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Today in History with a Twist: November 18,2013

Into the Quagmire!

     1961 - President John F. Kennedy sends 18,000 military advisors to South Vietnam.  Filling the void after the French withdrawal in 1954 the United States started to become more deeply involved in Vietnam.  The U.S. sided with the South Vietnamese government in their refusal to hold a popular election on whether or not the two Vietnams should be unified as had been mandated by the treaty that the French-Indochina War.  The Vietminh uprising began in 1958 and the United States sent a handful of advisors and some military aid.  President Eisenhower's policy was that Laos would be the front line against the spread of Communism in Southeast Asia.  When President Kennedy took office he shifted away from Laos to Vietnam as where the stand should be made.  As the war escalated Kennedy realized that the South Vietnamese Army could not win the war on its own and in 1962 would formally deploy combat troops. - Here we go!

     Well the French may have given us Vietnam they also indirectly gave us Vichyssoise.  It’s National Vichyssoise Day!  This holiday celebrates vichyssoise - a delicious thick, French-style soup made from potatoes, cream, chicken stock, leeks, and onions.  Traditionally served chilled, vichyssoise (pronounced “vee shee swahzz”) has a French name but was invented in America.  It was created in 1917 by a French chef named Louis Diat when he was working at the Ritz-Carlton in New York.  He named the dish after “Vichy,” a town near to where he grew up. (Punchbowl.com)

     1803 - The French lost another colony when Haitian Revolutionaries won the Battle of Vertières, the last major battle of the Haitian Revolution.  The Haitian victory led to the establishment of the Republic of Haiti, the first black republic in the Western Hemisphere.  The victory would have repercussions throughout the world.  In the United States it would lead to increased opposition to the freeing of slaves due to the fear of a similar uprising.  The loss would also play a major role in Napoleon's decision to sell the Louisiana Territory to the United States. - Democracy has had a rough time in Haiti with two thirds of their Presidents not completing there terms, most thrown out in coups.  Of that number a third died in office, most by unnatural causes.

     1978 - Horror in Jonestown, Guyana, where Jim Jones led his Peoples Temple cult to a mass murder-suicide that claimed 909 in Jonestown, including over 270 children, and an additional 9 with the murder of Congressman Leo J. Ryan and his investigative party. - I known someone who had to go down and 'clean' up the bodies, not something he brags about.

     1421 - A seawall at the Zuiderzee dike in the Netherlands breaks, flooding 72 villages and killing about 10,000 people.  This event will be known as Sint-Elisabethsvloed.  Most of the flooded areas remain flooded today!  One of the silver linings in the disaster was that the flood separated the cities of Geertruidenberg and Dordrecht which had previously fought against each other during the Hook and Cod (civil) wars. - Wonder if the seawall had passed the government safety inspection?

     1307 - Is he real?  According to legend William Tell shoots an apple off his son's head and started a revolution against tyranny on this date.  Many Swiss believe the legend to be true despite there being no records of anyone involved in the incident.  I'm sure this argument has started many a bar fight.  

     1883 - American and Canadian railroads institute five standard continental time zones, ending the confusion of thousands of local times. - Now we can tell when they are not running on Schedule.

Today's birthday's:

     1774 - Wilhelmine of Prussia - First wife of King William I of the Netherlands and so the first Queen of the Netherlands. (d. 1837) - Arranged marriage, between cousins, that actually worked!

     1861 - Dorothy Dix - American journalist (d. 1951) - Dorothy Dix was the pseudonym of U.S. journalist Elizabeth Meriwether Gilmer.  As the forerunner of today's popular advice columnists, She was America's highest paid and most widely read female journalist at the time of her death.  Her advice on marriage was syndicated in newspapers around the world. With an estimated audience of 60 million readers, she became a popular and recognized figure on her travels abroad.  Her reputed practice of framing questions herself to allow her to publish prepared answers gave rise to the Australian-English term "Dorothy Dixer", an expression widely used in Australia to refer to a question from a member of Parliament to a minister that enables the minister to make an announcement in the form of a reply (while in Australian rhyming slang, a "Dorothy", or "Dorothy Dix", refers to a hit for six in cricket). - Do you think that style is effective? I do.

