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Archive for the month “January, 2011”


January 31, 1950


President Truman announced today that he has authorized development of the hydrogen bomb.  The announcement comes just 5 months after the USSR’s detonation of its’ 1st atomic bomb.

Truman described the H-bomb as the world’s 1st “super bomb”.  Because very high temperatures are required to begin fusion reactions, the bomb is also known as a thermonuclear bomb.*

*The US will detonate the H-bomb in the Marshall Islands on November 1, 1952.  The Soviets will follow with theirs on November 22, 1955.  Since that time, Britain, France & China have exploded hydrogen bombs.

January 31, 1968


Viet Cong guerillas launched an attack today on the US Embassy in Saigon.  VC were able to seize the building for 6 hours.  American paratroopers were dropped on the roof & succeeded in driving the VC out of the compound.

January 31, 1971


The 1st American in space, Alan B. Shepard, Jr. along with Edgar Mitchell & Stuart Roosa lifted off today on Apollo 14.  Shepard made his 1st sub-orbital flight in 1961.  He was later awarded a medal by President Kennedy at the White House.*

*Shepard will be the 5th astronaut to walk on the lunar surface.  In addition to collecting 96 pounds of lunar samples, Shepard will use his club to hit golf balls into space.

January 31, 1990


Hundreds of Russians lined up today in Moscow to pay the equivalent of several days pay for a fast food meal.  This is an obvious sign of radical change in communist Russia as American capitalism arrives in its’ capital city.

January 31, 1995


President Clinton announced today his authorization of a loan of $20 billion to Mexico.  The President was able to “side-step” congressional opposition by authorizing the US Treasury to issue this loan through the Exchange Stabilization Fund.  This is the 1st time this fund has been used.

Mr. Clinton says that the current financial instability of our neighbor to the south could potentially threaten the economy of the United States.*

*In 1997, President Clinton said: “(we) can be proud that we did the right thing by Mexico and the right thing for the United States, and the right thing to protect global prosperity.”

January 31, 1606


The leader of a plot to blow up Parliament House, Guy Fawkes, has jumped to his death from the scaffold where he was to be hanged.  The cause of death is believed to be from a broken neck.

Fawkes had been found guilty of treason as part of a conspiracy to wipe out the government of Great Britain & King James I.  The conspiracy involved a small group of English Catholics led by Robert Catesby.

Since two tons of gunpowder were found hidden in the cellars of Parliament House, the conspiracy will be known as the “Gunpowder Plot”.


January 30, 2011


We have been watching with interest & concern the events ongoing in Egypt. Both CNN & FOX NEWS have done an excellent job of coverage.  We hope the crisis will end soon & the result will be positive for the people of Egypt.

I just read today an article published on January 20 of this year by Douglas E. Schoen on FoxNews.com.  I think it is an appropriate commentary on JFK’s contribution to world events of the past 50 years.

Here are some highlights:

“President Kennedy’s commitment to the promotion of freedom, liberty & democracy around the world has shaped the foreign policy of Democratic & Republican administrations alike for five decades.

Indeed, he articulated a worldview…approach to foreign policy that has been pursued by (both) the Bush….(&) Obama administration(s).”

“President Kennedy inspired–both in the United States and around  the world–a sense of vision & purpose that makes America the great nation that it is.”*

“John F. Kennedy–Still Shaping American Foreign policy 50 Years After His Inaugural Address”
by Douglas E. Scheon
January 20, 2011

January 30, 1968


Communist forces today launched the largest offensive to date of the war in Vietnam.  Many towns & military bases came under attack as well as the US embassy in Saigon.

These series of attacks, launched during the Tet holiday cease-fire in South Vietnam, include 80,000 North Vietnamese & National Liberation Front forces.*

*The Tet offensive will stun Americans who had believed, based on government information, that the United States was in the process of winning the war.  From this date forward, support for the war will steadily decline.

January 30, 1971


Dewey Canyon II, “the vanguard of the US 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division”,
moved today from Vandergrift Combat Base along the highway to Khe Sanh.

