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Today in History: October 21, 2013

     Let's Paint the City White!  1892 - Opening ceremonies for the World's Columbian Exposition are held in Chicago, though because construction was behind schedule, the exposition did not open until May 1, 1893.  The fair would be a major success despite the dark clouds that would shadow it by the mass murdered H. H. Holmes and the assassination of popular Chicago Mayor Carter Henry Harrison, Sr. just prior to the Exposition's end. - Kind of like Chicago's streets, work continued on the fair long after it openned.

      Blatherskites (Bet there a lot in the 'Windy City'), mark this day on your calendar.  For today is Babbling Day.  This isn't a day to remain silent.  Tell everyone you know about this special day.  What's all the chatter about over this special day?  Well, on Babbling Day, we celebrate those of us with a glib tongue.  You know them when you hear them. hey're talking gibberish.  They never stop talking.  They babble on and on.  They can turn a simple one sentence statement into an endless dissertation.  Spend this day babbling like a baby, if you must.  Or spend it by a babbling brook.  BTW: In case you didn't know, a "Blatherskite " is a person who babbles.  Origin of Babbling Day: The Ecard companies and calendar sites online have all referenced this day.  But, we did not find the originator or any factual information about it.  Apparently, the creator wasn't a Blatherskite.  We also found an occasional reference to this as a "National" day.  Can you imagine our illustrious political leader debating and babbling endlessly about making this a National day!? (CuteCalendar.com)

     1096 - The People's Crusade comes to an end when the Turkish army annihilates the People's Army of the West on the road to Nicaea.  When Pope Urban II called for a Crusade to liberate the Holy Land an army of peasants and lower class knights unexpectedly showed up to answer his call.  Instead of waiting for the main body of Crusaders to assemble, the People's Crusaders moved out on their own.  As they marched across Europe on their way to Constantinople they slaughtered over 20,000 Jews.  Of about 40,000 'Crusaders' that started out less than 3,000 survived the march and the battle with the Turks. - Amatuers! - The main Crusade, The First Crusade, led by Godfrey of Bouillon, Bohemund of Taranto, and Raymond IV of Toulouse, began the Siege of Antioch on this date in 1097. - The pros were much more successful.

     1805 - A British fleet led by Vice Admiral Lord Nelson defeats a combined French and Spanish fleet off the coast of Spain under Admiral Villeneuve at the Battle of Trafalgar.  It signaled the end of France as a maritime power and left Britain's navy unchallenged until the 20th century.  The smaller British force, 27 ships, defeated the larger French and Spanish fleet, 33 ships, primarily due to Nelson instituting revolutionary new tactics.  23 of the French and Spanish ships were sunk while the British lost none.  Unfortunately, Nelson was mortally wounded during the battle. - Talk about going out on top.

     1861 - Confederate forces defeat Union forces under Colonel Edward Baker, a close friend of Abraham Lincoln who is killed in the fighting, at the Battle of Ball's Bluff.  Though small compared to battles later in the war, Ball's Bluff was the second largest battle in 1861.  The major impact of the defeat was that it led to the establishment of the Congressional Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, which would hinder the Union war effort to the end of the conflict. - Probably don't hear much about this battle since high school history teachers don't want to deal with the giggles it name would cause.

     1944 - The city of Aachen falls to American forces after three weeks of fighting, making it the first German city to fall to the Allies in the Second World War. - The name of the city kind of fits for what the Germans were feeling.

Literary highlights:

     1940 - The first edition of the Ernest Hemingway novel For Whom the Bell Tolls is published. - Don't often recommend a fiction book here but this would be one.

Today we celebrate the birthdays of:

      1833 - Alfred Nobel - Swedish chemist and engineer, invented dynamite and founded the Nobel Prize (d. 1896) - Some people have a unique way to deal with a guilty conscience.

     1949 - Benjamin Netanyahu - 9th Prime Minister of Israel - Bet he hoping Iran doesn't launch any fireworks to help him celebrate.

To learn more about the above topics check out the following books from the Library's collection:


Amazon Says: Erik Larson—author of #1 bestseller In the Garden of Beasts—intertwines the true tale of the 1893 World's Fair and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his more...
Amazon Says: Erik Larson—author of #1 bestseller In the Garden of Beasts—intertwines the true tale of the 1893 World's Fair and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction. less...
Amazon
Amazon Says: Easy-to-use sourcebook of chants, songs, action stories, riddles, jokes, tongue twisters, and participation games. These "two-minute miracles" are just some of the tricks awar more...
Amazon Says: Easy-to-use sourcebook of chants, songs, action stories, riddles, jokes, tongue twisters, and participation games. These "two-minute miracles" are just some of the tricks award-winning storyteller Naomi Baltuck uses to successfully engage her young audiences. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: In 1996 the world commemorates the 900th anniversary of the First Crusade or, more precisely, of the pogroms unleashed by the crusade upon the Jews of the Rhineland. In the Ye more...
Amazon Says: In 1996 the world commemorates the 900th anniversary of the First Crusade or, more precisely, of the pogroms unleashed by the crusade upon the Jews of the Rhineland. In the Year 1096... presents a clear, highly readable chronicle of the events of 1096. Noted teacher and historian Robert Chazan brings readers to critical moments in Jewish history, illuminating the events themselves, their antecedents, and their far-reaching consequences. Equally important, his book assesses the significance of the events of 1096 within the larger framework of Jewish history, including both the scope of persecution and the record of Jewish resistance. He has created a dramatic portrait of the clash between three conflicting forces in medieval Europe: the German crusaders, the Rhineland burghers, and the Rhineland Jews. His book provides an extensive look at the Christian assaults and the intense Jewish responses, with much material translated directly from remarkable Hebrew narratives which are admirable for both the vividness of their description and the complexity of the portrait they provide. Chazan tells the story of 1096 in "grays, " not blacks and whites; that is, he relates stories of Christian enemies, but also of Christian friends, and of Jewish martyrs, but also of Jewish negotiators and converts. The author devotes the second half of In the Year 1096... to tracing these events through the intervening nine centuries of Jewish history. In the second part he surveys the Jewish perception of 1096 over the ages, including both the neglect of these events in some quarters and their emphasis in others; he places 1096 within the lengthy history of anti-Jewish actions and thinking, and examines theunusual behaviors of the Rhineland Jews within the context of historic Jewish responses to persecution. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: In Seize the Fire, Adam Nicolson, author of the widely acclaimed God's Secretaries, takes the great naval battle of Trafalgar, fought between the British and Franco-Spanish fl more...
Amazon Says: In Seize the Fire, Adam Nicolson, author of the widely acclaimed God's Secretaries, takes the great naval battle of Trafalgar, fought between the British and Franco-Spanish fleets in October 1805, and uses it to examine our idea of heroism and the heroic. Is violence a necessary aspect of the hero? And daring? Why did the cult of the hero flower in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in a way it hadn't for two hundred years? Was the figure of Nelson -- intemperate, charming, theatrical, anxious, impetuous, considerate, indifferent to death and danger, inspirational to those around him, and, above all, fixed on attack and victory -- an aberration in Enlightenment England? Or was the greatest of all English military heroes simply the product of his time, "the conjurer of violence" that England, at some level, deeply needed? It is a story rich with modern resonance. This was a battle fought for the control of a global commercial empire. It was won by the emerging British world power, which was widely condemned on the continent of Europe as "the arrogant usurper of the freedom of the seas." Seize the Fire not only vividly describes the brutal realities of battle but enters the hearts and minds of the men who were there; it is a portrait of a moment, a close and passionately engaged depiction of a frame of mind at a turning point in world history. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: The first volume in The Civil War Explorer Series to be set in the eastern theater of the Civil War, Forged in Fire describes the significant campaigns of 1861 and 1862 and pr more...
Amazon Says: The first volume in The Civil War Explorer Series to be set in the eastern theater of the Civil War, Forged in Fire describes the significant campaigns of 1861 and 1862 and provides an easy-to-follow tour guide of the battlefields today. less...
Amazon

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
Amazon Says: In 1937 Ernest Hemingway traveled to Spain to cover the civil war there for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Three years later he completed the greatest novel to emerge more...
Amazon Says: In 1937 Ernest Hemingway traveled to Spain to cover the civil war there for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Three years later he completed the greatest novel to emerge from "the good fight," For Whom the Bell Tolls. The story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to an antifascist guerilla unit in the mountains of Spain, it tells of loyalty and courage, love and defeat, and the tragic death of an ideal. In his portrayal of Jordan's love for the beautiful Maria and his superb account of El Sordo's last stand, in his brilliant travesty of La Pasionaria and his unwillingness to believe in blind faith, Hemingway surpasses his achievement in The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms to create a work at once rare and beautiful, strong and brutal, compassionate, moving and wise. "If the function of a writer is to reveal reality," Maxwell Perkins wrote to Hemingway after reading the manuscript, "no one ever so completely performed it." Greater in power, broader in scope, and more intensely emotional than any of the author's previous works, it stands as one of the best war novels of all time. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: A biography of the inventor of dynamite and the founder of the Nobel Prize uses Nobel's unpublished letters to offer a compelling account of this introverted, sickly, moody, y more...
Amazon Says: A biography of the inventor of dynamite and the founder of the Nobel Prize uses Nobel's unpublished letters to offer a compelling account of this introverted, sickly, moody, yet ultimately humane man. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Filled with behind-the-scenes stories and revelations about the youngest Israeli prime minister ever, "Netanyahu" provides a biography of a man both loathed and admired. of ph more...
Amazon Says: Filled with behind-the-scenes stories and revelations about the youngest Israeli prime minister ever, "Netanyahu" provides a biography of a man both loathed and admired. of photos. less...
Amazon
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