13, in 1971’s Sunday Bloody Sunday. He spent time studying at the Bristol Old Vic theater school and later performed with the company itself, as well as with the venerable Royal Shakespeare Company.

In his first film role as an adult, Day-Lewis played a South African street thug in Gandhi (1982). Three years later, he broke out with prominent roles in two acclaimed films, My Beautiful Laundrette and A Room With a View. For his two vastly different performances (as a working-class gay street punk and a priggish British gentleman, respectively) Day-Lewis earned that year’s Best Supporting Actor honors from the New York Film Critics award. After making his debut as a leading man in The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988), he was heaped with critical praise, including an Academy Award for Best Actor, for his performance in My Left Foot (1989), directed by Jim Sheridan. Living up to his reputation as the consummate Method actor, Day-Lewis reportedly spent months in a wheelchair in preparation for his portrayal of Christy Brown, the author and activist suffering from cerebral palsy.

After a three-year hiatus from filmmaking, Day-Lewis returned as a romantic hero in the box-office success The Last of the Mohicans and in Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence (both 1992). The following year, he again basked in critical acclaim for his performance as an Irishman wrongly accused of terrorism in Sheridan’s In the Name of the Father (1993), which garnered him another Oscar nomination for Best Actor. Day-Lewis appeared only sporadically in films over the next several years, including The Crucible (1996), adapted from the play by Arthur Miller. While working on that film, he met the playwright’s daughter, Rebecca Miller, whom he would later marry. The couple has two sons, Ronan and Cashel, and Day-Lewis has another son, Gabriel-Kane, from his relationship with the actress Isabelle Adjani.

After making The Boxer (1997), his third film with Sheridan, Day-Lewis spent a period living in Italy as an apprentice to a cobbler. Martin Scorsese ultimately enticed him back to the screen to star in his big-budget historical epic Gangs of New York. To portray the charismatic, unhinged gang leader Bill the Butcher, Day-Lewis reverted to his legendary intensity, taking lessons from a real butcher and insisting on maintaining his character’s accent even while off screen. When the long-awaited film was finally released in 2005, Day-Lewis’s performance netted him another Oscar nod for Best Actor.

bojangles
29-04-2015, 09:47 AM
1992: LA in flames after 'not guilty' verdict
Fierce rioting has broken out in Los Angeles following the decision by a jury to acquit four white police officers accused of beating black motorist Rodney King.
The decision, made by an all-white jury, caused a political outcry, and provoked fury in the predominantly black neighbourhoods of south-central Los Angeles.

An angry crowd, chanting "Guilty! Guilty!", tried to storm police headquarters in the business district, before setting fire to shops and vehicles.

Motorists were dragged from their cars and beaten, cars were overturned and set alight, and at least five people were shot dead.

The violence is the worst in the city since the Watts riots of 1965, in which 34 people died. The Governor of California, Pete Wilson, has declared a state of emergency, and called in reinforcements from the California Highway Patrol.

'Murder and destruction'

In a brief televised statement, President Bush said the "murder and destruction" on the streets of the city must be stopped. He also spoke of his concern at excessive use of force by the police.

The case centred on a video, taped by an amateur cameraman in March last year, which caught the scene as the four police officers beat, kicked and clubbed unemployed labourer Rodney King for 81 seconds while other officers looked on.

The tape was on television networks across the world a day later, and became a focus for accusations of racist brutality against the LAPD.

Throughout the two-month televised trial, the four accused police officers - Laurence Powell, Stacey Koon, Timothy Wind and Theodore Briseno - argued that they acted in self-defence to restrain Mr King, who they said was aggressive and resisted arrest.

Following the verdict, Mr King's lawyer said his client was "speechless - in a state of shock and outrage". He plans to go ahead with his $56 million private suit against the city and police force.

State Senator Ed Davis, himself a former city police chief, said he was "shocked and flabbergasted" by the verdict. "Having seen the video, like millions of other people," he said, "I cannot accept this as police conduct for California."


In Context
The riots in Los Angeles lasted several days. The violence killed 55 people, and included revenge attacks against whites and Asians. About 2,000 were injured, with a further 12,000 arrested.
Property damaged cost an estimated $1bn to repair, and the National Guard was deployed to restore order.

The four acquitted police officers faced a second trial a year later, on federal charges of violating Rodney King's civil rights.

Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell were found guilty: each served two years in jail. Timothy Wind and Theodore Briseno were cleared. All four left the police force, and have since found it difficult to get work elsewhere.

Rodney King won $3.8m damages from the City of Los Angeles. Much of it went to pay his lawyers, but he used the rest to found a rap record business, the Straight Alta-Pazz Recording Company.

bojangles
30-04-2015, 07:07 AM
On this day in 1945, holed up in a bunker under his headquarters in Berlin, Adolf Hitler commits suicide by swallowing a cyanide capsule and shooting himself in the head. Soon after, Germany unconditionally surrendered to the Allied forces, ending Hitler’s dreams of a “1,000-year” Reich.

Since at least 1943, it was becoming increasingly clear that Germany would fold under the pressure of the Allied forces. In February of that year, the German 6th Army, lured deep into the Soviet Union, was annihilated at the Battle of Stalingrad, and German hopes for a sustained offensive on both fronts evaporated. Then, in June 1944, the Western Allied armies landed at Normandy, France, and began systematically to push the Germans back toward Berlin. By July 1944, several German military commanders acknowledged their imminent defeat and plotted to remove Hitler from power so as to negotiate a more favorable peace. Their attempts to assassinate Hitler failed, however, and in his reprisals, Hitler executed over 4,000 fellow countrymen.

In January 1945, facing a siege of Berlin by the Soviets, Hitler withdrew to his bunker to live out his final days. Located 55 feet under the chancellery, the shelter contained 18 rooms and was fully self-sufficient, with its own water and electrical supply. Though he was growing increasingly mad, Hitler continued to give orders and meet with such close subordinates as Hermann Goering, Heinrich Himmler and Josef Goebbels. He also married his long-time mistress Eva Braun just two days before his suicide.

In his last will and testament, Hitler appointed Admiral Karl Donitz as head of state and Goebbels as chancellor. He then retired to his private quarters with Braun, where he and Braun poisoned themselves and their dogs, before Hitler then also shot himself with his service pistol.

Hitler and Braun’s bodies were hastily cremated in the chancellery garden, as Soviet forces closed in on the building. When the Soviets reached the chancellery, they removed Hitler’s ashes, continually changing their location so as to prevent Hitler devotees from creating a memorial at his final resting place. Only eight days later, on May 8, 1945, the German forces issued an unconditional surrender, leaving Germany to be carved up by the four Allied powers.

bojangles
01-05-2015, 10:29 AM
1st of May
1961: Victorious Castro bans elections
Cuba's prime minister, Dr Fidel Castro, has proclaimed Cuba a socialist nation and abolished elections.
Hundreds of thousands of Cubans attending a May Day parade in the capital Havana roared with approval when their leader announced: "The revolution has no time for elections. There is no more democratic government in Latin America than the revolutionary government."


If Mr Kennedy does not like Socialism, we do not like imperialism. We do not like capitalism.

Fidel Castro

Dr Castro, who came to power in January 1959 after the overthrow of dictator Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar, criticised America's fear of a new socialist republic so near US territory.

He said: "If Mr Kennedy does not like Socialism, we do not like imperialism. We do not like capitalism.

"We have as much right to complain about the existence of a capitalist imperialist regime 90 miles from our coast as he has to complain about a socialist regime 90 miles from his coast."

Dr Castro also announced that foreign Roman Catholic priests would be expelled and all Roman Catholic and private schools would be nationalised.

Cubans had reason to celebrate this May Day. Last month Castro's troops foiled an attempted invasion of the island by Cuban exiles supported by the USA. The invasion force of 1,300 men landed at Bahía de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs) but was rapidly defeated.

The days that followed saw thousands of anti-Castro rebels confined in makeshift prisons and at least 600 executed. The Cuban secret service, G2, is still interrogating possible "counter-revolutionaries".

According to BBC correspondent Erik de Mauny who arrived in Miami today by plane with Cuban refugees, Castro's revolution seems to be popular with the peasants if not with the wealthier classes who have seen their land and property confiscated.

Our correspondent says the failed invasion has strengthened Castro's hold on power and could inspire socialist rebels in other parts of the Americas. "The Castro regime has created a model to which many famished eyes throughout Latin America are inevitably drawn," he reports.

In Context
On 28 October 1962, the world came to the brink of nuclear war when the USSR positioned nuclear weapons capable of reaching the USA on the island. The so-called Cuban missile crisis was defused when the two superpowers agreed a deal whereby the missiles would be dismantled and a blockade on Cuba lifted.
US fears that the Cuban revolution would spread to other Latin American countries were not unfounded. In 1967 Castro's right-hand man Che Guevara was caught and killed in Bolivia.

In 1980, tens of thousands of Cubans arrived in the USA on makeshift rafts and boats after Castro encouraged dissidents to leave. Most were granted political asylum.

Although Cuba remained politically independent from the Soviet Union, the Cuban economy relied on billions of dollars in Soviet aid.

With the collapse of the USSR in 1991, the Cuban government had to open up the country to foreign investment and to promote tourism.

Castro remains a symbol of social justice for many Cubans.

bojangles
02-05-2015, 08:34 AM
Although accounts of an aquatic beast living in Scotland’s Loch Ness date back 1,500 years, the modern legend of the Loch Ness Monster is born when a sighting makes local news on May 2, 1933. The newspaper Inverness Courier related an account of a local couple who claimed to have seen “an enormous animal rolling and plunging on the surface.” The story of the “monster” (a moniker chosen by the Courier editor) became a media phenomenon, with London newspapers sending correspondents to Scotland and a circus offering a 20,000 pound sterling reward for capture of the beast.

Loch Ness, located in the Scottish Highlands, has the largest volume of fresh water in Great Britain; the body of water reaches a depth of nearly 800 feet and a length of about 23 miles. Scholars of the Loch Ness Monster find a dozen references to “Nessie” in Scottish history, dating back to around A.D. 500, when local Picts carved a strange aquatic creature into standing stones near Loch Ness. The earliest written reference to a monster in Loch Ness is a 7th-century biography of Saint Columba, the Irish missionary who introduced Christianity to Scotland. In 565, according to the biographer, Columba was on his way to visit the king of the northern Picts near Inverness when he stopped at Loch Ness to confront a beast that had been killing people in the lake. Seeing a large beast about to attack another man, Columba intervened, invoking the name of God and commanding the creature to “go back with all speed.” The monster retreated and never killed another man.

In 1933, a new road was completed along Loch Ness’ shore, affording drivers a clear view of the loch. After an April 1933 sighting was reported in the local paper on May 2, interest steadily grew, especially after another couple claimed to have seen the beast on land, crossing the shore road. Several British newspapers sent reporters to Scotland, including London’s Daily Mail, which hired big-game hunter Marmaduke Wetherell to capture the beast. After a few days searching the loch, Wetherell reported finding footprints of a large four-legged animal. In response, the Daily Mail carried the dramatic headline: “MONSTER OF LOCH NESS IS NOT LEGEND BUT A FACT.” Scores of tourists descended on Loch Ness and sat in boats or decks chairs waiting for an appearance by the beast. Plaster casts of the footprints were sent to the British Natural History Museum, which reported that the tracks were that of a hippopotamus, specifically one hippopotamus foot, probably stuffed. The hoax temporarily deflated Loch Ness Monster mania, but stories of sightings continued.

A famous 1934 photograph seemed to show a dinosaur-like creature with a long neck emerging out of the murky waters, leading some to speculate that “Nessie” was a solitary survivor of the long-extinct plesiosaurs. The aquatic plesiosaurs were thought to have died off with the rest of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Loch Ness was frozen solid during the recent ice ages, however, so this creature would have had to have made its way up the River Ness from the sea in the past 10,000 years. And the plesiosaurs, believed to be cold-blooded, would not long survive in the frigid waters of Loch Ness. More likely, others suggested, it was an archeocyte, a primitive whale with a serpentine neck that is thought to have been extinct for 18 million years. Skeptics argued that what people were seeing in Loch Ness were “seiches”–oscillations in the water surface caused by the inflow of cold river water into the slightly warmer loch.

Amateur investigators kept an almost constant vigil, and in the 1960s several British universities launched expeditions to Loch Ness, using sonar to search the deep. Nothing conclusive was found, but in each expedition the sonar operators detected large, moving underwater objects they could not explain. In 1975, Boston’s Academy of Applied Science combined sonar and underwater photography in an expedition to Loch Ness. A photo resulted that, after enhancement, appeared to show the giant flipper of a plesiosaur-like creature. Further sonar expeditions in the 1980s and 1990s resulted in more tantalizing, if inconclusive, readings. Revelations in 1994 that the famous 1934 photo was a hoax hardly dampened the enthusiasm of tourists and professional and amateur investigators to the legend of the Loch Ness Monster.

bojangles
03-05-2015, 10:00 AM
On this day in 1469, the Italian philosopher and writer Niccolo Machiavelli is born. A lifelong patriot and diehard proponent of a unified Italy, Machiavelli became one of the fathers of modern political theory.

Machiavelli entered the political service of his native Florence by the time he was 29. As defense secretary, he distinguished himself by executing policies that strengthened Florence politically. He soon found himself assigned diplomatic missions for his principality, through which he met such luminaries as Louis XII of France, Pope Julius II, the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, and perhaps most importantly for Machiavelli, a prince of the Papal States named Cesare Borgia. The shrewd and cunning Borgia later inspired the title character in Machiavelli’s famous and influential political treatise The Prince (1532).

Machiavelli’s political life took a downward turn after 1512, when he fell out of favor with the powerful Medici family. He was accused of conspiracy, imprisoned, tortured and temporarily exiled. It was an attempt to regain a political post and the Medici family’s good favor that Machiavelli penned The Prince, which was to become his most well-known work.

Though released in book form posthumously in 1532, The Prince was first published as a pamphlet in 1513. In it, Machiavelli outlined his vision of an ideal leader: an amoral, calculating tyrant for whom the end justifies the means. The Prince not only failed to win the Medici family’s favor, it also alienated him from the Florentine people. Machiavelli was never truly welcomed back into politics, and when the Florentine Republic was reestablished in 1527, Machiavelli was an object of great suspicion. He died later that year, embittered and shut out from the Florentine society to which he had devoted his life.

Though Machiavelli has long been associated with the practice of diabolical expediency in the realm of politics that was made famous in The Prince, his actual views were not so extreme. In fact, in such longer and more detailed writings as Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy (1517) and History of Florence (1525), he shows himself to be a more principled political moralist. Still, even today, the term “Machiavellian” is used to describe an action undertaken for gain without regard for right or wrong.

bojangles
04-05-2015, 09:34 AM
4th of May 1979
Margaret Thatcher, leader of the Conservative Party, is sworn in as Britain’s first female prime minister. The Oxford-educated chemist and lawyer was sworn in the day after the Conservatives won a 44-seat majority in general parliamentary elections.

Margaret Hilda Roberts was born in Grantham, England, in 1925. She was the first woman president of the Oxford University Conservative Association and in 1950 ran for Parliament in Dartford. She was defeated but garnered an impressive number of votes in the generally liberal district. In 1959, after marrying businessman Denis Thatcher and giving birth to twins, she was elected to Parliament as a Conservative for Finchley, a north London district. During the 1960s, she rose rapidly in the ranks of the Conservative Party and in 1967 joined the shadow cabinet sitting in opposition to Harold Wilson’s ruling Labour cabinet. With the victory of the Conservative Party under Edward Health in 1970, Thatcher became secretary of state for education and science.

In 1974, the Labour Party returned to power, and Thatcher served as joint shadow chancellor before replacing Edward Health as the leader of the Conservative Party in February 1975. She was the first woman to head the Conservatives. Under her leadership, the Conservative Party shifted further right in its politics, calling for privatization of national industries and utilities and promising a resolute defense of Britain’s interests abroad. She also sharply criticized Prime Minister James Callaghan’s ineffectual handling of the chaotic labor strikes of 1978 and 1979.

In March 1979, Callaghan was defeated by a vote of no confidence, and on May 3 a general election gave Thatcher’s Conservatives a majority in Parliament. Sworn in the next day, Prime Minister Thatcher immediately set about dismantling socialism in Britain. She privatized numerous industries, cutback government expenditures, and gradually reduced the rights of trade unions. In 1983, despite the worst unemployment figures for half a decade, Thatcher was reelected to a second term, thanks largely to the decisive British victory in the 1982 Falklands War with Argentina.

In other foreign affairs, the “Iron Lady” presided over the orderly establishment of an independent Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) in 1980 and took a hard stance against Irish separatists in Northern Ireland. In October 1984, an Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb exploded at the Conservative Party conference in Brighton. The prime minister narrowly escaped harm.

In 1987, an upswing in the economy led to her election to a third term, but Thatcher soon alienated some members of her own party because of her poll-tax policies and opposition to further British integration into the European Community. In November 1990, she failed to received a majority in the Conservative Party’s annual vote for selection of a leader. She withdrew her nomination, and John Major, the chancellor of the Exchequer since 1989, was chosen as Conservative leader. On November 28, Thatcher resigned as prime minister and was succeeded by Major. Thatcher’s three consecutive terms in office marked the longest continuous tenure of a British prime minister since 1827. In 1992, she was made a baroness and took a seat in the House of Lords.

In later years, Thatcher worked as a consultant, served as the chancellor of the College of William and Mary and wrote her memoirs, as well as other books on politics. She continued to work with the Thatcher Foundation, which she created to foster the ideals of democracy, free trade and cooperation among nations. Though she stopped appearing in public after suffering a series of small strokes in the early 2000s, her influence remained strong. In 2011, the former prime minister was the subject of an award-winning (and controversial) biographical film, “The Iron Lady,” which depicted her political rise and fall. Margaret Thatcher died on April 8, 2013, at the age of 87.

bojangles
04-05-2015, 09:38 AM
1945
As the Nazi threat dies, the Red Army rises


On this day in 1945, Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov informs U.S. Secretary of State Stettinius that the Red Army has arrested 16 Polish peace negotiators who had met with a Soviet army colonel near Warsaw back in March. When British Prime Minister Winston Churchill learns of the Soviet double-cross, he reacts in alarm, stating, “There is no doubt that the publication in detail of this event…would produce a primary change in the entire structure of world forces.”

Churchill, fearing that the Russian forces were already beginning to exact retribution for losses suffered during the war (the Polish negotiators had been charged with “causing the death of 200 Red Army officers”), sent a telegram to President Harry Truman to express his concern that Russian demands of reparations from Germany, and the possibility of ongoing Russian occupation of Central and Eastern Europe, “constitutes an event in the history of Europe to which there has been no parallel.” Churchill clearly foresaw the “Iron Curtain” beginning to drop. Consequently, he sent a “holding force” to Denmark to cut off any farther westward advance by Soviet troops.

quinner
04-05-2015, 09:47 AM
4th of May 1979
Margaret Thatcher, leader of the Conservative Party, is sworn in as Britain’s first female prime minister. The Oxford-educated chemist and lawyer was sworn in the day after the Conservatives won a 44-seat majority in general parliamentary elections.

Margaret Hilda Roberts was born in Grantham, England, in 1925. She was the first woman president of the Oxford University Conservative Association and in 1950 ran for Parliament in Dartford. She was defeated but garnered an impressive number of votes in the generally liberal district. In 1959, after marrying businessman Denis Thatcher and giving birth to twins, she was elected to Parliament as a Conservative for Finchley, a north London district. During the 1960s, she rose rapidly in the ranks of the Conservative Party and in 1967 joined the shadow cabinet sitting in opposition to Harold Wilson’s ruling Labour cabinet. With the victory of the Conservative Party under Edward Health in 1970, Thatcher became secretary of state for education and science.

In 1974, the Labour Party returned to power, and Thatcher served as joint shadow chancellor before replacing Edward Health as the leader of the Conservative Party in February 1975. She was the first woman to head the Conservatives. Under her leadership, the Conservative Party shifted further right in its politics, calling for privatization of national industries and utilities and promising a resolute defense of Britain’s interests abroad. She also sharply criticized Prime Minister James Callaghan’s ineffectual handling of the chaotic labor strikes of 1978 and 1979.

In March 1979, Callaghan was defeated by a vote of no confidence, and on May 3 a general election gave Thatcher’s Conservatives a majority in Parliament. Sworn in the next day, Prime Minister Thatcher immediately set about dismantling socialism in Britain. She privatized numerous industries, cutback government expenditures, and gradually reduced the rights of trade unions. In 1983, despite the worst unemployment figures for half a decade, Thatcher was reelected to a second term, thanks largely to the decisive British victory in the 1982 Falklands War with Argentina.

In other foreign affairs, the “Iron Lady” presided over the orderly establishment of an independent Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) in 1980 and took a hard stance against Irish separatists in Northern Ireland. In October 1984, an Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb exploded at the Conservative Party conference in Brighton. The prime minister narrowly escaped harm.

In 1987, an upswing in the economy led to her election to a third term, but Thatcher soon alienated some members of her own party because of her poll-tax policies and opposition to further British integration into the European Community. In November 1990, she failed to received a majority in the Conservative Party’s annual vote for selection of a leader. She withdrew her nomination, and John Major, the chancellor of the Exchequer since 1989, was chosen as Conservative leader. On November 28, Thatcher resigned as prime minister and was succeeded by Major. Thatcher’s three consecutive terms in office marked the longest continuous tenure of a British prime minister since 1827. In 1992, she was made a baroness and took a seat in the House of Lords.

In later years, Thatcher worked as a consultant, served as the chancellor of the College of William and Mary and wrote her memoirs, as well as other books on politics. She continued to work with the Thatcher Foundation, which she created to foster the ideals of democracy, free trade and cooperation among nations. Though she stopped appearing in public after suffering a series of small strokes in the early 2000s, her influence remained strong. In 2011, the former prime minister was the subject of an award-winning (and controversial) biographical film, “The Iron Lady,” which depicted her political rise and fall. Margaret Thatcher died on April 8, 2013, at the age of 87.

The ''Unions'' ensured a Thatcher victory in !979.......the country was sick of their shenanigans.......

bojangles
05-05-2015, 09:06 AM
1981
Bobby Sands dies


On May 5, 1981, Bobby Sands dies after refusing food for 66 days in protest of his treatment as a criminal rather than a political prisoner by British authorities. His death immediately touched off widespread rioting in Belfast, as young Irish-Catholic militants clashed with police and British Army patrols and started fires.

Bobby Sands was born into a Catholic family in a Protestant area of Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1954. In 1972, sectarian violence forced his family to move to public housing in a Catholic area, where Sands was recruited by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA). The Provisional IRA, formed in 1969 after a break with the Official IRA, advocated violence and terrorism as a means of winning independence for Northern Ireland from Britain. (The Provisional IRA, the dominant branch, is generally referred to as simply the IRA.) After independence, according to the IRA, Northern Ireland would be united with the Republic of Ireland in a socialist Irish republic. In 1972, Sands was arrested and convicted of taking part in several IRA robberies. Because he was convicted for IRA activities, he was given “special category status” and sent to a prison that was more akin to a prisoner of war camp because it allowed freedom of dress and freedom of movement within the prison grounds. He spent four years there.

After less than a year back on the streets, Sands was arrested in 1977 for gun possession near the scene of an IRA bombing and sentenced to 14 years in prison. Because the British government had enacted a policy of “criminalization” of Irish terrorists in 1976, Sands was imprisoned as a dangerous criminal in the Maze Prison south of Belfast. During the next few years, from his cell in the Maze, he joined other imprisoned IRA terrorists in protests demanding restoration of the freedoms they had previously enjoyed under special category status. In 1980, a hunger strike lasted 53 days before it was called off when one of the protesters fell into a coma. In response, the British government offered a few concessions to the prisoners, but they failed to deliver all they had promised and protests resumed. Sands did not take a direct part in the 1980 strike, but he acted as the IRA-appointed leader and spokesperson of the protesting prisoners.

On March 1, 1981–the fifth anniversary of the British policy of criminalization–Bobby Sands launched a new hunger strike. He took only water and salt, and his weight dropped from 155 pounds to 95 pounds. After two weeks, another protester joined the strike, and six days after that, two more. On April 9, in the midst of the strike, Sands was elected to a vacant seat in the British Parliament from Fermanagh and South Tyrone in Northern Ireland. Parliament subsequently introduced legislation to disqualify convicts serving prison sentences for eligibility for Parliament. His election and fears of violence after his death drew international attention to Sands’ protest. In the final week of his life, Pope John Paul II sent a personal envoy to urge Sands to give up the strike. He refused. On May 3, he fell into a coma, and in the early morning of May 5 he died. Fighting raged for days in Belfast, and tens of thousands attended his funeral on May 7.

bojangles
06-05-2015, 08:55 AM
6th of May 1994
In a ceremony presided over by Queen Elizabeth II and French President Francois Mitterand, a rail tunnel under the English Channel was officially opened, connecting Britain and the European mainland for the first time since the Ice Age.

The channel tunnel, or “Chunnel,” connects Folkstone, England, with Sangatte, France, 31 miles away. The Chunnel cut travel time between England and France to a swift 35 minutes and eventually between London and Paristo two-and-a-half hours.

As the world’s longest undersea tunnel, the Chunnel runs under water for 23 miles, with an average depth of 150 feet below the seabed. Each day, about 30,000 people, 6,000 cars and 3,500 trucks journey through the Chunnel on passenger, shuttle and freight trains.

Millions of tons of earth were moved to build the two rail tunnels–one for northbound and one for southbound traffic–and one service tunnel. Fifteen thousandpeople were employed at the peak of construction. Ten people were killed during construction.

Napoleon’s engineer, Albert Mathieu, planned the first tunnel under the English Channel in 1802, envisioning an underground passage with ventilation chimneys that would stretch above the waves. In 1880, the first real attempt was made by Colonel Beaumont, who bore a tunnel more than a mile long before abandoning the project. Other efforts followed in the 20th century, but none on the scale of the tunnels begun in June 1988.

The Chunnel’s $16 billion cost was roughly twice the original estimate, and completion was a year behind schedule. One year into service, Eurotunnel announced a huge loss, one of the biggest in United Kingdom corporate history at the time. A scheme in which banks agreed to swap billions of pounds worth of loans for shares saved the tunnel from going under and it showed its first net profit in 1999.

Freight traffic was suspended for six months after a fire broke out on a lorry in the tunnel in November 1996. Nobody was seriously hurt in the incident.

In 1996, the American Society of Civil Engineers identified the tunnel as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.

bojangles
07-05-2015, 08:24 AM
7th of May 1954
French defeated at Dien Bien Phu


In northwest Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh’s Viet Minh forces decisively defeat the French at Dien Bien Phu, a French stronghold besieged by the Vietnamese communists for 57 days. The Viet Minh victory at Dien Bien Phu signaled the end of French colonial influence in Indochina and cleared the way for the division of Vietnam along the 17th parallel at the conference of Geneva.

On September 2, 1945, hours after the Japanese signed their unconditional surrender in World War II, communist leader Ho Chi Minh proclaimed the independent Democratic Republic of Vietnam, hoping to prevent the French from reclaiming their former colonial possession. In 1946, he hesitantly accepted a French proposal that allowed Vietnam to exist as an autonomous state within the French Union, but fighting broke out when the French tried to reestablish colonial rule. Beginning in 1949, the Viet Minh fought an increasingly effective guerrilla war against France with military and economic assistance from newly Communist China. France received military aid from the United States.

In November 1953, the French, weary of jungle warfare, occupied Dien Bien Phu, a small mountain outpost on the Vietnamese border near Laos. Although the Vietnamese rapidly cut off all roads to the fort, the French were confident that they could be supplied by air. The fort was also out in the open, and the French believed that their superior artillery would keep the position safe. In 1954, the Viet Minh army, under General Vo Nguyen Giap, moved against Dien Bien Phu and in March encircled it with 40,000 Communist troops and heavy artillery.

The first Viet Minh assault against the 13,000 entrenched French troops came on March 12, and despite massive air support, the French held only two square miles by late April. On May 7, after 57 days of siege, the French positions collapsed. Although the defeat brought an end to French colonial efforts in Indochina, the United States soon stepped up to fill the vacuum, increasing military aid to South Vietnam and sending the first U.S. military advisers to the country in 1959.

bojangles
07-05-2015, 08:27 AM
On the afternoon of May 7, 1915, the British ocean liner Lusitania is torpedoed without warning by a German submarine off the south coast of Ireland. Within 20 minutes, the vessel sank into the Celtic Sea. Of 1,959 passengers and crew, 1,198 people were drowned, including 128 Americans. The attack aroused considerable indignation in the United States, but Germany defended the action, noting that it had issued warnings of its intent to attack all ships, neutral or otherwise, that entered the war zone around Britain.

When World War I erupted in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson pledged neutrality for the United States, a position that the vast majority of Americans favored. Britain, however, was one of America’s closest trading partners, and tension soon arose between the United States and Germany over the latter’s attempted quarantine of the British isles. Several U.S. ships traveling to Britain were damaged or sunk by German mines, and in February 1915 Germany announced unrestricted submarine warfare in the waters around Britain.

In early May 1915, several New York newspapers published a warning by the German embassy in Washington that Americans traveling on British or Allied ships in war zones did so at their own risk. The announcement was placed on the same page as an advertisement of the imminent sailing of the Lusitania liner from New York back to Liverpool. The sinkings of merchant ships off the south coast of Ireland prompted the British Admiralty to warn the Lusitania to avoid the area or take simple evasive action, such as zigzagging to confuse U-boats plotting the vessel’s course. The captain of the Lusitania ignored these recommendations, and at 2:12 p.m. on May 7 the 32,000-ton ship was hit by an exploding torpedo on its starboard side. The torpedo blast was followed by a larger explosion, probably of the ship’s boilers, and the ship sunk in 20 minutes.

It was revealed that the Lusitania was carrying about 173 tons of war munitions for Britain, which the Germans cited as further justification for the attack. The United States eventually sent three notes to Berlin protesting the action, and Germany apologized and pledged to end unrestricted submarine warfare. In November, however, a U-boat sunk an Italian liner without warning, killing 272 people, including 27 Americans. Public opinion in the United States began to turn irrevocably against Germany.

bojangles
08-05-2015, 09:22 AM
On this day in 1945, both Great Britain and the United States celebrate Victory in Europe Day. Cities in both nations, as well as formerly occupied cities in Western Europe, put out flags and banners, rejoicing in the defeat of the Nazi war machine.

The eighth of May spelled the day when German troops throughout Europe finally laid down their arms: In Prague, Germans surrendered to their Soviet antagonists, after the latter had lost more than 8,000 soldiers, and the Germans considerably more; in Copenhagen and Oslo; at Karlshorst, near Berlin; in northern Latvia; on the Channel Island of Sark—the German surrender was realized in a final cease-fire. More surrender documents were signed in Berlin and in eastern Germany.

The main concern of many German soldiers was to elude the grasp of Soviet forces, to keep from being taken prisoner. About 1 million Germans attempted a mass exodus to the West when the fighting in Czechoslovakia ended, but were stopped by the Russians and taken captive. The Russians took approximately 2 million prisoners in the period just before and after the German surrender.

Meanwhile, more than 13,000 British POWs were released and sent back to Great Britain.

Pockets of German-Soviet confrontation would continue into the next day. On May 9, the Soviets would lose 600 more soldiers in Silesia before the Germans finally surrendered. Consequently, V-E Day was not celebrated until the ninth in Moscow, with a radio broadcast salute from Stalin himself: “The age-long struggle of the Slav nations… has ended in victory. Your courage has defeated the Nazis. The war is over.”

bojangles
08-05-2015, 12:10 PM
Eamon Ceant

Eamonn Ceannt was born in Glennamaddy, County Galway on 21 September 1881, but is raised and educated in Dublin as son of a constable of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC). After finishing his study at the University College Eamonn Ceannt worked for the Treasury Department of the Dublin Corporation.
He was devoted to Irish language, music and dance and in 1900 Eamonn Ceannt joined the Gaelic League. Beside teaching Irish he was an excellent piper who added lustre to a meeting from Irish athletes with the pope. Eamonn Ceannt joined Sinn Féin in 1908 where he came to the attention of Sean Mac Diarmada who recruited him for the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB). In the year of its formation Eamonn was appointed to the Provisional Committee of the Irish Volunteer Force (IVF) and acquired the rank of Captain. In this capacity he was involved in the Howth Gun Running.
In 1915 Eamonn Ceannt was introduced in the Supreme Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB). Although he was not a member of the Military Council of the Republican Brotherhood (IRB) it is assumed that Ceannt was involved in the planning of the Rising of 1916. The fact that he is signatory of the Poblacht na hÉireann also implies involvement in the preparations. During the Easter Rising Eamonn Ceannt was in command of the South Dublin Union and surroundings.
Eamonn Ceannt was court-martialled and sentenced to death by firing squad. The verdict was carried out on 8 May 1916 in Kilmainham Gaol.

DAMNTHEWEATHER
08-05-2015, 12:41 PM
It happened on this date that David Cameron let the Conservative Party
to the most astounding election win in the history of his party....
8 May 2015.
How lucky the Brit citizens who voted for him are to have been part of this common sense decision.
:hurray::hurray::hurray:

jembo
08-05-2015, 08:46 PM
BATTLE OF MCDOWELL

Highland and Augusta counties
May 8, 1862

As part of the Federal campaign to capture the Shenandoah Valley in 1862, Federal Gens. Milroy and Schenck moved eastward to threaten the Valley from what is now West Virginia. In response, Gen. Jackson cleverly deceived the Federals by marching out of the east Valley towards Richmond and then returning his army to the Valley by rail to Staunton. He then quickly marched westward along the Staunton and Parkersburg Turnpike toward McDowell. Late in the afternoon of May 8, Jackson took up positions along Sitlington’s Hill. Despite being heavily outnumbered, Milroy seized the initiative and assaulted the Confederate position. After four hours of extremely fierce fighting, the Federals were repulsed. Milroy and Schenck created the ruse of bivouacking for the night, then quietly withdrew into West Virginia. Jackson was now free to operate against other Federal forces in the Valley—a key to his success in this campaign.
http://www.shenandoahatwar.org/The-History/The-Battles/Battle-of-McDowell

jembo
08-05-2015, 08:50 PM
It happened on this date that David Cameron let the Conservative Party
to the most astounding election win in the history of his party....
8 May 2015.
How lucky the Brit citizens who voted for him are to have been part of this common sense decision.
:hurray::hurray::hurray:

What a surprise, 3 party leaders brushed aside,but can The Cam stand up to the Poison Dwarf in opposition?

bojangles
09-05-2015, 07:57 AM
9th of May 1671
Captain Blood steals crown jewels

In London, Thomas Blood, an Irish adventurer better known as “Captain Blood,” is captured attempting to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London.

Blood, a Parliamentarian during the English Civil War, was deprived of his estate in Ireland with the restoration of the English monarchy in 1660. In 1663, he put himself at the head of a plot to seize Dublin Castle from supporters of King Charles II, but the plot was discovered and his accomplices executed. He escaped capture. In 1671, he hatched a bizarre plan to steal the new Crown Jewels, which had been refashioned by Charles II because most of the original jewels were melted down after Charles I’s execution in 1649.

On May 9, 1671, Blood, disguised as a priest, managed to convince the Jewel House keeper to hand over his pistols. Blood’s three accomplices then emerged from the shadows, and together they forced their way into the Jewel House. However, they were caught in the act when the keeper’s son showed up unexpectedly, and an alarm went out to the Tower guard. One man shoved the Royal Orb down his breeches while Blood flattened the Crown with a mallet and tried to run off with it. The Tower guards apprehended and arrested all four of the perpetrators, and Blood was brought before the king. Charles was so impressed with Blood’s audacity that, far from punishing him, he restored his estates in Ireland and made him a member of his court with an annual pension.

Captain Blood became a colorful celebrity all across the kingdom, and when he died in 1680 his body had to be exhumed in order to persuade the public that he was actually dead.

jembo
09-05-2015, 12:20 PM
Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, OM was born this day the 9 May 1860. He died 19 June 1937. A Scottish author and dramatist, son of a family of weavers, and is best remembered today as the creator of Peter Pan.

bojangles
10-05-2015, 10:19 AM
1940
As Germany invades Holland and Belgium, Winston Churchill becomes prime minister of Great Britain


On this day in 1940, Hitler begins his Western offensive with the radio code word “Danzig,” sending his forces into Holland and Belgium. On this same day, having lost the support of the Labour Party, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigns; Winston Churchill accedes to the office, becoming defense minister as well.

As British and French Allied forces attempted to meet the 136 German divisions breaking into Holland and Belgium on the ground, 2,500 German aircraft proceeded to bomb airfields in Belgium, Holland, France, and Luxembourg, and 16,000 German airborne troops parachuted into Rotterdam, Leiden, and The Hague. A hundred more German troops, employing air gliders, landed and seized the Belgian bridges across the Albert Canal. The Dutch army was defeated in five days. One day after the invasion of Belgium, the garrison at Fort Eben-Emael surrendered, outmanned and outgunned by the Germans.

The Dutch and Belgian governments immediately appealed to Britain for help. Neville Chamberlain pleaded to Parliament that a coalition government, of Liberals and Labour, would be necessary to generate support for a war effort, especially given the lethargy that infected Britain, still reeling from World War I. Labour demonstrated no support for Chamberlain, preferring Churchill, who they thought better able to prosecute a war. As one member of Parliament put it: “Winston—our hope—he may yet save civilization.” Great Britain had finally come to take the Nazi threat seriously.

Also on this day, in 1941, Rudolf Hess parachutes into Scotland in an attempt to negotiate a truce between Britain and Germany

On May 10, the day Hitler planned to invade Russia, and German bombs dropped on London in a spring “blitz,” Hess parachuted into Scotland, hoping to negotiate peace with Britain, in the person of the Duke of Hamilton, whom Hess claimed to have met at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Such a peace would have prevented Germany from fighting on two fronts and greatly increased Hess’s own prestige within the Nazi regime.

He did, in fact, find peace—in the Tower of London, where the British imprisoned him, the last man ever to be held there under lock and key.

jembo
10-05-2015, 07:57 PM
1941 England's House of Commons is destroyed during the worst of the London Blitz: 550 German bombers drop 100,000 incendiary bombs on London.

bojangles
11-05-2015, 08:02 AM
Dust storm sweeps from Great Plains across Eastern states

On this day in 1934, a massive storm sends millions of tons of topsoil flying from across the parched Great Plains region of the United States as far east as New York, Boston and Atlanta.

At the time the Great Plains were settled in the mid-1800s, the land was covered by prairie grass, which held moisture in the earth and kept most of the soil from blowing away even during dry spells. By the early 20th century, however, farmers had plowed under much of the grass to create fields. The U.S. entry into World War I in 1917 caused a great need for wheat, and farms began to push their fields to the limit, plowing under more and more grassland with the newly invented tractor. The plowing continued after the war, when the introduction of even more powerful gasoline tractors sped up the process. During the 1920s, wheat production increased by 300 percent, causing a glut in the market by 1931.

That year, a severe drought spread across the region. As crops died, wind began to carry dust from the over-plowed and over-grazed lands. The number of dust storms reported jumped from 14 in 1932 to 28 in 1933. The following year, the storms decreased in frequency but increased in intensity, culminating in the most severe storm yet in May 1934. Over a period of two days, high-level winds caught and carried some 350 million tons of silt all the way from the northern Great Plains to the eastern seaboard. According to The New York Times, dust “lodged itself in the eyes and throats of weeping and coughing New Yorkers,” and even ships some 300 miles offshore saw dust collect on their decks.

The dust storms forced thousands of families from Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico to uproot and migrate to California, where they were derisively known as “Okies”–no matter which state they were from. These transplants found life out West not much easier than what they had left, as work was scarce and pay meager during the worst years of the Great Depression.

Another massive storm on April 15, 1935–known as “Black Sunday”–brought even more attention to the desperate situation in the Great Plains region, which reporter Robert Geiger called the “Dust Bowl.” That year, as part of its New Deal program, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration began to enforce federal regulation of farming methods, including crop rotation, grass-seeding and new plowing methods. This worked to a point, reducing dust storms by up to 65 percent, but only the end of the drought in the fall of 1939 would truly bring relief.

jembo
11-05-2015, 07:32 PM
11 MAY 1689 BATTLE OF BANTRY BAY – FIRST NAVAL BATTLE BETWEEN BRITAIN AND FRANCE FOR 150 YEARS

The Battle of Bantry Bay was a naval engagement fought on 11 May 1689 during the Nine Years’ War. The English fleet was commanded by Arthur Herbert, 1st Earl of Torrington; the French fleet by François Louis de Rousselet, Marquis de Châteaurenault. Apart from the inshore operations at La Rochelle in 1627–28, the Battle of Bantry Bay was the first time English and French navies had met in fleet action since 1545.untitled (2)
The battle near the southern Irish coast was somewhat inconclusive but the French, endeavouring to supply King James II in his attempt to re-establish his throne, had managed to unload their supplies for James’s Irish campaign. But although the French failed to follow up their tactical success with strategic gain, Château-Renault had
inflicted considerable damage on the English fleet.
http://www.britishbattlefields.com/?p=336

bojangles
12-05-2015, 08:01 AM
Body of Lindbergh baby found


The body of aviation hero Charles Lindbergh’s baby is found on this day in 1932, more than two months after he was kidnapped from his family’s Hopewell, New Jersey, mansion.

Lindbergh, who became the first worldwide celebrity five years earlier when he flew The Spirit of St. Louis across the Atlantic, and his wife Anne discovered a ransom note in their 20-month-old child’s empty room on March 1. The kidnapper had used a ladder to climb up to the open second-floor window and had left muddy footprints in the room. The ransom note demanded $50,000 in barely literate English.

The crime captured the attention of the entire nation. The Lindbergh family was inundated by offers of assistance and false clues. Even Al Capone offered his help from prison, though it of course was conditioned on his release. For three days, investigators had found nothing and there was no further word from the kidnappers. Then, a new letter showed up, this time demanding $70,000.

It wasn’t until April 2 that the kidnappers gave instructions for dropping off the money. When the money was finally delivered, the kidnappers indicated that little baby Charles was on a boat called Nelly off the coast of Massachusetts. However, after an exhaustive search of every port, there was no sign of either the boat or the child.

On May 12, a renewed search of the area near the Lindbergh mansion turned up the baby’s body. He had been killed the night of the kidnapping and was found less than a mile from the home. The heartbroken Lindberghs ended up donating the home to charity and moved away.

The kidnapping looked like it would go unsolved until September 1934, when a marked bill from the ransom turned up. Suspicious of the driver who had given it to him, the gas station attendant who had accepted the bill wrote down his license plate number. It was tracked back to a German immigrant, Bruno Hauptmann. When his home was searched, detectives found $13,000 of Lindbergh ransom money.

Hauptmann claimed that a friend had given him the money to hold and that he had no connection to the crime. The resulting trial again was a national sensation. Famous writers Damon Runyan and Walter Winchell covered the trial. The prosecution’s case was not particularly strong. The main evidence, apart from the money, was testimony from handwriting experts that the ransom note had been written by Hauptmann and his connection with the type of wood that was used to make the ladder.

Still, the evidence and intense public pressure was enough to convict Hauptmann. In April 1935 he was executed in the electric chair.

Kidnapping was made a federal crime in the aftermath of this high-profile crime.

jembo
12-05-2015, 09:20 PM
On May 12, 1949, an early crisis of the Cold War comes to an end when the Soviet Union lifts its 11-month blockade against West Berlin. The blockade had been broken by a massive U.S.-British airlift of vital supplies to West Berlin’s two million citizens.

At the end of World War II, Germany was divided into four sectors administered by the four major Allied powers: the USSR, the United States, Britain, and France. Berlin, the German capital, was likewise divided into four sectors, even though it was located deep within the Soviet sector of eastern Germany. The future of Germany and Berlin was a major sticking point in postwar treaty talks, especially after the United States, Britain, and France sought to unite their occupation zones into a single economic zone. In March 1948, the Soviet Union quit the Allied Control Council governing occupied Germany over this issue. In May, the three Western powers agreed to the imminent formation of West Germany, a nation that would exist entirely independent of Soviet-occupied eastern Germany. The three western sectors of Berlin were united as West Berlin, which was to be under the administration of West Germany.

On June 20, as a major step toward the establishment of a West German government, the Western powers introduced a new Deutsche mark currency in West Germany and West Berlin. The Soviets condemned this move as an attack on the East German currency and on June 24 began a blockade of all rail, road, and water communications between Berlin and the West. The four-power administration of Berlin had ceased with the unification of West Berlin, the Soviets said, and the Western powers no longer had a right to be there. With West Berlin’s food, fuel, and other necessities cut off, the Soviets reasoned, it would soon have to submit to Communist control.

Britain and the United States responded by initiating the largest airlift in history, flying 278,288 relief missions to the city during the next 14 months, resulting in the delivery of 2,326,406 tons of supplies. As the Soviets had cut off power to West Berlin, coal accounted for over two-thirds of the material delivered. In the opposite direction, return flights transported West Berlin’s industrial exports to the West. Flights were made around the clock, and at the height of the Berlin airlift, in April 1949, planes were landing in the city every minute. Tensions were high during the airlift, and three groups of U.S. strategic bombers were sent as reinforcements to Britain while the Soviet army presence in eastern Germany increased dramatically. The Soviets made no major effort to disrupt the airlift. As a countermeasure against the Soviet blockade, the Western powers also launched a trade embargo against eastern Germany and other Soviet bloc countries.

On May 12, 1949, the Soviets abandoned the blockade, and the first British and American convoys drove though 110 miles of Soviet Germany to reach West Berlin. On May 23, the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) was formally established. On October 7, the German Democratic Republic, a Communist state, was proclaimed in East Germany. The Berlin airlift continued until September 30, in an effort to build up a year’s supply of essential goods for West Berlin in the event of another Soviet blockade. Another blockade did not occur, but Cold War tensions over Berlin remained high, culminating in the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961.

With the gradual waning of Soviet power in the late 1980s, the Communist Party in East Germany began to lose its grip on power. Tens of thousands of East Germans began to flee the nation, and by late 1989 the Berlin Wall started to come down. Shortly thereafter, talks between East and West German officials, joined by officials from the United States, Great Britain, France, and the USSR, began to explore the possibility of reunification, which was achieved on October 3, 1990. Two months following reunification, all-German elections took place and Helmut Kohl became the first chancellor of the reunified Germany. Although this action came more than a year before the dissolution of the Soviet Union, for many observers the reunification of effectively marked the end of the Cold War.
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/berlin-blockade-lifted

bojangles
13-05-2015, 08:00 AM
Pope John Paul II shot

Near the start of his weekly general audience in Rome’s St. Peter’s Square, Pope John Paul II is shot and seriously wounded while passing through the square in an open car. The assailant, 23-year-old escaped Turkish murderer Mehmet Ali Agca, fired four shots, one of which hit the pontiff in the abdomen, narrowly missing vital organs, and another that hit the pope’s left hand. A third bullet struck 60-year-old American Ann Odre in the chest, seriously wounding her, and the fourth hit 21-year-old Jamaican Rose Hill in the arm. Agca’s weapon was knocked out of his hand by bystanders, and he was detained until his arrest by police. The pope was rushed by ambulance to Rome’s Gemelli Hospital, where he underwent more than five hours of surgery and was listed in critical but stable condition.

John Paul II, once the spiritual leader of almost 600 million Roman Catholics around the world, was invested in 1978 as the first Polish pope and the first non-Italian pope in 456 years. Fluent in seven modern languages and Latin, he was known as an avid traveler who had little fear of going out in public. Four days after being shot, he offered forgiveness to his would-be assassin from his hospital bed. The pontiff spent three weeks in the hospital before being released fully recovered from his wounds.

The motives of Mehmet Ali Agca in attempting to kill the head of the Roman Catholic Church were enigmatic, and remain so today. In the 1970s, Agca joined a right-wing Turkish terrorist group known as the Gray Wolves. The group is held responsible for the assassination of hundreds of public officials, labor organizers, journalists, and left-wing activists as part of their mission to cleanse Turkey of leftist influence. In recent years, it has been revealed that the Gray Wolves had close ties with far-right politicians, intelligence officers, and police commanders. In February 1979, Abdi Ipekci, a liberal newspaper editor, was murdered near his home in Istanbul. Mehmet Ali Agca was arrested and charged with the crime. While awaiting his trial, Agca escaped from a military prison in November 1979.

In his cell, he left behind a letter that concerned John Paul II’s planned trip to Turkey. The letter read: “Western imperialists who are afraid of Turkey’s unity of political, military, and economic power with the brotherly Islamic countries are sending the Crusader Commander John Paul under the mask of a religions leader. If this ill-timed and meaningless visit is not called off, I will definitely shoot the pope. This is the only reason that I escaped from prison.” Because of this threat, security was tightened during the pope’s Turkish visit, and there was no assassination attempt. A Turkish court convicted Agca of murder in absentia, and he remained at large.

On May 9, 1981, Agca took a plane from Majorca to Milan and entered Italy under an assumed name. He took a room in a hotel near the Vatican and on May 13 walked into St. Peter’s Square and shot the pope with a 9mm Browning automatic. A handwritten note was found in his pocket that read: “I am killing the pope as a protest against the imperialism of the Soviet Union and the United States and against the genocide that is being carried out in Salvador and Afghanistan.” He pleaded guilty, saying he acted alone, and in July 1981 was sentenced to life in prison.

