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Events, deaths, births, of JUL 18
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^  On an 18 July:
2001 Britannica.com announces that it will soon start charging $5 a month, or $50 a year, for access to the full encyclopedia, which has been available for free online since the site launched in October 1999. The change to a subscription service comes two months after Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc. and Britannica.com announced plans to consolidate their operations. Britannica.com has struggled like other dot-coms in the volatile Internet market and has laid off more than 150 people, more than half its US workers, since late in 2000. However Britannica.com will continue to offer some [inadequate] free resources for basic reference.
^ 2001 Taliban bans more things that could give Afghans some pleasure.
      Afghanistan's ruling Taliban's supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar bans the import of 30 items as un-Islamic, including playing cards, neckties, lipsticks, nail polish and chessboards. Other items listed as banned for being "against the Sharia," or Islamic law, include fireworks, statues, fashion catalogs and greeting cards featuring pictures of people, musical instruments and cassettes. Also banned were computer discs, movies, satellite TV dishes, pig fat products and anything made of human hair. Border guards and security agencies are ordered to seize the banned items and hand them over to the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. In June 2001 the Taliban had banned the printing of pictures of animals or verses from the Koran on any products.
      The Taliban, which swept to power in 1996 and controls about 95% of the war-ravaged country, has already banned television, the playing of music, and photographs of people and animals, and the flying of kites. It has also barred women from education, most types of work, and from going out without wearing the all-enveloping "burqa" covering and being accompanied by a male relative. Men are ordered to grow long beards and not wear Western dress. The movement provoked international protests earlier in 2001 by ordering the destruction of ancient Buddhist statues and asking the country's small non-Muslim community to wear distinguishing badges. The statues, including the world's largest two Buddhas carved in a cliff near the central Afghan town of Bamiyan, were destroyed, but no decree has yet come from Omar about the badges to be worn by non-Muslims.
2000 Invalidating a veto threat from President Clinton, the US Senate votes 61-to-38 in favor of eliminating the so-called "marriage penalty" by cutting the higher taxes imposed on married persons.
^ 1996 Car interiors merger.
      Erstwhile car seating manufacturer Johnson Controls, Inc. made a bid to become the king of automotive interiors by acquiring Prince Holding Corporation. For the regal sum of $1.35 billion, Johnson snaps up a company that, for the past thirty years, has striven to "surprise and delight" drivers and passengers. Towards that end, Prince pioneered the use of electronics in car interiors; one of the company's main claims to fame was grafting lighted mirrors on to car's sun visors.
      This and other luxury-minded novelties made Prince an attractive partner for Johnson. Indeed, as company honcho James Keyes noted, Johnson had been looking to expand beyond the world of automotive seating "systems." Viewed in purely fiscal terms, the addition of Prince and its lucrative roster of products promises to fatten Johnson's already healthy coffers. In a statement released shortly after the deal, the companies estimate that their combined sales muscle will raise Johnson's annual sales from $850 million to $6 billion
1995 Motorola announces a wireless modem for laptop computers, one of the first wireless modems available for portable machines, costing about $750.
^ 1995 Time Warner to put town online
      Time Warner will wire 500 homes and offices to test its new high-speed, online computer service. The joint venture by Time Warner Cable and Time, Inc., will offer news, shopping, weather, and e-mail. The network, connected by cable modems, would be purportedly 100 times faster than services using standard phone lines.
1994 El Frente Patriótico Ruandés (FPR) comunica oficialmente a la ONU el fin de la guerra en el país africano.
1993 Fracasan las conversaciones en El Aaiún entre el Frente Polisario y el gobierno de Marruecos para realizar el referéndum de autodeterminación exigido por la ONU.
1991 The first Ibero-American Summit Conference opened in Guadalajara, Mexico.
1991 the Yugoslav federal presidency began withdrawing troops from Slovenia.
^ 1989 US desktop computers okayed for export
      The US Commerce Department announces that it will lift export curbs on a wide range of desktop computers. Previously, the US government banned the export of desktop computers, as well as laptops and other portable computers, to Soviet bloc countries and China. The Commerce Department lifted the ban after determining that desktops, laptops, and other equivalent computers were already being imported by Soviet countries and China from Taiwan, India, and Brazil
^ 1988 Armistice Iran — Irak accepté
      Faisant face à des offensives iraqies répétées — et de plus en plus soutenues par des gouvernements occidentaux — Téhéran (sous la férule de l’Ayatolalh Khomeiny) accepte officiellement et sans condition la résolution de paix 598 de l’ONU. exigeant un cessez-le-feu entre l’Iran et l’Irak (que l’Irak a déjà accepté depuis un an). Une longue et meurtrière guerre de 8 années (depuis le 17 septembre 1980) se termine enfin; ou plutôt se terminera, car l’arrêt des hostilités est prévu pour le 20 Aug. Mais pratiquement, il n’y aura plus que des accrochages peu importants. On estime à 400'000 le total des morts et à 750'000 celui des blessés dans cette guerre, où ni l'un ni l'autre des adversaires ne réussit à pénétrer bien loin dans le territoire de l'autre. Les dommages matériels et la perte de revenus pétroliers se montent à $400 milliards de part et d'autre.
1984 Walter F Mondale wins Democratic presidential nomination in SF
1981 Violentos incidentes durante una manifestación pro IRA en Dublín concluyen con más de un centenar de heridos.
1979 El dictador nicaragüense Anastasio Somoza "tachito" renuncia a la presidencia del país.
1979 Gold hits record $303.85 an ounce in London
1978 Egyptian and Israeli officials begin 2 days of talks
1977 Vietnam is admitted to the United Nations.
1976 Los Grupos de Resistencia Antifascista Primero de Octubre (GRAPO), reivindican la colocación de 28 artefactos explosivos.
1973 Watergate: Chief of Staff Alexander Haig orders the White House secret taping system shutdown and takes control of the two and a half years of tapes. Haig assigns retired Major General John C. Bennett as the custodian of the tapes.
1972 Accusing the Soviet Union of failing to supply promised arms, Egypt demands that it remove its 20'000 advisers from the country.
1971 New Zealand and Austrailia announce they will pull their troops out of Vietnam.
^ 1968 Johnson meets Thieu in Honolulu
      US President Lyndon B. Johnson [27 Aug 1908 – 22 Jan 1973] meets South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu [05 Apr 1923 – 29 Sep 2001] in Honolulu to discuss relations between Washington and Saigon. Johnson reaffirmed his administration's commitment "to defend South Vietnam." Thieu stated that he had "no apprehensions at all" concerning the US commitment. In a joint communique, Thieu further asserted that his government was determined "to continue to assume all the responsibility that the scale of forces of South Vietnam and their equipment will permit," thus tacitly accepting current US efforts to "Vietnamize" the war. The two presidents also agreed that South Vietnam "should be a full participant playing a leading role in discussions concerning the substance of a final settlement" to the conflict. Johnson's successor, Richard Nixon [09 Jan 1913 – 22 Apr 1994], made "Vietnamization" one of the pillars of his Vietnam policy. Under the plan, he directed that the combat capability of the South Vietnamese armed forces be improved so that they could ultimately assume full responsibility for the war and US forces could be withdrawn.
1967 Silver hits record $1.87 an ounce in NY
1965 Edward Heath es elegido nuevo líder del Partido Conservador británico.
1964 Race riot in Harlem (NYC); riots spread to Bedford-Stuyvesant (Bkln)
1961 La policía desmantela la primera acción terrorista de ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna) el sabotaje a la línea férrea Madrid-Barcelona, por la que iba a pasar un tren cargado de ex combatientes.
1955 First electric power generated from atomic energy sold commercially
^ 1955 Soviet Union agrees to grant Hanoi economic aid
      Following a visit from Ho Chi Minh [19 May 1890 – 02 Sep 1969] and his ministers, the Soviet Union announces that it will grant Hanoi 400 million rubles (about $100 million) in economic aid. On 07 July, China had announced that Beijing would extend Hanoi economic aid of 800 million yuan (about $200 million). The July grants from China and the Soviet Union enabled Hanoi to initiate an ambitious industrialization program. In less than 10 years, the North was producing items not yet made in the South. Continued aid from Hanoi's fellow Communist nations would sustain North Vietnam in its war against the South Vietnamese and their US allies until 1975, when they defeated the South Vietnamese forces and reunified the country.
1951 Uruguay accepts its constitution
1947 US receives UN trusteeship over Pacific Islands
1947 US President Truman signed the Presidential Succession Act, which placed the speaker of the House and the Senate president pro tempore next in the line of succession after the vice president.
