Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Darkest 24 Hours in American History

Ted Cruz has declared June 24-25, 2015 as "some of the darkest 24 hours in our nation's history." In my opinion, it doesn't rank in America's top 70,000 darkest days, but let's make some comparisons.

Battle of Antietam, Sept. 17, 1862
In one day, this Civil War battle saw more American combat deaths, 23,000 causalities and 3,700 dead, than any other day in history. More than D-Day, more than any day in any US war.

Black Tuesday, Oct. 29, 1929
While not the largest decline in stock market history, that was October 19, 1987, it marked the beginning of the global economic collapse known as the Great Depression. This day's 12% market drop followed a 13% drop the previous Monday. On this Tuesday the nation's wealthiest including J. D. Rockefeller and J. P. Morgan tried to prop up the markets. They failed. Poverty, misery, fascism, genocide, and war followed.

The Night Washington Burned, Aug. 24, 1814
The War of 1812 was the first in a long line of stupid wars for the United States. President James Madison thought that, with the mighty British army and navy tied up fighting Napoleon, America could invade and capture Canada. The Canada adventure was an abject failure, then Napoleon abdicated and Britain could focus her forces on the pipsqueak nation tweaking her nose. They captured Washington D. C. without opposition, burned the U. S. Capitol to the ground and set fire to the White House.

Sept. 11, 2001
Really, Ted. Wasn't this a darker day?

Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941
This "day that will live in infamy" damaged or sunk the bulk of the American Pacific Fleet and killed over 1500 Americans.

Black Blizzard, Apr. 14, 1935
So, how about an actual dark day. On this day winds lifted millions of tons of fertile topsoil from Texas and Oklahoma, turning the day darker than the darkest night. This dust storm was so massive it obscured the sun along the Atlantic coast.
It fell across our city like a curtain of black rolled down, We thought it was our judgement, we thought it was our doom. ~ Woody Guthrie
There are also all those assassinations - Lincoln, JFK, RFK, MLK. Continuing health care availability and allowing equal rights for a small minority hardly rank with these truly dark days. But, you know Ted, whatever sinks your boat.

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