In 1982, Agca announced that his assassination attempt was actually part of a conspiracy involving the Bulgarian intelligence services, which was known to act on behalf of the KGB. Pope John Paul II was a fervent anti-communist who supported the Solidarity trade union in his native Poland, which seemed to make him an appropriate target for the communists. In 1983, despite these developments, the pope met with Mehmet in prison and offered him forgiveness. Further interrogations of Agca led to the arrest of three Bulgarians and three Turks, who went on trial in 1985.

As the trial opened, the case against the Bulgarian and Turkish defendants collapsed when Agca, the state’s key witness, described himself as Jesus Christ and predicted the imminent end of the world. He explained that the Bulgarian scenario was concocted by Western intelligence officials, and that God had in fact led him to shoot John Paul II. The attack, he explained, was “tied to the Third Secret of the Madonna of Fatima.” The secrets of Fatima were three messages that Catholic tradition says the Virgin Mary imparted to three Portuguese shepherd children in an apparition in 1917. The first message allegedly predicted World War II, the second the rise (and fall) of the Soviet Union, and the third was still a Vatican secret in 1985. In 1986, the Bulgarian and Turkish defendants were acquitted for lack of evidence.

In the late 1990s, Pope John Paul II expressed his hope that the Italian government would pardon Mehmet in 2000. The pontiff had made 2000 a holy “Jubilee” year, of which forgiveness was to be a cornerstone. On May 13, 2000, the 19th anniversary of the attempt on his life, the pope visited Fatima, Portugal. The same day, the Third Secret of Fatima was announced by Vatican Secretary of State Angelo Sodano. Sodano described the secret as a “prophetic vision” in which “a bishop clothed in white…falls to the ground, apparently dead, under a burst of gunfire.” The Vatican interpreted this as a prediction of the attempt on John Paul II’s life. Mehmet Ali Agca, who had guessed the alleged Fatima-assassination connection in 1985, was pardoned by Italian President Carolo Ciampi on June 14, 2000. Extradited to Turkey, he began serving the eight years remaining on the sentence for his 1979 murder of the Turkish newspaper editor.

In February 2005, Pope John Paul II was hospitalized with complications from the flu. He died two months later, on April 2, 2005, at his home in the Vatican. Six days later two million people packed Vatican City for his funeral–said to be the biggest funeral in history. Although it was not confirmed by the Vatican until 2003, many believe Pope John Paul II began suffering from Parkinson’s disease in the early 1990s. He began to develop slurred speech and had difficulty walking, though he continued to keep up a physically demanding travel schedule. In his final years, he was forced to delegate many of his official duties, but still found the strength to speak to the faithful from a window at the Vatican.

Pope John Paul II is remembered for his successful efforts to end communism, as well as for building bridges with peoples of other faiths, and issuing the Catholic Church’s first apology for its actions during World War II. He was succeeded by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI. Benedict XVI began the process to beatify John Paul II in May 2005.

bojangles
14-05-2015, 07:46 AM
On May 14, 1948, in Tel Aviv, Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben-Gurion proclaims the State of Israel, establishing the first Jewish state in 2,000 years. In an afternoon ceremony at the Tel Aviv Art Museum, Ben-Gurion pronounced the words “We hereby proclaim the establishment of the Jewish state in Palestine, to be called Israel,” prompting applause and tears from the crowd gathered at the museum. Ben-Gurion became Israel’s first premier.

In the distance, the rumble of guns could be heard from fighting that broke out between Jews and Arabs immediately following the British army withdrawal earlier that day. Egypt launched an air assault against Israel that evening. Despite a blackout in Tel Aviv–and the expected Arab invasion–Jews joyously celebrated the birth of their new nation, especially after word was received that the United States had recognized the Jewish state. At midnight, the State of Israel officially came into being upon termination of the British mandate in Palestine.

Modern Israel has its origins in the Zionism movement, established in the late 19th century by Jews in the Russian Empire who called for the establishment of a territorial Jewish state after enduring persecution. In 1896, Jewish-Austrian journalist Theodor Herzl published an influential political pamphlet called The Jewish State, which argued that the establishment of a Jewish state was the only way of protecting Jews from anti-Semitism. Herzl became the leader of Zionism, convening the first Zionist Congress in Switzerland in 1897. Ottoman-controlled Palestine, the original home of the Jews, was chosen as the most desirable location for a Jewish state, and Herzl unsuccessfully petitioned the Ottoman government for a charter.

After the failed Russian Revolution of 1905, growing numbers of Eastern European and Russian Jews began to immigrate to Palestine, joining the few thousand Jews who had arrived earlier. The Jewish settlers insisted on the use of Hebrew as their spoken language. With the collapse of the Ottoman Empire during World War I, Britain took over Palestine. In 1917, Britain issued the “Balfour Declaration,” which declared its intent to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Although protested by the Arab states, the Balfour Declaration was included in the British mandate over Palestine, which was authorized by the League of Nations in 1922. Because of Arab opposition to the establishment of any Jewish state in Palestine, British rule continued throughout the 1920s and ’30s.

Beginning in 1929, Arabs and Jews openly fought in Palestine, and Britain attempted to limit Jewish immigration as a means of appeasing the Arabs. As a result of the Holocaust in Europe, many Jews illegally entered Palestine during World War II. Radical Jewish groups employed terrorism against British forces in Palestine, which they thought had betrayed the Zionist cause. At the end of World War II, in 1945, the United States took up the Zionist cause. Britain, unable to find a practical solution, referred the problem to the United Nations, which in November 1947 voted to partition Palestine.

The Jews were to possess more than half of Palestine, although they made up less than half of Palestine’s population. The Palestinian Arabs, aided by volunteers from other countries, fought the Zionist forces, but by May 14, 1948, the Jews had secured full control of their U.N.-allocated share of Palestine and also some Arab territory. On May 14, Britain withdrew with the expiration of its mandate, and the State of Israel was proclaimed. The next day, forces from Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq invaded.

The Israelis, though less well equipped, managed to fight off the Arabs and then seize key territory, such as Galilee, the Palestinian coast, and a strip of territory connecting the coastal region to the western section of Jerusalem. In 1949, U.N.-brokered cease-fires left the State of Israel in permanent control of this conquered territory. The departure of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs from Israel during the war left the country with a substantial Jewish majority.

During the third Arab-Israeli conflict–the Six-Day War of 1967–Israel again greatly increased its borders, capturing from Jordan, Egypt, and Syria the Old City of Jerusalem, the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights. In 1979, Israel and Egypt signed an historic peace agreement in which Israel returned the Sinai in exchange for Egyptian recognition and peace. Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) signed a major peace accord in 1993, which envisioned the gradual implementation of Palestinian self-government in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Israeli-Palestinian peace process moved slowly, however, and in 2000 major fighting between Israelis and Palestinians resumed in Israel and the occupied territories.

jembo
14-05-2015, 07:54 AM
The Lewis and Clark Expedition, also known as the Corps of Discovery Expedition, was the first American expedition to cross what is now the western portion of the United States, departing in May 1804, from near St. Louis on the Mississippi River, making their way westward through the continental divide to the Pacific coast.

The expedition was commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson shortly after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, consisting of a select group of U.S. Army volunteers under the command of Captain Meriwether Lewis and his close friend Second Lieutenant William Clark. Their perilous journey lasted from May 1804 to September 1806. The primary objective was to explore and map the newly acquired territory, find a practical route across the Western half of the continent, and establish an American presence in this territory before Britain and other European powers tried to claim it.

The campaign's secondary objectives were scientific and economic: to study the area's plants, animal life, and geography, and establish trade with local Indian tribes. With maps, sketches, and journals in hand, the expedition returned to St. Louis to report their findings to Jefferson.

According to Jefferson himself, one goal was to find "the most direct and practicable water communication across this continent, for the purposes of commerce." Jefferson also placed special importance on declaring U.S. sovereignty over the land occupied by the many different tribes of Native Americans along the Missouri River, and getting an accurate sense of the resources in the recently completed Louisiana Purchase.

Although the expedition did make notable contributions to science, scientific research itself was not the main goal of the mission.

References to Lewis and Clark "scarcely appeared" in history books even during the United States Centennial in 1876 and the expedition was largely forgotten.Lewis and Clark began to gain new attention around the start of the 20th century. Both the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition, in St. Louis, and the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition, in Portland, Oregon, showcased Lewis and Clark as American pioneers. However, the story remained relatively shallow—a celebration of U.S. conquest and personal adventures—until the mid-century, since which time it has been more thoroughly researched and retold in many forms to a growing audience.

A complete and reliable set of the expedition's journals was finally compiled by Gary E. Moulton in 2004.In the 2000s, the bicentennial of the expedition further elevated popular interest in Lewis and Clark.Today, no U.S. exploration party is more famous, and no American expedition leaders are more instantly recognizable by name.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_and_Clark_Expedition

bojangles
15-05-2015, 11:28 AM
15th of May 1972
Governor George Wallace shot

During an outdoor rally in Laurel, Maryland, George Wallace, the governor of Alabama and a presidential candidate, is shot by 21-year-old Arthur Bremer. Three others were wounded, and Wallace was permanently paralyzed from the waist down. The next day, while fighting for his life in a hospital, he won major primary victories in Michigan and Maryland. However, Wallace remained in the hospital for several months, bringing his third presidential campaign to an irrevocable end.

Wallace, one of the most controversial politicians in U.S. history, was elected governor of Alabama in 1962 under an ultra-segregationist platform. In his 1963 inaugural address, Wallace promised his white followers: “Segregation now! Segregation tomorrow! Segregation forever!” However, the promise lasted only six months. In June 1963, under federal pressure, he was forced to end his blockade of the University of Alabama and allow the enrollment of African American students.

Despite his failures in slowing the accelerating civil rights movement in the South, Wallace became a national spokesman for resistance to racial change and in 1964 entered the race for the U.S. presidency. Although defeated in most Democratic presidential primaries he entered, his modest successes demonstrated the extent of popular backlash against integration. In 1968, he made another strong run as the candidate of the American Independent Party and managed to get on the ballot in all 50 states. On Election Day, he drew 10 million votes from across the country.

In 1972, Governor Wallace returned to the Democratic Party for his third presidential campaign and, under a slightly more moderate platform, was showing promising returns when Arthur Bremer shot him on May 15, 1972. After his recovery, he faded from national prominence and made a poor showing in his fourth and final presidential campaign in 1979. During the 1980s, Wallace’s politics shifted dramatically, especially in regard to race. He contacted civil rights leaders he had so forcibly opposed in the past and asked their forgiveness. In time, he gained the political support of Alabama’s growing African American electorate and in 1983 was elected Alabama governor for the last time with their overwhelming support. During the next four years, the man who had promised segregation forever made more African American political appointments than any other figure in Alabama history.

He announced his retirement in 1986, telling the Alabama electorate in a tearful address that “I’ve climbed my last political mountain, but there are still some personal hills I must climb. But for now, I must pass the rope and the pick to another climber and say climb on, climb on to higher heights. Climb on ’til you reach the very peak. Then look back and wave at me. I, too, will still be climbing.” He died in 1998.

bojangles
16-05-2015, 08:42 AM
16th of May 1943

In Poland, the Warsaw Ghetto uprising comes to an end as Nazi soldiers gain control of Warsaw’s Jewish ghetto, blowing up the last remaining synagogue and beginning the mass deportation of the ghetto’s remaining dwellers to the Treblinka extermination camp.

Shortly after the German occupation of Poland began, the Nazis forced the city’s Jewish citizens into a “ghetto” surrounded by barbed wire and armed SS guards. The Warsaw Ghetto had an area of only 840 acres but soon held almost 500,000 Jews in deplorable conditions. Disease and starvation killed thousands every month, and beginning in July 1942, 6,000 Jews a day were transferred to the Treblinka concentration camp. Although the Nazis assured the remaining Jews that their relatives and friends were being sent to work camps, word soon reached the ghetto that deportation to the camp meant extermination. An underground resistance group was established in the ghetto–the Jewish Combat Organization (ZOB)–and limited arms were acquired at great cost.

On January 18, 1943, when the Nazis entered the ghetto to prepare a group for transfer, a ZOB unit ambushed them. Fighting lasted for several days, and a number of Germans soldiers were killed before they withdrew. On April 19, Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler announced that the ghetto was to be cleared out in honor of Hitler’s birthday the following day, and more than 1,000 SS soldiers entered the confines with tanks and heavy artillery. Although many of the ghetto’s remaining 60,000 Jewish dwellers attempted to hide themselves in secret bunkers, more than 1,000 ZOB members met the Germans with gunfire and homemade bombs. Suffering moderate casualties, the Germans initially withdrew but soon returned, and on April 24 they launched an all-out attack against the Warsaw Jews. Thousands were slaughtered as the Germans systematically moved down the ghetto, blowing up buildings one by one. The ZOB took to the sewers to continue the fight, but on May 8 their command bunker fell to the Germans, and their resistant leaders committed suicide. By May 16, the ghetto was firmly under Nazi control, and mass deportation of the last Warsaw Jews to Treblinka began.

During the uprising, some 300 hundred German soldiers were killed to the thousands of Warsaw Jews who perished. Virtually all the former ghetto residents who survived to reach Treblinka were dead by the end of the war.

bojangles
17-05-2015, 09:27 AM
Remembering today the Victims of the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings

Parnell Street, Dublin

John O'Brien, aged 23, employed by Palm Grove
Anne O'Brien, aged 22, housewife
Jacqueline O'Brien, aged 1, daughter of John and Anne
Anne Marie O'Brien, a baby, daughter of John and Anne
John Dargle, aged 80, pensioner
Patrick Fay, aged 47, Post Office worker
Antonio Magliocco, aged 37, Italian restaurant owner
Edward John O'Neill, aged 39, self-employed painter and decorator
Breda Turner, aged 21, civil servant
Marie Butler, aged 21, nurse

Talbot Street, Dublin

Anne Byrne, aged 35, housewife
Simone Chetrit, aged 30, Parisian student
Colette Doherty, aged 20 and pregnant; shop owner
Anne Marren, aged 20, civil servant
Marie Phelan, aged 20, civil servant
Maureen Shiels, aged 44, civil servant
Siobhán Roice, aged 19, civil servant
Josephine Bradley, aged 21, civil servant
Breda Grace, aged 35, housewife
Mary McKenna, aged 55, shop worker
Concepta Dempsey, aged 65, shop worker
Dorothy Morris, aged 57, employed at Cadbury's
John Walshe, aged 27
Elizabeth Fitzgerald, aged 59, housewife

South Leinster Street, Dublin

Anna Massey, aged 21, employed at Lisney's auctioneers
Christina O'Loughlin, aged 51, employed at Shelbourne Hotel

Monaghan

John Travers, aged 29, self-employed
Margaret White, aged 44, restaurant worker
Thomas Campbell, aged 52, agricultural worker
Patrick Askin, aged 44, forestry worker
George Williamson, aged 73, farmer
Archibald Harper, aged 73, farmer and publican
Thomas Croarkin, aged 36, agricultural worker

bojangles
18-05-2015, 08:03 AM
Headlines 18th of May 1964


: Mods and Rockers jailed after seaside riots
Scores of youths have been given prison sentences following a Whitsun weekend of violent clashes between gangs of Mods and Rockers at a number of resorts on the south coast of England.
Yesterday two youths were taken to hospital with knife wounds and 51 were arrested in Margate after hundreds of teenagers converged on the town for the holiday weekend.

Dr George Simpson, chairman of Margate magistrates, jailed four young men and imposed fines totalling £1,900 on 36 people.

Three offenders were jailed for three months each and five more sent to detention centres for up to six months.

Obscenities

In Brighton, two youths were jailed for three months and others were fined.

More than 1,000 teenagers were involved in skirmishes on the beach and the promenade last night.

They threw deckchairs around, broke them up to make bonfires, shouted obscenities at each other and at passers-by, jostled holidaymakers and terrified elderly residents.

At about 1300 BST Mods and Rockers gathered at the Palace Pier chanting and jeering at each other and threw stones when police tried to disperse them.

The teenagers staged a mass sit-down on the promenade when police, using horses and dogs, tried to move them on.

In Margate, there were running battles between police and up to 400 youths on the beach early yesterday morning. Bottles were thrown and two officers were slightly hurt.

Later, on the high street, around 40 young men smashed council flat windows and vandalised a pub and a hardware shop.

Last night, hundreds of young men and girls were still wandering around the resort long after the last train had left.

Police stepped in to prevent further violence and dispersed about 30 youths in leather jackets who marched up the promenade shouting "Up the Rockers!"

There were further clashes at Bournemouth and Clacton.





In Context
From the early to mid-1960s young, mainly working class, Britons with cash to spend joined one of two youth movements.
The Mods wore designer suits protected by Parka jackets and were often armed with coshes and flick-knives. They rode Vespa or Lambretta scooters bedecked with mirrors and mascots and listened to Ska music and The Who.

Rockers rode motorbikes - often at 100mph with no crash helmets - wore leathers and listened to the likes of Elvis and Gene Vincent.

Inevitably the two gangs clashed. The 1964 Whitsun weekend violence in Brighton was famously dramatised in the film Quadrophenia (1979).

In August that year police had to be flown into the Sussex resort of Hastings to break up fights between the two gangs.

But two years later, most Mods had turned their attentions to the burgeoning, more laid-back, hippie culture.

bojangles
19-05-2015, 07:37 AM
19th of May 1935
Lawrence of Arabia dies

T.E. Lawrence, known to the world as Lawrence of Arabia, dies as a retired Royal Air Force mechanic living under an assumed name. The legendary war hero, author, and archaeological scholar succumbed to injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident six days before.

Thomas Edward Lawrence was born in Tremadoc, Wales, in 1888. In 1896, his family moved to Oxford. Lawrence studied architecture and archaeology, for which he made a trip to Ottoman (Turkish)-controlled Syria and Palestine in 1909. In 1911, he won a fellowship to join an expedition excavating an ancient Hittite settlement on the Euphrates River. He worked there for three years and in his free time traveled and learned Arabic. In 1914, he explored the Sinai, near the frontier of Ottoman-controlled Arabia and British-controlled Egypt. The maps Lawrence and his associates made had immediate strategic value upon the outbreak of war between Britain and the Ottoman Empire in October 1914.

Lawrence enlisted in the war and because of his expertise in Arab affairs was assigned to Cairo as an intelligence officer. He spent more than a year in Egypt, processing intelligence information and in 1916 accompanied a British diplomat to Arabia, where Hussein ibn Ali, the emir of Mecca, had proclaimed a revolt against Turkish rule. Lawrence convinced his superiors to aid Hussein’s rebellion, and he was sent to join the Arabian army of Hussein’s son Faisal as a liaison officer.

Under Lawrence’s guidance, the Arabians launched an effective guerrilla war against the Turkish lines. He proved a gifted military strategist and was greatly admired by the Bedouin people of Arabia. In July 1917, Arabian forces captured Aqaba near the Sinai and joined the British march on Jerusalem. Lawrence was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. In November, he was captured by the Turks while reconnoitering behind enemy lines in Arab dress and was tortured and sexually abused before escaping. He rejoined his army, which slowly worked its way north to Damascus, which fell in October 1918.

Arabia was liberated, but Lawrence’s hope that the peninsula would be united as a single nation was dashed when Arabian factionalism came to the fore after Damascus. Lawrence, exhausted and disillusioned, left for England. Feeling that Britain had exacerbated the rivalries between the Arabian groups, he appeared before King George V and politely refused the medals offered to him.

After the war, he lobbied hard for independence for Arab countries and appeared at the Paris peace conference in Arab robes. He became something of a legendary figure in his own lifetime, and in 1922 he gave up higher-paying appointments to enlist in the Royal Air Force (RAF) under an assumed name, John Hume Ross. He had just completed writing his monumental war memoir, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, and he hoped to escape his fame and acquire material for a new book. Found out by the press, he was discharged, but in 1923 he managed to enlist as a private in the Royal Tanks Corps under another assumed name, T.E. Shaw, a reference to his friend, Irish writer George Bernard Shaw. In 1925, Lawrence rejoined the RAF and two years later legally changed his last name to Shaw.

In 1927, an abridged version of his memoir was published and generated tremendous publicity, but the press was unable to locate Lawrence (he was posted to a base in India). In 1929, he returned to England and spent the next six years writing and working as an RAF mechanic. In 1932, his English translation of Homer’s Odyssey was published under the name of T.E. Shaw. The Mint, a fictionalized account of Royal Air Force recruit training, was not published until 1955 because of its explicitness.

In February 1935, Lawrence was discharged from the RAF and returned to his simple cottage at Clouds Hill, Dorset. On May 13, he was critically injured while driving his motorcycle through the Dorset countryside. He had swerved to avoid two boys on bicycles. On May 19, he died at the hospital of his former RAF camp. All of Britain mourned his passing.

bojangles
20-05-2015, 08:01 AM
On this day in 1873, San Francisco businessman Levi Strauss and Reno, Nevada, tailor Jacob Davis are given a patent to create work pants reinforced with metal rivets, marking the birth of one of the world’s most famous garments: blue jeans.

Born Loeb Strauss in Buttenheim, Bavaria, in 1829, the young Strauss immigrated to New York with his family in 1847 after the death of his father. By 1850, Loeb had changed his name to Levi and was working in the family dry goods business, J. Strauss Brother & Co. In early 1853, Levi Strauss went west to seek his fortune during the heady days of the Gold Rush.

In San Francisco, Strauss established a wholesale dry goods business under his own name and worked as the West Coast representative of his family’s firm. His new business imported clothing, fabric and other dry goods to sell in the small stores opening all over California and other Western states to supply the rapidly expanding communities of gold miners and other settlers. By 1866, Strauss had moved his company to expanded headquarters and was a well-known businessman and supporter of the Jewish community in San Francisco.

Jacob Davis, a tailor in Reno, Nevada, was one of Levi Strauss’ regular customers. In 1872, he wrote a letter to Strauss about his method of making work pants with metal rivets on the stress points–at the corners of the pockets and the base of the button fly–to make them stronger. As Davis didn’t have the money for the necessary paperwork, he suggested that Strauss provide the funds and that the two men get the patent together. Strauss agreed enthusiastically, and the patent for “Improvement in Fastening Pocket-Openings”–the innovation that would produce blue jeans as we know them–was granted to both men on May 20, 1873.

Strauss brought Davis to San Francisco to oversee the first manufacturing facility for “waist overalls,” as the original jeans were known. At first they employed seamstresses working out of their homes, but by the 1880s, Strauss had opened his own factory. The famous 501brand jean–known until 1890 as “XX”–was soon a bestseller, and the company grew quickly. By the 1920s, Levi’s denim waist overalls were the top-selling men’s work pant in the United States. As decades passed, the craze only grew, and now blue jeans are worn by men and women, young and old, around the world.

jembo
20-05-2015, 09:24 AM
James Stewart

James Maitland "Jimmy" Stewart (May 20, 1908 – July 2, 1997) was an American film and stage actor, known for his distinctive drawl voice and down-to-earth persona. Over the course of his career, he starred in many films widely considered classics. He was known for portraying the American middle class man with everyday life struggles.

Stewart was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one in competition and receiving one Lifetime Achievement award. Stewart was named the third greatest male screen legend in cinema history by the American Film Institute. He was a major Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract star. He also had a noted military career and was a World War II and Vietnam War veteran, who rose to the rank of Brigadier General in the United States Air Force Reserve.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Stewart

bojangles
21-05-2015, 07:54 AM
Thousands of Jews die in Nazi gas chambers; IG Farber sets up factory



On this day in 1942, 4,300 Jews are deported from the Polish town of Chelm to the Nazi extermination camp at Sobibor, where all are gassed to death. On the same day, the German firm IG Farben sets up a factory just outside Auschwitz, in order to take advantage of Jewish slave laborers from the Auschwitz concentration camps.

Sobibor had five gas chambers, where about 250,000 Jews were killed between 1942 and 1943. A camp revolt occurred in October 1943; 300 Jewish slave laborers rose up and killed several members of the SS as well as Ukrainian guards. The rebels were killed as they battled their captors or tried to escape. The remaining prisoners were executed the very next day.

IG Farben, as well as exploiting Jewish slave labor for its oil and rubber production, also performed drug experiments on inmates. Tens of thousands of prisoners would ultimately die because of brutal work conditions and the savagery of the guards. Several of the firm’s officials would be convicted of “plunder,” “spoliation of property,” “imposing slave labor,” and “inhumane treatment” of civilians and POWs after the war. The company itself came under Allied control. The original goal was to dismantle its industries, which also included the manufacture of chemicals and pharmaceuticals, so as to prevent it from ever posing a threat “to Germany’s neighbors or to world peace.” But as time passed, the resolve weakened, and the Western powers broke the company up into three separate divisions: Hoechst, Bayer, and BASF.

bojangles
22-05-2015, 07:48 AM
22nd of May 1455
The War of the Roses

In the opening battle of England’s War of the Roses, the Yorkists defeat King Henry VI’s Lancastrian forces at St. Albans, 20 miles northwest of London. Many Lancastrian nobles perished, including Edmund Beaufort, the duke of Somerset, and the king was forced to submit to the rule of his cousin, Richard of York. The dynastic struggle between the House of York, whose badge was a white rose, and the House of Lancaster, later associated with a red rose, would stretch on for 30 years.

Both families, closely related, claimed the throne through descent from the sons of Edward III, the king of England from 1327 to 1377. The first Lancastrian king was Henry IV in 1399, and rebellion and lawlessness were rife during his reign. His son, Henry V, was more successful and won major victories in the Hundred Years War against France. His son and successor, Henry VI, had few kingly qualities and lost most of the French land his father had conquered. At home, chaos prevailed and lords with private armies challenged Henry VI’s authority. At times, his ambitious queen, Margaret of Anjou, effectively controlled the crown.

In 1453, Henry lapsed into insanity, and in 1454 Parliament appointed Richard, duke of York, as protector of the realm. Henry and York’s grandfathers were the fourth and third sons of Edward III, respectively. When Henry recovered in late 1454, he dismissed York and restored the authority of Margaret, who saw York as a threat to the succession of their son, Prince Edward. York raised an army of 3,000 men, and in May the Yorkists marched to London. On May 22, 1455, York met Henry’s forces at St. Albans while on the northern road to the capital. The bloody encounter lasted less than an hour, and the Yorkists carried the day. The duke of Somerset, Margaret’s great ally, was killed, and Henry was captured by the Yorkists.

After the battle, Richard again was made English protector, but in 1456 Margaret regained the upper hand. An uneasy peace was broken in 1459, and in 1460 the Lancastrians were defeated, and York was granted the right to ascend to the throne upon Henry’s death. The Lancastrians then gathered forces in northern England and in December 1460 surprised and killed York outside his castle near Wakefield.

York’s son Edward reached London before Margaret and was proclaimed King Edward IV. In March 1461, Edward won a decisive victory against the Lancastrians at the Battle of Towton, the bloodiest of the war. Henry, Margaret, and their son fled to Scotland, and the first phase of the war was over.

Yorkist rivalry would later lead to the overthrow of Edward in 1470 and the restoration of Henry VI. The next year, Edward returned from exile in the Netherlands, defeated Margaret’s forces, killed her son, and imprisoned Henry in the Tower of London, where he was murdered. Edward IV then ruled uninterrupted until his death in 1483. His eldest son was proclaimed Edward V, but Edward IV’s brother, Richard III, seized the crown and imprisoned Edward and his younger brother in the Tower of London, where they disappeared, probably murdered. In 1485, Richard III was defeated and killed by Lancastrians led by Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth Field.

Henry Tudor was proclaimed King Henry VII, the first Tudor king. Henry was the grandson of Catherine of Valois, the widow of Henry V, and Owen Tudor. In 1486, he married Edward IV’s daughter Elizabeth of York, thereby uniting the Yorkist and Lancastrian claims. This event is seen as marking the end of the War of Roses; although some Yorkists supported in 1487 an unsuccessful rebellion against Henry, led by Lambert Simnel. The War of Roses left little mark on the common English people but severely thinned the ranks of the English nobility.

bojangles
23-05-2015, 08:23 AM
1934
Police kill famous outlaws Bonnie and Clyde

On this day in 1934, notorious criminals Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow are shot to death by Texas and Louisiana state police while driving a stolen car near Sailes, Louisiana.

Bonnie Parker met the charismatic Clyde Barrow in Texas when she was 19 years old and her husband (she married when she was 16) was serving time in jail for murder. Shortly after they met, Barrow was imprisoned for robbery. Parker visited him every day, and smuggled a gun into prison to help him escape, but he was soon caught in Ohio and sent back to jail. When Barrow was paroled in 1932, he immediately hooked up with Parker, and the couple began a life of crime together.

After they stole a car and committed several robberies, Parker was caught by police and sent to jail for two months. Released in mid-1932, she rejoined Barrow. Over the next two years, the couple teamed with various accomplices to rob a string of banks and stores across five states–Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, New Mexico and Louisiana. To law enforcement agents, the Barrow Gang–including Barrow’s childhood friend, Raymond Hamilton, W.D. Jones, Henry Methvin, Barrow’s brother Buck and his wife Blanche, among others–were cold-blooded criminals who didn’t hesitate to kill anyone who got in their way, especially police or sheriff’s deputies. Among the public, however, Parker and Barrow’s reputation as dangerous outlaws was mixed with a romantic view of the couple as “Robin Hood”-like folk heroes.

Their fame was increased by the fact that Bonnie was a woman–an unlikely criminal–and by the fact that the couple posed for playful photographs together, which were later found by police and released to the media. Police almost captured the famous duo twice in the spring of 1933, with surprise raids on their hideouts in Joplin and Platte City, Missouri. Buck Barrow was killed in the second raid, and Blanche was arrested, but Bonnie and Clyde escaped once again. In January 1934, they attacked the Eastham Prison Farm in Texas to help Hamilton break out of jail, shooting several guards with machine guns and killing one.

Texan prison officials hired a retired Texas police officer, Captain Frank Hamer, as a special investigator to track down Parker and Barrow. After a three-month search, Hamer traced the couple to Louisiana, where Henry Methvin’s family lived. Before dawn on May 23, Hamer and a group of Louisiana and Texas lawmen hid in the bushes along a country road outside Sailes. When Parker and Barrow appeared, the officers opened fire, killing the couple instantly in a hail of bullets.

All told, the Barrow Gang was believed responsible for the deaths of 13 people, including nine police officers. Parker and Barrow are still seen by many as romantic figures, however, especially after the success of the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde, starring Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty.

bojangles
23-05-2015, 08:25 AM
1701
Captain Kidd walks the plank


At London’s Execution Dock, British privateer William Kidd, popularly known as Captain Kidd, is hanged for piracy and murder.

Born in Strathclyde, Scotland, Kidd established himself as a sea captain before settling in New York in 1690, where he bought property and married. At various times he was commissioned by New York and other American colonies to rid the coast of enemy privateers. In 1695, while on a trip to London, the recently appointed governor of New York commissioned him to defend English ships from pirates in the Red Sea. In 1696, Kidd sailed to New York aboard the Adventure Galley, enlisted men for the mission, and set sail for the Indian Ocean. The expedition met with little success and failed to capture a major prize until February 1698, when the Quedagh Merchant, an Indian vessel allegedly sailing under a French pass, was taken. Word of Kidd’s capture of the boat, which was loaded with gold, jewels, silk, sugar, and guns, aroused significant controversy in Britain, as the ship had an English captain.

Suspicions that he had turned to piracy were apparently confirmed when he sailed to St. Mary’s, Madagascar, an infamous pirate haven. From there, he traveled to the West Indies on the Quedagh Merchant, where he learned of the piracy charges against him. Intending to clear his name, he sailed to New York and delivered himself to the colonial authorities, claiming that the vessels he had attacked were lawful prizes. He was arrested and taken to London.

In 1701, he was tried on five charges of piracy and one charge of murdering a crewman. The Tories used the trial as a political opportunity to embarrass his Whig sponsors, and the latter chose to give up Kidd as a scapegoat rather than back his possibly correct claims to legitimacy. Convicted on all counts, he was executed by hanging on May 23, 1701. In later years, a colorful legend grew up around the story of William Kidd, including reports of lost buried treasure that fortune seekers have pursued for centuries.

bojangles
24-05-2015, 09:22 AM
On this day in 1943, the extermination camp at Auschwitz, Poland, receives a new doctor, 32-year-old Josef Mengele, a man who will earn the nickname “the Angel of Death.”

Born March 16, 1911, in Bavaria, Mengele studied philosophy under Alfred Rosenberg, whose racial theories highly influenced him. In 1934, already a member of the Nazi Party, he joined the research staff of the Institute for Hereditary Biology and Racial Hygiene.

Upon arriving at Auschwitz, and eager to advance his medical career by publishing “groundbreaking” work, he began experimenting on live Jewish prisoners. In the guise of medical “treatment,” he injected, or ordered others to inject, thousands of inmates with everything from petrol to chloroform. He also had a penchant for studying twins, whom he used to dissect.

Mengele managed to escape imprisonment after the war, first by working as a farm stableman in Bavaria, then by making his way to South America. He became a citizen of Paraguay in 1959. He later moved to Brazil, where he met up with another former Nazi party member, Wolfgang Gerhard. In 1985, a multinational team of forensic experts traveled to Brazil in search of Mengele. They determined that a man named Gerhard, but believed to be Mengele, had died of a stroke while swimming in 1979. Dental records later confirmed that Mengele had, at some point, assumed Gerhard’s identity, and was in fact the stroke victim.

A fictional account of Josef Mengele’s life after the war was depicted in the film Boys from Brazil, with Mengele portrayed by Gregory Peck.

bojangles
25-05-2015, 08:01 AM
25th of May 1895
Oscar Wilde is sent to prison for indecency.

Playwright Oscar Wilde is taken toReading Gaolin London after being convicted of sodomy. The famed writer of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest brought attention to his private life in a feud with Sir John Sholto Douglas, whose son was intimately involved with Wilde.

Homosexuality was a criminal offense and serious societal taboo at this time in Britain. Wilde had gone back and forth between hiding his sexual orientation and attempting to gain some measure of public acceptance. After Douglas, a furious homophobe, began spouting his objections to Wilde’s behavior to the public, Wilde felt compelled to suehim for libel.

In his defense,Douglas argued that Wilde had solicited 12 boys to commit sodomy between 1892 and 1894. On the third day of the proceedings, Wilde’s lawyer withdrew the suit, since there was abundant evidence of his client’s guilt. After that, the Crown issued a warrant for Wilde’s arrest on indecency charges. Rather than flee to France, Wilde decided to remain and stand trial. At a preliminary bail hearing, chambermaids testified that they had seen young men in Wilde’s bed and a hotel housekeeper stated that there were fecal stains on his bed sheets. Wilde was denied bail.

At Wilde’s first criminal trial, he was cross-examined extensively on the “love that dare not speak its name.” Wilde managed to secure a mistrial when a lone juror refused to vote to convict. The second trial began on May 21. Although many of the potential witnesses refused to betray Wilde by testifying, he was convicted. The judge remarked at his sentencing, “It is the worst case I have ever tried. I shall pass the severest sentence that the law allows. In my judgment it is totally inadequate for such a case as this. The sentence of the Court is that you be imprisoned and kept to hard labor for two years.”

Wilde served his two years and then spent the last three years of his life in exile. He died at the age of 45 and was buried in Paris.

bojangles
26-05-2015, 08:14 AM
The first copies of the classic vampire novel Dracula, by Irish writer Bram Stoker, appear in London bookshops on this day in 1897.

A childhood invalid, Stoker grew up to become a football star at Trinity College, Dublin. After graduation, he got a job in civil service at Dublin Castle, where he worked for the next 10 years while writing drama reviews for the Dublin Mail on the side. In this way, Stoker met the well-respected actor Sir Henry Irving, who hired him as his manager. Stoker stayed in the post for most of the next three decades, writing Irving’s voluminous correspondence for him and accompanying him on tours in the United States. Over the years, Stoker began writing a number of horror stories for magazines, and in 1890 he published his first novel, The Snake’s Pass.

Stoker would go on to publish 17 novels in all, but it was his 1897 novel Dracula that eventually earned him literary fame and became known as a masterpiece of Victorian-era Gothic literature. Written in the form of diaries and journals of its main characters, Dracula is the story of a vampire who makes his way from Transylvania–a region of Eastern Europe now in Romania–to Yorkshire, England, and preys on innocents there to get the blood he needs to live. Stoker had originally named the vampire “Count Wampyr.” He found the name Dracula in a book on Wallachia and Moldavia written by retired diplomat William Wilkinson, which he borrowed from a Yorkshire public library during his family’s vacations there.

Vampires–who left their burial places at night to drink the blood of humans–were popular figures in folk tales from ancient times, but Stoker’s novel catapulted them into the mainstream of 20th-century literature. Upon its release, Dracula enjoyed moderate success, though when Stoker died in 1912 none of his obituaries even mentioned Dracula by name. Sales began to take off in the 1920s, when the novel was adapted for Broadway. Dracula mania kicked into even higher gear with Universal’s blockbuster 1931 film, directed by Tod Browning and starring the Hungarian actor Bela Lugosi. Dozens of vampire-themed movies, television shows and literature followed, though Lugosi, with his exotic accent, remains the quintessential Count Dracula. Late 20th-century examples of the vampire craze include the bestselling novels of American writer Anne Rice and the cult hit TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

jembo
26-05-2015, 08:08 PM
James King Arness (May 26, 1923 – June 3, 2011) was an American actor, best known for portraying Marshal Matt Dillon in the television series Gunsmoke for 20 years. Arness has the distinction of having played the role of Dillon in five separate decades: 1955 to 1975 in the weekly series, then in Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge (1987) and four more made-for-TV Gunsmoke movies in the 1990s. In Europe Arness reached cult status for his role as Zeb Macahan in the western series How the West Was Won. His younger brother was actor Peter Graves.

bojangles
27-05-2015, 06:47 AM
Bismarck sunk by Royal Navy


On May 27, 1941, the British navy sinks the German battleship Bismarck in the North Atlantic near France. The German death toll was more than 2,000.

On February 14, 1939, the 823-foot Bismarck was launched at Hamburg. Nazi leader Adolf Hitler hoped that the state-of-the-art battleship would herald the rebirth of the German surface battle fleet. However, after the outbreak of war, Britain closely guarded ocean routes from Germany to the Atlantic Ocean, and only U-boats moved freely through the war zone.

In May 1941, the order was given for the Bismarck to break out into the Atlantic. Once in the safety of the open ocean, the battleship would be almost impossible to track down, all the while wreaking havoc on Allied convoys to Britain. Learning of its movement, Britain sent almost the entire British Home Fleet in pursuit. On May 24, the British battle cruiser Hood and battleship Prince of Wales intercepted it near Iceland. In a ferocious battle, the Hood exploded and sank, and all but three of the 1,421 crewmen were killed. The Bismarck escaped, but because it was leaking fuel it fled for occupied France. On May 26, it was sighted and crippled by British aircraft, and on May 27 three British warships descended on the Bismarck and finished it off.

bojangles
28-05-2015, 09:24 AM
On this day in 1937, the government of Germany–then under the control of Adolf Hitler of the National Socialist (Nazi) Party–forms a new state-owned automobile company, then known as Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH. Later that year, it was renamed simply Volkswagenwerk, or “The People’s Car Company.”

Originally operated by the German Labor Front, a Nazi organization, Volkswagen was headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. In addition to his ambitious campaign to build a network of autobahns and limited access highways across Germany, Hitler’s pet project was the development and mass production of an affordable yet still speedy vehicle that could sell for less than 1,000 Reich marks (about $140 at the time). To provide the design for this “people’s car,” Hitler called in the Austrian automotive engineer Ferdinand Porsche. In 1938, at a Nazi rally, the Fuhrer declared: “It is for the broad masses that this car has been built. Its purpose is to answer their transportation needs, and it is intended to give them joy.” However, soon after the KdF (Kraft-durch-Freude)-Wagen (“Strength-Through-Joy” car) was displayed for the first time at the Berlin Motor Show in 1939, World War II began, and Volkswagen halted production. After the war ended, with the factory in ruins, the Allies would make Volkswagen the focus of their attempts to resuscitate the German auto industry.

Volkswagen sales in the United States were initially slower than in other parts of the world, due to the car’s historic Nazi connections as well as its small size and unusual rounded shape. In 1959, the advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach launched a landmark campaign, dubbing the car the “Beetle” and spinning its diminutive size as a distinct advantage to consumers. Over the next several years, VW became the top-selling auto import in the United States. In 1960, the German government sold 60 percent of Volkswagen’s stock to the public, effectively denationalizing it. Twelve years later, the Beetle surpassed the longstanding worldwide production record of 15 million vehicles, set by Ford Motor Company’s legendary Model T between 1908 and 1927.

With the Beetle’s design relatively unchanged since 1935, sales grew sluggish in the early 1970s. VW bounced back with the introduction of sportier models such as the Rabbit and later, the Golf. In 1998, the company began selling the highly touted “New Beetle” while still continuing production of its predecessor. After nearly 70 years and more than 21 million units produced, the last original Beetle rolled off the line in Puebla, Mexico, on July 30, 2003.

bojangles
29-05-2015, 08:26 AM
At 11:30 a.m. on May 29, 1953, Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a Sherpa of Nepal, become the first explorers to reach the summit of Mount Everest, which at 29,035 feet above sea level is the highest point on earth. The two, part of a British expedition, made their final assault on the summit after spending a fitful night at 27,900 feet. News of their achievement broke around the world on June 2, the day of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, and Britons hailed it as a good omen for their country’s future.

Mount Everest sits on the crest of the Great Himalayas in Asia, lying on the border between Nepal and Tibet. Called Chomo-Lungma, or “Mother Goddess of the Land,” by the Tibetans, the English named the mountain after Sir George Everest, a 19th-century British surveyor of South Asia. The summit of Everest reaches two-thirds of the way through the air of the earth’s atmosphere–at about the cruising altitude of jet airliners–and oxygen levels there are very low, temperatures are extremely cold, and weather is unpredictable and dangerous.

The first recorded attempt to climb Everest was made in 1921 by a British expedition that trekked 400 difficult miles across the Tibetan plateau to the foot of the great mountain. A raging storm forced them to abort their ascent, but the mountaineers, among them George Leigh Mallory, had seen what appeared to be a feasible route up the peak. It was Mallory who quipped when later asked by a journalist why he wanted to climb Everest, “Because it’s there.”

A second British expedition, featuring Mallory, returned in 1922, and climbers George Finch and Geoffrey Bruce reached an impressive height of more than 27,000 feet. In another attempt made by Mallory that year, seven Sherpa porters were killed in an avalanche. (The Sherpas, native to the Khumbu region, have long played an essential support role in Himalayan climbs and treks because of their strength and ability to endure the high altitudes.) In 1924, a third Everest expedition was launched by the British, and climber Edward Norton reached an elevation of 28,128 feet, 900 vertical feet short of the summit, without using artificial oxygen. Four days later, Mallory and Andrew Irvine launched a summit assault and were never seen alive again. In 1999, Mallory’s largely preserved body was found high on Everest–he had suffered numerous broken bones in a fall. Whether or not he or Irvine reached the summit remains a mystery.

Several more unsuccessful summit attempts were made via Tibet’s Northeast Ridge route, and after World War II Tibet was closed to foreigners. In 1949, Nepal opened its door to the outside world, and in 1950 and 1951 British expeditions made exploratory climbs up the Southeast Ridge route. In 1952, a Swiss expedition navigated the treacherous Khumbu Icefall in the first real summit attempt. Two climbers, Raymond Lambert and Tenzing Norgay, reached 28,210 feet, just below the South Summit, but had to turn back for want of supplies.

Shocked by the near-success of the Swiss expedition, a large British expedition was organized for 1953 under the command of Colonel John Hunt. In addition to the best British climbers and such highly experienced Sherpas as Tenzing Norgay, the expedition enlisted talent from the British Commonwealth, such as New Zealanders George Lowe and Edmund Hillary, the latter of whom worked as a beekeeper when not climbing mountains. Members of the expedition were equipped with specially insulated boots and clothing, portable radio equipment, and open- and closed-circuit oxygen systems.

Setting up a series of camps, the expedition pushed its way up the mountain in April and May 1953. A new passage was forged through the Khumbu Icefall, and the climbers made their way up the Western Cwm, across the Lhotse Face, and to the South Col, at about 26,000 feet. On May 26, Charles Evans and Tom Bourdillon launched the first assault on the summit and came within 300 feet of the top of Everest before having to turn back because one of their oxygen sets was malfunctioning.

On May 28, Tenzing and Hillary set out, setting up high camp at 27,900 feet. After a freezing, sleepless night, the pair plodded on, reaching the South Summit by 9 a.m. and a steep rocky step, some 40 feet high, about an hour later. Wedging himself in a crack in the face, Hillary inched himself up what was thereafter known as the Hillary Step. Hillary threw down a rope, and Norgay followed. At about 11:30 a.m., the climbers arrived at the top of the world.

News of the success was rushed by runner from the expedition’s base camp to the radio post at Namche Bazar, and then sent by coded message to London, where Queen Elizabeth II learned of the achievement on June 1, the eve of her coronation. The next day, the news broke around the world. Later that year, Hillary and Hunt were knighted by the queen. Norgay, because he was not a citizen of a Commonwealth nation, received the lesser British Empire Medal.

Since Hillary and Norgay’s historic climb, numerous expeditions have made their way up to Everest’s summit. In 1960, a Chinese expedition was the first to conquer the mountain from the Tibetan side, and in 1963 James Whittaker became the first American to top Everest. In 1975, Tabei Junko of Japan became the first woman to reach the summit. Three years later, Reinhold Messner of Italy and Peter Habeler of Austria achieved what had been previously thought impossible: climbing to the Everest summit without oxygen. Nearly two hundred climbers have died attempting to summit the mountain. A major tragedy occurred in 1996 when eight climbers from various nations died after being caught in a blizzard high on the slopes.

bojangles
30-05-2015, 09:24 AM
30th of May 1431

At Rouen in English-controlled Normandy, Joan of Arc, the peasant girl who became the savior of France, is burned at the stake for heresy.

Joan was born in 1412, the daughter of a tenant farmer at Domremy, on the borders of the duchies of Bar and Lorraine. In 1415, the Hundred Years War between England and France entered a crucial phase when the young King Henry V of England invaded France and won a series of decisive victories against the forces of King Charles VI. By the time of Henry’s death in August 1422, the English and their French-Burgundian allies controlled Aquitaine and most of northern France, including Paris. Charles VI, long incapacitated, died one month later, and his son, Charles, regent from 1418, prepared to take the throne. However, Reims, the traditional city of French coronation, was held by the Anglo-Burgundians, and the Dauphin (heir apparent to the French throne) remained uncrowned. Meanwhile, King Henry VI of England, the infant son of Henry V and Catherine of Valois, the daughter of Charles VI, was proclaimed king of France by the English.

Joan’s village of Domremy lay on the frontier between the France of the Dauphin and that of the Anglo-Burgundians. In the midst of this unstable environment, Joan began hearing “voices” of three Christian saints—St. Michael, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret. When she was about 16, these voices exhorted her to aid the Dauphin in capturing Reims and therefore the French throne. In May 1428, she traveled to Vaucouleurs, a stronghold of the Dauphin, and told the captain of the garrison of her visions. Disbelieving the young peasant girl, he sent her home. In January 1429, she returned, and the captain, impressed by her piety and determination, agreed to allow her passage to the Dauphin at Chinon.

Dressed in men’s clothes and accompanied by six soldiers, she reached the Dauphin’s castle at Chinon in February 1429 and was granted an audience. Charles hid himself among his courtiers, but Joan immediately picked him out and informed him of her divine mission. For several weeks, Charles had Joan questioned by theologians at Poitiers, who concluded that, given his desperate straits, the Dauphin would be well-advised to make use of this strange and charismatic girl.

Charles furnished her with a small army, and on April 27, 1429, she set out for Orleans, besieged by the English since October 1428. On April 29, as a French sortie distracted the English troops on the west side of Orleans, Joan entered unopposed by its eastern gate. She brought greatly needed supplies and reinforcements and inspired the French to a passionate resistance. She personally led the charge in several battles and on May 7 was struck by an arrow. After quickly dressing her wound, she returned to the fight, and the French won the day. On May 8, the English retreated from Orleans.

During the next five weeks, Joan and the French commanders led the French into a string of stunning victories over the English. On July 16, the royal army reached Reims, which opened its gates to Joan and the Dauphin. The next day, Charles VII was crowned king of France, with Joan standing nearby holding up her standard: an image of Christ in judgment. After the ceremony, she knelt before Charles, joyously calling him king for the first time.

On September 8, the king and Joan attacked Paris. During the battle, Joan carried her standard up to the earthworks and called on the Parisians to surrender the city to the king of France. She was wounded but continued to rally the king’s troops until Charles ordered an end to the unsuccessful siege. That year, she led several more small campaigns, capturing the town of Saint-Pierre-le-Moitier. In December, Charles ennobled Joan, her parents, and her brothers.

In May 1430, the Burgundians laid siege to Compiegne, and Joan stole into the town under the cover of darkness to aid in its defense. On May 23, while leading a sortie against the Burgundians, she was captured. The Burgundians sold her to the English, and in March 1431 she went on trial before ecclesiastical authorities in Rouen on charges of heresy. Her most serious crime, according to the tribunal, was her rejection of church authority in favor of direct inspiration from God. After refusing to submit to the church, her sentence was read on May 24: She was to be turned over to secular authorities and executed. Reacting with horror to the pronouncement, Joan agreed to recant and was condemned instead to perpetual imprisonment.

Ordered to put on women’s clothes, she obeyed, but a few days later the judges went to her cell and found her dressed again in male attire. Questioned, she told them that St. Catherine and St. Margaret had reproached her for giving in to the church against their will. She was found to be a relapsed heretic and on May 29 ordered handed over to secular officials. On May 30, Joan, 19 years old, was burned at the stake at the Place du Vieux-Marche in Rouen. Before the pyre was lit, she instructed a priest to hold high a crucifix for her to see and to shout out prayers loud enough to be heard above the roar of the flames.

