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Today in History with a Twist: August 8, 2013

Nixon Quits!

     President Richard Nixon made a nationwide television address this evening (1974) and shocked the world by announcing his resignation from the office of the President of the United States effective noon tomorrow.  The uproar about the Watergate scandal has brought down the 37th President.  Maybe this time we really won't have Nixon to kick around any more.

     Possibly he would have been a better President if he had a cat.  Today is World Cat Day, also known as International Cat Day.  Cat Day is celebrated throughout the world.  It was founded in 2002 by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and other animal rights groups.  The cat is a small, furry, domesticated, carnivorous mammal that is valued by humans for its companionship and for its ability to hunt vermin and household pests.  Although cat ownership has commonly been associated with women, a US poll reported that men and women were equally likely to own a cat.  Cats have been associated with humans for at least 9,500 years, and are currently the most popular pet in the world. (

     The Spanish could probably uses some cats today to help them forget the defeat inflicted on their Armada at the Battle of Gravelines (1588).  The English naval victory has ended the Spanish Armada's attempt to invade England.  Drake was obviously smarter than the Spanish and definitely had better gunners.

     Tensions ratcheted up in the Middle East today (1990) when Iraqi forces crossed the border into Kuwait and annexed the country to Iraq.  An unlikely coalition of countries is mobilizing to try and reverse this move.  Members of the American led coalition contain some diverse countries as England, France, Poland, Syria and Egypt.  Had to work hard to keep Israel away.

     A relic from the Civil War saw the light of day for the first time in 136 years when the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley was raised to the surface (2000) after sitting the ocean floor since 1864.  The wreck was located 30 years ago by undersea explorer E. Lee Spence and filmed 5 years ago by a dive team funded by novelist Clive Cussler.  Think he was just running out of ideas for his books and this may re-inspire him.

      Office work will be much easier now (1876) with Thomas Edison receiving a patent for his mimeograph.  He experienced the first paper jam the same day.

      With a spectacular launch this morning (1989) Space Shuttle Columbia took off on Mission STS-28, a secret five-day military mission.  Probably placing a satellite for the NSA to collect phone numbers.

Today we celebrate the birthdays of:

     1935 - Donald P. Bellisario - American screenwriter and producer. - You may not know him but I'm sure you know his work.

     1948 - Svetlana Savitskaya - Russian astronaut - Guess you don't have to dead to get on a Russian stamp.

To learn more about the above items check out the following items in our collection:

Amazon Says: The recent 50th anniversaries of the first human spaceflights by the Soviet Union and the United States, and the 30th anniversary of the launching of the first U.S. Space Shut more...
Amazon Says: The recent 50th anniversaries of the first human spaceflights by the Soviet Union and the United States, and the 30th anniversary of the launching of the first U.S. Space Shuttle mission, have again brought to mind the pioneering accomplishments of the first quarter century of humans in space. Historians, political scientists and others have extensively examined the technical, programmatic and political history of human spaceflight from the 1960s to the 1980s, but work is only beginning on the social and cultural history of the pioneering era. One rapidly developing area of recent scholarship is the examination of the images of spacefarers in the media, government propaganda and popular culture. How was space travel imagined in the visual media on the cusp of human spaceflights? How were astronauts and cosmonauts represented in official and quasi-official media portraits? And how were those images reproduced and transformed by in the imagination of film-makers, movie producers, popular writers, and novelists? Spacefarers addresses these questions with nine contributions from scholars in the field of aerospace history, Russian and American history, and English literature. These essays are preceded by an introduction by the editor, who discusses their place in the historiography of spaceflight and social and cultural history. The book will have potential appeal to a wide variety of scholars in history, literature and the social sciences and will include a number of striking visual images. less...

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