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Today in History with a Twist: August 16, 2013

Gates Routed!

     Five miles north of the South Carolina town of Camden, the Continental Forces led by Major General Horatio Gates were routed by numerically inferior British forces led by Lord Cornwallis (1780).  The battle was quickly lost when the untried militia on the left flank of the Continental Army broke under the initial British attack; many of the Americans broke ranks without firing a shot.  The regulars held their ground for a while, but, being outnumbered three to one, they couldn't hold on.  Riding on a strong, swift horse, Gates was able to make it to Charlotte, 60 miles away, by nightfall.  Give me that horse in a trifecta.

     Well, all we can do is forget about it and have a brat and a beer.  Today is Bratwurst Day! Bratwurst is a heavily spiced sausage, usually enjoyed on a roll with mustard or by itself with a side of sauerkraut.  The term “bratwurst” is a compound of two German words - “braten,” which means “to fry,” and “wurst,” which means “sausage.”  Bratwursts originated in Germany and have been around since the 14th century.  These sausages are generally made from pork, veal, or beef.  Truly dedicated fans can attend the annual Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival in Ohio to celebrate this historical dish.  Today, grab a “brat” in honor of Bratwurst Day.  Don’t forget to wash it down with some beer! (Punchbowl.com)

     From South America we have learned that the Paraguayan Army, basically making its last stand, sent a force of 6,000, mostly children, to fight the Armies of the Triple Alliance (Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay, 1869).  Many of the children wore false beards to appear to be older.  Meeting a much larger Brazilian-Argentinean force at Acosta Ñu, the children were massacred with over three thousand of their number killed and another 1,200 wounded.  The remainder were taken prisoner.  Paraguayan President Francisco Solano López is still refusing to surrender.  With 60% of the country's population already having been killed in the war, it appears that he is really going to fight to the last man.

     In France the French Army of the Rhine failed to breakout of the Metz fortress where they have been under siege by the Prussian Army (1870).  They were trying to break out to join up with other French forces at Verdun.  The 130,000 French soldiers were intercepted by the Prussian III Korps, numbering about 30,000.  The Prussians launched several spoiling attacks against the French, including the famous "death ride" of the Prussian cavalry, who lost half their number in the charge.  Despite outnumbering the Prussians four to one, the French were forced to retreat back to Metz.  Proof that cavalry is still the key to victory on the battlefield.

     From the Middle East we have learned that dispute between Moslems and Jews in the British Mandate of Palestine over access to the Western Wall, AKA the Wailing Wall, have erupted into a full blown riot (1929).  In total, 133 Jews and 116 Moslems have been killed.  It's amazing how controversial the placement of a few benches can be. 

     Trading on Toronto's stock market (1989) came to a halt today when a solar flare from the Sun created a geomagnetic storm affecting microchips in their computers.  Now that's star power.

      In economic news (2010) China has overtaken Japan as the world's second-biggest economy.  At this rate they may take over the world by buying it!

Today we celebrate the birthdays of:

     1862 - Amos Alonzo Stagg - Baseball player and coach (d. 1965)  -Kept proving that you are never too old to work.

     1888 - T. E. Lawrence - English writer and soldier (d. 1935) - He does kind of look like Peter O'Toole.

