Day By Day

Friday, September 18, 2009

This Day In History

Today is National Cheeseburger Day. Time for a trip to "Five Guys" or at least "Wendy's". More seriously, today is POW/MIA Recognition Day, so take some time to remember those who have suffered terribly in our nation's service.

On this day in 1759 the French surrender Quebec to the British. We discussed this before so that's all I have to say on the subject.

And on this day in 1812 Moscow was still burning.

On this day in 1818 Chile declares its independence from Spain. This is for Leonora -- "Happy Independence Day".

On this day in 1850, as part of several acts collectively known as the "Compromise of 1850", Congress passed the "Fugitive Slave Act". Although these acts managed to forestall the threat of secession and preserved the Union for a while, they contained elements, like the Fugitive Slave Act, that would act as a constant irritant and would contribute to creating the crisis that eventually brought on the Civil War. The Fugitive Slave Act was of particular importance because it required Federal officials to assist slave catchers and authorized them to raise posses of local citizens to apprehend escaped slaves. This led to numerous confrontations between federal agents and the authorities of anti-slavery states. One of the most notable such confrontations, the Christiana Riot took place near Lancaster, PA. It's a fascinating story -- check it out.

On this day in 1851 the New York Times began publishing. At one time it was a pretty good, maybe even a great, paper, but those days are now a fading memory. The Times' prominence was almost entirely due to location, location, location. Being the dominant paper in New York meant it had the largest daily readership of any daily paper in the country and its stories were distributed nationally by wire services. Then, through most of the twentieth century it was the home town paper of the people who ran the broadcasting industry and its stories have therefore set the agenda for radio and TV news organizations.

And on this day in 1895 Booker T. Washington delivered his famous "Atlanta Compromise" speech [read it here]. In it he laid out a conservative approach to race relations in America that stood in contrast to the radical "progressive" vision of W. E. B. DuBois. Washington argued that Blacks should work hard, take care of their families, act in a respectable and respectful manner, be good citizens, and gradually over time win acceptance by the white majority. DuBois instead argued that Blacks should stand together to challenge the White power structure and win through confrontation positions of power and influence for the "Talented Tenth" [the educated elite] of the Afro-American population -- positions that they could then use to promote the welfare of their less talented brothers. Tension between these two alternate positions has long dominated thinking on civil rights in America. What is fascinating is the extent to which President Obama represents a synthesis of both visions.

On that very same day Daniel David Palmer -- beekeeper, school teacher, dry-goods merchant, and "magnetic healer" -- performed the first chiropractic adjustment, giving birth to a thriving field of alternative medical practice.

On this day in 1925 Pirate pitcher, Harvey "Twelve Inning Perfect Game" Haddix was born. Bob Prince used to call him "the Kitten". Not sure how he felt about that.

And on this day CBS, another once-prominent but now disreputable news source, began broadcasting.

And on this day in 1928 the Cards beat the Phillies 8-5. It was the twentieth time that season that they had conquered the Phils. Consider that, losing twenty times in the same season to the same team! Wow!