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On this day:
1813 – War of 1812: After learning of American plans for a surprise attack on Beaver Dams in Ontario, Laura Secord sets out on a 30 kilometer journey on foot to warn Lieutenant James FitzGibbon.
Laura Secord (née Ingersoll; 13 September 1775 – 17 October 1868) was a Canadian heroine of the War of 1812. She is known for having walked 20 miles (32 km) out of American-occupied territory in 1813 to warn British forces of an impending American attack. Her contribution to the war was little known during her lifetime, but since her death she has been frequently honoured in Canada. Though Secord had no relation to it, most Canadians associate her with the Laura Secord Chocolates company, named after her on the centennial of her walk.
Laura Secord’s father, Thomas Ingersoll, lived in Massachusetts and fought on the side of the Patriots during the Revolutionary War (1775–1783). In 1795 he moved his family to the Niagara region of Upper Canada after he had applied for and received a land grant. Shortly after, Laura married Loyalist James Secord, who was later seriously wounded at the Battle of Queenston Heights early in the War of 1812. While he was still recovering in 1813, the Americans invaded the Niagara Peninsula, including Queenston. During the occupation, Secord acquired information about a planned American attack, and stole away on the morning of 22 June to inform Lieutenant James FitzGibbon in the territory still controlled by the British. The information helped the British and their Mohawk warrior allies repel the invading Americans at the Battle of Beaver Dams. Her effort was forgotten until 1860, when Edward, Prince of Wales awarded the impoverished widow £100 for her service on his visit to Canada.
The story of Laura Secord has taken on mythological overtones in Canada. Her tale has been the subject of books, plays, and poetry, often with many embellishments. Since her death, Canada has bestowed honours on her, including schools named after her, monuments, a museum, a memorial stamp and coin, and a statue at the Valiants Memorial in the Canadian capital.
1839 – Cherokee leaders Major Ridge, John Ridge, and Elias Boudinot are assassinated for signing the Treaty of New Echota, which had resulted in the Trail of Tears.
The Treaty of New Echota (7 Stat. 488) was a treaty signed on December 29, 1835, in New Echota, Georgia by officials of the United States government and representatives of a minority Cherokee political faction, the Treaty Party.
The treaty established terms under which the entire Cherokee Nation ceded its territory in the southeast and agreed to move west to the Indian Territory. Although the treaty was not approved by the Cherokee National Council nor signed by Principal Chief John Ross, it was amended and ratified by the U.S. Senate in March 1836, and became the legal basis for the forcible removal known as the Trail of Tears.
Born on this day:
1427 – Lucrezia Tornabuoni, Italian writer and wife of Piero di Cosimo de’ Medici (d. 1482)
Lucrezia Tornabuoni (22 June 1427 – 25 March 1482) was a writer and influential political adviser. Connected by birth to two of the most powerful families in 15th-century Italy, she later married Piero di Cosimo de’ Medici, connecting herself to another of the most powerful families in Italy and extending her own power and influence. She had significant political influence during the rule of her husband and then of her son, Lorenzo. She worked to support the needs of the poor and religion in the region, supporting several institutions. She was a patron of the arts, and also wrote poems and plays herself.
Since she, in contrast to her husband, was of a noble line, she helped creating bridges between her husband’s family and the nobility. Her advice was sought by many and she received both high and low-born people. Her father-in-law admired her skills in deciding issues. In 1450 she and her husband visited Rome for an audience with Pope Nicholas V, who gave them permission to build an altar in their family chapel.
When Piero took over the government in 1464, his health kept him confined to bed. This transformed their bedroom into something resembling a noble court. His confinement meant that as Lucrezia was more free to move about, that she was often asked by others to bear their requests to him. This included appeals to end the exile or imprisonment of petitioners, and to stop attacks by soldiers. She was also called on to mediate disputes among others in the area, once ending a feud between two families that had gone on for twenty years. In spring 1467, she again visited Rome and the Pope, while also looking for a wife for Lorenzo. For a woman to travel without her husband and meet with the Pope and other influential officials like this was unusual, and commented upon by contemporaries. In October 1467, as part of a rivalry between Piero and Luca Pitti, there was an assassination attempt against Lucrezia and her son Giuliano.
Lucrezia’s husband, Piero, died in 1469. After his death, she gained additional political influence as an advisor to her son. Lorenzo freely admitted at her death that she had been one of his most important advisors. She also gained more freedom to conduct business and own property. She bought houses, shops, and farms in and around Pisa and Florence. She would lease the shops out to different businesses, and thereby extended her patronage network. In 1477, she took a lease on a public bath facility near Volterra, which she renovated into a profitable venture. Her investments in communities around Florence helped spread the family influence and support network.
