Monthly Archives: January 2016

Today in History – January 31

1606 – Guy Fawkes was executed after being convicted for his role in the “Gunpowder Plot” against the English Parliament and King James I.

1747 – The first clinic specializing in the treatment of venereal diseases was opened at London Dock Hospital.

1858 – The Great Eastern, the five-funnelled steamship designed by Brunel, was launched at Millwall.

1865 – In America, General Robert E. Lee was named general-in-chief of the Confederate armies.

1865 – The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. It was ratified by the necessary number of states on December 6, 1865. The amendment abolished slavery in the United States.

1876 – All Native American Indians were ordered to move into reservations.

1893 – The trademark “Coca-Cola” was first registered in the United States Patent Office.

1917 – Germany announced its policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.

1929 – The USSR exiled Leon Trotsky. He found asylum in Mexico.

1930 – U.S. Navy Lt. Ralph S. Barnaby became the first glider pilot to have his craft released from a dirigible, a large blimp, at Lakehurst, NJ.

1934 – Jim Londos defeated Joe Savoldi in a one-fall match in Chicago, IL. The crowd of 20,000 was one of the largest crowds to see a wrestling match.

1936 – The radio show “The Green Hornet” debuted.

1940 – The first Social Security check was issued by the U.S. Government.

1944 – During World War II, U.S. forces invaded Kwajalein Atoll and other areas of the Japanese-held Marshall Islands.

1945 – Private Eddie Slovik became the only U.S. soldier since the U.S. Civil War to be executed for desertion.

1946 – A new constitution in Yugoslavia created six constituent republics (Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia) subordinated to a central authority, on the model of the USSR.

1949 – The first TV daytime soap opera was broadcast from NBC’s station in Chicago, IL. It was “These Are My Children.”

1950 – U.S. President Truman announced that he had ordered development of the hydrogen bomb.

1958 – Explorer I was put into orbit around the earth. It was the first U.S. earth satellite.

1960 – Julie Andrews, Henry Fonda, Rex Harrison and Jackie Gleason, appeared in a two-hour TV special entitled “The Fabulous ’50s”.

1971 – Astronauts Alan B. Shepard Jr., Edgar D. Mitchell and Stuart A. Roosa blasted off aboard Apollo 14 on a mission to the moon.

1971 – Telephone service between East and West Berlin was re-established after 19 years.

1982 – Sandy Duncan gave her final performance as “Peter Pan” in Los Angeles, CA. She completed 956 performances without missing a show.

1983 – The wearing of seat belts in cars became compulsory in Britain.

1983 – JCPenney announced plans to spend in excess of $1 billion over the next five years to modernize stores and to accelerate a repositioning program.

1985 – The final Jeep rolled off the assembly line at the AMC plant in Toledo, OH.

1990 – McDonald’s Corp. opened its first fast-food restaurant in Moscow, Russia.

1995 – U.S. President Clinton invoked presidential emergency authority to provide a $20 billion loan to Mexico to stabilize its economy.

1996 – In Columbo, Sri Lanka, a truck was rammed into the gates of the Central Bank. The truck filled with explosives killed at least 86 and injured 1,400.

2000 – John Rocker (Atlanta Braves) was suspended from major league baseball for disparaging foreigners, homosexuals and minorities in an interview published by Sports Illustrated.

2000 – An Alaska Airlines jet crashed into the ocean off Southern California. All 88 people on board were killed.

2001 – A Scottish court in the Netherlands convicted one Libyan and acquitted a second in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, that occurred in 1988.

2005 – Keanu Reeves received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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Today in History – January 30

1649 – England’s King Charles I was beheaded.

1790 – The first purpose-built lifeboat was launched on the River Tyne.

1798 – The first brawl in the U.S. House of Representatives took place. Congressmen Matthew Lyon and Roger Griswold fought on the House floor.

1844 – Richard Theodore Greener became the first African American to graduate from Harvard University.

1847 – The town of Yerba Buena was renamed San Francisco.

1862 – The U.S. Navy’s first ironclad warship, the “Monitor”, was launched.

