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This Week In History

* July 30th – 1609 – Samuel de Champlain joins skirmish against Iroquois – kills two chiefs with his arquebus. * July 31st – 1965 J.K. Rowling born * August 2nd – 1990 Iraq invades Kuwait * August 4th – 1944 Anne Frank captured * August 5th – 1957 American Bandstand goes national

July 30th to August 5th

* July 30th – 1609 – Samuel de Champlain joins skirmish against Iroquois – kills two chiefs with his arquebus.

Portrait: Samuel de Champlain

The founder of Quebec City and one of the most charismatic figures in Canadian history, Samuel de Champlain opened up the St Lawrence river and extended French influence throughout the Great Lakes basin.

Samuel de Champlain was born in 1580 and by the time he passed way in 1635, he was known as the father of New France. He was a protestant which was unusual for a Frenchman of that age and grew up on the west coast of France in the seaport of Brouage. He became a sailor and learned the skills of navigation and cartography.

In 1608 Champlain sailed from Honfleur France in command of the Don-de-Dieu along with two other ships. The ships arrived at Tadoussac on the St Lawrence in June of 1608 and continued by small boat on to the site of Stadacona which was the Iroquois village that Jacques Cartier had made contact with. The village was abandoned, possibly due to inter-aboriginal warfare between the Iroquois and the Algonquin’s or the devastating effects of European diseases such as smallpox for which the Indians had no natural immunity.

On July 3rd, 1608 Champlain landed with his settlers and established a new settlement named Quebec City. They began work immediately and built several multistory buildings. During the first year, once the deep snows of Quebec had fallen, the dreaded disease of scurvy and smallpox also set in. 20 of the twenty-eight settlers who stayed for the winter died.

In 1609 Champlain made contact and formed friendly relations with the Huron, the Algonquin, the Montagnais and the Etchemin. The mighty Iroquois were their enemy and they appealed to Champlain to help them with their fight against them. Champlain and 9 of his soldiers set out with 300 Algonquin’s to explore the Iroquois lands to the south and travelled south along the Richelieu River to Lake Champlain.

Drawing: Champlain and two soldiers disperse an Iroquois war party.
Champlain and two soldiers disperse an Iroquois war party. (

Champlain and his party had not run into any Iroquois so 7 of the 9 soldiers and most of the Algonquin were allowed to return to Quebec City. Subsequently, they ran into an Iroquois war party of over 200 warriors. On July 30th the 200 Iroquois attacked Champlain, his 2 soldiers and his 30 Algonquin warriors near present-day Crown Point, NY. Champlain fired his arquebus at them and killed 2 of the Iroquois leaders with one shot. This was the first encounter that the Iroquois had experienced with gunpowder and they immediately scattered and fled. The battle lines between the French with the Algonquin’s and the English with the Iroquois was now set for the next 150 years.

* July 31st – 1965 J.K. Rowling born


Portrait: J.K. Rowling

On this day in 1965, Joanne Rowling, better known the world over as J.K. Rowling, the author and creator of the celebrated Harry Potter book series, is born near Bristol, England. Beginning in the late 1990s, Rowling’s seven Harry Potter novels became international blockbusters, selling over 400 million copies and being translated into more than 60 languages. The books also spawned a series of movies, video games and other merchandise that made Rowling one of the wealthiest people in the entertainment industry.

Rowling attended England’s University of Exeter, where she studied French, and later worked for human-rights organization Amnesty International in London and as a language instructor in Portugal. The idea for Harry Potter came to Rowling when she was riding a train from Manchester, England, to London in 1990. She began writing the first book that night. Rowling finished the book while living in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she struggled financially as a single mother and battled depression. Her completed manuscript was turned down by a number of publishers before she got a book deal with Bloomsbury Publishing in August 1996.

The first Harry Potter book debuted in Great Britain in 1997 under the title Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The book was released in the United States the following year and renamed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Children and adults alike were captivated by the story of the bespectacled boy wizard Harry, his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, their adventures at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and Harry’s struggles against his enemy, the evil Lord Voldemort.

