Browsing: August 13

A Brief History On August 13, 1779, a combined US Naval and ground expeditionary force was defeated after a 3 week campaign known as The Penobscot Expedition, the worst defeat in US Navy history until the surprise attack against Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Digging Deeper During the American Revolutionary War, the British had seized the mid-coastal region of Maine and declared it to be “New Ireland,” and the fledgling American government sought to reclaim this area from the British.  A large expedition was assembled, including 19 warships, 25 smaller auxiliary craft, and 1000 ground troops, consisting of Colonial…

A Brief History On August 13, 1913, Harry Brearley began production of stainless steel in Britain.   A form of low carbon, high chromium (10.5% minimum, sometimes as much as 27%) steel, this wonderful stuff makes modern technology possible.  Metallurgists had discovered the addition of chromium to steel increased the resistance to corrosion of the metal long before, and an American, Elwood Haynes, had applied for a patent to process and produce stainless steel in 1912. Digging Deeper Even before both of these groundbreaking metallurgists others had made serious contributions to the development of stainless steel, including Pierre Berthier of France…

A Brief History On August 13, 1918, Opha Mae Johnson became the first of 305 women to enlist in the United States Marine Corps Women’s Reserve, proving that women can do and be just about anything! Digging Deeper Taking over clerical duties in the U.S. while the men went overseas, these first female Marines were unofficially called “Marinettes.” Though first formed during World War I, the Women’s Reserve was again mobilized during World War II and only became a permanent part of the Marine Corps in 1948. Today women comprise about 6.2% of total personnel strength of the Marines.  Of the approximately 194,000 Marines…

A Brief History On August 13, 1521, Cuauhtémoc, ruler of the Aztecs, was captured while fleeing Tenochtitlán by crossing Lake Texcoco in disguise with his wife, family and friends. He and the surviving pipiltin  (nobles) surrendered to Hernán Cortés and, according to Spanish sources, he offered Cortés his knife and asked to be killed. His death was a critical moment in the decline and fall of the Aztec Civilization! Digging Deeper History is told from the perspective of the winners. One can assume that many great civilizations have been lost to history. What does it mean to be a great civilization? The examples that come to mind…