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Day 174 July 12, 2011
President Barack Obama hugs Bertha Petry, the grandmother of Sergeant First Class Leroy Arthur Petry, U.S. Army, in the Blue Room of the White House, July 12, 2011. The President later awarded SFC Petry, left, the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions during combat operations against an armed enemy in Paktya, Afghanistan, in May 2008.
10:00AM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
Day 174 July 12, 2011 - History
1465 – French King Louis XI signs peace agreement with Charles the Stout, who was also known as Charles the Bold and Charles the Reckless.
Those names alone are good enough reason to sign a peace agreement.
1877 – Chief Joseph surrenders. “I am tired of fighting,” he said. “Our chiefs are killed. Looking Glass is dead. Toohoolhoolzote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say, ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ He who led the young men [Olikut] is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are—perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.” www.biography.com/people/chief-joseph
Years earlier the Nez Perse tribe had signed a treaty with the U.S. government. Chief Joseph’s father had even converted to Christianity. The tribe was agreeably living on a reservation. Then gold was discovered on their reservation.
Gold! C’mon, we can’t let something as insignificant as a treaty stand in the way when money is on the line.
1940 – Emmert Lous Jenneke and Lois Louise Ernst united in holy matrimony.
As the story of my parent’s wedding was told to me. The day was warm and sunny, an absolutely beautiful October day. The reception was held outside on the Ernst farmstead. The farmhouse sat on a gentle hill that sloped down to a roadside ditch and overlooked the village of Lester Prairie less than a mile away. A small band played and there was a keg of beer at the center of the gathering. As day faded into evening two men, one from the groom’s side of the family, the other from the bride’s, converged at the beer keg. One would be an uncle, the other a great-uncle. And one was a Democrat and the other a Republican. Ah yes, politics and alcohol. It wasn’t much later in the evening when, with the band still playing, they were seen rolling down the hill, locked in angry conflict, fists flailing. Nor was that the end of the excitement. Another future uncle disappeared and a search party had to be sent out. He was found in the barn, passed out in a hay manger, happily cradling a small flask. My mother was over ninety when, with some amusement, she related these stories to me. I thought it best to withhold the names of those uncles.
1836 – George Washington Gordon. Namesake of the first president, Gordon did not follow in his footsteps. He joined the Confederacy at the start of the Civil War and rose to the rank of general. Wounded and captured at the Battle of Franklin, he was a POW until paroled in 1865. After the war he returned to Pulaski, Tennessee where he became a lawyer and served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. Pulaski is the town where the Ku Klux Klan was formed and Gordon was one of its first members. Years later his widow said he was the first Grand Wizard of the KKK.
From traitor to terrorist this man had at least two evil ideas.
1829 – Chester Arthur. He became the 21st President when Garfield was assassinated. Part of a political machine that exercised undue influence when he came to power, Arthur was widely distrusted. However he surprised everyone by creating a civil service system that protected government employees and eliminated hiring based on political favors. Two big issues during his term were tariffs and immigration. (Hmm) It was said of Arthur “That no man ever entered the Presidency so profoundly and widely distrusted as Chester Alan Arthur and no one ever retired more generally respected, alike by friend and foe.” Mark Twain said, “It would be hard indeed to better President Arthur’s administration.”
Other than him signing the Chinese Exclusion Act which denied Chinese-Americans citizenship and barred Chinese immigration.
1902 – Ray Kroc. Entrepreneur. After buying out the McDonald brothers, who professed to having no regrets at selling, Kroc was the driving force in building the hamburger chain into a multi-million dollar enterprise. In no small part he contributed to the obesity epidemic in America.
Kroc was also owner of the San Diego Padres baseball team. An interesting side note. At 15 he lied about his age and enlisted to become an ambulance driver in WWI. A fellow trainee was Walt Disney. He later contacted Disney when Disneyland was being constructed about having McDonalds there, but nothing came of it. At the time of his death in 1983 Kroc personal wealth was around 600 million dollars and there were 7,500 McDonalds restaurants in the U.S. and 31 other countries.
