Thursday, February 21, 2019

February 22

1980 - In a stunning upset, the United States Olympic hockey team defeated the Soviets 4-3.

I try to not make too many sports references in my history posts, but this is the greatest single event in the history of American sports...It was also at a time when the United States had been reeling under the pathetic leadership of Jimmy Carter, and the Cold War was at an all time high.

I was a 9-year old boy, and still remember sitting in my dad's living room watching the game on a black-and-white TV, listening to Al Michaels:  "Do you believe in miracles?!  YES!"

It's almost impossible to state how unlikely the American victory against this Soviet team was.  Not only had the Ruskies kicked them around various times during the year, but the Soviets also beat up on an NHL all-star team prior to the Olympics...The Soviet team was a machine, maybe one of the greatest hockey teams ever put together.  The American team was a group of college kids scrapped together with little expectation of reaching the medal round, let alone challenging the mighty Soviet juggernaut.

What most Americans don't realize is this victory didn't earn the U.S. team the gold medal - it was a semifinal match...The Americans had to defeat the Finns for the gold medal, which they did by a score of 4-2.

I'm not too proud to admit I still cry when watching a replay of the event, or the movie 'Miracle.'

I hope you will take the couple minutes it takes to watch the two videos in each hyperlink.

1819 - Spain ceded the Florida Territory to the United States.

America’s Manifest Destiny was getting closer to completion.

1856 - The first national meeting of the Republican Party took place in Pittsburgh.

Lets take a quick look back at the first 150-years of Republican history:

- Which party ended slavery? (R) Lincoln and the strict abolitionist Republican congress.

- Which party entered and won the Spanish-American War, winning much land, prestige, and naval bases for the U.S? (R) McKinley - really it was Teddy, but McKinley was prez.

- Which party busted the nations Trusts (monopolies)? (R) Teddy Roosevelt and Taft.

- Which party put politics aside and helped win WWII? Unlike the Democrat Party, which always puts politics ahead of anything else? (R).

- Which party ended the Korean and Vietnam Wars? (R) Ike and Nixon.

- Which party had the higher proportion of its members vote for the 60’s Civil Rights Acts? (R)...The Dems had many more Robert ‘KKK’ Byrd’s than the Republicans.

- Which party put the dagger in the Soviet Union? (R) Nixon, Reagan and Bush.

- Which party put an end to Saddam Hussein and put its foot on the throat’s of the Jihadists? (R) G.W. Bush...Too bad the (D) who followed him let up.

Just a reminder!

1902 - A fist-fight broke out in the U.S. Senate. Sen. Benjamin Tillman suffered a bloody nose for accusing Sen. John McLaurin of bias on the Philippine tariff issue.

Those foolish enough to think modern-day politics is 'more contemptuous than ever' need to review history...American politics has always been messy, and always will be.

Democracy in a free nation (never forget not all 'democratic' nations are free) is ugly, but much better than any other system:

"Politics is the continuation of War by other means." - Pero
"War is the continuation of Politics by other means." - Clausewitz

1942 - President Roosevelt ordered General Douglas MacArthur out of the Philippines:  WWII.

There are many opinions about MacArthur, but Roosevelt was correct to get him out of an impossible situation in the Philippines...MacArthur was a megalomaniac, but he was also the most able American general in the Pacific Theatre, and it was important to keep him in the fight instead of in a Japanese POW camp.

1997 - A new welfare law in the U.S. removed tens of thousands of people off of food stamps. The new law stated that adults under age 50 without children or jobs could only receive food stamps for three months in any three year period. The law authorized states to contract with private companies to provide welfare services.

What a novel idea: MAKE BUMS WORK!!! And yes, anyone who is capable but unwilling to work (even crappy jobs) is a bum.

Incredibly, President Obama re-instituted the program of perpetual, generational welfare...And expanded it!

2004 - An Islamic state in Nigeria, which is at the heart of a spreading Africa polio outbreak, declared it would not relent on its boycott of a mass vaccination program it called a U.S. plot to spread AIDS and infertility among Muslims.

Nice logic...I’m pretty sure Allah won’t be sparing them from the disease, so they better get on-board. Or don’t!

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