Fort Sumter

April 12, One Of Most Historic Days On Calendar: 1861, 1945, 1961

Every day on the calendar, historically, has had some interesting event occur, but April 12 is an unusually historic day worth remembering.

Three path breaking events occurred on April 12.

In 1861, the attack by South Carolina on the US fort, Fort Sumter, in Charleston Harbor, occurred, the first shots of the Civil War.

In 1945, the greatest President of the 20th century, and the President who has had the greatest impact on us of any President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, died in Warm Springs, Georgia, thrusting Harry Truman into the Presidency at a time of great challenge, with the Second World War not yet ended, and the challenge to overcome Japan in Asia still ahead of us.

FDR did more for America domestically than any President, and much of what he accomplished is now under attack by the Trump Administration.

At the same time, Truman, despite questions about his competence to become our President, proved his ability to take on the responsibility, and is now rated 5th or 6th among all of our Presidents, while FDR is rated 2nd or 3rd greatest.

And in 1961, exactly a century after Fort Sumter, the Space Age began, as far as manned space exploration, with Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Union being the first astronaut to orbit the earth, and now further space exploration is in the offing.

To have the Civil War start on this day; the promoter of the New Deal to cope with the Great Depression, and also the Second World War President, FDR, to die on this day; the accession to power of Harry Truman; and the inception of the Space Age—all on this day, makes April 12 a special day in the historical calendar!

From Strom Thurmond To Paul Thurmond: Is The Civil War Finally Over In The South?

South Carolina, which started the Civil War at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, MAY have finally conceded defeat on June 23, 2015, with the courageous speech by State Senator Paul Thurmond, son of the notorious segregationist and racist Governor and Senator Strom Thurmond, who made his career on racial division.

A burden to the Democratic Party, when Lyndon B. Johnson was able to overcome Southern Democrats and conservative Republicans, and courageously get through Congress the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Senator Strom Thurmond quickly switched to the Republican Party, and over the next generation, the Confederate South transferred its loyalties to the Republican Party, despite their hatred of the party because of Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.

The Republicans welcomed and embraced the segregationists, and did whatever they could to appeal to the prejudices of many Southern whites, rather than elevate them to a level of tolerance and open mindedness.

And when the Supreme Court damaged the Voting Rights Act in a 2013 decision, it was Republican state legislatures and Governors who rushed to pass voter restriction laws, designed to harm African Americans and other minorities, as well as the poor, reminding us of what had happened after Reconstruction ended in the late 19th century. They were not afraid to show their purpose, to deny people the vote on flimsy grounds, and showed no conscience.

This sudden transformation after the Charleston Massacre is what finally brought out the truth, that the Republicans have been promoting racism, and even after the disaster, many Republican office holders and Presidential candidates were slow to react.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was hesitant to call for removal of the Confederate Flag, but finally did so under duress, but it was state Senator Paul Thurmond, son of Strom Thurmond, who showed true courage and guts in denouncing what his father had stood for, and saying the flag must be removed.

There are still plenty of bigoted Southerners in South Carolina and elsewhere, who rushed to buy Confederate flags, shirts, and other paraphernalia, but thank goodness that Walmart, Ebay, Amazon and other retailers announced the end of such sales yesterday.

It is time for the Republican Party nationally to stop voting restriction laws, and truly compete for the African American vote and the Hispanic-Latino vote too, and also to stop the attack on women and on gays and lesbians, as they are now the party of so much hate. The white racist vote is rapidly declining, and the GOP is living in the past, reveling in its promotion of narrow mindedness and intolerance!

We are all in this together as a nation, and the Republican Party must change dramatically, and must repudiate the Tea Party Movement whackos, or it will expire in the near future!

The Month Of April: The Month That Four American Wars Began

April is an historical month in so many ways, including the fact that four of the wars in American history began in April.

The American Revolution began with the shots fired at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts on April 19, 1775, even though war was never officially declared between Great Britain and the American colonies.

