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Today in History with a Twist: September 25, 2013

It's the Law!

     1789 - The United States Congress passed twelve amendments to the Constitution: the Congressional Apportionment Amendment (which was never ratified), the Congressional Compensation Amendment (which would become the 27th Amendment about 200 years later), and the ten that are known as the Bill of Rights. - As good as it was, the Constitution still needed some tweeking.

      I wonder if we have the comic book version of the Constitution?  It's National Comic Book Day!  These creative and inventive books have been entertaining children and adults alike for more than 200 years!  While comic books have quite a storied history, they reached massive popularity in the late 1930s.  By the mid 1940s, comic books were outselling traditional books.  From Spider-Man to Batman to Superman, we all know a little something about these sketched panel books. (Punchbowl.com)

     1846 - U.S. forces led by Zachary Taylor capture the Mexican city of Monterrey.  Taylor took the 'impregnable' city in three days.  Though a hero for his victories in the Mexican War`he would be criticized for being too lenient on the Mexicans after the battle.  Strategic requirements would result in his being ordered to send half of his forces to assist in the siege of Vera Cruz.  Hearing of the halving of the American forces in the area, Santa Anna, the General who wouldn't go away, launched an attack.  In the resulting battle, the Battle of Buena Vista, Taylor routed the Mexicans giving the Americans the upper hand in the war.  The press began comparing him to George Washington and Andrew Jackson suggesting he might consider becoming President. - The future 12th President said he had no aspirations in that direction. True politician.

     1066 - The last major invasion of England by the Vikings was defeated at the Battle of Stamford Bridge.  The victory was so decisive that only 25 of the original 300 ships were needed to return Viking survivors to Denmark.  The victor, King Harold Godwinson wouldn't have much time to savor his victory though, the Normans would land in England three days later. - Some people just can't catch a break.

     1959 - Solomon Bandaranaike, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka is mortally wounded by a Buddhist monk, Talduwe Somarama, and dies the next day. (Sounds like the pilot episode to 'Kung Fu'.) The assassination was the result of a convoluted socialistic, nationalistic, racist, communistic, pro-Buddhist(?) policy.  His successor would prove to be ineffective and in the resulting election Bandaranaike's widow, Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike, would be elected Prime Minister.  The first female Prime Minister in history. - Rough way to be the first at something.

     1906 - In the presence of the king and before a great crowd, Leonardo Torres Quevedo successfully demonstrated his invention, the Telekino, in the port of Bilbao, guiding a boat from the shore, in what is considered the birth of the remote control. - Hero to men everywhere.

      2002 - The Vitim event - a possible bolide (fancy name for meteor) impact in Siberia, Russia.  U.S. military analysts calculated the blast was between 0.2–0.5 kilotons, while Russian physicist Andrey Olkhovatov estimates it at 4–5 kilotons. - I think it was another UFO crash.

Today we celebrate the birthdays of:

     1764 - Fletcher Christian - English navy officer (d. 1793) - Over rated whiner?

     1915 - Ethel Rosenberg - Soviet spy (d. 1953) - Maybe if she had smiled they would have gone easier on her.

     1961 - Heather Locklear - Actress and model - Had to be a good actress since she studied in two prime time shows simultaneously, Dynasty and T.J. Hooker, yes, had to be because of her acting ability.

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


Amazon Says: Are the deep insights of Hugo Black, William Brennan, and Felix Frankfurter that have defined our cherished Bill of Rights fatally flawed? With meticulous historical scholarsh more...
Amazon Says: Are the deep insights of Hugo Black, William Brennan, and Felix Frankfurter that have defined our cherished Bill of Rights fatally flawed? With meticulous historical scholarship and elegant legal interpretation, a leading scholar of Constitutional law boldly answers yes as he explodes conventional wisdom about the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution in this new account of our most basic charter of liberty. In our continuing battles over freedom of religion and expression, arms bearing, privacy, states' rights, and popular sovereignty, Amar concludes, we must hearken to both the Founding Fathers who created the Bill and their sons and daughters who reconstructed it. less...
Amazon