On November 16, 2001, the first Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, opened in America and was a huge box-office success. It was directed by Chris Columbus (Home Alone, Mrs. Doubtfire) and starred British child actor Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, Rupert Grint as Ron and Emma Watson in the role of Hermione. A roster of celebrated actors took supporting roles in the film and its various sequels, including Ralph Fiennes, Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Richard Harris and Gary Oldman.

Left to Right: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, J.K. Rowling, Emma Watson (The Nation)
Left to Right: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, J.K. Rowling, Emma Watson (The Nation)

The seventh and final (according to Rowling’s predetermined plan) Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, debuted in U.S. bookstores on July 21, 2007. Like all the previous Harry Potter books, it is slated to become a movie, to be released in 2010. To date, the Harry Potter films are the most financially successful series in history, having surpassed both the Star Wars and James Bond franchises.

* August 2nd – 1990 Iraq invades Kuwait

On August 2, 1990, Saddam ordered the invasion of Kuwait. The aim was to acquire Kuwait's large oil reserves, cancelling a debt Iraq owed Kuwait
On August 2, 1990, Saddam ordered the invasion of Kuwait. The aim was to acquire Kuwait’s large oil reserves, cancelling a debt Iraq owed Kuwait. (NewIndianExpress)

At about 2 a.m. local time, Iraqi forces invade Kuwait, Iraq’s tiny, oil-rich neighbor. Kuwait’s defense forces were rapidly overwhelmed, and those that were not destroyed retreated to Saudi Arabia. The emir of Kuwait, his family, and other government leaders fled to Saudi Arabia, and within hours Kuwait City had been captured and the Iraqis had established a provincial government. By annexing Kuwait, Iraq gained control of 20 percent of the world’s oil reserves and, for the first time, a substantial coastline on the Persian Gulf. The same day, the United Nations Security Council unanimously denounced the invasion and demanded Iraq’s immediate withdrawal from Kuwait. On August 6, the Security Council imposed a worldwide ban on trade with Iraq.

On August 9, Operation Desert Shield, the American defense of Saudi Arabia, began as U.S. forces raced to the Persian Gulf. Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, meanwhile, built up his occupying army in Kuwait to about 300,000 troops. On November 29, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq if it failed to withdraw by January 15, 1991. Hussein refused to withdraw his forces from Kuwait, which he had established as a province of Iraq, and some 700,000 allied troops, primarily American, gathered in the Middle East to enforce the deadline.

At 4:30 p.m. EST on January 16, 1991, Operation Desert Storm, the massive U.S.-led offensive against Iraq, began as the first fighter aircraft were launched from Saudi Arabia and off U.S. and British aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf. All evening, aircraft from the U.S.-led military coalition pounded targets in and around Baghdad as the world watched the events transpire on television footage transmitted live via satellite from Iraq. Operation Desert Storm was conducted by an international coalition under the supreme command of U.S. General Norman Schwarzkopf and featured forces from 32 nations, including Britain, Egypt, France, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait.

During the next six weeks, the allied force engaged in an intensive air war against Iraq’s military and civil infrastructure and encountered little effective resistance from the Iraqi air force or air defenses. Iraqi ground forces were helpless during this stage of the war, and Hussein’s only significant retaliatory measure was the launching of SCUD missile attacks against Israel and Saudi Arabia. Saddam hoped that the missile attacks would provoke Israel to enter the conflict, thus dissolving Arab support of the war. At the request of the United States, however, Israel remained out of the war.

On February 24, a massive coalition ground offensive began, and Iraq’s outdated and poorly supplied armed forces were rapidly overwhelmed. By the end of the day, the Iraqi army had effectively folded, 10,000 of its troops were held as prisoners, and a U.S. air base had been established deep inside Iraq. After less than four days, Kuwait was liberated, and the majority of Iraq’s armed forces had either surrendered, retreated to Iraq, or been destroyed.

On February 28, U.S. President George Bush declared a cease-fire, and on April 3 the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 687, specifying conditions for a formal end to the conflict. According to the resolution, Bush’s cease-fire would become official, some sanctions would be lifted, but the ban on Iraqi oil sales would continue until Iraq destroyed its weapons of mass destruction under U.N. supervision. On April 6, Iraq accepted the resolution, and on April 11 the Security Council declared it in effect. During the next decade, Saddam Hussein frequently violated the terms of the peace agreement, prompting further allied air strikes and continuing U.N. sanctions.

The aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War in Kuwait : oil wells in fire in the Al Wafra area.
The aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War in Kuwait: oil wells in fire in the Al Wafra area.

In the Persian Gulf War, 148 American soldiers were killed and 457 wounded. The other allied nations suffered about 100 deaths combined during Operation Desert Storm. There are no official figures for the number of Iraqi casualties, but it is believed that at least 25,000 soldiers were killed and more than 75,000 were wounded, making it one of the most one-sided military conflicts in history. It is estimated that 100,000 Iraqi civilians died from wounds or from lack of adequate water, food, and medical supplies directly attributable to the Persian Gulf War. In the ensuing years, more than one million Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the subsequent U.N. sanctions.

* August 4th – 1944 Anne Frank captured

Anne Frank became a tragic symbol for all Holocaust victims because of the diary she wrote
Anne Frank became a tragic symbol for all Holocaust victims because of the diary she wrote. (The Independent)

Acting on a tip from a Dutch informer, the Nazi Gestapo captures 15-year-old Jewish diarist Anne Frank and her family in a sealed-off area of an Amsterdam warehouse. The Franks had taken shelter there in 1942 out of fear of deportation to a Nazi concentration camp. They occupied the small space with another Jewish family and a single Jewish man and were aided by Christian friends, who brought them food and supplies. Anne spent much of her time in the “secret annex” working on her diary. The diary survived the war, overlooked by the Gestapo that discovered the hiding place, but Anne and nearly all of the others perished in the Nazi death camps.

Annelies Marie Frank was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, on June 12, 1929. She was the second daughter of Otto Frank and Edith Frank-Hollander, both of Jewish families that had lived in Germany for centuries. With the rise of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in 1933, Otto moved his family to Amsterdam to escape the escalating Nazi persecution of Jews. In Holland, he ran a successful spice and jam business. Anne attended a Montessori school with other middle-class Dutch children, but with the German invasion of the Netherlands in 1940, she was forced to transfer to a Jewish school. In 1942, Otto began arranging a hiding place in an annex of his warehouse on the Prinsengracht Canal in Amsterdam.

On her 13th birthday in 1942, Anne began a diary relating her everyday experiences, her relationship with her family and friends, and observations about the increasingly dangerous world around her. Less than a month later, Anne’s older sister, Margot, received a call-up notice to report to a Nazi “work camp.” Fearing deportation to a Nazi concentration camp, the Frank family took shelter in the secret annex the next day. One week later, they were joined by Otto Frank’s business partner and his family. In November, a Jewish dentist—the eighth occupant of the hiding place—joined the group.

For two years, Anne kept a diary about her life in hiding that is marked with poignancy, humor, and insight. The entrance to the secret annex was hidden by a hinged bookcase, and former employees of Otto and other Dutch friends delivered them food and supplies procured at high risk. Anne and the others lived in rooms with blacked-out windows, and never flushed the toilet during the day out of fear that their presence would be detected. In June 1944, Anne’s spirits were raised by the Allied landing at Normandy, and she was hopeful that the long-awaited liberation of Holland would soon begin.

The hinged bookcase hiding the entrance to the room where the Franks hid.
The hinged bookcase hiding the entrance to the room where the Franks hid.

On August 1, 1944, Anne made her last entry in her diary. Three days later, 25 months of seclusion ended with the arrival of the Nazi Gestapo. Anne and the others had been given away by an unknown informer, and they were arrested along with two of the Christians who had helped shelter them. They were sent to a concentration camp in Holland, and in September Anne and most of the others were shipped to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland. In the fall of 1944, with the Soviet liberation of Poland underway, Anne was moved with her sister Margot to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. Suffering under the deplorable conditions of the camp, the two sisters caught typhus and died in early March 1945. The camp was liberated by the British less than two months later.

