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14 July 1941

14 July 1941

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Acre Convention signed by Allied and Vichy representatives, ending the fighting in Syria

Traditional Enemies - Britain's War with Vichy France 1940-1942, John D Grainger. Looks at the series of battles between Vichy France and Britain between the fall of France in 1940 and Operation Torch at the end of 1942. Politically well balanced, acknowledging the genuine motives behind each British attack and the difficult balancing act the Vichy government was attempting but failing to pull off, and with good accounts of the military actions. [read full review]

Australian Naval History on 14 July 1941

German bombers made a determined effort to close the Suez canal when they attacked Port Tewfik, at the southern end of the Suez Canal. The 28,000 ton merchant vessel Georgic, crowded with troops, was hit during the raid, catching fire. Hobart’s boats were ordered away and during the hours that followed her crew went alongside the burning troopship rescuing many of those onboard. The situation worsened when the captain of Georgic attempted to beach his stricken ship, colliding with the landing ship Glenearn in the process and setting it alight. Both ships later grounded. HMAS Hobart’s seamen continued to render assistance rescuing both embarked troops and the ship’s crews. Dawn revealed a scene of destruction with both ships locked together on the North Shoal. Flames and smoke still gushed from he troopship although the fire in Glenearn had been extinguished. Later that day a line was passed from Hobart to Glenearn and she was towed clear.

AB W. L. E. Danswan and AB T. W. Todd, from shore establishment HMAS TORRENS were the first men of the RAN to lose their lives as a result of direct enemy action on Australian soil. They were killed while attempting to render safe a German mine washed ashore at Beachport, SA.

Loss of Hungarian Armor, 14 July 1941

Post by Jeff Leach » 08 Sep 2019, 13:55

In the document of the Soviet 55th Rifle Corps, there is the following statement,

"The artillery supporting the 680th Rifle Regiment (4th and 5th batteries 2/307th Artillery Regiment)* were in combat on 14 July in the Novaâ Ušica region. Results of that combat: ten tanks destroyed. Four tanks were knocked out by gunner Â. H. Kalyčuk, three tanks by gun commander Tarasenko and three tanks by gunner Ivanov. The tanks were of Hungarian type, easily destroyed by at 45 mm gun or three hand grenades. The type and thickness of the armor was not known."

NAK Operational Report No. 23, 03:00 (ЦАМО ф.943 оп.1 д.5 лл.61)

* There should also have been a company from the 160th Separate Artillery Battalion supporting the regiment. All units from the 169th Rifle Division.

Does anyone have any information from the Hungarian side? I checked 'The Royal Hungarian Army 1920 - 1945' by Leo Niehorster and 'Three Kings: Axis Royal Armies on the Russian Front 1941' by Patrick Cloutier didn't have any mention of the action. The Hungarian Mobile Corps was in the area on that day.

Re: Loss of Hungarian Armor, 14 July 1941

Post by Leo Niehorster » 13 Sep 2019, 20:41

Peter Mujzer
"Huns on Wheels"
=Hungarian Mobile Forces in WWII, Armoured, Cavalry, Bicycle Troops, Motorized Rifle=
Mujzer & Partners Ltd., 2015.
ISBN 978-963-12-2348-4

(Seems to be a day off.)

Re: Loss of Hungarian Armor, 14 July 1941

Post by Jeff Leach » 17 Sep 2019, 17:51

Thanks Leo,
It is nice to see the accounts match up pretty well. I have a few more combat-reports were the accounts match up but then there other accounts that are totally different. Russian claim can be real problematic at times.

Would like to add that the book is a private edition and you need to get information about it on Facebook Huns on Wheels.

History of Quarantine

The practice of quarantine, as we know it, began during the 14th century in an effort to protect coastal cities from plague epidemics. Ships arriving in Venice from infected ports were required to sit at anchor for 40 days before landing. This practice, called quarantine, was derived from the Italian words quaranta giorni which mean 40 days.

Early American Quarantine

When the United States was first established, little was done to prevent the importation of infectious diseases. Protection against imported diseases fell under local and state jurisdiction. Individual municipalities enacted a variety of quarantine regulations for arriving vessels.

