The Friday Post ~ 1st December 2017

Well it’s here.  That day we were thinking was still miles away and we had plenty of time to do our Christmas shopping …. well today is the first day of December and Christmas day is just 25 days away.  Or … since you can’t actually count Christmas day itself,  24 days away.

But … if you discount today (1st December), because, well, it’s maybe not fair to include today since some of you reading right now will perhaps have just come home from a day at work, so let’s discount today too, – that makes it 23 merry Days, in which to buy the perfect presents for all those people you need to buy for,  and get them home, wrapped beautifully and labelled up, ready to give.  There.  23 days.  That’s ok, isn’t it?

So anyhoo … shall we get on with your Edumacation?  I know it’s Christmas soon, but you still need to be educationamalised so that you can come out with interesting facts at the works ‘do’, or just impress the boss with your magnificent intelligence.

On this Day in History

1824 – U.S. presidential election, Since no candidate received a majority of the total electoral college votes in the election, the United States House of Representatives is given the task to decide the winner (as stipulated by the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution).

1913 – The Ford Motor Company introduces the first moving assembly line.
1919 – Lady Astor becomes first female member of the British Parliament to take her seat (she had been elected to that position on November 28).

1952 – The New York Daily News reports the first successful sexual reassignment operation. 

1958 – The Our Lady of the Angels School Fire in Chicago, Illinois kills 92 children and three nuns.

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The Our Lady of the Angels School Fire broke out shortly before classes were to be dismissed on December 1, 1958, at the foot of a stairway in the Our Lady of the Angels School in Chicago, Illinois.  The elementary and middle school was operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago.  A total of 92 pupils and 3 nuns lost their lives when smoke, heat, and fire cut off their normal means of escape through corridors and stairways.  Many perished while jumping from second-floor windows (which were as high as a third floor would be on level ground).  Another 100 were seriously injured.

The disaster led to major improvements in standards for school design and fire safety codes.

1960 – Paul McCartney and Pete Best arrested then deported from Hamburg, Germany for accusation of attempted arson. Former Beatles drummer Pete Best told Absolute Radio that he and Sir Paul had tried to use the condoms for extra lighting.

“We pinned them on the wall and they spluttered. Let’s get it clear, they weren’t used,”  he said. “We were charged with trying to burn our van down.”

Best said the pair were returned to the UK on suspicion of arson.

1964 – Vietnam War: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and his top-ranking advisers meet to discuss plans to bomb North Vietnam.

1969 – Vietnam War: The first draft lottery in the United States is held since World War II. On December 1, 1969, the Selective Service System of the United States held a lottery to determine the order of draft (induction) into the U.S. Army for the Vietnam War.

Method
The days of the year, represented by the numbers from 1 to 366 (including Leap Day), were written on slips of paper and the slips were placed in plastic capsules. The capsules were mixed in a shoebox and then dumped into a deep glass jar. Capsules were drawn from the jar one at a time.

The first day number drawn was 257 (September 14), so all registrants with that birthday were assigned lottery number 1. Men of draft age (those born between 1944 and 1950) whose birthday fell on the corresponding day of the year would all be drafted at the same time. The highest draft number called from the 1969 lottery was number 195 (September 24).

A secondary lottery was also held on the same day, to construct a random permutation of the 26 letters of the alphabet. For men born on a given day, the order of induction was determined by the rank of the first letters of their last, first, and middle names.

The lottery was conducted again in 1970 (for those born in 1951), 1971 (1952) and 1972 (1953), although the 1972 lottery went unused as the draft itself was suspended in 1973.  Lotteries were also conducted in 1973, 1974 and 1975 although the assigned numbers went unused.

1973 – Papua New Guinea gains self-government from Australia.
1974 – TWA Flight 514, a Boeing 727, crashes northwest of Dulles International Airport killing all 92 people on-board.
1974 – Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 6231, crashes northwest of John F. Kennedy International Airport.

1981 – A Yugoslavian Inex Adria Aviopromet DC-9 crashes in Corsica killing all 180 people on-board.

1982 – At the University of Utah, Barney Clark becomes the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart.

1990 – Channel Tunnel sections started from the United Kingdom and France meet 40 meters beneath the seabed.

2001 – Captain Bill Compton brings Trans World Airlines Flight 220, an MD-83, into St. Louis International Airport bringing to an end 76 years of TWA operations following TWA’s purchase by American Airlines.

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Born on this Day

1761 – Marie Tussaud, French creator of wax sculptures (Madame Tussaud’s) (d. 1850)

1913 – Mary Martin, American actor and singer (d. 1990)

1932 – Matt Monro, English singer (d. 1985)

1935 – Woody Allen, American film director, actor, and comedian

1940 – Richard Pryor, American actor, comedian (d. 2005)

1944 – John Densmore, American drummer (The Doors)

1945 – Bette Midler, American actress and singer

1946 – Gilbert O’Sullivan, Irish singer

1958 – Charlene Tilton, American actress

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Thought for the Day

Christmas is coming and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.  We know it’s coming because the lights are already lit-up in the shops.  The trees are decorated and the Advent Calendars all have one door open.

The prophets of anxiety (in the newspapers and on TV) are predicting a difficult time for the shoppers and retailers of our over-stretched, debt-ridden lands.

Some of us feel the imminence of Christmas in the sensations of excitement and dread:  of wishing it would never end … and wanting it to be over with now.  Of the need to be at home, with family and friends – and the desire to escape it all and get as far away as possible.

The Grinch, in Dr. Seuss says:  “Christmas!  It’s practically here!”  …  Then he growled with his fingers nervously drumming.  “I must find a way to keep Christmas from coming!”

Advent means the arrival  – or coming  –  of an important person or thing.  But break it down into its compound words:  ‘ad’  and  ‘vent’  and it looks alarmingly like something to do with advertising and windows.  It sounds like a big commercial wind!  Which of course it is, and it has been, and probably always will be.  Which is why Grinch-like, seasonal rants about the commercial aspect of Christmas will do nothing to change it.

Priests asking us not to throw out the baby Jesus with the bath water should save their breath.  If they want us to question anything at Christmas it should be the baby:  Do we need the babyDo we want the babyWhat is this baby for?  It’s easy to see that Christmas  “doesn’t come from a store;  easy to guess it means a little bit more” [the Grinch again] .  But the question for all of us is:  What???

Isaiah, a prophet who lived before Christ, framed our need in this way:  “O that you would tear open the heavens and come down”.  There was an ache for a saviour long before one appeared.  As to what this saviour is for – Isaiah put it in these startling terms:  …. “… for those living in darkness, a light has come.”  and later …  “…he will be pierced for our transgressions and by his wounds we are healed”.

For Isaiah it took 600 years and a thousand advent calendar windows before the double doors opened on the baby in the manger he predicted would be  “the Saviour of the World”.  That’s a kind of patience – a kind of expectation and waiting – which is hard to grasp.  In theory, for us,  the waiting is over.  The baby – whether we like it or not, is here.  God is with us.

As the Grinch discovered, we can’t stop Christmas from coming:  “Somehow or other, it came just the same”.  The challenge for us this advent is finding the space to think about why it came at all in the first place.   And that applies to those who believe, and those who don’t.

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Well.  I’m all puffed out now and have talked so much that my throat is sore!  I think it must be coffee time, for I need lubrication to the vocal chords.

This last week for me has been another one of crafting up a storm,  but making things I can’t share because I made some things for some lovely people who come and read my blog….  goodness knows why they come and read it. Kindness is the first thing that springs to mind.  lol.

But … I can start on other things now, so can share and will be doing so.  HURRAH!

In the meantime …  I want you to be good.  Don’t eat too many sweets.  Not too much chocolate.  And don’t do that thing which you’re Mother told you would make you blind.  Oh … and don’t stick peas up your nose.

That last one … I should perhaps explain…  Apparently – this was said by an Irish mother many, many moons ago.

She had to go out but had no one to look after her large brood of children, so she gathered them all together and told the three eldest that they were going to be ‘in charge’ for the next half an hour while she was out of the house.  She put her coat and hat on, gathered up her shopping bag and handbag, and put her hand on the door knob …. but paused and looked at them all in a very stern, Irish mother way, saying:  “Be good.  Don’t be getting yourselves into trouble.  Don’t be making too much noise – we don’t want someone calling the police!  And …  DON’T STICK PEAS UP YOUR NOSE!”  …  and with that she left.

20 minutes later she was back in the house to find a row of children all sat upon the work tops in the kitchen, with the three eldest children trying to do something which the one child was crying about.  Upon taking in the scene she saw that one of the eldest had his arms tightly wound around a child, so holding the childs arms down.  The second eldest had the child’s head in her hands and was tipping the childs head backwards.  And the eldest of the children had the mothers tweezers from her dressing table and was attempting to shove them up the little childs nose.

“What the divil are you doing to that child?!!”  She yelled.  “… and why they all on the kitchen tops?”

The three eldest children explained . . .  there had been no trouble until they found out that the youngsters had popped the pea pods on the kitchen table, and pushed peas up their noses and couldn’t get them down again.

“Why the dickens did you do that?”  she demanded to know, looking at them very sternly  …..

“Because you told us not to!” came a crying reply.

Hence I say to you ….  “Be good.  Don’t be getting yourselves into trouble.  Don’t be making too much noise – we don’t want someone calling the police!  And …  DON’T STICK PEAS UP YOUR NOSE!” 

Have a wickedly wonderful Friday, and a truly fabulous weekend.  May the force be with you.

Sending love and squidges ~

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The Friday Post ~ 24th November 2017

Well hello.   Fancy seeing me here!

I’m going to begin this post by saying sorry for being missing in the crafty action way.  I’ve been making some special Christmas cards, but unfortunately the people they’re intended for sometimes pop along and read my blog, so of course that means that I can’t share pictures of the cards until they’ve been received by the lovely folks they’re meant for.  But I will blog about some of the other cards I’ve made, as soon as I get a rootin’ tootin’ minute to load the photos off my phone.  Promise.  🤗

Right ho ... let’s get into the Edumacation Department, shall we?  Line up at the door … and file in one by one.  Grab a seat and get your pens out and glasses on.

On this Day in History

1831 – In Great Britain, Michael Faraday read his first series of papers at the Royal Society in London on ‘Experimental Research into Electricity’.
1859 – Charles Darwin published his controversial and groundbreaking scientific work ‘The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection’.

1917 – Nine police officers and one civilian are killed when a bomb explodes at the Milwaukee, Wisconsin police headquarters building.

1932 – In Washington, D.C., the FBI Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory (better known as the FBI Crime Lab) officially opens.
1939 – Imperial Airways and British Airways merged to become BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation), which later merged with British European Airways and returned to one of the previous names, British Airways.

1947 – Red Scare: After the so-called Hollywood 10 refuse to co-operate with the House Un-American Activities Committee concerning allegations of Communist influence in the movie industry, the United States House of Representatives votes 346 to 17 to approve citations of contempt of Congress against them.

