May 13, 2018


MAY 13


German ship, the St. Louis set sail from Hamburg, Germany to its destination, Cuba, carrying 930 Jewish refugees fleeing from the Nazis. All of its refugee passengers had legitimate landing certificates for Cuba. But upon landing in Cuba on they faced a horrible reality.  The ship dropped anchor at 04:00 on May 27 at the Havana harbor but was denied entry to the usual docking areas. The Cuban government, headed by President Federico Laredo Brú, refused to accept the foreign refugees. Although passengers had previously purchased legal visas, they could not enter Cuba either as tourists (laws related to tourist visas had recently been changed) or as refugees seeking political asylum.


Winston Churchill took office as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom: Here is an excerpt from his first speech to the House of Commons: ".....I hope that any of my friends and colleagues, or former colleagues, who are affected by the political reconstruction, will make allowance, all allowance, for any lack of ceremony with which it has been necessary to act. I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this Government: "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. .....We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival. Let that be realized; no survival for the British Empire, no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for, no survival for the urge and impulse of the ages, that mankind will move forward towards its goal. But I take up my task with buoyancy and hope. I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. At this time I feel entitled to claim the aid of all, and I say, "Come then, let us go forward together with our united strength...."


Pope John Paul II was shot and critically wounded as he entered St. Peter's Square to address an audience.  A Turk by the name of Mehmet Ali Ağca wielding a Browning 9 mm semi-automatic pistol, fired shots that injured the Pope in the abdomen, perforating his intestines. John Paul II was rushed into the Vatican complex and then to the Gemelli Hospital where he underwent five hours of surgery. He lost nearly three-quarters of his blood, though the two bullets missed his mesenteric artery and abdominal aorta. The surgeons performed a colostomy to temporarily reroute the upper part of the large intestine to let the damaged lower part heal.  He regained consciousness briefly before the operation and instructed the doctors not to remove his Brown Scapular during the operation.  Among the people allowed to see him in the clinic  three days later was, Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka, one of his closest friends.  The Pontiff stated,  "Could I forget that the event in St. Peter's Square took place on the day and at the hour when the first appearance of the Mother of Christ to the poor little peasants has been remembered for over sixty years at Fátima, Portugal? For in everything that happened to me on that very day, I felt that extraordinary motherly protection and care, which turned out to be stronger than the deadly bullet."  Numerous theories circulated to explain the reason for the assassination attempt on the Pope. One theory was proposed by Michael Ledeen (and pushed by the CIA) was that the Soviet Union was behind the attempt on John Paul II's life in retaliation for the Pope's support of Solidarity, the Catholic, pro-democratic Polish workers' movement.

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