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August 02, 2005

Whoa! Busy day in history today...

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216 -BC- Hannibal crushes a Roman Army at Cannae. Which, in the end, might as well be considered a Pearl Harbor... an event which led Admiral Yamamoto (the planner of the raid) to observe, ""I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve. ..." It moved the Romans to fully explore and execute Marcus Cato's dicta "Carthago Delenda Est" (Carthage must be destroyed). Anyone know any Carthaginians? Visited Carthage lately? Heh. And it echoes here in the Castle... Wahabism Delenda Est! Or, for the purists... Wahabismus Delenda Est!
[Erm, I've been reminded that it was really Hamilcar Barca, Hannibal's father, who roused the beast in the Punic Wars... still, a lesson in perseverance for us now...] [Another update: this time for the Googlebot: Yamamoto quote debunked - see comments to this post]

1776 Formal signing of Declaration of Independence. Royal Navy lands 32,000 British & Hessians on Staten Island, off New York. Hmm, that whole Declaration thing musta set 'em off...

1867 Wagon Box Fight: c. 30 army woodcutters defeat c. 1000 Sioux. And unknowingly provide the inspiration for decades of early Western movies, and for this cultural referent...

1887 Rowell Hodge receives a patent for barbed wire. The culture clash along the Chisum Trail and other locations intensifies.

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1914 German troops invade Luxembourg. Russian troops invade Eastern Prussia. The Guns of August open up and the curtain goes up on the Final Act of the Napoleonic Wars. Have to draw a line somwhere... but it was the whole 'Balance of Power" idea established by the Brits to contain Napoleon that led to the interwoven treaties whose clauses cascaded to start the bloodbath. In truth, you can make the argument to lay even our current troubles at the feet of Napoleon.

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1934 German Armed Forces swear a "Holy Oath" to the unholy Adolf Hitler. Thus setting the stage for the Angst of the German Officer Corps in their dealings with Hitler. Happy to embrace him in the beginning, starting to regret the deal in 1943, paralyzed to deal with it even as the Armies of the West and East were grinding german bones to dust.

1939 Einstein writes FDR about the atomic bomb. The seed that would become the Manhattan Project is planted.

1964 Gulf of Tonkin: North Vietnamese PT boats attack USS Maddox, resulting in HJ Resolution 1145. And we still haven't settled out the whole War Powers thing.

1990 Iraq invades & occupies Kuwait - onset of Destert Shield/Desert Storm. Hopefully all y'all are *up* on that...

In other news... mebbe I should put up a tip jar... H/t, multiple people seeking to help me expand the motor pool!

Let's close with this. I've not covered Jane Fonda's return to her roots, preferring to let others deal with it - and I don't have anything useful to add.

These troops do, however. They're holding her seat for her.

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H/t, multiple sources!

John | Permalink | Comments (15) | Historical Stuff
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