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Source: Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal

Today in History with a Twist: November 26, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

     1789 - A national Thanksgiving Day is observed in the United States as recommended by President George Washington and approved by Congress.  Thanksgiving Days had been celebrated in many forms in America since the early 1600's, the most famous being the 1621 Thanksgiving celebrated by the Pilgrims.  During the Revolutionary War and the early days of the country several Thanksgiving Days were designated and the states were encouraged to participate.  The 1789 proclamation was the first true document making Thanksgiving a national holiday.  In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed November 26 as a national Thanksgiving Day and to be celebrated annually on the final Thursday of November (in 1941, it was changed to the fourth Thursday). - Enough of that. Show me the turkey.

     Though it's more the season for pumpkin pie it’s National Cake Day! On this day, we celebrate one of the world’s favorite desserts - cake. The cake we know and love today evolved from early leavened breads, which were sweetened with honey, fruit, and nuts.  Did you know that the word “cake” comes from the Old Norse word, “kaka,” meaning a baked flour confection?  Whether you prefer vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, or even the pineapple-upside-down variety, grab a slice of your favorite cake to celebrate this delicious day!  Happy National Cake Day! (punchbowl.com)

     1476 - Vlad the Impaler (Dracula) defeats Basarab Laiota with the help of Stephen the Great and Stephen V Bathory and becomes the ruler of Wallachia for the third time.  He is a Romanian national hero and helped stop Ottoman expansion into Eastern Europe. - And we best remember him for being the inspiration for being the inspiration for a fictional anti-hero.

     1950 - Chinese forces launch a massive counterattack in North Korea against South Korean and United Nations forces (Battle of the Ch'ongch'on River and Battle of Chosin Reservoir), ending any hopes of a quick end to the conflict.  After initially entering the war on October 19 the Chinese inexplicably withdrew after some early victories.  U.N. Commanders believed the Chinese had not meant for their forces to become involved and that is why they had withdrawn, so they continued their drive to totally overrun all of North Korea.  The Chinese then launched another major attack and drove the U.N.-South Korean Forces back to the 38th Parallel.  There the war would turn into a stalemate.  A truce would finally be reached in 1953. - Still not settled though.

     1968 - During the Vietnam War Air Force helicopter pilot James P. Fleming rescues an Army Special Forces unit pinned down by Viet Cong fire and is later awarded the Medal of Honor.  Fleming's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Capt. Fleming (then 1st Lt.) distinguished himself as the Aircraft Commander of a UH-1F transport Helicopter. Capt. Fleming went to the aid of a 6-man special forces long range reconnaissance patrol that was in danger of being overrun by a large, heavily armed hostile force. Despite the knowledge that 1 helicopter had been downed by intense hostile fire, Capt. Fleming descended, and balanced his helicopter on a river bank with the tail boom hanging over open water. The patrol could not penetrate to the landing site and he was forced to withdraw. Dangerously low on fuel, Capt. Fleming repeated his original landing maneuver. Disregarding his own safety, he remained in this exposed position. Hostile fire crashed through his windscreen as the patrol boarded his helicopter. Capt. Fleming made a successful takeoff through a barrage of hostile fire and recovered safely at a forward base. Capt. Fleming's profound concern for his fellowmen, and at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.

- Do I have to say it, I always recognize these guys.

     1922 - Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon become the first people to enter the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun in over 3000 years. - Don't forget to come to the Library and get your three dollar off book marks to see the King Tut exhibit at the State Museum.

Today's birthdays:

     1792 - Sarah Grimké - Activist (d. 1873) Born in South Carolina, the eighth of fourteen children and the second daughter of Mary and John Faucheraud Grimké, a rich plantation owner who was also an attorney and a judge in South Carolina.  The daughter of a plantation owner came to loathe slavery and all its degradations that they knew intimately.  She authored the first developed public argument for women's equality and strived to rid the United States of slavery.  Her writings gave suffrage workers such as Lucy Stone, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott several arguments and ideas that they would need to help end slavery and begin the women’s suffrage movement. - Both Sarah Moore Grimké and her great niece Angelina Weld Grimké appear as main characters in Ain Gordon's 2013 play If She Stood, commissioned by the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia.

     1895 - Bill W. - American co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (d. 1971) - Hi, my name is Ron.....

     1899 - Richard Hauptmann, German kidnapper of Charles Augustus Lindbergh III (d. 1936) - Perpetrator of one of the first Crimes of the Century.

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


Amazon Says: There shall be "a day of public Thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God...." –1789 Congressional more...
Amazon Says: There shall be "a day of public Thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God...." –1789 Congressional Proclamation A holiday for celebrating faith, family, and freedom, Thanksgiving Day is both distinctly Christian and exclusively American. Barbara Rainey has created an excellent resource for enabling you and your family to remember the past, recognize God's hand in our history, and express thankfulness to Him for His goodness today. This story of the Pilgrims' faithfulness and biblical thankfulness is accompanied by a CD of songs of worship and praise that will call your hearts to gratitude. It's a wonderful opportunity to enrich your family's awareness of our nation's Christian heritage, provide models of courage and sacrifice for your children, and establish a tradition of sharing your gratefulness with one another, which will build a legacy of memories for the future. less...
Amazon

The Cake Book by Tish Boyle
Amazon Says: "There's something magical about the process of makinga cake from scratch, a process that transforms a few simple ingredients--butter, sugar, flour, and eggs--into culinary ar more...
Amazon Says: "There's something magical about the process of makinga cake from scratch, a process that transforms a few simple ingredients--butter, sugar, flour, and eggs--into culinary artistry." --Tish Boyle less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: The author of Notorious Royal Marriages presents some of history's boldest, baddest, and bawdiest royals. The bad seeds on the family trees of the most powerful roya more...
Amazon Says: The author of Notorious Royal Marriages presents some of history's boldest, baddest, and bawdiest royals. The bad seeds on the family trees of the most powerful royal houses of Europe often became the most rotten of apples: über-violent autocrats Vlad the Impaler and Ivan the Terrible literally reigned in blood. Lettice Knollys strove to mimic the appearance of her cousin Elizabeth I and even stole her man. And Pauline Bonaparte scandalized her brother Napoleon by having a golden goblet fashioned in the shape of her breast. Chock-full of shocking scenes, titillating tales, and wildly wicked nobles, Royal Pains is a rollicking compendium of the most infamous, capricious, and insatiable bluebloods of Europe. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: The epic retreat-under-fire of the 1st Marine Division offers a valuable perspective on war at the gut level. more...
Amazon Says: The epic retreat-under-fire of the 1st Marine Division offers a valuable perspective on war at the gut level. less...
Amazon

