Monday, June 30, 2014

Coping With a Controversial Heritage in the South

Okay, so I ran into this article actually before leaving for the trip, but thought it would be more appropriate for the posts focusing on the South that I would post after the trip.

There were quite a few Confederate flags to be seen down South, although nowhere near as much as I'm guessing their used to be, some time ago. One bumper sticker that I saw while down there showed the Confederate flag, with something like this underneath it:

Heritage Not Hatred

Fair enough. Still, images of the "stars and bars" of the Confederate flag have largely been outlawed, or at least taken out of official circles, throughout much of the South. It has been mired in controversy for quite some time. I remember the controversy that representations of the Confederate flag produced in the nineties, when some states still had it on their flags.

Well, no more states have it any longer. But the controversy remains, and it is extended beyond the flag, too.

This addresses the heritage of the military effort, particularly focusing on General Robert E. Lee, and the mixed feeling that some Southerners are beginning to have about this history/legacy.

An interesting read, which I recommend here. You can access it by clicking on the link below:

How I Learned to Hate Robert E. Lee  Christopher Dickey June 21, 2014:

On This Day in History - June 30 Congress Impugns Parliament and Adopts Articles of War

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!

Jun 30, 1775: Congress impugns Parliament and adopts Articles of War

On this day in 1775, the Continental Congress drafts its rationale for taking up arms against Great Britain in the Articles of War.  

In the Articles of War, written one year before the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, Congress referred to "his Majesty's most faithful subjects in these Colonies" and laid the blame for colonial discontent not on King George III, but on "attempts of the British Ministry, to carry into execution, by force of arms, several unconstitutional and oppressive acts of the British parliaments for laying taxes in America."  

By phrasing their discontent this way, Congress attempted to notify the king that American colonists were unhappy with parliamentary policy. By July 1776, the Declaration of Independence proclaimed something very different:  

"The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States."  

Congress language is critical to understanding the seismic shift that had occurred in American thought in just 12 months. Indeed, Congress insisted that Thomas Jefferson remove any language from the declaration that implicated the people of Great Britain or their elected representatives in Parliament. The fundamental grounds upon which Americans were taking up arms had shifted. The militia that had fired upon Redcoats at Lexington and Concord had been angry with Parliament, not the king, who they still trusted to desire only good for all of his subjects around the globe. This belief changed after King George refused to so much as receive the so-called Olive Branch Petition, sent to him by Congress in July 1775 in a final attempt to make him aware of the colonists grievances. Patriots had hoped that Parliament had curtailed colonial rights without the king's full knowledge, and that the petition would cause him to come to his subjects' defense. When George III refused to read the petition, Patriots realized that Parliament was acting with royal knowledge and support. The king became the central focus of the Americans patriotic rage when English-born radical Thomas Paine published his blistering attack on the monarchy, Common Sense, in January 1776.

Jun 30, 1971: Soviet cosmonauts perish in reentry disaster     

The three Soviet cosmonauts who served as the first crew of the world's first space station die when their spacecraft depressurizes during reentry.  

On June 6, the cosmonauts Georgi Dobrovolsky, Vladislav Volkov, and Viktor Patsayev were launched into space aboard Soyuz 11 on a mission to dock and enter Salyut 1, the Soviet space station that had been placed in orbit in April. The spacecraft successfully docked with the station, and the cosmonauts spent 23 days orbiting the earth. On June 30, they left Salyut 1 and began reentry procedures. When they fired the explosive bolts to separate the Soyuz 11 reentry capsule from another stage of the spacecraft, a critical valve was jerked open.  

One hundred miles above the earth, the capsule was suddenly exposed to the nearly pressureless environment of space. As the capsule rapidly depressurized, Patsayev tried to close the valve by hand but failed. Minutes later, the cosmonauts were dead. As a result of the tragedy, the Soviet Union did not send any future crews to Salyut 1, and it was more than two years before they attempted another manned mission.

Jun 30, 1934: Night of the Long Knives

In Germany, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler orders a bloody purge of his own political party, assassinating hundreds of Nazis whom he believed had the potential to become political enemies in the future. The leadership of the Nazi Storm Troopers (SA), whose four million members had helped bring Hitler to power in the early 1930s, was especially targeted. Hitler feared that some of his followers had taken his early "National Socialism" propaganda too seriously and thus might compromise his plan to suppress workers' rights in exchange for German industry making the country war-ready.  

In the early 1920s, the ranks of Hitler's Nazi Party swelled with resentful Germans who sympathized with the party's bitter hatred of Germany's democratic government, leftist politics, and Jews. In November 1923, after the German government resumed the payment of war reparations to Britain and France, the Nazis launched the "Beer Hall Putsch"--their first attempt at seizing the German government by force. Hitler hoped that his nationalist revolution in Bavaria would spread to the dissatisfied German army, which in turn would bring down the government in Berlin. However, the uprising was immediately suppressed, and Hitler was arrested and sentenced to five years in prison for high treason.  

Sent to Landsberg jail, he spent his time dictating his autobiography, Mein Kampf, and working on his oratorical skills. After nine months in prison, political pressure from supporters of the Nazi Party forced his release. During the next few years, Hitler and the other leading Nazis reorganized their party as a fanatical mass movement that was able to gain a majority in the German parliament--the Reichstag--by legal means in 1932. In the same year, President Paul von Hindenburg defeated a presidential bid by Hitler, but in January 1933 he appointed Hitler chancellor, hoping that the powerful Nazi leader could be brought to heel as a member of the president's cabinet.  

However, Hindenburg underestimated Hitler's political audacity, and one of the new chancellor's first acts was to use the burning of the Reichstag building as a pretext for calling general elections. The police, under Nazi Hermann Goering, suppressed much of the party's opposition before the election, and the Nazis won a bare majority. Shortly after, Hitler took on absolute power through the Enabling Acts. In 1934, Hindenburg died, and the last remnants of Germany's democratic government were dismantled, leaving Hitler the sole master of a nation intent on war and genocide.

June 30, 1936: Gone with the Wind published   

Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind, one of the best-selling novels of all time and the basis for a blockbuster 1939 movie, is published on this day in 1936.  

In 1926, Mitchell was forced to quit her job as a reporter at the Atlanta Journal to recover from a series of physical injuries. With too much time on her hands, Mitchell soon grew restless. Working on a Remington typewriter, a gift from her second husband, John R. Marsh, in their cramped one-bedroom apartment, Mitchell began telling the story of an Atlanta belle named Pansy O'Hara.  

In tracing Pansy's tumultuous life from the antebellum South through the Civil War and into the Reconstruction era, Mitchell drew on the tales she had heard from her parents and other relatives, as well as from Confederate war veterans she had met as a young girl. While she was extremely secretive about her work, Mitchell eventually gave the manuscript to Harold Latham, an editor from New York's MacMillan Publishing. Latham encouraged Mitchell to complete the novel, with one important change: the heroine's name. Mitchell agreed to change it to Scarlett, now one of the most memorable names in the history of literature.  

Published in 1936, Gone with the Wind caused a sensation in Atlanta and went on to sell millions of copies in the United States and throughout the world. While the book drew some criticism for its romanticized view of the Old South and its slaveholding elite, its epic tale of war, passion and loss captivated readers far and wide. By the time Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1937, a movie project was already in the works. The film was produced by Hollywood giant David O. Selznick, who paid Mitchell a record-high $50,000 for the film rights to her book.  

After testing hundreds of unknowns and big-name stars to play Scarlett, Selznick hired British actress Vivien Leigh days after filming began. Clark Gable was also on board as Rhett Butler, Scarlett's dashing love interest. Plagued with problems on set, Gone with the Wind nonetheless became one of the highest-grossing and most acclaimed movies of all time, breaking box office records and winning nine Academy Awards out of 13 nominations.  

Though she didn't take part in the film adaptation of her book, Mitchell did attend its star-studded premiere in December 1939 in Atlanta. Tragically, she died just 10 years later, after she was struck by a speeding car while crossing Atlanta's Peachtree Street. Scarlett, a relatively unmemorable sequel to Gone with the Wind written by Alexandra Ripley, was published in 1992.

The Conquistadors took gold from the Aztecs. Russian troops occupied Danzig. The Tower Bridge in London opened. French troops left Algeria. Rwanda and Burundi gained independence The Atlanta Falcons came into existence. The Beatles landed in Tokyo for a tour.  Brazil trounced Italy for the World Cup title. West and East Germany merged their economies on the incredibly quick path towards reunification.

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

296 - St Marcellinus begins his reign as Catholic Pope

350 - Roman usurper Nepotianus, of the Constantinian dynasty, is defeated and killed by troops of the usurper Magnentius, in Rome.

833 - Louis, king of Austria, crowned

949 - Otto I the Great gives away bishopdom of Utrecht "foreestrecht"

1294 - Jews are expelled from Berne Switzerland

1371 - Arnold II of Horne chosen bishop of Utrecht

1397 - Denmark, Norway & Sweden sign Union of Kalmar under Queen Margaretha

1422 - Battle of Arbedo between the duke of Milan and the Swiss cantons.

1520 - Spanish conquerors under Cortes take gold from Aztecs

1520 - The Spaniards are expelled from Tenochtitlan.

1528 - Burgundy army occupies Utrecht

1548 - Emperor Charles V orders Catholics to become Lutherans

1559 - King Henry II of France is seriously injured in a jousting match against Gabriel de Montgomery.

1596 - English/Dutch fleet reach Cadiz

1598 - King Philip II moves to Escorial palace

1607 - Annales Ecclesiastici (Scientific History of Catholicism) published

1643 - Battle at Atherton Moor: Royalists beat parliamentary armies

1648 - French premier cardinal Mazarin calls Saint Louis Chamber together

1651 - The Deluge: Khmelnytsky Uprising - the Battle of Beresteczko ends with a Polish victory.

1688 - Whig-Lords questions prince Willem III van Orange on Protestantism

1690 - Battle at Beachy Head: French under Tourville beat Neth/English fleet

1700 - Gelderland goes on Gregorian calendar (tomorrow is 12/7/1700)

1722 - Hungarian Parliament condemns emperor Karel VI's Pragmatic Sanctions

1734 - Russian army occupies Danzig

1741 - Pope Benedict XIV encyclical forbidding traffic in alms

1755 - Philippines close all non-catholic Chinese restaurants

1758 - Seven Years' War: The Battle of Domstadtl takes place.

1794 - Battle of Fort Recovery, Ohio

1815 - US naval hero Stephen Decatur ends attacks by Algerian pirates

1834 - Congress creates Indian Territory (now Oklahoma)

1859 - Charles Blondin is first to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope

1860 - The 1860 Oxford evolution debate at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History takes place.