State and local governments made sporadic attempts to impose quarantine requirements. Continued outbreaks of yellow fever finally prompted Congress to pass federal quarantine legislation in 1878. This legislation, while not conflicting with states&rsquo rights, paved the way for federal involvement in quarantine activities.

U.S. Public Health Service Officers, like those shown in this image taken circa 1912, wore uniforms while performing quarantine station duties beginning in the late 19th Century. Photo courtesy of the National Library of Medicine.

Late 19th Century

Outbreaks of cholera from passenger ships arriving from Europe prompted a reinterpretation of the law in 1892 to provide the federal government more authority in imposing quarantine requirements. The following year, Congress passed legislation that further clarified the federal role in quarantine activities. As local authorities came to realize the benefits of federal involvement, local quarantine stations were gradually turned over to the federal government. Additional federal facilities were built and the number of staff was increased to provide better coverage. The quarantine system was fully nationalized by 1921 when administration of the last quarantine station was transferred to the federal government.

Public Health Service Act

The Public Health Service Act External external icon of 1944 clearly established the federal government&rsquos quarantine authority for the first time. The act gave the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) responsibility for preventing the introduction, transmission, and spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the United States.

Reorganization and Expansion

This PHS cutter ship was used to transport quarantine inspectors to board ships flying the yellow quarantine flag. The flag was flown until quarantine and customs personnel inspected and cleared the ship to dock at the port.

This PHS cutter ship was used to transport quarantine inspectors to board ships flying the yellow quarantine flag. The flag was flown until quarantine and customs personnel inspected and cleared the ship to dock at the port.

Originally part of the Treasury Department, Quarantine and PHS, its parent organization, became part of the Federal Security Agency in 1939. In 1953, PHS and Quarantine joined the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW). Quarantine was then transferred to the agency now known as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1967. CDC remained part of HEW until 1980 when the department was reorganized into the Department of Health and Human Services.

When CDC assumed responsibility for Quarantine, it was a large organization with 55 quarantine stations and more than 500 staff members. Quarantine stations were located at every port, international airport, and major border crossing.

From Inspection to Intervention

After evaluating the quarantine program and its role in preventing disease transmission, CDC trimmed the program in the 1970s and changed its focus from routine inspection to program management and intervention. The new focus included an enhanced surveillance system to monitor the onset of epidemics abroad and a modernized inspection process to meet the changing needs of international traffic.

By 1995, all U.S. ports of entry were covered by only seven quarantine stations. A station was added in 1996 in Atlanta, Georgia, just before the city hosted the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Following the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic of 2003, CDC reorganized the quarantine station system, expanding to 18 stations with more than 90 field employees.

Quarantine Now

The Division of Global Migration and Quarantine is part of CDC&rsquos National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases and is headquartered in Atlanta. Quarantine stations are located in Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, El Paso, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, San Juan, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. (see contact lists and map).

Under its delegated authority, the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine is empowered to detain, medically examine, or conditionally release individuals and wildlife suspected of carrying a communicable disease.

Signs like this one, for the El Paso Quarantine Station, identify the Quarantine Station facilities located in airports and at land border crossings.

Many other illnesses of public health significance, such as measles, mumps, rubella, and chicken pox, are not contained in the list of quarantinable illnesses, but continue to pose a health risk to the public. Quarantine Station personnel respond to reports of ill travelers aboard airplanes, ships, and at land border crossings to make an assessment of the public health risk and initiate an appropriate response.

14 July 1941 - History

The President of the United States of America and the Prime Minister,

, representing His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, being met together, deem it right to make known certain common principles in the national policies of their respective countries on which they base their hopes for a better future for the world.

First, their countries seek no aggrandizement, territorial or other

Second, they desire to see no territorial changes that do not accord with the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned

Third, they respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live and they wish to see sovereign rights and self government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them

Fourth, they will endeavor, with due respect for their existing obligations, to further the enjoyment by all States, great or small, victor or vanquished, of access, on equal terms, to the trade and to the raw materials of the world which are needed for their economic prosperity

Fifth, they desire to bring about the fullest collaboration between all nations in the economic field with the object of securing, for all, improved labor standards, economic advancement and social security

Sixth, after the final destruction of the Nazi tyranny, they hope to see established a peace which will afford to all nations the means of dwelling in safety within their own boundaries, and which will afford assurance that all the men in all lands may live out their lives in freedom from fear and want

Seventh, such a peace should enable all men to traverse the high seas and oceans without hindrance

Eighth, they believe that all of the nations of the world, for realistic as well as spiritual reasons must come to the abandonment of the use of force. Since no future peace can be maintained if land, sea or air armaments continue to be employed by nations which threaten, or may threaten, aggression outside of their frontiers, they believe, pending the establishment of a wider and permanent system of general security, that the disarmament of such nations is essential. They will likewise aid and encourage all other practicable measure which will lighten for peace-loving peoples the crushing burden of armaments.

