History: December 19

December 19

1036 Birth: Su Tung-po, in China, poet, essayist, painter, calligrapher.

1055 Seldjuken under Toghril Beg occupies Baghdad.

1154 Henry II is crowned as King of England; his great achievement will be to strengthen the administration of the country and to establish the Exchequer. (Bradley)

1564 Battle of Dreux: Catholics defeat Anne de Montmorency & the Huguenots in the first French Religious War.

1732 Benjamin Franklin begins publication of Poor Richard's Almanac, a series of booklets full of aphorisms and homely sayings, under the name Richard Saunders.

1741 Death: Vitus J. Bering, Dutch navigator, explorer.

1753 Birth: John Taylor, in Virginia, philosopher of Jeffersonian Democracy. "Known as John Taylor of Caroline, he was born in Virginia, probably in Caroline co., where he later lived at "Hazlewood." Orphaned at 10, he was adopted by his maternal uncle, Edmund Pendleton, who sent him to the College of William and Mary and under whom he studied law. Taylor fought in the American Revolution, rising to the rank of major, and was a member of the Virginia house of delegates (1779–81, 1783–85, 1796–1800) and of the U.S. Senate (1792–94, 1803, 1822–24). The states' rights doctrine (see Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions) was introduced in the Virginia house by Taylor, who became a leading publicist of Jeffersonian democracy, or "agrarianism." Although a strict constructionist, he defended the constitutionality of the Louisiana Purchase in A Defense of the Measures of the Administration of Thomas Jefferson (1804). In Thomas Jefferson's second term Taylor was a leader of the Quids, who, disliking James Madison, supported James Monroe for President, but he became a peacemaker between the factions. His greatest work, An Inquiry into the Principles and Policy of the Government of the United States (1814), was an attack on the growing power of finance capitalism and its harmful effects on agriculture and democracy. In Construction Construed and Constitutions Vindicated (1820), Tyranny Unmasked (1822), and New Views of the Constitution (1823), he opposed John Marshall and the growing power of the federal government. An agrarian liberal, he was much concerned with the economic and political well-being of the farmer, and his Arator (1813) was one of the first analytical treatises on American agriculture and its problems. He is best known, however, as one of the first formulators of the states' rights doctrine."

1776 US Revolutionary War: The American Crisis by Thomas Paine is published: "THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to tax) but "to bind us in all cases whatsoever," and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God. Whether the independence of the continent was declared too soon, or delayed too long, I will not now enter into as an argument; my own simple opinion is, that had it been eight months earlier, it would have been much better. We did not make a proper use of last winter, neither could we, while we were in a dependent state. However, the fault, if it were one, was all our own; we have none to blame but ourselves. But no great deal is lost yet. All that Howe has been doing for this month past, is rather a ravage than a conquest, which the spirit of the Jerseys, a year ago, would have quickly repulsed, and which time and a little resolution will soon recover.I have as little superstition in me as any man living, but my secret opinion has ever been, and still is, that God Almighty will not give up a people to military destruction, or leave them unsupportedly to perish, who have so earnestly and so repeatedly sought to avoid the calamities of war, by every decent method which wisdom could invent. Neither have I so much of the infidel in me, as to suppose that He has relinquished the government of the world, and given us up to the care of devils; and as I do not, I cannot see on what grounds the king of Britain can look up to heaven for help against us: a common murderer, a highwayman, or a house-breaker, has as good a pretence as he..."

1777 US Revolutionary War: With the onset of the bitter winter cold, the Continental Army under General George Washington, still in the field, enters its winter camp at Valley Forge, 22 miles from British-occupied Philadelphia. Washington choses a site on the west bank of the Schuylkill River that can be effectively defended in the event of a British attack. During 1777, Patriot forces under General Washington had suffered major defeats against the British at the battles of Brandywine and Germantown; Philadelphia, the capital of the United States, fell into British hands. The particularly severe winter of 1777-1778 will prove to be a great trial for the American army, and of the 11,000 soldiers stationed at Valley Forge, hundreds will die from disease. However, the suffering troops are held together by loyalty to the Patriot cause and to General Washington, who stays with his men. As the winter stretches on, Prussian military adviser Frederick von Steuben will keep the soldiers busy with drills and training in modern military strategy. When Washington's army marches out of Valley Forge on 19 June 1778, the men are better disciplined and stronger in spirit than when they had entered. Nine days later, they will win a victory against the British under Lord Cornwallis at the Battle of Monmouth in New Jersey.

