This day in history...

Discussion in 'New Roundtable' started by shane0911, Jul 20, 2019.

  1. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    On May 5, 1955, WWII allies France, Great Britain and the U.S. officially end their occupation of West Germany. The defeated nation was split by the terms of its surrender, with the Soviet Union controlling East Germany. As the Cold War took hold and it became apparent a re-unification of the nation would never happen, the Allies began taking steps toward an independent West Germany, allowing it to form the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949, and granting it admission into NATO in 1954. It was also allowed to establish a military and build arms, though it was forbidden chemical and nuclear weapons. The Soviets formally recognized West Germany independence a short time later.
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    On May 5, 1877, Chief Sitting Bull leads a small band of Lakota Indians into Canada to avoid harassment by the U.S. Cavalry. The Lakota and other tribes that had been involved in the June 1876 Battle of the Little Bighorn had broken into smaller groups, hoping to avoid capture by the cavalry and relocation to reservations. Many were caught anyway, but Sitting Bull (having met once with Cavalry officers and rejecting an offer to resettle peacefully) sought refuge in Canada, where the government was more tolerant of natives than was the U.S. Many of his followers tired of life in Canada and returned to the U.S. over the next few years, and Sitting Bull did as well, in 1881.
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    On May 5, 1891, the New York Hall of Music officially opens with a concert by the New York Symphony, with guest conductor Pyotr Tchaikovsky. In 1895 it will be renamed Carnegie Hall for its principal financier, industrialist Andrew Carnegie. With theatres consisting of the 2,800 seat Isaac Stern Auditorium (below), two smaller theatres, 24 practice halls and an archive, Carnegie Hall is among the world's most prestigious venues for both classical and popular music. It is a National Historic and New York City Preservation Landmark. Legend has it a pedestrian walking down NYC's 57th Street once asked violinist Jascha Heifetz, "How do I get to Carnegie Hall?" Heifetz (or sometimes its credited to Dizzy Guillespie, Jack Benny, Arthur Rubenstein, or any one of a number of other performing notables) replied, "Practice!"
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  2. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    On May 6, 1527, a band of nearly 35,000 mutinous troops of the Holy Roman Empire enter and sack the city of Rome. The army was angry after being led to victory over French troops aligned with Pope Clement VII, then being told by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V that they could not be paid. The city had only 5,000 defenders who were quickly overwhelmed. The Pope's Swiss Guard - 189 troops - dispatched 42 of their number to escort the Pope to safety at nearby Castel Saint'Angelo. The others stayed to defend the city; every last one was killed. The pillaging of the city went on for more than 8 months, and only ended when the food ran out. By then, the city's population had been reduced from about 55,000 to barely 10,000. (The Swiss Guard, still personal bodyguards to the Pope, swear in new members on May 6 each year in commemoration of this day)
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    On May 6, 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt creates the Works Progress Administration by executive order. Feeling the country can not be pulled out of the Great Depression by a welfare program, Roosevelt's WPA puts more than 3 million Americans to work on temporary projects, mostly public works projects like building schools, hospitals, airports, etc. It also funded the arts, such as the lunchtime band concert in New Orleans pictured below. The WPA worked within the guidelines of wage and price controls to avoid harming private enterprise. By 1940, American industry was gearing for war, reducing the need for the WPA, and by 1943, it was completely phased out.
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    On May 6, 1991, 51-year old Harry Gant becomes NASCAR's oldest winner, finishing first in the Winston 500 at Talladega, AL. Over the next 13 months he will establish a new oldest winner-record 5 times, including a streak of 4 consecutive wins in the month of September. Gant, who did not become a full time NASCAR driver until age 39, would post 18 total wins in his career and remains the oldest to ever win at NASCAR's highest level.
