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Longshanks: Edward 1
1307 Edward I, having conquered the Welsh, dies on his way to Scotland to fight Robert the Bruce.
1586 Birth: Thomas Hooker, colonial American pastor and an originator of the earliest system of federal government in America.
1647 Death: Thomas Hooker, clergyman, often called the Father of American Democracy.
1713 German composer George Handel's Utrecht Te Deum is first performed at St. Paul's Cathedral in London. Handel's Te Deum, his first important English-language Church musical composition, is christened in honour of the Peace of Utrecht, which ended the War of the Spanish Succession between several European powers.
1742 A Spanish force invading Georgia runs headlong into the colony's British defenders. The battle decides the fate of a colony.
1754 Kings College opens in New York City. The institution of higher learning admits eight students and one faculty member, Dr. Samuel Johnson, who also serves as school president. These are humble beginnings for a school which would become one of the largest in the United States. Kings was renamed Columbia College in 1784 and, later, became Columbia University. Many prestigious awards come from this university today, including the Columbia Award for Journalism and the Pulitzer Prize for Journalism (named after Joseph Pulitzer, a former Columbia professor).
1795 French Revolution: Thomas Paine, a fellow who always seemed to be in the thick of things, defends the principal of universal suffrage at the Constitutional Convention in Paris. Note: This is an exceptional link to a BIO and the full text of Paines four major works. A preeminent freethinker, Paine is worth any time you'd care to devote to him. The freethinker Thomas Jefferson was of the same opinion.
1807 Czar Alexander meets with Napolean Bonaparte.
1815 After defeating Napolean at Waterloo, the victorious Allies marched into Paris.
1838 The Central American federation is dissolved.
1846 Manifesting Destiny: Navy Comdr. John D. Sloat, stationed in Mazatlan, Mexico, at the outbreak of the war, sails to Monterey, Calif. and takes possession of the city and its harbor. The U.S. annexation of all of California is proclaimed after the surrender of the Mexican garrison.
1860 Birth: Gustav Mahler, composer and conductor. Born in Kalischat, Bohemia, Austria. Died in 1911. Note: Adolf Hitler enjoyed many of Mahler's Wagner productions as a young man in Vienna. At one time, he had in his possession a letter of introduction to Mahlers brilliant set designer, with the thought of working as a painter. According to his own testimony, every time he made the trip to introduce himself and ask for a job he ended up with cold feet, claiming to be intimidated by Rollers genius. He never did come around with the letter.
1862 The first railroad post office is tested on the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad in Missouri.
1863 US Civil War: The first military draft by the US. (exemptions cost $100).
1863 US Civil War: Confederate General Robert E. Lee, in Hagerstown, Maryland, reports his defeat at Gettysburg to President Jefferson Davis.
1865 Mary E. Surratt becomes the first woman to be executed by the US government after being found guilty of conspiring with John Wilkes Booth to assassinate Abraham Lincoln. Her conviction is a subject of controversy as the only crime she appeared to have committed was to own the boarding house where Booth planned Lincoln's assassination. Three others are hanged along with her. (see April 26)
1876 The most notorious train robber of the American West, Jesse James, holds up the Missouri-Pacific train and robbs about $15,000. Accompanied by his gang, Jesse James will come to typify the hazards of the 19th-century frontier as it has been portrayed in motion-picture Westerns.
1885 G. Moore Peters of Xenia, Ohio patents the cartridge-loading machine.
1890 The first electric chair execution takes place in New York.
1905 The International Workers of the World found their labour organization in Chicago.
1907 Birth: Robert A. Heinlein, futurist, mathematician, former US Naval officer, and the author of countless works of brilliant speculative fiction. (Time Enough For Love, The Number Of The Beast, Stranger In A Strange Land, etc.) Note: Heinlein wrote about eugenics, among other things, causing many to complain that he had 'fascist tendencies.' These undiscerning folks need to get an education and a life. Also, Hollywood has, to date, been entirely unsuccessful at bringing Heinleins visions to the screen with any sensitivity whatsoever. 'Starship Troopers' was a travesty. If Bob'd ben alive to see it, he'd have punched those responsible right in the mouth. You'd never tell it by watching the film, but the book has great intellectual depth. Forget the movies.
1908 The Great White Fleet leaves San Francisco Bay.
1917 Birth: Lawrence F O'Brien. He is best known as the occupier of the office at the Watergate complex burglerized by Nixons 'Plumbers.'
1898 Manifesting Destiny: The United States annexes Hawaii.
1917 It Was Nice While It Lasted: Aleksandr Kerensky forms a provisional democratic government in Russia.
1920 A device known as the radio compass is used for the first time on a U.S. Navy airplane near Norfolk, VA.
1930 Construction begins on Boulder Dam, later Hoover Dam, on the Colorado River. Note: FDR loved the dam, but he hated the eventual name.
1933 Holocaust: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, already recognized worldwide as a antisemitic forgery, becomes an official textbook in the Berlin school system. A prime example of 'garbage in, garbage out.'
1933 Holocaust: SA men force Jewish owned stores in Dortmund to close.
1933 Holocaust: The Gestapo raids the Berlin offices of the Relief Organization of German Jews.
1933 Holocaust: A number of universities throughout Germany announce that Jewish students who have already matriculated will not receive their degrees. (Edelheit)
1934 Holocaust: Theodor Eicke takes command of all Death's Head formations of the SS and becomes director of the Central Camps Authority. (See July 2)
1935 In Belgium, the Catholic daily newspaper, La Libre Belge, states that Catholics in Germany are treated worse than Jews.
