You are browsing the archive for History.

Avatar of admin

by admin

How Geronimo Eluded Death and Capture for 25 Years

November 18, 2019 in History

By Dave Roos

The legendary medicine man and guerrilla warrior was so expert at eluding the enemy, he was believed to hold supernatural powers.

In the summer of 1886, the legendary Apache medicine man and guerrilla warrior Geronimo was being pursued across hostile desert terrain by nearly a quarter of the standing United States Army. Geronimo had reneged on yet another surrender—one of his favorite ploys—and was on the run with a small band of holdouts in northern Mexico while an estimated 5,000 American troops and 3,000 Mexican soldiers sought his capture.

Geronimo was believed by the Chiricahua to possess not only the traditional powers of healing, but also to be supernaturally protected against enemy attack. And he lived up to his larger-than-life persona: For 25 years Geronimo eluded capture even as his infamy made him the primary target of American and Mexican troops and the subject of countless colorful newspaper reports.

The Army’s all-out surge for Geronimo in 1886 was an attempt to finally end the drawn-out, 25-year war with the Chiricahua Apache of the American Southwest. For centuries, the Chiricahua had occupied tribal lands stretching across much of modern-day Arizona and New Mexico, plus the northern Mexican states of Sonora and Chihuahua. But with the end of the Mexican-American War in 1854, the U.S. acquired thousands of square miles of Chiricahua tribal land, and with it came soldiers and white settlers.

Violent clashes between Apache and white interlopers were common in the mid-19th century, but the tipping point was the Bascom Affair, when Apache raiders kidnapped a young boy and the bungled negotiations for his release escalated into atrocities committed on both sides. The Apache Wars officially began in 1862 when Cochise, in retaliation for the Bascom Affair, ambushed a Union garrison at the Battle of Apache Pass.

Supernatural Powers Attributed to Geronimo

Apache leader Geronimo photographed by Edward S. Curtis, 1905.

Geronimo was at that battle, but he wasn’t a chief like Cochise—he was a shaman or medicine man who seemed impervious to enemy arrows and bullets. This supernatural gift was allegedly bestowed upon Geronimo by the god Ussen after Geronimo’s wife and young children were murdered by Mexican soldiers. Praying in mourning atop Bowie Peak, Geronimo heard Ussen’s voice on the wind, saying, “You will never die in battle, nor will you die by gun. I will guide your arrows.”

When an artist came to paint Geronimo’s portrait near …read more

Source: HISTORY

Avatar of admin

by admin

American-Indian Wars

November 17, 2019 in History

By History.com Editors

From the moment English colonists arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607, they shared an uneasy relationship with the Native Americans (or Indians) who had thrived on the land for thousands of years. At the time, millions of indigenous people were scattered across North America in hundreds of different tribes. Between 1622 and the late 19th century, a series of wars known as the American-Indian Wars took place between Indians and American settlers, mainly over land control.

Colonial Period Indian Wars

On March 22, 1622, Powhatan Indians attacked and killed colonists in eastern Virginia. Known as the Jamestown Massacre, the bloodbath gave the English government an excuse to justify their efforts to attack Indians and confiscate their land.

In 1636, the Pequot War over trade expansion broke out between Pequot Indians and English settlers of Massachusetts Bay and Connecticut. The colonists’ Indian allies joined them in battle and helped defeat the Pequot.

A series of battles took place from 1636 to 1659 between New Netherlands settlers in New York and several Indian tribes (Lenape, Susquehannocks, Algonquians, Esopus). Some battles were especially violent and gruesome, sending many settlers fleeing back to the Netherlands.

The Beaver Wars (1640-1701) happened between the French and their Indian allies (Algonquian, Huron) and the powerful Iroquois Confederacy. The fierce fighting started over territory and fur trade dominance around the Great Lakes and ended with the signing of the Great Peace Treaty.

