On This Date In 1645The Battle of Jankau, one of the bloodiest of the Thirty Years' War, was fought in southern Bohemia, some 50 km southeast of Prague, between the army of Sweden and that of the Holy Roman Empire. The battle proved a decisive Swedish victory, which was largely due to the personal command skills of General Lennart Torstensson, and the tactical skill and maneuverability of the Swedish artillery.
On This Date In 1781Pyle's Massacre was fought during the American Revolutionary War in Orange County, North Carolina (present-day Alamance County, North Carolina), between Patriot and Loyalist North Carolina militia troops. Patriot militia leader Colonel Henry Lee deceived Loyalist militia under John Pyle that he was British commander Banastre Tarleton sent to meet them. Lee's men then opened fire, surprising and scattering Pyle's force.
On This Date In 1786Wilhelm Karl Grimm, the younger of the two Brothers Grimm, was born in Hanau, Germany. As young men, the two brothers assisted friends in compiling an important collection of folk lyrics. One of the authors, impressed by the brothers' work, suggested they publish some of the oral folktales they'd collected. The collection appeared asChildren's and Household Tales, later known asGrimm's Fairy Tales, in several volumes between 1812 and 1822.
On This Date In 1803The Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice John Marshall, decided the landmark case ofWilliam Marbury versus James Madison, Secretary of State of the United States, and confirmed the legal principle of judicial review - the ability of the Supreme Court to limit Congressional power by declaring legislation unconstitutional - in the new nation.
On This Date In 1836In San Antonio, Texas, Colonel William Travis issued a call for help on behalf of the Texan troops defending the Alamo, an old Spanish mission and fortress under attack by the Mexican army.
On This Date In 1840Former President John Quincy Adams began to argue theAmistadcase in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1839, a Spanish slave ship namedLa Amistadappeared off the coast of New York. The “slaves” aboard it, who were free Africans kidnapped in Africa and originally bound for sale in Cuba, had rebelled, killing the Spanish ship's captain and cook. The African mutineers then promised to spare the lives of the ship's crew and their captors if they took them back to Africa. The crew agreed, but then duped the slaves by sailing up the coast to New York, where they were taken into custody by the U.S. Navy. A complicated series of trials ensued regarding the ownership and outcome of the ship and its human cargo. Adams' skillful arguments convinced the court to rule in favor of returning the Africans to their native country.
On This Date In 1863Arizona, formerly part of the Territory of New Mexico, was organized as a separate territory. The U.S. acquired the region under the terms of the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the 1853 Gadsden Purchase. Arizona became the 48th state in 1912.http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/feb24.html
On This Date In 1868Andrew Johnson, 17th President of the United States, was impeached in the U.S. House of Representatives on eleven articles of impeachment detailing his “high crimes and misdemeanors”, in accordance with Article Two of the United States Constitution. As one of the most dramatic events in the political life of the United States during Reconstruction, this was the first impeachment in history of a sitting United States president.
On This Date In 1875TheSS Gothenburg, a steamship that operated along the British and then later the Australian and New Zealand coastlines, encountered a cyclone-strength storm off the north Queensland coast. The ship was wrecked on the Great Barrier Reef north-west of Holbourne Island, Australia. Survivors in one of the lifeboats were rescued two days later by theLeichhardt, while the occupants of two other lifeboats that managed to reach Holbourne Island were rescued several days later. Twenty two men survived, while between 98 and 112 others died, including a number of high profile civil servants and dignitaries.
On This Date In 1917During World War I, British authorities gave Walter H. Page, the U.S. ambassador to Britain, a copy of the “Zimmermann Note,” a coded message from Arthur Zimmermann, the German foreign secretary, to Count Johann von Bernstorff, the German ambassador to Mexico. In the telegram, intercepted and deciphered by British intelligence in late January, Zimmermann stated that in the event of war with the United States, Mexico should be asked to enter the conflict as a German ally. In return, Germany promised to restore to Mexico the lost territories of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. After receiving the telegram, Page promptly sent a copy to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, who in early March allowed the U.S. State Department to publish the note. The press initially treated the telegram as a hoax, but Arthur Zimmermann himself confirmed its authenticity. The Zimmermann Note helped turn U.S. public opinion, already severely strained by repeated German attacks on U.S. ships, firmly against Germany. On April 2, President Wilson, who had initially sought a peaceful resolution to end World War I, urged the immediate U.S. entrance into the war. Four days later, Congress formally declared war against Germany.
