Sunday, June 30, 2013

This Day in History: June 30th

This Day in History: The Continental Congress adopts Articles of War against Great Britain, 1775; Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia turns north heading into Pennsylvania towards a small crossroads town called Gettysburg in what he hopes will be a successful maneuver to crush the Union Army of the Potomac and bring President Lincoln to the bargaining table, 1863; Margaret Mitchell gets her first- and only novel- "Gone With the Wind"- published, winning her great acclaim, the Pulitzer Prize and the hearts and minds of millions around the world who called it one of the greatest novels ever written, later turned into a movie which won several Academy Awards- not bad for a first-time author, 1936; Hong Kong goes back to China from Great Britain, 1997

Friday, June 28, 2013

This Day in History: June 28th

This Day in History: James Madison dies- one of the last of the Founding Fathers, drafter of the U.S. Constitution, co-author of the Federalist Papers, recorder of the Constitutional Convention and fourth President of the United States- big accomplishments for a guy who was only 5 foot two, 1836; a crazed gunman starts the rumblings which would spark the fire that raged around the world by assassi...nating Archduke Franz Ferdinand and starting World War I, 1914; John Maynard Keynes- a Biritish economist- attends the treaty negotiations at Versailles which ended World War I and predicts disaster within a few years due to the overly harsh conditions imposed upon Germany, 1919; the very first "muscle car" rolls off of the assembly line in Flint, Michigan, the Chevrolet Corvette kindling a love affair with millions of young men trying to impress their girlfriends with a thrilling ride on the open road- and many more who'd passed 40 and were trying to find that energy they had 20 years earlier, 1953

Saturday, June 22, 2013

This Day in History: June 22nd

This Day in History: The Continental Congress presses its luck and issues $2 million in "bills of credit" to help finance the growing war effort, the notes being called "Continentals" due to their lack of any tie to the British Crown across the sea, 1775; Napoleon abdicates his throne for the second and last time and is banished from the French Empire to a remote island in the Mediterranean, 1815; Joe Louis becomes heavyweight champion of the world, a title he will retain for 12 years and defend successfuly 25 times, winning 21 times with knockouts that made him one of the greatest boxers of all time, 1937; FDR signs the G.I. Bill which will help rebiuld America after the end of World War II and the previous devastating Great Depression, allowing soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines to get low cost loans and go to college, earning degrees and learning skills with which to build their own lives and enjoy the American Dream, 1944

Friday, June 21, 2013

This Day in History: June 21st

This Day in History: King Charless III of Spain declares war on England, joining France in their assault against their decades-long enemy and helping the Americans greatly in their struggle for independence, spreading Britain's resources thin so that they would finally capitulate, 1779; the U.S. Constitution is ratified, 1788; General Pershing's troops are attacked by the Mexican Army as they try to find and capture the notorious villain Panch Villa, who'd escaped into the mountains of northern Mexico after crossing the U.S. border and slaughtering dozens in New Mexico, 1916; The Byrds hit #1 on the pop charst with a song by Bob Dylan- "Mr. Tambourine Man"- and change the world of music forever, Roger McGuinn's jangly 12-string electric Rickenbacker guitar forming the lush background which launched the folk-rock revolution, 1965

Thursday, June 20, 2013

This Day in History: June 20th

This Day in History: The Continental Congress adopts the "Great Seal of the United States", a blue shield with seven white and six red stripes along with an eagle clutching an olive branch signifying peace in one talon and arrows signifying war in another, 1782; 18-year old Queen Victoria starts her reign which will last 63 years and take the world into the 'Victorian Age', 1837; West Virginia 'secedes' from the rebellious state of Virginia and enters the Union as a supporter of the Federal government during the Civil War, 1863; people get scared as they enter the water at beaches everywhere as the movie "Jaws" is released, the thriller about a 30-foot long Great White Shark terrorizing the seasonal visitors to 'Amityville' shot in and around Martha's Vineyard becoming a blockbuster smash hit, 1975

