This day in history...

Discussion in 'New Roundtable' started by shane0911, Jul 20, 2019.

  1. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    On July 18, 1947, President Harry Truman establishes the current line of presidential succession. The matter of who would replace the president should he die or become incapacitated is mentioned in the original form of the Constitution, but only provides that the vice president is next in line. George Washington's Presidential Succession Act of 1792 placed the President Pro Temp of the Senate and Speaker of the House next in line, a move criticized by both James Madison and Thomas Jefferson as being contrary to the intent of the Constitution. In 1886, Grover Cleveland took a crack at the problem, removing the President Pro Temp and Speaker and placing members of the Presidential Cabinet in line, in the order each Cabinet department was established. Truman's Act put the Speaker and Pro Temp back in the line behind the VP (and in that order, reversing Washington's order). He also kept the Cabinet establishment line, meaning SecState, SecTreas and SecDef are the next 3 in line. (photo: Gerald Ford is inaugurated after Nixon's resignation in 1974, the last time Presidential Succession was exercised)
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    On July 18, 1925, Mein Kampf, Volume One: A Reckoning by Adolph Hitler is published in Germany. Hitler began dictating Mein Kampf ("My Struggle") to fellow Nazi Party member Rudolph Hess while imprisoned for his role in the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch rebellion. Combined with Volume Two: The National Socialist Movement (1927), it is part autobiography, part party manifesto, in which Hitler lays out his beliefs on the need for "living space" for Germany and the need for Aryan racial purity. Sales of Mein Kampf were slow until Hitler took power in 1933; sales then quickly soared over a million. By the time WWII began, the book was so engrained in German society it had become a ritual wedding gift to newly-married couples.
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    On July 18, 1986, the world sees clear video images of the wreck of the RMS Titanic for the first time. The wreck had been discovered a year earlier by a joint American/French expedition led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute engineer Robert Ballard. That expedition returned with murky photos of the wreck taken by a camera sled towed from the surface. In '86, Ballard returned to Titanic with the deep diving submersible Alvin, which also employed a remotely-operated camera vehicle. The Alvin dives produced spectacular video footage of the Titanic's grand staircase (below) and numerous shots of artifacts, including a ship's safe. Ballard had decided early on that no expedition he led would attempt to retrieve souvenirs, electing to treat the wreck as a known burial ground rather than an archaeological site.
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    Last edited: Aug 4, 2023
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  2. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    4th anniversary of the thread! Worth a repeat of @shane0911 original thread topic:

    On July 20, 1969, the national mission proposed by President Kennedy in May 1961 - "I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth” - is seen to fruition: the lunar module (LEM) Eagle, with Apollo 11 mission commander Neil Armstrong and LEM pilot Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin aboard, sets down on the Sea of Tranquility on the moon. A computer navigation error nearly caused Eagle to set down in a rocky crater, and some smooth maneuvering by Armstrong redirected the LEM clear, setting it down with less than 50 seconds of fuel remaining. An hour later, first Armstrong and then Aldrin exited Eagle and spent a little over two hours walking the moon's surface, planting a U.S. flag, collecting rocks, completing a few basic experiments and speaking by radio to President Nixon from the Oval Office.


    Now for something different:

    On July 20, 1951, Abdullah I bin Al-Hussein, King of Jordan for 30 years, was assassinated as he entered a mosque in Jerusalem for daily prayers. Abdullah was shot 3 times in the head and chest. The assassin, a 21-year old Palestinian tailor and "former terrorist" according to British intelligence, was killed by Abdullah's bodyguards on the spot. The King was in Jerusalem to give the eulogy for a friend and also to meet with Israeli leaders. A minor Lebanese diplomat had been assassinated four days earlier, and historians think both assassinations were meant to disrupt possible peace talks between Jordan, Lebanon and Israel.
