Author Topic: Today in History  (Read 6439 times)

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Offline modesti

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Re : Today in History
« Reply #15 on: 27 January 2012 à 21:58:14 »
That's a very dark side of History. But you were right to put it here. People should never forget.

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." (George Orwell, Animal farm)
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Offline Duke of Buckingham SETI.USA

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Re : Today in History
« Reply #16 on: 27 January 2012 à 22:12:17 »
Well I couldnt forget afterall I am a Jew.

Forget history and history will repeat. Forget love and hate will prevail.

Ricardo Fereira


Offline Duke of Buckingham SETI.USA

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Re : Today in History
« Reply #17 on: 28 January 2012 à 05:18:36 »
Jan 28, 1986:
Challenger explodes


At 11:38 a.m. EST, on January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger lifts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and Christa McAuliffe is on her way to becoming the first ordinary U.S. civilian to travel into space. McAuliffe, a 37-year-old high school social studies teacher from New Hampshire, won a competition that earned her a place among the seven-member crew of the Challenger. She underwent months of shuttle training but then, beginning January 23, was forced to wait six long days as the Challenger's launch countdown was repeatedly delayed because of weather and technical problems. Finally, on January 28, the shuttle lifted off.

Seventy-three seconds later, hundreds on the ground, including Christa's family, stared in disbelief as the shuttle exploded in a forking plume of smoke and fire. Millions more watched the wrenching tragedy unfold on live television. There were no survivors.

In 1976, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) unveiled the world's first reusable manned spacecraft, the Enterprise. Five years later, space flights of the shuttle began when Columbia traveled into space on a 54-hour mission. Launched by two solid-rocket boosters and an external tank, only the aircraft-like shuttle entered into orbit around Earth. When the mission was completed, the shuttle fired engines to reduce speed and, after descending through the atmosphere, landed like a glider. Early shuttles took satellite equipment into space and carried out various scientific experiments. The Challenger disaster was the first major shuttle accident.

In the aftermath of the explosion, President Ronald Reagan appointed a special commission to determine what went wrong with Challenger and to develop future corrective measures. The presidential commission was headed by former secretary of state William Rogers, and included former astronaut Neil Armstrong and former test pilot Chuck Yeager. The investigation determined that the explosion was caused by the failure of an "O-ring" seal in one of the two solid-fuel rockets. The elastic O-ring did not respond as expected because of the cold temperature at launch time, which began a chain of events that resulted in the massive explosion. As a result of the explosion, NASA did not send astronauts into space for more than two years as it redesigned a number of features of the space shuttle.

In September 1988, space shuttle flights resumed with the successful launching of the Discovery. Since then, the space shuttle has carried out numerous important missions, such as the repair and maintenance of the Hubble Space Telescope and the construction of the International Space Station.

On February 1, 2003, a second space-shuttle disaster rocked the United States when Columbia disintegrated upon reentry of the Earth's atmosphere. All aboard were killed. Despite fears that the problems that downed Columbia had not been satisfactorily addressed, space-shuttle flights resumed on July 26, 2005, when Discovery was again put into orbit.


Jan 28, 1997:
Afrikaner police admit to killing Stephen Biko


In South Africa, four apartheid-era police officers, appearing before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, admit to the 1977 killing of Stephen Biko, a leader of the South African "Black consciousness" movement.

In 1969, Biko, a medical student, founded an organization for South Africa's black students to combat the minority government's racist apartheid policies and to promote black identity. In 1972, he helped organize the Black People's Convention and in the next year was banned from politics by the Afrikaner government. Four years later, in September 1977, he was arrested for subversion. While in police custody in Port Elizabeth, Biko was brutally beaten and then driven 700 miles to Pretoria, where he was thrown into a cell. On September 12, 1977, he died naked and shackled on the filthy floor of a police hospital. News of the political killing, denied by the country's white minority government, led to international protests and a U.N.-imposed arms embargo.

In 1995, after the peaceful transfer to majority rule in South Africa, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established to examine decades of apartheid policy and to address the widespread call for justice for those who abused their authority under the system. However, as a condition of the transfer of power, the outgoing white minority government requested that the commission be obligated to grant amnesty to people making full confessions of politically motivated crimes during apartheid. Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu was appointed to head the commission, which was soon criticized by many South Africans for its apparent willingness to grant pardons.

In early 1997, four former police officers, including Police Colonel Gideon Nieuwoudt, appeared before the commission and admitted to killing Stephen Biko two decades earlier. The commission agreed to hear their request for political amnesty but in 1999 refused to grant amnesty because the men failed to establish a political motive for the brutal killing. Other amnesty applications are still in progress.

