100 Folgen

An exploration of what happened on every date, examining its meaning for today and why it matters.

What Happened Today The Productive Leisure Network

    • Gesellschaft und Kultur

An exploration of what happened on every date, examining its meaning for today and why it matters.

    March 12 - 1947 - The Truman Doctrine is Announced

    March 12 - 1947 - The Truman Doctrine is Announced

    When President of the United States of America Harry S. Truman addresses Congress in March of 1947, he focused on the need to protect Greece and Turkey from Communist influence. Greece was facing an internal insurrection from a Communist Party, while Turkey was facing more obvious threats from the Soviet Union over access to the Bosphorous and the Dardanelles. What Truman really wanted was to avoid having the spreading Soviet sphere of influence include Greece and Turkey. In asking Congress to provide financial aid in this approach, Truman laid out what would be known as the "Truman Doctrine." The Truman Doctrine said that America would seek to help any nation from becoming a Communist-ruled country. This would then influence American foreign policy for the rest of the Cold War.

    • 11 Min.
    March 11 - 1946 - The Arrest of Rudolf Höss

    March 11 - 1946 - The Arrest of Rudolf Höss

    Rudolf Höss became notorious during World War II as the Commandant of the concentration and death camps at Auschwitz in Poland. After the war ended, this made him one of the key leaders among the Third Reich that was wanted by Allied leaders. While he managed to blend into the civilian population initially, Rudolf Höss was given up by his family less than a year after the fall of the Third Reich. What made Höss' capture so notable was that he seemed to have no issue with fully describing his actions during the War, including his system of extermination at the Auschwitz camps. Rudolf Höss was the most efficient leader of any Nazi concentration camp, and he personally oversaw the deaths of millions of people, mostly Polish Jews, but also gypsies and political prisoners. Under arrest, Rudolf Höss was able to give evidence against some of his fellow Nazis, but it did nothing to stop his own execution. In April 1947, Rudolf Höss was hanged at a specially constructed gallows at the former site of the Auschwitz gas chamber.

    • 12 Min.
    March 3 - 1918 - The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

    March 3 - 1918 - The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

    The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, signed by representatives of Soviet Russia and representatives from the Central Powers, effectively ended World War I on the Eastern Front. In order to do this, Russia had to accept extremely harsh terms regarding territorial claims and concessions. Yet the government of Russia was not the one that had been prosecuting the war, because Russia had undergone two revolutions in 1917, the February Revolution that overthrew the Tsar and the October Revolution that replaced the Provisional Government with a Communist one. The Bolsheviks now in charge of Russia, especially Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky wanted most of all to end the war. More radical Bolsheviks thought eventually revolution would overthrow the governments of the Central Powers. Instead, Soviet Russia agreed to a harsh peace, to focus on a still raging Civil War. Remarkably, the German Empire would quickly cease to exist, which made the historical legacy of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk much less impactful than it seemed at the time.

    • 15 Min.
    March 2 - 1882 - Roderick Maclean Attempts to Assassinate Queen Victoria

    March 2 - 1882 - Roderick Maclean Attempts to Assassinate Queen Victoria

    Roderick McLean approached Queen Victoria's carriage as it left Windsor Castle with a pistol, because she had given a curt reply to some poetry he had sent her. It turned out McLean was more unimpressive as an assassin than a poet. His shot missed the Queen's carriage completely, and he was brought to the ground by boys wielding umbrellas. McLean was the eight man in forty years to try to assassinate Queen Victoria, and met the fate many of his forebears experienced when he was adjudged "Not Guilty, but Insane." This was a massive issue for Queen Victoria, who wished for a different outcome for her would be killer, and pressured her government to do something about it. Therefore, the most inept and hapless of all of her possible assassin's had the largest effect on Victoria's reign and the British criminal justice system.

    • 7 Min.
    March 1 - 1932 - The Kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh, Jr.

    March 1 - 1932 - The Kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh, Jr.

    When the 20 month old Charles Lindbergh, Jr. was taken from the crib in his upstairs bedroom, the crime was destined to become the "Crime of the Century."His father was perhaps the most famous man in America, the aviator Charles Lindbergh. Initially, the clues led to a variety of possibilities, but then a kidnapper was revealed to be seeking the ransom through a random intermediary. Once a man known only as "Cemetery John" received $50,000 in ransom money, the case went cold. Over two years later, a gold certificate that was part of the ransom money was traced to a German immigrant named Bruno Richard Hauptmann. Hauptmann was found to have a large chunk of the ransom money in his possession, as well as many things that pointed to him being Cemetery John. After being handed to New Jersey authorities, Hauptmann was tried in what become known as the "Trial of the Century," after which he would be sentenced to death and executed. The kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby would remain the most significant criminal case in America for decades.

    • 14 Min.
    February 5 - 1994 - Byron De La Beckwith is Convicted of Medgar Evers' Murder

    February 5 - 1994 - Byron De La Beckwith is Convicted of Medgar Evers' Murder

    Byron De La Beckwith was found guilty of the murder of civil rights leader Medgar Evers in 1994, 31 years after the crime was actually committed. De La Beckwith was arrested and brought to trial twice in the 1960s, but both times all-white juries deadlocked on a verdict. The evidence in the case was actually quite good, as De La Beckwith's gun was found near the crime scene with his fingerprint on it. De La Beckwith was also a prominent White Citizens' Council member, who was annoyed at the lack of direct action taken by the group in their efforts to preserve segregation. Yet De La Beckwith would not be convicted of Evers' murder in the 1960s. He would brag at Klan rallies and Christian Identity meetings that he killed Medgar Evers. After the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported on state sponsored activities to protect in the late 1980s and 1990s, authorities bring De La Beckwith to trial for a third time. Finally, a jury of eight African-Americans and four whites find him guilty.

    • 12 Min.

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