On this day in history.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by KevinJS, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. giradman

    giradman
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    Ulysses S. Grant Nominated by Lincoln to the Rank of Lieutenant General this day in 1864

    Today in 1864, Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) was nominated by Abraham Lincoln to the rank of Lieutenant General (3 stars), newly revived and previously held by George Washington (also Winfield Scott but by brevet only) - several quotes below. Although Grant was a West Point graduate and served well in the Mexican War, he was unhappy by himself in the 1850s west and quit the Army; after, he failed in many endeavors and was a lowly clerk in his father's store in Galena, Illinois at the start of the Civil War.

    The War made Grant a new man - he and Robert E. Lee emerged as the greatest generals of that horrible conflict. In 1868, Grant was elected the 18th President of the United States and served two terms, however, despite good intentions his presidency was inflicted by graft and corruption, ranking him as one of the 'worst' presidents (Source). He was a heavy cigar smoker and developed throat cancer, the cause of his death; to help restore his reputation and leave his family w/ sufficient money, he wrote his popular memoirs which are still in print (have a copy on my iPad - recommended!). Also, there is an excellent 4-hour PBS documentary for those interested (see pics below). Dave :)

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  2. giradman

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    U.S.S. Monitor Battles C.S.S. Virginia in Hampton Roads Bay This Day in 1862!

    On this day in 1862, Union and Confederate ironclads battled each other to a draw and made obsolete naval warfare using wooden ships. Maps below of the battle location and a general one of the area - this is a great place to visit - some of the attractions are listed on the map - still an important naval military city w/ Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach (w/ the VA Aquarium) - the restored colonial capital, Williamsburg is a must; Mt. Vernon and the LONG Chesapeake Bay Bridge & Tunnel are nearby, the latter to the Virginia East Coast w/ wineries & Chincoteague (wild horses) - I've put together a number of travelogues on these areas, so check the travel forum, if interested.

    Below just a few pics from the web - plenty others are available - over the years, we've taken several boat tours that visit the bay waters where the battle took place and exciting w/ the right narrator. The last pic is a full-scale reproduction of the Monitor at the Mariners' Museum & Park in Newport News, VA - I've never been there, so among revisiting other attractions, a future trip, me thinks! Dave :)


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  3. scifan57

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    I believe that the USS Monitor was the first vessel to use turret mounted guns in battle.
    Although frequently described as an ironclad, the hull of the Monitor was in fact iron plates fastened to iron frames. The CSS Virginia was a true ironclad, with iron armour over a wooden structure.
     
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  4. scifan57

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  5. giradman

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    William Herschel (1738-1822) was a versatile English personage - he was also a musician and composer - there is even a William Herschel Society devoted to his musical career (see first pic below) - I own one CD of his symphonies (contains 6 of 24 written) - have not heard any other works by him. Dave :)
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  6. scifan57

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    This and 3 other albums with Herschel's music are available in iTunes.
     
  7. giradman

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    Well, tonight for our 'dinner music', I put on the CD of Herschel's Symphonies - as expected from his dates, this is typical of the early 'classical era', a la Haydn (good but second tier - however, recommended) - now I was looking on Amazon and several of those iTunes recordings were available - only the Keyboard Sonatas are of interest to me, but need to check for reviews - he was an oboist (I'm a 'wind guy') and need to see if he wrote for the oboe; also played other instruments - Dave :)
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  8. scifan57

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  9. giradman

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    Seward's Folly (a.k.a. Purchase of Alaska) This Day in 1867!

    Today in 1867, the United States purchased the Alaska Territory from Russia for $7 million dollars - its current area is 663,268 sq mi in size (Source), about 17% of the total area of the United States. Alaska was admitted to the Union in 1959 as the 49th state and becoming the largest state in the country (over twice the size of Texas). Below some pics that are self-explanatory - William Seward was the Secretary of State (hence the nickname) under Andrew Johnson, the President then.

    Back in the 1990s, Susan & I took a 2-week trip to Alaska, first week on land and second week on a cruise ship from Seward to Vancouver along the 'inner passage' - visits to Glacier Bay, Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan; on the land part, Fairbanks, Nome, Kotzebue (above the Arctic Circle), Denali day trip (Mt. Denali shown below - tallest peak in North America, and formerly known as Mt. McKinley), and Anchorage. Dave :)

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  10. giradman

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    Pony Express Debuts Today in 1860!

    The Pony Express debuted this day in 1860 w/ mail delivery reduced to only 10 days - the service was expensive and short- lived w/ the completion of the trans-continental telegraph at the end of 1861. However, its memory lives on in western films of yesteryear, novels, and statues (several shown below), and in the minds of grown-up kids who loved the stories and films (like myself). :) Dave

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