December 23, 2018

DECEMBER 23 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

DECEMBER 23

1937

Wellington Bomber First Flight:  The first production of the  Wellington Mk I, L4212, conducted its first flight on December 23, 1937. The  L4212 subsequently participated in an intensive flight programme. Flight trials with L4212 affirmed the aerodynamic stability initially encountered by K4049, but also revealed the aircraft to be nose-heavy during dives, a flaw attributed to the redesigned elevator. The problem was resolved following modifications, including the interlinking of the flaps and the elevator trim tabs.  The Wellington was used as a night bomber in the early years of the Second World War. During 1943, it was surpassed by larger four-engined "heavies" such as the Avro Lancaster. The Wellington continued to serve throughout the war in other capacities, such as anti-submarine aircraft.  It was the only British bomber that was produced throughout the duration of the war, and produced in greater numbers than any other British-built bomber.


1939

Stefan Bronisław Starzyński was the Mayor of Warsaw before and during the Invasion of Poland in 1939.  He was assassinated by the Nazi Germans Gestapo between December 21 and 23, 1939 in Warsaw, or its environs. Definitive proof is unavailable.  According to recent eyewitness testimony during an inquiry of the Polish Institute of National Remembrance, the attack was carried out by Gestapo functionaries Oberscharführer Hermann Schimmann, Hauptscharführer Weber, and Unterscharführer Perlbach.  Again, it was not possible to determine who gave the order to assassinate Mayor Starzynski.  When Poland was invaded by the Germans on September 1, 1939, Stefan Starzynski refused to evacuate the city along with other state authorities and diplomats.  He stayed behind and joined the infantry army as a Major. When Warsaw capitulated to the Germans on September 27, a Polish pilot offered Starzynski the means to evacuate, but was refused. On October 5th, he was arrested by the Gestapo, released, and then arrested again on October 27 and detained in Pawiak prison. By December he was killed.


2005

Lech Kaczynski Won Presidency:   On December 23, 2005, Lech Kaczynski assumed office of President of the Republic of Poland, taking an oath before the National Assembly.  During his inauguration he stated several goals he would pursue during his presidency. Among those concerning internal affairs were: increasing social solidarity in Poland, bringing justice to those who were responsible for, or were affected by communist crimes in the People's Republic of Poland, fighting corruption, providing security in economy, and safety for development of family. Kaczyński also stated that he would seek to abolish economic inequalities between various regions of Poland. In his speech he also emphasized combining modernization with tradition and remembering the teachings of Pope John Paul II.  On December 21, 2008, Kaczyński became the first Polish head of state to visit a Polish synagogue and to attend religious services held there. His attendance coincided with the first night of Hanukkah.....On April 10, 2010, a Tupolev Tu-154M plane crashed while approaching Smolensk Air Base in Russia.  Aboard were Lech Kaczyński, his wife Maria Kaczyńska, and other members of a Polish delegation (top public and military figures) who were travelling from Warsaw to Katyn to commemorate the Katyn massacre. There were no survivors.  96 people were killed in the crash, including many of Poland's highest military and civilian leaders.  Poland was in national mourning, and international reaction was one of shock.  Kaczynski was greatly admired by the Jews in Israel, because he promoted educating Polish youth about the Holocaust. There was widespread grief in Israel over his death.

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