King Philip’s War

King Philip’s War (1675-1676), also known as Metacom’s War, began after bands of Indians led by Wampanoag Chief Metacom (later called King Philip) grew frustrated with their dependence on the Puritans and attacked colonies and militia strongholds throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

The attacks ignited a series of battles for power along the Connecticut River Valley between Metacom’s warriors and a large colonial militia and their Mohawk allies. The war ended with Metacom’s beheading and the near decimation of the Native Americans in his coalition.

Queen Anne’s War

Queen Anne’s War (1702-1713) occurred between French and English colonists and their respective Indian …read more

Source: HISTORY

Avatar of admin

by admin

Jackie Robinson

November 17, 2019 in History

By History.com Editors

Jackie Robinson was an African-American professional baseball player who broke Major Leagues Baseball’s infamous “color barrier” when he started at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. Until that time, professional ballplayers of color suited up for teams only in the Negro Leagues. Today, April 15th is observed as Jackie Robinson Day throughout MLB franchises, with players wearing the former Dodgers’ jersey number 42. Robinson’s dazzling athletic prowess and grace under pressure effectively led to the integration of the Major Leagues, and his 10-year career with the Dodgers — and his outspoken activism in his later years — helped set the stage for the burgeoning civil rights movement.

When Was Jackie Robinson Born?

Jackie Robinson was born on January 31, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia, to a family of sharecroppers. He was the youngest of five children.

After his father abandoned the family in 1920, they moved to Pasadena, California, where his mother, Mallie, worked a series of odd jobs to support herself and her children. Though Pasadena was a fairly affluent suburb of Los Angeles at the time, the Robinsons were poor, and Jackie and his friends in the city’s small black community were often excluded from recreational activities.

That began to change when Jackie enrolled at John Muir High School in 1935. His older brother Mack, a silver medalist in track and field at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, inspired him to pursue his interest in athletics, and the younger Robinson ultimately earned varsity letters in baseball, basketball, football and track while at Muir.

After graduating high school, Jackie attended Pasadena Junior College for two years, where he continued to have success in all four sports. Following the death of another older brother, Frank, in a motorcycle accident, Jackie decided to honor his memory by enrolling at UCLA in 1939.

There, he became the first Bruin to earn varsity letters in four sports — the same four in which he starred in high school — and he won the NCAA long jump championship in 1940. Jackie also met his future wife, Rachel, while at UCLA.

Robinson in the U.S. Army

Jackie ultimately left college in the spring of his senior year, just a few credits short of his …read more

Source: HISTORY

Avatar of admin

by admin

The 1969 Documentary That Tried to Humanize Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family

November 15, 2019 in History

By Hadley Meares

The idea was to show the royal family in their day-to-day lives. The results were mixed.

A well-groomed, staid British family sit around the breakfast table. Two young adult children and their middle-aged parents are dressed formally, without a hair out of place. In a high-pitched voice, the mother tells a funny story about her great-great grandmother, while everyone listens with their backs remarkably straight.

But this is no ordinary English family. The storyteller is Queen Elizabeth II, and the subject of her tale is Queen Victoria. The scene was one part of a 105-minute color documentary named simply, “Royal Family,” that was broadcast across England on June 21, 1969.

The concept behind the documentary was soften and modernize the royal image. But members of the royal family, including the Queen, were reportedly dubious about the idea from the start. After its premiere, Buckingham Palace greatly limited the film’s circulation, at least in its entire form.

Lord Mountbatten’s Son-in-Law Suggests TV Special

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip fly back from a visit to Yorkshire in an Andover of the Queen’s Flight, in a photo taken during the filming of the documentary ‘Royal Family.’

It was Lord Brabourne, the son-in-law of the royal cousin Lord Mountbatten, who suggested using the medium of television to provide the Queen’s subjects a sense of her personality. By the 1960s, the times were rapidly changing, and the shy, dutiful Queen and her young family were seen as increasingly irrelevant. A TV special, Brabourne suggested, could also introduce British subjects to 21-year-old Prince Charles, ahead of his investiture as Prince of Wales.

