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RussianThunder February 1st, 2019 1:14pm

On this day (1 February) in history......see comments for events that took place. HIGHLIGHTS: The space shuttle Columbia disintegrates upon its return to earth in 2003. In 2004, 251 people are killed and 244 injured in a stampede at the Hajj.

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RussianThunder Russia and USA
02/01/19 6:57 am

ILAN RAMON AND THE TINY TORAH

Rabbi Simon, Rabbi Dasberg and the men and boys of their barracks in Bergen-Belsen, woke up before dawn to insure 13 year old Joachim Joseph would have his Bar Mitzvah using a smuggled in 4 1/2 inch tiny Torah. He was given the Torah as a gift by Rabbi Dasberg Rabbi Simon. He survived the war, immigrated to Israel and became a physicist. Ilan was the son and grandson of survivors so the holocaust was in his generational consciousness and he became friends with Joseph. One day, noticing the scroll, he saw it was handwritten and asked Dr Joseph the story. Ramon the asked permission to take it to space and Joseph readily agreed.
In a hookup with Israeli school students, he told the story. A profoundly proud Jewish nation around the world, looked on. The story of the Torah “journeying back (ok not really but the imagery was good) to the heavens” from which it came was profound to the Jewish world.

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RussianThunder Russia and USA
02/01/19 7:11 am

Then....disaster. The shuttle broke apart. All of the astronauts died and the shuttle was left in pieces. The scroll was certainly destroyed. Dr Joseph has no regrets though. Rabbi Simon and Rabbi Dasberg neither survived the war. Jospeh, at 13, weighed only 42 pounds when rescued. The scroll went from Europe back to the land of Israel and into outer space. To Rabbi Joseph, nothing says the Jewish people survived more than that. In 2009, Assaf Ramon was killed during a routine training flight (he was a fighter pilot). Rona Ramon died 7 weeks ago of pancreatic cancer but she refused a funeral, even for her children. Her body was cremated. She was only 54 years old.

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The Ramon Family
Ilan Ramon had a wife (Rona) and 4 children. His eldest, Asaf, had just had his own Bar Mitzvah when the accident happened. After the accident, Rona took the children from Florida back to Israel. Life went on.

RussianThunder Russia and USA
02/01/19 6:39 am

THE HAJJ

I know nearly nothing about Islam. I know Mecca is a sacred place and I know Kaaba is in Mecca, Saudi Arabia and it’s the holiest site in Islam. Muslims are to visit once in a life, at least. However, the population of Muslims used to be small. Islam is growing and Mecca seems to be inundated with people from all over in numbers far above they ever expected to have. It seems every year we hear of disasters simply from people moving too fast or temporary shelters falling.
When you go to worship whatever deity you worship, you do so thinking it should be a wonderful experience, not to lose your life. Mecca needs to firmly take into account the sheer numbers who visit the Kaaba and insure their safety. No one travels to Mecca to be accidentally killed in a stampede.
It’s somehow more horrific than many deaths. Dying in a house of worship or in carrying out a religious ceremony you consider meaningful is beyond sad.

Mecca needs to work on this.


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RussianThunder Russia and USA
02/01/19 6:15 am

1 February

In 481 CE, Vandal king Huneric organises a conference between Catholic and Arian bishops at Carthage. The teenaged Edward III is crowned King of England in 1327 but the country is ruled by his mother Queen Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer until Edward has him hanged at Tyburn. In 1329, King John of Bohemia captures Medvėgalis, an important fortress of the pagan Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and forcibly baptizes 6,000 of its defenders (seems like it would have little meaning if it was forced). Queen Elizabeth I of England signs death warrant for her cousin, Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots in 1587 (in an ironic twist, after she dies without heir, it is the Scottish raised son of Mary who will take the throne). In 1662, the Chinese general Koxinga seizes the island of Taiwan after a nine-month siege.


