Tag Archives: World War II

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

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

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
’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

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


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

Gallery

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.

History

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


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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


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

today’s holiday: Malta Independence Day


Malta Independence Day

This is a nationwide celebration of Malta’s independence, achieved on September 21, 1964. Malta was under the control of various political entities from its earliest days. In the early 19th century, the Maltese acknowledged Great Britain’s sovereignty. Malta’s heroic stand against the Axis in World War II won a declaration that self-government would be restored at the end of the war, and indeed self-government under another constitution was granted in 1947. It was revoked and restored before independence was finally granted. Independence Day is celebrated with parades and festivities throughout the country. More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Mika Waltari (1908)


Mika Waltari (1908)

Finnish author Mika Waltari is best known for his 1945 historical novel The Egyptian, which is set during the reign of the Pharaoh Akhenaten and was hailed by Egyptologists for its accuracy in describing ancient Egyptian life. The themes explored in the book struck a chord with readers in the aftermath of World War II, and it became an international bestseller, serving as the basis for the 1954 Hollywood movie of the same name. Where—and when—are some of his other historical novels set? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Churchill Proposes Creation of Council of Europe (1946)


Churchill Proposes Creation of Council of Europe (1946)

After World War II, a strong revulsion to national rivalries developed in Europe. Speaking at the University of Zurich on September 19, 1946, Winston Churchill urged European states to establish a “United States of Europe,” and his speech helped spur the creation of the Council of Europe in 1949. The Council works to promote unity between its members, defend human rights, and increase social and economic progress. Today, it has 47 member nations. Which European states have not joined? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Federation of Malaysia Created (1963)


Federation of Malaysia Created (1963)

The Japanese occupation of the Malayan region during World War II weakened British influence there and unleashed anti-colonial, Malayan nationalism. With the help of the Chinese, the Malayan Communist Party grew stronger, fought the Japanese occupation, and threatened British interests. In response, the British established the multi-ethnic Federation of Malaya in 1948 as a part of a wider anti-communist plan. In 1963, “Malaya” became “Malaysia” with the acquisition of what territories? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Two Plus Four Agreement Signed in Moscow (1990)


Two Plus Four Agreement Signed in Moscow (1990)

The Two Plus Four Agreement, also known as the Treaty on the Final Settlement With Respect to Germany, was the final peace treaty negotiated between West Germany and East Germany—the “Two”—and the four powers that occupied Germany at the end of World War II: France, the UK, the US, and the Soviet Union. The treaty paved the way for the German reunification, which took place less than a month later, on October 3. What rights did the four powers renounce under the treaty’s terms? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: First V-2 Rocket Hits London (1944)


First V-2 Rocket Hits London (1944)

Developed by Germany during World War II, the Vergeltungswaffe 2 (V-2) rocket was the world’s first modern ballistic missile and the first known manmade object to enter outer space. Thousands were launched on Allied targets during the last year of the war, causing more than 9,000 deaths. One of the rocket’s first targets was London, which was hit just days after Hitler declared his plans to start V-2 attacks. To what did the British government initially attribute the resulting explosion? More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Queen Elizabeth I of England (1533)


Queen Elizabeth I of England (1533)

Queen Elizabeth, England‘s last Tudor monarch, came to the throne during a turbulent period in the nation’s history. Although she has been described as vain, miserly, and fickle, she was remarkably successful as queen. During her reign, England pursued a policy of expansionism in commerce and geographical exploration, defeating the Spanish Armada and becoming a major world power. Literature and the arts flourished during the period as well. To whom was the Queen married? More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Taiwan Armed Forces Day


Taiwan Armed Forces Day

Founded in 1955, Armed Forces Day in Taiwan honors the country’s military and celebrates their victory over the Japanese in World War II (called the War of Resistance in Taiwan). The day is marked by military parades featuring special units chosen for their precision and outstanding performance. A troop-cheering by the onlookers is part of the celebration, as are educational activities covering the history of the war period and the role of the Taiwanese military in defeating the enemy. The day is also marked by the members of the armed forces having a rare day off from work. More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Kellogg-Briand Pact Signed (1928)


Kellogg-Briand Pact Signed (1928)

The Kellogg-Briand Pact was an agreement between the US and France to renounce war and seek settlement of disputes by peaceful means. It took its name from US Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg and French foreign minister Aristide Briand. Sixty other nations ultimately ratified the pact, but it made no provision for measures against aggressors and proved ineffective, especially given the practice of waging undeclared wars in the 1930s. What role did it play in the Nuremberg Trials? More… Discuss

‘The Mundaneum, is an archive with more than 12 million index cards, created in 1910. (Bibliophilia (@Libroantiguo) August 24, 2014)


today’s birthday: Salvador Luria (1912)


Salvador Luria (1912)

Luria was an Italian biologist who began his career in Paris studying the effects of radiation on bacteriophages—viruses that infect bacteria. After immigrating to the US during World War II, he started using bacteriophages to study such fundamental life processes as self-replication and mutation, along with Alfred Hershey and Max Delbrück. For their efforts, the three biologists shared the 1969 Nobel Prize in physiology. What famous scientific breakthrough came from one of Luria’s students? More… Discuss