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Today in History with a Twist: September 24, 2013

King Crowned, Emperor Next?

     768 - Charlemagne gets crowned King of the Franks.  Would eventually rise to become the first Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.  Too bad he had three sons.

     Maybe he celebrated with some Cherries Jubilee.  Today is National Cherries Jubilee Day!  Cherries jubilee is a classic flambé dessert made with cherries and liqueur (typically kirsch or brandy), served over vanilla ice cream.  The original recipe is attributed to French chef Auguste Escoffier, who prepared the dish for one of Queen Victoria's jubilee celebrations.  It is unclear whether it first appeared at the Golden Jubilee in 1887 or the Diamond Jubilee in 1897, but it quickly became one of the most fashionable desserts of the era.  For many years, cherries jubilee was a standard menu item at America’s finest restaurants, reaching the peak of its popularity in the 1950s and 1960s. (Punchbowl.com)

     1780 - After being involved in the plot to surrender West Point to the British by the capture of Major Andre the day before, Benedict Arnold fled to the British Army.  Arnold defected because he felt he didn't get the credit he deserved and had been unfairly treated by some superiors.  He did have reason to believe this.  Let his vanity trump his loyalty.

     1957 - President Dwight D. Eisenhower sends 101st Airborne Division troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, to enforce desegregation.  Unfortunately, it took us a long time to get this democracy thing right.

     1968 - 60 Minutes debuts on CBS.  Still going strong, but could only handle one night.

     1906 - President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Devils Tower in Wyoming as the nation's first National Monument.  Had to have some place where the UFOs could land.

     1990 - Periodic Great White Spot is observed on Saturn.  Appears about every thirty years, give or take.  The "storm" is larger than North America.  As if rings weren't enough.

Today we celebrate the birthday of:

     1583 - Albrecht von Wallenstein, Austrian general (d. 1634) - Key leader on the Catholic side in the Thirty Years' War, won many early battles but was relieved in some political intrigue.  Recalled when the war turned against the Catholics. However, political rulers again worked to undermine him.  He was contemplating going over the Protestant side, taking his army with him, but was assassinated before he could make the move.  Seems to be a bit of a theme here.

     1717 - Horace Walpole - English historian, author, and politician - 4th Earl of Orford (24 September 1717 - 2 March 1797) was an English art historian, man of letters, antiquarian, and Whig politician.  He is now largely remembered for Strawberry Hill, the home he built in Twickenham, southwest London, where he revived the Gothic style some decades before his Victorian successors, and for his Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto.  Along with the book, his literary reputation rests on his letters, which are of significant social and political interest.  He was the son of Sir Robert Walpole, and cousin of Admiral Lord Nelson.  Obviously did not live off his name.