1861 - CSS Sumter slips past USS Brooklyn blockade

1862 - Battle at Nelson's Farm/Glendale/Frayser's Farm, Virginia: Confederate assault attack. 6th day of 7 days battles US Civil War

1862 - Gustave Flaubert completes "Salammbo"

1863 - Battles in Hanover Pennsylvania: 80 casualties

1863 - Dutch colony Suriname counts population of 33,000 slaves

1863 - Skirmish at Sporting Hill Pennsylvania

1865 - 8 alleged conspirators in assassination of Lincoln are found guilty

1870 - Ada Kepley becomes 1st female law college graduate

1871 - Guatemala revolts for agrarian reforms

1876 - Serbia declared war on Turkey

1879 - Ex-khedive Ismael Pasha leaves Cairo with train full stolen goods

1881 - Henry Highland Garnet, named minister to Liberia

1893 - Excelsior diamond (blue-white 995 carats) discovered

1894 - Korea declares independence from China, asks for Japanese aid

1894 - London Tower Bridge opens

1896 - W S Hadaway patents electric stove

1899 - Jack Hearne takes a hat-trick Eng v Australia at Headingley

1900 - 4 German liners burn at Hobokon Docks NJ, 326 die

1902 - Cleveland is 1st AL team to hit 3 consecutive HRs in same inning

1906 - John Hope becomes 1st black president of Morehouse College

1906 - Pure Food & Drug Act & Meat Inspection Act adopted

1908 - Boston's Cy Young's 2nd no-hitter, beats NY Highlanders, 8-0

1908 - Giant fireball most likely caused by the air burst of a large meteoroid or comet impacts in Siberia (Tunguska Event)

1909 - Jack Johnson fights Tony Ross to no decision in 6 for hw boxing title

1910 - Russia absorbs Finland

1911 - Adolphe Messimy appointed French minister of War

1911 - US Assay Office in St Louis, Missouri closes

1913 - 2nd Balkan War begins

1913 - NY Giants score 10 in 10th to beat Phillies 11-1

1914 - Mahatma Gandhi's 1st arrest, campaigning for Indian rights in South Africa

1916 - General Douglas Haig reports "The men are in splendid spirits"

1923 - NZ claims Ross Dependency in Antarctica

1924 - England score 2-503 in day's play v South Africa at Lord's

1927 - Augusto Cesar Sandino issues his Manifesto Politico

1927 - US Assay Office in Deadwood, South Dakota closes

1928 - Radio Service Bulletin lists radio stations call signs that are to be changed to conform with international standards

1930 - 1st round-the-world radio broadcast Schenectady NY

1930 - Bradman scores 254 at Lord's v England, 320 mins, 25 fours

1933 - 50,000 demonstrate in Antwerp against fascism/war

1933 - Card's Dizzy Dean strikes out 17 Cubs to win 8-2

1933 - US Assay Offices in Helena Mon, Boise Id & Salt Lake City Utah closes

1934 - "Night of Long Knives," Hitler stages bloody purge of Nazi party

1934 - French Equatorial Africa constituted a single administrative unit

1934 - NFL's Portsmouth Spartans become Detroit Lions

1935 - Danno O'Mahoney beats Ed George in Boston, to become wrestling champ

1935 - The Senegalese Socialist Party holds its first congress.

1936 - "Gone With the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell, published

1936 - 40 hour work week law approved (federal)

1936 - Haile Selassie asks League of Nations for sanctions against Italy

1936 - Margaret Mitchell's novel "Gone with the Wind" published

1938 - Superman 1st appears in DC Comics' Action Comics Series issue #1

1938 - Final game at Phila's Baker Bowl, Giants beat Phils 14-1

1939 - Heinkel He 176 rocket plane flies for 1st time, at Peenemunde

1940 - "Brenda Starr" cartoon strip, by Dale Messick, first appears

1940 - 58 U-boats (284,000 ton) sunk this month

1940 - US Fish & Wildlife Service forms

1941 - 61 U-boats (310,000 ton) sunk this month

1941 - Pro-Nazi group declares Ukraine independence

1941 - World War II: Operation Barbarossa - Germany captures Lviv, Ukraine.

1942 - 144 U boats (700,000 ton) sunk this month

1942 - Col-gen Von Paul' 6th Army enters Ukraine

1942 - US Mint in New Orleans ceases operation

1942 - US bombs Celebes & Timor

1943 - Gen MacArthur begins Operation Cartwheel (island-hopping)

1944 - Allies land on Vogelkop, New Guinea

1944 - French Cotentin Peninsula in allied hands

1944 - Universal strike against nazi terror in Copenhagen

1944 - World War II: The Battle of Cherbourg ends with the fall of the strategically valuable port to American forces.

1945 - 17-day newspaper strike in NY begins

1948 - Cleve Indian Bob Lemon no-hits Detroit Tigers, 2-0

1948 - Last British armies leave Israel

1948 - Transistor as a substitute for Radio tubes announced (Bell Labs)

1949 - Dutch troops evacuate Djakarta

1950 - US Gen MacArthur visits front in South Korea/asks for US troops

1951 - "Victor Borge Show," last airs on NBC-TV

1951 - NAACP begins attack on school segregation & discrimination

1952 - "Guiding Light" soap opera moves from radio to TV

1952 - Hussein Sirri Pasha forms Egyptian government

1953 - First Corvette manufactured

1954 - Largest check: Internal US Treasury check at $4,176,969,623.57

1954 - Yank pitcher Tom Morgan ties record by hitting 3 batters in 1 inning This was also Bobby Brown's last game; he retired to become a doctor

1955 - "Johnny Carson Show," debuts on CBS-TV

1956 - "Pipe Dream" closes at Shubert Theater NYC after 245 performances

1956 - "Shangri-La" closes at Winter Garden Theater NYC after 21 performances

1956 - Lenins politics testament (1923) published in Moscow

1956 - United DC-7 & TWA collide over Grand Canyon killing 128 1958 - "No Chemise, Please" by Gerry Grenahan peaks at #24

1958 - Dutch government of Drees ends obligatory dismissal of married teachers

1959 - During a game in Wrigley Field, 2 balls were in play at same time

1960 - US stops sugar import from Cuba

1960 - Zaire (formerly Belgian Congo) declares independence from Belgium

1961 - Buddy Rogers beats Pat O'Conner in Chicago, to become NWA champ

1961 - Explorer (12) fails to reach Earth orbit

1962 - French Foreign Legion leaves Algeria

1962 - LA Dodger Sandy Koufax no-hits NY Mets, 5-0

1962 - Premier Ben Khedda disbands Algerian Liberation Army fighters

1962 - Rwanda & Burundi become independent

1963 - Cardinal Montini elected Pope Paul VI, 262nd head of RC Church

1963 - Ciaculli massacre: A car bomb, intended for Mafia boss Salvatore Greco, kills seven police and military officers near Palermo.

1964 - Centaur 3 launch vehicle fails to make Earth orbit

1964 - Last UN troops leave Congo

1965 - NFL grants Atlanta Falcons a franchise

1966 - Beatles land in Tokyo for a concert tour

1966 - Leopoldville Congo is renamed Kinshasa

1966 - Richath Helms, promoted from deputy director to 8th director of CIA

1966 - Test cricket debut of Derek Underwood, v WI Trent Bridge, wicketless

1966 - Vice Adm William F Raborn Jr, USN, ends term as 7th director of CIA

1967 - Maj Robert H Lawrence Jr named 1st black astronaut 1967 - Moise Tsjombe kidnapped to Algeria

1967 - Phillies Cookie Rojas pitches, plays 9th position since joining Phils

1968 - E German party leader Ulbricht receives "Order of October Revolution"

1968 - Gaullists win French parliamentary election, 358 of 458 chairs

1969 - Derek Clayton of Australia sets Marathon record at 2:08:34 1969 - Spain cedes Ifni to Morocco

1970 - Brazil beats Italy 4-1 in soccer's 9th World Cup at Mexico City

1970 - Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium opens, Braves beat Reds 8-2

1971 - Biesheuvel government forms

1971 - Dutch Biesheuvel government begins [or May 6]

1971 - Ohio becomes 38th state to approve of lower voting age to 18, thus ratifying 26th amendment

1972 - 1st leap second day; also 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985

1972 - Cincinnati Reds are 11 games back in NL, & go on to win pennant

1972 - One leap second is added to the UTC time system.

1973 - "Burns & Schreiber Comedy Hour," TV Variety; debut on ABC

1973 - Biggest US tanker "Brooklyn" christened (230,000 ton)

1973 - Observers aboard Concorde jet observe 72-min solar eclipse

1974 - 2nd du Maurier Golf Classic (Peter Jackson Classic): Carole Jo Skala

1974 - Petty thief Peter Leonard sets fire to cover burglary that torches "Gulliver's" nightclub killing 24 (Port Chester NY)

1974 - Soviet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov defects to west

1975 - Bundy victim Shelley Robertson disappears in Colorado

1975 - Heavyweight Muhammad Ali defeats Joe Bugner in Malaysia

1975 - University of California reports galaxy 3C123 at 8 billion light years distance

1976 - John Walker of NZ sets record for 2000 m, 4:51.4

1977 - Jimmy Carter cans B-1A bomber later "B-1's the B-52"

1977 - Marvel Comics publish "Kiss book" tributing rock group Kiss

1977 - US Railway Post Office final train run (NY to Wash DC)

1977 - Yankee DH Cliff Johnson hit 3 consecutive HRs in Toronto

1978 - Giants' Willie McCovey becomes 12th to hit 500 HRs

1978 - Larry Doby becomes manager of Chicago White Sox

1979 - "Got To Go Disco" closes at Minskoff Theater NYC after 8 performances

1979 - Johnny Rotten & Joan Collins appear together on BBC's Juke Box Jury

1980 - West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt visits Moscow

1981 - China's Communist Party condemns late Mao Tse-tung's policy

1982 - "Lena Horne: Lady, Music" closes at Nederlander NYC after 333 perfs

1982 - Federal Equal Rights Amendment fails 3 states short of ratification

1982 - Orbiter Challenger (OV-099) rolled out at Palmdale

1982 - NJ NHL franchise officially named Devils by fan balloting, runner-up names are Blades, Meadowlanders & Americans

1984 - Failed coup by cocaine growers in Bolivia

1984 - Last sixpence minted in Great-Britain (in use since 1551)

1984 - Longest pro football game, LA Express beats Mich Panthers 27-21 in USFL playoffs, games lasts 93 minutes 33 seconds

1985 - "King & I" closes at Broadway Theater NYC after 191 performances

1985 - 39 remaining hostages from Flight 847 are freed in Beirut

1985 - LA Dodger Pedro Gonzalez sets NL record of 15 HRs in June

1986 - Georgia sodomy law upheld by Supreme Court (5-4)

1987 - Emmy 14th Daytime Award presentation - Susan Lucci loses for 8th time

1987 - Patrik Sjoberg of Sweden set a new world record in high jump

1987 - The Royal Canadian Mint introduces the $1 coin, known as the Loonie.

1988 - "Sledge Hammer!" last aires on ABC-TV

1988 - Brooklyn dedicates a bus depot honoring Jackie Gleason

1988 - Chicago agrees to build a new stadium so White Sox won't move to Fla

1988 - French archbishop Marcel Lefebvre is excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church.

1989 - "Les Miserables," opens at Theatre Muzyczyny, Gdynia

1989 - Attorney General Thornburgh orders Joseph Doherty deported to UK

1989 - Congressman Lukins found guilty of having sex with a 16 year old girl

1989 - NASA closes down tracking stations in Santiago, Chile & Guam

1989 - NY State Legislature passes Staten Island secession bill

1989 - Sudan suspends interim constitution following coup

1990 - East & West Germany merge their economies

1992 - 1st pay bathrooms in US open: 25 cents (NYC)

1992 - Fidel Ramos installed as president of Philippines

1992 - Total solar eclipse in Uruguay (5m21s)

1992 - Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher joins the House of Lords as Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven.

1993 - "Les Miserables," opens at Point Theatre, Dublin

1993 - Richard Jacobs announces Chief Wahoo will go to Jacobs Field

1994 - Airbus A330 crash at Toulouse France (7 killed)

1994 - Giants outfielder Darren Lewis errors after record 392 flawless games

1994 - Pre-trial hearings open in LA against OJ Simpson

1994 - US Ice Skating Federation bars Tonya Harding for life

1995 - Indians' Eddie Murray, is 20th to reach 3,000 hits

1996 - "Buried Child" closes at Brook Atkinson Theater NYC after 77 perfs

1996 - "Moon Over Buffalo" closes at Martin Beck Theater NYC after 308 perfs

1996 - "State Fair," closes at Music Box Theater NYC after 118 performances

1996 - Caroline Frolic (Miss Ontario), crowned Miss Renaissance USA

1997 - Leap Second to synchronize atomic clocks

1998 - Sega Channel, cable's 1st on-demand video game service, closes down

2005 - Spain legalizes same-sex marriage.

2007 - A car crashes into Glasgow International Airport in Scotland, believed to be a terrorist attack.

