Tag Archives: United States

Today In History. What Happened This Day In History


Today In History. What Happened This Day In History

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.

February 14

Happy Valentine’s Day!Today is St. Valentine’s Day, the feast day of two Christian martyrs named Valentine: one a priest and physician, the other the Bishop of Terni. Both are purported to have been beheaded on this day. The custom of sending handmade ‘valentines’ to one’s beloved became popular during the 17th century and was first commercialized in the United States in the 1840s.

 

1349   2,000 Jews are burned at the stake in Strasbourg, Germany.
1400   The deposed Richard II is murdered in Pontefract Castle in Yorkshire.
1549   Maximilian II, brother of the Emperor Charles V, is recognized as the future king of Bohemia.
1779   American Loyalists are defeated by Patriots at Kettle Creek, Ga.
1797   The Spanish fleet is destroyed by the British under Admiral Jervis (with Nelson in support) at the battle of Cape St. Vincent, off Portugal.
1848   James Polk becomes the first U.S. President to be photographed in office by Matthew Brady.
1859   Oregon is admitted as the thirty-third state.
1870   Esther Morris becomes the world’s first female justice of the peace.
1876   Rival inventors Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell both apply for patents for the telephone.
1900   General Roberts invades South Africa’s Orange Free State with 20,000 British troops.
1904   The “Missouri Kid” is captured in Kansas.
1912   Arizona becomes the 48th state in the Union.
1915   Kaiser Wilhelm II invites the U.S. Ambassador to Berlin in order to confer on the war.
1918   Warsaw demonstrators protest the transfer of Polish territory to the Ukraine.
1920   The League of Women Voters is formed in Chicago in celebration of the imminent ratification of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote.
1924   Thomas Watson founds International Business Machines Corp.
1929   Chicago gang war between Al Capone and George “Bugs” Moran culminates with several Moran confederates being gunned down in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.
1939   Germany launches the battleship Bismark.
1940   Britain announces that all merchant ships will be armed.
1942   Japanese paratroopers attack Sumatra. Aidan MacCarthy‘s RAF unit flew to Palembang, in eastern Sumatra, where 30 Royal Australian Air Force Lockheed A-28 Hudson bombers were waiting.
1945   800 Allied aircraft firebomb the German city of Dresden. Smaller followup bombing raids last until April with a total death toll of between 35,000 to 130,000 civillians.
1945   The siege of Budapest ends as the Soviets take the city. Only 785 German and Hungarian soldiers managed to escape.
1949   The United States charges the Soviet Union with interning up to 14 million in labor camps.
1955   A Jewish couple loses their fight to adopt Catholic twins as the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to rule on state law.
1957   The Georgia state senate outlaws interracial athletics.
1965   Malcolm X’s home is firebombed. No injuries are reported.
1971   Moscow publicizes a new five-year plan geared to expanding consumer production.
1973   The United States and Hanoi set up a group to channel reconstruction aid directly to Hanoi.
1979   Armed guerrillas attack the U.S. embassy in Tehran.
1985   Vietnamese troops surround the main Khmer Rouge base at Phnom Malai.
1989   Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini charges that Salman Rushdie’s novel, The Satanic Verses, is blasphemous and issues an edict (fatwa) calling on Muslims to kill Rushdie.
Born on February 14
1760   Richard Allen, first black ordained by a Methodist-Episcopal church.
1817   Frederick Douglass, slave, and later, activist and author.
1819   Christopher Latham Sholes, inventor of the first practical typewriter.
1845   Quinton Hogg, English philanthropist.
1859   George Washington Gale Ferris, inventor of the Ferris Wheel.
1894   Jack Benny, comedian, radio and television performer…and violinist.
1894   Mary Lucinda Cardwell Dawson, founded the National Negro Opera Company (NNOC) and was appointed to President John F. Kennedy’s National Committee on Music.

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/today-in-history#sthash.8Ow54pqd.dpuf

today’s image: Valentine’s Day (Image: Courtesy of My Scrap Album)



Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day probably has its origins in the Roman feast of Lupercalia, which was held on February 15. One of the traditions associated with this feast was young men drawing the names of young women whom they would court during the following year–a custom that may have grown into the giving of valentine’s cards. Another legend associated with Valentine’s Day was the martyrdom of the Christian priest St. Valentine on February 14. The Roman emperor believed that men would remain soldiers longer if they were not married, but Valentine earned the wrath of the emperor by secretly marrying young couples. The first American publisher of valentines was printer and artist Esther Howland, who sold elaborate handmade cards for as much as $35 at the end of the 19th century. Complex and beautiful machine-made cards brought the custom of valentine exchanging within the reach of many Americans.

Image: Courtesy of My Scrap Album

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

Saint of the Day for Saturday, February 14th, 2015 :St. Valentine


Image of St. Valentine

St. Valentine

Click Here for St. Valentine Prayer’s Valentine was a holy priest in Rome, who, with St. Marius and his family, assisted the martyrs in the persecution under Claudius II. He was apprehended, and … continue reading

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This day in the yesteryear: St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (1929)


St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (1929)

When Jack McGurn, a member of Al Capone’s gang, was almost killed by members of rival George “Bugs” Moran’s gang, Capone decided to retaliate by luring Bugs and some of his men to a warehouse and killing them. On the day of the massacre, Capone’s men thought that the rival crime boss had entered the warehouse and opened fire. They killed seven men but not Bugs—he had grown suspicious and changed his plans. One of the seven victims initially survived, despite how many gunshot wounds? More… Discuss

Today In History. What Happened This Day In History


Today In History. What Happened This Day In History

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.

February 13

167   Polycarp, a disciple of St. John and bishop of Smyrna, is martyred on the west coast of Asia Minor.
1542   Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII, is beheaded for adultery.
1689   British Parliament adopts the Bill of Rights.
1692   In the Glen Coe highlands of Scotland, thirty-eight members of the MacDonald clan are murdered by soldiers of the neighboring Campbell clan for not pledging allegiance to William of Orange. Ironically the pledge had been made but not communicated to the clans. The event is remembered as the Massacre of Glencoe.
1862   The four day Battle of Fort Donelson, Tennessee, begins.
1865   The Confederacy approves the recruitment of slaves as soldiers, as long as the approval of their owners is gained.
1866   Jesse James holds up his first bank.
1914   The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is founded.
1936   First social security checks are put in the mail.
1945   The Royal Air Force Bomber Command devastates the German city of Dresden with night raids by 873 heavy bombers. The attacks are joined by 521 American heavy bombers flying daylight raids.
1949   A mob burns a radio station in Ecuador after the broadcast of H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds.”
1951   At the Battle of Chipyong-ni, in Korea, U.N. troops contain the Chinese forces’ offensive in a two-day battle.
1953   The Pope asks the United States to grant clemency to convicted spies Ethel and Julius Rosenberg.
1968   The United States sends 10,500 more combat troops to Vietnam.
1970   General Motors is reportedly redesigning automobiles to run on unleaded fuel.
1972   Enemy attacks in Vietnam decline for the third day as the United States continues its intensive bombing strategy.
1984   Konstantin Chernenko is selected to succeed Yuri Andropov as Party General Secretary in the Soviet Union.
Born on February 13
1599   Alexander VII, Roman Catholic Pope.
1682   Giovanni Piazzetta, painter (Fortune Teller).
1764   Charles de Talleyrand, Napoleon’s foreign minister.
1849   Lord Randolph Churchill, English politician, Winston Churchill’s father and member of Parliament.
1873   Feodor Chaliapin, opera singer.
1892   Grant Wood, painter (American Gothic).
1902   Georges Simenon, novelist.
1910   William B. Shockley, physicist, co-inventor of the transistor.
1919   Tennessee Ernie Ford, country and gospel singer.
1922   Harold “Hal” Moore Jr., US Army lieutenant general, author; led 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment at 1965 Battle of Ia Drang Valley; his best-known book, co-authored with combat journalist Joe Galloway, is “We Were Soldiers Once . . . And Young,” an account of that battle.
1923   Charles “Chuck” Yeager, American test pilot, the first man to break the sound barrier.
1933   Kim Novak, actress.

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/today-in-history#sthash.lqoisQWw.dpuf

quotation: Lewis Carroll


How queer everything is to-day! And yesterday things went on just as usual. I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think: was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is, “Who in the world am I?” Ah, that’s the great puzzle!Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) Discuss

Noam Chomsky in conversation with Jonathan Freedland


Noam Chomsky in conversation with Jonathan Freedland

“Hymn to the Fallen” by John Williams


“Hymn to the Fallen” by John Williams

Saint of the Day for Wednesday, February 11th, 2015 : St. Paschal


Image of St. Paschal

St. Paschal

Paschal was the son of Bonosus, a Roman. He studied at the Lateran, was named head of St. Stephen’s monastery, which housed pilgrims to Rome, and was elected Pope to succeed Pope Stephen IV (V) on … continue reading

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The Right to Human Civilization Evolution and preservation of its past : Buddhas of Bamiyan



Buddhas of Bamiyan

Historic footage of Bamiyan statues

Uploaded on Jan 25, 2007

A sequence on the Bamiyan statues from “Adventure in Afghanistan” from Hal, Halla and David Linker’s television travelogue series, “The Wild, the Weird, and the Wonderful”, circa 1973. The Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003; it is noted as being a World Heritage Site in Danger. The film clip is from the Human Studies Film Archives, Smithsonian Institution collection of historical moving images.
http://siris-archives.si.edu/ipac20/i…

Buddhas of Bamiyan

 From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Cultural Landscape and Archeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Afghanistan Statua di Budda 1.jpg

The taller of the two Buddhas of Bamiyan in 1976

Type Cultural
Criteria i, ii, iii, iv, vi.
Reference 208
UNESCO region Asia-Pacific
Inscription history
Inscription 2003 (27th Session)
Endangered 2003–present

The Buddhas of Bamiyan (Persian: بت های باميان – but hay-e bamiyan) were two 6th-century[1] monumental statues of standing buddha carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamyan valley in the Hazarajat region of central Afghanistan, 230 km (140 mi) northwest of Kabul at an altitude of 2,500 meters (8,200 feet). Built in 507 AD (smaller) and 554 AD (larger),[1] the statues represented the classic blended style of Gandhara art.[2]

The main bodies were hewn directly from the sandstone cliffs, but details were modeled in mud mixed with straw, coated with stucco. This coating, practically all of which wore away long ago, was painted to enhance the expressions of the faces, hands and folds of the robes; the larger one was painted carmine red and the smaller one was painted multiple colors.[3]

The lower parts of the statues’ arms were constructed from the same mud-straw mix while supported on wooden armatures. It is believed that the upper parts of their faces were made from great wooden masks or casts. Rows of holes that can be seen in photographs were spaces that held wooden pegs that stabilized the outer stucco.

