Friday, November 26, 2010

Japan and Pearl Harbor

You all thought I was going to blog about the history of Thanksgiving, didn’t you? Well, I try to keep my readers on their toes, and tried to stay away from the expected. Thus, I am posting a day after the holiday. Making last minute changes, in retrospect blogging about Black Friday may have been a good choice. But, this is also interesting. So, here we go with my second post of the week.

Looking through my possible topic suggestions for my later post, I found November 26, 1941 the Japanese task force left for Pearl Harbor.

Adm. Chirchi Nagumoto led the Japanese First Air Fleet, with the orders should "negotiations with the United States reach a successful conclusion, the task force will immediately put about and return to the homeland." These negotiations had been ongoing for months and Japan wanted to end U.S. economic sanctions put in place because the U.S. wanted Japan out of China and Southeast Asia.

Neither side was budging, and Roosevelt anticipated a Japanese strike as retaliation, but was unsure where the strike would be. The Philippines, Wake Island and Midway were all possibilities.

Nagumo had no experience with naval aviation and did not like taking risks; he considered the attack on Pearl Harbor to be one of those risks. Chief of Staff Rear Adm. Isoruku Yamamoto felt differently and believed the only way Japan would gain a victory was a surprise attack.

As far as the Roosevelt War Department was concerned, if war was inevitable, it desired "that Japan commit the first overt act."

Everyone knows December 7 is Pearl Harbor Day, but I thought it was interesting how the fleet left on November 26.

I hope everyone had a marvelous holiday. For those going out Black Friday Shopping, enjoy. And Happy History to all!

Monday, November 22, 2010


Ok, so I have once again taken a lot of time to myself to work on my studies. The good news is I presented my thesis and got an A on it! The bad news is I have been slacking on my history. To make up for it I am going to try and update twice this week, so I can say I have accomplished a bit. However, it is break, so I may just not get to it at all.

During my hiatus, there have been some very interesting topics:
• The Sistine Chapel Ceiling opened to the public on November 1, 1512
• German scientist Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen discovered the x-ray on November 8, 1895
• WWI Ends at 11:00 a.m. on November 11, 1918
• The Elizabethan Age began November 17, 1558 when Elizabeth ascends the thrown at the age of 25

Today, November 22, 1963, John F. Kennedy dies. Everyone knows the story; JFK was in a motorcade at a parade in Dallas, Texas when Lee Harvey Oswald killed him. Allegedly three shots were fired, two hitting the president and fatally wounding him, and also seriously injuring Governor Connally.

The President was pronounced dead 30 minutes later. Vice President Linden B. Johnson was sworn in as President at 2:39 p.m.

Oswald joined the Maries in 1956, and was discharged in 1959 and left for the Soviet Union. Oswald tried unsuccessfully to become a citizen. He later returned to the U.S. in 1962 with his wife and child. Oswald allegedly shot and missed former U.S. Army General Edwin Walker in 1963; Walker was known for his extreme right-wing views. Oswald later went on to found a pro-Castro organization, and Oswald tried later that year to return to the U.S.S.R. or move to Cuba. He later moved to Dallas.

Oswald was found less than an hour after JFK was shot. Two days later he was killed while being moved to a more secure county jail by Jack Ruby.

I believe LBJ is a president overlooked by history. He is most commonly known with beginning the Vietnam War, however he also tried to improve the conditions of life in the U.S. with his Great Society social programs.

It is interesting to consider what could have been if JFK was not killed. During his time as president, JFK had to deal with the Cuban Missile Crisis with Cuba and the Cold War. JFK was also famous for the first televised Presidential debate with Richard Nixon.

So, this is the history for today. And later this week I will try to get another blog posted. I already have two ideas. I’m also taking the chance to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. It’s the start of the holiday season, so take some time to enjoy yourself with family and friends. And as always: Happy History everyone!