On This Date In 1917During World War I, the Allied war against Turkish forces gained momentum (and ground) in Mesopotamia as British and Indian troops moved along the Tigris River in early 1917, recapturing the city of Kut-al-Amara on this day and taking 1,730 Turkish prisoners. Encouraged by their victory at Kut, the forcees pushed on towards Baghdad, which would fall on March 11.
On This Date In 1920Adolph Hitler, in taking over the German Workers Party propaganda work, began to take a more prominent role in organization; consequently, his public speaking began to attract larger audiences. Hitler began to make the party much more public, and he organized the party's biggest meeting yet of 2,000 people on February, 24 1920 in the Staatliches Hofbräuhaus in München. In his speech here, Hitler, for the first time, enunciated the twenty-five points of the German Worker's Party's manifesto, giving the organization a much bolder stratagem with a clear foreign policy (abrogation of Versailles, a Greater Germany, Eastern expansion, exclusion of Jews from citizenship). Among his specific points were: confiscation of war profits, abolition of unearned incomes, the State to share profits of land, and land for national needs to be taken away without compensation. The party also added “National Socialist” to its official name, in order to appeal to both nationalists and socialists, becoming the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP, or Nazis for short), although Hitler earlier suggested the party to be renamed the “Social Revolutionary Party”; it was Rudolf Jung who persuaded Hitler to follow the NSDAP naming.http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/riseofhitler/party.htm
On This Date In 1938The entertainment trade newspaperVarietyreported that the film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) had bought the rights to adapt L. Frank Baum’s beloved children’s novelThe Wonderful Wizard of Ozfor the screen, and that the studio had cast 16-year-old Judy Garland in the film’s central role, Dorothy Gale.
On This Date In 1944During World War II, Maj. Gen. Frank Merrill's guerrilla force, nicknamed “Merrill's Marauders,” began a campaign in northern Burma, which, when done, consisted of five major and 30 minor engagements with a far more numerous Japanese enemy. When their mission was completed, all surviving Merrill's Marauders had to be evacuated to hospitals to be treated for everything from exhaustion and various tropical diseases to malnutrition or A.O.E. (“Accumulation of Everything”). They were awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation in July 1944, which was re-designated the Presidential Unit Citation in 1966. Every member of the commando force also received the Bronze Star, a very rare distinction for an entire unit. Merrill remained in the Far East and was made an aide to General Stillwell.
On This Date In 1946Juan Domingo Peron, the controversial former vice president of Argentina, was elected president. As president, Peron constructed an impressive populist alliance, and his vision of self-sufficiency for Argentina won him wide support. However, he also became increasingly authoritarian, jailing political opponents and restricting freedom of the press. In 1952, his greatest political resource, Evita, died, and support for him dissolved. Three years later, he was ousted in a military coup.
On This Date In 1968During the Vietnam War, the Tet Offensive ended as U.S. and South Vietnamese troops recaptured the ancient capital of Hue from communist forces. Although scattered fighting continued across South Vietnam for another week, the battle for Hue was the last major engagement of the offensive, which saw communist attacks on all of South Vietnam's major cities. In the aftermath of Tet, public opinion in the United States decisively turned against the Vietnam War.
On This Date In 1969During the Vietnam War, and after North Vietnamese mortar shells rocked their Douglas AC-47 gunship, Airman First Class John L. Levitow threw himself on an activated, smoking magnesium flare, dragged himself and the flare to the open cargo door, and tossed it out of the aircraft just before it ignited. For saving his fellow crewmembers and the gunship, Airman Levitow was later awarded the Medal of Honor. He was one of only two enlisted airmen to win the Medal of Honor for service in Vietnam, and was one of only five enlisted airmen ever to win the medal.
On This Date In 1975“Physical Graffiti,” the sixth album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, was released. Recording sessions for the album were initially disrupted when John Paul Jones considered leaving the band. After reuniting at Headley Grange, the band wrote and recorded eight songs, the combined length of which stretched the album beyond the typical length of an LP. This prompted the band to make Physical Graffiti a double album by including previously unreleased tracks from earlier recording sessions.Physical Graffitiwas commercially and critically successful; the album went 16x platinum (though this signifies shipping of eight million copies, as it is a double album) in the US alone.
