Little Bits of History

The Only One

Posted in History by patriciahysell on January 31, 2012

Private Eddie Slovik

January 31, 1945: Private Eddie Slovik is executed for desertion. Edward Donald Slovik was born February 18, 1920 in Detroit, Michigan. He was in trouble with the law frequently. His first arrest came when he was twelve. Over the next five years, he was caught breaking and entering, disturbing the peace, and committing petty theft. He went from stealing brass from a foundry to car theft. Jailed in October 1937, he was paroled in September 1938. Back in jail in January 1939 for auto theft, he was paroled again in April 1942.

Eddie got a job in Dearborn, Michigan working for Montella Plumbing Company. There, he met Antoinette Wisniewski. They married on November 7, 1942. The young couple lived with her parents. Because of his criminal record, Eddie was listed as 4-F and ineligible for the draft. In 1943 the US military reclassified him to 1-A and he was called up late in the year. He was sent to Camp Wolters in Texas for basic training. He began military service on January 24, 1944 and after completing training was shipped to France. He arrived in Europe on August 12 and was assigned to Company G of the 109th Infantry Regiment, US 28th Infantry Division.

Eddie deserted his unit twice. On October 8 Eddie approached his commander, Cap. Ralph Grotte, and said he was “too scared” to join a rifle unit and asked to be assigned to a rear unit instead. Request denied. On October 9 he approached an MP and said he would “run away” if forced to the front lines. He was brought before Lt. Col. Ross Henkest and made his request in writing. Request denied. Instead he was put in the stockade.

Eddie was court-martialed on November 11 and charged with desertion. He was found guilty and sentenced to death (his criminal record was a contributing factor). The army was having a tremendous problem with deserters. Eddie wrote to Supreme Allied Commander, Dwight D. Eisenhower and asked for clemency. Request denied. He was buried in a numbered grave along with 96 other Americans executed (for murder and rape). During World War II 21,049 US military personnel were convicted of desertion and 49 were sentenced to death. Eddie was the only one to be executed. His family repeatedly requested permission to bring Eddie home. He was finally brought back to Michigan and buried next to his wife in 1987.

Everything happens to me. I’ve never had a streak of luck in my life. The only luck I had in my life was when I married you. I knew it wouldn’t last because I was too happy. I knew they would not let me be happy. – Eddie Slovik, in last letter to his wife

I’m okay. They’re not shooting me for deserting the United Stated Army—thousands of guys have done that. They’re shooting me for bread I stole when I was 12 years old. – Eddie Slovik

Private Slovik was killed by the United States for the crime of refusing to serve the United States with a rifle and a bayonet, for desertion to avoid the hazardous duty of close combat; and … the only American to be executed for such an offense. – William Bradford Huie

I got no sympathy for the sonofabitch! He deserted us, didn’t he? He didn’t give a damn how many of us got the hell shot out of us, why should we care for him? – a member of the firing squad

Also on this day:

Sticking to Business – In 1930, 3M marketed Scotch tape.
Radiation Trap – In 1958, James Van Allen was given the means to describe the eponymous bands.
Love Bug – In 747: The London Lock Hospital opened as the first venereal disease clinic.

Mr. Music

Posted in History by patriciahysell on January 30, 2012

Hallé Orchestra

January 30, 1858: The Hallé Orchestra performs for the first time. The Hallé is the oldest existing symphony orchestra in the world and the fourth orchestra to be assembled. Charles Hallé was a German pianist and conductor. Born in Germany in 1819, Hallé moved first to Paris then arrived in England in 1848 and settled in Manchester. He started a series of classical music concerts and gave performances throughout England. He was the first pianist in England to play all of Beethoven’s piano sonatas.

In May 1857 Hallé brought a group of musicians together to perform at the Manchester Arts Treasures Exhibition. They performed together for six months and disbanded. Hallé decided to formally organize an orchestra and they gave their first concert at the Free Trade Hall. They did well until 1861 when they only gave two concerts but they survived the lean times. Hallé was knighted in 1890 and died in 1895. The Orchestra’s leadership was taken over by Hans Richter from 1899 to 1911. The Orchestra thrived under his direction and was honored to be able to present Sir Edward Alger’s Symphony No 1 for its premiere performance.

