1840

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Smallpox Variolation is Made Illegal

This is NOT vaccination per se. We are talking about "variolation" where you find a person who already has smallpox. You rub the pustules to get some infected material, and then rub that material into the open wound of an uninfected person. The UK has made THAT illegal. The safer form of inoculation is the COW POX vaccine. ("Vacca" is Latin for "cow" which is why it is called a VACCINATION!) It was discovered in the 1770s after it was noticed that milk maids (the gals who milk the cows) had unusually pretty skin. Most people ended up with scars on their face if they lived through smallpox, but milk maids had caught the cow pox disease which was similar to small pox and it gave them immunity. The vaccine has been available for years to aristocrats, but it hasn't caught on with the masses. That is probably why it is being offered for free to encourage more people to use the vaccine rather than the more dangerous method described above. By 1853, the smallpox vaccination of children will be made compulsory (if health permits) and each physician will be required to certify to the government that said child was vaccinated. [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
If you watched the HBO mini-series "John Adams" you saw Abigail Adams inoculate herself from smallpox using variolation. ([Click here]) In the modern day, the most likely danger of live vaccine occurs outside of the United States with the polio vaccine. The US primarily uses an inactive polio vaccine in two or three treatments. It is expensive but effective. Outside of the USA, one can get an attenuated form of the polio virus, which means it is rendered too weak to cause a serious problem... at least for children. It is a lot cheaper and easier to administer. But, as an adult, if I had NOT had the polio vaccine previously I would be very cautious around children who recently had a dose of live vaccine. For example, I wouldn't change their diaper or wipe their nose for a time. Check with your doctor to be sure... or get the vaccination. It is your choice. There are dangers either way, but I had my children vaccinated. (FYI, I have had the polio vaccine myself. I was simply using myself in a hypothetical example.) [3]

The Damascus Affair

For the first time the US Jewish community speaks up in international affairs.... and it works. It begins in Syria. Christians and Jews have been competing for business within the Muslim community, but when a French Catholic priest and his servant go missing, the Christian community accuses the Jews of kidnapping them for a strange blood ritual. The Muslim officials play along with this canard for a while, arresting a Jewish barber and torturing him until he implicates himself and several other Jews. One Jew escapes torture by converting to Islam. (It is not made clear why a conversion to Islam exonerates one from murder charges.) Other Jews die during questioning or pass away in prison. The rest hold up under the torture. The world is outraged. ("The world" is defined as Austria, the UK and the USA which is a fair chunk of the world.) Jews in the United States beg President Van Buren to protest this injustice. He does so. Negotiators from several countries go to the Ottoman Sultan to appeal this injustice. The Sultan agrees that the accusations of a blood ritual are absurd. The nine Jews who are still alive are declared innocent and released. The Damascus Affair will have far-reaching implications in terms of the power of international public opinion and the unification of the Jews. [4] [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
In the 1840s, big changes were occurring within Jewish communities across the world and especially in the United States. Jews were pouring into the US through the ports of Houston and Charleston. (New York came later.) Reform Judaism was coming into being. At the same time, Orthodox Judaism was born because the Reform Jews labeled anyone who disagreed with them as "Orthodox Jews." It was supposed to be an insult, but the Orthodox Jews liked it so much that they started using it themselves. FYI, I call myself an Orthodox Jew, but there is no such thing as Orthodox Judaism. I can prove it. Try making a donation to "Orthodox Judaism." It is sort of like trying to mail a check to "Christianity." There are multiple Jewish organizations that say they represent the whole, but try getting them to agree on anything. (Be sure to duck.) The point is that the Damascus Affair showed Jews that they could agree on a few key issues and when they did, they often had the Christians joining in. One of those issues was the reestablishment of the State of Israel. It would not exist today without the support of Christians. It's the truth. [6]

Natchez Landing is Missing

It is an hour after noon with the sound of thunder turning into a roar as black billowing clouds overcome the people at Natchez Landing along the Mississippi. It's a twister! Trees are stripped of their leaves. Buildings are flattened. Timbers, bricks, and entire walls fly though the air, "as if thrown from a mighty catapult". Within 5 minutes 48 people lay dead, but the worst of the disaster is taking place on the Mississippi River itself. The river ferry has sunk with all hands. Boats are picked up and flung onto the land with the people still hanging on. A chunk of a steamboat will be found 30 miles away. Mrs. Alexander will be found broken and bleeding but still alive. Her two children will lay dead in her arms. The tornado will hit Vidalia on the Louisiana side next. When it is all over, the death toll will be 317. That will make it the second deadliest tornado in US history. The deadliest will come in 1925 when the Great Tri-State Tornado will kill 695 people. [7] [8] [9]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
It is 1997 and suddenly it is dark as night. The wind howls and I looked out the window wondering where my wife and children are. Not at home. That's for sure. Neither am I. I'm at work as an F5 tornado is wiping out the Texas town of Jarrell a few miles away. Driving around town looking for my wife and kids seems like an exceptionally foolish thing to do, so I stay put and pray. The receptionist at the front desk calls me. I go to the phone. It's my wife. She is in the building next door. She had been out shopping with the kids when the tornado hit... several tornadoes, actually. She wants me to join her, but to walk out there is risking death. She is in the best part of the business complex. They have a safe room where they archive the business records. My fellow employees promise to keep my kids safe. I know they will. When we are able to go home, I watch the aftermath on the television. My wife recognizes the store where she shops. The roof has collapsed. A number of people are pulled from the wreckage... alive. It is our first experience with a tornado. It won't be the last. Now it is 2016. I tell my new neighbors about the possibility of wind damage and power outages. "Here?" they ask in wonder and innocence. On that day in 1997 as I prepared for work, everything seemed so normal. The weatherman was telling me how prepare for the day. I don't recall him mentioning anything about an F5 TORNADO! [10] [11]

