Browsing: May 8

A Brief History On May 8, 1945, the French territory of Algeria, a colony incorporated into greater France since 1830, was the scene of one of the great massacres of protesters against colonial rule in European colonial history.  The native Algerian, almost exclusively Muslim, population of Algeria had long chafed under French colonial rule, and although most in France now considered Algeria as an integral part of France proper, World War II brought a new wave of national fervor to the Algerians wishing for independence. Digging Deeper During the German occupation of France (1940-1944), the Free French had established a…

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A Brief History On May 8, 1794, Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier, the man generally regarded as the Father of Modern Chemistry, was put to death on the guillotine during the Reign of Terror period of the French Revolution. It seems this man of noble birth who had such an enormous impact on the sciences of chemistry and biology was more than merely a scientist, but also a businessman and an agent of the Ancien Régime, the monarchy of France prior to the Revolution. Digging Deeper Born in Paris in 1743, Antoine was given a fine education (earning a degree in law…

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A Brief History On May 8, 1945, Victory in Europe was declared by the victorious Allied Powers, which included Canada and Nova Scotia. The Port City of Halifax, Capital of Nova Scotia, was the scene of the Halifax Riot, an event simmering just under the surface waiting for the War to end in Europe for the War to begin at home. Digging Deeper Nova Scotia, Canada’s second smallest province, is on the Atlantic Coast and its Capital, Halifax, served during World War II as the important Western terminus of the vital ship lanes to and from England. The influx of…

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A Brief History On May 8, 1945, Nazi Germany surrendered unconditionally to the allies and ceased to exist as a state. You may count Germany invading Poland in 1939 as the start of World War II (also known as The Second World War) or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1937, but in any case most people would guess correctly that World War II cost more lives than any other war in history. (Please note that total lives lost in each war are also debatable, and the list can be rearranged somewhat depending on your analysis of the sources.) The…

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A Brief History On May 8, 1927, 2 weeks before Charles Lindbergh and his Spirit of St. Louis flew into history, 2 Frenchmen made the first attempt at a Paris to New York (or New York to Paris) flight and disappeared somewhere over the Atlantic. Digging Deeper The world of aviation progressed to the point where the idea of a non-stop trans-Atlantic flight began to seem possible. Two British aviators, John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown, made the first non-stop transatlantic flight in June 1919 when they flew a modified World War I Vickers Vimy bomber from St. John’s, Newfoundland,…

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