Amazon Says: As American as jazz or rock and roll, comic books have been central in the nation's popular culture since Superman's 1938 debut in Action Comics #1. Selling in the millions e more...
Amazon Says: As American as jazz or rock and roll, comic books have been central in the nation's popular culture since Superman's 1938 debut in Action Comics #1. Selling in the millions each year for the past six decades, comic books have figured prominently in the childhoods of most Americans alive today. In Comic Book Nation, Bradford W. Wright offers an engaging, illuminating, and often provocative history of the comic book industry within the context of twentieth-century American society.From Batman's Depression-era battles against corrupt local politicians and Captain America's one-man war against Nazi Germany to Iron Man's Cold War exploits in Vietnam and Spider-Man's confrontations with student protestors and drug use in the early 1970s, comic books have continually reflected the national mood, as Wright's imaginative reading of thousands of titles from the 1930s to the 1980s makes clear. In every genre—superhero, war, romance, crime, and horror comic books—Wright finds that writers and illustrators used the medium to address a variety of serious issues, including racism, economic injustice, fascism, the threat of nuclear war, drug abuse, and teenage alienation. At the same time, xenophobic wartime series proved that comic books could be as reactionary as any medium.Wright's lively study also focuses on the role comic books played in transforming children and adolescents into consumers; the industry's ingenious efforts to market their products to legions of young but savvy fans; the efforts of parents, politicians, religious organizations, civic groups, and child psychologists like Dr. Fredric Wertham (whose 1954 book Seduction of the Innocent, a salacious exposé of the medium's violence and sexual content, led to U.S. Senate hearings) to link juvenile delinquency to comic books and impose censorship on the industry; and the changing economics of comic book publishing over the course of the century. For the paperback edition, Wright has written a new postscript that details industry developments in the late 1990s and the response of comic artists to the tragedy of 9/11. Comic Book Nation is at once a serious study of popular culture and an entertaining look at an enduring American art form. less...
Amazon


Amazon Says: A war that started under questionable pretexts. A president who is convinced of his country’s might and right. A military and political stalemate with United States troops o more...
Amazon Says: A war that started under questionable pretexts. A president who is convinced of his country’s might and right. A military and political stalemate with United States troops occupying a foreign land against a stubborn and deadly insurgency. The time is the 1840s. The enemy is Mexico. And the war is one of the least known and most important in both Mexican and United States history—a war that really began much earlier and whose consequences still echo today. Acclaimed historian David A. Clary presents this epic struggle for a continent for the first time from both sides, using original Mexican and North American sources. To Mexico, the yanqui illegals pouring into her territories of Texas and California threatened Mexican sovereignty and security. To North Americans, they manifested their destiny to rule the continent. Two nations, each raising an eagle as her standard, blustered and blundered into a war because no one on either side was brave enough to resist the march into it. In Eagles and Empire, Clary draws vivid portraits of the period’s most fascinating characters, from the cold-eyed, stubborn United States president James K. Polk to Mexico’s flamboyant and corrupt general-president-dictator Antonio López de Santa Anna; from the legendary and ruthless explorer John Charles Frémont and his guide Kit Carson to the “Angel of Monterey” and the “Boy Heroes” of Chapultepec; from future presidents such as Benito Juárez and Zachary Taylor to soldiers who became famous in both the Mexican and North American civil wars that soon followed. Here also are the Irish Soldiers of Mexico and the Yankee sailors of two squadrons, hero-bandits and fighting Indians of both nations, guerrilleros and Texas Rangers, and some amazing women soldiers. From the fall of the Alamo and harrowing marches of thousands of miles in the wilderness to the bloody, dramatic conquest of Mexico City and the insurgency that continued to resist, this is a riveting narrative history that weaves together events on the front lines—where Indian raids, guerrilla attacks, and atrocities were matched by stunning acts of heroism and sacrifice—with battles on two home fronts—political backstabbing, civil uprisings, and battle lines between Union and Confederacy and Mexican Federalists and Centralists already being drawn. The definitive account of a defining war, Eagles and Empire is page-turning history—a book not to be missed. less...
Amazon


Amazon Says: While the date 1066 is familiar to almost everybody as the year of the Norman conquest of England, few can place the event in the context of the dramatic year in which it took more...
Amazon Says: While the date 1066 is familiar to almost everybody as the year of the Norman conquest of England, few can place the event in the context of the dramatic year in which it took place. In this book, David Howarth attempts to bring alive the struggle for the succession to the English crown from the death of Edward the Confessor in January 1066 to the Christmas coronation of Duke William of Normandy. There is an almost uncanny symmetry, as well as a relentlessly exciting surge, of events leading to and from the Battle of Hastings. The author draws on the wealth of contemporary sources to describe Harold Godwinson's seizure of the throne, the brilliant defeat of the invasion from Norway at Stamford bridge and the forced march south to eventual defeat at Hastings. Howarth recounts events from the perspective of the common Englishman - describing how he worked, fought and died - and how he perceived from his isolated shire the overthrow of his world. less...
Amazon


