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Archive for the ‘Historical events’ Category

“For What It’s Worth” is a song written by Stephen Stills. It was performed by Buffalo Springfield and released as a single in January 1967; it was later added to the re-release of their first album, Buffalo Springfield. The single peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In 2004, this song was #63 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

While the song has come to symbolize worldwide turbulence and confrontational feelings arising from events during the 1960s (particularly the Vietnam War), Stills reportedly wrote the song in reaction to escalating unrest between law enforcement and young club-goers relating to the closing of Pandora’s Box, a club on West Hollywood, California’s Sunset Strip. The song’s title appears nowhere in its lyrics, and many casual listeners likely know it better by the first line of chorus: “Stop, children, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going down.”

In 2006, Stephen Stills was interviewed by Tom Kent on his radio show “Into the ’70s” and pointed out that though many people think “For What It’s Worth” is about the Kent State Shootings, it was actually recorded before that event.

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The Monica Lewinsky scandal was a political-sex scandal emerging from a sexual relationship between United States President Bill Clinton and a then 22-year-old White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. The news of this extra-marital affair and the resulting investigation eventually led to the impeachment of President Clinton in 1998 by the U.S. House of Representatives and his subsequent acquittal on all charges (of perjury and obstruction of justice) in a 21-day Senate trial.
In 1995, Monica Lewinsky, a graduate of Lewis & Clark College, was hired to work as an intern at the White House during Clinton’s first term. The two began a sexual relationship.
As Lewinsky’s relationship with Clinton became more distant and after she had left the White House to work at the Pentagon, Lewinsky confided details of her feelings and Clinton’s behavior to her friend and Defense Department co-worker Linda Tripp, who secretly recorded their telephone conversations. When Tripp discovered in January 1998 that Lewinsky had signed an affidavit in the Paula Jones case denying a relationship with Clinton, she delivered the tapes to Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel who was investigating Clinton on various other matters, including the Whitewater scandal, Filegate, and Travelgate.

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The Falklands War (Spanish: Guerra de las Malvinas/Guerra del Atlántico Sur), also called the Falklands Conflict/Crisis, was fought in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the disputed Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. The Falkland Islands consist of two large and many small islands in the South Atlantic Ocean east of Argentina, and their name and ownership have long been disputed. (See Sovereignty of the Falkland Islands for the background to the latter dispute.)

The war was triggered by the occupation of South Georgia by Argentina on 19 March 1982 followed by the occupation of the Falklands, and ended when Argentina surrendered on 14 June 1982. War was not actually declared by either side. The initial invasion was considered by Argentina as the re-occupation of its own territory, and by Britain as an invasion of a British overseas territory, and the most recent invasion of British territory by a foreign power.

In the period leading up to the war, Argentina was in the midst of a devastating economic crisis and large-scale civil unrest against the military junta that had been governing the country since 1976. The Argentine military government, headed by General Leopoldo Galtieri, sought to maintain power by diverting public attention playing off long-standing feelings of the Argentines towards the islands, although they never thought that the United Kingdom would respond militarily. The ongoing tension between the two countries over the islands increased on 19 March when a group of hired Argentinian scrap metal merchants raised their flag at South Georgia, an act that would later be seen as the first offensive action in the war. The Argentine Military Junta, suspecting that the UK would reinforce its South Atlantic Forces, ordered the invasion of the Falkland Islands to be brought forward to 2 April.

Word of the invasion first reached Britain via ham radio. Britain was initially taken by surprise by the Argentine attack on the South Atlantic islands, despite repeated warnings by Royal Navy captain Nicholas Barker and others. Barker believed that the intention expressed in Defence Secretary John Nott’s 1981 review to withdraw his ship HMS Endurance, Britain’s only naval presence in the South Atlantic, sent a signal to the Argentinians that Britain was unwilling, and would soon be unable, to defend her territories and subjects in the Falklands. Britain launched a naval task force to engage the Argentine Navy and Air Force, and retake the islands by amphibious assault. After combat resulting in 258 British and 649 Argentine deaths, the British eventually prevailed and the islands remained under British control. However, as of 2007 and as it has since the 19th century, Argentina shows no sign of relinquishing its claim. Indeed, the claim remains in the Argentine constitution after its reformation in 1994.

The political effects of the war were strong in both countries. A wave of patriotic sentiment swept through both: the Argentine loss prompted even larger protests against the military government, which hastened its downfall; in the United Kingdom, the government of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was bolstered. It helped Thatcher’s government to victory in the 1983 general election, which prior to the war was seen as by no means certain. The war has played an important role in the culture of both countries, and has been the subject of several books, films, and songs. However, it is not seen as a truly major event of either military or 20th century history because of the low number of casualties on both sides and the small size and limited economic importance of the disputed areas. The cultural and political weight of the conflict has had less effect on the British public than on that of Argentina, where the war is still a topic of discussion.

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The September 11, 2001 attacks (often referred to as 9/11) were a series of coordinated suicide attacks by al-Qaeda upon the United States.