Marsha P. Johnson helped lead the &aposStonewallers&apos

The people who were at The Stonewall Innਊnd/or participated in the events at Stonewall in late June/early July 1969 are known as “Stonewallers.” Although it is unknown exactly how many Stonewallers there are (some project hundreds of thousands), many have publicly shared their stories and some are members of the Stonewall Veterans&apos Association (SVA).   

Marsha P, Johnson was at The Stonewall Inn on the first night of the riots. Many eyewitnesses have identified her as one of the main instigators of the uprising. 

Born Malcolm Michaels, Jr. on August 24, 1945, in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Johnson moved to NYC in the mid-1960s. She faced many hardships as an African American trans woman and even lived on the streets until she broke into the nightclub scene and became a prominent NYC drag queen. An eccentric woman known for her outlandish hats and glamorous jewelry, she was fearless and bold. Whenever she was asked what the “P” in her name stood for and when people pried about her gender or sexuality, she quipped back with “Pay it No Mind.” 

Her forthright nature and enduring strength led her to speak out against the injustices she saw at Stonewall in 1969. Following the events at Stonewall, Johnson and her friend Sylvia Rivera co-founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) and they became fixtures in the community, especially in their commitment to helping homeless transgender youth in NYC. 

Sadly, at the age of 46, on July 6, 1992, her body was found floating in the Hudson River off the West Village Piers. The police initially ruled her death a suicide despite claims from her friends and other members of the local community that she was not suicidal. Twenty-five years later, crime victim advocate Victoria Cruz of the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP) re-opened this investigation. 

New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio (back row), Congressman Jerrold Nadler (front row, left) and Valerie Jarrett (front row, right), Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, at the dedication ceremony officially designating the Stonewall Inn as a national monument on June 27, 2016. 

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Styrofoam, a Practical and Problematic Creation

A woman holds a Styrofoam &ldquolog&rdquo in this 1949 photo from the Science History Institute&rsquos collections.

Dow invented Styrofoam in 1941, rediscovering a process first patented by Swedish inventor Carl Munters. Dow bought the rights to Munters’s method and began producing a lightweight, water-resistant, and buoyant material that seemed perfectly suited for building docks and watercraft and for insulating homes, offices, and chicken sheds. These days Styrofoam is used for building insulation known as blueboard and for craftwork, such as the green foam blocks used by florists in flower arrangements.

Although Styrofoam has become a catchall for the coffee cups, packing peanuts, and many other nondescript items made of polystyrene foam, proper Styrofoam is a little different. Produced through extrusion, it is stronger, stiffer, and more expensive than the stuff used to make plates and cups. Those items are made through an expansion process in which small beads of resin are warmed and then squeezed together into the desired shape. This expansion-based cousin arrived in the 1950s and over time has been adopted for countless applications because of its properties—tough but virtually weightless, inexpensive, sterile, and chemically stable.

But polystyrene foam has its problems. Initially, ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons were used to expand the polystyrene beads into foam, until alarm rose over the growing hole in the ozone layer. The CFCs were eventually replaced with less harmful gases, but that wasn’t the end of the environmental concerns. The foam’s base material, styrene monomer, is a carcinogen plastic- and rubber-industry workers exposed to the unreacted monomer suffer higher rates of some types of cancer. Even more problematic, the finished material can take thousands of years, and perhaps more, to biodegrade. From 2002 to 2015 about 316 million metric tons of polystyrene were produced globally, with more than half thrown out inside of a year. And that doesn’t include the many other types of plastics that get tossed—an estimated 302 million tons worth in 2015 alone—all adding up to an enormous litter problem that particularly affects the oceans, where the materials accumulate, and sea life, which consume the floating bits and pieces. In response—and in the absence of a viable recycling method—New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and many other municipalities in the United States have banned single-use polystyrene containers.

