sábado, 31 de octubre de 2015

October 31: Today is the anniversary of the day when Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Godness power to the door of Wittenberg Cathedral in 1517.

Martin Luther, shown in a portrait by Lucas Cranach the Elder, initiated the Protestant Reformation in 1517.

Martin Luther was a Catholic monk who increasingly alienated by selling indulgences to reduce the pains of purgatory after death. That practice enriched many senior prelates offered and sold pardons from the pulpits. The Pope authorized the indulgences market to raise funds for the Vatican.

The Protestant Reformation was a schism within Western Christianity that began with John Wycliffe, Jan Hus, Martin Luther and John Calvin, mainly. People were harassed with the corruption of the Church of Rome and went for support when Luther nailed his theses to protest. The "reformers" as they themselves called themselves protested against the doctrines, rituals, church leadership and structure of the Roman Catholic Church.

Pope Leo X excommunicated Luther. However, Luther got the physical and financial support to translate and publish the Bible in German. The separation of the assets in fixed assets, jewelry, artwork and other riches, caused harassment of the Catholic Church that led to the Thirty Years' War between 1618 and 1648.

On Saturday, October 31, 1517, a 33-year-old theology professor at Wittenberg University walked over to the Castle Church in Wittenberg and nailed a paper of 95 theses to the door, hoping to spark an academic discussion about their contents. In God’s providence and unbeknownst to anyone else that day, it would become a key event in igniting the Reformation.

Pope Leo X was appointed at the age of 38 years. He became Cardinal at 13 years old. He received minor orders at 8 years of age. He was the son of Lorenzo the Magnificent of the Medicis dynasty in Florence, the most powerful family of the Renaissance.

Luther´s Reformation led to religious wars within the Holy Roman Empire which culminated in the Thirty Years’ War between 1618 and 1648 when The Peace of Westphalia was signed to end the religious conflict.

viernes, 30 de octubre de 2015

October 30: On October 30, 1938, a CBS radio station in New York aired an episode of the soap opera "War of the Worlds", in which a famous actor, named George Orson Welles, described a Martian invasion happening at the time, causing a so hysterical panic that it spread throughout northeastern US and Canada, to capture the fear of both nations.

Orson Welles's War of the Worlds broadcast terrified listeners, many of whom actually believed a Martian invasion was actually occurring.

As usual, there were people who came late to the program that was broadcasting a fake invasion from Mars in honor of that week´s Halloween. Additionally, it was also the eve of World War II that Americans feared more Japanese than Hitler himself.

Orson Welles and his Mercury Theatre of the Air were planted firmly on the map of human events. Much has been spoken of that fateful broadcast over the years, and its impact on both American culture and the entertainment industry.

People left their homes in a rush; there were people who took planes to the outside, airports were crammed; there were people who committed suicide. Others tirelessly called the White House… to the CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System) until communications collapsed and even the electrical system of the entire US northeast.

Presenting News Like Soap Operas.

CBS promised not to make jokes and interrupt programming with news that may frighten listeners. The world's newspapers published 12,500 articles on the subject in a month. Adolf Hitler said: "That is the evidence of decadence and corrupt condition of democracy."

Photo of Orson Welles meeting with reporters in an effort to explain that no one connected with the War of the Worlds radio broadcast had any idea the show would cause panic.

jueves, 29 de octubre de 2015

October 29: Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, conquered Babylon and completed the largest empire that had existed up to that time, in 539 BC, and allowed the Jews to return to their Promised Land.

Nabonidus, last king of king of Babylonia, in relief showing him praying to the moon, sun and Venus; slab in the British Museum.

On October 29, Cyrus himself entered the city of Babylon and arrested Nabonidus, the last king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire.

Artistic portrait of Cyrus the Great. He founded Persia by uniting the two original Iranian Tribes- the Medes and the Persians. Although he was known to be a great conqueror, who at one point controlled one of the greatest Empires ever seen, he is best remembered for his unprecedented tolerance and magnanimous attitude towards those he defeated.

Before the invasion of Babylon, Cyrus had conquered many kingdoms. Apart from Babylon, Cyrus probably incorporated its subnational entities of his Empire, including Syria, Judea and Arabia Petraea, although no direct evidence of this fact was found.

Lands that Cyrus the Great united under Persian rule.

