Roger Mickelson’s History Today 4.28.14

In 1789, Master Mate Fletcher Christian led a mutiny aboard the HMS Bounty, setting Captain William Bligh and 18 sailors adrift in a small launch in the Pacific Ocean. A tragic stop at a nearby volcanic island, Tofua, where one of them was killed by natives, resolved Bligh to sail directly for Timor, 3,600 miles away. It was a voyage of extreme hardship, brilliant navigation, and mutual hatred, as the launch party blamed one another for the mutiny and their plight. Bligh and his men reached Timor on June 14, 1789. Continuing to Batavia (Jakarta) on the island of Java, they found transportation to England, finally arriving there in March 1790. The Bounty, meanwhile, returned to Tahiti and left several mutineers there. Christian and eight others then sailed to Pitcairn Island, where the small colony they founded went undiscovered until 1808 and where their descendants still reside.


English: Grave of William Bligh, Lambeth, Lond...

English: Grave of William Bligh, Lambeth, London William Bligh was Captain of HMS Bounty, at the time of the famous mutiny. He is buried in the churchyard of what was formerly St Mary-at-Lambeth parish church. The church and churchyard are now home to the Garden Museum. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1817, the United States and Britain signed the Rush-Bagot Agreement that provided for the limitation of naval forces on the Great Lakes in the wake of the War of 1812. Each country was allowed no more than one vessel on Lake Champlain, one on Lake Ontario, and two on the upper lakes. Each vessel was restricted to a maximum weight of 100 tons and one 18-pound cannon. The agreement was ratified unanimously by the Senate in 1818. With some modifications, it has remained in force to the present day and has formed the basis of peaceful border relations between the United States and Canada.
The Rush-Bagot Agreement

The Rush-Bagot Agreement (Photo credit:


In 1881, William Bonney (Billy the Kid) killed two deputies and escaped from jail. As a child, Billy the Kid went under the name of Henry McCarty. Scholarly opinion is divided over whether that or William H. Bonney, Jr. (the name he used later, as in the trial), was his true name. Another hypothesis is that Billy the Kid was in fact Ollie L. “Brushy Bill” Roberts, who escaped, lived in Mexico and the US Southwest, rode in Wild West shows, and died in 1950 in Hico, Texas.


A grave marker indicating that the deceased wa...

A grave marker indicating that the deceased was killed by Billy the Kid (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

World War II:    In 1945, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Claretta Petacci, were executed by Italian partisans as they attempted to flee the country. Their bodies were hung, head downward, in the Piazza Loreto in Milan. Huge jubilant crowds celebrated the fall of the dictator and the end of the war in Italy.
In 1952, the Allied occupation of Japan came to an end after seven years of rapid social and economic change following the country’s surrender in World War II.


Map of Japan under Allied occupation.

Map of Japan under Allied occupation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

World War III:    In 1952, General of the Army Dwight David Eisenhower resigned as Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (SACEUR); General Matthew B. Ridgway replaced him in that NATO position.


Dwight D. Eisenhower

Cover of Dwight D. Eisenhower

Regards, Roger Mickelson
Source material includes Associated Press International and Encyclopædia Britannica.
“Sometimes I’ll look at my watch three times in rapid succession and still not know what time it is.”


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