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Nichole Timmons^  On a 20 August:

2002 Nichole Taylor Timmons, 10 [photo >], is found missing from her bedroom at 07:00, by her divorced mother, in Riverside, California. During the day a caller tells investigators that he has just seen together with a family friend, one of her former baby sitters, Glenn Park, 68. Five hours after a California “Amber Alert” is issued, tribal police at the Warker River Indian Reservation in Nevada spot Parks' truck, on US 95 some 500 km north of Riverside, stop it, and rescue Nichole.

2000 Elections in Chiapas. For the first time in living memory the PRI candidate is expected to lose. 8 opposition parties are united behind one candidate for governor.
2000 Russian parliamentary elections in Chechnya. Insisting that the independence-seeking Chechen Republic is an integral part of the Russian Federation, the Putin regime is conducting a show of elections, in which the occupying Russian troops have the vote, and the candidates are considered traitors by the legitimate Chechen authorities, which are at present reduced to guerilla warfare.
2000 Verizon Communications and unions representing 50'000 workers reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year-contract as a two-week strike neared an end.

1999 Chechnya war: Russian artillery pounding rebel strongholds in the Botlikh region, Russian Deputy Interior Minister Zubov admits use of artillery and air strikes is not effective enough but rules out direct assault for fear of losses — http://www.cdi.org/issues/Europe/aug.html
^ 1998 US cruise missiles hit alleged bin Ladin assets.
      The 07 August 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed 224 persons, including 12 US citizens, occurred just after a six month period in which Osama bin Ladin had issued repeated and open threats, including a February 1998 pronouncement calling for the killing of US civilians and servicemen worldwide.
      On 20 August 1998, the US launches cruise missiles on bin Ladin’s training camps in eastern Afghanistan, based on US evidence of his network’s involvement in the bombings.
      US cruise missiles also strikes Al Shifa, a pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum. US intelligence claims that Al Shifa is producing chemical weapons agents for bin Laden. The Sudanese government vehemently denied these claims.
      US officials announce that the US strikes are intended to disrupt planning for a new attack.
      For their alleged role in the 07 August bombings, 17 alleged members of the fundamentalist Islamic terrorist syndicate al-Qaida would be indicted by a US court, including its head, bin Ladin. Four of the six in US custody have been tried and convicted; three are in custody in Britain.
     The US adds bin Laden's name to list of terrorists whose funds are targeted for seizure by US Treasury in order to shut down the financial pipelines that allegedly subsidize bin Laden's terrorist activities.
     On 23 September 1998, US senior officials would admit that they had no evidence that directly linked bin Laden to the Al Shifa factory at the time of retaliatory strikes on 20 August. But intelligence officials found financial transactions between bin Laden and the Military Industrial Corporation — a company run by the Sudan's government.
1996 US President Bill Clinton approves the first minimum-wage increase in five years, raising the hourly minimum by 90 cents to $5.15 per hour over 13 months.
^ 1996 Netscape escalates browser wars.
      Just ten days after Microsoft shipped its first Web browser, Netscape released a letter they had sent to the Justice Department earlier in the month alleging that Microsoft had sought to gain an unfair advantage by offering computer makers and Internet service providers improper payments and other incentives to use Internet Explorer instead of Netscape Navigator. Microsoft denied the allegations, but the question of Microsoft's tactics in promoting Internet Explorer came under heavy scrutiny in the Justice Department's 1998 antitrust suit against Microsoft.
1995 Los líderes de todas las facciones implicadas en la guerra de Liberia firman un acuerdo de alto el fuego y la vuelta a la democracia.
1994 Benjamin Chavis Jr. was fired as head of the NAACP after a turbulent 16-month tenure.
1992 El Parlamento jordano legaliza el multipartidismo, en la primera reunión de ambas cámaras en 28 años.
1991 More than 100'000 people rally outside the Russian Parliament building as protests against the Soviet coup increase.
1991 El Soviet Supremo de Estonia proclama su independencia de la URSS.
1991 The Mazda Motor Corporation of Japan announces that it plans to enter the luxury car market in 1994 with the Amati. Several other high-end brands from Japan had already been introduced: Lexus, Infiniti, and Acura.
1990 Iraq moves Western hostages to military installations (human shields).
1990 Sadam Husein declara a Kuwait provincia iraquí y da la orden de cierre de todas las embajadas occidentales en el emirato.
1989 El marroquí Said Aouita logra su quinto récord mundial, el de los 3000 ms., en 7.29.45 minutos, en los Campeonatos de Colonia.
1988 A cease-fire ends the Iran-Iraq war started on 22 September 1980, after Iran accepted on 18 July United Nations Security Council Resolution 598.
1985 Iran-Contra: Israel ships 96 TOW missiles to Iran on behalf of the US.
1985 Hanspeter Beck of South Australia, finishes a 6236~km, 51~day trip from Western Australia to Melbourne on a unicycle.
1982 Se aprueba el Estatuto de Autonomía de Aragón.
^ 1982 US Marines begin peacekeeping mission to Lebanon.
      During the Lebanese Civil War, a multinational force featuring eight hundred US Marines lands in Beirut to oversee the Palestinian withdrawal from Lebanon. It is the beginning of a problem-plagued mission that would stretch into eighteen months and leave some 250 Marines dead.
      In 1975, a bloody civil war erupted in Lebanon, with Palestinian and leftist Muslim guerillas battling militias of the Christian Phalange Party, the Maronite Christian community, and other groups. Over the next few years, Syrian, Israeli, and United Nations interventions failed to resolve the factional fighting, and on 20 August 1982, a multinational force featuring US Marines landed. The Marines left Lebanese territory on 10 September, but returned on 29 September following the massacre of Palestinian refugees by a Christian militia.
     The next day, the first US Marine to die during the mission was killed while defusing a bomb, and on 18 April 1983, the US embassy in Beirut was devastated by a car bomb, killing sixty-three people, including seventeen from the US. Then, on 23 October 1983, Lebanese terrorists evaded security measures and drove a truck packed with explosives into the US Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 241 US military personnel. Fifty-eight French soldiers were killed the same evening in a separate suicide terrorist attack. On 07 February 1984, US President Ronald Reagan announced the end of US participation in the peacekeeping force, and, on 26 February, the last US Marines left the war-torn Lebanese capital.
1980 Reinhold Messner of Italy is 1st to solo ascent Mt Everest
1980 UN Security Council condemns (14-0, US abstains) Israeli declaration that all of Jerusalem is its capital
1980 Se declara el estado de emergencia en Lima ante la nueva campaña de los guerrilleros de Sendero Luminoso.
1979 Swimmer Diana Nyad succeeds in her third attempt at swimming from the Bahamas to Florida.
1977 The US launches unmanned spacecraft Voyager 2 carrying a 12-inch copper phonograph record containing greetings in dozens of languages, samples of music, and sounds of nature.
1975 Mars probe is launched.
      Viking 1, an unmanned US planetary probe, was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a mission to Mars. On 19 June 1976, the spacecraft entered into an orbit around Mars, and devoted the next month to imaging the Martian surface with the purpose of finding an appropriate landing site for its lander. On 20 July the seventh anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, the Viking 1 lander separated from the orbiter and touched down on the Chryse Planitia region, becoming the first spacecraft to successfully land on the surface of Mars. The same day, the craft sent back the first close-up photographs of the rust-colored Martian surface. In September of 1976, Viking 2, launched only three weeks after Viking 1 in 1975, entered into orbit around Mars, where it assisted Viking 1 in imaging the surface and also sent down a lander. During the dual Viking missions, the two orbiters imaged the entire surface of Mars at a resolution of 150 to 300 meters, and the two landers sent back over 1400 images of the planet's surface.
1974 Nolan Ryan pitch measured at record 161.6 k/h
^ 1974 Vietnam: 1974 Military aid to Saigon slashed In the wake of Nixon's resignation, Congress reduces military aid to South Vietnam from $1 billion to $700 million. This was one of several actions that signaled the North Vietnamese that the United States was backing away from its commitment to South Vietnam.
