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Old 01-01-2009, 10:36 PM  
Amnorix Amnorix is offline
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This Day in History

Today...
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:33 AM   #391
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May 12

1328. "Nicholas V", the last Imperially anointed Antipope, is consecrated at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The Pope, John XXII, was in Avignon, France, at the time. After four months in Rome he withdraws to Pisa, which was more defensible/friendly. A year later, he presided over a bizarre ceremony in which a straw puppet representing Pope John XXII is dressed in pontifical robes, condemned, degraded and "executed." Shortly thereafter, for understandable reasons, John XXII excommunicates him. In 1330, having obtained assurance of a pardon, he confesses his sins and renounces his "papacy."

1797. The Republic of Venice falls to Napoleon. Having stood as an independent republic for 1,070 years, Venice is easily the longest-surviving republic in history. For century her odd geography -- the shallow lagoon in which she resides, had protected her from the toils and tribulations that beset mainland Italy since the collapse of the Roman Empire. At one point she was, although a small republic, the master of the Mediterranean Sea and the leading commercial center of Europe. On this date, however, by a vote of 512 to 20, with 5 absententions, the Great Council voted to dissolve the Republic. By the time the vote was fully counted, most of hte members had left, fearful of rioting. After the count, the Doge took off his ducal corno, the symbol of his authority and the 1,000 years of the proud independence of the Republic of St. Mark, handed it to his servant and said, simply, "Take it, we won't be needing it anymore."

1862. Federal troops occupy Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

1864. Battle of Spotsylvania. Thousands of Union and Confederate troops die and are wounded in "the bloody angle." Taking place less than a week after the Battle of the Wilderness had concluded, about 100,000 Union troops faced off against about 55,000 Confederate troops determined to block them from advancing to Richmond. The Battle takes place over a protracted period and doesn't peter out until May 21st.

The battle is yet another "victory" for Lee, who both correctly anticipated Grant's move, moved swiftly to cut him off, and inflicted more casualties on Grant than he took. Added to nearly 20,000 Union enlistments that were up, Grant was down to only 65,000 effectives soon thereafter.

But the price was too high for the Confederate General to pay nonetheless. He too suffered tremendous casualties in the recently concluded battles, including among his best units and a large number of officers, and will never hold the initiative again for the rest of the war.

1932. Ten weeks after his abduction, Charles Lindberg's infant son is found dead just a few miles from his house.

1942. The Second Battle of Kharkov begins. I'm trying to avoid turning this entire thread into a pure military thing, but let's just say it was pretty big. Fought in the southern sector of the German/Russian lines, the battle involves over 800,000 men, 2,000 tanks and 2,500 aircraft and tens of thousnads of horses (American beliefs of the complete modernization of German armies during WWII are grossly exaggerated).

1949. The USSR lifts the Berlin blockade.
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:30 AM   #392
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May 13

1865. The Battle of Palmito Ranch is fought between Union and Confederate forces. Occurring weeks after Lee's surrender to Grant at Appomatox and Johnston's surrender to Sherman, the capture of Richmond, the death of Lincoln and the shooting of John Wilkes Booth, and the capture of Jefferson Davis, the forces fight having no idea that the war is over. Ironically, the battle results in a Confederate victory. Fortunately, casualties are relatively light (about a dozen killed and two dozen wounded between both combatants).

1880. In Menlo Park, New Jersey, Thomas Edison the first test of his electric railway.

1939. The first FM radio station is launched, in Bloomfield, Connecticut.

1940. German troops cross the Meuse River, beginning its conquest of France. Churchill issues the "blood, toil, tears and sweat" speech. The phrase was first used by Teddy Roosevelt, and Churchill likely knowingly borrowed it from him, but brought it to much greater fame.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winston Churchill
We are in the preliminary stage of one of the greatest battles in history.... That we are in action at many points — in Norway and in Holland —, that we have to be prepared in the Mediterranean. That the air battle is continuous, and that many preparations have to be made here at home.
I would say to the House as I said to those who have joined this government: I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering.
You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs — Victory in spite of all terror — Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.
1943. The Afrika Corps and Italian troop adjuncts surrender after having been bottled up and surrounded in Tunisia. A little while earlier Erwin Rommel had been recalled by Hitler, to save him from the ignominy of surrendering, and his replacement, General von Armin, had the "pleasure" instead. IIRC, approximately 250,000 troops surrender, representing a significant loss for the Wehrmacht especially when considered in light of the recently ended Battle of Stalingrad. Between the two, Germany loses over a million soldiers.

