Tag Archives: Yale University

Argo, Iran, and the September 1-6 New Horizon International Independent Film Festival & Conference in Tehran

Three weeks ago, on September 29, 2012, I attended a lecture by Mark Weber at the Institute for Historical Review headquartered in Newport Beach, Orange County, California.  It was a major eye-opener for me, and I would encourage anyone and everyone interested in international politics to listen to what Mark Weber had to say:  http://www.ihr.org/audio/MWIran092912.mp3.  

As a matter of fact, as I told Mark Weber after his speech, I think this presentation should be required listening in every college, high school, and army and navy recruitment center in the USA…..especially the latter.

Weber’s address focused on the questions of whether Iran poses a threat of nuclear or convention aggression in the West Asian arena, whether Iran has or plans to acquire or develop nuclear weapons, and whether the Israeli Prime Minister’s recent “saber rattling” against Iran rests on any rational basis.  

Weber answered summarily and categorically “no” to each of these questions, and as background discussed his recent visit to Tehran to speak at the conference held in conjunction with the First Independent International Filmmakers Festival “New Horizon” sponsored by: http://indfilmfest.com/ujcke3, held from September 1-September 6 of this year.

Apparently very few Americans were in attendance, owing doubtless to Iran’s reputation in this country as part of what our penultimate President W. Bush called “Axis of Evil” along with current member North Korea and (former?) member Libya.

Weber’s portrayal of Iran was certainly not of an evil nation or of a people anxious for war or “jihad” against the West, but Iran has had the dubious distinction of straddling all world conflicts as the largest truly “non-aligned” nation in Asia, throughout the 20th and now 21st centuries.  Iran stayed out of World Wars I and was only drawn into World War II, “kicking and screaming” by a joint British-Soviet invasion to secure the oilfields of the country, and Iran declared war on Germany in 1943 and thus became eligible for membership in the newly envisioned but then only just barely nascent United Nations.

What happened after World War II in Iran was one of the least known but most decisive events in shaping the Cold-War and Post-Cold War environments in Europe.

To wit, in 1951, a Democratic-Social reformer  Prime Minister of Iran Mohammed Mosaddeq (also “Massaddegh”), appointed by the Shah, persuaded the Iranian parliament to nationalize the British-owned oil industry, in what became known in the international press as the Abadan Crisis.

The Shah owed his crown to British power and his wealth to British Oil, but he did little or nothing to stop or restrain Mossaddegh. Despite British pressure, including an economic blockade, the nationalization and seizure of all British Oil Interests continued. Mossadegh (the 60th Prime Minister of Iran) left office briefly 1952 but was quickly re-appointed by the shah as the 62nd prime minister, due to a popular uprising in Mossadegh’s support. The Shah himself went briefly into exile in August 1953 after a failed military coup by Imperial Guard Colonel Nematollah Nassiri.  

Then  on August 19, 1953, a successful coup was organized by the American (CIA) with the active support of the British (MI6) (known as Operation Ajax).   The nominal leader of this coup was headed by a retired army general Fazlollah Zahedi.   The coup included a propaganda campaign of disinformation and outright lies designed to turn the population against Mossaddegh, finally forced Mossaddegh from office.

These events of sixty years ago have lingered bitterly in the memory of Iranians of all classes until the present time. Mossadegh was arrested and tried for treason. Found guilty, his sentence reduced to house arrest on his family estate while his foreign minister, Hossein Fatemi, was executed. Zahedi succeeded him as prime minister.  The new British and American supported regime suppressed all opposition to the Shah, specifically the National Front and Communist Tudeh Party.

Last year on this blog I described Josh Tickell’s movie “The Big Fix” as the best documentary ever produced in the United States.  It covered the history of Mossadegh’s deposition by the British oil interests as one of the key starting points for understanding British Petroleum’s complete indifference to democracy and human life seen throughout the 2010 “Deep Horizon” Oil spill and its aftermath off the coast of Louisiana.  

Earlier this year, other pundits proclaimed Dinesh D’Souza’s “Obama 2016″ as the greatest documentary of all time, but D’Souza would clearly NOT have felt at home at the International Filmmaker’s conference in Tehran because of his vociferous support of Israel, and his criticism of Obama for taking a “soft” stance against Iran and the “threat” it poses.

