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taztug

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Wilmington

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Message Posted: May 10, 2006 12:44:24 PM

On May 10th the following happend in the old west:

Tanscontinental Railroad
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cgstach
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Dec 21, 2014 9:28:34 AM

* 1988 - Pan Am Flight 103 from London to New York explodes in midair over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew members aboard, as well as 11 Lockerbie residents on the ground. A bomb hidden inside an audio cassette player detonated in the cargo area when the plane was at an altitude of 31,000 feet. The disaster, which became the subject of Britain's largest criminal investigation, was believed to be an attack against the United States. One hundred eighty nine of the victims were American.

Islamic terrorists were accused of planting the bomb on the plane while it was at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany. Authorities suspected the attack was in retaliation for either the 1986 U.S. air strikes against Libya, in which leader Muammar al-Qaddafi's young daughter was killed along with dozens of other people, or a 1988 incident, in which the U.S. mistakenly shot down an Iran Air commercial flight over the Persian Gulf, killing 290 people.

Sixteen days before the explosion over Lockerbie, the U.S. embassy in Helsinki, Finland, received a call warning that a bomb would be placed on a Pan Am flight out of Frankfurt. There is controversy over how seriously the U.S. took the threat and whether travelers should have been alerted, but officials later said that the connection between the call and the bomb was coincidental.

In 1991, following a joint investigation by the British authorities and the F.B.I., Libyan intelligence agents Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah were indicted for murder; however, Libya refused to hand over the suspects to the U.S. Finally, in 1999, in an effort to ease United Nations sanctions against his country, Qaddafi agreed to turn over the two men to Scotland for trial in the Netherlands using Scottish law and prosecutors. In early 2001, al-Megrahi was convicted and sentenced to life in prison and Fhimah was acquitted. Over the U.S. government's objections, Al-Megrahi was freed and returned to Libya in August 2009 after doctors determined that he had only months to live.

In 2003, Libya accepted responsibility for the bombing, but didn't express remorse. The U.N. and U.S. lifted sanctions against Libya and Libya agreed to pay each victim's family approximately $8 million in restitution. In 2004, Libya's prime minister said that the deal was the "price for peace," implying that his country only took responsibility to get the sanctions lifted, a statement that infuriated the victims' families. Pan Am Airlines, which went bankrupt three years after the bombing, sued Libya and later received a $30 million settlement.

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lvskyguy
Champion Author Las Vegas

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Message Posted: Dec 21, 2014 3:14:20 AM

1937 – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first full-length animation which premiered at the Carthay Circle Theatre in Los Angeles.
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Joisygal
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Dec 20, 2014 11:41:56 PM

1880 - New York's Broadway became known as the "Great White Way" when it was lighted by electricity.
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rjojo40AL
Champion Author Nevada

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Message Posted: Dec 20, 2014 3:03:15 PM

1803-The United States purchased the Louisiana territory from France for $15 million.
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nraacct
Champion Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Dec 20, 2014 1:39:35 PM

1995 – NATO begins peacekeeping in Bosnia.
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cgstach
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Dec 20, 2014 10:46:45 AM

* 1989 - The United States invades Panama in an attempt to overthrow military dictator Manuel Noriega, who had been indicted in the United States on drug trafficking charges and was accused of suppressing democracy in Panama and endangering U.S. nationals. Noriega's Panamanian Defense Forces (PDF) were promptly crushed, forcing the dictator to seek asylum with the Vatican anuncio in Panama City, where he surrendered on January 3, 1990.

In 1970, Noriega, a rising figure in the Panamanian military, was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to assist in the U.S. struggle against the spread of communism in Central America. Noriega became involved in drug trafficking and in 1977 was removed from the CIA payroll. After the Marxist Sandinista government came to power in 1979, Noriega was brought back into the CIA fold. In 1983, he become military dictator of Panama.

Noriega supported U.S. initiatives in Central America and in turn was praised by the White House, even though a Senate committee concluded in 1983 that Panama was a major center for drug trafficking. In 1984, Noriega committed fraud in Panama's presidential election in favor of Nicolás Ardito Barletta, who became a puppet president. Still, Noriega enjoyed the continued support of the Reagan administration, which valued his aid in its efforts to overthrow Nicaragua's Sandinista government.

In 1986, just months before the outbreak of the Iran-Contra affair, allegations arose concerning Noriega's history as a drug trafficker, money launderer, and CIA employee. Most shocking, however, were reports that Noriega had acted as a double agent for Cuba's intelligence agency and the Sandinistas. The U.S. government disowned Noriega, and in 1988 he was indicted by federal grand juries in Tampa and Miami on drug-smuggling and money-laundering charges.

Tensions between Americans in the Panama Canal Zone and Noriega's Panamanian Defense Forces grew, and in 1989 the dictator annulled a presidential election that would have made Guillermo Endara president. President George H. Bush ordered additional U.S. troops to the Panama Canal Zone, and on December 16 an off-duty U.S. Marine was shot to death at a PDF roadblock. The next day, President Bush authorized "Operation Just Cause"--the U.S. invasion of Panama to overthrow Noriega.

On December 20, 9,000 U.S. troops joined the 12,000 U.S. military personnel already in Panama and were met with scattered resistance from the PDF. By December 24, the PDF was crushed, and the United States held most of the country. Endara was made president by U.S. forces, and he ordered the PDF dissolved. On January 3, Noriega was arrested by U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency agents.