She became well known for supporting religious convents, and working with them to help widows and orphans. Often this assistance was provided by helping a family member to get a good position in the church or government. She would also use her own income to provide dowries for women from poor families so that they could marry.
Lucrezia died on 25 March 1482 after suffering an illness. By the time of her death, she had many grandchildren.
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Department of Public Safety: Daily Dispatches – Public Information Office
Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.
We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.
Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling but start. Start and don’t stop. Start where you are, with what you have. Just start.
Life is not a dress rehearsal. The curtain is up and you are on, so get out there and give it your best shot.
There are people in your life whom you unknowingly inspire simply by being you.
When you’ve done something wrong, admit it and be sorry. No one in history has ever choked to death from swallowing his pride.
When Cynthia Dusel-Bacon read of a geologist killed by a bear and another injured near the Pogo Mine in Interior Alaska on Monday, the news hit awfully close to home despite the years that have passed since she spent large amounts of time in-country.
The latest bear attack came not far from where Dusel-Bacon, now 70, survived one of the more horrific bear attacks in Alaska history. Her story came to be headlined “Come quick! I’m being eaten by a bear” in Alaska author Larry Kanuit’s book “Alaska Bear Tales.”
On this day:
Against the Vandals
Main article: Vandalic War
For his efforts, Belisarius was rewarded by Justinian with the command of a land and sea expedition against the Vandal Kingdom, mounted in 533–534. The Romans had political, religious and strategic reasons for such a campaign. The pro-Roman Vandal king Hilderic had been deposed and murdered by the usurper Gelimer, giving Justinian a legal pretext. The Arian Vandals had periodically persecuted the Nicene Christians within their kingdom, many of whom made their way to Constantinople seeking redress. The Vandals had launched many pirate raids on Roman trade interests, hurting commerce in the western areas of the Empire. Justinian also wanted control of the Vandal territory in north Africa, which was one of the wealthiest provinces and the breadbasket of the Western Roman Empire and was now vital for guaranteeing Roman access to the western Mediterranean.
In the late summer of 533, Belisarius sailed to Africa and landed near Caput Vada (near Chebba on the coast of Tunisia). He ordered his fleet not to lose sight of the army, then marched along the coastal highway toward the Vandal capital of Carthage. He did this to prevent supplies from being cut off and to avoid a great defeat such as occurred during the attempt by Basiliscus to retake northern Africa 65 years before, which had ended in the Roman disaster at the Battle of Cap Bon in 468.
Ten miles from Carthage, the forces of Gelimer (who had just executed Hilderic) and Belisarius met at the Battle of Ad Decimum on September 13, 533. It nearly turned into a defeat for the Romans; Gelimer had chosen his position well and had some success along the main road. The Romans seemed dominant on both sides of the main road to Carthage. At the height of the battle, Gelimer became distraught upon learning of the death of his brother in battle. This gave Belisarius a chance to regroup and he went on to win the battle and capture Carthage. A second victory at the Battle of Tricamarum on December 15, resulted in Gelimer’s surrender early in 534 at Mount Papua, restoring the lost Roman provinces of north Africa to the empire. For this achievement, Belisarius was granted a Roman triumph (the last ever given) when he returned to Constantinople. According to Procopius in the procession were paraded the spoils of the Temple of Jerusalem (the Vandal treasure, including many objects looted from Rome 80 years earlier, the imperial regalia and the menorah of the Second Temple among them) which had been recovered from the Vandal capital along with Gelimer himself before he was sent into peaceful exile. Medals were stamped in his honor with the inscription Gloria Romanorum, though none seem to have survived to modern times. Belisarius was also made sole Consul in 535, being one of the last persons to hold this office, which originated in the ancient Roman Republic. The recovery of Africa was incomplete; army mutinies and revolts by the native Berbers plagued the new praetorian prefecture of Africa for almost 15 years.
The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe, or group of tribes, who were first heard of in southern Poland, but later moved around Europe establishing kingdoms in Spain and later North Africa in the 5th century.
The Vandals are believed to have migrated from southern Scandinavia to the area between the lower Oder and Vistula rivers during the 2nd century BC and to have settled in Silesia from around 120 BC. They are associated with the Przeworsk culture and were possibly the same people as the Lugii. Expanding into Dacia during the Marcomannic Wars and to Pannonia during the Crisis of the Third Century, the Vandals were confined to Pannonia by the Goths around 330 AD, where they received permission to settle by Constantine the Great. Around 400, raids by the Huns forced many of the Germanic tribes like the Goths to migrate to the Roman Empire, and fearing that they might be targeted next, the Vandals were pushed westwards crossing the Rhine into Gaul along with other tribes in 406. In 409, the Vandals crossed the Pyrenees into the Iberian Peninsula, where their main groups, the Hasdingi and the Silingi, settled in Gallaecia (northwest) and Baetica (south central) respectively.