All this brings up a very interesting point, ONLY radicals (of both the right and left) ever have anything good to say about Iran and/or anything bad to say about Israel.  Dinesh D’Souza singled out Dr. Edward Said (Ph.D. 1964, Harvard GSAS) as one of Obama’s personal “Founding Fathers.” Ironically enough Said was a nearly exact contemporary and sometime classmate (in English Literature) together with my late father.  According to Dinesh D’Souza, Said influenced Obama against Israel and shaped his thinking about the Post-Colonial World.  

Again, readers of this Blog know that I despise Barack Hussein Obama with the bloodiest of purple passions, but I cannot say a single bad thing about Edward Said, no do I think that Said was a socialist or anti-American in any of the ways Obama quite clearly is. Indeed, it is somewhat ironic to me that Dinesh D’Souza would attack Said, since they are both Christians born in populations which are overwhelmingly “something else”).

Quite aside from the fact that my father had known him in graduate school, and always spoke highly of him, I attended at least two dozen lectures by Said over the course of about 30 years from New Orleans 70118 to Cambridge 02138 and from New Haven 06511 to Chicago 60637.  I was never once less than overwhelmed by his erudition and articulate presentation of the relationship between the Arab-Islamic and Anglo-Christian worlds.  Said was born Jerusalem to Palestinian Christian parents (his mother hailed from Jesus’ town of Nazareth), and Said advocated justice for the non-Jewish Palestinian Arabs, both Christian and Muslim.  

Whether D’Souza has justly grouped Said with Obama or not, the perception of most “mainstream” conservatives (and centrist liberals) in the United States is that only radicals of the left or right could possibly say anything bad about Israel or anything good about Iran.  Despite admiring Edward Said almost as much as D’Souza claims Obama does, I am generally of a radical right-wing persuasion, if any at all.

Among the radical rightists who have supported Iran are David Duke of Louisiana, whose commentaries on the (in many ways inspiring, and technically irreproachable) movie The 300 (about the Spartan resistance at Thermopylae—a name which means “Hot Springs” in Greek) show how certain pro-Israeli propagandists were preparing to turn the American population against Iran by massive disinformation equivalent to the old American & British Campaigns against Mossaddegh.  See especially: http://www.davidduke.com/?p=2381 “The Movie 300: Neocon Racial Propaganda for War.”

Now I cannot sympathize in the least with David Duke’s obsessive antisemitism, but (again ironically), Duke in all his commentaries on Iran directly echoes Edward Said in his judgment that American perceptions of Iran rest on media disinformation and politically motivated mischaracterizations intended to dehumanize the people of Iran.  

I am probably the only person on planet earth to see a major analytical parallel between David Duke’s racial politics and Edward Said’s post-Colonial, post-modern deconstruction of American popular culture perceptions of Iran. But my analysis fits in with the routine conundrum it is to say that ONLY the radical left-and-right wingers oppose Israel.  

The late William F. Buckley once (back in the 1970s I think, during or shortly after the Henry Kissinger era) satirically commented that so central was Israel to American National Defense Policy that it would make sense to admit Israel as the 51st state of the Union.  Buckley noted in support of this proposal that the 4500 air miles from Washington D.C. to Honolulu are only approximately 1000 miles less than the distance from Washington to Tel Aviv…. and that Guam remains a recognized U.S. Territory at 9,000 miles from Washington….

Mark Weber highlighted, as has Representative Ron Paul, that Israel remains to this day the center of U.S. Foreign Policy—more critical in so many ways than the U.K., Germany, or Japan—

Men of my father’s and grandfather’s generation read the poetry of the East as part of a “Gentleman’s education” (only partly as Colonialists in Said’s interpretation, but also as men seeking deeper understanding of the wisdom of the world, especially in conjunction with the mysticism of their beloved Scottish Rite Freemasonry.

