SNIPPETS OF HISTORY: ‘ The Palmer Raids ‘

#AceHistoryNews – Feb.24: A Byte Out of History aptly called the The Palmer Raids 

The destruction caused by the bombing of Attorney General Palmer's home.

The destruction caused by the bombing
of Attorney General Palmer’s home.

The bomb hit home, both literally and figuratively.

On June 2, 1919, a militant anarchist named Carlo Valdinoci blew up the front of newly appointed Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer’s home in Washington, D.C.—and himself up in the process when the bomb exploded too early. A young Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, who lived across the street, were also shaken by the blast.

The bombing was just one in a series of coordinated attacks that day on judges, politicians, law enforcement officials, and others in eight cities nationwide. About a month earlier, radicals had also mailed bombs to the mayor of Seattle and a U.S. Senator, blowing the hands off the senator’s domestic worker. The next day, a postal worker in New York City intercepted 16 more packages addressed to political and business leaders, including John D. Rockefeller.

It was already a time of high anxiety in America—driven by a deadly wave of the pandemic flu, the Bolshevik revolution in Russia and ensuing over-hyped “Red Scare,” and sometimes violent labor strikes across the country.

The nation demanded a response to the bombings, and the Attorney General—who had his eye on the White House in 1920—was ready to oblige. He created a small division to gather intelligence on the radical threat and placed a young Justice Department lawyer named J. Edgar Hoover in charge. Hoover collected and organized every scrap of intelligence gathered by the Bureau of Investigation (the FBI’s predecessor) and by other agencies to identify anarchists most likely involved in violent activity. The young Bureau, meanwhile, continued to investigate those responsible for the bombings.

Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer

Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer

Later that fall, the Department of Justice began arresting, under recently passed laws like the Sedition Act, suspected radicals and foreigners identified by Hoover’s group, including well-known leaders Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman. In December, with much public fanfare, a number of radicals were put on a ship dubbed the “Red Ark” or “Soviet Ark” by the press and deported to Russia.

At this point, though, politics, inexperience, and overreaction got the better of Attorney General Palmer and his department. Hoover—with the encouragement of Palmer and the help of the Department of Labor—started planning a massive roundup of radicals.

By early January 1920, the plans were ready. The department organized simultaneous raids in major cities, with local police called on to arrest thousands of suspected anarchists. But the ensuing “Palmer Raids” turned into a nightmare, marked by poor communications, planning, and intelligence about who should be targeted and how many arrest warrants would be needed. The constitutionality of the entire operation was questioned, and Palmer and Hoover were roundly criticized for the plan and for their overzealous domestic security efforts. 

The “Palmer Raids” were certainly not a bright spot for the young Bureau. But it did gain valuable experience in terrorism investigations and intelligence work and learn important lessons about the need to protect civil liberties and constitutional rights.

Today, as Director Mueller has said, we realize that the FBI will be judged not just on how well it protects the nation, but also on how well it protects our nation’s constitutional freedoms along the way. We are committed to doing both.

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SNIPPETS OF HISTORY: ‘ Sea-Biscuit Champion and Symbol of Hope During Great Depression ‘

#AceHistoryNews – September 25 – Story of Seabiscuit (May 23, 1933 – May 17, 1947) was a champion Thoroughbred racehorse in the United States. A small horse, Seabiscuit had an inauspicious start to his racing career, but became an unlikely champion and a symbol of hope to many Americans during the Great Depression.

' Seabiscuit Winning 1940 SAH '

‘ Seabiscuit Winning 1940 SAH ‘

Seabiscuit was the subject of a 1949 film,The Story of Seabiscuit; a 2001 book, Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand; and a 2003 film, Seabiscuit, which was based on the Hillenbrand book and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Seabiscuit was foaled on May 23, 1933, from the mare Swing On and sired by Hard Tack, a son of Man o’ War.[1]

Seabiscuit was named for his father, as hardtack or “sea biscuit” is the name for a type of cracker eaten by sailors.[2]

Early Life:

' Seabiscuit - Tom Smith '

‘ Seabiscuit – Tom Smith ‘

The bay colt grew up on Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky, where he was trained. He was undersized, knobby-kneed,[1] and given to sleeping and eating for long periods.

Initially, Seabiscuit was owned by the powerful Wheatley Stable and trained by Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons, who had taken Gallant Fox to the United States Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing.

Fitzsimmons saw some potential in Seabiscuit, but felt the horse was too lazy. He devoted most of his time to training Omaha, who won the 1935 Triple Crown.

