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Events, deaths, births, of 20 OCT
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2007 So-called non-partisan primary election for governor (4-year-term) in Louisiana. A candidate who receives at least 50% of the vote is elected governor outright. Otherwise there is 17 November 2007 runoff.
Jones mobbed by reporters
2003 Kirk Jones, 40, an auto parts salesman from Canton, Michigan, climbs over a wrought iron fence, jumps into the Niagara River, and slides on his back 50 meters down the Horseshoe Falls (part of Niagara Falls), which straddle the Canadian-United States border between Ontario and New York State. He disappears under the water for about four minutes, before reemerging 100 meters downstream. He declines an offer of help from a Maid of the Mist tour boat and swims to shore. He is the first person to have done so without any protection. Dare devils have braved the drop in barrels and boats, a now-illegal practice. But only one person had so far survived the fall without the protection of a boat or a barrel — a 6-year-old boy who went over in 1960. Unlike Jones, he was wearing a lifejacket. Instead of being acclaimed as a hero, Jones is arrested and taken to the Greater Niagara General Hospital for medical care (a few broken ribs) and psychiatric assessment. He is released from jail in Saint-Catherines, Ontario, on 23 October 2003 [photo >]. On 14 November 2003, Jones makes his debut in Hidalgo, Texas, with the Toby Tyler Circus, touring Texas' Mexican border towns.

2002 “The generous amnesty by his excellency the president is to show gratitude and pride in the heroic stand of the people who said Yes to him" Interior Minister Mahmoud Diyab al-Ahmed declares. On 15 October every single one of the 11'445'938 eligible voters voted Yes in a referendum to give his excellency another 7 years of dictatorship. Not a single voter chose the only alternative, No, according to official results. Where does this happen? Why, in the most perfect democracy the world has ever seen, of course, led by its beloved Saddam Hussein: Iraq, a far cry from the banana-republic US with its rigged presidential election of George “Dubyu” Bush, its secret arrests, its indefinite imprisonment on occupied Cuban soil of “unlawful combatants”, its barbarous death penalty, etc. etc. “All jailed prisoners, detainees and sentenced fugitives for political reasons are granted a complete, comprehensive, and final amnesty,” Saddam declares in the decree. The amnesty also covers most criminal prisoners and those held for evading military service, and states: “Prisoners and detainees will be set free immediately except in the case of those who are sentenced or detained because of murder, then they would be set free only if the families of victims would forgive them or if they pay back their debts to the government or people.” What is not mentioned is that all those whom Saddam Hussein considered as even remotely potential threats have already been freed long ago — their souls freed from the bond of the body — Saddam Hussein himself having shot some of them, including his son-in-law. The amnesty saves the minimal expense of feeding the prisoners, and the prisons await any future US aggressors who escape death on the battlefield.

2002 (Sunday) US: start of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week.

2000 Egyptian-born Ali Mohamed, a US citizen who served in the US Army, pleads guilty in New York to helping plan the deadly 07 August 1998 US Embassy bombings in Africa in 1998 that killed 224 people, including 12 from the US.
1999 Russians shell outskirts of Grozny (CNN)

1997 Microsoft accused of incorporating browser in Windows 95
      The US Justice Department files a complaint against Microsoft, alleging that the company had violated a consent agreement it had entered into in 1995. The government accused Microsoft of unfair business practices in relation to its bundling of its Internet browser with its Windows 95 operating system. The suit came two years after Microsoft settled government charges that it had illegally exploited its operating system dominance. The Justice Department asked the court to stop Microsoft from linking the use of Windows 95 to Microsoft's Internet browser.
1996 Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto's party won a parliamentary election
1996 After months of persecution, the FBI notifies Richard Jewell's attorney that Jewell is no longer a suspect in the Olympic bombing in Atlanta. Jewell was the security guard who removed the explosives just in time to save hundreds of lives.
1995 UN Asks US to pay up
      On the eve of its fiftieth anniversary, the United Nations announces that the United States, after years of failing to pay dues or the expenses for peacekeeping missions, owes the UN $1.25 billion. The debt threatens the United States' membership in the organization. Under the United Nations' charter, a member would be forced to relinquish its vote if "its arrears equals or exceeds what it owes in contributions for the preceding two years.” Though the US seems to be on the way to crossing that mark by 1997, officials concede that it is highly unlikely that the UN would banish one of the world's most powerful countries. Still, America's delinquency was troublesome for the UN, which had exceeded its annual budget by August of 1995 and was forced to take out a $125 million loan.
^ 1994 MecklerWeb fails, for lack of customers, after two weeks
     Two weeks after its highly vaunted MecklerWeb service launched, Meckler Media shut it down. The service, also backed by Digital Equipment Corp., General Motors, and Ogilvy and Mather, was designed to help companies create their own Internet presence. The company planned to charge companies up to $50,000 to create interactive online brochures. However, the company shut down the service just two weeks after its launch, saying it had found only one customer willing to pay the high fees. Instead, the company decided to put its magazines online and sell advertising.
1990 Antiwar protest marches begin in 20 US cities (US-Iraq)
1989 US Senate impeaches US District Judge Alcee L Hastings
1988 Britain ends suspects right to remain silent in crackdown on IRA
1983 IBM-PC DOS Version 2.1 released
1981 three members of the radical Weather Underground are arrested following a bungled armored truck robbery in Nyack, N.Y
1978 The US Federal Reserve increased the rediscount rate on loans to 9.5 percent, to counter the inflation fears that are making the stock market plummet.
1975 Putting economics ahead of Cold War politics, the US announces a deal to make annual sales of 6 to 8 million tons of grain to the Soviet Union
1973 OPEC oil embargo begins, following the outbreak of Arab-Israeli war.
1973 Sat Night Massacre, Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox dismissed by Solicitor Gen Bork, AG Richardson & Deputy AG Ruckelshaus resigned
1973 Watergate special prosecutor dismissed
      Solicitor General Robert Bork dismisses Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox; Attorney General Richardson and Deputy Attorney General Ruckelshaus resign in protest. Cox had conducted a detailed investigation of the Watergate break-in that revealed that the burglary was just one of many possible abuses of power by the Nixon White House. Nixon had ordered Richardson to fire Cox, but he refused and resigned, as did Ruckelshaus when Nixon then asked him to dismiss the special prosecutor. Bork agreed to fire Cox and an immediate uproar ensued. This series of resignations and firings became known as the Saturday Night Massacre and outraged the public and the media. Two days later, the House Judiciary Committee began to look into the possible impeachment of Nixon.
      The Watergate scandal involved the bungled burglary of the offices of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate apartment complex in Washington, D.C., on June 23, 1972. It was eventually learned that the cover-up went all the way to the White House; President Nixon, facing impeachment, resigned from the presidency in August 1974. This had a major impact on the situation in Vietnam. Nixon had convinced President Nguyen Van Thieu to consent to the provisions of the Paris peace accords by personally promising (on more than 30 occasions) that the United States would re-enter the conflict if the North Vietnamese violated the peace agreement. However, Nixon's successor, Gerald R. Ford, was not able to keep Nixon's promises because he could not, despite Thieu's desperate pleas for help, get Congress to appropriate significant funds to help the South Vietnamese. Having lost its sole source of aid and support, South Vietnam fell in April 1975.
1967 In Meridan, Mississippi, and all~white federal jury convicts 7 men for violating the civil rights of three civil rights workers by murdering them.
1965 The last Volvo PV544
      The Volvo PV544 was first introduced in 1958 as an updated version of its popular predecessor, the PV444. Like the PV444 with its laminated windscreen, the PV544 featured an important safety innovation--it was the first car to be equipped with safety belts as standard fitting. But the PV544 was also a powerful automobile, boasting a 4-speed manual transmission option and power up to 95 bhp. Shortly after its introduction, the 544 became one of the most successful rally cars, dominating rally racing into the 1960s. Yet, the PV544 was also affordably priced, and its first-year sales put Volvo over the 100'000--exported automobiles mark. The PV544 was successfully reintroduced every year until 1965, when it was decided by Volvo that production of the model would cease. On this day in 1965, the last 544 was driven off the Volvo assembly line at its Lundy plant in Sweden by longtime Volvo test driver Nils Wickstrom. Gustaf Larson, the engineer who had co-founded Volvo with businessman Assar Gabrielsson in 1927, was present at the ceremony. An impressive total of 440'000 Volvo PV544s had been produced during its eight-year run, over half of which had been exported.
^ 1964 Relations between South Vietnam, the US, and Cambodia deteriorate
      A series of incidents and charges bring relations between Cambodia, South Vietnam, and the United States to a low point. Cambodia under Prince Norodom Sihanouk had tried to maintain its neutrality in the growing conflict between Saigon and the Communists in Vietnam, but the country became a sanctuary for Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces fighting the Saigon government. Sihanouk, not strong enough to prevent the Communists from using his territory, came under increasing political and military pressure from the United States and South Vietnam.
      In this incident, South Vietnamese planes strafed a Cambodian village; when Cambodia protested, Saigon replied by reiterating its accusation that Cambodia was providing refuge for Viet Cong forces that were attacking across the border into South Vietnam.
      On October 22, the United States charged that Cambodian troops crossed over into South Vietnam and seized an US officer advising South Vietnamese forces. On October 25, the officer's body was recovered just inside South Vietnam, and Cambodia was accused of placing the body there to allow the rescue force to be fired on.
      The next day, Cambodians shot down a US Air Force C-123 cargo plane, loaded with ammunition for a Special Forces camp; eight US servicemen aboard were killed. By October 28, the United States admitted that the plane had strayed over Cambodian territory by mistake, but argued that such incidents arose because of the poorly defined border and the activities of the Viet Cong in the area.
      Despite the charges and threats from Prince Sihanouk and US losses in personnel and planes, neither side pursued the matter. However, the use of Cambodia as a sanctuary by the Communists remained a contentious issue; in 1970, President Richard Nixon ordered US and South Vietnamese forces to attack the sanctuaries in what became known as the Cambodian Incursion.
1963 South Africa begins trial of Nelson Mandela and 8 others for conspiracy.
^ 1962: Cuban Missile Crisis: bomb or blockade Cuba?
      US President Kennedy is away from Washington on the second day of a planned campaign trip. He knows that the Soviets are building bases in Cuba for nuclear missiles that could reach almost everywhere in the US. But the Soviets don't know that he knows, and the public knows nothing. The Executive Committee of the National Security Council (EX-COMM) meets in Washington, presided by the Attorney General, the President's brother Robert Kennedy. It approves two alternative speeches prepared for the President to give one of them, depending on whether the action decided upon is an air strike or a quarantine of Cuba.
      Then Robert Kennedy phones the President to say that he must come back to Washington make with EX-COMM a decision between the two options.The President reluctantly agrees. He gives the excuse of an “upper respiratory infection” to abandon his trip. Back in Washington, Kennedy meets, from 13:30 and to 14:30, with EX-COMM. Roswell Gilpatric, Deputy Secretary of Defense, says: “this is a choice between limited action and unlimited action -- and most of us think it is better to start with limited action." The President favors a blockade but would not finalize his decision until the next day.
1960 The first fully automated post office system is put into service in Providence, Rhode Island, the $20 million experimental project electronically sorted and canceled mail at a rate of eighteen thousand pieces per hour.
1956 15ºC, Esperanza Station, Antarctica (Antarctic record high)
1949 The last of the Inklings' Thursday meetings is held this evening. This group of Christians associated with Oxford included such notable thinkers as J.R.R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Owen Barfield.
1947 Un-American Activities in Hollywood?
      The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) of the US Congress opens its investigation into communist infiltration of the American movie industry. Chaired by Congressman Parnell Thomas, the subsequent hearings focused on identifying political subversives among Hollywood actors and actresses, writers, and directors.