As Mark Weber emphasized, most modern American perceptions divorce the people of Iran from their deep historical traditions of literate civilization, which has produced some of the most distinctive poetry and philosophy of both the pre-Islamic (e.g. Zoroastrian Zend-Avesta) and Islamic (e.g. Ferdowsi’s “Book of Kings” or Shahnama followed by the Sufi [“Sophy”] poets Rumi [The Masnavi and Divan-e Shams], Sadi, Hafiz Shirazi, and Al-Ghazali [e.g. “Alchemy of Happiness”] not to mention Scheherazade’s Thousand and one Nights which I, like countless generations of schoolboys before me, grew up reading in awe and fascination of the “mysterious orient”).

The concept of “mysterious east, land of snake charmers and flying carpets” got at least passing message in Ben Affleck’s new movie Argo which I finally got to see last night (October 19)—delayed by my going on two weeks in Fresno—but Peyton and I finally discovered that they DO have cinemas here…. and we desperately needed a break from the Medical Marijuana/Federal vs. State power constitutional controversies we’ve been working on.  

Argo is an excellent movie, whether you remember just how ashamed you were to be traveling abroad during America’s most disgraceful 444 days in history from November 4 1979-January 20 1981, or whether you’re of the modern (born, like my own son Charlie, in 1992 or after) generation for whom even the name of President Jimmy Carter conjures up nothing more than a little bit of a vague and fuzzy memory that he might or might not have been the first peanut farming Navy Officer from Georgia ever to become President…. and the first (and last) U.S. President to be born in the DEEP South (which does not include Texas) since before the War Between the States of 1861-65.

I remember the Iranian Revolution distinctly and I remember thinking it was a very bad thing.  The Shah had favored the modernization and Westernization of Iran—women could wear dresses without veils and things like that.  

The outrages of the Oil-Based Political Economy became intolerable in 1973—but not only did the American people accept that status quo without revolution, they did not seek to punish the oil companies for their price-gouging and irrational profiteering and the wild fluctuations in the price of oil (with a steady and inexorable upward trend) that has become a permanent feature of our lives…..

In any event, Argo did not “trash” the Islamic Revolutionary Iranians but it portrayed them very much as I remember them from the “mainstream media” in 1979-1981.  They were definitely America’s enemies.  At Chichén Itzá on my archaeological project, one of my student assistants Rafael “Rach” Cobos Palma used to go around with a towel on his head (before “towel-head” was considered a politically incorrect racist epithet) chanting “Death to America” and periodically trying to rattle me by reporting fictitious news items that the price of oil had doubled or tripled and the dollar had accordingly collapsed…. He thought this was the funniest thing on earth since back in those days I was working in Mexico on that extremely advantageous dollar-to-peso exchange rate that prevailed throughout the 1980s.  

Argo was basically historically truthful in all details, so far as I can tell anyhow.  The cast and script were both beyond reproach, from Affleck’s heroic role as Anthony Mendez to John Goodman’s predictably brilliant and humorous performance as John Chambers [Clea Helen D’etienne DuVall has certainly had a fascinating career since she played Marcie Ross the invisible girl in the First Season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer—Episode 11 “Out of Mind, Out of Sight”.]

In any event—Argo reminded me of the first time I bitterly reflected on Iran as a true humiliation to the United States.  We (our UK and US governments and the American and British oil cartels whcih control our governments) created the Shah Mohamed Reza Pahlavi as an absolute monarch.  He had started out, during his early post-war years as a young King, apparently in favor of Mossaddegh and Constitutional Democracy) and supported him blindly, ignoring the unhappiness of the vast majority of the people of Iran.  

Reza Pahlevi ended his life and career envisioned by many of his people as a blood-sucking vampire.  But the US supported the Shah and, as Argo clearly showed, our intelligence did not anticipate, perceive, or recognize any threat to his rule as late as a month before he fell in 1978.  Our country was then humiliated by the Revolutionary Guard of the nascent Islamic Republic over and over again, not least when Ross Perot sent in a private paramilitary team which literally crashed and burned….

When I first heard that Ronald Reagan might have authorized or encouraged Oliver North to purchase Iranian weapons for the Contras of Iran, my first reaction was that Reagan was aiding and abetting the enemies of the United States and should be impeached for treason—and how could Reagan have done it when he knew all about the hostage crisis and how the Iranians had made us look like mental and moral midgets….McDonald’s munching morons whose only values were comfort and pleasure obtainable with the least possible effort….in thought or work.

