History For The Day (3/12/13) by Roger Michelson

In 1664, English King Charles II granted land in America to his brother, James, Duke of York. By chance, the land grant included New Amsterdam. When a British fleet sent by James (the future James II) appeared off Gravesend in August 1664, Dutch Mayor Peter Stuyvesant discovered that no one would fight for his colony. “Old Peg Leg” was forced to surrender on September 8 without even firing a shot. Interestingly, he chose to take an oath of allegiance to the English crown and lived out his life in the city.

In 1804, Samuel Chase became the first (and, so far, only) US Supreme Court justice to be impeached. During the struggle between the Federalist and Jeffersonian Republican parties, Chase, a Federalist, conducted his circuit court in a partisan manner. The House of Representatives, encouraged by Jefferson, charged Chase with improper actions in treason and sedition trials and with a political address to a grand jury. In March 1805 the Senate, acting as trial court, found him not guilty. His acquittal, by establishing the principle that federal judges could be removed only for indictable criminal acts, clarified the constitutional provision (Article III, section 1) that judges shall hold office during good behavior.


Second Sikh War:  In 1849, the Sikh army surrendered to the British, conceding to the annexation of the Punjab in northwestern India. The Second Sikh War began with the revolt of Mulrāj, governor of Multān, in April 1848 and became a national revolt when the Sikh army joined the rebels on September 14. Indecisive battles characterized by great ferocity and bad generalship were fought at Rāmnagar (November 22) and at Chiliānwāla (January 13, 1849) before the final British victory at Gujrāt (February 21).


American Civil War:    In 1864, General Ulysses S. Grant was promoted to general-in-chief of the Union armies by President Abraham Lincoln.

In the left of this picture U.S. Grant can be ...

In the left of this picture U.S. Grant can be seen firing a mountain howitzer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Abraham Lincoln.


       About his name. Grant had secured an appointment to the US Military Academy in 1839; he decided to reverse his given names and enroll at the academy as Ulysses Hiram (probably to avoid having the acronym HUG embroidered on his clothing); however, his congressional appointment was erroneously made in the name Ulysses S. Grant, the name he eventually accepted, maintaining that the middle initial stood for nothing. He came to be known as U.S. Grant—Uncle Sam Grant—and his classmates called him Sam.


In 1938, German forces crossed the border to invade and occupy Austria, merging Austria and Germany in the Anschluss. In February 1938, Hitler had invited the Austrian chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg to Germany and forced him to agree to give the Austrian Nazis virtually a free hand. Schuschnigg later repudiated the agreement and announced a plebiscite on the Anschluss question. He was bullied into canceling the plebiscite, and he obediently resigned, ordering the Austrian Army not to resist the Germans.


Russo-Finnish War:    In 1940, Finland agreed to Soviet peace terms, including the cession of western Karelia and the construction of a Soviet naval base on the Hanko Peninsula, to end the war.


In 1947, President Harry S. Truman articulated what became known as the Truman Doctrine when he asked Congress to appropriate aid for Greece and Turkey, both of which were facing communist threats.


In 1999, Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic became members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) shortly before the group’s 50th anniversary.


In 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a worldwide health alert, one of the first in a decade, regarding an illness it later called severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) that struck hundreds of people in China, Hong Kong, and Vietnam.

Regards, Roger Mickelson “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.”


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