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The  VANGUARD --   2017

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

We began our 21st Year online in May 2017
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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 -- (New: Autumn 2017 )

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

« 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)

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}

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!

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

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 !

In case you have forgotten, today, November 23rd (2017) is Thanksgiving Day in the USA: We have a Thanksgiving image of a group of stiff collars, people dressed in black and white, eating turkey, pumpkin pie and corn on the cob. They sit at a picnic table with a bunch of fully head-dressed native Americans on a bright, colorful New England fall day. The people were called pilgrims because they moved around a lot. The Pilgrims called the meal “thanksgiving” because they appreciated how much the locals had helped them in the past year. All of this takes place on a conveniently large stone called Plymouth Rock in 1620; we are sure of this, because the granite edifice is so dated. More than just the style of dress is wrong with this picture. We discuss this image and much more HERE.

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 !

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].

November 24th: Today is the 328th day of the year (2017). Only 37 days remain until the end of the year. Tasmania was discovered today by the European culture of the time (1642). To celebrate the event, the Apollo 12 command module splashed safely in the Pacific Ocean, ending the second reported mission to earth's moon. Charles, Duke of Orléans arrived this day in 1394, as an unknown poet, as did William F. Buckley Jr. in 1925. John Knox of Scotland departed this day in 1572. At soon to be named Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, John Forbes (1707-1759) captured Fort Duquesne, after the French had destroyed it exothermically (1758), one of the first firework displays over the peaceful Point Park.

According to legend, Charles of Valois, Duke of Orléans and father of the popular King Louis XII (Father of the People), sent the first Valentine messages (letters and poems) to his second wife, Bonne of Armagnac, in 1415, when he was imprisoned in the Tower of London after the Battle of Agincourt {100 Years' War}. He, however, was not beheaded, and lived a full life. Unfortunately, until 1440, it was spent in English captivity. He never saw his wife Bonne again. Orléans, an accomplished poet, composing in both French and English, was exceptional among his French contemporaries. So it is that the British Library has a copy of his works from about 1500, composed in French, English and Latin. He makes an appearance in Shakespeare's King Henry V (Act 4. Scene VIII), when his name is mentioned as one of the captives taken on October 25th -- Saint Crispin's Day.

November 24, 2003: Former Brave's pitcher Warren Spahn died at age 82. Spahn was an ace for the Boston and later Milwaukee, Braves. He won more games than any other left-hander in the history of professional baseball. Although he never pitched for the Braves after the franchise moved to Atlanta, he was honored in 2003 with a statue at Turner Field, also known as Atlanta's Olympic stadium. In 1973, in his first year of eligibility, Spahn was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He received the Cy Young Award in 1957.

November 24, 2006: William Diehl passed away this day. His death, announced on the 28th was followed by an obituary that appeared in the Atlanta morning paper on November 29th. He was working on the ending of what would be his 10th novel at the time of his death. Mr. Diehl’s other novels included Primal Fear, a tale about a defense lawyer and a client accused of killing an archbishop (an open and shut case). It too became a film in 1996. from The LA Times

Sharky's Machine, a 1981 motion picture directed by Burt Reynolds (who also starred in the title role of Sgt Tom Sharky), adapts William Diehl's first novel, Sharky's Machine (1978), to the big screen. Diehl, who was age fifty when he wrote the novel, saw the movie shot on location in and around his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. According to the Internet Movie Database, this film has the distinction of a stunt record. As of 2004, at 220 feet, the stunt from Atlanta's Hyatt Regency Hotel still holds up as the longest outdoor free-fall (no wires) stunt to ever be performed for commercial film. The stuntman was Dar Robinson. Diehl had a cameo role.

Diehl joined the Army Air Corps at age 17 after falsifying his birth date. Never-the-less, he served as a ball turret gunner on a B-24 during World War II. His conduct in action earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart and Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters.

Without the Channel, how would history have changedNovember 25, 1120: The events collectively known as "The Anarchy" represent one of the least known periods of English history (post 1066). This particular period of English civil unrest has its origins on the fateful night of the 25th of November 1120, when the "White Ship" sank in the Channel off the Normandy coast when it struck a submerged rock. The shipwreck killed the only direct heir of King Henry I, William Adelin. The cause of the ship's sinking remains uncertain, but some reports describe a night of binge drinking by crew and passengers alike; and, rumors of purposeful destruction persist today. The "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" recalls the 19-year reign of King Stephen, that followed Henry's death as an era “when Christ and his saints were asleep." Henry I King of all England and Normandy had designated Matilda (known as Maud) his daughter to be the Queen (she was married to Geoffrey of Anjou who had contested the control of Normandy by Henry). After trading victories in battle Maud and Stephen were at a stalemate. Before the coronation of the Queen could take place, Londoners stormed out of the "City" to attack Westminster, compelling Matilda to flee, her plans in flames. Eventually, an agreement recognized Henry II (Henry 's grandson by Maud) as rightful heir, when the men of the opposing armies refused to fight, weary of the seemingly unending struggle. Indeed, after the accord the once and future Kings were at peace personally, appearing together.

HENRI Plantagenêt, born March 5, 1133, in Le Mans, Maine Province (Sarthe), France; died July 6, 1189 at Chinon, Indre-et-Loire, France; was crowned HENRY II, King of England, on December 19, 1154. He is buried at Abbey-et-Fontevrault, Maine-et-Loire, France. On May 11, 1152, Henry married ELEANOR of Aquitaine, born about 1122 in Aquitaine, France. She passed on June 26, 1202, at Mirabell Castle, France. ELEANOR was the daughter of GUILLAUME X, Duke of Aquitaine, and his wife ELEANORE. Æleanor d'Aquitaine previously had married to LOUIS VII, King of France, on July 4th or 22nd, 1137, but was divorced by him on March 21, 1152. This change of heart, as you might expect, fostered problems between the two countries, as ownership issues were again in play. ÆLEANOR of Aquitaine is buried at the Monastery of Fontevrault located in Maine-et-Loire, France.

MATILDA (Maud) was the daughter of MATILDA, born about 1082 in Scotland; died May 1, 1118 at Winchester, Hampshire, England; baptized name was EDITH of SCOTLAND, a Princess of Scotland. On November 11, 1100, MATILDA married English King HENRY I BEAUCLERC, born about 1068 at Selby, Yorkshire, England; died December 1, 1135, at Angers, Maine-et-Loire, France. Henry I was the youngest son of WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR, King of England. HENRY I, crowned King of England on August 5, 1100, at Westminster was buried at Reading Abbey, Berkshire, England on January 4, 1136. William the Conquerors heritage back to Charlemagne and before is well-known.

MATILDA was the daughter of Sainte MARGARET, born about 1043 in England; died November 16, 1093, at Edinburgh Castle, Mid-Lothian, Scotland. She was a Princess of England; buried at Dunferline, Fife, Scotland; canonized as a Saint by Pope Innocent IV in 1251. In 1068 she had married Scottish King MALCOLM III CEANNMOR, born about 1031 in Scotland; died November 13, 1093, near Alnwick in Northumberland, England. Three of Sainte MARGARET's children became Scottish Kings, the fourth married the English ruler.

It is through the heritage of Queen Matilda, who was the spouse of King Henry I of England (he the son of William I, First Norman King of England) and the daughter of Malcolm III, King of Scotland, that many of the later Kings and Queens of England and Scotland are able to claim direct descent from the earlier English (Anglo Saxon) Kings as will be shown below, as well as the Scots of Dalriada (Malcom III's line). The current royal family also directly descends from the Scots of Dalriada, through this line, by way of the House of York (White Rose), Mary, Queen of Scots, James I, Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, the Duke of Brunswick (Hanover) and his son George I, King of England. The lineage of the Scots of Dalriada goes back about 95 generations before Matlida, where we find one named Gaodhal (or Gæls) son of Niul, grandson of Phœniusa and further back to Japhet one of the sons of Noah. From there it is only 10 generations to Adam.

November 25th: The devotion to Sainte Catherine (of Alexandria), which grew greatly in Europe starting in the 12th Century, peaked in France (15th century), when it was rumoured that she had spoken to Jeanne d'Arc and, together with Ste. Margaret, had been divinely appointed Joan's adviser. Many think Catherine did not exist or was some amalgam of many martyrs, and she was removed from the Catholic Church's calendar of feast days (1969-2002). Adam of Saint-Victor wrote a magnificent poem in her honor for a Latin Hymn, which begins: vox sonora nostri chori. (the sonorous (pleasant but powerful) voice of our choir [in praise]

Then [Roman Emperor] Maximin, with his heart of stone, commanded that Catherine be carried outside the city, and scourged and then beheaded. So it was done; but when she was dead, angels bore her body over the desert and over the Red Sea, and laid it away on the top of Mt. Sinai. As for the tyrant, he was slain in battle, and the vultures devoured him. Raphael; A Collection Of Fifteen Pictures And A Portrait Of The Painter With Introduction And Interpretation, Estelle M. (Estelle May) Hurll, EText-No. 19314, Release Date: 2006-09-19

So, I will leave it to you to discern what all this has to do with the price of hats for a few lassies in Paris.

November 26, 1864: A day after the anniversary of the Battle of Missionary Ridge (Chattanooga, Tennessee-in a defeat that many believe ended the South's hope of a negotiated end to the war), southern troops reoccupy Atlanta, as General Sherman moves south and east toward Savannah. The town is a mess. Civilians, who were forced to leave after the battle, slowly return. You may find the previous two week period recounted HERE.

November 27, 511: Clovis, often called the first King of France, died on this date. Shortly before his death, Clovis called a synod of Gallic bishops to meet in Orléans to reform the church and create a strong link between the Crown and the Catholic episcopate. This was the First Council of Orléans. Clovis I is interred today at Église Saint-Étienne-du-Mont (pictured here), not in the Saint Denis Basilica (near Paris) and not in Tournai (Belgium), as was his father and previous Salian Frank kings. The Parisian church that rises near where the Roman Forum once stood, contains Pascal’s tomb, who died while he was in the parish and Racine’s ashes -- transferred to this church from Port-Royal in 1711. Furthermore, it contains the shrine of Ste. Geneviève’s remains, the patroness of Paris. The reliquary contains only a few fingers, bones and ashes, because during the la Révolution français , the remains were burned and scattered. Also with Clovis is his wife Ste. Clotilda. Upon his death, Clovis's realm was divided into 4 parts, creating about a 240 year period of disunity for the resulting kingdoms. A map and timeline of kings, mayors and other rulers is HERE on our page about Metz.

November 28, 1095: – On the last day of the Council of Clermont, Pope Urban II appoints Bishop Adhemar of Le Puy and Count Raymond IV of Toulouse to lead the First Crusade to the Holy Land. The Council of Clermont was a mixed synod of ecclesiastics and laymen of the western Church. Pope Urban delivered a speech at the closing of the Council, purportedly ending his oration with the words Deus vult ("God wills {it}"). This phrase became the battle cry of the Crusaders. Filled with zeal at the prospect of liberating the Holy Land (and earning an indulgence, that erased time in Purgatory, they ended the Council. In 1095, Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus had sent envoys to the west to request military assistance against the Seljuk Turks. The message was received well by Pope Urban II at the Council of Piacenza. Later that year, in November, Urban called the Council of Clermont to discuss the matter further. In convoking the council, Urban urged the bishops and abbots, whom he addressed directly, to bring with them the prominent lords in their provinces.

