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The  VANGUARD --   2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stamp Link -- Engelberg -- Bremen, Hamburg und Hanover -- Salzburg -- (New: Summer 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

« 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]. -- one of our oldest pages (from an earlier Website), still in use today.

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 !

June 24th: During the reign of the French King Clovis, the annual summer-solstice pagan event became a religious celebration of the birth of Saint John the Baptist, who is known as the Precursor of Christ, the light of the world – thus the link with the solstice and the bonfires. The festival of Saint-Jean-Baptiste had particular importance for France. The King of France would light the bonfire in the nights of June 23 and 24 in Paris. Once in America, those of French heritage continued to celebrate, by then in a very pious, religious festival with processions, such as in the streets of Quebec City. St-Jean Baptiste became the patron saint of French Canadians as a result of the centuries of recognition and influence from the time of early colonization (1615).

The Catholic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist sits in historic downtown Savannah, Georgia. Founded in 18th Century by French colonists, it stands in contrast to the Huguenot Church in Charlestown SC, established by refugee Protestants from France. Savannah was tolerant of many faiths at this time. Other places in the Colonies of Britain were not. Possibly/probably these were French from Canada (Arcadian) who found comfort in Georgia following their exile after the French & Indian War. Also of interest:

The Christmas Eve issue (2008) of The Wall Street Journal had an article in the last section about the chapel at the Église St-Jean-Baptiste (Picture on the page that is HERE). It begins by saying that Bourbourg is a town typical of the region, which until now was not alone a reason to get off the road from Calais to Dunkerque to visit. The attraction featured involved the intersection of sculpture and architecture, a merger of beauty and functionality, the work of Anthony Caro.

A mid-reign George III SovereignJune 1348 (10th or 24th): Saint George was adopted by Edward III as principal patron of the king's new order of chivalry, the Knights of the Garter. An old story recounts that while the King was dancing with the Countess of Salisbury at a magnificent court ball, the lady lost her garter. As Edward III retrieved it and handed it to her, he noticed several people smiling and indulging in remarks. Becoming angry, he exclaimed in French: Honi soit qui mal y pense (Dishonour be to him who thinks evil of it). Then, he added that he would make the little blue garter so glorious that everyone would wish to wear it. This tale may or may not be true; yet, the Order was founded by King Edward III with its emblem being a dark blue garter, edged in gold, on which are printed the French words that the King spoke.

Some of the founding members include # 1 Edward, Prince of Wales. Known since 1569 as the Black Prince. The hero of the battles of Crécy and Poitiers, he died in his father's lifetime; # 2 Henry (Plantagenêt), styled of Lancaster. Earl of Derby, afterwards Duke of Lancaster, he served in the wars against the Scots, the Dutch, and French, Admiral of the Fleet and Steward of England -- An earlier Henri Plantagenêt was Henry II, King of England; # 3 Thomas (Beauchamp), 3rd Earl of Warwick, Marshal of England, he fought at the battles of Crécy and Poitiers; # 4 Sir John de Grailly, Vicomte de Benanges et Castillon, Captal (i.e. Governor) de Buch, he fought under the Black Prince at Poitiers.

St. George's Day is celebrated on April 23rd, so, in a sense, this is England's national holiday. In modern times, Saint George was chosen by Baden-Powell, founder of the Scouting movement, to be the association's patron. On Saint George's Day, scouts are instructed to remember their Promise and the Scout Law. In the handbook Scouting for Boys, Baden-Powell recounted that the Knights of the Round Table had adopted Saint George as their patron because he was the only one of all the saints who had been a horseman.

In addition to being the Patron Saint of England (Cry God for Harry, England and St. George ! [Henry V, Act 3, Scene 1]), George is the Patron Saint of Aragon, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, Germany and Greece. He is the Patron Saint of Catalonia, where legend has it that, after killing the dragon, he gave the princess a red rose and, as a result, on April 23rd it is traditional (especially in the City of Barcelona) for men to give their sweethearts or wives a red rose and the lady in question reciprocates the gesture with the gift of a book. He is also the Patron Saint of Moscow, Istanbul, Genoa and Venice (where he is second in veneration only to Saint Mark), as well as being the Patron Saint of the State of Georgia.

Saint George is the traditional patron of the Orthodox Church. see Constantinople (now pronounced Istanbul) has been the center of the Eastern Christian Church since Constantine moved the Roman capital there in the 4th century. To this day, the city remains the home of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, who is recognized as the first among equals of all Orthodox spiritual leaders. The Orthodox Patriarchate was briefly headquartered in the Church of the Holy Apostles in the 15th century, but that office soon was transferred to the Theotokos Pammacaristos Church (now Fethiye Mosque). It remained there until 1586, when it moved to St. George Church. The building of Saint George had been part of a monastery before it acceded to the Orthodox Patriarchate.

June 24, 1497: John Cabot in the ship Matthew discovers North America, securing England's claims to the New World. He is from Genoa, but is sailing for the English King, Henry VII. He sets a big foot in Canada, eh.

He was a man of vision, too. John Cabot sought to reach Asia by sailing west across the north Atlantic. He estimated that this would be better than the longer Columbus route. In England, Cabot received the backing which Spain and Portugal had refused him. The merchants of Bristol agreed to support his scheme. They had sponsored probes into the north Atlantic from the early 1480s, looking for possible trading opportunities. Some historians think that Bristol mariners might even have reached Newfoundland and Labrador before Cabot arrived on the scene. English King Henry VII hired John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto) to explore the New World for England. That is all we will really know.

It is a mystery what Cabot found on his first successful voyage and even when the discovery occurred, other than to say sometime during June-July 1497 he landed somewhere along the coast of what today is a Canadian province. There is simply no surviving first-hand account of what happened. Cabot would disappear on his last voyage for the English, in search of Japan. -- a fascinating tale told here !!!

The Berlin Airlift begins June 26, 1948

June 24, 1948: West Berlin, Germany, physically located entirely within communist-held East Germany, was isolated completely from the Western world on this day. Joseph Stalin, premier of Soviet Union, who had already cut rail and road access to the city for three months, now blocked all ground and water entry. He cut electric power to the Western sector. Within a few days, the great Berlin Airlift began. U.S. planes flew up to 13,000 tons of goods per day into the city for the next 10 months. Stalin lifted the blockade on May 23, 1949. Berlin--Retracing the Cold War begins at: See also USAFE Berlin Airlift Web Site; more here too. The organization of CARE was involved in the process of giving humanitarian aid, in the face of Soviet domination.

Airlift Map of Germany and Berlin

More Choices -- June 25th: It is sometimes difficult what to choose, if anything, about a day in history. Surely there is something worthy to ponder about every day; but, then one must always ask why ? On June 25, 1876, George Armstrong Custer and the 265 men under his command lost their lives in a skirmish with thousands of native peoples. The Battle of Little Big Horn, often referred to as Custer's Last Stand, concerns several different actions that took place that day in close proximity to one another.

A guerrilla movement in South Korea (ROK) had been quashed, after two years of extensive conflict. Is it coincidence that on the same date in 1950, what has become known as the Korean War began when North Korean troops (DPRK) crossed the 38th parallel at 11 places ? The Security Council of the United Nations called for an immediate cessation of hostilities, and asked the DPRK troops to head back north. At the end of June 1950, the DPRK had taken Seoul and threatened complete dominance of the theater. It was not until July 8th that General Douglas MacArthur became supreme commander of the opposition alliance and the tide turned. Yet even then, it took some effort to get organized, as by September 8th, at its farthest advance, North Korea held most of the Korean peninsula, except for a UN beachhead around Pusan in the southeast. By October 31st the counter-offensive had reached Manchuria and the Chinese border. Intervention by the Peoples Republic (the PRC had a million volunteers to through into the fight) pushed back. The Allied advance retreated to the 38th parallel, where the stalemate that we have today ensued. The war still goes on after 60 years -- in 2010 North Korea sunk a South Korean ship. The US cautions restraint.

