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Today in History with a Twist: October 14, 2013

1066 - The Norman forces of William the Conqueror defeated the English army and killed King Harold II of England at the Battle of Hastings, which was actually fought on Senlac Hill, seven miles from Hastings. The death of Harold II did not immediately give William the crown. Other claimants stepped up, most notably Edgar the Æthelingand, who had to be dealt with before William could be crowned King on December 25, 1066 and complete the Norman Conquest. - Makes for a great tapestry.

     While they're celebrating Hastings in England we are celebrating Columbus Day!  In 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail on a voyage to find a shorter trade route to Asia.  He traveled west and accidentally landed in the Americas, spawning the era of European exploration in the New World.  The first celebration of his discovery did not take place until October 12, 1792 - exactly 300 years after his landing.  In 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed Columbus Day a national holiday, observed each year on the second Monday of October. (Punchbowl.com)

     1806 - Napoleon defeated Prussia at the Battle of Jena-Auerstädt.  The victory turned Prussia into a vassal state of France for the next six years.  The greatest aftereffect of the battle however, was that several of the Generals that would reform the Prussian Amy, most notably Carl von Clausewitz, fought at the battle.  These generals would transform Prussia into the power that would threaten Europe a century later. The only thing they didn't learn was that you had to be careful about who you let hold the reins.

     1908 - The Chicago Cubs defeated the Detroit Tigers, 2-0, clinching the World Series.  It would be their last one to date.  To make matters worse today is the 10th anniversary of the 'Steve Bartman incident' when a fan reached over the wall and interfered with a playable ball, which some people claim led to a rally that stopped the drive to that year's World Series. - Some day, Some day....

     1912 - While campaigning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, former President Theodore Roosevelt, was shot and mildly wounded by John Schrank, a mentally-disturbed saloon keeper.  Roosevelt's speech and glasses case slowed down the bullet but it still embedded in his chest.  Being a true politician, Roosevelt still carried on with his scheduled speech, even with the fresh wound in his chest and the bullet still within it. Some people always have to prove themselves.

      1926 - The children's book Winnie-the-Pooh, by A. A. Milne, is first published. Think he's just a shill for the honey industry.

     1962 - The Cuban Missile Crisis began when a U.S. Air Force U-2 reconnaissance plane took photographs of Soviet missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads being installed and erected in Cuba. - Trying to avoid Beavis and Butt-head reference.

     1964 - Leonid Brezhnev became the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and along with his allies - such as Alexei Kosygin - the leader of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), ousted the former monolithic leader Nikita Khrushchev, sending him into retirement as a nonperson in the USSR.  Brezhnev would enlarge and modernize the Soviet Army and increase Soviet influence around the world, though this would put a great strain on the Russian economy and lay the foundation for the Soviet Union's eventual collapse. - I was made a non-person once by the Social Security Department; had to go in and turn in my Social Security card, show them my ID and birth certificate and then I was issued a new card which looked identical to my old card only newer.  So it can happen here.

Today we celebrate the birthdays of:

     1890 - Dwight D. Eisenhower - General and 34th President (d. 1969) - Learned how to become a politician having to deal with de Gaulle and Montgomery.

      1894 - E. E. Cummings - Poet (d. 1962) - We probably have some of his books in the Library.