The Orchestra was again in trouble by 1943 when membership had declined to thirty. Between 1943 and 1970 under the directorship of Sir John Barbirolli, the Orchestra returned to its former glory. They made many recordings and were the premiere performers for Symphony No 8 by Ralph Vaughn Williams. Today, the Orchestra’s Musical Director is Sir Mark Elder. The Principal Guest Conductor is Christian Mandeal. The orchestra is joined by the Hallé Choir, Hallé Youth Orchestra, and Hallé Youth Choir.

The Free Trade Hall served as the venue for concerts from the orchestra’s founding until 1996. The Free Trade Hall was built in 1853-56 near the site of the 1819 Peterloo Massacre. The building was a symbolic salute to free trade and was instrumental in bringing wealth to Manchester during the Industrial Revolution. The Bridgewater Hall, the new venue, cost £42 million to build and opened September 11, 1996. They hold over 250 performances annually. The auditorium seats 2,341 people and is home to a pipe organ with 5,500 pipes.

For better or worse, you must play your own little instrument in the orchestra of life. – Dale Carnegie

To me, the piano in itself is an orchestra. – Cecil Taylor

Music is the most important thing. I’m thinking of my future. There has to be something new, and I want to be part of it. I want to lead an orchestra with excellent musicians. I want to play music which draws pictures of the world and its space. – Jimi Hendrix

I conceived of an instrument that would create sound without using any mechanical energy, like the conductor of an orchestra. The orchestra plays mechanically, using mechanical energy; the conductor just moves his hands, and his movements have an effect on the music artistry – Leon Theremin

Also on this day:

“Look that up in your Funk and Wagnall’s” – In 1922, Dick Martin was born.
King Richard III – In 1835, an attempt was made to assassinate President Jackson.
Assassination attempt – In 1835, the first US Presidential assassination attempt takes place.


Posted in History by patriciahysell on January 29, 2012

Edgar Allan Poe's raven perched above the door

January 29, 1845: The New York Evening Mirror prints “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe. It has become Poe’s most famous poem. It was widely reprinted and Poe became famous as a result. He did not gain great wealth, however. He was paid around $15 overall for the poem. That would be a little less than $350 today. The sensational poem inspired the author’s work, “The Philosophy of Composition.” In this essay, Poe wrote about writing in general and this poem in particular. Poe was 36 when the poem first saw print.

Poe’s life is shrouded in mystery – from birth to death. He was born in Boston in 1809 but his birth is sometimes given as occurring in Baltimore in 1811. Once, Poe claimed to have been born in 1813, two years after his mother’s death. Poe was known as a practical jokester and spread tales about himself and his “grandfather,” Benedict Arnold, especially inflammatory since Poe was attending West Point at the time. There are some who read Poe’s body of work as an autobiography hoping to gain insight into the author’s life.

While details of his birth remain hidden, details of his death are even more mysterious. In June 1849 Poe began an early book tour of sorts, trying to gain support for a magazine he hoped to publish. Poe arrived in Baltimore on September 28. Details are sketchy at best and his movements are unknown. The next fact available to history is a letter from Joseph W. Walker sent to Dr. J.E. Snodgrass on October 3 asking for the doctor’s help. Snodgrass, a friend of Poe’s, arrived and Poe was sent to Washington College Hospital. He was in and out of consciousness and died on the morning of October 7 at either 3 or 5 AM. There is no indication he was found drunk in a gutter. There are several theories regarding cause of death. The local paper unhelpfully listed the cause as “congestion of the brain.”

“The Raven is a narrative poem probably written in late 1844 while Poe was staying at Patrick Brennan’s farm in New York. The poem is noted for its musical qualities, stylized language, and hints of the supernatural. The poem tells the story of a young man’s descent into madness after losing his love, Lenore. He is further tormented by a talking raven perched on a bust of Pallas and chanting “Nevermore.” The young man, bereft, yearns both to forget and to remember his adored lost love.

Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”

I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.

The true genius shudders at incompleteness – and usually prefers silence to saying something which is not everything it should be.

Stupidity is a talent for misconception.

Science has not yet taught us if madness is or is not the sublimity of the intelligence. – all from Edgar Allan Poe

Also on this day:

Oh, No – O-Three – In 1978, Sweden became the first nation to ban certain aerosols to protect the ozone layer.
Honorable – In 1856, the Victoria Cross medal was established.
“Nevermore!” – In 1845, The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe was printed for the first time. (I appear to have lost my mind and wrote about the same thing twice, but they are different looks at the same event.)


Posted in History by patriciahysell on January 28, 2012

Challenger explosion

January 28, 1986: At 11:38:00.010 the space shuttle Challenger hits T=0 or liftoff. Later review showed a puff of black smoke issued from the right SRB (Solid Rocket Booster) at T+0.678. The last smoke puff was seen at T+2.733. The smoke dissipated by T+3.375. At T+28 the engines throttled back to limit velocity in the dense lower atmosphere. At T+35.379 they throttled back further to 65%. At T+51.860, after passing through Mach 1 speed, the engines throttled back up. All was going as planned. The shuttle passed Max Q, the period of maximum aerodynamic pressure. Just as it passed through, it encountered the greatest wind shear experienced to date.

At T+58.788 a tracking camera spotted a plume on the right SRB. At T+60.238 flame was visible near the plume. At T+64.660 the plume’s shape changed indicating a liquid hydrogen leak. At T+68 both astronauts and ground control were preparing to “throttle up” and all were unaware of any problem. At T+72.284 the right SRB pulled away from the strut. At T+72.525 the shuttle accelerated to the right at an angle and force unprecedented and unsupported by the engineering of the craft. At T+73.124 the aft dome of the liquid hydrogen tank failed. At T+73.162 the shuttle disintegrated.

The crew consisted of Michael J. Smith (pilot), Dick Scobee (commander), Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik, and winner of the Teacher in Space, Christa McAuliffe. By the time of the launch, space shots were common. With the addition of the civilian teacher as one of the crew, many jaded Americans once again tuned in to watch the launch, televised extensively. Within an hour, 85% of Americans knew the Challenger and all her passengers were gone.

President Reagan formed a special group, the Rogers Commission, to investigate the disaster. All further launches were put on hold and it was 32 months before Americans once again flew to outer space. The Commission’s findings pointed to a faulty O-ring. The flaw was first found in 1977 but was not properly addressed. NASA also failed to heed the warnings of engineers concerning launches on cold days. Both factors led to the catastrophe.

Sometimes, when we reach for the stars, we fall short. But we must pick ourselves up again and press on despite the pain. – Ronald Reagan

I took this stuff that I got out of your seal and I put it in ice water, and I discovered that when you put some pressure on it for a while and then undo it, it does not stretch back. It stays the same dimension. In other words, for a few seconds at least and more seconds than that, there is no resilience in this particular material when it is at a temperature of 32 degrees. – Richard Feynman

The Committee feels … the fundamental problem was poor technical decision-making over a period of several years by top NASA and contractor personnel, who failed to act decisively to solve the increasingly serious anomalies in the Solid Rocket Booster joints. – U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology

I touch the future. I teach. – Christa McAuliffe

Also on this day:

Beautiful Snow – In 1887, the largest snowflake on record was found.
Serendipitous Find – In 1754, Horace Walpole coined a new word.
Lighting the Night – In 1807, the first street was lit by gas light.

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It’s All Greek

Posted in History by patriciahysell on January 27, 2012

Kappa Alpha Theta

January 27, 1870: Bettie Locke (Hamilton), Alice Allen (Brant), Bettie Tipton (Lindsay), and Hannah Fitch (Shaw) hold an initiation ceremony. The four women began Kappa Alpha Theta at Indiana Asbury University. The name changed to DePauw University in 1884. The school was founded in 1837 after Methodist Bishop, Francis Asbury, proposed the idea and helped to raise funds. The original class held five students with one professor. During the Civil War, many men left higher learning to engage in defending ideals. In 1867, the university began to accept women scholars.

