Category Archives: Photography

Cetatea Fagarasului:


Suflete pure care vin sa completeze feeria de la Cetatea Fagarasului   Cetatea Făgăraşului

 

 

today’s picture: Jackie Cochran and the Origin of the WASPs



Jackie Cochran and the Origin of the WASPs

It took three years for pilot Jacqueline ‘Jackie’ Cochran to convince the U.S. military that qualified women pilots could free men for combat duty by performing non-combat missions. Supported by Eleanor Roosevelt and Army aviation chief General Henry H. ‘Hap’ Arnold, Cochran’s goal was achieved in 1943 with the formation of the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs). Before deactivation on December 20, 1944, 1,074 WASPs logged 60 million miles flying for the U.S. Army Air Forces.

This 1957 photo shows Jacqueline Cochran standing next to her plane, with Chuck Yeager and Bill Longhurst, at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

Image: Air Force Flight Test Center History Office

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.xS0xJgM1.dpuf

today’s image: Lewis Hine and Child Labor Reforms



Lewis Hine and Child Labor Reforms

In 1908, the National Child Labor Committee estimated that one of every four miners was a child between the ages of 7 and 16. Lewis W. Hine photographed these young Pennsylvania coal miners, who worked from dawn to dusk. Early-20th-century reformers crusaded against many social problems caused by America’s rapid industrialization and urbanization, including child labor. Teacher-turned-photographer Lewis Hine documented industrial child labor for the National Child Labor Committee. Disguised to evade suspicious employers, Hine captured some of the most powerful images in the history of documentary photography.

Image: Library of Congress

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.r7KJS93D.dpuf

today’s image: Alice Lee Roosevelt


Alice Lee Roosevelt

Alice Lee Roosevelt, President Theodore Roosevelt’s irrepressible eldest daughter, married Congressman Nicholas Longworth of Ohio in an elaborate White House ceremony on February 17, 1906. Heedless of social convention, Alice’s behavior routinely shocked her family and friends. Once the president, when confronted with another of Alice’s escapades, remarked, ‘I can do one of two things, I can run the country or control Alice. I cannot do both.’ Nevertheless, the world public was captivated with the first daughter, who seemed to embody the ideal Gay Nineties woman. In spite of its promising beginning, Alice’s 25-year marriage to Longworth was not a happy one, but Alice reigned as the grande dame of Washington, D.C. society for another 50 years. This photo was taken on March 24, 1902.

Photo: Library of Congress

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.QjHzCPzg.dpuf

Good Taste Always_Pencil Sketch 3_FotoSketcher (my art collection)


Good Taste Always_Pencil Sketch 3_FotoSketcher

Good Taste Always_Pencil Sketch 3_FotoSketcher (my art collection)

Good Taste Always_Pencil Sketch 3_FotoSketcher (my art collection)

Soft Touch – Pencil sketch -1-FotoSketcher (my art Collection)


Soft Touch - Pencil sketch -1-FotoSketcher

Soft Touch – Pencil sketch -1-FotoSketcher (My Art collection)

Today’s Image: Naturalist Charles Darwin (Image: Library of Congress)


Naturalist Charles Darwin

Charles Robert Darwin, born on February 12, 1809, was the English naturalist whose theory of evolution rocked Victorian religion and science. Shortly after his graduation from Cambridge, Darwin sailed as a naturalist with the surveying ship HMS Beagle. During the five-year voyage, Darwin’s observations of wildlife led to the writing of his 1859 book The Origin of the Species, in which he proposed the theory of natural selection. All life, he said, is a struggle for existence and some species are better able to adapt to the environment and survive to pass along their characteristics. In 1871, Darwin wrote Descent of Man, which demonstrated that man and ape could have had a common ancestor. Darwin’s theories were highly controversial and unsettling to those who believed in creationism. Many Victorians condemned Darwin as blasphemous, but many important scientists of the day agreed with his theories.

Image: Library of Congress

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.eJHAhFAX.dpuf

The age of asbestos | Mosaic


The age of asbestos | Mosaic.

today’s photo: The Airship USS Macon Crashes (Image: National Archives)


The Airship USS Macon Crashes


On its 55th flight, the airship USS Macon crashed on February 12, 1935. While off Point Sur, California, a gust of wind tore off the ship’s upper fin, which deflated the gas cells and caused the ship to fall into the sea. Most of Macon’s 83 crewmen were rescued from the waters, but two of them died in the accident. The U.S. Navy had suffered the loss of the airship Shenandoah in 1925 and Akron in 1933. Some considered airships too dangerous for the program to continue at that point, and work on them in the United States halted temporarily.

Image: National Archives

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day?podMonth=2&podDay=11&pod=GO#sthash.pMfctVIU.dpuf

today’s image: George Armstrong Custer Marries Libbie Bacon




George Armstrong Custer Marries Libbie Bacon

After a courtship that began at a party on Thanksgiving Day 1862, Brevet General George Armstrong Custer and Miss Elizabeth Bacon, both of Monroe, Michigan, married on February 9, 1864. Until Custer died at the Battle of the Little Bighorn a dozen years later, Libbie followed him to postings throughout the West whenever possible. Libbie never remarried, even though she outlived her husband by 50 years, preferring to keep his memory alive by lecturing and writing books about their life together on the Plains. Elizabeth Custer lived comfortably in New York City until her death on April 8, 1933, at the age of 91.

Image: Library of Congress

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.JnMUwxzJ.dpuf

today’s birthday: Gerhard Richter (1932)


Gerhard Richter (1932)

Richter is considered one of the foremost German artists of the post-World War II period, indeed one of the foremost artists in the world, and the prices his works fetch at auction reflect this distinction. Unwilling to settle on any one medium or approach, Richter paints, photographs, draws, and sculpts and has varied his style from austere photorealism to satirical pop to minimalism to pure abstraction. This fluidity is interpreted by some as a reaction to the early training he received where? More… Discuss

Avignon: Main Entrance of The Palais des Papes (Pencil sketch no.1 FotoSketcher) (My Art Collection)


Main_entrance_of_the_Palais_des_Papes BW pencil-sketch-1-_FotoSketcher

Avignon: Main_entrance_of_the_Palais_des_Papes BW pencil-sketch-1-_FotoSketcher (click to enlarge) (My Art Collection)

Avignon: Main entrance of the Palais des Papes (Pencil sketch no.1 FotoSketcher) (My Art Collection)

today’s Image: Jules Verne (Image ArtToday)



Jules Verne

French author Jules Verne, born on February 8, 1828, is considered the father of science fiction. Many of his 19th-century works forecast amazing scientific feats–feats that were actually carried out in the 20th century–with uncanny accuracy. Verne’s 1865 book From the Earth to the Moon told the story of a space ship that is launched from Florida to the moon and that returns to Earth by landing in the ocean. An illustration from the original version of the book is shown above. Something of a scientist and traveler himself, Verne’s 1870 work about a submarine, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and Around the World in Eighty Days also foretold technological advances that seemed fantastic at the time. Jules Verne died in 1905.

Image ArtToday

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.lnUNkvGi.dpuf

— The Cult Cat


 

picture of the day: Samuel F.B. Morse and Telegraphy



Samuel F.B. Morse and Telegraphy
American portrait artist Samuel F.B. Morse developed the technology for electrical telegraphy in the 1830s, the first instantaneous form of communication. Using a key to hold open an electrical circuit for longer or shorter periods, an operator would tap out a message in a code composed of dots and dashes. Public demonstrations of the equipment were made in February 1838, but it was necessary for Morse to secure financial backing to build the first telegraph line to carry the signal over distance. In 1843, Congress appropriated the funds for a 37-mile line between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. After underground telegraph wires proved unsuccessful, Morse switched to pole wires and, on May 24, 1844, before a crowd of dignitaries in the chambers of the Supreme Court, Morse tapped out the message, ‘What hath God wrought?’ to an associate waiting in Baltimore.

Image: Library of Congress

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.ovO6AIos.dpuf

today’s image: The first large-scale electronic digital computer



The first large-scale electronic digital computer

A press conference for what is considered the first computer, the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (ENIAC), was held at the University of Pennsylvania on February 1, 1946. The machine (shown here with a technician) took up an entire room, weighed 30 tons and used more than 18,000 vacuum tubes to perform functions such as counting to 5,000 in one second. ENIAC, costing $450,000, was designed by the U.S. Army during World War II to make artillery calculations. The development of ENIAC paved the way for modern computer technology–but even today’s average calculator possesses more computing power than ENIAC did.

