History: January 4

January 4

1493 Columbus leaves the new world with a few Indians and oddities and sails forth into the Atlantic on the last leg of his first voyage.

1581 Birth: Bishop James Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh, the man who will calculate the Earth's beginning as November 23, 4004 BC, is born on this day...at least as well as we can calculate.

1777 US Revolutionary War: The enigmatic Aaron Burr is commissioned a Lieutenant Colonel of Malcolm's Regiment.

1806 Lewis & Clark: In the East, President Jefferson welcomes a delegation of Missouri, Oto, Arikara, and Yankton Sioux chiefs who had met Lewis and Clark more than a year earlier. Jefferson thanks them for helping the expedition and tells them of his hope "that we may all live together as one household." The chiefs respond with praise for the explorers, but doubts about whether Jefferson's other "white children" will keep his word.

Grant                Halleck

1863 US Civil War: Union General Henry Halleck, by direction of President Abraham Lincoln, orders General Ulysses Grant to revoke his infamous General Order No. 11 expelling Jews from his operational area.

1877 Death: Industrialist/robber baron Cornelius Vanderbilt. The richest man in the world at the time, Vanderbilt leaves his youngest son the bulk of his inheritance and severely limits his oldest, an epeleptic, to a trifling trust of which he can never touch the principle.

The matter ends up in one of the most interesting court trials of the period and lays open to the world the deceased Vanderbilt's many idiosyncrasies and obsessions. In a broader sense, it helps set the tone for the media feeding frenzy on the foibles of the rich and famous that has come to symbolize an aspect of our popular culture.

Adolf Hitler, Wilhelm Keitel, Alfred Jodl

1890 Birth: Alfred Jodl, German Wehrmacht general/chief of staff.

1893 US President Cleveland grants amnesty to Mormon polygamy.

1896 Utah becomes the 45th US State.

1920 Holocaust: Gottfried zur Beek (Ludwig Müller von Hausen) publishes the infamous forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, in German; the first documented non-Russian version. It is dated 1919, but is actually published in January 1920; would that that were the only inaccuracy contained within the pages of this worthless puplication. Thirty-three versions will be published in German by 1933.

1923 Weimar: The Paris Conference on war reparations hits a deadlock as the French insist on the hard line and the British insist on Reconstruction.

1925 Weimar: Just a few weeks out of prison, Adolf Hitler is received the Bavarian Prime Minister. (Maser)

1932 Japan establishes the puppet state of Manchukuo.


1933 Weimar: Hitler holds what is supposed to be a secret meeting with former Chancellor Franz von Papen, but Papen is photographed entering the meeting place (the home of Cologne banker Baron Kurt von Shroeder) and both Hitler and Papen subsequently deny that they had discussed anything more than 'the possibility of a great national unity front'. In actuality, Papen, who is still miffed at being canned from the government, sounds Hitler out about joining a government in tandem with Papen. Hitler holds out the possibility of involvement with Papen supporters in a cabinet under Hitler's leadership as long as they are prepared to accept the removal of Communists, Social Democrats and Jews from 'leading positions' and the 'restoration of order in public life.' Papen does, however, warn Hitler that Reich President Hinndenburg is still adamant about not allowing Hitler to gain power.

Hitler, von Papen, Blomberg

1935 Church and Reich: The German bishops rule that since the main purpose of marriage is procreation, sterilized people may not partake of the sacrament of matrimony (see January 15, 1936).

1936 Church and Reich: Ambassador Bergen in Rome writes to German foreign minister von Neurath that the Pope is protesting the violations of the Concordat by the Hitler government, and has several times threatened to bring his complaints into the open. It has taken the moderation of Secretary of State Pacelli to prevent a rupture of relations.

1938 Holocaust: Goering issues a decree classifying even firms with 25% Jewish ownership as subject to "Aryanization".

1939 Holocaust: Hermann Goering appoints Reinhard Heydrich head of Jewish Emigration.

1940 WW2: Goering is given overall control of German war industry.

1942 Zionism: Leadership of the Zionist movement relocates to the United States. A conference in New York City demands the founding of a Jewish state in all of Palestine and unlimited Jewish immigration.

1944 WW2: The Red Army crosses the pre-war border between Poland and USSR in Wolyn.

1944 Resistance: In Switzerland, Han Bernd Gisevius and his Abwehr associate Eduard Waetjen begin supplying Dulles with information about the German resistence's plans for a coup against Hitler. (Silence)

1945 WW2: Units of Sepp Dietrich's Sixth SS Panzer Army are withdrawn from the Ardennes and transferred to the Eastern Front.

1945 WW2: German attacks in Alsace continue near Bitche.

1945 Diary of Leon Gladun: (Italy) We finally change our bloody position and relieve 3 PAL near Casa Fornall. It's some 3 kilometsr past our old position but still near Brisighella. Our location is quite advantageous as there's hardly any shooting in the whole area and it's is not too bad in the matter of housing. Almost the whole battery is under a roof. Everybody made themselves little stoves and somehow we thus managed to live. For several days snow has been falling and stays on the ground thanks to the frost. For a month I've been PO Battery Commander--in other words nothing concerns me now and I work at a permanent site. I haven't fully assumed my duties as PO so I'm not doing anything.

1946 Nuremberg War Crimes Trials: Colonel Telford Taylor makes the prosecution case against the German High Command. His impressive performance will help secure his appointment as lead prosecutor in the subsequent Nuremberg trials. (Maser II)

1962 Death: Hans Heinrich Lammers, Chief of the Reich Chancellery, 1933-45. SS lieutenant general. Sentenced to 20 years emprisonment in 1949. Released in 1951.

1980 US President Jimmy 'Not Enough Helicopters' Carter, one of the few recent US Presidents with a sense of history and a determination to not repeat the mistakes of the past, announces the US boycott of the Moscow Olympics. He is thoroughly criticized for this moral gesture.

1997 US President Clinton, in his weekly radio address, takes credit for policies reducing teen-age pregnancy, and says he will work for even greater reductions over the next four years. Note: Rumor has it that he may have also pledged to concentrate on older women, personally, so as to set a good example.









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