1889 – Rudolph, crown prince of Austria, and his 17-year-old mistress, Baroness Marie Vetsera, were found shot in his hunting lodge at Mayerling, near Vienna.

1894 – C.B. King received a patent for the pneumatic hammer.

1900 – The British fighting the Boers in South Africa ask for a larger army.

1910 – Work began on the first board-track automobile speedway. The track was built in Playa del Ray, CA.

1911 – The first airplane rescue at sea was made by the destroyer “Terry.” Pilot James McCurdy was forced to land in the ocean about 10 miles from Havana, Cuba.

1933 – “The Lone Ranger” was heard on radio for the first time. The program ran for 2,956 episodes and ended in 1955.

1933 – Adolf Hitler was named the German Chancellor.

1948 – Indian political and spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi was murdered by a Hindu extremist.

1950 – NBC-TV debuted “Robert Montgomery Presents.” The show lasted for seven seasons.

1958 – Yves Saint Laurent, at age 22, held his first major fashion show in Paris.

1958 – The first two-way moving sidewalk was put in service at Love Field in Dallas, TX. The length of the walkway through the airport was 1,435 feet.

1960 – The women’s singles U.S. figure skating championship was won by Carol Heiss.

1962 – Two members of the “Flying Wallendas” high-wire act were killed when their seven-person pyramid collapsed during a performance in Detroit, MI.

1964 – January 30 – The U.S. launched Ranger 6. The unmanned spacecraft carried television cameras and was intentionally crash-landed on the moon. The cameras did not return any pictures to Earth.

1968 – The Tet Offensive began as Communist forces launched surprise attacks against South Vietnamese provincial capitals.

1972 – In Northern Ireland, British soldiers shot and killed thirteen Roman Catholic civil rights marchers. The day is known as “Bloody Sunday.”

1979 – The civilian government of Iran announced it had decided to allow Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to return. He had been living in exile in France.

1989 – The U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan was closed.

1994 – Peter Leko became the world’s youngest-ever grand master in chess.

1995 – The U.N. Security Council authorized the deployment of a 6,000-member U.N. peace-keeping contingent to assume security responsibilities in Haiti from U.S. forces.

1995 – Researchers from the U.S. National Institutes of Health announced that clinical trials had demonstrated the effectiveness of the first preventative treatment for sickle cell anaemia.

1996 – Gino Gallagher, the reputed leader of the Irish National Liberation Army, was shot and killed as he queued for his unemployment benefit.

1997 – A New Jersey judge ruled that the unborn child of a female prisoner must have legal representation. He denied the prisoner bail reduction to enable her to leave the jail and obtain an abortion.

2002 – Slobodan Milosevic accused the U.N. war crimes tribunal of an “evil and hostile attack” against him. Milosevic was defending his actions during the Balkan wars.

2002 – Japan’s last coal mine was closed. The closures were due to high production costs and cheap imports.

2005 – In Iraq, the first free Parliamentary elections since 1958 took place.


Part of the Fundamental Transformation of the USA……

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Today in History – January 29

1728 – John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera was first performed at Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre, London.

1802 – John Beckley became the first Librarian of Congress.

1820 – Britain’s King George III died insane at Windsor Castle.

1845 – Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” was published for the first time in the “New York Evening Mirror.”

1848 – Greenwich Mean Time was adopted by Scotland.

1850 – Henry Clay introduced in the Senate a compromise bill on slavery that included the admission of California into the Union as a free state.

1856 – Britain’s highest military decoration, the Victoria Cross, was founded by Queen Victoria.

1861 – In America, Kansas became the 34th state of the Union.

1886 – The first successful petrol-driven motorcar, built by Karl Benz, was patented.

1916 – In World War I, Paris was bombed by German zeppelins for the first time.

1924 – R. Taylor patented the ice cream cone rolling machine.

1936 – The first members of major league baseball’s Hall of Fame were named in Cooperstown, NY.

1940 – The W. Atlee Burpee Seed Company displayed the first tetraploid flowers at the New York City Flower Show.