Image: U.S. Army

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.nEYt4xhf.dpuf

‘Book lover’, 1933. Photo by Brassaï — ✍ Bibliophilia (@Libroantiguo)


picture of the day: Adolf Hitler Becomes Chancellor



Adolf Hitler Becomes Chancellor

German President Paul von Hindenburg (right) made Adolf Hitler chancellor on January 30, 1933. After World War I, Germany fell into disarray and looked for a leader to strengthen it again. Hitler had emerged after joining the Nazi Party in 1919 and taking it over in 1921. In 1932 Hitler ran against von Hindenburg and lost–but not by a wide margin. The Nazis won 230 seats in the German parliament and continued to gain influence, stifling democracy and communism by force and by making laws against them. After Hindenburg’s death in 1934, Hitler proclaimed himself Der Führer of the Third Reich and continued as Germany’s leader through World War II.

Image: Collier’s Magazine

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.UOuYX7Ws.dpuf

picture of the day: The Disputed Presidential Election of 1876



The Disputed Presidential Election of 1876

In 1876, Democrat Samuel Tilden ran for president against Republican Rutherford B. Hayes. On election night, it was clear that Tilden had won the popular vote, but it was also clear that votes in Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina and Oregon were fraudulent because of voter intimidation. Republicans knew that if the electoral votes from these four states were thrown out, Hayes would win. The country hovered near civil war as both Democrats and Republicans claimed victory. Illustrator Thomas Nast drew this cartoon, Tilden or Blood, showing the Democrats threatening violence. On January 29, 1877, a highly partisan Electoral Commission, made up of eight Republicans and seven Democrats, was established by Congress to settle the issue. Under the terms of the Tilden-Hayes Election Compromise, Hayes became president and the Republicans agreed to remove the last Federal troops from Southern territory, ending Reconstruction.

Image: Harper’s Weekly

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.jZZlSWeO.dpuf

Construction workers taking a break at the Crystal Palace exhibition hall in Sydenham, London, 1855 — OnThisDay & Facts (@NotableHistory)


today’s picture: Abdication of Hawaiian Queen Liliuokalani



Abdication of Hawaiian Queen Liliuokalani

Royal Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Hawaii

Royal Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Hawaii (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hawaii’s Queen Liliuokalani stepped down from the throne on January 24, 1893, to avoid any bloodshed and to pardon her supporters who had been jailed by the Provisional Government, which had asked her to abdicate. After becoming queen in 1891, Liliuokalani fought against making Hawaii a part of the United States, making her unpopular among those Hawaiians who felt they had more to gain from annexation. She believed in ‘Hawaii

Queen Liliuokalani license

Queen Liliuokalani license (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

for Hawaiians,’ and conceded less to foreign businesses and governments than her predecessors had. Five years later the U.S. Congress annexed Hawaii–without a vote from the Hawaiian people.

Image: Library of Congress

 

The Temple on the Hilltop_emergence-2_ FotoSketcher (My Art Collection)


The Temple on the Hilltop_emergence-2_ FotoSketcher (My Art Collection)

The Temple on the Hilltop_emergence-2_ FotoSketcher (My Art Collection) (click to enlarge to full splendor)

The Temple on the Hilltop_emergence-2_ FotoSketcher (My Art Collection) (click to enlarge to full splendor)

Expressions: Shyness Controlled-emergence-2_fotoSketcher (My Art Collection)


Expressions: Shyness Controlled-emergence-2_FotoSketcher (My Art Collection)

Expressions: Shyness Controlled-emergence-2_fotoSketcher

Expressions: Shyness Controlled-emergence-2_FotoSketcher ) (My Art Collection) (click to enlarge)

Introspection_emergence 2-FotoSketcher (my art Collection)


Introspection_emergence 2-FotoSketcher (my art Collection)

Introspection_emergence 2-FotoSketcher

Introspection_emergence 2-FotoSketcher (my art Collection) (click to enlarge)

beauty-1._FotoSketcher_emergence 2_2 (My Art Collection)


beauty-1._FotoSketcher_emergence 2_2

beauty-1._FotoSketcher_emergence 2_2 (click to enlarge)

Image of the day: Queen Victoria died on January 22, 1901



Queen Victoria Dies
Queen Victoria, monarch of Great Britain and Ireland and Empress of India, died on January 22, 1901, after presiding over her vast empire for nearly 64 years–the longest reign in British history. Born in 1819, the only child of George III’s fourth son, Victoria became queen in 1837. In 1840, she married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Although the match was a political one, the two were devoted to each other, having nine children before Albert’s death in 1861. Through dynastic marriages, Victoria’s descendants are connected to almost all 20th-century Europe’s royal houses. During Victoria’s long reign the monarchy lost much of its political power to Parliament, but she was the beloved symbol of the Victorian Era–a golden age of British history.

Image: Library of Congress

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.uGh1q9jJ.dpuf

today’s picture: Jefferson Davis Leaves the U.S. Senate



Jefferson Davis Leaves the U.S. Senate

Just weeks after his home state of Mississippi seceded from the Union, U.S. Senator Jefferson Davis prepared to leave Washington, D.C., and the country he had served as a soldier, cabinet member and member of Congress. On January 21, 1861, Davis and five other Southern senators made emotional farewell speeches. One more time, Davis enumerated the reasons why the South felt secession was its only recourse: ‘…when you deny to us the right to withdraw from a Government which…threatens to be destructive to our rights, we but tread in the path of our fathers when we proclaim our independence….’ Davis then apologized to any senators he may have offended, and finished his address by saying, ‘…it only remains for me to bid you a final adieu.’

Image: Weider History Group Archives

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day?podMonth=1&podDay=21&pod=GO#sthash.N70IbFRa.dpuf

today’s picture: The Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact



The Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact

German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop (far left) and Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs Vyacheslav M. Molotov (far right) signed a pact on August 23, 1939, in which Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia agreed not to support any third party that might attack the other. Because Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin (second from right) had publicly condemned each other’s ideologies, the agreement came as a surprise to both Soviet and Nazi sympathizers. The pact was signed more for strategic reasons than peaceful ones, however. Specifications made public years later revealed that the leaders had divided Eastern Europe into German and Soviet spheres, allotting each side territory between the two. Just days after the signing, Germany invaded Poland, and by the end of September, both powers had claimed sections of Poland. World War II and Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union were just around the corner.

Image: National Archives

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.A7f71Way.dpuf

today’s picture: The Tuskegee Airmen



The Tuskegee Airmen
The U.S. Army Air Corps 99th Fighter Squadron, the first of the all-black Tuskegee Airmen to see combat, had been based in Africa for four months when they were assigned to escort 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers on a routine mission over Sicilian targets on July 2, 1943. Lieutenant Charles B. Hall of Brazil, Indiana — seen here at far right — became the first Tuskegee Airman to score a confirmed kill when he shot down a German fighter plane. Back home, the Birmingham News (Alabama) heralded the accomplishment of the 99th Fighter Squadron pilots: ‘The Tuskegee trained pilots faced their acid test and came through with flying colors to prove that they had the necessary mettle to fly successfully in combat.’

Image Courtesy of Bernard S. Proctor, U.S. Air Force Museum, via Charles and Ann Cooper

– See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.WTDDCcSd.dpuf

picture of the day: Gulf War Patriot Missiles Intercept Iraqi Scuds (Image: Raytheon Company)



Gulf War Patriot Missiles Intercept Iraqi Scuds

On January 17, 1991, the first Iraqi Scud missile attacks on Israel were launched. There were reports of death and injury, and possibly even chemical weapons being used. For a few tense hours, it looked as though Israel would retaliate against Iraq, causing the allied coalition to break up. Six months of preparation and diplomacy might be undone by a few poorly aimed, 1950s-vintage ballistic missiles. Later that evening, U.S. Patriot surface-to-air missiles were launched against the incoming Scuds, and for the first time in history, a ballistic missile was shot down by another missile. The use of Patriot missiles in Israel’s defense helped to keep that country out of the Gulf War, thereby safeguarding the integrity of the American-European-Arab coalition.