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


Amazon Says: While the date 1066 is familiar to almost everybody as the year of the Norman conquest of England, few can place the event in the context of the dramatic year in which it took more...
Amazon Says: While the date 1066 is familiar to almost everybody as the year of the Norman conquest of England, few can place the event in the context of the dramatic year in which it took place. In this book, David Howarth attempts to bring alive the struggle for the succession to the English crown from the death of Edward the Confessor in January 1066 to the Christmas coronation of Duke William of Normandy. There is an almost uncanny symmetry, as well as a relentlessly exciting surge, of events leading to and from the Battle of Hastings. The author draws on the wealth of contemporary sources to describe Harold Godwinson's seizure of the throne, the brilliant defeat of the invasion from Norway at Stamford bridge and the forced march south to eventual defeat at Hastings. Howarth recounts events from the perspective of the common Englishman - describing how he worked, fought and died - and how he perceived from his isolated shire the overthrow of his world. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: A novel recording a series of misadventures of Christopher Columbus, told by the navigator himself in order to set the record straight. more...
Amazon Says: A novel recording a series of misadventures of Christopher Columbus, told by the navigator himself in order to set the record straight. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Clausewitz is often quoted but more often misunderstood. On Clausewitz presents his central ideas about war and politics--such as war as an instrument of policy, the concept o more...
Amazon Says: Clausewitz is often quoted but more often misunderstood. On Clausewitz presents his central ideas about war and politics--such as war as an instrument of policy, the concept of Absolute War, friction and the fog of war--in a clear and systematic fashion. It also presents the man, his life and the military and intellectual environment in which he produced his great work On War. A final section considers Clausewitz's relevance to the rapidly changing nature of war today. less...
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Essential Cubs by Doug Myers
Amazon Says: A National League baseball team has played in Chicago since 1876, the longest run of any professional baseball franchise. Even though the Chicago Cubs have been characterized more...
Amazon Says: A National League baseball team has played in Chicago since 1876, the longest run of any professional baseball franchise. Even though the Chicago Cubs have been characterized as "lovable losers" in the last half century, they have won 16 pennants and currently hold the single-season major-league record for victories, set at 116 in 1906. Fans from 9 to 90 will relish this volume dedicated to the glorious history of one of the nation's most loved baseball teams. Essential Cubs covers the memorable moments, the greatest performances, and the oddest quirks in the team's history—whether it be the 18 managerial changes endured by Ernie Banks, a game-by-game recap of their 21-game winning streak in 1931, or a batter-by-batter recap of Kerry Wood's 20-strikeout performance in 1998. But there is much more to the history of the Cubs than just the numbers. There are legends and folklore, dynasties and droughts, the famous and the infamous, and feats both glorious and obscure. Liberally sprinkled with fascinating trivia and memorable quotes, this informative and entertaining review of more than 100 years of National League baseball in Chicago is a grand slam for any Cubs fan. Doug Myers is a die-hard Cubs fan and author of The Louisville Slugger Complete Book of Pitching. He lives in Bear, Delaware. less...
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Amazon Says: In The Lion's Pride, Edward J. Renehan, Jr. vividly portrays the grand idealism, heroic bravery, and reckless abandon that Theodore Roosevelt both embodied and bequeathed to h more...
Amazon Says: In The Lion's Pride, Edward J. Renehan, Jr. vividly portrays the grand idealism, heroic bravery, and reckless abandon that Theodore Roosevelt both embodied and bequeathed to his children and the tragic fulfillment of that legacy on the battlefields of World War I. Drawing upon a wealth of previously unavailable materials, including letters and unpublished memoirs, The Lion's Pride takes us inside what is surely the most extraordinary family ever to occupy the White House. Theodore Roosevelt believed deeply that those who had been blessed with wealth, influence, and education were duty bound to lead, even--perhaps especially--if it meant risking their lives to preserve the ideals of democratic civilization. Teddy put his principles, and his life, to the test in the Spanish American war, and raised his children to believe they could do no less. When America finally entered the "European conflict" in 1917, all four of his sons eagerly enlisted and used their influence not to avoid the front lines but to get there as quickly as possible. Their heroism in France and the Middle East matched their father's at San Juan Hill. All performed with selfless--some said heedless--courage: Two of the boys, Archie and Ted, Jr., were seriously wounded, and Quentin, the youngest, was killed in a dogfight with seven German planes. Thus, the war that Teddy had lobbied for so furiously brought home a grief that broke his heart. He was buried a few months after his youngest child. Filled with the voices of the entire Roosevelt family, The Lion's Pride gives us the most intimate and moving portrait ever published of the fierce bond between Teddy Roosevelt and his remarkable children. less...
Amazon
The Secret Cuban Missile Crisis Documents by Central Intelligence Agency
Amazon Says: For 13 days in October 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the US and the USSR came perilously close to nuclear war. President Kennedy said later the chances were "between more...
Amazon Says: For 13 days in October 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the US and the USSR came perilously close to nuclear war. President Kennedy said later the chances were "between one-in-three and even." Although the confrontation is one of the most studied events of all time, the previous unavailability of classified material left many questions unanswered. This book is a product of the CIA's new openness. It contains many of the CIA's formerly top-secret cables, maps, memorandums, estimates and briefing papers, organized according to the date of the subject matter - the Cuban Missile Crisis. The book includes documents on Operation Mongoose, the CIA's clandestine programme to destabilize the Castro regime. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Traces the decline and collapse of the Soviet Union, from Stalin's death in 1953, drawing on once secret Soviet archives and interviews with key figures--including Sakharov, more...
Amazon Says: Traces the decline and collapse of the Soviet Union, from Stalin's death in 1953, drawing on once secret Soviet archives and interviews with key figures--including Sakharov, Gorbachev, and Yeltsin--to provide a definitive account of forty years of Russian history. First serial, US News and World Report. less...
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