As a source of military inspiration, Joan of Arc helped turn the Hundred Years War firmly in France’s favor. By 1453, Charles VII had reconquered all of France except for Calais, which the English relinquished in 1558. In 1920, Joan of Arc, one of the great heroes of French history, was recognized as a Christian saint by the Roman Catholic Church. Her feast day is May 30.

jembo
30-05-2015, 11:13 AM
Benjamin David "Benny" Goodman (May 30, 1909 – June 13, 1986) was an American jazz and swing musician, clarinetist and bandleader, known as the "King of Swing".

In the mid-1930s, Benny Goodman led one of the most popular musical groups in America. His January 16, 1938 concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City is described by critic Bruce Eder as "the single most important jazz or popular music concert in history: jazz's 'coming out' party to the world of 'respectable' music."

Goodman's bands launched the careers of many major names in jazz. During an era of segregation he also led one of the first well-known integrated jazz groups. Goodman continued to perform to nearly the end of his life, while exploring an interest in classical music.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benny_Goodman

bojangles
31-05-2015, 09:21 AM
The famous tower clock known as Big Ben, located at the top of the 320-foot-high St. Stephen’s Tower, rings out over the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, for the first time on this day in 1859.

After a fire destroyed much of the Palace of Westminster–the headquarters of the British Parliament–in October 1834, a standout feature of the design for the new palace was a large clock atop a tower. The royal astronomer, Sir George Airy, wanted the clock to have pinpoint accuracy, including twice-a-day checks with the Royal Greenwich Observatory. While many clockmakers dismissed this goal as impossible, Airy counted on the help of Edmund Beckett Denison, a formidable barrister known for his expertise in horology, or the science of measuring time.

Denison’s design, built by the company E.J. Dent& Co., was completed in 1854; five years later, St. Stephen’s Tower itself was finished. Weighing in at more than 13 tons, its massive bell was dragged to the tower through the streets of London by a team of 16 horses, to the cheers of onlookers. Once it was installed, Big Ben struck its first chimes on May 31, 1859. Just two months later, however, the heavy striker designed by Denison cracked the bell. Three more years passed before a lighter hammer was added and the clock went into service again. The bell was rotated so that the hammer would strike another surface, but the crack was never repaired.

The name “Big Ben” originally just applied to the bell but later came to refer to the clock itself. Two main stories exist about how Big Ben got its name. Many claim it was named after the famously long-winded Sir Benjamin Hall, the London commissioner of works at the time it was built. Another famous story argues that the bell was named for the popular heavyweight boxer Benjamin Caunt, because it was the largest of its kind.

Even after an incendiary bomb destroyed the chamber of the House of Commons during the Second World War, St. Stephen’s Tower survived, and Big Ben continued to function. Its famously accurate timekeeping is regulated by a stack of coins placed on the clock’s huge pendulum, ensuring a steady movement of the clock hands at all times. At night, all four of the clock’s faces, each one 23 feet across, are illuminated. A light above Big Ben is also lit to let the public know when Parliament is in session.

bojangles
31-05-2015, 10:16 AM
31st of May 1962

Near Tel Aviv, Israel, Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi SS officer who organized Adolf Hitler’s “final solution of the Jewish question,” was executed for his crimes against humanity.

Eichmann was born in Solingen, Germany, in 1906. In November 1932, he joined the Nazi’s elite SS (Schutzstaffel) organization, whose members came to have broad responsibilities in Nazi Germany, including policing, intelligence, and the enforcement of Adolf Hitler’s anti-Semitic policies. Eichmann steadily rose in the SS hierarchy, and with the German annexation of Austria in 1938 he was sent to Vienna with the mission of ridding the city of Jews. He set up an efficient Jewish deportment center and in 1939 was sent to Prague on a similar mission. That year, Eichmann was appointed to the Jewish section of the SS central security office in Berlin.

In January 1942, Eichmann met with top Nazi officials at the Wansee Conference near Berlin for the purpose of planning a “final solution of the Jewish question,” as Nazi leader Hermann Goering put it. The Nazis decided to exterminate Europe’s Jewish population. Eichmann was appointed to coordinate the identification, assembly, and transportation of millions of Jews from occupied Europe to the Nazi death camps, where Jews were gassed or worked to death. He carried this duty out with horrifying efficiency, and between three to four million Jews perished in the extermination camps before the end of World War II. Close to two million were executed elsewhere.

Following the war, Eichmann was captured by U.S. troops, but he escaped a prison camp in 1946 before having to face the Nuremberg International War Crimes Tribunal. Eichmann traveled under an assumed identity between Europe and the Middle East, and in 1950 he arrived in Argentina, which maintained lax immigration policies and was a safe haven for many Nazi war criminals. In 1957, a German prosecutor secretly informed Israel that Eichmann was living in Argentina. Agents from Israel’s intelligence service, the Mossad, were deployed to Argentina, and in early 1960 they finally located Eichmann; he was living in the San Fernando section of Buenos Aires under the name of Ricardo Klement.

In May 1960, Argentina was celebrating the 150th anniversary of its revolution against Spain, and many tourists were traveling to Argentina from abroad to attend the festivities. The Mossad used the opportunity to smuggle more agents into the country. Israel, knowing that Argentina might never extradite Eichmann for trial, had decided to abduct him and take him to Israel illegally. On May 11, Mossad operatives descended on Garibaldi Street in San Fernando and snatched Eichmann away as he was walking from the bus to his home. His family called local hospitals but not the police, and Argentina knew nothing of the operation. On May 20, a drugged Eichmann was flown out of Argentina disguised as an Israeli airline worker who had suffered head trauma in an accident. Three days later, Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion announced that Eichmann was in Israeli custody.

Argentina demanded Eichmann’s return, but Israel argued that his status as an international war criminal gave them the right to proceed with a trial. On April 11, 1961, Eichmann’s trial began in Jerusalem. It was the first televised trial in history. Eichmann faced 15 charges, including crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people, and war crimes. He claimed he was just following orders, but the judges disagreed, finding him guilty on all counts on December 15 and sentencing him to die. On May 31, 1962, he was hanged near Tel Aviv. His body was cremated and his ashes thrown into the sea.

jembo
31-05-2015, 08:19 PM
1847 – Birth of Alice Stopford Green in Kells, Co. Meath. Irish historian and patriot; she is noted for proving the Irish had a rich culture before English rule. A strong supporter of the Treaty of 1921, she is nominated to the first Seanad in December 1922.

bojangles
01-06-2015, 09:08 AM
1st of June 1967

Bob Dylan’s instant reaction to the recently completed album Paul McCartney brought by his London hotel room for a quick listen in the spring of 1967 may not sound like the most thoughtful analysis ever offered, but it still to hit the nail on the head. “Oh I get it,” Dylan said to Paul on hearing Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band for the first time, “you don’t want to be cute anymore.” In time, the Beatles’ eighth studio album would come to be regarded by many as the greatest in the history of rock and roll, and oceans of ink would be spilt in praising and analyzing its revolutionary qualities. But what Bob Dylan picked up on immediately was its meaning to the Beatles themselves, who turned a critical corner in their career with the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on this day in 1967.

Writing in The Times of London in 1967, the critic Kenneth Tynan called the release of Sgt. Pepper “a decisive moment in the history of Western civilization,” but 30 years later, Paul McCartney called it a decisive moment of a more personal nature. “We were not boys, we were men,” is how he summed up the Beatles’ mindset as they gave up live performance and set about defining themselves purely as a studio band. “All that boy [stuff], all that screaming, we didn’t want any more,” McCartney said. “There was now more to it.” With Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Beatles announced their intention to be seen “as artists rather than just performers.”

Sgt. Pepper is often cited as the first “concept album,” and as the inspiration for other great pop stars of the 60s, from the Stones and the Beach Boys to Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, to reach for new heights of creativity. For the Beatles themselves, 1967 marked not just a new creative peak, but also the beginning of a three-year period in which the group recorded and released an astonishing five original studio albums, including two—1968’s The Beatles (a.k.a. “The White Album”) and 1969’s Abbey Road—that occupy the 10th and 14th spots, respectively, on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the Greatest Albums of All Time. Also in the top 15 on that list are Rubber Soul (1965) at #5, Revolver (1966) at #3 and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band at #1.

bojangles
02-06-2015, 09:54 AM
On June 2, 1985, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) bans English football (soccer) clubs from competing in Europe. The ban followed the death of 39 Italian and Belgian football fans at Brussels’ Heysel Stadium in a riot caused by English football hooligans at that year’s European Cup final.

The 1985 European Cup final pitted two of the most successful and storied clubs in Europe against each other: Juventus from Turin, Italy, and Liverpool, an English team that was the defending European champion. At 7 p.m., right before the start of the match, a group of Liverpool fans, drunk from a day spent at the bars in Brussels, charged after a group of Juventus fans. In the melee, a stadium wall collapsed, crushing some spectators. Others were trampled in the ensuing rush to flee the stadium. In all, 32 Juventus fans were killed, as well as seven bystanders. Hundreds of other people were injured. To avoid further rioting from the unruly crowd, the game went on as scheduled. Juventus won 1–0.

In the aftermath, all English clubs were banned for five years from competing in Champions League and UEFA Cup play. Liverpool’s ban, at first indefinite, was eventually set at 10 years and then later reduced to six. From 1977 to 1984, English clubs had captured seven of eight European Cups, and their banishment from play was a blow to the country and the sport as a whole. Still, when the ban was announced, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher gave it her full support: “We have to get the game cleaned up from this hooliganism at home and then perhaps we shall be able to go overseas again.” The consequences did not end with the ban. Liverpool saw 14 of its fans found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in Belgium in 1989 after a five-month trial. The fans were given three-year jail sentences, with half of the terms suspended.

English teams were finally readmitted to the UEFA after the 1990 World Cup. Fifteen years later, on April 5, 2005, Liverpool beat Juventus 2-1 in the first leg of the European Champions League quarterfinals. It was the first match the two clubs had played since the Heysel Stadium disaster. Fans stood still for a moment of silence at the beginning of the game, remembering the 39 dead from the 1985 tragedy. The 2nd leg was played nine days later on April 14, 2005, in Turin, where Liverpool played Juventus to a 0-0 tie, putting Liverpool in the European championship semifinal game. They went on to win their fifth European championship.

bojangles
03-06-2015, 08:47 AM
3rd of June 1989
Crackdown at Tiananmen begins


With protests for democratic reforms entering their seventh week, the Chinese government authorizes its soldiers and tanks to reclaim Beijing’s Tiananmen Square at all costs. By nightfall on June 4, Chinese troops had forcibly cleared the square, killing hundreds and arresting thousands of demonstrators and suspected dissidents.

On April 15, the death of Hu Yaobang, a former Communist Party head who supported democratic reforms, roused some 100,000 students to gather at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to commemorate the leader and voice their discontent with China’s authoritative government. On April 22, an official memorial service for Hu Yaobang was held in Tiananmen’s Great Hall of the People, and student representatives carried a petition to the steps of the Great Hall, demanding to meet with Premier Li Peng. The Chinese government refused the meeting, leading to a general boycott of Chinese universities across the country and widespread calls for democratic reforms.

Ignoring government warnings of suppression of any mass demonstration, students from more than 40 universities began a march to Tiananmen on April 27. The students were joined by workers, intellectuals, and civil servants, and by mid-May more than a million people filled the square, the site of Mao Zedong’s proclamation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

On May 20, the government formally declared martial law in Beijing, and troops and tanks were called in to disperse the dissidents. However, large numbers of students and citizens blocked the army’s advance, and by May 23 government forces had pulled back to the outskirts of Beijing. On June 3, with negotiations to end the protests stalled and calls for democratic reforms escalating, the troops received orders from the Chinese government to seize control of Tiananmen Square and the streets of Beijing. Hundreds were killed and thousands arrested.

In the weeks after the government crackdown, an unknown number of dissidents were executed, and hard-liners in the government took firm control of the country. The international community was outraged by the incident, and economic sanctions imposed by the United States and other countries sent China’s economy into decline. By late 1990, however, international trade had resumed, thanks in part to China’s release of several hundred imprisoned protesters

bojangles
04-06-2015, 07:40 AM
Tiananmen Square massacre takes place


Chinese troops storm through Tiananmen Square in the center of Beijing, killing and arresting thousands of pro-democracy protesters. The brutal Chinese government assault on the protesters shocked the West and brought denunciations and sanctions from the United States.

In May 1989, nearly a million Chinese, mostly young students, crowded into central Beijing to protest for greater democracy and call for the resignations of Chinese Communist Party leaders deemed too repressive. For nearly three weeks, the protesters kept up daily vigils, and marched and chanted. Western reporters captured much of the drama for television and newspaper audiences in the United States and Europe. On June 4, 1989, however, Chinese troops and security police stormed through Tiananmen Square, firing indiscriminately into the crowds of protesters. Turmoil ensued, as tens of thousands of the young students tried to escape the rampaging Chinese forces. Other protesters fought back, stoning the attacking troops and overturning and setting fire to military vehicles. Reporters and Western diplomats on the scene estimated that at least 300, and perhaps thousands, of the protesters had been killed and as many as 10,000 were arrested.

The savagery of the Chinese government’s attack shocked both its allies and Cold War enemies. Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev declared that he was saddened by the events in China. He said he hoped that the government would adopt his own domestic reform program and begin to democratize the Chinese political system. In the United States, editorialists and members of Congress denounced the Tiananmen Square massacre and pressed for President George Bush to punish the Chinese government. A little more than three weeks later, the U.S. Congress voted to impose economic sanctions against the People’s Republic of China in response to the brutal violation of human rights.

bojangles
05-06-2015, 08:34 AM
5th of June 1968
Bobby Kennedy is assassinated


Senator Robert Kennedy is shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after winning the California presidential primary. Immediately after he announced to his cheering supporters that the country was ready to end its fractious divisions, Kennedy was shot several times by the 22-year-old Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan. He died a day later.

The summer of 1968 was a tempestuous time in American history. Both the Vietnam War and the anti-war movement were peaking. Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated in the spring, igniting riots across the country. In the face of this unrest, President Lyndon B. Johnson decided not to seek a second term in the upcoming presidential election. Robert Kennedy, John’s younger brother and former U.S. Attorney General, stepped into this breach and experienced a groundswell of support.

Kennedy was perceived by many to be the only person in American politics capable of uniting the people. He was beloved by the minority community for his integrity and devotion to the civil rights cause. After winning California’s primary, Kennedy was in the position to receive the Democratic nomination and face off against Richard Nixon in the general election.

As star athletes Rafer Johnson and Roosevelt Grier accompanied Kennedy out a rear exit of the Ambassador Hotel, Sirhan Sirhan stepped forward with a rolled up campaign poster, hiding his .22 revolver. He was only a foot away when he fired several shots at Kennedy. Grier and Johnson wrestled Sirhan to the ground, but not before five bystanders were wounded. Grier was distraught afterward and blamed himself for allowing Kennedy to be shot.

Sirhan, who was born in Palestine, confessed to the crime at his trial and received a death sentence on March 3, 1969. However, since the California State Supreme Court invalidated all death penalty sentences in 1972, Sirhan has spent the rest of his life in prison. According to the New York Times, he has since said that he believed Kennedy was “instrumental” in the oppression of Palestinians. Hubert Humphrey ended up running for the Democrats in 1968, but lost by a small margin to Nixon.

bojangles
05-06-2015, 08:36 AM
1916
British War Minister Lord Kitchener drowns


In the icy waters of the North Sea on June 5, 1916, the British cruiser Hampshire strikes a German mine and sinks off the Orkney Islands; among the passengers and crew drowned is Lord Horatio Herbert Kitchener, the British secretary of state for war.

Kitchener was a war hero who earned the lord distinction with his triumphant leadership of the British army in the Sudan in 1898. Serving as chief of staff during the Boer War (1899-1902), he drew criticism from such liberal politicians as David Lloyd George for his bold prosecution of the successful war effort, including the destruction of Boer farms and the internment of civilians in concentration camps. After serving in the colonial administrations of both India and Egypt, Kitchener was appointed secretary of war by Prime Minister H.H. Asquith upon the outbreak of World War I in the summer of 1914. Kitchener, the first member of the military to hold the post, was responsible for building up Britain’s army to face Germany—a country that, after steadily building and improving its armed forces for the past 40 years, was by 1914 in possession of the European continent’s most powerful land army. All the regular divisions of the British army went into action in the summer of 1914 and the campaign for volunteers—based around the slogan “Your King and Country Need You!—began in earnest in August of that year. New volunteers were rapidly enlisted and trained, many of them joining what were known as Pals battalions, or regiments of men from the same town or from similar professional backgrounds. Over the first two years of the war, over 3 million British men volunteered to serve in the so-called Kitchener’s New Armies.

By the summer of 1916, however, Kitchener had become a controversial figure, especially in the wake of the Allied failure to gain a victory against the Turks in their ambitious land invasion of the Gallipoli peninsula the previous spring. After Gallipoli, Kitchener had forfeited a good deal of credibility as a military strategist, and many of his fellow ministers had long lost faith in his efficacy and nerve. The British public, on the other hand, still regarded him as the man who embodied the strength and resolve behind the government’s war strategy.

In early June 1916, Kitchener left London aboard the cruiser Hampshire on a diplomatic mission to Russia, where he was to encourage that volatile ally to continue mounting a stiff resistance to their common enemy, Germany, on the Eastern Front of the war. On June 5, while traveling off the Orkney Islands, northwest of Scapa Flow in the North Sea, the Hampshire was sunk by a German mine, killing the war secretary and his colleagues.

Journalist Charles Repington wrote in his journal of Kitchener’s drowning and its effect on the British population: We hoped against hope, but no doubt now remains. A great figure gone. The services which he rendered in the early days of the war cannot be forgotten. They transcend those of all the lesser men who were his colleagues, some few of whom envied his popularity. His old manner of working alone did not consort with the needs of this huge syndicalism, modern war. The thing was too big. He made many mistakes. He was not a good Cabinet man. His methods did not suit a democracy. But there he was, towering above the others in character as in inches, by far the most popular man in the country to the end, and a firm rock which stood out amidst the raging tempest.

bojangles
06-06-2015, 08:58 AM
Although the term D-Day is used routinely as military lingo for the day an operation or event will take place, for many it is also synonymous with June 6, 1944, the day the Allied powers crossed the English Channel and landed on the beaches of Normandy, France, beginning the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi control during World War II. Within three months, the northern part of France would be freed and the invasion force would be preparing to enter Germany, where they would meet up with Soviet forces moving in from the east.

With Hitler’s armies in control of most of mainland Europe, the Allies knew that a successful invasion of the continent was central to winning the war. Hitler knew this too, and was expecting an assault on northwestern Europe in the spring of 1944. He hoped to repel the Allies from the coast with a strong counterattack that would delay future invasion attempts, giving him time to throw the majority of his forces into defeating the Soviet Union in the east. Once that was accomplished, he believed an all-out victory would soon be his.

On the morning of June 5, 1944, U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme commander of Allied forces in Europe gave the go-ahead for Operation Overlord, the largest amphibious military operation in history. On his orders, 6,000 landing craft, ships and other vessels carrying 176,000 troops began to leave England for the trip to France. That night, 822 aircraft filled with parachutists headed for drop zones in Normandy. An additional 13,000 aircraft were mobilized to provide air cover and support for the invasion.

By dawn on June 6, 18,000 parachutists were already on the ground; the land invasions began at 6:30 a.m. The British and Canadians overcame light opposition to capture Gold, Juno and Sword beaches; so did the Americans at Utah. The task was much tougher at Omaha beach, however, where 2,000 troops were lost and it was only through the tenacity and quick-wittedness of troops on the ground that the objective was achieved. By day’s end, 155,000 Allied troops–Americans, British and Canadians–had successfully stormed Normandy’s beaches.

For their part, the Germans suffered from confusion in the ranks and the absence of celebrated commander Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, who was away on leave. At first, Hitler, believing that the invasion was a feint designed to distract the Germans from a coming attack north of the Seine River, refused to release nearby divisions to join the counterattack and reinforcements had to be called from further afield, causing delays. He also hesitated in calling for armored divisions to help in the defense. In addition, the Germans were hampered by effective Allied air support, which took out many key bridges and forced the Germans to take long detours, as well as efficient Allied naval support, which helped protect advancing Allied troops.

Though it did not go off exactly as planned, as later claimed by British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery–for example, the Allies were able to land only fractions of the supplies and vehicles they had intended in France–D-Day was a decided success. By the end of June, the Allies had 850,000 men and 150,000 vehicles in Normandy and were poised to continue their march across Europe.

bojangles
07-06-2015, 09:35 AM
7th of June 1893
Gandhi’s first act of civil disobedience

In an event that would have dramatic repercussions for the people of India, Mohandas K. Gandhi, a young Indian lawyer working in South Africa, refuses to comply with racial segregation rules on a South African train and is forcibly ejected at Pietermaritzburg.

Born in India and educated in England, Gandhi traveled to South Africa in early 1893 to practice law under a one-year contract. Settling in Natal, he was subjected to racism and South African laws that restricted the rights of Indian laborers. Gandhi later recalled one such incident, in which he was removed from a first-class railway compartment and thrown off a train, as his moment of truth. From thereon, he decided to fight injustice and defend his rights as an Indian and a man.

When his contract expired, he spontaneously decided to remain in South Africa and launch a campaign against legislation that would deprive Indians of the right to vote. He formed the Natal Indian Congress and drew international attention to the plight of Indians in South Africa. In 1906, the Transvaal government sought to further restrict the rights of Indians, and Gandhi organized his first campaign of satyagraha, or mass civil disobedience. After seven years of protest, he negotiated a compromise agreement with the South African government.

In 1914, Gandhi returned to India and lived a life of abstinence and spirituality on the periphery of Indian politics. He supported Britain in the First World War but in 1919 launched a new satyagraha in protest of Britain’s mandatory military draft of Indians. Hundreds of thousands answered his call to protest, and by 1920 he was leader of the Indian movement for independence. Always nonviolent, he asserted the unity of all people under one God and preached Christian and Muslim ethics along with his Hindu teachings. The British authorities jailed him several times, but his following was so great that he was always released.

After World War II, he was a leading figure in the negotiations that led to Indian independence in 1947. Although hailing the granting of Indian independence as the “noblest act of the British nation,” he was distressed by the religious partition of the former Mogul Empire into India and Pakistan. When violence broke out between Hindus and Muslims in India in 1947, he resorted to fasts and visits to the troubled areas in an effort to end India’s religious strife. On January 30, 1948, he was on one such prayer vigil in New Delhi when he was fatally shot by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist .

bojangles
08-06-2015, 08:14 AM
632
Founder of Islam dies


In Medina, located in present-day Saudi Arabia, Muhammad, one of the most influential religious and political leaders in history, dies in the arms of Aishah, his third and favorite wife.

Born in Mecca of humble origins, Muhammad married a wealthy widow at 25 years old and lived the next 15 years as an unremarkable merchant. In 610, in a cave in Mount Hira north of Mecca, he had a vision in which he heard God, speaking through the angel Gabriel, command him to become the Arab prophet of the “true religion.” Thus began a lifetime of religious revelations, which he and others collected as the Qur’an. These revelations provided the foundation for the Islamic religion. Muhammad regarded himself as the last prophet of the Judaic-Christian tradition, and he adopted the theology of these older religions while introducing new doctrines. His inspired teachings also brought unity to the Bedouin tribesmen of Arabia, an event that had sweeping consequences for the rest of the world.

By the summer of 622, Muhammad had gained a substantial number of converts in Mecca, leading the city’s authorities, who had a vested interest in preserving the city’s pagan religion, to plan his assassination. Muhammad fled to Medina, a city some 200 miles north of Mecca, where he was given a position of considerable political power. At Medina, he built a model theocratic state and administered a rapidly growing empire. In 629, Muhammad returned to Mecca as a conqueror. During the next two and a half years, numerous disparate Arab tribes converted to his religion. By his death on June 8, 632, he was the effective ruler of all southern Arabia, and his missionaries, or legates, were active in the Eastern Empire, Persia, and Ethiopia.

During the next century, vast conquests continued under Muhammad’s successors and allies, and the Muslim advance was not halted until the Battle of Tours in France in 732. By this time, the Muslim empire, among the largest the world had ever seen, stretched from India across the Middle East and North Africa, and up through Western Europe’s Iberian peninsula. The spread of Islam continued after the end of the Arab conquest, and many cultures in Africa and Asia voluntarily adopted the religion. Today, Islam is the world’s second-largest religion.

Twobob
08-06-2015, 08:26 AM
632
Founder of Islam dies


In Medina, located in present-day Saudi Arabia, Muhammad, one of the most influential religious and political leaders in history, dies in the arms of Aishah, his third and favorite wife.

Born in Mecca of humble origins, Muhammad married a wealthy widow at 25 years old and lived the next 15 years as an unremarkable merchant. In 610, in a cave in Mount Hira north of Mecca, he had a vision in which he heard God, speaking through the angel Gabriel, command him to become the Arab prophet of the “true religion.” Thus began a lifetime of religious revelations, which he and others collected as the Qur’an. These revelations provided the foundation for the Islamic religion. Muhammad regarded himself as the last prophet of the Judaic-Christian tradition, and he adopted the theology of these older religions while introducing new doctrines. His inspired teachings also brought unity to the Bedouin tribesmen of Arabia, an event that had sweeping consequences for the rest of the world.

By the summer of 622, Muhammad had gained a substantial number of converts in Mecca, leading the city’s authorities, who had a vested interest in preserving the city’s pagan religion, to plan his assassination. Muhammad fled to Medina, a city some 200 miles north of Mecca, where he was given a position of considerable political power. At Medina, he built a model theocratic state and administered a rapidly growing empire. In 629, Muhammad returned to Mecca as a conqueror. During the next two and a half years, numerous disparate Arab tribes converted to his religion. By his death on June 8, 632, he was the effective ruler of all southern Arabia, and his missionaries, or legates, were active in the Eastern Empire, Persia, and Ethiopia.

During the next century, vast conquests continued under Muhammad’s successors and allies, and the Muslim advance was not halted until the Battle of Tours in France in 732. By this time, the Muslim empire, among the largest the world had ever seen, stretched from India across the Middle East and North Africa, and up through Western Europe’s Iberian peninsula. The spread of Islam continued after the end of the Arab conquest, and many cultures in Africa and Asia voluntarily adopted the religion. Today, Islam is the world’s second-largest religion.

Nothing in the " In Memory " section of the early edition in the Herald , Will have a look in the later one .:leaving:

quinner
08-06-2015, 11:45 AM
Nothing in the " In Memory " section of the early edition in the Herald , Will have a look in the later one .:leaving:

Traditionally....the Bedouin never crossed the River Jordan into the ''Holy Land''......

If they did cross it on Business.....They did so ''unarmed''....

bojangles
09-06-2015, 09:03 AM
On this day in 1891, the great composer and lyricist Cole Porter—one of the most important American songwriters of the 20th century—is born in Peru, Indiana.

Cole Porter’s legal birth certificate actually gives 1893 as the year of his birth rather than 1891, but that was a change engineered by his mother when she judged that 14-year-old Cole’s budding musical talents would be even more impressive in a 12-year-old. Kate Porter and her domineering father, J.O. Cole, played a similarly active role in promoting Cole’s success throughout his young life, even applying their considerable wealth and social standing to securing appearances as a soloist with the local student orchestras through the application of timely and generous financial contributions. Though his grandfather sent him off for an Ivy League education in the hopes that he would become an attorney, it was at Yale that Cole Porter first gained popularity as a writer of football fight songs and as a performer in the original lineup of the famous a cappella group the Whiffenpoofs. After an abortive attempt at law school at Harvard, Cole Porter committed himself to a career in music and left for New York in 1914.

Porter’s earliest efforts on the musical stage were abject failures, but his family wealth allowed him to decamp to Paris in 1916, where he spent the better part of two decades living the dissolute life of a privileged Bohemian. It was here that Porter fell in with Hemmingway, Stein and other members of the Lost Generation of poets and writers. It was also here that Cole Porter met his future wife, fellow expatriate American Linda Lee Thomas. While Porter was gay, and many of his most beautiful love songs (e.g., “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To”) were inspired by his male lovers, his marriage to Thomas would last for the rest of his life and provide him with the social status then necessary for a gay public figure.

Cole Porter spent the entirety of the 1920s living in Paris. It was only upon on his return to New York in the early 30s that he would truly begin building in earnest the career that would make him one of the most famous and beloved figures in 20th-century American popular music.

bojangles
10-06-2015, 08:22 AM
10th of June 1692

First Salem witch hanging

In Salem Village in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Bridget Bishop, the first colonist to be tried in the Salem witch trials, is hanged after being found guilty of the practice of witchcraft.

Trouble in the small Puritan community began in February 1692, when nine-year-old Elizabeth Parris and 11-year-old Abigail Williams, the daughter and niece, respectively, of the Reverend Samuel Parris, began experiencing fits and other mysterious maladies. A doctor concluded that the children were suffering from the effects of witchcraft, and the young girls corroborated the doctor’s diagnosis. Under compulsion from the doctor and their parents, the girls named those allegedly responsible for their suffering.

On March 1, Sarah Goode, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba, an Indian slave from Barbados, became the first Salem residents to be charged with the capital crime of witchcraft. Later that day, Tituba confessed to the crime and subsequently aided the authorities in identifying more Salem witches. With encouragement from adults in the community, the girls, who were soon joined by other “afflicted” Salem residents, accused a widening circle of local residents of witchcraft, mostly middle-aged women but also several men and even one four-year-old child. During the next few months, the afflicted area residents incriminated more than 150 women and men from Salem Village and the surrounding areas of satanic practices.

In June 1692, the special Court of Oyer and Terminer ["to hear and to decide"] convened in Salem under Chief Justice William Stoughton to judge the accused. The first to be tried was Bridget Bishop of Salem, who was accused of witchcraft by more individuals than any other defendant. Bishop, known around town for her dubious moral character, frequented taverns, dressed flamboyantly (by Puritan standards), and was married three times. She professed her innocence but was found guilty and executed by hanging on June 10. Thirteen more women and five men from all stations of life followed her to the gallows, and one man, Giles Corey, was executed by crushing. Most of those tried were condemned on the basis of the witnesses’ behavior during the actual proceedings, characterized by fits and hallucinations that were argued to have been caused by the defendants on trial.

In October 1692, Governor William Phipps of Massachusetts ordered the Court of Oyer and Terminer dissolved and replaced with the Superior Court of Judicature, which forbade the type of sensational testimony allowed in the earlier trials. Executions ceased, and the Superior Court eventually released all those awaiting trial and pardoned those sentenced to death. The Salem witch trials, which resulted in the executions of 19 innocent women and men, had effectively ended.

Twobob
10-06-2015, 09:30 AM
10th of June 1692

First Salem witch hanging

In Salem Village in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Bridget Bishop, the first colonist to be tried in the Salem witch trials, is hanged after being found guilty of the practice of witchcraft.

Trouble in the small Puritan community began in February 1692, when nine-year-old Elizabeth Parris and 11-year-old Abigail Williams, the daughter and niece, respectively, of the Reverend Samuel Parris, began experiencing fits and other mysterious maladies. A doctor concluded that the children were suffering from the effects of witchcraft, and the young girls corroborated the doctor’s diagnosis. Under compulsion from the doctor and their parents, the girls named those allegedly responsible for their suffering.

On March 1, Sarah Goode, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba, an Indian slave from Barbados, became the first Salem residents to be charged with the capital crime of witchcraft. Later that day, Tituba confessed to the crime and subsequently aided the authorities in identifying more Salem witches. With encouragement from adults in the community, the girls, who were soon joined by other “afflicted” Salem residents, accused a widening circle of local residents of witchcraft, mostly middle-aged women but also several men and even one four-year-old child. During the next few months, the afflicted area residents incriminated more than 150 women and men from Salem Village and the surrounding areas of satanic practices.

In June 1692, the special Court of Oyer and Terminer ["to hear and to decide"] convened in Salem under Chief Justice William Stoughton to judge the accused. The first to be tried was Bridget Bishop of Salem, who was accused of witchcraft by more individuals than any other defendant. Bishop, known around town for her dubious moral character, frequented taverns, dressed flamboyantly (by Puritan standards), and was married three times. She professed her innocence but was found guilty and executed by hanging on June 10. Thirteen more women and five men from all stations of life followed her to the gallows, and one man, Giles Corey, was executed by crushing. Most of those tried were condemned on the basis of the witnesses’ behavior during the actual proceedings, characterized by fits and hallucinations that were argued to have been caused by the defendants on trial.

In October 1692, Governor William Phipps of Massachusetts ordered the Court of Oyer and Terminer dissolved and replaced with the Superior Court of Judicature, which forbade the type of sensational testimony allowed in the earlier trials. Executions ceased, and the Superior Court eventually released all those awaiting trial and pardoned those sentenced to death. The Salem witch trials, which resulted in the executions of 19 innocent women and men, had effectively ended.

Must have been horrific for those accused . [No better than ISIS , regards their accusations and merit of justice ] IMO .

bojangles
10-06-2015, 07:04 PM
Must have been horrific for those accused . [No better than ISIS , regards their accusations and merit of justice ] IMO .

Yes , a lot of parallels there all right .

quinner
10-06-2015, 07:17 PM
Must have been horrific for those accused . [No better than ISIS , regards their accusations and merit of justice ] IMO .


I wonder had I been around in those days.....Would I have chosen to have no religion......

A simple decision in todays times, but not then...

tolka1
11-06-2015, 12:16 AM
I wonder had I been around in those days.....Would I have chosen to have no religion......

A simple decision in todays times, but not then...

I don't think that would have been a problem for you Quinner?None of them would have let you in lol.

jembo
11-06-2015, 07:34 AM
On this day the 11th June 1509, the new king, Henry VIII, married his brother’s widow, Catherine of Aragon, nearly 6 years after they had originally been betrothed. The marriage took place in a private ceremony in the queen’s closet at Greenwich Palace in front of two witnesses: Lord Steward Shrewsbury and groom of the privy chamber, William Thomas. As soon as the wedding was over, preparations began in earnest for the double coronation of King Henry VIII and Queen Catherine.
Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon was born on the 16th December 1485 and was the youngest surviving child of the Spanish Catholic monarchs, Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It is interesting to note that she had a strong claim to the English throne as she was descended from John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster and son of Edward III. She did not have the typical dark Spanish looks, instead she had blue eyes and auburn or strawberry blonde hair, and was said to be a great beauty. When she arrived in England in 1501 to marry Prince Arthur, heir to the throne, Thomas More said of her:-
“Ah, but the lady! Take my word for it, she thrilled the hearts of everyone: she possesses all those qualities that make for beauty in a very charming girl. Everywhere she receives the highest of praises; but even that is inadequate.”
Read more: http://www.theanneboleynfiles.com/the-marriage-of-henry-viii-and-catherine-of-aragon/#ixzz3cjU539kW

bojangles
11-06-2015, 08:25 AM
11th of June 1967

The Six-Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbors ends with a United
Nations-brokered cease-fire. The outnumbered Israel Defense Forces achieved a swift and decisive victory in the brief war, rolling over the Arab coalition that threatened the Jewish state and more than doubling the amount of territory under Israel’s control. The greatest fruit of victory lay in seizing the Old City of Jerusalem from Jordan; thousands of Jews wept while bent in prayer at the Second Temple’s Western Wall.

Increased tensions and skirmishes along Israel’s northern border with Syria were the immediate cause of the third Arab-Israeli war. In 1967, Syria intensified its bombardment of Israeli settlements across the border, and Israel struck back by shooting down six Syrian MiG fighters. After Syria alleged in May 1967 that Israel was massing troops along the border, Egypt mobilized its forces and demanded the withdrawal of the U.N. Emergency Force from the Israel-Egypt cease-fire lines of the 1956 conflict. The U.N. peacekeepers left on May 19, and three days later Egypt closed the Strait of Tiran to Israeli shipping. On May 30, Jordan signed a mutual-defense treaty with Egypt and Syria, and other Arab states, including Iraq, Kuwait, and Algeria, sent troop contingents to join the Arab coalition against Israel.

With every sign of a pan-Arab attack in the works, Israel’s government on June 4 authorized its armed forces to launch a surprise preemptive strike. On June 5, the Six-Day War began with an Israeli assault against Arab air power. In a brilliant attack, the Israeli air force caught the formidable Egyptian air force on the ground and largely destroyed the Arabs’ most powerful weapon. The Israeli air force then turned against the lesser air forces of Jordan, Syria, and Iraq, and by the end of the day had decisively won air superiority.

Beginning on June 5, Israel focused the main effort of its ground forces against Egypt’s Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula. In a lightning attack, the Israelis burst through the Egyptian lines and across the Sinai. The Egyptians fought resolutely but were outflanked by the Israelis and decimated in lethal air attacks. By June 8, the Egyptian forces were defeated, and Israel held the Gaza Strip and the Sinai to the Suez Canal.

Meanwhile, to the east of Israel, Jordan began shelling its Jewish neighbor on June 5, provoking a rapid and overwhelming response from Israeli forces. Israel overran the West Bank and on June 7 captured the Old City of East Jerusalem. The chief chaplain of the Israel Defense Forces blew a ram’s horn at the Western Wall to announce the reunification of East Jerusalem with the Israeli-administered western sector.

To the north, Israel bombarded Syria’s fortified Golan Heights for two days before launching a tank and infantry assault on June 9. After a day of fierce fighting, the Syrians began a retreat from the Golan Heights on June 10. On June 11, a U.N.-brokered cease-fire took effect throughout the three combat zones, and the Six-Day War was at an end. Israel had more than doubled its size in the six days of fighting.

The U.N. Security Council called for a withdrawal from all the occupied regions, but Israel declined, permanently annexing East Jerusalem and setting up military administrations in the occupied territories. Israel let it be known that Gaza, the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and the Sinai would be returned in exchange for Arab recognition of the right of Israel to exist and guarantees against future attack. Arab leaders, stinging from their defeat, met in August to discuss the future of the Middle East. They decided upon a policy of no peace, no negotiations, and no recognition of Israel, and made plans to zealously defend the rights of Palestinian Arabs in the occupied territories.

Egypt, however, would eventually negotiate and make peace with Israel, and in 1982 the Sinai Peninsula was returned to Egypt in exchange for full diplomatic recognition of Israel. Egypt and Jordan later gave up their respective claims to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to the Palestinians, who beginning in the 1990s opened “land for peace” talks with Israel. The East Bank territory has since been returned to Jordan. In 2005, Israel left the Gaza Strip. Still, a permanent Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement remains elusive, as does an agreement with Syria to return the Golan Heights.

quinner
11-06-2015, 10:15 AM
I don't think that would have been a problem for you Quinner?None of them would have let you in lol.

I wouldn't have went......I don't like religious bit...

bojangles
12-06-2015, 07:58 AM
Headline 12th of June 1964

Nelson Mandela jailed for life
The leader of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa, Nelson Mandela, has been jailed for life for sabotage.

Seven other defendants, including the former secretary-general of the banned African National Congress (ANC), Walter Sisulu, were also given life prison sentences.

Crowds gathered silently outside the court building in Pretoria's Church Square waiting for the verdict to be handed down. Hundreds of police patrolled the area.

The Rivonia trial - named after the suburb of Johannesburg where several of the defendants were arrested - began eight months ago, with Mandela, 46, and his co-defendants proudly confessing their guilt to plotting to destroy the South African state by sabotage.

As members of the ANC - the main African nationalist movement - they have campaigned for an end to the oppression of black South Africans.

But the movement was banned in 1960 following the Sharpeville massacre and campaigners decided they had no choice but to resort to violent means.

Struggle for equal rights

Mandela - a lawyer by training - told the court earlier: "I do not deny that I planned sabotage. I did not plan it in a spirit of recklessness nor because I have any love of violence. I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny, exploitation and oppression of my people by the whites."

His co-accused included: Walter Sisulu, Dennis Goldberg, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Elias Mosoaledi, Andrew Mlangeni - all ANC officials and Ahmed Kathrada, the former leader of the South African Indian Congress.

Lawyer for the defendants, Harold Hansen QC said: "These accused represent the struggle of their people for equal rights. Their views represent the struggle of the African people for the attainment of equal rights for all races in this country."

But the judge, President Quartus de Wet, said he was not convinced by their claim to have been motivated by a desire to alleviate the grievances of the African people in this country.

Judge de Wet said: "People who organise revolution usually plan to take over the government as well through personal ambition."

However, he stopped short of the imposing the supreme penalty of death.

The convicted men were cheered as they left court in a police lorry. The crowd was dispersed without any serious incident.




In Context
This was the second time Nelson Mandela had been tried for high treason - in 1956 he was charged but after a four year trial the case was dropped.

There were demonstrations in Britain following the 1964 sentencing. A world petition calling for the prisoners' release was handed to the United Nations Secretary General.

Nelson Mandela spent most of his 27 years behind bars serving hard labour in Robben Island prison off Cape Town.

He was released in 1990, jointly awarded the Nobel peace prize with President FW de Klerk in 1993 and elected South Africa's president in the country's first multi-racial elections held in 1994.

He stepped down in favour of Govan Mbeki's son Thabo in 1999 but continues to travel the world campaigning for peace.

Walter Sisulu died at the age of 90 in May 2003.

bojangles
13-06-2015, 08:00 AM
13th of June 1381
Peasant army marches into London


During the Peasants’ Revolt, a large mob of English peasants led by Wat Tyler marches into London and begins burning and looting the city. Several government buildings were destroyed, prisoners were released, and a judge was beheaded along with several dozen other leading citizens.

The Peasants’ Revolt had its origins in a severe manifestation of bubonic plague in the late 1340s, which killed nearly a third of the population of England. The scarcity of labor brought on by the Black Death led to higher wages and a more mobile peasantry. Parliament, however, resisted these changes to its traditional feudal system and passed laws to hold down wages while encouraging landlords to reassert their ancient manorial rights. In 1380, peasant discontent reached a breaking point when Parliament restricted voting rights through an increase of the poll tax, and the Peasants’ Revolt began.

In Kent, a county in southeast England, the rebels chose Wat Tyler as their leader, and he led his growing “army” toward London, capturing the towns of Maidstone, Rochester, and Canterbury along the way. After he was denied a meeting with King Richard II, he led the rebels into London on June 13, 1381, burning and plundering the city. The next day, the 14-year-old king met with peasant leaders at Mile End and agreed to their demands to abolish serfdom and restrictions on the marketplace. However, fighting continued elsewhere at the same time, and Tyler led a peasant force against the Tower of London, capturing the fortress and executing the archbishop of Canterbury.

On June 15, the king met Tyler at Smithfield, and Tyler presented new demands, including one calling for the abolishment of church property. During the meeting, the mayor of London, angered at Tyler’s arrogance in the presence of the king, lunged at the rebel leader with a sword, fatally wounding him. As Tyler lay dying on the ground, Richard managed to keep the peasant mob calm until the mayor returned with armed troops. Hundreds of rebels were executed and the rest dispersed. During the next few days, the Peasant Revolt was put down with severity all across England, and Richard revoked all the concessions he had made to the peasants at Mile End. For several weeks, Wat Tyler’s head was displayed on a pole in a London field.

jembo
13-06-2015, 02:06 PM
1940: German troops enter Paris

German troops marched into Paris in the early hours of this morning as French and allied forces retreated.
The enemy met no resistance as it entered the capital, which was declared an open town yesterday by the city's French military governor, General Hering.

French troops withdrew to avoid a violent battle and total destruction of Paris. They are believed to have taken a new line of defence south of the city.

The Germans advanced from the north-east and north-west and shortly afterwards tanks rumbled past the Arc de Triomphe down the Champs Elysees to the Place de la Concorde.

Government retreats

All shops and businesses in Paris have been closed and shuttered and there are unconfirmed reports the French government has now left Tours, in central France, and gone further south to Bordeaux.

The enemy has been advancing toward Paris since they took Dunkirk ten days ago, forcing a huge evacuation of the port, resulting in thousands of allied deaths and casualties.

As the Germans approached, the French premier Paul Reynaud broadcast an appeal for all free men to come to the aid of France.

British troops arrived south of Paris and began fighting, with their French counterparts, day and night to stem the advance of the Germans.

The RAF has spent the past few days bombing German convoys, supply columns, mechanised units and lines of communications.

All the bridges behind enemy lines from Rouen to Mantes have been destroyed by the RAF to stop the enemy bringing up material and reserves.

German aircraft responded with air raids east of Paris and at Evreux and Mantes, west of the capital.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/june/14/newsid_4485000/4485727.stm

bojangles
14-06-2015, 08:46 AM
14th of June 1982
Falkland Islands War ends

After suffering through six weeks of military defeats against Britain’s armed forces, Argentina surrenders to Great Britain, ending the Falkland Islands War.

The Falkland Islands, located about 300 miles off the southern tip of Argentina, had long been claimed by the British. British navigator John Davis may have sighted the islands in 1592, and in 1690 British Navy Captain John Strong made the first recorded landing on the islands. He named them after Viscount Falkland, who was the First Lord of the Admiralty at the time. In 1764, French navigator Louis-Antoine de Bougainville founded the islands’ first human settlement, on East Falkland, which was taken over by the Spanish in 1767. In 1765, the British settled West Falkland but left in 1774 for economic reasons. Spain abandoned its settlement in 1811.

In 1816, Argentina declared its independence from Spain and in 1820 proclaimed its sovereignty over the Falklands. The Argentines built a fort on East Falkland, but in 1832 it was destroyed by the USS Lexington in retaliation for the seizure of U.S. seal ships in the area. In 1833, a British force expelled the remaining Argentine officials and began a military occupation. In 1841, a British lieutenant governor was appointed, and by the 1880s a British community of some 1,800 people on the islands was self-supporting. In 1892, the wind-blown Falkland Islands were collectively granted colonial status.

For the next 90 years, life on the Falklands remained much unchanged, despite persistent diplomatic efforts by Argentina to regain control of the islands. In 1981, the 1,800 Falkland Islanders–mostly sheep farmers–voted in a referendum to remain British, and it seemed unlikely that the Falklands would ever revert to Argentine rule. Meanwhile, in Argentina, the military junta led by Lieutenant General Leopoldo Galtieri was suffering criticism for its oppressive rule and economic management and planned the Falklands invasion as a means of promoting patriotic feeling and propping up its regime.

In March 1982, Argentine salvage workers occupied South Georgia Island, and a full-scale invasion of the Falklands began on April 2. Argentine amphibious forces rapidly overcame the small garrison of British marines at the town of Stanley on East Falkland and the next day seized the dependent territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich group. Under orders from their commanders, the Argentine troops inflicted no British casualties, despite suffering losses to their own units. Nevertheless, Britain was outraged, and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher assembled a naval task force of 30 warships to retake the islands. As Britain is 8,000 miles from the Falklands, it took several weeks for the British warships to arrive. On April 25, South Georgia Island was retaken, and after several intensive naval battles fought around the Falklands, British troops landed on East Falkland on May 21. After several weeks of fighting, the large Argentine garrison at Stanley surrendered on June 14, effectively ending the conflict.

Britain lost five ships and 256 lives in the fight to regain the Falklands, and Argentina lost its only cruiser and 750 lives. Humiliated in the Falklands War, the Argentine military was swept from power in 1983, and civilian rule was restored. In Britain, Margaret Thatcher’s popularity soared after the conflict, and her Conservative Party won a landslide victory in 1983 parliamentary elections.

bojangles
15-06-2015, 07:35 AM
15th of June 1215
Magna Carta sealed


Following a revolt by the English nobility against his rule, King John puts his royal seal on the Magna Carta, or “Great Charter.” The document, essentially a peace treaty between John and his barons, guaranteed that the king would respect feudal rights and privileges, uphold the freedom of the church, and maintain the nation’s laws. Although more a reactionary than a progressive document in its day, the Magna Carta was seen as a cornerstone in the development of democratic England by later generations.

John was enthroned as king of England following the death of his brother, King Richard the Lion-Hearted, in 1199. King John’s reign was characterized by failure. He lost the duchy of Normandy to the French king and taxed the English nobility heavily to pay for his foreign misadventures. He quarreled with Pope Innocent III and sold church offices to build up the depleted royal coffers. Following the defeat of a campaign to regain Normandy in 1214, Stephen Langton, the archbishop of Canterbury, called on the disgruntled barons to demand a charter of liberties from the king.

In 1215, the barons rose up in rebellion against the king’s abuse of feudal law and custom. John, faced with a superior force, had no choice but to give in to their demands. Earlier kings of England had granted concessions to their feudal barons, but these charters were vaguely worded and issued voluntarily. The document drawn up for John in June 1215, however, forced the king to make specific guarantees of the rights and privileges of his barons and the freedom of the church. On June 15, 1215, John met the barons at Runnymede on the Thames and set his seal to the Articles of the Barons, which after minor revision was formally issued as the Magna Carta.

The charter consisted of a preamble and 63 clauses and dealt mainly with feudal concerns that had little impact outside 13th century England. However, the document was remarkable in that it implied there were laws the king was bound to observe, thus precluding any future claim to absolutism by the English monarch. Of greatest interest to later generations was clause 39, which stated that “no free man shall be arrested or imprisoned or disseised [dispossessed] or outlawed or exiled or in any way victimised…except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.” This clause has been celebrated as an early guarantee of trial by jury and of habeas corpus and inspired England’s Petition of Right (1628) and the Habeas Corpus Act (1679).