^ 1945 Bombardement des arsenaux japonais.      
      Les 17 et 18 Juillet 1945, l’aviation américaine lance contre le Japon six attaques aériennes de 1500 avions chacune. Les bombes détruisent l’ensemble des arsenaux militaires japonais. Mais la caste militaire ne veut pas perdre la face et refuse systématiquement les offres de cessez-le-feu. Les troupes nippones sont "conditionnées" à se battre jusqu’à la mort, conformément au code d’honneur des samouraïs. La pratique suicidaire des "Khamikaze" se généralise.
      Très sérieusement, l’amiral japonais Takijiro Onishi [02 Jun 1891 – 16 Aug 1945] l’inventeur de la formule, envisage la mort par ce procédé de 20 millions de japonais. Il ne s’agit pas de justifier l’emploi de la Bombe Atomique, mais sans cette solution, la guerre aurait vraisemblablement continué jusqu’à la mort du dernier des 20 millions de japonais mobilisables. C’est ce qui décidera le président américain Harry Truman [08 May 1884 – 26 Dec 1972] d’utiliser la Bombe, expérimentée le 16 juillet, pour enrayer l’hémorragie mortelle.
^ 1945 Charges of Communists in the US Army raised
      In testimony before the House Military Affairs subcommittee, the subcommittee's chief counsel, H. Ralph Burton [1882 – 05 Aug 1971], charges that 16 officers and non-commissioned officers in the US Army have pasts that "reflect Communism." The charges, issued nearly 10 years before Senator Joseph McCarthy [14 Nov 1908 – 02 May 1957] would make similar accusations, were hotly denied by the US Army and government. By July 1945, with the war in Europe having ended just two months before, Cold War animosities between the United States and the Soviet Union were already beginning to arise. The two nations, allies against Hitler during World War II, were dividing over issues such as the postwar fate of Germany and the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe.
      One aspect of the growing tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States involved charges that Communist agents were at work in various sectors of US society, such as Hollywood and the federal government. In July 1945, House Military Affairs subcommittee chief counsel H. Ralph Burton testified that his investigations revealed at least 16 officers and non-commissioned officers in the US Army had Communist backgrounds. As evidence, Burton cited the fact that some of the men had contributed writings to radical journals such as New Masses. In addition, some of the men had served in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, a volunteer fighting force that battled against the fascist forces of Franco in Spain during that nation's civil war in the 1930s.
      The US Army quickly fired back, declaring that its own investigation revealed that none of the men named by Burton "was disaffected or disloyal." Whatever activities prior to their military service the men might have engaged in, "the real criterion always remains: Is the individual at the present time whole-heartedly loyal to the United States?" In the celebration that accompanied the US victory over Japan less than three weeks after Burton's testimony, the charges against the US Army were forgotten. Burton's charges are of interest, however, coming nearly 10 years prior to Senator Joseph McCarthy's similar accusations against the US Army in 1954. In the latter case, McCarthy was completely disgraced during his hearings into Communism in the Army. The 1945 accusations indicate that McCarthy was not the creator of the so-called Red Scare that swept the nation after World War II. Indeed, even before World War II came to an end, charges of Communist infiltration of the US government and military were being issued.
1944 US troops capture Saint-Lô, France, ending the battle of the hedgerows.
1944 Hideki Tojo was removed as Japanese premier and war minister because of setbacks suffered by his country in World War II.
1943 The US Navy airship K-74 is shot down by anti-aircraft fire from a German U-boat.
1942 Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe, first jet fighter, makes its first flight
1940 El general Franco reclama oficialmente Gibraltar.
1940 first successful helicopter flight, Stratford, Ct
^ 1938 "Wrong Way" Corrigan arrives, but not in California.      
     Douglas Corrigan [22 Jan 1907 – 09 Dec 1995], the last of the early glory-seeking fliers, taken off from Floyd Bennett field in Brooklyn, New York, on a flight that would finally win him a place in aviation history. Eleven years earlier, US flyer Charles A. Lindbergh had become an international celebrity by flying nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean. Douglas Corrigan was among the mechanics who had worked on Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis aircraft, but that mere footnote in the history of flight was not enough for Corrigan.
      In 1938, he bought a 1929 Curtiss Robin aircraft off a trash heap, rebuilt it, and modified it for long-distance flight. In July of 1938, Corrigan piloted the single-engine plane nonstop from California to New York. Although the transcontinental flight was far from unprecedented, Corrigan received national attention simply because the press was amazed that his rattletrap aircraft had survived the journey. Almost immediately after arriving in New York he filed plans for a transatlantic flight, but aviation authorities had no intention of approving a suicide flight, so he was promptly denied. Instead, they would allow Corrigan to fly back to the West Coast, and on 17 July 1938, he set off, taking off from Floyd Bennet field ostentatiously pointed east.
      However, a few minutes later, he made a 180-degree turn and vanished into a cloudbank to the puzzlement of a few onlookers. Twenty-eight hours later, Corrigan lands his plane in Dublin, Ireland, steps out of his plane, and exclaims, "Just got in from New York. Where am I?" He claims that he lost his direction in the clouds and that his compass has malfunctioned. The authorities didn't buy the story and suspended his license, but Corrigan stuck to it to the amusement to the public on both sides of the Atlantic. By the time "Wrong Way" Corrigan and his crated plane returned to New York by ship, his license suspension had been lifted, he was a national celebrity, and a mob of autograph seekers met him on the gangway.
1936 El general Emilio Mola Vidal [09 Jun 1887 – 03 Jun 1937] decreta el estado de guerra en Pamplona. Estalla el alzamiento militar contra la República y se inicia la Guerra Civil Española. — Until the insurgent Nationalists led by general Francisco Franco Bahamonde [04 Dec 1892 – 20 Nov 1975] declare victory on 01 April 1939, Spain would be devastated by the civil war, Franco being backed by Nazi Germany and the leftist government's Republicans by the Soviet Union. Volunteers from some 50 other countries, many of them intellectuals without military training, would also fight in the civil war. French novelist André Malraux [03 Nov 1901 – 23 Nov 1976] fought for the Republicans and Ernest Hemingway [21 Jul 1899 – 02 Jul 1961] wrote pro-government newspaper dispatches from Spain. Of the 16'000 foreigners killed, about 900 were from the US. One of the worst atrocities was the German air raid on Guernica, a Spanish Basque town, which killed more than 1000 civilians. Pablo Picasso [25 Oct 1881 – 08 Apr 1973] immortalized it in one of his masterpieces, Guernica. Franco's victory was followed by a dictatorship that lasted until his death, after which democracy was established. Some 500'000 persons died in the war and an equal number afterward in mass executions or of malnutrition.
1935 Ethiopian King Haile Selassie [23 Jul 1892 – 26 Aug 1975] urges his countrymen to fight to the last man against the invading Italian army.
1932 US and Canada signed a treaty to develop St Lawrence Seaway.
^ 1925 Hitler Publishes Mein Kampf
      Seven months after being released from Landsberg jail, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler publishes the first volume of his personal manifesto, Mein Kampf. Dictated by Hitler during his nine-month stay in prison, Mein Kampf, or "My Struggle," is a bitter and turgid narrative filled with anti-Semitic outpourings, disdain for morality, worship of power, and the blueprints for his plans of Nazi world domination. The autobiographical work soon would become the bible of Germany's Nazi party.
      In the early 1920s, the ranks of Hitler's Nazi Party swelled with resentful Germans who sympathized with the party's bitter hatred of Germany's democratic government, leftist politics, and Jews. On November 8, 1923, after the German government resumed the payment of war reparations to Britain and France, the Nazis launched the "Beer Hall Putsch" — their first attempt at seizing the German government by force. Hitler hoped that his nationalist revolution in Bavaria would spread to the dissatisfied German army, which in turn would bring down the government in Berlin.
      However, the uprising was immediately suppressed, Hitler was arrested, and on April 1, 1924, he was sentenced to five years in prison for high treason. Sent to Landsberg jail, he spent his time dictating his autobiography, Mein Kampf, and working on his oratorical skills. After nine months in prison, political pressure from supporters of the Nazi party forced his release. Over the next few years, Hitler and the other leading Nazis reorganized their party as a fanatical mass movement that was able to gain a majority in the German parliament — the Reichstag — by legal means in 1932.