      Although initially opposed by a group of Hollywood heavyweights such as Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and Gene Kelly, the hearings proceeded. A number of witnesses, including studio owners Walt Disney and Jack Warner, and movie stars Robert Taylor and Gary Cooper, gave statements decrying the communist influence in the film industry; some specifically named colleagues whom they suspected of communist affiliations or sympathies.
     Among those denounced as having un-American tendencies are: Katherine Hepburn, Charles Chaplin and Edward G. Robinson. Among those called to testify is Screen Actors Guild President Ronald Reagan, who denies that leftists ever controlled the Guild and refuses to label anyone a communist.
      Another group of witnesses, including writers Dalton Trumbo and Ring Lardner Jr., were less forthcoming, and loudly complained that the hearings were illegal, and that questions about their political loyalties were inappropriate. Eventually, the "Hollywood Ten," as these protesting witnesses came to be known, were found in contempt of Congress and went on to serve jail terms.
      The fate of the Hollywood Ten terrified many in the film industry, and when new HUAC hearings started in 1951, Hollywood quickly buckled to the committee's demands. Hundreds of performers, directors, writers, and others associated with the movies were placed on a "blacklist," effectively banned from employment. Actors such as Zero Mostel and John Garfield saw their careers in film during the 1940s and 1950s destroyed for refusing to cooperate with HUAC. Hollywood also responded by turning out a bevy of films with anticommunist themes, such as I Was a Communist for the FBI (1951), Big Jim McClain (1952), and My Son John (1952).
1945 Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon form the Arab League to present a unified front against the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine.
1944 Revolution by workers and students in Guatemala
1944 US 1st army wins battle of Aachen
^ 1944 US forces land at Leyte Island in the Philippines
      More than 100'000 US soldiers land on Leyte Island, in the Philippines, as preparation for the major invasion by Gen. Douglas MacArthur. The ensuing battles of Leyte Island proved among the bloodiest of the war in the Pacific and signaled the beginning of the end for the Japanese.
      The Japanese had held the Philippines since May 1942, when the awful defeat of US forces led to General MacArthur's departure (while he promised: "I shall return.”) and General Wainwright's capture. MacArthur was back, as he promised, but his invasion of Luzon required a softening up of the enemy. Thus, the amphibious landing of the US forces at Leyte and the concomitant goal of destroying the Japanese fleet in the gulf was undertaken.
      The Japanese anticipated the US landing by launching Operation Sho-Go, an attempt to divert the US 3rd Fleet north and away from the fighting on the island. The Japanese fleet assembled was the largest ocean task force assembled during the war, including seven battleships, 11 heavy cruisers, and 19 destroyers. US submarines and aircraft carriers met the Japanese fleet and the Battle of Leyte Gulf began on 23 October.
      Meanwhile on Leyte Island, the US troops took on the Japanese garrison, which was composed of 80'000 soldiers. It took 67 days to subdue the island, with extraordinary acts of physical bravery and courage demonstrated on both sides. Even after the US troops had taken control of the island, Japanese soldiers who had been hidden away continued to emerge and fight on, preferring to die than surrender. All told, the Japanese lost more than 55'000 soldiers during the two months of battle and approximately another 25'000 in mopping up operations in early 1945. The US forces lost about 3500-compared with the Japanese loss of 80'000 total.
      The sea battle of Leyte Gulf was the same story. The loss of ships and sailors was horrendous for both sides. The sinking of the US carrier Princeton resulted in the drowning deaths of 500 men. When the Japanese battleship Musashi was destroyed by a massive US aerial attack, more than 1000 sailors died, including the captain who stood on his bridge and literally went down with his ship. Three days of sea battle saw the destruction of 36 Japanese warships-compared with the US's three. It also saw the introduction of the Japanese kamikaze-"divine wind"--suicide bombers. The St. Lo, a US aircraft carrier, was one of the first casualties, when one kamikaze pilot drove his plane straight into its flight deck. More than 5000 kamikaze pilots died in this gulf battle-taking down 34 ships. But when all was said and done, the Japanese had not been able to prevent the loss of their biggest and best warships, signaling the virtual end of the Japanese Imperial Fleet. The US victory on land and sea opened the door for General MacArthur's invasion and the recapture of the Philippines.
A personal victory for MacArthur. After advancing island by island across the Pacific Ocean, US General Douglas MacArthur wades ashore onto the Philippine island of Leyte, fulfilling his promise to return to the area he was forced to flee in 1942. The son of an American Civil War hero, MacArthur served as chief US military adviser to the Philippines before World War II. The day after Pearl Harbor was bombed on 07 December 1941, Japan launched its invasion of the Philippines.
      After struggling against great odds to save his adopted home from Japanese conquest, MacArthur was forced to abandon the Philippine island fortress of Corregidor under orders from President Franklin Roosevelt in March 1942. Left behind at Corregidor and on the Bataan Peninsula were 90'000 US and Filipino soldiers, who, lacking food, supplies, and support, would soon succumb to the Japanese offensive. After leaving Corregidor, MacArthur and his family traveled by boat 900 km to the Philippine island of Mindanao, braving mines, rough seas, and the Japanese navy. At the end of the hair-raising 35-hour journey, MacArthur told the boat commander, John D. Bulkeley, "You've taken me out of the jaws of death, and I won't forget it." On 17 March the general and his family boarded a B-17 Flying Fortress for northern Australia. He then took another aircraft and a long train ride down to Melbourne.
      During this journey, he was informed that there were far fewer Allied troops in Australia than he had hoped. Relief of his forces trapped in the Philippines would not be forthcoming. Deeply disappointed, he issued a statement to the press in which he promised his men and the people of the Philippines, "I shall return." The promise would become his mantra during the next two and a half years, and he would repeat it often in public appearances. For his valiant defense of the Philippines, MacArthur was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and celebrated as "America's First Soldier." Put in command of Allied forces in the Southwestern Pacific, his first duty was conducting the defense of Australia. Meanwhile, in the Philippines, Bataan fell in April, and the 70'000 American and Filipino soldiers captured there were forced to undertake a death march in which at least 7000 perished.
      Then, in May, Corregidor surrendered, and 15'000 more US and Filipino soldiers were captured. The Philippines were lost, and the US Joint Chiefs of Staff had no immediate plans for their liberation. After the US victory at the Battle of Midway in June 1942, most Allied resources in the Pacific went to US Admiral Chester Nimitz, who as commander of the Pacific Fleet planned a more direct route to Japan than via the Philippines. Undaunted, MacArthur launched a major offensive in New Guinea, winning a string of victories with his limited forces. By September 1944, he was poised to launch an invasion of the Philippines, but he needed the support of Nimitz's Pacific Fleet. After a period of indecision about whether to invade the Philippines or Formosa, the Joint Chiefs put their support behind MacArthur's plan, which logistically could be carried out sooner than a Formosa invasion.
      On 20 October 1944, a few hours after his troops landed, MacArthur waded ashore onto the Philippine island of Leyte. That day, he made a radio broadcast in which he declared, "People of the Philippines, I have returned!" In January 1945, his forces invaded the main Philippine island of Luzon. In February, Japanese forces at Bataan were cut off, and Corregidor was captured. Manila, the Philippine capital, fell in March, and in June MacArthur announced his offensive operations on Luzon to be at an end; although scattered Japanese resistance continued until the end of the war, in August. Only one-third of the men MacArthur left behind in March 1942 survived to see his return. "I'm a little late," he told them, "but we finally came."
1942 "Durham Manifesto" calls for fundamental changes in race relations
1938 Czechoslovakia, complying with Nazi policy, outlaws the Communist Party and begins persecuting Jews. The unprecedented Nuremberg Trial. 1940 German troops reach the approaches to Moscow.
^ 1935 Mao's Long March concludes
      Just over a year after the start of the Long March, Mao Zedong arrives in Hanoi in northwest China with 8000 survivors, and sets up Chinese Communist headquarters. In October of 1934, the Communist leader Mao and over 100,000 of his followers began an epic flight from the vastly superior Nationalist forces of Chiang Kai-shek. In a retreat known as the Long March, Mao's forces battled their way across 6,000 miles of territory, before finally reaching safety in Hanoi. In 1936, under the increasing threat of Japanese invasion, a coalition is formed between Mao and his Nationalist foes. But with the defeat of Japan in 1945, civil war erupts again. Mao's Communist forces emerge triumphant in China in 1949, and the Nationalists are expelled from the mainland as the People's Republic of China is declared with Mao as both president of the republic and chairman of the Communist Party.
      Just over a year after the start of the Long March, Mao Zedong arrives in Shensi Province in northwest China with 4,000 survivors and sets up Chinese Communist headquarters. The epic flight from Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist forces lasted 368 days and covered 6,000 miles, nearly twice the distance from New York to San Francisco. Civil war in China between the Nationalists and the Communists broke out in 1927. In 1931, Communist leader Mao Zedong was elected chairman of the newly established Soviet Republic of China, based in Kiangsi province, in the southwest. Between 1930 and 1934, the Nationalists launched a series of five encirclement campaigns against the Soviet Republic. Under the leadership of Mao, the Communists employed guerrilla tactics to successfully resist the first four campaigns, but in the fifth, Chiang raised 700,000 troops and built fortifications around the Communist positions. Hundreds of thousands of peasants were killed or died of starvation in the siege, and Mao was removed as chairman by the Communist Central Committee. The new Communist leadership employed more conventional warfare tactics, and its Red Army was decimated. With defeat imminent, the Communists decided to break out of the encirclement at its weakest points. The Long March began on October 16, 1934. Secrecy and rear-guard actions confused the Nationalists, and it was several weeks before they realized that the main body of the Red Army had fled. The retreating force initially consisted of 86,000 troops, 15,000 personnel, and 35 women. Weapons and supplies were borne on men's backs or in horse-drawn carts, and the line of marchers stretched 50 miles. The Communists generally marched at night, and when the enemy was not near, a long column of glowing torches could be seen snaking over valleys and hills into the distance. The first disaster came in November, when Nationalist forces blocked the Communists' route across the Hsiang River. It took a week for the Communists to break through the fortifications and cost them 50,000 men--more than half their number. After that debacle, Mao steadily regained his influence, and in January he was again made chairman during a meeting of the party leaders in the captured city of Tsuni. Mao changed strategy, breaking his force into several columns that would take varying paths to confuse the enemy. There would be no more direct assaults on enemy positions, and the destination would now be Shensi Province, in the far northwest, where the Communists would fight the Japanese invaders and earn the respect of China's masses. After enduring starvation, aerial bombardment, and almost daily skirmishes with Nationalist forces, Mao halted his columns at the foot of the Great Wall of China on October 20, 1935. Waiting for them were five machine-gun- and red-flag-bearing horsemen. "Welcome, Chairman Mao," one said. "We represent the Provincial Soviet of Northern Shensi. We have been waiting for you anxiously. All that we have is at your disposal!" The Long March was over. The Communist marchers crossed 24 rivers and 18 mountain ranges, mostly snow-capped. Only 4,000 troops completed the journey. The majority of those who did not complete the journey had perished along the way. It was the longest continuous march in the history of warfare and marked the emergence of Mao Zedong as the undisputed leader of the Chinese Communists. Learning of the Communists' heroism and determination in the Long March, thousands of young Chinese traveled to Shensi to enlist in Mao's Red Army. After fighting the Japanese for a decade, the Chinese Civil War resumed in 1945. Four years later, the Nationalists were defeated, and Mao proclaimed the People's Republic of China. He served as chairman of the country until his death in 1976.