Otto Frank was the only one of the 10 to survive the Nazi death camps. After the war, he returned to Amsterdam via Russia, and was reunited with Miep Gies, one of his former employees who had helped shelter him. She handed him Anne’s diary, which she had found undisturbed after the Nazi raid. In 1947, Anne’s diary was published by Otto in its original Dutch as Diary of a Young Girl. An instant best-seller and eventually translated into more than 50 languages, The Diary of Anne Frank has served as a literary testament to the nearly six million Jews, including Anne herself, who were silenced in the Holocaust.

The Frank family’s hideaway at Prinsengracht 263 in Amsterdam opened as a museum in 1960. A new English translation of Anne’s diary in 1995 restored material that had been edited out of the original version, making the work nearly a third longer.

* August 5th – 1957 American Bandstand goes national

Dick Clark - host of American Bandstand.
Dick Clark – host of American Bandstand. (Kcur)

Television, rock and roll and teenagers. In the late 1950s, when television and rock and roll were new and when the biggest generation in American history was just about to enter its teens, it took a bit of originality to see the potential power in this now-obvious combination. The man who saw that potential more clearly than any other was a 26-year-old native of upstate New York named Dick Clark, who transformed himself and a local Philadelphia television program into two of the most culturally significant forces of the early rock-and-roll era. His iconic show, American Bandstand, began broadcasting nationally on this day in 1957, beaming images of clean-cut, average teenagers dancing to the not-so-clean-cut Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” to 67 ABC affiliates across the nation.

The show that evolved into American Bandstand began on Philadephia’s WFIL-TV in 1952, a few years before the popular ascension of rock and roll. Hosted by local radio personality Bob Horn, the original Bandstand nevertheless established much of the basic format of its later incarnation. In the first year after Dick Clark took over as host in the summer of 1956, Bandstand remained a popular local hit, but it took Clark’s ambition to help it break out. When the ABC television network polled its affiliates in 1957 for suggestions to fill its 3:30 p.m. time slot, Clark pushed hard for Bandstand, which network executives picked up and scheduled for an August 5, 1957 premiere.

Renamed American Bandstand, the newly national program featured a number of new elements that became part of its trademark, including the high school gym-like bleachers and the famous segment in which teenage studio guests rated the newest records on a scale from 25 to 98 and offered such criticisms as “It’s got a good beat, and you can dance to it.” But the heart of American Bandstand always remained the sound of the day’s most popular music combined with the sight of the show’s unpolished teen “regulars” dancing and showing off the latest fashions in clothing and hairstyles.

Kids dancing to records. What a simple formula for a television show. And what an amazing run Dick Clark and American Bandstand had with it.
Kids dancing to records. What a simple formula for a television show. And what an amazing run Dick Clark and American Bandstand had with it. (

American Bandstand aired five days a week in live national broadcast until 1963, when the show moved west to Los Angeles and began a 24-year run as a taped weekly program with Dick Clark as host.

This Week’s Sources: 

* Canadian History Timeline – Canada’s Historical Chronology

* Canada History                                               

* This Day In History – What Happened Today                                        

John’s Believe It Or Not… July 27th

* 1996 – Atlanta Olympics – Donovan Bailey wins 100 m sprint in record 9.84 – rowers Marnie McBean and Kathleen Heddle first Canadians to win three Olympic golds. * 1974 House begins impeachment of Nixon. * 1953 Armistice ends the Korean War. * 1921 Insulin isolated in Toronto. * 2003 Bob Hope dies at 100

It’s Friday! TGIF! Did You Know…

* 1996 – Atlanta Olympics – Donovan Bailey wins 100 m sprint in record 9.84 – rowers Marnie McBean and Kathleen Heddle first Canadians to win three Olympic golds.

It was at the Centennial Olympic Games that Canada recorded its best-ever medal total in a non-boycotted Games, winning 22 medals, highlighted by three gold medals. Two of those came from the track, where on back-to-back Saturday nights Donovan Bailey first captured the title of world’s fastest man with his victory in the 100m in world record time of 9.84 seconds and then anchored the 4x100m relay team (also featuring Carlton Chambers, Robert Esmie, Glenroy Gilbert, Bruny Surin) to gold. Bailey was just the second Canadian to win double gold in athletics at the same Games, following Percy Williams in 1928, who was also the last Canadian to win the 100m.

