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The  VANGUARD --   2019

. . . text and images throughout this Website often contain active links . . ."forsan et hæc olim meminisse iuvabit"

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History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies -- Alexis de Tocqueville

Slowly rocking the Max Schmeling Halle -- Craft Beer in Italy

Language is not an abstract construction of the learned, or of dictionary makers, but is something arising out of the work, needs, ties, joys, affections, tastes, of long generations of humanity, and has its bases broad and low, close to the ground. Quote from Noah Webster, US writer & lexicographer (10/16/1758 – 05/28/1843)

Some French Cities HERE (and Belgium)
German and Swiss City links

Images of 1916 coinage, Early Roman Emperors, later Roman era, Byzantine Coinage -- Irish Copper Colonial Coinage (US) -- Seventeenth Century British Copper

Maclet -- A Mystery of Art -- Baseball Cards
More Art -- Sunsets -- Cumberland Falls

The past screams to us, but will we listen ???
The article's oldest link (and comments): HERE

A Paris Page -- Some Mountains in Southern France -- Austrian Wines -- German wine growing areas: Rheingau Wine region -- Ahr Wines -- Bad Schussenried

Stamp Link -- Engelberg -- Bremen, Hamburg und Hanover -- Salzburg -- US Gold Coinage (a small sample) -- (New: Winter 2018 )

A modern hymn -- Truth is heavy; therefore, few wear it. -- Midrash Shmuel on Avot: 4 (פרקי אבות)

More Verses and Selections: Page 1 -- Page 2 -- Page 3
Passover - Pesach

Stand by the roads, look and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; 
walk in that way and find rest for your souls

This is none other than the dwelling place of God,
and this is the Gate of Heaven
This is the Gate of the Lord, the Righteous shall enter into it

And, on the last day, I know that I shall stand,
in my own flesh,
and see God, my Redeemer [Job 19:25-27].
Dieu entendre moi
cri de mon cœur - étrangère
dans mon propre pays {Psalm 69}

Unto Thee {alone}
will I cry, O Lord my Rock
{and my Redeemer}

I was glad when they said unto me, We will go into the house of the Lord  Psalm 122.

There is sprung up a light for the righteous: And joyful gladness for such as are true-hearted [Psalm 97:11].

Beloved, we are now the sons of God, but it doth not yet appear what we shall become;
however, we know that, when He shall return, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is [1 John 3:2].

Placez-vous sur les chemins, regardez, Et demandez quels sont les anciens sentiers, Quelle est la bonne voie; marchez-y, Et vous trouverez le repos de vos âmes !

Printed in Lyon-Lugdunum February 18, 1559: Regarded by many at the time as the most learned in Europe, Isaac Casaubon (born on this date in Geneva to Huguenot refugee parents, died July 1, 1614) first became a classical scholar in France. The family returned to their native France with the publication of the Edict of Saint-Germain in 1562, and settled at Crest in Dauphiné, where Arnaud Casaubon, Isaac’s father, became minister of a Huguenot congregation. During the Religious Wars in France his family often had to hide in the mountains and caves of the region to avoid capture by roving bands of fanatics.

Casaubon became a noted scholar, and taught in Paris. The life of any Huguenot in Paris was still insecure at that time, for it was doubtful if the police-force of the city was strong enough (or willing) to protect Protestants against any sudden mob uprising, always poised to re-enact the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre. When the assassination of Henry IV gave full rein to the anti-protestant party at his court, Casaubon left for England, where he lived out the remaining years of his life. He was buried in Westminster Abbey. Thomas Morton, his friend, while Bishop at Durham, furnished the monument which bears Isaac's name. -- this article incorporates text from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, a publication in the public domain. Casaubon's life reflects fervor of the era, the circumstances that lead to widespread Huguenot migration out of France, a nation which lost many of its best and brightest to Germany, Holland, England and eventually to America.

February 18, 1562: Meanwhile on this date, French colonists, mostly Protestants, set sail for Florida. They will be slaughtered by the Spanish. Less than two weeks later, the thirty year period known as the Religious Wars of France would begin when soldiers, under the command of Duke François II de Guise, murder about 200 Huguenot villagers in Vassy (Champagne region). François is the uncle of Mary, Queen of Scots, of the Stuart dynasty, who tries to restore Catholicism to Scotland and England. The MASSACRE AT VASSY, committed by the de Guise's party against a congregation of unarmed persons, took place during a religious service. This particular Duc de Guise died in 1563 at the hands of an assassin, even though he was a national hero for his defense of Metz. The next Duc (Henri I de Lorraine) was no better a man and would meet the same end.
February 18, 1685: The French nation established Fort St. Louis (René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle) alongside Matagorda Bay on the west bank of Garcitas Creek (about 400 miles west of the Mississippi River), thus forming the basis for France's claim to Texas. The settlement lasted four years, until native attacks killed off everyone, except 5 children. The Spanish expeditions of Alonso De León arrived in April, 1689. It found a fort in shambles and the remains of three of the French settlers. They gave the settlers a proper burial, recovered the children and burned what remained of Fort Saint Louis in an attempt to eradicate all traces of a French presence.

In 1721-22 Marqués de Aguayoqv claimed to have built Nuestra Señora de Loreto de la Bahía Presidio directly over the remains of the French fort. The Spanish would of course contest the French claim to Texas-Louisiana. Enough of a question remained, however, so as to regard the French transfer of Louisiana to the United States, as also transferring the disputed interest in Texas, because the French had acquired the Spanish interest in Louisiana. This is why the French Flag is one of the six national flags that have flown over the state -- can you name the others ?? Archæologists have found LaSalle's ship. The article about the discovery and the history of the expedition makes for a good read.

February 18, 1807: Today marks the passing of Marie Sophie von La Roche (née Gutermann von Gutershofen, Dec. 6, 1731, Kaufbeuern in Bavaria) in Offenbach am Main, in Hessen (Germany). Offenbach sits across the river from eastern side of Frankfurt. La Roche's novel Geschichte des Fräuleins von Sternheim (1771) [The History of Lady Sophia Sternheim (trans. London 1776)] was the first novel written by a German woman. La Roche was the cousin of Christoph Martin Wieland and the grandmother of Bettina von Arnim and Clemens Brentano.
Le 19 février 197 -- Victoire de Septime Sévère à Lyon: Une bataille met aux prises deux prétendants à l'empire de Rome. Elle s'achève par la victoire de Septime Sévère, le général de l'armée romaine du Danube, sur son rival, le gouverneur de Bretagne, Clodius Albinus. Le vainqueur pille et détruit Lugdunum (Lyon) avant d'imposer sa loi à Rome . . . Lyon would be rebuilt.

One of Julius Caesar's lieutenants during the gallic conquest founded the Roman "capital" of Gaul. Named Lugdunum, the city sat on top of large hill (small mountain) now called the Fourvière. It overlooked a valley where two rivers converged (Rhône and Saône) and several gallic settlements existed already in the floodplain of that great expanse. The Gaulois included Celtic tribes like the Helvetii, the Sequani, and the Aedui, along the Rhône and Saône rivers; the Arverni among the mountains (Cévennes) to the west of the Rhône; and, the Allobroges along the nearby Isère River Valley (an hour away by modern train that easily passes through the mountainous region between the two.