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RussianThunder Russia and USA
02/01/19 6:16 am

The U.S. Supreme Court convened for the first time in New York City in 1790. France declares war on the United Kingdom and the Netherlands in 1793. The first rabbi to open House of Representatives, Morris Raphall of NYC in 1860. In 1861, Texas secedes from the United States. President Abraham Lincoln signs the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution In 1865. Thomas A. Edison finishes construction of the first motion picture studio, the Black Maria in 1893, in West Orange, New Jersey. China's empress Tzu-hsi forbids binding woman's feet in 1902. King Carlos I of Portugal and Infante (Prince)Luis Filipe are assassinated in Lisbon in 1908. Director William Desmond Taylor is murdered in 1922. The United Kingdom recognizes the USSR in 1924. Josef Terboven, Reichskommissar of German-occupied Norway, appoints Vidkun Quisling in 1942, as the Minister President of the National Government of Norway (Quisling would be executed by the Norwegians at the end of the war).

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RussianThunder Russia and USA
02/01/19 6:17 am

U.S. Navy conducts Marshalls–Gilberts raids in 1492. They are the first offensive action by the United States against Japanese forces in the Pacific Theater. The Voice of America, the official external radio and television service of the United States government, begins broadcasting in 1942 with programs aimed at areas controlled by the Axis powers (as a side note, it still exists, broadcasting in 42 languages by 2014. Controversial in some areas, Russia labeled it “a foreign agent” in 2017). Trygve Lie of Norway is picked to be the first United Nations Secretary-General in 1946. Dmitri Shostakovich named professor at conservatoire of Leningrad in 1947. The Palestine Post building in Jerusalem is bombed in 1948. In 1950, the USSR demands condemnation of Emperor Hirohito for war crimes (hey, pot meet kettle!) Swiss men vote against voting rights for women in 1959 (WTH?!?!)


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RussianThunder Russia and USA
02/01/19 6:19 am

Four black students stage the first of the Greensboro sit-ins in 1960, at a lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina (I saw a documentary on this, fascinating). They would eventually be joined by whites. Severe bushfires in Tasmania destroy $11 million and takes 60 lives. In 1968, the execution of Viet Cong officer Nguyễn Văn Lém by South Vietnamese National Police Chief Nguyễn Ngọc Loan is recorded on motion picture film, as well as in an iconic still photograph taken by Eddie Adams. Kuala Lumpur becomes a city in 1972, by a royal charter granted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia. A fire in the 25-story Joelma Building in São Paulo, Brazil kills 189 and injures 293 in 1974. Harriet Tubman is the first African American woman to be honored on a US postage stamp in 1978. Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returns to Tehran in 1979, after nearly 15 years of exile.


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RussianThunder Russia and USA
02/01/19 6:20 am

Indian diplomat Ravindra Mhatre kidnapped and murdered by Kashmiri terrorists in Birmingham, England in 1984. In 1992, the Chief Judicial Magistrate of the Bhopal court declares Warren Anderson, ex-CEO of Union Carbide, a fugitive under Indian law for failing to appear in the Bhopal disaster case. In 1998, Rear Admiral Lillian E. Fishburne becomes the first female African American to be promoted to rear admiral. Daniel Pearl, American journalist and South Asia Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal, kidnapped 23 January 2002, is beheaded and mutilated by his captors. Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated during the reentry of mission STS-107 into the Earth's atmosphere in 2003, killing all seven astronauts Michael P. Anderson, David M Brown, Ilan Ramon, Laurel Clark, Rick Husband, Kalpana Chawla, and William McCool are killed. In 2004, In a stampede at the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, 251 people are trampled to death and 244 injured.


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RussianThunder Russia and USA
02/01/19 6:20 am

Economist Ben Bernanke becomes chairman of the US Federal Reserve in 2006 succeeding Alan Greenspan. The first cabinet of Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir was formed in Iceland in 2009, making her the country's first female prime minister and the world's first openly gay head of government. Ed Koch dies in 2013. John Kerry succeeds Hillary Clintonas US Secretary of State in 2013. Janet Yellen becomes Chair of the US Federal Reserve, succeeding Ben Bernanke in 2014.

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