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The  VANGUARD --   2016

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

We begin our 20th Year online in May 2016
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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)

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 -- (New: Summer 2016 )

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

« Il n'y a ni hommes ni femmes, ni Juifs ni Grecs, ni hommes libres ni esclaves,
vous êtes tous un en Jésus-Christ » (Saint Paul, Épître aux Galates)

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 !
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].
lumen ad revelationem gentium et gloriam plebis tuæ Israhel

Lent -- Carême --

March 26, 2017: The music for the fourth Sunday in Lent at St. Barnabas normally underscores the Epistle for the day, which comes from the 4th Chapter of Galatians, centered on verse 26 -- about the heavenly Jerusalem (King James Version) and discusses the promise to Abraham of an heir by Sarah. Paul points out that the interpretation of the passage can be allegorical.

Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Hagar.
For this Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not:
for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath a husband.

Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. [Galations 4:21-28]

Rome observed a mid-lent sabbath with a note of rejoicing and festivity. The ancient custom included the distribution of bread to the poor. The medieval custom included a pilgrimage to the mother church of the diocese. Blessed city, heav'nly Salem is the Sermon hymn (#383 in the 1940 Hymnal), documented to the 9th Century and possibly as old as the 6th. It has been used for the dedication of a Church structure, which is relevant for any current building program.

Blessed city, heavenly Salem,
vision dear of peace and love,
who of living stones art builded
in the height of heaven above,
and, with angel hosts encircled,
as a bride dost earthward move;

Music: Oriel, Urbs beata, St. Audrey, Urbs coelestis
Laud and honor to the Father,
laud and honor to the Son,
laud and honor to the Spirit,
ever Three, and ever One,
consubstantial, coeternal,
while unending ages run.

TURN ye even to me with all your heart,
and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
[So] rend your heart, and not your garments,
and turn unto the LORD your God:
for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger,
and of great kindness ... [Joel 2:12-13].

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 !

March 28, 1889: Atlanta lumber dealer George V. Gress and railroad contractor Thomas J. James attended an auction of a bankrupt traveling circus at the Fulton County courthouse. The two joined together for the winning bid of $4,485.00. James wanted the circus wagons and railroad cars for his business, while Gress was interested in the collection of circus animals. A few days later, Gress offered the animals and their cages to the city of Atlanta. Several days after that, the Atlanta City Council decided to locate the animals in Grant Park. Gress then built a large brick building to house the animals, giving Atlanta its first zoo. In 1893, Gress and Charles Northern would purchase a cycloramic painting of the Battle of Atlanta. They placed it in Grant Park for public viewing. Over the next six years, Gress donated the $12,000 in admissions to the Cyclorama for use in helping Atlanta's poor children. Finally, in 1898, Gress donated the painting to the City of Atlanta.
How soon they forget -- March 28, 1930: The Greek peoples of Byzantium originally founded it on the European side of what today is the Bosphorus strait. Emperor Constantine (the First) renamed it Nova Roma, but the grand City became known as Constantinople, a more compelling name, reflecting its great ruler and its Greek heritage. Nova Roma became the seat of the Eastern Roman Empire for 1050 years (395 to 1453); moreover, after about 100 years, it was the only portion of the once vast empire to remain a single political entity. As the seat of the Ottoman Empire for another 465 years, the city stantinople began sounding like stamboul to the locals, and officially as Qusţanţanīya, which means "The City of Constantine" in Arabic. It officially became Istanbul at about the same time that the village of Angora became Ankara, the capital of Turkey. Mostafa Kamal Ata Turk had created the Turkish Republic out of the ruins of World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. These two changes in name only were but the last official touches. see

March 29, 1638: Immigrants establish New Sweden, the first settlement in Delaware by Swedish Lutherans and Finnish émigrés. They were the first to build log cabins in America. English colonists did not know how to build houses from logs, but those immigrants who had lived in the forests of Scandinavia, Germany and Switzerland did. German pioneers (called Dutch), who settled in Pennsylvania, built the log cabins there in the early 1700s. The Scotch-Irish immigrants who settled in the Appalachian highlands after 1720 made the widest use of log cabins. By the time of the American Revolution, cabins from logs were the principal dwelling type along the western frontier (Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio), and this architectural motif migrated westward from there. see

The Colony was established under Swedish jurisdiction (1637), however the Dutch sent in occupying troops in 1655 and technical Swedish sovereignty over New Sweden was at an end. Never-the-less, a Swedish and Finnish presence remained very much in evidence. In fact, Dutch Governor Peter Stuyvesant permitted the colonists to continue to be a Swedish Nation, governed by a court of their choosing, free to practice their religion. They organized their own militia, retained their land holdings and traded with the native people. This independent colony continued until 1681, when an Englishman, William Penn, received his charter for Pennsylvania, which included the three lower counties that comprise present-day Delaware.

30 Mars 1349: The Dauphiné is an alpine region which extends around Vienne and Grenoble. On March 30, 1349, the King of France presents the Dauphiné to his son Charles to assure him a steady income. In addition, Charles (the future Charles V) will gain the title of Dauphin of Vienne, who was one of the counts of Dauphiné region since 1192. Until the nineteenth century, all heirs of the Kingdom of France will get this title and will be titled "Dauphin." Also on this date Sébastien de Vauban (1633 - 1707) died in Paris. He was born on May first in Saint-Léger-de-Foucherets (Bourgogne, France). He acquired the reputation as the best engineer of his time. He would be elevated to "la dignité de Maréchal de France." He would be instrumental in convincing Louis XIV to create the Order of Saint Louis, which recognizes the important contributions of French people. His tomb was profaned during the Revolution. Napoleon transferred his heart to the Dome of the Invalids in 1908.

March 30, 1867: The U.S. Secretary of State, William H. Seward, reached agreement with Russia's Baron Stoeckl to purchase the territory of Alaska for $7.2 million, or about two and one-half cents an acre for all that gold, oil, timber, ice and beauty. This purchase, soundly ridiculed as Seward's Folly, Seward's Icebox or President Andrew Johnson's Polar Bear Garden, was signed the next day and later approved by the US Senate by only one vote. Tennessee born President Johnson took office after Lincoln's death, was impeached but not convicted, yet had this remarkable vision of America's future, despite the petty politics of the time.

Few persons remember that William H. Seward, former governor, U.S. Senator from New York and Secretary of State under Lincoln and Johnson was the leading Republican contender in a three-way contest for the post of President in the 1860 election; however on the third ballot Lincoln won. In fact, Seward first lost the nomination for the presidential election against John C. Frémont in 1856. Secretary Seward was brutally stabbed in his Washington home on April 14, 1865, the same night President Lincoln was shot in the Ford Theater. The attacker, Lewis Powell, a co-conspirator with Booth, injured five people in the nighttime action. Seward recovered from his injuries and continued to serve as Secretary of State, visiting Alaska during the Grant Administration.

March 30, 2006: We cry tears of joy for her release and we pray for the swift and safe release of all others still in captivity. -- An American journalist Jill Carroll was freed in Iraq on Thursday, nearly three months after being kidnapped in Baghdad.

March 31, 1831: Born this day in Scotland: Archibald Scott Couper in Kirkintilloch, Dumbartonshire. This chemist discovered the tetra-valency of carbon and the ability of carbon atoms to bond with one another to form long chains, which concepts are fundamental to modern organic chemistry. He also created the symbolic use of a line between element symbols to indicate chemical bonding. This Scotsman sought to publish his ideas with the French Academy of Sciences, in a paper delivered through his superior, Adolphe Würtz. Couper's efforts were not forwarded in a timely fashion, and August Kekulé published the same, although independently derived, idea of tetra-valence first, thereby depriving Couper of his due fame.

Archibald Scott Couper's father was in the business of textiles. Key to the manufacture of these types of materials are their dyestuffs. A number of chemical companies grew out of the research into textile substitutes, such as nylon, rayon and other plastic-like fibers -- and dyes, too -- none of which could have risen without Couper's discovery. For example, the Hoechst facility, just downriver from Frankfurt, has been a chemical manufacturing site for over 150 years. The aniline dye factory "Theerfarbenfabrik Meister, Lucius & Co." at Höchst am Main was founded in 1863, forming the basis for Hoechst AG. Just as the story, of how Progil {also a dyestuffs firm} and other companies became Rhône-Poulenc Chimie S.A., the Hoechst story has taken many twists and turns. Rhône-Poulenc and Hoechst AG combined into a drug manufacturing firm, Aventis in the not too distant past..