After taking Babylon, Cyrus the Great appointed himself as "king of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four corners of the world" in the famous Cyrus Cylinder.

Slavery was abolished by Cyrus the Great after conquering Babylon around ~540 BC.

Cyrus was proclaimed in a cyllinder inscription placed in the foundations of the temple Esagila dedicated to the chief of Babylon and its god Marduk.

"The Cyrus cylinder is a fragmentary clay cylinder with an Akkadian inscription of thirty-five lines discovered in a foundation deposit by A. H. Rassam during his excavations at the site of the Marduk temple in Babylon in 1879... It is inscribed in Akkadian cuneiform. Now housed in the British Museum, it includes a detailed account by Cyrus of his conquest of Babylon in 539BCE and his subsequent humane treatment of his conquered subjects. 

The text of the cylinder denounces Nabonidus as impious and portrays the victorious campaign of Cyrus to please the god Marduk. It describes how Cyrus had improved the lives of the citizens of Babylonia, repatriated displaced peoples and restored temples and shrines of worship. Although some have claimed that the cylinder is a form of human rights charter, historians generally portray the context of a Mesopotamian tradition of long standing.

The Persian Empire under Cyrus the Great. http://aclassicaday.blogspot.com.co/2011/11/fall-of-croesus.html 

The domains of Cyrus the Great make up the largest empire the world had seen. At the end of the regime of Cyrus, the Achaemenid Empire stretched from Asia Minor in the west to northwest areas of India in the east.

miércoles, 28 de octubre de 2015

October 28: Today is the anniversary of the complete presentation of Symphony No. 6 in B minor by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovky entitled and known as the "Symphony Pathétique" in 1893.

Tchaikovsky as a student at the conservatory. Photo, 1863.

The execution of the work made its "Premier" in St. Petersburg, Russia, just nine days before the composer died. Tchaikovsy himself led the orchestra during the presentation.

Portrait of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky by Nikolai Kuznetsov,1893. 

Tchaikovsky was born on May 7, 1840 in Votkinsk, Russia. He learned to play piano at age of five. His mother, from Polish-French origin, taught him piano lessons, but died of cholera when he was 14. He graduated as a lawyer in 1859 and spent three years in the Department of Justice of the Romanov Russian Empire.

Tchaikovsky studied music at the conservatory in St. Petersburg. He was professor of harmony at the Moscow Conservatory, where he met Hector Berlioz and Franz Litz who visited Russia in a concert season.


Pathetique, Sir Adrian Boult conductor of The London Philarmonic Orchestra.

At that time, Tchaikovsky wrote his first work of ballet: Swan Lake; the opera "Eugene Onegin"; four symphonies and the extraordinary Piano Concerto No.1.

martes, 27 de octubre de 2015

October 27: Today is the anniversary of the famous "Vision of the Cross" of Constantine I, Emperor of Rome between 306 and 337.

The Vision of the Cross, by Raphael, describes the premonition that the emperor Constantine had before the battle against Maxentius. According to this premonition, he would have been victorious if he had substituted the imperial eagles on the soldiers' standards with the cross, thus officially recognizing the Christian religion. The view of Rome (on the right in the background) with the reconstruction of its ancient monuments is worth noting.

One day before the Battle of Milvian Bridge, on October 27, 312, Constantine had a vision assuring him of victory in the name of the Christian God. Constantine controlled the Eastern Roman Empire. There was a "tetrarchy" of rulers: Constantine, Maxentius, Maximian and Galerius.

The Vision of the Cross by Raphael, 1520-24.

Maxentius revolted in Rome and Constantine went to confront him. On the night before the battle, Constantine had a dream and came across with the letters: In hoc signo vinces (In this rule). The next day Constantine made a banner with the cross and did put crosses on all the shields of his soldiers and happened to defeat Maxentius. So it is said that Constantine became a Christian. It was the first Christian emperor and his death was sanctified.

Constantine Sees a Vision of the Cross in the Sky Before the Battle at Milvian Bridge.

That story has not truthful sources, however. Even it has been said that a higher clergy friend of Constantine insisted him on not persecuting Christians because they were majority. If accepted, he would win their favor. Constantine found there an opportunity to govern with the support of the Christian people.

Constantine's Vision of the Christian Cross before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge Lámina giclée.