Image: Raytheon Company

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.wNE92dha.dpuf

Ice Flowers -emergence 2_FotoSketcher (click to enlarge)


Ice Flowers -emergence 2_FotoSketcher (click to enlarge)

Ice Flowers -emergence 2_FotoSketcher (click to enlarge)

today’s picture: Belle Boyd: Confederate Spy (Image: Library of Congress)



Belle Boyd: Confederate Spy

Ardent Confederate Isabelle (Belle) Boyd became one of the Civil War’s most notorious spies. In 1861, when only 16, she fatally wounded a Union soldier who entered her family’s home in Martinsburg, Virginia (now West Virginia). During the next year, she regularly provided intelligence to Rebel commanders. She was arrested several times and twice served sentences in Washington, D.C., prisons. When captured aboard a Confederate blockade-runner in 1864, Belle was banished to Canada. While traveling in England to further the Southern cause, she created a sensation by marrying Sam Hardinge, a Union officer. A widow with one child by war’s end, Boyd published her memoirs, returned to America and later earned a living by acting and lecturing on her wartime experiences.

***Image: Library of Congress

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day?podMonth=1&podDay=16&pod=GO#sthash.5iNamI9h.dpuf

A picture that shook the world. Read the #story and share it — Daniel Gennaoui (@DanielGennaoui)


White Gardenia_FotoSketcher_oil Base Painting (my Art Collection)


White Gardenia_FotoSketcher_oil Base Painting (my Art Collection)

White Gardenia_FotoSketcher_oil Base Painting (my Art Collection)

German soldiers being shown what their government had done after the war.— Daniel Gennaoui (@DanielGennaoui)


 

today’s image: Explorers Ellsworth and Hollick-Kenyon Rescued



Explorers Ellsworth and Hollick-Kenyon Rescued

American explorer Lincoln Ellsworth and Canadian pilot Herbert Hollick-Kenyon were rescued by the research ship Discovery II on January 14, 1936. The pair had made the first flight across Antarctica, 2,300 miles from the Weddell Sea to the Ross Sea, landed when their plane’s engine faltered, and waited in the previously constructed shelter at Little America for a month to be picked up. After his earlier attempts to cross Antarctica failed, Ellsworth (at right) set out with Hollick-Kenyon in the monoplane Polar Star (seen in the background) and succeeded. Part of the area that Ellsworth and Hollick-Kenyon flew over in 1935 has been named the Ellsworth Highlands.

Image: National Archives

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.g0ApaUtj.dpuf

20 Exotic and Breathtaking Places From Around the World | ViralSmash


20 Exotic and Breathtaking Places From Around the World | ViralSmash.

picture of the day: Wyatt Earp Dies (Painting by Don Prechtel)


Wyatt Earp Dies

Frontiersman Wyatt Earp died on January 13, 1929, after an illustrious life in the West. Born in Illinois in 1848, he served as a lawman in Wichita and Dodge City, Kansas, as well as Tombstone, Arizona Territory, where Wyatt and his brothers Morgan and Virgil were notorious for violent clashes with outlaws. Western historians have disagreed about the particulars of Wyatt Earp’s life, but he is said to have been a freighter-teamster, railroad construction worker, policeman, prisoner, saloon keeper and horse farmer, and he was involved in several gunfights–for reasons that may or may not have been related to law enforcement. When Morgan was killed, Wyatt avenged his death by killing Frank Stilwell, an outlaw he had previously arrested.

Painting by Don Prechtel

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day?podMonth=1&podDay=12&pod=GO#sthash.xrojEucA.dpuf

Amazing Photos & Photo Fails #1 (“I know I’m no Penguin: why do you think I’m cutting in like this?” :) :) :) )


Amazing Photos & Photo Fails – #1

“I know I’m no Penguin: why do you think I’m cutting in like this?” :) :) :)

photos

“I know I’m no Penguin: why do you think I’m cutting in like this?” :) :) :)

Donald Duck – Clown of the Jungle – Andrea Cartoons

WHAT CAUGHT MY ATTENTION: Happy Sunday #Artists! Never grow up! #sundayfunday — Conception


today’s image Alexander Hamilton (Image: Library of Congress)



Alexander Hamilton
American patriot and statesman Alexander Hamilton, the illegitimate son of a Scottish merchant, was born on St. Croix probably on January 11, 1755. After showing remarkable promise in finance, the young Hamilton was sent by a benefactor to King’s College in New York. In 1776, Hamilton joined the Continental Army, where he soon joined George Washington’s staff. After the war, Hamilton became active in New York politics, gaining a reputation as a supporter of a strong central government. In the struggle for the ratification of the Constitution, Hamilton collaborated with James Madison and John Jay in writing the Federalist Papers, which were instrumental in the passage of the Constitution. In 1789, newly elected President George Washington named Hamilton secretary of the treasury. During his tenure, Hamilton established the National Bank, introduced an excise tax, suppressed the Whiskey Rebellion and spearheaded the effort for the federal government to assume the debts of the states. In the presidential election of 1800, Hamilton broke the deadlock between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr by supporting Jefferson. The enmity between Hamilton and his longtime political enemy Burr grew worse during the 1804 campaign for governor of New York. Finally, on July 11, at Weehawken, N.J., the two men fought a duel. Hamilton was shot and died the next day of his injuries.

Image: Library of Congress

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.M0AXGY3A.dpuf

Gardenia show Nikon D5000 (my photography collection)


Gardenia show Nikon D5000

Gardenia show Nikon D5000

Gardenia show Nikon D5000

Gardenia show Nikon D5000

photography: cactus Nikon D5000


cactus Nikon D5000, NIKKOR 18-55 lense

cactus Nikon D5000, NIKKOR 18-55 lense

Cactus

Cactus

Cactus

Cactus

 

Greatest Unsolved Mysteries: Did Lizzie Borden Whack her Parents?


Greatest Unsolved Mysteries: Did Lizzie Borden Whack her Parents?

Greatest Unsolved Mysteries: Did Lizzie Borden Whack her Parents?

today’s Image: George Washington Carver (Library of Congress)



George Washington Carver
After devoting his life to helping fellow African Americans through education, George Washington Carver died on January 5, 1943, at Tuskegee, Alabama. Carver was born the son of a slave woman in the early 1860s, went to college in Iowa and then headed to Alabama in 1896. There, at the Tuskegee Institute, Carver served as an agricultural chemist, experimenter, teacher and administrator, working to improve life for African Americans in the rural South by teaching them better agricultural skills. One of the farming methods Carver devised, using peanut and soybean crops to enrich soil depleted by cotton crops, revolutionized Southern farming. Carver became somewhat of a benevolent example of the potential of black intellectuals. He was well-respected by people such as President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Mahatma Gandhi, Josef Stalin and Thomas Edison, whose offer of a job for more than $100 a year Carver refused. Carver worked at Tuskegee until his death.

Image: Library of Congress

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.kQvgtdYP.dpuf

Why you Should Never Take Photos Using iPads! | TechBeat


It wasn’t until Apple released the iPad 2, with its front and rear-facing cameras, that people started taking photos with iPads. Now it seems to have become an epidemic with people thinking it’s ok and cool to thrust a large rectangle device into the air, blocking everyone else’s view. Here are some fantastic reasons NOT to use your iPad to take photos!

Because it makes you stand funny!

Because it makes you stand funny!

via Why you Should Never Take Photos Using iPads! | TechBeat.

Two Ansel Adams Photos Amazing!


in search of Ansel Adams: Yahoo said:

in search of Ansel Adams: Yahoo said:

today’s photo: The Cattle Kingdom (image: National Archives)



The Cattle Kingdom
In 1866, when the transcontinental railroad reached Abilene, Kansas, Chicago livestock buyer J.G. McCoy saw the possibilities of linking the unwanted herds of Texas longhorns with the meat-packing centers of Chicago. McCoy built a series of holding pens in Abilene and convinced south Texas ranchers to drive the cattle north along the Chisholm Trail to the railhead. In 1867, McCoy shipped 35,000 cattle to Chicago to end up on American dinner tables, and by 1871 this number had grown to 600,000. Abilene may have been the first cow town, but disease and rowdy cowboys shifted the cow capital first to Wichita, then to Dodge City, Kansas. The profits to be made were immense, with a $5 steer in Texas bringing up to $45 in Kansas. In fact, the profitability of the cattle kingdom was one of the factors contributing to its demise in 1886. Greedy ranchers dangerously overstocked the grasslands with cattle by the mid-1880s. Then, on January 1, 1886, a great blizzard buried the eastern and southern plains, killing 50 to 85 percent of the herds. The cattle industry survived, but in a very different form. The freewheeling cowboy of American legend became a ranch hand. Although the cattle kingdom lasted only a single generation, the romanticized cowboy remains an enduring symbol of Western America.