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    On July 20, 1865, Pierre Lallement arrives in Boston with the plans for a transport he created in his native France 3 years before. Lallement was inspired when he first saw someone riding a "dandy horse", a 2-wheeled contraption the rider propelled by pushing his feet on the ground like a scooter. Lallement came up with a version that used a transmission system of his own design, operated with foot pedals. He found partners for the venture, including Pierre Michaux, and began mass producing the "2-wheeled velocipede." On arriving in America, Lallement built his own version and soon received the first U.S. patent for a "pedal bicycle." But he had less luck finding investors or a manufacturer, and Lallement returned to France in 1868 to find a full-on bicycle craze, spurred by Michaux, in progress. Frustrated, he returned to America a few years later to find the man he sold his patent to, an importer named Albert Pope, successfully building and selling bicycles. Lallement died in obscurity in 1891, it wasn't until author David Herlihy researched the history of the bicycle and published his findings in 1991 that Lallement (below) began to receive credit; the city of New Haven, CT erected a monument to him in 1998 and he was inducted into the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame in 2005.
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    Last edited: Jul 20, 2023
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  3. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    On July 21, 1961, Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom becomes the second American launched into space. In the second manned mission of America's Project Mercury, Grissom's suborbital flight launched from Cape Canaveral, FL and achieved a max altitude of 102 miles before splashing down in the Atlantic 15 and a half minutes later, 262 miles downrange. The mission went flawlessly until splashdown, when the Liberty Bell 7's hatch cover prematurely detached, causing the craft to sink. Grissom was rescued, but for a short time had to fend off accusations that he had detonated the hatch cover's explosive emergency system himself. A few Mercury missions later, Wally Schirra proved Grissom blameless by intentionally blowing the hatch cover; as expected, the kickback of the release lever severely bruised Schirra's hand. Grissom had no such bruise in his post flight exam. The Liberty Bell 7 was discovered in 14,000 feet of water in 1992 (right photo) and recovered in 1999.
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    On July 21, 1944, U.S. Marines storm the Japanese-held island of Guam. The largest of the Mariana Islands, Guam had been ceded from Spain to the U.S. in the terms of the Spanish-American War in 1898. It was invaded and seized by the Japanese on December 8, 1941 at the same time Pearl Harbor was under attack (on the other side of the International Date Line). Strategically, Guam was large enough and close enough to Japan to support B-29 bombers if a base could be established. The Marines secured Guam on August 10; operations to reclaim the Marianas cost Japan most of its naval air power.
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    On July 21, 1959, the NS Savannah, the world's first nuclear powered merchant ship, is launched in Camden, NJ. The ship was conceived four years earlier by the Eisenhower Administration as a demonstration that nuclear power could be employed in peaceful purposes (the Russians launched the icebreaker Lenin as the world's first civilian nuclear ship two years before). Built as a cargo ship with passenger accommodations for 100, the Savannah looked good and handled well, but her limited cargo space meant she would never be a commercial success. Worse still, she generated far more nuclear waste than was originally anticipated, forcing the construction of a lead-lined barge to receive the waste. Passenger service aboard the Savannah was discontinued in 1965 and passenger space converted for cargo. She was taken completely out of service in 1971 and is now on display as a museum ship (and listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks) in Baltimore.
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    Last edited: Jul 21, 2023
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  4. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    On July 22, 1796, a 50-person survey party from the Connecticut Land Company sets foot on the shore of the "Western Reserve" at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. Congress had apportioned the land to Connecticut for expansion, and the survey party quickly staked out lots for a city at their landing site. They named the city in honor of the party's leader, General Moses Cleaveland. By the early 1800's the new city had roughly 150 settlers. Around that time, one of the settlers started a local newspaper, intending to call it the Cleaveland Advertiser. Local lore has it the name was too long for the masthead, so the publisher solved the problem by dropping the first "a" from the city's name, giving the new city its modern name. Cleveland today is the largest city on Lake Erie and second largest city in Ohio.
