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: