Posts tagged "history"
Today, July 28, is the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. On this day in 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on the Kingdom of Serbia when Serbia refused to accept a series of demands made by Austria-Hungary in the wake of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand (June 28, 1914). The demands themselves were clearly unacceptable, threatening Serbia’s sovereignty as an independent nation, and had been calculated by the Austrians to be so, thereby creating a pretext for war. Tensions between the two nations were very high during the early 20th Century and can be traced to Serbian ambitions to unite all of the South Slavic peoples, many of whom lived under Austro-Hungarian control. The radical pro-unification Black Hand (made up of Serbian Army officers) had supported the assassins responsible for the Archduke’s murder. The Emperor of Austria-Hungary, Franz Joseph, had seized upon the assassination as a pretext to neutralize the Serbian threat to Austrian authority in the Balkans.
However excessive and unjust, Austria-Hungary’s actions (a Great Power using threats and military force against a weaker opponent for imperialistic purposes) were not particularly unusual. The other Great Powers (including Russia, France, and Britain) had all used similar tactics over the past century, which had contributed to the growth of their vast empires. The conflict could have remained a “little war” like so many that had been conducted around the globe before it. But in this case, Serbia had another Great Power as a protector: the Russian Empire, which had its own Balkan ambitions and which had no intention of abandoning Serbia.
In response to the Austro-Hungarian declaration of war, Russia began a partial mobilization of its forces on July 29. In response to Russia, Germany (Austria-Hungary’s ally, who had already given Austria-Hungary a virtual “blank cheque” of support in its dealing with Serbia) began its own mobilization, which in turn provoked Russia to begin full-scale mobilization and preparation for war. Germany demanded Russian demobilization or face a declaration of war, and when this was not done, Germany declared war.

The declaration of war against Russia provoked French mobilization (Russia and France were allies), which in turn provoked Germany’s declaration of war against France. At this point, the conflict in the Balkans was transformed from a local war into a pan-European war the likes of which had not been seen since the Napoleonic Wars. The Great War had begun.

Today, July 10th, is the birthday of Nikola Tesla. It is also the birthday of Evelyn Kriete.

Now, I’m not saying that they’re the same person…but have you ever seen them in a room together?

Food for thought.

The history of a successful ad campaign changing how people wed around the world.

If WWI was a Rap Battle…

Mid-19th century rapier

Mid-19th century rapier

"Eugene Bullard was the first African American military pilot to fly in combat and the only African American pilot to fly during WWI. Ironically he never flew for the United States, but rather for the Aéronautique Militaire in France."
From here

"Eugene Bullard was the first African American military pilot to fly in combat and the only African American pilot to fly during WWI. Ironically he never flew for the United States, but rather for the Aéronautique Militaire in France."

From here

From a set of photos of Kabuki actors and Geisha in costume.

This is not

"A rare vintage photograph of an onna-bugeisha, one of the female warriors of the upper social classes in feudal Japan.

Often mistakenly referred to as “female samurai”, female warriors have a long history in Japan, beginning long before samurai emerged as a warrior class.”

(via hellotailor)

Today is Marten Luther King, Jr. Day.
For most people this is just a day off, and sadly some people do not properly understand why we honor this man and the movement he championed. The holiday today is meant to highlight and honor all those who fought for civil rights and fairness. In some ways, the lack of understanding about why this holiday is so important shows how far we have come in terms of civil rights; many people today simply do not understand (and likely cannot even imagine) how unfairly, abusively, and disgracefully many Americans have been treated throughout our country’s history. The thousands of people who marched, were jailed, attacked by dogs, beaten, and subjected to countless horrors in the struggle for civil rights made possible the society we live in today, and they should never be forgotten. And at the same time, it must be remembered that even with how far we have come, there is still much more that needs to be done. Every day people are mistreated and abused based on their skin color, religion, ethnic background, sex, sexuality, and choice of lifestyle. So this speech still holds weight, it is still important, and indeed it will always be important. It reminds us that people should be treated equally and fairly. If you’ve never heard the speech before, I strongly recommend that you do. It is important and powerful. And if you take only one thing away from what I have said here, let it be this: treat everyone you meet with kindness and fairness. It is easier to be nice, it is easier to be polite, it is easier to see the ways that other people are like you rather than different from you. Patience and understanding are not hard, and they can make a world of difference, even for someone who doesn’t know you. A few nice words can save a stranger’s life. And above all, if you see something wrong happening, if you see a person being hurt or abused, or taken advantage of, don’t sit on your hands. Say something. Do something. If everyone does the right thing for other people, we’re all better and we’re all happier.