Charles Messier (June 26, 1730 - April 12, 1817): The great nebulæ discoverer and cataloger Charles Messier had a long life and accomplished much. He almost discovered Halley's comet, but due to a math error by another, he was looking somewhere else. However, he did find another comet on August 14, 1758, which he followed and carefully observed with telescopes until November 2, 1758. During these observations (on August 28, 1758), he discovered another comet-like patch in the constellation called Taurus. Evidently, it turned out that this patch was not moving, not a comet, but a nebula. He measured its position on September 12, 1758, and it later became the first entry, M1, in his soon-to-be famous catalog. Moreover, this objéct later turned out to be one of the most interesting objects in the sky, the remnant of the supernova of 1054, now commonly called the Crab nebula. It was also this first discovery of a comet-like nebula that triggered Messier to both look for comets with telescopes (thereby inventing comet hunting, a new discipline of astronomy in those days) and to compile his catalog of nebulous-like objects which might be mistaken for comets.

The French Revolution began with the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, and 4 years later, this culminated in the Year of Terror in France, 1793-1794. That year, the French King Louis XVI was guillotined on January 21, and Messier's friend, Assembly President Bouchart de Saron, on April 20, 1794, shortly after he had calculated the orbit of Messier's comet discovered on September 27, 1793, and Messier could notify him secretly that he had found the comet on the calculated path. The terrorism ended when finally Robbespierre himself was guillotined on July 27, 1794. During this time of unrest, Messier lost his salaries and pension, and had to ask for a loan even for oil for his lamp. His family lost its estate during 1793. Messier left France for Italy, but returned to Paris in 1795.

June 27th - a follow-up: The UN Security Council, during the temporary absence of the Soviet representative, who could have vetoed the whole idea, asked members of the United Nations to furnish assistance to the Republic of Korea (ROK-South Korea). The U.S. at once intervened to help stem the illegal North Korean advance that had begun on the 25th. The President ordered the Air and Naval Forces to go to the immediate aid of the South Koreans. He also sent the fleet to Taiwan, in order to keep things cool there. see also Actual hostilities occurred from June 27, 1950 to July 27, 1953. Interestingly, in 2008, on this day, North Korea blows up the cooling tower of one of its nuclear facilities alleged to be used for nuclear bomb making. Most in the media rejoiced at this action as showing North Korea's sincerity about Peace in our Time.

In the morning of the 27th (1950) in Texarkana, Texas, employees at the Red River Arsenal saw an unidentified bright aluminum-colored objéct silently dart across the sky (7:50am local time), heading due south -- a mystery never solved. It was not the only thing going on in 1950:

June 28th -- A busy date in history, indeed: In 1119, a battle at Sarmada (Syria) saw Emir Ilghazi defeat the French Crusaders. The massacre led to the name of the battle, ager sanguinis, Latin for "the field of blood." Just a few survived, including Walter the Chancellor (of Antioch), who later wrote a first-hand account of the slaughter. The Serbs would lose their independence to the Turks on this day in 1389, blaming the Albanians (a sin never forgiven, which continues in the penance imposed on Kosovo today). In 1914, Arch-Duke Ferdinand, heir to the Austria-Hungary Empire, would be killed in the Balkans (Sarajevo) by Serbian nationalists, leading to the First World War. Exactly five years later (1919) at Versailles, the Allies would impose terms and conditions on the Germans that would lead to the next World-wide conflict. Indeed, Marshall Foch (Head of Allied Forces) is reported to have remarked that the treaty was not one of peace, but only an Armistice for twenty years. Hitler would later relish the change in circumstances by imposing his peace on the French Nation in the same place (June 25, 1940); but, today in Nazi history (June 28, 1934), Hitler would fly to Essen to attend a wedding. But, this is just a prelude to what will be known as the Night of the Long Knives (30th June), which decapitates the SA. By the way, the Serbs aligned with whom during WWII ???
June 28, 2009: Pope Benedict XVI announced that scientific tests (carbon 14) may confirm what Catholic tradition has always held, specifically that the body of the Apostle Paul lies under the papal altar in the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. The announcement was made today in the basilica during the homily of the First Vespers of the Feast Day of Saints Peter and Paul, which brought the Pauline Year to a close, a year that celebrated 2,000 years since the birth of the Apostle of Tarsus.

June 29, 1721: On Saint Peter's feast day (today called the Solemnity of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Apostles), some eleven years before the Georgia Colony was established, Johann De Kalb was born in Hüttendorf, (near Erlangen and Nuremburg). In 1777, De Kalb accompanied the Marquis de Lafayette (Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier) and a group of French soldiers to America to fight the British. The Continental Congress made De Kalb a major general in the Continental Army. Major General Johann Kalb, Baron De Kalb, fatally wounded in battle at Camden, South Carolina, died in 1780. In 1822, the Georgia General Assembly recognized the contributions of this Revolutionary War hero by creating DeKalb County. Two sites with information about these two men and other foreign born patriots, who came over to support the American cause: --

French army trained, the Baron de Kalb came to America with earned rank and a title. Yet, he was not a Baron by birth. Born of country farming stock, from a small town of huts, soon he realized that one goes nowhere in the French Army without a title. So Monsieur Baron De Kalb fought with the French during the French Indian War. He was eager to join the American cause against the British; yet, when captured by the British, as he lay dying, it is said that he was treated with profound respect and given top-rate medical treatment in the field.

June 29, 1995: The U.S. Postal Service released a set of 20 Civil War commemorative stamps. Three of the stamps featured Georgia-related subjects: Stand Watie (Georgia-born Cherokee native and Confederate general), General Joseph E. Johnston (who commanded most of the Confederate defense during Sherman's Atlanta Campaign and who later was Confederate commander for Georgia and the Carolinas), and General William T. Sherman (who in 1844 as a young Army officer was stationed in Marietta for six weeks, but is better remembered for his fiery march through Georgia 20 years later).

June 30, 1688: The Immortal Seven issue the Invitation to William of Orange (continuing the English rebellion from Rome), which would culminate in what would be called the "Glorious Revolution" in the same year. His wife Mary would also become his co-ruler, but would not produce an heir. Her sister Anne would follow (she married the Prince of Denmark, who although Protestant could not become King), also childless at her death. Both were the daughters of the deposed James II who fled from Britain. George I of Hannover would follow as King.

Through King James I by way of Elizabeth (Queen of Bohemia) and her husband Duke of Brunswick (then the head of the House of Hanover), George it turns out was a cousin to the Stuart rulers (of whom Anne was the last). He also was of the lineage of King Henry I of England (Henry being a son of William I, England's first Norman King). Thus, on October 20, 1714, Georg Ludwig, Elector of Hanover, was crowned King George I of merry olde England and the rest of Great Britain on the Stone of Scone.

The signatories to the original invitation were:

Thomas Osborne, 1st Duke of Leeds, known at his death as Earl of Danby and Marquess of Carmarthen; Charles Talbot, 1st Duke of Shrewsbury, later Earl of Shrewsbury; William Cavendish, 2nd Duke of Devonshire (later Earl-he had espoused The Hon. Rachel Russell (1674–1725), daughter of William, Lord Russell on June 21, 1688); Richard Lumley, 2nd Viscount Lumley and later, 1st Earl of Scarborough; The Lord Bishop of London (Henry Compton); Admiral of the Fleet Edward Russell, 1st Earl of Orford; Viscount Henry Sydney (Sydney), who wrote the Invitation, later Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1692–3) --- again bringing to mind the famous maxim: If Treason prospers, none dare call it Treason.

