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11/16/18 7:32 P

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November 16, 1849

Fyodor Dostoevsky is sentenced to death

On this day in 1849, a Russian court sentences Fyodor Dostoevsky to death for his allegedly antigovernment activities linked to a radical intellectual group. His execution is stayed at the last minute.

Dostoevsky’s father was a doctor at Moscow’s Hospital for the Poor, where he grew rich enough to buy land and serfs. After his father’s death, Dostoevsky, who suffered from epilepsy, studied military engineering and became a civil servant while secretly writing novels. His first, Poor People, and his second, The Double, were both published in 1846-the first was a hit, the second a failure.

Dostoevsky began participating in a radical intellectual discussion group called the Petrashevsky Circle. The group was suspected of subversive activites, which led to Dostoevsky’s arrest in 1849, and his sentencing to death.

On December 22, 1849, Dostoevsky was led before the firing squad but received a last-minute reprieve and was sent to a Siberian labor camp, where he worked for four years. He was released in 1854 and worked as a soldier on the Mongolian frontier. He married a widow and finally returned to Russia in 1859. The following year, he founded a magazine and two years after that journeyed to Europe for the first time.

In 1864 and 1865, his wife and his brother died, the magazine folded, and Dostoevsky found himself deeply in debt, which he exacerbated by gambling.

In 1866, he published Crime and Punishment, one of his most popular works. In 1867, he married a stenographer, and the couple fled to Europe to escape his creditors. His novel The Possessed (1872) was successful, and the couple returned to St. Petersburg. He published The Brothers Karamazov in 1880 to immediate success, but he died a year later.




If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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11/15/18 5:13 P

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November 15, 1889

Brazil's last emperor is deposed.

After a 49-year reign, Pedro II, the second and last emperor of Brazil, is deposed in a military coup.

The Brazilian monarchy was established in 1822, when Portugal’s crown prince, Dom Pedro, defied his Parliament and proclaimed an independent Brazil under his rule. The Brazilian empire got off to a rough start, however, and in 1831 Emperor Pedro I abdicated in favor of his five-year-old son and returned to Portugal.

Pedro II was crowned emperor in 1841 and proved to be a much more capable leader than his father. During his five-decade reign, Brazil enjoyed unprecedented stability, as its troubled economy stabilized and began to grow. However, he later alienated certain sectors in society, such as the military and the growing urban middle class. After being deposed in 1889, Pedro II went to Europe, where he died in exile two years later.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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11/14/18 6:35 P

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November 14, 1949

Germans bomb Coventry

On this day in 1940, German bombers devastate the English city of Coventry, demolishing tens of thousands of buildings and killing hundreds of men, women, and children. The verb “Koventrieren” (to Coventrate) passed into the German language, meaning “to annihilate or reduce to rubble.”

On November 8, Adolf Hitler had to move up his scheduled speech in Munich on the anniversary of his 1923 attempted coup in Bavaria because British bombers were on their way to take out a railway yard. Hitler was determined to avenge this audacious offensive. The Fuhrer let his bomber pilots know that he was not “willing to let an attack on the capital of the Nazi movement go unpunished.”

And so, on this day, almost 500 German bombers unleashed some 150,000 incendiary bombs and more than 500 tons of high explosives on the British industrial city, taking out 27 war factories. Of the 568 people killed, more than 400 were burned so badly they could not be identified. Among the more than 60,000 buildings destroyed or severely damaged was St. Michael’s Cathedral.



If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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11/13/18 5:20 P

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November 13, 1941

Congress revises the Neutrality Act

On this day in 1941, the United States Congress amends the Neutrality Act of 1935 to allow American merchant ships access to war zones, thereby putting U.S. vessels in the line of fire.

In anticipation of another European war, and in pursuit of an isolationist foreign policy, Congress passed the Neutrality Act in August 1935, forbidding the sale of munitions by U.S. firms to any and all belligerents in any future war. This was a not-so-subtle signal to all governments and private industries, domestic and foreign, that the United States would play no part in foreign wars. Less than two years later, a second Neutrality Act was passed, forbidding the export of arms to either side in the Spanish Civil War.

The original 1935 act was made even more restrictive in May 1937, forbidding not only arms and loans to warring nations, but giving the president of the United States the authority to forbid Americans from traveling on ships of any warring nation, to forbid any U.S. ship from carrying U.S. goods, even nonmilitary, to a belligerent, and to demand that a belligerent nation pay for U.S. nonmilitary goods before shipment–a “cash and carry” plan.

But such notions of strict neutrality changed quickly once World War II began. The first amendment to the act came as early as September 1939; President Roosevelt, never happy with the extreme nature of the act, fought with Congress to revise it, allowing for the sale of munitions to those nations under siege by Nazi Germany. After heated debate in a special session, Congress finally passed legislation permitting such sales. Addressing the prospect of direct U.S. intervention in the war, President Roosevelt proclaimed, also in September 1939, that U.S. territorial waters were a neutral zone, and any hostile power that used those waters for the prosecution of the war would be considered “unfriendly” and “offensive.”

Finally, when the U.S. destroyer Reuben James was sunk by a German sub in October 1941, the Neutrality Act was destined for the dustbin of history. By November, not only would merchant ships be allowed to arm themselves for self-defense, but they would also be allowed to enter European territorial waters. America would no longer stand aloof from the hostilities.



If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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11/12/18 7:06 P

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November 12, 1954

Ellis Island closes

On this day in 1954, Ellis Island, the gateway to America, shuts it doors after processing more than 12 million immigrants since opening in 1892. Today, an estimated 40 percent of all Americans can trace their roots through Ellis Island, located in New York Harbor off the New Jersey coast and named for merchant Samuel Ellis, who owned the land in the 1770s.

On January 2, 1892, 15-year-old Annie Moore, from Ireland, became the first person to pass through the newly opened Ellis Island, which President Benjamin Harrison designated as America’s first federal immigration center in 1890. Before that time, the processing of immigrants had been handled by individual states.

Not all immigrants who sailed into New York had to go through Ellis Island. First- and second-class passengers submitted to a brief shipboard inspection and then disembarked at the piers in New York or New Jersey, where they passed through customs. People in third class, though, were transported to Ellis Island, where they underwent medical and legal inspections to ensure they didn’t have a contagious disease or some condition that would make them a burden to the government. Only two percent of all immigrants were denied entrance into the U.S.

Immigration to Ellis Island peaked between 1892 and 1924, during which time the 3.3-acre island was enlarged with landfill (by the 1930s it reached its current 27.5-acre size) and additional buildings were constructed to handle the massive influx of immigrants. During the busiest year of operation, 1907, over 1 million people were processed at Ellis Island.

With America’s entrance into World War I, immigration declined and Ellis Island was used as a detention center for suspected enemies. Following the war, Congress passed quota laws and the Immigration Act of 1924, which sharply reduced the number of newcomers allowed into the country and also enabled immigrants to be processed at U.S. consulates abroad. After 1924, Ellis Island switched from a processing center to serving other purposes, such as a detention and deportation center for illegal immigrants, a hospital for wounded soldiers during World War II and a Coast Guard training center. In November 1954, the last detainee, a Norwegian merchant seaman, was released and Ellis Island officially closed.

Beginning in 1984, Ellis Island underwent a $160 million renovation, the largest historic restoration project in U.S. history. In September 1990, the Ellis Island Immigration Museum opened to the public and today is visited by almost 2 million people each year.



If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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11/11/18 5:44 P

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November 11, 1918

World War I ends

At the 11th minute of the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War ends. At 5 a.m. that morning, Germany, bereft of manpower and supplies and faced with imminent invasion, signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside Compiègne, France. The First World War left nine million soldiers dead and 21 million wounded, with Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, France, and Great Britain each losing nearly a million or more lives. In addition, at least five million civilians died from disease, starvation, or exposure.

On June 28, 1914, in an event that is widely regarded as sparking the outbreak of World War I, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire, was shot to death with his wife by Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Ferdinand had been inspecting his uncle’s imperial armed forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina, despite the threat of Serbian nationalists who wanted these Austro-Hungarian possessions to join newly independent Serbia. Austria-Hungary blamed the Serbian government for the attack and hoped to use the incident as justification for settling the problem of Slavic nationalism once and for all. However, as Russia supported Serbia, an Austro-Hungarian declaration of war was delayed until its leaders received assurances from German leader Kaiser Wilhelm II that Germany would support their cause in the event of a Russian intervention.

On July 28, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, and the tenuous peace between Europe’s great powers collapsed. On July 29, Austro-Hungarian forces began to shell the Serbian capital, Belgrade, and Russia, Serbia’s ally, ordered a troop mobilization against Austria-Hungary. France, allied with Russia, began to mobilize on August 1. France and Germany declared war against each other on August 3. After crossing through neutral Luxembourg, the German army invaded Belgium on the night of August 3-4, prompting Great Britain, Belgium’s ally, to declare war against Germany.

For the most part, the people of Europe greeted the outbreak of war with jubilation. Most patriotically assumed that their country would be victorious within months. Of the initial belligerents, Germany was most prepared for the outbreak of hostilities, and its military leaders had formatted a sophisticated military strategy known as the “Schlieffen Plan,” which envisioned the conquest of France through a great arcing offensive through Belgium and into northern France. Russia, slow to mobilize, was to be kept occupied by Austro-Hungarian forces while Germany attacked France.

The Schlieffen Plan was nearly successful, but in early September the French rallied and halted the German advance at the bloody Battle of the Marne near Paris. By the end of 1914, well over a million soldiers of various nationalities had been killed on the battlefields of Europe, and neither for the Allies nor the Central Powers was a final victory in sight. On the western front—the battle line that stretched across northern France and Belgium—the combatants settled down in the trenches for a terrible war of attrition.

In 1915, the Allies attempted to break the stalemate with an amphibious invasion of Turkey, which had joined the Central Powers in October 1914, but after heavy bloodshed the Allies were forced to retreat in early 1916. The year 1916 saw great offensives by Germany and Britain along the western front, but neither side accomplished a decisive victory. In the east, Germany was more successful, and the disorganized Russian army suffered terrible losses, spurring the outbreak of the Russian Revolution in 1917. By the end of 1917, the Bolsheviks had seized power in Russia and immediately set about negotiating peace with Germany. In 1918, the infusion of American troops and resources into the western front finally tipped the scale in the Allies’ favor. Germany signed an armistice agreement with the Allies on November 11, 1918.

World War I was known as the “war to end all wars” because of the great slaughter and destruction it caused. Unfortunately, the peace treaty that officially ended the conflict—the Treaty of Versailles of 1919—forced punitive terms on Germany that destabilized Europe and laid the groundwork for World War II. The fact that the US did not sign the Versailles treaty and did not become a member of the SDN also precipitated the arrival of the next conflict.



If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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11/10/18 7:45 P

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November 10, 1975

The Edmund Fitzgerald sinks in Lake Superior

On this day in 1975, the SS Edmund Fitzgerald sinks in Lake Superior, killing all 29 crew members on board. It was the worst single accident in Lake Superior’s history.

The ship weighed more than 13,000 tons and was 730 feet long. It was launched in 1958 as the biggest carrier in the Great Lakes and became the first ship to carry more than a million tons of iron ore through the Soo Locks.

On November 9, the Fitzgerald left Superior, Wisconsin, with 26,000 tons of ore heading for Detroit, Michigan. The following afternoon, Ernest McSorely, the captain of the Fitzgerald and a 44-year veteran, contacted the Avafor, another ship traveling on Lake Superior and reported that his ship had encountered “one of the worst seas he had ever been in.” The Fitzgerald had lost its radar equipment and was listing badly to one side.

A couple of hours later, another ship, the Arthur M. Anderson, made contact and was told that the Fitzgerald was holding its own. However, minutes afterward, the Fitzgerald disappeared from radar screens. A subsequent investigation showed that the sinking of the Fitzgerald occurred very suddenly; no distress signal was sent and the condition of the lifeboats suggested that little or no attempt was made to abandon the ship.

One possible reason for the wreck is that the Fitzgerald was carrying too much cargo. This made the ship sit low in the water and made it more vulnerable to being overwhelmed by a sudden large wave. The official report also cited the possibility that the hatches to the cargo area may have been faulty, leading to a sudden shift of the cargo that capsized the boat.

The Fitzgerald was eventually found 530 feet below the surface, 17 miles from Whitefish Bay, at the northeastern tip of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, in Canadian waters. The ship had broken into two parts that were found approximately 150 feet apart. As there were no survivors among the 29 crew members, there will likely never be a definitive explanation of the Fitzgerald‘s sinking.

The Fitzgerald‘s sinking was the worst wreck in the Great Lakes since November 29, 1966, when 28 people died in the sinking of the Daniel J. Morrell in Lake Huron.

The disaster was immortalized in song the following year in Canadian folk singer Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”

The sinking led to changes in Great Lakes shipping regulations and practices that included mandatory survival suits, depth finders, positioning systems, increased freeboard, and more frequent inspection of vessels.



If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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11/9/18 7:21 P

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November 9, 1938

Kristallnacht

This day in 1938 saw the organized destruction of Jewish businesses and homes in Munich, as well as the beating and murder of Jewish men, women, and children.

It was an exercise in terror that would be called “Kristallnacht,” or “the Night of Broken Glass,” because of the cost of broken glass in looted Jewish shops—$5 million marks ($1,250,000).

On November 7, in Paris, a 17-year-old German Jewish refugee, Herschel Grynszpan, shot and killed the third secretary of the German embassy, Ernst vom Rath. Grynszpan had intended to avenge the deportation of his father to Poland and the ongoing persecution of Jews in Germany by killing the German ambassador. Instead, the secretary was sent out to see what the angry young man wanted and was killed. The irony is that Rath was not an anti-Semite; in fact, he was an anti-Nazi.

As revenge for this shooting, Joseph Goebbels, Nazi minister of propaganda, and Reinhard Heydrich, second in command of the SS after Heinrich Himmler, ordered “spontaneous demonstrations” of protest against the Jewish citizens of Munich. The order, in the form of a teletyped message to all SS headquarters and state police stations, laid out the blueprint for the destruction of Jewish homes and businesses. The local police were not to interfere with the rioting storm troopers, and as many Jews as possible were to be arrested with an eye toward deporting them to concentration camps.

In Heydrich’s report to Hermann Goering after Kristallnacht, the damage was assessed: “…815 shops destroyed, 171 dwelling houses set on fire or destroyed… 119 synagogues were set on fire, and another 76 completely destroyed… 20,000 Jews were arrested, 36 deaths were reported and those seriously injured were also numbered at 36…”

The extent of the destruction was actually greater than reported. Later estimates were that as many as 7,500 Jewish shops were looted, and there were several incidents of rape. This, in the twisted ideology of Nazism, was worse than murder, because the racial laws forbade intercourse between Jews and gentiles. The rapists were expelled from the Nazi Party and handed over to the police for prosecution. And those who killed Jews? They “cannot be punished,” according to authorities, because they were merely following orders.

To add insult to massive injury, those Jews who survived the monstrous pogrom were forced to pay for the damage inflicted upon them. Insurance firms teetered on the verge of bankruptcy because of the claims. Hermann Goering came up with a solution: Insurance money due the victims was to be confiscated by the state, and part of the money would revert back to the insurance companies to keep them afloat.

The reaction around the world was one of revulsion at the barbarism into which Germany was sinking. As far as Hitler was concerned, this only proved the extent of the “Jewish world conspiracy.”



If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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11/8/18 9:39 P

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November 8, 1895

On this day in 1895, physicist Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen (1845-1923) becomes the first person to observe X-rays, a significant scientific advancement that would ultimately benefit a variety of fields, most of all medicine, by making the invisible visible. Rontgen’s discovery occurred accidentally in his Wurzburg, Germany, lab, where he was testing whether cathode rays could pass through glass when he noticed a glow coming from a nearby chemically coated screen. He dubbed the rays that caused this glow X-rays because of their unknown nature.

X-rays are electromagnetic energy waves that act similarly to light rays, but at wavelengths approximately 1,000 times shorter than those of light. Rontgen holed up in his lab and conducted a series of experiments to better understand his discovery. He learned that X-rays penetrate human flesh but not higher-density substances such as bone or lead and that they can be photographed.