      In the same year, President Paul von Hindenburg defeated a presidential bid by Hitler, but in January of 1933 appointed him as chancellor, hoping that the powerful Nazi leader could be brought to heel as a member of the president's cabinet. However, Hindenburg underestimated Hitler's political audacity, and one of Chancellor Hitler's first acts was to order the burning of the Reichstag building. The Nazi party's propaganda officers disguised the attack as a Communist plot, and Hitler used it as pretext for calling general elections. The police under Nazi Hermann Goering suppressed much of the party's opposition before the election, and the Nazis won a bare majority. Shortly after, Hitler took on absolute power through the Enabling Acts. In 1934, Hindenburg died and the last remnants of Germany's democratic government were dismantled, leaving Hitler the sole master of a nation intent on war and genocide.
     Hitler dictated Mein Kampf to Rudolph Hess while pacing around his prison cell in 1923-24 and later at an inn at Berchtesgaden. In Mein Kampf Hitler writes at length about his youth, early days in the Nazi Party, future plans for Germany, and ideas on politics and race.
      The original title Hitler chose was "Four and a Half Years of Struggle against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice." His Nazi publisher knew better and shortened it to Mein Kampf, simply "My Struggle", or "My Battle".
      Hitler divides humans into categories based on physical appearance, establishing higher and lower orders, or types of humans. At the top is the Germanic man with his fair skin, blond hair and blue eyes, the "Aryan", the supreme form of human, the master race. At the other extreme are the Untermenschen, or racially inferior: Jews and Slavic peoples, notably the Czechs, Poles, and Russians.
      "...it (Nazi philosophy) by no means believes in an equality of races, but along with their difference it recognizes their higher or lesser value and feels itself obligated to promote the victory of the better and stronger, and demand the subordination of the inferior and weaker in accordance with the eternal will that dominates this universe." - Hitler states in Mein Kampf
     The Aryan is also culturally superior:
      "All the human culture, all the results of art, science, and technology that we see before us today, are almost exclusively the creative product of the Aryan... Hence it is no accident that the first cultures arose in places where the Aryan, in his encounters with lower peoples, subjugated them and bent them to his will. They then became the first technical instrument in the service of a developing culture."
      The subjugated peoples actually benefit by being conquered because they come in contact with and learn from the superior Aryans. However they benefit only as long the Aryan remains absolute master and doesn't mingle or inter-marry with inferior conquered peoples.
      But it is the Jews, Hitler writes, who are engaged in a conspiracy to keep this master race from assuming its rightful position as rulers of the world, by tainting its racial and cultural purity and even inventing forms of government in which the Aryan comes to believe in equality and fails to recognize his racial superiority.
      "The mightiest counterpart to the Aryan is represented by the Jew."
      Hitler describes the struggle for world domination as an ongoing racial, cultural, and political battle between Aryans and Jews. He outlines his thoughts in detail, accusing the Jews of conducting an international conspiracy to control world finances, controlling the press, inventing liberal democracy as wells as Marxism, promoting prostitution and vice, and using culture to spread disharmony.
      Throughout Mein Kampf, Hitler refers to Jews as parasites, liars, dirty, crafty, sly, wily, clever, without any true culture, a sponger, a middleman, a maggot, eternal blood suckers, repulsive, unscrupulous, monsters, foreign, menace, bloodthirsty, avaricious, the destroyer of Aryan humanity, and the mortal enemy of Aryan humanity... "...for the higher he climbs, the more alluring his old goal that was once promised him rises from the veil of the past, and with feverish avidity his keenest minds see the dream of world domination tangibly approaching."
      This conspiracy idea and the notion of 'competition' for world domination between Jews and Aryans would become widespread beliefs in Nazi Germany and would even be taught to school children. This, combined with Hitler's racial attitude toward the Jews, would be shared to various degrees by millions of Germans and people from occupied countries, so that they either remained silent or actively participated in the Nazi effort to exterminate the entire Jewish population of Europe.
      Mein Kampf also provides an explanation for the military conquests later attempted by Hitler and the Germans. Hitler states that since the Aryans are the master race, they are entitled simply by that fact to acquire more land for themselves. This Lebensraum, or living space, will be acquired by force, Hitler says, and includes the lands to the east of Germany, namely Russia. That land would be used to cultivate food and to provide room for the expanding Aryan population at the expense of the Slavic peoples, who were to be removed, eliminated, or enslaved.
      But in order to achieve this, Hitler states Germany must first defeat its old enemy France, to avenge the German defeat of World War One and to secure the western border. Hitler bitterly recalls the end of the first world war saying the German Army was denied its chance for victory on the battlefield by political treachery at home. In the second volume of Mein Kampf he attaches most of the blame to Jewish conspirators in a highly menacing and ever more threatening tone.
      When Mein Kampf was first released in 1925 it sold poorly. People had been hoping for a juicy autobiography or a behind the scenes story of the Beer Hall Putsch. What they got were hundreds of pages of long, hard to follow sentences and wandering paragraphs composed by a self-educated man. However, after Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, millions of copies were sold. It was considered proper to give one to newlyweds, high school graduates, or to celebrate any similar occasion. But few Germans ever read it cover to cover. Although it made him rich, Hitler would later express regret that he produced Mein Kampf, considering the extent of its revelations.
      Those revelations concerning the nature of his character and his blueprint for Germany's future ought to have served as a warning to the world. A warning that was mostly ignored.
— HITLER ONLINE: (in English translation): Mein Kampf
^ 1918 Allied counterattack along the Marne
      During World War I, an allied force that included some 250'000 US soldiers launches a counteroffensive against the Germans in the Marne River west of Paris. After an artillery attack, nearly four hundred Allied tanks roll against the German positions, and by nightfall the Germans are on the retreat and Paris is safe again. Four days earlier, German General Erich Ludendorff had launched his fifth major offensive of the year against the Western Front, targeting the city of Reims west of Paris. Ludendorff hoped that by diverting French forces to Reims he could then capture the Marne River region west of Paris.
      However, intelligence had alerted the French and the Americans to the offensive, and they made preparations for the German assault. Dummy French trenches confused the advancing German troops, who were then mowed down by Allied machine guns. By the evening, the Allies had halted the eastern flank of the offensive, but west of Reims, the German Seventh Army under General Max von Boehn smashed forward to the Marne.
      However, the French and US defenders held their ground south of the river, and on July 17, the offensive was halted. It was during this battle that the 3rd Division's 36th Infantry became known as the "Rock of the Marne," and the 28th Pennsylvania National Guard Division earned its nickname the "Iron Division." On 18 July General Ferdinand Foch, the Allied commander-in-chief, orders a massive counterattack that would force the Germans back to their original positions by early August.
1914 Saturday : in the aftermath of the June 28 assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand:
  • Berchtold visits British Ambassador to Vienna, Sir Maurice de Bunsen. The ambassador notes that the Foreign Minister "was unusually chatty and agreeable."
  • ^ 1914 Union activist sentenced to death on dubious evidence.
          Convicted of murder on meager evidence, the singing Wobbly Joe Hill is sentenced to be executed in Utah. A native of Sweden who immigrated to the US in 1879, Joe Hill joined the International Workers of the World (IWW) in 1910. The IWW was an industrial union that rejected the capitalist system and dreamed one day of leading a national workers' revolution. Members of the IWW-known as Wobblies-were especially active in the western United States, where they enjoyed considerable success in organizing mistreated and exploited workers in the mining, logging, and shipping industries. Beginning in 1908, the IWW began encouraging its membership to express their beliefs through song. The IWW published its Little Red Song Book, otherwise known as the I.W.W. Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent. It contains many of the labor songs that are still famous, such as "Solidarity Forever."
          A few years later, the witty and handsome Joe Hill became one of the Wobblies' leading singers and songwriters. Hill composed many of the IWW's best-loved anthems, including "The Preacher of the Slave" which introduced the phrase "pie in the sky." By 1915, Hill was one of the most famous Wobblies in the nation. Public notoriety, however, could prove dangerous for a radical union man. In 1915, Hill was arrested and charged with murdering two Salt Lake City policemen during a grocery store robbery. Although the evidence against Hill was tenuous, a jury of conservative Utahans convicted him on this day in 1914 and he was sentenced to death. He was executed by firing squad the following year. Ever since, scholars have debated whether Hill was actually guilty or was railroaded because of his radical politics. Regardless of his guilt or innocence, Hill became a powerful martyr for the IWW cause by telegramming his comrades with a famous last-minute message: "Don't waste any time in mourning. Organize."