Image: National Archives

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.M98Q7l3E.dpuf

History – The World of Journalism – William Randolph Hearst


The World of Journalism - William Randolph Hearst

The World of Journalism – William Randolph Hearst (several software were employed to create this collage: Brothers scanner, FastStone image editor, Irfan View Collage function)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
For other people named William Randolph Hearst, see William Randolph Hearst (disambiguation).
William Randolph Hearst
William Randolph Hearst cph 3a49373.jpg
Hearst in 1906, photograph by James E. Purdy
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York‘s 11th district
In office
March 4, 1903 – March 4, 1907
Preceded by William Sulzer
Succeeded by Charles V. Fornes
Personal details
Born April 29, 1863
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Died August 14, 1951 (aged 88)
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
Political party Democratic Party (1896–1935)
Independence Party (1905–1910)
Municipal Ownership League (1904–05)
Spouse(s) Millicent Willson Hearst (1903–1951)
Relations Phoebe Apperson Hearst, mother
George Hearst, father
Patty Hearst, granddaughter
Anne Hearst, granddaughter
Lydia Hearst-Shaw, great-granddaughter
Amanda Hearst, great-granddaughter
Marion Davies, mistress
Children George Randolph Hearst (1904–1972)
William Randolph Hearst, Jr. (1908–1993)
John Randolph Hearst (1910–1958)
Randolph Apperson Hearst (1915–2000)
David Whitmire Hearst (1915–1986)
Residence Hearst Castle
San Simeon, California
Alma mater Harvard University
Occupation Businessman & publisher
Signature

William Randolph Hearst (/ˈhɜrst/;[1] April 29, 1863 – August 14, 1951) was an American newspaper publisher who built the nation’s largest newspaper chain and whose methods profoundly influenced American journalism.[2] Hearst entered the publishing business in 1887 after taking control of The San Francisco Examiner from his father. Moving to New York City, he acquired The New York Journal and engaged in a bitter circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer‘s New York World that led to the creation of yellow journalism—sensationalized stories of dubious veracity. Acquiring more newspapers, Hearst created a chain that numbered nearly 30 papers in major American cities at its peak. He later expanded to magazines, creating the largest newspaper and magazine business in the world.

He was twice elected as a Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives, and ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of New York City in 1905 and 1909, for Governor of New York in 1906, and for Lieutenant Governor of New York in 1910. Nonetheless, through his newspapers and magazines, he exercised enormous political influence, and was famously blamed for pushing public opinion with his yellow journalism type of reporting leading the United States into a war with Spain in 1898.

His life story was the main inspiration for the development of the lead character in Orson Welles‘s film Citizen Kane.[3] His mansion, Hearst Castle, on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean near San Simeon, California, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, was donated by the Hearst Corporation to the state of California in 1957, and is now a State Historical Monument and a National Historic Landmark, open for public tours. Hearst formally named the estate La Cuesta Encantada (“The Enchanted Slope”), but he usually just called it “the ranch.”

Ancestry and early life

William R. Hearst was born in San Francisco to millionaire mining engineer, goldmine owner and U.S. senator (1886–91) George Hearst and his wife Phoebe Apperson Hearst.

His paternal great-grandfather was John Hearst, of Scots-Irish origin, who emigrated to America with his wife and six children in 1766 and settled in South Carolina. Their immigration to South Carolina was spurred in part by the colonial government’s policy that encouraged the immigration of Irish Protestants.[4] The names “John Hearse” and “John Hearse Jr.” appear on the council records of October 26, 1766, being credited with meriting 400 and 100 acres (1.62 and 0.40 km2) of land on the Long Canes (in what became Abbeville District), based upon 100 acres (0.40 km2) to heads of household and 50 acres (200,000 m2) for each dependent of a Protestant immigrant. The “Hearse” spelling of the family name never was used afterward by the family members themselves, or any family of any size. A separate theory purports that one branch of a “Hurst” family of Virginia (originally from Plymouth Colony) moved to South Carolina at about the same time and changed the spelling of its surname of over a century to that of the emigrant Hearsts.[5] Hearst’s mother, née Phoebe Elizabeth Apperson, was of Irish ancestry; her family came from Galway.[6] She was the first woman regent of University of California, Berkeley, funded many anthropological expeditions and founded the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology.

Following preparation at St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire, Hearst enrolled in the Harvard College class of 1885. While there he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon, the A.D. Club (a Harvard Final club), the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, and of the Harvard Lampoon before being expelled for antics ranging from sponsoring massive beer parties in Harvard Square to sending pudding pots used as chamber pots to his professors (their images were depicted within the bowls).[7]

Publishing business

 An ad asking automakers to place ads in Hearst chain, noting their circulation.

Searching for an occupation, in 1887 Hearst took over management of a newspaper, the San Francisco Examiner, which his father received in 1880 as repayment for a gambling debt.[8] Giving his paper a grand motto, “Monarch of the Dailies,” he acquired the best equipment and the most talented writers of the time, including Ambrose Bierce, Mark Twain, Jack London, and political cartoonist Homer Davenport. A self-proclaimed populist, Hearst went on to publish stories of municipal and financial corruption, often attacking companies in which his own family held an interest. Within a few years, his paper dominated the San Francisco market.

New York Morning Journal

Early in his career at the San Francisco Examiner, Hearst envisioned running a large newspaper chain, and “always knew that his dream of a nation-spanning, multi-paper news operation was impossible without a triumph in New York.”[9] In 1895, with the financial support of his mother, he bought the failing New York Morning Journal, hiring writers like Stephen Crane and Julian Hawthorne and entering into a head-to-head circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer, owner and publisher of the New York World, from whom he “stole” Richard F. Outcault, the inventor of color comics, and all of Pulitzer’s Sunday staff as well.[10] Another prominent hire was James J. Montague, who came from the Portland Oregonian and started his well-known “More Truth Than Poetry” column at the Hearst-owned New York Evening Journal.[11]

When Hearst purchased the “penny paper,” so called because its copies sold for only a penny apiece, the Journal was competing with New York’s 16 other major dailies, with a strong focus on Democratic Party politics.[12] Hearst imported his best managers from the San Francisco Examiner and “quickly established himself as the most attractive employer” among New York newspapers. He was generous, paid more than his competitors, gave credit to his writers with page-one bylines, and was unfailingly polite, unassuming, “impeccably calm,” and indulgent of “prima donnas, eccentrics, bohemians, drunks, or reprobates so long as they had useful talents.”[13]

Hearst’s activist approach to journalism can be summarized by the motto, “While others Talk, the Journal Acts.”

Expansion

In part to aid in his political ambitions, Hearst opened newspapers in some other cities, among them Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston. The creation of his Chicago paper was requested by the Democratic National Committee, and Hearst used this as an excuse for Phoebe Hearst to transfer him the necessary start-up funds. By the mid-1920s he had a nation-wide string of 28 newspapers, among them the Los Angeles Examiner, the Boston American, the Atlanta Georgian, the Chicago Examiner, the Detroit Times, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Washington Times, the Washington Herald, and his flagship the San Francisco Examiner.

Hearst also diversified his publishing interests into book publishing and magazines; several of the latter are still in circulation, including such periodicals as Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Town and Country, and Harper’s Bazaar.

 Cartoonist Rogers in 1906 sees the political uses of Oz: he depicts William Randolph Hearst as the Scarecrow stuck in his own Ooze in Harper’s Weekly.

In 1924 he opened the New York Daily Mirror, a racy tabloid frankly imitating the New York Daily News, Among his other holdings were two news services, Universal News and International News Service, or INS, the latter of which he founded in 1909.[36] He also owned INS companion radio station WINS in New York); King Features Syndicate, which still owns the copyrights of a number of popular comics characters; a film company, Cosmopolitan Productions; extensive New York City real estate; and thousands of acres of land in California and Mexico, along with timber and mining interests.