On this date in 1520, After navigating through a strait at the southern end of South America, three ships under the command of the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan (Fernão de Magalhães) reach the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first known Europeans to sail from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean from the east. Ferdinand Magellan set out from Spain on this voyage with five ships, but the voyage proved more difficult than anticipated. Indeed, Megellan and most of his men and ships did not survive this voyage. The aim of Christopher Columbus' 1492–1503 voyages to the West had been to reach the Indies and to establish direct commercial relations between Spain and the Asian kingdoms. The Spanish soon realized that the lands of the Americas were not a part of Asia, but a new continent. The 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas reserved for Portugal the eastern routes that went around Africa, and Vasco da Gama and the Portuguese arrived in India in 1498. It became urgent for Spain to find a new commercial route to Asia, and after the Junta de Toro conference of 1505, the Spanish Crown set out to discover a route to the west. Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa reached the Pacific Ocean in 1513 after crossing the Isthmus of Panama. Magellan's voyage would open the "spice route" without damaging relations with the neighboring Portuguese. On August 10, 1519, the five ships under Magellan's command, the Trinidad, San Antonio, Concepción, Victoria and Santiago, left Seville. It took 3 and 1/2 months to find the Pacific.

In 1666 on this date, some 3000 men of the Scottish Royal Army led by Tam Dalyell of the Binns defeated 900 Covenanter rebels in the Battle of Rullion Green, in Lothian, Scotland. The rebels included experienced professional soldiers as well as citizenry, and were commanded by Colonel James Wallace of Auchens. The Pentland Rising (of which this was the penultimate battle) must be viewed in the context of the long-running government campaign to impose episcopalianism upon Scotland (versus Presbyterianism (Calvin) or Catholicism) against the will of the people.

November 28, 1794: On this date, Friedrich von Steuben passed away at Remsen, New York (born in Magdeburg, Germany). Steuben had been a Prussian officer. At the behest of Benjamin Franklin, he aided the ailing effort of the American Colonies. Arriving in 1777, Washington placed von Steuben in the line of command for troops at Valley Forge. He retrained these forces and wrote a manual, Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States. The city of Steubenville, Ohio bears his name.

November 28, 2007: Churches and schools for many years sponsored Boy and Girl Scout units in Waltham. Indeed, in 1974, the W.R. Nichols Company was the chartering organization for a Sea-Scout Ship. Today such a group would be a crew within Venturing, a program for young men and women under the BSA umbrella. This evening, was the 97th anniversary of the founding of the earliest documented maritime-themed Scout unit in the United States. That date in 1910 was a Monday and the time was evening at 321 Crescent Dr, Waltham, Massachusetts. The man who first brought a Sea Scout group together (in the USA), Arthur Astor Carey, lived in Waltham, which is on the Charles River. A prominent worker in the burgeoning arena of youth development of the period, Carey founded the local Scout district council, too. Carey's Little chapel Harbor -- Waltham, Massachusetts Public Library from same time period.

Carey's unit began as a Scout troop, of course, as that was the only type of Scouting program that existed then. Less than a month later these Scouts had acquired the use of an eighty-two (82) foot converted fishing boat, then moored in nearby Boston. The group spent much of the following months working on their water skills at Camp Sherwood on the Sudbury River. In the summer of 1911, the newly-christened BSS Pioneer conducted the first Long Cruise.

Mr. Carey apparently was never actually a Sea Scout Skipper [often called a Seascoutmaster in the early days], he functioned more as a combination Chartered Partner Representative and Committee Chairman in today's terms. He did go out on the Pioneer and participated in the Long Cruise. A wealthy man who was active in such diverse fields as the arts deco and neurasthenic studies, he is considered to be the first national Sea Scout director, preceding James Wilder of Hawaii.

There is some evidence pointing to a possibility that Mr. Carey had been acquainted with General Baden-Powell in England (1909) and that his encounter may have been a factor in his interest in Scouting. His daughter Alida married into the Gulick family, the founders of the Campfire Girls. Carey was the same age as Sir Robert Baden-Powell, but predeceased him by some 18 years (1923). information researched by D R McKeon SSS Sargasso Ship 22 (Atlanta Area Council) Tucker, GA.

Some say November 29, 1745-the monument on the site says the 28th, but I say serendipity like a pendulum swings: In November 1745, French troops and native allies burn Saratoga, New York (and later Albany), to retaliate for British efforts to encourage the Iroquois to fight during King George's War (War of the Austrian Succession (1744-1748)). The Saratoga of 1745 was on the site of the present Schuylerville, NY, on the west bank of the Hudson River about eleven miles east of the present Saratoga. One hundred forty-five years later in nearby West Point, New York, the United States Naval Academy defeated the United States Military Academy 24-0 in the first Army-Navy football game. Another interesting point, if you look for counseling at 1745 Saratoga Avenue, you will be in San Jose, California. You might be surprised to learn that San Jose was founded on November 29, 1777, as el Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe. It is the first civilian settlement, or pueblo, in Alta California.
November 30th 1016, saw an important event in English History, when the son of King Æthelræd the Unready met an untimely end. ÆTHELRÆD II {the Unready} was the son of EDGAR THE PEACEFUL. Coinage of the King shows his portrait as well as the hand of God, between the alpha and omega symbols.

England, under one rule since Alfred's son, Edward, had unified the title in 921, was ruled by Æthelræd the Unready who had become monarch aged 10 in 979. But his perceived non-preparedness had persuaded a new generation of Vikings that Britain was again for the taking and since the 980s they had been trying to do just that. East Anglia was in the front line.

King Edmund II of England (nicknamed Ironside for his military prowess), the son of King Æthelræd, was elected King of England in London upon his father's death in 1016, but his Danish rival, Canute the Great, enjoyed greater support throughout the rest of the countryside. Edmund was eventually defeated by the Danes, but he was allowed by Canute to keep the Kingdom of Wessex (Wessex is key because traditionally it held the overlordship of the rest of England), under an understanding that whoever of them survived the other would become ruler of the whole of England. Shortly after making this agreement, Edmund II died, on November 30, 1016, and was buried at Glastonbury Abbey on the Isle of Avalon. A Danish claim was established over the whole of England for the next 50 years. To secure the claim, one of Canute's first order of business was to marry Emma, Æthelræd's widow of Norman descent. One of Æthelræd's children outlived Canute's direct heirs (Emma was the mother of all Canute's and Æthelræd's children).

Some years later, the survivor -- King Edward the Confessor, another son of Anglo-Saxon King Æthelred (the Unready), was recalled from Normandy after decades of exile, where he had secured sanctuary with his Norman Christian cousins. Not unexpectedly, Edward's reign witnessed increasing Norman-French influence, which had begun when Canute married Æthelred's widow, Emma of Normandy, daughter of Richard the Fearless, then Duke of Normandy. Edward oversaw completion of Westminster Abbey, which he finished just in time for his burial in January 1065/66. Before his death he had named a Norman heir, but the Saxon council of electors (witenagemot) wanted a man closer to their own cultural heritage.

WilliamEdward's unexpected death without an heir left the succession in doubt and in dispute. The electors of the witenagemot chose Harold, Earl of Wessex. The Earl had once been held hostage by a Scandinavian cousin, named Harald (Haardraade). He was released only upon giving up any interest in the English throne. This relative, now King Harald III of Norway, wished to claim his prize. The third contender and cousin was William Duke of Normandy (also of Scandanavian-Viking heritage and related to Edward and Harold and Harald).

Harold, then currently English King, Harold II, fought off an invasion by the first Scandinavian claimant, defeating him at Stamford Bridge on September 25, 1066. Notwithstanding this success, the course of world history radically changed at the Battle of Hastings on October 14, 1066; because, Duke William (the Conqueror) established a beachhead in England without opposition, while Harold had busied himself up north. When Harold's exhausted Anglo-Saxon army turned its attention to the second set of invaders, time and energy had run their course. French Barons, née Viking pirates, had established the new English royal family and noble retinue. English King William was crowned in Westminster Abbey on the next Christmas Day in 1066. More HERE. All of this is every bit as complicated as the events we would see later regarding the succession to the English Crown as the Tudor line ended and the Reformation of the Church in England began. A very good anglo-saxon Websource:

Richard I of Normandy (born 28 August 933, in Fécamp, Haute Normandy, France died November 20, 996, in Fécamp) was the leader of Normandy (princeps Nortmannorum at Rouen) from 942 to 996; many consider him to be the first to actually have held that title. He was called Richard the Fearless (French, Sans Peur). Richard was still a boy when his father died, and so he was powerless to stop Louis IV of France when he seized Normandy. Louis kept him in confinement in his youth at Laon, but he escaped with the assistance of Osmond de Centville, Bernard de Senlis (who had been a companion of Rollo of Normandy), Ivo de Bellèsme and Bernard the Dane (common ancestor of houses of Harcourt and Beaumont). In 968, Richard agreed to "commend" himself to Hugh, Count of Paris. He then allied himself with the Norman and Viking leaders, drove Louis out of Rouen, and took back Normandy by 947. He later quarreled with Æthelred II of England. The Dukes of Normandy descend in an unbroken line to Wooden (Odin of Nordic Mythology) of the Thracian Æsir, whose peoples migrated from the Black Sea; said to be a remnant of the House of Troy.

Facing the abbey church (L'Abbatiale de la Trinité), the remains of the ducal palace bring to mind the Norman Rolland (Rollo) of Fécamp, and rest upon the remains of an early 10th century castle built by William I. Today the site hints at what housing was like in the 10th and 11th centuries. Behind the abbey church , the old town bears witness to Fécamp's rich past, along France's Alabaster Coast. The abbey church of the Trinity, a masterpiece of primitive gothic (12th century), possesses the grandeur of a bishop's cathedral. It still retains numerous gems, including the chapel of the Virgin and its 14th century stained glass as well as later additions and art. The Church of Saint Stephen (Étienne) is a much later structure from the 16th Century.

Fécamp is situated in the valley of the river Valmont, at the heart of the Pays de Caux. It sits about 50 miles NE of Cæn and about 40 miles NW of Rouen. According to legend, the trunk of a fig tree carrying the Precious Blood of Christ collected by Joseph of Arimathea was washed ashore on the riverbank at Fécamp in the 1st century. In short order, the relic attracted many pilgrims. Many items of the Gallo-Roman period have been found locally, such as gold coins and celtic axes. Two Gallo-Roman cemeteries have also been discovered.écamp Charles II of England landed at Fécamp in November 1651, soon after the Battle of Worcester, where he had been defeated by Cromwell. This recalls Edward the Confessor (son of Æthelred the Unready and his second wife, Emma of Normandy), King of England's exile to the same city, where he stayed with his cousins.

November 30, 1782: In Paris, representatives from the United States and the Kingdom of Great Britain sign preliminary peace articles, later formalized in the Treaty of Paris (September 3, 1783). The British recognized the independence of the American states. John Adams, who would become the second President, was one of four named American Representatives on the negotiating team (Benjamin Franklin, John Jay and Henry Laurens were the other three).

