Stalin and Churchill

On this day in 1944, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill met in Moscow and began a nine-day conference, where the war with Germany and the future of Europe was discussed.

Feeling confident that WWII was about to wrap up and Germany’s defeat was inevitable, a significant portion of the talks centered around the two superpowers influence in a postwar Europe.  As the conference was taking place, Stalin’s army was liberating Romania from German control.  Churchill ceded Romania, but was keen on keeping Greece away from the Red Army.  Thus, they made a deal: Romania for Greece.  Elsewhere, the two leaders agreed to divvy up the spoils of war with Yugoslavia being split in half, east for Russia and west for the West.  They also worked out that the German populations in East Prussia and Silesia would be moved to the interior of Germany.  East Prussia Read more »

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Development of the Machine Gun

It was during the mid-19th century that a successful machine-gun design was first introduced.  The modern machine guns were based on the Model 1862 Gatling gun, with the key characteristics being their relatively high rate of fire and mechanical loading. The Gatling gun, patented by Richard Jordan Gatling in 1861, was the first firearm to offer controlled, sequential firing with mechanical loading. The United States Navy first adopted this machine gun, and were later sold to various armies in the late 19th century. They saw limited action in the American Civil War and subsequent, improved designs of this early machine gun were later used in the Franco-Prussian war and the North West-Rebellion.  However, these weapons were powered by hand and were gradually replaced after Hiram Maxim introduced the idea of harnessing recoil energy to power reloading, used in the Maxim machine gun.

The Maxim gun, invented by Sir … Read more »

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Integrations Begins

Today it seems fitting to remember that on this day in 1957, Central High School in Little Rock Arkansas became an integrated school.  With heavy escorts from the U.S. Army’s 101 Airborne Division, nine black students first entered an all-white high school.

On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled unanimously in Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, that it was unconstitutional for there to be racial segregation in educational facilities.  Within five days of the ruling, the Little Rock school board released a statement saying it would comply with the Supreme Court and outlined the timeline in which it would comply and implement desegregation.

After angry mobs threated the nine black students safety and several set backs, President Dwight D. Eisenhower federalized the Arkansas National Guard and sent 1,000 army paratroopers to Little Rock to enforce the court order.  n September 25, the Little Rock Nine … Read more »

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The Murder Attempt on Glock

Gaston Glock, the Austrian engineer and founder of the firearms company Glock designed and manufactured his first firearm at the age of 52. Prior to producing firearms, he manufactured curtain rods and knives for the Austrian military.

 

In 1980 Gaston bought an injection-molding machine to produce handles and sheaths for the knives he was making for the Austrian army. His original workshop was in his garage and he employed workers from the camera industry who were experts in producing polymer components.  Gaston applied for an Austrian patent in April of 1981 for his first pistol, known as the Glock 17. His first pistol took one year to produce from the design and concept stage to production.

 

In July 1999, Gaston Glock’s tax advisor hired a hitman to murder him in an attempt to cover up the embezzlement of millions from the Glock company.  The French mercenary, Jacques Pecheur, … Read more »

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We Remember Those Lost 16 Years Ago

On this day, 16 years ago at 8:45 a.m. on a clear Tuesday morning, an American Airlines Boeing 767 loaded with 20,000 gallons of jet fuel crashes into the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. Hundreds of people were instantly killed, hundreds more trapped upon impact that left a gaping whole near the 80th floor of the 110 story sky scraper.  Television crews began broadcasting what appeared to be a freak accident as the evacuation of the twin towers got underway.  18 minutes later, the nation and world watched in horror as a second Boeing jet, United Airlines 175, made a sharp turn, slicing into the south tower about the 60th floor. Debris from the massive explosion showered debris over surrounding buildings and streets below. 

As all eyes were watching the horror unfold in New York, American Airline Flight 77 slammed into the … Read more »

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