This Day in History – January 12 – 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 12 

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1946 – Cleveland Rams relocate.

In a move that changed the face of the National Football League, the Rams were given approval to move the franchise to Los Angeles. The Rams had won the league championship just a month earlier, but had played to a half empty stadium in sub zero weather. Financial difficulties due to poor attendance and competition from the Cleveland Browns were the reasons given for leaving. With their star quarterback, Bob Waterfield, married to actress Jane Russell, they were a good fit for Los Angeles. However, in order to secure a lease to play in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, there was a condition they would have to integrate and include African-American players on their roster. That requirement helped integrate all of the NFL.

I didn’t know any of this, not that I had ever given it much thought. I guess I assumed the L.A. Rams had always been the L.A. Rams and they were the first franchise to have black players out of foresight or opportunity.

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1948 – Sipuel vs Oklahoma State Board of Regents.

Lois Sipuel, an African-American, had applied for law school at the University of Oklahoma. She was denied entry based on her race. She challenged this denial in a law suit that eventually made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Arguing her case was future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall who cited the 14th Amendment which guaranteed all citizens equal protection of the laws. Four days after arguments were presented the Supreme Court issued an unanimous decision in her favor. Sipuel entered the University of Oklahoma where she was an excellent student. 

Have to wonder if that same case came before the 2020 Supreme Court the verdict might be 5-4 against her.

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1962 – Operation Ranch Hand launched.

This was an operation by the U.S. Air Force spraying herbicides on the jungles of Vietnam. The idea was to defoliate the jungles and deny the enemy its sanctuary. Nineteen million gallons of herbicide was sprayed, eleven million of it being Agent Orange.

Operation Chopper took place that same day. The U.S. Army provided helicopters and pilots to carry over a thousand South Vietnamese troops on an assault on a VietCong stronghold.

I’m sure at the time there were great military minds sitting around congratulating themselves on these brilliant strategies that undoubtedly would eliminate the VietCong nuisance.

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Birthdays:

1876 – John Griffith Chaney. AKA Jack London.

He was born to an unwed mother in San Francisco. His father was an attorney and never a part of his life. His mother later married a Civil War veteran, John London, and London took his name. His teenage years were tough as he rode trains, shoveled coal, worked on a sealing ship and in a cannery. He spent all his free time in libraries and reading books. He survived a violent storm at sea and later telling his mother the story, she suggested he write it down. He did, and then entered it in a local writing contest. Despite having only an eighth grade education at the time, he won, beating out students from Stanford. More success did not follow however and still poor, he ventured onto the road, tramping around America. At one point he was part of Coxley’s Army, a protest movement of unemployed workers that marched on Washington. After that he went to the Yukon gold fields. When he returned, armed with material and adventure from that experience, he became a successful writer. The Call of the Wild lifted him to fame. His early poverty and hardscrabble life made London cynical about capitalism and an avowed socialist. There is some suggestion, however, that London exaggerated the poverty of his youth. 

In 1904 London was sent as a war correspondent for the San Francisco Examiner to cover the Russo-Japanese War. He managed to get arrested three times by Japanese authorities before he was sent home. With wealth gained from his writing, he purchased a thousand acre ranch in Sonoma County where he lived with his second wife. In addition to alcoholism, London was weakened by tropical diseases he had picked up while traveling and also scurvy from when he was in the Yukon. He died from kidney failure in 1916 at age 40.

In “The Iron Heel” London predicated a breakdown in the U.S. republic with oligarchy taking over. Nah, absurd to think that could ever happen here. . . Right?

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1893 – Hermann Goering.

1893 – Alfred Rosenberg.

Rosenberg was one of the early followers of Hitler and helped hold the Nazi Party together when Hitler was in jail after the Beer Hall Putsch in Munich. He was a partial architect of the Final Solution and as head of the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories, was responsible for the extermination of countless number of Jews in the Baltic countries. He also organized art plunder and headed an operation that by war’s end had shipped 1.5 million railroad cars of artwork from occupied countries to Germany. Rosenberg went on trial at Nuremberg after the war, was found guilty and executed.

Hermann Goering. A WWI ace pilot, Goering was also an early follower of Hitler. In recovering from wounds suffered at the failed Beer Hall Putsch, he acquired a lifelong addiction to heroin. One of his earliest achievements after his rise to power was the creation of the Gestapo, which he then turned over to Himmler. A master of politics, he became the second most powerful man in Germany. At the beginning of WWII he was given the title of Reichsmarschall and outranked all other German military commanders. As head of the Luftwaffe he fell out of favor with Hitler and the German public over his air force’s inability to protect them from the sky. Besides becoming one of the wealthiest men in Germany, he also became an avid art collector, stealing art from Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Goering was also found guilty at Nuremberg and sentenced to hang, but he escaped that fate by taking a cyanide capsule the night before the scheduled execution.

An awful lot of evil was introduced into the world on January 12th, 1893.   

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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

Wikipedia.org

GaTech.edu

Encyclopedia.USHMM.org

Biography.com

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

Lead-In Image (Jack London) –  Marc Kluge / Shutterstock.com – “Caricature of American novelist Jack London, looking through an empty liquor bottle in front of the manuscript of ‘Martin Eden’ on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his death (22.11.2016).”

jack london caricature - Marc Kluge - Shutterstock - embed

* Jack London (video) – who knows / YouTube.com

* Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher (video) – UofOklahomaLaw / YouTube.com

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

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OTHER DAYS IN HISTORY …

December 2

December 3

December 5

December 8

* December 9

December 11

December 12

* December 13

* December 15

December 16

December 18

* December 19

December 22

December 23

December 24

December 25

December 28

January 1

January 3

* January 4

January 6

January 7

January 8

* January 11

* 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 25

September 26

September 27

September 30

October 1

October 3

October 4

October 5

October 7

October 10

October 11

* October 12

October 14

October 15

October 16

October 18

October 20

October 24

October 25

October 26

October 27

October 30

October 31

November 1

November 3

* November 4

November 5

November 6

November 8

November 9

November 10

November 11

November 13

November 14

November 15

November 16

* November 17

November 18

* November 19

November 20

November 23

November 24

November 26

November 28

November 29

November 30

* Stay tuned for more!

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