McDonalds tried to start a string of franchises in the country of Bolivia. They all failed. Apparently the Bolivians know real food. I was in La Paz and the sidewalks there are not filled with waddling obesity.
Welcome to the information age – 174 newspapers a day
If you think that you are suffering from information overload then you may be right – a new study shows everyone is bombarded by the equivalent of 174 newspapers of data a day.
The growth in the internet, 24-hour television and mobile phones means that we now receive five times as much information every day as we did in 1986.
But that pales into insignificance compared with the growth in the amount of information we churn out through email, twitter, social networking sites and text messages.
Every day the average person produces six newspapers worth of information compared with just two and a half pages 24 years ago – nearly a 200-fold increase.
All this information needs storing and we now each have the equivalent of 600,000 books stored in computers, microchips and even the strip on the back of your credit card.
The extent of the information revolution and digital age has been calculated by Dr Martin Hilbert and his team at the University of southern California.
They used a complex formula to calculate the average amount of information stored – and sent – in the world – from every medium from computers to paper and books – to letters in the post.
"These figures show that we are in the middle of the information age," Dr Hilbert said.
"When you think that 100 years ago people were lucky to read the equivalent of 50 books in a lifetime but now most children have watched a couple of hundred movies.
"But the brain is a very plastic and very good at understanding and processing information."
The researchers surveyed 60 categories of analogue and digital technologies during the period from 1986 to 2007, and the results reflect our near complete transition to the digital age.
Using the analogy of an 85 page newspaper, they found that in 1986 we received around 40 newspapers full of information every day but this had rocketed to 174 in 2007.
In 1986 we sent out – mainly by post, telephone and fax – around two and a half pages of newspaper each day.
This had increased to six newspapers thanks to email, digital photography, Twitter and social network sites by 2007.
The actual switchover from analogue to digital occurred in 2002 and now 94 per cent of all data is stored in a digital form.
Just 10 years ago – it was just a quarter, the vast majority still stored on video and audio cassettes.
The world’s capacity for two-way telecommunication, such as internet and phone networks, grew by 28 per cent per year while one way information flows through television and radio grew at the much more modest rate of six per cent per year.
The researchers, who reported their findings in the journal Science, found that there was now 295 exabytes of data floating around the world – that's 29,500,000,000,000,000,000,000 pieces of information.
While this is enormous – 315 times the number of grains of sand on Earth – Dr Hilbert points out it is still less than one per cent of the information that is stored in the DNA of a single human being.
The ability to process all this information with computers has doubled every 18 months and with telecommunication devices has doubled every two years.
But despite it showing enormous growth, Dr Hilbert said we are far from saturation point and nowhere near dealing with the amount of information contended with in the natural world.
Dr Martin Hilbert, of the University of California, said: "These numbers are impressive, but still minuscule compared to the order of magnitude at which nature handles information.
"Compared to nature, we are but humble apprentices. If we tried to store the name of every star in the Universe we could only file one per cent."
The early history of the Minot Fire Department is quite vague due to lack of records. Some of the early dates may not be exact, but they are all very close. Much of the early information comes from the very good memories of past chiefs Gil Malek and Claude Metz.
The City of Minot’s first fire company was organized Sept. 13, 1895. It is unknown where the fire wagon was housed at the beginning. It was a volunteer company with firefighters paid by the call. The team of horses that pulled the wagon was also paid. Competition was very serious. If you got your horses there first to pull the wagon, then you got the pay!
In 1905, City Hall was built in the 100 block of First Avenue Southwest. The Fire Department responded from this location for more than 50 years.