    1914 US army air service first comes into being, in the Signal Corps
    1898 Filipinas proclama su independencia.
    1898 Marie y Pierre Curie descubren un nuevo elemento químico, el polonio.
    1873 Nicolás Salmerón se convierte en presidente de la Primera República Española tras la dimisión de Pi y Margall, que sólo ha permanecido cinco semanas en el cargo.
    1872 The Ballot Act is passed in Great Britain, providing for secret election ballots.
    1870 The Vatican I Ecumenical Council issued the proclamation 'Pastor Aeternus,'declaring the pope's primacy and infallibility in deciding faith and moral matters. (Few Protestants agree with this doctrine.) Fin du premier Concile du Vatican, convoqué par le Pape Pie IX.
    1864 Battle of Cool Spring, Virginia
    1863 Second attack on Fort Wagner
    1862 Confederates cross Ohio River and raid Newburg, Indiana
    1861 Skirmish at Blackburn's Ford, Virginia, in a prelude to the Battle of Bull Run.
    1837 El famoso bandolero Luis Candelas es detenido en la posada de Alcazarén, cerca de Olmedo (Valladolid).
    1830 Uruguay adopts a liberal constitution.
    1814 British capture Prairie du Chien (Wisc)
    1812 Great Britain signs the Treaty of Orebro, making peace with Russia and Sweden.
    1789 Robespierre, a deputy from Arras, France, decides to back the French Revolution.
    1753 Lemuel Haynes, escapes from slaveholder in Framingham Mass
    1724 Travaux forcés pour les pauvres. En France une ordonnance royale prescrit l'enfermement des pauvres qui sont invalides et prescrit la mise au travail de ceux qui ne le sont pas.
    1716 Jews are expelled from Brussels Belgium
    ^ 1582 Fondation des Camilliens.
          Fondation à Rome, par Saint-Camille de Lellis, d’un ordre religieux Hospitalier, les Camilliens. Il s’agit de "clercs" (laïcs ayant fait des études religieuses) réguliers (obéissant à une " Règle ") ministres (officiant) des Infirmes et des Hôpitaux. Les Croisades en Orient avaient donné naissance à plusieurs hôpitaux. Des moines y officiaient. Ils apprirent beaucoup de la médecine arabe.
          Après les Croisades ils revinrent en Europe où l’état général de la santé était très bas. Ils firent beaucoup d’émules, dont les Camilliens. Cette date a été choisie pour commémorer sa mémoire. Le 18 Juillet l’on fête Saint Camille. Notez pour la petite histoire que Camille de Lellis, jeune noble français ayant vécu en Italie, fut un grand noceur (et un fameux pécheur devant l’Eternel !). Ce n’est que sur le tard qu’il revint à de meilleurs sentiments et fonda cet ordre, ce qui explique qu’il le voulut composé de laïcs.
    1536 Pope's authority declared void in England
    1270 Croisade débarque malade. Louis IX, le 14 mars, s'est croisé à Saint-Denis. Ce jour, le roi qui ne peut même plus tenir à cheval, débarque dans la plaine à côté de la ville de Tunis. Mais là, au-delà du scorbut qui a déjà commencé d'atteindre ses hommes depuis leur départ d'Aigues-Mortes, c'est la peste qui est le premier ennemi du roi.
    ^ 1189 Henry II trahi par ses fils.
          Henry II d'Angleterre vient de capituler à Azay-le-Rideau le 4 juillet, il lit avec désarroi la liste de ceux qui ont lutté contre lui et apprend que ses deux fils, Richard Coeur de Lion et Jean sans Terre, sont parmi eux. Accablé de chagrin et de honte, il meurt deux jours plus tard. Au moment de mourir, il lance cette malédiction : "Honte, honte, sur le roi vaincu et maudits de Dieu soient les enfants que je laisse." Pour le remercier, Philippe Auguste redonne à Richard Coeur de Lion, qui monte sur le trône d'Angleterre, les territoires enlevés à son père.
    0064 Great Fire of Rome begins (Nero didn't fiddle)
    < 17 Jul 19 Jul >
    ^  Deaths which occurred on an 18 July:
    2006 Some 60 persons, by a car bomb within 100 meters of a Shi'ite shrine in Kufa, Iraq. Many of the dead are day laborers who had just boarded a minibus in a nearby market. Some 130 persons are injured. — (060718)
    2005 Latoyia Figueroa [26 Jan 1981–] and her Baby Figueroa, 4 months short of being born, abducted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and murdered. Their bodies would be discovered on 20 August 2005 and her ex-mate, the father of the baby, Stephen Pouches, 25, be suspected of the crime. Latoyia's daughter, 7, is orphaned.
    2005 William Childs Westmoreland, US Army General born on 26 March 1914. He commanded US forces in the Vietnam War from 1964 to 1968 and served as US Army Chief of Staff from 1968 to 1972. Author of autobiography A Soldier Reports (1975).
    2004 A bodyguard and Essam al-Djijaili, head of the supply department of Iraq's Defense Ministry, shot by gunmen driving by, as al-Djijaili was bringing dinner home in the evening, in Baghdad, Iraq.
    2004 Two policemen by car bomb sear the Albu-Ajil police station in Tikrit, Iraq, in the morning. Two policemen are injured.
    2004 Fourteen persons by 02:03 (22:03 UT 17 Jul) US bombing of a house in Fallujah, Iraq, which had been reported as occupied by foreign militants, but which outraged local residents, including the mayor, say belonged to a loyal and very poor family. Three persons are injured.
    2002 All 70 or so in a fuel truck and a bus which crashes into it after careening downhill for 1 km when its brakes fail, and as both vehicles are engulfed in a fireball, at 14:00 in Lutoto, Uganda.
    2002 Moti Kanfo, 28, his wife Liat Kanfo, 25, and child, Dor Kanfo, 9 months, as a car whose driver fell asleep at the wheel crashes into theirs on the road to Kiryat Shmona, Israel. Police cordoned off the road and a long line of cars grew southward on the road, extending almost half a kilometer. Then, as firemen, police, and rescue workers were working at the scene of the accident, a truck traveling north toward Kiryat Shmona plowed into the rear of the last car in the line, killing Ruth Ohanona and her daughter, Hadas, 13, who was thrown from the car.
    2002 Sheva Legasa Ahatnesh, 6, struck by a car in Be'er Sheva, Israel. She was leaving Elephant Park with her father and older sister when her sister ran across the street on their way home to the absorption center for Ethiopian immigrants. The six-year-old took chase across Hatzaddik MiYerushalayem Street, but when she reached the second lane, a passenger car hit the girl. She was taken to Soroka Hospital where she died of her injuries.
    2002 Yocheved Ben-Hanan, 21, Israeli of the Immanuel enclave settlement, of wounds suffered in the 16 July 2002 bus attack. She was a student at the Chabad teachers seminary for women.
    ^ 2000 José Angel Valente, 71, after a long battle with cancer, in a Geneva, Switzerland hospital
          He was a Spanish poet whose mystical and metaphysical poetry won him dozens of literary awards, including the Queen Sofia Poetry Award. Valente was 18 when he published his first poems in 1947. He also held positions with the Spanish government, the United Nations, and as an assistant professor at the University of California-Irvine, where he taught a course on the Spanish civil war. He wrote poems in Spanish and in Galician, the language of where he lived. Valente was survived by his wife and daughter.
    ^ 1994: 86 persons in explosion that destroys AMIA Jewish community center.
         At 09:50 a powerful car bomb destroys the 6-story building of Asociación Mutua Israelita de Ayuda on Calle Pasteur in downtown Buenos Aires. At least 300 persons are injured. One of the 86 bodies remains unidentified until Castorina Amarilla de Irala says that her Paraguayan husband, Patricio Irala, worked as a driver for the AMIA and he had died in the bombing. Eventually she receives $55'000 in compensation for his death.
         On 19 April 2001 it is revealed that the Argentine federal judge investigating the still unsolved bombing recently discovered that Patricio Irala had never been contracted by AMIA as a driver, and that he has been found working at a bakery in Paraguay, and arrested.
          Argentina, Israel and the United States all suspect Middle East guerrillas backed by Iran were behind the AMIA bombing and a truck bomb attack on the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires which killed 29 people on 17 March 1992. Tehran denies the charges. Both crimes are unsolved. Argentina's Jewish community, at 250'000-strong, is the largest in Latin America.
    ^ 1991 André Cools, assassiné.