Il a accompli la Longue Marche, la plus longue sans doute du siècle qu’un dirigeant ait réalisée avec ses partisans, car c’en était vraiment une : Mao Tsé-Toung et ses troupes communistes avaient mis 369 jours pour franchir 18 chaînes de montagnes, 24 fleuves, 54 villes et accomplir 12 000 km . Son but : mobiliser la population contre le pouvoir en place de Tchang Kaï-chek contre lequel Mao-Tsé Toung s’est rebellé depuis le début des années 30. Au cours de la Longue Marche, les troupes de Mao rencontrent la population, s’enrichissent de son contact, expliquent leur combat et deviennent plus forts et plus puissants qu’ils ne l’étaient. L’Armée rouge de Mao est prête à abattre le régime de Tchang Kaï-chek. De violents combats opposent tout au long des années 40 les communistes au régime en place. Premières victoires décisives de Mao en 1948 avec la prise de Moukden. Début 1949, les communistes font le siège de Pékin qui se rend le 1er février. Puis ce sera le tour de Nankin, Shanghai... Tchang Kaï-chek prend la fuite. Il se réfugiera à Formose, future Taïwan. Mao, lui s’installe à la tête de la Chine, proclame le socialisme et la République populaire de Chine. Il régnera jusqu’à sa mort, en 1976, et fera de la Chine l’une des grandes puissances de ce monde, mais controversée.
1930 British White Paper restricts Jews from buying Arab land
1918 Germany accepted US President Wilson's terms to end World War I.
1911 Roald Amundsen sets out on race to South Pole
1906 Dr Lee DeForest demonstrates his radio tube
1905 Great General Strike in Russia begins; lasts 11 days
1904 Bolivia and Chile sign a treaty ending the War of the Pacific. The treaty recognizes Chile's possession of the coast, but provides for construction of a railway to link La Paz, Bolivia, to Arica, on the coast.
1903 The Joint Commission, set up on 24 January by Great Britain and the United States to arbitrate the disputed boundary between the District of Alaska and Canada, rules in favor of the United States. The deciding vote is Britain's, which embitters Canada. The United States gains ports on the panhandle coast of Alaska.
1883 Treaty of Ancon, Peru cedes Tarapaca to Chile
1870 The Summer Palace in Beijing, China, is burnt to the ground by a Franco-British expeditionary force.
1863 Skirmish at Warm Springs, North Carolina
1844 Orestes Augustus Brownson is taken into the Roman Catholic Church. He was notable as an American intellectual with persuasive views. He was the author of The American Republic: Its Constitution, Tendencies, and Destiny, The American Republic: Its Constitution, Tendencies, and Destiny, The American Republic: Its Constitution, Tendencies, and Destiny, New Views of Christianity, Society, and the Church
^ 1827 The naval Battle of Navarino
      During the Greek War for Independence, a combined Turkish and Egyptian armada is destroyed by an allied British, French, and Russian naval force at the Battle of Navarino. In 1821, the first nationalist uprisings by the Greeks against their Turkish rulers touched off a wave of sympathy in Britain and France, whose cultural traditions enshrined respect for ancient Hellenic values. Russians sympathized with the Greeks as fellow-members of the Orthodox Church struggling against a mutual foe in the Near and Middle East--the Ottoman Empire.
      After Turkey enlisted the aid of Egypt in the conflict, Britain, France, and Russia sent allied squadrons to Navarino Bay on the west coast of the Peloponnese in the eastern Mediterranean. The European allies had hoped to resolve the conflict by a simple show of force, but upon arrival in Navarino Bay their squadrons are immediately fired on by the opposing Egyptian and Turkish naval force. British Admiral Edward Codrington's squadron leads the European attack, and by the next day the Europeans' superior artillery have completely annihilated the Turkish and Egyptian fleets. In the same year, with its sovereignty guaranteed by the three European powers, Greece wins its independence after nearly four hundred years of Turkish rule.
^ 1818 US-Canadian border is established
      Great Britain and the United States sign a diplomatic convention establishing a boundary between the US and British Canada along the forty-ninth parallel. The boundary stretches from Lake of the Woods in the east to the Rocky Mountains in the west. The delegates also agree to a joint occupation of Oregon territory for ten years, an arrangement that is extended for an additional ten years in 1827. After 1838, the issue of who possesses Oregon becomes increasingly controversial, especially when mass American migration along the Oregon Trail begins during the early 1840s. American expansionists urge seizure of Oregon, and in 1844, Democrat James K. Polk successfully runs for president under the platform, "Fifty-four Forty or Fight," which refers to his hope of bringing a sizable portion of present-day Vancouver and Alberta into the United States. However, neither President Polk nor the British government want a third Anglo-American war, and on 15 June 1846, the Oregon Treaty is signed. By the terms of the agreement, the US and Canadian border is extended west along the forty-ninth parallel to the Strait of Georgia, just short of the Pacific Ocean. The US gains formal control over the future states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana, and the British retain Vancouver Island and navigation rights to part of the Columbia River.
1813 German Kingdom of Westphalia abolished
1805 Austrian general Karl Mac surrenders to Napoléon's army at the battle of Ulm. -- A 15 heures, les 27'000 hommes dont 3000 à cheval, et 60 pièces de canon attelées, se rendent. En signe de reddition, le général Mack remet son épée à l'empereur. Les soldats autrichiens qui défilent devant le vainqueur jettent à ses pieds toutes leurs armes.
1803 . The agreement, which provides for the purchase of the western half of the Mississippi River basin from France at a price of about seven cents per hectare, doubles the size of the country and paves the way for westward expansion beyond the Mississippi.
^ 1803 US Senate ratifies the Louisiana Purchase by a vote of 24 to 7.
      The US Senate approves a treaty with France providing for the purchase of the territory of Louisiana, which would double the size of the United States.
      At the end of 18th century, the Spanish technically owned Louisiana, the huge region west of the Mississippi that had once been claimed by France and named for its monarch, King Louis XIV. Despite Spanish ownership, American settlers in search of new land were already threatening to overrun the territory by the early 19th century. Recognizing it could not effectively maintain control of the region, Spain ceded Louisiana back to France in 1801, sparking intense anxieties in Washington, D.C. Under the leadership of Napoléon Bonaparte, France had become the most powerful nation in Europe, and unlike Spain, it had the military power and the ambition to establish a strong colony in Louisiana and keep out the Americans.
      Realizing that it was essential that the US at least maintain control of the mouth of the all-important Mississippi River, early in 1803 President Thomas Jefferson sent James Monroe to join the French foreign minister, Robert Livingston, in France to see if Napoléon might be persuaded to sell New Orleans and West Florida to the US By that spring, the European situation had changed radically. Napoléon, who had previously envisioned creating a mighty new French empire in America, was now facing war with Great Britain. Rather than risk the strong possibility that Great Britain would quickly capture Louisiana and leave France with nothing, Napoléon decided to raise money for his war and simultaneously deny his enemy plum territory by offering to sell the entire territory to the US for a mere $15 million. Flabbergasted, Monroe and Livingston decided that they couldn't pass up such a golden opportunity, and they wisely overstepped the powers delegated to them and accepted Napoléon's offer.
      Despite his misgivings about the constitutionality of the purchase (the Constitution made no provision for the addition of territory by treaty), Jefferson finally agreed to send the treaty to the US Senate for ratification, noting privately, "The less we say about constitutional difficulties the better.” Despite his concerns, the treaty was ratified and the Louisiana Purchase now ranks as the greatest achievement of Jefferson's presidency.
1740 Maria Theresa became ruler of Austria, Hungary & Bohemia.
1714 George I of England crowned. .
1709 Marlborough and Eugene of Savoy take Mons in the Netherlands.
1658 An Act made at a General Court, held at Boston, the 20th of October, 1658
     Whereas there is a pernicious sect (commonly called Quakers), lately risen, who by word and writing have published and maintained many dangerous and horrid tenets, and do take upon them to change and alter the received laudable customs of our nation, in giving civil respect to equals, or reverence to superiors, whose actions tend to undermine the civil government, and also to destroy the order of the churches, by denying all established forms of worship, and by withdrawing from orderly church-fellowship, allowed and approved by all orthodox professors of the Truth, and instead thereof, and in opposition thereunto, frequently meeting themselves, insinuating themselves into the minds of the simple, or such as are least affected to the order and government of church and commonwealth, hereby divers of our inhabitants have been infected, notwithstanding all former laws, made upon the experience of their arrogant and bold obtrusions, to disseminate their principles among us, prohibiting their coming in this jurisdiction, they have not been deterred from their impetuous attempts to undermine our peace, and hazard our ruin.
      For prevention thereof, this court doth order and enact, that every person, or persons, of the cursed sect of the Quakers, who is not all inhabitant of, but is found within this jurisdiction, shall be apprehended without warrant, where no magistrate is at hand, by any constable, commissioner, or select man, and conveyed from constable to constable, to the next magistrate, who shall commit the said person to close prison, there to remain, without bail, unto the next court of assistants, where they shall have a legal trial: and being convicted to be of the sect of the Quakers, shall be sentenced to be banished upon pain of death: and that every inhabitant of this jurisdiction, being convicted to be of the aforesaid sect, either by taking up, publishing, or defending the horrid opinions of the Quakers, or the stirring up mutiny, sedition, or rebellion against the government, or by taking up their absurd and destructive practices, viz. Denying civil respect to equals and superiors, and withdrawing from our church assemblies, and instead thereof frequent meetings of their own, in opposition to our church order; or by adhering to, or approving of any known Quaker, and the tenets and practices of the Quakers, that are opposite to the orthodox received opinions of the godly, and endeavouring to disaffect others to civil government, and church orders, or condemning the practice and proceedings of this court against the Quakers, manifesting thereby their complying with those, whose design is to overthrow the order established in church and state, every such person, upon conviction before the said court of assistants, in manner as aforesaid, shall be committed to close prison for one month, and then, unless they choose voluntarily to depart this jurisdiction, shall give bond for their good behaviour, and appear at the next court, where continuing obstinate, and refusing to retract and reform the aforesaid opinions, they shall be sentenced to banishment upon pain of death; and any one magistrate, upon information given him of any such person, shall cause him to be apprehended, and shall commit any such person to prison, according to his discretion, until he come to trial, as aforesaid. [http://worldpolicy.org/americas/religion/masslaw.html]
1629 John Winthrop is elected governor of Massachussetts Bay. He is well-known for the journal he kept.
1600 Battle of Sekigahara sets Tokugawa clan as Japan's rulers (shoguns)
1587 In France, Huguenot Henri de Navarre routs Duke de Joyeuse's larger Catholic force at Coutras.
1541 Coronado writes to the King of Spain: Coronado's Report to the King of Spain Sent from Tiguex on October 20, 1541
1349 Self-flagellation is condemned by pope Clement VI. The practice had arisen two hundred years ealier, initiated by the monk Peter Damien as a means to help himself suppress his lusts.
--480 BC Greeks defeat the Persians in a naval battle at Salamis.
< 19 Oct 21 Oct >
^  Deaths which occurred on a 20 October:

2008 Madeleine Cinquin “Soeur Emmanuelle” [16 Nov 1908–]. She was the daughter of a family of lingerie manufacturers in Brussels, Belgium. At the age of six she saw her father drown. She was educated at the Sorbonne, earning a degree in philosophy. In 1929, she made her religious vows as a Sister of Notre-Dame de Sion. In the 1930s, she started working as a teacher at high school of her congregation, in Istanbul where she lived until the 1960s, with teaching engagements of several years in Tunis and Alexandria in between.In 1971, she witnessed the impoverished conditions of the trash collectors in Cairo, Egypt, and lived among them until 1993, when she returned to France. She was well received by audiences and talk-show hosts. In addition to her charity work, she was known for her dissenssion from the Catholic Church on such matters as contraception or priests getting married. She founded Asmae. —(081027)
2006 Mohd Afzal, hanged in India for his role in the 2001 attack on India's parliament by the Muslim terrorist group Jaish. —(060926)
2005 Akram Zaor, 16, Palestinian, shot in the evening near his home town Hussan, West Bank, by Israeli troops, which suspected him of throwing Molotov cocktails at Israeli cars. —(051022)
2005 Saadoun Sughaiyer al-Janabi, shot once in the head, shortly after masked men abducted him from his office in Baghdad, Iraq. He was a lawyer representing Awad Hamad al-Bander al-Sadun, the former chief judge of Saddam Hussein's Revolutionary Court, who, together with Hussein [28 Apr 1937~] and six others (*), was on trial (started on 19 Oct 2005) for the atrocities committed after a Daawa Party failed assassination attempt on Hussein on 08 July 1982 in al-Dujail (33°51'N, 44°14'E), of which more than 143 Shi'a men and boys were sentenced to death by Bandar, perhaps 60 others were also killed, some 1500 persons (including children, women, and old persons) were tortured and imprisoned, more were deported to desert camps, the town was destroyed, and 1000 sq.km of farmland was devastated. _ (*) The six others are: Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, Hussein's half-brother and former chief of intelligence; Taha Yassin Ramadan, former Vice-President; and four Dujail Baath party officials: Abdullah Kadhem Ruaid, Ali Daeem Ali, Mohammed Azawi Ali, and Mizher Abdullah Rawed. —(051021)
2004 At least eight civilians as US soldiers fight insurgents in Samarra, Iraq, which the US said it had pacified earlier in the month.