The Hollywood blacklist—more precisely the entertainment industry blacklist, into which it expanded—was the mid-twentieth-century list of screenwriters, actors, directors, musicians, and other U.S. entertainment professionals who were denied employment in the field because of their political beliefs or associations, real or suspected. Artists were barred from work on the basis of their alleged membership in or sympathy toward the American Communist Party, involvement in liberal or humanitarian political causes that enforcers of the blacklist associated with communism, and/or refusal to assist federal investigations into Communist Party activities; some were blacklisted merely because their names came up at the wrong place and time. Even during the period of its strictest enforcement, the late 1940s through the late 1950s, the blacklist was rarely made explicit and verifiable, but it caused direct damage to the careers of scores of American artists, often made betrayal of friendship (not to mention principle) the price for a livelihood, and promoted ideological censorship across the entire industry.

The first systematic Hollywood blacklist was instituted on November 25, 1947, the day after ten writers and directors were cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to give testimony to the House Committee on Un-American Activities. A group of studio executives, acting under the aegis of the Motion Picture Association of America, announced the firing of the artists—the so-called Hollywood Ten—in what has become known as the Waldorf Statement. On June 22, 1950, a pamphlet called Red Channels appeared, naming 151 entertainment industry professionals in the context of “Red Fascists and their sympathizers”; soon most of those named, along with a host of other artists, were barred from employment in much of the entertainment field. The blacklist was effectively broken in 1960 when Dalton Trumbo, an unrepentant member of the Hollywood Ten, was publicly acknowledged as the screenwriter of the films Spartacus and Exodus. A number of those blacklisted, however, were still barred from work in their professions for years afterward.

1962 – ‘ That Was the Week That Waswent out live from the BBC, introduced by a new presenter, David Frost, and with some material written by an equally unknown John Cleese.

1963 – Lee Harvey Oswald is assassinated by Jack Ruby in the basement of Dallas police department headquarters on live television.  (There are two links for you to click on, one to take you to the BBC News on that day, and the other one will take you to the front page of The New York Times.  Both links will open in a new tab for you).
BBC News
The New York Times
1963 – Vietnam War: Newly sworn-in US President Lyndon B. Johnson confirms that the United States intends to continue supporting South Vietnam both militarily and economically.

1965 – Joseph Désiré Mobutu seizes power in the Congo and becomes President; he goes on to rule the country (which he renames Zaire in 1971) for over 30 years, until being overthrown by rebels in 1997.

Joseph Désiré Mobutu

Joseph Désiré Mobutu

Mobutu Sese Seko Nkuku Ngbendu wa Za Banga (October 14, 1930 – September 7, 1997), commonly known as Mobutu, or Mobutu Sese Seko, born Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, was the President of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) for 32 years (1965–1997) after deposing Joseph Kasavubu.

He formed a totalitarian regime in Zaire which attempted to purge the country of all colonial cultural influence and entered wars to challenge the rise of communism in other African countries.

His mismanagement of his country’s economy, and personal enrichment from its financial and natural resources, makes his name synonymous with kleptocracy in Africa.
(A kleptocracy  (sometimes ‘cleptocracy’, occasionally ‘kleptarchy’)  (root: klepto+kratein = rule by thieves)  – is a term applied to a government that extends the personal wealth and political power of government officials and the ruling class (collectively, kleptocrats) at the expense of the population.)

 

1966 – New York City experiences the smoggiest day in the city’s history.
1969 – Apollo program: The Apollo 12 command module splashes down safely in the Pacific Ocean, ending the second manned mission to the Moon.

1971 – During a severe thunderstorm over Washington state, a hijacker calling himself Dan Cooper (AKA D.B. Cooper) parachutes from a Northwest Orient Airlines plane with $200,000 in ransom money – neither he nor the money have ever been found.

A 1972 FBI composite drawing ofDB Cooper

A 1972 FBI composite drawing of
D. B. Cooper

D. B. Cooper is the name attributed to a man who hijacked a Boeing 727 aircraft in the United States on November 24, 1971, received US$200,000 in ransom, and parachuted from the plane. He was not apprehended. The name he used to board the plane was Dan Cooper, but through a later press miscommunication, he became known as “D. B. Cooper”. Despite hundreds of leads through the years, no conclusive evidence has surfaced regarding Cooper’s true identity or whereabouts, and the bulk of the money has never been recovered. Several theories offer competing explanations of what happened after his famed jump, which the FBI believes he did not survive.

The nature of Cooper’s escape and the uncertainty of his fate continue to intrigue people. The Cooper case (code-named “Norjak” by the FBI) remains an unsolved mystery, and along with Malaysia Airlines Flight 653 is one of the world’s few unsolved cases of aircraft hijacking.

Bulletin from the FBI about DB Cooper

FBI wanted poster of D. B. Cooper

The Cooper case has baffled government and private investigators for decades, with countless leads turning into dead ends. As late as March 2008, the FBI thought it might have had a breakthrough when children unearthed a parachute within the bounds of Cooper’s probable jump site near the town of Amboy, Washington. Experts later determined that it did not belong to the hijacker.

Despite the case’s enduring lack of evidence, a few significant clues have arisen. In late 1978 a placard containing instructions on how to lower the aft stairs of a 727, later confirmed to be from the rear stairway of the plane from which Cooper jumped, was found just a few flying minutes north of Cooper’s projected drop zone. In February 1980, eight-year-old Brian Ingram found $5,880 in decaying $20 bills on the banks of the Columbia River.

In October 2007, the FBI claimed that it had obtained a partial DNA profile of Cooper from the tie he left on the hijacked plane. On December 31, 2007, the FBI revived the unclosed case by publishing never-before-seen composite sketches and fact sheets online in an attempt to trigger memories that could possibly identify Cooper. In a press release, the FBI reiterated that it does not believe Cooper survived the jump, but expressed an interest in obtaining his identity.

On Wednesday November 24th 1971, Thanksgiving Eve, a man walked up to the flight counter of Northwest Orient Airlines in Portland Oregon, and bought a ticket for the 30 minute, Flight 305 to Seattle – a 30 minute hop.

He was later described as wearing a dark raincoat, dark suit with skinny black tie, and carrying an attaché case. He had perky ears, thin lips, a wide forehead, receding hair. He sat in the last row of the plane, 18-C, lit a cigarette, and ordered a bourbon and soda. He had given his name as Dan Cooper.

Shortly after the flight set off with 36 passengers and six crew members, he passed Florence Schaffner cute 23 year old stewardess a note. Printed in felt tip pen, in capital letters, it read .. “I have a bomb in my briefcase. I want you to sit beside me,” it read. She did as he requested, then asked to see the bomb. She saw a tangle of wires, a battery, and six red sticks.

He told her what he wanted – $200,000 by 5:00 p.m. In cash. in a knapsack. Two back parachutes and two front parachutes. On landing, a fuel truck ready to refuel. No funny stuff or he added menacingly …”I’ll do the job.” She passed these instructions to the captain when she got back, the man was wearing dark sunglasses.

The plane landed at Seattle – Tacoma, re-fuelled and the passengers were disembarked as Dan Cooper had demanded.

Taking off, he informed the captain to head for “Mexico City,” with more specific flight instructions: Keep the plane under 10,000 feet, with wing flaps at fifteen degrees, which would put the plane’s speed under 200 knots. He strapped the loads of cash to himself and slipped on two chutes—one in front.

Four United States Air Force F-106 jet fighters tracked the airliner.

Retreating to the rear of the plane he lowered the flight steps and stepped out into the roar of the engines, the night and our over the Cascades.

In late 1978, a placard, which contained instructions on how to lower the aft stairs of a 727, believed to be from the rear stairway of the plane from which Cooper jumped, was found just a few flying minutes north of Cooper’s projected drop zone.

Aside from that placard and the later discovery in February 1980 by 14-year-old Brian Ingram, of US$5,800 by the Columbia River in Vancouver nothing concrete has been discovered about Dan Cooper (The jumper became known as D.B. Cooper after authorities questioned and then released a man named Daniel B. Cooper. That man was cleared, but the name stuck).

 

FBI sketches of Cooper, with age progression

FBI sketches of Cooper, with age progression

There have been books, TV shows, documentaries, and death-bed confessions even a film in 1981 The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper. Boeing also introduced a “Cooper” vane at the insistence of the FBI to prevent the rear steps being deployed in flight after several copycat attempts which all failed.

Nothing significant has surfaced.

 

On July 8, 2016, the FBI announced that it was suspending active investigation of the Cooper case, citing a need to focus its investigative resources and manpower on issues of higher and more urgent priority. Local field offices will continue to accept any legitimate physical evidence—related specifically to the parachutes or the ransom money—that may emerge in the future. The 60-volume case file compiled over the 45-year course of the investigation will be preserved for historical purposes at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Wikipedia – List of people who disappeared mysteriously

1972 – One of only eight 1933 pennies minted in Great Britain, was auctioned at Sotheby’s for £7,000. (no it wasn’t mine, but I live in hope!)

1974 – Donald Johanson and Tom Gray discover the 40% complete Australopithecus afarensis skeleton, nicknamed “Lucy” after The Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia’s Afar Depression.

Australopithecus afarensis skeleton Lucy

Australopithecus afarensis  Lucy

Australopithecus afarensis is an extinct hominid which lived between 3.9 and 2.9 million years ago. In common with the younger Australopithecus africanus, A. afarensis was slenderly built. From analysis it has been thought that A. afarensis was ancestral to both the genus Australopithecus and the genus Homo, which includes the modern human species, Homo sapiens.

1993 – In Liverpool, England, 11-year-olds Robert Thompson and Jon Venables are convicted of the murder of 2-year-old James Bulger.

2 year old James Bulger

2-year-old – James Bulger

James Patrick Bulger (16 March 1990 – 12 February 1993) was the victim of abduction and murder. His killers were two 10-year-old boys, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson.  The murder took place in Merseyside, England.

The murder of a child by two other children caused public shock, outrage and grief, and particularly so around Merseyside.

James disappeared from the New Strand Shopping Centre, where he had been with his mother Denise, on 12 February 1993 and his mutilated body was found on a railway line at Bootle on 14 February.  Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, then 10, were charged with James’s murder on 22 February 1993 and remanded in custody.

Robert Thompson and Jon Venables

Jon Venables (L) and Robert Thompson (R)

On 24 November 1993, the two boys, by then 11, were found guilty of murder at Preston Crown Court. The trial judge sentenced them to be detained at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, with a recommendation that they should be kept in custody for “very, very many years to come”. Shortly after the trial, Lord Taylor of Gosforth, the Lord Chief Justice, ordered that the two boys should serve a minimum of ten years, which would have made them eligible for release in February 2003 (they had been charged with James’s murder on 22 February 1993), when they would be 20.