Rontgen’s discovery was labeled a medical miracle and X-rays soon became an important diagnostic tool in medicine, allowing doctors to see inside the human body for the first time without surgery. In 1897, X-rays were first used on a military battlefield, during the Balkan War, to find bullets and broken bones inside patients.

Scientists were quick to realize the benefits of X-rays, but slower to comprehend the harmful effects of radiation. Initially, it was believed X-rays passed through flesh as harmlessly as light. However, within several years, researchers began to report cases of burns and skin damage after exposure to X-rays, and in 1904, Thomas Edison’s assistant, Clarence Dally, who had worked extensively with X-rays, died of skin cancer. Dally’s death caused some scientists to begin taking the risks of radiation more seriously, but they still weren’t fully understood. During the 1930s, 40s and 50s, in fact, many American shoe stores featured shoe-fitting fluoroscopes that used to X-rays to enable customers to see the bones in their feet; it wasn’t until the 1950s that this practice was determined to be risky business. Wilhelm Rontgen received numerous accolades for his work, including the first Nobel Prize in physics in 1901, yet he remained modest and never tried to patent his discovery. Today, X-ray technology is widely used in medicine, material analysis and devices such as airport security scanners.




If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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11/7/18 4:59 P

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November 7, 1944

Roosevelt is re-elected for an unprecedented fourth term

Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt is reelected president of the United States for a record third time, handily defeating his Republican challenger, Thomas Dewey, the governor of New York, and becoming the first and only president in history to win a fourth term in office.

Roosevelt, a fifth cousin to former president Theodore Roosevelt, first came to the White House in 1933 with a promise to lead America out of the Great Depression. Aided by a Democratic Congress, Roosevelt took prompt action, and most of his “New Deal” proposals, such as the Agricultural Adjustment Act, National Industrial Recovery Act, and creation of the Public Works Administration and Tennessee Valley Authority, were approved within his first 100 days in office. Although criticized by many in the business community, Roosevelt’s progressive legislation improved America’s economic climate, and in 1936 he easily won reelection.

During his second term, he became increasingly concerned with German and Japanese aggression and so began a long campaign to awaken America from its isolationist slumber. In 1940, with World War II raging in Europe and the Pacific, Roosevelt agreed to run for an unprecedented third term. Reelected by Americans who valued his strong leadership, he proved a highly effective commander in chief after the December 1941 U.S. entrance into the war. Under Roosevelt’s guidance, America became, in his own words, the “great arsenal of democracy” and succeeded in shifting the balance of power in World War II firmly in the Allies’ favor. In 1944, with the war not yet won, he was reelected to a fourth term.

Three months after his inauguration, while resting at his retreat at Warm Springs, Georgia, Roosevelt died of a massive cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 63. Following a solemn parade of his coffin through the streets of the nation’s capital, his body was buried in a family plot in Hyde Park, New York. Millions of Americans mourned the death of the man who had led the United States through two of the greatest crises of the 20th century: the Great Depression and World War II. Roosevelt’s unparalleled 13 years as president led to the passing of the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which limited future presidents to a maximum of two consecutive elected terms in office.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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11/6/18 6:58 P

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November 6, 1917

Bolsheviks revolt in Russia

Led by Bolshevik Party leader Vladimir Lenin, leftist revolutionaries launch a nearly bloodless coup d’État against Russia’s ineffectual Provisional Government. The Bolsheviks and their allies occupied government buildings and other strategic locations in the Russian capital of Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) and within two days had formed a new government with Lenin as its head. Bolshevik Russia, later renamed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was the world’s first Marxist state.

Born Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov in 1870, Lenin was drawn to the revolutionary cause after his brother was executed in 1887 for plotting to assassinate Czar Alexander III. He studied law and took up practice in Petrograd, where he associated with revolutionary Marxist circles. In 1895, he helped organize Marxist groups in the capital into the “Union for the Struggle for the Liberation of the Working Class,” which attempted to enlist workers to the Marxist cause. In December 1895, Lenin and the other leaders of the Union were arrested. Lenin was jailed for a year and then exiled to Siberia for a term of three years.

After the end of his exile, in 1900, Lenin went to Western Europe, where he continued his revolutionary activity. It was during this time that he adopted the pseudonym Lenin. In 1902, he published a pamphlet titled What Is to Be Done? which argued that only a disciplined party of professional revolutionaries could bring socialism to Russia. In 1903, he met with other Russian Marxists in London and established the Russian Social-Democratic Workers’ Party (RSDWP). However, from the start there was a split between Lenin’s Bolsheviks (Majoritarians), who advocated militarism, and the Mensheviks (Minoritarians), who advocated a democratic movement toward socialism. These two groups increasingly opposed each other within the framework of the RSDWP, and Lenin made the split official at a 1912 conference of the Bolshevik Party.

After the outbreak of the Russian Revolution of 1905, Lenin returned to Russia. The revolution, which consisted mainly of strikes throughout the Russian empire, came to an end when Nicholas II promised reforms, including the adoption of a Russian constitution and the establishment of an elected legislature. However, once order was restored, the czar nullified most of these reforms, and in 1907 Lenin was again forced into exile.

Lenin opposed World War I, which began in 1914, as an imperialistic conflict and called on proletariat soldiers to turn their guns on the capitalist leaders who sent them down into the murderous trenches. For Russia, World War I was an unprecedented disaster: Russian casualties were greater than those sustained by any nation in any previous war. Meanwhile, the Russian economy was hopelessly disrupted by the costly war effort, and in March 1917 riots and strikes broke out in Petrograd over the scarcity of food. Demoralized army troops joined the strikers, and on March 15, Nicholas II was forced to abdicate, ending centuries of czarist rule. In the aftermath of the February Revolution (known as such because of Russia’s use of the Julian calendar), power was shared between the weak Provisional Government and the soviets, or “councils,” of soldiers’ and workers’ committees.

After the outbreak of the February Revolution, German authorities allowed Lenin and his lieutenants to cross Germany en route from Switzerland to Sweden in a sealed railway car. Berlin hoped (correctly) that the return of the anti-war Socialists to Russia would undermine the Russian war effort, which was continuing under the Provisional Government. Lenin called for the overthrow of the Provisional Government by the soviets, and he was condemned as a “German agent” by the government’s leaders. In July, he was forced to flee to Finland, but his call for “peace, land, and bread” met with increasing popular support, and the Bolsheviks won a majority in the Petrograd soviet. In October, Lenin secretly returned to Petrograd, and on November 6-8 the Bolshevik-led Red Guards deposed the Provisional Government and proclaimed soviet rule.

Lenin became the virtual dictator of the first Marxist state in the world. His government made peace with Germany, nationalized industry, and distributed land, but beginning in 1918 had to fight a devastating civil war against czarist forces. In 1920, the czarists were defeated, and in 1922 the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was established. Upon Lenin’s death, in early 1924, his body was embalmed and placed in a mausoleum near the Moscow Kremlin. Petrograd was renamed Leningrad in his honor. After a struggle for succession, fellow revolutionary Joseph Stalin succeeded Lenin as leader of the Soviet Union.



If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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November 5, 1605

Guy Fawkes' Gunpowder Plot

Early in the morning, King James I of England learns that a plot to explode the Parliament building has been foiled, hours before he was scheduled to sit with the rest of the British government in a general parliamentary session.

At about midnight on the night of November 4-5, Sir Thomas Knyvet, a justice of the peace, found Guy Fawkes lurking in a cellar under the Parliament building and ordered the premises searched. Some 20 barrels of gunpowder were found, and Fawkes was taken into custody. During a torture session on the rack, Fawkes revealed that he was a participant in an English Catholic conspiracy to annihilate England’s Protestant government and replace it with Catholic leadership.

What became known as the Gunpowder Plot was organized by Robert Catesby, an English Catholic whose father had been persecuted by Queen Elizabeth I for refusing to conform to the Church of England. Guy Fawkes had converted to Catholicism, and his religious zeal led him to fight in the Spanish army in the Netherlands. Catesby and the handful of other plotters rented a cellar that extended under Parliament, and Fawkes planted the gunpowder there, hiding the barrels under coal and wood.

As the November 5 meeting of Parliament approached, Catesby enlisted more English Catholics into the conspiracy, and one of these, Francis Tresham, warned his Catholic brother-in-law Lord Monteagle not to attend Parliament that day. Monteagle alerted the government, and hours before the attack was to have taken place Fawkes and the explosives were found. By torturing Fawkes, King James’ government learned of the identities of his co-conspirators. During the next few weeks, English authorities killed or captured all the plotters and put the survivors on trial, along with a few innocent English Catholics.

Guy Fawkes himself was sentenced, along with the other surviving chief conspirators, to be hanged, drawn, and quartered in London. Moments before the start of his gruesome execution, on January 31, 1606, he jumped from a ladder while climbing to the hanging platform, breaking his neck and dying instantly.

In 1606, Parliament established November 5 as a day of public thanksgiving. Today, Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated across Great Britain every year on November 5 in remembrance of the Gunpowder Plot. As dusk falls, villagers and city dwellers across Britain light bonfires, set off fireworks, and burn effigies of Guy Fawkes, celebrating his failure to blow Parliament and James I to kingdom come.



If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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November 4, 1956

The Soviets crush Hungarian revolt

Following nearly two weeks of protest and political instability in Hungary, Soviet tanks and troops viciously crush the protests. Thousands were killed and wounded, and nearly a quarter-million Hungarians fled the country.The problems in Hungary had begun in October, when thousands of protesters took to the streets demanding a more democratic political system and freedom from Soviet oppression. In response, Communist Party officials appointed Imre Nagy, (a former premier who had been dismissed from the party for his criticisms of Stalinist policies), as the new premier. Nagy tried to restore peace and asked the Soviets to withdraw their troops. The Soviets did so, but Nagy then tried to push the Hungarian revolt forward by abolishing one-party rule. He also announced that Hungary was withdrawing from the Warsaw Pact (the Soviet bloc’s equivalent of NATO). On November 4, Soviet tanks rolled into Budapest to stop Hungary’s movement away from the communist bloc. Vicious street fighting broke out, but the Soviets’ greater power insured the doom of the rebels. After the deaths and injuries of thousands of Hungarians, the protests were finally put down. Nagy was captured shortly thereafter and was executed two years later.The Soviet action stunned many people in the West. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev had pledged a retreat from the Stalinist policies and repression of the past, but the violent actions in Budapest suggested otherwise. Inaction on the part of the United States angered and frustrated many Hungarians. Voice of America radio broadcasts and speeches by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles had recently suggested that the United States supported the “liberation” of “captive peoples” in communist nations. Yet, as Soviet tanks bore down on the protesters, the United States did nothing beyond issuing public statements of sympathy for their plight.




If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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November 3, 1957

Laika, the first Soviet dog, is launched into space.

The Soviet Union launches the first animal into space—a dog name Laika—aboard the Sputnik 2 spacecraft.

Laika, part Siberian husky, lived as a stray on the Moscow streets before being enlisted into the Soviet space program. Laika survived for several days as a passenger in the USSR’s second artificial Earth satellite, kept alive by a sophisticated life-support system. Electrodes attached to her body provided scientists on the ground with important information about the biological effects of space travel. She died after the batteries of her life-support system ran down.

At least a dozen more Russian dogs were launched into space in preparation for the first manned Soviet space mission, and at least five of these dogs died in flight. On April 12, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into space, aboard the spacecraft Vostok 1. He orbited Earth once before landing safely in the USSR.


If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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November 2, 1948

In the greatest upset in presidential election history, Democratic incumbent Harry S. Truman defeats his Republican challenger, Governor Thomas E. Dewey of New York, by just over two million popular votes. In the days preceding the vote, political analysts and polls were so behind Dewey that on election night, long before all the votes were counted, the Chicago Tribune published an early edition with the banner headline “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN.”

Harry Truman was thrust into the presidency by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death in 1945. Approaching the 1948 presidential election, he seemed to stand a slim chance of retaining the White House. Despite his effective leadership at the end of World War II and sound vision in the confused postwar world, many voters still viewed Truman as an ineffectual shadow of his four-term predecessor. He also antagonized Southern Democrats with his civil rights initiatives. Most were sure that Dewey would take the White House.

In the last weeks before the election, Truman embarked on a “whistle-stop” campaign across the United States in defiance of his consistently poor showings in the polls. He traveled to America’s cities and towns, fighting to win over undecided voters by portraying himself as an outsider contending with a “do-nothing” Congress. Truman, a one-time farmer who was elevated to the pinnacle of American politics because of his reputation for honesty and integrity, won the nation’s affection, and he narrowly won a second term.



If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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November 1, 1993

European Union goes into effect

The Maastricht Treaty comes into effect, formally establishing the European Union (EU). The treaty was drafted in 1991 by delegates from the European Community meeting at Maastricht in the Netherlands and signed in 1992. The agreement called for a strengthened European parliament, the creation of a central European bank, and common foreign and security policies. The treaty also laid the groundwork for the establishment of a single European currency, to be known as the “euro.”

By 1993, 12 nations had ratified the Maastricht Treaty on European Union: Great Britain, France, Germany, the Irish Republic, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Denmark, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Austria, Finland, and Sweden became members of the EU in 1995. After suffering through centuries of bloody conflict, the nations of Western Europe were finally united in the spirit of economic cooperation.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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October 31, 1517

Martin Luther posts his 95 theses.

On this day in 1517, the priest and scholar Martin Luther approaches the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, and nails a piece of paper to it containing the 95 revolutionary opinions that would begin the Protestant Reformation.

In his theses, Luther condemned the excesses and corruption of the Roman Catholic Church, especially the papal practice of asking payment—called “indulgences”—for the forgiveness of sins. At the time, a Dominican priest named Johann Tetzel, commissioned by the Archbishop of Mainz and Pope Leo X, was in the midst of a major fundraising campaign in Germany to finance the renovation of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Though Prince Frederick III the Wise had banned the sale of indulgences in Wittenberg, many church members traveled to purchase them. When they returned, they showed the pardons they had bought to Luther, claiming they no longer had to repent for their sins.

Luther’s frustration with this practice led him to write the 95 Theses, which were quickly snapped up, translated from Latin into German and distributed widely. A copy made its way to Rome, and efforts began to convince Luther to change his tune. He refused to keep silent, however, and in 1521 Pope Leo X formally excommunicated Luther from the Catholic Church. That same year, Luther again refused to recant his writings before the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V of Germany, who issued the famous Edict of Worms declaring Luther an outlaw and a heretic and giving permission for anyone to kill him without consequence. Protected by Prince Frederick, Luther began working on a German translation of the Bible, a task that took 10 years to complete.


The term “Protestant” first appeared in 1529, when Charles V revoked a provision that allowed the ruler of each German state to choose whether they would enforce the Edict of Worms. A number of princes and other supporters of Luther issued a protest, declaring that their allegiance to God trumped their allegiance to the emperor. They became known to their opponents as Protestants; gradually this name came to apply to all who believed the Church should be reformed, even those outside Germany. By the time Luther died, of natural causes, in 1546, his revolutionary beliefs had formed the basis for the Protestant Reformation, which would over the next three centuries revolutionize Western civilization.



If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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October 30, 1965

Marines repel attack near Da Nang

Just miles from Da Nang, U.S. Marines repel an intense attack by successive waves of Viet Cong troops and kill 56 guerrillas.

A search of the dead uncovered a sketch of Marine positions written on the body of a 13-year-old Vietnamese boy who had been selling drinks to the Marines the previous day. This incident was indicative of the nature of a war in which even the most seemingly innocent child could be the enemy. There were many other instances where South Vietnamese civilians that worked on or near U.S. bases provided information to and participated in attacks alongside the enemy.

Also on this day: Two U.S. planes accidentally bomb a friendly South Vietnamese village, killing 48 civilians and wounding 55 others. An American civic action team was immediately dispatched to the scene, and a later investigation disclosed that a map-reading error by South Vietnamese officers was responsible.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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October 29, 1929

Stock Market crashes (Black Tuesday)

Black Tuesday hits Wall Street as investors trade 16,410,030 shares on the New York Stock Exchange in a single day. Billions of dollars were lost, wiping out thousands of investors, and stock tickers ran hours behind because the machinery could not handle the tremendous volume of trading. In the aftermath of Black Tuesday, America and the rest of the industrialized world spiraled downward into the Great Depression.

