On This Day
1826 – American settlers in Nacogdoches, Mexican Texas, declare their independence, starting the Fredonian Rebellion.
The Fredonian Rebellion (December 21, 1826 – January 23, 1827) was the first attempt by Anglo settlers in Texas to secede from Mexico. The settlers, led by Empresario Haden Edwards, declared independence from Mexican Texas and created the Republic of Fredonia near Nacogdoches. The short-lived republic encompassed the land the Mexican government had granted to Edwards in 1825 and included areas that had been previously settled. Edwards’s actions soon alienated the established residents, and the increasing hostilities between them and settlers recruited by Edwards led Victor Blanco of the Mexican government to revoke Edwards’s contract.
In late December 1826, a group of Edwards’s supporters took control of the region by arresting and removing from office several municipality officials affiliated with the established residents. Supporters declared their independence from Mexico. Although the nearby Cherokee tribe initially signed a treaty to support the new republic because a prior agreement with the Mexican government negotiated by Chief Richard Fields was ignored, overtures from Mexican authorities and respected empresario, Stephen F. Austin, convinced tribal leaders to repudiate the rebellion. On January 31, 1827, a force of over 100 Mexican soldiers and 275 Texian Militia marched into Nacogdoches to restore order. Haden Edwards and his brother Benjamin Edwards fled to the United States. Chief Fields was killed by his own tribe. A local merchant was arrested and sentenced to death but later paroled.
The rebellion led Mexican president Guadalupe Victoria to increase the military presence in the area. As a result, several hostile tribes in the area halted their raids on settlements and agreed to a peace treaty. The Comanche abided by this treaty for many years. Fearing that, through the rebellion, the United States hoped to gain control of Texas, the Mexican government severely curtailed immigration to the region from the US. The new immigration law was bitterly opposed by colonists and caused increasing dissatisfaction with Mexican rule. Some historians consider the Fredonian Rebellion to be the beginning of the Texas Revolution. In the words of one historian, the rebellion was “premature, but it sparked the powder for later success”.
1769 – Sino-Burmese War: The war ends with an uneasy truce.
The Sino-Burmese War (Chinese: 清緬戰爭; Burmese: တရုတ်-မြန်မာ စစ် (၁၇၆၅–၆၉)), also known as the Qing invasions of Burma or the Myanmar campaign of the Qing dynasty, was a war fought between the Qing dynasty of China and the Konbaung dynasty of Burma (Myanmar). China under the Qianlong Emperor launched four invasions of Burma between 1765 and 1769, which were considered one of his Ten Great Campaigns. Nonetheless, the war, which claimed the lives of over 70,000 Chinese soldiers and four commanders, is sometimes described as “the most disastrous frontier war that the Qing dynasty had ever waged”, and one that “assured Burmese independence”. Burma’s successful defense laid the foundation for the present-day boundary between the two countries.
At first, the Emperor envisaged an easy war, and sent in only the Green Standard troops stationed in Yunnan. The Qing invasion came as the majority of Burmese forces were deployed in their latest invasion of Siam. Nonetheless, battle-hardened Burmese troops defeated the first two invasions of 1765–1766 and 1766–1767 at the border. The regional conflict now escalated to a major war that involved military maneuvers nationwide in both countries. The third invasion (1767–1768) led by the elite Manchu Bannermen nearly succeeded, penetrating deep into central Burma within a few days’ march from the capital, Ava (Inwa). But the bannermen of northern China could not cope with unfamiliar tropical terrains and lethal endemic diseases, and were driven back with heavy losses. After the close call, King Hsinbyushin redeployed his armies from Siam to the Chinese front. The fourth and largest invasion got bogged down at the frontier. With the Qing forces completely encircled, a truce was reached between the field commanders of the two sides in December 1769.
The Qing kept a heavy military lineup in the border areas of Yunnan for about one decade in an attempt to wage another war while imposing a ban on inter-border trade for two decades. The Burmese, too, were preoccupied with the Chinese threat, and kept a series of garrisons along the border. Twenty years later, when Burma and China resumed a diplomatic relationship in 1790, the Qing unilaterally viewed the act as Burmese submission, and claimed victory. Ultimately, the main beneficiaries of this war were the Siamese, who reclaimed most of their territories in the next three years after having lost their capital Ayutthaya to the Burmese in 1767.
Born On This Day
1866 – Maud Gonne, Irish nationalist and political activist (d. 1953)
Maud Gonne MacBride (Irish: Maud Nic Ghoinn Bean Mhic Giolla Bhríghde; 21 December 1866 – 27 April 1953) was an English-born Irish republican revolutionary, suffragette and actress. Of Anglo-Irish descent, she was won over to Irish nationalism by the plight of evicted people in the Land Wars. She actively agitated for Home Rule and then for the republic declared in 1916. During the 1930s, as a founding member of the Social Credit Party, she promoted the distributive programme of C. H. Douglas. Gonne was well known for being the muse and long-time love interest of Irish poet W. B. Yeats.
1872 – Camille Guérin, French veterinarian and bacteriologist (d. 1961)
Jean-Marie Camille Guérin (French: [ɡeʁɛ̃]; 22 December 1872 – 9 June 1961) was a French veterinarian, bacteriologist and immunologist who, together with Albert Calmette, developed the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), a vaccine for immunization against tuberculosis.
