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Author Topic: A GRAB BAG FOR 14 JULY  (Read 20 times)
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« on: July 14, 2017, 12:14:39 am »

1099: The First Crusade: Jerusalem falls to the Crusaders.

After some 400 years of Muslim aggression that has seen a Christian presence overwhelmed in Asia Minor, the Mediterranean littoral, Iberia, the Middle East, the Holy Land and other Christian lands, Europe finally responds after a plea for help from the Byzantine Emperor, and a call to arms by Pope Urban the II.

Jerusalem had passed from the control of the Muslim Egyptians to the more fanatical Seljuk Turks, with the oppression of Christian citizens increasing accordingly. That, coupled with  Turkish military pressure on Byzantium, led the Pope to call a Crusade.

The first Crusade was actually two Crusades. the first off the mark was composed of children, and then peasants. More a mob than anything else, it made its way to Islamic territory where the 'crusaders' were slaughtered by the Turks. the second expedition was a horse of another color. Lured by promises of remission of all sins, a chance for glory, wealth, and lands in the East, many second sons, knights and even Lords organized themselves into an army and headed for the Holy Land by an overland route. Led by Godfrey of Buillon, Raymond of Tolouse and Bohemond, some 4,000 heavy cavalry, and 25,000 infantry descended on the Islamic outlands in 1098.. After taking Nicea, winning the battle of Doryleum, and taking Antioch by siege, the remnants of the Crusaders [some 1,200 horse and 12,000 infantry] descended on Jerusalem in 1099. On July 14th, they took it by storm, and following the practice they had taken at Nicea and Antioch, they proceeded to massacre every Muslim and Jew they found in the city.

The Seljuks, caught on the back foot, made several ineffectual efforts to rout the Crusaders. All failed. And the Turks' defeats gave the Christians time to set up independent kingdoms across the Holy Land, with Bohemond crowned King of Jerusalem.


After misgovernment on a massive scale since the reign of his father, Louis XVI, aka, "Louis the Locksmith", brings France to the brink of revolution with even greater mismanagement. With a treasury emptied by the American Revolution and France's war with England,  his dismissal of the Estates General when they refused to raise taxes without reforms, the economic shambles France found itself in, and his own ineptitude, Louis prsided over a barrel of gunpowder awaiting a spark. that spark was the storming of the royal prison, the Bastille, by a mob of Frenchmen on July 14th, 1789, intent on freeing the prisoners, many of them political, bering held by the Royalists. The storming of the Bastille led to more rioting, a rising, and eventually the overthrow of the dynasty. Louis and his wife, caught trying to flee Paris, were subsequently guillotined. And the Republic that was proclaimed led to the Directorate of Robespierre and Danton, more bloodshed in the terror and eventually Emperor Napoleon I. Gotta loved the French...


1881 - Henry McCarty, a fine New York City boy [Hell's Kitchen], a/k/a Henry Antrim a/k/a William Bonney a/k/a "The Kid", who has come down to us as "Billy the Kid", is shot to death by Sheriff Pat Garrett at Pete Maxwell's ranch house.

The Kid, who had been pursued for some three months after his escape from the Lincoln County Jail which resulted in his murder of two deputies was shot by Garrett when he entered the house in his stocking feet, and carrying a butcher knife, but no guns. His last words were reputedly "Quien Es?" The answer was Garrett.

1882 - Jonny Ringo is found in a canyon near Tombstone with a bullet wound in his head. Ringo, a gunman of such speed and notoriety that Doc Holliday refused to fight him, had drifted to Arizona when things became too hot for him in Texas. His death was ruled suicide by the coroner, although there were several suspects in his demise, including "Buckskin" Frank Leslie. to add to the confusion, Wyatt Earp later claimed he killed Ringo.


Quentin Roosevelt, youngest son of former President Theodore Roosevelt, is killed when his fighter plane is shot down by the Germans. They give him a full military funeral when they find out who he is. Quentin was the last of TR's sons to reach the front, but the first [and only one in WW I] to die. His death deeply affected his father. His older brother Ted will finish the war as a Colonel. In WW II as a brigadier general he will be assistant division commander of the 1st Infantry Division in North Africa and Sicily, where, along with divisional commander Terry De La Mesa Allen, he will be relieved of command by Omar Bradley. As Assistant Divisional commander of the 4th Infantry Division, Ted Roosevelt will be the only U.S. general to land on a beach [Utah] on D-Day. Up for divisional command, Roosevelt has a heart attack and dies outside of Cherbourg. He was subsequently awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on D-Day, making he abnd father [San Juan Hill] one of only two sets of father-son CMOH awardees [the other is Arthur and Douglas MacArthur].

You can get more with a smile, a handshake and a gun than you can with a smile and a handshake - Al Capone
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