During the 1920s, the U.S. stock market underwent rapid expansion, reaching its peak in August 1929, a period of wild speculation. By then, production had already declined and unemployment had risen, leaving stocks in great excess of their real value. Among the other causes of the eventual market collapse were low wages, the proliferation of debt, a weak agriculture, and an excess of large bank loans that could not be liquidated.

Stock prices began to decline in September and early October 1929, and on October 18 the fall began. Panic set in, and on October 24—Black Thursday—a record 12,894,650 shares were traded. Investment companies and leading bankers attempted to stabilize the market by buying up great blocks of stock, producing a moderate rally on Friday. On Monday, however, the storm broke anew, and the market went into free fall. Black Monday was followed by Black Tuesday, in which stock prices collapsed completely.

After October 29, 1929, stock prices had nowhere to go but up, so there was considerable recovery during succeeding weeks. Overall, however, prices continued to drop as the United States slumped into the Great Depression, and by 1932 stocks were worth only about 20 percent of their value in the summer of 1929. The stock market crash of 1929 was not the sole cause of the Great Depression, but it did act to accelerate the global economic collapse of which it was also a symptom. By 1933, nearly half of America’s banks had failed, and unemployment was approaching 15 million people, or 30 percent of the workforce. It would take World War II, and the massive level of armaments production taken on by the United States, to finally bring the country out of the Depression after a decade of suffering.




If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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October 29. 1942

The British protest against the persecution of Jews by Nazi Germany.

On this day in 1942, leading British clergymen and political figures hold a public meeting to register their outrage over the persecution of Jews by Nazi Germany.

In a message sent to the meeting, Prime Minister Winston Churchill summed up the sentiments of all present: “The systematic cruelties to which the Jewish people-men, women, and children-have been exposed under the Nazi regime are amongst the most terrible events of history, and place an indelible stain upon all who perpetrate and instigate them. Free men and women,” Churchill continued, “denounce these vile crimes, and when this world struggle ends with the enthronement of human rights, racial persecution will be ended.”

The very next day, the power of protest over cruelty was made evident elsewhere in Europe. When Gestapo officers in Brussels removed more than 100 Jewish children from a children’s home for deportation, staff members refused to leave the sides of their young charges. Both the staff and the children were removed to a deportation camp set up in Malines. Protests rained down on the Germans, who had occupied the nation for more than two years, including one lodged by the Belgian secretary-general of the Ministry of Justice. The children and staff were returned to the home.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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October 28, 1919

Congress enforces prohibition

Congress passes the Volstead Act over President Woodrow Wilson’s veto. The Volstead Act provided for the enforcement of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, also known as the Prohibition Amendment.

The movement for the prohibition of alcohol began in the early 19th century, when Americans concerned about the adverse effects of drinking began forming temperance societies. By the late 19th century, these groups had become a powerful political force, campaigning on the state level and calling for national liquor abstinence. In December 1917, the 18th Amendment, prohibiting the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes,” was passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification. In January 1919, the 18th amendment achieved the necessary two-thirds majority of state ratification, and prohibition became the law of the land.

The Volstead Act, passed nine months later, provided for the enforcement of prohibition, including the creation of a special unit of the Treasury Department. Despite a vigorous effort by law-enforcement agencies, the Volstead Act failed to prevent the large-scale distribution of alcoholic beverages, and organized crime flourished in America. In 1933, the 21st Amendment to the Constitution was passed and ratified, repealing prohibition.



If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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October 27, 1659

Quakers are executed in America for their religious beliefs

William Robinson and Marmaduke Stevenson, two Quakers who came from England in 1656 to escape religious persecution, are executed in the Massachusetts Bay Colony for their religious beliefs. The two had violated a law passed by the Massachusetts General Court the year before, banning Quakers from the colony under penalty of death.

The Religious Society of Friends, whose members are commonly known as Quakers, was a Christian movement founded by George Fox in England during the early 1650s. Quakers opposed central church authority, preferring to seek spiritual insight and consensus through egalitarian Quaker meetings. They advocated sexual equality and became some of the most outspoken opponents of slavery in early America. Robinson and Stevenson, who were hanged from an elm tree on Boston Common in Boston, were the first Quakers to be executed in America. Quakers found solace in Rhode Island and other colonies, and Massachusetts’ anti-Quaker laws were later repealed.

In the mid 18th century, John Woolman, an abolitionist Quaker, traveled the American colonies, preaching and advancing the anti-slavery cause. He organized boycotts of products made by slave labor and was responsible for convincing many Quaker communities to publicly denounce slavery. Another of many important abolitionist Quakers was Lucretia Mott, who worked on the Underground Railroad in the 19th century, helping lead fugitive slaves to freedom in the Northern states and Canada. In later years, Mott was a leader in the movement for women’s rights.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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October 26, 1825

The Erie Canal opens.

The Erie Canal opens, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean via the Hudson River. Governor DeWitt Clinton of New York, the driving force behind the project, led the opening ceremonies and rode the canal boat Seneca Chief from Buffalo to New York City.

Work began on the waterway in August 1823. Teams of oxen plowed the ground, but for the most part the work was done by Irish diggers who had to rely on primitive tools. They were paid $10 a month, and barrels of whisky were placed along the canal route as encouragement. West of Troy, 83 canal locks were built to accommodate the 500-foot rise in elevation. After more than two years of digging, the 425-mile Erie Canal was opened on October 26, 1825, by Governor Clinton.

The effect of the canal was immediate and dramatic. Settlers poured into western New York, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Goods were transported at one-tenth the previous fee in less than half the time. Barges of farm produce and raw materials traveled east, as manufactured goods and supplies flowed west. In nine years, tolls had paid back the cost of construction. Later enlarged and deepened, the canal survived competition from the railroads in the latter part of the 19th century. Today, the Erie Canal is used mostly by pleasure boaters, but it is still capable of accommodating heavy barges.



If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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October 25, 1854

Charge of the Light Brigade

In an event alternately described as one of the most heroic or disastrous episodes in British military history, Lord James Cardigan leads a charge of the Light Brigade cavalry against well-defended Russian artillery during the Crimean War. The British were winning the Battle of Balaclava when Cardigan received his order to attack the Russians. His cavalry gallantly charged down the valley and were decimated by the heavy Russian guns, suffering 40 percent casualties. It was later revealed that the order was the result of confusion and was not given intentionally. Lord Cardigan, who survived the battle, was hailed as a national hero in Britain.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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October 24, 1648

The Thirty Years War ends.

The Treaty of Westphalia is signed, ending the Thirty Years War and radically shifting the balance of power in Europe.

The Thirty Years War, a series of wars fought by European nations for various reasons, ignited in 1618 over an attempt by the king of Bohemia (the future Holy Roman emperor Ferdinand II) to impose Catholicism throughout his domains. Protestant nobles rebelled, and by the 1630s most of continental Europe was at war.

As a result of the Treaty of Westphalia, the Netherlands gained independence from Spain, Sweden gained control of the Baltic and France was acknowledged as the preeminent Western power. The power of the Holy Roman Emperor was broken and the German states were again able to determine the religion of their lands.

The principle of state sovereignty emerged as a result of the Treaty of Westphalia and serves as the basis for the modern system of nation-states.



If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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October 23, 42

Brutus commits suicide

Marcus Junius Brutus, a leading conspirator in the assassination of Julius Caesar, commits suicide after his defeat at the second battle of Philippi.

Two years before, Brutus had joined Gaius Cassius Longinus in the plot against the Roman dictator Julius Caesar, believing he was striking a blow for the restoration of the Roman Republic. However, the result of Caesar’s assassination was to plunge the Roman world into a new round of civil wars, with the Republican forces of Brutus and Cassius vying for supremacy against Octavian and Mark Antony. After being defeated by Antony at a battle in Philippi, Greece, in October 42 B.C., Cassius killed himself. On October 23, Brutus’ army was crushed by Octavian and Antony at a second encounter at Philippi, and Brutus took his own life.

Antony and Octavian soon turned against each other, and in 27 B.C. the Roman Republic was lost forever with the ascendance of Octavian as Augustus Caesar, the first emperor of Rome.



If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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10/22/18 12:01 P

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October 22, 1962

President Kennedy announces a blockade of Cuba

On this day in 1962, President John F. Kennedy announces to the American people that he has ordered a blockade of Cuba in response to the discovery that Soviet missiles were being installed on the island. In his televised speech, he condemned Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev for the “clandestine, reckless and provocative threat to world peace” and warned that the United States was fully prepared to retaliate should the missiles be launched.

Four days earlier, Kennedy had been shown photographic proof that the Soviets were building 40 ballistic missile sites on Cuba—within striking distance of the United States. In secret meetings, Kennedy and his closest advisors agreed he had three choices: to negotiate with the Russians to remove the missiles; to bomb the missile sites in Cuba; or implement a naval blockade of the island. Kennedy chose to blockade Cuba, deciding to bomb the missile sites only if further action proved necessary.

The blockade began October 21 and, the next day, Kennedy delivered a public address alerting Americans to the situation. In his speech, he warned a frightened American public that the missiles on Cuba were capable of hitting Washington, D.C. or anywhere in the southeastern portion of the country, the Panama Canal, Mexico City or “as far north as Hudson Bay, Canada, and as far south as Lima, Peru.” A military confrontation appeared imminent when Kennedy told his audience that he ordered the evacuation of the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and put military units on standby. Boldly, he stated, “one path we shall never choose is the path of surrender or submission.”

Khrushchev responded by sending additional ships—possibly carrying military cargo—toward Cuba and by allowing construction at the missile sites to continue. Over the following six days, the Cuban Missile Crisis, as it is now known, brought the world to the brink of global nuclear war while the two leaders engaged in tense negotiations via telegram and letter.

Fortunately by October 28, Kennedy and Khrushchev had reached a settlement and people on both sides of the conflict breathed a collective but wary sigh of relief. The Cuban missile sites were dismantled and, in return, Kennedy agreed to close U.S. missile sites in Turkey.

Edited by: TERMITEMOM at: 10/22/2018 (12:01)
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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10/21/18 12:03 P

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October 21, 1867

Plains Indians sign key provisions of the Medicine Lodge Treaty in Kansas

On this day in 1867, more than 7,000 Southern Plains Indians gather near Medicine Lodge Creek, Kansas, as their leaders sign one of the most important treaties in the history of U.S.-Indian relations.

For decades, Americans had viewed the arid Great Plains country west of the 100th meridian as unsuitable for white settlement; many maps even labeled the area as the Great American Desert. Because of this, policy makers since the days of the Jefferson administration had largely agreed that the territory should be used as one big reservation on which all American Indians could be relocated and left alone to continue their traditional ways of life. This plan was followed for decades. Unfortunately, by 1865, the Indians, roaming freely over the Great Plains, had become a threat to the increasingly important communication and transportation lines connecting the east and west coasts of the nation. At the same time, new dryland farming techniques had led a growing number of white Americans to settle in Kansas and Nebraska, and many others were now eager to move even farther west.

Departing from a half-century of precedent, a federal peace commission began negotiating with the Plains Indians in 1867 with the goal of removing them from the path of white settlement and establishing a new “system for civilizing the tribes.” In the fall, the commission met with representatives from Commanche, Kiowa, Cheyenne, Arapahoe, and other tribes, most of which proved willing to accept the American proposal, although many may not have fully comprehended the implications.


With the treaties signed on October 21 and 28, the old idea of a giant continuous Great Plains reservation was abandoned forever and replaced with a new system in which the Plains Tribes were required to relocate to a clearly bounded reservation in Western Oklahoma. Any tribal member living outside of the reservation would thereafter be in violation of the treaty, and the U.S. would be justified in using whatever means necessary to force them onto the reservation. Likewise, the new policy of “civilizing the tribes” meant that the U.S. would no longer allow the Indians to preserve their traditional ways, but would instead use schools and agricultural education programs to try and eradicate the old customs and assimilate Indians into white culture.

Although most of the major Plains Indian chiefs agreed to the treaty provisions, they did not necessarily speak for all of their people. The authority of chiefs was always highly provisional, and many bands of Plains Indians considered themselves free to accept or reject such treaties regardless of the wishes of their chiefs. When the full import of the Medicine Lodge Treaty became clear to them, some of these bands refused to abandon their hunting grounds and traditional ways, causing decades of violent conflict all across the West.



If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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9/28/18 12:01 P

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September 28, 1918

Flu epidemic hits Philadelphia

On this day in 1918, a Liberty Loan parade in Philadelphia prompts a huge outbreak of the flu epidemic in the city. By the time the epidemic ended, an estimated 30 million people were dead worldwide.

Influenza is a highly contagious virus that attacks the respiratory system and can mutate very quickly to avoid being killed by the human immune system. Generally, only the very old and the very young are susceptible to death from the flu. Though a pandemic of the virus in 1889 had killed thousands all over the world, it was not until 1918 that the world discovered how deadly the flu could be.

The most likely origin of the 1918 flu pandemic was a bird or farm animal in the American Midwest. The virus may have traveled among birds, pigs, sheep, moose, bison and elk, eventually mutating into a version that took hold in the human population. The best evidence suggests that the flu spread slowly through the United States in the first half of the year, then spread to Europe via some of the 200,000 American troops who traveled there to fight in World War I. By June, the flu seemed to have mostly disappeared from North America, after taking a considerable toll.

Over the summer of 1918, the flu spread quickly all over Europe. One of its first stops was Spain, where it killed so many people that it became known the world over as the Spanish Flu. The Spanish Flu was highly unusual because it seemed to affect strong people in the prime of their lives rather than babies and the elderly. By the end of the summer, about 10,000 people were dead. In most cases, hemorrhages in the nose and lungs killed victims within three days.


As fall began, the flu epidemic spiraled out of control. Ports throughout the world usually the first locations in a country to be infected–reported serious problems. In Sierra Leone, 500 of 600 dock workers were too sick to work. Africa, India and the Far East reported epidemics. The spread of the virus among so many people also seems to have made it even more deadly and contagious as it mutated. When the second wave of flu hit London and Boston in September, the results were far worse than those from the previous flu strain.

Twelve thousand soldiers in Massachusetts came down with the flu in mid-September. Each division of the armed services was reporting hundreds of deaths each week due to flu. Philadelphia was the hardest-hit city in the United States. After the Liberty Loan parade on September 28, thousands of people became infected. The city morgue, built to hold 36 bodies, was now faced with the arrival of hundreds within a few days. The entire city was quarantined and nearly 12,000 city residents died. Overall, in the United States, five out of every thousand people fell victim to the flu.

In the rest of the world, the death toll was much worse. In Latin America, 10 out of every thousand people died. In Africa, it was 15 per thousand and in Asia it was as high as 35 per thousand. It is estimated that up to 20 million people perished in India alone. Ten percent of the entire population of Tahiti died within three weeks. In Western Samoa, 20 percent of the population died. More people died from the flu than from all of the battles of World War I combined.




If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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9/27/18 1:26 P

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September 27, 1939

Poland surrenders.

On this day in 1939, 140,000 Polish troops are taken prisoner by the German invaders as Warsaw surrenders to the superior mechanized forces of Hitler’s army. The Poles fought bravely, but were able to hold on for only 26 days.

On the heels of its victory, the Germans began a systematic program of terror, murder, and cruelty, executing members of Poland’s middle and upper classes: Doctors, teachers, priests, landowners, and businessmen were rounded up and killed. The Nazis had given this operation the benign-sounding name “Extraordinary Pacification Action.” The Roman Catholic Church, too, was targeted, because it was a possible source of dissent and counterinsurgency. In one west Poland church diocese alone, 214 priests were shot. And hundreds of thousands more Poles were driven from their homes and relocated east, as Germans settled in the vacated areas.

This was all part of a Hitler master plan. Back in August, Hitler warned his own officers that he was preparing Poland for that “which would not be to the taste of German generals”–including the rounding up of Polish Jews into ghettos, a prelude to their liquidation. All roads were pointing to Auschwitz.



If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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9/26/18 6:00 P

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September 26, 1918

Meuse-Argonne offensive starts

At 5:30 on the morning of September 26, 1918, after a six-hour-long bombardment over the previous night, more than 700 Allied tanks, followed closely by infantry troops, advance against German positions in the Argonne Forest and along the Meuse River.

Building on the success of earlier Allied offensives at Amiens and Albert during the summer of 1918, the Meuse-Argonne offensive, carried out by 37 French and American divisions, was even more ambitious. Aiming to cut off the entire German 2nd Army, Allied Supreme Commander Ferdinand Foch ordered General John J. Pershing to take overall command of the offensive. Pershing’s American Expeditionary Force (AEF) was to play the main attacking role, in what would be the largest American-run offensive of World War I.

