Tag Archives: World War II

this day in the yesteryear: Zoot Suit Riots Come to an End (1943)

Zoot Suit Riots Come to an End (1943)

Named for the style of clothing favored by the mainly Mexican-American victims of these clashes, the Zoot Suit Riots erupted between American servicemen stationed in Los Angeles, California, during World War II and the city’s minority residents. While the local press lauded the attacks by the servicemen and described them as having a “cleansing effect,” First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt denounced them as “race riots” rooted in discrimination. What happened to the nine sailors arrested in the riots? More… Discuss

image of the day: D-Day Invasion

D-Day Invasion

On June 6, 1944, Allied forces under the overall command of General Dwight D. Eisenhower–shown here paying an eleventh-hour visit to the men of the U.S. 101st Airborne Division–landed on five beachheads in Normandy, France. In addition, U.S. and British airborne forces landed behind the German lines and U.S. Army Rangers scaled the cliffs at Pointe de Hoc. By the end of the day, the Allies had established a tenuous beachhead that would lead to an offensive that pinned Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich between two pincers–the Western Allies and the already advancing Soviets–accelerating the end of World War II.

Photo: National Archives

poetry: Aleksandr Pushkin: The Bronze Horseman A Petersburg Story 1833


Aleksandr Pushkin

Aleksandr Pushkin

The Bronze Horseman

A Petersburg Story


The incident, described in this story is based on a truth.
The details of the flood are taken from the contemporary magazines.
The curious ones can consult the record, prepared by V. I. Berkh.


On a deserted, wave-swept shore,
He stood – in his mind great thoughts grow –
And gazed afar. The northern river
Sped on its wide course him before;
One humble skiff cut the waves’ silver.
On banks of mosses and wet grass
Black huts were dotted there by chance –
The miserable Finn’s abode;
The wood unknown to the rays
Of the dull sun, by clouds stowed,
Hummed all around. And he thought so:
‘The Swede from here will be frightened;
Here a great city will be wrought
To spite our neighborhood conceited.
From here by Nature we’re destined
To cut a door to Europe wide,
To step with a strong foot by waters.
Here, by the new for them sea-paths,
Ships of all flags will come to us –
And on all seas our great feast opens.’ 

An age passed, and the young stronghold,
The charm and sight of northern nations,
From the woods’ dark and marshes’ cold,
Rose the proud one and precious.
Where once the Finnish fisherman,
Sad stepson of the World, alone,
By low riverbanks’ a sand,
Cast into waters, never known,
His ancient net, now on the place,
Along the full of people banks,
Cluster the tall and graceful masses
Of castles and palaces; and sails
Hasten in throng to the rich quays
From all the lands our planet masters;
The Neva-river’s dressed with rocks;
Bridges hang o’er the waters proud;
Abundantly her isles are covered
With dark-green gardens’ gorgeous locks… 

By the new capital, the younger,
Old Moscow’s eclipsed at once -
Such is eclipsed a queen-dowager
By a new queen when her time comes.
I love you, Peter’s great creation,
I love your view of stern and grace, 
The Neva wave’s regal procession,
The grayish granite – her bank’s dress,
The airy iron-casting fences,
The gentle transparent twilight,
The moonless gleam of your nights restless,
When I so easy read and write
Without a lamp in my room lone,
And seen is each huge buildings’ stone
Of the left streets, and is so bright 
The Admiralty spire’s flight,
And when, not letting the night’s darkness
To reach the golden heaven’s height,
The dawn after the sunset hastens –
And a half-hour’s for the night.
I love your so sever winter’s 
Quite still and fresh air and strong frost, 
The sleighs race on the shores river’s,
The girls – each brighter than a rose,
The gleam and hum of the balls’ dances,
And, on the bachelors’ free feast,
The hissing of the foaming glasses
And the punch’s bluish flaming mist.
I love the warlike animation
Of the play-fields of the god Mars,
And horse-and-footmen priests’ of wars 
So homogeneous attraction,
In their ranks, in the rhythmic moves,
Those flags, victories and rended,
The glitter of those helmets, splendid,
Shot through in military strives.
I love, O capital my fairest,
Your stronghold guns’ thunder and smoke,
In moments when the northern empress
Adds brunches to the regal oak
Or Russia lauds a winning stroke
To any new and daring foe,
Or, breaking up the light-blue ice,
The Neva streams it and exults,
Scenting the end of cold and snow.

City of Peter, just you shine
And stand unshakable as Russia!
May make a peace with beauty, thine,
The conquered nature’s casual rushes;
And let the Finnish waves forget
Their ancient bondages and malice
And not disturb with their hate senseless
The endless sleep of Peter, great!

The awful period was that,
It’s fresh in our recollection…
This time about, my dear friend,
I am beginning my narration.
My story will be very sad.


