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history

Why did Decatur burn the Philadelphia?

In 1803, the US lost one of its best ships when Bainbridge hit uncharted rocks. According to Anthony Irvin, the Philadelphia was “one third of Preble’s Squadron.”

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history

When will we disband Nato?

The recent “no-fly” zone has proved that Nato is not needed. In the case of Germany and Turkey’s apparent objections, it seems that Nato was not even heeded. Nato is a relic of the Cold War. It serves to annoy China and Russia, two countries who feel targeted by it. It is nothing more than […]

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history

Why is Tripoli so popular with historians?

In October, I had no idea what was going to happen in North Africa.  Yet, I felt drawn to write a history of the “Barbary pirates.” I didn’t yet realize what would happen this year, nor did I know that Hollywood was already working on a film on that subject. The first time I remember […]

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history

Burning the Philadelphia

Today, in 1804, Stephen Decatur led a small band in a ketch to destroy a warship.  Horatio Nelson is said to have called it “the most bold and daring act of the age.” Well, I can’t verify Nelson having said that, but if he did then he was blockading Toulon at the time. What we […]

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history

Who should play former President Richard Milhous Nixon?

My generation knows the 37th President of the USA through two sound bytes. In the pro Nixon camp, Dr. Spock famously advised us that “Only Nixon could go to China.”  The Anti-Nixonites however, use Richard’s own words against him: “I am not a crook.”

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1812 history Uncategorized

Pedro de Soza

451 years ago today, Pedro de Soza was secretly murdered by the inquisition in Antwerp. The official method of execution for “heresy” of being a male Anabaptist was being burt to death.  However, the people of Antwerp didn’t like it when the foreign government killed innocent people. Many protestants, free thinkers and tolerant Catholics could revolt at the […]