On this day in history.

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

  1. giradman

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    Columbus Sets Sail for his First Voyage Today in 1492!

    Today in 1492, Christopher Columbus sets sail from Palos, Spain (near Seville) for his first voyage across the Atlantic Ocean presumably headed to the Spice Islands, Japan/China, and India - instead he 'bump into' the Americas, and eventually made 4 trips to the Caribbean area. On his initial voyage, he had just 3 small ships, the Nina, Pinta, and the Santa Maria (the largest about 60 ft in deck length).

    The legacy of Columbus remains contentious and controversial - the European 'invasion' of the Americans wiped out 80% - 90% of the native populations and destroyed some amazing civilizations - disease by far was the most common cause of this fatal interaction; below, just a few 'facts' of interest, a tee shirt that I own, and a book recommendation, i.e. American Holocaust (1992) by David E. Stannard - today NPR had a number of short programs on the topic w/ interviews of several Native Americans. Dave :)

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  2. scifan57

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    Of course, Columbus wasn't the first European to reach the Americas. The Vikings did it almost 500 years earlier. The big difference is that the Viking expeditions did not result in a permanent European presence like the aftermath of Columbus's voyages of discovery. Norse colonization of North America - Wikipedia
    Newfoundland, the first British colony was first established in 1497, only 5 years after Columbus made his first voyage. Newfoundland Colony
     
    #2352 scifan57, Aug 3, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
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  3. giradman

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    Believe that we've had this discussion before - what is interesting about the Norsemen's incursion across the northern Atlantic to Greenland and the east coastal North American continent is the relationship to the Medieval Warm Period (Wiki quotes below + graph) - the partial ice melt and more hospitable terrain facilitated settlements of the Vikings in these areas, especially from the 10th into the early 14th centuries - boy, that is a long time w/ so little known about their history then and there, or their interaction w/ native North Americans - now, I've read books on the Vikings over the decades but seems none remain in my collection (we donate a lot of books to several local charities); and the subsequent Little Ice Age is yet another interesting topic of discussion. Dave :)

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  4. giradman

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    Below a repeat from exactly one year ago - :)

    First Atom Bomb Dropped on Hiroshima this day by the Enola Gay!

    Today in 1945, the first atom bomb was dropped on Japan w/ devastating results in quote below; a second bomb, code named “Fat Man”, was dropped three days later over Nagasaki, Japan. It is estimated that between 129,000- 246,000 people died, up to half of them in the first hour, as the results of these two bombs. By August 14, 1945, Japan had unconditionally surrendered (Source). Dave :)
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  5. scifan57

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    August 7, 1947;

    Thor Heyerdahl and his 5 man crew complete a 4,300 mile, 101 day voyage from Peru to Raroia in the Tuamotu Archipeligo near Tahiti on the balsa wood raft Kon-Tiki. Kon-Tiki expedition - Wikipedia
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  6. giradman

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    Barbara Cook, Cabaret & Broadway Singer, Dies Today at 89 years!

    Susan & I are saddened today - we both are Broadway fans and devoted listeners to the 20th century American songbook - Barbara Cook, one of the premiere interpreters of those songs died today - NPR just had a short tribute. She emerged on Broadway in the mid-1950s (see quotes below) and as her 'star' there faded (for a variety of reasons), she re-emerged as a superb cabaret singer; around 1990, we saw her in San Francisco at the small 'bar' in the Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill - we were just enthralled.

    Below some pics of her, early & later and from the Kennedy Center Honors. The last pic is a DVD that we own of a live concert devoted to the music of Stephen Sondheim, a favorite of Susan (who is a soprano, and often plays his music and sings on her piano). I own a few CDs of her performances which I'll pull for our dinner music tonight. Dave :)

    P.S. Glen Campbell also passed away today, yet another fav of ours from the old days - we saw him a couple years ago on a visit to our son in Indianapolis, but unfortunately his Alzheimer's disease was worsening (he performed for a few months after that concert).

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  7. giradman

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    Smithsonian Institution Act Signed Today by President Polk in 1846

    The Smithosonia Institution was created today in 1846 by an act signed by President James K. Polk. Many of the museums are located around the Mall and takes days to visit properly - a few new ones have opened since our last visit to D.C. Also, keep in mind that there are a number of wonderful non-Smithsonian museums and attractions (look HERE) - our most recent visit in the latter category a few years ago was to the Newseum, highly recommended. Dave :)

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  8. giradman

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    Swing Era begins with Benny Goodman’s triumphant Palomar Ballroom performance in 1935!

    Well, many important events occurred today - just a short list in first quote (Source), but I've picked the appearance of the Benny Goodman band at the Palomar Ballroom this day in 1935 in Los Angeles - next three quotes from that link.

    In the early 1930s in New York City, Benny Goodman put together a band that played Fletcher Henderson arrangements late at night on the east coast on a radio show, Let's Dance - this led to a tour from coast to coast which seemed a disaster (usually forced to play sweet mellow dance music) - the group arrived at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles, and the first half of their performance seemed like another 'flop' until a suggestion was made to play their Henderson material - the crowd came ALIVE! Due to the 3-hour time difference, the music from the Let's Dance radio show was well known to them - the event was a SMASH success, and as is said 'history was made' and the Swing Era launched.

    Pics below show a listing of a 'failing tour' across in the country until Los Angeles. In 1956, a film bioptic was released called The Benny Goodman Story w/ Steve Allen as Goodman and Donna Reed as Alice Hammond, a New York socialite who he eventually married making him the brother-in-law of John Hammond (see last quote below from link). The film is not historically accurate and Allen was not much of an actor, BUT the appearances of the 'real' Teddy Wilson, Gene Krupa, & Lionel Hampton and Benny Goodman on clarinet makes this movie a MUST watch for fans of this music. Finally, I also own the book below (last image) which is recommended for a more honest portrayal of Goodman. Dave :)


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  9. giradman

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    Vesuvius Eruption in 79 A.D. Today Destroys Pompeii & Herculaneum

    Below the asterisks is a post that I left a year ago on the same topic - not discussed then is the 'casting' of cavities that contained the bodies of those that were killed by the eruption - below is a short quote - check the link for much more detail; the casting techniques have changed over the centuries from using plaster initially (first pic from source given) to much more modern methods. We went through the Pompeii Museum in 1971 and would love to return; also, the exhibit mentioned below in Charlotte had a number of these 'recreated' bodies of people and animals. Dave :)

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    Vesuvius Erupts in 79 A.D. Destroying Pompeii & Herculaneum


    Today, the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius destroys the Roman cities of Pompeii & Herculaneum just south of Naples - Kevin mentioned this event in one of his threads which prompted this posting - first two quotes below from the History Website - check the link for further information. A map below shows the location of the Pompeii ruins (along w/ a panoramic pic w/ the dormant volcano in the background). In 1971, Susan & I did a 3-week tour of Italy which included a beautiful Amalfi coastal drive - we lunched on the lower slopes of Vesuvius and visited Pompeii on our way to a few days on the Isle of Capri. Dave :)

    P.S. In 2008, there was an excellent touring exhibit at the Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC - we did a 2-night trip from Winston-Salem (just 90 mins in the car) - a great experience which brought back memories.

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  10. scifan57

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    August 25, 1962;

    Little Eva has her first and only number one hit with the release of The Loco-motion.


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    Little Eva - Wikipedia
     
    #2360 scifan57, Aug 25, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017

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