On This Date In 1982President Ronald Reagan announced a new program of economic and military assistance to nations of the Caribbean designed to “prevent the overthrow of the governments in the region” by the “brutal and totalitarian” forces of communism. The Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) was part of the Reagan administration's effort to curb what it perceived to be the dangerous rise in communist activity in Central America and the Caribbean.
On This Date In 1982Hockey prodigy Wayne Gretzky scored his 77th goal, breaking a record held by Phil Esposito of 76 goals in a single season that was previously thought unbeatable by many fans.
On This Date In 1991British and American armored forces crossed the Iraq/Kuwait border and entered Iraq in large numbers, taking hundreds of prisoners. Iraqi resistance was light, and 4 Americans were killed. The U.S. VII Corps assembled in full strength and, spearheaded by the 3rd Squadron of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment (3/2 ACR), launched an armored attack into Iraq just to the west of Kuwait, taking Iraqi forces by surprise. Simultaneously, the U.S. XVIII Airborne Corps launched a sweeping “left-hook” attack across the largely undefended desert of southern Iraq, led by the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (3rd ACR) and the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized). Once the Coalition had penetrated deep into Iraqi territory, they turned eastward, launching a flank attack against the elite Republican Guard before it could escape.
On This Date In 2007“Teardrops on My Guitar”, the second single from the Taylor Swift's eponymous studio album,Taylor Swift(2006), was released by Big Machine Records. The song originally made its peak positions in mid-2007, peaking at #2 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart and #33 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was re-released to the Hot 100 and Pop 100 in late 2007 with a pop remix that broughtTeardrops on My Guitarto #13 on the Hot 100 and #11 on the Pop 100. The song was later included on the international release of Swift's second studio album,Fearless(2008), and released as the third single from the album in the United Kingdom.
On This Date In 2008The 80th Academy Awards ceremony honoring the best films in 2007 was broadcast from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California on ABC. During the ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented Academy Awards (commonly referred to as Oscars) in 24 categories.No Country for Old Mendominated the evening by winning four awards out of eight nominations including Best Picture. For the first time since the 37th Academy Awards (1964), the Academy presented all four of the acting awards to non-American actors.
On This Date In 2008Raúl Castro was officially elected as President of Cuba by the National Assembly after Fidel Castro, who was still ailing, announced his intention not to stand for president again on February 19, 2008.
On This Date In 2009US Senator Dick Durbin joined Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and others in asking Roland Burris, the junior senator from Illinois appointed by the former and impeached Gov. Rod Blagojevich, to resign. But Burris, after acknowledging that he had tried to raise campaign money for the governor, told the senior senator from Illinois and No. 2 Democratic leader in the Senate that he would not resign.http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2009/02/burris_back_in_senate_mum_on_2.html
Happy BirthdayAbe Vigoda (1921), Steven Hill (1922), Terry Semel (1943), Barry Bostwick (1945), Edward James Olmos (1947), Debra Jo Rupp (1951), Helen Shaver (1951), Paula Zahn (1956), Phil McConkey (1957), Mark Moses (1958), Beth Broderick (1959), Teri Weigel (1962), Billy Zane (1966), and Manon Rheaume (1972).
RIPThomas Newcomen (1664 – 1729), General John Burgoyne (1722 – 1792), Marjorie Main (1890 – 1975), Al Lettieri (1928 – 1975), John Vernon (1932 – 2005), James Farentino (1938 – 2012), and Steve Jobs (1955 – 2011).
Teaching is more than imparting knowledge, it is inspiring change. Learning is more than absorbing facts, it is acquiring understanding. William Arthur Ward
Committing a great truth to memory is admirable; committing it to life is wisdom. William Arthur Ward
Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity. W. Clement Stone
During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. George Orwell
An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. Mahatma Ghandi
The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully have been kindness, beauty, and truth. Albert Einstein
Fireman Joubert talks about the singularity of the ceremonial guard drill team, no matter the background of the individual team members. Produced by Defense Media Activity, Navy
But innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem. It’s ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea.