Button Gwinnett Dies in Duel May 16 2013
On this day in 1777, British-born Georgia Patriot and signer of the Declaration of Independence Button Gwinnett receives a bullet wound in a duel with his political rival, Georgia city Whig Lachlan McIntosh. Three days later, Gwinnett died as a result of the gangrenous wound. McIntosh was also shot in the duel, but the wound was not fatal.
Button Gwinnett was born in Down Hatherly, Gloucestershire, England, and was baptized in Gloucester in 1735. He was married and began a career in trading while still in Britain. In the 1760s, Gwinnett moved first to Charleston, South Carolina, then to Savannah, Georgia, where he had established himself as a trader by 1765. Entering politics in 1769, he was elected to the Commons House of Assembly. Taking up residence on St. Catherine's Island, Georgia, in 1770, Gwinnett left commerce for farming. His politics were deeply influenced by his contempt for the wealthy and powerful city Whigs of Savannah. Gwinnett's political base of country Whigs consisted of less prosperous coastal dwellers like himself and backcountry farmers. When first made commander of Georgia's Patriot forces, Gwinnett was forced to resign by the outcry of city Whigs. He went on to win election to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia and became a signatory of the Declaration of Independence.
Gwinnett returned to Georgia immediately after signing the declaration to find city Whig Lachlan McIntosh commanding Georgia's nascent military efforts. Determined to take control of Georgia politics, Gwinnett became speaker of the legislature, guided the Georgia Constitution of 1777 into existence and took over as governor when Archibald Bulloch died suddenly in office.
Gwinnett then wanted to lead an expedition to secure Georgia's border with Florida. A dispute between McIntosh and Gwinnett over who would command the effort ultimately led to their duel and Gwinnett's death.
One year after the United States doubled its territory with the Louisiana Purchase, the Lewis and Clark expedition leaves St. Louis, Missouri, on a mission to explore the Northwest from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.
Even before the U.S. government concluded purchase negotiations with France, President Thomas Jefferson commissioned his private secretary Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, an army captain, to lead an expedition into what is now the U.S. Northwest. On May 14, the "Corps of Discovery"--featuring approximately 45 men (although only an approximate 33 men would make the full journey)--left St. Louis for the American interior.
The expedition traveled up the Missouri River in a 55-foot long keelboat and two smaller boats. In November, Toussaint Charbonneau, a French-Canadian fur trader accompanied by his young Native American wife Sacagawea, joined the expedition as an interpreter. The group wintered in present-day North Dakota before crossing into present-day Montana, where they first saw the Rocky Mountains. On the other side of the Continental Divide, they were met by Sacagawea's tribe, the Shoshone Indians, who sold them horses for their journey down through the Bitterroot Mountains. After passing through the dangerous rapids of the Clearwater and Snake rivers in canoes, the explorers reached the calm of the Columbia River, which led them to the sea. On November 8, 1805, the expedition arrived at the Pacific Ocean, the first European explorers to do so by an overland route from the east. After pausing there for the winter, the explorers began their long journey back to St. Louis.
On September 23, 1806, after almost two and a half years, the expedition returned to the city, bringing back a wealth of information about the largely unexplored region, as well as valuable U.S. claims to Oregon Territory.
Clark Gable May 09 2013
Clark Gable, Captain, US Army Air Corps. Although beyond draft age, he enlisted & attended Officers' Candidate School, graduating as a 2nd lieutenant. He then attended aerial gunnery school & in Feb. 1943, went to England to make a recruiting film. He was assigned to the 351st Bomb Group & flew 5 combat missions. Hilter favored Gable above all other actors & offered a sizable reward to anyone who could capture & bring Gable to him unscathed.
VE Day May 07 2013
On this day in 1945, the German High Command, in the person of General Alfred Jodl, signs the unconditional surrender of all German forces, East and West, at Reims, in northwestern France.
At first, General Jodl hoped to limit the terms of German surrender to only those forces still fighting the Western Allies. But General Dwight Eisenhower demanded complete surrender of all German forces, those fighting in the East as well as in the West. If this demand was not met, Eisenhower was prepared to seal off the Western front, preventing Germans from fleeing to the West in order to surrender, thereby leaving them in the hands of the enveloping Soviet forces. Jodl radioed Grand Admiral Karl Donitz, Hitler's successor, with the terms. Donitz ordered him to sign. So with Russian General Ivan Susloparov and French General Francois Sevez signing as witnesses, and General Walter Bedell Smith, Ike's chief of staff, signing for the Allied Expeditionary Force, Germany was-at least on paper-defeated. Fighting would still go on in the East for almost another day. But the war in the West was over.
Since General Susloparov did not have explicit permission from Soviet Premier Stalin to sign the surrender papers, even as a witness, he was quickly hustled back East-into the hands of the Soviet secret police, never to be heard from again. Alfred Jodl, who was wounded in the assassination attempt on Hitler on July 20, 1944, would be found guilty of war crimes (which included the shooting of hostages) at Nuremberg and hanged on October 16, 1946-then granted a pardon, posthumously, in 1953, after a German appeals court found Jodl not guilty of breaking international law.
Greene Takes Long Island April 29 2013
On this day in 1776, shortly after the American victory at Boston, Massachusetts, General George Washington orders Brigadier General Nathanael Greene to take command of Long Island and set up defensive positions against a possible British attack on New York City.
Greene's troops were arranged to defend themselves against a frontal attack in Brooklyn Heights across from Manhattan. On August 26, 1776, the British took the vast majority of Long Island with ease, as the island's population was heavily Loyalist. On August 27, the troops at Brooklyn Heights disintegrated under an unexpected attack from their left flank. In a British effort to earn goodwill for a negotiated peace, they allowed American survivors to flee to Manhattan. Otherwise, the War for Independence might easily have been quashed less than three months after it began.
Born in Rhode Island in August 1742, Greene was elected to the Rhode Island legislature at the age of 28 in 1770. Overcoming his Quaker scruples against violence and warfare, Greene joined a local militia at the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1774 and was promoted to the rank of brigadier general of the Continental Army by Congress in 1775.
