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Today in History with a Twist: September 18, 2013

Bank Crashes! Panic Ensues!

      1873 - One of the largest banks in the United states, Jay Cooke & Company, declares bankruptcy, triggering a series of bank failures known as the Panic of 1873.  The collapse had its roots in Europe where the effects of the Franco-Prussian War were hurting the European economies.  In the United States over speculation in Rail Roads, bad land deals in Chicago and rising interest rates were the main causes of the collapse of several large banks in the U.S.  The resulting depression would last until 1879. - The Great Depression....until the next one.

     You still need to eat so fire up the grill or head to your favorite restaurant because today is National Cheeseburger Day!  There are several theories about the origins of the cheeseburger.  One story claims that the cheeseburger was created between 1924 and 1926 by a chef named Lionel Sternberger.  As the story goes, a homeless man dining at Sternberger's restaurant in Pasadena, California, suggested the addition of a slice of cheese to his hamburger order.  Sternberger complied, eventually added it to his menu, and the rest is history.  Today, cheeseburgers are a staple at restaurants and backyard celebrations all across the country. (Punchbowl.com)

     Two major changes in Roman leadership:

14 - The Roman Senate confirmed Tiberius as Roman Emperor following the natural death of Augustus - That's a rarity!

324 - Constantine the Great established sole control over the Roman Empire by decisively defeating Licinius in the Battle of Chrysopolis. - Now that's more like it.

     Major events in Washington D.C. on this date:

1793 - George Washington laid the first cornerstone of the Capitol building.  He and eight friends, decked out in their Masonic finest, conducted a Masonic ceremony celebrating the laying of the stone. - Making Dan Brown millions.

1850 - As part of the Compromise of 1850 The U.S. Congress passes the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.  The act required that any runaway slave if captured whether in a free state or a slave state had to be returned to his owner.  Helped to raise tensions between the two regions. - Compromise isn't always the best course.

1947 - The National Security Act is passed establishing the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency. - Good to have it concentrated in one place.

     1885 - Riots break out in Montreal to protest against compulsory smallpox vaccination.  It is mostly the poor and illiterate who are against the mandatory vaccinations, even though they are free.  2% of Montreal's population would die in the epidemic. - Is Jenny McCarthy around?

     1870 - The famous tourist attraction, the Old Faithful Geyser, is observed for the first time and named by Henry D. Washburn during the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition to Yellowstone. - It's just a big water leak.

Today we celebrate the birthdays of:

     53 - Trajan - Roman emperor (d. 117) - Ruled Rome at its peak. - Probably would have been a big fan of SimCity.

     1924 - J. D. Tippit - Police officer (d. 1963) - Sadly only really remembered for being the other person killed by Oswald on that fateful day.

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


Amazon Says: In 1869, Jay Cooke, the brilliant but idiosyncratic American banker, decided to finance the Northern Pacific, a transcontinental railroad planned from Duluth, Minnesota, to Se more...
Amazon Says: In 1869, Jay Cooke, the brilliant but idiosyncratic American banker, decided to finance the Northern Pacific, a transcontinental railroad planned from Duluth, Minnesota, to Seattle. M. John Lubetkin tells how Cooke’s gamble reignited war with the Sioux, rescued George Armstrong Custer from obscurity, created Yellowstone Park, pushed frontier settlement four hundred miles westward, and triggered the Panic of 1873.Staking his reputation and wealth on the Northern Pacific, Cooke was soon whipsawed by the railroad’s mismanagement, questionable contracts, and construction problems. Financier J. P. Morgan undermined him, and the Crédit Mobilier scandal ended congressional support. When railroad surveyors and army escorts ignored Sioux chief Sitting Bull’s warning not to enter the Yellowstone Valley, Indian attacks—combined with alcoholic commanders—led to embarrassing setbacks on the field, in the nation’s press, and among investors.Lubetkin’s suspenseful narrative describes events played out from Wall Street to the Yellowstone and vividly portrays the soldiers, engineers, businessmen, politicians, and Native Americans who tried to build or block the Northern Pacific. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: This book has 100 recipes for every kind of meat, seafood, poultry,and vegetarian burger imaginable, plus loads of homemade toppings,condiments,and sauces. more...
Amazon Says: This book has 100 recipes for every kind of meat, seafood, poultry,and vegetarian burger imaginable, plus loads of homemade toppings,condiments,and sauces. less...
Amazon

