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Tag: George Washington

Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Introductory Comments:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumbThis day, March 14th, has seen some important events in the history of our country. During this primary season of the Presidential Election campaign, we hear a lot about Town Hall Meetings and Caucuses; it was on this day that the first town hall meeting was held in Boston. This day witnessed George Washington side-tracking a potential officer coup d’étate by Continental Army officers with his "Newburgh Address." It was also the day that witnessed UN forces retake Seoul during the Korean War. Eli Whitney was granted a patent for his "Cotton Engine" that made the growing of cotton profitable and ultimately triggered the Civil War to maintain access to slave labor. The FBI issued its first "10 Most Wanted" list on this day and Jack Ruby was sentenced to death for the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald. So, let’s take a closer look at some of these events…

faneuil_hall

This day witnessed several major milestones in the history of our American democracy. In 1743, the first recorded town meeting occurred at Faneuil Hall in Boston. Interestingly, this original meeting became the opportunity for the community to become informed about issues rather than to allow the people to vote on issues of current importance as is done with the caucuses being held during this election season, especially in the Republican Party’s primary landscape. On this day, in 1783, just after the signing of the Treaty of Paris, officers of the Continental Army were ready to rebel and take over the fledgling American government over a pension dispute. As they met in Newburgh, they were ready to march on the Congress when George Washington delivered an unscheduled speech that became known as the "Newburgh Declaration." Both of these events would allow our experiment in representative government, unique in the world at that time, that would culminate in the ratification of the strong United States Constitution in 1789. There, again, Washington arose over the populace zeitgeist to insist on a democratic presidency rather than the monarchy that the colonists were used to from their European heritage.

BE030041 (RM) TMH 03/14/2011At the time that the patent for the "Cotton Engine" (Cotton Gin) was issued to Eli Whitney in 1794, the slave-based economy of the southern states was not well understood. Processing cotton, once grown and harvested, was an intensive, difficult job because of all the seeds in the cotton bolls. This was hard, handwork; not the type of work that non-slaves would do! The cotton gin enabled large amounts of cotton to be process, the seeds removed (and themselves processed into oil) and the cotton ready to spin. This made the planting of large fields of cotton economically attractive, but required slave labor to tend, given all the weeding and harvesting required. This made a slave-based economic system emerge as the key factor in the southern states. As the abolition movement in the north gained momentum, the southern states feared the spread of this non-slave economy into the south, destroying their agrarian way of life. The roots of the civil war might actually be traced back to this invention!

In 1951, the Korean War was the major event on most people’s minds. This was the first "hot" conflict in the Cold War between the democratic Western Powers and the communistic Soviet Union. Each of these major powers had their proxy states: the UN and the United States defended South Korea while the communist People’s Republic of China (PRC) supported North Korea; Korea had been partitioned at the 38th parallel after World War II. This conflict seemed to carry on interminably. On this day, the US Forces, under the UN umbrella, launched Operation  Ripper in 1951. This operation would recapture the South Korean capital of Seoul for the second time. The Korean War would continue until 1953 when two major events occurred: Joseph Stalin, the hard-core dictator of the Soviet Union and developer of the communist expansion scheme, died. The second event that brought this war to a armistice was the election, in 1952, of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, leader of the Allies in Europe during World War II, was elected President. The Korean peninsula remains a hotspot in today’s world.

fbi-most-wanted-fbi_gov_1

Two major law enforcement events also occurred on this day. In 1950, J. Edgar Hoover issued the FBI’s first "10 Most Wanted" list. This list identified those fugitives from justice that were considered the greatest threat to society at any moment. It would help promote capture of the FBI’s "toughest guys" by eliciting info from the American people. The second legal event on this day occurred in 1964 when Jack Ruby was sentenced to death for the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, the suspected assassin of President John F. Kennedy. A Texas Court of Appeal would overturn the verdict and ordered a new trial. Ruby would die of lung cancer in 1967 while awaiting his new trial.

And now a piece of trivia for the day. Who was the first president to file an income tax return? The answer is Warren G. Harding, president from 1921 to 1923. He was associated with cronies from Ohio who were corrupt; they were convicted and sent to prison! The "Teapot Dome" scandal occurred during his administration and he was known to have at least four affairs during his time in office; Clinton’s indiscretions may not be all that bad! Overall, Harding is considered to be one of the worse presidents that we have had in this country.

