Tuesday, April 9, 2013

This Day In History: April 9th

This Day in History: Mark Twain gets his riverboat pilot's license, giving him the material which would make him famous in the coming decades when he publishes "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and other books which became classics of American literature, 1859; General Robert E. Lee surrenders at Appomattox, effectively ending the Civil War- America's costliest, deadliest and most bitter internal struggle which claimed roughly 600,000 casualties- roughly 4% of the population- the equivalent of 12 million dead today, 1865; NASA introduces the very first astronauts to America who would go forward in Project Mercury, a story detailed in the wonderful movie (and book by Tom Wolfe before it) called 'The Right Stuff', 1959; Paul McCartney saddens the entire world and announces the break-up of the Beatles, ending "The Sixties", 1970  www.GenePisasale.com -Gene Pisasale, Author of "The Forgotten Star", "Abandoned Address- The Secret of Frick's Lock", "Lafayette's Gold- The Lost Brandywine Treasure" and the column "Living History" which runs bi-weekly in The Daily Local News and other Chester county, Pa. media outlets

Monday, April 8, 2013

This Day In History April 8th

This Day in History: Traders for the Dutch East India Company begin the settlement which will be named Cape Town, South Africa, a crossroads for voyagers going from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, 1652; the U.S. Congress approves President Rooselvent's Works Progress Administration (WPA), the massive Federal spending designed to put millions of unemployed people to work building roads, bridges and dams across America, many of which like the scenic and often photographed Bixby Bridge along the coast at California's Big Sur now a landmark destination, 1935; Hank Aaron breaks Babe Ruth's home run record, slamming his 715th run despite having received death threats from bigoted people who weren't fond of seeing the former Negro leagues player shatter their misguided and one-sided dreams, 1974

Saturday, April 6, 2013

This Day in History: April 6th

This Day in History: Tennessee becomes the stage for one of the bloodiest conflicts of the Civil War as the Battle of Shiloh rages, causing thousands of casualties on both sides, 1862; sports make a comeback in Greece as the Olympics return to Athens after a millennial hiatus, 1896; the U.S. Congress votes to approve President Woodrow Wilson's declaration of war against Germany after seeing sever...al American ships and vessels from other countries sunk by German submarines, killing thousands of people, the vote formally bringing the U.S. into World War I, 1917; Stanley Kubrick shakes things up a bit with his film "2001: A Space Odyssey", a ground-breaking movie which incorporated elements of sci-fi with special effects and a fascinating theme about the development of man, quickly becoming one of the most talked about films of all time, raising eyebrows as it pondered questions of human origin, the effects of technology and spiritual issues about man's nature, 1968

Friday, April 5, 2013

This Day in History April 5th

This Day in History: President George Washington casts the very first Presidential veto, setting a standard (as he did with so many other actions) for the framework of our governmental system, 1792; Charles Darwin sends the first chapter of what would become the groundbreaking scientific work "The Origin of Species" to his publisher, a book that would transform the study of science in so many disciplines and set off a firestorm of outrage as people on all sides of the political and social spectrum argued about the believability of his ideas, 1859; Winston Churchill resigns as Prime Minister for the second time after a long and steller career in which he switched from being a conservative to a liberal, served as a Member of Parliament, a soldier, First Lord of the Admiralty in World War I, suffered severe defeat and criticism of his policies, left government for ten years as he criticized the spread of Naziism, got back into government as a conservative again, successfully steered his ship of state and his nation safely through World War II, was fired from his job as Prime Minister after guiding Britain through the greatest conflict it had ever seen, then later knighted and awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, 1955; reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes dies, the eccentric having studied engineering after he inherited his father's fortune of $1 million dollars from his Hughes Tool Corporation and started his own aircraft and film companies, became a major land developer and owner of more real estate in Las Vegas than anyone, growing increasingly isolated with his bizarre behavior and finally dying aboard an aircraft on a flight between two of his many homes around the world, setting off a flurry of imposters who were determined to inherit his fortune, including one unusual hitchhiker who claimed Hughes had picked him up on the highway years before and willed his estate to him during the ride, 1976