1971 Vietnam:Minh and Ky withdraw from presidential race General Duong Van Minh and Vice President Nguyen Cao Ky, 40, both candidates for the October presidential election, accuse incumbent President Nguyen Van Thieu, 48, of rigging the election and withdraw from the race.
1971 The Cambodian military starts a series of attacks against the Khmer Rouge.
1971 FBI begins covert investigation of journalist Daniel Schorr, who is targeted by the Nixon administration because of his critical reporting of the president's handling of the situation in Vietnam.
^ 1968 Soviets invade Czechoslovakia:
      Alexander Dubcek, 46, leader of Czechoslovakia, is forced to abandon his liberal reforms as 650'000 Warsaw Pact troops invade his nation just before midnight. Dubcek's efforts to establish "communism with a human face" had been celebrated across the country, and the brief period of freedom was known as the "Prague Spring." When the Soviet invasion came, Prague was not eager to give way, but scattered student resistance was no match for the Soviet tanks. Dubcek's reforms were repealed and the leader himself was replaced with the staunchly pro-Soviet Gustav Husak, 55, who reestablished an authoritarian Communist regime in the country.
     In the face of rising anti-Soviet protests in Czechoslovakia, Soviet troops (backed by troops from other Warsaw Pact nations) intervene to crush the protest and restore subservience to the USSR. The brutal Soviet action shocked the West and dealt a devastating blow to US-Soviet relations.
      The troubles in Czechoslovakia began when Alexander Dubcek took over as secretary general of the nation's Communist Party in January 1968. It was immediately apparent that Dubcek wanted a major overhaul of Czechoslovakia's political and economic system — he called his particular ideology "Socialism with a human face." He called for greater political freedom, including more participation by noncommunist parties.
      Dubcek also pressed for economic policies that would ensure less state control and more reliance on free market economics. Finally, he insisted on greater freedom from Soviet domination, although he reiterated his nation's allegiance to the Warsaw Pact, the Soviet bloc's counterpart to NATO.
      Dubcek's policies shocked the Soviets and leaders in other Eastern European nations. Throughout early and mid-1968, negotiations took place between Dubcek and representatives from Russia and other Soviet bloc nations in an attempt to have the Czechoslovakian leader soften his reforms. Dubcek refused, and tensions with the Soviet Union steadily increased. Meanwhile, the sudden atmosphere of freedom that Dubcek was encouraging took root, and Czech citizens embraced and celebrated the new tolerance for free exchange of ideas and open discussion in what came to be known as the "Prague Spring."
      On the night of 20 August 1968, more than 200'000 Warsaw Pact soldiers crossed into Czechoslovakia and headed for Prague. In just over a day, the entire country was occupied; within a week nearly three-quarters of a million foreign troops were in Czechoslovakia. Anti-Soviet riots broke out in Prague, but these were viciously crushed and thousands of Czechs fled the country.
      The Soviet action in August 1968 shocked the West. Not since 1956, when Soviet troops intervened in Hungary, had the Russian government resorted to such force to bring one of its communist allies into line with its own policies.
      The Czech invasion was particularly damaging to US-Soviet relations. In June 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson met with Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin to begin discussions related to a number of issues, including arms control. It was agreed that Johnson would visit the Soviet Union in October 1968 to continue the talks. The Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia caused Johnson to cancel his visit abruptly.
—      On the night of 20 August 1968, approximately 200'000 Warsaw Pact troops and 5000 tanks invade Czechoslovakia to crush the "Prague Spring" — a brief period of liberalization in the communist country. Czechoslovakians protested the invasion with public demonstrations and other non-violent tactics, but they were no match for the Soviet tanks. The liberal reforms of First Secretary Alexander Dubcek were repealed and "normalization" began under his successor Gustav Husak.
      Pro-Soviet communists seized control of Czechoslovakia's democratic government in 1948. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin imposed his will on Czechoslovakia's communist leaders, and the country was run as a Stalinist state until 1964, when a gradual trend toward liberalization began. However, modest economic reform was not enough for many Czechoslovakians, and beginning in 1966 students and intellectuals began to agitate for changes to education and an end to censorship. First Secretary Antonín Novotný's problems were made worse by opposition from Slovakian leaders, among them Alexander Dubcek and Gustav Husak, who accused the central government of being dominated by Czechs.
      In January 1968, Novotný was replaced as first secretary by Alexander Dubcek, who was unanimously elected by the Czechoslovakian Central Committee. To secure his power base, Dubcek appealed to the public to voice support for his proposed reforms. The response was overwhelming, and Czech and Slovak reformers took over the communist leadership.
      In April, the new leadership unveiled its "Action Program," promising democratic elections, greater autonomy for Slovakia, freedom of speech and religion, the abolition of censorship, an end to restrictions on travel, and major industrial and agricultural reforms. Dubcek declared that he was offering "socialism with a human face." The Czechoslovakian public greeted the reforms joyously, and Czechoslovakia's long stagnant national culture began to bloom during what became known as the Prague Spring. In late June, a much-signed petition called the "Two Thousand Words" was published calling for even more rapid progress to full democracy. The Soviet Union and its satellites Poland and East Germany were alarmed by what appeared to be the imminent collapse of communism in Czechoslovakia.
      Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev warned Dubcek to halt his reforms, but the Czechoslovakian leader was buoyed by his popularity and dismissed the veiled threats. Dubcek declined to attend a special meeting of the Warsaw Pact powers in July, but on August 2 he agreed to meet with Brezhnev in the Slovakian town of Cierná. The next day, representatives of European Europe's communist parties met in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava, and a communiqué was issued suggesting that pressure would be eased on Czechoslovakia in exchange for tighter control over the press.
      However, on the night of 20 August nearly 200'000 Soviet, East German, Polish, Hungarian, and Bulgarian troops invaded Czechoslovakia in the largest deployment of military force in Europe since the end of World War II. Armed resistance to the invasion was negligible, but protesters immediately took to the streets, tearing down streets signs in an effort to confuse the invaders. In Prague, Warsaw Pact troops moved to seize control of television and radio stations. At Radio Prague, journalists refused to give up the station and some 20 persons were killed before it was captured. Other stations went underground and succeeded in broadcasting for several days before their locations were discovered.
      Dubcek and other government leaders were detained and taken to Moscow. Meanwhile, widespread demonstrations continued on the street, and more than 100 protesters were shot to death by Warsaw Pact troops. Many foreign nations, including China, Yugoslavia, and Rumania, condemned the invasion, but no major international action was taken. Much of Czechoslovakia's intellectual and business elite fled en masse to the West.
      On 27 August, Dubcek returned to Prague and announced in an emotional address that he had agreed to curtail his reforms. Hard-line communists assumed positions in his government, and Dubcek was forced gradually to dismiss his progressive aides. He became increasingly isolated from both the public and his government. After anti-Soviet rioting broke out in April 1969, he was removed as first secretary and replaced by Gustav Husak, a "realist" who was willing to work with the Soviets. Dubcek was later expelled from the Communist Party and made a forest inspector based in Bratislava.
      In 1989, as communist governments collapsed across Eastern Europe, Prague again became the scene of demonstrations for democratic reform. In December 1989, Gustav Husak's government conceded to demands for a multiparty parliament. Husak resigned, and for the first time in nearly two decades Dubcek returned to politics as chairman of the new parliament, which subsequently elected playwright and former dissident Václav Havel as president of Czechoslovakia. Havel had come to fame during the Prague Spring, and after the Soviet crackdown his plays were banned and his passport confiscated.
