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KING GEORGE VI & WINSTON CHURCHILL

*Note to readers:  Blogger has reported problems with yesterday’s posting which seems to have disappeared overnight.  I will attempt to incorporate yesterday’s posting along with todays.


May 12, 1937


GEORGE VI CROWNED KING


George VI was crowned King & Lady Elizabeth Queen of the United Kingdom today at Westminster Abbey.


George VI ascends to the throne following the abdication of his brother King Edward VIII who did so in order to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson.


George VI was born at York Cottage in Norfolk.  His mother, the Duchess of York, later became Queen Mary.


George had a speech impediment & although left handed was forced to write with his right hand.*


*George VI served as king through WWII & died in 1952.  His daughter, Elizabeth II, became Queen.



             King George VI of England
                    Official Portrait


*”The King’s Speech” is a 2010 British film which tells the story of the Duke of York (King George VI) & his struggle to overcome his stammer.  The movie won 4 academy awards including “Best Picture”, “Best Director” (Tom Hooper), “Best Actor” (Colin Firth), & “Best Original Screenplay” (David Seidler).



                           Colin Firth
                 Venice Film Festival
             Photo by Nicogenin (2009)


May 12, 1949


SOVIETS LIFT BERLIN BLOCKADE


The Soviet Union today ended its 11 month blockade of West Berlin.


The blockade, in response to the introduction of a new West German currency, had been largely rendered ineffective by the airlift of supplies into West Berlin by Britain & the US.


All rail, highway & water communication had been blocked into West Berlin which the Soviets were hopeful would force it to become a communist state.*


*The US & Britain flew more than 278,000 missions carrying over 2 million tons of supplies.



C54 Landing at Tempelhof Airport 


May 12, 1961


LBJ MEETS WITH DIEM IN SAIGON


Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson met with South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem today in Saigon.


LBJ, calling Diem the “Churchill of Asia”, promised in behalf of the Kennedy administration additional military support in the fight against the communists.


Johnson said President Diem is “indispensable” to the United States.



       LBJ Greeted by Ngo Dinh Nhu
         Brother of Ngo Dinh Diem


May 12, 1961


BOB DYLAN WALKS OUT ON ED SULLIVAN


Singer/musician Bob Dylan’s scheduled television appearance on the Ed Sullivan Variety Show has been cancelled.


Dylan was informed on the set that his song, “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues”, would not be allowed on the show.


Dylan was quoted as saying: “If I can’t play my song, I’d rather not appear on the show.”


The song, written by Dylan, is a satirical comment on the ultra conservative John Birch Society.



                                Bob Dylan
               Greenwood, Mississippi (1963)
               Princep d’ Asturies de les Arts
                        Author: m. caimary


May 12, 1970


ERNIE BANKS HITS 500TH HOME RUN


Chicago Cubs shortstop Ernie Banks hit his 500th career home run today.


Banks was the Cubs’ most valuable player in both 1958 & 1959.


He led the National League in RBIs twice & in home runes twice.


*Banks finished his career with 512 HRs & was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1977.



                 Ernie Banks Statue
                    Wrigley Field
                 Chicago, Illinois
           Photo by Joon Han (2008)


May 13, 1940


CHURCHILL TAKES OFFICE AS BRITISH PM


Winston Churchill took charge of the British government today as Prime Minister.


In his opening speech to Parliament, the new PM said:


“I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears & sweat.”


Churchill says Britain’s goal is “victory….at all costs…in spite of terror…however long & hard the road may be.”


“We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind.  We have before us many…long months of struggle & suffering.  You ask, what is our policy?  I will say:  It is to wage war, by sea, land & air with all the strength that God can give us.”



              FDR & WC in Sculpture
             New Bond Street, London
             By Lawrence Holofcener
         Photo by Andre Leroux (2005)


May 13, 1958


VICE-PRESIDENT NIXON’S CAR ATTACKED IN VENEZUELA


Sent by President Eisenhower on a good-will trip to Latin America, Vice-President Nixon is not receiving much good will in return.


His car was attacked today by a rock-throwing mob in Caracus, Venezuela.


To make matters worse, the demonstrators rocked Nixon’s car from side to side threatening to flip it over.


The US Secret Service called for backup from the Venezuela’s military & were able to get the Vice-President & his group to safety.



    Nixon Attacked by Mob in Venezuela
      photo from http://www.peacebuttons.info


May 13, 1968


WORKERS JOIN STUDENTS IN PARIS PROTEST


In protest of what they call “police brutality”, students joined with workers in Paris, France in a general strike with hopes of calling for a change in government.


The demonstrations included the occupation of the Sorbonne.


May 13, 1981


POPE JOHN PAUL II IS SHOT


Pope John Paul II was shot today as he passed through St. Peter’s Square in Rome in an open car.


One bullet penetrated the Pope’s abdomen & another his hand.  A couple of bystanders were also hit by gunfire.


The Pope was taken to Gemelli Hospital for treatment.


A young man was taken into custody by police but as of yet his motives are unknown.*


*Pope John Paul II recovered from his wounds & died in 2005.  His attacker was sentenced to life in prison.



George Bush Honors Pope John Paul II


May 13, 1846

US DECLARES WAR ON MEXICO


The Congress today approved President James K. Polk’s request for a war declaration on Mexico.


The official state of war comes after ongoing troubles over the border between Mexico & Texas.


President Polk sent a force led by General Zachary Taylor to the mouth of the Rio Grande River in April but Mexican forces crossed over attacked the US troops “on our own soil”.  


The Mexican government disputes the claim that the Rio Grande is the southern border of US territory.



      Grave of President James K. Polk
               The Capitol Building
               Nashville, Tennessee
         Photo by John White (2011)


May 13, 1607


ENGLISH SETTLEMENT FOUNDED IN VIRGINIA


A group of about a hundred Englishmen founded a settlement today along the James River in the Virginia colony.


They plan to name their settlement Jamestown after King James I.


The settlers arrived after an Atlantic voyage on the Susan Constant, Godspeed & Discovery.*


*Overcoming many problems, the Jamestown colony survived becoming the 1st permanent English settlement in North America. 


Its success was due to the leadership skills of Captain John Smith & tobacco cultivation skills of John Rolfe & Indian princess Pocahontas.



          Captain John Smith Statue
                Jamestown, Virginia
           National Park Service Photo







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