The purpose of the move is to clear the way for 20,000 South Vietnamese Army troops to reoccupy territory in northwest South Vietnam & to mass on the border in preparation for an invasion of Laos.

January 30, 1933


President Paul von Hindenburg has named Adolf Hitler, leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party, chancellor of Germany.

Hitler wants to make Germany a powerful, unified one-party state.  He will begin with the expansion of the state police, the Gestapo.

Hitler’s rapid rise to power comes in part due to the frustrations of the German people that have resulted from the harsh terms of the Versailles Treaty & the economic hardships of postwar Germany.

January 30, 1943


10 years to the day after Hitler was made German chancellor, Great Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) has made the 1st air raids on the German capital city.

Ironically, on this same day, propaganda addresses were planned by the Nazis to celebrate the anniversary of Hitler’s coming to power.

January 30, 1948


The “Mahatma” (Great Soul) Ghandi, known for peaceful disobedience, was fatally shot today in New Delhi, India.

Ghandi was shot 3 times in the chest by 39 year old Hindu extremist, Nathuram Godse.  The Mahatma was walking  to his prayer meeting in the lawn of Birla House.  He was 78 years old.

As a young man, Ghandi studied law in England where he was influenced by reading Henry David Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience.  He practiced law in South Africa before returning to India in 1914.

By 1930, Ghandi had a mass following.  He protested the British salt tax & led a 200 mile march to the Indian Ocean to make salt.

Ghandi’s goal of an independent India had just been realized last year but he opposed the partition of Pakistan (Muslim) & India (Hindu).  In recent days, the Mahatma has been fasting in an effort to end religious strife in his country.

The assassin, Godse, was editor of the “Agrani” newspaper.  He had written in his last editorial:  “Gandhi must be stopped–at any cost.  I am going to assassinate him in the open, before the public….as my duty…”

An appropriate comment of a journalist of the time is:

“Just an old man in a loincloth in distant India:  Yet when he died, humanity wept.”


January 29, 1962


The folk music group, “Peter, Paul & Mary” has been signed to their 1st recording contract today by Warner Brothers.  

Peter Yarrow, Noel Paul Stookey & Mary Travers were brought together by Greenwich Village’s Albert Grossman, a co-founder of the Newport Folk Festival.

Grossman has successfully combined the “youthful good looks” of the group with the “political protest music” of today.

The group’s debut album will appear later in the year & feature “If I Had A Hammer” & “Where Have All The Flowers Gone”.  They will release their biggest hit in 1963, “Blowin in the Wind” written by Bob Dylan.*

*Personal Note:  Folk music was very popular when I was a teenager.  In high school, I was part of a local folk group that we named “The Greenbriar Trio.”

Although we patterned ourselves after the Kingston Trio, we performed some of the songs of Peter, Paul & Mary. I still have the Gibson guitar I played then.

January 29, 1964


The “black comic” film, “Dr. Strangelove” premiers today to both positive & negative reviews.  The film is about a “rogue” US military officer who believes the communists are threatening Americans’ bodily fluids.

Stanley Kubrick’s “masterpiece” is critical of the polices of the superpowers including stockpiling of nuclear weapons & threats of massive nuclear retaliation.

January 29, 1968


Today, President Johnson has requested $26.3 billion to be appropriated by the congress for the continued war in Southeast Asia.  He also calls for a tax increase to help pay for it.

The President has been given a positive report on the progress of the war by General William Westmoreland who recently said:

“…the end (of the Vietnam War) begins to come into view… (today the enemy) is certainly losing.  The enemy’s hopes are bankrupt.”

January 29, 1979


Deputy Premier of the People’s Republic of China, Deng Xiaoping, & President Jimmy Carter signed an agreement which will reverse decades of the American government’s opposition to communist China.

Xiaoping, the 1st Chinese leader to visit our nation’s capital, has long wanted to open China to foreign investment and initiate closer ties to the West.*

*The US will officially recognize the PRC later in the year.

JANUARY 29, 2002


In his State of the Union address today, President George W. Bush denounces countries suspected of harboring terrorists and developing weapons of mass destruction.

The President vowed to fight terrorism & do whatever is necessary to ensure national security.

January 29, 1936


Ty Cobb, George Herman “Babe” Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson & Walter Johnson were the 1st inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York today.

4 of the 5 inductees were present for the ceremony.  Christy Mathewson passed away in October 1925.

The highest vote getter (75%+ required for induction) was Ty Cobb of the Detroit Tigers.  Mr. Cobb was the dominant player of the American League having played from 1905 to 1926.  He won 12 batting titles and hit over .400 three times.


January 28, 2011


Twenty-five years ago today, January 28, 1986,  the space shuttle “Challenger” broke apart in a cloud of fire & smoke, just 73 seconds after liftoff, resulting in the deaths of all 7 crew members.  Today a memorial service is to be held at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The Challenger crew included:  Dick Scobee (commander), Michael Smith (pilot), Gregory Jarvis, Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Ronald McNair & Judy Resnick.

Christa McAuliffe, a 37 year old high school social studies teacher from New Hampshire, had been selected to be the first civilian to travel in space.

President Reagan cancelled his State of the Union message & instead spoke to a shocked nation & the world.  He said:

“We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning as they prepared for their journey, waved goodbye & “slipped the surly bonds of earth ‘to touch the face of God’.”

An investigation later finds a failure in the “O” ring seal in one of two solid fuel rockets.   It also will conclude the unusually cold temperatures at the Cape at the time of launch contributed to the tragedy.

For more information on the Challenger tragedy, I recommend “7 myths about the Challenger shuttle disaster” by James Oberg at:


Here is a sample:

“The shuttle did not explode and the flight did not end at 73 seconds into launch.  Challenger was torn apart from the boosters which continued to climb. Pieces (of the Challenger climbed) to 65,000 feet and then arched back into the water.  The cabin hit the surface 2 minutes and 45 seconds after break up…”

Mr. Oberg writes that “few people actually saw the launch” live on television.  It was being broadcast on CNN but not on the other major networks.  I was watching CNN at home that morning because school was cancelled due to snow.  

I remember being puzzled by the flame coming from the shuttle in a place where I had never seen it before & then the fireball.  I remember it being so odd that the NASA communicator continued to read data as if nothing had happened.  Then, at one point, he said:  “a major malfunction”.

January 28, 1961

From a “declassified” White House Document issued by McGeorge Bundy, National Security Advisor

President Kennedy met with Vice President Johnson, Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, CIA Director Allen Dulles, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  

The meeting, called by the President, took place in the Cabinet Room at the White House.  The subject of the meeting is the current situation in Cuba.

Allen Dulles reports that Cuba is now a communist controlled state and that Premier Fidel Castro is in the process of building up his military.  He also reports that there is increasing opposition to the Castro regime & that the CIA is giving military training to anti-Castro Cuban exiles.

As the meeting ended, it was decided that the CIA will continue its activities in regard to Cuba & the Department of Defense will review proposals for the active deployment of anti-Castro Cuban forces in Cuban territory.

Note:  On April 17, 1961, the invasion at the “Bay of Pigs” will take place.  Check this blog on April 17, 2011 for more information.

January 28, 1985


Today 45 major recording artists record “We Are the World”, a song written by Michael Jackson & Lionel Ritchie.  The idea for the production came from Harry Belafonte to raise money for African famine relief.

In addition to Jackson & Ritchie, Cyndi Lauper, Huey Lewis, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson, Tina Turner, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles & Bob Dylan join the recording session.

The record, produced by Quincy Jones, will sell 7 million copies & raise more than $60 million for African famine relief.


January 27, 2011
International Holocaust Rememberance Day

The United Nations designated January 27 as International Holocaust Rememberance Day (IHRD) in 2005 to honor all victims of the Nazi era.
Today a candle-lighting ceremony will be held at the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.

I took this photo at the Holocaust Museum in 2007

The significance of January 27 is that the largest concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, located in Poland, was liberated by Soviet troops on this date in 1945. 

January 27, 1951


Today the US government detonated the 1st of a series of nuclear bombs at its new test site in Nevada.  The site is located 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

The flash from the blasts could be seen as far away as San Francisco. 

