Tag Archives: Princeton University

Nightmare on Bourbon Street—Saturday 30 May 2015—Western Civilization is Dead

I went on a rare walk down Bourbon Street last (Saturday) night. The behavior and demeanor of the people I saw made me want to vomit…. It’s time to reinstitute mass deportations of degenerates…. or perhaps even mass executions….there’s no point in trying to “reform” this many drunken, sex-obsessed, aimless people—send them all to whorehouses in Thailand… or give them a relatively painless death. They are of no use to themselves OR the rest of humanity….. but this is only part of my greatest gripe:

The remnants of the Great South are vanishing every day. The great moral and patriotic spirit of the Anglo-Saxon, German, Spanish and French Colonial people has been mostly, perhaps totally, extinguished. What’s especially sad is the view from here in New Orleans of the present day, once the greatest city and shining light of Southern and Western Civilization.

In 1860, Bourbon Street was something like the sum total of what Madison Avenue plus Fifth Avenue between 75th and 85th plus Central Park West are today—in the midst of the elite residences and commercial financial district was founded the greatest Opera House in the Western Hemisphere (aka “The French Opera”) at the corner of Toulouse and Bourbon.

Now, given the modern reality, I normally avoid Bourbon Street like the bubonic plague it so closely resembles, but when visitors come into town they ALWAYS want to see Bourbon Street. Last night was a typical Saturday night—mobbed with people, black and white, in the lowest stages of self-destructive, voluntary degeneracy.

The people, both black and white and “other” I saw out on Bourbon Street were mostly residents of the Southern USA, to the degree I could hear their accents in the hopeless cacophony and din… William Faulkner and Tennessee Williams wrote of what they perceived as the degeneracy of the ruined post-War, post-Reconstruction South—but they never saw ANYTHING as bad as the scene on Bourbon Street—on a normal Saturday night…

So today, all we can see today is the exact OPPOSITE of the spirit of patriotism and freedom that led to Revolution in 1776, Secession in 1860-61, and brave resistance 1954-1974. And now indeed, in the crowds of wretched humanity evidenced on Bourbon Street, what should have been the symbolic center of Southern and Western American Civilization, we see ONLY the offal (the waste and bi-products) of the world—they are to be pitied, up to a point, but I wish I didn’t have to look at them in MY favorite city.

And of all the great monuments to the Southern people, some commie-pinko bastard has been passing out fliers all over town “There are several hundred examples of white supremacist monuments in New Orleans, Here are about 2 dozen examples….” Starting of course with the Robert E. Lee obelisk and monument “@Lee Circle” but (somewhat ironically) even including “Judah Touro Hospital” because Judah Touro was a “Jewish slaveholder” and Tulane University because “Paul Tulane” (a northerner who graduated from Princeton University in New Jersey) “gave the most money to the Confederacy.”

The people are all anesthetized (temporarily?) or permanently brain dead…..Cry for our Beloved Country!

April 13: The Hunger Games, Judicial Immunity, and the Dawn of a New Dark Age

Life in its petty pace from day-to-day (and related notes on why I’m not on the California ballot)

Is it a coincidence that the California Secretary of State refused to approve me for a ballot place as candidate for the United States Senate Seat currently held by Diane Feinstein within 3 days of Facebook Canceling my profile because I was “promoting or organizing violence?”  Since I have never (to the best of my knowledge) advocated (much less “organized”) violence except to praise the spirit of continuing revolution, it was a great shock to me, but that was how my Spring season began.  (My long-time personal assistant and “Man Friday” Peyton assures me that I’ve never organized anything in my life, violent, peaceful, or indifferent)  

The snafu that led to my ballot position not being approved may yet prove the subject of a lawsuit, so I shan’t go into details except to say: California’s “Top Two, Voter Nominated” primary system only makes sense if non-professional political operatives (i.e. “voters”) are actually permitted to nominate candidates, and this requires a certain exercise of common sense on the part of the Registrar of Voters in each county as well as the Secretary of State.  Obviously, my supporters are largely battered down middle class working people who no longer trust the government to begin with.  They are anything BUT government insiders.  If only political insiders can maneuver the system then it is NOT a true “voter nominated” system.

I would guess that, in fact, the “top two” system was designed to protect the best funded insider candidates from even any hypothetical threat from outsiders like me, and that is, of course, a way of stifling change and preventing any real “dynamic” in the democratic process.  “Top two” primaries arguably serve a system well-designed to engender a “thousand year reich”, ironic indeed since one would think that individuals of Barbara Boxer’s, Diane Feinstein’s and Henry Waxman’s background and ethnic origins would not WANT a thousand year reich….but perhaps the quibble was with the identity of the master race destined to rule for a millennium, rather than whether a unitary elite should have such power…. forever.

Remembering V-for-Vendetta and Serenity from 2005-2006

The only redeeming feature of Spring 2012 so far is a new movie, which equals and possibly surpasses in political insight my (obvious, previous) all time favorite: V-for-Vendetta.   V-for-Vendetta was a futuristic science fiction (literally based on cartoon characters based on a four centuries old English school boys’  rhyme about a highly manipulated historical even in 1605) and as such it served as an allegory about 9-11 and the “W” Bush (43rd Presidential) administration in the USA.   The lead characters, the Guy Fawkes’ masked “V” (Hugo Weaving) and Evey Hammond” (Nathalie Portman), were an amazing couple NOT in love (at least not romantically, and not in any way at all, at least not until Evey’s post-mortem eulogy) were, as cartoon characters are, difficult to relate to any ordinary people one might encounter in life.  

The brilliance of V-for-Vendetta was the incisive treatment of 9-11 and all that had happened in and around that date under the Bush 43 administration: barely a stone was left unturned to expose the rotten mould and horrible colony of insect life underneath it.  The sad part about V-for-Vendetta is that it’s message apparently resonated with so few people.  

As a movie, it should have had a national impact on political thought, revealing the ruling government as an oligarchy of hypocrisy, lies and fear through government media manipulation concealing a simple policy of orchestrated terrorism attributed to foreigners, specifically Islamic fundamentalists, in the justification of never-ending war, even though it was in fact the brainchild policy of the government itself.  

Above all, V-for-Vendetta reminded us of Adolf Hitler’s brilliant but evil insight, that the great mass of people will sooner believe a great lie than a small one.  Another movie concerning a “big lie” by the government was Joss Whedon’s beautiful epic Serenity.  The tale of the outer-space “wild-west racially non-discriminatory confederates” was, in so many ways, merely the extra galactic, historically unspecific, parallel to V.  Unlike V, Serenity did not focus on any specific modern event like 9-11, but  very generally shared a focus on governmental experiments in biotechnology and psychological manipulation as the root of transformational events in human history.  Of course, Serenity very unusually and distinctively echoed and memorialized the injustice of the Confederate defeat at the hands of a technologically superior Centralized government (“the Federation”).

Die Hungerspiele von Panem/Die Tribute von Panem (Totliche Spiele) (You’re a Damn Confederate, aren’t you?)

The new movie which in my mind at least now threaten’s V-for-Vendetta’s supremacy as the greatest political movie of our time premiered on Friday March 23, and is of course, the Hunger Games. (I confess I have not read Suzanne Collins’ books—everything I say here is based on the movie and the movie alone, which I found absolutely overwhelming—but I didn’t read Gone with the Wind until I was 26, by which time I had seen the movie at leas 30 times in my life).  The Hunger Games lacks any of the cartoonish elements of V-for-Vendetta and Serenity (as much as I like and appreciate the genuinely artistic value of those elements).  

My suspicions of Collins’ perspectives as those of a not-so-closet Confederate sympathizer gain more than moderate a bolster from the knowledge that, although born in Connecticut, the author was the daughter of a Vietnam veteran and spent her High School (i.e. critical formative identity) years in the heart of Dixie, specifically in Alabama in the 1970s…. where she attended  high school at the Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham, where she was a Theater Arts major.  Oh yea, FWIW, the Alabama School of Fine Arts was founded by George Corley Wallace’s Wife, Governor Lurleen Wallace, in 1968, shortly before she tragically died of Cancer at age 41, and George Corley Wallace was Governor 1971-1979, all through Suzanne’s High School years.

Now, one way of looking at it is that, perhaps, the Hunger Games takes place after the collapse of the United States and Civil War to which the government news commentators in V-for-Vendetta made such frequent allusion.  According to those reports, the USA “the country that had everything” had become a “cesspool” of continental proportions due to its “Godlessness.”  While that’s a legitimate perspective, I think that the overwhelming weight of evidence and frame of reference in the Hunger Games is to the War of Southern Independence/War Between the States/War of 1861-1973, realizing that those dates are not the ones usually used in High School American History texts.

In fact, The Hunger Games in some of its visuals at least, almost approximates a kind of a futuristic Nanook of the North staged realism, focusing on the lives of the common people of the post-War (I mean Post-War Between the States) south, especially of the Appalachian regions of North Carolina (where The Hunger Games was filmed “on site”).  As in Whedon’s Serenity, the strong suggestion of Confederate nostalgia and sympathy is, to my mind at least, absolutely undeniable.  