1937 The Second Sino-Japanese War: After long-time plans to conquer China, Japan starts what some (though not yours truly) consider to be the first battle of World War II. The Japanese army is training near Lugouqiao (Marco Polo Bridge), a bridge across the Yongding River about ten miles west of Beijing, China, when a soldier turns up missing. The Japanese accuse the Chinese army across the river of abducting the soldier. The soldier soon turns up, but the Japanese commander has already ordered an attack. Fighting erupts and within weeks, the Japanese controll the east-west region from Beijing to Tianjin. President Chiang Kai-shek decides not to appease Japan any further (he had earlier given up Manchuria to Japan to avoid a war). He will now fight the Japanese. From Beijing, the Japanese sweep towards Nanjing, where Chiangâ€™s Nationalist government, the Guomindang is based. The Chinese battled heroically at Shanghai (a quarter-million soldiers are lost) before they fall to their invaders in October. Despite international protests, the ineffective League of Nations refuses to mediate the undeclared war. After taking Nanjing in December (which forces Chiang to move his government to the remote Sichuan city of Chongqing), the Japanese carry out one of the most horrific terrorist campaigns in modern warfare. For two months, the soldiers rape an estimated 7000 women, kill hundreds of thousands of troops and unarmed civilians, and burn a third of Nanjings houses. This incident is known as the Rape of Nanjing (or Nanking). In 1946, one Japanese general is executed for the Nanjing atrocities.
1937 July 7-8 Following the setting up of a commission to investigate the mandate in Palestine, the Peel Report is published in Britain. It recommends that there should be separate Arab and Jewish states.
1939 Holocaust: An editorial in the Volkischer Beobachter states that the Jewish problem in Germany will be solved only when Germany is cleansed of Jews.
1939 The ban against Action Francaise is lifted just four months after the election of Pope Pius XII, who is even more convinced of the usefulness of anti-Communist right-wing movements than his predecessor. (Lewy)
1940 Horia Sima resigns for the Romanian Cabinet after realizing, he says, just how cowardly King Carol is in dealing with the Soviets. (Sturdza)
1941 Holocaust: Einsatzkommandos begin the systematic slaughter of Lithuanian Jews. One of the tasks of these killing squads is the recruitment of local antisemites, whether Lithuanians, Ukrainians, or Latvians, who could help them to round up, terrorize and destroy each Jewish community, however small. (Atlas)
1941 President Franklin 'It's OK If I Do It' Roosevelt announces that US forces have landed in Iceland, a neutral country, to prevent a Nazi invasion. Note: They've never left.
1942 WW2: The Polish National Council in England demands raids against the Germans by the Allies, and if they refuse, to withdraw the Polish Air Force from the RAF and order it to attack. The USA and Britian decline.
1943 Terror Weapons: Adolf Hitler makes the V-2 missile program a top priority in armament planning. This is a desperation tactic that takes needed men and material away from truly fruitful projects, such as long range bombers, fighters, ammunition and armor.
1945 Nuremberg War Crimes Trials: Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson visits Nuremberg, a city 91% destroyed by Allied bombs. He inspects the Palace of 'Justice' and decides to recommend it as a site for the upcoming trials. The Soviets prefer that the trials take place in Berlin, within their own zone of occupation. (Maser II)
1948 Six female reservists become the first women sworn into the regular US Navy.
1952 The beautiful ocean liner SS-United States, on her maiden voyage, makes the fastest-ever crossing of the Atlantic: 108 hours. Today she sits rotting on the Delaware River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1956 Death: Gottfried Benn, Germany's foremost expressionist poet and an early, if temporary, supporter of National Socialism. Taking up where Goethe, Nietzsce, and Spengler left off, Benn despised the mechanized world and railed against rationalism and the political doctrines derived from it. By 1937, however, he had become disillusioned with Nazism and was driven out of the Reich Writers Association. Serving in the German army as a medical officer from 1939 to 1945, his post-war writings revealed the extent of his disillusionment with Nazism and his own vitalists irrationalism; the philosophy that initialy was the motivation behind his regretable flirtation with the Nazis.
1958 Sewards Icebox: President Dwight 'Ike' Eisenhower signs the Alaska statehood bill.
1960 Researchers at Hughes Aircraft announce the development of the first laser.
1960 Cold War: The USSR shoots down a US aircraft over the Barents sea.
1966 The Nam: The US Marine Corps launches Operation Hasting to drive the North Vietnamese Army back across the Demilitarised Zone in Vietnam.
1967 Fire The Promoter: The Monkees open a national tour with The Jimi Hendrix Experience as the opening act. Imagine the horror of the parents bringing their teenyboppers to see 'The Safe, American Beatles' being confronted with The Experience! The band eventually gets out of the gig when they spread the false rumor that the Daughters of the American Revolution are protesting.
1969 So Who Won The War Anyway: Canada's House of Commons gives final approval to a measure that makes the French language equal to English throughout the national government.
1969 The Nam: The first US units to withdraw from South Vietnam leave Saigon.
1973 Watergate: Richard 'Your President's Not A Crook' Nixon states he will not appear before the Senate Watergate Investigating Committee or give it access to White House files.
1981 U.S. President Ronald 'Some Of My Best Friends Are Women' Reagan announces he is nominating Arizona Judge Sandra Day O'Connor to become the first female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
1982 After breaking into Buckingham Palace, intruder Michael Fagan asks the Queen for a cigarette while sitting on the end of her bed.
1983 Cold War: Eleven-year-old Samantha Smith of Manchester, Maine, leaves for a visit to the Soviet Union at the personal invitation of Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov. (See August 25)
1987 Iran-Contra: Lieutenant Colonel Oliver 'Wrapped In The Flag' North begins six days of public testimony.
2000 Star Wars: The second test of an anti-missile system fails again when the missile misses its target by 100 yards.
2002 Post 911: A public ceremony for slain VP Haji Abdul Qadir is held in Kabul. (See July 6)
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