Later, Constantine met with Lycinus, who controlled the Balkans, in Milan. They agreed that the policy should continue to be benevolent with ragged Christians. When Constantine was dying, his bishop friend went to the balcony to report that Constantine had converted into Christianity while on his deathbed… and the news spread by generating new stratification to Christianity and Constantine was eventually sanctified.

Only Constantine and his soldiers saw the VISION IN THE SKY.

lunes, 26 de octubre de 2015

October 26: Today is the anniversary of the "High-Five" in Teano, Italy, between Giuseppe Garibaldi and King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy, in 1860, and during the second stage (there were four) the arduous process of the unification of Italy.

Victor Emmanuel II of Italy.

Garibaldi embarked an army known as the "Thousand Red Shirts", from the port of Genoa, and with the support of the king. It was well received by the Sicilians Palermo rebels immediately joined the "Thousand Red Shirts".

Garibaldi, Giuseppe (1807-1882) The foremost military figure and popular hero of the age of Italian unification.

Garibaldi proclaimed himself dictator of Sicily and went to Naples. King Francis II had to flee away, raking soles, and took refuge in the Papal States.

Garibaldi, who was the sword of Italian unification, went to seize Rome.

And, in 1860, when Garibaldi rode out to Teano to hail Victor Emanuel II as king of a united Italy, he wore Anita's striped scarf over his South American poncho.

Piedmontese authorities (Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia) managed to stop the advance of Garibaldi on the apartments of Pope Pius IX.

King Victor Emmanuel meets Garibaldi and receives the southern kingdom of the Two Siciles into the newly united Kingdom of Italy, 26 October 1860.

The October 26, 1860, Giuseppe Garibaldi offers its appreciation to Vittorio Emanuele II, the king of Italy, are in the municipality of Teano and shake hands to seal the second stage and the Italian unit.

domingo, 25 de octubre de 2015

October 25: Today is the traditional anniversary of the October Revolution, in Russia in 1917, with the capture of the Winter Palace in Petrograd, now St. Petersburg. The date refers to the Julian calendar which corresponds to November 7 in the Gregorian calendar.

Vladimir Ilych Ulyanov Lenin Russian revolution october bolshevik communism USSR.

The Russian Revolution was composed of two major events: 1. The February Revolution that overthrew Tsar Nicholas II of power in Petrograd, now St. Petersburg. It was a coup d’etat while visiting the Tsar Russian troops on a front, during World War I. The local uprising set up a provisional government.

On this day in history, in the late hours of the evening, Vladimir Lenin organized his allies in the Petrograd Soviet, and signaled by a blank shot fired by the battleship Aurora, began the revolt against the Provisional Government. Elements of the Red Guard seized the lightly guarded Winter Palace and by the early morning of the next day, Petrograd was firmly in Bolshevik control.

2. The October Revolution, also known as the Bolshevik Revolution that overthrew the Provisional Government and established the Soviet Union. This was a much more elaborate revolution where Red Bolsheviks planned a final blow, with six months notice. The democratic process was not viable and decided to declare the proletarian dictatorship.

October Revolution Begins in Russia When Bolsheviks Storm Winter Palace in St. Petersburg.

Recall that the Russian Empire was humbled by the Japanese in 1905 in a war where the Russian army was fully hit by the Japanese strategy. That created a revolt that led to the establishment of a democratic assembly that Russian called DUMA, which means "to think".

Bolshevik revolutionaries, October Revolution, 1917. Bridgeman Art Library.

Additionally, the Russian incursion into the World War was catastrophic. The Russians wanted to honor their solidarity with the Serbian people because Russia harbored the Slavs, but the Russian Empire could not compete with industrialized Germany. Therefore, the human losses of the Russian army had not been felt in such numbers before.

The October Revolution is also known as the Bolshevik Revolution. This revolution was the main reason why Russia turned into a communist.

sábado, 24 de octubre de 2015

October 24: The Peace of Westphalia ending the Thirty Years' War was signed in 1648. What began as a religious problem, in a small corner of Bohemia became a political issue that affected all European powers in the seventeenth century.

The Ratification of the Treaty of Münster, 15 May 1648, by Gerard ter Borch.

In short, the main causes of the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) were the religious conflicts between Catholics, Lutherans and Calvinists; authoritarianism of the house of Habsburg in the exercise of the Holy Roman Empire; Habsburg commercial hegemony in the Baltic; and the Franco-Spanish conflict.

