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Today in History with a Twist: December 5, 2013

Repealed!

     It’s Repeal Day!  Today is the anniversary of the day that the United States repealed the 18th Amendment, restoring the right to purchase and consume alcohol.  The 18th Amendment, which was ratified on January 16, 1919, prohibited the manufacture, sale, and transportation of liquor throughout the United States.  Prohibition led to widespread disrespect for the law.  New York City alone had about 30,000 speakeasies by 1927!  Eventually, many influential and respected citizens including John D. Rockefeller Jr. came forward and organized a counter movement.  The 21st Amendment ending Prohibition was ratified on December 5, 1933.  Repeal Day is a celebration of the balance of power in the United States and of the individual freedom that allows each American citizen to choose whether or not to drink alcohol.  Learn more about the history of this holiday. (Punchbowl.com)

     1848 - James K. Polk in a Speech before the Congress confirmed that large amounts of gold had been discovered in California setting off the California Gold Rush. - Though as usual it was not the people who did the hard work who made the real money.

     1775 - Colonel Henry Knox begins his historic transport of artillery to Cambridge, Massachusetts from Fort Ticonderoga.  The artillery was heavy weaponry that had been captured at Fort Ticonderoga.  Over the course of 3 winter months, he moved 60 tons of cannons and other armaments by boat, horse and ox-drawn sledges, and manpower, along poor-quality roads, across two semi-frozen rivers, and through the forests and swamps of the lightly inhabited Berkshires to the Boston area.  The artillery gave General Washington the firepower to lift the British siege on Boston. - The artillery was as good as gold to Washington.

     1932 - Albert Einstein is granted an American visa.  He was in the United States when Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933.  He stayed and become an American citizen. - They're loss.

     1941 - The Russians launch a massive counter-attack against the German army during the Battle of Moscow.  The attack, planned and carried out by Marshall Georgy Zhukov would stop the German drive to take Moscow and change the course of the war. - It didn't help that the Germans forgot to take their jackets.

     1757 - In one of his most brilliant battles, Frederick II (the Great) leads the Prussian Army in achieving a decisive victory over Austrian forces under Prince Charles Alexander Lorraine at the Battle of Leuthen during the Seven Years' War.  The victory would save Silesia for Prussia and lead to Maria Theresa demanding the resignation of Prince Charles, her double brother-in-law. - Guess in this case it's soldier's blood that was thicker.

     1952 - Known as the Great Smog of 1952, a cold fog combined with air pollution descends upon London and stayed until the 9th;  It was responsible for the premature deaths of at least 12,000 in the weeks and months that follow.  Most of the victims were very young or elderly, or had pre-existing respiratory problems. - Which is more scary, Stephen King's story or the real thing. - Were you a little concerned with this morning's fog?

Today's birthday's

     1782 - Martin Van Buren - 8th President (d. 1862) - He was also the 8th Vice President. Given the nickname 'Van Ruin' due to the Panic of 1837. - The mudslinging is one thing that has remained constant.

     1839 - General George Armstrong Custer (d. 1876) - Was one of my boyhood heroes until I got past Libby's propaganda.

     1901 - Walt Disney - Animator, director, screenwriter, and producer, co-founded The Walt Disney Company (d. 1966) - Chicago boy makes good.

     1902 - Strom Thurmond - 103rd Governor of South Carolina, President pro tempore of the United States Senate (d. 2003) - And we're still naming things after him

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


Amazon Says: Discusses the political and social aspects of the Eighteenth Amendment prohibiting the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages, as well as the repeal of that law with the more...
Amazon Says: Discusses the political and social aspects of the Eighteenth Amendment prohibiting the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages, as well as the repeal of that law with the passage of the Twenty-first Amendment. less...
Amazon