In immediate terms, the Magna Carta was a failure–civil war broke out the same year, and John ignored his obligations under the charter. Upon his death in 1216, however, the Magna Carta was reissued with some changes by his son, King Henry III, and then reissued again in 1217. That year, the rebellious barons were defeated by the king’s forces. In 1225, Henry III voluntarily reissued the Magna Carta a third time, and it formally entered English statute law.

The Magna Carta has been subject to a great deal of historical exaggeration; it did not establish Parliament, as some have claimed, nor more than vaguely allude to the liberal democratic ideals of later centuries. However, as a symbol of the sovereignty of the rule of law, it was of fundamental importance to the constitutional development of England. Four original copies of the Magna Carta of 1215 exist today: one in Lincoln Cathedral, one in Salisbury Cathedral, and two in the British Museum.

quinner
15-06-2015, 08:01 AM
15th of June 1215
Magna Carta sealed


Following a revolt by the English nobility against his rule, King John puts his royal seal on the Magna Carta, or “Great Charter.” The document, essentially a peace treaty between John and his barons, guaranteed that the king would respect feudal rights and privileges, uphold the freedom of the church, and maintain the nation’s laws. Although more a reactionary than a progressive document in its day, the Magna Carta was seen as a cornerstone in the development of democratic England by later generations.

John was enthroned as king of England following the death of his brother, King Richard the Lion-Hearted, in 1199. King John’s reign was characterized by failure. He lost the duchy of Normandy to the French king and taxed the English nobility heavily to pay for his foreign misadventures. He quarreled with Pope Innocent III and sold church offices to build up the depleted royal coffers. Following the defeat of a campaign to regain Normandy in 1214, Stephen Langton, the archbishop of Canterbury, called on the disgruntled barons to demand a charter of liberties from the king.

In 1215, the barons rose up in rebellion against the king’s abuse of feudal law and custom. John, faced with a superior force, had no choice but to give in to their demands. Earlier kings of England had granted concessions to their feudal barons, but these charters were vaguely worded and issued voluntarily. The document drawn up for John in June 1215, however, forced the king to make specific guarantees of the rights and privileges of his barons and the freedom of the church. On June 15, 1215, John met the barons at Runnymede on the Thames and set his seal to the Articles of the Barons, which after minor revision was formally issued as the Magna Carta.

The charter consisted of a preamble and 63 clauses and dealt mainly with feudal concerns that had little impact outside 13th century England. However, the document was remarkable in that it implied there were laws the king was bound to observe, thus precluding any future claim to absolutism by the English monarch. Of greatest interest to later generations was clause 39, which stated that “no free man shall be arrested or imprisoned or disseised [dispossessed] or outlawed or exiled or in any way victimised…except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.” This clause has been celebrated as an early guarantee of trial by jury and of habeas corpus and inspired England’s Petition of Right (1628) and the Habeas Corpus Act (1679).

In immediate terms, the Magna Carta was a failure–civil war broke out the same year, and John ignored his obligations under the charter. Upon his death in 1216, however, the Magna Carta was reissued with some changes by his son, King Henry III, and then reissued again in 1217. That year, the rebellious barons were defeated by the king’s forces. In 1225, Henry III voluntarily reissued the Magna Carta a third time, and it formally entered English statute law.

The Magna Carta has been subject to a great deal of historical exaggeration; it did not establish Parliament, as some have claimed, nor more than vaguely allude to the liberal democratic ideals of later centuries. However, as a symbol of the sovereignty of the rule of law, it was of fundamental importance to the constitutional development of England. Four original copies of the Magna Carta of 1215 exist today: one in Lincoln Cathedral, one in Salisbury Cathedral, and two in the British Museum.


To this very day......there are people outside the UK who believe the Royal Family have some sort of ''Power''.....

jembo
15-06-2015, 09:09 PM
Gaston Means is sentenced to 15 years for fraud in the Lindbergh baby kidnapping.

Gaston Bullock Means (July 11, 1879 – December 12, 1938) was an American private detective, salesman, bootlegger, forger, swindler, murder suspect, blackmailer, and con artist.

While not involved in the Teapot Dome scandal, Means was associated with other members of the so-called Ohio Gang that gathered around the administration of President Warren G. Harding. Means also tried to pull a con associated with the Lindbergh kidnapping. He died in Leavenworth prison in 1938.

https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=Gaston+Means

bojangles
16-06-2015, 08:55 AM
On June 16, 1963, aboard Vostok 6, Soviet Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman to travel into space. After 48 orbits and 71 hours, she returned to earth, having spent more time in space than all U.S. astronauts combined to that date.

Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova was born to a peasant family in Maslennikovo, Russia, in 1937. She began work at a textile factory when she was 18, and at age 22 she made her first parachute jump under the auspices of a local aviation club. Her enthusiasm for skydiving brought her to the attention of the Soviet space program, which sought to put a woman in space in the early 1960s as a means of achieving another “space first” before the United States. As an accomplished parachutist, Tereshkova was well equipped to handle one of the most challenging procedures of a Vostok space flight: the mandatory ejection from the capsule at about 20,000 feet during reentry. In February 1962, she was selected along with three other woman parachutists and a female pilot to begin intensive training to become a cosmonaut.

In 1963, Tereshkova was chosen to take part in the second dual flight in the Vostok program, involving spacecrafts Vostok 5 and Vostok 6. On June 14, 1963, Vostok 5 was launched into space with cosmonaut Valeri Bykovsky aboard. With Bykovsky still orbiting the earth, Tereshkova was launched into space on June 16 aboard Vostok 6. The two spacecrafts had different orbits but at one point came within three miles of each other, allowing the two cosmonauts to exchange brief communications. Tereshkova’s spacecraft was guided by an automatic control system, and she never took manual control. On June 19, after just under three days in space, Vostok 6 reentered the atmosphere, and Tereshkova successfully parachuted to earth after ejecting at 20,000 feet. Bykovsky and Vostok 5 landed safely a few hours later.

After her historic space flight, Valentina Tereshkova received the Order of Lenin and Hero of the Soviet Union awards. In November 1963, she married fellow cosmonaut Andrian Nikolayev, reportedly under pressure from Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, who saw a propaganda advantage in the pairing of the two single cosmonauts. The couple made several goodwill trips abroad, had a daughter, and later separated. In 1966, Tereshkova became a member of the Supreme Soviet, the USSR’s national parliament, and she served as the Soviet representative to numerous international women’s organizations and events. She never entered space again, and hers was the last space flight by a female cosmonaut until the 1980s.

The United States screened a group of female pilots in 1959 and 1960 for possible astronaut training but later decided to restrict astronaut qualification to men.

jembo
16-06-2015, 09:58 PM
Stan Laurel (born Stanley Arthur Jefferson; 16 June 1890 – 23 February 1965) was an English comic actor, writer and film director, most famous for his role in the comedy duo Laurel and Hardy. With his comedy partner Oliver Hardy he appeared in 107 short films, feature films and cameo roles.

Laurel began his career in the British music hall, from where he took a number of his standard comic devices: the bowler hat, the deep comic gravity, and the nonsensical understatement. His performances polished his skills at pantomime and music hall sketches. Laurel was a member of "Fred Karno's Army," where he was Charlie Chaplin's understudy. The two arrived in the US on the same ship from Britain with the Karno troupe. Laurel went into films in the US, with his acting career stretching between 1917 and 1951, and from "silents" to "talkies." It included a starring role in the film The Music Box (1932).

In 1961, Laurel was given a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award for his pioneering work in comedy. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Blvd. In a 2005 UK poll to find The Comedian's' Comedian, Laurel and Hardy ranked top among best double acts and seventh overall. In 2009, a bronze statue of the duo was unveiled in Laurel's hometown of Ulverston, Cumbria.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stan_Laurel

bojangles
17-06-2015, 09:24 AM
On this day in 1885, the dismantled State of Liberty, a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of America, arrives in New York Harbor after being shipped across the Atlantic Ocean in 350 individual pieces packed in more than 200 cases. The copper and iron statue, which was reassembled and dedicated the following year in a ceremony presided over by U.S. President Grover Cleveland, became known around the world as an enduring symbol of freedom and democracy.

Intended to commemorate the American Revolution and a century of friendship between the U.S. and France, the statue was designed by French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi (who modeled it after his own mother), with assistance from engineer Gustave Eiffel, who later developed the iconic tower in Paris bearing his name. The statue was initially scheduled to be finished by 1876, the 100th anniversary of America’s Declaration of Independence; however, fundraising efforts, which included auctions, a lottery and boxing matches, took longer than anticipated, both in Europe and the U.S., where the statue’s pedestal was to be financed and constructed. The statue alone cost the French an estimated $250,000 (more than $5.5 million in today’s money).

Finally completed in Paris in the summer of 1884, the statue, a robed female figure with an uplifted arm holding a torch, reached its new home on Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor (between New York City and Hudson County, New Jersey) on June 17, 1885. After being reassembled, the 450,000-pound statue was officially dedicated on October 28, 1886, by President Cleveland, who said, “We will not forget that Liberty has here made her home; nor shall her chosen altar be neglected.” Standing more than 305 feet from the foundation of its pedestal to the top of its torch, the statue, dubbed “Liberty Enlightening the World” by Bartholdi, was taller than any structure in New York City at the time. The statue was originally copper-colored, but over the years it underwent a natural color-change process called patination that produced its current greenish-blue hue.

In 1892, Ellis Island, located near Bedloe’s Island (which in 1956 was renamed Liberty Island), opened as America’s chief immigration station, and for the next 62 years Lady Liberty, as the statue is nicknamed, stood watch over the more than 12 million immigrants who sailed into New York Harbor. In 1903, a plaque inscribed with a sonnet titled “The New Colossus” by American poet Emma Lazarus, written 20 years earlier for a pedestal fundraiser, was placed on an interior wall of the pedestal. Lazarus’ now-famous words, which include “Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” became symbolic of America’s vision of itself as a land of opportunity for immigrants.

Some 60 years after President Calvin Coolidge designated the statue a national monument in 1924, it underwent a multi-million-dollar restoration (which included a new torch and gold leaf-covered flame) and was rededicated by President Ronald Reagan on July 4, 1986, in a lavish celebration. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the statue was closed; its base, pedestal and observation deck re-opened in 2004, while its crown re-opened to the public on July 4, 2009. (For safety reasons, the torch has been closed to visitors since 1916, after an incident called the Black Tom explosions in which munitions-laden barges and railroad cars on the Jersey City, New Jersey, waterfront were blown up by German agents, causing damage to the nearby statue.)

Today, the Statue of Liberty is one of America’s most famous landmarks. Over the years, it has been the site of political rallies and protests (from suffragettes to anti-war activists), has been featured in numerous movies and countless photographs, and has received millions of visitors from around the globe.

jembo
17-06-2015, 11:41 AM
The Uprising of 1953 in East Germany started with a strike by East Berlin construction workers on 16 June 1953. It turned into a widespread uprising against the German Democratic Republic government the next day. In Germany, the revolt is often called People's Uprising in East Germany (Volksaufstand in der DDR). In remembrance of it, June 17 used to be a national holiday of West Germany until reunification.

The uprising in East Berlin was violently suppressed by tanks of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany and the Volkspolizei. In spite of the intervention of Soviet troops, the wave of strikes and protests was not easily brought under control. Even after 17 June, there were demonstrations in more than 500 towns and villages.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uprising_of_1953_in_East_Germany

bojangles
18-06-2015, 08:37 AM
18th of June 1967
The Monterey Pop Festival reaches its climax

By the time they got to Woodstock, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Who and the Grateful Dead were established superstars—heroes to the roughly half a million worshipful fans who trekked up to Max Yasgur’s farm to see them in the summer of 1969. Yet just two years earlier, they were entirely unknown to most of those worshipers. All four iconic figures on the 1960s music scene entered the American popular consciousness at an event that preceded and provided the inspiration for Woodstock itself: the Monterey Pop Festival. Held over three days during the height of the Summer of Love, the Monterey Pop Festival came to a close on this day in 1967, with a lineup of performers that included all of the aforementioned acts as well as Ravi Shankar, Buffalo Springfield and the Mamas and the Papas.

From a purely musical perspective, the Monterey Pop Festival was a groundbreaking event, bringing together nearly three dozen well-known and unknown acts representing an eclectic mix of styles and sounds. The great soul singer Otis Redding, the Indian sitar master Ravi Shankar and South African singer/trumpeter Hugh Masekala, for instance, all had their first significant exposure to a primarily white American audience at the Monterey Pop Festival, which also featured such well-known acts as the Animals, the Association, the Byrds, Jefferson Airplane and the Mamas and the Papas. In this sense, the festival not only pioneered the basic idea of a large-scale, multi-day rock festival, but it also provided the creative template that such festivals still follow to this day.

The organizers of the charitable Monterey Pop Festival also set a standard for logistical organization that the organizers of the for-profit Woodstock festival would attempt to follow, only to fall short under the immense pressure of overflow crowds and bad weather. In addition to arranging for private security and medical staff, the organizers of Monterey also deployed a staff of trained volunteers, for instance, whose sole task was to manage episodes among audience members partaking in the nearly ubiquitous psychedelic drugs.

Some 200,000 people attended the Monterey Pop Festival over its three-day schedule, many of whom had descended upon the west coast inspired by the same spirit expressed in the Scott McKenzie song “San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair),” written by festival organizer John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas expressly as a promotional tune for the festival. The Summer of Love that followed Monterey may have failed to usher in a lasting era of peace and love, but the festival introduced much of the music that has come to define that particular place and time.

bojangles
19-06-2015, 08:07 AM
19th of June 1953
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg executed


Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, a married couple convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage in 1951, are put to death in the electric chair. The execution marked the dramatic finale of the most controversial espionage case of the Cold War.

Julius was arrested in July 1950, and Ethel in August of that same year, on the charge of conspiracy to commit espionage. Specifically, they were accused of heading a spy ring that passed top-secret information concerning the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. The Rosenbergs vigorously protested their innocence, but after a brief trial in March 1951 they were convicted. On April 5, 1951, a judge sentenced them to death. The pair was taken to Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York, to await execution. During the next two years, the couple became the subject of both national and international debate. Many people believed that the Rosenbergs were the victims of a surge of hysterical anticommunist feeling in the United States, and protested that the death sentence handed down was cruel and unusual punishment. Most Americans, however, believed that the Rosenbergs had been dealt with justly. President Dwight D. Eisenhower spoke for many Americans when he issued a statement declining to invoke executive clemency for the pair. He stated, “I can only say that, by immeasurably increasing the chances of atomic war, the Rosenbergs may have condemned to death tens of millions of innocent people all over the world. The execution of two human beings is a grave matter. But even graver is the thought of the millions of dead whose deaths may be directly attributable to what these spies have done.”

Julius Rosenberg was the first to be executed, at about 8 p.m. on June 19, 1953. Just a few minutes after his body was removed from the chamber containing the electric chair, Ethel Rosenberg was led in and strapped to the chair. She was pronounced dead at 8:16 p.m. Both refused to admit any wrongdoing and proclaimed their innocence right up to the time of their deaths.

bojangles
20-06-2015, 08:47 AM
On this day in 1975, Jaws, a film directed by Steven Spielberg that made countless viewers afraid to go into the water, opened in cinemas . The story of a great white shark that terrorizes a New England resort town became an instant blockbuster and the highest-grossing film in movie history until it was bested by 1977’s Star Wars. Jaws was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Picture category and took home three Oscars, for Best Film Editing, Best Original Score and Best Sound. The film, a breakthrough for director Spielberg, then 27 years old, spawned three sequels.

The film starred Roy Scheider as principled police chief Martin Brody, Richard Dreyfuss as a marine biologist named Matt Hooper and Robert Shaw as a grizzled fisherman called Quint. It was set in the fictional beach town of Amity, and based on a best-selling novel, released in 1973, by Peter Benchley. Subsequent water-themed Benchley bestsellers also made it to the big screen, including The Deep (1977).

With a budget of $12 million, Jaws was produced by the team of Richard Zanuck and David Brown, whose later credits include The Verdict (1982), Cocoon (1985) and Driving Miss Daisy (1989). Filming, which took place on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, was plagued by delays and technical difficulties, including malfunctioning mechanical sharks.

Jaws put now-famed director Steven Spielberg on the Hollywood map. Spielberg, largely self-taught in filmmaking, made his feature-length directorial debut with The Sugarland Express in 1974. The film was critically well-received but a box-office flop. Following the success of Jaws, Spielberg went on to become one of the most influential, iconic people in the film world, with such epics as Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), ET: the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Jurassic Park (1993), Schindler’s List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). E.T., Jaws and Jurassic Park rank among the 10 highest-grossing movies of all time. In 1994, Spielberg formed DreamWorks SKG, with Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen. The company has produced such hits as American Beauty (1999), Gladiator (2001) and Shrek (2001).

jembo
20-06-2015, 10:11 AM
The Black Hole of Calcutta was a small dungeon in the old Fort William in Calcutta, India, where troops of the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj ud-Daulah, held British prisoners of war after the capture of the fort on 20 June 1756.
One of the prisoners, John Zephaniah Holwell, claimed that following the fall of the fort, British and Anglo-Indian soldiers and civilians were held overnight in conditions so cramped that many died from suffocation, heat exhaustion and crushing. He claimed that 123 prisoners died out of 146 held. However, the precise number of deaths, and the accuracy of Holwell's claims, have been the subject of controversy

For more details on this topic, see History of Calcutta.
Fort William was established to protect the East India Company's trade in the city of Calcutta, the principal town of the Bengal Presidency. In 1756, with the possibility of conflict with French forces, the British began building up the fort's strengths and defences. The Nawab of Bengal, Siraj ud-Daulah, was unhappy with the company's interference in the internal affairs of his province and perceived a threat to its independence. He ordered an immediate stop to the Fort's military enhancement, but the Company paid no heed. As a consequence, Siraj organized his army and laid siege to the fort. The garrison's commander organised an escape, leaving behind 146 soldiers] under the command of John Zephaniah Holwell, a senior East India Company bureaucrat who had been a military surgeon. However, desertions by allied troops made even this temporary defence ineffectual, and the fort fell on 20 June. The surviving defenders, who numbered between 64 and 69, were captured along with an unknown number of Anglo-Indian soldiers and civilians who had been sheltering in the fort. During this period some prisoners were able to escape through the gates of the fort before the guards were fully alert to the change in numbers.

The Holwell account
The Black Hole, 20 June 1756
Holwell wrote about the events after the fall of the fort. He met with Siraj, who assured him "on the word of a soldier, that no harm should come to us". After seeking a place in the fort to confine the 146 prisoners (including Holwell), at 8 pm, the jailers locked the prisoners in the fort's prison ("the black hole" was 18th century military slang for any military prison - similar to "the glasshouse" in the 20th century British Army or "the brig" in the US Navy), which was 14 by 18 feet (4.3 m × 5.5 m) in size. When the "Black Hole" was opened the next morning at 6 am, only 23 people were alive. Stanley Wolpert argues that only 64 people were imprisoned and 21 survived. D.L. Prior argues that 43 members of the garrison were dead or missing for reasons other than suffocation and shock, while Busteed argues that, because so many non-combatants were present in the fort when it fell, the number who died cannot be stated with any precision. Regarding responsibility, Holwell believed that it "was the result of revenge and resentment in the breasts of the lower Jemmaatdaars [sergeants], to whose custody we were delivered, for the number of their order killed during the siege." Wolpert concurs and argues that Siraj did not order it and was not informed about it.

The following description from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica portrays Holwell's point of view vividly:
The dungeon was a strongly barred room and was not intended for the confinement of more than two or three men at a time. There were only two windows, and a projecting veranda outside and thick iron bars within impeded the ventilation, while fires raging in different parts of the fort suggested an atmosphere of further oppressiveness. The prisoners were packed so tightly that the door was difficult to close.
One of the soldiers stationed in the veranda was offered 1,000 rupees to have them removed to a larger room. He went away, but returned saying it was impossible. The bribe was then doubled, and he made a second attempt with a like result; the nawab was asleep, and no one dared wake him.
By nine o'clock several had died, and many more were delirious. A frantic cry for water now became general, and one of the guards, more compassionate than his fellows, caused some to be brought to the bars, where Mr. Holwell and two or three others received it in their hats, and passed it on to the men behind. In their impatience to secure it nearly all was spilt, and the little they drank seemed only to increase their thirst. Self-control was soon lost; those in remote parts of the room struggled to reach the window, and a fearful tumult ensued, in which the weakest were trampled or pressed to death. They raved, fought, prayed, blasphemed, and many then fell exhausted on the floor, where suffocation put an end to their torments.
About 11 o'clock the prisoners began to drop off fast. At length, at six in the morning, Siraj-ud-Daulah awoke, and ordered the door to be opened. Of the 146 only 23, including Mr. Holwell (from whose narrative, published in the Annual Register for 1758, this account is partly derived), remained alive, and they were either stupefied or raving. Fresh air soon revived them, and the commander was then taken before the nawab, who expressed no regret for what had occurred, and gave no other sign of sympathy than ordering the Englishman a chair and a glass of water. Notwithstanding this indifference, Mr. Holwell and some others acquit him of any intention of causing the catastrophe, and ascribe it to the malice of certain inferior officers, but many think this opinion unfounded.
After the prison was opened, the corpses were thrown into a ditch. Holwell and three others were sent as prisoners to Murshidabad; the rest of the survivors obtained their liberty after the victory of a relief expedition under Robert Clive.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Hole_of_Calcutta

Black Hole Memorial in St. John's Church, Kolkata

bojangles
21-06-2015, 09:17 AM
On this day in 1942, General Erwin Rommel turns his assault on the British-Allied garrison at Tobruk, Libya, into victory, as his panzer division occupies the North African port.

Britain had established control of Tobruk after routing the Italians in 1940. But the Germans attempted to win it back by reinforcing Italian troops with the Afrika Korps of Erwin Rommel, who continually charged the British Eighth Army in battles around Tobruk, finally forcing the Brits to retreat into Egypt. All that was left to take back the port was the garrison now manned by the South African Division, which also included the Eleventh Indian Brigade. With the use of artillery, dive-bombers, and his panzer forces, Rommel pushed past the Allies. Unable to resist any longer, South African General Henrik Klopper ordered his officers to surrender early on the morning of the 21st. Rommel took more than 30,000 prisoners, 2,000 vehicles, 2,000 tons of fuel, and 5,000 tons of rations. Adolf Hitler awarded Rommel the field marshal’s baton as reward for his victory. “I am going on to Suez,” was Rommel’s promise.

quinner
21-06-2015, 09:28 AM
On this day in 1942, General Erwin Rommel turns his assault on the British-Allied garrison at Tobruk, Libya, into victory, as his panzer division occupies the North African port.

Britain had established control of Tobruk after routing the Italians in 1940. But the Germans attempted to win it back by reinforcing Italian troops with the Afrika Korps of Erwin Rommel, who continually charged the British Eighth Army in battles around Tobruk, finally forcing the Brits to retreat into Egypt. All that was left to take back the port was the garrison now manned by the South African Division, which also included the Eleventh Indian Brigade. With the use of artillery, dive-bombers, and his panzer forces, Rommel pushed past the Allies. Unable to resist any longer, South African General Henrik Klopper ordered his officers to surrender early on the morning of the 21st. Rommel took more than 30,000 prisoners, 2,000 vehicles, 2,000 tons of fuel, and 5,000 tons of rations. Adolf Hitler awarded Rommel the field marshal’s baton as reward for his victory. “I am going on to Suez,” was Rommel’s promise.


Worked with an old friend for many years.....

Called-up....spent eight weeks training in Catterick......Went on a ship to Egypt, spent five days outside Cairo doing nothing.....Went on another Ship and landed in Tobruk late at night......Surrendered next morning and spent his War in a POW camp.....

He used to joke..''Why didn't they just send me straight to the POW camp in Poland''

jembo
21-06-2015, 07:43 PM
1964 U.S.A. Ku Klux Klan June. 21st 1964 : Three civil rights field workers disappear after investigating the burning of an African American church by the Ku Klux Klan. Their bodies were found buried six weeks later and seven members of the Ku Klux Klan were found guilty on federal conspiracy charges. Eight others including Edgar Ray Killen were found not guilty.
http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/this-day-in-history.html

Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney are killed by a Ku Klux Klan lynch mob near Meridian, Mississippi. The three young civil rights workers were working to register black voters in Mississippi, thus inspiring the ire of the local Klan. The deaths of Schwerner and Goodman, white Northerners and members of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), caused a national outrage.

When the desegregation movement encountered resistance in the early 1960s, CORE set up an interracial team to ride buses into the Deep South to help protest. These so-called Freedom Riders were viciously attacked in May 1961 when the first two buses arrived in Alabama. One bus was firebombed; the other boarded by KKK members who beat the activists inside. The Alabama police provided no protection.

Still, the Freedom Riders were not dissuaded and they continued to come into Alabama and Mississippi. Michael Schwerner was a particularly dedicated activist who lived in Mississippi while he assisted blacks to vote. Sam Bowers, the local Klan’s Imperial Wizard, decided that Schwerner was a bad influence, and had to be killed.

When Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney, a young black man, were coming back from a trip to Philadelphia, Mississippi, deputy sheriff Cecil Price, who was also a Klan member, pulled them over for speeding. He then held them in custody while other KKK members prepared for their murder. Eventually released, the three activists were later chased down in their car and cornered in a secluded spot in the woods where they were shot and then buried in graves that had been prepared in advance.

When news of their disappearance got out, the FBI converged on Mississippi to investigate. With the help of an informant, agents learned about the Klan’s involvement and found the bodies. Since Mississippi refused to prosecute the assailants in state court, the federal government charged 18 men with conspiracy to violate the civil rights of Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney.

Bowers, Price, and five other men were convicted; eight were acquitted; and the all-white jury deadlocked on the other three defendants. On the forty-first anniversary of the three murders, June 21, 2005, Edgar Ray Killen was found guilty of three counts of manslaughter. The 80-year-old Killen, known as an outspoken white supremacist and part-time Baptist minister, was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-kkk-kills-three-civil-rights-activists

bojangles
22-06-2015, 07:47 AM
22nd of June
1611
Hudson set adrift by mutineers


After spending a winter trapped by ice in present-day Hudson Bay, the starving crew of the Discovery mutinies against its captain, English navigator Henry Hudson, and sets him, his teenage son, and seven supporters adrift in a small, open boat. Hudson and the eight others were never seen again.

Two years earlier, in 1609, Hudson sailed to the Americas to find a northwest passage to Asia after repeatedly failing in his efforts to find a northeast ocean passage. Exploring the North American coast, he entered the present-day Chesapeake, Delaware, and New York bays, and then became the first European to ascend what is now called the Hudson River. His voyage, which was financed by the Dutch, was the basis of Holland’s later claims to the region.

His fourth expedition, financed by adventurers from England, set out from London on April 17, 1610. Sailing back across the Atlantic, Hudson resumed his efforts to find the northwest passage. Between Greenland and Labrador he entered the present-day Hudson Strait and by it reached Hudson Bay. After three months of exploration, the Discovery was caught too far from open sea when winter set in, and in November Hudson’s men were forced to haul it ashore and set up a winter camp. Lacking food or supplies, the expedition greatly suffered in the extreme cold. Many of the crew held Hudson responsible for their misfortune, and on June 22, 1611, with the coming of summer, they mutinied against him. The Discovery later returned to England, and its crew was arrested for the mutiny. Although Henry Hudson was never seen again, his discoveries gave England its claim to the rich Hudson Bay region.

jembo
22-06-2015, 07:50 AM
OPERATION BARBAROSSA
On June 22, 1941, Adolf Hitler launched his armies eastward in a massive invasion of the Soviet Union: three great army groups with over three million German soldiers, 150 divisions, and three thousand tanks smashed across the frontier into Soviet territory. The invasion covered a front from the North Cape to the Black Sea, a distance of two thousand miles. By this point German combat effectiveness had reached its apogee; in training, doctrine, and fighting ability, the forces invading Russia represented the finest army to fight in the twentieth century. Barbarossa was the crucial turning point in World War II, for its failure forced Nazi Germany to fight a two-front war against a coalition possessing immensely superior resources.

The Germans had serious deficiencies. They severely underestimated their opponent; their logistical preparations were grossly inadequate for the campaign; and German industrial preparations for a sustained war had yet to begin. But the greatest mistake that the Germans made was to come as conquerors, not as liberators–they were determined to enslave the Slavic population and exterminate the Jews. Thus, from the beginning, the war in the East became an ideological struggle, waged with a ruthlessness and mercilessness not seen in Europe since the Mongols.

In Barbarossa’s opening month, German armies bit deep into Soviet territory; panzer armies encircled large Soviet forces at Minsk and Smolensk, while armored spearheads reached two-thirds of the distance to Moscow and Leningrad. But already German logistics were unraveling, while a series of Soviet counterattacks stalled the advance. In September the Germans got enough supplies forward to renew their drives; the results were the encirclement battles of Kiev in September and Bryansk-Vyazma in October, each netting 600,000 prisoners.

Moscow seemingly lay open to a German advance, but at this point Russian weather intervened with heavy rains that turned the roads into morasses. The frosts of November solidified the mud, so that the drive could resume. Despite the lateness of the season and the fact that further advances would leave their troops with no winter clothes or supply dumps for the winter, the generals urged Hitler to continue. The Germans struggled to the gates of Moscow where Soviet counterattacks stopped them in early December. In desperate conditions, they conducted a slow retreat as Soviet attacks threatened to envelop much of their forces in a defeat as disastrous as that which befell Napoleon’s Grand Army in 1812. In the end the Soviets overreached, and the Germans restored a semblance of order to the front; the spring thaw in March 1942 brought operations to a halt. But Barbarossa had failed, and Nazi Germany confronted a two-front war that it could not win.
http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/operation-barbarossa

bojangles
23-06-2015, 08:34 AM
23rd of June 1992 Teflon Don sentenced to life

Mafia boss John Gotti, who was nicknamed the “Teflon Don” after escaping unscathed from several trials during the 1980s, is sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty on 14 accounts of conspiracy to commit murder and racketeering. Moments after his sentence was read in a federal courthouse in Brooklyn, hundreds of Gotti’s supporters stormed the building and overturned and smashed cars before being forced back by police reinforcements.

Gotti, born and educated on the mean streets of New York City, became head of the powerful Gambino family after boss Paul Castellano was murdered outside a steakhouse in Manhattan in December 1985. The gang assassination, the first in three decades in New York, was organized by Gotti and his colleague Sammy “the Bull” Gravano. The Gambino family was known for its illegal narcotics operations, gambling activities, and car theft. During the next five years, Gotti rapidly expanded his criminal empire, and his family grew into the nation’s most powerful Mafia family. Despite wide publicity of his criminal activities, Gotti managed to avoid conviction several times, usually through witness intimidation. In 1990, however, he was indicted for conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Paul Castellano, and Gravano agreed to testify against him in a federal district court in exchange for a reduced prison sentence.

On April 2, 1992, John Gotti was found guilty on all counts and on June 23 was sentenced to multiple life terms without the possibility of parole.

While still imprisoned, Gotti died of throat cancer on June 10, 2002.

bojangles
24-06-2015, 08:10 AM
Eamon de Valera, the world’s oldest statesman, resigned as president of Ireland at the age of 90.on this day in 1973

The most dominant Irish political figure of the 20th century, Eamon de Valera was born in New York City in 1882, the son of a Spanish father and Irish mother. When his father died two years later, he was sent to live with his mother’s family in County Limerick, Ireland. He attended the Royal University in Dublin and became an important figure in the Irish-language revival movement.

In 1913, he joined the Irish Volunteers, a militant group that advocated Ireland’s independence from Britain, and in 1916 participated in the Easter Rising against the British in Dublin. He was the last Irish rebel leader to surrender and was saved from execution because of his American birth. Imprisoned, he was released in 1917 under a general amnesty and became president of the nationalist Sinn Fein Party. In May 1918, he was deported to England and imprisoned again, and in December Sinn Fein won an Irish national election, making him the unofficial leader of Ireland.

In February 1919, he escaped from jail and fled to the United States, where he raised funds for the Irish Republican movement. When he returned to Ireland in 1920, Sinn Fein and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) were engaged in a widespread and effective guerrilla campaign against British forces. In 1921, a truce was declared, and in 1922 Arthur Griffith and other former Sinn Fein leaders broke with de Valera and signed a treaty with Britain, which called for the partition of Ireland, with the south becoming autonomous and the six northern counties of the island remaining part of the United Kingdom. In the period of civil war that followed, de Valera supported the Republicans against the Irish Free State (the new government of the autonomous south) and was imprisoned by William Cosgrave’s Irish Free State ministry.

In 1924, he was released and two years later left Sinn Fein, which had become the unofficial political wing of the underground movement for northern independence. He formed Fianna Fail, and in 1932 the party gained control of the Dail Eireann (the Irish assembly), and de Valera became taoiseach, or Irish prime minister. For the next 16 years, de Valera pursued a policy of political separation from Great Britain, including the introduction of a new constitution in 1937 that declared Ireland the fully sovereign state of Eire. During World War II, he maintained a policy of neutrality but repressed anti-British intrigues within the IRA.

In 1948, he narrowly lost reelection due to a negative public reaction against his party’s long monopoly of power. Out of office, he toured the world advocating the unification and independence of Ireland. His successor as taoiseach, John Costello, officially made Ireland an independent republic in 1949 but nonetheless lost the prime minister’s office to de Valera in the 1951 election. The relative Irish economic prosperity of the 1940s declined in the 1950s, and Costello began a second ministry in 1954, only to be replaced again by de Valera in 1957. In 1959, de Valera resigned as prime minister and was elected Irish president–a largely ceremonial post. On June 24, 1973, de Valera retired from Irish politics at the age of 90. He passed away two years later.

quinner
24-06-2015, 09:08 AM
Eamon de Valera, the world’s oldest statesman, resigned as president of Ireland at the age of 90.on this day in 1973

The most dominant Irish political figure of the 20th century, Eamon de Valera was born in New York City in 1882, the son of a Spanish father and Irish mother. When his father died two years later, he was sent to live with his mother’s family in County Limerick, Ireland. He attended the Royal University in Dublin and became an important figure in the Irish-language revival movement.

In 1913, he joined the Irish Volunteers, a militant group that advocated Ireland’s independence from Britain, and in 1916 participated in the Easter Rising against the British in Dublin. He was the last Irish rebel leader to surrender and was saved from execution because of his American birth. Imprisoned, he was released in 1917 under a general amnesty and became president of the nationalist Sinn Fein Party. In May 1918, he was deported to England and imprisoned again, and in December Sinn Fein won an Irish national election, making him the unofficial leader of Ireland.

In February 1919, he escaped from jail and fled to the United States, where he raised funds for the Irish Republican movement. When he returned to Ireland in 1920, Sinn Fein and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) were engaged in a widespread and effective guerrilla campaign against British forces. In 1921, a truce was declared, and in 1922 Arthur Griffith and other former Sinn Fein leaders broke with de Valera and signed a treaty with Britain, which called for the partition of Ireland, with the south becoming autonomous and the six northern counties of the island remaining part of the United Kingdom. In the period of civil war that followed, de Valera supported the Republicans against the Irish Free State (the new government of the autonomous south) and was imprisoned by William Cosgrave’s Irish Free State ministry.

In 1924, he was released and two years later left Sinn Fein, which had become the unofficial political wing of the underground movement for northern independence. He formed Fianna Fail, and in 1932 the party gained control of the Dail Eireann (the Irish assembly), and de Valera became taoiseach, or Irish prime minister. For the next 16 years, de Valera pursued a policy of political separation from Great Britain, including the introduction of a new constitution in 1937 that declared Ireland the fully sovereign state of Eire. During World War II, he maintained a policy of neutrality but repressed anti-British intrigues within the IRA.

In 1948, he narrowly lost reelection due to a negative public reaction against his party’s long monopoly of power. Out of office, he toured the world advocating the unification and independence of Ireland. His successor as taoiseach, John Costello, officially made Ireland an independent republic in 1949 but nonetheless lost the prime minister’s office to de Valera in the 1951 election. The relative Irish economic prosperity of the 1940s declined in the 1950s, and Costello began a second ministry in 1954, only to be replaced again by de Valera in 1957. In 1959, de Valera resigned as prime minister and was elected Irish president–a largely ceremonial post. On June 24, 1973, de Valera retired from Irish politics at the age of 90. He passed away two years later.

Sadly he believed that Patriotism and Religion were suitable substitutes for Poverty and Freedom.....Though not suffering from the former himself, his religious views ensured that many also suffered from the latter...

bojangles
25-06-2015, 07:29 AM
On this day in 1876, Native American forces led by Chiefs Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull defeat the U.S. Army troops of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer in a bloody battle near southern Montana’s Little Bighorn River.

Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, leaders of the Sioux tribe on the Great Plains, strongly resisted the mid-19th-century efforts of the U.S. government to confine their people to reservations. In 1875, after gold was discovered in South Dakota’s Black Hills, the U.S. Army ignored previous treaty agreements and invaded the region. This betrayal led many Sioux and Cheyenne tribesmen to leave their reservations and join Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse in Montana. By the late spring of 1876, more than 10,000 Native Americans had gathered in a camp along the Little Bighorn River–which they called the Greasy Grass–in defiance of a U.S. War Department order to return to their reservations or risk being attacked.

In mid-June, three columns of U.S. soldiers lined up against the camp and prepared to march. A force of 1,200 Native Americans turned back the first column on June 17. Five days later, General Alfred Terry ordered Custer’s 7th Cavalry to scout ahead for enemy troops. On the morning of June 25, Custer drew near the camp and decided to press on ahead rather than wait for reinforcements.

At mid-day, Custer’s 600 men entered the Little Bighorn Valley. Among the Native Americans, word quickly spread of the impending attack. The older Sitting Bull rallied the warriors and saw to the safety of the women and children, while Crazy Horse set off with a large force to meet the attackers head on. Despite Custer’s desperate attempts to regroup his men, they were quickly overwhelmed. Custer and some 200 men in his battalion were attacked by as many as 3,000 Native Americans; within an hour, Custer and every last one of his soldier were dead.

The Battle of Little Bighorn–also called Custer’s Last Stand–marked the most decisive Native American victory and the worst U.S. Army defeat in the long Plains Indian War. The gruesome fate of Custer and his men outraged many white Americans and confirmed their image of the Indians as wild and bloodthirsty. Meanwhile, the U.S. government increased its efforts to subdue the tribes. Within five years, almost all of the Sioux and Cheyenne would be confined to reservations.

Twobob
25-06-2015, 09:10 AM
On this day in 1876, Native American forces led by Chiefs Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull defeat the U.S. Army troops of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer in a bloody battle near southern Montana’s Little Bighorn River.

Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, leaders of the Sioux tribe on the Great Plains, strongly resisted the mid-19th-century efforts of the U.S. government to confine their people to reservations. In 1875, after gold was discovered in South Dakota’s Black Hills, the U.S. Army ignored previous treaty agreements and invaded the region. This betrayal led many Sioux and Cheyenne tribesmen to leave their reservations and join Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse in Montana. By the late spring of 1876, more than 10,000 Native Americans had gathered in a camp along the Little Bighorn River–which they called the Greasy Grass–in defiance of a U.S. War Department order to return to their reservations or risk being attacked.

In mid-June, three columns of U.S. soldiers lined up against the camp and prepared to march. A force of 1,200 Native Americans turned back the first column on June 17. Five days later, General Alfred Terry ordered Custer’s 7th Cavalry to scout ahead for enemy troops. On the morning of June 25, Custer drew near the camp and decided to press on ahead rather than wait for reinforcements.

At mid-day, Custer’s 600 men entered the Little Bighorn Valley. Among the Native Americans, word quickly spread of the impending attack. The older Sitting Bull rallied the warriors and saw to the safety of the women and children, while Crazy Horse set off with a large force to meet the attackers head on. Despite Custer’s desperate attempts to regroup his men, they were quickly overwhelmed. Custer and some 200 men in his battalion were attacked by as many as 3,000 Native Americans; within an hour, Custer and every last one of his soldier were dead.

The Battle of Little Bighorn–also called Custer’s Last Stand–marked the most decisive Native American victory and the worst U.S. Army defeat in the long Plains Indian War. The gruesome fate of Custer and his men outraged many white Americans and confirmed their image of the Indians as wild and bloodthirsty. Meanwhile, the U.S. government increased its efforts to subdue the tribes. Within five years, almost all of the Sioux and Cheyenne would be confined to reservations.

Well done Crazy Horse / Sitting Bull .

quinner
25-06-2015, 09:17 AM
Well done Crazy Horse / Sitting Bull .

lol...they killed 26 Irishmen......

Why do they always compare figures that consist of Armed Soldiers on one side......And Men Women and children on the other...


There would have been many women, old people and children included in the Sioux/northern Cheyanne figures.....

quinner
25-06-2015, 09:21 AM
lol...they killed 26 Irishmen......

Why do they always compare figures that consist of Armed Soldiers on one side......And Men Women and children on the other...


There would have been many women, old people and children included in the Sioux/northern Cheyanne figures.....

The Name ''Sioux'' I believe comes from the French ''Sous''...

Twobob
25-06-2015, 11:21 AM
25 years ago today ,
8-aahFmNqaE

jembo
25-06-2015, 09:17 PM
When North Korean tanks and infantry crossed the Thirty-Eighth Parallel in 1950, the Korean War began. The three-year war cost United Nations and South Korean forces over 200,000 casualties.

Hundreds of thousands of South Koreans fled south in mid-1950 after the North Korean army invaded.

After a ninety-minute artillery barrage starting at 4 o’clock on Sunday morning, North Korean tanks and infantry crossed the Thirty-Eighth Parallel and drove south through gaps in the border hills in intermittent driving rain. Most of the South Korean army units in the area had stood down for the weekend and many of the officers and men were relaxing in Seoul, the South Korean capital. The invasion was almost certainly launched with Soviet and Chinese Communist approval in the expectation of a quick walk-over, after Dean Acheson, the American Secretary of State, had publicly declared in January that the United States would not guarantee any area of the mainland of Asia against military assault.

Spearheaded by heavy tanks, the North Koreans took the town of Kaesong and crossed the Imjin River. Some South Korean soldiers resisted with suicidal courage, tying explosives to their bodies and throwing themselves onto the enemy tanks as human bombs, but the North Korean superiority in numbers and equipment was overwhelming. The American ambassador in Seoul cabled Washington and the United Nations commission in Korea reported to the Secretary General that the invasion ‘is assuming the character of a full-scale war’. The Security Council met that Sunday afternoon – the Soviet delegate stayed away – and adopted an American resolution condemning North Korea’s attack and demanding an immediate cease-fire and withdrawal across the border. Next day, the 26th, President Truman announced that the United States government would ‘vigorously support’ the Security Council.

On Tuesday the 27th, American air and sea forces were ordered to South Korea’s assistance and General Douglas MacArthur, the seventy-year-old Supreme Allied Commander in Japan, was put in command of all American units in the operations. The Security Council met that evening, again without the Soviet representative, and adopted an American resolution recommending the members of the United Nations to ‘furnish such assistance to the Republic of Korea as may be necessary to repel the armed attack and to restore international peace and security in the area.’ The North Koreans were now within a few miles of Seoul and the city fell on the 28th.

General MacArthur flew to Korea on the 29th, the Thursday, with a retinue of pressmen, to see the situation for himself. His aircraft, a Constellation, was ‘bounced’ by an enemy warplane, which was driven off by the escorting Mustangs while the general watched, entirely unperturbed, which was more than could be said of the journalists. After landing, he was driven around the rear areas of the battlefield in a jeep and saw huge numbers of refugees flooding south, South Korean soldiers among them. US naval units were meanwhile bombarding Inchon, the port of Seoul, which the North Koreans had captured. President Truman told a press conference that the United States was not at war, but was taking ‘police action against a bunch of bandits’.

That night the North Koreans broke through the South Korean defence line on the Han River, ferrying tanks across under cover of darkness. In Washington next day the President announced that he had authorised the US Air Force to act against targets in North Korea, a naval blockade of the whole Korean coast and the employment of American ground units in Korea. Meanwhile armed support was pledged by the British government and those of the leading Commonwealth countries.

The war had begun in earnest and after the first week over half the South Korean army had disappeared. The United States would send well over 5 million men to the Korean theatre of war before the conflict ended three years later, but the war would involve servicemen from an extraordinary gallimaufry of other nations – the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, South Africa, India, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg, Colombia, Greece, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Thailand and Turkey – and would cost United Nations and South Korean forces more than 200,000 casualties before the independence of South Korea was restored.
- See more at: http://www.historytoday.com/richard-cavendish/korean-war-begins#sthash.ZuQ15lGi.dpuf

bojangles
26-06-2015, 07:45 AM
26th of June 1963: Kennedy: 'Ich bin ein Berliner'

The US President, John F Kennedy, has made a ground-breaking speech in Berlin offering American solidarity to the citizens of West Germany.

A crowd of 120,000 Berliners gathered in front of the Schöneberg Rathaus (City Hall) to hear President Kennedy speak.

They began gathering in the square long before he was due to arrive, and when he finally appeared on the podium they gave him an ovation of several minutes.

The president had just returned from a visit on foot to one of the Berlin Wall's most notorious crossing points, Checkpoint Charlie.

He was watched from the other side of the border by small groups of East Berliners unable even to wave because of the presence of large groups of the East German People's Police.


All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words, 'Ich bin ein Berliner'

President John F Kennedy
In an impassioned speech, the president told them West Berlin was a symbol of freedom in a world threatened by the Cold War.

"Two thousand years ago," he told the crowd, "the proudest boast in the world was 'civis Romanus sum'.

"Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is 'Ich bin ein Berliner.'"

"Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect," he continued. "But we never had to put up a wall to keep our people in."

His speech was punctuated throughout by rapturous cheers of approval.

He ended on the theme he had begun with:

"All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words, 'Ich bin ein Berliner.'"

After the speech, the mayor of West Berlin, Willi Brandt, spoke out for the citizens of East Germany, saying they would be brought out in a few days to greet the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, whether they wanted to or not.

"But they would much rather be with us, freely gathered here," he said.

"We tell them, we will not give up. Berlin is true to those behind barbed wire as to fellow countrymen in the West and friends in the whole world."

His words were followed by the tolling of the Freedom Bell from the belfry of the Rathaus in remembrance of those in East Germany.

For the first time that day, the massive crowd fell silent.


In Context
President Kennedy's "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech was seen as a turning point in the Cold War.

It was a major morale booster for West Germans, alarmed by the recently-built Berlin Wall.

It also gave a strongly defiant message to the Soviet Union and effectively put paid to Moscow's hopes of driving the Allies out of West Berlin.

Two months later, President Kennedy negotiated the first nuclear test ban treaty with the Soviet Union, in what was seen as a first step towards ending the Cold War.

But on 22 November that year, he was assassinated, shot in the head as he drove through Dallas, Texas, on his way to a political festival.

The Berlin Wall was finally brought down, piece by piece, in November 1989 as communism collapsed and the Iron Curtain fell from Eastern Europe.

Germany was re-united in October 1990.

quinner
26-06-2015, 08:26 AM
26th of June 1963: Kennedy: 'Ich bin ein Berliner'

The US President, John F Kennedy, has made a ground-breaking speech in Berlin offering American solidarity to the citizens of West Germany.

A crowd of 120,000 Berliners gathered in front of the Schöneberg Rathaus (City Hall) to hear President Kennedy speak.

They began gathering in the square long before he was due to arrive, and when he finally appeared on the podium they gave him an ovation of several minutes.

The president had just returned from a visit on foot to one of the Berlin Wall's most notorious crossing points, Checkpoint Charlie.

He was watched from the other side of the border by small groups of East Berliners unable even to wave because of the presence of large groups of the East German People's Police.


All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words, 'Ich bin ein Berliner'

President John F Kennedy
In an impassioned speech, the president told them West Berlin was a symbol of freedom in a world threatened by the Cold War.

"Two thousand years ago," he told the crowd, "the proudest boast in the world was 'civis Romanus sum'.

"Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is 'Ich bin ein Berliner.'"

"Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect," he continued. "But we never had to put up a wall to keep our people in."

His speech was punctuated throughout by rapturous cheers of approval.

He ended on the theme he had begun with:

"All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words, 'Ich bin ein Berliner.'"

After the speech, the mayor of West Berlin, Willi Brandt, spoke out for the citizens of East Germany, saying they would be brought out in a few days to greet the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, whether they wanted to or not.

"But they would much rather be with us, freely gathered here," he said.

"We tell them, we will not give up. Berlin is true to those behind barbed wire as to fellow countrymen in the West and friends in the whole world."

His words were followed by the tolling of the Freedom Bell from the belfry of the Rathaus in remembrance of those in East Germany.

For the first time that day, the massive crowd fell silent.


In Context
President Kennedy's "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech was seen as a turning point in the Cold War.

It was a major morale booster for West Germans, alarmed by the recently-built Berlin Wall.

It also gave a strongly defiant message to the Soviet Union and effectively put paid to Moscow's hopes of driving the Allies out of West Berlin.

Two months later, President Kennedy negotiated the first nuclear test ban treaty with the Soviet Union, in what was seen as a first step towards ending the Cold War.

But on 22 November that year, he was assassinated, shot in the head as he drove through Dallas, Texas, on his way to a political festival.

The Berlin Wall was finally brought down, piece by piece, in November 1989 as communism collapsed and the Iron Curtain fell from Eastern Europe.

Germany was re-united in October 1990.

The next day Four German women workers in the Barracks dinnerhouse in Trenchard barracks Celle...had great pleasure in telling everybody how delighted they were with his speech.....They were absolutely beaming with joy......You would think that they had won the ''Lottery''....

jembo
26-06-2015, 04:38 PM
In 1945, representatives of 50 countries met in San Francisco at the United Nations Conference on International Organization to draw up the United Nations Charter. Those delegates deliberated on the basis of proposals worked out by the representatives of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States at Dumbarton Oaks, United States in August-October 1944. The Charter was signed on 26 June 1945 by the representatives of the 50 countries. Poland, which was not represented at the Conference, signed it later and became one of the original 51 Member States.

