Monday, June 20, 2011

Waterloo, couldn't escape if I wanted to.

June 18th
On this day in 1815 Napoleon and his Grand Armee met their match when they met Wellington and his Invincibles at Waterloo in Belgium. Although he had been sent to exile earlier in the year, Napoleon had escaped and gathered his army once again and sought to retake what he had lost. Waterloo is now synonymous with losing everything. Napoleon would spend the rest of his life in exile, this time not in the Mediterranean, but in the south Atlantic on Saint Helena.
On this day in 1812 the War of 1812 began. Weird, huh? The war was started because the vocal minority wanted more land (ie Canada) and more freedoms on the high seas. Great Britain had used its naval might to put a blockade on Napoleon and France. This meant that American goods could not get into that country and American commerce would have to take the hit. Rightly so, the British took the declaration of war as tough America was an repugnant child. Most of the fighting would take place after the Napoleonic wars ended (see above).
On this day in 1967 the Monterey Pop festival came to an end. This three day event at the start of the so-called "summer of love" represented the high point of 60's culture and music. Woodstock would be the biggest concert of the decade, but it would not have taken place if not for the Monterey Pop festival. Jimi Hendrix played his guitar with his teeth before setting it on fire, the Who destroyed their instruments at the end of their set, and Otis Redding put on a soul scorching set well into the night just 6 months before his death. The Mamas and the Papas, Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, the Animals, Jefferson Airplane, and the Byrds would also perform.

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