Hearst’s father, US Senator George Hearst, had acquired land in the Mexican state of Chihuahua after receiving advance notice that Geronimo – who had terrorized settlers in the region – had surrendered. George Hearst was able to buy 670,000 acres (270,000 ha),[37] the Babicora Ranch, at 20–40 cents each because only he knew that they had become much more secure.[38] George Hearst was on friendly terms with Porfirio Díaz, the Mexican dictator, who helped him settle boundary disputes profitably. The ranch was expanded to nearly 1,000,000 acres (400,000 ha) by George Hearst, then by Phoebe Hearst after his death.[38][39] The younger Hearst was at Babicora as early as 1886, when, as he wrote to his mother, “I really don’t see what is to prevent us from owning all Mexico and running it to suit ourselves.”[37][40] During the Mexican Revolution, his mother’s ranch was looted by irregulars under Pancho Villa. Babicora was then occupied by Carranza’s forces. Phoebe Hearst willed the ranch to her son in 1919.[41] Babicora was sold to the Mexican government for $2.5 million in 1953, just two years after Hearst’s death.[42]

Hearst promoted writers and cartoonists despite the lack of any apparent demand for them by his readers. The press critic A. J. Liebling reminds us how many of Hearst’s stars would not have been deemed employable elsewhere. One Hearst favorite, George Herriman, was the inventor of the dizzy comic strip Krazy Kat; not especially popular with either readers or editors at the time of its initial publication, it is now considered by many to be a classic, a belief once held only by Hearst himself.

Two months before the Wall Street Crash of 1929, he became one of the sponsors of the first round-the-world voyage in an airship, the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin from Germany. His sponsorship was conditional on the trip starting at Lakehurst Naval Air Station, NJ, so the ship’s captain, Dr. Hugo Eckener, first flew the Graf Zeppelin across the Atlantic from Germany to pick up Hearst’s photographer and at least three Hearst correspondents. One of them, Grace Marguerite Hay Drummond-Hay, by that flight became the first woman to travel around the world by air.[43]

The Hearst news empire reached a circulation and revenue peak about 1928, but the economic collapse of the Great Depression and the vast over-extension of his empire cost him control of his holdings. It is unlikely that the newspapers ever paid their own way; mining, ranching and forestry provided whatever dividends the Hearst Corporation paid out. When the collapse came, all Hearst properties were hit hard, but none more so than the papers; Furthermore, his now-conservative politics, increasingly at odds with those of his readers, only worsened matters for the once great Hearst media chain. Having been refused the right to sell another round of bonds to unsuspecting investors, the shaky empire tottered. Unable to service its existing debts, Hearst Corporation faced a court-mandated reorganization in 1937. From that point, Hearst was reduced to being merely another employee, subject to the directives of an outside manager.[25] Newspapers and other properties were liquidated, the film company shut down; there was even a well-publicized sale of art and antiquities. While World War II restored circulation and advertising revenues, his great days were over. Hearst died of a heart attack in 1951, aged eighty-eight, in Beverly Hills, California, and is buried at Cypress Lawn Memorial Park in Colma, California.

The Hearst Corporation continues to this day as a large, privately held media conglomerate based in New York City.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Randolph_Hearst

Muslim conquest of Egypt: “We have conquered Alexandria. In this city there are 4,000 palaces, 400 places of entertainment, and untold wealth. -‘Amr”


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

Muslim conquest of EgyptPart of the Muslim conquests and the Arab–Byzantine WarsGiza Plateau - Great Sphinx with Pyramid of Khafre in background.JPG

Date 639–642
Location Egypt, Libya
Result Rashidun victory.
Territorial
changes
Muslims annexed Egypt, Cyrenaica, Tripolitania and Fezzan.

BelligerentsEastern Roman EmpireRashidun CaliphateCommanders and leadersEmperor Heraclius
Theodorus
Aretion
Constans II

Cyrus of Alexandria

Caliph Umar
Amr ibn al-Aas
Zubair ibn al-Awam
Miqdad bin Al-Aswad
Ubaida bin As-Samit

Kharija bin Huzafa

At the commencement of the Muslim conquest of Egypt, Egypt was part of the Byzantine/Eastern Roman Empire with its capital at Constantinople. However, it had been conquered just a decade before by the Persian Empire under Khosrau II (616 to 629 AD). Emperor Heraclius re-captured Egypt after a series of campaigns against the Sassanid Persians, only to lose it to the Muslim Rashidun army ten years later. Before the Muslim conquest of Egypt had begun, the Eastern Romans had already lost the Levant and its Arab ally, the Ghassanid Kingdom, to the Muslims. All this left the Eastern Roman Empire dangerously exposed and vulnerable.[1]

Rashidun invasion of Egypt

Prologue

Rashidun army crossing the Egyptian border

 

Pyramids of Gizah.

In December 639 ‘Amr ibn al-‘As left for Egypt with a force of 4,000 troops. Most of the soldiers belonged to the Arab tribe of ‘Ak, although Al-Kindi mentions that one third of the soldiers belonged to the Arab tribe of Ghafik. The Arab soldiers were also joined by some Roman and Persian converts to Islam. However, ‘Umar, the Muslim caliph, reconsidered his orders to Amr, thinking it foolhardy to expect to conquer such a large country as Egypt with a mere 4,000 soldiers. Accordingly, he wrote a letter to ‘Amr commanding him to come back.[2]

The messenger, ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Amr, caught up to Amr at Rafah, a little short of the Egyptian frontier. Guessing what might be in the letter, ‘Amr ordered the army to quicken its pace. Turning to ‘Uqbah, ‘Amr said that he would receive the caliph’s letter from him when the army had halted after the day’s journey. ‘Uqbah, being unaware of the contents of the letter, agreed and marched along with the army. The army halted for the night at Shajratein, a little valley near the city of El Arish, which ‘Amr knew to be beyond the Egyptian border.[3] ‘Amr then received and read the ‘Umar’s letter and went on to consult his companions as to the course of action to be adopted. The unanimous view was that as they had received the letter on Egyptian soil, they had permission to proceed.

When ‘Umar received the reply, he decided to watch further developments and started concentrating fresh forces at Madinah which could be dispatched to Egypt as reinforcements. On Eid al-Adha, the Muslim army marched from Shajratein to El Arish,[2] a small town lacking a garrison. The town put up no resistance, and the citizens offered allegiance on the usual terms. The Muslim soldiers celebrated the Eid festival there.

Conquering of Pelusium and Belbeis

In the later part of December 639 or in early January 640, the Muslim army reached Pelusium, an Eastern Roman garrison city that was considered Egypt’s eastern gate at the time. The Muslims siege of the town dragged on for two months. In February 640 an assault group led by a prominent field commander Huzaifah ibn Wala successfully assaulted and captured the fort and city.[4][5][6][7][8][9] Armanousa, the daughter of Cyrus who fiercely resisted the Muslims in Pelusium and fell hostage in their hands, was sent to her father in the Babylon Fortress.[10]

The losses incurred by the Arab Muslim army were ameliorated by the number of Sinai Bedouins who, taking the initiative, had joined them in conquering Egypt.[11] These Bedouins belonged to the tribes of Rashidah and Lakhm[12] The ease with which Pelusium fell to the Muslim Arabs, and the lack of Byzantine reinforcements to aid the city during the month-long siege is often attributed to the treachery of the Egyptian governor, Cyrus, who was also the Melchite (i.e., Byzantine–Chalcedonian Diaphysite) Patriarch of Alexandria.[13][11]

After the fall of Pelusium the Muslims marched to Bilbeis, 40 miles from Memphis via desert roads and besieged it. Belbeis was the first place in Egypt where the Byzantines showed some measure of resistance towards the Arab invaders. Two Christian monks accompanied by Cyrus of Alexandria and the famous Roman general Aretion came out to negotiate with ‘Amr ibn al-‘As. Aretion was previously the Byzantine governor of Jerusalem, and had fled to Egypt when the city fell to the Muslims. ‘Amr gave them three options: to either convert to Islam, or to pay Jizya, or to fight the Muslims. They requested three days to reflect, then – as mentions al-Tabari – requested two extra days. At the end of the five days, the two monks and the general decided to reject Islam and Jizya and fight the Muslims. They thus disobeyed their ruler, Cyrus of Alexandria, who wanted to surrender and pay Jizya. Cyrus subsequently left for the Babylon Fortress, while the two monks and Aretion decided to fight the Arabs. The fight resulted in the victory of the latter and the death of Aretion. ‘Amr ibn al-‘As subsequently attempted to convince the native Egyptians to aid the Arabs and surrender the city, based on the kinship between Egyptians and Arabs via Hagar.[14] When the Egyptians refused, the siege of Bilbeis was continued until the city fell after a month. Towards the end of March 640 the city surrendered to the Muslims.[13] With the fall of Belbeis, the Arabs were only one day away from the head of the Delta.

