Monthly Archives: May 2015

Today in History – May 31

1433 – Sigismund was crowned emperor of Rome.

1854 – The Kansas-Nebraska Act passed by the U.S. Congress.

1859 – The Philadelphia Athletics were formally organized to play the game of Town Ball.

1859 – In London, Big Ben went into operation.

1870 – E.J. DeSemdt patented asphalt.

1879 – New York’s Madison Square Garden opened.

1880 – The first U.S. national bicycle society was formed in Newport, RI. It was known as the League of American Wheelman.

1884 – Dr. John Harvey Kellogg patented “flaked cereal.”

1889 – In Johnstown, PA, more than 2,200 people died after the South Fork Dam collapsed.

1900 – U.S. troops arrived in Peking to help put down the Boxer Rebellion.

1902 – The Boer War ended between the Boers of South Africa and Great Britain with the Treaty of Vereeniging.

1907 – The first taxis arrived in New York City. They were the first in the United States.

1909 – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) held its first conference.

1910 – The Union of South Africa was founded.

1913 – The 17th Amendment went into effect. It provided for popular election of U.S. senators.

1915 – A German zeppelin made an air raid on London.

1927 – Ford Motor Company produced the last “Tin Lizzie” in order to begin production of the Model A.

1929 – In Beverly, MA, the first U.S. born reindeer were born.

1941 – The first issue of “Parade: The Weekly Picture Newspaper” went on sale.

1943 – “Archie” was aired on the Mutual Broadcasting System for the first time.

1947 – Communists seized control of Hungary.

1955 – The U.S. Supreme Court ordered that all states must end racial segregation “with all deliberate speed.”

1961 – South Africa became an independent republic.

1962 – Adolf Eichmann was hanged in Israel. Eichmann was a Gestapo official and was executed for his actions in the Nazi Holocaust.

1970 – An earthquake in Peru killed tens of thousands of people.

1974 – Israel and Syria signed an agreement on the Golan Heights.

1977 – The trans-Alaska oil pipeline was finished after 3 years of construction.

1979 – Zimbabwe proclaimed its independence.

1994 – The U.S. announced it was no longer aiming long-range nuclear missiles at targets in the former Soviet Union.

1995 – Bob Dole singled out Time Warner for “the marketing of evil” in movies and music. Dole later admitted that he had not seen or heard much of what he had been criticizing.

2003 – In North Carolina, Eric Robert Rudolph was captured. He had been on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list for five years for several bombings including the 1996 Olympic bombing.

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Today in History – May 30

1416 – Jerome of Prague was burned as a heretic by the Church.

1431 – Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in Rouen, France, at the age of 19.

1527 – The University of Marburg was founded in Germany.

1539 – Hernando de Soto, the Spanish explorer, landed in Florida with 600 soldiers to search for gold.

1783 – The first daily newspaper was published in the U.S. by Benjamin Towner called “The Pennsylvania Evening Post”

1814 – The First Treaty of Paris was declared, which returned France to its 1792 borders.

1848 – W.G. Young patented the ice cream freezer.

1854 – The U.S. territories of Nebraska and Kansas were established.

1868 – Memorial Day was observed widely for the first time in the U.S.

1879 – William Vanderbilt renamed New York City’s Gilmore’s Garden to Madison Square Garden.

1883 – Twelve people were trampled to death in New York City in a stampede when a rumor that the Brooklyn Bridge was in danger of collapsing occurred.

1896 – The first automobile accident occurred in New York City.

1903 – In Riverdale, NY, the first American motorcycle hill climb was held.

1911 – Ray Harroun won the first Indianapolis 500. At the time, it was known as International 500-Mile Sweepstakes Race. Harroun’s average speed was 74.59 miles per hour.

1912 – The U.S. Marines were sent to Nicaragua to protect American interests.

1913 – The First Balkan War ended.

1921 – The U.S. Navy transferred the Teapot Dome oil reserves to the Department of the Interior.

1922 – The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in Washington, DC.

1933 – Sally Rand introduced her exotic and erotic fan dance to audiences at Chicago’s Century of Progress Exposition.

1943 – American forces secured the Aleutian island of Attu from the Japanese during World War II.