The U.S. invasion of Panama cost the lives of only 23 U.S. soldiers and three U.S. civilians. Some 150 PDF soldiers were killed along with an estimated 500 Panamanian civilians. The Organization of American States and the European Parliament both formally protested the invasion, which they condemned as a flagrant violation of international law.

In 1992, Noriega was found guilty on eight counts of drug trafficking, racketeering, and money laundering, marking the first time in history that a U.S. jury convicted a foreign leader of criminal charges. He was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison
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lvskyguy
Champion Author Las Vegas

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Message Posted: Dec 20, 2014 3:07:50 AM

1946 – The Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, premiered at the Globe Theatre in New York City.
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Joisygal
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Dec 19, 2014 10:49:53 PM

1843 - Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" was first published in England.
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cgstach
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Dec 19, 2014 4:16:11 PM

* 1998 - After nearly 14 hours of debate, the House of Representatives approves two articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton, charging him with lying under oath to a federal grand jury and obstructing justice. Clinton, the second president in American history to be impeached, vowed to finish his term.

In November 1995, Clinton began an affair with Monica Lewinsky, a 21-year-old unpaid intern. Over the course of a year and a half, the president and Lewinsky had nearly a dozen sexual encounters in the White House. In April 1996, Lewinsky was transferred to the Pentagon. That summer, she first confided in Pentagon co-worker Linda Tripp about her sexual relationship with the president. In 1997, with the relationship over, Tripp began secretly to record conversations with Lewinsky, in which Lewinsky gave Tripp details about the affair.

In December, lawyers for Paula Jones, who was suing the president on sexual harassment charges, subpoenaed Lewinsky. In January 1998, allegedly under the recommendation of the president, Lewinsky filed an affidavit in which she denied ever having had a sexual relationship with him. Five days later, Tripp contacted the office of Kenneth Starr, the Whitewater independent counsel, to talk about Lewinsky and the tapes she made of their conversations. Tripp, wired by FBI agents working with Starr, met with Lewinsky again, and on January 16, Lewinsky was taken by FBI agents and U.S. attorneys to a hotel room where she was questioned and offered immunity if she cooperated with the prosecution. A few days later, the story broke, and Clinton publicly denied the allegations, saying, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky."

In late July, lawyers for Lewinsky and Starr worked out a full-immunity agreement covering both Lewinsky and her parents, all of whom Starr had threatened with prosecution. On August 6, Lewinsky appeared before the grand jury to begin her testimony, and on August 17 President Clinton testified. Contrary to his testimony in the Paula Jones sexual-harassment case, President Clinton acknowledged to prosecutors from the office of the independent counsel that he had had an extramarital affair with Ms. Lewinsky.

In four hours of closed-door testimony, conducted in the Map Room of the White House, Clinton spoke live via closed-circuit television to a grand jury in a nearby federal courthouse. He was the first sitting president ever to testify before a grand jury investigating his conduct. That evening, President Clinton also gave a four-minute televised address to the nation in which he admitted he had engaged in an inappropriate relationship with Lewinsky. In the brief speech, which was wrought with legalisms, the word "sex" was never spoken, and the word "regret" was used only in reference to his admission that he misled the public and his family.

Less than a month later, on September 9, Kenneth Starr submitted his report and 18 boxes of supporting documents to the House of Representatives. Released to the public two days later, the Starr Report outlined a case for impeaching Clinton on 11 grounds, including perjury, obstruction of justice, witness-tampering, and abuse of power, and also provided explicit details of the sexual relationship between the president and Ms. Lewinsky. On October 8, the House authorized a wide-ranging impeachment inquiry, and on December 11, the House Judiciary Committee approved three articles of impeachment. On December 19, the House impeached Clinton.

On January 7, 1999, in a congressional procedure not seen since the 1868 impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson, the trial of President Clinton got underway in the Senate. As instructed in Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution, the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (William Rehnquist at this time) was sworn in to preside, and the senators were sworn in as jurors.

Five weeks later, on February 12, the Senate voted on whether to remove Clinton from office. The president was acquitted on both articles of impeachment. The prosecution needed a two-thirds majority to convict but failed to achieve even a bare majority. Rejecting the first charge of perjury, 45 Democrats and 10 Republicans voted "not guilty," and on the charge of obstruction of justice the Senate was split 50-50. After the trial concluded, President Clinton said he was "profoundly sorry" for the burden his behavior imposed on Congress and the American people.

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rjojo40AL
Champion Author Nevada

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Message Posted: Dec 19, 2014 11:39:54 AM

1972-Apollo 17 splashed down in the Pacific, ending the Apollo program of manned lunar landings.
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rjojo40AL
Champion Author Nevada

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Message Posted: Dec 18, 2014 9:31:57 AM

1957-The Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania became the first civilian nuclear facility to generate electricity in the United States.
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cgstach
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Dec 18, 2014 8:55:53 AM

* 1620 - The British ship Mayflower docked at modern-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, and its passengers prepared to begin their new settlement, Plymouth Colony.

The famous Mayflower story began in 1606, when a group of reform-minded Puritans in Nottinghamshire, England, founded their own church, separate from the state-sanctioned Church of England. Accused of treason, they were forced to leave the country and settle in the more tolerant Netherlands. After 12 years of struggling to adapt and make a decent living, the group sought financial backing from some London merchants to set up a colony in America. On September 6, 1620, 102 passengers–dubbed Pilgrims by William Bradford, a passenger who would become the first governor of Plymouth Colony–crowded on the Mayflower to begin the long, hard journey to a new life in the New World.