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  3. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    On May 7, 1763, Pontiac's Rebellion begins. Native American tribes throughout the North American northeast and Great Lakes regions found life with their British colonial neighbors less than desirable following the Seven Years' War, and Ottawa chief Pontiac convened a council of war. The tribes involved would strike and capture British forts throughout the area, with Pontiac himself leading the attack on Fort Detroit. At least 8 forts were captured, but the British at Detroit were prepared, and Pontiac was forced into a strategy of siege. Relief arrived in the spring of '64, but Pontiac held the rebellion together for another two years, finally agreeing to peace in 1766. He was killed by Peoria Indians in 1769.
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    On May 7, 1902, Mount Pelee' on the Caribbean island of Martinique erupts. The mountain had been rumbling and venting steam for 5 weeks, but at its base, the citizens of the port city of Saint Pierre were more focused on an election campaign than their 4,500 foot neighbor. When the mountain erupted, it spewed tons of volcanic ash estimated to be 3,000 degrees on the city, which was wiped off the map. An estimated 28,000 died in the worst volcanic tragedy of the 20th century.
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    On May 7, 1994, Edvard Munch's painting "Scream" is discovered in a hotel room in a village 40 miles south of Oslo. Norway's most famous work of art was stolen from the National Gallery 3 months before, replaced with a note reading "Thousand thanks for the bad security!" In January, 1996, four men would be convicted and sentenced for the theft.
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  4. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    On May 10, 1775, a small force of Green Mountain Boys led by Ethan Allen and a contingent of Connecticut militia under Benedict Arnold capture Ft. Ticonderoga. A poorly sited, poorly designed fortress built by the French 20 years earlier at the southern tip of Lake Champlain on the New York/Vermont border, the fort had been the site of several battles between the French and British in its time. But by May 10, the British had deemed it of little strategic value, and its garrison of 50 redcoats were surprised when Allen literally knocked on the door and demanded their surrender. Although the fort was barely manned, its capture supplied the soon-to-be assembled Continental Army with artillery and ammunition that would be essential when George Washington liberated Boston the following year.
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  5. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    On May 11, 1864 at the Battle of Yellow Tavern, a dismounted Union cavalry private shoots Confederate General J.E.B Stuart in the side. He dies the next day, at age 31. A cavalryman and Indian fighter of some note before the war, Stuart resigned his (Captain) commission when Virginia seceded, and soon was given a cavalry command in the Army of Northern Virginia under General "Stonewall" Jackson. His career was marked by spectacular successes (during the 1862 Peninsula Campaign he captured more than 150 Union troops and hundreds of wagons of supplies, at the loss of only one man) and equally spectacular blunder (his failure to report northern army movements in the days before Gettysburg). His famed ostrich-plumed hat is on display at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, VA
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    On May 11, the B.F. Goodrich Company of Akron, OH introduces its newest innovation, a tubeless tire. Three years in development, Goodrich reinforced the sidewall of its tire, allowing it to hold air and eliminating the need for an inner tube. Reviews indicated the new tire was more durable, safer and easier to change than standard tires. The Ohio State Police Dept. quickly switched to the tire, not waiting for its approval from the U.S. Patent Office. The patent was finally granted in 1952, and by 1955, most American automobiles were rolling out of the factories on tubeless tires.
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    Last edited: May 12, 2021
  6. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    Slow day at work, surfing through this thread, and seeing this reminds me that I saw a news story the other day. The groundskeeper of some resort golf course in GA claims Hoffa is buried on the course. Says he has seen union bigwigs playing the course on a few occasions stop at a particular spot and get very reverent for a few moments. He asked one what was up and was told they were paying their respects to Hoffa.
     
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  7. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    On May 12, 1780, General Benjamin Lincoln and 3,000 Patriots surrender following a 40-day siege, turning the city of Charleston, SC over to the British. It is the worst American defeat of the Revolution, but it is short-lived. Victorious British General Henry Clinton, confident that the British now held the South, left a token force under General Cornwallis and took the main body of his force north to NYC. The citizens of SC, rallied by Patriots Francis Marion, Thomas Sumter and Nathaniel Greene, began launching guerilla attacks on Cornwallis' forces, driving them out of the Carolinas in a few months. When Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown to end the war the following year, Washington chooses General Lincoln to receive the surrender.
