Friday, May 13, 2011

A game of chicken on a global scale

May 12
On this day in 1949 the blockade on West Berlin was lifted by the Soviet Union. 11 months earlier it had established the blockade in response to the western powers uniting their parts of Berlin into one and establishing a different set of currency, thus threatening Soviet rule in the east. This blockade included fuel, water, and food from entering the city in hopes of annexing the entire city of Berlin into Soviet rule as it is entirely in East Germany. As a result of the blockade, the western powers (the United States, Great Britain and France) started the Berlin Airlift in order supply the citizens of the city. I'm not really sure who gets the credit for bravery here, the leaders who thought up the airlift or the leaders who decided against shooting down the planes.
On this day in 1932 the body of the Lindbergh baby was found some two months after being kidnapped. Although a ransom was paid to the alleged kidnappers, evidence showed the baby was killed the night it went missing. A German immigrant named Bruno Hauptmann was caught using some of the marked bills from the ransom in 1934. Although the prosecution had nothing more than Hauptmann having some of the ransom money at his house and some shotty handwriting evidence, they were able to gain a conviction and execution for the crime.
On this day in 2008 Neil Young had a spider named after him. Myrmekiaphilia neilyoungi is found in Alabama and was discovered the previous year.

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