Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Side Note to Previous Blog Entry about Roger Waters and Anti-Semitism

It still seems preposterous to me that people would seriously assume that Roger Waters is some bigoted anti-Semite because of the display of the Star of David on the famous pig that floats around during his concerts.

If I seriously thought, even for a minute, that Roger Waters seriously was, in fact, an anti-Semite, I would no longer be a fan of his. So, when I mentioned that I was still a big fan, the spirit that I meant that in is that I simply do not believe in the least any presumptions that he is anti-Semitic. It sounds as preposterous to me as the similar claims that former President Jimmy Carter was anti-Semitic, when he got in hot water over the title of his book, "Palestine Peace Not Apartheid".

Not only do I not think that either man was anti-Semitic, but I reject the automatic thinking by far too many that criticism of Israel in general is tantamount to anti-Semitism. That argument seems to be heard a lot, and gets a lot of press. But that does not make increase the validity, because validity is precisely what these arguments lack. They themselves are prejudices arguments, meant to dismiss any criticism of Israel, and to scare off anyone even thinking of criticizing Israel with insinuations of anti-Semitism. People often have the same reactions and disgust when someone (like, say, Mel Gibson, who truly is anti-Semitic) makes news for saying or acting anti-Semitic, in a similar way to how people get disgusted when someone is accused or found guilty of child molestation or child pornography. That is enough to scare most people away, obviously.

But criticism of Israel's harsh and brutal practices simply is not anti-Semitism. Israel is hardly beyond reproach. No country is.

To prove it, I intend to research, and then write, within one week of today, a blog that examines more closely the harshness of Israel's policies towards Palestinians.

And again, I just might be watching "The Wall", live from Berlin, by Roger Waters, while so doing. It is among my favorite concerts of all, one that I wish I had attended personally. It took place on July 21, 1990, not long after the Berlin Wall came down in the fall of 1989, and shortly before East and West Germany officially reunited in October of 1990.

On This Day in History - July 31 Lafayette, Jimmy Hoffa, and the "Final Solution" (incomplete)

Once again, it should be reiterated, that this does not pretend to be a very extensive history of what happened on this day (nor is it the most original - the links can be found down below). If you know something that I am missing, by all means, shoot me an email or leave a comment, and let me know!

July 31, 1975: Jimmy Hoffa disappears

On July 31, 1975, James Riddle Hoffa, one of the most influential American labor leaders of the 20th century, disappears in Detroit, Michigan, never to be heard from again. Though he is popularly believed to have been the victim of a Mafia hit, conclusive evidence was never found, and Hoffa's death remains shrouded in mystery to this day.

Born in 1913 to a poor coal miner in Brazil, Indiana, Jimmy Hoffa proved a natural leader in his youth. At the age of 20, he helped organize a labor strike in Detroit, and remained an advocate for downtrodden workers for the rest of his life. Hoffa's charisma and talents as a local organizer quickly got him noticed by the Teamsters and carried him upward through its ranks. Then a small but rapidly growing union, the Teamsters organized truckers across the country, and through the use of strikes, boycotts and some more powerful though less legal methods of protest, won contract demands on behalf of workers.

Hoffa became president of the Teamsters in 1957, when its former leader was imprisoned for bribery. As chief, Hoffa was lauded for his tireless work to expand the union, and for his unflagging devotion to even the organization's least powerful members. His caring and approachability were captured in one of the more well-known quotes attributed to him: "You got a problem? Call me. Just pick up the phone."

Hoffa's dedication to the worker and his electrifying public speeches made him wildly popular, both among his fellow workers and the politicians and businessmen with whom he negotiated. Yet, for all the battles he fought and won on behalf of American drivers, he also had a dark side. In Hoffa's time, many Teamster leaders partnered with the Mafia in racketeering, extortion and embezzlement. Hoffa himself had relationships with high-ranking mobsters, and was the target of several government investigations throughout the 1960s. In 1967, he was convicted of bribery and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

While in jail, Hoffa never ceded his office, and when Richard Nixon commuted his sentence in 1971, he was poised to make a comeback. Released on condition of not participating in union activities for 10 years, Hoffa was planning to fight the restriction in court when he disappeared on July 31, 1975, from the parking lot of a restaurant in Detroit, not far from where he got his start as a labor organizer. Several conspiracy theories have been floated about Hoffa’s disappearance and the location of his remains, but the truth remains unknown.

Another newsworthy even in history on this date concerned the Marquis de Lafayette, who took a position as major-general without pay, to assist the American rebels to achieve independence against the super power of that time, Great Britain:

July 31, 1777: Marquis de Lafayette becomes a major-general without pay

On this day in 1777, a 19-year-old French aristocrat, Marie-Joseph Paul Roch Yves Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, accepts a commission as a major-general in the Continental Army—without pay.

During his service as the Continental Congress' secret envoy to France, Silas Deane had, on December 7, 1776, struck an agreement with French military expert, Baron Johann DeKalb, and his protege, the Marquis de Lafayette, to offer their military knowledge and experience to the American cause. However, Deane was replaced with Benjamin Franklin and Arthur Lee, who were unenthused by the proposal. Meanwhile, King Louis XVI feared angering Britain and prohibited Lafayette's departure. The British ambassador to the French court at Versailles demanded the seizure of Lafayette's ship, which resulted in Lafayette's arrest. Lafayette, though, managed to escape, set sail and elude two British ships dispatched to recapture him. Following his safe arrival in South Carolina, Lafayette traveled to Philadelphia, expecting to be made General George Washington's second-in-command. Although Lafayette's youth made Congress reluctant to promote him over more experienced colonial officers, the young Frenchman's willingness to volunteer his services without pay won their respect and Lafayette was commissioned as a major-general.

Lafayette served at Brandywine in 1777, as well as Barren Hill, Monmouth and Rhode Island in 1778. Following the formal treaty of alliance with Lafayette's native France in February 1778 and Britain's subsequent declaration of war, Lafayette asked to return to Paris and consult the king as to his future service. Washington was willing to spare Lafayette, who departed in January 1779. By March, Franklin reported from Paris that Lafayette had become an excellent advocate for the American cause at the French court. Following his six-month respite in France, Lafayette returned to aid the American war effort in Virginia, where he participated in the successful siege of Yorktown in 1781, before returning to France and the further service of his own country.

Here is something else that occurred on this day in history. Goering ordered Heydrich to get ready for the implementation of the "Final Solution":

July 31, 1941: Goering orders Heydrich to prepare for the Final Solution

On this day in 1941, Herman Goering, writing under instructions from Hitler, ordered Reinhard Heydrich, SS general and Heinrich Himmler's number-two man, "to submit to me as soon as possible a general plan of the administrative material and financial measures necessary for carrying out the desired final solution of the Jewish question."

Goering recounted briefly the outline for that "final solution" that had been drawn up on January 24, 1939: "emigration and evacuation in the best possible way." This program of what would become mass, systematic extermination was to encompass "all the territories of Europe under German occupation."

Heydrich already had some experience with organizing such a plan, having reintroduced the cruel medieval concept of the ghetto in Warsaw after the German occupation of Poland. Jews were crammed into cramped walled areas of major cities and held as prisoners, as their property was confiscated and given to either local Germans or non-Jewish Polish peasants.

Behind this horrendous scheme, carried out month by month, country by country, was Hitler, whose "greatest weakness was found in the vast numbers of oppressed peoples who hated [him] and the immoral ways of his government." This assessment was Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin's, given at a Kremlin meeting that same day, July 31, with American adviser to the president Harry Hopkins.

Oh, and a happy birthday to Ringo Starr, as well!

Here's a more detailed look at events that transpired on this date throughout history:

