First Confidential



Jessica Lynch, Quote

“I had the good fortune and opportunity to come home and to tell the truth; many soldiers, like Pat Tillman... did not have that opportunity. The truth of war is not always easy. The truth is always more heroic than the hype.”

~ Jessica Lynch

Wikiquote (Jessica Lynch (born April 26, 1983) is a former United States Army soldier who served in Iraq during the 2003 invasion by U.S. and allied forces.)

This Day in History

April 26th, 1478

The House of Medici or Famiglia de' Medici was a political dynasty, banking family and later royal house that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de' Medici in the Republic of Florence during the late 14th century

The House of Medici:
1478 - The Pazzi attack Lorenzo de' Medici and kill his brother Giuliano during High Mass in the Duomo of Florence.

Wikipedia  Image: The House of Medici; Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici, founder of the Medici bank; The Confirmation of the Rule by Domenico Ghirlandaio; Cosimo I the Great, founder of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany; The Grand Duchess Maria Maddalena, The Grand Duke Cosimo II, and their elder son, the future Ferdinando II; Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici, the last of the Grand Ducal line, in Minerva, Merkur und Plutus huldigen der Kurfürstin Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici (English: Minerva, Mercury and Pluto pay homage to the Electress Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici) after Antonio Bellucci, 1706; The Dome of Florence Cathedral by Brunelleschi; Biblical Magi Medici family members placed allegorically in the entourage of a king from the Three Wise Men in the Tuscan countryside in a Benozzo Gozzoli fresco, 1459.

April 26th, 1607

Mayflower Collage: departs from Southampton, England on its travel to North America

Plymouth Colony:
1607 - The English colonists make landfall at Cape Henry, Virginia.

Wikipedia  Painting: "Mayflower", The Granger Collection, New York 1905; Pilgrims landing on Cape Cod in November of 1620; The Pilgrims on the Speedwell; Mayflower arrived inside the tip of Cape Cod fishhook, November 1620 (satellite image, 1997); Landing of the Pilgrims by Michele Felice Cornè, circa 1805. Displayed in the White House.

April 26th, 1721

Global Earthquake epicenters

1721 - Tabriz earthquake (1721); devastates the Iranian city of Tabriz.
1966 - A magnitude 7.5 destroys Tashkent.

Wikipedia  Image: Preliminary Determination of Epicenters / Aleppo Syria; Anchorage, Alaska - March 28, 1964 Prince William Sound USA earthquake and tsunami; 8.9 Mega Earthquake Strikes Japan; Tsunami Swirls Japan's Ibaraki Prefecture March 12 2011. credit NOAA / NGDC, NOAA National Geophysical Data Center, USGS, National Geographics.

April 26th, 1802

Napoleonic Wars: (1803–15) were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions French Revolutionary Wars, Battle of the Nile (Battle of Aboukir Bay): Battle begins when a British fleet engages the French Revolutionary Navy fleet in an unusual night action

French Revolutionary Wars / Napoleonic Wars:
1802 - Napoleon Bonaparte signs a general amnesty to allow all but about one thousand of the most notorious émigrés of the French Revolution to return to France, as part of a reconciliary gesture with the factions of the Ancien Regime and to eventually consolidate his own rule.

Wikipedia  Painting: Battle of Trafalgar: The British HMS Sandwich fires to the French flagship Bucentaure (completely dismasted) in the battle of Trafalgar; Napoleon in Berlin (Meynier). After defeating Prussian forces at Jena, the French Army entered Berlin on 27 October 1806; Battle of the Bridge of Arcole Napoleon Bonaparte leading his troops over the bridge of Arcole, by Horace Vernet; Napoleon as King of Italy (Appiani); Napoleon Crossing the Alps (David). In 1800 Bonaparte took the French Army across the Alps, eventually defeating the Austrians at Marengo; Charge of the Russian Imperial Guard cavalry against French cuirassiers at the Battle of Friedland, 14 June 1807; Battle of Borodino as depicted by Louis Lejeune. The battle was the largest and bloodiest single-day action of the Napoleonic Wars; Napoleon's withdrawal from Russia, a painting by Adolph Northen; Wellington at Waterloo by Robert Alexander Hillingford; Napoleon is often represented in his green colonel uniform of the Chasseur à Cheval, with a large bicorne and a hand-in-waistcoat gesture.
Battle of the Nile (Battle of Aboukir Bay).

April 26th, 1803

Perseid meteor shower over Mount Tiede National Park

Thousands of meteor fragments fall from the skies of L'Aigle, France; the event convinces European science that meteors exist.

Wikipedia  Image: Perseid meteor shower over Mount Tiede National Park. (credit Jeff Berkes caught this Perseid meteor over Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah, on July 30, 2011)

April 26th, 1805

The First Barbary War (1801–1805): also known as the Tripolitan War or the Barbary Coast War, was the first of two wars fought between the United States and the Northwest African Berber Muslim states known collectively as the Barbary States

First Barbary War:
1805 - Battle of Derne; United States Marines capture Derne under the command of First Lieutenant to meet with Presley O'Bannon.