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    On July 22, 1916, San Francisco's Preparedness Day parade is disrupted by a bomb that killed 10 people and injured 40. City officials wanted to hold the parade to show support for America's anticipated entry into WWI. The shindig was opposed by left-leaning labor unions in the city, and nationally by Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan, who noted the large number of munitions manufacturers around Frisco were sure to benefit if the U.S. entered the war. About an hour after the parade (in which more than 50,000 participated) began a bomb went off on Steuart Street. Two radical labor leaders were tried and convicted for the bombing, but the trial was found to be biased and their sentences commuted. The true bomber was never caught. (Images from a Hearst newspaper newsreel film of the parade)
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    On July 22, 1983, Diana Ross finishes what she started. The former leader of the Motown 60's super group The Supremes was at the height of her solo career popularity when she planned a massive concert in NYC's Central Park. Attendance would be free, and merchandise sales would finance a new playground in the park. An estimated 400,000 people and a world-wide TV audience were viewing on July 21, but Ross' opening number was barely complete when storm clouds began gathering. Twenty-five minutes into the show the skies opened in a full-on deluge. Ross continued to sing, at one point telling the audience,"It took me my whole life to get here, and I'm not leaving." But the weather got worse and twenty minutes later, concert officials pulled the plug, but not before Ross promised the audience she'd return the next night. The city was reluctant to comply, but the weather on the 22nd was good and they relented, allowing Ross to finish the show. However, the damage of that many people over two days caused huge cost overruns and the concert was a financial bust. Ross again saved the day, donating $250,000 to fund the proposed playground.
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    Last edited: Jul 31, 2023
  5. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    On July 23, 1793, former U.S. Senator (from Connecticut) Richard Sherman dies at age 72. Though not a prominent name among the Founding Fathers to most, Sherman had the distinction of being the only person to sign all four of the documents critical to the founding of the U.S.; the Continental Association (a 1774 document calling for trade sanctions by the colonies against the British government), the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution.
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  6. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    On July 24, 1304, King Edward I unleashes the Warwolf. Edward was king of England. His target: Stirling Castle, a strategically positioned stronghold that changed hands several times during the Wars of Scottish Independence. Edward had invested six years into suppressing the Scots since defeating William Wallace, and Stirling was the last stronghold. He attacked in April with no less than 12 siege engines at his command. Four months and no success later, Edward ordered his troops to bring up the Warwolf, a massive trebuchet (photo below shows a scale model of the Warwolf) that historians believe could hurl a 300-pound stone more than 200 meters. On seeing the Warwolf being assembled (it took 30 wagons to transport its components), the defenders of Stirling immediately waived the white flag; Edward initially refused their surrender, but changed his mind once the Warwolf was successfully tested.
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    On July 24, 1487, the citizens of Leeuwarden riot for better beer. In the European Middle Ages, beer wasn't consumed just for enjoyment; the brewing process created a product that was often healthier than the untreated water of the time. The quality of a city's brewery was often the city's identity, which brings us to Leeuwarden, Netherlands. It was (is) capital city of the Friesland province, but had little else going for it. An economic rival city was Haarlem in the North Holland province, which did a lot of things better than Leeuwarden, not the least of which was brewing beer. The dark brew produced by the 100 or so Haarlem breweries was immensely popular, so much so, that the city officials of Leeuwarden in 1487 banned the sale of all beer but its local, weak brews. It was an unpopular decision that came to a head (see what I did there?) on July 24, when a large number of farmers bringing their goods to market demanded that a city tavern sell them Haarlem beer, which it had in stock but wasn't supposed to sell. Police were soon called on to break up the unrest, and an all-out brawl erupted. Within days, protesters numbering in the thousands descended on city hall, and officials reluctantly lifted the ban.
