As man edged to exploring space, the decision to make the journey together, as humankind instead of single nations, seems a wise and rational one. The treaty is a means of saying that this journey should be of benefit to all, that we could and should work together to achieve this goal. Nations could come together in a co-operative spirit and exploring space should be devoid of any military agendas. Along with more conditions, the treaty bans the testing or arming of nuclear weapons or weapons of mass destruction in earths orbit, the moon or any other celestial bodies...So far, 102 countries have signed and ratified the treaty. Once we've finished raping the earth and destroying ourselves, we might as well try to get along in space. Good luck with that.
Eugenics is the social philosophy that by isolating ‘good genes’, human beings could be improved. Policies first began in the United States in the 1900s, and were implemented to different degrees in countries across Europe. Hitler believed that Nazi Germany would only become strong again by employing tactics of racial hygiene and the elimination of anyone deemed to have weak genetic traits. The quest for the "Ubermensch" and propagation of the Aryan race was a priority of Nazi Germany. Over 400,000 people were forcibly sterilised and a further 275,000 under their “euthanasia” program. The methods used and lengths gone to cover their activities were surreal in their range.
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The Voyager probes were devised as part of the Planetary Grand Tour, a mission to learn more about the outer planets. The probes would use the gravity of Jupiter as a planet-sized slingshot to extend their reach to the further planets and eventually interstellar space. If they ever happen to encounter intelligent life, each Voyager space is carrying a time-capsule in the shape of an audio-visual disc. On the disc are photographs of life on Earth, spoken greetings and music by Mozart, Blind Willie Johnson and Chuck Berry.
Read more about the Voyager missions.
Also known as the Baker Massacre, after the man leading the soldiers (Col. Eugene Baker), this was an exercise in cruelty. After the murder of a white rancher, to which the tribe had no connection to, the soldiers had surrounded the camp while the men of the village were away hunting for food. It was common for the Army to use scouts to help identify different Indian markings and whether they belonged to rebellious or peaceful tribes. Deciding this mattered not, Baker ordered the soldiers shoot, kill and burn alive the villagers. He left approximately 140 prisoners to freeze in the dead of winter after he discovered they had smallpox. Neither Baker nor his men faced any disciplinary charges for their actions.
For more about this cowardly act, click here.
The uprising against the conscription of men into the Imperial Russian Army began on the evening of this day, when a group of young Poles began a protest. They were joined in the protest that turned into a revolution by Lithuanian, Belarusian/Litvin and Ukrainian insurgents. There was public support of the revolution across Europe, but other countries did not want to engage in a new war. The revolutionaries were outnumbered 10 to 1 and lost in every one of the 860 battles they fought. After a crushing defeat in 1864, Russia took over. Poland was split into ten zones and all Polish government officials were replaced by Russian ones. They changed the official language to Russian and removed any Polish self-governance. However, the Poles rose again with a new revolution in 1905.
Read about the Revolution.
“If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour... you're gonna see some serious shit.”
Ah, the DeLorean...it was ill-fated from the beginning. Concept changes, engineering problems and budget problems caused headaches for the company owner John DeLorean and pretty much all the production team. A number of DeLorean models came out between 1981 and 1983, with close to 9000 cars being made. As far as I’m aware, none of the models have a Flux Capicator installed, but there may well be some wily-haired professor out there working on it.
The White House was built between 1792-1800 by black men and women, who were mostly slaves. Long before then, their right to be treated as equals was unseen. To this day, many believe there is institutional racism in America still. Not many during the height of the civil rights movement of 1960’s America could have imagined or believed that there would be a change in attitudes, especially for positions of prominence. The symbolic effect of Obama’s election is enormous and having a black president is a strike against over 400 years of slavery, segregation and backward thinking.
Read more about Barrack Obama.
Created by a pair of programming brothers in Pakistan, the virus known as 'Brain' or 'cBrain', is considered to be the first computer virus for MS-DOS. It was intended as a protection to limit the piracy of the software they worked on and not created for harm. Viruses today are usually created for malicious purposes and can have an enormous security impact on both business and consumers.
Over 162,000 prisoners were sent from England to Australia between 1788 and 1850. The first 11 of 806 ships to carry these men was called the First Fleet. Most of the people on board were British, but there were also some French, American and African. These people are now regarded as the founders of Australia. Aboriginals had inhabited the country for 10,000 years before Europeans arrived.
