Archive Logo.jpg

January 20, 2006

Kicking around the dusty corners.

Random notes in history today that caught my eye...

1265 English Parliament meets for the first time. 741 years on, in a fashion that would be only vaguely recognizable to Simon de Montfort, and British democracy is still evolving. Yet in this era, we expect one election in a place that's not known political freedom as we understand it to produce a western style democracy - none of which themselves sprang fully formed from the forehead of a cultural Zeus. Yet if it doesn't - the self-appointed Guardians of Democracy, the Press, and those who are Out of Power, virtually declare it a failure because it doesn't look like us. Feh.

1914 USN opens a school for aviators at Pensacola, Fla. Which results, in among other things, Lex.

1942 Nazi officials hold notorious Wannsee Conference on the "Final Solution"

1952 British army occupies Ismailiya, Suez Canal Zone. This sets the stage for the Suez Crisis of 1956. The French are still in a 'payback mode' from the US response to that operation.

1955 USS Nautilus launched at Groton, Conn.

1981 52 Americans held hostage in Iran for 444 days freed. One of the players in that drama now plays chicken with the Western World on nukes.

1991 US Patriot missiles begin shooting down Iraqi Scud missiles. How many depends on who you talk to and how effective depends on how you define it. But it's also instructive regardng the tyranny of unrealistic expectations and the people who pander to them.