The Bishop of London is the ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of London in the Province of Canterbury. As Lord Bishops he was one of the Wardens of the City. The See of the diocese is in the City, where the Bishop's seat is located at the Cathedral Church of Saint Paul. The church was founded as a Bishopric cathedral in 604 AD and fully was rebuilt from 1675, following the Great Fire of London (1666). The location of Londinium's original cathedral is uncertain. In 1688 this was a very new structure, a Christopher Wren church. The Bishop of London remains one of the 26 Lords Spiritual in the House of Lords. He has been regarded as the "King's Bishop," historically having a considerable influence with members of the Royal Family and leading politicians of the day. Until the American Revolution, The Lord Bishop of London oversaw the work of the Anglican Church in the 13 Colonies. Henry Compton was nominated on December 6, 1675 and confirmed on February 8, 1676. Henry Lord Bishop Compton died in office on the 7th of July 1713. .Alaska Statehood 2:30pm local time June 30, 1958 
49th Star pinned to Federal Courthouse Flag

June 30, 1785: After a short and unexpected illness, Georgia founder James Edward Oglethorpe passed away at age 88+. At his side was Elizabeth, his wife of 41 years. His death came at Cranham Hall, an Essex estate inherited by his wife prior to their marriage. Only 100 feet away from Cranham Hall is the Parish Church of All Saints, where the Oglethorpe family had maintained membership for four decades. Not only was the general's funeral service held here, but a burial vault for the church's most famous parishioner was created beneath the floor at the center front of the church.

Two of the members of the Corporation of Georgia were Thomas and John LaRoche, was one also Oglethorpe's kin ? John is clearly French, but what of Thomas ? Lady Eleanor Wall's father was Richard WALL of Rathkenny in Tipperary and her mother, Catherine [de la] ROCHE. Catherine's father was Lord Roche. It is said that she was born in Ireland, so one might think she is from that line, upon which Sir Walter Raleigh and his Queen took revenge. In support is : which also claims that Thomas was of Scottish heritage, too. John Drummond of the Scottish Drummond Bank was also a corporate member and treasurer of the royally chartered concern. A few years later an Isaac LaRoche would marry an Elizabeth Drummond, both of Georgia -- Coincidence, or perhaps a not unsubstantial clue about my heritage.

June 30, 1908: An explosion near the Tunguska River in Siberia instantly vaporized much of what occupied some 300 square kilometers, an area that encircled the impact site of an estimated 60 meter diameter stony meteorite. Because the site was remote, it was many years before the first research expeditions were made into the area

The Last Indian-head Cent

A year later on the other side of the world, another explosion of sorts, when 35,000 Baseball fans help to dedicate a new Sports Stadium. The largest assemblage ever gathered at any Ball Park to date, anywhere, enjoyed ideal weather conditions and impressive ceremonies, including concerts by two (count 'em two) marching bands. Brief speeches, as one might expect, preceded the game. The Pittsburgh Pirates hosted the Chicago Cubs, when Forbes Field opened on June 30th (1909). -Do you know which team prevailed that fateful day ? Forbes Field is long gone (last game June 28, 1970), although the home plate that Maz crossed in 1960 still rests in place and under glass at CMU. Indeed, the next ballpark (Three Rivers Stadium) also has been razed. In its place is Heinz Field..

First Lincoln-head cent

June 30, 1958 -- Alaska Statehood: New star added to flag on the US Courthouse in Anchorage.

Most consider the Battle of Gettysburg, fought from July 1 to July 3, 1863, to be the most important engagement of the American Civil War. Following the substantial victory over Union forces at Chancellorsville, General Robert E. Lee marched his Army of Northern Virginia into Pennsylvania in late June 1863. It proved to be the high tide of the South, which could not sustain the loss of men and resources. The North's war machine was just beginning to crank out the material needed for overwhelming success. July 1st also marks the start of the battle of the Somme (1916) - lest we forget. Over 50,000 men lost their lives this day. The war just ground on at this point, a stalemate until the USA entered a year later.

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

1er juillet -- C'est sa fête à Thierry: Thierry (ou Théodoric) est le fils d'un brigand de l'époque de Clovis, roi des Francs. Théodoric est converti par l'évêque de Reims, Rémi, celui-là même qui baptisa le roi. Son père l'ayant poussé au mariage, il persuade son épouse, le soir même des noces, de consacrer chacun leur vie à Dieu dans un monastère ! Théodoric fonde plus tard l'abbaye du Mont d'Hor, près de Reims, et a la joie d'y accueillir son père repenti.

Translation: Thierry (or Théodoric) is the son of a brigand in the era of Clovis, the King of the Franks. Théodoric is converted by the bishop of Rheims, Remi, the same Bishop who baptized the king. {So overcome he is at his conversion}, he even persuades his wife, on the evening of their wedding, to devote their lives to God in a monastery! Théodoric later founds the abbey of Mont d'Hor, close-by to Rheims, and has the joy of accepting his repented father there.

History records many Kings and church leaders with this same name (including a half dozen Saints). The abbey at Mont d'Hor near Reims, France is the key to identifying the person who died in 533 AD. see (english) and (french)

July 1, 1847: A new Postal Act and rates go into effect. The faces of founding fathers Benjamin Franklin and George Washington were featured on the first Federal postage stamps. Following a Congressional directive, the Post Office issued a Franklin five-cent stamp (July 7th) and a Washington 10-cent stamp (July 2nd). A picture of the first two British stamps (from May 1840) can be found HERE.

Le 1er juillet 1867: La reine Victoria signe l'Acte de l'Amérique du nord britannique par lequel est créée la Confédération canadienne sous sa forme actuelle, avec la réunion du Canada à deux autres colonies britanniques: le Nouveau-Brunswick et la Nouvelle-Écosse. Cette date est devenue fête nationale au Canada. Happy Birthday Canada !!!

Surveyor, engineer, author and inventor of standard time zones, Sandford Fleming emigrated to Quebec from Scotland, on April 24, 1845. One of the foremost railway engineers of his time, he was in charge of the initial survey for the Canadian Pacific Railway, the premier Canadian railway to span the continent. He designed the first Canadian postage stamp, the threepenny issue featuring castor canadiensis (beaver), issued in 1851. Queen Victoria knighted Sir Fleming in 1897. From 1880 until his death in 1915, he served as Chancellor of Queen's University (Kingston, Ontario, Canada). The Chancellor is the highest officer and the ceremonial head of the University. Modeled after similar positions at Scottish universities, the office was created in 1874 and first filled in 1877, Fleming was the second o hold that position.

July 1, 1948: The 5-cent subway ride came to an end in New York City. The price doubled to a dime this day. The buses and trolleys went up to seven cents. Boston, too, raised rates in 1948. It's a shame how the people have to pay and pay. The first commercial flights began on July 1, 1948, from the airport that was formally dedicated as New York International Airport on July 31, 1948. It was re-dedicated on December 24, 1963 as John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Le 2 juillet 1214: Dans le Poitou (à La Roche-aux-Moines), le roi de France Philippe II, dit Philippe Auguste, bat le roi d'Angleterre Jean sans Terre après l'avoir dépouillé de ses possessions continentales. Grâce à cette victoire, les Capétiens reprennent l'initiative dans le conflit qui les oppose à la dynastie des Plantagenêts depuis l'époque d'Aliénor d'Aquitaine.

On this date in 1214: In the Poitou area of France (at La Roche-aux-Moines), King Philip II of France, called "Philippe Auguste" beats the English King John of England, for a time stripping away England's continental possessions. With the victory, the Capetians dynasty has achieved an advantage in the conflict with the Plantagenets (Normans), for the first time since the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine to John's father (her second).

The marshland called the Poitevin Marsh (French Marais Poitevin) lies on the Gulf of Poitou, on the west coast of France, just north of La Rochelle and west of Niort. By the Treaty of Paris of 1259, King Henry III of England recognized his loss of continental Plantaganet territory to France (including Normandy, Maine, Anjou, and Poitou); however, this was not the end of the fighting in France.

