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Today in History with a Twist: September 20, 2013

Civilization Saved!

      480 BC - The Persian invasion of southeastern Europe was stopped by the Greeks at the Naval Battle of Salamis.  The battle was fought in conjunction with the Battle of Thermopylae.  Athenian General Themistocles was able to lure the larger Persian fleet into the straights between the Greek mainland and Salamis Island where he was able to negate the Persian numerical superiority and defeat them.  The victory would lead to Xeres to retreat back to Persia never to return.  A number of historians believe that a Persian victory would have hamstrung the development of Ancient Greece, and by extension western civilization, and this has led them to claim that Salamis is one of the most significant battles in human history. - If we're not careful the current Persians (Iran) might return to finish the job.

     For our own missing warriors today is POW/MIA Recognition Day which is celebrated on the third Friday of September.  POW/MIA Recognition Day is a day of remembrance and hope for the speedy and safe return of American Prisoners of War, and those still Missing in Action.  It also seeks the return of the remains of fallen soldiers.  The first official commemoration of POW/MIAs was July 18, 1979.  It was the result of resolutions passed in Congress.  The first national ceremony was held on this date.  Over the next several years, it was held in varying dates of the year.  Finally, in 1986, The National League of Families proposed the third Friday in September as a day to recognize and remember POW/MIAs.  This date was selected, as it is not associated with any wars.  Each year, the president of the United States issues a proclamation on this day.  Federal law requires the POW/MIA flag to be flown on the following days: Armed Forces Day, May 16; Memorial Day, May 25; Flag Day, June 14; Independence Day, July 4; POW/MIA Day, 3rd Friday of September; Veterans Day, Nov. 11.  You will also notice the POW/MIA flag flown at all US Post office buildings, Veterans Administration, military memorial facilities, and many U.S. government buildings.  Please take a few moments today, to remember our missing soldiers, and those held as prisoners of war.  Attend a ceremony in your area.  Say a prayer for POWs and MIAs.  Also, write to your senators and congressman to urge continued and increased effort towards bringing every service man and woman home. (http://holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/September/powmiarecognitionday.htm)

     1737 - The Walking Purchase forces the cession of 1.2 million acres (4,860 km²) of Lenape (also known as the Delaware) tribal land to the Pennsylvania Colony by the sons of William Penn family.  The Penn's conned the Lenape by bargaining for the amount of land a man could walk in a day.  The Indians didn't expect a man to cover more than 40 miles, but the Penns had cleared a path in advance and found the three best runners to perform the task.  One man was able to cover 70 miles and with the formula agreed upon the ceded land ended up being 1.2 million acres.  Court actions over the swindle went until 2004.  The action also ruined the good relations that the state of Pennsylvania had with the Lanape. - You think?

     1893 - and his brother road-test the first American-made gasoline-powered automobile. - Never replace the horse.

     1970 - Syria sent 200 tanks, disquised to look like they belonged to the PLO, into Jordan to support the fedayeen in response to continued fighting between Jordan and the fedayeen.  The Jordainian air force was able repel the attack. - Syria just can't seem to keep its nose clean.

     1984 - In an act of terror a suicide bomber in a car attacked the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, killing twenty-two people. - Just the beginning.

     2000 - In another act of terror, a Russian-built RPG-22 anti-tank missile was fired at the British MI6 Secret Intelligence Service building.  The attackers were never apprehended. - How do you not notice someone firing a missle?

     2001 - In an address to a joint session of Congress and the American people, U.S. President George W. Bush declares a "war on terror". - Seems the terrorists realized this much earlier than we did.

Today we celebrate the birthdays of:

     1820 - John F. Reynolds - Union General (d. 1863) - Arguably the Unions best General, saved Gettysburg for the Union on the first day of the battle but that is where they also lost his services. - Not afraid of that bullet with my name on it but it all those ones marked 'occupant' that you have to look out for.

     1878 - Upton Sinclair - Journalist and author (d. 1968) - wrote close to one hundred books in many genres. He achieved popularity in the first half of the twentieth century, acquiring particular fame for his classic muckraking novel, The Jungle (1906).  It exposed conditions in the U.S. meat packing industry, causing a public uproar that contributed in part to the passage a few months later of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act.  In 1919, he published The Brass Check, a muckraking exposé of American journalism that publicized the issue of yellow journalism and the limitations of the “free press” in the United States.  Four years after the initial publication of The Brass Check, the first code of ethics for journalists was created.  Time magazine called him "a man with every gift except humor and silence."  In 1943, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. - Today the books that influence us are Twighlight and Fifty Shades of Grey.

