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Events, deaths, births, of SEP 14

[For Sep 14 Julian go to Gregorian date: 1583~1699: Sep 241700s: Sep 251800s: Sep 261900~2099: Sep 27]
On a September 14:
2003 In a referendum, Estonians approve, 67% to 33%, their country joining the European Union on 01 May 2004.
2003 Swedish voters reject the euro 56% to 42%, contrary to the urging of the government.
1998 A federal judge delays the start of the Microsoft antitrust trial until 15 October 1998. Microsoft had requested the case be thrown out, but the judge refused to dismiss the case. Microsoft would use every possible delaying tactic throughout the trial, so as to continue its monopolistic practices in the hope that by the time a verdict is rendered, it would have been made moot by the advances of technology.
1996 First national elections in Bosnia since the 3 1/2-year civil war.
1992 With the global economy mired in a nasty slump and US and European leaders applying pressure, Germany decides to slash interest rates for the first time since 1987.
1991 The government of South Africa, the African National Congress and the Inkatha Freedom Party signed a national peace pact.
1989 Los nuevos miembros del Parlamento sudafricano aprueban por unanimidad la sucesión de Pieter Willem Botha por Frederik de Klerk.
1987 La CEE (Comunidad Económica Europea) responde negativamente a la demanda de adhesión presentada por Marruecos.
1983 US House of Representatives votes, 416 to 0, in favor of a resolution condemning Russia for shooting down a Korean jetliner
1982 36" snow (Red Lodge, MT)
1982 Cindy Nicholas of Canada makes her 19th swim of the English Channel
1981 Los conservadores obtienen mayoría absoluta en las elecciones en Noruega.
1979 Theodore Coombs completes 8357 km roller skate from LA to NYC and back to Yates Center, Ks
1975 Saint Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton (1774-1821) is canonized by Pope Paul VI at the Vatican in Rome, becoming the first Catholic saint born in the US.         ^top^
      Born in New York City in 1774, Elizabeth Bayley was the daughter of an Episcopalian physician. She devoted much of her time to charity work with the poor and in 1797 founded the Society for the Relief of Poor Widows with Small Children in New York. She married William Seton, and in 1803 she traveled with him to Italy, where she was exposed to the Roman Catholic Church. After she herself was widowed and left with five children in 1803, she converted to Catholicism and in 1808 went to Baltimore to establish a Catholic school for girls.
      In 1809, she founded the United States' first religious order, the Sisters of Mercy of St. Joseph. A few months later, Mother Seton and the sisters of the order moved to a poor parish where they provided free education to poor children. Mother Seton's order grew rapidly, and she continued to teach until her death in 1821. In 1856, Seton Hall University was named for her. She was canonized in 1975.
1974 Charles Kowal discovers Leda, 13th satellite of Jupiter
1973 Israel shoots down 13 Syrian MIG-21s
1972 España y la URSS firman un acuerdo comercial, el primero desde la instauración del régimen de Francisco Franco Bahamonde en España.
1967 The Federal Trade Commission decides to modify its e initial ruling that AT&T's charges for "interstate services" should be capped at a "fair rate" of 7% to 7.5%. Despite the adjustment, the FTC's decisions send the phone giant's stock spiraling to an all-time low.
1966 Vietnam: US attack vainly seeks classic battle         ^top^
      US II Field Force initiates Operation Attleboro with an attack by the 196th Light Infantry Brigade against Viet Cong forces near the Cambodian Border in War Zone C (near Tay Ninh, 80 km northwest of Saigon in III Corps Tactical Zone). When the communists appeared to want to make a fight of it, the US commander, Lt. Gen. Jonathan Seaman, sent in reinforcements from the US 1st Infantry Division; the 173rd Airborne Brigade; a brigade each from the US 4th and 25th Infantry Divisions; and a contingent from a South Vietnamese division.
      Before the operation was over, more than 20'000 US and South Vietnamese troops were involved, making it the largest operation at that point in the war. After more than six weeks of hit-and-run fighting, the Viet Cong forces sustained 1106 casualties and fell back to sanctuary areas in Cambodia.
      Operations like Attleboro, and others to follow such as Cedar Rapids and Junction City, were examples of the search and destroy tactic dictated by Gen. William Westmoreland, commander of US Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV), the senior American headquarters in Saigon. The objective was to find the Viet Cong and engage them in decisive battle; the problem was that the communists often refused to engage in the type of set-piece battles for control of critical terrain that had been the norm in previous wars, like World War II.
      Westmoreland’s search and destroy tactic led to a war of attrition in which battles were fought often over the same territory again and again and where each side inflicted as many casualties as possible on the other. This approach was criticized because it meant that the war would go on as long as the communists were prepared to accept and replace their losses on the battlefield.
1966 The US Senate passes an amendment adopted legislation that will enable the minimum wage to go up to $1.40 an hour and to apply to State and local government workers at public schools and nursing homes, as well as in the construction industry.
1965 Pope Paul VI opens the fourth session of the Second Vatican Council in Rome.
1965 Vietnam: Parachutists attack         ^top^
      ARVN paratroopers and several US advisers parachute into the Ben Cat area, 20 miles north of Saigon. This was the first major parachute assault of the war by the South Vietnamese. Although they failed to make contact with the enemy, they achieved their goal of driving the Viet Cong away from Route 13 (running between Saigon and the Cambodian border) at least temporarily. .
1964 Steinbeck wins the US Medal of Freedom         ^top^
      John Steinbeck receives the US Medal of Freedom. Steinbeck had already received numerous other honors and awards for his writing, including the 1962 Nobel Prize and a 1939 Pulitzer Prize for Grapes of Wrath.
      Steinbeck, a native Californian, studied writing intermittently at Stanford between 1920 and 1925 but never graduated. He moved to New York and worked as a manual laborer and journalist while writing his first two novels, which were not successful. He married in 1930 and moved back to California with his wife. His father, a government official in Salinas County, gave the couple a house to live in while Steinbeck continued writing.
      His first novel, Tortilla Flat, about the comic antics of several rootless drifters who share a house in California, was published in 1935. The novel became a financial success. Steinbeck’s next works, In Dubious Battle and Of Mice and Men, were both successful, and in 1938 his masterpiece The Grapes of Wrath was published. The novel, about the struggles of an Oklahoma family who lose their farm and become fruit pickers in California, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1939.
      After World War II, Steinbeck’s work became more sentimental in such novels as Cannery Row and The Pearl. He also wrote several successful films, including Forgotten Village (1941) and Viva Zapata (1952). He became interested in marine biology and published a nonfiction book, The Sea of Cortez, in 1941. His travel memoir, Travels with Charlie, describes his trek across the United States in a camper. Steinbeck and died in New York in 1968.
1964 Pope Paul VI opens the third session of the Second Vatican Council in Rome.
1963 Huelgas mineras e industriales propician el nacimiento de Comisiones Obreras, en España.
1959 Soviets reach Moon first.         ^top^
      The unmanned Soviet spacecraft Lunik 2 became the first manmade object to reach the moon when it impacted with the lunar surface. It was another first for the Soviet space program, which two years before had successfully launched the world's first artificial satellite, Sputnik, into orbit around the earth.
      A Soviet rocket crashes into the moon's surface, becoming the first man-made object sent from earth to reach the lunar surface. The event gave the Soviets a short-lived advantage in the "space race" and prompted even greater effort by the United States to develop its own space program. In 1957, the Soviets shocked the United States by becoming the first nation to launch a satellite into orbit around the earth. Sputnik, as it was called, frightened many Americans, who believed that the Soviets would soon develop an entire new class of weapons that could be fired from space. US officials were especially concerned, for the success of Sputnik was a direct rebuke to American claims of technological and scientific superiority over the communist regime in Russia. It was a tremendous propaganda victory for the Soviets, and gave them an edge in attracting less-developed nations into the Soviet orbit with promises of technological aid and assistance.
      The United States responded by accelerating its own space program, and just months after Sputnik, an American satellite went into orbit. In September 1959, the Soviets upped the ante considerably with the announcement that a rocket carrying the flag of the Soviet Union had crashed onto the moon's surface. In Washington, a muted congratulation was sent to the Soviet scientists who managed the feat. At the same time, however, the United States warned the Soviet Union that sending the Russian flag to the moon gave the Soviets no territorial rights over the celestial body. Vice President Richard Nixon expressed some sour grapes by noting that it took the Soviet four tries to hit the moon and reassured Americans that "We are way ahead" in the space race. Nixon's reassurances aside, the Soviet success in sending a rocket to the moon provoked even greater effort by the United States to gain an advantage in the space race. In 1960, presidential candidate John F. Kennedy made it one of his campaign themes. After winning the election, President Kennedy increased spending for the space program and vowed that America would send a man to the moon by the end of the decade. In 1969, American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon.
