Posts Tagged ‘Soviet Union’

Hey there folks!  The applications are in and the group is set.  I’ll be contacting all of you shortly to do a brief introduction and get the ball rolling on communal activities (more group interaction with the blog, etc) but until I do that (most likely tomorrow) here is a “this week in history” to keep you busy!

May 10…

1940: The German invasion of the Low Countries (usually referring to either just the Netherlands or Benelux as a whole [Benelux = Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg]) begins, using a new military doctrine called ‘blitzkrieg.’

1994: Former political prisoner Nelson Mandela is sworn in as the first black president of South Africa.

May 11…

330 CE: Constantine dedicates his new capitol, Constantinople, formally shifting Roman power away from Rome.

1559: Religious reformer John Knox ignites the Scottish Reformation with a sermon at Perth, Scotland.

May 12…

1949: Soviet forces lift the blockade of Berlin, during which the Berlin Airlift made 278,228 supply flights.

May 13…

1943: The Allies secure victory in North Africa with the surrender of 250,000 German and Italian troops.

May 14…

1948: The British mandate for Palestine ends and the state of Israel is proclaimed by Jewish groups.

1955: The Soviet-dominated states of eastern Europe sign the Warsaw Pact military alliance in response to NATO.

May 15…

1252 CE: Use of torture in the inquisition of heretics is authorized by Innocent IV in his bull ‘Ad exstirpanda.’

May 16…

1943: The Warsaw Ghetto uprising is crushed by German troops and 60,000 Jewish people are shot or deported.

May 17…

1900: The British garrison at Mafeking, South Africa, under Robert Baden-Powell, is relieved after a Boer siege of 215 days.

May 20…

325 CE: Roman emperor Constantine calls the Council of Nicaea, the first ecumenical Christian council.

1940: A concentration camp is established at Auschwitz, Poland, under SS commandant Rudolph Hoess.

May 22…

1939: Hitler and Mussolini create the Axis with a ‘Pact of Steel,’ a 10 year pact of friendship and alliance.

2006: The break-up of Yugoslavia is completed when Montenegro narrowly votes for independence from Serbia.

 

And finally, since we’re hearing so much about Constantinople (and should be on the lookout for–questionable–portrayals or stereotypes of people in pop culture), we’ll end with some Tiny Toons in Turkey:

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Hello everyone!  I know I usually just focus on things in the past whenever I do “this week in history,” but we are on the eve of history being made.  In just a few hours it will be HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee!  That means she’s been on the throne for 60 years.

Now looking back again (yes, this time it covers a little bit over a week, but hey)…

April 29, 1916 – Irish nationalists in Dublin surrender to British authorities, ending the Easter Uprising.

April 29, 1967 – Boxer Muhammad Ali is stripped of his titles after refusing to serve in the US Army on religious grounds.

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April 30, 1789 – George Washington is sworn in as the first president of the United States.

April 30, 1945 – Adolph Hitler commits suicide in his bunker as Soviet forces overrun Berlin.

April 30, 1975 – The South Vietnamese government surrenders unconditionally to North Vietnam, ending decades of war.

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May 2, 1945 – The Battle for Berlin ends after lasting less than two weeks with the capture of the city by Soviet forces.

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May 4, 1942 – The first ‘selection’ for gassing takes place at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

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May 5, 1980 – The SAS storms the Iranian embassy in London, freeing 19 hostages held by terrorists.

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May 7, 1945 – Nazi Germany surrenders unconditionally to the Allies at General Eisenhower’s HQ in Rheims, France.

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May 8, 1945 – Prime Minister Winston Churchill announces the end of the war in Europe following Germany’s surrender.

Hello everyone!

The weather’s been on the fritz here in New York…hot, cold, hot, cold.  I can’t figure out what season it is!  Speaking of seasons and weather and….clothes…..which leads to….packing, in the next 3 months leading up to the trip I’ll be posting some tips and info on what to pack for this trip.  For many of you, this will be your first long trip abroad, so stay tuned for info on what kinds of clothes to bring and what else you’ll need to stuff in your packs (adapters, converters, plugs, etc).

Also, just to let you know, I will be visiting Washington DC over the weekend to check out the current exhibits at the museums we’ll be visiting and taking another look at the monuments and memorials we’ll be seeing in August.  Photos to come!

Until then, here is the latest week in history:

April 12…

1861 – The first shots of the American Civil War are fired as the Confederates take Fort Sumter, South Carolina.

1961 – Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first person in space (if you don’t count the US’s X-15 flight research program…but we can get into that later >yes I’m a space nerd<) aboard the Vostok 1.

April 13…

1829 – The Catholic Emancipation Act allows Catholics to sit in Parliament and hold public office in Britain.

1919 – British soldiers kill hundreds of unarmed Indian civilians during a protest in Amritsar, India.

April 14…

1865 – US President Abraham Lincoln is shot while at the theater in Washington, DC and dies the next day.

April 15…

1945 – British troops liberate Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany.

April 16…

73 CE – Roman troops breach the walls of Masada fortress to find the Jewish defenders have committed mass suicide.

1945 – The notorious high-security prisoner of war camp at Colditz Castle in Germany is liberated by US troops.

April 17…

1961 – A US-backed invasion of Cuba, made up of anti-Fidel Castro exiles, is defeated at the Bay of Pigs.

April 18…

1775 – The American War of Independence begins with the Battles of Lexington and Concord.  The British win both.

1949 – The Republic of Ireland comes into being, but the six counties of Northern Ireland remain part of Britain.

1986 – South Africa repeals the ‘pass laws’ restricting the movements of non-whites, enforced since 1948.

April 19…

1012 – Viking raiders kill Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, before being bought off with a huge bribe.

1943 – The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising ignites after German soldiers begin ‘liquidation’ of the Jewish ghetto.

April 20…

1945 – As Adolf Hitler celebrates his 56th birthday, Soviet shells fall on Berlin.

1968 – British politician Enoch Powell makes his notorious ‘rives of blood’ speech against immigration.

Photograph from jasoncholt.com

Translation: Barbarism has no religion, no culture, and no race.  No to terrorism.  Not in our name.  Muslim Youth of Madrid.

On March 11, 2004, ten bombs were planted on commuter trains traveling in the Madrid metro area.  Set off during the morning rush hour, they killed 191 and wounded 1,800 passengers and bystanders.  Initially, the Basque separatist organization ETA was suspected.  After a thorough investigation, the attacks were attributed to an al-Qaeda-inspired terrorist group.  This marked the first time an Islamic extremist group committed acts of terrorism on European soil and is still considered the worst terrorist attack in the history of Spain (and Europe).

Also on this day (from the BBC):

On March 11, 1941, the United States Congress passes the Lend-Lease Bill, authorizing huge war loans to Britain and the Soviet Union.

On March 11, 1985, reformer Mikhail Gorbachev is confirmed as the Soviet Union’s new (and ultimately final) leader.

From the BBC:
On March 8, 1917, Russia’s February Revolution begins with riots in Petrograd over food rations and conduct of the war.

On March 8, 1983, US President Ronald Reagan calls the Soviet Union “an evil empire,” initiating a more hardline US policy.

From National Native News:

On this day (March 9) in 1970, members of the United Nations of All Tribes occupied Fort Lawton in Washington. The base was scheduled to be turned into a park by city leaders. The takeover happened after unsuccessful tries to persuade city and federal officials to return the land to Native people. A cultural and social services center was later built at the site to help urban Indians in the Seattle area.