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1580 English seaman Francis Drake returns to Plymouth, England, in the Golden Hind, becoming the first British navigator to circumnavigate the earth. On 13 December 1577, Drake set out from England with five ships on a mission to raid Spanish holdings on the Pacific coast of the New World. After crossing the Atlantic, Drake abandoned two of his ships in South America and then sailed into the Straits of Magellan with the remaining three. A series of devastating storms besieged his expedition in the treacherous straits, wrecking one ship and forcing another to return to England. Only the Golden Hind reached the Pacific Ocean, but Drake continued undaunted up the western coast of South America, raiding Spanish settlements and capturing a rich Spanish treasure ship. Drake then continued up the western coast of North America, searching for a possible northeast passage back to the Atlantic. Reaching as far north as present-day Washington before turning back, Drake paused near San Francisco Bay in June 1579 to repair his ship and prepare for a journey across the Pacific. Calling the land "Nova Albion," Drake claimed the territory for Queen Elizabeth I. In July, the expedition set off across the Pacific, visiting several islands before rounding Africa's Cape of Good Hope and returning to the Atlantic Ocean. On 26 September 1580, the Golden Hind returned to Plymouth, England, bearing its rich captured treasure and valuable information about the world's great oceans. In 1581, Queen Elizabeth I knighted Drake during a visit to his ship. The most renowned of the Elizabethan seamen, he later played a crucial role in the defeat of the Spanish Armada.
1687 The Parthenon lay in ruins after a mortar bomb from the besieging Venetian army ignited gunpowder supplies stored on the Acropolis by the defending Turks.
1774 Birth: John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed. He will plant many orchards in the New World, and will supposedly be considered a great medicine man by Native Americans.
1777 US Revolutionary War: Philadelphia is occupied by British troops during the American Revolutionary War.
1789 George Washington finalizes his cabinet: Thomas Jefferson is appointed America's first Secretary of State. John Jay is appointed the first chief justice of the US Samuel Osgood is appointed the first Postmaster-General. Edmund Jennings Randolph is appointed the first Attorney General.
1849 Birth: Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, Russian physiologist who will be famous for his dog experiments.
1872 Colombian Foreign Minister Don Gil Columje proposes a plan to achieve Cuban independence and the abolition of slavery. The plan, which will be carried out under the leadership of the United States, calls for the reimbursement to Spain for the loss of its colony with money raised from the other Latin American Republics. The Latin American governments agree but US President Ulysses S. Grant does not accept the proposal.
1887 The first gramophone, invented by Emile Berliner, a German immigrant living in Washington, DC, is patented.
1888 Birth: T. S. Eliot, American born British poet and playwright, whose works will include The Wasteland.
1889 Birth: Martin Heidegger, German philosopher. "The Germany in which Heidegger lived was a country in a constant state of war and division. Only a few years before his birth, modern Germany was formed out of formerly feuding regions. Germany is a country with few natural borders, leading its leaders to believe that the best way to maintain Germany was a strong military. These military forces often collided. Heidegger came to desire a state ruled by an elite group of soldier-philosophers. He came to distrust the public tastes, modernity, and democratic institutions. The National Socialists matched his vision..."
1892 Book matches are patented by the Diamond Match Company.
1905 Albert Einstein, of Switzerland, publishes a daring new theory; the special theory of relativity. It overturns all accepted ideas about the law of Physics. Instead of mass and time being fixed quantities, Einstein asserts that they can alter; at speeds approaching that of light, mass increases, objects shrinks and time slows down. For example, a clock moving at the speed of light would not only get heavier but run more slowly. Einstein's theory, which redefines our conception of the universe, declaring that all measurements of space and time depend on the motion of the observer. A moving object at close to the speed of light would appear to a stationary observer to be half its actual length, but to the person moving at the same rate, it's length would not change.
1914 WW1: US Secretary of State Bryan protests Britain's Order of Council and the confiscation of cargoes from US ships. (See August 20) Note: The US has begun to profit from the war and is sending cargoes to all belligerents including Germany, which is getting its goods funneled through neutral countries. (Schlesinger I)
1916 WW1: Sep 26-Oct 5 Lance Corporal Adolf Hitler serves as a dispatch runner on the Somme with 3 Company, 16 Reserve Infantry Regiment. (Maser)
1918 WW1: In the final major battle of the war, the Allies plan an offensive from Ypres to Verdun. Some 896,000 American troops join with 135,000 French soldiers in an attack on a sector between the Argonne Forest and the Meuse River. It is the largest battle fought up to this time, casualties will mount to 120,000. (Schlesinger I)
1918 WW1: The Americans sweep through Vauquois and Mont-faucon, but their drive slows down as the Germans rush in fresh reinforcements.
1923 Hitler's political instincts again serve him well as the German Government formally proclaims the end of its miserably failed policy of passive resistance in the Ruhr; a policy Hitler always ridiculed. The Voelkischer Beobachter is banned for the first time and a state of siege is declared in Germany. Gustav Kahr is appointed State Commissioner and given dictatorial powers.