Siege of Babylon

 

Map detailing the route of the Muslims’ invasion of Egypt.

Amr had visualized that the conquest of Egypt would be a walkover. This expectation turned out to be wrong. Even at the outposts of Pelusium and Bilbeis the Muslims had met stiff resistance. The siege of Pelusium had lasted for two months and that of Bilbeis for one month. Both battles were preludes to the siege of Babylon, which was a larger and more important city. Here resistance on a larger scale was expected.[15] After the fall of Bilbeis the Muslims advanced to Babylon, near modern Cairo. The Muslims arrived at Babylon some time in May 640 AD.[16] Babylon was a fortified city, and the Romans had prepared it for a siege. Outside the city, a ditch had been dug, and a large force was positioned in the area between the ditch and the city walls. The Muslims besieged the fort of Babylon some time in May 640. The fort was a massive structure 60 ft. high with walls more than 6 ft. thick and studded with numerous towers and bastions. A Muslim force of some 4,000 men attacked the Roman positions unsuccessfully. Early Muslim sources place the strength of the Byzantine force in Babylon about six times the strength of the Muslim force.[17] For the next two months fighting remained inconclusive, with the Byzantines having the upper hand by repulsing every Muslim assault.[18]

Some time in May 640 AD, ‘Amr sent a detachment to raid the city of Fayoum. The Byzantines had anticipated this raid, and thus strongly guarded the roads leading to the city. They had also fortified their garrison in the nearby town of Lahun. When the Muslim Arabs realized that Fayoum was too strong for them to invade, they headed towards the Western Desert where they looted all the cattle and animals they could. They subsequently headed to Oxyrhynchus (Per-Medjed), which was defeated. The Arabs then returned to Lower Egypt down the River Nile.[19]

Reinforcements from Madinah

In July, ‘Amr wrote to ‘Umar requesting reinforcement; but before the letter reached him, the caliph had already dispatched the first reinforcement, which was 4000 strong. The army was composed mostly of the veterans of Syrian campaigns. Even with these reinforcements, ‘Amr was unsuccessful. By August 640, ‘Umar’s assembling of the 4000 strong elite force had been completed. It consisted of four columns. Each column was one thousand strong and appointed a commander each, while Zubair ibn al-Awam, a renowned warrior and commander, veteran of the Battle of Yarmouk and once a part of Khalid ibn Walid‘s elite force mobile guard, was appointed the supreme commander of army. ‘Umar had indeed offered Zubair the chief command and governorship of Egypt, but Zubair had declined the offer. Other commanders were Miqdad ibn al-Aswad; Ubaidah ibn as-Samit, and Kharijah ibn Huzaifah. These reinforcements arrived at Babylon sometime in September 640. The total strength of the Muslim force now rose to 12,000, quite a modest strength to resume the offensive.[3]

Battle of Heliopolis

Ten miles from Babylon was Heliopolis.[20] The Muslim army reached Heliopolis in July 640.[21] It was the city of the Sun Temple of the Pharaohs, and was famous for its grandiose monuments and learning institutions.[22] There was the danger that forces from Heliopolis could attack the Muslims from the flank while it was engaged with the Roman army at Babylon. With some detachments ‘Amr and Zubair marched to Heliopolis. There was a cavalry clash near the current neighbourhood of Abbaseya. The engagement was not decisive although it resulted in the occupation of the fortress located between the current neighbourhoods of Abdyn and Azbakeya. The defeated Byzantine soldiers retreated to either the Babylon Fortress or the fortress of Nikiû.[23] At an unguarded point of the wall of Heliopolis, Zubair and some of his picked soldiers scaled the wall of the city, and after overpowering the guards, opened the gates for the main Muslim army to enter the city. Heliopolis was thus captured by the Muslims. ‘Amr and Zubair returned to Babylon.

Conquering of Fayoum and Babylon

When news of the Muslims’ victory at Heliopolis reached Fayoum, its Byzantine garrison under the command of Domentianus evacuated the city during the night and fled to Abuit. From Abuit, they fled down the Nile to Nikiu without informing the people of Fayoum and Abuit that they were abandoning their cities to the enemy. When news of this reached ‘Amr, he ordered a body of his troops to cross the Nile and invade Fayoum and Abuit. The Muslim soldiers captured the entire province of Fayoum without any resistance from the Byzantines.[24]

The Byzantine garrison at Babylon now grew bolder then ever before and had begun to sally forth across the ditch, though with little success. There had been a stalemate between the Muslim and Byzantine forces at Babylon, until the Muslim commanders devised an ingenious strategy and inflicted heavy casualties on the Byzantine forces by encircling them from three sides in one of their such sallies. The Byzantines were able to retreat back to the fort but were left too weak for any further offensive action. This situation forced the Byzantines to enter in negotiations with the Muslims. The Byzantine general Theodorus shifted his headquarters to the Isle of Rauda, whilst Cyrus of Alexandria, popularly known as Muqawqis in Muslim history entered in negotiations with the Muslims, which failed to give any productive results. Emissaries were also exchanged between Theodorus and ‘Amr, leading to ‘Amr meeting Theodorus in person. After fruitless negotiations, the Muslims acted on 20 December, when, in a night assault, a company of hand picked warriors led by Zubair managed to scale the wall, kill the guards and open the gates for the Muslim army to enter. The city of Babylon was captured by the Muslims on 21 December 640, using tactics similar to those used by Khalid ibn Walid at Damascus. However Theodorus and his army managed to slip away to the island of Rauda during the night.[25]

Surrender of Thebaid (Southeastern Egypt)

On the 22nd of December, Cyrus of Alexandria entered into a treaty with the Muslims.[26] By the treaty, Muslim sovereignty over the whole of Egypt, and effectively on Thebaid, was recognized, and the Egyptians agreed to pay Jizya at the rate of 2 diners per male adult.[27] The treaty was subject to the approval of the emperor Heraclius, but Cyrus stipulated that even if the emperor repudiated the treaty, he and the Copts of whom he was the High Priest would honor its terms, recognize the supremacy of the Muslims and pay them Jizya.[28] Cyrus submitted a report to Heraclius and asked for his approval to the terms of the treaty. He also offered reasons in justification of the acceptance of the terms of the treaty. ‘Amr submitted a detailed report to ‘Umar and asked for his further instructions. When ‘Umar received this report, he wrote back to say that he approved of the terms provided Heraclius agreed to submit to them.[29] He desired that as soon as the reactions of Heraclius were known, he should be informed so that further necessary instructions could be issued promptly.[30] Heraclius’s reaction to Cyrus’s report was violent. He removed him from the viceroyship of Egypt, but he remained the Head of the Coptic Church: this was a matter in which the emperor could not interfere. Heraclius sent strict orders to the commander-in-chief of the Byzantine forces in Egypt that the Muslims should be driven out from Egypt. Cyrus waited on ‘Amr and told him that Heraclius had repudiated the treaty of Babylon. He assured ‘Amr that so far as the Copts were concerned the terms of the treaty would be followed. ‘Amr reported these developments to ‘Umar. ‘Umar desired that before the Byzantines could gather further strength the Muslims should strike at them and drive them from Alexandria. It is recorded that Cyrus requested three favors from the Muslims, namely:

  1. Do not break your treaty with the Copts;
  2. If the Byzantines after this repudiation ask for peace, do not make peace with them, but treat them as captives and slaves; and
  3. When I am dead allow me to be buried in the Church of St. John at Alexandria.[3][31]

This position was to the advantage of the Muslims as the Copts were the natives of the land of Egypt and[32] both the Byzantines and the Muslims were strangers. Though some Copts from personal considerations continued to support the Byzantines, the sympathies of the Copts were now by and large with the Muslims. The Copts were not supposed to fight against the Byzantines on behalf of the Muslims, but they undertook to help the Muslims in the promotion of war effort and in the provision of stores, build roads and bridges for them, and provide them moral support.[33]

March to Alexandria

 

Ancient Roman theaters in Alexandria.