The popular press felt the sentence was too lenient, and the editors of The Sun newspaper handed a petition bearing 300,000 signatures to Home Secretary Michael Howard, in a bid to increase the time spent by both boys in custody. This campaign was successful, and in 1995 Howard announced that the boys would be kept in custody for a minimum of 15 years, meaning that they would not be considered for release until February 2008, by which time they would be 25.

In 1997, the Court of Appeal ruled that Howard’s decision to set a 15-year tariff was unlawful, and the Home Secretary lost his power to set minimum terms for life-sentence prisoners under 18. The High Court and European Court of Human Rights have ruled that politicians can no longer decide how long a life sentence prisoner can remain behind bars.

Thompson and Venables were released on a life licence in June 2001, after serving eight years, when a parole hearing concluded that public safety would not be threatened by their rehabilitation. An injunction was imposed after the trial preventing the publication of details about the boys, for fear of reprisals. The injunction remained in force following their release, so their new identities and locations could not be published.

On 2 March 2010, the Ministry of Justice revealed that Jon Venables had been returned to prison for an unspecified violation of the terms of his licence of release. The Justice Secretary Jack Straw stated that Venables had been returned to prison because of “extremely serious allegations”, and stated that he was “unable to give further details of the reasons for Jon Venables’s return to custody, because it was not in the public interest to do so.”  On 7 March, Venables was returned to prison on suspected child pornography charges.

On 23 November 2017, (yesterday)  it was reported that Venables had again been recalled to prison for possession of child abuse imagery. The Ministry of Justice has  declined to comment on the reports.

Born on this Day

1815 – Grace Darling, – an English lighthouse keeper’s daughter from the Longstone Lighthouse, who rowed out to rescue survivors of the Forfarshire off and became a national heroine. She died of consumption, aged 26. The Grace Darling memorial is within St. Aidan’s churchyard, Bamburgh, Northumberland.

1868 – Scott Joplin, Ragtime Composer (d. 1917)

1888 – Dale Carnegie, the author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People”

1941 – Donald “Duck” Dunn, American musician (Booker T. and the M.G.’s)

1942 – Billy Connolly, Scottish comedian

1946 – Ted Bundy, American serial killer (d. 1989)

1955 – Ian Botham, England test cricketer

1957 – Denise Crosby, American actress – perhaps best known for her portrayal of Security Chief Tasha Yar on the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

1962 – John Squire, British guitarist (The Stone Roses)

1978 – Katherine Heigl, American actress – best known for her roles in Roswell, Grey’s Anatomy, Knocked Up and 27 Dresses.

Died on this Day and Remembered here

1991 – Freddie Mercury, Zanzibar-born singer (Queen) (b. 1946)

1991 – Eric Carr, American drummer (KISS) (b. 1950)

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Thought for the Day

One SONG can spark a moment;  One FLOWER can wake the dream;  One TREE can start a forest;  One Bird can herald spring.

One SMILE begins a friendship;  One HANDCLASP lifts the soul;  One STAR can guide a ship at sea;  One WORD can frame the goal.

One VOTE can change a nation;  One SUNBEAM lights a room;  One CANDLE wipes out darkness;  One LAUGH will conquer gloom.

One STEP must start each journey;  One WORD must start a prayer;  One HOPE will raise our spirits;  One TOUCH can show you care.

One VOICE can speak with wisdom;  One HEART can know what is true;  One LIFE can make a difference;  And all these things are YOU.

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And there we are.  We’ve come to the end of another lessons in the history of Edumacation.  I hope that some of the information stays there in your brain, and isn’t filtered out before you’ve come to the end of the sentence.  Well?  No … thought not.

May today bring you everything you may be hoping for, and may your weekend bring you joy, peace and love.

Wishing you a truly blessed rest of your day.

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The Friday Post

Hap-pee Friday!  Where has this week gone?  How very dare it rush past in a flash!  If it’s going to come and visit, then a week should surely hang around long enough for tea and cakes!  I’m coming to a conclusion that weeks have no manners what-so-ever.  The arrive, don’t wipe their feet, don’t take their coats off, and they leave without saying a word, don’t thank you for opening your home to them and don’t even say goodbye.  No … they just up and off, leaving us with yet another Friday.  How VERY dare it!

Anyhoo …  before I get into edumacationing you, I’ve learned some fun things this week and I thought you might like me to share them with you:

I’ve learnt:

  • Lions can get hair-balls the size of footballs.  Thankfully I don’t have to clean those off my carpet.
  • The letter Q was illegal in Turkey for 85 years.
  • Wherever a leaf is in the world, its internal temperature is always 21oC.
  • A popular way to cure impotence in the 14th century was to wear your trousers on your head for 24 hours.

You couldn’t make it up, could you?  LOL.

Right .. enough of this giggling.  Let’s get you into the classroom and start your expensive edumacation!

On This Day in History

1558 – Elizabethan era begins: Queen Mary I of England, – England’s first queen (also known as ‘Bloody Mary’), dies and is succeeded by her half-sister Elizabeth I of England. Elizabeth I  (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603) was Queen of England and Queen of Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death.  Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess,  Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty.  The daughter of Henry VIII, she was born a princess, but her mother, Anne Boleyn, was executed three years after her birth, and Elizabeth was declared illegitimate. Her brother, Edward VI, cut her out of the succession. His will, however, was set aside, and in 1558 Elizabeth succeeded her half-sister, the Catholic Mary, during whose reign she had been imprisoned for nearly a year on suspicion of supporting Protestant rebels.

1603 – English explorer, writer and courtier Sir Walter Raleigh goes on trial. Falsely accused of treason, he had been offered a large sum of money by Lord Cobham, a critic of England’s King James I, to make peace with the Spanish and put Arabella Stuart, James’s cousin, on the throne. Raleigh claimed he turned down the offer, but Lord Cobham told his accusers that Raleigh was involved in the plot. Sir Walter Raleigh or Ralegh (c. 1552 – 29 October 1618), was a famed English writer, poet, soldier, courtier and explorer.

Raleigh was born to a Protestant family in Devon, the son of Walter Raleigh and Catherine Champernowne. Little is known for certain of his early life, though he spent some time in Ireland, in Killua Castle, Clonmellon, County Westmeath, taking part in the suppression of rebellions and participating in two infamous massacres at Rathlin Island and Smerwick, later becoming a landlord of lands confiscated from the Irish. He rose rapidly in Queen Elizabeth I’s favour, being knighted in 1585, and was involved in the early English colonisation of the New World in Virginia under a royal patent. In 1591, he secretly married Elizabeth Throckmorton, one of the Queen’s ladies-in-waiting, without requesting the Queen’s permission, for which he and his wife were sent to the Tower of London. After his release, they retired to his estate at Sherborne, Dorset.

In 1594, Raleigh heard of a “City of Gold” in South America and sailed to find it, publishing an exaggerated account of his experiences in a book that contributed to the legend of El Dorado.  After Queen Elizabeth died in 1603, Raleigh was again imprisoned in the Tower, this time for allegedly being involved in the Main Plot against King James I who was not favourably disposed toward him.  In 1616, however, he was released in order to conduct a second expedition in search of El Dorado.  This was unsuccessful and the Spanish outpost at San Thomé was ransacked by men under his command.  After his return to England he was arrested and after a show trial held mainly to appease the Spanish, he was beheaded at Whitehall.

1800 – The United States Congress holds its first session in Washington, D.C.
1820 – Captain Nathaniel Palmer becomes the first American to see Antarctica (the Palmer Peninsula was later named after him).
1827 – The Delta Phi fraternity, America’s oldest continuous social fraternity, was founded at Union College in Schenectady, New York.
1855 – David Livingstone becomes the first European to see Victoria Falls in what is now present-day Zambia-Zimbabwe.
1869 – England’s James Moore won the first cycle road race, an 83 miles race from Paris to Rouen.
1880 – The first three women to graduate in Britain received their Bachelor of Arts degrees at London University.
1882 – The Royal Astronomer witnessed an unidentified flying object from the Greenwich Observatory. He described it as a circular object, glowing bright green.

1903 – The Russian Social Democratic Labor Party splits into two groups; the Bolsheviks (Russian for “majority”) and Mensheviks (Russian for “minority”).

1911 – The Omega Psi Phi fraternity, the first African-American fraternity at a historically black college or university, is founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

1922 – Britain elected its first Communist Member of Parliament, J T Walton-Newbold standing for Motherwell, Scotland. He eventually joined the Labour Party.

1945 – Britain’s H J Wilson of the RAF set a New world air speed record 606 mph.

1950 – Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, was enthroned as Tibet’s head of state at the age of fifteen. Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso (born Lhamo Döndrub is the 14th Dalai Lama. He is the head of the Tibetan government-in-exile based in Dharamshala, India. Tibetans traditionally believe him to be the reincarnation of his predecessors.

The Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama is a spiritual leader revered among Tibetans. The most influential figure of the Gelugpa or Yellow Hat Sect, he has considerable influence over the other sects of Tibetan Buddhism. The Chinese government, whose occupation of Tibet in 1959 forced him into exile, regards him as the symbol of an outmoded theocratic system.

Tenzin Gyatso was born fifth of 16 children to a farming family in the village of Taktser, Qinghai province, China. His first language was the regional Amdo dialect.

He was proclaimed the tulku or rebirth of the thirteenth Dalai Lama at the age of two. At the age of fifteen, on 17 November 1950, one month after the Chinese army’s invasion of Tibet, he was formally enthroned as Dalai Lama. He thus became the country’s most important spiritual leader and political ruler.

In 1959 the Dalai Lama fled through the mountains to India following a failed uprising and the effective collapse of the Tibetan resistance movement. He had at first, in 1951, ratified under military pressure a Seventeen Point Agreement to coexist alongside China. In India he set up a Tibetan government-in-exile. Among the 80,000 or so exiles that followed him Tenzin Gyatso strives to preserve traditional Tibetan education and culture.

A noted public speaker worldwide,Tenzin Gyatso is often described as charismatic. He is the first Dalai Lama to travel to the West, where he seeks to spread Buddhist teachings and to promote ethics and interfaith harmony. In 1989 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.. He was given honorary Canadian citizenship in 2006, and was awarded the United States Congressional Gold Medal on 17 October 2007.

1953 – The remaining human inhabitants of the Blasket Islands, Kerry, Ireland are evacuated to the mainland. The Blasket Islands (Na Blascaodaí in Irish – etymology uncertain: it may come from the Norse word “brasker”, meaning “a dangerous place”) are a group of islands off the west coast of Ireland, forming part of County Kerry.

Map

They were inhabited until 1953 by a completely Irish-speaking population. The inhabitants were evacuated to the mainland on 17 November 1953. Many of the descendants currently live in Springfield, Massachusetts and some former residents still live on the Dingle peninsula, within sight of their former home.

