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Today in History with a Twist: November 21, 2013

Government comes to America!

     1620 - Plymouth Colony settlers sign the Mayflower Compact. Being forced to land in what would become Massachusetts, instead of the targeted Virginia colony, many of the settlers said they would not be bound by English law.  To help maintain order in the new colony the core of the settlers, a group escaping Religious persecution, drew up the pact to which the signers agreed to still follow English law. - Some people just need someone to tell them what to do.

     Put 'em out.  Today is the Great American Smokeout, a social engineering experiment that encourages people to quit smoking.  Lynn Smith, the publisher of a Minnesota newspaper, introduced the concept in 1974 when she announced a “Don’t Smoke Day” or “D-Day.”  Today, the Great American Smokeout is sponsored by the American Cancer Society.  On the third Thursday of November, smokers across the country try to give up their cigarettes for 24 hours.  The idea is that many will quit smoking altogether. (Punchbowl.com)

     1905 – Albert Einstein's paper, Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?, is published in the journal "Annalen der Physik".  This paper reveals the relationship between energy and mass.  Further leading to the mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc². - I'm not even going to try and explain this one.

     1877 - Thomas Edison announces his invention of the phonograph, a machine that can record and play sound. - Did teenagers of the era ride stagecoaches with them on their shoulders?

     1970 - Operation Ivory Coast, a joint Air Force and Army team raids the North Vietnamese Son Tay prison camp in an attempt to free American prisoners of war thought to be held there.  Would have been successful if the prisoners had not been moved weeks earlier.  Intelligence reports indicating that the move had occurred were received hours before the raid, but it was decided to conduct the raid anyway. - Of course the Intel folks got the blame.

     2002 - NATO invites Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia to become members. - Who's left to fight?

Today's birthdays:

     1694 - Voltaire - French Enlightenment writer (wrote more than 20,000 letters and more than 2,000 books and pamphlets), historian and philosopher, famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and separation of church and state.(d. 1778) - How radical.

     1760 - Joseph Plumb Martin - American soldier (d. 1850) - Oft quoted Revolutionary War veteran on the History Channel. - Just wanted to use the word oft