2009 - Yemenia Flight 626 crashes off the coast of Moroni, Comoros killing 152 people and leaving 1 survivor

2012 - 30 people attending a funeral in Zamalka, Syria, are killed on a day that saw 83 civilian deaths

2012 - Mid-Atlantic storms in the United States kill 13 and leave millions without power in Ohio, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

2012 - Mohamed Morsi is sworn in as President of Egypt

1097 - The Crusaders defeated the Turks at Dorylaeum.   1841 - The Erie Railroad rolled out its first passenger train.   1859 - Charles Blondin became the first person to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope.   1894 - Korea declared independence from China and asked for Japanese aid.   1908 - An explosion in Siberia, which knocked down trees in a 40-mile radius and struck people unconscious some 40 miles away. It was believed by some scientists to be caused by a falling fragment from a meteorite.   1912 - Belgian workers went on strike to demand universal suffrage.   1913 - Fighting broke out between Bulgaria and Greece and Spain. It was the beginning of the Second Balkan War.   1915 - During World War I, the Second Battle Artois ended when the French failed to take Vimy Ridge.   1922 - Irish rebels in London assassinate Sir Henry Wilson, the British deputy for Northern Ireland.   1930 - France pulled its troops out of Germany’s Rhineland.   1934 - Adolf Hitler purged the Nazi Party by destroying the SA and bringing to power the SS in the "Night of the Long Knives."   1935 - Fascists caused an uproar at the League of Nations when Haile Selassie of Ethiopia speaks.   1936 - Margaret Mitchell’s book, "Gone with the Wind," was published in New York City.   1950 - U.S. President Harry Truman ordered U.S. troops into Korea and authorizes the draft.   1951 - On orders from Washington, General Matthew Ridgeway broadcasts that the United Nations was willing to discuss an armistice with North Korea.   1952 - CBS-TV debuted "The Guiding Light."   1953 - The first Corvette rolled off the Chevrolet assembly line in Flint, MI. It sold for $3,250.   1955 - The U.S. began funding West Germany’s rearmament.   1957 - The American occupation headquarters in Japan was dissolved.   1958 - The U.S. Congress passed a law authorizing the admission of Alaska as the 49th state in the Union.   1960 - The Katanga province seceded from Congo (upon Congo's independence from Belgium).   1962 - Los Angeles Dodger Sandy Koufax pitched his first no-hitter in a game with the New York Mets.   1964 - The last of U.N. troops left Congo after a four-year effort to bring stability to the country.   1970 - The Cincinnati Reds moved to their new home at Riverfront Stadium.   1971 - The U.S. Supreme Court allowed the New York Times to continue publishing the Pentagon Papers.   1971 - The Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 11 returned to Earth. The three cosmonauts were found dead inside.   1971 - The 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified when Ohio became the 38th state to approve it. The amendment lowered the minimum voting age to 18.   1974 - Russian ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov defected in Toronto, Canada.   1974 - The July 4th scene from the Steven Spielberg movie "Jaws" was filmed.   1977 - U.S. President Jimmy Carter announced his opposition to the B-1 bomber.   1984 - The longest professional football game took place in the United States Football League (USFL). The Los Angeles Express beat the Michigan Panthers 27-21 after 93 minutes and 33 seconds.   1985 - Yul Brynner left his role as the King of Siam after 4,600 performances in "The King and I."   1986 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that states could outlaw homosexual acts between consenting adults.   1994 - The U.S. Figure Skating Association stripped Tonya Harding of the 1994 national championship and banned her from the organization for life for an attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan.   1998 - Officials confirmed that the remains of a Vietnam War serviceman buried in the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery were identified as those of Air Force pilot Michael J. Blassie.   2000 - U.S. President Clinton signed the E-Signature bill to give the same legal validity to an electronic signature as a signature in pen and ink.

1859 French acrobat Charles Blondin, AKA Jean Francois Gravelet, walked across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. 1908 A powerful natural explosion from an unknown cause rocked the Tunguska Basin, in eastern Siberia, flattening hundreds of square miles of forest and resulting in tremors that could be felt hundreds of miles away. 1921 President Warren G. Harding appointed former president William H. Taft chief justice of the United States. 1934 Adolf Hitler secured his position in the Nazi party by a "blood purge," ridding the party of other leaders such as Ernst Roehm and Kurt von Schleicher. 1936 Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind was published. 1971 The 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age to 18, was ratified by the states. 1998 The remains of a Vietnam War serviceman buried in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers were identified as those of Air Force pilot Michael J. Blassie.

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

Catching Up on the World Cup & Predictions

Okay, so, I actually fell behind a little bit on the goings on at the World Cup during my recent vacation. First of all, there was no working television in the hotel that we stayed at in Charleston, which was highly annoying, frankly.

Also, we were too busy having fun visiting new places and unwinding in other ways to watch much of what was going on with the World Cup.

In the last couple of days, I began to keep up a little bit more, particularly on the radio, since the car rental had satellite, and I was able to tune in to the matches periodically to catch up on what was going on.

I left off, I think, with Day 11, when it was still very much in the round robin of play. But it is not already well into the elimination round, with four of the first eight elimination matches already gone. Brazil barely edged out Chile, and quite frankly, they were lucky to do so, as one shot on goal in the final seconds came very close to burying the host's chances right there. But Brazil survived to the penalty kick stage, and were just barely better than Chile, to move on.

Colombia's relative dominance over Uruguay was a bit surprising, and made me reassess many of the lingering doubts that I still had about that team. They look really, really good!

Then yesterday, the big game between Mexico and the Netherlands. Mexico had been outplaying the Netherlands since taking a 1-0 lead early in the second half.  With a very organized and disciplined manner of playing, plus with star goalie Guillermo Ochoa once again in top form, it looked like Mexico was finally going to break their curse of not advancing past the second round.

But then, things began to fall apart at the seams for Mexico. Wesley Sneijder of the Netherlands finally solved Ochoa, beating him in the 88th minute with an equalizing goal with a shot aimed low, and what had appeared to be a certain Mexican victory was suddenly seemingly destined for extra time.

Or so it seemed, until a few minutes later, during the injury time, when a bad penalty (let's call a spade a spade, because it was a bad penalty) gave Klaas Jan Huntelaar a penalty kick, with a chance to win it outright in regulation for Netherlands. He buried it, and suddenly, Mexico was fighting for their World Cup lives, trying desperately to make something happen, for some miracle to fall into place for them to extend play.

It didn't happen, and so Mexico was sent home, and Netherlands advanced.

Mexico should not have lost, however. At least, they should not have lost it the way that they did, with a highly controversial call against them in the final moments of penalty time. It should have gone to extra time, and who knows what would have happened then? Hell, it might just have ended up in another penalty shootout, and again, those are unpredictable.

Instead, Mexico was sent home early, and unfairly. True, they gave up one goal outright in the final minutes of regulation, in a game that they had essentially been dominating to that point. But they did not really "allow" that second goal, as much as it was rewarded to Netherlands due to bad officiating. And it is tragic that a horrendous call effectively decided what was otherwise a great game!

Finally, there was the game between Costa Rica and Greece. This was a very tight game, with both teams reluctant to take too many offensive chances early, and essentially feeling each other out during the early part.

But that changed in a hurry when a brilliant play by Costa Rica's captain, Bryan Ruiz, was good for a goal, and a 1-0 lead for Costa Rica in the 52nd minute.

However, a second yellow against Costa Rica's Oscar Duarte sent him out of the game, and meant that Costa Rica would have to play shorthanded, with only ten men the rest of the game.

Greece managed to take advantage of their numerical superiority when Sokratis Papastathopoulos kicked a rebound into the net for the equalizer.

And Greece had some chances to go up on Costa Rica, both during regulation and in extra time.

Costa Rica's goalie, Keylor Navas, was the star of this one, coming up with several brilliant saves against great shots that seemed destined to get buried in the back of the net, if not for him. Navas allowed Costa Rica's efforts to just enough to survive into the penalty shootout, because otherwise, Greece surely would have defeated his team.

But in the penalty kicks, Costa Rica's strikers were perfect. And in Greece's fourth attempt, Theofanis Gekas's shot was blocked by Navas, giving Costa Tica a chance to clinch the win with a conversion on their next penalty kick.

Sure enough, Costa Rican defender Michael Umana was good as gold on his penalty kick, and sent Greece home early, having suffered a shocking defeat, while Costa Rica advances to face the Netherlands next.

Predictions for the Next Four Elimination Games

So, there you have it for the four completed games. I would have expected Brazil to win, like everybody else pretty much would have done. But it as shocking just how close to defeat they came. The Colombian win over Uruguay was a mild surprise, as I thought Uruguay was better than that. The Netherlands beating Mexico was going to be a tough game either way, although i would have predicted the Netherlands. It's just unfortunate that such a great game will be forever marred by a lousy call that really helped to decide it. And I actually would have picked Costa Rica, in a tight contest, although it would not have surprised me either, had Greece managed to win.

But it's easy to say what I would have predicted after the fact, right?

How will my predictions for the upcoming games fare?

Well, let me give it a shot. Here they are:

France will defeat Nigeria.

Germany will defeat Algeria.

Argentina will knock out Switzerland.

And, finally, Belgium will fend off the United States, in a game that likely will go to extra time, if not outright penalty kicks.

No major surprises, although I think Argentina and Germany, particularly, may struggle a bit. They both should survive, but one or the other, or both, might find themselves in a bit more of a nail-biter than they would hope for.

Okay, there are my predictions.

The first games come later today. I will revisit my predictions in reviewing the games, and see how well those predictions held out (or didn't).

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Back From Vacation # 1!

Well, yes, we just got back.

And yes, I'm actually unwinding by writing here in my blog! Kind of crazy, I know!

Pictures will soon follow, as will more detailed, individual blog entries for each of the places we got to visit. This trip was not really like the Poland trip last year. For one thing, it was a lot shorter. That was over two weeks, and this was just under a week. But another thing, and probably the most important point, is that we did not get to nearly as many new places as we did for Poland last year, because Poland also included a day trip to Berlin, Germany, which itself was worth at least a couple of blog entries. So was Krakow, which we spent a few days at, as well as side trips to the Salt Mines, Auschwitz, and Zakopane, before ending the trip on the family farm in the Biesczady.

Here, we essentially spent the first night at Virginia Beach. And, for the most part, that was what it was: night. We got there much later than I would have wanted or hoped, for a variety of reasons, which I will explain when I have more energy.

We did get to see the beach, and even got to enjoy some spectacular sunset! That was really sweet, and I have some pictures from the experience.

However, the parking situation at Virginia Beach was absolutely absurd, and plus, we had my girlfriend's dog there. He was not allowed on the beach, and so we could not venture far. So, we spend no more than fifteen minutes, tops, at the actual beach. And we drove around the downtown area, looking for someplace to eat, but found nothing.

My parents had visited Virginia Beach a few years ago, and loved it. They raved about it, and so I was looking forward to it. Specifically, my father, who is a big fan of Edgar Cayce, told me of his impressions upon visiting the home of one of the historical figures that intrigued him the most, and I was actually hoping to get a chance to visit his home for myself.

But, alas, that did not happen. With so much driving to do, and so much ground to cover, we would leave Virginia Beach first thing the next morning. Not before my son and I took advantage of the indoor pool that the hotel we got offered, however. My son was especially thankful for that, although he also was difficult to get out of the pool, even though it was getting late (it was near ten, closing time for the pool officially, when I finally managed to get him out). Even well after ten, there were plenty of people still in the pool.

The next day, we arrived in Charleston, South Carolina. Our original destination was supposed to be Myrtle Beach. But, neither my girlfriend nor I are actually beach people. In fact, we are two of the palest people that you'll want to meet. Once, during this trip, my girlfriend saw me swimming, and said that I was "the whitest person on Earth". She said something similarly charming last year, when I swam on the ocean. I think, back then, she said I looked as white as a fish. When I asked her what kind of fish was white, she then turned around and said that I had looked deathly ill.

Naturally, I thanked her for that.

The hotel at Charleston looked nice from the outside. Palm trees were abundant. That might seem obvious to most of you, since South Carolina has the palm tree on the state flag. But I have only once before been in my life been to an area that was warm enough to have real palm trees, and that was San Francisco, back in February of 1996! So, it had been a while! That made seeing them so frequently on this trip feel rather special, even though it might not seem like a big thing to most.

