On This Date In History: The Romanov Royal Family in Russia met its doom. Czar Nicholas II was put in a bad spot as he was not really trained to be the Czar. He took the throne in 1896 and was pretty aloof. He got the Russians into a war with the Japanese in 1905 and his fleet got totally annihilated in a naval battle north of Japan. Then he goes and gets them into WWI in 1914 when his army is completely ill-equipped for modern warfare. They had lots of guys but they were more suited for a war in 1814 instead of 1914. The only reason they got into it was a stupid treaty with the Serbs. The people had gotten angry in 1905 and forced the Czar to create the Duma, a form of Congress. But he kept on dissolving the Duma whenever it came up with some sort of reforms. So, in 1917 the Russian Revolution broke out. In July 1918 they captured the royal family and on this date in 1918, the family was lined up for a photograph and then gunned down.
What about the girl?
Rumor was that the whole family was killed except for Anastasia, the young daughter. During the 20th century, several women showed up in Europe and even the United States claiming to be Anastasia. The most convincing of these Anastasias was a woman, Anna Anderson, who moved to the United States and died there in 1984. In 1991, the bodies of the Royal Family were exhumed only to find that Anastasia was indeed not there. However, DNA comparisons between Anna Anderson and the Royal Family proved she was not Anastasia. So, the question remains…..what happened to Anastasia?
HOW NOT TO MAKE YOUR LEGAL CASE Clement Vallandigham was a member of Congress from Ohio prior to the Civil War. He was against slavery but also was for the Constitution as he saw it, he with the “states rights” argument made by the South and also agreed that it was A-Okay for any state to secede whenever it wanted. After the war began, he lost his Congressional seat but he kept up his rants. General Ambrose Burnside (of sideburn fame) issued General Order Number 38 which declared an intolerance to the “habit of declaring sympathies for the enemy” with the district of Ohio. Vallandigham in 1863 made a speech claiming that the war was not being fought to save the Union but instead was being fought to “free the black man and enslave the white.” That didn’t sit well with the authorities and he was arrested. The drawing to the left is supposedly of his arrest, though it’s unclear whether or not he was taken into custody in his skivvies. I suspect that is a political statement by the artist. Long johns or not, eventually, President Lincoln had him banished to the Confederacy.
After the war, he returned to Ohio and became a successful lawyer. Obviously, being successful doesn’t require a lot smarts. On This Date in 1871, Vallandigham was preparing a clever defense for a murder suspect, He was planning on showing in open court how the victim could have possibly shot himself with his own gun, accidentally. While he strategized, the hours of his days on earth dwindled. Because on the very next day, old Clement was demonstrating to some colleagues what he was going to do in court the next day. He went to presumably empty pistol from atop a dresser and pressed it to his chest. He discharged the weapon. To his great surprise, he grabbed the wrong gun. See, the other gun on the dresser was the empty one. Vallandigham exclaimed “my God, I’ve shot myself!” and down he went to the floor for the count.
The ploy may have paid off even though the jury didn’t get to see the dramatic demonstration. The suspect was acquitted of the murder charge.
In Baseball People have been suspicious about the big home run totals of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s and there have been revelations of steroid use by sluggers such as Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi, Rafael Palemero and now Manny with his women’s fertility drug. Barry Bonds total of 73 home runs is 22% more than Babe Ruth’s 60. On this date in 1920, Ruth hit his 30th home run to break his record of 29. He ended up with 54 home runs for the year, breaking his record by 86%!!! Beer and Hot Dogs are suspected as the key to his unfathomable success.
Weather Bottom Line: Global Warming enthusiasts will have to hide this weekend around here. We may not get out of the low to mid 70’s and most likely not out of the 70’s at all…in mid/late July. The front that could have brought the ruckus showed itself yesterday afternoon to just move through here today pretty quietly. Now, on Friday, a second cold front will come down and lower the 850 temps to below 10 for the weekend. That will translate into very cool nights and very mild afternoons. The trof is progged to be very deep and maybe make it to the Gulf Coast. Tis possible there may be a few t’storms on Friday afternoon with the passage of the second front but the real story will be the mild air. It will begin to modify Monday but temperatures should remain below seasonal averages at least into the middle of next week.