Princes and bishops chose one German king to be crowned by the Pope as emperor of Christendom, since 962 when Pope John XII awarded the title Otto "The big". Thus was born, then, the First Reich (First German Empire). I should add that it was Fredrich, known as "Barbarossa" (1123-1190) who coined the term "Holy Roman Empire" when trying to submit multiple times to the Holy See: the disputes between the altar and the throne.

German Westphalia is a region that includes most of the Ruhr River basin, where agreements were reached to put an end to the Thirty Years' War. The two cities chosen to conduct peace negotiations were Münster, chosen by Catholics; and Osnabruck, by Protestants.

Westphalia agreements were carried out in two conferences:

• The Munster agreement, where Catholics States met. The Spanish monarchy came to an agreement with the United Provinces (Netherlands) to recognize the independence led by the Netherlands and which ended the political-territorial war between these Provinces and Spain. Additionally, a second agreement signed in Münster brought about peace between France and the Holy Roman Empire. That is, an agreement between Catholics States.

• The Osnabruck agreement, where Protestant Swedes negotiated with the Holy Roman Empire. In other words, it was an agreement between Catholics and Protestants.

The agreements signed in Münster and Osnabrück went down in history with the generic name of the Peace of Westphalia. However, some outstanding issues were resolved. Today is the anniversary of the signing in 1648.

viernes, 23 de octubre de 2015

October 23: Between October 14th and 27th of 1962, was the period during which our existence has been threatened by a nuclear war between the two antagonistic super powers: the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America.

Fidel Castro embracing Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev,1961.

The Soviets installed nuclear missiles in Cuba, just 90 miles from US shores, seeking anger.

In October 1962, the United States and the Soviet Union faced off at sea when it was discovered that the Soviets were constructing nuclear missile bases in Cuba. The tense standoff for 13 days was known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. 

However, the United States had set up a missile base in Turkey, aimed at Moscow. In addition, the CIA tried to overthrow Fidel Castro, but failed. The Soviet commander in Cuba was empowered to shoot missiles in case of invasion ... and ... the destiny of humanity was left in the decisions of two men: John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev.

Fear invaded humanity. On October 23, 1962, an American naval cordon around Cuba unfolded, leading to a real naval blockade.

Fidel Castro was the communist Cuban leader that was aligned with the Soviets. USA trained people to start a counter-revolution to get rid of communism but were annihilated. This was the closest that the world has ever come to Nuclear Warfare, it was also the first time that Mutually Assured Destruction had been discussed to determine an international arms agreement. 

The Soviets said they did not divert their naval fleets aimed at protecting Cuba. Most people thought it was the end of the world and the end of life.

Like in game theory ... the Russians chickened out fortunately ... otherwise it would have been an assured mutual and global atomic destruction!
Map of western hemisphere showing the full range of the nuclear missiles under construction in Cuba, used during the secret meetings on the Cuban crisis, in October 1962.

jueves, 22 de octubre de 2015

October 22: The French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, but rejected it in 1964.

Sartre studied at the Ecole Normale Superieure in France with her friend Simone de Beauvoir who occupied the first two places in the ranking as teachers for secondary schools.

Sartre began his chair of philosophy at the Lyceum of Havre in 1931. Then he traveled to Spain and later to Germany on a scholarship from the French Institute in Berlin in 1933. There he witnessed Nazi expansionism of Hitler. He is linked to the Lyceum Pasteur in Neuilly in 1937, as professor of philosophy. The following year he published "Nausea", with great success and in 1939 published "The Wall". That same year, he began writing "Being and Nothingness", but he is called to the army to fight the Germans.

In 1943 he managed to publish "Being and Nothingness", a philosophical work which idealizes the possibility that people can be free morally and ethically, without accepting laws imposed by society or by the State. However, in choosing the concepts of behavior, each person is responsible. Perhaps he was influenced by the writings of socialist Claude-Henri de Rouvroy, Comte de Saint-Simon, and the anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon.

In 1964, Jean-Paul Sartre was chosen as the tenth French citizen to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. But Sartre refused to accept any official recognition while he was alive.

He sent a letter to the Swedish Academy declining the recognition and stating that "the ties between man and culture should be developed directly, bypassing the institutions."