Sunday, April 30, 2006

On This Date ...

Just for fun, I wanted to look up some of the intersting things that occured in history on this date (April 30th). I found two really interesting bits:

1. On this date in 1803, negotiators for the United States and the French Republic concluded a treaty that - for a large amount of money - gave us a huge swath of land that included the entire Mississippi River basin from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border, and west into Idaho. The French had to give it up, or lose it to the British or Spanish; we needed it for expansion. What are now the vast farms and ranches of the Great Plains states are a French legacy, as were the gold fields in the Black Hills.
Remember that when you hear people piss and whine about the French.

2. On this date in 1975, all of Saigon held its breath as the first tanks and motorized units of the North Vietnamese Army rolled up the city's boulevards. The Americans had left a few days earlier, leaving behind an evocative picture (the helicopter perched atop the roof of the CIA building in the heart of the city). The tanks smashed down the gate to the Presidential Palace and the government of South Vietnam officially was no more. The thirty-year-long war for the unification of Vietnam was over.
We lost 58,000 troops over there, and many more came back affected (including one of my cousins). But we should have learned the lessons of that long war before we started the current one on the other end of Asia.


Post a Comment

<< Home