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Today in History with a Twist: September 13, 2013

Baltimore Holds!

     The war has turned in America's favor with our victory over the British in Baltimore Harbor.  The victory denied the British access to the strategic port city (1814).  During the battle, lawyer Francis Scott Key, who was on the British ship HMS Tonnant negotiating a prisoner exchange, wrote a poem about the battle that he has titled "Defense of Fort McHenry".  The poem is making the rounds in local drinking establishments with its words being substituted into popular drinking songs.  Expect we will be hearing this one for a while.

     The British will probably be looking to blame someone else for their defeat since it is Blame Someone Else Day.  Blame Someone Else Day is always recognized on the first Friday the 13th of the year.  What a great time you can have on this day.  Imagine all the problems, errors, and mistakes you could heap on someone else today.  On this day you don't have to take responsibility or blame for any faux pas on your part.  On the downside, this day comes as a double edged sword.  While you are busy putting the blame elsewhere, someone might just be putting the blame on you!   So.......if there is somethin wrong whif the spellin of this artickle, it's not my fallt.....its' yours.  Blame Someone Else Day could just be your day.  But, watch out..... any blame you place today, can come back to bite you tomorrow.  After all...what comes around goes around. (http://holidayinsights.com/other/blamesomeoneday.htm)

      Also do not let your superstitions stop you today.  Today is Defy Superstition Day.  Defy Superstition Day is your opportunity to break those superstitious beliefs that you have been living with most, or all, of your life.  Did you note that Defy Superstition Day is celebrated on the 13th?  It was established on this day for a reason.  Many people have a long list of superstitions. Tops on the list, is the unlucky number 13.  Black cats are also an object to be wary of (I have three).  Walking under a ladder has always been viewed as something to avoid (actually, there is some logic to this superstition).  The list goes on, and on, and on.  Did you know hotels do not have a 13th floor or a room #13?  Hotels usually do not have any room that ends in the #13.  It's all because people are superstitious about this number.  Defy Superstition Day was created to help you to eliminate superstitions that have been haunting you.  Use today as it is intended....... to blow away the superstitions in your life. (http://holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/September/defysuperstitionday.htm)

      Not a bad day for the American Army (1847).  Today American troops under General Winfield Scott captured Mexico City.  The Americans entered the city after their victory over the Mexicans at the fortress located at Chapultepec outside the city.  Time to add another line to the song with the capture of the "Halls of Montezuma".

     Major victory for the British over the French (1759) near Quebec on the Plains of Abraham.  The victory gives England dominance in North America.  The Seven Year's War (French and Indian War) a World War before we started numbering them.

      In the Middle East (1993) there was a major breakthrough in the conflict there when Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin shook hands with PLO chairman Yasser Arafat at the White House signaling the signing of the Oslo Accords granting limited Palestinian autonomy.  I'm sure true peace is just around the corner.

      From China we have learned the Marshal Lin Biao, second in command and successor to Chairman Mao Zedong has fled the country via plane after the failure of alleged coup against Mao (1971).  The plane has reported to have crashed in Mongolia, killing all aboard.  I'm positive that was an accident.

      News from the world of art it is being reported (1501) that Michelangelo has begun work on his statue of David. Sorry girls, no picture.

Today we celebrate the birthdays of:

     1813 - John Sedgwick - Union general (d. 1864) - Highest ranking officer to be killed in the Civil War. Had one the most memorable last words quote in history, just prior to being shot in the head by a Confederate sharpshooter he said, "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance." when warned to get down.

    1851 - Walter Reed - American physician and biologist (d. 1902) - Bet you always wanted to know who that hospital was named after.

    1916 - Roald Dahl - English pilot, author, and screenwriter (d. 1990) - Sure you have read one of his books or seen one of the movies based on them.  Who do you think made a better Willie Wonka, Gene Wilder or Johnny Depp?