After some 400,000 U.S. troops were transferred with difficulty to the region in the wake of the U.S.-run attack at St. Mihiel, launched just 10 days earlier, the Meuse-Argonne offensive began. The preliminary bombardment, using some 800 mustard gas and phosgene shells, killed 278 German soldiers and incapacitated more than 10,000. The infantry advance began the next morning, supported by a battery of tanks and some 500 aircraft from the U.S. Air Service.

By the morning of the following day, the Allies had captured more than 23,000 German prisoners; by nightfall, they had taken 10,000 more and advanced up to six miles in some areas. The Germans continued to fight, however, putting up a stiff resistance that ultimately forced the Allies to settle for far fewer gains than they had hoped.

Pershing called off the Meuse-Argonne offensive on September 30; it was renewed again just four days later, on October 4. Exhausted, demoralized and plagued by the spreading influenza epidemic, the German troops held on another month, before beginning their final retreat. Arriving U.S. reinforcements had time to advance some 32 kilometers before the general armistice was announced on November 11, bringing the First World War to a close.







If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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9/25/18 3:59 P

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September 25, 1789

Bill of Rights passes Congress

The first Congress of the United States approves 12 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and sends them to the states for ratification. The amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, were designed to protect the basic rights of U.S. citizens, guaranteeing the freedom of speech, press, assembly, and exercise of religion; the right to fair legal procedure and to bear arms; and that powers not delegated to the federal government were reserved for the states and the people.

Influenced by the English Bill of Rights of 1689, the Bill of Rights was also drawn from Virginia’s Declaration of Rights, drafted by George Mason in 1776. Mason, a native Virginian, was a lifelong champion of individual liberties, and in 1787 he attended the Constitutional Convention and criticized the final document for lacking constitutional protection of basic political rights. In the ratification process that followed, Mason and other critics agreed to approve the Constitution in exchange for the assurance that amendments would immediately be adopted.

In December 1791, Virginia became the 10th of 14 states to approve 10 of the 12 amendments, thus giving the Bill of Rights the two-thirds majority of state ratification necessary to make it legal. Of the two amendments not ratified, the first concerned the population system of representation, while the second prohibited laws varying the payment of congressional members from taking effect until an election intervened. The first of these two amendments was never ratified, while the second was finally ratified more than 200 years later, in 1992.




If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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9/24/18 8:20 P

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September 24, 1890

The Mormon Church officially renounces plural marriage

On this day in 1890, faced with the eminent destruction of their church and way of life, Mormon leaders reluctantly issue the “Mormon Manifesto” in which they command all Latter-day Saints to uphold the anti-polygamy laws of the nation. The Mormon leaders had been given little choice: If they did not abandon polygamy they faced federal confiscation of their sacred temples and the revocation of basic civil rights for all Mormons.

Followers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had been practicing the doctrine of “plural marriage” since the 1840s. The best available evidence suggests that the church founder, Joseph Smith, first began taking additional wives in 1841, and historians estimate he eventually married more than 50 women. For a time, the practice was shrouded in secrecy, though rumors of widespread polygamy had inspired much of the early hatred and violence directed against the Mormons in Illinois. After establishing their new theocratic state centered in Salt Lake City, the church elders publicly confirmed that plural marriage was a central Mormon belief in 1852.

The doctrine was distinctly one-sided: Mormon women could not take multiple husbands. Nor could just any Mormon man participate. Only those who demonstrated unusually high levels of spiritual and economic worthiness were permitted to practice plural marriage, and the Church also required that the first wife give her consent. As a result of these barriers, relatively few Mormon men had multiple wives. Best estimates suggest that men with two or more wives made up only 5 to 15 percent of the population of most Mormon communities.

Even though only a tiny minority of Mormons practiced plural marriage, many church leaders were very reluctant to abandon it, arguing that to do so would destroy the Mormon way of life. Ironically, though, the Mormon Manifesto’s call for an end to polygamy actually paved the way to greater Mormon-Gentile cooperation and may well have helped ensure the religion’s lasting vitality.



If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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9/23/18 1:27 P

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September 23, 1846

Eighth planet is discovered

German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle discovers the planet Neptune at the Berlin Observatory.

Neptune, generally the eighth planet from the sun, was postulated by the French astronomer Urbain-Jean-Joseph Le Verrier, who calculated the approximate location of the planet by studying gravity-induced disturbances in the motions of Uranus. On September 23, 1846, Le Verrier informed Galle of his findings, and the same night Galle and his assistant Heinrich Louis d’Arrest identified Neptune at their observatory in Berlin. Noting its movement relative to background stars over 24 hours confirmed that it was a planet.

The blue gas giant, which has a diameter four times that of Earth, was named for the Roman god of the sea. It has eight known moons, of which Triton is the largest, and a ring system containing three bright and two dim rings. It completes an orbit of the sun once every 165 years. In 1989, the U.S. planetary spacecraft Voyager 2 was the first human spacecraft to visit Neptune.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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9/22/18 8:24 P

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September 22, 1961

President Kennedy signs Peace Corps legislation

In an important victory for his Cold War foreign policy, President John F. Kennedy signs legislation establishing the Peace Corps as a permanent government agency. Kennedy believed that the Peace Corps could provide a new and unique weapon in the war against communism.

During the presidential campaign of 1960, Democratic candidate John F. Kennedy promised to reinvigorate U.S. foreign policy. He charged that the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower had become stagnant and unimaginative in dealing with the communist threat, particularly in regards to the so-called Third World nations. Shortly after his inauguration in January 1961, Kennedy made good on his promise for a new and aggressive foreign policy. On March 1, 1961, he issued an executive order establishing the Peace Corps. As described by Kennedy, this new organization would be an “army” of civilian volunteers–teachers, engineers, agricultural scientists, etc.–who would be sent to underdeveloped nations in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and elsewhere to assist the people of those regions.

Kennedy hoped that by improving the lives of people in less developed countries, they would become more resistant to the charms of communism and convinced of America’s sincerity and ability to help them. Many in Congress, however, were not convinced. The program carried a fairly hefty price tag. Though the participants were volunteers, they would need basic subsistence and, more important, tools and money to help the people they were sent to assist. Some members of Congress saw it as an expensive public relations ploy, foreign aid (which had never been popular with Congress or the American people) wrapped in a new ribbon. The program, however, actually turned out to have popular appeal. Stories about idealistic young Americans braving privation in foreign lands to help people grow better crops, build schools, or construct wells was good public relations material for the United States. In September 1961, Congress passed legislation establishing the Peace Corps on a permanent basis. A budget of $40 million for the next fiscal year was approved.

In the years after 1961, thousands of Peace Corps volunteers were sent around the world. Some faced indifference, some even faced danger. For the most part, however, the Peace Corps “army” proved to be a valuable, and relatively inexpensive, Cold War weapon for the United States. Most nations welcomed the idealistic volunteers, and their labor helped make better lives for hundreds of thousands of people. Though the Peace Corps is no longer viewed as a weapon against communism, its goal of improving lives remains intact–the Peace Corps outlived the Cold War and continues to send participants to various nations.



If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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9/21/18 12:59 P

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September 21, 1792

Monarchy is abolished in France

n Revolutionary France, the Legislative Assembly votes to abolish the monarchy and establish the First Republic. The measure came one year after King Louis XVI reluctantly approved a new constitution that stripped him of much of his power.

Louis ascended to the French throne in 1774 and from the start was unsuited to deal with the severe financial problems that he inherited from his predecessors. In 1789, food shortages and economic crises led to the outbreak of the French Revolution. King Louis and his queen, Mary-Antoinette, were imprisoned in August 1792, and in September the monarchy was abolished. Soon after, evidence of Louis’ counterrevolutionary intrigues with foreign nations was discovered, and he was put on trial for treason. In January 1793, Louis was convicted and condemned to death by a narrow majority. On January 21, he walked steadfastly to the guillotine and was executed. Marie-Antoinette followed him to the guillotine nine months later.



If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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9/20/18 7:18 P

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September 20, 1519

Magellan sets out

Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan sets sail from Spain in an effort to find a western sea route to the rich Spice Islands of Indonesia. In command of five ships and 270 men, Magellan sailed to West Africa and then to Brazil, where he searched the South American coast for a strait that would take him to the Pacific. He searched the Río de la Plata, a large estuary south of Brazil, for a way through; failing, he continued south along the coast of Patagonia. At the end of March 1520, the expedition set up winter quarters at Port St. Julian. On Easter day at midnight, the Spanish captains mutinied against their Portuguese captain, but Magellan crushed the revolt, executing one of the captains and leaving another ashore when his ship left St. Julian in August.

On October 21, he finally discovered the strait he had been seeking. The Strait of Magellan, as it became known, is located near the tip of South America, separating Tierra del Fuego and the continental mainland. Only three ships entered the passage; one had been wrecked and another deserted. It took 38 days to navigate the treacherous strait, and when ocean was sighted at the other end Magellan wept with joy. He was the first European explorer to reach the Pacific Ocean from the Atlantic. His fleet accomplished the westward crossing of the ocean in 99 days, crossing waters so strangely calm that the ocean was named “Pacific,” from the Latin word pacificus, meaning “tranquil.” By the end, the men were out of food and chewed the leather parts of their gear to keep themselves alive. On March 6, 1521, the expedition landed at the island of Guam.

Ten days later, they dropped anchor at the Philippine island of Cebú–they were only about 400 miles from the Spice Islands. Magellan met with the chief of Cebú, who after converting to Christianity persuaded the Europeans to assist him in conquering a rival tribe on the neighboring island of Mactan. In fighting on April 27, Magellan was hit by a poisoned arrow and left to die by his retreating comrades.

After Magellan’s death, the survivors, in two ships, sailed on to the Moluccas and loaded the hulls with spice. One ship attempted, unsuccessfully, to return across the Pacific. The other ship, the Vittoria, continued west under the command of Basque navigator Juan Sebastián de Elcano. The vessel sailed across the Indian Ocean, rounded the Cape of Good Hope, and arrived at the Spanish port of Sanlúcar de Barrameda on September 6, 1522, becoming the first ship to circumnavigate the globe.



If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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9/19/18 11:22 A

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September 19, 1955

Perón is deposed in Argentina

After a decade of rule, Argentine President Juan Domingo Perón is deposed in a military coup. Perón, a demagogue who came to power in 1946 with the backing of the working classes, became increasingly authoritarian as Argentina’s economy declined in the early 1950s. His greatest political resource was his charismatic wife, Eva “Evita” Perón, but she died in 1952, signaling the collapse of the national coalition that had backed him. Having antagonized the church, students, and others, he was forced into exile by the military in September 1955. He settled in Spain, where he served as leader-in-exile to the “Peronists”–a powerful faction of Argentines who remained loyal to him and his system.

Born into a lower middle class family in 1895, Juan Domingo Perón built a career in the army, eventually rising to the rank of colonel. In 1943, he was a leader of a group of military conspirators that overthrew Argentina’s ineffectual civilian government. Requesting for himself the seemingly minor cabinet post of secretary of labor and social welfare, he began building a political empire based in the labor unions. By 1945, he was also vice president and minister of war in the military regime.

In 1945, Perón oversaw the return of political freedoms in the country, but this led to unrest and mass demonstrations by opposition groups. Perón’s enemies in the navy seized the opportunity and had him arrested on October 9. Labor unions organized strikes and rallies in protest of his imprisonment, and Perón’s beautiful paramour, the radio actress Eva Duarte, was highly effective in enlisting the public to the cause. On October 17, Perón was released, and that night he addressed a crowd of some 300,000 people from the balcony of the presidential palace. He vowed to lead the people to victory in the coming presidential election. Four days later, Perón, a widower, married Eva Duarte, or Evita, as she became affectionately known.

In the subsequent presidential campaign, Perón suppressed the liberal opposition, and his Labor Party won a narrow, but complete, election victory. President Perón removed political opponents from their positions in the government, courts, and schools, nationalized public services, and improved wages and working conditions. Although he restricted constitutional liberties, he won overwhelming support from the masses of poor workers, whom Evita Perón called los descamisados, or the “shirtless ones.” Evita served an important role in the government, unofficially leading the Department of Social Welfare and taking over her husband’s role as caretaker of the working classes. She was called the “First Worker of Argentina” and “Lady of Hope,” and was instrumental in securing passage of a woman suffrage law.

In 1950, Argentina’s postwar export boom tapered off, and inflation and corruption grew. After being reelected in 1951, Perón became more conservative and repressive and seized control of the press to control criticism of his regime. In July 1952, Evita died of cancer, and support for President Perón among the working classes became decidedly less pronounced. His attempt to force the separation of church and state was met with considerable controversy. In June 1955, church leaders excommunicated him, encouraging a clique of military officers to plot his overthrow. On September 19, 1955, the army and navy revolted, and Perón was forced to flee to Paraguay. In 1960, he settled in Spain.

Meanwhile, a string of civilian and military governments failed to resolve Argentina’s economic troubles. The memory of Perón’s regime improved with time, and Peronismo became the most powerful political force in the country. In 1971, the military regime of General Alejandro Lanusse announced his intention to restore constitutional democracy in 1973, and Perón was allowed to visit Argentina in 1972. In March 1973, Peronists won control of the government in national elections, and Perón returned in June amid great public excitement and fighting among Peronist factions.

In October 1973, Perón was elected president in a special election. His wife, Isabel Perón, an Argentine dancer he married in 1961, was elected vice president. She was much resented by millions still devoted to the memory of Evita Perón.

Economic troubles continued in Perón’s second presidency and were made worse by the Arab oil embargo of 1973 and an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease that devastated Argentina’s beef industry. When Perón died on July 1, 1974, his wife became president of a nation suffering from inflation, political violence, and labor unrest. In March 1976, she was deposed in an air-force-led coup, and a right-wing military junta took power that brutally ruled Argentina until 1982.




If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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September 18, 1793

Capitol cornerstone is laid.

On this day in 1793, George Washington lays the cornerstone to the United States Capitol building, the home of the legislative branch of American government. The building would take nearly a century to complete, as architects came and went, the British set fire to it and it was called into use during the Civil War. Today, the Capitol building, with its famous cast-iron dome and important collection of American art, is part of the Capitol Complex, which includes six Congressional office buildings and three Library of Congress buildings, all developed in the 19th and 20th centuries.

As a young nation, the United States had no permanent capital, and Congress met in eight different cities, including Baltimore, New York and Philadelphia, before 1791. In 1790, Congress passed the Residence Act, which gave President Washington the power to select a permanent home for the federal government. The following year, he chose what would become the District of Columbia from land provided by Maryland. Washington picked three commissioners to oversee the capital city’s development and they in turn chose French engineer Pierre Charles L’Enfant to come up with the design. However, L’Enfant clashed with the commissioners and was fired in 1792. A design competition was then held, with a Scotsman named William Thornton submitting the winning entry for the Capitol building. In September 1793, Washington laid the Capitol’s cornerstone and the lengthy construction process, which would involve a line of project managers and architects, got under way.

In 1800, Congress moved into the Capitol’s north wing. In 1807, the House of Representatives moved into the building’s south wing, which was finished in 1811. During the War of 1812, the British invaded Washington, D.C., and set fire to the Capitol on August 24, 1814. A rainstorm saved the building from total destruction. Congress met in nearby temporary quarters from 1815 to 1819. In the early 1850s, work began to expand the Capitol to accommodate the growing number of Congressmen. In 1861, construction was temporarily halted while the Capitol was used by Union troops as a hospital and barracks. Following the war, expansions and modern upgrades to the building continued into the next century.

Today, the Capitol, which is visited by 3 million to 5 million people each year, has 540 rooms and covers a ground area of about four acres.



If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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September 17, 1939

The Soviet Union invades Poland

On this day in 1939, Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov declares that the Polish government has ceased to exist, as the U.S.S.R. exercises the “fine print” of the Hitler-Stalin Non-aggression pact—the invasion and occupation of eastern Poland.