The city received special privileges because of its most illustrious citizen, the emperor Claudius. He was born there during the service of his father, who died young. It was a prosperous city from which five roads departed to the Aquitaine, Italy, the Rhineland, Arles and the ocean (the ancient greek and Phoenician trade route. Today at the top of the hill, near the stark white 19th Century Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière, a superb museum attests to the area's history. It overlooks the magnificent vestiges of two theatres and other the ancient buildings that were at the heart of what would become Rome's second city (Musée de la Civilisation Gallo-Romaine).

Lugdunum, however never recovered from the fate of civil unrest and destruction by Septimius Severus, under Rome, but today it is the second City of France, spread out for miles below the hill. The Bishop seat within the city, in memory of the prominent role, played in the introduction of Christianity in Gaul, keeps even today the title "Primate of the Gauls" with many fine examples of ancient structures.

Constantius == CONSTAN TIVS
Antioch Mint == SMANEI (EI = officina 15
{15th authorized mint workshop})

February 19, 356 A.D. On this date the Roman Emperor Constantius II by law the closed all pagan temples and consolidated the power of the Western and Eastern Empires under one Christian Rule.

Upon Constantine's death, Constantius inherited the entire eastern Empire. Soon after he added Thrace to his rule and as his brothers died, he annexed their territories. When he defeated the western usurper, Magnentius, Constantine had mastered the entire Roman Empire. Although he started campaigning along the Danube, war with Persia forced his return to the East. Shortly after, he received news that Flavius Cluadius Iulianus {Julian II}, a nephew, had been proclaimed Augustus by his troops at Lutetia (Paris), Julian rushed toward Rome. Constantius, after successful campaigns against the border natives, died on his way back west to fight his new challenger.

By default, Julian had become the ruler of the Roman Empire. A philosopher and brilliant tactician in the ancient art of war, he sought to re-establish the age of Pericles, both in culture and science. He reversed Constantius' closure of pagan temples. For these acts he is known since then as The Apostate. Julian is said to have died from a Persian arrow only two and a half years into his rule. His successors returned a Christian preference to Roman law, and by the time of Theodosius, who tolerated only the universal or "holy catholic" faith in the Empire, the old pagan religion was outlawed fully.

Also of Antioch but probably
a contemporary counterfeit

February 19, 1552: Birth day of Melchior Klesl in Vienna, Austria. A Protestant in early life, Klesl converted to Roman Catholicism through the influence of the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Order). He became a priest and rose in the Catholic Church, first to the office of Bishop of Vienna and later Cardinal. He was close to the Holy Roman Emperor and for a time was in essential control of this germanic regime. He worked for religious tolerance, which offended many of the Catholic-faith princes in Germany, who had scarcely forgotten the Reformation. Klesl, arrested and imprisoned in 1618 (released in 1627), continued as a Catholic prelate until his death.
February 19, 1807, Aaron Burr, now former Vice-president under Thomas Jefferson, was arrested for treason in Alabama. He had attempted to carve out an empire in the south-west. He was later acquitted. Mr. Burr is best remembered for his dueling prowess. Vice-president Burr, irritated by Secretary Alexander Hamilton, shot and killed him. He was indicted for murder, but never arrested. Nor was he removed from office, because there was no controlling legal precedent to prevent a Vice-president from shooting the Secretary of the Treasury. Mr. Hamilton's portrait may be found on the U.S. $10 bill. Monsieur Burr's is nowhere to be found. Dueling, although illegal, was common at the time; never-the-less Burr's legacy remains poor. Interestingly, Hamilton's own son died of a duel, only a year before his father's untimely passing. Politics can be a deadly advocation.

February 20, 1915: In San Francisco, President Woodrow Wilson opened the Panama-Pacific International Exposition to memorialize the opening of the Panama Canal. About 300,000 people attended opening-day celebrations. The World Fair featured pavilions with exhibits from 41 nations, 43 states and 3 US territories. A 40-ton instrument (made by the Austin Organs Co. of Hartford, Conn.) with 7,000 pipes played the “Hallelujah Chorus.” After the exposition closed the organ moved to the Civic Auditorium; used for 7 decades until damaged in the 1989 earthquake.

Mercury-Atlas 6 -Friendship 7- departs 
February 20, 1962. 9:47:39 am EST from 
Cape Canaveral Launch Complex 14
Lands at 14:43:02 pm EST

It was about 45 years from the time of the Panama Canal's completion until the beginning of space flight by man. It has been over 50 years since John Glenn's first ride. What will the next similar span bring ??? Will we only just have gotten to Mars, or will we figure a way to move faster, or perhaps the forces of an evil anarchy prevail; and our lifetime quest only will be a trip to a city to touch a meteorite once dedicated to a moon goddess.

February 20th 2014: Ukraine continues in the news -- A truce is declared, violence rages on, dead bodies are displayed in the hotel that the press uses (what's the message there). Nothing new, but seems to be heating up for action after the Olympics finish this weekend; meanwhile, released video shows Russian police whipping and beating hooligan women who dare sing about the thuggery taking place in Russian life - what a riot. Off to the Gulag ye go !

In February 2010, Russia publicly talked about taking back the part of the Ukraine that is naturally Russian (and protecting the rest from violence thereby):   Below a few things from a few years ago, as the dispute continues on what sphere of influence Russia will have over its old colonies and territories. Will the violence become so bad that Russian troops are welcomed as the restorers of law and order. One is temped to say follow the money, but when dealing with despots one must look at other agendas. Am I being clear here ?

Originalpublication date: March 4, 1882
February 17, 2008 -- Kosovo in the news

Click for our Map --

Perhaps we would better understand the positions, if the southwest of the US became a 90% Mexican-heritage area and decided to leave the US. UN troops would be stationed there to keep the peace. The area would then form a new country, with close relations to Mexico and Russia. Soon, Russia would have a missile defense system placed in Phoenix, LA, Albuquerque, Dallas and Houston, in order to prevent sneak attacks from South America terrorists upon Russian soil. All's fair in love and war. Of course, the US has no history of ethnic cleansing of Mexican-heritage people, so this is just a far-fetched example that would never-ever happen. Moreover, mother Russia would never do such a thing today. Indeed, Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev hardly placed blame for any future natural consequences. “It is absolutely obvious that the crisis ... is the responsibility of those who have made the illegal decision [and it] will unfortunately have long-term consequences for peace on the European continent.” NY Times -- Scathing Comments by the Moscow News Weekly (2/28)

Article from Le Soir, roughly translated: Ukraine: "Europe must say no to those who kill {murder}" -- Speaking Wednesday after a meeting with Angela Merkel, French President François Hollande discussed the repression in Ukraine, of "unspeakable acts, unacceptable, intolerable." These actions affect us. Directly. And, not just because Kiev is as close to us as other capitals in Europe such as Athens or Lisbon.

We must not forget that this is the issue of reconciliation - the " Association Agreement " - with the European Union which has set fire to the powder in the country. Most Ukrainian people believe that Europe is their future. Like many others, they see in our Union, a bulwark against new rulers, new limitations [on freedom}. Europe, in their eyes, it is the guarantee of the "rule of law", freedom of expression, the social model of their aspirations for their children.

