On this day in history.

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

  1. scifan57

    scifan57
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    It's hard to believe that almost 300 years have passed since the death of Blackbeard and the heyday of piracy in the Americas and Caribbean.
     
  2. giradman

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    BOY - did not realize that next year would indeed be the 300 year anniversary of Blackbeard's death - BUT, the memory of piracy and history in general is quite alive where I live and along the Carolina coast and adjacent Virginia & Georgia - and the history lives on in a variety of ways, such as restaurants and bars - just a few of many examples - Anne Bonney's on the Wilmington Riverwalk (where we waited to take our Cape Fear River cruise) and Blackbeard's in Beaufort, appropriately - impossible to escape 'pirate lore' while visiting these historic coastal areas (and a lot of fun!). Dave :)
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  3. scifan57

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    I'd say that the Blackbeard name earns far more money today than Blackbeard the pirate ever earned while he was alive.
     
  4. Thomas1977

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    Today is Thanksgiving.
     
  5. giradman

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    LOL! :D You may be right - still a lot of 'pirate interest' around these days, and if the movies related to piratical activity are included over the many decades of film making, then quite a haul!

    But I've always been curious at 'how much' these treasures were worth; of course, the Spanish in their 'hey day' were likely the main contributors to these treasure acquisitions - found the link given in the quote below which 'attempts' to estimate a pirate's worth in today's US dollars - Blackbeard is 10th on their list at 12.5 million bucks - not bad; Black Sam (Samuel Bellamy) comes in at No. 1 w/ $120 million (I don't know much about this guy?); now that list includes a number of individuals who might not be thought of as traditional pirates (vs. privateers, a subtle distinction, or even in government employment at the time) - bottom line is that a 'pirate's life' could indeed be lucrative, but likely limited to the top ones, I suspect. Dave :)

     
  6. giradman

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    Darwin's Origin of Species Published Today in 1859!

    One year ago, Johanna mentioned the publication of Darwin's classic (HERE) - I responded w/ pics of a half dozen books related to the topic; so for those interested take a look back in this thread to November 2016.

    But I'm in the middle of reading the book below - The Book That Changed America by Randall Fuller, published earlier this read - believe that my attention to this book was from a NPR review. The subjects discussed are more about well known Americans of the period, especially in New England, who were affected by Darwin's publication - these stories are interweaved w/ current historic events in the United States, such as slavery, abolitionists (as were a number of the personages mentioned), etc. Dave :)
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  7. giradman

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    United Nations Voted Today in 1947 to Create an Independent Jewish State in Palestine!

    This day in 1947, the United Nations voted to partition Palestine and create an independent Jewish state, which occurred in May, 1948 - some more details in the quotes below. The Near East has been a complicated place for thousands of years and remains so - the birthplace of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - I just finished the excellent book shown below, Israel: A Concise History Of A Nation Reborn (2016) by Daniel Gordis and for those interested, a strong recommendation.

    Susan was brought up Jewish (reform) and I Catholic - our son would be considered Jewish, but neither of us were religious and we joined a liberal Unitarian Fellowship (and still belong to the same one in our home town); he attended their Sunday school as a child and learned about the world's religions and dedication to family, friends, and community. He also experienced some of the Jewish holidays - Susan's parents would visit and her father would lead a seder - we celebrated Hanukkah and lit a menorah (and still do) - our son would get little presents each day (and also Christmas presents!). Dave :)

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  8. scifan57

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  9. giradman

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    Mark Twain (or real name, 'Samuel Langhorne Clemens') was an amazing American - an author, journalist, lecturer, humorist, entrepreneur, and publisher. He was also a Mississippi riverboat pilot (a lucrative position at the time and requiring a visual 'memory map' of the curves and bends of the snaky river and the numerous points of potential danger) - his pen name derives from his early nautical experience, likely related to marking the depth of the water for purposes of navigation.

    As a lecturer and humorist (and in his many writings), he was famous for his innumerable sayings - just a few of my favorite (of many) quoted below, from HERE for those interested in more! As a publisher, he was responsible financially for releasing the two-volume Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant, which provided his family with needed funds as he was dying from throat cancer.

    Finally a few months ago, I finished the book described and shown below: The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of the American Empire (2017) by Stephen Kinzer - an excellent account of 'imperialistic' goals of the United States at and after the time of the Spanish-American War - recommended to those interested in the topic and the antagonistic relationship between Teddy & Mark - :) Dave

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    #2419 giradman, Nov 30, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2017
  10. giradman

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    Chunnel (English Channel Tunnel) Breakthrough This Day in 1990!

    On this day in 1990, workers from England and France connected with each other in the early construction of the English Channel Tunnel (a.k.a. Chunnel) - completion took another 4 years at a cost of $15 billion (assume that is USD, which is $28 billion today adjusted for inflation!). My last visit to Europe was in 1996 (Italy) and probably late 1980s to England/Scotland (took our teenage son along), so I've never crossed the English Channel through the tunnel (nor by water, for that matter).

    P.S. The Seikan Tunnel in Japan is the world's longest tunnel with an undersea segment (The Channel tunnel, while shorter, has a longer undersea segment). It is also the second deepest and the second longest main-line railway tunnel after the Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland opened in 2016 (Source).

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