Monday, February 20, 2017

History: The Year is 1956

I've uploaded year 1956 to the TSP Wiki...

As always, Alex Shrugged's opinions are his own. Other people's work are their own. I include them here for the sake of completeness and to provide a second method of access to the material for the TSP history segment.

* The Suez Canal Nuclear Showdown -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged

* U2 Is Not Just an Irish Rock Band -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged

* The death penalty is banned in the UK... Almost. -- Contributed by Southpaw Ben

* Notable Births -- See below.

* This Year in Film -- See below.

* This Year in Music -- See below.

* In Other News -- See below.


The Suez Canal Nuclear Showdown

Contributed by Alex Shrugged
IN SUMMARY: the Suez Canal in the Middle East significantly, reduces the travel time of naval ships and cargo (particularly oil) by allowing ships to slip through a man-made channel between continents. But the Canal constitutes a single point of failure. If it is blocked, economies fall and wars are lost. The British had built the Canal along with the King of Egypt, but he sold his shares. Now, the Egyptian monarchy has been overthrown and Gamal Abdel Nasser is the 2nd President of Egypt. Naturally, he nationalizes the Canal (which is what "stealing" is called when nations do it). So naturally, Israel invades to take it back. (WHAT?) The British and French are shocked, shocked, I tell you! So they move their troops in. (What nice guys!) But this invasion has been planned from the beginning by Britain using Israel as a stalking horse to provide a plausible excuse for Britain invading. France is along for the ride. Khrushchev of the Soviet Union wants to destroy the West ("We will bury you!") so he threatens to nuke Britain. Mao of communist China tries to undermine Khrushchev, by offering Nasser 250,000 Chinese "volunteers", and a no-pay-back loan of 10 million Swiss francs. Nasser takes the money but not the troops. President Eisenhower saves the day by pressuring Britain, France and Israel to back off. The Soviet Union remains a hero to Egypt even though Britain is not nuked. What? I didn't mention Hungry? Too bad about those guys. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Nuclear threats became the Soviet Union's foreign policy after this. Unfortunately the Suez Crisis, left the Hungarian Revolution out to dry. The Hungarians were depending on US MILITARY support, and not just pretty words. But Eisenhower was too busy in the Middle East. The Soviet tanks rolled in, and that was all she wrote. FYI, Alex Shrugged is Jewish, and he supports Israel. He is OK with Israel's part in the Suez Crisis, but not all of Ariel Sharon's part. He always seemed to be around when something bad happened. [8] [9] [10] [11]

U2 Is Not Just an Irish Rock Band

Contributed by Alex Shrugged
President Eisenhower has authorized 10 flights over the Soviet Union using the Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance plane. Up to this point the best pictures the USA has of the Soviet Union are old Nazi photos taken during World War 2. Naturally, the United States is worried about defending itself against Soviet aggression, but to hear it from the defense contractors the Russian are 12 feet tall and eat babies for breakfast. Just recently, Khrushchev of the Soviet Union threatened to "bury" the West and threatened to nuke Great Britain over the Suez Crisis. The threat is real but HOW BIG is the threat? No one really knows. Thus begins a program of picture taking, counting planes, tanks and missiles. The Soviets try to shoot the U-2 down, but so far, no luck, and the pictures are crystal clear. [12]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Spy plane? What spy plane? It was embarrassing when the Soviet Union finally shot down a U-2 with a Surface-to-Air-Missile and captured Gary Powers in 1960. It was down right frightening when the Russian Sputnik satellite orbited the Earth in 1957. It demonstrated a technical ability that could be used to spy on the USA, and the potential to drop a nuclear bomb anywhere on the Earth because the rocket that launched Sputnik was the R-7... an Inter Continental Ballistic Missile design. If you think the Sputnik was launched in the pursuit of knowledge, you need professional help. [13] [14] [15]

The death penalty is banned in the UK... Almost.

Contributed by Southpaw Ben
MP Sydney Silverman had long been an opponent of the death penalty in the UK, due to numerous miscarriages of justice. These had resulted in multiple innocent men being executed only for the real perpetrator to be convicted for the crime years later. In 1956 his bill to abolish the UK's death penalty was passed by the British House of Commons. Unfortunately, the House of Lords killed the bill before it could become law. In 1965, he was able to get the The Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act passed through both houses in 1965, however this bill only outlawed the execution of murderers. Only in 1998 was the death penalty completely abolished for all criminal offences.[16]
My Take by Southpaw Ben
It looks like I've found Jack's inspiration for his views on the death penalty! All kidding aside, I tend to agree with this line of thought about the death penalty. Like Jack, I have been all over the place in my thoughts on the death penalty, having been raised in a Republican household, but slowly becoming more libertarian over the years, and would currently consider myself a voluntarist.

Notable Births

  • Leo Laporte : Computer tech radio host on Call for Help and Security Now! with Steve Gibson. (I follow Security Now!--alexshrugged) [17]
  • Paula Zahn: New reader for CNN, Fox News and documentaries. [17]
  • Mark R. Hughes (died 2000, age 44): CEO of Herbalife International. (Died after a 4 day drinking binge.--alexshrugged) [17] [18]
  • And in Entertainment...
  • -- In Music...: Randy Jackson, La Toya Jackson, and Kenny G. [17]
  • -- In Sports...: Larry Bird, Joe Montana, Sugar Ray Leonard [17]
  • -- Bill Maher: Comedian and political commentator. [17]
  • -- Mel Gibson: Lethal Weapon, Braveheart, Passion of the Christ and more. (His personal life turned him into a pariah, but he is making a comeback.--alexshrugged) [17] [19]
  • -- Tom Hanks: Big, A League of Their Own, Sleepless in Seattle, Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, Saving Private Ryan, You've Got Mail, The Da Vinci Code, Toy Story and more and more. [17]
  • -- Carrie Fisher (died 2016, age 60): Princess Leia of Star Wars and assassin in The Blues Brothers. [17]

This Year in Film

  • The Ten Commandments: Starring Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner. [20]
  • The King and I: Starring Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner. [20]
  • Forbidden Planet: Starring Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen, but NOT YUL BRENNER! [20]

This Year in Music

  • Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be): Doris Day. [21]
  • Blueberry Hill: Fats Domino. [21]
  • Heartbreak Hotel, Hound Dog and Don't Be Cruel: Elvis Presley. (After 3 years he is an overnight sensation.--alexshrugged) [21]

In Other News

  • Grand Canyon air collision: In the deadliest civilian air collision to day, 2 passenger planes collide killing all 128 people on board. [22]
  • Hard disk drive invented: This creation of Reynold Johnson and his team at IBM is about the size of 2 refrigerators and stores 3.75 megabytes. [23]
  • Norma Jeane Mortenson changes her name: From February 23 onward, she will legally be known as Marilyn Monroe.[24]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1956, Wikipedia.

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