Sunday, April 16, 2017

April 17 (A Triple)

1492 - A contract was signed by Christopher Columbus and a representative of Spain's King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, giving Columbus a commission to seek a westward ocean passage to Asia - specifically India.

A huge event. Especially considering the Portuguese laughed him out of their court, as did the rest of Europe.

Of course Columbus found anything but Asia. What he did find, however, changed the world - and enriched Spain unlike any Western nation since Rome.

1824 - Russia abandoned all North American claims south of 54' 40'.

It’s a good thing this was an official act of the Russian nation, because the Soviets laid claim to any previous Russian lands which weren’t formally abdicated.

Try to imagine Stalin making a claim on any part of North America.  I'm pretty sure this would have been a problem...I'm also sure our friend Vlad Putin might be making hay in our current day, as well.

1895 - The Treaty of Shimonoseki: Ended the Sino-Japanese War.

China was beaten badly in this war, and the peace terms reflected it...Korea was freed from Chinese rule - though it's hard to consider being virtually handed over to Japan as being free, and Japan received many naval ports as well as an opening to five of China’s exclusive trade ports - routes of future invasion.

The Japanese Empire was growing up, and becoming more and more bold...The Russians were the next to feel their sting, then the U.S.

1521 - Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church.

Excommunication was a serious penalty during this time...No Last Rites and no Heaven, and he was more or less kicked out of the European 'Community of Man.'

So, Luther founded his own community.

1951 - Mickey Mantle hit a home run measured a distance of 565 feet.

That's almost two football fields in length!

Mickey was truly a monster, and it's too bad his knees and booze kept him from being the player he should have been...He was one of  the best ever, but he should have been even better.

1961 - About 1,500 CIA-trained Cuban exiles launched the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, a failed attempt to overthrow the government of Fidel Castro.

1. It must be noted Kennedy was a strong anti-Communist and defender of the American homeland.

2. It must also be noted this invasion had honorable objectives, and it’s unacceptable others haven’t been attempted to depose a communist leader less than 100 miles off the American coast.

3. The plan was pathetic, and Kennedy dropped the ball by allowing the CIA to run it without military support.

4. The most disgraceful part of the episode is Kennedy crapped himself when it went bad, and turned tail.

1975 - The Khmer Rouge captured Phnom Penn, Cambodia.

This ended the Cambodian civil war and led to a period of absolute hell for the Cambodians...The Khmer Rouge was a communist organization unlike any before or after, and for the short period of time it ruled it proved to be maybe the most bizarre and deadly (in relative population terms) - which is quite an achievement considering the history of other communist countries.

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