On Petrograd, sunk into darkness,
November breathed with fall cold’s harshness.
And, splashing, with the noisy waves
Into the brims of her trim fences,
The Neva raved, like the seek raves
In a bed, that has become the restless.
Now it was very dark and late;
The rain stroke ‘gainst the window’s flat.
And the wind blew with sadly wailing.
Right at this time, from being a guest
Evgeny, for his nightly rest,
Came home. This name was most prevailing
In our young hero’s name choice.
It sounds pleasantly. Of course,
With it my pen’s had long connections
It needn’t the special commendations,
Though in the times, in Lithe gone,
It might have been the most attractive
And under Karamzin’s pen, fine,
Sung in some legends, our native;
But now it is forgotten by 
The world and rumors. Our guy
Lives in Kolomna: he’s in service,
Avoids the rich ones, and ne’er sad is
For his kin which had left the world,
Or for the well-forgotten old.

So, he is home – our Evgeny,
Took off his greatcoat, undressed,
Lay in his poor bed, but oppressed 
He was by his thoughts, so many.
What did he thought of? Well, of that
That he was poor and that his bread, 
His honour and his independence
Just by hard work must be achieved, 
That God should send to him from heavens
More mind and money. That do live 
Such idle, fully happy creatures –
The lazy-bones, quite ludicrous,.
Whose life is absolutely light!
That he had served for two long years;
And that the weather, former fierce,
Hadn’t come less fierce, that the flood
In the Neva is getting higher,
The bridges might be got entire,
And that his sweet Parasha’s place
For two-free days wouldn’t be accessed.
There sighed Evgeny with his soul,
And dreamed as dreams a real bard:

“To marry then? Of course it’s hard. 
But why don’t marry, in a whole?
I’m of the young and healthy sight,
Ready to work for day and night;
I’ll someway find the good repose,
The simple and shy place, at last,
Parasha will be there composed. 
The year or, may be, two will pass –
I’m in position, to my dear 
I’ll give all family to bear
And bring our children up, at once...
Such we’ll start life, at last repose,
With hand-in-hand, such we’ll come both,
And our grandsons will bury us...” 

Thus he did dream. And a great sadness
Embraced his soul in that night,
He wished the wind’s weep to be lesser,
Rain’s siege of windows – not so tight.
At last his sleepy eyes were closed...
And now the night is getting gray –
That night, so nasty and morose, 
And it is coming – the pale day
The awful day! During the night
Neva had strived for sea ‘gainst tempests
But, having lost all her great battles,
The river ceased the useless fight…
And in the morn on her shores proud,
Stood people in a pressed in lot
And saw the tall and heard the loud 
Fierce waters’ mountains, it had brought.
But by the force of airy breathing
Blocked from the Gulf, the wide Neva
Came back – the wrathful one and seething -
And flooded islands, near and far;
The weather grew into the cruel,
Neva – more swelling and more brutal,
Like in a kettle boiled and steamed,
And then, as a wild creature seemed,
Jumped on the city. And before it,
All ran away from its strait path,
And all got emptied there; at once.
The waters flew into the cellars,
And raised up to the fence of canals –
And, like Triton, Petropol sails
Sunk in the water till his waist. 

Siege and assault! The evil waters
Thrust into windows, like slaughters.
The mad boats row into a glass.
The stalls are under the wet mass.
The wrecks of huts, the logs, roofs’ pieces,
The stores of the tread, auspicious,
The things, carried the pale want from,
The bridges got away by storm,
The coffins from the graveyards - float,
Along the streets!
                               The populace
Sees God’s great wrath and waits for death.
All is destroyed: bread and abode.
And how to live?
                           The monarch, blessed, 
Tsar Aleksandr, in a good fashion,
Still governed Russia that year, dread,
And from the balcony he, sad 
And pale, said: “Ne’er the God-made nature
Can be subdued by any tsars.”
And, in a thought, looked at the evil’s 
With his full of deep sadness eyes.
The streets turned into the fast rivers,
Running to made lakes, dark and grievous,
The Palace was an island, sad,
That loomed over the blackened waters.
The Tsar decreed – from end to end,
Down the shortest streets and longest,
On danger routs over the waves,
His generals set into the sailing –
To save the drawing and straining
On streets and in their homes-graves.

Then on the widest Square of Peter,
Where with his glass a new pile glittered,
Where on its porch, too highly placed,
With their paw raised, as if they’re living,
Stood two marble lions, overseeing.
On one of them, as for a race,
Without his hat, arms – tightly pressed,
Awfully pale – no stir appeared –
Evgeny sat. And there he feared
Not his own death. He did not hear
How the wrathful roller neared,
Greedily licking his shoes’ soles,
And how flagged him the rain coarse,
And how the fierce wind there wailed,
Or how it’d blown off his hat.
His looks of deepest desperation
Were all set on a single place
Without a move. The waves, impatient, 
Had risen there, like tallest crags,
Lifted from waked deeps in a madness,
There wreckage swam, there wailed a tempest …
O, God! O, God! – Right on that place,
Alas! so close to the waves,
And by the shores of the Gulf Finnish,
A willow-tree, a fence unfinished
And an old hut: there they must be –
A widow and her child Parasha –
His soul’s dream … Or does he see
It in a dream? … And, like the usher 
Of dreams – a sleep, is our life none –
Just Heavens make of Earth a fun?  

And he, like under conjuration,
Like in jail irons’ limitation,
Cannot come down. Him around
Only black waters could be found!
And turned to him with his back, proudest,
On height that never might be tossed,
Over Neva’s unending wildness,
Stands, with his arm, stretched to skies, lightless, 
The idol on his brazen horse. 