March 31, 1889: Today marks a completion date. Born, Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, in Dijon France -- A man who could cut the mustard, he designed many important bridges and viaducts. Of course, you know him well for his notable work, the Statue of Liberty. He became the structural engineer on that project, completed in Paris in 1884. He also did the Tour Eiffel, begun in 1887 on the Champs-de-Mars, at a cost of about $1 million for the Parisian World Exhibition of 1889. On March 31st in the year 1889, this famous Paris landmark would open to the dismay of some at the time. At 985 feet high, it was the highest structure in the world until 1930, when a building in NYC was built with a pretty fair view of Lady Liberty. In spite of all of this, in 1893 France condemned him to two years' imprisonment plus fines for a criminal breach of trust in connection with the failed French attempt at building a canal in Panama.

March 31, 1943: Its pre-Broadway try-out was at New Haven's Shubert in 1943, under a forgettable title. The show, "Away We Go," was renamed. It had a honeymoon run when it opened at the St. James Theatre in New York City, this day in history. That is, it became an instant hit. The show ran for 2,248 performances -- until 1948. The musical has grossed millions of dollars as an onstage production, on and off Broadway. As a blockbuster movie it broke records. Still running in an occasional revival today, it has become legendary among musicals -- it was retitled -- OK -- wait for it -- Oklahoma?

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 !

If ye should find yerself drawn towards the sea,
Take the moral compass of poetry.
More sea tales here

April 1, 1566: Pedro Menéndez de Avilés y Alonso de la Campa, then governor of Florida, travels north to confer with Chief Guale on Sainte Catherine Island. This native chief controlled the lower half of what would 200 years later be called the Georgia coast. Menéndez built two forts, one on Cumberland Island and one on St. Catherine. In September of 1565, Menéndez had attacked the nearby French Huguenot colony called Fort Caroline, murdering everyone (men, women and children), except the few who escaped in ships. He had hung some of the butchered bodies from trees, in proper style for the times, one supposes as a warning for others who would trespass.

The Menéndez governing style would prove generally unsuccessful for the Spanish cause. By the end of his stay in the New World, only the settlement at Saint Augustine remained a viable mission. He returned to Spain in 1567. Named Captain General of the Great Armada (1573), Menéndez received his just rewards at the hands of the British in a naval battle at Santander, Spain (1574). Felip II estat Cantàbria (1570) a la base naval de Santander. As an aside, the Romans put their Port at Santander in 19BC. It became an important centre for the export of Iberian minerals to the Empire, minerals dug no doubt by native slaves. There is no report of the Romans hanging bodies on trees there; but, one supposes they would have done so, if it advanced the cause of commerce. Thus we ask, which is worse, butchery for profit, politics or profound belief.

April 1, 1925: Sculptor Augustus Lukeman took over the Stone Mountain (Georgia) project. He suggests that three men -- Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis -- be enshrined forever on the face of the mountain. Upset about the lack of progress on completion of the Confederate memorial carving, the Stone Mountain Memorial Association had fired the original designer John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum in February. Although the contract with Borglum had said that his working models belonged to the Association, the sculptor had reacted to his dismissal by destroying the models. After being indicted by a grand jury, Borglum fled the state. Subsequently, he was replaced by Lukeman, who blasted off the face of the mountain the heads of Lee and Jackson, the Borglum work already set in stone to last eternity.

April 2, 742: Charlemagne (Karl der Große -- d.814), Charles I the Great, King of the Franks, was born. His vast progeny include many of the great and not so great royal houses of Europe. They include a large majority of US Presidents, including the current office-holder (2013). Charlemagne was most likely born in Herstal, Wallonia, where his father was born, a town close to Liège in modern day Belgium. Note that there are no more descendants in direct male line. In the 5th generation after Charlemagne, only 3 direct male branches survived: the Count of Vermandois, the King of Lorraine and the King of France (Louis IV 'd'Outremer'). The Counts of Vermandois became the longest, lasting until Herbert IV (1028-1080AD). The line of Louis IV d'Outremer continued through his son, Charles, Duke of Lower Lorraine, whose daughters married into the houses of Louvain (also descended from Charlemagne via the Counts of Hainault), and Namur (via the Counts of Luxembourg). The longest direct male lines thus remained in Southern Netherlands, the homeland of other Merovingian and Carolingian sovereigns.

His capital was at Aachen (Acquisgrana in Latin), which today is in Germany, close by the Dutch Border. The Carolingian rule under Charlemagne, annexed all of southern Germany and the lands in the north and northeast, held by the Saxons. Charlemagne, crowned emperor of the Roman Empire in 800AD by Pope Leo III, patterned his court after the style of the late Roman Empire. The official work of his court was done in Latin; however, the day - to - day language (in the eastern empire) congealed into what has evolved into Hoch Deutsch today. Why not French? Because, upon his death the empire split into three kingdoms. The western area eventually became France and its romantic (ne c'est pas) language based in Latin prevailed. Indeed, even by 800AD the language between the western and the eastern parts of the empire had shown marked differences. Go HERE for more information.

Charles the King, our Lord and Sovereign,
Full seven years hath sojourned in Spain,
Conquered the land, and won the western main,
Now no fortress against him doth remain,
No city walls are left for him to gain,
Save Sarraguce, that sits on high mountain.
Marsile its King, who feareth not God's name,
Mahumet's man, he invokes Apollin's aid,
Nor wards off ills that shall to him attain.

Charlemagne required his nobles to be literate and provided for their education by the great luminaries of the time. But as the unknown poet remarks, he who held all of France in fee, could not free himself of treachery. I leave it to you to press that issue further on your own. The Cathedral at Aachen today rests in the area of Charlemagne's palace and original cathedral church from about 800AD (Katschhof Plaza). see

April 2, 1513: A Spanish explorer, Juan Ponce de Léon, landed in Florida. Having discovered Florida at dawn, he later introduced citrus (orange and lemon) trees into the area in order to furnish drinks for breakfast. He is best remembered, perhaps, for his failures. He found no treasure in gold nor the fountain of youth. However, on April 2, 1792, the U.S. Congress passed the Coinage Act, which authorized establishment of the Federal Mint in Philadelphia. It established the dollar, defined in fixed weights of gold and silver. Congress authorized the $10 Eagle, $5 half-Eagle and $2.50 quarter-Eagle gold coins, as well as $ilver dollar, half-dollar, quarter, disme & half-disme coins. Small amounts of these issues of coins premiered in 1793. Copper coins, the cent (1793) and half-cent (1794) also appeared in due course.

Due to a lack of Federal coinage, Spanish coins continued to circulate widely in the new Nation for many years. The 8-Real coin had the same amount of silver as the American dollar. Often this Spanish denomination was cut up, if smaller 4-Real or 2-Real coins were unavailable -- 2 bits of an 8-Real coin were a quarter. The mint in San Francisco (a town also established by Spanish explorers looking for gold) opened one day and a few years later in history on April 3, 1854.

April 2, 1792 Speaking of cash, when copper was available and the government had money, it coined pennies and half-pennies. Metal composition varied, sometimes older coins and tokens were restruck. Each denomination (at least in the early years) had several different engraving varieties each year. The mint for the first half cent was authorized on this date (1792 -- mint and gold and silver coins authorized), however the actual approval for copper coins came on May 8, 1792. Moreover, the first "business strike" for the half cent (a coin that was released for circulation) occurred in July 1793. During its 64-year timespan of minting (and not every year had a coin release as a circulating denomination), five different basic design types were struck. The coins came from the Philadelphia Mint. You may think that a half cent would not buy much, but at a time when non-farm wages averaged a dime an hour and bread a penny a loaf ....

The half cent's designers and engravers are among the best known names in U.S. Mint design/engraving history: Adam Eckfeldt or Joseph Wright (on the first design), Robert Scot, John Gardner, Gilbert Stuart, John Reich and Christian Gobrecht. Designs that appeared on the half cent were also used on other denominations throughout the years. The edge of each half cent piece was lettered "TWO HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR" for the first issue and some of the years that followed.The obverse depicts a bust of Liberty with flowing hair, facing left. A Liberty Cap on a pole rests on her right shoulder giving the design its name, the Liberty Cap. The design for the Liberty Cap half cent was based on Agustin Dupre's Libertas Americana medal. Another liberty cap design appeared for 1794 and later years. The technical name for the cap is the pileus or freed man's cap. The reverse has the denomination "HALF CENT" spelled in large letters. If one could not read, the size (.93 inch) told you the denomination.