On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower anchored at what is now Provincetown Harbor, Cape Cod. Before going ashore, 41 male passengers–heads of families, single men and three male servants–signed the famous Mayflower Compact, agreeing to submit to a government chosen by common consent and to obey all laws made for the good of the colony. Over the next month, several small scouting groups were sent ashore to collect firewood and scout out a good place to build a settlement. Around December 10, one of these groups found a harbor they liked on the western side of Cape Cod Bay. They returned to the Mayflower to tell the other passengers, but bad weather prevented them from docking until December 18. After exploring the region, the settlers chose a cleared area previously occupied by members of a local Native American tribe, the Wampanoag. The tribe had abandoned the village several years earlier, after an outbreak of European disease. That winter of 1620-1621 was brutal, as the Pilgrims struggled to build their settlement, find food and ward off sickness. By spring, 50 of the original 102 Mayflower passengers were dead. The remaining settlers made contact with returning members of the Wampanoag tribe and in March they signed a peace treaty with a tribal chief, Massasoit. Aided by the Wampanoag, especially the English-speaking Squanto, the Pilgrims were able to plant crops–especially corn and beans–that were vital to their survival. The Mayflower and its crew left Plymouth to return to England on April 5, 1621.

Over the next several decades, more and more settlers made the trek across the Atlantic to Plymouth, which gradually grew into a prosperous shipbuilding and fishing center. In 1691, Plymouth was incorporated into the new Massachusetts Bay Association, ending its history as an independent colony.

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lvskyguy
Champion Author Las Vegas

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Message Posted: Dec 18, 2014 3:46:18 AM

1892 – The Nutcracker Suite by Peter Tchaikovsky premiered in St. Petersburg, Russia at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre.
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rjojo40AL
Champion Author Nevada

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Message Posted: Dec 17, 2014 3:00:36 PM

1969-The U.S. Air Force ended its "Project Blue Book" and concluded that there was no evidence of extraterrestrial activity behind UFO sightings.
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cgstach
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Dec 17, 2014 9:38:08 AM

* 1903 - Near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville and Wilbur Wright make the first successful flight in history of a self-propelled, heavier-than-air aircraft. Orville piloted the gasoline-powered, propeller-driven biplane, which stayed aloft for 12 seconds and covered 120 feet on its inaugural flight.

Orville and Wilbur Wright grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and developed an interest in aviation after learning of the glider flights of the German engineer Otto Lilienthal in the 1890s. Unlike their older brothers, Orville and Wilbur did not attend college, but they possessed extraordinary technical ability and a sophisticated approach to solving problems in mechanical design. They built printing presses and in 1892 opened a bicycle sales and repair shop. Soon, they were building their own bicycles, and this experience, combined with profits from their various businesses, allowed them to pursue actively their dream of building the world's first airplane.

After exhaustively researching other engineers' efforts to build a heavier-than-air, controlled aircraft, the Wright brothers wrote the U.S. Weather Bureau inquiring about a suitable place to conduct glider tests. They settled on Kitty Hawk, an isolated village on North Carolina's Outer Banks, which offered steady winds and sand dunes from which to glide and land softly. Their first glider, tested in 1900, performed poorly, but a new design, tested in 1901, was more successful. Later that year, they built a wind tunnel where they tested nearly 200 wings and airframes of different shapes and designs. The brothers' systematic experimentations paid off--they flew hundreds of successful flights in their 1902 glider at Kill Devils Hills near Kitty Hawk. Their biplane glider featured a steering system, based on a movable rudder, that solved the problem of controlled flight. They were now ready for powered flight.

In Dayton, they designed a 12-horsepower internal combustion engine with the assistance of machinist Charles Taylor and built a new aircraft to house it. They transported their aircraft in pieces to Kitty Hawk in the autumn of 1903, assembled it, made a few further tests, and on December 14 Orville made the first attempt at powered flight. The engine stalled during take-off and the plane was damaged, and they spent three days repairing it. Then at 10:35 a.m. on December 17, in front of five witnesses, the aircraft ran down a monorail track and into the air, staying aloft for 12 seconds and flying 120 feet. The modern aviation age was born. Three more tests were made that day, with Wilbur and Orville alternately flying the airplane. Wilbur flew the last flight, covering 852 feet in 59 seconds.

During the next few years, the Wright brothers further developed their airplanes but kept a low profile about their successes in order to secure patents and contracts for their flying machines. By 1905, their aircraft could perform complex maneuvers and remain aloft for up to 39 minutes at a time. In 1908, they traveled to France and made their first public flights, arousing widespread public excitement. In 1909, the U.S. Army's Signal Corps purchased a specially constructed plane, and the brothers founded the Wright Company to build and market their aircraft. Wilbur Wright died of typhoid fever in 1912; Orville lived until 1948.

The historic Wright brothers' aircraft of 1903 is on permanent display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

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lvskyguy
Champion Author Las Vegas

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Message Posted: Dec 17, 2014 3:01:15 AM

1969 – Tiny Tim married Miss Vicky on The Tonight Show.
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Joisygal
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Dec 16, 2014 10:21:03 PM

1901 - "The Tale of Peter Rabbit," by Beatrix Potter, was printed for the first time.
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rjojo40AL
Champion Author Nevada

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Message Posted: Dec 16, 2014 11:09:14 AM

Dec 16, 1979: OPEC states raise oil prices.