Ireland2

The islanders were the subject of much anthropological and linguistic study around the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries and, thanks partly to outside encouragement, a number of books were written by islanders that record much of the islands’ traditions and way of life. These include An tOileánach (The Islandman) by Tomás Ó Criomhthain, Peig by Peig Sayers and Fiche Blian ag Fás (Twenty Years A-Growing) by Muiris Ó Súilleabháin.

Cathedral Rocks at Blasket Islands

Cathedral Rocks at Blasket Islands

The Blasket Islands have been called Next Parish America, a term popular in the United States.

1955 – Anglesey became the first authority in Britain to introduce fluoride into the water supply.
1959 – Two Scottish airports, Prestwick and Renfrew, became the first to offer duty-free goods in Britain. London Heathrow followed soon after.

1964 – Britain said that it was banning all arms exports to South Africa.

1967 – Vietnam War: Acting on optimistic reports he was given on November 13, US President Lyndon B. Johnson tells his nation that, while much remained to be done, “We are inflicting greater losses than we’re taking…We are making progress.”
1968 – NBC outraged football fans by cutting away from the final minutes of a game to air a TV special, “Heidi,” on schedule. Viewers were deprived of seeing the Oakland Raiders come from behind to beat the New York Jets 43-32.
1969 – Cold War: Negotiators from the Soviet Union and the United States meet in Helsinki to begin SALT I negotiations aimed at limiting the number of strategic weapons on both sides.

1970 – Vietnam War: Lieutenant William Calley goes on trial for the My Lai massacre. William Laws Calley, Jr. (born June 8, 1943, in Miami, Florida) is a convicted American war criminal. He is the U.S. Army officer found guilty of ordering the My Lai Massacre on March 16, 1968, during the Vietnam War.

Of the 26 officers and soldiers initially charged for their part in the My Lai Massacre or the subsequent cover-up, only Calley would be convicted. He was seen by some as a scapegoat used by the U.S. Army for its failure to instill morale and discipline in its troops and officers. Others, knowing nothing about his education or background, sought to excuse his actions because of his allegedly low intelligence and cultural background. Many saw My Lai as a direct result of the military’s attrition strategy with its emphasis on “body counts” and “kill ratios.”

1970 – Luna program: The Soviet Union lands Lunokhod 1 on Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains) on the Moon. This is the first roving remote-controlled robot to land on another world and was released by the orbiting Luna 17 spacecraft.
1970 – Douglas Engelbart receives the patent for the first computer mouse.

1973 – Watergate scandal: In Orlando, Florida, US President Richard Nixon tells 400 Associated Press managing editors “I am not a crook”.

The Watergate scandals were a series of political scandals during the presidency of Richard Nixon that resulted in the indictment of several of Nixon’s closest advisors and ultimately his resignation on August 9, 1974.

The scandals began with the arrest of five men for breaking and entering into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Office complex in Washington, D.C. on June 17, 1972. Investigations conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and later by the Senate Watergate Committee, House Judiciary Committee and the press revealed that this burglary was one of many illegal activities authorized and carried out by Nixon’s staff and loyalists. They also revealed the immense scope of crimes and abuses, which included campaign fraud, political espionage and sabotage, illegal break-ins, improper tax audits, illegal wiretapping on a massive scale, and a secret slush fund laundered in Mexico to pay those who conducted these operations. This secret fund was also used as hush money to buy silence of the seven men who were indicted for the June 17 break-in.

Nixon and his staff conspired to cover up the break-in as early as six days after it occurred. After two years of mounting evidence against the President and his staff, which included former staff members testifying against them in a Senate investigation, it was revealed that Nixon had a tape recording system in his offices and that he had recorded many conversations. Recordings from these tapes revealed that he had obstructed justice and attempted to cover up the break-in. This recorded conversation later became known as the Smoking Gun. After a series of court battles, the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled in United States v. Nixon that the President had to hand over the tapes; he ultimately complied.

With certainty of an impeachment in the House of Representatives and of a conviction in the Senate, Nixon resigned ten days later, becoming the only US President to have resigned from office. His successor, Gerald Ford, would issue a controversial pardon for any federal crimes Nixon may have committed while in office.  Click here for the link to the New York Times story

1989 – Riot police arrest hundreds of people taking part in the biggest show of public dissent in Czechoslovakia for 20 years.
BBC News complete with Video footage of the news from that day

2000 – A catastrophic landslide in Log pod Mangartom, Slovenia, kills 7, and causes millions of SLT (Slovenian Tolar – the currency of Slovenia) of damage. It is one of the worst catastrophes in Slovenia in the past 100 years.
2003 – An ex-soldier who served in the Gulf War was found guilty of at least one of the Washington sniper killings in October the previous year.
BBC News story complete with Audio from the court room
2003 – Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger was sworn in as the 38th governor of California.
2004 – Kmart Corp. announced it was buying Sears, Roebuck and Co. for $11 billion USD and naming the newly merged company Sears Holdings Corporation.

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Born on this Day

1887 – Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, English soldier who was a painstaking planner, which contributed to his most successful battle in North Africa when he broke through Rommel’s lines during the Second World War. ‘Monty’ was also a superb communicator, which assured his popularity with his men.

1923 – Mike Garcia, American baseball player (d. 1986)

1925 – Rock Hudson, American actor (d. 1985)

1937 – Peter Cook, British comedian (d. 1995)

1934 – Fenella Fielding, English actress

1942 – Martin Scorsese, American film director

1943 – Lauren Hutton, American actress

1944 – Danny DeVito, American actor

1951 – Dean Paul Martin, American singer and actor (d. 1987)

1960 – Jonathan Ross, British presenter

1960 – RuPaul, American drag entertainer

1980 – Isaac Hanson, American musician (Hanson)

1981 – Sarah Harding, English singer (Girls Aloud)

 

Thought for the Day

Isn’t it funny (?) how people go searching for happiness, travelling the world, or buying things that they feel will make them happy . . . and yet  . . . their happiness is there all the time.  They just have to sit for a moment and go inside themselves and look at what they have.

Try it.  When you are done reading this, close your eyes and sit quite still for a moment and ‘see’ all the people you love surrounding you.  See all the blessings you have in your life:

  • The place where you live
  • Your family and friends
  • Your pet(s)
  • Your job
  • Your television;  your computer;  your kitchen equipment which enables you to make a drink and cook food to eat.

Think about these things and more.  And then … imagine that someone or something suddenly takes it all away from you.  Everything – gone.  Forever.  Washed away by some sort of hurricane.

How would you feel?  What would the feeling be like to be totally all alone in the world with no one who know you.  No one who YOU know.  No one to talk with except strangers in the street who don’t know you and who are rushing past you every day, without giving you a thought or care.

Now imagine that I come in and one by one, I give everything and everyone back to you.  One by one, the people you love and who love you, walk in through a door and back into your life.

Bit by bit I give you back your home, your kitchen equipment, your clothes … everything.  All those things that you take for granted, every day in your life.

Your family, friends, pets, your car …  everything.  All suddenly back.  Just when you thought you wouldn’t ever see them ever again …  there they are.

Can you get an idea of how that would feel?

Now …  why are you looking for happiness in things that you don’t have …  when your happiness is right there all the time.

Stop searching for your happiness.  You already have it.  All you have to do is ‘see’ it.  Recognise it.  It’s all around you.  Right there.  Right now!

Wishing you a great, and thoroughly blessed day.

Have a wonderful weekend.  Sending you squidges and love ~

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The Friday Post ~ 10th November 2017

Hello and a very Happy Friday to you where ever you are!  Well Autumn arrived here and before it had chance to draw breath, it would seem that Winter is trying to push it out-of-the-way and get settled in.  It’s very cold here.  I went shopping today and was dithering inside the shop.  I even asked the lady on the till if they’d had something go wrong with their heating system. She said no, and told me that she too was freezing cold.  It was good to know … it confirmed that it wasn’t me having a ‘moment’.  😉

Anyhoo … you haven’t come to hear about the weather in the UK, you’ve come to gain that expensive edumacation that your parents pay for …  oh, wait!  No … I forgot to send the invoices out.  You’re getting this for free.  Darn and Dash it!  I need someone to take care of the books.  Application forms are available from my secretary.  Please apply asap.

On This Day in History

1619 – René Descartes has the dreams that inspire his Meditations on First Philosophy. Meditations on First Philosophy (subtitled ‘In which the existence of God and the immortality of the soul are demonstrated’) is a philosophical treatise written by René Descartes first published in Latin in 1641.

1775 – The United States Marine Corps was founded.

1847 – The passenger ship Stephen Whitney is wrecked in thick fog off the southern coast of Ireland, killing 92 of the 110 on board. The disaster results in the construction the Fastnet Rock lighthouse.

Fastnet Rock (Irish: An Charraig Aonair, meaning Rock of Solitude or Lonesome Rock) is a small clay-slate island with quartz veins and the most southerly point of Ireland, 6.5 km southwest of Cape Clear Island (Oileán Chléire) in County Cork, which is itself 13 km (8 miles) from the mainland.  It lies in the Atlantic Ocean 11.3 km south of mainland County Cork, at latitude 51.37°N.  It rises to about 30 m above low water mark. Study of the documentary record suggests that the name is from Old Norse Hvastann-ey  ‘sharp tooth island’.

Fastnet Rock lighthouse

Fastnet Rock Lighthouse

Divided into Fastnet Rock proper and the much smaller Little Fastnet to the south by a 10 m (30 ft) wide channel, it also had the nickname ‘Ireland’s Teardrop’  as it was the last part of the country seen by Irish emigrants to the United States in the 19th century as they sailed past it.

1865 – Major Henry Wirz, the superintendent of a prison camp in Andersonville, Georgia, is hanged, becoming the only American Civil War soldier executed for war crimes.
1871 – Henry Morton Stanley locates missing explorer and missionary, Dr. David Livingstone in Ujiji, near Lake Tanganyika saying those well-known, world famous words; “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”

1918 – The Western Union Cable Office in North Sydney, NS received a top-secret coded message from Europe (that would be sent to Ottawa, ON and Washington, DC) that said on November 11, 1918 all fighting would cease on land, sea and in the air, which marked the end of the First World War on the Western Front.

1924 – Dion O’Banion, leader of the North Side Gang is assassinated in his flower shop by members of Johnny Torrio’s gang, sparking the bloody gang war of the 1920s in Chicago. Charles Dean O’Banion (8 July 1892 – 10 November 1924) was an Irish-American mobster who was the main rival of Johnny Torrio and Al Capone during the brutal Chicago bootlegging wars of the 1920s. O’Banion never went by “Dion”.

1

With the advent of Prohibition in 1920, O’Banion started a bootlegging operation. He made arrangements for beer suppliers in Canada to start shipments immediately, and also struck deals with whiskey and gin distributors. O’Banion pioneered Chicago’s first liquor hijacking on December 19, 1921. He and the “lads of Kilgubbin” quickly eliminated all their competition. The O’Banion mob, known as the North Side Gang, now ruled the North Side and the Gold Coast, the wealthy area of Chicago situated on the northern lakefront. As O’Banion’s name grew in the underworld, he attracted more followers, including Samuel “Nails” Morton, Louis “Three Gun” Alterie, and “Handsome” Dan McCarthy.

