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We can't all be heroes, because somebody must sit on the curb and applaud when they go by.
-- Will Rogers [1879-1935]

Today's quotation...
"There three classes of intellects: one which comprehends by itself; another which appreciates what others comprehend; and a third which neither comprehends by itself nor by the showing of others; the first is the most excellent, the second is good, the third is useless."
-- Nicolò Machiavelli [1469-1527]


On this date in 1910, Count Zepplin started the first airship passenger service between Friedrichshafen and Düsseldorf, a distance of 300 miles. The first airship was called the Deutschland.

 Happy Birthday ......
    In 1837, Paul Morphy, US, greatest chess player so far, champ (1857-61).
    In 1858, Giacomo Puccini, Italian operatic composer.
    In 1887, Sir Julian Huxley, biologist and philosopher of science.
    In 1898, Erich Maria Remarque, 1897-1970, German-American novelist, whose original name was Erich Paul Remark. From his experience of trench warfare during World War I, Remarque drew a grimly realistic picture of the horror of battle in his first novel and masterpiece, Im Westen nichts Neues (tranlation, 'All Quiet on the Western Front,' 1929), an immediate international success. When the Nazis came to power they ordered it burned. Remarque's next work was The Way Back (1931), a sequel describing the attempt of Germans to come to terms with their postwar situation. Remarque lived in Switzerland after 1932 and emigrated to the United States in 1939. His later books include Three Comrades (1937), Arch of Triumph (1946), A Time to Love and a Time to Die (1954), and Shadows in Paradise (1971). Mr. Remarque died in 1970.
    In 1903, John Dillinger, American gangster.
    John Hubbell, planet watcher.
    In 1906, Billy Wilder, film director.
    In 1907, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, American aviator/author.
    In 1922, fashion designer Bill Blass.
    In 1933, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat-California.
    In 1936, singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson born in Brownsville, Texas, the son of a minister. He attends Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship and receives a PhD from Pomona College in Texas. He writes several top 40 songs, including the No. 1 song "Me and Bobby McGee." His biggest solo hit is "Why Me," a million-selling record that reaches No. 16 on Billboard's Hot 100 in 1973.
    In 1941, Actor Michael Lerner.
Wide-shouldered American actor Michael Lerner has become a Rod Steiger for the '90s, specializing in portraying brusque bullies with above-average intelligence. For many years a professor of literature at San Francisco State College, Lerner turned to acting in the late '60s, making his film bow with 1970's Alex in Wonderland. He alternated his movie work with stage appearances at the American Conservatory Theatre. Michael Lerner's more notable film roles include Arnold Rothstein in Eight Men Out (1988) and a Louis Mayer-clone movie producer (for which he was Oscar nominated) in Barton Fink (1991). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
11:13 6/21/2008

    In 1949, Actress Meryl Streep, who has received a record 13 Academy Award nominations. Streep took opera lessons as a child, but decided to focus on acting in college, studying at Vassar and the Yale School of Drama. Making her screen debut in the 1977 film Julia, Streep was nominated for an Academy Award only one year later for The Deer Hunter (1978). With her incredible talent and flair for the dramatic, Streep went on to give Oscar-winning performances in Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Sophie’s Choice (1982), and Oscar-nominated performances in such films as Silkwood (1983), Ironweed (1987), Postcards From the Edge (1990), The Bridges of Madison County (1995), One True Thing (1998), Music of the Heart (1999) and Adaptation (2003). The American Film Institute honored Streep with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.
    In 1952, Actor Graham Greene.