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

This Day in History: June 19th

This Day in History: The Republican Party holds its first Presidential Convention in Philadelphia, nominating noted explorer John C. Fremont for President, their platform largely dedicted to abolishing the horrendous practice of slavery- a move which most Democrats vehemently opposed, as Democrats strongly supported and voted to continue the slave trade (especially in the South), 1856; the USS Kearsarge wins a big one for the Union and sinks the CSS Alabama off the coast of France, 1864; noted spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are executed for treason after a hotly debated trial, 1953; after more than ten years of writing songs for others which became pop hits, immensely talented songwriter/performer Carole King has a #1 record for herself, her album "Tapestry" going gold and launching King into a successful stand-alone musical career, 1970

Monday, June 17, 2013

This Day in History: June 17th

This Day in History: General William Howe attacks a well-entrenched American force at Bunker Hill in Boston, his troops suffering a blistering counter-attack with a barrage of bullets from the patriots who were told "Do not shoot until you see the whites of their eyes!", 1775; a wonderful present arrives in New York City- the Statue of Liberty, given to America by the French as a sign of our mutual friendhsip, 1885; aviator Amelia Earhardt becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, 1928; Marshall Henri Petain becomes Prime Minister of France in what the public believes will be a strong move against the invading Nazis- but he later made overtures for peace with the Germans, becoming known as the "Vichy government" that appeased the brutal Axis Power, 1940; a "third-rate burglary" is unveiled as police arrest three men trying to break into the Democrtic Party campaign headquarters in Washington, D.C., causing a slow drip... drip... drip in the press from investigative journalists who will be instrumental in bringing down the Administration of Richard Nixon by exposing lawbreaking which was covered up at the highest levels, 1972

Sunday, June 16, 2013

This Day in History: June 16th

This Day in History: Two and a half years before he steps big onto the national stage, a young Abraham Lincoln warns the Illinois state Republicans assembled that "a house divided against itself cannot stand", 1858; the first roller-coaster in America opens at a place later to become famous again for its hot dogs- Coney Island, New York, 1884; Henry Ford finally gets it right after trying twice and failing both times, incorporating the Ford Motor Company, destined to become the largest producer of automobiles in America, churning out roughly half the cars on U.S. roads in the 1920's and 1930's and dominating the landscape until an upstart named General Motors came onto the scene, 1903; Robert Zimmerman (a.k.a. Bob Dylan) sheds his folkie clothes and takes on the garb of a bluesy rock musician, going into Columbia Records Studio A in New York City with other electric guitar players and an organ player to record what some have called one of the best rock songs of all time- "Like A Rolling Stone", changing the face of popular music and influencing bands like The Byrds and others in the late 1960's and onwards, 1965

Saturday, June 15, 2013

This Day in History: June 15th

This Day in History: King John puts his royal seal on a document which will change the course of history for people around the world, approving the Magna Carta, 1215; George Washington is unanimously voted to lead the Continental Army, 1775; Delaware- or "the lower counties of the Delaware below Philadelphia" as they were known then as part of Pennsylvania- vote to declare independence from not only the Keystone State, but also England, 1776; Charles Goodyear gets a patent for the vulcanizaion of rubber, thus allowing the future development of tires for hot rods, muscle cars, the family station wagon and every other sort of motorized contraption to ride smoothly even on rough roads, 1844; the U.S. and Great Britain sign the Oregon Treaty, finally establishing the American border with the northern territories (Canada) at the 49th parallel, 1846

