no 2: electric balooga
22nd November 1963 (58 years ago): President John F. Kennedy is assassinated
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, is assassinated while traveling through Dallas, Texas, in an open-top convertible.
First lady Jacqueline Kennedy rarely accompanied her husband on political outings, but she was beside him, along with Texas Governor John Connally and his wife, for a 16-kilometer motorcade through the streets of downtown Dallas on 22 November. Sitting in a Lincoln convertible, the Kennedys and Connallys waved at the large and enthusiastic crowds gathered along the parade route. As their vehicle passed the Texas School Book Depository Building at 12:30, Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly fired three shots from the sixth floor, fatally wounding President Kennedy and seriously injuring Governor Connally. Kennedy was pronounced dead 30 minutes later at Dallas’ Parkland Hospital. He was 46.
Vice President Lyndon Johnson, who was three cars behind President Kennedy in the motorcade, was sworn in as the 36th president of the United States at 14:39 He took the presidential oath of office aboard Air Force One as it sat on the runway at Dallas Love Field airport. The swearing in was witnessed by some 30 people, including Jacqueline Kennedy, who was still wearing clothes stained with her husband’s blood. Seven minutes later, the presidential jet took off for Washington.
The next day, 23 November, President Johnson issued his first proclamation, declaring November 25 to be a day of national mourning for the slain president. On that Monday, hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets of Washington to watch a horse-drawn caisson bear Kennedy’s body from the Capitol Rotunda to St. Matthew’s Catholic Cathedral for a requiem Mass. The solemn procession then continued on to Arlington National Cemetery, where leaders of 99 nations gathered for the state funeral. Kennedy was buried with full military honors on a slope below Arlington House, where an eternal flame was lit by his widow to forever mark the grave.
Lee Harvey Oswald, born in New Orleans in 1939, joined the U.S. Marines in 1956. He was discharged in 1959 and nine days later left for the Soviet Union, where he tried unsuccessfully to become a citizen. He worked in Minsk and married a Soviet woman and in 1962 was allowed to return to the United States with his wife and infant daughter. In early 1963, he bought a .38 revolver and rifle with a telescopic sight by mail order, and on 10 April in Dallas he allegedly shot at and missed former U.S. Army general Edwin Walker, a figure known for his extreme right-wing views. Later that month, Oswald went to New Orleans and founded a branch of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, a pro-Castro organization. In September 1963, he went to Mexico City, where investigators allege that he attempted to secure a visa to travel to Cuba or return to the USSR. In October, he returned to Dallas and took a job at the Texas School Book Depository Building.
Less than an hour after Kennedy was shot, Oswald killed a policeman who questioned him on the street near his rooming house in Dallas. Thirty minutes later, Oswald was arrested in a movie theater by police responding to reports of a suspect. He was formally arraigned on 23 November for the murders of President Kennedy and Officer J.D. Tippit.
On 24 November, Oswald was brought to the basement of the Dallas police headquarters on his way to a more secure county jail. A crowd of police and press with live television cameras rolling gathered to witness his departure. As Oswald came into the room, Jack Ruby emerged from the crowd and fatally wounded him with a single shot from a concealed .38 revolver. Ruby, who was immediately detained, claimed that rage at Kennedy’s murder was the motive for his action. Some called him a hero, but he was nonetheless charged with first-degree murder.
Jack Ruby, originally known as Jacob Rubenstein, operated strip joints and dance halls in Dallas and had minor connections to organized crime. He features prominently in Kennedy-assassination theories, and many believe he killed Oswald to keep him from revealing a larger conspiracy. In his trial, Ruby denied the allegation and pleaded innocent on the grounds that his great grief over Kennedy’s murder had caused him to suffer “psychomotor epilepsy” and shoot Oswald unconsciously. The jury found Ruby guilty of “murder with malice” and sentenced him to die.
In October 1966, the Texas Court of Appeals reversed the decision on the grounds of improper admission of testimony and the fact that Ruby could not have received a fair trial in Dallas at the time. In January 1967, while awaiting a new trial, to be held in Wichita Falls, Ruby died of lung cancer in a Dallas hospital.