Le 2 avril 1810: L'empereur Napoléon 1er (40 ans) épouse l'archiduchesse d'Autriche Marie-Louise (18 ans). Marie-Louise descend de l'impératrice Marie-Thérèse. Elle est la nièce de la reine Marie-Antoinette. Marie-Louise was an Austrian Archduchess, daughter of Emperor Francis I of Austria, a country recently at war with France.

The Sénat had pronounced effective his divorce from Josephine, his first love, on December 15, 1809. In the meantime, on June 10, 1809, Pope Pius VII had excommunicated Napoléon. Retaliating, Napoléon had the Pope put in custody on July 6th. Then on February 17, 1810, France annexed the Papal States. This action forced the Pope to sign an additional concordat and to annul Napoléon’s marriage to Josephine. Napoléon divorced Josephine, his wife, who was 46 years old in 1809, because she still had not produced an heir. The new bride, in due course, had a son, Napoléon François-Joseph Charles. As heir to the French Empire, Napoléon gave him the title, King of Rome. After Napoléon's defeat, the young King of Rome might have become his successor, under the regency of his mother, Empress Maria Louisa, but Talleyrand objected and arranged for the restoration of the Bourbon dynasty. Maria Louisa was given the life-title of Duchess of Parma, while Napoleon's son was named the Duke of Reichstadt. He apparently had TB, dying in 1832 at the age of 21.

April 2, 1814: Henry Lewis Benning was born in Columbia County, Georgia. After graduation from the University of Georgia in 1834, Benning read law in the city of Talbotton before being admitted to the bar in Columbus (1835). Through the law, he had success and wealth -- owning over 3,000 acres of land. After unsuccessful races for the General Assembly and Congress, the legislature placed Benning into the Georgia Supreme Court (1853-59). Benning urged Georgia's secession after the election of Lincoln. Upon War's outbreak, he raised the 17th Georgia Infantry, for which he was elected its colonel in August of 1861.

His company participated in, inter alia, battles of the Seven Days and Second Manassas. Later Benning took command of Toombs' Brigade at Sharpsburg and Fredericksburg. In January 1863, he became a brigadier general, in Hood's Division. His brigade fought at Gettysburg (Devil's Den), Chickamauga (Battle of Chattanooga) and Knoxville. In General Field's Division, his brigade fought in the battles of Wilderness, Petersburg and Appomattox Courthouse. When the conflict ended, Benning resumed the private practice of law in Columbus GA, passing away on July 8, 1875.

Talbotton, incorporated on December 20, 1828, is the county seat of Talbot County. The city and county were named for Governor Mathew Talbot, who was serving as President of the Georgia Senate when Governor Rabun died. The city is famous for the first session of the Georgia Supreme Court, held on January 26, 1846, at ye olde Claiborne Hotel. At the hotel, the State's first 15 attorneys took the oath to practice law before that appellate body.

The first successful and systematic training of the U.S. Infantry can be tracked back to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, in 1778. It was on this frozen ground that Lt. General Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, first Inspector General of the United States Army, introduced a set of standard drill regulations, teaching them to Washington's ragtag army. In 1867, Emory Upton's A New System of Infantry Tactics was adopted by the U.S. Army, hailed as the greatest single advance in Infantry training procedures since the regulation of von Steuben. Upton was present (but on the opposite side of the field) at many of the battles in which Benning fought.

Due to his concern over the decline of good marksmanship in the Army, Lt. Gen. Arthur MacArthur persuaded the Army to establish the School of Musketry at the Presidio of Monterey, California, on February 21, 1907. This may be called the beginning of the present Infantry School concept, leading to the eventual creation of Fort Benning. After the outbreak of World War I, the U.S. Army created a new training post in Columbus, named Camp Benning in honor of General Benning. In 1922, the camp was redesignated as Fort Benning, now known as the Home of the Infantry.

April 2, 1917: In direct response to the sinking of the Lusitania by Germany on April 2nd, President Woodrow Wilson would ask for a declaration of war from Congress, in accordance with the provisions of the U.S. Constitution. At 8:30 p.m. President Woodrow Wilson, delivered a message before a joint session of Congress. Realizing that a great and costly war lay ahead, Wilson would argue, the day has come when America is privileged to spend her blood and her might for the principles that gave her birth and happiness and the peace which she has treasured … The world must be made safe for democracy. On April 2, 1917, Jeannette Rankin, from Montana, became the first woman to take a seat in the US Congress. Four days later, she voted against the declaration that was granted that same day (April 6, 1917). On April 2, 1917, the Red Baron shot down Snoopy, an American Volunteer, given permission to fight for France before the USA joined the confligration. Kill #34 was a Sopwith Camel over Givenchy, France. This is the extent of many a person's knowledge of the Great War (to end all wars). Did you know that in two weeks later 100,000 men would be casualties from just one battle ??

April 2, 1982 -- South Georgia (in the Scotia Sea): A London-born merchant Antoine de la Roche was possibly the first person to lay claim to South Georgia Island. In April 1675, as he was sailing for the British from Lima, Peru (on the Pacific Ocean) to England, his ship was forced off-course, blown south upon rounding Cape Horn and in the Atlantic (or Antarctic waters as the case might be), de la Roche spied ice-covered mountains. He and his crew may have been the first Europeans to see any of the sub-Antarctic islands, thus establishing the British rights that still would be in dispute over 300 years later.

Many historians, particularly those who support Argentina's claim to ownership of South Georgia, believe that de la Roche was wrong, and that he had in fact sighted Beauchene Island, 800 miles further away. This theory is highly suspect, as Beauchene Island does not possess the high mountains or the bays specifically referred to in de la Roche's account. {map here too}

Several thousand troops from Argentina seized the disputed Falkland Islands, located in the south Atlantic Ocean, from Great Britain. Her Majesty's Government, led by the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, took the possessions back the following June. Britain's fight with Argentina would be called the Falkland Islands War, also known as the Falklands, the Malvinas or the South Atlantic War. The short, undeclared conflict between the two nations was fought over claims to Islas Malvinas and neighboring smaller islands. Argentina had laid aside claims to the territories since the 19th century; but, spurred by a long dispute over South Georgia Island and political expediency, the military government of Argentina invaded the Falklands. A British naval task force headed toward the war zone by late April. British forces established a beachhead in late May. With the surrender of the Argentine garrison at Stanley on June the 14th, the bitter winter fight essentially had ended, but not without severe losses on both sides.

Second of April, 2007: The Arch-basilica of Saint John in Laterano, located in Rome, is the oldest church in Rome (although much rebuilt and expanded). After ten years in construction, Constantine dedicated the Lateran structure, located north and east of the Colosseum. In that sense it is the mother church of all churches.

In the 4th century AD, when Christian worshippers prepared to build larger structures, architectural models based on pagan temples were unsuitable, but not simply for their pagan associations. Pagan cult and sacrifices occurred outdoors under the open sky in the sight of the gods, with the temple, housing cult figures and the treasury. The usable model at hand, when Emperor Constantine I wanted to memorialize his faith, was the familiar, conventional architecture of roman-style basilicas. These buildings had a center nave with one aisle at each side. The apse stood at one end. On this raised platform sat the bishop and priests. Other Constantinian Basilicas: Ste. Mary Major, Old Saint Peter's Basilica, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Church of the Nativity.

Constantine took over from his rivals in 312AD, ending the persecution of Christians throughout the empire. Pope Sylvester the First, Archbishop of Rome, lived at Lateran and expanded the residence, added a church and baptistry. The complex remained the official home of all Popes (although during this time it was ravaged by barbarians and wrecked by earthquakes) until the move to Avignon (1309-77). Its most recent face-lift was during the baroque epoch (18th Century), by the architect Alessandro Galilei (1735).