2004 A man, his wife, their two boys and two girls, by US air raid which destroyed their home in Fallujah, Iraq. A Reuters witness saw their bodies being pulled out of the rubble, despite US denials and claims that only houses of terrorists were bombed.
2004:: 148 coal miners, by gas explosion in the Daping mine, Henan province, China.
2004:: 29 coal miners, at a mine in Hebei province, China, after it is flooded.
2004:: 12 coal miners, by a gas leak in a mine in Chongqing municipality (Hebei province?).
2001 Five men and a woman killed late in the day in the village of El Habra, La Guajira province, Colombia, by FARC guerrillas.fighters also killed five men and a woman late Saturday in the village of El Habra in the same province,
2001 Ten peasants, in Alejandria, Antioquia province, Colombia, 188 km northwest of Bogotá, killed by paramilitaries who accused them of collaborating with the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.
2001 Rihab Nofal, 30, and her baby about to be born, Palestinian woman in problem labor being rushed to the hospital in Bethleem, detained at an Israeli checkpoint at the exit of the village of Alkhadir near Bethlehem.
2001 Rania Mario Abu Kharofa, 23, Palestinian woman, by a bullet hitting her neck while she was in her house in Beit Jala.
2001 Samer Yousif Shawahna, 21, and Mostafa Nofal, Palestinians, by gunfire from Israeli forces invading their city,.Qualqilya.
2001 Mostafa Saled al-Zitawi, 53, and Maher Abu Hasna, 33, Palestinian policemen, by Israeli Apache helicopters firing on their security post in Tulkarem, Hamdi Ahmad Abu Attaya is seriously injured in his head. Moayad al Daqqa is also wounded.
2001 A'aisa Oudah, 52, Eisha Mahmoud Abu Odeh, 31, Ranya Haruf, 24, Yousif Mohammed Ibbayat, 15, Johnny Yousif Thaljia, 19, Palestinians killed by gunfire from Israeli troops invading Bethlehem.. — Yousef Abayat, 15, was shot and killed by Israeli forces after he stabbed and lightly wounded an Iraeli soldier, during his funeral procession in Bethlehem Bethlehem on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2001. (AP photo caption Sun, Oct 21 10:18 AM) [even when dead, Palestinian teenagers are terrorists?]
2001 Mousa George, 20, a Palestinian Christian shot in an exchange of fire between Palestinian gunmen and Israeli troops.
2000 Nine Palestinians killed by Israeli troops. 67 Palestinians wounded. This shatters the Israeli-Palestinian truce brokered by President Clinton.
1992 Petra Kelly, and Gert Bastian, who shoots his companion Kelly, founder of Germany's Greens Party and one of Europe's leading environmentalists, and then commits suicide.
1991: 25 persons by a fire in the hills above Oakland, California. More than 3000 homes.1991 are destroyed.
1987 Andrey Kolmogorov, Russian mathematician born on 25 April 1903.
1984 Paul Dirac, mathematician
1982 Some 340 sports fans crushed to death in an open staircase during a game between Soviet and Dutch players in Moscow. It is the world's worst soccer disaster.
1972 Harlow Shapley discoverer of the Sun's position in the galaxy
^ 1964 Herbert Clark Hoover, born in Iowa on 10 August 1874, orphan, mining engineer, millionaire businessman, relief administrator during and after WWI, Commerce Secretary, (R) 31st US President (1929-1933) during the start of the Depression, writer of The Challenge to Liberty (1934) and Addresses Upon the American Road (8 volumes, 1936-1961), head of the two Hoover Commissions (1947-1949, 1953-1955).
      Hoover was the son of Jesse and Hulda Hoover. [The Hoover birthplace, 1931 painting by Grant Wood]. His father was a hardworking blacksmith and farm-implement dealer and his mother an extremely pious woman who eventually adopted Quakerism. Amid the streams, woodlands, and rolling hills around West Branch, Iowa, the young Hoover enjoyed an almost idyllic childhood, until the age of 6, when his father died from heart disease; his mother died of pneumonia three years later. The now-orphaned Herbert (whose favorite book, most tellingly, was David Copperfield) then left Iowa for Oregon, where he grew up in the home of John and Laura Minthorn, his maternal uncle and aunt. His parents' character and religiosity and the trauma of his early childhood left an indelible mark on the young Herbert, instilling in him the self-reliance, industriousness, and moral concern for the needy, abandoned, and downtrodden that would characterize him for the rest of his life. In classic Quaker fashion, his speech, dress, and demeanor were unadorned. A member of the first class at Stanford University (1895), Hoover graduated with a degree in geology and became a mining engineer, working on a wide variety of projects on four continents and displaying exceptional business acumen. Within two decades of leaving Stanford he had amassed a personal net worth of about $4 million.
     When a Bewick, Moreing & Co. of London asked San Francisco mining consultant Louis Janin in early 1897 to suggest a US engineer for its interests in the new goldfields of Western Australia, Janin had just the man in mind. Herbert Hoover, who had studied geology under Professor John Branner, had been working for Janin for several months as a mine scout in the US Southwest. But the firm was looking for someone at least 35 years old. Hoover was 22.
      By the time he reached London that spring, on a ship whose passenger list said he was 36 years old, he had grown an impressive mustache and beard. No one at company headquarters asked about his age, and he sailed to Western Australia aboard the R.M.S. Victoria, arriving on 13 May 1897.
      From Perth, the colony's sea-cooled capital, Hoover traveled 550 km east into the outback in a wooden carriage on the new, narrow-gauge steam railroad. In May 1897, he reported to his company's regional office in Coolgardie, a tent-and-shanty city of 8000 that had sprung up with the discovery of gold there in 1892.
      Coolgardie's gold was shallow, alluvial ore, easy to find and soon exhausted. Miners called it poor man's gold, because individual prospectors could easily extract it. Just a year after the Coolgardie rush began, a group of Irishmen started another rush by discovering gold 40 km to the northeast, on Kalgoorlie's Golden Mile. Just east of that claim, prospectors found gold-bearing lodes extending deep into the earth. Extracting such ore required heavy machinery, a large labor force, major capital investment, efficient management and a keen knowledge of metallurgy. It required, in other words, a just-arrived Herbert Hoover.
      Coolgardie was already beginning to dry up, on its way to becoming a ghost town, when Hoover joined the office there. Kalgoorlie, on the other hand, was a wild, sweltering boomtown.
      Life was raw and rowdy in West Australia's Roaring '90s. The gold stampede attracted camel dealers from Afghanistan, laundrymen and prostitutes from Japan and miners from all over the world. They found a dry, dustblown wasteland scattered with occasional gum trees and swarming with biting flies.
     Under Hoover's bold management, the Sons of Gwalia mine (above and in close-up left) went from a tiny operation to a massive industrial endeavor.
      The desert could be bitterly cold on winter nights and searing in the daytime year-round, reaching 150 degrees in the sun. It was so hot, Hoover joked, that they had to feed cracked ice to the chickens to keep them from laying hard-boiled eggs. And dust was everywhere -- piled so deep, Hoover said, that snowplows would be needed to clear it. Fierce winds caused terrible dust storms
      Food in the outback was mainly biscuits and what the miners called "tinned dog" (probably canned ham, mutton or beef). Water was scarce and brackish, "worth more to us than ore," Hoover wrote. Men rarely bathed more than once a week; some went months without getting into a tub. On a visit to the town of Menzies, when he requested a bath, "the landlady was shocked but brought me a can full of water, and my bill was 75 cents greater thereby."
      Unsanitary conditions led to health problems. "Everyone gets the typhoid sooner or later," Hoover wrote. "One could expect nothing else in towns without sewage systems, without water, built on level sand plains." Miners and prospectors tried to avoid the disease, spread through contaminated water and food, by drinking beer, champagne or the local Mount Leonora whiskey. Hoover managed to escape typhoid but spent more than a week in bed with a blood infection the miners called barcoo rot, carried by the detested bush flies and usually picked up by accidentally ingesting the insects with food.
      The newcomer Hoover ranked No. 4 among a staff of 53 in the regional office. His salary was $5000 a year plus expenses and some fees, and he lived in a company-owned bungalow in Kalgoorlie with a cook and a valet. As the inspecting engineer in charge of mine exploration and evaluation, Hoover spent most of his time traveling around the outback. On one trip, he inspected 18 mines in 18 days, finding his way through virtually trackless bush. On another, he looked at nearly 50 mines in 10 days.
      Most of these belonged to Bewick, Moreing, and Hoover had to make some unpopular decisions. "The bad [mines] must go and the good stay on sufferance," he wrote Lester Hinsdale, a Stanford classmate and San Francisco attorney. "They have been bought during boom times, when no regard was paid to the intrinsic value of the mine. . . . Good engineers are called in as physicians to mend the lame ducks. This we do by killing the bad ones immediately. At least, that's what I do."
      When possible, Hoover made his trips by horse-and-buggy, a relatively comfortable mode of travel that enabled him to carry plenty of water. But in the great stretches of sand not suitable for buggies, camels were preferable to horses because they could go much longer without water. Hoover hated camels. "Long camel rides wrench every muscle in the body," he wrote Harriette. That limited a day's camel journey to about 60 km, while relays of fresh horses allowed him to cover 100 km in a day.
     There was another way to get around the outback: bicycling. Once, Hoover was hundreds of kilometers into the desert on camelback when a telegram arrived by bicycle messenger. "I had proceeded as far as Lake Darlot," he reported, "when we were overtaken by a special bicyclist, who had come from Cue, the end of the telegraph, in three days” 630 km. For as little as five shillings a letter, these intrepid "cycle specials", sometimes pedaling wildly across dry lake beds to escape packs of pursuing dingoes or groups of Aborigines, carried mail to the mining camps. Their company even issued its own stamps, picturing camels and swans.
      Packs of camels actually paved the way for the bicyclists, Hoover wrote: "The camels are soft-footed, so they make a hard pad or path through the softest sand. This is a good track for a bicycle." Hoover himself took to stowing a bicycle on his buggy. "One never thinks of taking such a trip as I am now on without a bicycle strapped on behind," he wrote, "because it is often” 80 km “from water to water; and if an accident should happen to the team, a bicycle is the only salvation.”
      Often homesick, Hoover felt his travels into the empty desert carried him beyond the edge of the known world. After one long trip, he wrote: "Am glad to get back within the borders of civilization. Coolgardie is three yards inside of it. Perth is about a mile, and of course, San Francisco is the center. . . . Stanford is the best place in the world."
      Hoover first saw the Sons of Gwalia in June 1897, the month after he arrived. He spotted the site near Mount Leonora, 250 km north of Kalgoorlie. Noting the geologic resemblance between this ore deposit and Kalgoorlie's Golden Mile, he immediately recognized its untapped potential. The Sons of Gwalia was a working mine, but its scale of operation was still small. Hoover hastily cabled Bewick, Moreing, advising the firm to secure an option to buy the mine before anyone else got interested. The London office obtained the option and asked Hoover to make a more thorough inspection.