On December 16, 1979, the night before the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' annual price-setting meeting in Caracas, two member states (Libya and Indonesia) announce plans to raise the price of their oil by $4 (Libya) and $2 (Indonesia) per barrel. (The resulting prices--$30 and $25.50 per barrel, respectively--were among the highest they had ever been.) These diplomatic maneuverings were intended to keep OPEC's "price hawks" from raising them even further; nevertheless, by the end of 1979 the cost of oil had more than doubled since the end of the previous year.

This price hike only exacerbated an energy crisis that had been going on since the beginning of 1979. An Iranian oil-field strike and the January revolution had disrupted oil supplies from that part of the Middle East, and an earlier OPEC fee increase had sent prices inching toward an all-time high. By the time the Iranian hostage crisis began in November, Americans were already dealing with the effects of this "oil shock": long lines and short tempers at gas pumps, panics over gasoline and heating oil shortages, and frustration with the inefficient, gas-guzzling vehicles manufactured by American automakers.

These inconveniences reminded many Americans of the oil crisis of 1973-1974, when an Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) embargo sent gasoline prices through the roof: By the time that embargo ended, the average retail price of gas had climbed to 84 cents per gallon from 38 cents per gallon. As a result, the big, heavy cars that American automakers were famous for became incredibly expensive to operate--many got fewer than 10 miles to every gallon of gas!--and many people traded their gas-guzzling muscle cars and gigantic luxury sedans for more fuel-efficient compact cars. This episode had not ended well for American carmakers, who had rushed some smaller cars to market without thoroughly checking them for problems and quirks, which in turn contributed to their growing reputation for unreliability and poor craftsmanship. Once the immediate crisis had subsided, most of those domestic compacts were left to languish on dealers' lots.

However, during the 1979 energy crisis, Japanese carmakers gained a reputation for building inexpensive, reliable, efficient cars that were particularly well-suited to the new era of austerity. That year, Datsun, Subaru, Toyota and Honda--whose Accord sedan was one of the most successful cars of 1979--all gained a permanent foothold in the American marketplace.
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cgstach
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Dec 16, 2014 9:37:09 AM

* 1773 - In Boston Harbor, a group of Massachusetts colonists disguised as Mohawk Indians board three British tea ships and dump 342 chests of tea into the harbor.

The midnight raid, popularly known as the "Boston Tea Party," was in protest of the British Parliament's Tea Act of 1773, a bill designed to save the faltering East India Company by greatly lowering its tea tax and granting it a virtual monopoly on the American tea trade. The low tax allowed the East India Company to undercut even tea smuggled into America by Dutch traders, and many colonists viewed the act as another example of taxation tyranny.

When three tea ships, the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and the Beaver, arrived in Boston Harbor, the colonists demanded that the tea be returned to England. After Massachusetts Governor Thomas Hutchinson refused, Patriot leader Samuel Adams organized the "tea party" with about 60 members of the Sons of Liberty, his underground resistance group. The British tea dumped in Boston Harbor on the night of December 16 was valued at some $18,000.

Parliament, outraged by the blatant destruction of British property, enacted the Coercive Acts, also known as the Intolerable Acts, in 1774. The Coercive Acts closed Boston to merchant shipping, established formal British military rule in Massachusetts, made British officials immune to criminal prosecution in America, and required colonists to quarter British troops. The colonists subsequently called the first Continental Congress to consider a united American resistance to the British.

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WES03
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Dec 16, 2014 8:27:10 AM

1944 - The Battle of the Bulge began.
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lvskyguy
Champion Author Las Vegas

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Message Posted: Dec 16, 2014 3:04:06 AM

1979 – British Airways Concorde landed in London from New York in 2 hours 58 minutes at a speed of 1,172 mph.
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rjojo40AL
Champion Author Nevada

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Message Posted: Dec 15, 2014 11:38:06 AM

1944-Band leader Glenn Miller disappeared in a plane crash over the English Channel.
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Maintroll
Champion Author Lexington

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Message Posted: Dec 15, 2014 9:46:43 AM

It was almost my birthday.
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cgstach
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Dec 15, 2014 9:35:18 AM

* 1791 - Virginia becomes the last state to ratify the Bill of Rights, making the first ten amendments to the Constitution law and completing the revolutionary reforms begun by the Declaration of Independence. Before the Massachusetts ratifying convention would accept the Constitution, which they finally did in February 1788, the document's Federalist supporters had to promise to create a Bill of Rights to be amended to the Constitution immediately upon the creation of a new government under the document.

The Anti-Federalist critics of the document, who were afraid that a too-strong federal government would become just another sort of the monarchical regime from which they had recently been freed, believed that the Constitution gave too much power to the federal government by outlining its rights but failing to delineate the rights of the individuals living under it. The promise of a Bill of Rights to do just that helped to assuage the Anti-Federalists' concerns.

