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This Day in History – June 24th – 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… JUNE 24

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1535 – Anabaptists conquered at the city of Münster, Germany.

Anabaptists were Christians in the 16th century who believed in adult baptism because infants were incapable of confessing their faith to God. Anabaptism was an outgrowth of the Reformation and the Anabaptists took over the city of Münster, where they formed their own government. The established Protestant church, opposing both the movement and the takeover, promptly laid siege to the city. One of the Anabaptist leaders, after hearing a message from God, rode out with 30 followers to confront the besiegers. All were killed and his head was exhibited on a pike before the city walls. (Be careful with those messages from God.) The movement was crushed and thousands of Anabaptists across Western Europe were hunted down and executed, an estimated 50,000 in Holland alone.

The theme back then seemed to be the same as now: “Don’t Mess with My Religion!”

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1901 – Pablo Picasso’s first art exhibit.

The 19-year-old Picasso exhibited 75 paintings in a gallery in Paris. The dealers and critics who saw his work were impressed, and this started his 70-year run of fame and creativity. He is perhaps the most well known artist of the 20th century. He had been in Paris only a few months and already was friends with many influential people, including Gertrude Stein.

I happen to be an admirer of his work. But talk about moving on the fast track–in addition to his brilliance, he must have understood, at a very young age, how the game was played. He both talked the talk and walked the walk.

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1955 – Harmon Killebrew hits his first home run.

That was for the Washington Senators, before the franchise moved to Minnesota and became the Twins. The “Killer” became a fan favorite in Minnesota and also one of baseball’s leading home run hitters. He is in baseball’s Hall of Fame.

Late summer, 1969. Along with three buddies, I was in the left field bleachers at old Metropolitan Stadium. We were all recent college graduates, having finished up during summer school. Killebrew was getting close to 500 home runs by this time. It was an afternoon game, and one of our last days of leisure before embarking on our professional careers. There were odd circumstances that day in that it wasn’t a normal crowd, at least not in the left field bleachers. There must have been some kind of ticket package deal for every group home or institution for developmentally disabled adults in the metro area. The stands were packed with hundreds and hundreds of people who wove their way through life facing a different set of mental challenges than most of us. It was a joyful, exuberant, and directionless crowd. By that I mean most of the excitement and cheering in our section had little to do with the action on the field. The spirit would seize some individual and soon the rapture would spread until hundreds would be standing and cheering for no reason at all. Once one of my friends stood and yelled to summon a beer vendor and that was enough to set off the whole section. Yelling, cheering, clamoring, with counselors and attendants scurrying around to administer to those who became overexcited. The left fielder turned to look, wondering what was going on.

Then late in the game Killebrew launched one directly toward us. I followed the high arc of the ball against the blue sky. We all stood but the ball landed about three rows behind us. If there was a catch I didn’t see it. But somehow a young man, a young man who led a life unlike ours, ended up with the ball in his hands. It couldn’t have been more perfect. That day was one of the most joyful and unique experiences I’ve ever had at a ballgame.

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Birthdays:

1485 – Johannes Bugenhagen.

One of the leading figures in the Reformation. He officiated at Martin Luther’s wedding. His chief talent was organization and he helped spread the Reformation across northern Germany and the Scandinavian countries.

So, in addition to Martin Luther, a man I’ve never heard of before was largely responsible for my religious education.

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1771 – E.I. DuPont.

Founder of DuPont, now the 4th largest chemical company in the world. It was originally started as a gunpowder mill in Delaware. DuPont, amazingly, supplied the Union Army with half the gunpowder it used during the Civil War. Many years later, to create a new need for its product, the company produced a pamphlet, “Farming with Dynamite,” as a way of removing stumps.

It is just a rumor that they also published, “Fishing with Dynamite.”

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1842 – Ambrose Bierce.

Journalist and prolific writer of short stories. He was a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner, owned by William Randolph Hearst. Bierce fought in the Civil War and was at a number of major engagements including the Battle of Shiloh, Chickamauga, and Lookout Mountain, and he was severely wounded at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. His wartime experiences inspired many stories, including his most famous “Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.”

The railroad companies that built the transcontinental railroad had a secret bill proceeding through Congress that would forgive their loans from the government. Bierce uncovered and reported it, and the subsequent public outcry killed the bill. Bierce had refused a “name your price” bribe from railroad lobbyists.

In 1913 Bierce traveled to Mexico to cover the Revolution and disappeared, and his ultimate fate remains a mystery. Some believe he was executed by Pancho Villa’s soldiers.

Fascinating character. I just added some new titles to my reading list.

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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.

Sources:

Wikipedia.org

OnThisDay.com

Luther.de

Aol.com

AllEmpires.com

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

* Lead-In Image (“Pablo Parody”)  – NLshop / Shutterstock.com

* “The Spread Of The Anabaptists” (video)  – Mike Atnip / YouTube.com

* “Picasso At Work” (video)  – HistoMephistix / YouTube.com

* “Home Run Derby” (video) – Baseball / YouTube.com

* “An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge” (video) – Chilling Tales for Dark Nights / 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 10

* February 11

February 14

February 15

February 18

February 20

February 21

February 24

February 25

February 28

March 2

March 3

March 6

March 9

March 10

March 12

* March 14

March 16

March 17

March 19

March 20

March 21

March 23

March 26

March 27

March 29

March 31

April 2

April 3

April 6

April 7

April 11

* April 12

April 13

April 18

April 19

April 22

April 23

April 25

April 28

April 29

May 2

May 3

* May 4

May 6

May 8

May 9

May 10

May 13

* May 17

May 18

May 19

May 23

* May 24

May 26

* May 28

May 29

June 1

June 2

June 3

June 8

June 9

June 10

June 15

June 17

June 18

June 19

June 21

June 23

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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