It is too much to ask that we NOT see parallels to the War of 1861-65 and its aftermath when the “Treaty of the Treason” and “War” movie both recite that 13 Districts of “Panem” (“Panem” to my eyes sounds like a Hellenized partial translation of “E Pluribus Unum“, cf. Pangea) rose up against the Paternalistic “Welfare” Government that “fed them, protected them, cared for them”, that the District 12 setting is so obviously the REAL Southern landscape of coal-mining Appalachia, and that the poor whites of District 12 have a closely parallel lives and culture to at least the partially segregated black-African dominated population of District 11.

Without wanting totally to “spoil” the Hunger Games for anyone who hasn’t seen it, I will just summarize my interpretation of its wild popularity this way (aside from the obvious: a very human love story about two extraordinarily mature for their age teenagers who were unlikely ever to have fallen in love, but end up being “perfect” for each other, played by a genuinely handsome “All American Boy” lead and beautiful soft-spoken and emotional “Tomboy-type-Girl” who is so hot she literally sets her red dress on fire, combined with lots of action): Even though most Americans are not in fact hungry for food (that is the “Nano of the North” element reality of the starving South of 1865-1950, seeing oppressed, hard-working, underdogs whose primary source of protein was from very small game—squirrels, because the deer were almost all hunted out) people are clearly hungry for genuine justice and a fair playing field. (For one alternative, but to my mind, quite beautifully written and  excellent review of the Hunger Games, I recommend “The Feminist Spectator” by Princeton University’s Jill Dolan, published on April 4: http://www.feministspectator.blogspot.com/.  I somehow doubt that Professor Dolan would agree with me on the strong Confederate Sympathies implicit in The Hunger Games but there was once a President of Princeton University, the only Ph.D. ever to become President of the USA in fact, who thought that Birth of a Nation was the greatest historical drama in history, and portrayed the reality of his native south perfectly—unfortunately, that was also the Democratic President who signed into law (1) the 16th Amendment and Federal Income Tax, (2) the Federal Reserve Banking System, and the (3) the 17th Amendment, namely Woodrow Wilson….)

Hunger for Justice and Freedom

Like the residents of the 13 oppressed Districts of Panem, despite all government hypocrisy and lies to the contrary Americans both you and old today know that the odds are NOT in their favor and that, in fact, the odds are fairly hopelessly stacked against them.  And yet the system has this tiny escape valve: that about 1 in every 24 people can make it rich.  That is, one-in-twenty four of the oppressed can make it rich IF they’re willing to “play the government’s game” and basically, kill a lot of their fellow citizens in the process.  As of this April 13, 2012, I have seen the Hunger Games 5 times, and each time I’ve liked it more, seen more details.  I will have to read the books before completely integrating it into my thought processes about modern pop-cultural reaction to the impending doom that this American Life obviously faces, but I submit to you: the American people (on the whole, and certainly as a population compared to many parts of the world at the present and throughout history) may not be starving or hungry for food, but they hunger for justice and an even playing field, and they do not “relish” the very real prospect of a thousand years of subservience to “the government that feeds, them clothes them, takes care of them.”

Of Time and Space and Presidential Succession in the Leap Years…..

The Hunger Games takes place on the 74th anniversary of the institution of these gladiatorial combats.  The significance of that 74 years has bothered me.  On the one hand, it COULD refer to 1860 (the election of Abraham Lincoln and the secession of “District 1, South Carolina…) + 74 = 1934, the year in which Roosevelt’s New Deal started WPA reorganization of the South in earnest, or it could refer to the original publication date of the book, 2008, as the 74th year since 1934—or it could refer to both.  The coincidence, again, is hard to avoid.  1934 was the first full year of (de facto) Socialist Dictatorship in the United States (Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected in 1932, took office in March 1933, and many of his first year legislative proposals only took effect in 1934).  2008, 74 years later, Barack Hussein Obama, the first Communist President of the United States, was elected and took office, “perfecting” or at least completing the process begun by Abraham Lincoln in 1860, a mere 12 years after the publication of the Communist Manifesto in London in 1848.  (See Al Benson, Jr., & Walter Donald Kennedy’s 2011: Lincoln’s Marxists, Pelican Publishing, Gretna Louisiana, a fine historical summary of the connexion between Communism and Central government predominance in the USA, a historical summary which is easy to read although not nearly well-enough documented with footnotes and source citations as professional historians would like and scholars generally would appreciate).

Another aspect of the Hunger Games is the correlation between the oppressive Central government of Panem and Edward Gibbons’ the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, on the one hand, and a heartless, Machiavellian version of the Social Darwinism of the late 19th century on the other.  The capital of Panem is degenerate in a distinctly Roman Imperial Silver Age manner (Rome’s “Silver Age” normally said to run from the death of Augustus in A.D. 14 through the death of Marcus Aurelius in A.D. 180).  Nero and even Caracalla (“Post-Silver Age” Emperor from A.S. 198-217) would have felt quite at home in the Capitol of Panem, I think.  But the “Emperor” himself is a distinctly late 19th century Anglo-American type (President Snow, played by Donald Sutherland), who has a Romano-“Robber-Baron’s” scorn for the “underdog” without any explanation or moral justification, just the political desire to keep himself and his world on top and everyone else underneath.  President Snow appears to share none of the cultural degeneracy of the Capital, but has a great deal in common with aristocratic Victorian gardeners of the late 19th century.  

Snow’s name is English, as are most of the names of the characters known from District 12.  Most of the residents of the Capitol City, however, and apparently of Districts 1-2, have Roman names: “Cato”, “Caesar”, “Seneca”, “Octavia”, and “Claudius” just to name a few…..  

So the Hunger Games follows the pattern of Serenity and V-for-Vendetta in another distinctly modern way (although all these movies do it well, and for good purposes and effect, quite a few others, such as Captain America and [the movie that I dread most]—Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer, do it very poorly and for improper purposes): historical metaphors and mythic realities are conflated, merged, and reorganized.

NOX OCCIDIT (“NIGHT FALLS”)

In any event, there is a Leonard Cohen song that summarizes why the Hunger Games, as a historical-mythological and futuristic allegory of injustice and game rigging, is so wildly popular, and that song is:

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that it’s me or you
And everybody knows that you live forever
Ah when you’ve done a line or two
Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old Black Joe’s still pickin’ cotton
For your ribbons and bows
And everybody knows

And everybody knows that the Plague is coming
Everybody knows that it’s moving fast
Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
Are just a shining artifact of the past
Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there’s gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows

And everybody knows that you’re in trouble
Everybody knows what you’ve been through 
From the bloody cross on top of Calvary 
To the beach of Malibu 
Everybody knows it’s coming apart
Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
Before it blows
And everybody knows

The saddest difference between V-for-Vendetta and Serenity on the one hand and the Hunger Games on the other is the complete transparency of the society of Panem: “Everybody knows that the system’s rotten…. everybody knows that the war is over, everybody knows that the good guys lost.”  Everybody knows that the government that feeds the people, clothes them, and cares for them does not like underdogs.  President Snow is a late 19th Century-styled  avatar of George H.W. Bush (41st), Bill Clinton, George W. Bush (43rd), & Barack Hussein Obama all rolled into one.  

At least in V-for-Vendetta and Serenity, there still existed the apparent hope that revelation of truth could lead to revolution and change. 

But now President Obama signs the National Defense Authorization Act allowing indefinite detention of American Citizens on American soil without charges or trial, and he does so unblinkingly and unabashedly.  President Obama jingoistically adopts the dead Trayvon Martin as his own son in an effort to exacerbate racial tensions and divisions to his advantage in an election year at the same time that he tells the AIPAC Conference that he supports Israel’s quest to maintain ethnic homogeneity and integrity.  

There are no secrets in modern America, our Joseph Stalin, aka President Obama, has no need of Hitlerian, Rooseveltian, or “W” Bushian type “Big Lie”—he tells us all that he wants the power to take away all our rights, but asks us to trust him that he won’t really do it—except in the case of real underdogs, like, I guess, for example, George Zimmerman?  And speaking of that, how many of you imagine that George Zimmerman, whether he be called White, Hispanic, or Jewish, or all of the above, will get a fair trial?

So now to celebrate April 13 even further: WHERE WILL WE BE 74 years from now, or from 2008, say in 2082?  I predict we may well be in a New Dark Age, and not just because I’m not on the California Ballot for this year (although that is symptomatic).  

So far as “fixed games” go, what could be worse than a criminal prosecution set by agreement between Judges and prosecutors arranged through bribes?  Is that the American Way?  We wouldn’t like to think so.  In 1980, the year I graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences at Tulane and started graduate school at Harvard, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California said that “fixing” cases was not a normal judicial function and that no judicial immunity could attach to such activities: Rankin v Howard 633 F2d 844 _9th Circuit December 5 1980.  A short six years later, that same Ninth Circuit reversed itself and found judicial immunity from civil suit for such activities: Ashelman v Pope 793 F2d 1072 *EN BANC* 9th Circuit 1986

But the outrageous history of the suppression of judicial immunity just goes on and on through the subsequent citation history of Ashelman v. Pope to show how official immunity for prosecutors and the executive branch has almost merged with Judicial immunity to the point that the government is just one big immune mass of oppression against the people, and the modern government of E Pluribus Unum, aka “Panem” can prosecute you, jail you, and torture you, with complete immunity.