Camille Guérin was born in Poitiers to a family of modest means. His father died of tuberculosis in 1882 (as well as his wife, in 1918). He studied veterinary medicine at the Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d’Alfort from 1892 to 1896, working, while a student, as an assistant to pathologist Edmond Nocard (1850–1903).
In 1897, he joined the Institut Pasteur de Lille (Lille, France) and started to work with its director, French physician, bacteriologist and immunologist Albert Calmette (1863–1933). He started as a technician in charge of preparing Calmette’s serum (antivenom against snake bites) and the vaccine against smallpox. He considerably improved the production techniques of the latter by using rabbits as intermediate hosts and developed a method to quantify the remaining virulence of these vaccines.
At Lille, he was promoted to Head of Laboratory in 1900. Thereafter, from 1905 to 1915, and from 1918 to 1928 he devoted himself to the research on a vaccine against tuberculosis, in close association with Calmette, until his death in 1933.
He discovered in 1905 that the bovine tuberculosis bacillum, the Mycobacterium bovis, could immunize the animals without causing the disease. Henceforth, he and Calmette developed ways of attenuate the pathogenic activity of Mycobacterium, using successive transferrals of culture. In 1908, after successfully obtaining an immunologically active preparation that could be used to produce a vaccine, he published with Calmette the results of what was named the BCG.
In 1919 he was promoted again, this time to Head of Services. Finally, in 1921, after 230 passages of the BCG culture, they obtained an effective vaccine that could be used in humans. In 1928 he moved to Paris to become the director of the Tuberculosis Service at the Pasteur Institute.
In 1939 he became vice-president of the “Comité National de Défense contre la Tuberculose” (National Defense Committee against Tuberculosis). In 1948 Guérin was chairman of the First International Congress on BCG. He was also President of the Veterinary Academy of France (1949), and President of the Academy of Medicine (1951). In 1955, the French Academy of Sciences awarded him the Scientific Grand Prix.
He died aged 88, in the Hôpital Pasteur in Paris.
By Richard Whittaker, Works and Conversations: The Power of Giving: Conversation with Ehren Tool, Fariba Safai, and Ashley Smith
ariba Safai and Ashley Smith were still students at CCA when they decided to do something radical. They decided to prepare a large batch of home made soup (from a favorite recipe of Fariba’s mother), to construct a cart able to wheel a very large stainless steel pot along a sidewalk, and to make their way to Union Square in San Francisco on Black Friday[the day after Thanksgiving and largest shopping day of the year] where they would offer free bowls of soup to any and all.
Ehren Tool, a marine who served in Iraq, upon finishing his tour of duty, enrolled at UC Berkeley to study ceramics in the Art Department. There he learned to throw on the wheel and found himself engaged in a new mission: making and giving away thousands of handmade ceramic cups. Each was shaped like a tea bowl and sometimes accompanied by a letter. And each cup was impressed with military emblems and images such as bombs, rifles and gas masks. Tool refers to himself as a “war awareness” artist.
To All Who Hope For a Better World.
What Shall We Give The Children?
“In the long twilight of the year, the faces of the children grow luminous. Rosy with cold, arabesqued with snowflakes, leaning into the wind, or drowsing before the fire, their eyes large, they look and listen, as if they glimpsed the peripheries of miracle or heard a soundless music in the air. From the innocent kingdom of implicit belief to that uncomfortable arena where the implacable mind battles the intractable heart, the faces of children at Christmas are lighted with visions of things to come.
What shall we give the children?
It seems certain that they will travel roads we never thought of; navigate strange seas, cross unimagined boundaries, and glimpse horizons beyond our power to visualize. What can we give them to take along? For the wild shores of Beyond, no toy or bauble will do. It must be something more; constructed of stouter fabric discovered among the cluttered aisles and tinseled bargain counters of experience, winnowed from what little we have learned. It must be devised out of responsibility and profound caring – a homemade present of selfless love. Everything changes but the landscapes of the heart.
What shall we give the children?
–Attention, for one day it will be too late.
–A sense of value. The inalienable place of the individual in the scheme of things, with all that accrues to the individual; self-reliance, courage, conviction, self-respect, and respect for others.
–A sense of humor. Laughter leavens life.
–The meaning of discipline. If we falter at discipline, life will do it for us.
–The will to work. Satisfying work is the lasting joy.
–The talent for sharing; for it is not so much what we give as what we share.
–The love of justice. Justice is the bulwark against violence and oppression and the repository of human dignity.
–The passion for truth, founded on precept and example. Truth is the beginning of every good thing.
–The power of faith, engendered in mutual trust. Life without faith is a dismal dead-end street.
–The beacon of hope, which lights all darkness.
–The knowledge of being loved beyond demand or reciprocity, praise or blame; for those so loved are never really lost.
What shall we give the children?
The open sky, the brown earth, the leafy tree, the golden sand, the blue water, the stars in their courses, and awareness of these. Birdsong, butterflies, storms and rainbows. Sunlight, moonlight, firelight. A large hand reaching down for a small hand; impromptu praise, an unexpected kiss, a straight answer. The glisten of enthusiasm and a sense of wonder. O long days to be merry and nights without fear. The memory of a good home.”
Attributed to Margaret Cousins, appearing in the December 1964 McCall’s
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