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Archive for the 'thisdayinhistory' Category

18 January
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A. A. Milne

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A. A. Milne

A. A. Milne

A. A. Milne was born 132 years ago today, January 18, 1882.  Alan Alexander was born in Hampstead, London to parents Vince and Sarah.  He is most well known for his children stories of a teddy bear named Winnie-the-Pooh.  One of his teachers growing up was actually H.G. Wells according to the wikipedia entry!  He wrote for the student magazine while enrolled at Trinity College, Cambridge.  He was there studying on a Mathematics scholarship.  After the school magazine he wrote for Punch a British Humor magazine where he would later become a assistant editor.  He joined the military for World War I and served as a officer until a debilitating illness, at which time he was recruited by military intelligence to write propaganda.  He was discahrged from military service on Valentines Day 1919.

He denounced the war in his book Peace with Honour then retracted in War with Honour.  In 1913 he married Dorothy “Daphne” de Selincourt and had his son Christopher Robin in 1920.  In 1952 he had a stroke and then brain surgery which left him an invalid.  He died four years later at the age of 74.  His son Christopher had a short stint in the military during World War II, then married and opened two bookstores.  He lived most off the money from the Pooh books.  In 1974, Milne published the first of three autobiographical books:

  1. The Enchanted Places
  2. The Path Through the Trees
  3. Hollow on the Hill 

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17 January
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The Palomares Incident

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Palomares incident Location

Palomares incident Location

Forty-eight years ago today, January 15, 166, a US air force B-52G bomber and its KC-135 re-fueling tanker collided at 31,000 feet over the Mediterranean Sea near Spain.  The tanker’s fuel ignited and all four of its crew members were lost.  The B52G broke apart and only 4 of the 7 crew members lived.  Three parachuting into the ocean and one onto land.  It also lost 4 hydrogen bombs.

B-52

B-52

The B52G was carrying four Mk28 hydrogen bombs.  Three of which were found within 24 hours of the crash near the small fishing village of Palomares.  Two of the non-nuclear explosives on the bombs went off when they hit the ground.  This caused three quarter square miles of contaminated area by plutonium.  The last bomb was discovered in the ocean after a 2.5 month search.  There were 150 divers pulled in to help search for the missing bomb.  On March 17, 1966, the bomb was located by a small submersible, but the bomb was lost again during the recovery.  It was located again on April 2 at a depth of 2,900 feet.

Francisco Simo Orts saw the bomb go into the ocean at the time of the accident.  In maritime law if you identify the location of a ship that is to be salvaged you get an amount of money, usually 1 or 2 percent of the value of that ships cargo.  In this case te bomb was valued at 2 billion.  Thats 20 million for Simo Orts or as he is now known “Bomb Paco” or “Bomb Frankie”.  The Air Force settled out of court with Simo Orts.

KC-135 Stratotanker

KC-135 Stratotanker

The incident was given the movie treatment in the film The Day the Fish Came Out (1967).  Lots more great links to check out on the wikipedia page.

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16 January
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Bill Crosby’s Son Murdered

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Ennis Cosby

Ennis Cosby via BBC

On the evening of January 16, 1997 Ennis William Cosby was shot while changing his tire on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles, California.  His murder was Mikhail Markhasev an 18-year-old Ukrainian immigrant with a history of violence related to race.  In 1995 he had attacked two African American men at knife point.  He said he demanded Cosby’s money and when Ennis didn’t respond quickly enough he shot him in the head.  Markhasev’s knit cap was found five miles from the murder seen.  In it was wrapped the gun he used.  DNA from the cap matched Markhasev’s and the bullet used to kill Cosby was matched to the gun.  In 1998 he was sentenced to life in prison without parole, plus 10 years.  Not sure how life plus 10 works?  The Cosby family asked the prosecutors not to seek the death penalty.  In 2001 Markhasev confessed via a handwritten letter to the Deputy Attorney General.