March 5, 2011, Inauguration of (unelected) Rutherford B. Hayes (1877), Impeachment of Andrew Johnson (1868), the Boston Massacre (1770), First Temperance Law in America (1623), Copernicus “De Revolutionibus” Banned (1616), 3rd Lateran Council (1179)—on the whole March 5 has not been a good day for Civil Rights in History

March 5 Events in History
 

I confess to have plagiarized the skeleton for this day in history from another site called “www.brainyhistory.com”, although there’s honestly nothing so very brainy about this particular list—see the lack of historically important or even relevant events for most of the 20th century.   However, it seemed like as good a source as any and I have added my own comments where appropriate, so there is “value added” here.  However, I think the list of events in itself is notable: for most of the 20th century, the only events recorded occurred in the entertainment and sports arenas.  Real historical events are largely absent from the 20th century record, although a few start being listed in the 19th century.   In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, a mindless addiction to sports, entertainment, and film entertainment (including television), together with free love (consequence and even emotion-free) sex plus constantly piped music in public places, were all integral and indispensable elements and aspects of the world- governmental plan, together with drugs, to keep a zombified and mostly uneducated population completely under control and docile.   In Edward Gibbons’ Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, the historian has a throw-away comment which has become popularized about how the empire entertained and controlled the masses with “bread and circuses”.  It is hard not to feel that there are certain parallels and genuine structural-functional kinship between the socio-political reality of 2nd-3rd century Rome and the modern worldwide “Pax Americana”. The average American can name more sports and movie stars than senators or representatives, and nobody seems happier with this situation than sports and movie stars AND senators and representatives, the latter largely operating behind the scenes occupied by the more flamboyant social and sex lives of the former.   If people think too much, they become dissatisfied, so play music constantly, blast television constantly, and make sure that there is little or no political or philosophical content to either.  That is how you keep a good, quiet, unfree but not unhappy population…..

2010 Gordon Brown, United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, gives evidence to the Iraq Inquiry
1997 Tommy Lasorda, Nellie Fox and Willie Wells for Hall of Fame
1996 Earl Weaver and Jim Bunning, elected to Hall of Fame
1995 21st People’s Choice Awards: Tim Allen wins
1995 Estonia Centrumlinkse Coalition party wins parliamentary election
1995 Graves of czar Nicholas and family found in St. Petersburg
1995 Marc Velzeboer skates world record 3 km short track (5:00.26)
1994 Dottie Mochrie wins Chrysler-Plymouth Tournament of Golf Championship
1994 Largest milkshake (1,955 gallons of chocolate-Nelspruit South Africa)
1994 PBA National Championship won by David Traber
1994 Singer Grace Slick arrested for pointing a gun at a cop
1993 Boston Celtic Larry Bird undergoes backfusion surgery
1993 Fokker 100 crashes at Skopje Macedonia, 81 die
1993 Former Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry divorces his wife Effi
1993 Marlins beat Astros 12-8 in their 1st spring training game
1992 Ethic committee votes to reveal congressmen who bounced checks
1991 Iraq repealed its annexation of Kuwait
1991 Reggie Miller (Indiana) begins NBA free throw streak of 52 games
1989 19th Easter Seal Telethon raises $37,002,000
1989 Blains McCallister wins Honda Golf Classic shooting 266
1989 Elly Verhulst runs world record 3000 m indoor (8:33.82)
1986 “Today” tabloid launched (Britain’s 1st national color newspaper)
1985 New York Islander Mike Bossy is 1st to score 50 goals in 8 straight seasons
1984 Supreme Court (5-4): city may use public money for Nativity scene
1984 U.S. accuse Iraq of using poison gas
1983 Bob Hawke (Labour) defeats Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser (Cons)
1983 NSW beat Western Australia by 54 runs to win Sheffield Shield
1982 Gaylord Perry (with 297 wins) signs with Seattle Mariners
1982 Russian spacecraft Venera 14 lands and sends back data from Venus
1981 “Bring Back Birdie” opens at Martin Beck Theater New York City for 4 performances
1981 Ice Dance Championship at Hartford won by Jayne Torvill and C Dean (GRB)
1981 Ice Pairs Champ at Hartford won by Irina Vorobieva and I Lisovski (URS)
1981 Men’s Figure Skating Champions in Hartford won by Scott Hamilton (USA)
1981 U.S. government grants Atlanta $1 million to search for black boy murderer
1980 Earth satellites record gamma rays from remnants of supernova N-49
1979 Voyager I’s closest approach to Jupiter (172,000 miles)
1978 “Hello, Dolly!” opens at Lunt-Fontanne Theater New York City for 152 performances
1978 Landsat 3 launched from Vandenberg AFB, California
1976 British pounds falls below $2 for 1st time
1974 “Candide” opens at Broadway Theater New York City for 740 performances
1974 Ralph Stewart failed in 2nd Islander penalty shot
1973 Yankee pitchers Peterson and Kekich announce they swapped wives
1972 Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis leaves Communist Party
1970 Edison Theater opens at 240 W 47th St. New York City
1970 Nuclear non-proliferation treaty goes into effect
1970 SDS Weathermen terrorist group bomb 18 West 11th St. in New York City
1969 Gold reaches then record high ($47 per ounce) in Paris
1969 Gustav Heinemann elected president of West-Germany
1969 Joe Orton’s “What the Butler Saw,” premieres in London
1968 U.S. launches Solar Explorer 2 to study the Sun
1967 WEDN TV channel 53 in Norwich, CT (PBS) begins broadcasting
1966 75 MPH air currents causes BOAC 707 crash into Mount Fuji, 124 die
1966 Bob Seagren pole vaults 5.19m indoor world record
1966 Player reps elect Marvin Miller, as executive director of Players’ Association
1966 U.S. performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
1965 1st performance of Walter Piston’s 8th Symphony
1965 Ernie Terrel beats Eddie Machen in 15 for heavyweight boxing title
1964 Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen, Jr., announces a baseball team is moving there
1964 Emergency crisis proclaimed in Ceylon due to social unrest
1963 Beatles record “From Me to You” and “Thank You Girl”
1962 U.S. performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
1960 Elvis Presley ends 2-year hitch in U.S. Army
1960 Ice Dance Championship at Vancouver won by Denny and Jones (GRB)
1960 Ice Pairs Championship at Vancouver won by Wagner and Paul (CAN)
1960 Men’s Figure Skating Championship in Vancouver won by Alain Giletti (FRA)
1960 Worlds Ladies Figure Skating Champions in Vanc won by Carol E Heiss (USA)
1959 Iran and U.S. sign economic / military treaty
1958 Explorer 2 fails to reach Earth orbit
1958 KDUH TV channel 4 in Scottsbluff-Hay Spring, NB (ABC) 1st broadcast
1957 Eamon de Valera’s Fianna Fail-party wins election in Ireland
1957 Sergeant Bilko satirizes Elvis Presley (Elvis Pelvin)
1956 “King Kong,” 1st televised
1956 Mickey Wright wins LPGA Jacksonville Golf Open
1955 WBBJ TV channel 7 in Jackson, Tennessee (ABC) begins broadcasting
1954 “Girl in Pink Tights” opens at Mark Hellinger New York City for 115 performances
1952 Terence Rattigan’s “Deep Blue Sea,” premieres in London
1949 Bradman plays his last innings in 1st-class cricket, gets 30
1948 Actor Eli Wallach marries actress Anne Jackson
1948 U.S. rocket flies record 4800 KPH to 126k height
1946 Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech in Fulton, Missouri; nothing has ever happened in Fulton, Missouri, before or since he spoke there.
1945 Allies bombs The Hague, Netherlands
1945 Generals Eisenhower, Patton and Patch meet in Luneville
1945 U.S. 7th Army Corps captures Cologne
1945 U.S. Ladies Figure Skating championship won by Gretchen Merrill
1944 1st performance of Walter Piston’s 2nd Symphony
1943 Anti fascist strikes in Italy ultimately lead to collapse of Mussolini and Italy’s realignment with the Anti-Fascist Allies, spelling ultimate doom for Hitler’s Germany.
1943 RAF bombs Essen, Rhineland, Germany
1942 Tito establishes 3rd Proletariat Brigade in Bosnia
1942 Dmitri Shostakovich’ 7th Symphony, premieres in Siberia
1942 Japanese troop march into Batavia
1936 Spitfire makes it’s 1st flight (Eastleigh Aerodrome in Southampton)
1935 1st premature baby health law in U.S. (Chicago)
1934 Mother-in-law’s day 1st celebrated (Amarillo, Texas)
1933 Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaims 10-day bank holiday
1933 Germany’s Nazi Party wins majority in parliament (43.9%-17.2M votes)
1931 Gandhi and British viceroy Lord Irwin sign pact
1928 Karl Zuckmayer’s “Der Hauptmann von Kopenick,” premieres in Berlin
1927 1,000 U.S. Marines land in China to protect American property
1924 Computing-Tabulating-Recording Corp becomes IBM
1924 Frank Carauna, becomes 1st to bowl 2 successive perfect 300 games
1924 King Hussein of Hedzjaz appoints himself kalief
1923 1st old age pension plans in U.S. established by Montana and Nevada
1922 “Nosferatu” premieres in Berlin; Vampires of the World Unite!  You have nothing to lose but your Crypts—you have a World of Cinema and Television shows and popular cultural immortality (“immortality”, a Latin rooted word = “athanati” in Greek = “undead” in English).
1919 Louis Hirsch and Harold Atteridge’s musical premieres in New York City
1917 1st jazz recording for Victor Records released
1912 Spanish steamer “Principe de Asturias” sinks NE of Spain, 500 die
1910 Ramon Inclan’s “La Farsa Infantil de la Cabeza del Dragon,” premieres
1910 Stanley Cup: Montreal Wanderers beat Ottawa Senators, 3-1
1908 1st ascent of Mount Erebus, Antarctica 

1908 Rex Harrison, born in England, actor, My Fair Lady, Dr. Doolittle

 

1907 1st radio broadcast of a musical composition aired
1903 Definitive treaty for construction of Baghdad railway drawn
1900 American Hall of Fame found
1899 1st performance of Edward MacDowell’s 2nd Concerto in D 

1898 Zhou Enlai, Chinese Statesman
1897 Mei-ling Soong, Madame Chiang Kai-shek

 

1896 Italian premier Crispi resigns
1896 Italians governor of Eritrea, General Baldissera, reaches Massawa
1894 Seattle authorizes 1st municipal employment office in U.S. 

