Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Today, Tomorrow and This Day in History

Tomorrow we will find out who was offered arbitration and who the Cubs let go for sure. This morning it looks like Moises Alou is hurt that he did get offered a contract. Well, Big Mo you didn't so move on. It is anybody's guess who the Cubs have in left field next year, but do not count out Cliff Floyd.

Today the Cubs are supposed to sign Nomar Garciaparra and Todd Walker one-year deals to stay with the Cubs. I like this because the Cubs get two quality bats and Nomar's glove is not as bad as people make it. As of noon, no deal has been made that I have found. That would only leave wholes for left field, bullpen and other backups.

Everybody knows what happened today on Dec. 7th 1941, or at least they should. I knew somebody one time that did not know the Declaration of Independence was a separate document from the U.S. Constitution, so I guess is it possible that people do not know that Japan Bombed Pearl Harbor. Well, recently I started subscribing to an interesting newsletter from the History Channel. It is called "This Day in History." It gives you looks at all kinds of different events each day and a little bit about them. Pearl Harbor was today's email, but you also get some other good stuff.

From the History Channel:

1787 The First State

In Dover, Delaware, the U.S. Constitution is unanimously ratified by all 30 delegates to the Delaware Constitutional Convention, making Delaware the first state of the modern United States.

Less than four months before, the Constitution was signed by 37 of the original 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention meeting in Philadelphia. The Constitution was sent to the states for ratification, and, by the terms of the document, the Constitution would become binding once nine of the former 13 colonies had ratified the document. Delaware led the process, and on June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the Constitution, making federal democracy the law of the land. Government under the U.S. Constitution took effect on March 4, 1789.

1975 Indonesia invades East Timor

Early in the morning, Indonesian forces launch a massive invasion of the former Portuguese half of the island of Timor, which lies near Australia in the Timor Sea.

The Portuguese departed East Timor in August 1975, and Indonesian troops soon began infiltrating the border from Indonesian West Timor. On November 28, the democratically elected government of East Timor, fearing an imminent Indonesian invasion, proclaimed the Democratic Republic of East Timor.

On the morning of December 7, Indonesia responded by initiating a naval bombardment of the city of Dili, followed by landings of paratroopers from the air and of marines on the beaches. On December 10, a second invasion force captured the second largest city, Baucau. Elsewhere, East Timorese resistance continued, but by 1978 the annexation of East Timor by Indonesia was essentially complete.

During the initial years of the Indonesian invasion and occupation, more than 100,000 East Timorese died as a direct result of the conflict. Most of the dead were civilians killed by the military or starved to death in internment camps or while hiding in the hills from the Indonesian military. Small groups of East Timorese guerrillas continued their resistance for decades. In 1996, Jose Ramos-Horta and Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to win independence for East Timor.

Indonesian dictator Suharto, who had ordered the 1975 invasion, was ousted from power in 1998, and East Timorese renewed their calls for independence. In 1999, the people of East Timor voted overwhelmingly for independence in a referendum, leading to bloody attacks by Indonesian militia forces. An Australian-led U.N. peacekeeping force was deployed to stop the violence, and in August 2001 East Timor held its first democratic elections to establish an autonomous government.

1983 First execution by lethal injection

The first execution by lethal injection takes place at the state penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Charles Brooks, Jr., convicted of murdering an auto mechanic, received an intravenous injection of sodium pentathol, the barbiturate that is known as a "truth serum" when administered in lesser doses.

Texas, the national leader in executions, adopted the lethal injection procedure as a more humane method of carrying out its death sentences, as opposed to the standard techniques of death by gas, electrocution, or hanging. During the next decade, 32 states, the federal government, and the U.S. military all took up the lethal injection method.

After several years of practical development, execution authorities adopted a lethal injection procedure in which three separate drugs are injected successively into the convict's bloodstream. The first drug, sodium thiopental, a barbiturate, renders the prisoner unconscious, the next, pancuronium bromide, a muscle relaxant, paralyses the diaphragm and lungs, and the third, potassium chloride, causes cardiac arrest and ensures the prisoner's death.

1988 Earthquake devastates Armenia

In the Soviet Union, an earthquake of a 6.9 magnitude on the Richter scale hits northwestern Armenia, affecting an area 50 miles in diameter. The initial earthquake was followed four minutes later by a powerful 5.8 magnitude aftershock. More than 20 towns and 342 villages were affected, and 58 of them were heavily damaged. Spitak, a major population center, was almost completely destroyed. The earthquake killed more than 25,000 people, injured at least 15,000, and left some 500,000 Armenians homeless. Direct economic losses were estimated at $14 billion. With the USSR nearing economic collapse, rebuilding was slow and ineffective.

I find it odd that Delaware became the first state on this day, but today Pearl Harbor is what everybody thinks about. If you like this sort of thing or watch the History Channel, then this newsletter is for you.