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11:31 2/23/2010

Today's quotation...
The steel decks rock with the lightning shock,
and shake with the great recoil,
And the sea grows red with the blood of the dead
and reaches for his spoil ---
But not till the foe has gone below
or turns his prow and runs,
Shall the voice of peace bring sweet release
to The Men Behind the Guns!

-- John Jerome Rooney [1866-1934]

Stars And Stripes Raised Over Iwo Jima

After four days of bitter fighting, a Marine platoon succeeded in reaching the top of Mount Surabachi on the southern tip of Iwo Jima and raised an American flag in triumph.

Conquest of the heavily fortified mountain had been one of the first objectives of the invasion of the small, strategic island located 750 miles south of Tokyo. The task of neutralizing the defenses and scaling the mountain fell to men in the 28th Regiment of the Fifth Marine Division. Navy Secretary Forrestal saw the flag from the beachhead and told Lt. Gen. Holland M. Smith, "The raising of that flag on Surabachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years."

 Happy Birthday ......
    In 1633, Samuel Pepys (pronounced Peps), was born. The English public official, and celebrated diarist, was born in London; and graduated from Magdalene College, Cambridge, in 1653. In 1656, he entered the service of a relative, Sir Edward Montagu (later earl of Sandwich), whose secretary he became in 1660. That same year he started as a clerk in the navy office and by 1668 he was an important naval official and owned a considerable estate. In 1672 he was made secretary to the admiralty. He sat in the Parliament of 1679, but he was charged with betraying naval secrets to the French in the same year. He was briefly imprisoned in the Tower but was vindicated and freed in 1680. In 1684 Pepys was reappointed secretary to the admiralty and was made president of the Royal Society. The accession of William III forced him into retirement, where he wrote his Memoirs of the Royal Navy (1690). Pepys left his valuable library, including his diary in cipher, to his nephew John Jackson and in turn to Magdalene College, Cambridge. The diary was partially deciphered and in 1825 was first published; an almost complete text was edited by H. B. Wheatley (10 vol., 1893-99). An intimate record of the daily life and reflections of an ambitious, observing, and lusty young man, Pepys' diary extends from Jan. 1, 1660, to May 31, 1669, when failing eyesight forced him to stop writing. The diary gives a graphic picture of the social life and conditions of the early Restoration period. He died in 1703 at age 70.
    In 1685, George Frideric Handel, Baroque composer.
    In 1939, Peter Fonda: Growing up in a showbiz family with father Henry and sister Jane, Peter Fonda’s inclination towards the silver screen was innate. Peter had a bumpy childhood, his mother committed suicide when he was 10 and he was sent to live with relatives in Omaha. After attending the University of Omaha, Peter moved to New York, earning the acclaim of the New York Drama Critic's Circle in his Broadway debut in "Blood, Sweat and Stanley Poole." From Broadway he moved on to film, winning popular attention for his role as a mentally ill man obsessed with a fellow patient in "Lilith." Peter’s success continued with his first attempt at production, the phenomenally successful Easy Rider in 1969. Fonda continued to act, direct and produce with moderate success until his rebound in Ulee's Gold, which won him the nomination for a Best Actor Oscar. More recently Fonda has appeared in several made for TV movies including "A Thief of Time" and "Back When We Were Grownups".

 On this day...
    In 1792, the Humane Society of Massachusetts was incorporated.
    In 1822, Boston was incorporated as a city.
    In 1835, Mexican general Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna begins his attack on the Alamo, a former mission in San Antonio de Béxarwhich that contains a small garrison of Texians who had declared independence from Mexico. On the heels of a 13-day siege, the fort falls and 189 Texians are slain. As a result, more Texians join the fight against Mexico, leading to a victory a year later at the Battle of San Jacinto.
    In 1861, President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrived secretly in Washington to take office, after word of a possible assassination plot in Baltimore.     Texas seceded from the Union.
    In 1870, Mississippi was readmitted to the Union.
    In 1871, the word vaudeville appeared for the first time in an entertainment annoucement. A traveling troupe billed as "Sargent's Great Vaudeville Company" performed for the patrons of Weisiger's Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.
     "All the world's a stage,
      And all the men and women merely
      They have their exits and their en-
      And one man in his time plays many
      SHAKESPEARE: As You Like It.

    In 1874, Lawn Tennis patented in England by Major Walter Clopton Wingfield.
    In 1883, World's first anti-vivisection society organized at Philly founded by Caroline Earle White.
    In 1886, aluminum manufacturing process discovered by Charles Martin Hall in Oberlin, OH.
    In 1887, Congress grants Seal Rocks to San Francisco.
    In 1896, the Tootsie Roll is introduced at a candy store owned by Leo Hirshfield of New York City. Named after the Austrian-born confectioner's 5-year-old daughter, Clara (nicknamed "Tootsie"), the oblong, individually wrapped chewy candies proved a hit. Eventually Hirshfield's modest corner shop would transform into one of the largest candy corporations in the world.
    In 1900, Steamer "Rio de Janiero" sinks in San Francisco Bay.
    In 1904, the U.S. acquired control of the Panama Canal Zone for $10 million.
    In 1905, first Rotary Club in America founded in Chicago.
    In 1915, State of Nevada passes easy divorce bill requiring only six months' residence.
    In 1917, storming of the Winter Palace starts Russian Revolution.
    In 1920, first regular broadcasting service begins in Britain.
    In 1927, President Coolidge signed a bill creating the Federal Radio Commission, forerunner of the Federal Communications Commission.
World At War
    World War II, which had begun in Europe on September 1, 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, ended six years later to the day, September 1, 1945. The final concluding ceremony came the following day, September 2, 1945, with the signing of surrender papers by representatives of Japan, Nazi Germany's Axis partner in the Far East.

