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Brigham Young chosen to lead Mormon Church

June 20, 2019 in History

By History.com Editors

After Joseph Smith, the founder and prophet of Mormonism, and his brother, Hyrum, were murdered by an angry mob in an Illinois prison six weeks earlier, Elder Brigham Young is chosen to be the Mormon Church’s next leader.

The decision, made in Nauvoo, Ill. on the Mississippi River, was not without conflict. Sidney Rigdon, then 53, Smith’s first counselor in the First Presidency and a long-time Mormon leader who had been with the church almost since its origins, wanted the role.

Pleading his case to the gathering of saints, which numbered 6,000 by some accounts, his stance was made without consulting the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, one of the governing bodies of the church, who were still traveling from across the nation to gather at Nauvoo. As the lone survivor of the First Presidency, Rigdon submitted, he was the rightful leader to succeed Smith.

As Rigdon, a highly regarded orator and preacher, prepared to call for a vote, Young, then 43, a former carpenter from Vermont turned president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, dismissed Rigdon’s claim to the leadership. Young argued the quorum’s power and authority equaled that of the First Presidency, and one of its members should lead the church.

Young’s speech, in which, by some accounts, he “transfigured” into Smith, sounding and looking just like the slain prophet, won him the vote. Facing repeated conflict, he soon relocated his group of Latter-day Saints to Utah, arriving in Salt Lake City on July 24, 1847, and was officially ordained the second president of the Mormon Church in December 1847.

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Source: HISTORY

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Yoga Landed in the U.S. Way Earlier Than You'd Think—And Fitness Was Not the Point

June 20, 2019 in History

By Philip Deslippe

Over a century ago, a Hindu monk named Swami Vivekananda spoke about yoga to a crowd in Chicago. In the decades since, it has gone from unknown to mainstream.

Every year on June 21, millions of flexible people in an estimated 84 countries around the world observe the International Day of Yoga. Large crowds move through postures together in San Francisco’s Marina Green park and on New Delhi’s Rajpath boulevard to mark the occasion, which was first proposed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014.

While yoga has become a mainstream path to wellness among everyday Americans and celebrities alike, the practice was once unheard of in the West., Vivekananda “marks a turning point in how Indian religiosity was understood outside of India.”

Vivekananda inspired and provided a model for several other South Asian teachers to follow his example and come to the United States over the next few decades. Among them was Yogananda, the founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship and author of Autobiography of a Yogi.

Hatha Yoga Revival Arrives in U.S.

It was during the 1920s and 1930s when yoga obtained a higher profile in America, not by Indian teachers who came to the United States, but largely by Indian immigrants. These individuals were already in the country and then lost their citizenship and rights through a series of court cases and federal legislation.

Dozens of these former students, professionals and political activists remade themselves into mystic authorities. They travelled the country, and made a living by giving public lectures, private classes, and often personal services. The American writer Charles Ferguson wryly described them in 1938 as traveling salesmen, telling readers that “every winter we can find advertisements of the appearances of Yogis in the cities of the East and during the spring and summer they work the back places.”

By the end of the 1930s, the revival of hatha yoga in India had made its way to the United States. Previous ideas of yoga as mental and magical started to wane, and the yoga familiar to contemporary practitioners with its postures and physical exercises began to take hold. Health and bodybuilding magazines began to tout yoga and yoga teachers began to add asanas to their classes.

A yoga class in Big Sur, California, 1959.

Hippie and New Age Movements Popularize Yoga

Starting in the early-1960s, several Americans such as Richard Hittleman and Lilias Folan used television to present approachable and practical …read more

Source: HISTORY

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Hitler oversees Berlin Olympics opening ceremony

June 20, 2019 in History

By History.com Editors

As more than 5,000 athletes from 51 countries march into a stadium packed with 100,000 onlookers, Adolf Hitler makes his only public statement of the Berlin Olympics at its opening ceremony on this day in 1936: “I proclaim the Games of Berlin, celebrating the eleventh Olympiad of the modern era, to be open.”

Before his declaration, the dictator entered Olympic Stadium to the German national anthem, “Deutschland Uber Alles,” the Nazi anthem, “Horst Wessel Lied,” as well as salutes of “Sieg Heil.” As the athletes made their traditional alphabetical march into the stadium dressed in each nation’s regalia, some countries, including Austria and France, gave the Nazi salute as they passed by the Führer.