The Siege of Calais was fought in early 1558 during the Italian War of 1551–1559. The Pale of Calais had been ruled by England since 1347, during the Hundred Years War. By the 1550s, England was ruled by Mary I of England and her husband Philip II of Spain. When the Kingdom of England supported a Spanish invasion of France, Henry II of France sent Francis Duke of Guise against English-held Calais, defended by Lord Thomas Wentworth, Baron Wentworth. Following failure in mid-1557, a renewed attack captured the outlying forts of Nieullay and Rysbank and Calais was besieged. When the city capitulated, England lost its last claim in France. Calais would again be in the news during World War II.

During the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries Poitou was a hotbed of Huguenot (French Calvinist) activity among the nobility and bourgeoisie and was severely impacted by the French Wars of Religion (1562–1598). Many of the Acadians who settled in what is now Nova Scotia beginning in 1604 and later to New Brunswick, came from the region of Poitou. After the Acadians were deported by the British beginning in 1755, some of them eventually took refuge in Québec. A large portion of these refugees also migrated to Louisiana in 1785 and eventually became known as Cajuns (see Cajuns).

La Grand'Goule est sûrement l'animal mythique le plus célèbre de la région de Poitiers. It was a kind of dragon or snake on wings with pestilential breath, the body covered with scales (sometimes described as metallic), a tail clipped from a scorpion. Patronese Sainte Radegonde reportedly struck down the animal from the Clain River (late 6th century) -- en lui lançant un pain béni (that is she gave it the helping hand back to Hell) ! The region of Poitou was called Thifalia (or Theiphalia) in the sixth century.

July 2, 1505: An apocryphal German downpour (Regenguß) launches the Protestant Reformation. While returning from a trip to visit his parents, a violent thunderstorm near Stotternheim catches Martin Luther out in the open (then a law student). Fearing for his life, he is said to have wailed, "Help me, St. Anne! I will become a monk!" Within two weeks, he made good on his vow.

July 2, 1937: Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan left Lae in Papua, New Guinea and disappeared forever. They failed to arrive at their scheduled stop at Howland Island. Radio operators received messages from Earhart saying that they had to be close and were circling, searching for land. The radio connection ended. The two were never heard from again, perishing in the Pacific Ocean attempting the first round-the-world flight at the equator. Earhart's twin-engine Lockheed Electra, had taken off from Oakland, California, bound for Miami on May 21. Thereafter, they flew across the Atlantic from Brazil to Africa, then on to Calcutta (on June 17).

Amelia Earhart loved the challenges and triumphs that the aviation industry brought. During her breath-taking career she set numerous men’s and women’s records for speed, altitude and distance. Her talent, strength of character and determination made her a worldwide role model for individuals of all ages. Earhart began in her home town of Atchison, Kansas. from

Le 3 juillet -- C'est sa fête à Saint Thomas, Apôtre: Thomas, d'un mot hébreu qui signifie jumeau, est l'un des douze apôtres du Christ. Ses amis l'ayant assuré que le Christ était ressuscité après la crucifixion et qu'ils l'avaient vu, il déclare ne vouloir les croire qu'à la condition de le voir aussi, ainsi que de toucher ses plaies. Peu après, le Christ ressuscité se manifeste à lui et exauce ses vœux. Thomas, bouleversé, confesse sa foi. Mais le Christ le réprimande pour n'avoir pas voulu croire sans voir. Après l'Ascension du Christ, Thomas évangélisera les Malabares des Indes. Un grand nombre de ceux-ci se disent encore aujourd'hui «chrétiens de Saint Thomas».

My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord; and let all flesh bless His holy name for ever and ever !  [Psalms, Chapter 145]
Que tes œuvres, Seigneur, te grâce rendent,
et que tes fidèles te bénissent !
Qu'ils disent la gloire de ton règne,
qu'ils fassent le récit de tes merveilles.

Le Seigneur est vérité en ses paroles,
amour en toutes ses œuvres;
il retient tous ceux qui tombent,
il redresse tous ceux qui sont courbés.
{Psaume 144- Louis Segond (1910)}
Your works, O Lord, praise Thee,
Thy saints {faithful people} bless Thee !
They tell the glory of Thy kingdom,
they recite Thy wonders.

The Lord is Truth in His words,
Love in all His works;
He makes upright those that fall,
For who are bowed down, He raises up all.

July 3rd - This is the feast day of Saint Thomas, the Apostle. Thomas, in Hebrew means twin, and, indeed, some time he is a man living in two worlds - the visible and the spiritual. His friends (other Apostles) have assured him that Christ has resurrected. After crucifixion they had seen the Lord. Thomas states that he can not believe until he also sees and touches the wounds. Soon thereafter, the Risen Christ appears to him in answer to his wishes. Thomas, visibly moved, falls to his knees confessing Faith. But Christ reminds him that belief without seeing is itself a blessing. After the Ascension of Christ, Thomas is said to have evangelized the Malabares in India (the entire south-western coast of the Indian peninsula). The faithful there today, still call themselves Saint Thomas Christians.

July 3, 2008 -- Quebec City: On July 3, 1608, Samuel de Champlain founded a settlement at Kébec, an Algonquin word meaning “place where the river narrows.” In formation about its early history found HERE. The high point of the 400th anniversary celebration was on July 3, the official date of Champlain's [le Sieur de Champlain (Samuel Champlain de Brouage)] arrival. Dignitaries from France and elsewhere attended a high Mass within the Quebec Basilica. Afterward, a mammoth gathering took place on the Plains of Abraham, which in 1759 was the scene of a fierce battle between the French and the British for control of the city. It now is a 266-acre urban park. Music and dancing was followed by a nighttime fire sculpture and a torchlight parade.

July 3, 1754: Colonel George Washington turned over control of a small stockade, Fort Necessity, in southwestern Pennsylvania (near what would become known as Pittsburgh, but was then called Fort Duquesne). The loss to the French, left them in full control of the Ohio Valley. Washington’s infamous encounter marked the beginning of the French and Indian War (also called the 7 Years' War). Britain broke off diplomatic relations with France as the disputes in the New World intensified (July 8, 1755). Washington’s written statement upon capitulation caused a great scandal, because of the non-genteel actions he was forced to admit. He would revisit the Fort a year later after another defeat. Never-the-less, 21 years later, almost to the day, Washington would get command of the American Army, such as it was.

Exactly 24 years later (July 3, 1778), the Wyoming Massacre occurred during the American Revolution in the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania. As part of a British campaign against settlers on the frontier, 360 American settlers, including women and children, were killed at an outpost called Wintermoot's Fort. They were drawn out of the protection of the fort and ambushed, a far worse Crime of War than that with which the French had charged Washington.

July 3, 1863: The last Southern wave was repulsed at the Battle of Gettysburg at 4 p.m. in Pennsylvania. The confrontation ended after three days with a major victory for the Northern troops. Confederate forces retreated. The final action was Pickett’s Charge against the center of the Union line. It left many of the 13,000 Confederate troops dead on the field. Lt. General James Longstreet gave Major General George Pickett the assent for the assault. The Union and Confederate armies suffered an estimated 51 thousand casualties in the three-day clash. It was the bloodiest event that the country yet had seen. General Lee ultimately took responsibility for the failure that day. I thought my men were invincible. The fighting in the small Pennsylvania town marked a pivotal point in the Union’s march to victory all-but-assuring the outcome of the War Between the States.

July 3, 1878: John Wise piloted the first dirigible (a balloon that could be steered) over Lancaster, Pennsylvania. On the same day in 1885, Karl Benz drove the premier automobile. He was however not Pennsylvania Deutsch, so his ride took place in Germany. And actually the first driver was his wife, Mercedes Bertha. Sort of a Mannheim steam roller event.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Back on June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia had proposed to the Second Continental Congress a resolution calling for a Declaration of Independence: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved. The Continental Congress delayed the vote on the resolution until July. On June 11, 1776, the Congress appointed three concurrent committees in response to the Lee Resolution: one to draft a declaration of independence, a second to draw up a plan "for forming foreign alliances," and a third to "prepare and digest the form of a confederation." On July first and third, the approval came and the Congress adopted the Resolution. On July 4th the deed was done, signed and sealed. Delivery was by publication. Celebrate American Independence on July 4th. Our 4th of July Page:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Declaration of Independence was first printed by John Dunlop in Philadelphia on the 5th. 200 copies were prepared July 5-6 and distributed to the states. Colonel John Nixon gave the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence to a crowd gathered at Independence Square in Philadelphia on July 8th. The reading was announced by the Liberty Bell. The instrument had the inscription: proclaim liberty throughout all the land onto all the inhabitants thereof, which is a paraphrase alluding to, inter alia, Luke 4:15-21 and Isaiah 61:1-2.

