Roger Mickelson’s History Today 11/19/13
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In 1703, the man in the iron mask, a political prisoner famous in French

history and legend, died in the Bastille. There is no

historical evidence that the mask was made of anything but black velvet

(velours), and only afterward did legend convert its material into iron.

The identity of the man in the mask was already a mystery before his death; and,

from the 18th century on, various suggestions as to his identity were made: in

1711, an English nobleman; in 1745, Louis de Bourbon, comte de Vermandois, a son

of Louis XIV and Louise de La Vallière; between 1738 and 1771, an elder brother

of Louis XIV; in 1883 Molière, imprisoned by the Jesuits in revenge for

Tartuffe. Of the dozen or more hypotheses, only two have proven tenable:

those for Ercole Matthioli and for Eustache Dauger.

L'Homme au Masque de Fer (The Man in the Iron ...

L’Homme au Masque de Fer (The Man in the Iron Mask). Anonymous print (etching and mezzotint, hand-colored) from 1789. According to the caption on the original (not seen here) the Man in the Iron Mask was Louis de Bourbon, comte de Vermandois, an illegitimate son of Louis XIV. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1794, during his tenure as the first chief justice of the US SupremeCourt, John Jay negotiated the Jay Treaty with Great Britain, helping mend tiesbetween the Americans and British. Britain, conceding to primary Americangrievances, agreed to evacuate the Northwest Territory by June 1, 1796; to

compensate for its depredations against American shipping; to end discrimination

against American commerce; and to grant the US trading privileges in England and

the British East Indies. Signed in London by Lord Grenville, the British foreign

minister, and John Jay, US chief justice and envoy extraordinary, the treaty

also declared the Mississippi River open to both countries; prohibited the

outfitting of privateers by Britain’s enemies in US ports; provided for payment

of debts incurred by Americans to British merchants before the American

Revolution; and established joint commissions to determine the boundaries

between the US and British North America in the Northwest and Northeast.

Portrait of John Jay

Portrait of John Jay (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1820, the Troppau protocol, a declaration of intention to takecollective action against revolution, was signed by the Holy Alliance powers atthe Congress of Troppau. Attended by Francis I of Austria, Alexander I ofRussia, and Frederick William III of Prussia, their foreign ministers, and

observers from Britain and France, the congress decided to intervene in Naples

against the democratic revolution there. Having excluded France and Britain from

its talks, it also adopted a protocol, generally asserting that states having

undergone revolutions would be excluded from the European alliance, that the

allied powers would not recognize illegal changes in such states, and that the

powers would use force to restore them to the alliance. Britain and France,

however, refused to accept the protocol, demonstrating the division between the

eastern and western members of the Quintuple Alliance and seriously weakening

it.

American Civil War:    Four score and tenyears ago, in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the briefbut renowned Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the National Cemetery inPennsylvania. In the wake of a two-hour speech by Edward Everett, the most

famous orator of the times, Lincoln’s brief speech would hardly seem to have

drawn notice. However, despite some criticism from his opposition, it was widely

quoted and praised and soon came to be recognized as one of the classic

utterances of all time, a masterpiece of prose poetry. On the day following the

ceremony. Everett himself wrote to Lincoln, “I wish that I could flatter myself

that I had come as near to the central idea of the occasion in two hours as you

did in two minutes.” Lincoln said,

                “Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a newnation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men arecreated equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that

nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met

on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that

field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that

nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

 

 

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not

hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have

consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will

little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what

they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the

unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It

is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that

from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they

gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these

dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new

birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the

people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Little Roundtop

Little Roundtop (Photo credit: Let Ideas Compete)

Arab-Israeli Wars:    In 1977, Egyptian PresidentMuḥammad Anwar el-Sādāt began his historic visit to Israel, during which heoffered a peace plan to its parliament, the Knesset.This initiated a series of diplomatic efforts that Sādāt continued despite

strong opposition from most of the Arab world and the Soviet Union.

Regards,Roger Mickelson
Source material includes Associated Press Internationaland Encyclopædia Britannica.
“There is one other reason for dressing well,namely that dogs respect it, and will not attack you in good

clothes.”          Ralph Waldo

Emerson

 

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