The US and British negotiators agreed on the new nation's boundaries. The two sides secretly agreed to an article that affected Georgia's southern boundary west of the Chattahoochee River. If Spain allowed Britain to retain her two Florida colonies, the northern boundary of West Florida would continue as it was prior to the American Revolution -- a line marked at latitude 32° 22' N stretching from the Chattahoochee River to the Mississippi River. If, however, Spain insisted on the return of the two Floridas, West Florida's norther boundary would return to 31° (as originally stipulated in the Treaty of Paris of 1763). Thus, a substantial area of Georgia's western territory was in question. Spain would claim, in due course, the entire area of West Florida for its role in defeating the British. The secret text would plague U.S.-Spanish relations until 1795, when Spain finally agreed to give up its claim to western Georgia north of the 31st parallel, still holding on to the rest of its Florida empire. see

However, all was not really settled, and we went to war with the British Empire once again in 1812. In September 1814, an impressive American naval victory on Lake Champlain forced invading British forces back into Canada. This led to the final peace arrangements concluded in Ghent, Belgium. John Adam's son, John Quincy Adams (the sixth US President) would negotiate the Treaty of Ghent (December 24, 1814), ending that conflict. News of the signing would not reach the USA until 1815. This delay gave US General Andrew Jackson, later a US President, the time to achieve a still greater American victory at the Battle of New Orleans.

Jackson expected the British assault and had prepared. The shallow-draft steamboat Enterprise, completed in Pittsburgh under the direction of keelboat captain Henry Miller Shreve, left for New Orleans to deliver guns and ammunition to General Jackson on December 1st of 1814. On December 13th General Andrew Jackson announced martial law in New Orleans, as British troops disembark at Lake Borne, 40 miles east of the city. The British then moved south and east of the Chalmette Plantation, a then goodly distance out from town. On the 23rd of December General Jackson stopped the first advance, but tactically retreated about 3 miles within the Parish of Saint Bernard and threw up fortifications.

On the 8th of January 1815, the British resumed their march toward New Orleans. In separating Louisiana from the rest of the United States, the British had aimed to control and would have in fact controlled the Mississippi and the trade to America's heartland, thereby protecting their possessions on the American frontier and in Canada. The British found the volunteer militia, citizens and Gentleman Pirate Jean Lafitte's men (all under General Andrew Jackson's command), strongly entrenched at the Rodriquez Canal, 6 miles from the French Quarter.

Because of its provisions of the treaty ending our last declared war with Great Britain, regarding the Georgia borders, many Georgia politicians called on the President Madison (who authored the Bill of Rights) to renounce the Treaty of Ghent and continue the war against Britain. This did not happen, the United States was exhausted. Never-the-less, the Florida Territories would come into US possession by treaty in 1819.

On November 30th: In 1803, 21 years after the preliminary agreement ending the war for freedom was reached, at the Cabildo building in New Orleans, the Spanish (Governor Manuel de Salcedo and the Marqués de Casa Calvo) officially transfered the Louisiana Territory to the French. Pierre-Clément de Laussat (Napoléon's Colonial Prefect, born in Pau) accepts possession of Louisiana from Spain in a retrocession ceremony at noon. Jean Ètienne de Boré (1741-1820) becomes the first Mayor of the city, a democratic ville for the first time. Just 20 days later, France transferred the same land to the United States and the US Flag rose on the 20th of December above the Cabildo. William C. C. Claiborne and General James Wilkinson are commissioners overseeing the transfer.

On this date in 1819: The steamship Savannah returned home after being the first steam-powered vessel to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Actually the ship had sails, carried very little coal and so could use steam only as an assist when wind failed (or to steam into port up the Savannah River). It had left the City of Savannah in May. For more information, please see our Georgia Sea Traditions Webpage.

In the mid-20th Century: On November 30th 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (who celebrated his birth in 1874 that day) and the leader of the Soviets (USSR), Josef Stalin, would agree to an invasion of Europe, codenamed Operation Overlord. The Allies, sans Josef, would come ashore at Normandie.

Ah, (eleven years later) elle a sorti le ciel, débarquant juste un peu de sud de Sylacaugie !!! In Alabama, a small {eight pound-eight ounce} sulfide stony meteorite strikes a home across from the Comet Drive-In Théâtre, near Sylacauga. The object hits Mrs. Elizabeth Hodges in the living room, after it punctures her roof and actively ricochets off her radio. As you may guess, this results in a rather nasty bruise, but she becomes the first person in recorded history to survive a close encounter of this kind -- at least the first American, well maybe first Alabamian -- You do not want to miss this story at Website:

Not one web site claimed the Hodges meteorite was a hoax, a cover up or a conspiracy. None claimed the Hodges event never happened. Interesting. Could it be that some strange stuff you read on the net is actually ... true? Yes. Some.
To celebrate this event, Creedence Clearwater Revival placed a track called It Came Out Of The Sky on its First Album, released November 2, 1969: It came out of the Sky -- con subtitulos

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 !

December 01, 1420: On this date the King of England visits Paris, a big city in his Kingdom. The originator of the term "Band of Brothers" was six feet 3 inches in height. You know him as Henry V, of the Lancaster dynasty. Starting in August 1417, Henry officially promoted the use of the English language, and his reign marks the appearance of Chancery Standard English as well as the adoption of English as the language of record throughout his Government. He was the first king to use English in his personal correspondence, since the Norman conquest, which occurred 350 years earlier.

Following Agincourt (the victory is seen as Henry's greatest, ranking alongside Crécy and Poitiers), On June 2, 1420, Henry V married Catherine of Valois, the French king's daughter; he had already been named as heir and French Regent under the Treaty of Troyes. However, political intrigue and open rebellion continued under the Dauphine. Hungarian King (later Holy Roman Emperor 1433-1437) Sigismund made a visit to Henry in hopes of establishing a lasting peace between England and France. His goal was to persuade Henry to modify his demands. Henry lavishly entertained the Hungarian ruler and even had him enrolled in the Order of the Garter. Sigismund in turn inducted Henry into the Order of the Dragon. Henry had intended to crusade for that order after uniting the English and French thrones, but he died before fulfilling his plans. Sigismund left England several months later, having signed the Treaty of Canterbury, acknowledging English claims to to the French throne.

December 1, 1824: The U.S. presidential election was sent to the U.S. House of Representatives, this after no candidate received a majority of the electoral vote. The contenders -- Georgian William H. Crawford, along with John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay. The man who negotiated the end of the War of 1812 would become the 6th President. Like his father, Adams would be a one-termer. Four years later on December 3rd, Andrew Jackson became 7th president-elect of the United States beating John Quincy Adams. Resentment of the restrictive credit policies of the first central bank, the Bank of the United States, fueled a populist backlash that elected Andrew Jackson. Former President John Quincy Adams took his seat as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives on December 4, 1831, while Jackson would preside over the forced removal of the Cherokee Nation toward the end of his second term. Jackson would withdraw from the bank, causing a panic by 1837 for his successor for the five year depression that followed. Who had the better record of service, the populist democrat or the gentlemen ?

December 1, 1990: Tunnel workers from the United Kingdom and France meet 40 meters beneath the English Channel. They have dug the Chunnel, a ground connection between the island of Great Britain and the mainland of Europe, the first in recorded history. The land bridge from England to France submerged to form the English Channel for the last time some 7-9 thousand years ago. Three theories are discussed in:

  • Time line for Sea-side city of Shoreham in Sussex, England -- it references the generally accepted theories of the scientific community
  • Sudden flood -- a tsunami of a theory -- Troubled Times, indeed wash right over you
  • The Atlantian Theory -- Aliens, too; need I say more -- an interesting must read for the Druid fan
    Warning: Not about a city in Georgia.
  • Wednesday December 01, 2004: The President made an official visit to Halifax, Nova Scotia, today to thank the people of Canada, especially Halifax, for their help and support. He recognized the many acts of kindness of the citizens in this northern city, when US airspace shut down for several days in September 2001.

    “Immediately, Canadians opened their homes and their hearts,” Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin said in toasting Mr. Bush at a dinner in Ottawa Tuesday night. “Three days later, on September the 14th, 100,000 Canadians spontaneously gathered on Parliament Hill in what was and is the largest vigil ever seen in our capital.”

    “You opened your homes and your churches to strangers. You brought food, you set up clinics, you arranged for calls to loved ones and you asked for nothing in return," the President noted. "Thank you for your kindness to America in an hour of need.”

    “Beyond the words of politicians and the natural disagreements that nations will have, our two peoples are one family and always will be," he added. "We're bound by history and geography and trade, and by our deepest convictions ... With so much in common and so much at stake, we cannot be divided.”

    December 1, 2005: Sandy Springs became a Georgia city. Legislation incorporating the Fulton County community had been enacted at the 2005 session of the General Assembly, but the effective date of incorporation was delayed until one second past midnight on the first day of December 2005. And in 2008, Dunwoody officially became a new Georgia' city. Legislation incorporating the DeKalb County community had been enacted at the 2008 session of the General Assembly. Both new cities share a common border and encompass portions of the Hightower Trail, itself an historic border.

    December 2, 1737: A disillusioned John Wesley sailed from Georgia to Charleston, and subsequently on to England. Wesley had hoped to serve as a missionary to Georgia's Native Americans. In the nearly two years since he arrived, he had not been able to pursue this goal. The Georgia Colony's founder and Chief Executive Officer, James Edward Oglethorpe, had wished Wesley to minister to the needs of Savannah's population. Wesley, perceived as too formal in his Anglican practices, did not succeed. Toward the end of his stay, it is reported that he also had become romantically involved with a young woman. He proposed marriage. She refused and subsequently married another. Apparently, this led Wesley to refuse her communion, prompting the new husband to sue. Facing a local trial, Wesley departed for home. After his return to England, he had his life-changing experience.
    December 2, 1804:
    Napoléon Bonaparte crowns himself Emperor at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. He becomes the first Emperor crowned in France since 800AD. The premier Emperor, Charles the Great King of the Franks, came from the Carolingian line. This second familial dynasty of France had replaced the Merovingian line (see a better map HERE, and came to power in order to push the Moors back from the first Islamic invasion of Europe, a time celebrated by the Chanson (le 15 août 778).
    The Carolingians, under Pepin's son, Charlemagne, annexed all of southern Germany and the lands in the north and northeast, held by the Saxons. Charlemagne, crowned emperor of a new Holy Roman Empire in 800AD by Pope Leo III, patterned his court after the western Roman Empire. He ruled from Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle), which is today within Germany, on the Dutch Border. The official work of his court was done in Latin; however, the day - to - day language (in the east) congealed into what has evolved into Hoch Deutsch today. Why not French ? Because, upon his death the empire split into three kingdoms because of the tradition that gave each son an equal share of inheritance. The western portion eventually became France and the romantic (n'est pas) language base of Latin prevailed. Indeed, even in 800AD the language between the west and the eastern part of the empire showed marked differences. So much so, that the treaty named after Virodunensis (Verdun -- see below-843AD) had to be written in two languages. The middle kingdom included the land generally between the Rhône/Saône/Meuse and the Rhine Rivers. This is also that area over which and in which most of the European Wars for 1200 years would be fought. For example look at what happened to Alsace. This was the pattern set up with the Treaty of Verdun in 843 AD.

    Otto I, an old-Saxon chief, emerged as the King of East Francia by 962AD. He became the leader of the [Holy] Roman Empire {Römischen Reich}, an official designation {Rede} which remained in use, and in German hands, for another nine centuries. Toward the end of that time period, the words Reich, Reiches or Reichs were used without any other direct attributes, still signifying however, a continuation of the empire from the previous Millennium. Frankfurt became the city where the emperors of the German Reich, traditionally, were elected and crowned.

