Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.

May 7, 1901 -
The only achievement I am really proud of is the friends I have made in this community.

Gary Cooper, original boytoy, iconic actor and womanizer, was born on this date.

May 7, 1977 -
Hotel California topped the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart on this date.

The line "They stab it with their steely knives but they just can't kill the beast" is a reference to Steely Dan. The bands shared the same manager and had a friendly rivalry. The year before, Steely Dan included the line "Turn up the Eagles, the neighbors are listening" on their song "Everything You Did."

Today in History:
May 7, 399 BC (according to Plato) -
... Socrates, what is truth?' 'Socrates, what is beauty?' Never once did any of you guys say 'Socrates, hemlock is poisonous.' Thanks a lot, you guys ...

Greek authorities forced philosopher Socrates to end his life by drinking a potion containing hemlock for his teaching methods which aroused skepticism and impiety in his students.

Those must have been some parties, if you get condemned to death afterward.

May 7, 1895 -
In Saint Petersburg, Russian scientist Alexander Stepanovich Popov demonstrates to the Russian Physical and Chemical Society his invention - the first in the world radio receiver.

Unfortunately, since no one had invented regularly scheduled broadcasts, the demonstration was a confusing affair.

May 7, 1915 -
A very minor league Archduke and his wife got themselves killed in the Balkans. Before you you say conflagration, half the world was at war. On February 4, 1915, Germany declared the seas around the British Isles a war zone and any Allied ships in the area would be sunk without warning. King George V's government chose to ignore the warnings, as they were written in German. This seems odd, as George spoke German, his grandfather was German (Prince Albert) and his first cousin was Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Anyway, a German submarine, U-20, sank the Lusitania, killing 1200, on this date. There were no star-crossed young lovers aboard, however, so instead of making a movie about it, the U.S. had to enter World War I.

May 7, 1920 -
With much fanfare the Treaty of Moscow was signed on this date. Soviet Russia recognizes independence of the Democratic Republic of Georgia.

No one bothered to tell Lenin and the Soviets invade the country six months later.

May 7, 1937 -
The Hindenberg wreckage still lies smoldering having crashed crashed and burned in Lakehurst, New Jersey, killing thirty-six yesterday.

The good news was, it provided a really cool cover for Led Zeppelin's first album and a fairly good basis for a novel by E. L. Doctorow.

May 7, 1975 -
President Gerald R. Ford declared an end to the Vietnam War on this date.

Almost three million Americans served in Vietnam. Between 1965 and 1975, the United States spent $111 billion on the war ($686 billion in 2008 dollars). This resulted in a large federal budget deficit. The war demonstrated that no power, not even a superpower, has unlimited strength and resources. But perhaps most significantly, the Vietnam War illustrated that political will, as much as material might, is a decisive factor in the outcome of conflicts.

And so it goes

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