A Brief History On June 4, 1989, an estimated tens of thousands Chinese military troops opened fire on perhaps a million Chinese protestors at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, the capital of China.  While numbers of troops, protestors, and casualties are only estimates, because historically, governments cannot be counted on to provide accurate accounts of embarrassing events, as many as 10,000 or more of the peaceful protestors may have died in the massacre. Digging Deeper Not only were hundreds or thousands of people shot, but many others were also trampled in the rush to avoid the gunfire or crushed under the…

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A Brief History On June 3, 1980, the long history of the Statue of Liberty was threatened by a bomb that exploded at the base of the statue, although luckily no one was killed and damage was minimal. Digging Deeper The alleged culprits in the 1980 bomb attack were Croatian nationalists that wanted to be separated from Yugoslavia to form their own country.  Directing their anger against the US during the Cold War seems a strange way to demand freedom from communism! Completed in 1886 as a gift to the US from France, the actual name of the statue is…

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A Brief History On June 1, 1862, the Battle of Seven Pines, also known as the Battle of Fair Oaks, was fought during the American Civil War. Both sides claimed victory in the battle, a phenomenon often seen after battles. Digging Deeper In this case, the Union forces were on the offensive in an attempt to take the Confederate capital, Richmond, and were stopped by the Army of Northern Virginia.  Both sides suffered numerous casualties, although the Confederates suffered more casualties, 6,134 to the Union’s 5,431. The Union could claim victory due to fewer casualties and the failure of the…

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A Brief History On May 31, 2003, Air France retired their Concorde supersonic jet airliners after a career that started in 1976.  Air France had a fleet of seven of the fast jets, while British Airways also fielded a fleet of seven.  An additional six of the so called SSTs were made for non-commercial users. Digging Deeper The first supersonic airliner, the Concorde was costly to operate and to fly on. The only competition ever created was the Russian Tu-144, jokingly called the “Concordski.”  The Russian version of supersonic airliner lasted from 1975 to 1978, although cargo versions remained in…

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A Brief History On May 30, 1972, a British far left terrorist group went on trial for conducting 25 bombings over the previous two years.  The soi-disant “Angry Brigade” saw eight of their members tried for the bombings, but only four of them were convicted.  In any case, the trial was the end of the cleverly named group. Digging Deeper Targets of the Angry Brigade included banks, embassies, conservative politicians, and even a beauty contest.  Luckily, no one was killed in the bombings, although one person was injured.  At least two people were the subject of assassination attempts by the…

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