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History's Happenings for October 11

Birth of Eleanor Roosevelt

Well-known social activist, niece of Theodore and wife of President Franklin Roosevelt, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was born on October 11, 1884 in New York City.

No rags-to-riches story, Eleanor was born into the same prominent Roosevelt family whose name she shared. Her parents died when she was young, and she spend her teenage years in a boarding school in England.

She married her cousin Franklin in 1905, and led a predominately domestic life until the discovery of her husband's affair with Lucy Mercer pushed her to find a career of her own. She continued to support Franklin's political ambitions and, after his first election to the presidency in 1932, toured the countryside in search of ways to help people survive the Depression.

Eleanor tended to be much more liberal than her husband, and was a champion of racial equality and human rights. When FDR died in 1945, Eleanor founded the liberal Americans for Democratic Action within the Democratic Party, and became the U.S. representative to the new United Nations, where she championed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Eleanor Roosevelt died, still busy, in 1962.

General Pulaski Killed At Savannah

A Polish nobleman with a revolutionary bent, Casimir Pulaski met Benjamin Franklin in Paris in 1775, where the latter represented the new United States government. Hearing of his exploits against the Russians in his native land, Franklin enticed Pulaski to come to America and fight with the Continentals.

In 1777 he arrived in Philadelphia and joined the fledgling American Army there, distinguishing himself almost immediately in the nearby Battle of Brandywine. In recognition he was given command of the Continental dragoons (mounted infantry), with the rank of brigadier general.

The following year, General Pulaski organized an independent unit of dragoons, known as the Pulaski Legion, and was ordered south to assist in the campaign for South Carolina. After warding off a British attack on Charleston, Pulaski moved his corps into the siege of Savannah.

During an attack on October 11, 1779, the General was mortally wounded and died on October 13.

The siege was unsuccessful, and the British continued to hold Savannah until the end of the War.

First Operational Steam Ferry

(Stay tuned for a write-up on this event.
On the other hand, if you'd like to try writing
one  ... send it in! )

DAR Founded

The Daughters of the American Revolution were founded on October 11, 1890 in Washington, DC, dedicated to the memory of those who fought for our nation's independence.

All of the DAR's 200,000 or so members can trace their direct descent from a man or woman who participated in the American Revolution

Battle of Cape Esperance

(Stay tuned for a write-up on this event.
On the other hand, if you'd like to try writing
one  ... send it in! )

Pope John XXIII Convenes Ecumenical Council

Planting the seeds of inter-denominational cooperation and of the transition to the vernacular Mass, the Second Vatican Council was announced by Pope John XXIII in January of 1959. It met for the first time on October 11, 1962, and continued to hold discussions until December, 1965. Over two thousand bishops from around the world attended the opening meeting.

Only the twenty-first Ecumenical Council ever officially held in the two thousand year history of the Roman Catholic Church, the meetings covered a broad agenda of Church, family, political and economic issues.

Among its findings were the first steps toward replacing the ancient Latin Mass with the local vernacular. And as the first Council to which non-Catholic clergy were invited as observers, it sought to reach out across denominational lines for common ground.

When John died in 1963, before the Council could finish its deliberations, Pope Paul VI carried on his work.

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