      In September, he strongly recommended outright purchase. His inspection report to London described the mine as one of "enormous potential" that was "well worth securing control of." He also included a bold caveat: that the firm invest heavily in new machinery and place the operation under his sole management.
      On 17 November 1897, the company exercised its option, buying Gwalia for a cash commitment of 100'000 pounds. The London office cabled Hoover, agreeing to upgrade the machinery and promising, "You will have entire management."
      Hoover took over on 01 May 1898. Five years later, Charles Algernon Moreing would describe Sons of Gwalia as "the mine out of which we made the most profit of any business we did." Driving this success was Hoover's engineering savvy and stringent management. Gwalia's deposits, like Kalgoorlie's, were low-grade, yielding just ounces of gold from tons of unearthed rock. To profit on a large scale, Hoover knew he'd have to squeeze more gold out of the ore while slashing operational costs. So he revamped the equipment, modernized the accounting system and obsessively pursued savings in even the smallest details.
      Preserved handwritten letters document his relentless cost-cutting and his insistence on improving labor productivity. To local camel dealers Faiz and Tagh Mahomet, he wrote: "At what price will you sell us fifty picked camels?" To his managing director: "I should with our own camels be able to save some 100 pounds on freight within the next two months." To London: "We have some 15 Italians in the Mine and the rivalry between them and the [other] workers is no small benefit." To the local office: "We have changed the working hours of the men on the mines from 44 hours to 48 hours per week, and after some trouble, things have quieted down and work is proceeding smoothly."
      Hoover fired workers who didn't come up to his standards and defied industry traditions wherever he saw fit. He rejected the English practice of promoting foremen to mine superintendents, instead hiring university-trained engineers. In charge of some 250 laborers at the remote and desolate mining camp, Hoover quickly earned a reputation as a tough and outspoken boss.
      Now a partner in the firm's Australian operations, with a yearly salary of $12'500 and a share of the profits, the 23-year-old Hoover was prospering. He began making small investments of his own and was able to send home monthly sums through Hinsdale to pay the expenses of his brother, sister and cousin, who for a while were all students at Stanford. Hoover also instructed Hinsdale to pass along small amounts to Ray Lyman Wilbur and other Stanford chums who might need them.
      His reputation spread. The Australian Mail called his rapid development of the Sons of Gwalia "unprecedented in Westralian mining." The Financial Times of London described him as "one of the ablest mining engineers in Western Australia."
      Meanwhile Hoover was feuding with his boss, Ernest Williams, the managing director of the regional office. "He is quite the most complete scoundrel I have ever met, and it's a question of fight or be done up behind my back," Hoover wrote. Hoover tried to organize a staff revolt against Williams, and twice threatened to resign. "Between ourselves," Hoover wrote, "they are a crowd of Sons of Bitches from stem to stern. . . . It just happens that [Charles Moreing's] business can't run without me and I will force him to make me managing director of Australia or tell him to [go to] the devil."
      But Moreing had other plans for Hoover. After visiting China early in the summer of 1898, he decided that Hoover was just the man to take over his firm's mining interests there. Hoover agreed to become managing director of a branch in Manchuria, which included a concession of 15'000 square kilometers thought to hold valuable gold deposits. Moreing promised him one-fifth of all Chinese profits and a junior partnership in the London office, in addition to his salary. Just three years later, The San Francisco Chronicle would cite Hoover as the richest man of his age in the world.
      "Will you marry me?" said the cable he sent, after accepting the China post, to Lou Henry [29 Mar 1874 – 07 Jan 1944], also a Stanford-trained geologist, his college sweetheart. Two years earlier, she had declined his marriage proposal, but now she cabled back one-word: "Yes."
      Thus Hoover, tanned and trim, with prospects of great wealth ahead, left Australia on 11 December 1898, for London. From there he continued to Monterey, California, where he and Lou were married in her family's living room on 10 February 1899. The couple caught the train to San Francisco within the hour, and they sailed the next day for China.
      In June 1900 the Boxer Rebellion caught Hoover in Tientsin. For almost a month the settlement was under heavy fire. While his wife worked in hospitals, Hoover directed the building of barricades, and once risked his life rescuing Chinese children. Hoover displayed his gift for humanitarian rescue by organizing relief for trapped foreigners. He drew on his China experience in 1914, when he helped US citizens stranded in Europe at the outbreak of World War I. For the next three years he headed the Commission for Relief in Belgium, overseeing what he called “the greatest charity the world has ever seen” and exhibiting impressive executive ability in helping to procure food for some nine million people whose country had been overrun by the German army. So skilled was Hoover's performance that President Woodrow Wilson [28 Dec 1856 – 03 Feb 1924] appointed him US food administrator for the duration of the war. Relying primarily on voluntary cooperation by the US public, Hoover won wide support for "wheatless" and "meatless" days so that as much of the nation's agricultural output as possible could be sent to soldiers at the front. Recognized by war's end as the “Great Engineer” who could organize resources and personnel to accomplish extraordinary acts of benevolence, Hoover was the natural choice to head the American Relief Administration. The ARA sent shiploads of food and other life-sustaining supplies to war-ravaged Europe, including Germany and Bolshevik Russia during the famine in that country in 1921–1923. The outreach to Soviet Russia garnered Hoover great criticism, but he defended his actions on humanitarian grounds, saying “Twenty million people are starving. Whatever their politics, they shall be fed.”
      In 1921 president-elect Warren G. Harding [02 Nov 1865 – 02 Aug 1923] chose Hoover to serve as secretary of commerce. In the Harding cabinet Hoover proved to be one of the few progressive voicesin a Republican administration that generally saw little role for government other than assisting the growth of business. Hoover alienated many Old Guard Republican leaders as he vigorously supported US membership in the League of Nations, collective bargaining rights for labor, and government regulation of such new industries as radio broadcasting and commercial aviation. Continuing as commerce secretary under President Calvin Coolidge [04 Jul 1872 – 05 Jan 1933], Hoover spearheaded efforts that ultimately led to construction of Hoover Dam and the St. Lawrence Seaway. He illustrated his continuing dedication to humanitarian rescue when he supervised relief efforts during and after the Mississippi flood of 1927.
      When President Coolidge decided not to run for another term in 1928, Hoover received the Republican presidential nomination, despite the objections of conservatives opposed to his departure from the party's traditional laissez-faire philosophy. In the ensuing campaign Hoover ran against New York Governor Alfred E. Smith [30 Dec 1873 – 04 Oct 1944] in a contest that focused on Prohibition and religion. Smith opposed Prohibition while Hoover remained equivocal, calling it an "experiment noble in motive." Smith's Roman Catholicism proved a liability, especially in the South, but the election outcome chiefly reflected the close identification in the public mind of the Republican Party with the enormous prosperity of the 1920s. Hoover captured 21 million votes to Smith's 15 million, 444 electoral votes to his Democratic opponent's 87.
      During the 1928 presidential campaign, Hoover said: "We are nearer today to the ideal ofthe abolition of poverty and fear from the lives of men and women than ever before in anyland." One year later, the stock market crash of 1929 plunged the country into the worst economic collapse in its history. President Hoover parted ways with those leaders of the Republican Party, including Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon [24 Mar 1855 – 26 Aug 1937], who believed there was nothing for the government to do but wait for the next phase of the business cycle. Hoover took prompt action. He called business leaders to the White House to urge them not to lay off workers or cut wages. He urged state and local governments to join private charities in caring for the people made destitute by the Depression in the US. He asked Congress to appropriate money for public-works projects to expand government employment. In 1931 he backed creation of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC, established by Congress on 22 January 1932), a large-scale lending institution intended to help banks and industries and thereby promote a general recovery.
      The US's economy failed to respond to Hoover's initiatives. As the Depression worsened, banks and other businesses collapsed and poverty stalked the land, and the people of the US began to blame Hoover for the calamity. The homeless began calling their shantytowns "Hoovervilles." Demands rose for greater government action, especially direct relief payments to the most impoverished of the millions of unemployed.Believing that a dole would prove addictive, sapping the will of people in the US to provide for themselves, Hoover adamantly opposed direct federal relief payments to individuals. Hewas also a firm believer in a balanced budget, unwilling to plunge the federal government into massive debt through a welfare program. This is not to say that Hoover opposed assistance to those in need. For example, expenditures for Indian schools and health care doubled during his administration, earning him accolades as the first president to recognize some basic Amerindian rights. Hoover also furthered the long-held Quaker interest in prison reform, alleviating prison overcrowding by building new penitentiaries and work camps, expanding educational opportunities for prisoners, and increasing the number of prisoners placed on parole. He also supported RFC loans to states for relief purposes, though this modest program did little to alleviate suffering or to stimulate economic recovery. Also largely ineffective, but sincerely pursued, was Hoover's attempt to defuse international tensions by promoting disarmament negotiations at the London Naval Conference of 21 January 1930 to 22 April 1930. Quaker pacifism undoubtedly spurred Hoover's interest in thearms race and international disarmament, but, like his relief schemes on the home front that could hardly supress or contain the Depression, these efforts failed to reduce world tensions or to prevent Japan's invasion of Manchuria in 1931.
      Hoover also made some critical mistakes in his handling of the Depression. In 1930, for example, he signed into law (against the advice of many leading economists) the Hawley-Smoot Tariff, which raised many import duties so high that foreign countries could not sell goods in the United States; as a result, those countries could not, or would not, purchase US goods at a time when the need for sales abroad had never been greater. More problems arose in 1932, when Hoover authorized General Douglas MacArthur [26 Jan 1880 – 05 Apr 1964] to evict from Washington DC the Bonus Army, a group of World War I veterans who had camped in the nation's capital to pressure Congress into awarding a promised bonus many years in advance of the scheduled payout date. MacArthur greatly exceeded Hoover's orders in using military force against the unemployed former soldiers. The result was a public relations nightmare for the president. Hoover's silence regarding MacArthur's excesses led the public to think that the president had been responsible for the brutality. The man who had enjoyed a worldwide reputation as a humanitarian now appeared heartless and cruel.
      By the 1932 presidential campaign, Hoover was blaming the Depression on events abroad and predicting that election of his Democratic challenger, Franklin Delano Roosevelt [30 Jan 1882 – 12 Apr 1945], would only intensify the disaster. The electorate obviously thought differently, as Roosevelt captured nearly 23 million votes (and 472 electoral votes) to Hoover's slightly less than 16 million (59 electoral votes). During the months between the election and inauguration, Hoover attempted unsuccessfully to gain Roosevelt's commitment to sustaining his policies. When he left the White House on 04 March 1933, Hoover was adefeated and embittered man.
      Hoover and his wife moved first to Palo Alto, California, and then to New York City, where they took up residence at theWaldorf Astoria Hotel. For the next 30 years he was closely identified with the most conservative elements in the Republican Party, condemning what he regarded as the radicalism of the New Deal and opposing Roosevelt's attempts to take a more active role against German and Japanese aggression. He believed fascism lay at the root of government programs like the New Deal and argued so in The Challenge to Liberty (1934) and the eight-volume Addresses Upon the American Road (1936–1961). An ardent anticommunist and foe of international crusades, he opposed US entry into World War II (until the attack on Pearl Harbor) and denounced US involvement in the Korean and Vietnam wars. His last major activity was, under presidents Harry Truman [08 May 1884 – 26 Dec 1972] and Dwight D. Eisenhower [14 Oct 1890 – 28 Mar 1969], heading the Hoover Commission which aimed at streamlining the federal bureaucracy.
1950 Henry Lewis Stimson, born on 21 Sep 1867, who had been US Secretary of State (1929-1933) and Secretary of War (1911-1913, 1940-1945).