At the siege of Boston in March 1776, Greene was assigned to General Washington's brigade and a lifelong friendship between the two men began. Shortly after several American losses in and around New York in the summer and fall of 1776, Greene was promoted to major general of the Continental Army under Washington.
After leading troops into several successful battles, including the Battle of Trenton in December 1776 and the Battle of Germantown in October 1777, Greene succeeded Thomas Mifflin as quartermaster general in March 1778. Greene was named commander in chief of the Southern Army in October 1778; he commanded troops on the battlefield throughout the rest of the revolution. After twice turning down offers to become secretary of war, Greene retired from the military in 1785. Less than one year later, in June 1786, Greene died at his Georgia home.
Quote of the Day April 11 2013
JPJ Begins Pirate Raids April 10 2013
On April 10, 1778, Commander John Paul Jones and his crew of 140 men aboard the USS Ranger set sail from the naval port at Brest, France, and head toward the Irish Sea to begin raids on British warships. This was the first mission of its kind during the Revolutionary War.
Commander Jones, remembered as one of the most daring and successful naval commanders of the American Revolution, was born in Scotland, on July 6, 1747. He became an apprentice to a merchant at 13 and soon went to sea, traveling first to the West Indies and then to North America as a young man. In Virginia at the onset of the American Revolution, Jones sided with the Patriots and received a commission as a first lieutenant in the Continental Navy on December 7, 1775.
After departing from Brest, Jones successfully executed raids on two forts in England s Whitehaven Harbor, despite a disgruntled crew more interested in "gain than honor." Jones then continued to his home territory of Kirkcudbright Bay, Scotland, where he intended to abduct the earl of Selkirk and then exchange him for American sailors held captive by Britain. Although he did not find the earl at home, Jones crew was able to steal all his silver, including his wife s teapot, still containing her breakfast tea. From Scotland, Jones sailed across the Irish Sea to Carrickfergus, where the Ranger captured the HMS Drake after delivering fatal wounds to the British ship s captain and lieutenant.
In September 1779, Jones fought one of the fiercest battles in naval history when he led the USS Bonhomme Richard frigate, named for Benjamin Franklin, in an engagement with the 50-gun British warship HMS Serapis. After the Bonhomme Richard was struck, it began taking on water and caught fire. When the British captain of the Serapis ordered Jones to surrender, he famously replied, "I have not yet begun to fight!" A few hours later, the captain and crew of the Serapis admitted defeat and Jones took command of the British ship.
One of the greatest naval commanders in history, Jones is remembered as a "Father of the American Navy," along with fellow Revolutionary War hero Commodore John Barry.
John Paul Jones is buried in a crypt at the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis, Maryland, where a Marine honor guard stands at attention in his honor whenever the crypt is open to the public.
Mercury Seven April 09 2013
On April 9, 1959, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) introduces America's first astronauts to the press: Scott Carpenter, L. Gordon Cooper Jr., John H. Glenn Jr., Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Walter Schirra Jr., Alan Shepard Jr., and Donald Slayton. The seven men, all military test pilots, were carefully selected from a group of 32 candidates to take part in Project Mercury, America's first manned space program. NASA planned to begin manned orbital flights in 1961.
On October 4, 1957, the USSR scored the first victory of the "space race" when it successfully launched the world's first artificial satellite, Sputnik, into Earth's orbit. In response, the United States consolidated its various military and civilian space efforts into NASA, which dedicated itself to beating the Soviets to manned space flight. In January 1959, NASA began the astronaut selection procedure, screening the records of 508 military test pilots and choosing 110 candidates. This number was arbitrarily divided into three groups, and the first two groups reported to Washington. Because of the high rate of volunteering, the third group was eliminated. Of the 62 pilots who volunteered, six were found to have grown too tall since their last medical examination. An initial battery of written tests, interviews, and medical history reviews further reduced the number of candidates to 36. After learning of the extreme physical and mental tests planned for them, four of these men dropped out.
The final 32 candidates traveled to the Lovelace Clinic in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where they underwent exhaustive medical and psychological examinations. The men proved so healthy, however, that only one candidate was eliminated. The remaining 31 candidates then traveled to the Wright Aeromedical Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio, where they underwent the most grueling part of the selection process. For six days and three nights, the men were subjected to various tortures that tested their tolerance of physical and psychological stress. Among other tests, the candidates were forced to spend an hour in a pressure chamber that simulated an altitude of 65,000 feet, and two hours in a chamber that was heated to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. At the end of one week, 18 candidates remained. From among these men, the selection committee was to choose six based on interviews, but seven candidates were so strong they ended up settling on that number.
After they were announced, the "Mercury Seven" became overnight celebrities. The Mercury Project suffered some early setbacks, however, and on April 12, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin orbited Earth in the world's first manned space flight. Less than one month later, on May 5, astronaut Alan Shepard was successfully launched into space on a suborbital flight. On February 20, 1962, in a major step for the U.S. space program, John Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth. NASA continued to trail the Soviets in space achievements until the late 1960s, when NASA's Apollo program put the first men on the moon and safely returned them to Earth.
In 1998, 36 years after his first space flight, John Glenn traveled into space again. Glenn, then 77 years old, was part of the Space Shuttle Discovery crew, whose 9-day research mission launched on October 29, 1998. Among the crew's investigations was a study of space flight and the aging process.
Quote of the Day April 04 2013
George and Babe April 02 2013
George Bush, captain of the Yale baseball team, receives Babe Ruth’s manuscript of his autobiography which he was donating to Yale.
April Fools Tradition Popularized April 01 2013
On this day in 1700, English pranksters begin popularizing the annual tradition of April Fools' Day by playing practical jokes on each other.
Although the day, also called All Fools' Day, has been celebrated for several centuries by different cultures, its exact origins remain a mystery. Some historians speculate that April Fools' Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes. These included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as "poisson d'avril" (April fish), said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.
Historians have also linked April Fools' Day to ancient festivals such as Hilaria, which was celebrated in Rome at the end of March and involved people dressing up in disguises. There's also speculation that April Fools' Day was tied to the vernal equinox, or first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, when Mother Nature fooled people with changing, unpredictable weather.