But now, sated with distraction
And tired of its rude attack,
Neva, at last, was coming back,
Looking at ruins with satisfaction
And leaving with a little attention
Its prey behind. A reprobate,
With his sever and low set,
Thus, thrusting in a village, helpless,
Breaks, slaughters, robs all and oppresses:
The roar, rape, swore, alert and wails!...
And, under their large booty posted,
Afraid of chases and exhausted,
The robbers speed to their old place,
Losing their loot along the road.

The waves were gone, the pavement, broad,
Was opened, and Evgeny, stressed, 
With heart half-dead and stifled throat,
In a hope, fear and awful pains,
Runs to the stream, just now restrained.
But, in the winning celebration,
Waves still were boiling with a passion,
As if to flames, under them fanned;
They still were with white foam covered,
And Neva’s breast was heavily moved,
Like the steed’s one after a race.
Evgeny sees a boat here;
He runs to it – a find, revered, –
He calls a boatman at once –
The boatman, a guy quite careless,
Just for ten kopeks, with great gladness,
Takes him into the waves’ wild dance.

And for a long with these waves, close,
The much trained rower was in fight,
And to sink deeply mid their rows,
The scuff, with its brave sailors both,
Was apt all time… The other side
Is reached, at last. And the frustrated
Runs through the so well-known street
To his old places. He doesn’t meet
A thing, he’d known. The view’s rated
As the worst one! All’s in a mess –
All is failed down or swept or stressed:
The little houses are bent down,
Some – shifted, some – razed to their ground
By awful forces of the waves;
The bodies, waiting for their graves,
Are lying round, like aft fight, merciless.
Our poor Evgeny – his mind’s flamed – 
Half-dead under the tortures, endless,
Runs there where the inhumane fate
Would give him the unknown message,
As if a letter, sealed to bear;
He’s now in the suburbs’ wreckage,
There is the Gulf, the house is near… 
But what is this? He stopped, frustrated,
Went back, returned a little later…
He looks… he walks … he looks once more.
There is the place their house for
And willow-tree. The gates were here –
They’re swept… But where’s the house, o grace? 
And full of troubles, hard to wear,
He walked and walked around the place. 
Told to himself in voices loud –
And suddenly, as if all’s found,
Struck his forehead and fell in laugh.
The night embraced the city, stuffed
With all its woe. And still for hours
A sleep was running from each house –
The folk recalling the past day.
Now, through the clouds, weak and pale,
The morn ray flashed o’er the mute city
And did not found e’en a trace
Of the past woe. The dawn, witty,
Had safely screened the doing, base.
The former life had got its place.
Along the streets now free of flooding,
With cold indifference, folks are moving.
Just having left his lodge of night,
The clerk is going at his site.
The petty tradesman, very dauntless, 
Is opening his cellar – wet, 
Robbed by the waves’ impudent set –
Intending to revenge his losses
On brothers-humans. From the yard
Is pulled the boat, full of mud.
Count Khvostov, a pet of Zeus,
Now is singing his songs, deathless,
To the Neva shores’ former plight.

What’s of Evgeny, our poor hero? …
Alas! His agitated mind,
Against the immense woe’s billow
Didn’t stand untouchable. The wind’s
And Neva’s noise was always growing 
In his poor ears. Mute and half-blind,
With awful thoughts, he was a-roaming, 
Being quite tortured by some dream.
A week, month passed by as a stream,
At his past home he wasn’t returning
And his landlord, when the rent’s time
Had gone, gave his corner to some
Bard, sunk in a poverty unduly.
Evgeny didn’t come for his stuff
And soon became a stranger, fully,
To world: his day wasn’t long enough
For walk; he slept on wharfs till morning
His bread was one a beggar has,
He wore the dirt and rotten dress.
The evil children, with cries joyful, 
Sometimes threw stones to his back,
Often the coachmen’ whips, wrathful,
Stung his thin body – for his track
Was cast without choosing direction –
He seemed to notice nothing else –
He was quiet deafened and oppressed
By noise of inner agitation. 
And thus he strayed in his life’s mist – 
Not humane being, nor some beast –
Not fish, nor flesh – not living creature,
Nor ghost of dead … But once he slept 
By Neva’s wharf – the summer’s features
Were now like autumn’s. The wind, bad,
Was breathing there. The roller, sad,
Was splashing its complain and groan
And striking ‘gainst the steps of stone,
Like the offended at the door
Of justice that doesn’t hear him more.
The poor waked up. All was gloom round:
Falling the rain, wind wailing loud,
And it was answered through the night
By some alone distant guard...
Evgeny got up in a hurry, 
He recollected his all flurry,
Stood on a spot, began to walk 
And stopped again, almost choked, 
Intently gazing him around
With a wild terror on his face... 
It seemed that he himself had found
By a big house where were placed,
With their paw up, as if quite living,
Two marble lions, overseeing,
And in the height, strait o’er him posed,
Over the rock, fenced with cast iron, 
With arm stretched into the skies, sullen, 
The idol sat on his bronze horse.

