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Today in History with a Twist: September 19, 20213

President Dies!

     1881 - President James A. Garfield died from the wounds he suffered in a July 2 shooting.  He had been shot by a disgruntled (and crazy) office seeker named Charles J. Guiteau.  Guiteau had given a short speech supporting Garfield prior to the election and believed he was responsible for Garfield's victory.  He requested a Federal appointment as the United States consul in Paris.  The request was denied and his behavior got him banned from the White House.  After the shooting he believed he would be exonerated and elected President himself.  Garfield actually died from an infection that set in after the shooting, most likely caused by the unsanitary conditions that the doctors of the day worked under.  The assassination was also responsible for several inventions.  One was a metal detector designed by Alexander Graham Bell which was developed to find one of the bullets still in Garfield's body that the doctors could not find. It did not find the bullet but it is believed that it was unsuccessful because the scanned the wrong side of his body.  On another side note, Robert Todd Lincoln was with Garfield when he was shot and would develop some paranoia about such events. - Don't think I would feel too safe with him around.

      Arrrr!  Ye who desires to talk like a pirate, look nae further for today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day!  You can also blog like a pirate, tweet like a pirate, and just let ye true pirate shine.  Believe it or not, this fun holiday started in 1995 by two regular guys playing a game of racquetball.  They started to yell encouragement to each other in pirate speak ("Arrr!") and had so much fun speaking in pirate lingo that they decided to create a new holiday.  For seven years they celebrated this holiday on their own.  Then, in 2002, their story was told in a nationally syndicated newspaper.  Today, International Talk Like a Pirate Day has a pretty big following.  So gather round me hearties, and learn how you can talk like a pirate all day long! "Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me!" (Punchbowl.com)

     1692 - Giles Corey is pressed to death after refusing to plead in the Salem witch trials.  The execution lasted for three days and he was asked several times during the process to make a plea but he refused every time, asking for more weight.  He could have stopped the procedure even if he pleaded not guilty but he refused to do so.  It is believed he did not make a plea because he would go on trial anyway and probably realizing he would be probably be found guilty decided not to plea.  The primary reason being if he was found guilty all his property would go to the state, but not making a plea his sons were able to inherit his land.  Don't feel so bad for Corey though, he had previously beat an indentured servant for stealing apples. the servant would die from the beating. - Sometimes justice is served in unusual ways.

     1863 - Battle of Chickamauga - Largest Confederate victory in the Western Theater of the war.  Also it is second only to Gettysburg for the number of casualties (over 34,000) suffered in a single battle during the war.  Helped keep Confederate hopes alive for a victory in the war.  Though it would take a victory in the East to give them that and Grant was on his way to make sure that wouldn't happen. - Took me years to be able to pronounce Chickamauga correctly.

     1944 - Battle of Hürtgen Forest between United States and Nazi Germany begins.  The battle lasted until December 19, 1944 and was the longest battle fought on German soil during World War II and the longest battle in the history of the American Army.  The battle was fought in an area about the size of Columbia.  Casualties for both sides totaled over 60,000. - That would probably make Hurtgen an appropriate name for the area.

     1940 - Polish military officer Witold Pilecki voluntarily allows himself to be captured and sent to Auschwitz in order to smuggle out information and start a resistance.  He would escape in 1943, bringing back proof of Nazi atrocities.  He would finish the war fighting for the free Polish government stationed in London.  Couldn't escape evil though, being executed in 1948 by the Communists for being an agent of the west. - Talk about living on the edge!

      634 - The Rashidun Arabs under Khalid ibn al-Walid capture Damascus from the Byzantine Empire. - Mandatory conversion.

     1976 - Two Imperial Iranian Air Force F-4 Phantom II jets fly out to investigate an unidentified flying object when both independently lose instrumentation and communications as they approach, only to have them restored upon withdrawal.  The event was witnessed by hundreds and the UFOs were seen on Radar, NSA even intercepted the communications between the fighters and their ground control. - Do you believe now?