1913 Lucio Rossi, Italian artist born on 23 January 1846.
1896 Tisserand, mathematician
1893 Philip Schaff, US historian of the church, author. SCHAFF ONLINE: America: A Sketch of the Political, Social, and Religious Character of the United States of North America, in Two Lectures, History of the Christian Church
1889 Daniele Ranzoni, Italian painter born on 03 December 1843. — more
1846 Jean-Joseph-Xavier Bidault, French painter born on 10 April 1758. — more
1845 Antonis Oberman, Dutch artist born in 1781.
1840 Rev. John Thomson, of Duddingston, British Scottish painter born on 01 September 1778. — more with portrait.
1801 Louis Gauffier, French painter born in 1762 (1761?). — MORE ON GAUFFIER AT ART “4” OCTOBER with links to images.
1662 Claude Deruet (or Dervet, Drevet, des Ruets), French painter born in 1588. — more with links to images.
1187 Urban II, Pope who promoted the first crusade.
< 19 Oct 21 Oct >
^  Births which occurred on a 20 October:

^ 1946 Elfriede Jelinek, Austrian writer, laureate of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Literature "for her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society's clichés and their subjugating power". She is best known for her 1983 autobiographical novel Die Klavierspielerin
click for "Elfriede Jelinek trinkt Bier für Ute Bock"
      Her father, of Czech-Jewish origin, was a chemist and worked in strategically important industrial production during the Second World War, thereby escaping persecution. Her mother was from a prosperous Vienna family, and Elfriede grew up and went to school in that city. At an early age, she was instructed in piano, organ and recorder and went on to study composition at the Vienna Conservatory. After graduating from the Albertsgymnasium in 1964, she studied theater and art history at the University of Vienna while continuing her music studies. In 1971, she passed the organist diploma examination at the Conservatory.
      Elfriede Jelinek began writing poetry while still young. She made her literary debut with the collection Lisas Schatten in 1967. Through contact with the student movement, her writing took a socially critical direction. In 1970 came her satirical novel wir sind lockvögel baby!. In common with her next novel, Michael. Ein Jugendbuch für die Infantilgesellschaft (1972), it had a character of linguistic rebellion, aimed at popular culture and its mendacious presentation of the good life.
Jelinek      After a few years spent in Berlin and Rome in the early 1970s, Jelinek married Gottfried Hüngsberg, and divided her time between Vienna and Munich. She conquered the German literary public with her novels Die Liebhaberinnen (1975), Die Ausgesperrten (1980) and the autobiographically based Die Klavierspielerin (1983), in 2001 made into an acclaimed film by Michael Haneke. These novels, each within the framework of its own problem complex, present a pitiless world where the reader is confronted with a locked-down regime of violence and submission, hunter and prey. Jelinek demonstrates how the entertainment industry’s clichés seep into people’s consciousness and paralyze opposition to class injustices and gender oppression.
      In Lust (1989), Jelinek lets her social analysis swell to fundamental criticism of civilization by describing sexual violence against women as the actual template for our culture. This line is maintained, seemingly in a lighter tone, in Gier. Ein Unterhaltungsroman (2000), a study in the cold-blooded practice of male power. With special fervor, Jelinek has castigated Austria, depicting it as a realm of death in her phantasmagoric novel, Die Kinder der Toten (1975). Jelinek is a highly controversial figure in her homeland. Her writing builds on a lengthy Austrian tradition of linguistically sophisticated social criticism, with precursors such as Johann Nepomuk Nestroy, Karl Kraus, Ödön von Horváth, Elias Canetti, Thomas Bernhard and the Wiener Group.
      The nature of Jelinek’s texts is often hard to define. They shift between prose and poetry, incantation and hymn, they contain theatrical scenes and film sequences. The primacy in her writing has however moved from novel-writing to drama. Her first radio play, wenn die sonne sinkt ist für manche schon büroschluss, was very favorably received in 1974. She has since written a large number of pieces for radio and the theater, in which she successively abandoned traditional dialogues for a kind of polyphonic monologues that do not serve to delineate roles but to permit voices from various levels of the psyche and history to be heard simultaneously. What she puts on stage, in plays such as Totenauberg, Raststätte, Wolken. Heim, Ein Sportstück, In den Alpen, and Das Werk, are less characters than “language interfaces” confronting each other. Jelinek’s so-called “princess dramas”, Der Tod und das Mädchen I-V : Prinzessinnendramen (2003), are variations on one of the writer’s basic themes, the inability of women to fully come to life in a world where they are painted over with stereotypical images.
      Jelinek has translated works of Thomas Pynchon, Georges Feydeau, Eugène Labiche, and Christopher Marlowe. She has also written film scripts and an opera libretto. Alongside her literary writing she has made a reputation as a dauntless polemicist with a website always poised to comment on burning issues.
Works not mentioned above:
German originals:
bukolit : hörroman (1979) — ende : gedichte von 1966 - 1968 (1980) — Die endlose Unschuldigkeit : Prosa, Hörspiel, Essay (1980) — Was geschah, nachdem Nora ihren Mann verlassen hatte oder Stützen der Gesellschaften (1980) — Die Klavierspielerin : Roman (1983) — Theaterstücke (1984) — Oh Wildnis, oh Schutz vor ihr : Prosa (1985) — Krankheit oder moderne Frauen (1987) — Wolken. Heim (1990) — Isabelle Huppert in Malina : ein Filmbuch nach dem Roman von Ingeborg Bachmann (1991) — Totenauberg : ein Stück (1991) — Theaterstücke (1992) — Stecken, Stab und Stangl : Raststätte [und andere] neue Theaterstücke (1997) — Ein Sportstück (1998) — Macht nichts : eine kleine Trilogie des Todes (1999) — Gier: ein Unterhaltungsroman (2000) — Das Lebewohl : 3 kl. Dramen (2000) — In den Alpen : drei Dramen (2002)
English translationsThe Piano Teacher : a novel (1988, of Die Klavierspielerin) — Wonderful, Wonderful Times (1990, of Die Ausgesperrten — Lust (1992) — Women as Lovers (1994 of Die Liebhaberinnen)
French translations La pianiste (1988, de: Die Klavierspielerin) — Les exclus (1989, de: Die Ausgesperrten) — Lust (1991) — Les amantes (1992, de: Die Liebhaberinnen) — Ce qui arriva quand Nora quitta son mari (1993, de: Was geschah, nachdem Nora ihren Mann verlassen hatte oder Stützen der Gesellschaften) — Méfions-nous de la nature sauvage (1995, de: Oh, Wildnis, Oh, Schutz vor ihr) — Désir et permis de conduire : recueil (1999) — Maladie ou Femmes modernes: comme une pièce (2001, de: Krankheit oder Moderne Frauen) — Avidité : roman (2003, de: Gier)
Swedish translationsPianolärarinnan (1986, of: Die Klavierspielerin) — LustDe utestängda (1992, of: Die Ausgesperrten)
1940 Robert Pinsky, former US Poet Laureate.
1932 Michael McClure, beat poet.
1928 - Dr. Joyce Brothers (Bauer) (psychologist; syndicated columnist; TV contestant: $64'000 Question [1955]; panelist: The Gong Show)
1925 Arthur Buchwald, US humorist who died on 17 January 2007. He was best known for his syndicated newspaper column, which was political satire and commentary. He was also the author of the books Paris After Dark (1950), I Chose Caviar (1957), Son of the Great Society (1961), Washington Is Leaking (1976), While Reagan Slept (1983), Yasmine is very nice and happy (1994), Leaving Home (1994), I’ll Always Have Paris (Putnam, 1995), I Think I Don’t Remember (1987), Stella in Heaven: Almost a Novel (2000), Beating Around the Bush (2005), Too Soon to Say Goodbye (2006), Caroline la méchante fille (2007). —(070630)
1921 Pierre Laporte Canada, journalist/statesman (Revolution Script)
^ 1914 Mario Luzi, Italian poet and literary critic who died on 28 February 2005. He emerged from the Hermetic movementto become one of the most notable poets of the 20th century. His complex, meditative verse deals with turbulence and change.
Luzi in 2003      Luzi published his first book of verse, La barca (1935), before graduating from the University of Florence (D.Ph., 1936). He then began writing for literary journals while teaching, mainly at the Universities of Florence and Urbino. Like La barca, the collections Avvento notturno (1940) and Un brindisi (1946) have elements of Hermeticism. Perhaps in response to postwar realism, he abandoned symbolism for direct language and existential themes in the volumes Quaderno gotico (1947), Primizie del deserto (1952), and Onore del vero (1957).
      Luzi's later verse, with its dramatic dialogues and ruminations on change, was typified by the collection Nel magma (1963; enlarged 1966). His other volumes of poetry include Dal fondo delle campagne (1965), Su fondamenti invisibili (1971), Al fuoco della controversia (1978), Per il battesimo dei nostri frammenti (1985), and Frasi e incisi di un canto salutare (1990). Luzi was also noted for his translations of French and English literature. In addition, he wrote L'inferno e il limbo (1949; enlarged 1964), a book of essays, and the verse drama Ipazia (1972).
     He was a life senator in the Italian Parliament. In 1999, Pope John Paul II [18 May 1920~] commissioned him to write a text to commemorate Good Friday. He was regularly promoted as Italy's prime candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature, and could barely disguise his disapproval when the Italian playwright Dario Fo [24 Mar 1926~] unexpectedly won the award in 1997.
1905 Frederic Dannay "Ellery Queen" (author: mystery series (w/Manfred B. Lee])
1900 Wayne Morse (Sen-R/D-Ore)
1891 Sir James Chadwick, English physicist who won the 1935 Nobel Prize for discovering the neutron. He died on 24 July 1974. . — MORE ON HIS LIFE AND NOBEL PRIZE
1880 Georg Tappert, German artist who died in 1957.
1874 Charles Edward Ives Danbury Ct, composer (Holliday Quick Step)
1874 Viscount Palmerston (Whig) British PM (1855-65)
1865 Kotelnikov, mathematician
^ William H. Young1863: William Henry Young, in London, mathematician
He wrote: "Much as I venerate the name of Newton, I am not obliged to believe that he was infallible. I see ... with regret that he was liable to err, and that his authority has, perhaps, sometimes even retarded the progress of science.”
      William Young did significant work in measure theory* and Fourier analysis. He married Grace Chisholm, who was a pupil of Klein, and together they formed a mathematical married partnership of real significance. They had six children. The eldest, Francis, was killed in the first few weeks of World War I, as an aerial observer. Janet became a physician, she married Stephen Michael. Then there was Cecily, and Helen who married Jean Canu, Lawrence who became a mathematician at Cape Town and later at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and the last one, Patrick, who became an engineer.

Young discovered Lebesgue integration, independently but 2 years after Lebesgue. He studied Fourier series and orthogonal series in general. All advanced calculus books now use his approach to functions of several complex variables.

Young was professor of mathematics at Calcutta, in India, from 1913 to 1917 and professor of mathematics at Aberystwyth from 1919 to 1923.

     Young stayed in his home at La Conversion, near Lausanne, when his wife returned their grandchildren William and Dorothy Michael to Croydon, England, as France fell in June 1940, making her return to Switzerland impossible. William Young was forced to spend the last two years of his life there separated from his family. In 1942 his grandchildren Jean-François, 12, and Anne-Marie, 9, Canu, were on their way from Nazi-occupied Paris, on a special Red Cross children's train, to spend the summer vacation with him. On their arrival in Lausanne, they were shocked to find out that he had just died on 07 July 1942, and they were his only relatives to attend his funeral.
     Honors awarded to William H Young :
Fellow of the Royal Society, Elected 1907
Royal Society Sylvester Medal, Awarded 1928
London Maths Society, President 1922 - 1924
LMS De Morgan Medal, Awarded 1917

* Measure theory investigates the conditions under which integration can take place. It considers various ways in which the "size" of a set can be estimated.