 On this day...
    In 1527, Nicolò Machiavelli died.
    In 1611, Henry Hudson set adrift in Hudson Bay during mutiny.
    In 1633, Galileo forced to confess falsehood of Copernican Theory because heretical.
    In 1675, Royal Greenwich Observatory established by Charles II.
    In 1772, slavery is outlawed in England.
    In 1775, first Continental currency authorized.
    In 1807, British board USS Chesapeake, leading to the War of 1812.
    In 1808, Zebulon Pike reaches his peak, it was all downhill after that.
    In 1815, the second abdication of Napoleon who was banished to St. Helena where he died.
    In 1847, the doughnut is invented.
    In 1849, Stephen C. Massett opens at San Francisco courthouse as first professional entertainer, using the (allegedly) only piano in California.
    In 1864, [Civil War] Lee strikes back at Petersburg    Union forces attempt to capture a railroad that had been supplying Petersburg, Virginia, from the south, and extend their lines to the Appomattox River. The Confederates thwarted the attempt, and the two sides settled into trenches for a nine-month siege.
    The struggle for Petersburg began on June 15. Union General Ulysses S. Grant had spent six weeks fighting his way around Richmond, Virginia. His adversary, General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, had inflicted tremendous casualties on the Army of the Potomac. Most recently, at Cold Harbor, Grant ordered a disastrous attack on Rebel entrenchments and lost 7,000 men. Afterward, Grant swung south to capture the rail center of Petersburg, 23 miles from Richmond.
    When the troops arrived, they found the Confederates already digging trenches. For four days, Grant tried to break through the lines. On June 18, Union losses were particularly heavy. After pausing to reconsider his tactics, Grant refrained from further frontal assaults.
    Instead, Grant resumed the flanking movements he had followed throughout the campaign. He extended his left flank on June 21 to cut off the Weldon Railroad, which supplied Petersburg from the south. Part of the Union Second and Sixth Corps moved past the Jerusalem Plank Road, where they ran into Ambrose Powell Hill’s Confederates. Hill’s troops rolled up on the Union flank, inflicting nearly 3,000 casualties and capturing 1,700 prisoners. Hill provided breathing room for Lee’s army, and the armies settled in for a long siege.

    In 1870, the U.S. Congress created the Department of Justice.
    In 1909, the first transcontinental auto race ended in Seattle, Washington.
    In 1910, first passenger carrying airship, the Zeppelin "Deutscheland".
    In 1911, King George V of England crowned.
    In 1922, the 'helicopter' first displayed by Henry Adler Berliner of Maryland.
    In 1933, Germany became a one political party country when Hitler banned parties other than the Nazis.
    In 1937, Joe Louis knocks out James Braddock in eighth round at Chicago for heavyweight boxing title.
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

