Thursday, November 10, 2005

This day (November 10) in history . . .

Well, after ruminating a bit on which of a myriad of subjects to address, I've decided to take the "easy" way out today. Besides, it was a busy news day in history, and there are a number of things that I think bear mentioning!

1775 - American Revolutionary War: The Continental Congress passes a resolution creating the Continental Marines (later renamed the United States Marine Corps) to serve as landing troops for the recently created Continental Navy.

1865 - Major Henry Wirz, the superintendent of a prison camp in Andersonville, Georgia, is hanged, becoming the only American Civil War soldier executed for war crimes. Interestingly enough, the tale of Andersonville serves to highlight mans inhumanity to man (infighting amongst those incarcerated) as much as (if nor more than) those who were in charge of the prison. 13,000 died in that camp, and that among speculation that they were left to rot by their own side - intentionally - to help weaken the Confederate armies.

1871 - Henry Morton Stanley locates missing explorer and missionary, Dr. David Livingstone in Ujiji, near Lake Tanganyika saying "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"

1938 - Kate Smith, on her weekly radio show, sings Irving Berlin's God Bless America for the first time.

1951 - Direct-dial coast-to-coast telephone service begins in the United States. Considering our addiction now to cellular or digital phones, I'd say this is a pretty big milestone!

1954 - US President Dwight D. Eisenhower dedicates the USMC War Memorial (Iwo Jima memorial) in Arlington National Cemetery.

1969 - National Educational Television (the predecessor to the Public Broadcasting Service) in the United States debuts the children's television program Sesame Street.

1975 - The 729-foot-long freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sinks during a storm on Lake Superior, killing all 29 crew on board. Who doesn't love the Gordon Lightfoot ballad - it makes the tale come alive for me each time I hear it.

1975 - United Nations Resolution 3379: United Nations General Assembly approves a resolution equating Zionism with racism (the resolution was repealed in December 1991). Interestingly, this resolution was passed at a time when the U.S. was floundering under a weak leader (Gerald Ford), having just come through the impeachment of Richard Nixon and still dealing with the repercussions. It was repealed in 1991, under George H. W. Bush. As a footnote, in Wikipedia it is noted that: Majority votes of various UN agencies and bodies continued to assert the phrase "Zionism is racism" as the consensus in their agendas and conclusions, reflecting persistence of this view apart from the resolution. However, under pressure from the United States, under George W. Bush's administration, the phrase was omitted from the agenda of the United Nations Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa, 2001, and its final communiqué.

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