Amazon Says: When The World Rushed In was first published in 1981, the Washington Post predicted, “It seems unlikely that anyone will write a more comprehensive book about the Gold Rush. more...
Amazon Says: When The World Rushed In was first published in 1981, the Washington Post predicted, “It seems unlikely that anyone will write a more comprehensive book about the Gold Rush.” Twenty years later, no one has emerged to contradict that judgment, and the book has gained recognition as a classic. As the San Francisco Examiner noted, “It is not often that a work of history can be said to supplant every book on the same subject that has gone before it.”Through the diary and letters of William Swain--augmented by interpolations from more than five hundred other gold seekers and by letters sent to Swain from his wife and brother back home--the complete cycle of the gold rush is recreated: the overland migration of over thirty thousand men, the struggle to “strike it rich” in the mining camps of the Sierra Nevadas, and the return home through the jungles of the Isthmus of Panama.In a new preface, the author reappraises our continuing fascination with the “gold rush experience” as a defining epoch in western--indeed, American--history. less...
Amazon


Amazon Says: This is the first book that offers a you-are-there look at the American Revolution through the eyes of the enlisted men. Through searing portraits of individual soldiers, Bruc more...
Amazon Says: This is the first book that offers a you-are-there look at the American Revolution through the eyes of the enlisted men. Through searing portraits of individual soldiers, Bruce Chadwick, author of George Washington's War, brings alive what it was like to serve then in the American army. With interlocking stories of ordinary Americans, he evokes what it meant to face brutal winters, starvation, terrible homesickness and to go into battle against the much-vaunted British regulars and their deadly Hessian mercenaries. The reader lives through the experiences of those terrible and heroic times when a fifteen-year-old fifer survived the Battle of Bunker Hill, when Private Josiah Atkins escaped unscathed from the bloody battles in New York and when a doctor and a minister shared the misery of the wounded and dying. These intertwining stories are drawn from their letters and never-before-quoted journals found in the libraries belonging to the camps where Washington quartered his troops during those desperate years. less...
Amazon


Amazon Says: Modesty, humor, compassion, and wisdom are the traits most evident in these personal papers, most of them never before published, from the Einstein archives. The illustrious p more...
Amazon Says: Modesty, humor, compassion, and wisdom are the traits most evident in these personal papers, most of them never before published, from the Einstein archives. The illustrious physicist wrote as thoughtfully to an Ohio fifth-grader, distressed by her discovery that scientists classify humans as animals, as to a Colorado banker, who asked whether he believed in a personal God. Witty rhymes, and exchange about fine music with Queen Elizabeth of Belgium, and expressions of his devotion to Zionism are but some of the highlights found in this rare, warm enriching book. less...
Amazon


Amazon Says: The Battle for Moscow was the deadliest battle of World War II--and the deadliest battle of all time. Between September 30, 1941 and April 20, 1942, seven million German and S more...
Amazon Says: The Battle for Moscow was the deadliest battle of World War II--and the deadliest battle of all time. Between September 30, 1941 and April 20, 1942, seven million German and Soviet troops took part in the battle, and 2.5 million of them were killed, taken prisoner, missing or severely wounded. As German troops approached Moscow, half of the city's population fled, while others looted stores, staged strikes and attacked those who were escaping. In the end, the German drive fell short, but Stalin's regime was so embarrassed by how close they came, by the mistakes the Soviet dictator made that allowed them to do so, and the behavior of many of its own citizens, that the battle was given short shrift in their history books. Both Hitler and Stalin (briefly allied and now newly at war) intruded themselves into the strategies for their armies. Hitler was so overconfident--even though his generals warned him--that the German army went into battle in the Russian fall with no winter clothes. Stalin was so in denial that the majority of Russian soldiers had no weapons. They had to wait for a comrade to fall in order to acquire a gun. Soviet soldiers following the front lines were under orders to shoot anyone who retreated. Meanwhile, the German soldiers, well equipped with armaments, and well trained but with no winter clothes, were freezing to death by the thousands. Nagorski's description of the parallels and differences between Hitler and Stalin is a fascinating opening to his book. His description of Stalin's courtship of FDR and Churchill is an important historical contribution. His account of the near catastrophe of the German attack (Stalin had Lenin's body removed and sent away, so close was Moscow to capitulation) is dramatic. Moscow was under attack and siege for six months. Nagorski describes the horror in great detail. Because he speaks Russian he was able to interview many who lived through this battle, including the young man who transported Lenin's body. The Battle for Moscow was the first turning point of the war, the first time that the German Blitzkrieg had been stopped. If Hitler hadn't committed major mistakes, the history of World War II would have been radically different. Nagorski tells the full story of this epic battle for the first time. He draws upon previously classified documents from the archives of the NKVD, as the KGB was called, letters, diaries, memoirs, and numerous first-hand accounts of survivors, many of whom contradict the sanitized version of events presented by Soviet and even Western writers. The result is a riveting tale of terror, mass murder and, ultimately, a narrow victory that marked the beginning of the end for Hitler's war machine. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Book by Duffy, Christopher more...
Amazon Says: Book by Duffy, Christopher less...
Amazon