Other than palm trees, it has a nice, sparkling blue pool that looked very inviting. It had some tables and outdoor furniture. And what dominated the back yard, if you will, of the hotel (it really was a one-sided hotel, with another building, a car repair shop, essentially closing off the other side of it, where there were no rooms) was a huge swamp, or marsh. When we first pulled in to the parking lot, the first thing that I noticed was a yellow sign with what appeared to be the shape of an alligator on it. When I took a closer look, sure enough, it was a warning that alligators MAY be in there. I asked the receptionist at the hotel, and she said that she'd never seen any in there. Still, it was cool to think about.

We did see alligators in Charleston, the very next day. That was at Magnolia Plantation, which probably will deserve it's own blog entry. There were quite a few creeks and swamps and lakes there, and some sizable alligators made their homes there, although we only saw some of the smaller ones. I'll explain why specifically in that future blog entry.

The following day (Day #4), we went down to Savannah, Georgia. My girlfriend was reluctant to go, tired as she was of all the driving that we were doing. I kind of put my foot down and insisted, however, having heard that Charleston and Savannah were the two prettiest and most charming cities in the South, as well as New Orleans.

And as it turns out, Savannah was the highlight of our trip! We all loved it, especially my girlfriend!  More on that city, later - and I hope to do it justice, by going a bit into the history, and such.

We wanted to go to Myrtle Beach, since, after all, that was the original destination. But by Friday, it started pouring, exactly when we were setting off to go. The weather forecast called for thunderstorms all night. So, we returned back to Florence, South Carolina, and caught up on rest, essentially.

Yesterday, Saturday, we were scheduled to meet up with my girlfriend's aunt and uncle on Raleigh, North Carolina. That was an interesting side trip in itself, and probably deserves some mention in a future blog entry.

Finally, today, the drive back.

On the way down, some friends had recommended going by way of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and said that if you're heading to Virginia Beach, it is a great alternative to I-95, which is always so choked with traffic, especially by DC and Baltimore. Indeed, that was the way we went down, and sure enough, I was grateful. It took us literally right to Virginia Beach (that's where the bridge empties out to on the south side). It was far quieter and, although perhaps a bit longer in terms of mileage, it was a whole lot less stressful, as well as a bit more scenic, than I-95 could ever hope to be.

Unfortunately, today, I did not go with my gut of returning that way, since it showed that it would take almost two hours more from Raleigh.

But as it turns out, it might have been the better alternative, anyway, because the traffic was ridiculous. From DC up throughout Maryland (intermittently) and throughout Delaware (never had seen so much traffic in Delaware on any previous trips!), it was mostly stop and go traffic. After driving for hours and hours, there is little that can deflate your spirits while traveling as much as significant traffic jams, and that was what we faced.

We are here now, however. We're back, and I'm tired. Just thought I'd do a little writing before actually trying to rest, and so here we are.

Will catch up with the rest later. But for now, this blog was one of the things I was looking forward to getting back to, and I hope to have plenty more to write about very soon! Nice to see y'all here again!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Going on Vacation!

You may have noticed that I published an unusual amount of blogs today (and yesterday), particularly publishing a whole bunch of "On This Day in History" blogs, covering from now until June 30th, early this morning.

Well, there is a reason for it. I will be heading out of town starting today, and will have limited opportunity at best to get on the internet.

So, I figured this would be a good time to try and catch up, or keep pace, or however else you want to put it.

Last year, when we went to Poland, I was still just mostly beginning the "On This Day in History" blog entries, and made little to no effort to bridge the gap of two weeks or so that I was gone.

This time, it felt like I needed to prepare a little better. So, as unconventional as it is to publish a whole bunch of these, covering several different dates, all at once, it seemed better than the alternative: complete inactivity.

At least this way, if you are interested, you can see these blog entries about the events that happened historically on those calendar days that I'll be gone for.

In the meantime, I guess my daily updates for the World Cup will have to take a break, since I need the games and stories to actually be able to write about. Given the unpredictable nature of how this World Cup tournament has been going thus far, I would not venture to guess what is going to happen in the week or so that I'll be gone, because glaring mistakes would probably be my reward.

So, I hope you all enjoy the coming week, whether you are at home or on some sort of road trip yourselves, and I'll look forward to seeing you on the other side of it!

Ohio Signs First of a Kind Anti-Renewable Energy Bill Into Law

It really is mind-boggling, the extent to which "special interests (read: corporate interests) have gotten a hold over American politics. The seeming hatred and paranoia of any progressive policies or possibilities has truly reached the level of paranoia.

Here is a case in point: Ohio got the dubious distinction of becoming the first state in history to sign an anti-renewable energy bill into law.

Yes, in effect, it is now policy to be as wasteful as possible, and it is now pretty much frowned upon if you want to do your part to conserve that energy or be a responsible citizen concerned with the state of things regarding environmental degradation and the overall culture of waste (which is particularly strong here in the United States) which permeates.

Things just keep going in the wrong direction, and the United States keeps distancing itself from the rest of the world community when you see headlines like these:


Some Animals Look Weird Without Hair

Saw this post last night, and thought it should definitely make an appearance on this blog!

These animals are, for the most part, familiar to all of us.

But remove their hair, and guess what? They begin to look almost like alien creatures, in some cases. Not all of them. The kangaroo, for example, still looked pretty much like a kangaroo, just with less hair.

On the other hand, the raccoon without hair looked highly unusual, and I would not have recognized it as a raccoon at all, quite frankly!

Here is the link, so that you can see for yourself:

10 Animals That Look Totally Different Without Their Hair by  julia.letts from TrendyJoe

On This Day in History - June 29 U.S. Space Shuttle Docks With Russian Space Station

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!

June 29, 1995: U.S. space shuttle docks with Russian space station

On this day in 1995, the American space shuttle Atlantis docks with the Russian space station Mir to form the largest man-made satellite ever to orbit the Earth.

This historic moment of cooperation between former rival space programs was also the 100th human space mission in American history. At the time, Daniel Goldin, chief of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), called it the beginning of "a new era of friendship and cooperation" between the U.S. and Russia. With millions of viewers watching on television, Atlantis blasted off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in eastern Florida on June 27, 1995.

Just after 6 a.m. on June 29, Atlantis and its seven crew members approached Mir as both crafts orbited the Earth some 245 miles above Central Asia, near the Russian-Mongolian border. When they spotted the shuttle, the three cosmonauts on Mir broadcast Russian folk songs to Atlantis to welcome them. Over the next two hours, the shuttle's commander, Robert "Hoot" Gibson expertly maneuvered his craft towards the space station. To make the docking, Gibson had to steer the 100-ton shuttle to within three inches of Mir at a closing rate of no more than one foot every 10 seconds.

The docking went perfectly and was completed at 8 a.m., just two seconds off the targeted arrival time and using 200 pounds less fuel than had been anticipated. Combined, Atlantis and the 123-ton Mir formed the largest spacecraft ever in orbit. It was only the second time ships from two countries had linked up in space; the first was in June 1975, when an American Apollo capsule and a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft briefly joined in orbit.

Once the docking was completed, Gibson and Mir's commander, Vladimir Dezhurov, greeted each other by clasping hands in a victorious celebration of the historic moment. A formal exchange of gifts followed, with the Atlantis crew bringing chocolate, fruit and flowers and the Mir cosmonauts offering traditional Russian welcoming gifts of bread and salt. Atlantis remained docked with Mir for five days before returning to Earth, leaving two fresh Russian cosmonauts on the space station. The three veteran Mir crew members returned with the shuttle, including two Russians and Norman Thagard, a U.S. astronaut who rode a Russian rocket to the space station in mid-March 1995 and spent over 100 days in space, a U.S. endurance record. NASA's Shuttle-Mir program continued for 11 missions and was a crucial step towards the construction of the International Space Station now in orbit.

June 29, 1941: Germans capture Lvov-and slaughter ensues

On this day in 1941, the Germans, having already launched their invasion of Soviet territory, invade and occupy Lvov, in eastern Galicia, in Ukraine, slaughtering thousands.

The Russians followed a scorched-earth policy upon being invaded by the Germans; that is, they would destroy, burn, flood, dismantle and remove anything and everything in territory they were forced to give up to the invader upon retreating, thereby leaving the Germans little in the way of crops, supplies, industrial plants, or equipment. (It was a policy that had proved very successful against Napoleon in the previous century.) This time, as the Germans captured Lvov, the Soviet NKVD, the forerunner of the KGB secret police, proceeded to murder 3,000 Ukrainian political prisoners.

Lvov had had a long history of being occupied by foreign powers: Sweden, Austria, Russia, Poland, and since 1939, the Soviet Union, which had proved especially repressive. The German invaders were seen as liberators, if for no other reason than they were the enemy of Poland and Russia—two of Lvov's, and Ukraine's, enemies. But release from the Soviet grip only meant subjection to Nazi terror. Within days, administrative control of Ukraine was split up between Poland, Romania, and Germany. Some 2.5 million Ukrainians were shipped to Germany as slave laborers, and Ukrainian Jews were subjected to the same vicious racial policies as in Poland: Some 600,000 were murdered. (Ukrainian nationalists also had blood on their hands in this respect, having gone on the rampage upon the withdrawal of Russian troops by scapegoating Jews for "Bolshevism," killing them in the streets.)

June 29, 1966: Vietnam air war escalates

During the Vietnam War, U.S. aircraft bomb the major North Vietnamese population centers of Hanoi and Haiphong for the first time, destroying oil depots located near the two cities. The U.S. military hoped that by bombing Hanoi, the capital of North Vietnam, and Haiphong, North Vietnam's largest port, communist forces would be deprived of essential military supplies and thus the ability to wage war.

In 1961, U.S. President John F. Kennedy sent the first large force of U.S. military personnel to Vietnam to bolster the ineffectual autocratic regime of South Vietnam against communist forces. Three years later, with the South Vietnamese government crumbling, President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered limited bombing raids on North Vietnam, and Congress authorized the use of U.S. ground troops. By 1965, Vietcong and North Vietnamese offensives left President Johnson with two choices: escalate U.S. involvement or withdraw. Johnson ordered the former, and troop levels soon jumped to more than 300,000 as U.S. air forces commenced the largest bombing campaign in history.

However, as the Vietcong were able to fight with an average daily flow of only 20 tons of supplies from North Vietnam, and U.S. forces in Vietnam required 1,000 times as much, the bombing of communist industry and supply routes had little impact on the course of the war. Nevertheless, North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh placed the destruction of U.S. bombers in the forefront of his war effort, and by 1969 more than 5,000 American planes had been lost. In addition, the extended length of the war, the high number of U.S. casualties, and the exposure of U.S. involvement in war crimes such as the massacre at My Lai turned many in the United States against the Vietnam War.

In 1973, representatives of the United States and North and South Vietnam signed a peace agreement in Paris, ending the U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam War. On April 30, 1975, the last few Americans still in South Vietnam were airlifted out of the country as Saigon fell to communist forces. The Vietnam War was the longest and most unpopular foreign war in U.S. history and cost 58,000 American lives. As many as two million Vietnamese soldiers and civilians were killed.

Isabela Peron takes office as Argentine president      

With Argentine President Juan Peron on his deathbed, Isabela Martinez de Peron, his wife and vice president, is sworn in as the leader of the South American country. President Isabela Peron, a former dancer and Peron's third wife, was the Western Hemisphere's first female head of government. Two days later, Juan died from heart disease, and Isabela was left alone as leader of a nation suffering from serious economic and political strife.

In 1943, as an army officer, Juan Domingo Peron joined a military coup against Argentina's ineffectual civilian government. Appointed secretary of labor, his influence grew, and in 1944 he also became vice president and minister of war. In October 1945, Peron was ousted from his positions by a coup of constitutionally minded civilians and officers, and he was imprisoned, but appeals from workers and his charismatic mistress, Eva Duarte, soon forced his release. The night of his release, October 17, he addressed a crowd of some 300,000 people from the balcony of the presidential palace and promised to lead the people to victory in the coming presidential election. Four days later, Peron, a widower, married Eva Duarte, or "Evita," as she became affectionately known.