Offline Duke of Buckingham SETI.USA

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Re : Today in History
« Reply #18 on: 29 January 2012 à 12:16:34 »
Jan 29, 1936:
U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame elects first members


On January 29, 1936, the U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame elects its first members in Cooperstown, New York: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Matthewson and Walter Johnson.

The Hall of Fame actually had its beginnings in 1935, when plans were made to build a museum devoted to baseball and its 100-year history. A private organization based in Cooperstown called the Clark Foundation thought that establishing the Baseball Hall of Fame in their city would help to reinvigorate the area's Depression-ravaged economy by attracting tourists. To help sell the idea, the foundation advanced the idea that U.S. Civil War hero Abner Doubleday invented baseball in Cooperstown. The story proved to be phony, but baseball officials, eager to capitalize on the marketing and publicity potential of a museum to honor the game's greats, gave their support to the project anyway.

In preparation for the dedication of the Hall of Fame in 1939--thought by many to be the centennial of baseball--the Baseball Writers' Association of America chose the five greatest superstars of the game as the first class to be inducted: Ty Cobb was the most productive hitter in history; Babe Ruth was both an ace pitcher and the greatest home-run hitter to play the game; Honus Wagner was a versatile star shortstop and batting champion; Christy Matthewson had more wins than any pitcher in National League history; and Walter Johnson was considered one of the most powerful pitchers to ever have taken the mound.

Today, with approximately 350,000 visitors per year, the Hall of Fame continues to be the hub of all things baseball. It has elected 278 individuals, in all, including 225 players, 17 managers, 8 umpires and 28 executives and pioneers.

Ten Baseball Hall of Famers pose outside the museum in Cooperstown, June 12, 1939. Front row; Eddie Collins, Babe Ruth, Connie Mack, Cy Young. Back row: Honus Wagner, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Tris Speaker, Napoleon Lajoie, George Sisler and Walter Johnson.


Jan 29, 1942:
Iran signs Treaty of Alliance with Great Britain and USSR


On this day, Britain and the USSR secure an agreement with Iran that offers the Iran protection while creating a "Persian corridor" for the Allies—a supply route from the West to Russia.

Early in the war, Iran collaborated with Germany by exporting grain to the Axis power in exchange for technicians. But the Allies viewed Iran as a valuable source of oil and conveniently situated as a route for shipping Western war material east to the USSR. On August 25, 1941, both Allied powers invaded Iran (which Prime Minister Winston Churchill preferred to call "Persia," so there would be no confusion between "Iran" and "Iraq"), the Soviets from the north and the Brits from the south. In four days, the Allies effectively controlled Iran.

On September 16, the ruling shah abdicated, and his 23-year-old son, Muhammad, assumed power and pushed through the Iranian parliament the Treaty of Alliance, which allowed the Allies freedom to move supplies through the country and gave them whatever else they needed from Iran to win the war. The new shah also vowed "not to adopt in his relations with foreign countries an attitude which is inconsistent with the alliance."

In exchange, Iran was promised wartime protection from Axis invasion—and a guarantee that the Allies would leave Iranian soil within six months of the close of the war.

The alliance started off shakily: the Soviets bought up most of Iran's grain harvest, which caused a bread shortage and riots in the streets. Allied troops put the rebellion down, and the United States shipped in grain to compensate for the losses. The Soviet Union then attempted to agitate for the overthrow of the shah by supporting the Tudeh (Farsi for "masses") party, which the Soviets believed would be more generous in oil concessions. Tudeh forces did manage temporarily to take over northern Iran in December 1944.

When the war ended, the Allies began leaving Iran as promised—except for the USSR. Complaints were made to the United Nations, and pressure was applied by the United States and Great Britain, as this was a violation of one of the terms of the Treaty of Alliance. The Soviets finally began pulling out of Iran in April 1946, but as they withdrew, they continued to foster more bloody rebellions between the shah's government and the Tudeh; the Tudeh were decisively defeated in December 1946 when the shah declared martial law.

Offline Duke of Buckingham SETI.USA

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Re : Today in History
« Reply #19 on: 30 January 2012 à 12:49:08 »
Jan 30, 1948:
Gandhi assassinated


Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the political and spiritual leader of the Indian independence movement, is assassinated in New Delhi by a Hindu fanatic.

Born the son of an Indian official in 1869, Gandhi's Vaishnava mother was deeply religious and early on exposed her son to Jainism, a morally rigorous Indian religion that advocated nonviolence. Gandhi was an unremarkable student but in 1888 was given an opportunity to study law in England. In 1891, he returned to India, but failing to find regular legal work he accepted in 1893 a one-year contract in South Africa.

