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This Day in History – February 10 – Hijinx, Humor, and Insight

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NewsWhistle is pleased to feature Gary Jenneke’s “This Day In History” column.

You can read the original at Gary’s THIS DAY IN HISTORY blog — or scroll down to enjoy Gary’s unique look at life’s comings and goings.

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THIS DAY IN HISTORY… FEBRUARY 10

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1535 – Nude Anabaptists.

Twelve Anabaptists, both men and women, ran naked through the streets of Amsterdam. They were protesting the dominance of the Catholic Church and its support of the wealthy while ignoring the plight of the poor. They were all rounded up and executed, and their heads were stuck on pikes at the city gates.

To the dismay of some, the penalty for streaking in the 20th century was far less severe.

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1837 – Russian poet Alexander Pushkin shot in a duel.

At issue was Pushkin’s wife, who had been described as beautiful but without a brain, soul, or heart. He suspected a dalliance between her and Nicholas the 1st but he could not challenge the Tsar.

Impulsive, Pushkin had been in other duels, so when he received a letter ridiculing him as a cuckold, he had to take action. He believed the originator of the letter to be his brother-in-law, Georges d’Anthes, and the duel was on.

Instead of the usual 30 paces, the men took only ten. D’Anthes shot first, fatally wounding Pushkin, and the man who some call the Russian Shakespeare, died two days later. Slightly wounded himself, d’Anthes was exiled to France, where he prospered.

While dueling can accurately described as “barbaric,” it almost seems civilized when compared to what the NRA has spawned and supports.

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1846 – Battle of Sobraon.

The Sikh empire ruled Punjab in northern India, the East India Company the rest of the country. The Sikh army, trained and influenced by foreign mercenaries, became a political power, due to a succession of weak rulers. The army became too large, and there weren’t enough resources to pay its soldiers. The British eyed Punjab for economic reasons.

From Wikipedia: “After mutual demands and accusations between the Sikh Durbar and the East India Company, diplomatic relations were broken.” The Sikhs marched on the British forces and were defeated, and the battle ended the first Anglo-Sikh War. This led to a second Anglo-Sikh war several years later where the British were victorious again, and the Punjab region was annexed by the East India Company.

Imperialism does not relinquish its hold easily.

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Birthdays:

1890 – Boris Pasternak.

Russian poet and novelist, writer of Doctor Zhivago, which earned him the Nobel Prize. Due to its criticism of socialism, the book also earned him the ire of the Soviet government. It was widely read throughout the world, except in Russia where Doctor Zhivago was banned. Although he declined the prize, Pasternak lost his ability to earn a living after he was expelled from the Union of Soviet Writers. His name suffering under a totalitarian cloud, Pasternak died of cancer in 1960. He was posthumously reinstated to the Union of Soviet Writers in 1987.

The movie “Dr. Zhivago” was released in the mid 1960s. A buddy told me this story. He and a friend were driving down the main street in St. Cloud, Minnesota. They drove past a movie marquee emblazoning Dr. Zhivago and underneath Omar Sharif. His friend said in all sincerity, “Hey, Doctor Zhivago and Omar Sheriff, sounds like a pretty good double feature.”

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1899 – Harold Macmillan.

Prime Minister of England from 1957 to 1963. By most accounts he was quite effective. Among his achievements were contributing toward a robust economy, decolonization, anti-apartheid efforts, and improvement of relations with the U.S. due to his friendship with Eisenhower. Perhaps most importantly, he was the last British PM to wear a mustache. Besides their conservative values, he shared another common thread with Churchill in that both had an American-born mother. The last PM born during the Victorian Age, he was severely wounded during WWI. He supported a role for England in a new European Economic Community, and was crushed when it didn’t happen. Macmillan’s ruling party lost favor partly due to the Profumo sex scandal, and he resigned in October 1963.

If alive now, I imagine Macmillan being distressed by England’s Brexit vote.

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1937 or 1939 – Roberta Flack.

American singer. Flack won a Grammy in two consecutive years, 1973 and 1974, for “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and “Killing Me Softly With His Song.” Despite the awards, her records were not selling until Clint Eastwood chose “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” for the soundtrack for his movie Play Misty For Me. The song zoomed to #1, and her career took off. Eastwood and Flack have remained friends ever since.

There is no record, however, of her singing to a chair at a national convention.

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ABOUT GARY JENNEKE

At various junctures of his life, Gary has been an indifferent grade school student, poor high school student, good Navy radioman, one-time hippie, passable college student, inveterate traveler, dedicated writer, miscast accountant (except for one interesting stint at a Communist café), part-time screenwriting teacher, semi-proud veteran, unsuccessful retiree and new blogger.

You can reach him at gary@newswhistle.com.

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CREDITS

The above information was sourced from the following sites and newspapers:

RBTH.com

OnThisDay.com

JulietKilpin.Wordpress.com

Wikipedia.org

Britannica.com

Richard Nierengarten

Gov.uk

We’d also like to thank the following photographers and videographers for the use of their images:

* Lead-In Image (Alexander Pushkin Stamp) – Hayk_Shalunts / Shutterstock.com

pushkin stamp shutterstock embed

* The Anabaptist Vision (video) – SermonIndex.net / YouTube.com

* Pushkin Reading (audio) – PoetryZone / Shutterstock.com

* Anglo Sikh Wars Battles (video) – Sikh Museum Initiative / YouTube.com

* Why ‘Dr. Zhivago’ Was Dangerous (video) – PBS NewsHour / YouTube.com

* Harold Macmillan (video) – Firing Line & Gato / YouTube.com

* Roberta Flack (video) – Duda Senna / YouTube.com

* Outro (Man-In-Museum Cartoon) – SkyPics Studio / Shutterstock.com

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OTHER DAYS IN HISTORY …

December 2

* December 5

* December 9

December 11

December 12

* December 15

December 16

December 18 

December 22

December 23

December 24

December 28

* December 30

* January 3

January 4

January 6

January 7

January 10

* January 11

* January 14

January 15

January 16

January 19

January 21

January 22

January 24

January 25

January 29

January 30

February 1

February 3 

February 5

February 6

* February 9

* February 14

February 15

February 20

February 21

February 25

February 28

March 2

March 6

March 9

March 12

March 14

March 17

March 19

March 21

March 23

March 27

March 29

April 2

April 3

April 6

April 11

* April 13

April 18

April 22

April 23

April 28

April 29

May 2

May 3

May 6

May 9

May 10

May 13

May 17

* May 24

May 26

May 29

June 1

June 3

June 8

June 10

June 13

June 17

June 18

June 21

June 24

June 28

June 29

July 2

July 3

* July 9

July 13

July 15

July 19

July 23

July 25

July 30

July 31

* August 3

August 7

August 10

August 11

August 16

August 17

August 21

August 24

August 25

* August 28

August 31

September 2

September 5

September 6

September 8

September 11

September 12

September 15

September 16 

September 17

September 21

September 23

September 24

September 25

September 28

September 30

October 1

October 3

October 7

October 10

October 12

October 14

* October 16

October 18

October 24

October 25

October 27

October 28

October 30

November 3

* November 4

November 5

November 8

November 9

November 10

November 13

November 14

November 16

* November 17

November 19

November 20

November 23

November 28

November 30

* Stay tuned for more!

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