1958. The trademark velcro is registered.

1981. Mehmet Ali Agca attempts to assassinate Pope John Paul II. PJPII survives after emergency surgery.

1994. Johnny Carson makes his last television appearance, on the Late Show with David Letterman.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:19 AM   #393
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Originally Posted by Amnorix View Post
1940. German troops cross the Meuse River, beginning its conquest of France. Churchill issues the "blood, toil, tears and sweat" speech. The phrase was first used by Teddy Roosevelt, and Churchill likely knowingly borrowed it from him, but brought it to much greater fame.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winston Churchill
We are in the preliminary stage of one of the greatest battles in history.... That we are in action at many points — in Norway and in Holland —, that we have to be prepared in the Mediterranean. That the air battle is continuous, and that many preparations have to be made here at home.

I would say to the House as I said to those who have joined this government: I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering.

You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs — Victory in spite of all terror — Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.
Did he say anything about the exit strategy?
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:31 AM   #394
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Did he say anything about the exit strategy?
Now, now, don't go kicking my thread into DC.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:33 AM   #395
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Well, well, well. I had always thought they never found the Lindbergh baby.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:58 AM   #396
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Now, now, don't go kicking my thread into DC.
Sorry. I withdraw my question.
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:14 AM   #397
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May 14.

1607. Jamestown, Virginia, is settled as an English colony.

1643. Four year old Louis XIV becomes King of France. The "Sun King" will rule until 1715 -- or 72 years, the longest reign of any European monarch. For most of his reign France is the leading power of Europe, and he will preside over three major wars and several minor ones. He is succeeded by his five year old great grandson, with all other heirs having predeceased him.

1804. The Lewis and Clark expedition begins, with the party departing from Camp Dubois (present day Hartford, Illinois, and sailing up the Missouri River.

1913. The Rockefeller Foundation is chartered, beginning with a $100 million donation from John D. Rockefeller.

1940. The Netherlands surrender to Germany.

1948. Israel is declared as an independent state, and is immediately attacked by her Arab neighbors, beginning the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

1955. Eight communist countries, including the USSR, sign a treaty called the Warsaw Pact.
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:27 AM   #398
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Originally Posted by Amnorix View Post
May 14.

1607. Jamestown, Virginia, is settled as an English colony.

1643. Four year old Louis XIV becomes King of France. The "Sun King" will rule until 1715 -- or 72 years, the longest reign of any European monarch. For most of his reign France is the leading power of Europe, and he will preside over three major wars and several minor ones. He is succeeded by his five year old great grandson, with all other heirs having predeceased him.

1804. The Lewis and Clark expedition begins, with the party departing from Camp Dubois (present day Hartford, Illinois, and sailing up the Missouri River.

1913. The Rockefeller Foundation is chartered, beginning with a $100 million donation from John D. Rockefeller.

1940. The Netherlands surrender to Germany.

1948. Israel is declared as an independent state, and is immediately attacked by her Arab neighbors, beginning the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

1955. Eight communist countries, including the USSR, sign a treaty called the Warsaw Pact.
wow, alot of really neat things this time...
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:53 AM   #399
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wow, alot of really neat things this time...
yeah, one of the more interesting things is seeing the variety in days. Some days I'm having a really hard time figuring out what to eliminate -- there's no point to this thread if I'm just going to copy/paste what's on Wikipedia. The point is to cherry pick the historically significant, or merely interesting, items and then add some color to the degree I have time or particular knowledge or interest.

Other days, it's like looking for a cup of water in the desert.

As we're now out of the winter months, I expect to see alot more military-related items, as we're well into the military campaign season. Until just the last century, any kind of active fighting during winter was very rare. The logistical issues were too difficult to overcome, so armies just went into camp.
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:54 AM   #400
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May 14.

1607. Jamestown, Virginia, is settled as an English colony.

1643. Four year old Louis XIV becomes King of France. The "Sun King" will rule until 1715 -- or 72 years, the longest reign of any European monarch. For most of his reign France is the leading power of Europe, and he will preside over three major wars and several minor ones. He is succeeded by his five year old great grandson, with all other heirs having predeceased him.

1804. The Lewis and Clark expedition begins, with the party departing from Camp Dubois (present day Hartford, Illinois, and sailing up the Missouri River.

