Little Bits of History

September 7

Posted in History by patriciahysell on September 7, 2017

1923: The International Police Organization (INTERPOL) is formed. The intergovernmental organization helps to facilitate international police cooperation. In 1914, a first attempt was made to establish such an organization, but it was put forth by politicians and legal experts rather than by police themselves and was not capitalized upon. The second such attempt was made in 1922 but failed to gather international attention. In 1923, at the International Criminal Police Congress held in Vienna, the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC) was formed and INTERPOL followed from that. The original list of countries ranged from Austria to Yugoslavia and numbered fifteen. The United Kingdom joined in 1928 and the US joined in 1938.

INTERPOL fell under the control of Nazi Germany in 1938 and headquarters were moved to Berlin. Most of the members withdrew their support during this period and between 1938 and 1945, all the presidents were generals in the SS with Ernst Kaltenbrunner, the fourth of these, the highest ranking SS officer executed after the Nuremberg Trials. After World War II ended, the organization was revived as an international group with headquarters outside Paris, where they remained until moved to Lyon in 1989. Before 1980, INTERPOL did not intervene in the prosecution of Nazi war criminals in accordance with their Charter, prohibiting intervention in “political” matters.

Despite what is shown in movies or on TV, INTERPOL is not a supranational law enforcement agency and they have no agents with which to make arrests. They function as a network of agencies from different countries working in unison with INTERPOL acting as liaison between different nations. They provide database assistance to help coordinate information sharing between member nations’ separate law enforcement agencies. INTERPOL has a membership of 190 countries and is the second largest political organization in the world with only the United Nations being larger. Their annual budget is €78 million with under a thousand employees at the INTERPOL General Secretariat, their headquarters.

There are seven regional offices outside their headquarters and they opened a Special Representative Office to the UN in New York City in 2004 as well as the European Union in Brussels in 2009. They built the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation in Singapore to help with research and development and as a place to investigate digital crimes which officially opened in 2015 although it was functional prior to that date. There have been eight secretaries-general with Jurgen Stock of Germany holding that position today. There have been 28 presidents with Meng Hongwei of China in that position now. INTERPOL issues notices when required and in 2013 there were 13,637 of them with 8,857 of them being Red Notices or the highest of the eight types.

Every day, in every city and town across the country, police officers are performing vital services that help make their communities safer. – Eric Schneiderman

It is a lot harder now to be a police officer than what it used to be. – Steven Seagal

The police must obey the law while enforcing the law. – Earl Warren

The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence. – Robert Peel



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Every Pirate’s Dream

Posted in History by patriciahysell on September 7, 2015
Henry Every

Henry Every

September 7, 1695: The Ganj-i-Sawai is captured by pirates. The ship belonged to the Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb and is sometimes Anglicized to Gunsway. The translation of Ganj-i-Sawai is “Exceeding Treasure” which was tempting for an established pirate. The ship was being escorted by the Fateh Muhammed and that ship was taken as well. Henry Every (sometimes given as Evory or Avery) was an English pirate born in Devon in 1659. He operated in both the Atlantic and Indian oceans and probably had many aliases, a few of which are known. He was called Long Ben by his crewmates and attained the nickname of The Arch Pirate and The King of Pirates by contemporaries. He was, in fact, the most notorious pirate of his time.

He managed to somehow acquire other ships without being arrested himself or being killed in battle. He is also known for his daring on this day which netted him what has been called (and disputed) as the most profitable pirate raid in history. He was a pirate captain for only two years, but it seems to have been enough for him to retire. He began his seafaring with the Royal Navy from 1689 to 1690 and was probably involved in several battles of the Nine Years’ War. After his discharge, he was involved in the slave trade. He was next hired as a mariner to work as first mate aboard the warship Charles II, a Spanish ship used to prey on French ships. But the ships stayed in dock, the letter of marque never arrived, and the crew was not paid. They rebelled. And took over the ship with Every as captain and renamed it Fancy.

Without legal papers authorizing raids, the ship was now a pirate ship and the men raided French ships without government approval, narrowly escaping capture. They then sailed to the other side of the world and in the Arabian Sea, the encountered a 25-ship convoy of the Grand Mughal making the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Included in this convoy was Ganj-i-Sawai and her escort. Every joined forces with several other pirate ships and was elected as leader of the small group. Not all of the ships in the group were as successful as Every’s, who on this day managed to take command of the Ganj-i-Sawai and all her riches after snapping her mainmast with a cannonball shot. It took hours of hand-to-hand combat aboard the ship before the pirates had control. There was a report that many pirates were killed in the battle, but Every survived with the huge payoff.

There is a dispute about how much treasure was actually aboard the ship. Numbers vary between £325,000 and £600,000. There were 500,000 gold and silver pieces and every surviving pirate was given £1,000 in gemstones when the men landed at Réunion. The take was listed as worth £52.4 million in 2010. Not only did the pirates have access to the money, but they were also in control of the passengers and crew, many of whom were tortured or raped. Women stabbed themselves or jumped overboard to escape that fate. Every captured at least 11 ships during his pirate days and then disappeared. His time and place of death are unknown, but it was some time after 1696 and is assumed to have been back in Great Britain.

It is, it is a glorious thing To be a Pirate King. – William S. Gilbert

Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates. – Mark Twain

As to hanging, it is no great hardship. For were it not for that, every cowardly fellow would turn pirate and so unfit the sea, that men of courage must starve. – Mary Read

Our seamen have always been famous for a matchless alacrity and intrepidity in time of danger; this has saved many a British ship, when other seamen would have run below deck, and left the ship to the mercy of the waves, or, perhaps, of a more cruel enemy, a pirate. – William Pitt

Also on this day: Ann and Andy – In 1915, a patent was granted for the making of a rag doll.
She’s Gone – In 1911, Guillaume Apollinaire was arrested for an art theft.
Not Soccer – In 1963, the Pro Football Hall of Fame opened.
Get Out – In 1652, the Guo Huaiyi Rebellion began.
Plot Goes Awry – In 1571, Thomas Howard was arrested for a plot against the Queen.

Plot Goes Awry

Posted in History by patriciahysell on September 7, 2014
Thomas Howard

Thomas Howard

September 7, 1571: The Duke of Norfolk is arrested for an assassination plot against the Queen. Thomas Howard was the son of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. As a child, he was tutored by John Foxe, a Protestant clergyman and author. Howard’s father predeceased his grandfather so on the elder man’s death, Howard became the Fourth Duke of Norfolk. He was also the second cousin of Queen Elizabeth I through her maternal grandmother, Lady Elizabeth Howard. He was trusted with public office even though his family had some Catholic tendencies (despite his having been raised Protestant).

Roberto di Ridolfi was an international banker from Florence. Because of his occupation, he was able to travel without drawing undue notice and did so between Brussels, Rome, and Madrid. The Duke had three wives in his young life. They were heiresses and each left land and monies to their bereaved husband as they died. They also left him with several children. He was the wealthiest landowner in the country after his third wife’s death. A fourth wife was looked for and Mary, Queen of Scots seemed possible. Mary and Elizabeth were not friendly, in fact Mary was imprisoned for nearly two decades. The Ridolfi plot was set to overthrow Elizabeth, have Howard and Mary marry and restore the throne to the Catholics.

Elizabeth’s intelligence network got wind of an assassination plot. Spain’s ambassador to England, John Hawkins, brought information regarding the plot his government had managed to obtain. He brought this to Elizabeth so that she might arrest the plotters. The Grand Duke of Tuscany also sent a private message to the Queen after he, too, had learned of a plot against her. Charles Baillie, Ridolfi’s messenger, was arrested at Dover. He was carrying compromising letters and under torture, revealed the plot. On this day, Howard was also arrested and sent to the Tower. Ridolfi was not in England when all this took place and escaped reprisals. He never again stepped foot in the country. He became a Florentine senator in 1600. He lived until 1612 and died at the age of 80.

Howard was executed for treason in 1572 and is buried at the Church of St. Peter ad Vincula within the walls of the Tower of London. Mary was not considered to be part of this plot against the Queen, but instead was implicated in the Babington Plot. She was executed in 1587 and wished to be buried in France. Elizabeth did not allow this and left the corpse sealed in a lead coffin until it could be buried at Peterborough Cathedral about six months later. Elizabeth managed to hold on to her head and the throne until she died, childless and without a clear succession to the throne, in 1603 at the age 69.

God has given such brave soldiers to this Crown that, if they do not frighten our neighbours, at least they prevent us from being frightened by them.

Do not tell secrets to those whose faith and silence you have not already tested.

God forgive you, but I never can.

Brass shines as fair to the ignorant as gold to the goldsmiths. – all from Elizabeth I

Also on this day: Ann and Andy – In 1915, a patent is granted for the making of a rag doll.
She’s Gone – In 1911, Guillaume Apollinaire was arrested for an art theft.
Not Soccer – In 1963, the Pro Football Hall of Fame opened.
Get Out – In 1652, the Guo Huaiyi Rebellion began.

She’s Gone

Posted in History by patriciahysell on September 7, 2013
Guillaume Apollinaire

Guillaume Apollinaire

September 7, 1911: Guillaume Apollinaire is arrested and jailed. The French poet, writer, and art critic was born in Rome to a Polish aristocratic mother (his father may have been a Swiss-Italian aristocrat). He was educated in Monaco and emigrated to France. He once said he thought the Louvre should be burned to the ground. He joined the Montparnasse, an artistic community in Paris. The group was home to Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein, and a host of others. He was arrested on this day and released a week later after implicating his friend, Picasso. The crime? Art theft.

Vincencio (Vincenzo) Peruggia was an Italian working at the Louvre. On Sunday, August 20, he hid inside the building after closing. The museum was to be closed the following day. On Monday morning, Peruggia mixed with other artists and blended in by wearing a white smock. He then managed to take a painting from where it hung and removed it from the protective casing and the frame. He hid the artwork under his smock and left the building. The guard station was empty, the guard having left to get a pail of water.

Peruggia hid the painting in a trunk in his apartment. Police came to question him, but believed his alibi and he was free to go. He stayed on in Paris for two years before heading back to Italy. He took an apartment in Florence and again hid the painting. He contacted Alfredo Giri, owner of a Florentine art gallery, and tried to sell the stolen artwork. He may have also been looking for a reward for the return of the picture to Italy, its “rightful” home. Peruggia was arrested; the painting was displayed across Italy and then returned to the Louvre. The Mona Lisa was back.

Leonardo da Vinci painted La Gioconda, an oil on poplar panel. The 30 x 21 inch work is entitled Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo in the Louvre. Because the painting is on wood panels, the work is affected by humidity. It was removed from the original frame and began to warp with a crack appearing. This has been repaired with two butterfly braces. In 1956 a vandal threw acid on the lower part of the painting and another person threw a rock and chipped some paint. Now in a climate controlled enclosure, the Mona Lisa smiles behind bulletproof glass.

Mona Lisa is the only beauty who went through history and retained her reputation.” – Will Rogers

Mona Lisa looks as if she has just been sick, or is about to be.” – Noel Coward

“To me it was merely a serene and subdued face, and there an end. There might be more in it, but I could not find it. The complexion was bad; in fact, it was not even human; there are no people that color.” – Mark Twain on the Mona Lisa

“You cannot paint the Mona Lisa by assigning one dab each to a thousand painters.” – William F. Buckley, Jr.

This article first appeared at in 2009. Editor’s update: Montparnasse stems from Mount Parnassus, in Greek mythology the home of the nine muses. It is an area of Paris and existed both before and after it was an artists’ enclave. In 1910, the penniless intelligentsia along with artistic folks from all fields moved from Montmartre to Montparnasse. The area provided cheap rent and an atmosphere brimming with creativity. The cheap rent didn’t provide the amenities, such as running water. However, outside in the streets and cafes were the legends of the era. The artists already in place welcomed with open arms any other artistic soul coming to the area. They embraced their oddities along with their creative genius and fed off the good will and camaraderie. The beginning of World War I whispered the end of the Montparnasse experience.

Also on this day: Ann and Andy – In 1915, a patent is granted for the making of a rag doll.
Not Soccer – In 1963, the Pro Football Hall of Fame opened.
Get Out – In 1652, the Guo Huaiyi Rebellion began.

Get Out

Posted in History by patriciahysell on September 7, 2012

Map of Formosa

September 7, 1652: The Guo Huaiyi Rebellion begins. Dutch Formosa refers to the Dutch colonial period of Formosa, what is known today as Taiwan. The name Formosa means “Beautiful Island” and the paradise is located off the southeast coast of mainland China. The island is 245 miles long and 89 miles wide. There is evidence of human settlement dating back 30,000 years. About 4,000 years ago, farmers came from China to the island and these immigrants are believed to be the ancestors of today’s indigenous people.

The Dutch arrived in Formosa in 1624 during their Age of Exploration. The Dutch attempted to trade with China in 1601, unsuccessfully, since the Chinese were already trading with the Portuguese. The Dutch attacked the Portuguese, again unsuccessfully. Since they were unable to get a foothold on mainland China, the Dutch settled on Formosa. They began to take control of the land and punish natives who resisted. Their control grew and the Dutch gained allegiance of the natives, sometimes out of fear of the consequences should the natives resist.

Other European nations were also expanding trade routes and the Dutch had to contend with them as well. After ousting the Spanish, their own power base was improved. By 1643, the Dutch were encouraging the Chinese to come to the island. The Chinese arrived and worked hard only to find excessive taxation and licensing fees taking their earned monies. Corruption among the Dutch also angered the Chinese farmers.

Guo Huaiyi was a sugarcane farmer and militia leader. He and his followers stormed Fort Provintia, protected only by a bamboo wall. The attackers were armed with bamboo spears, but still managed a rout. The Dutch fled and took refuge in the stable, the safest building in the compound. Many Dutch were captured and killed before finding refuge. The next morning, 120 Dutch musketeers came to rescue their trapped countrymen. On September 11, the two sides clashed in the countryside and the rebellion was quashed by the superiorly armed Dutch. Remnants of the rebel army were killed, often by natives who had sided with the Dutch.

As beautiful as simplicity is, it can become a tradition that stands in the way of exploration. – Laura Nyro

Any people attempting to govern themselves by laws of their own making, and by officers of their own appointment, are in direct rebellion against the kingdom of God. – Orson Pratt

It doesn’t take a majority to make a rebellion; it takes only a few determined leaders and a sound cause. – H. L. Mencken

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots. – Barbara Ehrenreich

Also on this day:

Ann and Andy – In 1915, a patent is granted for the making of a rag doll.
She’s Gone – In 1911, Guillaume Apollinaire was arrested for an art theft.
Not Soccer – In 1963, the Pro Football Hall of Fame opened.

Not Soccer

Posted in History by patriciahysell on September 7, 2011

Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio

September 7, 1963: The Pro Football Hall of Fame opens in Canton, Ohio. The Hall of Fame is for American football players from the National Football League (NFL). All but one inductee has played for the NFL at some time in his career. Buffalo Bills’ Billy Shaw played only for the American Football League, however the two leagues merged into one in 1970.

American pro football began on November 12, 1892 when William (Pudge) Heffelfinger was paid $500 in cash to play with the Allegheny Athletic Association (AAA). This was seen as an illegal move by the opposing team, the Pittsburgh Athletic Club. No proof of this misdeed was found at the time. That proof arrived 80 years later when the Hall of Fame received and then displayed the document – an expense account sheet from the AAA with the listing of the money spent.

The Hall of Fame came to Canton for three reasons. First, it is the home of the American Professional Football Association that would become the NFL and which was founded here on September 17, 1920. Second, the city was home of the Canton Bulldogs, the first two-time champion of the NFL in 1922 and 1923. Jim Thorpe, a famous all around athlete, played for The Bulldogs. And lastly, the city and its citizens launched a program to attract the building of the Hall of Fame and to place it in their city.

Inductees are selected by a 40-person Board of Selections. There were 17 players enshrined at the opening of the museum. Today, three to six new members are inducted each year. The panel selects 17 candidates from a list of retired players and coaches, as well as managers or owners. From that list the new members are selected around the time when the Super Bowl is played (end of January or beginning of February). The men are officially inducted into the Hall of Fame in August. There are currently 267 players enshrined. Players are not associated with a particular team. Instead, all inductees have all teams they were associated with listed with their names. The museum draws close to 200,000 visitors annually.

“Let’s face it, you have to have a slightly recessive gene that has a little something to do with the brain to go out on the football field and beat your head against other human beings on a daily basis.” – Tim Green

“At the base of it was the urge, if you wanted to play football, to knock someone down, that was what the sport was all about, the will to win closely linked with contact.” – George Plimpton

“I have seen women walk right past a TV set with a football game on and – this always amazes me – not stop to watch, even if the TV is showing replays of what we call a ‘good hit,’ which is a tackle that causes at least one major internal organ to actually fly out of a player’s body.” – Dave Barry

“Trying to maintain order during a legalized gang brawl involving 80 toughs with a little whistle, a hanky and a ton of prayer.” – Anonymous referee, explaining his job

Also on this day:
Ann and Andy – In 1915, a patent is granted for the making of a rag doll.
She’s Gone – In 1911, Guillaume Apollinaire was arrested for an art theft.

Ann and Andy

Posted in History by patriciahysell on September 7, 2010

Raggedy Andy and Raggedy Ann

September 7, 1915: Patent # 44789 is granted to Johnny Gruelle for a soft rag doll dressed in blue with red yarn hair. Gruelle was a political cartoonist and devoted family man. He found a soft rag doll in the attic. The doll was worn and had no face. Gruelle drew a face on the doll and gave it to his daughter, Marcella. She loved it and carried it with her everywhere.

Gruelle wrote stories about this wonderful doll and in 1918 published Raggedy Ann Stories through the PF Volland Company. Both book and doll were sold to young children. Gruelle lived in Norwalk, Connecticut, USA where the dolls were first mass produced. He later moved his family and the company to Wilton, Connecticut.

The stories and the doll were an unparallel success. The stories delighted children and eventually a larger cast of characters were included. Fido the dog joined Raggedy Ann and her younger brother, Raggedy Andy in all sorts of adventures. Each Raggedy Ann doll bears a heart with “I Love You” inscribed on her chest. Many other dolls were added to the continuing stories.

Gruelle died in 1938 but his books lived on. His name is listed as the author as late as 1961. There have been animated feature films, holiday oriented stories and even a television series that ran for three years. The current owners of the copyrights to the characters are Simon & Schuster publishing and Hasbro, Inc. Raggedy Ann was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2002.

“What we’re always looking for is a teachable moment, … That’s just not going to happen with something on the screen or even one of those animatronic dolls that are telling stories.” – Shifrin

“It’s very much about friendship, and that’s what we wanted it to be, … There didn’t need to be another fashion doll.” – Maxine Clark

“It was the Cabbage Patch doll and Tickle Me Elmo of its time  –  the thing you really hoped would be under the tree when you got up Christmas morning.” – Anne Phillips

“They’re not like Raggedy Ann and Andy, but they are cuddly, and definitely appeal to a contemporary crowd.” – Christopher West

Also on this day, in 1911 an arrest was made for the theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre.

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