They were dynamited and destroyed in March 2001 by the Taliban, on orders from leader Mullah Mohammed Omar,[4] after the Taliban government declared that they were idols.[5] An envoy visiting the United States in the following weeks explained that they were destroyed to protest international aid exclusively reserved for statue maintenance while Afghanistan was experiencing famine,[6] while the Afghan Foreign Minister claimed that the destruction was merely about carrying out Islamic religious iconoclasm. International opinion strongly condemned the destruction of the Buddhas, which in the following years was primarily viewed as an example of the extreme religious intolerance of the Taliban. Japan and Switzerland, among others, have pledged support for the rebuilding of the statues.[7]

History

Further information: Buddhism in Afghanistan

 Drawing of the Buddhas of Bamiyan by Alexander Burnes 1832

 
Taller Buddha in 1963 and in 2008 after destruction

 
Smaller Buddha in 1977

Bamiyan lies on the Silk Road, which runs through the Hindu Kush mountain region, in the Bamiyan Valley. The Silk Road has been historically a caravan route linking the markets of China with those of the Western world. It was the site of several Buddhist monasteries, and a thriving center for religion, philosophy, and art. Monks at the monasteries lived as hermits in small caves carved into the side of the Bamiyan cliffs. Most of these monks embellished their caves with religious statuary and elaborate, brightly colored frescoes. It was a Buddhist religious site from the 2nd century up to the time of the Islamic invasion in the later half of the 7th century. Until it was completely conquered by the Muslim Saffarids in the 9th century, Bamiyan shared the culture of Gandhara.

The two most prominent statues were the giant standing Buddhas Vairocana and Sakyamuni, identified by the different mudras performed. The Buddha popularly called “Solsol” measures 53 meters tall, and “Shahmama” 35 meters – the niches in which the figures stand are 58 and 38 meters from bottom to top.[8][9] Before being blown up in 2001 they were the largest examples of standing Buddha carvings in the world (the 8th century Leshan Giant Buddha is taller,[10] but the statue is sitting). Since then the Spring Temple Buddha has been built in China, and at 128 m (420 ft) it is the tallest statue in the world. Plans for the construction of the Spring Temple Buddha were announced soon after the blowing up of the Bamiyan Buddhas and China condemned the systematic destruction of the Buddhist heritage of Afghanistan.

The smaller of the statues was built between 544 and 595, the larger was built between 591 and 644.[11] The larger figure was also said to portray Dīpankara Buddha. They were perhaps the most famous cultural landmarks of the region, and the site was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site along with the surrounding cultural landscape and archaeological remains of the Bamiyan Valley. Their color faded through time.[12]

Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Xuanzang visited the site on 30 April 630 AD,[13][14][15] and described Bamiyan in the Da Tang Xiyu Ji as a flourishing Buddhist center “with more than ten monasteries and more than a thousand monks”. He also noted that both Buddha figures were “decorated with gold and fine jewels” (Wriggins, 1995). Intriguingly, Xuanzang mentions a third, even larger, reclining statue of the Buddha.[3][15][16] A monumental seated Buddha, similar in style to those at Bamiyan, still exists in the Bingling Temple caves in China’s Gansu province.

The destruction of the Bamyan Buddhas became a symbol of oppression and a rallying point for the freedom of religious expression. Despite the fact that most Afghans are now Muslim, they too had embraced their past and many were appalled by the destruction.[17][18][19]

Attacks on the Buddha’s statue

11th to the 20th century

In 1221 with the advent of Genghis Khan “a terrible disaster befell Bamiyan,”[20][21] nevertheless, the statues were spared. Later, the Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb, tried to use heavy artillery to destroy the statues. Another attempt to destroy the Bamiyan statues was made by the 18th century Persian king Nader Afshar, directing cannon fire at them.[22]

The enormous statues, the male Salsal (“light shines through the universe”) and the (smaller) female Shamama (“Queen Mother”),[23] as they were called by the locals, did not fail to fire the imagination of Islamic writers in centuries past. The larger statue reappears as the malevolent giant Salsal in medieval Turkish tales.[24]

Afghan king Abdur Rahman Khan destroyed its face during a military campaign against the Shia Hazara rebellion.[25] A Frenchman named Dureau had pictured it in 1847.[26]

Preface to 2001, under the Taliban

Abdul Wahed, a Taliban commander operating in the area, announced his intention to blow up the Buddhas in 1997 even before he had taken control of the valley. Once he was in control of Bamiyan in 1998, Wahed drilled holes in the Buddhas’ heads for explosives. He was prevented from taking further action by the local governor and direct order of Mullah Omar, although tyres were burnt on the head of the great Buddha.[27] In July 1999, Mullah Mohammed Omar issued a decree in favor of the preservation of the Bamiyan Buddha statues. Because Afghanistan’s Buddhist population no longer exists, so the statues are no longer worshipped, he added: “The government considers the Bamiyan statues as an example of a potential major source of income for Afghanistan from international visitors. The Taliban states that Bamiyan shall not be destroyed but protected.”[28] In early 2000, local Taliban authorities asked for UN assistance to rebuild drainage ditches around tops of the alcoves where the Buddhas were set.[29]

However, Afghanistan’s radical clerics began a campaign to crack down on “un-Islamic” segments of Afghan society. The Taliban soon banned all forms of imagery, music and sports, including television, in accordance with what they considered a strict interpretation of Sharia.[30]

Information and Culture Minister Qadratullah Jamal told Associated Press of a decision by 400 religious clerics from across Afghanistan declaring the Buddhist statues against the tenets of Islam. “They came out with a consensus that the statues were against Islam,” said Jamal.

According to UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura, a meeting of ambassadors from the 54 member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) was conducted. All OIC states – including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, three countries that officially recognised the Taliban government – joined the protest to spare the monuments.[31] Saudi Arabia and the UAE later condemned the destruction as “savage”.[32] Although India never recognised the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, New Delhi offered to arrange for the transfer of all the artifacts in question to India, “where they would be kept safely and preserved for all mankind.” These overtures were rejected by the Taliban.[33] Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf sent Moinuddin Haider to Kabul to try to prevent the destruction, by arguing that it was un-Islamic and unprecedented.[34] According to Taliban minister, Abdul Salam Zaeef, UNESCO sent the Taliban government 36 letters objecting to the proposed destruction. He asserted that the Chinese, Japanese and Sri Lankan delegates were the most strident advocates for preserving the Buddhas. The Japanese in particular proposed a variety of different solutions to the issue, these included moving the statues to Japan, covering the statues from view and the payment of money.[35]

A statement issued by the ministry of religious affairs of Taliban regime justified the destruction as being in accordance with Islamic law.[36] Abdul Salam Zaeef held that the destruction of the Buddhas was finally ordered by Abdul Wali, the Minister for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.[37]

Dynamiting and destruction, March 2001

 Destruction of the site by the Taliban

 
Site of the larger statue after it was destroyed

 
Site of the smaller statue in 2005

The statues were destroyed by dynamite over several weeks, starting on 2 March 2001,[38] carried out in stages. Initially, the statues were fired at for several days using anti-aircraft guns and artillery. This caused severe damage, but did not obliterate them. During the destruction, Taliban Information Minister Qudratullah Jamal lamented that, “this work of destruction is not as simple as people might think. You can’t knock down the statues by shelling as both are carved into a cliff; they are firmly attached to the mountain.”[39] Later, the Taliban placed anti-tank mines at the bottom of the niches, so that when fragments of rock broke off from artillery fire, the statues would receive additional destruction from particles that set off the mines. In the end, the Taliban lowered men down the cliff face and placed explosives into holes in the Buddhas.[40] After one of the explosions failed to completely obliterate the face of one of the Buddhas, a rocket was launched that left a hole in the remains of the stone head.[41]

On 6 March 2001 The Times quoted Mullah Mohammed Omar as stating, “Muslims should be proud of smashing idols. It has given praise to Allah that we have destroyed them.”[42] During a 13 March interview for Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun, Afghan Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmad Mutawakel stated that the destruction was anything but a retaliation against the international community for economic sanctions: “We are destroying the statues in accordance with Islamic law and it is purely a religious issue”.

On 18 March, The New York Times reported that a Taliban envoy said the Islamic government made its decision in a rage after a foreign delegation offered money to preserve the ancient works. The report also added, however, that other reports “have said the religious leaders were debating the move for months, and ultimately decided that the statues were idolatrous and should be obliterated.”[43]

Then Taliban ambassador-at-large Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi said that the destruction of the statues was carried out by the Head Council of Scholars after a Swedish monuments expert proposed to restore the statues’ heads. Hashimi is reported as saying: “When the Afghan head council asked them to provide the money to feed the children instead of fixing the statues, they refused and said, ‘No, the money is just for the statues, not for the children’. Herein, they made the decision to destroy the statues”; however, he did not comment on the claim that a foreign museum offered to “buy the Buddhist statues, the money from which could have been used to feed children.”[44]

The destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas despite protests from the international community has been described by Michael Falser, a heritage expert at the Center for Transcultural Studies in Germany, as an attack by the Taliban against the globalising concept of “cultural heritage”.[45] The director general of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Koichiro Matsuura called the destruction a “…crime against culture. It is abominable to witness the cold and calculated destruction of cultural properties which were the heritage of the Afghan people, and, indeed, of the whole of humanity.”[46]

Commitment to rebuild

Though the figures of the two large Buddhas are almost completely destroyed, their outlines and some features are still recognizable within the recesses. It is also still possible for visitors to explore the monks’ caves and passages that connect them. As part of the international effort to rebuild Afghanistan after the Taliban war, the Government of Japan and several other organizations, among them the Afghanistan Institute in Bubendorf, Switzerland, along with the ETH in Zurich, have committed to rebuilding, perhaps by anastylosis, the two larger Buddhas.

Developments since 2002

In May 2002, a sculpture of the Buddha was carved out of a mountain in Sri Lanka. It was designed to closely resemble one of the Buddhas of Bamiyan.

In September 2005, Mawlawi Mohammed Islam Mohammadi, Taliban governor of Bamiyan province at the time of the destruction and widely seen as responsible for its occurrence, was elected to the Afghan Parliament. On 26 January 2007, he was assassinated in Kabul.

Swiss filmmaker Christian Frei made a 95-minute documentary titled The Giant Buddhas (released in March 2006) on the statues, the international reactions to their destruction, and an overview of the controversy. Testimony by local Afghans validates that Osama Bin Laden ordered the destruction and that, initially, Mullah Omar and the Afghans in Bamiyan opposed it.[47]

Since 2002, international funding has supported recovery and stabilization efforts at the site. Fragments of the statues are documented and stored with special attention given to securing the structure of the statue still in place. It is hoped that, in the future, partial anastylosis can be conducted with the remaining fragments. In 2009, ICOMOS constructed scaffolding within the niche to further conservation and stabilization. Nonetheless, several serious conservation and safety issues exist and the Buddhas are still listed as World Heritage in Danger.[48]

In the summer of 2006, Afghan officials were deciding on the timetable for the re-construction of the statues. As they wait for the Afghan government and international community to decide when to rebuild them, a $1.3 million UNESCO-funded project is sorting out the chunks of clay and plaster—ranging from boulders weighing several tons to fragments the size of tennis balls—and sheltering them from the elements.

The Buddhist remnants at Bamiyan were included on the 2008 World Monuments Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites by the World Monuments Fund.