The official Warren Commission report of 1964 concluded that neither Oswald nor Ruby were part of a larger conspiracy, either domestic or international, to assassinate President Kennedy. Despite its firm conclusions, the report failed to silence conspiracy theories surrounding the event, and in 1978 the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded in a preliminary report that Kennedy was “probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy” that may have involved multiple shooters and organized crime. The committee’s findings, as with those of the Warren Commission, continue to be disputed. Polls conducted from 1966 to 2004 found that up to 80 percent of Americans suspected that there was a plot or cover-up. The assassination was one of four major assassinations of the 1960s in the United States, coming two years before the assassination of Malcolm X, and five years before the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.
Kennedy with his wife, Jacqueline, and Texas Governor John Connally with his wife, Nellie, in the presidential limousine, minutes before the assassination.
Cecil Stoughton's iconic photograph of Lyndon B. Johnson being sworn in as President as Air Force One prepares to depart Love Field in Dallas. Jacqueline Kennedy (right), still in her blood-spattered clothes (not visible here), looks on.
Jack Ruby shooting Oswald, who was being escorted by police detective Jim Leavelle (tan suit) for the transfer from the city jail to the county jail.
this is so sad, alexa play despacito
im gonna go fishing blub lub
23rd November 1981 (40 years ago): President Reagan gives CIA authority to recruit and support Contra rebels in Nicaragua
From 1979 to 1990, the United States provided financial, logistical and military support to the Contra rebels in Nicaragua, who used terrorist tactics in their war against the Nicaraguan government and carried out more than 1300 terrorist attacks. This support persisted despite widespread knowledge of the human rights violations committed by the Contras.
In 1979, the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) overthrew the dictatorial regime of Anastasio Somoza Debayle, and established a revolutionary government in Nicaragua. The Somoza dynasty had been receiving military and financial assistance from the United States since 1936. Following their seizure of power, the Sandinistas ruled the country first as part of a Junta of National Reconstruction, and later as a democratic government following free and fair elections in 1984.
The Sandinistas did not attempt to create a communist society or communist economic system; instead, their policy advocated a social democracy and a mixed economy. The government sought the aid of Western Europe, who were opposed to the U.S. embargo against Nicaragua, to escape dependency on the Soviet Union. However, the U.S. administration viewed the leftist Sandinista government as undemocratic and totalitarian under the ties of the Soviet-Cuban model and tried to paint the Contras as freedom fighters.
The Sandinista government headed by Daniel Ortega won decisively in the 1984 Nicaraguan elections. The U.S. government explicitly planned to back the Contras, various rebel groups collectively that were formed in response to the rise of the Sandinistas, as a means to damage the Nicaraguan economy and force the Sandinista government to divert its scarce resources toward the army and away from social and economic programs.
The United States began to support Contra activities against the Sandinista government by December 1981, with the CIA at the forefront of operations. The CIA provided the Contras with planning and operational direction and assistance, weapons, food, and training, in what was described as the "most ambitious" covert operation in more than a decade. The Contras operated out of camps in the neighboring countries of Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south.
One of the purposes the CIA hoped to achieve by these operations was an aggressive and violent response from the Sandinista government which in turn could be used as a pretext for further military actions.
In March 1982 the Sandinistas declared an official State of Emergency. They argued that this was a response to attacks by counter-revolutionary forces. The State of Emergency lasted six years, until January 1988, when it was lifted. Many civil liberties were curtailed or canceled such as the freedom to organize demonstrations, the inviolability of the home, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and the freedom to strike.