Their enthusiasm, moreover, also reminds us that we can be proud of this our Union, which certainly has many faults, but certainly does not merit all the simple process espoused these days by populists. So Europe has a special responsibility on the Ukrainian scene. And it must act.

Viktor Yanukovych and his fancy minions can not get away with what they are doing. Not in 2014, in the heart of Europe, nor does the blame rest more on the population ! Of course, there are deaths on both sides. However, there can be no question of reciprocity between a president who wraps himself in the dignity of institutions, who puts on his executioner's hood (perhaps to hide his all too provocative grin ... and the crowd on the Maidan [the Maïdan Nézalejnosti (in Ukrainien : Майдан Незалежності, - literally Independence Square), is the central gathering place in Kiev].

Timely, credible sanctions must be applied against those responsible for the repression. At the same time, the dialogue should be maintained with Russia, now that his Olympic "truce" has been broken by the hothead [thug]s in the Yanukovych system.

The "Twenty- Eight" foreign ministers of the Union are gathered this Thursday afternoon in Brussels for a special council meeting devoted to Ukraine. We are too used to seeing them only record their divergent views on world affairs. This is not the time to persevere on this path ... The situation in Kiev requires all Europeans to respond, and to be effective, to force a political dialogue in the Ukraine.

1854 Pattern large cent in Copper
Another beautiful coin 
It is a pattern for the 1857 penny

February 21, 1853: An Act of Congress authorized production of a three-dollar gold coin. And, on this date in 1857, the half cent was discontinued and the small one cent coin with the flying eagle motif was authorized. The eagle in flight was, until that time, found on a number of proof strikes of the new, smaller-sized penny dated 1856. A few large-sized pattern cent pieces survive with a somewhat similar look. On these the style of eagle is modeled after the eagle by engraver Gobrecht that graced the reverse of the half dollars of 1838 and 1839. The motif is also related to the silver dollars of 1836-1839, except that the silver dollars have a slightly different feather treatment, particularly on the neck.

February 21, 1855: The official dedication of the Washington Monument took place in the Nation's Capital City, although the monument was not completed for another thirty-three years. In fact, the structure took a total of forty-eight years to finish. Robert Mills designed the stone obelisk-shaped building honoring the first President of the United States. Mills died in this, the year of the dedication. Upon completion, the monument became the world's tallest structure, a title it held until 1889, when builders finished the Eiffel Tower in Paris. At 170 meters high it is about a fifth of the size of the world's latest structure, dedicated on January 4, 2010, at Dubai City.

Robert Mills was an American architect of the classic revival period, born in Charleston, S.C. From 1800 to 1820 he worked as an architect in Washington, Philadelphia and Baltimore, being associated at different times with Thomas Jefferson, James Hoban and B. H. Latrobe. He then returned to Charleston as South Carolina's state engineer and architect. In 1836, President Jackson appointed Mills the chief architect for public buildings in Washington. In this post he designed and supervised the construction of the U.S. Treasury Building (1836 - found on the back of a $10 bill), as well as the U.S. Patent Office and the U.S. Post Office Department Headquarters (now the home of the International Trade Commission), both begun in 1839.

So I was thinking: What can one do today to memorialize George Washington's Birthday, which should be celebrated on the 22nd, but by government fiat is recognized only on a nearby Monday (in 2015 on the 16th) ? Perhaps, fly a flag that has 33 stars ! Now the reproduction flags most sold today have a different pattern than the older one we use (see; see also Back then, however, Congress had mandated no official pattern for the stars on a US Flag. It is not the star pattern found at: It was not like the one flown over Fort Sumter:

Oregon, the 33rd state, was added to the Union on February 14, 1859, and the new Flag became official on July 4th of that year and lasted until George Washington's birthday in 1861. So the recounting that follows explains why my choice appears appropriate:

February 22, 1861: On this day, Abraham Lincoln, the President-elect, went to Philadelphia to attend a flag raising ceremony. Seven Southern States were preparing to secede from the Union. The Nation was in a condition of crisis. Threats already had been made on Mr. Lincoln's life and he would be secretly transported through Baltimore on his way to his Inauguration. Raising the American flag on this day, George Washington's birthday, over the building in which Americans had declared their independence from England, was indeed a courageous act of faith. Mr. Lincoln raised a large 34 star flag over Independence Hall. It was a bold statement that the Nation created four score and five years earlier should be preserved. Also check out the different patterns for the 34-star flag:

The holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February is officially Washington's Birthday; yet still, many Americans wrongly believe that this Federal observance now is called Presidents' Day, in honor of both Presidents Washington and Lincoln, whose birthdays are February 22nd and February 12th, respectively. Only Washington's Birthday has become official. In 1885, President Chester Arthur signed a bill making this day a Federal holiday.
February 22nd: George Washington was born on February 11, 1731/32, according to the Julian calendar. In 1752, however, Britain and her colonies adopted the Gregorian calendar, jumping the date ahead by 11 days (and making January the first month of the year instead of mid-March). According to the new calendar, Washington's birthday occurred on February 22, 1732. I wonder which day Washington thought was his day.

On this date in 1797, the last invasion of the Island called Britain took place when some 1,400 Frenchmen landed at Fishguard, in Wales. Of all the illustrious Battle Honors won by the British army, some say perhaps the most bizarre is also the only one awarded for service on British soil. The honour belongs to the Pembroke Yeomanry, awarded in 1853 in recognition of the defeat of the last invading force. While more booze may have been expended than bullets, the final outcome was a minor masterpiece of the use of bluff over brute force; and, while it may appear fairly ludicrous today, the engagement still stands as a tribute to the Welsh Yeomans' pluck. Among the French force was an American commander, William Tate, of whom history has heard little more. Tate on that day had, however, at least achieved something that Napoléon, Hitler and massive force would never again accomplish -- he actually had invaded England.

Of note, today also is Robert Baden-Powell's birthday. He is the founder of the International Scouting movement. The Girl Scouts celebrate Thinking Day on this date in honour of his memory and that of his wife, who was also born February 22nd. In 2012 Girl Scouting in the USA will be 100 years of age. "In every country the purpose of the Scouts' training is identical, namely, efficiency for Service towards others; and with such an object in common, we can, as an International Brotherhood in Service, go forward and do a far-reaching work." Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell

February 22, 1892: "The Battle of Atlanta" opens at a cyclorama on Edgewood Avenue near Piedmont Road in Atlanta; but not until 1921 would the exhibit be housed in a more permanent home. The painting was commissioned as publicity by John Blackjack Logan, a Union general who served under Sherman in 1864, who was running for Vice President with James Blaine in 1884. Logan was prominently displayed in one scene leading other generals into the fray. When he lost the election, he apparently didn't pay for his giant painting, which today is the largest in the world. Note: at Clark Gable's request, Rhett Butler was added to the artwork, but as a dead soldier.

As panorama painting became increasingly popular during the latter half of the nineteenth century, William Wehner founded the American Panorama Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The studio’s first project was to capture the cataclysmic events of the "Storming of Missionary Ridge and Battle Above the Clouds." The painting was first mounted in Chicago across the street from Paul Philippoteaux’s Gettysburg Cyclorama, and later toured to Kansas City, Chattanooga and Atlanta. In 1892 it was placed on display in Nashville, Tennessee where it was destroyed by a tornado.