Discoveries

 
Grotto painting in 2008

After the destruction of the Buddhas, 50 caves were revealed. In 12 of the caves, wall paintings were discovered.[49] In December 2004, an international team of researchers stated the wall paintings at Bamiyan were painted between the 5th and the 9th centuries, rather than the 6th to 8th centuries, citing their analysis of radioactive isotopes contained in straw fibers found beneath the paintings. It is believed that the paintings were done by artists travelling on the Silk Road, the trade route between China and the West.[50]

Scientists from the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties in Tokyo (Japan), the Centre of Research and Restoration of the French Museums-CNRS (France), the Getty Conservation Institute (United States) and the ESRF (the European Synchrotron radiation facility) in Grenoble analysed samples from the paintings,[51] typically less than 1 mm across.[52] They discovered that the paint contained pigments such as vermilion (red mercury sulfide) and lead white (lead carbonate). These were mixed with a range of binders, including natural resins, gums (possibly animal skin glue or egg)[52] and oils, probably derived from walnuts or poppies.[50] Specifically, researchers identified drying oils from murals showing Buddhas in vermilion robes sitting cross-legged amid palm leaves and mythical creatures as being painted in the middle of the 7th century.[49] It is believed that they are the oldest known surviving examples of oil painting, possibly predating oil painting in Europe by as much as six centuries.[50] The discovery may lead to a reassessment of works in ancient ruins in Iran, China, Pakistan, Turkey and India.[50]

Initial suspicion that the oils might be attributable to contamination from fingers, as the touching of the painting is encouraged in Buddhist tradition,[52] was dispelled by spectroscopy and chromatography giving an unambiguous signal for the intentional use of drying oils rather than contaminants.[52] Oils were discovered underneath layers of paint, unlike surface contaminants.[52]

Scientists also found the translation of the beginning section of the original Sanskrit Pratītyasamutpāda Sutra translated by Xuanzang that spelled out the basic belief of Buddhism and said all things are transient.[53]

Another giant statue unearthed

On 8 September 2008 archeologists searching for a legendary 300-metre statue at the site of the already dynamited Buddhas announced the discovery of parts of an unknown 19-metre (62-foot) reclining Buddha, a pose representing Buddha’s Parinirvana.[54]

Restoration

The UNESCO Expert Working Group on Afghan cultural projects convened to discuss what to do about the two statues between 3–4 March 2011 in Paris. Researcher Erwin Emmerling of Technical University Munich announced he believed it would be possible to restore the smaller statue using an organic silicon compound.[11] The Paris conference issued a list of 39 recommendations for the safeguarding of the Bamiyan site. These included leaving the larger Western niche empty as a monument to the destruction of the Buddhas, a feasibility study into the rebuilding of the Eastern Buddha, and the construction of a central museum and several smaller site museums.[55] Work has since begun on restoring the Buddhas using the process of anastylosis, where original elements are combined with modern material. It is estimated that roughly half the pieces of the Buddhas can be put back together according to Bert Praxenthaler, a German art historian and sculptor involved in the restoration. The restoration of the caves and Buddhas has also involved training and employing local people as stone carvers.[56] The project, which also aims to encourage tourism to the area, is being organised by UNESCO and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). The work has come under some criticism. It is felt by some, such as human rights activist Abdullah Hamadi, that the empty niches should be left as monuments to the fanaticism of the Taliban, while NPR reported that others believe the money could be better spent on housing and electricity for the region.[57] Some people, including Habiba Sarabi, the provincial governor, believe that rebuilding the Buddhas would increase tourism which would aid the surrounding communities.[57]

See also

References

Notes

  1. Kakissis, Joanna (27 July 2011). “Bit By Bit, Afghanistan Rebuilds Buddhist Statues”. National Public Radio. Retrieved 22 April 2013.

Further reading

External links

 

Dust Bowl The Dust Bowl – The Plow That Broke The Plains (1936) Documentary. News Core re-score. History.


Dust Bowl


The Dust Bowl – The Plow That Broke The Plains (1936) Documentary. News Core re-score. History.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


For other uses, see Dust Bowl (disambiguation).

 
A farmer and his two sons during a dust storm in Cimarron County, Oklahoma, 1936, Photo: Arthur Rothstein

The Dust Bowl, also known as the Dirty Thirties, was a period of severe dust storms that greatly damaged the ecology and agriculture of the US and Canadian prairies during the 1930s; severe drought and a failure to apply dryland farming methods to prevent wind erosion (the Aeolian processes) caused the phenomenon. The drought came in three waves, 1934, 1936, and 1939–40, but some regions of the High Plains experienced drought conditions for as many as eight years.[1] With insufficient understanding of the ecology of the Plains, farmers had conducted extensive deep plowing of the virgin topsoil of the Great Plains during the previous decade; this had displaced the native, deep-rooted grasses that normally trapped soil and moisture even during periods of drought and high winds. The rapid mechanization of farm equipment, especially small gasoline tractors, and widespread use of the combine harvester contributed to farmers’ decisions to convert arid grassland (much of which received no more than 10 inches (250 mm) of precipitation per year) to cultivated cropland.[citation needed]

During the drought of the 1930s, the unanchored soil turned to dust, which the prevailing winds blew away in huge clouds that sometimes blackened the sky. These choking billows of dust – named “black blizzards” or “black rollers” – traveled cross country, reaching as far as such East Coast cities as New York City and Washington, D.C. On the Plains, they often reduced visibility to 1 metre (3.3 ft) or less. Associated Press reporter Robert E. Geiger happened to be in Boise City, Oklahoma to witness the “Black Sunday” black blizzards of April 14, 1935; Edward Stanley, Kansas City news editor of the Associated Press coined the term “Dust Bowl” while rewriting Geiger’s news story.[2][3]

The drought and erosion of the Dust Bowl affected 100,000,000 acres (400,000 km2) that centered on the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma and touched adjacent sections of New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas.[4]

The Dust Bowl forced tens of thousands of families to abandon their farms. Many of these families, who were often known as “Okies” because so many of them came from Oklahoma, migrated to California and other states to find that the Great Depression had rendered economic conditions there little better than those they had left. Author John Steinbeck wrote Of Mice and Men (1937) and The Grapes of Wrath (1939) about migrant workers and farm families displaced by the Dust Bowl.

 

today’s Image: The Great Migration – Library of Congress



The Great Migration

From 1910 to 1970, more than 6 million southern blacks left their rural homes in search of an urban ‘Promised Land’ in the north. The largest migration in American history was caused by the ‘push’ of hardships prevalent in the South–such as segregation, lynching and the economic hopelessness of the sharecropping system–and the ‘pull’ of opportunity in the North. Plentiful industrial jobs, although sometimes menial, often offered wages three times higher than did jobs in the South. Glowing reports from friends and family already in the North inspired increased migration. While racism, housing shortages and crime often greeted the new arrivals, they also found organizations such as the National Urban League and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) dedicated to improving the lives of black Americans.

Library of Congress

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Peter, Paul, and Mary – This Land is Your Land

today’s birthday: Mark Spitz (1950)


Mark Spitz (1950)

During the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, Jewish-American swimmer Mark Spitz shot to sporting fame when he captured seven gold medals, a feat unequaled by any other athlete in a single Olympiad until 2008. Spitz also set new world records for each of the events in which he took the gold. Having thus brought his total Olympic medal count up to 11—he had won two gold, one silver, and one bronze in 1968—Spitz retired from competition. What other historic event marked the 1972 Games? More… Discuss

Access Mark Spitz’s official website    HERE

Human Civilization: Magna Carta Copy Found in Scrapbook


Magna Carta Copy Found in Scrapbook

A previously unknown version of the Magna Carta—the most famous document in British constitutional history—has been found tucked in a scrapbook by an archivist in the British town of Sandwich. The discovery comes just days after four surviving copies of the 1215 Magna Carta went on display in London. The Magna Carta, issued in 1215 by King John of England, asserted that no one, not even the king, was above the law. The newly found version appears to have been published under King Edward I in 1300. More… Discuss

Human Civilization Heritage – Historic Sites: Petra – Jordan (Listed by UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists) and Smithsonian Magazine’s – “28 Places to See Before You Die”


Petra

This article is about the Jordanian ancient city of Petra. For other uses, see Petra (disambiguation).
Petra
Al Khazneh.jpg

Al Khazneh or The Treasury at Petra
Location Ma’an Governorate, Jordan
Coordinates 30°19′43″N 35°26′31″ECoordinates: 30°19′43″N 35°26′31″E
Elevation 810 m (2,657 ft)
Built possibly as early as 5th century BC [1]
Visitation 580,000 (in 2007)
Governing body Petra Region Authority
 
Type Cultural
Criteria i, iii, iv
Designated 1985 (9th session)
Reference no. 326
State Party Jordan
Region Arab States
 
Website www.visitpetra.jo
Petra is located in Jordan

Petra
 
Location of Petra in Jordan

Petra (Arabic: البتراء, Al-Batrāʾ; Ancient Greek: Πέτρα) is a historical and archaeological city in the southern Jordanian governorate of Ma’an that is famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system. Another name for Petra is the Rose City due to the color of the stone out of which it is carved.

Established possibly as early as 312 BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans,[2] it is a symbol of Jordan, as well as Jordan’s most-visited tourist attraction.[3] It lies on the slope of Jebel al-Madhbah (identified by some as the biblical Mount Hor[4]) in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. Petra has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.

The site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812, when it was introduced by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. It was described as “a rose-red city half as old as time” in a Newdigate Prize-winning poem by John William Burgon. UNESCO has described it as “one of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage”.[5] See: UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists. Petra was chosen by the Smithsonian Magazine as one of the “28 Places to See Before You Die”.[6]

Geography

Pliny the Elder and other writers identify Petra as the capital of the Nabataeans and the center of their caravan trade. Enclosed by towering rocks and watered by a perennial stream, Petra not only possessed the advantages of a fortress, but controlled the main commercial routes which passed through it to Gaza in the west, to Bosra and Damascus in the north, to Aqaba and Leuce Come on the Red Sea, and across the desert to the Persian Gulf.

Map of Petra

 

The narrow passage (Siq) that leads to Petra

Excavations have demonstrated that it was the ability of the Nabataeans to control the water supply that led to the rise of the desert city, creating an artificial oasis. The area is visited by flash floods and archaeological evidence demonstrates the Nabataeans controlled these floods by the use of dams, cisterns and water conduits. These innovations stored water for prolonged periods of drought, and enabled the city to prosper from its sale.[7][8]

In ancient times, Petra might have been approached from the south on a track leading across the plain of Petra, around Jabal Haroun (“Aaron’s Mountain”), where the Tomb of Aaron, said to be the burial-place of Aaron, brother of Moses, is located. Another approach was possibly from the high plateau to the north. Today, most modern visitors approach the site from the east. The impressive eastern entrance leads steeply down through a dark, narrow gorge (in places only 3–4 m (9.8–13.1 ft) wide) called the Siq (“the shaft”), a natural geological feature formed from a deep split in the sandstone rocks and serving as a waterway flowing into Wadi Musa. At the end of the narrow gorge stands Petra’s most elaborate ruin, Al Khazneh (popularly known as and meaning “the Treasury”), hewn into the sandstone cliff. While remaining in remarkably preserved condition, the face of the structure is marked by hundreds of bullet holes made by the local Bedouin tribes that hoped to dislodge riches that were once rumored to be hidden within it.[9]

A little farther from the Treasury, at the foot of the mountain called en-Nejr, is a massive theatre, positioned so as to bring the greatest number of tombs within view. At the point where the valley opens out into the plain, the site of the city is revealed with striking effect. The amphitheatre has been cut into the hillside and into several of the tombs during its construction. Rectangular gaps in the seating are still visible. Almost enclosing it on three sides are rose-colored mountain walls, divided into groups by deep fissures and lined with knobs cut from the rock in the form of towers.