    You may think of Napoléon strictly in political terms, but he had a great impact on Art History, if only because his Musée du château du Louvre would become the most well-known, best endowed art museum --- tout le monde. Bonaparte celebrated the first anniversary of his coronation with a victory at Austerlitz (also known as the Battle of the Three Emperors) over a Russian and Austrian army. Some 200 Years later, la Lourve celebrated the event with a special exhibit.

    Napoléon commissioned the Arc de Triumph (Paris-1806) to revive the custom of the triumphal arch (one of Louis' favorite construction projects). These arches once had celebrated the victories of the Roman emperors. Napoleon, crowned emperor of France, used this to symbolically unite him with those ancient rulers. In so doing we see this neo-classical style expand throughout France and the west (in the US, first with the Federal style). Not everyone remained enamored. Beethoven will rename his Third Symphony from the Napoléon to the Eroica after Bonaparte crowns himself.

    This 1822 painting by French neoclassical painter, Jacques-Louis David, shows Emperor Napoléon I 
and the Empress, Josephine, during the coronation at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris France

    On December 14, 2004, the readers of The Wall Street Journal [back page of Section IV] were treated with a very fine article on the Louvre exhibit and a view of the painting by Jacques-Louis David about the accession of Napoléon. Note: our readers (of the Vanguard) had information about this event several weeks before. The Wall Street Journal author had a very brief discussion about France's love-hate relationship with its controversial leader. Astute visitors to this Website know that within the confines of our pages we have tried to put some of it all in broader context -- from Roman conquest to the Bastille and beyond, and what this history has meant for America, as well as France. Our pages on French (and German) cities are an endeavor in this regard. We will continue so to do, God willing and if the creeks don't rise.

    December 2, 1823: President Monroe, replying to the post-napoleonic era pronouncements of the Holy Alliance (1816), proclaimed the principles known as the Monroe Doctrine, “that the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintained, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by European powers.” His doctrine opposing European expansion in the Western Hemisphere ensured that the American sphere of influence in the Western hemisphere remained unquestioned. Although oft challenged, it still governs policies today -- in 2009 we are looking at Iran and South American dictators working together.

    Le coup d'État du 2 décembre 1851: Le coup d'État est effectué par Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, président de la République, qui arrive par ce moyen à dissoudre l'Assemblée nationale française sans en avoir le droit constitutionnel, à devenir seul maître de la France, et rétablit le suffrage universel, précédemment aboli par l'Assemblée. Ces décisions et la prolongation de son mandat à 10 ans sont plébiscités par référendum tout comme l'établissement du Second Empire à compter du 2 décembre 1852 devenant ainsi « Napoléon III, empereur des Français »'État_du_2_décembre_1851.

    December 2, 1942: A self-sustaining nuclear device was demonstrated for the first time at the University of Chicago, on the squash court underneath the football stadium. Scientists initiated this nuclear activity at 3:45 in the afternoon local time. They removed control rods which dampened the process from the nuclear pile of uranium and graphite. Energy increased, revealing that neutrons from fissioning uranium split other atoms, which in turn split a greater number in the un-dampened field. This cascading event is known popularly as a chain reaction.

    The experimental reactor was part of the Manhattan Project, the top-secret plan to develop an atomic bomb before the Axis powers in World War II. The group of scientists was led by Enrico Fermi. We now know that the Nazi's had placed nuclear research on the back burner, but at the time a race to exploit the atom for weapons seemed necessary. Some believe that the Japanese Empire was much closer to achieving this goal. Indeed, some evidence suggests that man's third atomic blast occurred not at Nagasaki, but off a small Island in what is today a restricted area of North Korea (then under Japanese control).
    Some, at the time, worried at the time that a fission bomb would get out of control and destroy the Earth. Similar worries arose with testing of the fusion bomb. Today we have worried that the particle device in Europe will do the same, by creating mini-blackholes of the kind that will not evaporate.

    December 2, 1956: Fidel Castro landed on the coast of Cuba. Castro brought a small armed force to overthrow dictator Fulgencio Batista; most of them killed within a few days. Che Guevara was one of the very few who survived the disastrous landing of the rebels’ boat, the "Granma." Castro achieved success, against great odds and established a brutal regime.

    On December 2nd of 1961, Cuban leader Fidel Castro declared himself a Marxist-Leninist who would lead Cuba to a Communist paradise. Soon thereafter followed the Cuban Missile Crisis (October 1962), where the "Monroe Doctrine (December 2, 1823)" was tacitly employed to reduce foreign European influence (Soviet Union), as the world moved close to a nuclear exchange. Fidel Castro proved too ill to attend his delayed 80th birthday festivities and a military parade in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the landing. During 2007 his words appeared in print, along with pictures -- In Fall 2007 he is reported to have said he would outlive the current US President's term in office - he was right, er correct. He passed away this past week (in 2016), still lionized by fellow travellers.

    December 2, 1978: Chanting anti-Shah protesters tear through Tehran. A year later, some 2,000 Libyans ransacked the US embassy at Tripoli, Libya, supporting the radical Islamic terrorist regime that took power and hostages in Iran earlier in the year. The problem remains with us today, because of the failure to come to terms with it then. Sort of like all the aspects of crisis we deal with today ... ? On this date in 2015, well equipped shooters terrorized government workers having a party. The current Administration claims this requires more gun control, while it appears that an armed citizen diverted the terrorists into a police trap, where they were killed.

    le 3 décembre 1973: Pioneer 10 effectue le 1er vol autour de Jupiter (en passant à 130 000 kilomètres au-dessus la planète). Pioneer 10, la sonde américaine, est la première a donner des informations sur de Jupiter. Lancée le 2 mars 1972 (east coast time 3rd of March by the Universal time clock), Pioneer 10 est devenu la plus ancienne des sondes interplanétaires américaines. Elle disparaîtra dans l'espace en janvier 1998 (Kuiper Belt). As everyone may remember, some years later it is captured by the borg collective, who retrofit it for a return voyage to earth, renaming her the Borg-Ship Vegan, and hiding the craft in a comet. It is intercepted at Ice-station Babylon by the cast of the Starship Ænterprise, where it is diverted to Doone thru a staregait manœuvre. There, it is set-up at quai-ballay to be forever revered as the mother of all secret stones. At least I think that's the story. If I have offended anyone, mea culpa. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that use, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive. — C.S. Lewis : Truth is heavy; therefore, few wear it. -- Midrash Shmuel on Avot: 4

    Le 4 décembre 1290: The monument called the Eleanor Cross sits in front of London's Charing Cross Station. This is the point from which all distances traditionally are measured in the City and England. Why? Because of a cherished Queen, too soon departed from her people. More pictures of the Charing Cross bridge (by e.g. Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro) follow This Link -- the name derives from the phrase "dear Queen" from the spoken French used in the thirteenth century at the heart of London England.

    En ce jour, Éléonor (ou Aliénor) de Castille décède à Herdeby (Angleterre). Elle est la sœur du roi Alphonse X de Castille et l'épouse bien-aimée du roi d'Angleterre Édouard 1er. Édouard, très affecté par la mort de sa femme, fait élever des croix et peindre son portrait partout où s'arrête le cortège funèbre en route pour l'abbaye de Westminster. Le quartier londonien de Charing Cross conserve le souvenir de l'une de ces croix (Charing viendrait de « chère reine » et serait une déformation du français en usage au XIIIe siècle à la cœur d'Angleterre).

    Eleanor was born in Burgos, daughter of Ferdinand III of Castile and Joan, Countess of Ponthieu. Her Castilian name, Leonor, became Alienor or Alianor in England, and Eleanor in modern English. She was named after her paternal great-grandmother, Eleanor of England. The young couple married at the monastery of Las Huelgas, Burgos, on 1 November 1254. Edward and Eleanor were second cousins once removed, as Edward's grandfather King John of England and Eleanor's great-grandmother Eleanor of England were the son and daughter of King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Following the marriage they spent nearly a year in Gascony, with Edward ruling as lord of Aquitaine. She was 13 when she gave birth to their daughter, who soon passed away. Arranged royal marriages in the Middle Ages were not always happy, but available evidence indicates that Eleanor and Edward were devoted to each other. Edward is among the few medieval English kings not known to have conducted extramarital affairs or fathered children out of wedlock. The couple were rarely apart; she accompanied him on military campaigns in Wales, famously giving birth to their son Edward on 25 April 1284 at Caernarfon Castle, either in a temporary dwelling erected for her amid the construction works, or in the partially constructed Eagle Tower. Eloquent testimony is found in his letter to the abbot of Cluny in France (January 1291), seeking prayers for the soul of the wife "whom living we dearly cherished, and whom dead we cannot cease to love." In her memory, Edward ordered the construction of twelve elaborate stone crosses (of which three survive, almost intact) between 1291 and 1294, marking the route of her funeral procession between Lincoln and London. Pictured at this link is Charing Cross --

    Le 5 décembre 1360 -- Naissance du franc: Somewhat on theme (a french coin with an Eleanor connection): le 5 décembre 1360, à Compiègne, le roi Jean II crée une nouvelle monnaie, le «franc», de même valeur que la monnaie existante, la livre tournois. Le 5 décembre 1978: Adoption du SME (Système monétaire européen) lors du Conseil européen réunit les 4 et 5 décembre 1978 à Bruxelles. Le franc perdure comme monnaie de référence de la France jusqu'au 31 décembre 1998, dernier jour avant l'euro. -- Birth of the franc - on December 5, 1360, at Compiègne, King John II created a new denomination, the "franc" - having the same value as the existing currency, the pound tournois. Interestingly, on December 5, 1978, France witnessed the adoption of the EMS (European Monetary System) at a meeting of the European Council in Brussels. The franc continued as the currency of France until December 31, 1998, the last day before the €uro went into effect.


    Le franc de 1360 est en or fin de 3,88 grammes. Une version ultérieure, en 1365, représentera le roi à pied (le « franc à pied »). Les pièces de monnaie tirent leur valeur de leur poids en métal précieux et non, comme aujourd'hui, de la seule fiabilité de l'émetteur (État ou banque). La France, du Moyen Âge à la fin du XIXe siècle, se montre attachée au bimétallisme: pièces principales en or et subdivisions en argent. (The 1360 franc consisted 3.88 grams of fine gold. Later, starting in 1365, coinage will show the king on foot (the "franc afoot"-something that's afoot is already happening, underway, or being prepared). The coins derive their value from their precious metal weights and not, as now, only by the reliability of the issuer (or state bank). France, from the Middle Ages into the late nineteenth century, saw coinage turn to bimetallism: main denominations were in gold and silver-based fractions.) The use of silver was responsive to trade and commerce. By the late 20th Century most money had no intrinsic value.

    Jean II le Bon (c'est-à-dire le Brave) a été fait prisonnier à la bataille de Poitiers. Il a subi une longue captivité en Angleterre et son geôlier, le roi anglais Edouard III, lui a réclamé une énorme rançon. Le roi crée le « franc ». La nouvelle pièce commémore sa libération. (John II (that is to say "the Brave") was taken prisoner at the Battle of Poitiers. He suffered a long captivity in England and his jailer, the English King Edward III (Eleanor's grandson (see original post above)), called for a huge ransom. The new coin was created to commemorate his liberation and the liberty of France, which remained.)