1893 Emmett J. Culligan, founder of water treatment organization

 

1877 Rutherford B. Hayes inaugurated as 19th U.S. president; he was the First United States President until George W. Bush in 2000 who was neither fairly elected in the popular vote nor electoral college.  The real winner of the election of 1876 was Samuel J. Tilden, previously Mayor of New York City and Governor of New York, prosecutor of “Boss Tweed” and general White Hat Good Guy Democrat who promised the restoration of civil order and White Rule in the South after the atrocities of Reconstruction and the War Between the States.  President Ulysses S. Grant was suspicious of Tilden and most Republicans were simply unwilling to accept Tilden as President under any conditions.   Constitutional collapse was averted, as it was in 2000, by a massive subversion of the constitution and thwarting of popular will expressed through the ballot.   The “Compromise of 1877” led to the Inauguration of the defeated Republican Candidate Rutherford B. Hayes and the withdrawal of United States Troops from the South, returning de facto and de jure power to White Supremacist (formerly Confederate) majorities throughout the South.  Samuel J. Tilden retired to endow, build, and develop both Central Park and the New York Public Library.  He is one of the unsung heroes of American History.  He could fairly easily have started a second Civil War (with New York this time squarely on the side of the South—there were pro-Southern and anti-Union Draft riots in New York during the four year conflict) but instead Tilden accepted the corrupt result of the Compromise of 1877 to avoid the further destruction to which war would inevitably have led.
1872 George Westinghouse, Jr. patents triple air brake for trains 

1871 Maria do Carmo Geronimo, Brazilian lives to be at least 126
1870 [B] Franc[lin] Norris, U.S., writer, McTeague, Octopus
1870 Rosa Luxemburg, Polish Activist
1869 Michael von Faulhaber, cardinal and archbishop of Munich

 

1868 Arrigo Boito’s opera “Mefistofele,” premieres in Milan
1868 Stapler patented in England by C. H. Gould; plain white paper would never be safe again from repeated stabbing and mutilation.
1868 U.S. Senate organizes to decide charges against President Andrew Johnson; this was not the only idiotic impeachment trial ever actually held in the United States.  The charges against Andrew Johnson were basically that he was being too kind and lenient to his crushed homeland—the Southern United States, after the failure of Constitutional government led to secession and “Civil War” between the States in 1861-65.  As preposterous and unjust as the charges against Johnson were, the charges against William Jefferson Clinton tried in January-February 1999 were even stupider, arising from the President’s dalliance with White House Intern named Monica Lewinsky.  The people of the world for the most part simply looked at the idiots who put Clinton on trial and shook their heads.  The only socially important result of the Clinton Impeachment/Monica Lewinsky trial was that fellatio (female-to-male oro-genital sex) has been generally defined as “not sex” in American culture.  This preposterous result rests on the heads of Bill Clinton and his lawyers, and on his wife Hillary, who is now Secretary of State.
1864 1st track meet between Oxford and Cambridge
1862 Union troops under Brigadier-General Wright occupy Fernandina (on Amelia Island), in far Northeast Florida (Nassau County, north of Jacksonville, next to the Georgia Border).  Fernandina Island has one of the most bizarre histories in the South, as the site of a “Republic of Pirates” in the early years of the Nineteenth Century and many expeditionary exploits relating to U.S.-Spanish relations and the Independence Movement (and U.S. “Manifest Destiny”) in Mexico, Central, and South America.  Amelia Island/Fernandina was a major port for the slave-trade (officially abolished by law, and pursuant to the Constitution, in 1807).
1856 Covent Garden Opera House destroyed in a fire; it was rebuilt in order to serve as the opening setting for “My Fair Lady” starring Rex Harrison, born on this day in 1908…..
1856 Georgia becomes 1st state to regulate railroads; it is not clear whether General William Tecumsah Sherman violated any of the Georgia State Railroad regulations during his March to the Sea and burning of Atlanta in the fall of 1864, or whether the trains continued to operate pursuant to those regulations at all during the Yankee occupation….. Georgia railroads are shown in the movie “Gone with the Wind” but whether or not this portrayal is accurate no evidence of regulation is used as a plot device.   It seems likely that Sherman may have slowed railroad commerce in Georgia appreciably, thus defeating the purpose of the regulations.
1849 Zachary Taylor sworn in as 12th president
1845 Congress appropriates $30,000 to ship camels to western U.S.
1836 Samuel Colt manufactures 1st pistol, 34-caliber “Texas” model—this was during the Texas Revolution, 3 days after the Texas Declaration of Independence at Washington-on-the-Brazos and one day before the Fall of the Alamo on March 6, 1836. 

1824 James Merritt Ives, lithographer, Currier and Ives

 

1821 Monroe is 1st President inaugurated on March 5th, because 4th was Sun
1820 Dutch city of Leeuwarden forbids Jews to go to synagogues on Sundays 

1817 Austen H. Layard, British archaeologist and diplomat

 

1807 1st performance of Ludwig von Beethoven’s 4th Symphony in B
1795 Amsterdam celebrates Revolution on the Dam; Square of Revolution
1795 Treaty of Basel-Prussia ends war with France
1783 King Stanislaus Augustus Poniatowski grants rights to Jews of Kovno
1770 Boston Massacre, British troops kill 5 in crowd was the culmination of civilian-military tensions that had been growing since royal troops first appeared in Massachusetts in October 1768. The soldiers were in Boston to keep order in face of the growing discontent with the heavy taxation imposed by the Townshend acts. But townspeople viewed them not as order keepers but as oppressors and threats to independence. Brawls became common.In 1768, the Commissioners of Customs, who acquired their jobs in Britain and drew their pay from what they collected in America, were so intimidated by the resistance they met in Boston that they demanded military protection. Boston’s fifteen thousand or so residents were clearly the worst malcontents on the North American continent. It was imperative that they be put in their place. 

General Thomas Gage (Commander In Chief of the British Army in America) agreed and ordered the regiments (under the command of British Lt. Colonel William Dalrymple), the “14th West Yorkshire Fuseliers,” and the “29th Worcestershire,” to Boston, which would arrive from Halifax in September. Six weeks later the “64th” and “65th” Regiments, with an addition of a detachment of the “59th” Regiment and a train of artillery with two cannon — in all about 700 men — arrived from Ireland to protect the men who collected customs duties for the King of England. To the people of Boston the coming of the troops was outrageous. They had been fighting for years against infringement by Britain of their right to tax themselves.

In one of the most famous and elaborate of Paul Revere’s engravings, Landing of British Troops at Boston, it shows the arrival of the red-coated British troops. Revere wrote that the troops “formed and marched with insolent parade, drums beating, fifes playing, and colours flying, up King Street. Each soldier having received 16 rounds of powder and ball.” Troops of the 29th, unable to secure lodgings in town, pitched tents on the common. The stench from their latrines wafted through the little city on every breeze.

When Colonel Dalrymple requested that all of his men be assigned to the homes of citizens, the Boston council took a firm stand. It declared that citizens were not required to furnish quarters until all the barracks space was filled, and Castle William, in the harbor, had plenty of empty berths. Besides, British Redcoats had already made a deep impression upon Americans during the French and Indian War. These career soldiers were widely regarded as being surly, brutal, and greedy; and no man of any sense was ready to see even one of them put into the house with his wife and daughters.

Governor Bernard, however, had counted upon dispersing the troops into the homes of malcontents as a way of putting pressure upon them. He declared that concentrating soldiers at Castle William would thwart the decisions made in London. The Boston councilmen held firm and refused to budge. Desperate, the governor designated empty factory buildings and small, empty buildings throughout the city to the troops.

Even under normal circumstances the presence of General Thomas Gage’s troops (nearly one for every four inhabitants) would have led to trouble. Now, the imposition of an occupation force on a city already torn with strife, made bloodshed a foregone conclusion.

By 1770 Boston was an occupied town. It had been compelled to accept the presence of four regiments of British regulars. For eighteen months they had treated the inhabitants with insolence, posted sentries in front of public offices, engaged in street fights with the town boys, and used the Boston Common for flogging unruly soldiers and exercising troops (then acting governor, Lt. Governor Thomas Hutchinson of Massachusetts, refuted these allegations).