Evgeny startled. Became clear
The strange thoughts, torturing his mind –
He named the place where played the flood,
Where ran the waters-spoilers, fierce, – 
Merging in one rebellious stream, –
The lions, square and, at last, him,
Who stood without a move and sound –
The cooper head piercing black skies –
Him, by whose fatal enterprise
This city under sea took ground...
He’s awful in the nightly dark!
In what a thought his brow’s sunk!
What a great might in it lies, hidden!
And what a fire’s in this steed!
O, proud horse, where do you speed!
Where will you down your bronze hoofs, flittin’?
O, karma’s mighty sovereign!
Not thus you’d reared Russia, sullen,
Into the height, with a curb, iron,
Before an abyss in your reign?

The poor madman circled around
The foot of the black idol’s mass,
He gazed into the brazen face 
Of the half-planet’s ruler, proud.
And was his breast oppressed. He laid
On the cold barrier his forehead.
His eyes were veiled with a mist-cover,
His heart was all caught with a flame,
His blood seethed. Gloomy he became
Before the idol, looming over, 
And, having clenched his teeth and fist,
As if possessed by evil powers,
“Well, builder-maker of the marvels,”
He whispered, trembling in a fit,
“You only wait!...”- And to a street,
At once he started to run out –
He fancied: that the great tsar’s face,
With a wrath suddenly embraced,
Was turning slowly around...
And strait along the empty square
He runs and hears as if there were,
Just behind him, the peals of thunder,
Of the hard-ringing hoofs’ reminders, –
A race the empty square across,
Upon the pavement, fiercely tossed;
And by the moon, that palled lighter,
Having stretched his hand over roofs,
The Brazen Horseman rides him after –
On his steed of the ringing hoofs.
And all the night the madman, poor,
Where’er he might direct his steps,
Aft him the Bronze Horseman, for sure,
Keeps on the heavy-treading race.

And from this time, when he was going,
Along this square, only by chance,
A sense of terror was deforming 
His features. And he would then press
His hand to heart in a great fastness,
As if to make its tortures painless,
Take off the worn peaked cap at once,
Didn’t turn from earth his fearful eyes
And try to pass by.
                                  A small island’s
Seen in the sea quite near a shore.
A fisherman, the late catch for,
Would sail to it with his net, silent,
Sometimes – and boil there his soup, poor;
Or an official clerk would moor
To it in a boat-walking Sunday’s.
The empty isle. Seeds don’t beget
There any plant. A player, sightless,
The flood, had pulled there a ghost, sad, 
Of an old hut. The water over,
It had been left like a bush, black.
Last spring, by a small barging rover,
It was conveyed to the shore, back –
Destroyed and empty. By its entry,
They’d found the poor madman of mine
And, for a sake of the Divine, 
Buried his corpse in that soil, scanty. 

Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, March, 2004 - March, 2005
© Copyright, poetryloverspage.com, 2004-2005



Shortly after seizing control of the Eastern Roman Empire, Flavius Basiliscus alienated his supporters by promoting Miaphysitism—a doctrine which holds that in the person of Jesus there was but a single nature that merged both the human and the divine rather than a dual nature. Consequently, his rule lasted just 20 months. Earlier in his career, Basiliscus led the disastrous invasion of Vandal Africa, one of the greatest military operations in history. How many ships and soldiers were involved? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Victory Day (1945)

Victory Day (1945)

Still celebrated in most of the Soviet successor states, Victory Day marks Nazi Germany‘s capitulation to the USSR in WWII. Signed on the evening of May 8, 1945—May 9 in Moscow’s time zone—the surrender followed Germany’s initial capitulation to the Allies. When the first surrender document was being signed, only one Soviet representative was present, and he had no instructions from Moscow nor any means of immediate contact with Soviet leaders. Was he punished or lauded for deciding to sign it? 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.

Today in History
May 7

558   The dome of the church of St. Sophia in Constantinople collapses. Its immediate rebuilding is ordered by Justinian.
1274   The Second Council of Lyons opens in France to regulate the election of the pope.
1429   Joan of Arc breaks the English siege of Orleans.
1525   The German peasants’ revolt is crushed by the ruling class and church.
1763   Indian chief Pontiac begins his attack on a British fort in present-day Detroit, Michigan.
1800   Congress divides the Northwest Territory into two parts. The western part will becomes the Indiana Territory and the eastern section remains the Northwest Territory.
1824   Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony” premiers in Vienna.
1847   The American Medical Association is formed in Philadelphia.
1862   Confederate troops strike Union troops at the Battle of Eltham’s Landing in Virginia.
1864   The Battle of Wilderness ends with heavy losses to both sides.
1877   Indian chief Sitting Bull enters Canada with a trail of Indians after the Battle of Little Big Horn.
1915   The German submarine U-20 torpedoes the passenger ship Lusitiania, sinking her in 21 minutes with 1,978 people on board.
1937   The German Condor Legion arrives in Spain to assist Fransico Franco’s forces.
1942   In the Battle of the Coral Sea, Japanese and American navies attack each other with carrier-launched warplanes. It is the first time in the history of naval warfare where two fleets fought without seeing each other.Two crucial battles in 1942 marked the turning point of the war in the Pacific.
1943   The last major German strongholds in North Africa–Tunis and Bizerte–fall to Allied forces.
1945   Germany signs an unconditional surrender, effectively ending World War II in Europe.
1952   In Korea, Communist POWs at Koje-do riot against their American captors.
1954   French troops surrender to the Vietminh at Dien Bien Phu.
1958   Howard Johnson sets an aircraft altitude record in F-104.
1960   Leonid Brezhnev becomes president of the Soviet Union.
Born on May 7
1812   Robert Browning, English poet.
1833   Johannes Brahms, German composer.
1840   Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky, Russian composer.
1870   Marcus Loew, film executive, consolidated studios to create MGM.
1892   Josip Broz [Tito], leader of Yugoslavia during after World War II.
1892   Archibald MacLeish, American poet and statesman.
1901   Gary Cooper, film actor (High Noon, Friendly Persuasion).
1909   Edwin Herbert Land, inventor of the Poloroid Land Camera.
1919   Eva (Evita) Perón, first lady of Argentina.
1932   Jenny Joseph, English poet and novelist (The Thinking Heart, The Inland Sea).
1943   Peter Carey, Australian writer (Illywhacker, Oscar and Lucinda).

