<< Dec 12|      HISTORY “4” “2”DAY      |Dec 14 >>
Events, deaths, births, of 13 DEC
 While connected to Internet click here for Universal Time clock (accept Script and Active~Xs) 
[For Dec 13 Julian go to Gregorian date: 1582~1699: Dec 231700s: Dec 241800s: Dec 251900~2099: Dec 26]
Saddam Hussein soon after capture^  On a 13 December:

At the bottom of a 2.5-meter-deep hiding hole under a rug in a hut in a walled farm compound near Ad Dwar, Iraq, exhausted fugitive (since 09 Apr 2003) ex-dictator Saddam Hussein [28 Apr 1937~] is captured [photo >] without a fight, by searching US troops, at 20:30 (17:30 UT).

cardinal Law 26 Apr 20022002 (Friday) Pope John Paul II accepts the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law [26 Apr 2000 photo >] as Archbishop of Boston, after rejecting it in April 2000. Law is alleged to have covered up sexual abuse of minors by priests, and the Boston archdiocese is considering bankruptcy as it faces damages lawsuits by alleged victims. Calls for Law's resignation had come first from victims' support groups, then also from lay Catholics and the press, and recently by a group of priests of the Boston archdiocese, and on 06 December he has been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury. Law's resignation statement ends with: “To all those who have suffered from my shortcomings and mistakes, I both apologize and from them beg forgiveness.” bishop (since 2001) LennonThe pope names Boston auxiliary bishop Richard G. Lennon, 55 [< photo], as temporary administrator of the archdiocese. Bernard Francis Law was born in Torreón, Mexico, on 04 November 1931. Ordained a priest on 21 May 1961, he was appointed Bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Missouri, on 22 October 1973, and Archbishop of Boston on 23 March 1984. He was named a cardinal on 25 May 1985.

2002 Bishop William E. Lori of the Bridgeport, Connecticut, diocese announces that three pastors have “voluntarily” resigned: Sherman W. Gray, 59, of Holy Name of Jesus Church in Stamford; Albert W. McGoldrick, 52, of St. Paul Church in Greenwich; and Robert P. Morrissey, 57, of St. Mary's Church in Ridgefield. Three weeks earlier, the diocese received a letter from a man claiming that he was sexually abused by them when he was 15 to 19 years old. The diocese's Sexual Misconduct Review Board is investigating in accordance with the procedure recently approved by the Vatican. Some of the faithful of the three wealthy parishes suspect that the accusations are false and motivated by greed.

2002 The European Union invites as new members to join it on 01 May 2004, provided the voters of each nation approve in a 2003 referendum: Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Malta, and Cyprus (minus its Turkish-occupied north). The European Union was founded, under that name, on 01 November 1993, by the countries of the European Community (established 08 Apr 1965 effective 01 July 1967): Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the UK. They were joined on 01 January 1995 by Sweden, Finland, and Austria.

2002 Current visa restrictions by the US damage US science, engineering, and medicine, according to a statement issued by Bruce Alberts (chairman of the National Research Council), William A. Wulf, and Harvey V. Fineberg, Presidents, respectively, of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. They could have added that giving a hard time to visa applicants does very little to enhance the security of the US. Quite to the contrary, it may foster resentment which terrorists can use to gain support against the US.

2000 US Presidential candidate Vice-President Al Gore concedes the election to Texas governor George W. Bush, son of ex-president Geoge Bush and brother of Florida governor Jeb Bush. The election was held on 07 November and Gore obtained a narrow majority of the popular vote. But it is the electoral college that decides the election, and the 25 electors of Florida were contested, their attribution being decisive. The matter ended up in the US Supreme Court, which, late the previous day, made a 5-4 obscurantist decision that in effect makes Bush the winner.

2000 El colectivo ¡Basta ya! recibe el Premio Sajarov de Derechos Humanos en Estrasburgo; el filósofo Fernando Savater, representante del colectivo, recoge el galardón.

2000 Los Angeles Superior Court judge Marilyn Hoffman dismisses the harassment suit of Cynthia Luther, who weighs more than 140 kg, against Southwest Airlines, which had asked her to buy a second seat on a flight from Reno, Nevada to Burbank, California, in May 2000 "so as not to inconvenience other passengers seated next to her.”

2000 Late in the day, in Gandia, Spain, Father Priscilio Ruiz Picazo, 42, is stabbed in the ribs while investigating reports about the rituals of a religious sect. Ruiz calls for help on his cell phone and is hospitalized. He is an adviser to the Spanish Episcopal Conference on the activities of sects and a member of the interfaith relations commission for the Valencia Diocese.
^ 2000 Seven dangerous convicts escape from a Kenedy, Texas, prison.
     They are Michael Anthony Rodriguez, 38 (Life/Capital Murder) — George Rivas, 30 (Life: Aggravated Robbery, Aggravated Kidnapping) — Joseph C. Garcia, 29 (50 yrs/Murder) — Larry Jame Harper, 37 (50 yrs/ Aggravated Sexual Assault), Randy Ethan Halprin, 23 (30 yrs/Injury to a Child: beating an infant), Patrick Henry Murphy, Jr, 39 (50 yrs/Aggravated sexual assault, 6 yrs/Burglary), Donald Keith Newbury, 38 (99 years/Aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon).
      They overpower guards, take their clothes and speed away in a prison vehicle. On 24 December, they would rob an Oshman's sporting goods store in Irving, Texas, and gun down police officer Aubrey Hawkins who came on the scene.
      On 22 January 2001, the gang's suspected ringleader, George Rivas, with Michael Rodriguez and Joseph Garcia would be taken into custody shortly after leaving a campground in Woodland Park, Colorado, Randy Halprin would give himself up from the surrounded trailer. The last man in the trailer, Larry Harper, would fatally shoot himself in the chest after barricading himself in. — MORE
^ 1999 Pope supports efforts to punish atrocities [French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish]
     John Paul II declares that human rights "have no borders.” He gives strong backing to international efforts to punish crimes against humanity. “Crimes against humanity cannot be considered an internal affair of a nation," John Paul says in his annual message for the church's World Day of Peace on 1 January.
      The pope says that the world has been "sorely tried" by war and genocide in the 20th century and that the claims of a nation must not take precedence over the common good. He endorses establishment of an International Criminal Court to try such crimes as "an important first step" in recognizing that human rights are "universal and indivisible.”
     [My comment: Some further steps might be to create an international police force, independent of any one country or group of countries, and empowered to intervene quickly in cases of suspected human rights violations. This would also require international laws above any country's national laws, and an international parliament to enact such laws.]
1998 Puerto Rican voters reject US statehood.
1997 Proceso de ampliación de la Unión Europea; son invitados diez países: Polonia, Hungría, Chequia, Estonia, Eslovenia, Chipre, Eslovaquia, Lituania, Letonia, Bulgaria y Rumanía.
1997 La Organización Mundial del Comercio llega a un acuerdo en Suiza para la liberalización de los servicios financieros mundiales, firmado en Suiza.
1995 Camilo José Cela Trulock, Premio Nobel de Literatura 1989, obtiene el máximo galardón de las Letras españolas: el Premio Cervantes.
1994 The first meeting of the World Wide Web (W3) Consortium takes place in Cambridge at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The group was established as an international association to promote common protocols on the World Wide Web, whose creator Tim Berners-Lee, became the group's first director. Berners-Lee developed the Web while a fellow at CERN, the European particle physics lab, in the early 1990s.
1991 Both Koreas sign an accord calling for reconciliation — Con la firma de un pacto de no agresión entre Corea del Norte y Corea del Sur finaliza la guerra fría en esta península del sudoeste asiático.
1991 Las cinco repúblicas de mayoría musulmana de la URSS (Kazajistán, Kirguizistán, Tayikistán, Uzbekistán y Turkmenistán) acuerdan sumarse a la recién creada CEI. (Comunidad de Estados Independientes)
1989 South African President F.W. de Klerk met for the first time with imprisoned (since 1962) African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, 71, at de Klerk's office in Cape Town. Mandela would be released from prison on 11 February 1990. Then Mandela and de Klerk would work to end apartheid and bring about a peaceful transition to nonracial democracy in South Africa, for which they were awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize for Peace.
1989 Forced repatriation of Vietnamese in Hong Kong
^ 1989 "Only the little people pay taxes", but they don't go to prison.
      Leona Helmsley, nicknamed the "Queen of Mean" by the press, receives a four-year prison sentence, 750 hours of community service, and a $7.1 million tax fraud fine in New York. For many, Helmsley became the object of loathing and disgust when she quipped that "only the little people pay taxes.”
      Leona's husband, Harry, was one of the world's wealthiest real estate moguls, with an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion in property holdings. The couple lived in a dazzling penthouse overlooking Central Park and also maintained an impressive mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut. Leona, who operated the Helmsley Palace on Madison Avenue, was severely disliked by her employees.
      Though they lavishly furnished their homes and hotel, the Helmsleys were curiously diligent about evading the required payments and taxes for their purchases. Much of their personal furniture was written off as a business expense, and there were claims that the Helmsleys extorted free furnishings from their suppliers. Contractors were hardly ever paid on time-if at all-and many filed lawsuits to recover even just a portion of what they were owed. Leona reportedly also purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars of jewelry in New York City but insisted that empty boxes be sent to Connecticut so that she could avoid the sales tax.
      Given her offensive personality, many were quite pleased by Leona's legal troubles. Even celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz could not win her immunity from the law. Following her conviction, Federal Judge John Walker publicly reprimanded her, saying, "Your conduct was the product of naked greed [and] the arrogant belief that you were above the law.” Leona Helmsley was sent to prison in 1992 and was released in 1994.
1988 Firma de un acuerdo de paz por el que Namibia se independiza de Sudáfrica.
1987 Elecciones legislativas anticipadas en Bélgica: dimite el primer ministro, Wilfried Martens, ante el avance de la oposición socialista
1985 France sues the United States over the discovery of an AIDS serum.
1984 Artificial heart recipient William Schroeder suffers 1st stroke.
^ Polish Communist government decrees martial law, restricting civil rights, outlawing the independent trade union Solidarity, and arresting its leader Lech Walesa and other activists.
1981 Loi martiale en Pologne
      A l'aube, le général Jaruzelski proclame la loi martiale en Pologne. 6000 syndicalistes sont arrêtés, y compris le populaire Lech Walesa. Le syndicat libre Solidarnosc est dissous. L'émotion est immense dans le pays comme en Occident.
      Des grèves sanglantes avaient déjà secoué le pays en 1970. Le 18 octobre 1978, l'opposition au régime communiste reçoit une impulsion décisive avec l'élection du polonais Karol Wojtyla [18 May 1920~] à la papauté sous le nom de Jean-Paul II. Charismatique et relativement jeune (58 ans), le nouveau pape se rend en Pologne en mai-juin 1979. Quatre mots font le tour du pays: "N'ayez pas peur!"
      Sous la conduite de l'électricien Lech Walesa, les ouvriers des chantiers navals de Gdansk se mettent en grève en février 1980. Les grèves s'étendent au pays. Le pouvoir vacille. Son chef, Edward Gierek, doit bientôt démissionner. Le 09 novembre 1980, le gouvernement reconnaît le syndicat libre Solidarnosc présidé par Lech Walesa et qui réunit près de dix millions de Polonais.
      Les Soviétiques empêtrés en Afghanistan ne sont pas en mesure d'intervenir militairement. Le nouveau chef du gouvernement, Wojciech Jaruzelski, doit se débrouiller seul. Son coup d'Etat ne trompe personne. Il traduit l'impuissance des communistes à diriger le pays et annonce la ruine prochaine de l'empire soviétique.
     -- Entre le 18 octobre et le 13 décembre 1981, le général Jaruzelski concentre tout le pouvoir entre ses mains et poussé par les dirigeants soviétiques, se prépare à la remise au pas de Solidarité devenu puissant, politisé et méfiant à l’égard de ce pouvoir. De nombreuses " fuites " (authentiques ou organisées) alertent la direction du syndicat qui menace de déclencher la grève générale si le général Jaruzelski décidait d’instaurer l’état d’urgence. Les historiens n’ont pas encore étudié la vérité sur les vrais coupables de l’effondrement du " renouveau " et du " modèle polonais " socialiste qui aurait pu s’avérer efficace et gagner ainsi une légitimité nationale. L’étude des publications polonaises de cette période éclaire bien l’enjeu énorme de la décision sur l’état de guerre, peut-être répression injustifiable, et peut-être moyen de sauvetage de la Pologne indépendante devant la menace de l’intervention armée de l’URSS. Le 13 décembre 1981, l’état de guerre est décrété à l’aube. Certains pensent que sans cette prise en main de Jaruzelski, les troupes russes seraient réellement intervenues pour réduire cet " exemple " polonais (négatif pour l’ensemble des démocraties populaires satellites) et rompre l’indépendance de la Pologne. Cet état de guerre durera jusqu’au 22 Jul 1983 et la Pologne ne le pardonnera pas au général.
Martial Law declared in Poland
      In response to the successes of the Solidarity movement, Poland's Communist government under General Wojciech Jaruzelski [06 Jul 1923~] declares martial law, arrests Lech Walesa [29 Sep 1943~] and other Solidarity leaders, and declares the Solidarity trade union illegal. Solidarity was founded under the charismatic leadership of Walesa in 1980, calling for improved working conditions for workers and greater liberty in Polish society. Under Walesa's guidance, the organization rapidly grew in size and political influence, soon becoming a threat to the authority of Poland's Communist government. In January of 1981, a national strike calling for the establishment of a five-day work-week paralyzed the nation and led to the dismissal of Premier Pinkowski and the arrest of Walesa. Overwhelming public outcry against Walesa's arrest forced his release in 1982, although Solidarity remained illegal and martial law was not lifted until 1984, and even then the government retained emergency powers. Peaceful protests and labor strikes continued in Poland. In 1983, Walesa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and in 1989 he became a leader in Poland's nonviolent transition from Communist to Democratic rule. After the fall of the Communist government, Walesa became increasingly critical of the coalition government of Premier Tadeusz Mazowiecki, and in 1990 successfully ran for the presidency, becoming the first publicly elected Polish leader since World War II
1976 Longest non-stop passenger airflight (Sydney to San Francisco 13h14m)
1976 Jorge González Aranguren es galardonado con el premio Adonais de poesía por De fuego, tigres, ríos.
1974 Malta becomes a republic
^ 1974 North Vietnamese begin attack on Phuoc Long Province
      North Vietnamese General Tran Van Tra orders 7th Division and the newly formed 3rd Division to attack Phuoc Long Province, north of Saigon. This attack represented an escalation in the "cease-fire war" that started shortly after the Paris Peace Accords were signed in 1973. The North Vietnamese wanted to see how Saigon and Washington reacted to a major attack so close to Saigon. President Richard Nixon and his successor, Gerald Ford, had promised to come to the aid of South Vietnam if the North Vietnamese launched a major attack. With Nixon's resignation and Ford facing an increasingly hostile Congress, Hanoi was essentially conducting a "test" attack to see if the US would honor its commitment to Saigon. The attack was much more successful than the North Vietnamese anticipated: the South Vietnamese soldiers fought poorly and the US did nothing. The Communists overran the last South Vietnamese positions in Phuoc Long on 06 January 1975. Emboldened by their success and by US passivity, the North Vietnamese leadership decided that it was time to launch a major offensive. The next attack was launched in March, with Ban Me Thuot in the Central Highlands as the initial objective. Once again, the South Vietnamese forces were largely ineffective and the US failed to respond. When the North Vietnamese intensified their efforts, the South Vietnamese, feeling abandoned by the United States, collapsed totally in just 55 days. On 30 April 1975, the North Vietnamese tanks crashed through the gates of the presidential palace and the South Vietnamese surrendered unconditionally.
1973 Great Britain cuts the work week to three days to save energy [at least it saved the workers' energy].
1973 French journalist Claude Vorilhon meets (he would claim) extra-terrestrial who tell him that life on Earth was created in laboratories by their race, and that his new name is Raël. He would go on the found the sect of the Raelians.
^ 1972 Vietnam peace negotiations deadlocked
      In Paris, peace negotiations are hopelessly deadlocked after a six-hour meeting between North Vietnamese negotiator Le Duc Tho and US National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger. After the meeting, Kissinger flew to the United States to confer with President Richard Nixon. The main point of contention was who would have political power in South Vietnam if a cease-fire were announced. The North Vietnamese negotiators demanded the following in the case of a cease-fire: the dissolution of the government of South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu, the disbanding of the South Vietnamese army, and the installation of a coalition government. The US refused to consider the North Vietnamese demands and steadfastly supported Thieu and his government. At the same time, the South Vietnamese were making their own demands. Over 100,000 North Vietnamese troops had occupied territory in South Vietnam during the 1972 Easter Offensive. Nguyen Van Thieu demanded that the North Vietnamese recognize Saigon's sovereignty over South Vietnam, which would make the continued presence of the North Vietnamese troops in the south illegal. The North Vietnamese refused Thieu's demands, saying that they would not recognize Thieu's government and would not remove their troops. They walked out of the negotiations. Nixon issued an ultimatum to Hanoi to send its representatives back to the conference table within 72 hours "or else.” When the North Vietnamese rejected Nixon's demand on December 18, the president gave the order to launch Operation Linebacker II, an intensified bombing campaign of North Vietnam that became known as the "Christmas bombing.” Over the next 11 days--with the exception of Christmas Day--the bombing continued unabated, with an estimated 20,000 tons of bombs dropped over North Vietnam. On December 28, North Vietnamese officials agreed to Nixon's conditions for reopening the negotiations; the next day, the president called an end to Linebacker II.
1971 John Sinclair (sentence: 10 yrs, sold 2 marijuana joints) is freed
1971 La ONU exhorta a los gobiernos de Argentina y Reino Unido a que se busquen una solución definitiva para su disputa por las Malvinas
1968 Artur da Costa e Silva proclama la dictadura militar en Brasil.
^ 1968 US-Mexico border rectified
      President Lyndon B. Johnson and Mexico's President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz meet on a bridge at El Paso, Texas, to officiate at ceremonies returning the long-disputed El Chamizal area to the Mexican side of the border.-- In El Paso, TX, LBJ & Mexican President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz set off an explosion diverting Rio Grande, to reshape US-Mexico border
     In the 1860's, spring floods on the Rio Grande River, which was the actual United States and Mexico boundary, changed this mighty river's course. This change actually took territory belonging to Mexico and made it U. S. territory. In 1963 the US and Mexico settled this 100-year boundary dispute harmoniously. It is known as the Chamizal Treaty of 1963. In 1967 Mexican President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz and US President Lyndon B. Johnson met in El Paso and Juarez to officially sign the final minutes of the Chamizal Treaty. It officially transferred to Mexico lands that had become part of the US The New Bridge With this treaty, it was necessary to dig a new river in its original state. In order to keep the river from changing again, it was lined with concrete.
Paso del Norte Bridge Chamizal Boundary Settlement Project
      In accordance with the terms of the Convention of 1963 for "Solution of the Problem of the Chamizal," the International Boundary and Water Commission relocated the channel of the Rio Grande between the cities of El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. The United States Congress authorized the United States part of this project by the American-Mexican Chamizal Convention Act of April 29, 1964. The project was undertaken in 1966 and completed in 1969. United States President Lyndon B. Johnson and Mexican President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz formally approved the relocation of the international boundary and the transfer of lands as provided for in the Chamizal Convention on October 28, 1967 at a ceremony at the Chamizal Monument in Juárez, Chihuahua.
      Presidents Johnson and Diaz Ordaz again met in El Paso-Juárez on December 13, 1968 to commemorate completion of the relocated channel and related works provided for in the Convention. The channel was relocated so as to transfer from the north to the south side of the river a total of 630.34 acres (255.09 hectares) and to keep on the north side 193.16 acres (78.17 hectares). The relocation required the joint construction of 4.4 miles (7km) of concrete-lined new channel and construction of three vehicular bridges an two railroad bridges over the new channel. The improved channel also provides the cities of El Paso and Juárez long-needed protection from Rio Grande floods. The two Governments shared the costs equally.
      The two Governments also share equally the costs of maintaining and operating the new Rio Grande channel between the two cities and maintenance of one vehicular bridge. For the relocation of the river channel and transfer of lands to the Mexican side of the river free of private titles, the United States Government through the United States Section had to acquire some 1200 residential and 186 commercial, as well as industrial and public properties. Also, the Section relocated 11.7 miles (19 km) of railroad facilities and 1.7 miles (3 km) of irrigation canal, and constructed three new port of entry inspection facilities.
      Of the 193.16 acres (78.17 hectares) ceded by Mexico to the United States: (1) 55 acres (22.26 hectares) are used for a National Park commemorating the settlement of the Chamizal; (2) 60 acres (24.28 hectares) are used for a new high school, Bowie High School; and (3) the remaining 78.16 acres (31.6 hectares) are used for the new United States port of entry facilities at the Bridge of the Americas. As a complementary measure for the City of El Paso, the United States Congress also appropriated funds to cover a part of the cost of construction of a border highway in El Paso, Texas, parallel to the river boundary for a distance of 13 miles (19km). The Mexican Government has developed schools, parks and recreational facilities on lands transferred to Mexico.
[Photo: Chamizal boundary settlement channel at El Paso, Texas--Ciudad Juarez, Chihuhua, looking downstream from the United States at the new Paso del Norte Bridge constructed as part of the boundary relocation].
1963 Argentina solicita del gobierno español la extradición de Juan Domingo Perón Sosa.
1959 Archbishop Makarios elected 1st president of Cyprus
1959 Le général de Gaulle promet l’Indépendance à la communauté française d’Afrique. La plupart des pays "français" d’Afrique obtiennent leur Indépendance dans les deux années. Et cela aurait été encore plus rapide si certains pays n’avaient longuement contesté les frontières tracées par les Français, comme le Maroc qui revendique la Mauritanie.
1958 EE.UU. lanza desde Cabo Cañaveral un cohete, llamado Júpiter, con un mono a bordo.
^ 1957 The last 2-seater Ford Thunderbird is produced.
      Through 1957, Ford's Thunderbirds were jaunty, two-seater sports cars that boasted removable hard tops and powerful V-8 engines. The 1958 Thunderbird (nicknamed the "square bird") was a four-passenger car, eighteen inches longer and half a ton heavier than the previous year's model. The new luxury Thunderbird packed a 300-hp V-8, making it one of the most muscular cars on the road. And one of the most popular. It sold more cars in 1958 than 1957, despite a nation-wide slump in auto sales. 1922 Early Convertible Top Patented Eight years after they began offering their removable car-top on KisselKar and Kissel automobiles, William Kissel and Friedrich Werner received an American patent for their invention. Their "Convertible Automobile Body" had a removable hard top that could turn a closed car into an open touring car--one of the earliest convertibles. 1939 Lincoln Continental is Born The first production Lincoln Continental was finished on this day (prototypes of the touring car had already been driven). The Lincoln Continentals of the 1940s are commonly considered some of the most beautiful production cars ever made. Today, the Lincoln Continental remains one of the world's most popular luxury cars.
1955 Una revuelta disuade al rey Hussein I de Jordania de adherirse al pacto de Bagdad.
1951 After meeting with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, President Harry S Truman vows to purge all disloyal government workers.
1951 Josep Pla i Casadevall gana el premio Joanot Martorell de novela con El carrer estret.
^ 1951 US foreign service officer unjustly fired during Red Scare
      Foreign Service Officer John S. Service is dismissed from the Department of State following a determination by the Civil Service Commission's Loyalty Board that there was "reasonable doubt" concerning his loyalty to the United States.
      Service was one of a number of so-called "China hands"-State Department officials who were experts on China and the Far East-who saw their careers ruined during the 1950s by Senator Joseph McCarthy and his cohorts. McCarthy targeted Service and several of his coworkers, including John Carter Vincent, O. Edmund Clubb, and John Paton Davies, for criticism and investigation. McCarthy charged that Service and other State Department officials had effectively "lost" China to the communists, either through incompetence or, more ominously, through sympathy with the communist cause. The case against Service centered on the 1945 Amerasia scandal. In that year, FBI agents raided the offices of the magazine Amerasia and found classified government documents concerning America's policy in China. Service was implicated because he had given de-classified background information to the magazine's editor. A grand jury, a House subcommittee, and the State Department's Loyalty Board subsequently cleared him. In 1950, however, McCarthy singled out Service as one of what he called "the 205 known communists" in the Department of State. In short order, Service's case was reviewed once again, and this time he was dismissed. Service declared that the decision was "a surprise, a shock, and an injustice.” Senator McCarthy exclaimed, "Good, good, good!"
      Service fought the dismissal, and was eventually reinstated in 1957, but his career never recovered from the damage. Like the other "China hands" who were hounded out of the State Department, Service's real crime was his unremitting criticism of the Nationalist Chinese government of Chiang Kai-Shek during and after World War II. All believed that Chiang's government--due to corruption, incompetence, and brutality--was doomed to fall to the communist forces in China. Thus, Service and his colleagues became easy scapegoats for Red Scare promoters such as McCarthy. Their dismissals severely damaged the Far East division of the Department of State, destroyed morale in the Foreign Service, and effectively squashed any dissenting debate concerning America's China policy. All of these factors assisted in the serious underestimation of communist China's political investment in Korea and Vietnam and indirectly resulted in the military conflicts in those countries in the years to come.
      Senator Joseph McCarthy was eventually censured by the Senate and died a drunkard.
1949 Knesset votes to transfer Israel's capital to Jerusalem
1945 France and Britain agree to leave Syria and Lebanon.
1944 General Dwight Eisenhower is supposed to be assassinated, as planned by Nazi Operation Grief.
^ 1942 Goebbels' diary: Italians too lax on Jews
       Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels records in his journal his contempt for the Italians' treatment of Jews in Italian-occupied territories. “The Italians are extremely lax in their treatment of Jews. They protect Italian Jews both in Tunis and in occupied France and won't permit their being drafted for work or compelled to wear the Star of David.”
      Joseph Goebbels had made the persecution, and ultimately the extermination, of Jews a personal priority from the earliest days of the war, often recording in his diary such statements as: "They are no longer people but beasts.” "Their destruction will go hand in hand with the destruction of our enemies.” "[T]he Jews … are now being evacuated eastward. The procedure is pretty barbaric and is not to be described here more definitely. Not much will remain of the Jews.” It was on his recommendation that all Jews in occupied Paris be forced to wear a yellow star on the left side of their coats or jackets in order to identify and humiliate them.
      His vituperative anti-Semitism, which included blaming the war itself on the Jews in a screed published in the German magazine Das Reich, could not be contained within the boundaries of Germany. He expected the same of his allies. But, truth be told, in the earliest days of fascism, Mussolini had denied any truth to the idea of a "pure" race and had counted Jews among his close colleagues-and was even a Zionist!
      But with Italy's failing fortunes militarily, Mussolini needed to stress the Italians' "superiority" in some sense, and so began to mimic many of the racial and anti-Jewish legislation of the Nazis. Nevertheless, Mussolini never had the stomach-or the conviction-for the extremes of Goebbels, Goering, and Hitler. And certainly the majority of the Italian people never subscribed to the growing anti-Semitic rhetoric of the regime. In fact, the Italians refused to deport Jews from Italy-or from Italian-occupied Croatia or France-to Auschwitz. The majority of Italians' courage to reject the worst of fascist ideology--its anti-Semitism--remains one bright spot in Italy's otherwise appalling World War II record.
1941 British forces launch an offensive in Libya.
1940 Adolf Hitler orders preparations for Operation Martita, the German invasion of Greece.
1938 Los Angeles freezes at -2ºC
^ 1937 The Rape of Nanking begins
     The Japanese army occupies Nanking, China, where they are about to commit terrible atrocities and massacres: "the rape of Nanking".
      -- Les Japonais s'emparent de Nankin, capitale provisoire de la République chinoise, gouvernée par Chiang Kai-chek. La chute de la ville est suivie par de gigantesques massacres de civils, comme à l'accoutumée depuis l'invasion de la Chine par les Japonais le 07 Jul de la même année.
—      During the Sino-Japanese War, Nanking, the capital of China, falls to Japanese forces as the government of the Chinese republic flees to Hankow, further inland along the Yangtze River. After the Japanese army advances into the former Chinese capital, a reign of atrocity is launched against the civilian and military population of the city, as Japanese military command permits what amounts to a total breakdown of discipline within its soldiers. Over the next eight weeks, in what would become known as the "Rape of Nanking," the Japanese army butchers an estimated 150'000 male "war prisoners," murders an additional 50,000 male civilians, and brutally rapes at least 20'000 women of all ages, many of whom are mutilated or killed in the process. The handful of foreign observers still remaining in the Chinese capital later testify that the Rape of Nanking seemed to be a campaign of terror and genocide deliberately organized by the Japanese to help break the spirit of Chinese resistance.
     Les Japonais s'emparent de Nankin, capitale provisoire de la République chinoise, gouvernée par Chiang Kai-chek. La chute de la ville est suivie par de gigantesques massacres de civils, comme à l'accoutumée depuis l'invasion de la Chine par les Japonais le 7 juillet de la même année.
1936 During the Spanish Civil War the Nationalists insurgents attempt to cut the Madrid-La Coruna road to the north-east of Madrid.
1920 The American A.E. Michaelson of Mt. Wilson Observatory is the first astronomer to measure the diameter of a star(Betelgeuse, approximately 260 million miles). He uses F Pease's interferometer.
1918 US army of occupation crosses the Rhine, enters Germany
1918 Wilson, becomes 1st to make a foreign visit as US president (to the WWI peace conference in France)
1918 Los representantes vascos reivindican en el parlamento español el uso de su lengua nativa.
1913 It is announced by authorities in Florence, Italy, that the Mona Lisa has been recovered. The work was stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris on 27 August 1911. 
1910 Disturbios estudiantiles en San Petersburgo y Odessa contra el uso de castigos corporales a presos políticos.
1908 The Dutch take two Venezuelan Coast Guard ships.
1902 The Committee of Imperial Defense holds its first meeting in London.
1864 Storming of Fort McAllister, Georgia.
^ 1862 The Battle of Fredericksburg
      During the Civil War, the Union forces of General Ambrose E. Burnside, consisting of some 135'000 soldiers, launch an offensive against Confederate General Robert E. Lee's army of 75'000 men. After crossing the Rappahannock River, and advancing steadily through Fredericksburg, Union troops encounter the strongest Confederate position of the entire Civil War--a stone wall at Marye's Heights utilized by General Lee as a natural rifle pit for the Confederates. Wave after wave of Union soldiers advance on the impregnable position, and thousands are mowed down by the entrenched Confederates. It is during this battle that Lee, watching the futile Union attack on Marye's Heights, is reported to have said, "It is well that war is so terrible--we should grow too fond of it.” More than 25'000 Union soldiers are killed or wounded at the Battle of Fredericksburg, compared with only 5000 Confederate casualties. The victory of Lee's vastly outnumbered army at Fredericksburg, following a year of consistent Confederate victories, is a grave defeat for the Northern war effort.
1816 Patent for a dry dock issued to John Adamson, Boston
1814 General Andrew Jackson announces martial law in New Orleans, Louisiana, as British troops disembark at Lake Borne, 60 km east of the city.
1812 The last remnants of Napoleon Bonaparte's Grand Armée reach the safety of Kovno, Poland, after the failed Russian campaign.
1810 L'empire français, qui compte désormais 130 départements au lieu des 98 créés par la Constituante en 1790, s'étend de la mer du Nord à l'Adriatique. Cette dimension est rendue possible par l'annexion de la Hollande, du Piémont, de la Ligurie, de la Toscane, de Parme, des Etats pontificaux, du Valais et de la côte allemande de la mer du Nord.
1789 The National Guard is created in France.
1774 Thefirst armed action of the American Revolution: John Sullivan, commander of a detachment of 400 Granite State Volunteers, attacks Fort William and Mary near Portsmouth, New Hampshire. They scare the troops, tie up the commander, and confiscate 100 kegs of powder. This is four months before the battles at Lexington and Concord.
1642 New Zealand discovered by Dutch navigator Abel Tasman
^ 1642 Tasman discovers New Zealand
      Dutch navigator Abel Tasman discovers the south Pacific island group that would later become known as New Zealand. While attempting to land, several of Tasman's crew are killed by warriors from the native Maori people, who interpret the Europeans's exchange of trumpet signals as a prelude to battle. Tasman is the first European to visit New Zealand, which is named for the Dutch province of Zeeland. Earlier in the year, Tasman had discovered Tasmania, off the southeast coast of Australia. Tasman named the island Van Diemen's Land, but, like the Tasman Sea between New Zealand and Australia, it is later renamed Tasmania in the explorer's honor. Neither New Zealand nor Tasmania attract much European attention until the late eighteenth century, when English explorer Captain James Cook travels through the area and writes detailed accounts of the islands. In 1803, Great Britain takes possession of Tasmania and establishes a penal colony, and in 1840, the first permanent European settlement, an English colony, is founded on Auckland Island in New Zealand.
^ 1621 The first export of American furs
      Under the care of Robert Cushman, the first American furs to be exported from the continent leave for England aboard the Fortune. One month before, Cushman and the Fortune had arrived to Plymouth Colony in present-day Massachusetts with thirty-five settlers, the first new colonists since Plymouth was founded the year before. During Cushman's return to England the Fortune is captured by the French, and its cargo of furs, valued at over a thousand dollars, is taken. Cushman himself is detained on the Ile d'Dieu, but is returned to England by February. Within a few years of their first fur export, the Plymouth colonists, unable to make their living through cod fishing as they had originally planned, concentrate almost entirely on the fur trade. The colonists work out an economic system in which their chief crop, Indian corn, is traded with Amerindians to the north for highly valued beaver skins, which are in turn profitably sold in England to pay the Plymouth Colony's debts and buy necessary supplies.
1577 Sir Francis Drake sets sail from England to go around the world in the Golden Hind
Council of Trent (19th ecumenical council) opens
1545 Ouverture du Concile de Trente
, en pleine expansion du Protestantisme. Convoqué par le pape Paul III dès 1542, il ne put s’ouvrir que le 13 décembre 1545. Les huit premières sessions ont été tenues à Trente du 13 décembre 1545 jusqu’en 1547, les sessions 9 à 11 à Bologne en 1548, les sessions 12 à 16 à Trente en 1551-1552 sous le pape Jules III, les sessions 17 à 25 à Trente en 1562-1563 sous le pape Pie IV. Les Pères votèrent des décisions dogmatiques sur la doctrine de l’Écriture et de la Tradition, sur le péché originel et la justification, définirent la doctrine catholique sur le sacrifice de la messe, les sacrements et le culte des saints, et publièrent de nombreux décrets de réforme.
^ 1294 Le pape Célestin V démissionne après quelques mois de pontificat. Elu contre son gré, ce bénédictin et ermite de plus de 80 ans ne se sentait pas capable de résister aux pressions qui s'exercaient sur le Saint-Siège, notamment de la part du roi de France Philippe IV Le Bel. Il mourra l'année suivante et sera canonisé malgré le scandale que constituait aux yeux des chrétiens son refus d'assumer sa charge. Son successeur Boniface VIII éprouvera toute la difficulté de faire respecter la papauté.
< 12 Dec 14 Dec >
^  Deaths which occurred on a 13 December:
2005 Muzhir al-Dulaimi, a Sunni Moslem, after two terrorists, in Ramadi, Iraq, shoot at him in a crowd in which, as head the Free Progressive Iraqi Party, he was campaigning for the 15 December election. Three of his bodyguards are wounded. — (051213)
2005 Four US soldiers, by a roadside bomb northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, where they were on patrol. — (051213)
2005 Stanley Tookie Williams III, born (main coverage) on 29 December 1953, is executed in California. — (051212)
2004 Fourteen persons, including a suicide car bomber claimed by the “Martyrs' Brigade of al-Qaida in Iraq” (led by the Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi), among cars waiting to enter the western Harthiyah gate of the “Green Zone” of the Iraqi puppet government and its US Embassy puppet masters. 15 persons are wounded.
2004 Three soldiers of an Iraqi National Guard patrol in Mishahda, Iraq, under attack by insurgents. Three soldiers are wounded.
2004 Eigheen miners of the 21 working 450 m below ground in the Xinli Coal Mine in the Xiangtan district of Hunan province, China, where a faulty air compressor starts a fire.
2003 Policemen Bryan S. Verkler and Thomas Roberts, and armed robber Raymond Matthew Gilkeson, 30, whom they were trying to arrest, in Mishawaka, Indiana.
2003 Hava Ben-David, 48, from being shot the previous evening by her husband Rafi Ben-David, in Netanya, Israel. They had been living separately for the previous four months; she and their children had remained at the family home, while her husband was living in rented accomodation in the city. Rafi Ben-David arrived at the family apartment at 22:00 on 12 December, carrying a gun belonging to his brother-in-law. He and his wife began to argue and when Hava left the apartment, her husband followed and shot her in the head. Police was alerted by neighbors. Rafi Ben-David returned to his apartment, and told a policeman who phoned him that he wished to ask forgiveness from his children and that he was sorry for what he had done. He then told the policeman that he intended to commit suicide. The policeman attempted to dissuade him, but detectives who arrived at the apartment found that he had shot himself in the head. He survived in critical condition.
2003 Kamleh al-Shuli, 20, Palestinian woman, by two bullets in the chest, before dawn, as Israeli troops at a checkpoint in Nablus shoot at a taxi which slowed down but did not come to a complete stop. It was bringing al-Shuli, and six others with her, from the village Asira al-Shamaleya. The Israelis arrest the driver.
2002 Tareq Abed Rabbo, shot by Israeli undercover agents of the Border Police when they find him hiding in a closet in a house in the Nur al Shams refugee camp south of Tul Karm, West Bank. He was a local leader of the Hamas military wing.
2002 Abed al-Yusef Abu-Mussa, shot by Israeli troops as the tried to flee from a house in a village south of Bethleem. He was a senior Hamas activist and the Israelis say that he was planning to send a suicide bomber to Israel.
2001 Ahmad Khamis Almasri, 15, and Rami Salah Edin Zorob, 13, Palestinian boys, shot by Israeli troops in the Gaza Strip.
^ 2001 Six policemen, one army commando soldier, one gardener, and all six attackers of the Parliament in New Delhi.
     A car disguised to look like an official car, siren wailing, speeds through one of the 12 gates, one attacker jumps out and explodes when hit by gunfire, while the others engage in a gunfight with police, until all the attactkers are dead. 18 persons are injured.
     The first attacker was killed when a bullet hit his knapsack, perhaps exploding a grenade. After the first shots, exchanged between the attackers and Vice President Krishan Kant's security detail, Parliament's guards herded 300 lawmakers, journalists and officials to inner rooms of the circular, red sandstone building. For the next two hours, they watched live television broadcasts of the havoc outside.
      The attackers fought fiercely, but they made several mistakes and may not have been thoroughly briefed on the layout of Parliament. Their target was perhaps the main porch of the building, but they had moved in the opposite direction after entering the grounds. The driver put the car in reverse gear, and that's when the trouble for them began.Their white, Indian-made Ambassador car — equipped with an official-looking siren, nonfunctioning red light and fake window stickers — had sped past the outer gate. But then they turned into a lane used only by Kant, the vice president. That made a policeman suspicious, and he ran after the car.
      The terrorists reversed and slammed into the flag-decked, official car waiting to take Kant home. The vice president's angry driver — a policeman — tried to pull the terrorist driver out of the attack car, and a scuffle broke out. And that spoiled their game plan. They perhaps got panicky and started firing as they got out of the car. The VP's driver was one of six security officers killed by the terrorists. With blue, bulging knapsacks tied to their backs, they fired their AK-47 rifles one-handed as they ran along the wall of the main Parliament building. Two moved toward the main porch, while three climbed a brick wall in the opposite direction.
      Security officers immediately took up positions behind trees, corners of the building and the wall and opened fire, while the Parliament guards alerted everyone by shouting, "Terrorists, terrorists." The guards shut all 12 doors of the building, preventing any entry. One gunman kept running and firing along the front steps of the building until he was killed only meters away from the doorway used by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
      Vajpayee had canceled his plan to come to Parliament after hearing that the session had been adjourned early. The focus of the gunbattle shifted to the three terrorists near the doorway used by Home Minister L.K. Advani. There they shot to death a woman commando and wounded half a dozen paramilitary guards before being killed. The gunbattle lasted 35 to 40 minutes, leaving the security officers and a gardener dead, and 18 people wounded. No legislators were injured. The dead bodies of the attackers lay on the ground, near their bags of unused grenades. Their car, full of explosives, was intact. The assailants were found not only to be carrying weapons, but also dried fruit - possible evidence that the men planned a drawn-out standoff with police.
1994 Antoine Pinay, político francés.
1961 Anna Mary Robertson ("Grandma Moses"), US Folk painter born on 07 September 1860. MORE ON GRANDMA MOSES AT ART “4” SEPTEMBER with links to images.
1988 Lawrence Cadena, 43, police officer posing as a buyer of cocaine, shot by Javier Suárez Medina, 19, who has lived most of his life in the US, but is a Mexican national. After his arrest, in violation Article 36 of the 1963 Vienna Convention of Consular Relations (which became US law in 1969), he would never be told that he could contact the Mexican consulate for help. The diplomatic protests of Mexico, which like all civilized countries does not have the death penalty, would go unheaded by Texas, which would execute Suárez by lethal injection on 14 August 2002.
Tempered Élan1950 Wald, mathematician.
1944 138 on US cruiser Nashville and Japanese kamikaze pilot who purposefully crashed into it.
1944 Vasiliy Vasilyevich Kandinsky, Russian Expressionist painter, dies in Neuilly-sur-Seine. He was born on 16 December (04 December Julian) 1866. — article about Kandinsky: Towards Abstraction — .(Tempered Élan, 1944:  thumbnail >) MORE ON KANDINSKY AT ART “4” DECEMBER 16 with links to images.
^ 1939 Day 14 of Winter War: USSR aggression against Finland. [Talvisodan 14. päivä]
More deaths due to Stalin's desire to grab Finnish territory.
US refuses credit to Finland.
  • Central Isthmus: Soviet troops continue their attacks with the support of artillery and tanks in the Summa-Muolaanjärvi sector. The last Finnish forward combat posts in the Perkjärvi sector are pulled back. The attacks are repulsed in all sectors of the front.
  • Ilomantsi: Detachment A's attack fails.
  • Northern Finland: Major-General K.M. Wallenius takes command of the Lapland Group.
  • Helsinki: Hietaniemi cemetery receives it first five fallen heroes.
  • Helsinki: a private umbrella organization, the Finnish Centre for Nordic Aid, is set up to organize the evacuation of Finnish children to Sweden. The first shipment of children arrives by sea in Stockholm.
  • Abroad: the Soviet Ambassador in Rome returns to Moscow, apparently in protest over a demonstration in support of Finland.
  • Washington: the US Government refuses to grant Finland a credit to purchase military materials and equipment.
  • 1926 Théodore van Rysselbergue, Belgian artist born on 28 November 1862.
    1925 Antonio Maura y Montaner, estadista español.
    1924 Samuel Gompers, 44, organized American Federation of Labor
    1921 Max Noether, mathematician.
    1916 Some 10'000 Austrian and Italian soldiers in 24 hrs, by avalanche in Tyrol
    1915 Ross Macdonald, espionage author.
    1913 Thomas A. Watson, manufacturer of the first telephone, born on 18 January 1833..
    1912 Vital Aza, escritor español.
    1912 Antonio Ermolao Paoletti, Italian artist born on 08 May 1834.
    1894 Juan León Mera Martínez, escritor ecuatoriano.
    1890 François Louis David Bocion, Swiss artist born on 30 March 1828.
    1870 Pascual Madoz, intelectual, político y escritor español.
    1867 Arthur Grottger, Polish artist born on 11 November 1837. — more
    1862 Confederate and more Union soldiers as the Battle of Fredericksburg ends with the bloody slaughter of onrushing Union troops at Marye's Heights. The Battle of Fredericksburg began on this day in 1862, with the Confederates safe and secure in the small city of Fredericksburg, Virginia. The Union commander, Gen. Ambrose Burnside, ordered a series of attacks across the Rappahannock, which led to devastating Federal losses.
    1836 Francisco Espoz y Mina, guerrillero en la Guerra de la Independencia Española.
    1823 Antonio Nariño, escritor y político colombiano.
    1784 Dr. Samuel Johnson  
    1736 Gaspar Wittel, Dutch artist born in 1653. — MORE ON WITTEL AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    1716 Charles Delafosse, French French Baroque painter born on 15 June 1636. — MORE ON DELAFOSSE AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    1693 Willem van Velde Sr., Dutch artist born in 1611. — MORE ON VAN VELDE AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    1603 François Viète, 63, mathematician, in Paris.
    Tartaglia^ 1557 Niccolò Fontana "Tartaglia", 58, Italian mathematician.
    [The poem in which he revealed to Cardan the secret of solving the cubic]
    When the cube and the things together
    Are equal to some discrete number, (1)
    Find two other numbers differing in this one.
    Then you will keep this as a habit
    That their product shall always be equal
    Exactly to the cube of a third of the things. (2)
    The remainder then as a general rule
    Of their cube roots subtracted
    Will be equal to your principal thing. (3)

    (1) [Solve x^3 + cx = d]
    (2) [Find u, v such that u - v = d and uv = (c/3)^3 ]
    (3) [Then x = u^(1/3) - v^(1/3) ]
    Niccolò Fontana known as Tartaglia, was born in Brescia in 1499, the son of a humble mail rider. He was nearly killed as a teenager, when in 1512 the French captured his home town and put it to the sword. Amidst the general slaughter, the twelve year old boy was dealt horrific facial sabre wounds that cut his jaw and palate and he was left for dead. His mother's tender care ensured that the youngster did survive, but in later life Niccolò always wore a beard to camouflage his disfiguring scars and he could only speak with difficulty, hence his nickname Tartaglia, or stammerer.
          Tartaglia was self taught in mathematics but, having an extraordinary ability, was able to earn his living teaching at Verona and Venice. As a lowly mathematics teacher in Venice, Tartaglia gradually acquired a reputation as a promising mathematician by participating successfully in a large number of debates.
          The first person known to have solved cubic equations algebraically was del Ferro but he told nobody of his achievement. On his deathbed, however, del Ferro passed on the secret to his (rather poor) student Fior. Fior began to boast that he was able to solve cubics and a challenge between him and Tartaglia was arranged in 1535. Each man was to submit thirty questions for the other to complete. Fior was supremely confident that his ability to solve cubics would be enough to defeat Tartaglia but because negative numbers were not used there was more than one type of cubic equation and Fior had only been shown by del Ferro how to solve one type. Tartaglia submitted a variety of different questions, exposing Fior as an, at best, mediocre mathematician. Fior, on the other hand, offered Tartaglia thirty opportunities to solve the cosa and cube problem since he believed that he would be unable to solve this type. However, in the early hours of 13 February 1535, inspiration came to Tartaglia and he discovered the method to solve both types of cubic. Tartaglia now knowing the method to solve the cosa and cube problems, quickly solved all thirty of Fior's problems in less than two hours. As Fior had made little headway with Tartaglia's questions, it was obvious to all who the winner was.
          At this point that Cardan enters the story. As public lecturer of mathematics at the Piatti Foundation in Milan, he was aware of the cosa and cube problems, but, until the contest, he had taken Pacioli at his word and assumed as Pacioli stated in the Suma published in 1494, that solutions were impossible. Cardan was greatly intrigued when he learned of the contest and immediately set to work on trying to discover Tartaglia's method for himself, but was unsuccessful. A few years later, in 1539 he contacted Tartaglia, through an intermediary, requesting that the method could be included in a book he was publishing that year. Tartaglia declined this opportunity, stating his intention to publish his formula in a book of his own that he was going to write at a later date. Cardan , accepting this, then asked to be shown the method, promising, if he was, to keep it secret. Tartaglia, however, refused.
          An incensed Cardan now wrote to Tartaglia directly, expressing his bitterness, challenging him to a debate but, at the same time, hinting that he had been discussing Tartaglia's brilliance with the governor of the emperor's army in Milan, Alfonso d'Avalos, the Marchese del Vasto, who one of Cardan's powerful sponsors. On receipt of this letter, Tartaglia radically revised his attitude, realizing that acquaintance with the influential Milanese governor could be very rewarding and could provide a way out of the modest teacher's job he then held, and into a lucrative job at the Milanese court. He wrote back to Cardan in friendly terms, angling for an introduction to the Signor Marchese. Cardan was delighted at Tartaglia's new approach, and, inviting him to his house, assured Tartaglia that he would arrange a meeting with d'Avalos.
          So, in March 1539, Tartaglia left Venice and travelled to Milan. To Tartaglia's dismay, the governor was temporarily absent from Milan but Cardan attended to his guest's every need and soon the conversation turned the cosa and cube problem. Tartaglia, after much persuasion, agreed to tell Cardan his method, if the Cardan would swear never to reveal it and furthermore, to only ever write it down in code so that on his death, nobody would discover the secret from his papers. This Cardan readily agreed to, and Tartaglia divulged his formula in a poem, to help protect the secret, should the paper fall into the wrong hands. Anxious now to leave Cardan 's house, he obtained from his host, a letter of introduction to the Marchese and left to seek him out. Instead though, he turned back for Venice, wondering if his decision to part with his formula had been a mistake.
          By the time he reached Venice, Tartaglia was sure he had made a mistake in trusting Cardan and began to feel very angry that he had been induced to reveal his secret formula. Cardan published two mathematical books that year and, as soon as he could get copies, Tartaglia checked to make sure his formula was not included. Though he felt a little happier to find that the formula was not included in the texts, when Cardan wrote to him in a friendly manner Tartaglia rebuffed his offer of continued friendship and mercilessly ridiculed his books on the merest trivialities.
          Based on Tartaglia's formula, Cardan and Ferrari, his assistant, made remarkable progress finding proofs of all cases of the cubic and, even more impressively, solving the quartic equation. Tartaglia made no move to publish his formula, despite the fact that, by now, it had become well known that such a method existed. Tartaglia probably wished to keep his formula in reserve for any upcoming debates.
          Cardan and Ferrari travelled to Bologna and learnt from della Nave that del Ferro and not Tartaglia had been the first to solve the cubic equation. Cardan felt that although he had sworn not to reveal Tartaglia's method surely nothing prevented him from publishing del Ferro's formula. In 1545 Cardan published Artis magnae sive de regulis algebraicis liber unus or Ars magna as it is more commonly known which contained solutions to the cubic and quartic equations and all of the additional work he had completed on Tartaglia's formula. Del Ferro and Tartaglia are fully credited with their discoveries, as is Ferrari, and the whole story written down in the text.
          Tartaglia was furious when he discovered that Cardan had disregarded his oath and his intense dislike of Cardan turned into a pathological hatred. The following year Tartaglia published a book, New Problems and Inventions which clearly stated his side of the story and his belief that Cardan had acted in extreme bad faith. For good measure, he added a few malicious personal insults directed against Cardan .
          Ars Magna had clearly established Cardan as the world's leading mathematician and he was not much damaged by Tartaglia's venomous attacks. Ferrari, however, wrote to Tartaglia, berating him mercilessly and challenged him to a public debate. Tartaglia was extremely reluctant to dispute with Ferrari, still a relatively unknown mathematician, against whom even a victory would do little material good. A debate with Cardan , on the other hand, held great appeal for Tartaglia. Not only did he hate him but Cardan was a leading figure in the mathematical, medical and literary worlds, and even to enter a debate with him would greatly enhance Tartaglia's standing. For all the brilliance of his discovery of the solution to the cosa and cube problem, Tartaglia was still a relatively poor mathematics teacher in Venice.
          So Tartaglia replied to Ferrari, trying to bring Cardan into the debate. Cardan , however, had no intention of debating with Tartaglia. Ferrari and Tartaglia wrote fruitlessly to each other for about a year, trading the most offensive personal insults but achieving little in the way of resolving the dispute. Suddenly in 1548, Tartaglia received an impressive offer of a lectureship in his home town, Brescia. To clearly establish his credential for the post, Tartaglia was asked to journey to Milan and take part in the contest with Ferrari.
          On 10 August 1548 the contest took place in the Church in the Garden of the Frati Zoccolanti. Tartaglia was vastly experienced in such debates and expected to win. However, by the end of the first day, it was clear that things were not going Tartaglia's way. Ferrari clearly understood the cubic and quartic equations more thoroughly and Tartaglia decided that he would leave Milan that night and thus leave the contest unresolved. With Tartaglia departing ignominiously, victory was left to Ferrari.
          Tartaglia suffered as a result of the contest. After giving his lectures for a year in Brescia, he was informed that his stipend was not going to honored. Even after numerous lawsuits, Tartaglia could not get any payment and returned, seriously out of pocket, to his previous job in Venice, nursing a huge resentment of Cardan . The defeat in Milan would appear to be responsible for Tartaglia's non-payment.
          Tartaglia is now remembered in that the name of the formula for solving the cubic has been named the Cardan -Tartaglia formula. However, Tartaglia did contribute to mathematics in a number of other ways. Fairly early in his career, before he became involved in the arguments about the cubic equation, he wrote Nova Scientia (1537) on the application of mathematics to artillery fire. In the work he described new ballistic methods and instruments, including the first firing tables.
          Tartaglia also wrote a popular arithmetic text and was the first Italian translator and publisher of Euclid's Elements in 1543. In 1546 he published Quesiti et Inventioni diverse de Nicolo Tartalea referred to above. He also published Latin editions of Archimedes's works.