The United Nations officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, when the Charter had been ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and by a majority of other signatories. United Nations Day is celebrated on 24 October each year.
http://www.un.org/en/aboutun/history/

quinner
26-06-2015, 04:55 PM
In 1945, representatives of 50 countries met in San Francisco at the United Nations Conference on International Organization to draw up the United Nations Charter. Those delegates deliberated on the basis of proposals worked out by the representatives of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States at Dumbarton Oaks, United States in August-October 1944. The Charter was signed on 26 June 1945 by the representatives of the 50 countries. Poland, which was not represented at the Conference, signed it later and became one of the original 51 Member States.

The United Nations officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, when the Charter had been ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and by a majority of other signatories. United Nations Day is celebrated on 24 October each year.
http://www.un.org/en/aboutun/history/


though it seemed a good idea at the time......It should have been scrapped and declared ''Not fit for purpose''.......Israel and Korea proved that beyond doubt....

It never solves anything.......They just go on and on and on and on...

bojangles
27-06-2015, 08:28 AM
John F. Kennedy, an Irish-American and the first Catholic to become president of the United States, arrives in Ireland for a visit on this day in 1963.

Kennedy was proud of his Irish roots and made a special visit to his ancestral home in Dunganstown, County Wexford, while in the country. There, he was greeted by a crowd waving both American and Irish flags and was serenaded by a boys choir that sang “The Boys of Wexford.” According to the BBC report that day, Kennedy broke away from his bodyguards and joined the choir for the second chorus, prompting misty-eyed reactions from both observers and the press.

Kennedy met with 15 members of his extended Irish family at the Kennedy homestead in Dunganstown. There he enjoyed a cup of tea and some cake and made a toast to “all those Kennedys who went and all those Kennedys who stayed.” His great-grandfather Thomas Fitzgerald had left Ireland for the United States in the middle of the Great Famine of 1848 and settled in Boston, becoming a cooper. Generations of his descendants went on to make their mark on American politics.

JFK’s father, Joseph Kennedy, was a successful businessman who was highly influential in state and national politics. He served as President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s chairman of the Securities Exchange Commission from 1933 to 1935 and as ambassador to England from 1938 to 1940. John F. Kennedy served as president from 1961 to 1963, before being assassinated. Robert F. Kennedy, John’s brother, served as attorney general during his administration and ran for president in 1968 before he too was assassinated. Another of Joseph’s sons, former Massachusetts Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy, also ran for president in 1979. The Kennedy political tradition continued with a fourth (American-born) generation including, but unlikely to be limited to, U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), Massachusetts Representative Joseph Kennedy II and Maryland state legislator Mark Kennedy Shriver.

At the time of JFK’s visit to Ireland, the predominantly Catholic Irish Republic had been an independent nation for 41 years. The northern counties of the island, however, remained part of the largely Protestant British Empire and still suffered from long-standing sectarian violence. The next day, in Dublin, Kennedy spoke before the Irish parliament, where he openly condemned Britain’s history of persecuting Irish Catholics. Two days later, he traveled to England, America’s oldest ally, to meet with British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan and his cabinet to discuss setting up a pro-democratic regime in British Guyana.
( from wwwhistory.com )

bojangles
28-06-2015, 09:33 AM
In an event that is widely acknowledged to have sparked the outbreak of World War I, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, nephew of Emperor Franz Josef and heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is shot to death along with his wife by a Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on this day in 1914.

The great Prussian statesman Otto von Bismarck, the man most responsible for the unification of Germany in 1871, was quoted as saying at the end of his life that “One day the great European War will come out of some damned foolish thing in the Balkans.” It went as he predicted.

The archduke traveled to Sarajevo in June 1914 to inspect the imperial armed forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina, former Ottoman territories in the turbulent Balkan region that were annexed by Austria-Hungary in 1908 to the indignation of Serbian nationalists, who believed they should become part of the newly independent and ambitious Serbian nation. The date scheduled for his visit, June 28, coincided with the anniversary of the First Battle of Kosovo in 1389, in which medieval Serbia was defeated by the Turks. Despite the fact that Serbia did not truly lose its independence until the Second Battle of Kosovo in 1448, June 28 was a day of great significance to Serbian nationalists, and one on which they could be expected to take exception to a demonstration of Austrian imperial strength in Bosnia.

June 28 was also Franz Ferdinand’s wedding anniversary. His beloved wife, Sophie, a former lady-in-waiting, was denied royal status in Austria due to her birth as a poor Czech aristocrat, as were the couple’s children. In Bosnia, however, due to its limbo status as an annexed territory, Sophie could appear beside him at official proceedings. On June 28, 1914, then, Franz Ferdinand and Sophie were touring Sarajevo in an open car, with surprisingly little security, when Serbian nationalist Nedjelko Cabrinovic threw a bomb at their car; it rolled off the back of the vehicle and wounded an officer and some bystanders. Later that day, on the way to visit the injured officer, the archduke’s procession took a wrong turn at the junction of Appel quay and Franzjosefstrasse, where one of Cabrinovic’s cohorts, 19-year-old Gavrilo Princip, happened to be loitering.

Seeing his opportunity, Princip fired into the car, shooting Franz Ferdinand and Sophie at point-blank range. Princip then turned the gun on himself, but was prevented from shooting it by a bystander who threw himself upon the young assassin. A mob of angry onlookers attacked Princip, who fought back and was subsequently wrestled away by the police. Meanwhile, Franz Ferdinand and Sophie lay fatally wounded in their limousine as it rushed to seek help; they both died within the hour.

The assassination of Franz-Ferdinand and Sophie set off a rapid chain of events: Austria-Hungary, like many in countries around the world, blamed the Serbian government for the attack and hoped to use the incident as justification for settling the question of Slav nationalism once and for all. As Russia supported Serbia, an Austro-Hungarian declaration of war was delayed until its leaders received assurances from German leader Kaiser Wilhelm that Germany would support their cause in the event of a Russian intervention–which would likely involve Russia’s ally, France, and possibly Britain as well. On July 28, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, and the tenuous peace between Europe’s great powers collapsed. Within a week, Russia, Belgium, France, Great Britain and Serbia had lined up against Austria-Hungary and Germany, and World War I had begun.

bojangles
29-06-2015, 08:08 AM
Blonde bombshell actress Jayne Mansfield is killed instantly on this day in 1967 when the car in which she is riding strikes the rear of a trailer truck on Interstate-90 east of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Mansfield had been on her way to New Orleans from Biloxi, Mississippi, where she had been performing a standing engagement at a local nightclub; she had a television appearance scheduled the following day. Ronald B. Harrison, a driver for the Gus Stevens Dinner Club, was driving Mansfield and her lawyer and companion, Samuel S. Brody, along with three of Mansfield’s children with her ex-husband Mickey Hargitay, in Stevens’ 1966 Buick Electra. On a dark stretch of road, just as the truck was approaching a machine emitting a thick white fog used to spray mosquitoes (which may have obscured it from Harrison’s view), the Electra hit the trailer-truck from behind. Mansfield, Harrison and Brody were all killed in the accident. Eight-year-old Mickey, six-year-old Zoltan and three-year-old Marie, or Mariska, had apparently been sleeping on the rear seat; they were injured but survived.

Born Vera Jayne Palmer in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, Mansfield arrived in Hollywood as a young wife and mother (to daughter Jayne Marie) in 1954, determined to become an actress. From the beginning, she wasn’t afraid to make the most of her assets, particularly her curvaceous figure, flowing platinum blonde hair and dazzling smile. Cast in the Broadway comedy “Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?”, she turned heads as a voluptuous, dumb blonde movie star; in one famous scene she appeared in nothing but a white towel. She famously appeared nude in the 1963 comedy “Promises! Promises!”, and stills from the set appeared in Playboy magazine, but her best performance was generally believed to have been in 1957’s “The Wayward Bus,” based on the John Steinbeck novel and costarring Joan Collins. While her screen career amounted to about a dozen less-than-memorable films, off screen she played the movie star role to perfection, and became one of the most visible glamour girls of the era.

In 1958, after her first marriage ended in divorce, she married Hargitay, a former Mr. Universe; they divorced in 1963, and Mansfield was married once more, to Matt Climber, in 1964. That marriage also ended in divorce and she was awarded custody of their child, Octabiano. Mariska Hargitay, injured in the accident that killed her mother, later launched her own acting career, most memorably starring in the long-running television drama “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”

jembo
29-06-2015, 01:54 PM
1974 Argentina Evita 29th June 1974 : President Isabela Peron often called affectionately ( Evita ), Juan Peron's third wife, was the Western Hemisphere's first female head of government after becoming President when her husband died. Argentina was suffering from serious economic and political strife and she was unable to form a government and the country's problems continued to worsen. After a military coup in 1976 she was imprisoned for five years on a charge of abuse of power and upon her release in 1981 settled in Madrid.

bojangles
30-06-2015, 08:13 AM
30th of June 1934

In Germany, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler orders a bloody purge of his own political party, assassinating hundreds of Nazis whom he believed had the potential to become political enemies in the future. The leadership of the Nazi Storm Troopers (SA), whose four million members had helped bring Hitler to power in the early 1930s, was especially targeted. Hitler feared that some of his followers had taken his early “National Socialism” propaganda too seriously and thus might compromise his plan to suppress workers’ rights in exchange for German industry making the country war-ready.

In the early 1920s, the ranks of Hitler’s Nazi Party swelled with resentful Germans who sympathized with the party’s bitter hatred of Germany’s democratic government, leftist politics, and Jews. In November 1923, after the German government resumed the payment of war reparations to Britain and France, the Nazis launched the “Beer Hall Putsch”–their first attempt at seizing the German government by force. Hitler hoped that his nationalist revolution in Bavaria would spread to the dissatisfied German army, which in turn would bring down the government in Berlin. However, the uprising was immediately suppressed, and Hitler was arrested and sentenced to five years in prison for high treason.

Sent to Landsberg jail, he spent his time dictating his autobiography, Mein Kampf, and working on his oratorical skills. After nine months in prison, political pressure from supporters of the Nazi Party forced his release. During the next few years, Hitler and the other leading Nazis reorganized their party as a fanatical mass movement that was able to gain a majority in the German parliament–the Reichstag–by legal means in 1932. In the same year, President Paul von Hindenburg defeated a presidential bid by Hitler, but in January 1933 he appointed Hitler chancellor, hoping that the powerful Nazi leader could be brought to heel as a member of the president’s cabinet.

However, Hindenburg underestimated Hitler’s political audacity, and one of the new chancellor’s first acts was to use the burning of the Reichstag building as a pretext for calling general elections. The police, under Nazi Hermann Goering, suppressed much of the party’s opposition before the election, and the Nazis won a bare majority. Shortly after, Hitler took on absolute power through the Enabling Acts. In 1934, Hindenburg died, and the last remnants of Germany’s democratic government were dismantled, leaving Hitler the sole master of a nation intent on war and genocide.

jembo
30-06-2015, 11:56 AM
At 7:14 a.m. on June 30, 1908, a giant explosion shook central Siberia. Witnesses close to the event described seeing a fireball in the sky, as bright and hot as another sun. Millions of trees fell and the ground shook. Although a number of scientists investigated, it is still a mystery as to what caused the explosion.
The Blast

Although the Richter scale was not yet invented, the explosion is estimated to have created the effects of a magnitude 5.0 earthquake, causing buildings to shake, windows to break, and people to be knocked off their feet even at 40 miles away.
The blast, centered in a desolate and forested area near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in Russia, is estimated to have been a thousand times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

The explosion leveled an estimated 80 million trees over an 830 square-mile area in a radial pattern from the blast zone. Dust from the explosion hovered over Europe, reflecting light that was bright enough for Londoners to read at night by it.

What Caused the Explosion?

Because of the blast zone's remote location and the intrusion of worldly affairs (World War I and the Russian Revolution), it wasn't until the 1920s that the first scientific expedition was sent to examine the area. Assuming that the blast had been caused by a falling meteor, the expedition expected to find a huge crater as well as pieces of the meteorite. They found neither. Later expeditions also were unable to find credible evidence to prove the blast was caused by a falling meteor.
In the decades since this huge explosion, scientists and others have attempted to explain the cause of this mysterious event. The most commonly accepted scientific explanation is that either a meteor or a comet entered the Earth's atmosphere and exploded a couple of miles above the ground (this explains the lack of impact crater).


Other explanations have ranged from the possible to the ludicrous, including a natural gas leak escaped from the ground and exploded, a UFO spaceship crashed, the effects of a meteor destroyed by a UFO's laser in an attempt to save Earth, a black hole that touched Earth, and an explosion caused by scientific tests done by Nikola Tesla.

Over a hundred years later, the Tunguska Event remains a mystery. However, if the blast was caused by a comet or meteor entering the Earth's atmosphere, it poses the serious possibility that in the future a similar meteor could once again enter Earth's atmosphere, but this time, land on a populated area. The result would be catastrophic. Researchers continue to study the area to find answers to their many questions.
http://history1900s.about.com/od/1900s/qt/Tunguska.htm

bojangles
01-07-2015, 07:55 AM
At midnight on July 1, 1997, Hong Kong reverts back to Chinese rule in a ceremony attended by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Prince Charles of Wales, Chinese President Jiang Zemin, and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. A few thousand Hong Kongers protested the turnover, which was otherwise celebratory and peaceful.

In 1839, Britain invaded China to crush opposition to its interference in the country’s economic, social, and political affairs. One of Britain’s first acts of the war was to occupy Hong Kong, a sparsely inhabited island off the coast of southeast China. In 1841, China ceded the island to the British with the signing of the Convention of Chuenpi, and in 1842 the Treaty of Nanking was signed, formally ending the First Opium War.

Britain’s new colony flourished as an East-West trading center and as the commercial gateway and distribution center for southern China. In 1898, Britain was granted an additional 99 years of rule over Hong Kong under the Second Convention of Peking. In September 1984, after years of negotiations, the British and the Chinese signed a formal agreement approving the 1997 turnover of the island in exchange for a Chinese pledge to preserve Hong Kong’s capitalist system. On July 1, 1997, Hong Kong was peaceably handed over to China in a ceremony attended by numerous Chinese, British, and international dignitaries. The chief executive under the new Hong Kong government, Tung Chee Hwa, formulated a policy based on the concept of “one country, two systems,” thus preserving Hong Kong’s role as a principal capitalist center in Asia.

quinner
01-07-2015, 08:06 AM
At midnight on July 1, 1997, Hong Kong reverts back to Chinese rule in a ceremony attended by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Prince Charles of Wales, Chinese President Jiang Zemin, and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. A few thousand Hong Kongers protested the turnover, which was otherwise celebratory and peaceful.

In 1839, Britain invaded China to crush opposition to its interference in the country’s economic, social, and political affairs. One of Britain’s first acts of the war was to occupy Hong Kong, a sparsely inhabited island off the coast of southeast China. In 1841, China ceded the island to the British with the signing of the Convention of Chuenpi, and in 1842 the Treaty of Nanking was signed, formally ending the First Opium War.

Britain’s new colony flourished as an East-West trading center and as the commercial gateway and distribution center for southern China. In 1898, Britain was granted an additional 99 years of rule over Hong Kong under the Second Convention of Peking. In September 1984, after years of negotiations, the British and the Chinese signed a formal agreement approving the 1997 turnover of the island in exchange for a Chinese pledge to preserve Hong Kong’s capitalist system. On July 1, 1997, Hong Kong was peaceably handed over to China in a ceremony attended by numerous Chinese, British, and international dignitaries. The chief executive under the new Hong Kong government, Tung Chee Hwa, formulated a policy based on the concept of “one country, two systems,” thus preserving Hong Kong’s role as a principal capitalist center in Asia.

Most of the original occupiers died of fever and disease.....

But, the enterprising Scotsman hung on, and nearly did the same later on in Japan.....

Though infested with all sorts of tropical diseases....''Hong Kong'' I believe, means, Fragrant Streams......

quinner
01-07-2015, 08:18 AM
At midnight on July 1, 1997, Hong Kong reverts back to Chinese rule in a ceremony attended by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Prince Charles of Wales, Chinese President Jiang Zemin, and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. A few thousand Hong Kongers protested the turnover, which was otherwise celebratory and peaceful.

In 1839, Britain invaded China to crush opposition to its interference in the country’s economic, social, and political affairs. One of Britain’s first acts of the war was to occupy Hong Kong, a sparsely inhabited island off the coast of southeast China. In 1841, China ceded the island to the British with the signing of the Convention of Chuenpi, and in 1842 the Treaty of Nanking was signed, formally ending the First Opium War.

Britain’s new colony flourished as an East-West trading center and as the commercial gateway and distribution center for southern China. In 1898, Britain was granted an additional 99 years of rule over Hong Kong under the Second Convention of Peking. In September 1984, after years of negotiations, the British and the Chinese signed a formal agreement approving the 1997 turnover of the island in exchange for a Chinese pledge to preserve Hong Kong’s capitalist system. On July 1, 1997, Hong Kong was peaceably handed over to China in a ceremony attended by numerous Chinese, British, and international dignitaries. The chief executive under the new Hong Kong government, Tung Chee Hwa, formulated a policy based on the concept of “one country, two systems,” thus preserving Hong Kong’s role as a principal capitalist center in Asia.

The Colony was just the ''Island''...The larger Parts (New Territories) were Leased from the Chinese Government......That lease had come to an end, so it ''Had to go''.....

bojangles
02-07-2015, 07:59 AM
2nd of JULY 1839
Mutiny on the Amistad slave ship

Early in the morning, Africans on the Cuban schooner Amistad rise up against their captors, killing two crewmembers and seizing control of the ship, which had been transporting them to a life of slavery on a sugar plantation at Puerto Principe, Cuba.

In 1807, the U.S. Congress joined with Great Britain in abolishing the African slave trade, although the trading of slaves within the United States was not prohibited. Despite the international ban on the importation of African slaves, Cuba continued to transport captive Africans to its sugar plantations until the 1860s, and Brazil to its coffee plantations until the 1850s.

On June 28, 1839, 53 slaves recently captured in Africa left Havana, Cuba, aboard the Amistad schooner for a sugar plantation at Puerto Principe, Cuba. Three days later, Sengbe Pieh, a Membe African known as Cinque, freed himself and the other slaves and planned a mutiny. Early in the morning of July 2, in the midst of a storm, the Africans rose up against their captors and, using sugar-cane knives found in the hold, killed the captain of the vessel and a crewmember. Two other crewmembers were either thrown overboard or escaped, and Jose Ruiz and Pedro Montes, the two Cubans who had purchased the slaves, were captured. Cinque ordered the Cubans to sail the Amistad east back to Africa. During the day, Ruiz and Montes complied, but at night they would turn the vessel in a northerly direction, toward U.S. waters. After almost nearly two difficult months at sea, during which time more than a dozen Africans perished, what became known as the “black schooner” was first spotted by American vessels.

On August 26, the USS Washington, a U.S. Navy brig, seized the Amistad off the coast of Long Island and escorted it to New London, Connecticut. Ruiz and Montes were freed, and the Africans were imprisoned pending an investigation of the Amistad revolt. The two Cubans demanded the return of their supposedly Cuban-born slaves, while the Spanish government called for the Africans’ extradition to Cuba to stand trial for piracy and murder. In opposition to both groups, American abolitionists advocated the return of the illegally bought slaves to Africa.

The story of the Amistad mutiny garnered widespread attention, and U.S. abolitionists succeeded in winning a trial in a U.S. court. Before a federal district court in Connecticut, Cinque, who was taught English by his new American friends, testified on his own behalf. On January 13, 1840, Judge Andrew Judson ruled that the Africans were illegally enslaved, that they would not be returned to Cuba to stand trial for piracy and murder, and that they should be granted free passage back to Africa. The Spanish authorities and U.S. President Martin Van Buren appealed the decision, but another federal district court upheld Judson’s findings. President Van Buren, in opposition to the abolitionist faction in Congress, appealed the decision again.

On February 22, 1841, the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing the Amistad case. U.S. Representative John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts, who had served as the sixth president of the United States from 1825 to 1829, joined the Africans’ defense team. In Congress, Adams had been an eloquent opponent of slavery, and before the nation’s highest court he presented a coherent argument for the release of Cinque and the 34 other survivors of the Amistad.

On March 9, 1841, the Supreme Court ruled, with only one dissent, that the Africans had been illegally enslaved and had thus exercised a natural right to fight for their freedom. In November, with the financial assistance of their abolitionist allies, the Amistad Africans departed America aboard the Gentleman on a voyage back to West Africa. Some of the Africans helped establish a Christian mission in Sierra Leone, but most, like Cinque, returned to their homelands in the African interior. One of the survivors, who was a child when taken aboard the Amistad as a slave, eventually returned to the United States. Originally named Margru, she studied at Ohio’s integrated and coeducational Oberlin College in the late 1840s before returning to Sierra Leone as evangelical missionary Sara Margru Kinson.

bojangles
03-07-2015, 09:00 AM
3rd of July 1863
Battle of Gettysburg ends

On the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s last attempt at breaking the Union line ends in disastrous failure, bringing the most decisive battle of the American Civil War to an end.

In June 1863, following his masterful victory at the Battle of Chancellorsville, General Lee launched his second invasion of the Union in less than a year. He led his 75,000-man Army of Northern Virginia across the Potomac River, through Maryland, and into Pennsylvania, seeking to win a major battle on Northern soil that would further dispirit the Union war effort and induce Britain or France to intervene on the Confederacy’s behalf. The 90,000-strong Army of the Potomac pursued the Confederates into Maryland, but its commander, General Joseph Hooker, was still stinging from his defeat at Chancellorsville and seemed reluctant to chase Lee further. Meanwhile, the Confederates divided their forces and investigated various targets, such as Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania capital.

On June 28, President Abraham Lincoln replaced Hooker with General George Meade, and Lee learned of the presence of the Army of the Potomac in Maryland. Lee ordered his army to concentrate in the vicinity of the crossroads town of Gettysburg and prepare to meet the Federal army. At the same time, Meade sent ahead part of his force into Pennsylvania but intended to make a stand at Pipe Creek in Maryland.

On July 1, a Confederate division under General Henry Heth marched into Gettysburg hoping to seize supplies but finding instead three brigades of Union cavalry. Thus began the Battle of Gettysburg, and Lee and Meade ordered their massive armies to converge on the impromptu battle site. The Union cavalrymen defiantly held the field against overwhelming numbers until the arrival of Federal reinforcements. Later, the Confederates were reinforced, and by mid-afternoon some 19,000 Federals faced 24,000 Confederates. Lee arrived to the battlefield soon afterward and ordered a general advance that forced the Union line back to Cemetery Hill, just south of the town.

During the night, the rest of Meade’s force arrived, and by the morning Union General Winfield Hancock had formed a strong Union line. On July 2, against the Union left, General James Longstreet led the main Confederate attack, but it was not carried out until about 4 p.m., and the Federals had time to consolidate their positions. Thus began some of the heaviest fighting of the battle, and Union forces retained control of their strategic positions at heavy cost. After three hours, the battle ended, and the total number of dead at Gettysburg stood at 35,000.

On July 3, Lee, having failed on the right and the left, planned an assault on Meade’s center. A 15,000-man strong column under General George Pickett was organized, and Lee ordered a massive bombardment of the Union positions. The 10,000 Federals answered the Confederate artillery onslaught, and for more than an hour the guns raged in the heaviest cannonade of the Civil War. At 3 p.m., Pickett led his force into no-man’s-land and found that Lee’s bombardment had failed. As Pickett’s force attempted to cross the mile distance to Cemetery Ridge, Union artillery blew great holes in their lines. Meanwhile, Yankee infantry flanked the main body of “Pickett’s charge” and began cutting down the Confederates. Only a few hundred Virginians reached the Union line, and within minutes they all were dead, dying, or captured. In less than an hour, more than 7,000 Confederate troops had been killed or wounded.

Both armies, exhausted, held their positions until the night of July 4, when Lee withdrew. The Army of the Potomac was too weak to pursue the Confederates, and Lee led his army out of the North, never to invade it again. The Battle of Gettysburg was the turning point in the Civil War, costing the Union 23,000 killed, wounded, or missing in action. The Confederates suffered some 25,000 casualties. On November 19, 1863, President Lincoln delivered his famous Gettysburg Address during the dedication of a new national cemetery at the site of the Battle of Gettysburg. The Civil War effectively ended with the surrender of General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia in April 1865.

jembo
04-07-2015, 08:07 AM
Operation Entebbe was a counter-terrorist hostage-rescue mission carried out by commandos of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) at Entebbe Airport in Uganda on 4 July 1976. A week earlier, on 27 June, an Air France plane with 248 passengers was hijacked by a hijacker of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – External Operations (PFLP-EO) under orders of Wadie Haddad, who had earlier broken away from the mainstream PFLP of George Habash.The PFLP-EO hijackers consisted of two Palestinians and two members of the German Revolutionary Cells. The hijackers had the stated objective to free 40 Palestinian and pro-Palestinian militants imprisoned in Israel and 13 prisoners in four other countries in exchange for the hostages. The flight, that had originated in Tel Aviv with destination of Paris, was diverted after a stopover in Athens via Benghazi to Entebbe, the main airport of Uganda. The local government supported the hijackers and dictator Idi Amin personally welcomed them. After moving all hostages from the airplane to a disused airport building, the hijackers separated all Israelis from the larger group and forced them into a separate room.Over the following two days, 148 non-Israeli hostages were released and flown out to Paris. Some 94 mainly Israeli passengers, along with the 12-member Air France crew, remained as hostages and were threatened with death.
The IDF acted on intelligence provided by the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad. The hijackers threatened to kill the hostages if their prisoner release demands were not met. This threat led to the planning of the rescue operation. These plans included preparation for armed resistance from Ugandan military troops.
The operation took place at night. Israeli transport planes carried 100 commandos over 2,500 miles (4,000 km) to Uganda for the rescue operation. The operation, which took a week of planning, lasted 90 minutes. 102 hostages were rescued. Five Israeli commandos were wounded and one, the unit commander, Lt. Col. Yonatan Netanyahu, was killed. All the hijackers, three hostages and 45 Ugandan soldiers were killed, and thirty (some say 11) Soviet-built MiG-17s and MiG-21s of Uganda's air force were destroyed. Kenyan sources supported Israel, and in the aftermath of the operation Idi Amin issued orders to retaliate and slaughter several hundred Kenyans present in Uganda.

Operation Entebbe, which had the military codename Operation Thunderbolt, is sometimes referred to retroactively as Operation Jonathan in memory of the unit's leader, Yonatan Netanyahu. He was the older brother of Benjamin Netanyahu, the current Prime Minister of Israel.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Entebbe

bojangles
04-07-2015, 09:14 AM
4th of July 1776
U.S. declares independence

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Continental Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence, which proclaims the independence of the United States of America from Great Britain and its king. The declaration came 442 days after the first volleys of the American Revolution were fired at Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts and marked an ideological expansion of the conflict that would eventually encourage France’s intervention on behalf of the Patriots.

The first major American opposition to British policy came in 1765 after Parliament passed the Stamp Act, a taxation measure to raise revenues for a standing British army in America. Under the banner of “no taxation without representation,” colonists convened the Stamp Act Congress in October 1765 to vocalize their opposition to the tax. With its enactment in November, most colonists called for a boycott of British goods, and some organized attacks on the customhouses and homes of tax collectors. After months of protest in the colonies, Parliament voted to repeal the Stamp Act in March 1766.

Most colonists continued to quietly accept British rule until Parliament’s enactment of the Tea Act in 1773, a bill designed to save the faltering East India Company by greatly lowering its tea tax and granting it a monopoly on the American tea trade. The low tax allowed the East India Company to undercut even tea smuggled into America by Dutch traders, and many colonists viewed the act as another example of taxation tyranny. In response, militant Patriots in Massachusetts organized the “Boston Tea Party,” which saw British tea valued at some 18,000 pounds dumped into Boston Harbor.

Parliament, outraged by the Boston Tea Party and other blatant acts of destruction of British property, enacted the Coercive Acts, also known as the Intolerable Acts, in 1774. The Coercive Acts closed Boston to merchant shipping, established formal British military rule in Massachusetts, made British officials immune to criminal prosecution in America, and required colonists to quarter British troops. The colonists subsequently called the first Continental Congress to consider a united American resistance to the British.

With the other colonies watching intently, Massachusetts led the resistance to the British, forming a shadow revolutionary government and establishing militias to resist the increasing British military presence across the colony. In April 1775, Thomas Gage, the British governor of Massachusetts, ordered British troops to march to Concord, Massachusetts, where a Patriot arsenal was known to be located. On April 19, 1775, the British regulars encountered a group of American militiamen at Lexington, and the first shots of the American Revolution were fired.

Initially, both the Americans and the British saw the conflict as a kind of civil war within the British Empire: To King George III it was a colonial rebellion, and to the Americans it was a struggle for their rights as British citizens. However, Parliament remained unwilling to negotiate with the American rebels and instead purchased German mercenaries to help the British army crush the rebellion. In response to Britain’s continued opposition to reform, the Continental Congress began to pass measures abolishing British authority in the colonies.

In January 1776, Thomas Paine published Common Sense, an influential political pamphlet that convincingly argued for American independence and sold more than 500,000 copies in a few months. In the spring of 1776, support for independence swept the colonies, the Continental Congress called for states to form their own governments, and a five-man committee was assigned to draft a declaration.

The Declaration of Independence was largely the work of Virginian Thomas Jefferson. In justifying American independence, Jefferson drew generously from the political philosophy of John Locke, an advocate of natural rights, and from the work of other English theorists. The first section features the famous lines, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The second part presents a long list of grievances that provided the rationale for rebellion.

On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted to approve a Virginia motion calling for separation from Britain. The dramatic words of this resolution were added to the closing of the Declaration of Independence. Two days later, on July 4, the declaration was formally adopted by 12 colonies after minor revision. New York approved it on July 19. On August 2, the declaration was signed.

The American War for Independence would last for five more years. Yet to come were the Patriot triumphs at Saratoga, the bitter winter at Valley Forge, the intervention of the French, and the final victory at Yorktown in 1781. In 1783, with the signing of the Treaty of Paris with Britain, the United States formally became a free and independent nation.

quinner
04-07-2015, 09:35 AM
4th of July 1776
U.S. declares independence

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Continental Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence, which proclaims the independence of the United States of America from Great Britain and its king. The declaration came 442 days after the first volleys of the American Revolution were fired at Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts and marked an ideological expansion of the conflict that would eventually encourage France’s intervention on behalf of the Patriots.

The first major American opposition to British policy came in 1765 after Parliament passed the Stamp Act, a taxation measure to raise revenues for a standing British army in America. Under the banner of “no taxation without representation,” colonists convened the Stamp Act Congress in October 1765 to vocalize their opposition to the tax. With its enactment in November, most colonists called for a boycott of British goods, and some organized attacks on the customhouses and homes of tax collectors. After months of protest in the colonies, Parliament voted to repeal the Stamp Act in March 1766.

Most colonists continued to quietly accept British rule until Parliament’s enactment of the Tea Act in 1773, a bill designed to save the faltering East India Company by greatly lowering its tea tax and granting it a monopoly on the American tea trade. The low tax allowed the East India Company to undercut even tea smuggled into America by Dutch traders, and many colonists viewed the act as another example of taxation tyranny. In response, militant Patriots in Massachusetts organized the “Boston Tea Party,” which saw British tea valued at some 18,000 pounds dumped into Boston Harbor.

Parliament, outraged by the Boston Tea Party and other blatant acts of destruction of British property, enacted the Coercive Acts, also known as the Intolerable Acts, in 1774. The Coercive Acts closed Boston to merchant shipping, established formal British military rule in Massachusetts, made British officials immune to criminal prosecution in America, and required colonists to quarter British troops. The colonists subsequently called the first Continental Congress to consider a united American resistance to the British.

With the other colonies watching intently, Massachusetts led the resistance to the British, forming a shadow revolutionary government and establishing militias to resist the increasing British military presence across the colony. In April 1775, Thomas Gage, the British governor of Massachusetts, ordered British troops to march to Concord, Massachusetts, where a Patriot arsenal was known to be located. On April 19, 1775, the British regulars encountered a group of American militiamen at Lexington, and the first shots of the American Revolution were fired.

Initially, both the Americans and the British saw the conflict as a kind of civil war within the British Empire: To King George III it was a colonial rebellion, and to the Americans it was a struggle for their rights as British citizens. However, Parliament remained unwilling to negotiate with the American rebels and instead purchased German mercenaries to help the British army crush the rebellion. In response to Britain’s continued opposition to reform, the Continental Congress began to pass measures abolishing British authority in the colonies.

In January 1776, Thomas Paine published Common Sense, an influential political pamphlet that convincingly argued for American independence and sold more than 500,000 copies in a few months. In the spring of 1776, support for independence swept the colonies, the Continental Congress called for states to form their own governments, and a five-man committee was assigned to draft a declaration.

The Declaration of Independence was largely the work of Virginian Thomas Jefferson. In justifying American independence, Jefferson drew generously from the political philosophy of John Locke, an advocate of natural rights, and from the work of other English theorists. The first section features the famous lines, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The second part presents a long list of grievances that provided the rationale for rebellion.

On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted to approve a Virginia motion calling for separation from Britain. The dramatic words of this resolution were added to the closing of the Declaration of Independence. Two days later, on July 4, the declaration was formally adopted by 12 colonies after minor revision. New York approved it on July 19. On August 2, the declaration was signed.

The American War for Independence would last for five more years. Yet to come were the Patriot triumphs at Saratoga, the bitter winter at Valley Forge, the intervention of the French, and the final victory at Yorktown in 1781. In 1783, with the signing of the Treaty of Paris with Britain, the United States formally became a free and independent nation.


I wonder.....Who did these people think was the Creator of Negroes and Indians.......

How dramatic were Those words that ensured slavery for another seventy years and sanctioned the Ethnic Cleansing of a massive Continent......

How can those words be used today to represent freedom......?

Hagar
04-07-2015, 12:51 PM
I wonder.....Who did these people think was the Creator of Negroes and Indians.......

How dramatic were Those words that ensured slavery for another seventy years and sanctioned the Ethnic Cleansing of a massive Continent......

How can those words be used today to represent freedom......?
Usually people who talk about freedom and rights mean their freedom and rights, not anybody else's.

bojangles
05-07-2015, 10:13 AM
5th of July 1865
Salvation Army founded

In the East End of London, revivalist preacher William Booth and his wife Catherine establish the Christian Mission, later known as the Salvation Army. Determined to wage war against the evils of poverty and religious indifference with military efficiency, Booth modeled his Methodist sect after the British army, labeling uniformed ministers as “officers” and new members as “recruits.”

The Christian Mission, in which women were given ranks equal with men, launched “campaigns” into London’s most forsaken neighborhoods. Soup kitchens were the first in a long line of various projects designed to provide physical and spiritual assistance to the destitute. In the early years, many in Britain were critical of the Christian Mission and its tactics, and the members were often subjected to fines and imprisonment as breakers of the peace.

In 1878, the organization was renamed the Salvation Army, and two years later the first U.S. branch opened in Pennsylvania. During the Great Depression, the Salvation Army provided food and lodging for those in need, and during both world wars it distinguished itself through its work with the armed forces. By then, it had come to be appreciated as an important international charity organization.

Today, the Salvation Army, still based in London, has branches in more than 75 countries. The Army operates evangelical centers, hospitals, emergency and disaster services, alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs, community centers, social work centers, secondhand stores, and recreation facilities. Voluntary contributions and profits from the sale of its publications fund the organization.

quinner
05-07-2015, 11:10 AM
18th of July 1865
Salvation Army founded

In the East End of London, revivalist preacher William Booth and his wife Catherine establish the Christian Mission, later known as the Salvation Army. Determined to wage war against the evils of poverty and religious indifference with military efficiency, Booth modeled his Methodist sect after the British army, labeling uniformed ministers as “officers” and new members as “recruits.”

The Christian Mission, in which women were given ranks equal with men, launched “campaigns” into London’s most forsaken neighborhoods. Soup kitchens were the first in a long line of various projects designed to provide physical and spiritual assistance to the destitute. In the early years, many in Britain were critical of the Christian Mission and its tactics, and the members were often subjected to fines and imprisonment as breakers of the peace.

In 1878, the organization was renamed the Salvation Army, and two years later the first U.S. branch opened in Pennsylvania. During the Great Depression, the Salvation Army provided food and lodging for those in need, and during both world wars it distinguished itself through its work with the armed forces. By then, it had come to be appreciated as an important international charity organization.

Today, the Salvation Army, still based in London, has branches in more than 75 countries. The Army operates evangelical centers, hospitals, emergency and disaster services, alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs, community centers, social work centers, secondhand stores, and recreation facilities. Voluntary contributions and profits from the sale of its publications fund the organization.

Great job IMO.....Stayed in a few Hostels in the past....Though working on the lifts in a couple before I retired, they certainly had changed over the years....

bojangles
06-07-2015, 08:46 AM
The front-page headline of the Liverpool Evening Express on July 6, 1957, read “MERSEYSIDE SIZZLES,” in reference to the heat wave then gripping not just northern England, but all of Europe. The same headline could well have been used over a story that received no coverage at all that day: The story of the first encounter between two Liverpool teenagers named John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Like the personal and professional relationship it would lead to, their historic first meeting was a highly charged combination of excitement, rivalry and mutual respect.

It’s easy to assume that John and Paul would eventually have met on some other day had a mutual friend not chosen that hot and humid Saturday to make the introduction. But as much as they had in common, the two boys lived in different neighborhoods, went to different schools and were nearly two years apart in age.

Only John was scheduled to perform publicly on July 6, 1957. The occasion was the annual Woolton Parish Church Garden Fete, a parade and outdoor fair at which John and his Quarry Men Skiffle Group had been invited to play. The main attractions were a dog show and a brass band, but a family connection had helped get the Quarry Men added to the bill as a nod to the hundreds of teenagers in attendance. Midway through their first set, 15-year-old Paul McCartney showed up and watched, transfixed, as John, despite his rudimentary guitar skills and his tendency to ad-lib in place of forgotten lyrics, held the crowd with charm and swagger. After the show, it was Paul’s turn to impress John.

A mutual friend made the introduction in the nearby church auditorium, where John and his bandmates slouched on folding chairs and barely acknowledged the younger boy. Then Paul pulled out the guitar he was carrying on his back and began playing Eddie Cochran’s “Twenty Flight Rock,” then Gene Vincent’s “Be Bop A Lula,” then a medley of Little Richard numbers. As Jim O’Donnell writes in The Day John Met Paul, his book-length account of this historic moment in music history, “A young man not easily astonished, Lennon is astonished.” Paul’s musicianship far outstripped the older Lennon’s, but more than that, John recognized in Paul the same passion Paul had detected in John during his earlier onstage performance. Soon Paul was teaching a rapt John how to tune his guitar and writing out the chords and lyrics to some of the songs he’d just played.

Later that evening, walking home with one of his bandmates, John announced his intentions toward their new acquaintance. Two weeks later, John Lennon invited Paul McCartney to join the Quarry Men.

Twobob
06-07-2015, 10:37 AM
The front-page headline of the Liverpool Evening Express on July 6, 1957, read “MERSEYSIDE SIZZLES,” in reference to the heat wave then gripping not just northern England, but all of Europe. The same headline could well have been used over a story that received no coverage at all that day: The story of the first encounter between two Liverpool teenagers named John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Like the personal and professional relationship it would lead to, their historic first meeting was a highly charged combination of excitement, rivalry and mutual respect.

It’s easy to assume that John and Paul would eventually have met on some other day had a mutual friend not chosen that hot and humid Saturday to make the introduction. But as much as they had in common, the two boys lived in different neighborhoods, went to different schools and were nearly two years apart in age.

Only John was scheduled to perform publicly on July 6, 1957. The occasion was the annual Woolton Parish Church Garden Fete, a parade and outdoor fair at which John and his Quarry Men Skiffle Group had been invited to play. The main attractions were a dog show and a brass band, but a family connection had helped get the Quarry Men added to the bill as a nod to the hundreds of teenagers in attendance. Midway through their first set, 15-year-old Paul McCartney showed up and watched, transfixed, as John, despite his rudimentary guitar skills and his tendency to ad-lib in place of forgotten lyrics, held the crowd with charm and swagger. After the show, it was Paul’s turn to impress John.

A mutual friend made the introduction in the nearby church auditorium, where John and his bandmates slouched on folding chairs and barely acknowledged the younger boy. Then Paul pulled out the guitar he was carrying on his back and began playing Eddie Cochran’s “Twenty Flight Rock,” then Gene Vincent’s “Be Bop A Lula,” then a medley of Little Richard numbers. As Jim O’Donnell writes in The Day John Met Paul, his book-length account of this historic moment in music history, “A young man not easily astonished, Lennon is astonished.” Paul’s musicianship far outstripped the older Lennon’s, but more than that, John recognized in Paul the same passion Paul had detected in John during his earlier onstage performance. Soon Paul was teaching a rapt John how to tune his guitar and writing out the chords and lyrics to some of the songs he’d just played.

Later that evening, walking home with one of his bandmates, John announced his intentions toward their new acquaintance. Two weeks later, John Lennon invited Paul McCartney to join the Quarry Men.

Makes you wonder , if they hadn't of crossed paths that day , would it have come to pass .??

quinner
06-07-2015, 10:50 AM
Makes you wonder , if they hadn't of crossed paths that day , would it have come to pass .??


I can't ''Imagine'' a world without John lennon.....

Harrison would still be famous for his Chronometer....

''Ringo'' would still be a Mexican cowboy....

And, Paul Mc Cartney's face would not look like the ''Dead Sea'' Scrolls...

jembo
06-07-2015, 01:58 PM
William John Clifton Haley born July 6, 1925 – February 9, 1981), known as Bill Haley, was an American rock and roll musician. He is credited by many with first popularizing this form of music in the early 1950s with his group Bill Haley & His Comets and million-selling hits such as "Rock Around the Clock", "See You Later, Alligator", "Shake, Rattle and Roll", "Rocket 88", "Skinny Minnie", and "Razzle Dazzle". He has sold over 25 million records worldwide.

Early life and career
Bill Haley was born July 6, 1925 in Highland Park, Michigan as William John Clifton Haley. As a result of the effects of the Great Depression on the Detroit area, his father moved the family to Boothwyn, near Chester, Pennsylvania, when Bill was seven years old. Haley's father William Albert Haley was from Kentucky and played the banjo and mandolin, and his mother, Maude Green, who was originally from Ulverston in Cumbria, England, was a technically accomplished keyboardist with classical training. Haley told the story that when he made a simulated guitar out of cardboard, his parents bought him a real one.
The anonymous sleeve notes accompanying the 1956 Decca album Rock Around The Clock describe Haley's early life and career thus: "Bill got his first professional job at the age of 13, playing and entertaining at an auction for the fee of $1 a night. Very soon after this he formed a group of equally enthusiastic youngsters and managed to get quite a few local bookings for his band."
The sleeve notes continue: "When Bill Haley was fifteen [c. 1940] he left home with his guitar and very little else and set out on the hard road to fame and fortune. The next few years, continuing this story in a fairy-tale manner, were hard and poverty-stricken, but crammed full of useful experience. Apart from learning how to exist on one meal a day and other artistic exercises, he worked at an open-air park show, sang and yodelled with any band that would have him, and worked with a traveling medicine show. Eventually he got a job with a popular group known as the "Down Homers" while they were in Hartford, Connecticut. Soon after this he decided, as all successful people must decide at some time or another, to be his own boss again – and he has been that ever since.' These notes fail to account for his early band, known as the Four Aces of Western Swing. During the 1940s Haley was considered one of the top cowboy yodelers in America as "Silver Yodeling Bill Haley".
The sleeve notes conclude: "For six years Bill Haley was a musical director of Radio Station WPWA in Chester, Pennsylvania, and led his own band all through this period. It was then known as Bill Haley's Saddlemen, indicating their definite leaning toward the tough Western style. They continued playing in clubs as well as over the radio around Philadelphia, and in 1951 made their first recordings on Ed Wilson's Keystone Records in Philadelphia." On June 14, 1951 the Saddlemen recorded a cover of "Rocket 88".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Haley
Bill Haley & His Comets.

During the Labor Day weekend in 1952, the Saddlemen were renamed Bill Haley with Haley's Comets (inspired by the supposedly official pronunciation of Halley's Comet, a name suggested by WPWA radio station program director, Bob Johnson, where Bill Haley had a live radio program from noon to 1 p.m., and in 1953, Haley's recording of "Crazy Man, Crazy" (co-written by him and his bass player, Marshall Lytle, although Lytle would not receive credit until 2001) became the first rock and roll song to hit the American charts, peaking at no.15 on Billboard and no.11 on Cash Box. Soon after, the band's name was revised to Bill Haley & His Comets.
In 1953, a song called "Rock Around the Clock" was written for Haley. He was unable to record it until April 12, 1954. Initially, it was relatively unsuccessful, peaking at no. 23 on the Billboard pop singles chart and staying on the charts for only one week.
Haley soon scored a major worldwide hit with a cover version of Big Joe Turner's "Shake, Rattle and Roll", which went on to sell a million copies and was the first ever rock 'n' roll song to enter the British singles charts in December 1954, becoming a Gold Record. He retained elements of the original, but threw some country music aspects into the song (specifically, Western swing) and cleaned up the lyrics. Haley and his band were important in launching the music known as "Rock and Roll" to a wider, mostly white audience after a period of it being considered an underground genre.
When "Rock Around the Clock" appeared as the theme song of the 1955 film Blackboard Jungle starring Glenn Ford, it soared to the top of the American Billboard chart for eight weeks. The single is commonly used as a convenient line of demarcation between the "rock era" and the music industry that preceded it. Billboard separated its statistical tabulations into 1890–1954 and 1955–present. After the record rose to number one, Haley was quickly given the title "Father of Rock and Roll" by the media, and by teenagers who had come to embrace the new style of music. With the song's success, the age of rock music began overnight and instantly ended the dominance of the jazz and pop standards performed by Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford, Perry Como, Bing Crosby and others. Nevertheless in the Uk Haley was supported by former Dankworth Seven lead vocalist Frank Holder among others.
Success came at somewhat of a price as the new music confused and horrified most people over the age of 30, leading to Cold War-fueled suspicion that rock and roll was part of a communist plot to corrupt the minds of American teenagers. FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover attempted to dig up incriminating material on Bill Haley, who took to carrying a gun with him on tours for his own safety.
"Rock Around the Clock" was the first record ever to sell over one million copies in both Britain and Germany and, in 1957, Haley became the first major American rock singer to tour Europe. Haley continued to score hits throughout the 1950s such as "See You Later, Alligator" and he starred in the first rock and roll musical films Rock Around the Clock and Don't Knock the Rock, both in 1956. Haley was already 30 years old and so he was soon eclipsed in the United States by the younger, sexier Elvis Presley, but continued to enjoy great popularity in Latin America, Europe and Australia during the 1960s.
Bill Haley and the Comets performed "Rock Around the Clock" on the Texaco Star Theater hosted by Milton Berle on May 31, 1955 on NBC in an a cappella and lip-synched version. Berle predicted that the song would go no. 1: "A group of entertainers who are going right to the top." Berle also sang and danced to the song which was performed by the entire cast of the show. This was one of the earliest nationally televised performances by a rock and roll band and provided the new musical genre called "rock and roll" a much wider audience.
Bill Haley and the Comets were the first rock and roll act to appear on the iconic American musical variety series the Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday, August 7, 1955 on CBS in a broadcast that originated from the Shakespeare Festival Theater in Hartford, Connecticut. They performed a live version of "Rock Around the Clock" with Franny Beecher on lead guitar and Dick Richards on drums. The band made their second appearance on the show on Sunday, April 28, 1957 performing the songs "Rudy's Rock" and "Forty Cups of Coffee".
Bill Haley and the Comets appeared on American Bandstand hosted by Dick Clark on ABC twice in 1957, on the prime time show October 28, 1957 and on the regular daytime show on November 27, 1957. The band also appeared on Dick Clark's Saturday Night Beechnut Show, also known as The Dick Clark Show, a primetime TV series from New York on March 22, 1958 during the first season and on February 20, 1960, performing "Rock Around the Clock", and Shake, Rattle, and Roll", and "Tamiami".

Death and legacy
A self-admitted alcoholic (as indicated in a 1974 radio interview for the BBC), Haley fought a battle with alcohol into the 1970s. Nonetheless, he and his band continued to be a popular touring act, benefiting from a 1950s nostalgia movement that began in the late 1960s and the signing of a lucrative record deal with the European Sonet label. After performing for Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Variety Performance on November 10, 1979, Haley made his final performances in South Africa in May and June 1980. Before the South African tour, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and a planned tour of Germany in the autumn of 1980 was cancelled.
The October 25, 1980 edition of the German paper Bild reported that Haley had a brain tumor. It quoted British manager Patrick Maylan as saying that Haley "had taken a fit and went over the seat. He didn't recognize anyone any more" after being taken to his home in Beverly Hills. It also reported that a doctor at the clinic where Haley had been taken said, 'The tumor can't be operated on any more.'"
The Berliner Zeitung reported a few days later that Haley had collapsed after a performance in Texas and been taken to the hospital in his home town of Harlingen, Texas.However, this account is questionable as Bill Haley did not perform in the United States at all in 1980.
Despite his ill health, Haley began compiling notes for possible use as a basis for either a biographical film based on his life, or a published autobiography (accounts differ), and there were plans for him to record an album in Memphis, Tennessee, when the brain tumor began affecting his behavior and he went back to his home in Harlingen, where he died early in the morning of February 9, 1981.

bojangles
07-07-2015, 10:49 AM
On this day in 1930, construction of the Hoover Dam begins. Over the next five years, a total of 21,000 men would work ceaselessly to produce what would be the largest dam of its time, as well as one of the largest manmade structures in the world.

