Sunday, October 15, 2017

October 16 (A Huge Day)

1813 - The Battle of Leipzig.

This battle is also known as the Battle of the Nations, and was the largest battle of the Napoleonic Wars...It was, also, another in a string of losses for the Emperor.

Napoleon was terribly outnumbered: 430,000 to 191,000, and faced a combined grouping of almost all his Continental enemies: Russia, Austrian Empire, Prussia, Sweden, and other German states.

The French forces fought well, but couldn't overcome the volume of its enemies, and Leipzig combined with the Russian and Peninsular Campaign, signaled the beginning of the end for the Napoleon.

1863 - General U.S. Grant was appointed commander of all operations in the Western Theater:  U.S. Civil War.

Lincoln suffered for years seeking a 'fighting general'- he finally found one in Grant...And he wasn't concerned with Grant's drinking or the way he threw his men into battle.

Lincoln knew the war could only be won if the fight was taken to the Confederacy. Grant was the perfect man to drive on the South, and this promotion was a major step towards ending the war.

1934 - Mao Zedong and 25,000 troops began the 6,000 mile Long March.

The history of the Long March is the decisive event of the Chinese Civil War between the Chinese Nationalists and the Communists.

130,000 'Reds' were surrounded by 400,000 Nationalists, but around 25,000 managed to break out, and start the Long March, which was a full-scale retreat - a forced, fighting retreat.

The Communists should have been annihilated but weren't...Instead they survived, picked up followers among the peasantry, and most importantly this is where Mao established himself as the ultimate leader of the Chinese Communists.

1962 - The Cuban Missile Crisis began when President Kennedy was informed reconnaissance photographs revealed the presence of Russian missile bases in Cuba.

Thankfully we had a Conservative president during this crisis...And make no mistake, this Democrat was a Conservative when it came to national defense!!!

There is no way a Liberal peacenick would have handled this problem in a similar way, and the fact that JFK took us to the brink of nuclear war was brilliant - brilliant because it had to be done...We can never succumb to fear, and must always be willing to swing our 'big stick' when our security is at risk.

Sadly, this is a problem we will have face sooner or later with the North Koreans and Iranians...And then the Chinese.

1964 - China detonated its first atomic bomb.

Welcome to the club...Any nation who joins is an instant world power, and the event is a major one in history.

1859 - John Brown's Raid: John Brown raided the U.S. arsenal at Harper's Ferry, with the intention of obtaining arms to use to liberate slaves. Brown was captured two days later, and hanged on December 2.

Brown's intentions were honorable, but had no chance at succeeding...Also of note is the commanding officer who caught him: Soon to be Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

1901 - President Theodore Roosevelt incited controversy by inviting black leader Booker T. Washington to the White House.

Teddy was a man of bold actions...That said, he never did this again.

The reaction he received for inviting Washington was more than a little loud, and he learned very fast that the country wasn't quite ready to normalize relations between blacks and whites...A sad reality, but a reality, nonetheless.

1925 - The Locarno Pact was signed: European nations agreed to accept their national boundaries as they were at the time of this signing.

This treaty was wishful thinking, but the terms of the Versailles Treaty made it impossible.

The Allies wanted too much from the Germans, and the Germans weren't thoroughly beaten in WWI...The result was plenty of Utopian thinking, but the pact did little but help set the stage for WWII.

1953 - The Batista regime sentenced Fidel Castro to 15-years in prison for rebellion.

Rule #1 of National Defense: Execute all traitors...If you don't the decision will come back to haunt you later.

1978 - The College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church chose Cardinal Karol Wojtyla to be the new pope; he took the name John Paul II (The first non-Italian pope since 1542).

John Paul II proved to be one of the greatest ‘freedom fighters’ of the 20th Century, belonging in the class of Winston Churchill, FDR, Ronald Reagan, Margarette Thatcher, and Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

2002 - The White House announced North Korea disclosed the existence of a secret nuclear weapons program.

This was the world's worst-kept secret...But it was a huge announcement.

Thank you very much Bill Clinton!! At least Kim Jong Il thanks you, Madeleine Albright and Jimmy Carter for the light-water reactors you gave them.

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