The newly elected Congress drafted the Bill of Rights on December 25, 1789. Virginia's ratification on this day in 1791 created the three-fourths majority necessary for the ten amendments to become law. Drafted by James Madison and loosely based on Virginia's Declaration of Rights, the first ten amendments give the following rights to all United States citizens:

1.Freedom of religion, speech and assembly
2.Right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of a well-regulated militia
3.No forcible quartering of soldiers during peacetime
4.Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure
5.Right to a grand jury for capital crimes and due process. Protection from double jeopardy, self-incrimination and public confiscation of private property without just compensation.
6.Right to speedy and public trial by jury and a competent defense
7.Right to trial by jury for monetary cases above $20
8.Protection against excessive bail or fines and cruel and unusual punishments
9.Rights not enumerated are retained by the people
10.Rights not given to the federal government or prohibited the state governments by the Constitution, are reserved to the States... or to the people

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lvskyguy
Champion Author Las Vegas

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Message Posted: Dec 15, 2014 3:03:35 AM

1939 – Gone With the Wind premiered in Atlanta, Georgia at Loew’s Grand Theatre. All stars in the film were in attendance except for the African American actors who were excluded from the premier. This was due to the Jim Crow Laws which prevented them from attending and sitting with white members of the cast. Clark Gable had threatened to boycott the Premier, but Hattie McDaniel (who played Mammy, the House Servant) convinced him to attend.
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rjojo40AL
Champion Author Nevada

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Message Posted: Dec 14, 2014 10:53:05 AM

1967-DNA synthesized for the first time.
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cgstach
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Dec 14, 2014 10:01:48 AM

* 1909 - Workers place the last of the 3.2 million 10-pound bricks that pave the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana (a town surrounded by the city of Indianapolis). Since then, most of that brick has been buried under asphalt, but one yard remains exposed at the start-finish line. Kissing those bricks after a successful race remains a tradition among Indy drivers.

In 1908, the auto-headlight mogul and race promoter Carl Fisher decided to build a five-mile track that would give carmakers a safe place to test and show off their vehicles. He signed up three partners and bought 320 acres of farmland on the edge of Indianapolis, across the street from his Prest-O-Lite headlight factory. The original plans for Fisher's "motor parkway" called for a three-mile "outer" loop and a two-mile course through the infield, but they were hastily redrawn when someone pointed out that such a long track would not fit on the parcel unless all the grandstands along the straightaways were eliminated. As a compromise, Fisher and his construction superintendent decided to build a 2.5-mile banked oval with grandstands on all sides.

Instead of the concrete surface that other racecourse builders were using, Fisher covered his track with a sticky amalgam of gravel, limestone, tar, and 220,000 gallons of asphaltum oil. For months, 500 workers and 300 mules laid layer after layer of the gooey mixture on the Indy loop and pulled steamrollers across it, pressing the roadway into a solid mass.

In August 1909, the Indy speedway was ready to open. The first race at the new Motor Speedway, a motorcycle race on August 13, was a disaster: the new track was so abrasive that it popped everyone's tires, and workers had to take a few days to sand it down before the event could continue. Even after that, the rack was still a mess: As racecar teams arrived at the speedway to prepare for the 300-mile Wheeler-Schibler race, one historian reported, "drivers were quickly covered with dirt, oil, and tar...the track surface disintegrated in the turns, [and] flying gravel shattered goggles and bloodied cheeks. Driving at Indy was like flying through a meteor shower."

On the first day of that first car race, driver Wilford Bacuque and his mechanic were killed when their Knox flipped over and bounced into a fence post. Then, three more people died when driver Charlie Merz shredded a tire and went flying into the stands. After AAA threatened a boycott, Fisher agreed to suspend all races at the Indy track until he could put down a safer surface.

He decided on bricks because traction tests confirmed that they were less slippery than gravel and sturdier than concrete. When the "Brickyard" opened, it was much less dangerous than it had been, and only seven people were killed there between 1909 and 1919. The speedway kept its brick track for nearly 50 years. Today, the speedway has an asphalt surface.

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drillintheUSA
Champion Author Rochester

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Message Posted: Dec 14, 2014 6:11:50 AM

On Dec. 12th, (sorry - 2 days late on this;), 1531. The apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Blessed Virgin Mary) to Juan Diego, occurred on four separate occasions in December 1531 on the hill of Tepeyac north of central Mexico City.

The basilica built on the site, sees approx. 22 million visitors a year. More than any other religious place on the planet.

In contrast, Graceland (Memphis, TN), which everyone seems to know of, sees on ave. only 600,000 visitors a year.

Check it out this Christmas Season: http://infallible-catholic.blogspot.com/2012/04/miraculous-image-of-our-lady-of.html
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lvskyguy
Champion Author Las Vegas

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Message Posted: Dec 14, 2014 3:12:25 AM

1903 – Orville and Wilbur Wright tested their first flight with the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. This powered flight lasted three seconds, stalling after takeoff.
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rjojo40AL
Champion Author Nevada

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Message Posted: Dec 13, 2014 10:51:06 AM

1978-The U.S. Mint began stamping the Susan B. Anthony dollar, the first U.S. coin honoring a woman.

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nraacct
Champion Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Dec 13, 2014 10:35:43 AM

2014 – "12/13/14", the last sequential date until Jan. 2, 2034, "1/2/34" in M/D/Y format, and the last occurrence of this date of the 21st century.
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cgstach
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Dec 13, 2014 8:01:28 AM

* 2003 - After spending nine months on the run, former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is captured on this day in 2003. Saddam's downfall began on March 20, 2003, when the United States led an invasion force into Iraq to topple his government, which had controlled the country for more than 20 years.

Saddam Hussein was born into a poor family in Tikrit, 100 miles outside of Baghdad, in 1937. After moving to Baghdad as a teenager, Saddam joined the now-infamous Baath party, which he would later lead. He participated in several coup attempts, finally helping to install his cousin as dictator of Iraq in July 1968. Saddam took over for his cousin 11 years later. During his 24 years in office, Saddam's secret police, charged with protecting his power, terrorized the public, ignoring the human rights of the nation's citizens. While many of his people faced poverty, he lived in incredible luxury, building more than 20 lavish palaces throughout the country. Obsessed with security, he is said to have moved among them often, always sleeping in secret locations.