* * * * * * * * * * * * D-DAY * IKE: ALLIED TROOPS LAND ON FRENCH COAST * * * * * * * * * * * * D-DAY * IKE: ALLIED TROOPS LAND ON FRENCH COAST * * * * * * * * * * * * * D-DAY * IKE: ALLIED TROOPS LAND ON FRENCH COAST * * * * * * * * * * * * * D-DAY * IKE: ALLIED TROOPS LAND ON FRENCH COAST * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    In 1939, the first U.S. water-ski tournament was held at Jones Beach, on Long Island, New York.
    In 1940, Adolph Hitler gained a stunning victory as France was forced to sign an armistice eight days after German forces overran Paris.
    In 1941, Headline: Germany launches Operation Barbarossa—the invasion of Russia
    Over 3 million German troops invade Russia in three parallel offensives, in what is the most powerful invasion force in history. Nineteen panzer divisions, 3,000 tanks, 2,500 aircraft, and 7,000 artillery pieces pour across a thousand-mile front as Hitler goes to war on a second front.
    Despite the fact that Germany and Russia had signed a “pact” in 1939, each guaranteeing the other a specific region of influence without interference from the other, suspicion remained high. When the Soviet Union invaded Rumania in 1940, Hitler saw a threat to his Balkan oil supply. He immediately responded by moving two armored and 10 infantry divisions into Poland, posing a counterthreat to Russia. But what began as a defensive move turned into a plan for a German first-strike. Despite warnings from his advisers that Germany could not fight the war on two fronts (as Germany’s experience in World War I proved), Hitler became convinced that England was holding out against German assaults, refusing to surrender, because it had struck a secret deal with Russia. Fearing he would be “strangled” from the East and the West, he created, in December 1940, “Directive No. 21: Case Barbarossa”–the plan to invade and occupy the very nation he had actually asked to join the Axis only a month before!
    Having postponed the invasion of Russia after Italy’s attack on Greece forced Hitler to bail out his struggling ally in order to keep the Allies from gaining a foothold in the Balkans, three German army groups struck Russia hard by surprise. The Russian army was larger than German intelligence had anticipated, but they were demobilized. Stalin had shrugged off warnings from his own advisers, even Winston Churchill himself, that a German attack was imminent. (Although Hitler had telegraphed his territorial designs on Russia as early as 1925–in his autobiography, Mein Kampf.) By the end of the first day of the invasion, the German air force had destroyed more than 1,000 Soviet aircraft. And despite the toughness of the Russian troops, and the number of tanks and other armaments at their disposal, the Red Army was disorganized, enabling the Germans to penetrate up to 300 miles into Russian territory within the next few days.
    Exactly 129 years and one day before Operation Barbarossa, another “dictator” foreign to the country he controlled, invaded Russia–making it all the way to the capital. But despite this early success, Napoleon would be escorted back to France–by Russian troops.
    In 1942, V-Mail, or Victory-Mail, was sent for the first time.
    France: Pierre Laval declares "I wish for a German victory."
    In 1943, John L. Lewis calls off coal strike until October 31 if Government keeps control of mines.
     Sailing across the Atlantic Ocean was much safer after May 1943, when Admiral Karl Donitz recalled his German U-boats from the region. The Battle of the Atlantic had begun in 1939. Over the next few years, however, the Allies introduced a series of defenses against the U-boat wolfpacks: the convoy system, in which merchant ships traveled with escorting warships, armed for battle against the German submarines; the use of air cover for the convoys; the redirecting of convoys around known U-boat concentration, after the British success in deciphering the German Enigma code; and the use of long-range B-24 bombers equipped with centimetric radar and other advances. After the U-boats were withdrawn, the Allies went on the offensive against them. Between June and August, aircraft from the British Coastal Command sank twenty-four U-boats near their bases.
    [National Archives and Records Administration]
    In 1944, Headline: FDR signs G.I. Bill
    U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the G.I. Bill, an unprecedented act of legislation designed to compensate returning members of the armed services–known as G.I.s–for their efforts in World War II.
    As the last of its sweeping New Deal reforms, Roosevelt’s administration created the G.I. Bill–officially the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944–hoping to avoid a relapse into the Great Depression after the war ended. FDR particularly wanted to prevent a repeat of the Bonus March of 1932, when 20,000 unemployed veterans and their families flocked in protest to Washington. The American Legion, a veteran’s organization, successfully fought for many of the provisions included in the bill, which gave returning servicemen access to unemployment compensation, low-interest home and business loans, and–most importantly–funding for education.
    By giving veterans money for tuition, living expenses, books, supplies and equipment, the G.I. Bill effectively transformed higher education in America. Before the war, college had been an option for only 10-15 percent of young Americans, and university campuses had become known as a haven for the most privileged classes. By 1947, in contrast, vets made up half of the nation’s college enrollment; three years later, nearly 500,000 Americans graduated from college, compared with 160,000 in 1939.
    As educational institutions opened their doors to this diverse new group of students, overcrowded classrooms and residences prompted widespread improvement and expansion of university facilities and teaching staffs. An array of new vocational courses were developed across the country, including advanced training in education, agriculture, commerce, mining and fishing–skills that had previously been taught only informally.
    The G.I. Bill became one of the major forces that drove an economic expansion in America that lasted 30 years after World War II. Only 20 percent of the money set aside for unemployment compensation under the bill was given out, as most veterans found jobs or pursued higher education. Low interest home loans enabled millions of American families to move out of urban centers and buy or build homes outside the city, changing the face of the suburbs. Over 50 years, the impact of the G.I. Bill was enormous, with 20 million veterans and dependents using the education benefits and 14 million home loans guaranteed, for a total federal investment of $67 billion. Among the millions of Americans who have taken advantage of the bill are former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford, former Vice President Al Gore and entertainers Johnny Cash, Ed McMahon, Paul Newman and Clint Eastwood.
    In 1945, Headline: Battle of Okinawa ends
    The U.S. 10th Army overcomes the last major pockets of Japanese resistance on Okinawa Island, ending one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. The same day, Japanese Lieutenant General Mitsuru Ushijima, the commander of Okinawa’s defense, committed suicide with a number of Japanese officers and troops rather than surrender.
    On April 1, 1945, the 10th Army, under Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner, launched the invasion of Okinawa, a strategic Pacific island located midway between Japan and Formosa. Possession of Okinawa would give the United States a base large enough for an invasion of the Japanese home islands. There were more than 100,000 Japanese defenders on the island, but most were deeply entrenched in the island’s densely forested interior. By the evening of April 1, 60,000 U.S. troops had come safely ashore. However, on April 4, Japanese land resistance stiffened, and at sea kamikaze pilots escalated their deadly suicide attacks on U.S. vessels.
    During the next month, the battle raged on land and sea, with the Japanese troops and fliers making the Americans pay dearly for every strategic area of land and water won. On June 18, with U.S. victory imminent, General Buckner, the hero of Iwo Jima, was killed by Japanese artillery. Three days later, his 10th Army reached the southern coast of the island, and on June 22 Japanese resistance effectively came to an end.
    The Japanese lost 120,000 troops in the defense of Okinawa, while the Americans suffered 12,500 dead and 35,000 wounded. Of the 36 Allied ships lost, most were destroyed by the 2,000 or so Japanese pilots who gave up their lives in kamikaze missions. With the capture of Okinawa, the Allies prepared for the invasion of Japan, a military operation predicted to be far bloodier than the 1944 Allied invasion of Western Europe. The plan called for invading the southern island of Kyushu in November 1945, and the main Japanese island of Honshu in March 1946. In July, however, the United States successfully tested an atomic bomb and after dropping two of these devastating weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August, Japan surrendered.
Battle for Okinawa, Japan