1859 John Dewey philosopher, educational theorist/writer (Learn by doing), author. DEWEY ONLINE: Democracy and Education, Logical Conditions of a Scientific Treatment of Morality, The School and Society (1907)
1856 James Robert Mann, Illinois congressman and author of the "White Slave Traffic Act," also known as the "Mann Act."
1854 Jean-Nicolas-Arthur Rimbaud, in Charleville, France, France, poet/adventurer.
      His father, an army officer, deserted the family when Rimbaud was six. Rimbaud was a brilliant student, and his first poem was published in a French review when he was 16. The following year, he rebelled and ran away to Paris. He joined the National Guard briefly during the Franco-Prussian War but quickly left to wander northern Paris and Belgium. He was captured by police and returned to his home.
      Meanwhile, Rimbaud was writing poetry. He had concluded that poets must break through conventional morality and restraint in order to explore human experience. He sent some of his poems to Symbolist poet Paul Verlaine, who sent him money to travel to Paris and stay with him and his wife. Verlaine and Rimbaud became lovers, and Verlaine left his wife in 1872 for Rimbaud. That year, Rimbaud published his first book, New Poems. Verlaine and Rimbaud quarreled, and after a fight in July 1873, Verlaine shot Rimbaud in the wrist and was sentenced to two years in jail. Rimbaud published Une saison en Enfer in 1873, and Illuminations in 1886. Most of his best poems were written before he was 20. He spent the last decade of his life roaming Africa and the Middle East. In 1891, he contracted gangrene and died in Marseille on 10 November 1891.

RIMBAUD ONLINE: Oeuvres, Une saison en Enfer, Reliquaire, poésies, Poésies complètes
1848 Hugh Bolton Jones, US painter, specialized in landscapes, who died in 1927. — more with links to images.
1847 Frits Johan Fredrik Thaulow, Norwegian artist who died on 05 November 1906.
1832 Anton Romako, Austrian painter who died on 08 March 1889. . — MORE ON ROMAKO AT ART “4” OCTOBER with links to images.
1828 Caroline Friedrich, German artist who died on 29 July 1914.
1823 Thomas Hughes England, author .HUGHES ONLINE: A Boy's Experience in the Civil War, 1860-1865, The Misfortunes of Arthur, Tom Brown's Schooldays (1905)
1819 Mirza Ali Mohammad “The Bab”. A merchant's son, he claimed to be the Bab (Gateway) to the hidden imam (the perfect embodiment of Islamic faith), which gave rise to the Babi religion and made him one of the three central figures of the Baha'i religion, in which he is reduced to being the forerunner of Baha'u'llah [12 Nov 1817 – 29 May 1892]. However, late in his active period, 'Ali Mohammad had abandoned the title Bab and considered himself no longer merely the “gateway” to the expected 12th imam (imam-mahdi), but to be the imam himself, or the qa'im. Later he declared himself the nuqtah (“point”) and finally an actual divine manifestation. He was executed by firing squad on 09 July 1850.
^ 1825 Daniel Sickles, who would be a most colorful general in the Union army.
      Sickles was part of the famously corrupt Tammany Hall political machine in New York City and he served in the US House of Representatives from 1857 to 1861. His political career was marked by scandal: the New York State Assembly censured him for escorting a known prostitute into its chambers, and he took the same woman on a trip to England while his pregnant wife remained in the states.
      While serving as a member of Congress in 1859, Sickles confronted Philip Barton Key, son of "Star Spangled Banner" author Francis Scott Key [01 Aug 1779 – 11 Jan 1843], when P.B.Key had an affair with his wife, Theresa Sickles. Sickles shot Key, Washington's district attorney, in Lafayatte Square, just across from the White House. "Is the damned scoundrel dead yet?" Sickles reportedly asked as he brandished his smoking pistol. Sickles' murder trial created sensational headlines. He assembled a defense team that included Edwin Stanton, who later became Abraham Lincoln's Secretary of War. Stanton employed the temporary insanity defense, and Sickles became the first defendant in the United States to be acquitted using that strategy. Sickles was then shunned by Washington society for taking Theresa back. Southern diarist Mary Chestnut observed him in the House chambers in 1860 and wrote that, "he was left to himself as if he had smallpox." Sickles left office in 1861.
      When the Civil War started, Sickles raised a brigade from New York. The Republican governor, jealous of Sickles' success, ordered the Excelsior Brigade disbanded, but Sickles appealed to President Lincoln. Lincoln gave Sickles the rank of temporary commander and promised to help negotiate the New York political maze to commission the brigade. This took nearly a year, but Sickles and his command came to be part of General Joseph Hooker's corps during the Seven Days' Battles.
      Sickles quickly moved up the ranks. By early 1863, he became commander of the Army of the Potomac's Third Corps. His troops fought well at the Battle of Chancellorsville (01 May 1863 – 05 May 1663}, and Sickles played a major role in the Battle of Gettysburg [01 Jul 1863 - 03 Jul 1863]. Sickles occupied a low portion of Cemetery Ridge on the battle's second day. He moved his troops forward against the wishes of Commander General George Meade [31 Dec 1815 – 06 Nov 1872] in order to take a section of high ground in Sickles' front. The move left his corps and the Army of the Potomac in a highly vulnerable position. Confederates under General James Longstreet [08 Jan 1821 – 02 Jan 1904] attacked, and Sickles' corps barely survived the day.
      Sickles lost his leg during the battle, and he never regained another command. After the war, he was military governor of the Carolinas and served as US minister to Spain. His time in Madrid was also marked by scandal: rumors spread of an affair between Sickles and Queen Isabella II [10 Oct 1830 – 09 Apr 1904]. After his return to the US in 1874, Sickles spent much of his life defending his actions at Gettysburg and shaping the accounts of the Civil War. He died on 03 May 1914. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, but the leg he lost at Gettysburg is on display at the Armed Forces Medical Museum in Washington DC.
— Politician, soldier, and diplomat, Sickles is remembered for acquiring the land for Central Park in New York City. He was also the first person in the United States acquitted of murder on the grounds of temporary insanity. Sickles attended the University of the City of New York, later studied law, and in 1846 was admitted to the bar. He immediately became active in the Democratic Party, and in 1847 he launched his long political career by winning a seat in the state legislature. In 1853 Sickles, then corporation counsel for the city of New York, acquired the land for Central Park. He resigned his post the same year to become secretary to the U.S. legation in London. Back in the United States in 1855, Sickles won consecutive terms in the New York state senate in 1856 and 1857 and then entered national politics, serving from 1857 to 1861 as a Democrat in the US House of Representatives.
      On 27 February 1859, Sickles shot and killed Philip Barton Key, who was the son of Francis Scott Key. Sickles claimed temporary insanity (the first time that defense was used in the United States) arising from what he believed were Key's amorous intentions toward his wife. Sickles was acquitted. Sickles fought in the Civil War, rising from colonel to major general. From 1865 to 1867 he was military governor of North and South Carolina, but his performance displeased President Andrew Johnson, and he was relieved in 1867. Two years later he retired from the Army. From 1869 to 1873 he served as US minister to Spain. In 1893–1895 Sickles served a final term in the U.S. House of Representatives, then retired from national politics after defeat in his try for reelection in 1896.
1812 Austin Flint 19th century heart research pioneer who died on 13 March 1886.
1802 Ernst W. Hengstenberg, German Old Testament scholar. An outspoken defender of evangelical Christianity against the rationalism of his day, Hengstenberg's most significant writing was his four-volume Christology of the Old Testament. He died on 28 May 1869.
1780 Maria Paola Buonaparte, the second sister of Napoléon [15 Aug 1769 – 05 May 1821] to survive infancy, the gayest and most beautiful of his sisters. After two marriages and many flings, she died of cancer on 09 Jun. 1825. — more about her and links to images.
1640 Pieter Cornelisz van Slingeland, Dutch artist who died on 07 November 1691.
1632 Sir Christopher Wren, English architect, astronomer, mathematician. Wren designed 53 London churches, including St. Paul's Cathedral, as well as many secular buildings of note. He was a founder of the Royal Society (president 1680–1682), and his scientific work was highly regarded by Sir Isaac Newton [04 Jan 1643 – 31 Mar 1727] and Blaise Pascal [19 Jun 1623 – 19 Aug 1662].
      Wren, the son of a rector, was the youngest child, the only boy, and delicate in health. Before Christopher was three, his father was appointed dean of Windsor, and the Wren family moved into the precincts of the court. It was among the intellectuals around King Charles I [19 Nov1600 – 30 Jan 1649] that the boy first developed his mathematical interests. The life at Windsor was rudely disturbed by the outbreak of the English Civil Wars in 1642. The deanery was pillaged and the dean forced to retire, first to Bristol and then to the country home of a son-in-law, William Holder, in Oxfordshire. Wren was sent to school at Westminster but spent much time under Holder's tuition, experimenting in astronomy. He translated the work of William Oughtred [05 March 1574 – 30 Jun 1660] on sundials into Latin and constructed various astronomical and meteorological devices. If the general direction of his studies was toward astronomy, however, there was an important turn toward physiology in 1647 when he met the anatomist Charles Scarburgh. Wren prepared experiments for Scarburgh and made models representing the working of the muscles. One factor that stands out clearly from these early years is Wren's disposition to approach scientific problems by visual means. His diagrams that have survived are beautifully drawn, and his models seem to have been no less elegant.
      In 1649 Wren went to Wadham College, Oxford, as a “gentleman commoner,” a status that carried certain privileges, and graduated with a B.A. in 1651. Oxford at that time had passed through a rigorous purgation of its more conservative elements by the parliamentary government. New men had been introduced, some of whom possessed great ability and had a special interest in the “experimental philosophy” so eloquently heralded by the scientific philosopher Sir Francis Bacon [22 Jan 1561 – 09 Apr 1626].
      Receiving his M.A. in 1653, Wren was elected a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, in the same year and began an active period of research and experiment, ending with his appointment as Gresham professor of astronomy in Gresham College, London, in 1657. In the following year, with the death of Oliver Cromwell and the ensuing political turmoil, the college was occupied by the military, and Wren returned to Oxford, where he probably remained during the events that led to the restoration of Charles II [29 May 1630 – 06 Feb 1685] in 1660. He returned to Gresham College, where scholarly activity resumed and an intellectual circle proposed a society “for the promotion of Physico-Mathematicall Experimental Learning.” After obtaining the patronage of the restored monarchy, this group became the Royal Society, Wren being one of the most active participants and the author of the preamble to its charter.
      In 1661 Wren was elected Savilian professor of astronomy at Oxford, and in 1669 he was appointed surveyor of works to Charles II. It appears, however, that, having tested himself successfully in so many directions, he still, at 30, had not found the one in which he could find complete satisfaction.
      One of the reasons why Wren turned to architecture may have been the almost complete absence of serious architectural endeavor in England at the time. The architect Inigo Jones had died about 10 years previously. There were perhaps half a dozen men in England with a reasonable grasp of architectural theory but none with the confidence to bring the art of building within the intellectual range of Royal Society thought, that is, to develop it as an art capable of beneficial scientific inquiry. Here, for Wren, was a whole field, which, given the opportunity, he could dominate, a field in which the intuition of the physicist and the art of a model maker would join to design works of formidable size and intricate construction.
      Opportunity came, for in 1662 he was engaged in the design of the Sheldonian Theatre at Oxford. This, the gift of Bishop Gilbert Sheldon of London to his old university, was to be a theater in the classical sense, where university ceremonies would be performed. It followed a classical form, inspired by the ancient Theater, of Marcellus in Rome, but was roofed with timber trusses of novel design, thereby combining the classical point of view with the empirical modern in a way entirely characteristic of a Royal Society mind. At the same time, Sheldon probably was consulting Wren about London's battered, and in parts nearly derelict, St. Paul's Cathedral. So Wren was drawn, deeply and immediately, into building problems. What he desperately needed at that moment was contact with the European tradition of classicism, and he seized a chance to join an embassy proceeding to Paris.