    Les pièces de différents pays peuvent circuler côte à côte, leur attrait dépendant de la confiance que le public accorde à l'émetteur, lequel peut tricher sur la quantité de métal précieux ou laisser faire les faux-monnayeurs. La pièce représente le roi à cheval avec la légende Johannes Dei Gratia Francorum Rex -- (The coinage of different countries continues to circulate side by side with the Franc, valued dépendant upon the confidence that commerce attached to the issuer (and coin condition). Governments often cheated on the content of precious metal (debasing) or let counterfeiters flourish to the same effect. The pictured coin piece depicts the king on horseback (striding in victory with sword upraised) with the caption "John King of France by the Grace of God" proclaiming his devine right of rule)

    Le 5 décembre -- another French happening this date in 1560: At the age of ten Charles IX Valois becomes King upon the death of his brother, François II. Soon, France would be in the midst of turmoil as Protestants fought Catholics beginning in 1562 (guerres de religion). Charles' Queen-mother, Catherine de Médicis, became his Regent until his death in 1573. She would die in 1589 (at age 70), after seeing her 4th son become King in 1575 (Henri III). He, the last Valois, in turn died later in the same year at the hand of an assassin. Henri IV (of Navarre, the first Bourbon King) would follow on the throne, and he too would die by assassination (1610). France would continue its internal struggles under the reign of his son Louis XIII.

    Le 6 Décembre   C'est sa fête : Nicolas

    SinterKlaas sur un timbre canadien Évêque de Myre (Asie Mineure) au IVe siècle, Nicolas aurait ressuscité des enfants mis au saloir par un méchant aubergiste (unrepentant butcher had murdered children and placed them in a barrel of salt to cure for resale-the children were restored to life in this legend by Nicholas). Ce saint est encore aujourd'hui très populaire en Russie, en Pologne, dans les pays germaniques ainsi qu'en Lorraine, en Alsace, en Belgique et aux Pays-Bas. Il est connu dans ces pays sous les noms de Saint Nicolas, Sankt Niklaus, Saint Niclaus ou encore Sinter Klaas. La première mention du saint remonte au 13e siècle en Belgique francophone (Wallonie) et aux alentours de 1380 en Flandre. Il est dans ces pays le patron des enfants mais aussi des passeurs d'eau et des bateliers.

    The Bishop of Myra (modern-day Demre, Turkey) in the fourth century, Nicolas - Greek: Ἅγιος Νικόλαος, Hagios Nikólaos, Latin: Sanctus Nicolaus - In 325AD, he was one of many bishops to answer the request of Constantine to appear at the First Council of Nicæa. There, Nicholas was a staunch defender of the Orthodox Christian position, and also one of the bishops who signed the Nicene Creed. Many legends of his works abound, and a portion of his relics were removed to Italy in the mid-11th Century, where he is known as Nicholas of Bari. The archdiocese of Bari allowed a scientific survey of the bones it had. In the late 1950s, during a restoration of the chapel, a team of hand-picked scientists photographed and measured the contents of the crypt grave.

    In the summer of 2005, the report of these measurements was sent to a forensic laboratory in England. The review of the data revealed that the historical St. Nicholas was barely five feet in height and had suffered a broken nose. The facial reconstruction was produced by Dr. Caroline Wilkinson at the University of Manchester and was shown on a BBC2 TV program -- The Real Face of Santa (easily found on YouTube).

    According to another less-gruesome legend, during a great famine that Myra experienced in 311–312, a ship (which would have come from Egypt by navigating the coast of Asia Minor) was in the port at anchor. It carried wheat for the Emperor in Constantinople. Nicholas "invited" the sailors to unload a part of the wheat to help in time of need. The sailors resisted, because the wheat had been weighed accurately for delivery to the Emperor. Only when Nicholas promised that the cargo would not suffer any loss, the sailors relented. Sure enough when the vessel arrived at its ultimate destination, the weight of the load had not changed, although the wheat removed in Myra was enough to feed the town for two full years and could even be spared for sowing.

    This saint is still very popular in Russia, Poland, in the Germanic countries, in Lorraine, Alsace, Belgium and the Netherlands. He is known in these places under the names of Saint Nicolas, Sankt Niklaus, St. Niclaus or Sinter Klaas. The first mention of the saint dates back to the 13th century in French speaking Belgium (Wallonia) and around 1380 in Flanders. He is in these countries the patron of children but also of sailors (particularly of ferrymen and boatmen (harbor craft and coast huggers)), certain merchants, pawnbrokers, repentant thieves, children, archers, brewers (a I guess because a good beer is a great gift in the dead of winter) and students in various cities and countries around Europe.

    In the Low Countries, especially in the Netherlands, the eve of Nicholas' feast day (December 5th) is celebrated nationwide by young and old, christian and non-christian, generally without any religious overtones. Although Sinter Klaas is always portrayed in the vestments of the bishop, his status as a canonized saint has had little to do with the traditional Protestant festival. His strong influence in the Low Countries - an area heavily engaged in trade and navigation - primarily was due to his role as patron of sailors and merchants.

    Saint Nicholas died on December 6, 343 AD. He was buried in his Cathedral, but in 1087, many of his relics were moved to Italy, because of muslim destruction of anything Christian. They remain in a town called Bari. These relics have a fragrant oder from a substance called myrrh. Traditionally people who are sick, anoint themselves with myrrh and are healed. Myrrh was among the first Christmas gifts, given by the three kings at Epiphany

    All Dutch children know that Sinter Klaas (the name is a corruption of Sint Nikolaas) lives in Spain. Exactly why he does remains a mystery even today. Interestingly, Columbus was in the new World on this feast day in 1492. He discovers what today is known as Haiti at Mole Saint Nicolas. On St. Nicholas's Feast Day, it is customary to serve Speculaas cookies, a spicy Dutch cookie, cut into shapes relevant to the life of St. Nicholas (coins, mitres, ships, balls, money bags), and painted with colorful icing:

        Speculaas Cookies (makes 3 dozen depending on size)
        1 Cup (2 sticks) sweet butter, at room temperature
        2 cups dark brown sugar
        2 eggs
        Grated rind of 1 lemon
        2 teaspoons cinnamon
        1 teaspoon ground nutmeg or mace
        1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
        1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
        1/8 teaspoon cardamom
        1/8 teaspoon salt
        4 cups flour
        1 teaspoon baking powder
        Icing: Powdered sugar, Water, Lemon juice, Food coloring &
        A small portion of beaten egg white for improving consistency, if desired. 

    Some say he has a grave in Ireland:

    December 6, 1884: The Army Corps of Engineers topped off the Washington Monument, 101 years after George Washington approved the location. Construction had begun on the 555-foot Egyptian-style obelisk on July 4, 1848, when a private citizens' group, the Washington National Monument Society, raised enough money to go forward. The original design called for the familiar obelisk surrounded by a large building with a statue of Washington driving a Roman chariot on top. Work ceased in 1854. The money had run out. The monument stood unfinished for 22 years, looking, as Mark Twain put it, like a factory chimney with the top broken off. In 1876, during Ulysses S. Grant's administration, Congress authorized the funds to finish the memorial -- but without the ornate building and classical statue. When the final capstone and 9-inch aluminum pyramid were set in place in 1884, the completed Washington Monument became the tallest structure in the world until 1889, when the Eiffel Tower took over that role for a while. Do you know what city had the tallest monument before this date ? (Hint: Strasbourg Cathedral in France, St-Nikolai in Hamburg, Germany, Cathèdrale Notre Dame in Rouen, France, or Cologne Cathedral in Germany)

    December 6, 1889: Businessman and philanthropist Robert W. Woodruff was born in Columbus, Georgia. His family moved to Atlanta when he was four. After attending (but not graduating from) Oxford College at Emory, Woodruff quickly worked his way up the corporate ladder working for White Motor Company, meanwhile investing a considerable amount of his earnings in the hometown stock of Coca-Cola. To help protect that investment, and to return to Atlanta, he took the position of President of the Coca-Cola Company in 1923 (his father was president of Trust Company Bank and leader of the group of investors that had purchased Coca-Cola from the Asa Candler family). He left an $85,000 annual salary with White Motors (worth over a $1 million) to take a $35,000 position (not counting stock options).

    Under his leadership, the Coca-Cola Company became an international and multi-faceted organization. Even after his retirement, Woodruff stayed on to chair the company's finance committee. He was the driving force behind the soft drink firm's phenomenal success. Woodruff had an influential, yet friendly, way with people. He looked at the "big picture" while trusting his employees for the details. His motto, engraved in his office, was: There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit.

    Woodruff, renowned for his personal philanthropy and for the Woodruff Foundation established by his parents, earned the nickname, Mr. Anonymous, though his insistence on not being publicly recognized. He and the foundation have donated over $400 million to educational, artistic, civic, and medical projects. Among these were gifts to Emory University to develop its medical center and for Emory's endowment program, to the Atlanta Memorial Arts Center and the Atlanta Arts Alliance. Atlanta's the High Museum of Art, among many local charities benefiting from his benevolence. Woodruff died on March 7, 1985.

    December 6, 1902: The US Post Office issued an 8¢ stamp featuring Martha {Dandridge} [Custis] Washington, the wife of the first US President, George. The stamp was the first U.S. definitive stamp to feature any woman. A small picture of Queen Isabella of Spain had appeared on the rarely seen $1 commemorative issued for the Columbian Exposition on January 21, 1893, and as a portrait (together with Columbus) on the more rare $4 Columbian Exposition stamp.

    The first president's adopted grandson, Col. George Washington Parke Custis (the grandson of Martha Dandridge Custis Washington through her first marriage), owned and constructed the mansion, which he had intended as a permanent memorial to George Washington, on an 1,100-acre tract of land which he had inherited. Custis hired George Hadfield, an English architect who came to Washington in 1785 to help construct the U.S. Capitol, to design his estate masterpiece. The Greek revival structure took Custis 16 years to complete. It still stands today, but few realize that it was first a tribute to President Washington.

    One could argue that the large portrait on the eight cent stamp represented a change in attitude and a growing awareness of a woman's contribution to American society. It would be only another eighteen years before the 19th Amendment to Constitution of the United States gave women the right to vote; but the women's suffrage movement was already in full bloom. After much bickering over the appropriate woman to give this premier honor, Martha Washington received the nod. The artwork and choice of color, "dark lilac", resulted in what many have deemed to be the most beautiful stamp in the definitive series of related designs. The 8¢ stamp underwent a color change, as it was issued in deeper and deeper shades until it nearly took on the "dark slate" black color originally reserved for the 13¢ stamp. The original lilac stamps are said to bring a small premium.

    December 7, 374: On this day Ambrose was consecrated bishop of Milan, Italy -- where he still remains at the Basilica Sant' Ambrogio, one of the most ancient churches in Italy that still stands. It was built in 379-386 by St. Ambrose and has become one of the most symbolic sites in the city of Milan. The first bishop to stand up to the emperor and win (thus creating a church-state precedent that would influence the West for a millennium), Ambrose was also an influential theologian, especially regarding doctrines of the Holy Spirit. His preaching led to the conversion of Augustine of Hippo. see Saint Ambrose was born in about 340, most likely in Trier (today in modern Germany). He was the son of a Roman nobleman who was serving in the northern provinces of the Roman Empire as Prefect of Gallia.

