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Today in History with a Twist

End of an Ancient Empire!

     Ethiopian Emperor, 'Messiah' of the Rastafari movement, Haile Selassie's 58 year reign came to an end today (1974) when a military coup by the Derg (short name of the Coordinating Committee of the Armed Forces, Police, and Territorial Army that ruled Ethiopia from 1974 to 1987) removed him office.  The Emperor's dynasty claims to trace its roots to King Solomon of Biblical fame.  Some people have no respect.

     Maybe he can drown his sorrows with a milkshake.  Today is National Chocolate Milkshake Day! Smooth, frothy, rich, and sweet are just a few of the words that describe today's reason to celebrate.  Did you know that the first reference to a milkshake appeared in a British newspaper in 1885?  The original recipe called for a shot of whiskey!  Milkshakes were popular at soda fountain counters in the early 1900s and are now a mainstay at ice cream shops, diners, and fast food restaurants throughout the country.  To celebrate National Chocolate Milkshake Day, enjoy a delicious milkshake for dessert tonight! To make your own at home, combine 2 cups of chocolate ice cream, 2 bars of dark chocolate candy (diced), and 1/2 cup whipped cream in a blender.  Garnish with more cream and chocolate shavings.  Enjoy! (Punchbowl.com)

     Another Empire was spared when the Athenian Army and their Plataean allies defeated a Persian invasion force on the plains near Marathon. (490 BC)  The battle established the phalanx as a viable military tactical formation.  The battle stopped the Persian attempt to take over the Greek City States, at least for the time being.  Anybody feel like going for a run?

     Big day for Emperor want-to-be Adolf Hitler (1919) joining the German Workers Party (Nazi).  He was originally sent by the German Army to spy on the group.  I would say he successfully infiltrated the organization.  He also has demanded autonomy and self-determination for the Germans of the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia (1938).  Give it to him and we'll have peace in our time.  To top the day off (1943), Hitler sent his top commando, Otto Skorzeny, to rescue his buddy Benito Mussolini, dictator of Italy, who had been put under house arrest in Italy.  He was being held on the mountain top resort on the Gran Sasso in Abruzzi.  The Germans launched a daring raid, landing a commando force on the mountain top and flying Mussolini off.  Skorzeny made the dueling scar fashionable again.

     While most of us spend our time sitting at a red light worrying about late it was going to make us, Leó Szilárd used his wait at a red light on Southampton Row in Bloomsbury to conceive the idea of the nuclear chain reaction (1933).  Maybe he was thinking about how many red lights he could blow up with an Atomic Bomb.

     When watching TV tonight tune in to NBC at 7:30 (1959) to view the premiere of Bonanza, it will be the first regularly scheduled TV program presented in color.  Ah, technology, what will we have next, stereo sound?

     Today we celebrate the birthdays of:

     1812 - Edward Shepherd Creasy - English historian (d. 1878) - His most famous work is Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World (1851). - Most of the battles deal with European Armies stopping barbarian invasions of Europe or battles involving England. A little ethnocentric wouldn't you say?

     1818 - Richard Jordan Gatling - invented the Gatling gun (d. 1903) - He developed the gun thinking that if he could make killing more efficient and deadly that it would discourage war.  Yea, right.

     1897 - Irène Joliot-Curie - French physicist - What else would a Curie be but a Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1956)

     1913 - Jesse Owens (d. 1980) - But would all those Gold Medals get him a seat at the coffee shop at Woolworth's?

 