As for all the polystyrene foam already floating around, scientists have investigated some novel solutions. An experiment published in 2006 suggested that after superheating the stuff into styrene oil, a strain of Pseudomonas putida, a type of soil bacteria, could convert the oil into a biodegradable form of plastic—polyhydroxyalkanoate, or PHA. Unfortunately, the process consumes a lot of energy and produces toxic by-products, such as toluene. Perhaps more promising, in 2015 a group of Chinese researchers published a report showing mealworms can survive on a diet of polystyrene foam as successfully as those fed a typical diet of bran. And in 2017 a team of European scientists found that waxworms had a similar appetite for polyethylene plastic bags. Is it possible we (or rather our larval friends) could eat our way out of our garbage problem?

How Columbus Sailed Into U.S. History, Thanks To Italians

Though he sailed in 1492, Christopher Columbus was not widely known among Americans until the mid-1700s.

Spencer Arnold/Getty Images

It's been 521 years since the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus "sailed the ocean blue/in fourteen hundred and ninety-two." Since then, there have been thousands of parades, speeches and statues commemorating Columbus, along with a critical rethinking of his life and legacy.

But the question remains, how did a man who never set foot on North America get a federal holiday in his name? While Columbus did arrive in the "New World" when he cast anchor in the Bahamas, he never made it to the United States.

This is in contrast to Juan Ponce de Leon (who arrived in Florida in 1513), Alonso Alvarez de Pineda (whose ships arrived in what's now known as Corpus Christi Bay in Texas in 1519) and fellow Italian Giovanni da Verrazzano, who reached New York Harbor in 1524.

The Two-Way

Long Hidden, Vatican Painting Linked To Native Americans


The First Gun In America

So why Columbus Day? Until the mid-1700s, Christopher Columbus was not widely known among most Americans. This began to change in the late 1700s, after the United States gained independence from Britain. The name "Columbia" soon became a synonym for the United States, with the name being used for various landmarks in the newly created nation (see the District of Columbia, Columbia University and the Columbia River).

Writer Washington Irving's A History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus, published in 1828, is the source of much of the glorification and myth-making related to Columbus today and is considered highly fictionalized.

For example, Irving's portrayal of Columbus is of a benevolent, adventurous man who was known for his generosity to Indians. In the best-seller, Columbus "was extremely desirous of dispelling any terror or distrust that might have been awakened in the island by the pursuit of the fugitives," after the escape of a group of Indian captives. This, of course, is the complete opposite of Columbus' actual behavior toward native people. (Incidentally, A History of the Life was also responsible for the incorrect belief that most people thought the Earth was flat until after Columbus's journey.)

Anti-Italian Sentiment

While Italians had always been a part of American history, it wasn't until the 1820s that Italian immigrants began moving to the United States in sizable numbers. The largest wave of Italian immigration occurred between 1880 and the start of World War I in 1914.

As Italian-Americans began to settle in the country's major cities, they often faced religious and ethnic discrimination. As Andrew Rolle wrote in his book, The Italian Americans: Troubled Roots, Italians were often portrayed as "short of stature, dark in complexion, cruel and shifty." Newspaper reports at the time often used the word "swarthy" to refer to Italians and other language of the time focused on the foreignness (and Catholic-ness) of these new Americans.

These anti-Italian sentiments occasionally led to brutal violence. One of the largest mass lynchings in the United States occurred in New Orleans in 1891, when 11 Sicilian immigrants were lynched after the city's police commissioner was killed and suspicion had been placed on the Italian community. (The 11 men had been found not guilty before the lynching. A New York Times editorial had this reaction: "Yet while every good citizen will readily assent to the proposition that this affair is to be deplored, it would be difficult to find any one individual who would confess that privately he deplores it very much.")

The first official commemoration of Columbus' journey occurred in 1892, just a year after the New Orleans lynchings. That's when President Benjamin Harrison became the first president to call for a national observance of Columbus Day, in honor of the 400th anniversary of Columbus' arrival. Harrison's proclamation directly linked the legacy of Columbus to American patriotism, with the proclamation celebrating the hard work of the American people and Columbus equally:

"On that day let the people, so far as possible, cease from toil and devote themselves to such exercises as may best express honor to the discoverer and their appreciation of the great achievements of the four completed centuries of American life."