Following Hitler’s remarks, German composer Richard Strauss’ “Olympics Hymn” was performed, leading up to the ceremonial arrival of the Olympic torch. This was the first time the torch had been carried as part of a relay, starting in Olympia Greece and handled by more than 3,000 runners over its 12-day path to Berlin. The torch, incidentally, was made by German steel company Krupp, which also made Nazi weapons.

Berlin won the bid for the Summer Games in 1931, two years before the Nazi Party took power. Nations including the United States, Great Britain, Sweden and Czechoslovakia threatened—but eventually chose not to—boycott the event because of Germany’s increasingly racist actions. In response, the Nazis used propaganda and removed anti-Semitic signage to promote a so-called “tolerant” Germany during the Games.

In the end, 18 African Americans competed for the United States, winning 14 of 56 U.S. medals, including four gold medals for track and field phenom Jesse Owens.

READ MORE: 10 Things You May Not Know About Jesse Owens

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Source: HISTORY

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Mail bomb injures Yale professor

June 20, 2019 in History

By History.com Editors

On June 24, 1993, Yale University computer science professor David Gelernter is seriously injured while opening his mail when a padded envelope explodes in his hands. The attack just came two days after a University of California geneticist was injured by a similar bomb and was the latest in a string of bombings since 1978 that authorities believed to be related.

In the aftermath of the attack on Gelernter, various federal departments established the UNABOM Task Force, which launched an intensive search for the so-called “Unabomber.” The bombings, along with 14 others since 1978 that killed 3 people and injured 23 others, were eventually linked to Theodore John Kaczynski, a former mathematician from Chicago. Kaczynski won a scholarship to study mathematics at Harvard University at age 16. After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, he became a professor at the University of California at Berkeley. Although celebrated as a brilliant mathematician, he suffered from persistent social and emotional problems, and in 1969 abruptly ended his promising career. Disillusioned with the world around him, he tried to buy land in the Canadian wilderness but in 1971 settled for a 1.4-acre plot near his brother’s home in Montana.

For the next 25 years, Kaczynski lived as a hermit, occasionally working odd jobs and traveling but mostly living off his land. He developed a philosophy of radical environmentalism and militant opposition to modern technology, and tried to get academic essays on the subjects published. It was the rejection of one of his papers by two Chicago-area universities in 1978 that may have prompted him to manufacture and deliver his first mail bomb.

The package was addressed to the University of Illinois from Northwestern University, but was returned to Northwestern, where a security guard was seriously wounded while opening the suspicious package. In 1979, Kaczynski struck again at Northwestern, injuring a student at the Technological Institute. Later that year, his third bomb exploded on an American Airlines flight, causing injuries from smoke inhalation. In 1980, a bomb mailed to the home of Percy Wood, the president of United Airlines, injured Wood when he tried to open it. As Kaczynski seemed to be targeting universities and airlines, federal investigators began calling their suspect the Unabomber, an acronym of sorts for university, airline and bomber.

From 1981 to 1985, there were seven more bombs, four at universities, one at a professor’s …read more

Source: HISTORY

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Washington Has Become an Accomplice to Murder

June 20, 2019 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

Tensions with Iran might be rising, but American forces are
already are at war in the Persian Gulf. The U.S. is backing Saudi
Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in their bloody conflict
against Yemen, and the Trump administration is acting as PR agent
and bodyguard for the two royal families.

The conflict violates American values and hurts U.S. interests.
Tens of thousands of Yemeni civilians have been killed with
Washington’s assistance. U.S. support for this murderous war of
aggression may also be creating new terrorists who could target
America in the future.

Modern Yemen was born in conflict some six decades ago. The
territory included an independent kingdom and British colony. For a
time, Egyptian and Saudi troops backed warring Yemeni regimes. The
two Yemens became one in 1990 and Ali Abdullah Saleh was elected
president. Yet Saudi Arabia continued to meddle, promoting
intolerant Wahhabism, which further upset Yemen’s internal
balance.

