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Today in History with a Twist: August 12, 2013

The war is Over!

     The War with Spain has come to an end (1898) with the United States and Spain signing an Armistice.  The fighting has ended but the formal agreement still has to be drawn up.  Despite its decisive defeat don't expect Spain to easily come to terms.  Some people just have trouble accepting that it's over.

     Marcia, Marcia, Marcia...... It's Middle Child's Day.  Middle Child's Day gives a little well deserved recognition to the wonderful and special middle child in the family.  For parents of three children, you likely know the "Middle Child Syndrome" all too well.  If you grew up the middle child with both older and younger siblings, you know the feeling a from a very personal perspective.  The first child is the first child.  Beyond a doubt, the first born is a very special occasion.  And he, or she, has all of mom and dad for a while before the second child comes along.  The final child is and always will be the baby of the family.  Older and younger children tend to be more outgoing, or extroverted.  The middle Child tends to be more introverted, quieter, perhaps a bit of a loner.  It is very fair and fitting that we celebrate, and place into the limelight, the middle child today.  Go out and enjoy this day to the fullest.  Tell the world about it.  Be a little outspoken, and let the world know how great it is to be the middle child.  You truly are a wonderful, talented, ad special person!(http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/August/middlechildday.htm)

     The War in Europe continues to expand (1914) with the United Kingdom declaring war on Austria-Hungary; the countries of the British Empire soon followed suit.  Don't want cause a rift in the family.

     The Ottoman Empire's drive into Eastern Europe has been brought to an end (1687) by the army of the Holy Roman Empire led Charles of Lorraine.  Lorraine's forces defeated the Ottoman Empire Army commanded by Grand-Vizier Sari Süleyman Paşa at the Battle of Mohács.  There are reports that the routed Ottoman army is in full retreat and many of the soldiers are in open revolt.  Sources say that the Grand Vizier fearing assassination by the mutineers has fled from his army.  The Holy Roman Empire is taking advantage of their victory and claiming large tracts of the Ottoman's holdings in Eastern Europe.  Not good to have a leaderless army in your midst.

     Jerusalem is saved!  The last attempt by the Fatimid Empire to throw the Crusaders out of the Holy City was crushed by the Crusader Army at the Battle of Ascalon (1099).  The Crusaders under the command of Godfrey of Bouillon drove Fatimid forces led by Al-Afdal Shahanshah back to Egypt.  With Jerusalem now secure the Crusaders can now start returning home.  Glad that has been settled.

     The week-long killing frenzy (1944) by Nazi German troops in the Wola district of Warsaw, Poland has finally come to an end.  The massacre, during which time at least 40,000 people were killed indiscriminately or in mass executions, was in retaliation for the Warsaw uprising against German occupation.  Meant to break the Polish will it has had the opposite and fighting in the city has intensified.  The Russians will get there eventually.

     Sad news from Egypt (30 BC) where Cleopatra VII Philopator, the last ruler of the Egyptian Ptolemaic dynasty, has committed suicide, allegedly by means of an asp bite.  Love and politics don't mix well.

     Great news for us nerds. (1981) IBM has released the Personal Computer. Stock up on the Jolt cola.

Today we celebrate the birthdays of:

     1773 - Karl Faber - German historian (d. 1853) - Instrumental in making the Prussian State Archives more accessible to researchers thus advancing the study of history. - Now if they will just use it properly

     1881 - Cecil B. DeMille - American director (d. 1959) - Didn't believe in doing anything small.  Don't forget to look to the skies tonight it is the peak night for the Perseid meteor shower.

Read more about the above items with the following books from our collection:


Amazon Says: The definitive version of the Spanish-American War as well as a dramatic account of America's emergence as a global power. more...
Amazon Says: The definitive version of the Spanish-American War as well as a dramatic account of America's emergence as a global power. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: This myth-busting book shows how "forgotten" middle children can-and do-rule the world. In this counterintuitive book, psychologist Catherine Salmon and journalist K more...
Amazon Says: This myth-busting book shows how "forgotten" middle children can-and do-rule the world. In this counterintuitive book, psychologist Catherine Salmon and journalist Katrin Schumann combine science, history, and real-life stories to reveal for the first time that our perception of middle children is dead wrong. Using unpublished and little-known research from evolutionary psychology, sociology, and communications, The Secret Power of Middle Children illustrates how adaptive strategies middleborns develop during childhood translate into stronger friendships, lasting marriages, successful careers, and effective parenting. Over seventy million adult Americans are middle children, and forty percent of young American families have middle children. With constructive advice on how to maximize the benefits and avoid the pitfalls of being a middle child, Salmon and Schumann help middle children at any age (and their parents) use birth order as a strategy for success. less...
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Amazon Says: This is a study of World War I from the standpoint of British involvement. It explores the reasons for Britain's entry into the war, the nature and course of British participa more...
Amazon Says: This is a study of World War I from the standpoint of British involvement. It explores the reasons for Britain's entry into the war, the nature and course of British participation and the far-reaching repercussions of the war on British society. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: According to the Ottoman chronicles, the first sultan, Osman, had a dream in which a tree emerged fully formed from his navel "and its shade compassed the world"-symbolizing t more...
Amazon Says: According to the Ottoman chronicles, the first sultan, Osman, had a dream in which a tree emerged fully formed from his navel "and its shade compassed the world"-symbolizing the vast empire he and his descendants were destined to forge. His vision was soon realized: At its height, the Ottoman realm extended from Hungary to the Persian Gulf, from North Africa to the Caucasus. The Ottoman Empire was one of the largest and most influential empires in world history. For centuries, Europe watched with fear as the Ottomans steadily advanced their rule across the Balkans. Yet travelers and merchants were irresistibly drawn toward Ottoman lands by their fascination with the Orient and the lure of profit. Although it survived for over six centuries, the history of the Ottoman Empire is too often colored by the memory of its bloody final throes. In this magisterial work Caroline Finkel lucidly recounts the epic story of the Ottoman Empire from its origins in the thirteenth century through its destruction on the battlefields of World War I. less...
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Amazon Says: A work of the utmost importance--as authoritative as it is explosive--Hitler's Willing Executioners will fundamentally change our perception of the Holocaust and of Germany in more...
Amazon Says: A work of the utmost importance--as authoritative as it is explosive--Hitler's Willing Executioners will fundamentally change our perception of the Holocaust and of Germany in the Nazi period. Goldhagen reaches conclusions that are both uncompromising and savage, rejecting as inadequate the conventional historical explanations for how an entire country could allow the Holocaust to happen, and gives the first detailed, broad-ranging account of the actual killers of the Jews. 31 photos. less...
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The Search for Cleopatra by Michael Foss
Amazon Says: In this new biography, the historical Cleopatra emerges as woman and mother with a gift of leadership who very nearly achieved dominance over the whole of the Eastern Mediterr more...
Amazon Says: In this new biography, the historical Cleopatra emerges as woman and mother with a gift of leadership who very nearly achieved dominance over the whole of the Eastern Mediterranean world. During her long reign, the influence of both Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony was minimal. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: The first complete look at one of America's legendary business leadersThis groundbreaking biography by Kevin Maney, acclaimed technology columnist for USA Today, offers fresh more...
Amazon Says: The first complete look at one of America's legendary business leadersThis groundbreaking biography by Kevin Maney, acclaimed technology columnist for USA Today, offers fresh insight and new information on one of the twentieth century's greatest business figures. Over the course of forty-two years, Thomas J. Watson took a failing business called The Computer-Tabulating-Recording Company and transformed it into IBM, the world's first and most famous high-tech company. The Maverick and His Machine is the first modern biography of this business titan. Maney secured exclusive access to hundreds of boxes of Watson's long-forgotten papers, and he has produced the only complete picture of Watson the man and Watson the legendary business leader. These uncovered documents reveal new information about how Watson bet the company in the 1920s on tabulating machines-the forerunners to computers-and how he daringly beat the Great Depression of the 1930s. The documents also lead to new insights concerning the controversy that has followed Watson: his suppos ed coll usion with Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime.Maney paints a vivid portrait of Watson, uncovers his motivations, and offers needed context on his mammoth role in the course of modern business history. Jim Collins, author of the bestsellers Good to Great and Built to Last, writes in the Foreword to Maney's book: "Leaders like Watson are like forces of nature-almost terrifying in their release of energy and unpredictable volatility, but underneath they still adhere to certain patterns and principles. The patterns and principles might be hard to see amidst the melee, but they are there nonetheless. It takes a gifted person