      By 1665 architecture at the court of Louis XIV [05 Sep 1638 – 01 Sep 1715] had reached a climax of creativity. The Louvre Palace was approaching completion, and the remodeling of the Palace of Versailles had begun. Gian Lorenzo Bernini [07 Dec 1598 – 28 Nov 1680], the great sculptor and architect, was in Paris making designs for the Louvre's east front, and the aged Italian allowed Wren to peruse his drawings. There was considerably more for Wren to see in the French capital, including the domed churches of the Val-de-Grâce and the Sorbonne and a marvelous array of châteaus within easy range of Paris.
     At Oxford in the spring of 1666, he made his first design for a dome for St. Paul's. It was accepted in principle on 27 August 1666. One week later, however, London was on fire. The Great Fire of London (02 Sep 1666 - 05 Sep 1666) reduced two-thirds of the City to a smoking desert and old St. Paul's Cathedral to a ruin. Wren was most likely at Oxford at the time, but the news, so fantastically relevant to his own future, drew him at once to London. Between 05 September 1666 and 11 September 1666 he ascertained the precise area of devastation, worked out a plan for rebuilding the City on new and more regular lines, and submitted it to Charles II. His plan reflected both his familiarity with Versailles and his acquaintance, through engravings, with the Rome of Pope Sixtus V [13 Dec 1520 – 27 Aug 1590]. Others also submitted plans, and the king proclaimed on 13 September 1666 that a new plan for London would be adopted. No new plan, however, proceeded any further than the paper on which it was drawn. The problems of survey, compensation, and redistribution were too great. A rebuilding act was passed in 1667. It allowed only for the widening of certain streets, laid down standards of construction for new houses, levied a tax on coal coming into the Port of London, and provided for the rebuilding of a few essential buildings.
      In 1669 the king's surveyor of works died, and Wren was promptly installed. In December 1669 he married Faith Coghill and moved into the surveyor's official residence at Whitehall, where he lived, so far as is known, until his dismissal in 1718.
      In 1670 a second rebuilding act was passed, raising the tax on coal and thus providing a source of funds for the rebuilding of St. Paul's Cathedral and several churches within the City of London and the erection of a column (The Monument) to commemorate the Great Fire. The city was now being rebuilt at a considerable pace. Wren himself had nothing to do with the general process. He did give occasional advice to the City authorities on their major projects but designed no houses or City companies' halls. He was the king's surveyor operating from Whitehall, not an official of the City of London. St. Paul's and the City churches did not fall automatically within the sphere of the royal works, though there was a long tradition of royal responsibility for St. Paul's.
      In 1670 the first churches were rebuilt. Eighty-seven churches had been destroyed in the fire, but some parishes were united so that only 52 were rebuilt. Although Wren was personally responsible for all these, it is not to be supposed that each of them represents his own fully developed design. That there was much delegation is shown by the surviving drawings. Only a few are in Wren's hand. There is no doubt, though, that Wren approved the design in every case, and in certain churches the impress of his personality is distinct.
     While the churches were being built, Wren was slowly and painfully evolving designs for St. Paul's. The initial stage is represented by the First Model of 1670, now in the trophy room at the cathedral. This plan was approved by the king, and demolition of the old cathedral began. By 1673, however, the design seemed too modest, and Wren met his critics by producing a design of spectacular grandeur. A wooden model was made of this, and the Great Model, as it is called, is still preserved at St. Paul's. It failed to satisfy the canons of St. Paul's and clerical opinion generally, however, and Wren was compelled to withdraw from the ideal and compromise with the traditional. In 1675 he proposed the rather meager Classical-Gothic Warrant Design, which was at once accepted by the king, and within months building started.
      What happened then is something of a mystery. The cathedral that Wren started to build bears only a slight resemblance to the Warrant Design. A mature and superbly detailed structure began to rise. In 1694 the masonry of the choir was finished and the rest of the fabric well in hand. In 1697 the first service was held in the cathedral. There was still, however, no dome. Building had been in progress for 22 years, and some restless elements in the government seemed to think this too long. As an incentive for more rapid progress, half of Wren's salary was suspended until the cathedral would be complete. Wren was now 65. Construction was completed in 1710, and in 1711 the cathedral was officially declared to be finished. Wren, 79, petitioned for the withheld half of his salary, which was duly paid. The cathedral had been built in 35 years under one architect.
     Through all those years Wren was not only the chief architect of St. Paul's and the City churches but also the head of the King's Works and thus the responsible officer for all expenditure on building issuing from the royal exchequer. He had an able staff to look after routine maintenance, but much business passed through his hands, including the control of building developments in and around Westminster. About 1674 the University of Cambridge considered building a Senate House for purposes similar to those for which the Sheldonian Theatre had been built. Wren made designs, but the project was abandoned. The master of Trinity College, who had promoted the scheme, was disappointed, but he persuaded his own college to undertake the erection of a new library (1676–1684) and to employ Wren to design it. Wren's classicism here is impressive. There is no hint of the Baroque style prevalent in Europe at the time, and the building could well be mistaken for a Neoclassical work of a century later.
      At Oxford in 1681 the dean of Christ Church invited Wren to complete the main gateway of the college. The lower part of Tom Tower, as the gateway was called, had been built by Thomas Cardinal Wolsey [1475 – 29 Nov 1530] in a richly ornamental Gothic style. The octagonal tower that Wren imposed illustrates both his respect for Gothic and his reservations about it. His attitude toward Gothic design was consistent and influenced Gothic construction in England well into the 18th century. In 1682 Charles II founded the Royal Hospital at Chelsea for the reception of veterans superannuated from his standing army. The idea doubtless derived from Louis XIV's Hôtel des Invalides (1671–1776) in Paris, but Wren's building, completed about 1690, is very different from its prototype. Charles II died in 1685. In the short reign of his brother, James II [24 Oct 1633 – 16 Sep 1701], Wren's attention was directed mainly to Whitehall. The new king, a Catholic, required a new chapel; he also ordered a new privy gallery and council chamber and a riverside apartment for the queen. All these were built by Wren but were destroyed in the Whitehall fire of 1698.
      There is not much information about Wren's personal life after 1669. He was knighted in the year of the Great Model, 1673. His first wife died of smallpox in 1675, leaving him with one young son, Christopher (another had died in infancy). His second wife, Jane Fitzwilliam (Fitz William), by whom he had a daughter, Jane, and a son, William, died in 1679. In these years he never wholly abandoned his scientific pursuits. He was still at the center of the Royal Society and was its president from 1680 to 1682. He was sufficiently active in public affairs to be returned as member of Parliament for Old Windsor in 1680 and, although he did not again take his seat, in 1689 and 1690.
      With the “Glorious” Revolution of 1688, which drove James II from the throne, Wren found himself chief architect to William III [14 Nov 1650 – 19 Mar 1702] and Mary II [09 May 1662 – 07 Jan 1695], who proved to be the most active builders of them all. They disliked Whitehall Palace, and in 1689 Wren was at work reconstructing two palaces: one at Kensington on the outskirts of London and the other at Hampton Court, 24 km away, up the River Thames. Kensington Palace was a piecemeal conversion of an older house, with new courts and galleries added. It is not a totally satisfactory composition, but the south front is a noble piece of brickwork. Hampton Court Palace, on the other hand, started as a project of huge dimensions, nothing less, in fact, than a rebuilding of the entire palace begun by Wolsey. Wren's first designs have survived, and in these he is seen, for the first time, spreading his wings as a palace architect. It was decided to demolish only half of the old palace, however, and Wren's design was reduced considerably. Nevertheless, he brought to it many innovations and a unique use of English building materials. Hampton Court is a mixture of red and brown brick and Portland stone combined in masterly equilibrium.
      After Queen Mary died the king lost heart, and building at Hampton Court was suspended; the palace was not completed until 1699. Two years before her death the queen had initiated a scheme for the building of a royal hospital for seamen at Greenwich. For this Wren made his first plans in 1694. The work began in 1696, but the whole group of buildings was not completed until several years after his death. Greenwich Hospital (later the Royal Naval College) was Wren's last great work and the only one still in progress after St. Paul's had been completed in 1710.
      Queen Anne [06 Feb 1665 – 01 Aug 1714] granted him a house at Hampton Court. He had, besides, a London house on St. James's Street, and it was there that a servant, noticing that he was taking an unusually long nap after dinner one evening, found him dead in his chair. Wren was buried with great ceremony in St. Paul's Cathedral, the tomb covered by a simply inscribed slab of black marble.On a nearby wall his son later placed a dedication, including a sentence that was to become one of the most famous of all monumental inscriptions: “Lector, si monumentum requiris, circumspice”
     Wren far outlived the age to which his genius belonged. When he died, even the men he had trained and who owed much to his original and inspiring leadership were no longer young. The Baroque school they had created was already under fire from a new generation that brushed Wren's reputation aside and looked back beyond him to Inigo Jones [15 Jul 1573 – 21 Jun 1652]. Architects of the 18th century could not forget Wren, but they could not forgive those elements in his work that seemed to them unclassical. The churches left the strongest mark on subsequent architecture. In France, where English architecture rarely made much impression, St. Paul's Cathedral could not be easily ignored, and the Church of Sainte-Geneviève (now the Panthéon) in Paris, begun about 1757, rises to a drum and dome similar to St. Paul's. Nobody with a dome to build could ignore Wren's, and there are myriad versions of it, from St. Isaac's Cathedral (dome constructed 1840–1842; completed 1858) in St. Petersburg to the US Capitol at Washington DC (dome built 1855–1863).
      It was only in the 20th century that Wren's work ceased to be a potent and sometimes controversial factor in English architectural design. The last major architect to have been confessedly dependent on him was Sir Edwin Lutyens [29 Mar 1869 – 01 Jan 1944]. The Wren Society, founded at the bicentenary of Wren's death in 1923, published 20 volumes of Wren material (1924–1943).
1631 Joost (or Jan) van Geel, Dutch artist who died on 31 December 1698.
1620 Aelbert Cuyp (or Aelbrecht Kiup), Dordrecht painter and draftsman who died on 15 November 1691. — MORE ON CUYP AT ART “4” OCTOBER with links to images.
1606 Peter Franchoys, Flemish artist who died in 1654.
Holidays Guatemala : Revolution Day/Día de la Revolución (1944) / Kenya : Jomo Kenyatta Day

Religious Observances Buddhist-Laos : End of Buddhist Fast / Christian : St Bertilla Boscardin / Christian : St Irene / Old Catholic : St John Cantius (now 12/23)

Por que no filme "O Planeta dos Macacos" o astronauta não desconfia em que planeta está, se todos os macacos falam inglês?
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Thoughts for the day:
“Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clear through.”
“Beauty is only skin deep, but cancer can affect any organ.”
“Beauty is only skin deep, but depends on the shape of that skin.”
“When the wolf is at the door, vultures wait by the windows.”
“If there is no Hell, a good many preachers are obtaining money under false pretenses.” —
attributed to William A. "Billy" Sunday [19 Nov 1862 – 06 Nov 1935], US baseball player turned evangelist. {Did Billy Sunday obtain all his money under true pretenses?}.
“If there is a Hell, don't count on it being full before you get there.”
“War is hell, Hell is even worse.”
“Believing there is no Hell, is no more effective than believing there is no war.”
“If there is no Hell, what was Dante writing about?”
“If there is no Hell, it's going to be an eternity before it freezes over.”
“If there is no Hell, a good many preachers are going to be damned.”
“There has to be a Hell, enough people have told me to go there.”
“Hell is for those who tell others to go there.”
“L'enfer, c'est les autres.”
“L'enfer, c'est pour les autres.”
“L'enfer, c'est pour ceux qui disent que l'enfer, c'est les autres.”
“L'enfer, c'est pour ceux qui pensent que c'est pour les autres.”
“L'enfer, c'est pour ceux qui ne pensent pas comme Dante.”
updated Monday 27-Oct-2008 21:48 UT
Principal updates:
v.7.50 Saturday 30-Jun-2007 15:56 UT
v.6.90 Friday 20-Oct-2006 2:59 UT
v.5.91 Saturday 22-Oct-2005 14:21 UT
Wednesday 03-Nov-2004 21:59 UT

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