A Madison, Georgia businessman purchased "The Battle of Atlanta" in 1890. He also owned the first {Chattanooga} cyclorama produced by Wehler's company. In an interesting twist of fate, "The Battle of Atlanta" was shown in Chattanooga while the Missionary Ridge display ran at the Edgewood Avenue location. The citizens of Atlanta got their first view of "The Battle of Atlanta" only in 1892, at the location vacated by the Chattanooga cyclorama. A year later the entire exposition unexpectedly closed when 8 inches of snow collapsed the roof. Even the new home has seen hard times. In 1967 a violent thunderstorm damaged the Grant Park building and the painting, both of which have since been refurbished (1979).

The news in 2017 is that the painting in the round is going to get another restoration and has a new home. "The Battle of Atlanta," one of the world's largest paintings, settled into its new home Friday night after two days of moving that followed months of preparation. Crews lowered the cyclorama painting -- which is in two pieces, rolled onto 45-foot-tall spools -- through the roof of the Atlanta History Center in the city's Buckhead neighborhood. The successful relocation of the massive painting was an engineering feat, given its age (131 years), weight (between 4 and 5 tons) and fragile condition.

February 23, 155 (old style (traditional) date): Saint Polycarp, a Bishop of Smyrna, dies a martyr. Reportedly a direct disciple of the Apostle John, Polycarp sent out apostles to found other churches like the one at Lyon. At age 86, he was condemned to be burned at the stake. It is written that Polycarp said upon his death pyre: You try to frighten me with fire that burns for an hour and forget the fire of hell that never burns out ! The flames, tradition says, would not touch him, and when Polycarp was run through with a sword, his blood killed the fire. (Eusèbe, Histoire eccl. (Pères apostoliques), 1. V, c. XX)

[devant l'Autel de Dieu]
Crions de joie pour le Seigneur,
Acclamons notre Rocher, notre Salut !
Approchons devant lui en rendant grâce,
Par nos chants et nos hymnes,
[Nous] acclamons-tu !
{Psaume 94}
{So let us} come
{before the Alter of the Lord},
Cry out with joy for the Lord,
Hail our Rock, our Salvation !
Approach Him with thanksgiving,
With our songs and hymns, let us hail [extol] Him !
(Psalm 95 (eng numbering))

Saint Polycarp, who served as the bishop of the Church at Smyrna (modern day Izmir) He is recognized as one of three Church Fathers with a direct tie to an Apostle (in his case as noted above, John). Some assert that Polycarp suffered his martyrdom on the 22nd of February, but it is variously celebrated on the 23rd or in January on the 26th; moreover, the year of death also is a topic of dispute. Polycarp is regarded as a Saint in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran Churches. Irenæus, who remembered him from his youth, said of him; "a man who was of much greater weight, and a more steadfast witness of truth, than Valentinus, and Marcion, and the rest of the heretics." This is the same Saint Irenæus, Bishop of Lyon, who received a copy of a letter about Polycarp traced to the Church of Smyrna. One can further trace the cultus of Saint Polycarp to Lyons. It is said, but not proved, that his relics left Smyrna: reliquiæ ejus Lugduni in crypta habentur. Google has an entire book on file on Polycarp's life from 1898 (NY edition of London print) by Rev. Blomfield Jacksn, which contains many well-researched references:

Lucian, the witty litterateur of Samosata, writing circa A.D. 165-170 is one such source. Bishop Lightfoot (Apost. Fathers, II. i. p. 606) enumerates the possible references to the martyrdom of Polycarp in the satire on the "Death of Peregrinus," who committed suicide at the Olympic Games of A.D. 165. Salient points are (i) the lighting of the pyre with torches and fagots, (ii) the stripping off the clothes, (iii) the prayer on the pyre, (iv) the comparison with a baking and, (v) the eagerness of the crowd for his relics. Google Books Link is HERE

February 23, 303: Diocletian begins his Great Persecution, issuing edicts that call for Christian churches to be destroyed, sacred writings burned, Christians to lose civil rights and clergy to be imprisoned and forced to sacrifice to pagan gods. The following year he went even further, ordering all to sacrifice on pain of death. Diocletian resigned in 305AD, after 20 years in office: Foxe labeled the end of Diocletian's reign as the finish of the tenth period of Primitive Persecutions:

February 23, 1011 -- Death of St. Willigis von Mainz: St. Willigis was born to the family of a wagon builder in a village in Lower Saxony, Germany. He rose in rank to become the chancellor of Germany under the emperor Otto I. In 975 he became the Archbishop of Mainz and was named the Primate of Germany by Pope Benedict VII. It was he who crowned Otto III at Aachen in 983 and in 1002 crowned Heinrich II at Mainz. Willigis participated in the consecration of Pope Gregory V in 996. He presided at the Synod of Frankfurt in 1007. He is entombed in the Church of St. Stephen in Mainz (Mayence). His designation as a saint precedes the practice of formal canonization by a pope.

February 23, 1455: Interestingly on this date, Johannes Gutenberg (Johan Gensfleisch, circa 1400-1468) printed his first book, the Bible. Gutenberg printed Latin Bibles of which 11 were still extant in 1987. The availability of inexpensive books soon resulted in the Bible being printed in native languages such as German (translation by M. Luther), English (several issues during time of Henry VIII and his son), and French (by J. Calvin).

These translations loosened the monopoly of the Catholic Church on the spiritual life of the European populace and its rulers, eventually contributing to the Reformation that engulfed the West in decades of civil war and deadly political strife. For example, on February 25, 1570, Pope Pius V issued the bull Regnans in Excelsis, which excommunicated Queen Elizabeth the First of England (daughter of Henry VIII). This order purported to absolve her subjects from their allegiance. Elizabeth responded by hanging and burning Jesuits. Scarcely 8 years earlier, on March 1, 1562, General de Guise at Vassy sanctioned the murder of Huguenots and sparked a series of conflicts in France, collectively known as The Wars of Religion. Indeed, the so-called 5th War (of Religion), against the Huguenots, broke out on February 23, 1574.
February 23, 1836: On September 29, 1835, a detachment of the Mexican army arrived in Gonzales, Texas, a Mexican state, to confiscate a cannon . The cannon was well hidden, but eighteen armed men stood in plain sight. They taunted the Mexican army to "come and take it." The two sides talked and dickered, but no action was taken. However, the little band of men grew to 167 in two days. Early the next morning the Texans attacked the Mexican camp believing the troops had prepared to attack that day as well. With this preemptive strike the Texas Revolution was underway. Troops of the Revolution would eventually find their way to and laid siege of San Antonio in late 1835, driving off Mexican forces after the battle of December 5th. Mexican President, Dictator, and General Santa Anna after putting down a rebellion in the Yucatan, moved north to crush that in Texas, crossing over the Rio Grande on February 15th. There would be no mercy shown to the revolutionaries, who would be executed at every turn. The forces of history were gathering, while Texans remained over confidant and indecisive.