April Fools' Day spread throughout Britain during the 18th century. In Scotland, the tradition became a two-day event, starting with "hunting the gowk," in which people were sent on phony errands (gowk is a word for cuckoo bird, a symbol for fool) and followed by Tailie Day, which involved pranks played on people's derrieres, such as pinning fake tails or "kick me" signs on them.
In modern times, people have gone to great lengths to create elaborate April Fools' Day hoaxes. Newspapers, radio and TV stations and Web sites have participated in the April 1 tradition of reporting outrageous fictional claims that have fooled their audiences. In 1957, the BBC reported that Swiss farmers were experiencing a record spaghetti crop and showed footage of people harvesting noodles from trees; numerous viewers were fooled. In 1985, Sports Illustrated tricked many of its readers when it ran a made-up article about a rookie pitcher named Sidd Finch who could throw a fastball over 168 miles per hour. In 1996, Taco Bell, the fast-food restaurant chain, duped people when it announced it had agreed to purchase Philadelphia's Liberty Bell and intended to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell. In 1998, after Burger King advertised a "Left-Handed Whopper," scores of clueless customers requested the fake sandwich.
The Donkey & The Elephant March 27 2013
The Chariot March 26 2013
On this day, Italy attacks the British fleet at Suda Bay, Crete, using detachable warheads to sink a British cruiser. This was the first time manned torpedoes had been employed in naval warfare, adding a new weapon to the world's navies' arsenals.
The manned torpedo, also known as the "Chariot," was unique. Primarily used to attack enemy ships still in harbor, the Chariots needed "pilots" to "drive" them to their targets. Sitting astride the torpedo on a vehicle that would transport them both, the pilot would guide the missile as close to the target as possible, then ride the vehicle back, usually to a submarine. The Chariot was an enormous advantage; before its development, the closest weapon to the Chariot was the Japanese Kaiten--a human torpedo, or suicide bomb, which had obvious drawbacks.
The first successful use of the Chariot was by the Italian navy, although they referred to their version as Maiali, or "Pigs." On March 26, six Italian motorboats, commanded by Italian naval commander Lt. Luigi Faggioni, entered Suda Bay in Crete and planted their Maiali along a British convoy in harbor there. The cruiser York was so severely damaged by the blast that it had to be beached.
The manned torpedo proved to be the most effective weapon in the Italian naval arsenal, used successfully against the British again in December 1941 at Alexandria, Egypt. Italian torpedoes sank the British battleships Queen Elizabeth and Valiant, as well as one tanker. They were also used against merchant ships at Gibraltar and elsewhere.
The British avenged themselves against the Italians, though, by sinking the new Italian cruiser Ulpio Traiano in the port of Palermo, Sicily, in early January 1943. An 8,500-ton ocean liner was also damaged in the same attack.
After the Italian surrender, Britain, and later Germany, continued to use the manned torpedo. In fact, Germany succeeded in sinking two British minesweepers off Normandy Beach in July 1944, using their Neger torpedoes.
Quote of the Day March 21 2013
Parliament Repeals Stamp Act March 18 2013
After four months of widespread protest in America, the British Parliament repeals the Stamp Act, a taxation measure enacted to raise revenues for a standing British army in America.
The Stamp Act was passed on March 22, 1765, leading to an uproar in the colonies over an issue that was to be a major cause of the Revolution: taxation without representation. Enacted in November 1765, the controversial act forced colonists to buy a British stamp for every official document they obtained. The stamp itself displayed an image of a Tudor rose framed by the word "America" and the French phrase Honi soit qui mal y pense--"Shame to him who thinks evil of it."
The colonists, who had convened the Stamp Act Congress in October 1765 to vocalize their opposition to the impending enactment, greeted the arrival of the stamps with outrage and violence. Most Americans called for a boycott of British goods, and some organized attacks on the customhouses and homes of tax collectors. After months of protest, and an appeal by Benjamin Franklin before the British House of Commons, Parliament voted to repeal the Stamp Act in March 1766. However, the same day, Parliament passed the Declaratory Acts, asserting that the British government had free and total legislative power over the colonies.
The Manhattan Project March 13 2013
FDR Holds First Fireside Chat March 12 2013
On this day in 1933, eight days after his inauguration, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gives his first national radio address or "fireside chat," broadcast directly from the White House.
Dutch Resistance March 06 2013
Members of the Dutch Resistance who were attempting to hijack a truck in Apeldoorn, Holland, ambush Lt. Gen. Hanns Rauter, an SS officer. During the following week, the German SS executed 263 Dutch in retaliation.
The Dutch Resistance was one of the fiercest of all the underground movements in Nazi-occupied Europe. "The Dutch never accepted the German contention that... the war was over," wrote the Dutch foreign minister in a postwar account of life under Nazi occupation. "[T]heir acts of resistance and sabotage grew more audacious as time passed."
Those acts of resistance and sabotage included harboring Allied soldiers and pilots who either parachuted or crash-landed within Dutch territory, harboring Dutch Jews, and killing German troops. The Resistance was composed of representatives from all segments of Dutch society, ranging from the most conservative to communists.
Rauter was head of the SS in Holland and answered directly to Heinrich Himmler, the SS commander. In 1941, during a strike that broke out in Amsterdam among Dutch workers to protest the round-up of almost 400 Dutch Jews, Hauter ordered the SS and German troops to open fire on the strikers, killing 11. The Jews, whom the strikers were trying to protect, were deported to Buchenwald. All were dead by the fall.
Rauter was riding in an SS truck, filled with food destined for the Luftwaffe (the German air force) based near Apeldoorn on March 6, 1945, when some young members of the Dutch Resistance ambushed the truck. The closing days of the war had left much of occupied Holland close to famine conditions, and the guerrillas were determined to co-opt the food. They did not know Rauter was in the truck when it was attacked; Rauter was shot during the heist attempt but lived. In retaliation, the SS proceeded to round up and execute 263 Dutchmen, some of whom were Resistance fighters who were already being held in prison.
Rauter was tried for war crimes by the Dutch court Den Haag. He was found guilty and sentenced to death. He appealed the sentence at Nuremberg in 1949, but the sentence was upheld and he was executed that year.