 

To find out more about the above topics checkout the following books from the Library's collection:


Amazon Says: The battle of Salamis in 480 B.C. was the most important naval encounter of the ancient world. In the narrow strait between the island of Salamis and the Greek mainland, a he more...
Amazon Says: The battle of Salamis in 480 B.C. was the most important naval encounter of the ancient world. In the narrow strait between the island of Salamis and the Greek mainland, a heavily outnumbered Greek navy defeated the Persian armada in a brilliant victory that is still studied today. The Greek triumph at Salamis stopped the advancing Persians and saved the first democracy in history. It made Athens the dominant city in Greece, gave birth to the Athenian empire, and set the stage for the Age of Pericles. On the Persian side, the battle of Salamis also featured history's first female admiral and sailors from three continents. The Battle of Salamis features some of the most fascinating figures in the ancient world: Themistocles, the Athenian commander who masterminded the victory (and tricked his fellow Greeks into fighting); Xerxes, the Persian king who understood land but not naval warfare; Aeschylus, the Greek playwright who took part at Salamis and later immortalized it in drama; and Artemisia, the half-Greek queen who was one of Xerxes' trusted commanders and who turned defeat into personal victory. In his riveting story of this clash on the Greek seas, classicist and historian Barry Strauss offers a new in-depth account of the ancient battle. Drawing on recent work in archaeology, meteorology, and forensic science as well as on his own experience as a rower (both navies were oar powered), Strauss revises our understanding of one of history's pivotal wars and of Herodotus's classic if underrated account of it. But in addition to being exciting military history, The Battle of Salamis is also a vivid analysis of ancient culture. less...
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Amazon Says: Descriptions of Indian peoples of the Northeast date to the Norse sagas, centuries before permanent European settlement, and the region has been the setting for a long history more...
Amazon Says: Descriptions of Indian peoples of the Northeast date to the Norse sagas, centuries before permanent European settlement, and the region has been the setting for a long history of contact, conflict, and accommodation between natives and newcomers. The focus of an extraordinarily vital field of scholarship, the Northeast is important both historically and theoretically: patterns of Indian-white relations that developed there would be replicated time and again over the course of American history. Today the Northeast remains the locus of cultural negotiation and controversy, with such subjects as federal recognition, gaming, land claims, and repatriation programs giving rise to debates directly informed by archeological and historical research of the region. The Columbia Guide to American Indians of the Northeast is a concise and authoritative reference resource to the history and culture of the varied indigenous peoples of the region. Encompassing the very latest scholarship, this multifaceted volume is divided into four parts. Part I presents an overview of the cultures and histories of Northeastern Indian people and surveys the key scholarly questions and debates that shape this field. Part II serves as an encyclopedia, alphabetically listing important individuals and places of significant cultural or historic meaning. Part III is a chronology of the major events in the history of American Indians in the Northeast. The expertly selected resources in Part IV include annotated lists of tribes, bibliographies, museums and sites, published sources, Internet sites, and films that can be easily accessed by those wishing to learn more. less...
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Amazon Says: In September 1893, little could 23-year-old mechanic J. Frank Duryea dream of the changes that would be brought about by his creation - a frail gasoline buggy that made its de more...
Amazon Says: In September 1893, little could 23-year-old mechanic J. Frank Duryea dream of the changes that would be brought about by his creation - a frail gasoline buggy that made its debut on the streets of Springfield, Massachusetts. 'When I began work upon the horseless carriage back in 1892, no one could see what the automobile would mean to my fellow beings in peace or in war. And yet, the automobile to this very day contains not a few of the fundamental features which I was the first to devise, design, build, or order built to my specifications.' - J. Frank Duryea (1942) 'What we have is a family feud - without the violence - rivaling the legendary Hatfields and McCoys.' Charles E. and J. Frank Duryea, two brothers from rural Illinois, were the founders of the American automobile industry. The Duryea Motor Wagon company was the first company organized in the United States for the manufacture of automobiles. The attention-getting, older brother Charles demanded - and to date has received - the principal credit for these pioneering accomplishments. A bitter family feud between the brothers, which was even carried on by their families after their deaths, further muddied the question about the individual brothers' contributions. However, in Carriages Without Horses: J. Frank Duryea and the Birth of the American Automobile Industry, historian and author Richard P. Scharchburg proves that the quiet, self-effacing younger brother J. Frank Duryea is unquestionably entitled to as much credit as Charles, if not considerably more. J. Frank did the actual work of construction on the cars, and was responsible for the practical designing and engineering of all components (aside from the steering mechanism) of the Duryea cars. More than an account of the struggle for precedence between brothers, however, Carriages Without Horses tells the story of America's first automobile company taking shape. Scharchburg covers the design and development of the first Duryea car, culminating with its successful operation on the streets of Springfield, Massachusetts on September 21, 1893. This book also covers: the landmark Chicago Times-Herald race of 1895, won by the Duryea car built and driven by J. Frank; the subsequent progress of the Duryea Motor Wagon Company; and, after the brothers went their separate ways, J. Frank's 1901 founding of the Stevens-Duryea Company. less...
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Amazon Says: Book by Sobel, Lester A. (Ed.) more...
Amazon Says: Book by Sobel, Lester A. (Ed.) less...
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Amazon Says: Photographs show the people of Beirut and everyday life in the war-torn city, and are accompanied by a discussion of the history of the region. more...
Amazon Says: Photographs show the people of Beirut and everyday life in the war-torn city, and are accompanied by a discussion of the history of the region. less...
Amazon