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


Amazon Says: Unlock and explore American history firsthand though this nation’s most important documents. Much more than a reference book, The Keys to American History tells the story of more...
Amazon Says: Unlock and explore American history firsthand though this nation’s most important documents. Much more than a reference book, The Keys to American History tells the story of a growing, vibrant democracy through its laws, Supreme Court rulings, treaties, and presidential speeches, from colonial times to the present. Organized chronologically, each document includes a brief introduction and excerpts, and often an image of the original. Most are followed by interesting and relevant historical quotes from books, newspapers, and speeches of their eras, providing a rich and varied framework to understand each document’s significance. The more than 60 entries include: • Mayflower Compact • Declaration of Independence • Washington’s Farewell Address • Missouri Compromise • Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments • Emancipation Proclamation • Homestead Act • Wilson’s Fourteen Points • Brown v. Board of Education • Voting Rights Act • Resignation Speech of Richard Nixon • …and more By reading the essential documents of American government, and the viewpoints of the leaders and citizens who wrote them, you will gain a profound understanding of the United States and the men and women who built it. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Why do most people who try to quit smoking fail-even with the help of the nicotine patch, gum, medications, hypnotism, or other state-of-the-art aids? In his radical approach more...
Amazon Says: Why do most people who try to quit smoking fail-even with the help of the nicotine patch, gum, medications, hypnotism, or other state-of-the-art aids? In his radical approach to conquering the smoking habit, Dr. Balasa Prasad states that these crutches are ineffective because they futilely focus on nicotine addiction instead of the underlying psychological triggers that enslave smokers to their habits. His inspirational and practical program gives readers a confidence in their inner strength, helps them identify their addictive profile with the use of questionnaires, and provides a powerful three-step plan that will help them kick the habit once and for all. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: After 1905, Einstein's miraculous year, physics would never be the same again. In those twelve months, Einstein shattered many cherished scientific beliefs with five extraordi more...
Amazon Says: After 1905, Einstein's miraculous year, physics would never be the same again. In those twelve months, Einstein shattered many cherished scientific beliefs with five extraordinary papers that would establish him as the world's leading physicist. This book brings those papers together in an accessible format. The best-known papers are the two that founded special relativity: On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies and Does the Inertia of a Body Depend on Its Energy Content? In the former, Einstein showed that absolute time had to be replaced by a new absolute: the speed of light. In the second, he asserted the equivalence of mass and energy, which would lead to the famous formula E = mc2.The book also includes On a Heuristic Point of View Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light, in which Einstein challenged the wave theory of light, suggesting that light could also be regarded as a collection of particles. This helped to open the door to a whole new world--that of quantum physics. For ideas in this paper, he won the Nobel Prize in 1921.The fourth paper also led to a Nobel Prize, although for another scientist, Jean Perrin. On the Movement of Small Particles Suspended in Stationary Liquids Required by the Molecular-Kinetic Theory of Heat concerns the Brownian motion of such particles. With profound insight, Einstein blended ideas from kinetic theory and classical hydrodynamics to derive an equation for the mean free path of such particles as a function of the time, which Perrin confirmed experimentally. The fifth paper, A New Determination of Molecular Dimensions, was Einstein's doctoral dissertation, and remains among his most cited articles. It shows how to calculate Avogadro's number and the size of molecules.These papers, presented in a modern English translation, are essential reading for any physicist, mathematician, or astrophysicist. Far more than just a collection of scientific articles, this book presents work that is among the high points of human achievement and marks a watershed in the history of science. Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the miraculous year, this new paperback edition includes an introduction by John Stachel, which focuses on the personal aspects of Einstein's youth that facilitated and led up to the miraculous year. less...
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Amazon Says: Using unprecedented access to Edison family papers and years of research at the Edison corporate archives, Neil Baldwin offers a revealing portrait of one of America's seminal more...
Amazon Says: Using unprecedented access to Edison family papers and years of research at the Edison corporate archives, Neil Baldwin offers a revealing portrait of one of America's seminal inventors: a man whose imagination, dynamism, entrepreneurial brilliance epitomized the American dream as he became a victim of its darker side."Baldwin has demythologized the man and left the genius bigger than life." --Newsweek less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: When F-16 pilot Scott O'Grady was shot down over Bosnia, a rescue mission was launched immediately. It involved nearly 100 aircraft, but succeeded in plucking him to safety i more...
Amazon Says: When F-16 pilot Scott O'Grady was shot down over Bosnia, a rescue mission was launched immediately. It involved nearly 100 aircraft, but succeeded in plucking him to safety in broad daylight. The pilot of the only F-117 Stealth bomber to have ever been shot down was spirited away with equal success. The USAF's elite special Operations Group is the product of many years of hard experience, but only now is it possible to reveal how many of its most famous missions were conducted. Major Mike McKinney and Mike Ryan investigate the origins of the Special Operations Group and the experience of early rescue missions in Vietnam. The grisly fate awaiting captured American fliers spurred the USAF to develop new weapons and tactics to fight their way through intense enemy anti-aircraft fire. Sometimes the rescue of a single man would escalate into a major military operation - one was later filmed as BAT-21 starring Gene Hackman and Danny Glover. If the ultimate Vietnam rescue mission, the Son Tay raid, was a failure, it did demonstrate how far techniques and equipment had evolved. From disaster at Desert 1 to the Gulf War, Bosnia and the tragedy in Somalia, Chariots of the Damned takes you on an edge of the seat ride into some of the most incredible battles of recent times. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: In this first-hand account of the Revolutionary War, Joseph Plumb Martin narrates his true adventures as an eighteen-year-old private in the Continental Army-and gives a rare more...
Amazon Says: In this first-hand account of the Revolutionary War, Joseph Plumb Martin narrates his true adventures as an eighteen-year-old private in the Continental Army-and gives a rare glimpse of the earthy beginnings of our nation's history. less...
Amazon
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