of insight to highlight those patterns, and that is exactly what Kevin Maney does in this book."The Maverick and His Machine also includes never-before-published photos of Watson from IBM's archives, showing Watson in greater detail than any book ever has before. Essential reading for every businessperson, tech junkie, and IBM follower, the book is also full of the kind of personal detail and reconstructed events that make it a page-turning story for general readers. The Maverick and the Machine is poised to be one of the most important business biographies in years.Kevin Maney is a nationally syndicated, award-winning technology columnist at USA Today, where he has been since 1985. He is a cover story writer whose story about IBM's bet-the-company move gained him national recognition. He was voted best technology columnist by the business journalism publication TJFR. Marketing Computers magazine has four times named him one of the most influential technology columnists. He is the author of Wiley's MEGAMEDIA SHAKEOUT: The Inside Story of the Leaders and the Losers in the Exploding Communications Industry, which was a Business Week Bestseller. Residence: Clifton, VA."Watson was clearly a genius with a thousand helpers, yet he managed to build an institution that could transcend the genius." -from the Foreword by Jim Collins"Like all great biographers, Kevin Maney gives us an engaging story. . .his fascinating and definitive book about IBM's founder is replete with amazing revelations and character lessons that resonate today." -Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School, bestselling author of Evolve! and When Giants Learn to Dance less...
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Amazon Says: When Warren Kendall Lewis left Spring Garden Farm in Delaware in 1901 to enter MIT, he had no idea that he was becoming part of a profession that would bring untold good to hi more...
Amazon Says: When Warren Kendall Lewis left Spring Garden Farm in Delaware in 1901 to enter MIT, he had no idea that he was becoming part of a profession that would bring untold good to his country but would also contribute to the death of his family's farm. In this book written a century later, Professor Lewis's granddaughter, a cultural historian who has served in the administration of MIT, uses her grandfather's and her own experience to make sense of the rapidly changing role of technology in contemporary life.Rosalind Williams served as Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education at MIT from 1995 through 2000. From this vantage point, she watched a wave of changes, some planned and some unexpected, transform many aspects of social and working life--from how students are taught to how research and accounting are done--at this major site of technological innovation. In Retooling, she uses this local knowledge to draw more general insights into contemporary society's obsession with technology.Today technology-driven change defines human desires, anxieties, memories, imagination, and experiences of time and space in unprecedented ways. But technology, and specifically information technology, does not simply influence culture and society; it is itself inherently cultural and social. If there is to be any reconciliation between technological change and community, Williams argues, it will come from connecting technological and social innovation--a connection demonstrated in the history that unfolds in this absorbing book. less...
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Amazon Says: BEST KNOWN AS THE DIRECTOR of such spectacular films as The Ten Commandments and King of Kings, Cecil B. DeMille lived a life as epic as any of his cinematic masterpieces. A more...
Amazon Says: BEST KNOWN AS THE DIRECTOR of such spectacular films as The Ten Commandments and King of Kings, Cecil B. DeMille lived a life as epic as any of his cinematic masterpieces. As a child DeMille learned the Bible from his father, a theology student and playwright who introduced Cecil and his older brother, William, to the theater. Tutored by impresario David Belasco, DeMille discovered how audiences responded to showmanship: sets, lights, costumes, etc. He took this knowledge with him to Los Angeles in 1913, where he became one of the movie pioneers, in partnership with Jesse Lasky and Lasky’s brother-in-law Samuel Goldfish (later Goldwyn). Working out of a barn on streets fragrant with orange blossom and pepper trees, the Lasky company turned out a string of successful silents, most of them directed by DeMille, who became one of the biggest names of the silent era. With films such as The Squaw Man, Brewster’s Millions, Joan the Woman, and Don’t Change Your Husband, he was the creative backbone of what would become Paramount Studios. In 1923 he filmed his first version of The Ten Commandments and later a second biblical epic, King of Kings, both enormous box-office successes. Although his reputation rests largely on the biblical epics he made, DeMille’s personal life was no morality tale. He remained married to his wife, Constance, for more than fifty years, but for most of the marriage he had three mistresses simultaneously, all of whom worked for him. He showed great loyalty to a small group of actors who knew his style, but he also discovered some major stars, among them Gloria Swanson, Claudette Colbert, and later, Charlton Heston. DeMille was one of the few silent-era directors who made a completely successful transition to sound. In 1952 he won the Academy Award for Best Picture with The Greatest Show on Earth. When he remade The Ten Commandments in 1956, it was an even bigger hit than the silent version. He could act, too: in Billy Wilder’s classic film Sunset Boulevard, DeMille memorably played himself. In the 1930s and 1940s DeMille became a household name thanks to the Lux Radio Theater, which he hosted. But after falling out with a union, he gave up the program, and his politics shifted to the right as he championed loyalty oaths and Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s anticommunist witch hunts. As Scott Eyman brilliantly demonstrates in this superbly researched biography, which draws on a massive cache of DeMille family papers not available to previous biographers, DeMille was much more than his clichéd image. A gifted director who worked in many genres; a devoted family man and loyal friend with a highly unconventional personal life; a pioneering filmmaker: DeMille comes alive in these pages, a legend whose spectacular career defined an era. less...
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