1926 Scientists find the skull of a prehistoric man in Java that is widely believed, at the time, to be the so-called 'missing link.' "In the late 1800s a Dutch anatomist, Eugene Dubois, joined the Dutch army as a means to bring him to Asia to hunt for the "missing link". He received an assignment in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) where he assumed man had evolved and was given support for digging for fossils from two engineers and fifty forced laborers. In 1891 Dubois' laborers found a skull cap along the Solo river near the village Trinil, Java. A year later and approximately 50 ft. away from the skull cap he found a femur. At the time the authorities were of divided opinions; they regarded the find as from a man, ape, or ape-man. Dubois promoted the find as a the missing link and allowed others to examine the fossils until about 1900 when he withdrew the fossils and refused to allow anyone to see them. Prior to this, two human skulls had been found at Wadjak (Wajak) about 65 mi. away from Trinil. Wadjak I was found by a Dutch mining engineer in 1888 while prospecting for marble. Wadjak II was found by Dubois in 1890. These finds were only reported in the quarterly and annual reports to the Dutch East Indies government but not to the scientific community at large (Lubenow 1992,103-104). This throws red flags, for if the human skulls could be associated with the Trinil finds, their credibility would be severely diminished. Dubois did publicly announce skulls in much later in 1920 when another researcher claimed to have discovered the first "pro-Australian." A later expedition to the Trinil site conducted by Frau Selenka in 1907-8 excavated 10,000 cubic meters, down to 40ft. below the surface at the same location as the original Trinil site without finding any more remains of Pithecanthropus. In the same stratum in which P. was found, splinters of bones and tusks, foundations of hearths and pieces of wood charcoal were discovered. About two miles away from the Dubois' original discovery was found the crown of a human molar (Lubenow 1992, 116)."
1934 The British liner, Queen Mary, is launched at John Brown's Yard in Clydebank, Glasgow, Scotland.
1934 Black nationalists in New York City begin boycotting Jewish owned shops and businesses.
1937 Brothers of the Hungarian branch of the Order of the New Templars (ONT) found the small priory of Szent Kereszt below Vaskapu Hill at Pilisszentkereszt in northern Hungary. (Roots)
1938 Sudeten Crisis: Hitler makes an angry speech at the Berlin Sportspalast, attacking Czechoslovakia's alleged mistreatment of its German-speaking citizens. "I have made Mr Benes an offer, which contains nothing but the realization of what he himself assured us would be done. The decision is in his hands! Peace or war! Either he accepts this offer and finally gives the Germans their freedom, or we will come and take this freedom ourselves! The world should take note that in four and a half years of war and in the long years of my political life there is one thing of which no one has ever been able to accuse me: I have never been a coward..."
1938 In London before leaving for America, Max Warburg meets with George Rublee, an American lawyer and head of the Inter-Governmental Committee on Refugees, and Lord Winterton at the British Foreign Office.
1939 Holocaust: German local commanders in the vicinity of the German-Soviet line of demarcation issue a second order for Jews to leave their villages and cross over to the Russian side of the River San. Thousands of Jews are uprooted, robbed, and locked out of their homes and apartments. Hundreds are killed in the process. (Edelheit)
1939 WW2: The Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa - AK) is formed in Warsaw.
1940 President Roosevelt announces that the US is not going to war and disbands the War Resources Board shortly before the election of 1940. He also embargoes US exports of scrap iron and steel.
1940 It is decided, behind closed doors by the powers that be, that the first peacetime draft law in US history will call for the registration of at least 17 million men.
1940 Church and Reich: German Army Bishop Rarkowski issues a pastoral letter to the armed forces saying, "The German people, who for one year now have been fighting against their detractors, have an untroubled conscience and know which nations before God and history are burdened with the responsibility for this gigantic struggle that is raging now. They also know who has wickedly provoked this war. They know that they themselves are fighting a just war, born of the necessity of national self-defense, out of the impossibility of solving peacefully a heavy and burdensome question of justice involving the very existence of the state and of correcting by other means a burning injustice inflicted upon us." Note: The average German soldier had no way of knowing whether Holland and Belgium had actually violated their neutrality, as alleged by the Nazi propagandists, and thus provoked the German attacks in May. Most took the word of their government and their priests. (Lewy)
1940 Church and Reich: Between September 1940 and July 1941, the property of more than 100 monasteries is confiscated by the Germans and the monks and nuns expelled from their houses. (Neuhäusler; Lewy)
1941 Holocaust: The Jews of Swieciany in Lithuania are rounded up, taken to a former army camp in the nearby Polygon woods, and massacred. On the evening before, several hundred young men and women had managed to break through the Lithuanian police cordon and escape eastward to towns not yet reached by the killing squads. (Atlas)
1942 Holocaust: Myron C. Taylor, Roosevelt's personal representative at the Holy See, forwards to Papal Secretary of State Luigi Maglione a memorandum of the Jewish Agency for Palestine that reports mass executions of Jews in Poland and occupied Russia, and told of deportations to death camps from Germany, Belgium, Holland, France, Slovakia, etc. Taylor asks if the Vatican can confirm these reports and if so, "whether the Holy Father has any suggestions as to any practical manner in which the forces of civilized public opinion could be utilized in order to prevent a continuation of these barbarities." (U.S.D.P. 1942; Lewy)
1953 Sugar rationing comes to an end in Britain after nearly 14 years. Note: The graphic above is from the early war years. One can only wonder what list of excuses were posted just before this late date.