Read more about the First Fleet here.
The largest collection of nations since WW2, 34 in total, assembled to respond to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. An aggressive US lead propaganda campaign alongside threats of economic aid and promises of debt forgiveness were used to persuade many of the coalition forces to join. The war also earned the nickname the Video Game War because of the amount of footage broadcast showing aerial bombardment and frontline action. Completely dominated, the Iraqi soldiers had no option but to retreat. In a final act of defiance, they employed the scorched earth policy; a military strategy in which anything that could be used by enemy soldiers is destroyed. The burning oils fields of Kuwait remains one of the enduring images of the war.
Find out more about the Gulf War.
After the end of the Great War in 1918, the world was horrified by the amount of blood, slaughter and inhumanity that had taken place over the previous four years. The League of Nations was formed as a response, with it's primary mission to help avert any future world wars. Switzerland was chosen as the base of operations, because of its neutrality during WW1. The League lasted 26 years and at it's height had 58 member nations. It dissolved in 1946, after failing in it's primary goal.
During a recent trip to Boston, I went on a tour where I learned about this disaster. A combination of a rapidly rising temperature, a poorly tested storage tank and almost 2.5 million US gallons (8,706,447 litres) gave way to a disaster story that sounds almost implausible...When the molasses (black treacle) tank exploded a viscous wave ran through the streets with enough force to damage the nearby railway bridges. Rescue efforts and clean up were hampered by the sticky syrup. Some of the unfortunates were so glazed over with the molasses, they were difficult to identify.
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The Casablanca Conference was a series of meetings and negotiations between Allied powers to decide the next phase of the war. Although unified in their statement, behind the scenes, Great Britain was not completely in favour of the "unconditional surrender" approach. There is evidence that some high ranking Nazi government officials wanted to eliminate Hitler and so broker a peace settlement with the Allies.
Learn more here.
The Man in Black had been interested in playing a prison concert for years. After his hit in 1955, Folsom Prison Blues, prisoners had been writing to him asking if he would play in their prison. One of the appeals of Cash was ability to relate to the struggles of the everyman. Understanding himself to be a man of many contradictions, deeply religious yet also an anti-authoritarian figure, Cash lived up to his image as a "lens through which to view American contradictions and challenges."
Read more about the Man in Black.
It was the first major U.S combat operation of the Vietnam War. After the trialing of the use of helicopters in the Korean War, they had a huge role to play in the Vietnam War. Helicopters became the modern day equivalent of the Cavalry.
Learn about the use of helicopters in the Vietnam War here.
After installing successful British colonies in Canada, it was felt that the Empire should extend its influence in the African continent. To my mind, Sir Henry Bartle Frere instigation of war with the Zulu’s seems an act of ego. After discovering diamonds, delivering uncompromising demands and under the pretext of safe-guarding surrounding nations, Frere invaded Zululand. Several extremely bloody battles were fought before the invasions defeated the Zulu nation and it lost it’s independence.
Learn more here.
After it's premiere, it was greeted with both praise and ridicule. Metropolis is a seminal piece of film-making. Such is it's regarded importance, the film was inscribed in the Memory of the World Program in 2001. The program is an archive designed to preserve any documents and artistic endeavours that are deemed to have universal value.
For more information about this movie, click here.
The victim of a most heinous crime, Elizabeth Short’s murder has remained unsolved. The grisly fashion in which she was murdered and mutilated and then presented by the killer added to the shock value of the crime. Eager to discover details about the girl's personal life, reporters of the story used disgusting tactics by calling Elizabeth's mother claiming she had won a beauty contest. Her story has lived on and was the basis for a number of books and film adaptations.
Read more about her story here.
On this day, Crazy Horse, one of the greatest Native American Indian warriors, led his men in a final desperate battle against U.S Cavalry. Seriously outnumbered and outgunned, he and his warriors bought the women and children of the tribe enough time to escape the attack, using cover from a winter snow blizzard. Realising that his followers would be hunted down and mercilessly killed, Crazy Horse led his tribe to the Red Cloud Indian Reservation a month later to peacefully surrender.
Learn more about this great warrior here.