The first records start to show up in 1908. By then the Fire Department had its own fire horses and two paid people. The two paid people included the Fire Chief and the Driver. The Chief was paid $30 per month and the driver was paid $75 per month. The Chief worked normal hours, but the driver lived with and cared for these horses 24 hours a day. The fuel bill was about $20 per month: $5 for hay, plus $15 for feed.
The year 1913 was an important one to the Minot Fire Department. A call went out for bids for a motor driven fire apparatus on May 26, 1913. On July 14, 1913, the City Council moved that Minot order, “1 motor propelled, 6 cylinder, water cooled, combination hose and chemical wagon with Goodyear hard rubber tires from the Seagraves Company.” This truck was delivered to Minot on Nov. 15, 1913, at a cost of $5,640.12, plus $212.88 for freight to the Soo Line Railroad. Then on Thanksgiving Day in 1913, the horses were retired from the fire department.
In 1927, the number of paid personnel went from 4 to 5 with the addition of another firefighter. In 1931, the Minot Fire Department became a fully paid department.
In 1942, horses were used again for a short while. The snow was too deep for the trucks to maneuver, so horses were rented and a sleigh was outfitted as a fire wagon.
On Jan. 28, 1957, the Fire Department moved into new quarters, leaving the First Avenue location that had housed the department for 52 years and moving into the new station on the corner of 6th Street and 2nd Avenue. In 2001, the headquarters station was moved to 2111 10th Street Southwest to improve response times to rapidly growing south Minot.
In 1958, the firefighter’s hours were cut from 72 hours per week to 63 hours per week.
On Jan. 11, 1965, the department opened its first substation, named Station 2. This station is located at 3rd Street and 2nd Avenue Southeast.
On Nov. 1, 1980, the department opened its second substation named Station 3, at the Minot International Airport.
Following the terrorist events of Sept. 11, 2001, the country began preparations to respond to these types of incidents. In 2002, the department began receiving funding for equipment to do regional response for northwest North Dakota for hazardous materials incidents. This grew to include collapse rescue in 2004. The department continues to provide regional response to northwest North Dakota today.
On March 6, 2016, the department opened its third substation named Station 4 at 1505 55th Street Southeast and added 12 personnel. The department currently has 60 firefighters working a 56-hour work week and 8 personnel working day hours to staff administration, inspection, and training offices.
In January 2016, the department hired Kelli Kronschnabel, its first female fire chief. Past chiefs of the department include:
No. 175 Squadron (RAF): Second World War
No.175 Squadron was a ground attack squadron that took part in the D-Day landings and the advance across north-western Europe. It was formed at Warmwell on 3 March 1942 around a core of Hurricane IIBs from No.402 Squadron. Its first operation, an attack on Maupertus airfield, came on 16 April 1942, and the squadron flew a mix of attacks of enemy shipping and defensive duties, both local defence and convoy protection.
In July it was ordered to prepare for a move overseas, but this was cancelled, and the squadron remained in the UK, from where it took part in the attack on Dieppe in August 1942. The Typhoon arrived in April 1943, and on 12 June the squadron joined the Second Tactical Air Force. Rockets arrived in February 1944 and the squadron began to train for an army support role.
The squadron was used to attack German communications in the period before D-Day. On the day before D-Day the squadron (along with Nos.174 and 254) made an attack on the Jobourg radar station near Cap de la Hague that was one of three attacks in this period singled out for mention by Leigh Mallory. The squadron moved to Normandy two weeks after D-Day, and supported the 21st Army Group, attacking German bases and armour. The squadron reached the Netherlands in September, and moved to Germany in mid-March 1945, attacking German communications and armour and strong points on the battlefield. The squadron was part of the occupation forces until disbanded on 30 September 1945.