Tiberius Caesar by G. P. Baker
Amazon Says: The great conundrum of his character and the political significance of his long reign, which solidified the imperial government of Rome, render the life of Tiberius Caesar (42 more...
Amazon Says: The great conundrum of his character and the political significance of his long reign, which solidified the imperial government of Rome, render the life of Tiberius Caesar (42 B. C.-37 A. D.)—second emperor of Rome and successor of Augustus—a subject of perennial interest. From the mass of available evidence, two men can be constructed, both equally credible: one, an upright, gruff soldier-statesman, austere, just, capable; the other, a corrupt, murderous tyrant with gargantuan and depraved appetites.In another in the series of superb biographies of ancient figures, G. P. Baker provides an astute and fair-minded assesment of Rome's most psychologically complex and contradictory emperor, a man who—according to Roman historian Dio Cassius— "possessed many virtues and many vices." less...
Amazon

Constantine and Rome by R. Ross Holloway
Amazon Says: Constantine the Great (285-337) played a crucial role in mediating between the pagan, imperial past of the city of Rome, which he conquered in 312, and its future as a Christi more...
Amazon Says: Constantine the Great (285-337) played a crucial role in mediating between the pagan, imperial past of the city of Rome, which he conquered in 312, and its future as a Christian capital. In this learned and highly readable book, Ross Holloway examines Constantine's remarkable building programme in Rome. Holloway begins by examining the Christian Church in the period before the Peace of 313, when Constantine and his co-emperor Licinius ended the persecution of the Christians. He then focuses on the structure, style, and significance of important monuments: the Arch of Constantine and the two great Christian basilicas, St. John's in the Lateran and St. Peter's, as well as the imperial mausoleum at Tor Pignatara. In a final chapter Holloway advances a new interpretation of the archaeology of the Tomb of St. Peter beneath the high altar of St. Peter's Basilica. The tomb, he concludes, was not the original resting place of the remains venerated as those of the Apostle but was created only in 251 by Pope Cornelius. Drawing on the most up-to-date archaeological evidence, he describes a cityscape that was at once Christian and pagan, mirroring the personality of its ruler. less...
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Amazon Says: At the age of thirty-six, in 1852, Lt. Montgomery Cunningham Meigs of the Army Corps of Engineers reported to Washington, D.C., for duty as a special assistant to the chief ar more...
Amazon Says: At the age of thirty-six, in 1852, Lt. Montgomery Cunningham Meigs of the Army Corps of Engineers reported to Washington, D.C., for duty as a special assistant to the chief army engineer, Gen. Joseph G. Totten. It was a fateful assignment, both for the nation’s capital and for the bright, ambitious, and politically connected West Point graduate. Meigs's forty-year tenure in the nation's capital was by any account spectacularly successful. He surveyed, designed, and built the Washington water supply system, oversaw the extension of the U.S. Capitol and the erection of its massive iron dome, and designed and supervised construction of the Pension Building, now the home of the National Building Museum. The skills he exhibited in supervising engineering projects were carefully noted by political leaders, including president-elect Abraham Lincoln, who named Meigs quartermaster general of the Union Army, the most important position he held during his long and active military career. Meigs believed Washington, D.C., should be the reincarnation of Rome, the ancient capital of the Roman Empire. He endeavored to memorialize the story of the American nation in all the structures he built, expressing these ideas in murals, sculpture, and monumental design. Historians have long known Meigs for the organizational genius with which he fulfilled his duty as quartermaster general during the Civil War and for his unwavering loyalty to Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. This volume establishes his claim as one of the major nineteenth-century contributors to the built environment of the nation's capital. less...
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Amazon Says: During the tumultuous decade before the Civil War, no issue was more divisive than the pursuit and return of fugitive slaves—a practice enforced under the Fugitive Slave Ac more...
Amazon Says: During the tumultuous decade before the Civil War, no issue was more divisive than the pursuit and return of fugitive slaves—a practice enforced under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. When free Blacks and their abolitionist allies intervened, prosecutions and trials inevitably followed. These cases involved high legal, political, and—most of all—human drama, with runaways desperate for freedom, their defenders seeking recourse to a “higher law” and normally fair-minded judges (even some opposed to slavery) considering the disposition of human beings as property. Fugitive Justice tells the stories of three of the most dramatic fugitive slave trials of the 1850s, bringing to vivid life the determination of the fugitives, the radical tactics of their rescuers, the brutal doggedness of the slavehunters, and the tortuous response of the federal courts. These cases underscore the crucial role that runaway slaves played in building the tensions that led to the Civil War, and they show us how “civil disobedience” developed as a legal defense. As they unfold we can also see how such trials—whether of rescuers or of the slaves themselves—helped build the northern anti-slavery movement, even as they pushed southern firebrands closer to secession. How could something so evil be treated so routinely by just men? The answer says much about how deeply the institution of slavery had penetrated American life even in free states. Fugitive Justice powerfully illuminates this painful episode in American history, and its role in the nation’s inexorable march to war. less...
Amazon

