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Today in History with a Twist: August 1, 2013

Shield in Place!

     You can sleep a little bit sounder from now on (1957) knowing that NORAD is on guard.  The United States and Canada have formed the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) to provide early warning from an attack from the Soviet Union.  Unfortunately you will not be able to sleep in on Tuesdays when those sirens kick on.

      If you do have to go to the shelter go with your girlfriend.  It’s National Girlfriends Day! Where would you be without your girlfriends and gal pals?  Today, take a moment to step back and appreciate these lifelong friends.  Girlfriends are the women who you can always depend on.  Whether you call on them to share exciting news, to have a shoulder to cry on, or to just hang out, your girlfriends are always there for you.  That's why there is an entire day dedicated to these friends, sisters, mothers, and daughters.  They are all essential parts of our lives! (Punchbowl.com)

      In Europe they are not sleeping well tonight (1914) as the war that began on the 28th continues to spread.  Today Germany declared war on Russia and even the Swiss Army has mobilized.  You know it's serious when the Swiss mobilize.

     In Poland, as the Soviet Army is driving toward Berlin (1944) the Polish 'Home Army' has shown itself and is staging an uprising in Warsaw.  They want to drive the Germans out before the Russians get there so they can have an established government in place and not let the Russians set up one of their own. They do need the Russian advance to continue so that the German Army will be pulled away from the city and the Poles can succeed despite their limited resources....News Flash: It appears that the Russians are running out of gas and are going to have to take a break in their offensive to resupply.  Bad break for the Poles.  You don't think the Russian halt is intentional do you?

     They are not sleeping well in China either (1927). For the first time forces of the Communist Party of China have formally come together as an organized force to fight the ruling Kuomintang.  The newly formed People's Liberation Army engaged government forces in Nanchang.  The uprising signals that this is a full blown civil war not just local unrest.  Now they have to get ready for a long march.

      In science news (1774) British scientist Joseph Priestley has announced the discovery of oxygen gas, corroborating the prior discovery of this element by German-Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele.  What did we breath before they discovered oxygen?

     From the world of entertainment we have learned that millions of people will probably be losing sleep, but not because of war.  A 24 hour music video station, named MTV began broadcasting (1981) in the United States.  The first video aired was "Video Killed the Radio Star" by the Buggles.  Guess I can throw away that transistor radio.

Today we celebrate the birthdays of:

     10 BC - Claudius - Roman emperor (d. 54) - Crippled and left slightly deaf due to a childhood illness made him appear not to be a threat allowing him to be the only male member of his family to survive the political purges of the era. Eventual the Praetorian guard decided it was time for the meek to inherit the world.

     1779 - Francis Scott Key - Lawyer, author, and songwriter of the U.S. National anthem (d. 1843) - Ultimate one hit wonder.

     1819 - Herman Melville - Writer (d. 1891) - What's the big deal, everybody has a story about the one that got away.

     1843 - Robert Todd Lincoln - Lawyer politician and 35th United States Secretary of War (d. 1926) - Oh yes, former President's son.

 

Below are recommend books related to the above topics:

 


The Cold War: A History by Martin Walker
Amazon Says: Goes beyond the headlines of the Marshall Plan, the Berlin Airlift, Korea, and Vietnam to take an in-depth look at the situation of the United States--before, during, and af more...
Amazon Says: Goes beyond the headlines of the Marshall Plan, the Berlin Airlift, Korea, and Vietnam to take an in-depth look at the situation of the United States--before, during, and after the Cold War. 12,500 first printing. less...
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Amazon Says: Some of the best times and the most memorable events in life are even more special because they are shared with a friend. These fun activities will help friends grow closer, h more...
Amazon Says: Some of the best times and the most memorable events in life are even more special because they are shared with a friend. These fun activities will help friends grow closer, have a great time, and forge memories to share for the rest of their lives. Who could forget their first slumber party when the gang practiced that new dance step all night long, then pigged out a candy bar pizza; or that friendship bracelet that didn't come off until it fell apart one day in the shower? Girlfriends will have tons of fun making banana facemasks, sending E-mail messages in a cryptic cyber lingo, learning about future boyfriends from the Chinese Zodiac, and munching on S'mores. less...
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Amazon Says: Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time The Proud Tower, the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Guns of August, and The Zimmerm more...
Amazon Says: Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time The Proud Tower, the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Guns of August, and The Zimmerman Telegram comprise Barbara W. Tuchman’s classic histories of the First World War era In this landmark, Pulitzer Prize–winning account, renowned historian Barbara W. Tuchman re-creates the first month of World War I: thirty days in the summer of 1914 that determined the course of the conflict, the century, and ultimately our present world. Beginning with the funeral of Edward VII, Tuchman traces each step that led to the inevitable clash. And inevitable it was, with all sides plotting their war for a generation. Dizzyingly comprehensive and spectacularly portrayed with her famous talent for evoking the characters of the war’s key players, Tuchman’s magnum opus is a classic for the ages.   Praise for The Guns of August   “A brilliant piece of military history which proves up to the hilt the force of Winston Churchill’s statement that the first month of World War I was ‘a drama never surpassed.’”—Newsweek   “More dramatic than fiction . . . a magnificent narrative—beautifully organized, elegantly phrased, skillfully paced and sustained.”—Chicago Tribune   “A fine demonstration that with sufficient art rather specialized history can be raised to the level of literature.”—The New York Times   “[The Guns of August] has a vitality that transcends its narrative virtues, which are considerable, and its feel for characterizations, which is excellent.”—The Wall Street Journal From the Trade Paperback edition. less...
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Amazon Says: The battlefields of the USSR witnessed the most devastating confrontations of World War II. In every one of those battles, Communist dictator Josef Stalin exercised his influe more...
Amazon Says: The battlefields of the USSR witnessed the most devastating confrontations of World War II. In every one of those battles, Communist dictator Josef Stalin exercised his influence, meddling with (and executing) his generals, hurling unprepared armies into pure chaos, and meeting with his Western allies to divide the world up into zones of influence that would soon be embroiled in a new war. World War II scholar Hoyt describes the war from Stalin's vantage point and shows how his decisions, especially his early refusal to go to war with Germany even after they attacked, led to the historic battles for Leningrad, Stalingrad, and Moscow. Hoyt also explains how Stalin's bloody purges before the war left a military bereft of leadership, yet opened the doors for Zhukov, Chuikov, Rokossovsky, and other crucial commanders to spearhead a Soviet victory. Stalin's War also examines Stalin's use of propaganda to vilify the German army and blame Soviet war crimes and human rights violations on the Nazis. less...
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I, Claudius by Robert Graves
Amazon Says: A work of historical fiction which recreates the life and times of Emperor Claudius, who lived from 10 BC to AD 41, a time when poisoning, blasphemy, treachery, incest and unn more...
Amazon Says: A work of historical fiction which recreates the life and times of Emperor Claudius, who lived from 10 BC to AD 41, a time when poisoning, blasphemy, treachery, incest and unnatural vice were commonplace. From the author of CLAUDIUS THE GOD AND HIS WIFE MESSALINA. less...
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Francis Scott Key by Melissa Whitcraft
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Amazon Says: Book by Whitcraft, Melissa less...
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