Skip to content
Photo courtesy of the FBI

Today in History with a Twist: November 27, 2013

Public Enemy #1 Gunned Down!

     1934 - FBI Agents gunned down bank robber Baby Face Nelson in shoot-out with the FBI in Barrington, Illinois.  The Chicago born gangster was a notorious bank robber and murderer.  He had associated himself with John Dillinger and helped him to escape from prison.  He has the dubious distinction of having killed more FBI agents in the line of duty than any other person.  His friends called him Jimmy but he got his famous nickname when Chicago Mayor Bill Thompson's wife, who described him as having a baby face after he robber her of her jewels that were valued at $18,000. - Sounds like the Mayor was a bit of a crook himself.

     Happy Hanukkah!  Tonight at sundown marks the beginning of the eight-day Jewish celebration of Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights! Hanukkah starts on a different day each year according to the Western calendar, but it always begins on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar.  The word “Hanukkah” means dedication or induction, and the holiday signifies the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabees revolted against Alexander, Antiochus IV and his persecution of the Jews.  According to the Talmud, at the time of the rededication there was only enough oil left to burn the eternal flame in the temple for one day.  It lasted for eight days - just the amount of time needed to make a fresh supply of oil.  Hence, it is tradition at Hanukkah to light a candle on the menorah for each of the eight nights of Hanukkah. (Punchbowl.com)

     1895 - At the Swedish-Norwegian Club in Paris, Alfred Nobel, Inventor of dynamite and arms manufacturer, signs his last will and testament, setting aside his estate to establish the Nobel Prize after he dies. - Feeling a little guilt, are we?

     1901 - The U.S. Army War College is established in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  It provides graduate level instruction to senior military officers and civilians to prepare them for senior leadership assignments and responsibilities. - Wish I would have made it that far, sounds like fun. 

     1868 - Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer leads an attack on a Cheyenne camp supporting a war party led by Chief Black Kettle at the Battle of Washita River.  Over a hundred Cheyenne warriors were killed in the attack including Chief Black Kettle.  Unknown to Custer there were several other Indian encampments in the area and warriors started to show up to investigate the situation.  Realizing he was now outnumbered Custer started to withdraw but when his supply train was threatened he advanced toward the Indians who withdrew. - Custer probably learned the wrong lesson there.

     1095 - Pope Urban II declares the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont.  The initial primary goal was a response to an appeal from Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, who requested that western volunteers come to his aid and help to repel the invading Seljuq Turks from Anatolia.  An additional goal soon became the principal objective - the Christian reconquest of the sacred city of Jerusalem and the Holy Land and the freeing of the Eastern Christians from Islamic rule. - They may eventually liberate Jerusalem but they were not welcome guests in many of the places they travelled through. 

      2001 - A hydrogen atmosphere is discovered on the extrasolar planet Osiris by the Hubble Space Telescope, the first atmosphere detected on an extrasolar planet. - Warm up the Stargate.

Today's birthdays:

     1874 - Charles A. Beard - American historian (d. 1948) - Famous for his economic history of the birth of America, but lost his influence when he came out agains the U.S. involvement in World War Two. - Have to stick with a winner.

     1874 - Chaim Weizmann, Israeli politician, 1st President of Israel (d. 1952) - Took a war to get him a country. 

     1942 - Jimi Hendrix - Singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (The Jimi Hendrix Experience and The Blue Flame) (d. 1970) - Airborne trained, Vietnam War Veteran who could play the guitar a little bit.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

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


Amazon Says: Gangsters. The Mob. The Mafia. John Dillinger. Lucky Lucchese. Al Capone. The Untouchables. John Gotti. The Chin. Don Corleone. Tony Soprano. In real life, in literature, in m more...
Amazon Says: Gangsters. The Mob. The Mafia. John Dillinger. Lucky Lucchese. Al Capone. The Untouchables. John Gotti. The Chin. Don Corleone. Tony Soprano. In real life, in literature, in movies and television, no saga has so gripped the human consciousness and imagination as gangsters and the war on crime. On the streets and on the big and small screens, the mob world has made for vivid pictures and unimaginable stories, and for nearly 70 years LIFE has been there to chronicle all the action and mayhem. From the all-too-real Naked City photography of the legendary Weegee to the brilliant depictions of Francis Ford Coppola's films, the story of the Mafia will be revealed in this exciting, gripping book. Note the infamous photographs from inside the speakeasies, from inside the cells, from inside the government's investigations and from the backlots of productions ranging from Cagney's "Public Enemy" to HBO's "Sopranos". LIFE takes on the mob and brings it to you in this stunning pictorial hardback. less...
Amazon


Celebrating Hanukkah by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith
Amazon Says: Presents the history, traditions, and significance of Hanukkah as it is celebrated by a Jewish family in San Francisco. more...
Amazon Says: Presents the history, traditions, and significance of Hanukkah as it is celebrated by a Jewish family in San Francisco. less...
Amazon