The Lateran basilica was the site of a second anniversary remembrance of Pope John-Paul II on April 2, 2007. A mass held at Saint Peter's later in the day was led by Pope Benedict XVI. The Pope would not attend Monday's ceremony at the Lateran basilica in order to complete the official investigation into John Paul's life, a key step in the process of beatification (blessedness) and canonization (sainthood), which had been placed on the fast-track. The Vatican's procedures dictate that a miracle attributed to the candidate's intercession be confirmed before beatification and requires an additional miracle for canonization. This process reached a major milepost, when on May 1st 2011, John-Paul II was declared blessed by his successor. Ironically perhaps, John-Paul II holds the record for recognizing special persons of holiness in the Catholic Church.
April 3, 1854: Because of all the gold found in California, the United States Mint opened a branch in San Francisco on this date. Over $4 million was issued in the first production year. The current San-Fran mint is not the original structure:

The 1854 gold dollar denomination was the first year of what would be called the Type II design, or Indian Princess, which was similar to the $3 coin design introduced in that year, too.$1Type2Gold1854.htm The San Francisco Mint would first issue a $3 coin in 1855.

April 4, 1949: One of the cornerstones of American Foreign Policy for half a century, the North Atlantic Treaty, establishing NATO, was signed by twelve Nations in Washington DC. Although the treaty contemplated action in the event of a communist (USSR) attack against western Europe, the treaty provisions of mutual support were first invoked upon the attack against the United States in 2001 by Islamic terrorists.

“In my opinion, the North Atlantic alliance was formed not just to protect itself against the Soviet Union, but rather, more generally, to defend western values, the European way of life (from the social and security viewpoint). It does not come as a surprise, therefore, that USA or Canada are also NATO members. These countries were born by the European civilisation.”

from a speech by singer Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, UNDP Goodwill Ambassador for Youth in Ukraine, presented at the 2007 conference “New Ukraine in a new Europe,” as the Ukraine considers joining NATO (as are Poland and Georgia, among other nations of eastern Europe). The desire of the countries to utilize the NATO umbrella has heightened the tension between Russian leader Putin and the Western NATO Powers. It is one of the issues that a new US President faced in 2009 and 2010. He continues to them face again in 2014, as Putin has judged us weak indecisive and ineffectual, while Europe is too dependent on Russia's Gas to do anything. A direct attack or aggressive act against a NATO nation could come as early as this year

Le 5 avril, C'est sa bonne fête Irène: Irène, d'un mot grec qui signifie paix, est arrêtée avec ses sœurs à Salonique par le gouverneur romain, en 305, sous le règne de Dioclétien. Comme les jeunes filles refusent d'apostasier (c'est à dire de « renoncer à leur religion »), elles sont brûlées vives. Diocletian resigned the same year (after 20 years in office): Foxe labeled the end of Diocletian's reign as having completed the tenth period of Primitive Persecutions:

April 5, 1933: This was no feast day. On this date Roosevelt claimed the right to confiscate all gold holdings within the US and pay for it with Federal Reserve notes or other legal tender. The price was $20 an ounce, soon thereafter the dollar was devalued and the gold price (where some ownership was legal) would be $32 / ounce. Ignore the law and if caught face 10 years in prison and a $10.000 fine (at a time when you could buy 2 houses for that amount of money).

April 6, 1320: It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom -- for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself. The Declaration of Arbroath -- per communitatem Scocie. One may not dispute that the document subsequently played an influential role in the history of the Scots national identity and in the common belief (whether based in legal reality or not) that in Scotland it is the people that are sovereign, rather than the monarch or parliament, as it is in England. The Declaration of Arbroath, directed at the Pope, only resulted in a short peace between Scottish and English forces. One of the signers of the decree was the head of the Keith Clan, no ordinary group of Scots patriots, they migrated from Germany, not willing to live as Roman vassals. Keith Clan History is here.

Robert, the chief of the Catti in 1010, fought against the Norsemen. He slew Comus, the leader of the Viking invaders, and thus gained a complete victory, for which Malcolm II gave him the lands of Keith in East-Lothian. He was succeeded by his son Robert, who also fought against the Norsemen in Fife. Somewhat later on the 7th of November, 1324, Robert I. granted a charter of the lands of Keith Marischal to Sir Robert Keith and his heirs, and the office of Great Marischal of Scotland, on account of his support against the English. The role of the Marischal was to serve as custodian of the Royal Regalia of Scotland, and to protect the king's person when attending parliament. In short, the Keiths, wha hae wi Wallace bled, are just some of the Scots, wham Bruce has aften led. Go to the top of the linked page o learn about the Drummond family, another clan standing with Bruce for freedom, which no honest man gives up.

April 7, 529: Emperor Cæsar, Flavius, Justinianus, Pious, Fortunate, Renowned, Conqueror, and Triumpher, ever Augustus (also known as the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I) issues the first draft of Corpus Juris Civilis. His body of Civil laws becomes, one could argue, the fundamental work in Western (European) jurisprudence.

The precepts of the law are these: to live honestly, to injure no one and to give every man his due. The study of law consists of two branches -- the law public and the law private. The former relates to the welfare of the Roman State; the latter accrues to the advantage of the individual citizen. Of private law, one may say it is of threefold origin, being collected from the precepts of nature, from those of the law of individual nations or from those of the former civil law of Rome. -- IURIS PRÆCEPTA SUNT HÆC HONESTE VIVERE ALTERUM NON LÆDERE SUUM CUIQUE TRIBUERE -- also translated as "The precepts of the law are these: To live honorably, not to injure another, to give each his due" [Justinian, Institutes, Book 1, Title 1, Sec. 3].

Everything therefore has been completed by the aid of Our Lord God Jesus Christ, who has rendered the task possible for Us as well as for Our ministers, and We have already collected the principal constitutions and digested them into twelve books, in the Code which is distinguished by Our name. Afterwards, applying Ourselves to the preparation of a very extensive work, We permitted the aforesaid illustrious man to collect and compile with certain changes the contents of many most valuable treatises of antiquity, which at that time were almost utterly confused and disconnected. But while making Our inquiries, We were reminded by the aforesaid eminent man that there were almost two thousand books written by the ancient jurists, and more than three million lines produced by them, all of which it would be necessary to read and thoroughly examine, and from which must be chosen whatever would be best. This has been accomplished by the grace of God and the favor of the Supreme Trinity, in conformity to Our orders ... from Second Preface -- Given on the seventeenth of the Kalends of January, during the third Consulship of Our Lord Justinian, 533.

The thirty-eight years of Justinian's reign are the most respected period of the later empire. Full of enthusiasm for the memories of past glory, he set for himself, and achieved, the heavy task of reviving a Rome. The many achievements of this talented leader include military triumphs, legal reform, ecclesiastical polity and architectural significance. His policy of restoring the empire as a civilizing force dominates all. Great, powerful and united; of these many features of his reign -- each of them epoch-making -- we can give no more than the merest outline . . . . See also

April 7, 1811: Franz Joseph Rudigier was born on April 7, 1811 in Partenen, Austria (1811 – 1884). He became the Archbishop of Linz in 1852. During the period after the laws of 1868 he resisted and was even imprisoned. “The laws of 1868” were nationalist laws corresponding to the Kulturkampf (Cultural Struggle) in Prussia that attempted to restrict the influence and activity of the religious institutions (Roman Catholic Church in Austria). The Roman Catholic Church began the process of his beatification in 1909.
April 8, 1795: Caroline of Brunswick-Lüneburg (born in Braunschweig, Germany) marries the future King George IV of England on this date. She and her spouse separated in 1796. In 1820 when George was about ascend to the throne, he offered her substantial sums of money to remain away from England. She returned to England, however. The government attempted unsuccessfully to dissolve the marriage and prevent the title of queen from passing to her. George IV was crowned as expected at the death of his father in 1821, but Caroline died suddenly 19 days later, an unexpected end to the conflict. At Braunschweig is a stunning 12th Century Cathedral dedicated to Saint Blasius, a city's whose symbol is the Burglöwe from 1166AD (representing Henry the Lion who made this city his home). Braunschweig is also the hometown of a man named George, who would be the first ruler of that name in England.

April 8, 1974: In the 4th inning, Monday night at the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Hammerin' Hank Aaron breaks baseball's greatest record, exceeding Babe Ruth's home run achievements. Mr. Aaron hit his 715th. History records that the Atlanta Braves beat the L.A. Dodgers 7-4 that night and the stadium set a record for attendance. Thirty-one years later in 9-year old Turner Stadium, the Braves, in the team's first home game of the 2005 season, almost broke the attendance level set in 1974. The Braves beat the Mets 3 to 1, in case you have forgotten.