The Civil War began on April 12, 1861, with the South Carolina government ordering an attack on the federal fort, Fort Sumter, in Charleston Harbor, rather than allow the US government under Abraham Lincoln to re-provision the fort.

The Spanish American War began on April 19, 1898, after the attack on the American ship, THE MAINE, and the publication of the DeLome Letter, which inflamed American public opinion, and led William McKinley to ask for a declaration of war on Spain, leading to the acquisition of Spanish colonies in Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam, and a sphere of influence over Cuba, giving American an “Empire”.

The First World War for America began after Woodrow Wilson asked for a declaration of war against Imperial Germany, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Ottoman Turkish Empire on April 2, 1917. After just four days of debate over giving up our isolationist heritage and joining in an alliance with other nations, as a result of the Zimmerman Note and unrestricted submarine warfare, the declaration of war was adopted easily on April 6, 1917.

These four wars transformed America into a nation; into a country that ended slavery and preserved the nation as one against a rebellion; that made American a nation with overseas ambitions for colonies; and as one which abandoned the idea of staying out of military alliances and foreign wars.

All four wars prepared us for the military involvement overseas, which has been constant since the Second World War, but unwisely took us into wars we have not really won in the cases of the Korean War (1950-1953); the Vietnam War (1961-1973); the Iraq War (2003-2011); and the Afghanistan War (2001-2015 and counting).

And now there are war hawks in Congress who wish to take us into a major war against a nation, Iran, which would present a massive challenge to gain victory that would be lasting, with the likelihood of a drawn out war, with massive casualties, and the likelihood of tremendous debt growth which would cripple our future!

April A Particularly Historic Month In America’s Past

The month of April is a particularly historic month in America’s past in so many ways, with 20 significant events listed below.

April 2, 1917—President Woodrow Wilson asks the Congress for a declaration of war against Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Turks.

April 4, 1968—The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.

April 6, 1917—Congress votes for entrance into World War I against Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Turks.

April 9, 1865—General Robert E. Lee surrenders to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia, marking the official end of the Civil War.

April 12, 1861—The Civil War begins, with the South Carolina attack on the federal military fort, Fort Sumter, in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.

April 12, 1945—President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies of a cerebral hemorrhage in Warm Springs, Georgia, and Harry Truman becomes President.

April 13, 1743—President Thomas Jefferson is born in Virginia.

April 14, 1865—President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC, dying the next morning at 722 AM

April 17, 1961—A failed attempt to overthrow Cuban leader Fidel Castro failed, coming to be known as the Bay of Pigs fiasco, and helped to lead to the later Cuban Missile Crisis, the greatest challenge faced by President John F. Kennedy.

April 18, 1775—The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, inspiring the first armed uprising against British oppression, occurred.

April 18, 1906—The highly destructive San Francisco Earthquake occurred, destroying much of the city, and killing 4,000 people.

April 19, 1775—The American Revolution began, with the Battle of Lexington and Concord outside Boston, Massachusetts.

April 19, 1993—The Waco, Texas tragedy of the death of 82 people in the Branch Davidian religious compound, consumed by fire, after an intervention by armored vehicles and federal agents occurred, inspiring conspiracy theories which led to the event below.

April 19, 1995—The worst domestic terrorist act in American history occurred, when Timothy McVeigh blew up the Oklahoma City Federal Building, killing 168 people and wounding about a thousand others.

April 20, 1914—The Ludlow Massacre of miners by company hired National Guardsmen, killing 19 people, occurred in Colorado over a desire for recognition of the United Mine Workers for the coal miners.

April 20, 1999—The Columbine Massacre in Littleton, Colorado, led to the worst mass shooting of students and teachers in public schools until the recent Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut.

April 21, 1836— The Battle of San Jacinto near Houston, Texas, led to the victory of Texans led by Sam Houston over the Mexican army of General Santa Anna, leading to Texas Independence.