Amazon Says: Gordon Thomas has established himself as a leading expert on the intelligence community. He returns here on the one hundredth anniversaries of Britain’s Security and Secret more...
Amazon Says: Gordon Thomas has established himself as a leading expert on the intelligence community. He returns here on the one hundredth anniversaries of Britain’s Security and Secret Intelligence Services to provide the definitive history of the famed MI5 and MI6.These agencies rank as two of the oldest and most powerful in the world, and Thomas’s wide-sweeping history chronicles a century of both triumphs and failures.  He recounts the roles that British intelligence played in the Allied victory in World War II; the postwar treachery of Great Britain’s own agents; the defection of Soviet agents and the intricate process of “handling” them; the often frigid relationship that both agencies have had with the CIA, European spy services, and the Mossad; the cooperation between the British and Americans in the search for Osama bin Laden; and the ways in which MI5 and MI6 have fought biological warfare espionage and space terrorism.All told, this is the story of two agencies led by men---and women---who are enigmatic, eccentric, and controversial, and who ruthlessly control their spies. Based on prodigious research and interviews with significant players from inside the British intelligence community, this is a rich and even delicious history packed with intrigue and information that only the author could have attained.  less...
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Amazon Says: Jean Bethke Elshtain has been hailed as one of this country's most influential public intellectuals. Michael Walzer called her award-winning Democracy on Trial "the work of a more...
Amazon Says: Jean Bethke Elshtain has been hailed as one of this country's most influential public intellectuals. Michael Walzer called her award-winning Democracy on Trial "the work of a truly independent, deeply serious, politically engaged, and wonderfully provocative political theorist." These rare qualities are once again vividly in force in Just War Against Terrorism.In this hard-hitting book, Elshtain advocates "just war" in times of crisis and mounts a reasoned attack against the defenses of terrorism that have abounded since September 11. Arguing that those who defend terrorist acts on the basis of their "root causes"-poverty, political conflict, infringement of Western values on Islamic culture-minimize the responsibility of terrorists, Elshtain interrogates the sources of root-cause reasoning and traces them to a fundamental misunderstanding of the Judeo-Christian ethic of war and peace, compounded by "faux-pacifist" positions and retro-sixties cultural romance. Why, she asks, are pacifist alternatives so palpably inadequate? So implausible? Often so irresponsible? How indeed does one respond to acts of terror that constitute an act of war perpetrated against one's own citizenry? Advocating an ethic of responsibility, Elshtain forces us to ask tough questions not only about the nature of Islam but also about ourselves.Elegantly written and forcefully argued, Just War Against Terror offers a badly needed and refreshingly clear look at responses to terror in the modern world. less...
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Gettysburg--The First Day by Harry W. Pfanz
Amazon Says: Though a great deal has been written about the battle of Gettysburg, much of it has focused on the events of the second and third days. With this book, the first day's fightin more...
Amazon Says: Though a great deal has been written about the battle of Gettysburg, much of it has focused on the events of the second and third days. With this book, the first day's fighting finally receives its due. Harry Pfanz, a former historian at Gettysburg National Military Park and author of two previous books on the battle, presents a deeply researched, definitive account of the events of July 1, 1863. After sketching the background of the Gettysburg campaign and recounting the events immediately preceding the battle, Pfanz offers a detailed tactical description of the first day's fighting. He describes the engagements in McPherson Woods, at the Railroad Cuts, on Oak Ridge, on Seminary Ridge, and at Blocher's Knoll, as well as the retreat of Union forces through Gettysburg and the Federal rally on Cemetery Hill. Throughout, he draws on deep research in published and archival sources to challenge some of the common assumptions about the battle--for example, that Richard Ewell's failure to press an attack against Union troops at Cemetery Hill late on the first day ultimately cost the Confederacy the battle. less...
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Amazon Says: Praise for UPTON SINCLAIR and the other American Century ""I look forward to all of Kevin Mattson's works of history and I've notbeen disappointed yet. Upton Sinclair is a tho more...
Amazon Says: Praise for UPTON SINCLAIR and the other American Century ""I look forward to all of Kevin Mattson's works of history and I've notbeen disappointed yet. Upton Sinclair is a thoughtful, well-researched, and extremely eloquently told excavation of the history of theAmerican left and, indeed, the American nation, as well as a testamentto the power of one man to influence his times. Well done."" --Eric Alterman, author of When Presidents Lie: A History of Official Deception and Its Consequences ""A splendid read. It reminds you that real heroes once dwelt among us. Mattson not only captures Sinclair's character, but the world he inhabited, with deft strokes whose energy and passion easily match his subject's."" --Richard Parker, author of John Kenneth Galbraith: His Life, His Politics, His Economics ""From the meat-packing houses of Chicago to the automobile factories of Detroit to the voting booths of California, Upton Sinclair cut a wide swath as a muckraking writer who exposed the injustices rendered by American industrial capitalism. Now Kevin Mattson presents a much-needed exploration of this complex crusader. This is a thoughtful, provocative, and gripping account of an important figure who appeared equal parts intellectual, propagandist, and political combatant as he struggled to illuminate the 'other American century' inhabited by the poor and powerless."" --Steven Watts, author of The People's Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century less...
Amazon

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