Hitler’s troops were already wreaking havoc in Poland, having invaded on the first of the month. The Polish army began retreating and regrouping east, near Lvov, in eastern Galicia, attempting to escape relentless German land and air offensives. But Polish troops had jumped from the frying pan into the fire—as Soviet troops began occupying eastern Poland. The Ribbentrop-Molotov Non-aggression Pact, signed in August, had eliminated any hope Poland had of a Russian ally in a war against Germany. Little did Poles know that a secret clause of that pact, the details of which would not become public until 1990, gave the U.S.S.R. the right to mark off for itself a chunk of Poland’s eastern region. The “reason” given was that Russia had to come to the aid of its “blood brothers,” the Ukrainians and Byelorussians, who were trapped in territory that had been illegally annexed by Poland. Now Poland was squeezed from West and East—trapped between two behemoths. Its forces overwhelmed by the mechanized modern German army, Poland had nothing left with which to fight the Soviets.

As Soviet troops broke into Poland, they unexpectedly met up with German troops who had fought their way that far east in a little more than two weeks. The Germans receded when confronted by the Soviets, handing over their Polish prisoners of war. Thousands of Polish troops were taken into captivity; some Poles simply surrendered to the Soviets to avoid being captured by the Germans.

The Soviet Union would wind up with about three-fifths of Poland and 13 million of its people as a result of the invasion.




If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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September 16, 1620

The Mayflower departs England.

The Mayflower sails from Plymouth, England, bound for the New World with 102 passengers. The ship was headed for Virginia, where the colonists–half religious dissenters and half entrepreneurs–had been authorized to settle by the British crown. However, stormy weather and navigational errors forced the Mayflower off course, and on November 21 the “Pilgrims” reached Massachusetts, where they founded the first permanent European settlement in New England in late December.

Thirty-five of the Pilgrims were members of the radical English Separatist Church, who traveled to America to escape the jurisdiction of the Church of England, which they found corrupt. Ten years earlier, English persecution had led a group of Separatists to flee to Holland in search of religious freedom. However, many were dissatisfied with economic opportunities in the Netherlands, and under the direction of William Bradford they decided to immigrate to Virginia, where an English colony had been founded at Jamestown in 1607.

The Separatists won financial backing from a group of investors called the London Adventurers, who were promised a sizable share of the colony’s profits. Three dozen church members made their way back to England, where they were joined by about 70 entrepreneurs–enlisted by the London stock company to ensure the success of the enterprise. In August 1620, the Mayflower left Southampton with a smaller vessel–the Speedwell–but the latter proved unseaworthy and twice was forced to return to port. On September 16, the Mayflower left for America alone from Plymouth.

In a difficult Atlantic crossing, the 90-foot Mayflower encountered rough seas and storms and was blown more than 500 miles off course. Along the way, the settlers formulated and signed the Mayflower Compact, an agreement that bound the signatories into a “civil body politic.” Because it established constitutional law and the rule of the majority, the compact is regarded as an important precursor to American democracy. After a 66-day voyage, the ship landed on November 21 on the tip of Cape Cod at what is now Provincetown, Massachusetts.

After coming to anchor in Provincetown harbor, a party of armed men under the command of Captain Myles Standish was sent out to explore the area and find a location suitable for settlement. While they were gone, Susanna White gave birth to a son, Peregrine, aboard the Mayflower. He was the first English child born in New England. In mid-December, the explorers went ashore at a location across Cape Cod Bay where they found cleared fields and plentiful running water and named the site Plymouth.

The expedition returned to Provincetown, and on December 21 the Mayflower came to anchor in Plymouth harbor. Just after Christmas, the pilgrims began work on dwellings that would shelter them through their difficult first winter in America.

In the first year of settlement, half the colonists died of disease. In 1621, the health and economic condition of the colonists improved, and that autumn Governor William Bradford invited neighboring Indians to Plymouth to celebrate the bounty of that year’s harvest season. Plymouth soon secured treaties with most local Indian tribes, and the economy steadily grew, and more colonists were attracted to the settlement. By the mid 1640s, Plymouth’s population numbered 3,000 people, but by then the settlement had been overshadowed by the larger Massachusetts Bay Colony to the north, settled by Puritans in 1629.

The term “Pilgrim” was not used to describe the Plymouth colonists until the early 19th century and was derived from a manuscript in which Governor Bradford spoke of the “saints” who left Holland as “pilgrimes.” The orator Daniel Webster spoke of “Pilgrim Fathers” at a bicentennial celebration of Plymouth’s founding in 1820, and thereafter the term entered common usage.



If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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September 15, 1935

Nuremberg Race Laws take effect

On this day in 1935, German Jews are stripped of their citizenship, reducing them to mere “subjects” of the state.

After Hitler’s accession to the offices of president and chancellor of Germany, he set about the task of remaking his adopted country (Hitler had to pull some strings even to be eligible for office, as he was Austrian by birth) into the dream state he imagined. But his dream was soon to become a nightmare for many. Early on in his reign, the lives of non-Jewish German citizens were barely disrupted. But not so for Hitler’s “enemies.” Hitler’s racist ideology, which elevated those of “pure-blooded” German stock to the level of “masters” of the earth, began working itself out in vicious ways.

Within the first year of Hitler’s rule, German Jews were excluded from a host of high-profile vocations, from public office to journalism, radio, theater, film, and teaching-even farming. The professions of law and medicine were also withdrawn slowly as opportunities. “Jews Not Welcome” signs could be seen on shop and hotel windows, beer gardens, and other public arenas. With the Nuremberg Laws, these discriminatory acts became embedded in the culture by fiat, making them even more far-reaching. Jews were forbidden to marry “Aryans” or engage in extramarital relations with them. Jews could not employ female Aryan servants if they were less than 35 years of age. Jews found it difficult even to buy food, as groceries, bakeries, and dairies would not admit Jewish customers. Even pharmacies refused to sell them medicines or drugs.


What was the outside world’s reaction? Because unemployment had dropped precipitously under Hitler’s early commandeering of the economy, and the average German felt renewed hope and pride, the face of Germany seemed brighter, more at peace with itself. While some foreign visitors, even some political opponents within Germany itself, decried these racist laws and practices, most were beguiled into thinking it was merely a phase, and that Hitler, in the words of former British Prime Minister Lloyd George, was “a great man.”







If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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September 14, 1812

Napoléon enters Moscow

One week after winning a bloody victory over the Russian army at the Battle of Borodino, Napoléon Bonaparte’s Grande Armée enters the city of Moscow, only to find the population evacuated and the Russian army retreated again. Moscow was the goal of the invasion, but the deserted city held no czarist officials to sue for peace and no great stores of food or supplies to reward the French soldiers for their long march. Then, just after midnight, fires broke out across the city, apparently set by Russian patriots, leaving Napoléon’s massive army with no means to survive the coming Russian winter.

In 1812, French Emperor Napoléon I was still at the height of his fortunes. The Peninsular War against Britain was a thorn in the side of his great European empire, but he was confident that his generals would soon triumph in Spain. All that remained to complete his “Continental System”–a unilateral European blockade designed to economically isolate Britain and force its subjugation–was the cooperation of Russia. After earlier conflict, Napoléon and Alexander I kept a tenuous peace, but the Russian czar was unwilling to submit to the Continental System, which was ruinous to the Russian economy. To intimidate Alexander, Napoléon massed his forces in Poland in the spring of 1812, but still the czar resisted.

On June 24, Napoléon ordered his Grande Armée, the largest European military force ever assembled to that date, into Russia. The enormous army featured more than 500,000 soldiers and staff and included contingents from Prussia, Austria, and other countries under the sway of the French empire. Napoléon’s military successes lay in his ability to move his armies rapidly and strike quickly, but in the opening months of his Russian invasion he was forced to be content with a Russian army in perpetual retreat. The fleeing Russian forces adopted a “scorched earth” strategy, seizing or burning any supplies that the French might pillage from the countryside. Meanwhile, Napoléon’s supply lines became overextended as he advanced deeper and deeper into the Russian expanse.

Many in the czarist government were critical of the Russian army’s refusal to engage Napoleon in a direct confrontation. Under public pressure, Alexander named General Mikhail Kutuzov supreme commander in August, but the veteran of earlier defeats against Napoleon continued the retreat. Finally, Kutuzov agreed to halt at the town of Borodino, about 70 miles west of Moscow, and engage the French. The Russians built fortifications, and on September 7 the Grande Armée attacked. Napoléon was uncharacteristically cautious that day; he didn’t try to outflank the Russians, and he declined to send much-needed reinforcements into the fray. The result was a bloody and narrow victory and another retreat by the Russian army.

Although disturbed by the progress of the campaign, Napoléon was sure that once Moscow was taken Alexander would be forced to capitulate. On September 14, the French entered a deserted Moscow. All but a few thousand of the city’s 275,000 people were gone. Napoléon retired to a house on the outskirts of the city for the night, but two hours after midnight he was informed that a fire had broken out in the city. He went to the Kremlin, where he watched the flames continue to grow. Strange reports began to come in telling of Russians starting the fires and stoking the flames. Suddenly a fire broke out within the Kremlin, apparently set by a Russian military policeman who was immediately executed. With the firestorm spreading, Napoléon and his entourage were forced to flee down burning streets to Moscow’s outskirts and narrowly avoided being asphyxiated. When the flames died down three days later, more than two-thirds of the city was destroyed.


In the aftermath of the calamity, Napoléon still hoped Alexander would ask for peace. In a letter to the czar he wrote: “My lord Brother. Beautiful, magical Moscow exists no more. How could you consign to destruction the loveliest city in the world, a city that has taken hundreds of years to build?” The fire was allegedly set on the orders of Moscow Governor-General Feodor Rostopchin; though Rostopchin later denied the charge. Alexander said the burning of Moscow “illuminated his soul,” and he refused to negotiate with Napoleon.

After waiting a month for a surrender that never came, Napoléon was forced to lead his starving army out of the ruined city. Suddenly, Kutuzov’s army appeared and gave battle on October 19 at Maloyaroslavets. The disintegrating Grande Armée was forced to abandon the fertile, southern route by which it hoped to retreat and proceed back along the ravaged path over which it had originally advanced. During the disastrous retreat, Napoléon’s army suffered continual harassment from the merciless Russian army. Stalked by hunger, subzero temperatures, and the deadly lances of the Cossacks, the decimated army reached the Berezina River late in November, near the border with French-occupied Lithuania. However, the river was unexpectedly thawed, and the Russians had destroyed the bridges at Borisov.

Napoléon’s engineers managed to construct two makeshift bridges at Studienka, and on November 26 the bulk of his army began to cross the river. On November 29, the Russians pressed from the east, and the French were forced to burn the bridges, leaving some 10,000 stragglers on the other side. The Russians largely abandoned their pursuit after that point, but thousands of French troops continued to succumb to hunger, exhaustion, and the cold. In December, Napoléon abandoned what remained of his army and raced back to Paris, where people were saying he had died and a general had led an unsuccessful coup. He traveled incognito across Europe with a few cohorts and reached the capital of his empire on December 18. Six days later, the Grande Armée finally escaped Russia, having suffered a loss of more than 400,000 men during the disastrous invasion.

With Europe emboldened by his catastrophic failure in Russia, an allied force rose up to defeat Napoléon in 1814. Exiled to the island of Elba, he escaped to France in early 1815 and raised a new army that enjoyed fleeting success before its crushing defeat at Waterloo in June 1815. Napoléon was then exiled to the remote island of Saint Helena, where he died six years later.



If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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September 13, 1759

Britain is victorious on the Plains of Abraham in Québec.

During the Seven Years War, a worldwide conflict known as the French and Indian War in America, the British under General James Wolfe achieve a dramatic victory when they scale the cliffs over the city of Quebec, defeating the Marquis de Montcalm’s French forces on the Plains of Abraham. Wolfe himself was fatally wounded during the battle, but his victory ensured British supremacy in Canada. Montcalm also suffered a mortal wound during the battle.

In the early 1750s, French expansion into the Ohio River valley repeatedly brought France into armed conflict with the British colonies. In 1756–the first official year of fighting in the Seven Years War–the British suffered a series of defeats against the French and their broad network of Native American alliances. However, in 1757, British Prime Minister William Pitt (the older) recognized the potential of imperial expansion that would come out of victory against the French and borrowed heavily to fund an expanded war effort. Pitt financed Prussia’s struggle against France and her allies in Europe and reimbursed the colonies for the raising of armies in North America.

By 1760, the French had been expelled from Canada, and by 1763 all of France’s allies in Europe had either made a separate peace with Prussia or had been defeated. In addition, Spanish attempts to aid France in the Americas had failed, and France also suffered defeats against British forces in India.

The Seven Years War ended with the signing of the treaties of Hubertusburg and Paris in February 1763. In the Treaty of Paris, France lost all claims to Canada and gave Louisiana to Spain, while Britain received Spanish Florida, Upper Canada, and various French holdings overseas. The treaty ensured the colonial and maritime supremacy of Britain and strengthened the 13 American colonies by removing their European rivals to the north and the south. Fifteen years later, French bitterness over the loss of most of their colonial empire contributed to their intervention in the American Revolution on the side of the Patriots.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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September 12, 1940

Lascaux cave paintings are discovered

Near Montignac, France, a collection of prehistoric cave paintings are discovered by four teenagers who stumbled upon the ancient artwork after following their dog down a narrow entrance into a cavern. The 15,000- to 17,000-year-old paintings, consisting mostly of animal representations, are among the finest examples of art from the Upper Paleolithic period.

First studied by the French archaeologist Henri-Édouard-Prosper Breuil, the Lascaux grotto consists of a main cavern 66 feet wide and 16 feet high. The walls of the cavern are decorated with some 600 painted and drawn animals and symbols and nearly 1,500 engravings. The pictures depict in excellent detail numerous types of animals, including horses, red deer, stags, bovines, felines, and what appear to be mythical creatures. There is only one human figure depicted in the cave: a bird-headed man with an erect phallus. Archaeologists believe that the cave was used over a long period of time as a center for hunting and religious rites.

The Lascaux grotto was opened to the public in 1948 but was closed in 1963 because artificial lights had faded the vivid colors of the paintings and caused algae to grow over some of them. A replica of the Lascaux cave was opened nearby in 1983 and receives tens of thousands of visitors annually.



If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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September 11, 2001

9/11

At 8:45 a.m. on a clear Tuesday morning, an American Airlines Boeing 767 loaded with 20,000 gallons of jet fuel crashes into the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The impact left a gaping, burning hole near the 80th floor of the 110-story skyscraper, instantly killing hundreds of people and trapping hundreds more in higher floors. As the evacuation of the tower and its twin got underway, television cameras broadcasted live images of what initially appeared to be a freak accident. Then, 18 minutes after the first plane hit, a second Boeing 767–United Airlines Flight 175–appeared out of the sky, turned sharply toward the World Trade Center, and sliced into the south tower at about the 60th floor. The collision caused a massive explosion that showered burning debris over surrounding buildings and the streets below. America was under attack.

The attackers were Islamic terrorists from Saudi Arabia and several other Arab nations. Reportedly financed by Saudi fugitive Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda terrorist organization, they were allegedly acting in retaliation for America’s support of Israel, its involvement in the Persian Gulf War, and its continued military presence in the Middle East. Some of the terrorists had lived in the United States for more than a year and had taken flying lessons at American commercial flight schools. Others had slipped into the U.S. in the months before September 11 and acted as the “muscle” in the operation. The 19 terrorists easily smuggled box-cutters and knives through security at three East Coast airports and boarded four flights bound for California, chosen because the planes were loaded with fuel for the long transcontinental journey. Soon after takeoff, the terrorists commandeered the four planes and took the controls, transforming the ordinary commuter jets into guided missiles.


As millions watched in horror the events unfolding in New York, American Airlines Flight 77 circled over downtown Washington and slammed into the west side of the Pentagon military headquarters at 9:45 a.m. Jet fuel from the Boeing 757 caused a devastating inferno that led to a structural collapse of a portion of the giant concrete building. All told, 125 military personnel and civilians were killed in the Pentagon along with all 64 people aboard the airliner.

Less than 15 minutes after the terrorists struck the nerve center of the U.S. military, the horror in New York took a catastrophic turn for the worse when the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed in a massive cloud of dust and smoke. The structural steel of the skyscraper, built to withstand winds in excess of 200 mph and a large conventional fire, could not withstand the tremendous heat generated by the burning jet fuel. At 10:30 a.m., the other Trade Center tower collapsed. Close to 3,000 people died in the World Trade Center and its vicinity, including a staggering 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers, and 37 Port Authority police officers who were struggling to complete an evacuation of the buildings and save the office workers trapped on higher floors. Only six people in the World Trade Center towers at the time of their collapse survived. Almost 10,000 other people were treated for injuries, many severe.