March 1942-April 1943: Hawker Hurricane IIB
April 1943-September 1945: Hawker Typhoon IB
March-October 1942: Warmwell
October-December 1942: Harrowbeer
December 1942-January 1943: Gatwick
January-March 1943: Odiham
March 1943: Stoney Cross
March 1943: Lasham
March 1943: Odiham
March-April 1943: Stoney Cross
April-May 1943: Colerne
May-June 1943: Lasham
June-July 1943: Appledram
July-October 1943: Lydd
October 1943-February 1944: Westhampnett
February-March 1944: Eastchurch
March-April 1944: Westhampnett
April-June 1944: Holmsely South
June 1944: B.3 St. Croix
June-September 1944: B.5 Fresney Camille
September 1944: B.42 Beauvais-Tille
September 1944: B.50 Vitry-en-Artois
September 1944: B.70 Deurne
September-November 1944: B.80 Volkel
November-December 1944: Warmwell
December 1944-March 1945: B.80 Volkel
March-April 1945: B.100 Goch
April 1945: B.110 Achmer
April-May 1945: B.150 Hustedt
May-June 1945: Warmwell
June 1945: Manston
June-August 1945: B.164 Schleswig
August-September 1945: B.160 Kastrup
September 1945: B.164 Schleswig
Squadron Codes: HH
June 1943: 2nd TAF
6 June 1944: No.121 Wing No.83 Group Second Tactical Air Force Allied Expeditionary Air Force
March 1942 onwards: Ground attack squadron
The Eruption of Mount Edgecumbe–April Fool’s Day 1974
When you successfully pull off one of the most epic pranks in the history of the United States, the only thing left to do is design commemorative wear like this “Porky’s” jacket in the Sitka History Museum’s permanent collection.
The morning of April 1, 1974 was clear and beautiful. Mt. Edgecumbe, a dormant volcano located 13 miles west of Sitka, Alaska on Kruzof Island, was clearly visible across Sitka Sound. Upon seeing the mountain when he woke up, life-long prankster Oliver “Porky” Bickar reportedly turned to his wife, Patty, and said, “This is it. We’ve gotta do it today.” Kissing him on the forehead, Patty replied, “Don’t make an ass of yourself.”
Porky had waited three years for this, collecting old tires in his shop ever since he hatched the idea back in 1971. April Fool’s Day, 1974 had finally provided the right visibility conditions. He planned to fly his collection of tires into the crater of the volcano and set them on fire, all in an attempt to fool Sitka’s residents into thinking that the familiar volcano was about to erupt.
Porky rushed to his shop and, after calling multiple helicopter charters, was able to enlist the services of Earl Walker from Petersburg. Although Earl was fog-bound in Petersburg, he was excited by Porky’s idea and said he would be on his way to Sitka as soon as the weather cleared. While waiting, Porky made two rope slings about 150 feet long, each holding 50 old car tires. He also gathered oily rags, a gallon of Sterno, a whole lot of diesel oil, and a dozen smoke bombs– anything and everything that would emit thick, black smoke.
Sitka History Museum, photograph by Harold Wahlman, PH041
Upon Earl’s arrival, and with the help of their accomplices, Larry Nelson and Ken Stedman, Porky and Earl loaded the helicopter and off they flew toward Mt. Edgecumbe. They dropped the tires and incendiaries into the volcano’s crater. They spray-painted “APRIL FOOL’S” in 50-foot letters onto the snow and set their creation ablaze.
When asking the FAA tower for permission to land back in Sitka, Homer Sutter, the air-traffic controller, said, “I’ll bring you in as low and inconspicuously as possible…and, by the way, the son of a gun looks fantastic!” Porky had notified the FAA and the Sitka Police Department, but had somehow forgotten the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard quickly scrambled to its boats and helicopter to investigate, but the chopper pilot soon found himself looking down at a pile of smoldering tires and a big April Fool’s sign in the snow.
Phones rang off the hook at radio stations and the Police Department as concerned citizens called in. Porky has accomplished his mission. He had fooled Sitka into thinking their supposedly-extinct volcano was preparing to erupt.
The prank went on to make AP news worldwide. News of Porky’s antics in Sitka even reached Jimmy Johnson, Vice President of Alaska Airlines, who called the Sitka station to instruct their departing plane to fly over the mountain, giving their passengers a front-row seat to the spectacle. Over forty years later, the Eruption of Mount Edgecumbe continues to make the list of the Top 100 April Fool’s Day Hoaxes of All Time. Local legend even has it that, when Mount St. Helens erupted six years later, a Sitka resident wrote to Porky and said, “This time you’ve gone too far!”
11 – Everything is Closed in France on Bastille Day
Bastille day is a national holiday in France so of course, postal offices, museums, banks and most shops are closed.
Restaurants and coffees outside of the most touristic areas may be closed as well. However, bakeries and some Parisian shops, as well as shops in airports and train stations or alongside the major roads may be open.
Schedules of public transportation may also vary.
In major cities (Paris in particular), major roads will be closed for parades and other events. Depending on the size of the city, this can be a major inconvenience during several days: I invite you to read Olivier’s article “think twice about visiting Paris around Bastille Day“!
On the death of Clovis, King of the Franks, in the year 511 his kingdom was divided between his four sons, of whom the second was Clodomir. Thirteen years later he was killed fighting against his cousin, Gondomar, leaving three sons to share his dominions. The youngest of these sons of Clodomir was St. Clodoald, a name more familiar to English people under its French form of Cloud from the town of Saint-Cloud near Versailles. When Cloud was eight years old, his uncle Childebert plotted with his brother, to get rid of the boys and divide their kingdom. The eldest boy, Theodoald was stabbed to death. The second, Gunther fled in terror, but was caught and also killed. Cloud escaped and was taken for safety into Provence or elsewhere.
Childebert and his brother Clotaire shared the fruits of their crime, and Cloud made no attempt to recover his kingdom when he came of age. He put himself under the discipline of St. Severinus, a recluse who lived near Paris, and he afterwards went to Nogent on the Seine and had his heritage where is now Saint-Cloud. St. Cloud was indefatigable in instructing the people of the neighboring country, and ended his days at Nogent about the year 560 when he was some thirty-six years old. St. Cloud's feast day is September 7th.
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1845: Francis S. Martin sells all his stock in trade to the new firm Little, Cursetjee & Co, run by John Martin Little and Parsi businessman Cursetjee Frommurze.
John Little & Co in Raffles Place in the early 1890s. PHOTO: NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF SINGAPORE
1853: Cursetjee Frommurze leaves the partnership and sets up shop on his own as Cursetjee & Co.
Cursetjee's new business hires an ambitious English businessman from Australia, by the name of Philip Robinson - who will strike out on his own to form Robinsons predecessor Spicer & Robinson in 1858.
John Martin Little's brother Matthew comes on board the Little enterprise and the business becomes John Little & Co.
1894: In January, John Little & Co, Limited is registered in London with a capital of £75,000 (S$3 million in today's dollars), to acquire the Singapore business as a going concern "and to carry on business as exporters, importers, and general storekeepers".
John Martin Little dies in April, at the age of 70, in London.
A sign outside the John Little building showing the emporium's name. PHOTO: ST FILE
1897: The Mid-day Herald's "Impressions of a New-comer" column lauded the millinery department at John Little for being "under the supervision of thoroughly experienced modiales (fashionistas)", adding that "they are quite competent to satisfy even the most fastidious of their sex as regards fashion, the material to be used, and all the rest of it".
The author of the column was impressed, writing: "Emporiums they are, verily and indeed. and, though they are few in numbers, they entirely suffice to meet the demands here, by reason of the vast and varied stocks they keep."
A model displaying a half-slip during a fashion show at John Little in 1955. PHOTO: ST FILE
1900: John Little is converted into a limited company.
1909: The April opening of the annual sale at John Little makes the news for causing a "tremendous" traffic jam. The Straits Times reported that every spot of space outside the store was "taken up by carriages and rickshas (sic) awaiting their fares, who were making purchases inside".
