Wednesday, February 22, 2017

History: The Year is 1958

I've uploaded year 1958 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.

* A Land to the East: A Shining Pan-Arab Republic -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged

* The U.S. Air Force (Almost) Nukes South Carolina... and Georgia -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged

* The Cod Wars - No, that's not a typo -- 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.


A Land to the East: A Shining Pan-Arab Republic

Contributed by Alex Shrugged
Since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire 36 years ago, the Arabs have been negotiating for a unification of Arab states. This latest effort is prompted by the success of Egypt's President Gamal Abdel Nasser after the Suez Crisis and subsequent Sinai War. Nasser has pulled a diplomatic victory out of the jaws of defeat, so he is a popular guy in some circles... like Syria. The socialist Ba'ath Party is in favor of a merger, so Egypt and Syria become the United Arab Republic. It is a hopeful beginning to a Pan-Arab republic. North Yemen will join later in a confederation called the United Arab States. (FYI, North Yemen eventually merges into a greater Yemen.) Last week the King of Iraq and the King of Jordon formed the Arab Federation. (The kings are cousins.) It collapses a few months later when the King of Iraq is deposed in a military coup backed by the British. Other Pan-Arab republics will come and go. They won't last long probably because the Arabs are made up of several tribes, and to unify them will take a charismatic and strong leader. Nasser won the Sinai War on points, but he needed to win by force-of-arms to make him the credible leader of a Pan-Arab state. No joy this time, so more war is on the way. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Bible fans will recognize the "land to the East" as that region promised to Ishmael, the son of Abraham through the concubine Hagar. Traditionally, Arabs draw their linage through Ishmael and the 12 princes who were his sons. Today, Arabs seem to think that the Land of Israel is... (STOP! A long biblical discussion is hereby mercifully deleted by Alex Shrugged.) Secondly, during World War 1 the Arabs were promised the Mashreq or "East" to be divided (or united) as they saw fit, but in a secret agreement called the Sykes–Picot Agreement, Britain and France agreed to split up the Middle East between them (and the Arabs could take a flying leap). This broken promise became the basis of the current mistrust between the Middle East and the West. From their perspective, the State of Israel is another example of how the West mistreats the Arabs. I know it was all long ago, but like the Irish resentment over the British Ulster Plantation, these things take time to heal. The Ulster Plantation was established in 1606, so we have less than 400 years to go. Mark your calendars. [8] [9] [10] FYI: Alex Shrugged is Jewish and supports Israel, but is doing his best to present a balanced picture of these events. Your mileage may vary. [11]

The U.S. Air Force (Almost) Nukes South Carolina... and Georgia

Contributed by Alex Shrugged
"Not too many people can say they've had a nuclear bomb dropped on them."
-- Walter Gregg recalling when a nuclear weapon landed in his backyard. [12]
Luckily, the bomb is unarmed and it contains no fissionable material. (FYI, even without nuclear material inside, a nuclear bomb contains enough explosives to upset Aunt Jenny's Sunday picnic real good. Know what I mean?) Although the Air Force claims that the bomb was released from 15,000 feet, residents say that the B-47 Stratojet sounded like it was right on top of them. A 6-kiloton nuclear package lands in the backyard of Walter Gregg, a railway conductor. He is in his garage with his son making a bench. It is not clear what the Air Force has against railway workers or handmade benches, but clearly... they missed. All joking aside, what happened is that during a military exercise, the co-pilot realized that the bomb was not properly secured, so he hit the button that would secure the bomb. IT WAS THE WRONG BUTTON! Hal opened the pod-bay doors, and all hell broke loose. The bomb left a crater 75 feet wide and about 30 feet deep. People had cuts and bruises, but no one was killed. Gregg and his wife move to Florence. The hole remains. [13]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Are we done yet? HECK NO! A Mark 15 hydrogen bomb is lost off of Tybee Island near Savannah, Georgia. Yet another B-47 Stratojet is carrying an honest-to-Heavens LIVE nuclear weapon. The Stratojet is involved in a mid-air collision with an F-86 fighter plane. The fighter pilot ejects, and the Stratojet drops 18,000 feet. It can still fly, but no one knows for how long. In order to insure that the B-47 doesn't blow up, killing the crew and everyone within 10 miles of the landing strip, they drop the bomb into the drink. They search for it later, but they can't find it. In a report from 2001 the Air Force concludes that, "it is in the best interest of the public and the environment to leave the bomb in its resting-place". So... the bomb is still out there? Yes, it is. [14] [15]

The Cod Wars - No, that's not a typo

Contributed by Southpaw Ben
This war was between Iceland and the UK, with West Germany also taking sides with the UK. On September 1st 1958, an Icelandic law went into effect that expanded the Icelandic fishery zone from 4 nautical miles to 12 nautical miles. All NATO members were opposed to this new law, most notably the UK, which was most directly affected by this law, as many of it's commercial fishermen had fished these cod rich waters exclusively, supporting thousands of British jobs. From the enactment of this law until March 11th 1961, the UK declared that their fishing trawlers would be under protection by their warships. There were 20 British trawlers being guarded by 4 warships. Between September 1958 until February 1960, the UK spent around half a million pounds on oil on the 53 warships that rotated through the Icelandic fishing areas. On the other had, Iceland only deployed seven patrol vessels and a flying boat, and only one of which could actually take action and arrest and tow a trawler into harbor. In the end, there were no casualties, despite several close calls, and Iceland "won", with the UK eventually agreeing to the terms put forth by Iceland prior to the law taking effect in 1958. [16] [17]
My Take by Southpaw Ben
In the end, between 1958 and 1976 there were three different Cod Wars between Iceland and some combination of UK, West Germany and Belgium. These three conflicts resulted in a grand total of 1 death, 1 wounded, and 21 vessels damaged. Because of the lack of a declaration of war, and how little actual fighting there was, most don't consider the Cod Wars to be actual wars. However, it can be seen as an example of a successful guerrilla action, as Iceland, which had a much smaller navy than the UK was able to leverage the advantages they did have to their advantage. Their biggest leverage was the political leverage they had as a result of having vital US bases they could threaten to close. Due to this, NATO was forced to mediate the conflict and get the UK to agree to Icelandic terms for the resolution of this conflict. Alex Shrugged pointed out to me one other major reason the US was forced to side with Iceland; the 12 mile limit came from a US law, signed by President Truman to stop Japanese from fishing along the cost of Alaska, as well as to claim control of the mineral resources found within the 12 miles, which was based on the size of the continental shelf.

Notable Births

  • Mark Cuban: Owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theatres, and member of TV's Shark Tank. [18]
  • Billy Mays (died 2009, age 50): TV pitchman. He died after he offered affordable health insurance. (Pure coincidence, I'm sure.-- alexsshrugged) [18] [19]
  • Tim Kaine: US Senator (D) Virginia and 2016 VP candidate with Hillary Clinton. [18]
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson: Astrophysicist, and host of TV's Cosmos. (Fun guy. Filled with BS... bad science.--alexshrugged) [18]
  • Karen Pence: Wife of VP Mike Pence and Second Lady of the United States. [18]
  • And in Entertainment...
  • -- Directors: Chris Columbus and Tim Burton. [18]
  • -- In Music: Alan Jackson, Ice-T, Madonna, Michael Jackson (died 2009, aged 50) and Prince (died 2016, age 57). [18]
  • -- In Comedy: Ellen DeGeneres, Drew Carey, and Jeff Foxworthy. [18]
  • -- Gary Oldman: The Fifth Element, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Space Between Us, and more. [18]
  • -- Alec Baldwin: Beetlejuice, The Hunt for Red October, TV's 30 Rock and President Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live. [18]

This Year in Film

  • Gigi: A young French girl is trained to become a consort. "Thank Heaven for Little Girls!" is the popular song from that film. [20] [21]
  • South Pacific: World War 2 in song. (It doesn't have to make sense. It's a musical.--alexshrugged) [20]
  • No Time for Sergeants: Andy Griffith plays a country boy drafted into the Army. (It is hilarious.--alexshrugged) [20]
  • B-Movie horror films: The Fly, The Blob, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, Return of the Fly, and Return of Frankenstein (but no return to sanity--alexshrugged). [20]

This Year in Music

  • Volare: An Italian song. The half-English version is sung by Dean Martin. [22] [23] [24] [25]
  • (Hang down your head) Tom Dooley: The Kingston Trio. [22] [26]
  • The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late): David Seville keeps Simon, Theodore and Alvin under control... mostly. [22] [27] [28]
  • Elvis Presley is inducted into the Army: It is a media event. He tries to remain a normal soldier even though he is not. The record company releases unpublished recordings, and Elvis records songs while on leave. This keeps his career going. He will meet Priscilla, his future wife, next year. SHE IS 14-YEARS-OLD! (Elvis, you dog!--alexshrugged) His induction inspires the stage production, movie and song "Bye Bye Birdie". (The song is sung poorly but enthusiastically by a young Ann-Margret.--alexshrugged) [29] [30] [31]

In Other News

  • Linus Pauling warns of radioactive Carbon 14 in the atmosphere: He is an activist, but C-14 is increasing, and his findings are published in Science, a peer-reviewed journal. [32] [33] [34]
  • The Patron Saint of... Television?: Saint Clare of Assisi (born Jul, 16 1194, died August 11, 1253, canonized September 26, 1255) is declared the patron saint of television by Pope Pius XII. [35][36]
  • The Baby Boom Ends: 1958 marks the end of post war baby boom and starts a record 11 year decline of birth rate. However it still remains elevated above the pre-war average for several more years. [37]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1958, Wikipedia.

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