At the height of his power, O’Banion was supposedly making about $1 million a year on booze. During one famous caper, O’Banion and his men stole over $100,000 worth of Canadian whiskey from the West Side railroad yards. In another famous robbery, O’Banion looted the padlocked Sibly Distillery and walked off with 1,750 barrels of bonded whiskey.
2

In 1921, O’Banion married Viola Kaniff and bought an interest in William Schofield’s Flower Shop on North State Street. He needed a legitimate front for his criminal operations; in addition, he was fond of flowers and was an excellent arranger. Schofield’s became the florist of choice for mob funerals. Schofield’s happened to be across the street from Holy Name Cathedral, where he and Weiss attended Mass. The rooms above Schofield’s were used as the headquarters for the North Side Gang.

3

In May, 1924, O’Banion learned that the police were planning to raid the brewery on a particular night. Before the raid, O’Banion approached Torrio and told him he wanted to sell his share in the brewery, claiming that the Gennas scared him and he wanted to leave the rackets. Torrio agreed to buy O’Banion’s share and gave him half a million dollars. On the night of O’Banion’s last shipment, the police swept into the brewery. O’Banion, Torrio, and numerous South Side gangsters were arrested. O’Banion got off easily because, unlike Torrio, he had no previous prohibition related arrests. Torrio had to bail out himself and six associates, plus face later court charges with the possibility of jail time. O’Banion also refused to return the money Torrio had given him in the deal.

Torrio soon realized he had been double-crossed. He had lost the brewery and $500,000 in cash, been indicted, and been humiliated. Following this incident, Torrio finally agreed to the Gennas’ demand to kill O’Banion.

Heretofore, Mike Merlo and the Unione Siciliane had refused to sanction a hit on O’Banion. However, Merlo had terminal cancer and died on November 8, 1924. With Merlo gone, the Gennas and South Siders were free to move on O’Banion.

4

Using the Merlo funeral as a cover story, over the next few days the Unione national director from New York City, Frankie Yale, and other gangsters visited Schofield’s, O’Banion’s flower shop, to discuss floral arrangements. However, the real purpose of these visits was to memorize the store layout for the hit on O’Banion.

5

On the morning of November 10, 1924, O’Banion was clipping chrysanthemums in Schofield’s back room. Yale entered the shop with Torrio/Capone gunmen John Scalise and Albert Anselmi. When O’Banion attempted to greet Yale with a handshake, Yale clasped O’Banion’s hand in a death grip. At the same time, Scalise and Anselmi fired two bullets into O’Banion’s chest, two in his cheeks, and two in his throat. Dean O’Banion died instantly.

6

Since O’Banion was a major crime figure, the Catholic Church denied him burial on consecrated ground; however, the Lord’s Prayer and three Hail Mary’s were recited in his honor by a priest O’Banion had known from his youth. Despite this restriction, O’Banion received a lavish funeral, much larger than the Merlo funeral the day before. O’Banion was buried in Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois. Due to the opposition from church officials, O’Banion was originally interred in unconsecrated ground. However, his family was eventually allowed to re-bury him on consecrated ground elsewhere in the cemetery.

The O’Banion killing would spark a brutal five-year gang war between the North Side Gang and the Chicago Outfit that culminated in the killing of seven North Side gang members in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929.

1938 – Kate Smith first sang Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” on network radio.

1940 – Walt Disney begins serving as an informer for the Los Angeles office of the FBI; his job is to report back information on Hollywood subversives.
1942 – British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, discussing the recent British Commonwealth victory over Rommel at El Alamein, Egypt, said “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

1951 – Direct-dial coast-to-coast telephone service begins in the United States.
1958 – The Hope Diamond was donated to the Smithsonian Institution by New York diamond merchant Harry Winston.

1969 – National Educational Television (the predecessor to the Public Broadcasting Service) in the United States debuts the children’s television program Sesame Street.

1970 – Vietnam War: Vietnamization – For the first time in five years, an entire week ends with no reports of American combat fatalities in Southeast Asia.
1972 – Southern Airways Flight 49 from Birmingham, Alabama is hijacked and, at one point, is threatened with crashing into the nuclear installation at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After two days, the plane lands in Havana, Cuba, where the hijackers are jailed by Fidel Castro.

1995 – In Nigeria, playwright and environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa along with eight others from the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (Mosop) are hanged by government forces.
BBC News complete with Video Footage
1997 – WorldCom and MCI Communications announce a $37 billion merger (the largest merger in US history at the time). MCI, Inc. is an American telecommunications company that is headquartered in Ashburn, Virginia.
1997 – British au pair freed after appeal. British au pair Louise Woodward was freed from jail in the United States after her conviction for murdering a baby was reduced to manslaughter.
BBC New complete with video footage

Born on this Day

1683 – George II of Great Britain (d. 1760)

1728 – Oliver Goldsmith, English playwright (d. 1774)

1925 – Richard Burton, Welsh actor (d. 1984)

1932 – Roy Scheider, American actor (d. 2008) best known for his role as police chief Martin Brody in the 1975 blockbuster Jaws

1940 – Screaming Lord Sutch, English musician and politician (d. 1999) was famed for founding the Official Monster Raving Loony Party. Despite his seemingly light-hearted antics, Screaming Lord Sutch in reality suffered from periods of depression and committed suicide by hanging on June 16, 1999, following the death of his mother the previous year.

1944 – Sir Tim Rice, English lyricist

1956 – Sinbad, American actor

1963 – Hugh Bonneville, English actor

Poppy

 

Thought for the Day

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month – in 1918, the Guns fell silent across the Western Front.  99 years ago, tomorrow, at precisely 11am, on the 11th of November 1918, ended what was then called the “War to end all Wars.”.

During the four months to November 1918 Allied troops launched a sequence of successful offensives against the Germans, forcing them to retreat and surrender.

In a railway carriage in France’s Compiegne Forest, during the early hours of November 11, 1918, an armistice was signed and six hours later the ‘War to end all Wars’ was finally over.

The statistics of the war, which lasted from 1914 to 1918 and surpassed all previous wars in the enormity of its destruction, are mind-boggling:  65 million men mobilized by the Central Powers  (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey) and the Allied Powers (Britain, France, Belgium, Russia, Italy and the United States).

An estimated 10 million killed and 20 million wounded on the battlefield.

It was, as I’ve said, the war to end all wars,  and, of course, it did nothing of the kind.

Our World is still ‘at war’.  As we sit here, right now, reading this, there are guns being fired, families living in fear,  men and women being put into unenviable positions of trying to stay alive, and men and women losing their lives, in a war, somewhere in this World of ours.

Will there ever be an end to war?   I would love to think so.  But in reality, I fear there won’t.  For we don’t seem to know at what point we should stand up to evil.

How can you distinguish good and evil from nationalistic ranting and posturing?  Those questions and all the associated questions remain with us.    All are unresolved and perhaps will never be resolved.

Did  The Great War  teach us nothing?  Does it not now stand as a great warning?  In the days of mass terrorism and nuclear proliferation, shouldn’t the Great War,  and all wars since, be a reminder of what can happen when two causes collide, each armed with technologies of mass destruction and each driven by a blind faith in its own righteousness?

Until we understand fully that violence begets violence and move beyond justifying war, beyond nationalism, beyond belief of what we ‘think’ may be, beyond blind belief of ‘jingoism’ and the self-righteousness of ‘my faith is the only right path’, until we learn to treat all, even the stranger, as a brother and sister, as someone we are related to,  we will not stop war.  We HAVE to believe it’s possible;  and we have to work, tirelessly, to prevent the seeds of war from flourishing.

Will the 21st Century be the century in which we finally choose between human and ecological suicide and peace?  I hope so, for all our sakes.  For what would happen, if another country, practising another faith and another way of life, invaded our own country demanding that we do things their way, and killing anyone who disagreed?

Today, I am wearing my Poppy with the greatest degree of pride that is possible.  I wear it to show that I remember all those men and women who have lost their lives in the name of war.  I wear it to say  ‘thank you’  to them, in the only way I know how.

I wear it, and each time I touch it, or look down at it, I am aware of the lump in my throat, signalling the holding back of tears which spring all too readily to my eyes, for the loss of not one, not one hundred, not one thousand … but thousands upon thousands of people who didn’t choose to die.  But did.

Tomorrow (11th day of the 11th month) is not only a chance to remember those brave men and women who were victims of conflict past,  but also victims of current wars.

I have chosen to place a song here which is normally associated with Great Britain, but I feel that now, more than ever, a strong bond holds us all together, and I feel that the true meaning of the song can be shared by us all.

 

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

To those who gave everything so that we may be
free to live in peace.

We shall remember them.

Poppy

 

Thank you so much for visiting and having a coffee moment or two with me.  I so enjoy your company.

May your day be peaceful, bright and calm.  May joy reach you and love find you.  And, where ever you go  …  may your God go with you.

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The Friday Post ~ 3rd November 2017

There are 51 Days (plus a few hours) till Christmas Day!
but hey – who’s counting?

Pin back your lugholes, for here is your first round of Edumacation for November!

On this Day in History

1783 – John Austin, a highwayman, is the last to be publicly hanged at London’s Tyburn gallows.

1911 – Chevrolet officially enters the automobile market in competition with the Ford Model T.
1913 – The United States introduces an income tax.

1936 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt was re-elected in a landslide over Republican Alfred M. ”Alf” Landon.
The New York Times front page News

1941 – English broadcaster Roy Plomley conceived the idea for ‘Desert Island Discs’. The programme was first broadcast on BBC Radio in January 1942.

1957 – Sputnik program: The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 2. On board is the first animal to enter orbit: a dog named Laika.
BBC News Report

1964 – Washington D.C. residents are able to vote in a presidential election for the first time.
1964 – Lyndon B Johnson, who took over after President Kennedy’s assassination, won the White House race
BBC News Report complete with Video Footage
1969 – Vietnam War: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon addresses the nation on television and radio, asking the “silent majority” to join him in solidarity on the Vietnam War effort and to support his policies.

1973 – Mariner program: NASA launches the Mariner 10 toward Mercury, on March 29, 1974, becoming the first space probe to reach that planet.
1975 – Queen Elizabeth II opened the North Sea pipeline – the first to be built underwater – bringing ashore 400,000 barrels a day to Grangemouth Refinery on the Firth of Forth in Scotland.
BBC News Report
1976 – In Great Britain, the first £100,000 Premium Bond was won, by an anonymous person in Hillingdon.