Although the dam would take only five years to build, its construction was nearly 30 years in the making. Arthur Powell Davis, an engineer from the Bureau of Reclamation, originally had his vision for the Hoover Dam back in 1902, and his engineering report on the topic became the guiding document when plans were finally made to begin the dam in 1922.

Herbert Hoover, the 31st president of the United States and a committed conservationist, played a crucial role in making Davis’ vision a reality. As secretary of commerce in 1921, Hoover devoted himself to the erection of a high dam in Boulder Canyon, Colorado. The dam would provide essential flood control, which would prevent damage to downstream farming communities that suffered each year when snow from the Rocky Mountains melted and joined the Colorado River. Further, the dam would allow the expansion of irrigated farming in the desert, and would provide a dependable supply of water for Los Angeles and other southern California communities.

Even with Hoover’s exuberant backing and a regional consensus around the need to build the dam, Congressional approval and individual state cooperation were slow in coming. For many years, water rights had been a source of contention among the western states that had claims on the Colorado River. To address this issue, Hoover negotiated the Colorado River Compact, which broke the river basin into two regions with the water divided between them. Hoover then had to introduce and re-introduce the bill to build the dam several times over the next few years before the House and Senate finally approved the bill in 1928.

In 1929, Hoover, now president, signed the Colorado River Compact into law, claiming it was “the most extensive action ever taken by a group of states under the provisions of the Constitution permitting compacts between states.”

Once preparations were made, the Hoover Dam’s construction sprinted forward: The contractors finished their work two years ahead of schedule and millions of dollars under budget. Today, the Hoover Dam is the second highest dam in the country and the 18th highest in the world. It generates enough energy each year to serve over a million people, and stands, in Hoover Dam artist Oskar Hansen’s words, as “a monument to collective genius exerting itself in community efforts around a common need or ideal.”

bojangles
07-07-2015, 10:54 AM
On the morning of July 7, 2005, bombs are detonated in three crowded London subways and one bus during the peak of the city’s rush hour. The synchronized suicide bombings, which were thought to be the work of al-Qaida, killed 56 people including the bombers and injured another 700. It was the largest attack on Great Britain since World War II. No warning was given.

The train bombings targeted the London Underground, the city’s subway system. Nearly simultaneous explosions, at about 8:50 a.m., occurred on trains in three locations: between the Aldgate and Liverpool Street stations on the Circle Line; between the Russell Square and King’s Cross stations on the Piccadilly Line; and at the Edgware Road station, also on the Circle Line. Almost an hour later, a double-decker bus on Upper Woburn Place near Tavistock Square was also hit; the bus’s roof was ripped off by the blast.

The attacks took place as world leaders, including British Prime Minister Tony Blair, were meeting at the G8 summit in nearby Scotland. In his remarks after learning of the blasts, Blair called the attacks barbaric and pointed out that their taking place at the same time as the G8 summit was most likely purposeful. Later, he vowed to see those responsible brought to justice and that Great Britain, a major partner with the U.S. in the war in Iraq, would not be intimidated by terrorists.

Of the four suicide bombers, three were born in Great Britain and one in Jamaica. Three lived in or near Leeds in West Yorkshire; one resided in Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. Al-Qaida officially claimed responsibility for the attacks on September 1, 2005, in a videotape released to the al-Jazeera television network.

Two weeks later, on July 21, 2005, a second set of four bombings was attempted, also targeting the city’s transit system, but failed when the explosives only partially detonated. The four men alleged to be responsible for the failed attacks were arrested in late July.

An estimated 3 million people ride the London Underground every day, with another 6.5 million using the city’s bus system.

jembo
08-07-2015, 07:21 AM
1960
Pilot Francis Gary Powers charged with espionage.

Shot down just two months before while flying a secret mission over Moscow, CIA pilot Francis Gary Powers is charged with espionage by the Soviet Union on July 8, 1960. Although he would not be found guilty until August 17 of the same year, Powers’ indictment signaled a massive setback in the peace process between the United States and the Soviet Union.

By 1960, the 31-year-old Powers was already a veteran of several covert aerial reconnaissance missions. The CIA recruited him in 1956 to fly the Lockheed U-2, a spy plane that could reach altitudes of 80,000 feet, essentially making it invulnerable to Soviet anti-aircraft weapons. The U-2 was equipped with a state-of-the-art camera designed to snap high-resolution photos from the edge of the atmosphere.

The Soviets had been well aware of U-2 missions since 1956, but did not have the technology to launch counter-measures until 1960. On what turned out to be Powers’ last flight for the CIA on May 1, the Soviets shadowed his U-2 at a lower altitude, then took him down as he crossed over Sverdlosk, deep in enemy territory. To make matters worse, Powers was unable to activate the plane’s self-destruct mechanism, as instructed, before he parachuted safely to the ground, right into the hands of the KGB.

When the U.S. government learned of Powers’ disappearance over the Soviet Union, it issued a cover statement claiming that a “weather plane” had crashed down after its pilot had “difficulties with his oxygen equipment.” What U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower did not realize was that the plane landed almost fully intact, and the Soviets recovered its photography equipment, as well as Powers, whom they interrogated extensively for months before he made a “voluntary confession” and public apology for his part in U.S. espionage.

The timing couldn’t have been worse for the United States. A major summit–with the theme of detente and progress toward peace–between the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain and France was to begin that month. Instead, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev launched into a tirade against the United States, openly accusing the Americans of being “militarist” and “unable to call a halt to their war effort.” Khrushchev then stormed out, effectively ending the conference and setting back the peace process a considerable number of years.

On August 17, 1960, Powers was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but was released after two, in exchange for Soviet spy Rudolf Abel. Though Powers claimed he had not divulged details of the U-2 program, he received a cold reception upon his return to the United States. Not until May 1, 2000, the 40th anniversary of the U-2 incident and 23 years after Powers’ death in a helicopter crash, did the United States award him the medals of distinction he was denied during his lifetime.

bojangles
08-07-2015, 09:26 AM
8th of July 1994
North Korea’s “Great Leader” dies


Kim Il Sung, the communist dictator of North Korea since 1948, dies of a heart attack at the age of 82.

In the 1930s, Kim fought against the Japanese occupation of Korea and was singled out by Soviet authorities, who sent him to the USSR for military and political training. He became a communist and fought in the Soviet Red Army in World War II. In 1945, Korea was divided into Soviet and American spheres, and in 1948 Kim became the first leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). Hoping to reunify Korea by force, Kim launched an invasion of South Korea in June 1950, thereby igniting the Korean War, which ended in a stalemate in 1953.

During the next four decades, Kim led his country into a deep isolation from even its former communist allies, and relations with South Korea remained tense. Repressive rule and a personality cult that celebrated him as the “Great Leader” kept him in power until his death in 1994. He was succeeded as president by his son, Kim Jong Il, whose reign has been equally repressive and isolating. In recent years, Kim Jong Il has earned censure from much of the world for his continuing attempts to manufacture nuclear weapons, even as millions of his country’s people live in poverty.

jembo
09-07-2015, 08:24 AM
The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act (UK) was passed on 5 July 1900 and given Royal Assent by Queen Victoria on 9 July 1900. It was proclaimed on 1 January 1901 in Centennial Park, Sydney. Sir Edmund Barton was sworn in as the interim Prime Minister, leading an interim Federal ministry of nine members.
The new constitution established a bicameral Parliament, containing a Senate and a House of Representatives. The office of Governor-General was established as the Queen's representative; initially, this person was considered a representative of the British government. The Constitution also established a High Court, and divided the powers of government between the states and the new Commonwealth government.
The site of a federal capital was disputed heavily between the two arch-rivals Sydney and Melbourne; the compromise was that a separate territory (the Australian Capital Territory) would be established within New South Wales to hold a new capital, while Parliament would sit in Melbourne until the new city was constructed. The site eventually chosen for the city became Canberra.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federation_of_Australia

bojangles
09-07-2015, 08:46 AM
9th of July 1962
Bob Dylan records “Blowin’ In The Wind”


“This here ain’t no protest song or anything like that, ’cause I don’t write no protest songs.” That was how Bob Dylan introduced one of the most eloquent protest songs ever written when he first performed it publicly. It was the spring of his first full year in New York City, and he was onstage at Gerde’s Folk City in Greenwich Village, talking about a song he claims to have written in just 10 minutes: “Blowin’ In The Wind.” A few weeks later, on this day in 1962, Dylan walked into a studio and recorded the song that would make him a star.

Dylan’s recording of “Blowin’ In The Wind” would first be released nearly a full year later, on his breakthrough album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. This was not the version of the song that most people would first hear, however. That honor went to the cover version by Peter, Paul and Mary—a version that not only became a smash hit on the pop charts, but also transformed what Dylan would later call “just another song” into the unofficial anthem of the civil rights movement.

“Blowin’ In The Wind” bore little or no resemblance to the highly topical, highly literal protest songs of the day, but that may have been precisely what made it so effective as a protest song. A lyric like “How many roads must a man walk down, before you call him a man?” lends itself perfectly to those seeking racial justice, just as “How many seas must a white dove sail, before she sleeps in the sand?” does to those seeking peace. The moving, vaguely spiritual, clearly dissatisfied, yet ultimately ambiguous nature of “Blowin’ In the Wind” made it the quintessential protest song of the 1960s—”A song that the times seemed to call forth,” in the words of critic Greil Marcus.

It also represented a significant breakthrough for Bob Dylan as a songwriter. From “Blowin’ In The Wind” onward, Dylan’s songs would reflect a far more personal and poetic approach to self-expression—an approach that would lead him away from songs like “The Times They Are a-Changin'” and toward songs like “Like A Rolling Stone.” And Dylan’s development as a songwriter would, in turn, have a similar effect on The Beatles, whose own move from “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” to “A Day In The Life” can be traced directly to their exposure to The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan in the spring of 1964.

bojangles
10-07-2015, 08:12 AM
10th of July 1925

In Dayton, Tennessee, the so-called “Monkey Trial” begins with John Thomas Scopes, a young high school science teacher, accused of teaching evolution in violation of a Tennessee state law.

The law, which had been passed in March, made it a misdemeanor punishable by fine to “teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals.” With local businessman George Rappalyea, Scopes had conspired to get charged with this violation, and after his arrest the pair enlisted the aid of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to organize a defense. Hearing of this coordinated attack on Christian fundamentalism, William Jennings Bryan, the three-time Democratic presidential candidate and a fundamentalist hero, volunteered to assist the prosecution. Soon after, the great attorney Clarence Darrow agreed to join the ACLU in the defense, and the stage was set for one of the most famous trials in U.S. history.

On July 10, the Monkey Trial got underway, and within a few days hordes of spectators and reporters had descended on Dayton as preachers set up revival tents along the city’s main street to keep the faithful stirred up. Inside the Rhea County Courthouse, the defense suffered early setbacks when Judge John Raulston ruled against their attempt to prove the law unconstitutional and then refused to end his practice of opening each day’s proceeding with prayer.

Outside, Dayton took on a carnival-like atmosphere as an exhibit featuring two chimpanzees and a supposed “missing link” opened in town, and vendors sold Bibles, toy monkeys, hot dogs, and lemonade. The missing link was in fact Jo Viens of Burlington, Vermont, a 51-year-old man who was of short stature and possessed a receding forehead and a protruding jaw. One of the chimpanzees–named Joe Mendi–wore a plaid suit, a brown fedora, and white spats, and entertained Dayton’s citizens by monkeying around on the courthouse lawn.

In the courtroom, Judge Raulston destroyed the defense’s strategy by ruling that expert scientific testimony on evolution was inadmissible–on the grounds that it was Scopes who was on trial, not the law he had violated. The next day, Raulston ordered the trial moved to the courthouse lawn, fearing that the weight of the crowd inside was in danger of collapsing the floor.

In front of several thousand spectators in the open air, Darrow changed his tactics and as his sole witness called Bryan in an attempt to discredit his literal interpretation of the Bible. In a searching examination, Bryan was subjected to severe ridicule and forced to make ignorant and contradictory statements to the amusement of the crowd. On July 21, in his closing speech, Darrow asked the jury to return a verdict of guilty in order that the case might be appealed. Under Tennessee law, Bryan was thereby denied the opportunity to deliver the closing speech he had been preparing for weeks. After eight minutes of deliberation, the jury returned with a guilty verdict, and Raulston ordered Scopes to pay a fine of $100, the minimum the law allowed. Although Bryan had won the case, he had been publicly humiliated and his fundamentalist beliefs had been disgraced. Five days later, on July 26, he lay down for a Sunday afternoon nap and never woke up.

In 1927, the Tennessee Supreme Court overturned the Monkey Trial verdict on a technicality but left the constitutional issues unresolved until 1968, when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a similar Arkansas law on the grounds that it violated the First Amendment.

quinner
10-07-2015, 09:32 AM
10th of July 1925

In Dayton, Tennessee, the so-called “Monkey Trial” begins with John Thomas Scopes, a young high school science teacher, accused of teaching evolution in violation of a Tennessee state law.

The law, which had been passed in March, made it a misdemeanor punishable by fine to “teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals.” With local businessman George Rappalyea, Scopes had conspired to get charged with this violation, and after his arrest the pair enlisted the aid of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to organize a defense. Hearing of this coordinated attack on Christian fundamentalism, William Jennings Bryan, the three-time Democratic presidential candidate and a fundamentalist hero, volunteered to assist the prosecution. Soon after, the great attorney Clarence Darrow agreed to join the ACLU in the defense, and the stage was set for one of the most famous trials in U.S. history.

On July 10, the Monkey Trial got underway, and within a few days hordes of spectators and reporters had descended on Dayton as preachers set up revival tents along the city’s main street to keep the faithful stirred up. Inside the Rhea County Courthouse, the defense suffered early setbacks when Judge John Raulston ruled against their attempt to prove the law unconstitutional and then refused to end his practice of opening each day’s proceeding with prayer.

Outside, Dayton took on a carnival-like atmosphere as an exhibit featuring two chimpanzees and a supposed “missing link” opened in town, and vendors sold Bibles, toy monkeys, hot dogs, and lemonade. The missing link was in fact Jo Viens of Burlington, Vermont, a 51-year-old man who was of short stature and possessed a receding forehead and a protruding jaw. One of the chimpanzees–named Joe Mendi–wore a plaid suit, a brown fedora, and white spats, and entertained Dayton’s citizens by monkeying around on the courthouse lawn.

In the courtroom, Judge Raulston destroyed the defense’s strategy by ruling that expert scientific testimony on evolution was inadmissible–on the grounds that it was Scopes who was on trial, not the law he had violated. The next day, Raulston ordered the trial moved to the courthouse lawn, fearing that the weight of the crowd inside was in danger of collapsing the floor.

In front of several thousand spectators in the open air, Darrow changed his tactics and as his sole witness called Bryan in an attempt to discredit his literal interpretation of the Bible. In a searching examination, Bryan was subjected to severe ridicule and forced to make ignorant and contradictory statements to the amusement of the crowd. On July 21, in his closing speech, Darrow asked the jury to return a verdict of guilty in order that the case might be appealed. Under Tennessee law, Bryan was thereby denied the opportunity to deliver the closing speech he had been preparing for weeks. After eight minutes of deliberation, the jury returned with a guilty verdict, and Raulston ordered Scopes to pay a fine of $100, the minimum the law allowed. Although Bryan had won the case, he had been publicly humiliated and his fundamentalist beliefs had been disgraced. Five days later, on July 26, he lay down for a Sunday afternoon nap and never woke up.

In 1927, the Tennessee Supreme Court overturned the Monkey Trial verdict on a technicality but left the constitutional issues unresolved until 1968, when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a similar Arkansas law on the grounds that it violated the First Amendment.

And a great Movie......

bojangles
11-07-2015, 10:04 AM
On this day in 1944, Count Claus von Stauffenberg, a German army officer, transports a bomb to Adolf Hitler’s headquarters in Berchtesgaden, in Bavaria, with the intention of assassinating the Fuhrer.

As the war started to turn against the Germans, and the atrocities being committed at Hitler’s behest grew, a growing numbers of Germans—within the military and without—began conspiring to assassinate their leader. As the masses were unlikely to turn on the man in whose hands they had hitherto placed their lives and future, it was up to men close to Hitler, German officers, to dispatch him. Leadership of the plot fell to Claus von Stauffenberg, newly promoted to colonel and chief of staff to the commander of the army reserve, which gave him access to Hitler’s headquarters at Berchtesgaden and Rastenburg.

Stauffenberg had served in the German army since 1926. While serving as a staff officer in the campaign against the Soviet Union, he became disgusted at his fellow countrymen’s vicious treatment of Jews and Soviet prisoners. He requested to be transferred to North Africa, where he lost his left eye, right hand, and two fingers of his left hand.

After recovering from his injuries, and determined to see Hitler removed from power by any means necessary, Stauffenberg traveled to Berchtesgaden on July 3 and received at the hands of a fellow army officer, Major-General Helmuth Stieff, a bomb with a silent fuse that was small enough to be hidden in a briefcase. On July 11, Stauffenberg was summoned to Berchtesgaden to report to Hitler on the current military situation. The plan was to use the bomb on July 15, but at the last minute, Hitler was called away to his headquarters at Rastenburg, in East Prussia. Stauffenberg was asked to follow him there. On July 16, a meeting took place between Stauffenberg and Colonel Caesar von Hofacker, another conspirator, in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee. Hofacker informed Stauffenberg that German defenses had collapsed at Normandy, and the tide had turned against them in the West. The assassination attempt was postponed until July 20, at Rastenburg.

quinner
11-07-2015, 10:18 AM
On this day in 1944, Count Claus von Stauffenberg, a German army officer, transports a bomb to Adolf Hitler’s headquarters in Berchtesgaden, in Bavaria, with the intention of assassinating the Fuhrer.

As the war started to turn against the Germans, and the atrocities being committed at Hitler’s behest grew, a growing numbers of Germans—within the military and without—began conspiring to assassinate their leader. As the masses were unlikely to turn on the man in whose hands they had hitherto placed their lives and future, it was up to men close to Hitler, German officers, to dispatch him. Leadership of the plot fell to Claus von Stauffenberg, newly promoted to colonel and chief of staff to the commander of the army reserve, which gave him access to Hitler’s headquarters at Berchtesgaden and Rastenburg.

Stauffenberg had served in the German army since 1926. While serving as a staff officer in the campaign against the Soviet Union, he became disgusted at his fellow countrymen’s vicious treatment of Jews and Soviet prisoners. He requested to be transferred to North Africa, where he lost his left eye, right hand, and two fingers of his left hand.

After recovering from his injuries, and determined to see Hitler removed from power by any means necessary, Stauffenberg traveled to Berchtesgaden on July 3 and received at the hands of a fellow army officer, Major-General Helmuth Stieff, a bomb with a silent fuse that was small enough to be hidden in a briefcase. On July 11, Stauffenberg was summoned to Berchtesgaden to report to Hitler on the current military situation. The plan was to use the bomb on July 15, but at the last minute, Hitler was called away to his headquarters at Rastenburg, in East Prussia. Stauffenberg was asked to follow him there. On July 16, a meeting took place between Stauffenberg and Colonel Caesar von Hofacker, another conspirator, in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee. Hofacker informed Stauffenberg that German defenses had collapsed at Normandy, and the tide had turned against them in the West. The assassination attempt was postponed until July 20, at Rastenburg.

Was he a traitor or a Hero......?

bojangles
11-07-2015, 11:50 AM
Was he a traitor or a Hero......?

Hero

bojangles
12-07-2015, 08:48 AM
12th of July 1963
The Moors Murderers begin their killing spree

Sixteen-year-old Pauline Reade isabducted while onher way to a dance nearher home in Gorton, England, by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, the so-called “Moors Murderers,” launching a crime spree that will last for over two years. Reade’s body was not discovered until 1987, after Brady confessed to the murder during an interview with reporters while in a mental hospital. The teenager had been sexually assaulted and her throat had been slashed.

Brady and Hindley met in Manchester in 1961. The shy girl quickly became infatuated with Brady, a self-styled Nazi, who had a substantial library of Nazi literature and an obsession with sadistic sex. After photographing Hindley in obscene positions, Brady sold his amateur pornography to the public.

In order to satisfy their sadistic impulses, Brady and Hindley began abducting and killing young men and women. After Pauline Reade, they kidnapped 12-year-old John Kilbride in November and Keith Bennett, also 12, in June the next year. The day after Christmas in 1964, Leslie Ann Downey, a 10-year-old from Manchester, was abducted.

In 1965, the couplekilled a 17-year-old boy with a hatchet in front of Hindley’s brother-in-law, David Smith, perhaps in an attempt to recruit him for future murders. This apparently crossed the line for Smith, who then went to the police.

Inside Brady’s apartment, police found luggage tickets that led them to two suitcases in Manchester Central Station. They contained photos of Leslie Ann Downey being tortured along with audiotapes of her pleading for her life. Other photos depicted Hindley and Brady in a desolate area of England known as Saddleworth Moor. There, police found the body of John Kilbride.

The Moors Murderers were convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 1966. Their notoriety continued after it was revealed that a guard at Holloway women’s prison had fallen for Hindley and had an affair with her. For his part, Brady continued to confess to other murders, but police have been unable to confirm the validity of his confessions.

bojangles
13-07-2015, 08:09 AM
Nightclub owner Ruth Ellis is convicted of murdering boyfriend David Blakely on this day in 1955. Ellis was later executed by hanging and became the last woman in Great Britain to be put to death.

Ellis was born in Rhyl, Wales, in 1926. She left school as a young teenager, had a child and worked a variety of jobs, eventually becoming a nightclub hostess. In 1950, she married dentist George Ellis, with whom she had a second child. The marriage was short-lived and Ruth Ellis returned to working in nightclubs. She then became involved in a tempestuous relationship with David Blakely, a playboy race-car driver. Ellis became pregnant but miscarried several days after a fight during which Blakely hit her in the stomach. She later became obsessed with Blakely when he failed to come see her as promised. On April 10, 1955, she shot him to death outside the Magdala pub in Hampstead, North London.

During her trial, which began in June 1955, Ellis stated “It was obvious that when I shot him I intended to kill him.” This was a critical statement, as British law required demonstration of clear intent in order to convict someone of murder. It reportedly took the jury less than half an hour to find Ellis guilty and she automatically received the death penalty. Thousands of people signed petitions protesting her punishment; however, on July 13, 1955, the 28-year-old Ellis was hanged at Holloway Prison, a women’s institution in Islington, London. She was the last woman executed for murder in Great Britain. On August 13, 1964, Peter Anthony Allen and John Alan West became the last people to be executed for murder in England. In 1965, the death penalty for murder was banned in England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland outlawed capital punishment in 1973. However, several crimes, including treason, remained punishable by death in Great Britain until 1998.

In 1985, a movie titled Dance With a Stranger chronicled Ellis’ life. In December 2003, a British court dismissed an appeal filed by Ellis’s sister asking for Ruth’s conviction to be reduced to manslaughter on the grounds of “provocation and/or diminished responsibility.”

bojangles
13-07-2015, 08:11 AM
On July 13, 1985, at Wembley Stadium in London, Prince Charles and Princess Diana officially open Live Aid, a worldwide rock concert organized to raise money for the relief of famine-stricken Africans. Continued at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia and at other arenas around the world, the 16-hour “superconcert” was globally linked by satellite to more than a billion viewers in 110 nations. In a triumph of technology and good will, the event raised more than $125 million in famine relief for Africa.

Live Aid was the brainchild of Bob Geldof, the singer of an Irish rock group called the Boomtown Rats. In 1984, Geldof traveled to Ethiopia after hearing news reports of a horrific famine that had killed hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians and threatened to kill millions more. After returning to London, he called Britain’s and Ireland’s top pop artists together to record a single to benefit Ethiopian famine relief. “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” was written by Geldof and Ultravox singer Midge Ure and performed by “Band Aid,” an ensemble that featured Culture Club, Duran Duran, Phil Collins, U2, Wham!, and others. It was the best-selling single in Britain to that date and raised more than $10 million.

“Do They Know It’s Christmas?” was also a No. 1 hit in the United States and inspired U.S. pop artists to come together and perform “We Are the World,” a song written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie. “USA for Africa,” as the U.S. ensemble was known, featured Jackson, Ritchie, Geldof, Harry Belafonte, Bob Dylan, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, and many others. The single went to the top of the charts and eventually raised $44 million.

With the crisis continuing in Ethiopia, and the neighboring Sudan also stricken with famine, Geldof proposed Live Aid, an ambitious global charity concert aimed at raising more funds and increasing awareness of the plight of many Africans. Organized in just 10 weeks, Live Aid was staged on Saturday, July 13, 1985. More than 75 acts performed, including Elton John, Madonna, Santana, Run DMC, Sade, Sting, Bryan Adams, the Beach Boys, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Queen, Duran Duran, U2, the Who, Tom Petty, Neil Young, and Eric Clapton. The majority of these artists performed at either Wembley Stadium in London, where a crowd of 70,000 turned out, or at Philadelphia’s JFK Stadium, where 100,000 watched. Thirteen satellites beamed a live television broadcast of the event to more than one billion viewers in 110 countries. More than 40 of these nations held telethons for African famine relief during the broadcast.

A memorable moment of the concert was Phil Collins’ performance in Philadelphia after flying by Concorde from London, where he performed at Wembley earlier in the day. He later played drums in a reunion of the surviving members of Led Zeppelin. Beatle Paul McCartney and the Who’s Pete Townsend held Bob Geldof aloft on their shoulders during the London finale, which featured a collective performance of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” Six hours later, the U.S. concert ended with “We Are the World.”

Live Aid eventually raised $127 million in famine relief for African nations, and the publicity it generated encouraged Western nations to make available enough surplus grain to end the immediate hunger crisis in Africa. Geldof was later knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his efforts.

bojangles
14-07-2015, 08:31 AM
14TH of July 1789

Parisian revolutionaries and mutinous troops storm and dismantle the Bastille, a royal fortress that had come to symbolize the tyranny of the Bourbon monarchs. This dramatic action signaled the beginning of the French Revolution, a decade of political turmoil and terror in which King Louis XVI was overthrown and tens of thousands of people, including the king and his wife Marie Antoinette, were executed.

The Bastille was originally constructed in 1370 as a bastide, or “fortification,” to protect the walled city of Paris from English attack. It was later made into an independent stronghold, and its name–bastide–was corrupted to Bastille. The Bastille was first used as a state prison in the 17th century, and its cells were reserved for upper-class felons, political troublemakers, and spies. Most prisoners there were imprisoned without a trial under direct orders of the king. Standing 100 feet tall and surrounded by a moat more than 80 feet wide, the Bastille was an imposing structure in the Parisian landscape.

By the summer of 1789, France was moving quickly toward revolution. There were severe food shortages in France that year, and popular resentment against the rule of King Louis XVI was turning to fury. In June, the Third Estate, which represented commoners and the lower clergy, declared itself the National Assembly and called for the drafting of a constitution. Initially seeming to yield, Louis legalized the National Assembly but then surrounded Paris with troops and dismissed Jacques Necker, a popular minister of state who had supported reforms. In response, mobs began rioting in Paris at the instigation of revolutionary leaders.

Bernard-Jordan de Launay, the military governor of the Bastille, feared that his fortress would be a target for the revolutionaries and so requested reinforcements. A company of Swiss mercenary soldiers arrived on July 7 to bolster his garrison of 82 soldiers. The Marquis de Sade, one of the few prisoners in the Bastille at the time, was transferred to an insane asylum after he attempted to incite a crowd outside his window by yelling: “They are massacring the prisoners; you must come and free them.” On July 12, royal authorities transferred 250 barrels of gunpowder to the Bastille from the Paris Arsenal, which was more vulnerable to attack. Launay brought his men into the Bastille and raised its two drawbridges.

On July 13, revolutionaries with muskets began firing at soldiers standing guard on the Bastille’s towers and then took cover in the Bastille’s courtyard when Launay’s men fired back. That evening, mobs stormed the Paris Arsenal and another armory and acquired thousands of muskets. At dawn on July 14, a great crowd armed with muskets, swords, and various makeshift weapons began to gather around the Bastille.

Launay received a delegation of revolutionary leaders but refused to surrender the fortress and its munitions as they requested. He later received a second delegation and promised he would not open fire on the crowd. To convince the revolutionaries, he showed them that his cannons were not loaded. Instead of calming the agitated crowd, news of the unloaded cannons emboldened a group of men to climb over the outer wall of the courtyard and lower a drawbridge. Three hundred revolutionaries rushed in, and Launay’s men took up a defensive position. When the mob outside began trying to lower the second drawbridge, Launay ordered his men to open fire. One hundred rioters were killed or wounded.

Launay’s men were able to hold the mob back, but more and more Parisians were converging on the Bastille. Around 3 p.m., a company of deserters from the French army arrived. The soldiers, hidden by smoke from fires set by the mob, dragged five cannons into the courtyard and aimed them at the Bastille. Launay raised a white flag of surrender over the fortress. Launay and his men were taken into custody, the gunpowder and cannons were seized, and the seven prisoners of the Bastille were freed. Upon arriving at the Hotel de Ville, where Launay was to be arrested by a revolutionary council, the governor was pulled away from his escort by a mob and murdered.

The capture of the Bastille symbolized the end of the ancien regime and provided the French revolutionary cause with an irresistible momentum. Joined by four-fifths of the French army, the revolutionaries seized control of Paris and then the French countryside, forcing King Louis XVI to accept a constitutional government. In 1792, the monarchy was abolished and Louis and his wife Marie-Antoinette were sent to the guillotine for treason in 1793.

By order of the new revolutionary government, the Bastille was torn down. On February 6, 1790, the last stone of the hated prison-fortress was presented to the National Assembly. Today, July 14–Bastille Day–is celebrated as a national holiday in France.

bojangles
15-07-2015, 07:27 AM
1953
A notorious English killer is executed


John Christie, one of England’s most notorious killers, is executed. Four months earlier, on March 25,the police and atenant at 10 Rillington Place in West London made an awful discovery: the bodies of four women in an empty apartment, three in a hidden cupboard and one more beneath the floorboards. Christie, who used to live at the house, was apprehended a week later and confessed to the murders.

Since one of the dead women had been identified as Christie’s wife, Ethel, police knew where to begin their search for the killer. The three other victims were young women, all of whom had been sexually assaulted. Detectives soon found additional bodies buried in the yard behind the house. Strangely enough, two of the women had not been murdered by Christie, but had died as the result of botched, illegal abortions conducted by another man.

Christie had been plagued his whole life with impotence, which caused the rage that eventually sparked his murder spree. Stories of the grisly discoveries at the soon-to-be infamous house at 10 Rillington Place filled the London tabloids for weeks and fueled the call for Christie’s quick execution.

jembo
15-07-2015, 10:08 AM
Howard Hughes Round-the-World Flight
Many remember Howard Hughes in the last years of his life, when his mind had faded and he lived the life of a wealthy paranoid recluse. Earlier in his life, Hughes was a dashing and innovative businessman who had inherited the Hughes Tool Company when he was 19. Thereafter, Hughes became a Hollywood movie producer, aircraft inventor, mining mogul, casino owner and ladies' man.
Howard Hughes was an avid and daring pilot setting a handful of aviation world records, including one for his 1938 flight round-the-world in just over 91 hours. Hughes with his flight crew of Harry Connor (co-pilot), Thomas Thurlow (navigator), Edward Lund (flight engineer), and Richard Stoddard (radio operator) made this noteworthy flight. They were assisted by Al Lodwick, vice president of Curtis-Wright who handled flight operation & clearances, landing permits and enroute fuel provisioning. On July 10, 1938 Hughes and crew departed Floyd Bennett Field, Long Island New York and flew round-the-world in a Lockheed 14 Lodestar Monoplane with the primary sponsoring of the New York World's Fair for which Hughes was an aeronautical advisor.
They were guided by the most reassuring set of flying gadgets ever packed into a private airplane including a homing radio compass to keep them on course by taking bearings from ships at sea, a new periscopic drift indicator, a gyro-pilot which did most of the flying and a powerful radio transmitter which radio linked them to a towering trylon antenna at the New York World's Fair. The purpose of the Hughes' round-the-world flight was for publicity to bid foreigners to come to visit the New York World's Fair.
On July 14, 1938 Howard Hughes and his four-man crew returned to New York after circling the globe covering 14,672 miles in three days, nineteen hours, fourteen minutes and ten seconds. They were treated to a special Mayorial reception and ticker-tape parade in New York City. Hughes died in 1976 while a passenger of a flight from Los Angeles to Houston.
After the flight, Hughes said in a prepared statement,
"There is one thing about this flight that I would like everyone to know. It was in no way a stunt. It was the carrying out of a careful plan."......
"If any credit is due anyone, it is the men who designed and perfected, to its remarkable state of efficiency, the modern American flying machine and equipment." ......
All we did was operate this equipment and the plane according to the instruction book....."

Itinerary:

Departed Floyd Bennett Field, Long Island New York Sunday, July 10, 1938 at 7:20 PM
3,641 miles in 16H 38M
LeBourget Field, Paris France Monday, July 11, 1938 at 11:58 AM
1,640 miles in 7H 51M
Moscow, Russia Tuedsay, July 12, 1938 at 4:15 AM
1,400 miles in 7H 27M
Omsk, Russia Tuesday, July 12, 1938 at 2:00 PM
2,158 miles in 10H 31M
Yakutsh, Russia Wednesday, July 13, 1938 at 5:08 AM
2,457 miles in 12H 17M
Fairbanks, Alaska Wednesday, July 13, 1938 at 8:18 PM
2,441 miles in 12H 2M
Minneapolis, MN Thursday, July 14, 1938 at 9:38 AM
1,054 miles in 4H 26M
Arrived Floyd Bennett Field, Long Island New York Thursday, July 14, 1938 at 2:34 PM

bojangles
16-07-2015, 09:39 AM
16th of July 1918
Romanov family executed


In Yekaterinburg, Russia, Czar Nicholas II and his family are executed by the Bolsheviks, bringing an end to the three-century-old Romanov dynasty.

Crowned in 1896, Nicholas was neither trained nor inclined to rule, which did not help the autocracy he sought to preserve among a people desperate for change. The disastrous outcome of the Russo-Japanese War led to the Russian Revolution of 1905, which ended only after Nicholas approved a representative assembly–the Duma–and promised constitutional reforms. The czar soon retracted these concessions and repeatedly dissolved the Duma when it opposed him, contributing to the growing public support for the Bolsheviks and other revolutionary groups. In 1914, Nicholas led his country into another costly war–World War I–that Russia was ill-prepared to win. Discontent grew as food became scarce, soldiers became war weary and devastating defeats at the hands of Germany demonstrated the ineffectiveness of Russia under Nicholas.

In March 1917, revolution broke out on the streets of Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) and Nicholas was forced to abdicate his throne later that month. That November, the radical socialist Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, seized power in Russia from the provisional government, sued for peace with the Central Powers and set about establishing the world’s first communist state. Civil war broke out in Russia in June 1918, and in July the anti-Bolshevik “White” Russian forces advanced on Yekaterinburg, where Nicholas and his family were located, during a campaign against the Bolshevik forces. Local authorities were ordered to prevent a rescue of the Romanovs, and after a secret meeting of the Yekaterinburg Soviet, a death sentence was passed on the imperial family.

Late on the night of July 16, Nicholas, Alexandra, their five children and four servants were ordered to dress quickly and go down to the cellar of the house in which they were being held. There, the family and servants were arranged in two rows for a photograph they were told was being taken to quell rumors that they had escaped. Suddenly, a dozen armed men burst into the room and gunned down the imperial family in a hail of gunfire. Those who were still breathing when the smoked cleared were stabbed to death.

The remains of Nicholas, Alexandra and three of their children were excavated in a forest near Yekaterinburg in 1991 and positively identified two years later using DNA fingerprinting. The Crown Prince Alexei and one Romanov daughter were not accounted for, fueling the persistent legend that Anastasia, the youngest Romanov daughter, had survived the execution of her family. Of the several “Anastasias” that surfaced in Europe in the decade after the Russian Revolution, Anna Anderson, who died in the United States in 1984, was the most convincing. In 1994, however, scientists used DNA to prove that Anna Anderson was not the czar’s daughter but a Polish woman named Franziska Schanzkowska.

bojangles
17-07-2015, 08:33 AM
HEADLINES

17th of July 1976: African countries boycott Olympics
The opening ceremony of the 21st Olympic Games in Montreal has been marred by the withdrawal of 25 African countries.

They are all protesting at New Zealand's sporting links with South Africa.

The International Olympic Committee's refusal to ban New Zealand, whose rugby team is currently touring South Africa, has resulted in the boycott.

South Africa has been banned from the Olympics since 1964 for its refusal to condemn apartheid.

'Illogical'

A spokesperson for the New Zealand Olympic Committee said the All Blacks tour of South Africa had been arranged by the New Zealand Rugby Union which was an autonomous body and nothing to do with the Olympics.

He said it was illogical to single out New Zealand as it was one of 26 countries to have played sport in South Africa during the past year.

More than 300 competitors will now not take part in the Games which will mean many events will have to be cancelled or re-scheduled.

Athletics events will be particularly affected by the absence of Filbert Bayi from Tanzania, who holds the world record in the 1500m and John Akii-Bua of Uganda, world record-holder in the 400 metres hurdles.

The latest country to announce its withdrawal was Kenya. In a statement issued just hours before the opening ceremony, the country's foreign minister James Osogo said: "The government and the people of Kenya hold the view that principles are more precious than medals."

He said the decision by the IOC not to ban New Zealand would give "comfort and respectability to the South African racist regime and encourage it to continue to defy world opinion."

The IOC will now have to decide what sanctions should be imposed on the boycotting countries, who risk being expelled from the Olympic movement.

Approximately 20 of the 26 countries who have withdrawn from the competition had already travelled to Montreal but will now return home.

The list of those boycotting the Olympics is: Libya, Iraq, Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria, Gambia, Sudan, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Algeria, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Central African Republic, Gabon, Chad, Togo, Niger, Congo, Mauritius, Upper Volta and Malawi.

Egypt did not take part in today's opening ceremony but has not yet formally announced its withdrawal. Taiwan withdrew on the grounds that the Canadian government refused to allow her to compete under the name of the Republic of China.

There are already fears the Commonwealth Games due to be held in Edmonton, Canada in two years time will be affected by the African boycott.


In Context
Countries protesting at New Zealand's participation in the Games continued to withdraw throughout the opening days.

Egypt subsequently withdrew and the final number of absences was 33.

In the first two days of the Games a million Canadian dollars were lost in event cancellations and seat refunds.

South Africa was banned from the Olympics until 1992 when apartheid laws were repealed in the country.

Britain came home from the Montreal Olympics with just one bronze medal in the track and field events.

But swimmer David Wilkie gave Britain her first men's swimming gold medal in 68 years and also took the world record.

Nadia Comaneci of Romania, 14, took over the mantle of best gymnast in the world from Olga Korbut, after winning the first maximum score of 10.00 in Olympic history. She went on to win three gold medals.

bojangles
18-07-2015, 07:57 AM
On this day in 1925, Volume One of Adolf Hitler’s philosophical autobiography, Mein Kampf, is published. It was a blueprint of his agenda for a Third Reich and a clear exposition of the nightmare that will envelope Europe from 1939 to 1945. The book sold a total of 9,473 copies in its first year.

Hitler began composing his tome while sitting in Landsberg prison, convicted of treason for his role in the infamous Beer Hall Putsch in which he and his minions attempted to stage a coup and grasp control of the government in Bavaria. It ended in disaster, with some allies deserting and others falling into the hands of the authorities. Hitler was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment (he would serve only nine months). His time in the old fortress at Landsberg was hardly brutal; he was allowed guests and gifts, and was treated as something of a cult hero. He decided to put his leisure time to good use and so began dictating Volume One of his opus magnus to Rudolph Hess, a loyal member of the German National Socialist Party and fellow revolutionary.

The first part of Mein Kampf, subtitled “A Reckoning,” is a 400-plus page diatribe on the problems besetting Germany—the French, who wished to dismember Germany; the lack of lebesraum, “living space,” and the need to expand east into Russia; and the baleful influence of “mongrel” races. For Hitler, the state was not an economic entity, but a racial one. Racial purity was an absolute necessity for a revitalized Germany. “[F]or men do not perish as the result of lost wars, but by the loss… of pure blood.”

As for leadership, Hitler’s Third Reich would mimic the Prussian ideal of absolute authoritarian rule. “There must be no majority decisions, but only responsible persons… Surely every man will have advisers… but the decision will be made by one man.”

So there it was: War with France, war with Russia, the elimination of “impure” races, and absolute dictatorship. Hitler laid out his political agenda a full 14 years before the outbreak of war.

Volume Two of Mein Kampf, focusing on national socialism, was published in 1927. Sales of the complete work remained mediocre throughout the 1920s. It was not until 1933, the first year of Hitler’s tenure as chancellor of Germany, that sales soared to over 1 million. Its popularity reached the point where it became a ritual to give a newly married couple a copy.

bojangles
19-07-2015, 09:10 AM
Rosetta Stone found


On this day in 1799, during Napoleon Bonaparte’s Egyptian campaign, a French soldier discovers a black basalt slab inscribed with ancient writing near the town of Rosetta, about 35 miles north of Alexandria. The irregularly shaped stone contained fragments of passages written in three different scripts: Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphics and Egyptian demotic. The ancient Greek on the Rosetta Stone told archaeologists that it was inscribed by priests honoring the king of Egypt, Ptolemy V, in the second century B.C. More startlingly, the Greek passage announced that the three scripts were all of identical meaning. The artifact thus held the key to solving the riddle of hieroglyphics, a written language that had been “dead” for nearly 2,000 years.

When Napoleon, an emperor known for his enlightened view of education, art and culture, invaded Egypt in 1798, he took along a group of scholars and told them to seize all important cultural artifacts for France. Pierre Bouchard, one of Napoleon’s soldiers, was aware of this order when he found the basalt stone, which was almost four feet long and two-and-a-half feet wide, at a fort near Rosetta. When the British defeated Napoleon in 1801, they took possession of the Rosetta Stone.

Several scholars, including Englishman Thomas Young made progress with the initial hieroglyphics analysis of the Rosetta Stone. French Egyptologist Jean-Francois Champollion (1790-1832), who had taught himself ancient languages, ultimately cracked the code and deciphered the hieroglyphics using his knowledge of Greek as a guide. Hieroglyphics used pictures to represent objects, sounds and groups of sounds. Once the Rosetta Stone inscriptions were translated, the language and culture of ancient Egypt was suddenly open to scientists as never before.

The Rosetta Stone has been housed at the British Museum in London since 1802, except for a brief period during World War I. At that time, museum officials moved it to a separate underground location, along with other irreplaceable items from the museum’s collection, to protect it from the threat of bombs.

bojangles
20-07-2015, 08:16 AM
20th of July 1969

At 10:56 p.m. EDT, American astronaut Neil Armstrong, 240,000 miles from Earth, speaks these words to more than a billion people listening at home: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Stepping off the lunar landing module Eagle, Armstrong became the first human to walk on the surface of the moon.

The American effort to send astronauts to the moon has its origins in a famous appeal President John F. Kennedy made to a special joint session of Congress on May 25, 1961: “I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth.” At the time, the United States was still trailing the Soviet Union in space developments, and Cold War-era America welcomed Kennedy’s bold proposal.

In 1966, after five years of work by an international team of scientists and engineers, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) conducted the first unmanned Apollo mission, testing the structural integrity of the proposed launch vehicle and spacecraft combination. Then, on January 27, 1967, tragedy struck at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, when a fire broke out during a manned launch-pad test of the Apollo spacecraft and Saturn rocket. Three astronauts were killed in the fire.

Despite the setback, NASA and its thousands of employees forged ahead, and in October 1968, Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission, orbited Earth and successfully tested many of the sophisticated systems needed to conduct a moon journey and landing. In December of the same year, Apollo 8 took three astronauts to the dark side of the moon and back, and in March 1969 Apollo 9 tested the lunar module for the first time while in Earth orbit. Then in May, the three astronauts of Apollo 10 took the first complete Apollo spacecraft around the moon in a dry run for the scheduled July landing mission.

At 9:32 a.m. on July 16, with the world watching, Apollo 11 took off from Kennedy Space Center with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin Jr., and Michael Collins aboard. Armstrong, a 38-year-old civilian research pilot, was the commander of the mission. After traveling 240,000 miles in 76 hours, Apollo 11 entered into a lunar orbit on July 19. The next day, at 1:46 p.m., the lunar module Eagle, manned by Armstrong and Aldrin, separated from the command module, where Collins remained. Two hours later, the Eagle began its descent to the lunar surface, and at 4:18 p.m. the craft touched down on the southwestern edge of the Sea of Tranquility. Armstrong immediately radioed to Mission Control in Houston, Texas, a famous message: “The Eagle has landed.”

At 10:39 p.m., five hours ahead of the original schedule, Armstrong opened the hatch of the lunar module. As he made his way down the lunar module’s ladder, a television camera attached to the craft recorded his progress and beamed the signal back to Earth, where hundreds of millions watched in great anticipation. At 10:56 p.m., Armstrong spoke his famous quote, which he later contended was slightly garbled by his microphone and meant to be “that’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” He then planted his left foot on the gray, powdery surface, took a cautious step forward, and humanity had walked on the moon.

“Buzz” Aldrin joined him on the moon’s surface at 11:11 p.m., and together they took photographs of the terrain, planted a U.S. flag, ran a few simple scientific tests, and spoke with President Richard M. Nixon via Houston. By 1:11 a.m. on July 21, both astronauts were back in the lunar module and the hatch was closed. The two men slept that night on the surface of the moon, and at 1:54 p.m. the Eagle began its ascent back to the command module. Among the items left on the surface of the moon was a plaque that read: “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot on the moon–July 1969 A.D–We came in peace for all mankind.”

At 5:35 p.m., Armstrong and Aldrin successfully docked and rejoined Collins, and at 12:56 a.m. on July 22 Apollo 11 began its journey home, safely splashing down in the Pacific Ocean at 12:51 p.m. on July 24.

There would be five more successful lunar landing missions, and one unplanned lunar swing-by, Apollo 13. The last men to walk on the moon, astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt of the Apollo 17 mission, left the lunar surface on December 14, 1972. The Apollo program was a costly and labor intensive endeavor, involving an estimated 400,000 engineers, technicians, and scientists, and costing $24 billion (close to $100 billion in today’s dollars). The expense was justified by Kennedy’s 1961 mandate to beat the Soviets to the moon, and after the feat was accomplished ongoing missions lost their viability.

bojangles
21-07-2015, 09:17 AM
After 11 years of construction, the Aswan High Dam across the Nile River in Egypt is completed on July 21, 1970. More than two miles long at its crest, the massive $1 billion dam ended the cycle of flood and drought in the Nile River region, and exploited a tremendous source of renewable energy, but had a controversial environmental impact.

A dam was completed at Aswan, 500 miles south of Cairo, in 1902. The first Aswan dam provided valuable irrigation during droughts but could not hold back the annual flood of the mighty Nile River. In the 1950s, Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser envisioned building a new dam across the Nile, one large enough to end flooding and bring electric power to every corner of Egypt. He won United States and British financial backing, but in July 1956 both nations canceled the offer after learning of a secret Egyptian arms agreement with the USSR. In response, Nasser nationalized the British and French-owned Suez Canal, intending to use tolls to pay for his High Dam project. This act precipitated the Suez Canal Crisis, in which Israel, Britain, and France attacked Egypt in a joint military operation. The Suez Canal was occupied, but Soviet, U.S., and U.N. forced Israel, Britain, and France to withdraw, and the Suez Canal was left in Egyptian hands in 1957.

Soviet loans and proceeds from Suez Canal tolls allowed Nasser to begin work on the Aswan High Dam in 1960. Some 57 million cubic yards of earth and rock were used to build the dam, which has a mass 16 times that of the Great Pyramid at Giza. On July 21, 1970, the ambitious project was completed. President Nasser died of a heart attack in September 1970, before the dam was formally dedicated in 1971.

The giant reservoir created by the dam–300 miles long and 10 miles wide–was named Lake Nasser in his honor. The formation of Lake Nasser required the resettlement of 90,000 Egyptian peasants and Sudanese Nubian nomads, as well as the costly relocation of the ancient Egyptian temple complex of Abu Simbel, built in the 13th century B.C.

The Aswan High Dam brought the Nile’s devastating floods to an end, reclaimed more than 100,000 acres of desert land for cultivation, and made additional crops possible on some 800,000 other acres. The dam’s 12 giant Soviet-built turbines produce as much as 10 billion kilowatt-hours annually, providing a tremendous boost to the Egyptian economy and introducing 20th-century life into many villages. The water stored in Lake Nasser, several trillion cubic feet, is shared by Egypt and the Sudan and was crucial during the African drought years of 1984 to 1988.