1964 US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the anti-poverty Economic Opportunity Act (totaling nearly $1 billion)
1963 La ONU impone un alto el fuego entre Siria e Israel.
1960 Senegal breaks from the Mali federation; declaring independence
1960 USSR recovers 2 dogs; 1st living organisms to return from space
1957 USAF ballon breaks an altitude record at 31'000 m.
1955 La India clausura su legación en Goa y pide al Gobierno portugués que cierre sus consulados en territorio indio.
1955 First airplane to exceed 1800 mph (2897 k/h)—HA Hanes, Palmdale Ca
1954 Vietnam: US decides to support Diem.
     US President Eisenhower approves a National Security Council paper titled "Review of US Policy in the Far East." This paper supported Secretary of State Dulles' view that the United States should support Diem, while encouraging him to broaden his government and establish more democratic institutions. Ultimately, however, Diem would refuse to make any meaningful concessions or institute any significant new reforms and US support would be withdrawn. Diem would be assassinated during a coup by opposition generals on 02 November 1963.
1953 Russia publicly acknowledges hydrogen bomb test detonation
1949 Hungary (Magyar People's Republic) accepts constitution
1946 World War II civilian truck restrictions are lifted in the US
1944 II Guerra Mundial. El mariscal Pétain es arrestado por los alemanes y conducido a Belfort.
1944 United States and British forces close the pincers on German units in the Falaise-Argentan pocket in France.
^ 1944 British commando links with FFI
      60 British soldiers, commanded by Major Roy Farran, fight their way east from Rennes toward Orléans, through German-occupied forest, forcing the Germans to retreat and aiding the Résistance (Forces Française de l'Intérieur) in its struggle for liberation: Operation Wallace.
      The Germans had already lost their position in Normandy, and had retreated from southern France. Most of the German troops in the west were trapped-and were either being killed or taken prisoner — in what was called "the Falaise Pocket," a site around the eastern town of Falaise, which was encircled by the Allies. The Allies were also landing tens of thousands of men and vehicles in France, and the French Resistance was becoming more brazen every day.
      On the 19th, the French police force announced its loyalty to the Résistance cause by seizing the Prefecture de Police in Paris, raising the French flag, and singing the Marseillaise.
      Major Roy Farran, a veteran of the fighting in Italy, employed his British Special Air Service force to boldly burst eastward from Rennes to the region just north of Orléans through the German lines of defense in order to attack the enemy from within its own strongholds. Along the way, French Résistance fighters joined the battle with him. Farran was amazed by the strength of the French freedom fighters. Describing one Frenchwoman, Farran said, "Her smile ridiculed the bullets."
1941 Adolf Hitler authorizes the development of the V-2 missile.
1940 Radar is used for the first time, by the British during the Battle of Britain.
1940 British Prime Minister Winston Churchill says, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few" about the Royal Air Force fighter pilots in the Battle of Britain.
1940 British PM Churchill says of the Royal Air Force, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few"
^ 1940 Trotsky mortally wounded by assassin
     In Mexico City, exiled Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky is fatally wounded in the back of the head with an ice-axe by Ramón Mercader, a Spanish Communist and probably an agent of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.
      Lev Davidovich Bronstein, a Marxist born of Russian-Jewish parents in 1879, was first arrested for revolutionary activities in 1898. Two years later, he was exiled to Siberia, but in 1902 he escaped to England using a forged passport under the name of Leon Trotsky.
      In London, he collaborated with fellow Russian revolutionary Vladimir Ilyich Ivanov (Lenin). Expelled from several countries because of his radicalism, he lived in Switzerland, Paris, and New York City before returning to Russia at the outbreak of the Revolution in 1917. Trotsky played a leading role in the Bolshevik's seizure of power, and he was appointed Lenin's secretary of foreign affairs.
      In 1924 Lenin died and was succeeded by Joseph Stalin, who distrusted Trotsky and his calls for a continuing revolution that would inevitably result in the dismantling of the Soviet state. In 1927, Trotsky was expelled from the Communist party, and in 1929 was ordered to leave the USS.R. He lived in Turkey, France, and Norway, and in absentia was found guilty of treason during Stalin's purges of his political foes. Settling with his family in a suburb of Mexico City in 1939, he survived several assassination attempts before 20 August 1940. He would die from his wounds the next day.
1935 Kenneth Pike crosses into Mexico for the first time with Cameron Townsend, later to become a trail-blazing linguist and founder of the Summer Institute of Linguistics.
1930 Dumont's 1st TV broadcast for home reception (NYC)
1929 1st airship flight around the Earth flying eastward is completed.
1920 The first commercial radio station, owned by the Detroit News, begins broadcasting, in Detroit, with a show called Tonight's Dinner
1918 Britain opens offensive on Western front during World War I.
1914 Russia wins an early victory over Germany at Gumbinnen.
1914 German forces occupy Brussels, Belgium during WW I.
PègoudPègoud^ 1913 First parachuting from an aircraft
is accomplished by Adolphe Célestin Pègoud, 24, [photos] from 200 m above Buc, France (the plane, which he had been piloting, crashed). Less than a month later, he would become the first pilot to perform a loop (this is also claimed for Gustave Hamel, and for a Russian, Piotr Nesterov). Also in 1913, Pègoud became the first pilot to fly an aircraft in sustained inverted flight. During World War I, he was, on 31 August 1915, the first ace to be killed in aerial combat, shot down by a German two-seater piloted by his former student, Unteroffizier Kandulski.
      Pègoud was born on 15 June 1889. He got his pilot's licence (no. 1243) on 01 March 1913, at the Blériot Company.
      However, according to letsfindout.com,
Jacques Garnerin: The First Parachutist
      Leonardo da Vinci produced the first known parachute design in the 15th century and Montgolfier and other early balloonists experimented with their own styles. However, it was Jacques Garnerin who perfected the first practical parachute. Garnerin was a long-distance balloonist who flew missions for the French military and he was intrigued by military applications of the parachute. He tried a number of designs, testing them by tossing parachute-wearing dogs from his balloon at 1000 m. On 22 October 1797, he made the first human parachute jump.
1912 Plant Quarantine Act goes into effect in the US.
^ 1911 Around the world in 16 minutes: a telegram
      The New York Times sent the first around-the-world telegram via commercial service. The message reads ''This message sent around the world,'' and travels through 16 relays to the Azores, Bombay, the Philippine Islands, Guam, Honolulu, and San Francisco. The message, which traveled more than 45'000 km, takes about 16 minutes to transmit.
1908 Congo Free State becomes the Belgian Congo
1908 The American Great White Fleet arrives in Sydney, Australia, to a warm welcome.
1904 El Salvador, Honduras y Nicaragua firman un acuerdo por el que se comprometen a mantener la paz en Centroamérica.
1897 Découverte du vecteur de la malaria
      Sir Ronald Ross et Giovani Grassi découvrent l'origine de la malaria. Cette maladie causa et cause encore d'innombrables décès en Extrême Orient. Elle est transmise par la piqûre des moustiques. Ces moustiques se développent dans les eaux stagnantes des mares et étangs. Pour lutter contre la malaria, il faut détruire les larves de moustiques en répandant du D.D.T. à la surface des eaux dormantes. Mais on a constaté depuis quelques années que l'usage du D.D.T. posait lui aussi de grands problèmes écologiques.
1895 Start of Sherlock Holmes Adventure of the Norwood Builder
^ 1886 Haymarket martyr Albert Parsons's letter to his wife
The Chicago radicals convicted of the infamous May 4, 1886 Haymarket Square bombing in which one policeman was killed remained openly defiant to the end. In his letter to his wife, written 20 August 1886 from the Cook County "Bastille" (jail), convicted Haymarket bombing participant Albert R. Parsons, an Alabama-born printer, admitted that the verdict would cheer "the hearts of tyrants," but still optimistically predicted that "our doom to death is the handwriting on the wall, foretelling the downfall of hate, malice, hypocrisy, judicial murder, oppression, and the domination of man over his fellow-man."