April 22, 1994—President Richard Nixon dies at the age of 81.

April 24, 1800—The national library of America, the Library of Congress, is established in Washington, DC.

April 30, 1789—George Washington is inaugurated as the first American President at Federal Hall in Lower Manhattan.

Today An Ironic Day: First Electoral College Election And Day Of Formation Of Confederate States Of America

On this day in 1789, George Washington was elected by the Electoral College as the first President of the United States under the Constitution.

Also on this day, in 1861, delegates from six states (South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana) met in Montgomery, Alabama to form the Confederate States of America, a move to form a government that was designed to break up the Union that George Washington represented, when he was elected leader of the nation 72 years earlier.

Texas joined shortly after, and after Fort Sumter, the upper South (Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas) joined as well, and the Civil War, the greatest tragedy of the nation’s history commenced, leading to the death of approximately 620,000 soldiers, two percent of the entire nation.

It is upsetting to hear talk of similar desire of some to rise up against the federal government, as if nothing has been learned in the century and a half since the Civil War!

The Loony Politics Of South Carolina

South Carolina, the “Rebel” state which started the Civil War at Fort Sumter in 1861, has become one of the looniest states in American politics!

Not only is it the state of Congressman Joe Wilson, who yelled out that President Barack Obama was lying, during a State of the Union Address.

Not only is it the state of Governor Nikki Haley, hailed because she is the second Indian American Governor, after Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, but who has the most extremist views on many topics, similar to Jindal.

Not only is it the state of Jim DeMint, the leader of the Tea Party Senators, who now is leaving the Senate to join the Heritage Foundation, a right wing think thank.

Not only is it the state of newly appointed Senator Tim Scott, the first African American Republican Senator since Edward Brooke of Massachusetts in the 1960s and 1970s—a man nothing like Brooke, but rather closer in extremist views to fellow African American Republican Congressman Allen West of Florida, who lost his reelection to the House this November. Scott favors cuts in food stamps, HIV AIDS support; called for the impeachment of President Obama over the debt limit; and wants billions of dollars in aid to the oil industry, among other crazy, extremist ideas.

This is also the state of Senator Lindsey Graham, who has tied himself to Senator John McCain in going after Susan Rice, United Nations Ambassador, over the Benghazi, Libya incident, for which she had no blame, and therefore negating her chance to be Secretary of State in tne next term of Barack Obama.

But now to top it off, former Governor Mark Sanford, who resigned over his love affair with a woman in Argentina, and whose wife divorced him, has decided to run for Congressman Scott’s seat in the House of Representatives, a seat he once held before becoming Governor, as a way to revive his flagging political career.

Oh, and by the way, Scott’s House seat, once held by Sanford, and maybe again, is in Charleston, where the Civil War began at Fort Sumter!

So has anything changed in South Carolina since 1861? One has to wonder!

Barack Obama’s Most Courageous Decision: One Year Ago, A Moment That Will Live In History!

A year ago today, President Barack Obama followed through on a courageous decision, a moment which will live in history on a short list of decisive moments of America’s Presidents.

The decision to gamble on the killing of Osama Bin Laden was extremely risky, and had it failed, it is likely that Barack Obama would be facing defeat in 2012, rather than the strong likelihood of a great victory this coming November.

What else matches this courageous decision of Barack Obama?

The decision of Abraham Lincoln to resupply Fort Sumter, leading to possible confrontation with South Carolina in 1861, and the beginning of the Civil War.

The decision of Franklin D. Roosevelt to give aid to Great Britain in 1940 and 1941 to help them to survive Nazi Germany’s assault.

The decision of Franklin D. Roosevelt to open up the “Second Front’ on D Day in 1944.

The decision of Harry Truman to use the atomic bomb on Japan in 1945.

The decision of Harry Truman to overcome the Berlin Blockade of the Soviet Union, with the Berlin Airlift of 1948-1949.

