Edited by Gerald Boerner
This 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.
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.
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:
“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