On the 23rd the Alamo fell under siege by Antonio López de Santa Anna, General-in-Chief of the Army of Operations, and President of the Republic of Mexico. The siege of the Alamo began a 13-day period that turned a ruined Spanish mission in San Antonio, Texas, into the Texas Shrine known the world over and revered for the heroic defense of freedom it represents. The fight for Texas Independence (formally declared March 2nd) would be complete only when Santa Anna sufered defeat at San Jacinto. Remember the Alamo would be the rallying cry that some say led to his ruin and exile; but, in truth it was an influx of legal and illegal immigration into the Texas province of Mexico, as well as his willful breach of the Mexican Constitution, that resulted in the legal transfer of the Texas Nation and eventually other territories to the United States. English-speaking American settlers far outnumbered Spanish speaking Mexican citizens, and the lands had ceased practically to be tied to Mexico, when the conflict occurred. Indeed, many Spanish-speaking Texans supported the formal break as necessary to preserve freedom.

Santa Anna had crossed over the Rio Grande into Texas near Guerrero -- Eagle Pass at the long established river crossing on the road to San Antonio out of Mexico proper. From January 10th until February 16, 1836, Guerrero served as the staging area for what was expected to be a quick victory in Texas. Santa Anna was right -- in a way -- as he was captured in the battle of San Jacinto and signed a Peace Treaty recognizing the Republic of Texas on May 14, 1836.
Santa Anna would reprise his role during the Mexican-American war. U.S. troops under General Zachary Taylor would defeat Mexican General Santa Anna at the Battle of Buena Vista in Mexico (San Luis Potosi) on February 23, 1847. He surrounded the forces commanded by Taylor (Old Rough and Ready) at the Angostura Pass in Mexico and demanded an immediate surrender. Taylor refused, although outnumbered 3 to 1. Superior US artillery was able to halt the advance of Mexican legions. Santa Anna goes home declaring victory, but Mexico would lose this war and the good General would spend his second time in exile on the beautiful Isle of Jamaica (1848).

Elected in 1848, Taylor would become 12th President of the United States due to his war record, but would serve only 16 months. He died July 9, 1850 in Washington D.C. while in office. He got sick after eating cherries and milk at a July 4th celebration. He was the second president to die in office. As you may have guessed, his Vice-president, a New Yorker, followed him. Millard Fillmore filled out the term. He had no Vice-president. California, lost by Mexico just a few years earlier, became the 31st State during Fillmore's time in office (September 9, 1850).

On March 2, 1836, Texas declared itself independent from Mexico on Sam Houston's 43rd birthday. For more go HERE.

In the southern part of Texas, in the town of San An-tone,
There's a fortress all in ruin that the weeds have overgrown.
You may look in vain for crosses and you'll never see a one,
But sometime between the setting and the rising of the sun,
You can hear a ghostly bugle as the men go marching by;
You can hear them as they answer to that roll call in the sky:
Colonel Travis, Davy Crockett and a hundred eighty more;
Captain Dickenson, Jim Bowie, present and accounted for.

* * *


In the southern part of Texas, near the town of San An-tone,
Like a statue on his Pinto rides a cowboy all alone.
And he sees the cattle grazin' where a century before,
Santa Anna's guns were blazin' and the cannons used to roar.
And his eyes turn sort of misty, and his heart begins to glow,
And he takes his hat off slowly to the men of Alamo.
{much more slowly}            
To the thirteen days of glory at the seige of Alamo.

Marty Robbins, Ballad Of The Alamo

February 23, 1861: Ironically, on February 23, 1861, Texas would become the seventh State to secede from the Union, when citizen's confirmed {by a better than 3 to 1 margin} the secession decision. Governor Sam Houston, who opposed secession, had refused to call a convention upon Lincoln's election; however, at a special session, the Texas legislature approved the idea. An election of delegates took place over a period of days and in late January, the convention assembled in Austin. On February 1, the convention voted overwhelmingly to secede, 166-8. A vote of all citizen's took place on February 23rd to confirm the convention results. On March 16, 1861, Edward Clark would become the Governor of Texas; thereby, replacing Sam Houston, who was evicted from office for refusing to take the Oath of Loyalty to the Confederacy.

The February 23, 1861 edition of Harper's Weekly featured a number of interesting historical stories. It includes the women and children being evacuated from Fort Sumter, illustrations of Fort Sumter and Fort Jefferson, and reports of a number of Abraham Lincoln's speeches before he became President. President-elect Lincoln arrives secretly in Washington D.C. on this day in 1861 in order to take office. His inauguration was March 4th.

In recognition of the Bicentennial Celebration of the American Revolution, the U.S. Postal Service issued a sheet of 50 different stamps showing the state flags of Georgia and the other 49 states. Special ceremonies were held in Atlanta and the other state capitals for the flag stamps. The Georgia state flag of 1956, featured on the stamp, was changed twice, thereafter. The latest version, approved by the voters evokes the pre-1956 design. In 2008-9 new state flag stamps are being issued, along with US Flags. An example is HERE.

February 23, 1945: Four days of bitter battle had taken its toll on the 28th Regiment of the Fifth Division of the U.S. Marines. Although losses were heavy, the Marine platoon accomplished its mission to neutralize nearby defenses and scale the heavily fortified Mount Surabachi. The volcanic peak, at the southern tip of the Japanese island of Iwo Jima, the first tactical step in the invasion of this small, strategic island, 750 miles south of Tokyo. Victory was portrayed in the famous photograph (by Joe Rosenthal) of Marines raising the American flag. Navy Secretary Forrestal was standing on the beachhead below. When Forrestal saw The Stars and Stripes waving in the breeze, he told Lt. General Holland M. Smith, The raising of that flag on Surabachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years. Never-the-less, despite the triumph that day, there was still a month of fierce fighting and costly Marine casualties to go before all the Corps could secure all of the island. It was proof to American planners that every inch of conquest on native soil would be bloody. The enemy knew this, too. Indeed, civilians were armed and trained to resist. Millions more would die. Japanese military thinking was that the Americans and British Allies could not stomach such carnage. They were probably correct in that prediction, but did not understand the new force of mass destruction.

February 24, 616: I have chosen the pictured Saxon gold coin to represent this day in history, exactly 1400 years ago (in 2016). On February 24, 616, the Jute kingdom of Kent sat in the southeast corner of England. The Christian Gospel arrived in Roman Britain well before 200AD. There are even mystic visions of its arrival in the first century. The Celtic and other peoples of the Isle were largely Christian within a century. Another 100 years passed, and even though the Island was no longer in contact with the greater Roman Empire, the population considered itself Roman. The ensuing years brought chaos from the invasions of pagan tribes from the north, the west and across the seas in the east. Christianity remained and eventually took hold in the pagan tribes. as Roman Britain was forged into Anglo Saxon England. In 597 a delegation of monks sent from Rome, arrived there with Augustine (d. 26 May 605 -- not Augustine of Hippo (28 August 430)) at the head.

During the 5th Century, southeastern Britain (what we now call England) had seen the influx of the non-believing Anglo-Saxons (Angles, Saxons and Jutes, tribes from the germanic coastlands of Europe). They subdued the Christian Romans, causing migrations north, west, as well as, south to France (Bretons). As a result, Celtic missionaries entering England from Ireland and Scotland / Northumbria began the reconversion of England along with Roman Catholic missionaries from Europe in the south and east of the Isle near Canterbury.