    1466 Donatello, Italian renaissance sculptor who made the first life-sized bronze statue. The Medicis were his patrons. — Donato di Betto, Donatello, escultor florentino — LINKS
    1250 Frederick II, 55, German Emperor (1212-1250) — Federico II, emperador de Alemania y rey de Sicilia.
    1204 Maimonides (Moses ben Maimon), 69, in Cairo. The medieval Spanish Jewish scholar's greatest writing, Guide of the Perplexed (1190) attempted to harmonize Aristotelian philosophy with rabbinic Judaism [brief excerpts].
    1048 al-Biruni, mathematician.
    < 12 Dec 14 Dec >
    ^  Births which occurred on a 13 December:
    1978 Susan B. Anthony dollar, 1st US coin to honor a woman, is issued
    1960 El Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica (BCIE) es fundado por Guatemala, el Salvador, Honduras, y Nicaragua, en Managua.
    1924 Enrique Fuentes Quintana, economista español.
    1923 Philip W. Anderson, who shared the 1977 Nobel Physics Prize.
    1923 Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona Catalan Abstract Expressionist {more accurately: “Trashcan”} so-called painter, draftsman, printmaker, and sculptor. — more with links to images of, and gullible comments on two so-called paintings.
    1920 George P Schultz US Secretary of State under US President Ronald Reagan (1982-1989)
    1916 Liber Seregni Mosquera, político y militar uruguayo.
    1915 Balthazar Johannes Vorster Prime Minister of South Africa (1966-1977)
    ^ 1915 Kenneth Millar ("Ross Macdonald"), detective novelist, in Los Gatos, California.
          Under the pseudonym Ross Macdonald, he wrote 24 mystery novels, 20 of them featuring detective Lew Archer. Macdonald's literary approach to the hard-boiled detective novel helped elevate the genre. His character Lew Archer first appeared in The Moving Target (1949). Archer's streetwise, no-nonsense exterior protected an introspective and thoughtful character. Other books featuring Archer include The Galton Case (1959), The Name Is Archer (1955), and The Underground Man (1971).
          Macdonald was born in Los Gatos but moved to Canada as a young boy after his parents' divorce. Captain of the boys' debating time in a town called Kitchener, he later married the captain of the girls' team, Margaret Strum, who also became a successful mystery novelist under her married name, Margaret Millar.
          Macdonald taught school in Toronto and took a Ph.D. in American literature at the University of Michigan in 1951. While he was serving in the US Navy during World War II, his wife bought a house in Santa Barbara, where the couple settled and lived until Ross Macdonald's death from Alzheimer's disease in 1983. The couple was active in environmental conservation, and Ross Macdonald founded a conservation group called Get Oil Out after an oil spill off Santa Barbara's coast in 1969.
    1911 Kenneth Patchen US, poet / novelist (Before the Brave, Hurrah for Anything, Cloth of the Tempest)
    1911 Trygve Magnus Haavelmo, who shared the 1989 Nobel Economics Prize.
    1903 John Piper, British painter who died in 1992. — more with links to images.
    1903 José López Rubio, dramaturgo español.
    1903 The ice cream cone is patented by Italo Marcioni (NJ)
    1902 La gran presa de Asuan, en el Nilo en inaugurada.
    1890 Marc Connelly McKeesport PA, playwright, actor, director and journalist (Green Pastures, One Minute Please) Green Pastures is a play which depicts Judeo-Christian concepts in the images of Black US cultures. The stereotypes, however, are so blatant that it is offensive to many US Blacks. Nonetheless, the play contains a fine dramatization of the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation, i.e., the necessity that God must suffer.
    1888 Jun Fujita, Japanese-born US newspaper photographer, who died in 1963. He was also an artist and a poet. On 24 July 1915 he photographed the aftermath of the capsizing of the Eastland in the Chicago River. He published Tanka: Poems in Exile (excerpts). — (051203)
    1887 Pólya, mathematician.
    1887 Miguel Maura y Gamazo, político español.
    1872 Jan Zoetelief Tromp, Dutch artist who died in 1947.
    1865 Ángel Ganivet García, escritor español.
    ^ 1854 Thomas Watson, telephone pioneer,
          When Alexander Graham Bell uttered his famous first words on the telephone, "Watson, come here. I want you," he was talking to his assistant, Thomas Watson. Watson met Bell while working in an electrical shop in Boston, and he began working with Bell on his telephone experiments. In 1877, when the Bell Telephone Company was formed, Watson became head of research and technical development. Watson also answered the first long-distance call in 1915, when Alexander Graham Bell in New York called Watson in San Francisco. Watson left Bell in 1881 to found a shipbuilding company, which constructed battleships, destroyers, and other ships for the government.
    1839 Paul Albert Girard, French artist who died on 24 February 1920
    1838 Alexis Millardet, botanist who developed the first successful fungicide.
    1836 Franz Seraph von Lenbach, German artist who died on 06 May 1904. — MORE ON LENBACH AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    1835 Phillips Brooks, American Episcopal clergyman. Though he produced ten volumes of sermons, he is better remembered today as author of the Christmas carol, "O Little Town of Bethlehem," written in 1868 for the children of his Sunday School
    1821 Sir Joseph Noël Paton,Scottish painter who died on 25 December 1900 or 1901. — MORE ON PATON AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    1816 Ernest Werner von Siemens, à Lenthe, près de Hanovre. Il deviendra l'un des plus brillants ingénieurs de son temps. Il posa plusieurs lignes télégraphiques souterraines en l'Europe parmi lesquelles celles qui reliaient Berlin à Aix-la-Chapelle et à Francfort.
    1815 Johann Gottfried Steffan, Swiss artist who died on 16 June 1905.
    1810 Clark Mills US, sculptor (Freedom, Armed Liberty)
    ^ 1798 Joseph Reddeford Walker, in Tennessee, Western pioneer explorer.
          Joseph Walker, one of the greatest trailblazing mountain men and the first Anglo-American to see Yosemite, is born in Tennessee. Although he had little formal education, Walker was an exceptionally intelligent explorer and leader, possessing an extraordinary ability to read and remember the geography and topography of uncharted regions. When he was 20 years old, Walker joined an illegal hunting and trapping expedition into the Mexican-controlled territory in the southern Rocky Mountains. Arrested by the Mexican authorities, Walker served a brief prison term in Santa Fe, but then turned the situation to his favor by helping the Mexicans in their war against Pawnee raiders, earning rare trading privileges as a reward.
          Walker's journeys into the relatively unexplored far western regions of the continent began in 1832 when he met Captain Benjamin Bonneville, who asked him to join his trapping and trading expedition into the West. The following year, Walker, probably at the behest of Bonneville, embarked on a daring journey west into the Mexican province of Alta California, a feat that had only been accomplished by two other Anglos, Jedediah Smith and Peter Ogden. Ignoring the trails blazed by his predecessors, Walker instead led a small group of men on a new route through the Sierras that proved far more challenging than expected, and at several points the explorers were reduced to eating their horses to stay alive. But after crossing the Continental Divide on November 13, 1833, Walker and his men were rewarded with an amazing sight that no Anglo-American had ever before seen: the mighty redwoods and majestic waterfalls of the Yosemite Valley. Later in life, every man in the troop recalled that day of discovery as among the greatest of his life.
          In subsequent years, Walker continued to use his voluminous knowledge of western geography as an employee of the American Fur Company and as a guide for explorers like John C. Fremont. He also led countless emigrant parties to California. His wide-ranging travels took him all the way north to the headwaters of the Missouri in Montana and led to memorable partnerships and adventures with other famous trailblazers like Kit Carson and Jim Bridger. When he finally settled down on his California ranch in 1867, nearly blind and approaching 70 years old, the intrepid mountain man remembered a single day as the best of his life, and asked that a remembrance of it be carved on his tombstone: "Camped at Yosemite, Nov. 13, 1883.”
    ^ 1797 Christian Johann Heinrich Heine, in Düsseldorf, Prussia,
         He would be a German poet whose international literary reputation and influence were established by the Buch der Lieder (1827), frequently set to music, though the more somber poems of his last years are also highly regarded. (e.g. Die Lorelei – English translation)
          Hitler had Heine's name removed from textbooks, because he was Jewish. (also in my 6th grade German class in occupied France, but in the used books, Heine's name was still there: that is how I found out that Heine was Jewish. The next year I flunked German and switched to English, which I already spoke at home with my English mother. She was not interned as an enemy alien like some of her friends, because by marriage to my French father she had become French.) Heine died in Paris on 17 February 1856.
    HEINE ONLINE: (auf Deutsch): Buch der Lieder (1827) — Deutschland. Ein Wintermärchen (1844) — Gedichtsammlung
    The Lorelei 1896 painting (56x48cm) by Albert Pinkham Ryder (19 Mar 1847 – 28 Mar 1917).
    Ich weiß nicht, was soll es bedeuten,
    daß ich so traurig bin,
    ein Märchen aus uralten Zeiten,
    das kommt mir nicht aus dem Sinn.
    Die Luft ist kühl und es dunkelt,
    und ruhig fließt der Rhein,
    der Gipfel des Berges funkelt
    im Abendsonnenschein.
    Die schönste Jungfrau sitzet
    dort oben wunderbar,
    ihr goldnes Geschmeide blitzet,
    sie kämmt ihr goldenes Haar.
    Sie kämmt es mit goldenem Kamme
    und singt ein Lied dabei;
    das hat eine wundersame,
    gewalt'ge Melodei.
    Den Schiffer im kleinen Schiffe
    ergreift es mit wildem Weh;
    er schaut nicht die Felsenriffe,
    er schaut nur hinauf in die Höh.
    Ich glaube, die Wellen verschlingen
    am Ende Schiffer und Kahn;
    und das hat mit ihrem Singen
    die Lorelei getan.
    ^ 1730 William Hamilton, British diplomat and archaeologist who died on 06 April 1803. He was the son of Lord Archibald Hamilton, governor of Jamaica.He served in the army (1747–1758) but left it after his marriage to a Welsh heiress, whose estate in Swansea he inherited on her death in 1782. From 1764 until his recall in 1800, Hamilton served as British envoy to the court of Naples. Hamilton made or caused to be made, at Vesuvius and Etna, a series of observations on the action of volcanoes and published several treatises on earthquakes and volcanoes between 1772 and 1783. He was a notable collector, and many of his treasures went to enrich the British Museum. In 1786 his nephew Charles Francis Greville sent his mistress, Amy Lyon [1761 – 15 Jan 1815] (who was calling herself Emily Hart) to Naples to be his uncle's mistress in return for Hamilton's payment of Greville's debts. Hamilton married her on 06 September 1791, so that now she was called Lady Emma Hamilton. She became the mistress of Lord Horatio Nelson [29 Sep 1758 – 21 Oct 1805], which is the main reason why she and William Hamilton are remembered. This and the fact that the “divine lady” Emma appears in more than 50 paintings by Romney [26 Dec 1734 – 15 Nov 1802], often the guise of characters from history, mythology, or literature.
    1724 Aepinus, mathematician.
    1585 William Drummond, Scottish poet.
    1581 Apología suya publica el holandés Guillermo de Orange. En ella ataca a Felipe II y da comienzo a la llamada leyenda negra.
    1560 Maximilien de Béthune, duc de Sully, à Rosny. Bien que protestant, il devint ministre d'Henri IV. On lui doit la légendaire formule: “Labourage et pâturage sont les deux mamelles de la France”. A noter que Sully est le contemporain d'un célèbre agronome français, Olivier de Serres.
    ^ 1553 Henri de Bourbon, future king Henri IV of France, who would be assassinated on 14 May 1610.
          He would be duc de Vendôme (from 17 Nov 1562), king of Navarre (as Henri III, 1572-1589) and first Bourbon king of France (1589-1610), who, at the end of the Wars of Religion, abjured Protestantism and converted to Roman Catholicism (1593) in order to win Paris and reunify France. With the aid of such ministers as the Duke de Sully, he brought new prosperity to France.
         Henri de Bourbon was the son of Antoine de Bourbon, duc de Vendôme, and Jeanne d'Albret, Queen of Navarre. Henri became king Henri III of Navarre upon his mother's death on 09 Jun 1572. Through his father, he was in the sole legitimate line of descent from the Capetian kings of France. On the death of king of France Henri III's brother, François de France Duke of Anjou [–10 Jun 1584], Henri de Bourbon became the heir presumptive to the throne of France. He was opposed by the Holy League unwilling to accept a Protestant king. Excluded from the succession by the Treaty of Nemours (1585) between Henri III of France and the Holy League, Henri de Bourbon fought the War of the Three Henrys. At the Battle of Coutras (20 Oct 1587) he defeated the French king's army. Meanwhile, the League had accepted the daughter of Philip II of Spain and Elizabeth of Valois as the next ruler of France. Henri III of France opposed this plan and had the League's leader, Henri Duke of Guise, assassinated on 23 Dec 1588. He was then reconciled with Henri de Bourbon. Their united forces laid siege to Paris on 30 Jul 1589, but on 02 Aug 1589 Henri III of France died from being stabbed the previous day, but on his death bed proclaimed Henri de Bourbon as his successor to the French crown.
          Henri IV became king of France, but it would take him nine years of struggle against the Holy League to secure his kingdom. The League and duc de Mayenne, proclaimed Lieutenant General of the state and of the crown of France, supported the old Cardinal de Bourbon [22 Dec 1523 – 09 May 1590] as "Charles X" in his bid for the crown. Henri had to withdraw from Paris occupied by the League. He won victories at Arques in 1589 and Ivry in 1590 and laid unsuccessful sieges of Paris in 1590 and of Rouen in 1591-1592. He was able to capture Chartres and Noyon, but the war continued. After long hesitation, Henri undertook a conversion to Roman Catholicism in July 1593 and was crowned in Charters by the archbishop Nicolas de Thou on 27 February 1594. It removed all legitimate pretext for resistance, and important towns submitted to him. On 22 Mar 1594, Paris finally gave in to him and the Parlement de Paris recognized him the king of France on 30 March 1594.
          After Pope Clement VIII removed the ban of excommunication from Henri IV in 1595, Spain continued to support the remaining resistance to him in France, chiefly in Brittany under the leadership of duc de Mercoeur. Henri declared war on Spain in January 1595 and undertook operations against the League and its Spanish allies, defeating them at Fontaine-Française (June 1595) and retaking Amiens (September 1597). Duc de Mercoeur came to terms with the king in March 1598, and the Peace of Vervins was reached between France and Spain on 02 May 1598. On 13 Apr 1598, Henri signed the Edict of Nantes, which confirmed Roman Catholicism as the state church. In the latter year difficulties arose with the Holy Roman emperor over the Cleves-Jülich succession. Henri decided on a military expedition to expel the imperial troops from Jülich. Henri IV was assassinated in Paris on 14 May 1610, by a fanatical Roman Catholic named François Ravaillac.