The Cosby Family established the Hello Friend/Ennis William Cosby Foundation In Ennis’ memory. The foundation stopped its work in 2008. In 2000, Bill Cosby started a scholarship in Ennis Cosby’s name at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

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15 January
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First Super Bowl

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Official NFL Patch - Super Bowl I

Official NFL Patch – Super Bowl I from censorship america

Sometimes referred to as the “Supergame” or First AFL-NFL World Championship Game Super Bowl I was the very first championship game of the American Football League (AFL) and the National Football League (NFL).  Played on January 15, 1967 between the Kansas City Chiefs (AFL) and the Green Bay Packers (NFL) at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.

Led by MVP quarterback Bart Starr the Green Bay Packers scored three touchdowns in the last half of the game to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10.  Each member of the Packers was awarded $15,000, the largest single-game share in the history of team sports.  The term “super bowl” was officially introduced in 1969 along with the roman numerals.  The term was chosen because postseason college games were known as “bowl” games.

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14 January
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Proclamation No. 2537

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The First Steps Toward Japanese-American Internment

Internment Letter

Internment Letter flickr user dbking

On this day in 1942 President Roosevelt issued Proclamation No. 2537 which required that Americans from Germany, Italy or Japan must register with the Department of Defense.  Additional proclamations were to follow.  They expanded the original requirements to include all persons of Japanese ancestry, even American-born citizens.  They also froze their assets and set up “exclusion zones” that those registered could not enter.  All this despite the fact that a 1941 federal report requested by Roosevelt indicated that more than 90 percent of Japanese Americans were considered loyal citizens.  Proclamation No. 2537 permitted the arrest, detention and internment of enemy aliens who violated restricted areas, such as ports, water treatment plants or even areas prone to brush fires, for the duration of the war.

Just one month later a Roosevelt reluctantly signed Executive Order 9066, which sent many Japanese-American families into internment camps.  On December 29, 1945 Proclamation 2537 was revoked, by Harry Truman, with Proclamation 2678.

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12 January
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Malcolm X’s Daughter Arrested

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Malcolm Shabazz kisses his beloved mother, Qubilah Shabazz

Malcolm Shabazz kisses his beloved mother, Qubilah Shabazz from SF Bay View

On this day in 1995 Qubilah Shabazz, the daughter of Malcolm X was arrested and charged with plotting to kill Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, which was the sworn adversary of her father before his assassination.  Her mother Betty had long believed that Farrakhan was responsible for Malcolm X’s death.  In a 1994 interview when she was asked if Farrakhan had anything to do with the assassination she said:

Of course, yes. Nobody kept it a secret. It was a badge of honor. Everybody talked about it, yes.

Can’t be much clearer than that.  The wikipedia entry for Shabazz says that she began to obsess about Farrakhan.  She believed without a doubt that Farrakhan was responsible for her father’s death and would now come after her mother.  In May of 1994 she contacted an old high school friend Michael Fitzpatrick, who she believed was “capable” of killing Farrakhan.  She apparently misjudge Fitzpatrick, because he became an FBI informant.  She believed he was romantically interested in her and even told the neighbors he had proposed.  She moved to Minneapolis where Fitzpatrick lived and gave him $250.  But became leery of him and asked him if he was an government informant which he of course denied.

After her indictment, Farrakhan surprised Betty by taking Shabazz’s side saying he didn’t think she was guilty and hoped she would not be convicted.  In May of 1995 she accepted a plea agreement that said she would undergo psychological counseling and treatment for drug and alcohol abuse for a two year period.  By doing this she would not have to go to prison.  She continued to do what she had to to stay out of Jail.  Her mother even shook hands with Farrakhan on stage later in May.  It was a public event at the Apollo Theatre intended to raise money for Shabazz’s legal defense.  They raised $250,000 that evening.

