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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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