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Courtesy of CIA

Today in History with a Twist: October 22, 2013

Nukes in Cuba!  1962 - President John F. Kennedy, after internal counsel from General and former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, announced that American reconnaissance planes have discovered Soviet nuclear weapons in Cuba, and that he had ordered a naval "quarantine" of the Communist nation beginning the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Tensions would bring the two superpowers closer to nuclear war than at any other time during the Cold War. - Khrushchev was just mad we didn't let him go to Disneyland.

     1946 - Operation Osoaviakhim begins. Thousands of German scientists and engineers are rounded up in The Soviet sector of occupied Germany and taken to Russia to work on Russia's space, nuclear and other weapons programs. This was similar to the American Operation Paperclip which brought ex-Nazi German scientists to the United States. - We had a better draft.

     Fittingly today is National Nut Day.  One can go a little bit batty contemplating the meaning of this day.  Our research came up empty on information about this day.  So, we can't be certain as to the meaning of this very nutty day.  There are two very obvious possibilities:  1. This day honors (???) all of the nutty people in the world. It gives recognition to all the kooks, loony birds and daffy people in your life.  Show them you care today.  2. This day celebrates nutritious and healthy nuts (food) of all kinds.  Celebrate today by eating lots of nuts, either as a snack, or in baked goods.  May we suggest Chocolate Almond Ice Cream?  Of course it is always possible that this day celebrates the "Nut" that screws onto a bolt for fastening things.  A couple of nutty facts:  Peanuts are not really nuts.  They are Legumes, a member of the "Pea" family. The center of seeds, like pumpkins and squash, is called a "nut". (http://holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/October/nationalnutday.htm)

On the Crime Beat:

     1934 - In East Liverpool, Ohio, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents shot and killed notorious bank robber Pretty Boy Floyd.  The FBI agents that gunned him down were led by South Carolinian Melvin Purvis. - Any surprise he hated that nickname?

Science and Innovation:

     1797 - One thousand meters (3,200 feet) above Paris, André-Jacques Garnerin makes the first recorded parachute jump. - Why jump out of a perfectly good balloon?

From the world of entertainment:

     1926 - J. Gordon Whitehead sucker punches magician Harry Houdini in the stomach in Montreal, precipitating his death.  One of Houdini's stunts during his performances was to allow people to punch him in the stomach and not flinch when they hit him.  Whitehead and a couple of his friends were visiting Houdini in his dressing room one day before a performance.  Whitehead asked Houdini if it were true he could withstand anyone's punches and Houdini answered that he could.  Before Houdini could prepare to take a punch  Whitehead delivered a series of punch to Houdini's abdomen.  Houdini was in serious pain but he went on with the night's show.  He put off going to hospital for two days but when he finally went it was found that he was suffering from acute appendicitis brought on by the punches.  He would be hospitalized and die on the 31st of peritonitis from the ruptured appendix. - Halloween, fitting day to die for a man who spent a good part of his life debunking Psychics and Mediums.

Religious news:

     1844 - In what was called The Great Anticipation, Millerites, followers of William Miller, anticipated this date to be the end of the world in conjunction with the Second Advent of Christ.  Miller had originally predicted the second coming to happen in 1843.  When that did didn't happen he blamed an error in his calculations.  Previously he had only given a window of dates between which Jesus would return during.  After several misfires he declared the 22nd to be the specific date.  The following day became known as the Great Disappointment. - He should have just followed the Mayan calendar.

Today we celebrate the birthdays of:

     1887 - John Reed - American journalist (d. 1920) - Big promoter of the Communist Utopia until he saw it in action.

     1936 - Bobby Seale - Activist, co-founded the Black Panther Party. - Maybe he just wanted an excuse to wear a beret.

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


Amazon Says: In this outstanding work, Michael Wallis magnificently recreates the vanished, impoverished world of Dustbowl America that has not been as poignantly rendered in prose since J more...
Amazon Says: In this outstanding work, Michael Wallis magnificently recreates the vanished, impoverished world of Dustbowl America that has not been as poignantly rendered in prose since John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. Wallis evokes the hard times of the era of Steinbeck as he follows the life of Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd from his coming of age at a time when there were no jobs and no food, to his decent into petty crime, bootlegging, his murders, jail terms, and his own brutal slaying by the FBI in an Ohio field in 1934 at the age of thirty. Pretty Boy is a social history at its best, portraying, with a sweepings style, the larger story of the hardscrabble farmers whose lives were so intolerably shattered by Depression. less...
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Amazon Says: For more than a century before airplanes, people explored the sky in balloons. From 1783 to the early 1900s, aeronauts flew into storms, crossed large bodies of water, sailed more...
Amazon Says: For more than a century before airplanes, people explored the sky in balloons. From 1783 to the early 1900s, aeronauts flew into storms, crossed large bodies of water, sailed over enemy armies, and soared to deadly altitudes. Illustrated in full color with dramatuc period artwork, Sky Sailors by David L. Bristow presents the stories of the pioneers of human flight, such as daredevil Sophie Blanchard from Napoleon's France, and Salomon Andree, who lead an aerial assault on the North Pole in 1897. less...
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Amazon Says: Book by Fitzsimons, Raymund more...
Amazon Says: Book by Fitzsimons, Raymund less...
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Amazon Says: A fascinating and timely biography of J. Edgar Hoover from a Sibert Medalist. "King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. . . . You better more...
Amazon Says: A fascinating and timely biography of J. Edgar Hoover from a Sibert Medalist. "King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. . . . You better take it before your filthy, abnormal, fraudulent self is bared to the nation." Dr. Martin Luther King received this demand in an anonymous letter in 1964. He believed that the letter was telling him to commit suicide. Who wrote this anonymous letter? The FBI. And the man behind it all was J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI's first director. In this unsparing exploration of one of the most powerful Americans of the twentieth century, accomplished historian Marc Aronson unmasks the man behind the Bureau- his tangled family history and personal relationships; his own need for secrecy, deceit, and control; and the broad trends in American society that shaped his world. Hoover may have given America the security it wanted, but the secrets he knew gave him — and the Bureau — all the power he wanted. Using photographs, cartoons, movie posters, and FBI transcripts, Master of Deceit gives readers the necessary evidence to make their own conclusions. Here is a book about the twentieth century that blazes with questions and insights about our choices in the twenty-first. less...
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