1957 UN resolution deplores and condemns USSR invasion of Hungary
1956 1st prefrontal lobotomy performed, Washington DC
1954 Un avión militar soviético lanza una bomba atómica en los Urales para estudiar los efectos sobre los seres humanos.
1949 Los soviéticos realizan su primera explosión atómica, según anunciará el presidente Harry S. Truman el 23 septiembre.
1948 Gerald Ford upsets Rep Bartel J Jonkman in Mich 5th Dist Rep primary
1948 Groundbreaking ceremony for the UN world headquarters
1948 Milton Berle starts his TV career on Texaco Star Theater
1944 El Ejército Rojo llega hasta las afueras de Varsovia.
1940 US Congress passes the Selective Service Act, first peacetime draft in US history.
1938 Graf Zeppelin II, world's largest airship, makes maiden flight
1936 First US prefrontal lobotomy performed         ^top^
      In an attempt to relieve the symptoms of an elderly patient's depression and anxiety, psychosurgery advocate Walter Freeman, assisted by neurosurgeon James Watts, oversees his first prefrontal lobotomy in Washington, D.C. During the operation, the first of its kind in the United States, nerve pathways in the frontal lobe of the patient's brain were cut, in a blind attempt to "balance" the two pre-frontal lobes of the brain: the "rational brain" and the "emotional brain."
      Due in large part to the public relations work of Walter Freemen, the technique became a popular method of relieving various mental illnesses, and within twenty years over 40'000 men, women, and children in the US had undergone psychosurgery.
      In 1945, Freeman popularized a new method, commonly known as the "ice pick lobotomy," where an ice-pick-like instrument was literally hammered through the tear duct above the eyeball, forced two inches into the brain, and rotated on a fifty-degree arc, irreparably destroying a significant portion of the brain.
      By the early 1960s, psychosurgery, which at best left people dull, child-like, and with little semblance of their former personality, was nearly completely discredited. Walter Freeman, refusing to admit himself defeated, continued to tour the country performing operations in a specially equipped camper van, which he called his "Lobotomobile." In 1967, his surgical privileges were removed.
1933 2 billion board feet of lumber destroyed in Tillamook Oregon fire
1931 España es reelegida como país miembro del Consejo de la Sociedad de Naciones.
1930 Nazis gain 107 seats in German election — Gran avance de los nacionalsocialistas (107 escaños) y los comunistas (77 escaños) en Alemania.
1929 La Sociedad de Naciones aprueba el Estatuto del Tribunal Internacional de Justicia.
1927 Bob Jones University opened in Greenville, South Carolina, and eighty-eight students registered for the first fall term.
1923 Miguel Primo de Rivera becomes dictator of Spain
1918 The Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Wisconsin, Ohio and Other States was formed from the merger of several smaller synods. In 1930 this denomination merged with two other synods to form the American Lutheran Church (ALC).
1917 Provisional government of Russia established, Republic proclaimed by Alexandr Feodorovich Kerenski who is named Commander-in-Chief of the Army.
1912 Se inaugura en Australia el primer tramo del ferrocarril de 1700 Km. entre Port Augusta y Kal Goorlie.
1911 Russian Premier Peter Stolypin is fatally wounded by an assassin at a theater in Kiev. He would die four days later.
1897 Le sénat d'Hawaï accepte l'annexion des îles par les États Unis. ces îles avaient été découvertes en 1778 par le capitaine Cook. Cook avait appelé cet archipel "îles Sandwich", du nom du Premier Lord de l'Amirauté d'alors. En 1959, les îles d'Hawaï deviendront le cinquantième état des États Unis d'Amérique.
1891 "Empire State Express" train goes from NYC to East Buffalo, a distance of 702 km, in a record 7h6m (average speed 99 km/h).
1872 Britain pays the US $15 million for damages during Civil War
1862 Attack on Munfordville, Kentucky
1861 Siege of Lexington, Missouri continues
1856 Battle of San Jacinto, Nicaragua defeats invaders
1854 Allied armies, including those of Britain and France, land in Crimea to oppose the Russians, who had initiated the Crimean War by invading Turkey in July 1853.
1847 US forces capture Mexico City         ^top^
      During the Mexican-American War, US forces under General Winfield Scott entered Mexico City and raised the American flag over the Hall of Montezuma, concluding a devastating advance that began with an amphibious landing at Vera Cruz six months earlier.
      Early the next year, the two nations would sign the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, in which Mexico agreed to recognize Texas as part of the United States, and ceded over 1'300'000 square kilometers of territory to the US, including all of the future states of California, Nevada, and Utah, almost all of New Mexico and Arizona, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming. In return the US agreed to pay Mexico $15'000'000 and to assume all the claims of US citizens against Mexico, amounting to some $7'000'000, and the claims of Mexican citizens against Native Americans from the United States, eventually amounting to some $30'000'000.
      The Mexican-American War began with a dispute over the US government's 1845 annexation of Texas, which had won independence from Mexico in 1836. In January of 1846, President James K. Polk, a strong advocate of westward expansion, ordered General Zachary Taylor to occupy disputed territory between the Nueces and Rio Grande rivers. Mexican troops attacked Taylor's forces, and on May 13, 1846, Congress approved a declaration of war, appropriating ten million dollars for the war effort and authorizing the president to call for 50'000 volunteers.
      On 09 March 1847, US forces under General Winfield Scott invaded Mexico 5 km south of Vera Cruz. Encountering little resistance from the Mexicans massed in the fortified city of Vera Cruz, by nightfall the last of Scott's 10'000 men had come ashore without the loss of a single life. By 29 March, with very few US casualties, Scott's forces had taken Vera Cruz and its massive fortress, San Juan de Ulua.
      On 09 April, Scott began his march to Mexico City, on 13 September he took the Chapultepec fortress, and on 14 September, the triumphant US forces capture Mexico City.
      On 02 February 1848, representatives from the US and Mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, formally ending the Mexican War, recognizing Texas as part of the United States, and extending the boundaries of the United States west to the Pacific Ocean.
1829 Treaty of Adrianople ends the Russo-Turkish War. Tsar Nicholas I obtains land south of the Caucasus
1822 El egiptólogo francés Jean-François Champollion lee el nombre de Ramsés en la piedra de Rosetta, por lo que se considera esta fecha como la del nacimiento de la egiptografía.
1814 Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner" after witnessing the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in Maryland.
1812 Napoléon enters Moscow [with victories like that, who needs defeats?]         ^top^
     La bataille de la Moskova lui a ouvert les portes de la ville. Napoléon s'y installe. Mais à peine est-il entré que de toutes parts des incendies se déclarent. La ville brûle, les Russes ont ouvert les portes des prisons avant de partir. La victoire se consume rapidement.  
     During French Emperor Napoléon's invasion of Russia, his massive Grande Armée entered Moscow, only to find the population evacuated and the Russian army retreated again. Early the next morning, fires broke out across the city, set by Russian patriots, and burned until 19 September, destroying much of the capital, leaving Napoléon's army with no means to survive the coming Russian winter.
      On 24 June, following the rejection of his Continental System by Czar Alexander I, Napoléon had ordered his Grande Armée, the largest European military force ever assembled to that date, into Russia. The enormous army, some 500'000 soldiers and staff, included troops from all of the European countries under the sway of the French Empire.
      During the opening months of the invasion, Napoléon was forced to contend with a bitter Russian army in perpetual retreat. Refusing to engage Napoléon's superior army in a full-scale confrontation, the Russians under General Mikhail Kutuzov burned everything behind them as they retreated deeper and deeper into Russia.
      On 07 September, the indecisive Battle of Borodino was fought, in which both sides suffered terrible losses.
      On 14 September, Napoléon arrives in Moscow intending to find supplies, but instead finds almost the entire population evacuated. The next day, fires set by Russian patriots destroy the Grande Armée's winter quarters. After waiting a month for a surrender that never came, Napoléon, faced with the onset of the Russian winter, was forced to order his starving army out of Moscow.
