|Posted by Gilbert Stack on August 8, 2018 at 5:10 AM||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.
|Posted by Gilbert Stack on August 7, 2018 at 5:10 AM||comments (0)|
On this day (August 7) in 1782, George Washington ordered that a medal honoring wounded soldiers be created. It was originally called the Badge of Military Merit but was later renamed the Purple Heart.
|Posted by Gilbert Stack on August 6, 2018 at 5:15 AM||comments (0)|
On this day (August 6) in 1862, the Confederates were forced to scuttle the CSS Arkansas, an ironclad, to keep it from falling into Union hands after it suffered engine trouble. The Arkansas had engaged Federal ships attacking Vicksburg and was instrumental in inducing the Union to lift the naval siege of Vicksburg (which probably was not going to succeed without a simultaneous action by the army). Less than three weeks later, the Arkansas suffered catastrophic engine trouble and with no hope for repair had to be destroyed by her own crew.
|Posted by Gilbert Stack on August 5, 2018 at 7:50 AM||comments (0)|
On this day (August 5) in 1620, the Pilgrims left England in the Speedwell to journey to the new world and found a Godly City. The Speedwell had been purchased by the Pilgrims to make the journey alongside the more famous Mayflower. The ship immediately began to leak, requiring the Pilgrims to return to Dartmouth for repairs. A second attempt was aborted for the same reason after journeying 350 miles. Pilgrim William Bradford complained that a too-large mast was the problem. Historian Nathaniel Philbrick theorizes that the too-large mast was purposely installed by the Dutch who wished to frustrate the Pilgrim’s attempt to found an English colony in the New World.
|Posted by Gilbert Stack on August 4, 2018 at 6:10 AM||comments (0)|
On this day (August 4) in 1693, Dom Pierre Perignon is credited with inventing champagne—even if he didn’t actually invent it. Perignon was a Benedictine monk. His real contribution to sparkling wine was to invent processes that improved the quality of the beverage.
|Posted by Gilbert Stack on August 3, 2018 at 8:50 AM||comments (0)|
I'm thrilled to announce that my Legionnaire Series has now sold more than 2500 copies. Thanks to everyone out there who has supported me by trying this series. It's a genuine labor of love and the best is definitely yet to come.
|Posted by Gilbert Stack on August 3, 2018 at 6:25 AM||comments (0)|
On this day (August 3) in 1936, Jesse Owens won the 100 meter dash, taking the gold medal at the Berlin Olympics. These were the first televised Olympic games, and Adolf Hitler viewed them as a platform to demonstrate the alleged superiority of the Arian Race and his Nazi Party. Jesse Owens did more than his part to deflate that dream by winning four gold medals.
|Posted by Gilbert Stack on August 2, 2018 at 5:05 AM||comments (0)|
On this day (August 2) in 338 BC, Philip II of Macedon (father of Alexander the Great) defeated Athens and Thebes at the Battle of Chaeronea. Philip had dominated Greece since 346 BC and cities like Athens worried that this would ultimately cost them their precious liberties. They attacked Philip’s territories and panicked when a few months later he began marching his army toward them. They asked Thebes for help and even though Thebes was traditionally hostile to Athens, it agreed to join forces against Philip.
The Macedonian army was comprised of roughly 30,000 infantry and 2,000 cavalry. Philip commanded his right wing and put his son, Alexander, in command of the left. Athens, Thebes and their allies fielded a larger army. After a hotly contested fight, Alexander and his troops broke the Greek right flank and Philip then crushed the Greek left. It has been described as one of the most decisive victories in history. Resistance to Philip crumbled permitting him to focus on his planned conquest of Persia which would be carried out by his son, Alexander, after Philip was assassinated by one of his bodyguards, possibly because he had abandoned the man for a younger lover.
|Posted by Gilbert Stack on August 1, 2018 at 5:15 AM||comments (0)|
On this day (August 1) in 1834 the British Empire outlawed slavery in most of their empire. The Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 banned the purchase and owning of slaves except in territories controlled by the East India Company—Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and St. Helena. Twenty Million Pounds Sterling was set aside by Parliament to compensate the slave owners. (This was 40% of the British Treasury’s annual income.) The money was split between slave holding families in the empire and absentee landowners living in England. These recipients included at least two earls and the Bishop of Exeter. The Act didn’t actually immediately free the slaves. Instead former slaves older than six years of age were relabeled as “apprentices” and released in two waves (in 1838 and 1840).
|Posted by Gilbert Stack on July 31, 2018 at 7:35 AM||comments (0)|
On this day (July 31) in 1423, England and its Burgundian allies defeated the Dauphin’s forces at the Battle of the Cravant. For all practical purposes, France was in the midst of a civil war caused by rival factions fighting for control over the government during the mental illness of Charles VI and aggravated when the Dauphin assassinated his Burgundian rival. Burgundy allied with England under Henry V and together they successfully dominated a significant amount of French territory including Paris. The Dauphin broke his peace treaty with England when Henry V died leaving an infant son as king, but the Burundians and English rallied together to defend the town of Cravant from the Dauphin’s siege. The Dauphin outnumbered the English forces by 2-3 times, but was outmaneuvered. He attempted to withdraw but 4000 Scottish troops serving under his command refused to retreat and the English smashed them, breaking the Dauphin’s army, and taking a couple of thousand prisoners. Things would continue to get worse for the Dauphin until a young peasant girl named Joan came to him bearing a message she insisted came from God.