It began when a young barber’s apprentice by the name of Edward Garrick shouted an insult at Hugh White, a soldier of the 29th Regiment on sentry duty in front of the Customs House (a symbol of royal authority). White gave the apprentice a knock on the ear with the butt of his rifle. The boy howled for help, and returned with a sizable and unruly crowd, cheifly boys and youths, and, pointing at White, said, “There’s the son of a bitch that knocked me down!” Someone rang the bells in a nearby church. This action drew more people into the street. The sentry found himself confronting an angry mob. He stood his ground and called for the main guard. Six men, led by a corporal, responded. They were soon joined by the officer on duty, Captain John Preston of the “29th,” with guns unloaded but with fixed bayonets, to White’s relief.

The crowd soon swelled to almost 400 men. They began pelting the soldiers with snowballs and chunks of ice. Led by a huge mulatto, Crispus Attucks, they surged to within inches of the fixed bayonets and dared the soldiers to fire. The soldiers loaded their guns, but the crowd, far from drawing back, came close, calling out, “Come on you rascals, you bloody backs, you lobster scoundrels, fire if you dare, God damn you, fire and be damned, we know you dare not,” and striking at the soldiers with clubs and a cutlass.

Whereupon the soldiers fired, killing three men outright and mortally wounding two others. The mob fled. As the gunsmoke cleared, Crispus Attucks (left) and four others lay dead or dying. Six more men were wounded but survived.

Captain Preston, the soldiers, and four men in the Customs House alleged to have fired shots from it were promptly arrested, indicted for murder, and held in prison pending trial for murder in the Massachusetts Superior Court, which prudently postponed the trial until the fall, thus giving the people of Boston and vicinity from whom the jury would be drawn, time to cool off.

All troops were immediately withdrawn from town. John Adams defended the soldiers at their trials (Oct. 24-30 and Nov. 27-Dec. 5, 1770); Preston and four men were acquitted, while two soldiers were found guilty of manslaughter and released after being branded on the hand.

The calm with which the outcome of the trials was accepted doubtless was attributable in large measure to the evidence at the trials that the soldiers had not fired until they were attacked. But another important factor was the withdrawl of the troops from Boston immediately after the “Massacre.” The sending of British warships and troops to Boston for the protection of the American Customs Board and the “Massacre” resulting from the prescence of troops there were, however, ultimately of great significance in the movement toward the revolution.

The “Massacre” served as anti-British propaganda for Boston radicals and elsewhere heightened American fears of standing armies.

1766 Don Antonio de Ulloa takes possession of Louisiana Terr from French, three years after formal transfer of Louisiana West of the Mississippi from French to Spanish ownership in 1763.  His governorship was so ineffective and unpopular that there was a rebellion against Spanish Rule in 1768 which exiled Uloa and briefly restored French “Independence” from New Orleans to St. Louis, but this state of affairs lasted less than nine months (October 27, 1768-July 19, 1769) and ended when Irish-Spanish “Wild Goose” Count Alejandro O’Reilly, born in Dublin in 1722, arrived from Cuba with 2000 Spanish troops, arrested, tried, and executed five of the French Leaders of the short-lived rebellion.  It was a little known and rare occurrence for the White Creoles of the New World to rise up against their Colonial Masters, and this little episode in Louisiana history has gone largely ignored and forgotten for its lack of socio-historical progeny—and for the economic success Spanish “Luisiana” after O’Reilly’s repression of the French Creole uprising.  O’Reilly himself spent less than a year in New Orleans.
1760 Princess Carolina marries General Charles Christian van Nassau-Weilburg
1750 1st American Shakespearean production-“altered” Richard III, New York City
1746 Jacobite troops evacuate Aberdeen, Scotland, so hurriedly that they left a large stock of muskets and gunpowder which fall into the hands of the British and are no longer part of the arsenal in support of Bonnie Prince Charlie which met its final defeat one month and 11 days later on Culloden Muir just outside of Inverness to the east on April 16, 1746.  It was not the sort of withdrawal that makes its way into heroic ballads—one of the Jacobite officers is said to have left his pet cat sleeping in front of the fireplace.  (But history does not appear to record what disposition King George’s Government might have made of the feline aligned with the maligned malcontents who maladroitly miscarried their miniature move towards reverse (anti-Hanoverian) regime change.
1743 1st U.S. religious journal, The Christian History, published by Thomas Prince, Pastor of Boston’s Old South Church throughout , Boston to report on the revivals sweeping America and Europe. One who notably and memorably wrote to Prince in relation to “The Christian History” was Connecticut’s (and Yale University’s) “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”/”The Ends for Which God Created Earth” preacher (and Vice-President/Killer of Alexander Hamilton—Aaron Burr’s Grandfather) Jonathan Edwards, who described the “Great Awakening” and changes taking place in Northampton (Massachusetts): “There has been vastly more religion kept up in the town, among all sorts of persons, in religious exercises, and in common conversation, than used to be before: there has remain’d a more general seriousness and decency in attending the publick worship; there has been a very great alteration among the youth of the town, with respect to revelling, frolicking, profane and unclean conversation, and lewd songs: instances of fornication have been very rare: there has also been a great alteration amongst both old and young with respect to tavern-haunting. I suppose the town has been in no measure so free of vice in these respects, for any long time together, for this sixty years, as it has been this nine years past. There has also been an evident alteration with respect to a charitable spirit to the poor.” The Christian History ran only two years. However, it’s founder, Thomas Prince was so influential that Prince Street and Princeton, Massachusetts were named after him. Francis Asbury, famed Methodist bishop, described reading the work with profit.  Jonathan Edwards died while President of the College of New Jersey, which also later became known as “Princeton”.
1684 Emperor Leopold I, Hapsburg Holy Roman Kaiser, the Kingdom of Poland, and the Republic Venice signed the “Holy Alliance of Linz”, whereby these three countries would form an alliance against the Turks, who were storing way too much gunpowder in the Parthenon, leading to that beautiful temple’s tragic destruction, but the truth is that the Ottoman Empire by this time was already stagnate and posed little real threat to Europe, especially compared to the events of the 15th-16th century, the time of the Conquest of Constantinople in 1453, the life of St. John Capistran (San Juan Capistrano), and finally the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 which the “Holy League” of Austria, Spain, Naples, Sicily, Sardinia, Savoy, the Republics of Genoa and Venice, and the Papal States turned back the Muslim tide, preventing Europe from becoming an Islamic Continent.   Since 1948, ironically enough, England and other European Countries have been inviting/allowing so many Muslim immigrants into Western Europe that the results of the Battle of Lepanto could well be nullified completely before the 500th anniversary of that event which will happen 60 years, seven months, and two days from the date of this blog on October 7, 2071.  Increasingly it seems that Pakistanis are the most vibrant ethnic group in England, Turks dominate German labor, and Algerians and Moroccans now control their former colonial masters in France.  Where, if anywhere, will it all end?  Today in the wake of the rebellion against Mohamar Ghaddaffi, Italy is being flooded with immigrants from its own former (albeit short lived) colony of Libya. 

1658 Antoine Cadillac, french colonial governor of America—he probably never owned an expensive automobile by a publicly owned General Motors might look like nor imagined what “Body by Fisher” would have meant three hundred-to-three hundred fifty years later.  My Louisiana-Frecnh born grandmother Helen loved Cadillacs (the GM cars) and knew something about the history of Antoine, Sieur de Cadillac, but how few others remember him?

 

1651 South Sea dike in Amsterdam breaks after storm 

1637 John van der Heyden, Dutch painter and inventor, fire extinguisher

 

1623 1st American temperance law enacted, Virginia
1616 Copernicus’ “de Revolutionibus” placed on Catholic Forbidden index; it was in EXCELLENT company of course and the words “Imprimatur, Nihil Obstat” written down by books approved by the Catholic Censors have become synonymous with the prior restraint which is expressly forbidden by the First Amendment.
1579 Betuwe joins Union of Utrecht
1558 Smoking tobacco introduced in Europe by Francisco Fernandes (pardon my French but WHAT AN F-ING DISASTER!)   March 5 should be a day of mourning for the millions of lung-cancer victims killed in Europe and the Americas as a result of this introduction.  I have little or no sympathy for smokers of tobacco in modern times, no more than I do for people who shoot themselves in the head or slit their wrists.  Smoking tobacco is basically an abomination without EVEN as much arguable benefit as smoking Cannabis Sativa L.
1528 Utrecht governor Maarten van Rossum plunders The Hague
1496 English king Henry VII hires John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto) to explore.  Cabot sailed across the North Atlantic to Newfoundland, Labrador, and what is now Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, explored the St. Lawrence River and opened up the great Western North Atlantic/Newfoundland fisheries to English fisherman—one of the greatest food resources ever exploited, paving the way for eventual English Colonization of these areas.
1461 Henry VI was deposed by Edward IV, coincidentally also the Fourth Duke of York, during War of the Roses; Edward IV was also was the 7th Earl of March, the 5th Earl of Cambridge, the 9th Earl of Ulster, and the 65th Knight of the Golden Fleece.  He reigned for Nine Years until he died in 1470 and was then succeeded by Henry VI who returned from but reigned only briefly before being dying under somewhat historically obscure circumstances.  Edward IV’s younger brother Richard became Richard III, the last King before Henry VII instituted the “Tudor” dynasty from Wales and ended the war of the Roses.   Second only two Henry V, “Richard III” is probably the best known of Shakespeare’s history plays and schoolboys, such as the author of this blog, were required to memorize “Now is the winter of our discontent, made glorious summer by this Sun of York, and all that glowered upon our house, in the deep bosom of the ocean buried” Soliloquy for approximately 400 years.  Should I recite it all in print here from memory?  You’ll pass?  Oh well, another time.  “Henry VI, Parts I , II, and III” together form Shakespeare’s longest and least memorable of the history plays, with no Jack Falstaff, no Harry Hotspur, no John of Gaunt, in short none of the wonderful characters that made Shakespeare’s other trilogy, Henry IV, Parts I, II, and III, not only tolerable but memorable. 