Seabiscuit was relegated to a heavy schedule of smaller races.

He failed to win his first seventeen races, usually finishing back in the field. After that, Fitzsimmons did not spend much time on him, and the horse was sometimes the butt of stable jokes. Seabiscuit began to gain attention after winning two races at Narragansett Park and setting a new track record in the second – a Claiming Stakes race. As a two-year-old, Seabiscuit raced thirty-five times (a heavy racing schedule),[1] coming in first five times and finishing second seven times.

These included three claiming races, in which he could have been purchased for $2500, but he had no takers.[1]

On April 10, Seabiscuit’s retirement from racing was officially announced. When he was retired to the Ridgewood Ranch near Willits, California, he was horse racing’s all-time leading money winner. Put out to stud, Seabiscuit sired 108 foals, including two moderately successful racehorses: Sea Sovereign and Sea Swallow.

' Seabiscuit Statue '

‘ Seabiscuit Statue ‘

Over 50,000 visitors went to Ridgewood Ranch to see Seabiscuit in his seven years there before his death.

His burial site is Willits Ranch in Mendocino County, California.[9][10]

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SNIPPETS OF HISTORY: ‘ Australian Contribution to Battle of Normandy ‘

#AceHistoryNews – AUSTRALIA – September 22 – The Australian contribution to the Battle of Normandy involved more than 3,000 military personnel serving under British command, the majority from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). 

' Air Plan for Landings in Normandy June 1944 '

‘ Air Plan for Landings in Normandy June 1944 ‘

After participating in the Allied landings on 6 June 1944, Australian air force and army personnel fought in the subsequent Battle of Normandy between June and August 1944, and an RAAF fighter squadron operated from airfields in Normandy.

Throughout the campaign, Australian airmen provided direct support to the Allied ground forces by attacking German military units and their supply lines, as well as forming part of the force which defended the beachhead from air attack.

(Australian members of No. 196 Squadron pictured).

(Australian members of No. 196 Squadron pictured).

Australians also indirectly contributed to the campaign by attacking German submarines and ships which posed a threat to the invasion force. 

' Grave of an RAAF Airman at Bayeux War Cemetery '

‘ Grave of an RAAF Airman at Bayeux War Cemetery ‘

Australia’s contribution to the fighting in Normandy is commemorated in memorials and cemeteries in London and Normandy.

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` NATO’s 78 Day Bombardment of Yugoslavia Documentary Video’

#AceHistory2Research – YUGOSLAVIA – MARCH 24 – Fifteen years after NATO’s 78-day bombardment of Yugoslavia, memories of the bombing still haunt present-day Serbia. NATO killed over 2,000 people, hundreds were civilians, 88 were children. Serbs ask ‘why?’ above all. Why did NATO smash their cities, kill their children, bomb hospitals and schools?

When the NATO bomb campaign began (on March 24th 1999) Jelena Milincic was a student at the University of Belgrade, and just 18 years old.

When the first bombs shook Belgrade she cowered under a table with her mother, sister, and best friend. Remembering this 15 years later, they laugh nervously.

Jelena takes Anissa Naouai on a road trip, to remember the victims, and hear the survivors of NATO’s strike terror.

RT presents ‘Zashto?’ (Why?) on the trauma of terror in Serbia.

http://img.rt.com/files/episode/24/14/10/00/1449771_doc2403_480p.mp4?event=download

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` State of Israel ` Declaration of Independence ‘ and the United Kingdom ‘

#AceHistory2Research – The state of Israel declared its independence on 14 May 1948. Israel is governed by a democratically elected parliament with a traditionally high participation in elections.

The head of state is the President, elected by parliament to serve a 7 year term, however power tends to lie with the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. Over the past 30 years no single party has gained a majority in the 120 seat parliament so Israel has been ruled by a succession of coalitions. Israel has been an associate member of the European Union since 1995 and became a full member of the OECD in 2010.

English: Map of Israel, the Palestinian territ...

English: Map of Israel, the Palestinian territories (West Bank and Gaza Strip), the Golan Heights, and portions of neighbouring countries. Also United Nations deployment areas in countries adjoining Israel or Israeli-held territory, as of January 2004.. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Israel’s armed forces occupied the West Bank, the Syrian Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip (along with the Sinai Peninsula) in 1967.