30 BC - Battle of Alexandria: Mark Antony achieves a minor victory over Octavian's forces, but most of his army subsequently deserts, leading to his suicide.
432 - St Sixtus III begins his reign as Catholic Pope
768 - [Philip] begins & ends his reign as Catholic Pope
781 - The oldest recorded eruption of Mt. Fuji (Traditional Japanese date: July 6, 781).
1291 - Egyptian Mamelukken occupies Akko, crusaders driven out of Palestine
1423 - Hundred Years' War: Battle of Cravant - the French army is defeated at Cravant on the banks of the river Yonne.
1451 - Jacques Cœur is arrested by order of Charles VII of France.
1498 - Christopher Columbus discovers island of Trinidad
1588 - English fleet beats Spanish Armada
1620 - Pilgrim Fathers depart (through England) to America
1653 - Fronde-leaders surrender in Bordeaux
1655 - Russo-Polish War (1654-1667): the Russian army enters the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Vilnius, which it holds for six years.
1658 - Aurangzeb appoints himself Mongol emperor
1664 - Pierre Corneille's "Othon," premieres in Paris
1667 - Peace of Breda: 2nd English war-Suriname vs New-Netherlands ends
1703 - Daniel Defoe is placed in a pillory for the crime of seditious libel after publishing a politically satirical pamphlet, but is pelted with flowers.
1718 - Battle at Cape Passaro: English fleet destroys Spanish
1737 - Prince Frederick of Wales escapes English court
1741 - Charles Albert of Bavaria invades Upper Austria and Bohemia.
Novelist Daniel DefoeNovelist Daniel Defoe 1751 - Fire in Stockholm destroys 1,000 houses
1771 - Paul Potters "Great ossendrift" sold for Ÿ9050 in Amsterdam
1777 - Marquis de Lafayette, 19, made major-general of Continental Army
1790 - 1st US patent granted, to Samuel Hopkins for a potash process
1792 - Cornerstone laid for 1st US government building: US Mint in Phila
1794 - All Jacobijnse clubs together in Haarlem
1809 - 1st practical US railroad track (wooden, for horse-drawn cars), Phila
1813 - British invade Plattsburgh NY
1849 - Benjamin Chambers patents breech loading cannon
1852 - Hottest July in Netherlands since at least 1783 (68.4°F (20.2°C) avg)
1855 - Hottest July in Stockholm since at least 1756 (21.4°C avg)
1856 - Christchurch, New Zealand is chartered as a city.
1861 - 9,300 mm rainfall in July in Cherrapunji, Assam: world record
1864 - Ulysses S. Grant is named General of Volunteers
1865 - The first narrow gauge mainline railway in the world opens at Grandchester, Australia.
US President Ulysses S. GrantUS President Ulysses S. Grant 1874 - Patrick Francis Healy, SJ, inaugurated as pres of Georgetown U
1876 - US Coast Guard officers' training school established (New Bedford MA)
1893 - Henry Perky patents shredded wheat
1899 - Albert Trott hits Monty Noble over the Pavilion at Lord's
1900 - Boer Generals Prinsloo & Roux surrenders in Brandwater Basin
1901 - Abraham Kuyper becomes premier of Netherlands
1905 - Matumbi rebellion at Samanga German East Africa
1909 - Bill Burns has no-hitter broken up with 2 outs in 9th
1910 - Chic Cub King Cole no-hits St Louis, 4-0 in a 7 inning game
1910 - Clement van Maasdijk gives flying demonstration
1911 - Hungarian education is only taught in German
1912 - RBC soccer team forms in Roosendaal
1912 - US government prohibits movies & photos of prize fights (censorship)
1914 - German Emperor Wilhelm II threatens war, orders Russia to demobilize
1914 - Oil discovered in Lake of Maracaibo
1917 - 3rd battle of Ypres begins
1919 - Germany accepts Weimar Constitution
1922 - 18-year-old Ralph Samuelson rides world's 1st water skis (Minn)
1922 - Italy's general strike against fascist violence
1923 - Belgian Chamber discusses bilinguality at Ghent University
1925 - Last allied occupying troops leave Ruhrgebied
1925 - Unemployment Insurance Act passed in England
1928 - 1st woman to win a track and field olympic gold medal, Halina Konopacka of Poland
1929 - Aristide Briand becomes premier of France
1930 - Lou Gehrig grand slams as Yanks beat Red Sox 14-13
1932 - 27th Davis Cup: France beats USA in Paris (3-2)
1932 - Cleveland Municipal Stadium opens-Phila A's beat Indians 1-0
1932 - George Washington quarter goes into circulation
1932 - German Election (NSDAP gets 37.3%)
1934 - 29th Davis Cup: Great Britain beats USA in Wimbledon (4-1)
1934 - St Louis Cards defeat Cin Reds 8-6 in 18 innings, pitchers Dizzy Dean & Tony Freitos go the distant
1935 - 3rd Dutch government of Colijn sworn in
1936 - Tokyo Japan is awarded the 1940 Olympics (later cancelled)
1937 - Politburo enables Operative Order 00447: execute 193,000 Russians
1938 - NY Yanks suspend Jake Powell, after he said on Chicago radio he'd "hit every colored person in Chicago over head with a club"
1938 - Archaeologists discover engraved gold and silver plates from King Darius in Persepolis.
1940 - 38 U boats sinks this month (196,000 ton)
1940 - Riech's commissar Seyss-Inquart bans homosexuals
1941 - U boats sink 21 allied ships this month: 94,000 ton
1942 - German SS gases 1,000 Jews in Minsk, Belorussia
1942 - U boats sank 96 allied ships this month: 476,000 ton
1943 - Transport nr 58 departs with French Jews to nazi Germany
1944 - Last deportation train out Mechelen departs to Auschwitz
1944 - Transport nr 77 departs with French Jews to nazi-Germany
1944 - US troops occupy Sansapor New-Guinea
1945 - Pierre Laval, the fugitive former leader of Vichy France, surrenders to Allied soldiers in Austria.
1948 - "Brigadoon" closes at Ziegfeld Theater NYC after 581 performances
1948 - Pres Harry Truman dedicates Idlewild Field (Kennedy Airport), NY
1949 - Lightning strikes a baseball field in Fla, kills SS & 3rd baseman
1951 - Japan Airlines is established.
1953 - Dept of Health, Education & Welfare created
1954 - Mil Braves' Joe Adcock sets record of 18 total bases (4 hrs, 1 double)
1954 - First ascent of K2, by an Italian expedition led by Ardito Desio.
1955 - Beverly Hanson wins LPGA Battle Creek Golf Open
1955 - KRNT (now KCCI) TV channel 8 in Des Moines, IA (CBS) 1st broadcast
1955 - WHIS (now WVVA) TV channel 6 in Bluefield, WV (NBC) 1st broadcast
1956 - Laker takes 10-53 in Australia's 2nd innings, 19-90 for match
1958 - Anti-Chinese uprising in Tibet
1959 - 1st exhibit of bongos at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo opens
1960 - Elijah Muhammad, leader of Nation of Islam, calls for a black state
1960 - KSOO (now KSFY) TV channel 13 in Sioux Falls, SD (NBC) 1st broadcast
1960 - Patty Berg wins LPGA American Women's Golf Open
1961 - 31st All Star Baseball Game: 1-1 tie ends by rain at Fenway, Boston
1961 - Israel welcomes its 1,000,000th immigrant
1962 - Federation of Malaysia forms

1962 - Statham is Test crickets' leading wkt-taker (229), beating Lindwall
1963 - Arturo Illia elected president of Argentina
1963 - Cleve ties record of 4 consecutive HRS (Held, Ramos, Francona, Brown)
1963 - Indians' Woodie Held, Pedro Ramos, Tito Francona, & Larry Brown hit consecutive home runs in one inning (vs California Angels)
1964 - Al Parker glides 644 miles without any motor
1964 - Rolling Stone concert in Ireland halts after 12 minutes due to riot
1964 - US Ranger 7 takes 4,316 pictures before crashing on Moon
1965 - Cigarette Ads banned on British TV
1966 - Alabamans burn Beatle products due to John Lennon's anti-Jesus remark
1967 - Rolling Stone Mick Jagger & Keith Richards end 1 month jail sentence
1968 - Beatles close Apple Boutique, giving clothes away for free
1969 - KWIH TV channel 44 in Winona, MN (IND) begins broadcasting
1969 - Mariner 6 flies past Mars
1969 - National Guard mobilizes in racial disturbances in Baton Rouge, La
1970 - 37th NFL Chicago All Star Game: Kansas City 24, All Stars 3 (69,940)
1970 - Chet Huntley retires from NBC, ends "Huntley-Brinkley Report"
1970 - Black Tot Day: The last day of the officially sanctioned rum ration in the Royal Navy.
1971 - Apollo 15 astronauts take 6½ hour electric car ride on Moon
1971 - Deventer Soccer team Go Ahead Eagles forms
1972 - Dick Allen is 7th to hit 2 inside-the-park homers in a game
Rocker/Beatle John LennonRocker/Beatle John Lennon 1972 - Thomas Eagleton withdraws as Democratic VP candidate
1973 - ABA Virginia Squires trade Julius Erving to NY Nets
1973 - Delta Airlines DC-9 crashes in fog at Logan Airport, Boston, killing all but one of 89 aboard. Lone survivor dies 6 months later
1973 - Frank Hayes scores 106 on Test Cricket debut v WI as England lose
1976 - Seychelles Independence (Independence day)
1976 - Waldemar Cierpinski runs Olympic marathon (2:09:55.0)
1977 - Debbie Austin wins LPGA Pocono Northeast Golf Classic
1977 - E Henry Knoche, ends term as deputy director of CIA
1977 - John F Blake promoted from acting to deputy director of CIA
1978 - Gunman shoots his way into Iraqi Embassy in Paris
1978 - NY Yanks now 7½ out of 1st, picked up 7 games in previous 2 weeks
1978 - Pete Rose ties NL record hitting streak at 44
1979 - "But Never Jam Today" opens at Longacre Theater NYC for 7 performances
1980 - John Phillips of Mamas & Papas is arrested on drug charges
1980 - Rangers snap Orioles pitcher Steve Stone's 14-game winning streak
1980 - Soyuz 37 crew returns to Earth aboard Soyuz 36
1980 - USSR performs nuclear Test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
1981 - 42 day old, 2nd major league baseball strike ends
1981 - Arnette Hubbard installed as 1st woman president of Natl Bar Association
1982 - 46 kids & 7 adults die as 2 buses & several cars collide in France
1982 - Car/bus collision near Beaune, France, 53 die
1982 - Finland, Italy, Germany, Austria & France form American European Football Federation (AEFF)
1982 - USSR performs nuclear Test
1983 - 38th US Women's Open Golf Championship won by Jan Stephenson
1983 - B Robinson, J Marichal, G Kell, & W Alston inducted into Hall of Fame
1983 - Dutch July avg temp is 20.1°C; warmest July since 1852
1984 - Leeza Gibbon's 1st appearance on Entertainment Tonight
1984 - US men's gymnastics team won team gold medal at LA Summer Olympics
1984 - Venz commandos terminate hijacking of an aircraft, 2 killed
1987 - "Living Daylights" premieres in US
1987 - Battle between Iranian pilgrims & Saudi-Arabian troops, 402 killed
1987 - Eddie Murray hits his 300th HR
1987 - Guns & Roses song "Appetite for Destruction" is released
1987 - Oriole Eddie Murray hits his 299th & 300th career home runs
1987 - Rockwell International awarded contract to build a 5th shuttle
1987 - A rare, class F-4 tornado rips through Edmonton, Alberta, killing 27 people and causing $330 million in damage.
1988 - Ayako Okamoto wins LPGA Greater Washington Golf Open
1988 - Jose Canseco is 1st to hit 30 HRs in 1st 3 years
1988 - Last Playboy club closes (Lansing Michigan)
1988 - Miami Dolphins beat SF 49ers 27-21 in London
1988 - Willie Stargell became 200th man inducted in Baseball's Hall of Fame
1988 - 32 people are killed and 1,674 injured when a bridge at the Sultan Abdul Halim ferry terminal collapses in Butterworth, Malaysia.
1989 - Twins trade AL Cy Young Award winner Frank Viola to Mets
1990 - Bosnia-Hercegovina declares independence
1990 - Nolan Ryan becomes 20th major league pitcher to win 300 games
1991 - Russia & US sign long range nuclear weapons reduction pact
1991 - Senate votes to allow women to fly combat aircraft
1991 - The Medininkai Massacre in Lithuania. Soviet OMON attacks Lithuanian customs post in Medininkai, killing 7 officers and severely wounding one other.
1992 - Jeff Rouse swims world record/OR 100m backstroke (53.86 sec)
1992 - Kieren John Perkins swims world record/OR 1500m free style (14:43.4)
1992 - Tamas Darnyi swims world record/Olympics 200m backstroke (1:59.36)
1992 - Thai Airbus crashes into mountain at Kathmandu, 113 die
1992 - Yang Wenyi swims world record/OR 50m freestyle (24.79 sec)
1993 - A's trade Rickey Henderson to Blue Jays
1993 - Allman Bros guitarist Dickey Betts arrested for shoving 2 cops
1993 - Inkatha-arm forces killed 49 ANC-followers in Johannesburg
1993 - Prince Ronald "Ronnie" Mutebi crowned king of Uganda
1994 - 102.7°F (39.3°C) in Pleschen, East-Germany
1994 - 28th Curtis Cup: Draw, 9-9
1994 - Arcen Limburg averages 71.6°F (22.0°C) in July: record
1994 - Helen Alfredss wins LPGA Ping Welch's Golf Championship
1994 - Neth averages 21.4°C; their warmest July since 1783
1994 - Phil Rizzuto (Yanks) & Steve Carlton (Phils) enter the Hall of Fame
1994 - Sergei Bubka ploe vaults his 35th world record (6.14 m)
1994 - Stockholms avgs 21.5°C; their warmest July since 1855
1994 - UN votes 12-0 (2 abstentions) to authorize use of force against Haiti
1997 - A's trade Mark McGwire to St Louis Cards
1999 - Discovery Program: Lunar Prospector - NASA intentionally crashes the spacecraft into the Moon, thus ending its mission to detect frozen water on the moon's surface.
2006 - Fidel Castro hands over power temporarily to brother Raúl Castro. This leads to a celebration in Little Havana (La Pequeña Habana in Spanish), Miami, Florida, where many Cuban Americans participated.
2007 - Operation Banner, the presence of the British Army in Northern Ireland, and longest-running British Army operation ever, comes to an end.
2012 - Two car bombs kill 21 people in Baghdad, Iraq
2012 - A second power grid failure in two days leaves 670 million people in India without power

