Auld Lang Syne

Today in History, December 31, 1929:

Guy Lombardo and The Royal Canadians perform “Auld Lang Syne” for the first time on the radio from The Roosevelt Grill in the Roosevelt Hotel, NYC. They would continue to do so on radio and television for the nearly half a century, even after Lombardo’s death in 1976, become an American standard.

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?

CHORUS:

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
and surely I’ll buy mine!
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.CHORUS

We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.CHORUS

We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.CHORUS

And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.

Texas Statehood

Today in History, December 29, 1845:

The United States annexes the Republic of Texas, the only US state to have been an independent nation. The Republic had gained quite a bit of debt in it’s short life, and part of the bargain was for the Republic to relinquish parts of modern day Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming to the US in exchange for ten million dollars in bonds. As a sovereign nation, the new state of Texas gained rights most other territories and states did not, which is why Texas has profited from her oil rights on land and off her shores.

The Flushing Remonstrance; Love Thy Neighbor

Today in History, December 27, 1657:

The Flushing Remonstrance.

Director-General of New Netherland Peter Stuyvesent had banned the practice of any religion other than that of the Dutch Reform Church.

Flushing, New Netherland, now Queens, New York, was then a Dutch colony. Stuyvesent diligently enforced his edict, imprisoning or banishing those that dared practice their own religions, including Quakers.

On this date 26 English colonists in Flushing signed a written protest and sent it to the Director-General protesting the mistreatment of the Quakers, though none of the signers were Quaker.

Four of them were arrested and/or banished for their trouble, and the law remained in place. The remonstrance is considered a pre-cursor to our own religious freedoms, and is remarkable for it’s eloquence and because none of the signers stood to personally gain by their acts. Stuyvesent would eventually be ordered by the Dutch home government to end his persecution of other religions.

In part…”Therefore if any of these said persons come in love unto us, we cannot in conscience lay violent hands upon them, but give them free egresse and regresse unto our Town, and houses, as God shall persuade our consciences, for we are bounde by the law of God and man to doe good unto all men and evil to noe man. And this is according to the patent and charter of our Towne, given unto us in the name of the States General, which we are not willing to infringe, and violate, but shall houlde to our patent and shall remaine, your humble subjects, the inhabitants of Vlishing.”

NUTS!!

Today in History, December 22, 1944:

The 101st Airborne Division was surrounded by the Nazis at Bastogne, Belgium, after the Germans had broken through Allied lines in their last major assault of WWII. The “Battle of the Bulge” had caught the Allied command (well..not all, but thats another story) by surprise. The weather had Allied air support grounded and the German mechanized units (tanks) helped them quickly overrun the Americans. Freezing temperatures contributed to their woes.

Low on supplies and ammo, no air support due to the weather, three days before Christmas, their commander, Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe received a demand from the German commander to surrender.

It took the Germans a bit to comprehend the one word, typically American vernacular,

“NUTS!”

The 101st would not surrender and fought on in desperate conditions until finally relieved by General Patton’s Army Corps and Allied Air Support when the weather broke.

Tragedy for Christmas

Today in History, December 15, 1944:

Think of any of your favorite singers, musicians, or groups, roll them altogether, and they aren’t as popular as Glenn Miller and his band were from 1937 to 1944.

In September of 1942 Miller, at the apex of his popularity, gave up the luxuries of home and entered the US Army Air Corps as a Captain to lead the US Army Air Corps Band. He and the band went to England and gave concerts to the troops, which was richly received.

On this date in 1944, Miller took off in a single engine aircraft from England en route to Paris to set up a show for the troops who had just taken that city back from the Nazis. Its the last time Miller was heard from, his plane went down over the English Channel; his remains nor his plane were ever found.

I can’t listen to this song without picturing all of the men and women…girls and boys…who put their lives on hold and saved the world during World War II, from Normandy to Iwo Jima to the Homefront.  Glenn Miller represented them, they were listening to his music before the war at High School dances and on radios before they went into combat.  Thank you, Mr. Miller.

  https://youtu.be/FhZ-yTIXXYI

The Flying Banana Goes to War

Today in History, December 11, 1961:

The first helicopters (H21C Shawnees) arrive in Vietnam, with the mission of transporting South Vietnamese troops into combat.

Helicopters had been used in Korea to transport wounded soldiers, but by Vietnam they had developed to the point that they could be used to move troops quickly into combat areas. This was a marked change in combat operations.

The decendants of the Shawnee would of course play an ever more important role in Vietnam and beyond.