Our Poisoned Sky by Edward F. Dolan
Amazon Says: Explains how pollutants are ruining our atmosphere and what is being done about them. more...
Amazon Says: Explains how pollutants are ruining our atmosphere and what is being done about them. less...
Amazon


Martin Van Buren by Edward Morse Shepard
Amazon Says: This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfection more...
Amazon Says: This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally important and have elected to bring the book back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. less...
Amazon


Amazon Says: In the election year of 1876 the Battle of the Little Big Horn was horrifyingly fresh to opinion makers, who divided along political lines in assigning blame. The late General more...
Amazon Says: In the election year of 1876 the Battle of the Little Big Horn was horrifyingly fresh to opinion makers, who divided along political lines in assigning blame. The late General George A. Custer, who had been a Democrat with aspirations to high office, was more pilloried than praised by President Grant and influential editors of Republican newspapers. Coming to the defense of Custer was Frederick Whittaker, who less than six months after the disaster published this first biography of him. A Complete Life was the beginning of a legend, and Whittaker did more than anyone else except Libby Custer to make the flamboyant Boy General a permanent resident of the national consciousness.Quite aside from its contribution to the public image of Custer, this important book placed him and his associates against a concrete background of onrushing events. Drawing on newspaper reports and the general's own words, Whittaker captures the excitement of the era. In Volume 1 a boy's life in Ohio is made immediate. Then Custer's escapades as a cadet at West Point (where he was called Fanny because of his golden locks), his courtship of Judge Bacon's saucy daughter, and his singular service as a cavalryman in the Civil War are described in vivid circumstantial detail. From the first Battle of Bull Run through Gettysburg and the Virginia campaign he is seen in action, conspicuously defying death and winning promotion. Volume 2 deals with Custer's fighting in the West, ending with a memorable description of his last stand at the Little Big Horn in June 1876.The introduction to Volume 1 is by Gregory J. W. Urwin, who won praise for Custer Victorious: The Civil War Battles of General George Armstrong Custer, also a Bison Book. less...
Amazon


Amazon Says: This first biography of General George A. Custer was published late in 1876, only months after the disaster at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. A Complete Life was the begin more...
Amazon Says: This first biography of General George A. Custer was published late in 1876, only months after the disaster at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. A Complete Life was the beginning of a legend, and Frderick Whittaker did more than anyone else except Libby Custer to make the flamboyant Boy General a permanent resident of the national consciousness.Quite aside from its contribution to the public image of Custer, this important book placed him and his associates against a concrete background of onrushing events. Drawing on newspaper reports and the general's own words, Whittaker captures the excitement of the era. Continuing the story of Custer from Volume 1, which dealt with his childhood in Ohio, cadetship at West Point, courtship of Elizabeth Bacon, and service as a cavalryman in the Civil War, Volume 2 takes Custer west to head up the newly created Seventh Cavalry and fight the Arapahoes, Cheyennes, Kiowas, and Sioux. Whittaker gives full scope to Custer's brushes with authority, his changeable relations with his troops, and his famous expeditions, ending with a memorable description of his last stand at the Little Big Horn in June 1876. less...
Amazon


Amazon Says: Probing the genius of Walt Disney, a new biography of the American icon explores his long association with J. Edgar Hoover, his troubled personal life, and much more. By the more...
Amazon Says: Probing the genius of Walt Disney, a new biography of the American icon explores his long association with J. Edgar Hoover, his troubled personal life, and much more. By the author of Down Thunder Road. National ad/promo. Tour. less...
Amazon


Amazon Says: The most comprehensive biography to date of America's oldest, larger-than-life, and longest serving senator. more...
Amazon Says: The most comprehensive biography to date of America's oldest, larger-than-life, and longest serving senator. less...
Amazon

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