Mark Weber’s perspective on Ahmadinejad marks the most major, thoughtful counterposition to the mainstream media views, which were (to the extent they were reasonable) formed and shaped by the Iranian Islamic Revolution and the Hostage Crisis, in which the Iranian actors played the parts of the most-grotesquely brutal haters of America.  As bad as the American role in the Shah’s rise and evolution as a tyrant may have been, there was not a single member of the embassy staff who could possibly have been held responsible.  The Iranians, as shown in Argo were just formulaically bullying their prize captive Americans as spies….and threatening them all with kangaroo trials and public executions…..

So Iran has suffered from its status as a Non-Aligned nation with significant oil wealth—it was reduced to a quasi-Colonial status right at the end of the Colonial Period, in the early 1950s—and was the first example of a nation colonized primarily for Oil—Oil at any cost, oil above all other human values.   

Mark Weber of the Institute of Historical Review gave a wonderful presentation—he is mostly conceived as a right-winger, although a much more academically respectable right-winger than “Dr.” David Duke with his degree from a rather obscure “Management” school (MAUP) in the Ukraine… 

Equally respectable and more directly politically active than Duke, currently, with less seemingly preposterous baggage, was another American in attendance at the New Horizon Independent Film-Fest in Tehran, Merlin Miller.  Merlin Miller is the Presidential candidate of the newly formed American Third Position “AP3” Party, which just came into existence in or about January 2010, formed and chaired by William D. Johnson, a Nippono-philic Los Angeles lawyer  currently running for Congress in Michigan’s “open” 11th Congressional District.  Merlin Miller has apparently only achieved ballot access in 3 states for the November election and California is not one of them.

What does it say about the United States that the only Americans of any note willing to attend a film festival in Iran are two solid right-wingers (Weber & Miller) and apparently several black film-makers and artists from the extreme left of Detroit and Miami?  Apparently, “core” Hollywood and Beverly Hills media figures were all but totally absent and unrepresented. 

And at this conference in Tehran, I get the impression that very little was said about the American popular conception of Iran—even a relatively positive perspective as formed in Josh Tickell’s 2011 The Big Fix, the mostly neutral but historically accurate portrayal in 2012’s Argo or the negative (but not particularly highlighted) view of Iran suggested in D’Souza’s Obama 2016.

Cultural exchange combined with political dialogue would, in my opinion, produce positive results between Iran and the US—and the American People MUST somehow become educated.  Mark Weber reports and I have independently confirmed that certain polls have shown that 71% of the U.S. population believe that Iran now possesses Nuclear Weapons.  

After the “Weapons of Mass Destruction” lies that roped us into Iraq—into COLONIZING Iraq—the American public DESERVE to hear Mark Weber and Merlin Miller speaking out about their recent first hand experience with the Iranian people and in particular with President Ahmadinejad. 

I’d say that Harvard is actually the Oldest “Trademark”/Corporate Name in the United States, Yale is 64 years younger…..if “New York Times” and “Scientific American” Qualify—why not the oldest institutions of higher learning on the continent?

America’s Oldest Brands

24/7 Wall StBy Douglas A. McIntyre, Alexander E.M. Hess and Samuel Weigley | 24/7 Wall St – Wed, Aug 22, 2012 2:54 PM EDT

Consumers, it seems, are always after the shiny new product. For some industries, the latest version is always the most popular — the newest smartphone, tablet and sneaker are always the products in highest demand. Not surprisingly, some of the most valuable brands are relatively young. Apple, Google and Nike is each worth tens of billions of dollars and has tens of millions of customers.

Nevertheless, many of the most well-known brands with the most valuable brand equity include some of the country’s oldest companies. American Express, founded in 1850, is one of the hundred most valuable brands in the world, according to a list published by Interbrand, a branding consultancy. Coca Cola, Heinz and Jack Daniels are also on the Interbrand list and are all over a hundred years old.

24/7 Wall St. went in search of America’s oldest brands. To be considered, the brand had to have remained the same — the same name and consistently associated with the same consumer product. While almost all of the brands were not nationally available in the 19th century, the products had to be nationally available today.