1779 Birth: Auguste Gaspard Louis Desnoyers, in Paris, France, engraver.

1783 Birth: Charles-Julien Brianchon, in France, mathematicia; Brianchon's theorem.

1788 Chinese troops occupy the capital Thang Long in Vietnam.

1792 Birth: (Andries) Hendrik Potgieter, in Cape Colony; will settle the Transvaal.

1793 French Revolutionary Wars: French forces under General Dugommier and Napoleon recapture the city of Toulon from the English. (Bradley)

1795 The first state appropriation of money for road building is made in Kentucky.

1809 Birth: Pierre-Joseph van Beneden, in Belgium, paleontologist; will study the life cycle of tapeworms.

1813 Birth: Thomas Andrews, in Belfast, Ireland, chemist, physicist; will discover ozone.

1814 Birth: Edwin McMasters Stanton, in Ohio, US Secretary of War (1861-65).

1821 Birth: Mary Ashton Livermore, American reformer, women's suffrage leader.

1823 Georgia passes the first US state birth registration law.

1828 South Carolina declares the right of states to nullify federal laws.

1835 The HMS Beagle with Charles Darwin aboard, approaches New Zealand.

1842 The United States recognizes the independence of Hawaii.

1848 Death: Emily Bronte, the novelist who wrote Wuthering Heights, at 30.

1849 Birth: Henry Clay Frick, in Pennsylvania; will build the world's largest coke and steel operation.

1851 Death: J. M. William Turner, British painter, at 76.

1852 Birth: A(lbert) A. Michelson, in Strelno, Prussia, US physicist, Nobel 1907.

1854 Allen Wilson of Connecticut patents a sewing machine to sew curving seams.

1861 US Civil War: Seward informs Russell that Slidell and Mason will be released.

1862 US Civil War: A skirmish at Jackson/Salem Church in Tennessee leaves 80 casualties.

1868 Birth: Eleanor Porter, novelist; will write the saccharin classic Pollyanna.

1871 Corrugated paper, or cardboard, is patented by Albert L. Jones of New York City.

1875 Birth: Carter G. Woodson, in New Canton, Virginia, American historian.

1888 Stanley's expedition reaches Fort Bodo, East-Africa.

1891 Birth: Edward Bernard Andre Maria, in Raczynski, Poland, president-in-exile (1979-86).

1893 Birth: Harry Blomberg, Swedish author; Mäster Jacob.

1894 Birth: Yoshida Isoya, in Tokyo, Japan, architect; modern sukiya style.

1895 Birth: Maurice Roelants, Belgian author; Jazz Player.

1897 Birth: Louis Darquier de Pellepoix, in France, anti-Semite, nazi collaborator.

1901 Birth: Oliver (Hazard Perry) La Farge, in New York City, anthropologist, novelist; Laughing Boy.

1903 Birth: Cyril Dean, in Darlington, England, biologist; hereditary mechanisms.

1903 Birth: George Davis Snell, in Bradford, Massachusetts, geneticist; will identify the H-2 gene.

1903 The first major suspension bridge in America, the Williamsburg Bridge between Brooklyn and Manhattan, opens in New York City.

1905 London County Council sets up the first motorized ambulance service for traffic accident victims.

1906 Birth: H. Allen Smith, Illinois, humorist, author; Armchair Detective, Low Man on the Totem Pole, Rhubarb.

1906 Birth: Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev, in Ukraine, first Secretary of the Community Party, President of the USSR (1964-82).

1907 239 workers die in a coal mine gas explosion in Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania.