Meanwhile, a fourth California-bound plane–United Flight 93–was hijacked about 40 minutes after leaving Newark International Airport in New Jersey. Because the plane had been delayed in taking off, passengers on board learned of events in New York and Washington via cell phone and Airfone calls to the ground. Knowing that the aircraft was not returning to an airport as the hijackers claimed, a group of passengers and flight attendants planned an insurrection. One of the passengers, Thomas Burnett, Jr., told his wife over the phone that “I know we’re all going to die. There’s three of us who are going to do something about it. I love you, honey.” Another passenger–Todd Beamer–was heard saying “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll” over an open line. Sandy Bradshaw, a flight attendant, called her husband and explained that she had slipped into a galley and was filling pitchers with boiling water. Her last words to him were “Everyone’s running to first class. I’ve got to go. Bye.”


The passengers fought the four hijackers and are suspected to have attacked the cockpit with a fire extinguisher. The plane then flipped over and sped toward the ground at upwards of 500 miles per hour, crashing in a rural field in western Pennsylvania at 10:10 a.m. All 45 people aboard were killed. Its intended target is not known, but theories include the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland, or one of several nuclear power plants along the eastern seaboard.

At 7 p.m., President George W. Bush, who had spent the day being shuttled around the country because of security concerns, returned to the White House. At 9 p.m., he delivered a televised address from the Oval Office, declaring “Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.” In a reference to the eventual U.S. military response he declared: “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.”

Operation Enduring Freedom, the U.S.-led international effort to oust the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and destroy Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network based there, began on October 7, 2001. Bin Laden was killed during a raid of his compound in Pakistan by U.S. forces on May 2, 2011.



If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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September 10, 1977

The guillotine falls silent

At the Baumetes Prison in Marseille, France, Hamida Djandoubi, a Tunisian immigrant convicted of murder, becomes the last person executed by guillotine.

The guillotine first gained fame during the French Revolution when physician and revolutionary Joseph-Ignace Guillotin won passage of a law requiring all death sentences to be carried out by “means of a machine.” Decapitating machines had been used earlier in Ireland and England, and Guillotin and his supporters viewed these devices as more humane than other execution techniques, such as hanging or firing squad. A French decapitating machine was built and tested on cadavers, and on April 25, 1792, a highwayman became the first person in Revolutionary France to be executed by this method.

The device soon became known as the “guillotine” after its advocate, and more than 10,000 people lost their heads by guillotine during the Revolution, including Louis XVI and Mary Antoinette, the former king and queen of France.

Use of the guillotine continued in France in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the last execution by guillotine occurred in 1977. In September 1981, France outlawed capital punishment altogether, thus abandoning the guillotine forever. There is a museum dedicated to the guillotine in Liden, Sweden.







If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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September 9, 1776

Congress renames the nation “United States of America”

On this day in 1776, the Continental Congress formally declares the name of the new nation to be the “United States” of America. This replaced the term “United Colonies,” which had been in general use.

In the Congressional declaration dated September 9, 1776, the delegates wrote, “That in all continental commissions, and other instruments, where, heretofore, the words ‘United Colonies’ have been used, the stile be altered for the future to the “United States.”

A resolution by Richard Henry Lee, which had been presented to Congress on June 7 and approved on July 2, 1776, issued the resolve, “That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States….” As a result, John Adams thought July 2 would be celebrated as “the most memorable epoch in the history of America.” Instead, the day has been largely forgotten in favor of July 4, when Jefferson’s edited Declaration of Independence was adopted. That document also states, “That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES.” However, Lee began with the line, while Jefferson saved it for the middle of his closing paragraph.

By September, the Declaration of Independence had been drafted, signed, printed and sent to Great Britain. What Congress had declared to be true on paper in July was clearly the case in practice, as Patriot blood was spilled against the British on the battlefields of Boston, Montreal, Quebec and New York. Congress had created a country from a cluster of colonies and the nation’s new name reflected that reality.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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September 8, 1941

The Great Siege of Leningrad begins.

During World War II, German forces begin their siege of Leningrad, a major industrial center and the USSR’s second-largest city. The German armies were later joined by Finnish forces that advanced against Leningrad down the Karelian Isthmus. The siege of Leningrad, also known as the 900-Day Siege though it lasted a grueling 872 days, resulted in the deaths of some one million of the city’s civilians and Red Army defenders.

Leningrad, formerly St. Petersburg, capital of the Russian Empire, was one of the initial targets of the German invasion of June 1941. As German armies raced across the western Soviet Union, three-quarters of Leningrad’s industrial plants and hundreds of thousands of its inhabitants were evacuated to the east. More than two million residents remained, however, and the evacuated were replaced by refugees who fled to Leningrad ahead of the German advance. All able-bodied persons in the city–men, women, and children–were enlisted to build antitank fortifications along Leningrad’s edge. By the end of July, German forces had cut the Moscow-Leningrad railway and were penetrating the outer belt of the fortifications around Leningrad. On September 8, German forces besieged the city, but they were held at bay by Leningrad’s fortifications and its 200,000 Red Army defenders. That day, a German air bombardment set fire to warehouses containing a large part of Leningrad’s scant food supply.

Aiming to tighten the noose around Leningrad, the Germans launched an offensive to the east in October and cut off the last highways and rail lines south of the city. Meanwhile, Finnish forces advanced down the Karelian Isthmus (which had been seized from Finland by the Soviets during the Russo-Finnish War of 1939 to 1940) and besieged Leningrad from the north. By early November, the city was almost completely encircled, and only across Lake Ladoga was a supply lifeline possible.

German artillery and air bombardments came several times a day during the first months of the siege. The daily ration for civilians was reduced to 125 grams of bread, no more than a thick slice. Starvation set in by December, followed by the coldest winter in decades, with temperatures falling to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. People worked through the winter in makeshift armament factories without roofs, building the weapons that kept the Germans just short of victory.

Residents burned books and furniture to stay warm and searched for food to supplement their scarce rations. Animals from the city zoo were consumed early in the siege, followed before long by household pets. Wallpaper paste made from potatoes was scraped off the wall, and leather was boiled to produce an edible jelly. Grass and weeds were cooked, and scientists worked to extract vitamins from pine needles and tobacco dust. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, resorted to cannibalizing the dead, and in a few cases people were murdered for their flesh. The Leningrad police struggled to keep order and formed a special division to combat cannibalism.

Across frozen Lake Ladoga, trucks made it to Leningrad with supplies, but not enough. Thousands of residents, mostly children and the elderly, were evacuated across the lake, but many more remained in the city and succumbed to starvation, the bitter cold, and the relentless German air attacks. In 1942 alone, the siege claimed some 600,000 lives. In the summer, barges and other ships braved German air attack to cross Lake Ladoga to Leningrad with supplies.

In January 1943, Red Army soldiers broke through the German line, rupturing the blockade and creating a more efficient supply route along the shores of Lake Ladoga. For the rest of the winter and then during the next, the “road of life” across the frozen Lake Ladoga kept Leningrad alive. Eventually, an oil pipeline and electric cables were laid on the lake bed. In the summer of 1943, vegetables planted on any open ground in the city supplemented rations.

In early 1944, Soviet forces approached Leningrad, forcing German forces to retreat southward from the city on January 27. The siege was over. A giant Soviet offensive to sweep the USSR clean of its invaders began in May. The 872-day siege of Leningrad cost an estimated one million Soviet lives, perhaps hundreds of thousands more. The Soviet government awarded the Order of Lenin to the people of Leningrad in 1945, paying tribute to their endurance during the grueling siege. The city did not regain its prewar population of three million until the 1960s.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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September 7. 1977

President Carter agrees to transfer Panama Canal to Panama

On this day in 1977, President Jimmy Carter signs a treaty that will give Panama control over the Panama Canal beginning in the year 2000. The treaty ended an agreement signed in 1904 between then-President Theodore Roosevelt and Panama, which gave the U.S. the right to build the canal and a renewable lease to control five miles of land along either side of it.

The desire for a shorter route between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans had a long history, beginning with the Spanish explorers of the 16th century. Before the canal was built, ships were required to travel around the treacherous Cape Horn of South America, a journey that frequently resulted in great loss of life and cargo. From 1869 to 1877, U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant authorized no less than seven feasibility studies of a canal across the thin Panamanian isthmus. In 1881, a French consortium of investors hired Suez Canal designer Ferdinand deLesseps to build a canal through Panama. The French project was called off in 1888, however, after workers died by the thousands from disease and construction accidents.

In 1904, building a canal across Panama became a pet project of President Theodore Roosevelt; the effort was led by American engineer John Stevens. Although death from jungle diseases decreased with the implementation of an improved sanitation system, designed by Dr. William Gorgas, the project dragged on so long that Stevens quit in despair. In November 1906, in an attempt to boost flagging morale and dwindling Congressional support for the project, Roosevelt visited and posed for photographs at the site, sitting at the controls of an enormous earth-moving tractor.

In 1914, after 10 years, Roosevelt’s perseverance paid off; the 51-mile-long canal opened on August 15. The engineer who took over for Stevens quipped at the opening of the canal that “the real builder of the Panama Canal was Theodore Roosevelt.” The canal facilitated increased passenger travel and cargo shipments between nations around the world and U.S. control over the canal helped guarantee America’s status as an international power.

Transfer of ownership of the Panama Canal occurred peacefully as planned on December 31, 1999.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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September 6, 1901

President McKinley is shot.

On this day in 1901, President William McKinley is shaking hands at the Pan-American Exhibition in Buffalo, New York, when a 28-year-old anarchist named Leon Czolgosz approaches him and fires two shots into his chest. The president rose slightly on his toes before collapsing forward, saying “be careful how you tell my wife.”

Czolgosz moved over the president with the intent of firing a third shot, but was wrestled to the ground by McKinley’s bodyguards. McKinley, still conscious, told the guards not to hurt his assailant. Other presidential attendants rushed McKinley to the hospital where they found two bullet wounds: one bullet had superficially punctured his sternum and the other had dangerously entered his abdomen. He was rushed into surgery and seemed to be on the mend by September 12. Later that day, however, the president’s condition worsened rapidly and, on September 14, McKinley died from gangrene that had gone undetected in the internal wound. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt was immediately sworn in as president.

Czolgosz, a Polish immigrant, grew up in Detroit and had worked as a child laborer in a steel mill. As a young adult, he gravitated toward socialist and anarchist ideology. He claimed to have killed McKinley because he was the head of what Czolgosz thought was a corrupt government. Czolgosz was convicted and executed in an electric chair on October 29, 1901. The unrepentant killer’s last words were “I killed the president because he was the enemy of the good people—the working people.” His electrocution was allegedly filmed by Thomas Edison.

On September 16, after receiving a funeral befitting a president in Washington, D.C., McKinley’s coffin was transported by train to his hometown of Canton, Ohio, for burial.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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September 5, 1914

The Battle of the Marne begins.

Thirty miles northeast of Paris, the French 6th Army under General Michel-Joseph Maunoury begins attacking the right flank of German forces advancing on the French capital. By the next day, the counterattack was total. More than two million soldiers fought in the Battle of the Marne, and 100,000 of them were killed or wounded. On September 9, the exhausted Germans began a fighting retreat to the Aisne River. The Battle of the Marne was the first significant Allied victory of World War I, saving Paris and thwarting Germany’s plan for a quick victory over France.

After the outbreak of hostilities in Europe in August 1914, Germany took the offensive in the West, hoping to defeat France before the Russians were able to fully mobilize in the East. The Germans rushed across Belgium, routing the Allies, and by September the “Schlieffen Plan”–the planned outflanking of the French forces–seemed headed to a triumphant conclusion. In early September, German forces crossed the Marne River to the northeast of Paris, and the French government was evacuated to Bordeaux.

As retreating French forces and the British Expeditionary Force scrambled to prepare a counterattack, they were dealt a lucky hand when precise information about the German plan of attack was found in a knapsack retrieved from a slain German officer. The French had thought that German General Alexander von Kluck’s 1st Army would march into the Oise Valley, but the plan told of a direct march on Paris. The French commander in chief, General Joseph Joffre, coordinated the information into his battle plans, and on the afternoon of September 5 the French 6th Army under General Michel-Joseph Maunoury surprised the right flank of Kluck’s 1st Army near the Marne River.

Kluck turned his army to meet the French 6th Army, creating a gap between his 1st Army and German General Karl von Bulow’s 2nd Army, 30 miles to the southeast. The French 5th Army then turned and rushed into the gap to attack BÝlow, and the British Expeditionary Force halted its retreat and turned to likewise advance into the gap. Meanwhile, to the west of the German 2nd Army, the newly created French 9th Army attacked the German 3rd Army.

For three bloody days, the battle shifted back and forth along a 100-mile front. The French 6th Army stubbornly held its ground under heavy counterattacks by Kluck’s 1st Army, and at one point 600 Paris taxicabs were enlisted to drive 6,000 French troops from the capital to the battle front. The fighting was so near the city that the automobiles could make the trip there and back on a single tank of gas.

On September 9, General Bulow learned of the approach of the British Expeditionary Force and ordered his 2nd Army to retreat. General Kluck and the German 1st Army had no choice but to follow, and by September 11 the retreat extended to all the German armies. The Germans retreated 40 miles north to the Lower Aisne River, where they dug trenches and succeeded in repelling successive attacks by the pursuing Allied forces. Both sides then tried and failed to outflank each other in the “Race to the Sea,” in which trench networks were extended northwestward by both sides until they reached the Atlantic at a point inside Belgium.

Because it defeated Germany’s Schlieffen Plan and also ended Allied hopes for a quick end to the war, the First Battle of the Marne ranks as one of the most decisive battles in history. Around 100,000 soldiers were killed or wounded in its six days of heavy fighting, roughly an equal number on each side. By the end of 1914, well over a million soldiers of various nationalities had been killed on the battlefields of Europe, and neither for the Allies nor the Central Powers was victory in sight. On the western front–the battle line that stretched across northern France and Belgium–the combatants settled down in the trenches for a terrible four-year war of attrition.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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September 4, 476

Fall of the Western Roman Empire

Romulus Augustus, the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, is deposed by Odoacer, a German barbarian who proclaims himself king of Italy.

Odoacer was a mercenary leader in the Roman imperial army when he launched his mutiny against the young emperor. At Piacenza, he defeated Roman General Orestes, the emperor’s powerful father, and then took Ravenna, the capital of the Western empire since 402. Although Roman rule continued in the East, the crowning of Odoacer marked the end of the original Roman Empire, which centered in Italy.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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September 3, 1783

Signature of the Treaty of Paris - birth of a Nation

The American Revolution officially comes to an end when representatives of the United States, Great Britain, Spain and France sign the Treaty of Paris on this day in 1783. The signing signified America’s status as a free nation, as Britain formally recognized the independence of its 13 former American colonies, and the boundaries of the new republic were agreed upon: Florida north to the Great Lakes and the Atlantic coast west to the Mississippi River.

The events leading up to the treaty stretched back to April 1775, on a common green in Lexington, Massachusetts, when American colonists answered King George III’s refusal to grant them political and economic reform with armed revolution. On July 4, 1776, more than a year after the first volleys of the war were fired, the Second Continental Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence. Five difficult years later, in October 1781, British General Charles Lord Cornwallis surrendered to American and French forces at Yorktown, Virginia, bringing to an end the last major battle of the Revolution.

In September 1782, Benjamin Franklin, along with John Adams and John Jay, began official peace negotiations with the British. The Continental Congress had originally named a five-person committee–including Franklin, Adams and Jay, along with Thomas Jefferson and Henry Laurens–to handle the talks. However, both Jefferson and Laurens missed the sessions–Jefferson had travel delays and Laurens had been captured by the British and was being held in the Tower of London. The U.S. delegation, which was distrustful of the French, opted to negotiate separately with the British.