History

One of the many dwellings in Petra

 

General view of Petra

 

Some of the earliest recorded farmers settled in Beidha, a pre-pottery settlement just north of Petra, by 7000 BC.[10] Petra is listed in Egyptian campaign accounts and the Amarna letters as Pel, Sela or Seir. Though the city was founded relatively late, a sanctuary has existed there since very ancient times. Stations 19 through 26 of the stations list of Exodus are places associated with Petra.[11] This part of the country was biblically assigned to the Horites, the predecessors of the Edomites.[12] The habits of the original natives may have influenced the Nabataean custom of burying the dead and offering worship in half-excavated caves. Although Petra is usually identified with Sela, which means a rock, the Biblical references[13] refer to it as “the cleft in the rock”, referring to its entrance. In the parallel passage, however, Sela is understood to mean simply “the rock” (2 Chronicles xxv. 12, see LXX).

Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews iv. 7, 1~ 4, 7), Eusebius and Jerome (Onom. sacr. 286, 71. 145, 9; 228, 55. 287, 94) assert that Rekem was the native name, and this name appears in the Dead Sea Scrolls[14] as a prominent Edomite site most closely describing Petra, and associated with Mount Seir. But in the Aramaic versions, Rekem is the name of Kadesh, implying that Josephus may have confused the two places. The Semitic name of the city, if not Sela, remains unknown. The passage in Diodorus Siculus (xix. 94–97) which describes the expeditions which Antigonus sent against the Nabataeans in 312 BC is understood to throw some light upon the history of Petra, but the “petra” referred to as a natural fortress and place of refuge cannot be a proper name and the description implies that the town was not yet in existence.

 
The Rekem Inscription before it was buried by the bridge abutments.

The name “Rekem” was inscribed in the rock wall of the Wadi Musa opposite the entrance to the Siq,[15] but about twenty years ago[timeframe?] the Jordanians built a bridge over the wadi and this inscription was buried beneath tons of concrete.[citation needed]

More satisfactory evidence of the date of the earliest Nabataean settlement may be obtained from an examination of the tombs. Two types of tombs have been distinguished: the Nabataean and the Greco-Roman. The Nabataean type starts from the simple pylon-tomb with a door set in a tower crowned by a parapet ornament, in imitation of the front of a dwelling-house. Then, after passing through various stages, the full Nabataean type is reached, retaining all the native features and at the same time exhibiting characteristics which are partly Egyptian and partly Greek. Of this type close parallels exist in the tomb-towers at Mada’in Saleh in north Arabia, which bear long Nabataean inscriptions and supply a date for the corresponding monuments at Petra. Then comes a series of tombfronts which terminate in a semicircular arch, a feature derived from north Syria. Finally come the elaborate façades copied from the front of a Roman temple; however, all traces of native style have vanished. The exact dates of the stages in this development cannot be fixed. Few inscriptions of any length have been found at Petra, perhaps because they have perished with the stucco or cement which was used upon many of the buildings. The simple pylon-tombs which belong to the pre-Hellenic age serve as evidence for the earliest period. It is not known how far back in this stage the Nabataean settlement goes, but it does not go back farther than the 6th century BC. A period follows in which the dominant civilization combines Greek, Egyptian and Syrian elements, clearly pointing to the age of the Ptolemies. Towards the close of the 2nd century BC, when the Ptolemaic and Seleucid kingdoms were equally depressed, the Nabataean kingdom came to the front. Under Aretas III Philhellene, (c.85–60 BC), the royal coins begin. The theatre was probably excavated at that time, and Petra must have assumed the aspect of a Hellenistic city. In the reign of Aretas IV Philopatris, (9 BC–40 AD), the tombs of the el-I~ejr[clarification needed] type may be dated, and perhaps also the High-place.

Roman rule

In 106 AD, when Cornelius Palma was governor of Syria, the part of Arabia under the rule of Petra was absorbed into the Roman Empire as part of Arabia Petraea and became its capital. The native dynasty came to an end but the city continued to flourish under Roman rule. It was around this time that the Petra Roman Road was built. A century later, in the time of Alexander Severus, when the city was at the height of its splendor, the issue of coinage comes to an end. There is no more building of sumptuous tombs, owing apparently to some sudden catastrophe, such as an invasion by the neo-Persian power under the Sassanid Empire. Meanwhile, as Palmyra (fl. 130–270) grew in importance and attracted the Arabian trade away from Petra, the latter declined. It appears, however, to have lingered on as a religious centre. Another Roman road was constructed at the site. Epiphanius of Salamis (c.315–403) writes that in his time a feast was held there on December 25 in honor of the virgin Khaabou (Chaabou) and her offspring Dushara (Haer. 51).[citation needed]

Byzantine era – decline

Petra declined rapidly under Roman rule, in large part from the revision of sea-based trade routes. In 363 an earthquake destroyed many buildings, and crippled the vital water management system.[16] The last inhabitants abandoned the city (further weakened by another major earthquake in 551) when the Arabs conquered the region in 663. The ruins of Petra were an object of curiosity in the Middle Ages and were visited by Sultan Baibars of Egypt towards the end of the 13th century. The first European to describe them was Swiss traveller Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812.

Because the structures weakened with age, many of the tombs became vulnerable to thieves, and many treasures were stolen. In 1929, a four-person team, consisting of British archaeologists Agnes Conway and George Horsfield, Palestinian physician and folklore expert Dr Tawfiq Canaan and Dr Ditlef Nielsen, a Danish scholar, excavated and surveyed Petra.[17]

T. E. Lawrence

 Petra siq in 1947 (left) compared with the same location in 2013

In October 1917, as part of a general effort to divert Ottoman military resources away from the British advance before the Third Battle of Gaza, a revolt of Syrians and Arabians in Petra was led by British Army officer T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) against the Ottoman regime. The Bedouin women living in the vicinity of Petra and under the leadership of Sheik Khallil’s wife were gathered to fight in the revolt of the city. The rebellions, with the support of English military, were able to devastate the Ottoman forces.[18]

Religion

 The Theatre
See also: Nabataean art

The Nabataeans worshipped the Arab gods and goddesses of the pre-Islamic times as well as a few of their deified kings. One, Obodas I, was deified after his death. Dushara was the primary male god accompanied by his female trinity: Al-‘Uzzá, Allat and Manāt. Many statues carved in the rock depict these gods and goddesses.

A stele is dedicated to Qos-Allah ‘Qos is Allah’ or ‘Qos the god’, by Qosmilk (melech – king) is found at Petra (Glueck 516). Qos is identifiable with Kaush (Qaush) the God of the older Edomites. The stele is horned and the seal from the Edomite Tawilan near Petra identified with Kaush displays a star and crescent (Browning 28), both consistent with a moon deity. It is conceivable the latter could have resulted from trade with Harran (Bartlett 194). There is continuing debate about the nature of Qos (qaus – bow) who has been identified both with a hunting bow (hunting god) and a rainbow (weather god) although the crescent above is also a bow.

Nabatean inscriptions in Sinai and other places display widespread references to names including Allah, El and Allat (god and goddess), with regional references to al-Uzza, Baal and Manutu (Manat) (Negev 11). Allat is also found in Sinai in South Arabian language. Allah occurs particularly as Garm-‘allahi – god dedided (Greek Garamelos) and Aush-allahi – ‘gods covenant’ (Greek Ausallos). We find both Shalm-lahi ‘Allah is peace’ and Shalm-allat, ‘the peace of the goddess’. We also find Amat-allahi ‘she-servant of god’ and Halaf-llahi ‘the successor of Allah’.[19]

The Monastery, Petra’s largest monument, dates from the 1st century BC. It was dedicated to Obodas I and is believed to be the symposium of Obodas the god. This information is inscribed on the ruins of the Monastery (the name is the translation of the Arabic “Ad Deir“).

Christianity found its way to Petra in the 4th century AD, nearly 500 years after the establishment of Petra as a trade center. Athanasius mentions a bishop of Petra (Anhioch. 10) named Asterius. At least one of the tombs (the “tomb with the urn”?) was used as a church. An inscription in red paint records its consecration “in the time of the most holy bishop Jason” (447). After the Islamic conquest of 629–632 Christianity in Petra, as of most of Arabia, gave way to Islam. During the First Crusade Petra was occupied by Baldwin I of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and formed the second fief of the barony of Al Karak (in the lordship of Oultrejordain) with the title Château de la Valée de Moyse or Sela. It remained in the hands of the Franks until 1189. It is still a titular see of the Catholic Church.[20]

Two Crusader-period castles are known in and around Petra. The first is al-Wu’ayra and is situated just north of Wadi Musa. It can be viewed from the road to “Little Petra”. It is the castle of Valle Moise which was seized by a band of Turks with the help of local Muslims and only recovered by the Crusaders after they began to destroy the olive trees of Wadi Musa. The potential loss of livelihood led the locals to negotiate surrender. The second is on the summit of el-Habis in the heart of Petra and can be accessed from the West side of the Qasr al-Bint.

According to Arab tradition, Petra is the spot where Moses (Musa) struck a rock with his staff and water came forth, and where Moses’ brother, Aaron (Harun), is buried, at Mount Hor, known today as Jabal Haroun or Mount Aaron. The Wadi Musa or “Wadi of Moses” is the Arab name for the narrow valley at the head of which Petra is sited. A mountaintop shrine of Moses’ sister Miriam was still shown to pilgrims at the time of Jerome in the 4th century, but its location has not been identified since.[21]

Threats to Petra

The site suffers from a host of threats, including collapse of ancient structures, erosion due to flooding and improper rainwater drainage, weathering from salt upwelling,[22] improper restoration of ancient structures, and unsustainable tourism.[23] The last has increased substantially, especially since the site received widespread media coverage in 2007 during the controversial New Seven Wonders of the World Internet and cell phone campaign.[24]

In an attempt to reduce the impact of these threats, Petra National Trust (PNT) was established in 1989. Over this time, it has worked together with numerous local and international organizations on projects that promote the protection, conservation and preservation of the Petra site.[25] Moreover, UNESCO and ICOMOS recently collaborated to publish their first book on human and natural threats to these sensitive World Heritage sites. They chose Petra as its first, and the most important example of threatened landscapes. A book released in 2012, Tourism and Archaeological Heritage Management at Petra: Driver to Development or Destruction?, was the first in a series of important books to address the very nature of these deteriorating buildings, cities, sites, and regions. The next books in the series of deteriorating UNESCO World Heritage Sites will include Macchu Picchu, Angkor Wat, and Pompeii. (25).

 
Camel sitting in front of Al Khazneh

Petra today

On December 6, 1985, Petra was designated a World Heritage Site. Some of the sights of Petra are available on Google Street View.

In popular culture

Petra is the main topic in John William Burgon‘s sonnet (rhyme scheme aabbccddeeffgg) “Petra” which won the Newdigate Prize in 1845. The poem refers to Petra as the inaccessible city which he had heard described but had never seen:

It seems no work of Man’s creative hand,

by labour wrought as wavering fancy planned;

But from the rock as if by magic grown,

eternal, silent, beautiful, alone!

Not virgin-white like that old Doric shrine,

where erst Athena held her rites divine;

Not saintly-grey, like many a minster fane,

that crowns the hill and consecrates the plain;

But rose-red as if the blush of dawn,

that first beheld them were not yet withdrawn;

The hues of youth upon a brow of woe,

which Man deemed old two thousand years ago,

match me such marvel save in Eastern clime,

a rose-red city half as old as time.

In 1977, the Lebanese Rahbani brothers wrote the musical “Petra” as a response to the Lebanese Civil War.[26]

The site is featured in films such as: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Arabian Nights, Passion in the Desert, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, The Mummy Returns and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

It was recreated for the video games Spy Hunter (2001), King’s Quest V, Lego Indiana Jones, Sonic Unleashed, Knights of the Temple: Infernal Crusade and Civilization V.