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


Amazon Says: Haile Selassie, King of Kings, Elect of God, Lion of Judah, His Most Puissant Majesty and Distinguished Highness the Emperor of Ethiopia, reigned from 1930 until he was overth more...
Amazon Says: Haile Selassie, King of Kings, Elect of God, Lion of Judah, His Most Puissant Majesty and Distinguished Highness the Emperor of Ethiopia, reigned from 1930 until he was overthrown by the army in 1974. While the fighting still raged, Ryszard Kapuscinski, Poland's leading foreign correspondent, traveled to Ethiopia to seek out and interview Selassie's servants and closest associates on how the Emperor had ruled and why he fell. This "sensitive, powerful. . .history" (The New York Review of Books) is Kapuscinski's rendition of their accounts—humorous, frightening, sad, groteque—of a man living amidst nearly unimaginable pomp and luxury while his people teetered netween hunger and starvation. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Interspersed with Forrest Gump's unique reminiscences and observations, a collection of sixty mouth-watering chocolate recipes includes such scrumptious treats as Groovy Gra more...
Amazon Says: Interspersed with Forrest Gump's unique reminiscences and observations, a collection of sixty mouth-watering chocolate recipes includes such scrumptious treats as Groovy Grasshopper Pie and Chocolate Ping Pong Pound Cake. 200,000 first printing. IP. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: The Battle of Marathon in 490 BC is not only the most decisive event in the struggle between the Greeks and the Persians but, arguably a defining event for Western civilisatio more...
Amazon Says: The Battle of Marathon in 490 BC is not only the most decisive event in the struggle between the Greeks and the Persians but, arguably a defining event for Western civilisation. John Stuart Mill famously proposed 'the Battle of Marathon, even as an event in British history, is more important than the Battle of Hastings'. Richard A. Billows starts by providing a rich and detailed overview of the Greek world at a time leading up to Marathon, including an examination of the Greek concept of 'bestness' and a look at a prosperous, democratic Athens under Kleisthenes, which could, for the first time, deploy a citizen army in full panoply, to devastating effect against the lightly outfitted Persian infantry, despite its greater numbers. Key players include the Athenian general Miltiades, who, from the point of view of military history, was the first to utilize a totally oufitted hoplite phalanx to its fullest and develop the groundbreaking battle tactics in advance of the contest that provided the fulcrum for the Greeks' victory over King Darius' Persian army. The legend of the Greek messenger Philippides running twenty-six miles from Marathon to Athens with news of the Greek victory is the inspiration for our modern day marathon race, introduced at the Athens Olympic Games of 1896. Billows suggests, however, that the sources present it differently; with two runs- the messenger running 280 miles round trip to Sparta to ask for aid, and the entire Greek army in full panoply, after fierce ad exhausting fighting, marching at a rapid speed back to Athens in the event they were needed to defend its port. In this riveting work, Richard A. Billows fully creates the atmosphere of the times, engrossingly captures the drama of the day of battle, and convincingly demonstrates that the flowering of classical Greek culture - and the extraordinary influence it had on Western culture - would almost certainly not have occurred had not the Athenians, against the odds, defeated the Persians at Marathon. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Pulitzer Prize-winning historian John Toland’s classic, definitive biography of Adolf Hitler remains the most thorough, readable, accessible, and, as much as possible, objec more...
Amazon Says: Pulitzer Prize-winning historian John Toland’s classic, definitive biography of Adolf Hitler remains the most thorough, readable, accessible, and, as much as possible, objective account of the life of a man whose evil effect on the world in the twentieth century will always be felt. Toland’s research provided one of the final opportunities for a historian to conduct personal interviews with over two hundred individuals intimately associated with Hitler. At a certain distance yet still with access to many of the people who enabled and who opposed the führer and his Third Reich, Toland strove to treat this life as if Hitler lived and died a hundred years before instead of within his own memory. From childhood and obscurity to his desperate end, Adolf Hitler emerges as, in Toland’s words, “far more complex and contradictory . . . obsessed by his dream of cleansing Europe Jews . . . a hybrid of Prometheus and Lucifer.” less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Soon after its debut at the time of the Civil War, the Gatling gun changed the nature of warfare and the course of world history. Discharging 200 shots per minute with alarmin more...
Amazon Says: Soon after its debut at the time of the Civil War, the Gatling gun changed the nature of warfare and the course of world history. Discharging 200 shots per minute with alarming accuracy, the world's first machine gun became vitally important to protecting and expanding America's overseas interests. Its inventor, Richard Gatling, was famous in his own time for creating and improving many industrial designs, from bicycles and steamship propellers to flush toilets, though it was the gun design that would make his name immortal. A man of great business and scientific acumen, Gating used all the resources of the new mass age to promote sales across America and around the world. Ironically, Gatling actually proposed his gun as a way of saving lives, thinking it would decrease the size of armies and, therefore, make it easier to supply soldiers and reduce malnutrition deaths. The scientists who unleashed America's atomic arsenal less than a century later would see it much the same way. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Explores the personal life, athletic accomplishments, and career of Jesse Owens. more...
Amazon Says: Explores the personal life, athletic accomplishments, and career of Jesse Owens. less...
Amazon
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