Israel subsequently withdrew from Sinai in 1982 and from Gaza in 2005, but has formally annexed East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

This has not been recognized by the international community, including the British Government, which considers all territory captured by Israel in 1967 as occupied and the status of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as subject to negotiations with the Palestinians.

Business and Human Rights

Israel enjoys a strong entrepreneurial culture which nurtures and develops new ideas, making Israel a technology powerhouse. Israel has a high density of start-ups and many of the major technology companies, such as Google, Microsoft and Motorola, have their R&D centres in Israel. Many factors contribute to the success of Israel’s technology industries including: co-operation between academia and business through university Technology Transfer Offices, the ability to commercialize from the defence industries to the civilian market, an entrepreneurial start-up spirit coupled with a powerful VC community, and a highly skilled and motivated workforce. Israel’s total number of patents granted positions it first place world-wide in patents per capita, and number four in the world in the absolute number of patents approved.

Map of Israeli settlements, in navy blue, in t...

Map of Israeli settlements, in navy blue, in the West Bank (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Settlements

The UK has a clear position on Israeli settlements: The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Golan Heights are territories which have been occupied by Israel since 1967.

Settlements are illegal under international law, constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten to make a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict impossible.

We will not recognise any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties.

There are therefore clear risks related to economic and financial activities in the settlements, and we do not encourage or offer support to such activity. Financial transactions, investments, purchases, procurements as well as other economic activities (including in services like tourism) in Israeli settlements or benefiting Israeli settlements, entail legal and economic risks stemming from the fact that the Israeli settlements, according to international law, are built on occupied land and are not recognised as a legitimate part of Israel’s territory. This may result in disputed titles to the land, water, mineral or other natural resources which might be the subject of purchase or investment.

EU citizens and businesses should also be aware of the potential reputational implications of getting involved in economic and financial activities in settlements, as well as possible abuses of the rights of individuals. Those contemplating any economic or financial involvement in settlements should seek appropriate legal advice.

We understand the concerns of people who do not wish to purchase goods exported from Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.  It was in order to enable consumers to make a more fully informed decision concerning the products they buy that, in December 2009, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) introduced voluntary guidelines to enable produce from Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories to be specifically labelled as such.

English: Smuggling Tunnel, Rafah, Gaza Strip

English: Smuggling Tunnel, Rafah, Gaza Strip (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Organised Crime

There is very limited evidence of serious organised crime in the West Bank.  There is some evidence of organised vehicle thefts being committed in Israel with the stolen vehicles being recycled in the West Bank, and the associated insurance pay-offs occurring in Israel.

As elsewhere, there is a drugs problem in the West Bank and Gaza. These are generally cannabis based drugs and to a lesser degree ‘designer’ drugs, such as ecstasy, and some harder drugs e.g. cocaine and heroin. This is reflected in the Palestinian prison population, whose drug-related inmate ratio is comparable to Europe.

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` Serbia and Montenegro Mark 15 Years Since` NATO ‘ Bombing of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia ‘

#AceHistory2Research – BELGRADE – March 24 – A tragic date is marked on Monday in Serbia and in Montenegro: it’s 15 years since NATO started bombing the territory of these states, which then formed part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Operation Allied Force, which NATO carried out without the approval of UN Security Council, lasted for 78 days. Objects on the whole territory of Serbia and Montenegro became targets of NATO bomber aircraft and cruise missiles.

The pretext for starting the aggression involving 19 NATO members led by the USA was the failure of talks on Kosovo in Rambouillet, France, and Serbia’s denial to sign the “peace plan”. One of the plan’s paragraphs stipulated the deployment of foreign troops in Kosovo, which practically meant the military occupation of the region.

Map of Vojvodina within Federal Republic of Yu...

Map of Vojvodina within Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1992-2003) and Serbia and Montenegro (2003-2006) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What became the pretext of the attack

The formal pretext for the attack was the discovery in Kosovan village of Racak of a mass grave with bodies of Albanian civilians allegedly shot by Serbian servicemen.

Later it turned out that this was a falsification staged with the assistance of western intelligence services. The major part of the casualties was militants of Kosovo Liberation Army killed in different areas of the region in clashes with Yugoslavian law enforcers.
In the course of NATO attacks, defence facilities of Serbian Air Force, Air Defence units and military industrial facilities were gradually destroyed along with civil infrastructure facilities — bridges, factories, transport hubs, power plants and power transmission lines.

Location of Serbia and Montenegro

Location of Serbia and Montenegro (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Statistics

In the course of 11 weeks of NATO Air Force’s operation, a total of 2,300 air attacks on 995 objects were carried out. 1,150 combat airplanes were used in the operation. 420,000 explosive items were thrown, including 20,000 heavy air bombs, 1,300 cruise missiles, 37,000 cluster bombs, many of which were filled with depleted uranium. Over 2,000 civilians became victims of the bombings (mainly on the territory of Kosovo and Metohija), as well as 1,000 servicemen; over 5,000 people were wounded and over a thousand people were reported missing.

The military industrial infrastructure of Serbia was in fact completely destroyed; over 1,500 settlements were dragged down, as well as 60 bridges, 30% of schools, and about 100 monuments.

According to Serbian experts, material losses after the bombings depending on the calculation methods totalled $60-100 billion.
The bombings stopped June 9, 1999, when representatives of Yugoslavian army and NATO in Macedonian city of Kumanovo signed a military technical agreement on the withdrawal of troops and police units of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from Kosovo and on deployment of international troops on Kosovo’s territory.

A day later, UN Security Council adopted the corresponding resolution number 1244. According to it, 37,200 servicemen of Kosovo Force (KFOR) from 36 countries were deployed on the territory of the southern Serbian province. As a result of the NATO military expansion against Yugoslavia, Kosovo declared its independence in Pristina on February 17, 2008.

Monument to the victims of 1999 NATO bombing o...

Monument to the victims of 1999 NATO bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia victims from the city of Niš, Serbia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aftermath

Indirect consequences of the NATO attack can be noted on people’s health. The radiation level in several localities in southern Serbia (mainly in Kosovo and Metohija), which were hit by depleted uranium in 1999 (112 areas in total, according to Serbian Army’s General Staff), still exceeds critical standards. Scientists link the cancer incidence rate in the country with NATO bombings. This year, some 40,000 new cases of cancer are forecasted in Serbia, the total population of which amounts to 7.2 million people. This grim forecast was made by Slobodan Cekaric, the head of the Serbian Society against Cancer.

He said that a 15-year-long latent period in the development of cancer diseases is ending in 2014. After that, the signs of illnesses caused by the impact of radioactive materials will start coming to surface. The bombs dropped on the territory of Serbia contained depleted uranium which causes cancer, respiratory and allergic diseases, neurological disorders, reproductive problems and impaired development of children.

A report published by the Doctor Milan Jovanovic Batut National Institute of Public Health in 2007 warned about “a quiet epidemic of malignant diseases” in Serbia. Thus, men’s morbidity with prostate cancer increased by 60% from 1999 to 2005. Other cancer-induced diseases are also on the rise both among men and women. Cancer is one of the main causes of death around the globe, claiming about 8 million human lives annually. However, malignant diseases in Serbia grow at a higher rate than in Western Europe, increasing from year to year, Serbian doctors say.

The situation is particularly alarming in southern Serbia which was worst hit by NATO bombs. According to Radomir Kovacevic, the head of the radiological protection department of the Doctor Dragomir Karajovic Institute, people who live in the uranium-polluted areas, run the risk of falling ill with lymph cancer, leukemia, breast and lung cancer.

Courtesy of TASS and Russian Media and News  

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` Operation Crossroads in 1946 was a Series of `Two Nuclear Weapon Tests ‘ conducted by US ‘

#AceHistory2Research – Operation Crossroads was a series of two nuclear weapon tests conducted by the United States at Bikini Atoll in mid-1946 to investigate the effect of such weapons on naval ships.

The "Baker" explosion, part of Opera...

The “Baker” explosion, part of Operation Crossroads, a nuclear weapon test by the United States military at Bikini Atoll, Micronesia, on july 25th 1946. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They were the first nuclear detonations after World War II, and the first ever to be publicly announced beforehand and observed by an invited audience, including a large press corps.

A fleet of 95 target ships was assembled in Bikini Lagoon and hit with two detonations of Fat Man plutonium implosion-type nuclear weapons of the type dropped on Nagasaki, each with a yield of 23 kt (96 TJ).

The first test, Able, was an air burst that sank five ships and demonstrated the survivability of ships located more than 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) from the explosion.

The second test, Baker, was an underwater explosion, which effectively destroyed the entire target fleet with radioactive contamination. It was the first case of immediate, concentrated radioactive fallout from a nuclear explosion.

The fallout from Baker and subsequent Bikini tests still renders the area uninhabitable. Glenn Seaborg, the longest-serving chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, called Baker “the world’s first nuclear disaster.”

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