Cook County Bastille, Cell No. 29, Chicago, 20 August 1886.
My Darling Wife:
      Our verdict this morning cheers the hearts of tyrants throughout the world, and the result will be celebrated by King Capital in its drunken feast of flowing wine from Chicago to St. Petersburg. Nevertheless, our doom to death is the handwriting on the wall, foretelling the downfall of hate, malice, hypocrisy, judicial murder, oppression, and the domination of man over his fellowman. The oppressed of earth are writhing in their legal chains. The giant Labor is awakening. The masses, aroused from their stupor, will snap their petty chains like reeds in the whirlwind.
      We are all creatures of circumstance; we are what we have been made to be. This truth is becoming clearer day by day.
      There was no evidence  that any one of the eight doomed men knew of, or advised, or abetted the Haymarket tragedy. But what does that matter? The privileged class demands a victim, and we are offered a sacrifice to appease the hungry yells of an infuriated mob of millionaires who will be contented with nothing less than our lives. Monopoly triumphs! Labor in chains ascends the scaffold for having dared to cry out for liberty and right!
      Well, my poor, dear wife, I, personally, feel sorry for you and the helpless little babes of our loins.
      You I bequeath to the people, a woman of the people. I have one request to make of you: Commit no rash act to yourself when I am gone, but take up the great cause of Socialism where I am compelled to lay it down.
      My children — well, their father had better die in the endeavor to secure their liberty and happiness than live contented in a society which condemns nine-tenths of its children to a life of wage-slavery and poverty. Bless them; I love them unspeakably, my poor helpless little ones.
      Ah, wife, living or dead, we are as one. For you my affection is everlasting. For the people.humanity. I cry out again and again in the doomed victim's cell: Liberty! Justice! Equality!
      Albert R. Parsons.
1866 US President Andrew Johnson declares the Civil War officially over, months after the fighting has stopped.
1866 The newly organized National Labor Union calls on the US Congress to mandate an eight-hour workday.
1865 Pres Johnson proclaims an end to "insurrection" in Tx
1864 Cavalry combat at Lovejoy's Station on the Macon & Western Railroad in Georgia
1864 Battle of Globe Tavern (Weldon Railroad), Virginia continues
1863 Siege of Fort Wagner, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina continues
^ 1862 Greeley calls for emancipation of all slaves.
      New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley publishes "The Prayer of Twenty Millions," a passionate editorial calling on President Lincoln to declare emancipation for all slaves in Union-held territory. Greeley's blistering letter voiced the impatience of many Northern abolitionists; but unbeknownst to Greeley and the public, Lincoln was already moving in the direction of emancipation.
      In 1841, Greeley launched The Tribune, a newspaper to promote his reform ideas. He advocated temperance, westward expansion, and the labor movement, and opposed capital punishment and land monopoly. Greeley served a brief stint in the US House of Representatives, and he introduced legislation that eventually became the Homestead Act of 1862.
      Greeley was most passionate in his opposition to slavery, and was an important organizer of the Republican Party in 1854. When the war erupted, Greeley, along with many abolitionists, argued vociferously for a war policy constructed on the eradication of slavery. President Lincoln did not outwardly share these sentiments. For the war's first year and a half, Lincoln was reluctant to alienate the Border States of Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware, which practiced slavery but had not seceded.
      In his editorial, "The Prayer of Twenty Millions," Greeley focused on Lincoln's reluctance to enforce the Confiscation Acts of 1861 and 1862. Congress had approved the appropriation of Confederate property, including slaves, as a war measure, but many generals were reluctant to enforce the acts, as was the Lincoln administration. Greeley argued that it was “preposterous and futile” to try to put down the rebellion without destroying slavery. The "Union cause," he wrote, "has suffered from a mistaken deference to Rebel slavery."
      Although he did not admit it publicly at that time, Lincoln was planning to emancipate slaves. He did so a month later with his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.
1847 General Winfield Scott wins the battle of Churubusco on his drive to Mexico City.
1794 American General "Mad Anthony" Wayne defeats the Ohio Indians at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in the Northwest territory, ending Indian resistance in the area.
1781 George Washington begins to move his troops south to fight Cornwallis
1741 Danish navigator Vitus Jonas Bering, commisioned by Peter the Great of Russia to find land connecting Asia and North America, reaches America.
1710 Guerra de sucesión española. Tropas del archiduque Carlos vencen al Ejército de Felipe V en la batalla de Zaragoza.
1648 El ejército francés, mandado por el príncipe de Condé, derrota a las tropas alemanas y españolas dirigidas por el archiduque Leopoldo en la batalla de Lens, lo que determinó la paz de Westfalia, que puso fin a la guerra de los 30 años.
^ 1619 The first 20 slaves are brought to North America. Millions would follow.
      The first African slaves are brought to North America when a Dutch ship drops anchor at Jamestown, Virginia, with twenty human captives among its cargo. The Africans would be sold to settlers in the rapidly growing colony. It took several decades for the institution of slavery to take hold in the North American British colonies as it had in the Caribbean and the South American lowlands. For most of the seventeenth century, European indentured servants were far more numerous in the North American colonies than African slaves.
      However, after 1680, the flow of indentured servants sharply declined, leading to expansion of the African slave trade. By the middle of the eighteenth century, slavery could be found in all thirteen colonies and it sustained the Southern colonies' agricultural economy. By the time of the American Revolution, the English importers alone had brought some 3'000'000 captive Africans to the Americas. After the war, as slave labor was not a crucial element of the Northern economy, most Northern states passed legislation to abolish slavery.
      However, in the South, the invention of the cotton gin in 1793 sharply increased the need for slave labor, and tension arose between the North and the South as the slave or free status of new states was debated. In 1807, with a self-sustaining population of over four million slaves in the South, some Southern congressmen joined with the North in voting to abolish the African slave trade effective 01 January 1808. Nevertheless, the widespread trade of slaves within the South was not prohibited, and illegal trade of African slaves to Brazil and Cuba continued until the 1860s. By 1865, over twelve million Africans had been shipped across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas, and some one million of these individuals had died from mistreatment during the voyage. In addition, an estimated three million died in Africa in slave wars and forced marches directly resulting from the Western Hemisphere's demand for African slaves.
^ 1527 The “Martyr Synod” of Anabaptists is held at Augsburg.
     It is so called because most of the Anabaptist leaders who attended it were martyred within five years. At the meeting, the Anabaptists divided up Europe for missionary enterprise. Among those who attended were Denck, Hans Hut, Jörg von Passau, Hetzer, Jakob Gross, Jakob Dachser, Sigmund Salminger, Eitelhans Langenmantel, Leonhard Dorfbrunner and Gall Fischer. Only two or three of these men lived to see the fifth year of the movement, because they had no bases, little support, and poor communications.
1521 Guerra de las Germanías. Las tropas del emperador Carlos I derrotan a los sublevados en Orihuela (Alicante).
0917 A Byzantine counter-offensive is routed by Syeon at Anchialus, Bulgaria.
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< 19 Aug 21 Aug >
^  Deaths which occurred on a 20 August:

2007 Gerardo Lechuga Valenzuela, 37, motorcycle traffic officer (since 1990) in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. He had just left work in the evening when the pickup he was driving was blocked by two sport utility vehicles in a downtown street. Gunmen sprayed the truck's hood, windshield and driver's side door with 29 shots. —(070822)

2005 Juan Felipe Rascón Villado, 38, beaten, strangled, shot in the head with a .45-caliber weapon, in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. His body is found at Florida and Calzada del Río streets two days later. Rascón lived across the Rio Grande, in El Paso, Texas, where he worked at an auto body shop. (050907)
Martín-OarFarkhutdinov
2005 Régis Huillier, 45, pilot-instructor, and Albert Pouzoulet, 43, pilot trainee, as their Tracker firefighting plane crashes at a forest fire in Valgorge, Ardèche, France.

2003
Spanish navy captain Manuel Martín-Oar [< photo], born in 1947, dies from internal brain trauma suffered the previous day in the truck-bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq.

2003 Igor Pavlovich Farkhutdinov and all other 19 aboard an Mi~8 helicopter which crashes on its way from the Kamchatka peninsula to an island of the Kuriles. Born on 16 April 1950, Farkhutdinov [photo >] was governor of Sakhalin oblast (since April 1995) and was leading a delegation of the Russian Far Eastern region.

2003 Damnoen Saen-um, 52, stops breathing after laughing in his sleep for two minutes, while his wife unsuccesfully tried to wake him up; in Phrae province, Thailand. He was an ice-cream truck driver. An autopsy would suggest that he might have had a heart attack.
bombed apartment building2002 Twelve persons as an explosion (gas? or bomb?) blows a 15-meter wide hole and collapses five stories of an apartment building in the north of Moscow, shortly before midnight. Among the first eight bodies pulled out are those of a woman, her 8-month-old baby, a 6-year-old girl, and two teenagers. [photo: rescuers at the site, the next day >]

2002 Ayman Zua'rub
, 15, Palestinian from Khan Yunis, and Israeli Sergeant Kivan Cohen, 19, from Petah Tikva, as a result of gunfight between Israeli troops at the Yakinton post and armed Palestinians near the Neveh Dekalim enclave settlement, in the Gaza Strip, soon after daybreak.

2002 Lionel Mantique and Lemuel Bantolo, beheaded by Abu Sayyaf bandits (they pretend to be Muslim separatists). The two victims were Jehovah's Witnesses. They are beheaded a few hours after being abducted with women Jehovahs Witnesses (who remain captive) Puri Bendito, Cleofe and Flor Bantolo, and Amilyn Mantique, and Muslim couple (soon released) Nadamalyn and Solaiman Sulaiman, in Sitio Parang-Parang, Bgy. Darayan, Philippines.

2002 Gaston, 12, apparently from exhaustion after swimming more than 300 km in flood waters from Prague to Wittenberg, Germany, where he was rescued the previous afternoon. He dies at 06:00 on his way back to his home in the Prague zoo, where two other escaped seals had returned much earlier, one on its own, and the other after being captured 25 km north of Prague. Other inhabitants of the Prague zoo have also died because of the flood, including dozens of birds, an elephant, four hippos, a lion, a bear and a gorilla.

2001 Fred Hoyle
, 86, British astronomer, science and science-fiction writer. He proposed the steady state cosmological theory in the 1940s, and stubbornly held to it in the face of mounting evidence for the Big Bang theory, a term Hoyle coined in 1950, intending it as denigration. Among the scientific books co-authored by Hoyle are A Different Approach to Cosmology (2000) (1957). Diseases from Space (1979), Space Travelers: The Origins of Life (1980), [these last two holding the excentric theory that life and some diseases reached earth from space, which Hoyle presented as a popularization in The Intelligent Universe (1983)]. Hoyle also wrote science fiction, including The Black Cloud (1957) about an intelligent cloud around the sun which caused an ice age, and A for Andromeda (1962) about aliens instructing humans on building a destructive machine. He also wrote the science-fiction Ossian's Ride (1959), October the First is Too Late (1966), Element 79 (short stories, 1967), Comet Halley (1985), and the autobiography The Small World of Fred Hoyle (1986).

^ 2001 Lyubov Soltys, 23, Galina Kukharskaya, 74, Peter Kukharskiy, 75, Dimetriy Kukharskiy, 10, Tatyana Kukharskaya, 9, Sergey Soltys, 3, slashed and stabbed by Nikolay Soltys.
     Lyubov Soltys, was scheduled to start her first American job 09:30 as a cashier at a Good Neighbor store in Sacramento. But shortly before she is expected at work, her husband Nikolay Soltys (born 19 May 1974) attacks her in the duplex they had shared with their son Sergey for the past two months and stabs Lyubov and slits her throat.
     Nikolay then drives the 20 minutes to Rancho Cordova, where he stopped at a duplex on Mills Station Road. Soltys goes inside and slashes the throats and bodies of his aunt and uncle — Galina Kukharskaya and Peter Kukharskiy — in their upstairs bathroom. Then he attacks their grandchildren his cousins, Demetri Kukharskiy and Tatyana Kukharskaya (cousins to each other).
     Soltys then drives to his mother's Citrus Heights house about 30 minutes away and picks up his son, Sergey (born on 17 April 1998). Later he kills Sergey, whose body is found the next day in a cardboard box in a field. Soltys would be arrested on 30 20 August01, hiding in the back of his mother's house in Citrus Heights, California. His brother had notified the police (and thus may be eligible for the $70'000 reward)..
     Nikolay Soltys had immigrated from the Ukraine to the US in 1999 and his wife had joined him in January 2001. Nikolay had a history of domestic violence and of mental problems that had prevented him from enlisting in the Ukrainian army.
1994 Linus Carl Pauling, científico estadounidense, Premio Nobel de Química 1954 y de la Paz 1962.
^ 1989 José and Kitty Menendez, murdered by their sons
      Lyle and Erik Menendez shoot their parents to death in the den of the family's Beverly Hills, California, home. They then drove up to Mulholland Drive, where they dumped their shotguns before continuing to a local movie theater to buy tickets as an alibi. When the pair returned home, Lyle called 911 and cried, "Somebody killed my parents!"
      The Menendez murders became a national sensation when the new television network, Court TV, broadcast the trial in 1993. Although the Menendez brothers were not immediately suspected, Erik couldn't take the guilt and began going to a psychotherapist, Dr. L. Jerome Oziel, to confess his involvement. Ignoring his ethical responsibilities, Dr. Oziel taped the sessions with his new patient in an apparent attempt to impress his mistress. But the woman ended up going to the police with her information and, in March 1990, Lyle, 22, and Erik, 19, were arrested.
      For the next three years, a legal battle was fought over the admissibility of Dr. Oziel's tapes. Finally, the California Supreme Court ruled that the tapes could be played. When the trial began in the summer of 1993, the Menendez brothers put on a spirited defense. In compelling testimony lasting over a month, they emotionally described years of sexual abuse by Jose and Kitty Menendez. They insisted that they had shot their parents in self-defense because they believed that Jose would kill them rather than have the abuse be exposed.
      The first two juries (one for each brother) deadlocked, and a mistrial had to be called. For the most part, the lack of a conviction was considered a travesty. At the retrial, which began in October 1995, the judge was much more restrictive in allowing the defense attorneys to focus on the alleged sexual abuse. In March 1996, both Lyle and Erik were convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Lyle Menendez married his pen-pal girlfriend, Anna Eriksson, in a telephone conference call from jail on 02 July 1996, the day he was sentenced, but the marriage didn't last; Eriksson found out that Menendez began corresponding with another woman. A few years later, Erik married Tammi Ruth Saccoman.
1986: 14 fellow postal workers, shot by mail carrier Patrick Sherrill, Edmond, Oklahoma.
1985 Harchand Singh Longowai Sikh leader, shot by Sikh extremists
1980 Más de 300 personas al incendiarse un avión en el aeropuerto de Ryad (Arabia Saudita).
1972 Carol Ruth Karp, from cancer, US mathematician born on 10 August 1926.
1969 Más de 190 personas por el huracán "Camille" que asola la costa del sur de EE.UU..
1960 Víctor Domingo Silva, escritor chileno.
1959 Alfred Paul Kubin, Czech Expressionist illustrator born on 10 April 1877. He wrote Die andere Seite. Ein phantastischer RomanVon verschiedenen EbenenDämonen und Nachtgesichte. Eine AutobiographieVom Schreibtisch eines ZeichnersAus meiner Werkstatt. Gesammelte Prosa — Aus meinem Leben. Gesammelte Prosa MORE ON KUBIN AT ART “4” AUGUST with links to images.
1955 Hundreds in rioting against the French, in Morocco and Algeria.
1917 Adolf von Baeyer, químico alemán, Premio Nobel en 1905.
1914 Pope Pius X, saint. Born Giuseppe Melchiore Sarto on 02 June 1835 and baptized the next day. Ordained a priest on 18 September 1858. Appointed on 10 November 1884 and consecrated on 20 November 1884 Bishop of Mantua. Made a cardinal on 12 June 1893 and appointed patriarch of Venice on 15 June 1893. To succeed Leo XIII [02 Mar 1810 – 20 Jul 1903], Sarto wan elected pope on 04 August 1903. He was canonized on 29 May 1954. —(090821)
1914 Amelie Helga Lundahl, Swedish French artist born on 26 May 1850. — MORE ON LUNDAHL AT ART “4” AUGUST with links to images.
1912 "General" Rev. William Booth, author. BOOTH ONLINE: In Darkest England, and The Way Out
1910 Otto Piltz, German artist born on 28 June 1846. — link to an image.
1854 Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, filósofo alemán.
1841 Constantinus-Fidelio Coene, Flemish artist born in 1780.
1835 Laurent Dabos, French artist born in 1761.
1823 Pope Pius VII, who both crowned Napoléon and excommunicated him. He was born Barnaba Chiaramonti on 14 August 1740. Pius VI made him a cardinal on 14 February 1785. After the 29 August 1799 death of Pius VI, Chiaramonti was elected pope as the fourth choice of a conclave that had been deadlocked for several months. He was crowned pope on 21 March 1800.
^ 1804 Charles Floyd, only fatality of the Lewis & Clark Expedition
      Sergeant Charles Floyd dies three months into the voyage of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, becoming the only member of the Corps of Discovery to die during the journey. Lewis and Clark left St. Louis the previous May, heading up the Missouri River with a party of 35 men, called the Corps of Discovery. Among the voyagers was Charles Floyd, a native of Kentucky who had enlisted in the US military a few years earlier. When word went out asking for volunteers to join the ambitious expedition across the continent to the Pacific, Floyd was among the first to apply. Young, vigorous, and better educated than most of the soldiers, Floyd was a natural choice. The two co-captains not only selected him to join the mission, they promoted him to sergeant. Sadly, Floyd's part in the great voyage of the Corps of Discovery was short-lived. By late July, Lewis and Clark reported that Floyd "has been very sick for several days."
      He seemed to grow better for a time, but on August 15, he was "seized with a complaint somewhat like a violent chorlick [colic] . . . [and] he was sick all night." Concerned, the two captains did what they could to treat Floyd's ailment, but the previously robust young man steadily weakened. The illness grew severe during the evening of 19 August, and Clark sat up with the suffering man almost the entire night. Floyd died in the early afternoon of this day, reportedly "with a good deal of composure." The members of the expedition buried his body on a high bluff overlooking a river that flowed into the Missouri, affixing a red-cedar post with his name, title, and date of death over the grave. Lewis read the funeral service, and the two captains concluded the ceremony by naming the nearby stream Floyds River and the hill Floyds Bluff.
      Lewis and Clark regretted that their limited wilderness medical skills were inadequate to cure the young soldier, yet even if Floyd had been in Philadelphia, the best doctors of the day would likely have been unable to save him. Based on the symptoms described by Lewis and Clark, modern physicians have concluded that Floyd was probably suffering from acute appendicitis. When his appendix ruptured, Floyd quickly died of peritonitis. Lacking antibiotics and ignorant of the proper surgical procedures, no early 19th century physician could have done much more than Lewis and Clark did. On their triumphant return journey from the Pacific in 1806, Lewis and Clark stopped to pay their respects at Sergeant Floyd's grave. Amazingly, Floyd's was the only death the Corps of Discovery suffered in more than two years of dangerous wilderness travel.
     — History of the Expedition Under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark, to the Sources of the Missouri, Thence Across the Rocky Mountains and Down the River Columbia to the Pacific Ocean volume 1volume 2 (page images)
1783 Frans van der Mijn, Flemish portrait painter active in England and the Netherlands. — a bit more with links to three images.
1672 Johan de Witt and his brother Cornelis de Witt [1623–], mutilated and murdered by a mob. Johan de Witt [24 Sep 1625–] was a Dutch lawyer, statesman (rising to Raadspensionaris van de Republiek der Verenigde Provinciën), and mathematician born on 24 September 1625. Raadspensionaris Johan de Witt en zijn broer Cornelis worden op 20 augustus 1672 door een tot het uiterste geïrriteerde menigte gelyncht [image below]. — More about Johan de WittPortrait of Cornelius de Witt, print by Captain William Baillie [05 Jun 1723 – 22 Dec 1810] — painting The Bodies of the De Wit Brothers, Hanged at Groene Zoodje on Vijverberg in The Hague (70x56cm; 1600x1294pix, 173kb), by an unknown painter.
1632 “Moïse” Jean Valentin de Boulogne, French painter born on 03 January 1591. — MORE ON VALENTIN AT ART “4” AUGUST with links to images.
1572 Miguel López de Legazpi, conquistador de Filipinas.
^ 1384 Gerard Groot, 44, of the plague.
      He caught the plague when visiting one of his disciples, already infected..
     Groot was born in 1340. Not until 1374 was he converted. He lived in luxury until his conversion in 1374, when he gave up almost everything he owned to follow Christ and make him known..
      After two years as a guest in a Carthusian monastery, Groot became a deacon and went through the lowlands — Flanders, Guelders and Holland — teaching the word of God and decrying the abuses prevalent in the church, so vigorously that he was forbidden to preach. After his death there was opposition to the lay Brethren he had founded, which caused them to become Augustinian monks.
      Groot, who would begin translating the Bible, gathered men around him to copy scriptures and religious texts. From their earnings, they supported themselves and helped the poor. They did not beg for alms. They became known as the Brethren of Common Life. Eighteen houses of these brethren had formed before Groot died. Groot also gathered a group of women called the Sisters of Common Life. These societies did not take monastic vows. Nor were they bound to remain celibate. Any could leave at any time. Their aim was to live the life of Christ while engaged in toil. This way of life became known as Devotio Moderna.
      The Brothers of the Common Life became involved in education. Among those trained by or connected with them were men: Nicholas Cusa, author and cardinal; Thomas á Kempis, author of The Imitation of Christ; and the great scholar Erasmus.
1153 Bernard of Clairvaux, at the hour of Tierce. His spiritual depth is still admired by Protestant and Catholic alike. He was born in 1090. Canonized on 18 January 1174. Feast day: 20 August.
0984 Pope John XIV, starved or murdered while held in prison by the antipope Boniface VII.
 
< 19 Aug 21 Aug >
^  Births which occurred on a 20 August:

1962 The Ford Thunderbird. The first 1963 Ford Thunderbird is produced. Originally conceived as Ford’s answer to the Corvette, the Thunderbird is promoted as a “personal” car rather than a sports car, so it never would have to compete against imports and thus would experience enormous success.
1957 Donaldson, mathematician
1951 Javier Marías, escritor español.
1946 Laurent Fabius, político francés.
1944 Rajiv Gandhi PM of India (1984- )
1941 Eduardo Ernesto Fuentes Duarte, in Quiriguá, Guatemala. He would be ordained a Catholic priest on 28 June 1969, be consecrated a bishop on 15 May 1980 as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Guatemala City, be appointed on 18 October 1982 coadjutor of the diocese of Sololá, and, on 05 April 1986 succeed as head of that diocese bishop Angélico Melotto [20 Mar 1911 – 11 May 1999] who retires. Bishop Fuentes would die on 20 July 1997. His successor, Raúl Antonio Martinez Paredes [09 May 1943–], would be appointed only on 28 January 1999.
1941 Slobodan Milosevic, político yugoslavo, criminal contra la humanidad..
1933 George Mitchell, US Senator (D-Maine), at one time Senate Majority Leader.
^ 1921 Jacqueline Susann, bestselling author.
      She is born in Philadelphia to a schoolteacher mother and artist father.
      Susann moved to New York in her 20s to work as a model and actress. She played minor roles in a score of Broadway plays and later tried her luck in Hollywood, with no great success. However, she turned her observations of drug use, sex, and insecurity among actresses into Valley of the Dolls (1976), which broke all records for sales of a novel.
      Susann married in 1945, had a son, and continued pursuing her acting. She tried her hand at playwriting as well, but the show she co-authored lasted less than a month on Broadway. Her first book, Every Night, Josephine, about her poodle, was a surprise bestseller.
      She wrote her next novel, Valley of the Dolls, in 18 months. The book topped the bestseller lists for 22 weeks. In her lifetime it sold 17 million copies, making it the bestselling novel of all time. Susann appeared in the movie version, released in 1967, playing a reporter.
      Her next book, The Love Machine, about the sexual antics of a shallow and powerful television executive, was the country's No. 1 bestseller for five months. When her 1973 novel, Once Is Not Enough, came out, she became the first novelist to have three bestsellers on the list at once. While critics were uniformly insulting in their appraisals, Susann defended her books on the grounds that she told a good story that people wanted to read. Although she was consistently elusive about her real age, her obituaries said she was 53 when she died of cancer in 1974.
1913 Roger Wolcott Sperry, psicobiólogo estadounidense, Premio Nobel de Medicina en 1981.
1902 Christian Bérard, French artist who died on 11 February 1949.
1901 Salvatore Quasimodo Italy, poet/critic/translator (Nobel 1959)
1899 Bochner, mathematician
1896 Dial telephone is patented.
1893 Godfrey Clive Miller, Australian artist who died on 05 May 1964. . — more with links to three images.
1890 H.P. Lovecraft US, Gothic novelist (At the Mountains of Madness) LOVECRAFT ONLINE: Selected worksSupernatural Horror in Literature
1890 Fray Gregorio Arcila Robledo, historiador y lingüista colombiano.
1886 Paul Tillich, German philosophical theologian. Tillich advocated "myth" as a signpost, participating in the reality to which it points. Evangelicals generally criticize Tillich today for his pantheistic views of God. He wrote Systematic Theology.
1884 Rudolf Bultmann, German New Testament scholar. He pioneered Form Criticism with his History of the Synoptic Tradition (1921), whereby he sought to identify the devices of Hebrew speech in order to make the central Gospel message meaningful to moderns.
1882 Waclaw Sierpinski Sierpinski's most important work is in the area of set theory, point set topology and number theory. In set theory he made important contributions to the axiom of choice and to the continuum hypothesis.
1881 Edgar Albert Guest Detroit Mich, poet/newspaperman GUEST ONLINE: A Heap O' Livin', Just Folks
1863 Corrado Segre, mathematician.
^ 1862 Birth of the 8-Hour Workday
      In the mid-1800s most people worked ten- or twelve-hour days, prompting the newly formed National Labor Union (NLU) to call on Congress to limit the workday to 8 hours. Congress didn't comply, but the union's efforts led to support by the public and by some legislators. A coalition of skilled and unskilled workers, farmers, and reformers, the National Labor Union was created to pressure Congress to enact labor reforms. It dissolved in 1873 following a disappointing venture into third-party politics in the 1872
      Federal employees would be the first to enjoy limited workdays when Congress passed appropriate legislation in 1863. However the drive for the eight-hour day hit a snag in 1886, when a strike by workers at the McCormick Reaper Manufacturing Company turned bloody. Though the workers, who had hit the picket line to protest for shorter hours, were victims of violence, the ugly affair, along with the ensuing Haymarket Riot, branded the push for the eight-hour day as a radical movement.
      But, in 1923 the Carnegie Steel Corporation granted shorter work hours to its employees. Eventually, President Franklin Roosevelt made the eight-hour workday an official part of his New Deal legislation. . http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/aug20.html
1862 Stäckel, mathematician
1862 Maurice Maeterlinck, escritor belga.
1860 Raymond Poincaré‚ France, PM (1912), president.
1850 Charles Richet, científico y escritor francés.
1841 Maria Louise Pool, author. POOL ONLINE: Tenting at Stony Beach
1833 Benjamin Harrison North Bend, Ohio (R) 23rd Pres (1889-1893), grandson of 9th US President, William Henry Harrison
1807 Narcisse Virgile Diaz de la Peña, French Barbizon School painter specialized in landscapes who died on 18 November 1876. — MORE ON DIAZ AT ART “4” AUGUST with links to images.
1785 Oliver Hazard Perry US Naval hero ("We have met the enemy")
1778 Bernardo O'Higgins won independence for Chile.
1775 George Tucker, author. TUCKER ONLINE: Political Economy for the People
1710 Thomas Simpson mathematician best remembered for his work on interpolation and numerical methods of integration.
^ 1667 Paradise Lost, is published by Milton, an epic poem about the fall of Adam and Eve.
     Born on 09 Dec 1608, John Milton, is one of the greatest poets of the English language.
      He also is a noted historian, scholar, pamphleteer, and civil servant for the Parliamentarians and the Puritan Commonwealth. Milton ranks second only to Shakespeare among English poets; his writings and his influence are an important part of the history of English literature, culture, and libertarian thought. He is best known for Paradise Lost, which is generally regarded as the greatest epic poem in the English language. Milton's prose works, however, are also important as a valuable interpretation of the Puritan revolution, and they have their place in modern histories of political and religious thought.
     The indulged son of a prosperous London businessman, Milton excelled at languages in grammar school and at Christ's College, Cambridge, where he took a bachelor's degree and then a master's. He decided to continue his education on his own, spending six years reading every major work of literature in several languages. He published Comus in 1637, long after its first performance (29 September 1634). Also in 1637, he published an elegy for a college classmate, Lycidas. In 1638, he went abroad to continue his studies.
      In May 1642, Milton married 17-year-old Mary Powell, but she left him a month later. Milton wrote a series of pamphlets, such as Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce (01 August 1643) and The Judgement of Martin Bucer Concerning Divorce (06 Aug 1644), arguing for the legalization of divorce based on incompatibility. The idea was scandalous at the time, and Milton experienced a vehement backlash. Milton's wife Mary returned to him in 1645, and a short-lived son, John [16 Mar 1651 – 16 Jun 1652], and three daughters were born to them (Anne 29 Jul 1646, Mary 25 Oct 1648, Deborah 02 May 1652) Mary died on 05 May 1652, following childbirth. Milton continued to spout controversial views. He supported the execution of Charles I [19 Nov 1600 – 30 Jan 1649], he railed against the control of the church by bishops, and he upheld the institution of Cromwell's Commonwealth, of which he became secretary of foreign languages.
      In 1651, Milton lost his sight but fulfilled his government duties with the help of assistants, including poet Andrew Marvell [31 Mar 1621 – 18 Aug 1678]. His wife died the following year. He remarried in 1656, but his second wife died in childbirth. Four years later, the Commonwealth was overthrown, and Milton went to jail. The blind man lost his position and property, but was saved from a lifetime in prison by the intervention of loyal friends. Milton married on 24 February 1663 a third wife, the amiable Elizabeth Minshull, 24, who survived him. Blind, impoverished, and jobless, he began to dictate his poem Paradise Lost to his family. When the poem was ready for publication, he sold it for 10 pounds. Once printed, the poem was immediately hailed as a masterpiece of the English language. In 1671, he wrote Paradise Regained, followed by Samson Agonistes. Milton died on 08 November 1674.
