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Today in History with a Twist: August 30, 2013

Hot Line Established!

     Having narrowly dodging the nuclear bullet in the Cuban Missile Crisis the United States aand Soviet Union have established a hotline between the countries' leaders (1963).  The direct link is meant to allow the leaders to talk directly during crisis situations in order to help difuse them.  The hotline is not a telephone line, initially communications will be by teletype equipment;  In 1988 it will be replaced by facsimile units. (Since 2008 the Moscow-Washington hotline is a secure computer link over which messages are exchanged by email.) Hopefully it will help prevent the use of the 'Doom's Day Device'.

     Take your mind off potential nuclear war by roasting some marshmallows.  Today is National Toasted Marshmallow Day!  With summer coming to a close, today is the perfect opportunity to invite friends and family to gather around a campfire and toast up some marshmallows.  The history of the marshmallow dates all the way back to Ancient Egypt.  The Egyptians harvested the sweet gooey extract of the mallow plant and used it to make candy.  It was a very special treat reserved exclusively for gods and royalty.  The modern-day marshmallows we know and love today emerged during the 19th century.  To celebrate National Toasted Marshmallow Day, grab a stick and a bag of marshmallows, and head outside to toast some marshmallows over the fire. (Punchbowl.com)

     In Washington (1967) Thurgood Marshall has been confirmed as the first African American Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.  Hopefully we are getting closer to day envisioned by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream that it won't matter what a persons skin color is.

     In Europe (1995) NATO has launched Operation Deliberate Force against Bosnian Serb forces. NATO has become directly involved due to reports of Serb atrocities against Croation and Moslem civilians.  I was also involved in this one.

      In the Creek Civil War (1813) the government has been drawn into the conflict by the Northern Creek attack on Fort Mims, north of Mobile, Alabama.  The Northern Creek "Red Sticks" (refering to the red stick used when declaring war) killed over 500 defenders in the fort at loss of less to a hundred of their own.  Should never have given Andrew Jackson an excuse to get involved.

      On the Eastern Front in the Great War (1914) the Germans have inflicted a major defeat on the Russians in the Battle of Tannenberg.  One of the keys to the battle was that the Germans listened to the Russian radio communications and learned the Russian plans.  They were easily able to counter the Russian moves and defeat them.  Lesson to us; Don't muzzle the NSA, just make sure they have good masters.

     With the decline of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty the rebel factions have taken to fighting amongst themselves. In an attempt to take the Ming held city Nanchang the Hans have laid siege to the city.  To try and break the siege the navy of the Ming, under Zhu Yuanzhang, met the Han navy, commanded by Chen Youliang, in Jiangxi Province on Lake Poyang, China's largest freshwater lake in one of the largest naval battles in history (1363).  Despite being outnumbered the Ming won the battle and established themselves as the faction most likely to take over when the Yuans eventual fall.  They make great vases also.

Today we celebrate the birthdays of:

     1797 - Mary Shelley - English author (d. 1851) - She does look like she follows Goth fashion, could go a long way to explaining 'Frankenstein".

     1893 - Huey Long - Politician (d. 1935) - Did an assassin's bullet save us from a dictatorship? Have a good Labor Day.

 

To learn more about the above topics check out the following books from our collection:


