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This Day In History

December 16

1947 - William Schockley, Jon Bardeen and Walter Brattain build the first point-contact transistor.

Birthdays

1947 - Martyn Poliakoff, British chemist.



 
December 16, 1944
The Germans mount an offensive to take the port of Antwerp, Belgium, split the Allied line, and capture four Allied armies. The German goal was to force a peace treaty with favorable terms. Known as the Battle of the Bulge, this would the the German's last major offensive of WWII.
 

FarmerTan

George Bailey Fanboy
December 16, 1944
The Germans mount an offensive to take the port of Antwerp, Belgium, split the Allied line, and capture four Allied armies. The German goal was to force a peace treaty with favorable terms. Known as the Battle of the Bulge, this would the the German's last major offensive of WWII.
Thanks for the reminder.

Younger folks should ask the people that remain from those days just how close the free world was to being lost.
 
Thanks for the reminder.

Younger folks should ask the people that remain from those days just how close the free world was to being lost.
Today I just realized I had an uncle who may have been in the Allied counter attack. If he was, he never talked about it, but he was in the 3rd Army, and at that time it was under the command of Patton.
 

FarmerTan

George Bailey Fanboy
Today I just realized I had an uncle who may have been in the Allied counter attack. If he was, he never talked about it, but he was in the 3rd Army, and at that time it was under the command of Patton.
The longest living of my Dad's siblings was a Marine. He was 91, I believe, maybe older. The sweetest man. I believe he was still drinking and smoking until he died, tougher than nails. He never, to my knowledge, spoke to any of my cousins about the War. He talked my grandma into signing the papers so he could join up early. He was in the Pacific theatre.
 
The longest living of my Dad's siblings was a Marine. He was 91, I believe, maybe older. The sweetest man. I believe he was still drinking and smoking until he died, tougher than nails. He never, to my knowledge, spoke to any of my cousins about the War. He talked my grandma into signing the papers so he could join up early. He was in the Pacific theatre.
What relatives who'd been in combat usually told were the things they thought were funny. Lots of dark humor. Some more serious stuff sometimes came out, but that was rare. Several had won bronze and silver stars, but only learned about it after their deaths.
 

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
I had quite a few uncles who were in combat in WWII. As to two in particular on my mother's side, one, who was a B17 side gunner, as he aged, spoke of little else. The other who, among other things, landed on Iwo Jima, never spoke of the war, must less what he did in it. The Battle of the Bulge was a horrendous thing to live through. One bottom line is that Hitler apparently vastly underrated the will and fighting prowess of the Americans. Patton in particular showed very well. Hitler lived to regret that underestimation but did not live much longer. On the other hand, the Americans, too, underestimated the Germans. I do not think anyone expected the Germans at that point in the war to be able to pull off that kind of massive surprise offensive over that terrible terrain in that terrible weather. If Germany had had an air force at the point in the war things may have turned out differently.
 

Mr. Scruffy

Moderator Emeritus
December 17

1398 - Tamerlane captures and sacks Delhi, defeating Sultan Nasir-u Din Mehmud's armies by setting camels loaded with hay alight and charging them at the Sultans armored elephants.

1538 - Pope Paul II excommunicates King Henry VIII of England

1777 - French foreign minister, Charles Gravier, count of Vergennes, officially acknowledges the United States as an independent nation. News of the Continental Army’s overwhelming victory against the British General John Burgoyne at Saratoga gave Benjamin Franklin new leverage in his efforts to rally French support for the American rebels. Although the victory occurred in October, news did not reach France until December 4th.

1903 - Near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville and Wilbur Wright make the first successful flight in history of a self-propelled, heavier-than-air aircraft. Orville piloted the gasoline-powered, propeller-driven biplane, which stayed aloft for 12 seconds and covered 120 feet on its inaugural flight.
 
December 18

1958 - Project SCORE, the first communications satellite is launched. SCORE = Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment.

2018 - A meteor explodes over the Bering Sea with a force greater than 10 times that of the A-bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

Birthdays

1856 - J. J. Thomson, English physicist. He discovered the electron.