Æthlebert {Ethlebert or Eadbald -- the, great-grandson of Hengist, the "mythic" first Saxon conqueror of Britain}, the king of Kent, was a pagan, but his wife Bertha, the Frankish princess of Paris, was Christian. This princess of Paris was the daughter of Charibert I, King of the Paris-Franks and Ingoberge. Gregory of Tours was a close acquaintance of Bertha's mother, Ingoberge. In his history of the Franks, Gregory twice calls Æthelbert a man of Kent, meaning that Æthelbert had not become king at the time of their marriage. Charibert I was the grandson of Louis I (Chlodovech I, the Great King of the Franks) the first French Christian King and Ste. Chlotilde, a Princess of (greater) Burgundy.

Æthelbert listened to the invitation to convert given by Augustine's party. He decided to remain in the religion of his fathers, but gave the delegation a plot of ground to build a church. Their efforts converted some 10 thousand of his subjects within 4 years. King Æthelbert was baptized, built the cathedral of Saint Andrew in Rochester and the monastery of Saint Peter and Saint Paul (later the cathedral of Saint Augustine) at Canterbury. All this influenced the conversion of King Sabert of the East Saxons, in whose territory he built the church of Saint Paul, London. This king of Kent died on February 24 616; but because that is the Feast of Matthias the Apostle, Æthelbert's death is commemorated on the 25th of February.

Æthelberg, the daughter of Bertha and Æthlebert, and wife of Edwin ( or Æduini of Northumbria), founded and was abbess at Lyming. Æthelberg was instrumental in the conversion of her husband Edwin (April 12, 627) and the region, through the preaching of Paulinus. In Book 2 of Bede's work on the history of the Church in England, Chapter 20, we have a dramatic climax with the overthrow and death of Edwin at the battle of Hatfield (October 12, 632 A.D.); the devastation of Northumbria by the British king, Cædwalla, and Penda of Mercia; and the flight of Æthelberg and her daughter Ænflæd, taking with her Paulinus, to Kent to take refuge with her brother, Ædbald, the new King of Kent. If we have counted correctly, Ædbald is only 7 generations removed from Egbert {He was first King of Wessex in 800; but, he reduced the other kingdoms and rendered them dependent upon him by 829 and thus may be considered the first sovereign ruler of all England}, making all of them our relations, through the West family of early Virginia -- and it stretches back even beyond to inter alia Nero Claudius Germanicus Drusus of Rome, father of the Roman Emperor born August 1 in Lyon, in this line.

Paulinus' life ends with him leading the church at Rochester. Only James the Deacon remains heroically at his post in the north country to keep alive the smoldering embers of the faith. Ænflæd becomes the wife of Oswy and is found alive living with her daughter Ælfled, the abbess at Whitby, by 685AD.
February 24th is Flag {Bandera Nacional} Day in Mexico: Do you know what the colors of this flag represent ? Today, young children are told that Green is for hope and victory; White is for the purity of Mexico's ideals; Red is for the blood Mexico's national heroes who died defending unity. The colors in truth have another, historical meaning -- Tres Garantías. Thus, white represented the Catholic Faith; green was for independence; while red stood for the union between Europeans and America's native peoples; but, according to Zárate, a Mexican historian, red, originally stood for Spanish heritage, the red of Castile.

The Treaty of Iguala, established on 24th February 1821, recognized the independence of Mexico and established the Tres Garantías for real. The flag of the army, the Trigarante, was adopted on 14th April, 1821, and was made by the taylor of Iguala, José Magdaleno Ocampo. The Army of the Three Guarantees entered Mexico City on 23rd September, 1821. A decree of Iturbide established the flag colored after the fashion of the Trigarante. That flag was raised on 7th January, 1822, and was declared perpetual, and a derivative of it remains in use today.

In addition to the bands of color, Mexico's flag also has an emblem. The emblem is based on a legend which tells how the Mexicas {Aztecs} traveled from Aztlán (now the state of Nayarit) in search of the sign that Huitzilopochtli had told them they would discover at the place where they should establish their empire. This sign was an eagle on top of a Nopal cactus devouring a serpent. They found this on a small island in the middle of a lake and settled there. Thus, began the city of Tenochtitlan, which is now Mexico City.

February 24, 1857: The first shipment of perforated postage stamps was received by the U.S. Government. Only imperforate ones had been used previously. As early as March 1855, Postmaster General James Campbell anticipated that high-volume use would render the act of cutting stamps apart with scissors inconvenient to post offices and to the public. In response to seeing examples of British stamps, which had been perforated since 1854, Campbell had his staff investigate the means used to perforate stamps and report on the efficacy and estimated cost of adopting similar methods in the United States. Finally, in February 1857, the first perforated stamp, the 3-cent Type I (Scott Catalog #25), made its appearance (earliest known use was February 28th). Beginning in July 1857, other values were issued with perforations. The picture at the left vividly illustrates the rough quality of the first perforations.

February 25th -- Feast Day of Ste. Walpurgis (ca. 710-779): Saint Walpurgis (her name also can be spelled Walpurga or Walburga) was the daughter of Saint Boniface's sister (and herself the sister of Saint Winebald and Saint Willibald, Bishop of Eichstädt). In about 748 she was called by Saint Boniface to assist in the missionary effort in Germany. In 761 she became the abbess of the Benedictine convent in Heidenheim (near Eichstätt). She is entombed in Eichstädt in the Bavarian Church named in her honor. She was canonized by Pope Adrian II. Saint Walpurgis and her brothers were English, fruit of the spirit of Augustine, Æthlebert and others. Christianity had reenergized moving eastward through Germany.

February 25, 1999: Atlanta artist and illustrator Harry Rossoll died at age 89. Rossoll, who worked as an illustrator for the U.S. Forest Service from 1937-1971, is best remembered for conceiving the idea and image of Smokey Bear in 1941 as part of a new forest fire prevention promotion. During the following decades, Rossoll crafted over 1,000 Smokey Bear messages.

February 26, 1797: In 1759, gold shortages caused by the Seven Years War forced the Bank to issue a £10 note for the first time. The first £5 notes followed in 1793 at the start of the war against Revolutionary France. This remained the lowest denomination until 1797, when a series of runs on the Bank, caused by the uncertainty of the war, drained its bullion reserve to the point where it was forced to stop paying out gold for its notes. Instead, it issued £1 and £2 notes. The Restriction Period, as it was known, lasted until 1821 after which gold sovereigns took the place of the £1 and £2 notes.

a fiverEarly Bank of England notes were printed in black on white with no design on the back. They were much larger than modern notes. Although the Bank experimented with colour, new designs and printing techniques, its notes remained essentially the same throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. The £ sign developed over the years, a stylized form of the letter L, the initial letter of the Latin word libra meaning a pound (Silver) of money.

