This Day In History

This Day In History

Friday, January 17, 2020

On This Day

Events

in 1917

The United States pays...
The United States pays Denmark $25 million for the Virgin Islands. The Virgin Islands of the United States (commonly called the United States Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands or USVI) are a group of islands in the Caribbean that are an insular area of the United States. The islands are geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago and are located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles.
Virgin Islands, United States

in 1949

«The Goldbergs», the first...
«The Goldbergs», the first sitcom on American television, first airs. «The Goldbergs» is a comedy-drama broadcast from 1929 to 1946 on American radio, and from 1949 to 1956 on American television. It was adapted into a 1948 play, «Me and Molly», and a 1973 Broadway musical, «Molly».
Goldbergs, sitcom, television

in 1991

Operation Desert Storm begins...
Operation Desert Storm begins early in the morning. Iraq fires 8 Scud missiles into Israel in an unsuccessful bid to provoke Israeli retaliation.
Operation Desert Storm, Iraq

Births

in 1706
Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. He invented the lightning rod, bifocals, the Franklin stove, a carriage odometer, and the glass 'armonica'. He formed both the first public lending library in America and the first fire department in Pennsylvania.
in 1899
Al Capone

Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone was an American gangster who led a Prohibition-era crime syndicate. The Chicago Outfit, which subsequently became known as the "Capones", was dedicated to smuggling and bootlegging liquor, and other illegal activities such as prostitution, in Chicago from the early 1920s to 1931.
in 1942
Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay) is an American former professional boxer, philanthropist and social activist. Considered a cultural icon, Ali was both idolized and vilified.
in 1962
Jim Carrey

James Eugene "Jim" Carrey is a Canadian actor and comedian.

Deaths

in 1863
Horace Vernet

Émile Jean-Horace Vernet was a French painter of battles, portraits, and Orientalist Arab subjects.
in 1869
Alexander Dargomyzhsky

Alexander Sergeyevich Dargomyzhsky was a 19th century Russian composer. He bridged the gap in Russian opera composition between Mikhail Glinka and the later generation of The Five and Tchaikovsky.
in 1874
Chang and Eng Bunker

Chang and Eng Bunker were the conjoined twin brothers whose condition and birthplace became the basis for the term "Siamese twins".
in 1961
Patrice Lumumba

Patrice Émery Lumumba was a Congolese independence leader and the first legally elected Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo after he helped win its independence from Belgium in June 1960. Only twelve weeks later, Lumumba's government was deposed in a coup during the Congo Crisis. He was subsequently imprisoned and executed by firing squad, an act that was committed with the assistance of the governments of Belgium and the United States, for which the Belgian government officially apologized in 2002.

Why to study History?

Why to study History? It is a very popular question. Really, why should we learn by heart plenty of dates, names of historical personalities and so on? Especially nowadays when we are surrounded by modern technologies, when science makes much progress day after day and the whole those stories from our past seem to be just unpleasant fairy tales.

One of the Russian historians once said: “History doesn’t teach. It punishes for unlearned lessons”. It isn’t a secret that all the being of human society from ancient times to our days looks like a snake biting its own tale. History is cyclical and every event, every person and every mistake took place one day in the past. The thing is that we should use this knowledge as а diligent student uses his draft. There is no sense in doing the same mistakes our ancestors did. For instance, everyone in the world knows what is hidden beyond Victory Day. Blood, tears and millions of deaths. On this day we must remember not only the fallen in battles of the Second World War soldiers, but the reasons and results of that war. Not a very single person feels happier on this day if he isn’t insane. Because everyone understands that wars don’t bring anything besides grief and death. This is a simple idea that should be driven into the heads of persons who dared to give a Nobel Peace Prize to a man bombing other countries “for the love of global happiness”. And if you didn’t sleep at your History lessons you can easy name a dozen of characters of this kind.

Scientists say that we shouldn’t think of History as of something global only. It seems ridiculous but the History of the world is similar to a life of a man. And it helps us to understand ourselves better. The main lesson of History is to remember that we can’t change our past but we can change our future. This day in history, in history of a man, is for sure a repetition of that day in history of his father or grandfather. Characters of science fiction used to wish a book with the description of the events in future. However, we have such a book. It is a book of History. If you look it through from a different point of view you will understand what a treasure you have got. There is no fate and no magic balls. But a book of History for a sensible person can substitute a camp of soothsayers. Just a little bit of logic and tactic to turn an obscurity into a well-planned future.

Studying History is necessary for everybody. It helps politicians to avoid repeating global misdoings, it teaches businessmen to build their companies hanging upon the experience of their forerunners, it inspires people of art who know better than others how fleeting this day in history is. Even scientists being the most advanced people whose lives depend on their view not upon only this day but upon the whole future can’t work without realizing the most primitive and basic knowledge of yore. Because if you don’t know primitives it’s easy to come down to it.

Studying History isn’t just a mechanic learning by rote what has happened on this day in history or that one. It is rethinking of the whole volume of people’s activity. Without this we would stay mammoth hunters who don’t perceive why their lives goes worse and worse.

They say that those who will throw a stone at the past will be shot with a gun by the future. We live in a technical world, we are surrounded by ultramodern devices and history of ancient days seems to be a too far and insignificant thing to worry about. But when “that day in history” turns suddenly into “this day in history” people understand that it was a mistake to escape from our bygone heritage and leave mistakes behind.

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