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20 August 1945

20 Aug

To the officers and men of the First Marine Division:
The President of the United States, our Commander-in-Chief, has just announced the final and complete surrender of the Japanese people, government and armed forces. The war is officially ended. This is an hour of triumph, of pride in the great accomplishments of our arms, and joy that the bloody war which has taken so many of our comrades can claim no more.
You of the First Marine Division may well know an especial triumph, feel a particular pride for yours was the force which first turned the tide against the Japanese. Many units have fought the Japanese in the past year, but it has been over three years since this Division struck the first offensive blow of the war on land, when it landed in the lower Solomon Islands. That historic campaign, fought under the greatest hardships, attracted the attention of the whole world- and the name Guadalcanal came to be synonymous with Marine heroism, perserverance and military achievement.
You have many memories. You have left your dead at Tenaru and Wana Draw and Bloody Nose Ridge and Target Hill, Matanikau and Dakeshi. You have fought through dense jungles, mighty swamps, and coral ridges honeycombed with caves. You have endured much- extreme heat, thirst, hunger, ceaseless exposure to wind and rain. You have borne the pain of long seperation from home and family. Your life has been so Spartan, that ordinary comforts have become as luxuries.
And now it is over. The enemy is vanquished, the field is won. And now, to you who have borne the flag of your country and standard of your corps from Lungs Ridge to Shuri Castle, WELL DONE, and may God bless you.
D. Peck
Major General, U.S. Marine Corps

Guy Fawkes Day

5 Nov

The Fifth of November

Remember, remember!
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!
Guy Fawkes and his companions
Did the scheme contrive,
To blow the King and Parliament
All up alive.
Threescore barrels, laid below,
To prove old England’s overthrow.
But, by God’s providence, him they catch,
With a dark lantern, lighting a match!
A stick and a stake
For King James’s sake!
If you won’t give me one,
I’ll take two,
The better for me,
And the worse for you.
A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope,
A penn’orth of cheese to choke him,
A pint of beer to wash it down,
And a jolly good fire to burn him.
Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring!
Holloa, boys! holloa boys! God save the King!
Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray!


We Will Never forget.

11 Sep

Karen Simon. Rise Above,
September 18, 2001.

Alex Spektor,
The Sun, 2002.

Fynnegan Sloyan, WTC Outline

Brian Niemann,
“In Memory” 9/11/01, 2002.

The Progression of Cities Around The World

27 Aug

Flag Day

14 Jun

“I am what you make me; nothing more. I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself.”

In the United States, Flag Dayis celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened that day by resolution of the Second Continental Congress in 1777. The June 14 date is also when Congress adopted “the American continental army” after reaching a consensus position in The Committee of the Whole.

The Fourth of July was traditionally celebrated as America’s birthday, but the idea of an annual day specifically celebrating the Flag is believed to have first originated in 1885. BJ Cigrand, a schoolteacher, arranged for the pupils in the Fredonia, Wisconsin Public School, District 6, to observe June 14 (the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes) as ‘Flag Birthday’. In numerous magazines and newspaper articles and public addresses over the following years, Cigrand continued to enthusiastically advocate the observance of June 14 as ‘Flag Birthday’, or ‘Flag Day’.

On June 14, 1889, George Balch, a kindergarten teacher in New York City, planned appropriate ceremonies for the children of his school, and his idea of observing Flag Day was later adopted by the State Board of Education of New York. On June 14, 1891, the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia held a Flag Day celebration, and on June 14 of the following year, the New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution, celebrated Flag Day.

Following the suggestion of Colonel J Granville Leach (at the time historian of the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution), the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames of America on April 25, 1893 adopted a resolution requesting the mayor of Philadelphia and all others in authority and all private citizens to display the Flag on June 14th. Leach went on to recommend that thereafter the day be known as ‘Flag Day’, and on that day, school children be assembled for appropriate exercises, with each child being given a small Flag.

Two weeks later on May 8th, the Board of Managers of the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution unanimously endorsed the action of the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames. As a result of the resolution, Dr. Edward Brooks, then Superintendent of Public Schools of Philadelphia, directed that Flag Day exercises be held on June 14, 1893 in Independence Square. School children were assembled, each carrying a small Flag, and patriotic songs were sung and addresses delivered.

In 1894, the governor of New York directed that on June 14 the Flag be displayed on all public buildings. With BJ Cigrand and Leroy Van Horn as the moving spirits, the Illinois organization, known as the American Flag Day Association, was organized for the purpose of promoting the holding of Flag Day exercises. On June 14th, 1894, under the auspices of this association, the first general public school children’s celebration of Flag Day in Chicago was held in Douglas, Garfield, Humboldt, Lincoln, and Washington Parks, with more than 300,000 children participating.

Adults, too, participated in patriotic programs. Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior, delivered a 1914 Flag Day address in which he repeated words he said the flag had spoken to him that morning: “I am what you make me; nothing more. I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself.”