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


Amazon Says: Every American knows "The Star-Spangled Banner," even if we can't sing it to save our lives. But how many people know what really happened through the perilous night that led more...
Amazon Says: Every American knows "The Star-Spangled Banner," even if we can't sing it to save our lives. But how many people know what really happened through the perilous night that led a Washington lawyer to pen his historic ode? Like the subjects of Cod or Longitude, our national anthem is something taken for granted. But it was not always so. In this remarkable, flawlessly researched book, New York Times reporter Irvin Molotsky tells the story behind the story and, in the process, reveals an important piece of our country's heritage. Molotsky brings both legendary and unknown events and figures to vivid life-from the flag's seamstress to the military heroes of the War of 1812. In witty, accessible language, he charts the little-known events leading up to the war, and the far-reaching impact this obscure conflict has had on our national psyche. The Flag, the Poet, and the Song also uncovers the facts and fallacies surrounding the flag and the song, from the tremendous size of the flag to why we continue trying to sing our anthem to this day. Brimming with fascinating Americana, The Flag, the Poet, and the Song is a book that will be read and reread, whether you're a lover of history, a patriot, or just waiting for the umpire to say "play ball!" less...
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Amazon Says: In an insightful exploration of personal morality in America today, philosophy professor Vincent Barry shows us that when we constantly look to place blame on some other perso more...
Amazon Says: In an insightful exploration of personal morality in America today, philosophy professor Vincent Barry shows us that when we constantly look to place blame on some other person, place, or situation, we may be giving up the only real power any of us hasthe power to take full responsibility for our lives. He encourages us to be the mature, responsible adult we want our children and others to be. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: A survey of a range of irrationalisms, with explanations of their empirical and logical flaws. The book describes the differences between science and pseudo-science, and goes more...
Amazon Says: A survey of a range of irrationalisms, with explanations of their empirical and logical flaws. The book describes the differences between science and pseudo-science, and goes on to describe and critique popular contemporary irrationalisms, UFOs, Holocaust denial and Satanic cult conspiracies. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: When James K. Polk was elected president in 1844, the United States was locked in a bitter diplomatic struggle with Britain over the rich lands of the Oregon Territory, which more...
Amazon Says: When James K. Polk was elected president in 1844, the United States was locked in a bitter diplomatic struggle with Britain over the rich lands of the Oregon Territory, which included what is now Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Texas, not yet part of the Union, was threatened by a more powerful Mexico. And the territories north and west of Texas -- what would become California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and part of Colorado -- belonged to Mexico. When Polk relinquished office four years later, the country had grown by more than a third as all these lands were added. The continental United States, as we know it today, was established -- facing two oceans and positioned to dominate both. In a one-term presidency, Polk completed the story of America's Manifest Destiny -- extending its territory across the continent, from sea to sea, by threatening England and manufacturing a controversial and unpopular two-year war with Mexico that Abraham Lincoln, in Congress at the time, opposed as preemptive. Robert Merry tells this story through powerful debates and towering figures -- the outgoing President John Tyler and Polk's great mentor, Andrew Jackson; his defeated Whig opponent, Henry Clay; two famous generals, Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott; Secretary of State James Buchanan (who would precede Lincoln as president); Senate giants Thomas Hart Benton and Lewis Cass; Daniel Webster and John C. Calhoun; and ex-president Martin Van Buren, like Polk a Jackson protégé but now a Polk rival. This was a time of tremendous clashing forces. A surging antislavery sentiment was at the center of the territorial fight. The struggle between a slave-owning South and an opposing North was leading inexorably to Civil War. In a gripping narrative, Robert Merry illuminates a crucial epoch in U.S. history. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Montcalme and Wolfe frames the war years through the lives of its two brilliant opposing generals. Weaving together the campaigns on both sides of the Atlantic. Parkman travel more...
Amazon Says: Montcalme and Wolfe frames the war years through the lives of its two brilliant opposing generals. Weaving together the campaigns on both sides of the Atlantic. Parkman travels from opulent royal courts to muddy colonial fields, from Fort Necessity to the Plains of Abraham. He couples impeccable history with rich insightful narration, revealing the war as a deeply personal conflict between Louis de Montcalm and James Wolfe, the two ambitious leaders who ultimately died heroes’ deaths on the frontlines. Accompanied by over forty detailed maps and illustrations—some selected specially for this edition—Parkman’s timeless work shows how the enormous transfer of land from France to England at the war’s end sowed the first seeds of colonialism—seeds that, in the due course, led America to its revolution, and eventually, its independence. less...