Despite its successes, the Aswan High Dam has produced several negative side effects. Most costly is the gradual decrease in the fertility of agricultural lands in the Nile delta, which used to benefit from the millions of tons of silt deposited annually by the Nile floods. Another detriment to humans has been the spread of the disease schistosomiasis by snails that live in the irrigation system created by the dam. The reduction of waterborne nutrients flowing into the Mediterranean is suspected to be the cause of a decline in anchovy populations in the eastern Mediterranean. The end of flooding has sharply reduced the number of fish in the Nile, many of which were migratory. Lake Nasser, however, has been stocked with fish, and many species, including perch, thrive there.

bojangles
22-07-2015, 08:55 AM
On this day in 1942, the systematic deportation of Jews from the Warsaw ghetto begins, as thousands are rounded up daily and transported to a newly constructed concentration/extermination camp at Treblinka, in Poland.

On July 17, Heinrich Himmler, head of the Nazi SS, arrived at Auschwitz, the concentration camp in eastern Poland, in time to watch the arrival of more than 2,000 Dutch Jews and the gassing of almost 500 of them, mostly the elderly, sick and very young. The next day, Himmler promoted the camp commandant, Rudolph Hoess, to SS major and ordered that the Warsaw ghetto (the Jewish quarter constructed by the Nazis upon the occupation of Poland, enclosed first by barbed wire and then by brick walls), be depopulated–a “total cleansing,” as he described it–and the inhabitants transported to what was to become a second extermination camp constructed at the railway village of Treblinka, 62 miles northeast of Warsaw.

Within the first seven weeks of Himmler’s order, more than 250,000 Jews were taken to Treblinka by rail and gassed to death, marking the largest single act of destruction of any population group, Jewish or non-Jewish, civilian or military, in the war. Upon arrival at “T. II,” as this second camp at Treblinka was called, prisoners were separated by sex, stripped, and marched into what were described as “bathhouses,” but were in fact gas chambers. T. II’s first commandant was Dr. Irmfried Eberl, age 32, the man who had headed up the euthanasia program of 1940 and had much experience with the gassing of victims, especially children. He compelled several hundred Ukrainian and about 1,500 Jewish prisoners to assist him. They removed gold teeth from victims before hauling the bodies to mass graves. Eberl was relieved of his duties for “inefficiency.” It seems that he and his workers could not remove the corpses quickly enough, and panic was occurring within the railway cars of newly arrived prisoners.

By the end of the war, between 700,000 and 900,000 would die at either Treblinka I or II. Hoess was tried and sentenced to death by the Nuremberg Tribunal. He was hanged in 1947.

jembo
22-07-2015, 05:01 PM
Chicago, July 22nd 1934 -- John Dillinger, America's Public Enemy No. 1 and the most notorious criminal of recent times, was shot and killed at 10:40 o'clock tonight by Federal agents a few seconds after he had left the Biograph Theatre at 2,433 Lincoln Avenue, on Chicago's North Side.

One bullet penetrated the head and another the chest of the desperate outlaw. He died as he was being taken to the Alexian Brothers Hospital. The body was later removed to the county morgue, where the identification of Dillinger was made positive.

According to Melvin H. Purvis, chief of the investigating forces of the Department of Justice in Chicago, and leader of the band of sixteen men who had waited for more than two hours while the desperado viewed his last picture show, Dillinger attempted to put up a fight.

"He saw me give a signal to my men to close in," Chief Purvis said. "He became alarmed and reached into a belt and was drawing the .38-callibre pistol he carried concealed when two of the agents let him have it. Dillinger was lying prone before he was able to get the gun out and I took it from him."

Surgical Disguise Falls

Dillinger had taken great precautions to prevent his being recognized. His face had been lifted by a surgical process since his last picture was taken and he had dyed his hair a darker shade than its natural light reddish brown.

"It was a good job the surgeons did," Chief Purvis said, "but I knew him the minute I saw him. You couldn't miss if you had studied that face as much as I have."

Two women, passers-by who had no connection with the outlaw, were wounded by stray bullets fired by the Federal agents. They are Mrs. Etta Natalsky, 45 years old, of 2,433 Lincoln Avenue, and Miss Theresa, Paulus. Each was struck in the left leg. Their injuries, it was said, were not serious.

Patron of Gangster Film

Chief Purvis and twelve of his own men, accompanied by Captain Timothy O'Neill and three members of the East Chicago police force, went to the vicinity of the small theatre at about 8:30 P. M.

They had received information during the afternoon that Dillinger would attend the performance of "Manhattan Melodrama," a gang and gun movie featuring Clark Gable and William Powell in the evening.

The sixteen men were posted strategically, some at all possible exits of the theatre, with groups to the north and south, and one detail on the opposite side of busy Lincoln Avenue. Chief Purvis, seating himself in his automobile a few feet south of the show house, watched.

It was about 8:30 P. M. when Dillinger walked up to the entrance and bought a ticket, or tickets. A Chicago policeman who happened t be at the scene said he was accompanied by two women, one dressed in red, but Chief Purvis said he saw none. Passing into the theatre, Dillinger took a seat.

While he was inside, the agents completed their preparations for his emergence. There were so many of them, and their actions seemed to the theatre manager and to observers in the neighborhood, to be so suspicious that the police were notified.

Policemen Frank Slattery, Edward Meisterheimer and Michael Garrity, who investigated, were shown Federal badges by the watchers and interfered not at all, although they were not told the object of the agents.

According to Chief Purvis, it was two hours and four minutes before the outlaw walked out of the theatre. He seemed completely at ease. He wore a while silk shirt, a gray tie flecked with black, white canvas shoes and gray flannel trousers. He had on no coat. His hat was a white sailor.

"I was standing in the entrance of the Goetz Country Club, a tavern just south of the theatre, when he walked by," Chief Purvis said.

"He gave us a piercing look. Just after he went by and was midway of the next building, a National Tea Company store, I raised my hand and gave the prearranged signal.

"Dillinger went on, perhaps another dozen feet, and stepped down a curb to the mouth of an alley. My men, at least five or six, were closing in on him suddenly.

"I had thought it possible that he could have a weapon concealed and the plan was to seize him, pinion his arms and make him a prisoner. However, the men were instructed to take no chances.

"Becoming suspicious, Dillinger whirled around toward the men closing in. He was facing, I believe, toward the dark alley when he reached for his pistol. And that was when the shots that killed him were fired. Four altogether were fired. Two took effect. Presumably the two women were hurt by the pair that missed."

Instantly there was a great commotion. The injured women screamed. George Gordon, son- in-law of Mrs. Natalsky and owner of the Goetz Tavern, hearing that she was injured, ran out to the alley. Seeing the body of a man lying wounded in the alley, he cried:

"I think that's my brother-in-law."

The agents, roughly pushing him back, told him to be quiet and not interfere. The victim, they assured him, was not his brother-in-law.

Chief Purvis leaned over the dying outlaw, looked at a gold fing which Dillinger was known to wear as a luck piece at all times, took his pistol from his belt -- it was thrust down below the belt -- and ordered that he be taken to the nearest hospital.

There was a quick run to the Alexian Brothers Hospital, but the institution would not admit Dillinger as a patient. There was a very good reason for this. He was dead.

The body was laid on the grass in front of the hospital, while four of the agents stood guard over it until the arrival of a deputy coroner. This official gave permission for the removal of the body to the county morgue.

Chief Purvis declined to give out the names of the men who had fired on Dillinger, nor would he elaborate on the manner in which the information leading to the killing had been obtained.

"There were two or three men who fired," he said. "I was not one of them, but they were Federal agents."

Mrs. Pearl Dowss, 924 Montrose Avenue, related that she was only about three feet away from the group of men when she was startled by the shooting. A flying bullet almost struck her, she added. But she was so interested in what had happened that she remained for more than half an hour at the scene.

Some of the observers of the drama declared that the girl in red, who dropped behind Dillinger as he emerged from the theatre, raised her hand, with a handkerchief in it.

It was the opinion of those observers that the girl in red was the "finger" and was cooperating with the agents. At any rate, she disappeared after the shooting and there was no clue to her identity.

Within a few minutes a great throng had gathered about the mouth of the alley. The word had gone forth that John Dillinger, a character known to all as the most determined and war killer on the continent, had paid his last debt to society.

Also hastening to the scene, and seeking information, were dozens of squads of Chicago policemen, who had been kept in the dark about the presence of Dillinger in the city.

No disclosure was made concerning the length of Dillinger's last stay in Chicago, nor concerning the location of his residence.

The presence of Captain O'Neill and his men from East Chicago where Dillinger shot and killed Policeman William Patrick O'Malley during a bank hold-up in January, led to reports that they had furnished the clue that brought the kill. This could not be confirmed.

Policemen Slattery and Meisterheimer were in civilian clothes near the scene of the shooting. According to Slattery, one of the Federal agents told him afterward that he was among the luckiest of men.

"When we got the signal you were close to Dillinger," said the agent, "you looked like Dillinger and I was about to shoot you when the other fellows let loose and killed the right man."

J. Edgar Hoover, chief of Bureau of Investigation in Washington, expressed himself as delighted that Federal men had succeeded in ridding the country of its most dangerous criminal.
http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/big/0722.html

bojangles
23-07-2015, 08:27 AM
On this day in 1976, members of the American Legion arrive in Philadelphia to celebrate the bicentennial of U.S. independence. Soon after, many began suffering from a mysterious form of pneumonia. Their ailment would come to be known as Legionnaires’ disease.

About 4,000 delegates from the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Legion met at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia for a four-day gathering. While at the hotel, built in 1900, the Legionnaires did not notice anything unusual. However, several days after the event ended, many attendees became sick. By August 2, 22 people were dead and hundreds connected to the gathering were experiencing pneumonia-like symptoms.

The Center for Disease Control immediately launched an investigation, but it took four months to identify the culprit. Joseph McDade, a CDC research microbiologist, finally isolated the bacteria that caused the disease: an aquatic microorganism, found in watery places like pipes and air conditioning units, which caused a low fever and mild cough in most people who were exposed to it, but could affect other people in far worse ways. In a small, but significant, minority of people, vomiting, diarrhea and pneumonia developed, following an incubation period of between two and 10 days. Smokers, very old people and those suffering from pulmonary disease were most at risk.

From the American Legion event in Philadelphia, about 250 cases were identified, which resulted in between 29 and 34 deaths. Researchers estimate that there are about 20,000 cases of Legionnaires ‘ disease annually in the United States, but only about 1,000 are correctly identified and diagnosed, as its symptoms can be similar to regular pneumonia. Antibiotics are usually effective against the disease.

Scientists are still unclear as to how long Legionnaires’ bacteria had been striking victims before it was finally identified in 1976.

jembo
23-07-2015, 12:24 PM
1941 France Douglas Bader Jul. 23rd 1941 : Douglas Bader the British RAF fighter pilot who had lost his legs in a flying accident, was shot down over France and captured by the Germans. During his time as a POW, Douglas Bader made as much trouble as possible and escaped in August 1942 , on his recapture by the Germans he was sent to Colditz Castle which provided a more secure prison. Before he was shot down he had claimed 22 German aircraft shot down which was the fifth highest total in the RAF. In 1956 the movie “Reach for the Sky” was based on The Story of Douglas Bader, Hero of the Battle of Britain.”
http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/this-day-in-history.html

bojangles
24-07-2015, 08:15 AM
24th of July 1567
Mary Queen of Scots deposed


During her imprisonment at Lochleven Castle in Scotland, Mary Queen of Scots is forced to abdicate in favor of her one-year-old son, later crowned King James VI of Scotland.

In 1542, while just six days old, Mary ascended to the Scottish throne upon the death of her father, King James V. Her mother sent her to be raised in the French court, and in 1558 she married the French dauphin, who became King Francis II of France in 1559 but died the following year. After Francis’ death, Mary returned to Scotland to assume her designated role as the country’s monarch.

In 1565, she married her English cousin Lord Darnley in order to reinforce her claim of succession to the English throne after Elizabeth’s death. In 1567, Darnley was mysteriously killed in an explosion at Kirk o’ Field, and Mary’s lover, the Earl of Bothwell, was the key suspect. Although Bothwell was acquitted of the charge, his marriage to Mary in the same year enraged the nobility, and Bothwell and Mary were imprisoned. Mary was held on the tiny island of Loch Leven, where she was forced to abdicate in favor of her son by Darnley, James.

In 1568, she escaped from captivity and raised a substantial army but was defeated and fled to England. Queen Elizabeth initially welcomed Mary but was soon forced to put her friend under house arrest after Mary became the focus of various English Catholic and Spanish plots to overthrow Elizabeth. Nineteen years later, in 1586, a major plot to murder Elizabeth was reported, and Mary was brought to trial. She was convicted for complicity and sentenced to death.

On February 8, 1587, Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded for treason. Her son, King James VI of Scotland, calmly accepted his mother’s execution, and upon Queen Elizabeth’s death in 1603 he became king of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

jembo
24-07-2015, 09:43 AM
On July 24, 1911, American archeologist Hiram Bingham gets his first look at Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca settlement in Peru that is now one of the world’s top tourist destinations.

Tucked away in the rocky countryside northwest of Cuzco, Machu Picchu is believed to have been a summer retreat for Inca leaders, whose civilization was virtually wiped out by Spanish invaders in the 16th century. For hundreds of years afterwards, its existence was a secret known only to the peasants living in the region. That all changed in the summer of 1911, when Bingham arrived with a small team of explorers to search for the famous “lost” cities of the Incas.

Traveling on foot and by mule, Bingham and his team made their way from Cuzco into the Urubamba Valley, where a local farmer told them of some ruins located at the top of a nearby mountain. The farmer called the mountain Machu Picchu, which meant “Old Peak” in the native Quechua language. The next day–July 24–after a tough climb to the mountain’s ridge in cold and drizzly weather, Bingham met a small group of peasants who showed him the rest of the way. Led by an 11-year-old boy, Bingham got his first glimpse of the intricate network of stone terraces marking the entrance to Machu Picchu.

The excited Bingham spread the word about his discovery in a best-selling book, sending hordes of eager tourists flocking to Peru to follow in his footsteps up the Inca trail. The site itself stretches an impressive five miles, with over 3,000 stone steps linking its many different levels. Today, more than 300,000 people tramp through Machu Picchu every year, braving crowds and landslides to see the sun set over the towering stone monuments of the “Sacred City” and marvel at the mysterious splendor of one of the world’s most famous man-made wonders.
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history

bojangles
25-07-2015, 09:18 AM
On this day in 1978, Louise Joy Brown, the world’s first baby to be conceived via in vitro fertilization (IVF) is born at Oldham and District General Hospital in Manchester, England, to parents Lesley and Peter Brown. The healthy baby was delivered shortly before midnight by caesarean section and weighed in at five pounds, 12 ounces.

Before giving birth to Louise, Lesley Brown had suffered years of infertility due to blocked fallopian tubes. In November 1977, she underwent the then-experimental IVF procedure. A mature egg was removed from one of her ovaries and combined in a laboratory dish with her husband’s sperm to form an embryo. The embryo then was implanted into her uterus a few days later. Her IVF doctors, British gynecologist Patrick Steptoe and scientist Robert Edwards, had begun their pioneering collaboration a decade earlier. Once the media learned of the pregnancy, the Browns faced intense public scrutiny. Louise’s birth made headlines around the world and raised various legal and ethical questions.

The Browns had a second daughter, Natalie, several years later, also through IVF. In May 1999, Natalie became the first IVF baby to give birth to a child of her own. The child’s conception was natural, easing some concerns that female IVF babies would be unable to get pregnant naturally. In December 2006, Louise Brown, the original “test tube baby,” gave birth to a boy, Cameron John Mullinder, who also was conceived naturally.

Today, IVF is considered a mainstream medical treatment for infertility. Hundreds of thousands of children around the world have been conceived through the procedure, in some cases with donor eggs and sperm.

jembo
25-07-2015, 09:49 AM
An Air France Concorde jet crashes upon takeoff in Paris on this day in 2000, killing everyone onboard as well as four people on the ground. The Concorde, the world’s fastest commercial jet, had enjoyed an exemplary safety record up to that point, with no crashes in the plane’s 31-year history.

Air France Flight 4590 left DeGaulle Airport for New York carrying nine crew members and 96 German tourists who were planning to take a cruise to Ecuador. Almost immediately after takeoff, however, the plane plunged to the ground near a hotel in Gonesse, France. A huge fireball erupted and all 105 people on the plane were killed immediately.

The Concorde fleet was grounded in the wake of this disaster while the cause was investigated. The Concorde, powered by four Rolls Royce turbojets, was able to cross the Atlantic Ocean in less than three-and-a-half hours, reaching speeds of 1,350 miles per hour, which is more than twice the speed of sound. The July 25 incident, though, was not related to the Concorde’s engine construction or speed.

The investigation revealed that the plane that took off just prior to Flight 4590 had dropped a piece of metal onto the runway. When the Concorde jet ran over it, its tire was shredded and thrown into one of the engines and fuel tanks, causing a disabling fire.

Concorde jets went back into service in November 2001, but a series of minor problems prompted both Air France and British Airways to end Concorde service permanently in October 2003.

bojangles
26-07-2015, 09:04 AM
26th of July 1956
Egypt nationalizes the Suez Canal


The Suez Crisis begins when Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalizes the British and French-owned Suez Canal.

The Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean and Red Seas across Egypt, was completed by French engineers in 1869. For the next 87 years, it remained largely under British and French control, and Europe depended on it as an inexpensive shipping route for oil from the Middle East.

After World War II, Egypt pressed for evacuation of British troops from the Suez Canal Zone, and in July 1956 President Nasser nationalized the canal, hoping to charge tolls that would pay for construction of a massive dam on the Nile River. In response, Israel invaded in late October, and British and French troops landed in early November, occupying the canal zone. Under Soviet, U.S., and U.N. pressure, Britain and France withdrew in December, and Israeli forces departed in March 1957. That month, Egypt took control of the canal and reopened it to commercial shipping.

Ten years later, Egypt shut down the canal again following the Six Day War and Israel’s occupation of the Sinai peninsula. For the next eight years, the Suez Canal, which separates the Sinai from the rest of Egypt, existed as the front line between the Egyptian and Israeli armies. In 1975, Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat reopened the Suez Canal as a gesture of peace after talks with Israel. Today, an average of 50 ships navigate the canal daily, carrying more than 300 million tons of goods a year.

jembo
26-07-2015, 05:58 PM
An account of one of the first revolutionary acts of the 1916 Rising, the Howth gun-running in Dublin, and the subsequent Bachelor’s Walk massacre, also in Dublin, 99 years ago this week.

On Sunday the 26th of July 1914 four Battalions of the Dublin Volunteers assembled in Father Mathew Park Fairview. Between 3000 and 4000 men formed up under their company commanders and an officer in uniform on horseback. Various companies marched from the park, first was the cyclist corps then signalling corps then the various companies including a small detachment of Fianna Scouts with an Ambulance Cart. Almost all of the march was unaware of their destination or the purpose of the march. As the march proceeded towards their destination they were joined by several more Volunteer companies including those from Lusk, Skerries and Donabate, the Lusk Corps, numbering about 150, were accompanied by the Very Reverend Thomas Byrne Parish Priest of Lusk. As the march progressed along their route they passed through the little village of Raheny where a small group of onlookers including a rather puzzled R.I.C. Sergeant.

The march progressed through Sutton and Baldoyle before reaching their destination at Howth about 1pm. The head of the march came to a halt at the Tram terminus at the entrance to the East Pier. Suddenly a sheer went up and a company of Volunteer was seen running to the head of the pier while the rest of the companies, acting on orders from their respective commanders, sealed off the rest of the harbour preventing anyone other than Volunteers gaining access to the landing stage.

A small group distracted any onlookers with a drill display while what was described as a nicely-shaped pleasure yacht entered the harbour and docked along-side a group of Volunteers. There were several descriptions of how the guns were unloaded from the yacht but all agreed that it was done with considerable speed and in what appeared to be minutes all the Volunteers present were holding a rifle, some were seen with two or three. Several motorcars appeared from nowhere and the remainder of the Rifles and Ammunition were whisked away.

In a brisk cold wind and pouring rain the Volunteers regrouped and started their march back to Dublin, as they formed up onlookers began to realise that the thousands of unarmed men that had arrived where now leaving shouldering a rifle. Many onlookers cheered and several disrupted the column of marching men to congratulate individual Volunteers. The echoes of the Volunteers singing of Nationalist songs could be heard long after they had departed. Father Byrne, who had entered a tramcar, addressed a few words of congratulations as the Volunteered departed.

As the Volunteers marched back to Dublin they met with two or three detachments of police who were reported to have cheered and joined the March. Several companies of Volunteers branched off the main March to return to their various homes and the March continued peacefully until they main March reached the Howth Road, several soldiers of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers (KOSB) were seen getting off a tram, a company of policemen had formed up on the pavement while the KOSB formed up across the road with fixed bayonets blocking the progress of the March.

At this stage Mr Harrel, Assistant Commissioner of the Dublin Metropolitan Police approached the head of the column of Volunteers and asked who was in charge. Darrell Figgis who was in charge of the Volunteers came forward and Mr Harrel requested that the Volunteers surrender their arms. This request was refused, Mr Figgis pointing out that as the Ulster Volunteers had been parading fully armed for three weeks the March was not breaking any law. Figgis offered to surrender to police if the March was allowed to disperse. Mr Harrel replied “I mean to have those guns,” after some argument Harrel ordered his men to disarm the Volunteers, as Figgis turned to re-join the Volunteers he was struck on the back of the head with a truncheon. The Volunteers resisted the police and as the police were vastly outnumbered the Volunteers overpowered them. A bayonet charge by the soldiers was then ordered. The Volunteers had no ammunition but some of the Volunteer officers had revolvers which they fired into the air. In the ensuing melee two of the soldiers were injured but as the soldiers were vastly outnumbered they were forced to retreat in what was described as a very disorderly fashion. After the soldiers hard retreated Figgis and Harrel went to a private garden to discuss the situation, unknown to Harrel Figgis had given the order that the Volunteers should form a solid line across the road, while the front line stood firm those are the rear were instructed to slip away quietly with their rifles.

During the time Figgis managed to hold Harrel in conversation the vast majority of the Volunteers had managed to disappear with their rifles. The commanding officer of the KOSB had requested permission to fire on the Volunteers but Harrel had refused to allow him to do this. The DMP men present refused to act against the Volunteers and were taken away by the military. The military did manage to capture 19 of the rifles.
http://republican-news.org/current/news/2013/07/the_howth_gun-running_1.html#.VbUN_PlViko
http://www.turtlebunbury.com/history/history_irish/history_irish_bachelors_walk.htm

bojangles
27-07-2015, 08:43 AM
27th of July 1794
Robespierre overthrown in France


Maximilien Robespierre, the architect of the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror, is overthrown and arrested by the National Convention. As the leading member of the Committee of Public Safety from 1793, Robespierre encouraged the execution, mostly by guillotine, of more than 17,000 enemies of the Revolution. The day after his arrest, Robespierre and 21 of his followers were guillotined before a cheering mob in the Place de la Revolution in Paris.

Maximilien Robespierre was born in Arras, France, in 1758. He studied law through a scholarship and in 1789 was elected to be a representative of the Arras commoners in the Estates General. After the Third Estate, which represented commoners and the lower clergy, declared itself the National Assembly, Robespierre became a prominent member of the Revolutionary body. He took a radical, democratic stance and was known as “the Incorruptible” for his dedication to civic morality. In April 1790, he presided over the Jacobins, a powerful political club that promoted the ideas of the French Revolution.

He called for King Louis XVI to be put on trial for treason and won many enemies, but the people of Paris consistently came to his defense. In 1791, he excluded himself from the new Legislative Assembly but continued to be politically active as a member of the Jacobin Club. In 1792, he opposed the war proposal of the Girondins–moderate leaders in the Legislative Assembly–and lost some popularity. However, after the people of Paris rose up against the king in August 1792, Robespierre was elected to the insurrectionary Commune of Paris. He then was elected to head the Paris delegation to the new National Convention.

In the National Convention, he emerged as the leader of the Mountain, as the Jacobin faction was known, and opposed the Girondins. In December 1792, he successfully argued in favor of Louis XVI’s execution, and in May 1793 he encouraged the people to rise up in insurrection over military defeats and a food shortage. The uprising gave him an opportunity to finally purge the Girondins.

On July 27, 1793, Robespierre was elected to the Committee of Public Safety, which was formed in April to protect France against its enemies, foreign and domestic, and to oversee the government. Under his leadership, the committee came to exercise virtual dictatorial control over the French government. Faced with the threat of civil war and foreign invasion, the Revolutionary government inaugurated the Reign of Terror in September. In less than a year, 300,000 suspected enemies of the Revolution were arrested; at least 10,000 died in prison, and 17,000 were officially executed, many by guillotine in the Place de la Revolution. In the orgy of bloodshed, Robespierre succeeded in purging many of his political opponents.

On June 4, 1794, Robespierre was almost unanimously elected president of the National Convention. Six days later, a law was passed that suspended a suspect’s right to public trial and to legal assistance. In just a month, 1,400 enemies of the Revolution were guillotined. The Terror was being escalated just when foreign invasion no longer threatened the republic, and an awkward coalition of the right and the left formed to oppose Robespierre and his followers.

On July 27, 1794 (9 Thermidor in the Revolutionary calendar), Robespierre and his allies were placed under arrest by the National Assembly. Robespierre was taken to the Luxembourg prison in Paris, but the warden refused to jail him, and he fled to the Hotel de Ville. Armed supporters arrived to aid him, but he refused to lead a new insurrection. When he received word that the National Convention had declared him an outlaw, he shot himself in the head but only succeeded in wounding his jaw. Shortly thereafter, troops of the National Convention attacked the Hotel de Ville and seized Robespierre and his allies. The next evening–July 28–Robespierre and 21 others were guillotined without a trial in the Place de la Revolution. During the next few days, another 82 Robespierre followers were executed. The Reign of Terror was at an end.

In the aftermath of the coup, the Committee of Public Safety lost its authority, the prisons were emptied, and the French Revolution became decidedly less radical. The Directory that followed saw a return to bourgeois values, corruption, and military failure. In 1799, the Directory was overthrown in a military coup led by Napoleon Bonaparte, who wielded dictatorial powers in France as first consul and, after 1804, as French emperor.

quinner
27-07-2015, 09:43 AM
27th of July 1794
Robespierre overthrown in France


Maximilien Robespierre, the architect of the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror, is overthrown and arrested by the National Convention. As the leading member of the Committee of Public Safety from 1793, Robespierre encouraged the execution, mostly by guillotine, of more than 17,000 enemies of the Revolution. The day after his arrest, Robespierre and 21 of his followers were guillotined before a cheering mob in the Place de la Revolution in Paris.

Maximilien Robespierre was born in Arras, France, in 1758. He studied law through a scholarship and in 1789 was elected to be a representative of the Arras commoners in the Estates General. After the Third Estate, which represented commoners and the lower clergy, declared itself the National Assembly, Robespierre became a prominent member of the Revolutionary body. He took a radical, democratic stance and was known as “the Incorruptible” for his dedication to civic morality. In April 1790, he presided over the Jacobins, a powerful political club that promoted the ideas of the French Revolution.

He called for King Louis XVI to be put on trial for treason and won many enemies, but the people of Paris consistently came to his defense. In 1791, he excluded himself from the new Legislative Assembly but continued to be politically active as a member of the Jacobin Club. In 1792, he opposed the war proposal of the Girondins–moderate leaders in the Legislative Assembly–and lost some popularity. However, after the people of Paris rose up against the king in August 1792, Robespierre was elected to the insurrectionary Commune of Paris. He then was elected to head the Paris delegation to the new National Convention.

In the National Convention, he emerged as the leader of the Mountain, as the Jacobin faction was known, and opposed the Girondins. In December 1792, he successfully argued in favor of Louis XVI’s execution, and in May 1793 he encouraged the people to rise up in insurrection over military defeats and a food shortage. The uprising gave him an opportunity to finally purge the Girondins.

On July 27, 1793, Robespierre was elected to the Committee of Public Safety, which was formed in April to protect France against its enemies, foreign and domestic, and to oversee the government. Under his leadership, the committee came to exercise virtual dictatorial control over the French government. Faced with the threat of civil war and foreign invasion, the Revolutionary government inaugurated the Reign of Terror in September. In less than a year, 300,000 suspected enemies of the Revolution were arrested; at least 10,000 died in prison, and 17,000 were officially executed, many by guillotine in the Place de la Revolution. In the orgy of bloodshed, Robespierre succeeded in purging many of his political opponents.

On June 4, 1794, Robespierre was almost unanimously elected president of the National Convention. Six days later, a law was passed that suspended a suspect’s right to public trial and to legal assistance. In just a month, 1,400 enemies of the Revolution were guillotined. The Terror was being escalated just when foreign invasion no longer threatened the republic, and an awkward coalition of the right and the left formed to oppose Robespierre and his followers.

On July 27, 1794 (9 Thermidor in the Revolutionary calendar), Robespierre and his allies were placed under arrest by the National Assembly. Robespierre was taken to the Luxembourg prison in Paris, but the warden refused to jail him, and he fled to the Hotel de Ville. Armed supporters arrived to aid him, but he refused to lead a new insurrection. When he received word that the National Convention had declared him an outlaw, he shot himself in the head but only succeeded in wounding his jaw. Shortly thereafter, troops of the National Convention attacked the Hotel de Ville and seized Robespierre and his allies. The next evening–July 28–Robespierre and 21 others were guillotined without a trial in the Place de la Revolution. During the next few days, another 82 Robespierre followers were executed. The Reign of Terror was at an end.

In the aftermath of the coup, the Committee of Public Safety lost its authority, the prisons were emptied, and the French Revolution became decidedly less radical. The Directory that followed saw a return to bourgeois values, corruption, and military failure. In 1799, the Directory was overthrown in a military coup led by Napoleon Bonaparte, who wielded dictatorial powers in France as first consul and, after 1804, as French emperor.



A strange revolution.......After supporting the American revolution France was skint......The king decided to make the rich pay more Taxes, and the revolution began........Napoleon (an Italian) blew 500 French citizens to bits...And the rest is History.....

Erin
28-07-2015, 02:05 AM
A strange revolution.......After supporting the American revolution France was skint......The king decided to make the rich pay more Taxes, and the revolution began........Napoleon (an Italian) blew 500 French citizens to bits...And the rest is History.....

What happened the next day?

quinner
28-07-2015, 02:10 AM
What happened the next day?


Everybody ate cake....There was no bread ...

Though some had to wait until their head fell into the Bread-basket....

bojangles
28-07-2015, 09:03 AM
28th of July 1814
Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin elope to France


Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley elopes with 17-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin on this day, despite the fact that he’s already married.

Shelley, the heir to his wealthy grandfather’s estate, was expelled from Oxford when he refused to acknowledge authorship of a controversial essay. He eloped with his first wife, Harriet Westbrook, the daughter of a tavern owner, in 1811. However, just a few years later, Shelley fell in love with the young Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, daughter of a prominent reformer and early feminist writer. Shelley and Godwin fled to Europe, marrying after Shelley’s wife committed suicide in 1816.

Shelley’s inheritance did not pay all the bills, and the couple spent much of their married life abroad, fleeing Shelley’s creditors. While living in Geneva, the Shelleys and their dear friend Lord Byron challenged each other to write a compelling ghost story. Only Mary Shelley finished hers, later publishing the story as Frankenstein.

The Shelleys had five children but only one lived to adulthood. After Shelley drowned in a sailing accident when Mary Shelley was only 24, she edited two volumes of his works. She lived on a small stipend from her father-in-law, Lord Shelley, until her surviving son inherited his fortune and title in 1844. She died at the age of 53. Although she was a respected writer for many years, only Frankenstein and her journals are still widely read.

bojangles
29-07-2015, 08:30 AM
29th of July 1588
Spanish Armada defeated


Off the coast of Gravelines, France, Spain’s so-called “Invincible Armada” is defeated by an English naval force under the command of Lord Charles Howard and Sir Francis Drake. After eight hours of furious fighting, a change in wind direction prompted the Spanish to break off from the battle and retreat toward the North Sea. Its hopes of invasion crushed, the remnants of the Spanish Armada began a long and difficult journey back to Spain.

In the late 1580s, English raids against Spanish commerce and Queen Elizabeth I’s support of the Dutch rebels in the Spanish Netherlands led King Philip II of Spain to plan the conquest of England. Pope Sixtus V gave his blessing to what was called “The Enterprise of England,” which he hoped would bring the Protestant isle back into the fold of Rome. A giant Spanish invasion fleet was completed by 1587, but Sir Francis Drake’s daring raid on the Armada’s supplies in the port of Cadiz delayed the Armada’s departure until May 1588.

On May 19, the Invincible Armada set sail from Lisbon on a mission to secure control of the English Channel and transport a Spanish army to the British isle from Flanders. The fleet was under the command of the Duke of Medina-Sidonia and consisted of 130 ships carrying 2,500 guns, 8,000 seamen, and almost 20,000 soldiers. The Spanish ships were slower and less well armed than their English counterparts, but they planned to force boarding actions if the English offered battle, and the superior Spanish infantry would undoubtedly prevail. Delayed by storms that temporarily forced it back to Spain, the Armada did not reach the southern coast of England until July 19. By that time, the British were ready.

On July 21, the English navy began bombarding the seven-mile-long line of Spanish ships from a safe distance, taking full advantage of their long-range heavy guns. The Spanish Armada continued to advance during the next few days, but its ranks were thinned by the English assault. On July 27, the Armada anchored in exposed position off Calais, France, and the Spanish army prepared to embark from Flanders. Without control of the Channel, however, their passage to England would be impossible.

Just after midnight on July 29, the English sent eight burning ships into the crowded harbor at Calais. The panicked Spanish ships were forced to cut their anchors and sail out to sea to avoid catching fire. The disorganized fleet, completely out of formation, was attacked by the English off Gravelines at dawn. In a decisive battle, the superior English guns won the day, and the devastated Armada was forced to retreat north to Scotland. The English navy pursued the Spanish as far as Scotland and then turned back for want of supplies.

Battered by storms and suffering from a dire lack of supplies, the Armada sailed on a hard journey back to Spain around Scotland and Ireland. Some of the damaged ships foundered in the sea while others were driven onto the coast of Ireland and wrecked. By the time the last of the surviving fleet reached Spain in October, half of the original Armada was lost and some 15,000 men had perished.

Queen Elizabeth’s decisive defeat of the Invincible Armada made England a world-class power and introduced effective long-range weapons into naval warfare for the first time, ending the era of boarding and close-quarter fighting.

quinner
29-07-2015, 10:40 AM
29th of July 1588
Spanish Armada defeated


Off the coast of Gravelines, France, Spain’s so-called “Invincible Armada” is defeated by an English naval force under the command of Lord Charles Howard and Sir Francis Drake. After eight hours of furious fighting, a change in wind direction prompted the Spanish to break off from the battle and retreat toward the North Sea. Its hopes of invasion crushed, the remnants of the Spanish Armada began a long and difficult journey back to Spain.

In the late 1580s, English raids against Spanish commerce and Queen Elizabeth I’s support of the Dutch rebels in the Spanish Netherlands led King Philip II of Spain to plan the conquest of England. Pope Sixtus V gave his blessing to what was called “The Enterprise of England,” which he hoped would bring the Protestant isle back into the fold of Rome. A giant Spanish invasion fleet was completed by 1587, but Sir Francis Drake’s daring raid on the Armada’s supplies in the port of Cadiz delayed the Armada’s departure until May 1588.

On May 19, the Invincible Armada set sail from Lisbon on a mission to secure control of the English Channel and transport a Spanish army to the British isle from Flanders. The fleet was under the command of the Duke of Medina-Sidonia and consisted of 130 ships carrying 2,500 guns, 8,000 seamen, and almost 20,000 soldiers. The Spanish ships were slower and less well armed than their English counterparts, but they planned to force boarding actions if the English offered battle, and the superior Spanish infantry would undoubtedly prevail. Delayed by storms that temporarily forced it back to Spain, the Armada did not reach the southern coast of England until July 19. By that time, the British were ready.

On July 21, the English navy began bombarding the seven-mile-long line of Spanish ships from a safe distance, taking full advantage of their long-range heavy guns. The Spanish Armada continued to advance during the next few days, but its ranks were thinned by the English assault. On July 27, the Armada anchored in exposed position off Calais, France, and the Spanish army prepared to embark from Flanders. Without control of the Channel, however, their passage to England would be impossible.

Just after midnight on July 29, the English sent eight burning ships into the crowded harbor at Calais. The panicked Spanish ships were forced to cut their anchors and sail out to sea to avoid catching fire. The disorganized fleet, completely out of formation, was attacked by the English off Gravelines at dawn. In a decisive battle, the superior English guns won the day, and the devastated Armada was forced to retreat north to Scotland. The English navy pursued the Spanish as far as Scotland and then turned back for want of supplies.

Battered by storms and suffering from a dire lack of supplies, the Armada sailed on a hard journey back to Spain around Scotland and Ireland. Some of the damaged ships foundered in the sea while others were driven onto the coast of Ireland and wrecked. By the time the last of the surviving fleet reached Spain in October, half of the original Armada was lost and some 15,000 men had perished.

Queen Elizabeth’s decisive defeat of the Invincible Armada made England a world-class power and introduced effective long-range weapons into naval warfare for the first time, ending the era of boarding and close-quarter fighting.

The last Official Crusade.......It is still causing Ireland trouble up to this very day........

bojangles
30-07-2015, 08:19 AM
30th of July 2003
Last classic VW Beetle rolls off the line


On this day in 2003, the last of 21,529,464 Volkswagen Beetles built since World War II rolls off the production line at Volkswagen’s plant in Puebla, Mexico. One of a 3,000-unit final edition, the baby-blue vehicle was sent to a museum in Wolfsburg, Germany, where Volkswagen is headquartered.

The car produced in Puebla that day was the last so-called “classic” VW Beetle, which is not to be confused with the redesigned new Beetle that Volkswagen introduced in 1998. (The new Beetle resembles the classic version but is based on the VW Golf.) The roots of the classic Beetle stretch back to the mid-1930s, when the famed Austrian automotive engineer Dr. Ferdinand Porsche met German leader Adolf Hitler’s request for a small, affordable passenger car to satisfy the transportation needs of the German people Hitler called the result the KdF (Kraft-durch-Freude)-Wagen (or “Strength-Through-Joy” car) after a Nazi-led movement ostensibly aimed at helping the working people of Germany; it would later be known by the name Porsche preferred: Volkswagen, or “people’s car.”

The first production-ready Kdf-Wagen debuted at the Berlin Motor Show in 1939; the international press soon dubbed it the “Beetle” for its distinctive rounded shape. During World War II, the factory in Kdf-stat (later renamed Wolfsburg) continued to make Beetles, though it was largely dedicated to production of war vehicles. Production was halted under threat of Allied bombing in August 1944 and did not resume until after the war, under British control. Though VW sales were initially slower in the United States compared with the rest of the world, by 1960 the Beetle was the top-selling import in America, thanks to an iconic ad campaign by the firm Doyle Dane Bernbach. In 1972, the Beetle surpassed the longstanding worldwide production record of 15 million vehicles, set by Ford Motor Company’s legendary Model T between 1908 and 1927. It also became a worldwide cultural icon, featuring prominently in the hit 1969 movie “The Love Bug” (which starred a Beetle named Herbie) and on the cover of the Beatles album “Abbey Road.”

In 1977, however, the Beetle, with its rear-mounted, air-cooled-engine, was banned in America for failing to meet safety and emission standards. Worldwide sales of the car shrank by the late 1970s and by 1988, the classic Beetle was sold only in Mexico. Due to increased competition from other manufacturers of inexpensive compact cars, and a Mexican decision to phase out two-door taxis, Volkswagen decided to discontinue production of the classic bug in 2003. The final count of 21,529,464, incidentally, did not include the original 600 cars built by the Nazis prior to World War II.

jembo
30-07-2015, 07:43 PM
Fighter jet collides with passenger plane. 30th July 1971
A mid-air collision between a Boeing 727 and a fighter jet in Japan kills 162 people on this day in 1971. The military plane was flying without radar.

All Nippon Airways Flight 58 was traveling from Chitose Airport in Hokkaido to Tokyo, filled largely with members of a group dedicated to the assistance of war victims. Takeoff was uneventful and the plane soon reached 28,000 feet. Cruising over the Japanese Alps, Flight 58 suddenly encountered two military jets.

One of the Japanese F-86 Sabre jets was piloted by Captain Kuma; the other was being flown by his student, Sergeant Ichikawa, who had only a few hours of flying experience. Neither jet was equipped with radar, which would have indicated the presence of the Boeing 727. Ichikawa’s fighter jet struck the airliner and sent both planes plunging into the mountains. Ichikawa was able to eject himself and parachute to safety. Everyone on board Flight 58, however, was killed.

Yoshimi Ichikawa was charged with involuntary manslaughter, but was acquitted at trial.
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/fighter-jet-collides-with-passenger-plane

bojangles
31-07-2015, 08:18 AM
31st of July 1703
Daniel Defoe is put in the pillory


On this day, Daniel Defoe is put in the pillory as punishment for seditious libel, brought about by the publication of a politically satirical pamphlet.

Defoe’s middle-class father had hoped Defoe would enter the ministry, but Defoe decided to become a merchant instead. After he went bankrupt in 1692, he turned to political pamphleteering to support himself. A deft writer, Defoe’s pamphlets were highly effective in moving readers. His pamphlet The Shortest Way with Dissenters was an attack on High Churchman, satirically written as if from the High Church point of view but extending their arguments to the point of foolishness. Both sides of the dispute, Dissenters and High Church alike, took the pamphlet seriously, and both sides were outraged to learn it was a hoax. Defoe was arrested for seditious libel in May 1703. While awaiting his punishment, he wrote the spirited “Hymn to the Pillory.” The public sympathized with Defoe and threw flowers, instead of the customary rocks, at him while he stood in the pillory.

He was sent back to Newgate Prison, from which Robert Harley, the future Earl of Oxford, obtained his release. Harley hired Defoe as a political writer and spy. To this end, Defoe set up the Review, which he edited and wrote from 1704 to 1713. It wasn’t until he was nearly 60 that he began writing fiction. In 1719, The Life and Strange Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Defoe’s fictional account of a shipwrecked sailor who spent 28 years on a desert island, was published. His other works include Moll Flanders (1722) and Roxana (1724). He died in London in 1731.

bojangles
01-08-2015, 10:30 AM
1914
First World War erupts in Europe


On August 1, 1914, four days after Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, two more great European powers—Russia and Germany—declare war on each other; the same day, France orders a general mobilization. The so-called “Great War” that ensued would be one of unprecedented destruction and loss of life, resulting in the deaths of some 20 million soldiers and civilians and the physical devastation of much of the European continent.

The event that was widely acknowledged to have sparked the outbreak of World War I occurred on July 28, 1914, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was shot to death with his wife by the Bosnian Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo. Over the weeks that followed, Austria-Hungary blamed the Serbian government for the attack, hoping to use the incident as justification for settling the problem of Slavic nationalism in the tumultuous Balkans region once and for all. However, as Russia supported Serbia, an Austria-Hungary declaration of war was delayed until its leaders received assurances from German leader Kaiser Wilhelm II that Germany would support their cause in the event of a Russian intervention. This assurance came on July 5; Austria-Hungary subsequently sent an ultimatum to the Serbian government on July 23 and demanded its acceptance within two days at the risk of war. Though Serbia accepted all but two of the ultimatum’s terms, and Russia declared its intention to back Serbia in the case of such a conflict, Austria-Hungary went ahead with its war declaration against Serbia on July 28, one month after the assassinations.

With that declaration, the tenuous peace between Europe’s great powers was shattered: Germany warned Russia, still only partially mobilized, that to continue to full mobilization against Austria-Hungary would mean war with Germany. While insisting that Russia immediately halt mobilization, Germany began its own mobilization; when the Russians refused the German demands, Germany declared war on the czarist empire on August 1. That same day, Russia’s ally, France, long suspicious of German aggression, began its own mobilization, urging Great Britain—the third member, along with France and Russia, of the Triple Entente alliance—to declare its support. A divided British government declined to do so initially, but events soon precipitated Britain’s move towards war as well. On August 2, the first German army units crossed into Luxembourg as part of a long-planned German strategy to invade France through neutral Belgium. France and Germany declared war against each other on August 3; that night, Germany invaded Belgium, prompting Great Britain to declare war on Germany.

For the most part, the people of Europe greeted the outbreak of war with jubilation. The great majority of people—within government and without—assumed that their country would be victorious within months, and could not envision the possibility of a longer conflict. By the end of 1914, however, well over a million soldiers of various nationalities had been killed on the battlefields of Europe, and there was no final victory in sight for either the Allies or the Central Powers. On the Western Front—the battle line that stretched across northern France and Belgium—the combatants settled down in the trenches for a terrible war of attrition, which would continue, in Europe and other corners of the world, for the next four years.

quinner
01-08-2015, 10:39 AM
1914
First World War erupts in Europe


On August 1, 1914, four days after Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, two more great European powers—Russia and Germany—declare war on each other; the same day, France orders a general mobilization. The so-called “Great War” that ensued would be one of unprecedented destruction and loss of life, resulting in the deaths of some 20 million soldiers and civilians and the physical devastation of much of the European continent.

The event that was widely acknowledged to have sparked the outbreak of World War I occurred on July 28, 1914, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was shot to death with his wife by the Bosnian Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo. Over the weeks that followed, Austria-Hungary blamed the Serbian government for the attack, hoping to use the incident as justification for settling the problem of Slavic nationalism in the tumultuous Balkans region once and for all. However, as Russia supported Serbia, an Austria-Hungary declaration of war was delayed until its leaders received assurances from German leader Kaiser Wilhelm II that Germany would support their cause in the event of a Russian intervention. This assurance came on July 5; Austria-Hungary subsequently sent an ultimatum to the Serbian government on July 23 and demanded its acceptance within two days at the risk of war. Though Serbia accepted all but two of the ultimatum’s terms, and Russia declared its intention to back Serbia in the case of such a conflict, Austria-Hungary went ahead with its war declaration against Serbia on July 28, one month after the assassinations.

With that declaration, the tenuous peace between Europe’s great powers was shattered: Germany warned Russia, still only partially mobilized, that to continue to full mobilization against Austria-Hungary would mean war with Germany. While insisting that Russia immediately halt mobilization, Germany began its own mobilization; when the Russians refused the German demands, Germany declared war on the czarist empire on August 1. That same day, Russia’s ally, France, long suspicious of German aggression, began its own mobilization, urging Great Britain—the third member, along with France and Russia, of the Triple Entente alliance—to declare its support. A divided British government declined to do so initially, but events soon precipitated Britain’s move towards war as well. On August 2, the first German army units crossed into Luxembourg as part of a long-planned German strategy to invade France through neutral Belgium. France and Germany declared war against each other on August 3; that night, Germany invaded Belgium, prompting Great Britain to declare war on Germany.

For the most part, the people of Europe greeted the outbreak of war with jubilation. The great majority of people—within government and without—assumed that their country would be victorious within months, and could not envision the possibility of a longer conflict. By the end of 1914, however, well over a million soldiers of various nationalities had been killed on the battlefields of Europe, and there was no final victory in sight for either the Allies or the Central Powers. On the Western Front—the battle line that stretched across northern France and Belgium—the combatants settled down in the trenches for a terrible war of attrition, which would continue, in Europe and other corners of the world, for the next four years.

And the Great Adolf asked Austria for permission to fight for the King of Bavaria......

jembo
01-08-2015, 03:09 PM
1953
Shane released by Paramount

Shane, considered by many critics to be the greatest western movie, is released by Paramount Pictures.

Based on Jack Schaefer’s 1949 novel of the same name, Shane was a new type of western. After World War II, Americans began to crave books and films that offered more realistic and complex characters. Simple two-dimensional heroes like Hopalong Cassidy no longer seemed believable to adults who had lived through the horrors and hardships of World War II. Schaefer’s book, and the movie based on it, created a western hero for a more mature and sophisticated America.

Alan Ladd played a drifting gunfighter who goes by only one name, Shane. In the opening scene, Shane rides down out of the rugged Teton Mountains into a fertile valley (the movie was filmed in Jackson Hole, Wyoming) where he meets a homesteading family: Joe and Marian Starrett, and their son, Joey. Eager to give up the rootless gunfighter’s life, Shane hires on as a farmhand. Soon, however, he learns that the local cattle baron is trying to run the Starretts and other homesteaders off their land so he can continue using it for grazing.

Shane is initially reluctant to use his guns to help the homesteaders. However, when the cattle baron hires a famous gunslinger named Wilson (played by Jack Palance) who kills one of the farmers, Joe Starrett is determined to take revenge. Realizing the stubborn Starrett will almost certainly be killed, Shane knocks him unconscious and goes in his place. After killing Wilson, Shane reluctantly concludes that he cannot escape his violent past and must leave the settled valley. In one of the most memorable scenes in movie history, Shane rides off into the wild mountains, the boy Joey’s voice echoing after him: “Come back, Shane!”

Simultaneously mythic and realistic, Shane created one of the first fully rounded western heroes. Shane lives by his gun, but he is essentially a good man who envies Joe Starrett’s settled family life. Ironically, Shane’s fate is to use violence to create civilized communities where violence is no longer acceptable or necessary.
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/shane-released-by-paramount

bojangles
02-08-2015, 11:22 AM
2nd of August 1990 Iraq invades Kuwait

At about 2 a.m. local time, Iraqi forces invade Kuwait, Iraq’s tiny, oil-rich neighbor. Kuwait’s defense forces were rapidly overwhelmed, and those that were not destroyed retreated to Saudi Arabia. The emir of Kuwait, his family, and other government leaders fled to Saudi Arabia, and within hours Kuwait City had been captured and the Iraqis had established a provincial government. By annexing Kuwait, Iraq gained control of 20 percent of the world’s oil reserves and, for the first time, a substantial coastline on the Persian Gulf. The same day, the United Nations Security Council unanimously denounced the invasion and demanded Iraq’s immediate withdrawal from Kuwait. On August 6, the Security Council imposed a worldwide ban on trade with Iraq.

