volcano

This Day in History – January 11 – 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… JANUARY 11 

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1693 – Mt. Etna in Sicily erupts.

1962 – Volcano Huascaran erupts in Peru.

2013 – Four volcanoes erupt on Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula. (The above photo is of one of those volcanoes, the Klyuchevskaya Sopka, and was taken just last year.)

In my December 28th column, I correctly gave an earthquake warning. So pay attention, today may not be a good day to be hanging around an active volcano.

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1838 – First public demonstration of telegraph message sent using dots and dashes by Samuel Morse (below) and Alfred Vail.

samuel-morse

I was a radioman in the Navy and, just my luck, trained in a communication technique that was soon to become obsolete. Just like in the old movies, I sat with a headset on and copied and sent Morse code. In reality, however, it was nothing like the portrayal in the movies. There’d seldom be one clear signal. Instead multiple ships would be sending messages at once on the same frequency, and we’d have to try to focus on the one sending to our station and block the rest out. And in the movies, a message was relayed far faster than possible. In reality, it was a slow and laborious process, but also a fun and satisfying one.

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1964 – Luther L. Terry, M.D., Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service, released the first report of the Surgeon General’s Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health.

smoke-in-bed-cartoon

On the basis of more than 7,000 articles relating to smoking and disease already available at that time in the biomedical literature, the Advisory Committee concluded that cigarette smoking is:

– A cause of lung cancer and laryngeal cancer in men

– A probable cause of lung cancer in women

– The most important cause of chronic bronchitis

Since that time it has become almost universally accepted that smoking is harmful to one’s health. Ninety seven percent of all doctors have reached that conclusion. The three percent that don’t are probably paid shills of the tobacco industry. Which leads me to wonder if the three percent of scientists who deny global warming have anything to do with the oil industry.

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Birthdays:

889 – Abd-ar-Rahman III – Caliph of Cordoba. During much of the 10th century AD, Abd-ar-Rahman III reigned as the most powerful prince of the Ummayad dynasty in Spain. He was known as the Emir of Cordoba from 912 to 929, and later as the Caliph of Cordoba from 929 to 961.

It was a time of turmoil and near constant warfare with his Christian enemies to the north and Muslim rebels within his territory. Due to his consolidation of power, Muslim Iberia became a power for a few centuries. It also brought prosperity, and Abd-ar-Rahman was tolerant of non-Muslims, so Jewish and Christian communities flourished.

A quote of his: “I have now reigned above fifty years in victory or peace; beloved by my subjects, dreaded by my enemies, and respected by my allies. Riches and honours, power and pleasure, have waited on my call, nor does any earthly blessing appear to have been wanting to my felicity. In this situation, I have diligently numbered the days of pure and genuine happiness which have fallen to my lot: they amount to Fourteen: – O man! place not thy confidence in this present world!”

He is known to have openly kept a male as well as a female harem and in his later years was accused of having sunk into self-indulgent habits.

It seems in doing research into great people, quite often some flaw is exposed.

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1755 – Alexander Hamilton – The bastard brat of a Scottish peddler, (John Adams’s words) Hamilton rose from an impoverished childhood in the Caribbean island of St. Croix to become one of the U.S.’s founding fathers.

Hamilton went to work at age 11 and by the time he was 16 he so impressed the businessmen of St. Croix that they sent him to America for an education. He dropped out of school to join the rebellion, rose to the rank of Lt. General in the Continental Army, and became a valuable aide to George Washington.

In 1788, he convinced New Yorkers to agree to ratify the U.S Constitution. He then served as the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury, from 1789 to 1795. On July 12, 1804, in New York City, Hamilton died of a gunshot wound that he sustained during a duel with Aaron Burr.

There is currently a Broadway musical about Hamilton that is a box office success and has drawn rave reviews. Other than one critic who said the show was “highly overrated.”

And that critic is certainly credible given that he did, after all, garner the second most votes in the last presidential election.

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1807 – Alfred E. “Mudwall” Jackson. Confederate General in the Civil War. Not to be confused with the more famous Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.

I wasn’t able to find out much about his military exploits, but the nickname “Mudwall” kind of says it all.

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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 websites:

OnThisDay.com

History.com

AllAboutPhilosophy.org

Tobacco – CDC.gov

Alexander Hamilton – Biography.com     

American Civil War – ThomasLegion.net

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

* Lead-In Image –  GENNADY TEPLITSKIY / Shutterstock.com – “Volcano eruption. Russia, Kamchatka Peninsula. Village Klyuchi. 06.07.2016. The volcano of Klyuchevskaya Sopka (4800 m) is the highest active volcano of Eurasia.”

* Samuel Morse – Everett Historical / Shutterstock.com

* “Please Don’t Smoke In Bed” Graphic – RetroClipArt / Shutterstock.com

* Lin-Manuel Miranda’s 2009 Hamilton Performance – The White House / 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 14

* January 15

January 19

January 22

January 24

January 29

February 1

February 3

February 5

February 9

* February 10

* 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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