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

Today...
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Old 03-05-2009, 07:00 AM   #211
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Yeah, no kidding. I was stunned.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Princeton_(1843)

A more detailed review, however, suggests that it wasn't eight cabinet members, but rather eight people including two cabinet members, and some other senior members of government.
I did further research and discovered that it was 8 people that died, including 2 US cabinet members -- the Secretaries of State and the Navy.

I fixed the Wikipedia entry for the day, which is where my first, erroneous, post was sourced from.
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Old 03-05-2009, 08:13 AM   #212
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March 4.

1238. The Battle of Sit River. The Mongols under Batu Khan (Genghis' grandson) crush the Russians of Grand Prince Yuri II, ending organized resistance to the Mongols. The "Golden Horde" would go on to crush Polish and Hungarian troops as well, and then settle down to rule Rus and the Caucuses for about 250 years.

1461. War of the Roses ends for the moment with the deposing of Lancastrian King Henry VI, who is replaced by his cousin, York King Edward IV.

1629. Massachusetts Bay Colony is granted a royal charter.

1775. On this day, the British in Boston, Massachusetts awaken to find American heavy cannon emplaced on Dorchester Heights, opposite the city. With a commanding range of fire over the city and harbor, the British position is rendered immediately untenable. The victory is the result of American General Henry Knox having led teams of sleds bringing heavy cannon from Fort Ticonderoga (in New York) through the bitter cold New England winter to Boston. At first, the British plan to attack, but bad weather and the potential for a true disaster sink in, and the British abandon the city to the rebels.

1837. Chicago is incorporated as a city.

1861. Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated as President. The newly formed Confederate States adopt their flag, the "stars and bars".

1917. Jeannette Rankin is elected to the US House of Representatives -- the first woman to be so elected. She becomes famous as a pacifist, voting against the United States' entry into World War I and II, being the only memeber of Congress to vote against the latter. Her stance being unpopular, she does not run for reelection.

1957. The S&P 500 is introduced, replacing the S&P 90.

1977. The first Cray 1 Supercomputer is delivered to Los Alamos laboratory. Weighing 5.5 tons (including the built-in freon unit), it was capable of performing at the astounding speed of 80 MFLOPS/second. By comparison, a Pentium 4 2.8 ghz computer can do 2.5 GFLOPS/second, about 31 times faster.

1980. In what is generally acknowledged now as a "really big mistake", Nationalist leader Robert Mugabe wins a sweeping election victory to become the first black Prime Minister of Zimbabwe.
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Old 03-05-2009, 11:04 AM   #213
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1980. In what is generally acknowledged now as a "really big mistake", Nationalist leader Robert Mugabe wins a sweeping election victory to become the first black Prime Minister of Zimbabwe.


On a side note, I love to say "Zimbabwe".
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Old 03-05-2009, 11:06 AM   #214
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1917. Jeannette Rankin is elected to the US House of Representatives -- the first woman to be so elected. She becomes famous as a pacifist, voting against the United States' entry into World War I and II, being the only memeber of Congress to vote against the latter. Her stance being unpopular, she does not run for reelection.
Stupid split-tail hippie.
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Old 03-05-2009, 11:08 AM   #215
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Stupid split-tail hippie.
Those crazy pacifist Montanans. Of course, she did guarantee herself a place in trivia history for all eternity with her stance...

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Old 03-05-2009, 11:09 AM   #216
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Those crazy pacifist Montanans. Of course, she did guarantee herself a place in trivia history for all eternity with her stance...

Yeah, that's what I figured the twunt looked like.
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:05 AM   #217
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March 5.

1770. The Boston Massacre occurs. In Boston, Massachusetts, the British have posted a heavy presence of troops, which grates on the colonists' nerves, especially as they often board at the houses of the residents of the city. The troops are there to help enforce the Townshend Acts, which were very unpopular laws designed to take the judiciary out of colonial control and enforce the right to tax colonists. An incident between colonists and troops sparks rioting and attacks on the troops, who fire in self defense, killing five civilians.

The troops who fired were eventually indicted for murder. The colonial government decided to give them a fair trial, so the British could not complain, but no Boston lawyers were willing to represent them for fear of losing clients and being effectively career suicide. Into the breach steps brilliant lawyer, leading patriot and future President John Adams, in the interests of upholding the rule of law. Adams' defense results in several troops being found innocent, and only two soldiers being found guilty of the lesser crime of manslaughter. The events, however, highlight and exacerbate the ongoing tension between the colonies and the mother country -- tensions that would result in the American Revolution in a just a few short years.

The site of the Boston Massacre, which I walk by every day:




1836. Samuel Colt makes the first production revolver, a .34 caliber.

1946. In a speech at Westminster College, Missouri, Winston Churchill descirbes the latest events in Europe and with the Soviet Union in particular. In it, he coins the term "Iron Curtain"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winston Churchill
From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an "iron curtain" has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia; all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject, in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and in some cases increasing measure of control from Moscow.
At first, the speech is not well received in the West, especially by the public, whose memories of the Soviet Union's alliance with the West against the evils of Nazi Germany are still fresh. Eventually, however, it becomes clear that Churchill's insight was correct.