On August 9, Operation Desert Shield, the American defense of Saudi Arabia, began as U.S. forces raced to the Persian Gulf. Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, meanwhile, built up his occupying army in Kuwait to about 300,000 troops. On November 29, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq if it failed to withdraw by January 15, 1991. Hussein refused to withdraw his forces from Kuwait, which he had established as a province of Iraq, and some 700,000 allied troops, primarily American, gathered in the Middle East to enforce the deadline.

At 4:30 p.m. EST on January 16, 1991, Operation Desert Storm, the massive U.S.-led offensive against Iraq, began as the first fighter aircraft were launched from Saudi Arabia and off U.S. and British aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf. All evening, aircraft from the U.S.-led military coalition pounded targets in and around Baghdad as the world watched the events transpire on television footage transmitted live via satellite from Iraq. Operation Desert Storm was conducted by an international coalition under the supreme command of U.S. General Norman Schwarzkopf and featured forces from 32 nations, including Britain, Egypt, France, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait.

During the next six weeks, the allied force engaged in an intensive air war against Iraq’s military and civil infrastructure and encountered little effective resistance from the Iraqi air force or air defenses. Iraqi ground forces were helpless during this stage of the war, and Hussein’s only significant retaliatory measure was the launching of SCUD missile attacks against Israel and Saudi Arabia. Saddam hoped that the missile attacks would provoke Israel to enter the conflict, thus dissolving Arab support of the war. At the request of the United States, however, Israel remained out of the war.

On February 24, a massive coalition ground offensive began, and Iraq’s outdated and poorly supplied armed forces were rapidly overwhelmed. By the end of the day, the Iraqi army had effectively folded, 10,000 of its troops were held as prisoners, and a U.S. air base had been established deep inside Iraq. After less than four days, Kuwait was liberated, and the majority of Iraq’s armed forces had either surrendered, retreated to Iraq, or been destroyed.

On February 28, U.S. President George Bush declared a cease-fire, and on April 3 the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 687, specifying conditions for a formal end to the conflict. According to the resolution, Bush’s cease-fire would become official, some sanctions would be lifted, but the ban on Iraqi oil sales would continue until Iraq destroyed its weapons of mass destruction under U.N. supervision. On April 6, Iraq accepted the resolution, and on April 11 the Security Council declared it in effect. During the next decade, Saddam Hussein frequently violated the terms of the peace agreement, prompting further allied air strikes and continuing U.N. sanctions.

In the Persian Gulf War, 148 American soldiers were killed and 457 wounded. The other allied nations suffered about 100 deaths combined during Operation Desert Storm. There are no official figures for the number of Iraqi casualties, but it is believed that at least 25,000 soldiers were killed and more than 75,000 were wounded, making it one of the most one-sided military conflicts in history. It is estimated that 100,000 Iraqi civilians died from wounds or from lack of adequate water, food, and medical supplies directly attributable to the Persian Gulf War. In the ensuing years, more than one million Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the subsequent U.N. sanctions.

bojangles
03-08-2015, 09:19 AM
3rd of August 1916
Sir Roger Casement hanged
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Sir Roger David Casement, an Irish-born diplomat who in 1911 was knighted by King George V, is executed for his role in Ireland’s Easter Rising.

Casement was an Irish Protestant who served as a British diplomat during the early part of the 20th century. He won international acclaim after exposing the illegal practice of slavery in the Congo and parts of South America. Despite his Ulster Protestant roots, he became an ardent supporter of the Irish independence movement and after the outbreak of World War I traveled to the United States and then to Germany to secure aid for an Irish uprising against the British.

Germany, which was at war with Great Britain, promised limited aid, and Casement was transported back to Ireland in a German submarine. On April 21, 1916, just a few days before the outbreak of the Easter Rising in Dublin, he landed in Kerry and was picked up by British authorities almost immediately. By the end of the month, the Easter Rising had been suppressed and a majority of its leaders executed. Casement was tried separately because of his illustrious past but nevertheless was found guilty of treason on June 29. On August 3, he was hanged in London.

jembo
03-08-2015, 09:56 AM
On August 3, 1958, the U.S. nuclear submarine Nautilus accomplishes the first undersea voyage to the geographic North Pole. The world’s first nuclear submarine, the Nautilus dived at Point Barrow, Alaska, and traveled nearly 1,000 miles under the Arctic ice cap to reach the top of the world. It then steamed on to Iceland, pioneering a new and shorter route from the Pacific to the Atlantic and Europe.

The USS Nautilus was constructed under the direction of U.S. Navy Captain Hyman G. Rickover, a brilliant Russian-born engineer who joined the U.S. atomic program in 1946. In 1947, he was put in charge of the navy’s nuclear-propulsion program and began work on an atomic submarine. Regarded as a fanatic by his detractors, Rickover succeeded in developing and delivering the world’s first nuclear submarine years ahead of schedule. In 1952, the Nautilus’ keel was laid by President Harry S. Truman, and on January 21, 1954, first lady Mamie Eisenhower broke a bottle of champagne across its bow as it was launched into the Thames River at Groton, Connecticut. Commissioned on September 30, 1954, it first ran under nuclear power on the morning of January 17, 1955.

Much larger than the diesel-electric submarines that preceded it, the Nautilus stretched 319 feet and displaced 3,180 tons. It could remain submerged for almost unlimited periods because its atomic engine needed no air and only a very small quantity of nuclear fuel. The uranium-powered nuclear reactor produced steam that drove propulsion turbines, allowing the Nautilus to travel underwater at speeds in excess of 20 knots.

In its early years of service, the USS Nautilus broke numerous submarine travel records and on July 23, 1958, departed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on “Operation Northwest Passage”–the first crossing of the North Pole by submarine. There were 116 men aboard for this historic voyage, including Commander William R. Anderson, 111 officers and crew, and four civilian scientists. The Nautilus steamed north through the Bering Strait and did not surface until it reached Point Barrow, Alaska, in the Beaufort Sea, though it did send its periscope up once off the Diomedes Islands, between Alaska and Siberia, to check for radar bearings. On August 1, the submarine left the north coast of Alaska and dove under the Arctic ice cap.

The submarine traveled at a depth of about 500 feet, and the ice cap above varied in thickness from 10 to 50 feet, with the midnight sun of the Arctic shining in varying degrees through the blue ice. At 11:15 p.m. EDT on August 3, 1958, Commander Anderson announced to his crew: “For the world, our country, and the Navy–the North Pole.” The Nautilus passed under the geographic North Pole without pausing. The submarine next surfaced in the Greenland Sea between Spitzbergen and Greenland on August 5. Two days later, it ended its historic journey at Iceland. For the command during the historic journey, President Dwight D. Eisenhower decorated Anderson with the Legion of Merit.

After a career spanning 25 years and almost 500,000 miles steamed, the Nautilus was decommissioned on March 3, 1980. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1982, the world’s first nuclear submarine went on exhibit in 1986 as the Historic Ship Nautilus at the Submarine Force Museum in Groton, Connecticut.
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history

bojangles
04-08-2015, 09:08 AM
4th of August 1944
Anne Frank captured


Acting on tip from a Dutch informer, the Nazi Gestapo captures 15-year-old Jewish diarist Anne Frank and her family in a sealed-off area of an Amsterdam warehouse. The Franks had taken shelter there in 1942 out of fear of deportation to a Nazi concentration camp. They occupied the small space with another Jewish family and a single Jewish man, and were aided by Christian friends, who brought them food and supplies. Anne spent much of her time in the “secret annex” working on her diary. The diary survived the war, overlooked by the Gestapo that discovered the hiding place, but Anne and nearly all of the others perished in the Nazi death camps.

Annelies Marie Frank was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, on June 12, 1929. She was the second daughter of Otto Frank and Edith Frank-Hollander, both of Jewish families that had lived in Germany for centuries. With the rise of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in 1933, Otto moved his family to Amsterdam to escape the escalating Nazi persecution of Jews. In Holland, he ran a successful spice and jam business. Anne attended a Montessori school with other middle-class Dutch children, but with the German invasion of the Netherlands in 1940 she was forced to transfer to a Jewish school. In 1942, Otto began arranging a hiding place in an annex of his warehouse on the Prinsengracht Canal in Amsterdam.

On her 13th birthday in 1942, Anne began a diary relating her everyday experiences, her relationship with her family and friends, and observations about the increasingly dangerous world around her. Less than a month later, Anne’s older sister, Margot, received a call-up notice to report to a Nazi “work camp.” Fearing deportation to a Nazi concentration camp, the Frank family took shelter in the secret annex the next day. One week later, they were joined by Otto Frank’s business partner and his family. In November, a Jewish dentist—the eighth occupant of the hiding place—joined the group.

For two years, Anne kept a diary about her life in hiding that is marked with poignancy, humor, and insight. The entrance to the secret annex was hidden by a hinged bookcase, and former employees of Otto and other Dutch friends delivered them food and supplies procured at high risk. Anne and the others lived in rooms with blacked-out windows, and never flushed the toilet during the day out of fear that their presence would be detected. In June 1944, Anne’s spirits were raised by the Allied landing at Normandy, and she was hopeful that the long-awaited liberation of Holland would soon begin.

On August 1, 1944, Anne made her last entry in her diary. Three days later, 25 months of seclusion ended with the arrival of the Nazi Gestapo. Anne and the others had been given away by an unknown informer, and they were arrested along with two of the Christians who had helped shelter them. They were sent to a concentration camp in Holland, and in September Anne and most of the others were shipped to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland. In the fall of 1944, with the Soviet liberation of Poland underway, Anne was moved with her sister Margot to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. Suffering under the deplorable conditions of the camp, the two sisters caught typhus and died in early March 1945. The camp was liberated by the British less than two months later.

Otto Frank was the only one of the 10 to survive the Nazi death camps. After the war, he returned to Amsterdam via Russia, and was reunited with Miep Gies, one of his former employees who had helped shelter him. She handed him Anne’s diary, which she had found undisturbed after the Nazi raid. In 1947, Anne’s diary was published by Otto in its original Dutch as Diary of a Young Girl. An instant best-seller and eventually translated into more than 50 languages, The Diary of Anne Frank has served as a literary testament to the nearly six million Jews, including Anne herself, who were silenced in the Holocaust.

The Frank family’s hideaway at Prinsengracht 263 in Amsterdam opened as a museum in 1960. A new English translation of Anne’s diary in 1995 restored material that had been edited out of the original version, making the work nearly a third longer.

jembo
05-08-2015, 07:15 AM
1962: Marilyn Monroe found dead
Screen icon Marilyn Monroe has been found dead in bed at her Los Angeles home.
The 36-year-old actress' body was discovered in the early hours of this morning by two doctors who were called to her Brentwood home by a concerned housekeeper.

The doctors were forced to break into Miss Monroe's bedroom after being unable to open the door. She was found lying naked in her bed with an empty bottle of Nembutal sleeping pills by her side.

The local coroner, who visited the scene later, said the circumstances of Miss Monroe's death indicated a "possible suicide".

From rags to riches

Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson on 1 June 1926 in Los Angeles.

Her mother, Gladys Baker, had mental problems which resulted in Norma Jeane spending most of her childhood in foster homes and orphanages.

She wed her neighbour, Jimmy Dougherty in 1942, but the marriage failed in 1946 due to Norma Jeane's new-found fame as a photographic model.

In 1944 while her husband was serving in the South Pacific with the Merchant Marines, Norma Jeane was discovered by photographer David Conover.

By 1946 she had signed her first studio contract with 20th Century Fox and changed her name to Marilyn Monroe.

Since 1947 she has appeared in 30 films, including The Prince and the Showgirl, Bus Stop, The Seven Year Itch, How to Marry a Millionaire and Some Like it Hot, for which she won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy.

Her 1954 marriage to baseball star Joe DiMaggio lasted just nine months and on 29 June 1956 the star married playwright Arthur Miller.

But that marriage ended in 1961. Miss Monroe's romantic life has long been the subject of speculation and she has been linked with President Kennedy.

Millions of fans around the world will be deeply shocked by the star's premature and tragic death.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/august/5/newsid_2657000/2657289.stm

bojangles
05-08-2015, 08:33 AM
1914
First electric traffic signal installed


The world’s first electric traffic signal is put into place on the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 105th Street in Cleveland, Ohio, on this day in 1914.

In the earliest days of the automobile, navigating America’s roads was a chaotic experience, with pedestrians, bicycles, horses and streetcars all competing with motor vehicles for right of way. The problem was alleviated somewhat with the gradual disappearance of horse-drawn carriages, but even before World War I it had become clear that a system of regulations was necessary to keep traffic moving and reduce the number of accidents on the roads. As Christopher Finch writes in his “Highways to Heaven: The AUTO Biography of America” (1992), the first traffic island was put into use in San Francisco, California in 1907; left-hand drive became standard in American cars in 1908; the first center painted dividing line appeared in 1911, in Michigan; and the first “No Left Turn” sign would debut in Buffalo, New York, in 1916.

Various competing claims exist as to who was responsible for the world’s first traffic signal. A device installed in London in 1868 featured two semaphore arms that extended horizontally to signal “stop” and at a 45-degree angle to signal “caution.” In 1912, a Salt Lake City, Utah, police officer named Lester Wire mounted a handmade wooden box with colored red and green lights on a pole, with the wires attached to overhead trolley and light wires. Most prominently, the inventor Garrett Morgan has been given credit for having invented the traffic signal based on his T-shaped design, patented in 1923 and later reportedly sold to General Electric.

Despite Morgan’s greater visibility, the system installed in Cleveland on August 5, 1914, is widely regarded as the first electric traffic signal. Based on a design by James Hoge, who received U.S. patent 1,251,666 for his “Municipal Traffic Control System” in 1918, it consisted of four pairs of red and green lights that served as stop-go indicators, each mounted on a corner post. Wired to a manually operated switch inside a control booth, the system was configured so that conflicting signals were impossible. According to an article in The Motorist, published by the Cleveland Automobile Club in August 1914: “This system is, perhaps, destined to revolutionize the handling of traffic in congested city streets and should be seriously considered by traffic committees for general adoption.”

bojangles
06-08-2015, 08:38 AM
On this day in 1945, at 8:16 a.m. Japanese time, an American B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, drops the world’s first atom bomb, over the city of Hiroshima. Approximately 80,000 people are killed as a direct result of the blast, and another 35,000 are injured. At least another 60,000 would be dead by the end of the year from the effects of the fallout.

U.S. President Harry S. Truman, discouraged by the Japanese response to the Potsdam Conference’s demand for unconditional surrender, made the decision to use the atom bomb to end the war in order to prevent what he predicted would be a much greater loss of life were the United States to invade the Japanese mainland. And so on August 5, while a “conventional” bombing of Japan was underway, “Little Boy,” (the nickname for one of two atom bombs available for use against Japan), was loaded onto Lt. Col. Paul W. Tibbets’ plane on Tinian Island in the Marianas. Tibbets’ B-29, named the Enola Gay after his mother, left the island at 2:45 a.m. on August 6. Five and a half hours later, “Little Boy” was dropped, exploding 1,900 feet over a hospital and unleashing the equivalent of 12,500 tons of TNT. The bomb had several inscriptions scribbled on its shell, one of which read “Greetings to the Emperor from the men of the Indianapolis” (the ship that transported the bomb to the Marianas).

There were 90,000 buildings in Hiroshima before the bomb was dropped; only 28,000 remained after the bombing. Of the city’s 200 doctors before the explosion; only 20 were left alive or capable of working. There were 1,780 nurses before-only 150 remained who were able to tend to the sick and dying.

According to John Hersey’s classic work Hiroshima, the Hiroshima city government had put hundreds of schoolgirls to work clearing fire lanes in the event of incendiary bomb attacks. They were out in the open when the Enola Gay dropped its load.

There were so many spontaneous fires set as a result of the bomb that a crewman of the Enola Gay stopped trying to count them. Another crewman remarked, “It’s pretty terrific. What a relief it worked.”

jembo
06-08-2015, 03:11 PM
6 August 1890 – William Kemmler
The first person to go to the electric chair in America was William Kemmler. He was found guilty of murder after he butchered his partner. But he didn’t go quietly.

Burying the hatchet

Kemmler had killed his common-law wife Tilly Zeigler after he took a hatchet to her. And he was found guilty of murder in New York in 1890 and sentenced to go to the electric chair.

Electrocution was highly controversial, but despite lobbies to get the penalty changed to a more humane method, his execution took place.

Kemmler took his penalty very stoically. But the irony of his final words ‘Take it easy and do it properly, I’m in no hurry’ hit hard.

Horse trials

Understandably the electrocutors were in dire need of practice, this being their first time. Despite successfully electrocuting a horse as a trial run, they misjudged the current necessary to kill a man.

According to the ‘New York Times’, R C Barnes, who had tuned the electric chair being used, went on record with the statement ‘no electrician who understands the subject and knows what the apparatus is can doubt that it will kill Kemmler’. But he had based his supposition on the fact that they’d use around 15,000 volts.

Shallow fried

In actual fact, a mere 1,000 volts coursed through Kemmler’s body for 17 seconds, on the presumption that that’d kill him. Despite the smell of frying flesh, Kemmler was still breathing at the end of his electrifying session.

A second stint, this time of 2,000 volts ran through Kemmler’s body. The electricity caused his blood vessels to rupture and blood to ooze before his body eventually caught fire. The whole thing took an agonising eight minutes causing one spectator to comment: ‘They would have done better using an axe.’

https://eotd.wordpress.com/2008/08/06/6-august-1890-william-kemmler/

bojangles
07-08-2015, 08:34 AM
On this day in 1947, Kon-Tiki, a balsa wood raft captained by Norwegian anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl, completes a 4,300-mile, 101-day journey from Peru to Raroia in the Tuamotu Archipelago, near Tahiti.Heyerdahl wanted to prove his theory that prehistoric South Americans could have colonized the Polynesian islands by drifting on ocean currents.

Heyerdahl and his five-person crew set sail from Callao, Peru, on the 40-square-foot Kon-Tiki on April 28, 1947. The Kon-Tiki, named for a mythical white chieftain, was made of indigenous materials and designed to resemble rafts of early South American Indians. While crossing the Pacific, the sailors encountered storms, sharks and whales, before finally washing ashore at Raroia. Heyerdahl, born in Larvik, Norway, on October 6, 1914, believed that Polynesia’s earliest inhabitants had come from South America, a theory that conflicted with popular scholarly opinion that the original settlers arrived from Asia. Even after his successful voyage, anthropologists and historians continued to discredit Heyerdahl’s belief. However, his journey captivated the public and he wrote a book about the experience that became an international bestseller and was translated into 65 languages. Heyerdahl also produced a documentary about the trip that won an Academy Award in 1951.

Heyerdahl made his first expedition to Polynesia in 1937. He and his first wife lived primitively on Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas Islands for a year and studied plant and animal life. The experience led him to believe that humans had first come to the islands aboard primitive vessels drifting on ocean currents from the east.

Following the Kon-Tiki expedition, Heyerdahl made archeological trips to such places as the Galapagos Islands, Easter Island and Peru and continued to test his theories about how travel across the seas played a major role in the migration patterns of ancient cultures. In 1970, he sailed across the Atlantic from Morocco to Barbados in a reed boat named Ra II (after Ra, the Egyptian sun god) to prove that Egyptians could have connected with pre-Columbian Americans. In 1977, he sailed the Indian Ocean in a primitive reed ship built in Iraq to learn how prehistoric civilizations in Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley and Egypt might have connected.

While Heyerdahl’s work was never embraced by most scholars, he remained a popular public figure and was voted “Norwegian of the Century” in his homeland. He died at age 87 on April 18, 2002, in Italy. The raft from his famous 1947 expedition is housed at the Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo, Norway.

bojangles
08-08-2015, 08:33 AM
On this day in 1963, the 15 thieves involved in the Great Train Robbery, one of the most famous heists of all time, escape in an ex-British Army truck and two stolen Land Rover four-wheel drive all-terrain vehicles, making off with some £2. 6 million in stolen loot.

The mastermind of the Great Train Robbery was Bruce Reynolds, a known burglar and armed robber. Inspired by the railroad heists of the Wild West in America, Reynolds and 14 other men wearing ski masks and helmets held up the Royal Mail train heading between Glasgow, Scotland, and London, . They used a false red signal to get the train to stop, then hit the driver with an iron bar, seriously injuring him, in order to gain control of the train. The thieves loaded 120 mailbags filled with the used bank notes into their Land Rovers and sped off. The vehicles had been stolen in central London and marked with identical license plates in order to confuse the police.

In their hideout at Leatherslade Farm in Buckinghamshire, England, the robbers divided their loot. Viewed as folk heroes by the public for the audacious scale of their crime and their flight from justice, 12 of the 15 robbers nevertheless were eventually captured. In all, the gang of thieves received a total sentence of some 300 years. One of them, a small-time hood named Ronnie Biggs, escaped from prison after just 15 months and underwent plastic surgery to change his appearance. He fled the country and eluded capture for years, finally giving himself up in 2001 when he returned from Brazil voluntarily to serve the 28 years remaining in his sentence.

The two Land Rovers used in the robbery were discovered at the thieves’ hideout; a car enthusiast still owns one of them today. Produced by the British-based Rover Company, the Land Rover made its debut at the Amsterdam Motor Show in 1948. It was modeled after the four-wheel drive American-made Jeeps used by the British War Department during World War II and was made of cheaper, readily available aluminum alloy due to the postwar shortage of steel. By 1960, Land Rover production had reached 500,000 vehicles per year, and the all-terrain vehicle had become popular in all types of climates–desert, jungle and city–around the world. Rover later introduced an upscale version called the Range Rover, which become another bestseller for the company. The German automaker BMW purchased Rover in 1994, but split the brand six years later, selling the Land Rover name to Ford Motor Company. In 2008, Ford sold Land Rover, along with Jaguar, to Tata Motors Ltd., India’s top automaker.

bojangles
09-08-2015, 08:51 AM
On this day in 1945, a second atom bomb is dropped on Japan by the United States, at Nagasaki, resulting finally in Japan’s unconditional surrender.

The devastation wrought at Hiroshima was not sufficient to convince the Japanese War Council to accept the Potsdam Conference’s demand for unconditional surrender. The United States had already planned to drop their second atom bomb, nicknamed “Fat Man,” on August 11 in the event of such recalcitrance, but bad weather expected for that day pushed the date up to August 9th. So at 1:56 a.m., a specially adapted B-29 bomber, called “Bock’s Car,” after its usual commander, Frederick Bock, took off from Tinian Island under the command of Maj. Charles W. Sweeney. Nagasaki was a shipbuilding center, the very industry intended for destruction. The bomb was dropped at 11:02 a.m., 1,650 feet above the city. The explosion unleashed the equivalent force of 22,000 tons of TNT. The hills that surrounded the city did a better job of containing the destructive force, but the number killed is estimated at anywhere between 60,000 and 80,000 (exact figures are impossible, the blast having obliterated bodies and disintegrated records).

General Leslie R. Groves, the man responsible for organizing the Manhattan Project, which solved the problem of producing and delivering the nuclear explosion, estimated that another atom bomb would be ready to use against Japan by August 17 or 18—but it was not necessary. Even though the War Council still remained divided (“It is far too early to say that the war is lost,” opined the Minister of War), Emperor Hirohito, by request of two War Council members eager to end the war, met with the Council and declared that “continuing the war can only result in the annihilation of the Japanese people…” The Emperor of Japan gave his permission for unconditional surrender.

bojangles
11-08-2015, 08:49 AM
10th of August 1934
Federal prisoners land on Alcatraz

A group of federal prisoners classified as “most dangerous” arrives at Alcatraz Island, a 22-acre rocky outcrop situated 1.5 miles offshore in San Francisco Bay. The convicts–the first civilian prisoners to be housed in the new high-security penitentiary–joined a few dozen military prisoners left over from the island’s days as a U.S. military prison.

Alcatraz was an uninhabited seabird haven when it was explored by Spanish Lieutenant Juan Manuel de Ayala in 1775. He named it Isla de los Alcatraces, or “Island of the Pelicans.” Fortified by the Spanish, Alcatraz was sold to the United States in 1849. In 1854, it had the distinction of housing the first lighthouse on the coast of California. Beginning in 1859, a U.S. Army detachment was garrisoned there, and from 1868 Alcatraz was used to house military criminals. In addition to recalcitrant U.S. soldiers, prisoners included rebellious Indian scouts, American soldiers fighting in the Philippines who had deserted to the Filipino cause, and Chinese civilians who resisted the U.S. Army during the Boxer Rebellion. In 1907, Alcatraz was designated the Pacific Branch of the United States Military Prison.

In 1934, Alcatraz was fortified into a high-security federal penitentiary designed to hold the most dangerous prisoners in the U.S. penal system, especially those with a penchant for escape attempts. The first shipment of civilian prisoners arrived on August 11, 1934. Later that month, more shiploads arrived, featuring, among other convicts, infamous mobster Al Capone. In September, George “Machine Gun” Kelly, another luminary of organized crime, landed on Alcatraz.

In the 1940s, a famous Alcatraz prisoner was Richard Stroud, the “Birdman of Alcatraz.” A convicted murderer, Stroud wrote an important study on birds while being held in solitary confinement in Leavenworth Prison in Kansas. Regarded as extremely dangerous because of his 1916 murder of a guard at Leavenworth, he was transferred to Alcatraz in 1942. Stroud was not allowed to continue his avian research at Alcatraz.

Although some three dozen attempted, no prisoner was known to have successfully escaped “The Rock.” However, the bodies of several escapees believed drowned in the treacherous waters of San Francisco Bay were never found. The story of the 1962 escape of three of these men, Frank Morris and brothers John and Clarence Anglin, inspired the 1979 film Escape from Alcatraz. Another prisoner, John Giles, caught a boat ride to the shore in 1945 dressed in an army uniform he had stolen piece by piece, but he was questioned by a suspicious officer after disembarking and sent back to Alcatraz. Only one man, John Paul Scott, was recorded to have reached the mainland by swimming, but he came ashore exhausted and hypothermic at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge. Police found him lying unconscious and in a state of shock.

In 1963, U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy ordered Alcatraz closed, citing the high expense of its maintenance. In its 29-year run, Alcatraz housed more than 1,500 convicts. In March 1964 a group of Sioux Indians briefly occupied the island, citing an 1868 treaty with the Sioux allowing Indians to claim any “unoccupied government land.” In November 1969, a group of nearly 100 Indian students and activists began a more prolonged occupation of the island, remaining there until they were forced off by federal marshals in June 1971.

In 1972, Alcatraz was opened to the public as part of the newly created Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which is maintained by the National Park Service. More than one million tourists visit Alcatraz Island and the former prison annually.

bojangles
12-08-2015, 09:06 AM
12th of August 1961
East Germany begins construction of the Berlin Wall


In an effort to stem the tide of refugees attempting to leave East Berlin, the communist government of East Germany begins building the Berlin Wall to divide East and West Berlin. Construction of the wall caused a short-term crisis in U.S.-Soviet bloc relations, and the wall itself came to symbolize the Cold War.

Throughout the 1950s and into the early 1960s, thousands of people from East Berlin crossed over into West Berlin to reunite with families and escape communist repression. In an effort to stop that outflow, the government of East Germany, on the night of August 12, 1961, began to seal off all points of entrance into West Berlin from East Berlin by stringing barbed wire and posting sentries. In the days and weeks to come, construction of a concrete block wall began, complete with sentry towers and minefields around it. The Berlin Wall succeeded in completely sealing off the two sections of Berlin. The U.S. government responded angrily. Commanders of U.S. troops in West Berlin even began to make plans to bulldoze the wall, but gave up on the idea when the Soviets moved armored units into position to protect it. The West German government was furious with America’s lack of action, but President John F. Kennedy believed that “A wall is a hell of a lot better than a war.” In an attempt to reassure the West Germans that the United States was not abandoning them, Kennedy traveled to the Berlin Wall in June 1963, and famously declared, “Ich bin ein Berliner!” (“I am a Berliner!”). Since the word “Berliner” was commonly referred to as a jelly doughnut throughout most of Germany, Kennedy’s improper use of German grammar was also translated as “I am a jelly doughnut.” However, due to the context of his speech, Kennedy’s intended meaning that he stood together with West Berlin in its rivalry with communist East Berlin and the German Democratic Republic was understood by the German people.

In the years to come, the Berlin Wall became a physical symbol of the Cold War. The stark division between communist East Berlin and democratic West Berlin served as the subject for numerous editorials and speeches in the United States, while the Soviet bloc characterized the wall as a necessary protection against the degrading and immoral influences of decadent Western culture and capitalism. During the lifetime of the wall, nearly 80 people were killed trying to escape from East to West Berlin. In late 1989, with communist governments falling throughout Eastern Europe, the Berlin Wall was finally opened and then demolished. For many observers, this action was the signal that the Cold War was finally coming to an end.

bojangles
13-08-2015, 07:53 AM
Shortly after midnight on this day in 1961, East German soldiers begin laying down barbed wire and bricks as a barrier between Soviet-controlled East Berlin and the democratic western section of the city.

After World War II, defeated Germany was divided into Soviet, American, British and French zones of occupation. The city of Berlin, though technically part of the Soviet zone, was also split, with the Soviets taking the eastern part of the city. After a massive Allied airlift in June 1948 foiled a Soviet attempt to blockade West Berlin, the eastern section was drawn even more tightly into the Soviet fold. Over the next 12 years, cut off from its western counterpart and basically reduced to a Soviet satellite, East Germany saw between 2.5 million and 3 million of its citizens head to West Germany in search of better opportunities. By 1961, some 1,000 East Germans–including many skilled laborers, professionals and intellectuals–were leaving every day.

In August, Walter Ulbricht, the Communist leader of East Germany, got the go-ahead from Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev to begin the sealing off of all access between East and West Berlin. Soldiers began the work over the night of August 12-13, laying more than 100 miles of barbed wire slightly inside the East Berlin border. The wire was soon replaced by a six-foot-high, 96-mile-long wall of concrete blocks, complete with guard towers, machine gun posts and searchlights. East German officers known as Volkspolizei (“Volpos”) patrolled the Berlin Wall day and night.

Many Berlin residents on that first morning found themselves suddenly cut off from friends or family members in the other half of the city. Led by their mayor, Willi Brandt, West Berliners demonstrated against the wall, as Brandt criticized Western democracies, particularly the United States, for failing to take a stand against it. President John F. Kennedy had earlier said publicly that the United States could only really help West Berliners and West Germans, and that any kind of action on behalf of East Germans would only result in failure.

The Berlin Wall was one of the most powerful and iconic symbols of the Cold War. In June 1963, Kennedy gave his famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” (“I am a Berliner”) speech in front of the Wall, celebrating the city as a symbol of freedom and democracy in its resistance to tyranny and oppression. The height of the Wall was raised to 10 feet in 1970 in an effort to stop escape attempts, which at that time came almost daily. From 1961 to 1989, a total of 5,000 East Germans escaped; many more tried and failed. High profile shootings of some would-be defectors only intensified the Western world’s hatred of the Wall.

Finally, in the late 1980s, East Germany, fueled by the decline of the Soviet Union, began to implement a number of liberal reforms. On November 9, 1989, masses of East and West Germans alike gathered at the Berlin Wall and began to climb over and dismantle it. As this symbol of Cold War repression was destroyed, East and West Germany became one nation again, signing a formal treaty of unification on October 3, 1990.

bojangles
13-08-2015, 07:56 AM
13th of August 1521
Aztec capital falls to Cortés


After a three-month siege, Spanish forces under Hernán Cortés capture Tenochtitlán, the capital of the Aztec empire. Cortés’ men leveled the city and captured Cuauhtemoc, the Aztec emperor.

Tenochtitlán was founded in 1325 A.D. by a wandering tribe of hunters and gatherers on islands in Lake Texcoco, near the present site of Mexico City. In only one century, this civilization grew into the Aztec empire, largely because of its advanced system of agriculture. The empire came to dominate central Mexico and by the ascendance of Montezuma II in 1502 had reached its greatest extent, extending as far south as perhaps modern-day Nicaragua. At the time, the empire was held together primarily by Aztec military strength, and Montezuma II set about establishing a bureaucracy, creating provinces that would pay tribute to the imperial capital of Tenochtitlán. The conquered peoples resented the Aztec demands for tribute and victims for the religious sacrifices, but the Aztec military kept rebellion at bay.

Meanwhile, Hernán Cortés, a young Spanish-born noble, came to Hispaniola in the West Indies in 1504. In 1511, he sailed with Diego Velázquez to conquer Cuba and twice was elected mayor of Santiago, the capital of Hispaniola. In 1518, he was appointed captain general of a new Spanish expedition to the American mainland. Velázquez, the governor of Cuba, later rescinded the order, and Cortés sailed without permission. He visited the coast of Yucatán and in March 1519 landed at Tabasco in Mexico’s Bay of Campeche with 500 soldiers, 100 sailors, and 16 horses. There, he won over the local Indians and was given a female slave, Malinche–baptized Marina–who became his mistress and later bore him a son. She knew both Maya and Aztec and served as an interpreter. The expedition then proceeded up the Mexican coast, where Cortés founded Veracruz, mainly for the purpose of having himself elected captain general by the colony, thus shaking off the authority of Velázquez and making him responsible only to King Charles V of Spain.

At Veracruz, Cortés trained his army and then burned his ships to ensure loyalty to his plans for conquest. Having learned of political strife in the Aztec empire, Cortés led his force into the Mexican interior. On the way to Tenochtitlán, he clashed with local Indians, but many of these people, including the nation of Tlaxcala, became his allies after learning of his plan to conquer their hated Aztec rulers. Hearing of the approach of Cortés, with his frightful horses and sophisticated weapons, Montezuma II tried to buy him off, but Cortés would not be dissuaded. On November 8, 1519, the Spaniards and their 1,000 Tlaxcaltec warriors were allowed to enter Tenochtitlán unopposed.

Montezuma suspected them to be divine envoys of the god Quetzalcatl, who was prophesied to return from the east in a “One Reed” year, which was 1519 on the Aztec calendar. The Spaniards were greeted with great honor, and Cortés seized the opportunity, taking Montezuma hostage so that he might govern the empire through him. His mistress, Marina, was a great help in this endeavor and succeeded in convincing Montezuma to cooperate fully.

In the spring of 1520, Cortés learned of the arrival of a Spanish force from Cuba, led by Pánfilo Narvez and sent by Velázquez to deprive Cortés of his command. Cortés led his army out of Tenochtitlán to meet them, leaving behind a garrison of 80 Spaniards and a few hundred Tlaxcaltecs to govern the city. Cortés defeated Narvez and enlisted Narvez’ army into his own. When he returned to Tenochtitlán in June, he found the garrison under siege from the Aztecs, who had rebelled after the subordinate whom Cortés left in command of the city massacred several Aztec chiefs, and the population on the brink of revolt. On June 30, under pressure and lacking food, Cortés and his men fought their way out of the capital at heavy cost. Known to the Spanish as La Noche Triste, or “the Night of Sadness,” many soldiers drowned in Lake Texcoco when the vessel carrying them and Aztec treasures hoarded by Cortés sank. Montezuma was killed in the fighting–in Aztec reports by the Spaniards, and in Spanish reports by an Aztec mob bitter at Montezuma’s subservience to Spanish rule. He was succeeded as emperor by his brother, Cuitláhuac.

During the Spaniards’ retreat, they defeated a large Aztec army at Otumba and then rejoined their Tlaxcaltec allies. In May 1521, Cortés returned to Tenochtitlán, and after a three-month siege the city fell. This victory marked the fall of the Aztec empire. Cuauhtámoc, Cuitláhuac’s successor as emperor, was taken prisoner and later executed, and Cortés became the ruler of a vast Mexican empire.

The Spanish conquistador led an expedition to Honduras in 1524 and in 1528 returned to Spain to see the king. Charles made him Marqués del Valle but refused to name him governor because of his quarrels with Velázquez and others. In 1530, he returned to Mexico, now known as New Spain, and found the country in disarray. After restoring some order, he retired to his estate south of Mexico City and sent out maritime expeditions from the Pacific coast. In 1540, he returned to Spain and was neglected by the court. He died in 1547.

bojangles
14-08-2015, 07:49 AM
14th of August 1994
The terrorist known as Carlos the Jackal is captured


Terrorist Illich Ramirez Sanchez, long known as Carlos the Jackal, is captured in Khartoum, Sudan, by French intelligence agents. Since there was no extradition treaty with Sudan, the French agents sedated and kidnapped Carlos. The Sudanese government, claiming that it had assisted in the arrest, requested that the United States remove their country from its list of nations that sponsor terrorism.

Sanchez, who was affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Organization for Armed Arab Struggle, and the Japanese Red Army, was widely believed to be responsible for numerous terrorist attacks between 1973 and 1992. In 1974, he took the French ambassador and 10 others hostage at the Hague, demanding that French authorities release Yutaka Furuya of the Japanese Red Army.

On June 27, 1975, French police officers tried to arrestSanchez in a Paris apartment, but he killed two officers in an ensuing gun battle and escaped. In June 1992,Sanchez was tried in absentia for these murders and convicted.

On December 21, 1975,Sanchez and a group of his men took 70 OPEC officials hostage at a Vienna conference. They made it to safety with somewhere between $25 million and $50 million in ransom money, but not before killing three hostages.Sanchez claimed responsibility for these crimes in an interview with the Arab magazine, Al Watan al Arabi.

In the subsequent trial that resulted in his imprisonment,Sanchez was represented by Jacque Verges, who had reportedly helped to organize a failed rocket attack on a French nuclear power plant in 1982. Verges was alsoaccused of sending a threatening letter fromSanchez to the French authoritiesso thatSanchez’s girlfriend (possibly his wife), German terrorist Magdalena Kopp, could be released. He bitterly denied the charges.

bojangles
15-08-2015, 08:29 AM
15th of July 1057
At the Battle of Lumphanan, King Macbeth of Scotland is slain by Malcolm Canmore, whose father, King Duncan I, was murdered by Macbeth 17 years earlier.

Macbeth was a grandson of King Kenneth II and also had a claim to the throne through his wife, Gruoch, who was the granddaughter of Kenneth III–the Scottish king who had been overthrown by Duncan’s predecessor King Malcolm II. Under King Duncan, Macbeth was governor of the Scottish province of Moray and a trusted military commander. However, he opposed Duncan’s ties to the Saxons in the South, and he rose in rebellion. On August 14, 1040, Macbeth killed Duncan in a battle near Elgin, and he was crowned king of Scotland in his place.

In 1054, after 14 years of rule, King Macbeth suffered a major military defeat at the Battle of Dunsinane against Siward, the earl of Northumbria. Siward was acting on behalf of Malcolm Canmore, Duncan’s son. Malcolm then gained control of the southern part of Scotland and spent the next three years pursuing Macbeth, who fled to the north. On August 15, 1057, Macbeth was defeated and killed by Malcolm at the Battle of Lumphanan with the assistance of the English. Malcolm Canmore was crowned Malcolm III in 1058.

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16-08-2015, 08:57 AM
16th of August 1977
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 was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8, 1935. His twin brother, Jesse, died during the birth. Elvis grew up dirt-poor in Tupelo and Memphis and found work as a truck driver after high school. When he was 19, he walked into a Memphis recording studio and paid $4 to record a few songs as a present to his mother. Sam Philips, the owner of the studio, was intrigued by the rough, soulful quality of his voice and invited Presley back to practice with some local musicians. After Philips heard Elvis sing the rhythm-and-blues song “That’s All Right,” which Presley imbued with an accessible country-and-western flavor, he agreed to release the rendition as a single on his Sun Records label. The recording went to the top of the local charts, and Presley’s career was launched.

During the next year, Elvis attracted a growing following in the South, and in 1955 Sun Records sold his contract to a major record label, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), for a record $40,000. His first record for RCA was “Heartbreak Hotel,” which made him a national sensation in early 1956. He followed this up with the double-sided hit record “Hound Dog”/”Don’t Be Cruel.” In September 1956, Elvis appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, a national variety television show, and teenagers went into hysterics over his dynamic stage presence, good looks, and simple but catchy songs. Many parents, however, were appalled by his sexually suggestive pelvic gyrations, and by his third appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, Elvis was filmed from only the waist up.

From 1956 through 1958, Elvis dominated the music charts and ushered in the age of rock and roll, opening doors for both white and black rock artists. During this period, he starred in four successful motion pictures, all of which featured his soundtracks: Love Me Tender (1956), Jailhouse Rock (1957), Loving You (1957), and King Creole (1958).

In 1958, Presley was drafted into the U.S. Army and served an 18-month tour of duty in West Germany as a Jeep driver. Teenage girls were overcome with grief, but Elvis’ manager, Colonel Tom Parker, kept American youth satiated with stockpiled recordings that Presley made before his departure. All five singles released during this period eventually became million-sellers.

After being discharged as a sergeant in 1960, Elvis underwent a style change, eschewing edgy, rhythm-and-blues-inspired material in favor of romantic, dramatic ballads such as “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” He retired from concerts to concentrate on his musical films, and he made 27 in the 1960s, including G.I. Blues (1960), Blue Hawaii (1961), Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962), Viva Las Vegas (1964), and Frankie and Johnny (1966). In 1967, he married Priscilla Beaulieu, and the couple had a daughter, Lisa Marie, in 1968.

By the end of the 1960s, rock and roll had undergone dramatic changes, and Elvis was no longer seen as relevant by American youth. A 1968 television special won back many of his fans, but hits were harder to come by. His final Top 10 entry, “Burning Love,” was in 1972. Still, he maintained his sizable fortune through lucrative concert and television appearances.

By the mid 1970s, Elvis was in declining physical and mental health. He divorced his wife in 1973 and developed a dangerous dependence on prescription drugs. He was also addicted to junk food and gained considerable weight. In the last two years of his life, he made erratic stage appearances and lived nearly as a recluse. On the afternoon of August 16, 1977, he was found unconscious in his Graceland mansion and rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was buried on the grounds of Graceland, which continues to attract fans and has been turned into a highly successful tourist attraction.

bojangles
19-08-2015, 02:25 PM
19th of August 1934
Adolf Hitler becomes president of Germany


On this day in 1934, Adolf Hitler, already chancellor, is also elected president of Germany in an unprecedented consolidation of power in the short history of the republic.

In 1932, German President Paul von Hindenburg, old, tired, and a bit senile, had won re-election as president, but had lost a considerable portion of his right/conservative support to the Nazi Party. Those close to the president wanted a cozier relationship to Hitler and the Nazis. Hindenburg had contempt for the Nazis’ lawlessness, but ultimately agreed to oust his chancellor, Heinrich Bruning, for Franz von Papen, who was willing to appease the Nazis by lifting the ban on Hitler’s Brown Shirts and unilaterally canceling Germany’s reparation payments, imposed by the Treaty of Versailles at the close of World War I.

But Hitler was not appeased. He wanted the chancellorship for himself. Papen’s policies failed on another front: His authoritarian rule alienated his supporters, and he too was forced to resign. He then made common cause with Hitler, persuading President Hindenburg to appoint Hitler chancellor and himself vice-chancellor. He promised the president that he would restrain Hitler’s worst tendencies and that a majority of the Cabinet would go to non-Nazis. As Hindenburg’s current chancellor could no longer gain a majority in the Reichstag, and Hitler could bring together a larger swath of the masses and a unified right/conservative/nationalist coalition, the president gave in. In January 1933, Hitler was named chancellor of Germany.

But that was not enough for Hitler either. In February 1933, Hitler blamed a devastating Reichstag fire on the communists (its true cause remains a mystery) and convinced President Hindenburg to sign a decree suspending individual and civil liberties, a decree Hitler used to silence his political enemies with false arrests. Upon the death of Hindenburg in 1934, Hitler proceeded to purge the Brown Shirts (his storm troopers), the head of which, Ernst Roem, had began voicing opposition to the Nazi Party’s terror tactics. Hitler had Roem executed without trial, which encouraged the army and other reactionary forces within the country to urge Hitler to further consolidate his power by merging the presidency and the chancellorship. This would make Hitler commander of the army as well. A plebiscite vote was held on August 19. Intimidation, and fear of the communists, brought Hitler a 90 percent majority. He was now, for all intents and purpose

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20-08-2015, 08:44 AM
20th of August 1968
Soviet Union intervenes in Czechoslovakia


In the face of rising anti-Soviet protests in Czechoslovakia, Soviet troops (backed by troops from other Warsaw Pact nations) intervene to crush the protest and restore order. The brutal Soviet action shocked the West and dealt a devastating blow to U.S.-Soviet relations.

The troubles in Czechoslovakia began when Alexander Dubcek took over as secretary general of the nation’s Communist Party in January 1968. It was immediately apparent that Dubcek wanted a major overhaul of Czechoslovakia’s political and economic system—he called his particular ideology “Socialism with a human face.” He called for greater political freedom, including more participation by noncommunist parties. Dubcek also pressed for economic policies that would ensure less state control and more reliance on free market economics. Finally, he insisted on greater freedom from Soviet domination, although he reiterated his nation’s allegiance to the Warsaw Pact, the Soviet bloc’s counterpart to NATO.

Dubcek’s policies shocked the Soviets and leaders in other Eastern European nations. Throughout early and mid-1968, negotiations took place between Dubcek and representatives from Russia and other Soviet bloc nations in an attempt to have the Czechoslovakian leader soften his reforms. Dubcek refused, and tensions with the Soviet Union steadily increased. Meanwhile, the sudden atmosphere of freedom that Dubcek was encouraging took root, and Czech citizens embraced and celebrated the new tolerance for free exchange of ideas and open discussion in what came to be known as the “Prague Spring.” On the night of August 20, 1968, more than 200,000 Warsaw Pact troops crossed into Czechoslovakia and headed for the capital city of Prague. In just over a day, the entire country was occupied; within a week nearly three-quarters of a million foreign troops were in Czechoslovakia. Anti-Soviet riots broke out in Prague, but these were viciously crushed and thousands of Czechs fled the country.

The Soviet action in August 1968 shocked the West. Not since 1956, when Soviet troops intervened in Hungary, had the Russian government resorted to such force to bring one of its communist allies into line with its own policies. The Czech invasion was particularly damaging to U.S.-Soviet relations. In June 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson met with Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin to begin discussions related to a number of issues, including arms control. It was agreed that Johnson would visit the Soviet Union in October 1968 to continue the talks. The Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia caused Johnson to cancel his visit abruptly.

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21-08-2015, 07:44 AM
21st of August 1986
Gas cloud kills Cameroon villagers


An eruption of lethal gas from Lake Nyos in Cameroon kills nearly 2,000 people and wipes out four villages on this day in 1986. Carbon dioxide, though ubiquitous in Earth’s atmosphere, can be deadly in large quantities, as was evident in this disaster.

Lake Nyos and Lake Monoun are both crater lakes about a mile square located in remote mountain areas of northwest Cameroon, dominated by rock cliffs and lush vegetation. In August 1984, 37 people near Lake Monoun died suddenly, but the incident was largely covered up by the government. Since there is no electricity or telephone service in the area, it was not difficult to keep the incident secret and the 5,000 people who lived in villages near Lake Nyos were unaware of the potential danger of their own lake. At about 9:30 p.m. on August 21, a rumbling noise emanated from the lake for 15 to 20 seconds, followed by a cloud of carbon-dioxide and a blast of smelly air. The cloud quickly moved north toward the village of Lower Nyos. Some people tried to run away from the cloud; they were later found dead on the paths leading away from town. A woman and child were the only two survivors of Lower Nyos.

The deadly cloud of gas then moved on to Cha Subum and Fang, where another 500 people lost their lives. The carbon dioxide killed every type of animal–including small insects–in its path, but left buildings and plants unaffected. Reportedly, even survivors experienced coughing fits and vomited blood.

Outsiders learned of the disaster when they approached the villages and found animal and human bodies on the ground. The best estimate is that 1,700 people and thousands of cattle died. A subsequent investigation of the lake showed the water level to be four feet lower than what it had previously been. Apparently, carbon dioxide had been accumulating from underground springs and was being held down by the water in the lake. When the billion cubic yards of gas finally burst out, it traveled low to the ground–it is heavier than air–until it dispersed. Lake Nyos must now be constantly monitored for carbon-dioxide accumulation.

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22-08-2015, 08:31 AM
22nd of August 1922
Michael Collins is killed in an ambush in west County Cork, Ireland.

In the early part of the century, Collins joined Sinn Fein, dedicated to achieving independence for all Ireland. From its inception, the party became the unofficial political wing of militant Irish groups in their struggle to throw off British rule. In 1911, the British Liberal government approved negotiations for Irish Home Rule, but the Conservative Party opposition in Parliament, combined with Ireland’s anti-Home Rule factions, defeated the plans. With the outbreak of World War I, the British government delayed further discussion of Irish self-determination, and Collins and other Irish nationalists responded by staging the Easter Rising of 1916.

In 1918, with the threat of conscription being imposed , the Irish people people gave Sinn Fein a majority in national elections, and the party established an independent Irish parliament, Dail Eireann, which declared Ireland a sovereign republic. In 1919, Collins led the Irish Volunteers, a prototype of the Irish Republican Army, in a widespread and effective guerrilla campaign against British forces. Two years later, a cease-fire was declared, and Collins was one of the architects of the historic 1921 peace treaty with Great Britain, which granted autonomy to southern Ireland.

In January 1922, Sinn Fein founder Arthur Griffith was elected president of the newly established Irish Free State, and Collins was appointed as his finance minister. He held the post until he was assassinated by Republican extremists in August 1922. ( This was written from an American perspective )