On this date in 1961, the Nazi Secret Service officer Adolf Eichmann who organized Adolf Hitler's "final resolution to ending Jews in Europe" is finally sentenced to death in Israel.Adolf Eichmann was born in 1906, in Solingen, Germany. In November 1932, he joined the Nazi's elite SS called "Schutzstaffel" whose members later became key players in Nazi Germany and were responsible for policing, intelligence, and the authorization of Adolf Hitler's anti-Semitic policies. Within few years, Eichmann rose in the SS chain of command, and with the German invasion of Austria in 1938, he was sent to Vienna with the sole purpose of clearing the city of Jews. He did an effective job in the city and even set up a Jewish deportment center before he was moved to Prague in 1939 for a similar mission. That same year, Eichmann was assigned to the Jewish section of the SS headquarters in Berlin. In January 1942, according to Hermann Goering (one of Nazi's leader), Eichmann met with top Nazi authorities at the Wannsee Conference close to Berlin in order to discuss the "final resolution to ending Jews in Europe". The Nazis chose to eliminate Europe's Jewish populace. Eichmann was assigned the responsibility to facilitate the identification, gathering, and transportation of millions of Jews in Europe to the Nazi concentration camps, where they were either gassed or worked to death. Eichmann was efficient at his work, and about four million Jews died in the concentration camp by the end of the Second World War, while another two million were killed in other death camps.After World War II, Eichmann was caught by U.S. troops. Unfortunately, he managed to escape prison in 1946, before he could face Nuremberg International War Crimes Tribunal. Eichmann travelled between Europe and the Middle East under a false identity, and in 1950, he permanently settled in Argentina, which is known to be a refuge for Nazi war criminals because of his slack immigration policies. In 1957, a German prosecutor secretly leaked the information that Eichmann was living in Argentina to Israel's intelligence service. Israel's Mossad agents were sent to Argentina, where they found Eichmann living in the San Fernando area of Buenos Aires under the name of Ricardo Klement.During Argentina's 150th anniversary of its revolution against Spain in 1960 and many tourists were trooping in to Argentina to join in the celebration. The Mossad utilized the chance to sneak-in more agents. Israel, realizing that Argentina may never agree to hand over Eichmann for trial, had chosen to abduct him and take him to Israel illegally. On May 11, Mossad agents stormed Garibaldi Street in San Fernando and grabbed Eichmann away as he was strolling from the bus to his home. In addition, his family called nearby hospitals but not the police, and Argentina remained unaware of the operation. On May 20, a sedated Eichmann was flown out of Argentina masked as an Israeli airline worker who had suffered head injury in an accident. After three days, Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion declared that Eichmann was in Israeli custody.Argentina requested Eichmann's return, while Israel maintained that given his status as an international war criminal, they have the right to continue with the trial. On April 11, 1961, Eichmann's trial started in Jerusalem, making it the first broadcast trial ever. Eichmann faced 15 count charges ranging from crimes against humankind, persecution of the Jewish race, and war crimes. However, Eichmann claimed the he was simply following orders, which the judges disagreed, and on December 15, he was found guilty on all charges and sentenced to death. On May 31, 1962, he was hanged near Tel Aviv. His body cremated and the ashes tossed into the ocean.
Today in 1963, John F. Kennedy is buried with full military honors at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia, following his assassination in Dallas, Texas three days earlier. John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy, popularly called JFK (by his initials) the 35th president of the United States, was assassinated on Friday November 22, 1963, while riding in an open-auto presidential motorcade with his spouse Jacqueline and Texas Governor John Connally alongside his wife Nelie through the boulevards of downtown Dallas. Immediately, Kennedy was rushed to Dallas' Parkland Hospital, where the doctors confirmed him dead 30 minutes later. Kennedy was 46 at the time of his death. The alleged assassin was a former U.S. Marine and communist supporter by name Lee Harvey Oswald who had defected to the Soviet Union years back before returning to the U.S. with his Russian wife Marina and settled in Dallas. Kennedy's VP Lyndon Johnson, who was also at the scene of the incident but was in the third car behind President Kennedy in the motorcade, was confirmed as the 36th president of the United States in less than two hours after the assassination. President Lyndon Johnson took the oath of office on board Air Force One as it sat on the runway at Dallas Love Field air terminal. Around 30 people were present at the swearing in of the new president including Kennedy's wife Jacqueline who was yet to change the bloodstained cloth she was wearing when her husband was shot. Following the swearing-in, the presidential jet took off for Washington D.C.On November 23, the following day, President Johnson issued his first public statement where he announced November 25 to be a day of national grieving for the killed president. On November 25, hundreds of thousands of sympathizers gathered around street in Washington watching as a horse-drawn caisson carried Kennedy's body from the Capitol Rotunda to St. Matthew's Catholic Cathedral for a memorial Mass. The memorial mass was preceded by a solemn procession to Arlington National Cemetery, where heads-of-state of 99 countries assembled for the state burial service. Kennedy was buried with full military honor at Arlington National Cemetery, as his wife lit an eternal flame to mark his grave.Within 1964-1966, an estimated number of 16 million tourists visit his grave before it was eventually moved to a permanent burial plot in the same cemetery on March 14, 1967.