Harrison's proclamation is notable in that there are no real references to Columbus' life, work or nationality. Instead, it was very specific to the 400th anniversary of Columbus' journey and how far America as a whole had come since then.

Celebrating Heritage, Via Columbus

Because Italian-Americans were struggling against religious and ethnic discrimination in the United States, many in the community saw celebrating the life and accomplishments of Christopher Columbus as a way for Italian Americans to be accepted by the mainstream. As historian Christopher J. Kauffman once wrote, "Italian Americans grounded legitimacy in a pluralistic society by focusing on the Genoese explorer as a central figure in their sense of peoplehood."

The first state to officially observe Columbus Day was Colorado in 1906. Instrumental in the creation of the holiday was Angelo Noce, an Italian immigrant who was the founder of Colorado's first Italian newspaper, La Stella.

In New York City, the annual Columbus Day parade is a celebration of Italian-American heritage. Mario Tama/Getty Images hide caption

Noce and fellow Italian-American Siro Mangini dreamed of honoring Christopher Columbus and worked with Colorado's first Hispanic state Sen. Casimiro Barela, to sponsor a bill proposing a Columbus Day holiday. (Interestingly, Siro Mangini owned a tavern named after Columbus. As his daughter recalled, "He finally decided to call it Christopher Columbus Hall, thinking that he was [the] one Italian [that] Americans would not throw rocks at.") Within five years of Colorado's creating the holiday, 14 other states were also celebrating Columbus Day.

Not everyone was happy about the possibility of a national holiday to honor Columbus. Around the same time people like Angelo Noce were working to make Columbus Day happen, there was also a movement going on to promote the Viking explorer Leif Erikson.

In 1925, while marking the centennial of the first arrival of Norwegian immigrants to the United States, President Calvin Coolidge told a crowd of thousands at the Minnesota State Fair that he believed that Erikson was the first European to discover America. Erikson is believed to have arrived in what is now Newfoundland, Canada, about 500 years before Columbus' arrival. This belief is supported by old Norse sagas that say the Vikings reached North America around the year 1000.

In 1930, Wisconsin became the first state to observe Leif Erikson Day. (The day would become a national day of observance in 1954 and falls on Oct. 9. President Obama's 2013 declaration can be read here.)

It wasn't until 1934 that Columbus Day became a federal holiday during Franklin Roosevelt's administration. The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal service organization, was instrumental in the creation of the holiday, (founded in 1882, the organization named itself after Columbus as a way to reflect that Roman Catholics were always part of American life.) In 1970, Congress declared it would be the second Monday of October.

Exploring Alternatives

Since the 1970s, Columbus' life and legacy has been examined much more critically by academics and the general public alike, and the mixed feelings now associated with the day reflect that. According to historian Matthew Dennis, "Within 50 years of 1492, the Greater Antilles and Bahamas saw their population reduced from an estimated million people to about 500." That's a shocking statistic.

Demonstrators urge passersby to "rethink Columbus Day" during a Native American-led protest of the holiday in Seattle in October 2011. Elaine Thompson/AP hide caption

Three states with significant native populations — Hawaii, Alaska and South Dakota — do not observe the day at all. In 1990, South Dakota decided to celebrate "Native American Day" instead. In Hawaii, the state choses to celebrate "Discoverers' Day" and its Polynesian community on the second Monday of October. Alaska is said not to celebrate the day because it falls too close to Alaska Day (Oct. 18). And the city of Berkeley, Calif., declared in 1992 that it would be celebrating "Indigenous Peoples Day" on the same day the rest of the country would be celebrating Columbus.

Throughout all of these discussions and changes, Columbus Day remained a celebration of Italian-American pride. Perhaps the best known pop culture reference to this pride is the 2002 Sopranos episode "Christopher," in which Silvio becomes incensed at a planned Native American Columbus Day protest and plans to take action.

In 2009, Nu Heightz Cinema released a PSA entitled "Reconsider Columbus Day," urging people to reflect on Columbus's true legacy. "With all due respect," the various Native American narrators intoned, "there's been an ugly truth that has been overlooked for way too long."

