December 9, 2018

DECEMBER 9 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

DECEMBER 9

1941

Roosevelt Radio Message:  In his fireside chat, US President Roosevelt addressed the American people on radio,  informing them that America was going to war. "...........Your Government knows that for weeks Germany has been telling Japan that if Japan did not attack the United States, Japan would not share in dividing the spoils with Germany when peace came. She was promised by Germany that if she came in she would receive the complete and perpetual control of the whole of the Pacific area—and that means not only the Far East, but also all of the islands in the Pacific, and also a stranglehold on the west coast of North, Central, and South America..........We know also that Germany and Japan are conducting their military and naval operations in accordance with a joint plan. That plan considers all peoples and Nations which are not helping the Axis powers as common enemies of each and every one of the Axis powers.......We are now in the midst of a war, not for conquest, not for vengeance, but for a world in which this Nation, and all that this Nation represents, will be safe for our children. We expect to eliminate the danger from Japan, but it would serve us ill if we accomplished that and found that the rest of the world was dominated by Hitler and Mussolini." (NB. Roosevelt's fireside chat of September 3, 1939 was quite the opposite when he said, "This nation will remain a neutral nation.")


1946

The Doctor's Trial:  The trial was the first of 12 trials conducted by the United States Military Tribunal at Nuremberg (not to be confused with the Nuremberg Trials). It was also called the "Subsequent Nuremberg Trials". At the Doctor's Trial,  23 Nazi German SS doctors and scientists were put on trial for crimes against humanity. They were accused of conducting human experimentation that led to murder of prisoners. Sixteen were found guilty, but only 7 of them were hanged. Twenty of the 23 defendants were medical doctors (Viktor Brack, Rudolf Brandt, and Wolfram Sievers were Nazi officials).  Josef Mengele, one of the leading Nazi doctors was an insane, psychopathic killer, and had evaded capture. Among the defendants, 7 were acquitted, 7 received death sentences while the remainder received prison sentences ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment.


1990

Poland's Presidential Election:  Lech Wałęsa won Poland's 1st direct presidential election:  On December 9, 1990 in the second round of elections, Wałęsa won, defeating Prime Minister Mazowiecki and other candidates to become Poland's first freely-elected head of state in 63 years, and the first non-Communist head of state in 45 years.  In 1993 he founded his own political party, the Nonpartisan Bloc for Support of Reforms (BBWR); the acronym paralleled that of Józef Piłsudski's "Nonpartisan Bloc for Cooperation with the Government," of 1928–35. (During his presidency, Wałęsa guided Poland through economic privatization and transition to a free-market economy (the Balcerowicz Plan), Poland's first completely free parliamentary elections in 1991,  and a period of redefinition of the country's foreign relations. He succeeded in the negotiation of the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Poland, and successfully negotiated a substantial reduction in foreign debts and supported Poland's entry into NATO and the European Union. (Note: In August 2017, ten Nobel Peace Prize laureates, including Lech Wałęsa, urged Saudi Arabia to stop the executions of 14 young people for participating in the 2011–12 Saudi Arabian protests.)


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