The other gold medal was just as historic, as rowers Marnie McBean and Kathleen Heddle won the double sculls to become Canada’s first ever three-time Olympic gold medallists, having won double gold four years earlier in Barcelona. The rowing team accounted for six medals. McBean and Heddle joined the quad sculls for a bronze medal. The women’s eight won silver, as did single scullers Silken Laumann and Derek Porter along with the men’s lightweight four. Also on the water, Caroline Brunet won Canada’s only canoe/kayak medal of the Games, taking silver in the K-1 500m.

Canada's Marnie McBean (L) and Kathleen Heddle, gold medal winners
Canada’s Marnie McBean (L) and Kathleen Heddle, gold medal winners (

* 1974 House begins impeachment of Nixon.

On this day in 1974, the House Judiciary Committee recommends that America’s 37th president, Richard M. Nixon, be impeached and removed from office. The impeachment proceedings resulted from a series of political scandals involving the Nixon administration that came to be collectively known as Watergate.

The Watergate scandal first came to light following a break-in on June 17, 1972, at the Democratic Party’s national headquarters in the Watergate apartment-hotel complex in Washington, D.C. A group of men linked to the White House was later arrested and charged with the crime. Nixon denied any involvement with the break-in, but several of his staff members were eventually implicated in an illegal cover-up and forced to resign. Subsequent government investigations revealed “dirty tricks” political campaigning by the Committee to Re-Elect the President, along with a White House “enemies list.” In July 1973, one of Nixon’s former staff members revealed the existence of secretly taped conversations between the president and his aides. Nixon initially refused to release the tapes, on grounds of executive privilege and national security, but a judge later ordered the president to turn them over. The White House provided some but not all of the tapes, including one from which a portion of the conversation appeared to have been erased.

In May 1974, the House Judiciary Committee began formal impeachment hearings against Nixon. On July 27 of that year, the first article of impeachment against the president was passed. Two more articles, for abuse of power and contempt of Congress, were approved on July 29 and 30. On August 5, Nixon complied with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling requiring that he provide transcripts of the missing tapes, and the new evidence clearly implicated him in a cover-up of the Watergate break-in. On August 8, Nixon announced his resignation, becoming the first president in U.S. history to voluntarily leave office. After departing the White House on August 9, Nixon was succeeded by Vice President Gerald Ford, who, in a controversial move, pardoned Nixon on September 8, 1974, making it impossible for the former president to be prosecuted for any crimes he might have committed while in office. Only two other presidents in U.S. history have been impeached: Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998.

Oval Office tape recordings haven’t been part of White House history since they helped undo Richard Nixon’s administration.
Oval Office tape recordings haven’t been part of White House history since they helped undo Richard Nixon’s administration. (

* 1953 Armistice ends the Korean War.

After three years of a bloody and frustrating war, the United States, the People’s Republic of China, North Korea, and South Korea agree to an armistice, bringing the Korean War to an end. The armistice ended America’s first experiment with the Cold War concept of “limited war.”

The Korean War began on June 25, 1950, when communist North Korea invaded South Korea. Almost immediately, the United States secured a resolution from the United Nations calling for the military defense of South Korea against the North Korean aggression. In a matter of days, U.S. land, air, and sea forces had joined the battle. The U.S. intervention turned the tide of the war, and soon the U.S. and South Korean forces were pushing into North Korea and toward that nation’s border with China. In November and December 1951, hundreds of thousands of troops from the People’s Republic of China began heavy assaults against the American and South Korea forces. The war eventually bogged down into a battle of attrition. In the U.S. presidential election of 1952, Republican candidate Dwight D. Eisenhower strongly criticized President Harry S. Truman’s handling of the war. After his victory, Eisenhower adhered to his promise to “go to Korea.” His trip convinced him that something new was needed to break the diplomatic logjam at the peace talks that had begun in July 1951. Eisenhower began to publicly hint that the United States might make use of its nuclear arsenal to break the military stalemate in Korea. He allowed the Nationalist Chinese government on Taiwan to begin harassing air raids on mainland China. The president also put pressure on his South Korean ally to drop some of its demands in order to speed the peace process.