In 2004, Ansar Allah or Partisans of God, popularly known as the
Houthis, rose against Saleh. The Houthis are dominated by Zaydi
Shia (which differ theologically from Iranian Shia). When the Arab
Spring washed over Yemen in 2011, Saleh was ousted. He then made
common cause with his former enemies, the Houthis, and together
they kicked out his successor, President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi,
four years later.

Trump needs to reverse
priorities and stand up to the heinous Gulf monarchies that’ve
dragged us into Yemen.

None of this had anything to do with Iran, which area
specialists affirm exercised little influence over any Yemeni
faction. And the Houthis had no designs against Saudi Arabia or
America. They were focused on consolidating power against their
domestic enemies.

However, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates intervened
militarily in 2015 in hopes of returning Hadi to his presidential
quarters in Sanaa. The war was expected to be a cakewalk, lasting
just a few weeks.

Riyadh and Abu Dhabi squeezed contributions from Egypt, Jordan,
Kuwait, Morocco, and Sudan-that regime’s notorious Janjaweed
militia-as well as Qatar, before they turned against the latter.
The “coalition” also enlisted Yemeni factions,
including al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

The Obama administration, hoping to reassure Riyadh after
negotiating its nuclear agreement with Iran, provided Saudi Arabia
and the United Arab Emirates with munitions, targeting assistance,
and airborne refueling. The Trump administration continued this
support, recently announcing “emergency” approval of
more weapons sales to sidestep the requirement for congressional
authorization.

Nevertheless, the war rages on inconclusively. Despite its many
advantages, the coalition, and especially Saudi Arabia, is
suffering blowback. Last week, a Yemeni missile hit Abha airport in
the Saudi south, causing 26 casualties. The Kingdom responded with
hypocritical shrieks of rage and threats of revenge.

Deputy …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Nuclear North Korea Wants Less Talk, More Action

June 20, 2019 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA — The great metropolis of Seoul sits
barely thirty miles from the Demilitarized Zone. The city is the
canary in the mine for the state of inter-Korean relations. All
seemed well in late May as residents were frenetically active,
paying little attention to events across the border in North Korea.
However, those in government and the broader policy community were
less certain.

South Koreans should be confident about the future. Their nation
is two years removed from a catastrophic political meltdown by the
ruling conservatives. Transitions between the ruling and opposition
parties have become routine. Although slowing, the economy remains
one of the dozen largest on earth. South Korea has become a
cultural as well as commercial powerhouse.

Nevertheless, the country’s international situation remains
unsettled. Relations with Japan are awful; those with China are a
bit better but still embittered after Beijing sanctioned the
Republic of Korea over its installation of America’s THAAD missile
defense system. Although the Moon government officially praises
relations with Washington, private assessments of President Donald
Trump’s commitment to the alliance are far more negative.

Then there is North Korea. One aide to President Moon Jae-in,
who asked not to be identified, complained that the last two years
were “like a roller coaster ride.” Expectations were
high for the February Kim-Trump summit. Virtually everyone
predicted that President Trump and North Korea’s Supreme
Leader Kim Jong-un would broaden ties and begin denuclearization
and sanctions relief, which in turn would speed inter-Korean
cooperation. The meeting’s collapse left South Koreans in
shock. Presidential Special Adviser Moon Chung-in called the
situation “pretty bad, with North Korea not responding to us,
and not responding to the U.S.”

Skeptics of the opening to the Democratic People’s
Republic of Korea, which they view as more of the same—with
the likely outcome more DPRK promises unfulfilled—were
happier. A breakdown would make further allied concessions
unlikely. However, the pessimists were outnumbered by those like
the Blue House official who allowed: “I worry that we have a
unique opportunity that could be lost.”

If there is any chance of
achieving Washington’s objective of comprehensive verifiable
irreversible denuclearization, then it requires addressing
conditions set by Pyongyang.

If the current “stalemate,” as today’s
situation was commonly termed, is not broken, then Kim could shift
course, as he threatened to do in his New Year’s address. The
best-case scenario would be a return to a low-key cold war, with
reinvigorated arms development. The worst-case scenario would be
resumption of nuclear and missile testing next year as the U.S.
presidential race heats up. Facing public humiliation in an
election year, President Trump would be tempted to return to a
policy of “fire …read more

Source: OP-EDS