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Today in History with a Twist: November 22, 2013

President Kennedy Assassinated!

     1963 - In Dallas, Texas, Lee Harvey Oswald, in his sniper's perch in the Texas Depository Building, fired on President John F. Kennedy's car as he paraded through Dallas.  The president was killed and Texas Governor John Connally was seriously wounded.  Oswald was later captured in a movie theater where he was trying to hide.  Prior to his capture he had been approached by Dallas police officer J. D. Tippit who he then killed.  Two days later Oswald was shot and killed by strip club owner Jack Ruby while in police custody.  Almost immediately after the assassination conspiracy theories began to emerge.  Most are based false testimony and twisted or misinterpreted facts.  I recommend the book 'Case closed' which debunks many of these theories.  Today there are still many people who believe a conspiracy does exist.  We may never really know. - For those of us old enough I'm sure you remember where you were at when you first heard about the shooting.  I was in the first grade and we were called into the school gymnasium where the principle made the announcement and then released us early for the day.  Where were you?

     On a totally different note today is National Cashew Day! Whether you like them plain, salted, roasted, or coated in sugar, cashews are a delicious treat!  Although cashews are popular in Thai, Indian, and Chinese cuisines, they are actually native to Brazil.  They have also been widely cultivated in India and Africa ever since the Portuguese exported them during the 16th century.  Did you know that parts of the cashew tree can be used for medicinal and manufacturing purposes?  Acid from the cashew nutshells is effective in healing tooth abscesses and the tree's seeds can be ground up into a powder and used as an antivenom for snake bites.  The oil from the nutshells is used in brake linings as well as in rubber and plastic materials. (Punchbowl.com)

     1307 - Under pressure from French King Philip IV Pope Clement V issues the papal bull Pastoralis Praeeminentiae which instructed all Christian monarchs in Europe to arrest all Templars and seize their assets.  Philip was heavily into debt to the Templars and this was most likely the reason for wanting them eliminated.  Most of the Templars would plead guilty to the charges against them, but only after they were the victims of torture. - Now where did they put that grail?

     1718 - Off the coast of North Carolina, British pirate Edward Teach ("Blackbeard") is killed in battle with a boarding party led by Royal Navy Lieutenant Robert Maynard.  There is much evidence that Blackbeard had more bark than bite in that he used his fearsome image to intimidate his victims but would treat them quite civilly after he captured them. - But people just don't like their money taken from them.

     1864 - Confederate General John Bell Hood invades Tennessee in an unsuccessful attempt to draw Union General William T. Sherman's March to the Sea away from Georgia. - Hard to change Sherman's mind once he's made his choice.

     1942 - German General Friedrich Paulus sends Adolf Hitler a telegram saying that the German 6th army in Stalingrad is surrounded.  The battle for the city had been going on since late summer of 1942 and the Germans had taken almost 90% of the city.  However the Russian counterattack, that had begun three days previously, trapped the German forces in the city.  Hitler ordered Paulus to stand fast and not to try and attempt to break out.  Goering promised Hitler he could keep the Army supplied by air and a relief attack, Operation Winter Storm, was planned.  Goering would fail to live up to his promise and the Operation Winter Storm would fall short.  The Axis would lose about 300,000 soldiers in the battle and the course of the war would now shift to the Russian's favor. - Never trust a fat man who paints his nails.

     1988 - In Palmdale, California, the first prototype B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is revealed. - Bet that more than a few of the UFO sitings at Area 51 were now explained.

     1987 - In Chicago two television stations are hijacked by an unknown pirate dressed as Max Headroom.  For those of you too young to remember, Max Headroom was a character created in England where 'he' had a talk show and would later be the star of an American television show.  The character was supposed to be a computer generated character that developed a real personality. - Modern day Pinocchio story?

Today's birthdays:

      1744 - Abigail Adams - Wife of John Adams, 2nd First Lady of the United States (d. 1818) - She is remembered for the many letters she wrote to her husband while he stayed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during the Continental Congresses, he sought her advice on many matters, and their letters are filled with intellectual discussions on government and politics. - Her son, John jr, didn't do too bad either.

     1940 - Terry Gilliam - American-English actor, director, and screenwriter - In case you haven't heard the remaining Pythons are reunited for a tour.

