Notes of American History

dial1911

Mouse hunter
Jul 15, 2015
12,358
13,585
113
Central Hades
Zip code
31210
September 18, 1793
George Washington lays the cornerstone to the United States Capitol building, the home of the legislative branch of American government. The building would take nearly a century to complete, as architects came & went, the British set fire to it & it was called into use during the Civil War. Today, the Capitol building, with its famous cast-iron dome & extensive collection of American art, is part of the Capitol Complex, which includes 6 Congressional office buildings & 3 Library of Congress buildings, all developed in the 19th & 20th centuries.
Ha... so the construction of the capital set the pace for all future federal construction projects.
 
  • Like
Reactions: lesptr and Grunk

Grunk

Hard to be an Outlaw that ain't Wanted anymore
Lifetime Supporter
Aug 31, 2018
2,678
5,202
113
Monroe
Zip code
30656
September 19, 1796
George Washington's farewell address is a letter written by President George Washington as a valedictory to "friends & fellow-citizens" after 20 years of public service to the US. He wrote it near the end of his 2nd term before retiring to his home at Mount Vernon. The letter was first published as The Address of Gen. Washington to the People of America on His Declining the Presidency of the United States in the American Daily Advertiser on , about 10 weeks before the presidential electors cast their votes in the 1796 election. It is a classic statement of republicanism, warning Americans of the political dangers which they must avoid if they are to remain true to their values. It was almost immediately reprinted in newspapers throughout the country, & later in pamphlet form. In a world still ruled by kings, Washington's decision not to seek a 3rd term clearly signaled his commitment to a US governed by the people, not any ruler-for-life.

The thought of the US without George Washington as its president caused concern among many Americans. Thomas Jefferson disagreed with many of the president's policies & later led the Democratic-Republicans in opposition to many Federalist policies, but he joined his political rival Alexander Hamilton—the leader of the Federalists—in convincing the president to delay his retirement & serve a 2nd term. (Yes, Washington wanted to retire after 1 term.) The 2 men feared that the nation would be torn apart without his leadership. Washington most likely referred to this when he told the American people that he had wanted to retire before the last election, but he was convinced by people who were, in his words, "entitled to my confidence" that it was his duty to serve a 2nd term. All of the ideas presented in Washington's Farewell Address came from Washington; however, Alexander Hamilton wrote most of it.

Washington sought to convince the American people that his service was no longer necessary by telling them, as he had in his first inaugural address, that he truly believed that he was never qualified to be president. If he accomplished anything during his presidency, he said, it was as a result of their support and efforts to help the country survive and prosper. Despite his confidence that the country would survive without his leadership, Washington used the majority of the letter to offer advice as a "parting friend" on what he believed were the greatest threats to the nation. To promote the strength of the Union, he urges the people to place their identity as Americans above their identities as members of a state, city, or region, & to focus their efforts & affection on the country above all other local interests. He reminds the people that they do not have more than slight differences in religion, manners, habits, & political principles, & that their triumph & possession of independence & liberty is a result of working together.

He reminds the people that it is the right of the people to alter the government to meet their needs, but it should only be done through constitutional amendments. He reinforces this belief by arguing that violent takeovers of the government should be avoided at all costs, & that it is the duty of every member of the republic to follow the constitution & to submit to the laws of the government until it is constitutionally amended by the majority of the American people. Washington warns the people that political factions may seek to obstruct the execution of the laws created by the government, or to prevent the branches of government from enacting the powers provided them by the constitution. Such factions may claim to be trying to answer popular demands or solve pressing problems, but their true intentions are to take the power from the people & place it in the hands of unjust men.

Washington closes his letter to the American people by asking them to forgive any failures which may have occurred during his service to the country, assuring them that they were due to his own weaknesses & by no means intentional. The sentences express his excitement about joining his fellow Americans as a private citizen in the free government which they have created together during his 45 years of public service.
Washington closes his letter to the American people by asking them to forgive any failures which may have occurred during his service to the country, assuring them that they were due to his own weaknesses and by no means intentional. The sentences express his excitement about joining his fellow Americans as a private citizen in the free government which they have created together during his 45 years of public service.
Washington closes his letter to the American people by asking them to forgive any failures which may have occurred during his service to the country, assuring them that they were due to his own weaknesses and by no means intentional. The sentences express his excitement about joining his fellow Americans as a private citizen in the free government which they have created together during his 45 years of public service.
54445



September 19, 1973
26-year-old musician Gram Parsons dies of “multiple drug use” (mostly morphine & tequila) in a California motel room. His death inspired 1 of the more bizarre automobile-related crimes on record: 2 of his friends stashed his body in a borrowed hearse & drove it into the middle of the Joshua Tree National Park, where they doused it with gasoline & set it on fire. Parsons’ music helped define the country-rock sound, & his records have influenced everyone from the Rolling Stones to Wilco.

Parsons (real name: Ingram Cecil Connor III) was born in Winter Haven, FL and developed an interest in country music while attending Harvard University. His father committed suicide when he was 12, & his mother died of alcohol poisoning on the day he graduated from high school. He dropped out of Harvard & moved to California, where he played with bands like the Byrds (on their seminal album Sweetheart of the Rodeo) & the Flying Burrito Brothers & released 2 celebrated solo albums with the then-unknown Emmylou Harris singing backup.