As president, Peron constructed an impressive populist alliance, and his vision of self-sufficiency for Argentina won him wide support. However, he also became increasingly authoritarian, jailing political opponents and restricting freedom of the press. In 1952, his greatest political resource, Evita, died, and support for him dissolved. Three years later, he was ousted in a military coup. In 1973, after 18 years of exile, he returned to Argentina and won the presidency again. His third wife, Isabela Martinez de Peron, was elected as vice president and in 1974 succeeded him upon his death.

President Isabela Peron was unable to command the support of any powerful group, let alone construct a necessary coalition, and the political and economic situation in Argentina worsened. On March 24, 1976, following a sharp rise in political terrorism and guerrilla activity, the military deposed Isabela Peron and instituted one of the bloodiest regimes in South American history. Isabela Peron was imprisoned for five years on a charge of abuse of property and upon her release in 1981 settled in Madrid.

June 29, 1989: Congress votes new sanctions against China

In yet another reaction to the Chinese government's brutal massacre of protesters in Tiananmen Square in Beijing earlier in the month, the House of Representatives unanimously passes a package of sanctions against the People's Republic of China. American indignation, however, was relatively short-lived and most of the sanctions died out after a brief period.

On June 4, 1989, Chinese troops and police smashed into hundreds of thousands of protesters who had gathered in Tiananmen Square in central Beijing to protest for greater democracy and freedom. Thousands were killed and tens of thousands arrested. In the United States, the public and government reacted with horror. President George Bush immediately ordered sanctions against the Chinese government, including a ban on arms shipments, the cessation of high-level talks with Chinese officials, and a suspension of talks about nuclear cooperation. Bush hoped that these sanctions would be enough to indicate the American government's displeasure and anger over the events in Tiananmen Square, but many members of Congress felt that the president had not gone far enough in punishing China for its egregious human rights violations. Over Bush's objections, the House of Representations unanimously passed a new package of sanctions on June 29. The new package included the proviso that the previous sanctions enacted by Bush could not be lifted until there were assurances that China was making progress in the area of human rights. The new sanctions focused on economic and trade relations with China. They suspended talks and funds for the expansion of U.S.-Chinese trade, and also banned the shipment of police equipment to China.

In the face of these sanctions, China remained largely unrepentant. It was not until May 1990 that the Chinese government began to release some of the thousands of protesters arrested the year before. However, diplomacy and economics eventually won out over moral indignation. The United States government had spent nearly 20 years trying to cultivate better relations with China, which it saw as a growing power and one that might be profitably used to balance against the Soviet Union. In addition, American businesspeople were filled with anticipation about the economic possibilities of the Chinese market. Finally, in 1991 the collapse of the Soviet Union meant the end of the Cold War, and all talk of "evil empires." In the face of these pressures and events, most of the sanctions fell by the wayside over the next few years.

June 29, 1958: Pele helps Brazil to World Cup title

On June 29, 1958, Brazil defeats host nation Sweden 5-2 to win its first World Cup. Brazil came into the tournament as a favorite, and did not disappoint, thrilling the world with their spectacular play, which was often referred to as the "beautiful game."

The star of the tournament was an undersized midfielder named Edson Arondes do Nascimento, known the world over as Pele. Edson, the son of a professional footballer called Dodhino, was named for the American inventor, Thomas Edison. His mother, having watched her husband struggle to earn money in the game, discouraged Pele from playing football. Pele’s will won out, and at 14 he was discovered by de Brito, a former Brazilian team member, who took the young scorer under his wing. Pele earned his first cap with the national team at 16, and made his debut on the international stage at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden at 17 years old.

In that year’s Cup, Pele did not make an appearance until Brazil’s third group play match against the Soviet Union, in which he set up a goal for Vava. His first goal came in the quarterfinal against Wales; it was the only goal Brazil scored in a 1-0 win. It was in the semifinal against France, though, that Pele truly came into his own. As the crowd at Rasunda Stadium listened to the Sweden-West Germany game on their radios, Pele put on a show of offensive brilliance against the second best team in the tournament. He scored three goals from his left side, and left the French team dumbfounded at their inability to contain a 17 year old. Pele and Vava scored two goals each in the final. Upon receiving the Jules Rimet Cup as the best team in the world, the entire team wept.

Brazil went on to win the World Cup again in 1966 and 1970, which gave them the right to retain the Jules Rimet Cup permanently as the first country to win three World Cups. In 1999, the International Olympic Committee honored Pele along with 10 others as one of the best athletes of the century.

A solar eclipse was recorded by someone in Ireland in 512. Jacques Cartier found Prince Edward Island in Canada. The Globe Theater, legendary for playing many of Shakespeare's plays, burned down. South Africa began formally implementing apartheid laws on this date in 1949. Brazil defeated Sweden 5-2 in Stockholm to win the World Cup. The Beatles first song, "From Me to You" hit the British charts. In Vietnam, the United States bombed Hanoi for the first time. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were imprisoned on drug charges.  The Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty was "cruel and unusual". There was a military coup in Ethiopia. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was extended in 1982. Argentina won it's second World Cup title.

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

512 - A solar eclipse is recorded by a monastic chronicler in Ireland.

1149 - Raymond of Antioch is defeated and killed at the Battle of Inab by Nur ad-Din.

1194 - Sverre is crowned King of Norway.

1236 - Ferdinand III of Castile and Leon took Cordoba in Spain.

1312 - Roman Catholics German King Henry VII crowned

1377 - French invasion fleet lands at Rye England

1428 - Jacoba of Bavaria signs cease fire with Philip the Good

1529 - Emperor Karel V & Pope Clemens VII sign Treaty of Barcelona

1534 - Jacques Cartier discovered Prince Edward Island in Canada

1540 - English ex chancellor Thomas Cromwell sentenced as heretic

1613 -  London's Globe Theatre burned down during a performance of Shakespeare's Henry VIII.

1652 - Massachusetts declared itself an independent commonwealth.

1659 - The Russians, led by prince Trubetskoy are defeated by the Ukrainian armies of Ivan Vyhovsky in the Battle of Konotop.

1682 - Sofia names herself regent of Russia

1694 - Dutch fleet attacks French grain transports

1749 - New Governor, Charles de la Ralière Des Herbiers, arrives at Isle Royale (Cape Breton Island).

1755 - 515 prominant filipinos baptized as Catholic

1762 - Russian Czar Peter III divorces his wife Catharina II

1767 - The British Parliament approved the Townshend Revenue Acts. The acts imposed import duties on glass, lead, paint, paper and tea shipped to America.

1776 - Mission Dolores founded by SF Bay

1776 - Virginia state constitution adopted and Patrick Henry made governor

1786 - Alexander Macdonell and over five hundred Roman Catholic highlanders leave Scotland to settle in Glengarry County, Ontario.

1800 - Free mason lodge establishes in Alkmaar

1804 - Privates John Collins and Hugh Hall of the Lewis and Clark Expedition were found guilty by a court-martial consisting of members of the Corps of Discovery for getting drunk on duty. Collins received 100 lashes on his back and Hall received 50.

1850 - British ex-premier sir Robert Peel falls off his horse

1850 - Autocephaly Officially Granted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople to The Church of Greece.

1854 - Netherlands allows corporal punishment

1857 - Battle at Chinhat (Indies rebel under Barkat Ahmed beat British)

1858 - Great fire in London harbor

1858 - Treaty of Algun, China cedes north bank of Amur River to Russia

1860 - The first iron-pile lighthouse was completed at Minot’s Ledge, MA.

1862 - Day 5 of 7 Days-Battle of Savage's Station Va

1863 - Battle at Westminster Maryland: Federal assault

1863 - George A Custer (23) appointed Union Brig-general

1863 - Lee orders his forces to concentrate near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

1863 - Very first First National Bank opens in Davenport, Iowa

1864 - Grand Trunk Railway accident; 100 killed

1867 - Pope Pius IX declares Gorcumse holy martyrs

1874 - Greek politician Charilaos Trikoupis publishes a manifesto in the Athens daily Kairoi entitled "Who's to Blame?" in which he lays out his complaints against King George. He is elected Prime Minister of Greece the next year.

1880 - France annexed Otaheite (Tahiti)

1881 - Pope Leo XIII publishes encyclical Diuturnum illud

1888 - First (known) recording of classical music made, Handel's Israel in Egypt on wax cylinder.

1888 - Professor Frederick Treves performed the first appendectomy in England.

1891 - 100°F (SF, CA)

1891 - National Forest Service organized

1891 - Street railway in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, commences operation.

1895 - Doukhobors burn their weapons as a protest against conscription by the Tsarist Russian government.

1897 - The Chicago Cubs scored 36 runs in a game against Louisville, setting a record for runs scored by a team in a single game. They won, 36-7.

1899 - Brazo River in Texas floods 12 miles wide causing $10 mil damage

1901 - The first edition of "Editor & Publisher" was issued.

1903 - The British government officially protested Belgian atrocities in the Congo.

1904 - 2 prehistoric bones found in Weerdingerveen, Drenthe

1905 - Russian troops intervened as riots erupted in ports all over the country. Many ships were looted.

1906 - 12th US Golf Open: Alex Smith shoots a 295 at Onwentsia Club Ill

1911 - Freiherr Gautsch von Frankenthurn becomes premier

1913 - 2nd Balkan War begins-Bulgaria overthrows Greek/Serbian troops

1914 - Jina Guseva attempts to assassinate Grigori Rasputin at his home town in Siberia.

1916 - Boeing aircraft flies for 1st time

1917 - The Ukraine proclaimed independence from Russia.

1921 - 34th Wimbledon Womens Tennis: Suzanne Lenglen beats E Ryan (62 60)

1922 - France grants 1 km² at Vimy Ridge "freely, and for all time, to the Government of Canada, the free use of the land exempt from all taxes."

1925 - Canada House opens in London, England.

1925 - Marvin Pipkin filed for a patent for the frosted electric light bulb.

1926 - Fascists in Rome added an hour to the work day in an economic efficiency measure.

1926 - Carter Woodson wins Springarn Medal for research of Black history

1926 - Arthur Meighen returns to office as Prime Minister of Canada.

1927 - 1st flight from West Coast arrives in Hawaii

1927 - First test of Wallace Turnbull's Controllable pitch propeller.

1928 - The Outerbridge Crossing and Goethals Bridge in Staten Island, New York both opened.

1929 - 1st high-speed jet wind tunnel completed Langley Field Ca

1929 - 31.1°C (88°F) hoogste temperatuur op deze dag in De Bilt

1929 - Mexico & Vatican sign Concord

1931 - 109°F (43°C), Monticello, Florida (state record)

1931 - Pope Pius XI encyclical on Nun abbiamo bisogno Mussolini

1932 - USSR and China sign no attack treaty

1932 - Siam’s army seized Bangkok and announced an end to the absolute monarchy.

1932 - "Vic and Sade" debuted on NBC radio.

1933 - Primo Carnera KOs Jack Sharkey in 6 for heavyweight boxing title

1936 - Empire State Building emanates high definition TV-343 lines

1936 - Pope Pius XI encyclical to US bishops "On motion pictures"

1939 - 4th Dutch government of Colijn falls 1939 - Dixie Clipper completes 1st commercial plane flight to Europe

1940 - Anjer (Carnation) Day-anniversary of Prince Bernhard

1940 - US passes Alien Registration Act requiring Aliens to register

1940 - Batman Comics, mobsters rubbed out a circus highwire team known as the Flying Graysons, leaving their son Dick (Robin) an orphan

1941 - Joe DiMaggio got a base hit in his 42nd consecutive game. He broke George Sisler's record from 1922.

