June 13, 2018

JUNE 13 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 13

1872

Jan Szczepanik (dob) was a Polish inventor, with several hundred patents and over 50 discoveries to his name, many of which are still applied today, especially in the motion picture industry, as well as in photography and television. Some of his concepts helped the future evolution of TV broadcasting, such as the telectroscope (an apparatus for distant reproduction of images and sound using electricity) or the wireless telegraph, which greatly affected the development of telecommunications.


1930

Ryszard Jerzy Kukliński (dob) was a Polish colonel and Cold War spy for NATO.  Between 1972 and 1981 he passed 35,000 pages of mostly Soviet secret documents to the CIA. The documents described Moscow's strategic plans regarding the use of nuclear weapons, technical data about the T-72 tank and 9K31 Strela-1 missiles, the whereabouts of Soviet anti-aircraft bases in Poland and East Germany, the methods used by the Soviets to avoid spy satellite detection of their military hardware, plans for the imposition of martial law in Poland, and many other matters. Before martial law in December 1981, Kuklinski and his family defected to the USA with the help of the CIA.  Both his sons died in tragic accidents within a few months of each other, but Kuklinski did not discount the possibility that the KGB was behind it. On May 23, 1984 Kukliński was sentenced to death in absentia, by a Soviet military court in Warsaw. After the fall of communism, the sentence was changed to 25 years, but was eventually dropped. The Polish newspaper Trybuna lamented that  "Colonel Ryszard Kukliński—a spy, deserter, and traitor—has been turned into a model of virtue and a national hero of the rightists." In a 1997 survey conducted by the CBOS, 27 percent of Poles considered Kukliński a hero and 24 percent a traitor (compared to 12 and 24 percent, respectively, in 1992.



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