1958 – Unidentified soldiers killed in World War II and the Korean conflicts were buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

1967 – Daredevil Evel Knievel jumped 16 automobiles in a row in a motorcycle stunt at Ascot Speedway in Gardena, CA.

1967 – The state of Biafra seceded from Nigeria and Civil war erupted.

1971 – Mariner 9, the American deep space probe blasted off on a journey to Mars.

1981 – In Chittagong, Bangladesh, President Ziaur Rahman was assassinated.

1982 – Spain became the 16th NATO member. Spain was the first country to enter the Western alliance since West Germany in 1955.

1983 – Peru’s President Fernando Belaunde Terry declared a state of emergency and suspended civil rights after bombings by leftist rebels.

1989 – The “Goddess of Democracy” statue (33 feet height) was erected in Tiananmen Square by student demonstrators.

1996 – Britain’s Prince Andrew and the former Sarah Ferguson were granted an uncontested decree ending their 10-year marriage.

1997 – Jesse K. Timmendequas was convicted in Trenton, NJ, of raping and strangling a 7-year-old neighbor, Megan Kanka. The 1994 murder inspired “Megan’s Law,” requiring that communities be notified when sex offenders move in.

1998 – A powerful earthquake hit northern Afghanistan killing up to 5,000.

2003 – Peter Jennings was sworn in as a U.S. citizen.


Today in History – May 29

1453 – Constantinople fell to Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, ending the Byzantine Empire.

1660 – Charles II was restored to the English throne after the Puritan Commonwealth.

1721 – South Carolina was formally incorporated as a royal colony.

1765 – Patrick Henry denounced the Stamp Act before Virginia’s House of Burgesses.

1790 – Rhode Island became the last of the original thirteen colonies to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

1827 – The first nautical school opened in Nantucket, MA, under the name Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin’s Lancasterian School.

1848 – WIsconsin became the 30th state to join the United States.

1849 – A patent for lifting vessels was granted to Abraham Lincoln.

1910 – An airplane raced a train from Albany, NY, to New York City. The airplane pilot Glenn Curtiss won the $10,000 prize.

1912 – Fifteen women were dismissed from their jobs at the Curtis Publishing Company in Philadelphia, PA, for dancing the Turkey Trot while on the job.

1916 – The official flag of the president of the United States was adopted.

1916 – U.S. forces invaded Dominican Republic and remained until 1924.

1922 – Ecuador became independent.

1922 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that organized baseball was a sport, not subject to antitrust laws.

1932 – World War I veterans began arriving in Washington, DC. to demand cash bonuses they were not scheduled to receive for another 13 years.

1951 – C.F. Blair became the first man to fly over the North Pole in single engine plane.

1953 – Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became first men to reach the top of Mount Everest.

1962 – Buck (John) O’Neil became the first black coach in major league baseball when he accepted the job with the Chicago Cubs.

1965 – Ralph Boston set a world record in the broad jump at 27-feet, 4-3/4 inches, at a meet held in Modesto, CA.

1973 – Tom Bradley was elected the first black mayor of Los Angeles.

1974 – U.S. President Nixon agreed to turn over 1,200 pages of edited Watergate transcripts.

1978 – In the U.S., postage stamps were raised from 13 cents to 15 cents.

1981 – The U.S. performed a nuclear test at the Nevada Test Site.

1985 – Thirty-nine people were killed and 400 were injured in a riot at a European Cup soccer match in Brussels, Belgium.

1986 – Colonel Oliver North told National Security Advisor William McFarlane that profits from weapons sold to Iran were being diverted to the Contras.

1988 – U.S. President Reagan began his first visit to the Soviet Union in Moscow.

1988 – NBC aired “To Heal A Nation,” the story of Jan Scruggs’ effort to build the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

1990 – Boris Yeltsin was elected president of the Russian republic by the Russian parliament.

1997 – The ruling party in Indonesia, Golkar, won the Parliament election by a record margin. There was a boycott movement and rioting that killed 200 people.

1999 – Space shuttle Discovery completed the first docking with the International Space Station.

2000 – Fiji’s military took control of the nation and declared martial law following a coup attempt by indigenous Fijians in mid-May.

2001 – In New York, four followers of Osama bin Laden were convicted of a global conspiracy to murder Americans. The crimes included the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa that killed 224 people.