April 9, 1413: Today, Henry V (House of Lancaster) officially became the King of England. During his short reign, he consolidated the crown of England and France into one person. You may remember him best through Shakespeare's docu-histories written two-hundred years later. On the plains near the village of Agincourt, Henry gave battle to a superior pursuing French army. Exhausted, outnumbered, he still defeated the French, taking captives. Born in Wales (of the Royal House of the red rose), he died at Bois de Vincennes, France. His remains are now at rest at Westminster Abbey in London.

In celebration of this day in 1682, Robert Cavelier de La Salle discovers the mouth of the Mississippi River, claims the area for France and names it Louisiana. Less than 200 years later, Robert E. Lee would surrender the Army of Northern Virginia (26,765 troops) to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia, effectively ending the War between the States. His farewell address, in the form of a General Order, would be made the next day.'s_Farewell_Address Less than 80 years later, US forces surrender on the Bataan Peninsula. Three years later Dietrich Bonhoeffer would be murdered by the Nazi regime at the start of the last month of the 3rd Reich. Check today to see which of these events is remembered on the nightly news. Also too on this day, two Americans of vastly different talents passed away -- Frank Lloyd Wright (1959) and Willie Stargell (2001).

April 9, 1598: Today we celebrate the birth of Johannes Crüger in Gross-Breesen, Germany. Crüger was a composer and music theorist. He composed the music to Jesu, meine Freude, Nun danket alle Gott and Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du Verbrochen. From 1622 until his death he was the cantor at the Nikolai church in Berlin. His most important book of theory was called Synopsis Musica (1630).

April 9, 1928: In Atlanta, Augustus Lukeman unveils his work, after having blasted Gutzon Borglum's efforts from the granite face of Stone Mountain (see April 1, 1925 entry). Mayor Jimmy Walker of the City of New York was there at the unveiling. After graduating from St. Francis Xavier College and New York University Law School, Walker worked as a songwriter. He only had one success, Will You Love Me in December as You Do in May (1905). In his later years, Jimmy Walker was also president of the Majestic Record Company until his death on 18th November, 1946, the scandals of his political years perhaps forgotten.

The April 9th Tragedy (also known as Tbilisi Massacre, Tbilisi Tragedy) refers to the events in Tbilisi, Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, on April 9, 1989, when an anti-Soviet demonstration was dispersed by the Soviet Army, resulting in 20 deaths and hundreds of injuries. April 9 is now remembered as the Day of National Unity (Georgian: ეროვნული ერთიანობის დღე erovnuli ertianobis dghe). & There is a 7 minute Youtube video of the day's event, but I'm not going to post it. For those of you who do not remember, this year was the year when the Soviet Empire began to unravel.

Thus says the LORD: 
"A voice is heard in Ramah, 
Lamentations and bitter weeping. 
Rachel cries for her children. 
She refuses comfort, 
Because her children are no more."
Thus says the LORD [your God]: 
"Restrain your voice from weeping 
And your eyes from tears. 
Your work will be rewarded; 
I declare it," says the LORD. 
.... Jeremiah 31:15-16

April 10th is the 100th day of the year (101st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. In all years, 265 days remain. This is the day in 837AD that Halley's Comet came closest to the earth (3.2 million miles). In 1912 a certain unsinkable vessel leaves South Hampton with the New World her final destination. In five days she would be gone. If you were born this day, you share a common birthday with James V, King of Scotland (1512) and Georgia Statesman Button Gwinnett, a signor of the Declararation, who was killed in a duel by another Georgia signor during the war. Princess Ariane of the Netherlands celebrates her 6th birthday in 2013. In 1606, James, King of England, Scotland, France & Ireland approved and signed the first Charter of the Colony of Virginia.

[WE] GRANT and agree, that the said Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers, Richard Hackluit, and Edward-Maria Wingfield, Adventurers of and for our City of London, and all such others, as are, or shall be, joined unto them of that Colony, shall be called the first Colony; And they shall and may begin their said first Plantation and Habitation, at any Place upon the said-Coast of Virginia or America, where they shall think fit and convenient . . .

Three years later, on July 28, 1609, Admiral George Somers shipwrecked in Bermuda. His ship was on a voyage to Virginia, the British colony founded a few years earlier -- named in tribute to the late Queen, Elizabeth I. He and other survivors were presumed dead for nearly a year, but finally improvised a vessel and reached their original destination. William Strachey, secretary of the colony at Jamestowne, Virginia, later sent a letter to England that described the event. His letter is thought by many to have been an inspiration for Shakespeare’s "Tempest." For leadership, courage at sea and the other survival skills Admiral Sir George Somers showed, the islands became the Somers Isles. This is still Bermuda's official alternate name.

April 10, 1829: Today marks the birth of Johannes Janssen in Xanten, Germany. Janssen is noted for his eight volume work: Geschichte des deutschen Volkes seit dem Ausgang des Mittelalters (1876-1894), which made historic contributions to German cultural history, especially 15th century studies. His viewpoint was blunt and blatantly pro-Catholic and anti-Protestant, so that his books stirred up quite a controversy.

April 10, 1835: On this date history records the birth of Ferdinand Hilgard in Speyer, Germany. He changed his name to Henry Villard when he immigrated to the United States in 1853. In the U.S. he wrote first for German-American newspapers and later for larger mainstream English-language papers, including The New York Herald and The New York Tribune. He then turned to investments in transportation, becoming the president of the Oregon and California Railroad as well as the Oregon Steamship Company. In 1881 he gained control of the Northern Pacific Railroad. He also bought The New York Evening Post in 1881. You remember him best, perhaps, for founding the Edison General Electric Company (1889). Four years later he changed its name to the General Electric (GE) Company -- you light up your life.

April 10, 1872: Citizens of the great State of Nebraska planted over a million trees on the first Arbor Day. The occasion fulfilled the dream of Julius Sterling Morton, former governor of the Nebraska Territory and newspaperman. Mr. Morton had lobbied for an official day encourage the planting of trees. In 1885, the State moved the date to April 22nd in honor of his birthday. By 1907, every state had an Arbor Day. Schoolchildren were urged to consider the planting of a tree as a patriotic activity, as well as a sound investment in the community. Arbor Day is now officially celebrated worldwide on the last Friday in April.

A large bronze by Rudulph Evans of Mr. Morton was given by Nebraska to the National Statuary Hall Collection in 1937. Its location is the Hall of Columns in the U.S. Capitol complex. Julius Morton was U.S. Secretary of Agriculture under the Cleveland administration. Arbor Day is not like other holidays. Each of those reposes on the past, while Arbor Day proposes for the future.

April 10, 1951: Besides being a great day in Tennessee and Nashville history, on this day the West German parliament passes the Montanmitbestimmungsgesetz, a labor law giving the German workforce a voice in the decision making processes of companies in the iron, steel and coal industries.
April 11, 1689: William III and Mary II were crowned as joint sovereigns of Britain. The Reformation had made quite a personal impression on England's monarchy. Unlike France, by the end of the 17th century England had become generally a Protestant nation. In 1683 Princess Anne married Prince George of Denmark. Although her father, James II, converted to Roman Catholicism in 1672, Anne remained Protestant and acquiesced in James's overthrow by the anti-Roman Catholic "Glorious Revolution of 1688", which brought her sister Mary and Mary's husband, William of Orange, to the throne. On William's death in 1702, Queen Anne restored to favor John Churchill, making him Duke of Marlborough. As captain-general of the British army, Marlborough (Winston S. Churchill's forebear), won a series of victories over the French in the War of the Spanish Succession.

During Queen Anne's reign the kingdoms of England and Scotland were united (1707), contributing to Scottish and later Scots-Irish immigration. She died in London on August 1, 1714, having no surviving children. A German cousin, George, Elector of Hannover, followed Queen Anne, as King George I of Great Britain, by the terms of the Act of Settlement, passed by Parliament in 1701. It secured the succession of the English crown to members of the House of Hannover of the Protestant faith, unless Queen Anne, the last of the Protestant Stuarts, provided a suitable heir. Anne's husband died in 1708 without living issue, their many children all dying at a young age.

