Today in History

André-Jacques Garnerin was the first to design and test parachutes capable of slowing a man’s fall from a high altitude.

​The first parachute jump of note was made by André-Jacques Garnerin from a hydrogen balloon 3,200 feet above Paris.
Garnerin first conceived of the possibility of using air resistance to slow an individual’s fall from a high altitude while a prisoner during the French Revolution. Although he never employed a parachute to escape from the high ramparts of the Hungarian prison where he spent three years, Garnerin never lost interest in the concept of the parachute. In 1797, he completed his first parachute, a canopy 23 feet in diameter and attached to a basket with suspension lines.

On October 22, 1797, Garnerin attached the parachute to a hydrogen balloon and ascended to an altitude of 3,200 feet. He then clambered into the basket and severed the parachute from the balloon. As he failed to include an air vent at the top of the prototype, Garnerin oscillated wildly in his descent, but he landed shaken but unhurt half a mile from the balloon’s takeoff site. In 1799, Garnerin’s wife, Jeanne-Genevieve, became the first female parachutist. In 1802, Garnerin made a spectacular jump from 8,000 feet during an exhibition in England. He died in a balloon accident in 1823 while preparing to test a new parachute.

Credit: HISTORY

The Korean Tension

Japan was the great bully in Asia and by then was a world power as the United States is now

The bone of contention in the Korean peninsula is the impact of the war that happened more than 50 years ago. The painful memory of an invasion, the humiliation and the forced sepearation. The past is still fresh in the minds of the countries involved. 

Korea before it divided was once a colony of Japan. This was from 1910 to 1945. Earlier in 1905, the then-Korean Empire was declared a protectorate of Japan. And Japan was not gentle about the invasion as it looted, killed and maimed. 

In 1919, a Korean movement for independence was crushed. The leaders flee to China where they built an army and attacked again with the help of the Chinese Nationalist Government. At this time Japan was the great bully in Asia and by then was a world power as the United States is now. She was also at war with China who she had earlier invaded. 

It is not surprising the new romance Japan enjoys with the US who she shares a similar foreign policy with. Both were or are international bullies. As both contributed to the breakup of Korea. As for China, she still holds dear her old partnership with Korea and may never give up on his friend anytime soon

Today in History

1676 Indian chief King Philip, also known as Metacom, is killed by English soldiers, ending the war between Indians and colonists.
1862 Mistakenly believing the Confederate Army to be in retreat, Union General John Pope attacks, beginning the Battle of Groveton. Both sides sustain heavy casualties.
1914 Three German cruisers are sunk by ships of the Royal Navy in the Battle of Heligoland Bight, the first major naval battle of World War I.
1938 The first degree given to a ventriloquist’s dummy is awarded to Charlie McCarthy–Edgar Bergen’s wooden partner. The honorary degree, “Master of Innuendo and Snappy Comeback,” is presented on radio by Ralph Dennis, the dean of the School of Speech at Northwestern University.
1941 The German U-boat U-570 is captured by the British and renamed Graph
1944 German forces in Toulon and Marseilles, France, surrender to the Allies.
1945 Chinese communist leader Mao Tse-Tung arrives in Chunking to confer with Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-Shek in a futile effort to avert civil war.
1963 One of the largest demonstrations in the history of the United States, the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, takes place and reaches its climax at the base of the Lincoln Memorial when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his “I have a dream” speech.
1965 The Viet Cong are routed in the Mekong Delta by U.S. forces, with more than 50 killed.
1968 Clash between police and anti-war demonstrators during Democratic Party’s National Convention in Chicago.
1979 Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb explodes under bandstand in Brussels’ Great Market as British Army musicians prepare for a performance; four British soldiers wounded.
1981 John Hinckley Jr. pleads innocent to attempting to assassinate Pres. Ronald Reagan.
1982 First Gay Games held, in San Francisco.
1983 Israeli’s prime minister Menachem Begin announces his resignation.
1986 Bolivian president Victor Paz Estenssoro declares a state of siege and uses troops and tanks to halt a march by 10,000 striking tin miners.
1986 US Navy officer Jerry A. Whitworth given 365-year prison term for spying for USSR.
1993 Two hundred twenty-three die when a dam breaks at Qinghai (Kokonor), in northwest China.
2003 Power blackout affects half-million people in southeast England and halts 60% of London’s underground trains.
2005 Hurricane Katrina reaches Category 5 strength; Louisiana Superdome opened as a “refuge of last resort” in New Orleans.
2012 US Republican convention nominates Mitt Romney as the party’s presidential candidate.
Born on August 28
1749 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German poet, playwright and novelist, best known for Faust.
1774 Elizabeth Ann Seton, founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph and the first U.S.-born saint.
1828 Leo Tolstoy, Russian novelist (War and Peace, Anna Karenina).
1882 Belle Benchley, the first female zoo director in the world, who directed the Zoological Gardens of San Diego.
1896 Liam O’Flaherty, Irish novelist and short-story writer.
1903 Bruno Bettelheim, Austrian psychologist, educator of autistic and emotionally disturbed children.
1908 Roger Tory Peterson, author of the innovative bird book A Field Guide to Birds.
1925 Donald O’Connor, entertainer (Singin’ in the Rain, Anything Goes).
1939 Catherine “Cassie” Mackin, journalist; first woman to anchor an evening newscast alone on a regular basis (NBC’s Sunday Night News); NBC’s first woman floor reporter at a national political convention.
1943 Lou Pinelia, American League Rookie of the Year (1969); 14th-winningest manager of all time.
1948 Daniel Seraphine, drummer with the band Chicago.
1951 Wayne Osmond, singer, songwriter, TV actor (The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters).
1952 Rita Dove, poet; second African-American poet to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1987); first African-American Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (1993-95); Poet Laureate of Virginia (2004-06).
1965 Shania Twain (Eilleen Regina Edwards), five-time Grammy-winning singer (“You’re Still the One”); only female artist to have three consecutive Diamond albums (10 million units sold).
1971 Todd Eldredge, figure skater; Men’s World Champion (1996).
1982 Leann Rimes, Grammy-winning singer (“Blue”), actress, (Northern Lights).
1986 Gilad Shalit, Israeli Defense Forces corporal kidnapped by Hamas and held for five years before being exchanged for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners.
1999 Prince Nikolai of Denmark.