The Contra campaign against the government included frequent and widespread acts of terror. The economic and social reforms enacted by the government enjoyed some popularity; as a result, the Contras attempted to disrupt these programs. This campaign included the destruction of health centers and hospitals that the Sandinista government had established, in order to disrupt their control over the populace. Schools were also destroyed, as the literacy campaign conducted by the government was an important part of its policy. The Contras also committed widespread kidnappings, murder, and rape. The kidnappings and murder were a product of the "low-intensity warfare" that the Reagan Doctrine prescribed as a way to disrupt social structures and gain control over the population. Also known as "unconventional warfare", advocated for and defined by the World Anti-Communist League's (WACL) retired U.S. Army Major General John Singlaub as, "low intensity actions, such as sabotage, terrorism, assassination and guerrilla warfare". In some cases, more indiscriminate killing and destruction also took place. The Contras also carried out a campaign of economic sabotage, and disrupted shipping by planting underwater mines in Nicaragua's Port of Corinto. The Reagan administration supported this by imposing a full trade embargo.
In fiscal year 1984, the U.S. Congress approved $24 million in aid to the Contras. However, the Reagan administration lost a lot of support for its Contra policy after CIA involvement in the mining of Nicaraguan ports became public knowledge, and a report of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research commissioned by the State Department found that Reagan had exaggerated claims about Soviet interference in Nicaragua. Congress cut off all funds for the contras in 1985 with the third Boland Amendment.
The Reagan administration nonetheless illegally continued to back them by covertly selling arms to Iran and channeling the proceeds to the contras (the Iran–Contra affair), for which several members of the Reagan administration were convicted of felonies. Money was also raised for the Contras through drug trafficking, which the United States was aware of.
Throughout the Nicaraguan Civil War, the Reagan government conducted a campaign to shift public opinion to favor support for the Contras, and to change the vote in Congress to favor of that support. For this purpose, the National Security Council authorized the production and distribution of publications that looked favorably at the Contras, also known as "white propaganda," written by paid consultants who did not disclose their connection to the administration. It also arranged for speeches and press conferences conveying the same message. The U.S. government continually discussed the Contras in highly favorable terms; Reagan called them the "moral equivalent of the founding fathers." Another common theme the administration played on was the idea of returning Nicaragua to democracy, which analysts characterized as "curious," because Nicaragua had been a U.S.-supported dictatorship prior to the Sandinista revolution, and had never had a democratic government before the Sandinistas.
Commentators stated that this was all a part of an attempt to return Nicaragua to the state of its Central American neighbors; that is, where traditional social structures remained and American imperialist ideas were not threatened.
The International Court of Justice, in regard to the case of Nicaragua v. United States in 1984, found, "the United States of America was under an obligation to make reparation to the Republic of Nicaragua for all injury caused to Nicaragua by certain breaches of obligations under customary international law and treaty-law committed by the United States of America". The ICJ found that the U.S. had encouraged violations of international humanitarian law by assisting paramilitary actions in Nicaragua. The court also criticized the production of a manual on psychological warfare by the U.S. and its dissemination of the Contras. The manual, amongst other things, provided advice on rationalizing the killing of civilians, and on targeted murder. The manual also included an explicit description of the use of "implicit terror." The U.S. used its veto on the United Nations Security Council to block the enforcement of the ICJ judgement, and thereby prevented Nicaragua from obtaining any compensation. During the war between the Contras and the Sandinistas, 30,000 people were killed.
In the Nicaraguan general election, 1990, a coalition of anti-Sandinista parties (from the left and right of the political spectrum) led by Violeta Chamorro defeated the Sandinistas. The FSLN is now Nicaragua's sole leading party. In the 2006 Nicaraguan general election, former FSLN President Daniel Ortega was reelected President of Nicaragua, bringing in the country's second Sandinista government after 17 years of other parties winning elections. Ortega and the FSLN were reelected in the presidential elections of 2011, 2016, and 2021.
United States–supported anti-Sandinista "Contra" rebels (ARDE Frente Sur) in 1987.
Daniel Ortega in 2014.
Official portrait of Ronald Reagan, 1981.
My nation is becoming more and more Authoritarian and I don't know how to stop it.
So what's Daniel Ortega doing these days you might ask? Nothing good it seems:
"His second administration became increasingly antidemocratic, alienating many of his former revolutionary allies, some of whom compared him to Somoza, who they had overthrown. In June 2018, Amnesty International and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States reported that Ortega had engaged in a violent oppression campaign against protesters in response to the anti-Ortega 2018–2021 Nicaraguan protests. The violent crackdown during 2018 protests and subsequential decrease of civil liberties have led to massive waves of migration to Costa Rica, with over 30,000 Nicaraguans filing for asylum in that neighboring country.
