Daily History Lesson … May 2

“History never really says goodbye. History says, ‘see you later.'”
~Eduardo Galeano

And that is why I do this.

1519 – Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci (The Last Supper, Virgin Of The Rocks and Mona Lisa, to name just a few) died of natural causes at the age of 67.

1863 – Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson administered a devastating defeat to the Army of the Potomac at the Battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia. In one of the most stunning upsets of the war, a vastly outnumbered Army of Northern Virginia sent the Army of the Potomac, commanded by General Joseph Hooker, back to Washington, D.C., in defeat.
The news wasn’t all good for the Confederates. General Jackson was mortally wounded by “friendly fire” (Confederate soldiers from the 18th North Carolina Infantry regiment) as he returned from a scouting mission in the dark. Jackson died from pneumonia eight days later.

1933 – Although accounts of an aquatic beast living in Scotland’s Loch Ness date back 1,500 years, the modern legend of the Loch Ness Monster was born when a sighting made local news on this date in 1933. The newspaper Inverness Courier reported an account of a local couple who claimed to have seen “an enormous animal rolling and plunging on the surface.”
The story of the “monster” (a name chosen by the Courier editor) became a media phenomenon, with London newspapers sending correspondents to Scotland and a circus offering a 20,000 pound sterling reward for capture of the beast.

1945 – The Battle of Berlin ended when General der Artillerie Helmuth Weidling, the commander of the Berlin Defense Area, unconditionally surrendered the city to General Vasily Chuikov, the commander of the Soviet 8th Guards Army.

1957 – Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-Wisconsin) succumbed to illness exacerbated by alcoholism and passed away at the age 48. McCarthy had been a key figure in the anticommunist hysteria popularly known as the “Red Scare” that engulfed the United States in the years following World War II.
After his 1954 censure by the U.S. Senate (for “conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute”), McCarthy continued senatorial duties for another two and a half years, but his career as a major public figure had been unmistakably ruined. The press that had once recorded his every public statement now ignored him, and outside speaking engagements dwindled almost to nothing. President Eisenhower, free of McCarthy’s political intimidation, quipped to his Cabinet that McCarthyism was now “McCarthywasm”.

1972 – After nearly five decades as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover died from heart disease, leaving the powerful government agency without the administrator who had been largely responsible for its existence and shape.

1974 – Filming got underway for the motion picture, Jaws, on Martha’s Vineyard, MA. What was to be a 58-day shooting schedule for the film inspired by the Peter Benchley novel soon gave way to 120 days. Costs soared from what was to be a $3.5 million project to nearly $8 million. The film generated $470 million so director Steven Spielberg was forgiven.

1999 – Actor Oliver Reed (The Three Musketeers, Oliver!, Gladiator) died of a heart attack at the age of 61.

2009 – Jack Kemp, quarterback for the San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills, nine term congressman from New York, and the running mate of presidential nominee Bob Dole in 1996, died of cancer at the age of 73.

2011 – Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, was killed by U.S. forces during a raid on his compound hideout in Pakistan. The 54-year-old leader of Al Qaeda, the terrorist network of Islamic extremists, had been the target of a nearly decade-long international manhunt.
The raid began when 23 U.S. Navy SEALs in two Black Hawk helicopters descended on the compound in Abbottabad, a tourist and military center north of Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. One of the helicopters crash-landed into the compound but no one aboard was hurt. During the raid, which lasted approximately 40 minutes, five people, including bin Laden and one of his adult sons, were killed by U.S. gunfire. No Americans were injured in the assault. Afterward, bin Laden’s body was flown by helicopter to Afghanistan for official identification, then buried at an undisclosed location in the Arabian Sea less than 24 hours after his death, in accordance with Islamic practice.

2014 – Actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (77 Sunset Strip, The F.B.I.) died of natural causes at the age of 95.

Compiled by Ray Lemire ©2017 RayLemire.com. / Streamingoldies.com. All Rights Reserved.

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