This Day In History – October 20


Bound as our lives are to the tyranny of time, it is through what we know of history that we are delivered from our bonds and escape – into time. ~A.L. Rowse, The Use of History

Plow & Hearth


Revolution 1774 – Congress creates the Continental Association
On this day in 1774, the First Continental Congress creates the Continental Association, which calls for a complete ban on all trade between America and Great Britain of all goods, wares or merchandise. The creation of the association was in response to the Coercive Acts—or “Intolerable Acts” as they were known to the colonists–which were established by the British government to restore order in Massachusetts following the Boston Tea Party.


Civil War 1863 – Skirmish at Warm Springs, North Carolina
The skirmish happened in October of 1863 when two Union Regiments –the 2nd and 3rd North Carolina Mounted Infantry regiments–were stationed at Warm Springs as a recruiting camp.  When the Confederates learned of their presence, a mounted battalion led by Major J. W. Woodfin (a lawyer from Asheville whose family name is now a town north of Asheville) arrived and Woodfin was immediately shot dead as he was crossing the bridge. The attack was to come from both front and rear, all under the command of General R. B. Vance (the brother of Governor Zebulon Vance). Since the artillery had been discovered and had retreated back to Asheville and General Vance couldn’t get his men across the river, he withdrew, leaving the 25th North Carolina unsupported.


Old West 1880- California- Black Bart holds up stagecoach in California

Famous outlaw robs stage near Redding, California-Roseburg, Oregon 1 mile fromthe Oregon line. Charles Earl Bowles (1829- after 1888), better known as Black Bart, was an English-born American Old West outlaw noted for his poetic messages left after two of his robberies. Also known as Charles Bolton, C.E. Bolton and Black Bart the Po8, he was a gentleman bandit, and one of the most notorious stagecoach robbers to operate in and around Northern California and southern Oregon during the 1870s and 1880s.


Science 1480 – Vannoccio Biringuccio Born 20 Oct 1480; died Aug 1537. 
Italian metallurgist and armament maker. As head of the Papal foundry and a contemporary of Leonard da Vinci, he wrote in great detail about foundry practices. He is chiefly known as the author of De la pirotechnia (1540; “Concerning Pyrotechnics”), the first clear, comprehensive 16th-century how-to book for the practicioner of “pyrotechnical arts”. The book was a practical guide for distilling liquids, refining metals and mixing gun powder. This includes gold, silver, iron, copper, tin, steel and brass; the preparation of ores for smelting, refining, alloying; casting, cutting and making moulds. It also contains several chapters on the preparation and use of rockets in warfare and festivals. 


World War 1918 – Turks send British officer to negotiate armistice terms
On October 20, 1918, General Charles Townshend travels from Constantinople to the Greek Isles to liaison with the British government over a possible armistice between the Allies and the Ottoman Empire in World War I. Up until mid-September 1918, the ruling Ottoman government, the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) or Young Turks, still believed ultimate victory for the Central Powers was possible.


World War II 1944 – U.S. forces land at Leyte Island in the Philippines
On this day in 1944, more than 100,000 American soldiers land on Leyte Island, in the Philippines, as preparation for the major invasion by Gen. Douglas MacArthur. The ensuing battles of Leyte Island proved among the bloodiest of the war in the Pacific and signaled the beginning of the end for the Japanese.


General Interest 1935 – Mao’s Long March concludes
Just over a year after the start of the Long March, Mao Zedong arrives in Shensi Province in northwest China with 4,000 survivors and sets up Chinese Communist headquarters. The epic flight from Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist forces lasted 368 days and covered 6,000 miles, nearly twice the distance from New York to San Francisco.


Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

America remember and honor your history – it will give direction,
purpose and security to your future.


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