Nine Notable Veterans of World War II

* * * * * * * * * * * * * IWO JIMA: U.S. ATTACKS JAPANESE HOMELAND ~ Iwo Jima - Hell on Earth February 19, 1945/March 26, 1945 ~ * * * * * * * * * * * * * IWO JIMA: U.S. ATTACKS JAPANESE HOMELAND ~ Iwo Jima - Hell on Earth February 19, 1945/March 26, 1945 ~ * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    In 1940, Walt Disney's animated movie "Pinocchio" was released.
    In 1942, a Japanese submarine attacks an oil refinery just west of Santa Barbara, California. No one is hurt and the damage caused by the 20-minute attack is approximately $500.
    In 1943, song As Time Goes By from the motion picture Casablanca copyrighted. [The Ol'Kunnel has a rendtion of the music, ~Click Here to hear!~
    In 1944, Pacific: American bombers strike Marianas Islands bases 1,300 miles from Tokyo.
    In 1945, Headline: U.S. flag raised on Iwo Jima
     During the bloody Battle for Iwo Jima, U.S. Marines from the 3rd Platoon, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Regiment of the 5th Division take the crest of Mount Suribachi, the island’s highest peak and most strategic position, and raise the U.S. flag. Marine photographer Louis Lowery was with them and recorded the event. American soldiers fighting for control of Suribachi’s slopes cheered the raising of the flag, and several hours later more Marines headed up to the crest with a larger flag. Joe Rosenthal, a photographer with the Associated Press, met them along the way and recorded the raising of the second flag along with a Marine still photographer and a motion-picture cameraman.
    Rosenthal took three photographs atop Suribachi. The first, which showed five Marines and one Navy corpsman struggling to hoist the heavy flag pole, became the most reproduced photograph in history and won him a Pulitzer Prize. The accompanying motion-picture footage attests to the fact that the picture was not posed. Of the other two photos, the second was similar to the first but less affecting, and the third was a group picture of 18 soldiers smiling and waving for the camera. Many of these men, including three of the six soldiers seen raising the flag in the famous Rosenthal photo, were killed before the conclusion of the Battle for Iwo Jima in late March.
Video: Battle of Iwo Jima [GO!]