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

picture of the day

On August 2, 1944, a French ArmySherman‘ tank lands on a Normandy beach from USS LST-517 during the European Campaign during World War II.

Photo: U.S. Army Signal Corps

– See more at: http://www.historynet.com/picture-of-the-day#sthash.37P42IyP.dpuf

picture of the day: St. Lo, France (In the summer of 1944)

St. Lo, France

In the summer of 1944, two French boys watch from a hilltop as convoys of Allied vehicles pass through the badly damaged city of St. Lo en route to the battle front. St. Lo was the scene of major fighting the latter stages of the Normandy campaign during World War II.

Photo: U.S. Army Signal Corps

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

today’s holiday: Greenery Day

Greenery Day

This day formerly observed the birthday of Emperor Hirohito of Japan (1901-1989), who was the world’s longest ruling monarch. Today this day is celebrated as Greenery Day (Midori-no-Hi) with parades featuring elaborate floats, paper lanterns, traditional Japanese costumes, and fireworks. People also mark the day by planting trees and with other activities centered around the appreciation of nature. Greenery Day is a part of Golden Week, which also includes Japan Constitution Memorial Day (May 3) and Kodomo-no-Hi (Children’s Day, May 5). More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Walpurgis Night

Walpurgis Night

People who lived in the Harz Mountains of Germany believed for many centuries that witches rode across the sky on the eve of St. Walpurga‘s Day to hold a coven on Brocken Mountain. To frighten them off, people rang church bells, banged pots and pans, and lit torches topped with hemlock, rosemary, and juniper. The legend of Walpurgis Night is still celebrated in Germany, Austria, and Scandinavia with bonfires and other festivities designed to welcome spring by warding off demons, disaster, and darkness. St. Walpurga is the patron saint associated with protection against magic. More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Hitler Commits Suicide (1945)

Hitler Commits Suicide (1945)

In the final days of World War II, as the Red Army of the Soviet Union was closing in on his underground bunker in Berlin, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler committed suicide by shooting himself while simultaneously biting into a cyanide capsule. Hitler’s body and that of Eva Braun—his mistress whom he had wed the day before—were then placed in a bomb crater, doused with gasoline, and set on fire by German officials. How did Soviet soldiers identify Hitler’s remains? More… Discuss

Saint of the Day for Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 : St. Scholastica

Image of St. Scholastica

St. Scholastica

St. Scholastica, sister of St. Benedict, consecrated her life to God from her earliest youth. After her brother went to Monte Cassino, where he established his famous monastery, she took up her abode … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

Saint of the Day for Tuesday, February 10th, 2015: St. Scholastica

Image of St. Scholastica

St. Scholastica

St. Scholastica, sister of St. Benedict, consecrated her life to God from her earliest youth. After her brother went to Monte Cassino, where he established his famous monastery, she took up her abode … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

today’s birthday: Gerhard Richter (1932)

Gerhard Richter (1932)

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

today’s birthday: Hugo Junkers (1859)

Hugo Junkers (1859)

Junkers was a pioneering German engineer who held many patents for his original developments in the fields of gas engine and aircraft design. He had innovative ideas about metal airplanes and flying wings, and he put them to the test—somewhat ironically, as he was purportedly a pacifist—developing warplanes for World War I. In the lead-up to World War II, the Nazis stripped Junkers of control of his company and sentenced him to house arrest. He died soon after. What was the “Sheetmetal Donkey”? More… Discuss

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

The first large-scale electronic digital computer

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

Image: U.S. Army

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this day in the yesteryear: Private Slovik Executed for Desertion (1945)

Private Slovik Executed for Desertion (1945)

US Army private Eddie Slovik was executed for desertion in 1945. His was the first such execution after the Civil War and the only one of 49 World War II desertion death sentences to be carried out. Slovik was initially separated from his unit during an artillery attack. He rejoined them but deserted after being assigned to the front lines. He later confessed in writing that he would do it again and refused offers to destroy his note and return to battle. How old was Slovik when he died? 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.

