Today in History
History's Happenings for September 27
Following the tragic assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, TX on November 22, 1963, newly sworn President Lyndon B. Johnson established a commission headed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren to examine the facts of the dirty deed and issue a report.
At the time of the shooting, the evidence -- at least that released to the public -- pointed directly at former Marine Lee Harvey Oswald, an apparent drifter and sometimes-leftist. Oswald was quickly captured and almost as quickly murdered by nightclub owner and mob hack Jack Ruby.
Despite controversy surrounding the facts of the assassination -- including the infamous "magic bullet theory" advanced by then-counsel (now Senator) Arlen Specter -- the Warren Commission found no surprises when it issued its report on this day in 1964. It found that Oswald, acting alone and in accordance with a motive never made quite clear, killed Kennedy with three nearly-impossible shots from his old bolt action Carcano rifle. Unfortunately the country was never given the chance to properly interrogate Oswald.
In 1979, seemingly flying in the face of the Warren Report, the U. S. House of Representatives acknowledged that there may well have been another shooter that day in Dallas, fueling continued concern that the full truth is still being withheld.
The Society of Jesus, or Jesuits, founded by Saint Ignatius of Loyola, was consecrated by Pope Paul III on this date in 1540.
The Order, whose motto is Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam ("To the greater glory of God"), is dedicated to the teaching mission of the Church, spreading the Gospel through education. In their early years they were a key source of learning, both theological and secular, throughout Europe.
Throughout their turbulent history, the Jesuits have been tossed out of just about every civilized country in which they have established themselves, mainly because of their steadfast loyalty to both the Pope and the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. During the Renaissance, they were leaders in the Catholic Counter-Reformation, which sought to suppress emerging Protestantism. In 1814, Pope Pius VII officially re-established the Jesuits worldwide, but could not free them from continued harassment in most countries.
One of the great patriots of the American Revolutionary era, Samuel Adams was born this day in 1722, in Boston. He attended Harvard College, afterwards attempting to learn the law and later failing as a merchant. Joining his father at the family brewery, this enterprise also failed after his father's death.
Adams' outspoken opposition to the various British Acts of Parliament which squeezed the Colonies eventually resulted in his election, in 1765, to the Massachusetts Colonial Legislature, where he became clerk the next year. In that position, which he held until the outbreak of the Revolution, he gradually assumed the leadership of the pro-independence movement in the Colony, and authored many works urging revolutionary action against British oppression. He also helped found the Committee of Correspondence and the Boston chapter of the Sons of Liberty.
A champion of basic rights, Adams wrote his Rights of the Colonists in 1772., and in 1774, as a delegate to the First Continental Congress, helped write it's Declaration of grievances against the Crown.
He remained in the Continental Congress until 1781, signing the Declaration of Independence in 1776, but his staunch opposition to a strong central government eventually cost him support.
Adams finished his historic career with terms as Lieutenant Governor, then Governor, of the state of Massachusetts. He died in 1803.
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In a mere four weeks of Blitzkrieg, the German Army crushed Poland under its Panzers and Stukas and forced the surrender of its capital on this day in 1939. From that point on, Poland was partitioned into several administration zones, the chief of which became the Government General, and all of which quickly became homes to Nazi murder factories.
Tomorrow, the Russians will move into "their" half of the country, in accordance with the secret deal they made with the Nazis back in August.
In Warsaw itself, Jews were gathered into a several block ghetto which had been walled off from the rest of the city, and from which they were eventually shipped to death camps. The ghetto itself was razed after the remaining inhabitants rioted in April, 1943.
Much of Warsaw proper was devastated, though the old royal residence largely survived. Poland lost over 5 million inhabitants during the War, mostly at German hands, including 600,000 of its military. It was not liberated until the Russian advance crossed its borders in the summer of 1944 … ironically the same Russians that would have happily sat in their half of Poland while the Nazis did their worst, had they not been attacked themselves in June of 1941.
Poland did not see true freedom until the elections of 1989 formed the first non-Communist government since the Russian "liberation".
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