Browsing: December 19

A Brief History On December 19, 1912, US President William H. Taft pardoned the skipper of the ill-fated cruise ship, the PS General Slocum, which had burned and sunk on June 15, 1904, costing over 1000 people their lives.  Captain William Van Schaick had been convicted of negligence in the incident and had served 3 ½ years in prison at Sing Sing prior to his pardon. Digging Deeper The General Slocum was a cruise steamship built in 1891 that had made a career of taking sightseers around the waters of New York City.  Unfortunately, her owners and operators, including Captain…

A Brief History On December 19, 2018, we take the opportunity to review the latest blockbuster DC Universe superhero film, Aquaman, a major motion picture that opens across the United States on December 21, 2018.  As you may know from previous reviews on this site, we usually only see movies we are likely to like, and like this movie we did!  Seen in Real D 3D, the film is lots and lots of eye candy.  The packed theater test audience included a better than usual representation of kids, and to say the kids got into the movie would be an…

A Brief History On December 19, 1907, the Darr Mine disaster in Van Meter, Pennsylvania (Westmoreland County) killed a total of 239 miners, both men and boys.  Incredibly, this tragedy was not even the worst mine disaster in the US that month!  Today we list the 10 Worst Mine Disasters in US History, ranked by number of fatalities.  Lucky for US miners, none of the worst US fatal mine accidents rank in the top 10 deadliest mine disasters in the world (the worst of all time being in Benxi, China, in 1942 when 1549 miners died in a coal dust…

A Brief History On December 19, 2016, another part of our democratic process will take place when the 538 electors of the Electoral College vote in the official US Presidential election of 2016.  All those millions of individual votes could either be confirmed or thrown out with the trash, depending on how the electors vote. Digging Deeper With a mandatory majority of 270 votes needed to be elected President, if no candidate gets that many electors to vote for him/her the vote would be remanded to the House of Representatives, who would then choose our next president. Who are these…

A Brief History On December 19,1961, the armed forces of India completed Operation Vijay, a land, sea and air assault against the Portuguese enclaves on Indian soil in the Goa region.  The mini-war only lasted 2 days, but it ended 451 years of Portuguese colonialism in India. Digging Deeper Portugal had grabbed a piece of India during the age of exploration when European colonial powers were conducting land grabs all over the world.  Portugal had established bases on the Indian sub-continent in the area of Goa and nearby regions, a modest holding by colonial standards, and Goa today is India’s…

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