Whether or not Eisenhower’s threats of nuclear attacks helped, by July 1953 all sides involved in the conflict were ready to sign an agreement ending the bloodshed. The armistice, signed on July 27, established a committee of representatives from neutral countries to decide the fate of the thousands of prisoners of war on both sides. It was eventually decided that the POWs could choose their own fate–stay where they were or return to their homelands. A new border between North and South Korea was drawn, which gave South Korea some additional territory and demilitarized the zone between the two nations. The war cost the lives of millions of Koreans and Chinese, as well as over 50,000 Americans. It had been a frustrating war for Americans, who were used to forcing the unconditional surrender of their enemies. Many also could not understand why the United States had not expanded the war into China or used its nuclear arsenal. As government officials were well aware, however, such actions would likely have prompted World War III.

Photo: General Mark W. Clark, Far East commander, signs the Korean armistice
Photo: General Mark W. Clark, Far East commander, signs the Korean armistice (DoDLive)

* 1921 Insulin isolated in Toronto.

At the University of Toronto, Canadian scientists Frederick Banting and Charles Best successfully isolate insulin–a hormone they believe could prevent diabetes–for the first time. Within a year, the first human sufferers of diabetes were receiving insulin treatments, and countless lives were saved from what was previously regarded as a fatal disease.

Diabetes has been recognized as a distinct medical condition for more than 3,000 years, but its exact cause was a mystery until the 20th century. By the early 1920s, many researchers strongly suspected that diabetes was caused by a malfunction in the digestive system related to the pancreas gland, a small organ that sits on top of the liver. At that time, the only way to treat the fatal disease was through a diet low in carbohydrates and sugar and high in fat and protein. Instead of dying shortly after diagnosis, this diet allowed diabetics to live–for about a year.

A breakthrough came at the University of Toronto in the summer of 1921, when Canadians Frederick Banting and Charles Best successfully isolated insulin from canine test subjects, produced diabetic symptoms in the animals, and then began a program of insulin injections that returned the dogs to normalcy. On November 14, the discovery was announced to the world.

Two months later, with the support of J.J.R. MacLeod of the University of Toronto, the two scientists began preparations for an insulin treatment of a human subject. Enlisting the aid of biochemist J.B. Collip, they were able to extract a reasonably pure formula of insulin from the pancreases of cattle from slaughterhouses. On January 23, 1921, they began treating 14-year-old Leonard Thompson with insulin injections. The diabetic teenager improved dramatically, and the University of Toronto immediately gave pharmaceutical companies license to produce insulin, free of royalties. By 1923, insulin had become widely available, and Banting and Macleod were awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine.

Best and Banting
Best and Banting (The Canadian Encyclopedia)

* 2003 Bob Hope dies at 100

On this day in 2003, the legendary actor-comedian Bob Hope dies at age 100 in Toluca Lake, California. Known for entertaining American servicemen and women for more than five decades, Hope had a career that spanned the whole range of 20th-century entertainment, from vaudeville to Broadway musicals to radio, television, and movies.

He was born Leslie Townes Hope, the fifth of seven sons, on May 29, 1903, in Eltham, England. In 1907, Hope’s family moved to Cleveland, Ohio. As a young man, he began his entertainment career as a dancer and vaudeville performer. During the 1930s, he appeared in Broadway musicals, along with such performers as Fanny Brice and Ethel Merman. In 1934, Hope wed the nightclub singer Dolores Reade; the marriage would endure until his death. In 1938, Hope, who became known for his snappy one-liners, rose to national fame with his own radio show on NBC and his first feature film, The Big Broadcast of 1938.

In 1940, Hope co-starred in the box-office hit Road to Singapore with Bing Crosby. The film, about a pair of singing, wisecracking con men, was the first of seven “Road” movies the pair would make. Hope appeared in more than 50 feature films during his career. He hosted the Academy Awards 18 times, although he never won an Oscar himself, an occurrence he turned into a long-running joke. However, he did receive five special awards from the Academy, including two honorary Oscars. Hope was also a top entertainer on TV and from 1959 to 1996 he made 284 “Bob Hope specials” for NBC.