1953. Soviet dictator Josef Stalin dies.
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:44 AM   #218
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March 6.

1836. After a 13 day siege by 3,000 Mexican soldiers, the 187 men defending the Alamo are defeated and the fort captured. The few men defending the fort who were not killed in the battle are executed.

1857. Southern sympathizer Chief Justice Taney of the United States Supreme Court hands down the Court's decision in the case of Dred Scott v. Sandford. The case is an immediate sensation, heightening tensions between North and South, and helping to lead to the American Civil War.

CJ Taney, in a woefully misguided attempt to end all dispute regarding the slavery issue that had vexed American politics for over 50 years, handed down an expansive decision that sought to resolve the entire issue. Dred Scott ruled that African Americans that were imported into the United States and their descendants -- whether or not slaves -- were chattel and could never be citizens of the country.

The background of the case was this -- Dred Scott was the slave to a certain doctor, who traveled extensively on business. Among his travels, the doctor went to Northern states that prohibited slavery, including Illinois, and spent time at various forts and other locations in Federal terrotories that prohibited slavery under the Missouri Compromise. After several years of this, and the death of the doctor, Dred Scott sued to be freed, claiming that the time spent in those locations had effectively rendered him a free person under the law.

The Supreme Court ruled against Scott, including such memorable bits of overindulgence as:

Quote:
According to the Court, the drafters of the Constitution had viewed all African-Americans as

"beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect."
As part of the ruling, the Court declared that the Missouri Compromise was Unconstitutional and unenforceable. This was only the second act the Court declared Unconstitutional in its young history -- the first being the famous case of Marbury versus Madison in 1803.

The ruling was considered the latest in a strong push by slavery adherents to extend slavery. Taney's efforts to end the slavery debate had the opposite result -- heightening anti-slavery causes in the North and splitting political parties along geographic/factional lines and splitting the Democratic Party in particular, paving the way for Abraham Lincoln's victory.

The decision had another unintended effect -- the very serious fear that the Supreme Court would next declare, as soon as it had a reasonable opportunity to do so, that no state could declare slavery illegal within its borders. This seriously impacted many Northerners who had been content to let the South have its "peculiar institution" while the North remained slave free. This issue was touched upon in Lincoln's famous "House Divided" speech:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abraham Lincoln
"Put this and that together, and we have another nice little niche, which we may, ere long, see filled with another Supreme Court decision, declaring that the Constitution of the United States does not permit a State to exclude slavery from its limits. ...We shall lie down pleasantly dreaming that the people of Missouri are on the verge of making their State free, and we shall awake to the reality instead, that the Supreme Court has made Illinois a slave State."
Dred Scott is generally considered, by far, the worst decision the Supreme Court has ever made. Instead of resolving the issue of slavery, it exacerbated tensions over the issue, and was a leading cause of the Civil War.

Chief Justice Roger B. Taney:

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Old 03-06-2009, 10:31 PM   #219
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March 7

1876. Alexander Graham Bell is awarded a patent for a newfangled device he calls the "telephone".

1936. In violation of applicable treaties, Germany reoccupies the Rhineland.

1945. American forces seize the Ludendorff Bridge, better known as the Bridge at Remagen. It triggers a weeklong fight between the Germans, trying to knock the bridge out, and Allied forces defending it.

As it's a light day, I'll take a moment to note also that on this day, 321, Roman Emperor Constantine I issues Solis Invicti, decreeing that each week on the day of the Sun God (i.e. Sun Day), would be a day of rest throughout the Empire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Constantine I
On the venerable day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country however persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits because it often happens that another day is not suitable for grain-sowing or vine planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost.
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Old 03-08-2009, 08:34 PM   #220
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March 8

1655. John Casor becomes the first legally recognized slave for life in the country that will become the United States. In an incredible instance of irony, he is so declared as a result of a legal proceeding brought by his owner -- a freed black man named Anthony Johnson -- one of 20 black men brought to Jamestown in 1619 and who had obtained his freedom by 1623.
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Old 03-08-2009, 09:11 PM   #221
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On a side note, I love to say "Zimbabwe".

If you like that, you may like this better. I was in South Africa last year when the whole election fiasco was happening, and the Zimbabweans were coming across the border in droves. The South Africans called them "Zims". They would say things like, "The Zims are really pretty likeable, and they work hard," or "The Zims seem to be everywhere these days."

I love the name Zims. It's so Seussian.
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Old 03-08-2009, 09:14 PM   #222
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March 8

1655. John Casor becomes the first legally recognized slave for life in the country that will become the United States. In an incredible instance of irony, he is so declared as a result of a legal proceeding brought by his owner -- a freed black man named Anthony Johnson -- one of 20 black men brought to Jamestown in 1619 and who had obtained his freedom by 1623.

"Until they fix their own community...."