1949 – “The Newport News” was commissioned as the first air-conditioned naval ship in Virginia.

1956 – “Indictment” debuted on CBS radio and stayed on the air for three years.

1958 – Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward were married.

1958 – Charles Starkweather was captured by police in Wyoming.

1963 – The first members to the NFL’s Hall of Fame were named in Canton, OH.

1963 – Britain was refused entry into the EEC.

1966 – “Sweet Charity” opened at the Palace Theatre in New York City. It ran for 608 performances.

1979 – U.S. President Carter formally welcomed Chinese Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping to the White House. The visit followed the establishment of diplomatic relations.

1985 – The Dow Jones industrial average peaked at 1,292.62.

1987 – “Physician’s Weekly” announced that the smile on the face of Leonardo DeVinci’s Mona Lisa was caused by a “…facial paralysis resulting from a swollen nerve behind the ear.”

1990 – Joseph Hazelwood, the former skipper of the Exxon Valdez, went on trial in Anchorage, AK, on charges that stemmed from America’s worst oil spill. Hazelwood was later acquitted of all the major charges and was convicted of a misdemeanor.

1995 – The San Francisco 49ers became the first team in National Football League (NFL) history to win five Super Bowl titles. The 49ers defeated the San Diego Chargers 49-26.

1996 – French President Jacques Chirac announced the “definitive end” to nuclear testing.

1996 – La Fenice, the 204 year old opera house in Venice, was destroyed by fire. Arson was suspected.

1997 – America Online agreed to give refunds to frustrated customers under threat of lawsuits across the country. Customers were unable to log on after AOL offered a flat $19.95-a-month rate.

1998 – A bomb exploded at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, AL, killing an off-duty policeman and severely wounding a nurse. Eric Rudolph was charged with this bombing and three other attacks in Atlanta.

1999 – Paris prosecutors announced the end of the investigation into the accident that killed Britain’s Princess Diana.

1999 – The U.S. Senate delivered subpoenas for Monica Lewinsky and two presidential advisers for private, videotaped testimony in the impeachment trial.

2001 – In Indonesia, thousands of student protesters stormed the parliament property and demanded that President Abdurrahman Wahid quit due to his alleged involvement in two corruption scandals. Wahid announced that he would not resign.

2014 – Archaeologists announced that they had uncovered what they believed to be the oldest temple in Roman antiquity. The temple was found at the Sant’Omobono site in central Rome.


Today in History – January 28

1521 – The Diet of Worms began, at which Protestant reformer Luther was declared an outlaw by the Roman Catholic church.

1547 – England’s King Henry VIII died. He was succeeded by his 9 year-old son, Edward VI.

1788 – The first British penal settlement was founded at Botany Bay.

1807 – London’s Pall Mall became the first street lit by gaslight.

1871 – France surrendered in the Franco-Prussian War.

1878 – The first telephone switchboard was installed in New Haven, CT.

1878 – “The Yale News” was published for the first time. It was the first, daily, collegiate newspaper in the U.S.

1902 – The Carnegie Institution was established in Washington, DC. It began with a gift of $10 million from Andrew Carnegie.

1909 – The United States ended direct control over Cuba.

1915 – The Coast Guard was created by an act of the U.S. Congress to fight contraband trade and aid distressed vessels at sea.

1916 – Louis D. Brandeis was appointed by President Wilson to the U.S. Supreme Court, becoming its first Jewish member.

1918 – The Bolsheviks occupied Helsinki, Finland.

1922 – The National Football League (NFL) franchise in Decatur, IL, transferred to Chicago. The team took the name Chicago Bears.

1935 – Iceland became the first country to introduce legalized abortion.

1945 – During World War II, Allied supplies began reaching China over the newly reopened Burma Road.

1957 – The Brooklyn Dodgers announced that circus clown Emmett Kelly had been hired to entertain fans at baseball games.

1958 – Roy Campanella (Brooklyn Dodgers) was seriously injured in an auto accident in New York. He would never return to play again.

1958 – Construction began on first private thorium-uranium nuclear reactor.