Amazon Says: The newest entry in Alan Axelrod’s engaging, successful Real History series—and the only current illustrated book on a misunderstood and mysterious topic.From the fall of N more...
Amazon Says: The newest entry in Alan Axelrod’s engaging, successful Real History series—and the only current illustrated book on a misunderstood and mysterious topic.From the fall of Nazi Germany to the fall of the Berlin Wall, a cold war raged between the US and the Soviet Union. Though not a shot was fired, the hostility between the two superpowers threatened the globe with nuclear annihilation. Axelrod reveals the intriguing, suspenseful true story behind this globe-spanning battle of wills, and as always, he’s created a study that’s authoritative, comprehensive, and a pleasure to read. Judiciously, incisively, he probes the pivotal events of the era: the Marshall Plan; the iron curtain; the Berlin airlift; the Cuban missile crisis; the rise and fall of Joesph McCarthy; the Korean War; the Vietnam War; the arms race. Rarely seen illustrations, detail-packed sidebars, maps, stats, quotes, alternate takes, and “reality checks” to popular myths make this a work general readers will turn to and enjoy.  less...
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Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems by Kristine O'Connell George
Amazon Says: Everything that happens when you go camping can be an adventure, from getting dressed inside your sleeping bag on a chilly morning to meeting a moose to sharing secrets in a t more...
Amazon Says: Everything that happens when you go camping can be an adventure, from getting dressed inside your sleeping bag on a chilly morning to meeting a moose to sharing secrets in a tent at night. Kristine O’Connell George turns the memorable moments of a family outing into spirited, evocative verse, and Kate Kiesler’s vivid paintings provide a cast of characters and the perfect setting. The captivating poems and pictures in Toasting Marshmallows will leave readers with wonderful memories of a camping trip—even if they’ve never been on one! less...
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Amazon Says: Thurgood Marshall's extraordinary contribution to civil rights and overcoming racism is more topical than ever, as the national debate on race and the overturning of affirmati more...
Amazon Says: Thurgood Marshall's extraordinary contribution to civil rights and overcoming racism is more topical than ever, as the national debate on race and the overturning of affirmative action policies make headlines nationwide. Howard Ball, author of eighteen books on the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary, has done copious research for this incisive biography to present an authoritative portrait of Marshall the jurist. Born to a middle-class black family in "Jim Crow" Baltimore at the turn of the century, Marshall's race informed his worldview from an early age. He was rejected by the University of Maryland Law School because of the color of his skin. He then attended Howard University's Law School, where his racial consciousness was awakened by the brilliant lawyer and activist Charlie Houston. Marshall suddenly knew what he wanted to be: a civil rights lawyer, one of Houston's "social engineers." As the chief attorney for the NAACP, he developed the strategy for the legal challenge to racial discrimination. His soaring achievements and his lasting impact on the nation's legal system--as the NAACP's advocate, as a federal appeals court judge, as President Lyndon Johnson's solicitor general, and finally as the first African American Supreme Court Justice--are symbolized by Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark case that ended legal segregation in public schools. Using race as the defining theme, Ball spotlights Marshall's genius in working within the legal system to further his lifelong commitment to racial equality. With the help of numerous, previously unpublished sources, Ball presents a lucid account of Marshall's illustrious career and his historic impact on American civil rights. less...
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Amazon Says: "Burn This House" is the first book in English to represent the critical, non-nationalist voices inside the former Yugoslavia. Written primarily by Muslim, Croatian, and Serbi more...
Amazon Says: "Burn This House" is the first book in English to represent the critical, non-nationalist voices inside the former Yugoslavia. Written primarily by Muslim, Croatian, and Serbian journalists and historians, this collection relies on the perspective of the people who live there to portray the chain of events that have led to the current genocidal wars in the heart of Europe. These essays elucidate the Balkan tragedy while directing attention toward the antiwar movement and the work of the independent media that has been largely ignored by the U.S. press. They show that, contrary to descriptions by the Western media, the roots of the warring lie not in ancient Balkan hatreds but rather in a specific set of socio-political circumstances that occurred after the death of Tito and culminated at the end of the Cold War. In bringing together these essays, Serbian-born sociologist Jasminka Udovicki and Village Voice Washington correspondent James Ridgeway provide essential historical background for understanding the recent turmoil in Croatia and Bosnia and expose the catalytic role played by the propaganda of a powerful few on both sides of what eventually became labeled an ethnic dispute. In her introduction, Udovicki terms the most persuasive vehicle of such communications "ethno-kitsch" and describes such instances as the "turbo-folk-rock" that flooded the airwaves in the mid-1980s and the slogans chanted by fans of favourite national football clubs. The chapters that follow illuminate the sociological complexity and unique conditions that underlie the continuing tragedy of the former Yugoslavia. A poignant and informative explication of the Balkan tragedy by journalists and academics with firsthand knowledge of the subtle dynamics involved, "Burn This House" will educate political scientists, European historians, and all those interested in international affairs. less...