Petra appeared in the novels Left Behind Series, Appointment with Death, The Eagle in the Sand, The Red Sea Sharks, the nineteenth book in The Adventures of Tintin series and in Kingsbury’s The Moon Goddess and the Son. It featured prominently in the Marcus Didius Falco mystery novel Last Act in Palmyra. In Blue Balliett‘s novel, Chasing Vermeer, the character Petra Andalee is named after the site.[27]

The Sisters of Mercy filmed their music video for “Dominion/Mother Russia” in and around Al Khazneh (“The Treasury”) in February 1988.

In 1994 Petra featured in the video to the Urban Species video Spiritual Love.

Petra was featured in episode 3 of the 2010 series An Idiot Abroad.

In 1979 Marguerite van Geldermalsen from New Zealand married Mohammed Abdullah, a Bedouin in Petra.[28] They lived in a cave in Petra until the death of her husband. She authored the book Married to a Bedouin. Geldermalsen is the only western woman who has ever lived in Petra.

Petra was featured in episode 20 of Misaeng_(TV_series). [29][30]

Sister cities

Views of Petra
The road to the Siiq 
The Siiq, path to Petra 
El Deir (“The Monastery”) 
Byzantine mosaic in the Byzantine Church of Petra 
The end of the Siq, with its dramatic view of Al Khazneh (“The Treasury”) 
The Hadrian Gate and the Cardo Maximus in Petra 
Petra is known as the Rose-Red City[31] for the colour of the rocks from which Petra is carved 
The Great Temple of Petra 
Ad Deir (“The Monastery”) in 1839, by David Roberts 
The Petra Visitors Centre in Wadi Musa, the closest town to the historic site 
Drimia maritima bulbs in Petra in early December (2010) 
Sandstone Rock-cut tombs (Kokhim) in Petra 
Obelisk Tomb and the Triclinium 
Street of Façades 
The Silk Tomb 
Uneishu Tomb 
Lonely cave 
Sandstone rocks 
Main entrance (Al Khazneh) 
Theatre 
General view 
Ancient columns 
Tourist attraction 

See also

Petra one of the most Mysterious Archaeological Sites on Earth [FULL DOCUMENTARY]

Tuesday: Did you know?


Did you know?

Tuesday

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

this day in the yesteryear: William G. Morgan Invents Volleyball (1895)


William G. Morgan Invents Volleyball (1895)

William G. Morgan invented volleyball in Holyoke, Massachusetts, just four years after basketball was invented in the neighboring town of Springfield. Morgan, a physical education director, created “Mintonette” for older athletes who wanted to play indoor sports but deemed basketball too rough. The name volleyball came from the nature of the game: “volleying” a ball back and forth over a net. Players can also “spike” the ball and drive it downward into the opponents’ court. What is a “pancake”? More… Discuss

this pressed: Les luminessences d’Avignon | Palais des Papes – Avignon


Seeing it in all its majesty, standing proud in the historical heart of Avignon, people often wonder: but what were popes doing here in Provence? Why did they leave the Roman hillsides to come to the banks of the Rhône? The monumental video projection, music and story-telling reveal the history of the building, the city and the region like never before. At the meeting of Europe’s great rivers, in the centre of old Avignon, come and experience an extraordinary 360° journey in time and space. For an unforgettable evening, on a unique and exceptional site: the cour d’Honneur of the Palais des Papes.

via Les luminessences d’Avignon | Palais des Papes – Avignon.

Today In History. What Happened This Day In History


Today In History. What Happened This Day In History

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.

February 6

1626   Huguenot rebels and the French sign the Peace of La Rochelle.
1778   France recognizes the United States and signs a treaty of aid in Paris.
1788   Massachusetts becomes the sixth state to ratify the Constitution.
1862   The Battle of Fort Henry, Tenn., begins the Mississippi Valley campaign.
1891   The Dalton Gang commits its first crime, a train robbery in Alila, Calif.
1899   The Spanish-American War ends.
1900   President McKinley appoints W.H. Taft commissioner to report on the Philippines.
1904   Japan’s foreign minister severs all ties with Russia, citing delaying tactics in negotiations over Manchuria.
1916   Germany admits full liability for Lusitania incident and recognizes the United State’s right to claim indemnity.
1922   The Washington Disarmament Conference comes to an end with signature of final treaty forbidding fortification of the Aleutian Islands for 14 years.
1926   Mussolini warns Germany to stop agitation in Tyrol.
1929   Germany accepts Kellogg-Briand pact.
1933   Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich begins press censorship.
1936   Adolf Hitler opens the Fourth Winter Olympics.
1941   The RAF clears the way as British take Benghazi, trapping thousands of Italians.
1944   Kwajalein Island in the Central Pacific falls to U.S. Army troops.
1945   MacArthur reports the fall of Manila, and the liberation of 5,000 prisoners.
1963   The United States reports that all Soviet offensive arms are out of Cuba.
1964   Cuba blocks the water supply to Guantanamo Naval Base in rebuke of the United State’s seizure of four Cuban fishing boats.
1964   Paris and London agree to build a rail tunnel under the English Channel.
1965   Seven U.S. GIs are killed in a Viet Cong raid on a base in Pleiku.
1968   Charles de Gaulle opens the 19th Winter Olympics in France.
1975   President Gerald Ford asks Congress for $497 million in aid to Cambodia.
1977   Queen Elizabeth marks her Silver Jubilee.
1982   Civil rights workers begin a march from Carrolton to Montgomery, Alabama.
Born on February 6
1756   Aaron Burr, 3rd U.S. Vice President.
1895   George Herman “Babe” Ruth, baseball player with the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees and the Boston Braves. The first player to hit 60 home runs in one season.
1911   Ronald Reagan, film actor and 40th U.S. President (1981-1989).
1913   Mary Douglas Leakey, archaeologist and paleoanthropologist.
1932   Francois Truffaut, French film director (The 400 Blows, Shoot the Piano Player).
1933   Walter E. Fountroy, politician and civil rights leader.
1940   Tom Brokaw, NBC News anchorman.
1945   Bob Marley, reggae musician.

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/today-in-history#sthash.0sRMZjpc.dpuf

today’s birthday: Babe Ruth (1895)


Babe Ruth (1895)

George Herman Ruth, better known as Babe Ruth, was arguably the greatest player in the history of baseball. His ability to hit home runs helped turn the game into the American national pastime in the 1920s and 30s, and two of his records stood for more than 30 years. In 1936, Babe Ruth became the second player to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. What is the origin of his nickname, “Babe”? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Singapore Established as a Trading Post (1819)


Singapore Established as a Trading Post (1819)

A trading center as early as the 14th century, Singapore was later part of Johor, a region of the southern Malay Peninsula. In 1819, the island of Singapore was ceded to the British East India Company, and the city was founded the same year by Sir Thomas Raffles. Under Raffles’ direction, Singapore developed a vital role in the lucrative China trade. Today, the city is one of the world’s biggest ports. The earliest known settlement on the island of Singapore was referred to by what name? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Hydrogen Bomb Lost in the Ocean (1958)


Hydrogen Bomb Lost in the Ocean (1958)

The Tybee Bomb is a 7,600-pound (3,500-kg) nuclear bomb containing 400 pounds (180 kg) of conventional high explosives and highly enriched uranium. During a simulated combat mission, the B-47 bomber carrying it collided with an F-86 fighter plane, and the bomb was jettisoned and lost. It is presumed to be somewhere in Wassaw Sound, off the shores of Georgia’s Tybee Island, but recovery efforts have been unsuccessful. In 2004, a retired air force pilot made what discovery in the case? More… Discuss

today’s birthday; Oscar De La Hoya (1973)


Oscar De La Hoya (1973)

At age 19, De La Hoya made his professional debut in the world of boxing, following in the footsteps of his pugilist grandfather and father. It came hot on the heels of an impressive Olympic performance, where he earned gold for the US Boxing Team, and he quickly made a name for himself as an international superstar. When De La Hoya defeated Felix Sturm in 2004, he became the first boxer in history to win world titles in six different weight divisions. How many punches did he throw in the fight? More… Discuss

Islam in Europe: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Islam in Europe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Islam gained its first foothold in continental Europe in 711 with the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. They advanced into France but in 732, were defeated by the Franks at the Battle of Tours. Over the centuries the Umayyads were gradually driven south and in 1492 the Moorish Emirate of Granada surrendered to Ferdinand V and Isabella. Muslim civilians were expelled from Spain and by 1614 none remained.[2]

Islam entered Eastern and Southeastern Europe in what are now parts of Russia and Bulgaria in the 13th century. The Ottoman Empire expanded into Europe taking portions of the Byzantine Empire in the 14th and 15th centuries. Over the centuries, the Ottoman Empire also gradually lost almost all of its European territories, until its collapse in 1922. However, parts of the Balkans (such as Albania and Bosnia) continued to have a large populations of Muslims.

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries substantial numbers of Muslims immigrated to Europe. By 2010 an estimated 44 million Muslims were living in Europe.

Islam in Europe
by percentage of country population[1]

 
 
FROM WIKIPEDIA: Islam in Europe

FROM WIKIPEDIA: Islam in Europe (click to enlarge)

Islam gained its first foothold in continental Europe in 711 with the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. They advanced into France but in 732, were defeated by the Franks at the Battle of Tours. Over the centuries the Umayyads were gradually driven south and in 1492 the Moorish Emirate of Granada surrendered to Ferdinand V and Isabella. Muslim civilians were expelled from Spain and by 1614 none remained.[2]

Islam entered Eastern and Southeastern Europe in what are now parts of Russia and Bulgaria in the 13th century. The Ottoman Empire expanded into Europe taking portions of the Byzantine Empire in the 14th and 15th centuries. Over the centuries, the Ottoman Empire also gradually lost almost all of its European territories, until its collapse in 1922. However, parts of the Balkans (such as Albania and Bosnia) continued to have a large populations of Muslims.

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries substantial numbers of Muslims immigrated to Europe. By 2010 an estimated 44 million Muslims were living in Europe.

Iberia and Southern France

 
A manuscript page of the Qur’an in the script developed in al-Andalus, 12th century.
Main articles: Al-Andalus and Moors

 
The Moors request permission from James I of Aragon, Spain, 13th century

Muslim forays into Europe began shortly after the religion’s inception, with a short lived invasion of Byzantine Sicily by a small Arab and Berber force that landed in 652. Islam gained its first foothold in continental Europe from 711 onward, with the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. The invaders named their land Al-Andalus, which expanded to include what is now Portugal and Spain except for the northern highlands of Asturias, Basque country, Navarra and few other places protected by mountain chains from southward invasions.

Al-Andalus has been estimated to have had a Muslim majority by the 10th century after most of the local population converted to Islam.[3]:42 This coincided with the La Convivencia period of the Iberian Peninsula as well as the Golden age of Jewish culture in Spain. Pelayo of Asturias began the Christian counter-offensive known as the Reconquista after the Battle of Covadonga in 722. Slowly, the Christian forces began a conquest of the fractured taifa kingdoms of al-Andalus. By 1236, practically all that remained of Muslim Spain was the southern province of Granada.