1965 – General Motors reported the biggest profit of any U.S. company in history.

1973 – CBS-TV debuted “Barnaby Jones.”

1980 – Six Americans who had fled the U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran, on November 4, 1979, left Iran using false Canadian diplomatic passports. The Americans had been hidden at the Canadian embassy in Tehran.

1982 – Italian anti-terrorism forces rescued U.S. Brigadier General James L. Dozier. 42 days before he had been kidnapped by the Red Brigades.

1986 – The U.S. space shuttle Challenger exploded just after takeoff. All seven of its crewmembers were killed.

1994 – In Los Angeles, Superior Court Judge Stanley Weisberg declared a mistrial in the case of Lyle Menendez in the murder of his parents. Lyle, and his brother Erik, were both retried later and were found guilty. They were sentenced to life in prison without parole.

1997 – Clive Davis received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1998 – In Manilla, Philippines, gunmen held at least 400 children and teachers for several hours at an elementary school.

1999 – Ford Motor Company announced the purchase of Sweden’s Volvo AB for $6.45 billion.

2002 – Toys R Us Inc. announced that it would be closing 27 Toys R Us stores and 37 Kids R Us stores in order to cut costs and boost operating profits.


The Many Contradictions of Hillary Clinton

h/t…. VDH

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Hillary Clinton recently said she would go after offshore tax “schemes” in the Caribbean. That is a worthy endeavor, given the loss of billions of dollars in U.S. tax revenue.

Yet her husband, Bill Clinton, reportedly made $10 million as an advisor and an occasional partner in the Yucaipa Global Partnership, a fund registered in the Cayman Islands.

Is Ms. Clinton’s implicit argument that she knows offshore tax dodging is unethical because her family has benefitted from it? Does she plan to return millions of dollars of her family’s offshore-generated income?

Clinton is calling for “huge campaign finance reform,” apparently to end the excessive and often pernicious role of big money in politics. But no candidate, Republican or Democrat, raised more than the $112 million that Clinton collected in 2015 for her primary campaign.

In 2013, Clinton earned nearly $1.6 million in speaking fees from Wall Street banks. She raked in $675,000 from Goldman Sachs, and $225,000 apiece from Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and UBS Wealth Management. Did that profiteering finally make Clinton sour on Wall Street’s pay-for-play ethics?

Clinton has also vowed to raise taxes on hedge fund managers. Is that a way of expressing displeasure with her son-in-law, Marc Mezvinsky, who operates a $400 million hedge fund?

For that matter, how did Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, who worked for a consulting firm and a hedge fund despite having no background in finance — reportedly become worth an estimated $15 million?

Hillary Clinton recently proposed a new $350 billion government plan to make college more affordable. Certainly, universities spike tuition costs, and student-loan debt has surpassed $1 trillion. Colleges spend money indiscriminately, mostly because they know that the federal government will always back student loans.

Yet, since she left office, Clinton routinely has charged universities $200,000 or more for her brief 30-minute chats. Her half-hour fee is roughly equal to the annual public-university tuition cost for eight students.

It’s been said that Clinton is trying to rekindle President Obama’s 2012 allegations of a Republican “war on women.” That charge and the war against the “1 percent” helped deliver key states to Obama. Renewing that theme, Clinton recently declared on Twitter, “Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported.”

Does Clinton’s spirited advocacy of “every” survivor include the array of women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct? In other words, does Hillary now trust the testimonies of survivors such as Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones, whose allegations must be “believed and supported?”

Ms. Clinton has also called for more financial transparency and greater accountability in general — something needed after scandals at government agencies such as the IRS, VA and GSA. But Clinton’s use of a private email server probably violated several federal laws. Her laxity with confidential communications was arguably more egregious than that of Gen. David Petraeus, a national icon who pleaded guilty to mishandling classified materials.

Perhaps Clinton assumes that the electorate is still in the ethical world of the 1990s. Back then, it was somewhat easier to dampen scandals — at least the ones that didn’t involve sex in the White House. But in the age of social media, 24-hour cable TV, instantaneous blogging and a different public attitude toward political corruption and sexual assault, Hillary Clinton now appears to be caught in the wrong century.