April 11, 1713: The Peace of Utrecht was signed, ending Queen Anne's War (The War of Spanish Succession). Spain ceded Gibraltar in perpetuity to the English by the agreement. France gave its Maritime provinces in Canada to Britain. Specifically, the French colony of Acadia, now known as the Canadian Province of Nova Scotia, was transferred to Great Britain. Many of the Acadians had come from western France to fish and farm. Those who would not swear allegiance to the British Crown were quickly and harshly deported. Many of these (those who survived the trek at least) went to the bayou country of Louisiana, which would become Spanish land, for a time under the treaty ending the next great conflict -- The Seven Years War (French-Indian War). In 1803 possession of the swampland would change twice more.

April 11, 1803: On February 28, 1803, Congress appropriated money for a small U. S. Army unit to explore the two rivers in the West, beyond America's boundaries, and to meet with the unknown Native Nations. These army ambassadors would inform the Natives that American traders would soon come to buy their furs, in competition with the fur traders from Great Britain, who came south from Canada. The Spanish would send an expedition to apprehend the American explorers, but fail in this endeavor.

President Jefferson had sent James Madison to assist Robert Livingston, his Ambassador to French Court of Emperor Napoléan, in the purchase of New Orleans. The counter-offer, made through French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord, on April 11, 1803, was for a cash-sale of the entire Louisiana Territory, or no deal. The arrangement, concluded by the end of the month, was without authorization or knowledge of anyone in Washington. Meanwhile, Jefferson sought and found the leaders for this expedition. By the time title changed hands in December 1803, the Lewis and Clark Expedition was already at the ancient town of Cahokia (Cahokia is the largest prehistoric site in North America, sitting across the Mississippi River from Saint Louis) preparing for the great adventure that lay ahead.

Reenactment in Charlestown Harbor The tragic destruction of Dresden, Germany (February 13-14, 1945) is made famous in Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s Slaughterhouse Five (1969). Read about the raid on the Web at: Some would still say the loss was unnecessary to the U.S. War effort, done at the request of the Soviets, to help their efforts to subdue the enemy along the Russian front. Vonnegut, a P.O.W. witnessed the bombing and its aftermath. He passed away 62 years later, after a long and fruitful career (on April 11, 2007). "Some things about living still weren't quite right, though. April, for instance, still drove people crazy by not being springtime." from Harrison Bergeron, Kurt Vonnegut (1961); see also

April 12, 1811: The first settlers (from New York State) arrive to colonize the Pacific Coast of U.S. Territory at Cape Disappointment, in what would become the State Washington. Regardless of whether or not America had claim of this area (Oregon Territory), as part of its recent Louisiana purchase or as part of its entitlement after the Revolutionary War, the diplomatic dispute with Britain over sovereign rights was just beginning -- Fifty-four Forty or Fight.

Saint Pierre and Sacré-CœurApril 12, 1881: An artist's view (Jules-Émile Élisée-Maclet) of L'église Saint Pierre and Basilique Sacré-Cœur atop Montomartre. Many more paintings of this ancient place overlooking Paris at Saint Pierre ( sits on the spot where Saint Denis (patron saint of Paris) lost his head, which he picked up and carried north to the place where his Basilica stands today ( The artist, Élisée-Maclet remains famous for Paris street scenes (e.g. Indeed, born in Lihons-en-Santerre, Picardie (April 12, 1881), Maclet began his career while still a choirboy. He moved to Montmartre in 1906, where he began painting the Montmartre landscape, anticipating the themes that Utrillo would eventually depict. He drew colorful scenes elsewhere in the city, in France and in Italy.

April 12, 1945: The President was at the Little Whitehouse at Warm Springs, Georgia on April 12th. During his few weeks as Vice President, Harry S. Truman scarcely saw President Roosevelt. He had received no prior briefing on the atomic bomb. He was unaware of the unfolding difficulties with the Soviet Union. These and a host of other problems became Truman's own issues, on April 12, 1945, when Roosevelt's died suddenly. The new leader of the free world said of that day, I felt like the moon, the stars and all the planets had fallen on me.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt was sitting for a portrait, when he complained of a pain in the back of his head at around 1:00 p.m. At 1:15 he passed-out and never regained consciousness, dying 2 hours and 20 minutes later from a massive cerebral hemorrhage. Click HERE for more information.

Of Roosevelt's full legacy, there may be question; but of Truman's courage and abilities in the face of crisis, there can be no doubt.

April 12, 1954: Bill Haley and the Comets recorded Rock Around the Clock for Decca Records. The release of the song, cut at the now condominium crazed Pythian Temple in New York City (“a big, barn-like building with great echo”), came a month later. The 1955 film Blackboard Jungle, featured this new rock ’n’ roll tune and made it a hit on June 29, 1955 (when it reached the #1 spot on the charts). There it stayed for eight solid weeks, remaining on the charts for a total of 24 weeks. The record has now sold over 25,000,000 (million) copies.

April 12, 1966: The Braves team (National League) played its first season-opener in Atlanta against the Pittsburgh, Pirates. Mayor Ivan Allen, who had been instrumental in having the Braves move from Milwaukee, threw out the first pitch. While this Atlanta Braves team broke no recods that year, a number of stellar players are on the field that day. Among the starting line-up were Hall of Famer and home-run king Hank Aaron in right field; Felipe Alou in centerfield (onetime Montreal manager); Hall of Famer Eddie Matthews at third base; Lee Thomas at first base (a Philadelphia general manager); Joe Torre was catching (a New York Yankee manager); and Tony Cloninger was pitching (New York Yankee bullpen coach). In a feat that would not occur in today's reliance on relief pitchers, Cloninger pitched 13 innings before losing 3-2 on a homerun by a young man named Willie Stargell.

Wilver Dornell Stargell became a leader on the Pirate team, filling in for a sorely missed Roberto Clemente, who would die tragically. His leadership helped the Pirates win World Championships in 1971 and in 1979, when he shared National League MVP honors. Stargell would hit 475 career home-runs, entering Baseball's Hall of Fame in 1988.

The Atlanta Braves won their first home game in Atlanta, beating the New York Mets 8-4, just 10 days later (April 22nd). In this Atlanta Braves first season, Hank Aaron hit his first home-run of the season in Atlanta against the Houston Astros. This was Aaron's 405th career home-run. Over the next eight years, he would hit over 300 more to become the Major League's all-time home-run king, surpassing Babe Ruth.

April 13, 1598: King Henry IV of France issues the Édict of Nantes, allowing freedom of worship and governance to the Huguenots (Protestants) of France. Eventhough the Edict of Nantes would not put an end to all the pogroms and the persecutions, whose victims were the Protestant life-blood of France - they would begin again with more force in second half of 17th Century - the Édict did terminate what has become known as the Wars of Religion, while legally (for a time at least) affixing the status of the reformers in the Kingdom.

HENRY par la grâce de Dieu roi de France et de Navarre A tous présents et à venir.  Salut !
Pour cette occasion, ayant reconnu cette affaire de très grande importance et digne de très bonne considération, après avoir repris les cahiers des plaintes de nos sujets catholiques, ayant aussi permis à nos sujets de la religion prétendue réformée de s'assembler par députés pour dresser les leurs et mettre ensemble toutes leurs remontrances et, sur ce fait, conféré avec eux par diverses fois, et revu les édits précédents, nous avons jugé nécessaire de donner maintenant sur le tout à tous nos sujets une loi générale, claire, nette et absolue, par laquelle ils soient réglés sur tous les différends qui sont ci-devant sur ce survenus entre eux, et y pourront encore survenir ci-après, et dont les uns et les autres aient sujet de se contenter, selon que la qualité du temps le peut porter.
Pour ces causes, ayant avec l'avis des princes de notre sang, autres princes et officiers de la Couronne et autres grands et notables personnages de notre Conseil d'État étant près de nous, bien et diligemment pesé et considéré toute cette affaire, avons, par cet Édit perpétuel et irrévocable, dit, déclaré et ordonné, disons, déclarons et ordonnons:
En témoin de quoi nous avons signé les présentes de notre propre main et à icelles afin que ce soit chose ferme et stable à toujours, fait mettre et apposer notre scel. Donné à Nantes au mois d'avril, l'an de grace 1598, et de nôtre règne le neuvième. -- Signé: HENRY. J'ai trouvé le texte des Édit intégral.