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Amazon Says: "If you have ever wondered about the Indian tribes who lived in the American Southeast at the time of European settlement, this book is for you. . . . Eleven of the nation’s more...
Amazon Says: "If you have ever wondered about the Indian tribes who lived in the American Southeast at the time of European settlement, this book is for you. . . . Eleven of the nation’s top historical archaeologists tackle eleven of the Indian nations that occupied the territory from Florida to Texas. They include some of the best known but little-understood American tribes--the Cherokee, the Natchez, and the Caddo."--American Archaeology"A critically needed summary of current knowledge of southeastern Native Americans during the colonial encounter. . . . For historians, archaeologists, and ethnohistorians, this is a valuable source of information which was previously hard to find."--Elizabeth J. Reitz, University of Georgia"This important volume will be of interest to anyone, whether scholar or layman, who wants to learn about the Indians of the southeastern United States. The authors are among the most respected authorities on the Indian societies chosen for inclusion."--Chester B. DePratter, University of South CarolinaThis volume brings together a stellar group of scholars to summarize what we know of the development of native American cultures in the southeastern United States after 1500. The authors integrate archaeological, documentary, and ethnohistorical evidence in the most comprehensive examination of diverse southeastern Indian cultures published in decades.Contents Introduction by Bonnie G. McEwan 1. The Timucua Indians of Northern Florida and Southern Georgia, by Jerald T. Milanich 2. The Guale Indians of the Lower Atlantic Coast: Change and Continuity, by Rebecca Saunders 3. The Apalachee Indians of Northwest Florida, by Bonnie G. McEwan 4. The Chickasaws, by Jay K. Johnson 5. The Caddo of the Trans-Mississippi South, by Ann M. Early 6. The Natchez of Southwest Mississippi, by Karl G. Lorenz 7. The Quapaw Indians of Arkansas, 1673-1803, by George Sabo III 8. Cherokee Ethnohistory and Archaeology, by Gerald F. Schroedl 9. Upper Creek Archaeology, by Gregory A. Waselkov and Marvin T. Smith 10. The Lower Creeks: Origins and Early History, by John E. Worth 11. Archaeological Perspectives on Florida Seminole Ethnogenesis, by Brent R. Weisman       This title is published in conjunction with the Society for Historical Archaeology Bonnie G. McEwan is director of archaeology at Mission San Luis in Tallahassee, Florida. Her publications include The Spanish Missions of La Florida, The Apalachee Indians and Mission San Luis (with John H. Hann), and numerous monographs and journal articles. less...
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Amazon Says: The First World War has shaped the history of the twentieth century. It was the first conflict in which airplanes, submarines, and tanks played a significant role, the first i more...
Amazon Says: The First World War has shaped the history of the twentieth century. It was the first conflict in which airplanes, submarines, and tanks played a significant role, the first in which casualties on the battlefield outnumbered those from disease. It precipitated the collapse of the empires of Austria-Hungary and Turkey, and it promoted revolution in that of Russia. The USA's entry into the war and the part it played in the peace settlement signalled the arrival on the world stage of a new great power. The victors at Versailles took nationalism as one of their guiding principles; they also aimed at instituting their vision of liberalism and even democracy; the political consequences are still being played out. In this extensively illustrated book, an international team of experts explores the war in all its different aspects. From its causes to its consequences, from the strategy of the politicians to the tactics of the generals, the course of the war is charted and its political and human consequences assessed. Chapters on economic mobilization, the impact on women, the role of propaganda, and the rise of socialism establish the wider social context of fighting which took place at sea and in the air and which ranged on land from the Flanders trenches to the Balkan mountains and the deserts of the Middle East. The legacy of 'the war to end wars'--in poetry and prose, in collective memory and political culture--is with us still, eighty years after that first Armistice Day. This remarkable book helps us understand that legacy. less...
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Amazon Says: The Silk Road, a series of ancient trade routes stretching across Central Asia to Europe, evokes exotic images of camel trains laden with bales of fine Chinese silk, spices, a more...