      During the disastrous retreat, Napoléon's army suffered continual harassment from a suddenly aggressive and merciless Russian army. Stalked by hunger and the deadly lances of the Cossacks, the decimated army reached the Berezina River late in November, and found their way blocked by the Russians.
      On 27 November, Napoléon forced a way across at Studenka, but when the bulk of his army passed the river two days later, he was forced to burn his makeshift bridges behind him, stranding some 10'000 stragglers on the other side. From there, the retreat became a rout, and on 08 December, Napoléon left what remained of his army to return to Paris. Six days later, the Grande Armée finally escaped Russia, having suffered a loss of over 400'000 men during the disastrous invasion.
      One week after winning a bloody victory over the Russian army at the Battle of Borodino, Napoléon Bonaparte's Grande Armée enters the city of Moscow, only to find the population evacuated and the Russian army retreated again. Moscow was the goal of the invasion, but the deserted city held no czarist officials to sue for peace and no great stores of food or supplies to reward the French soldiers for their long march. Then, just after midnight, fires broke out across the city, apparently set by Russian patriots, leaving Napoléon's massive army with no means to survive the coming Russian winter.
      In 1812, French Emperor Napoléon I was still at the height of his fortunes. The Peninsular War against Britain was a thorn in the side of his great European empire, but he was confident that his generals would soon triumph in Spain. All that remained to complete his "Continental System" — a unilateral European blockade designed to economically isolate Britain and force its subjugation — was the cooperation of Russia. After earlier conflict, Napoléon and Alexander I kept a tenuous peace, but the Russian czar was unwilling to submit to the Continental System, which was ruinous to the Russian economy. To intimidate Alexander, Napoléon massed his forces in Poland in the spring of 1812, but still the czar resisted.
      On 24 June, Napoléon ordered his Grande Armée, the largest European military force ever assembled to that date, into Russia. The enormous army featured more than 500'000 soldiers and staff and included contingents from Prussia, Austria, and other countries under the sway of the French empire. Napoléon's military successes lay in his ability to move his armies rapidly and strike quickly, but in the opening months of his Russian invasion he was forced to be content with a Russian army in perpetual retreat. The fleeing Russian forces adopted a "scorched earth" strategy, seizing or burning any supplies that the French might pillage from the countryside. Meanwhile, Napoléon's supply lines became overextended as he advanced deeper and deeper into the Russian expanse.
      Many in the czarist government were critical of the Russian army's refusal to engage Napoléon in a direct confrontation. Under public pressure, Alexander named General Mikhail Kutuzov supreme commander in August, but the veteran of earlier defeats against Napoléon continued the retreat. Finally, Kutuzov agreed to halt at the town of Borodino, about 110 km west of Moscow, and engage the French. The Russians built fortifications, and, on 07 September, the Grande Armée attacked. Napoléon was uncharacteristically cautious that day; he didn't try to outflank the Russians, and he declined to send much-needed reinforcements into the fray. The result was a bloody and narrow victory and another retreat by the Russian army.
      Although disturbed by the progress of the campaign, Napoléon was sure that once Moscow was taken Alexander would be forced to capitulate. On 14 September, the French entered a deserted Moscow. All but a few thousand of the city's 275'000 people were gone. Napoléon retired to a house on the outskirts of the city for the night, but two hours after midnight he was informed that a fire had broken out in the city. He went to the Kremlin, where he watched the flames continue to grow. Strange reports began to come in telling of Russians starting the fires and stoking the flames. Suddenly a fire broke out within the Kremlin, apparently set by a Russian military policeman who was immediately executed. With the firestorm spreading, Napoléon and his entourage were forced to flee down burning streets to Moscow's outskirts and narrowly avoided being asphyxiated. When the flames died down three days later, more than two-thirds of the city was destroyed.
      In the aftermath of the calamity, Napoléon still hoped Alexander would ask for peace. In a letter to the czar he wrote: "My lord Brother. Beautiful, magical Moscow exists no more. How could you consign to destruction the loveliest city in the world, a city that has taken hundreds of years to build?" The fire was allegedly set on the orders of Moscow Governor-General Feodor Rostopchin; though Rostopchin later denied the charge. Alexander said the burning of Moscow "illuminated his soul," and he refused to negotiate with Napoléon.
      After waiting a month for a surrender that never came, Napoléon was forced to lead his starving army out of the ruined city. Suddenly, Kutuzov's army appeared and gave battle on 19 October at Maloyaroslavets. The disintegrating Grande Armée was forced to abandon the fertile, southern route by which it hoped to retreat and proceed back along the ravaged path over which it had originally advanced. During the disastrous retreat, Napoléon's army suffered continual harassment from the merciless Russian army. Stalked by hunger, subzero temperatures, and the deadly lances of the Cossacks, the decimated army reached the Berezina River late in November, near the border with French-occupied Lithuania. However, the river was unexpectedly thawed, and the Russians had destroyed the bridges at Borisov.
      Napoléon's engineers managed to construct two makeshift bridges at Studienka, and on 26 November the bulk of his army began to cross the river. On 29 November, the Russians pressed from the east, and the French were forced to burn the bridges, leaving some 10'000 stragglers on the other side. The Russians largely abandoned their pursuit after that point, but thousands of French troops continued to succumb to hunger, exhaustion, and the cold. In December, Napoléon abandoned what remained of his army and raced back to Paris, where people were saying he had died and a general had led an unsuccessful coup. He traveled incognito across Europe with a few cohorts and reached the capital of his empire on 18 December. Six days later, the Grande Armée finally escaped Russia, having suffered a loss of more than 400'000 men during the disastrous invasion.
      With Europe emboldened by his catastrophic failure in Russia, an allied force rose up to defeat Napoléon in 1814. Exiled to the island of Elba, he escaped to France in early 1815 and raised a new army that enjoyed fleeting success before its crushing defeat at Waterloo in June 1815. Napoléon was then exiled to the remote island of Saint Helena, where he died six years later.
1807 Aaron Burr acquitted of a misdemeanor charge
1792 Louis Philippe Joseph, duc d'Orléans, descendant direct de Monsieur, frère de Louis XIV, pressentant l'orage à venir, prend la décision qu'entérine le procureur de la Commune de porter dorénavant le nom de Philippe Égalité, pour lui-même et sa postérité. Il ne le portera que peu de temps d'ailleurs.
1791 L'Assemblée Nationale vote un décret par lequel sont rattachés à la France la ville d'Avignon et le Comtat Venaissin, sans pape depuis1429, mais qui étaient administrés par son légat.
1791 Louis XVI prête serment. Le roi de France et de Navarre arrive à l'Assemblée en carrosse. Lorsqu'il entre, les députés se lèvent. Pas de trône, on invite le roi à prendre place dans un fauteuil. Il se lève pour prononcer le serment constitutionnel, qui fait désormais de lui le "roi des Français", et par lequel il reconnaît la souveraineté nationale. Mais lorsqu'il commence à parler, les membres de l'Assemblée se rassoient. Le roi humilié, lui-même, finit de prononcer son serment après s'être rassis. Désormais "le royaume est un et indivisible".
1752 England and colonies adopt Gregorian calendar, 11 days disappear
1741 German composer George Frederick Handel, 56, finished composing his oratorio, "The Messiah." He wrote the score, start-to-finish, in only 24 days, subsisting primarily on coffee.
1730 A los 16 años ingresa en la orden franciscana Fray Junípero Serra.
1716 1st lighthouse in US lit (Boston Harbor)
1519 Decreto del Emperador Carlos I por el que se incorporan los territorios conquistados de América a la corona de Castilla.
1262 El Rey de Castilla y León Alfonso X el Sabio reconquista a los árabes la ciudad de Cádiz.
1224 Francis receives the stigmata         ^top^
      When Francis of Assisi was in his early forties, he gave up leadership of the Franciscans, the great order he had founded. This was not done in pique or bitterness but with a quiet acceptance that events had moved beyond him. His simple and stringent rule was too difficult for the many who had swarmed into the order because of his fame and the powerful preaching of his followers. They wanted the rule relaxed, and relaxed it would be.
      If Francis thought he could now be just one of the brothers, he was mistaken. None had such zeal as he. Of none would such legends be told. To none other would such visions come.