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


Treasure of the Templars by Tim Champlin
Amazon Says: It's 1898, and archeology professor Roddy McGinnis is supervising a dig in a medieval dungeon when he unearths the journal of Peter Stirling. A 16th-century Scottish knight, S more...
Amazon Says: It's 1898, and archeology professor Roddy McGinnis is supervising a dig in a medieval dungeon when he unearths the journal of Peter Stirling. A 16th-century Scottish knight, Stirling had died there after being tortured to reveal the location of the gold treasury of the Knights Templar. And now McGinnis has found the map to the treasure's resting place in the New World, where Stirling and a group of knights had been sent to hide it. But, although the ancient order of warrior monks was disbanded, a shadow organization survives. They have a political agenda -- and they want the treasure. less...
Amazon

Sherman's March To The Sea by General Jacob D. Cox
Amazon Says: Often hailed as a stroke of military genius, General William T. Sherman's decision to divide his command and his subsequent, infamous march through the interior of Georgia to more...
Amazon Says: Often hailed as a stroke of military genius, General William T. Sherman's decision to divide his command and his subsequent, infamous march through the interior of Georgia to the Atlantic coast inaugurated the final phase of the war. General Jacob D. Cox (1828–1900) played key roles in most of the decisive actions that followed. Left with Generals Schofield and Thomas to delay Hood's advance, Cox led his men through the night and at Spring Hill; he supervised the construction of the fortifications that proved so effective against Hood's assaulting columns at Franklin; at Nashville his division joined the attack on the crucial Confederate position at Shy's Hill; and later he finished his service with Sherman in North Carolina. It was Cox's self-professed qualities of "a bold heart, a cool head, and practical common-sense" that subsequently earned him the command of the entire Twenty-third Corps and the rank of major general. After the war, Cox applied those same attributes to his books, Sherman's Battle for Atlanta, and Sherman's March to the Sea, two volumes in the landmark series Campaigns of the Civil War. If readers are seeking concise, astute, and balanced accounts of Sherman's march to the sea, the burning of Columbia, the bloody battles of Franklin and Nashville, the oft-overlooked assault on Fort Fisher (which sealed the Confederacy from Europe), and the surrender of Johnston's Army, Cox's single volume provides all the scope, detail, and color that these critical campaigns demand. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: A compulsive narrative of the harrowing siege that was the psychological turning point of World War II, drawn from sources never-before seen by Western scholarsIn June 1941, G more...
Amazon Says: A compulsive narrative of the harrowing siege that was the psychological turning point of World War II, drawn from sources never-before seen by Western scholarsIn June 1941, German forces swept across Soviet territory in an offensive that finally brought them within twenty-five miles of Moscow. But in August 1942, the overconfident Hitler chose the wrong target, Stalin's namesake city on the Volga. The battle of Stalingrad is extraordinary in every way: the triumphant invader fought to a standstill; then the Soviet trap sprung, surrounding their attackers; and the terrible siege, with Germans starving and freezing, forced to fight on by a disbelieving Hitler.The story has never been told as Antony Beevor tells it here. He writes of the great Manichaean clash between Stalin and Hitler, and the strategic brilliance and fatal flaws of their generals. Stalingrad is first and foremost the story of the man on the ground, a soldier's-eye view of fighting house-to-house on an urban battlefield, with helpless civilians caught in the crossfire. Beevor has gained access to Russian reports on desertions and executions that have never been seen by Western scholars, German transcripts of prisoner interrogations, and private letters and diaries. These help re-create the compelling human drama of the most terrible battle in modern warfare. less...
Amazon

Bomber Planes by Jay Schleifer
Amazon Says: Describes the design of various types of bombers, their uses in combat, and their role in the future. more...
Amazon Says: Describes the design of various types of bombers, their uses in combat, and their role in the future. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: "Dearest Friend" is the biography of Abigail Adams, the unschooled minister's daughter who became the most influential woman in Revolutionary America. Rich with excerpts from more...
Amazon Says: "Dearest Friend" is the biography of Abigail Adams, the unschooled minister's daughter who became the most influential woman in Revolutionary America. Rich with excerpts from her incomparable letters and alive with the ferment of a new nation, "Dearest Friend" captures both the public and the private sides of this fascinating woman. She was a keen observer of the politics of her time and fully grasped the Revolution's implications for women and slaves. She was an advocate of black emancipation and urged her husband to "Remember the Ladies" as he framed the laws of their new country. John and Abigail Adams married for love, and their passion for each other endured for the fifty-four years of their marriage. They lived apart for more than a decade while John traveled in America and abroad to help begin a new country. Abigail remained at home for most of that time, writing letters to her "Dearest Friend," raising four children, managing a farm and the family finances, and keeping John informed of the political mood at home. This book chronicles their remarkable marriage, her blossoming feminism, her battles with the loneliness of separation, and her friendships with Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and other giants of her time. Intelligent, resourceful, and outspoken, Abigail Adams lived an uncommon life for a woman of her time. First published in 1981, "Dearest Friend" brings her legacy to our century. less...
Amazon
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