    1363 Jean Charlier de Gerson, French theologian who died 12 July 1429. During the papal schism of 1378-1414, Gerson attended the councils of Pisa (1409) and Constance (1414-1418). He spent his last years in a monastery at Lyons teaching children, composing hymns and writing books on Christian mysticism.
    Holidays Malta : Republic Day / Upper Volta : National Day

    Religious Observances: Santas Lucía, Columba y Odilia; santos Arsenio, Elías, Eugenio y Orestes. / RC : St Lucy, virgin & martyr (St Lucia Day in Sweden) She is considered the patroness of writers. Her patronal day marks the end of harvest. Her feast day is an important one in Scandinavian countries./ Sainte Lucie (ou Lucy) est une vierge de Syracuse martyrisée au IVe siècle. Sa fête coïncide avec le jour où le soleil cesse de se coucher de plus en plus tôt (la durée de la journée continue néanmoins de régresser jusqu'au solstice du 21 décembre). Ce phénomène astronomique, joint à l'étymologie de Lucie (lux, la lumière), est le prétexte à des réjouissances familiales en Scandinavie, où l'on apprécie plus qu'ailleurs l'allongement de la journée. Les jeunes filles de la maison sont alors parées d'une couronne de bougies et de fleurs./ RC : St Odilia, abbess, patroness of the blind / Dans l'antiquité: Une des fêtes de Cères. Le 13 décembre marque la fin des semailles et donc une des quatre fêtes de Cérès. Cérès, dans la mythologie romaine, déesse de l'Agriculture et mère de Proserpine, a été assimilée à la déesse grecque Déméter et sa fille à Perséphone. Cérès retrouvait sa fille Proserpine à chaque printemps, cette dernière étant détenue le reste de l'année chez Hadès (enfer). C'est pourquoi, on raconte que Cérès, heureuse de retrouver sa fille, amenait une abondance de fruits et de grains, d'où d'ailleurs l'origine du mot céréale. Cette croyance se répandit à Rome au Ve siècle av. J.-C., et son culte devint très populaire, surtout chez les plébéiens et les Cerealia, fêtes organisées en hommage à Cérès, étaient célébrées du 12 au 19 avril.
    NOBRAINER RECIPE: To make an egg roll: Place the egg at the top of a slope and let go. Use of a hard boiled egg is recommended to avoid possible breakage.
    DICTIONNAIRE TICRANIEN: ramasseur: rongeur qui vous manipule les muscles pour les soulager.
    click click

    Thoughts for the day:
    “When all else fails, read the directions.”
    “When the directions fail, get an 8-year old to do it.”
    “When the kid fails, get the kid to read the directions.”
    “When the directions fail the kid too, demand a refund.”
    “When they fail to give you a refund, sue.”
    “When your suit fails, appeal.”
    “When your appeal fails, have the kid — who is 15 by now — try again.”
    “When the kid fails again, have the kid choose a career in engineering.”
    “When the kid, now 20, fails engineering, suggest a transfer to law school.”
    “When the kid--an adult already, fails law school, sue the kid.”
    “When you fail to win this lawsuit, read the directions again.”
    “You dummy! Those were the wrong directions all along!”
    updated Saturday 13-Dec-2008 1:40 UT
    principal updates:
    v.7.b0 Sunday 02-Dec-2007 2:59 UT
    v.6.b0 Wednesday 13-Dec-2006 1:04 UT
    v.5.b0 Tuesday 13-Dec-2005 17:46 UT
    Sunday 26-Dec-2004 3:50 UT
    Tuesday 23-Dec-2003 2:49 UT

    safe site site safe for children safe site