We now will proceed to examine some of the events that are associated with day in history... GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1745 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Jack Ruby:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/jack_ruby.html ]

    

“Maybe something can be saved, something can be done.”
— Jack Ruby

“Someone had to do it. That son of a bitch killed my President.”
— Jack Ruby

“I am as innocent regarding any conspiracy as any of you gentlemen in the room.”
— Jack Ruby

“It may not be too late, whatever happens, if our President, Lyndon Johnson, knew the truth from me. But if I am eliminated, there won’t be any way of knowing.”
— Jack Ruby

“Jackie Kennedy was magnificent in the days and weeks immediately following her husband’s assassination. She was especially wonderful to me.”
— Pierre Salinger

“I have been used for a purpose, and there will be a certain tragic occurrence happening if you don’t take my testimony and somehow vindicate me so my people don’t suffer because of what I have done.”
— Jack Ruby

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Introductory Comments:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumbToday was marked by the birth of the leader of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and the First President of the United States under the Constitution — George Washington. This day was celebrated as a federal holiday up until the honoring of the birth of all presidents on President’s Day in 1971; this day is celebrated on the third Monday of February under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. Because of the proximity of the traditional Washington’s Birthday holiday on February 22nd and this new President’s Day, many still refer to it as Washington’s Birthday.

miracleOnIce_hmed_7p_nbcsports-story-612

Other events occurring on this day in history include the acquisition of the Florida Territory from Spain in 1819 and the victory of our U.S. Men’s Olympic Hockey Team over the highly favored Soviet team in the 1980s Winter Olympics. Our team went on to win the Gold Medal by their victory over Finland a few days later..

We now will proceed to examine some of the events that are associated with day in history... GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1344 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to George Washington:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/g/george_washington.html ]

    

“The administration of justice is the firmest pillar of government.”
— George Washington

“The Constitution is the guide which I never will abandon.”
— George Washington

“Some day, following the example of the United States of America, there will be a United States of Europe.”
— George Washington

“The basis of our political system is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government.”
— George Washington

“Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.”
— George Washington

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Introductory Comments:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumbThis day includes only one international event of note, but it is one that is of the upmost importance to this country. Numerous events involved with America itself have also occurred on this day. But let’s start out with a consideration of the international event, the ratification of the Treaty of Paris by the Continental Congress in 1784. But how is this an international event, you might ask. The Treaty of Paris formally ended the Revolutionary War between Britain and its American colonies — now that is a major international event. This treaty gave the new colony a set of borders that would define the new country. These borders were the Great Lakes to the North, the Spanish territory of Florida on the South, the Mississippi River on the West and the Atlantic Ocean on the East. Only the lands east of the Appalachian mountains had been extensively settled, so this new country had a great deal of land to explore and settle.

Dixie Clipper_Boeing-314_1

On the home front, we had three Connecticut towns adopt “The Fundamental Orders” in 1639. This was one of the earliest democratic constitutions in the colonies along with the Mayflower Compact. Most of the American colonies were settled under decrees from the King granting settlement rights to a few wealthy patrons. More recently, this day saw the start of NBCs Today Show hosted by Dave Garroway in 1952. This was the grand-daddy of the morning news and talk shows; its format was copied by the other TV networks. It was also on this day in 1954 that Yankee slugger Joe DiMaggio married Marilyn Monroe. It was also the day in 1985 that saw Martina Navratilova join Chris Evert and Jimmy Connors as the only tennis players to win 100 professional tennis tournaments.

But this day saw two major innovations introduced into this country. In 1914, Henry Ford introduced a manufacturing innovation in its new Model T plant in Highland Park, Michigan. With this assembly line, each worker performed a single task as the car passed by their station. This was in contrast with the traditional manufacturing process that saw a small team of craftsmen building an automobile by performing all tasks required. The new assembly line enabled more productivity and enabled the price of the auto to be dropped to that affordable by the average worker. It would also enable our manufacturing facilities to produce war materiel for World War II in order for the U.S. to become the “Arsenal of Democracy”, as FDR put it.

Ford Model T Military Field Ambulance

The other major innovation was the development of passenger aircraft from the early open air seats to an aircraft that enabled passengers to travel over long distances in comfort. During World War II, FDR was a passenger on the “Dixie Clipper”, Pan American’s flying seaplane (a Boeing 314 seaplane), on his trip to the Casablanca Conference to meet with Winston Churchill in 1943. FDR was the first sitting President to use an airplane to make such a trip. It was probably a wise decision due to the continued presence of German U-Boats patrolling the Atlantic during the Battle of the Atlantic. This helped to give the population confidence to fly to their destinations after the war rather than travelling by train or steamship. Our technology had come of age!