During the talks Franklin demanded that Britain hand over Canada to the United States. This did not come to pass, but America did gain enough new territory south of the Canadian border to double its size. The United States also successfully negotiated for important fishing rights in Canadian waters and agreed, among other things, not to prevent British creditors from attempting to recover debts owed to them. Two months later, the key details had been hammered out and on November 30, 1782, the United States and Britain signed the preliminary articles of the treaty. France signed its own preliminary peace agreement with Britain on January 20, 1783, and then in September of that year, the final treaty was signed by all three nations and Spain. The Treaty of Paris was ratified by the Continental Congress on January 14, 1784.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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September 2, 1666

The Great Fire of London

In the early morning hours, the Great Fire of London breaks out in the house of King Charles II’s baker on Pudding Lane near London Bridge. It soon spread to Thames Street, where warehouses filled with combustibles and a strong easterly wind transformed the blaze into an inferno. When the Great Fire finally was extinguished on September 6, more than four-fifths of London was destroyed. Miraculously, only 16 people were known to have died.

The Great Fire of London was a disaster waiting to happen. London of 1666 was a city of medieval houses made mostly of oak timber. Some of the poorer houses had walls covered with tar, which kept out the rain but made the structures more vulnerable to fire. Streets were narrow, houses were crowded together, and the firefighting methods of the day consisted of neighborhood bucket brigades armed with pails of water and primitive hand pumps. Citizens were instructed to check their homes for possible dangers, but there were many instances of carelessness.

So it was on the evening of September 1, 1666, when Thomas Farrinor, the king’s baker, failed to properly extinguish his oven. He went to bed, and sometime around midnight sparks from the smoldering embers ignited firewood lying beside the oven. Before long, his house was in flames. Farrinor managed to escape with his family and a servant out an upstairs window, but a bakery assistant died in the flames–the first victim.

Sparks from Farrinor’s bakery leapt across the street and set fire to straw and fodder in the stables of the Star Inn. From the Inn, the fire spread to Thames Street, where riverfront warehouses were packed full with flammable materials such as tallow for candles, lamp oil, spirits, and coal. These stores lit aflame or exploded, transforming the fire into an uncontrollable blaze. Bucket-bearing locals abandoned their futile efforts at firefighting and rushed home to evacuate their families and save their valuables.

It had been a hot, dry summer, and a strong wind further encouraged the flames. As the conflagration grew, city authorities struggled to tear down buildings and create a firebreak, but the flames repeatedly overtook them before they could complete their work. People fled into the Thames River dragging their possessions, and the homeless took refuge in the hills on the outskirts of London. Light from the Great Fire could be seen 30 miles away. On September 5, the fire slackened, and on September 6 it was brought under control. That evening, flames again burst forth in the Temple (the legal district), but the explosion of buildings with gunpowder extinguished the flames.

The Great Fire of London engulfed 13,000 houses, nearly 90 churches, and scores of public buildings. The old St. Paul’s Cathedral was destroyed, as were many other historic landmarks. As estimated 100,000 people were left homeless. Within days, King Charles II set about rebuilding his capital. The great architect Sir Christopher Wren designed a new St. Paul’s Cathedral with dozens of smaller new churches ranged around it like satellites. To prevent future fires, most new houses were built of brick or stone and separated by thicker walls. Narrow alleyways were forbidden and streets were made wider. Permanent fire departments, however, did not become a fixture in London until well into the 18th century.

In the 1670s, a memorial column commemorating the Great Fire of London was erected near the source of the calamity. Known as the Memorial, it was probably designed by the architect Robert Hooke, though some sources credit Christopher Wren. The column stands 202 feet above the pavement and features sculpture and engravings that tell the story of the conflagration. Even though an official inquiry into the Great Fire concluded that “the hand of God, a great wind, and a very dry season” caused it, an inscription on the Memorial (removed in 1830) blamed the disaster on the “treachery and malice of the Popish faction.”

In 1986, London’s bakers finally apologized to the lord mayor for setting fire to the city. Members of the Worshipful Company of Bakers gathered on Pudding Lane and unveiled a plaque acknowledging that one of their own, Thomas Farrinor, was guilty of causing the Great Fire of 1666.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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September 1, 1939

On this day in 1939, German forces bombard Poland on land and from the air, as Adolf Hitler seeks to regain lost territory and ultimately rule Poland. World War II had begun.

The German invasion of Poland was a primer on how Hitler intended to wage war–what would become the “blitzkrieg” strategy. This was characterized by extensive bombing early on to destroy the enemy’s air capacity, railroads, communication lines, and munitions dumps, followed by a massive land invasion with overwhelming numbers of troops, tanks, and artillery. Once the German forces had plowed their way through, devastating a swath of territory, infantry moved in, picking off any remaining resistance.

Once Hitler had a base of operations within the target country, he immediately began setting up “security” forces to annihilate all enemies of his Nazi ideology, whether racial, religious, or political. Concentration camps for slave laborers and the extermination of civilians went hand in hand with German rule of a conquered nation. For example, within one day of the German invasion of Poland, Hitler was already setting up SS “Death’s Head” regiments to terrorize the populace.

The Polish army made several severe strategic miscalculations early on. Although 1 million strong, the Polish forces were severely under-equipped and attempted to take the Germans head-on with horsed cavaliers in a forward concentration, rather than falling back to more natural defensive positions. The outmoded thinking of the Polish commanders coupled with the antiquated state of its military was simply no match for the overwhelming and modern mechanized German forces. And, of course, any hope the Poles might have had of a Soviet counter-response was dashed with the signing of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Nonaggression Pact.

Great Britain would respond with bombing raids over Germany three days later.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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August 31, 1864

Battle of Jonesboro leads to the fall of Atlanta

On this day in 1864, at the Battle of Jonesboro, Georgia, General William T. Sherman launches the attack that finally secures Atlanta, Georgia, for the Union, and seals the fate of Confederate General John Bell Hood’s army, which is forced to evacuate the area.

The Battle of Jonesboro was the culmination of a four-month campaign by Sherman to capture Atlanta. He had spent the summer driving his army down the 100-mile corridor from Chattanooga, Tennessee, against a Confederate force led by General Joseph Johnston. General Hood, who replaced Johnston in July on the outskirts of Atlanta, proceeded to attack Sherman in an attempt to drive him northward. However, these attacks failed, and by August 1 the armies had settled into a siege.

In late August, Sherman swung his army south of Atlanta to cut the main rail line supplying the Rebel army. Confederate General William Hardee’s corps moved to block Sherman at Jonesboro, and attacked the Union troops on August 31, but the Rebels were thrown back with staggering losses. The entrenched Yankees lost just 178 men, while the Confederates lost nearly 2,000.

On September 1, Sherman attacked Hardee. Though the Confederates held, Sherman successfully cut the rail line and effectively trapped the Rebels. Hardee had to abandon his position, and Hood had no choice but to withdraw from Atlanta. The fall of Atlanta was instrumental in securing the reelection of Abraham Lincoln in the fall.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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August 30, 1963

Hotline between Washington and Moscow is established

On this day in 1963, John F. Kennedy becomes the first U.S. president to have a direct phone line to the Kremlin in Moscow. The “hotline” was designed to facilitate communication between the president and Soviet premier.

The establishment of the hotline to the Kremlin came in the wake of the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, in which the U.S. and U.S.S.R had come dangerously close to all-out nuclear war. Kennedy’s administration had discovered that the Soviets had planted missiles capable of launching nuclear warheads into the U.S. on the island of Cuba. The highly tense diplomatic exchange that followed was plagued by delays caused by slow and tedious communication systems. Encrypted messages had to be relayed by telegraph or radioed between the Kremlin and the Pentagon. Although Kennedy and Khrushchev were able to resolve the crisis peacefully and had both signed a nuclear test-ban treaty on August 5, 1963, fears of future “misunderstandings” led to the installation of an improved communications system.

On August 30, the White House issued a statement that the new hotline would “help reduce the risk of war occurring by accident or miscalculation.” Instead of relying on telegrammed letters that had to travel overseas, the new technology was a momentous step toward the very near future when American and Soviet leaders could simply pick up the phone and be instantly connected 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It was agreed that the line would be used only in emergencies, not for more routine governmental exchanges.

An article in The New York Times described how the new system would work: Kennedy would relay a message to the Pentagon via phone, which would be immediately typed into a teletype machine by operators at the Pentagon, encrypted and fed into a transmitter. The message could reach the Kremlin within minutes, as opposed to hours. Although a far cry from the instantaneous communication made possible by today’s cell phones and email, the technology implemented in 1963 was considered revolutionary and much more reliable and less prone to interception than a regular trans-Atlantic phone call, which had to be bounced between several countries before it reached the Kremlin.

In 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson became the first U.S. president to use the new system during the Six Day War in the Middle East when he notified then-Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin that he was considering sending Air Force planes into the Mediterranean.



If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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August 29, 1533

Pizarro executes the last Inca emperor

Atahuallpa, the 13th and last emperor of the Incas, dies by strangulation at the hands of Francisco Pizarro’s Spanish conquistadors. The execution of Atahuallpa, the last free reigning emperor, marked the end of 300 years of Inca civilization.

High in the Andes Mountains of Peru, the Inca built a dazzling empire that governed a population of 12 million people. Although they had no writing system, they had an elaborate government, great public works, and a brilliant agricultural system. In the five years before the Spanish arrival, a devastating war of succession gripped the empire. In 1532, Atahuallpa’s army defeated the forces of his half-brother Huascar in a battle near Cuzco. Atahuallpa was consolidating his rule when Pizarro and his 180 soldiers appeared.

Francisco Pizarro was the son of a Spanish gentleman and worked as a swineherder in his youth. He became a soldier and in 1502 went to Hispaniola with the new Spanish governor of the New World colony. Pizarro served under Spanish conquistador Alonso de Ojeda during his expedition to Colombia in 1510 and was with Vasco Nunez de Balboa when he discovered the Pacific Ocean in 1513. Hearing legends of the great wealth of an Indian civilization in South America, Pizarro formed an alliance with fellow conquistador Diego de Almagro in 1524 and sailed down the west coast of South America from Panama. The first expedition only penetrated as far as present-day Ecuador, but a second reached farther, to present-day Peru. There they heard firsthand accounts of the Inca empire and obtained Inca artifacts. The Spanish christened the new land Peru, probably after the Vire River.

Returning to Panama, Pizarro planned an expedition of conquest, but the Spanish governor refused to back the scheme. In 1528, Pizarro sailed back to Spain to ask the support of Emperor Charles V. Hernan Cortes had recently brought the emperor great wealth through his conquest of the Aztec Empire, and Charles approved Pizarro’s plan. He also promised that Pizarro, not Almagro, would receive the majority of the expedition’s profits. In 1530, Pizarro returned to Panama.

In 1531, he sailed down to Peru, landing at Tumbes. He led his army up the Andes Mountains and on November 15, 1532, reached the Inca town of Cajamarca, where Atahuallpa was enjoying the hot springs in preparation for his march on Cuzco, the capital of his brother’s kingdom. Pizarro invited Atahuallpa to attend a feast in his honor, and the emperor accepted. Having just won one of the largest battles in Inca history, and with an army of 30,000 men at his disposal, Atahuallpa thought he had nothing to fear from the bearded white stranger and his 180 men. Pizarro, however, planned an ambush, setting up his artillery at the square of Cajamarca.

On November 16, Atahuallpa arrived at the meeting place with an escort of several thousand men, all apparently unarmed. Pizarro sent out a priest to exhort the emperor to accept the sovereignty of Christianity and Emperor Charles V., and Atahuallpa refused, flinging a Bible handed to him to the ground in disgust. Pizarro immediately ordered an attack. Buckling under an assault by the terrifying Spanish artillery, guns, and cavalry (all of which were alien to the Incas), thousands of Incas were slaughtered, and the emperor was captured.

Atahuallpa offered to fill a room with treasure as ransom for his release, and Pizarro accepted. Eventually, some 24 tons of gold and silver were brought to the Spanish from throughout the Inca empire. Although Atahuallpa had provided the richest ransom in the history of the world, Pizarro treacherously put him on trial for plotting to overthrow the Spanish, for having his half-brother Huascar murdered, and for several other lesser charges. A Spanish tribunal convicted Atahuallpa and sentenced him to die. On August 29, 1533, the emperor was tied to a stake and offered the choice of being burned alive or strangled by garrote if he converted to Christianity. In the hope of preserving his body for mummification, Atahuallpa chose the latter, and an iron collar was tightened around his neck until he died.

With Spanish reinforcements that had arrived at Cajamarca earlier that year, Pizarro then marched on Cuzco, and the Inca capital fell without a struggle in November 1533. Huascar’s brother Manco Capac was installed as a puppet emperor, and the city of Quito was subdued. Pizarro established himself as Spanish governor of Inca territory and offered Diego Almagro the conquest of Chile as appeasement for claiming the riches of the Inca civilization for himself. In 1535, Pizarro established the city of Lima on the coast to facilitate communication with Panama. The next year, Manco Capac escaped from Spanish supervision and led an unsuccessful uprising that was quickly crushed. That marked the end of Inca resistance to Spanish rule.

Diego Almagro returned from Chile embittered by the poverty of that country and demanded his share of the spoils of the former Inca empire. Civil war soon broke out over the dispute, and Almagro seized Cuzco in 1538. Pizarro sent his half brother, Hernando, to reclaim the city, and Almagro was defeated and put to death. On June 26, 1541, allies of Diego el Monzo—Almagro’s son—penetrated Pizarro’s palace in Lima and assassinated the conquistador while he was eating dinner. Diego el Monzo proclaimed himself governor of Peru, but an agent of the Spanish crown refused to recognize him, and in 1542 Diego was captured and executed. Conflict and intrigue among the conquistadors of Peru persisted until Spanish Viceroy Andres Hurtado de Mendoza established order in the late 1550s.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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August 28, 1963

Martin Luther King's "I have a Dream" speech in Washington

On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., the African American civil rights movement reaches its high-water mark when Martin Luther King, Jr., speaks to about 250,000 people attending the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The demonstrators–black and white, poor and rich–came together in the nation’s capital to demand voting rights and equal opportunity for African Americans and to appeal for an end to racial segregation and discrimination.

The peaceful rally was the largest assembly for a redress of grievances that the capital had ever seen, and King was the last speaker. With the statue of Abraham Lincoln–the Great Emancipator–towering behind him, King used the rhetorical talents he had developed as a Baptist preacher to show how, as he put it, the “Negro is still not free.” He told of the struggle ahead, stressing the importance of continued action and nonviolent protest. Coming to the end of his prepared text (which, like other speakers that day, he had limited to seven minutes), he was overwhelmed by the moment and launched into an improvised sermon.

He told the hushed crowd, “Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettoes of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.” Continuing, he began the refrain that made the speech one of the best known in U.S. history, second only to Lincoln’s 1863 “Gettysburg Address”:

“I have a dream,” he boomed over the crowd stretching from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument, “that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’ I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.”

King had used the “I have a dream” theme before, in a handful of stump speeches, but never with the force and effectiveness of that hot August day in Washington. He equated the civil rights movement with the highest and noblest ideals of the American tradition, allowing many to see for the first time the importance and urgency of racial equality. He ended his stirring, 16-minute speech with his vision of the fruit of racial harmony:

“When we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!'”

In the year after the March on Washington, the civil rights movement achieved two of its greatest successes: the ratification of the 24th Amendment to the Constitution, which abolished the poll tax and thus a barrier to poor African American voters in the South; and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited racial discrimination in employment and education and outlawed racial segregation in public facilities. In October 1964, Martin Luther King, Jr., was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. On April 4, 1968, he was shot to death while standing on a motel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee–he was 39 years old. The gunman was escaped convict James Earl Ray.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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August 27, 1883

Krakatoa explodes

The volcanic island of Krakatoa near Indonesia erupts on this day in 1883, killing thousands in one of the worst geologic disasters of modern times.

The beginning of the amazing events at Krakatoa in 1883 date to May 20 when there were initial rumblings and venting from the volcano, which had been dormant for about 200 years. Over the next three months, there were regular small blasts from Krakatoa out of three vents. On August 11, ash started spewing from the small mountain. Eruptions got progressively stronger until August 26, when the catastrophe began.

At noon, the volcano sent an ash cloud 20 miles into the air and tremors triggered several tsunamis. This turned out to be just a small indication, however, of what would follow the next day. For four-and-a-half hours beginning at 5:30 a.m. on August 27, there were four major and incredibly powerful eruptions. The last of these made the loudest sound ever recorded on the planet. It could be heard as far away as central Australia and the island of Rodrigues, 3,000 miles from Krakatoa. The air waves created by the eruption were detected at points all over the earth.