At a friend’s funeral a few months before he died, Parsons made a drunken pact with his road manager Phil Kaufman: If anything should happen to of them, the other would take his body to Joshua Tree & cremate it. And so, after Parsons’ overdose, Kaufman & a roadie named Michael Martin met his coffin at the Los Angeles airport (for complicated reasons involving a disputed inheritance, his stepfather had arranged for it to be flown to Louisiana for a private funeral) in a borrowed hearse with broken windows & no license plates. (The hearse belonged to Martin’s girlfriend, who used it to carry tents & other gear on camping trips.) They convinced the airport staff that the Parsons family had changed its mind about the flight, loaded the coffin into the car, & drove 200 miles to the Mojave Desert, stopping along the way to fill a five-gallon tin can with gasoline. They drove into Joshua Tree & dragged the coffin to the foot of the majestic Cap Rock, where they doused it with the gas & tossed on a match. What resulted was an enormous fireball. The police gave chase but, as 1 office puts it, the men "were unencumbered by sobriety," & they escaped.

The 2 were arrested several days later. Since there was no law against stealing a dead body, they were only fined $750 for stealing the coffin & were not prosecuted for leaving 35 pounds of his charred remains in the desert. What remained of Parson's body, was eventually buried in Garden of Memories Cemetery in Metairie, LA. The site of Parsons' cremation was marked by a small concrete slab and & presided over by a large rock flake known to rock climbers as The Gram Parsons Memorial Hand Traverse. The slab has since been removed by the U.S. National Park Service, & relocated to the Joshua Tree Inn. There is no monument at Cap Rock noting Parsons' cremation at the site. Joshua Tree park guides are given the option to tell the story of Parsons' cremation during tours, but there is no mention of the act in official maps or brochures. Fans regularly assemble simple rock structures and writings on the rock, which the park service periodically sand blasts to remove.
5445154452
 

Grunk

Hard to be an Outlaw that ain't Wanted anymore
Lifetime Supporter
Aug 31, 2018
2,678
5,202
113
Monroe
Zip code
30656
September 20, 1881
Chester Arthur is inaugurated as US President, becoming the 3rd person to serve as president in that year. The year 1881 began with Republican Rutherford B. Hayes in office. Hayes served out his 1st & only term and officially turned over the reins of government to James A. Garfield, who happened to be a close friend of his, in March 1881. Just 4 months into his term, on July 2, Garfield was shot by a crazed assassin named Charles Guiteau. Guiteau claimed to have killed Garfield because he refused to grant Guiteau a political appointment. Garfield sustained wounds to his back & abdomen & struggled to recover throughout the summer. Though it appeared he would pull through in early Sept., the autopsy report revealed that the internal bullet wound contributed to an aneurism that ultimately killed Garfield on Sept. 19.

The next day, Vice President Chester Arthur was sworn in as president. Strangely, Garfield’s assassin wrote to the new president from jail, taking credit for vaulting Arthur into the White House. According to President Hayes, Arthur’s administration was best known for “liquor, snobbery & worse.” He served only 1 term from 1881 to 1885.

This was the 2nd time in American history that 3 men served as president in 1 year; a similar situation occurred in 1841, when Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison & John Tyler all held the office. William Henry Harrison , America’s 9th president lost to Van Buren in the election of 1836 but defeated Van Buren's 1840 attempt at a 2nd term. Harrison served just 1 month in office before dying of pneumonia. His tenure, from March 4, 1841, to April 4, 1841, is the shortest of any US president. His Vice-President, John Tyler, was inaugurated as President on April 6, 1941.



September 20, 1984
The Shi'a Islamic militant group Hezbollah, with support & direction from the Islamic Republic of Iran, carried out a suicide car bombing targeting the US embassy annex in East Beirut, Lebanon. The attack killed 24 people. Hezbollah had previously used suicide car or truck bombs in the April 1983 US embassy bombing & the 1983 Beirut barracks bombings.

In July 1984, the US had relocated its embassy operations from West Beirut to the relative security of Aukar, a Christian suburb of East Beirut. When on Sept. 20, the attacker sped his van laden with 3,000 pounds of explosives toward the 6-story embassy, crucial security measures had not yet been completed at the complex, including a massive steel gate. The van was heading for the entrance of the diplomatic facility, but did not get within 10 yards of the building after the driver was shot by a bodyguard of the British ambassador & Lebanese embassy guards & lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle detonated at 11:44 am after striking a parked van.

The explosion "ripped off the front of the embassy, shredding glass, bending steel bars & destroying cars in a nearby parking lot." The attack killed a total of 24 people (including the suicide bomber). Only 2 of the dead were American: Chief Warrant Officer Kenneth V. Welch of the US Army & Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Ray Wagner of the US Navy, who were both assigned to the US Defense Attache Office in Beirut. The majority of those killed were Lebanese, "either local employees or people seeking visas". Of the injured, the US Ambassador, Reginald Bartholomew, was slightly hurt, as well as the British Ambassador, David Miers, who was meeting with Bartholomew at the time of explosion.

The Islamic Jihad Organization (IJO) claimed responsibility for the attack in a telephone call a few hours after the explosion. The caller said, "The operation goes to prove that we will carry out our previous promise not to allow a single American to remain on Lebanese soil." The US understood that Hezbollah had carried out the attack under the cover name of IJO with the support of Iran. Through satellite reconnaissance, US intelligence discovered that a mock-up of the annex had been created at the Iranian Revolutionary Guard-run Sheikh Abdullah barracks in Baalbek to practice for the attack.
54495