1913. The Rockefeller Foundation is chartered, beginning with a $100 million donation from John D. Rockefeller.

1940. The Netherlands surrender to Germany.

1948. Israel is declared as an independent state, and is immediately attacked by her Arab neighbors, beginning the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

1955. Eight communist countries, including the USSR, sign a treaty called the Warsaw Pact.
I was just at the headwaters of the Missouri last week. It was neat to see the big rock that they stood on to survey the land.
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:57 AM   #401
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I was just at the headwaters of the Missouri last week. It was neat to see the big rock that they stood on to survey the land.
I was never in the army or anything, so I'm no good at orienteering or any other surveying/wilderness skills, but the concept of just going out and surveying land where nobody except Indians have ever been before is mind-boggling, if you do have geopositioning to work with.

I imagine there's a book about ti somewhere, but honestly I have no idea how you could do much of anything except describe major rivers and mountains etc.
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:25 AM   #402
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Well, well, well. I had always thought they never found the Lindbergh baby.
That was my reaction to reading that as well. Time for some research I suppose.
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:11 PM   #403
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May 15.

1536. Anne Boleyn, wife of King Henry VIII and Queen of England, stands trial in London for treason, adultery and incest. She is condemned to death, which sentence is carried out four days later. The trial occurs only three years after Henry VIII divorced Catherine of Aragon, a divorce that precipitated a break from Rome and the advent of Protestantism in England, so that Henry could marry Anne. In the three intervening years, however, Anne was unable to give Henry a male heir, and Henry had become enamored of another woman, Jane Seymour. Anne did have time, however, to bear him the future Queen Elizabeth I.

1701. The War of Spanish Succession, one of those three major wars that King Louis XIV of France was involved in that were mentioned yesterday, begins. The war lasts 13 years (most of the rest of what is left of Louis XIV's life) and involves a struggle by France and Spain against basically the rest of western Europe to try to unite the French and Spanish crowns under one Bourbon king. The result is the ascension of Philip V to the Spanish throne but his renounciation of any claim to the throne of France. With this war the concept of trying to maintain teh balance of power in Europe becomes a central theme in European politics. The war also spills over into North American and the West Indies, where it is generally known to the British colonists as Queen Anne's War.

1756. The Seven Years War begins -- an important development in the lives of some young men in America who will later be involved in the Revolution, most notably George Washington.

1776. The Virginia Convention instructs its delegates to the Constitution Congress to propose independence from Great Britain, paving the path to the Declaration of Independence.

1864. The Battle of New Market is fought in teh Shenendoah Valley by cadets of the Virginia Military Institute fighting alongside Confederate troops against the Union forces led by Franz Sigel. The Union forces are part of Grant's coordinated strategy to bring pressure to bear against multiple fronts to crush the Confederacy. The Confederates win teh battle, forcing a Union retreat and thwarting Grant's plans to seriously threaten Lee's flank.

1911. The United States Supreme Court rules that Standard Oil -- the oil conglomerate founded by John D. Rockefeller, must be broken up under the anti-monopoly laws. The conglomerate is broken up into 34 separate companies, some of which went on to become what was later known as Exxon, Mobile and Chevron. John D. Rockefeller had long since retired from active management, but as he owned nearly 25% of the shares of the various entities, many of which rapidly increased in value following the breakup, the case had the odd result of quickly making him the richest man in the world. There is also a serious question of whether the breakup was necessary (it was mostly politically motivated) as STandard Oil's dominance of the American oil market had greatly decreased the decade before the breakup, and international competition was rapidly increasing. Nonetheless, the breakup of the oil conglomerate was very popular on Main Street, America.

The image below, from 1906 Puck magazine, shows an infant Hercules Teddy Roosevelt (the then-President) battling the Standard Oil hydra.



1928. Mickey Mouse premiers in his first cartoon, Plane Crazy.

1940. McDonald's opens its first restaurant, in San Bernadino, California.
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:31 PM   #404
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Until just the last century, any kind of active fighting during winter was very rare. The logistical issues were too difficult to overcome, so armies just went into camp.
And so it is, that the Taliban and U.S. forces have been building up to mount a fierce battle in June or July I beleive....Strange with all our technology...
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Old 05-15-2010, 03:00 AM   #405
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1756. The Seven Years War begins -- an important development in the lives of some young men in America who will later be involved in the Revolution, most notably George Washington.
I just read about this in passing in a (oddly) Middle East textbook last semester: A few years before this date, Washington was the main person in a significant precursory event of the Seven Years War. Washington led a small British unit in attacking a small French scouting party. Washington's guys ended up killing the scout leader, which brought a swarm of French aggression on Washington, who eventually had to surrender position.

He was my age -- 22 years old.
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