Sri Lanka: The Emerald Isle by Devika Gunasena
Amazon Says: Historical outline of the history of Sri Lanka. more...
Amazon Says: Historical outline of the history of Sri Lanka. less...
Amazon


Amazon Says: More than two centuries have passed since Master's Mate Fletcher Christian mutinied against Lieutenant Bligh on a small, armed transport vessel called Bounty. Why the details more...
Amazon Says: More than two centuries have passed since Master's Mate Fletcher Christian mutinied against Lieutenant Bligh on a small, armed transport vessel called Bounty. Why the details of this obscure adventure at the end of the world remain vivid and enthralling is as intriguing as the truth behind the legend. In giving the Bounty mutiny its historical due, Caroline Alexander has chosen to frame her narrative by focusing on the court-martial of the ten mutineers who were captured in Tahiti and brought to justice in England. This fresh perspective wonderfully revivifies the entire saga, and the salty, colorful language of the captured men themselves conjures the events of that April morning in 1789, when Christian's breakdown impelled every man on a fateful course: Bligh and his loyalists on the historic open boat voyage that revealed him to be one of history's great navigators; Christian on his restless exile; and the captured mutineers toward their day in court. As the book unfolds, each figure emerges as a full-blown character caught up in a drama that may well end on the gallows. And as Alexander shows, it was in a desperate fight to escape hanging that one of the accused defendants deliberately spun the mutiny into the myth we know today-of the tyrannical Lieutenant Bligh of the Bounty. Ultimately, Alexander concludes that the Bounty mutiny was sparked by that most unpredictable, combustible, and human of situations-the chemistry between strong personalities living in close quarters. Her account of the voyage, the trial, and the surprising fates of Bligh, Christian, and the mutineers is an epic of ambition, passion, pride, and duty at the dawn of the Romantic era. less...
Amazon


Amazon Says: In 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were tried for and convicted of conspiring to steal atomic secrets. In 1953, their execution tore American apart. Fifty years later, the more...
Amazon Says: In 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were tried for and convicted of conspiring to steal atomic secrets. In 1953, their execution tore American apart. Fifty years later, the acrimonious debate over the Rosenbergs' guilt, and the raw emotions unleashed by a case that fueled McCarthyism and the cold war, still reverberate. One man doomed the Rosenbergs: David Greenglass, Ethel Rosenberg's brother, the young army sergeant who spied for the Soviets at Los Alamos during World War II and whose testimony later sealed his sister and brother-in-law's fate. After serving ten years in prison, he was released in 1960 and vanished. But Sam Roberts, a New York Times editor, found David Greenglass and, after fourteen years, finally persuaded him to talk. Drawn from the first unrestricted-access interviews ever granted by Greenglass and supplemented by revelations from dozens of other key players in the case--including the Russian agent who controlled Julius Rosenberg; by newly declassified American and Soviet government documents; and by personal letters never before publishes, among them on from Albert Einstein; The Brother is the mesmerizing inside story of misplaced idealism, love and betrayal behind the atomic-espionage case that J. Edgar Hoover condemned as the Crime of the Century. In more than fifty hours of tape-recorded conversations with the author, Greenglass intimately detailed his recruitment into espionage on Manhattan's Lower East Side, how he spied for the Russians at American's most secret military installation, and how the plot unraveled and led to the arrests of David, Julius, and Ethel. But even beyond that, this book reveals how Greenglass perjured himself during his riveting courtroom testimony--testimony that virtually strapped his sister and brother-in-law into Sing Sing's electric chair. Delivering a narrative punch on every page, The Brother is the story of a family. It is a story of atomic espionage. It is the story of the trial that turned a nation upside down and that even now divides the American left. Convincingly and with authority, The Brother tells a tale driven by secrets, suspense, and intense human intrigue. less...
Amazon


Amazon Says: After single-handedly rescuing Melrose Place from the ratings doldrums with her portrayal of Amanda Woodward. Heather Locklear has emerged as one of the leading stars of the n more...
Amazon Says: After single-handedly rescuing Melrose Place from the ratings doldrums with her portrayal of Amanda Woodward. Heather Locklear has emerged as one of the leading stars of the nineties. With insights and information about every stage of her career, every boyfriend, and every movie, Heather! is a must for every Melrose-mad fan of America's favorite vixen. 2 cassettes. less...
Amazon

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