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Events, deaths, births, of 22 DEC
[For Dec 22 Julian go to Gregorian date: 1582~1699: Jan 011700s: Jan 021800s: Jan 031900~2099: Jan 04]
• Finns heroically resist Soviet aggression... • Electrician becomes president of Poland... • Subway vigilante shoots 4 Blacks... • Renoirs stolen... • Mayans massacred in Acteal.... • Bill Gates impoverished!... • Firing squad for Dostoyevsky... • La Justice de Paix change de nom... • Dreyfus Affair begins... • Genève victorieuse... • Racine is born... • Christmas bombing of North Vietnam... • Bécquer meurt... • FDR and Churchill meet... • Failed skyscraper suicide... • James II se réfugie en France... • Continental Navy gets commander... • Oglethorpe is born... • Enigmatical prophecies... • USSR criticizes China's Vietnam policies...
On a December 22:
2002 Time magazine names three women ``whistleblowers'' its Persons of the Year for 2002: Coleen Rowley, 48, was the FBI agent in Arizona whose May 2002 memorandum to FBI Director Robert Mueller criticized the agency for ignoring evidence suggesting the possibility of terrorist attacks using airplanes. Cynthia Cooper, 38, was an internal auditor at WorldCom who alerted the telecommunications firm's board of directors to $3.8 billion in accounting irregularities. Sherron Watkins, 43, was a vice president of Enron, who warned company chairman Kenneth Lay in 2001 that the firm could collapse as a result of extensive false accounting.
2001 After being without a government since the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan gets a UN-midwifed interim government sworn in, with Hamid Karzai as prime minister, and 29 cabinet members — including two women.
2000 Russia admits that Soviets murdered humanitarian hero.    ^top^
     Russia officially acknowledges that Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who helped tens of thousands of Jews escape Nazi-occupied Hungary, was killed by Soviet authorities for political reasons. The two-page statement from the Russian prosecutor-general's office says that Wallenberg and his driver -- who were arrested by the Soviets after their army entered Budapest in January 1945 -- "were repressed by Soviet authorities.” It said they had been arrested without grounds as "socially dangerous" individuals and deprived of their freedom. Russian Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov signed a verdict posthumously rehabilitating Wallenberg and his driver, Vilmos Langfelder, as "victims of political repression," the statement said. However, the circumstances of their death remained unclear, with the statement saying only they had died in Soviet prisons and that it had not been possible to clear up exactly where and how they had been killed.
      The last confirmed sighting of Wallenberg was on 17 January 1945, in Budapest, Hungary, when he was 32 years old. Wallenberg, a member of one of Sweden's wealthiest and most prominent industrialist families, had gone to Nazi-occupied Hungary a year earlier as a diplomat. He distributed Swedish passports to Jews in deportation trains and on death marches, won diplomatic protection for whole neighborhoods in Budapest and organized food and medical supplies. His efforts are credited with saving at least 20'000 lives.
      After the Soviet army entered Budapest, Wallenberg was arrested and brought to the Soviet Union. The Soviets said that he was suspected of spying. Moscow first said that he was killed during fighting in Budapest, then declared he was taken under the protection of Soviet troops. Eventually, a memo from then-Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko said in 1957 that Wallenberg died of a heart attack in Soviet custody in 1947. However, many former prisoners continue to claim Wallenberg was alive as late as the 1970s and 1980s.
      Today's statement of the prosecutor says that Wallenberg and Langfelder were arrested despite having diplomatic immunity and were kept for more than two and half years in Soviet prisons on espionage charges until their death. “The investigation has failed to reveal the true reasons for the arrest and imprisonment of Wallenberg and Langfelder and the factual circumstances of their death, or locate materials of the criminal case or their personal dossiers," the statement says.
      This is the latest in a series of small admissions and revelations from Russian officials about the case. In November 2000, Alexander Yakovlev, chairman of the presidential commission on rehabilitation of victims of political repression, said that his panel "had no doubt" that Wallenberg was shot at Lubyanka, the dreaded Soviet secret police headquarters. Yakovlev cited former Soviet KGB chief Vladimir Kryuchkov as saying in a private conversation that Wallenberg was executed at Lubyanka, but provided no documentary evidence. Andrei Artizov, an official with Yakovlev's commission, said the statement from the prosecutor's office concluded the legal part of probe into Wallenberg's death. “This is a moral and political act, a recognition by the state that the old government committed a crime," Artizov said. A separate Swedish-Russian investigative commission is scheduled to issue its final report in Stockholm on 12 January 2001. Adding to indirect evidence of Wallenberg's execution, Yakovlev's commission found out that a Soviet secret police doctor, who signed Wallenberg's death certificate, had been dismissed from service months before that, Artizov said. “Unfortunately, all materials relating to the case have been destroyed," Artizov said.
2000 From Stockholm’s National Museum, pictures worth some $39 million are stolen: a self-portrait by Rembrandt, and two works by Renoir: Jeune Parisienne and Conversation. MORE AT ART “4” DECEMBER
2000 Bill Gates impoverished, left with only $30 billion !    ^top^
Microsoft Corp.'s tumbling stock price has caused Bill Gates' portfolio to shrink dramatically in recent months. His estimated holdings were down to about $31.2 billion on 21 December 2000 before rising to about $33.7 billion on 22 December thanks to the company's $3-per-share jump. Gates topped the Forbes magazine listing of the world's working rich, issued in June 2000. He had $60 billion then, down from $90 billion the year before. Gates also has substantial holdings outside of his own company, and the most recent figures available about how much stock he has in Microsoft date from the summer. Microsoft closes at $46.44. It had reached a 52-week high of $119.94 on 30 December 1999.
1999: The moon is at its closest perigee to the earth (356'654 ± 12 km) in a long time at 10:44 UT (Julian 2451534.9472). The full moon is at 991222 17:33 UT (Julian 2451535.2313). This combination results in the most brilliant moonlight (absent clouds of course) since 1866 Nov 22 and until 2132 Dec 22. A good explanation of how the moon is inconstant is at http://www.fourmilab.ch/earthview/moon_ap_per.html.
1998 A particularly vicious computer virus invades systems at MCI WorldCom. Unlike other viruses, the Remote Explorer bug was capable of damaging a system even if users did not download a file or open an e-mail attachment. The virus faked security privileges held by the system's administrator, then infected other computer servers and PCs on the network.
1997 Coca-Cola buys Orangina, the "sparkling" French beverage formerly owned by Pernod Richard, second to Coke in overall market share in France. It costs $840 million, while Wall Street expected $600 to $700 million. Pernod Richard plans to use the proceeds to boost its international offerings of "wines and spirits.”
1994 Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi resigns.
1990 Lech Walesa sworn in as president of Poland    ^top^
      Lech Walesa, well-known Polish labor leader and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is sworn in as the first noncommunist president of Poland since the end of World War II. His victory was another sign of the Soviet Union's lessening power and communism's waning influence in Eastern Europe.
      Walesa first came into prominence in Poland in 1980 when he took over the leadership of a strike of shipyard workers. The action was a success, with Poland's communist government agreeing to the union's right to exist. This was the birth of the so-called "Solidarity" movement in Poland, a broad-based movement designed to remove communist control over labor organizations. Though forced to give in during the strike, the government plotted to eliminate this new threat to its power. Martial law was imposed in 1981 and shortly thereafter Walesa was arrested and put into solitary confinement for nearly a year. In 1983, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in organizing Polish labor and protesting communist oppression in his nation.
      Upon his release from prison, Walesa resumed his union efforts. The Solidarity movement rapidly gained in strength and popularity. In 1989, the Polish government allowed semi-free elections and Solidarity candidates won seats in the national parliament. In 1990, General Wojciech Jaruzelski, the communist leader of Poland, agreed to step down and allow free elections. Walesa, though he initially shunned political office, ran for president as the Solidarity candidate and won. His election was another blow to Soviet power in East Europe and marked another defection from the communist Iron Curtain nations of Europe.