1326 Louis I, the Great, King of Hungary, 1342-82, Poland, 1370-82
1324 David II Bruce, king of Scotland, 1331 – 1371

 

1179 3rd Lateran Council (11th ecumenical council) opens in Rome.  March 5 was the first day of the Third Lateran, Eleventh Ecumenical Council.  But this day does not a great event in Christian history but arguably one of key events providing the reasons why the Universal Church failed to stay “universal”, and why the Pope in Rome was for many years seen to be the enemy of good religion and rational social policy.  Just for example, for the first time in Christian history (but in a tradition continuing to the present), priests were forbidden to marry or have friendship with women—even the sometimes apparently misogynistic St. Paul wrote  in one of his foulest moods: “It is better to Marry than to burn”.   The logic and morality behind a Celibate Clergy is simply incomprehensible in light of Christ’s teachings in the Gospels and Paul’s letters, not to mention the reality of human life—but it happened, at least “de jure” (never of course, “de facto”).  Sodomy was also forbidden and punishments provided, although how this prohibition was consistent with or supported the prohibition on priests having normal heterosexual relations to procreate is quite mysterious to the rational human mind.  Other “highlights” of the Third Lateran Council were increasingly oppressive laws against Jews and Muslims and “heretics” living in Christian Countries and provided automatic excommunication for anyone who lent money at interest (then known as “usury” without regard to any legal rate).   The Vatican City in Rome could do well to expunge and reverse all of these ordinances of the 3rd Lateran Council, although some charitable and educational and rational financial measures were also included (most notably positive was the prohibition on charing money for administration of any sacrament).

Nine Historical Vignettes for February 3, 2011: (1) Kosciusko’s Bridges 1781, (2) Hampton Roads Conference 1865, (3) Declaration of War against Germany 1917, (4) Death of Woodrow Wilson 1924, (5) Arrest of Karl Fuchs 1950, (6) Publication by Jacques Cousteau 1953, (7) Death of Buddy Holly 1959, (8) Landing of LUNIK 9 on the Moon 1966, (9) Alberto Gonzalez Confirmed as Attorney General 2005

What follows are nine moments in the history of the United States or Western Europe which relate to and lead up to the formation of the world as we know it.  All of these events happened on February 3, of one year or another.  THEY SAY THAT AMERICANS, FOR THE MOST PART, ARE the most HISTORICALLY ILLITERATE people in the world.  WHILE TEACHING AT AUSTIN COMMUNITY COLLEGE IN 2001-2003, ONE OF MY STUDENTS ASKED ME HOW I EVER CAME TO KNOW SO MUCH HISTORY—HOW LONG HAD IT TAKEN ME—I ANSWERED HIM I HAD BEEN STUDYING HISTORY MY WHOLE LIFE, AND THAT DISCOURAGED HIM, AND HE SAID, “SO NONE OF THE REST OF US REALLY HAVE A CHANCE”.  I RESPONDED THAT, NO, HISTORY WAS SOMETHING ONE COULD LEARN IN THE QUIET MOMENTS OF RELAXATION BETWEEN WORK, SLEEP, EATING, AND PLAY.  THAT HISTORY WAS LIKE CROSS-WORD PUZZLES OR VIDEO-GAMES—EASY AND RELAXING TO TAKE NOTES AND STUDY LINES OF HISTORY VERY CASUALLY—THIS I SINCERELY BELIEVE, AND TO THAT END, I HAVE COLLECTED 9 HISTORICAL VIGNETTES FOR FEBRUARY 3, 2011.
Today in History — Tuesday, Feb. 3 (52 Years Ago/The Day the Music Died, 87 years ago, the day Woodrow Wilson Died, 6 years ago, the day the decency of the Office of U.S. Attorney General Died)

Historical Vignette # (1)    On the evening of February 3, 1781, during the final year of the American War of Independence (“Revolutionary War” implies social change, and since the War of 1775-1781—peace resolved by the Treaty of Paris in 1783—with the United States Congress meeting in the dull & dreary Maryland Capital of Annapolis), American General Nathanael Greene and his troops successfully cross the Yadkin River to evade General Charles Cornwallis. The crossing followed consecutive Patriot losses at the Catawba River and at Tarrant’s Tavern, as well as heavy rainfall on February 1, which Greene feared would soon make the river impassable.

Although contradictory evidence exists, it is likely that the efforts of Polish engineer and military advisor Thaddeus Kosciusko made the crossing possible. Kosciusko had made a canoe expedition up the Catawba and Pedee Rivers, assessing Greene’s options, in December 1780. He then built a fleet of flat-bottomed boats for General Greene to use as a means of transporting his men across the water without having to waste time on manual portage, which would have involved soldiers removing the boats from the water and carrying them on their shoulders over land. The boats could be loaded into the Southern Army’s wagons for transport between river crossings. Kosciusko’s study of the rivers also allowed Greene to accurately predict the two-day interval between a heavy rainfall and rising river water.

Greene had ordered the Kosciusko-designed boats to be waiting for his men at the Yadkin. Thus, despite the flood of refugees clogging North Carolina’s roads in a desperate rush to leave before notoriously cruel British Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton arrived, Greene was able to move his troops to the river and cross it. Although Cornwallis caught the tail-end of the Patriot crossing and shelled Greene’s camp on the far side of the river on February 4, he was not able to cause major damage or disruption.

Greene’s timing was impeccable–Cornwallis was unable to ford the quickly rising Yadkin behind him. Instead, Cornwallis was forced to march his men to the aptly named Shallow Ford and did not finish crossing the Yadkin until the morning of the February 7, by which time Greene and the Southern Army had a two-day lead in the race towards the Dan River and safety in Patriot-held Virginia.

Historical Vignette #(2) During the Final Year of the War Between the States (“Civil War” being as much a misnomer as “Revolutionary War”—the English Civil War of 1644-1649 was a truly “Civil War” between classes and religious groups within the same society, but it is only by a long post-war process that the full class, constitutional, economic, and socio-political implications of the American War of 1861-65  were resolved) President Lincoln met on February 3, 1865 at Hampton Roads with a delegation of Confederate officials to discuss a possible peace agreement. Lincoln refuses to grant the delegation any concessions, and the president departs for the north.

New York Tribune editor and abolitionist Horace Greeley provided the impetus for the conference when he contacted Francis Blair, a Maryland aristocrat and presidential adviser. Greeley suggested that Blair was the “right man” to open discussions with the Confederates to end the war. Blair sought permission from Lincoln to meet with Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and he did so twice in January 1865. Blair suggested to Davis that an armistice be forged and the two sides turn their attention to removing the French-supported regime of Maximilian in Mexico. This plan would help cool tensions between North and South by providing a common enemy, he believed.

Meanwhile, the situation was becoming progressively worse for the Confederates in the winter of 1864 and 1865. In January, Union troops captured Fort Fisher and effectively closed Wilmington, North Carolina, the last major port open to blockade runners. Davis conferred with his vice president, Alexander Stephens, and Stephens recommended that a peace commission be appointed to explore a possible armistice. Davis sent Stephens and two others to meet with Lincoln at Hampton Roads, Virginia.

The meeting convened on February 3. Stephens asked if there was any way to stop the war and Lincoln replied that the only way was “for those who were resisting the laws of the Union to cease that resistance.” The delegation underestimated Lincoln’s resolve to make the end of slavery a necessary condition for any peace. The president also insisted on immediate reunification and the laying down of Confederate arms before anything else was discussed. In short, the Union was in such an advantageous position that Lincoln did not need to concede any issues to the Confederates. Robert M.T. Hunter, one of the delegation, commented that Lincoln was offering little except the unconditional surrender of the South.

After less than five hours, the conference ended and the delegation left with no concessions. The war continued for more than two months.

Historical Vignette #(3) On the 3rd day of February, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson speaks for two hours before a historic session of Congress to announce that the United States is breaking diplomatic relations with Germany.

Due to the reintroduction of the German navy’s policy of unlimited submarine warfare, announced two days earlier by Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollwegg, Wilson announced that his government had no choice but to cut all diplomatic ties with Germany in order to uphold the honor and dignity of the United States. Though he maintained that We do not desire any hostile conflict with the German government, Wilson nevertheless cautioned that war would follow if Germany followed through on its threat to sink American ships without warning.