         Il est tué à Liège, dans un ensemble résidentiel du quartier de Cointe. Ministre d’état, président sortant du Parti Socialiste (wallon), c’était par son charisme et son influence sur les foules l’Homme le plus puisant de Wallonie et un des plus puissants du pays. L’enquête menée pour découvrir les assasins a connu des moments de forte dramatisation.
          Des hommes d’état au plus haut niveau ont été soupçonnés. Rien n’a encore été prouvé, et si les " tueurs " ont été jugés, c’est en Tunisie, où ils vivaient, ont été recrutés et arrêtés, il y a deux ans, sur base d’informations livrées par des suspects, toujours en prison. Les contrats de renouvellement d’avions, l’achat d’hélicoptère, mais aussi les jeux des grandes multinationales qui veulent racheter les entreprises wallonnes (l’eau, les déchets, les communications, les transports, la sidérurgie) et menacent donc l’autonomie de la région (ce qu’il a toujours refusé), sont au cœur de l’action et peuvent expliquer la mort du tribun populaire, sans pour autant citer les noms des commanditaires.
    1990 Yun Po Sun, born on 26 August 1897. He was elected President of South Korea on 13 August 1960 and resigned on 22 March 1962.
    1990 Karl Menninger, 96, psychatrist (Menninger Clinic), from cancer
    1989 Rebecca Schaeffer, 21, actress, shot at her Los Angeles home by obsessed fan Robert Bardo, who was later sentenced to life in prison.
    1984: 21 McDonalds patrons: Elsa Herlinda Borboa-Firro; Neva Denise Caine; Michelle Deanne Carncross; María Elena Colmenero Silva; David Flores Delgado; Gloria López González; Omar Alonso Hernández; Blythe Regan Herrera, and her son Matao Herrera; Paulina Aquino López; Margarita Padilla; Claudia Pérez, 9; Rubén Lozano Pérez; Carlos Reyes, 8 months; Jackie Wright Reyes; Victor Rivera; Arisdelsi Vuelvas Vargas; Hugo Luis Velazquez Vargas; Aida Velazquez Vazquez; Laurence “Gus” Versiluis; Miguel Victoria Ulloa; and James Oliver Huberty who shoots them and then is shot by police, in San Ysidro California. (see Wikipedia account)
    1982 Roman Jakobson, lingüista estadounidense.
    ^ 1981 Richard Adan, murdered by a Norman Mailer protégé.
         On September 23, 1981, a two-month manhunt for a murdering writer comes to an end Jack Henry Abbott is captured in the oil fields of Louisiana after a two-month long manhunt that began when he killed Richard Adan at the Bonibon restaurant in New York City on 18 July. At the time of the murder, Abbott had been out on parole largely through the efforts of author Norman Mailer, who convinced officials that he had a great writing talent.
          Abbott spent virtually his entire life in prison. At the age of nine, he was sent to reform school in Utah. Soon after his release nine years later, he was arrested and convicted of forgery. While serving his time at the Utah state penitentiary, Abbott killed a fellow inmate in 1966. Although he claimed to have been defending himself from a homosexual assault, he received another 14-year sentence. In 1971, Abbott escaped from jail and robbed a bank in Denver before being captured. Back in prison, he heard that Norman Mailer was writing a book about Gary Gilmore, who was on Utah's death row, and began writing long letters to Mailer, detailing his supposed mistreatment in prison.
          Mailer, who thought Abbott was a talented writer, got the New York Review of Books to publish some of the letters. Random House then published Abbott's book, In the Belly of the Beast. Telling prison officials that Abbott had a promising career as a writer, Mailer offered to employ him as a researcher. On 05 June 1981, Abbott was released to a halfway house in New York City.
          Although the New York literary crowd adopted Abbott, he found himself more comfortable among the small time crooks living in the city's Lower East Side. Only six weeks after his parole, Abbott picked a fight with waiter Richard Adan at the Bonibon restaurant, stabbing him in the chest and killing him instantly. Abbott fled to a small Mexican village, but since he did not speak Spanish, he traveled to Louisiana, where detectives caught up with him.
          Back in New York, Abbott managed to get the minimum sentence for murdering Adan-15 years-to-life-in part because Mailer urged the court to be lenient. According to Mailer, "culture is worth a little risk." Subsequently, Abbott's notoriety grew even more, and his book became a bestseller. He is scheduled to be released from prison in 2006.
    ^ 1969 Mary Jo Kopechne, 28, drowned at Chappaquiddick
          Shortly after leaving a party on Chappaquiddick Island, Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts was driving with a companion when he took a sharp right turn off the paved road and plunged off the narrow Dike Bridge into a pond. Kennedy managed to escape the automobile, but his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, drowned. The senator did not report her death nor the accident for ten hours.
          On the evening of 18 July 1969, while most people in the US were at home watching television reports on the progress of Apollo 11, a party was being held on Chappaquiddick Island for volunteers who had worked on the presidential campaign of late Senator Robert F. Kennedy. A Kennedy cousin who owned a summer home on the affluent island off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, was hosting the gathering, which was marred only by the sad memory of Bobby Kennedy's assassination the year before.
          In attendance was Mary Jo Kopechne, a young woman who had once thought of becoming a nun before becoming interested in politics and working on Bobby's campaign. Also in attendance was Senator Ted Kennedy, Bobby's younger brother and a likely candidate for the US presidency in 1972. At around eleven p.m., Mary Jo got into an Oldsmobile with Kennedy, apparently en route to the ferry landing for a return trip to Martha's Vineyard. While driving down the main roadway, Kennedy took a sharp turn onto a dirt road and the car plunged into a pond.
          Why he took the turn and what happened next is not entirely clear, but Kopeche drowned, Kennedy survived, and then he left the scene of the accident. It is likely that the senator was drunk and dazed and sought the advice of family and friends, but some saw more sinister implications in the fact that he did not report the death for ten hours. Was the delay, some speculated, the result of an effort to protect Kennedy from any criminal charges? Was Kennedy simply attempting to sleep off an excess of alcohol in his system, or was he perhaps planning to claim that Kopechne had died alone, instead of in suspicious circumstances with a married senator?
          Kennedy finally reported the accident the morning of 19 July, and, on 25 July, he pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, received a two-month suspended sentence, and had his driver's license suspended for a year. That evening, in a televised statement, he called the delayed reporting of the accident "indefensible," but vehemently denied that he been involved in any improprieties with Kopechne. He also asked his constituents to help him decide whether to continue his political career. Receiving a positive response, he resumed his senatorial duties at the end of a month. Although the incident on Chappaquiddick Island derailed his presidential hopes forever, Kennedy continued to serve as a Massachusetts senator into the twenty-first century.
    1967 Humberto Castello Branco, en un accidente aéreo, ex presidente de Brasil.
    1924 Ángel Guimerá, poeta y escritor español.
    1899 Horatio Alger Jr US clergyman and author.
    1894 Jan Bedys Tom, Dutch artist born on 04 March 1813.
    1872 Benito Juárez, 66, justice/general (battle of Acapulco)
    ^ 1863 Robert Gould Shaw and 20 of his soldiers.
          Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and 20 of his soldiers are killed in an assault on Fort Wagner, near Charleston, South Carolina. Shaw was commander of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, perhaps the most famous regiment of African-American troops during the war. Fort Wagner stood on Morris Island, guarding the approach to Charleston harbor. It was a massive earthwork, 180 meters wide and made from sand piled 30 feet high. The only approach to the fort was across a narrow stretch of beach bounded by the Atlantic on one side and a swampy marshland on the other. Union General Quincy Gillmore headed an operation in 18 July63 to take the island and seal the approach to Charleston. Shaw and his 54th Massachusetts were chosen to lead the attack of 18 July. Shaw was the scion of an abolitionist family and a veteran of the 1862 Shenandoah Valley and Antietam campaigns. The regiment included two sons of abolitionist Frederick Douglass and the grandson of author and poet Sojourner Truth. Union artillery battered Fort Wagner all day on 18 July but the barrage did little damage to the fort and its garrison. At 7:45 p.m., the attack commenced. Yankee troops had to march 1200 meters down the beach to the stronghold, facing a hail of bullets from the Confederates. Shaw's troops and other Union regiments penetrated the walls at two points but did not have sufficient numbers to take the fort. Over 1,500 Union soldiers fell or were captured to the Confederates' 222. Despite the failure, the battle proved that African-American forces could not only hold their own but also excel in battle. The experience of Shaw and his regiment was memorialized in the critically acclaimed 1990 movie Glory, starring Mathew Broderick, Denzel Washington, and Morgan Freeman. Washington won an Academy Award for his role in the film.