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  7. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    On July 25, 1945, President Harry Truman informs Soviet Premier Josef Stalin that the Americans now have a weapon of "unusual destructive force." Truman, Stalin and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill were in the midst of the Potsdam Conference - whose main objective was to determine post-WWII policy in Europe - when Truman was informed of the first successful test of the atomic bomb. Truman immediately informed Churchill (July 17) but the two agreed not to tell Stalin until he had first committed to enter the Pacific War on the side of the Allies. Stalin didn't let on whether he was impressed by Truman's revelation, and as it turned out, his commitment was unnecessary. A week before the Russians were to enter the Pacific Theatre, the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
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    On July 25, 1609, the English accidentally colonize the island of Bermuda. The unpopulated island located about 640 miles from present-day North Carolina was discovered by the Spanish in 1505, but had not been colonized when the English dispatched a seven-ship fleet to relieve the initial colonists of Jamestown, Virginia. The fleet ran into a storm and the captain of the flagship Sea Venture intentionally ran aground on Bermuda to avoid sinking. By then, the colonists had heard about the harsh conditions at Jamestown and elected to remain on Bermuda. Several attempts to relocate the colonists were unsuccessful, and by 1612 they had established the city of New London, later re-named St. George's Town. Bermuda today is a self-governing protectorate of the United Kingdom, with a population around 65,000.
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  8. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    On July 31, 1975, James R. "Jimmy" Hoffa is reported missing to police, having failed to return to his home in Detroit the previous night. The son of an Indiana coal miner, Hoffa organized his first labor strike in Detroit at age 20. His leadership abilities soon earned him the attention of the newly-forming International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a union of truck drivers and associated blue collar fields. The Teamsters made Hoffa their president in 1957. He was known for his charisma and approachability to any of the union's rank-and-file members, but also for exerting his power in questionable manners, and for his assocations with organized crime. Many theories abound for his disappearance, the most popular being he was the victim of a Mafia hit. His body has never been found.
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    On July 31, 1948, the USS Nevada is sunk by Navy gunners during target practice. The Nevada represented a great leap forward when commissioned in 1916; she was the largest U.S. warship to date, the first U.S. battleship to employ triple main gun turrets, the first oil-powered steam plant, and the first warship in the world to employ "all or nothing" armor - the practice of installing max armor plating over vital areas like magazines and none over non-critical areas. She was in Pearl Harbor on December 7 and was the only ship to get underway during the attack. Struck by 6 Japanese bombs as she attempted to escape the harbor, Nevada's commander ordered the ship grounded rather than risk her sinking and blocking the entrance. Recovered, repaired and modernized in 1942, the Nevada was sent to the Atlantic, where she supported the troops going ashore on Utah Beach with her gunfire on D-Day. She later supported the landings on southern France, and after Germany's surrender, the Iwo Jima and Okinawa invasions in the Pacific. After the war she was designated as a target ship for the Bikini Atoll H-bomb tests. The Nevada survived the tests, but the resulting radiation left her unsalvageable.
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    On July 31, 1988 in Lansing, MI, the last of the original chain of Playboy Clubs in the United States closes. Created as a subsidiary of Playboy Enterprises by the famed magazine's founder, Hugh Hefner, the Playboy Clubs were a chain of members-only night clubs noted for their "Playboy bunny" cocktail waitresses. The first opened in Chicago in 1960, and for a time was the busiest night club in the world, even with its restricted admissions. At its height, about 30 Clubs were open in the U.S., with franchised clubs in Jamaica, London and the Far East making it international in scale. Following the Lansing closure, the brand stayed alive internationally until the last club in Manila closed in 1991. Numerous attempts to revive the brand have been attempted in the following years, most recently in NYC in 2018. None have succeeded.
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  9. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    On August 1, 1914, Germany and Russia declare war against each other, France orders a general mobilization, and the first German army units cross into Luxembourg in preparation for the German invasion of France. Four days earlier, Austria-Hungary had declared war on Serbia, a direct result of a Serbian nationalist's assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. During the next three days, Russia, France, Belgium and Great Britain all lined up against Austria-Hungary and Germany, and the German army invaded Belgium. The “Great War” that ensued was one of unprecedented destruction and loss of life, resulting in the deaths of some 20 million soldiers and civilians.