1942 - Dmitri Shostakovitch's 7th Symphony, premieres

1943 - Pope Pius XII encyclical Mystic Corporis (mystic body of Christ)

1943 - US forces landed at Nassau Bay, near Salamaua, New Guinea

1943 - Germany begins withdrawing U-boats from North Atlantic in anticipation of the Allied invasion of Europe

 1944 - German counter attack at Caen

1944 - Nazi Paul Touvier shoots 7 Jews dead

1944 - Rommel & von Rundstedt travel to Berchtesgaden

1944 - Soviet Armys join in Bobroesjk 1944 - US 7th army corp conquers Cherbourg

1945 - 20.6 cm rainfall at Litchville North Dakota (state record)

1945 - Ruthenia, formerly in Czechoslovakia, becomes part of Ukrainian SSR

1945 - Carpathian Ruthenia was annexed by Soviet Union.

1946 - "Are You with It?" closes at Century Theater NYC after 264 perfs

1946 - "Billion Dollar Baby" closes at Alvin Theater NYC after 219 perfs

1946 - Black Sabbath-Brits arrest 2700 Jews in Palestine as alleged terrorist

1946 - British mandatory government of Palestine arrests 100 leaders of Yishnuv and more than 2,700 Jews in Palestine in an attempt to end alleged terrorism.

1947 - Yanks beat Senators 3-1 starting a 19 game win streak

1949 - South Africa began implementing apartheid; no mixed marriages

1949 - US troops withdraw from Korea after WW II

1950 - US beats England 1-0 in a world cup soccer game (next win in 1994)

1950 - West Indies beat England by 326 runs thanks Ramadhin & Valentine

1950 - U.S. President Harry S. Truman authorized a sea blockade of Korea.

1951 - The United States invited the Soviet Union to the Korean peace talks on a ship in Wonson Harbor.

1952 - First aircraft carrier to sail around Cape Horn-Oriskany

1952 - 7th US Women's Open Golf Championship won by Louise Suggs

1953 - XETV TV channel 6 in Tijuana-San Diego, CA (IND) begins broadcasting

1953 - The Federal Highway Act authorized the construction of 42,500 miles of freeway from coast to coast.

1954 - The Atomic Energy Commission voted against reinstating Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer's access to classified information.

1955 - The Soviet Union sent tanks to Poznan, Poland, to put down anti-Communist demonstrations.

1955 - Argentine state of siege ends

1956 - Charles Dumas, makes 1st high jump over 7' (2.13 m)-LA, Calif

1956 - Federal interstate highway system act signed

1956 - PM Drees refuses resignation of queen Juliana (Greet Hofmans)

1956 - Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller were married. They were divorced on January 20, 1961.

1957 - Malenkov, Molotov, Kaganowitsj & Sjepilov leave USSR communist party

1958 - Brazil beats Sweden 5-2 in soccer's 6th World Cup at Stockholm

1959 - Pope John XXIII 1st encyclical "On truth, unity, & peace, in charity"

1960 - KYA-AM in SF changes call letters to KDBQ (for 2 weeks)

1961 - Launch of Transit 4a, with 1st nuclear power supply (SNAP-3)

1961 - Willie Mays is 4th major leaguer with 3 or more HRs twice in a season

1962 - First flight Vickers (British Aerospace) VC-10 long-range airliner

1962 - Frank Howard, hits the 5,000th Dodger home run

1963 - "Little Me" closes at Lunt-Fontanne Theater NYC after 257 performances

1963 - Beatles' 1st song "From Me to You" hits UK charts

1963 - SVB, Students Unions, established under Barrel Regtien

1964 - 1st draft of Star Trek's pilot "Cage" released

1964 - Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed after 83-day filibuster in Senate

1965 - USAF Capt Joseph Henry Engle reaches 85,530 m in X-15

1966 - In the Vietnam War, US planes bombed Hanoi & Haiphong for 1st time

1966 - KBSC (now KVEA) TV channel 52 in Corona-Los Angeles, CA begins

1966 - The U.S. bombed fuel storage facilities near the North Vietnamese cities of Hanoi and Haiphong.

1967 - Israel removed barricades, re-unifying Jerusalem.

1972 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty could constitute "cruel and unusual punishment." The ruling prompted states to revise their capital punishment laws.

1967 - Keith Richards is sentenced to 1 year in jail on drugs charge

1968 - "Tip-Toe Thru' The Tulips With Me" by Tiny Tim peaks at #17

1969 - First Jewish worship service at White House

1969 - On Billy Williams Day in Chicago, the Cubs outfielder passes Stan Musial's NL record for consecutive games played (896)

1970 - US ends 2 month military offensive into Cambodia

1971 - Rolling Stones Mick Jagger & Keith Richards sentenced on drug offense

1971 - Soyuz 11 docks with Salyut 1 for 22 days

1972 - Supreme Court rules (5-4) in Furman v. Georgia that the death penalty could constitute "cruel and unusual" prompting some states to revise their laws.

1972 - USSR launches Prognoz 2 into earth orbit (549/200,000 km)

1974 - Military coup in Ethiopia

1975 - 3rd du Maurier Golf Classic (Peter Jackson Classic): JoAnne Carner

1975 - 8.10" (20.57 cm) of rainfall, Litchville No Dakota (state 24-hr rec)

1976 - Seychelles gains independence from Britain

1976 - The Seychelles become independent from the United Kingdom.

1977 - Supreme Court rules out death penalty for rapists of adults

1977 - Willie Stargell hits his 400th career HR

1978 - VP Walter F Mondale begins trip to Mid-East

1979 - "Moonraker" premieres in US 1979 - San Diego Chicken reborn at Jack Murphy Stadium

1980 - "Sweeney Todd" closes at Uris Theater NYC after 557 performances

1981 - Bomb attack on headquarters of Islamic Party in Teheran, 72 killed

1981 - Hu Yaobang succeeds Hua Guofeng as leader of China PR

1982 - Voting Rights Act of 1965 extended

1982 - Israel invaded Lebanon.

1983 - Angel Cordero wins his 5,000th horse races

1983 - Challenger flies back to Kennedy Space Center via Kelly AFB

1984 - Orel Hershiser begins string of making every sched start until 1990

1984 - Pete Rose plays in record 3,309th game, surpassing Carl Yastrzemski

1984 - USSR offers to start talking about banning SDI

1985 - NASA launches Intelsat VA

1985 - STS 51-F vehicle moves to launch pad

1986 - Argentina defeated West Germany, 3-2, to win the World Cup Final.

1986 - Boston Red Sox trade for Tom Seaver

1986 - Sparky Anderson is 1st to win 600 games as manager in both leagues

1987 - Phil's Steve Bedrosian is 1st to record 12 saves in 12 attempts

1987 - Vincent Van Gogh’s "Le Pont de Trinquetaille" was bought for $20.4 million at an auction in London, England.

1988 - Emmy 15th Daytime Award presentation - Susan Lucci loses for 9th time

1989 - Emmy 16th Daytime Award presentation - Susan Lucci loses for 10th time

1989 - Susan Lucci loses daytime emmy for 10th straight year

1990 - Marla Maples father sues National Enquirer for $12M

1990 - NY Mets tie their team career high 11 game win streak

1990 - A's Dave Stewart no-hits Blue Jays & Dodger's Fernando Valenzuela no-hits St Louis 6-0, 1st time no-hitters in both leagues

1991 - "Jackie Mason - Brand New" closes at Neil Simon NYC after 216 perfs

1991 - 6.0 earthquake hits southern Calif

1991 - Britain's Nick Brown, 591st rank beats 10th-seeded Goran Ivanisevic 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 in 2nd round at Wimbledon

1992 - "Salome" opens at Circle in Sq Theater NYC for 9 performances

1992 - 2 earthquakes including 7.4 hits southern Calif

1992 - A's Dennis Eckersley sets record of 26th straight save of season

1992 - NHL decided Eric Lindross goes to Flyers instead of Rangers

1994 - Socialist, Tomiichi Murayama, elected premier of Japan

1994 - US reopens Guantanamo Naval Base to process refugees

1995 - The shuttle Atlantis and the Russian space station Mir docked, forming the largest man-made satellite ever to orbit Earth.

1995 - George Foreman loses IBF boxing title, refused to fight Axel Schulz

1995 - Memphis Mad Dogs 1st CFL game (vs Calgary Stampeders)

1995 - The shuttle Atlantis and the Russian space station Mir docked, forming the largest man-made satellite ever to orbit the Earth.

1996 - Andrea Leah Plummer, of Tennessee, crowned 39th America's Junior Miss

1996 - Superman's Action Comic #1 (1938) auctioned at Sotheby at $61,900
1997 - "American Daughter" closes at Cort Theater NYC after 88 performances

1997 - "London Assurance" closes at Criterion Theater NYC after 72 perfs

1997 - Progress M-35 Soyuz Launch (Russia)

1997 - Tyrenda Williams, 18, of Alabama, crowned 40th America's Junior Miss

1998 - With negotiations on a new labor agreement at a standstill, the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced that a lockout would be imposed at midnight.

2000 - In Santa Rosa, CA, the official groundbreaking ceremony took place for the Charles M. Schulz Museum.

2000 - Eminem's mother goes to court claiming defamation of character in a $10 million civil suit, after taking exception to the line "My mother smokes more dope than I do" from her son's single 'My Name Is'

2002 - U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, serves as Acting President for two and a half hours, while President George W. Bush undergoes a colonoscopy procedure.

2002 - Naval clashes between South Korea and North Korea lead to the death of six South Korean sailors and sinking of a North Korean vessel.

2003 - Actress Katharine Hepburn died.

2006 - Hamdan v. Rumsfeld: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that President George W. Bush's plan to try Guantanamo Bay detainees in military tribunals violates U.S. and international law.

2007 - Two car bombs are found in the heart of London at Picadilly  Circus.

2007 - The Apple iPhone went on sale.

2008 - Thomas Beatie, the world's first pregnant man, gives birth to a daughter.

2012 - 16 Naxalite Maoist insurgents in India are killed by police

2012 - Three bombs in Balid, Iraq, kill 6 people and injure 45

2012 - 15,000 Japanese anti-nuclear protesters blockade the Japanese Prime Minister's office in Tokyo

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

On This Day in History - June 28 Archduke Franz Ferdinand Assassinated (World War I Begins)

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!

June 28, 1914: Archduke Franz Ferdinand assassinated

In an event that is widely acknowledged to have sparked the outbreak of World War I, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, nephew of Emperor Franz Josef and heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is shot to death along with his wife by a Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on this day in 1914.

The great Prussian statesman Otto von Bismarck, the man most responsible for the unification of Germany in 1871, was quoted as saying at the end of his life that "One day the great European War will come out of some damned foolish thing in the Balkans." It went as he predicted.

The archduke traveled to Sarajevo in June 1914 to inspect the imperial armed forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina, former Ottoman territories in the turbulent Balkan region that were annexed by Austria-Hungary in 1908 to the indignation of Serbian nationalists, who believed they should become part of the newly independent and ambitious Serbian nation. The date scheduled for his visit, June 28, coincided with the anniversary of the First Battle of Kosovo in 1389, in which medieval Serbia was defeated by the Turks. Despite the fact that Serbia did not truly lose its independence until the Second Battle of Kosovo in 1448, June 28 was a day of great significance to Serbian nationalists, and one on which they could be expected to take exception to a demonstration of Austrian imperial strength in Bosnia.

June 28 was also Franz Ferdinand's wedding anniversary. His beloved wife, Sophie, a former lady-in-waiting, was denied royal status in Austria due to her birth as a poor Czech aristocrat, as were the couple's children. In Bosnia, however, due to its limbo status as an annexed territory, Sophie could appear beside him at official proceedings. On June 28, 1914, then, Franz Ferdinand and Sophie were touring Sarajevo in an open car, with surprisingly little security, when Serbian nationalist Nedjelko Cabrinovic threw a bomb at their car; it rolled off the back of the vehicle and wounded an officer and some bystanders. Later that day, on the way to visit the injured officer, the archduke's procession took a wrong turn at the junction of Appel quay and Franzjosefstrasse, where one of Cabrinovic's cohorts, 19-year-old Gavrilo Princip, happened to be loitering.

Seeing his opportunity, Princip fired into the car, shooting Franz Ferdinand and Sophie at point-blank range. Princip then turned the gun on himself, but was prevented from shooting it by a bystander who threw himself upon the young assassin. A mob of angry onlookers attacked Princip, who fought back and was subsequently wrestled away by the police. Meanwhile, Franz Ferdinand and Sophie lay fatally wounded in their limousine as it rushed to seek help; they both died within the hour.