We now will proceed to examine some of the events that are associated with day in history... GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1101 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Casablanca:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/casablanca.html ]

    

“If it’s December 1941 in Casablanca, what time is it in New York?”
— Howard Koch

“Well everybody in Casablanca has problems. Yours may work out.”
— Humphrey Bogart

“Battles are won by slaughter and maneuver. The greater the general, the more he contributes in maneuver, the less he demands in slaughter.”
— Winston Churchill

“Most people would rather stay home and watch Casablanca for the fourth time or the 10th time on Turner Classic Movies than go see Matrix 12 or whatever the hell the flavor of the month is.”
— Joseph Bologna

“Churchill knew the importance of peace, and he also knew the price of it. Churchill finally got his voice, of course. He stressed strategy, but it was his voice that armed England at last with the old-fashioned moral concepts of honor and duty, justice and mercy.”
— Suzanne Fields

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Introductory Comments:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumbThe events of this day include several related to the achievements of women and minority groups. It is also the day of several patriotic events of pride and/or challenge related to the winter encampment of the Continental Army troops in Valley Forge during the severe cold of 1778. And it is the day on which the “Man in Black”, western singer Johnny Cash, released his best-selling album, “Folsom Prison Blues”. But many of today’s most important events relate to the discrimination against the Jews and the overcoming these prejudices by well-qualified African American leaders.

Folsom State Prison

Of course, being a country music fan and one that loves the song stylings of Johnny Cash, the release of one of his albums was a high point in my life in 1968 when this album finally arrived. After struggling with a drug habit and serving a prison term himself, Johnny Cash welcomed the opportunity to entertain the men in this prison. To put this event in context, the song on this album came out and were calm compared with the turbulent events going on at that time in our country. This was the year of “flower power” and we would see the release of the Beatles’ White Album later that year. It was also the year of losses — Robert (“Bobby”) Kennedy would be assassinated in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after winning the California Presidential Primary and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., would be assassinated at that motel in Memphis, Tennessee. This was the “best of time, and the worst of times” to borrow a phrase from Charles Dickens.

This was the day in which several achievements need to be honored. Sarah Caldwell became the first woman to conduct the orchestra at the Metropolitan Opera in 1976. In 1978, six women were admitted as candidates in the astronaut program at NASA. These women — Anna Fisher, Shannon Lucid, Judith Resnik, Sally Ride, Rhea Seddon and Kathryn Sullivan — would all fly on various space shuttle missions. Quite a feat. 

African Americans also made some significant headway in some of today’s events as well. Charles Weaver was appointed as Secretary of the new Department of Housing and Urban Development by Lyndon Johnson in 1966. This was a crowning event for Weaver who had started out as FDR’s advisor on Urban Affairs in several New Deal agencies. He had earned three degrees in Urban Affairs from Harvard University. He also served on FDR’s Black Cabinet with 45 other African Americans; this group advised FDR on many issues over the pre-war years. During John F. Kennedy’s administration, he was “tagged” to become Secretary of the new Department of Urban Affairs proposed by JFK, but when this proposal was defeated by a coalition of Republicans and Southern Democrats, he continued to be JFK’s advisor on urban issues. After Kennedy’s assassination, LBJ was able to get a new Department of Housing and Urban Development through the Congress and appoint Weaver as its first Secretary. Since this was a Presidential Cabinet-level position, Weaver became the first African American on the cabinet.

Degradation_alfred_dreyfus

In 1990, Douglas Wilder of Virginia was sworn in as the first Black governor of a state. This paved the way for other Blacks to get elected to various posts, including the U.S. Senate. African Americans were making their mark on this country.

On another note, the Anti-Semitic attitudes of the European military was highlighted by the Dreyfus Affair in France in 1898. Captain Dreyfus, a Jew, was accused of treason by the prejudiced officers that he fought with. He was convicted on these charges and sent to prison. The writer and crusader, Émile Zola took up his cause and wrote an open letter (J’Accuse) to the newspaper L’Aurore in Paris. This served to rally public opinion and put pressure to overturn Captain Dreyfus’ conviction. They were successful and Dreyfus’ conviction was overturned.