The French Revolution brought about a radical and violent reorganization of French society. France soon found itself at war with most of the monarchies of Europe as it tried to spread its revolutionary ideals. In order to finance these wars and revolutionary changes, vast quantities of paper money, called Assignats were issued. The Assignat was supposedly backed by land confiscated from the church and nobility that fled the country (in hopes of keeping their heads attached). Pictured is a 5 Livre denomination from 1793, meaning 5 Pounds.

Le 26 février 1815: Napoléon 1er quitte l'île d'Elbe en catimini avec quelques compagnons d'infortune. Dédaignant la souveraineté de l'île, à lui concédée par ses vainqueurs, il projette rien moins que de restaurer l'Empire français. Son entreprise réussira à la barbe des gouvernants européens, réunis en Congrès en Vienne pour remodeler l'Europe. Il ne faudra que Cent jours. avant que Napoléon 1er rende définitivement les armes. Les royalistes et les réactionnaires de tout poil prendront alors leur revanche.

During the retreat after the Russian War, Napoleon's troops fought the Austrians at Mâcon (just south of Tournus -- January 1814). Unexpected support by three hundred Tournusien volunteers fighting courageously still did not sway the outcome. Napoleon was exiled to Elba, but he did not forget the sacrifice of lives. He awarded (on his brief his return) the Legion of Honor to the town of Tournus on May 22, 1815. Stage 7 (Saturday, July 10, 2010) of the Tour de France ran from Tournus sur Saône (another Roman fortress town with important ancient Christian heritage) to Station des Rousses (a resort town).

February 26, 1829: On this day, Levi Strauss was born in Buttenheim, Bavaria, lying on the on the edge of the Regnitz Valley. In 1017, Buttenheim is first mentioned as one of the entrance points to what will become Franconian Switzerland. Because of its location on the North-South transport corridor, it was up to the middle of the 17th Century one of the most important trade cities between Bamberg and Forchheim. A French King's exploits in Germany changed its economic fate. So, in time, Herr Strauss immigrated to America and participated in the California gold rush, arriving in San Francisco in 1850. He sought his wealth through the sale of clothing to the gold miners by meeting the need for pants that would stand up to a rugged lifestyle. Levi Strauss and Co. was founded in 1853 by Levi and his brothers Jonas and Louis. Although the 49'ers were soon gone, Levi gave birth to a worldwide phenomenal popularity of jeans, which began in the 1960's.

February 27, 1594: Prince of Navarre, Henri de Bourbon was crowned Henri IV, King of all France at the Cathedral of Chartres. The Cathedral at Chartes is undergoing its latest controversial restoration (begun in 2009 - ...on-restoration-of-chartres-cathedral.html). Looking toward the famous rose window and across the location of the Roman-era forum/market, the western façade has a heavy-looking late Romanesque tower on the right, as compared to the lighter Gothic-style tower (left). The rose window is very small compared to the other sides, as it was the first one built. The floor of the central nave (near the western end) contains a labyrinth of about 50 feet in diameter. If one were unable to go on a physical pilgrimage, one could walk the labyrinth, as a spiritual substitute. Many still take that challenge, as they have for over 800 years on this floor.

Actually, pilgrimages appear to have taken place to this site for at least 1000 years before the current Cathedral was built. An ancient well lies within the crypt, probably dating from before the Roman era: (english language article). A number of Cathedrals have existed on the site, most of which left no trace after their destruction. Thus, nothing survives of the earliest church, which was destroyed during an attack on the city by the Danes in 858. In June of 1194, another fire caused extensive damage to the 11th Century structure, but a rebuilding program began almost immediately, yielding the main structure visible today.

Contrary to historic precedents, Henri was not coronated at Reims, because that city was the traditional home of the family (de Guise ), which had begun the slaughter of many of his Protestant subjects. Henri issued into being a brief period of tolerance in France, ending the religious wars. This open attitude deteriorated after his death, and by the time of the reign of Louis IV {the Sun King} Protestant persecution had returned -- see (french); see also Edict of Nantes

King Henry's Edict of 1598 only temporarily reduced the flight from France. It began in earnest, again as the freedoms granted were taken away, one by one, with the final step -- the revocation of the "Edict of Nantes" in 1685 (Édit de Fontainebleau), by Louis XIV, roi-soleil de France -- the "Sun King".

We forbid our subjects of the {Protestants} to meet any more for the exercise of the said religion in any place or private house, under any pretext whatever, . . . . [Paragraph II]

We repeat our most express prohibition to all our subjects of the said {Protestants}, together with their wives and children, against leaving our kingdom, lands, and territories subject to us, or transporting their goods and effects therefrom under penalty, as respects the men, of being sent to the galleys, and as respects the women, of imprisonment and confiscation. [Paragraph X]

As Louis entered German territories to reclaim his citizens and settle old scores, Huguenots immigrants soon began arriving in South Carolina in 1669. In 1699/1700 there were five embarkations from England to Virginia and the Carolinas. The names of some of the ships that carried Huguenot refugees were the "Nassau", the "Peter and Anthony" and the "Mary Ann", which was the first vessel to reach Virginia (at the mouth of the James River). About five hundred Huguenots settled in the Carolinas by 1700.

Many of the Huguenots were artisans, following the trades in the New World learned in the Old; blacksmiths, coopers, clockmakers and gunsmiths. Many were newly married, a younger generation seems more willing to undertake the long, dangerous ocean passage. The French-speaking settlers quickly moved into the political life of the English colonies; but, also quickly organized and built their own church in Charlestown, which still exists today. [Source: A Religious History of America, Gaustad, Edwin Scott - Harper - San Francisco (1990)] For more about a Huguenot family in Georgia and how it became allied with others in the colony, please read on, starting with two other events that occurred on the 27th.

Interestingly, exactly 200 years later after Henri's coronation, the government of Maximilien Robespierre, the architect of the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror, is overthrown and he is arrested by the National Convention. As the leading member of the Committee of Public Safety from 1793, Robespierre encouraged the execution, mostly by guillotine, of more than 17,000 enemies of the State. The day after his arrest, Robespierre and 21 of his followers were guillotined, before a cheering mob in the Place de la Révolution in Paris. In 1795, under the Directory, the square was renamed Place de la Concorde as a gesture of reconciliation after the turmoil of the French Revolution. After the Bourbon Restoration of 1814, the name was changed back to Place Louis XV, and in 1826 the square was renamed Place Louis XVI. After the July Revolution of 1830 the name was returned to Place de la Concorde and has remained since that time.,1145712.html

February 27, 1736: Aboard the Symond near the mouth of Tybee Creek, James Oglethorpe wrote the Trustees about the arrival of the first colonists on St. Simons Island and his subsequent visit with the Scottish Highlanders at New Inverness (Darien):

". . . I arrived at Saint Simon the 18th and found the sloop and a detachment of men whom I had sent with her there. . . . We immediately got up a house and thatched it with palmettoes, dug a cellar, traced out a fort with four bastions by cutting up the turf from the ground, dug enough of the ditch and raised enough of the rampart for a sample for the men to work upon.

"On the 22nd a boat arrived with a detachment of the workmen and the same day I left Saint Simon, rowing up the Altamaha three hours. I arrived at the Scotch settlement which they desire may be called Darien. They were all under arms upon seeing a boat and made a most manly appearance with their plaids, broadswords, targets and firearms . . . . They have mounted a battery of four pieces of cannon, built a guard house, a storehouse, a chapel and several huts for particular people. . . ."