Later that day, Count von Bernstorff, the German ambassador to the U.S., received a note written by Secretary of State Robert Lansing stating that The President has directed me to announce to your Excellency that all diplomatic relations between the United States and the German empire are severed, and that the American Ambassador at Berlin will be immediately withdrawn, and in accordance with such announcement to deliver to your Excellency your passports. Bernstorff was guaranteed safe passage out of the country, but was ordered to leave Washington immediately. Also in the wake of Wilson’s speech, all German cruisers docked in the United States were seized and the government formally demanded that all American prisoners being held in Germany be released at once.

On the same day, a German U-boat sunk the American cargo ship Housatonic off the Scilly Islands, just southwest of Britain. A British ship rescued the ship’s crew, but its entire cargo of grain was lost.

In Berlin that night, before learning of the president’s speech, German Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmermann told U.S. Ambassador James J. Gerard that Everything will be alright. America will do nothing, for President Wilson is for peace and nothing else. Everything will go on as before. He was proved wrong the following morning, as news arrived of the break in relations between America and Germany, a decisive step towards U.S. entry into the First World War.

Historical Vignette #(4) *CLOSELY RELATED TO #(3):  On February 3, 1924, Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president of the United States, died.  Woodrow Wilson was the first Southerner elected President of the United States since 1856, and the first Southerner to hold the title of President within the territory of what is now the United States since Jefferson Davis, and the only Ph.D. and Academic ever to be elected President (he was previously President of Princeton University in New Jersey).  Wilson died in Washington, D.C., at the age of 67, 7 years after the declaration of War on Germany that effectively ended American Isolation in the New World and launched the country, unwillingly and unnecessarily, as a world power forever.

Wilson was also the President who presided over the “ratification” of the 16th Amendment and implementation of Income Tax, the establishment of the Federal Reserve Banking System, and the 17th Amendment to the United States which effectively abolished the power of the States in Federal Government forever.  OK, his administration also saw the extension of the voting Franchise to Women and many other “progressive” acts, but on the whole, Wilson effectively crystalized the implementation of the foundations of Corporate-Socialist government in the United States of America.  It was all very tragic.

But in 1912, Governor Wilson of New Jersey was elected president in a landslide Democratic victory over Republican incumbent William Howard Taft and Progressive Party (“Bull-Moose”) candidate (and formerly Wildly-Popular President) Theodore Roosevelt. The focal point of President Wilson’s first term in office was the outbreak of World War I and his efforts to find a peaceful end to the conflict while maintaining U.S. neutrality. In 1916, he was narrowly reelected president at the end of a close race against Charles Evans Hughes, his Republican challenger.

In 1917, the renewal of German submarine warfare against neutral American ships, and the “Zimmerman Note,” which revealed a secret alliance proposal by Germany to Mexico, forced Wilson to push for America’s entry into the war.

At the war’s end, President Wilson traveled to France, where he headed the American delegation to the peace conference seeking an official end to the conflict. At Versailles, Wilson was the only Allied leader who foresaw the future difficulty that might arise from forcing punitive peace terms on an economically ruined Germany. He also successfully advocated the creation of the League of Nations as a means of maintaining peace in the postwar world. In November 1920, President Wilson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts at Versailles.

In the autumn of 1919, while campaigning in the United States to win approval for the Treaty of Versailles and League of Nations, Wilson suffered a severe stroke that paralyzed his left side and caused significant brain damage. This illness likely contributed to Wilson’s uncharacteristic failure to reach a compromise with the American opponents to the European agreements, and in November the U.S. Senate refused to ratify the Treaty of Versailles or the League of Nations.

During his last year in office, there is evidence that Wilson’s second wife, Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, may have served as acting president for the debilitated and bed-ridden president who often communicated through her. In March 1921, Wilson’s term expired, and he retired with his wife to Washington, D.C., where he lived until his death on February 3, 1924. Two days later, he was buried in Washington’s National Cathedral, the first president to be laid to rest in the nation’s capital.

Historical Vignette #(5) On February 3, 1950, Klaus Fuchs, a German-born British scientist who helped developed the atomic bomb, was arrested in Great Britain for passing top-secret information about the bomb to the Soviet Union. The arrest of Fuchs led authorities to several other individuals involved in a spy ring, culminating with the arrest of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and their subsequent execution.

Fuchs and his family fled Germany in 1933 to avoid Nazi persecution and came to Great Britain, where Fuchs earned his doctorate in physics. During World War II, British authorities were aware of the leftist leanings of both Fuchs and his father. However, Fuchs was eventually invited to participate in the British program to develop an atomic bomb (the project named “Tube Alloys”) because of his expertise. At some point after the project began, Soviet agents contacted Fuchs and he began to pass information about British progress to them. Late in 1943, Fuchs was among a group of British scientists brought to America to work on the Manhattan Project, the U.S. program to develop an atomic bomb. Fuchs continued his clandestine meetings with Soviet agents. When the war ended, Fuchs returned to Great Britain and continued his work on the British atomic bomb project.

Fuchs’ arrest in 1950 came after a routine security check of Fuchs’ father, who had moved to communist East Germany in 1949. While the check was underway, British authorities received information from the American Federal Bureau of Investigation that decoded Soviet messages in their possession indicated Fuchs was a Russian spy. On February 3, officers from Scotland Yard arrested Fuchs and charged him with violating the Official Secrets Act. Fuchs eventually admitted his role and was sentenced to 14 years in prison. His sentence was later reduced, and he was released in 1959 and spent his remaining years living with his father in East Germany.

Fuchs’ capture set off a chain of arrests. Harry Gold, whom Fuchs implicated as the middleman between himself and Soviet agents, was arrested in the United States. Gold thereupon informed on David Greenglass, one of Fuchs’ co-workers on the Manhattan Project. After his apprehension, Greenglass implicated his sister-in-law and her husband, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. They were arrested in New York in July 1950, found guilty of conspiracy to commit espionage, and executed at Sing Sing Prison in June 1953.

And Now for Something Completely Different #1, Cross-tabbed as Historical Vignette #(6)   On February 3, 1953, French oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau publishes his most famous and lasting work, The Silent World.

Born in Saint-Andre-de-Cubzac, France, in 1910, Cousteau was trained at the Brest Naval School. While serving in the French navy, he began his underwater explorations, filming shipwrecks and the underwater world of the Mediterranean Sea through a glass bowl. At the time, the only available system for underwater breathing involved a diver being tethered to the surface, and Cousteau sought to develop a self-contained device.

In 1943, with the aid of engineer Emile Gagnan, he designed the Aqua-Lung, the world’s first self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (scuba). With the Aqua-Lung, the largely unexplored world lying beneath the ocean surface was open to Cousteau as never before. He developed underwater cameras and photography and was employed by the French navy to explore navy shipwrecks. In his free time, he explored ancient wrecks and studied underwater sea life.

In 1948, he published his first work, Through 18 Meters of Water, and in 1950 Lord Guinness, a British patron, bought him an old British minesweeper to use for his explorations. Cousteau converted the ship into an oceanographic vessel and christened it the Calypso. In 1953, he published The Silent World, written with Frederic Dumas, and began work on a film version of the book with film director Louis Malle. Three years later,The Silent World was released to world acclaim. The film, which revealed to the public the hidden universe of tropical fish, whales, and walruses, won Best Documentary at the Academy Awards and the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

With the success of the film, Cousteau retired from the navy to devote himself to oceanography. He welcomed geologists, archaeologists, zoologists, environmentalists, and other scientists aboard the Calypso and led numerous excursions to the world’s great bodies of water, from the Red Sea to the Amazon River. He headed the Conshelf Saturation Dive Program, in which men lived and worked for extended time periods at considerable depths along the continental shelves.

His many books include The Living Sea (1963), Three Adventures: Galapagos, Titicaca, the Blue Holes (1973), and Jacques Cousteau: The Ocean World (1985). He also produced several more award-winning films and scores of television documentaries about the ocean, making him a household name. He saw firsthand the damage done to the marine ecosystems by humans and was an outspoken and persuasive environmentalist. Cousteau died in 1997.

HISTORICAL SUB-VIGNETTE: As a personal note, when I was a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Kenneth L. Ryskamp in West Palm Beach, Florida in 1992 (Ryskamp was, without doubt, one of the most completely decent, distinguished and honorable men I have ever known, as well as one of the most dedicated and hardworking Judges), I had the occasion to participate in and prepare jury instructions and other papers relating to the trial for drug trafficking of a Cousteau apprentice and protege, Michael Wludarszcik, an East German who had earned fame in 1971 or thereabouts by jumping the Berlin Wall and running through a hale of bullets to “Freedom” in the West. In 1989-1990, I had had occasion to participate in the dismantling of that wall, and so I felt a special kinship to Wludarszcik.  Michael Wludarszcik was a sailor, merchant marine, oceanography, and underwater archaeologist who worked closely with Cousteau on several expeditions.  He was also an expert welder, and was accused of having welded several tanks or containers full of marijuana and other contraband and bringing it across the Caribbean into the United States.  He was a handsome, young, good-looking rugged man and had a beautiful wife and infant child who sat, the wife often sobbing, the baby well-behaved and quiet, throughout the trial.  Wludarczsik was found guilty and sentenced under the then current sentencing guidelines to 20 years, although Judge Ryskamp commented on what a terrible loss was this man and his life to society and science, even as he pronounced sentence.  Wludarczsik’s case awakened in my mind a passionate hatred of the war on drugs, which was only repeatedly reinforced throughout the remainder of my clerkship.  I had been disgusted by some drug defendants, the corrupt cops and the slimy drug dealers and all the double-crossing informants, but Michael Wludarczsik was a man whom I would have been honored to know, and his “acts of piracy” involved providing substances which almost all of my friends and colleagues in academia and social circles generally used, enjoyed, and actually valued.  The hypocrisy of the American War on Drugs as a means of incarcerating hundreds of thousands of Americans continues to aggrieve and offend me.   I hope that in my lifetime I will see a time when freedom of choice and freedom to choose an individual lifestyle is restored to the American people, and where no person will ever be imprisoned for providing good value to a willing marketplace.  I deeply respected and will always treasure the time I spent with the Honorable Kenneth L. Ryskamp, but I wish he had fought harder, as did his Palm Beach Colleague the Honorable James C. Paine, to neutralize and counteract the War on Drugs, which began in this Country as a power grab after prohibition by oligarchs such as William Randolph Hearst and John D. Rockefeller, the war on drugs itself being a phrase coined or at least popularized by Nelson A. Rockefeller while Governor of New York  (later first unelected Vice-President under Gerald R. Ford).