Inside the Cia by Ronald Kessler
Amazon Says: Written with the cooperation of the CIA, this insider's account of the powerful spy agency discusses the organization's operations, its successes, and its failures. more...
Amazon Says: Written with the cooperation of the CIA, this insider's account of the powerful spy agency discusses the organization's operations, its successes, and its failures. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: A fascinating account of vaccination's miraculous, inflammatory past and its uncertain future. In 1796, as smallpox ravaged Europe, Edward Jenner injected a child with more...
Amazon Says: A fascinating account of vaccination's miraculous, inflammatory past and its uncertain future. In 1796, as smallpox ravaged Europe, Edward Jenner injected a child with a benign version of the disease, then exposed the child to the deadly virus itself. The boy proved resistant to smallpox, and Jenner's risky experiment produced the earliest vaccination. In this deftly written account, journalist Arthur Allen reveals a history of vaccination that is both illuminated with hope and shrouded by controversy—from Jenner's discovery to Pasteur's vaccines for rabies and cholera, to those that safeguarded the children of the twentieth century, and finally to the tumult currently surrounding vaccination. Faced with threats from anthrax to AIDS, we are a vulnerable population and can no longer depend on vaccines; numerous studies have linked childhood vaccination with various neurological disorders, and our pharmaceutical companies are more attracted to the profits of treatment than to the prevention of disease. With narrative grace and investigative journalism, Allen explores our shifting understanding of vaccination since its creation. 16 pages of illustrations. less...
Amazon

Park Profiles: Yellowstone by Seymour L. Fishbein
Amazon Says: Explore the beauty of the United States' First National Park! Observe the geysers, hot springs and wildlife that span the 14 million acres of wilderness in Yellowstone Country more...
Amazon Says: Explore the beauty of the United States' First National Park! Observe the geysers, hot springs and wildlife that span the 14 million acres of wilderness in Yellowstone Country. Each book in the Park Profile series captures all the beauty and variety of the United States' beloved National Parks. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: The most comprehensive and detailed book ever published on the Roman emperor and his world. The eighty-five emperors who ruled Rome for five centuries are among the most famou more...
Amazon Says: The most comprehensive and detailed book ever published on the Roman emperor and his world. The eighty-five emperors who ruled Rome for five centuries are among the most famous and notorious leaders in history. But what do we really know about how they ran the empire and their behind-the-scenes machinations? How did they manage relations with their wives, courtiers, and officials? How indeed did they rise to the purple in the first place? Organized thematically, this intriguing and enlightening book covers everything from the establishment of the role of emperor by Augustus to imperial building projects in Rome and Constantinople and the emperors on campaign. A day in the life of an emperor reveals that Vespasian started work before dawn, while Constantine read the Bible. Morning audiences hearing petitioners’ pleas and lawsuits were followed perhaps by a modest lunch of bread, fish, cheese, and figs (Augustus), an afternoon spent on correspondence or with concubines (Vespasian), or a lavish evening dinner (Nero showered his guests with flowers and perfume). Hardy emperors such as Trajan, who imagined himself as a new Alexander, or Septimius Severus, who marched huge distances on foot with the legions, are contrasted with dissolute rulers such as Nero, who was said never to travel without a retinue of one hundred coaches. Above all, the book charts the immense changes over time, from the original “emperor as first among equals” to the soldier emperors of the third century, the aloof superhuman figures of Constantine’s era, and the weak, passive rulers of Rome’s decline and fall. SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE • Information boxes on subjects ranging from the Roman Triumph to the empress Julia Domna • An extensive reference section including biographies of all the emperors • 150 color and 50 black-and-white illustrations less...
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Amazon Says: The assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, continues to inspire interest ranging from well-meaning speculation to bizarre conspiracy theories and controversial more...
Amazon Says: The assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, continues to inspire interest ranging from well-meaning speculation to bizarre conspiracy theories and controversial filmmaking. But in this landmark book, reissued with a new afterword for the 40th anniversary of the assassination, Gerald Posner examines all of the available evidence and reaches the only possible conclusion: Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. There was no second gunman on the grassy knoll. The CIA was not involved. And although more than four million pages of documents have been released since Posner first made his case, they have served only to corroborate his findings. Case Closed remains the classic account against which all books about JFK’s death must be measured. From the Trade Paperback edition. less...
Amazon
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