EAMON DE VALERA
February 18, 1948
DE VALERA RESIGNS IN IRELAND
Eamon de Valera, Prime Minister of Ireland for 16 years, has resigned after his party failed to win a majority in the Irish Assembly.
John A. Costello, leader of the opposition party, will be the new prime minister.
De Valera was born in New York City where he lived the 1st 2 years of his life. When his father died his surviving family moved to County Limerick.
De Valera pursued a policy of political separation from Great Britain & supported a new constitution in 1937 that declared Ireland independent.*
*Eamon de Valera was once again PM in 1951 & welcomed the 1st incumbent President of the United States to visit Ireland in June 1963, John F. Kennedy.
February 18, 1964
COUNTRIES TRADING WITH CUBA PUNISHED
The U.S. cut military aid to Britain, France & Yugoslavia today for their continued trade with Fidel Castro’s communist nation.
While the amount of aid involved is small, the U.S. government hopes it will be seen as a symbolic act of disapproval. Representatives of the countries affected, however, have objected to the action.
February 18, 1967
J. ROBERT OPPENHEIMER IS DEAD
The acknowledged “father of the atomic bomb”, J. Robert Oppenheimer, died today in Princeton, New Jersey at the age of 62.
He worked on the Manhattan Project during WWII & set up a top secret laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico.
After the U.S. used the atomic bomb on Japan, Oppenheimer worked with the Atomic Energy Commission for the international control of nuclear energy.
In 1953, he lost his security clearance & was ousted from the AEC for both his opposition to the development of the hydrogen bomb as well as his admitted “leftist” political views.
February 18, 1895
MARK TWAIN PUBLISHES SEQUEL TO TOM SAWYER
Samuel L. Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, published a new novel today about the best friend of Tom Sawyer, the main character in his previous work: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876).*
*The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was to be banned in many libraries & in the 1950s it was attacked as racist in its portrayal of African Americans. Despite this controversy, the novel is seen as a masterpiece by many literary critics.
February 18, 1856
KNOW-NOTHINGS MEET IN PHILLY
Delegates of the American Party, also known as the “Know-Nothings”, gathered in Philadelphia today to nominate their 1st candidate for President of the United States.
The party was organized from anti-immigrant nativist societies such as the Order of the Star Spangled Banner.*
*The Know-Nothings chose former President Millard Fillmore of New York as their presidential candidate & Andrew Donelson of Tennessee as his running mate. The party won only Maryland in the Election of 1856 & then dissolved.