And last week, Matthew Inman, the founder and cartoonist of The Oatmeal, illustrated the history of Columbus' time in the Bahamas, with an emphasis on the natives he enslaved (Inman calls Columbus "the father of the Transatlantic Slave Trade") and notes that Columbus' goal was to acquire as much gold as possible. Inman instead suggests that Americans should celebrate the life and career of fellow explorer Bartolomé de las Casas. De las Casas, like Columbus, originally participated in the slave trade, but later repented and devoted his life to defending indigenous people's rights.

Whatever you think of Columbus Day, most people would probably agree with this writer for The Star Ledger, who recently noted that "if there's a more embattled holiday on the calendar than Columbus Day, I'd be hard pressed to find it."

Thinking About NASA History

The NASA History Program was started shortly after the Agency itself was established over forty years ago. The NASA History Office serves two key functions: widely disseminating aerospace information and helping NASA managers to understand and learn from past successes and failures. Thus, we have both internal and external audiences.

In addition to being part of the wider NASA community, the NASA History Office also interacts extensively with the professional historian community. Because of the technical nature of NASA’s work, we also work closely with our peers in the history of science and technology fields.

The work of these specialists tends to overlap with those who are involved in the field of history of science and technology (S&T) or the science and technology studies (STS) interdisciplinary field. While STS sometimes goes by different names, it typically includes the components of history, sociology, and philosophy of science and technology. STS is basically a social science approach to thinking about natural science and engineering.

One of our main products is the NASA History Series of publications. These are usually analytical but not highly technical and thus should be accessible to lay audiences. Our publications are also designed to serve as background information for present-day policy-makers.

The materials in this folder are designed to familiarize scientists and engineers with how NASA History Office publications are researched, written, and produced. This folder is also meant to familiarize nonhistorians with the craft of history by providing some models of good history and thought patterns of good historians. Historians who are unfamiliar with aerospace history may also be interested in these materials.

We hope you find these materials useful and encourage your comments and questions. Thank you for your interest in NASA history.

History's Biggest Tsunamis

Some of the biggest, most destructive and deadliest tsunamis on record:

8,000 years ago: A volcano caused an avalanche in Sicily 8,000 years ago that crashed into the sea at 200 mph, triggering a devastating tsunami that spread across the entire Mediterranean Sea. There are no historical records of the event – only geological records – but scientists say the tsunami was taller than 10-story building.

Nov. 1, 1755: After a colossal earthquake destroyed Lisbon, Portugal and rocked much of Europe, people took refuge by boat. A tsunami ensued, as did great fires. Altogether, the event killed more than 60,000 people.

Aug. 27, 1883: Eruptions from the Krakatoa volcano fueled a tsunami that drowned 36,000 people in the Indonesian Islands of western Java and southern Sumatra. The strength of the waves pushed coral blocks as large as 600 tons onto the shore.

June 15, 1896: Waves as high as 100 feet (30 meters), spawned by an earthquake, swept the east coast of Japan. Some 27,000 people died.

April 1, 1946: The April Fools tsunami, triggered by an earthquake in Alaska, killed 159 people, mostly in Hawaii.

July 9, 1958: Regarded as the largest recorded in modern times, the tsunami in Lituya Bay, Alaska was caused by a landslide triggered by an 8.3 magnitude earthquake. Waves reached a height of 1,720 feet (576 meters) in the bay, but because the area is relatively isolated and in a unique geologic setting the tsunami did not cause much damage elsewhere. It sank a single boat, killing two fishermen.

May 22, 1960: The largest recorded earthquake, magnitude 8.6 in Chile, created a tsunami that hit the Chilean coast within 15 minutes. The surge, up to 75 feet (25 meters) high, killed an estimated 1,500 people in Chile and Hawaii.

March 27, 1964: The Alaskan Good Friday earthquake, magnitude between 8.4, spawned a 201-foot (67-meter) tsunami in the Valdez Inlet. It traveled at over 400 mph, killing more than 120 people. Ten of the deaths occurred in Crescent City, in northern California, which saw waves as high as 20 feet (6.3 meters).

Aug. 23, 1976: A tsunami in the southwest Philippines killed 8,000 on the heels of an earthquake.

July 17, 1998: A magnitude 7.1 earthquake generated a tsunami in Papua New Guinea that quickly killed 2,200.

