Browsing: December 16

A Brief History On December 16, 1901, British artist and conservationist Beatrix Potter self-published the book that would launch her literary career, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, a book that would sell 45 million copies (Note: Number of copies sold and ranking among various best selling lists vary by source.  The initial success of the book led to it being published by an established publisher a year later.)  Peter Rabbit would end up as perhaps the 10th best selling Children’s Book of all time, and around the 35th best selling book of any type in history.  Ah, but Potter was…

A Brief History On December 16, 1838, one of the greatest defeats of a large military force by a much smaller force took place with incredibly lopsided results when the Boers (aka Voortrekkers, aka Afrikaners) of South Africa fought the Zulu warriors at ‘Blood River’ (Ncome River) in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. Digging Deeper The Boers were Dutch settlers of South Africa, and those hardy souls that headed inland to settle were called “Trekkers” or pioneers (“Voortrekkers” after 1880).  In 1838, the Trekkers had encountered many obstacles in illness, harsh terrain, and hostile African natives.  In an attempt to settle…

A Brief History On December 16, 1497, Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama passed the Great Fish River in what is now South Africa on his voyage around the Southern tip of Africa to reach India by sea, a previously not accomplished feat by European sailors. Digging Deeper Europeans named this river The “Great Fish” River to differentiate it from The “Nambian Fish” River.  (You would think ALL rivers are “Fish” River!)  The Great Fish was previously called Rio do Infante after the European that first visited the river in the 1480s (Joao Infante).  The main tributary of the Great Fish…

A Brief History On December 16, 1773, Americans proved that they were not willing to be pushed around by a government that levied onerous taxes upon them, and this displeasure was expressed in the civil act of defiance known to us today as The Boston Tea Party. Digging Deeper Today’s anti-tax minded Americans calling themselves the TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party Movement (circa 2010) finds its origins in this step leading to the American Revolutionary War. The Tea Act of May 10, 1773 had been passed by Parliament in England to tax tea headed for the colonies in America, and…

A Brief History On December 16, 1965, General William Westmoreland, the American commander in Viet Nam requested an additional 243,000 US troops to go with the 184,300 US military men already in South Viet Nam.  It was not enough, and it would never be enough. Digging Deeper Viet Nam was part of the French colony of French Indochina, and had fought for its independence with success in 1954, but splitting the country between the communist North Viet Nam and democratic South Viet Nam.  The communist North was determined to reunite the country under the communist banner, and was supported by…

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