In Other News

  • The world's 1st penny postage stamp is sold. A letter can be sent anywhere in the UK for 1 penny. This makes the Royal Mail more easily available to the masses. [12]
  • The Fortas Collection of rare books is up for auction. It's a hoax! The catalog of fake books that was prepared for a non-existent auction is worth a pretty penny now. [13]
  • Hiram Maxim is born in Maine. The Maxim Gun will be the first portable, fully automatic machine gun. He will also invent the mousetrap and the curling iron. Which of these will be the most important contribution? You be the judge. [14]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1840, Wikipedia.

See Also

References

  1. Variolation - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 22 January 2015.
  2. Vaccination Act - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 August 2016. “In general, the disadvantages of variolation are the same as those of vaccination, but added to them is the general agreement that variolation was always more dangerous than vaccination.”
  3. Smallpox John Adams. YouTube (2016). Retrieved on 2 August 2016.
  4. Blau, Joseph Leon. Modern Varieties of Judaism: Lectures on the History of Religions. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0231028679. “Jewish groups in both Europe and America, when this shocking affair became public, were vocal in their protests. In both the Damascus Affair and the case of the Swiss-American Treaty, the protests of the Jews of the United States were influential in determining the position taken by their government.” 
  5. DAMASCUS AFFAIR. Jewish Encyclopedia (1906). Retrieved on 2 August 2016. “They arrived at Alexandria Aug. 4, and after repeated interviews with Mohammed Ali, obtained from him, on Aug. 28, the unconditional release and recognition of the innocence of the nine prisoners who still remained alive of the thirteen imprisoned. They then went to Constantinople, and obtained from the sultan Majid a firman declaring the accusation of ritual murder to be absurd (see Blood Accusation).”
  6. Alex Shrugged notes: Being Jewish I've studied Jewish subjects, so my remarks comes mainly from my reading.
  7. Great Natchez Tornado - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 August 2016. “A piece of a steamboat window was reportedly found 30 miles (50 km) from the river.”
  8. Withington, John. Disaster! A History of Earthquakes, Floods, Plagues, and Other Catastrophes. Skyhorse Publishing. ISBN 9781602397491. “At two o'clock in the afternoon it started knocking down houses. 'The air was filled with bricks and large pieces of timber,' said one eye- witness, 'and even ox carts were uplifted and thrown hundreds of yards.' Those who saw it and lived to tell the tale said the tornado looked like a rolling fog or boiling clouds on the ground. Within five minutes it had destroyed much of the city's residential area, and had killed forty-eight people.” 
  9. The Great Natchez Tornado of May 7th, 1840. weathersnapshot.com (May 6, 2014). Retrieved on 2 August 2016. “Reports and damage paths from 1840 are hardly reliable, but there was some evidence to suggest that the legendary tornado may have approached 2 miles wide at its largest. In his monumental work on historical tornadoes, Thomas Grazulis (1993) quoted an eyewitness from a journal, 'the air was black with whirling eddies of walls, roofs, chimneys and huge timbers from distant ruins…all shot through the air as if thrown from a mighty catapult.' One of the most dramatic pieces of lore from this event was the notion that the tornado was so strong, it actually sucked the moisture from leaves on the local trees.”
  10. May 27, 1997 -- Jarrell, TX F5 - YouTube. youtube.com (2016). Retrieved on 2 August 2016.
  11. Aftermath of the 1997 Jarrell Tornado – The Most Intense Tornado Damage Ever Photographed -. extremeplanet.me (June 26, 2012). Retrieved on 2 August 2016. “On May 27, 1997, an unusual tornado formed in the Central Texas foothills. Just after 2pm that day, despite unfavorable atmospheric conditions, two supercell thunderstorms exploded like atomic bombs in the afternoon sky. A little after 3pm, a thread-like funnel descended near the Bell County line. The tornado was weak initially, but suddenly entered a period of rapid intensification as it entered Williamson County from the north. Winds reached F5 intensity as the tornado thundered to the southwest and passed near the small town of Jarrell.”
  12. Uniform Penny Post - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 August 2016. “The campaign for cheap postage was actually initiated by Robert Wallace, who in 1835 argued, before a governmental commission set up to investigate the problems, that greater use of the mailing system would lead to increased revenue for the government.”
  13. Fortsas hoax - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 August 2016. “Ironically, the original catalogue of fictitious unique books Chalon had sent to his victims has itself become a sought-after collectors' item. It has since been reprinted several times.”
  14. Hiram Maxim - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 2 August 2016. “He was the inventor of the Maxim Gun – the first portable, fully automatic machine gun[3] – and held patents on mechanical devices such as a mousetrap, hair-curling irons, and steam pumps.”

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