1916

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Rasputin Is Dead! Wait. He's Alive!

Let's make sure he is dead. BANG! He falls to the floor, but it's not enough. The poison didn't kill him. The bullet to the chest didn't work, so a final bullet to the forehead puts him down for sure. Right? Just in case, they tie him up and dump him in the river. His body is found days later. The autopsy concludes that he did NOT die of drowning. (I guess the bullet to the head did it.) Was he a zombie? No. He was a peasant mystic. He frightened most people, but Empress Alexandra of Russia believed that Rasputin was the only man who could keep her son alive. In fact, he had saved the boy's life a number of times, but his very public sexual shenanigans and obvious influence over the royal couple have turned the people against Emperor Nicolas and his German wife, Empress Alexandra. Russia is in a life-and-death struggle with Germany, so designating Alexandra as regent while the Emperor is away on a military inspection has people wondering about German collusion, sorcery, sexual promiscuity, and whether the heir to the throne is really Rasputin's son. (Probably not.) But Rasputin's death comes too late. The damage is done. The 20th century is about to hit a major speed bump with the Russian Revolution. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
If you saw a picture of Rasputin, you might believe that he was one of the undead... or played lead guitar for ZZ Top. He seemed to perform miracles, but these so-called miracles had logical explanations, such as his advice, "not to let the doctors bother the boy overmuch". In those days, doctors were less helpful than one might have hoped, though they were doing better than their predecessors. Whatever Rasputin was doing, he kept the heir to the throne alive while the doctors were failing. Once Rasputin died, the heir followed soon thereafter. As a couple, Nicolas and Alexandra seemed nice enough, but as leaders they had failed their people utterly. As a result, millions died in the Great War, and even more millions died with the creation of the Soviet Union. [6] [7]

The Slaughter of the Innocents

Just when you thought it couldn't possibly get any worse... it gets worse. The Battle of Verdun is a change in tactics. The gloves are off! (What the "F" did they think they were doing before this?) The normal tactic is for the guns to "soften up" the invasion route (thus advertising the invasion route) and then stop to allow the invasion to proceed. Of course, everyone knows this, so the other side immediately moves forward to block them. This time is different. The Germans wait for the Allied troops to move forward, and then blast the area again. Trees and pieces of bodies launch into the air. As with most battles of World War 1, the Generals fail to take advantage of breakthroughs, and it turns into a battle of attrition. With almost a million dead, the Generals do what is natural. They try it again 6 months later. The Somme (SUM) offensive is an attempt to break the stalemate on the Western Front. (It always is.) It will be the bloodiest battle of the 20th century. Almost 20,000 British soldiers are killed the first day. In 6 weeks a million men lay dead... at least they look like men... pieces of men anyway. [8] [9] [10]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Forgive me. It's awful. I know, but if you can believe it, I'm leaving out the really bad parts. I recommend reading the book by Peter Hart, "The Somme" which contains first-hand accounts from survivors, or at least they survived long enough to write a letter or two back home before they were killed. They read like good-bye letters because that is what they are. They knew they were dead men. They were even taught how to kill their fellow soldiers should they be wounded. "No sense in lingering," goes the logic. Very few men could kill their buddies even while they begged for relief from their suffering. [11]

4 Reasons Why the USA Will Enter the War Next Year

  • March 24th: President Wilson demands that Germany never sink vessels with Americans on board. This looks like a pretext to force the USA into the war, but historians are not sure of Wilson's intent. [12]
  • July 22nd: The San Francisco Preparedness Parade in support of joining the war is bombed, killing 10 and injuring 40. [13]
  • July 30th: The armory on "Black Tom" Island is blown up by German agents. The explosion damages the Statue of Liberty. Tourists are now blocked from entering the torch. Also FDR will round up the Japanese during World War 2, saying, "We don't want any more Black Toms." [14] [15]
  • January of Next Year: This sounds like a joke, but the Germans plan to invade Texas. Even though they promised not to sink shipping with Americans on-board they might have to do it anyway, so Zimmermann telegrams the German Ambassador in Mexico with instructions. He is to ask Mexico to threaten the US-Mexico border to keep President Wilson distracted. In exchange, Germany will help Mexico take back Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Fortunately, Mexico will tell Germany to stuff it, but the British have the line tapped. The Zimmermann Telegram will be passed to Wilson who will publish it and the reaction of US citizens will be explosive. [16]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
According to Dan Carlin's Hardcore History, if Germany had held off the U-boat attacks for a couple of months, The USA would not have come into the war. Russia was about to crash in a revolution. That changed the whole dynamic. But the Germans didn't wait, probably couldn't wait any longer, so we'll never know. [17]