2001 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that disabled golfer Casey Martin could use a cart to ride in tournaments.


Today in History – May 28

585 BC – Thales Miletus predicted a solar eclipse.

585BC – The Persian-Lydian battle ended.

1533 – England’s Archbishop declared the marriage of King Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn valid.

1805 – Napoleon was crowned in Milan, Italy.

1863 – The first black regiment left Boston to fight in the U.S. Civil War.

1892 – The Sierra club was organized in San Francisco, CA.

1900 – Britain annexed the Orange Free State.

1918 – Azerbaijan declared independence.

1928 – Chrysler Corporation merged with Dodge Brothers, Inc.

1929 – Warner Brothers debuted “On With The Show” in New York City. It was the first all-color-talking picture.

1934 – The Dionne quintuplets were born near Callender, Ontario, to Olivia and Elzire Dionne. The babies were the first quintuplets to survive infancy.

1937 – U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt pushed a button in Washington, DC, signaling that vehicular traffic could cross the newly opened Golden Gate Bridge in California.

1940 – During World War II, Belgium surrendered to Germany.

1953 – The Walt Disney film “Melody” premiered in the Paramount Theatre in Hollywood. The picture was the first 3-D cartoon.
Disney movies, music and books

1957 – National League club owners voted to allow the Brooklyn Dodgers to move to Los Angeles and that the New York Giants could move to San Francisco.

1961 – Amnesty International, a human rights organization, was founded.

1976 – The Peaceful Nuclear Explosion Treaty was signed, limiting any nuclear explosion – regardless of its purpose – to a yield of 150 kilotons.

1977 – Fire raced through the Beverly Hills Supper Club in Southgate, KY. 165 people were killed.

1985 – David Jacobsen, director of the American University Hospital in Beirut, Lebanon, was abducted by pro-Iranian kidnappers. He was freed 17 months later.

1987 – Mathias Rust, a 19-year-old West German pilot, landed a private plane in Moscow’s Red Square after evading Soviet air defenses. He was released August 3, 1988.

1995 – An earthquake in the Russian town Neftegorsk killed at least 2000 people. It had a magnitude of 7.5.

1996 – U.S. President Clinton’s former business partners in the Whitewater land deal were convicted of fraud.

1998 – Pakistan matched India with five nuclear test blasts. The U.S., Japan and other nations imposed economic sanctions. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said “Today, we have settled the score with India.”

1998 – Dr. Susan Terebey discovered a planet outside of our solar system with the use of photos taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.

1999 – In Milan, Italy, Leonardo de Vinci’s “The Last Supper” was put back on display after more than 20 years of restoration work.

2002 – Russia became a limited partner in NATO with the creation of the NATO-Russia Council.


Thought for the Day……..

On Dennis Prager’s radio program a caller called in with this gem:

“If drugs are available and eagerly provided for euthanasia, why are they not available and eagerly provided for the death penalty”?


Understanding Problems and Solutions

Dennis Prager begins a series on understanding the differences between Left and Right in National Review:

Material poverty doesn’t cause murder, rape, or terror. Moral poverty does. That’s one of the great divides between Left and Right. And it largely emanates from their differing views about whether human nature is innately good.

I read that and I was stunned because the viewpoint not only affects how we understand the problem, but also how we try to solve it.  My thoughts were steered in part by this article from London:

But it’s hard not to notice that recent Second World War anniversaries have been rather low-key affairs, with an emphasis on grief and remembrance.

Maybe nostalgia isn’t what it used to be. The 50th anniversary of V-E Day, when I was 13 years old, was an unashamed celebration of the triumph of good over evil. There was a street party, Union Jack bunting, jelly and ice cream. We sang war songs full of blue birds, white cliffs and Lucifer matches. Of course, many people did similar things to mark the occasion in 2015. But 1995 was bigger and more loudly patriotic.

The author discusses how moral relativism has affected the modern view of the war, and he is right – but it goes even deeper.  We do not want to face the evil that was Nazi Germany, an evil that it is worth celebrating victory over, because it will force us to acknowledge the bad in ourselves and once we do that so much around us will come crashing in.