Sometimes the image fails to show

July 4, 1889: Georgia dedicated its new state capitol building, when the Capitol Commission presented a new domed building to Governor John B. Gordon. Commissioners have another present. Having been authorized $1,000,000 to spend, they reported that construction came in under budget, so they returned $118.43 to the state treasury. The new capitol was so large that there was room for all three branches of state government, with empty rooms left over.

July 4, 1895: The words to "America the Beautiful" appeared for the first time in The Congregationalist, a Boston magazine; the author was Katherine Lee Bates (Born in Falmouth, August 12, 1859-Died March 28, 1929. Buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Falmouth), a Wellesley professor, American Poet, Playwrite, who penned the classic words in 1893. She wrote a 2nd version in 1904. Her final version was written in 1913.

"One day some of the other teachers and I decided to go on a trip to 14,000-foot Pikes Peak. We hired a prairie wagon. Near the top we had to leave the wagon and go the rest of the way on mules. I was very tired. But when I saw the view, I felt great joy. All the wonder of America seemed displayed there, with the sea-like expanse."; see also

But wait, some years earlier on July 4 1831, Dr. Samuel Francis Smith, a Baptist minister, first introduced the song "America" in services at Park Street Church, Boston (or possibly Worcester, Massachusetts). He had composed it in half an hour, taking the tune from a German songbook, completely unaware that the melody was the same as that of "God Save the King," the British national anthem.

Perhaps Leonard Bernstein's most famous work is West Side Story, a musical first presented in on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theater in New York City. The stage version of West Side Story opened in previews/tryouts on August 20, 1957 in Washington D.C. The Premier date in NYC was September 26, 1957. One of the notable tunes, written by Bernstein with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, was America -- it is perhaps a less grand version of its counterparts, but still conveys a freedom theme.

More July 4th: The Post Office Department announced that the eighteenth and final stamp of the Liberty Series would be issued on July 4, 1956, in conjunction with the 180th observance of Independence Day; although, eight more issues were eventually added. This 10-cent issue featured Independence Hall and was released at a special ceremony at Independence Square in Philadelphia.

July 4, 1959: A 49-star flag was raised for the first time at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., in honor of Alaska, which had become the 49th state of the Union on June 30, 1958.

July 4, 1960: A new 50-star U.S. flag flew over Georgia today reflecting Congress's granting of statehood to Hawaii. For more about our Flag's history -- go here.

On July 4, 1964, work resumed on the vast carving, surely one of the most extraordinary projects ever conceived. When one views Stone Mountain, one sees the world's largest mass of exposed granite. The stone's uniformity of texture is dazzling, The stone's uniformity of texture is dazzling, its pale gray critter [sic-gritter] superb.

More Images of Georgia Buildings

July 5, 1742: Manuel de Montiano, the then governor of Spanish Florida, used an incoming tide to sail his flotilla of 36 ships and 2,000 men past a fort on the southern tip of St. Simons Island into the safety of the harbor out of reach of British cannons. Realizing Fort St. Simon had been outflanked, Oglethorpe ordered his troops to spike the cannons. At midnight, they lowered the British flag and retreated under cover of darkness to Fort Frederica. The long-feared Spanish invasion of Georgia had begun. From this ignominious beginning, however, a bloody victory would be won.

July 5, 1864: Arriving at the Georgia town of Roswell, just north of Atlanta, Union General Kenner Garrard's cavalry found the bridge across the Chattahoochee had been burned. Garrard then ordered his men to burn all mills and industrial buildings in Roswell. According to his report, one of the cotton mills that he destroyed had over $1 million in machinery and employed over 400 women. The invaders captured and deported these civilian female workers for treason for the duration of the war; but, many could never return home.
July 6, 649 -- Feast Day of Saint Goar: St. Goar was born in Aquitaine (modern south-west France) in about 585. He became a priest. He determined to live his life in isolated prayer. In about 618 he found a location at Oberwesel near Trier (modern Germany). Word of his holiness soon spread, however, and his isolation was interrupted by numbers of pilgrims to whom he gave pious advice, thus further developing his reputation and the numbers of pilgrims. At one point King Sigebert III (at age 19) is said to have offered him the position of Bishop of Trier. He declined in favor of returning to his life of isolation and prayer. He died on this date in 649. A city on the Rhine, St-Goar, bears his name. His designation as a saint predates the formal practice of canonization by a pope.

Sigebert III of Austrasia, King has also been designated a Saint. Saint Sigebert, son of King Dagobert I and baptized by Saint Amand at Orléans, became king of Austrasia (eastern France, western Germany, centered at Metz) at the age of seven, while his brother Clovis II ruled the western portion of his father's domain. Under the influence of the Blessed Pepin of Landen, Saint Cunibert of Cologne and other saintly souls, young Sigebert grew into a pious adulthood. He died at about the age of 25. Though not a secular success (comme un roi fainéant-the Merovingian dynasty was near its end), he was revered as the founder of numerous monasteries (including Stavelot and Malmédy), hospitals and churches. He is the patron saint of the city Nancy in France. His feast day is the day of this death, February 1st. He is the father of exiled Saint Dagobert II, who is considered a martyr (le roi perdu).

Le 6 julliet 1535: Le 7 février 1478 Sir Thomas More est né à Londres. Humaniste audacieux, auteur de L'Utopie, il devient chancelier du roi Henri VIII. Il est exécuté en 1535 (6 julliet) pour n'avoir pas voulu reconnaître le roi comme chef de la nouvelle Église anglicane. More dit: "... The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal, not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal." -- in hoc signo vinces

“Thomas' stance on the Act of Succession, and my superb use of law ensured that I extracted that information from him and was able to present it to the court at his trial. {pause} I committed no perjury! {pause with thought} But More no longer matters {pause} to me. God doesn't matter; {pause} only affairs involving myself and the King's wishes concern me now.” -- Richard Rich

St. Thomas More: As a youth he served as a page in the household of Archbishop of Canterbury, John Morton -- More was a well-educated son of an MP, a Barrister trained at Lincoln's Inn, himself a Member of Parliament, Speaker of the House of Commons, a Knight, the Lord Chancellor of England under Henry VIII, an author, a martyr executed at Tower Hill on July 6, 1535, and a Saint. His life is more than just the sum of its parts: The King's good servant, but God's first. Thomas had been sentenced to a slow death by hanging, but in an act of true regal charity, the King allowed him to be beheaded with dignity.

The Barrister Saint -- -- “My neck is very short. Therefore, take careful aim and do not miss lest it tarnish your reputation for honesty.” The condemned by tradition pays the axeman to do a proper job, so if he does poorly then he has dishonestly earned his reward.

July 6, 1835: John Marshall, the third Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, died at the age of 79. Marshall was instrumental in defining the Court's role in American government. Marbury v. Madison is perhaps the most famous of his decisions. Total time served: 34 years, 5 months, 2 days. It is said that two days later on July 8, 1835, while tolling in his honor, the Liberty Bell cracked for the second time. Liberal thought likes to put the Chief Justice on the pedestal of Judicial Activism, claiming that his legal theory of Constitutional Review is nowhere found in that document; however, the notion of judicial review of actions illegally taken by the King was not new, and the notion that Parliament had limited powers, exercising rule only as derived from the sovereign was also not an unknown theory. The sovereign is the people, through the Several States, so Congress can (and the President may) only act as expressly provided, all else reserved to the States and their citizens. John Marshall was only crystalizing this truism in a Judicial Doctrine for the United States.