The Byzantine commanders knew that the next target of the Muslims would be Alexandria. They accordingly prepared for the expected siege of the city. Their strategy was to keep the Muslims away from Alexandria by destroying their power through continued sallies and attacks from the fort. Even if this did not keep them away, it would weaken them morally and physically. It would be more of a war of patience than strength.[34] In February 641, ‘Amr set off for Alexandria from Babylon with his army. All along the road from Babylon to Alexandria, the Byzantines had left regiments to delay, and if possible, inflict losses on the advancing Muslims. On the third day of their march from Babylon the Muslims’ advance guard encountered a Byzantine detachment at Tarnut on the west bank of the Nile.[35] The Byzantines failed to inflict heavy losses, but they were able to delay the advance by one more day. The Muslim commanders decided to halt the main army at Tarnut and send the advance guard cavalry forward to clear the way from the possible Byzantine detachments. This was done so that the main army could reach Alexandria as soon as possible without being delayed by Byzantine regiments mid-way. Twenty miles from Tarnut, the Byzantine detachment that had withdrawn from Tarnut the day before, joined the detachment already present at Shareek to form a strong offensive force. They attacked and routed the Muslim advance guard. The next day, before the Byzantines could resume their offensive to annihilate the Muslim advance guard completely, the main Muslim army arrived, prompting the Byzantines to withdraw. At this point the Muslim commanders decided not to send forward the advance guard, so the whole army marched forward, beginning the following day. The Muslims reached Sulteis where they encountered a Byzantine detachment. Hard fighting followed, but the Byzantine resistance soon broke down and they withdrew to Alexandria. The Muslims halted at Sulteis for a day. Alexandria was still two days’ march from Sulteis. After one day’s march the Muslim forces arrived at Kirayun, twelve miles from Alexandria. Here the Muslim advance to Alexandria was blocked by a Byzantine detachment about 20,000 strong. The strategy of the Byzantines was that either the Muslims would be driven away before they actually arrived at Alexandria, or that they would be as weak as possible if they did. The two armies were deployed and fighting followed, but action remained indecisive,.[3] This state of affairs persisted for ten days. On the tenth day the Muslims launched a vigorous assault. The Byzantines were defeated and they retreated to Alexandria. The way to Alexandria was now cleared, and the Muslim forces resumed the march from Kirayun and reached the outskirts of Alexandria in March 641 AD.

Conquest of Alexandria and fall of Egypt

The Muslims laid siege to Alexandria in March 641 AD.[36] The city was heavily fortified: there were walls within walls, and forts within forts. There was no dearth of provisions and food supply in the city. The city also had direct access to the sea, and through the sea route help from Constantinople in the form of men and supplies could come at any time.

As ‘Amr surveyed the military situation, he felt that Alexandria would be a hard nut to crack.[37] The Byzantines had high stakes in Alexandria, and they were determined to offer stiff resistance to the Muslims. They mounted catapults on the walls of the city, and these engines pounded the Muslims with boulders. This caused considerable damage to the Muslims and ‘Amr ordered his men back from the advance position so that they might be beyond the range of the missiles. A see-saw war followed.[3] When the Muslims tried to go close to the city they were hit with missiles. When the Byzantines sallied from the fort, they were invariably beaten back by the Muslims.

It is said that Heraclius, the Byzantine emperor, collected a large army at Constantinople. He intended to march at the head of these reinforcements personally to Alexandria. But before he could finalize the arrangements, he died. The troops mustered at Constantinople dispersed, and consequently no help came to Alexandria. This further demoralized the Byzantines. The siege dragged on for six months, and in Madinah ‘Umar got impatient. In a letter addressed to ‘Amr, the caliph expressed his concern at the inordinate delay in the invasion of Egypt. He further instructed that the new field commander would be ‘Ubaidah, and he would launch an assault on the fort of Alexandria. ‘Ubaidah’s assault was successful and Alexandria was captured by the Muslims in September 641. Thousands of Byzantine soldiers were killed or taken captive while others managed to flee to Constantinople on ships that had been anchored in the port. Some wealthy traders also left.[38]

On behalf of the Egyptians, Cyrus of Alexandria sued for peace, and his request was granted. After the invasion of Egypt ‘Amr is reported to have written to Caliph ‘Umar:

“We have conquered Alexandria. In this city there are 4,000 palaces, 400 places of entertainment, and untold wealth.”

The permanent loss of Egypt meant a loss of a huge amount of Byzantium’s food and money. The loss of Egypt and Syria, followed later by the invasion of the Exarchate of Africa also meant that the Mediterranean, long referred to as the “Roman lake”, was now contested between two powers: the Muslim Caliphate and the Byzantine Empire. In these events, the Byzantine Empire, although sorely tested, would be able to hold on to Anatolia, while the mighty walls of Constantinople would save it during two great Arab sieges, from the fate of the Persian Empire.[39]

An attempt was made in the year 645 to regain Alexandria for the Byzantine Empire, but it was retaken by ‘Amr in 646. In 654 an invasion fleet sent by Constans II was repulsed. From that time no serious effort was made by the Byzantines to regain possession of the country.

Invasion of Nubia

The land of Nubia lay to the south of Egypt. It stretched from Aswan to Khartoum and from the Red Sea to the Libyan Desert. The Nubians were Christians and were ruled by a king. The capital of the kingdom was Dongola. In the summer of 642, ‘Amr ibn al-‘As sent an expedition to Nubia under the command of his cousin ‘Uqbah ibn Nafi. The expedition was ordered by ‘Amr on his own account. It was not a whole scale invasion but merely a pre-emptive raid to show the arrival of a new ruling in Egypt to the bordering kingdoms.[40] ‘Uqbah ibn Nafi, who later made a great name for himself as the Conqueror of Africa, and led his horse to the Atlantic came in for an unhappy experience in Nubia. In Nubia, no pitched battle was fought. There were only skirmishes and haphazard engagements and in such type of warfare the Nubians excelled at. They were skilful archers and subjected the Muslims to a merciless barrage of arrows. These arrows were aimed at the eyes and in the encounter 250 Muslims lost their eyes.

The Nubians were very fast in their movements.[13] The Muslim cavalry was known for its speed and mobility, but it was no match for the Nubian horse riders. The Nubians would strike hard against the Muslims, and then vanish before the Muslims could recover their balance and take counter action. The hit-and-run raids by the Nubians caused considerable damage to the Muslims. ‘Uqbah wrote to ‘Amr of this state of affairs.[41] He said that the Nubians avoided pitched battle, and in the guerilla tactics that they followed the Muslims suffered badly. ‘Uqbah further came to know that Nubia was a very poor land, and there was nothing therein worth fighting for.[citation needed] Thereupon ‘Amr ordered ‘Uqbah to withdraw from Nubia. ‘Uqbah accordingly pulled out of Nubia with his forces.

Conquest of North Africa

After the preemptive raid on Nubia in the south ‘Amr decided to undertake campaigns in the west, so as to secure the western borders of Egypt and clear the region of Cyrenaica, Tripolitania and Fezzan from Byzantine influence. Some time in September 642, ‘Amr led his troops west. After one month of marching the Muslim forces reached the city of Pentapolis. From Burqa, ‘Uqbah bin Nafi was sent at the head of a column to undertake a campaign against Fezzan. ‘Uqbah marched to Zaweela, the capital of Fezzan. No resistance was offered, and the entire district of Fezzan, what is present day north-western Libya, submitted to the Muslims. ‘Uqbah then returned to Burqa. Soon after the Muslim army marched westward from Burqa. They arrived at Tripoli in the spring of 643 C.E. and laid siege to the city. The city fell after a siege of one month. From Tripoli, ‘Amr sent a detachment to Sabratha, a city forty miles from Tripoli. The city put up feeble resistance, and soon surrendered and agreed to pay Jizya. From Tripoli, ‘Amr is reported to have written to the caliph the details of the operations in the following words:

“We have conquered Burqa, Tripoli and Sabratha. The way to the west is clear, and if the Commander of the Faithful wishes to conquer more lands, we could do so with the grace of God.”