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


Amazon Says: This handy and indispensable guide lists in French, Italian, Spanish, German and English, everything you are likely to find on menus and in food shops on your travels around t more...
Amazon Says: This handy and indispensable guide lists in French, Italian, Spanish, German and English, everything you are likely to find on menus and in food shops on your travels around the world. less...
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Amazon Says: Despite its fascinating history, Paraguay remains one of the least known countries in South America. This almost completely revised and updated edition of the 1973 original by more...
Amazon Says: Despite its fascinating history, Paraguay remains one of the least known countries in South America. This almost completely revised and updated edition of the 1973 original by Charles Kolinski provides a comprehensive survey of the political and academic history of the country. Over 1,600 entries (and over 500 cross-references) are included, ranging from precolonial times right through to the aftermath of the 1989 overthrow of President Stroessner. An extensive bibliography provides 540 citations, divided into 21 subject classifications. Intended as the definitive reference book on Paraguayan history, this should be of special interest to public and university libraries, as well as to Latin Americanists. less...
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Amazon Says: The Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 violently changed the course of European History. Alarmed by Bismarck's territorial ambitions and the Prussian army's crushing defeats of D more...
Amazon Says: The Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 violently changed the course of European History. Alarmed by Bismarck's territorial ambitions and the Prussian army's crushing defeats of Denmark in 1864 and Austria in 1866, French Emperor Napoleon III vowed to bring Prussia to heel. Digging into many European and American archives for the first time, Geoffrey Wawro's Franco-Prussian War describes the war that followed in thrilling detail. While the armies mobilized in July 1870, the conflict appeared "too close to call." Prussia and its German allies had twice as many troops as the French. But Marshal Achille Bazaine's grognards ("old grumblers") were the stuff of legend, the most resourceful, battle-hardened, sharp-shooting troops in Europe, and they carried the best rifle in the world. From the political intrigues that began and ended the war to the bloody battles at Gravelotte and Sedan and the last murderous fights on the Loire and in Paris, this is the definitive history of the Franco-Prussian War. Dr. Geoffrey Wawro is Professor of Strategic Studies at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. Wawro has published two books: The Austro-Prussian War (Cambridge, 1996) and Warfare and Society in Europe, 1792-1914 (Routledge, 2000). He has published articles in The Journal of Military History, War in History, The International History Review, The Naval War College Review, American Scholar, and the European History Quarterly, and op-eds in the Los Angeles Times, New York Post, Miami Herald, Hartford Courant, and Providence Journal. Wawro has won several academic prizes including the Austrian Cultural Institute Prize and the Society for Military History Moncado Prize for Excellence in the Writing of Military History. He has lectured widely on military innovation and international security in Europe, the U.S., and Canada and is host of the History Channel program Hardcover History--a weekly book show with leading historians, pundits, critics, statesmen and journalists. less...
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Amazon Says: New Hardcover with dust jacket more...
Amazon Says: New Hardcover with dust jacket less...
Amazon
Amazon Says: --Spokes and braids in the rings of Saturn --Eddying currents around Jupiter's Great Red Spot --Volcanic eruptions on the satellite Io These are the images more...
Amazon Says: --Spokes and braids in the rings of Saturn --Eddying currents around Jupiter's Great Red Spot --Volcanic eruptions on the satellite Io These are the images from Voyager that have made headlines and captured the public imagination. Now, a giant of twentieth century astronomy guides us on a literary voyage of discovery that retraces the steps of this and other recent space probes--Viking, Mariner, Pioneer, as well as Russian efforts--that have revolutionized our understanding of Earth's nearest neighbors. Every step of the way, Fred Whipple provides the basic foundation in astronomy that enables the reader to be not merely awed and entranced but thoroughly informed, with a solid and satisfying understanding of the workings of our solar system. In a dazzling combination of text and illustrations, Orbiting the Sun offers vistas that rival science fiction: --mountains on Mars twice the height of Everest --thunderstorms and sulfuric acid clouds on Venus --the possibility of liquid nitrogen oceans on Titan But the author also explores in precise detail the tests carried out by the Viking Lander that with virtual certainty have ruled out the hope of finding life on Mars. This completely revised and updated edition of Whipple's classic Earth, Moon, and Planets once again presents Earth within its planetary context. This view allows us to speculate on such provocative concepts as the connection between an asteroid collision and the extinction of the dinosaurs. But the most obvious enhancement of this new edition is the stunning photographs, that include the eerie panorama of the Martian landscape taken from the Viking Landers, the dramatic sweep of Saturn's thousand rings, and full color port raits of the Jovian moons--the battered face of Callisto, Europa with its web of thin scratches, the "superhighways" of Ganymede, and Io with its volcanic plumes. Fred Whipple has introduced two generations of student and amateur astronomers to the wonders of the solar system. In Orbiting the Sun he will charm and inform an entirely new audience. less...
