A Manifesto Does Not The Man Make

On July 25, 1792, the Prussian, Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, issued an ill-timed and uninspired warning to Revolutionary France. Known as ‘Brunswick Manifesto’, it threatened the Parisians with reprisals if the French King was harmed.

Unfortunately for spunky ol’ Charlie Brunswick, the French of the 18th century had not yet fully acquired the fear of the Germans.


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Nadia Comaneci breaks Russia’s monopoly on medals

As London’s turn at hosting the 2012 Summer Olympics is set to begin, we remember one of the greatest of sport’s inspirational stories-a time when “1” meant “10”.

Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci in a practice session for an appearance at the Hartford Civic Center. Photo credit: Dave Gilbert/image originally posted to Flickr by eye2eye.

It all happened on July 18, 1976, in Montreal, Canada.

A shy 14-year old girl from Romania had just completed her uneven bar exercise. Her flawless performance revealed the limits of the day’s electronic scoreboards when the judges awarded her “the first perfect 10.00” in the history of gymnastics. [Read more…]


Happy Birthday District of Columbia

DC Seal


On July 16, 1790, George Washington signed into law the Residence Act, effectively laying the foundations of our nation’s capital. The Founding Fathers inserted a provision into the Constitution granting Congress the power to establish a federal district “not exceeding ten miles square” in order to house the Government of the United States.

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Portugal Slays Dragons for Dominance

Vasco_da_Gama as elder and Viceroy of India

Vasco da Gama sailed into history on July 8, 1497.

With a fleet of four caravels, he became the first European to reach India by sea. He made use of the prevailing winds by sailing south in a zigzag pattern away from the African coast then veering off to the east past the Cape.

The Portuguese navigator reached the Indian coast, at Calicut in May 1498.
This voyage established one of the most lucrative trade routes at the time, controlled entirely by the tiny nation of Portugal. [Read more…]


“Bird of Paradise” Pilots Make Aviation History


Five weeks after the much celebrated Charles Lindbergh flight from New York to Paris, two plucky American pilots took a two ton Atlantic-Fokker C-2 trimotor airplane on a 2500 mile transpacific flight from California to Hawaii.

On June 29, 1927, they landed in the Pacific archipelago. The achievement was impressive and they received the Mackay Trophy. [Read more…]


Finding Forever on the Panama Canal

The Panama Canal Purchase Act enacted on June 28, 1902, authorized United States Government to purchase the rights, privileges, franchises, concessions, grants of land, right of way, unfinished work, plants, and other property, real, personal, and mixed, of every name and nature in a Panama project.

All this “from the French New Panama Canal Company at a cost not exceeding $40 million.”

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Lives and Deaths of Conquistadors

Not even Shakespeare could concoct such a story.

Francisco Pizarro Gonzalez died on June 26 1541. The daring conqueror of Incas reaped what he sowed.

The illiterate bastard son of a Spanish soldier, Pizarro looked across the Atlantic for opportunity. Inspired by the success of Hernando Cortes, in Mexico, he set his focus on the Incan Empire. [Read more…]


Hot Interests in Antarctica’s Deep Freeze

Research and future rights skate Antarctica


On June 23, 1961, the Antarctic Treaty came into effect. At that time, the Cold War was in full swing and nobody wanted to have additional headaches working through the overlapping and competing claims to Earth’s last true frontier. [Read more…]


Pancho Villa and The German Connection

Pancho Villa

On June 21, 1916, the Mexican military attacked elements of the U.S. 10th Cavalry at Carrizal, a city in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. The clash occurred during the punitive expedition carried out by General Pershing in pursuit of the guerilla leader “Pancho Villa.” [Read more…]


Vlad the Impaler’s Gore Inspires Lore

Vlad Courtesy of National Authority of Tourism The medieval citadel of Sighisoara

On this day, 550 years ago, the Ottoman Turks faced the wrath of Vlad Dracula also known as Vlad the Impaler.

Mehmed II, the conqueror of Constantinople, had invaded Wallachia with the intention of controlling the lower Danube. The odds were stacked against Vlad as the Ottomans heavily outnumbered the Wallachians. [Read more…]