Notable Births

  • Roald Dahl (Author of "Matilda," and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.") [18]
  • Betty Grable (The #1 pin-up girl of World War 2. Her legs will be insured for 1 million dollars.) [19]
  • Kirk Douglas (Actor who recently celebrated his 100th birthday! He is also the father of actor Michael Douglas.) [20]

In Other News

  • Leo Koretz (korits) begins his Bayano oil swindle. Investors will beg him to take their money. [21] [22]
  • Margaret Sanger opens the 1st birth control clinic in the USA. It will become Planned Parenthood. [23]
  • The Rose Bowl Games begin. The 1st game was in 1902, but from this year forward a Rose Bowl football game will be played every year. [24]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1916, Wikipedia.

See Also

References

  1. Alexandra Feodorovna (Alix of Hesse) - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 December 2016. “Alexandra was the last Tsarina of Russia and one of the most famous royal carriers of the haemophilia disease that descended from Queen Victoria. Her reputation for influencing her husband's resistance to the surrender of autocratic authority over the country and her known faith in the Russian mystic, Grigori Rasputin, severely damaged her popularity and that of the Romanov monarchy in its final years.”
  2. Sebag-Montefiore, Simon. Romanovs 1613-1918, The. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 9781101946978. “Rasputin was frozen solid. First the body was taken to hospital to thaw. Then Dr. Dmitri Kosorotov identified the three bullet wounds, but found no evidence that Rasputin had still been alive and breathing in the river. On the contrary, the shot in the forehead caused instant death.” 
  3. Grigori Rasputin - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 December 2016. “While his influence and position may have been exaggerated — Rasputin became synonymous with power, debauchery and lust — his presence played a significant role in the increasing unpopularity of the Imperial couple. Rasputin was murdered by monarchists who hoped to save Tsarism by ending his sway over the royal family.”
  4. Russian Revolution - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 December 2016. “The Russian Revolution was a pair of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which dismantled the Tsarist autocracy and led to the eventual rise of the Soviet Union.”
  5. Blueprint for Armageddon V (PODCAST) (24 April 2014). “Length: 4h 29m. Size: 249 megabytes. Summary: Politics, diplomacy, revolution and mutiny take center stage at the start of this episode, but mud, blood, shells and tragedy drown all by the end.”
  6. ZZ Top - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 December 2016. “The name of the band was Gibbons' idea. The band had a little apartment covered with concert posters and he noticed that many performers' names utilized initials. Gibbons particularly noticed B.B. King and Z.Z. Hill and thought of combining the two into 'ZZ King', but considered it too similar to the original name. He then figured that 'king is going at the top' which brought him to 'ZZ Top'.”
  7. Massie, Robert K.. Nicholas and Alexandra. Dell. ISBN 0440363586. “Nicholas, however, fought doggedly against every attempt to further dilute his power. He did so because he believed that he was performing a duty assigned to him by God, a belief continually and fervently urged upon him by his wife. And here, precisely, lies the point. Alexandra, driven by the agonies of her sons hemophilia, had turned to Rasputin to save her son. When the ultimate political crisis came, Alexandra, goaded by Rasputin, passionately objected to any further sharing of the Imperial power that she saw as her son's legacy. By giving way to her, by fighting to preserve the autocracy, by denying every plea for increased responsible government, Nicholas made revolution and the eventual triumph of Lenin inevitable.” 
  8. Carlin, Dan. "Blueprint for Armageddon IV (World War I). Dan Carlin's Hardcore History, 17 Aug 2014. (PODCAST) Length: 03:55:51 minutes. Size: 226.91 megabytes. Summary: "Machine guns, barbed wire and millions upon millions of artillery shells create industrialized meat grinders at Verdun and the Somme. There's never been a human experience like it and it changes a generation."
  9. Battle of Verdun - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 December 2016. “Inspired by the experience of the Second Battle of Champagne the year before, the Germans planned to rapidly capture the Meuse Heights, providing them with an excellent defensive position that would also allow them to bombard Verdun with observed artillery fire. The Germans hoped that the French would commit their strategic reserve to recapture the position and suffer catastrophic losses in a battle of attrition, as the Germans would have a tactical advantage.”