In the early 1980s, Saddam involved his country in an eight-year war with Iran, which is estimated to have taken more than a million lives on both sides. He is alleged to have used nerve agents and mustard gas on Iranian soldiers during the conflict, as well as chemical weapons on Iraq's own Kurdish population in northern Iraq in 1988. After he invaded Kuwait in 1990, a U.S.-led coalition invaded Iraq in 1991, forcing the dictator's army to leave its smaller neighbor, but failing to remove Saddam from power. Throughout the 1990s, Saddam faced both U.N. economic sanctions and air strikes aimed at crippling his ability to produce chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. With Iraq continuing to face allegations of illegal oil sales and weapons-building, the United States again invaded the country in March 2003, this time with the expressed purpose of ousting Saddam and his regime.

Despite proclaiming in early March 2003 that, "it is without doubt that the faithful will be victorious against aggression," Saddam went into hiding soon after the American invasion, speaking to his people only through an occasional audiotape, and his government soon fell. After declaring Saddam the most important of a list of his regime's 55 most-wanted members, the United States began an intense search for the former leader and his closest advisors. On July 22, 2003, Saddam's sons, Uday and Qusay, who many believe he was grooming to one day fill his shoes, were killed when U.S. soldiers raided a villa in which they were staying in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

Five months later, on December 13, 2003, U.S. soldiers found Saddam Hussein hiding in a six-to-eight-foot deep hole, nine miles outside his hometown of Tikrit. The man once obsessed with hygiene was found to be unkempt, with a bushy beard and matted hair. He did not resist and was uninjured during the arrest. A soldier at the scene described him as "a man resigned to his fate."

Saddam is now in Iraqi custody with U.S. security and faces trial in front of a special tribunal on several criminal cases pending against him. The first began in October 2005. On November 5 of the next year, he was found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging. After an unsuccessful appeal, he was executed on December 30, 2006. Despite a prolonged search, weapons of mass destruction were never found in Iraq.

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Joisygal
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Message Posted: Dec 12, 2014 6:13:50 PM

1997 - The U.S. Justice Department ordered Microsoft to sell its Internet browser separately from its Windows operating system to prevent it from building a monopoly of Web access programs.
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rjojo40AL
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Message Posted: Dec 12, 2014 10:27:49 AM

1998-The House Judiciary Committee approved a fourth and final article of impeachment against President Clinton.
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cgstach
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Message Posted: Dec 12, 2014 9:34:56 AM

* 2000 - General Motors declares that it will begin to phase out the 103-year-old Oldsmobile, the oldest automotive brand in the United States. Oldsmobile had once been one of the most venerable and innovative American brands--Olds cars were the first to have decorative chrome trim, for example, and the first to have fully automatic transmissions--but a GM reorganization in the mid-1980s had drained the brand of most of its unique identity.

Lansing native Ransom Eli Olds created the Olds Motor Works in 1897. Ten years before (reportedly because he did not like the smell of horses), he had built a steam-powered car. After a factory fire destroyed 10 of his 11 prototypes, Olds focused on trying to perfect--and sell--the only car he had left: the small Curved Dash runabout. He was successful: the runabout soon became the nation's most popular automobile.

In 1904, the Curved Dash became the first mass-produced car in the United States. That same year, Olds investors ousted the company's founder. (Ransom Olds wanted to keep on mass-producing inexpensive cars that ordinary people could buy, while the investors wanted to build pricey luxury automobiles.) Four years later, Olds Motor Works merged with Buick to become General Motors. Within GM, Olds was known as the "technology division": it pioneered V-8 engines in 1915, chrome plating in 1926, the Hydra-Matic automatic transmission in 1937, and the Rocket V-8 in 1949.

Olds (it became Oldsmobile in 1942) was the most middlebrow of the GM "ladder of brands," squeezed between mass-market Chevrolet and Pontiac and luxury Cadillac and Buick. Despite a new slogan--"This is not your father's Oldsmobile"--that debuted in the 1980s after the GM reorganization, buyers eventually began to lose interest in the brand's offerings. The brand was also notoriously slow to react to trends: for instance, it was one of the last American carmakers to add sport utility vehicles--the most popular and profitable cars of the 1990s--to its lineup.

In 2004, four years after GM made its announcement, the phase-out of Oldsmobile was complete. That April, the last Oldsmobile--a cherry-red Alero--rolled off the Lansing assembly line and went straight to the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum nearby, where you can see it today.

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lvskyguy
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Message Posted: Dec 12, 2014 3:30:35 AM

1917 – Father Flannigan founded Boys Town in Nebraska.
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Joisygal
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Message Posted: Dec 11, 2014 11:15:30 PM

1719 - The first recorded sighting of the aurora borealis took place in New England.
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rjojo40AL
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Message Posted: Dec 11, 2014 10:34:27 AM

1901 - Guglielmo Marconi, the Italian electrical inventor, sends the first transatlantic radio signal.
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cgstach
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Message Posted: Dec 11, 2014 9:13:45 AM

* 1872 - Already appearing as a well-known figure of the Wild West in popular dime novels, Buffalo Bill Cody makes his first stage appearance on this day, in a Chicago-based production of The Scouts of the Prairie.