Dec. 26, 2004: A colossal earthquake with a magnitude between 9.1 and 9.3 shook Indonesia and killed an estimated 230,000 people, most due to the tsunami and the lack of aid afterward, coupled with deviating and unsanitary conditions. The quake was named the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake, and the tsunami has become known as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Those waves traveled the globe – as far as Nova Scotia and Peru.

March 11, 2011: A massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck northern Japan, triggering tsunamis that reportedly swept up cars, buildings and other debris. The Japan Meteorological Society has forecast more major tsunamis in the area, with some expected to reach more than 30 feet (10 m) off the coast of Hokkaido, Japan's second largest island. A tsunami was also generated off the coast of Hawaii, one that could cause damage along the coastlines of all islands in the state of Hawaii, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. Tsunami warnings are in effect across Hawaii as well.

What Did the World Know?

What did the rest of the world know about the Nazis’ policies of annihilation during World War II and the terror and mass murder spreading across Europe as a result?

By summer 1941, British intelligence agents were listening in on classified German radio transmissions that described systematic mass murders in Lithuania, Latvia, and later Ukraine. News also came from the Soviets. On August 14, 1941, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill summarized the news in a broadcast to the public:

As [Hitler’s] armies advance, whole districts are being exterminated. Scores of thousands, literally scores of thousands of executions in cold blood, are being perpetrated by the German police troops upon the Russian patriots who defend their native soil. . . . And this is but the beginning. Famine and pestilence have yet to follow in the bloody ruts of Hitler's tanks.

We are in the presence of a crime without a name. 1

Additional confirmation came in spring 1942, when American journalists stranded in Germany when the United States entered the war were exchanged for Axis nationals stranded in the United States. Historian Deborah Lipstadt describes the articles these journalists wrote after they returned home:

Glen Stadler, UP [United Press] correspondent in Germany, described what had happened to Jews in Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania as an “open hunt.” Some of the reporters estimated that more than 400,000 had already been killed by Hitler’s “new order,” including “upward of 100,000 [Jews who] met death in the Baltic states alone, and more than that . . . have been executed in Western Russia.”

Joseph Grigg, also of the UP, reported: “One of the biggest slaughters occurred in Latvia in the summer of 1941 when, responsible Nazi sources admitted, 56,000 men, women and children were killed by S.S. troops and Latvian irregulars.” 2

News also filtered out of occupied Europe through government channels. Following Poland’s defeat by Germany, Polish leaders had established a temporary “government in exile” in Britain. In June 1942, they received a secret report from occupied Poland confirming that the Germans were murdering Jews throughout the country. Newspapers around the world carried the story.

The London Times reported:


The Montreal Daily Star stated:


The Los Angeles Times wrote:


The New York Journal American declared:


Recalling atrocity stories during World War I that later proved to be false, American journalists tended to be cautious about claims of mass murder. So even though they reported the news, their editors rarely featured those stories on the front page and were careful not to emphasize claims of atrocities. Nevertheless, on December 13, 1942, Edward R. Murrow of the CBS radio network bluntly reported, “What is happening is this. Millions of human beings, most of them Jews, are being gathered up with ruthless efficiency and murdered. The phrase ‘concentration camps’ is obsolete, as out of date as economic sanctions or non-recognition. It is now possible only to speak of extermination camps.” 4

Four days later, the governments of the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union issued a joint declaration that “the German authorities, not content with denying to persons of the Jewish race in all the territories over which their barbarous rule has been extended the most elementary human rights, are now carrying into effect Hitler’s oft-repeated intention to exterminate the Jewish people of Europe.” The declaration stated, in part:

Jews are being transported in conditions of appalling horror and brutality to Eastern Europe. In Poland, which has been made the principal Nazi slaughterhouse, the ghettos established by the German invaders are being systematically emptied of all Jews except a few highly skilled workers required for war industries. None of those taken away are ever heard of again. The able-bodied are slowly worked to death in labor camps. The infirm are left to die of exposure and starvation or are deliberately massacred in mass executions. The number of victims of these bloody cruelties is reckoned in many hundreds of thousands of entirely innocent men, women, and children. 5

The Allies believed that the best way to help the Jews was to win the war. They warned Nazi leaders that they would be held responsible for their crimes once Germany was defeated.


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