    Enfin il a montré le lieu et le chemin, quand il a dit: Où je vais, vous le savez, et vous savez le chemin. Le lieu, c'est chez le Père; le chemin, c'est le Christ, comme il l'a dit lui-même: Moi je suis le chemin, la vérité et la vie. Nul ne vient au Père que par moi. par Saint Ambrose {7 décembre} 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 ! (Jérémie 6:16)

    December 7, 521: Columba, who would become an Irish monk and missionary to Scotland founding the community at Iona, is born in Donegal. Just as Patrick evangelized Ireland, Columba was a powerful Christian presence in the North of England. In about 563 AD, Saint Columba brought a Celtic-rite Christianity to Iona, as the Scots (a celtic tribe from Ireland) sought to occupy and control Caledonia. He would travel among the native Picts, distant cousins of the newcomers. Because of Columba's efforts at Iona, his follower, Saint Aidan, at the request of Oswald, Anglo-Saxon King of Northumbria, would establish the famous monastery at Lindisfarne about 80 years later. Saint Aidan would die the night that Cuthbert had his vision in AD 651. S.V.P. see generally Our article on Venerable Bede and Northumbria.

    December 7, 1864: General W.P. Howard, of the Georgia State Militia, sent Governor Joseph E. Brown an eyewitness account on the extent of damage to Atlanta following Sherman's occupation of the city. Howard's report dramatically portrayed a city largely in ruins. More about a whole month of events leading up to this day can be found HERE.

    December 7, 1917: The American Congress approves a war resolution act against Austria-Hungary, the remnant of the Holy Roman Empire. Another Joint Resolution, declaring that a state of war existed between the Imperial German Government and the United States, had been passed on April 6th.

    December 7, 1941: America is attacked suddenly and without warning by forces of Imperial Japan at Pearl Harbor and elsewhere in Hawaii. In Atlanta, guards were doubled at the municipal waterworks and defense manufacturing plants. Major General John P. Smith, commander of the U.S. Army's Fourth Corps Area (which included Georgia), issued the following warning, that all manufacturers and industrialists in states of the Fourth Corps Area take every precaution against sabotage in their establishments. Atlanta Mayor Roy LeCraw, who was inactive as a Lt. Colonel in the National Guard while he held office, officially requested that he be placed on active duty. Georgia's congressional delegation also had strong anti-Japanese reactions.

    U.S. Sen. Richard B. Russell responded to the barbarity by stating: Japan has committed national hari-kari. I cannot conceive of any member of Congress voting against a declaration of war in view of the unpardonable, unprovoked attack on us. I am utterly astounded. U.S. Rep. Carl Vinson, Chairman of the House Naval Affairs Committee, added: Of course we will have to declare war. There is nothing else for Congress to do. This is a concerted action by the Axis Powers, but I am confident our Navy is ready and will render a glorious account of itself. It probably means we will be drawn into the world conflict on both oceans. Vinson turned out to be right about the conflict and declaration; but, we weren't exactly ready on land sea or air. In 2012, the current administration is planning to reduce the number of ships-of-the-line to less than those available before the conflict began in 1941. Indeed in the past week (of December 2012), his Navy has retired the US Enterprise, an aircraft carrier of distinction. The ability to carry out defense on two major fronts will also be lost in 2013. Those who fail to remember history will find themselves (or their heirs) repeating it.

    One year later -- December 7, 1942: “Hawaii is the key to our position in the Pacific and we've got to hold it. The supply line to Australia and the southwest Pacific is only slightly less important.” Establishing and holding these lines became the chief task for the Pacific Fleet in the first months after Pearl Harbor. The Gilbert and Marshall raids, offensive tactics, were part of this defensive strategy: they smelled out the enemy at a point where it threatened the our new supply lines -- possibly averting a breach those lines. Only when the lines were functioning was the Navy ready for limited offensive measures. Then the first offensive moves partly were intended to secure the Navy's southwest Pacific communication network.,10987,773997,00.html

    Whitney - 1940December 8, 1765: Eli Whitney, inventor of the cotton gin, was born in Westboro, Mass. Whitney grew up in New England and attended Yale. He came to South Carolina at the request of a friend who managed General Nathaniel Greene's Plantation outside Savannah, Georgia. When the promised job did not materialize in South Carolina, Whitney came to Georgia, possibly because he was infatuated with Greene's widow, Catharine. At her suggestion, Whitney set to work modifying a gin useful only for Sea Island cotton into one for use on the short-staple cotton grown in the rest of Georgia. Within six months he had completed the modifications, and left Georgia for Philadelphia to get a patent on his invention, and to manufacture them where more skilled labor was available.

    The patent was issued in March of 1794 and Whitney returned to Georgia with six cotton gins ready for use. Whitney left Georgia, in order to manufacture the gins in New Haven, Connecticut -- where he remained never to return to Savannah. Others soon copied his invention, thus he received little financial reward for his work. Whitney went on to manufacture arms for the government, getting a big contract during the War of 1812. In the process of his arms manufacturing, he perfected the concept of interchangeable parts, ultimately as important as his development of the cotton gin. Whitney did not marry until the age of fifty-four, after Catharine Greene had died. His health began to decline in 1820. He died in New Haven January 8, 1825. On October 7, 1940, the U.S. Post Office issued an Eli Whitney commemorative stamp.

    December 8, 1941: Japanese forces simultaneously invade Malaya, Thailand, Hong Kong, the Philippines, as well as the Dutch East Indies. These events happen concurrently with the Bombing of Pearl Harbor, which was on December 7th in the United States. On the 8th in the USA (a Monday), President Roosevelt asks his Congress for a formal Declaration Of War against the Empire of Japan. Soon, thereafter, Nazi Germany obliges Churchill with its own declaration against America, although it had been sinking US merchant ships for some time. So was born the Axis and the Allies powers. In Europe, Ireland, Spain and the Swiss remained neutral; Finland was at war with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. In March 1939, the Portuguese signed a treaty of friendship and non-aggression with nationalist Spain. In April 1939, Portugal had refused the invitation of the Italian Ambassador to join the Anti-Comintern Pact, an alliance between Germany, Italy, and Japan. President Salazar's decision was to stick with the oldest noh-agression alliance in the world. The Treaty of Windsor (1386) between Portugal and England is still in force today. Indeed, In December 1941, when Renault tries to arrest Laszlo as arranged, Rick forces him at gunpoint to assist in the escape. At the last moment, Rick makes Ilsa Lund board the plane to Lisbon with her husband, telling her she would regret staying, Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life. As a side note: in June 1943, a commercial airliner carrying the actor Leslie Howard (Ashley Wilkes-GWTW) was shot down over the Bay of Biscay by the Luftwaffe, after having left from Lisbon, possibly because German spies in Lisbon believed that Prime Minister Winston Churchill was aboard.

    Japanese General Yamashita began his attack against the British army at Singapore. General Tomoyuki Yamashita earned the name “Tiger of Malaya” for his capture of Singapore and the whole Malay Peninsula from the British, who had a superior number of troops. Yamashita’s forces landed on the northern Malay Peninsula and southern Thailand on December 8, 1941, and moved rapidly southward toward Singapore, which surrendered on February 15, 1942. The peninsula and Singapore remained under Japanese control throughout for the next three and one-half years. Later in the war, while trying to keep control of the Philippine Islands upon General MacArthur‘s return, Yamashita's command ruthlessly slaughtered more than 100,000 local citizens in Manila. He was later tried and executed for his war crimes.

    le 9 décembre 1977 -- Naissance du RER: La première ligne du Réseau Express Régional (RER), la ligne A, est inaugurée. L'idée d'aménager le RER en Île-de-France date de 1965 avec le plan Delouvrier. Quelques années plus tard les lignes B, C et D viendront compléter le réseau ferré. Today the lastest effort is the ring of tramways on the Paris city limits. The third tram-train line went into service in December 2006 -- Ligne T3-Maréchaux Sud. T3 was unfinished on its eastern side. Beginning in 2010, RATP officials began to correct this oversight. Latest Map (2013) showing the completed arc and future extension in the northwest: -- the south and east sides up and over to the St. Denis Canal (and beyond to Porte de la Chapelle (métro ligne 12)) as completed.

    December 9, 2005 -- At home in Narnia: Did you know, for instance, that its author [C.S. ("Jack") Lewis] died the same day as US President Jack Kennedy? -- that Lewis was a close friend of Tolkein ? The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe premiered on Friday the 9th of December at a US theatre near you, and on boxing day in Australia. Initial $$ figures for the first weekend box office were very good at over $65 million (US). As of December 27th the movie was holding its own at Number 2 against new releases and against Jackson's remake of a hollywood classic. The second movie, Chronicles of Narnia did not do so well. Five years after the first release, both movies a a staple of family TV. The third in the series premiers in December 2010.

    Douglas Gresham (Jack's stepson) the co-producer of the movie version of the popular series, of which The Lion, etc. is just the first book in the series, states: The myths of Narnia are partly those of the great man-made religions ... Exposure to man's myths will make young viewers ask questions about themselves - and only later will the seed of faith take root.

    Gresham and his wife, Merrie, now live in a big house in Ireland, where they run a Christian ministry that specializes in healing the trauma caused by abortion, which they believe is infanticide inspired by Satan. Indeed, critics have accused him of becoming obsessed with the power of the devil. Can you blame me, growing up in the house where The Screwtape Letters were written ? Gresham says. from

    One persistent theme in the Narnia stories is that of children without parents. That comes out of the author's own experience. Clive Staples Lewis -- he preferred to be called Jack -- was born in 1898 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the son of lawyer Albert Lewis and his wife, Flora Hamilton, a well-educated descendant of Anglican Church officials. His idyllic childhood ended painfully when Lewis' mother died of cancer in 1908. In World War I, Lewis was wounded at the front by an English shell that fell short of its mark.

    Lewis also drew criticism for his belief in truth with a capital T. "Like Tolkien, Lewis had a very clear moral vision," Ritchie says, and that's part of his popularity now. More specifically, "Lewis was very concerned about rising political and social controls -- the temptation toward totalitarian controls that comes from the most charitable impulses. He believed (moral) relativism was creeping into the West and would destroy it. It would destroy the idea of humanity, and human beings would be willing [at that point] to do anything to each other. That belief comes out in the Chronicles' The Last Battle, the apocalyptic end of Narnia." --- Sorry if some links are now dead.

    « Le monde de Narnia » est sorti en France le 21 décembre. Aux États-Unis et en Angleterre, Narnia a provoqué un vaste débat dans les milieux intellectuels. En France, où les livres de C.S. Lewis sont moins connus, la majeure partie de la presse chrétienne aborde favorablement l’aspect spirituel de ce film et des éditeurs religieux font paraître des ouvrages qui s’intéressent aux interprétations chrétiennes de l’œuvre de Lewis. Durée: 2h12

    December 9-10, 1991: At the summit conference in Maastricht it is decided to move the European Community toward a political and currency union. The €uro is the result. In 2007 the €uro gained enormous value (over 40%) as the dollar weakened. For the €uropeans, oil prices had hardly changed, but of course they have always been taxed heavily on gasoline. Gold, copper and other commodities seem cheap, too. In 2008, the dollar regained some strength, and oil decreased until the economic panic (aka banking crisis) began at the end of summer. In 2010, Gold has reached $1400, silver about $30 and the €uro nations are working out a payment plan for Ireland, after working their magic in Greece.