      He decided to spend some days before the Feast of the Assumption at Mt. Alvernia. In that wilderness a flock of birds settled around and upon him to the astonishment of his few companions and succeeding generations. At Mt. Alvernia, Francis decided he needed more solitude. The sense of his own sin was heavy upon him, and he longed for a taste of heaven in order to bear the pain of his past wrongdoing. He found a lonely spot in the forest across a chasm. Only one man was allowed to approach him in his solitude his spiritual son Leo; and even Leo must call out and receive permission before crossing the limb which served as a bridge to Francis' isolation.
      The brothers feared for Francis. He was gravely ill. One night Leo approached the chasm and called out. Francis did not answer. Leo called again. Perhaps the master had taken ill. Fearful of disobedience and yet even more fearful that the holy leader might be dying unattended, Leo crossed the limb.
      Francis' cell was empty. Yet the moon was bright. Leo went some way and heard a voice. It was Francis, praying, "Who are you, my dearest Lord? And who am I, a most vile worm and your most unprofitable servant?" Leo saw a light shine down upon Francis and knew that words were spoken to him, although he could not hear them. Francis raised his hands into the light. The light disappeared. Leo turned to creep away, but Francis heard. He challenged him, for he was almost blind. Leo confessed he had broken the command. Francis was gentle. The transgression was from love.
      Francis told Leo that he had been commanded to give three gifts, and these three gifts were as golden balls in his bosom: poverty, chastity and obedience. He had held them up to the Lord. The two men then read and prayed together. Then on the morning of this date, September 14, in the year 1224, the day of the Feast of the Holy Cross, as Francis was communing with the Lord, a Seraph appeared to him. The figure of Christ crucified appeared between his wings. Joy and agony suffused Francis. His prayers for forgiveness, to share Christ's sufferings, to be purified were heard. When the angel left, in what is regarded as one of the classic experiences of all Christian history, Francis' hands feet and sides bore five wounds, the marks of the stigmata. Two years later the saint was dead.
0326 The true cross is allegedly recovered by St. Helena, Mother of Constantine.

Deaths which occurred on a September 14:         ^top^
2003 Ahmed Abu Latifa, 14, one of dozens of Palestinians at which Israeli soldiers fire when the Palestinians enter the Atarot airport on the northern edge of Jerusalem after cutting its security fence, in the evening.
2003 Sgt. Trevor A. Blumberg, 22, of Canton, Mich.; when two explosive devices strike his vehicle, in Baghdad, Iraq. He was of the 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, based in Fort Bragg NC. He is the 294th US soldier to die in the war “to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq” and the subsequent occupation, in which 49 British and 1 Danish soldier also died. The US does not keep count of the Iraqis killed, including thousands of innocent civilians.
2002 Patra Tansakunwong, 20, by jumping from the fourth floor of a Chamber of Commerce University building in Bangkok, a few minutes after being denied a delay for her tax-law exam. She was a third-year law student.
2002:: 41 (or more?) persons poisoned by breakfast snacks (such as sesame cakes and fried dough sticks) from a Tangshan, China, outlet of the Heshengyuan Soy Milk chain. Some 200 (or more?) persons are made sick. The real numbers may be much higher, but the government impedes free reporting of the news.
2002 Karl Kulper, 66, German-born, who, after his wife and child died, lived for the last 25 years in the brick bus shelter close to Saint Vincent's hospital in Darlinghurst, inner city suburb of Sydney, Australia.
2001 Sofian Alarda, Palestinian from Araba near Jenin, from wounds suffered the previous day when his sister Balqis, 14, was killed by Israelis and Israeli troops arrested him and preventing Palestinian paramedics from helping him for three hours before taking him to unknown destination..This day he is announced dead in the Israeli hospital of Afula north of Jenin.
2001 Raafat Muhammad Ehmedan, 25, Palestinian driving his car to Khrabta Almisbah via Beit Ur near Ramallah, ambushed by Israeli settlers from the enclave settlement Shvot Rahail, severely wounded, the Israelis take him to a hospital and declare him dead.
1983 William Werner “Bill” Boone, US mathematician born on 16 January 1920. He worked on word problems in Groups.
1982 Bashir Gemayel, Lebanon's president-elect, killed by a bomb — El presidente libanés Bechir Gemayel en un atentado en Beirut.

1982 Grace Kelly, 52, ex-movie actress, Princess of Monaco, of injuries sustained in a car crash the day before.         ^top^
      The car had plunged down a 15-m embankment after the Princess suffered a stroke and lost control of the car. Known as America’s princess, Kelly’s life had been a true fairytale. She was born into a rich Irish Catholic family in Philadelphia where she attended private schools before enrolling in the Academy of Dramatic Art in New York. She soon rose to stardom both on Broadway and in Hollywood, in a 6-year career, with 11 movies such as Rear Window and The Country Girl. (for which she won an Oscar). She abandoned her acting career in order to marry Prince Rainier of Monaco, making her a real life princess. They had three children.
1960 Sir Arthur Percy Morris Fleming, radar pioneer. In 1920, he set up England's second broadcasting station. During World War I, he developed early radar techniques for locating enemy submarines. His continued work on radar after World War I allowed Great Britain to build radar stations before World War II began. He was knighted in 1945.
1944 First of thousands to die in attack on useless Peleliu.         ^top^
      The US 1st Marine Division lands on the island of Peleliu, one of the Palau Islands in the Pacific, as part of a larger operation to provide support for Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who was preparing to invade the Philippines. The cost in American lives would prove historic.
      The Palaus, part of the Caroline Islands, were among the mandated islands taken from Germany and given to Japan as one of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles at the close of World War I. The US military lacked familiarity with the islands, and Adm. William Halsey argued against Operation Stalemate, which included the Army invasion of Morotai in the Dutch East Indies, believing that MacArthur would meet minimal resistance in the Philippines, therefore making this operation unnecessary, especially given the risks involved.
      Peleliu was subject to pre-invasion bombardment, but it proved of little consequence. The Japanese defenders of the island were buried too deep in the jungle, and the target intelligence given the Americans was faulty. Upon landing, the Marines met little immediate resistance—but that was a ploy. Shortly thereafter, Japanese machine guns opened fire, knocking out more than two dozen landing craft. Japanese tanks and troops followed, as the startled 1st and 5th Marine regiments fought for their lives. Jungle caves disgorged even more Japanese soldiers.
      Within one week of the invasion, the Marines would lose 4000 men. By the time it was all over, that number would surpass 9000. The Japanese would lose more than 13'000 men. Flamethrowers and bombs finally subdued the island for the Americans—but it all proved pointless. MacArthur invaded the Philippines without need of Army or Marine protection from either Peleliu or Morotai.
1932 Ernest Julius Wilczynski, German US mathematician born on 13 November 1876.
1927 Isadora Duncan, 49, the controversial but highly influential US dancer, is instantly strangled to death in Nice, France, when her trademark long scarf gets caught in the rear wheel of a Bugatti driven by factory mechanic Benoit Falchetto. — Promenade des Anglais à Nice, son écharpe, emportée par le vent, s'enroule dans la roue de sa voiture et l'étrangle.
1916 José Echegaray Eizaguirre, escritor español, premio Nobel 1904.
1916 Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem, French mathematical physicist born on 10 June 1861.
1912 Georg Landsberg, German mathematician born on 30 January 1865.
1911 Piotr Stolypin Russia's PM assassinated by Mordka Bogrov
1910 Jacob Lueroth, German mathematician born on 18 February 1844.

1910 El dirigible Zeppelin IV, destruido por el fuego cerca de Baden-Baden (Alemania).
1901 William McKinley, US President, of gunshot wounds received on 06 September.
VP Theodore Roosevelt becomes president, Big Business's worst nightmare.
     When Leon Czolgosz, a Polish anarchist, shot President William McKinley, on 06 September 1901, White House doctors cautiously predicted a recovery. Unfortunately, their optimism was unwarranted and McKinley dies on 14 September. Investors mourned the death of the business-friendly president by engaging in a steady sell-off. Stocks promptly fall and the Dow-Jones Industrial Average closes down 3.20.
      The drop was also a reflection of Wall Street's fears over Teddy Roosevelt's ascension to the presidency. A few years earlier, Republican officials, supported by prominent business leaders, had purposely sidelined the freewheeling Rough Rider as McKinley's vice president. Now, much to their chagrin, Theodore Roosevelt, 42, was president.
      17 years earlier two other deaths had devastated the young Roosevelt. In February 1884, Roosevelt's young wife died after giving birth to their daughter; and a mere 12 hours later his much-beloved mother also died. Roosevelt went West, establishing himself on two ranches in the Badlands of Dakota Territory and writing to friends that he had given up politics and planned to make ranching "my regular business."