1498 - Christopher Columbus, on his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, arrived at the island of Trinidad.   1790 - The first U.S. patent was issued to Samuel Hopkins for his process for making potash and pearl ashes. The substance was used in fertilizer.   1792 - The cornerstone of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, PA, was laid. It was the first building to be used only as a U.S. government building.   1919 - Germany's Weimar Constitution was adopted.   1928 - MGM’s Leo the lion roared for the first time. He introduced MGM’s first talking picture, "White Shadows on the South Seas."   1932 - Enzo Ferrari retired from racing. In 1950 he launched a series of cars under his name.   1945 - Pierre Laval of France surrendered to Americans in Austria.   1948 - U.S. President Truman helped dedicate New York International Airport (later John F. Kennedy International Airport) at Idlewild Field.   1955 - Marilyn Bell of Toronto, Canada, at age 17, became the youngest person to swim the English Channel.   1959 - The Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) was founded. The group is known for being an armed Basque nationalist and separatist organization.   1961 - The first tie in All-Star Game major league baseball history was recorded when it was stopped in the 9th inning due to rain at Boston's Fenway Park.   1964 - The American space probe Ranger 7 transmitted pictures of the moon's surface.   1971 - Men rode in a vehicle on the moon for the first time in a lunar rover vehicle (LRV).   1981 - The seven-week baseball players’ strike came to an end when the players and owners agreed on the issue of free agent compensation.  1982 - Yugoslavia imposed a six-month freeze on prices.   1989 - A pro-Iranian group in Lebanon released a videotape reportedly showing the hanged body of American hostage William R. Higgins.   1991 - U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.   1995 - The Walt Disney Company agreed to acquire Capital Cities/ABC in a $19 billion deal.  Disney movies, music and books   1999 - The spacecraft Lunar Prospect crashed into the moon. It was a mission to detect frozen water on the moon's surface. The craft had been launched on January 6, 1998.   2007 - The iTunes Music Store reached 2 million feature length films sold.

1498 Columbus arrived at the island of Trinidad. 1777 The Marquis de Lafayette became a major-general in the American Continental Army. 1790 The first U.S. patent was issued to Samuel Hopkins of Vermont for a process of making fertilizer. 1875 Andrew Johnson, the 17th president of the United States, died in Tennessee. 1954 Mount Godwin-Austen (K2), the world's second-highest peak, was climbed for the first time, by an Italian team led by Ardito Desio. 1964 The U.S. space probe Ranger 7 transmitted pictures of the Moon’s surface.

The following links are to web sites that were used to complete this blog entry:

Roger Waters and the Uproar Over Claims of Anti-Semitism

You read the headlines, and the authors seem so damn sure of themselves. They leave little room for doubt. Unless, of course, you do something crazy, such as...well, think for yourself, or something. Also, looking at the facts would pretty much be enough to dispel such ridiculous rumors that a prominent musician is this vehement anti-Semite, foaming at the mouth with his rabid hatred of Jews.

Here's the recent "breaking" news that seems to be spreading like wildfire just lately: Roger Waters, a well known pacifist who has consistently spread an anti-fascist message now for many decades, has now allegedly established himself as anti-Semitic, a "Jew-hater". At least, that is, if you believe those outraged and offended by the display of the Jewish Star of David on the inflatable pig that Roger Waters has flown in his concerts for decades, first with Pink Floyd, and since during his solo career.

Here is one recent such headline, which was a response to a concert by Waters in Belgium this past Saturday:

"Anti-Semitic display at Roger Waters concert" 

The article is by Eldad Beck of Ynet, and leaves no room for doubt as to how to interpret this straight away and without delay, right? And you can bet, surely, that there will be plenty of people who will immediately take this position as their own, regardless of their own ignorance of Waters or Pink Floyd, or anything really more in depth than such ridiculous headlines and stories meant to attract as much attention as possible.

Here's how this article begins:

"On Saturday night, Israelis were among those who attended a British musician and former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters’ concert in Belgium. Even as Waters is a known activist pushing for the boycott of Israel, Israelis were still amazed to see that the show included a blatantly anti-Semitic display."

The article concludes later like this:

“I came to the concert because I really like his music, without any connection to his political stance toward Israel,” Alon Onfus Asif, an Israeli living in Belgium, “And I had a lot of fun, until I noticed the Star of David, on the inflatable pig. That was the only religious-national symbol which appeared among other symbols for fascism, dictatorships and oppression of people. Waters crossed the line and gave expression to an anti-Semitic message, beyond all his messages of anti-militancy.

In the last few years, Waters has become one of the leading activists for the boycott of, and sanctions against Israel. He had planned to publish a letter calling on musicians not to perform in Israel, but recently said he was reconsidering his position in order not to hurt people he knew who would be affected by the issue. By this he hinted at the possibility that artists who boycotted Israel might be hurt by pro-Israel organizations." 

Again, absolutely no doubts expressed in this interpretation of what it all meant. According to this article, Roger Waters is spreading a clear message promoting hated of Jews, because of the "blatantly anti-Semitic display". 

If you knew nothing about Waters or Pink Floyd, you might be forgiven if you took this as the gospel truth, and assumed that, indeed, there was no other way to interpret what all of this meant. Nor is Elad Beck the only one that seems so damn sure that this knee jerk reaction that completely lacks any more nuanced possibilities is the only way to look at it. Not even close, actually.

Here's another headline critical of Roger Waters:

"Former Pink Floyd Member’s Offensive Move at a Concert That Has Some Calling Him a ‘Hater of Jews’" by Sharona Schwartz of The Blaze, July 25, 2013 

Okay, so maybe this is just for the headlines. Maybe what's inside has more intelligence or balance to it?


Well, look at just how much space the viewpoint that Waters is a bigoted anti-Semite gets:

Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the human rights group Simon Wiesenthal Center called it a "grotesque display of Jew-hatred," telling the Jewish news site The Algemeiner, "With this disgusting display Roger Waters has made it crystal clear. Forget Israel, never mind 'limited boycotts promoting Middle East Peace.' Waters is an open hater of Jews."  

On the Wiesenthal Center's website, Cooper posted a statement saying "Waters deployed a classic disgusting medieval anti-Semitic caricature widely used by both Nazi and Soviet propaganda to incite hatred against Jews."  

"The video is beyond shocking. The only books this bigot should be getting should be with the Mullahs in Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood," Cooper added.

As TheBlaze reported in March, Waters told a pro-Palestinian website that "the Israeli government runs an apartheid regime in Israel, the occupied territories and everywhere else it decides."

No doubt that Rabbi Abraham Cooper was a huge fan of Roger Waters beforehand, and is merely expressing disillusionment from the standpoint of a disappointed fan, right? I mean, he can't just be some prominent religious figure with an agenda, a chip on his shoulder the size of the West Bank, and a bone to pick about anyone even remotely critical of Israel or their controversial policies towards Palestinians, right? 

On NBC's Today Show yesterday (July 30, 2013), they too had a piece weighing in on the Star of David that was displayed on the pig, and whether or not it could be interpreted as a symbol of anti-Semitism. It showed a clip from the concert, showing the pig flying around, and then showing Waters himself in a costume meant to invoke memories of fascist dictators. He had a machine gun in his hand, and was firing (obviously not real shots) into the crowd. To their credit, they did make it clear that it is unfair to judge or interpret all of this from a twenty second clip. Unfortunately, I was not able to find a clip of this news report to add here, but will continue to try to do so in the future. Maybe it's just my computer. If you are interested in seeing the news piece, which included a lively debate between two men, one Jewish and one Muslim, with the Jewish man actually being the one to take a pro-Waters position (I did not want to add to much about this, as I cannot presently remember either of their names, and obviously cannot find the video clip, at least for the time being), then you can click to the following link:

The Anti-Defamation League also expressed anger over the display by Roger Waters, although it showed a bit more of a nuanced interpretation than some of those earlier ones, not automatically dismissing Waters as an anti-Semite, although they were still fairly harsh in the manner of their interpretation. Here is a piece from the article "ADL Slams Roger Waters For Star of David Bombs In "Wall""   by John Del Signore in Arts & Entertainment of, on September 29, 2010. Please note the date, just as proof that this is not new or breaking news :

Abe Foxman at The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has fired off a press release declaring it anti-Semetic. "It is outrageous that Roger Waters has chosen to use the juxtaposition of a Jewish Star of David with the symbol of dollar signs. While he insists that his intent was to criticize Israel's West Bank security fence, the use of such imagery in a concert setting seems to leave the message open to interpretation, and the meaning could easily be misunderstood as a comment about Jews and money."   

For analysis, we turn to Gothamist's in-house Rabbinical scholar Ben Yakas, who tells us, "The order he put everything in is unfortunate, but I don't think it was necessarily a direct 'Jews and their money,' anti-Semitic thing. It's too vague for that. He has crosses and crescents and fuel company logos all raining down together. It's just a bad juxtaposition. What's more offensive is the song; it's almost a rip off of Ruby Tuesday's chorus!"

Well, I will have to listen to that particular song with "Ruby Tuesday" in mind in order to judge for myself whether or not it is a rip off of the Stones. 

As to the larger question, about whether or not Roger Waters is anti-Semitic, and spreading a message of hatred?


For once, FOX News actually seemed to take a less certain position about it all, and did not automatically jump the gun and label Waters an anti-Semite. They did say this:

The 69-year-old founder of the band Pink Floyd has long been outspoken on issues surrounding politics in the Middle East. In 2009 he vehemently opposed the Israeli West Bank barrier, calling it an "obscenity" that "should be torn down.” That same year, he pledged support to the Gaza Freedom March, and he has played a prominent role in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.    

That much is true. Waters has been an outspoken critic of Israel, and it's policies towards the Palestinians. In that, he is hardly alone, for that matter. Nor is such a position so ridiculous or without credibility that it should not be taken seriously. In fact, it is mostly only in the United States that any criticism of Israel or Israeli policies towards the Palestinians is automatically equated with anti-Semitism. 

Some might find the way that Waters chose to express his views on the shocking side. But remember that he is an artist, and sometimes purposely tries to shock people, to wake them up out of their wall of indifference or intolerance. To challenge themselves, and look at their own prejudices. To try and do that in regards to Israel, or those who unquestioningly support Israel no matter what. Because, whether or not people want to hear the arguments, it is important to stimulate some discussion about a subject that is often considered taboo by many. It is considered this because there are some people out there that never, ever criticize Israel and, even worse, harshly criticize anyone who dares to question the wisdom of Israel's traditional policies towards the Palestinians and the tendency by Israel to drag its feet regarding a two state solution. People who hold such positions often tend to stifle debate about a hot topic by simply labeling any critics of Israel as anti-Semitic, and it is an absolutely outrageous and despicable tactic to take. Israel, like any and every country out there, is flawed. It makes mistakes, and it is more than fair to at least seriously examine and, yes, question, the wisdom or innocence of Israel's foreign policies, particularly in regards to the Palestinians.