American Forces Occupy Dorchester Heights, 1776 March 04 2013
Under the cover of constant bombing from American artillery, Brigadier General John Thomas slips 2,000 troops, cannons and artillery into position at Dorchester Heights, just south of Boston, on this day in 1776. Under orders from General George Washington, Thomas and his troops worked through the night digging trenches, positioning cannons and completing their occupation of Dorchester Heights.
The cannon that made Thomas' efforts possible were those taken by Lieutenant Colonel Benedict Arnold and Ethan Allen with his Green Mountain Boys at Fort Ticonderoga on May 10, 1775. Colonel Henry Knox then brought the cannon and powder to Boston through the winter snow in time for Washington and Thomas to employ them in the engagement at Dorchester Heights.
By muffling their wagon-wheels with straw, the Patriots were able to move their cannon unnoticed. Washington would use this same strategy to evade British General Charles Cornwallis after the Battle of Trenton.
At daybreak, British General William Howe received word of the American position overlooking the city. Within days, General Howe came to realize that the American position made Boston indefensible and soon ordered the evacuation of all British troops from the city; the British sailed for Halifax, Nova Scotia, on March 27. Howe and his troops remained in Canada until they traveled to meet Washington in the conflict over New York in August.
In 1898, a Georgian white marble revival tower was commissioned for the site of the battle to memorialize the Patriot victory at Dorchester Heights. The memorial tower has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1966. In 1978, it joined eight other sites in the Boston National Historic Park under the purview of the National Park Service.
Peace Corps Established March 01 2013
On March 1, 1961, President John F. Kennedy issues Executive Order #10924, establishing the Peace Corps as a new agency within the Department of State. The same day, he sent a message to Congress asking for permanent funding for the agency, which would send trained American men and women to foreign nations to assist in development efforts. The Peace Corps captured the imagination of the U.S. public, and during the week after its creation thousands of letters poured into Washington from young Americans hoping to volunteer.
The immediate precursor of the Peace Corps--the Point Four Youth Corps--was proposed by Representative Henry Reuss of Wisconsin in the late 1950s. Senator Kennedy learned of the Reuss proposal during his 1960 presidential campaign and, sensing growing public enthusiasm for the idea, decided to add it to his platform. In early October 1960, he sent a message to the Young Democrats that called for the establishment of a "Youth Peace Corps," and on October 14 he first publicly spoke of the Peace Corps idea at an early morning speech at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The night before, he had engaged Vice President Richard Nixon in the third presidential debate and was surprised to find an estimated 10,000 students waiting up to hear him speak when he arrived at the university at 2 a.m. The assembled students heard the future president issue a challenge: How many of them, he asked, would be willing to serve their country and the cause of freedom by living and working in the developing world for years at a time?
The Peace Corps proposal gained momentum in the final days of Kennedy's campaign, and on November 8 he was narrowly elected the 35th president of the United States. On January 20, 1961, in his famous inaugural address, he promised aid to the poor of the world. "To those peoples in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery," he said, "we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required--not because the communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right." He also appealed to Americans to "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."
After March 1, thousands of young Americans answered this call to duty by volunteering for the Peace Corps. The agency, which was headed by Kennedy's brother-in-law, R. Sargent Shriver, eventually chose some 750 volunteers to serve in 13 nations in 1961. In August, Kennedy hosted a White House ceremony to honor the first Peace Corps volunteers. The 51 Americans who later landed in Accra, Ghana, for two years of service immediately made a favorable impression on their hosts when they gathered on the airport tarmac to sing the Ghanaian national anthem in Twi, the local language.
On September 22, 1961, Kennedy signed congressional legislation creating a permanent Peace Corps that would "promote world peace and friendship" through three goals: (1) to help the peoples of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women; (2) to help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served; and (3) to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
By the end of 1963, 7,000 volunteers were in the field, serving in 44 Third World countries. In 1966, Peace Corps enrollment peaked, with more than 15,000 volunteers in 52 countries. Budget cuts later reduced the number of Peace Corps volunteers, but today more than 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers are serving in over 70 countries. Since 1961, more than 180,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps, serving in 134 nations.
WW2 Photos February 27 2013
Read more: http://life.time.com/history/world-war-ii-classic-photos-from-life-magazine/#ixzz2M7AiEBgu
Swamp Fox & Light Horse January 24 2013
On this day in 1781, Patriot commanders Lieutenant Colonel Light Horse Henry Lee and Brigadier General Francis Swamp Fox Marion of the South Carolina militia combine forces and conduct a raid on Georgetown, South Carolina, which is defended by 200 British soldiers.
Marion won fame and the Swamp Fox moniker for his ability to strike and then quickly retreat into the South Carolina swamps without a trace. His military strategy is considered an 18th-century example of guerilla warfare and served as partial inspiration for the film The Patriot, starring Mel Gibson.
Marion took over the South Carolina militia force first assembled by Thomas Sumter in 1780. Sumter, the other inspiration for Mel Gibson's character in the film, returned Carolina Loyalists' terror tactics in kind after Loyalists burned his plantation. When Sumter withdrew from active fighting to care for a wound, Marion replaced him and strategized with Major General Nathaniel Greene, who had recently arrived in the Carolinas to lead the Continental forces. On January 24, the Patriots under Marion and Lee managed to arrive at Georgetown undetected and captured at least three officers, including the British commander.
The following month, Lee's cavalry was able to defeat a band of Loyalist cavalry at Haw River, North Carolina, by taking advantage of the extreme similarity of Patriot uniforms to those of British Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton's troops. British Colonel John Pyle's men at Haw River were surprised to discover that the horsemen approaching them were not friends, as they appeared from a distance, but foes. Losing three fingers and blinding one eye in the course of combat, Colonel Pyle, a doctor by profession, survived by hiding in what is now known as Pyle's Pond.
A Girl, A Girl, A Goodbye January 23 2013
Quote of the Day January 17 2013
The Moonlight Battle January 16 2013
British Admiral Sir George Rodney, with 18 ships-of-the-line, engages an inferior Spanish squadron of 11 battleships commanded by Don Juan de Langara off the southwestern coast of Portugal at Cape St. Vincent, in what comes to be known as The Moonlight Battle. (Ships-of-the-line is the 18th century term for ships substantial enough to be used in a battle line, a tactic of war in which two lines of ships faced off against each other.)