Thursday, June 13, 2013

This Day in History: June 13th

This Day in History: A student of Aristotle is laid to rest following a life of great achievement as Alexander the Great dies in Babylon after presiding over the largest empire in the ancient world, 323 B.C.; aviator Charles Lindbergh gets the full treatment- a ticker-tape parade amongst adoring crowds in downtown New York City to welcome him home after his record-breaking solo flight across the A...tlantic Ocean, 1927; the U.S. Supreme Court sides with a dude named Miranda even after he confessed to committing a crime, stating that all those arrested must be read their rights and given notice that they can remain silent and have a lawyer assist them- at taxpayer expense, 1966; State Department employee Daniel Ellsberg- formerly a supporter of government policy who'd later grown disillusioned and frustrated- leaks portions of a top secret Pentagon study on the Vietnam War to the New York Times, which immediately publishes it, causing widespread shock and disbelief that the government under President Lyndon Johnson had been repeatedly lying to the American public about the events in and outlook for success in Vietnam, causing an uproar, leading to the "fortress mentality" which eventually was the downfall of Johnson's successor, 1971; former President George H.W. Bush goes for a thrill ride as he jumps out of an airplane to celebrate his 80th birthday, 2004

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

This Day in History: June 12th

This Day in History: Virginia adopts George Mason's Declaration of Rights, which is almost a blueprint for Thomas Jefferson to later pen the now immortal Declaration of Independence, 1776; the Boys of Summer get a home as the Baseball Hall of Fame opens in Cooperstown, New York, 1939; a young girl receives a diary for her 13th birthday and uses it to write down her fears as she and her family hide from the Nazis during World War II, 1942; President Reagan goes against his advisers recommendations and speaks the words which brought down the Soviet Union: 'Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall...', six words which ended the Cold War and relegated Soviet Communism to the dustbin of history, 1987

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

This Day in History: June 11th

This Day in History: British Captain James Cook discovers the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest assemblage of living organisms, 1770; Allied forces converge after their successful D-Day assault, moving forward as a unified western front to liberate Europe, 1944; Hank Williams, Sr. makes his debut at the Grand Ole Opry, 1949; staging an amazing comeback after a near fatal car accident which nearly crippled him for life, Ben Hogan goes on to win at the Merion Golf Club outside Philadelphia, taking home one of his four lifetime U.S. Open victories, 1950; facing the threat of Federalized National Guard troops sent by President Kennedy, Alabama Governor George Wallace allows black students to attend the University of Alabama, 1963; Seattle Slew shocks audiences around America to become the second horse in the 1970's to win the Triple Crown, 1977; 'The Duke' rides off into the sunset after staging a long battle with health problems, John Wayne earning his place among the screen legends of Hollywood, later immortalized in a song by Jimmy Buffett, 1979

Monday, June 10, 2013

This Day in History: June 10th

This Day in History: Benjamin Franklin gets the shock of his life flying a kite with a metal key on it in a lightning thunderstorm, collecting the charge in a Leyden jar and changing the world of science, 1752; the Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia asks John Adams to write a declaration, but he refuses, knowing many of the members weren't too hot on the idea, saying (in effect) 'Half the group hates my guts... and the other half just don't like me', turning instead to a young man named Thomas Jefferson to pen the now immortal document, 1776; two men with serious drinking problems- a New York stockbroker and an Ohio physician- get sober for a while and form a group which will later help tens of millions around the world, Alcoholics Anonymous, 1935; Ike stands tall with a "'New Look' foreign policy, rejecting calls for isolationism and putting forth a pretty good doctrine- 1) have a multi-national (rather than unilateral) response to world crises and Communist aggression and 2) upgrade the military so that fewer planes, tanks and ships are needed, using the newest and strongest ones with a 'massive response' which can overwhelm the enemy, 1953

Sunday, June 9, 2013

This Day in History: June 9th

This Day in History: French navigator Jacques Cartier becomes the first European to explore the St. Lawrence River, 1534; Union and rebel cavalry clash at the Battle of Brandy Station, Virginia in a spirited skirmish which showed that Confederate General Jeb Stuart wasn't invincible, his team barely defeating the Union troops after a single cannon shot from a nearby hill scared them into thinking there was an entire artillery regiment behind it, a lead-in to the Battle of Gettysburg which occurred three weeks later, 1863; Charles Dickens dies of a stroke at the age of 58, the writer having penned some of the most outstanding works in English literature, including "A Tale of Two Cities", "Oliver Twist" and "A Christmas Carol", 1870; a flash flood on the Minnelusa River near Rapid City, South Dakota destroys the Pactola Dam, killing 238 people, 1972; Secretariat becomes the first horse in 25 years to win the Triple Crown of racing when he wins by a record-breaking 31 lengths against the field of challengers, 1973; Larry Bird is drafted by the Boston Celtics, soon to become one of the most successful players in the history of the game, his lightning-quick moves, superb ball-handling and superior shooting stunning audiences across the country, 1978