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.

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

“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

today’s birthday: Douglas MacArthur (1880)

Douglas MacArthur (1880)

MacArthur is a major figure in US military and diplomatic history. He commanded a brigade in France during World War I and was commander of the Philippine military establishment in the late 1930s, but he is best remembered for the vital role he played in the Pacific theater of World War II and for his command of UN forces during the Korean War. Many Americans viewed MacArthur as a hero, but he was suddenly relieved of his post by President Truman at the height of the Korean War for what reason? More… Discuss

People and Places: Famagusta


The city of Famagusta is located in Eastern Cyprus. It occupies the site of ancient Arsinoë—built in the 3rd century BCE by the Egyptian king Ptolemy II—and is thought to be the setting for much of Shakespeare’s play Othello. In the 20th century, Famagusta served as a British naval base and was heavily bombed in World War II. From 1946–1948, a British internment camp for illegal Jewish immigrants to Palestine was maintained near the city. Why was Famagusta completely evacuated in 1974? More… Discuss

Today’s Birthday: Chiune Sugihara (1900)

Today’s Birthday

Chiune Sugihara (1900)

A Japanese diplomat, Sugihara was sent to Kaunas, Lithuania, in the early days of World War II. There, in direct violation of his orders from Tokyo, the consul began issuing transit visas for fleeing Jews. Without such visas, the refugees would not have been permitted to leave the country. In little over a month, he wrote thousands of visas, continuing even as the train removing him from his consulate post pulled out of the station. How did the Japanese government react to his insubordination? More… Discuss

Article of the Day: Ticker-Tape Parades

Article of the Day

Ticker-Tape Parades

Ticker-tape parades were originated in New York City by Grover Whalen, the city’s official greeter from 1919 to 1953. The welcome ceremonies he staged for Charles Lindbergh and returning soldiers from both world wars, among others, featured a festive snow of confetti—originally ticker-tape from stockbrokers’ offices in lower Manhattan—thrown onto the parade from the tall buildings along the route. Today the parades most often fete sports champions. What is the “Canyon of Heroes“? More… Discuss

Today’s Birthday: Simon Wiesenthal (1908)

Today’s Birthday

Simon Wiesenthal (1908)

One of just a few hundred Galician Jews to have survived the Nazi death machine that was Hitler‘s Final Solution, Wiesenthal devoted his remaining years to tracking down fugitive Nazi war criminals and bringing them to justice. “Many times I was thinking,” he told his biographer, “that everything in life has a price, so to stay alive must also have a price. And my price was always that, if I lived, I must be deputy for many people who are not alive.” How many of

today’s birthday: Hideki Tojo (1884)

Hideki Tojo (1884)

Tojo’s accession as prime minister of Japan in 1941 marked the final triumph of the military faction that advocated war with the US and Great Britain. As the most powerful leader in the government during World War II, he approved the attack on Pearl Harbor and pushed the Japanese offensive in China, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific. Tojo resigned after a string of military failures and later attempted suicide. He was arrested by the Allies and tried, convicted, and executed for what war crimes? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Battle of the Bulge Begins (1944)

Battle of the Bulge Begins (1944)

This major German counter-offensive on the Western Front during World War II was the largest and bloodiest battle fought by the US Army during the war. Taking advantage of foggy weather, German forces attacked the thinly held American front in the Belgian Ardennes sector, catching the Allied forces unprepared. The Germans penetrated deep into the Allied lines. However, an American force held out at Bastogne, and the arrival of reinforcements turned the tide. How did the battle get its name? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Battle of the River Plate (1939)

Battle of the River Plate (1939)

In the early months of World War II, the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee had been seeking out and sinking British merchant ships, a practice known as commerce raiding. The British navy tracked down the German ship and engaged it near the River Plate, in what was the first major naval engagement of the war. Outgunned, the Germans sailed for Montevideo in the hopes of making repairs. Shortly thereafter, the captain, believing his forces to be outnumbered, made what decision? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: The Japanese Attack Pearl Harbor (1941)

Pearl Harbor – Dec. 7, 1941 – The only color film of the attack

The Japanese Attack Pearl Harbor (1941)

The surprise aerial attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii, destroyed 188 aircraft and several American naval vessels, killed more than 2,300 American military personnel, and wounded more than 1,100. The following day, the US declared war on Japan, entering World War II. Pearl Harbor is now a national historic landmark, and a memorial has been built over the sunken hull of the USS Arizona. How many Japanese planes attacked the American fleet that fateful day? More… Discuss


Human civilization: Arts and Crafts: Basket Weaving

Basket Weaving Basketry is the ancient art of weaving flexible materials to form vessels or other objects. Baskets used for storing grain in 4000 or 5000 BCE have been excavated in Egypt, and the tombs of Etruria have yielded ancient … Continue reading

today’s holiday: Eton Wall Game

Eton Wall Game

Every year on St. Andrew’s Day, England‘s prestigious Eton College holds the famous Eton Wall Game, a variety of rugby that has its own highly technical rules and is different from all other forms of the game. The object of the game is to win goals by maneuvering the ball into the opposing team’s “calx,” designated by a chalk line on a garden wall at one end of the field and by a mark on a tree at the other. The game is made up of many scrimmages along the brick wall that marks off the college athletic field for which the game is named, and goals are almost never scored. More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Sir Winston Churchill (1874)