On that morning, nineteen terrorists affiliated with al-Qaeda hijacked four commercial passenger jet airliners. Each team of hijackers included a member who had undergone some pilot training. The hijackers intentionally crashed two of the airliners (American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175) into the World Trade Center in New York City, one plane into each tower (1 WTC and 2 WTC), resulting in the collapse of both buildings soon afterward and extensive damage to nearby buildings. The hijackers crashed a third airliner (American Airlines Flight 77) into the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia, near Washington, D.C. Passengers and members of the flight crew on the fourth aircraft (United Airlines Flight 93) attempted to retake control of their plane from the hijackers; that plane crashed into a field near the town of Shanksville in rural Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Aside from the 19 hijackers, 2,973 people died as an immediate result of the attacks, and the death of at least one person from lung disease was ruled by a medical examiner to be a result of exposure to WTC dust. Another 24 people are missing and presumed dead, bringing the total number of victims to 2,998 — most of whom were civilians.

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The five Olympic rings were designed in 1913, adopted in 1914 and debuted at the Games at Antwerp, 1920“I hereby proclaim the opening of the first International Olympic Games at Athens.” With these words on April 6, 1896, King George I of Greece welcomed the crowd that had gathered in the newly reconstructed Panathenean Stadium to the modern-day Olympic Summer Games.The event was the idea of Baron Pierre de Coubertin of France who traveled the world to gather support for his dream to have nations come together and overcome national disputes, all in the name of sport.

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Baron Pierre de CoubertinIf not for the generous private donations of Greek businessmen like George Averoff, these first Olympics might have been moved to Budapest, Hungary. Averoff generously offered to pay for the reconstruction of Athens’ Panathenean Stadium which had been built in 330 B.C.E. This left the Greek government with enough money to build a venue for the shooting competition and a pier for the swimming events.The program for the Games included track and field, fencing, weightlifting, rifle and pistol shooting, tennis, cycling, swimming, gymnastics, and wrestling. Although 14 nations participated, most of the athletes were Greek.The Games reached their high point on Day 11 with the first modern-day marathon. The idea to hold an event to commemorate the Ancient Olympic games was suggested by a friend of de Coubertin and was met with great anticipation. The race was run from Marathon to Athens (estimated at 22–26 miles), watched by more than 100,000 people and won by a Greek runner, Spiridon Louis.

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  Spiridon LouisFrom the moment Louis entered the stadium for the final leg of the race the home crowd roared with pride. The thrill and excitement reverberated through to the Games’ finale-the ceremonial march of nations.De Coubertin was pleased with the first games and stressed to organizers the importance of moving the Games all around the world. This was disappointing to Athens, which wanted to be a permanent host, but set into motion the international festival we know today as the Olympic Summer Games.

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The 1979 oil crisis

The 1979 (or second) oil crisis in the United States occurred in the wake of the Iranian Revolution. Amid massive protests, the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, fled his country in early 1979, allowing Ayatollah Khomeini to gain control. The protests shattered the Iranian oil sector. While the new regime resumed oil exports, it was inconsistent and at a lower volume, forcing prices to go up. Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations, under the presidency of Dr. Mana Alotaiba increased production to offset the decline, and the overall loss in production was about 4 percent. However, a widespread panic resulted, driving the price far higher than would be expected under normal circumstances. In the United States, the Carter administration instituted price controls.

In 1980, following the Iraqi invasion of Iran, oil production in Iran nearly stopped, and Iraq’s oil production was severely cut as well.After 1980, oil prices began a six-year decline that culminated with a 46 percent price drop in 1986. This was due to reduced demand and over-production, and caused OPEC to lose its unity. Oil exporters such as Mexico, Nigeria, and Venezuela expanded. The US and Europe got more oil from Prudhoe Bay and the North Sea.

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The 1973 oil crisis

The 1973 oil crisis began on October 17, 1973, when the members of Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC, consisting of the Arab members of OPEC plus Egypt and Syria) announced, as a result of the ongoing Yom Kippur War, that they would no longer ship oil to nations that had supported Israel in its conflict with Syria and Egypt (the United States, its allies in Western Europe, and Japan).About the same time, OPEC members agreed to use their leverage over the world price-setting mechanism for oil in order to raise world oil prices, after the failure of negotiations with the “Seven Sisters” earlier in the month. Because of the dependence of the industrialized world on crude oil and the predominant role of OPEC as a global supplier, these price increases were dramatically inflationary to the economies of the targeted countries, while at the same time suppressive of economic activity. The targeted countries responded with a wide variety of new, and mostly permanent, initiatives to contain their further dependency.

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Shakespeare makes it on to the list but there is no place for Austen, Dickens or – thankfully – the Da Vinci Code. Melvyn Bragg is to host a new TV series, 12 Books That Changed The World, about the tomes which have shaped our lives.

They include the first rule book of the Football Association, drawn up in 1863 and the basis for the modern game.