By 1957, after having seen the effects of radiation on soldiers & nearby residents, testing will be done underground.

January 27, 1967


More than sixty nations today signed a treaty banning the testing of nuclear weapons in outer space.

January 27, 1975


A committee of the U.S. Senate chaired by Senator Frank Church of Idaho opened its hearings today in Washington, D.C.  The committee will investigate the activities of both the Federal Bureau of Investigation & the Central Intelligence Agency.

The committee’s report will be issued in November 1975.  It will charge both agencies with practicing illegal activities.  The report will say the CIA plotted to assassinate foreign leaders & stockpiled poisons despite a presidential order to destroy them.

    Frank Church of Idaho & John Tower of Texas

January 27, 1996

Former Texas Senator Ralph Yarborough Dies

Former progressive senator from Texas, Ralph Yarborough, died today in Austin.  He was elected to the Senate in 1957 & served until 1970.*

*For more information check today’s JFK ASSASSINATION BLOG. Follow this link JFK ASSASSINATION BLOG

                       Senator Yarborough with JFK & LBJ

January 27, 1926


John L. Baird, the Scottish inventor, gave a demonstration here in London today of his “televisor”.  This 1st public demonstration of the invention was attended by 50 scientists.

The brief images shown on the televisor were of the heads of ventriloquist dummies which had been placed in front of a camera out of view of the audience.

In 1928, Baird will make the 1st overseas television transmission from London to New York City over telephone lines.  He will also demonstrate the 1st color TV that same year.*

**Personal Note:  We bought our 1st “black & white” TV set in 1958 when I was 10 years old.  (Imagine kids today living the 1st 10 years of their lives without TV.)  Ten years later, we got our 1st “color TV”.  It was a very small 10 inch GE “Porta-Color” but we thought it was wonderful.



January 26, 1961
Today President Kennedy appointed Dr. Janet Travell as his personal physician making her the 1st woman in history to hold that position.
Dr. Travell, age 59, is a graduate of Wellesley College.  She established a reputation in her medical practice in the treatment of chronic muscular pain.
She is an orthopedist & has worked with JFK for the past five years.  She has prescribed medications & varieties of treatment including orthopedic shoes, a back brace & use of rocking chairs to relieve Mr. Kennedy’s back pain.

January 26, 1838
Today the legislature of the state of Tennessee enacted the 1st law in the United States making it illegal to sell alcoholic beverages in taverns or stores.
The law states that all persons convicted of retailing “spirituous liquors” will be fined at the court’s “discretion” & that fines will be used to finance the state’s public schools.
The 1st temperance societies in Tennessee were founded in Kingsport & Nashville in 1829 just 3 years after the American Temperance Society had been established by Marcus Morton in Massachusetts.
January 26, 1808
Today the governor of New South Wales, William Bligh, was arrested by Major George Johnson & the New South Wales Corps under his command.
                                 Governor William Bligh
The Governor has made many enemies among the most influential families in the colony.  He also has made controversial rulings such as the banning of the use of spirits in payment for goods.*
*The revolt will be the only successful armed takeover of government in Australia’s history.  Because of Governor Bligh’s ruling on spirits, historians will call it “The Rum Rebellion”. 
Bligh, who was found hiding under his bed,  will be held in custody for a year refusing to go back to England until he is officially relieved.  The colony remained under martial law until General Lachlan Macquarie arrived as the new governor in 1810. 
Major Johnson went under court martial for mutiny, was found guilty, but received a light sentence.  He was able to return to his Sydney home as a free citizen.  The NSW Corps, however, was disbanded.
January 26, 1788
17 years after the discovery of the continent by James Cook, Captain Arthur Phillip has arrived in Port Jackson (Sydney Cove) & Botany Bay with the 1st convicts banished from EnglandThe fleet of 11 ships has been at sea for  8 months.

New South Wales has been planned as a penal colony & Captain Phillip has been directed to establish an agricultural work camp for British convicts.

Before leaving England, Captain Phillip declared:  “In a new country there will be no slavery and hence no slaves.”
Governor Lachlan Macquarie will make the 30th anniversary of this day a public holiday in 1818.  It will be celebrated by the firing of 30 guns.