Settling in Natal, he was subjected to racism and South African laws that restricted the rights of Indian laborers. Gandhi later recalled one such incident, in which he was removed from a first-class railway compartment and thrown off a train, as his moment of truth. From thereon, he decided to fight injustice and defend his rights as an Indian and a man. When his contract expired, he spontaneously decided to remain in South Africa and launched a campaign against legislation that would deprive Indians of the right to vote. He formed the Natal Indian Congress and drew international attention to the plight of Indians in South Africa. In 1906, the Transvaal government sought to further restrict the rights of Indians, and Gandhi organized his first campaign of satyagraha, or mass civil disobedience. After seven years of protest, he negotiated a compromise agreement with the South African government.

In 1914, Gandhi returned to India and lived a life of abstinence and spirituality on the periphery of Indian politics. He supported Britain in the First World War but in 1919 launched a new satyagraha in protest of Britain's mandatory military draft of Indians. Hundreds of thousands answered his call to protest, and by 1920 he was leader of the Indian movement for independence. He reorganized the Indian National Congress as a political force and launched a massive boycott of British goods, services, and institutions in India. Then, in 1922, he abruptly called off the satyagraha when violence erupted. One month later, he was arrested by the British authorities for sedition, found guilty, and imprisoned.

After his release in 1924, he led an extended fast in protest of Hindu-Muslim violence. In 1928, he returned to national politics when he demanded dominion status for India and in 1930 launched a mass protest against the British salt tax, which hurt India's poor. In his most famous campaign of civil disobedience, Gandhi and his followers marched to the Arabian Sea, where they made their own salt by evaporating sea water. The march, which resulted in the arrest of Gandhi and 60,000 others, earned new international respect and support for the leader and his movement.

In 1931, Gandhi was released to attend the Round Table Conference on India in London as the sole representative of the Indian National Congress. The meeting was a great disappointment, and after his return to India he was again imprisoned. While in jail, he led another fast in protest of the British government's treatment of the "untouchables"--the impoverished and degraded Indians who occupied the lowest tiers of the caste system. In 1934, he left the Indian Congress Party to work for the economic development of India's many poor. His protege, Jawaharlal Nehru, was named leader of the party in his place.

With the outbreak of World War II, Gandhi returned to politics and called for Indian cooperation with the British war effort in exchange for independence. Britain refused and sought to divide India by supporting conservative Hindu and Muslim groups. In response, Gandhi launched the "Quit India" movement it 1942, which called for a total British withdrawal. Gandhi and other nationalist leaders were imprisoned until 1944.

In 1945, a new government came to power in Britain, and negotiations for India's independence began. Gandhi sought a unified India, but the Muslim League, which had grown in influence during the war, disagreed. After protracted talks, Britain agreed to create the two new independent states of India and Pakistan on August 15, 1947. Gandhi was greatly distressed by the partition, and bloody violence soon broke out between Hindus and Muslims in India.

In an effort to end India's religious strife, he resorted to fasts and visits to the troubled areas. He was on one such vigil in New Delhi when Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist who objected to Gandhi's tolerance for the Muslims, fatally shot him. Known as Mahatma, or "the great soul," during his lifetime, Gandhi's persuasive methods of civil disobedience influenced leaders of civil rights movements around the world, especially Martin Luther King Jr. in the United States.

Jan 30, 1972:
Bloody Sunday in Northern Ireland


In Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 13 unarmed civil rights demonstrators are shot dead by British Army paratroopers in an event that becomes known as "Bloody Sunday." The protesters, all Northern Catholics, were marching in protest of the British policy of internment of suspected Irish nationalists. British authorities had ordered the march banned, and sent troops to confront the demonstrators when it went ahead. The soldiers fired indiscriminately into the crowd of protesters, killing 13 and wounding 17.

The killings brought worldwide attention to the crisis in Northern Ireland and sparked protests all across Ireland. In Dublin, the capital of independent Ireland, outraged Irish citizens lit the British embassy aflame on February 2.

The crisis in Northern Ireland escalated in 1969 when British troops were sent to the British possession to suppress nationalist activity by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and to quell religious violence between Protestants and Catholics.

In April 1972, the British government released a report exonerating British troops from any illegal actions during the Londonderry protest. Irish indignation over Britain's Northern Ireland policies grew, and Britain increased its military presence in the North while removing any vestige of Northern self-rule. On July 21, 1972, the IRA exploded 20 bombs simultaneously in Belfast, killing British military personnel and a number of civilians. Britain responded by instituting a new court system composed of trial without jury for terrorism suspects and conviction rates topped over 90 percent.

The IRA officially disarmed in September 2005, finally fulfilling the terms of the historic 1998 Good Friday peace agreement. It was hoped that the disarmament would bring with it an end to decades of politically motivated bloodshed in the region.