1990 Iraq announces that it will never give up Kuwait
1989 After 23 years of dictatorial rule, Romania ousts Nicolea Ceausescu.
1989 Cold wave: -4ºF in Oklahoma City, -6ºF in Tulsa, -12ºF in Pittsburgh PA, -18ºF in Denver CO, -23ºF in Kansas City MO, -42ºF in Scottsbluff NB, -47ºF in Hardin MT & -60ºF in Black Hills SD
1988 South Africa signs accord granting independence to South-West Africa
1984 Four black youths are shot and wounded by Bernhard Goetz on a NYC subway train    ^top^
     At about 13:45, self-employed electronics expert Bernhard Hugo Goetz, 37, enters the downtown IRT train at the 14th Street station in Manhattan with a loaded five shot 38 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver concealed in his belt holster. There are some twenty to twenty-five people in the car, including a group of four young black men: Troy Canty, Barry Allen, James Ramseur, and Darrell A. Cabey, 19.
      Goetz sits down across from the youths. Moments later Canty and Allen, followed by Ramseur and Cabey rise and surrounded Goetz. Canty then demands five dollars. Goetz, feigning a lack of understanding asks Canty to repeat his request. Canty responds, "Give me your money.” Goetz stands up, and while supporting himself by one of the poles, reaches inside his jacket, draws his revolver, and fires in rapid succession from left to right at Canty, Allen, Ramseur, and twice at Cabey, including once in the back as the youth flees, severing his spinal cord.
      In his 1987 criminal trial. Goetz did not testify and was acquitted of attempted murder charges, by an all-white jury. He was convicted on a weapons charge and served 8-1/2 months in jail.
     Cabey ended up confined to a wheelchair and with the mental capacity of an 8-year-old. It took 11 years for a court to at last agree to hear his cas in a civil action. On 24 April 1996, the jury of four blacks and two Hispanics found that Goetz acted recklessly and awarded Cabey $43 million in damages -- $18 million for past and future pain and suffering, and $25 million in punitive damages. But Cabey is not likely to see anywhere near that amount since Goetz has little money. In such cases it is common for the court to garnish 10 percent of the defendant's wages for 20 years.
     Goetz became a hero to racists and to those who favor vigilantes. He has since left New York to work in Think Tanks around the US. He survived a 1989 bout with cancer, and has spent most of his money on legal costs.
     James Ramseur and Troy Canty have wound up in jail for, respectively, rape and robbery.
1977 Suicidal jumper survives fall from skyscraper    ^top^
      In New York City, Thomas Helms, 26, climbs to the edge of the observation deck on the eighty-sixth floor of the Empire State Building, and attempts to kill himself by leaping from the building and to the streets more than a 300 m below. However he only falls 6 m before landing on a narrow ledge on the 85th floor. Helms suffers no major injuries but is knocked unconscious for half-an-hour--adequate time for an emergency crew to bring him safely inside. Completed in 1931, the Empire State Building stands 449 m from the top of its radio antennae to 34th Street and Fifth Avenue below, and was the world's tallest building until the completion of New York's first World Trade Center tower in 1972.
1974 Referenda in Comoros--3 islands for independence, 1 stays French
1973 A federal speed limit of 55 miles per hour was imposed across the United States, for fuel economy
1971 UN General Assembly ratifies Kurt Waldheim as secretary-general
1972 Andes plane crash survivors rescued
      After seventy-one days, the six of the remaining fourteen survivors of a 13 October plane crash are rescued from a remote location high in the Andes Mountains of South America. Two of the survivors had previously left on foot and succeeded in getting help The young men, members of a Uruguayan team of rugby players, were traveling between the site of a rugby match and their home when their plane went down over the Andes Mountains. The authorities initiated an extensive air search, but although the majority of the aircraft's passengers had miraculously survived the violent crash, the crash site was not found. After just over a week, the passengers were assumed dead and the search was called off. Over the next nine weeks, a majority of the initial survivors managed to stay alive in the inhospitable conditions of the Andes Mountains, creating a makeshift shelter out of the wreckage of the plane, and cannibalizing the dead passengers to keep from starving to death. In December, with their main food source running out and winter closing in, two of the survivors set off in an attempt to make contact with the outside world. The pair stumbled into a remote human dwelling on the foothills of the Andes, and the authorities were notified on 21 December. Over the next two day, the rest of the survivors are rescued, and the ten-week ordeal comes to an end.
     At about 13:00 the survivors hear helicopters flying towards them. Rushing outside, they see two coming over the tops of the mountains. The first helicopter hovered centimeters from the snow, the door opened and a pack was thrown out, then a man jumped out, he was an Andinist, Sergio Diaz. Diaz was embraced by the survivors. Inciarte was helped to the open door, and was helped aboard by Parrado, who'd come along to guide the rescuers to the crash site; Mangino hobbled on his broken leg and scrambled aboard the first helicopter. With Inciarte, Mangino, and Parrado, the pilot, Maj. Carlos Garcia, had a full capacity and lifted off. The second helicoptor, piloted by Maj. Jorge Massa, took its place, it dropped two more andinists, Claudio Lucero, and Osvaldo Villagas, and a medical orderly, Jose Bravo. Algorta, Eduardo Strauch, Peaz and Fernandez clambered aboard. With this full load the second helicopter lifted away, leaving the last eight of the survivors behind with the three andinists and the medical orderly. It only took 15 minutes to reach the landing spot on the other side of the mountains, the boys jumped from the helicopter, and were met by Canessa, they embraced each other and rolled around in the grass. The 8 were air lifted to a hospital in San Fernando, where they would be examined, for these 6 newly rescued survivors their battle was over, they had survived 71 days on the mountain. But 8 were left behind on the mountain, and the weather conditions forced the rescue to be postponed until the next morning, which meant one more night on the mountain for them.
1972 Christmas Bombing of North Vietnam to continue    ^top^
      Washington announces that the bombing of North Vietnam will continue until Hanoi agrees to negotiate "in a spirit of good will and in a constructive attitude.” North Vietnamese negotiators walked out of secret talks in Paris on December 13. President Nixon issued an ultimatum to North Vietnam to send its representatives back to the conference table within 72 hours "or else.” They rejected Nixon's demand, and in response the president ordered Operation Linebacker II, a full-scale air campaign against the Hanoi area.
      During the 11 days of the operation, 700 B-52 sorties and more than 1000 fighter-bomber sorties dropped an estimated 20'000 tons of bombs, mostly over the densely populated area between Hanoi and Haiphong. In the course of the bombing, the Cuban, Egyptian, and Indian embassies were hit in Hanoi, as were Russian and Chinese freighters in Haiphong. Bach Mai, Hanoi's largest hospital, was also damaged by the attacks. In the United States, 41 American religious leaders issued a letter condemning the bombing.
1971 USSR criticizes China's Vietnam policy.    ^top^
      The Soviet Union accuses China of backing US policies in Vietnam, an accusation that illustrates the growing rift between the two communist superpowers. China, which had previously taken a hard line toward negotiations between Hanoi and Washington, softened its position by endorsing a North Vietnamese peace plan for ending the war. Although the peace proposal was unacceptable to the United States, the fact that China advocated negotiations between Hanoi and Washington was significant. The Soviet Union, whose relations with China were already deteriorating, was highly suspicious of what they rightfully perceived as a "warming" in Sino-American relations. This suspicion only grew stronger in February 1972, when President Richard Nixon visited China.
1971 Waldheim elected UN . Secretary-General.
      The United Nations General Assembly votes to ratify the U.N. Security Council's nomination of Austrian diplomat Kurt Waldheim to lead the U.N. Waldheim went on to serve two terms as head of the world body, leaving the post in 1982.
      In 1986, during a campaign for the Austrian presidency, documents were uncovered revealing that he had served as an intelligence officer in German army units that had committed war atrocities in the Balkans during World War II. Waldheim, who had previously claimed that he spent much of the war in Vienna, admitted that he had lied about his wartime record but denied any knowledge of atrocities. He went on to win the Austria presidency despite the allegations but became an international pariah.