In 1937, the celebration will include the 1st Sydney Regatta.  In 1988, the Bicentenary Celebration will see the arrival of Tall Ships from around the world & the 1st re-enactment of the landing of the fleet.

                          Governor Lachlan Macquarie
January 26, 2011 “AUSTRALIA DAY” has been celebrated. (At the time of this post, it is 4:30 a.m. January 27 in New South Wales).  

I want to thank all the Australian visitors to my blog & hope you had a great day of celebration.  
My mum was born in Sydney in 1925 & came to the US to marry my dad who she met during WWII.  
I have visited Sydney twice in my life, the 1st time in 1981 with my wife & again in July 2010 with my daughter.  Australia is a fantastic country & her people are wonderful. 
Good wishes to all our relatives & friends “Down Under”.
Jennifer at the Hyde Park Barracks Museum & John & Jen in the Blue Mts.



January 25, 1961
Today JFK held his first meeting with the press as President of the United States.  What makes this press conference unique is that it is the 1st to be televised “live”.

The press conference was held in the State Department Auditorium.  JFK stepped to the podium & read a brief statement & then took questions from reporters who stood to be recognized by the President.

The podium was flanked by US & Presidential flags.  On the front of the speaker’s stand was the traditional Presidential Seal & still another huge Presidential Seal hung on the curtain above & behind JFK.

Here is just one of the questions & JFK’s response:

Mr. President: Do (you) plan to take any steps to solve the problem in Fayette County, Tennessee, where tenant farmers have been evicted from their homes because they voted last November, & must now live in tents?”

JFK:  “The Congress…enacted legislation which placed… responsibility on the Executive Branch to protect the right of voting. I supported that legislation. I am…interested in making sure that every American is given the right to cast his vote without prejudice to his rights as a citizen, & (we) will (provide) that protection, with all vigor.”*

JFK would hold a total 64 conferences during his Presidency.  9 out of 10 Americans watched at least one of his 1st three press conferences. The average number of viewers for all his televised conferences was 18 million.

*Courtesy JFK Library, Boston

January 25, 1964


Today “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, recorded by the British rock music group “The Beatles”, makes it to the top of the charts.

This recording, the 1st #1 hit by the group, is on the Capitol label.  The tune was written by group members John Lennon & Paul McCartney.  The other Beatles are George Harrison & Ringo Starr.

The recording was made at EMI Studios on October 17, 1963 on “4-Track” machines.  This was the 1st such recording ever made.

“I Want to Hold Your Hand” was influenced by Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, who wanted John & Paul to write a song that would appeal to listeners in the United States.  

January 25, 1924

Today the 1st Winter Olympics opening ceremonies were held in Chamonix, France.  The ceremonies at the Alpine Village were directed by Gaston Vidal, the French Undersecretary of State for Physical Education.

There were 5000 people in the audience who saw 150 skaters take to the ice as the national anthems of the participating nations were played.

By the time the Winter Olympics are over, the US & Great Britain will win 4 medals each.  Canada will win a GOLD medal by defeating the US in the finals of hockey by a score of 6-1.  

Finland & Norway were dominant in the games as they would go on to  win 28 of the 43 medals awarded.

January 25, 1915

Today Alexander Graham Bell inaugurated transcontinental telephone service in the United States.

Bell was in New York City while his former assistant Thomas Watson was in San Francisco.  Two other participants were Theodore Vale, AT&T president who was in Jekyll Island, Georgia & President Woodrow Wilson at the White House.



January 24, 2011

Today’s JFK+50 post honors JFK’s own hero: Winston Churchill

January 24, 1965


Sir Winston Churchill, son of Lord Randolph Churchill & Jennie Jerome Churchill, died today at his home at Hyde Park Gate in London.  

He is survived by his wife, Lady Clementine Churchill, who was at his side at the time of death.

The body will lie in state for 3 days in Westminster Hall.  This honor has not been granted to any English statesman since 1898.  The funeral service is scheduled to take place at St. Paul’s cathedral.