    1760 Pierre-Philippe Mercier, French painter and etcher born in 1689. — links to images.
    1721 Jean-Antoine Watteau, French painter, baptized as an infant on 10 October 1684. typified the lyrically charming and graceful style of the Rococo. — MORE ON WATTEAU AT ART “4” JULY with links to images.
    1638 Odoardo Fialetti (“Edouard Viallet”), Italian painter and printmaker born on 18 July 1573.
    1610 Michelangelo Merisi “Caravaggio”
    , Italian Baroque era painter born in 1572. — MORE ON CARAVAGGIO AT ART “4” JULY with links to images.
    1374 Francesco Petrarch, 69, Italian poet — Francesco Petrarca, poeta y humanista italiano.
    — 390 -BC- Roman and Gaul soldiers at the Battle of Allia — Gauls inflict heavy casualties on Romans.
    < 17 Jul 19 Jul >
    ^  Births which occurred on an 18 July:

    ^ 2007 The Elders, group of world leaders whose purpose is to resolve conflicts in the “global village”, just as traditional village elders do in their villages. Its formation is announced by anti-apartheid activist and former South African President Nelson Mandela [18 Jul 1918~].

          The idea originated with musician and human rights activist Peter Gabriel [13 Feb 1950~], who, in 1999, shared it with billionaire businessman and environmentalist Richard Branson [18 Jul 1950~]. They did not become Elders, but, in 2001 they gave the idea to Nelson Mandela and his third wife, Mozambican activist Graça Machel [17 October 1945~]. With the help of Nobel Peace Prize winner and retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu [07 Oct 1931~], they recruited the other Elders, who, at the time of the announcement, include also:
    • Nobel Peace Prize winner and former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan [08 Apr 1938~];
    • former Irish President Mary Robinson [21 May 1944~];
    • Nobel Peace Prize winner and former US President Jimmy Carter [01 Oct 1924~];
    • microcredit pioneer Muhammad Yunus [28 Jun 1940~], the founder of Grameen Bank;
    • former Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing [20 Oct 1940~];
    • human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi [19 Jun 1945~] (she is a political prisoner in Burma);
    • Ela Bhatt [07 Sep 1933~], leader of the women's branch of India's Textile Labour Association (TLA) and founder of the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA);
    • former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland [20 Apr 1939~] (she has nothing to do with the growth of Harlem);
    • former Algerian ambassador and veteran UN envoy and advisor Lakhdar Brahimi [01 Jan 1934~];
    • former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso [18 Jun 1931~].
    1994 Riccardo della Corte, to the oldest woman ever to give birth, Rossanna della Corte, of Canino, Italy, who was treated by Dr. Severino Antinori, 49, after she lost a son, 17, in a motorcycle crash.
    1974 World's tallest structure, 646-m Polish radio mast, completed
    1968 Intel incorporates.
    1963 Martín Erasto Torrijos Espino, who would be elected President of Panama on 02 May 2004.
    1950 Richard Branson, English billionaire businessman. —(081209)
    1947 Steve Forbes, publisher.
    ^ 1936 Naissance de la dictature Franco.
          L’expérience du "Frente Popular" en Espagne est brutalement interrompue par le coup d’état militaire du général Francisco Franco Bahamonde. Au départ des Canaries et du Maroc où les officiers, de caste aristocratique se soulèvent à l’appel de leur général encore peu connu, la sédition va gagner la péninsule et provoquer cette terrible guerre civile qui laissera au moins un mort dans chaque famille … !
          La gauche ne reviendra pas au pouvoir avant 50 ans. 50 ans de dictature fasciste. Mais cette révolution sera à l’origine d’une appellation bizarre et solidement ancrée dans la population continentale: "La Cinquième Colonne". Après le soulèvement du 1 juillet 1936 et leurs premiers succès contre les républicains, les troupes nationalistes des généraux Franco et Mola convergèrent vers Madrid. Elles étaient réparties en quatre colonnes. Cherchant le moyen de démoraliser leur adversaire, les responsables de la propagande franquiste eurent l’astuce, dans leurs émissions, de parler surtout de l’intervention proche et décisive de la cinquième colonne nationaliste qui fourbissait ses armes dans la capitale même du gouvernement républicain.
          Cette trouvaille, annonciatrice de la guerre psychologique, incita effectivement les républicains à renforcer leurs troupes affectées à la garde des points stratégiques de l’arrière, favorisant ainsi l’instauration d’un climat de suspicion propice aux épurations sanglantes et hâtives. Quatre ans plus tard en mai-juin 1940, sur les routes de France, l’armée, engluée dans l’exode des civils, est en déroute. De bouche à oreille, une explication du désastre circule : "La cinquième colonne nous a vendus!". Les Français, avides de se disculper de la défaite, seront tout prêts à croire, le cauchemar passé, au complot des pronazis et des profascistes de tous acabits.
    SPANISH CIVIL WAR In Melilla, Morocco, the Spanish Civil War begins when a faction of the Spanish army launches a rightist uprising against the liberal democratic government of Spain. General Francisco Franco takes command of the fascist rebels and leads them back to Spain, and brutal civil war ensues. When the German air force working with Franco killed hundreds of civilians in towns like Guernica (19370426), foreign volunteers joined the Loyalist cause. After three years and a million deaths, Franco emerged victorious.
    1933 Yevgeny Yevtushenko, internationally best known of the post-Stalin generation of Russian poets: Baby Yar (1961), Bratskaya Ges (1965), etc.
    ^ 1929 Hunter S. Thompson, pioneer of "gonzo" journalism, in Louisville, Kentucky.      
          By age 10, Thompson was publishing his own two-page newspaper, which he sold for four cents. By his early teens, he had already launched on the life of drinking, vandalism, and pyromania that would turn him into a bestselling writer. At age 18, he was jailed for robbery. After serving 30 days of his 50-day sentence, he was released after promising to join the Air Force.
          While serving on a Pensacola, Florida, Air Force base, he became sports editor of the base newspaper and later went to work for a paper in New York, where he was fired for kicking a vending machine. He wrote conventional journalism pieces for various magazines, and in 1967 he expanded one of his articles into his first book, Hells Angels, which became a bestseller.
          In 1970, while covering the Kentucky Derby, Thompson went on a weeklong bender and developed severe writer's block. He handed his scrawled notes to the copy boys his editors sent after him, and the result, "The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved," was hailed as a landmark in journalism. One of his editors dubbed the new style "gonzo," for its wild, careening style.
          In 1972, Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas became a bestseller, as did his 1972 Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, about the Nixon-McGovern presidential election. Hunter wrote several other bestsellers and then, living in Colorado, was very active in local politics.
    1921 John Glenn, Jr., first American to orbit the Earth, US Senator [D-Ohio], oldest person to travel into space.
    1918 Nelson Mandela, (Nobel Peace prize-winner [1993]; first post-apartheid South African President; imprisoned for 28 years)
    1909 (05 July Julian) Andrei Andreyevich Burmakov “Gromyko”, in the village of Stariye Gromyki, in White Russia. He would be a Soviet diplomat from 1939, ambassador to the US under Stalin, Foreign Minister (from February 1957) under Khruschev and Brezhnev. Full member of the Politburo from 27 April 1973. Moved out of the way as ceremonial President by Gorbachev in July 1985. Gromyko died on 02 July 1989. Author of his Memories (not very accurate).
    1906 Samuel Ichiyé Hayakawa, in Vancouver, Canada. He would be a scholar, president of San Francisco State College (1968-1973), and US Senator from California (1977-1983, Republican). He led an initiative declaring English as official language of California. His first book, Language in Action (1941), was a popularization of the semantic theories of Alfred Korzybski. Two of his other books are Language in Thought and Action and Choose the Right Word: A Contemporary Guide to Selecting the Precise Word for Every Situation. He died on 27 February 1992.
    1906 Clifford Odets, playwright and motion-picture writer and director. He died on 14 August 1963.
    ^ 1900 Natalya Ilyanova Tcherniak, plus connue sous le nom de Nathalie Sarraute.
         Elle nait à Ivanov en Russie, son père, docteur-ès-sciences y avait installé une usine de produits chimiques. Sa mère était écrivain. Lors de leur divorce, elle amènera sa fille Nathalie avec elle à Paris où elle recevra une éducation typiquement française. Après de solides études secondaires et une licence de droit, elle s’inscrit au Barreau de Paris où elle plaide. Elle épouse l’avocat Sarraute et portera son nom.
