The Imaginary Realms of
Gilbert M. Stack



view:  full / summary

Today in History: Pioneer 0

Posted by Gilbert Stack on August 17, 2018 at 5:10 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (August 17) in 1958, the United States attempted to launch Pioneer 0 into orbit, but the booster rocket blew up shortly after launch. The satellite was called Pioneer 0 (instead of Pioneer 1) because it failed to reach orbit. This rocket was launched by the U.S. Air Force. The rest of the Pioneer launches would be carried out by NASA.

Today in History: The Levee en Masse

Posted by Gilbert Stack on August 16, 2018 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (August 16) in 1793 the National Convention declared a levee en masse to protect the French Revolution from invasion by other European powers. All able-bodied men ages 18-25 were conscripted into the army. This created massive French armies which were often able to overwhelm the small professional armies of the other European states. At its peak in 1794, the levee en masse put 1,500,000 men into the French army.

Today in History: Carloman

Posted by Gilbert Stack on August 15, 2018 at 5:05 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (August 15) in 747, Carloman renounced his office of Mayor of the Palace and became a monk. This allowed his brother, Pepin the Short, to reunite all of the Frankish lands, paving the way for himself to become king and his son, Charlemagne, to become emperor.

Today in History: Social Security

Posted by Gilbert Stack on August 14, 2018 at 5:10 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (August 14) in 1935 Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. This legislation is the foundation document of the modern welfare system in the United States. It provided direct financial assistance to the elderly, the unemployed, and some children. The act was challenged before the Supreme Court both as an unconstitutional payment and an unconstitutional tax but the Supreme Court upheld the act in 5-4 and 7-2 decisions.

Today in History: Cardinal Richelieu

Posted by Gilbert Stack on August 13, 2018 at 6:45 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (August 13) in 1624, French King Louis XIII appointed Cardinal Richelieu prime minister of France. Richelieu worked tirelessly to break political factions in France and elevate the power of the monarchy. And of course, he is an important antagonist in Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers.

Today in History: The Bloody Gulch Massacre

Posted by Gilbert Stack on August 12, 2018 at 6:30 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (August 12) in 1950, North Korean troops murdered American prisoners of war in the Bloody Gulch Massacre. During the course of the battle over Pongam-ni, two battalions of field artillery were left without close infantry support and the North Koreans took advantage of the situation, killing hundreds of Americans. 75 soldiers were captured as the Americans withdrew. The North Koreans killed their prisoners—55 by machine gun and 20 via bullet to the head.

Today in History: Alcatraz

Posted by Gilbert Stack on August 11, 2018 at 6:10 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (August 11) in 1934 the first non-military prisoners were brought to Alcatraz—an island prison off the coast of California designed to hold prisoners causing trouble in other prisons. Most of the original prisoners were bank robbers and murderers. Al Capone spent some time there and Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin planned and carried out one of the most incredible prison escapes of all time from Alcatraz.

Today in History: The Vasa Sinks

Posted by Gilbert Stack on August 10, 2018 at 5:00 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (August 10) in 1628, the Swedish warship, Vasa, sank 20 minutes into her maiden voyage. The ship was terribly top heavy, encountered a strong wind and foundered.

Today in History: The U.S. and Canada Establish Their Common Border

Posted by Gilbert Stack on August 9, 2018 at 7:45 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (August 9) in 1842, the United States and Britain signed the Webster-Ashburton Treaty that established the border between the British territory that became Canada and the United States. It also called for a final end to the slave trade on the high seas, agreed that both parties would share the Great Lakes, and established seven crimes for which the alleged perpetrator would be extradited to the other country: murder, attempted murder, arson, robbery, piracy, forgery, and the “utterance of forged papers.”

Today in History: The Fantastic Four

Posted by Gilbert Stack on August 8, 2018 at 5:10 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (August Eight) in 1961, Fantastic Four #1 was published by Marvel Comics and in so doing changed the nature of American comics forever. Unlike it’s DC rivals, Fantastic Four was set in a real world city (New York City) and made relationships an important part of each story (the “family relationships” of the FF led to a lot of realistic bickering and fighting even while they maintained a family’s love for each other). The Thing was not happy with his powers (who wants to be transformed into a rock creature anyway?). And the group did not have secret identities. The more sophisticated storylines rocked the comics industry, but DC was slow to understand the threat these new storyline presented to their then dominance of the market. The Hulk, Spiderman, Thor, Iron Man, the Avengers, and the X-Men quickly followed, all finding a new take on the superhero which excited Marvel’s growing fan base.