The eruption had devastating effects on the islands near Krakatoa. It set off tremendous tsunamis that overwhelmed hundreds of villages on the coasts of Java and Sumatra. Water pushed inland several miles in certain places, with coral blocks weighing 600 tons ending up on shore. At least 35,000 people died, though exact numbers were impossible to determine. The tsunamis traveled nearly around the world–unusually high waves were noticed thousands of miles away the next day.

The volcano threw so much rock, ash and pumice into the atmosphere that, in the immediate area, the sun was virtually blocked out for a couple of days. Within a couple of weeks, the sun appeared in strange colors to people all over the world because of all the fine dust in the stratosphere. Over the ensuing three months, the debris high in the sky produced vivid red sunsets. In one case, fire engines in Poughkeepsie, New York, were dispatched when people watching a sunset were sure that they were seeing a fire in the distance. Further, there is speculation that Edvard Munch’s 1893 painting “The Scream” depicting a psychedelic sunset may have actually been a faithful rendering of what Munch saw in Norway in the years following the eruption of Krakatoa. The amount of dust in the atmosphere also filtered enough sun and heat that global temperatures fell significantly for a couple of years.

Krakatoa was left only a tiny fraction of its former self. However, in the intervening years, a small island, Anak Krakatoa (“Son of Krakatoa”) has arisen from the sea. It is growing at an average of five inches every week. This island is receiving a great deal of scientific attention, as it represents a chance to see how island ecosystems are established from scratch.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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August 26, 1346

Battle of Crécy

During the Hundred Years War, King Edward III’s English army annihilates a French force under King Philip VI at the Battle of Crécy in Normandy. The battle, which saw an early use of the deadly longbow by the English, is regarded as one of the most decisive in history.

On July 12, 1346, Edward landed an invasion force of about 14,000 men on the coast of Normandy. From there, the English army marched northward, plundering the French countryside. Learning of the Englishmen’s arrival, King Philip rallied an army of 12,000 men, made up of approximately 8,000 mounted knights and 4,000 hired Genoese crossbowmen. At Crécy, Edward halted his army and prepared for the French assault. Late in the afternoon of August 26, Philip’s army attacked.

The Genoese crossbowmen led the assault, but they were soon overwhelmed by Edward’s 10,000 longbowmen, who could reload faster and fire much further. The crossbowmen then retreated and the French mounted knights attempted to penetrate the English infantry lines. In charge after charge, the horses and riders were cut down in the merciless shower of arrows. At nightfall, the French finally withdrew. Nearly a third of their army lay slain on the field, including Philip’s brother, Charles II of Alençon; his allies King John of Bohemia and Louis II of Nevers; and 1,500 other knights and esquires. Philip himself escaped with a wound. English losses were less than a hundred.

The battle marked the decline of the mounted knight in European warfare and the rise of England as a world power. From Crécy, Edward marched on to Calais, which surrendered to him in 1347.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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August 25, 1944

Liberation of Paris (my Dad was an active participant)

On this day in 1944, French General Jacques Leclerc enters the free French capital triumphantly. Pockets of German intransigence remained, but Paris was free from German control.

Two days earlier, a French armored division had begun advancing on the capital. Members of the Resistance, now called the French Forces of the Interior, proceeded to free all French civilian prisoners in Paris. The Germans were still counterattacking, setting fire to the Grand Palais, which had been taken over by the Resistance, and killing small groups of Resistance fighters as they encountered them in the city. On August 24, another French armored division entered Paris from the south, receiving an effusion of gratitude from French civilians who poured into the streets to greet their heroes—but still, the Germans continued to fire on French fighters from behind barricades, often catching civilians in the crossfire.

But on August 25, after Gen. Dwight Eisenhower was assured by Gen. Charles de Gaulle, leader of the French Resistant forces, that Allied troops could now virtually sweep into Paris unopposed, Ike ordered Gen. Jacques Philippe Leclerc (a pseudonym he assumed to protect his family while under German occupation; his given name was Philippe-Marie, Vicomte De Hauteclocque) to enter the capital with his 2nd Armored Division. The remnants of German snipers were rendered impotent, and many German soldiers were led off as captives. In fact, the animus toward the Germans was so great that even those who had surrendered were attacked, some even machine-gunned, as they were being led off to captivity.

More than 500 Resistance fighters died in the struggle for Paris, as well as 127 civilians. Once the city was free from German rule, French collaborators were often killed upon capture, without trial.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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August 24,79

Mount Vesuvius erupts and devastates Pompeii and Herculanum

After centuries of dormancy, Mount Vesuvius erupts in southern Italy, devastating the prosperous Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum and killing thousands. The cities, buried under a thick layer of volcanic material and mud, were never rebuilt and largely forgotten in the course of history. In the 18th century, Pompeii and Herculaneum were rediscovered and excavated, providing an unprecedented archaeological record of the everyday life of an ancient civilization, startlingly preserved in sudden death.

The ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum thrived near the base of Mount Vesuvius at the Bay of Naples. In the time of the early Roman Empire, 20,000 people lived in Pompeii, including merchants, manufacturers, and farmers who exploited the rich soil of the region with numerous vineyards and orchards. None suspected that the black fertile earth was the legacy of earlier eruptions of Mount Vesuvius. Herculaneum was a city of 5,000 and a favorite summer destination for rich Romans. Named for the mythic hero Hercules, Herculaneum housed opulent villas and grand Roman baths. Gambling artifacts found in Herculaneum and a brothel unearthed in Pompeii attest to the decadent nature of the cities. There were smaller resort communities in the area as well, such as the quiet little town of Stabiae.

At noon on August 24, 79 A.D., this pleasure and prosperity came to an end when the peak of Mount Vesuvius exploded, propelling a 10-mile mushroom cloud of ash and pumice into the stratosphere. For the next 12 hours, volcanic ash and a hail of pumice stones up to 3 inches in diameter showered Pompeii, forcing the city’s occupants to flee in terror. Some 2,000 people stayed in Pompeii, holed up in cellars or stone structures, hoping to wait out the eruption.

A westerly wind protected Herculaneum from the initial stage of the eruption, but then a giant cloud of hot ash and gas surged down the western flank of Vesuvius, engulfing the city and burning or asphyxiating all who remained. This lethal cloud was followed by a flood of volcanic mud and rock, burying the city.

The people who remained in Pompeii were killed on the morning of August 25 when a cloud of toxic gas poured into the city, suffocating all that remained. A flow of rock and ash followed, collapsing roofs and walls and burying the dead.

Much of what we know about the eruption comes from an account by Pliny the Younger, who was staying west along the Bay of Naples when Vesuvius exploded. In two letters to the historian Tacitus, he told of how “people covered their heads with pillows, the only defense against a shower of stones,” and of how “a dark and horrible cloud charged with combustible matter suddenly broke and set forth. Some bewailed their own fate. Others prayed to die.” Pliny, only 17 at the time, escaped the catastrophe and later became a noted Roman writer and administrator. His uncle, Pliny the Elder, was less lucky. Pliny the Elder, a celebrated naturalist, at the time of the eruption was the commander of the Roman fleet in the Bay of Naples. After Vesuvius exploded, he took his boats across the bay to Stabiae, to investigate the eruption and reassure terrified citizens. After going ashore, he was overcome by toxic gas and died.

According to Pliny the Younger’s account, the eruption lasted 18 hours. Pompeii was buried under 14 to 17 feet of ash and pumice, and the nearby seacoast was drastically changed. Herculaneum was buried under more than 60 feet of mud and volcanic material. Some residents of Pompeii later returned to dig out their destroyed homes and salvage their valuables, but many treasures were left and then forgotten.

In the 18th century, a well digger unearthed a marble statue on the site of Herculaneum. The local government excavated some other valuable art objects, but the project was abandoned. In 1748, a farmer found traces of Pompeii beneath his vineyard. Since then, excavations have gone on nearly without interruption until the present. In 1927, the Italian government resumed the excavation of Herculaneum, retrieving numerous art treasures, including bronze and marble statues and paintings.

The remains of 2,000 men, women, and children were found at Pompeii. After perishing from asphyxiation, their bodies were covered with ash that hardened and preserved the outline of their bodies. Later, their bodies decomposed to skeletal remains, leaving a kind of plaster mold behind. Archaeologists who found these molds filled the hollows with plaster, revealing in grim detail the death pose of the victims of Vesuvius. The rest of the city is likewise frozen in time, and ordinary objects that tell the story of everyday life in Pompeii are as valuable to archaeologists as the great unearthed statues and frescoes. It was not until 1982 that the first human remains were found at Herculaneum, and these hundreds of skeletons bear ghastly burn marks that testifies to horrifying deaths.

Today, Mount Vesuvius is the only active volcano on the European mainland. Its last eruption was in 1944 and its last major eruption was in 1631. Another eruption is expected in the near future, would could be devastating for the 700,000 people who live in the “death zones” around Vesuvius.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

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8/23/18 12:30 P

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August 23, 1939

Germany and the Soviet Union sign a non-aggression pact

On this day in 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union sign a non-aggression pact, stunning the world, given their diametrically opposed ideologies. But the dictators were, despite appearances, both playing to their own political needs.

After Nazi Germany’s invasion of Czechoslovakia, Britain had to decide to what extent it would intervene should Hitler continue German expansion. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, at first indifferent to Hitler’s capture of the Sudetenland, the German-speaking area of Czechoslovakia, suddenly snapped to life when Poland became threatened. He made it plain that Britain would be obliged to come to the aid of Poland in the event of German invasion. But he wanted, and needed, an ally. The only power large enough to stop Hitler, and with a vested interest in doing so, was the Soviet Union. But Stalin was cool to Britain after its effort to create a political alliance with Britain and France against Germany had been rebuffed a year earlier. Plus, Poland’s leaders were less than thrilled with the prospect of Russia becoming its guardian; to them, it was simply occupation by another monstrous regime.

Hitler believed that Britain would never take him on alone, so he decided to swallow his fear and loathing of communism and cozy up to the Soviet dictator, thereby pulling the rug out from the British initiative. Both sides were extremely suspicious of the other, trying to discern ulterior motives. But Hitler was in a hurry; he knew if he was to invade Poland it had to be done quickly, before the West could create a unified front. Agreeing basically to carve up parts of Eastern Europe—and leave each other alone in the process—Hitler’s foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, flew to Moscow and signed the non-aggression pact with his Soviet counterpart, V.M. Molotov (which is why the pact is often referred to as the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact). Supporters of bolshevism around the world had their heretofore romantic view of “international socialism” ruined; they were outraged that Stalin would enter into any kind of league with the fascist dictator.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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August 22, 1485

Battle of Bosworth Field


General Interest
1485
Battle of Bosworth Field
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In the last major battle of the War of the Roses, King Richard III is defeated and killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field by Henry Tudor, the earl of Richmond. After the battle, the royal crown, which Richard had worn into the fray, was picked out of a bush and placed on Henry’s head. His crowning as King Henry VII inaugurated the rule of the house of Tudor over England, a dynasty that would last until Queen Elizabeth’s death in 1603.

In the 1450s, English failures in the Hundred Years War with France, coupled with periodic fits of insanity suffered by King Henry VI, led to a power struggle between the two royal houses whose badges were the Red Rose of Lancaster and the White Rose of York. The War of the Roses left little mark on the common English people but severely thinned the ranks of the English nobility. Among the royalty who perished were Richard of York; Richard Neville; the earl of Warwick; and kings Henry VI and Richard III. In 1486, King Henry VII’s marriage to Elizabeth, the daughter of Edward IV, united the houses of Lancaster and York and formally ended the bloody War of the Roses.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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8/21/18 4:12 P

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August 21, 1959

Hawaii becomes the 50th State

The modern United States receives its crowning star when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs a proclamation admitting Hawaii into the Union as the 50th state. The president also issued an order for an American flag featuring 50 stars arranged in staggered rows: five six-star rows and four five-star rows. The new flag became official July 4, 1960.

The first known settlers of the Hawaiian Islands were Polynesian voyagers who arrived sometime in the eighth century. In the early 18th century, American traders came to Hawaii to exploit the islands’ sandalwood, which was much valued in China at the time. In the 1830s, the sugar industry was introduced to Hawaii and by the mid 19th century had become well established. American missionaries and planters brought about great changes in Hawaiian political, cultural, economic, and religious life. In 1840, a constitutional monarchy was established, stripping the Hawaiian monarch of much of his authority.

In 1893, a group of American expatriates and sugar planters supported by a division of U.S. Marines deposed Queen Liliuokalani, the last reigning monarch of Hawaii. One year later, the Republic of Hawaii was established as a U.S. protectorate with Hawaiian-born Sanford B. Dole as president. Many in Congress opposed the formal annexation of Hawaii, and it was not until 1898, following the use of the naval base at Pearl Harbor during the Spanish-American War, that Hawaii’s strategic importance became evident and formal annexation was approved. Two years later, Hawaii was organized into a formal U.S. territory. During World War II, Hawaii became firmly ensconced in the American national identity following the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

In March 1959, the U.S. government approved statehood for Hawaii, and in June the Hawaiian people voted by a wide majority to accept admittance into the United States. Two months later, Hawaii officially became the 50th state.

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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8/20/18 1:14 P

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August 20, 1940

Trotsky is assassinated

Exiled Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky is fatally wounded by an ice-pick-wielding assassin at his compound outside Mexico City. The killer–Ramón Mercader–was a Spanish communist and probable agent of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Trotsky died from his wounds the next day.

Born in the Ukraine of Russian-Jewish parents in 1879, Trotsky embraced Marxism as a teenager and later dropped out of the University of Odessa to help organize the underground South Russian Workers’ Union. In 1898, he was arrested for his revolutionary activities and sent to prison. In 1900, he was exiled to Siberia.

In 1902, he escaped to England using a forged passport under the name of Leon Trotsky (his original name was Lev Davidovich Bronshtein). In London, he collaborated with Bolshevik revolutionary Vladimir Ilyich Lenin but later sided with the Menshevik factions that advocated a democratic approach to socialism. With the outbreak of the Russian Revolution of 1905, Trotsky returned to Russia and was again exiled to Siberia when the revolution collapsed. In 1907, he again escaped.

During the next decade, he was expelled from a series of countries because of his radicalism, living in Switzerland, Paris, Spain, and New York City before returning to Russia at the outbreak of the revolution in 1917. Trotsky played a leading role in the Bolsheviks’ seizure of power, conquering most of Petrograd before Lenin’s triumphant return in November. Appointed Lenin’s secretary of foreign affairs, he negotiated with the Germans for an end to Russian involvement in World War I. In 1918, he became war commissioner and set about building up the Red Army, which succeeded in defeating anti-communist opposition in the Russian Civil War. In the early 1920s, Trotsky seemed the heir apparent of Lenin, but he lost out in the struggle of succession after Lenin fell ill in 1922.

In 1924, Lenin died, and Joseph Stalin emerged as leader of the USSR. Against Stalin’s stated policies, Trotsky called for a continuing world revolution that would inevitably result in the dismantling of the increasingly bureaucratic Soviet state. He also criticized the new regime for suppressing democracy in the Communist Party and for failing to develop adequate economic planning. In response, Stalin and his supporters launched a propaganda counterattack against Trotsky. In 1925, he was removed from his post in the war commissariat. One year later, he was expelled from the Politburo and in 1927 from the Communist Party. In January 1928, Trotsky was deported by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin to Alma-Ata in remote Soviet Central Asia. He lived there in internal exile for a year before being banished from the USSR forever by Stalin.

He was received by the government of Turkey and settled on the island of Prinkipo, where he worked on finishing his autobiography and history of the Russian Revolution. After four years in Turkey, Trotsky lived in France and then Norway and in 1936 was granted asylum in Mexico. Settling with his family in a suburb of Mexico City, he was found guilty of treason in absentia during Stalin’s purges of his political foes. He survived a machine gun attack carried out by Stalinist agents, but on August 20, 1940, fell prey to Ramón Mercader, a Spanish communist who had won the confidence of the Trotsky household. The Soviet government denied responsibility, and Mercader was sentenced to 20 years in prison by Mexican authorities.



If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And if not now, when? ETHICS OF THE FATHERS

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
DEUTERONOMY 4:29

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. JEREMIAH 29:13

= 2017 RUBY LITE OF THE YEAR =


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