DECEMBER 2014
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12 31 2014 Richard’s Poor Almanack AUDIO PODCAST
BORN THIS DAY in 1491, Breton navigator, explorer JACQUES CARTIER, in Saint-Malo, port city on the Brittany Coast, who, sailing for the king of France, maps the Gulf of St. Lawrence, explores the St. Lawrence River to find Iroquoian villages where present day Montreal and Quebec Island are today, becomes the first European to penetrate the North American interior, names and claims Canada for the French crown, touching on THOMAS JEFFERSON, GIOVANNI DA VERRAZZANO, LEIF ERICSSON, the settlement of L’Anse aux Meadows and those fearsome Skraelings who menace Norse settlers. Also, on this day in 1951, the Marshall Plan, named for Secretary of State and General of the Army GEORGE C. MARSHALL, the European Recovery Plan, ends after four years of implementation.

12 29 2014 Richard’s Poor Almanack AUDIO PODCAST
JOHANNES KEPLER, born December 27, 1571, in Weil der Stadt, near Stuttgart, the Holy Roman Empire, mathematician, astronomer, author, applied precision of mathematics to hitherto more superstitious study of the stars and planets; on this day in 1890, U.S. Army massacre of more than 300 tribal people, mostly defenseless women, children, elderly, at Wounded Knee Creek, Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota.

12 29 2014 Johannes Kepler ALTERNATE TAKE
Full edit, containing account of Kepler’s mother,
Katharina Guldenmann Kepler, and her trial for witchcraft.

12 29 2014 Wounded Knee ALTERNATE TAKE
Longer edit with anecdote about then-newspaper editor
L. Frank Baum, later famous for his serious of books about
the fantasy Land of Oz, advocating in at least two of his paper’s
editorials for immediate genocide of Native American tribespeople.


12 26 2014 Richard’s Poor Almanack AUDIO PODCAST
ON THIS DAY in 1900, relief crew arrives at the lighthouse on the Flannan Isles of Scotland, UK, only to find the previous crew has disappeared without a trace; in 1944, George S. Patton's Third Army breaks the encirclement of surrounded U.S. forces at Bastogne, Belgium, during the Battle of the Bulge; born this day in 1890, ‘Uncle Charlie’ Osborne, at Copper Creek, Virginia, becomes famous as a fiddle player when he’s 15, still playing and singing at 105; Henry Valentine Miller, born in New York, on this day in 1891, American author and artist, writes ‘Tropic of Cancer’ among many other books, fiction, memoirs, essays.


12 22 2014 Richard’s Poor Almanack AUDIO PODCAST
ON THIS DAY in 1777, Captain James Cook discovers and names Christmas Island in the North Pacific due south of Hawaii, 200 years after the same uninhabited island discovered by the Spaniard Hernando de Grijalva, ideal spot in the 1950s, although by then quite settled, for the Brits to develop and test their H-Bomb program; 100 years ago on this day during the first year of World War I, an informal and very unofficial, perhaps illegal, Christmas truce takes hold on the Western Front as combatant soldiers meet in No Man’s Land to observe the holiday.


12 22 2014 Richard’s Poor Almanack AUDIO PODCAST
ON THIS DAY in 1864, Major General William Tecumseh Sherman sends President Abraham Lincoln a telegram offering the 16th president of the United States a Christmas gift: the city of Savannah, Georgia, upon conclusion of Sherman’s March to the Sea, the beginning of a new phase in the American Civil War: Sherman brings the conflict directly to civilians of the Confederate South; on this day in 1937, the Lincoln Tunnel, from midtown Manhattan to Weehawken, New Jersey, opens for vehicular traffic at 50 cents per vehicle; on this day, the first gorilla born in captivity, Colo, celebrates her 58th birthday at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Powell, Ohio, just north of Columbus.


12 19 2014 Richard’s Poor Almanack AUDIO PODCAST
ON THIS DAY in 1972, Operation Linebacker II is underway through the end of the year, the Christmas bombing as it is known, in and around Hanoi, North Vietnam, the most concentrated aerial bombing campaign of the Vietnam War. 26 U.S. aircraft shot down by North Vietnamese including 15 B-52s. In January, less than a month later, Vietnam Peace Accords are signed intending to end U.S. military involvement in Southeast Asia; in 1989, Operation Just Cause, U.S. invasion of Panama to depose and arrest Maximum Leader Gen. Manuel Noriega underway from December 20, 1989, to January 31, 1990, in Panama City, Panama. Noriega charged with drug trafficking, money laundering, racketeering.