My Share of the Task: A Memoir by General Stanley McChrystal
Amazon Says: “Never shall I fail my comrades. . . . I will shoulder more than my share of the task, whatever it may be, one hundred percent and then some.” —from the Ranger Creed In more...
Amazon Says: “Never shall I fail my comrades. . . . I will shoulder more than my share of the task, whatever it may be, one hundred percent and then some.” —from the Ranger Creed In early March 2010, General Stanley McChrystal, the commanding officer of all U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan, walked with President Hamid Karzai through a small rural bazaar. As Afghan townspeo­ple crowded around them, a Taliban rocket loudly thudded into the ground some distance away. Karzai looked to McChrystal, who shrugged. The two leaders continued greeting the townspeople and listening to their views. That trip was typical of McChrystal’s entire career, from his first day as a West Point plebe to his last day as a four-star general. The values he has come to be widely admired for were evident: a hunger to know the truth on the ground, the courage to find it, and the humility to listen to those around him. Even as a senior commander, McChrystal stationed him­self forward, and frequently went on patrols with his troops to experience their challenges firsthand. In this illuminating memoir, McChrystal frankly explores the major episodes and controversies of his eventful career. He delves candidly into the intersection of history, leadership, and his own experience to produce a book of enduring value. Joining the troubled post-Vietnam army as a young officer, McChrystal witnessed and participated in some of our military’s most difficult struggles. He describes the many outstanding leaders he served with and the handful of bad leaders he learned not to emulate. He paints a vivid portrait of the traditional military establishment that turned itself, in one gen­eration, into the adaptive, resilient force that would soon be tested in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the wider War on Terror. McChrystal spent much of his early career in the world of special operations, at a time when these elite forces became increasingly effective—and necessary. He writes of a fight waged in the shadows by the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), which he led from 2003 to 2008. JSOC became one of our most effective counterterrorism weapons, facing off against Al Qaeda in Iraq. Over time, JSOC gathered staggering amounts of intelligence in order to find and remove the most influential and dangerous terrorists, including the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The hunt for Zarqawi drives some of the most grip­ping scenes in this book, as McChrystal’s team grappled with tricky interrogations, advanced but scarce technology, weeks of unbroken surveillance, and agonizing decisions. McChrystal brought the same energy to the war in Afghanistan, where the challenges loomed even larger. His revealing account draws on his close relationships with Afghan leaders, giving readers a unique window into the war and the country. Ultimately, My Share of the Task is about much more than war and peace, terrorism and counterin­surgency. As McChrystal writes, “More by luck than design, I’d been a part of some events, organizations, and efforts that will loom large in history, and more that will not. I saw selfless commitment, petty politics, unspeakable cruelty, and quiet courage in places and quantities that I’d never have imagined. But what I will remember most are the leaders.” less...
Amazon


The Custer Reader by Paul Andrew Hutton
Amazon Says: A comprehensive introduction to General Custer combines first-person narratives, scholarly articles, photographic essays, and original contributions in four sections that co more...
Amazon Says: A comprehensive introduction to General Custer combines first-person narratives, scholarly articles, photographic essays, and original contributions in four sections that cover "The Civil War," "The Indian Wars," "Little Big Horn," and "The Custer Myth." less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Despite various studies on the development of crusading thought, the First Crusade itself has not been properly examined from this perspective. Drawing on a range of European more...
Amazon Says: Despite various studies on the development of crusading thought, the First Crusade itself has not been properly examined from this perspective. Drawing on a range of European chronicles and charter collections, this book discusses the launching of the First Crusade, the practical experience of the crusaders and the interpretations placed upon this experience by contemporary commentators. less...
Amazon


Amazon Says: With a resolution more than ten times sharper than any telescope on Earth, the Hubble Space Telescope has seen more than 72 sextillion miles into the universe into events that more...
Amazon Says: With a resolution more than ten times sharper than any telescope on Earth, the Hubble Space Telescope has seen more than 72 sextillion miles into the universe into events that took place more than 12 billion years ago. This spectacular collection of more than 200 color photos taken through Hubble presents a stupendous view of the universe. less...
Amazon


Chaim Weizmann: A Biography by Norman A. Rose

Amazon Says: Often cited as one of the most innovative and influential rock musicians, guitar legend Jimi Hendrix had a short and turbulent life, succumbing early, as did many other rock i more...
Amazon Says: Often cited as one of the most innovative and influential rock musicians, guitar legend Jimi Hendrix had a short and turbulent life, succumbing early, as did many other rock icons of his generation, to pressures generated by the conflicts between their creative visions and the economic imperatives of the music industry. He died of an overdose in 1970 at the age of 27. This collaborative tribute to Hendrix, described by one of its creators as "not so much outright biography as speculative fantasy," explores the excitement and the pitfalls of rock stardom sympathetically and perceptively. less...
Amazon

Print

Comment about this page...