    So, at the end of 2011. Gold hovered somewhere between $1700-1800, oil is about $100. Earlier in the year gold was near $2000 and oil also was about $75 a few months earlier. Greece has about blown up, along with Italy. More problems lie ahead, about which the leadership of several €uropean countries are meeting this day. The dollar is dropping, again (and the stock market); maybe not like a stone but slowly drifting south .. .. .. "Neck deep in the Big Muddy the big fool says press on."

    December 10, 1812: Governor Mitchell approved changing the name of Randolph County to Jasper County. The action came in response to Virginia congressman John Randolph's opposition to the War of 1812 (although eventually he was forgiven and in 1828 would be recognized by having another new Georgia county named in his honor). Jasper County was named for Revolutionary War hero Sgt. William Jasper, who during the siege of Savannah was wounded mortally while retrieving his regiment's flag from the British. The statue of William Jasper is on Madison Square in Savannah and dates from 1888.

    December 10, 1934: Developer Cecil Burke Day was born in Brooklet, Georgia (Bulloch County). A 1958 Georgia Tech graduate, Day became an immediate success in real estate, working his way up to firm vice-president and commercial sales manager within four years. In October 1962, he opened his own business -- Day Realty Associates. By 1968, his company had expanded to include income properties, commercial brokerage, land and property management and motel site selection. While touring New England in 1968, Day conceived the idea of convenient and moderately priced hotels for travelers. Upon returning to Georgia, he launched Days Inns of America, Inc. in March 1970. The following month the first Days Inn (originally designated as 8 Days Inn in recognition of the original $8 basic rate) opened in Savannah, Ga. Day was a devout Baptist who regularly tithed ten percent of his considerable earnings to his church, and had a Gideon Bible placed in each of his hotel rooms. He died in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 15, 1978.
    le 10 décembre 1948: L'Organisation des Nations Unies adopte la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme. Inspirée par la Déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen de 1789, ce texte a été essentiellement rédigé par René Cassin et John Peters Humphrey. Il énonce les droits fondamentaux de tous les individus, notamment celui de l’égalité à la naissance. La valeur de ce texte est avant tout symbolique, aucune institution n’étant en mesure de le faire appliquer. De Gaulle élu président de la République (1958) Le prix Nobel de la paix est décerné à Mère Thérésa pour son action en faveur des déshérités en Inde (1979). (Jour par Jour)

    December 11, 1753: A beefy young (and rich) Colonel in the Virginia Militia, while serving as a representative of the British colonial governor (Williamsburg), arrives at newly built Fort Fort Le Bœuf. His mission is to counter the French presence in an area contested by both these major European powers. He must demand French withdrawal. Although only 12 miles from Lake Erie, the stockade lay along French Creek, a tributary of the Allegheny River and so then of the Ohio. The French had for over 100 years claimed and explored the Mississippi watershed of which the Ohio like the Missouri was a significant part.

    Captain Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre rightfully would ignore the demand to leave (Virginia claimed west from the ocean and the portion of Pennsylvania west that was not settled by the English). No surprise -Washington's exploits in the west will eventually ignite a fourth in a series of wars among competing native tribes and those who claim land rights by virtue of discovery (French and English-May 28, 1754); and, eventually a bankrupt French nation would experience a civil war. Legardeur dies in the colonial war that ensued (1755), while, in about 30 years. These events would lead to independence for Virginia and for a new nation, when the Americans revolted against the imposition of taxes made necessary by these wars. George Washington had come of age in a new world. Interestingly, Canada would achieve independence from Great Britain on this day in 1931. Also on this day in 1948, at St. John's, Newfoundland, a representative signed the Confederation agreement as Newfoundland enters Canada (10th province).
    December 11, 1972: The Lunar Landing Module Challenger for the Apollo 17 Mission, will land on the Moon's surface. It was the most recent time that men from this world were said to have visited the Moon. During the last to "walk" on the surface, Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan, conducted the longest lunar exploration (75 hours), driving the "Rover" about 36 kilometers (22 miles) in total, ranging as far out as 7.37 kilometers (4.5 miles) from the lunar module.

    So once again the issue is time -- EST, GMT (Universal) or some other time zone, when deciding what days all this action took place. For those of you who keep track of things, on December 18, 1972: President Richard Nixon announced the start of "Christmas Bombing" of North Vietnam, It continued until the 29th when "Peace Talks" resumed. The former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, was reported to have said; "We bombed the North Vietnamese into accepting our concessions." The chief impact may have been in convincing our South Vietnamese allies, who were highly suspicious of the draft treaty from October 1972, that the United States would not desert them. The treaty signed the next year was not essentially different. A few short years later, Monsieur Nixon and the South Vietnamese government would be gone. The rover remains at rest on the moon's surface.

    December 12, 1531 -- A Feast Day: The place, called Guadalupe Hidalgo since 1822, is just to the northeast of present day Mexico City. Since 1532, pilgrimages have been made to this shrine in the calpulli or ward of Tlayacac in Cuauhtitlan. Nahua tribesmen founded the site in 1168. The Aztecs (Axayacatl) took over in 1467. The place sits 20 kilometres (14 miles) north of Tenochtitlan (once at the center of today's Mexico City). Just a decade earlier at Tlatelolco, the Aztec center and home village of Juan Diego, Spain had consummated its conquest with one final battle.
    On December 9, 1531, Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, an Aztec farmer who newly had converted to Christianity, walked to a morning Mass, passing by the hill known as Tepeyac, south of his village (Tlatelolco). Tepeyac had for centuries been significant because it had a memorial to the goddess Tonantzin (her Aztec name), no doubt destroyed after the Spanish conquest. Tonantzin, associated with the snake goddess Coatlique, once had been honored, especially during winter solstice celebrations. Tonantzin, dressed in white and covered in feathers and seashells, ceremonially was killed to reflect the apparent death of the sun (shortening of days). The goddess was also known by the name of Ilamatecuhtli (‘a noble old woman’) and Cozcamiauh (‘a necklace of maize flowers’). It has been suggested that the name Guadalupe is actually a corruption of a Nahuatl name, Coatlaxopeuh. OK, I know reading and remembering all these names detracts from the flow of information; but many of these familiar spirits seem so similar.

    On the 9th, Our Lady of Guadalupe first appeared to Juan Diego (and others), performing several miracles, inter alia, an unexplained healing; the appearing of a miraculous Rose Garden (Catholic symbol of Christ and his mother Mary); and the greatest sign of all: a portrait of the Lady that appears on the coarse fabric of Juan Diego's overcoat on the 12th. Before too long, a shrine is built in Mary’s honor at this once pagan place. Juan Diego becomes the first new-world / Spanish-Mexican Saint. The 12th has become one of Mexico's most important Holy Days.

    “Virgencita linda, mi Guadalupana,
    la mejor amiga de mi fe cristiana ...
    Bendita tu eres entre todas ellas,
    entre las mujeres y entre las estrellas.”

    Hazel Spalding from Springfield has no doubt that a place may hold special powers. “I had my rosary in my hand and it turned gold,” she said. “I smelled roses but there was no rose bush.” And nowadays, it is quiet, peaceful in Valley Hill. More HERE
    December 12, 1806: Stand Watie (photo) was born in the Cherokee Nation in northwest Georgia near present-day Rome. He became a successful planter, but he incurred the wrath of many of his fellow Cherokees. Watie signed the Treaty of New Echota. It forced the Cherokees to give up the tribal lands in Georgia and move west into what was named the Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). Whether or not one considers his actions to be treachery, they stood in sharp contrast to those of Chief Ross, his senior by 16 years.

    In 1861, Watie persuaded many Cherokees to join him in siding with the Confederacy. He raised the Cherokee Mounted Rifles. Watie served as its colonel, as was the custom of the time. In 1864, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in the Army of the Confederacy for his actions in battle. Indeed, it was not until June 1865 the Geneneral Watie became the last Confederate general-officer to surrender his command, some two months after Appomattox Courthouse.

    The Southern Cherokee delegation to Washington in 1866 was sent to negotiate a new treaty with the United States at the end of the American Civil War. The delegates: John Rollin Ridge (son of John Ridge), Saladin Watie (son of Stand Watie), Richard Fields, Elias C. Boudinot (son of Elias Boudinot, i.e. Buck Oowatie), William Penn Adair, Stand Watie and Joseph A. Scales. In many respects, the North treated the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma, whose members sided with the South, far worse than the the secessionist southern states. Many of the tribe would come to resent Waite because of the broken promises to the Union north.

    Watie died on Sept. 9, 1871 in Delaware City, Oklahoma. On June 29, 1995, the U.S. Postal Service issued a Stand Watie commemorative stamp.

    Night of December 12, 1901: Italian scientist and engineer Guglielmo Marconi received the first long-distance (2,232 miles) radio-frequency transmission in St. John's, Newfoundland (Canada). Electrical engineer John Ambrose Fleming transmitted the Morse code signal for "S" from across the Atlantic Ocean in England (it was the 13th there). Marconi heard ... three short clicks ... through the static on the radio speaker (I'm thinking this was in a single-ear headphone). Marconi had begun experimenting with radio-telegraphy around 1895, looking at how messages could be transmitted over much greater distances using grounded antennæ on the radio transmitter and receiver. A few years after this successful transatlantic transmission, Marconi opened the first commercial wireless (telegraph) service. By the way, Italo Marconi received a patent for inventing the ice cream cone in New Jersey on December 13, 1903. Which invention do you remember as best ?

    Marconi used a Tesla oscillator to transmit the signals across the English Channel and later the pond. Telsa (a naturalized US Citizen) had discovered the concept over 5 years before. Tesla filed his own basic radio patent applications in 1897, based on work begun as early as 1893. In 1906 Reginald Fessenden, a Canadian, broadcast the first 2-way voice communication across the ocean. This culminated with Fessenden's first-ever radio broadcast from Brant Rock, Massachusetts (December 24 1906). Ships at sea heard this broadcast that included Fessenden playing the hymn O Holy Night on the violin and reading a passage from his Bible.

    Marconi inaugurated the first radio message (in real time -- analog) on January 18, 1903 (January 19th GMT). On that date, from the well-grounded Cape Cod cliffs overlooking the Atlantic, Marconi used a powerful (35 kW) rotary spark-gap transmitter, coupled to a massive antenna system in order to transmit a 54-word greeting from US President Theodore Roosevelt to Great Britain's King Edward VII. The monarch promptly acknowledged receipt of the message via land line and undersea cable, literally igniting the spark of a global communication network.

    December 13, 1862: Southern General Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb of Georgia died in the bloody Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, a Confederate victory (Lee {Army of Northern Virginia} vs Burnside {Army of the Potomac}). Cobb, born April 10, 1823, in Jefferson County GA, moved to Athens (Georgia) when he was young. Cobb attended the University of Georgia, graduating at the top of his class. He was admitted to the Bar of the State of Georgia (Law) in 1842. He filled the position of reporter for the Georgia Supreme Court and published a number of legal works, most notably a Digest of Georgia Laws (1851). Known for his religious zeal as a revivalist, Cobb brought the same intensity of spirit to his demand for better schools -- which he believed should not only educate, but shape the morals of young men and women. Accordingly, he helped establish the Lucy Cobb Institute, named for his late daughter, in 1859. Cobb also established the Lumpkin Law School at the University of Georgia that same year.

