Monday, April 23, 2012
Learn Our History Today: April 23rd
Learn Our History Today: On April 23rd, 1910 Theodore Roosevelt delivered his famous Citizens in a Republic speech. The most familiar, and often re-quoted, portion of the speech is where the more well-known name for the speech, “The Man in the Arena”, is derived:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
Originally delivered at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, it was enthusiastically received by the French people. It was also well loved by President Richard Nixon, who quoted from it in on November 6th, 1968 and used parts of it in his resignation speech. Before the start of the 1995 Rugby World Cup, Nelson Mandela gave a copy of the speech to the captain of the South African Rugby team.
Also on April 23, 1934 in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin, a fierce fire fight broke out at the Little Bohemia Lodge between John Dillinger, his gang, and FBI agents under the leadership of Melvin Purvis. In the early morning, Purvis and the G-men crept up on the Little Bohemia Lodge, where they knew the Dillinger gang was staying. Armed to the hilt with Thompson sub-machine guns and Browning automatic rifles, the G-men were clearly ready for a fight. As they approached the lodge, the FBI agents noticed three men jumping into a car and suspected they were part of the Dillinger gang. After the men neglected an order to halt, the agents showered their car with bullets, killing one of them and wounding two. Unfortunately, the men in the car were actually civilians who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
All of the noise and gun fire was enough to rouse John Dillinger, Baby-face Nelson and the rest of the gang in the lodge. They grabbed their Tommy guns and sprayed automatic fire at the FBI agents, who returned fire, sending bullets flying through the walls and windows of the lodge. In the end all of the members of the Dillinger gang managed to escape the melee. FBI Agent Carter Baum wasn’t as lucky, he as killed in the firefight by Baby-face Nelson.
And in pop-culture history, on April 23, 1985 the Coca-Cola Company introduced America to its new formula, handing out the first samples to workers renovating the Statue of Liberty and in Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C. – hoping to sell America on the New Coke. An extremely negative reaction to this new formula spread swiftly across the country, and prompted Coca-Cola executives to bring back the original formula after only 77 days. The original formula, under the name Coca-Cola Classic, is still being stocked on the shelves of American stored today.