The assassination of Franz-Ferdinand and Sophie set off a rapid chain of events: Austria-Hungary, like many in countries around the world, blamed the Serbian government for the attack and hoped to use the incident as justification for settling the question of Slav nationalism once and for all. As Russia supported Serbia, an Austro-Hungarian declaration of war was delayed until its leaders received assurances from German leader Kaiser Wilhelm that Germany would support their cause in the event of a Russian intervention–which would likely involve Russia's ally, France, and possibly Britain as well. On July 28, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, and the tenuous peace between Europe's great powers collapsed. Within a week, Russia, Belgium, France, Great Britain and Serbia had lined up against Austria-Hungary and Germany, and World War I had begun.

June 28, 2940: Britain recognizes General Charles de Gaulle as the leader of the Free French

On this day in 1940, General Charles de Gaulle, having set up headquarters in England upon the establishment of a puppet government in his native France, is recognized as the leader of the Free French Forces, dedicated to the defeat of Germany and the liberation of all France.

For Charles de Gaulle, fighting Germans was an old story. He sustained multiple injuries fighting at Verdun in World War I. He escaped German POW camps five times, only to be recaptured each time. (At 6 feet 4 inches in height, it was hard for de Gaulle to remain inconspicuous.)

At the beginning of World War II, de Gaulle was commander of a tank brigade. He was admired as a courageous leader and made a brigadier general in May 1940. After the German invasion of France, he became undersecretary of state for defense and war in the Reynaud government, but when Reynaud resigned, and Field Marshal Philippe Petain stepped in, a virtual puppet of the German occupiers, he left for England. On June 18, de Gaulle took to the radio airwaves to make an appeal to his fellow French not to accept the armistice being sought by Petain, but to continue fighting under his command. Ten days later, Britain formally acknowledged de Gaulle as the leader of the "Free French Forces," which was at first little more than those French troops stationed in England, volunteers from Frenchmen already living in England, and units of the French navy

On August 2, a French military court sentenced de Gaulle to death in absentia for his actions. (No doubt at the instigation of the German occupiers.)

De Gaulle would prove an adept wartime politician, finally winning recognition and respect from the Allies and his fellow countrymen. He returned to Paris from Algiers, where he had moved the headquarters of the Free French Forces and formed a "shadow government," in September 1943. He went on to head two provisional governments before resigning.

Jun 28, 1836: Former President James Madison dies

On this day in 1836, James Madison, drafter of the Constitution, recorder of the Constitutional Convention, author of the "Federalist Papers" and fourth president of the United States, dies on his tobacco plantation in Virginia.

Madison first distinguished himself as a student at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), where he successfully completed a four-year course of study in two years and, in 1769, helped found the American Whig Society, the second literary and debate society at Princeton (and the world), to rival the previously established Cliosophic Society.

Madison returned to Virginia with intellectual accolades but poor health in 1771. By 1776, he was sufficiently recovered to serve for three years in the legislature of the new state of Virginia, where he came to know and admire Thomas Jefferson. In this capacity, he assisted with the drafting of the Virginia Declaration of Religious Freedom and the critical decision for Virginia to cede its western claims to the Continental Congress.

Madison is best remembered for his critical role in the Constitutional Convention of 1787, where he presented the Virginia Plan to the assembled delegates in Philadelphia and oversaw the difficult process of negotiation and compromise that led to the drafting of the final Constitution. Madison's published "Notes on the Convention" are considered the most detailed and accurate account of what occurred in the closed-session debates. (Madison forbade the publishing of his notes until all the participants were deceased.) After the Constitution was submitted to the people for ratification, Madison collaborated with John Jay and Alexander Hamilton on "The Federalist Papers," a series of pamphlets that argued for the acceptance of the new government. Madison penned the most famous of the pamphlets, "Federalist No. 10," which made an incisive argument for the ability of a large federation to preserve individual rights.

In 1794, Madison married a young widow, Dolley Payne Todd, who would prove to be Washington, D.C.'s finest hostess during Madison's years as secretary of state to the widowed Thomas Jefferson and then as the fourth president of the United States from 1809 to 1817. Dolley Madison earned a special place in the nation's memory for saving a portrait of George Washington before fleeing the burning White House during the War of 1812.

The War of 1812 tested Madison's presidency. The Federalists staunchly opposed Madison's declaration of war against the British and threatened to secede from the Union during the Harford Convention. When the new nation managed to muster a tenuous victory, the Federalist Party was destroyed as America's status as a nation apart from Britain was secured.

After retiring from official political positions, Madison served Thomas Jefferson's beloved University of Virginia first as a member of the board of visitors and then as rector. In 1938, the State Teachers College at Harrisonburg, Virginia, was renamed in Madison's honor as Madison College; in 1976, it became James Madison University.

June 28, 1953: Workers assemble first Corvette in Flint, Michigan

On this day in 1953, workers at a Chevrolet plant in Flint, Michigan, assemble the first Corvette, a two-seater sports car that would become an American icon. The first completed production car rolled off the assembly line two days later, one of just 300 Corvettes made that year.

The idea for the Corvette originated with General Motors' pioneering designer Harley J. Earl, who in 1951 began developing plans for a low-cost American sports car that could compete with Europe's MGs, Jaguars and Ferraris. The project was eventually code-named "Opel." In January 1953, GM debuted the Corvette concept car at its Motorama auto show at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. It featured a fiberglass body and a six-cylinder engine and according to GM, was named for the "trim, fleet naval vessel that performed heroic escort and patrol duties during World War II." The Corvette was a big hit with the public at Motorama and GM soon put the roadster into production.

On June 30, 1953, the first Corvette came off the production line in Flint. It was hand-assembled and featured a Polo White exterior and red interior, two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission, a wraparound windshield, whitewall tires and detachable plastic curtains instead of side windows. The earliest Corvettes were designed to be opened from the inside and lacked exterior door handles. Other components included a clock, cigarette lighter and red warning light that activated when the parking brake was applied--a new feature at the time. The car carried an initial price tag of $3,490 and could go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 11 or 12 seconds, then considered a fairly average speed.

In 1954, the Corvette went into mass production at a Chevy plant in St. Louis, Missouri. Sales were lackluster in the beginning and GM considered discontinuing the line. However, rival company Ford had introduced the two-seater Thunderbird around the same time and GM did not want to be seen bowing to the competition. Another critical development in the Corvette's survival came in 1955, when it was equipped with the more powerful V-8 engine. Its performance and appeal steadily improved after that and it went on to earn the nickname "America's sports car" and become ingrained in pop culture through multiple references in movies, television and music.

Today was an important date during the Crusades. Also, it was on this date that France established the colony of Guadeloupe.  Catherine II took over in Russia, and the Quakers built a school for blacks in Philadelphia. A couple of important dates during the Revolutionary War, as an attack by the British Navy was repulsed at Charleston, South Carolina This is the anniversary of an important date in New Jersey history - the Battle at Monmouth, in which Washington defeated Clinton. Later on in American history, during another war, this date marked the fourth and middle day of a seven day battle in Virginia. At the end of that war (the Civil War) the Army of the Potomac was disbanded on this day in 1865. In between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, tomatoes were proven to be not poisonous, and the first ever dog show was held. El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras joined to form the Central American Republic (it did not last). The first French air show was held on this date in 1909. The biggest single event in history to have transpired on this day surely must have been the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand by young Serbian Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo, an event which precipitated "The Great War" (World War I), which was easily the most brutal and horrific war up to that point (it would be overtaken by World War II). That war was made possible by the unfair terms of the Treaty of Versailles that set the peace terms following World War I, and this was signed on this date in history. Before that other world war, the man who would essentially bring that war to European soil, and who strongly rejected the terms and the spirit of the Treaty of Versailles, Adolf Hitler, flew to Essen during the "Night of Long Knives" in 1934. It was on this date a year later that Franklin D. Roosevelt would order the construction of a federal gold vault at Fort Knox in Kentucky to hold much of the nation's gold wealth. It was on this date in 1963 that Khrushchev visited East Berlin during the Cold War. This is an important date for wars, evidently, as a couple of years after that, President Lyndon B. Johnson authorized the first ground forces in Vietnam. It would not take long for them to see action. OPEC raised oil prices by 24%.

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

767 - St Paul I ends his reign as Catholic Pope

1098 - Fighters of the First Crusade defeat Kerbogha of Mosul.

1119 - Battle of Sarmada - Emir Ilghazi defeat French Crusaders

1245 - First Council of Lyons (13th ecumenical council) opens

1389 - Ottomans defeat Serbian army in the bloody Battle of Kosovo, opening the way for the Ottoman conquest of Southeastern Europe (see Vidovdan).

1461 - Edward IV crowned king of England

1485 - Gent/Brugge/Ieper recognize Maximilian of Austria as regent of Neth

1519 - King Carlos I elected Roman Catholic German emperor Charles V

1524 - Duke van Bourbon occupies Province

1575 - Spanish troops conquer Buren

1583 - Duke French van Valois returns to France

1593 - Earl Mauritius conquerors Geertruidenberg

1629 - Peace of Ales: Rights of French huguenots limited

1635 - French colony of Guadeloupe established in Caribbean

1651 - Battle of Beresteczko between Poles and Ukrainians starts.

1675 - Battle at Fehrbellin: Frederick William of Brandenburg crushed the Swedes.

1709 - The Russians defeated the Swedes and Cossacks at the Battle of Poltava.

1748 - Riot after public execution in Amsterdam, 200+ killed

1762 - Fiist reported counterfeiting attempt (Boston)

1762 - Russian Tsarina Catharina II grabs power

1770 - Quakers open a school for blacks in Philadelphia

1776 - Charleston, SC repulsed British sea attack

1776 - American Colonists repulsed a British sea attack on Charleston, SC.

1778 - Mary "Molly Pitcher" Hays McCauley, wife of an American artilleryman, carried water to the soldiers during the Battle of Monmouth and, supposedly, took her husband's place at his gun after he was overcome with heat. Overall, Gen Washington defeated Clinton.

1807 - British troops landed at Ensenada, Argentina

1820 - Tomato is proven non-poisonous

1832 - Gerrit Moll measures noise of guns

1836 - The fourth president of the United States, James Madison, died at Montpelier, his Virginia estate.

1838 - Coronation of Queen Victoria in Westminster Abbey, London

1841 - The Théâtre de l'Académie Royale de Musique in Paris premieres the ballet Giselle

1846 - Saxophone is patented by Antoine Joseph Sax

1855 - The Sigma Chi Fraternity was founded at Miami University

1859 - 1st dog show held (Newcastle-on-Tyne, England)

1861 - Leipzig Observatory discovers short-period (6.2 yrs) Comet d'Arrest

1862 - Day 4 of 7 Days-Battle of Savage's Station/Garnett's Farm, VA

1865 - The Army of the Potomac is disbanded

1869 - Amsterdam typographer strike

1869 - R. W. Wood was appointed as the first Surgeon General of the U.S. Navy.

1874 - Freedmen's Bank closes

1880 - Ned Kelly the Australian bushranger captured at Glenrowan.

1887 - Phillies most lopsided shut-out beating Indianapolis 24-0

1892 - Phillies tie club record of 16 straight victories

1894 - The U.S. Congress made Labor Day a U.S. national holiday.

1895 - El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua form Central American Union

1897 - Marquis C de Bonchamps' expedition reaches Gore Ethiopia

1902 - Congress authorizes Louisiana Purchase Expo $1 gold coin

1902 - US buys concession to build Panama canal from French for $40 million

 1902 - The U.S. Congress passed the Spooner bill, it authorized a canal to be built across the isthmus of Panama.

1904 - International Anti-Military Cooperation (IAMV) forms in Amsterdam

1904 - The SS Norge Runs aground and sinks

1907 - Nationals steal a record 13 bases off catcher Branch Rickey

1909 - First French air show, Concours d'Avation opens

1911 - Joseph Caillaux forms government in France

1911 - Samuel J. Battle became the first African-American policeman in New York City.