Sir Winston Churchill (1874)

Churchill was prime minister of the UK during World War II and led the country through both its darkest and finest hours. He was a writer, artist, legislator, soldier, and one of the most influential leaders in modern history. After being appointed prime minister in 1940, he forged a strong alliance with the US and an uneasy one with the USSR. These alliances were two key factors in the defeat of the Axis Powers. A prolific painter, Churchill exhibited his art under what pseudonym? More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Albania Independence Day

Albania Independence Day

The Albanian people proclaimed their independence from the Turks on this day in 1912. The Turks first invaded this part of Europe around 1400, and they ruled the country for more than 400 years. It wasn’t until the end of the Balkan War that Turkish rule was abolished and a proclamation of independence issued on November 28, 1912. Independence Day is a public holiday observed throughout Albania and is marked by a festive parade in Tirana, the capital. It is followed by Liberation Day on November 29, the day on which the invasions of German and Italian troops during World War II were ended in 1944. More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Scuttling of the French fleet in Toulon (1942)

Scuttling of the French fleet in Toulon (1942)

When Nazi Germany occupied northern and western France in 1940, the coastal city of Toulon fell under Vichy jurisdiction in the so-called unoccupied zone in the south. The center of French naval power since the 19th century, Toulon housed much of the French fleet. When, in 1942, Germany finally occupied all of France and Toulon’s capture appeared imminent, the French scuttled much of the fleet rather than allow the vessels to fall into German hands. What was the German mission in Toulon called? More… Discuss

quotation: To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence…|Sun Tzu

To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.

Sun Tzu (544 BC496 BC) Discuss

Saint of the Day for Saturday, November 22nd, 2014: St. Cecilia

Image of St. CeciliaSt. Cecilia

In the fourth century appeared a Greek religious romance on the Loves of Cecilia and Valerian, written, like those of Chrysanthus and Daria, Julian and Basilissa, in glorification of the virginal … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chapel Interior at Night.

Facade of Santa Cecilia, a 1725 project by Ferdinando Fuga, with the 12th century belltower.

Santa Cecilia in Trastevere is a 5th-century church in Rome, Italy, devoted to Saint Cecilia, in the Trastevere rione.


The first church on this site was founded probably in the 3rd century, by Pope Urban I; it was devoted to the Roman martyr Cecilia, martyred it is said under Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander, by the late fifth century, for in the synod of 499 of Pope Symmachus, the church is indicated with the Titulus Ceciliae. Tradition holds that the church was built over the house of the saint.[1] The baptistery associated with this church, together with the remains of a Roman house of the early Empire, was found during some excavations under the Chapel of the Relics. On 22 November 545, Pope Vigilius was celebrating the saint in the church, when the emissary of Empress Theodora, Antemi Scribone, captured him. Pope Paschal I “rebuilt the church in 822, and moved here the relics of St Cecilia from the catacombs of St Calixtus.” More restorations followed in the 18th century. The Cardinal priest assigned to the Titulus S. Caeciliae is Gualtiero Bassetti. Among the previous titulars are Pope Stephen III, Adam Easton (1383), Thomas Wolsey (1515), Michele Mazzarino (1647), Giuseppe Doria Pamphili (1785), and Carlo Maria Martini (2012).

Art and architecture

The Last Judgment (detail of the apostles), by Pietro Cavallini (1295-1300).

Ciborium attributed to Arnolfo di Cambio.

The church has a façade built in 1725 by Ferdinando Fuga, which incloses a courtyard decorated with ancient mosaics, columns and a cantharus (water vessel). Its decoration includes the coat of arms and the dedication to the titular cardinal who paid for the facade, Francesco Cardinal Acquaviva d’Aragona. Among the artifacts remaining from the 13th century edifice are a mural painting depicting the Final judgment (1289-93) by Pietro Cavallini in the choir of the monks, and the ciborium (1293) in the presbytery by Arnolfo di Cambio. The Gothic ciborium is surrounded by four marble columns white and black, decorated with statuettes of angels, saints, prophets, and evangelists. The apse has remains of 9th century mosaics depicting the Redeemer with Saints Paul, Cecilia, Paschal I, Peter, Valerian, and Agatha. The ceiling of Cappella dei Ponziani was decorated God the Father with evangelists (1470) by Antonio del Massaro (Antonio da Viterbo or il Pastura). The Cappella delle Reliquie was frescoed and provided with an altarpiece by Luigi Vanvitelli. The nave is frescoed with the Apotheosis of Santa Cecilia (1727) by Sebastiano Conca. The church contains two altarpieces by Guido Reni: Saints Valerian and Cecilia and a Decapitation of Saint Cecilia (1603).[2]

.Martyrdom of Saint Cecilia, by Stefano Maderno, one of the most famous examples of Baroque sculpture.

Among the most remarkable works is the graphic altar sculpture of St. Cecilia (1600) by the late-Renaissance sculptor Stefano Maderno. The pavement in front of the statue encloses a marble slab with Maderno’s sworn statement that he has recorded the body as he saw it when the tomb was opened in 1599. The statue depicts the three axe strokes described in the 5th-century account of her martyrdom. It also is meant to underscore the incorruptibility of her cadaver (an attribute of some saints), which miraculously still had congealed blood after centuries. This statue could be conceived as proto-Baroque, since it depicts no idealized moment or person, but a theatric scene, a naturalistic representation of a dead or dying saint. It is striking, because it precedes by decades the similar high-Baroque sculptures of Gian Lorenzo Bernini (for example, his Beata Ludovica Albertoni) and Melchiorre Caffà (Santa Rosa de Lima). The crypt is also noteworthy, decorated with cosmatesque styles, containing the relics of St. Cecilia and her husband St. Valerian.

quotation: All war is deception. Sun Tzu

All war is deception.

Sun Tzu (544 BC496 BC) Discuss



today’s holiday: Opening of the Underground Caves Day

Opening of the Underground Caves Day

The end of World War II is marked annually by the people of Butaritari Island (northern islands of the independent republic of Kiribati). Each year, they open the caves that were built to shelter them during the war. Accompanied by a celebration, the event takes place on the anniversary of the day the caves initially were opened after the war ended in 1945. The event’s main activities take place in Ukiangang village on Butaritari Island, featuring singing, dancing, feasting, and indoor and outdoor games. More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Nuremberg Trials Begin (1945)

Nuremberg Trials Begin (1945)

The Nuremberg Trials, which took place in Germany between 1945 and 1949, were a series of trials prosecuting Nazi officials for their participation in World War II and the Holocaust. The first and most famous of these trials, the Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal, involved 24 of the most important leaders of Nazi Germany, 12 of whom were sentenced to death for crimes against humanity and other offenses. How were the death sentences carried out? More… Discuss

quotation: Sun Tzu ( in other words: “a battle won does win a war”, or something like that!)

Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

Sun Tzu (544 BC-496 BC) Discuss

Machines such as this US Navy ‘Bombe’ were used in deciphering German Enigma codes pic — Historical Pics


President Obama calls on the FCC to uphold Net Neutrality

this pressed: Nicola Tesla Portrait — Historical Pics

today’s holiday : Ochi Day

Ochi Day

Ochi Day is a national holiday in Greece, commemorating the day during World War II when Greeks said “ochi” (“no”) to an attempted incursion ordered by Italy‘s fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini. On October 28, 1940, the Italian ambassador to Greece called on General Ioannis Metaxas, the prime minister, to demand that Italian troops be allowed to occupy areas in Greece. Metaxas curtly responded, “Ochi.” The Italians invaded, but were routed by the Greeks. Ochi Day is observed in Greece with military and school parades; it is also a public holiday celebrated in Cyprus with parades. More… Discuss

“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals” — Immanuel Kant— ✍ Bibliophilia

What I like most about elephants is that they don’t play mind games… (no, not those elephants though) —George-B

today’s holiday: Angam Day

Angam Day

Nauru is an island in the Pacific, about 2,200 miles northeast of Sydney, Australia, and 2,400 miles southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii. Over the past 100 years, the existence of Nauruans has been threatened a number of times—by tribal disputes in the 1870s and by an influenza epidemic in 1919. During World War II, two-thirds of the population were deported by the Japanese to the Caroline Islands to build airstrips. Angam (“hope”) Day on October 26 commemorates the various occasions when the Nauruan population has reached 1,500, considered the minimum number necessary for survival. More… Discuss

word: quaff


Definition: (verb) To swallow hurriedly or greedily or in one draught.
Synonyms: gulp, swig
Usage: Recently returned to port, the sailors quaffed their ale with gusto. Discuss.

The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League

The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League

With the vast majority of able-bodied American men away fighting in World War II, baseball executives looked for new ways to keep the sport in the public eye. They hit upon the idea of forming a new professional league composed of women and decided to give it a try. Formed in 1943, the league lasted past the end of the war into 1954. It differed from the men’s league in pitching style, the size of the diamond and of the ball, and the fact that spring training included classes in what subject? More… Discuss

Bubble Gum

Bubble Gum

English: Bazooka gum

English: Bazooka gum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chewing gum has been around for millennia, making bubble gum a comparatively recent invention. The first bubble gum formulation—an unmarketable, sticky confection called Blibber-Blubber—was developed in 1906 by Frank Fleer. Twenty-two years later, Fleer employee Walter Diemer developed the first commercially successful bubble gum, Dubble Bubble. Its first competitor, the Topps Company‘s Bazooka, arrived on the market after World War II. How did bubble gum acquire its now-iconic pink color? More… Discuss

Story: Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate

The Brandenburg Gate is the last surviving town gate of Berlin, Germany. When completed in 1791, the lavish gate greeted visitors to the boulevard that led directly to the Prussian palace. Architect Carl G. Langhans modeled the gate after the Propylea, the gateway to the Acropolis in Athens. On top was the “Quadriga of Victory,” a statue of a chariot drawn by four horses. Heavily damaged in World War II, the gate was restored in 1957. Why was it closed in 1961, and when did it reopen? More… Discuss