In the 8th century, Muslim forces pushed beyond Spain into Aquitaine, in southern France, but suffered a temporary setback when defeated by Eudes, Duke of Aquitaine, at the Battle of Toulouse (721). In 725 Muslim forces captured Autun in France. The town would be the easternmost point of expansion of Umayyad forces into Europe; just seven years later in 732, the Umayyads would be forced to begin their withdrawal to al-Andalus after facing defeat at the Battle of Tours by Frankish King Charles Martel. From 719 to 759, Septimania was one of the five administrative areas of al-Andalus. The last Muslim forces were driven from France in 759, but maintained a presence, especially in Fraxinet all the way into Switzerland until the 10th century.[4] At the same time, Muslim forces managed to capture Sicily and portions of southern Italy, and even sacked Rome in 846 and later sacked Pisa in 1004.

Sicily

Muslim musicians at the court of the Norman King Roger II of Sicily, 12th century

Sicily was gradually conquered by the Arabs and Berbers from 827 onward, and the Emirate of Sicily was established in 965. They held onto the region until their expulsion by the Normans in 1072.[5][6]

The local population conquered by the Muslims were Romanized Catholic Sicilians in Western Sicily and partially Greek speaking Christians, mainly in the eastern half of the island, but there were also a significant number of Jews.[7] These conquered people were afforded a limited freedom of religion under the Muslims as dhimmi, but were subject to some restrictions. The dhimmi were also required to pay the jizya, or poll tax, and the kharaj or land tax, but were exempt from the tax that Muslims had to pay (Zakaat). Under Arab rule there were different categories of Jizya payers, but their common denominator was the payment of the Jizya as a mark of subjection to Muslim rule in exchange for protection against foreign and internal aggression. The conquered population could avoid this subservient status simply by converting to Islam. Whether by honest religious conviction or societal compulsion large numbers of native Sicilians converted to Islam. However, even after 100 years of Islamic rule, numerous Greek speaking Christian communities prospered, especially in north-eastern Sicily, as dhimmi. This was largely a result of the Jizya system which allowed co-existence. This co-existence with the conquered population fell apart after the reconquest of Sicily, particularly following the death of King William II of Sicily in 1189.

Cultural impact and Christian interaction

“Araz” coat of arms of Polish Tatar nobility. Tatar coats of arms often included motifs related to Islam.

 
Mosque of Rome, in Rome, the largest in the EU

 
The East London Mosque is the first mosque which was allowed to broadcast the adhan in European Union.

The Christian reconquests the Iberian peninsula and southern Italy helped to reintroduce ideas and concepts lost to the Western World after the fall of Rome in A.D. 476. Arab speaking Christian scholars saved influential pre-Christian texts and this coupled with the introduction of aspects of medieval Islamic culture (including the arts, agriculture, economics, philosophy, science and technology) assisted with fomenting conditions required for a rebirth of European thought and art (Renaissance). (See Latin translations of the 12th century and Islamic contributions to Medieval Europe for more information).

Muslim rule endured in the Emirate of Granada, from 1238 as a vassal state of the Christian Kingdom of Castile, until the completion of La Reconquista in 1492.[3]:41 The Moriscos (Moorish in Spanish) were finally expelled from Spain between 1609 (Castile) and 1614 (rest of Spain), by Philip III during the Spanish Inquisition.

Throughout the 16th to 19th centuries, the Barbary States sent Barbary pirates to raid nearby parts of Europe in order to capture Christian slaves to sell at slave markets in the Arab World throughout the Renaissance period.[8][9] According to Robert Davis, from the 16th to 19th centuries, pirates captured 1 million to 1.25 million Europeans as slaves. These slaves were captured mainly from the crews of captured vessels[10] and from coastal villages in Spain and Portugal, and from farther places like Italy, France or England, the Netherlands, Ireland, the Azores Islands, and even Iceland.[8]

For a long time, until the early 18th century, the Crimean Khanate maintained a massive slave trade with the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East.[11] The Crimean Tatars frequently mounted raids into the Danubian principalities, Poland-Lithuania, and Russia to enslave people whom they could capture.[12]

The Great Mosque of Paris, built after World War I.

The Balkans, Russia and Ukraine

 
Log pod Mangartom Mosque was the only mosque ever built in Slovenia, in the town of Log pod Mangartom, during World War I.

There are accounts of the trade connections between the Muslims and the Rus, apparently people from Baltic region who made their way towards the Black Sea through Central Russia. On his way to Volga Bulgaria, Ibn Fadlan brought detailed reports of the Rus, claiming that some had converted to Islam. “They are very fond of pork and many of them who have assumed the path of Islam miss it very much.” The Rus also relished their nabidh, a fermented drink Ibn Fadlan often mentioned as part of their daily fare.[13]

The Ottoman campaign for territorial expansion in Europe in 1566, Crimean Tatars as vanguard.

The Mongols began their conquest of Rus’, Volga Bulgaria, and the Cuman-Kipchak Confederation (present day Russia and Ukraine) in the 13th century. After the Mongol empire split, the eastern European section became known as the Golden Horde. Despite the fact that they were not Muslim at the time, the western Mongols adopted Islam as their religion in the early 14th century under Berke Khan, and later Uzbeg Khan who established it as the official religion of the state. Much of the mostly Turkic-speaking population of the Horde, as well as the small Mongol aristocracy, were Islamized (if they were not already Muslim, such as the Volga Bulgars) and became known to Russians and Europeans as the Tatars. More than half[14] of the European portion of what is now Russia and Ukraine, were under suzerainty of Muslim Tatars and Turks from the 13th to 15th centuries. The Crimean Khanate became a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire in 1475 and subjugated what remained of the Great Horde by 1502. The Khanate of Kazan was conquered by Ivan the Terrible in 1552.

Balkans during the Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, awaits the arrival of his Greek Muslim Grand Vizier Pargalı Ibrahim Pasha at Buda, in the year 1529.

 
Medieval Bulgaria particularly the city of Sofia, was the administrative centre of almost all Ottoman possessions in the Balkans also known as Rumelia.[15]

The Ottoman Empire began its expansion into Europe by taking the European portions of the Byzantine Empire in the 14th and 15th centuries up until the 1453 capture of Constantinople, establishing Islam as the state religion in the region. The Ottoman Empire continued to stretch northwards, taking Hungary in the 16th century, and reaching as far north as the Podolia in the mid-17th century (Peace of Buczacz), by which time most of the Balkans was under Ottoman control. Ottoman expansion in Europe ended with their defeat in the Great Turkish War. In the Treaty of Karlowitz (1699), the Ottoman Empire lost most of its conquests in Central Europe. The Crimean Khanate was later annexed by Russia in 1783.[16] Over the centuries, the Ottoman Empire gradually lost almost all of its European territories, until its collapse in 1922, when the former empire was transformed into the nation of Turkey.

Between 1354 (when the Ottomans crossed into Europe at Gallipolli) and 1526, the Empire had conquered the territory of present day Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Hungary. The Empire laid siege to Vienna in 1683. The intervention of the Polish King broke the siege, and from then afterwards the Ottomans battled the Habsburg Emperors until 1699, when the Treaty of Karlowitz forced them to surrender Hungary and portions of present day Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia. From 1699 to 1913, wars and insurrections pushed the Ottoman Empire further back until it reached the current European border of present-day Turkey.

For most of this period, the Ottoman retreats were accompanied by Muslim refugees from these province (in almost all cases converts from the previous subject populations), leaving few Muslim inhabitants in Hungary, Croatia, and the Transylvania region of present day Romania. Bulgaria remained under Ottoman rule until around 1878, and currently its population includes about 131,000 Muslims (2001 Census) (see Pomaks).

Painting of the bazaar at Athens, Ottoman Greece, early 19th century

Bosnia was conquered by the Ottomans in 1463, and a large portion of the population converted to Islam in the first 200 years of Ottoman domination. By the time Austria-Hungary occupied Bosnia in 1878, the Habsburgs had shed the desire to re-Christianize new provinces. As a result, a sizable Muslim population in Bosnia survived into the 20th century. Albania and the Kosovo area remained under Ottoman rule until 1913. Previous to the Ottoman conquest, the northern Albanians were Roman Catholic and the southern Albanians were Christian Orthodox, but by 1913 the majority were Muslim.

Conversion to Islam

Apart from the effect of a lengthy period under Ottoman domination, many of the subject population were converted to Islam as a result of a deliberate move by the Ottomans as part of a policy of ensuring the loyalty of the population against a potential Venetian invasion. However, Islam was spread by force in the areas under the control of the Ottoman Sultan through devşirme and jizya.[17][18]

Rather Arnold explains Islam’s spread by quoting 17th-century pro-Muslim[citation needed] author Johannes Scheffler who stated:

Meanwhile he (i.e. the Turk) wins (converts) by craft more than by force, and snatches away Christ by fraud out of the hearts of men. For the Turk, it is true, at the present time compels no country by violence to apostatise; but he uses other means whereby imperceptibly he roots out Christianity… What then has become of the Christians? They are not expelled from the country, neither are they forced to embrace the Turkish faith: then they must of themselves have been converted into Turks.[19]

Cultural influences

Islam piqued interest among European scholars, setting off the movement of Orientalism. The founder of modern Islamic studies in Europe was Ignác Goldziher, who began studying Islam in the late 19th century. For instance, Sir Richard Francis Burton, 19th-century English explorer, scholar, and orientalist, and translator of The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, disguised himself as a Pashtun and visited both Medina and Mecca during the Hajj, as described in his book A Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Medinah and Meccah.

Islamic architecture influenced European architecture in various ways (for example, the Türkischer Tempel synagogue in Vienna). During the 12th-century Renaissance in Europe, Latin translations of Arabic texts were introduced. The Koran was also translated (for example, Lex Mahumet pseudoprophete).

Current population and its perception

Muslim-majority areas in Europe

According to the Pew Forum, the total number of Muslims in Europe in 2010 was about 44 million (6%),[20] excluding Turkey. The total number of Muslims in the European Union in 2010 was about 19 million (3.8%).[20] Approximately 9 million Turks are living in Europe, excluding the Turkish population of Turkey, which makes up the largest Muslim immigrant community in Europe.[21] However the real number of Muslims in Europe is not well-known. The percentage of Muslims in Russia (the biggest group of Muslims in Europe) varies from 5[22] to 11.7%,[20] depending on sources. It also depends on if only observant Muslims or all people of Muslim descent are counted.[citation needed]

The Mosque of Sultan Mehmet Fatih in Pristina, Kosovo

The Muslim population in Europe is extremely diverse with varied histories and origins. Today, the Muslim-majority regions of Europe are Albania, Kosovo, parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, parts of Bulgaria and Macedonia, as well as some Russian regions in Northern Caucasus and the Volga region. The Muslim-dominated Sandžak of Novi Pazar is divided between Serbia and Montenegro. They consist predominantly of indigenous Europeans of the Muslim faith whose religious tradition dates back several hundred years. The transcontinental countries of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan also are Muslim majority.