The King James Bible is in the list, along with the Magna Carta and Darwin’s The Origin of Species.

Also included is Married Love by family planning campaigner Marie Stopes.

Published in 1918, it was the UK’s first sex manual and was branded obscene by the church and the medical establishment.

The text of William Wilberforce’s historic speech to Parliament in 1789, in which he began his campaign for the abolition of slavery, is among the 12 books, along with Mary Wollstonecraft’s 18th century feminist treatise A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.

Bragg has also chosen the 1769 patent specification for Arkwright’s Spinning Machine, arguably the greatest invention of the Industrial Revolution, and Michael Faraday’s Experimental Research in Electricity.

An ITV spokesman said: “When people think of things that change the world, they tend to think of extraordinary events: the assassination of leaders, the invasion of countries, the havoc wreaked by natural disasters.

“There is something less attention-grabbing, but just as powerful, which changes the world – books.

The 12 books are:
Darwin – The Origin of Species (1859)
The First Rule Book of the Football Association (1863)
William Shakespeare’s First Folio (1623)
Newton – Principia Mathematica (1687)
Adam Smith – The Wealth of Nations (1776)
William Wilberforce – Speech to the House of Commons (May 12 1789)
The King James Bible (1611)
Patent Specification for Arkwright’s Spinning Machine (1769)
Mary Wollstonecraft – A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792)
Michael Faraday – Experimental Research in Electricity (1855)
Marie Stopes – Married Love (1918)
Magna Carta (1215)

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The “Chernobyl disaster“, reactor accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, or simply “Chernobyl” was the worst nuclear power plant accident in history and the only instance so far of level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale, resulting in a severe nuclear meltdown. On 26 April 1986 at 01:23:40 a.m. (UTC+3) reactor number four at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant located in the Soviet Union near Pripyat in Ukraine exploded. Further explosions and the resulting fire sent a plume of highly radioactive fallout into the atmosphere and over an extensive geographical area.The plume drifted over parts of the western Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Northern Europe, and eastern North America. Large areas in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia were badly contaminated, resulting in the evacuation and resettlement of over 336,000 people. According to official post-Soviet data, about 60% of the radioactive fallout landed in Belarus.The accident raised concerns about the safety of the Soviet nuclear power industry, slowing its expansion for a number of years, while forcing the Soviet government to become less secretive. The now-independent countries of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus have been burdened with the continuing and substantial decontamination and health care costs of the Chernobyl accident. It is difficult to tally accurately the number of deaths caused by the events at Chernobyl, as the Soviet-era cover-up made it difficult to track down victims. Lists were incomplete, and Soviet authorities later forbade doctors to cite “radiation” on death certificates.The 2005 report prepared by the Chernobyl Forum, led by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and World Health Organization (WHO), attributed 56 direct deaths (47 accident workers, and nine children with thyroid cancer), and estimated that there may be 4,000 extra deaths due to cancer among the approximately 600,000 most highly exposed and 5,000 among the 6 million living nearby.Although the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and certain limited areas will remain off limits, the majority of affected areas are now considered safe for settlement and economic activity.

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The Iran-Iraq War

The Iran-Iraq War, also known as the Imposed War by Iraq (جنگ تحمیلی, Jang-e-tahmīlī), Iranian Holy Defense (دفاع مقدس, Defa-e-moghaddas) and Iranian Revolutionary War in Iran, and Saddām’s Qādisiyyah (قادسيّة صدّام, Qādisiyyat Saddām) in Iraq, was a war between the armed forces of Iraq and Iran lasting from September 1980 to August 1988. It was commonly referred to as the Persian Gulf War until the Iraq-Kuwait conflict of (1990–91), and for a while thereafter as the First Persian Gulf War. The Iraq-Kuwait conflict, while originally known as the Second Persian Gulf War, later became known simply as the Persian Gulf War.The war began when Iraq invaded Iran on 22 September 1980 following a long history of border disputes and fears of Shia insurgency among Iraq’s long suppressed Shia majority influenced by Iran’s Islamic revolution. Although Saddam’s Iraq hoped to take advantage of revolutionary chaos in Iran and attacked without formal warning, they made only limited progress into Iran and within several months were repelled by the Iranians who regained virtually all lost territory by June 1982. For the next six years Iran was on the offensive[3] Despite several calls for a ceasefire by the United Nations Security Council, hostilities continued until 20 August 1988. The last prisoners of war were exchanged in 2003.[4][5]The war is noted for several things. It was of great cost in lives and economic damage – more than a million Iraqi and Iranian soldiers as well as civilians are believed to have died in the war with many more injured and wounded – but brought neither reparations nor change in borders. It changed regional and even global politics. The war was also very similar to World War I. Tactics used included trench warfare, manned machine-gun posts, bayonet charges, use of barbed wire, human wave attacks and Iraq’s extensive use of chemical weapons (such as mustard gas) against Iranian troops and civilians as well as Iraqi Kurds.

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