[More from 24/7 Wall St.: Ten Brands That Will Disappear In 2013]

Many of the oldest products were not included. Though it has been around for over 200 years, Jim Beam was previously sold as Old Tub and its name did not change to Jim Beam until the 1930s. The company that makes King Arthur flour was founded in 1790, but didn’t adopt the name until the end of the 19th century.

While there are a number of companies that were founded in America over 150 years ago, most remained small regional brands. Yuengling has been brewing since 1829, but continues to be a beer that’s almost exclusively distributed in the Northeast.

Of course, some brands made the cut. Remington does not make the same rifles it did in 1848, but the current models are continuations of the brand’s core product. The New York Times (NYSE:NYT), founded in 1851, has a different typeface and trim size today, but is very similar to the one printed 150 years ago. Even NYT.com has the same front page layout.

What does it take for a brand to survive and thrive for over 150 years, which is as long as Brooks Brothers’ ready-to-wear suit brand has been around? Most brands on our list have done well for many decades because they continue to be well-regarded by consumers. Remington rifles are among the best made in the world. Tiffany silver is still considered the “gold standard” for products in its category. Each of these products may have different competition than a century ago, but continues to be relevant in the current industry.

Will Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) or McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) survive into the next century? There is no assurance of that. They could become unexpectedly overwhelmed by competition, or they could radically change their businesses. There is no way to predict product longevity, as least based on the variety of brands on this list and the competition each has had to survive.

These are America’s Oldest Brands.

1. Baker’s Chocolate

> Product: Chocolate
> Product launched: 1780
> Company founded: 1780

Baker’s Chocolate has, as a brand, been produced consistently since 1780, when Dr. John Baker purchased the outstanding shares in his own company from his partner’s widow. One representative of Kraft Foods, present owners of the brand, told 24/7 Wall St. that “not much has changed, except the packaging.” Yet even the packaging has remained remarkably consistent over time. La Belle Chocolaterie, the female figure seen on packages of Baker’s, has been featured on Baker’s Chocolate packages for over 100 years.

2. Crane & Co.

> Product: Stationery
> Product launched: 1801
> Company founded: 1799

Crane Paper has been made since 1799, when Zenas Crane began milling cotton paper. Under Zenas, the company began producing stationery paper in 1801. Among those who used stationary crafted from Crane’s paper were Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Queen Mother—who announced the celebration of her 100th birthday using Crane’s paper. Crane & Co. has continued to use cotton paper, even as other companies have moved to tree pulp for making paper, a cheaper alternative. The company’s cotton paper is not just used for stationary, but also for currency. Since 1879, the company has provided the U.S. Treasury with currency paper, a business which accounts for a lion’s share of their revenue.

[More from 24/7 Wall St.: America’s Most (and Least) Livable States]

3. Remington

> Product: Rifles and rifle barrels
> Product launched: 1818
> Company founded: 1818

Remington was founded in Ilion Gulch, New York by Eliphalet Remington II. Though it started by making gun barrels, according to the National Firearms Museum, Remington made its first completed firearm in 1848, when it was contracted by the U.S. Navy to manufacture 1,000 Jenks carbine rifles. The company has evolved somewhat since its founding. It incorporated as a stock company called E. Remington & Sons in 1865. In 1888 it was acquired by Marcellus Hartley and partners and renamed Remington Arms Company. From 1933 to 1993 it was partly, and later wholly owned by E.I du Pont de Nemours & Co. Despite all these changes, Remington rifles have been a constant. Of course, the rifles Remington makes have evolved to the present semi-automatic, autoloading models manufactured and sold today.

4. Schaefer Beer

> Product: Beer
> Product launched: 1842
> Company founded: 1842

F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company, which makes Schaefer Beer, was founded by brothers Frederick and Maximilian Schaefer. Frederick had immigrated to the U.S. from Germany in 1838, and Maximilian followed him in 1839, bringing along a formula for lager. By 1842, the two brothers purchased a small brewery in New York City. Over the 19th and 20th century, the company, and its beers, developed a wider following. An advertising campaign created the famous jingle, Schaefer — “the one beer to have when you are having more than one.” By 1971, more than 5 million barrels of beer had been brewed. In 1981, the F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company was purchased by the Stroh Brewing Company, which was purchased by the Pabst Brewing Company in 1999. Despite these changes in ownership, Schaefer Beer is still sold today.

5. Poland Spring

> Product: Beverage
> Product launched: 1845
> Company founded: 1845

Though people tend to think bottled water is a relatively new product, Poland Spring proves them wrong. In 1845, the Ricker family began bottling and selling spring water. By 1860, Poland Spring was being sold all over the country. Driving the brand’s early fame was its affiliation with the Poland Springs Resort and its purported health benefits. The brand remains as popular as ever: Poland Spring was named the strongest bottled water brand in 2012 by the Harris Poll EquiTrend study.

6. Scientific American

> Product: Magazine
> Product launched: 1845
> Company founded: 1845

Scientific American, a magazine dedicated to science and technology, was founded in 1845 by Rufus Porter. At the time, it was a weekly broadsheet carrying the subtitle, “The Advocate of Industry and Enterprise, and Journal of Other Improvements.” Porter sold the magazine after 10 months to Orson Desaix Munn and Alfred Ely Beach for $800. The publication also founded the first branch of the U.S. Patent Agency in 1850 to give technical and legal advice to aspiring inventors. More than 140 Nobel laureates have written for Scientific American in its history. Today, the publication is owned by Macmillan Publishers Ltd. Scientific American notes that the monthly print magazine is read by 3.5 million people worldwide, and 3.88 million people a month visit its website, ScientificAmerican.com.

7. Merriam-Webster

> Product: Reference books
> Product launched: 1847
> Company founded: 1831

In 1843, G. & C. Merriam Co. purchased the rights to Noah Webster’s 1841 edition of An American Dictionary of the English Language, Corrected and Enlarged. In 1847, Merriam published its first Merriam-Webster dictionary. Though one of the country’s oldest brands, Merriam-Webster makes significant efforts to keep track of the latest linguistic trends. In Aug. 2012, the company released its list of new words to be added to its Collegiate Dictionary. The list included words such as man cave, underwater (to describe mortgages), aha moment, and gastropub.

[More from 24/7 Wall St.: America’s Worst Companies to Work For]

8. Brooks Brothers

> Product: Menswear
> Product launched: 1849
> Company founded: 1818

Brooks Brothers was founded in 1818 by Henry Sands Brooks, with the first store located in New York City. The company made the first ready-to-wear suits in 1849, and it has sold them ever since. The company notes that those flocking to California in the 1849 Gold Rush could not wait for tailors for custom clothing, relying on Brooks Brothers for their suit needs. Today, the New York-based company has approximately 200 stores in North America and an additional 130 stores in other parts of the globe. The company has greatly expanded its offerings since 1849 too, selling formal and casual wear for men, women and children.

9. Tiffany & Co.

> Product: Silver
> Product launched: 1851
> Company founded: 1837

Tiffany & Co., originally founded as a “stationery and fancy goods emporium,” has been a leader in the industry for over 150 years. The company’s importance can be seen in the impact it has had on the silverware and jewelry business. Tiffany & Co. has used the same 925/1000 standard for silver purity since 1837 — a standard later adopted by the United States government for sterling silver. At the 1867 Paris Exposition Universelle, Tiffany was the first American company to win an award for its silverware. In 1871, the company introduced a flatware pattern, called “Audobon”, which to-date remains the company’s best-selling flatware. Today, Tiffany sells silver bracelets, necklaces, piggy banks, and silverware among other items.

10. The New York Times

> Product: Newspaper
> Product launched: 1851
> Company founded: 1851

The first edition of the New York Times was published on Sept. 18, 1851. The paper began publishing its Sunday issue in April 1861. After the paper’s acquisition by Adolph S. Ochs in 1896, the Times adopted its present motto, “All the News That’s Fit to Print.” In 1912, the paper was the first to report of the Titanic’s sinking. In 1918, the Times was awarded its first Pulitzer Prize, the second year the price was offered. To date, 108 Pulitzer Prizes and citations have been given to the newspaper.

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).