Roger Waters put the Star of David on a pig, and that much can indeed prove shocking to some, obviously. But here's the thing: Israel put the Star of David on the national flag. When they then practice policies that many find shocking in the degree of intolerance and violence that these policies practice and promote, then they open themselves up to criticism. How could it be otherwise? Why do they then act so surprised by criticism? And how easy is it (and unfair, I might add) for those who take an automatically pro-Israeli position to simply label any critics of Israel as anti-Semitic? It is a low tactic unworthy of anyone with a sense of true justice or decency, frankly.

Let us not forget that while South Africa was under the rule of a white minority government during the days of apartheid, Israel was, de facto, among South Africa's closest allies. There was good reason for this, much like there is good reason that comparisons with the situation in the occupied territories keeps getting compared to the situation in South Africa during the days of apartheid. just because some might not like to hear such a position, does not detract from the credibility of it.

I personally saw Roger Waters perform "The Wall" twice in 2010. I saw the Star of David on display (although admittedly, I do not remember it on the pig specifically). It was on display, as well as the Cross and the Crescent, as well as numerous corporate logos. The interpretation that I got from it was that Waters was critical of big money corporations, as well as religious intolerance that tends to fuel the fires of hatred, all the while pretending to have a more enlightened position, and claiming intolerance by any critics. Religion, much like pretty much anything else, can be used to promote personal prejudices. Such is the case with the Westboro Baptist Church, for example. Or Pat Robertson. Or those fine folks who considered themselves Christians while promoting racial segregation in the American South, or in South Africa (and there were plenty). Such is the case in many predominately Muslim nations that openly do promote true anti-Semitism, as well as intolerance of any other religious or political viewpoints other then their own. Or the tendency among many extremists in each of the fundamentalists in the big three religions of the West to relegate women to second class citizen status.

Those who blindly and intolerantly promote pro-Israel often seem to use religion to promote their own prejudices, as well. To criticize this intolerance is certainly not tantamount to being anti-Semitic or a Jew-hater. It is to try and open everything up for debate, and to take a more courageous position of being open to criticism in order for the right to criticize what one feels to the depth of one's heart is wrong, wrong, wrong.

I have been a big fan of Roger Waters for a long, long time, and let me be clear about this: I have no doubt whatsoever that he is not anti-Semitic. No doubt. What is he, then? Why would he use such symbols in as apparently a shocking manner during one of his concerts? It is because he is offended. He is offended by the lack of humanity and decency in brutal policies practices by a bullying regime. That much is clear when he clearly criticizes neo-Nazis in "The Wall". That much is clear when he is highly critical of American foreign policy, stretching back decades now. And it is clear now, as he is criticizing Israeli policies, as he has also consistently done for a long time, as well.

Let me be clear about another thing, as well: I am still a big Roger Waters fan. In fact, I was watching "The Wall" from Berlin, back in 1990, while writing this piece. It is one of my very favorite concerts. my brother got it for me as a Christmas present in 1990, and for a year or two, I watched it so much, that it wore out the video tape. Yet, I still love watching it from time to time, as it conjures up some pleasant memories from the late eighties and early nineties. It reminds me of the amazing revolutions that spread like wildfire across Europe, that broke the back of a brutal, and intolerant, regime in the former Soviet Union, an occupying force in it's day. Waters was critical of the mindset not only of Eastern intolerance back then, but of that existing in the West, as well.

Not only will I not criticize him for his choice of display, but applaud his efforts to stimulate debate on a topic that needs to be debated, now more than ever. You may or may not approve of what he chose to express, or how he chose to express it. But then again, it has people talking, doesn't it?

And that, to me, is proof that it worked, at least on some level, in the spirit that Waters surely had intended.

The following are the articles that I used in writing this blog entry:

"Anti-Semitic display at Roger Waters concert" by Eldad Beck of Ynet,  Published:  07.24.13, 20:35 / Israel Culture,7340,L-4409388,00.html

"Former Pink Floyd Member’s Offensive Move at a Concert That Has Some Calling Him a ‘Hater of Jews’" by Sharona Schwartz of The Blaze, July 25, 2013

"Roger Waters under fire for seemingly anti-Semitic stunt: Floating a pig balloon stamped with the Star of David at Belgium concert" By Hollie McKay  Pop Tarts  Published July 25, 2013 

"ADL Slams Roger Waters For Star of David Bombs In "Wall""   by John Del Signore in Arts & Entertainment of, on September 29, 2010. Just to prove that this is not new or breaking news.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I Have to Say It Was a Good Day...

You have to count your blessings when you can. And yesterday, I had a good day. Plenty to celebrate, plenty to smile about. Those days do not happen all the time. In fact, they often feel like they are few and far between. So, it is time to be thankful, and even to reflect.

It did not appear that it would necessarily be a special day. After all, it was Monday. And although Monday is not for me the bad news that it is for many, if not most, people, I actually personally look forward to Mondays, because it is my weekends that are filled with more work time than any other part of the week. So, usually, I actually wind up looking forward to Mondays.

But that said, I had to work some extra hours at my job, and that made it grueling. I appreciate the extra hours, with the chance at extra pay. Yet, it is not too fun to go through while working them, and it threw my entire schedule off. I would get very little sleep. That is what it would mean.

True enough, too. I was not wrong about that. But I did manage to get a bit of a hike in. A short, and very unstrenuous hike, so as not to make my current issues with sciatica flare up again.

I managed a couple of hours of sleep after that, but then had to pick my son up from camp. It was hard to wake up fully, but somehow, I managed.

Now, usually, I make a point of at least trying to take him swimming at Wawayanda Lake on Mondays in summer time, but was hesitating yesterday. It was not that hot, I rationalized. Maybe next week, when I am not loaded with overtime.

Eventually, I was able to pull myself out of that rut, and bring him. Boy, was I glad I did, too!

For the last two or so years, my attempts to teach him how to swim had proven to lack any measure of success. We had signed him up for special classes, and he takes daily instructions in summer camp, to boot. Yet, it was all to no avail, because he still really did not know how to swim.

My frustrations had been mounting, because of this. But the last time that I had taken him to Wawayanda (almost two weeks ago), there had been some considerable progress. I had told him to float on his back, and concentrate on his breathing. Finally, this lesson seemed to resonate, and he had been able to float for maybe a full minute or two.

So, I had been wanting to follow up on this success, to make sure that the lesson was brought home. That was the main motivation for going swimming yesterday, specifically.

At first, he was being all goofy. He tends to always be in the mood to joke around, to laugh, and to be a little boy, which he is. But there are times when you need to get serious, and I lost my patience. He understood quickly that I meant business. Today was the day that I wanted him to learn, once and for all, how to swim.

There were things that I kept reiterating, trying to pound the point home by repetition. Concentrate on your breathing. Never panic. If you are in control of your breathing, there is nothing left to fear. Everything else will simply fall into place. So, just breathe. Whenever you feel the water closing in, rising on your face if you are floating on your back, take a deep breath, and you will rise again.

It worked. Much better, I might add, then ever before. He floated. Not for ten or twenty seconds, or even a minute. He floated for as long as he liked, and was able to move his arms around, so that he actually was moving. So he actually was swimming, if even on his back.

Next, I told him to do the same while facing front. I stood maybe fifteen feet (five metres) away, and told him to concentrate on his breathing. The first time, he fought. I could see it on the expression on his face. I told him to stop fighting. To simply relax, and remain in control. Breathe, and focus on the breathing. His technique improved, and he began to actually swim!

I was, and still am, so proud of him!

Then, we sat by the lakefront, which is truly idyllic. Beautiful. The weather could not have been more accommodating. And I managed to finish the book that I had been reading, "Norwegian by Night", by Derek B. Miller. It was one of the best books that I had read in years, and among the very finest books that I have actually ever read. More on that later, as I intend to write a blog about it in the near future.

So, things were going well at that point. But I still wanted him to read to me.

Last academic year, he had all sorts of problems at school. I could relate, because I was pretty much the same when younger. Too much energy, and an inability to channel all that excess energy in an appropriate or successful manner. It was getting in the way of everything. His behavior seemed to deteriorate, and so did his academic work. it was causing problems, to say the least. There were meetings.

Eventually, everyone felt that all options had been exhausted, and we looked into some prescriptions to calm him down. I was the last holdout, being rather vehemently opposed to it. But eventually, I yielded, as there seemed no other solution.

This was the beginning of the summer. As it turns out, maybe it was indeed for the best. His reading has improved, and not just by a little. It seems that he can read far, far better than he did really only weeks ago. He shows more confidence, and far more ability. He can read with fluidity, and he did it again last night, too. At the risk of sounding repetitive, I was so proud of him!

So, that's it! I realized that these kinds of days do not happen too often, so why not appreciate them when they are there to be appreciated? After all, sometimes, you get so bogged down with life, and the everyday stresses, that there seem to be little else. It all seems to be so stressful and annoying, and you cannot see any real signs of progress. Things always seem to be the same, one way or the other.

And then, you might get a day that, when you think about it later, just feels magical. I hesitate to use that word, because it sounds almost....well, silly. But there was recognition that yesterday possessed some very positive qualities to it that most days do not, and it feels necessary to express my gratitude, and to enjoy the moment while it lasts.

On This Day in History - July 30

Once again, it should be reiterated, that this does not pretend to be a very extensive history of what happened on this day (nor is it the most original - the links can be found down below). If you know something that I am missing, by all means, shoot me an email or leave a comment, and let me know!

July 30, 1943: Hitler gets news of Italy's imminent defection

On this day in 1943, Adolf Hitler learns that Axis ally Italy is buying time before negotiating surrender terms with the Allies in light of Mussolini's fall from power.  

Hitler had feared that such a turn of events was possible, if not probable. Hitler had come to Italy on July 19 to lecture Il Duce on his failed military leadership—evidence that he knew, even if he was not admitting, that both Mussolini and Italy were about to collapse, leaving the Italian peninsula open to Allied occupation. Despite a half-hearted reassurance from Mussolini that Italy would continue to battle on, Hitler nevertheless began preparing for the prospect of Italy's surrender to the Allies.  

When Mussolini was ousted from power and arrested by his own police six days later. Hitler gathered Goering, Goebbels, Himmler, Rommel, and the commander in chief of the German navy, Karl Doenitz, at his headquarters to reveal the plans of action he had already been formulating. Among them: (1) Operation Oak, in which Mussolini would be rescued from captivity; (2) the occupation of Rome by German forces and the reinstallation of Mussolini and his fascist government; (3) Operation Black, the German occupation of all Italy; and (4) Operation Axis, the destruction of the Italian fleet (in order to prevent it from being commandeered for Allied use).  