"It's black on black crime that..."
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:12 AM   #223
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March 9

1862. A completely inconclusive and inconsequential battle between two ships in the Civil War heralds the dawn of a new era in warships. The USS Monitor battled the CSS Virginia (built in part using the remains of the USS Merrimac) off Hampton Roads, Virginia.

The USS Monitor:



An ungainly, low-in-the-water, barely seaworthy vessell, the Monitor was little more than an armored raft. She had been built very rapidly as a result of the Union's knowledge of the construction of the Virginia as an ironclad. It nearly sank as it was towed into place from Brooklyn to Virginia to ensure that the blockade of Hampton Roads continued. She arrived in the nick of time. On March 8th, the Virginia had come out and sank both the USS Cumberland and the USS Congress, two 50 gun frigates that were on blockade duty. The next day the Virginia slipped her moors and went to destroy the rest of the blockading force, but found the Monitor in her way.

The battle lasted 4 hours, with neither ship seriously damaging the other. At that point, the ships' defenses were far superior to their firepower.

Swamped by high waves while under tow, the Monitor sank on December 31, 1862 with a loss of 16 of her 160 crew members. In 1973, the remains of the wreck were found about 16 nautical miles south of Cape Hatteras. Portions of teh ship have been raised and are on display at the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia.

The CSS Virginia failed in her msision to break the Union blockade, though she sortied out several times to offer battle to the Monitor, which consistently refused after the first fight, and she went on to capture a few merchant vessels.

The CSS Virginia:



On the first day of the Battle of Hampton Roads, the Virginia sank the USS Cumberland by ramming her, but in sinking, the Cumberland performed a final service by breaking off the Virginia's ram. The first day of battle also did damage to the Virginia's smokestack, reducing her already pathetically slow speed.

Requiring a much deeper draft than the Monitor, and being a much slower vessel, the Virginia was unable to reenage the Monitor, which stayed in the shoals, despite various efforts to offer battle. On May 10, 1862, with the Union Army engaged in McClelland's Peninsula Campaign, Norfolk, Virginia was occupied (see side-story below). Unable to advance further up the James River due to her deep draft, and not sufficiently seaworthy for the open seas, the Virginia was blown up to prevent her capture.


Peninsula Campaign / Norfolk Side Story. The capture of Norfolk, Virginia, is in itself a fascinating little historical nugget. The port at Hampton Roads is one of the best in the world, and the current home of the US Navy's Norfolk Navy Base. While engaged in the Peninsula Campaign, Union Commander General McClelland was visited by President Lincoln, Secretary of War Stanton and Secretary of the Treasury Salmon Chase, who arrived at Fort Monroe on May 6th. McClellan, whose arrogance match that of any US military leader before or after, claimed he was too busy to meet the President and Secretary of War.

Lincoln strongly felt that Norfolk was vulnerable and could be captured. He very much wanted it captured for the benefit of the Navy, but being ignored by McClellan, decided to undertake the mission himself. He ordered a naval bombardment on shore and then -- incredibly -- after consulting with a local pilot familiar with the shore region, did a personal reconnaissance of the opposing shore, along with the two cabinet members in order to find an unopposed landing point. Troops were ferried across the river, and the troops entered the city a day or two later, encountering little resistance.

Thus, President Lincoln himself was directly responsible for the capture of Newport, Virginia, the loss of that key port to the Confederates (it remained in Union hands for the rest of the war), and the destruction of the CSS Virginia. And in the words of Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase:

"So ended a brilliant week's campaign by the President."

http://www.norfolkhistorical.org/highlights/46.html
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:49 AM   #224
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March 10

241 BC. The naval forces of the Republic of Rome soundly defeat the Carthaginian navy off the west coast of Sicily in the Battle of the Aegates Islands, bringing the first Punic War to a successful conclusion.

1804. In St. Louis, Missouri, a ceremony is held to transfer ownership of the Lousiana Territory from France to the United States.

1848. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is completed, ending the Mexican-American War. The US, having crushed Mexico in the war, dictates the terms of treaty, which involve the US paying Mexico $15 million in exchange for approximately 525,000 square miles, or about 55% of Mexico's pre-war territory (excluding Texas), being ceded to the US. The US also agreed to honor Mexican citizens' property rights in the affected region, but then went on to mostly ignore this requirement. The ceded area consisted of all of what is now California, Nevada and Utah and parts of what are now Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Wyoming.



1876. The first successful telephone call is made by Alexander Graham Bell who states "Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you."
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:19 AM   #225
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March 11.

1708. Queen Anne withholds consent for the Scottish Militia Bill -- the last time a monarch of England vetoes legislation.

1941. President Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease Act.

1942. Specifiically ordered to do so by President Roosevelt, General Douglas MacArthur leaves Corregidor and heads for Melbourne, Australia.
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Amnorix has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Amnorix has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Amnorix has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Amnorix has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Amnorix has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Amnorix has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Amnorix has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Amnorix has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Amnorix has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Amnorix has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.Amnorix has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.
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