Archive for July, 2011

Who won the Cold War?

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

In the fall semester of 1950, my freshman year in college, I took a required course in history. I don’t remember much about it — except that the professor talked a lot about Napoleon.

But one event clear in my mind is as follows:

One Monday morning the professor, whose white mustache and a walking stick in hand gave him the appearance of an English aristocrat, walked into the classroom after a weekend visit with his friend Dean Acheson (Sect. of State under Truman) in Washington, D. C., with the following announcement:

“Good morning.” “The Monster says I have to take a roll call, but you kids don’t belong here.” “You should be in your rooms studying languages.” “If you’re an optimist, you should be studying Russian; but if you’re a pessimist, you should be studying Chinese.”

(The “Monster” was an early version of the IBM computer). The rest of the statement speaks for it-self.

At that time, of course, we were in the early stages of the Korean war — which was followed by the long cold war with the Soviet Union.

The Battle of Point Pleasant

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

 Historic monument in Point Pleasant, West Virginia.

The Battle of Point Pleasant occurred on Oct. 10, 1774 (several months before the Battles of Lexington and Concord) and is honored as the first battle of the American Revolution. Known as the Battle of Kanawha in some older accounts, it was the only major battle of Dunmore’s War — primarily between Virginia militia and American Indians from the Shawnee and Mingo tribes.