Hitler's advisers urged caution, especially since it would require recalling troops from the Eastern front. The Allies had not made a move on Rome yet, and although Mussolini was under arrest, the Italian government had not formally surrendered. Germany had received assurances from Mussolini's successor, General Badoglio, that Italy would continue to fight at Germany's side. Then on July 30, Hitler read a message from his security police chief in Zagreb that an Italian general had confided to a Croat general that Italy's assurances of loyalty to Germany were "designed merely to gain time for the conclusion of negotiations with the enemy."

Here's a bit on healthcare history in the United States:

July 30, 1965: Johnson signs Medicare into law

On this day in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signs Medicare, a health insurance program for elderly Americans, into law. At the bill-signing ceremony, which took place at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, former President Harry S. Truman was enrolled as Medicare's first beneficiary and received the first Medicare card. Johnson wanted to recognize Truman, who, in 1945, had become the first president to propose national health insurance, an initiative that was opposed at the time by Congress.  

The Medicare program, providing hospital and medical insurance for Americans age 65 or older, was signed into law as an amendment to the Social Security Act of 1935. Some 19 million people enrolled in Medicare when it went into effect in 1966. In 1972, eligibility for the program was extended to Americans under 65 with certain disabilities and people of all ages with permanent kidney disease requiring dialysis or transplant. In December 2003, President George W. Bush signed into law the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA), which added outpatient prescription drug benefits to Medicare.  

Medicare is funded entirely by the federal government and paid for in part through payroll taxes. Medicare is currently a source of controversy due to the enormous strain it puts on the federal budget. Throughout its history, the program also has been plagued by fraud--committed by patients, doctors and hospitals--that has cost taxpayers billions of dollars.  

Medicaid, a state and federally funded program that offers health coverage to certain low-income people, was also signed into law by President Johnson on July 30, 1965, as an amendment to the Social Security Act.  

In 1977, the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) was created to administer Medicare and work with state governments to administer Medicaid. HCFA, which was later renamed the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), is part of the Department of Health and Human Services and is headquartered in Baltimore.

Here's a bit more of some new to have happened on this date in history - England won their first (and so far only) World Cup:

July 30, 1966: England wins World Cup

In the first televised World Cup soccer match, host-nation England beats Germany 4 to 2 to win the tournament final at Wembley Stadium. In overtime play, England's Geoff Hurst scored his second of three match goals to give Britain a 3 to 2 lead. In the dying seconds of overtime play, he scored his third goal, making the score 4 to 2 and handing England the Jules Rimet Trophy for the first time in the World Cup's 36-year history. English star Bobby Charlton was marked on the field by German Franz Beckenbauer, an emerging talent who held the English midfielder to no goals. Hurst's second goal later stirred considerable controversy when film footage suggested that it failed to cross the goal line after bouncing off the crossbar.

England won the World Cup.

Here's a more detailed look at events that transpired on this date throughout history:

579 - Benedict I ends his reign as Catholic Pope
657 - St Vitalian begins his reign as Catholic Pope succeeding Eugene I
1178 - Frederick I (Barbarossa), Holy Roman Emperor, crowned King of Burgundy
1419 - Anti-Catholic Hussites, followers of executed reformer Jan Hus, storm the Prague town hall and throw the judge, mayor and several city council members (either 7 or 13) out the windows. They all either died in the fall or were killed by the crowd outside.
1502 - Christopher Columbus landed at Guanaja in the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras during his fourth voyage.      
1537 - Resistant of Bomy: French/Dutch cease fire
1601 - Spanish garrison of Rhine birch surrenders to Earl Mauritius
1618 - Prince Maurits' troops pull into Utrecht
1619 - The first representative assembly in America convened in Jamestown, VA. (House of Burgesses)   
1626 - Earthquake hits Naples; 10,000 die
1629 - An earthquake in Naples, Italy kills 10,000 people.
1646 - English parliament sets king Charles I Newcastle Propositions
1650 - Prince Willem II occupies Amsterdam
1653 - Johan de Witt sworn in as pension advisor of Holland
1655 - Dutch troops occupy Fort Assahudi Seram
1678 - English troops land in Flanders
1715 - Spanish gold & silver fleet disappears off St Lucie, Florida
1729 - The city of Baltimore was founded in Maryland.   
1733 - The first Freemasons lodge opened in what would later become the United States in Boston.   
1739 - Caspar Wistar begins glass manufacturing in Allowaystown, NJ
King of England King Charles IKing of England King Charles I 1756 - Bartolomeo Rastrelli presents the newly-built Catherine Palace to Empress Elizabeth and her courtiers.
1775 - Capt Cook with Resolution returns to England
1792 - 500 Marseillaisian men sing France's national anthem for 1st time
1809 - British armed force of 39,000 lands in Walcheren
1811 - Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, leader of the Mexican insurgency, is executed by the Spanish in Chihuahua, Mexico.
1822 - James Varick becomes 1st bishop of Afr Meth Episcopal Zion Church
1824 - Gioacchino Rossini becomes manager of Theatre Italian, Paris
1825 - Malden Island is discovered.
1826 - Java prince Dipo Negoro surprise attacks Dutch colony, 82 killed
1836 - 1st English newspaper published in Hawaii
1839 - Slave rebels, take over slaver Amistad
1844 - 1st US yacht club organized, NY Yacht Club
1863 - Pres Lincoln issues "eye-for-eye" order to shoot a rebel prisoner for every black prisoner shot
1863 - Indian Wars: Chief Pocatello of the Shoshone tribe signs the Treaty of Box Elder, promising to stop harassing the emigrant trails in southern Idaho and northern Utah.
1864 - Battle of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania - burned by Union forces under McCausland
1864 - Battle of the Crater: Gen Burnsides fails on attack of Petersburg
1865 - Pope Pius IX visits Suriname
1866 - New Orleans's Democratic government orders police to raid an integrated Republican Party meeting, killing 40 people and injuring 150.
1870 - Staten Island ferry "Westfield" burns, killing 100
1872 - Mahlon Loomis patents wireless telegraphy
1874 - 1st baseball teams to play outside US, Boston-Phila in British Isles
1878 - German anti-semitism begins during the Reichstag election
1878 - Russian assault on Plevna Turkey, 7,300 Russian casualties
1889 - Start of Sherlock Holmes adventure "Naval Treaty" (BG)
1898 - Will Kellogg invents Corn Flakes
1898 - "Scientific America" carried the first magazine automobile ad. The ad was for the Winton Motor Car Company of Cleveland, OH.
1902 - Anti-Jewish rioters attack funeral procession of Rabbi Joseph (NYC)
1905 - Dutch Covenant of Worker's union, NVV, forms
1908 - Around the World Automobile Race ends in Paris
1909 - John A Heyder becomes president of baseball's National League
1909 - Wright Brothers deliver 1st military plane to the army
1913 - Conclusion of 2nd Balkan War
1914 - Austrian-Hungary & Russia proclaim general mobilization
1914 - French troops withdraw 10 km from German border
1914 - John French appointed British supreme commander
1916 - German saboteurs blow up a munitions plant on Black Tom Island, NJ
1916 - Black Tom Island explosion in Jersey City, NJ.
1917 - Board of Commissioners of Cleveland Metroparks has its 1st meeting
1923 - New Zealand claims Ross Dependency
1926 - Albanian boundaries deduced
1928 - George Eastman shows 1st color motion pictures (US)
1930 - 1st broadcast of "Death Valley Days" on NBC-radio
1930 - Uruguay beats Argentina 4-2 for soccer's 1st World Cup in Montevideo
1932 - 10th modern Olympic games opens in Los Angeles
1932 - Walt Disney's "Flowers and Trees" premiered. It was the first Academy Award winning cartoon and first cartoon short to use Technicolor.  Disney movies, music and books   
1933 - 28th Davis Cup: Great Britain beats France in Paris (3-2)
1935 - 1st Penguin book is published, starting the paperback revolution
1937 - Phillies Dolph Camilli, plays 1st base & registers no put outs
1937 - The American Federation of Radio Artists (AFRA) was organized as a part of the American Federation of Labor.   
1938 - Gen Metaxas names himself premier of Greece
1939 - Belgium Sylvere Maes wins 33rd Tour de France
1941 - German occupiers forbid SDAP, VDB, ARP, RKSP, CHU & SGP in Netherlands
1942 - FDR signs bill creating women's Navy auxiliary agency (WAVES)
1942 - German SS kills 25,000 Jews in Minsk, Belorussia
1942 - German occupiers set night curfew on Jews in Netherlands
1942 - The WAVES were created by legislation signed by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The members of the Women's Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service were a part of the U.S. Navy. 
1943 - Last Judy Garland-Mickey Rooney movie released (Girl Crazy)
1943 - US 45th Infantry division occupies San Stefano
1944 - Heavy battles at Tessy-sur-Vire & Villebaudon Normandy
1944 - US 30th division reaches suburbs of St-Lo Normandy
1945 - Philippines Sea: US cruiser Indianapolis torpedoed/sinks, 880 die
1945 - The USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. The ship had just delivered key components of the Hiroshima atomic bomb to the Pacific island of Tinian. Only 316 out of 1,196 men aboard survived the attack.   
1946 - 1st rocket attains 100 mi (167 km) altitude, White Sands, NM
1947 - Cin Reds 16 game win streak ends, losing to NY Giants 5-4
1948 - Emile Zatopek runs Olympic record (10K - 29:59.6)
1948 - Professional wrestling premieres on prime-time network TV (DuMont)
1949 - British warship HMS Amethyst escape down Yangtze River, having been refused a safe passage by Chinese Communists after 3-month standoff
1951 - Ty Cobb testifies before the Emanuel Celler committee, denying that the reserve clause makes peons of baseball players
1952 - Ford Frick sets waiver rule to bar inter-league deals until all clubs in same league get right to bid
1953 - Rikidōzan holds a ceremony announcing the establishment of the Japan Pro Wrestling Alliance.
1954 - Bob Kennedy hits the 1st grand slam for the new Baltimore Orioles
1954 - Elvis Presley joins Memphis Federation of Musicians, Local 71
Singer & Cultural Icon Elvis PresleySinger & Cultural Icon Elvis Presley 
1955 - Louison Bobet wins his 3rd Tour de France
1956 - US motto "In God We Trust" authorized
1956 - The phrase "In God We Trust" was adopted as the U.S. national motto.   
1959 - In his major league debut, SF Giant Willie McCovey goes 4-for-4
1960 - 1st AFL preseason game Boston Patriots defeat Bills in Buffalo (28-7)
1961 - 43rd PGA Championship: Jerry Barber shoots a 277 at Olympia Fields IL
1961 - Judy Kimball wins LPGA American Women's Golf Open
1962 - 33rd All Star Baseball Game: AL wins 9-4 at Wrigley Field, Chicago
1962 - All star MVP: Leon Wagner (LA Angels)
1963 - British spy Kim Philby found in Moscow
1964 - US naval fire on Hon Ngu/Hon Mo, North Vietnam
1965 - Charles Ives' "From the Steeples & the Mountains," premieres
1965 - Duke Ellington's "Golden Brown & the Green Apple," premieres
1965 - LBJ signs Medicare bill, which goes into effect in 1966