On October 22, 1962, President John F. Kennedy told the American people about his decision to issue a blockade of Cuba following the discovery that the Soviets were secretly keeping missiles in the said location. The president openly criticized Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in his televised speech, accusing him of threatening world peace. JFK also issued a warning against the soviets saying that US is not afraid to conduct necessary actions, and if needed, will be forced to retaliate, should the missiles be launched for any reason.Four days before the blockade announcement, photographic proof of the 40 ballistic missile site which were being built by the Soviets were presented to Kennedy. The president was alarmed after learning that these were strategically located within a striking distance from the United States. JFK and his closest advisors discussed the matter in their secret meetings. They concluded that they can only deal with the situation in three ways. The first option was to persuade the Russians to remove the missiles through negotiation. The second was to obliterate the missile sites with bombs. And the last was to issue a blockage order, which was what JFK decided to do. He will choose to push through with the second choice however if it became necessary for them to do so.On October 21st, the blockade was made official. JKF informed the American people about it the next day. The president was honest about the situation and admitted to the American people that if the Soviets chose to do so, the missiles in Cuba could go as far as the Washington, D.C, the southeastern portion of the country, Panama Canal, Mexico City, Hudson Bay, Canada, or even as far as the south in Lima, Peru. In short, the missiles were very dangerous. The audience were already expecting that there will be a military confrontation soon after the president informed them that the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba will be evacuated and that military units will be put on standby. He went on to encourage the people that they will in no way choose surrender or submission from their nemesis.Likewise, Khrushchev was not about to back out. Instead of retreating, he sent more ships that were thought to carry military cargo toward Cuba. He also instructed his men to continue building the missile sites. The following six days (later named as the Cuban Missile Crisis) made the world really tense since it almost pushed the two clashing nations to the brink of starting a global nuclear war. During this period, negotiations were being made by its leaders where messages were sent via telegram and letter.The world was only able to let out a sigh of relief on October 28th when both Kennedy and Khrushchev came to an agreement. Khrushchev agreed to dismantle the Cuban missile sites provided that the US will likewise abandon the U.S. missile sites in Turkey.
On October 9, 1967, Che Guevara, a socialist revolutionary and guerilla leader, died in the hands of the Bolivian army at the age of 39. His death was swift – he and his fellow guerilla members were captured on October 8th and were immediately executed the next day after. His body was buried in an unmarked grave while his hands were cut off to prove his death. In 1997, he was sent to his final resting place in Cuba where President Fidel Castro and other fellow Cubans attended his reburial ceremony. Ernesto Rafael Guevara de la Serna was born in Argentina to a wealthy family. He was studying medicine at the University of Buenos Aires when he decided to take some time off to go on a motorcycle adventure around South America. During this time, his eyes were opened to the reality that poverty and oppression were rampant especially to the lower classes. After getting his degree in 1953, he decided to continue his travels around Latin America. He became interested in left-wing organizations and got involved. His fate led him to meet Fidel Castro and his fellow revolutionaries in Mexico sometime in mid 1950s.In 1959, Castro overthrew the Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. Guevara played a key role in the event which gave him the privilege of serving as Castro’s right hand man and minister of industry. Guevara was very vocal about his disdain of U.S. dominion in Latin America and openly supported peasant-based revolutions in an attempt to fight social discrimination in Third World countries. Castro admired this in him and described Guevara as a revolutionary warfare artist.In April 1965, it was announced that Guevara resigned from the post given to him by the Cuban government. Others on the other hand speculated that this was not the real case. Some believed that he was dismissed because he and Castro had conflicting interests over the nation’s economic and foreign policies. Guevara left Cuba and went to Africa. He was last seen in Bolivia where he would eventually meet his end. He was proclaimed a hero after his death, recognized by the world as a revolutionary leader and a symbol for anti-imperialism. Guevara’s photo in a beret which was taken by Alberto Korda became an iconic image and got printed on posters and T-shirts for countless of times. Although many celebrated his contribution to human history, not everyone was convinced. Some questioned his hero status, accusing him of crimes such as ordering the death of hundreds of Cuban prisoners during the revolution.
