Today in History: Ben Shahn born in 1898

Today in History: Ben Shahn born in 1898

Ben Shahn (September 12, 1898 – March 14, 1969) was an American painter and graphic artist whose work displayed a combination of realism and abstraction, thus addressing various social and political causes. Shahn immigrated with his family to New York City in 1906. In 1913–17 he worked as a lithographer’s apprentice while attending high school at night. He later attended New York University, City College of New York, and the National Academy of Design in New York. During travels to Europe in 1925 and 1927, he saw the works of the Old Masters. In 1933 Shahn enrolled in the New York City Public Works Art Project and executed a series of works on the Prohibition era. From 1935 to 1938 he worked for the Farm Security Administration as an artist and photographer. Shahn and his wife, Bernarda Brysen, executed a series of panels for the lobby of the Bronx post office in New York in 1938–39, a project that took the form of a geographic panorama of American life. Beginning in the mid-1950s, his work became more reflective and less concerned with social criticism. Source: britannica.com

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Today in History: United States nicknamed Uncle Sam

Today in History: United States nicknamed Uncle Sam

On this day in 1813, the United States gets its nickname, Uncle Sam. The name is linked to Samuel Wilson, a meat packer from Troy, New York, who supplied barrels of beef to the United States Army during the War of 1812.Wilson (1766-1854) stamped the barrels with “U.S.” for United States, but soldiers began referring to the grub as “Uncle Sam’s.” The local newspaper picked up on the story and Uncle Sam eventually gained widespread acceptance as the nickname for the U.S. federal government.

Source: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/united-states-nicknamed-uncle-sam

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Today in History: First Davis Cup Final in 1900

Today in History: First Davis Cup Final in 1900

119 years ago today, the first Davis Cup final took place between the United States and Great Britain, then playing under the name of the British Isles. The first competition was held at the Longwood Cricket Club in Boston where the Americans surprised the British team with an early unbeatable 3-0 lead. The idea for the tournament was conceived in 1899 by four members of the Harvard University tennis team, who wanted to challenge the British to a tennis match. One of the four players, Dwight Davis, developed the tournament format and even purchased a trophy with his own money. The event was originally known as the International Lawn Tennis Challenge, but soon became known as the Davis Cup, after Dwight Davis’ trophy. By 2015, 125 nations entered what has become the men’s tennis premier international team competition.

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Today in History: First World War erupts in Europe in 1914

First World War erupts in Europe in 1914

Today in History: First World War erupts in Europe in 1914
On August 1, 1914, four days after Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, two more great European powers—Russia and Germany—declare war on each other; the same day, France orders a general mobilization. The so-called “Great War” that ensued would be one of unprecedented destruction and loss of life, resulting in the deaths of some 20 million soldiers and civilians and the physical devastation of much of the European continent.

The event that was widely acknowledged to have sparked the outbreak of World War I occurred on July 28, 1914, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was shot to death with his wife by the Bosnian Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo.
For the most part, the people of Europe greeted the outbreak of war with jubilation. The great majority of people—within government and without—assumed that their country would be victorious within months, and could not envision the possibility of a longer conflict. By the end of 1914, however, well over a million soldiers of various nationalities had been killed on the battlefields of Europe, and there was no final victory in sight for either the Allies or the Central Powers. On the Western Front—the battle line that stretched across northern France and Belgium—the combatants settled down in the trenches for a terrible war of attrition, which would continue, in Europe and other corners of the world, for the next four years. Source: history.com.

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Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!

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Today in History: United Nations Charter signed in San Francisco in 1945

 

Today in History: United Nations Charter signed in San Francisco in 1945

74 years ago today, representatives from 51 nations signed the Charter of the United Nations (UN) at in the Herbst Theater San Francisco. The Charter was ratified in October and the first General Assembly met in London in January of 1946. The UN became the successor to the League of Nations (founded in 1919). Since 1949, the organization has its headquarters in New York.

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Today in History: American Red Cross founded in 1881

Today in History: American Red Cross founded in 1881

138 years ago today, humanitarians Clara Barton and Adolphus Solomons found the American National Red Cross in Washington, DC. an organization established to provide humanitarian aid to victims of wars and natural disasters in congruence with the International Red Cross. Barton had been known as the “Angel of the Battlefield” for tireless dedication to helping the sick and wounded during the American Civil War. She was in Europe when the Franco-Prussian War broke out in 1870 where she joined the International Red Cross to work behind the German lines. After her return to the United States, she organized an American branch of the International Red Cross. The American Red Cross received its first U.S. federal charter in 1900. Barton headed the organization into her 80s and died in 1912.

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