Amazon Says: The Silk Road, a series of ancient trade routes stretching across Central Asia to Europe, evokes exotic images of camel trains laden with bales of fine Chinese silk, spices, and perfume, of desert oases surrounded by snow-capped mountains, of bustling markets thronging with travellers buying and selling grapes, coriander, Baltic amber, and Mediterranean coral. Along this route, silks were sent from China to ancient Rome; princesses were dispatched in marriage alliances across the deserts; bandits and thieves launched attacks throughout history. Covering more than 5,000 years, this book, lavishly illustrated with photographs, manuscripts, and paintings from the collections of the British Library and other museums worldwide, presents an overall picture of the history and cultures of the Silk Road. It also contains many previously unpublished photographs by the great explorers Stein, Hedin, and Mannerheim. More than just a trade route, the Silk Road witnessed the movement of cultural influences. Frances Wood traces the story of the civilizations and ideas that flourished and moved along its vast geographical expanse. Indian Buddhism was carried into China on the Silk Road, initiating a long history of pilgrimages along the lonely desert routes; Manichaeism, Nestorian Christianity, and Islam also made their way eastwards along its route. The nineteenth century saw a new interest in Central Asia and the Silk Road, as Russia and Britain vied for power on the frontiers of Afghanistan. A new breed of explorer, part archaeologist, part cartographer, part spy, was seen on the Silk Road, while some of the ancient cities, long buried in sand-blown dunes, began to give up their secrets. This book brings the history of the Silk Road alive--from its beginnings to the present day, revealing a rich history still in the making. less...
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Mary Shelley by Miranda Seymour
Amazon Says: Gracefully sweeping through the dramatic life of the woman behind history's most legendary monster, Miranda Seymour unbuttons a world of brilliant literary figures in Mary She more...
Amazon Says: Gracefully sweeping through the dramatic life of the woman behind history's most legendary monster, Miranda Seymour unbuttons a world of brilliant literary figures in Mary Shelley and re-creates the imaginative time in which Frankenstein was born. The itinerant life of Mary Shelley began when she escaped the continent at age sixteen with her husband, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, her reputation in ruins. With Mary's stepsister Claire Clairmont in tow, they traveled from England to Switzerland to stifling Italy in the summer. In 1816 they rented a villa near Lord Byron's on Lake Geneva where, in a famous night of eerie thunderstorms, they told ghost stories and tales of horror. From that night emerged the idea of Frankenstein, a monster who has haunted imaginations for nearly two hundred years. His creator was an eighteen-year-old girl. But tragedy shadowed her; she came to lose three of her four children in infancy and when she was twenty-four, Shelley drowned off the coast of Italy. After his death she moved back to England with her only remaining child, Percy. Though Frankenstein later became a success, the world she returned to was bleak and impoverished, and she was reduced to hack writing to make ends meet. The Mary we meet here, brilliantly brought to life by Seymour from previously unexplored sources, is flawed, brave, generous, and impetuous. As Jackie Wullschlager of The Financial Times (London) said, "Mary Shelley is the most dazzling biography of a female writer to have come my way for a decade." less...
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Kingfish: The Reign of Huey P. Long by Jr. Richard D. White
Amazon Says: From the moment he took office as governor in 1928 to the day an assassin’s bullet cut him down in 1935, Huey Long wielded all but dictatorial control over the state of Loui more...
Amazon Says: From the moment he took office as governor in 1928 to the day an assassin’s bullet cut him down in 1935, Huey Long wielded all but dictatorial control over the state of Louisiana. A man of shameless ambition and ruthless vindictiveness, Long orchestrated elections, hired and fired thousands at will, and deployed the state militia as his personal police force. And yet, paradoxically, as governor and later as senator, Long did more good for the state’s poor and uneducated than any politician before or since. Outrageous demagogue or charismatic visionary? In this powerful new biography, Richard D. White, Jr., brings Huey Long to life in all his blazing, controversial glory. White taps invaluable new source material to present a fresh, vivid portrait of both the man and the Depression era that catapulted him to fame. From his boyhood in dirt-poor Winn Parish, Long knew he was destined for power–the problem was how to get it fast enough to satisfy his insatiable appetite. With cunning and crudity unheard of in Louisiana politics, Long crushed his opponents in the 1928 gubernatorial race, then immediately set about tightening his iron grip. The press attacked him viciously, the oil companies howled for his blood after he pushed through a controversial oil processing tax, but Long had the adulation of the people. In 1930, the Kingfish got himself elected senator, and then there was no stopping him. White’s account of Long’s heyday unfolds with the mesmerizing intensity of a movie. Pegged by President Roosevelt as “one of the two most dangerous men in the country,” Long organized a radical movement to redistribute money through his Share Our Wealth Society–and his gospel of pensions for all, a shorter workweek, and free college spread like wildfire. The Louisiana poor already worshiped him for building thousands of miles of roads and funding schools, hospitals, and universities; his outrageous antics on the Senate floor gained him a growing national base. By 1935, despite a barrage of corruption investigations, Huey Long announced that he was running for president. In the end, Long was a tragic hero–a power addict who squandered his genius and came close to destroying the very foundation of democratic rule. Kingfish is a balanced, lucid, and absolutely spellbinding portrait of the life and times of the most incendiary figure in the history of American politics. less...
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