    Poles get new Soviet-supported Communist govt.
06/22/2017 1119
    In 1946, jet airplanes were used to transport mail for the first time.
    In 1954, the Douglas A4D (A-4) Skyhawk makes first flight from Edwards AFB with company pilot Robert Rahn at the controls.
    In 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court voted that Henry Miller’s book, "Tropic of Cancer," could not be banned.
    In 1969, Judy Garland, U.S. film actress and singer, died; famed for her roles in "The Wizard of Oz," "Meet Me in St Louis" and "A Star is Born."
Judy Garland (born Frances Ethel Gumm; June 10, 1922 - June 22, 1969) was an Academy Award-nominated American film actress and singer, best known for her role as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz (1939). The American Film Institute named Garland eighth among the Greatest Female Stars of All Time.
11:28 6/21/2008
    In 1970, voting age in U.S. lowered to 18 years. (And, suddenly every college kid in the country started playing politics.)
    In 1973, Skylab astronauts splashed down safely in the Pacific after a record 28 days in space.
    In 1978, the planet Pluto's partner, Charon, is discovered.
    In 1981, Mark David Chapman pled guilty to killing John Lennon.
    In 1983, first time a satellite is retrieved from orbit, by Space Shuttle.
    In 1987, Fred Astaire, U.S. actor, dancer and singer, died. He starred in a large number of stage musicals and films, 10 with dancing partner Ginger Rogers.
    In 1988, Disney's "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" opens; to gross over $150 million.
    In 1989, the government of Angola and the anti-Communist rebels of the UNITA movement agreed to a formal truce in their 14-year-old civil war.
    In 1990, the Northrop/McDonnell Douglas YF-23A Advanced Tactical Fighter prototype is rolled out in ceremonies at Edwards AFB.
    In 1992, M.F.K. Fisher, the grande dame of food writers who blended here passion for gastronomy with reveries, observations and recipes, died in Glen Ellen, California. She was 83. "There is a communion of more than our bodies when bread is broken and wine is drunk," Fisher wrote. "And that is my answer, when people ask me: 'Why do you write about hunger, and not wars or love?'"
Fisher was born Mary Frances Kennedy in Albion, Michigan on July 3, 1908. In 1911, her father, Rex Kennedy, moved the family to Whittier, California to pursue a career in journalism. Although Whittier was primarily a Quaker community at that time, Mary Frances was brought up within the Episcopal Church.
While studying at the University of California in 1929, Fisher met her first husband, Alfred Young Fisher. The couple spent the first formative years of their marriage in Europe, primarily at the University of Dijon in France. At the time, Dijon was known as one of the major culinary centers of the world and this certainly had an impact on Fisher, who later went on to become one of the great culinary writers of the twentieth century. These three years in Dijon are nicely recounted in her later book "Long ago in France."
In 1932, the couple returned from France to a country ravaged by the Great Depression. Having lived for years as students on a fixed stipend, they were wholly unprepared for the economic situation that faced them. Al got odd jobs cleaning out houses before finally landing a teaching job at Occidental College in Los Angeles. Fisher did her part teaching a few lessons at an all-girls' school and working in a frame shop.
In addition to being an author, Fisher was an amateur sculptor working mostly in the realm of wood carving.
During the Fishers' years in California, they formed a friendship with Dillwyn "Timmy" Parrish and his wife, Gigi. Later, in 1938, Fisher was to leave Alfred for Timmy, referred to as "Chexbres" in many of her books, named after the small Swiss village on Lake Geneva close to where they had lived. The second marriage, while passionate, was short. Only a year into the marriage, Parrish lost his leg due to a circulatory disease, and in 1941 took his own life. Fisher went on to be involved in a number of other turbulent romantic relationships with men and women.
Fisher bore two daughters. Anna, whose father Fisher refused to name, was born in 1943. Mary Kennedy was born in 1946, during Fisher's marriage to Donald Friede, which lasted from 1945 to 1951.
After Parrish's death, Fisher considered herself a "ghost" of a person, but went on to live a long and productive life, dying in California in 1992 at the age of 83. She had long suffered from Parkinson's disease and arthritis, but lived the last twenty years of her life in "Last House," a house built for her in one of California's vineyards.
A full list of her works can be found at The MFK Fisher Foundation Webpage.
11:27 6/22/2009