1914 - Austria invades Siberia (WW I)

1914 - Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Duchess Sophie, in Sarajevo by young Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip at 10.45 , the casus belli of World War I.

1917 - Potato entrepreneurs begins in Amsterdam

1917 - Raggedy Ann doll invented

1918 - 1st flight between Hawaiian Islands

1919 - Carl Mazes pitches a complete doubleheader against NY Yankees

1919 - The Treaty of Versailles was signed ending World War I exactly five years after it began. The treaty also established the League of Nations.

1921 - A coal strike in Great Britain was settled after three months.

1923 - Dodgers lost 7-0 lead, as Phillies score 8 in bottom of 9th

1923 - Queen Wilhelmina & Prince Henry for state visit to London

1924 - Test cricket umpire debut for Frank Chester, v South Africa at Lord's

1924 - Tornado strikes Sandusky Ohio & Lorain Ohio, killing 93

1928 - Alfred E Smith (NY-Gov) nominated for president at Dem Convention

1928 - Friedrich Schmiedl attempted rocket mail in Austria (unsuccessful)

1930 - First night game in Detroit at newly built Hamtramck Stadium as Negro League Detroit Stars take on KC Monarchs

1930 - More than 1,000 communists were routed during an assault on the British consulate in London.

1934 - Hitler flies to Essen (Night of Long Knifes)

1935 - Earl Averill's consecutive-game streak ends at 673

1935 - FDR orders a federal gold vault to be built at Fort Knox Kentucky

1936 - The Japanese puppet state of Mengjiang is formed in northern China.

1938 - Bradman scores 102* in drawn 2nd Test cricket at Lord's

1938 - The U.S. Congress created the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to insure construction loans.

1939 - Pan American Airways began the first transatlantic passenger service.

1939 - Joe Louis TKOs Tony Galent in 4 for heavyweight boxing title

1939 - Pan Am opens southern route transatlantic air service (Dixie Clipper)

1939 - Yanks hit 13 HRs, sweep A's 23-2 & 10-0

1940 - The "Quiz Kids" was heard on NBC radio for the first time.

1940 - Romania cedes Bessarabia to Soviet Union

1941 - German & Romanian soldiers kill 11,000 Jews in Kishinev

1941 - German troops occupy Galicia Poland

1942 - Col-gen Von Hoth' 6th Pantser enters Voronezj

1942 - Dumont TV network begins (WABD NY)

1942 - German troops launched an offensive to seize Soviet oil fields in the Caucasus and the city of Stalingrad.

1943 - "The Dreft Star Playhouse" debuted on NBC radio.

1944 - "The Alan Young Show" debuted on NBC radio.

1945 - U.S. General Douglas MacArthur announced the end of Japanese resistance in the Philippines.

1945 - Polish Provisional government of National Unity set up by Soviets

1946 - Enrico de Nicola becomes 1st pres of Italy

1946 - Permanent radio play-by-play of Cleve Indians games begins

1947 - "Temptation (Tim-Tayshun) by Red Ingle with Jo Stafford hits #1

1948 - US/British airlift to West-Berlin begins

1949 - The last U.S. combat troops were called home from Korea, leaving only 500 advisers.

1950 - "Michael Todd's Peep Show" opens at Winter Garden NYC for 278 perfs

1950 - North Korean forces capture Seoul, South Korea in opening phase of the Korean War

1951 - "Amos 'n' Andy" moved from radio to television, premiered on CBS TV

1953 - 8th US Women's Open Golf Championship won by Betsy Rawls

1954 - 111°F (44°C) at Camden, South Carolina (state record)

1954 - French troops began to pull out of Vietnam’s Tonkin Province.

1956 - First atomic reactor built for private research operates Chicago Ill

1956 - Riots break out in Poznan Poland, 38 die

1957 - Reds' fans stuff ballot box, electing 8 Reds as All Star starters

1957 - Frick overrules & names Stan Musial, Willie Mays, & Hank Aaron to team

1958 - Brazil becomes world soccer champ in Sweden

1958 - Nancy Ramey swims world record 100m (1:09.6)

1959 - Phils Wally Post is only outfielder to throw out 2 runners in an inning twice (Losing to Giants 6-0)

1960 - In Cuba, Fidel Castro confiscated American-owned oil refineries without compensation.

1960 - 10.40" (26.42 cm) of rainfall, Dunmor, Kentucky (state 24-hour record)

1961 - Phils & SF set then record longest night game (5h11m) 7-7 15 inn tie

1962 - Thalidomide drug banned in Netherlands

1963 - Belaunde Terry inaugurated as pres of Peru

1963 - Khrushchev visits East-Berlin

1964 - Malcolm X founded the Organization for Afro American Unity to seek independence for blacks in the Western Hemisphere.

1965 - The first commercial satellite began communications service. It was Early Bird (Intelsat II).

1965 - First US ground combat forces in Vietnam authorized by Pres Johnson

1965 - Princess Beatrice & Claus von Amsberg announce engagement

1966 - Ernie Terrel beats Doug Jones in 15 wba for heavyweight boxing title

1967 - George Harrison is fined £6 for speeding

1967 - Israel annexes East Jerusalem  Israel formally declared Jerusalem reunified under its sovereignty following its capture of the Arab sector in the June 1967 war.

1968 - Daniel Ellsberg indicted for leaking Pentagon Papers

1969 - John Hampshire scores 107 on Test cricket debut v WI at Lord's

1969 - Stonewall riots begin in New York City.

1970 - Mary Mills wins LPGA Len Immke Buick Golf Open

1971 - Fillmore East closes

1971 - Phillies' Rick Wise hits 2 HRs & no-hits Reds

1971 - The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the draft evasion conviction of Muhammad Ali, 8-0.

1972 - U.S. President Nixon announced that no new draftees would be sent to Vietnam.

1973 - Lawsuit in Detroit challenges Little League's "no girls" rule

1973 - Black Sports Hall of Fame forms: Paul Robeson, Elgin Baylor, Jesse Owens, Jim Brown, Wilma Rudolph, Joe Louis & Althea Gibson elected

1974 - Fall of earth & rocks kill 200 (Quebrada Blanca Canyon, Colombia)

1974 - Wings release "Band on the Run" & "Zoo Gang" in UK

1975 - David Bowie releases "Fame"

1975 - Golfer Lee Trevino is struck by lightning at Western Open (Ill)

1976 - First woman was admitted to Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs Colo

1976 - Hijacked French Airbus lands in Entebbe, Uganda

1976 - The first women entered the U.S. Air Force Academy.

1977 - Billy Hunter becomes Rangers' 4th manager in 6 days

1977 - Supreme Court allows Federal control of Nixon tapes papers

1978 - UNICEF chooses rock group Kansas as ambassadors of goodwill

1978 - The U.S. Supreme Court ordered the medical school at the University of California at Davis to admit Allan Bakke. Bakke, a white man, argued he had been a victim of reverse racial discrimination.

1979 - OPEC raises oil prices 24%

1980 - NYC transit fare rises from 50 cents to 60 cents

1981 - "Piaf" closes at Plymouth Theater NYC after 165 performances

1981 - 74 government officials die in attack in Iran

1982 - Prince Charles & Lady Diana name their baby "William"

1983 - Bridge section along I-95 in Greenwich, Ct collapsed kills 3

1983 - NASA launches Galaxy-A

1985 - Discovery ferried back to Kennedy Space Center via Bergstrom AFB, Tx

1986 - Irish population condemns divorce

1986 - Kenneth & Nellie Pike challenge Ala Dem runoff win by AG C Graddick

1987 - "Dreamgirls" opens at Ambassador Theater NYC for 177 performances

1987 - Deb Richard wins LPGA Rochester Golf International

1987 - Don Baylor sets career hit-by-pitch mark at 244 (Pitcher Rick Rhoden)

1988 - Mike Tyson sues to break contract with manager Bill Cayton

1990 - 17th annual Daytime Emmy Awards

1990 - Emmy 17th Daytime Award presentation - Susan Lucci loses for 11th time

1992 - "Chinese Coffee" opens at Circle in Sq Theater NYC for 18 performances

1992 - 2 earthquakes, including 3rd strongest in US (7.4) rock Calif

1992 - Burharnuddin Rabbani becomes president of Afghanistan

1992 - Italian government of Amato forms

1992 - LA Police commisioner Daryl Gates steps down

1992 - US Dream Team beats Cuba in 1st exhibition basketball game, 133-57

1992 - The Constitution of Estonia is signed into law.

1993 - Doctors recommend ligament transplant to Jose Canseco's arm

1993 - Jacques Lemaire is named NJ Devils 8th Head Coach

1993 - NCRV shows last "Cheers" in Neth

1993 - Carlton Fisk, 45, released by White Sox, as all time leader of most games caught & most HRs by a catcher

1994 - NY Met Pitcher Dwight Gooden suspended for 60 days due to drug charges

1995 - NJ Devils Stanley Cup Victory Party, admidst rumours they were moving to Nashville, goalie Chris Terreri holds up "Nashville? NO WAY!" sign  

1996 - "Nutty Professor," starring Eddie Murphy opens in theaters in the USA

1996 - The Constitution of Ukraine is signed into law.

1996 - The Citadel voted to admit women, ending a 153-year-old men-only policy at the South Carolina military school.

1996 - Charles M. Schulz got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1997 - Mike Tyson was disqualified for biting Evander Holyfield's ear after three rounds of their WBA heavyweight title fight in Las Vegas, NV, earning a 16-month suspension. 2000 Elian Gonzalez was returned to his father in Cuba.

1997 - "Master Class," closes at Golden Theater NYC after 601 performances

1997 - "Steel Peer," closes at Richard Rodgers Theater NYC after 76 perfs

1997 - TV evangelist Robert Schuller attacks a flight attendant

1998 - Poland, due to shortage of funds, is allowed to lease, U.S. aircraft to bring military force up to NATO standards.

1998 - The Cincinnati Enquirer apologized to Chiquita banana company and retracted their stories that questioned company's business practices. They also agreed to pay more than $10 million to settle legal claims.

2000 - The U.S. Supreme Court declared that a Nebraska law that outlawed "partial birth abortions" was unconstitutional. About 30 U.S. states had similar laws at the time of the ruling.

2000 - Darva Conger announced that she had done a layout for Playboy magazine. Conger had married Rick Rockwell on Fox-TV's "Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire."

2000 - The European Commission announced that they had blocked the planned merger between the U.S. companies WorldCom Inc. and Sprint due to competition concerns.

2000 - Six-year-old Elián González returned to Cuba from the U.S. with his father on the order of the US Supreme Court. The child had been the center of an international custody dispute.

2001 - Serbia handed over Slobodan Milosevic, who was taken into custody and was handed over to the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands. The indictment charged Milosevic and four other senior officials, with crimes against humanity and violations of the laws and customs of war in Kosovo.

2001 - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit set aside an order that would break up Microsoft for antitrust violations. However, the judges did agree that the company was in violation of antitrust laws.

2004 - Estonia, Lithuania and Slovenia join the European Exchange Rate Mechanism

2004 - The U.S. turned over official sovereignty to Iraq's interim leadership. The event took place two days earlier than previously announced to thwart insurgents' attempts at undermining the transfer.

2004 - The U.S. resumed diplomatic ties with Libya after a 24-year break.

2004 - The 17th NATO Summit starts in Istanbul.

2004 - Sovereign power is handed to the interim government of Iraq by the Coalition Provisional Authority, ending the U.S.-led rule of that nation.

2005 - A final design for Manhattan's Freedom Tower is formally unveiled.

2006 - The Republic of Montenegro was admitted as the 192nd Member of the United Nations by General Assembly resolution 60/264.

2007 - Craig Biggio of the Houston Astros becomes the 27th member of the 3000 hit club, going 5 for 5 against the Colorado Rockies.

2007 - The American bald eagle was removed from the endangered species list.

2012 - A series of car bombs in Iraq kills 14 and injures 50 people

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