Saturday, June 8, 2013

This Day in History: June 8th

This Day in History: King George VI and his wife come to D.C. for a visit with FDR, the first time a Royal couple had visited the United States, 1936; the very first of a long series of performance machines rolls off the assembly line as "#1"- the first Porsche, a hand-built aluminum prototype is completed, 1948; Robert F. Kennedy is laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery three days after his death, the second of two very high profile brothers to be killed within five years, giving rise to many plausible conspiracy theories which abound today of how possibly the Mafia had a hand in both assassinations due to their anger over the policies and actions of the Kennedy's while in office which thwarted their underworld activities, 1968; Mick Jagger and Keith Richards do something unusual- ask a fellow band member to get help for HIS drug problems, telling multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones- one of the founding members of the band and the inspiration for many of the early songs which propelled them to stardom- to leave the band and enter rehab, the rock prodigy found dead in a swimming pool not long afterwards, 1969

Friday, June 7, 2013

This Day in History: June 7th

This Day in History: "Here comes the Sun King"- Louis XIV is crowned King of France, destined to have a very long reign over his kingdom, 1654; Richard Henry Lee of Virginia has a part in changing the world as he introduces his resolution for independence at a meeting of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, 1776; an Alaskan missionary proves he has the right stuff as Hudson Stuck becomes the first man to complete a successful ascent of Mount McKinley, the highest point on the North American continent, 1913; the "blonde bombshell"- actress Jean Harlow dies at a hospital in Hollywood of uremic failure after a brief, but highly successful stint in the film industry punctuated by personal tragedies and three marriages, 1937; Japanese troops occupy the islands of Attu and Kiska in the Aleutian chain off Alaska during World War II, their brief stay ending a year later when American forces re-take the islands, 1942

Thursday, June 6, 2013

This Day In History: June 6th

This Day in History: Development of the city which would be the capital of Russia for 200 years- St. Petersburg- is begun, 1703; setting the stage for teenage romance, the very first drive-in movie theatre opens in Camden, New Jersey, 1933; the invasion during "the war to end all wars", Operation Overlord begins, the largest amphibious assault in human history with American and British troops coordinating a massive onslaught to defeat Nazi forces entrenched on the beaches of Normandy, France, the attack beguiled at first due to inclement weather, but later overwhelmingly successful due to the efforts of thousands of brave men who marched directly into oncoming fire and saved the world, 1944; George Orwell takes a look at the way the world will look decades later with his hauntingly surreal novel "1984" which raised eyebrows around America as the thought of "Big Brother" watching your every move disturbed readers, 1949

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

This Day in History: June 5th

This Day in History: FDR takes the U.S. off the gold standard in the midst of the Great Depression, 1933; George C. Marshall proposes a great startegy for rebuilding Europe after World War II which will be called the Marshall Plan that rejuvenated the war-torn region, 1947; British Secretary of War John Profumo resigns after admitting to having had sexual relations with a call girl- Christine Keeler, the announcement shaking up the normally staid British press, 1963; Israel defeats Jordanian, Egyptian and Syrian forces in the first skirmish of the Six Day War, 1967; Robert F. Kennedy is shot and killed after he gives a rousing speech at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on his way to running for President, 1968; President Ronald Reagan dies after serving his country and brining it out of a lingering "malaise" after the Presidency of a failed predecessor and becoming a hero to millions around the world, 2004