At the urging of Palace press officer William Heseltine, who was convinced that offering a humanized view of the royal family would strengthen the monarchy, Prince Philip agreed. The Queen cautiously gave her consent, while other family members were decidedly not on board.

“I never liked the idea of ‘Royal Family,’ I thought it was a rotten idea,” Princess Anne later recalled, according to an account in the 2015 book, Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family. “The attention which had been brought upon one ever since one was a child, you just didn’t need any more.”

But the Mountbatten camp won the day and filming began in 1968. Richard Cawston, the chief of the BBC Documentary unit, was put in charge of shooting the royals at work and …read more

Source: HISTORY

Avatar of admin

by admin

The First Time the Plague Broke Out in the US, Officials Tried to Deny It

November 15, 2019 in History

By Becky Little

Newspapers and politicians claimed the doctor trying to stop the plague had made the whole thing up.

At the turn of the 20th century, the world was gripped by a .

“There was a very real threat that California’s $40 million fresh produce industry…would be lost,” she says. With that in mind, “the state actually appealed to and secured the collaboration of the surgeon general of the United States” to keep word of the disease silent.

Official silence about the disease also entailed undermining Dr. Joseph J. Kinyoun, the head of the Marine Hospital Service in San Francisco who had identified the plague bacteria in King’s body. As a public health official, he was determined to stop the disease from spreading. At the same time, local politicians, business owners and newspapers were determined to discredit him, says David K. Randall, a reporter for Reuters and author of Black Death at the Golden Gate: The Race to Save America from the Bubonic Plague.

“You had the local newspapers calling [Kinyoun] a fake, calling him suspicious, implying that he was just trying to take money from the public coffers and this was all a big scam,” he says. These newspapers even suggested “he was injecting dead bodies with plague so that he looked like a hero.” Business leaders and politicians echoed this rhetoric. “A state senator in Sacramento stood on the senate floor and said that Kinyoun should be hanged for what he was doing,” he says.

New Field of Medical Science Met With Skepticism

Dr. Joseph J. Kinyoun.

This large-scale denial of the plague was also, in part, a rejection of a new type of science that few understood. Kinyoun, who is now known as the father of the National Institutes of Health, was at the forefront of the field of medical bacteriology. Unlike doctors from an earlier era, Kinyoun used a microscope to study microorganisms his patients couldn’t see. California Governor Henry Gage was particularly averse to this new science.

“[Gage] basically said: If you can’t see the disease, if you can’t see what’s happening, then how do I know it exists?” Randall says. And like many others in California, Gage wasn’t even sure white people could get the plague in the first place. “The idea was that if your ancestors had survived the plague in Europe, then you somehow evolved immunity,” he says.

Contrary to this misguided belief, the …read more

Source: HISTORY

Avatar of admin

by admin

Thurgood Marshall

November 14, 2019 in History

By History.com Editors

Thurgood Marshall — perhaps best known as the first African-American Supreme Court justice — played an instrumental role in promoting racial equality during the civil rights movement and beyond. As a practicing attorney, Marshall argued a record-breaking 32 cases before the Supreme Court, winning 29 of them. In fact, Marshall represented and won more cases before the high court than any other American. During his 24-year term as Supreme Court justice, Marshall’s passionate support for individual and civil rights guided his policies and decisions. Most historians recount him as an influential figure in shaping social policies and upholding laws to protect minorities.

Early Life and Education

Thurgood Marshall was born on July 2, 1908, in Baltimore, Maryland. His father, William Marshall, was a railroad porter, and his mother, Norma, was a teacher.

After he completed high school in 1925, Marshall attended Lincoln University in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Just before he graduated, he married his first wife, Vivian “Buster” Burey.

In 1930, Marshall applied to the University of Maryland School of Law but was rejected because he was black. He then decided to attend Howard University Law School, where he became a protégé of the well-known dean, Charles Hamilton Houston, who encouraged students to use the law as a means for social transformation.

