Archive | US RSS for this section

On this day March 21, 1937

18 people and a 7-yr-old girl in Ponce, Puerto Rico are gunned down by a police squad acting under orders of US-appointed PR Governor, Blanton C. Winship.

blanton_winship

Blanton Winship

The Ponce Massacre is a violent chapter in the history of Puerto Rico. On March 21, 1937 (Palm Sunday) a march was organized in the southern city of Ponce, Puerto Rico by the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party.

The march, organized to commemorate the end of Slavery in 1873, was also formed to protest the incarceration of nationalist leader Pedro Albizu Campos, as well as to demand Puerto Rico’s independence from the United States.

Days before, the march organizers applied for and received permits for a peaceful protest with the municipality of Ponce, under Jose Tormos Diego. Read More…

Advertisements

On this day March 19, 2003

President George W. Bush addresses the nation from the Oval Office to announce the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder.”

The Senate committee found that many of the administration’s pre-war statements about Iraqi WMD were not supported by the underlying intelligence.

Approximately 148,000 soldiers from the United States, 45,000 British soldiers, 2,000 Australian soldiers and 194 Polish soldiers from the special forces unit GROM were sent to Kuwait for the invasion. The invasion force was also supported by Iraqi Kurdish militia troops, estimated to number upwards of 70,000.

On this day September 28, 1973

ITT’s headquarters in New York City, New York, was bombed by protesters for alleged involvement in the overthrow of the democratically elected and emerging socialist government in Chile.

In 1970 ITT owned of 70% of Chitelco, the Chilean Telephone Company, and funded El Mercurio, a Chilean right-wing newspaper. Declassified documents released by the CIA in 2000 suggest that ITT financially helped opponents of Salvador Allende’s government prepare a military coup.

After Allende received 36.3% of popular vote in a three way tie and was chosen by the Chilean congress as president, Edwards proceeded to consult the U.S. ambassador to Chile and asked if the U.S. would “do anything militarily, directly or indirectly?”(Kinzer 170). Read More…

On this day September 27, 1908

1910 Ford T

1910 Ford T

The first production Model T was completed at Ford’s Piquette Avenue plant in Detroit.

Henry Ford wanted a car that the average American could afford. The Model T initially sold for $850. The price continued to drop as Ford’s assembly line technology improved production efficiency. According to Willis F. Dunbar and George S. May’s third revised edition of Michigan: A History of the Wolverine State, a Model T touring car cost only $360 by 1916.

The Model T also proved remarkably easy to maintain. Dunbar and May note, for example, that it “was so easy to repair that almost anyone could fix something … with a pair of pliers and a screwdriver.” Gasoline seldom proved an onerous expense, either. On page 45 of The Ford Century author Russ Bahnam notes that the Model T averaged twenty-five miles per gallon – with a gallon of gas typically costing only twenty cents.

The Ford Motor Company produced over 15 million Model Ts between 1908 and 1927. According to The Henry Ford of Dearborn, Mich., the Volkswagen Beetle is the only model with a greater production record!

The Henry Ford’s special Model T Web site

On this day July 30, 1965

U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Social Security Act into law, establishing Medicare and Medicaid to provide federal health insurance for the elderly and for low income families, respectively.

Lyndon_Johnson_signing_Medicare

Johnson signing Medicare

The fight for national health insurance began in the early 1900s and greatly caught the public’s attention during Truman’s presidency.

Between 1958 and 1964 controversy grew and the bill was drafted. The signing of the act, as part of LBJ’s Great Society, heralded in an era with a greater emphasis on public health issues. Read More…

On this day July 29, 1958

U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act into law, establishing a new federal non-military space agency known as NASA.NASA_logo

The Act, which followed close on the heels of the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik, was drafted by the United States House Select Committee on Astronautics and Space Exploration.

Prior to enactment, the responsibility for space exploration was deemed primarily a military venture, in line with the Soviet model that had launched the first orbital satellite. In large measure, the Act was prompted by the lack of response to that military infrastructure that seemed incapable of keeping up the space race. Read More…

On this day July 26, 1953

Arizona Governor John Howard Pyle orders an anti-polygamy law enforcement crackdown on residents of Short Creek, Arizona, which becomes known as the Short Creek Raid.

Schoolhouse of 1953 Short Creek Raid

Schoolhouse of 1953 Short Creek Raid

The Short Creek raid was the largest mass arrest of polygamists in American history. At the time, it was described as “the largest mass arrest of men and women in modern American history.”

Just before dawn on July 26, 1953, 102 Arizona state police officers and soldiers from the Arizona National Guard entered Short Creek. The community—which was composed of approximately 400 Mormon fundamentalists—had been tipped off about the planned raid and were found singing hymns in the schoolhouse while the children played outside. Read More…