     By 1650 Milton had given up the idea of composing a British epic. Instead he chose what was considered the most momentous event, next to the life and death of Christ, in the world's history, the fall of mankind from grace. It is not known when Paradise Lost was actually begun. Guesses have centered on 1655–1658. Clearly, the lines on the poet's having fallen on evil days, in the prelude to Book 7, were composed after the Restoration, and the whole may have been done pretty much in the order in which it stands. It was finished by 1665. The first edition of 1667 was in 10 books; this was reissued in 1668 and 1669, and in some of these issues Milton added the prefatory note on his use of blank verse and “The Argument.” In the second edition (1674), Books 7 and 10 were each split into two, making a total of 12 books. The arguments, which summarize the contents of each book and were formerly grouped together, were placed at the head of the respective books.
      Paradise Lost is an epic poem written in blank verse, i.e., unrhymed iambic pentameter verse. It tells the story of Satan's rebellion against God and his expulsion from heaven and the subsequent temptation and expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. By Milton's time the Fall of Man had already received innumerable literary treatments, narrative and dramatic, so that the simple tale in Genesis and the more shadowy role of Satan in heaven, earth, and hell had acquired a good deal of interpretative and concrete embellishment. So the main motives and events of Paradise Lost had abundant literary precedent, though they were handled with powerful originality; Milton, like a Greek dramatist, was reworking a story familiar in outline to his audience. His story, moreover, gave him the advantage of immemorial belief and association in the minds of his earlier readers. This advantage no longer operates in the same way, although, for modern readers, the fable still possesses at least the immemorial and universal import of archetypal myth.
      The story of the Fall of Man had little of the solidity and variety of character and action of the classical epics, however, and so Milton the classicist naturally borrowed much in the way of form and style and epic convention. While he was said to have known the Homeric poems by heart, his great classical model was Virgil's Aeneid, with which Paradise Lost has some inner as well as surface affinities.
      Some Virgilian features of Paradise Lost are easily observable. Milton centers the magnificent first two books of his poem on the figure of Satan and his legions as they lie in hell. Virgil has a roll call of the Italian chiefs who gather to oppose Aeneas; Milton's roll call of the leaders of the fallen angels, in making them individuals, also becomes a survey of the spread of heathen idolatry over the Eastern world. The realistic power of the debate of the fallen angels in hell dwarfs all other epic councils. Epic accounts of Hades are combined, in Milton's pictures of hell, with Christian lore, but the lurid and dismal scenes and the physical and mental diversions of the fallen angels symbolize their spiritual death and futile striving. The wars of gods and Titans and giants in classical literature supply details for the war in heaven in Paradise Lost, which is a large metaphor for the anarchy of sin. And Odysseus' and Aeneas' retellings of past events become the archangel Raphael's account of Satan's revolt and war and the Son's creation of the world.
      Much has been written about Milton's powerful characterization of Satan, who is one of the supreme figures in world literature. Satan has, on a superhuman scale, the strength, the courage, and the capacity for leadership that belong to the ancient epic hero, but these qualities are all perverted in being devoted to evil and self-aggrandizement. In his first grand speech to his lieutenant Beelzebub, Satan's defiance of God manifests his egoistic pride, his false conception of freedom, and his alienation from all good; and his other public harangues reinforce and amplify our sense of power that is religiously and morally corrupt and blind. Against the background of hell, Satan maintains the false magnificence of his “heroic” stature, but outside of hell he loses even that. In his soliloquy addressed to the Sun, he reveals, like Dr. Faustus or Macbeth, his despairing consciousness of his own evil and damnation, a consciousness that gives him potentially tragic dimensions. Thus Satan and his fellows are enveloped in dramatic irony because, though the corruption of man is achieved, they fight and scheme in ignorance of the unshakable power of God and goodness.
      Adam and Eve are enveloped in a parallel kind of irony. The picture of the Garden of Eden is a symbolic rendering of Milton's vision of perfection, but it is presented when the reader accompanies Satan into the garden, so that idyllic innocence and happiness are seen only under the shadow of evil. Though the pair have had warnings, Eve is beguiled by an appeal to her vanity and ambition, by the hubristic dream of attaining godlike knowledge and power; and Adam allows his love for Eve to oversway his love for God. Both, far from attaining godlike knowledge, succumb to animal lust; yet, when grace and penitence begin to work in them, they have a strength beyond the reach of Satan. On the other hand, though there is promised redemption for the faithful, and though the poem is, logically, a divine comedy with a happy ending, Milton's panorama of human history gives little ground for hope on earth. Irony, profoundly compassionate irony, pervades the moving last lines which describe Adam and Eve as they depart from Eden, not now the majestic lords of creation but two frail human beings beginning life anew in the world of sin and sorrow and death, though “with Providence their guide” and the hope of achieving a “paradise within.”
      The more one reads Paradise Lost the more one recognizes Milton's powers of imagination and organization. Everywhere, on the largest or the smallest scale, in abstract idea or concrete act, theme and material are closely knit through parallel and contrast. The central conflict and contrast between good and evil are reflected and intensified in the contrasts between heaven and hell, light and darkness, order and chaos, love and hate, humility and pride, reason and passion. In the council in hell, Satan alone volunteers for the perilous journey to earth to bring about the Fall of Man; in the council in heaven, the Son alone volunteers to suffer on earth for man's salvation. Satan unlooses the destructive anarchy of war; the Son creates the world. Eve and Adam reenact the sin and fall of Satan. The boundless scene of Paradise Lost is indeed only a backdrop or magnified reflection of the drama that goes on in the hearts of the human protagonists, and, when they fall, the ideal world of eternal spring and eternal life becomes the world we live in.
      To speak of the setting in more literal terms, Milton's imagination fills space so immense that the created universe, the Ptolemaic one, hangs from heaven like one of the smallest stars close to the Moon. Milton showed his awareness of the Copernican universe, but the Ptolemaic one had the advantages of traditional familiarity and of keeping earth and man at the focal center. In his handling of vast space Milton's imagination and language work with a suggestive vagueness that is very different from the minute particularity of Dante's world. He is excited by the starry dance of the cosmic order and, likewise, by the fecundity of Eden, and his account of creation is alive with the sense of movement and growth. The poem is rich in its appeal to both the eye and the ear.
      Milton's preface stresses the novelty and rightness of blank verse for a heroic poem, and his manipulation of rhythm and sound is of course one of his supreme achievements. The continuous flow of his long sentences and paragraphs is naturally unlike the dramatic blank verse of Shakespearean dialogue, and it builds up a continuous onward pressure. While the iambic pentameter line remains the norm, there may be extra syllables, and there is endless variety in the number, weight, and position of stresses. At the same time there is a secondary and still more fluid system of rhythmic units, which flow from the caesura in one line to the caesura in the next, resulting in an infinity of permutations and combinations. Milton's blank verse is never monotonous, and the pattern of sound is so wedded to the pattern of sense that each is essential to the other.
      Milton's frequently Latinate syntax and diction have sometimes been censured, especially by modern poets and critics for whom colloquial speech and rhythm are the only acceptable medium. But Milton's means of achieving the elevation required by a lofty theme is intermixed with pure simplicity. His use of Latinate syntax or structure and his freedom in the placing of phrases and clauses greatly enlarge and enrich his range of emphasis and his use of economy, contrast, suspension, all the devices of forceful utterance, devices often really colloquial. Many other functional elements of the grand style can be noted: periphrasis, epic similes, geographic, historical, and mythological allusions, and so on.

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