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

This Day in History: June 4th

This Day in History: Oxford and Cambridge meet for the very first time in a cricket match, beginning a long-standing rivalry which will become legend over the next two centuries, 1827; Henry Ford rides his four-wheeled gas-powered contraption which he calls a "quadricycle" around Detroit, the first step in what will seven years later become the Ford Motor Company, 1896; the U.S. Congress finally f...igures out that- yes- both sexes should be eligible to cast ballots and passes the 19th Amendment, allowing women to enter the voting booth and pull the lever on election day, 1919; Carson McCullers releases her very first novel- "The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter"- and something exceptional for a young, unknown writer happens- it's an instant hit, the story of misfits in a small Georgia town propelling her to success, 1940; the Battle of Midway- one of the turning points of World War II begins, the naval onslaught allowing the U.S. to destroy four Japanese aircraft carriers while only losing one- the U.S.S. Yorktown, 1942; Bruce Springsteen's album "Born in the U.S.A." goes gold, the album bringing him huge success and building on his already long-standing reputation of giving 3-hour marathon concerts to adoring crowds coast-to-coast, 1984; Chinese police and combat troops attack protesters in Tianenman Square, killing dozens, with one solitary man capturing the attention of the world as he stands solidly straight, unflinching in front of a tank, 1989

Monday, June 3, 2013

This Day in History: June 3rd

This Day in History: President Woodrow Wilson signs the National Defense Act, which greatly expanded the scope and mission of the U.S. National Guard in protecting and defending the security of the country, 1916; King Edward VIII makes a public announcement that he values love over power and intends to marry American socialite Wallace Simpson, thereby agreeing to abdicate the throne as King of England, shocking the British press, the Royal Family and people around the world, 1937; astronaut Edward White opens the hatch of the Gemini IV space capsule and becomes the first American to walk in space, the event and other launches giving rise to popular space-related programs like "Lost In Space" and "Star Trek", 1965

Sunday, June 2, 2013

This Day in History: June 2nd

This Day in History: The British Parliament enacts the Coercive and the Quartering Acts, both of which will ignite sparks of resentment across the Atlantic in the 13 Colonies whose settlers were already sewing the seeds of revolution, 1774; Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith surrenders his Army of the Mississippi in the last formal act of capitulation by the rebels, whose leader General Robert E. Lee had already signed the armistice treaty nearly two months before, 1865; 49-year Grover takes a very young bride and becomes the only President to get hitched while serving his term in the White House, marrying 21-year old Frances Folsom, 1886; the greatest baseball player ever to take to the field retires as Babe Ruth, a poor kid from Baltimore leaves the game after 22 seasons, 10 World Series, 714 home runs and the highest batting average (.690) of any player, 1935; a princess becomes a Queen as Elizabeth is coronated at Westminter Abbey in London, 1953

Saturday, June 1, 2013

This Day in History: June 1st

This Day in History: The first European explorers reach the magnetic North Pole, 1831; Lou Gehrig- "the Iron Man" of baseball- seps up to the plate to pinch hit for Pee Wee Wanninger, the first game in 2,130 consecutive games he played over 14 years which made him one of the greatest players ever to take the field, for which he later said to an admiring crowd "I'm the luckiest man in the world..."..., 1925; a British rock group changes the world of music forever with a long-playing (L.P.) album based on a Sergeant who was lonely, 1967; Helen keller dies- the deaf, dumb and blind woman an amazing example of what can be accomplished with a strong will and determination, having graduated cum laude from Radcliffe and going on a lecture tour around the world, writing several books about her life's journey, 1968; Cable News Network (CNN) debuts, bucking the establishment news channels ABC, NBC and CBS in doing news 24-hours a day, at first being ridiculed as the "Chicken Noodle Network" and later for its strongly liberal reporting as the "Commie News Network", the station set the tone for news in the 1980's and 1990's, especially during the Gulf War, when Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell said "The best coverage I've seen was on CNN...", 1980