In 1933, Marshall received his degree and was ranked first in his class. After graduation from Howard, Marshall opened a private practice law firm in Baltimore.

Life as a Lawyer

In 1935, Marshall’s first major court victory came in Murray v. Pearson, when he, alongside his mentor Houston, successfully sued the University of Maryland for denying a black applicant admission to its law school because of his race.

Shortly after this legal success, Marshall became a staff lawyer for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and was eventually named chief of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, Marshall became recognized as a one of the top attorneys in the United States, winning 29 of the 32 cases he argued before the Supreme Court.

Some of Marshall’s notable cases included:

  • Chambers v. Florida (1940): Marshall successfully defended four convicted black men who were coerced by police into confessing to murder.
  • Smith v. Allwright (1944): In this decision, the …read more

    Source: HISTORY

Avatar of admin

by admin

Oliver Cromwell

November 14, 2019 in History

By History.com Editors

Oliver Cromwell was a political and military leader in 17th century England who served as Lord Protector, or head of state, of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland for a five-year-period until his death in 1658. Cromwell was known for being ruthless in battle, and he twice led successful efforts to remove the British monarch from power. Called a dictator by some — including future British Prime Minister Winston Churchill — Cromwell, a devout Puritan, was particularly intolerant of Catholics and Quakers, though he is also credited by others for helping to lead Great Britain toward a constitutional government.

Cromwell’s Early Life

Cromwell was born in 1599 in Huntingdon, near Cambridge, in England. The Cromwells had been a wealthy family for generations, and were part of the landed gentry in the region. He was descended on his father’s side from Thomas Cromwell, a minister of King Henry VIII.

Like most children born in the country at the time, Cromwell was baptized in the Church of England. At 21, he married Elizabeth Bourchier, daughter of a wealthy merchant family. His new wife’s family were active in the Puritan church, and it is thought that this may have prompted Cromwell to join the sect in the 1630s.

The Cromwells had nine children, though three died young, which was not unusual at the time. Their son Richard, who succeeded his father as Lord Protector, was born in 1626.

Health and Financial Woes

Cromwell was first elected to Parliament, representing Huntingdon, in 1628. Though this marked the start of his political career, his success in the halls of power was not matched in other aspects of his life.

In 1631, for example, Cromwell was forced to sell much of his land holdings in Huntingdon following a dispute with local officials. In addition, he was reportedly treated for melancholy, or depression, at this time.

His tenure in Parliament was also short, as a result of King Charles I and his decision to suspend the legislative body in 1629. Cromwell would return to government in 1640, when Charles I was essentially forced to reconvene Parliament following a rebellion against his rule in Scotland.

By then, Cromwell had become a devout Puritan, telling family that he had been a “sinner” and was newly reborn. Like most Puritans, he believed that Catholic influence tainted the Church of England, and that it must be removed.

Military Career

Charles …read more

Source: HISTORY

Avatar of admin

by admin

10 Native American Inventions Commonly Used Today

November 14, 2019 in History

By Patrick J. Kiger

From kayaks to contraceptives to pain relievers, Native Americans developed key innovations long before Columbus reached America’s shores.

From the tip of South America to the Arctic, Native Americans developed scores of innovations—from kayaks, protective goggles and baby bottles to birth control, genetically modified food crops and analgesic medications—that enabled them to survive and flourish wherever they lived.

In fact, early European explorers who reached the Western Hemisphere were apparently so impressed by the achievements of the people they encountered that they The technology didn’t show up in European medicine until the 1850s, when Scottish physician Alexander Wood began using needles to inject morphine to relieve pain.

Hammocks

Caribbean Indians invented the hammock as a lightweight bed for hot climate.

When Christopher Columbus landed in the Caribbean, he found natives resting in hammocks, a bed made from cotton netting and suspended between two trees or poles, according to his letters. Hammocks were so comfortable and convenient that European sailors began sleeping in them on merchant and naval ships, according to Indians of North America.