12 17 2014 Richard’s Poor Almanack AUDIO PODCAST
ON THIS DAY in in 497 BC , the first Saturnalia festival is celebrated in ancient Rome. Traditions and customs from those days evolve into year-end holidays we observe in our own time. The Romans sacrificed goats in the Temple of Saturn, Scandinavians retain their ‘Yule Goat’ as a symbol of the season, Father Christmas arrives riding on the back of a goat as the Norse god Thor rides in a chariot pulled by two goats. Krampus, the evil side of holiday cheer, terrorizes little children into better behavior, and Christopher Hitchens speaks out for free thinking egalitarianism.

12 15 2014 Richard’s Poor Almanack AUDIO PODCAST
On this day in 533 AD, Byzantine Emperor Justinian the First gets the old empire back together when his general Flavius Belisarius defeats the Vandals, commanded by their king, Gelimer, at the Battle of Tricamarum; on this day in 1890, Hunkpapa Lakota chief Sitting Bull is killed on Standing Rock Indian Reservation in South Dakota, leading to the massacre of 300 unarmed elderly tribal men, women and children at Wounded Knee Creek.

12 15 2014 Extra! ‘The Assassins’ SUPPLEMENTAL PODCAST
ON THIS DAY in 1256 – Hulagu Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan, at the behest of his brother, the Great Khan, Mongke, captures and destroys the Hashshashin stronghold at Alamut Castle (in present-day Iran) as part of the Mongol offensive on Islamic southwest Asia.


12 12 2014 Richard’s Poor Almanack AUDIO PODCAST
On this day in 1408, Sigisimund of Luxembourg, king of Hungary, creates the Order of the Dragon to defend the West against military incursions by Ottoman Turks under Murad I, a conqueror you should know; Vlad Dracul is a stalwart of the order, fathers enough children to build his own army; Yongle Encyclopedia is completed in China, 370 million Chinese characters, 23,000 manuscript rolls; Emperor Yongle chooses Chong Ho to shepherd 300 virgins from Korea to the Forbidden City; J. Bruce Ismay, born this day in 1862, builds RMS Titanic, gets a free trip to New York on her maiden voyage, does not go down with the ship.
12 10 2014 Richard’s Poor Almanack AUDIO PODCAST
On this day in 1041, The adopted son of Empress Zoe Porphyrogenita of Byzantium succeeds to the throne of the Eastern Roman Empire as Michael V; On this day in 1907, the medical student protests reach a peak against a Battersea, London, memorial statue of a little brown dog, a 14-pound fox terrier, ‘done to death’ by vivisection at University College in February 1903.


12 08 2014 Richard’s Poor Almanack AUDIO PODCAST
On this day in 1980, John Winston Lennon, MBE, is shot and killed by an assassin lying in wait outside The Dakota apartment cooperative in New York City; on December 4, 1969, Fred Hampton and Mark Clark of the Illinois chapter, Black Panther Party, are murdered during a targeted assassination plot coordinated by J. Edgar Hoover of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and directed by the Cook County State’s Attorney Edward Hanrahan.
12 05 2014 Richard’s Poor Almanack AUDIO PODCAST
On this day in 1945, Flight 19, a training mission out of Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale, Florida, goes missing in the Bermuda Triangle; on this day in 1982, a soil sample taken in the former riverside town of Times Beach, Missouri, proves to contain 300 times the safe level of dioxin, a chemical byproduct of the manufacture of the defoliant Agent Orange.


12 03 2014 Richard’s Poor Almanack AUDIO PODCAST
On this day in 1818, Illinois becomes 31st U.S. state; Jovian moon Himalia discovered in 1904; first Laurel & Hardy movie, ‘Putting Pants on Philip,’ released in 1927; born this day in Lancaster, Pa., Barbara Fritchie, loyal American unionist, who at 95 defies invading Confederate army led by Gen. Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson.
12 01 2014 Richard’s Poor Almanack AUDIO PODCAST
On this day in 1955, In Montgomery, Alabama, seamstress Rosa Parks refuses to give up her city bus seat to a white man and is arrested for violating the city's racial segregation laws, the incident prompting Montgomery’s 381-day bus boycott and leading to integration of public transit in Alabama; on this day in 1960 – Paul McCartney and Pete Best of the Liverpool quintet The Beatles are arrested (and three days later deported) from Hamburg, Germany, after accusations of attempted arson.

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