     The U.S. Supreme Court, in R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, unanimously ruled that "hate crime" laws that ban cross burning and similar expressions of racial bias violated free-speech rights.
    In 1993, former first lady Pat Nixon died in Park Ridge, N.J., at age 81.
    In 1994, President Clinton announced North Korea had confirmed its willingness to freeze its nuclear program. The Houston Rockets defeated the New York Knicks 90-84 to win the NBA championship. Harold Bressler, Waynesboro, Pa., joined the Colonel's BBS.
1998, the Supreme Court made it much harder for students who are sexually harassed by teachers to hold school districts financially responsible, ruling 5-4 that a key anti-bias law applies only if administrators know about the misconduct.
Additionally, the Supreme Court ruled that evidence illegally obtained by authorities could be used at revocation hearings for a convicted criminal's parole.
    In 1999, thru the 27th, Air Force Lt. Col. Eileen M. Collins becomes the first woman to command a space shuttle.
     The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that persons with remediable handicaps cannot claim discrimination in employment under the Americans with Disability Act.
    In 2000, at least 130 people were killed in China when the ferry Rong Jian capsized on the Yangtze River near the city of Luzhou in Sichuan province.
    In 2003, a hailstone 7 inches in diameter fell on Aurora, Nebraska
"This hailstone holds the title, beating the prior reord setter, a 5.7-incher that fell on Coffeyville, Kansas, in 1970. Thousands of storms produce hail each year, sometimes with tennis ball-sized stones. But a 7 incher is like a cantaloupe.

"Here's how it could be topped: The freezing level --- The height above where the temperature drops below 32 degrees, allowing for hail --- would be just right. Not too high or too low: The atmosphere would be unstable enough to create a hefty storm. Within that, thunderclouds would have winds of hurricane force --- blowing upward. Why? To create a mega-hailstone, cold air mixes with a thunderstorm updraft of air strong enough to suspend a huge chunk of ice. With this upward drafting, look out below!"

-- Stu Ostro, senior meterorogist at the Weather Channel (
12:24 8/2/2004
    In 2008, Revius Ortique Jr. the first African-American justice on the Louisiana Supreme Court, died. He was 84. Ortique, a civil right attorney, was elected to the state Supreme Court in 1992 but stepped down two years later when he reached 70, the state's mandatory retirement age.
    In 2011, Headline: Notorious Boston mobster Whitey Bulger is arrested    After 16 years on the run from law enforcement, James “Whitey” Bulger, a violent Boston mob boss wanted for 19 murders, is arrested in Santa Monica, California. The 81-year-old Bulger, one of the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” fugitives, was arrested with his longtime companion, 60-year-old Catherine Greig, who fled Massachusetts with the gangster in late 1994, shortly before he was to be indicted on federal criminal charges. At the time of his 2011 arrest, there was a $2 million reward for information leading to Bulger’s capture, the largest amount ever offered by the agency for a domestic fugitive.

 Thought for the day...

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