     1901 - George Gallup - Statistician and pollster (d. 1984) - Must have had a large left brian.

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


Amazon Says: How close were we to a full-scale war in Vietnam when Lyndon B. Johnson succeeded to the presidency in 1963? And what course of action might Kennedy have pursued had his presi more...
Amazon Says: How close were we to a full-scale war in Vietnam when Lyndon B. Johnson succeeded to the presidency in 1963? And what course of action might Kennedy have pursued had his presidency not been foreshortened by assassination? Kennedy in Vietnam examines America's Vietnam policy under the Kennedy administration, and provides the historical focus to address these critical and enduring speculations. less...
Amazon


Amazon Says: This book proves that, with a little planning and minimal effort, you can eat surprisingly well during power outages. In hurricane season, this book is a crucial resource. It more...
Amazon Says: This book proves that, with a little planning and minimal effort, you can eat surprisingly well during power outages. In hurricane season, this book is a crucial resource. It can be used for any emergency or anytime you are without power. And you can use this book for quick, easy meals anytime, especially for camping or for quick summer meals. You will find shopping lists for creating the ultimate emergency pantry; more than 70 recipes using nonperishable and shelf-stable food items; suggested menus for quick, well-balanced meals; a practical guide to growing a storm-proof herb garden; advice, tips, and anecdotes about weathering the storm. The 12-page color insert displays the colorful and appetizing?yes, gourmet!?meals that can be prepared from canned goods with some fresh ingredients. less...
Amazon


Amazon Says: The first and only successful slave revolution in the Americas began in 1791 when thousands of brutally exploited slaves rose up against their masters on Saint-Domingue, the more...
Amazon Says: The first and only successful slave revolution in the Americas began in 1791 when thousands of brutally exploited slaves rose up against their masters on Saint-Domingue, the most profitable colony in the eighteenth-century Atlantic world. Within a few years, the slave insurgents forced the French administrators of the colony to emancipate them, a decision ratified by revolutionary Paris in 1794. This victory was a stunning challenge to the order of master/slave relations throughout the Americas, including the southern United States, reinforcing the most fervent hopes of slaves and the worst fears of masters. But, peace eluded Saint-Domingue as British and Spanish forces attacked the colony. A charismatic ex-slave named Toussaint Louverture came to France's aid, raising armies of others like himself and defeating the invaders. Ultimately Napoleon, fearing the enormous political power of Toussaint, sent a massive mission to crush him and subjugate the ex-slaves. After many battles, a decisive victory over the French secured the birth of Haiti and the permanent abolition of slavery from the land. The independence of Haiti reshaped the Atlantic world by leading to the French sale of Louisiana to the United States and the expansion of the Cuban sugar economy. Laurent Dubois weaves the stories of slaves, free people of African descent, wealthy whites, and French administrators into an unforgettable tale of insurrection, war, heroism, and victory. He establishes the Haitian Revolution as a foundational moment in the history of democracy and human rights. less...
Amazon


Amazon Says: The history of the smaller European countries is rather neglected in the teaching of European history at university level. We are therefore pleased to announce the publication more...
Amazon Says: The history of the smaller European countries is rather neglected in the teaching of European history at university level. We are therefore pleased to announce the publication of the first comprehensive history of the Low Countries - in English - from Roman Times to the present. Remaining politically and culturally fragmented, with its inhabitants speaking Dutch, French, Frisian, and German, the Low Countries offer a fascinating picture of European history en miniature. For historical reasons, parts of northern France and western Germany also have to be included in the "Low Countries," a term that must remain both broad and fluid, a convenient label for a region which has seldom, if ever, composed a unified whole. In earlier ages it as even more difficult to the region set parameters, again reflecting Europe as a whole, when tribes and kingdoms stretched across expanses not limited to the present states of Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Nevertheless, its parts did demonstrate many common traits and similar developments that differentiated them from surrounding countries and lent them a distinct character. Internationally, the region often served both as a mediator for and a buffer to the surrounding great powers, France, Britain, and Germany; an important role still played today as Belgium and the Netherlands have increasingly become involved in the broader process of European integration, in which they often share the same interest and follow parallel policies. This highly illustrated volume serves as an ideal introduction to the rich history of the Low Countries for students and the generally interested reader alike. less...
Amazon