Repression against his political opponents increased in 2021. His government jailed many of his potential rivals in the 2021 Nicaraguan general election, including Cristiana Chamorro Barrios, daughter of former president Violeta Chamorro de Barrios. Ortega's government imprisoned others who opposed him, including former allies Dora Maria Tellez and Hugo Torres Jiménez. In August 2021, Nicaragua cancelled the operating permits of six US and European NGOs. Many critics of the Ortega government, including opposition leaders, journalists and members of civil society, fled the country in mid-2021. After his controversial fourth reelection, Joe Biden banned the president from entering his United States."
The state of democracy in Nicaragua is very questionable, the recent presidential election on 7 November was a sham.
My civil rights are just straight out bad but not so low like outlawed or unheard of, just some.
24th November 1859 (162 years ago): Charles Darwin publishes "On the Origin of Species"
On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, a groundbreaking scientific work by British naturalist Charles Darwin, is published in England. Darwin’s theory argued that organisms gradually evolve through a process he called “natural selection.” In natural selection, organisms with genetic variations that suit their environment tend to propagate more descendants than organisms of the same species that lack the variation, thus influencing the overall genetic makeup of the species.
Darwin, who was influenced by the work of French naturalist Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck and the English economist Thomas Malthus, acquired most of the evidence for his theory during a five-year surveying expedition aboard the HMS Beagle in the 1830s. Visiting such diverse places as the Galapagos Islands and New Zealand, Darwin acquired an intimate knowledge of the flora, fauna, and geology of many lands. This information, along with his studies in variation and interbreeding after returning to England, proved invaluable in the development of his theory of organic evolution.
The idea of organic evolution was not new. It had been suggested earlier by, among others, Darwin’s grandfather Erasmus Darwin, a distinguished English scientist, and Lamarck, who in the early 19th century drew the first evolutionary diagram—a ladder leading from one-celled organisms to man. However, it was not until Darwin that science presented a practical explanation for the phenomenon of evolution.
Darwin had formulated his theory of natural selection by 1844, but he was wary to reveal his thesis to the public because it so obviously contradicted the biblical account of creation. In 1858, with Darwin still remaining silent about his findings, the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace independently published a paper that essentially summarized his theory. Darwin and Wallace gave a joint lecture on evolution before the Linnean Society of London in July 1858, and Darwin prepared On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection for publication.
Published on 24 November 1859, Origin of Species sold out immediately. Darwin was already highly regarded as a scientist, so his findings were taken seriously and the evidence he presented generated scientific, philosophical, and religious discussion. Most scientists quickly embraced the theory that solved so many puzzles of biological science, but orthodox Christians condemned the work as heresy. Controversy over Darwin’s ideas deepened with the publication of The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871), in which he presented evidence of man’s evolution from apes.
By the time of Darwin’s death in 1882, his theory of evolution, with a branching pattern of common descent, was generally accepted, but scientists were slow to give natural selection the significance that Darwin thought appropriate. During "the eclipse of Darwinism" from the 1880s to the 1930s, various other mechanisms of evolution were given more credit. With the development of the modern evolutionary synthesis in the 1930s and 1940s, Darwin's concept of evolutionary adaptation through natural selection became central to modern evolutionary theory, and it has now become the unifying concept of the life sciences. In honor of his scientific work, he was buried in Westminster Abbey beside kings, queens, and other illustrious figures from British history.
In a survey conducted by a group of academic booksellers, publishers and librarians in advance of Academic Book Week in the United Kingdom, On the Origin of Species was voted the most influential academic book ever written. It was hailed as "the supreme demonstration of why academic books matter" and "a book which has changed the way we think about everything".
The title page of the 1859 edition of "On the Origin of Species".
Darwin pictured shortly before publication.
This tree diagram, used to show the divergence of species, is the only illustration in the Origin of Species.
Ok, well, I didn't mean THAT authoritarian.
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