Browsing: October 12

A Brief History On October 12, 1654, the Dutch city of Delft was the scene of a spectacular tragedy when a large gunpowder storehouse exploded, destroying much of the city and killing over 100 people.  Another 1000+ people were injured.  The incident is remembered as “The Delft Explosion” or “The Delft Thunderclap,” and was certainly not a unique accident concerning gunpowder. Digging Deeper The Delft Explosion was precipitated by the caretaker of the gunpowder magazine (the term used for a powder storehouse), Cornelis Soetens, went to test a sample of the gunpowder.  Exactly what the ill fated man did is…

A Brief History On October 12, 1810, the Royal Family of Bavaria, in what is now Germany, for the occasion of the celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen, invited all the citizens of Munich to join in the first ever Oktoberfest, a tradition that has become the largest “volksfest” in the world.  Lasting from 16 to 18 days, the main attraction is the wonderful beer that Bavaria is known for, but of course there is also music, dancing, and other folk-type activities, similar to American annual county fairs. Digging Deeper While…

A Brief History On October 12, 2017 the United States has only one more day to wait for the release of Jackie Chan’s latest and perhaps greatest film, The Foreigner.  A collaboration of Chinese and Western movie makers, this film is not a comedy, but a taut, spellbinding thriller with plenty of action. Digging Deeper Think of the movie along the lines of Taken, The Devil’s Own, Law Abiding Citizen, and The Limey.  Like the above films, The Foreigner is about a simple Chinese restaurant owner, a sort of everyman, that seeks justice in an unjust world.  In the title…

A Brief History On October 12, 1945, Corporal Desmond T. Doss of Lynchburg, Virginia, was awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest award for valor given to only the bravest of our military heroes.  A remarkable aspect of this award was that Doss was a lifelong conscientious objector and refused to bear arms against any other person, enemy or not. Digging Deeper Doss was the nation’s first conscientious objector to be honored by a Medal of Honor, and to make the feat that much less likely, he lived to receive his medal and died at the age of 87 in…

A Brief History On October 12, 1492, Christopher Columbus, the Italian adventurer sailing into the unknown in the name of the Spanish Crown, landed in the Bahamas, the landing that became known as the “discovery” of America (or, “The New World” if you prefer).  In New York City, 300 years later, the first “Columbus Day” was celebrated, an event that became a regular holiday in the United States, a day especially treasured by Italian-Americans, and Italians everywhere.  (Note: Columbus Day 2017 is celebrated on Monday, October 9th.) Digging Deeper Christopher Columbus is ranked among the greatest explorers and discoverers of…

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