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Prof. Boerner's Explorations

Thoughts and Essays that explore the world of Technology, Computers, Photography, History and Family.


Tag: Newburgh Address

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…


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.


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:

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“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



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.


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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