The Muslim population in Western Europe is composed primarily of peoples who arrived to the European continent in or after (1945), when France declared itself a country of immigration. Muslim emigration to metropolitan France surged during the Algerian War of Independence. In 1961, West German Government invited first Gastarbeiters. Similar contracts were offered by Switzerland. A 2013 poll by Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung says that Islamic fundamentalism is widespread among European Muslims with the majority saying religious rules are more important than civil laws and three quarters rejecting religious pluralism within Islam.[23] The European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia reports that the Muslim population tends to suffer Islamophobia all over Europe, although the perceptions and views of Muslims may vary.[24]

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimated that 70% of the people of Albania [25][26][27] are Muslim, 91% in Kosovo, and 30% of them in Macedonia are Muslim. Bosnia has a Muslim plurality. In transcontinental countries such as Turkey 99%, and 93% in Azerbaijan[28] of the population is Muslim respectively. Muslims also form about one sixth of the population of Montenegro. In Russia, Moscow is home to an estimated 1.5 million Muslims.[29][30][31]

Projections

 
According to the Pew Research Center, Europe’s population was 6% Muslim in 2010, and is projected to be 8% Muslim by 2030.[20]

Don Melvin wrote in 2004 that, excluding Russia, Europe’s Muslim population will double by 2020. He also says that almost 85% of Europe’s total population growth in 2005 was due to immigration in general.[30][32] Omer Taspinar predicted in 2001 that the Muslim population of Europe will nearly double by 2015, while the non-Muslim will shrink by 3.5%, if the higher Muslim birth rate persists.[33] In the UK, between 2001 and 2009, the Muslim population increased roughly 10 times faster than the rest of the population.[34]

A 2007 Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) report argued that some Muslim population projections are overestimated.[35] Philip Jenkins of Penn State University estimates that by 2100, Muslims will compose about 25% of Europe’s population. Jenkins states this figure does not take account divergent birthrates amongst Europe’s immigrant Christians.[36] Other analysts are skeptical about the accuracy of the claimed Muslim population growth, stating that because many European countries do not ask a person’s religion on official forms or in censuses, it has been difficult to obtain accurate estimates, and arguing that there has been a decrease in Muslim fertility rates in Morocco, the Netherlands and Turkey.[37] A Pew Research Center study, published in January 2011, forecast an increase of Muslims in European population from 6% in 2010 to 8% in 2030.[20] Pew also found that Muslim fertility rate in Europe would drop from 2.2 in 2010 to 2.0 in 2030. On the other hand, the non-Muslim fertility rate in Europe would increase from 1.5 in 2010 to 1.6 in 2030.[20]

by percentage of country population[1]
  < 1%
  1–2%
  2–4%
  4–5%
  5–10%
  10–20%
  20–30%
Cyprus
  30–40%
Rep. of Macedonia
  40–50%
Bosnia–Herzegovina
  80–90%
Albania
  90–95%
Kosovo
  95–100%

MORE READING: HERE

quotation: ‘Love is…the principal means of escape from the loneliness…’ – Bertrand Russell


Love is…the principal means of escape from the loneliness which afflicts most men and women throughout the greater part of their lives.Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: 15th Amendment to the US Constitution Ratified (1870)


15th Amendment to the US Constitution Ratified (1870)

Ratified during the post-Civil War Reconstruction Period, the 15th Amendment to the US Constitution was intended primarily to enfranchise former slaves. It states: “The right of citizens…to vote shall not be denied or abridged…on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Though the amendment’s purpose was not fully achieved until 1965, the first African American to exercise this right did so the day after the amendment was ratified by participating in what election? More… Discuss

Today In History. What Happened This Day In History


Today In History. What Happened This Day In History

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.

February 2

962   Otto I invades Italy and is crowned Holy Roman Emperor.
1032   Conrad II claims the throne of France.
1494   Columbus begins the practice using Indians as slaves.
1571   All eight members of a Jesuit mission in Virginia are murdered by Indians who pretended to be their friends.
1626   Charles I is crowned King of England. Fierce internal struggles between the monarchy and Parliament characterized 17th century English politics.
1848   The Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo formally ends the Mexican War.
1865   Confederate raider William Quantrill and his bushwackers rob citizens, burn a railroad depot and steal horses from Midway, Kentucky.
1870   The press agencies Havas, Reuter and Wolff sign an agreement whereby between them they can cover the whole world.
1876   The National Baseball League is founded with eight teams.
1900   Six cities, Boston, Detroit, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Chicago and St. Louis agree to form baseball’s American League.
1901   Mexican government troops are badly beaten by Yaqui Indians.
1916   U.S. Senate votes independence for Philippines, effective in 1921.
1921   Airmail service opens between New York and San Francisco. Airmail’s First Day.
1934   Alfred Rosenberg is made philosophical chief of the Nazi Party.
1939   Hungary breaks relations with the Soviet Union.
1943   Last of the German strongholds at Stalingrad surrender to the Red army.
1944   The Germans stop an Allied attack at Anzio, Italy.
1945   Some 1,200 Royal Air Force planes blast Wiesbaden and Karlsruhe.
1948   The United States and Italy sign a pact of friendship, commerce and navigation.
1959   Arlington and Norfolk, Va., peacefully desegregate public schools.
1960   The U.S. Senate approves 23rd Amendment calling for a ban on the poll tax.
1972   The Winter Olympics begin in Sapporo, Japan.
1978   U.S. Jewish leaders bar a meeting with Egypt’s Anwar Sadat.
1987   Largest steel strike in American history, in progress since August, ends.
Born on February 2
1754   Charles Maurice de Tallyrand-Perigord, minister of foreign affairs for Napoleon I, who represented France brilliantly at the Congress of Vienna.
1882   James Joyce, Irish novelist and poet (Ulysses, Portrait of a Young Man).
1890   Charles Correl, radio performer.
1895   George Halas, National Football League co-founder.

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/today-in-history#sthash.IrmCKXD6.dpuf

NASA: Commercial Space Flights Will Save Millions


NASA: Commercial Space Flights Will Save Millions

Contracting private space flight companies Boeing and SpaceX to fly its astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) will save NASA $12 million per person per flight, the US space agency announced last week. Since retiring its space shuttles in 2011, NASA has relied on the Russian space agency Roscosmos to transport US astronauts to the ISS at a cost of $70 million a head. The need for that taxi service could end as early as 2017, however, with the private flights estimated to cost $58 million per person. More… Discuss

picture of the day: Abraham Lincoln ratifies The Thirteenth Amendment



The Thirteenth Amendment
On February 1, 1865 Lincoln’s home state of Illinois became the first to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery throughout the United States. President Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation two years earlier, but it had not effectively abolished slavery in all of the states–it did not apply to slave-holding border states that had remained with the Union during the Civil War. After the war, the sentiment about blacks was mixed even among anti-slavery Americans: some considered Lincoln’s address too conservative and pushed for black suffrage, arguing that blacks would remain oppressed by their former owners if they did not have the power to vote. After the amendment was passed, the Freedmen’s Bureau was created to help blacks with the problems they would encounter while trying to acquire jobs, education and land of their own.

Image: Library of Congress

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day?podMonth=2&podDay=1&pod=GO#sthash.l1mr06rn.dpuf

Today In History. What Happened This Day In History


Today In History. What Happened This Day In History

A Timeline Of Events That Occurred On This Day In History

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.

February 1

1327   Edward III is coronated King of England.
1587   Elizabeth I, Queen of England, signs the Warrant of Execution for Mary Queen of Scots.
1633   The tobacco laws of Virginia are codified, limiting tobacco production to reduce dependence on a single-crop economy.
1793   France declares war on Britain and the Netherlands.
1861   A furious Governor Sam Houston storms out of a legislative session upon learning that Texas has voted 167-7 to secede from the Union.
1902   U.S. Secretary of State John Hay protests Russian privileges in China as a violation of the “open door policy.”
1905   Germany contests French rule in Morocco.
1909   U.S. troops leave Cuba after installing Jose Miguel Gomez as president.
1930   A Loening Air Yacht of Air Ferries makes its first passenger run between San Francisco and Oakland, California..
1942   Planes of the U.S. Pacific fleet attack Japanese bases in the Marshall and Gilbert Islands.
1943   American tanks and infantry are battered at German positions at Fais pass in North Africa.
1944   U.S. Army troops invade two Kwajalein Islands in the Pacific.
1945   U.S. Rangers and Filipino guerrillas rescue 513 American survivors of the Bataan Death March.
1951   Third A-bomb tests are completed in the desert of Nevada.
1960   Four black students stage a sit-in at a segregated Greensboro, N.C. lunch counter.
1964   President Lyndon B. Johnson rejects Charles de Gaulle‘s plan for a neutral Vietnam.
1965   Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and 770 others are arrested in protest against voter discrimination in Alabama.
1968   U.S. troops drive the North Vietnamese out of Tan Son Nhut airport in Saigon.
1968   South Vietnam President Nguyen Van Thieu declares martial law.
1986   Two days of anti-government riots in Port-au-Prince result in 14 dead.
Born on February 1
1552   Sir Edward Coke, English jurist who helped the development of English law with his arguments for the supremacy of common law over royal prerogative.
1878   Hattie Caraway, first woman elected to the U.S. Senate.
1901   Clark Gable, American film actor (Mutiny on the Bounty, Gone With the Wind).
1902   Langston Hughes, African-American poet
1931   Boris Yeltsin, The first president of the Republic of Russia and prime minister of the Russian Federation.

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/today-in-history/february-01#sthash.wNe3P04U.dpuf

Today In History (January 31) : What Happened This Day In History


Today In History. What Happened This Day In History

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.

January 31

1606   Guy Fawkes is hanged, drawn and quartered for his part in the Gunpowder Plot, an attempt to blow up Parliament.
1620   Virginia colony leaders write to the Virginia Company in England, asking for more orphaned apprentices for employment.
1788   The Young Pretender, Charles Edward Stuart dies.
1835   A man with two pistols misfires at President Andrew Jackson at the White House.
1865   House of Representatives approves a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery.
1911   The German Reichstag exempts royal families from tax obligations.
1915   Germans use poison gas on the Russians at Bolimov.
1915   German U-boats sink two British steamers in the English Channel.
1916   President Woodrow Wilson refuses the compromise on Lusitania reparations.
1917   Germany resumes unlimited sub warfare, warning that all neutral ships that are in the war zone will be attacked.
1935   The Soviet premier tells Japan to get out of Manchuria.
1943   The Battle of Stalingrad ends as small groups of German soldiers of the Sixth Army surrender to the victorious Red Army forces.
1944   U.S. troops under Vice Adm. Spruance land on Kwajalien atoll in the Marshall Islands.
1950   Paris protests the Soviet recognition of Ho Chi Minh’s Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
1966   U.S. planes resume bombing of North Vietnam after a 37-day pause.
1968   In Vietnam, the Tet Offensive begins as Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers attack strategic and civilian locations throughout South Vietnam.
1976   Ernesto Miranda, famous from the Supreme Court ruling on Miranda vs. Arizona is stabbed to death.
1981   Lech Walesa announces an accord in Poland, giving Saturdays off to laborers.
Born on January 31
1734   Robert Morris, signatory of the Declaration of Independence.
1797   Franz Schubert, Austrian composer (C Major Symphony, The Unfinished Symphony).
1919   Jackie Robinson, first African-American baseball player in the modern major leagues.
1925   Benjamin Hooks, civil rights leader.

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/today-in-history#sthash.qbbcLtIU.dpuf

quotation: In some ways, you know, people that don’t exist, are much nicer than people that do. Lewis Carroll


In some ways, you know, people that don’t exist, are much nicer than people that do.

Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) Discuss

today’s holiday: Nauru Independence Day (2015)


Nauru Independence Day (2015)

This island in the Pacific Ocean gained independence from Great Britain on January 31, 1968. It had been governed by Australia. Independence Day is a national holiday in Nauru. More… Discuss

Scenes de Ballet for Orchestra in A Major, Op. 52, VII Valse, VIII Polonaise , great compositions/performances


Scenes de Ballet for Orchestra in A Major, Op. 52, VII Valse, VIII Polonaise

Happy Birthday Mozart – Week: Mozart – Piano Sonatas – Classical Music (COMPLETE)


Mozart – Piano Sonatas – Classical Music (COMPLETE)

Today In History. What Happened This Day In History


Today In History. What Happened This Day In History

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.