      After the annexation of his country by Nazi Germany in 1938, Waldheim was conscripted into the German army and served on the Russian front until 1941, when he was wounded. Waldheim claimed that he spent the rest of the war studying law in Vienna, but it is now known that he was an interpreter and intelligence officer for German army units stationed in Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia and Greece from 1943 and 1945. Waldheim's units engaged in brutal reprisals against Yugoslav partisans and civilians and deported most of the Jewish population of Salonika, Greece, to Nazi death camps. There is no evidence that he personally killed, tortured, or deported anyone, but he did provide the logistical and intelligence support that enabled others to do so. He won praise and promotion from his Nazi superiors, and evidence indicates that on one occasion he ordered a group of prisoners shot.
      After World War II, Waldheim returned to Austria and entered the diplomatic service. He led Austria's first delegation to the United Nations in 1955 and served as the Austrian ambassador to Canada in the late 1950s. He then worked in the Austrian Foreign Ministry and in 1964 became his country's permanent representative to the U.N. In 1968, he became minister of foreign affairs in the Austrian government and in 1970 returned to the U.N. as permanent representative. In 1971, he was an unsuccessful candidate to Austria's presidency, a largely ceremonial post, on the conservative People's Party ticket. In December 1971, he was chosen by the U.N. Security Council to be U.N. secretary-general, and on 22 December 1971 the General Assembly approved the nomination.
      As head of the United Nations, Waldheim was an efficient but not particularly dynamic world leader. He made visits to Cyprus and the Middle East to help resolve conflicts there and coordinated a massive relief effort to Bangladesh, devastated by war and natural disaster. In 1976, he was reelected. During his second tenure as head of the U.N., he attempted, with little success, to end the Iran-Iraq War and the Sino-Vietnam War and to gain the release of American hostages in Iran. In 1981, a third term was blocked by a Chinese veto.
      In 1986, Waldheim ran for Austria's presidency again, but the campaign was heavily tainted by reports of his possible participation in war crimes during World War II. Waldheim admitted that, contrary to earlier statements he had made about his past, he had indeed served in the Balkans during the war but denied any knowledge of atrocities. This denial, contradicted by the evidence, was evidently acceptable enough for the Austrian electorate, and in June 1986 they voted to make him Austrian president.
      Waldheim's tenure as Austrian head of state was marked by a period of international isolation for the country, and he chose not to run for reelection in 1992. In 1987, the United States barred him from entering the country as a private citizen because of his war record. Details of the investigative report that the US Justice Department used in making this decision were first made public in 1994, implicating Waldheim with a far greater involvement in war-time atrocities than was previously suspected.
1970 SS Commander Franz Stangl of Treblinka, sentenced to life in prison
1966 The United States announces the allocation of 900,000 tons of grain to fight the famine in India.
1964 Lockheed SR-71 spy aircraft reaches 3530 k/h.
1958 En France, la Justice de Paix change de nom.    ^top^
      Lui succède la Justice d’Instance. Créées en 1790 par l’Assemblée constituante pour régler les procès mineurs, les justices de paix devaient offrir aux justiciables une justice plus rapide et plus économique. Le juge de paix, élu à l’origine au suffrage universel, était à la fois juge et conciliateur ; il était assisté d’assesseurs élus. Il avait pour ressort territorial le canton ; mais des textes intervinrent, entre 1919 et 1953, pour autoriser la réunion de deux et même plusieurs justices de paix sous l’autorité d’un seul magistrat. Les attributions du juge de paix, d’abord limitées, s’étaient considérablement étendues. Malgré sa qualification de juge d’exception, il devenait de plus en plus un juge de droit commun. Mais la répartition des affaires était très variable, certaines justices de paix se trouvant submergées alors que d’autres ne jugeaient pas cent affaires par an. L’ordonnance no 58-1273 du 22 décembre 1958 a remplacé les justices de paix par les tribunaux d’instance, juridiction d’exception dont le ressort, plus vaste, est fixé par décret. À la place des quelque deux mille justices de paix on trouve désormais 437 tribunaux d’instance. Cette extension de la taille des ressorts, associée à la professionnalisation du juge et à l’accroissement des compétences dévolues par le législateur, a fait perdre à cette juridiction le caractère de proximité qui avait assuré le succès du bon vieux " juge cantonal ".
1947 Italian constituent assembly adopts new constitution
1945 The United States recognizes Tito's government in Yugoslavia.
1944 Germans demand surrender of American troops at Bastogne, Belgium, during the Battle of the Bulge. General Anthony McAuliffe answers: "Nuts!"
1942 The Soviets drive German troops back 25 km at the Don River.
1941 Japanese troops make an amphibious landing on the coast of Lingayen Gulf on Luzon, the Philippines.
1941 Roosevelt and Churchill meet in Washington    ^top^
     British Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrives in Washington, D.C. for a series of meetings with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on a unified Anglo-American war strategy and a future peace.
      Now that the United States was directly involved in both the Pacific and European wars, it was incumbent upon both Great Britain and America to create and project a unified front. Toward that end, Churchill and Roosevelt created a combined general staff to coordinate military strategy against both Germany and Japan and to draft a future joint invasion of the Continent. Roosevelt also agreed to a radical increase in the US arms production program: the 12'750 operational aircraft to be ready for service by the end of 1943 became 45'000; the proposed 15'450 tanks also became 45'000; and the number of machine guns to be manufactured almost doubled, to 500'000.
      Among the momentous results of these US-Anglo meetings was a declaration issued by Churchill and Roosevelt that enjoined 26 signatory nations to use all resources at their disposal to defeat the Axis powers and not sue for a separate peace. This confederation called itself the "United Nations.” Lead by the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union, all 26 nations declared a unified goal to "ensure life, liberty, independence and religious freedom, and to preserve the rights of man and justice.” The blueprint for the destruction of fascism and a future international peacekeeping organization was born.
      Two weeks after the US's entrance into World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt meets with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Washington, D.C., at the start of their first official conference, codenamed Arcadia. Over three weeks of talks, the two Allied leaders and their chief advisors agree to set up the Combined Chief of Staff to coordinate future military activity, and issue the first United Nations declaration, a unilateral statement of war aims by the twenty-six nations at war with the Axis powers. Churchill and Roosevelt also agree that neither nation will make a separate peace and propose possible Allied landings in northwest Africa or in France. Previous to the first formal military talks between the US and its British partner, secret Anglo-American military staff meetings had occurred in January of 1941, and Roosevelt and Churchill had met at sea off Newfoundland in August, where they drew up the Atlantic Charter, an eight-point declaration of human rights and war aims. The "Big Three"--Churchill, Roosevelt, and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin--do not meet together until the Teheran conference of late 1943.
1929 Soviet troops leave Manchuria after a truce is reached with the Chinese over the Eastern Railway dispute.
1919 US deports 250 alien radicals
1918 The last of the US food restrictions, that had been enforced because of the shortages during World War I, are lifted.
1894 The Dreyfus Affair begins    ^top^
      French officer Alfred Dreyfus is convicted of treason by a military court-martial. He is subsequently sentenced to life in prison and sent to Devil's Island in French Guyana. Dreyfus, a Jewish artillery captain on the General Staff, is accused of passing secret French military documents found in the German embassy in Paris. Dreyfus protests his innocence, but the French army is at the time permeated by anti-Semitism, and few doubt his guilt. Despite the efforts of his friends and family, interest in the Dreyfus case lapses until 1896, when evidence is uncovered implicating French Major Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy as the guilty party. The army attempts to suppress this information, but a national uproar ensues, and the military has no choice but to put Esterhazy on trial for treason. A court-martial is held in January of 1898, and Esterhazy is acquitted within an hour. French novelist Emile Zola leads the popular defiance of the decision, writing an open letter entitled J'Accuse, which accuses the judges of being under the thumb of the military. Zola is sentenced to jail for libel, but manages to escape to England. Meanwhile, a perilous national division is born out of the scandal in which the military, nationalists, and members of the Catholic church join the anti-Dreyfus group, while republicans, socialists, and advocates of religious freedom cooperate to defend Dreyfus and to discredit the rightist government of Francois Felix Faure. In 1898, it is revealed that the evidence against Dreyfus had been forged by French army intelligence. Days later, the chief of intelligence kills himself and Esterhazy flees the country, forcing the military to order a new court martial for Dreyfus. In 1899, he is found guilty again, and sentenced to another ten years in prison. However, the new French president, Emile Loubert, pardons him, and in 1906 the supreme court of appeals overturns his conviction. The debacle of the Dreyfus affair brings about greater liberalization in France, a reduction in the power of the military, and a formal separation of church and state. Final proof of his innocence comes in 1930 when secret German military documents are made public.