Womanizing and sexual coercion can no longer be so easily dismissed. The financial antics of the Clinton Foundation don’t past muster amid populist anger at the global profiteering of billionaires. In age of instant Google searches, railing against big money no longer squares with making and enjoying it.

Ms. Clinton at times tries to offset scandals by her pointing to her record as secretary of state. But few believe that her handling of Russia, Iran, China, Benghazi or Islamic terrorism made the world calmer or America more secure.

In debates, Clinton points to her support of Obama’s agenda. But the president currently has an approval rating of 46 percent. If the country is in dire need of Clinton’s suggested remedies, were the past eight years too short a time to see similar reforms enacted under Obama?

All this confusion raises the question of whether Hillary Clinton is running to complete Bill Clinton’s third term, running to cement Barack Obama’s legacy — or running against her prior self.


Today in History – January 24

1848 – James W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget at Sutter’s Mill in northern California. The discovery led to the gold rush of ’49.

1899 – Humphrey O’Sullivan patented the rubber heel.

1908 – In England, the first Boy Scout troop was organized by Robert Baden-Powell.

1916 – Conscription was introduced in Britain.

1922 – Christian K. Nelson patented the Eskimo Pie.

1924 – The Russian city of St. Petersburg was renamed Leningrad. The name has since been changed back to St. Petersburg.

1930 – Primo Carnera made his American boxing debut by knocking out Big Boy Patterson in one minute, ten seconds of the opening round.

1935 – Krueger Brewing Company placed the first canned beer on sale in Richmond, VA.

1942 – “Abie’s Irish Rose” was first heard on NBC radio.

1943 – U.S. President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill concluded a wartime conference in Casablanca, Morocco.

1952 – Vincent Massey was the first Canadian to be appointed governor-general of Canada.

1955 – The rules committee of major league baseball announced a plan to strictly enforce the rule that required a pitcher to release the ball within 20 seconds after taking his position on the mound.

1964 – CBS-TV acquired the rights to televise the National Football League’s 1964-1965 regular season. The move cost CBS $14.1 million a year. The NFL stayed on CBS for 30 years.

1965 – Winston Churchill died at the age of 90.

1972 – The U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws that denied welfare benefits to people who had resided in a state for less than a year.

1978 – A nuclear-powered Soviet satellite plunged through Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrated. The radioactive debris was scattered over parts of Canada’s Northwest Territory.

1980 – The United States announced intentions to sell arms to China.

1985 – Penny Harrington became the first woman police chief of a major city. She assumed the duties as head of the Portland, Oregon, force of 940 officers and staff.

1986 – The Voyager 2 space probe flew past Uranus. The probe came within 50,679 miles of the seventh planet of the solar system.

1987 – In Lebanon, gunmen kidnapped educators Alann Steen, Jesse Turner, Robert Polhill and Mitheleshwar Singh. They were all later released.

1989 – Ted Bundy, the confessed serial killer, was put to death in Florida’s electric chair for the 1978 kidnap-murder of 12-year-old Kimberly Leach.

1990 – Japan launched the first probe to be sent to the Moon since 1976. A small satellite was placed in lunar orbit.

1995 – The prosecution gave its opening statement at the O.J. Simpson murder trial.

1996 – Polish Premier Jozef Oleksy resigned due to allegations that he had spied for Moscow.

2000 – The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Missouri law that limited the contributions that individuals could donate to a candidate during a single election.

2001 – In Colorado Springs, CO, Patrick Murphy Jr. and Donald Newbury were taken into custody after a 5-minute phone interview was granted with a TV station. They were the remaining fugitives of the “Texas 7.”

2002 – The U.S. Congress began a hearing on the collapse of Enron Corp.

2002 – John Walker Lindh appeared in court for the first time concerning the charges that he conspired to kill Americans abroad and aided terrorist groups. Lindh had been taken into custody by U.S. Marines in Afghanistan.

2003 – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security began operations under Tom Ridge.