The Spanish, who were at war with the British because they had chosen to back the American rebels in the War for Independence, saw the British fleet in pursuit and attempted to retreat home to the port of Cadiz. As they fled, Rodney decided to ignore the accepted rules of naval engagement, which involved two lines of ships bombarding one another with cannon much like two lines of infantry confronting one another across a battlefield. Instead, he decided to attempt to overtake of the Spanish ships by giving orders of general chase--having each British ship chase the Spanish fleet to the best of its ability. The British hounded the Spanish until 2 a.m., when the Spaniards finally surrendered.
Four Spanish battleships and two frigates escaped capture, but the British took De Langara's flagship and five others before running into shoals and ending the chase. One Spanish ship with its entire crew was lost in battle. Thirty-two Britons died, and 102 were wounded.
Credit for the British victory belongs not only to their greater number of ships and Admiral Rodney's decision to give chase, but also to the British ships' barnacle-free copper bottoms, which allowed them to outpace the less technologically advanced Spanish fleet. The fact that the two fleets engaged in battle overnight was an anomaly in 18th-century sea warfare, and earned the encounter the title The Moonlight Battle, and a painting by Francis Holman, despite its comparative insignificance in the Revolutionary War.
George Washington State of the Union January 08 2013
Sam Adams Writings January 07 2013
From Philadelphia, Samuel Adams writes to his friend Colonel James Warren that the idea of a confederation, or loose political union, among the colonies "is not dead, but sleepeth. To those who believed they would see the confederation completed long ago Adams wrote, I do not despair of it -- since our Enemies themselves are hastening it.
The following day, Samuel's cousin, John Adams, wrote Warren's wife, Mercy Otis Warren, and inquired if she would prefer an American Monarchy or Republic. While John declared his own preference for a republic, he wished it only if We must erect an independent Government in America, which you know is utterly against my Inclination. Although he regaled Mrs. Warren with the many virtues of republican government, Adams remained concerned that, there is so much Rascallity, so much Venality and Corruption, so much Avarice and Ambition, such a Rage for Profit and Commerce among all Ranks and Degrees of Men even in America, that I sometimes doubt whether there is public Virtue enough to Support a Republic.
Even among the inter-bred social elites of Massachusetts, there was no unanimity of opinion on the political course the colonies should take. Two days after John Adams equivocated over the sustainability of an American republic in his letter to Warren, Thomas Paine published Common Sense and swayed public opinion towards independence. Six months later, Congress charged Adams, by then considered an American Atlas for his passionate arguments for independence, to serve with Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin on the committee to draft the Declaration of Independence. Only his knowledge that Thomas Jefferson was the better writer kept Adams from drafting the famed document himself.
Battle of Princeton January 03 2013
In a stroke of strategic genius, General George Washington manages to evade conflict with General Charles Cornwallis, who had been dispatched to Trenton to bag the fox (Washington), and wins several encounters with the British rear guard, as it departs Princeton for Trenton, New Jersey.
Deeply concerned by Washington's victory over the British at Trenton on December 26, 1776, Cornwallis arrived with his troops in Trenton on the evening of January 2 prepared to overwhelm Washington's 5,000 exhausted, if exuberant, Continentals and militia with his 8,000 Redcoats. Washington knew better than to engage such a force and Cornwallis knew Washington would try to escape overnight, but he was left to guess at what course Washington would take. Cornwallis sent troops to guard the Delaware River, expecting Washington to reverse the route he took for the midnight crossing on December 25. Instead, Washington left his campfires burning, muffled the wheels of his army's wagons and snuck around the side of the British camp. As the Continentals headed north at dawn, they met the straggling British rear guard, which they outnumbered 5 to 1.
Forty Patriots and 275 British soldiers died during ensuing Battle of Princeton. After the defeat, the Howe brothers (General William and Admiral Richard) chose to leave most of New Jersey to Washington. Instead of marshalling their significant manpower to retake New Jersey, they concentrated all of their forces between New Brunswick and the Atlantic coast.
New Jersey had endured British invasion and rape and plunder at the hands of Britain's Hessian mercenaries. Now, as the Patriot militia resumed control, New Jersey Loyalists faced exile or humiliating repatriation. The Howes' decision to abandon New Jersey Loyalists permanently
Quote of the Day December 20 2012
Santa goes to war December 18 2012
France formally recognizes the United States December 17 2012
On this day in 1777, the French foreign minister, Charles Gravier, count of Vergennes, officially acknowledges the United States as an independent nation. News of the Continental Army's overwhelming victory against the British General John Burgoyne at Saratoga gave Benjamin Franklin new leverage in his efforts to rally French support for the American rebels. Although the victory occurred in October, news did not reach France until December 4th.
Franklin had quickly mustered French support upon his arrival in December 1776. France's humiliating loss of North America to the British in the Seven Years' War made the French eager to see an American victory. However, the French king was reluctant to back the rebels openly. Instead, in May 1776, Louis XVI sent unofficial aid to the Continental forces and the playwright Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais helped Franklin organize private assistance for the American cause.
Franklin, who often wore a fur cap, captured the imagination of Parisians as an American man of nature and his well-known social charms stirred French passions for all things American. He was the toast of Parisian society, enchanting salons with his wide-ranging knowledge, social graces and witty repartee. Nevertheless, he was not allowed to appear at court.
It took the impressive and long-awaited victory at Saratoga to convince Louis that the American rebels had some hope of defeating the British empire. His enthusiasm for the victory paired with the foreign minister's concern that the loss of Philadelphia to the British would lead Congress to surrender, gave Franklin two influential allies with two powerful--if opposing--reasons for officially backing the American cause. A formal treaty of alliance followed on February 6, 1778.
Quote of the Day December 06 2012
The 10th Mountain Division December 04 2012
Fun Fact of the Day December 03 2012
Fun Fact of the Day:
Sitka, Alaska, is the largest city by area. At 2870.339 square miles, the city of Sitka and its borough is the largest in the States. The four largest cities by area are in Alaska and the fifth largest is Jacksonville, Florida. Surprisingly, Los Angeles comes in at No. 15 and New York City at No. 34.