The real lesson from this incident is rather simple — the officer corps of the French and German general command were racist and anti-Semitic. The Dreyfus Affair foreshadowed the events of almost half a century later in Nazi Germany. As the Holocaust was implemented in Germany, the French military in the Vichy government wholeheartedly cooperated in the finding and exporting Jews from France to meet their “Final Solution” in the Nazi death camps. Such deep-seated discrimination is dangerous in any society, but even more so when carried out the prevailing authorities, military or civilian. Let’s take a hard look at our own attitudes in these interactions.

Anyway, it is now time to proceed with our examination of the notable events of this day… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1311 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to (Valley) Forge:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/forge.html ]

    

“I will, from this day strive to forge togetherness out of our differences.”
— Josefa Iloilo

“The achievements we forge in this place and in our nation will not be those of one person or one party.”
— Paul Martin

“The transfer is a monumental occasion as the Iraqi people take control of their government and their future and forge ahead with creating a society governed by the tenets of life, liberty and freedom.”
— Jim Gerlach

“The good Lord made us all out of iron. Then he turns up the heat to forge some of us into steel.”
— Marie Osmond

“From the bitter cold winter at Valley Forge, to the mountains of Afghanistan and the deserts of Iraq, our soldiers have courageously answered when called, gone where ordered, and defended our nation with honor.”
— Solomon Ortiz

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumbOn this day in 1799, on the floor of the United States Congress, Representative Henry "Light-Horse Harry" Lee III delivered a short Eulogy commemorating the recent death of the Beloved General and President, George Washington. Washington had died on December 14th after a short illness. He is remembered for his wartime exploits as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, the survivor of the terrible winter in Valley Forge, the abortive start-up of this new nation during the Articles of Confederation, and the creation of the United States Constitution. He became the young country’s first President, elected to two terms by unanimous votes of the Electors in each election.

The_Surrender_of_Lord_Cornwallis_at_Yorktown_October_19_1781

But he was responsible, above all, for the creation and formation of this new, novel form of government — a republican democracy. He gave himself unselfishly of himself to each of these assignments, but, above all, he molded the new government by avoiding the pitfalls placed in front of him. He resisted the attempt to make him “King”, as evidenced by his Newburg Address. He forged a government THAT WORKED in the two-party environment not foreseen by the Constitution. And he created a model for the Executive Branch of this new government with his Cabinet of Secretaries, a National Bank, and a powerful centralized government that merged thirteen independent states into one strong national union that preserved certain rights for the states while providing a strong central government with the power to levy taxes and maintain a standing, federal militia. The was a second revolution forged by this leader — George Washington.

After serving two terms as President, he set the precedent of retiring from this position. This would establish the pattern that was followed until the 1930s and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Upon retirement, he gave one of his most stirring speeches, his Farewell Address. He thus retired to his beloved home, Mount Vernon, to become the gentleman-farmer that had been his goal all of his life. However, within two years after his retirement, he awoke sick one morning and passed from this earth.

That was on the 14th; on this day, the 26th of December, his friend, Henry Lee, arose to deliver his short tribute to his long-time friend. And we will never forget those words: “First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Hearts of his Countrymen…” They reflect the sincere feelings of a grateful nation to a man who had helped shape that same nation.

But it is now time for us to proceed with our exploration of the Eulogy of George Washington, Soldier, Statesman, President, and, all above all else, Gentleman… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 4552 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Eulogy:

    

“I have no other view than to promote the public good, and am unambitious of honors not founded in the approbation of my Country.”
— George Washington

“I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.”
— George Washington

“I walk on untrodden ground. There is scarcely any part of my conduct which may not hereafter be drawn into precedent.”
— George Washington

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary

JerryPhotoThe Thanksgiving Day holiday has evolved over the years of our nationhood. From those New England tradition of the Pilgrims, it ha matured with the years especially during times of conflict. This peace is an expansion from our post of a year ago (found at: http://www.boerner.net/jboerner/?p=4955).

The date on which Thanksgiving holiday has been celebrated varies between the months of November and December. Also, the manner in which is celebrated has varied from region to region, especially after the Civil War. This truly richness in diversity.

Please join us for this exploration…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1877 Words ]

   

Quotations Related to THANKSGIVING DAY

“Thanksgiving is so called because we are all so thankful that it only comes once a year.”
— P. J. O’Rourke

“Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.”
— Emma Bombeck

“Best of all is it to preserve everything in a pure, still heart, and let there be for every pulse a thanksgiving, and for every breath a song.”
— Konrad von Gesner

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