    Cobb at first was a Unionist in his political sentiments; but, when Lincoln was elected and leaving the Union became inevitable, he joined others in Georgia. On November 12, 1860, he spoke to its legislature and called for secession. Elected to the Provincial Congress of the Confederate States of America, Cobb served for a brief period of time on the judiciary and printing committees, and the committee which drafted the Confederate Constitution, the original draft of which is thought to be in his handwriting. He soon raised his own regiment of troops - the Georgia Brigade - and as its colonel led them into battle at Seven Days, Second Manassas, and the Sharpsburg campaign. In October of 1862 he took command of Cobb's Brigade (formerly led by his brother Howell Cobb) and was promoted to the rank of brigadier general. He was killed along with many of his men while defending a wall at Fredericksburg. Cobb is buried in the Oconee Hill Cemetery in Athens GA.

    Today, just on the west side of I-95 and due west of Fredricksburg, is the Germanna Road. It goes past the Germanna Colony visitors center, museum and memorial (south side of road, just before the Rapidan River bridge). This is the place where German immigrants came to in Virginia in the early 18th century, to a place that was on the frontier. The Germanna property also bordered on the edge of the Battle of the Wilderness, 5 miles west of Chancellorsville, close to Spottsylvania -- I'm sure I missed some important battles, too. The May 5-6, 1864 Battle of the Wilderness began a six week campaign that began the bloodiest campaign in American History. On May 8, 1864 the Union army seized initiative by moving from Wilderness to Spotsylvania Court House. That shift changed the course of the war as the armies began the road to Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House. Did You Know? The Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park is the second largest military park in the world. Chickamauga & Chattanooga is the largest and oldest.

    Le 13 décembre 1937 -- « viol de Nankin »: les Japonais s'emparent de Nankin, capitale provisoire de la République chinoise, gouvernée par Tchang Kaï-chek. La chute de la ville est suivie par de gigantesques massacres de civils (200.000 à 300.000 victimes) ... It was this extreme act of violence against the Chinese that convinced the United States to impose real economic sanctions against the Japanese empire; however, short of steel and low on fuel, Japan turned more aggressive. It began to plan its attack on the United States, Britain and the other European powers present in the Pacific. As you may remember, Japan's actions in Korea were no less horrendous, and it was not until October 2006, when faced by the nuclear threat of a common enemy, that South Korean could begin to put that past behind them.

    December 14th -- France in the News: Henri de Navarre, qui deviendra roi de France sous le nom d'Henri IV, naît à Pau le 14 décembre 1553. L'économiste Pierre Dupont de Nemours est né à Paris le 14 décembre 1735. Chassé par la Révolution, il fonde aux États-Unis une entreprise qui deviendra la première société de chimie du monde et sera notamment à l'origine de l'invention du nylon. Décès: 14 décembre 1799, à Mount Vernon (Virginie, États-Unis), Georges Washington. C'est sa fête (14 décembre): Odile Aveugle de naissance, Odile a été abandonnée par le duc d'Alsace, son père. Baptisée à 12 ans, elle recouvre la vue et rentre en grâce auprès de sa famille. Le château familial de Hohenbourg devient un monastère dont Odile est l'abbesse. C'est là qu'elle meurt, en 720, sur les pentes du mont qui porte depuis lors son nom. Sainte Odile est la patronne de l'Alsace. The lègende of the Mont Sainte-Odile.
    On this date in 1939, Clark [Rhet Butler] Gable, director Victor Fleming and many motion picture executives flew into the City of Atlanta for the world premier of Gone With the Wind. Late that afternoon, the film's stars rode in a parade through the city centre. That evening, the Junior League of Atlanta held a gala ball (soirée). Among those present, Martin Luther King, who, as part of the Ebenezer Baptist Church choir, participated in the singing of spirituals. The National Broadcasting System conveyed the introductions of stars and officials to a nationwide radio audience. Filming of the production had begun on December 10, 1938.

    December 15, 37: Born today -- Nero Claudius Augustus Germanicus (Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus), 5th and last Julian emperor of Rome (54-68 A.D.), the adopted son of his predecessor, Claudius -- Cæsar Tiberius Claudius Nero Germanicus. Claudius married (4th) Julia Agrippina (Agrippina Minor) daughter of Germanicus and Vipsania Agrippina (Agrippina the Elder) in 49. Julia died in 59 A.D. (at age 45), beside the Gulf of Cumæ (Bay of Naples), executed by order of her son, Nero, after an earlier attempt on her life had failed. She probably poisoned Claudius {'shrooms} to promote her son. Claudius, the nephew of Tiberius and grandson of the wife of Augustus, had been made emperor after the mad ruler Caligula.

    Claudius himself was born in Lugdunum. Julius Cæsar founded that town, nearby a native village, at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône Rivers, when he sudued the Gaulois natives. Today, Lyon encompasses these sites and much more. Claudius ruled from 41-54 AD. He built many buildings and public works, for example the harbor at Ostia. Modern Picture of Ostia Ruins is at this link. He was interested in the judicial system and spent much of his time judging trials. He started the successful conquest of Britain. Two other attempts by Julius Cæsar and Caligula had ended without success. The expense and the distance from the empire's center weighed heavily on his Roman campaign. The cost to finish the job and civilise Britain, as well as Nero's moral and fiscal excesses, led to a revolution, an interregnum of chaos and then re-established control. Claudius always wanted to revive the Roman Republic, but never did; Nero assured it never would return.

    Died December 15, 520: Saint MESMIN (Maximin) was a native of Verdun (Virodunensis). A priest named Euspicius, Mesmin's uncle, brought about a reconciliation between the first French monarch Clovis and Verdun, after the city had revolted. Clovis thereafter persuaded Euspicius to take up residence at the King's court, then in Orléans. Maximin followed and was ordained a deacon by the Bishop of Orléans. Later he became a priest. A site about two leagues from Verdun was given by Clovis to Euspicius for a monastery. Euspicius, together with Maximin, built a large monastery there. Euspicius and then Maximin led the group as their abbot. from

    Born this day in 1657: Michel-Richard Delalande, chorister at Église St Germain-l'Auxerrois in Paris, has won a reputation as an important organist and harpsichordist of the chamber music era. He was appointed court composer, gradually assuming fuller responsibilities. He enjoyed a successful and prosperous career in the service of Louis XIV and was also honored by Louis' successor. Delalande contributed significantly to the French grands motets, compositions for solo voice, chorus and instrumental ensemble, which formed an important element in the music that was played in the royal chapel at Versailles. see culture/galerie_composit/delaland.html

    The Église St. Germain-l'Auxerrois lies at the end of Pont du Neuf on the Right Bank at 2, Place du Louvre, the eastern end of the massive Louvre complex and the grand façade (finished 1667) The 183 meter long eastern façade was the first major work of the Baroque-Classical movement. SaintGermainlAuxerrois.html St. Germain L'Auxerrois of Paris, one assumes, is the same as St. Germain l'Auerois, which served as the King's Royal Church -- when la Louvre was just a Royal Palace (château) (before Versailles was constructed). The Colonnade of the eastern façade of the Louvre was designed by Claude Perrault, after a famous Italian designer of royal places was wooed, hired then let go.

    There has been a church on this site since the 6th century. The oldest part of the current church building is the 12th century belfry, which rang out August 24, 1572, when some 3,000 Huguenots were massacred in this neighborhood. The tower bells signaled the supporters of Catherine de Médicis, Marguerite de Guise, Charles IX, and the future Henri III to launch a slaughter of innocents (including Admiral Gaspard de Chastillon, Count de Coligny), who had been invited to celebrate the marriage of Henri de Navarre to Marguerite de Valois. Bordelon Family Site The church structure, of varied architectural styles, was saved by Louis-Philippe and Chateaubriand, and restored by Balthard and Lassus (1838-1855). Today the inside remains very richly furnished.

    December 15, 1703: John Martin Boltzius was born at Forst on the Elbe, Lower Lusatia, in what is now Germany. CLICK HERE to learn why this is important to Georgia. Hint: He knew Oglethorpe. Reverend Boltzius remained the spiritual and secular leader of Ebenezer until his death on November 19, 1765.
    Happy Birthday Bill of Rights -- December 15, 1791: The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution -- the Bill of Rights -- went into effect following ratification by Virginia. Use this link to learn more. The historic right to a jury trial under English Common Law, which had been put into question with the penalties under The Stamp Act of 1765, was imbedded into our Constitution by this Bill of Rights; although, subject to interpretation ever since by the courts. On the same day, the first American law school was created, established at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. A year later to the day, the first life insurance policy was issued in the USA out of Philadelphia. Lawsuits followed. see generally As a related aside, the British had adopted their Bill of Rights after the Glorious Revolution of 1688 on December 16, 1689.

    On this date in 1818: Governor William Rabun signed legislation creating a County from lands ceded by the Treaty of Cherokee Agency (1817) and ceded by the Treaty of Creek Agency (1818). The county was named for a Georgia signor of the Declaration of Independence, Button Gwinnett. Button Gwinnett was one of three Georgia signers of the Declaration of Independence. He served in Georgia's colonial legislature, in the Second Continental Congress, and as the president of Georgia's Revolutionary Council of Safety. from the

    Born this day in 1832, Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, in Djion France. A man who could cut the mustard, Eiffel 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, constructed (1887-89) on the Champs-de-Mars, at a cost of about $1 million for the Parisian World Exhibition of 1889. 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 a Panama Canal.

    December 15, 1836: Born this day, {Jean-Luc} Édmond Picard, French/Belgian lawyer/writer, (La forge Roussel (Bruxelles, 1881); Pro arte (Bruxelles, 1886); Vie simple (Bruxelles, 1893); Imogène (Bruxelles, 1895); Discours sur le renouveau au théâtre (Bruxelles, 1897); Comment on devient socialiste (Bruxelles, 1895); Iericho (Bruxelles, 1902)). Also, after a bit of time travel, this second generation captain of the Starship Enterprise authored Le guide des vintners du vins fin aujourd'hui (Bruxelles, 2406) and its sequel Un jeu fin est toujours bon (released after his passing) -- just testing to see if you're reading all of this -- A detailed biography may be found HERE. Interestingly, the on again, off again, on again Michael Shanks (Stargate-1) was born this day in 1970.

    On December 15, 1916: Allied forces suffered a phyric victory against Germany at the end of the 10 month Battle of Verdun during the Great War (World War I). There were losses of 364,000 Allied and 338,000 German soldiers during the event. Another year of death was ahead. Ironically, the Treaty of Verdun (843), arguably was the ultimate contributor to this conflict. see

    One day and 28 years later, on December 16th, the Battle of the Bulge began, almost in the same area. This was the final major German counter-offensive in World War II. Initially, the German forces entered into Allied territory in the Ardennes Forest on a 75-mile front, a time when foggy, rainy weather prevailed. The Allies, taken by surprise, recovered and fully repulsed the offensive by January 1945.

    More of December 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

    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
    May we also suggest for adventure:

    We have obtained ideas from a lot of places, but in particular from (original URL may have changed): -- -- -- -- -- -- --

    An historical recounting for the entire months of:  January -- February -- March -- April -- May -- June -- July -- August -- September -- October -- November -- December

    More Flags -- Flag Day
    Early GA Flag Gwenn Ha Du 
qui est le drapeau breton 
circa 1925* * *  04/25/03  * * * 
a flag based on history, 
but yet looking to the future

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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.