Source: U.S. Census
P-51 Mustang November 30 2012
P-51 "Mustang" fighter in flight, Inglewood, California, The Mustang, built by North American Aviation, Incorporated, is the only American-built fighter used by the Royal Air Force of Great Britain. Photo taken in October, 1942. (Alfred Palmer/OWI/LOC)
Here's our mission November 28 2012
Here's our mission. A combat crew receives final instructions just before taking off in a mighty YB-17 bomber from a bombardment squadron base at the field, in Langley Field, Virginia, in May of 1942. (Alfred Palmer/OWI/LOC)
Cyber Monday Sale! November 26 2012
Today we are having the largest sale in the history of Declaration. Here are the full details of our Cyber Monday deals:
- Use code 'CYBER' for 30% off your ENTIRE ORDER
- EVERY order will receive a free World War II koozie
- EVERY order over $100 will receive a free mystery TEE and a free koozie, please specify size in order notes
- EVERY order over $175 will receive a free handmade LEATHER CARD HOLDER, mystery tee, and a free koozie!
- offers valid while supplies last
An American Pineapple November 21 2012
An American pineapple, of the kind the Axis finds hard to digest.
FDR carves up some turkey November 20 2012
Lincoln Delivers Gettysburg Address November 19 2012
On November 19, 1863, at the dedication of a military cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln delivers one of the most memorable speeches in American history. In just 272 words, Lincoln brilliantly and movingly reminded a war-weary public why the Union had to fight, and win, the Civil War.
The Battle of Gettysburg, fought some four months earlier, was the single bloodiest battle of the Civil War. Over the course of three days, more than 45,000 men were killed, injured, captured or went missing. The battle also proved to be the turning point of the war: General Robert E. Lee's defeat and retreat from Gettysburg marked the last Confederate invasion of Northern territory and the beginning of the Southern army's ultimate decline.
Charged by Pennsylvania's governor, Andrew Curtin, to care for the Gettysburg dead, an attorney named David Wills bought 17 acres of pasture to turn into a cemetery for the more than 7,500 who fell in battle. Wills invited Edward Everett, one of the most famous orators of the day, to deliver a speech at the cemetery's dedication. Almost as an afterthought, Wills also sent a letter to Lincoln—just two weeks before the ceremony—requesting "a few appropriate remarks" to consecrate the grounds.
At the dedication, the crowd listened for two hours to Everett before Lincoln spoke. Lincoln's address lasted just two or three minutes. The speech reflected his redefined belief that the Civil War was not just a fight to save the Union, but a struggle for freedom and equality for all, an idea Lincoln had not championed in the years leading up to the war. This was his stirring conclusion: "The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
Reception of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was initially mixed, divided strictly along partisan lines. Nevertheless, the "little speech," as he later called it, is thought by many today to be the most eloquent articulation of the democratic vision ever written.
Articles of Confederation Adopted November 15 2012
After 16 months of debate, the Continental Congress, sitting in its temporary capital of York, Pennsylvania, agrees to adopt the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union on this day in 1777. Not until March 1, 1781, would the last of the 13 states, Maryland, ratify the agreement.
In 1777, Patriot leaders, stinging from British oppression, were reluctant to establish any form of government that might infringe on the right of individual states to govern their own affairs. The Articles of Confederation, then, provided for only a loose federation of American states. Congress was a single house, with each state having one vote, and a president elected to chair the assembly. Although Congress did not have the right to levy taxes, it did have authority over foreign affairs and could regulate a national army and declare war and peace. Amendments to the Articles required approval from all 13 states. On March 2, 1781, following final ratification by the 13th state, the Articles of Confederation became the law of the land.
Less than five years after the ratification of the Articles of Confederation, enough leading Americans decided that the system was inadequate to the task of governance that they peacefully overthrew their second government in just over 20 years. The difference between a collection of sovereign states forming a confederation and a federal government created by a sovereign people lay at the heart of debate as the new American people decided what form their new government would take.
In 1787, an extra-legal body met in seclusion during Philadelphia's summer heat to create this new government. On March 4, 1789, the modern United States was established when the U.S. Constitution formally replaced the Articles of Confederation.
Between 1776 and 1789, Americans went from living under a sovereign king, to living in sovereign states, to becoming a sovereign people. That transformation defined the American Revolution.
FDR wins unprecedented fourth term November 07 2012
On this day in 1944, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is elected to an unprecedented fourth term in office. FDR remains the only president to have served more than two terms.
Roosevelt rose above personal and political challenges to emerge as one of the nation's most revered and influential presidents. In 1921, at the age of 29, he contracted polio and thereafter was burdened with leg braces; eventually, he was confined to a wheelchair. From the time he was first elected to the presidency in 1932 to mid-1945, when he died while in office, Roosevelt presided over two of the biggest crises in U.S. history: the Great Depression of the 1930s and World War II. FDR implemented drastic and oft-criticized legislation to help boost America out of the Great Depression. Although he initially tried to avoid direct U.S. involvement in World War II, which began in 1939, the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941 thrust American headlong into the conflict.
By the time Roosevelt was elected to his fourth term, the war had taken a turn in favor of the Allies, but FDR's health was already on the decline. His arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) had been worsened by the stress of serving as a war-time president. In April 1945, seven months before the war finally ended in an Allied victory, FDR died of a stroke at his vacation home in Warm Springs, Georgia.
In 1947, with President Harry Truman, Roosevelt's vice president, in office, Congress proposed a law that would limit presidents to two consecutive terms. Up to that time, presidents had either voluntarily followed George Washington's example of serving a maximum of two terms, or were unsuccessful in winning a third. (In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt ran for a third non-consecutive term, but lost.) In 1951, the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution was passed, officially limiting a president's tenure in office to two terms of four years each.
O! the Fatal Stamp! November 01 2012
In the face of widespread opposition in the American colonies, Parliament enacts the Stamp Act, a taxation measure designed to raise revenue for British military operations in America.
Defense of the American colonies in the French and Indian War (1754-63) and Pontiac's Rebellion (1763-64) were costly affairs for Great Britain, and Prime Minister George Grenville hoped to recover some of these costs by taxing the colonists. In 1764, the Sugar Act was enacted, putting a high duty on refined sugar. Although resented, the Sugar Act tax was hidden in the cost of import duties, and most colonists accepted it. The Stamp Act, however, was a direct tax on the colonists and led to an uproar in America over an issue that was to be a major cause of the Revolution: taxation without representation.