1878 - Joseph Stalin, Russian politician and dictator.

1886 - Ty Cobb, baseball player and manager.

1916 - Betty Grable, actress, singer and dancer.

1946 - Steven Spielberg, director, producer and screenwriter.

1954 - Ray Liotta, actor.

1963 - Brad Pitt, actor and producer.
 

Mr. Scruffy

Moderator Emeritus
December 18

1620 - The British ship Mayflower lands at modern-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, and its passengers prepared to begin their new settlement, Plymouth Colony.

1865 - Following its ratification by the requisite three-quarters of the states earlier in the month, the 13th Amendment is formally adopted into the U.S. Constitution, ensuring that “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude… shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
 
What relatives who'd been in combat usually told were the things they thought were funny. Lots of dark humor. Some more serious stuff sometimes came out, but that was rare. Several had won bronze and silver stars, but only learned about it after their deaths.
My Mother only ever mentioned that German troops took over their barn as a barracks. the family owned a nursery (flowers) before and after the war.

My Father's family had what would today be described as a decent sized hobby farm. Only story he ever told was of a distant cousin of his Father's who was staying with them. He went out into the field after a stray cow, sometime after the Battle of Holland had started. There was a sudden explosion and neither the cow, nor the man who went into the field survived. Likely a vehicle mine that the cow triggered.
 
December 19

1932 - The BBC World Service begins operation as the BBC Empire Service. No idea when they changed their name to World Service. Remember how easy they were to pick up in the days I listened to shortwave. Now find that they only have shortwave service to Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Afghanistan and Iran. Sigh.

There's a semi-feral outside cat that hangs around that I've named Beebe. It comes from the initials BBC, which in his case stands for Big Black Cat.
 

FarmerTan

George Bailey Fanboy
December 19

1932 - The BBC World Service begins operation as the BBC Empire Service. No idea when they changed their name to World Service. Remember how easy they were to pick up in the days I listened to shortwave. Now find that they only have shortwave service to Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Afghanistan and Iran. Sigh.

There's a semi-feral outside cat that hangs around that I've named Beebe. It comes from the initials BBC, which in his case stands for Big Black Cat.
Lol, I now will have a name to give any black cat strays!
 
December 20

1917 - Cheka,, the first Soviet secret police, is founded.

1945 - The film It's a Wonderful Life, is released.

1957 - The initial production version of the Boeing 707 makes its first flight.

Birthdays

1868 - Harvey Samuel Firestone, businessman. He founded the Firestone Tire and Rubber Co.

1890 - Jaroslav Heyrovsky, Czech chemist. He developed polarography.



 
December 19

1932 - The BBC World Service begins operation as the BBC Empire Service. No idea when they changed their name to World Service. Remember how easy they were to pick up in the days I listened to shortwave. Now find that they only have shortwave service to Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Afghanistan and Iran. Sigh.

There's a semi-feral outside cat that hangs around that I've named Beebe. It comes from the initials BBC, which in his case stands for Big Black Cat.
The change came in 1965.
 

Mr. Scruffy

Moderator Emeritus
December 20

1192 - Richard the Lionheart is taken prisoner in Erdberg near Vienna by Duke Leopold V of Austria of the Babenberg dynasty. Richard was returning to England from the Third Crusade.

1522 - Suleiman the Magnificent accepts surrender of the surviving Knights of Rhodes (Hospitaller), who are allowed to evacuate. They eventually settle in Malta and become known as the Knights of Malta.

1803 - French flag lowered in New Orleans to mark the formal transfer of the Louisiana Purchase from France to USA for $27 Million.

1917 - The Cheka is formed. The Soviet state security force and forerunner to the KGB is commanded by Felix Dzerzhinsky after decree by Lenin.

1920 - Bob Hope becomes an American citizen.

1946 - The Christmas film classic "It's a Wonderful Life" premieres in New York, directed by Frank Capra, starring James Stewart, Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore.

2007 - Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the oldest ever monarch of the United Kingdom, surpassing Queen Victoria, who lived for 81 years, 7 months and 29 days.
 
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