And now for something completely different #2, Cross Tabbed as *Historical Vignette #(7): On February 3, 1959, rising American rock stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson are killed when their chartered Beechcraft Bonanza plane crashes in Iowa a few minutes after takeoff from Mason City on a flight headed for Moorehead, Minnesota. Investigators blamed the crash on bad weather and pilot error. Holly and his band, the Crickets, had just scored a No. 1 hit with “That’ll Be the Day.”

After mechanical difficulties with the tour bus, Holly had chartered a plane for his band to fly between stops on the Winter Dance Party Tour. However, Richardson, who had the flu, convinced Holly’s band member Waylon Jennings to give up his seat, and Ritchie Valens won a coin toss for another seat on the plane.

Holly, born Charles Holley in Lubbock, Texas, and just 22 when he died, began singing country music with high school friends before switching to rock and roll after opening for various performers, including Elvis Presley. By the mid-1950s, Holly and his band had a regular radio show and toured internationally, playing hits like “Peggy Sue,” “Oh, Boy!,” “Maybe Baby” and “Early in the Morning.” Holly wrote all his own songs, many of which were released after his death and influenced such artists as Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney.

Another crash victim, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, 28, started out as a disk jockey in Texas and later began writing songs. Richardson’s most famous recording was the rockabilly “Chantilly Lace,” which made the Top 10. He developed a stage show based on his radio persona, “The Big Bopper.”

The third crash victim was Ritchie Valens, born Richard Valenzuela in a suburb of Los  Angeles, who was only 17 when the plane went down but had already scored hits with “Come On, Let’s Go,” “Donna” and “La Bamba,” an upbeat number based on a traditional Mexican wedding song (though Valens barely spoke Spanish). In 1987, Valens’ life was portrayed in the movie La Bamba, and the title song, performed by Los Lobos, became a No. 1 hit. Valens was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

Singer Don McLean memorialized Holly, Valens and Richardson in the 1972 No. 1 hit “American Pie,” which refers to February 3, 1959 as “the day the music died.”

And now for something completely different #(3), Cross-Tabbed as Historical Vignette #8:  On February 3, 1966, the Soviet Union accomplishes the first controlled landing on the moon, when the unmanned spacecraft Lunik 9 touches down on the Ocean of Storms. After its soft landing, the circular capsule opened like a flower, deploying its antennas, and began transmitting photographs and television images back to Earth. The 220-pound landing capsule was launched from Earth on January 31.

Lunik 9 was the third major lunar first for the Soviet space program: On September 14, 1959, Lunik 2 became the first manmade object to reach the moon when it impacted with the lunar surface, and on October 7 of the same year Lunik 3 flew around the moon and transmitted back to Earth the first images of the dark side of the moon. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the U.S. space program consistently trailed the Soviet program in space firsts–a pattern that shifted dramatically with the triumph of America’s Apollo lunar program in the late 1960s.

OK, so saving the worst of all for last of all (as Historical Vignette #9), on February 3, 2005, Alberto Gonzales won Senate confirmation as the nation’s first Hispanic attorney general despite protests over his record on torture.   Alberto Gonzalez would have been a disgrace to his profession and to the United States of America and its Constitution as a county prosecutor handling misdemeanors and traffic tickets and clearly had no business being the Attorney General of the United States.

The Senate approved his nomination on a largely party-line vote of 60-36, reflecting a split between Republicans and Democrats over whether the administration’s counterterrorism policies had led to the abuse of prisoners in Iraq and elsewhere. Shortly after the Senate vote, Vice President Dick Cheney swore in Gonzales as attorney general in a small ceremony in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. President Bush, who was traveling, called to congratulate him.

Gonzales was born in 1955 in San Antonio, Texas, the son of migrant workers and grew up in a small, crowded home in Houston without hot water or a telephone. He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1973 after graduating high school. Following a few years of service, Gonzales attended the U.S. Air Force Academy.

After leaving the military, Gonzales attended Rice University and Harvard Law School before Bush, then governor of Texas, picked him in 1995 to serve as his general counsel in Austin and in 2001 brought him to Washington as his White House counsel. In this new role, Gonzales championed an extension of the USA Patriot Act.

After Gonzales became attorney general, he faced scrutiny regarding some of his actions, most notably the firing of several U.S. attorneys and his defense of Bush’s domestic eavesdropping program. The firings became the subject of a Senate Judiciary Committee in 2007. Concerns about the veracity of some of his statements as well as his general competency also began to surface.

Democrats began calling for his resignation and for more investigations, but President Bush defended his appointee, saying that Gonzales was “an honest, honorable man in whom I have confidence,” according to an Associated Press report from April.

A few months later, however, Gonzales decided to step down.

On August 27, he gave a brief statement announcing his resignation (effective September 17), stating that “It has been one of my greatest privileges to lead the Department of Justice.” He gave no explanation for his departure. In his resignation letter, Gonzales simply said that “. . . this is the right time for my family and I to begin a new chapter in our lives.”

Gonzales and his wife Rebecca have three sons.

TODAY IN HISTORY
By The Associated Press
Today is Tuesday, Feb. 3, the 34th day of 2011. There are 331 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
Fifty-two years ago, on Feb. 3, 1959, a single-engine plane crashed shortly after midnight near Clear Lake, Iowa, claiming the lives of rock-and-roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, as well as pilot Roger Peterson. That same day, an American Airlines Lockheed Electra from Chicago crashed into New York’s East River while approaching LaGuardia Airport, killing 65 of the 73 people on board.
On this date:
In 1809, 202 years ago, German composer Felix Mendelssohn was born in Hamburg. Congress passed an act establishing the Illinois Territory effective March 1.
In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln and Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens held a shipboard peace conference off the Virginia coast; the talks deadlocked over the issue of Southern autonomy.
In 1913, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, providing for a federal income tax, was ratified.
In 1916, Canada’s original Parliament Buildings, in Ottawa, burned down.
In 1924, the 28th president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, died in Washington, D.C., at age 67.
In 1930, the chief justice of the United States, William Howard Taft, resigned for health reasons. (He died just over a month later.)
In 1943, during World War II, the U.S. transport ship Dorchester, which was carrying troops to Greenland, sank after being hit by a German torpedo. (Four Army chaplains gave their life belts to four other men, and went down with the ship.)
In 1966, the Soviet probe Luna 9 became the first manmade object to make a soft landing on the moon.
In 1969, Yasser Arafat was elected chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization’ s executive committee during a council meeting in Cairo, Egypt.
In 1989, Alfredo Stroessner, president of Paraguay for more than three decades, was overthrown in a military coup.
Twelve years ago: The Clinton administration told Congress a NATO-led peacekeeping force could be needed in Kosovo for three to five years and might include up to 4,000 American troops.
Seven years ago: John Kerry won Democratic presidential contests in five out of seven states. Work in the U.S. Senate slowed to a crawl, a day after ricin powder was found in the Dirksen Senate Office Building.
Three years ago: The New York Giants scored a late touchdown for a spectacular Super Bowl win, 17-14, that ended the New England Patriots’ run at perfection.
Today’s Birthdays: Comedian Shelley Berman is 85.
Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton is 71. Actress Bridget Hanley is 70. Actress Blythe Danner is 68. Singer Dennis Edwards is 68. Football Hall of Famer Bob Griese is 66. Singer-guitarist Dave Davies (The Kinks) is 64. Singer Melanie is 64.
Actress Morgan Fairchild is 61. Actor Nathan Lane is 55. Rock musician Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) is 55. Actor Thomas Calabro is 52.
Actor-director Keith Gordon is 50. Actress Michele Greene is 49. Country singer Matraca Berg is 47. Actress Maura Tierney is 46.
Actor Warwick Davis is 41. Reggaeton singer Daddy Yankee is 35. Musician Grant Barry is 34.
Singer-songwriter Jessica Harp is 29. Rapper Sean Kingston is 21.
Thought for Today: “I can, therefore I am.” — Simone Weil, French philosopher (born this day in 1909, died 1943).