On September 26th of 1969 was the premiere of the immortal TV show everyone loves to hate. Here's the story...Of a lovely lady, Carol Brady, a widowed mother (because people didn't get divorced on TV in those days), who was raising three charming blond haired little girls. She met Mike Brady, a widowed father, who had three dark haired sons. This group somehow formed the perfect family (as long as Alice the housekeeper was around to clean up), and that's the way they all became the Brady Bunch. That's also the way The Brady Bunch became an icon of American pop culture.The show was unanimously panned by critics, then and now, despite the many reruns, spinoffs, movies, and Brady Bunch souvenirs they keep churning out. Even back then, kids felt they needed some sort of excuse for watching a silly, sickeningly sweet show like The Brady Bunch. Fortunately, they had an excuse. Back then, there was just so little else to do, and not much else to watch around the time when kids came home from school. On TV, they pretty much had a choice between daytime talk shows, soap operas, and the Brady Bunch. Sometimes the boredom was relieved with an occasional after school special. At the time, there was no such thing as a personal computer or the internet.So we started watching the Brady Bunch, if for no other reason, just to sit there making fun of it. There was never a time when anyone in America took these people too seriously. During the show's entire run, from 1969 until 1974, it never reached the top ten in the Nielsen ratings. The Brady Bunch covered such serious topics as getting braces, puberty, and sibling rivalry, while avoiding controversial issues that ran so rampant during that time.One of the last of the old style sitcoms, The Brady Bunch presented a wholesome view of American family life, with all family members behaving perfectly. The implication seemed to be that there was some way to achieve that. When a parent called the children, they all came running immediately, then stood at attention in a perfectly straight line, boy girl boy girl, in size order no less!Still, most of us secretly wished we had families like that, and the chosen time slot for the show was a brilliant move, enticing bored suburban kids from all over America, who would rather watch TV than do their homework.The old style sitcom would eventually give way to bolder shows like Roseanne. Roseanne was the first TV show that had the kids talking back to, and generally disobeying, their parents. What a welcome relief! That's exactly what real kids do.The ABC network cancelled the Brady Bunch after 177 episodes. The last original episode aired on August 30th of 1974. However, the show was soon in syndication, and back on TV again, because we miss that nonexistent perfect family that we used to believe existed. Someday, our children would watch The Brady Bunch.
On September 18th of 1960, Fidel Castro visited New York City. He was leading the Cuban delegation to the United Nations. The trip included his four-hour speech to the United Nations, in which he attacked what he called American “aggression” and “imperialism.” Fidel Castro was born in Cuba in 1926. His father was a migrant from northwest Spain, who had become financially successful from growing sugar cane. Fidel's mother was the household servant, who later became his second wife. Together they had seven children. Starting at the age of six, Fidel was sent to live with his teacher. Starting from age eight, he attended a series of boarding schools. In 1945, Castro began studying law at the University of Havana, where he engaged in leftist political activism. He was critical of the corrupt government under President Ramón Grau. In November of 1946, Castro delivered a public speech that was covered on the front pages of several newspapers. In 1947, he joined the Party of the Cuban People, whose leader, Eduardo Chibás, promoted social justice, honest government, and political freedom. Although Chibás lost the election, Castro remained committed to the cause. He soon received death threats insisting that he leave the University, but instead he armed himself and surrounded himself with friends who were also armed.In 1948, he married Mirta Balart, a Cuban student from a wealthy family. Mirta set about having babies while Fidel continued endangering himself with his political activism. Despite having a child between them, they divorced seven years later when Castro was in exile.In 1959, Castro became Cuba's Prime Minister. However, the U.S. was afraid of him because of his friendly relations with the Soviets. So the U.S. tried to get rid of him, by way of assassination. In March of 1960, President Eisenhower ordered the CIA to train Cuban exiles to overthrow Castro's regime. So Castro allowed the Soviets to place nuclear missiles on the island of Cuba, leading to what is now known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. Richard Nixon believed that Castro was leaning dangerously toward communism, although Castro had not yet declared himself a communist.It was under these chilly conditions that Fidel Castro visited the United States on September 18th of 1960. He stayed at the Theresa Hotel in Harlem, where he met with many famous African American leaders, including Malcolm X. Then he delivered his blistering speech, which severed the already fragile relations between America and Cuba.On December 2nd of 1976, Fidel Castro became President of Cuba. In 1980, he married Dalia Soto, with whom he had eight more children. He held the presidential office until February 24th of 2008, when he handed it over to his younger brother, Vice President Raúl Castro.Fidel Castro was always a controversial political figure, with some people seeing him as a brave fighter for social justice, while others considered him a heartless dictator.Despite the many hundred attempts on his life, Castro lives on. He is now in his 90s.