July 6, 2010: Nine years after last exceeding 100 degrees, New York City reached a record-breaking 102 today. Philadelphia also set a record as the northeast sweltered. To celebrate the occasion, Queen Elizabeth II visited New York City for the first time in over 30 years. She was last in the States for the 400 year commemoration of the founding of Jamestown. Her lost colony of Virginia was begun under the reign of the first Elizabeth.

July 6, 1456: As an interesting side note to history, Joan of Arc was acquitted, even though she had already been burnt at the stake on May 30, 1431. She was canonized in the 20th Century. Other interesting French news this date -- in 1585 French Protestants lost all rights in the continuing religious struggles of the day, and in 1815 the British and other Allies marched into Paris after a victory at Waterloo (Louis XVIII returned to Paris 2 days later). In 1887 Marc Chagall (d. 1985), French painter and designer, was born in Vitebsk, Russia. He left there in 1907 to attend art school in St. Petersburg. He was sent to Paris by a benefactor and befriended Chaim Soutine and Alexander Archipenko. He stayed until 1914. A few years later in 1922, Pierre Cardin, a fashion designer of some repute, was born in Paris. In 1969, Canada's House of Commons gave final approval to a measure making the French language equal to English throughout its national government.

July 7, 1742: This day marks the anniversary of the Battle of Bloody Marsh, which has long been credited as General James Oglethorpe's most important victory, the penultimate battle which determined that Georgia would remain an English colony rather than become a Spanish occupied zone. The full story is far more complex. On July 7, Governor Montiano took the offensive on St. Simons Island; but, he did not commit his entire invasion force against British forces at Fort Frederica. That decision cost him that day's victory and eventually the entire campaign, when events a week later turned against him.
July 7, 1934: A stamp was issued to commemorate the three hundredth anniversary of the landing of the French explorer, Jean Nicolet, on the shores of Green Bay. Jean was believed to be the first non-native to set foot on what is now within the State of Wisconsin. Nicolet sought a short route to China, not cheese -- found neither; however, today one can find a whole Website dedicated to this memorable event {readable in French or English} --

Jean Nicolet was brought to the New World by French explorer Champlain, who recognized in him qualities of persistence, steadfastness and a love of adventure. In 1634, Nicolet accompanied a party to Huronia, in present-day Ontario. There, he secured a large canoe and, accompanied by seven Huron Indians oarsmen, Nicolet went west. Nicolet transversed Lake Huron, passed through the Straits of Mackinac, and entered Lake Michigan, where no european had been before and lived to tell. In the course of his journey, Nicolet also discovered Green Bay in present-day Wisconsin. Expecting to find Oriental natives, Nicolet encountered the Winnebago tribe inhabiting the region.

This discovery took place 26 years (almost to the day) after the first French settlement at Quebec was established by le Sieur de Champlain (Samuel Champlain de Brouage) on July 8th of 1608.

Happy Birthday Paris ... July 8, 951 Paris is founded: Well, that's what the paper said today (2009) -- but what does that mean ?? The earliest archæological signs of permanent habitation in the Paris area date from around 4200 BC. The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, inhabited the area in the middle of the river Seine from about the mid 3rd Century BC. The Romans conquered the Paris basin in 52 BC, and established a permanent Roman town by the end of the same century on the Left Bank (Sainte Geneviève Hill) and took over the existing settlement at Île de la Cité. The Gallo-Roman town was originally called Lutetia, but a later Gallicism is Lutèce. It expanded greatly over the following centuries, becoming a prosperous city with a forum, palaces, several baths, temples, theatres and an amphitheatre. More HERE The city reclaimed its original appellation of "Paris" towards the end of the Roman occupation, as the western empire collapsed. La patronne de la ville est sainte Geneviève, qui aurait écarté Attila et les Huns de la ville au Ve siècle par ses prières. Sa châsse se trouve aujourd'hui à l'église Saint-Étienne-du-Mont. The Frankish king Clovis I established Paris as his capital in 508. The page has not mentioned this date. Can one conclude that sometimes what you read in the paper may not be true ?

July 8, 1838: Graf (Count) Ferdinand von Zeppelin is born. Zeppelin invented the dirigible airship. His first flight was as a Prussian officer serving as an observer with the Union Army in America during the Civil War. He ascended in an observation balloon in 1863 from St. Paul, Minnesota. He then returned to Prussia and was in the army until 1890, serving in the armies of Württemburg, Prussia and Imperial Germany. When he retired, Zeppelin devoted the rest of his life to the design and construction of airships. His first rigid airship, the Luftshiff Zeppelin I, made its initial flight in July 1900. A page full of Zeppelins on stamps: In full celebration on July 8, 1973, Led Zeppelin played in concert at the Indianapolis Arena (the third of 4 nights I think).

July 8, 1889: The first issue of The Wall Street Journal is published. The editor was Mr. Charles H. Dow. Following Dow’s move to New York in 1880, he and Edward D. Jones, whom he had known in newspaper work in Providence, were employed by an organization engaged in gathering and disseminating financial and business news of the day. In November 1882, these men formed Dow, Jones & Company. Jones stayed with Dow until his departure on January 9, 1899. Dow served as the paper's editor until his death on December 4, 1902. The company is now part of the Rupert Murdoch network of news, and in April 2008 got a new Editor-in-Chief.

Also that day, the New York Giants defeated the "Pittsburgh Alleghenys" (some end with -ies) 7-5 in the first game ever played at the new Polo Grounds. Seattle voters authorized the Cedar River Water Supply system on July 8, 1889. It was a Monday and sports-history was made in the small sawmill community of Richburg, Mississippi, located three miles south of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and 104 miles northeast of New Orleans, Louisiana. This was the site chosen for the last professional bare-knuckle championship boxing match in America, between heavyweight champion, John L. Sullivan and the challenger, Jake Kilrain. Selection of this rather obscure hamlet was due to secrecy. On July 8, 1889, the Wyoming Territory held an election of delegates to Wyoming's one and only Constitutional Convention. In 1947, the Roswell (New Mexico) Daily Record reported the military’s capture of a flying saucer. It became know as the Roswell Incident. Officials later called the debris recovered as a harmless, high-altitude weather balloon. In 1994 the Air Force released a report saying the wreckage was part of a device used to spy on the Soviets.
July 9, ca. 751: July 9th is Saint Agilof's feast day. He became a monk at the Benedicine Abbey (c. 650, 698) in an area we know today as part of today's Belgium (Stablo-Malmédy in the Ardennes). St. Agilof was at his death the archbishop in Cologne, Germany. Although the circumstances of his death are not clearly documented, he is believed to be a martyr. He was first entombed in the Cathedral at Cologne (Köln). Agilof was largely ignored for many years, but recently has been observed once again. His designation as a saint precedes the practice of canonization by the Pope.

Agilof is said to have tried to persuade King Pepin on his death-bed not to leave the succession to Charles Martel, an illegitimate son. Agilof's violent death may be attributed to the vengeance of the man he sought to exclude, but it would have ocurred 10 years after, Charles (the Hammer, the hero of Tours) Martel's, death, a very long reach beyond the grave. A letter of Pope Zacharias in 747 commends Agilulfus for signing the charta veræ et orthodoxæ professionis. His remains were conveyed to the Church of Our Lady of the Steps, at Köln, where they have recently again received a public veneration.

In order to celebrate this day in 1951, Great Britain, France and the United States declare the end to the state of war with Germany, six years after hostilities had ceased. Interestingly, on July 9th of the year 1572, the Watergeuzen (Dutch Protestants rebel against Spanish (and Catholic) rule) conquered Gorinchem. On July 9, 1810, Napoleon convinced Lodewijk to abdicate and annexed the Kingdom of Holland into the French Empire making the Netherlands, en réalité, an integral part of France. Napoleon's brother, Louis Bonaparte, had been installed as the King of Holland in 1806, also designated Connétable de France in 1807. While the Napoleonic Kingdom of Holland was short-lived, in the aftermath of Napoleon's defeat and exile the precedent of Netherlands having been a Kingdom facilitated the House of Orange's successful efforts to upgrade from a stadhouder (a steward) to a full-fledged monarchy. William I of Orange (Willem de Zwijger) had been instrumental in the revolt against the Spanish in the 16th Century that resulted in a war lasting 80 years.