    In early 1945, U.S. military command sought to gain control of the island of Iwo Jima in advance of the projected aerial campaign against the Japanese home islands. Iwo Jima, a tiny volcanic island located in the Pacific about 700 miles southeast of Japan, was to be a base for fighter aircraft and an emergency-landing site for bombers. On February 19, 1945, after three days of heavy naval and aerial bombardment, the first wave of U.S. Marines stormed onto Iwo Jima’s inhospitable shores.
    The Japanese garrison on the island numbered 22,000 heavily entrenched men. Their commander, General Tadamichi Kuribayashi, had been expecting an Allied invasion for months and used the time wisely to construct an intricate and deadly system of underground tunnels, fortifications, and artillery that withstood the initial Allied bombardment. By the evening of the first day, despite incessant mortar fire, 30,000 U.S. Marines commanded by General Holland Smith managed to establish a solid beachhead.
    During the next few days, the Marines advanced inch by inch under heavy fire from Japanese artillery and suffered suicidal charges from the Japanese infantry. Many of the Japanese defenders were never seen and remained underground manning artillery until they were blown apart by a grenade or rocket, or incinerated by a flame thrower.
    While Japanese kamikaze flyers slammed into the Allied naval fleet around Iwo Jima, the Marines on the island continued their bloody advance across the island, responding to Kuribayashi’s lethal defenses with remarkable endurance. On February 23, the crest of 550-foot Mount Suribachi was taken, and the next day the slopes of the extinct volcano were secured.
    By March 3, U.S. forces controlled all three airfields on the island, and on March 26 the last Japanese defenders on Iwo Jima were wiped out. Only 200 of the original 22,000 Japanese defenders were captured alive. More than 6,000 Americans died taking Iwo Jima, and some 17,000 were wounded.
    France: First American boats arrive with food for French civilians.
    Germany: Eisenhower opens wide offensive in Rhineland.
    Turkey declares war on Germany and Japan.
02/23/2018 1047
    In 1954, the first mass inoculation of children with the Salk polio vaccine began in Pittsburgh.
    In 1955, the Army picks Bell Helicopter from a list of 20 competing companies to build its first turbine-powered helicopter. The winning design, designation XH-40, will become the HU-1 (and later still, UH-1) Iroquois, the renowned Huey.
    In 1958, last SF Municipal arc light, over intersection of Mission and 25th Street, removed (it had been installed in 1913).
    In 1965, Stan Laurel, the "skinny" half of the Laurel and Hardy comedy team, died in Santa Monica, California.
    In 1968, Wilt Chamberlain, of the Philadelphia 76ers, became the first pro basketball player to score 25,000 career points.
    In 1978, Kenny Rogers' "Lucille" wins a Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance.
    In 1982 - Canada, Japan and the Common Market nations of Europe joined the United States in economic and diplomatic sanctions against Poland and the Soviet Union, to protest imposition of martial law in Poland.
    In 1985, the TV show "Gimme a Break" was broadcast live before a studio audience. It was the first TV sitcom to be seen live since the 1950s.
    In 1987, astronomer Ian Shelton spots an exploding star in the sky - the first supernova visible with the naked eye since 1604.
    In 1989, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted against recommending the nomination of John Tower to become secretary of defense.
    In 1991, during the Persian Gulf War, ground forces crossed the border of Saudi Arabia into the country of Iraq. Less than four days later the war was over due to the surrender or withdraw of Iraqi forces.
     Military forces in Thailand overthrew the elected government and imposed martial law.
    In 1994, military chiefs of Bosnia's Muslim-led government and their second-strongest foes, Bosnia's Croats, signed a truce. Russia's new parliament took a swipe at President Boris Yeltsin by granting amnesty to leaders of the 1991 Soviet coup and the hard-liners who'd fought him in 1993. Nancy Kerrigan led the women's figure skating short program at the Winter Olympics in Norway, while Tonya Harding placed tenth.
    In 1995, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above the 4,000 mark for the first time, ending the day at 4,003.33. Administration officials said President Clinton would review dozens of affirmative action programs. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter arrived in Haiti to help prepare for peaceful elections.
    In 1997, scientists in Scotland announced they had succeeded in cloning an adult mammal, producing a lamb named "Dolly."
    An estimated 65 million people tune in to watch all or part of Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning Holocaust drama Schindler’s List on the NBC television network.
    Starring Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Kingsley, Schindler’s List (1993) told the true story of a wealthy German industrialist who helped a group of Polish Jews escape the Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Spielberg shot the great majority of the film in black and white, which only increased the shocking impact of its content. At the Academy Awards that year, the film won Oscars in seven categories, including Best Director and Best Picture. It was also a commercial success, grossing almost $100 million in the United States and more than $300 million worldwide.
    A Palestinian gunman opened fire of tourists at an observation deck atop the Empire State Building in New York City, killing a Danish national and wounding visitors from the US, argentina, Switzerland, and France before turing the gun on himself. A handwritten note carried by the gunman claimed this was a punishment attack against the "enemies of Palestine."
    In 1998, forty-two people were killed and some 2,600 homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed by tornadoes in central Florida.
     Luciano Pavarotti is honored as the 1998 MusiCares Person of the Year at a special tribute dinner and concert held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel's Grand Ballroom in New York.
     President Clinton gave cautious approval to a U.N. agreement reached by Secretary-General Kofi Annan with Saddam Hussein for monitoring suspected weapons sites in Iraq.
    In 1999, a jury in Jasper, Texas convicted white supremacist John William King of murder in the gruesome dragging death of a black man, James Byrd Jr.; King was sentenced to death two days later.
     Serbs agreed in principle to give limited self-rule to majority ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, thereby temporarily heading off NATO air strikes, but during their talks in Rambouillet, France, the two sides failed to conclude a deal for ending their year long conflict.
     The first of two avalanches that claimed 38 lives over two days struck in Austria.
     Garth Brooks attends spring training camp with baseball team the San Diego Padres as a non-roster player. In lieu of salary, the Padres Foundation agrees to contribute to the Touch 'Em All Foundation, a charity Brooks co-founded in collaboration with Major League Baseball players, entertainers, and corporate partners.
    In 2000, Robby Knieval made a successful motorcycle jump of 200 feet over an oncoming train.
    In 2003, Israeli attacks on Hamas-related facilities in Gaza and the West Bank over the past week left at least 40 Palestinians dead.
    In 2004, President George W. Bush officially kicked off his campaign for re-election.
    In 2005, more rain soaked Southern California, giving Los Angeles its wettest year in more than a century, after collapsing hillsides crushed homes, oozing mud blocked highways and a surging river carried away part of an airport. The deaths of nine people had been blamed on the series of storms that started last week, including one man who was killed by a falling eucalyptus tree and a teenage girl crushed by rocks that crashed into her bedroom.
     Official efforts to identify victims from the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attack in New York ended on this date, leaving a reported more than 1,000 bodies unidentified.
     The death toll from the heavy snowfall and avalanches in Kashmir reached 300.
    In 2008, a B-2 stealth bomber crashed at an air base in Guam but both pilots ejected safely and were in good condition, the US Air Force said. Each B-2 bomber costs about $1.2 billion to build. All 21 stealth bombers are based at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri but the Air Force has been rotating several of them through Guam since 2004, along with B-1 and B-52 bombers.
-- Excerpt from Associated Press report

 Thought for the day...

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