Ron S. Says: Not J. P. Fleming but the story of another American hero.
Amazon Says: Viet Nam may be the only war we ever fought, or perhaps that was ever fought, in which the heroism of the American soldier was accompanied by humanitarianism unmatched in the more...
Amazon Says: Viet Nam may be the only war we ever fought, or perhaps that was ever fought, in which the heroism of the American soldier was accompanied by humanitarianism unmatched in the annals of warfare. And the humanitarianism took place during the heat of the battle. The GI fixed as he fought, he cured and educated and built in the middle of the battle. He truly cared for, and about, those people. What other Army has ever done that? Humanitarianism was America's great victory in Viet Nam.   Spearheading the humanitarian efforts were the air ambulance operations, call-sign Dust Off, the most dangerous of all aviation operations, which rescued some one million souls in Viet Nam. Dead Men Flying is the story of Charles Kelly, the father of Dust Off, who gave his life to save Dust Off - the greatest life-saver ever. His dying words - When I have your wounded - set the standard for combat medicine to this day.   It is also the story of the author, Medal of Honor recipient General Patrick Brady, who learned from Charles Kelly and struggled to meet his standard. Brady led the 54th Medical Detachment as it rescued over 21,000 wounded - enemy and friendly - in 10 months, while sustaining 26 Purple Hearts. Finally, Dead Men Flying is the story of salvation in the midst of horror, courage in the face of adversity, and the miracle of faith in the heat of combat. A riveting tale from America's most decorated living soldier, this is a book that no American can afford to ignore. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: The Mummy. The first thing that comes to mind is the curse...reanimation... and revenge. But what further mysteries are there to be unwrapped in the tombs of the Ancient Egypt more...
Amazon Says: The Mummy. The first thing that comes to mind is the curse...reanimation... and revenge. But what further mysteries are there to be unwrapped in the tombs of the Ancient Egyptians? This exciting new anthology from the editor of Vampires, Wine and Roses features a diverse selection of remarkable talents, from major bestselling authors like Anne Rice (famous for her vampire and mummy novels) and Elizabeth Peters (mystery's master of Egyptology), to all-time favorites such as Bram Stoker (who wrote one of the first mummy novels) and Agatha Christie (queen of the sealed "tomb" mystery). Into the Mummy's Tomb even includes a few surprises-a short story by Tennessee Williams (his first professional sale), an actual translation of a tale written in 300 B.C. by an Egyptian priest, and nonfiction pieces by famous Egyptologist Arthur Weigall and the discoverer of King Tut's tomb, Howard Carter. You never know what you might find when you venture Into the Mummy's Tomb-for century-spanning tales of horror, fantasy, romance, and history. Includes contributions from: • Anne Rice • Elizabeth Peters • Bram Stoker • H.P. Lovecraft • Tennessee Williams • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle • Agatha Christie • Edgar Allan Poe • Ray Bradbury • Mark Twain • Sir H. Rider Haggard • Louisa May Alcott • Rudyard Kipling • Sax Rohmer • and more less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: A landmark work of women's history originally published in 1967, Gerda Lerner's best-selling biography of Sarah and Angelina Grimke explores the lives and ideas of the only so more...
Amazon Says: A landmark work of women's history originally published in 1967, Gerda Lerner's best-selling biography of Sarah and Angelina Grimke explores the lives and ideas of the only southern women to become antislavery agents in the North and pioneers for women's rights. This revised and expanded edition includes two new primary documents and an additional essay by Lerner. In a revised introduction Lerner reinterprets her own work nearly forty years later and gives new recognition to the major significance of Sarah Grimke's feminist writings. less...
Amazon
Bill W by Robert Thomsen
Amazon Says: This is the story of a man whose discovery and vision have changed the lives of millions of people throughout the world. Robert Thomsen's biography takes readers through the e more...
Amazon Says: This is the story of a man whose discovery and vision have changed the lives of millions of people throughout the world. Robert Thomsen's biography takes readers through the events of Bill W.'s life, all the while detailing Bill's growing dependence on alcohol. Thomsen writes of the collapse that brought Bill to the verge of death and of the luminous instant of insight that saved him. This turning point led Bill to the encounter in 1935 with Dr. Bob and the start of what was to be a new beginning for countless others who despaired of finding rescue and redemption. Every night at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings around the world, a speaker says, "Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now." This describes the story of Bill W., a stirring spiritual odyssey through triumph, failure, and rebirth, with vital meaning for men and women everywhere. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: The Case That Never Dies places the Lindbergh kidnapping, investigation, and trial in the context of the Depression, when many feared the country was on the edge of anarchy more...
Amazon Says: The Case That Never Dies places the Lindbergh kidnapping, investigation, and trial in the context of the Depression, when many feared the country was on the edge of anarchy. Gardner delves deeply into the aspects of the case that remain confusing to this day, including Lindbergh’s dealings with crime baron Owney Madden, Al Capone’s New York counterpart, as well as the inexplicable exploits of John Condon, a retired schoolteacher who became the prosecution’s best witness. The initial investigation was hampered by Colonel Lindbergh, who insisted that the police not attempt to find the perpetrator because he feared the investigation would endanger his son’s life. He relented only when the child was found dead.After two years of fruitless searching, Bruno Richard Hauptmann, a German immigrant, was discovered to have some of the ransom money in his possession. Hauptmann was arrested, tried, and sentenced to death. Throughout  the book, Gardner pays special attention to the evidence of the case and how it was used and misused in the trial. Whether Hauptmann was guilty or not, Gardner concludes that there was insufficient evidence to convict him of first-degree murder.Set in historical context, the book offers not only a compelling read, but a powerful vantage point from which to observe the United States in the 1930s as well as contemporary arguments over capital punishment. less...
Amazon
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