1965 - Milwaukee manager Bobby Bragan says his pitchers threw 75 to 80 spitballs in a 9-2 loss to the Giants
1965 - U.S. President Johnson signed into law Social Security Act that established Medicare and Medicaid. It went into effect the following year.   
1966 - Beatles' "Yesterday... & Today," album goes #1 & stays #1 for 5 weeks
1966 - England beats West Germany 4-2 for soccer's 8th World Cup in London
1966 - Kathy Whitworth wins LPGA Supertest Ladies Golf Open
1966 - US airplanes bombs demilitarized zone in Vietnam
1967 - Clifford Ann Creed/Margie Masters wins Yankee Ladies' Team Golf Champ
1967 - Race riot in Milwaukee (4 killed)
1968 - Beatles' Apple Boutique closes, entire inventory is given away
1968 - Wash Senator Ron Hansen makes 1st unassisted triple-play in 41 years
1968 - Ron Hansen (Washington Senators) made the first unassisted triple play in the major leagues in 41 years.     
1969 - Astros Denis Menke & Jim Wynn hit grandslams in 9th inn vs Mets
1969 - Barbra Streisand opens for Liberace at International Hotel, Las Vegas
1969 - KAEC TV channel 19 in Lufkin, TX (ABC) begins broadcasting
1969 - Mariner 6 passes Venus on 3410 km (74 photos)
1970 - -Aug 5] Hurricane Celia, kills 31 in Cuba, Florida & Texas
1970 - 30,000 attend Powder Ridge Rock Festival, Middlefield Ct
1971 - 38th NFL Chicago All Star Game: Baltimore 24, All Stars 17 (52,289)
1971 - George Harrison releases "Bangladesh"
1971 - Japanese Boeing 727 collides with an F-86 fighter killing 162
1971 - US Apollo 15 (Scott & Irwin) lands on Mare Imbrium on the Moon
1972 - "Ain't Supposed to Die Death" closes at Barrymore NYC after 325 perfs
Singer & Actress Barbra StreisandSinger & Actress Barbra Streisand 1972 - Jan Ferraris wins LPGA Lady Pepsi Golf Open
1973 - Texas Rangers Jim Bibby no-hits 1st-place Oakland, 6-0
1974 - House Judiciary Committee votes on 3rd & last charge of "high crimes & misdemeanors" to impeach President Nixon in the Watergate cover-up
1974 - The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee voted to impeach President Nixon for blocking the Watergate investigation and for abuse of power, voted on 3rd & last charge of "high crimes & misdemeanors" to impeach President Nixon in the Watergate cover-up   
1975 - Simon Gray's "Otherwise Engaged," premieres in London
1975 - Teamsters Pres Jimmy Hoffa disappears in suburban Detroit
1976 - Giulio Andreotti sworn in as premier of Italy
1976 - Japanese beat Russian for Olympic gold in woman's volleyball
1978 - Expos crush Braves, 19-0, collecting 28 hits & NL-record-tying 8 HRs
1978 - Pat Bradley wins LPGA Hoosier Golf Classic
1980 - Houston Astro pitcher J R Richard suffers a stroke
1980 - Vanuatu (New Hebrides) gains independence from Britain & France
1981 - Belgian Senate accept laws against racism
1981 - Simon Gray's "Quartermaine's Terms," premieres in London
1982 - Atlanta Braves remove Chief Noc-A-Homa to make room for more seats
1982 - USSR performs underground nuclear Test
1983 - Official speed record for a piston-driven aircraft, 832 kph, Calif
1983 - Weight lifter Sergei Didyk of USSR jerks a record 261 kg
1984 - Alvenus tanker at Cameron La, spills 2.8 million gallons of oil
1984 - Holly Roffey (11 days) gets heart transplant
1984 - Soap Opera "Santa Barbara" premieres on NBC TV
1985 - Discovery moves to Vandenberg AFB for mating of STS 51-I mission
1985 - Valerie Lowrance, of Texas, 18, crowned America's Junior Miss
1987 - Indian troops arrived in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, to disarm the Tamil Tigers and enforce a peace pact. 
1988 - Cin Red pitcher John Franco sets a record of 13 saves in 1 month
1988 - Harry Drake shoots arrow record 1873m
1988 - John Franco saves record 13th game of July
1988 - Jordanian King Hussein renounces sovereignity over West Bank to PLO
1988 - King Hussein dissolves Jordan's House of Representatives
1988 - Ronald J Dossenbach begins world record ride, pedaling across Canada from Vancouver BC, to Halifax, NS (13 days, 15 hr, 4 min)
1989 - Chile amends its constitution
1989 - Nancy Lopez wins LPGA Atlantic City Golf Classic
1990 - 5 Bank of Credit & Commerce members found guilty of money
1990 - Graham Gooch scores 123 v India to follow up 1st innings 333
1990 - Soldiers opens fire on worshippers in Monrovian church, 200-600 die
1990 - George Steinbrenner is forced by Commissioner Fay Vincent to resign as prinicipal partner of NY Yankees
1990 - The first Saturn automobile rolls off the assembly line.
1990 - In Spring Hill, TN, the first Saturn automobile rolled off the assembly line.   
1991 - MTV announces it will split into 3 channels in 1993
1991 - Red Sox Carlos Quintana is 11th to get 6 RBIs in an inning (3rd)
1992 - Lin Li swims female world record/OR 200m medley (2:11.65)
1994 - Record 103.8°F (39.9°C) in Preschen Lausitz Germany
1995 - Becky Iverson wins LPGA Friendly's Golf Classic
1995 - Dominic Cork takes hat-trick in England Test Cricket win v WI
1995 - Lara completes 5th Test Cricket century, 145 at Old Trafford
1995 - Richie Ashburn and Mike Schmidt enter basaeball's Hall of Fame
1996 - Tommy Lasoda retires as LA Dodger manager
1997 - Terrorist double suicide bombing in Jerusalem, kills 14
1997 - Eighteen lives are lost in the Thredbo Landslide in New South Wales, Australia.
1998 - A group of Ohio machine-shop workers (who call themselves the Lucky 13) won the $295.7 million Powerball jackpot. It was the largest-ever American lottery.   
2000 - Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt were married.   
2001 - Lance Armstrong became the first American to win three consecutive Tours de France.   
2002 - The accounting law referred to as "The Sarbanes Oxley Act" is signed into law by President George W. Bush.
2003 - In Mexico, the last 'old style' Volkswagon Beetle rolled off an assembly line.
2006 - World's longest running music show Top of the Pops is broadcast for the last time on BBC Two. The show had aired for 42 years.
2009 - A bomb explodes in Palma Nova, Mallorca, killing 2 police officers. Basque separatist group ETA is believed to be responsible.
2012 - Train fire kills 32 and injures 27 people in Andhra Pradesh, India
2012 - Indian power grid failure leaves over 300 million without power


1619 The first legislative assembly in English North America convened in Jamestown, Va. 1729 The U.S. city of Baltimore was founded. 1932 The tenth modern Olympic Games opened in Los Angeles. 1945 The USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine and sank within 15 minutes. It was one of the greatest naval losses of World War II, resulting in the deaths of nearly 900 men. 1956 The phrase "In God We Trust" was adopted as the U.S. national motto. 1965 President Lyndon Johnson signed the Medicare Bill into law. 1975 Former Teamsters union president James Hoffa was reported missing. Many suspect he was murdered, though his remains have never been found. 1980 The Republic of Vanuatu, formerly known as the New Hebrides, gained its independence from France and Britain. 2002 Lisa Leslie became the first woman to dunk in a professional basketball game. 2012 620 million people were without power in India, the worst power outage in world history.

The following links are to web sites that were used to complete this blog entry:

Monday, July 29, 2013

On This Day in History - July 29 NASA created and Ball Gets Rolling for World War I

Once again, it should be reiterated, that this does not pretend to be a very extensive history of what happened on this day (nor is it the most original - the links can be found down below). If you know something that I am missing, by all means, shoot me an email or leave a comment, and let me know!

July 29, 1958: NASA created

On this day in 1958, the U.S. Congress passes legislation establishing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a civilian agency responsible for coordinating America's activities in space. NASA has since sponsored space expeditions, both human and mechanical, that have yielded vital information about the solar system and universe. It has also launched numerous earth-orbiting satellites that have been instrumental in everything from weather forecasting to navigation to global communications.  

NASA was created in response to the Soviet Union's October 4, 1957 launch of its first satellite, Sputnik I. The 183-pound, basketball-sized satellite orbited the earth in 98 minutes. The Sputnik launch caught Americans by surprise and sparked fears that the Soviets might also be capable of sending missiles with nuclear weapons from Europe to America. The United States prided itself on being at the forefront of technology, and, embarrassed, immediately began developing a response, signaling the start of the U.S.-Soviet space race.  

On November 3, 1957, the Soviets launched Sputnik II, which carried a dog named Laika. In December, America attempted to launch a satellite of its own, called Vanguard, but it exploded shortly after takeoff. On January 31, 1958, things went better with Explorer I, the first U.S. satellite to successfully orbit the earth. In July of that year, Congress passed legislation officially establishing NASA from the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics and other government agencies, and confirming the country's commitment to winning the space race. In May 1961, President John F. Kennedy declared that America should put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. On July 20, 1969, NASA's Apollo 11 mission achieved that goal and made history when astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon, saying "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."  

NASA has continued to make great advances in space exploration since the first moonwalk, including playing a major part in the construction of the International Space Station. The agency has also suffered tragic setbacks, however, such as the disasters that killed the crews of the Challenger space shuttle in 1986 and the Columbia space shuttle in 2003. In 2004, President George Bush challenged NASA to return to the moon by 2020 and establish "an extended human presence" there that could serve as a launching point for 
Also, very significant on this day, was how so many things fell into place in the early days of World War I:

July 29, 1914: Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany and Czar Nicholas of Russia exchange telegrams

In the early hours of July 29, 1914, Czar Nicholas II of Russia and his first cousin, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, begin a frantic exchange of telegrams regarding the newly erupted war in the Balkan region and the possibility of its escalation into a general European war.  

One day prior, Austria-Hungary had declared war on Serbia, one month after the assassination in Sarajevo of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife by a Serbian nationalist. In the wake of the killings, Germany had promised Austria-Hungary its unconditional support in whatever punitive action it chose to take towards Serbia, regardless of whether or not Serbia's powerful ally, Russia, stepped into the conflict. By the time an ultimatum from Vienna to Serbia was rejected on July 25, Russia, defying Austro-German expectations, had already ordered preliminary mobilization to begin, believing that Berlin was using the assassination crisis as a pretext to launch a war to shore up its power in the Balkans.  