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


Charlemagne by Matthias Becher
Amazon Says: Charlemagne, ruler of the vast Frankish kingdom from 768 to his death in 814 and emperor from the year 800, is considered the father of Europe. He founded the first empire in more...
Amazon Says: Charlemagne, ruler of the vast Frankish kingdom from 768 to his death in 814 and emperor from the year 800, is considered the father of Europe. He founded the first empire in western Europe after the fall of Rome, and his court at Aix-la-Chapelle was a centre of classical learning and a focus of the Carolingian Renaissance. This book is an introduction to Charlemagne's life and legend. Matthias Becher describes Charlemagne's rise to emperor and traces his political and military manoeuvering against the Saxons, the Lombards, and others, as Charlemagne incorporated these lands into his own realm. Becher points out that under Charlemagne, jury courts were introduced, the laws of the Franks revised and written down, new coinage introduced, weights and measures reformed, and a Frankish grammar begun. Charlemagne tried to give his kingdom a spiritual basis by referring to antique traditions, says Becher, and he explores the tensions that existed in Charlemagne's court between modern ideas and traditional thinking. He concludes by discussing Charlemagne's kinship network, the evolving arrangements for his succession, the effects of his reign, and his posthumous fame. Concise, insightful, and readable, this life of Charlemagne provides useful information about a remarkable man and his times. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: As Don Draper famously said, “Nostalgia: a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone.” Nostalgia, of course, also calls to one’s appetite. Thanks in part more...
Amazon Says: As Don Draper famously said, “Nostalgia: a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone.” Nostalgia, of course, also calls to one’s appetite. Thanks in part to the popular series Mad Men, fans are discovering the classic cuisine of the 1960’s; whether to revisit the favorite recipes of their childhoods or to celebrate the comforting, sometimes kitschy, always-satisfying dishes of the era, including:• Waldorf Salad• Sweet and Sour Meatballs• Beef Stroganoff• Steakhouse Creamed Spinach• Buttermilk Dinner Rolls• Cherries Jubilee• Daiquiri Lime and Gelatin Mold• Classic cocktails such as Blue Hawaiians, Brandy Alexanders, and Manhattans• And many more!Each recipe is adapted for the modern palate, with less fat and healthier ingredients than in the originals (no more bacon fat as a kitchen staple!). Full-color photographs showcase the food, proving that retro cuisine can be sophisticated and delicious. The Sensational Sixties Cookbook will also provide tips on hosting the ultimate sixties soiree, complete with menus, music playlists, and table decorations. So grab a swizzle stick, put Bobby Darin on the turntable, and get cooking—sixties style!   less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: While most biographies of Arnold concentrate on his revolutionary exploits and subsequent treason, Wilson explores his role in Canadian history and the routes that brought him more...
Amazon Says: While most biographies of Arnold concentrate on his revolutionary exploits and subsequent treason, Wilson explores his role in Canadian history and the routes that brought him to Canada. He takes the reader into rural Quebec in the 1760s and 1770s when Arnold toured the area as a Yankee trader and goes behind the scenes in 1775-76 when Arnold's American forces almost captured Quebec after an amazing trek through the Maine wilderness. Wilson explores Arnold's business exploits in Saint John, New Brunswick, the emerging Loyalist port town where for six years Arnold commanded an international trading network before returning to England. Written for those interested in unexpected tales from Canada's colourful history, Benedict Arnold follows Arnold's life from the battlefields of New England to the siege of Quebec, from the high seas to the day-to-day details of running a trading company in Saint John. Wilson offers a detailed, sometimes sympathetic, portrait of this controversial and complex man. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: The desegregation crisis in Little Rock is a landmark of American history: on September 4, 1957, after the Supreme Court struck down racial segregation in public schools, Arka more...
Amazon Says: The desegregation crisis in Little Rock is a landmark of American history: on September 4, 1957, after the Supreme Court struck down racial segregation in public schools, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus called up the National Guard to surround Little Rock Central High School, preventing black students from going in. On September 25, 1957, nine black students, escorted by federal troops, gained entrance. With grace and depth, Little Rock provides fresh perspectives on the individuals, especially the activists and policymakers, involved in these dramatic events. Looking at a wide variety of evidence and sources, Karen Anderson examines American racial politics in relation to changes in youth culture, sexuality, gender relations, and economics, and she locates the conflicts of Little Rock within the larger political and historical context. Anderson considers how white groups at the time, including middle class women and the working class, shaped American race and class relations. She documents white women's political mobilizations and, exploring political resentments, sexual fears, and religious affiliations, illuminates the reasons behind segregationists' missteps and blunders. Anderson explains how the business elite in Little Rock retained power in the face of opposition, and identifies the moral failures of business leaders and moderates who sought the appearance of federal compliance rather than actual racial justice, leaving behind a legacy of white flight, poor urban schools, and institutional racism. Probing the conflicts of school desegregation in the mid-century South, Little Rock casts new light on connections between social inequality and the culture wars of modern America. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Published by General Publishing Group, Inc., 3100 Airport Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90405. An illustrated (laudatory) history of the TV news magazine show. Annotation copyright B more...
Amazon Says: Published by General Publishing Group, Inc., 3100 Airport Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90405. An illustrated (laudatory) history of the TV news magazine show. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or. less...
Amazon

Saturn: A New View by Laura Lovett
Amazon Says: After a journey of seven years and 2.2 billion miles, the spacecraft Cassini, with a probe named Huygens aboard, reached Saturn in July 2004, beginning a four-year tour to ob more...
Amazon Says: After a journey of seven years and 2.2 billion miles, the spacecraft Cassini, with a probe named Huygens aboard, reached Saturn in July 2004, beginning a four-year tour to observe the remote planet, its rings, and its moons in depth. As a result of the spectacularly succesful Cassini-Huygens mission, photographs of astounding beauty have come streaming back to Earth, together with enough data to keep hundreds of scientists engrossed for decades. Reproduced here, in unprecedented detail and exquisite, high-quality format, are 150 of the best of those images, among them rings from the unlit side never visible from Earth and panoramas of the surface of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. This breathtaking volume, including authoritative essays on the planetary system and the mission, reveals the planet, its ethereally beautiful rings, and its 40+ moons in ways never before seen or recorded. “Astonishing, amazing, and personal.” — Dr. David Livingston Host, The Space Show less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Historians have tried time and again to identify the central issues of the conflict which devastated Europe between 1618 and 1648. The Thirty Years War by Ronald G. Asch puts more...
Amazon Says: Historians have tried time and again to identify the central issues of the conflict which devastated Europe between 1618 and 1648. The Thirty Years War by Ronald G. Asch puts the religious and constitutional struggle in the Holy Roman Empire squarely back into the centre of events. However, other issues are not neglected. Thus the problems of war finance are shown to be an important key to the interaction between inter-state and domestic conflicts during the war. Equally confessional tensions are analysed as a decisive factor linking international and domestic disputes, and the reader is provided with a succinct narrative account concentrating on the major turning points of the war. less...
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