When:
October 31, 2018 all-day
2018-10-31T00:00:00-04:00
2018-11-01T00:00:00-04:00

On this day in history:

475 – – – – Romulus Augustulus is proclaimed Western Roman Emperor.  There are in history so many referenced to “Roman Emperor,” “Western Roman Emperor,” and “Eastern Roman Emperor” – so what’s the deal? The “Roman Emperor” was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles throughout history. Often when a given Roman is described as becoming “emperor” in English, it reflects his taking of the title Augustus or Caesar. The legitimacy of an emperor’s rule depended on his control of the army and recognition by the Senate. An emperor would normally be proclaimed by his troops, or invested with imperial titles by the Senate, or both. The first emperors reigned alone; later emperors would sometimes rule with co-emperors and divide administration of the empire between them. The Romans considered the office of emperor to be distinct from that of a king. The first emperor, Augustus, resolutely refused recognition as a monarch.  Although Augustus could claim that his power was authentically republican, his successor, Tiberius, could not convincingly make the same claim.  Nonetheless, for the first three hundred years of Roman Emperors, from Augustus until Diocletian, efforts were made to portray the emperors as leaders of a republic. From Diocletian, whose tetrarchic reforms also divided the position into one emperor in the West and one in the East, until the end of the Empire, emperors ruled in an openly monarchic style and did not preserve the nominal principle of a republic, but the contrast with “kings” was maintained: although the imperial succession was generally hereditary, though it was only hereditary if there was a suitable candidate acceptable to the army and the bureaucracy, so the principle of automatic inheritance was not adopted. Elements of the Republican institutional framework (senate, consuls, and magistrates) were preserved until the very end of the Western Empire.  The Western Roman Empire collapsed in the late 5th century. Romulus Augustulus – who was proclaimed Western Roman Emperor on this day — is often considered to be the last emperor of the West after his forced abdication in 476, although Julius Nepos maintained a claim recognized by the Eastern Empire to the title until his death in 480. Following Nepos’ death, the Eastern Emperor Zeno abolished the division of the position and proclaimed himself as the sole Emperor of a reunited Roman Empire. The Eastern imperial lineage continued to rule from Constantinople (“New Rome”); they continued to style themselves as Emperor of the Romans, but are often referred to in modern scholarship as Byzantine emperors. Constantine XI Palaiologos was the last Roman Emperor in Constantinople, dying in the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453.

683 – – – – During the Siege of Mecca, the Kaaba catches fire and is burned down.  The Kaaba is the most sacred site in Islam.  It has a similar role to the Tabernacle and Holy of Holies in Judaism.

1517 – – – Protestant Reformation – Martin Luther post his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.

1822 – – – Emperor Aqustin de Iturbide attempts to dissolve the Congress of the Mexican Empire.

1864 – – – Nevada is admitted as the 36th U.S. state.

1903 – – – The Purdue Wreck, a railroad train collision in Indianapolis, kills 17 people, including 14 players of the Purdue University football team.

1917 – – – World War I – Battle of Beersheba – the “last successful cavalry charge in history.” This was when the Egyptian Expeditionary Force attacked and captured the Yildirim Army Group garrison at Beersheba, beginning the Southern Palestine Offensive of the Sinai and Palestine campaign.

1938 – – – Great Depression – In an effort to restore investor confidence, the New York Stock Exchange unveils a fifteen-point program aimed to upgrade protection for the investing public.

1940 – – – World War II – The Battle of Britain ends – The United Kingdom prevents a possible German invasion.

1941 – – – (a)  After 14 years of work Mount Rushmore is completed.  (b) WWII – the destroyer USS Reuben James is torpedoed by a German U-boat near Iceland, killing more than 100 U.S. Navy sailors.  It was the first U.S. Navy vessel sunk by enemy action in WWII.

For you who were around in the 1960s and perhaps remember and listened to the Woody Guthrie song made quite popular by the Kingston Trio in 1961.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7jBbCQwJ0g

 Have you heard of the ship, called the good Reuben James
Run by hard fighting men, both of honor and fame
She flew the stars and stripes for the land of the free
But tonight she’s in her grave at the bottom of the sea

Oh, tell me what were their names, tell me what were their names
Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James?
Tell me what were their names, tell me what were their names
Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James?

One hundred men went down to their dark and watery graves
When that good ship went down only forty-four were saved
T’was the last of October, they save the forty-four
From the dark, icy waters of that cold Iceland shore

Oh, tell me what were their names, tell me what were their names
Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James?
Tell me what were their names, tell me what were their names
Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James?

It was there in the dark, of that cold and water night
They watched for the U-Boats, they waited for a fight
Then a whine and a rock and a great explosion’s roar
They laid the Reuben James on that cold ocean floor

Oh, tell me what were their names, tell me what were their names
Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James?
Tell me what were their names, tell me what were their names
Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James?

Many years have passed since those brave men are gone
Those cold, icy waters, they’re still and they’re calm
Many years have passed and still I wonder why
The worst of men must fight and the best of men must die

Oh, tell me what were their names, tell me what were their names
Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James?
Tell me what were their names, tell me what were their names
Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James?

 1956 – – – Suez Crisis – The United Kingdom and France begin bombing Egypt to force the reopening of the opening of the canal.

1968 – – – Vietnam War – October Surprise – Citing progress with the Paris peace talks, President Johnson announces to the nation that he has ordered a complete cessation of “all air, naval, and artillery bombardment of North Vietnam” effective November 1.

1984 – – – Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated by two Sikh security guards.  Riots break out in New Delhi and other cities and around 3,000 Sikhs are killed.

1998 – – – Iraq disarmament crisis begins – Iraq announces it would no longer cooperate with the United Nations weapons inspectors.

2000 – – – Soyuz TM-31 launches, carrying the first resident crew to the International Space Station.

2002 – – – A federal grand jury in Houston indicts former Enron chief financial officer Andrew Fastow on 78 counts of wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice related to the collapse of his ex-employer.

2011 – – – The global population of humans reaches seven billion.

2017 – – – A truck drives in a crowd of people in Lower Manhattan, killing eight people.

Composed by Robert A. McConnell

Any opinions expressed herein are solely those of the writer and not necessarily those of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation. 

 

 

 

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