You see, when we acknowledge the bad in ourselves we are forced to turn apart from ourselves for solutions.  When we acknowledge the bad in ourselves we learn that no program, government or private, can fix all our problems.  Such things, because they are made of people, are as prone to corruption as we are individually.  Final solutions require something incorruptible – something other than us.

That’s a pretty good place to start defining God – incorruptible and other than us.

Caveat – human institutions devoted to God are as prone to corruption as human institutions of a purely secular nature.  Again, they are made up of very corruptible people.  But because they are devoted to God, they contain within them a self-corrective – they will at some juncture look outside of themselves and discover their corruption, and hopefully attempt to correct it.  Absent such a look outside of the self the horrors of Nazism, or something like it, becomes almost inevitable.

And so again we see the value of religion in ordering society.  It helps us understand our limitations as well as our capabilities.  When we understand our limitations we craft our solutions to problems with those limitations in mind.  When we understand the bad that is in us we understand the wisdom in the instruction to “lean not on your own understanding.”

 

 


Today in History – May 27

1647 – Alse Young (Achsah Young or Alice Young), a resident of Windsor, CT, was executed for being a “witch.” It was the first recorded American execution of a “witch.”

1668 – Three colonists were expelled from Massachusetts for being Baptists.

1813 – Americans captured Fort George, Canada.

1896 – 255 people were killed in St. Louis, MO, when a tornado struck.

1901 – The Edison Storage Battery Company was organized.

1907 – The Bubonic Plague broke out in San Francisco.

1919 – A U.S. Navy seaplane completed the first transatlantic flight.

1926 – Bronze figures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer were erected in Hannibal, MO.

1929 – Colonel Charles Lindbergh and Anne Spencer Murrow were married.

1931 – Piccard and Knipfer made the first flight into the stratosphere, by balloon.

1933 – Walt Disney’s “Three Little Pigs” was first released.
Disney movies, music and books

1933 – In the U.S., the Federal Securities Act was signed. The act required the registration of securities with the Federal Trade Commission.

1935 – The U.S. Supreme Court declared that President Franklin Roosevelt’s National Industrial Recovery Act was unconstitutional.

1937 – In California, the Golden Gate Bridge was opened to pedestrian traffic. The bridge connected San Francisco and Marin County.

1941 – U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed an “unlimited national emergency” amid rising world tensions.

1941 – The German battleship Bismarck was sunk by British naval and air forces. 2,300 people were killed.

1942 – German General Erwin Rommel began a major offensive in Libya with his Afrika Korps.

1944 – U.S. General MacArthur landed on Biak Island in New Guinea.

1960 – A military coup overthrew the democratic government of Turkey.

1964 – Indian Prime Minister Jawaharla Nehru died.

1968 – After 48 years as coach of the Chicago Bears, George Halas retired.

1969 – Construction of Walt Disney World began in Florida.

1977 – George H. Willig was fined for scaling the World Trade Center in New York on May 26. He was fined $1.10.

1982 – Japan announced the elimination of tariffs on 96 industrial goods.

1985 – In Beijing, representatives of Britain and China exchanged instruments of ratification on the pact returning Hong Kong to the Chinese in 1997.

1986 – Mel Fisher recovered a jar that contained 2,300 emeralds from the Spanish ship Atocha. The ship sank in the 17th century.

1988 – The U.S. Senate ratified the INF treaty. The INF pact was the first arms-control agreement since the 1972 Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I) to receive Senate approval.

1994 – Nobel Prize-winning author Alexander Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia. He had been in exile for two decades.

1995 – In Charlottesville, VA, Christopher Reeve was paralyzed after being thrown from his horse during a jumping event.

1996 – Russian President Boris Yeltsin negotiated a cease-fire to the war in Chechnya in his first meeting with the leader of the rebels.

1997 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the sexual harassment suit filed by Paula Jones could continue while President Clinton was in office.

1998 – Charlie Sheen was admitted to a hospital in Los Angeles for a drug overdose.

1998 – Michael Fortier was sentenced to 12 years in prison for not warning anyone about the plot to bomb an Oklahoma City federal building.

1999 – In The Hague, Netherlands, a war crimes tribunal indicted Slobodan Milosevic and four others for atrocities in Kosovo. It was the first time that a sitting head of state had been charged with such a crime.

2010 – Universal Studios reopened its backlot. The area had been destroyed by a fire two years before.