1985 – Two French agents in New Zealand pleaded guilty to sinking the Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior and to the manslaughter of a photographer on board. They were sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment.
BBC News Report 

1986 – Iran-Contra Affair: The Lebanese magazine Ash-Shiraa reports that the United States has been selling weapons to Iran in secret in order to secure the release of seven American hostages held by pro-Iranian groups in Lebanon.

1992 – Democrat Bill Clinton was elected the 42nd president of the United States, defeating President George H.W. Bush.

1994 – Susan Smith, born in Union,  South Carolina, USA,  was arrested for drowning her two young sons, nine days after claiming the children had been “abducted by a black man”. (Smith is serving life in prison.)

The case gained international attention shortly after it developed, due to her false claim that a black man had carjacked her maroon Mazda Protegé and kidnapped her sons. Her defense attorneys, David Bruck and Judy Clarke, called expert witnesses to testify that she suffered from mental health issues that impaired her judgment when she committed the crimes.

According to the South Carolina Department of Corrections, Smith will be eligible for parole on November 4, 2024, after serving a minimum of 30 years.

2004 – George W Bush was elected president of the United States for the second time, beating his Democratic rival by a comfortable margin.

2014 – One World Trade Center officially opens.


Born on this Day

1903 – Walker Evans, the American photographer best known for his portrayal of America during the Great Depression

1921 – Charles Bronson, American actor (d. 2003)

1933 – John Barry, English composer – best known for composing 11 James Bond movies and was hugely influential on the 007 series’ distinctive style.

1933 – Jeremy Brett, English actor (d. 1995) – famous, among other things, for his portrayal of the detective Sherlock Holmes in four British television series: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.

1933 – Michael Dukakis, American politician

1948 – Lulu, British actress and singer

1949 – Anna Wintour, English-American journalist

1952 – Roseanne Barr, American actress and comedian

1953 – Kate Capshaw, American actress known for her role as Willie Scott in the film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and for her marriage to director Steven Spielberg (who directed the film).

1954 – Adam Ant, English singer

1963 – Ian Wright, English footballer, manager, and sportscaster

1973 – Ben Fogle, English television host and author

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Thought for the Day

You are innocent until proven Awesome.

Be Awesome today.  You never know, you might like it so much that you want to do it the next day ….  and the next day …  and the next.  Until, eventually, you don’t realise it, but you are plain and simply just AWESOME!

I think, if I’m not mistaken, that was the whole idea.

He made an awesome thing …  WE were meant to continue with the work!

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So then  … November arrived like a quiet little mouse who found a place to sneak in while we weren’t looking!  Although…  the end of October (Halloween) was entirely the opposite!  Halloween saw me dressed all in black, with a witches hat on, and my face made up as a Witches Cat!

Not a scary cat, you understand.  A cat with a tear drop shaped black nose,  with three black whiskers on either side of my nose …  and two black ears drawn above my eyebrows.  All drawn on my face with a black Kohl eye pencil.  To finish it all off …  I put black eyeliner along my upper eye lashes, and finished them with a flick to make them look more cat-like, and added pinky nude lipstick on my lips.

I’d obviously done a goodish job with the make up because when Little Cobs arrived for Halloween Tea and fun …. he touched my face gently and asked: “Who did your make up Grammy?” – with a touch of wonderment in his voice.

We had TONS of little halloweeners.  Ranging from monsters, aliens and one Frankensteins Monster, all the way to a top to toe costume of a furry, fluffy fox, a princess, a ballerina and the one which gave me the biggest ‘awwwww’ of the evening …  a little one of about 10 months old, dressed up as a butterfly, complete with wings …. being carried by his Daddy.  While I cooed over the baby, Daddy cooed over our front door, filled with so much admiration that I thought he was going to produce a screwdriver from his pocket and take the door with him!  lol.

Little Cobs had a ball of a time meeting and greeting all the weird and wonderful costumed children.  The only one which scared him was the Alien.  But then … it scared me too, so I can fully understand why he jumped stood behind me, peeping around my waist and hanging on so tightly to my trousers I thought at one point he was going to pull them down.  EEEK!!

Here in the UK we now have Guy Fawkes Night almost upon us (or ‘Bonfire Night’ as the children call it) – it’s on the 5th of November every year.

It’s a night of Bonfires up and down the land, and fireworks.  Now Bonfires I can cope with.   But fireworks scare me silly  …  and they scare my animals and all the animals everywhere.  Horrible – legal – explosives.  I would rather see these vile things allowed only at proper organised events, which have responsible, fully trained staff.  Having them available to buy from a variety of stores and shops just leads to the possibility of a child or youth getting their hands on them and causing a situation which could be life changing or even fatal.

Aw … I sound exactly like a Bah Humbug kind of person, and I’m really not.  I just think those things are way too dangerous to be so easily, publicly available.

Anyhoo

Like any great school, I like to give you a little fun at the end of your lessons, and today is no different.  The video I give to you now is just 2 minutes and 25 seconds long.  But … it will have you stumped.  I promise that there’s nothing scary going to suddenly happen (you should know me better by now to KNOW for sure that I wouldn’t give you any video which will scare the wotsit out of you) … but it will astound you and have you wondering:  “How the heck did he do that?”.  Watch, play along and have some fun.

Till we meet again, may the weather be kind, and life treat you nicely.

Sending love, and squidges. Oh .. and …  Remember to be AWESOME!

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The Friday Post ~ 27th October 2017

HAAA PEE FRI-Daaaay!

Now if that didn’t wake you up, nothing will! 

As we bring another week to a close, I’ve come to educationamalise you with some useless  useful information that you can impress your friends with.  If you can come out with three of the things you are about to learn, I think you’ll definitely go up in their estimation and they’ll think you’re really Edumacationed.  Perfick.

So … shall we crack on?  Ready?  Fasten your seat-belts, we’re going in!

Friday Edumacation

On this Day in History

312 – Constantine the Great is said to have received his famous Vision of the Cross. Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus, commonly known as Constantine I, Constantine the Great, or Saint Constantine was Roman Emperor from 306, and the undisputed holder of that office from 324 to his death. Best known for being the first Christian Roman Emperor, Constantine reversed the persecutions of his predecessor, Diocletian, and issued (with his co-emperor Licinius) the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed religious toleration throughout the empire.

On the evening of October 27, with the armies preparing for battle, Constantine had a vision which lead him to fight under the protection of the Christian God. The details of that vision, however, differ between the sources reporting it. It is believed that the sign of the cross appeared and Constantine heard “In this sign, you shall conquer” in Greek.

Lactantius (an early Christian author) states that, in the night before the battle, Constantine was commanded in a dream to “delineate the heavenly sign on the shields of his soldiers”. He obeyed and marked the shields with a sign “denoting Christ”.  Lactantius describes that sign as a “staurogram”, or a Latin cross with its upper end rounded in a P-like fashion.

1662 – Charles II of England sold the coastal town of Dunkirk to King Louis XIV of France.

1880 – Theodore Roosevelt married Alice Lee.

1904 – The first underground New York City Subway line opens; the system becomes the biggest in United States, and one of the biggest in world.

1936 – Mrs Wallis Simpson filed for divorce from her second husband Ernest, which would eventually allow her to marry King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, thus forcing his abdication from the throne.
1938 – Du Pont announced a name for its new synthetic yarn: nylon.

1952 – The BBC screened part one of the 26 part series ‘Victory At Sea’, Britain’s first TV documentary.
1954 – Benjamin O. Davis Jr. becomes the first African-American general in the United States Air Force.
1958 – First transmission of the BBC children’s television programme Blue Peter.

1962 – Major Rudolph Anderson of the United States Air Force became the only direct human casualty of the Cuban Missile Crisis when his U-2 reconnaissance airplane was shot down in Cuba by a Soviet-supplied SA-2 Guideline surface-to-air missile.

1964 – Ronald Reagan delivers a speech on behalf of Republican candidate for president, Barry Goldwater. The speech launched his political career and came to be known as “A Time for Choosing”.

A Time for Choosing, also known as “The Speech,” was presented on a number of speaking occasions during the 1964 U.S. presidential election campaign by future-president Ronald Reagan on behalf of Republican candidate Barry Goldwater.
Many versions of the speech exist, as it was altered during many stops, but two are best known:

• 1964 Republican National Convention – San Francisco, California – Given as a nomination speech for Goldwater.

• As part of a pre-recorded television program titled “Rendezvous with Destiny”, broadcast on October 27, 1964.

Following the speech, Ronald Reagan was asked to run for governor of California. To this day, this speech is considered one of the most effective ever made on behalf of a candidate. Reagan was later called the “great communicator” in recognition of his effective communication skills.

1967 – Britain passed the Abortion Act, allowing abortions to be performed legally for medical reasons. The Abortion Act 1967 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom to regulate abortion by registered practitioners, and the free provision of such medical practices through the National Health Service (NHS).

It was introduced by David Steel as a Private Member’s Bill, but was backed by the government, and after a heated debate and a free vote passed on 27 October 1967, coming into effect on 27 April 1968.

The act made abortion legal in the UK up to 28 weeks gestation. In 1990, the law was amended by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act: abortion became legal only up to 24 weeks except in cases where it was necessary to save the life of the woman, there was evidence of extreme fetal abnormality, or there was a grave risk of physical or mental injury to the woman.

As of 2005, abortions after 24 weeks were extremely rare, fewer than 200 a year, accounting for 0.1% of all abortions.  There are continual pushes to reduce this time limit greatly, but so far, no changes have been made.

The act does not extend to Northern Ireland. Abortion is illegal there unless the doctor acts “only to save the life of the mother”. The situation is the same as it was in England before the introduction of the Abortion Act. The Offences Against the Person Act 1861 and the Criminal Justice Act remain in full force.

1968 – In Great Britain, Police clashed with anti-war protesters as trouble flared in Grosvenor Square, London, after an estimated 6,000 marchers faced up to police outside the United States Embassy.
BBC News Report on the Day complete with Timeline of Events

1986 – The United Kingdom Government suddenly deregulates financial markets, leading to a total restructuring of the way in which they operate in the country, in an event now referred to as the Big Bang.

1992 – United States Navy radio man Allen R. Schindler, Jr. is brutally murdered by shipmates for being gay, precipitating first military, then national debate about gays in the military that resulted in the United States “Don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy.
1997 –  The 1997 mini-crash: Stock markets around the world crash because of fears of a global economic meltdown. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummets 554.26 points to 7,161.15. For the first time, the New York Stock Exchange activated their “circuit breakers” twice during the day eventually making the controversial move of closing the Exchange early.

Born on this Day

1782 – Niccolò Paganini, Italian violinist and composer (d. 1840)

1728 – Captain James Cook, English naval officer and one of the greatest navigators in history. His voyages in the Endeavour led to the European discovery of Australia, New Zealand and the Hawaiian Islands. Thanks to Cook’s understanding of diet, no member of the crew ever died of scurvy, the great killer on other voyages.

