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April 06, 2005

April the Sixth

This day in history:

April 6th, 1893

The gloved boxing match between Andy Bowen and  Jack Burke started at 9:15pm in New Orleans. In those days there were no set time limits on a boxing match. The fights continued until one (or both) of the boxers went down or tossed in the towel. This fight, however, lasted 111 rounds. At 4:38am the referee decided that neither boxer could continue and declared it “no contest” later changed to a “daw” The match lasted 7 hours and 19 minutes. It remains as the record for the longest boxing match. Of added interest, given the year and the location, is the fact that Andy Bowen was Black and Jack Nurke was White.

April 6th, 1909

After two previous attempts failed, Americans Robert Peary and Matthew Henson reached the North Pole. Upon returning they were shocked to hear that Dr. Frederick A. Cook was claiming to have reached the pole a year earlier. Subsequent investigations proved Cook's claim to be a hoax:

Unfortunately Cook's hoax stole much of the enthusiasm that the public might have had for the expedition's success. Eventually Peary was properly honored, but Henson, as a black man, got little recognition....

It wasn't until 1937, at age seventy, that Henson got some of the attention he deserved. In that year he was made an honorary member of the famed Explorers Club in New York. In 1946 he was honored by the U.S. Navy with a medal. His most-prized award, though, was a gold medal from the Chicago Geographic Society.

April 6th, 1917

After repeatedly warning non-combatants, in advertisements in various newspapers including the New York Times, that the Lusitania was carrying arms, and would be attacked, Germany finally destroyed the British ship on May 1st, 1915 when a German U-boat torpedo hit the part of the ship military arms were stored. It was against the law for any American to travel aboard any ship carrying arms for either side of the conflict.

Two years later, on the brink of a possible end of the war, wealthy arms merchants fearing the loss of profits from the war, succeeded in convincing President Woodrow Wilson (elected on the slogan “He kept us out of the war”) to use the sinking of the Lusitania as an excuse to enter the war.

On April 6th, 1917 Wilson declared war on Germany. The war, up until that point, was simply a battle for colonialization between England and Germany. Once America entered the war it escalated.

The war ended November 11th, 1918. By that time the combination of the economic impact of the war and drought throughout America as well as Europe and some parts of Asia created a world wide depression. The result was the Great Depression in the United States. In Germany, depression and famine made the populous desperate enough to elect an Austrian wall-paper hanger with a funny mustache and grandiose promises of a “better future” to power. In Russia the same depression and famine led to a rebellion against the Czars, a rebellion quickly controlled by Communists who grabbed and maintained a stranglehold on the nation.

This day is the 88th anniversary of the decision which resulted in the rise of Communism, Nazism and ultimately empowered the socialist reforms of the FDR administration which has crippled America for almost half of her existence. Infamy, indeed.

Posted by Danny Carlton at April 6, 2005 11:49 AM

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