Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Learning from history - part two

By Libby

I was challenged in the comments on this post yesterday as having been unfair. I have to admit, I just threw it up carelessly because the contrasts struck me, so in the interests of fairness I decided to check the list again today and see what happened. Here's what I found.

On this day in:

1870 - A political cartoon for the first time symbolizes the United States Democratic Party with a donkey ("A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion" by Thomas Nast for Harper's Weekly).

1885 - Wilson Bentley takes the first photograph of a snowflake. [I love his work]

1919 - The Boston Molasses Disaster kills 21 people. [This was horrible.]

1973 - Vietnam War: Citing progress in peace negotiations, President Richard Nixon announces the suspension of offensive action in North Vietnam.

2001 - Wikipedia, a free Wiki content encyclopedia, goes online.

2008 - What's Bush doing? Don't ask. His mideast tour is going as expected. Badly.

My favorite factoid was the difference between the Vogue cover of 1912 and the one in 1918.

The jutxapositions don't strike me in the same way today. I'm more inclined to muse on the faded power of the fashion industry in society, but I think the lesson is that Democrats have been kicked around inside the Beltway for a very long time and it would be good if they learn how to kick back again. It's useful to remember that Nixon didn't sign that peace accord in the absence of Congressional pressure.

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