HENRY, by the grace of God, King of France and Navarre, To all present and future. Salut !
For this occasion, having recognized this as a case of great importance, worthy of great consideration, and, after reviewing the many exceptions taken over the specifications by our Catholic subjects, we also allowed our subjects of the supposed reformed faith to by assembly to prepare and collect their own admonitions and; therefore, conferred with [both of] them in various times and reviewed previous drafts, we have found it necessary now to give it to all our subjects a clear general law, clear and absolute by which to settle all disputes that are referred to as occurring on them now, and may still occur in the future, which both sides desire to satisfy, as at this time can resolve.
For these reasons, We have, with the advice of the princes of our blood, other princes and officers of the Crown and other major and significant figures in the Council of State who are close to us, well and diligently weighed and considered in the whole all matters, and by this Edict perpetual, irrevocable, hereby have declared, ordered and say, declare and ordain [the following] below:
In witness whereof we have signed these presents in our own hand and thereon, so that it becomes something firm and stable forever, and made to put our seal [on it]. Given at Nantes in April, the year of grace 1598, and the reign of our ninth. Partial translation

The Édict of Nantes, in effect, created a “State within a State” -- thereafter, the existence of this peculiar status will have significant consequences, because it runs square up against the will of the integrationists, who want a seamless society, as well as the Bourbon heirs to Henri, who wish to consolidate and expand the absolute-sovereign power of the French monarchy. This state of affairs bred intolerance, eventually leading to the French Revolution with all its its anti-clerical animus.

One is tempted to think that the persecutions in France died out after Louis XIV, but that would be an unfortunate conclusion. For instance consider the life of poor Marie Durand (1712-1776), La prisonnière de la Tour de Constance à Aigues-Mortes, dans l' Ardèche. Rich in Spirit, imprisoned at age 18 (August 25, 1730), she would spend 38 years in jail, along with many others because of her Protestant beliefs. Le 14 Avril 1768 -- Toutes les prisonnières de la Tour sont libérées. The release came in spite instructions from the Royal Government to the contrary, and in 1787, finally, and Édict of Tolerance was rendered. Soon, thereafter, all faiths would come under revolutionary fire in France. Protestant ou catholique, l'Ardéchois (dans l'Ardèche ajourd'hui) a mené un combat incessant pour affirmer sa foi:

April 13, 1777 -- Battle of Bound Brook: Among the actions taking place in New Jersey during the War of American Independence, the Battle of Bound Brook represents an early, though not crushing, defeat of Washington's Troops, still on the rebound from losing New York City to far superior British numbers, even after the surprise at Trenton and later Princeton. Indeed it was these victories that made the British more determined to deliver a set back. Success in the attack came mostly from surprise, but the support of the attack by mercenary forces was crucial. Regular British columns of the day were often spearheaded by German soldiers of fortune, the shocktroop Hessians. The picture shows Convivial Hall, site of the Battle of Bound Brook on April 13, 1777.

This painting by John Ford Clymer was commissioned by the American Cyanamid Company. The company once used the Van Horne House for offices and restored the property in the 1940's. Am-Cy one of the oldest chemical companies in the USA (later part of American Home Products, now part of Badische Aniline & Soda Fabrik (BASF)), was one of the companies that benefited from the breaking of Dupont's explosive monopoly (technically the Powder Trust). Also known for fertilizers, dyestuffs and medicines, you probably know it best for Melmac®. More on John Clymer is HERE. General Washington allegedly unfurled the Stars and Stripes (sewn by Betsy Ross) as the national flag in 1777 on a site overlooking Bound Brook sometime after the battle near June 14th-Flag Day.

The British forces never consolidated their gains after the Battle of Bound Brook, preferring to withdraw to New Brunswick after their avenging strike. In succeeding weeks, the Americans would regroup; and later, in June of 1777, Lord Stirling, close friend of General Washington and second in command of the Continental Army, would lead American forces and achieve a narrow victory over the British in the Battle of Short Hills. By September 26th, however, the British captured Philadelphia, making inevitable a bitter winter in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

April 13, 1803: Thomas Jefferson (third President of the USA) celebrated his 60th birthday on April 13th, while in office. He was born April 2, 1743, under the Julian calendar then in use in England. When the English adopted the Gregorian regime, he updated his observance to the 13th. He died on July 4th 1826, the same date as his rival John Adams, the second President.

April 14, 1859: Novelist, satirist, keen observer of the human condition, Charles Dickens, publishes A Tale Of Two Cities. The novel concerns the conditions of Paris (and London) at the time of la Révolution française and the jour du Bastille -- it was the best of times and the worst of times, depending on your status. Of the attack on the Bastille (14th of July), he wrote:

With a roar that sounded as if all the breath in France had been shaped into the detested word, the living sea rose, wave on wave, depth on depth, and overflowed the city to that point. Alarm-bells ringing, drums beating, the sea raging and thundering on its new beach, the attack begun ....

The first stone of the Bastille was laid (April 22, 1370) by order of King Charles V (1364-1380). The original purpose of the Bastille was to act as merely a fortified city-gate, but it was later turned into a fortress by Charles VI. It began to be used as a prison in the 17th century. Following the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, the structure was demolished. REMAINS OF THE FOUNDATIONS -- OF THE BASTILLE -- THE LIBERTY TOWER -- DISCOVERED IN 1899 -- AND TRANSPORTED TO THIS LOCATION --
April 14, 1912: The maiden voyage came to an early end, shortly before midnight on the sea. While conveying 2,200 passengers from Southampton, England to New York City, a true Titan struck an iceberg off the coast of Halifax, Nova Scotia. HMS Titanic sunk without much of a trace. The Hymn, Nearer My God to Thee, has often been suggested as the last tune played by the musicians on the Titanic; but what music did the crew and passengers hear? There are different versions of the hymn, all are set to the verses, written in 1841, by the English poet Sarah Fuller Flower Adams (1805-48). The English version is set to the tune Horbury composed in 1861 by John Bacchus Dykes (1823-1876). Methodists use the accompaniment Propior Deo composed by Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan (1842-1900), while another American version (most recognizable one -- heard in a A Night to Remember (1958)) uses the tune Bethany (written in 1859) by Lowell Mason (1792-1872).

1. Nearer, my God to Thee,
Nearer to Thee.
E'en though it be a cross
That raiseth me,
Still all my song shall be.
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee.

2. Though like the wanderer,
The sun gone down,
Darkness be over me,
My rest a stone,
Yet in my dreams I'd be
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee.

3. There let my way appear
Steps unto heaven;
All that Thou sendest me
In mercy given;
Angels to beckon me
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee.

4. Then with my waking thoughts
Bright with Thy praise,
Out of my stony griefs
Bethel I'll raise,
So by my woes to be
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee.

5. Or if on joyful wing,
Cleaving the sky,
Sun, moon, and stars forgot,
Upward I fly,
Still all my song shall be,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee.

6. There in my Father’s home,
Safe and at rest,
There in my Saviour’s love,
Perfectly blest;
Age after age to be,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee.

Note: Verses 1-5 are by Adams, an additional verse 6 was written by Edward Henry Bickersteth, Jr.

Among the more than 1,500 passengers lost was Major Archibald Butt of Augusta, military aide to presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. From the Project Gutenberg text on the sinking of the Titanic comes this report of Butt's heroism and bravery:

Captain Smith and Major Archibald Butt, military aide to the President of the United States, were among the coolest men on board. A number of steerage passengers were yelling and screaming and fighting to get to the boats. Officers drew guns and told them that if they moved toward the boats they would be shot dead. Major Butt had a gun in his hand and covered the men who tried to get to the boats. The following story of his bravery was told by Mrs. Henry B. Harris, wife of the theatrical manager:

'The world should rise in praise of Major Butt. That man's conduct will remain in my memory forever. The American army is honored by him and the way he taught some of the other men how to behave when women and children were suffering that awful mental fear of death. Major Butt was near me and I noticed everything that he did. "When the order to man the boats came, the captain whispered something to Major Butt. The two of them had become friends. The major immediately became as one in supreme command. You would have thought he was at a White House reception. A dozen or more women became hysterical all at once, as something connected with a life-boat went wrong. Major Butt stepped over to them and said: "Really, you must not act like that; we are all going to see you through this thing." He helped the sailors rearrange the rope or chain that had gone wrong and lifted some of the women in with a touch of gallantry. Not only was there a complete lack of any fear in his manner, but there was the action of an aristocrat.