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  8. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    On May 13, 1958, bad will arises during Vice President Richard Nixon's goodwill tour of Latin America. Several speeches by the VP devolved into heated political debate during the trip, as Latin Americans protested the US's over exuberance for funding anti-Communist movements in the region, at the expense of aid for the basics of life in these poor countries. The unrest peaked on the 13th in Caracas, Venezuela, when an angry mob intercepted the vice presidential motorcade, damaging and nearly overturning the car. At least one member of the Secret Service detail had weapon drawn as Nixon's car successfully escaped without harm to the veep.
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  9. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    On May 14, 1904, the games of the third modern Olympiad open in St. Louis, MO. It is the first time the US hosts the Olympics and the first time the competition is held outside Europe. The Games are originally awarded to Chicago, angering organizers of the World's Fair to be held at the same time in St. Louis to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase. When Fair officials threaten to host their own athletic competition, the Olympic committee caves and moves the Games to St. Louis. The '04 Olympiad is most notable for establishing the award system of gold medal for first place, silver for second and bronze for third that is still in use today. Otherwise, the '04 Games are largely a failure, with only 12 countries participating (the Russo-Japanese War kept Asia away, and the difficulty of traveling to land-locked St. Louis discouraged many other potential participants). Fewer than one in ten of the athletes competing are from outside North America, and the US claims 239 of the 280 medals awarded (the medal count for the US at the time of the Games was actually higher, but investigations found a number of "US" medalists were in fact recent immigrants who had not yet been granted US citizenship).
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    On May 14, 1998, entertainment icon Frank Sinatra suffers a heart attack and dies in Los Angeles at age 82. Born to Italian immigrants in Hoboken, NJ, Sinatra never graduated high school, never had a music lesson and never learned to read music. But he began to get professional jobs with his natural singing talent as a teenager, and eventually was hired as singer by noted bandleader Tommy Dorsey. Sinatra was designated 4-F and avoided military service in WWII (perforated eardrum, though Army records suggest there were also psychological issues), and in 1942 left Dorsey's band to pursue a solo career. His early hits were of the "crooner" type that made him a hearthrob with the ladies. A mid-career slump in the late 40's-early 50's led to Sinatra re-inventing his image as a tough but suave balladeer. He also appeared in nearly 60 movies, winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1953's From Here To Eternity. Over the last 50 years of Sinatra's life, the FBI compiled a file of more than 2,400 pages on his ties to the Mafia, some real (his real-life godfather was a noted crime boss), some suspected. In addition to an Oscar, Sinatra won 11 Grammy's, 4 Golden Globe Awards, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Kennedy Center Honors Medal, numerous Lifetime Achievement Awards and has been inducted into multiple entertainment Halls of Fame.
     
  10. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    On May 16, 1960, President Dwight Eisenhower and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev meet in Paris. Eisenhower hopes the summit will continue the easing of Cold War tensions between the superpowers achieved in recent years. But the crash of a U2 spy plane over Russia two weeks earlier, and the US's subsequent denial of the plane's purpose, spell trouble for the summit, and Khrushchev wastes no time tearing Eisenhower a new one over the incident. He demands Eisenhower ban future flights over the USSR, and when Ike agrees only to a "suspension," Khrushchev revokes his invitation to Eisenhower to visit the USSR the following month, and leaves the meeting in a huff. The collapse of the Paris summit ensures the Cold War won't be ending any time soon.
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    On May 16, 1777, political rivals Button Gwinnett and Lachlan McIntosh shoot each other in a duel over who would command the Georgia militia in a territorial dispute with Florida. McIntosh's wound was minor, but Gwinnett, a member of the 2nd Continental Congress and signatory of the Declaration of Independence, died three days later.
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    Last edited: May 16, 2021
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