The relationship between Nicholas and Wilhelm, two grandsons of Britain's Queen Victoria, had long been a rocky one. Though Wilhelm described himself as Victoria's favorite grandson, the great queen in turn warned Nicholas to be careful of Wilhelm's "mischievous and unstraight-forward proceedings." Victoria did not invite the kaiser, who she described to her prime minister as "a hot-headed, conceited, and wrong-headed young man," to her Diamond Jubilee celebration in 1897, nor her 80th birthday two years later. Czar Nicholas himself commented in 1902 after a meeting with Wilhelm: "He's raving mad!" Now, however, the two cousins stood at the center of the crisis that would soon escalate into the First World War.  

"In this serious moment, I appeal to you to help me," Czar Nicholas wrote to the kaiser in a telegram sent at one o'clock on the morning of July 29. "An ignoble war has been declared to a weak country. The indignation in Russia shared fully by me is enormous. I foresee that very soon I shall be overwhelmed by the pressure forced upon me and be forced to take extreme measures which will lead to war." This message crossed with one from Wilhelm to Nicholas expressing concern about the effect of Austria's declaration in Russia and urging calm and consideration as a response.  

After receiving the czar's telegram, Wilhelm cabled back: "I...share your wish that peace should be maintained. But...I cannot consider Austria's action against Serbia an 'ignoble' war. Austria knows by experience that Serbian promises on paper are wholly unreliable. I understand its action must be judged as trending to get full guarantee that the Serbian promises shall become real facts...I therefore suggest that it would be quite possible for Russia to remain a spectator of the Austro-Serbian conflict without involving Europe in the most horrible war she ever witnessed." Though Wilhelm assured the czar that the German government was working to broker an agreement between Russia and Austria-Hungary, he warned that if Russia were to take military measures against Austria, war would be the result.  

The telegram exchange continued over the next few days, as the two men spoke of their desire to preserve peace, even as their respective countries continued mobilizing for war. On July 30, the kaiser wrote to Nicholas: "I have gone to the utmost limits of the possible in my efforts to save peace....Even now, you can still save the peace of Europe by stopping your military measures." The following day, Nicholas replied: "It is technically impossible to stop our military preparations which were obligatory owing to Austria's mobilization. We are far from wishing for war. As long as the negotiations with Austria on Serbia's account are taking place my troops shall not make any provocative action. I give you my solemn word for this." But by that time things had gone too far: Emperor Franz Josef had rejected the kaiser's mediation offer, saying it came too late, as Russia had already mobilized and Austrian troops were already marching on Serbia.  

The German ambassador to Russia delivered an ultimatum that night—halt the mobilization within 12 hours, or Germany would begin its own mobilization, a step that would logically proceed to war. By four o'clock in the afternoon of August 1, in Berlin, no reply had come from Russia. At a meeting with Germany's civilian and military leaders—Chancellor Theobald Bethmann von Hollweg and General Erich von Falkenhayn—Kaiser Wilhelm agreed to sign the mobilization orders.  

That same day, in his last contribution to what were dubbed the "Willy-Nicky" telegrams, Czar Nicholas pressed the kaiser for assurance that his mobilization did not definitely mean war. Wilhelm's response was dismissive. "I yesterday pointed out to your government the way by which alone war may be avoided....I have...been obliged to mobilize my army. Immediate affirmative clear and unmistakable answer from your government is the only way to avoid endless misery. Until I have received this answer alas, I am unable to discuss the subject of your telegram. As a matter of fact I must request you to immediatly [sic] order your troops on no account to commit the slightest act of trespassing over our frontiers." Germany declared war on Russia that same day.

Here is other news that took place shortly after the end of World War I, but which would have a huge impact on World War II, ultimately:

July 29, 1921 - Hitler becomes leader of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazi Party)

On this day in 1921, Adolf Hitler (1934-1945) becomes the leader of the National Socialist German Workers' (Nazi) Party. Under Hitler, the Nazi Party grew into a mass movement and ruled Germany as a totalitarian state from 1933 to 1945.   

Hitler's early years did not seem to predict his rise as a political leader. Born on April 20, 1889, in Braunau am Inn, Austria, he was a poor student and never graduated from high school. During World War I (1914-1918), he joined a Bavarian regiment of the German army and was considered a brave soldier; however, his commanders felt he lacked leadership potential and never promoted him beyond corporal.  Frustrated by Germany's defeat in World War I, which left the nation economically depressed and politically unstable, Hitler joined a fledgling organization called the German Workers' Party in 1919. Founded earlier that same year by a small group of men including locksmith Anton Drexler (1884-1942) and journalist Karl Harrer (1890-1926), the party promoted German pride and anti-Semitism, and expressed dissatisfaction with the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, the peace settlement that ended the war and required Germany to make numerous concessions and reparations. Hitler soon emerged as the party's most charismatic public speaker and attracted new members with speeches blaming Jews and Marxists for Germany's problems and espousing extreme nationalism and the concept of an Aryan "master race." On July 29, 1921, Hitler assumed leadership of the organization, which by then had been renamed the Nationalist Socialist German Workers' Party.   

In 1923, Hitler and his followers staged the Beer Hall Putsch in Munich, a failed takeover of the government in Bavaria, a state in southern Germany. In the aftermath of this event, Hitler was convicted of treason and sentenced to five years in prison, but spent less than a year behind bars (during which time he dictated the first volume of "Mein Kampf," or "My Struggle," his political autobiography.) The publicity surrounding the Beer Hall Putsch and Hitler's subsequent trial turned him into a national figure. After his release from jail, he set about rebuilding the Nazi Party and attempting to gain power through the democratic election process. In 1929, Germany entered a severe economic depression that left millions of people unemployed. The Nazis capitalized on this situation by criticizing the ruling government and began to win elections. In the July 1932 elections, they captured 230 out of 608 seats in the Reichstag, or German parliament. In January 1933, Hitler was appointed German chancellor and in March of that year his Nazi government assumed dictatorial powers. The Nazis soon came to control every aspect of German life and all other political parties were banned. 

Following Germany's defeat in World War II (1939-1945), during which some 6 million European Jews were murdered under Hitler's state-sponsored extermination programs, the Nazi Party was outlawed and many of its top officials were convicted of war crimes. Hitler had committed suicide on April 30, 1945, shortly before Germany`s surrender.

Skaptar Volcano in Iceland erupted. John Graves Simcoe built his home in what would be Toronto, having sailed there previously. Van Gogh died on this day, by suicide. Thei first ever helicopter ascent took place on this day in France. In the early days of the first World War, Austria-Hungary bombed Belgrade, while Russian troops by the border that Russia shared with Austria-Hungary were mobilized. Pancho Villa surrendered. Adolf Hitler became the head of the Nazi party. The Berlin Airlift ended on this day. NASA was created on this day. The Beatles "Help" was premiered in London.

Here's a more detailed look at events that transpired on this date throughout history:

362 - Emperor Julianus of Constantinople ends education laws
626 - Avaren/Slaves under khagan Bajan begin siege of Constantinople
904 - Thessalonica is sacked by Saracen pirates led by renegade Leo of Tripoli
1014 - Battle of Strumitsa-valley: Byzantine destroys Bulgarian armies
1030 - Battle at Stiklestad (Trondheim)
1179 - Lando Sittino proclaimed (anti-)pope Innocent III
1560 - Turkish fleet recaptures Djerba on Spanjaarden
1563 - League of High Nobles routes King Philip II
1567 - James VI is crowned King of Scots at Stirling.
1579 - Antwerp request union with Utrecht
1579 - King Philip II arrests plotters Antonio Perez & princess van Eboli
1585 - Friese academy opens
1588 - The English defeated the Spanish Armada in the Battle of Gravelines.   
1588 - Duke Farneses troops ready for invasion of England
1634 - Dutch fleet under Johannes van Walbeeck lands on Curacao
1655 - Biggest townhall in the world opens in Amsterdam
1676 - Nathaniel Bacon declared a rebel for assembling frontiersmen to protect settlers from Indians
1693 - War of the Grand Alliance: Battle of Landen/Neerwinden - France wins Pyrrhic victory over Allied forces in the Netherlands.
1696 - French king Louis XIV & Victor Amadeua van Savoye signs peace
1715 - 10 Spanish treasure galleons sinks off Florida coast by hurricane
1751 - 1st international world title prize fight-Jack Stack of England, beats challenger M Petit of France in 29 mins in England
1754 - The first international boxing match was held. The 25-minute match was won when Jack Slack of Britain knocked out Jean Petit from France.   
1773 - The first schoolhouse to be located west of the Allegheny Mountains was built in Schoenbrunn, OH.  
1783 - Skaptar Volcano on Iceland erupts killing about 9,000
1786 - "The Pittsburgh Gazette" became the first newspaper west of the Alleghenies to be published. The paper's name was later changed to "The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette."   
1793 - John Graves Simcoe decides to build a fort and settlement at Toronto, having sailed into the bay there.
1835 - 1st sugar plantation in Hawaii begins
1836 - Inauguration of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
1844 - NY Yacht Club forms
1847 - Cumberland School of Law founded in Lebanon, Tennessee, USA. At the end of 1847 only 15 law schools exist in the United States.
1848 - Irish Potato Famine: Tipperary Revolt - in Tipperary, an unsuccessful nationalist revolt against British rule is put down by police.
1851 - Annibale de Gasparis discovers asteroid 15 Eunomia.
1858 - Treaty of Amity and Commerce/Harris Treaty signed between US & Japan opening Japanese ports to trade
1864 - 3rd & last day of battle at Deep Bottom Run, Virginia
1864 - Battle of Macon, GA (Stoneman's Raid)
1864 - American Civil War: Confederate spy Belle Boyd is arrested by Union troops and detained at the Old Capitol Prison in Washington, DC.
1874 - Major Walter Copton Winfield of England received U.S. patent for the lawn-tennis court.   
1890 - Artist Vincent van Gogh died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Auvers, France.
1899 - 1st motorcycle race, Manhattan Beach, NY
1899 - Southern California Golf Association forms
1899 - The First Hague Convention is signed.
1900 - In Italy, King Umberto I of Italy is assassinated by Italian-born anarchist Gaetano Bresci.
1902 - Union of Orthodox Rabbis of US & Canada forms
1907 - 1st helicopter ascent in Douai, France
1907 - Sir Robert Baden-Powell forms Boy Scouts in England
1908 - St Louis Browns Rube Waddell strikes out 16 Phila Athletics
1910 - JWEL Hilgers is 1st Dutchman to fly above Dutch territory
1911 - Boston Red Sox Joe Wood no-hits St Louis Browns, 5-0
1913 - Albania becomes sovereignty under prince Wilhelm von Wied
1914 - 1st transcontinental phone link made between NYC & SF
1914 - Austrian-Hungary bombs Belgrade
1914 - British fleet leaves Portland/passes Straits of Dover
1914 - Russia mobilize troops along Austrian boundary
1914 - The first transcontinental telephone service was inaugurated when two people held a conversation between New York, NY and San Francisco, CA.     
1915 - Pirate Honus Wagner at 41, hits a grand slam HR
1916 - Postal check & Girodienst establishes
1920 - 1st transcontinental airmail flight from NY to SF
1920 - Mexican rebel Pancho Villa surrenders
1920 - Construction of the Link River Dam begins as part of the Klamath Reclamation Project.
1921 - Cleveland's 125th anniversary celebration: Cy Young, 54, pitches 2 inn
1921 - New rules of language assumed (equal rights Flemings/Walen Belgium)
1921 - Adolf Hitler becomes leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party.
1923 - Albert Einstein speaks on pacifism in Berlin
1923 - KPD holds struggle day against fascism, in Germany
1924 - Paul Runyan wins PGA golf championship
1927 - 1st iron lung installed (Bellevue hospital, NY)
1927 - Phil Mead scores his 100th 100, Hampshire v Northants
1928 - Walt Disney's "Steamboat Willie" is released
1928 - Cleve Indians score 17 in 1st 2 inns to beat Yanks 24-6 at Dunn Field they also set a record with 24 singles in 1 game
1929 - Belgium Maurice Dewaele wins Tour de France
1930 - 115°F (46°C), Holly Springs, Mississippi (state record)
1930 - Airship R100, 1st passenger-carrying flight from England to Canada
1932 - Great Depression: in Washington, DC, U.S. troops disperse the last of the "Bonus Army" of World War I veterans.
1934 - 17th PGA Championship: Paul Runyan at Park CC Williamsville NY
1936 - RCA shows 1st real TV program (dancing, film on locomotives, Bonwit Teller fashion show & monologue from Tobacco Road & comedy)
1937 - Japanese troops occupies Peking & Tientsin
1937 - Tongzhou Incident
1938 - Comic strip "Dennis the Menace," 1st appears
1938 - Olympic National Park forms
1940 - Urk soccer team forms
1940 - John Sigmund of St. Louis, MO, completed a 292-mile swim down the Mississippi River. The swim from St. Louis to Caruthersville, MO took him 89 hours and 48 minutes.    
1942 - Eastern Blvd in the Bronx renamed Bruckner Blvd
1943 - 1 million inhabitants flee Hamburg
1943 - Nazi's evacuate Hollandsche Theater in Amsterdam
1944 - Allied air force bomb Germany for 6 hours
1944 - Frank McCormick (Reds) HR off Ace Adams (Giants) in both games of DH
1944 - US 4th Armour division occupiers Avranches
1945 - After delivering the Atomic Bomb across the Pacific, the cruiser USS Indianapolis is torpedoed & sunk by a Japanese submarine
1947 - Gas leak explodes in a beauty parlor, 10 women die in Harrisonburg Va
1948 - King George VI opens 14th modern Olympic games in London
1949 - Airlift in West-Germany to West-Berlin ends
1949 - BBC radio begins broadcasting
1950 - Pee Wee Reese, hits the 3,000th Dodger home run
1950 - Disney's adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island" was released.  Disney movies, music and books   
1952 - 1st nonstop transpacific flight by a jet
1953 - US bombers shot down at north of Wladiwostok
1955 - Smokey Burgess hits 3 HRS to help Pirates beat Reds 16-5
1955 - USSR performs nuclear Test
1956 - 11th US Women's Open Golf Championship won by Kathy Cornelius
1956 - Jacques Cousteau's Calypso anchors in 7,500 m of water (record)
1956 - WCKT (now WSVN) TV channel 7 in Miami, FL (IND) begins broadcasting
1957 - Floyd Patterson TKOs Tommy Jackson in 10 for heavyweight boxing title
1957 - International Atomic Energy Agency forms by UN
1957 - Jack Paar began hosting the "Tonight" show on NBC-TV. The name of the show was changed to "The Jack Paar Show." Paar was host for five years.   
1957 - The International Atomic Energy Agency was established.   
1958 - The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was authorized by the U.S. Congress, and signed into law by  US President Eisenhower.
1958 - Southern Pacific Bay ferries stop running
1959 - First United States Congress elections in Hawaii as a state of the Union.
1961 - Bob Dylan injured in car accident
1961 - Phillies lose 1st of 23 straight games
1961 - Wallis & Futuna Islands become a French overseas territory
1965 - Beatles movie "Help" premieres, Queen Elizabeth attends
1965 - Gemini 5 returned after 12d 7h 11m 53s
1965 - Major league record 26 strikeouts, Phillies (16), Pirates (10)
1965 - USSR performs nuclear Test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
1966 - Bob Dylan hurt in motorcycle accident near Woodstock NY
1966 - Nigerians chief of staff Jakubu Gowon makes coup
1967 - Fire aboard carrier USS Forrestal in Gulf of Tonkin kills 134
1967 - Moderate quake (6.5) strikes Caracas Venezuela causing severe damage
1967 - U S S Forrestal explodes kills 134. $100 million damage
1968 - Cincinnati Red George Culver no hits Phillies, 6-1
1968 - Gram Parson refuses to play with the Byrds in South Africa
1968 - Mount Arenal, Costa Rica kills 80 in Pelee-type eruption
1968 - Wash DC Ron Hansen makes unassisted triple play vs Cleve
1968 - Pope Paul VI reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church's stance against artificial methods of birth control.   
1968 - In Humanae Vitae (of Human Life), Pope Paul VI reaffirmed the Catholic Church's prohibition on artificial methods of birth control. 
1969 - Mariner 6 begins transmitting far-encounter photos of Mars
1970 - 6 days of race rioting in Hartford Ct
1972 - France performs nuclear Test at Muruora Island
1973 - $180,000 in Led Zeppelin receipts are robbed from NY Hilton
1973 - Greek plebiscite chooses republic over monarchy
1974 - 2nd impeachment vote against Nixon by House Judiciary Committee
1974 - Episcopal Church ordained female priests
1974 - France performs nuclear Test at Muruora Island
1974 - St Louis Card Lou Brock steals his 700th base
1975 - Ford became 1st US pres to visit Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz
1975 - Military coup by Gen Mohammed/Pres Jakubu Gowon fired
1975 - OAS (Organization of American States) members voted to lift collective sanctions against Cuba. The U.S. government welcomed the action and announced its intention to open serious discussions with Cuba on normalization.   
1976 - In New York City, the "Son of Sam" kills one person and seriously wounds another in the first of a series of attacks.
1976 - USSR performs underground nuclear Test
1978 - 600,000 attend "Summer Jam" rock festival, Watkins Glen, NY
1978 - Penny Dean swims English Channel in record 7h40m
1978 - Pioneer 11 transmits images of Saturn & its rings
1978 - On Old Timer's Day, NY Yankees announce that Billy Martin will return as NY Yankee manager in 1980 & Bob Lemon will become GM
1979 - 7th du Maurier Golf Classic (Peter Jackson Classic): Amy Alcott
1981 - Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Amphitheater is dedicated
1981 - England's Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer were married.   
1981 - Iran ex-president Bani Sadr flees to Paris
1983 - Steve Garvey (Los Angeles Dodgers) set the National League consecutive game record at 1,207.   
1983 - "Friday Night Videos" premieres on NBC TV
1983 - Steve Garvey ends his NL record 1,207 consecutive game streak
1984 - 12th du Maurier Golf Classic: Juli Inkster
1984 - 23rd Summer Olympics opens in LA
1985 - 19th Space Shuttle Mission (51-F)-Challenger 8-launched
1985 - General Motors announced that Spring Hill, TN, would be the home of the Saturn automobile assembly plant.  
1986 - Bomb attack in West-Beirut, 30 killed
1986 - Dennis Amiss scores his 100th 100, Warwickshire v Lancashire
1986 - NY jury rules NFL violated antitrust laws, awards USFL $1 in damages
1987 - Ben & Jerry's & Jerry Garcia agree on a new flavor Cherry Garcia
1988 - FDIC bails out 1st Republic Bank, Dallas, with $4 billion
1988 - Gorbachev pushes plan electing president & parliament in March, 1989
1988 - Judge orders NASA to release unedited tape from Challenger cockpit
1988 - Last US Playboy Club (Lansing Mich) closes
1988 - South African government bans anti-apartheid film "Cry Freedom"
1988 - Baltimore trades Mike Boddicker to the Red Sox for Brady Anderson & Curt Schilling
1988 - Rick Sutcliffe swipes home, 1st pitcher since Pascual Perez in 1984 to steal home
1989 - Javier Sotomayor of Cuba sets high jump record (8'0") in San Juan
1989 - Phillies retire Steve Carlton's # 32
1989 - Vince Coleman, record streak stopped at 50 straight stolen bases
1989 - White Sox trade Harold Baines to Rangers for Scott Fletcher & Sam Sosa
1990 - 26th Curtis Cup: US wins 14-4
1990 - 28th Tennis Fed Cup: USA beats USSR in Atlanta Georgia (2-1)
1990 - 36th Mazda LPGA Championship won by Beth Daniel
1990 - Boston Red Sox set major league record with 12 doubles in a game
1990 - South Africa Communist Party begins 1st legal conference
1991 - 1st Sunday Night game at Shea Stadium (Mets beat Cubs 6-0)
1991 - Yankee Stadium fans throw cups & blowup dolls at Jose Canseco
1992 - "Chinese Coffee" closes at Circle in Sq Theater NYC after 18 perfs
1992 - Evgueni Sadovyi swims world record/OR 400m freestyle (3:45.00)
1992 - Ray Sharkey, actor (Wiseguys), arrested for narcotic possession
1993 - Cin Red pitcher Thomas Browning arrested for marijuana possession
1993 - Walter Koenig (Checkov-Star Trek) suffers a mild heart attack
1993 - The Israeli Supreme Court acquitted retired Ohio autoworker John Demjanjuk of being Nazi death camp guard "Ivan the Terrible." His death sentence was thrown out and he was set free.    
1994 - 200,000 Moslems demand death to feminist Taslima Nasrin
1994 - Corrupt Italian ex-premier Craxi gets 8½ year jail sentenced
1994 - H Emans Arubaanse Peoples Party wins parliamentary election
1994 - India army kills 27 Moslem militants
1994 - Jesse Timmedequas, rapes & murders Megan Kanka, 7 (Megan's Law)
1994 - Parliamentary election in Aruba
1995 - Monica Seles beats Martina Naratilova in her return to tennis
1995 - Carolina Panthers beat Jacksonville Jaguars in their 1st NFL exhibition game 20-14
1996 - The controversial child protection portion of the Communications Decency Act (1996) is struck down as too broad by a U.S. federal court.
1997 - US Senior Golf Open ends at Olympia Fields GC Ill
1997 - Minamata Bay in Japan was declared free of mercury 40 years after contaminated food fish were blamed for deaths and birth defects.   
1998 - The United Auto Workers union ended a 54-day strike against General Motors. The strike caused $2.8 billion in lost revenues.  
2003 - Red Sox switch hitter Bill Mueller became the first baseball player to hit grand slam home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game. 
2005 - Astronomers announced that they had discovered a new planet (Xena) larger than Pluto in orbit around the sun. 

2012 - Tropical Storm Khanun kills 88 people and leaves 60,000 homeless in North Korea

The following links are to web sites that were used to complete this blog entry: