This Day in History – November 23 – 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… NOVEMBER 23

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1867 – Manchester Martyrs executed.

Three members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, Wm. Allen, Michael Larkin, and Michael O’Brien were hung for their role in the murder of a British policeman. They were involved in a plot to help two fellow Fenians escape from British custody. In the course of the escape a guard was killed. All of it was part of a rebellion to end England’s rule over Ireland. The men became martyrs to the cause due to crying out “God save Ireland” from the gallows. Partly a religious war, partly a fight for independence, the “Troubles” have been going on since 1603.

My November 19th “Boss Tweed” post mentions how the conflict even spilled over to New York City. A peace finally has been brokered and however uneasy, there is now no armed conflict or bombings taking place.

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1943 – William D. Cox banned from baseball.

The owner of the Philadelphia Phillies was banished because he bet on his own team. Pete Rose, All-star player and manager, has also been banned from baseball for betting on his own team. And at one point in his career Rose played for the Phillies.

Maybe it’s something in the water.

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1988 – Reagan vetoes ethics bill.

From NYTimes.com: “President Reagan announced today that he would pocket veto legislation tightening restrictions on lobbying by former Government officials and imposing them on members of Congress for the first time.” The bill would have banned former employees from lobbying on issues in which they were involved while in government. Reagan said the bill was “flawed and excessive,” and that’s why he vetoed it.

Ethics in government? I can see where that would be a hard sell.

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Birthdays:

1859 – Billy the Kid.

billy the kid

Small-time criminal, vigilante, cattle rustler, and gunslinger, Billy the Kid, alias William H. Bonney, led a short and eventful life. Born in Manhattan as Henry McCarty, probably illegitimate, to use the terminology of the time, his mother moved to Kansas when he was a child. Orphaned at age 14, he soon turned to crime. He is believed to have killed eight or nine men. A jailbreak allowed him to escape the hangman’s noose once, but he was gunned down in New Mexico several months later by Sheriff Pat Garrett.

Why do some otherwise small time characters receive such notoriety and lasting fame? Could it simply be the name change? Given the same deeds, I somehow doubt that Henry the Kid would have achieved the same status.

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1882 – John Heinrich Rabe.

Rabe was a German businessman and member of the Nazi Party who was living in Nanking, China at the time of the Rape of Nanking. He became head of a small group of Westerners who established the Nanking Safety Zone which helped an estimated 200,000 Chinese escape massacre. At the time, 1937, Japan and Germany had an Anti-Comintern pact and Rabe used his party credentials to stall and deflect the Japanese assault on civilians. The number of people slaughtered by the Japanese army is estimated to be anywhere from 60,000 to 200,000.

Rabe received little credit for his heroic and humanitarian efforts. When he returned to Germany he tried to publicize the Japanese atrocities, even trying to send a letter to Hitler. This brought on Gestapo attention and interrogation. It was only through the intervention of his employer that he was released. And then after the war, because of his Nazi Party affiliation, he was arrested first by the Russians and then the British. He was released, but stripped of his work permit he lived the postwar years in abject poverty. When the people of Nanking learned of his plight they raised a sum of money and the mayor went to Germany to give it to Rabe. And every month thereafter a food package from Nanking arrived for him. Rabe died of a stroke in 1950.

So many Nazis escaped justice, with Gestapo members even working for the CIA. Yet a decent Nazi, perhaps the only one and pardon the oxymoron, suffers for his humanity.

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1888 – Harpo Marx.

One of the members of the Marx Bros. madcap comedy team. Harpo left school after the second grade and got his education on the streets of New York. He and his brothers first performed in vaudeville, then the stage, and finally they successfully transitioned to moving pictures in Hollywood. Unable to keep up with the fast talking wit of his brothers, they took away his lines. Offended at first, he countered with his mime act complete with honking horn. Harpo, a confirmed bachelor, finally married later in life, and then adopted and raised four children.

Quite possibly the only mime I’ve ever liked. And I know this is a stretch but in looking at their photos, I see a similarity between Billy the Kid and Harpo Marx. Maybe it’s simply the headwear, or something in the shared stance, but check it out.

harpo vs billy the kid this one

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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:

OnThisDay.com

Wikipedia.org

NYTimes.com

History.com

HarposPlace.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 (Billy The Kid portrait) –  Everett Historical / Shutterstock.com – “Billy the Kid 1859-8 1 killed twenty two men during his short life of 21 years Print from THE STORY OF THE OUTLAW 1907 with modern color.”

billy the kid shutterstock embed

* Billy The Kid (poster) – Everett Historical / Shutterstock.com  – “Wanted poster for Billy the Kid (1859-1881) offering $5000 dollars reward, probably issued in New Mexico territory, after he killed two deputies, James Bell and Robert Ollinger, on April 28, 1881.”

* John Heinrich Rabe (video) –  DocoTango / YouTube.com

* James A. Garfield (video) – CBS Sunday Morning / YouTube.com

* Ted Turner (video) – Investors Archive / 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 12

January 14

January 15

January 17

January 19

January 22

January 23

January 24

January 28

January 29

February 1

February 2

February 3

February 5

February 9

February 10

February 12

February 14

February 15

February 20

February 21

February 22

February 25

February 28

February 29

March 2

March 4

March 6

March 9

March 11

March 12

March 14

March 15

March 17

March 19

March 21

March 22

March 23

March 27

March 28

March 29

April 2

April 3

April 4

April 6

April 9

April 11

April 13

April 16

April 18

April 21

April 22

April 23

April 26

April 28

April 29

May 1

May 2

* May 3

May 5

May 6

May 9

May 10

May 11

* May 13

May 16

May 17

May 22

May 24

May 26

May 27

* May 28

May 29

May 31

June 1

June 3

June 4

June 8

June 10

June 11

June 13

June 16

June 17

June 18

June 21

June 22

June 24

June 27

June 28

June 29

July 2

July 3

July 4

July 9

July 10

July 13

July 14

July 15

July 19

July 20

July 23

July 24

July 25

July 29

July 30

July 31

August 2

* August 3

August 6

August 7

August 10

August 11

August 13

August 16

August 17

August 19

August 21

August 23

August 24

August 25

August 28

August 29

August 31

September 2

September 4

September 5

September 6

September 10

September 11

September 12

September 15

September 16

September 17

September 20

September 21

September 23

September 25

September 26

September 27

September 29

September 30

October 1

October 3

October 4

October 5

October 6

October 7

October 10

October 11

October 12

October 13

October 14

October 15

October 16

October 18

October 19

October 20

October 23

October 24

October 25

October 26

October 27

October 29

October 30

October 31

November 1

November 2

November 3

November 4

November 5

November 6

November 7

November 8

November 9

November 10

November 11

November 12

November 13

November 14

November 15

November 16

November 17

November 18

November 19

November 20

November 21

November 22

November 24

November 26

November 28

November 29

November 30

* Stay tuned for more!

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