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), General Oglethorpe's Georgia: Colonial Letters, 1733-1743 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), Vol. I, pp. 239-240. -- found at

February 27, 1743: In 1740, James Oglethorpe led an unsuccessful attempt to take the Spanish fortress at St. Augustine. Buoyed by his victory over the Spanish invasion force on St. Simons Island in 1742, Oglethorpe -- now an official brigadier general in the British Army -- was ready to try a second time to take the capital of Spanish Florida. On St. Simons Island, Edward Kimber, a volunteer in Gen. Oglethorpe's invasion force, recorded their departure from St. Simons Island in his diary:

"The whole detachment, rangers, &c. embark'd on board the guard schooner and the two hir'd schooners at ten in the morning. At two, weigh'd and fell down below the point-guard, saluting the town [Frederica] with twenty-one guns."

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), Georgia: History written by Those who lived It (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1995), p. 24. -- found at http://georgiainfo.galileo.usg.eduthisday/gahistory/02/27

Why are these two items on early Georgia recounted here? Records indicate that a close relation to one of the Trustees was a soldier (named Isaac LaRoche) in the American Revolution. Isaac's wife, Elizabeth, was the granddaughter of a Scotsman, Donald MacKay, who as a child first settled at New Inverness (Darien Ga.) in January 1736. His father, James MacKay was killed or captured (and then killed by the Spanish or the Native-Americans employed by them) at a battle where many of the settlement, including friendly Creeks, died (Moosa June 15, 1740). This incident was one of many in the Spanish British relations, begun by a Spanish sneak-attack on November 14, 1739, during which the Spanish beheaded their surprised victims. The Georgia Rangers, the Highlanders [led by Hugh MacKaye] and some of the Creek Indians had but too fatal an occasion of giving proofs of their resolution at [Fort] Moosa, where most of those who died fought with an obstinacy worthy of the Greeks or Romans. quote found at:

Donald fought the double disadvantages of poverty (the Highlanders were impoverished by the English in attempt to depopulate Scotland -- many embarked to Ireland and later the 13 Colonies -- the Scots-Irish) and the lack of a father to end up owning most of St. Simons Island, including the abandoned town of Fredrika. In a somewhat similar story, the first leader of the initial Georgia Rangers under Oglethorpe, Captain John Barnard (Georgia rank under Colonial governor Ellis -- Major under Oglethorpe), died defending the Colony (September 2, 1757). After the Spanish were driven out of the Southern Georgia Islands the Rangers had been disbanded. In 1756 they were re-established under Barnard's command. His son ended up owning Wilmington Island near Savannah. Descendants from both families married in the late 1800's producing several sons including my grandfather (1900). For me it puts history in a more real context.
February 28, 1533: Michel-Eyquem de Montaigne (d.1592), was born near Bordeaux, France. He was the French moralist who created the personal essay. Montaigne was brought up by his father under peasant guidance and a German tutor for Latin. He spent a lifetime of political service under Henry IV, and then composed his Essays. This was the first book to reveal with utter honesty and frankness the author's mind and heart. Montaigne sought to reach beyond his own illusions, to see himself as he really was, which was not just the way others saw him. Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know.

Montaigne became Mayor of Bordeaux (a port city on the Garonne River ) in 1581, after he had established himself as a non-conformist. He maintained peace between Catholics and Protestants during his term in office. Louis XIV entering the city in 1653 and effectively annexing Bordeaux to the Kingdom of France, ending all pretext of independence and tolerance. Ironically, the city now prospered more.

Le 28 février 1712: Louis-Joseph de Montcalm-Gozon, Marquis de Saint-Véran, Marquis de Montcalm, Seigneur de Candiac, Tournemine, Vestric, Saint-Julien et Arpaon, Baron de Gabriac, est né le 28 février 1712, au Château de Candiac, près de Nîmes (il est mort en défendant Québec le 14 septembre 1759 (guerre de Sept Ans) -- Le général Anglais James Wolfe a été lui aussi mortellement blessé). {en anglais} Quand reverrai-je mon cher Candiac !

Au début de 1757, les Anglais préparent de nouvelles attaques, et Vaudreuil dépêche donc Montcalm, lui demandant de prendre le fort William Henry, défendu par 2500 hommes sous le commandement du général Georges Monro. Le 6 août, Montcalm fait creuser une tranchée qui amène ses huit pièces d'artillerie à tir courbe à portée du fort. Les Anglais obtiennent de se retirer avec les honneurs, c'est-à-dire avec armes et bagages. En contrepartie ils s'engagent à ne pas combattre les Français pendant 18 mois et à rendre tous leurs prisonniers.

Mais ainsi qu'il est relaté dans le célèbre roman de Fénimore Cooper, Le Dernier des Mohicans, les troupes supplétives indiennes, difficiles à contrôler et dont Montcalm disait qu'il valait mieux les avoir avec soi plutôt que contre soi, se livrent à des exactions, et pas des moindres, tuant de nombreux Anglais et en faisant prisonniers 500.

On the other hand, France, engrossed by European wars, left her American colonies almost without succor, and Montcalm, with scanty resources, disordered finances, and a discouraged people, was left to the well-nigh hopeless task of defending Canada. Some call the British victory in Canada the birthdate of the British Empire.

February 28, 1863: Four Union gunboats -- the USS Montauk, Wissahickon, Seneca, and Dawn -- shelled and ultimately destroyed the blockade runner Rattlesnake (formerly the CSS Nashville) near Fort McAllister, Georgia. This loss was two years and a week to the day of the birth of the Confederate Navy. One of its first vessels was the USS (now CSS) United States. Built in 1797, the vessel saw distinguished action during the War of 1812 and on Pacific duty along with the USS Yorktown. The ship was recaptured by the North and broken up after the War Between the States

February 29, 1836: Giacomo Meyerbeer's (born, Jakob Liebmann Meyer Beer in Tasdorf, Germany) opera Les Huguenots premiers in France (Théâtre de l'Opéra, Paris). His brother, Michael Beer, became a well known German playwright, author of two successful plays, Struensee and Der Pariah. His brother Wilhelm Beer became a businessman and an amateur astronomer who achieved fame by publishing the first map of the moon in the 1820's and participated in the first scientific observations of Mars.

Stand by the roads, look and ask for the ancient paths, 
where the good way is; walk in that way and find rest for your souls

A Paris area Page -- And Another -- Paris Environs -- Late-winter in Paris 2007 (an impression of what is out in the plain air)

Art in Bercy -- Mont Saint-Michel -- Other Churches and structures -- Art -- Maclet -- Clymer --- Georgia's Golden Isles

Who Were The Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes? . . . the Essenes? -- Images of Pittsburgh -- Texas
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Last update: February 18, 2019
0955 EST

The scrolling digital display shows Universal Time (UTC), which is 5 hours in winter and 4 hours in summer ahead of Eastern and EDT, respectively. So, the summer solstice took place on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 0504 Universal time, which was 1:04 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time and 11:04 P.M. on the 20th, if you were in Casper Wyoming (Mountain Time) at that moment.