The former Prime Minister will be buried at the church of St. Martin’s located in Bladon, Oxfordshire.  Mr. Churchill chose the exact plot of burial because it has an unobstructed view of the window where he was born in 1874.

He was educated at Harrow & Sandhurst where his best subject was history.

Winston Churchill became PM in May 1940.  At a time when Hitler’s armies had taken most of Europe, he said:  “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears & sweat.”  He used the line in six different speeches between 1940 & 1942.

In the process of leading his nation to victory, Churchill said:

“We shall not flag or fail.  We shall go on to the end….we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be we shall never surrender.”

Mr. Churchill viewed the United States (his mother was born in New York City) & Great Britain as closely linked. He visited the U.S. 16 times between 1895 & 1961.

In 1930, he attended his 1st American football game at Columbia.  He said:  “Actually, it is somewhat like rugby, but why do you have to have all those committee meetings?”

During a visit to New York in 1931, he checked in to the Plaza Hotel.  A call came to his room from the front desk asking if anything was needed.  He pretended to be his own valet & said:

“Mr. Churchill is a man of simple tastes; he is quite easily satisfied with the best of everything.”

An unfortunate accident occurred when Mr. Churchill exited a taxi & was proceeding across 5th Avenue.  Accustomed to looking the other direction in London, he was hit by a car & was in hospital for 8 days.

In 1943, FDR took the PM on a drive while Churchill recited from memory John Greenleaf Whittier’s “Barbara Frietchie”.

Also, in 1943, Winston Churchill was awarded an honorary degree from Harvard.

In 1962, when Mr. Churchill was recovering from injuries he suffered in Monte Carlo,  President Kennedy sent him the following telegram:

July 6, 1962

“Dear Sir Winston:

We have been encouraged by the reports of the progress you have made and heartened again by your display of indomitable courage in the face of adversity.  The wishes of all our peoples as well as those of Mrs. Kennedy & I go to you.
President John F. Kennedy”

By Proclamation 3525, JFK made WSC an honorary American citizen:

“Whereas Sir Winston Churchill, a son of America though a subject of Britain, has been throughout his life a firm and steadfast friend of the American people and the American nation…I, John F. Kennedy, President of the United States of America do hereby declare Sir Winston Churchill an honorary citizen of the United States…”

April 9, 1963

Mr. Churchill’s response:

“I have received many kindnesses from the U.S.A. but the honour which you now accord me is without parallel.  I accept it with deep gratitude & affection.”

In coverage of  Mr. Churchill’s death, The New York Times wrote:

“He drank wine for breakfast….and champagne and brandy and whiskey…throughout the rest of the day.  He smoked cigars continuously.  He never exercised. And his health was amazing.”

Following are my favorite Winston Churchill quotes & stories:

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

“You can always count on Americans to do the right thing…..after they’ve tried everything else.”

“It has been said democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others that have been tried.”

Nancy Astor once told Winston Churchill that if she were married to him she would put poison in his tea.  

He responded:  ‘Madam, if I were married to you….I would drink it!”

Bessie Braddock once said to Mr. Churchill: “Sir, you are drunk!”  

He answered:  “Madam, you are ugly!  In the morning, I shall be sober.”

At Westminster Hall, 321,360 people filed past Winston Churchill’s casket which was draped with the Union flag.


January 23, 1968


The American intelligence-gathering ship, USS Pueblo, has been captured today by North Korea.  

This action, under protest by the US, is allegedly because the ship was in violation of North Korean waters & in the process of an espionage mission.

In December 1968, the Pueblo’s commander, Captain Lloyd Bucher, will sign a confession & his ship will be returned to the United States. 

January 23, 1973


President Nixon announced today that his Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, & North Vietnamese envoy, Le Duc Tho, have agreed to “end the war & bring peace with honor…”

This settlement, known as “The Paris Peace Accords”, sets January 27, 1973, 7 pm (EST) for a “cease-fire” to begin.

All POWs are to be released & all American & foreign troops are to be removed in 60 days.

January 23, 1957


Today the Wham-O Toy Company introduces the Frisbee.  The toy’s name comes from the Frisbie Pie Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut (1871). 