1914: John Little opens a branch in Kuala Lumpur in April, after having had an office in the city for eight years.
The Straits Times reported then, that the new store was "three storeys high and boasts an electric lift in addition to a beautifully modelled staircase, of easy gradient".
It featured menswear and womenswear sections, a grocery and wine department, and a furniture department. There was also a "luxurious refreshment room" for customers.
1926: John Little opens a branch in Penang.
1929: John Little opens a branch in Ipoh.
1939: John Little becomes the first European store to feature Chinese as models alongside Europeans. It was common practice at that time for retailers to show off the latest fashions by having live models in "mannequin parades".
1942: The Japanese Occupation of Singapore begins. John Little's Singapore premises are converted into a Japanese-only department store, Daimaru.
Its Malaysian operations do not survive the war.
Model Mercy Undersan wearing a swimsuit during a fashion show for John Litte, in 1953. PHOTO: ST FILE
1946: John Little's Singapore premises are among the commercial buildings commandeered by the British military authorities after the ouster of the occupying Japanese forces at the end of World War II.
The Straits Times urges the normalisation of civilian retail operations in post-war Singapore, so as to quell the growth of the black market.
The newspaper wrote in March then: "It is of the utmost importance that the premises of large European retail stores should be made available to their owners the moment those owners are in a position to resume business."
The authorities seem to agree. By August, John Little is back in business.
A Santa Claus makes an appearance at John Little on Nov 19, 1955. PHOTO: ST FILE
1955: John Little is acquired in February by Jardine Matheson, the Hong Kong firm founded by two Scotsmen in 1832 to trade in smuggled opium.
John Little is bought over by home-grown Robinsons in July.
1959: Workers are unionised under the Singapore Textiles and General Merchants' Employees' Union.
1960: John Little moves its retail operations out of its building in Raffles Place, which had expanded to four storeys since the day of John Martin Little.
The John Little building is leased out as office space to other companies.
The department store goes on to set up shop across the island.
The John Little building is seen in Raffles Place in 1960. PHOTO: ST FILE
1972: Specialists' Shopping Centre opens in Orchard Road. Robinsons opens an outlet by December.
John Little will go on to be the anchor tenant in four of the building's seven storeys.
1973: The Raffles Place premises are sold to the Singapore Land and Investment Company for S$27,965,000 (S$130.5 million today).
1977: John Little closes shop in Liat Towers.
Shoppers crowding around inside John Little at Specialists' Centre during the Great Singapore Sale on May 24, 2002. PHOTO: ST FILE
1979: John Little opens shop in Plaza Singapura in August, its fourth and biggest outlet at the time.
In December, it closes down its Straits Trading Building branch "as the space requirements are too limited".
1985: The Plaza Singapura outlet is closed, as are John Little stores in Robina House and Clifford Centre.
1987: John Little is rebranded "JL" in an attempt to win over younger customers.
2003: John Little returns to Plaza Singapura. It has seven other branches across the island - in Specialists' Shopping Centre, Northpoint, White Sands, Causeway Point, Jurong Point, Compass Point and Parkway Parade.
2005: John Little closes shop in Parkway Parade.
2006: John Little closes shop in Compass Point and White Sands Shopping Centre.
John Little at the Orchard OG building in 2010. PHOTO: ST FILE
2007: John Little shutters its flagship Specialists' Shopping Centre premises.
It relocates to the seven-storey Orchard OG Building, where it is the sole tenant, and opens a new flagship outlet in Marina Square.
2008: Dubai's Al-Futtaim Group takes over Robinsons.
John Little closes shop in Northpoint.
2010: John Little leaves the Orchard OG Building and also closes its Causeway Point outlet.
2015: John Little closes shop in Marina Square and Tiong Bahru Plaza.
2016: John Little closes shop in Jurong Point and prepares to wind down at Plaza Singapura.
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