In 1766, Antonio de Ulloa arrived in New Orleans as the first Spanish Governor of Louisiana. Spain had received New Orleans and the Louisiana Territory west of the Mississippi in 1763 (Treaty of Paris). After a brief rebellion—which was sternly suppressed—the inhabitants of New Orleans enjoyed peace and a growing prosperity under Spanish law, while trade arose with the British colonies in spite of Spanish restrictions. At the same time, English-speaking colonists were moving west to settle along the tributaries of the Mississippi. In the decade of the American Revolution, these “Kaintucks,” as they were called, began floating their cargoes downriver to New Orleans; several times Spanish officials suspended the right of deposit of American goods at New Orleans in response to the boisterous conduct of American frontiersmen along the city’s upper levee.
Antonio de Ulloa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In 1770, British troops opened fire, killing Crispus Attucks and four others in the Boston Massacre, an event that galvanized anti-British feelings in the lead-up to the American Revolution. Attucks’s life prior to the day of his death is still shrouded in mystery. Although nothing is known definitively about his ancestry, his father is thought to be Prince Yonger, a slave who was brought to America, while his mother is thought to be Nancy Attucks, a Natick Indian. Toward evening that day, a crowd of colonists gathered and began taunting a small group of British soldiers. Tension mounted rapidly, and, when one of the soldiers was struck, the others fired their muskets, killing three of the Americans instantly and mortally wounding two others. Attucks was the first to fall, thus becoming one of the first men to lose his life in the cause of American independence.
An artist’s conception of Crispus Attucks (1723–1770), the first “martyr” of the American Revolution. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Napoleonic Wars: In 1798, Napoleon invaded Switzerland and occupied Bern, ending the ancient ruling system of that country, the Confederation of the Thirteen Cantons. Earlier the subjects in the Vaud and elsewhere had started to revolt against their urban lords, which thus revealed the impossibility of uniting the whole country against an often welcomed invader. Napoleon’s occupation effectively ended the ancient confederation of the 13 cantons and their allies. Under French protection the Helvetic Republic, which lasted from 1798 to 1803, was established.
18th Century Commemorative Medal: Napoleonic Wars – 2002N3 (3) (Photo credit: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery)
Indian Wars: In 1864, Kit Carson and a regiment of New Mexican volunteers defeated Navajo warriors at the Battle of Canyon de Chelley. The name Chelley is a Spanish corruption of tsegi, a Navajo word meaning “rock canyons.”
Canyon de Chelly Landscape (Photo credit: katsrcool (Kool Cats Photography))
World War III: In 1946, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill popularized the term “Iron Curtain”—describing the separation between Soviet and Western nations—in a speech at Fulton, Missouri, when he said of the communist states, “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.”
Winston Churchill “Iron Curtain” speech at Westminster College (MSA) (Photo credit: MissouriStateArchives)
World War III: In 1953, Soviet Premier Iosif Vissarionovich (Uncle Joe) Stalin died in Moscow and was succeeded by Georgy Malenkov. Increasingly suspicious and paranoid in his later years, Stalin ordered the arrest, announced in January 1953, of certain—mostly Jewish—Kremlin doctors on charges of medically murdering various Soviet leaders. The dictator was evidently preparing to make this “Doctors’ Plot” the pretext for yet another great terror menacing all his senior associates, but he died suddenly on March 5, according to the official report; so convenient was this death to his entourage that suspicions of foul play were voiced.
Joseph Stalin, seated outdoors at Berlin conference (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In 1970, the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty of July 1, 1968, signed by the United Kingdom, the United States, the Soviet Union, and 43 other states by March 1970, went into effect. The three major signatories, which possessed nuclear weapons, agreed not to assist other states in obtaining or producing them. Only three countries (India, Israel, and Pakistan) have refused to sign the treaty, and one country (North Korea) has signed and then withdrawn from the treaty. The treaty was extended indefinitely and without conditions in 1995 by a consensus vote of 174 countries at the United Nations.
Regards, Roger Mickelson
Source material includes Associated Press International and Encyclopædia Britannica.
“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”