January 24th 1848: Gold found in California
On this day in 1848, James W. Marshall discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill near Sacramento, California. This began the California Gold Rush. The discovery of gold led to a mass migration Westward by Americans hoping to strike it rich. Around 300,000 came to California from America and abroad, especially Europe and China, which increased the area’s size and influence. California became a state in 1850 as part of the Compromise of 1850.
More 7.62x39mm Headstamps from Syria.
Building a record of one of war’s fuels. Syria has presented researchers with headstamps not often seen elsewhere, which is perhaps a sign of significant local production.
For these two samples, which I collected in the Aleppo countryside last month, James Bevan, director of Conflict Armament Research, Ltd., a private firm that traces arms, offered this:
- TOP: Nothing I have matches this type of ammunition. Although calibre designation and date codes suggest that the headstamp would conform to other suspected Syrian examples, the four inward pointing arrows, however, appear on nothing I have (including very different alphanumeric formats).BOTTOM: This conforms to cartridges that are widely attributed to Syria, manufactured in Damascus in the 60’s, 70’s and 80s. In this case, the date mark indicates manufacture in 1984.
Syria does not have an extensive conventional arms-manufacturing sector, but like many states lacking the heavy industry for large-scale armament production it nonetheless has manufactured cartridges for its military service rifles. With time, this production may prove to have been a contributor to Syria’s instability, and to have had a hand in one of the primary means by which Syrians have been dying in the current civil war. (China’s factories are also emerging as significant contributors of small-arms ammunition, too. More on that another time.)
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHS
By the author. Inside Syria’s Aleppo Governorate. This month.
Jan. 28, 1986: Space Shuttle Challenger Breaks Apart After Launch
On this day in 1986, Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds after launch. Seven crew members were lost, including Teacher-in-Space payload specialist Sharon Christa McAuliffe.
After the Challenger explosion, President Ronald Reagan spoke to the public, especially to young children who had been watching the liftoff on television:
“…I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle’s takeoff. I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It’s all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It’s all part of taking a chance and expanding man’s horizons. The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we’ll continue to follow them…”
Read President Reagan’s full speech here.
Photo Credit: Photo from Jan. 9, 1986 - the Challenger crew takes a break during countdown training at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (NASA)
Obit of the Day: Canada’s First Black Woman Mayor
Daurene Lewis’ family came to Nova Scotia between 1783 and 1785 aboard one of dozens of ships that left New York City after the end of the American Revolution. Those ships carried thousands of black men, women, and children who chose to leave the newly formed United States of America rather than live as second-class citizens or be returned to slavery - the were called “Black Loyalists.”*
Two hundred years later, Ms. Lewis would become the mayor of Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. Her 1984 election would make her the first black mayor in the province and the first black woman to govern a town in Canadian history.
Trained as a nurse, she would become involved in politics in her mid-30s winning a seat on the Annapolis Royal Town Council. Unfortunately after her term as mayor she ran for a seat in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly and lost.
Daurene Lewis, who died at the age of 68 on January 26, 2013, was a recipient of the United Nations Global Citizenship Award in 1995 and was made a member of the Order of Canada in 2002. She also was part of the torch relay leading up to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
(Image of Ms. Lewis from 2012 is copyright Adrien Veczan/ChronicleHerald.ca)
* After the signing of the Treaty of Paris General George Washington demanded that all slaves that had joined the British Army during the preceding war be returned to bondage. The British commander, Sir Guy Carlton refused and instead slave owners were reimbursed for their loss.
A record was kept of all the black men, women, and children who departed from New York for various points around the world. Called The Book of Negroes, only three copies exist: in London at the Public Records Office; in Washington, D.C. at the National Archives; and in the Nova Scotia Archives.
On January 28, 1942, Representative Edith Nourse Rogers (R-MA) introduced H.R. 6293, a bill to establish the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps for noncombat service with the U.S. Army. H.R. 6293 was signed into law on May 14, 1942. A year later the unit was renamed the Women’s Army Corps, and the servicewomen were granted official military status.
H.R. 6293, HR 77A-B5, 1/28/1942, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives (ARC 4397811)
Pruitt–Igoe was a large urban housing project first occupied in 1954 in the U.S. city of St. Louis, Missouri. Living conditions in Pruitt–Igoe began to decline soon after its completion in 1956. By the late 1960s, the complex had become internationally infamous for its poverty, crime, and segregation. Its 33 buildings were torn down in the mid-1970s, and the project has become an icon of urban renewal and public-policy planning failure.
The complex was designed by architect Minoru Yamasaki, who also designed the World Trade Center towers and the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport main terminal. - Wiki
Must See #STL
revised Uncle Toms Cabin
The picture is a rare glimpse of the bomb’s immediate aftermath, showing the distinct two-tiered cloud as it was seen from Kaitaichi, part of present-day Kaita, six miles east of Hiroshima’s center. […]
The person who took this photo would have been among the first to look out there and realize that this wasn’t just your run-of-the-mill bomb. It wasn’t the air raid that the citizens of Hiroshima had been anticipating for months. This was the beginning of a new world.
Read more. [Image: Honkawa Elementary School]