The four founders sought to form friendships and encourage other women to join emerging coeducational colleges. They based their new organization on similar groups. Bettie Locke had experience with Beta Theta Pi, her father’s fraternity, and Phi Gamma Delta, her brother’s fraternity. Bettie’s father suggested she start her own Greek society. Bettie and Alice worked together to write a constitution, planned ceremonies, designed a badge, and sought out other like-minded women on campus. It took them three years of planning, but they finally held initiation ceremony and became the first Greek-letter society for women.

Fraternities and sororities, from the Greek words for brother and sister, are social organizations for North American undergraduate students. Although found in Europe, these are usually called “corporations” on The Continent. These groups can be social fraternities, honor societies, or service based. These groups are named with two or three Greek letters, after the initials of a Greek motto. The groups are usually gender specific with young men joining fraternities and young women in sororities. Although Kappa Alpha Theta is for young women only, they refer to themselves as a fraternity.

Kappa Alpha Theta is usually shortened to Theta. The badge designed by the founders was worn to chapel on March 14, 1870. The society’s colors are Black and Gold (the colors of the badge). Their symbols are a Kite and Twin Stars. Theta at Asbury soon grew to 22 members and by year’s end had spread to ten other campuses in Indiana and surrounding states. Today there are 128 college chapters with more than 210,000 collegiate lifetime members. The Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation was founded in 1960. They offer scholarships to members and support educational programs. They participate in Court Appointed Special Advocates, a program to help abused and neglected children.

What fraternities and sororities are about is to be there to give people that helping hand, especially the youth. – Alexandreena Dixon

Women are a sisterhood. They make common cause in behalf of the sex; and, indeed, this is natural enough, when we consider the vast power that the law gives us over them. – William Cobbett

“I think it’s very critical for the Greeks to establish an identity of what they are really like and that the social is one aspect. It is much more than that. (It’s) the brotherhood, the sisterhood, the leadership development (and) the community service. – Don Robertson

All Greek houses face the stereotypes of being the partying type. But this isn’t what we are about; we are about sisterhood and positive relationships. – Cara Snyder

Also on this day:

Globetrotters – In 1927, the Harlem Globetrotters played their first game.
Guy Fawkes’s Trial – In 1606, Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators were brought to trial.
Apollo I Fire – In 1967, during a test flight the capsule of Apollo 1 burns, killing three.


Posted in History by patriciahysell on January 26, 2012

Some of the cuts of the Cullinan Diamond

January 26, 1905: The Cullinan Diamond is found. The largest rough gem quality diamond was found at the Premier Diamond Mining Company in Cullinan – today called Gauteng – South Africa. The mine was owned by Sir Thomas Cullinan and Frederick Wells, the surface manager, found the diamond while on a routine inspection. The uncut gem weighed in at 3,106.75 carats (1.3698 pounds or 621.35 grams). Sir William Crookes analyzed the uncut gem noting its clarity but also stating there was a black spot in the center, probably due to internal strain.

The diamond was sent to England. Security was an issue. The diamond was to be sent by steamer ship from Africa to London, surrounded by Detectives. This was a ruse and the diamond was actually sent in a plain box via parcel post – registered mail. There is no record of any attempt made against the diversionary fake sent by ship. The gem was purchased by the Transvaal government, an area in northern South Africa, and presented to King Edward VII for his birthday, November 8.

The stone was cut by Asscher Brothers of Amsterdam. The company was founded in 1854 and is still in operation (although nearly destroyed by Nazi atrocities) and is run under the name of Royal Asscher Diamond Company. Abraham and Joseph Asscher developed a signature method for cutting diamonds in 1902. Called the Asscher cut, the gem is shaped in a square emerald cut with cropped corners. Joseph, grandson of the founder, tried to cut the remarkable diamond in February 1908. The cleaving blade broke. He tried again one week later and was successful. Rumor says he fainted after the first cut – erroneously.

The Cullinan diamond was cut into nine major stones, 96 smaller brilliants, and 9.5 carats of unpolished pieces. The largest gem, Cullinan I or the Great Star of Africa, was the largest polished diamond in the world until 1985. It weighs 530.2 carats (3.74 ounces or 106.04 grams) and was surpassed by the Golden Jubilee Diamond weighing in at 545.67 carats (3.84 ounces or 109.13 grams). The Jubilee also came from the Premier Mine. Cullinan II or the Lesser Star of Africa is the fourth largest diamond weighing 317.4 carats (2.23 ounces or 63.48 grams).

A diamond with a flaw is worth more than a pebble without imperfections. – Chinese Proverb

Let us not be too particular; it is better to have old secondhand diamonds than none at all. – Mark Twain

I have always felt a gift diamond shines so much better than one you buy for yourself. – Mae West

I prefer liberty to chains of diamonds. – Mary Worley Montagu

Also on this day:

The Hills Are Alive – In 1905, Maria von Trapp was born.
Phantom – In 1988, The Phantom of the Opera opened in New York City.
Bald Eagle or Wild Turkey? – In 178,: Benjamin Franklin debates using the eagle as engraved on the national seal.


Posted in History by patriciahysell on January 25, 2012

Alan Freed

January 25, 1960: The National Association of Broadcasters issues punishments for those involved in the payola scandal. The American music industry is governed by a set of laws including 47 U.S.C. § 317 which covers specifics for sponsored airtime. According to law, record companies are permitted to pay radio stations to give airtime to specific recordings but only if the sponsorship is identified. They may not pay disk jockeys themselves. If songs are played for monetary consideration and not advertised as such, a crime is committed. Payola is the term for the money secretly paid.

Alan Freed, a rock and roll supporter and DJ, along with Dick Clark, perpetual teenager, were both affected by the payola scandal, along with many others. Some propose that playing records on the radio is advertising for the LP or CD in itself. It is permissible to pay for billboard space and print ads. It is thought that payments given directly to the DJ will permit an uneven playing field where one song or record company will get an unfair advantage and greater airtime.

Payola isn’t just for rock and roll or even radio. Claims have been made stating forms of payola have existed since vaudeville in the 1920s. However, the 1950s saw a special convergence of circumstances. Radio went to Top 40 formats because television took over drama and comedy entertainment. Teens had expendable cash and the new 45 RPM records were cheap and easy to buy. Rock and roll was emerging and what a great way for teens to rebel against Big Band parents. But what was the “best” record to buy? The one with the most radio airtime, of course.

The punishment set forth for the crime of receiving payment for airtime was set at $500 and one year in prison. Some DJs admitted receiving tens of thousands of dollars. The Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission began investigating. Alan Freed, who coined the term “rock and roll,” was arrested and pleaded guilty. He lost his show and was blacklisted. He was fined, but not imprisoned. He died broke and bitter in 1965. Dick Clark was castigated but managed to survive his day in court by selling off his interests in several record companies. With so many of today’s radio stations owned by huge conglomerates, the practice of payola is no longer as plausible. Maybe.

It’s not easy. Payola is something that is not readily identified because it can take so many forms. – Brian Schmidt

I believe this payola scandal may represent the most widespread and flagrant violation of any FCC rules in the history of American broadcasting, … Mr. Spitzer’s office has collected a mountain of evidence on the potentially illegal promotion practices of not only Sony BMG, but also other major record companies, independent promoters and several of the largest radio station groups. – Jonathan Adelstein

I don’t set trends. I just find out what they are and exploit them. – Dick Clark

More than any other man, he brought us rock ‘n’ roll. – Paul Ackerman, about Alan Freed

Also on this day:

Moscow University – In 1755, Moscow University was established.
Rebellion – Shays’s Rebellion attacked an arsenal.
First Winter Olympics – In 1924, International Winter Sports Week opens in Chamonix, France.

Never Surrender

Posted in History by patriciahysell on January 24, 2012

Shōichi Yokoi

January 24, 1972: Shōichi Yokoi is found. He was born in Saori, Aichi Prefecture, Japan in 1915 and was drafted into the Imperial Japanese Army in 1941 – age 26. Yokoi was a sergeant and served first in Manchuria and then in Guam. Guam is the largest and most southern island of the Mariana chain and was a strategic base during World War II. The Japanese held the island from December 1941 until retaken by US troops in June 1944. Most of the 22,000 Japanese troops were killed in the battles to retake the island. But not all.

Yokoi hid out in the jungle along the Talofofo River. Two villagers heard a noise and went to investigate. They found an old man carrying a shrimp trap. The two villagers captured and subdued the now 56-year-old sergeant and walked him out of the jungle and back to the village. Yokoi had been in the supply corps. Ten men hid in the jungles as the Americans took over the island. They lived in caves dug out of the ground. Their numbers dwindled over time. In 1952 the three surviving men found a leaflet and knew the war was over, but did not give themselves up as it would have been a disgrace. Yokoi became the sole survivor in 1964 and lived the last eight years in seclusion.

Yokoi lived off the land. Finding enough food was the most difficult and time-consuming task. He built traps for both water and land creatures and ate whatever he managed to catch. He could not afford to be a picky eater. While water was plentiful, he always boiled it as a precaution. His clothing was made from beaten pago bark. He sewed pieces of pago fabric into clothing. He had been a tailor prior to being a soldier. He started fires using a lens until it was lost and then was forced to use two sticks rubbed together. He lived in several places over the 28 years but preferred a cave he dug out for himself under a bamboo grove.

Yokoi was not the longest holdout after the war. Some soldiers hid for a time and then assimilated into the local villages. The last true holdout – a man in hiding – was discovered in 1980 on Mindoro Island, the Philippines. The most famous holdout was 2nd Lt. Hiroo Onada found on Lubang Island, the Philippines in 1974. Onada would not surrender until he received a direct order from his old commander. Yokoi adjusted to modern Japanese life and became a minor celebrity. He received ≈ $300 in back pay and a small pension. He died of a heart attack in 1997 at the age of 82.

It is with much embarrassment that I have returned alive. – Shōichi Yokoi

Mankind’s common instinct for reality has always held the world to be essentially a theatre for heroism. In heroism, we feel, life’s supreme mystery is hidden. – William James

It is not a disgrace to fail. Failing is one of the greatest arts in the world. – Charles F. Kettering

Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength. – unknown

Also on this day:

Badminton – In 1900, the Newcastle Badminton Club opened, the oldest such club in England.
Be Prepared – In 1907, the Boy Scouts were begun by Robert Baden-Powell.
“Gold! Gold! Gold from the American River” – In 1848, James W. Marshall spies gold in the American River, sparking the  California Gold Rush.

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Posted in History by patriciahysell on January 23, 2012

Botanical drawing of the opium poppy

January 23, 1912: The International Opium Convention is signed at The Hague. This was the first international drug control treaty. Thirteen nations gathered in Shanghai, China in 1909. The International Opium Commission was formed at the conference in response to growing criticisms of the opium trade. The title refers to opium and its derivatives but Egypt with Chinese and American support wished to include hashish in the Convention.

India and some other countries objected to some of the language in the document. They pointed to legitimate usage in religious rites as well as social customs on the sub-continent. Wild growth of cannabis would make enforcement difficult. Shipments of drugs across borders needed to be controlled because of legitimate medicinal usage, as well. Later Conventions superseded this 1912 document. The 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is the latest version.

As opium usage spread, more people became addicted. The Convention was the first concerted effort by the world’s leading nations to control the movement of harmful drugs. Immature seed pods of opium poppies produce a sap containing up to 12% morphine, a narcotic. The sap can be processed to make heroin. The process is laborious and takes multiple steps. Different methods lead to the production of #3 heroin, or smoking heroin, and #4 heroin, or injectable heroin. Poppy sap can also be used to produce valuable legal drugs, such as morphine sulfate, codeine, papaverine, thebaine and noscapine.

Hashish is produced from the cannabis plant. Cannabis has been around since at least 6000 BC when seeds were used as food in China. The plant was also used as hemp and woven into cloth. The Legend of Shiva mentions it as “sacred grass” about 1500 BC. By 700 BC ancient texts written throughout the Middle East mention the narcotic effects of the plant. By 1000 AD many texts were debating the pros and cons of hashish. By the late 1800s, India was importing 155-175,000 pounds (70-80,000 kg) of hashish per year. Drugs are expensive and to increase profits, are often adulterated with cutting agents, some of these even more dangerous than the drugs themselves.

Tao. Some of us look for the Way in opium and some in God, some of us in whiskey and some in love. It is all the same Way and it leads nowhither. – W. Somerset Maugham

The book can produce an addiction as fierce as heroin or nicotine, forcing us to spend much of our lives, like junkies, in book shops and libraries, those literary counterparts to the opium den. – Phillip Adams

Drugs and terrorism are very close, they feed each other. As the production of opium increases, the terrorists entrench themselves. – Mohammed Daoud

I don’t think it’s decreasing. There are poppies everywhere — in places where there were no poppies when we were young. The opium trade is still flourishing. Those who say it is decreasing are blinded by the SPDC. – Colonel Yod Suk

Also on this day:

Shaanxi Earthquake – In 1556, the deadliest earthquake on record strikes central China.
More Than Vases – In 1368, the Ming Dynasty came to power in China.
Greenbriar Ghost – In 189, Elva Zona Heaster was murdered but did not leave this mortal coil.


Posted in History by patriciahysell on January 22, 2012

1927 Arsenal FC met Sheffield United FC

January 22, 1927: The first radio commentary of an association football match is broadcast. Arsenal Football Club (FC) also called The Gunners met Sheffield United FC (the Blades, United, or Red & White Wizards) at Highbury, home field of the Arsenal. Association football (a.k.a. soccer in the US and football in the UK) has been around in one form or another for centuries. Played in China as early as the 3rd century BC, the current rules were set down by Cambridge University in 1848. Rules were modified and an overseeing governing body was established as time went on.

Arsenal FC was founded in 1886 as Dial Square. They are a member of the Premier League and are one of the most successful clubs in English football with thirteen First Division and Premier League titles and ten FA Cups. Their home field was at Highbury, London from 1913-2006. The new Emirates Stadium open on July 22, 2006. The new venue cost £430 million to build and seats 60,355. The name came from the sponsorship of Emirates Airline who donated £100 million to the club. The Emirates name may be changed after 15 years according to the deal made.

Sheffield United FC was founded in 1889. Home for the club is Sheffield, South Yorkshire and they play at Bramall Lane. The stadium was built in 1855 to host cricket matches. It is the oldest still-in-use major stadium in the world. It has been renovated several times and expanded twice. It now seats 32,609. The team is a member of the Championship League and brought home the League championship once, in 1898. They won the FA cup four times.

The Arsenal has had a number of firsts. This first radio broadcast (tied at 1-1) was followed a decade later with the first football match televised live. On September 16, 1937 an exhibition game between the first team and the reserve team was filmed. The first edition of BBC’s Match of the Day aired on August 22, 1964 and featured highlights of the Arsenal and Liverpool match. Today, football is played professionally around the world, millions of fans attend games while billions watch on television or the Internet. A 2001 survey reported over 240 million people in more than 200 countries regularly played the sport.

To say that these men paid their shillings to watch twenty-two hirelings kick a ball is merely to say that a violin is wood and catgut, that Hamlet is so much paper and ink. – J.B. Priestley

A sport where the players actually enjoy getting hit in the head by a ball. – Soccer advertisement

If you’re attacking, you don’t get as tired as when you’re chasing. – Kyle Rote, Jr.

The goalkeeper is the jewel in the crown and getting at him should be almost impossible.  It’s the biggest sin in football to make him do any work. – George Graham

Also on this day:

Roe v. Wade – In 1973, the Supreme Court decided on the abortion issue, assuring all women a right to privacy.
Bloody Sunday – In 1905, a Russian uprising took place in St. Petersburg.
Pontifical Swiss Guards – In 1506, the first of the Swiss Guards come to protect the Pope.