Passed without debate by Parliament in March 1765, the Stamp Act was designed to force colonists to use special stamped paper in the printing of newspapers, pamphlets, almanacs, and playing cards, and to have a stamp embossed on all commercial and legal papers. The stamp itself displayed an image of a Tudor rose framed by the word "America" and the French phrase Honi soit qui mal y pense—"Shame to him who thinks evil of it."
Outrage was immediate. Massachusetts politician Samuel Adams organized the secret Sons of Liberty organization to plan protests against the measure, and the Virginia legislature and other colonial assemblies passed resolutions opposing the act. In October, nine colonies sent representatives to New York to attend a Stamp Act Congress, where resolutions of "rights and grievances" were framed and sent to Parliament and King George III. Despite this opposition, the Stamp Act was enacted on November 1, 1765.
The colonists greeted the arrival of the stamps with violence and economic retaliation. A general boycott of British goods began, and the Sons of Liberty staged attacks on the customhouses and homes of tax collectors in Boston. After months of protest and economic turmoil, and an appeal by Benjamin Franklin before the British House of Commons, Parliament voted to repeal the Stamp Act in March 1766. However, the same day, Parliament passed the Declaratory Acts, asserting that the British government had free and total legislative power over the colonies.
Parliament would again attempt to force unpopular taxation measures on the American colonies in the late 1760s, leading to a steady deterioration in British-American relations that culminated in the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775.
Happy Halloween October 31 2012
Soldiers Guard the Tomb of Unknowns October 30 2012
Spc. Brett Hyde, Tomb Sentinel, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), keeping guard over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during Hurricane Sandy, at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., Monday, Oct. 29, 2012.
Tomb Sentinels from the Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment’s “The Old Guard” have guarded the Tomb for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year regardless of the weather, since 1948.
Quote of the Day October 25 2012
Made in America October 23 2012
Operation Torch October 22 2012
On this day in 1942, American Maj. Gen. Mark Clark meets in Algeria with French officials loyal to the Allied cause, as well as Resistance fighters, regarding the launch of Operation Torch, the first Allied amphibious landing of the war.
It was decided as early as Christmas 1941, at the Arcadia Conference in Washington, that an Allied offensive against Rommel and the German army in North Africa would be launched. The details were debated for months, as American government officials objected to an early British operation, nicknamed Gymnast, which was deemed costly and ineffective-and was scrapped. The American chiefs of staff were also anxious to engage the Germans in Europe-not Africa. An ultimatum was even proposed: Unless the British supported an Allied cross-Channel attack, that is, an invasion of France, the United States would turn its attention to the Pacific and maintain only a defensive posture toward Germany. President Roosevelt was unwilling to issue such an ultimatum-and the chiefs of staff were ordered to work out a compromise operation for North Africa.
Operation Torch was that compromise. A secret meeting in Algiers, which was also one of the intended landing targets, was planned by an American diplomat stationed in North Africa. General Clark and members of his staff flew to Gibraltar and were then taken to Algiers via British submarine. Meeting with French army officers and Resistance fighters, Clark laid out the plan for the American landing and opened the discussion for who would be entrusted with leading the French forces. Gen. Charles De Gaulle, so instrumental in the organization of Resistance forces, was ruled out, as he would prove antagonistic to those French soldiers and officers still loyal to Petain and Vichy France, but who might be encouraged to turn on their German masters when supported by a massive Allied operation. It was finally agreed that Gen. Henri Giraud would lead the African French, as he had support in both the Vichy and Free French camps.
The meeting was interrupted at one point by the arrival of French police loyal to the Vichy government. Clark and company had to hide out in a nearby wine cellar. The conference resumed the next day--and plans for bringing the "Torch" of freedom to French North Africa took final shape.
Soldier Going Ashore on D-Day October 19 2012
Soldier going ashore on D-Day, - by Robert Capa, June 6, 1944
Ike Visits Soldiers on D-Day October 18 2012
General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe, speaks to the young soldiers of the 101st Airborne on the eve of D-Day. Eisenhower decided to visit the division in Newbury and talk with the soldiers. Even though his group arrived unannounced and the stars on his automobile had been covered, word quickly spread of his presence. Eisenhower walked among the men asking their names and where they lived. At some point a photo was taken that captured the humanity of the general and the crushing importance of the moment.
Scarface Goes to Prison October 17 2012
Alphonse Gabriel Capone was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1899 to Italian immigrants. He was expelled from school at 14, joined a gang and earned his nickname "Scarface" after being sliced across the cheek during a fight. By 1920, Capone had moved toChicago, where he was soon helping to run crime boss Johnny Torrio's illegal enterprises, which included alcohol-smuggling, gambling and prostitution. Torrio retired in 1925 after an attempt on his life and Capone, known for his cunning and brutality, was put in charge of the organization.
Prohibition, which outlawed the brewing and distribution of alcohol and lasted from 1920 to 1933, proved extremely lucrative for bootleggers and gangsters like Capone, who raked in millions from his underworld activities. Capone was at the top of the F.B.I.'s "Most Wanted" list by 1930, but he avoided long stints in jail until 1931 by bribing city officials, intimidating witnesses and maintaining various hideouts. He became Chicago's crime kingpin by wiping out his competitors through a series of gangland battles and slayings, including the infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre in 1929, when Capone's men gunned down seven rivals. This event helped raise Capone's notoriety to a national level.
Among Capone's enemies was federal agent Elliot Ness, who led a team of officers known as "The Untouchables" because they couldn't be corrupted. Ness and his men routinely broke up Capone's bootlegging businesses, but it was tax-evasion charges that finally stuck and landed Capone in prison in 1931. Capone began serving his time at the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta, but amid accusations that he was manipulating the system and receiving cushy treatment, he was transferred to the maximum-security lockup at Alcatraz Island, in California's San Francisco Bay. He got out early in 1939 for good behavior, after spending his final year in prison in a hospital, suffering from syphilis.