The decision of John F. Kennedy to overcome threats, and resolve the Cuban Missile Crisis peacefully in 1962.

The decision of George H. W. Bush to go to war with Iraq’s Saddam Hussein after the invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

We are very blessed that this nation had a man of courage and conviction to lead us into this effort to end the life and career of the greatest terrorist of modern times, Osama Bin Laden!

And when we watch ROCK CENTER with Brian Williams tonight on NBC, we also realize how fortunate we are that Obama had around him such talented and brilliant people as Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, along with others!

An Eventful Four Days In American History–April 12-15

Every day in the calendar year one can find historical events of great significance, but in many ways, the days from April 12 to 15 are particularly outstanding for turning point moments in American history.

April 12 is the day the Civil War began at Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina in 1861.

April 12 is also the day of the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Union, to go into space in 1961, followed by American astronaut Alan Shepard on May 5 to go into space.

Sadly, April 12 is also the day of the death of the greatest President of the 20th century, Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945.

April 13 marks the birthday of one of our greatest Presidents, Thomas Jefferson, in 1743.

April 14 is another sad day, marking the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, our greatest President, shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC, and dying the morning of April 15, 1865, at 7:22 AM, at the Peterson House across the street.

Also, on April 15, 1947, the nation witnessed the racial integration of baseball with the courage and skills of second baseman Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Any four day period that includes the birthday of a President, the death of our two greatest Presidents, the beginning of the most significant event in American history (the Civil War), the ushering in of the Space Age for the United States, and the integration of major league baseball, is simply an amazing four days!

Reflections On The Pearl Harbor Anniversary

The History Channel tonight presented an exceptional two hour program on the 24 hours after Pearl Harbor, and how Franklin D. Roosevelt learned about and handled the matter up to the declaration of war on Japan precisely a day after the attack.

It made this author wonder about how much is taught about Pearl Harbor in the schools of America. This is such a path breaking event, a turning point in our history, unmatched since the attack on Fort Sumter which stared the Civil War, and only matched since by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

How many students would know what Pearl Harbor represents, and would know that Japan was the nation which attacked us? How many would realize the importance of World War II, and know all the “players” in that war, including FDR, Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Emperor Hirohito?

It is horrifying to think of the historical ignorance of America, not only of this event, but of all of the events and facts of American history and government which are needed for citizens to be knowledgeable enough to be good citizens and intelligent voters!

Education MUST be the prime way for this country to prosper and advance into the future, but instead, we are seeing educational cutbacks all over the nation!

This is, therefore, a time to mourn, not just for the victims of Pearl Harbor, but for ourselves as a nation which is poorly informed, which affects our politics and our hopes for a better America in the future!

82nd Anniversary Of The Great Crash On Wall Street Which Led To The Great Depression

Today is a day that 82 years ago changed the course of history in a way only matched in significance by the outbreak of the Civil War at Fort Sumter, South Carolina on April 12, 1861.

In many ways, the onset of the Great Depression, as a result of the crash of the stock market on Wall Street, had a greater effect, since the population was four times as much, and more people were directly affected by the ten year long Great Depression than by the Civil War.

America would never be the same again, as big government was here to stay with the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and American involvement in World War II and the ensuing Cold War, along with the improvements on the New Deal best personified by the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson.

And yet, now in the midst of the Great Recession and its effect on America, the worst economic times since the Great Depression, we are hearing the same old arguments for less government and deregulation, when it was precisely those factors in the 1920s and the 2000s that led to the two greatest economic collapses of the past century.

Franklin D. Roosevelt faced the same vehement opposition as Barack Obama, although the internet, talk radio, cable news and social media have multiplied the effect as compared to the 1930s.

The same battles keep on being fought, as we do not learn from history, and rather repeat its mistakes.

But as Barack Obama starts conducting himself for reelection in a similar manner as Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman, the American people will realize that he, not his opposition, is truly interested in resolving the issues that the opposition took which caused the economic mess we are now in.