     1982 - Scott Fahlman posts the first documented emoticons :-) and :-( on the Carnegie Mellon University Bulletin Board System.  He is notable for early work on automated planning in a blocks world, on semantic networks, on neural networks (and, in particular, the cascade correlation algorithm), on the Dylan programming language, and on Common Lisp (in particular CMU Common Lisp).  In period of the standardization, he was recognized as "the leader of the Common Lisp. - All that and he is most remembered for a smiley face!

     1985 - Tipper Gore and other political wives form the Parents Music Resource Center as Frank Zappa and other musicians testify at U.S. Congressional hearings on obscenity in rock music. - Didn't congress have anything better to do than debate about song lyrics?  Oh yeah, they had to dig into baseball's steroid scandal.

Today we celebrate the birthdays of:

     1932 - Mike Royko - Chicago journalist (d. 1997) - Dave Barry of his time. - One of my inspirations.

     1949 - Twiggy - English model, actress, and singer - Top model of her time and set beauty standards. - I just don't see it and when she turned sideways no one could see her.

To learn more about the above topics check out the books below that are in the Library's collection:


Amazon Says: In post–Civil War America, politics was a brutal sport played with blunt rules. Yet James Garfield's 1881 "dark horse" campaign after the longest-ever Republican nominating more...
Amazon Says: In post–Civil War America, politics was a brutal sport played with blunt rules. Yet James Garfield's 1881 "dark horse" campaign after the longest-ever Republican nominating process (36 convention ballots), his victory in the closest-ever popular vote for president (by only 7,018 votes out of over 9 million cast), his struggle against feuding factions once elected, and the public's response to its culmination in violence, sets a revealing comparison with America approaching a new campaign year in 2004. Author and Capitol Hill veteran Kenneth D. Ackerman re-creates an American political landscape where fierce battles for power unfolded against a chivalrous code of honor in a nation struggling under the shadow of a recent war to confront its modernity. The murder prompted leaders to recoil at their own excesses and changed the tone of politics for generations to come. Garfield's own struggle against powerful forces is a compelling human drama; the portrait of Americans coming together after his assassination exemplifies the dignity and grace that have long held the nation together in crisis. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Popular Pete is Perfect for Talk Like a Pirate Day! Following the success of Pirate Pete and Pirate Pete’s Giant Adventure comes a new book by the celebrated brother-and-s more...
Amazon Says: Popular Pete is Perfect for Talk Like a Pirate Day! Following the success of Pirate Pete and Pirate Pete’s Giant Adventure comes a new book by the celebrated brother-and-sister team of Doug and Kim Kennedy. In this new adventure, Pete has a wonderful new ship, but no crew. But not just any crew will do. As Pete explains: “Ye gots to be stubborn and mighty cranky, Ye gots to be dirty and awfully stanky! Ye gots to load a cannon and know how to fire it, But most of all, ye gots to talk like a pirate!” One by one Pete interviews his potential crew, and one by one they get the boot! Whoever will he find to help him sail the high seas? A hilarious and fun-to-read-aloud book that will have every child talking like a pirate. Praise for the Pirate Pete books Family Choice Award “Arrr, matey, ’tis a fine book indeed.” —Kansas City Star “Lots of fun for pint-size buccaneers.” —Booklist “Should keep young mateys anchored to their seats.” —Kirkus “Clever dialogue, funny illustrations and just the right amount of suspense . . . simply terrific.” —The Dallas Morning News less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: This new interpretation of the New England Witch Trials offers an innovative, well-grounded explanation of witchcraft's link to organic illness. While most historians have con more...
Amazon Says: This new interpretation of the New England Witch Trials offers an innovative, well-grounded explanation of witchcraft's link to organic illness. While most historians have concentrated on the accused, Laurie Winn Carlson focuses on the afflicted. Systematically comparing the symptoms recorded in colonial diaries and court records to those of the encephalitis epidemic in the early twentieth century, she argues convincingly that the victims suffered from the same disease. A unique blend of historical epidemiology and sociology. —Katrina L. Kelner, Science. Meticulously researched...the author marshalls her arguments with clarity and persuasive force. —New Yorker less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: When Vicksburg fell to Union forces under General Grant in July 1863, the balance turned against the Confederacy in the trans-Appalachian theater. The Federal success along th more...