After the Visigoths invaded Iberia, the Iranian Alans and Silingi Vandals voluntarily subjected to the rule of Hasdingian leader Gunderic, who was pushed from Gallaecia to Baetica by a Roman-Suebi coalition in 419. In 429, under king Genseric, the Vandals entered North Africa. By 439 they established a kingdom which included the Roman province of Africa as well as Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia, Malta and the Balearic Islands. They fended off several Roman attempts to recapture the African province, and sacked the city of Rome in 455. Their kingdom collapsed in the Vandalic War of 533–4, in which Justinian I managed to reconquer the province for the Eastern Roman Empire.
Renaissance and Early Modern writers characterized the Vandals as barbarians, “sacking and looting” Rome. This led to the use of the term “vandalism” to describe any senseless destruction, particularly the “barbarian” defacing of artwork. However, modern historians tend to regard the Vandals during the transitional period from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages as perpetuators, not destroyers, of Roman culture.
Born on this day:
1706 – John Dollond, English optician and astronomer (d. 1761)
John Dollond FRS (10 June O.S. (21 June N.S.) 1706 – 30 November 1761) was an English optician, known for his successful optics business and his patenting and commercialization of achromatic doublets.
Dollond was the son of a Huguenot refugee, a silk-weaver at Spitalfields, London, where he was born. He followed his father’s trade, but found time to acquire a knowledge of Latin, Greek, mathematics, physics, anatomy and other subjects. In 1752 he abandoned silk-weaving and joined his eldest son, Peter Dollond (1730–1820), who in 1750 had started in business as a maker of optical instruments; this business is now Dollond & Aitchison. His reputation grew rapidly, and in 1761 he was appointed optician to the king.
In 1758 he published an “Account of some experiments concerning the different refrangibility of light” (Phil. Trans., 1758), describing the experiments that led him to the achievement with which his name is specially associated, the discovery of a means of constructing achromatic lenses by the combination of crown and flint glasses, which reduces chromatic aberration (color defects). Leonhard Euler in 1747 had suggested that achromatism might be obtained by the combination of glass and water lenses. Relying on statements made by Sir Isaac Newton, Dollond disputed this possibility (Phil. Trans., 1753), but subsequently, after the Swedish physicist, Samuel Klingenstierna (1698–1765), had pointed out that Newton’s law of dispersion did not harmonize with certain observed facts, he began experiments to settle the question.
Early in 1757 he succeeded in producing refraction without colour by the aid of glass and water lenses, and a few months later he made a successful attempt to get the same result by a combination of glasses of different qualities (see History of telescopes). For this achievement the Royal Society awarded him the Copley Medal in 1758, and three years later elected him one of its fellows. Dollond also published two papers on apparatus for measuring small angles (Phil. Trans., 1753, 1754).
Priority of invention
See also: Achromatic lens: History
John Dollond was the first person to patent the achromatic doublet.[when?] However, it is well known that he was not the first to make achromatic lenses. Optician George Bass, following the instructions of Chester Moore Hall, made and sold such lenses as early as 1733. In the late 1750s, Bass told Dollond about Hall’s design; Dollond saw the potential and was able to reproduce them.
Dollond appears to have known of the prior work and refrained from enforcing his patent. After his death, his son, Peter, did take action to enforce the patent. A number of his competitors, including Bass, Benjamin Martin, Robert Rew and Jesse Ramsden, took action. Dollond’s patent was upheld, as the court found that the patent was valid due to Dollond’s exploitation of the invention while prior inventors did not. Several of the opticians were ruined by the expense of the legal proceedings and closed their shops as a result. The patent remained valid until it expired in 1772. Following the expiry of the patent, the price of achromatic doublets in England dropped by half. More details on this invention are in History of the telescope.
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What is the Contaminated Sites Laboratory Approval Program?
By regulation, any laboratory analysis of soil, air, or water required under the Division of Spill Prevention and Response must be conducted by a laboratory approved under the Laboratory Approval Program (CSLAP). Both the laboratory and the analysis method(s) in question must be approved by the CSLAP.
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While he dreams of going back to the mountains because there are more peaks to climb, he said if that is not to happen, “There will be another mission for me in this new life. I will wait for what God will send me, what to do, who to help.”