Starting with World War II, Hope began entertaining American troops at military bases around the world. His USO tours traveled to military bases during times of war (Vietnam, the Persian Gulf), as well as times of peace. He was so beloved for his work with the military for more than half a century that Congress passed a resolution in 1997 making Hope an honorary veteran. It was one of the countless honors that Hope received throughout his career. In 1998, he was granted honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth.

Bob and Delores Hope..Delores passed away 9/19/2011 at the age of 102...She and Bob were married for 69 years..Bob died in 2003 at age 100
Bob and Delores Hope…Delores passed away 9/19/2011 at the age of 102…She and Bob were married for 69 years…Bob died in 2003 at age 100 (Pinterest)

Today’s Sources: 

* Canadian History Timeline – Canada’s Historical Chronology

* Canadian Olympic Team Official Website        

* This Day In History – What Happened Today                                              

John’s Believe It Or Not… July 26th

* 1936 – King Edward VIII dedicates the Vimy Memorial. * 1908 FBI founded. * 1956 Egypt nationalizes the Suez Canal * 1943 Entertainer Mick Jagger born. * 1975 Van McCoy’s “The Hustle” is the #1 song in America.

It’s Thursday! Did You Know…

* 1936 – King Edward VIII dedicates the Vimy Memorial.

The Canadian National Vimy Memorial is a war memorial site in France dedicated to the memory of Canadian Expeditionary Force members killed during the First World War. It also serves as the place of commemoration for Canadian soldiers of the First World War killed or presumed dead in France who have no known grave. The monument is the centrepiece of a 100-hectare (250-acre) preserved battlefield park that encompasses a portion of the ground over which the Canadian Corps made their assault during the initial Battle of Vimy Ridge offensive of the Battle of Arras. Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… July 26th”

John’s Believe It Or Not… July 25th

* 1978 World’s First Test Tube Baby Born. * 2000 Concorde jet crashes. * 1898 Puerto Rico invaded. * 1965 Dylan goes electric at the Newport Folk Festival. * 1985 Rock Hudson announces he has AIDS.

It’s Hump Day Wednesday! Did You Know…

* 1978 World’s First Test Tube Baby Born.

On this day in 1978, Louise Joy Brown, the world’s first baby to be conceived via in vitro fertilization (IVF) is born at Oldham and District General Hospital in Manchester, England, to parents Lesley and Peter Brown. The healthy baby was delivered shortly before midnight by caesarean section and weighed in at five pounds, 12 ounces. Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… July 25th”

John’s Believe It Or Not… July 24th

* 1917 – Borden’s union government passes Military Service Bill (Conscription Act). * 1911 Machu Picchu discovered. * 1901 O. Henry is released from prison. * 1982 “Eye Of The Tiger” from Rocky III tops the U.S. pop charts. * 1998 Saving Private Ryan opens in theaters

It’s Tuesday! Did You Know…

* 1917 – Borden’s union government passes Military Service Bill (Conscription Act).

The Military Service Act of 1917 was a controversial law allowing the conscription of Canadian men for service in the final years of the First World War. Although politically explosive, the Act had questionable military value: only 24,132 conscripted men made it to the battlefields of the Western Front, compared to the more than 400,000 who volunteered throughout the war. Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… July 24th”

Cognitive dissonance prevents further unraveling

In this important and thought-provoking article, Keith suggests that bridging the gap between people of differing beliefs and views can be achieved only by thoughtful and respectful dialogue. Please share.


I have been using the analogy of a wound ball of yarn unraveling to describe what is happening with Trump voters. The outer layers represent the more moderate and rational voters who have seen what Trump represents and their support is unraveling. As the ball gets smaller, the unraveling becomes more difficult as the yarn is coated with cognitive dissonance.

One dictionary defines cognitive dissonance as “the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.” A definition I hold is calling the dissonance a “disharmony” that is upsetting to the person as it is at odds with what they believe.

When a person is confronted with facts that diminish their belief, they often run home to some source of information to tell them the facts are not true. This is s key reason people like watching pseudo-news sources that tell them…

View original post 264 more words

John’s Believe It Or Not… July 23rd

* 1983 – Gimli Glider – Air Canada 767 runs out of fuel in midair. * 1984 Miss America resigns. * 1967 Detroit Riots Begin. * 1982 Actor and two children killed on Twilight Zone set. * 1988 Guns N’ Roses make popular breakthrough with “Sweet Child O’ Mine”.

It’s Monday! Did You Know…

* 1983 – Gimli Glider – Air Canada 767 runs out of fuel in midair. 

Air Canada admitted that its Boeing 767 jet ran out of fuel in mid-flight because of two mistakes in figuring the fuel supply of the airline’s first aircraft to use metric measurements.

After both engines lost their power, the pilots made what is now thought to be the first successful emergency ”dead stick” landing of a commercial jetliner. Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… July 23rd”

John’s Believe It Or Not… July 20th

* 1629 – David & Thomas Kirke force Samuel de Champlain to surrender his fur fort at Québec. * 1969 Armstrong walks on moon. * 1881 Sitting Bull surrenders. * 1976 Viking 1 lands on Mars. * 1963 Jan and Dean’s “Surf City” hits #1

It’s Friday! TGIF! Did You Know…

* 1629 – David & Thomas Kirke force Samuel de Champlain to surrender his fur fort at Québec.

The surrender of Quebec in 1629 was the taking of Quebec City, during the Anglo-French War (1627-29). It was achieved without battle by English privateers led by David Kirke, who had intercepted the town’s supplies.

It began in 1627 with David Kirke’s father when several London merchants formed the Company of Adventurers to Canada to develop trade and settlement for profit on the Saint Lawrence River. Made up of private investors, it was chartered by the Crown as a means of extending English influence in exploration and colonial development. When the Anglo-French War broke out later that year, the Company financed an expedition, which was commissioned by Charles I of England, to displace the French from “Canida”. The French had settlements along the Saint Lawrence River. Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… July 20th”

John’s Believe It Or Not… July 19th

* 1701 – Cadillac arrives at Detroit with a fleet of settlers. * 1799 Rosetta Stone found. * 1979 Oil tankers collide in Caribbean Sea. * 1848 Seneca Falls Convention begins. * 2003 Thousands of fans join the Miami funeral procession of Celia Cruz.

It’s Thursday! Did You Know…

* 1701 – Cadillac arrives at Detroit with a fleet of settlers.

Antoine Laumet, dit de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac 1658-1730, soldier, explorer, and French colonial Governor, born March 5, 1658 at Les Laumets, Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Grave, Gascony, France, the son of Jean Laumet, an assistant magistrate in the local court; died October 15, 1730 at Castelsarrasin, France. Cadillac is educated in a military school, then joins the regiment of Dampierre-Lorraine. Legend says he possessed a very long nose that supposedly inspired Edmond Rostand’s play, Cyrano de Bergerac, and that he inspired King Louis XIV with his wit, courage, honesty, and swordsmanship. He was sent to New France to work under Governor Frontenac as investigator for the king, reporting on corruption in the colony. Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… July 19th”

John’s Believe It Or Not… July 18th

* 1814 – Eight traitors captured during the War of 1812 are hanged at Ancaster – Upper Canada.  * 2012 Kim Jong-un is officially appointed Supreme Leader of North Korea and given the rank of Marshal in the Korean People’s Army. * 64 Nero’s Rome burns * 1986 Video of Titanic wreckage released * 1995 Barack Obama’s “Dreams from My Father” is published

It’s Hump Day Wednesday! Did You Know…

* 1814 – Eight traitors captured during the War of 1812 are hanged at Ancaster – Upper Canada.

We like to think that we were removed from barbarian practices of the middle ages, perhaps not quite so removed. An incident in Canada during the War of 1812 saw men’s heads lopped off and paraded on spikes.

At the beginning of the war, Americans thought Canadians would welcome their invading troops as liberators from British rule. They were eventually awakened to a much different reality. Still, there were Americans who had moved north and some Canadians who were sympathetic to the American ideal and others who were indifferent to the Empire and might be persuaded to the American cause. Continue reading “John’s Believe It Or Not… July 18th”