1885 Pope Leo XIII proclaims extraordinary jubilee
1864 Sherman captures Savannah.
      Union General William T. Sherman presents Lincoln with a Christmas gift: the city of Savannah, Georgia. Sherman captured Georgia's largest city after his famous "March to the Sea" from Atlanta. Savannah had been one of the last major ports that remained open to the Confederates.
      After Sherman captured Atlanta in September 1864, he did not plan to stay for long. There was still the Confederate army of General John Bell Hood in the area, and cavalry leaders like Nathan Bedford Forrest and Joe Wheeler, who could threaten Sherman's supply lines. In November, Sherman dispatched part of his force back to Nashville, Tennessee, to deal with Hood while Sherman cut free from his supply lines and headed south and east across Georgia. Along the way, his troops destroyed nearly everything that lay in their path. Sherman's intent was to wreck the morale of the South and bring the war to a swift end.
      For nearly six weeks, nothing was heard from Sherman's army. Finally, just before Christmas, word arrived that Sherman's army was outside Savannah. A Union officer reached the coast and found a Union warship that carried him to Washington to personally deliver news of the success. Sherman wired Lincoln with the message, "I beg to present you, as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah, with 150 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition, and also about 25'000 bales of cotton."
1862 John Hunt Morgan's Confederate cavalry crosses Cumberland River to begin Christmas Raid deep into Kentucky
1849 Dostoevsky faces firing squad... reprieved at last minute    ^top^
      Writer Fyodor Dostoevsky is led before a firing squad and prepared for execution. He had been convicted and sentenced to death on November 16 for allegedly taking part in antigovernment activities. However, at the last moment he was reprieved and sent into exile.
      Dostoevsky was born on 11 November (30 October Julian) 1821. Dostoevsky's father was a doctor at Moscow's Hospital for the Poor, where he grew rich enough to by land and serfs. After his father's death, Dostoevsky, who suffered from epilepsy, studied military engineering and became a civil servant while secretly writing novels. His first, Poor People, and his second, The Double, were both published in 1846--the first was a hit, the second a failure.
      On December 22, 1849, Dostoevsky was led before the firing squad but received a last-minute reprieve and was sent to a Siberian labor camp, where he worked for four years. He was released in 1854 and worked as a soldier on the Mongolian frontier. He married a widow and finally returned to Russia in 1859. The following year, he founded a magazine, and two years after that he journeyed to Europe for the first time.
      In 1864 and 1865, his wife and his brother died, the magazine folded, and Dostoevsky found himself deeply in debt, which he exacerbated by gambling. In 1866, he published Crime and Punishment, one of his most popular works. In 1867, he married a stenographer, and the couple fled to Europe to escape his creditors. His novel The Possessed (1872) was successful, and the couple returned to St. Petersburg. He published The Brothers Karamazov in 1880 to immediate success, but died on 9 February [28 January Julian] 1881.
DOSTOEVSKY ONLINE (in Russian and in English translations):
1829 The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad opens the first passenger railway line.
1807 Jefferson’s Embargo Act    ^top^
      US president Thomas Jefferson is in a quandary, as the Napoleonic Wars threatened to engulf the nation. French Emperor Napoleon I had vowed to seal off all foreign trade with Britain; the British responded in kind and moved to halt all foreign trade with France. America's fleet of merchant ships and economic livelihood were effectively caught in the middle of the conflict. Looking to protect the ships without sacrificing the nation's neutral stance, Jefferson resorted to legislative action. On December 22, 1807, the House passed Jefferson's Embargo Act, which barred trading between the US and European nations. In Jefferson's eyes, the Embargo Act was not merely a defensive measure; he also hoped to demonstrate the United States' growing power as a trade partner. Alas, the Embargo Act had a far different impact than Jefferson intended: it not only took a severe toll on US agricultural and mercantile interests, but also proved to be a financial boon to British and French traders. By 1809, an angry chorus of farmers, mercantilists, and political critics forced Jefferson to repeal the Embargo Act and re-open the doors to trade with Europe, save for Britain and France.
1783 Washington resigns his military commission
1775 Hopkins appointed commander of Continental Navy    ^top^
      Esek Hopkins is appointed the first commander-in-chief of the Continental Navy. From the outbreak of open hostilities with the British in April of 1775, little consideration was given to protection by sea until Congress received news that a British naval fleet was on its way. In October, the Continental Congress authorized the building of two new warships, and on November 28, the Continental Navy was formally organized and its rules and regulations established. The next day, in an important American naval victory, a Patriot cruiser captured the British brig Nancy, which was loaded with guns and ammunition.
      In December, Esek Hopkins is appointed commander of the Continental Navy, a position that was intended to correspond in rank to that of George Washington, commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. Hopkins's first fleet consists of seven ships: two twenty-four-gun frigates, the Alfred and the Columbus; two fourteen-gun brigs, the Andrea Doria and the Cabot; and three schooners, the the Hornet, the Wasp, and the Fly. His pay is set at one hundred and twenty-five dollars a month and sailors under his charge will receive an average of eight dollars a month. On 2 January 1777 Hopkins would be dismissed from his post for failing to follow orders from the Continental Congress.
1688 James II se réfugie en France    ^top^
      Le débarquement de Guillaume d’Orange à Torbay, le 5 novembre 1688, donne le signal d’une révolution aussi remarquable par sa brièveté que par sa portée : le 22 décembre, le roi Jacques II s’enfuit en France, où Louis XIV lui ménage une généreuse hospitalité au château de Saint-Germain. Réuni à partir du 22 janvier 1689, un Parlement Convention règle en moins de cinq mois les principaux problèmes constitutionnels et religieux. Malgré le soulèvement de l’Irlande, qui exige une campagne militaire de plus d’un an, une victoire écrasante sur les rives de la Boyne le 1er juillet 1690 et un traité spécial signé à Limerick en 1691 seulement, la révolution proprement dite a duré moins de sept mois. Par ses origines, elle rappelle la Grande Rébellion (première révolution anglaise).
      Comme son père, Charles Ier, Jacques II a cherché à développer son autorité royale, à limiter les interventions du Parlement, à se doter d’une armée permanente de près de 30 000 hommes, à organiser des finances indépendantes de toute sanction extérieure (grâce aux douanes et à l’excise) ; il a prétendu limiter l’autonomie des commissaires locaux et, en particulier, celle des juges de paix; la crainte d’une évolution absolutiste du régime a contribué fortement à lui susciter des adversaires.
      Plus que le Stuart exécuté en 1649, Jacques II a justifié le soupçon d’être un suppôt du "papisme" et de favoriser le retour de l’Angleterre dans le giron romain: lui-même catholique avoué, il a favorisé ses coréligionnaires par l’octroi de dispenses individuelles du Test, leur permettant ainsi d’entrer dans l’administration et surtout dans l’armée; bien plus, le 4 avril 1687, puis le 27 avril 1688, il a promulgué une "déclaration d’indulgence" portant dispense générale, au profit des dissidents protestants comme des catholiques romains, de toutes les mesures discriminatoires existantes et a prétendu imposer la lecture de cette déclaration dans toutes les églises anglicanes. Il a provoqué ainsi la révolte de l’épiscopat — dont sept membres ont été traduits en justice et acquittés par le jury (30 juin 1688) — et a réalisé contre lui l’"impossible" alliance des anglicans et des non-conformistes, ces derniers plus sensibles à l’antipapisme qu’aux espoirs d’une tolérance fallacieuse.
Quelques faits distinguent la Glorieuse Révolution de 1688 de la précédente.
