Today in History, December 8, 1941:
As the Japanese continued their invasion of the Philippines, Malaysia, Hong Kong and other Allied interests in the Pacific, President Franklin Roosevelt gives his famous “Day of Infamy” speech asking Congress to declare that a state of war had existed since the bombs began to fall on Pearl Harbor the day before.
Today in History, December 6, 1904:
The Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine. The Monroe Doctrine had been established to tell European powers to stay out…no Emperialism in the Western Hemisphere. When it was declared, the US didn’t really have the forces to back it up. But, conveniently the Royal Navy agreed and enforced it for their former adversaries.
In 1904 President Roosevelt made an addition to the Doctrine. There had been recent incidents in which European powers threatened actions against South American nations that they felt owed them money. In his annual message to the Congress, TR stated that, should any developing nations in the Western Hemisphere require intervention due to unrest or an inability to handle their financial affairs, it would be the US that would intervene, not foreign nations. This time TR had the Navy to back it up.
Many criticize Roosevelt’s assumption of police powers in the Americas as expansionist, and with the events surrounding the building of the Panama Canal, there is likely some validity to that view. However the primary objective was to ensure that foreign powers knew the US would not tolerate their use of military force in our backyard. And it kept the big kids from taking advantage of the still developing countries in the Western Hemisphere.
Today in History, December 3, 1586:
Sir Thomas Harriott introduces the potato, previously only found in Columbia in South America, to England and Ireland. Sir Walter Raleigh pursued farming of the new staple in Ireland and before you knew it, they were every where.
This would become very important to American development as well. The potato became a staple food for the impoverished Irish populace. In the 1840’s a potato blight ruined the crops of potatoes in Ireland, resulting in a devastating famine. The famine caused approximately a million deaths and also approximately one million emigrants to America. The burgeoning Irish population in America would have a long lasting effect on our country, in labor, the military services and police forces.
Potatoes! Baked, French Fried, Potato soup, Potato Chips, Sweet Potato Pie, Potato Cakes, Mashed Potatoes, Scalloped Potatoes, Potatoes au Gratin….
Today in History, November 13, 2001:
U.S. President George W. Bush signed an executive order that would allow for military tribunals to try any foreigners captured with connections to the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.
It was the first time since World War II that a president had taken such action. The home territory of the United States had been attacked with a tremendous loss of innocent lives. For a time, the nation came together in common cause.
Today in History, November 2, 1948:
“Dewey Defeats Truman”.
The Chicago Tribune is so confident that New York Governor Thomas Dewey will win the Presidential election that the paper publishes it’s desired results in an early edition…but Truman won by 2M votes.
Most sources will describe this as a solitary example of media bias, however in 2000 the media almost in it’s entirety called the election for Al Gore as Florida polls closed…several hours before the polls closed in the majority of the nation. Many voters, hearing the news as they drove home, decided there was no point in going to the polls. As it turned out, not even Florida could be declared for Gore at that point.
The media’s actions would send the nation into a legal limbo for weeks as the victor was determined in the courts. In the attached photo a victorious President Truman holds up the erroneous headline.
In 2016, the polls….and the media…reported it was nearly a forgone conclusion that Secretary Clinton would win.