1955 President Eisenhower is hit by another sudden heart attack and the NYSE promptly responds, posting its largest drop since the Depression. The Dow also suffers from Ike's illness, dropping 31.89 points in a frenzied day of trading. While Wall Street charges through a selloff, others try to sound a note of calm. The president's team of doctors deem the attack moderate and predict a complete recovery. Meanwhile, the secretary of the Treasury steps in to assure investors that the situation, though "a cause for sadness," doesn't warrant panic. VP Nixon also behaves in an entirely honorable way, taking care of administration business and staying in the background. Fortunately for the nation's economic health, the doctors' prognosis proves correct; Ike quickly recovers and heads back to the White House. The markets follows suit, as the various averages return to their pre-attack levels.
1960 The first televised debate between presidential candidates Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy takes place in Chicago, IL. The debate is disastrous for the incumbent VP. Nixon has just had 8 years experience in the Eisenhower administration, meeting with foreign leaders and carrying out missions of some importance for the President. He has even chaired cabinet meeting while the President was incapacitated, something no other VP had ever done. He even bested Khruschev in an impromptu debate at a US Exhibition in Moscow and is considered by most to have a real edge in experience and knowledge. Those who listen to the debate on the radio claim the victory for Nixon. Unfortunately for the Republicans, most watch the debate on TV and are impressed with Kennedy's style and tanned good looks. Nixon appears pale and weak, mostly due to an illness. He sweats profusely on-camera and makes a bad impression on the voters, giving Kennedy his first boost in the polls. Nixon and Kennedy will debate twice more, and Nixon will pay more attention to his appearance and TV savvy, but the damage done by the first bad impression will linger. While this is not the first time that a candidate has advanced with style over substance, it is the first time that TV is instrumental in creating the effect.
1980 The Cuban government abruptly closes Mariel Harbor to end the 'freedom flotilla' of Cuban refugees that began the previous April. Note: The actual reason for Castro's ending the diaspora is that Cuba's prisons are now virtually empty, which is the real reason behind Castro's perceived liberal act.
1984 China and Britain initial an accord to return Hong Kong to Chinese control when Britain's lease expires in 1997.
1986 William H. Rehnquist becomes chief justice of the US Supreme Court following the retirement of Warren Burger.
1990 The Motion Picture Association of America, under pressure from legitimate filmmakers, adopts the 'NC-17' rating, no children under 17 allowed, to replace the 'X' rating exploited by the porn industry.
1991 Four men and four women enter the huge, airtight greenhouse Biosphere II in Arizona. They remain inside for two years, emerging again on this date in 1993.
1992 Retired Michigan pathologist Dr. Jack Kevorkian, known in the media as 'Dr. Death,' presides over a fifth physician-assisted suicide.
1994 The double murder trial of football legend O. J. Simpson begins in The Peoples Republic of Los Angeles.
1994 Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell abandons his effort to get a healthcare reform bill through the Senate this year.
1995 The warring factions of Bosnia agree on guidelines for elections and a future government.
1996 The shuttle Atlantis lands, bringing astronaut Shannon Lucid back to Earth. Her six-month tour aboard the Mir space station sets a world record for a woman in space, as well as a record stay for any American astronaut.
2000 The US House of Representatives passes the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. The act states that an infant will be considered to have been born alive if he or she is completely extracted or expelled from the mother, breathes and has a beating heart and definite movement of the voluntary muscles.
2000 Slobodan Milosevic concedes that Vojislav Kostunica has won Yugoslavia's presidential election and declares a runoff. The declared runoff prompts mass protests.
2001 In New York City, hundreds of people begin the process of filing for death certificates for family members still missing in the ruins of the World Trade Center. At the time more than 6,300 people are still missing.
2001 In Kabul, Afghanistan, the abandoned US Embassy is stormed by protesters in the largest anti-American protest since the terror attacks on New York City and Washington, DC, on Sep 11.
2001 Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres announce plans to formalize a cease-fire and end a year of fighting in the region.
2001 US and Pakistani officials end two days of talks in Islamabad, with the Pakistani leader saying that the nations agree on military preparations for combating bin Laden's terrorist network in Afghanistan.
2001 United Nations agency says assault on Afghanistan could send up to 1.5 million refugees into Pakistan and other neighboring countries.
2001 UK Home Secretary David Blunkett confirms that any national ID cards introduced in the wake of the US atrocities will be compulsory.
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