      La relative prospérité économique limite les antagonismes sociaux et permet aux élites de prendre sans inquiétude la tête d’une grande révolte : l’aristocratie et la gentry sont cette fois très généralement hostiles au souverain. L’intervention de l’étranger s’est révélée décisive : l’appel à Guillaume d’Orange, gendre protestant de Jacques II, a reçu un bon accueil dans les Provinces-Unies, menacées par les ambitions de Louis XIV et désireuses de se ménager l’alliance anglaise et d’écarter tout rapprochement entre deux rois également catholiques et autoritaires. Ayant réalisé contre lui-même l’union de la majorité du peuple et des élites politiques, entre autres des deux partis whig et tory, Jacques II a été abandonné par ses généraux, et la guerre sur le sol anglais a été très brève. Convoqué par Guillaume, le Parlement a délibéré librement et n’a pas été soumis aux intolérables pressions qui s’étaient exercées sur le Long Parlement. La révolution aboutit à des décisions majeures. En violation de la légitimité dynastique, on confie le trône conjointement à Guillaume III et à son épouse Marie II. Le principe de la foi protestante du souverain sera définitivement confirmé en 1701, ce qui crée, pour près d’un siècle, un conflit entre "jacobites" légitimistes et héritiers de la révolution.
      Acceptée par les deux souverains le 13 février 1689, la Déclaration des droits proclame et entend préserver désormais les prérogatives du Parlement et les libertés des citoyens. En mai 1689, un Acte de tolérance accorde la liberté de conscience et de culte à tous les non-conformistes, à l’exclusion des unitariens ; les lois du Test et la loi sur les corporations municipales demeurent en vigueur ; les dissidents ne cessent pas d’être traités avec discrimination, mais les grands affrontements religieux appartiennent au passé. Les catholiques ne bénéficient en rien de l’esprit nouveau. Victoire d’un front uni des possédants, la Glorieuse Révolution ne met pas en péril l’ordre social. Elle renforce l’ordre politique, d’autant plus qu’elle contribue à jeter l’Angleterre dans une politique extérieure antifrançaise active : satisfaits des conséquences des grands conflits sur le développement économique, les bourgeois accepteront plus volontiers le rôle directeur de l’aristocratie au gouvernement et au Parlement. La monarchie, à qui reste reconnue l’intégralité du pouvoir exécutif, devient un régime acceptable par le plus grand nombre, et la république perd presque tous ses partisans avoués ou secrets. Exaltés par John Locke, le droit à l’insurrection et la théorie du contrat entrent dans l’héritage idéologique des Anglais. Mouvement réussi d’une génération rationaliste, la seconde révolution anglaise a ignoré les aspirations et les besoins des masses populaires, a évité de trancher le problème de l’éventuel arbitrage entre pouvoir exécutif et pouvoir législatif et a créé un système libéral, désormais cher aux whigs mais fort éloigné de la démocratie.
1652 Robert Baxter writes his Petition for Unity, much needed in that day of religious divisions, but little heeded by men who were each sure their position was the only right one.
1602 Cé qu'è lainô donne la victoire à Genève    ^top^
        Durant la nuit du 11 au 12 décembre 1602 (selon le calendrier julien; du 21 au 22 décembre selon le calendrier grégorien), le duc de Savoie, Charles-Emmanuel I er, tenta de s'emparer de Genève. M. de Rochette, président du sénat de Chambéry, avait auparavant été envoyé en mission pour déjouer la vigilance des Genevois. Les troupes ducales, surtout composées d'Espagnols et de Napolitains, étaient commandées par d'Albigny, gouverneur de la Savoie et Brunaulieu, gouverneur de Bonne. L'assaut fut repoussé et les Savoyards durent se retirer. Un traité de paix fut signé en 1603, à Saint-Julien. Par la suite, des dons venus de Hesse et de Hollande permirent de renforcer les fortifications de la ville.
   Plusieurs récits furent rédigés. Le Cé qu'è lainô fut composé vers 1603, en patois. Les strophes 1, 2, 4 et 68 de cette geste populaire, dont l'auteur est inconnu, sont devenues le chant national de la République et Canton de Genève.
1528 Une fois de plus François Ier déclare la guerre à son éternel rival, l'empereur Charles Quint. Cette guerre prendra fin en 1529 avec la Paix des Dames.
1216 Pope Honorius III approves the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), founded in 1216 by St. Dominic. During the Middle Ages, many leaders of European thought were Dominicans; and a good number followed Portuguese and Spanish explorers to the Americas as missionaries.
1135 Stephen of Blois is crowned the king of England.
0401 St Innocent I begins his reign as Pope.
Deaths which occurred on a December 22:
Effie Goodson2003 Carolyn Simpson, 21, and the baby in her, due to be born 3 months later, in Okemah, Oklahoma. Effie Goodson, 37 [photo >], who had made her husband and friends believe that she was pregnant, shoots Carolyn in the head and cuts out the baby. The next day she brings the dead baby to a hospital in Holdenville, saying that it is hers, which is disproved when Effie's physical condition proves, upon examintation, that she cannot have given birth. So she is arrested. Carolyn's body is found on 26 December 2003.
2003 Israelis Capt. Haggai Bibi, 24, of Ma'aleh Adumim; and Lt. Leonardo Weissman, 23, of Afula; the Palestinian who killed them by throwing a grenade; and another armed Palestinian, at 18:50, in the Gaza Strip about 1 km west of the Kisufim checkpoint to Israel. The Kisufim Road is the only road connecting the Gush Katif settlement bloc to Israel, and is therefore traveled by hundreds of soldiers and settlers every day. It has been attacked 11 times in 2003.
2003 Scott Patrick, 27, Indiana State Police trooper, after being shot by a 19-year-old Chicago man whose car was disabled on Interstate Highway 80-94 near Gary, and whom the trooper had come to help at 04:30. The man is then wounded by trooper Jeff Gruber who had arrived to assist Patrick. The disabled car turned out to have been stolen on 16 December 2003 in Chicago.
2003 Pfc. Stuart W. Moore, 21, of Livingston TX; 1st Lt. Edward M. Saltz, 27, of Bigfork MO; and their Iraqi translator, by a roadside bomb exploding next to their convoy, of the US 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Armored Division, in Baghdad, Iraq. Two US soldiers are wounded.
2003 Pfc. Gerard Wasilewski, 20, of Szczecin, Poland, a soldier of the Polish Army, dies in Karbala, Iraq, of “a non-hostile weapon discharge”.
2003 An innocent Iraqi woman when US troops from the Third Armored Calvary Regiment set off an explosion to blow open the reinforced steel door of her home in the region of Rawah, Iraq. Two Iraqis are wounded.
2002 Patrick Bourrat, French TV reporter, in the early hours, from having been struck the previous day by a US tank in military exercises in Kuwait.
2001 Wissam Majdi Muhareb
, 27, Palestinian, from injuries sustained on 12 December 2001 from Israeli helicopter-fired missiles against Alnamsawi residential project in Khan Younis refugee camp, Gaza Strip.
1997: 45 unarmed Mayan Indians, mainly women and children, massacred, in the village of Acteal, Chiapas, Mexico, by paramilitaries coddled by the PRI dictatorial party in power for nearly 70 years.    ^top^
     The killers come in broad daylight, first spraying bullets into a makeshift church, then chasing villagers onto a steep hillside thick with broad banana leaves. They open fire into the brush, aiming by the sound of crying children. In the end, 45 unarmed Acteal villagers -- Roman Catholic Indian pacifists committed to nonviolent struggle for indigenous rights -- lie dead.
      About 50 km northeast of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Acteal is actually a cluster of three small villages. On the east end is the village where PRI followers live. On the west end is the Zapatista rebel village. And in the center the home of 640 members of Las Abejas, a Catholic organization that sympathizes with the Zapatistas' goals but rejects their use of violence. Many believe the village's pacifism was is reason it was targeted; the paramilitaries knew they could send a warning to the Zapatistas without facing armed resistance. The pacifist village had just been established earlier in the year, Abejas from villages throughout the region decided they would be safer from paramilitary attacks if they all lived together.
1994 Todd, mathematician.
1989 Samuel Beckett, in Paris. Born on 13 April 1906 in Dublin, he was an author, critic, and playwright, in French and in English, Nobel Literature Prize 1969, best known for his play En Attendant Godot (1952)(BECKETT ONLINE:).
1961 James Davis, first US soldier to die in Vietnam, while US involvement is still limited to military.
1939 Day 23 of Winter War: USSR aggression against Finland. [Talvisodan 23. päivä]    ^top^
More deaths due to Stalin's desire to grab Finnish territory.
  • General Headquarters approve Lieutenant-General Öhquist's proposal for a counteroffensive in the western Isthmus.
  • Ladoga Karelia: Finnish troops advance at Ägläjärvi. By 15.30 the village is under Finnish control. Two Finnish battalions pursue the Soviet troops retreating towards River Aittojoki. The enemy loses over 2000 men in the fighting at Tolvajärvi-Ägläjärvi.
  • The Ministry for Foreign Affairs wires the Finnish envoys in London and Paris to tell them that Finland desperately needs military assistance.
  • The first 150-bed field hospital from the Swedish Red Cross arrives in Finland. The staff of the hospital comprise 5 surgeons, 2 consultants and 10 nurses under the leadership of Professor G. Nyström.
  • Abroad: the Norwegian National Theatre in Oslo presents a Finnish programme including Heimo Haitto, the 14-year-old violin prodigy.
  • Argentina is the first country to respond positively to the League of Nations' appeal for aid to be sent to Finland.
  • The Hungarian Pen Club awards its medal for 1939 to the Finnish poet Otto Manninen.
  • 1939: 224 die in German train wrecks: 125 in Magdeburg; 99 in Friedrichshafen. (so much about Hitler making the trains run on time)
    1928 Henry Fine, mathematician.
    1918 Charles Edward Perugini, British genre and portait painter born Italian in 1839. MORE ON PERUGINI AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    1915 Arthur Hughes, English Pre-Raphaelite painter born on 27 January 1832. MORE ON HUGHES AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    1913 Menelik II, 69, King of Ethiopia (1896-1913)
    1899 Dwight L. Moody, one of the most effective evangelists the US ever produced.
    1888 Isaac Hecker, influential convert to Roman Catholicism, who founded the order of Paulists in the US and edited Catholic World.
    1885 Davidov, mathematician.
    1884 John Chisum, at Eureka Springs, Arkansas, cattleman, central figure in the violent Lincoln County War of 1878-81..    ^top^
          Born in Tennessee in 1824, Chisum moved with his family to Paris, Texas, when he was eleven years old. For several years he worked as construction contractor, but in 1854, he decided to go into the cattle ranching business. By 1875, Chisum was running over 80,000 head of cattle near the Pecos River in Lincoln County, New Mexico. Inevitably, such a large herd ranging over a vast and isolated area attracted the interests of rustlers, and Chisum claimed to have lost nearly 10,000 head to thieves. Fed-up, Chisum joined forces with two other New Mexico cattle kings to do battle with the small cattlemen and merchants they believed were behind the thefts. In particular, the big ranchers targeted two Irishmen who owned a large general store, called the House, in the town of Lincoln. Besides giving aid to the rustlers and small ranchers that Chisum despised, the House also managed to gain control over most of the government contracts for supplying beef to Army posts and Indian Reservations, undercutting the ability of the big ranchers to sell their cattle directly to these buyers at high profits.
          When a deputy sheriff under the control of the House murdered one of Chisum's allies in 1878, the Lincoln County War erupted. The battle was about more than that murder, though-it was a struggle for economic and political control of the region. Chisum and the big ranchers turned their cowboys into gunslingers-including a friendly young man named William Bonney, better know as Billy the Kid.
          Billy the Kid became one of the ranchers' most loyal and fierce allies, playing a role in the murder of many of the supporters of the House. When the House eventually emerged from the war victorious, Bonney turned to Chisum for help, demanding $500 in wages for his murderous work. When Chisum refused, Billy turned against the rancher and took payment by stealing Chisum's cattle and horses. Suddenly abandoned by Chisum and the other powerful interests that protected him from the reach of the law, Billy the Kid's days were numbered. His one-time friend, Pat Garrett, murdered him in 1881.
          Devastated by the Lincoln County War and the continuing losses of his cattle to rustlers and Indians, Chisum lost much of his wealth and power. Nonetheless, when he died at Eureka Springs, Arkansas, three years after the Lincoln County War ended in 1881, he left an estate that was still worth half a million dollars, a striking indication of the massive wealth he had accumulated.
    1872 Charles Emile Vacher de Tournemine, French artist born on 25 October 1812.
    1870 Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer    ^top^
          Né à Séville en 1836, il reçut une éducation artistique, puis s'installa à Madrid comme journaliste et traducteur indépendant en 1854. Malade dès 1858, il écrivit, sous l'emprise d'un amour passionné, son plus célèbre ouvrage, Rimas (1871), un recueil de petits poèmes lyriques. Marqués par une foi panthéiste profonde, ces vers évoquent des thèmes tels que la lutte pour tendre à la perfection, le désespoir et les joies procurées par l'amour. Bécquer est également l'auteur d'écrits en prose dont le plus connu s'intitule Légendes d'Espagne (1871). Les contes fantastiques qu'il réunit sont empreints d'un caractère insaisissable et mystérieux servi par une prose poétique d'une rare délicatesse. Bécquer mourut à Madrid, peu avant la parution de ses œuvres complètes. Son influence sur la poésie espagnole, notamment sur Rubén Darío, Juan Ramón Jiménez et Antonio Machado, a été déterminante.
    1867 Jean-Victor Poncelet, mathematician.
    1867 Théodore Etienne Pierre Rousseau, French painter born on 15 April 1812. — a bit more with links to images.
    1815 José Maria Morelos Mexican revolutionary priest executed by Spaniards.
    1814 Pieter Faes, Flemish artist born on 14 July 1750.
    1721 Nathaniel Hawes tortured & executed in England for robbery.
    1679 Jan van de Capelle, Dutch artist born in 1624.
    1660 Tacquet, mathematician.
    1640 Beaugrand
    , mathematician.
    1641 Sully, 82 ans, Le ministre disgracié , il y a trente ans, s'est retiré à Sully-sur-Loire. Il impose une étiquette stricte à son entourage et demeure un exemple pour les huguenots parce qu'il s'est toujours refusé à renoncer à sa foi.
    1560 Julián Hernández, burned in Spain for heresy: he had Protestant books in his possession.
    1440 Bluebeard pirate, executed
    click to zoom inBirths which occurred on a December 22:
    click Cc age 1, with Rainbow 2001 Cc (aka ClonedCat, CopyCat), by Caesarean section. The world's first cloned (from Rainbow) cat, it would be introduced on 14 February 2002 [Cc on 14 Feb 2002 >] by Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine researchers. Previously cattle, goats, and pigs have been cloned there.— MORE
    1922 James C Wright Jr (Rep-D-TX), Speaker of the US House of Representatives (1987-89)
    1905 Kenneth Rexroth US, poet/critic/translator (Birds in the Bush)
    1903 H Keffer Hartline US, biophysicist (Nobel 1967)
    1903 Dr Barbara Moore walked across US in 86 days in 1960
    1900 The Mercedes car. A new 35-horsepower car built by Daimler from a design by Emil Jellinek is completed, named for Jellinek's daughter, Mercedes.
    1897 Jarnik, mathematician.
    1895 First X-ray photo — by German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen, of his wife's hand.
    1887 Srinivasa Ramanujan, mathematician.
    1877 Boggio, mathematician.
    1869 Edwin Arlington Robinson US, Pulitzer prize-winning poet: Collected Poems [1922], The Man Who Died Twice [1925], Tristram [1928], Richard Cory, Miniver Cheever.
    1869 Egorov, mathematician.
    1859 Otto Hölder, mathematician.
    1859 Vicente March y Marco, Italian artist who died in 1914.
    1858 Giacomo Puccini (musician, Italian opera composer: La Boheme, Tosca, Madama Butterfly)
    1856 Frank Kellogg, US Secretary of State (1925-29), tried to outlaw war with the Kellogg-Briand Pact. (Nobel 1929)
    ^ 1845 Voice synthesizer
          The first voice synthesizer, later known as P.T. Barnum's Euphonium, was demonstrated to the public in Philadelphia on this day in 1845. The device, developed by German inventor Joseph Faber, used a keyboard connected to a series of reeds, bellows, and chambers that mimicked the human mouth, tongue, teeth, larynx, and lungs. The machine produced sixteen basic syllables and could pronounce any word in any Western language. A mechanical head attached to the machine seemed to emit the strange-sounding but recognizable speech. P.T. Barnum exhibited the invention in London, where it was seen by Alexander Graham Bell's father, who was developing a system to teach deaf people to speak at the time.
    1845 Aloys François Joseph Loir, French artist who died on 09 February 1916.
    1844 Eduard Zetsche, Austrian artist who died on 26 April 1927.
    1824 Brioschi, mathematician.
    1819 Bonnet, mathematician.
    1815 Charles Louis Lucien Müller, French artist who died on 10 January 1892.
    1778 Jan Hendrik Verkeyen, Dutch artist who died on 14 January 1846.
    1768 John Crome “Old Crome”, British etcher and painter of landscapes who died on 22 April 1821. MORE ON CROME AT ART “4” DECEMBER with links to images.
    1765 Pfaff, mathematician.
    1696 James Oglethorpe    ^top^
          Georgia, the last of the thirteen colonies England established in America, had a very different beginning from its sisters colonies to the north. James Oglethorpe provided the leadership for this southern colony. Oglethorpe was a devout member of the Church of England who took a stand on many humanitarian issues while a member of Parliament. He advocated restricting the use of distilled spirits, opposed negro slavery, exposed the evils of impressment of sailors, and investigated conditions in the prisons. In that day, many were imprisoned for petty crimes, and prisons were full of debtors unable to pay their creditors. Oglethorpe had the idea of sending newly freed and unemployed debtors to America to gain a new start in life.
          In 1732 Oglethorpe and nineteen associates received a charter for twenty-one years to establish a colony in Georgia. Not only was it hoped that the colony would relieve domestic unemployment, it was also hoped the colony would increase British trade as well as help protect the colonies from the Spanish and French to the south.
          Oglethorpe accompanied the first group of colonists to Georgia in 1733. He took an active role in overseeing the colony and personally recruited John and Charles Wesley, later the founders of Methodism, to come to Georgia in 1735. Oglethorpe later became friends with evangelist George Whitefield and strongly supported his orphanage in Georgia.
          Oglethorpe and the trustees of Georgia prohibited rum and negro slavery and developed peaceful dealings with the Indians. The religious toleration of the colony encouraged persecuted groups from Europe to come and settle. Lutherans, Moravians, Presbyterians and others found a refuge in Georgia. Oglethorpe was a man of high ideals, but also a practical man who knew how to get things done. His leadership was indispensable in establishing the colony of Georgia.
    1639 Jean Baptiste Racine (baptized)    ^top^ (RACINE ONLINE:)
    French dramatic poet and historiographer renowned for his mastery of French classical tragedy. His reputation rests on the plays he wrote between 1664 and 1677, notably Andromaque (1667), Britannicus (1669), Bérénice (1670), Bajazet (1672), and Phèdre (1677).
         Racine's first play, Amasie, was never produced and has not survived. His career as a dramatist began with the production by Molière's troupe of his play La Thébaïde ou les frères ennemis at the Palais-Royal Theatre on 20 June 1664. Molière's troupe also produced Racine's next play, Alexandre le Grand, which premiered at the Palais Royal on 4 December 1665. Thereafter all of Racine's secular tragedies would be presented by the actors of the Hôtel de Bourgogne, more skilled in tragedy.
         Racine followed up his first masterpiece, Andromaque (1667), with the comedy Les Plaideurs (1668) before returning to tragedy with two plays set in imperial Rome, Britannicus (1669) and Bérénice (1670). He situated Bajazet (1672) in nearly contemporary Turkish history and depicted a famous enemy of Rome in Mithridate (1673) before returning to Greek mythology in Iphigénie en Aulide (1674) and the play that was his crowning achievement, Phèdre (1677). [Phèdre in English translation]
         Racine was the first French author to live principally on the income provided by his writings.
         After Phèdre, Racine left the theater to become a historiographer of Louis XIV, publishing in 1682 Eloge historique du Roi sur ses conquêtes. He also wrote Cantiques spirituels (1694).
         By request from Louis XIV's consort Madame de Maintenon, Racine wrote two religious plays for the convent girls at Saint-Cyr: Esther (1689) and Athalie (1691). Probably his last work was Abrégé de l'histoire de Port-Royal. Racine died on 21 April 1699 from cancer of the liver.
         La Thébaïde, presents two legitimate pretenders who are also identical twins. The play centres on the twin sons of Oedipus who slay one another in mortal combat, one defending, the other attacking, their native city of Thebes.
         In Andromaque (1667) Racine replaced heroism with realism in a tragedy about the folly and blindness of unrequited love among a chain of four characters. The play is set in Epirus after the Trojan War. Pyrrhus vainly loves his captive, the Trojan widow Andromache, and is in turn loved by the Greek princess Hermione, who in her turn is loved by Orestes. Power, intimidation, and emotional blackmail become the recourses by which these characters try to transmit the depths of their feelings to their beloved. But this form of communication is ultimately frustrated because the characters' deep-seated insecurity renders them self-absorbed and immune to empathy. Murder, suicide, and madness have destroyed all of them except Andromache by the play's end.
         The three-act comedy Les Plaideurs of 1668 offered Racine the challenge of a new genre and the opportunity to demonstrate his skill in Molière's privileged domain, as well as the occasion to display his expertise in Greek, of which he had better command than almost any nonprofessional classicist in France. The result, a brilliant satire of the French legal system, was an adaptation of Aristophanes' The Wasps that found much more favor at court than on the Parisian stage.
         With Britannicus (1669) Racine posed a direct challenge to Corneille's specialty: tragedy with a Roman setting. Racine portrays the events leading up to the moment when the teenage emperor Nero cunningly and ruthlessly frees himself from the tutelage of his domineering mother, Agrippina, and has Britannicus, a legitimate pretender to the throne, poisoned in the course of a fatal banquet of fraternal reconciliation.
         Bérénice (1670) marks the decisive point in Racine's theatrical career, for with this play he found a felicitous combination of elements that he would use, without radical alteration, for the rest of his secular tragedies: a love interest, a relatively uncomplicated plot, striking rhetorical passages, and a highly poetic use of time. Bérénice is built around the unusual premise of three characters who are ultimately forced to live apart because of their virtuous sense of duty. In the play, Titus, who is to become the new Roman emperor, and his friend Antiochus are both in love with Berenice, the queen of Palestine.
         Racine followed the simplicity of Bérénice and its three main characters with a violent, relatively crowded production, Bajazet (1672). The play's themes of unrequited love and the struggle for power under the unrelenting pressure of time are recognizably Racinian, but its locale, the court of the Ottoman sultan in Constantinople, is the only contemporary setting used by Racine in any of his plays, and was sufficiently far removed in distance and in mores from 17th-century France to create an alluring exoticism for contemporary audiences. In the play, the main characters--the young prince Bajazet, his beloved Atalide, and the jealous sultana Roxane--are the mortal victims of the despotic cruelty of the absent sultan Amurat, whose reign is maintained by violence and secrecy.
         In 1673 Racine presented Mithridate, which featured a return to tragedy with a Roman background. Mithradates VI, the king of Pontus, is the aging, jealous rival of his sons for the Greek princess Monime. The rivalry between the two brothers themselves for the love of their father's fiancée is another manifestation of the primordial tragic situation for Racine, that of warring brothers. Against the backdrop of this conflict, the play presents the demise of King Mithradates, who becomes conscious of his own eclipse as a heroic figure feared by Rome.
          Despite a competing play mounted by his enemies on the same general subject, Racine's Iphigénie en Aulide (1674) was a resounding success that confirmed him as the unrivaled master of French theatre. It is an adaptation of a play by Euripides about the prospective sacrifice of Iphigenia by her father Agamemnon, but contains a happy ending in which Iphigénie is spared. Racine's deft insertion in Iphigénie en Aulide of the future as an intrusive force determining the present creates a rehearsal of the Trojan War that culminates in a profound moral illumination revolving around the title character. The play's dénouement, typical of Racine's practice, projects the imagination of the spectator beyond the present action to the future consequences of the acts portrayed on stage.
          Phèdre (1677) is Racine's supreme accomplishment because of the rigor and simplicity of its organization, the emotional power of its language, and the profusion of its images and meanings. Racine presents Phèdre as consumed by an incestuous passion for her stepson, Hippolytus. Receiving false information that her husband, King Theseus, is dead, Phèdre declares her love to Hippolytus, who is horrified. Theseus returns and is falsely informed that Hippolytus has been the aggressor toward Phèdre. Theseus invokes the aid of the god Neptune to destroy his son, after which Phèdre kills herself out of guilt and sorrow. A structural pattern of cycles and circles in Phèdre reflects a conception of human existence as essentially changeless, recurrent, and therefore asphyxiatingly tragic. Phèdre's own desire to flee the snares of passion repeatedly prompts her to contemplate a voluntary exile. References to ancient Greek mythological figures and to a wide range of geographical places lend a vast, cosmic dimension to the moral itinerary of Phèdre as she suffers bitterly from her incestuous propensities and a sense of her own degradation. Phèdre constitutes a daring representation of the contagion of sin and its catastrophic results.
          Esther (1689) is a biblical tragedy complete with musical choral interludes composed by Jean-Baptiste Moreau, who would serve in this same role for Racine's last play, Athalie. The play shows how Esther, the wife of the Persian king Ahasuerus (Xerxes I), saves the Jews from a massacre plotted by the king's chief minister, Haman. With its three acts, its chorus, and its transcendent message that God and truth can be made manifest on stage, Esther breaks sharply with Racine's previous practice in tragedy. It is not one of his major works, despite the beauty of its choruses.
         In Athalie (1691) Racine reverted to his customary approach. Within the one day that is always the temporal duration of his plays, a situation of human origin must be resolved by divine intervention so that the child Joas, the rightful king of Judah, will be saved from his murderous grandmother Athalie. Athalie is a typical Racinian drama except for the fact that fate is replaced in this instance by divine providence. The title character, Athalie, though evil, still remains admirable in her titanic struggle against this superior adversary. Of all the characters never seen on stage but who enrich Racine's texts, from Hector and Astyanax in Andromaque through Venus, Minos, Neptune, and Ariane in Phèdre, the God of the Old Testament in Athalie exerts the greatest impact on the course of dramatic events.
          Racine died on 21 April 1699. His art has influenced French and foreign authors alike, among them Émile Zola, Marcel Proust, François Mauriac, Henrik Ibsen, Henry James, and Samuel Beckett.
    1622 Emanuel Murant (or Meurant, Meuron), Dutch artist who died in 1700.
    ^ 1523 Charles de Bourbon, who would become a teen-aged bishop, a cardinal, and, while in prison, nominally king Charles X of France, who would die, still in prison, on 09 May 1590.
          Born in La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre, third son of Charles de Bourbon, duc de Vendôme, and uncle of the future king Henri IV [13 Dec 1553 – 14 May 1610], Charles de Bourbon became bishop of Nevers (05 Jul 1540 - 1546) and Saintes (1544-1550). He was made cardinal (09 Jan 1548), archbishop of Rouen (20 Sep 1550 - 1582) and bishop of Beauvais (1569-1575). On the death of king Henri III's brother, duc d'Anjou, in 1584, cardinal de Bourbon was the eldest member of the House of Bourbon, who could claim the French throne by right of belonging to the Roman Catholic religion. A secret agreement, concluded by the party of Guise and Spanish king Philip II in 1584, confirmed that cardinal de Bourbon would inherit the crown after the death of Henri III [19 Sep 1551 – 02 Aug 1589]. However, after the assassination of the duc de Guise (23 Dec 1588), cardinal de Bourbon was arrested and imprisoned in the fortress of Fontenay-le-Comte.
          When Henri III died the day after being mortally stabbed, Charles de Lorraine duc de Mayenne [26 Mar 1554 – 13 Oct 1611], called for recognition (05 Aug 1589) of cardinal de Bourbon as king under the name of Charles X. The Parlement de Paris confirmed this claim on 21 Nov 1589 and appointed de Mayenne to the post of Lieutenant général de l'État royal et couronne de France, which prior to that date he held by decision of the Holy League of 17 Feb 1589. On 05 Mar 1590 the Parlement issued another decree calling for recognition of Charles X and putting a ban on the conclusion of peace agreements with Henri IV. However, this plan was short-lived as aged cardinal died in prison on 09 May 1590. There is evidence that in March 1590 he sent a letter to his nephew Henri IV acknowledging Henri as the legal heir to the crown.
          When Henri IV mustered enough support within France to claim the throne and was crowned king (27 Feb 1594) in Chartres, the Parlement recognized him king and revoked delegation of authority to the duc de Mayenne (30 Mar 1594).
    Holidays Arab : Ashura / Mexico : Day of National Mourning (José María Morelos) (1815) / World : International Arbor Day

    Religious Observances Witch : Yule sabbat / RC : St Frances Xavier Cabrini, virgin

    DICTIONNAIRE TICRANIEN: bretelle: féminin de breteau (habitant de la Bretogne).
    Thoughts for the day : “There's at least one fool in every married couple.”
    “There's at least one fool who said that there's at least one fool in every married couple.”
    “There's at least one fool in every divorced couple.”
    “There's at least one fool in every crime.”
    “There's at least one fool in every fight.”
    “There's at least one fool in every US presidential election.”
    “There's at least one fool in every mob.”
    “There's at least one fool in every school.”
    “There's at least one fool rule in every school.”
    “There's at least one fool for every ghoul.”
    ENIGMATICAL PROPHECIES [from the 1736 Poor Richard's Almanack, with the original spelling].    ^top^
    Which they that do not understand, cannot well explain.
         1. Before the middle of this year, a wind at N. East will arise, during which the water of the sea and rivers will be in such manner raised, that great part of the towns of Boston, Newport, New-York, Philadelphia, the low lands of Maryland and Virginia, and the town of Charlstown in South Carolina, will be under water. Happy will it be for the sugar and salt, standing in the cellars of those places, if there be tight roofs and cielings overhead; otherwise, without being a conjurer, a man may easily foretel that such commodities will receive damage.
         2. About the middle of the year, great numbers of vessels fully laden will be taken out of the ports aforesaid, by a Power with which we are not now at war, and whose forces shall not be descried or seen either coming or going. But in the end this may not be disadvantageous to those places.

         3. However, not long after, a visible army of 30000 musketers will land, some in Virginia and Maryland, and some in the lower counties on both sides of Delaware, who will over-run the country, and sorely annoy the inhabitants; but the air in this climate will agree with them so ill towards winter, that they will die in the beginning of cold weather like rotten sheep, and by Christmas the inhabitans will get the better of them.

    [These 3 prophecies, reproduced in This Day in History for yesterday, did indeed come to pass, but Franklin's readers had to wait one year for the 1737 Almanack to understand them. I will not make you wait that long, Here is Franklin's 1737 explanation of the first prophecy. For the other two, make sure you read This Day in History for the next few days.]
    In my last I published some enigmatical prophecies, which I did not expect any one would take for serious predictions. The explanation I promised, follows, viz.
         1. The water of the sea and rivers i raised in vapours by the sun, is form'd into clouds in the air, and thence descends in rain. Now when there is rain overhead, (which frequently happens when the wind is at N.E.) the cities and places on the earth below, are certainly under water.
         2. The power with which we were not then at war, but which, it was said, would take many full laden vessels out of our ports before the end of the year, is the WIND, whose forces also are not descried either coming or going.
         3. The army which it was said would land in Virginia, Maryland, and the lower counties on Delaware, were not musketeers with guns on their shoulders as some expected; but their namesakes, in pronunciation, tho' truly spelled moschitos, arm'd only wih a sharp sting.

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