Amazon Says: This book provides a comprehensive information on every type of natural disaster as well as many man -made and technological emergencies. The natural disasters profiled in th more...
Amazon Says: This book provides a comprehensive information on every type of natural disaster as well as many man -made and technological emergencies. The natural disasters profiled in the book include Earthquakes, Floods and Flashfloods, Heat Waves, Hurricanes, Landslide and Mudflows, Thunderstorms and Lightning, Tornadoes,. Tsunamis, Volcanoes, Wildfires, Wildland Fires and Winter Storms. Man-made and Technological emergencies covered in the book include Biological and Chemical Agent Disasters, Hazardous Materials Accidents, Home Fires, Housing & Building Fires, Nuclear Power Plant Emergencies, Radiological Emergencies, Rolling Blackouts and terrorism. For each disaster or emergency, information is provided on what they are and what citizens or families could do before, during and after to minimize loss of lives and/or property. Also included are sources for additional information. less...
Amazon


William Tell by Margaret Early
Amazon Says: Recounts how the legendary Swiss folk hero, forced to shoot an apple from his son's head by the evil governor, catalyzed the Swiss mountaineers' revolt against Austrian tyrann more...
Amazon Says: Recounts how the legendary Swiss folk hero, forced to shoot an apple from his son's head by the evil governor, catalyzed the Swiss mountaineers' revolt against Austrian tyranny in the early 1300's. less...
Amazon


Amazon Says: U.S. longitudes and latitudes, time changes and time zones. more...
Amazon Says: U.S. longitudes and latitudes, time changes and time zones. less...
Amazon


Amazon Says: The history of the smaller European countries is rather neglected in the teaching of European history at university level. We are therefore pleased to announce the publication more...
Amazon Says: The history of the smaller European countries is rather neglected in the teaching of European history at university level. We are therefore pleased to announce the publication of the first comprehensive history of the Low Countries - in English - from Roman Times to the present. Remaining politically and culturally fragmented, with its inhabitants speaking Dutch, French, Frisian, and German, the Low Countries offer a fascinating picture of European history en miniature. For historical reasons, parts of northern France and western Germany also have to be included in the "Low Countries," a term that must remain both broad and fluid, a convenient label for a region which has seldom, if ever, composed a unified whole. In earlier ages it as even more difficult to the region set parameters, again reflecting Europe as a whole, when tribes and kingdoms stretched across expanses not limited to the present states of Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Nevertheless, its parts did demonstrate many common traits and similar developments that differentiated them from surrounding countries and lent them a distinct character. Internationally, the region often served both as a mediator for and a buffer to the surrounding great powers, France, Britain, and Germany; an important role still played today as Belgium and the Netherlands have increasingly become involved in the broader process of European integration, in which they often share the same interest and follow parallel policies. This highly illustrated volume serves as an ideal introduction to the rich history of the Low Countries for students and the generally interested reader alike. less...
Amazon


Amazon Says: With the aid of women's studies professors from leading U.S. colleges and universities, Felder has ranked 100 social reformers, women's rights activists, scientists, educators more...
Amazon Says: With the aid of women's studies professors from leading U.S. colleges and universities, Felder has ranked 100 social reformers, women's rights activists, scientists, educators, labor leaders, politicians, rulers, religious leaders, artists, performers, and sports figures who have inspired and changed the world. Profiles include Marie Curie, Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Lucille Ball, Simone de Beauvoir, and Rosa Parks. Photos throughout. less...
Amazon

Gallup Poll: Public Opinion 19 by Scholarly Resources
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