College students enjoyed throwing empty pie tins at one another & they would yell “Frisbie”. * 

*The “modern” Frisbee disc will be patented by Wham-O in December 1967 & will sell over 100 million by 1977

January 23, 1920


Today the government of the Netherlands refused to extradite the former leader of Germany during the recent world war, Wilhelm II.

The Kaiser will remain in Doorn where his son, Joachim, will later commit suicide.  In his memoirs, Wilhelm will deny any guilt in promoting the start of the war.

January 23, 1941


Charles A. Lindbergh who made the 1st solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927, has testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee that, in his view, the United States should negotiate with Adolf Hitler.

In addition, “Lucky Lindy” also was critical of FDR’s Lend Lease program to assist the allies in the war against Germany.*

*Despite his stand almost a year before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Lindbergh will fly 50 combat missions over the Pacific during WWII.

January 23, 1775


Today merchants in London petition Parliament for relief from the hardships that have resulted from the government’s policies restricting trade with the American colonies.  

The merchants want the mercantile system of trade which existed before 1764 reinstated by the Parliament.

January 23, 1571


Queen Elizabeth I today officially opened the British Royal Exchange. 

The Exchange was founded in 1565 by Sir Thomas Gresham to act as a center of commerce for the city of London.

The weather vane atop the Exchange represents the founder’s family crest:  The grasshopper.  


January 22, 1973

LBJ Dies in Johnson City, Texas
The 36th President of the United States died today at the age of 64 in Johnson City, Texas.  The cause of death was heart disease.  LBJ had a history of heart issues since 1955. 

LBJ was pronounced dead at 4:33 p.m. (CST).
“Although his vision of a Great Society dissolved in the morass of war in Vietnam, Mr. Johnson left….a legacy of progress….in civil rights, social security, education (and) housing….attesting to his….affection for his fellow Americans.”*
*The New York Times, 1/23/1973

                      LBJ Gravesite
                         LBJ Ranch
January 22, 1973
Supreme Court Rules in Roe v Wade
The United States Supreme Court today rules that abortion is legal.  Abortion became a major crime in the years 1860 to 1880 with the influence of the American Medical Association.
By the turn of the century, most states prohibited abortion by legal statute but these laws were seldom enforced.
January 22, 1982
President Reagan Links Arms Talks To Poland
With arms negotiations ongoing with the Soviet Union, President Ronald Reagan today linked the potential success or failure of the talks with the USSR’s policy in Poland.
In late 1981, the Soviet Union imposed martial law in an attempt to destroy the growing Solidarity movement in Poland’s labor unions.
The President said:
“The continuing repression of the Polish people….obviously constitutes a major setback to the prospect of constructive East-West relations.”
The intermediate-range nuclear forces agreement would not be agreed upon until 1987 when a new Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, came to power. 

January 22, 1840
British Colonists Arrive in New Zealand
British colonists led by Edward G. Wakefield arrived today in Port Nicholson on Auckland Island.   New Zealand is named after the Dutch province of Zealand.

The 1st permanent settlement will be made at Wellington.  By the Treaty of Waitangi, the Maori peoples of the islands will recognize British sovereignty.

New Zealand will become part of the Australian colony of New South Wales in 1841 but in 1852 will become self-governing.  

Full independence will be granted to New Zealand in 1931 but not ratified until 1947.

January 22, 1901
Today Queen Victoria’s 63 year reign, the longest in British history, has come to an end.  The only daughter of Edward, Duke of Kent, she became Queen at the age of 18 with the death of her uncle, King George IV, in 1837.
The Queen reigned during Britain’s industrial age which saw the power & influence of the nation grow.  She has 37 surviving great grand-children.  Her husband, Prince Albert, died in 1861 at the age of 42.  Thereafter Queen Victoria always wore black.

            Queen Victoria Statue
          Sydney, NSW Australia
      Photo by John White (2010)
During the Crimean War, Queen Victoria visited her troops when things were not going well for them. 
She said:
“We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat, they do not exist.”  

         Queen Victoria Statue at QVB
              Sydney, NSW, Australia
          Photo by John White (2010)

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