          Elle se fera bientôt connaître par une série de textes, les "Tropismes", parus entre 1932 et 1937, qui auront une influence déterminante sur le "Nouveau Roman" en France. Elle y décrit ces zones d’ombre, ces activités intérieurs, ces mouvements indéfinissables qui enracinent notre expérience et provoquent inconsciemment la plupart de nos actes.
          Dans des œuvres connues, "Planétarium", "Martereau", ou "Portrait d’un inconnu", elle campe des personnages stéréotypés dont les actes peu intéressants en eux-mêmes, sont prétextes à des analyses de ces Tropismes qui sont des mises à jour vertigineuses de leur moi profond, du flux et du reflux des courants contradictoires qui les habitent. Citons encore "Le Silence", "Le Mensonge", mais aussi "l’Astragale" qui donnera naissance à ce très beau film où Marlène Jobert a laissé éclater son jeune talent.
    1890 Charles Wilson Pres of General Motors (1940-53)/Sec of Def (1953-57)
    1887 Vidkun Abraham Lauritz Jonsson Quisling, Norwegian army officer, defense minister (1931-1933), founder in 1933 of the fascist Nasjonal Samling (“Union”) Party. In December 1939 he urged Hitler to invade Norway, which Hitler did in April 1940. Then Quisling became a servile puppet in the Nazi occupation government under Reichkommissar Josef Terboven. Quisling was responsible for sending nearly 1000 Jews to their deaths in concentration camps. After the liberation of Norway in May 1945, Quisling was tried and, on 24 October 1945, executed, having turned his name into a superlative of “traitor”.
    1871 Giacomo Balla, Italian Futurist painter who died on 01 March 1958. — MORE ON BALLA AT ART “4” MARCH with links to images.
    1868 Thorvald Erichsen, Norwegian painter who died on 23 December 1939. — more
    1865 Laurence Housman, England, author/playwright (Victoria Regina, Gods and their Makers) — LAURENCE HOUSMAN ONLINE: Gods and Their Makers (requires download of special reader program). — The Blue Moon
    1853 Hendrik Antoon Lorentz, Holland, mathematician, physicist, Lorentz is best known for his work on electromagnetic radiation and the FitzGerald-Lorentz contraction. He developed the mathematical theory of the electron (Nobel 1902). He died on 04 February 1928.
    1813 Pierre Laurent, Parisian engineer and mathematician who died on 02 September 1854.
    ^ 1811 William Makepeace Thackeray England, Victorian novelist, who died on 24 December 1863.     
         His reputation rests chiefly on Vanity Fair (1848), a novel of the Napoleonic period in England, and The History of Henry Esmond, Esq. (1852), set in the early 18th century.
         Thackeray was the only son of Richmond Thackeray, an administrator in the East India Company. His father died in 1815, and in 1816 Thackeray was sent home to England. His mother joined him in 1820, having married (1817) an engineering officer with whom she had been in love before she met Richmond Thackeray. After attending several grammar schools Thackeray went in 1822 to Charterhouse, the London public (private) school, where he led a rather lonely and miserable existence.
          He was happier while studying at Trinity College, Cambridge (1828–1830). In 1830 he left Cambridge without taking a degree, and during 1831–1833 he studied law at the Middle Temple, London. He then considered painting as a profession; his artistic gifts are seen in his letters and many of his early writings, which are amusingly and energetically illustrated. All his efforts at this time have a dilettante air, understandable in a young man who, on coming of age in 1832, had inherited £20'000 from his father. He soon lost his fortune, however, through gambling and unlucky speculations and investments. In 1836, while studying art in Paris, he married a penniless Irish girl, and his stepfather bought a newspaper so that he could remain there as its correspondent. After the paper's failure (1837) he took his wife back to Bloomsbury, London, and became a hardworking and prolific professional journalist.
          Of Thackeray's three daughters, one died in infancy (1839); and in 1840, after her last confinement, Mrs. Thackeray became insane. She never recovered and long survived her husband, living with friends in the country. Thackeray was, in effect, a widower, relying much on club life and gradually giving more and more attention to his daughters, for whom he established a home in London in 1846. The serial publication in 1847–48 of his novel Vanity Fair brought Thackeray both fame and prosperity, and from then on he was an established author on the English scene.
          Thackeray's one serious romantic attachment in his later life, to Jane Brookfield, can be traced in his letters. She was the wife of a friend of his Cambridge days, and during Thackeray's “widowerhood,” when his life lacked an emotional center, he found one in the Brookfield home. Henry Brookfield's insistence in 1851 that his wife's passionate but platonic friendship with Thackeray should end was a grief greater than any the author had known since his wife's descent into insanity.
          Thackeray tried to find consolation in travel, lecturing in the United States on The English Humorists of the 18th Century (1852–1853; published 1853) and on The Four Georges (1855–1856; published 1860). But after 1856 he settled in London. He stood unsuccessfully for Parliament in 1857, quarreled with Dickens, formerly a friendly rival, in the so-called “Garrick Club Affair”(1858), and in 1860 founded The Cornhill Magazine, becoming its editor. After he died in 1863,a commemorative bust of him was placed in Westminster Abbey.
          The 19th century was the age of the magazine, which had been developed to meet the demand for family reading among the growing middle class. In the late 1830s Thackeray became a notable contributor of articles on varied topics to Fraser's Magazine, The New Monthly Magazine, and, later, to Punch . His work was unsigned or written under such pen names as Mr. Michael Angelo Titmarsh, Fitz-Boodle, The Fat Contributor, or Ikey Solomons. He collected the best of these early writings in Miscellanies (4 vol.1855–1857). These include The Yellowplush Correspondence, the memoirs and diary of a young cockney footman written in his own vocabulary and style; Major Gahagan (1839), a fantasy of soldiering in India; Catherine (1840), a burlesque of the popular “Newgate novels” of romanticized crime and low life, and itself a good realistic crime story; The History of Samuel Titmarsh and the Great Hoggarty Diamond (1841), which was an earlier version of the young married life described in Philip; and The Luck of Barry Lyndon (1844; revised as The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon, 1856), which is a historical novel and his first full-length work. Barry Lyndon is an excellent, speedy, satirical narrative until the final sadistic scenes and was a trial run for the great historical novels, especially Vanity Fair. The Book of Snobs (1848) is a collection of articles that had appeared successfully in Punch (as “The Snobs of England, by One of Themselves,” 1847).It consists of sketches of London characters and displays Thackeray's virtuosity in quick character-drawing. The Rose and the Ring, Thackeray's Christmas book for 1855, remains excellent entertainment, as do some of his verses; like many good prose writers, he had a facility in writing light verse and ballads.
         With Vanity Fair (1848), the first work published under his own name, Thackeray adopted the system of publishing a novel serially in monthly parts that had been so successfully used by Dickens. Set in the second decade of the 19th century, the period of the Regency, the novel deals mainly with the interwoven fortunes of two contrasting women, Amelia Sedley and Becky Sharp. The latter, an unprincipled adventuress, is the leading personage and is perhaps the most memorable character Thackeray created. Subtitled “A Novel Without a Hero,” the novel is deliberately antiheroic: Thackeray states that in this novel his object is to “indicate . . . that we are for the most part . . . foolish and selfish people . . . all eager after vanities.”
          The wealthy, wellborn, passive Amelia Sedley and the ambitious, energetic, scheming, provocative, and essentially amoral Becky Sharp, daughter of a poor drawing master, are contrasted in their fortunes and reactions to life, but the contrast of their characters is not the simple one between moral good and evil—both are presented with dispassionate sympathy. Becky is the character around whom all the men play their parts in an upper middle-class and aristocratic background. Amelia marries George Osborne, but George, just before he is killed at the Battle of Waterloo, is ready to desert his young wife for Becky, who has fought her way up through society to marriage with Rawdon Crawley, a young officer of good family. Crawley,disillusioned, finally leaves Becky, and in the end virtue apparently triumphs, Amelia marries her lifelong admirer, Colonel Dobbin, and Becky settles down to genteel living and charitable works.
          The rich movement and color of this panorama of early 19th-century society make Vanity Fair Thackeray's greatest achievement; the narrative skill, subtle characterization, and descriptive power make it one of the outstanding novels of its period. But Vanity Fair is more than a portrayal and imaginative analysis of a particular society. Throughout we are made subtly aware of the ambivalence of human motives, and so are prepared for Thackeray's conclusion: “Ah! Vanitas Vanitatum! Which of us is happy in this world? Which of us has his desire, or having it, is satisfied?” It is its tragic irony that makes Vanity Fair a lasting and insightful evaluation of human ambition and experience.
