Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Introductory Comments:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumbWow! This is a day filled with significant events. The most public of these takes place at sunrise time in a small Pennsylvania town, Punxsutawney, on Gobbler’s Knob. This is the time each year when the groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, emerges from its burrow and predicts the time of the coming spring. Does it accomplish its task? Who cares — the town is covered by national TV and newspapers and brings crowds to the small town. It is big business and a tradition that was started in 1887! In addition, on this day in 1904, the beloved author of so many books that have entertained children for the last century was born. Theodor Geisel, the beloved Dr. Seuss, started life in Massachusetts and became a cartoonist. Our lives have been enriched by his many stories.

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On a more historical note, on this day in 1836, Sam Houston and a group of Texians declared their independence from Mexico. After the Texians defeated General Santa Ana and the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto, an independent country, the Republic of Texas, was created. A dozen years later, after Tyler signed the legislation to annex The Republic of Texas to the United States, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed to end the Mexican American War in 1848. This treaty ceded much of the Mexican territory in the southwest to the United States to give us ownership of most of the land from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific coast. Our nation now spanned the continent.

This day in history also witnessed one of the strange oddities of the electoral process. In the 1877 presidential election, the Democratic candidate, Samuel Tilden, won the majority of the popular vote but lost the presidency! How could this happen? Some political back-room negotiations provided enough electoral votes for the Republican candidate, Rutherford B. Hayes, to elect him the new president by one electoral vote. This was dirty politics of the worse sort, not all that different than the “hanging chad” controversy of the 2000 election.

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A couple of major human rights events have occurred on this day. In 1807, Congress passed a law that banned the importation of slaves into our country. The U.S. Constitution provided protection of the slave trade for twenty years as part of one of the compromising made to gain ratification of this new constitution. The new law took effect on January 1, 1808; this law did NOT prohibit slavery, only the importation of new slaves. On this day in 1990, President H.W. de Klerk of South Africa announced the removal of the ban against the anti-apartheid groups, like the African National Congress, and led to the release of Nelson Mandela nine days later. Mandela would become the first president of a non-segregated South Africa.

Finally, this day witnessed the flight, in 1949, of the Lucky Lady II on the completion of a record-setting non-stop flight around-the-world on a Boeing B-50 bomber. This flight took 94 hours with a crew of fourteen and four in-flight refuelings. This was a demonstration of strength to the Soviet Union and occurred one year before the start of the Korean War.

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

[ 1461 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Sam Houston:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/s/sam_houston.html ]

    

“A leader is someone who helps improve the lives of other people or improve the system they live under.”
— Sam Houston

“I am aware that in presenting myself as the advocate of the Indians and their rights, I shall stand very much alone.”
— Sam Houston

“I would give no thought of what the world might say of me, if I could only transmit to posterity the reputation of an honest man.”
— Sam Houston

“All new states are invested, more or less, by a class of noisy, second-rate men who are always in favor of rash and extreme measures, but Texas was absolutely overrun by such men.”
— Sam Houston

“In the name of the constitution of Texas, which has been trampled upon, I refuse to take this oath. I love Texas too well to bring civil strife and bloodshed upon her.”
— Sam Houston

“Remember that whatever may be said by a lady or her friends, it is not part of conduct of a gallant or generous man to take up arms against a woman.”
— Sam Houston

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