- Statue of George Washington -
Modern and past labels

The Battle of Braddock's Field Revisited-- July 9, 1930: This was another in the series of stamps during this period of US postal art that had nothing to do with commemorating events surrounding the 150th anniversary of the War of Independence, but rather was, like many stamps, purely of political inspiration. Pennsylvania representative Clyde Kelley, whose bill had provided for air mail transportation to be transferred to the private sector, was a native of Braddock. It so happened that 1930 marked the 175th anniversary of the Battle at Braddock's Field, a battle in which George Washington, then a non-commissioned "colonel" in the British army, ironically lost. The town of Braddock was to hold a large celebration commemorating this "defeat" and it was hoped the stamp would help promote the event. Although Washington and General Braddock, who was mortally wounded in the affair, lost the battle, the event began the stories of Washington's heroism. Braddock got a town named after him and a street in Pittsburgh. Washington, of course, went on to become one of the greatest Americans and father of his country. The stamps on the envelop above show the statue of Washington, unveiled at Braddock's Field on July 9, 1930, the day the stamp was first released.

General Edward Braddock, mortally wounded when French and Indian troops ambushed his force of British regulars and colonial militia, had marched to attack France's Fort France's Fort Duquesne (later Fort Pitt, today Pittsburgh today with an "h"). General Braddock's had refused to accept Washington's advice on frontier style fighting, with serious losses as a result. British Gen'l. Braddock gave his bloody sash to George Washington at Fort Necessity just before he died (July 13th).

July 10, 1509: French Protestant reformer John Calvin is born in Nyon, France. Dans le parc des Bastions, le Monument de la Réformation rappelle aux visiteurs que Genève fut au XVIe siècle surnommée la "Rome protestante". Sur le mur, les statues représentent Guillaume Farel, Jean Calvin, Théodore de Bèze et John Knox. In 1536 Calvin published (in Latin) The Institutes of the Christian Religion in Basel (French translation 1541). On this date in 1778, in support of the American Revolution, Louis XVI declared war on England.

The Geneva Bible was first printed in Geneva, Switzerland, by refugees from England, fleeing the persecution of Protestants by Roman Catholic Queen “Bloody” Mary. Many copies were smuggled back into England at great personal risk. In later years, when Protestant-friendly Queen Elizabeth took the throne, printing of the Book moved back to England. The Geneva Bible was produced by John Calvin, John Knox, Myles Coverdale (of whom we have spoken elsewhere), John Foxe, and other Reformers. It is the version that William Shakespeare quotes from hundreds of times in his plays, and the first English Bible to offer plain roman-style type in some of its earliest printings. The Geneva Bible was also the first English Bible to break the chapters of scripture into numbered verses, and it was the first true “Study Bible” offering extensive commentary notes in the margins.

The Geneva Bible was the Book taken on the Mayflower … the Bible upon which early American government was founded, and not the King of England’s Authorized Version (King James). It was so accurate and popular, that a half-century later, when the King James Bible came out, it retained more than 90% of the the Geneva Bible's wording.

0 July 11, 1798: Congress created the Marine Corps of the United States. President John Adams signed the legislation authorizing this branch. As all Marines know, however, this was an act re-establishing the Corps, founded first during the Revolution (Continental Marines). Despite the gap of nearly 15 years between the end of the War and the Federal Act, Marines still celebrate November 10th (1775) as the Marine Corps Birthday.

John Adams was the second President of the United States. Of added interest, his son, John Quincy Adams, the sixth American President (1825-1829), was born this same day (July 11th) in Braintree, Massachusetts in the year of 1767. Also of note, Ben Franklin, with whom the elder Adams served in France in order to sway the French to come to our aid, invented the Franklin stove this day in 1742. He placed the design into the public domain, as he did with his other inventions, so there is no hard and fast patent date on which to rely.

In 1782 British officers formally surrendered Savannah to Colonel James Jackson. The last British troops and officials boarded ships and departed, thus ending the American Revolution for Georgia. And one more thing, on July 11th (1955), the then new US Air Force Academy was dedicated at Lowry Air Base in Colorado, a temporary home until 1958, when the Colorado Springs facility saw its first Cadet Corps.

July 12, 1742: General James Oglethorpe had determined to launch a surprise night attack on a much larger Spanish force, camped on the south end of St. Simons Island. He marched his force of soldiers, Georgia Rangers, native allies and volunteers from Fort Frederica to a point nearby the Spanish quarters. There, they waited while Oglethorpe scouted the situation himself. In his absence, a Frenchman in the group of volunteers fired a weapon, then deserted to the Spanish. As it turned out, the deserter was actually a spy hired by Governor Manuel de Montiano, who was leading the Spanish invasion force. Knowing they had been discovered, Oglethorpe made a quick decision to retreat, while pretending to attack. His much smaller force would have no chance if the Spanish had decided to take the initiative and launch an offensive. The ruse worked. Under cover of darkness, all retreated in silence, returning to Fort Frederica.

The next day Oglethorpe still faced a dilemma. The deserter by now would have revealed that the General's forces were far outnumbered by the Spanish contingent. General Oglethorpe again tried a trick. He wrote a note to the deserter in French, instructing him to mislead Montiano by telling him that Oglethorpe only had a small force to defend the island. The note further directed the deserter to lead Spanish forces up the river. Oglethorpe then freed a Spanish prisoner and paid him to take the note to the deserter. Upon reaching Spanish lines, the prisoner was questioned and searched. The note was found. Now, Montiano did not know what to believe (those crafty English). Fearing that the deserter he had hired was actually a double agent, Montiano called off the invasion. He ordered his troops to board ships to return to St. Augustine. So ended the events following the Battle of Bloody Marsh. Oglethorpe would write of the enemy's departure on the 14th: They embarked with such precipitation that they left behind them cannon &c. and those dead of their wounds unburied.

The Cuban-based contingent of the Spanish invasion force sailed directly from St. Simons Sound to Cuba. Governor Manuel de Montiano's and his St. Augustine contingent sailed southward from the island to Jekyll Island (the island begins less than a mile from St. Simon's Beach), where they burned the plantation of Captain William Horton. Then they sailed southward to Cumberland Island. By boat, Oglethorpe and a small force pursued the retreating ships at a distance, but they made no effort to initiate an attack.

- Napoléon 1er -

Le 12 juillet 1806: Napoléon 1er crée une éphémère Confédération du Rhin pour faire contrepoids à la Prusse protestante. La Confédération, à dominante catholique, réunit la Bavière, le Wurtemberg, Mayence, le pays de Bade et huit autres principautés. Dans le même temps, le Saint Empire romain germanique disparaît après huit siècles d'existence cahotique. Son titulaire, l'archiduc d'Autriche François II de Habsbourg, échange le titre symbolique d'empereur d'Allemagne contre celui, nouveau et plus consistant, d'empereur d'Autriche.

- Confédération du Rhin -

July 12, 1874: Today marks the death of Fritz Reuter in Eisenach, Germany. Reuter is the most well known of the writers in German dialect. He wrote in Platdüütsk (Plattdeutsch) -- low German. His most significant books are Ut mine Stromtid, Ut mine Festungstid and Ut de Franzosentid. -- In dat Naokieksel stait nu wat üöwer dat Lilgenhäänken un de Wöpsenflaige. Dän Vüördrag van Vorbrinks Jens to de Laoge van dat Platdüütske is up de Site "Inföerung" to finnen. Speakers of Old Saxon were the predecessors of modern Plattdeutsch speakers, so that one will find some similiarities to English. -- four-vier-veer-féower; we-wir-wi-wé; breeze-die Brise-de Bries-se bréosa; to sleep-schlafen-slapen-slæpan, swefan.