Amazon Says: When Vicksburg fell to Union forces under General Grant in July 1863, the balance turned against the Confederacy in the trans-Appalachian theater. The Federal success along the river opened the way for advances into central and eastern Tennessee, which culminated in the bloody battle of Chickamauga and then a struggle for Chattanooga. Chickamauga is usually counted as a Confederate victory, albeit a costly one. That battle—indeed the entire campaign—is marked by muddle and blunders occasionally relieved by strokes of brilliant generalship and high courage. The campaign ended significant Confederate presence in Tennessee and left the Union poised to advance upon Atlanta and the Confederacy on the brink of defeat in the western theater. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: A victorious American army, having driven through Belgium almost unopposed, ran head-on into German soldiers on their own home ground, in some of the most rugged country in we more...
Amazon Says: A victorious American army, having driven through Belgium almost unopposed, ran head-on into German soldiers on their own home ground, in some of the most rugged country in western Germany—and at the beginning of the worst fall and winter weather in decades. In late 1944, American forces advanced into the hilly, heavily wooded Hürtgen Forest southeast of Aachen, Germany. For weeks, without a clear-cut reason for attacking through the forest, U.S. commanders nevertheless ordered units of as many as seven divisions into the woods to be chewed up by German infantry and artillery. Small units, cut off by the rugged terrain and trees, unable to employ tanks or artillery effectively, fought entrenched and camouflaged Germans in the woods and villages of the region. The troops were exposed to rain, sleet, and freezing temperatures without proper winter clothing. Many companies suffered huge numbers of casualties. The Battle of the Bulge interrupted the Hürtgen Forest battles but did not end them. The Bulge provided a hiatus for the wartorn countryside around the forest and the Roer River dams. Then, beginning in January, 1945, American forces resumed their offensive and were finally able to break through after one of the bloodiest and, for the U.S. Army, most disastrous campaigns of World War II. For many years after the war the full extent of the disaster was not well known outside army circles. Eventually the story of the campaign spread, but it remained overshadowed by the fame of the Bulge. Only in the last decade have military historians begun to look at the fighting in the Hürtgen Forest. The book examines uncertainty of command at the army, corps, and division levels and emphasizes the confusion and fear of ground combat at the level of company and battalion—"where they do the dying." Its gripping description of the battle is based on government records, a rich selection of first-person accounts from veterans of both sides, and author Edward G. Miller's visits to the battlefield. The result is a compelling and comprehensive account of small-unit action set against the background of the larger command levels. The book's foreword is by retired Maj. Gen. R. W. Hogan, who was a battalion commander in the forest. less...
Amazon
Amazon Says: Many documents concerning Auschwitz and its annexes, Birkenau and Monowitz, were destroyed by the Nazis at the close of the war, yet much still survivedincluding eyewitness ac more...
Amazon Says: Many documents concerning Auschwitz and its annexes, Birkenau and Monowitz, were destroyed by the Nazis at the close of the war, yet much still survivedincluding eyewitness accountsnow preserved in the archives of the official Auschwitz Museum. Collected here in a monumental, unprecedented work of historical research is a day-by- day, month-by-month chronicle of the concentration camp from its planning in the winter of 1939 to its liberation in January 1945. Polish born Danuta Czech is former head of the research department at the Auschwitz Museum. 92 photos. less...
Amazon

UFO by Charles E. Sellier
Amazon Says: Bestselling author Charles E. Sellier presents the most shocking, mind-boggling book ever written about the U.S. government's UFO conspiracy. UFO is the culmination of decades more...
Amazon Says: Bestselling author Charles E. Sellier presents the most shocking, mind-boggling book ever written about the U.S. government's UFO conspiracy. UFO is the culmination of decades of research into the cover-up of UFO activity, from the highly publicized Roswell Incident to reports of alien abductions. This comprehensive examination of the UFO controversy reveals the frightening truth about unidentified flying objects in never-published photographs, recently declassified documents, interviews, film clips, and eyewitness accounts. less...
Amazon
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