‘Umar, whose armies were already engaged in a massive campaign of conquering the Sassanid Empire did not wanted to engage himself further along north Africa, when Muslim rule in Egypt was as yet insecure. The caliph accordingly disapproved of any further advances and ordered ‘Amr to first consolidate the Muslims’ position in Egypt, and issued strict orders that there should be no further campaigning. ‘Amr obeyed, abandoning Tripoli and Burqa and returning to Fustat. This was towards the close of the year 643 AD.[42]

Stance of the Egyptians towards the invading Muslims

The Muslims were assisted by some Copts, who resented the persecutions of the Byzantines, and of these some turned to Islam. Others sided with the Byzantines, hoping that they would provide a defense against the Arab invaders.[43]

In return for a tribute of money and food for the occupying troops, the Christian inhabitants of Egypt were excused from military service and left free in the observance of their religion and the administration of their affairs. This system was a new institution, as a mandate by a religion. But it was adopted as an institution, by the Muslims from previous poll tax systems in the ancient Middle East. Indeed, the Egyptians had been subject to it – as non-Romans – during Roman rule before the adoption of Christianity by the Roman state. After that, all non-Christian subjects of the Roman Empire had to pay it, including non-Christian Egyptians. The Persians also had a similar poll tax system.

On the twentieth of Maskaram Byzantine general Theodorus and all his troops and officers set out and proceeded to the island of Cyprus, abandoning the city of Alexandria. Thereupon ‘Amr, the Muslim commander, made his entry into the city of Alexandria. The inhabitants received him with respect, for they were in great tribulation and affliction. ‘Amr exacted the taxes which had been determined upon, but he took none of the property of the churches, and he committed no act of spoliation or plunder.

Egypt under Muslim rule

 

Rashidun Empire at its peak under third Rashidun Caliph, Uthman- 654

  Strongholds of Rashidun Caliphate

Muslims gained control over Egypt due to a variety of factors, including internal Byzantine politics, religious zeal and the difficulty of maintaining a large empire. The Byzantines did attempt to regain Alexandria, but it was retaken by ‘Amr in 646. In 654 an invasion fleet sent by Constans II was repelled. From that time no serious effort was made by the Byzantines to regain possession of Egypt.

Amr ibn al-Aas had popular support in Egypt amongst the Coptic Christian population. In the book “The Great Arab Conquests” Hugh Kennedy writes that Cyrus the Roman governor had expelled the Coptic patriarch Benjamin into exile. When Amr occupied Alexandria, a Coptic nobleman (duqs) called Sanutius persuaded him to send out a proclamation of safe conduct for Benjamin and an invitation to return to Alexandria. When he arrived, after thirteen years in concealment, Amr treated him with respect. He was then instructed by the governor to resume control over the Coptic Church. He arranged for the restoration of the monasteries in the Wadi Natrun that had been ruined by the Chalcedonian Christians, which still exists as a functioning monastery in the present day.” [44]

On Amr’s return the Egyptian population also worked with Amr.[45] In the book “The Great Arab Conquests” Hugh Kennedy writes “The pious biographer of Coptic patriarch Benjamin presents us with the striking image of the patriarch prayed for the success of the Muslim commander Amr against the Christians of the Cyrenaica. Benjamin survived for almost twenty years after the fall of Egypt to the Muslims, dying of full years and honour in 661. His body was laid to rest in the monastery of St Macarius, where he is still venerated as a saint. There can be no doubt that he played a major role in the survival of the Coptic Church” [44] Coptic patriarch Benjamin also prayed for Amr when he moved to take Libya.[46]

In the book “The Great Arab Conquests” Hugh Kennedy writes “Even more striking is the verdict of John of Nikiu. John was no admirer of Muslim government and was fierce in his denunciation, but he says of Amr: ‘He extracted the taxes which had been determined upon but he took none of the property of the churches, and he committed no act of spoliation or plunder, and he preserved them throughout all his days'”[47] He writes “Of all the early Muslim conquests, that of Egypt was the swiftest and most complete. Within a space of two years the country had come entirely under Arab rule. Even more remarkably, it has remained under Muslim rule ever since. Seldom in history can so massive a political change have happened so swiftly and been so long lasting” [47]

Uqba ibn Nafi then used Egypt as a launch pad to move across North Africa all the way to the Atlantic ocean.[48] In the book “The Great Arab Conquests” Hugh Kennedy writes “When Uqba reached the Atlantic. The moment has passed into legend. He is said to have ridden his horse into the sea until the water came up to its belly. He shouted out ‘O Lord, if the sea did not stop me, I would go through lands like Alexander the Great (Dhu’l l-Qarnayan), defending your faith’ The image of the Arab warrior whose progress in conquering in the name of God was halted only by the ocean remains one of the most arresting and memorable in the whole history of the conquests.[49]

Fustat, the new capital

With the fall of Alexandria the Muslims were the masters of Egypt. At the time of their Egyptian campaign, Alexandria was the capital of the country. When Alexandria was captured by the Muslims, the houses vacated by the Byzantines were occupied by the Muslims. The Muslims were impressed and attracted by Alexandria, “the queen of cities”. ‘Amr wished for Alexandria to remain the capital of Muslim Egypt.[3] He wrote to Caliph ‘Umar seeking his permission to do this. ‘Umar rejected the proposal on the basis that Alexandria was a maritime city and there would always be a danger of Byzantine naval attacks.[50]

He suggested that the capital should be established further inland at a central place, where no mass of water intervened between it and Arabia.[51] As per the treaty with Cyrus of Alexandria, the wealth of the Egyptians in Alexandria was spared and that of Romans and Greeks was taken as booty. Greek citizens were given a choice, to return to Greek territories safely without their wealth, or to stay in Alexandria and pay Jizya. Some chose to stay, while others went to Byzantine lands.

‘Amr next proceeded to choose a suitable site for the capital of Egypt. His choice fell on the site where he had pitched his tent at the time of the battle of Babylon. His tent had been fixed about a quarter of a mile north east of the fort. It is reported that after the battle was over, and the army was about to march to Alexandria, the men began to pull down the tent and pack it for the journey, when it was found that a dove had nested on top of the tent and laid eggs. ‘Amr ordered that the tent should remain standing where it was. The army marched away but the tent remained standing in the plain of Babylon. In this unusual episode ‘Amr saw a sign from Heaven. He decided “where the dove laid its nest, let the people build their city”. As ‘Amr’s tent was to be the focal point of the city, the city was called Fustat, which in Arabic means the tent. The first structure to be built was the mosque which later became famous as Mosque of ‘Amr ibn al-‘As.[43] The city of Fustat was built due east of Babylon. In the course of time, Fustat extended to include the old town of Babylon. It grew to become a bustling city and the commercial centre of Egypt.[52]

Reforms of Caliph Umar

To consolidate his rule in Egypt, ‘Umar imposed the jizya on Egyptians. However, during later Umayyad rule higher taxes were imposed on the Egyptians.

By ‘Umar’s permission, ‘Amr ibn al-‘As decided to build a canal to join the Nile with the Red Sea; it would help the traders and Arabia would flourish through this new trade route. Moreover it would open new markets for the Egyptian merchants and open for them an easy route for the markets of Arabia and Iraq. This project was presented to Caliph ‘Umar, who approved it. A canal was dug, and within a few months was opened for merchants. It was named Nahar Amir ul-Mu’mineen i.e. The canal of Commander of the Faithful referring to the title of the Caliph ‘Umar.[53]

Amr proposed another project: digging a canal that would join the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.[54] The project was once again sent to ‘Umar for approval, but Umar viewed it as a threat to national security and rejected on the basis that it would open a way for Byzantine navy to enter the Red Sea via that canal and posing a threat to Madinah itself.[3] This project however was completed in the form of what is now known as the Suez Canal 1300 years later. Each year the caliph instructed a large amount of jizya to be used on the building and repairing of canals and bridges.[55] The Arabs remained in control of the country from this point until 1250, when it fell under the control of the Mamelukes.