1910 The first city ordinance requiring separate white and black residential areas is introduced in Baltimore, Maryland.

1910 Rayon is first commercially produced in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania.

1910 Birth: Jose Lezama Lima, in Havana, Cuba, poet, novelist.

1915 Death: Alois Alzheimer, at 51, German neurologist; identified Alzheimer's Disease.

1916 Birth: Adriaan van der Veen, Dutch writer; Sister at Sea.

1916 WW1: From New York, Paul Warburg sends a letter to his brother, Max Warburg, in Germany, telling him that the Allies have nearly exhausted the market for American loans, but that unrestricted U-boat warfare would foster sympathy and expand the market. (The Warburgs)

1917 Russian Revolution: Lazar Kaganovich (above) meets Kliment Voroshilov and Sergo Ordzhonikidze, acquaintances of his two older brothers, Mikhail and Yuri, who are now living in Arzamas. Mikhail is also a close friend of Nikolai Bulganin, whom Lenin considers one of the Bolshevik's leading theorists. (Wolf)

1918 Robert Ripley's newspaper cartoon of unusual, hard-to-believe facts from around the world is first published in the New York Globe. Ripley first planned to call the cartoon 'Chumps and Champs' as it originally involved sport feats, but decided instead on Believe It Or Not! (Bradley)

1919 The American Meteorological Society is founded.

1922 A Mrs Theres Vaughn, age 24, confesses in court to being married 62 times.

1922 Holocaust: Restrictions are imposed on the percentage of Jewish students allowed at Cluj University in Romania. Other universities at Jassy, Bucharest and Czernowitz soon restrict Jewish attendance, and Jewish students are attacked. (Atlas)

1922 Volkishness: Detlef Schmude, one of Jorg Lanz von Liebenfel's most ardent supporters in Germany and the Prior of Hollenberg, begins publishing a second Ostara series. The first issue "Die Ostara und das Reich der Blonden" reiterates the "Ario-Christian" canon with numerous quotes from Lanz: "racial history is the key to the understanding of politics," and "all ugliness and evil stems from interbreeding." (Roots)

1923 Volkishness: Friedrich Franz von Hochberg (Frowin), Presbyter of the ONT priory at Hollenbeck, states that the Order of the New Templars is his sole comfort "in this evil land of pygmies and Tschandale." (Roots)

1923 Birth: Luigi Innocenti, designer.

1925 Birth: Tankred Torst, writer.

1926 Birth: Jeanne Kirkpatrick, US ambassador to the UN.

1929 Birth: Howard Sackler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

1932 The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) begins transmitting overseas.

1932 Death: (George Jackson) G.J. Churchward, Chief Mechanical Engineer GWR 1902-1921, in Britian; knocked down and killed by the Fishguard Express in foggy weather, while crossing the lines between his home and Swindon Works. (Bradley)

1932 Japan unilaterally denounces the naval agreements signed at the disarmament conferences of 1922 and 1930.

1939 Death: Karl Wagenfeld, Low German writer; Lucifer, Death & Devil.

1939 WW2: A Russian air and ground attack against Finnish positions near Summa takes place.

1939 WW2: The German cruise liner Columbus is scuttled by its crew in the Atlantic after being followed by a US cruiser; 577 survivors are picked up.

1940 Birth: Phil Ochs, in El Paso, Texas, antiwar folk singer, songwriter; Joe Hill, War is Over, There But A Fortune.

1941 Death: L.M. Dovator, Russian general, in battle.

1941 WW2: Twelve days after Pearl Harbor, Franklin D. Roosevelt under authority of US Congress, creates the Office of Censorship. The bureau has discretion over communications with foreign countries and to control information pertaining to the war. Participation by domestic publishers is 'voluntary.'

1941 WW2: Hitler dismisses General Walteer von Brauchitsch and assumes supreme command of the German armed forces.

1941 WW2: General Claire L. Chennault and his "Flying Tigers," a group of "volunteer" pilots, set up headquarters 150 miles from Rangoon, Burma. From December 19, 1941, to July 4, 1942, they destroy 297 Japanese planes and kill 500 of the enemy.

