On This Date In History: It was on this date in 4977 BC that the Universe was created according to German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler. In the early 17th century, Kepler made this calculation and claim. Kepler is and was a noted and important figure in the development of the science of astronomy and physics. But, he was just a bit off. Today, the estimate for the age of the Universe is thought to be slightly different…like 13.7 billion years different. Remember that next time you hear some scientists who come up with absolutes.
Ever heard of the Barbary Pirates? They were from the Muslim states of Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, and Tripolitania on the Mediterranean. In other words, on the other side of the Atlantic. In the early 19th century, these guys would seize American merchant ships and then ransom their cargo and crew to the US. President Jefferson got tired of paying ransoms and so he took action. Interestingly though, the much thought of Constitutionally-minded Jefferson did not ask for a declaration of war. Instead, as Commander in Chief, he simply sent the Navy and Marines to invade.
The war with the Barbary Pirates went on for about 4 years. In 1804, with the war still going on, the US Senate had a drunken partyto simply show support for the undeclared war. Today, they protest. Anyway, the Americans and some mercenaries, following a 500 mile trek from Egypt, on this date in 1805 attacked Tripolitania and “deposed” the ruler and installed his brother, who was more sympathetic to American interests. This is where the verse of “to the shores of Tripoli” in the Marine Hymn comes from.
This paved the way for the end of the first Barbary Pirates War in June 1805. Many scholars point to the threat from the Islamic extremists in the 18th and early 19th centuries as the first terrorist threat to the United States. And to think, people today think America has never had a Congressionally funded, undeclared war against a Muslim state half way around the world with the purpose regime change before. And it was Jefferson’s fault!
Happy 47th Birthday Don Dumas, wherever you are.
Weather Bottom Line: The story remains the same. Upper 80’s again on Monday. Tuesday rain chances increase with a few t’storms. There may be some gusty winds but severe limits will probably not be breached. The front that comes through on Tuesday will get hung up to our south and then migrate slowly back our way until a cold front sweeps through late Friday, hopefully to clear things out for Derby Day. I’m not really changing my thinking much and I’m lazy so for more details, look at yesterday’s entry.