This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
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July 18 is the 199th day of the year (200th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 166 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1940, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who first took office in 1933 as America’s 32nd president, is nominated for an unprecedented third term. Roosevelt, a Democrat, would eventually be elected to a record four terms in office, the only U.S. president to serve more than two terms.
Roosevelt was born January 30, 1882, in Hyde Park, New York, and went on to serve as a New York state senator from 1911 to 1913, assistant secretary of the Navy from 1913 to 1920 and governor of New York from 1929 to 1932. In 1932, he defeated incumbent Herbert Hoover to be elected president for the first time. During his first term, Roosevelt enacted his New Deal social programs, which were aimed at lifting America out of the Great Depression. In 1936, he won his second term in office by defeating Kansas governor Alf Landon in a landslide.
Election of 1940
The two-term tradition had been an unwritten rule (until the 22nd Amendment after his presidency) since George Washington declined to run for a third term in 1796, and both Ulysses S. Grant and Theodore Roosevelt were attacked for trying to obtain a third non-consecutive term. FDR systematically undercut prominent Democrats who were angling for the nomination, including two cabinet members, Secretary of State Cordell Hull and James Farley, Roosevelt’s campaign manager in 1932 and 1936, Postmaster General and Democratic Party chairman. Roosevelt moved the convention to Chicago where he had strong support from the city machine (which controlled the auditorium sound system). At the convention the opposition was poorly organized but Farley had packed the galleries. Roosevelt sent a message saying that he would not run, unless he was drafted, and that the delegates were free to vote for anyone. The delegates were stunned; then the loudspeaker screamed “We want Roosevelt… The world wants Roosevelt!” The delegates went wild and he was nominated by 946 to 147 on the first ballot. The tactic employed by Roosevelt was not entirely successful, as his goal had been to be drafted by acclamation. The new vice presidential nominee was Henry A. Wallace, a liberal intellectual who was Secretary of Agriculture.
In his campaign against Republican Wendell Willkie, Roosevelt stressed both his proven leadership experience and his intention to do everything possible to keep the United States out of war. In one of his speeches he declared to potential recruits that “you boys are not going to be sent into any foreign war.” He won the 1940 election with 55% of the popular vote and 38 of the 48 states. A shift to the left within the Administration was shown by the naming of Henry A. Wallace as Vice President in place of the conservative Texan John Nance Garner, who had become a bitter enemy of Roosevelt after 1937.
390 BCE – Roman-Gaulish Wars: Battle of the Allia – a Roman army is defeated by raiding Gauls, leading to the subsequent sacking of Rome.
362 – Roman-Persian Wars: Emperor Julian arrives at Antioch with an Roman expeditionary force (60,000 men) and stays there for nine months to launch a campaign against the Persian Empire.
1290 – King Edward I of England issues the Edict of Expulsion, banishing all Jews (numbering about 16,000) from England; this was Tisha B’Av on the Hebrew calendar, a day that commemorates many Jewish calamities.
1334 – The bishop of Florence blesses the first foundation stone for the new campanile (bell tower) of the Florence Cathedral, designed by the artist Giotto di Bondone.
1389 – Kingdom of France and Kingdom of England agree to the Truce of Leulinghem, in inaugurating a 13 year peace; the longest period of sustained peace during the Hundred Years War.
1656 – Polish-Lithuanian forces clash with Sweden and its Brandenburg allies in the start of what is to be known as The Battle of Warsaw which ends in a decisive Swedish victory.
1857 – Louis Faidherbe, French governor of Senegal, arrives to relieve French forces at Kayes, effectively ending El Hajj Umar Tall’s war against the French.
1862 – First ascent of Dent Blanche, one of the highest summits in the Alps.
1863 – American Civil War: Battle of Fort Wagner/Morris Island – the first formal African American military unit, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, fails in their assault on Confederate-held Battery Wagner.
1870 – The First Vatican Council decrees the dogma of papal infallibility.
1914 – The U.S. Congress forms the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps, giving definite status to aircraft within the U.S. Army for the first time.
1925 – Adolf Hitler publishes his personal manifesto Mein Kampf.
1942 – World War II: the Germans test fly the Messerschmitt Me-262 using only its jet engines for the first time.
1944 – World War II: Hideki Tojo resigns as Prime Minister of Japan due to numerous setbacks in the war effort.
1955 – The first Disneyland theme park, in Anaheim, California, officially opens to the public.
1968 – The Intel Corporation is founded in Santa Clara, California.
1976 – Nadia Comaneci became the first person in Olympic Games history to score a perfect 10 in gymnastics at the 1976 Summer Olympics.
1982 – 268 campesinos (“peasants” or “country people”) are slain in the Plan de Sanchez massacre in Rios Montt’s Guatemala.
1984 – McDonald’s massacre in San Ysidro, California: in a fast-food restaurant, James Oliver Huberty opens fire, killing 21 people and injuring 19 others before being shot dead by police.
1986 – A tornado is broadcast live on KARE television in Minnesota when the station’s helicopter pilot makes a chance encounter.
1992 – The ten victims of the La Cantuta massacre disappear from their university in Lima.
1994 – The bombing of the Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina (Argentinian Jewish Communal Center) in Buenos Aires kills 85 people (mostly Jewish) and injures 300.
1995 – On the Caribbean island of Montserrat, the Soufriere Hills volcano erupts. Over the course of several years, it devastates the island, destroying the capital and forcing most of the population to flee.
1996 – Storms provoke severe flooding on the Saguenay River, beginning one of Quebec’s costliest natural disasters ever.
1996 – Battle of Mullaitivu. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam capture the Sri Lanka Army’s base, killing over 1200 Army soldiers.
* Christian Feast Day:
* Arnulf of Metz
* Camillus de Lellis (optional memorial, United States only)
* Frederick of Utrecht
* Marina of Aguas Santas
* July 18 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
* Constitution Day (Uruguay
* Nelson Mandela International Day