Today in History with a Twist
Let the Games Begin!
After a 12 year hiatus due to the distraction caused by World War II, the Olympic Games are back (1948). Not only did England win the war but they also won the right to host the Games of the XIV Olympiad in London. Obviously there will be many comparisons to the last Olympics which were held in Berlin. Just don't see the Brits being as extravagant as the Germans.
The Italian athletes will probably be breaking out mom’s famous recipe - it’s National Lasagna Day! This delicious Italian dish is usually made with layers of flat pasta sheets, tomato sauce, and cheese, but there are dozens of different variations. Some popular additions are meat, vegetables, and Béchamel sauce. People have been eating noodles for at least 4,000 years, but culinary historians disagree over when and where the first pasta dish originated. We do know that tomatoes are a "New World" food, which means pasta and tomato dishes (like lasagna) have only been around since the 16th century. To celebrate National Lasagna Day, bake a big pan of lasagna. Grab a bottle of red wine and invite some friends over to enjoy a fun, family-style dinner! (Punchbowl.com)
Fed up with the internal bickering the co-Emperors, Pupienus and Balbinus, the Praetorian Guard stormed the palace and took them prisoner (238). They then dragged them through the streets of Rome and executed them. This was followed by Gordian III, age 13, being proclaimed emperor. Think I would follow the Praetorian's advice if I were him. He could also visit our new Teen Center to learn some new skills.
Surprising news from Washington D.C. (1864) where socialite Belle Boyd has been arrested by Union troops and charged with being a Confederate spy. She is being detained at the Old Capitol Prison. The Yankees just couldn't bring themselves to hang a woman.
At a peace conference held at The Hague, Netherlands representatives from the United States, Great Britain, Austria-Hungary, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, Japan, and China have signed a series of agreements that out line laws for the conduct of warfare and establishing international courts to settle disputes between countries (1899). I'm sure war will be much more civilized now that we have a set of rules to follow.
In nearby Germany a fledgling political party, the National Socialist German Workers Party has named a new leader (1921). He is the charismatic Adolf Hitler who can really whip up the emotions of a crowd with one of his speeches. Keep an eye on this up and comer.
In Washington D.C. today (1958) President Eisenhower signed into law the National Aeronautics and Space Act. The act creates the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). To the moon Alice, to the moon!
From the world of science we have learned today (2005) that our solar system has a new member with Astronomers announcing their discovery of the dwarf planet Eris. Maybe one day it will grow into a full blown planet.
Today we celebrate the birthdays of:
1805 - Alexis de Tocqueville - French historian and scientist (d. 1859) - How come a 200 year old (figuratively) old Frenchman knows more about us than us?
1883 - Benito Mussolini - Dictator of Italy (d. 1945) - Hard to believe he was actually a European powerhouse until he hooked his wagon to the wrong star.
The following are books in our collection that relate to today's topics:
Amazon Amazon Says:
This book has everything you will need to know about choosing, making and cooking pasta, and includes over 350 classic and original recipes. more...
This book has everything you will need to know about choosing, making and cooking pasta, and includes over 350 classic and original recipes. less...
Amazon Amazon Says:
Clandestine missions. Clever, devious, daring. Passionately committed to a cause. During America's most divisive war, both the Union and Confederacy took advantage of brave an more...
Clandestine missions. Clever, devious, daring. Passionately committed to a cause. During America's most divisive war, both the Union and Confederacy took advantage of brave and courageous women willing to adventurously support their causes. These female spies of the Civil War participated in the world's second-oldest profession-spying-a profession perilous in the extreme. The tales of female spies are filled with suspense, bravery, treachery, and trickery. They took enormous risks and achieved remarkable results-often in ways men could not do. As stated on the grave marker of Union spy Elizabeth Van Lew: "She risked everything that is dear to man-friends, fortune, comfort, health, life itself." Told with personality and pizzazz, author H. Donald Winkler uses primary Civil War sources such as memoirs, journals, letters, and newspaper articles, plus the latest in scholarly research, to make these incredible stories come alive. less...
Amazon Amazon Says:
In 1831, Alexis De Tocqueville, a twenty-six-year-old French aristocrat, spent nine months travelling across the United States. From the East Coast to the frontier, from the C more...
In 1831, Alexis De Tocqueville, a twenty-six-year-old French aristocrat, spent nine months travelling across the United States. From the East Coast to the frontier, from the Canadian border to New Orleans, Tocqueville observed the American people and the revolutionary country they'd created. His celebrated Democracy in America, the most quoted work on America ever written, presented the new Americans with a degree of understanding no one had accomplished before or has since. Astonished at the pace of daily life and stimulated by people at all levels of society, Tocqueville recognized that Americans were driven by a series of internal conflicts: simultaneously religious and materialistic; individualistic and yet deeply involved in community affairs; isolationist and interventionist; pragmatic and ideological. Noted author Michael Ledeen takes a fresh look at Tocqueville's insights into our national psyche and asks whether Americans' national character, which Tocqueville believed to be wholly admirable, has fallen into moral decay and religious indifference. Michael Ledeen's sparkling new exploration has some surprising answers and provides a lively new look at a time when character is at the center of our national debate. less...
Amazon Amazon Says:
A historian reveals how Italy was pushed into Hitler's arms by Anthony Eden's serious blunder. Was Mussolini's alliance with Hitler really foreordained? Could Italy have been more...
A historian reveals how Italy was pushed into Hitler's arms by Anthony Eden's serious blunder. Was Mussolini's alliance with Hitler really foreordained? Could Italy have been kept out of World War II? Did the policy of England's Anthony Eden really push Mussolini into Hitler's arms instead of luring him back to his former policy of friendship with Great Britain? These are some of the intriguing questions that Richard Lamb asks in the course of examining Mussolini's foreign policy toward Germany on the one hand and Britain and France on the other. Surprisingly, Mussolini began with a deep distrust of Hitler and feelings of friendship toward England as well as France, countries he felt might stand up to Hitler's aggressive intent. He also despised Hitler's anti-Semitism. But some disastrous miscalculations, especially by Anthony Eden, who later headed Britain's Foreign Office, set the course for the eventual conflagration. These are the shocking conclusions that Lamb-in a revisionist assessment of Mussolini's diplomatic blunders in his relations with the other powers in Europe-reached after studying documents that have been inaccessible for more than half a century. Here is an indispensable new look by a leading historian at a crucial phase of World War II. 16 Pages of Black-and-White Photographs Notes/Bibliography/Index less...