'When the time came he was a man to be feared. In one of the earlier boats fifty women, it seemed, were about to be lowered, when a man, suddenly panic-stricken, ran to the stern of it. Major Butt shot one arm out, caught him by the back of the neck and jerked him backward like a pillow. His head cracked against a rail and he was stunned. 'Sorry,' said Major Butt, 'women will be attended to first or I'll break every damned bone in your body.'

'The boats were lowered one by one, and as I stood by, my husband said to me, 'Thank God, for Archie Butt.' Perhaps Major Butt heard it, for he turned his face toward us for a second and smiled. Just at that moment, a young man was arguing to get into a life-boat, and Major Butt had a hold of the lad by the arm, like a big brother, and was telling him to keep his head and be a man. 'Major Butt helped those poor frightened steerage people so wonderfully, so tenderly and yet with such cool and manly firmness that he prevented the loss of many lives from panic. He was a soldier to the last. He was one of God's greatest noblemen, and I think I can say he was an example of bravery even to men on the ship.'

Miss Marie Young, who was a music instructor to President Roosevelt's children and had known Major Butt during the Roosevelt occupancy of the White House, told this story of his heroism. 'Archie himself put me into the boat, wrapped blankets about me and tucked me in as carefully as if we were starting on a motor ride. He, himself, entered the boat with me, performing the little courtesies as calmly and with as smiling a face as if death were far away, instead of being but a few moments removed from him. When he had carefully wrapped me up he stepped upon the gunwale of the boat, and lifting his hat, smiled down at me. "Good-bye, Miss Young," he said. "Good luck to you, and don't forget to remember me to the folks back home." Then he stepped back and waved his hand to me as the boat was lowered. I think I was the last woman he had a chance to help, for the boat went down shortly after we cleared the suction zone.'

April 15th: In addition to Major Archibald Butt, four other Titanic passengers had Georgia ties, three of whom would perish in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912. Wealthy businessman and philanthropist Isidor Straus was born in Bavaria in 1845; his family immigrated to the United States in 1854. They settled in Talbotton, Georgia, where Isidor was educated at the Collingsworth Institute, a private religious school for boys. The Straus family lived in Georgia for almost ten years, moving briefly to Columbus in 1863, when Isidor left for Europe with the intention of purchasing a steamboat for running the Union blockade. This attempt failed, however, and Straus spent the next two years traveling in Europe and learning bookkeeping. When the Civil War ended, Straus met his family in New York, where they opened a crockery business. The family business flourished, soon they had opened silverware, glass and china departments at Macy's in New York. In 1888 the Straus family purchased a controlling interest in Macy's. Isidor Straus was a Macy's partner from that time until his death. By 1912, he had amassed a considerable fortune and was well known and respected for his philanthropy. The story of he and his wife aboard the Titanic is well known; she refused to leave his side to board a life boat, saying No, we are too old; we will die together. We have been living together for many years. Where you go, I go. Both perished that night.

The remaining Titanic passengers with Georgia ties were Mr. and Mrs. Jacques Futrell. Jacques Futrell, a writer, was born in Pike County in 1875. In 1895, he married Atlanta-born May [last name uncertain]. Futrell had worked as a journalist and theatrical manager but was best known for his detective stories, in which he introduced the fictional character Professor S.F.X. Van Dusen, better known as The Thinking Machine. Futrell specialized in writing mystery stories involving a locked room, the most famous being The Problem of Cell 13, in which the Thinking Machine escapes from a death row prison cell. Unfortunately, Futrell could not cheat death on the Titanic, but he did insist that his wife board a life boat. May Futrell was the only native Georgian to survive the voyage. Twice she boarded life boats, but disembarked to stay with her husband, before, at last, he forced her to stay on one. Her last sight of him was standing next to John Jacob Astor smoking a cigarette. May Futrell provided the world with an authoritative eyewitness account of the sinking, a two-part newspaper series she wrote only two weeks after that night to remember.

April 15, 1450 -- Battle of Formigny (Hundred Years' War): Formigny is not indicated on many modern road maps. It sits about halfway between Carentan and Bayeux, and is only a few miles south of Omaha Beach, a landing site of the Allied Invasion during Second World War (1944). The many visitors to the modern D-Day landing region may well puzzle over the finely-detailed, life-size statue of Generals Clermont and Richemont in the crossroads of this very small village. Nearby is the small church (1486) that Clermont built. The destruction of Kyriell's army left the English without enough troops in France to protect the holdings in Normandy. The entire region fell to the French in just a few months after the battle of Formigny. The French advance continued, and quickly swept up all English possessions save Calais. Today Formigny is a commune in the département of Calvados in the Basse-Normandie region of France.

Santa Maria delle Grazie, 
Church of the Last Supper in MilanoApril 15, 1452: Leonardo (d.1519), Italian painter, sculptor, scientist, visionary, another keen observer of the human condition, was born in Vinci near Florence. Da Vinci apprenticed to the painters Verrocchio and Antonio Pollaiuolo. He was accepted to the Florentine painters' guild at age twenty, but just a few (17) paintings of his survive that clearly can be attributed to him. These include: “The Last Supper” in Milan, the “Mona Lisa” and “The Virgin and Child with St. Anne” in the Louvre. He tried to express his immense knowledge of the world by simply looking at things. The secret he said was saper vedere, to know how to see. His final “Visions of the End of the World” was contained in a sketchbook. It depicted his sense of the unified forces of nature. His use of a smoky atmosphere (sfumato) helped create an impression of lifelikeness. In the late Fall of 2005 The History Channel aired its biography of his life, worth watching in repeat.

Chapel of St. Hubert 
Amboise, FranceOn April 23, 1519, Leonardo wrote his last and final will. Originally, Leonardo was buried in the cloister of the church of Saint Florentin in the Chateau of Amboise. His mortal remains disappeared, due to the tomb's violation, during the Wars of Religion of XVI century, when Saint Florentin fell into ruin. After 300 years the site was excavated and an anonymous skeleton was found near an inscription that, for a chance, contained some of the letters "L E O N A R D O." The bones were moved into to the Chapelle de St-Hubert, the last resting place of Leonardo da Vinci.

April 15, 1638: Forces of Imperial Japan (Shogun Tokugawa's army) capture the castle of Hara, on the Japanese island of Amakusa, held by 30,000 Christian troops under Masada Shiro. The defenders set fire to the castle, and all perished in the flames or by the sword. From that day until 1873 (235 years later), Christianity was banned in Japan under penalty of death, yet it did not disappear. More HERE The Japanese kingdom expelled the Portugese at this time and Japan closed itself to the Western influence. Imagine the world, if the empire had embraced a peaceful solution and achieved detent with the West.

April 15, 1865: The 16th President Abraham Lincoln died several hours after he was shot by John Wilkes Booth in a private box at Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC (on the 14th). His Vice-President, Andrew Johnson, became the 17th President (1865-1869) upon the assassination. The first U.S. Mourning Stamp was issued for him, a 15-cent denomination in black.

The Postal Act of March 3, 1863, defined letter mail as first class and set the rate at 3 cents for each 1/2 ounce on all domestic mail over any distance. The Foreign Mail rate was set at double the domestic rate, unless otherwise set by treaty. A 15 cent issue was normally used to pay a 15 cent rate to France under a 1857 postal treaty. The rate to England was 24 cents in 1866 and to Germany it was 10, 15 or 30 cents, depending on the individual treaty with the different German states. Most of the covers seen bearing Lincoln's likeness were addressed to France and are rarely found. Its use on domestic mail was so uncommon that domestic covers are even more rare than those to France.

April 15th -- Feast day of Sainte Moneta: Moneta (Greek: μονήρης) is a central figure in John Keats' poem The Fall of Hyperion - A Dream (1819).

Fanatics have their dreams, wherewith they weave
A paradise for a sect; the savage too
From forth the loftiest fashion of his sleep
Guesses at Heaven; pity these have not
Trac'd upon vellum or wild Indian leaf
The shadows of melodious utterance.
* * *
Be {this prose a} poet's or fanatic's will be known
When this warm scribe my hand is in the grave.

April 15th is the day in the USA where the government (Federal and most State) requires us to voluntarily report our income from the previous year and to pay any tax due that exceeds the amount mandatorily withheld during the year. Failure so to do will result in fines seizures and jail time. Indeed, changes in the law now permit fines for failure to voluntarily purchase health insurance -- all in the name of love and Moneta.

More of April is HERE

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

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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.