July 13, 1793: Jean-Paul Marat, the journalist who fanned the flames of terror in France and would be turned into a hero by Charlotte Corday, the young Girondist who executed Marat. She had felt that Jean-Paul, who daily demanded more and more heads, was in large part responsible for the misfortunes that the French people were undergoing.

This 1793 painting by French neoclassical painter, Jacques-Louis David, shows the dying Marat, which he believed represented virtueJean-Paul Marat was born in a small village, Boudry, not far from Neuchâtel, in Switzerland -- see Boudry aujourd'hui. His father, a Sardinian born former Roman Catholic priest, had given up the ministry, moved to Calvinist Switzerland and became Protestant. There he had married a young woman whose Protestant grand-parents had fled France to escape earlier religious persecutions.

On July 13th, Charlotte Corday, came to Marat's bath under the pretense of furnishing him a list of traitors from her native Cæn. There, she stabbed him. He instantly became a human sacrifice for the Révolution, being referred to as the Blessed Martyr Marat. Ironically it would seem, Corday's assassination of the man she feared would bring about a dictatorship in fact led to that very result. His murder provoked the Montagnards to jail and execute the remaining Girondins at the beginning of the Reign of Terror.

July 14th

14 Julliet 1789 Bastille Day is celebrated in France on July 14th (1789): Parisians rioted over an increase in price of grain only the day before. A Parisian mob plundered the armories and opened the prison gates of St. Lazare. The King at Versailles refused to withdraw his troops from Paris. The Bastille was stormed and by the 14th the Revolution had begun. Few remember however, that Ste. Jeanne d'Arc, was taken prisoner by the Burgundians in May, soon thereafter, was handed over to Pierre Cauchon, the Bishop of Beauvais on this day in 1430. Our Bastille Day Page: Voi aussi La Fête de la Fédération -- 14 juillet 1790

About 10 km north and east of the City of Orange is the heart of the Ventoux wine production area. For example 1912 Ventoux (Vignerons de Caractère) is centered at the village of Vacqueyras. Mont Ventoux elevation 1912 metres (6273 feet) overwhelms the skyline. This place in the Provençal region of southern France has given its name to the “appellation” and its limestone to the flavor of this particular wine. Grapes used in the red wine are Grenache (traditional base), Carignan, Sinsault and Syrah. Rosé and a white wine are also produced from the terroir around Vacqueyras.

Fête des Vins Vacqueyras, July 13 and July 14 (2013): Vacqueyras really grabs you with its quality, a rich inwardness. A pleasant surprise as you remember when among the three distinguished appellations of the Southern Rhone, Vacqueyras was considered the little sister to neighboring Gigondas, and not invited to the same party as Châteauneuf du Pape. Wine connoisseurs tended to associate the adjectives rich and concentrated with CDP and Gigondas, while the rounder Vacqueyras was a feminine wine.

July 14, 1953: Richard von Mises died in Boston, MA (born in Lemberg, Austria-Hungary (now in the Ukraine)). A mathematician, he made extensive contributions to ærodynamics. He rendered major advances in the understanding of air flow and advanced airfoil design. Von Mises constructed a plane for the Austrian army in 1915 and served as a pilot in World War I. After that war, he became a professor of mathematics at the University of Berlin. He fled Germany in 1933 when Hitler came to power. In 1939, Richard von Mises took a position at Harvard University. In addition to his work in ærodynamics, he also worked with statistics and probabilities.

July 15, 1806: Lieutenant Zebulon Pike set out this day from Fort Belle Fountaine (near St. Louis, Missouri) on what would become his famous second expedition of western exploration. Pike's Peak in Colorado, which he noted seeing on this journey (November 15th), is named for him. Pike also had led his men on a first expedition of discovery to the upper reaches of the Mississippi in 1805-06. He died during the War of 1812 at York (Toronto). On July 13, 1832, explorer Henry Schoolcraft stumbled upon the source of the Mississippi River, which Pike had not found on his first journey. Its 2,500-mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico begins at Lake Itasca, Minnesota.

July 15, 1923: Twenty-one-year-old Robert Tyre (Bobby) Jones, an Amateur, won his first major golfing tournament--the U.S. Open. Since entering major tournament play in 1916, he had failed to win a national title, but at Inwood Country Club on Long Island (new York), Bobby Jones broke his seven-year drought. Seven years later, almost to the day on July 12th, playing in Minneapolis, Bobby Jones won his fourth U.S. Open golf tournament. More impressively, this followed victories in the British Amateur and British Open. Later that year, he would win the U.S. Amateur championship -- thus becoming the first golfer to win these four major tournaments in a single year (or the Grand Slam). Two days later, Atlanta would welcome him home with one of its largest parades. By the way, there is a Robert Trent Jones, who lived at about the same time. It is not the same person, however he designed golf courses in the south, so one can become confused with the ease of a three put green.

July 16, 1918: Orders were given to execute Russian Tsar, Nicholas II, by the Bolsheviks under orders from party leader, Comrade Lenin. Tsar Nicholas died early the next morning in the basement at Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg (YEKATERINBURG). His wife, son, 4 daughters, and 4 servants were reported murdered also at this time. A family mass grave was discovered by a former KGB agent in 1979 in the Ural Mountains of Eastern Russia. The bodies were exhumed in 1991. Only 9 bodies were found. The Czar's family and servants were massacred by a 12-man firing squad, a jury of their would-be peers. Remains have only recently been identified.

Ipatiev house was destroyed to prevent it from being a place for pilgrimage by the Soviet Communist Party in 1977. When the Soviet government fell, opinions changed. On the site of former Ipatiev house, Cathedral-on-the-Blood has been built. It is the largest church structure in Ekaterinburg today. Its grand-opening was July, 16, 2003, on the 85th anniversary of the tragedy.

July 16, 1945: The first test of an atomic bomb was conducted at Alamogordo Air Base, south of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The bomb was called the Gadget and the experiment was called Trinity from a poem by John Donne (1572-1631) -- Batter my heart, three-person’d God {circa 1609}. The explosion took place in a part of the desert called Jornada del Muerto, (Dead Man’s Trail), with the measured the equivalent of 18,600 tons of TNT. It was the culmination of 28 months of break-neck scientific research and development, conducted under the leadership of a former German physicist, Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, using the code name of Manhattan.

This was a very high-cost, high-profile, yet secret project. The successful atomic test was witnessed by only one journalist, William L. Laurence of the New York Times, who described seeing the blinding explosion: "One felt as though he had been privileged to ... be present at the moment of the Creation when the Lord said: Let There be Light." Oppenheimer’s own thoughts were less sanguine: "I am become death, the shatterer of worlds" (words from the Hindu Bhagavad-Gita). The event is chronicled in Richard Thode’s The Making of the Atomic Bomb.

OF COURSE it was H.G. Wells who first perfected the atomic bomb and put it to work. And not only did he put it to work, demolishing most of the world's capital cities and destroying governments, but then he got busy and built an entirely new society. In less time than you can imagine after the last bomb fell, everybody was settling down nicely in a global socialist community under a World Republic; atomic energy, internationally controlled, was performing all the necessary jobs of production, transportation, heating, and such, so that the creative energies of mankind could be applied to more noble works. In 1914, when The World Set Free was published and no bombs of any sort had been dropped, it all sounded [oh so] fantastic ....

This essay was reprinted in 2003 from the August 18, 1945, issue of The Nation. The Nation claims that it will not be the organ of any party, sect, or body. It will, on the contrary, make an earnest effort to bring to the discussion of political and social questions a really critical spirit, and to wage war upon the vices of violence, exaggeration, and misrepresentation by which so much of the political writing of the day is marred -- a credo that first appeared in The Nation's founding prospectus of 1865.

More of July is HERE

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

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