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Amazon Says: A Harvard-trained economist's startling predictions reveal critical challenges in the decades ahead, helping individuals, businesses, and governments to make smarter decisions more...
Amazon Says: A Harvard-trained economist's startling predictions reveal critical challenges in the decades ahead, helping individuals, businesses, and governments to make smarter decisions As individuals, companies, and countries struggle to recover from the economic crisis, many are narrowly focused on forecasts for the next week, month, or quarter. Yet they should be asking what the global economy will look like in the years to come—where will the long-term risks and opportunities arise? These are the questions that Daniel Altman confronts in his provocative and indispensable book.The fate of the global economy, Altman argues, will be determined by deeper factors than those that move markets from moment to moment. His incisive analysis brings together hidden trends, societal pressures, and policy endgames to make twelve surprising but logical predictions about the years ahead. And his forecasts for the future raise a pressing question for today: With so many challenges awaiting us, are our political and economic institutions up to the task?Outrageous Fortunes tells which industries will grow, which economies will crumble, which investments will pay off, and where the next big crisis may occur. Altman's carefully reasoned text is an essential guide for the road ahead. less...
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College Football: History, Spectacle, Controversy by Professor John Sayle Watterson
Amazon Says: "In March [1892] Stanford and California had played the first college football game on the Pacific Coast in San Francisco... The pregame activities included a noisy parade dow more...
Amazon Says: "In March [1892] Stanford and California had played the first college football game on the Pacific Coast in San Francisco... The pregame activities included a noisy parade down streets bedecked with school colors. Tickets sold so fast that the Stanford student manager, future president Herbert Hoover, and his California counterpart, could not keep count of the gold and silver coins. When they finally totaled up the proceeds, they found that the revenues amounted to $30,000--a fair haul for a game that had to be temporarily postponed because no one had thought to bring a ball!"--from College Football: History, Spectacle, Controversy, Chapter ThreeIn this comprehensive history of America's popular pastime, John Sayle Watterson shows how college football in more than one hundred years has evolved from a simple game played by college students into a lucrative, semiprofessional enterprise. With a historian's grasp of the context and a novelist's eye for the telling detail, Watterson presents a compelling portrait rich in anecdotes, colorful personalities, and troubling patterns.He tells how the infamous Yale-Princeton "fiasco" of 1881, in which Yale forced a 0-0 tie in a championship game by retaining possession of the ball for the entire game, eventually led to the first-down rule that would begin to transform Americanized rugby into American football. He describes the kicks and punches, gouged eyes, broken collarbones, and flagrant rule violations that nearly led to the sport's demise (including such excesses as a Yale player who wore a uniform soaked in blood from a slaughterhouse). And he explains the reforms of 1910, which gave official approval to a radical new tactic traditionalists were sure would doom the game as they knew it--the forward pass.As college football grew in the booming economy of the 1920s, Watterson explains, the flow of cash added fuel to an already explosive mix. Coaches like Knute Rockne became celebrities in their own right, with highly paid speaking engagements and product endorsements. At the same time, the emergence of the first professional teams led to inevitable scandals involving recruitment and subsidies for student-athletes. Revelations of illicit aid to athletes in the 1930s led to failed attempts at reform by the fledgling NCAA in the postwar "Sanity Code," intended to control abuses by permitting limited subsidies to college players but which actually paved the way for the "free ride" many players receive today.Watterson also explains how the growth of TV revenue led to college football programs' unprecedented prosperity, just as the rise of professional football seemed to relegate college teams to "minor league" status. He explores issues of gender and race, from the shocked reactions of spectators to the first female cheerleaders in the 1930s to their successful exploitation by Roone Arledge three decades later. He describes the role of African-American players, from the days when Southern schools demanded all-white teams (and Northern schools meekly complied); through the black armbands and protests of the 60s; to one of the game's few successful, if limited, reforms, as black athletes dominate the playing field while often being shortchanged in the classroom.Today, Watterson observes, colleges' insatiable hunger for revenues has led to an abuse-filled game nearly indistinguishable from the professional model of the NFL. After examining the standard solutions for reform, he offers proposals of his own, including greater involvement by faculty, trustees, and college presidents. Ultimately, however, Watterson concludes that the history of college football is one in which the rules of the game have changed, but those of human nature have not. less...
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