Unlike many of his imitators in Wild West shows and movies, William Frederick Cody actually played an important role in the western settlement that he later romanticized and celebrated. Born in Iowa in 1846, Cody joined the western messenger service of Majors and Russell as a rider while still in his teens. He later rode for the famous Pony Express, during which time he completed the third longest emergency ride in the brief history of that company. During the Civil War, Cody joined forces with a variety of irregular militia groups supporting the North. In 1864, he enlisted in the Union army as a private and served as a cavalry teamster until 1865.

Cody began to earn his famous nickname in 1867, when he signed on to provide buffalo meat for the workers of the Eastern Division of the Union Pacific Railroad construction project. His reputation for skilled marksmanship and experience as a rapid-delivery messenger attracted the attention of U.S. Army Lieutenant General Philip Sheridan, who gave Cody an unusual four-year position as a scout-a testament to Cody's extraordinary frontier skills.

Cody's work as a scout in the western Indian wars laid the foundation for his later fame. From 1868 to 1872, he fought in 16 battles with Indians, participating in a celebrated victory over the Cheyenne in 1869. One impressed general praised Cody's "extraordinarily good services as trailer and fighter... his marksmanship being very conspicuous." Later, Cody again gained national attention by serving as a hunting guide for famous Europeans and Americans eager to experience a bit of the "Wild West" before it disappeared. As luck would have it, one of Cody's customers was Edward Judson, a successful writer who penned popular dime novels under the name Ned Buntline. Impressed by his young guide's calm competence and stories of dramatic fights with Indians, Buntline made Cody the hero of a highly imaginative Wild West novel published in 1869. When a stage version of the novel debuted in Chicago as The Scouts of the Prairie, Buntline convinced Cody to abandon his real-life western adventures to play a highly exaggerated version of himself in the play.

Once he had a taste of the performing life, Cody never looked back. Though he continued to spend time scouting or guiding hunt trips in the West, Cody remained on the Chicago stage for the next 11 years. Buffalo Bill Cody was the hero of more than 1,700 variant issues of dime novels, and his star shone even more brightly when his world-famous Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show debuted in 1883. The show was still touring when Buffalo Bill Cody died in 1917.

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lvskyguy
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Message Posted: Dec 11, 2014 3:01:22 AM

1946 – UNICEF was established, The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. It was created by Ludwik Rajchman to provide emergency food and healthcare to children in countries devastated by World War II.
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Joisygal
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Message Posted: Dec 10, 2014 11:32:24 PM

1998 - Six astronauts opened the doors to the new international space station 250 miles above the Earth's surface.
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rjojo40AL
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Message Posted: Dec 10, 2014 10:32:45 AM

1999-Los Alamos scientist Wen Ho Lee was arrested and charged with stealing classified information.
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cgstach
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Message Posted: Dec 10, 2014 9:13:47 AM

* 1901 - The first Nobel Prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace. The ceremony came on the fifth anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor of dynamite and other high explosives. In his will, Nobel directed that the bulk of his vast fortune be placed in a fund in which the interest would be "annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind." Although Nobel offered no public reason for his creation of the prizes, it is widely believed that he did so out of moral regret over the increasingly lethal uses of his inventions in war.

Alfred Bernhard Nobel was born in Stockholm in 1833, and four years later his family moved to Russia. His father ran a successful St. Petersburg factory that built explosive mines and other military equipment. Educated in Russia, Paris, and the United States, Alfred Nobel proved a brilliant chemist. When his father's business faltered after the end of the Crimean War, Nobel returned to Sweden and set up a laboratory to experiment with explosives. In 1863, he invented a way to control the detonation of nitroglycerin, a highly volatile liquid that had been recently discovered but was previously regarded as too dangerous for use. Two years later, Nobel invented the blasting cap, an improved detonator that inaugurated the modern use of high explosives. Previously, the most dependable explosive was black powder, a form of gunpowder.

Nitroglycerin remained dangerous, however, and in 1864 Nobel's nitroglycerin factory blew up, killing his younger brother and several other people. Searching for a safer explosive, Nobel discovered in 1867 that the combination of nitroglycerin and a porous substance called kieselguhr produced a highly explosive mixture that was much safer to handle and use. Nobel christened his invention "dynamite," for the Greek word dynamis, meaning "power." Securing patents on dynamite, Nobel acquired a fortune as humanity put his invention to use in construction and warfare.

In 1875, Nobel created a more powerful form of dynamite, blasting gelatin, and in 1887 introduced ballistite, a smokeless nitroglycerin powder. Around that time, one of Nobel's brothers died in France, and French newspapers printed obituaries in which they mistook him for Alfred. One headline read, "The merchant of death is dead." Alfred Nobel in fact had pacifist tendencies and in his later years apparently developed strong misgivings about the impact of his inventions on the world. After he died in San Remo, Italy, on December 10, 1896, the majority of his estate went toward the creation of prizes to be given annually in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace. The portion of his will establishing the Nobel Peace Prize read, "[one award shall be given] to the person who has done the most or best work for fraternity among nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses." Exactly five years after his death, the first Nobel awards were presented.

Today, the Nobel Prizes are regarded as the most prestigious awards in the world in their various fields. Notable winners have included Marie Curie, Theodore Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, George Bernard Shaw, Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway, Martin Luther King, Jr., the Dalai Lama, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Nelson Mandela. Multiple leaders and organizations sometimes receive the Nobel Peace Prize, and multiple researchers often share the scientific awards for their joint discoveries. In 1968, a Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science was established by the Swedish national bank, Sveriges Riksbank, and first awarded in 1969.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences decides the prizes in physics, chemistry, and economic science; the Swedish Royal Caroline Medico-Surgical Institute determines the physiology or medicine award; the Swedish Academy chooses literature; and a committee elected by the Norwegian parliament awards the peace prize. The Nobel Prizes are still presented annually on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death. In 2006, each Nobel Prize carried a cash prize of nearly $1,400,000 and recipients also received a gold medal, as is the tradition.

