Browsing: Society

A Brief History On June 7, 1962, a right wing French Nationalist terror group, the Organisation Armée Secrète, usually referred to as the OAS, set fire to and burned the library at the University of Algiers in Algeria, destroying half a million books.  Calling themselves “counter-terrorists”, “self-defense groups” or simply “the resistance,” the aim of these French nationalists was to prevent the independence of Algeria, forcing the country to remain part of France.  Usually we think of terrorist groups as rebels or an independence movement, but in this case the group was trying to keep “France” as they saw it…

A Brief History On June 3, 2017, radical Islamist terrorists once again struck London, England, with an attack that killed 8 people and injured another 48, as well as costing all 3 terrorists their lives.  The weapons used in the attack were a delivery van and knives.  The unarmed public and the 4 unarmed police officers on the scene were helpless to stop the attackers, though armed police that finally responded shot the 3 terrorists dead.  It took armed police 8 minutes to arrive, which undoubtedly seemed much longer to the victims.  All 3 terrorists were also found to be…

A Brief History On June 2, 1886, President of the United States, Grover Cleveland, aged 49, married 21 year old Frances Folsom in the White House, a wedding that today may well draw negative comments, but received no particular censure at the time.  Cleveland is not alone as a world leader that married someone much older or younger than himself, and today we discuss 5 such pairings of chronologically distant people, one of which in each relationship was an important leader. Question for Students (and others): What May-December world leader romance do you find most fascinating?  Please tell us in…

A Brief History On May 28, 1830, US President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, a law allowing the President to negotiate with tribes still located in the Southern United States to be moved West of the Mississippi River.  This act and the actions that followed were tantamount to a genocide of Southeastern Native American people, leading to the infamous “Trail of Tears” migration of the Cherokee people in which as many as half of the 16,000+ relocated Cherokee died enroute to reservations in the West.  (Note: The Native Americans so relocated took their African American slaves along with…

A Brief History On May 22, 1856, Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina had had it!  After hearing an anti-slavery speech delivered by Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner, including invective against Brooks’ cousin, the Senator from South Carolina, Andrew Butler, Brooks met up with Sumner in the hallway outside of the Senate and proceeded to beat the hapless Senator with the congressman’s cane.  Brooks beat Sumner so severely, the injured legislator nearly died. Digging Deeper Brooks, a Democrat, as were most Southerners at the time, had pounded Sumner, a Republican, the party that seemed to represent the greatest threat to the…

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