Inspired by these three decades of state and local celebrations, Flag Day – the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 – was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson’s proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.

50th Anniversary of JFK’s Inaugural Address

20 Jan

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty. This much we pledge – and more.”

The John F. Kennedy inaugural address was 50 years ago to the day – on Jan. 20, 1961. Kennedy took the oath of office and called for a fresh start with a reminder that “civility is not a sign of weakness.” It is an iconic American speech filled with some of the most quoted lines from any Presidential address. The speech was drafted by Kennedy’s speech writer Ted Sorenson, and draws heavily from Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. Historians generally rank it as one of the four best US presidential inaugural speeches of all time. Former New York Times columnist and speechwriter for President Nixon, William Safire, included it in a volume he compiled of the greatest speeches delivered in history, writing that it “set the standard by which presidential inaugurals have been judged in the modern era.”  Listen carefully and Enjoy!

“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”

Samuel Whittemore

9 Jan

For over five decades, Samuel Whittemore had served as an officer in the British Army.  He relentlessly fought for the crown during King George’s War and the French and Indian War. How he received the honor of state hero of Massachusetts is quite amazing. Whittemore was an 80 year old farmer in Menotomy, which is known today as Arlington, when he became the oldest known colonial combatant in the American Revolutionary War. On April 19, 1775, British forces were returning to Boston from the Battles of Lexington and Concord, both are considered the opening engagements of the American Revolutionary War. On their march, they were continually shot at by colonial militiamen. Whittemore was on his farm working the fields when he spotted an approaching British relief brigade. The brigade serving under Earl Percy was sent to assist the retreat. Whittemore quickly loaded his musket and ambushed the British from behind a nearby stone wall, killing one soldier. He then drew his dueling pistols and killed a grenadier and mortally wounded a second. He managed to fire five shots before a British detachment reached his position. Whittemore then attacked with a sword. He was shot in the face, bayoneted thirteen times, and left for dead in a pool of blood. He was found alive, trying to load his musket to fight again. He was taken to Dr. Cotton Tufts of Medford, who perceived no hope for his survival. However, Whittemore lived another 18 years until dying of natural causes at the age of 98. In 2005, Samuel Whittemore was proclaimed as the official state hero of Massachusetts. 

34th America’s Cup: San Francisco

3 Jan

After winning the 33rd America’s Cup in Valencia, Spain by defeating the Société Nautique de Genève, the Golden Gate Yacht Club had the honor of choosing the locale for the 34th America’s Cup. The host site for the 34th will be San Francisco, California, and take place in either 2013 or 2014, depending on city preparation and event construction. The Golden Gate Yacht Club will now assume the role of Defender, with Club Nautico di Roma assuming the role of Challenger. Both are vying for the opportunity to take home the “oldest active trophy in international sport, ” often referred to as “The Cup.”

Chairman of America’s Cup Event Authority, Richard Worth, stated that  “We sought a venue that fulfills our promise — to showcase the best sailors in the world competing on the fastest boats, and hosting the America’s Cup in San Francisco will realize that promise.”

San Francisco’s Mayor Gavin Newsom said, “We are very honored to lead a national effort to host the 34th America’s Cup. Larry Ellison has a transformative vision for hosting the Cup on San Francisco Bay, and we are prepared to leverage the nation’s support to make this a coast-to-coast campaign and to realize that vision.”

It is estimated that hosting sailing’s most prestigious event will pump more than $1 billion into the local economy and add up to 8,000 jobs to the region. A race schedule has yet to be finalized, but preliminary races could begin as early as this year, extending through 2012 and leading to a final in 2013. An official celebration of San Francisco’s selection as host city has been scheduled for Jan. 5, with the time and place to be announced. The following video is a little teaser for put out by the America’s Cup. Enjoy!

Learn more about and keep up to date with…the America’s Cup: Golden Gate Yacht Club: Club Nautico di Roma:

December 7, 1941, a Date Which will Live in Infamy

7 Dec

Early in the afternoon of December 7, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his chief foreign policy aide, Harry Hopkins, were interrupted by a telephone call from Secretary of War Henry Stimson and told that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor. At about 5:00 p.m., following meetings with his military advisers, the President calmly and decisively dictated to his secretary, Grace Tully, a request to Congress for a declaration of war. He had composed the speech in his head after deciding on a brief, uncomplicated appeal to the people of the United States rather than a thorough recitation of Japanese perfidies, as Secretary of State Cordell Hull had urged.

President Roosevelt then revised the typed draft—marking it up, updating military information, and selecting alternative wordings that strengthened the tone of the speech. He made the most significant change in the critical first line, which originally read, “a date which will live in world history.” Grace Tully then prepared the final reading copy, which Roosevelt subsequently altered in three more places.

On December 8, at 12:30 p.m., Roosevelt addressed a joint session of Congress and the Nation via radio. The Senate responded with a unanimous vote in support of war; only Montana pacifist Jeanette Rankin dissented in the House. At 4:00 p.m. that same afternoon, President Roosevelt signed the declaration of war.

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