  10. Battle of the Somme - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  11. Hart, Peter. Somme: The Darkest Hour on the Western Front, The. Weidenfeld and Nicolson. ISBN 9780297847052. “We had to go over the top of a little rise. Strewn up the hill, in rows like corn that had been mown, lay hundreds of our chaps that looked as though they had run into a machine-gun nest. It was a warm muggy day and the poor chaps' faces and exposed flesh were smothered in flies. The smell was awful. They lay so thick we simply could not avoid running over some of them. The horses of course stepped over, as a horse, unless absolutely forced to, will not tread on a prone body. But we could not help the wheels going over a few.” 
  12. Sussex pledge - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 December 2016. “Although no US citizens were killed in this attack, it prompted President Woodrow Wilson to declare that if Germany were to continue this practice, the United States would break diplomatic relations with Germany. Fearing the entry of the United States into World War I, Germany attempted to appease the United States by issuing, on May 4, 1916, the Sussex pledge, which promised a change in Germany's naval warfare policy.”
  13. Preparedness Day Bombing - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 December 2016. “The Preparedness Day Bombing was a bombing in San Francisco, California on July 22, 1916, when the city held a parade in honor of Preparedness Day, in anticipation of the United States' imminent entry into World War I. During the parade a suitcase bomb was detonated, killing ten and wounding 40 in the worst such attack in San Francisco's history.”
  14. Inside the Apple: The Black Tom Explosion: July 30, 1916. blog.insidetheapple.net (October 26, 2011). Retrieved on 15 December 2016. “There are many reasons the torch has been closed since 1916: it is very difficult to access; it was never designed for tourists (indeed, none of the statue's interior was built to host millions of visitors, giving rise to many of the statue's structural problems of the last few decades); the climb from the shoulder to the torch was done in near darkness. But the major reason the torch closed was an explosion on the night of July 30, 1916, on Black Tom Island in New Jersey, where millions of pounds of ammunition was being stored by the National Storage Company and the Lehigh Valley Railroad for eventual shipment to allied forces in Europe. It was the largest explosion in modern history--the equivalent of a 5.5 earthquake--and was felt in five states: Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.”
  15. "An Attack That Turned Out to Be German Terrorism Has a Modest Legacy 100 Years Later - The New York Times", July 24, 2016. Retrieved on 15 December 2016. “The explosion's effects also reverberated through World War II. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the relocation of more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans after Pearl Harbor because, he was quoted as saying, 'We don't want any more Black Toms.'” 
  16. Tuchman, Barbara Wertheim. Zimmermann Telegram, The. Dell. ISBN 9780345324252. 
  17. Carlin, Dan. "Blueprint for Armageddon IV (World War I). Dan Carlin's Hardcore History, 17 Aug 2014. (PODCAST) Length: 03:55:51 minutes. Size: 226.91 megabytes. Summary: "Machine guns, barbed wire and millions upon millions of artillery shells create industrialized meat grinders at Verdun and the Somme. There's never been a human experience like it and it changes a generation."
  18. Roald Dahl - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 December 2016. “Dahl's short stories are known for their unexpected endings and his children's books for their unsentimental, macabre, often darkly comic mood, featuring villainous adult enemies of the child characters.”
  19. Betty Grable - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 December 2016. “Grable's legs were famously insured by her studio for $1 million as a publicity stunt.”
  20. Kirk Douglas - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 December 2016. “He turned 100 on December 9, 2016.”
  21. Leo Koretz: Colossal Swindler of Tycoons. annalsofcrime.com (2012). Retrieved on 15 December 2016. “In 1916, Koretz began telling confidentially to a few intimate friends, some of his best investors, that he had taken a bit of a gamble and bought more than five million acres of land in Panama, which encompassed the Bayano River. He had followed a wild impulse, he said, and bought the land 'blind' because he was able to buy it at a bargain basement price. A few months later, he informed a few people that he was leaving for Panama to inspect his holdings.”
  22. Jobb, Dean. Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. 
  23. Margaret Sanger - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 December 2016. “In 1916 Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in the United States, which led to her arrest for distributing information on contraception after an undercover policewoman bought a copy of her pamphlet on family planning.”
  24. Rose Bowl Game - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 December 2016. “It was first played in 1902, and has been played annually since 1916. Since 1945, it has been the highest attended college football bowl game.”

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