1942 Stalingrad: Hoot's troops reach the Myshkova. They are now within sixteen miles of Stalingrad. Since they cannot break through the Soviet lines (they continue trying until the 23rd), von Manstein proposes that Paulus break out and link up with Hoth. Paulus is only prepared to release some tanks unsupported by infantry, since he still has to hold on in Stalingrad. This day the Luftwaffe delivers 250 tons to Paulus, which is a record and never again achieved, daily deliveries being only 90 tons on average. (Messenger)

1944 Birth: Richard Leakey, anthropologist, author.

1945 The Austrian Republic is reestablished.

1946 War breaks out in Indochina as Ho Chi Minh attacks the French.

1950 General Dwight D. Eisenhower is named as NATO commander.

1950 Tibet's Dalai Lama flees a Chinese invasion.

1951 Nazi General Christiansen leaves the Netherlands.

1953 Death: Robert A. Millikan, US physicist; Nobel 1923, at 85.

1957 An agreement is signed to start a regular air service between Moscow and London.

1959 Death: Walter Williams, said to be the last surviving veteran of the Civil War, in Houston, Texas at 117.

1960 A fire aboard the USS Constellation, which is under construction in Brooklyn, kills 50.

1960 A US Mercury-Redstone 1A reaches 210 km in a test flight.

1961 The British government institutes a decimal coin system.

1961 Indonesian President Sukarno proclaims general mobilization.

1962 Transit 5A1, the first operational navigational satellite, is launched.

1963 Zanzibar becomes independent from the UK.

1965 Charles de Gaulle wins 54.5 percent of the vote in the French presidential election, defeating Francois Mitterrand.

1967 Death: Alfred Courtens, Belgian sculptor, at 78.

1968 Death: Norman Thomas, founder of the ACLU.

1972 The splashdown of Apollo XVII ends America's manned moon exploration program.

1974 Nelson A. Rockefeller is sworn-in as the 41st Vice-President.

1976 USSR President Brezhnev receives his 5th Lenin order.

1980 Iran Hostage Affair: Iran attempts to extort $24 billion in US guarantees to free hostages.

1984 The United States formally withdraws from UNESCO in an effort to force reform of the UN cultural organization's budget and alleged Third World bias.

1984 The China People's Republic performs a nuclear test at Lop Nor.

1984 The China People's Republic Premier Zhao Ziyang and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sign the Hong Kong Treaty. The agreement with China schedules the return of Hong Kong to China in 1997.

1986 The USSR frees dissident Andrei Sakharov from internal exile.

1986 Iran-Contra: US Attorney General Edwin Meese claims that President Reagan did NOT know that money Iran paid for US arms was going to Nicaraguan rebels.

1988 NASA unveils plans for a lunar colony and manned missions to Mars.

1988 An unexploded WW2 bomb is found in Frankfurt, Germany. 5,000 are evacuated.

1990 A judge in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, dismisses the case against a man convicted of sex assault against a woman with at least 46 personalities.

1991 Death: Ernest K. Gann, US adventure novelist, at the age of 81.

1996 Death: Yuli Borisovich Khariton, scientist, at 82.

1997 Death: David Norman Schramm, physicist, at 52.

1998 President Clinton becomes only the second US president to be impeached when the House of Representatives approves two articles of impeachment, charging him with perjury and obstruction of justice. The allegations stem from the actions he took to conceal his relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. (Bradley)

1998 House of Representatives Speaker-designate Bob Livingston, R-Louisiana, announces he will not be a candidate and will be leaving Congress. Two days earlier, Livingston had admitted he'd had extramarital affairs 'on occasion.'

2001 Israel agrees to resume talks with Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat.

2001 Dozens of al-Qaeda fighters, who were captured in Pakistan after fleeing Tora Bora, revolt against their Pakistani guards and escape into the hills. At least six al-Qaeda fighters and six Pakistani police are killed.

2001 New York City officials say that the people killed or missing in the World Trade Center attacks has fallen to less than 3,000.

2001 New York's Liberty Island opens for the first time since Sept. 11th. After 99 days the WTC fires are extinguished; the longest burning commercial fire in US history. (December 19th WTC images.)











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