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Amazon Says: In its period of slow decline from the late 18th into the early 20th century and throughout its 20th century revolution, one of the most important problems facing individual C more...
Amazon Says: In its period of slow decline from the late 18th into the early 20th century and throughout its 20th century revolution, one of the most important problems facing individual Chinese and China as a nation was choosing appropriate political, social, cultural, and economic identities as contexts and situations changed. This documentary history of 20th century China begins with the turn-of-the-century Boxer uprising to set the stage for understanding the choices at stake for 20th century Chinese. It then focuses on the always-dramatic choices of identity that have continually confronted the Chinese. In many cases these choices have meant life or death. Above all, this is a story of the people whose choices propelled modern Chinese history. It is a dramatic tale, often bloody and violent, alternately soaring with hope and plunging into bleak despair. It compels our interest because of its importance for the world today; because it is one of world history's greatest revolutions; and because it provides an extraordinarily interesting study of the processes that an ancient culture undergoes in transforming itself into that which we call "modern." Twentieth-Century China: A History in Documents uses an exceptional range of primary sources, including government edicts, political cartoons, poetry, political manifestos, essays, fiction, magazine covers and advertisements, wills, trial transcripts, speeches, statistics, press releases, and even Chinese rock lyrics. The entire book is profusely illustrated with graphics that themselves serve as documents, and there is also a picture essay. Back matter will include a chronology, further reading, and index. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: With an engaging text by renowned Michelangelo scholar William E. Wallace, Michelangelo: The Complete Sculpture, Painting, Architecture brings together in one exquisite volume more...
Amazon Says: With an engaging text by renowned Michelangelo scholar William E. Wallace, Michelangelo: The Complete Sculpture, Painting, Architecture brings together in one exquisite volume the powerful sculptures, the awe-inspiring paintings, and the classical architectural works of one of the greatest artists of all time. Including everything from his sculptures Pietàs and David to his beautiful paintings of the Sistine Chapel and the Doni Tondo, the book provides an opportunity to view Michelangelo’s work as never before, and to more fully understand the artist who, through his work, spoke of his life and times. The frescoes are specially printed on onion skin paper to recreate the actual appearance of light reflecting off of the plaster walls. The stunning black-and-white photography of the sculptures is printed in four colors to bring out the rich details of the marble. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Compulsive quote collector Laura Ward comes up with another collection of great lines and amazing phrases to equal her popular Foolish Words: The Most Stupid Words Ever Spo more...
Amazon Says: Compulsive quote collector Laura Ward comes up with another collection of great lines and amazing phrases to equal her popular Foolish Words: The Most Stupid Words Ever Spoken. Entertaining and thought-provoking, this most comprehensive collection of parting lines and final goodbyes has quotes ranging from 2003 all the way back to Rome and Ancient Greece. Some are tragic, others bizarre; some have the studied tone of monumental inscription, others seem almost casual. And they’re not just dying words: the diverse phrases include the pronouncements of businesspeople before they got sacked, military men before they were trounced, and sports figures before they experienced the agony of defeat. Among the dying words: “Well, it’s been a great game of golf, fellas.”—Bing Crosby minutes before he took ill and died. “I expect I shall have to die beyond my means.”—Oscar Wilde accepting his final glass of champagne "No!"—Alexander Graham Bell. less...
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Amazon Says: The end of a scourge "The prayer that has been mine for twenty years, that I might be permitted in some way or some time to do something to alleviate human suffering, has bee more...
Amazon Says: The end of a scourge "The prayer that has been mine for twenty years, that I might be permitted in some way or some time to do something to alleviate human suffering, has been answered!" --Major Walter Reed, writing to his wife, New Year's Eve, 1900 As he wrote to his wife of his stunning success in the mission to identify the cause of yellow fever and find a way to eradicate the disease, Walter Reed had answered the prayers of millions. For more than 250 years, the yellow jack had ravaged the Americas, bringing death to millions and striking panic in entire populations. The very mention of its presence in a city or town produced instant chaos as thousands fled in terror, leaving the frail, the weak, and the ill to fend for themselves. Yellow Jack tracks the history of this deadly scourge from its earliest appearance in the Caribbean 350 years ago, telling the compelling story of a few extraordinarily brave souls who struggled to understand and eradicate yellow fever. Risking everything for the cause of science and humanity, Reed and his teammates on the U.S. Army Yellow Fever Board invaded the heart of enemy territory in Cuba to pursue the disease--and made one of the twentieth century's greatest medical discoveries. This thrilling adventure tells the timeless tale of their courage, ingenuity, and triumph in the face of adversity. less...
Amazon
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