Oral Contraceptives

The Shoshone and Navajo tribes used stoneseed, also known as Columbia Puccoon (Lithospermum ruderale) as an oral contraceptive, long before the pharmaceutical industry developed birth control pills.

Mouthwash

Various tribes in Northeastern North America used the wildflower goldthread (Coptis trifolia) as a mouthwash and a treatment for oral pain.

…read more

Source: HISTORY

Avatar of admin

by admin

Radio host Don Imus makes offensive remarks about Rutgers' women's basketball team

November 13, 2019 in History

By History.com Editors

On April 4, 2007, syndicated talk radio host Don Imus ignites a firestorm after making racially disparaging remarks about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team, insulting their appearance and tattoos and, most infamously, calling them “nappy-headed hos.” After a nationwide torrent of criticism, Imus apologized and lost his job but ultimately salvaged his career.

The remarks came during a discussion between Imus, his producer, and a reporter about a game between Rutgers and the University of Tennessee. Activists and journalists began to call for Imus to be fired almost immediately. Imus apologized on his show two days later, calling himself “a good man who did a bad thing,” but numerous sponsors, including General Motors, Staples, and other major companies, pulled their advertising. The Rev. Al Sharpton called for Imus to be “taken off the airwaves,” and Barack Obama, who would become the nation’s first African American president the following January, called Imus’ remarks “divisive, hurtful, and offensive.” MSNBC, which simulcast Imus in the Morning on television, dropped the show on April 11. The following morning, Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson met with Les Moonves, CEO of CBS, who announced the cancellation of Imus in the Morning that afternoon.

Imus’ defenders—as well as Imus himself—pointed to the frequent use of words like “ho” in rap music as the source of the problem, arguing that Imus was merely using offensive language that was commonplace in the world of hip-hop. Though many commentators decried what they felt was an over-reaction that ruined Imus’ career, Imus was in fact only off the air from April until December. He signed a five-year deal worth $40 million with New York station WABC and returned to the air on December 3. Two years later, Imus in the Morning returned to television, simulcast on Fox Business News. Imus’ career survived the incident, and he retired due to health reasons in 2018.

…read more

Source: HISTORY

Avatar of admin

by admin

Hank Aaron ties Babe Ruth's home run record

November 13, 2019 in History

By History.com Editors

As the 1974 Major League Baseball season began, all eyes were on Hank Aaron. He had finished 1973 with 713 career home runs, one shy of the all-time record set by Babe Ruth. On April 4, Opening Day, a 39-year-old Aaron sent the very first pitch he saw over the wall, finally tying Ruth and setting the stage for his ascent to the top of the all-time home runs list.

Aaron, who played in the majors from 1954 until 1976, was known for his longevity and consistency in addition to his power-hitting. He had hit 40 homers the previous season, drawing the nation’s attention as he approached Ruth’s record. The Post Office declared that Aaron received the most mail of any private citizen in the country, and although the majority was positive he was also the recipient of hate mail and death threats. Ruth’s record had stood for four decades, and racist fans were upset at the thought of Aaron, one of the last MLB players to have played in the Negro Leagues, breaking it.

The ownership of the Braves wanted to sit Aaron for the first series of the 1974 season to ensure that he broke Ruth’s record in Atlanta. The league, however, insisted that he play at least two of the three games. It looked for all the world like he would break the record in Cincinnati after he homered on the very first pitch of the season, but 715 eluded him until he returned to Atlanta. He broke Ruth’s record in the fourth inning of the Atlanta Braves’ home opener on April 8.

Aaron retired two years later with a career total of 755 home runs. That record would stand until 2007, when it was broken by Barry Bonds, but Bonds’ well-documented and extensive use of performance-enhancing drugs has made his record illegitimate in the eyes of many fans and kept him out of the Hall of Fame. Aaron was inducted into the Hall in 1982, as soon as he was eligible, and continues to hold a number of MLB records, including most runs batted in and most total bases.

READ MORE: Jackie Robinson’s Battles for Equality On and Off the Baseball Field

…read more

Source: HISTORY