1811 – Isaac Singer, American inventor (d. 1875) made important improvements in the design of the sewing machine and was the founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Company.

1854 – Sir William Smith, Scottish founder of the Boys’ Brigade (d. 1914)

1858 – Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1919)

1873 – Emily Post, American etiquette author (d. 1960)

1896 – Edith Brown, survivor of the Titanic (d. 1997)

1914 – Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet (d. 1953)

1939 – John Cleese, British actor and writer

1951 – K.K. Downing, English guitarist (Judas Priest)

1953 – Peter Firth, British actor

1957 – Glenn Hoddle, English footballer

1958 – Simon Le Bon, English singer (Duran Duran)

1978 – Vanessa-Mae, Singapore musician

1984 – Kelly Osbourne, English television personality and daughter of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne.

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Thought for the Day

Attitude.  The longer I live the more I realise the impact of attitude on life.

Attitude to me, is more important than facts.  More important than the past, education, money, circumstances, failure, success, that what other people think, or say, or do.

It’s more important than appearance,  giftedness or skill.  It will make or break a hobby;   a business;  a friendship;  a relationship;  a love;  a marriage;  a Church;  a home;  a nation.

The remarkable thing is that we have a choice, every day, regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.  We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way and sometimes the way they act is inappropriate.

We cannot change the inevitable – nothing I can do will stop the hands of time from turning my hair grey;  my body ageing;  a wrinkle appearing on my face;  getting older and developing the aches and pains that come with age …  but just because I have a pain, doesn’t mean I have to BE a pain!

We cannot change the fact that bad things will happen to good people.  A great deal of life happenings are beyond our control.

The one thing we can do though, is play on the one string we have … and that, is our attitude.

I’m convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it.  And so it is with you.  We are each in charge of our own attitude.

What attitude are you going to choose today?  And …  when you’ve chosen it,  remember – people will react to your attitude – so if they react badly, maybe it isn’t down to them, but down to you and your attitude.

Remember this, and if you find yourself continually getting what you don’t want . . .  maybe you need to change your attitude towards people, and towards your life in general.

If you keep doing what you’re doing – you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.​

PLAYTIME!!!

No edumacation facility is worth its weight unless it gives it’s pupils something to play with,  so …. here it comes:

Want to make a glass of water freeze instantly on command? What is this supernatural power and who can use it? Discover the secrets to Ice-bending … in real life.  Watch the video in the following link.  It will teach you all you want to know, and then you’ll REALLY be able to amaze friends and family, and they’ll all wonder how on earth you did it! (link will open in a new window for you):   My Science Academy

coffee cupI learnt this week that Potatoes have two more chromosomes than people, the same as gorillas!  And … that Rice has almost twice as many genes as human beings!  Not sure how this fit’s into the lives of people I know but there is a relative I would perhaps call a couch potato.  But … now I’m wondering if I’m paying them a compliment! LOL. 

Did you learn anything new this week?  Do share … you can edumacate me then!

I hope you have a truly fabulous Friday, and a remarkable weekend. 

Sending squidges ~

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The Friday Post – 20th October 2017

Hello!  😀  Happy Friday! 

Another week has gone by and we’re still here, so let us give thanks for that blessing.  Time does crack on, but the older I get the faster it flashes past.  Why is that?  I keep asking and no one seems to have the definitive answer.  I’m pretty sure that my days are now a third less long than they used to be.

Well now … let’s have some happy news shall we?  As of today we officially have  66 days to Christmas.  Yup, it scared me too.  I’m going to go Christmas shopping next week and see if I can get ahead of the game.  It will be the first time ever if I do.  lol.  But I seek to improve myself.

So anyhoo …  you haven’t come here to listen to my chin wagging, you’ve come for your weekly dose of Edumacation.  So pencils at the ready.  Crayons are no longer allowed since  the blue crayon eating incident,  – so pencils it is.  Let’s dive straight in shall we?

Edumacation

On this Day in History

1714 – In Great Britain – The Coronation of King George I.  During George’s reign, the powers of the monarchy diminished and Britain began a transition to the modern system of cabinet government led by a prime minister. Towards the end of his reign, actual political power was held by Robert Walpole, now recognised as Britain’s first de facto prime minister. George died of a stroke on a trip to his native Hanover, where he was buried.

1818 – The 49th Parallel was established by the USA and Britain as the official boundary between Canada and the United States of America.
1822 – In Great Britain, the first edition of the Sunday Times newspaper.

1910 – The hull of the RMS Olympic, sister-ship to the ill-fated RMS Titanic, is launched from the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland. RMS Olympic was the lead ship of the Olympic class ocean liners built for the White Star Line, which also included Titanic and Britannic. Unlike her sisters, Olympic served a long and illustrious career (1911 to 1935), becoming known as “Old Reliable.”

1944 – Liquid natural gas leaks from storage tanks in Cleveland, then explodes; the explosion and resulting fire level 30 blocks and kill 130.
1944 – General Douglas MacArthur fulfills his promise to return to the Philippines when he commands an Allied assault on the islands, reclaiming them from the Japanese during the Second World War.
1946 – ‘Muffin the Mule’, a wooden puppet operated by Annette Mills (sister of actor Sir John Mills) first appeared in a children’s television programme on BBC TV.

Muffin the Mule with Annette Mills (sister of actor Sir John Mills.)

1955 – Publication of The Return of the King, being the last part of The Lord of the Rings. The Lord of the Rings is an epic high fantasy novel written by the English philologist J. R. R. Tolkien.

The story began as a sequel to Tolkien’s earlier, less complex children’s fantasy novel The Hobbit (1937), but eventually developed into a much larger work. It was written in stages between 1937 and 1949, much of it during World War II.

Although intended as a single-volume work, it was originally published in three volumes in 1954 and 1955, due to post-war paper shortages, and it is in this three-volume form that it is popularly known. It has since been reprinted numerous times and translated into many different languages, becoming one of the most popular and influential works in 20th-century literature.

1959 – Women’s colleges at Oxford University were given equal rights to those of the men’s.

1960 – In Great Britain – D.H Lawrence’s controversial novel ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ put Penguin Books in the dock at the Old Bailey, London. They were accused of publishing obscene material but were eventually found not guilty.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover at Wikipedia

1967: Thousands join anti-war movement. Demonstrators in Oakland, California, hold the biggest protest yet against the Vietnam War.
BBC News on the Day
1968 – Former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy marries Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis.

1973 – The Saturday Night Massacre: President Nixon fires Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus after they refuse to fire Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox, who is finally fired by Robert Bork.

The “Saturday Night Massacre” was the term given by political commentators to U.S. President Richard Nixon’s executive dismissal of independent special prosecutor Archibald Cox, and the resignations of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus during the Watergate scandal on October 20, 1973.

Richardson appointed Cox in May of that year, after having given assurances to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he would appoint an independent counsel to investigate the events surrounding the Watergate break-in of June 17, 1972. Cox subsequently issued a subpoena to President Nixon, asking for copies of taped conversations recorded in the Oval Office and authorized by Nixon as evidence. The president initially refused to comply with the subpoena, but on October 19, 1973, he offered what was later known as the Stennis Compromise—asking U.S. Senator John C. Stennis to review and summarize the tapes for the special prosecutor’s office.

Cox refused the compromise that same evening, and it was believed that there would be a short rest in the legal maneuvering while government offices were closed for the weekend. However, President Nixon acted to dismiss Cox from his office the next night – a Saturday. He contacted Attorney General Richardson and ordered him to fire the special prosecutor. Richardson refused, and instead resigned in protest. Nixon then ordered Deputy Attorney General Ruckelshaus to fire Cox; he also refused and resigned in protest.

Nixon then contacted the Solicitor General, Robert Bork, and ordered him as acting head of the Justice Department to fire Cox. Richardson and Ruckelshaus had both personally assured the congressional committee overseeing the special prosecutor investigation that they would not interfere – Bork had made no such assurance to the committee. Thus, Bork complied with Nixon’s order and fired Cox. Initially, the White House claimed to have fired Ruckelshaus, but as the Washington Post article written the next day pointed out “The letter from the President to Bork also said Ruckelshaus resigned.”

Congress was infuriated by the act, which was seen as a gross abuse of Presidential power. In the days that followed, numerous bills of impeachment against the President were introduced in Congress. Nixon defended his actions in a famous press conference on November 17, 1973, in which he stated,

“…in all of my years of public life, I have never obstructed justice. And I think, too, that I can say that in my years of public life that I’ve welcomed this kind of examination, because people have got to know whether or not their President’s a crook. Well, I’m not a crook! I’ve earned everything I’ve got.” 

Nixon’s presidency would later succumb to mounting pressure resulting from the Watergate scandal and its cover-up. In the face of the by-then certain threat of removal from office through impeachment and conviction, Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974.

The now expired Ethics in Government Act of 1978, also called the Independent Counsel Act, was a direct result of the “Saturday Night Massacre.”

Jim Leach resigned his commission in protest of the Saturday Night Massacre.
External Links
 Nixon Forces Firing of Cox; Richardson, Ruckelshaus Quit
The New York Times front page story

1973 – Dalai Lama makes his first UK visit. The leader of Tibet’s Buddhists arrives in Britain where he will stay for 10 days to “administer vows”.
BBC News story complete with Video footage

1973 – The Sydney Opera House opens. The Sydney Opera House is located in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.  It was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 28 June 2007. Based on the competition winning entry by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the Sydney Opera House is one of the world’s most distinctive 20th century buildings, and one of the most famous performing arts venues in the world.

1976 – The ferry  ‘George Prince’  is struck by a ship while crossing the Mississippi River between Destrehan and Luling, LA. The MV George Prince ferry disaster was a nautical disaster that occurred in the Mississippi River in Louisiana on the morning of October 20, 1976. The ferry George Prince was struck by the Norwegian tanker SS Frosta, which was traveling upriver. The collision occurred at mile post 120.8 above Head of Passes, less than three-quarters of a mile from the construction site of the bridge which would replace the ferry seven years later. The ferry was crossing from Destrehan, Louisiana on the East Bank to Luling, Louisiana on the West Bank. Ninety-six passengers and crew were aboard the ferry when it was struck, and seventy-eight perished.

1977 – A plane carrying band members of Lynyrd Skynyrd crashes in Mississippi, killing lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines along with backup singer Cassie Gaines, the road manager, pilot, and co-pilot. Lynyrd Skynyrd is an American Southern rock band. The band became prominent in the Southern United States in 1973, and rose to worldwide recognition before several members, including lead vocalist and primary songwriter Ronnie Van Zant, died in a plane crash in 1977 five miles northeast of Gillsburg, Mississippi. A tribute band was formed in 1987 for a reunion tour with Johnny Van Zant, Ronnie’s younger brother, at the helm, and continues to record music today. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 13, 2006.

1979 – The John F Kennedy library is opened in Boston, Massachusetts.