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lvskyguy
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Message Posted: Dec 10, 2014 3:15:41 AM

1967 - Otis Redding was killed in a plane crash four miles from Truax Field in Madison, Wisconsin. Otis and his group were to do a concert at the Factory, a nightclub near the University of Wisconsin. Redding died just 3 days after recording ‘Dock of the Bay.’ He is entombed at his ranch in Round Oak in Georgia.
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Joisygal
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Message Posted: Dec 9, 2014 11:37:53 PM

1907 - Christmas Seals went on sale for the first time, in the Wilmington, Delaware, post office.
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rjojo40AL
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Message Posted: Dec 9, 2014 11:01:04 AM

1958-The anti-Communist John Birch Society was formed.
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cgstach
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Message Posted: Dec 9, 2014 8:27:25 AM

* 1992 - 1,800 United States Marines arrive in Mogadishu, Somalia, to spearhead a multinational force aimed at restoring order in the conflict-ridden country.

Following centuries of colonial rule by countries including Portugal, Britain and Italy, Mogadishu became the capital of an independent Somalia in 1960. Less than 10 years later, a military group led by Major General Muhammad Siad Barre seized power and declared Somalia a socialist state. A drought in the mid-1970s combined with an unsuccessful rebellion by ethnic Somalis in a neighboring province of Ethiopia to deprive many of food and shelter. By 1981, close to 2 million of the country's inhabitants were homeless. Though a peace accord was signed with Ethiopia in 1988, fighting increased between rival clans within Somalia, and in January 1991 Barre was forced to flee the capital. Over the next 23 months, Somalia's civil war killed some 50,000 people; another 300,000 died of starvation as United Nations peacekeeping forces struggled in vain to restore order and provide relief amid the chaos of war.

In early December 1992, outgoing U.S. President George H.W. Bush sent the contingent of Marines to Mogadishu as part of a mission dubbed Operation Restore Hope. Backed by the U.S. troops, international aid workers were soon able to restore food distribution and other humanitarian aid operations. Sporadic violence continued, including the murder of 24 U.N. soldiers from Pakistan in 1993. As a result, the U.N. authorized the arrest of General Mohammed Farah Aidid, leader of one of the rebel clans. On October 3, 1993, during an attempt to make the arrest, rebels shot down two of the U.S. Army's Black Hawk helicopters and killed 18 American soldiers.

As horrified TV viewers watched images of the bloodshed—-including footage of Aidid's supporters dragging the body of one dead soldier through the streets of Mogadishu, cheering—-President Bill Clinton immediately gave the order for all American soldiers to withdraw from Somalia by March 31, 1994. Other Western nations followed suit. When the last U.N. peacekeepers left in 1995, ending a mission that had cost more than $2 billion, Mogadishu still lacked a functioning government. A ceasefire accord signed in Kenya in 2002 failed to put a stop to the violence, and though a new parliament was convened in 2004, rival factions in various regions of Somalia continue to struggle for control of the troubled nation.

OOORAH!!
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lvskyguy
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Message Posted: Dec 9, 2014 3:05:50 AM

1965 –‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ debuted on CBS. It was the first in a series of ‘Peanuts’ television specials.
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Joisygal
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Message Posted: Dec 8, 2014 11:50:11 PM

1952 - On the show "I Love Lucy," a pregnancy was acknowledged in a TV show for the first time.
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rjojo40AL
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Message Posted: Dec 8, 2014 9:35:07 AM

1993-President Bill Clinton signed The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) into law.
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cgstach
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Message Posted: Dec 8, 2014 9:25:55 AM

* 1941 - President Franklin Roosevelt asks Congress to declare war on Japan in perhaps the most memorable speech of his career. The speech, in which he called Japan's act a "deliberate deception," received thunderous applause from Congress and, soon after, the United States officially entered the Second World War.

The day before, Japanese pilots had bombed the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, decimating the majority of U.S. warships in the Pacific Fleet along with most of the Air Corps and Navy aircraft stationed on the island of Oahu. The bombing raids killed 2,403 people, including 68 civilians, and wounded almost 1,200.

Although Roosevelt and his advisors had received intelligence reports indicating an imminent attack by Japan days before, he had hoped that Japanese and American diplomats, then negotiating in Washington, would come to a peaceful solution. He was incensed to realize that while American and Japanese diplomats engaged in negotiations (over Japan's recent military actions in China and elsewhere in the Pacific), Japanese aircraft carriers had been steaming toward Hawaii intent on attack. His words on December 8 relayed his personal indignation and fury.

Roosevelt had already proven his oratorical skills during the Great Depression when his "fireside chats" rallied the nation's morale. The same president who once said "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself" declared with equal conviction that the nation "would never forget the character of [Japan's] onslaught against us" and vowed that the "unbounding determination of our people... will gain the inevitable triumph—so help us God."

The stirring speech was hardly necessary—Congress and millions of Americans, who had been hearing details of the attack in the news, shared the president's outrage and commitment to defending the nation. Young men flocked to armed forces recruiting stations the next day and both houses of Congress quickly voted to declare war on Japan, with only one dissenting vote
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