January 28

28   The Roman Emperor Nerva names Trajan, an army general, as his successor.
1547   Henry VIII of England dies and is succeeded by his nine-year-old son Edward VI.
1757   Ahmed Shah, the first King of Afghanistan, occupies Delhi and annexes the Punjab.
1792   Rebellious slaves in Santo Domingo launch an attack on the city of Cap.
1871   Surrounded by Prussian troops and suffering from famine, the French army in Paris surrenders. During the siege, balloons were used to keep contact with the outside world.
1915   The U.S. Coast Guard is founded to fight contraband trade and aid distressed vessels at sea.
1915   The German navy attacks the U.S. freighter William P. Frye, loaded with wheat for Britain.
1921   Albert Einstein startles Berlin by suggesting the possibility of measuring the universe.
1932   The Japanese attack Shanghai, China, and declare martial law.
1936   A fellow prison inmate slashes infamous kidnapper, Richard Loeb, to death.
1941   French General Charles DeGaulle‘s Free French forces sack south Libya oasis.
1945   Chiang Kai-shek renames the Ledo-Burma Road the Stilwell Road, in honor of General Joseph Stilwell.
1955   The U.S. Congress passes a bill allowing mobilization of troops if China should attack Taiwan.
1964   The Soviets down a U.S. jet over East Germany killing three.
1970   Israeli fighter jets attack the suburbs of Cairo.
1986   The space shuttle Challenger explodes just after liftoff.
Born on January 28
1693   Anna “Ivanovna”, Tsarina of Russia.
1706   John Baskerville, inventor of the “hot-pressing” method of printing.
1853   Jose Marti, Cuban poet and journalist, known as the “Apostle of the Cuban Revolution.”
1912   Jackson Pollock, influential abstract expressionist painter.

quotation: Charlotte Perkins Gilman


The labor of women in the house, certainly, enables men to produce more wealth than they otherwise could; and in this way women are economic factors in society. But so are horses.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) Discuss

today’s birthday: José Martí (1853)


José Martí (1853)

A poet as well as a man of action, Martí was a writer and revolutionary who dedicated his life to the cause of Cuban independence. At the age of 16, he was arrested for treason and eventually deported. He returned from exile in 1878, only to be exiled again the next year. Having made his way to the US, he founded the Cuban Revolutionary party, but he was killed in battle before seeing the fruits of his labors—Cuban independence. Martí’s “Versos Sencillos” serve as the lyrics of what famous song? More… Discuss

10.000 de întreprinderi sociale pot fi înființate în 2015— EuropeDirect Fagaras (@EDFagaras)


Outer Space Treaty Signed (1967)


Outer Space Treaty Signed (1967)

The Outer Space Treaty represents the basic legal framework of international space law. It bans the stationing of weapons of mass destruction in outer space, exclusively limits the use of the Moon and other celestial bodies to peaceful purposes, holds countries responsible for any damage caused by the objects they launch, and forbids any government from claiming a celestial body, such as the Moon or a planet. The Moon Treaty was approved 12 years later but was considered a failure. Why? More… Discuss

Alfred Eisenstaedt—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images Mother and child in Hiroshima, Japan, December 1945


Alfred Eisenstaedt—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images Mother and child in Hiroshima, Japan, December 1945 Read more: Hiroshima: Portrait of a Mother and Child in an Atomic Wasteland, 1945 | ( Click to access story) LIFE.com http://life.time.com/history/wasteland-mother-and-child-hiroshima-1945/#ixzz3PwqnNLSp

Alfred Eisenstaedt
’40s

“Japanese doctors said that those who had been killed by the blast itself died instantly. But presently, according to these doctors, those who had suffered only small burns found their appetite failing, their hair falling out, their gums bleeding. They developed temperatures of 104, vomited blood, and died. . . . Last week the Japanese announced that the count of Hiroshima’s dead had risen to 125,000.” — From “What Ended the War,” LIFE magazine, Sept. 17, 1945

Four months after the American B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945, killing roughly 70,000 men, women and children outright and dooming tens of thousands more to either a torturous recovery or a slow death by radiation poisoning, burns or other injuries and afflictions, Alfred Eisenstaedt made this portrait of a Japanese mother and her child amid the ruins of the city.

Beyond the eternal debate about the “morality” of the bombing of Hiroshima and, two days later, Nagasaki; beyond the political and scientific factors that led to the development of nuclear weapons in the first place; beyond the lingering shadow cast by the Atomic Age and the Cold War—beyond all of those considerations, Eisenstaedt’s picture quietly commands us, at the very least, to pay attention.

 

Today In History. What Happened This Day In History


Today In History. What Happened This Day In History

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.

January 26

1699   The Treaty of Karlowitz ends the war between Austria and the Turks.
1720   Guilio Alberoni is ordered out of Spain after his abortive attempt to restore his country’s empire.
1788   A fleet of ships carrying convicts from England lands at Sydney Cove in Australia. The day is since known as Australia’s national day.
1861   Louisiana secedes from the Union.
1863   President Lincoln names General Joseph Hooker to replace Burnside as commander of the Army of the Potomac.
1875   Pinkerton agents, hunting Jesse James, kill his 18-year-old half-brother and seriously injure his mother with a bomb.
1885   General “Chinese” Gordon is killed on the palace steps in Khartoum by Sudanese Mahdists in Africa.
1924   Petrograd is renamed Leningrad.
1934   Germany signs a 10-year non-aggression pact with Poland, breaking the French alliance system.
1942   American Expeditionary Force lands in Northern Ireland.
1943   The first OSS (Office of Strategic Services) agent parachutes behind Japanese lines in Burma.
1964   Eighty-four people are arrested in a segregation protest in Atlanta.
1969   California is declared a disaster area after two days of flooding and mud slides.
2005   Condoleezza Rice is appointed to the post of secretary of state. The post makes her the highest ranking African-American woman ever to serve in an U.S. presidential cabinet.
Born on January 26
1715   Claude Helvétius, French philosopher.
1826   Julia Dent Grant, wife of Ulysses S. Grant.
1880   Douglas MacArthur, U.S. general in World War I, World War II and Korea.
1893   Bessie Coleman, pioneer aviator.
1944   Angela Davis, American activist.

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/today-in-history#sthash.WM3UfAYG.dpuf

Art Bust Yields Thousands of Ancient Artifacts


Art Bust Yields Thousands of Ancient Artifacts

Italian and Swiss police have recovered more than 5,000 artifacts—worth over $57 million—as the result of a recent art trafficking bust of five art warehouses in Basel, Switzerland. The artifacts, dating from the 8th century BCE to the 3rd century CE, include Greek and Roman vases, statues, and frescoes originally uncovered in secret archaeological digs on Italian islands like Sardinia and Sicily. The raid led to the arrest of a married couple accused of selling the pieces—labeled with bogus origins—to collectors and museums in the US, England, Germany, Japan, and Australia. More… Discuss

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

 

what about: Film Noir! (with access to ” the Maltese Falcon” and “The Big Sleep”


Film Noir

The Maltese Falcon (1941 film)

The Maltese Falcon (1941 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Film noir is a style of film characterized by low-key lighting, bleak urban settings, and corrupt, cynical characters who find themselves entangled in the criminal underworld. This dark genre, which gave rise to the film archetypes of the hardboiled private detective and the femme fatale, was especially popular in Hollywood in the 1940s. Classic examples of film noir include The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep. Who first coined the term film noir, and what does it mean? More… Discuss

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Additional references:

- Watch the “the Maltese Falcon here or on You Yube!

 

Of Ill Deeds, poetic thought by George-B (the smudge and other poems page)


Of  Ill Deeds, poetic thought by George-B
(the smudge and other poems page)

The answers are within protected by the shell – viscera
life is  so strong so death is not thought of-
hatred makes victims somewhere outside,
in  coward devotion, hatred makes drum-roll to tormented minds: 
cowardice attacks
the innocent

weak
feeble
the sick
the innocent – how else to hurt
life
hope
a smile
a tear of joy
but by denying their right to exist.

So mortal of spirit in hatred collects
pain for redemption,
immortality
promised by the  master of hatred and lies- promises of  golden stars,
untouched things…
the hater of life maladjusted,  the exception
is promised things by the master of lies.

-George-B.

Copyright © 2015 [George Bost]. All Rights Reserved.

Today In History. What Happened This Day In History


Today In History. What Happened This Day In History

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.

January 21

1189   Philip Augustus, Henry II of England and Frederick Barbarossa assemble the troops for the Third Crusade.
1648   In Maryland, the first woman lawyer in the colonies, Margaret Brent, is denied a vote in the Maryland Assembly.
1785   Chippewa, Delaware, Ottawa and Wyandot Indians sign the treaty of Fort McIntosh, ceding present-day Ohio to the United States.
1790   Joseph Guillotine proposes a new, more humane method of execution: a machine designed to cut off the condemned person’s head as painlessly as possible.
1793   The French King Louis XVI is guillotined for treason.
1910   Japan rejects the American proposal to neutralize ownership of the Manchurian Railway.
1919   The German Krupp plant begins producing guns under the U.S. armistice terms.
1921   J.D. Rockefeller pledges $1 million for the relief of Europe’s destitute.
1930   An international arms control meeting opens in London.
1933   The League of Nations rejects Japanese terms for settlement with China.
1941   The United States lifts the ban on arms to the Soviet Union.
1942   In North Africa, German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel launches a drive to push the British eastward. While the British benefited from radio-intercept-derived Ultra information, the Germans enjoyed an even speedier intelligence source.
1943   A Nazi daylight air raid kills 34 in a London school. When the anticipated invasion of Britain failed to materialize in 1940, Londoners relaxed, but soon they faced a frightening new threat.
1951   Communist troops force the UN army out of Inchon, Korea after a 12-hour attack.
1958   The Soviet Union calls for a ban on nuclear arms in Baghdad Pact countries.
1964   Carl T. Rowan is named the director of the United States Information Agency (USIA).
1968   In Vietnam, the Siege of Khe Sanh begins as North Vietnamese units surround U.S. Marines based on the hilltop headquarters.
1974   The U.S. Supreme Court decides that pregnant teachers can no longer be forced to take long leaves of absence.
1976   Leonid Brezhnev and Henry Kissinger meet to discuss Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT).
1977   President Carter urges 65 degrees as the maximum heat in homes to ease the energy crisis.
1993   Congressman Mike Espy of Mississippi is confirmed as Secretary of the Department of Agriculture.
Born on January 21
1737   Ethan Allen, American Revolutionary commander.
1824   Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, Confederate General.
1925   Benny Hill, British comedian.

- See more at: http://www.historynet.com/today-in-history#sthash.1pPT6W0y.dpuf

today’s holiday: Benjamin Franklin’s Birthday (2015)


Benjamin Franklin’s Birthday (2015)

Born in Boston on this day in 1706, Benjamin Franklin helped edit, and was a signer of, the Declaration of Independence. He also helped to frame the Constitution. When he died in 1790 in Philadelphia, he was given the most impressive funeral that city had ever seen: 20,000 people attended. In Philadelphia, the Franklin Institute Science Museum holds a two-day “birthday bash” that often involves people dressing as Franklin. The celebration takes place on the weekend preceding Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which is the Monday after January 15. More… Discuss

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