          Successful and famous, Thackeray went on to exploit two lines of development opened up in Vanity Fair: a gift for evoking the London scene and for writing historical novels that demonstrate the connections between past and present. He began with the first, writing The History of Pendennis (1850), which is partly fictionalized autobiography. In it, Thackeray traces the youthful career of Arthur Pendennis—his first love affair, his experiences at “Oxbridge University,” his working as a London journalist, and so on, achieving a convincing portrait of a much-tempted young man.
          Turning to the historical novel, Thackeray chose the reign of Queen Anne for the period of The History of Henry Esmond, Esq., (3 vol. 1852). Some critics had thought that Pendennis was a formless, rambling book. In response, Thackeray constructed Henry Esmond with great care, giving it a much more formal plot structure. The story, narrated by Esmond, begins when he is 12, in 1691, and ends in 1718. Its complexity of incident is given unity by Beatrix and Esmond, who stand out against a background of London society and the political life of the time. Beatrix dominates the book. Seen first as a charming child, she develops beauty combined with a power that is fatal to the men she loves. One of Thackeray's great creations, she is a heroine of a new type, emotionally complex and compelling, but not a pattern of virtue. Esmond, a sensitive, brave, aristocratic soldier, falls in love with her but is finally disillusioned. Befriended as an orphan by Beatrix' parents, Lord and Lady Castlewood, Henry initially adores Lady Castlewood as a mother and eventually, in his maturity, marries her.
          Written in a pastiche of 18th-century prose, the novel is one of the best evocations in English of the atmosphere of a past age. It was not well received, however, Esmond's marriage to Lady Castlewood was criticized. George Eliot called it “the most uncomfortable book you can imagine.” But it has come to be accepted as a notable English historical novel.
          Thackeray returned to the contemporary scene in his novel The Newcomes (1855). This work is essentially a detailed study of prosperous middle-class society and is centered upon the family of the title. Col. Thomas Newcome returns to London from India to be with his son Clive. The unheroic but attractive Clive falls in love with his cousin Ethel, but the love Clive and Ethel have for each other is fated to be unhappily thwarted for years because of worldly considerations. Clive marries Rose Mackenzie; the selfish, greedy, cold-hearted Barnes Newcome, Ethel's father and head of the family, intrigues against Clive and the Colonel; and the Colonel invests his fortune imprudently and ends as a pensioner in an almshouse. Rose dies in childbirth, and the narrative ends with the Colonel's death. This deathbed scene, described with deep feeling that avoids sentimentality, is one of the most famous in Victorian fiction. In a short epilogue Thackeray tells us that Clive and Ethel eventually marry—but this, he says, is a fable.
          The Virginians (1857–1859), Thackeray's next novel, is set partly in the US and partly in England in the latter half of the 18th century and is concerned mostly with the vicissitudes in the lives of two brothers, George and Henry Warrington, who are the grandsons of Henry Esmond, the hero of his earlier novel. Thackeray wrote two other serial novels, Lovel the Widower (1860) and The Adventures of Philip (1862). He died after having begun writing the novel Denis Duval.
          In his own time Thackeray was regarded as the only possible rival to Dickens. His pictures of contemporary life were obviously real and were accepted as such by the middle classes. A great professional, he provided novels, stories, essays, and verses for his audience, and he toured as a nationally known lecturer. He wrote to be read aloud in the long Victorian family evenings, and his prose has the lucidity, spontaneity, and pace of good reading material. Throughout his works, Thackeray analyzed and deplored snobbery and frequently gave his opinions on human behavior and the shortcomings of society, though usually prompted by his narrative to do so. He examined such subjects as hypocrisy, secret emotions, the sorrows sometimes attendant on love, remembrance of things past, and the vanity of much of life—such moralizing being, in his opinion, an important function of the novelist. He had little time for such favorite devices of Victorian novelists as exaggerated characterization and melodramatic plots, preferring in his own work to be more true to life, subtly depicting various moods and plunging the reader into a stream of entertaining narrative, description, dialogue, and comment.
          Thackeray's high reputation as a novelist continued unchallenged to the end of the 19th century but then began to decline. Vanity Fair is still his most interesting and readable work and has retained its place among the great historical novels in the English language.

  • Burlesques
  • Catherine: A Story
  • The Chronicle of the Drum
  • George Cruikshank
  • The Great Hoggarty Diamond
  • The History of Henry Esmond, Esq., A Colonel in the Service of Her Majesty Queen Anne
  • John Leech's Pictures of Life and Character
  • Men's Wives
  • Notes of a Jorney from Cornhill to Grand Cairo
  • Rebecca and Rowena: A Romance Upon Romance
  • The Rose and the Ring
  • Roundabout Papers
  • The Second Funeral of Napoleon
  • The Tremendous Adventures of Major Gahagan
  • Vanity FairVanity Fair (other site)
  • ^ 1791 Club des Feuillants      
          Suite à la Fusillade du Champ-de-Mars où la Garde Nationale a tiré sur des patriotes (cfr Chroniques du 17 juillet), tous les députés — sauf 5 dont le fameux Robespierre — se rassemblent dans un ancien couvent des Feuillants (une branche des Cisterciens) et créent le Club des Feuillants et une Société des Amis de la Constitution (la Nouvelle Constitution). Cet événement attisera le dynamisme des Jacobins (plus à gauche) lequel engendrera bientôt la Terreur.
    1768 Jean Robert Argand, Geneva born French mathematician who died on 13 August 1822. He is famed for his geometrical interpretation of the complex numbers where i is interpreted as a rotation through 90º. The concept of the modulus of a complex number is also due to Argand
    1741 Johann-Jakob Dorner I, German painter who died on 22 May 1813. — a bit more with link to an image.
    1720 Gilbert White, à Selborne en Angleterre Devenu pasteur dans son village natal, White obserrve la nature au jour à jour. Son observation méthodique, scrupuleuse, vaudra à ce modeste pasteur de village d'être considéré comme l'un des meilleurs naturalistes de son époque.
    1659 (infant baptism) Hyacinthe François Honoré Mathias Pierre André Jean Rigau y Ros “Rigaud”, French Baroque era painter who died on 29 December 1743, specialized in Portraits. — MORE ON RIGAUD AT ART “4” JULY with links to images.
    1635 Robert Hooke, English physicist, architect, surveyor, and mathematician. He died on 03 March 1703. He claimed priority over Newton in the theory of light and color, and in discovering the inverse square law of gravitation.
    1013 Hermann von Reichenau “The Lame”, Altshausen German Benedictine abbot of Reichenau, poet, astronomer, and mathematician, who died on 24 September 1054. His works include the whole or parts of De Mensura Astrolabii and De Utilitatibus Astrolabii. He published in Latin much scientific work which before this time had been only available in Arabic.
    Holidays Spain : Labor Day/National Day / Uruguay : Constitution Day/Jura de la Constitución (1951)

    Religious Observances Old Catholic : St Camillus de Lellis, confessor / Santos Federico, Emiliano, Jacinto y santas Rufina, Berta, Marina y Sinforosa y sus siete hijos mártires.
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    Thought for the day:
    The greatest programming project of all took six days; on the seventh day the programmer rested.” [but each of those days is eternal] [the program started with a bang but has lots of bugs: cockroaches, mosquitoes, lice, fleas, spiders, ants, ticks, scorpions, termites, dust mites, flies, gnats, ..., not to mention worms and viruses] [the programmer eventually got disgusted and decided to drown the whole mess in a flood, but Noah talked him into saving self-replicating samples of everything, including the bugs]
    “In these times we fight for ideas, and newspapers are our fortresses.” — Heinrich Heine [13 Dec 1797 – 17 Feb 1856], German poet and critic whose name, on orders from Hitler, would be removed from textbooks in Germany and in occupied countries (including France, where I was. My used German textbook had a poem signed by Heine, the new edition had the same poem, unsigned). Heine was Jewish.
    updated Tuesday 09-Dec-2008 15:56 UT
    Principal updates:
    v.8.60 Thursday 17-Jul-2008 18:51 UT
    v.6.61 Tuesday 18-Jul-2006 15:56 UT
    v.5.70 Sunday 21-Aug-2005 15:09 UT
    Monday 13-Dec-2004 20:06 UT

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