Plagued by health problems for the rest of his life, Capone died in 1947 at age 48 at his home in Palm Island, Florida.
Loverboy Jefferson October 12 2012
On this day in 1786, a lovesick Thomas Jefferson composes a romantic and introspective letter to a woman named Maria Cosway.
Early in 1786, widower Thomas Jefferson met Maria Cosway in Paris while he was serving as the U.S. minister to France. Cosway was born to English parents in Italy and, by the time she met Jefferson, had become an accomplished painter and musician. She was also married. The two developed a deep friendship and possibly more, although a sexual relationship has never been proven. The usually self-contained Jefferson acted like a giddy schoolboy during their relationship, at one point leaping over a stone fountain while the two were out walking and falling and breaking his right wrist. After the wrist healed, a chagrined Jefferson sat down and wrote a now-famous love letter to Mariah, who had just departed Paris for London with her husband for an undetermined time. The letter revealed him to be a lovesick man whose intellect battled with a heart aching for a woman he could not have.
Pinup Girls! October 09 2012
The Dalton Gang is Wiped Out October 05 2012
On this day in 1892, the famous Dalton Gang attempts the daring daylight robbery of two Coffeyville, Kansas, banks at the same time. But if the gang members believed the sheer audacity of their plan would bring them success, they were sadly mistaken. Instead, they were nearly all killed by quick-acting townspeople.
For a year and a half, the Dalton Gang had terrorized the state of Oklahoma, mostly concentrating on train holdups. Though the gang had more murders than loot to their credit, they had managed to successfully evade the best efforts of Oklahoma law officers to bring them to justice. Perhaps success bred overconfidence, but whatever their reasons, the gang members decided to try their hand at robbing not just one bank, but at robbing the First National and Condon Banks in their old hometown of Coffeyville at the same time.
After riding quietly into town, the men tied their horses to a fence in an alley near the two banks and split up. Two of the Dalton brothers-Bob and Emmett-headed for the First National, while Grat Dalton led Dick Broadwell and Bill Powers in to the Condon Bank. Unfortunately for the Daltons, someone recognized one of the gang members and began quietly spreading the word that the town banks were being robbed. Thus, while Bob and Emmett were stuffing money into a grain sack, the townspeople ran for their guns and quickly surrounded the two banks. When the Dalton brothers walked out of the bank, a hail of bullets forced them back into the building. Regrouping, they tried to flee out the back door of the bank, but the townspeople were waiting for them there as well.
Meanwhile, in the Condon Bank a brave cashier had managed to delay Grat Dalton, Powers, and Broadwell with the classic claim that the vault was on a time lock and couldn't be opened. That gave the townspeople enough time to gather force, and suddenly a bullet smashed through the bank window and hit Broadwell in the arm. Quickly scooping up $1,500 in loose cash, the three men bolted out the door and fled down a back alley. But like their friends next door, they were immediately shot and killed, this time by a local livery stable owner and a barber.
When the gun battle was over, the people of Coffeyville had destroyed the Dalton Gang, killing every member except for Emmett Dalton. But their victory was not without a price: the Dalton's took four townspeople to their graves with them. After recovering from serious wounds, Emmett was tried and sentenced to life in prison. After 14 years he won parole, and he eventually leveraged his cachet as a former Wild West bandit into a position as a screenwriter in Hollywood. Several years after moving to California, he died at the age of 66 in 1937.
Quote of the Day October 04 2012
Eat your heart out, UAVs October 03 2012
A New Hope October 02 2012
Quote of the Day September 27 2012
Quote of the Day September 20 2012
Khrushchev barred from visiting Disneyland September 19 2012
In one of the more surreal moments in the history of the Cold War, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev explodes with anger when he learns that he cannot visit Disneyland. The incident marked the climax of Khrushchev's day in Los Angeles, one that was marked by both frivolity and tension.
Khrushchev arrived in the United States on September 15 for an extended visit and a summit meeting with President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The Soviet leader indicated a desire to see Hollywood and a visit was arranged. On September 19, Khrushchev and his wife arrived in Los Angeles. The day began pleasantly enough, with a tour of the Twentieth Century Fox Studios in Hollywood. The Soviet premier was taken on to the sound stage for the movie "Can-Can" and was immediately surrounded by the cast of the film, including Shirley MacLaine and Juliet Prowse. MacLaine greeted Khrushchev in broken Russian and then attempted to engage the premier in an impromptu dance. Khrushchev jovially begged off and then stood by while the cast members performed a number from the film. Frank Sinatra was brought in to serve as an unofficial master of ceremonies for the visit, and he later lunched with an obviously delighted Khrushchev.
Things began to unravel when Twentieth Century Fox President Spyros P. Skouras introduced Khrushchev at Los Angeles Town Hall. Almost immediately, Skouras, who was an ardent anticommunist, irritated Khrushchev by referring to the premier's famous statement that Russia would "bury" capitalism. Skouras declared that Los Angeles was not particularly interested in "burying" anyone, but would meet the challenge if posed. Khrushchev's famous temper quickly flared. He charged that Skouras's remarks were part of a campaign to heckle him during his trip to America. The plan, Khrushchev suggested, was to needle him, "rub" America's strength in his face, and make him "a little shaky in the knees." Addressing Skouras directly, Khrushchev stated, "If you want to go on with the arms race, very well. We accept that challenge. As for the output of rockets--well, they are on the assembly line. This is a most serious question. It is one of life or death, ladies and gentlemen. One of war and peace."
Khrushchev's anger increased when he learned that he would not be allowed to visit Disneyland. Government authorities feared that the crowds would pose a safety hazard for the premier. Khrushchev, still fuming about the debate with Skouras, exploded. "And I say, I would very much like to go and see Disneyland. But then, we cannot guarantee your security, they say. Then what must I do? Commit suicide? What is it? Is there an epidemic of cholera there or something? Or have gangsters taken hold of the place that can destroy me?" Khrushchev left Los Angeles the next morning.
From photo ops with Shirley MacLaine to a heated debate with the head of a movie studio and a childish outburst about not being allowed into Disneyland, Khrushchev's day in Los Angeles was full of activity. The Soviet leader continued his trip through California without further incident and returned to Washington for his meeting with Eisenhower.
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