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    On August 1, 1864, General Ulysses S. Grant appoints General Phillip Sheridan the commander of the Army of the Shenandoah. Essentially a detachment (3 corps) of Grant's Army of the Potomac, the Army of the Shenandoah was activated in response to a strike on the outskirts of Washington by Confederate General Jubal Early's corps of Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Early had run circles around previous Union commanders, but Sheridan took the demoralized Union force and quickly drove Early from the Shenandoah Valley, using a slash-and-burn campaign not unlike Sherman's March to the Sea. Sheridan's destruction of the fertile Shenandoah deprived Robert E. Lee's troops of vital supplies and hastened the end of the war.
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    On August 1, 1988, Rush Limbaugh's nationally-syndicated radio program debuts on 50 AM stations around the country. A college drop-out from Missouri, Limbaugh got his first radio job DJ'ing with a Top 40 station in Pennsylvania. He bounced around the country for about 15 years, working under the on-air name "Bachelor Jeff" Christie before landing at KFBK in Sacramento, CA in 1984 as a morning show host. It was there he began broadcasting under his real name, and incorporating political commentary into his programming. In 1988 he was hired by WABC-AM in NYC as a mid-morning talk host, but with plans to nationally syndicate an afternoon show. He debuted locally on July 4 and went national a month later. At its height, the Rush Limbaugh Show was syndicated by about 650 AM and FM stations as well as Armed Forces Radio (Limbaugh dubbed the syndication the "Excellence in Broadcasting" network). His frequently over-the-top conservative viewpoints made him one of the most beloved, and at the same time, most hated media personalities of his age. Many radio analysts consider Limbaugh to have personally saved AM radio after it faded with the advent of FM. Limbaugh retired from broadcasting in January of 2021, two weeks before his death from complications brought on by lung cancer.
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  10. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    On August 4, 1790, Congress establishes the Revenue-Marine, later renamed the Revenue Cutter Service. Recommended by Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, it will be a force of ten armed "cutters" (medium-sized, fast, shallow draft sailing ships) which are assigned to prevent smuggling and ensure tariffs on imported goods are being paid. For its first 8 years, the Service is America's only maritime military presence, the Navy having disbanded following the Revolutionary War. In 1915, the R.C.S. was merged with the U.S. Life-Saving Service (established in 1848 to patrol dangerous coastal waters and effect rescues at sea when needed) to form the U.S. Coast Guard. (below; the USRC Massachusetts was one of the Service's original ten cutters)
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    On August 4, 1873, the U.S. 7th Cavalry, commanded by Col. George A. Custer, battles the Sioux Indians for the first time. The 7th had been deployed in Montana for two years, protecting a party surveying a route for the northern intercontinental railroad. The Sioux native to the lands kept their distance, leaving Custer and his men free to explore and hunt the native game. It was during one such hunt along the Tongue River that a band of Sioux, including famed chiefs Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, attacked Custer and his men, who quickly recovered from the surprise and fended off the attack, at a cost of one dead on each side. Custer biographers believe the ease with which the cavalrymen repelled the Sioux left Custer complacent about his foes, leading to his massacre at Little Big Horn 3 years later.
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    August 4, 1693 (the precise date is unknown, but history attributes this date) is considered the birthday of sparkling champagne. Still wines had been produced in the Champagne region of France for more than a thousand years. As the region included the city of Reims, traditional site for the coronation of French kings, champagne became the traditional beverage of French royalty. In the late 17th century, French Benedictine monk Dom Pierre Perignon (below) would be credited with numerous refinements to the wine-making process. But it is a myth that Perignon invented "sparkling" wine, the word used to describe wines that bubble. In fact, the bubbling originally occurred naturally (from being bottled before fermentation was complete) and was not desired, as the continuing fermentation could cause the wine bottles to explode. His biggest contribution to champagne (besides using presses to crush grapes rather than stamping on them with bare feet) was to develop the particular blend of grapes that the Moët et Chandon winery favored to create its finest champagne, now called Dom Perignon in the monk's honor.
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