Churchill Becomes Prime Minister

Today in History, May 10, 1940:

Sir Winston Churchill is made Prime Minister of England, a post he had long desired, but not necessarily under these circumstances. Churchill had been a member of the British government since the turn of the century, as his father had before him.

Due to politics, he had been abandoned to the political “wilderness” in the early 30’s…still a member of the House of Commons, but not of HMG…Her Majesty’s Government.

Throughout the 30’s he repeatedly called for beefing up the military to prepare for German aggression…and was repeatedly denied…cast as a crank looking for attention. It wasn’t until the Germans actually took France that his countrymen realized that Neville Chamberlain was the crank and that “Winston” knew what he was talking about.

On this date they cast their lot with him…and he did not disappoint.

You Say Tomato, I say…Taxes!

Today in History, May 10: 1893 – The Supreme Court rules, in Nix v Hedden, that the tomato is a vegetable, not a fruit. This weighty issue came to the court via taxes being levied on vegetables by the the collector of the port of New York. The court’s logic…”Justice Gray, citing several Supreme Court cases (Brown v. Piper, 91 U.S. 37, 42, and Jones v. U.S., 137 U.S. 202, 216) stated that when words have acquired no special meaning in trade or commerce, the ordinary meaning must be used by the court. In this case dictionaries cannot be admitted as evidence, but only as aids to the memory and understanding of the court. Gray acknowledged that botanically, tomatoes are classified as a “fruit of the vine”; nevertheless, they are seen as vegetables because they were usually eaten as a main course instead of being eaten as a dessert.” So…there is precedence for…its not a mandate, its a tax…because we say so.