      Despite this, three years later he returned to New York City and resumed the political career that would eventually take him to the White House. Even after he had returned to the civilized East, Roosevelt always credited his western interlude with restoring his mental and physical vitality.
      From an early age, Roosevelt had been convinced of the benefits of living the "strenuous life," arguing that too many American males had succumbed to the ease and safety of modern industrialized society and become soft and effeminate. Roosevelt thought more men should follow his example and embrace the hard, virile, pioneer life of the West, a place where "the qualities of hardihood, self-reliance, and resolution" were essential for survival. Roosevelt's own western experience was hardly as harsh and challenging as he liked to claim, yet the eastern tenderfoot did adapt quickly to the rougher ways of ranch life. He earned the respect of Dakotans by tracking down a gang of bandits who had stolen a riverboat and once knocked out a barroom bully who had taunted him.
      Though he spent the vast majority of his life in the East, Roosevelt thereafter always thought of himself as a westerner at heart, and he did more than any president before him to conserve the wild western lands he loved.
      17 years earlier two other deaths had sent the young Roosevelt fleeing to the far West where his political ambitions were almost forgotten. In February 1884, Roosevelt's young wife died after giving birth to their daughter; a mere 12 hours later his much-beloved mother also died. Devastated by this cruel double blow, Roosevelt sought solace in the wide open spaces of the West, establishing himself on two ranches in the Badlands of Dakota Territory and writing to friends that he had given up politics and planned to make ranching "my regular business." Despite this, three years later he returned to New York City and resumed the political career that would eventually take him to the White House.
      Even after he had returned to the civilized East, Roosevelt always credited his western interlude with restoring his mental and physical vitality. From an early age, Roosevelt had been convinced of the benefits of living the "strenuous life," arguing that too many American males had succumbed to the ease and safety of modern industrialized society and become soft and effeminate. Roosevelt thought more men should follow his example and embrace the hard, virile, pioneer life of the West, a place where "the qualities of hardihood, self-reliance, and resolution" were essential for survival. Roosevelt's own western experience was hardly as harsh and challenging as he liked to claim, yet the eastern tenderfoot did adapt quickly to the rougher ways of ranch life. He earned the respect of Dakotans by tracking down a gang of bandits who had stolen a riverboat and once knocked out a barroom bully who had taunted him. Though he spent the vast majority of his life in the East, Roosevelt thereafter always thought of himself as a westerner at heart, and he did more than any president before him to conserve the wild western lands he loved.
AT THE THRESHOLD (of the “Hall of Martyrs) Details and editorial cartoon about the McKinley assassination.
1899 Henry Bliss becomes 1st automobile fatality (NY)
1893 Pieter Gerardus Vertin, Dutch artist born on 21 March 1819.
1882 Edward Bouverie Pusey, author. PUSEY ONLINE: The Holy Eucharist a Comfort to the Penitent — translator of Saint Augustine's Confessions
1862 General Jesse Reno and thousands of Yanks and Rebs at Battles of South Mountain and Crampton's Gap         ^top^
      General Robert E. Lee's exhausted Confederate forces hold off the pursuing Yankees by closing two passes through Maryland's South Mountain, allowing Lee time to gather his forces further west along Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg.
      After the Battle of Second Bull Run on August 29-30, Lee decided to invade Maryland to raise supplies; he also hoped a decisive win would earn the South foreign recognition. As he moved, he split his army into five sections while the hungry Rebels searched for supplies. A copy of the Confederate plans accidentally fell into Union hands when the orders were left in an abandoned campsite outside of Frederick, Maryland. McClellan now knew that Lee's force was in pieces, but he was slow to react.
      As Lee moved into western Maryland, he left detachments to guard Crampton's Gap and Turner's Gap through South Mountain. If McClellan had penetrated the passes, he would have found Lee's army scattered and vulnerable. South Mountain, a 80-km long ridge, contained several passes, but Crampton's Gap and Turner's Gap were the most important. The National Road ran through Turner's Gap to the north, and Crampton's Gap connected western Maryland to Harpers Ferry, Virginia.
      The Union troops drove the Confederates away at Crampton's Gap, but were initially unable to expel the Confederates from Turner's Gap. However, the Rebels did retreat the next morning. Union losses for the day amounted to 2300 dead and wounded, including the death of Major General Jesse Reno. The Confederates lost 2700.
      These engagements were a mere prelude to the Battle of Antietam. Although costly, they allowed Lee time to assemble his scattered bands at Sharpsburg.
1852 Arthur Wellesley, 83, General / Duke of Wellington.
1851 James Fenimore Cooper, on the eve of his 62nd birthday, in Cooperstown NY.
      Cooper was born on 15 September 1789 in New Jersey and moved the following year to the frontier in upstate New York, where his father founded a frontier-town sater named Coopersville. Cooper attended Yale but joined the Navy after he was expelled for a prank. When Cooper was about 20, his father died, and he became financially independent. Having drifted for a decade, Cooper began writing a novel after his wife challenged him to write something better than he was reading at the moment. His first novel, Precaution, modeled on Jane Austen, was not successful, but his second, The Spy, influenced by the popular writings of Sir Walter Scott, became a bestseller, making Cooper the first major American novelist. The story was set during the American Revolution and featured George Washington as a character. He continued to write about the American frontier in his third book, The Pioneer, which featured backcountry scout Natty Bumppo, known in this book as "Leather-stocking." The character, representing goodness, purity, and simplicity, became tremendously popular, and reappeared, by popular demand, in five more novels, known collectively as the "Leather-stocking Tales." The second book in the series, The Last of the Mohicans, published on 4 February 1826, is still widely read today. The five books span Bumppo's life, from coming of age through approaching death.
      Ce fils d'un riche membre du Congrès américain, est renvoyé de l'Université de Yale pour avoir provoqué une explosion dans un cours de chimie. Après avoir servit dans la marine, il devient fermier. C'est ce moment qu'il choisit pour écrire. Il accède rapidement à la célébrité en publiant des nouvelles et son chef d'œuvre Le Dernier des Mohicans.
     James Fenimore Cooper was the first major US novelist, author of the novels of frontier adventure known as the Leatherstocking Tales, featuring the wilderness scout called Natty Bumppo, or Hawkeye. They include The Pioneers (1823), The Last of the Mohicans (1826), The Prairie (1827), The Pathfinder (1840), and The Deerslayer (1841).
      Cooper's first fiction, Precaution (1820), was a plodding imitation of Jane Austen's novels of English gentry manners, investigating the ironic discrepancy between illusion and reality. His second novel, The Spy: A Tale of the Neutral Ground (1821), was based on another British model, Sir Walter Scott's "Waverley" novels, stories of adventure and romance, which Cooper transfered to an American Revolutionary War setting, introducing several distinctively American character types. Like Scott's novels, The Spy is a drama of conflicting loyalties and interests in which the action mirrors and expresses more subtle internal psychological tensions. The Spy soon brought him international fame.
      The first of the renowned "Leatherstocking" tales, The Pioneers; or, The Sources of the Susquehanna (1823), followed and adhered to the successful formula of The Spy, reproducing its basic thematic conflicts and utilizing family traditions once again. In The Pioneers, however, the traditions were those of William Cooper of Cooperstown, who appears as Judge Temple of Templeton, along with many other lightly disguised inhabitants of James's boyhood village. No known prototype exists, however, for the novel's principal character — the former wilderness scout Natty Bumppo, alias Leatherstocking. The Leatherstocking of The Pioneers is an aged man, of rough but sterling character, who ineffectually opposes "the march of progress," namely, the agricultural frontier and its chief spokesman, Judge Temple. Fundamentally, the conflict is between rival versions of the American Eden: the "God's Wilderness" of Leatherstocking and the cultivated garden of Judge Temple. Since Cooper himself was deeply attracted to both ideals, he was able to create a powerful and moving story of frontier life. Indeed, The Pioneers is both the first and finest detailed portrait of frontier life in American literature; it is also the first truly original American novel.
     Cooper wrote a series of sequels (not written in their narrative order) in which the entire life of the frontier scout was gradually unfolded. The Last of the Mohicans (1826) takes the reader back to the French and Indian wars of Natty's middle age, when he is at the height of his powers. That work was succeeded by The Prairie (1827) in which, now very old and philosophical, Leatherstocking dies, facing the westering sun he has so long followed. Identified from the start with the vanishing wilderness and its natives, Leatherstocking was an unalterably elegiac figure, wifeless and childless, hauntingly loyal to a lost cause. This conception of the character was not fully realized in The Pioneers, however, because Cooper's main concern with depicting frontier life led him to endow Leatherstocking with some comic traits and make his laments, at times, little more than whines or grumbles. But in these sequels Cooper retreated stylistically from a realistic picture of the frontier in order to portray a more idyllic and romantic wilderness; by doing so he could exploit the parallels between the American Indians and the forlorn Celtic heroes of James Macpherson's pseudo-epic The Works of Ossian, leaving Leatherstocking intact but slightly idealized and making extensive use of Macpherson's imagery and rhetoric. [Poesie di Ossian, tradotto da Melchiorre Cesarotti, zip]
     Cooper intended to bury Leatherstocking in The Prairie, but many years later he resuscitated the character and portrayed his early maturity in The Pathfinder; or, The Inland Sea (1840) and his youth in The Deerslayer; or, The First Warpath (1841). These novels, in which Natty becomes the centre of romantic interest for the first time, carry the idealization process further. In The Pathfinder he is explicitly described as an American Adam, while in The Deerslayer he demonstrates his fitness as a warrior-saint by passing a series of moral trials and revealing a keen, though untutored, aesthetic sensibility.
      Cooper continued to write many other volumes of fiction and nonfiction. His fourth novel, The Pilot: A Tale of the Sea (1823), inaugurated a series of sea novels, which were at once as popular and influential as the "Leatherstocking" tales. And they were more authentic. Herman Melville and Joseph Conrad rightly admired and learned from them, in particular The Red Rover (1827) and The Sea Lions (1849). Never before in prose fiction had the sea become not merely a theatre for, but the principal actor in, moral drama that celebrated man's courage and skill at the same time that it revealed him humbled by the forces of God's nature. As developed by Cooper, and later by Melville, the sea novel became a powerful vehicle for spiritual as well as moral exploration. Not satisfied with mere fictional treatment of life at sea, Cooper also wrote a meticulously researched, highly readable History of the Navy of the United States of America (1839).
      Through his novels, most notably The Bravo (1831), and other more openly polemical writings, Cooper attacked the corruption and tyranny of oligarchical regimes in Europe.
      The public was not interested in Cooper's acute political treatise, The American Democrat (1838), or in such political satires as The Monikins (1835) or Home As Found (1838). And though he wrote some of his best romances — particularly the later "Leatherstocking" tales and Satanstoe; or, The Littlepage Manuscripts (1845) — during the last decade of his life, profits from publishing so diminished that he gained little benefit from improved popularity. Though his circumstances were never straitened, he had to go on writing; and some of the later novels, such as Mercedes of Castile (1840) or Jack Tier; or, The Florida Reef (1846-48), were mere hack work.
  • The Last of the Mohicans
  • The Last of the Mohicans
  • The Last of the Mohicans
  • The Deerslayer
  • The Lake Gun
  • The Lake Gun
  • The Prairie
  • New York
  • New York
  • The Pathfinder
  • The Pathfinder
  • The Pioneers
  • The Pioneers
  • Autobiography of a Pocket-Handkerchief
  • Autobiography of a Pocket-Handkerchief
  • Tales for Fifteen, or, Imagination and Heart
  • Tales for Fifteen
    editor of Susan Fenimore Cooper's
  • Elinor Wyllys volume 1
  • Elinor Wyllys volume 2
  • 1836 Aaron Burr 3rd US Vice-President.
    1784 Michel Nicolas Bernard Lépicié, French painter born on 16 June 1735. MORE ON LÉPICIÉ AT ART “4” SEPTEMBERLINKSThe Young Draftsman (the painter Carle Vernet at age 14) — A Mother Feeding her ChildNarcissusCour de fermeAchilles is Instructed in Music by the Centaur Chiron
    1784 Jean Henry d'Arles, French artist born on 14 September 1734.
    1759 Louis Montcalm, 47, French general (Plains of Abraham)
    1743 Nicolas Lancret, French genre painter born on 22 January 1690. — MORE ON LANCRET AT ART “4” SEPTEMBERLINKSBreakfast Before the Hunt _ detail 1 _ detail 2 _ detail 3 dog — End of the Hunt _ detail 1 _ detail 2 _ detail 3The Music Party _ detail 1 _ detail 2 _ detail 3Baigneuses _ detail 1 _ detail 2The Bird CageMademoiselle de Camargo DancingCompany in the ParkFête dans un BoisLuncheon PartyLady and Gentleman with two Girls and a ServantThe Seat of Justice in the Parliament of Paris in 1723Winter (1738, 69x89cm; 800x1034pix, 131kb) — SummerThe SwingLe MoulinetA Scene from Corneille's Tragedy "Le Comte d'Essex"The Marriage Contract
    1712 Giovanni Domenico “Jean-Dominique” Cassini, Genovese French astronomer and mathematician, born on 08 June 1625. He discovered 4 satellites of Saturn. He studied the curve which is the locus of a point the product of whose distances from two fixed foci is constant.
    1638, John Harvard, 31, clergyman from Charlestown, Massachusetts. His testament leaves his library and half of his estate to a 2-year-old college in Cambridge, Mass.. The bequest allows the college to firmly establish itself and it adopts the name Harvard College.
    1638 Pierre Vernier, Ornans, Franche-Comté (then under the Spanish Habsburgs), government official, engineer, surveyor, mathematician, born on 19 August 1584. Author of La Construction, l'usage, et les propriétés du quadrant nouveau de mathématiques (1631), in which he gives a table of sines and a method for deriving the angles of a triangle if its sides are known. He also describes his most famous invention, that of the vernier caliper.
    1637 Theodor Rombouts (or Rombout), Flemish artist born on 02 July 1597. MORE ON ROMBOUTS AT ART “4” SEPTEMBERLINKSThe Backgammon Players (ZOOM) — The Musicians (ZOOM)Cavalier and a Market GirlAllegory of the Five Senses _ detail: Hearing — Two Card Players and Three BystandersTwo Card Players
    1565 Vasco de Quiroga, colonizador español.
    click for portraits of Dante 1321 Dante Alighieri, 56. Italian poet, prose writer, literary theorist, moral philosopher, and political thinker.      ^top^
           He is best known for the monumental epic poem La commedia, later named La divina commedia.

          On 15 June 1300, poet Dante Alighieri, 35, became one of six priors of Florence, active in governing the city. Dante's political activities, which include the banishment of several rivals, lead to his own exile from Florence, his native city, after 1302. He will write his great work, The Divine Comedy, as a virtual wanderer, seeking protection for his family in town after town.
          Dante was born on 27 May 1265 to a family with noble ancestry whose fortunes had fallen. His father was a moneylender. Dante began writing poetry in his teens and received encouragement from established poets, to whom he sent sonnets as a young man. At age nine, Dante first caught a glimpse of Beatrice Portinari, also nine, who would symbolize for him perfect female beauty and spiritual goodness in the coming decades. Despite his fervent devotion to Portinari, who did not seem to return his feelings, Dante became engaged to Gemma Donati in 1277, but the two did not marry until eight years later. The couple had six sons and a daughter.
          About 1293, Dante published a book of prose and poetry called The New Life, followed a few years later by another collection, The Banquet. It wasn't until his banishment that he began work on his Divine Comedy. In the poem's first book, Dante takes a tour through Hell with the poet Virgil as his guide. Virgil also guides the poet through Purgatory in the second book. The poet's guide in Paradise, however, is named Beatrice. The work was written and published in sections between 1308 and 1321. Although Dante called the work simply Comedy, the work became enormously popular, and a deluxe version published in 1555 in Venice bore the title The Divine Comedy. Dante died of malaria in Ravenna on 14 September 1321. "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate".
    [click on either image for portraits of Dante]
    click for portraits of Dante La Divina Commedia
          Poema da Dante Alighieri in terza rima, iniziato nel 1307, composto di tre Cantiche (Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso) che comprendono 100 canti complessivi: 34 l'"Inferno", 33 ciascuno il "Purgatorio" e il "Paradiso". Argomento dell'opera è il viaggio compiuto da Dante nell'Oltretomba. Tre guide conducono il poeta: Virgilio nell'Inferno, e parte del Purgatorio, fino all'Eden; Beatrice, la donna amata da Dante in gioventù e il cui ricordo lo ha distolto dal traviamento, conduce il poeta fino all'Empireo, alla Rosa celeste; e San Bernardo che mostra a Dante la gloria di Dio. Il viaggio dura circa una settimana e ha inizio nella notte del Venerdì Santo, l'8 aprile 1300.
         Dante Alighieri nasce nel 1265 da una famiglia guelfa di Firenze, di piccola nobiltà. Amico di Guido Cavalcanti, di cui inizialmente subì l'egemonia culturale, partecipò con lui e con altri poeti al movimento del Dolce Stil Nuovo. Gran parte delle sue rime giovanili sono dedicate ad una "Beatrice", che viene tradizionalmente identificata con l'omonima figlia di Folco Portinari, sposata a Simone de' Bardi, e morta di parto l'8 giugno 1290. Il poeta tra il 1293 e il 1294 rielabora la storia spirituale del suo amore nella "Vita Nuova", un libriccino mescolato di versi e di prosa.
          Dopo questa data Dante comincia a partecipare alla vita politica di Firenze, del cui esercito ha fatto parte in diverse occasioni (nel giugno 1289 lo troviamo tra i "feditori" a cavallo nella battaglia di Campaldino contro i ghibellini di Arezzo, nell'agosto dello stesso anno è nell'esercito fiorentino che tolse ai pisani la fortezza di Caprona). Dante, che aveva trascorso un periodo di studi a Bologna, si iscrisse alla corporazione dei medici e degli speziali per iniziare la carriera politica (gli Ordinamenti di Giustizia di Giano della Bella riservavano il governo del comune solo ai cittadini iscritti a una delle corporazioni d'arti e mestieri).
          Nel 1300 le sue responsabilità politiche aumentarono, e Dante divenne uno dei Priori, dedicando la maggior parte delle sue energie a contrastare i piani del papa Bonifacio VIII. Questi infatti , approfittando del conflitto presente in Firenze fra i Bianchi, capeggiati dalla consorteria dei Cerchi, e i Neri guidati da quella dei Donati, cercava di di estendere la sua autorità su tutta la Toscana.
          Nell'ottobre del 1301 il papa inviò a Firenze Carlo di Valois, fratello del re di Francia, apparentemente come paciere: ma in realtà Carlo aveva l'incarico di debellare i Bianchi. Mentre Dante si trovava a Roma come ambasciatore del comune di Firenze presso il Pontefice, Corso Donati e i neri conquistarono, con uccisioni e violenze, il potere.
          Dante fu condannato all'interdizione perpetua dai pubblici uffici, a una multa e all'esilio per due anni, per furto del denaro pubblico, azioni ostili verso il papa e la città (non essendosi presentato a discolparsi fu condannato ad essere bruciato vivo se fosse caduto in mano al Comune). Dal 1302 comincia il periodo dell'esilio, che durerà fino alla morte del poeta. Iniziò un pellegrinaggio per l'Italia. Prese contatto con Bartolomeo della Scala a Verona e con i conti Malaspina in Lunigiana, e tra il 1304 e il 1307 compose il Convivio (poi rimasto interrotto) per acquisire meriti di fronte all'opinione pubblica (per lungo tempo coltivò l'illusione di poter essere richiamato nella sua città come riconoscimento della sua grandezza culturale). Appartiene allo stesso periodo il De Vulgari Eloquentia.
          Col passare degli anni Dante iniziò a vedere il suo esilio come simbolo del distacco dalla corruzione, dagli odi e dagli egoismi di parte, e si considerò guida per gli uomini alla riconquista di essa, della verità e della pace. Tale vocazione ispira la Divina Commedia, cominciata probabilmente dopo il 1307. Nel 1310 il nuovo imperatore Arrigo VII scese in Italia e Dante, scrisse delle lettere per esortare tutti ad accogliere colui che poteva riportare alla pace; scrisse inoltre il suo trattato politico più importante, la Monarchia. Ma nel 1313 Arrigo morì improvvisamente a Buonconvento presso Siena, e Dante abbandonò ogni speranza di tornare a Firenze. Negli ultimi anni, fu ospite di Can Grande della Scala a Verona e di Guido Novello da Polenta a Ravenna. Qui portò a termine l'ultima parte della Commedia, di cui era già stata pubblicata prima del 1315 la prima cantica, l'Inferno. Lo scrittore muore a Ravenna nella notte di 13 a 14 settembre 1321.
    A map of the earth showing Hell and Purgatory 
        Dante Alighieri's La Divina Commedia is the allegorical story of spiritual journey, one which began on Good Friday, 08 April 1300 — when Dante was 35 and thus midway through his allotted span — and lasted for just seven days; but it is also a bitter political polemic, excoriating those in authority in Italy, and above all in his native Florence, and denouncing the papacy for its wealth and corruption. It embraces the celestial and the terrestrial, the mythological and the historical, the practical and the ethical; it discusses reason and faith, of society and the individual;  finally, it claims to speak with the voice of God.
            The earth, we must understand, is the centre of the universe, of which only the northern hemisphere is inhabited. Within this hemisphere is hell, a vast funnel formed by the fall of Lucifer. The earth displaced by the fall descended to the southern hemisphere where it formed the mountain of purgatory, rising from the ocean.
          This too is conical, with seven ledges rising to its summit, paradise. Around the earth are nine concentric revolving heavens , encircling which is the empyrean, home to the nine orders or angels and the seat of God. Dante's journey therefore takes him through the entire universe. It begins in the dark wood of sin where he finds the poet Virgil, who undertakes to guide him. Down they go through the deepening circles, speaking with the damned, who are being punished according to their sins on earth.
          Some are mythological, some historical, some contemporary Florentines. Emerging in the southern hemisphere, Dante and Virgil sail to purgatory, on whose successive ledges they find those guilty of the seven deadly sins. They too suffer horribly but, unlike the denizens of Hell, they have hope; they are working up towards paradise. There the pagan Virgil must take his leave , while Dante finds his long-last Beatrice, through whom he is led to his final vision of God.
          Dante was not the first poet to write in Italian; but he, more than anyone, made his native Tuscan dialect the literary language of the whole peninsula. His limpid Italian might have been written yesterday. The work is not easy, but for anyone prepared to make the effort, the rewards are great.
         The Divine Comedy is a poem which describes the journey of Dante the Pilgrim as he is lead, firstly by Virgil through Hell and Purgatory and secondly by Beatrice through to Heaven. The poem is therefore separated into three volumes. Each volume (Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise) is of 33 cantos, except for Inferno which contains one extra introductory canto which serves as an overview to what will come.
         The interpretation of The Divine Comedy is much more than a simple poem. In fact Dante even tells us so in a letter he wrote. Dante says that in the literal sense his work is a description of 'the state of souls after death' but if his work is to be taken allegorically then the subject is ' Man-as, according to his merits or demerits in the exercise of his free will, he is subject to reward or punishment by Justice...'. The work therefore investigates Mankind's search for salvation where man must first descend into humility before he can raise himself to God. Before man can hope to climb the mountain of salvation he must first know what sin is. This is exactly what the Pilgrims journey represents as his pilgrimage takes Dante (who represents all Mankind) through all the types of sin in preparation for his ascent to God.

    ART ABOUT DANTE ONLINE: [for maximum screen area in Windows: press F11]
    Salvador Dali's illustrations for The Divine Comedy: http://narthex.com/gallerya.htm
    A page from a Divina Commedia codexLa barque de DanteDante drinking the waters of the Lethe Beatrice Meeting Dante at a Marriage Feast, Denies Him Her SalutationDante's dream at the death of Beatrice The First Anniversary of the Death of Beatrice: Dante Drawing the Angel Beatrice addressing Dante from the whirl

  • The Divine Comedy
  • The Divine Comedy
  • The Divine Comedy
  • HellPurgatoryParadise
  • HellPurgatoryParadise
  • The Vision: or, Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise
  • The Divine Comedy (in Italian and English)
  • 1213 Pedro II, rey de Aragón.
    0891 Stephen V Pope
    0407 John Chrysostom, elderly bishop at Comana in hot sun on a forced march. He had been banished because he spoke out against behavior that touched too close to the empress.
    0258 Saint Cyprian, 58, bishop of Carthage, beheaded.        ^top^
          What happens if a Christian is baptized by an unworthy or improperly ordained minister? Is that baptism valid? Under the prodding of the dynamic bishop and martyr Cyprian, the issue was faced in the North African city of Carthage in the third century.
          During the Decian Persecutions, which broke out in 250, many Christians poured libations to the emperor rather than suffer torture. Others bribed the authorities to obtain certificates saying they had sacrificed even when they had not. Later some of these, who were called lapsi, felt remorse. They asked to be readmitted to the church.
          Schism developed over the issue. Led by Novatian, many Christians broke off from Rome, saying no lapsed person should be readmitted. The Novatians ordained their own priests who baptized new Christians. Later some Novatian Christians wanted to unite with the Catholic church. Cyprian said this was only possible if they were rebaptized within the Catholic church by "legitimate" priests.
          Another group wanted to let the lapsed return on easier terms than Cyprian. They also broke away and elected their own bishop, Cecilianus, who baptized converts. Believing that church unity was at stake, Cyprian took a tough stand against accepting baptism by schismatics, arguing that no sacrament administered outside the church had validity. Since there can be only one church, he considered the breakaway groups to be without the Holy Spirit. He wrote letters and summoned councils. These councils met in Carthage in 251, 252, 253, 255 and 256 to address the issues raised by the lapsi and Novatians.
          On 01 September 256, the North African synod voted unanimously with Cyprian. Baptized "heretics" who entered the Catholic fold must be baptized again.
          This vote did not stand. Stephen, bishop of Rome, ordered Cyprian to accept the lapsed into the church without a second baptism. Cyprian refused. "How can he who lacks the spirit confer the spirit?" he asked. For a long time he resisted, but eventually yielded — under threat of excommunication.
          Rome uses this concession by Cyprian to prove that at that early time the bishop's of Roman word had authority.
          The Council of Arles in 314 upheld Stephen's decision. As long as a person was baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, he or she was truly baptized, regardless of who conferred the rite.
          Cyprian died a martyr. He had been accused of cowardice for hiding during the Decian Persecutions. In 258 he vindicated himself, boldly testifying to his faith as he went to his beheading. Stephen, too was martyred — a year before Cyprian.
    Fisher quintsBirths which occurred on a September 14:

    1963 Mary Magdalene Fischer, Mary Margaret Fischer, Mary Anne Fischer, Mary Catherine Fisher, James Fischer, the US's first quintuplets to survive infancy, are given birth by Mary Ann Fischer, Aberdeen SD, wife of farmer Andy Fischer. She had received no fertility treatment. Two of the girls are identical. The Fischer already had five children, and one more girl would be born to them less than a year after the quintuplets.

    1960 OPEC is born         ^top^
          The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries was founded on this day at the Baghdad Conference of 1960, established by five core members: Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela.
          Originally made up of just these five, OPEC began as an attempt to organize and unify petroleum policies, securing stable prices for the petroleum producers. The organization grew considerably after its creation, adding eight other members and developing into one of the most influential groups in the world. The first real indication of OPEC’s power came with the 1973 oil embargo, during which long lines and soaring gasoline prices quickly convinced Americans of the reach of OPEC’s influence. OPEC’s member countries currently supply more than forty percent of the world’s oil.
    1950 KTEP-FM Public Radio in El Paso starts broadcasting, from studios at the stadium of UTEP (the University of Texas at El Paso)
    1934 Kate Millett St Paul Minn, feminist/author (Sexual Politics)
    1929 Larry Collins, escritor estadounidense.
    1929 John Gutfreund
    1928 Albert Shanker American labor leader (Amer Fed of Teachers)
    1923 Fabián Estapé, economista español.
    1921 Constance Baker Motley (civil rights attorney; 1st woman elected as president of Manhattan [NYC]; 1st black woman to become a state senator of New York; federal judge)
    1920 Mario Benedetti, escritor uruguayo.
    1920 Alberto P. Calderón, Argentinian engineer and mathematician who died on 16 April 1998.
    1913 Jacobo Arbenz president of Guatemala (1951-54); overthrown by CIA
    1907 Walter Kurt Wiemken, Swiss artist who died on 30 December 1940.
    1891 Ivan Matveevich Vinogradov, Russian mathematician who died on 20 March 1983. He used trigonometric series to attack deep problems in analytic number theory.
    1887 Karl Taylor Compton physicist/atomic bomb scientist
    1886 Typewriter ribbon patented by George Anderson of Memphis, Tennessee. The first practical typewriter was patented in 1868 and was available for purchase in 1873.
    1886 George K Anderson of Memphis, Tennessee patents typewriter ribbon.
    1886 Jan Garrique Masaryk Czech, statesman/minister to London (1918-35)
    1879 Margaret Sanger, nurse, feminist: birth control advocate; first president of International Planned Parenthood; she died on 06 September 1966.
    1878 Hilda Fearon, British painter who died on 02 June 1917. — The Tea Party
    1876 Cesar Klein, German artist who died in 1954. MORE ON KLEIN AT ART “4” SEPTEMBERPlakat zur Wahl der Nationalversammlung: Arbeiter Bürger Bauern Soldaten ... — Commedia dell'Arte Scenes: five detailsThe XBrustbild einer südländischen Frau in italienischer oder südfranzösischer TrachtBrustbild einer Frau mit ornamentiertem Kostüm
    1867 Charles Dana Gibson illustrator famous for the "Gibson Girls" in his drawings. He died on 23 December 1944. MORE ON GIBSON AT ART “4” SEPTEMBERLINKSThe Old Cover Artist Goes Landscape[dizzy between two girls] _ [4 girls and bug-sized man] _ [doctor listens to hearbeat of man watching maid]A Park OratorShe decides to die in spite of Dr. Bottles _ Woman in MourningMolly Bawn _ Man with Cane _ Free Lunch
    1858 Henry Burchard Fine, US mathematician who died on 22 December 1928, after a bicycle accident. Among the elementary texts he wrote are Number system of algebra treated theoretically and historically (1891), A college algebra (1905) and Calculus (1927).
    1853 Axel Hjalmar Ender, Norwegian artist who died in 1920.
    1849 Ivan Pavlov Russia, physiologist/pioneer in psychology. He died on 27 February 1936.
    1844 Mitchell Bennette Houghton, co-author of Two Boys in the Civil War and After
    1837 Nicolai Vasilievich Bugaev, Russian mathematician and philosopher of mathematics who died on 11 June 1903.
    1815 Manuel María Madiedo, escritor, político, publicista y editor colombiano.
    1814 "The Star-Spangled Banner" is written.         ^top^
          Francis Scott Key composes the lyrics to "The Star-Spangled Banner" after witnessing the massive British bombardment of Fort McHenry in Maryland during the War of 1812. Key, an American lawyer, watched the siege while under detainment on a British ship, and penned the famous words after observing that the US flag over Fort McHenry had survived the 1800-bomb assault.
          After circulating as a handbill, the patriotic lyrics were published in a Baltimore newspaper on 20 September 1814. Key's words were later set to the tune of "To Anacreon in Heaven," a popular English song. Throughout the nineteenth century, "The Star-Spangled Banner" was regarded as the national anthem by the US armed forces and other groups, but it was not until 1916, and the signing of an executive order by President Woodrow Wilson, that it was formally designated as such. In 1931, the US Congress passed in act confirming Wilson's presidential order, and on 03 March, President Hoover signed it into law.
    1808 Rodulfo Amando Philippi, naturalista y geólogo alemán.
    1741 The Messiah is completed by George Frederick Handel who started only 24 days earlier.
    Holidays Nicaragua : Battle of San Jacinto (1856) / Pakistan : Jamat Ul-Wida / US : National Anthem Day (1814) / US : National Boss/Employee Exchange Day

    Religious Observances Ang, RC, Luth : Exaltation + Holy Cross Day + / Orth : Beginning of the Orthodox church year (9/1 OS) / La Exaltación de la Santa Cruz. Santos Crescencio y Víctor.

    Thoughts for the day :
    “Show affection, it will probably meet with a pleasant response.”
    “Show affliction, it will probably meet with a pleasant response.”
    “Show affectation, it will probably meet with a peasant response.”
    “Show affection, it will probably meet with pleas and response.”
    "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”
    "The best laid plans of mice and men don't impress cats."
    "The best laid plans of mice and men can't match the worst laid plans of cats."
    "The best laid plans of mice and men are useless unless applied."
    "The best laid plans of mice and men often conflict."
    "The best laid plans of mice and men often are as full of holes as Swiss cheese."
    updated Thursday 18-Sep-2003 3:15 UT
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