Shabazz moved to Texas to undergo treatment and worked at a family friends radio station.  She got married in December 1996, but was divorced by the next month.  Her son, Malcolm, was living with her mother Betty in New York.  On June 1, 1997 Malcolm set fire to his grandmother’s apartment.  Injuries she sustained from the fire eventually killed her 3 weeks later.  Malcolm pleaded guilty and received a sentence of 18 months in juvenile detention.  Malcolm Shabazz died on May 9, 2013, when he was murdered over a bar tab of $1,200 by David Hernandez Cruz and Manuel Alejandro Perez de Jesus, who worked at the bar.

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11 January
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Grand Canyon Becomes a National Monument

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Theodore Roosevelt declared the massive Canyon in northwestern Arizona a national monument on this day 105 years ago. The Spanish explorer Coronado was the first European to set eyes on this modern day national park back in 1540. If you have ever been there you know that the canyon is really in the middle of nowhere, which is why it took American settlers until 1869 to discover it. John Wesley Powell, a geologist lead a group there.

Roosevelt made environmental conservation a major part of his presidency. Although only Congress can create national parks, Roosevelt created a new presidential practice of making places national monuments. He stated,

“Let this great wonder of nature remain as it now is. You cannot improve on it. But what you can do is keep it for your children, your children’s children, and all who come after you, as the one great sight which every American should see.”

It was not a national park until 1919 when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Grand Canyon National Park Act.

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10 January
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Dashiell Hammett Dies

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Dashiell Hammett

Dashiell Hammett

Dashiell Hammett was the author of The Maltese Falcon a 1930 detective novel dreamed up with ideas from his time working at Pinkerton’s detective agency, where he was employed for 8 years.  He was born in 1894 and died at the age of 67 from lung cancer, which he was diagnosed with just two months before his death.

Hammett is known for inventing the “hard-boiled” detective writing style that became very popular in detective novels.  In 1998 the novel was ranked 56 in Modern Libraries 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.  That’s out of all novels not just detective ones, very impressive!

The book was made into a film three times, in 1931, 1936 under the title Satan Met a Lady with Bette Davis and in 1941 starring Humphrey Bogart.  The last being the most well known and one of my personal favorite movies.  It was also nominated for three Academy Awards.  It is named as one of the greatest films of all time by Roger Ebert and Entertainment Weekly.  The movie premiered on October 3, 1941 in New York City and was selected for inclusion by the Library of National Film Registry in 1989, which was the very first year the registry took nominations.  The registry takes 25 films each year that are culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant films.  The films must be at least 10 years old.

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09 January
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iPhone Debuts

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It is hard to believe that it was only 6 years ago that the world was introduced to the iPhone. That iconic device that has changed the world so much in such a short amount of time. When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in San Francisco at the MacWorld convention he describe it as an “evolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone.” And for the most part, I think he was correct.

That first year 1.4 million iPhones were sold, since then they have sold over 421 million iPhones. The device has caused legendary lines outside of apple stores all over the world. In November 2007 Time magazine named the tiny device the invention of the year. Each new phone launch from competitors is not held up against this device as the gold standard in high-tech smart phones.

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08 January
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Crazy Horse’s Last Stand

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I’m partial to this topic as I once did a school report on Crazy Horse. 136 years ago today Crazy Horse and his warriors fought the U.S. Cavalry in Montana. After Custer’s last stand 6 month’s previous to this battle General Nelson Miles was sent to offer the remaining Indians a chance to surrender. Some accepted others like Sitting Bull and Crazy horse refused. Crazy Horses band of warriors were low on ammunition, outnumbered, and those not ill were nearly starving.

In January 8, 1877 General Miles found Crazy Horse’s camp. Crazy Horse has parked his group at along the Tongue river in Montana. General Miles ordered the large gun mounted wagons to open fire. This forced the Indians from their tents into a raging blizzard. Crazy Horse and his warriors managed to hold off the Calvary until the women and children could run for it. He and his warriors followed on their heels.

Even though Crazy Horse escaped this encounter he realized that he would not make it through another. He and his group surrendered at the Red Cloud reservation near Nebraska’s Fort Robinson on May 6, 1877. Five months later Crazy Horse was stabbed to death by a guard.

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