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Old 01-01-2009, 09:36 PM  
Amnorix Amnorix is offline
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This Day in History

Today...
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Old 02-12-2009, 11:16 AM   #166
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February 12.

Wow, after a very interesting set of choices for February 11, today is a real yawner.

To emphasize that fact, I'll pick a silly one.

2000. On this date, 2000, the last original Charles Schultz Peanuts strip was published.
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Old 02-12-2009, 11:23 AM   #167
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I didn't know that about how gerrymandering got it's name. I assume it's pretty common knowledge for people in MA.
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:16 AM   #168
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I didn't know that about how gerrymandering got it's name. I assume it's pretty common knowledge for people in MA.
Well, for those with a historical bent anyway. The thing is that Elbridge Gerry really was a very significant member of the Founding Father's generation. He was a member of the Constitutional Convention, a leading Federalist, and one of the three US ministers sent to France and then humiliated by the French in the infamous XYZ Affair, which rebounded badly on the French and the Democrats in Congress.

He wasn't just some hack. And yet...
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:31 AM   #169
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I know you've all been getting the shakes from withdrawal due ot my not updating this thread, but I'm back on the job...

February 13.

1633. Galileo arrives in Rome for trial before the Inquisition.

1635. The first public school in the US is founded -- the Boston Latin School (which remains an elite public school to this day).

1668. Spain recognizes Portugal's independence.

1935. A jury in New Jersey finds Bruno Hauptmann guilty in the Lindbergh Baby kidnapping case (the "Crime of the Century"). He is subsequently sentenced to death and executed. To this day, the case and the finding of guilt remains controversial. One of the leading figures in the case was Herbert Norman Schwartkopf, the Superintendant of the New Jersey STate Police who was heavily involved in the investigation and had repeated run-ins iwth the FBI, who tried (and mostly succeeded) in taking over the case despite some jurisdictional questions. Schwartkopf's son would go on to lead all coalition forces against Iraq in the early 1990s.

1945. The firebombing of Dresden begins.

1990. Agreement is reached on a two stage plan to reunite Germany.
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:49 AM   #170
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February 14.

1835. The first Quorum of the 12 Apostles of the Later Day Saints movement is formed.

1849. James K. Polk becomes the first sitting President to have his photograph taken.

1912. The first diesel powered submarine is launched.

1918. Russia adopts the Gregorian Calendar.

1929. The St. Valentine's Day Massacre occurs in Chicago.

1943. German General von Armin, substituting for Rommell, launches attacks against the Allied positions in Tunisia. For fans of the Patton movie, it was the American tactical defeat in these battles that led to Patton being appointed to command and then shouting "I read your book" later when his forces defeated von Armin's.

1949. The Isreali Knesset convenes for the first time.

1989. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issues a fatwa against the life of author Salman Rushdie.

1989. The first of the 24 Global Positioning Satellites is placed into orbit.
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Old 02-17-2009, 12:55 PM   #171
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February 14.

1849. James K. Polk becomes the first sitting President to have his photograph taken.

Hence his nickname of "Ol' Red Eye".
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Old 02-17-2009, 03:10 PM   #172
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Old 02-17-2009, 03:16 PM   #173
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February 15.

Just for you guys. 1764. The city of St. Louis, Missouri, is established.

1862. Ulysses S. Grant attacks Fort Donelson, Tennessee. This was the first significant victory for Union forces in the Civil War, and starts Grant's meteoric rise.

1898. The USS Maine explodes and sinks in Havana Harbor, leading to the Spanish-American War.

1942. The Fall of Singapore to the Japanese. A complete debacle and a serious blow to British interests in Asia.

2005. YouTube is launched.
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Old 02-17-2009, 03:21 PM   #174
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:41 AM   #175
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February 16.

1923. Howard Carter unseals the burial chamber of King Tut.

1945. American forces land on Corregidor island in the PHilippines.

The premier event of the day is one of limited historical importance, but is very cool/interesting for those interested in military history. Today in 1804 Stephen Decatur snuck into Tripoli Harbor and burned the captured USS Philadelphia.

These events occurred during the First Barbary Wars, when President Jefferson dispatched a very significant portion of the United States Navy to the Mediterranean to try to impress upon the various Barbary states that raiding American commerce was a bad idea. One of the ships sent was the USS Philadelphia, a newly commissioned 36 gun frigate built under the very pro-Navy Adams administration. At that size, the Philadephia was bigger and more powerful than any Barbary ship afloat. She was commanded by Captain William Bainbridge.

Arriving off Gibraltar in August, 1802, she quickly proved her worth by recapturing the American brig Celia from a Moroccan man-o-war and bringing both boats into Gibraltar.

Ordered to blockade Tripoli, she cruised off the coast of the pirate city until October 31, 1803, when she ran aground on an uncharted reef. Efforts to refloat her (involving throwing everything overboard, including the heavy stuff such as cannon, etc.) failed, and after Tripoli's shore batteries opened up on her, she was surrendered. Her officers and men became slaves of the Pasha.

It was a humiliating blow for the nascent United States navy and nation.

She was also too great a prize to be allowed to remain in the hands of pirates. Naval commanders decided that she must be recaptured or destroyed. (keep in mind, it took 6+ months for messages to get to the US and back, so commanders on site had great latitude.

On this day, 1804, US Navy Lieutenant Stephen Decatur took the captured Moroccan ketch Mastico (which had been renamed the Intrepid) into Tripoli Harbor. Disguised as a Moroccan vessel, she snuck in at night under the shore batteries of the harbor, approached the PHiladephia, fired her, and quickly fled the scene.

For this daring act, Decatur immediately became a national hero. Quickly promoted to captain for his valor in this act (he volunteered to lead the mission) as well as the prior combat in Tripoli Harbor when he led a boarding party during a bombardment, he remains to this day the youngest person to ever attain the rank of Captain in US Navy history (he was about 25).

Lord Admiral Nelson, hero of Trafalgar, reputedly referred to these events as "the most bold and daring act of the age."

Decatur went on to have a very successful career commanding several frigates, including successes during the War of 1812.

In 1820 Decatur died after a duel with Commodore James Barron, after Barron challenged him due to remakrs made in 1807 relating to Barron's court martial proceedings.

Five US Navy ships have been named the Decatur, as well as forty-six cities and towns in the United States, and countless schools and other public buildings. His former home in Washington DC is a museum, and his portrait appeared on the 1886 US $20 silver certificates.

Bainbridge remained imprisoned until 1806. His negotiated release led a few years later to his rather stunning return to the US Navy, including not just shore duty but command of several frigates. He successful commanded the Constitution during the early part of the war, and then served as second at Decatur's duel. It is rumored that he was jealous of Decatur most of his life due to Decatur's enduring fame.

Bainbridge Island, Washington, and the towns of Bainbridge, Ohio and Bainbridge, Georgia are named after him. Several US navy ships have also been named the Bainbridge.
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:44 AM   #176
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Is it just me, or are you a few days behind?
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:47 AM   #177
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Is it just me, or are you a few days behind?
Yep. Fell waaaay behind over the long weekend. Am struggling to catch up and keep with it.

I should get even with today by the end of the day.
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:48 AM   #178
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Yep. Fell waaaay behind over the long weekend. Am struggling to catch up and keep with it.

I should get even with today by the end of the day.
Okay. Just making sure you didn't go back in a time warp.
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:30 AM   #179
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:56 AM   #180
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Is it just me, or are you a few days behind?

I believe that he was showing us the impact of switching from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. Bravo, amnorix. Bravo!
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