Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Today In History

Today was one of those days where many things have happened, so I thought I'd bring them up.

On August 3, 1492, the exploratory expedition lead by Christopher Columbus left Spain. He would get to the Caribbean and discover several islands and their inhabitants on October 12.  While other Europeans had been to the Americas before, this was the expedition that started the land rush to conquer and exploit the new world.  While I've always known that Columbus found land in October, it never occurred to me that he sailed from Spain so late in the year.  Imagine sailing out into a relatively unknown expanse in three small, leaky boats, not knowing if you'd be back before winter storms made the sea even more dangerous. 

Also, during this week in 1914, World War I was moving past the point of no return.  Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on July 28, France declared war on Germany and Germany declared war on Russia on August 1, and Great Britain declared war on Germany on August 4.  By the time the great powers exhausted themselves and signed an armistice in 1918, 16,543,185 people would have died in the war and a further 21,228,813 people had been wounded.  This war on an industrial scale set the world up for the horrors of World War II, Communism, and all of the other savagery that fills the history of the 20th century.  All of these things led to attrocities that made the slaughter in French trenches and Russian swamps look almost civilized.

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

Good point and good post...

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