Wikipedia  Painting: First Barbary War; "The most bold and daring act of the age." - Horatio Nelson ● Preble's squadron during the afternoon of August 3, 1804, Michele Felice Cornè (1752–1845) ● "Barbary Pirates" by John Bentham-Dinsdale ● USS Constellation, the first U.S. Navy vessel to put to sea ● Decatur Boarding the Tripolitan Gunboat, by Dennis M. Carter.

April 26th, 1865

Lincoln Memorial: an American national monument built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln - located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. across from the Washington Monument American Civil War: Battle of Antietam; Stone Bridge at Antietam Battlefield - Sharpsburg, Maryland American Civil War: American Civil War: First Battle Between Ironclads; CSS Virginia/Merrimac (left) vs. USS Monitor, in 1862 at the Battle of Hampton Roads

American Civil War:
1865 - Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston surrenders his army to Union General William Tecumseh Sherman at the Bennett Place near Durham, North Carolina. (Date of Confederate Memorial Day or most states)
1865 - Union cavalry troopers corner and shoot dead John Wilkes Booth, assassin of President Lincoln in Virginia.

Wikipedia  Image: ● Lincoln Memorial; an American national monument built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln - located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. across from the Washington Monument.
● The northern army led by George McClellan and the southern army led by Robert E. Lee met at Antietam Creek, Maryland in September, 1862. It was a bloody battle where 13,000 Confederates and 12,000 Union troops died in just one day. McClellan had hesitated to attack before the battle thus letting the southern troops regroup. Also, he had saved reserves and refused to use them at the end of the battle thinking that Lee was holding reserves for a counterattack, even though those reserves didn't exist. The Union victory stopped Lee's northward advance and was a turning point in the war. ● Battle of Antietam / Stone Bridge at Antietam Battlefield - Sharpsburg, Maryland
● First Battle Between Ironclads: CSS Virginia/Merrimac (left) vs. USS Monitor, in 1862 at the Battle of Hampton Roads.
Although photography was still in its infancy, war correspondents produced thousands of images, bringing the harsh realities of the frontlines to those on the home front in a new and visceral way. The Atlantic.

April 26th, 1933

Sturmabteilung or SA, whose members were known as 'brownshirts', physically assault Adolf Hitler's opposition after his speech in Munich

The Gestapo, the official secret police force of Nazi Germany, is established.

Wikipedia  Photo: Hitler and the Brownshirts; German Nazi activist Horst Wessel (left) at the head of a parade of S.A. stormtroopers, or “brownshirts”, in Nuremberg, Germany, 1929.

April 26th, 1937

World War II: Second firestorm raid on Germany, the Royal Air Force conducts an air raid on the town of Kassel, killing 10,000 and rendering 150,000 homeless World War II: Battle of Leyte Gulf; Battle of Leyte Gulf; The first kamikaze attack: A Japanese plane carrying a 200-kilogram (440 lb) bomb attacks HMAS Australia off Leyte Island World War II: German V1 flying-bomb and V2 Rockets - Preparations for a Salvo Launch of V-2 Rockets in the Heidelager near Blizna (Poland) (1944) World War II: Eastern Front (World War II); was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945

World War II:
1937 - Spanish Civil War; Bombing of Guernica (Gernika in Basque) - Spain is bombed by German Luftwaffe.
1942 - Benxihu Colliery accident in Manchukuo leaves 1549 Chinese miners dead.
1944 - Georgios Papandreou becomes head of the Greek government-in-exile based in Egypt.
1944 - Heinrich Kreipe is captured by Allied commandos in Axis occupied Crete.
1945 - Battle of Bautzen last successful German tank-offensive of the war and last noteworthy victory of the Wehrmacht.
1945 - Filipino troops of the 66th Infantry Regiment, Philippine Commonwealth Army, USAFIP-NL and the American troops of the 33rd and 37th Infantry Division, United States Army was liberated in Baguio City fighting against the Japanese forces under by General Tomoyuki Yamashita.

Wikipedia  Photo: Bombing of Dresden in World War II; August Schreitmüller's sculpture 'Goodness' surveys Dresden after a firestorm started by Allied bombers in 1945.
USS Bunker Hill was hit by kamikazes piloted by Ensign Kiyoshi Ogawa and another airman on 11 May 1945. 389 personnel were killed or missing from a crew of 2,600; Ensign Kiyoshi Ogawa, who flew his aircraft into the USS Bunker Hill during a Kamikaze mission on 11 May 1945; Kamikaze Missions - Lt Yoshinori Yamaguchi's Yokosuka D4Y3 (Type 33 Suisei) "Judy" in a suicide dive against USS Essex. The dive brakes are extended and the non-self-sealing port wing tank is trailing fuel vapor and/or smoke 25 November 1944.
German V1 flying-bomb and V2 Rockets - Preparations for a Salvo Launch of V-2 Rockets in the Heidelager near Blizna (Poland) (1944), credit German History in Documents and Images GHDI.

Eastern Front (World War II); Germans race towards Stalingrad. August 1942; Soviet children during a German air raid in the first days of the war, June 1941, by RIA Novosti archive; Soviet sniper Roza Shanina in 1944. About 400,000 Soviet women served in front-line duty units Caucasus Mountains, winter 1942/43; Finnish ski patrol: the invisible enemy of the Soviet Army with an unlimited supply of skis; Men of the German Engineers Corps cross a river which is swollen after the first autumn rains, to strengthen bridges linking the German positions on the central front in Russia. by Keystone / Getty Images. October 1942; Russian snipers fighting on the Leningrad front during a blizzard. Photo by Hulton Archive / Getty Images, 1943; German soldiers surrendering to the Russians in Stalingrad, the soldier holding the white flag of surrender is dressed in white so that there could be no doubt of his intentions, a Russian soldier is on the right of the photograph. by Keystone / Getty Images, January 1943.

April 26th, 1989

Tornado Collage: A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud.

1989 - Daulatpur-Saturia Tornado; The deadliest tornado in world history strikes Central Bangladesh, killing upwards of 1,300, injuring 12,000, and leaving as many as 80,000 homeless.

Wikipedia  Photo: Weather Front System; Tornado near Anadarko, Oklahoma; North Dakota Tornado; F3 Category Tornado Swirls Across A South Dakota Prairie by Carsten Peter; A waterspout parallels a lightning strike over Lake Okeechobee in Florida, by Fred K. Smith, National Geographics, Extream Instability.

April 26th, 1989

In the People's Republic of China, the April Fifth Movement leads to the Tiananmen incident

Tiananmen Square protests: In Beijing, People's Daily publishes the People's Daily editorial of April 26 which inflames the nascent Tiananmen Square protests.

Wikipedia  Photo: Tiananmen incident April 5th, 1976 (The incident occurred on the traditional day of mourning, and removal of the displays of mourning - The Gang of Four, ordered the Square to be cleared) ● Tiananmen Square protests of 1989; The “Unknown Rebel”, taken by Jeff Widener, 1989 ● A month before the crackdown, momentum was already gathering as thousands of students swarmed in the square on May 4, 1989 to call for greater freedom of speech and democracy, credit Peter Turley, Corbis.

April 26th, 1994

Airliners Crash: ● Pan AM 747 ● U.S. Airways flight 1549 also known as the 'Miracle on the Hudson' navigates an exit ramp near Burlington, New Jersey, June 5, 2011 ● Passengers stand on the wings of a U.S. Airways plane as a ferry pulls up to it after it landed in the Hudson River in New York, Reuters ● US Airways plane crashes into New York Hudson River, Photo: AP

Aviation accidents and incidents:
1994 - China Airlines Flight 140; crashes at Nagoya Airport in Japan, killing 264 of the 271 people on board.

Wikipedia  Photo: ● Pan AM 747 ● U.S. Airways flight 1549 also known as the "Miracle on the Hudson" navigates an exit ramp near Burlington, New Jersey, June 5, 2011 ● Passengers stand on the wings of a U.S. Airways plane as a ferry pulls up to it after it landed in the Hudson River in New York, Reuters ● US Airways plane crashes into New York Hudson River, Photo: AP

April 26th, 2005

List of modern conflicts in the Middle East

Modern conflicts in the Middle East and terrorist attacks:
2005 - Under international pressure, Syria withdraws the last of its 14,000 troop military garrison in Lebanon, ending its 29-year military domination of that country ( Syrian occupation of Lebanon ).
2002 - Robert Steinhäuser infiltrates and kills 16 at Gutenberg-Gymnasium, in Erfurt, Germany before dying of a self-inflicted gunshot.
1982 - 57 people are killed by former police officer Woo Bum-kone in a shooting spree in Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea.

Wikipedia  Photo: Middle East satellite image, NASA. ● Camels are seen early morning on a beach in the Marina area of Dubai October 16, 2008. (Steve Crisp, Reuters) ● A portrait of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad burns during clashes between rebels and Syrian troops in Selehattin, near Aleppo, on July 23, 2012. (Bulent Kilic, AFP / GettyImages) ● Egyptians gather in their thousands in Tahrir Square to mark the one year anniversary of the revolution on Jan. 25, 2012 in Cairo Egypt. Tens of thousands have gathered in the square on the first anniversary of the Arab uprising which toppled President Hosni Mubarak. (Jeff J Mitchell, Getty Images) ● Black smoke rises above the Tehran skyline as supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi burn tires and other material in the streets as they fight running battles with police to protest the declared results of the Iranian presidential election in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, June 13, 2009. (Ben Curtis, AP) ● The Iron Dome defense system fires to interecpt incoming missiles from Gaza in the port town of Ashdod, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012. (Tsafrir Abayov, AP)