1982 – During the UEFA Cup match between FC Spartak Moscow and HFC Haarlem, 66 people are crushed to death in the Luzhniki disaster. October 20th in Moscow was a cold, windy and snowy day, and the number of tickets sold was relatively low. Only the East Stand was open for spectators and for security reasons only one exit from the stand was left open.

Some minutes before the final whistle when FC Spartak was leading 1-0, the spectators began to leave the stadium through this only exit. Then during the injury time, FC Spartak scored its second goal, and some fans who had previously left the stand turned back to return to the stadium. The returning fans collided with those who were leaving the stadium. Militsiya guards would not allow those leaving to change course and return to the stadium. A stampede ensued in which many people died or were injured. The official number of dead was 66, although many people including victims’ relatives claim this number to be significantly higher,as many as 340.

Aftermath
The only information about the disaster in Soviet media was a short article that appeared in the newspaper Vechernyaya Moskva on the next day. It said: Yesterday in Luzhniki after the football match an accident occurred. There are some injured among the spectators. Some Soviet officials claimed fans themselves to be responsible. The relatives of the victims were allowed to bury them only after thirteen days. Then on February 8, 1983 a trial was held, but the only man found guilty was the commandant of the stadium Panchikhin who had been working there for only two and a half months before the disaster and was sentenced to 18 months of corrective labour. The governing body of the stadium was tried separately but was not convicted. The actions of militsiya were not examined at all despite the evidence of witnesses. For several years following the tragedy, matches were not held at Luzhniki at the end of October in order to prevent relatives of victims from laying flowers there. Only in 1989 the newspaper Sovetskiy Sport told about the disaster openly. Today, there is a monument at the place of the tragedy.

1983 – Grenada’s prime minister ‘assassinated’. Eyewitnesses say the prime minister and seven of his colleagues have been killed during a hard-line military coup.
BBC News story on the Day
1988 – The British Government announced plans to change the law so that remaining silent could incriminate rather than protect a suspect.

1991 – The Oakland Hills firestorm kills 25 and destroys 3,469 homes and apartments, causing more than $2 billion in damage.

The Oakland Firestorm of 1991 was a large urban fire that occurred on the hillsides of northern Oakland, California and southeastern Berkeley on Sunday October 20, 1991, almost exactly two years after the Loma Prieta earthquake. The fire has also been called the Oakland hills firestorm,  the East Bay Hills Fire,  and the Tunnel Fire (because of its origin above the west portal of the Caldecott Tunnel) in Oakland.  The fire ultimately killed 25 people and injured 150 others.  The 1,520 acres (6.2 km²) destroyed included 2,843 single-family dwellings and 437 apartment and condominium units.  The economic loss was estimated at $1.5 billion.

Born on this Day

1632 – Sir Christopher Wren, English architect (d. 1723) responsible for the rebuilding of St. Paul’s Cathedral following the Great Fire of London.

1780 – Pauline Bonaparte, princess Borghese, sister of Napoleon Bonaparte (d. 1825)

1785 – George Ormerod, English historian and antiquarian (d. 1873)

1822 – Thomas Hughes, English author who wrote Tom Brown’s Schooldays

1882 – Bela Lugosi, Hungarian-born actor (d. 1956)

1889 – Margaret Dumont, American actress (d. 1965) remembered mostly for being the comic foil to Groucho Marx in seven of the Marx Brothers movies. Groucho called her “practically the fifth Marx brother.” (In fact, there were five Marx brothers, but only a maximum of four ever performed together.)

1904 – Anna Neagle, English actress (d. 1986)

1905 – Ellery Queen, pseudonym of two American writers (d. 1982)

1913 – Grandpa Jones, American banjo player and singer and “old-time” country and gospel music singer. (d. 1998)

1932 – William Christopher, American actor best known for playing Father Mulcahy on the television series M*A*S*H and Private Lester Hummel on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.

1940 – Kathy Kirby, British singer

1950 – Tom Petty, American musician

1958 – Mark King, English musician and singer (Level 42)

1961 – Ian Rush, Welsh footballer

1971 – Dannii Minogue, Australian singer

1971 – Snoop Dogg, American rapper

1978 – Paul Wilson, Irish bass player (Snow Patrol)

Thought for the Day

I’m guessing that most of us, if not all of us, have had at least one ‘something’ that has happened in our lives that perhaps ‘set us back’  or maybe had a  ‘dark time’  in our lives, that we didn’t see coming or didn’t expect.

Pretty much all of us must have faced a time that we really would have rather not have had to go through.  A ‘tragedy’.  A ‘worrying time’.  A time of great struggle and pain – physical or mental pain.  I would even go as far to say that perhaps some of us have had more than one of those times.  In fact, I bet that some of us are going through one of these times right now.  This very moment.

In the darkest hours of your trials, when you’re down and miserable about what’s happening in your life, it’s easy to get even further down and miserable by just mulling over what-ever it is that’s happening to you or around you, which is making you live in a turbulent moment in time within your life span.

Worry, fear, misery, are all things that make the problem much worse for us, and because of this, the whole of our world seems desperately sad.

If you are someone who is going through a dark time, a time of trouble or misery – for whatever reason …  then just for a moment STOP.  Stay completely still. Still your body, and still your mind.  Completely relax your body, just for this one moment.

When you feel  ‘still’  inside …  go back in your memories to another time that felt like the end of the world to you.  Recall, just for a few seconds, that feeling you felt at that sad, heart sore time in your life.

Remembered it?  Recalled his terrible time from the recent or distant past?

Now . . .  remind yourself that you’re still alive.  Even after what happened.  Even after how it made you feel.  Even after all the great pain that it caused to you and your life.

Whatever it was that happened back in time,  which made you feel the way it did … changed you.  Changed your life.

And that’s the key to what’s happening right now…  or to anything that might happen to you in the future.

If you’re going through a bad time now,  or if one comes along in the future, as it surely will,  remind yourself that you have been in this  ‘feeling’  of desperation before.

And then remind yourself that …  It changed your life …   It didn’t end your life.

After every storm comes the peace.  The rain stops.  The Sky brightens.  The world moves on.  But because of the storm,  … because of the rains, …  the Earth blooms flowers again.  Things have changed.  However – the world is still here.  Just different.

Have a really great day.  Have a positive attitude today.  It’s amazing how it changes everything for you.

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I’ve been a little lackadaisical about getting round everyone’s blogs over the past couple of weeks, and I think I’m almost caught up but I know that there are a few posts I’m still waiting to get to.

I’ve had some health issues which have been a cause for concern.  I experienced a black-out about three weeks ago now, and during the fall to the floor I badly injured my arm.  The whole episode shocked me so much that I couldn’t go out of the house for about 5 days.  I saw my doctor who ordered some tests.  I’ve had most of them, I just need now to get some blood work done and one other test.  However, he’s told me that at the moment I cannot drive.

Now anyone who knows me well, knows that I LOVE to drive.  It gives me such freedom and a feeling of great joy to be able to drive to wherever under my own steam.  Driving is something amazing to me.  I was injured in a road traffic accident some years ago, the result of which was a lower spinal injury.    I was a passenger in a car, which was stationary at a junction.  A car, travelling behind the car I was in made a very bad decision and believed our car would move out onto the main road in a gap she saw coming up.

She put her foot on her accelerator and, doing over 30 miles an hour, drove into the back of our car,  pushing the car I was in, into the middle of the main road.

Well, bringing a long story to an end, the result of that RTA was a lower spinal injury.

Now at the time this was bad enough – but then my doctor told me that although I could stand up  (when apparently they thought I shouldn’t be able to), and after being taught to walk properly again (I adore physiotherapists!) I could walk a little (with the help of walking sticks and/or crutches – but hey, walking is walking), the doctor said that I had to look at the probability that as I got older, I could end up in a wheelchair.

So .. with that thought, I decided that I needed to learn to drive. I took one month of lessons and passed my driving test exactly one month to the day from the day I started.

I LOVE to drive.  It gives me freedom and joy that I can get nowhere else.  So for my doctor to tell me after this recent black-out that I was no longer allowed, for the time being at least, to drive, was a massive upset.  I could see the sense in this, obviously,  but boy oh boy was it painful to my heart.  And … (I’m not telling you anything he doesn’t already know, so I’m not going to get into deep trouble with Cobs Senior) ….  I HATE Mr.Cobs driving.  I love my car, and he’s driving it, and I hate his driving. [sigh] Grrr.

My arm is getting better, the bruising is pretty much gone, but I still flinch if anyone touches it.  Then …  just to add insult to injury … I’ve been told today that I have a cataract.   I’m beginning to feel that God is having a laugh at my expense.

I must admit that my one eye did seem a little foggyfied. (no it’s not a real word, I made it up but it explains everything).   And I was aware that when I was painting something, doing the details became a bit dodgy, and I would get to a place of  “Ah who the heck cares, just blob the paint on it and be done with it!”.  Ha!  And all the time I just thought I needed some new Readers (glasses).  Turned out ….  someone planted a plate in my eye – right in the centre, and I was trying to peer around it, over it and under it.

It’s not that bad, really.  I can see and there isn’t anything in my eye which is visible to you or me.  The Optician could see it and the chap at the hospital could too.  But I’ve looked in the mirror and can’t see it.  New Readers and Long Distance glasses are now on order, so reading books will (I hope) soon be back on the menu!

Added to this chaos …  we’ve been collecting Little Cobs from school each day for the past week, bringing him home here to Cobweb Towers and playing racing cars, building Lego,  singing songs, (he likes that I can make up songs which rhyme, from nowhere …  I hope he’ll be able to do this if I do it enough!), playing Superhero’s – using an apron, put on backwards, for a cape.  He’s discovered the joy of racing around our garden with one arm pointing to the sky and shouting  “SUPER HERO TO THE RESCUE”.  All the neighbours now know I have a Super-Hero for a Grandson.  Not entirely sure what his special power is – but I’m suspecting that it’s making one un-holy mess in his bedroom!

I’ve also introduced him to Tom and Jerry – and he LOVES them!  As soon as he hears the music come on, he’ll race from wherever he is to sit and watch.

Ah .. some things never change.  The old Tom and Jerry cartoons can still thrill a six-year-old.

Little Cobs stayed and had his tea with us, and we would play until his daddy came home from work to collect him and take him home.

But anyhoo …  all these things going on, have made me a little behind on blogs – so please forgive me if I’ve missed any of your blog posts.  If there is one I’ve missed that you really thought I shouldn’t have (for whatever reason), please pop a link to it into a comment below, and I’ll get to it pronto!

Have a truly wonderful Friday.  May the sky be bright, the rains gentle and the winds soft.  May you find something to smile about today, and something which touches your heart and makes you all warm and wriggly inside.

Oh .. and may your weekend be all that you’d like it to be.  If it’s not … remind yourself that you’re in control, so you can change anything you’re having a problem with.  A smile can work wonders.

Sending huge squidges ~

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