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First Confidential

 


Henri_Matisse, Quote

“At each stage I reach a balance, a conclusion. At the next sitting, if I find that there is a weakness in the whole, I make my way back into the picture by means of the weakness — I re-enter through the breach — and I reconceive the whole. Thus everything becomes fluid again.”

~ Henri Matisse

Wikiquote (Henri Matisse (December 31, 1869 – November 3, 1954) a major French artist of the 20th century. Particularly noted for his striking use of colour, Matisse is one of the very few indisputable giants of modern art, alongside Pablo Picasso and Kandinsky / The Dance, 1910.)

This Day in History

December 31st, 406

Roman Empire Decline and Fall of Rome

Roman Empire:
406 - Vandals, Alans and Suebians cross the Rhine, beginning an invasion of Gaul.

Wikipedia  Image: Relief from a 3rd-century sarcophagus depicting a battle between Romans and Germanic warriors; the central figure is perhaps the emperor Hostilian / Depiction of the Menorah on the Arch of Titus in Rome.


December 31st, 535

Byzantine Empire Collage

Byzantine Empire (East Roman Empire):
535 - Byzantine general Belisarius completes the conquest of Sicily defeating the Gothic garrison of Palermo (Panormos), and ending his consulship for the year.

Wikipedia  Image: The Baptism of Constantine painted by Raphael's pupils (1520–1524, fresco, Vatican City, Apostolic Palace); Mural of Saints Cyril and Methodius, 19th century, Troyan Monastery, Bulgaria; Justinian I depicted on one of the famous mosaics of the Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna; The Greek fire was first used by the Byzantine Navy during the Byzantine-Arab Wars (from the Madrid Skylitzes, Biblioteca Nacional de España, Madrid); Alexios I, founder of the Komnenos dynasty.


December 31st, 1225

French Navy fire in Hai Phong, Viet Nam, kills 6,000 civilians

Vietnam:
1225 - The Lý Dynasty of Vietnam ends after 216 years by the enthronement of the boy emperor Tran Thai Tong, husband of the last Ly monarch, Ly Chieu Hoang, starting the Trần Dynasty.

Wikipedia  Photo: Hang En Cave, Vietnam, by Carsten Peter; Tour boats moored in Ha Long Bay at dusk enjoy a serene seascape of limestone sculptures hewn by nature.This UNESCO World Heritage site is host to a diversity of ecosystems including sandy beaches, mangrove forests, and offshore coral reefs. Some of its roughly 1,600 islands and islets boast beautiful grottos with hidden ponds and unusual stone formations; Terraced rice paddies ring the Vietnamese countryside in bright green. The crop, has been grown in Vietnam for thousands of years; Halong Bay, Vietnam; Ba Vi National Park, Hanoi. credit National Geographic.


December 31st, 1600

Map Satellite India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet AR, Bangladesh

British East India Company is chartered.

Wikipedia  Image: Map Satellite India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet AR, Bangladesh.


December 31st, 1660

Glorious Revolution Collage: William of Orange launched a colossal armada to seize the throne from Catholic King James II

Glorious Revolution:
1660 - James II of England is named Duke of Normandy by Louis XIV of France.

Wikipedia  Painting: Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688: James II King of England & James VII King of Scots, King of Ireland and Duke of Normandy ● William III, King of England, Scotland and Ireland, stadtholder of Guelders, Holland, Zealand, Utrecht and Overijssel ● Henry Sydney, author of the Invitation to William, which was signed by six noblemen (both Whigs and Tories) and one bishop. He has been described as "the great wheel on which the Revolution rolled" ● Francisco Lopes Suasso, who partly financed the invasion ● William of Orange launched a colossal armada to seize the throne from Catholic King James II ● New England's Siege of Louisbourg (1745) by Peter Monamy.


December 31st, 1687

Huguenot Monument Garden at the Cape of Good Hope; Cape of Good Hope, by Christopher Thomas / Getty Images, National Geographics

Huguenots for the first time set sail from France to the Cape of Good Hope.

Wikipedia  Photo: Huguenot Monument Garden at the Cape of Good Hope; Cape of Good Hope, by Christopher Thomas / Getty Images, National Geographics.


December 31st, 1695

A window tax is imposed in England, causing many householders to brick up windows to avoid the tax (Lacock village, Wiltshire, England, credit Nonac Digi; Saint Helen church, Aswardby, credit Geograph.org.uk)

Window tax: A window tax is imposed in England, causing many householders to brick up windows to avoid the tax.

Wikipedia  Photo: A window tax is imposed in England, causing many householders to brick up windows to avoid the tax (Lacock village, Wiltshire, England, credit Nonac Digi; Saint Helen church, Aswardby, credit Geograph.org.uk).


December 31st, 1759

Arthur Guinness signs a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum and starts brewing Guinness

Arthur Guinness signs a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum and starts brewing Guinness.

Wikipedia  Photo: Arthur Guinness starts brewing in 1759.


December 31st, 1775

American Revolutionary War Collage

American Revolutionary War:
1775 - Battle of Quebec; British forces repulse an attack by Archibald Campbell capture Savannah, Georgia.

Wikipedia  Paintings: Washington Crossing the Delaware, by Emanuel Leutz; Battle of the Chesapeake, French (left) and British (right) lines; Battle of Bunker Hill, The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker Hill by John Trumbull; The Defeat of the Floating Batteries at Gibraltar, September 13, 1782, by John Singleton Copley; Washington and the Comte de Rochambeau at Yorktown, 1781; "The surrender at Saratoga" shows General Daniel Morgan in front of a French de Vallière 4-pounder; Surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown by (John Trumbull, 1797).


December 31st, 1853

Iguanodon (Temporal range: Early Cretaceous, 126–125 Ma), I. bernissartensis mounted in a modern quadrupedal posture, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels; Photograph of a Bernissart Iguanodon skeleton being mounted

A dinner party is held inside a life-size model of an Iguanodon created by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and Sir Richard Owen in south London, England.

Wikipedia  Photo: Iguanodon (Temporal range: Early Cretaceous, 126–125 Ma), I. bernissartensis mounted in a modern quadrupedal posture, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels; Photograph of a Bernissart Iguanodon skeleton being mounted.


December 31st, 1862

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:
1862 - Abraham Lincoln signs an act that admits West Virginia to the Union, thus dividing Virginia in two.
1862 - Battle of Stones River begins near Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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.


December 31st, 1879

Thomas Edison (right) demonstrating the kinetograph (motion picture camera), with the assistance of George Eastman, who helped develop the film used in the early motion picture machines

Thomas Edison demonstrates incandescent lighting to the public for the first time, in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

Wikipedia  Photo: Thomas Edison (right) demonstrating the kinetograph (motion picture camera), with the assistance of George Eastman, who helped develop the film used in the early motion picture machines.


December 31st, 1923

Close-Up of the Clock Face of Big Ben Houses of Parliament Westminster London England Westminster's Big Ben rang for the first time in London

The chimes of Big Ben are broadcast on radio for the first time by the BBC.

Wikipedia  Photo: Close-Up of the Clock Face of Big Ben Houses of Parliament Westminster London England; The Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament


December 31st, 1944

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:
1944 - Hungary declares war on Nazi Germany.
1944 - Operation Nordwind; the last major German offensive on the Western Front begins.
1946 - United States President Harry S. Truman officially proclaims the end of hostilities in World War II.
Post World War II:
1951 - The Marshall Plan expires after distributing more than US$13.3 billion in foreign aid to rebuild Europe.

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.


December 31st, 1955

General Motors Corporation becomes the first U.S. corporation to make over US$1 billion in a year (General Motors Headquarters, credit AP; GM Heritage Center - 067 - Cars - 1955 Chevrolet, credit Tino Rossini, Flickr)

General Motors Corporation becomes the first U.S. corporation to make over US$1 billion in a year.

Wikipedia  Photo: General Motors Corporation becomes the first U.S. corporation to make over US$1 billion in a year (General Motors Headquarters, credit Associated Press; GM Heritage Center - 067 - Cars - 1955 Chevrolet, credit Tino Rossini, Flickr).


December 31st, 1983

AT&T and its Bell System is broken up by the United States Government

AT&T and its Bell System is broken up by the United States Government.

Wikipedia  Photo: AT&T logo / communication systems.


December 31st, 1994

Chechen_War: War in Chechnya, was a conflict between the Russian Federation and the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (Chechen guerrilla warfare and raids on the flatlands vs Russia's overwhelming manpower, weaponry, and air support)

Chechen War:
Battle of Grozny (1994–1995): Russian army began a New Year's storm Grozny.

Wikipedia  Photo: Chechen_War: War in Chechnya, was a conflict between the Russian Federation and the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (Chechen guerrilla warfare and raids on the flatlands vs Russia's overwhelming manpower, weaponry, and air support); Russian Mil Mi-8 helicopter brought down by Chechen fighters near the capital Grozny in 1994; Second Battle of Grozny; Battle of Grozny, Russian federal forces attempted to seize control of the mountainous area of Chechnya but were set back by Chechen guerrilla warfare and raids; Chechen little boy with makeshift wooden rifle.


December 31st, 1999

Aircraft hijacking (also known as skyjacking) is the unlawful seizure of an aircraft by an individual or a group (In most cases, the pilot is forced to fly according to the orders of the hijackers, Occasionally, however, the hijackers have flown the aircraft themselves) 2006 Madrid-Barajas Airport terrorist attack

Aircraft hijacking:
1999 - Five hijackers, who had been holding 155 hostages on an Indian Airlines plane, leave the plane with two Islamic clerics that they had demanded be freed.

Wikipedia  Photo: Hijacked Sudan passenger jet lands in Libya, August 27, 2008; Amsterdam false alarm revives airplane hijacking memories, Passengers leave a Vueling plane at a field near Amsterdam Airport after a hijack scare last week that led the Netherlands to scramble F-16 fighter jets, September 2, 2012 Reuters; Egypt Air flight 648 was hijacked in November 1985 by the terrorist Abu Nidal organisation, credit AP; Cockpit section of Pan Am 103 wreckage following a mid-air explosion, December 21, 1988; 747 Pan Am airliner that exploded and crashed over Lockerbie, Scotland, with 259 passengers on board in 1988; Debris lies in a deep gash through the town of Lockerbie, Scotland, caused by the crash of Pan Am flight 103, credit AP; Flight 175 hits the WTC South Tower. The picture was taken from a traffic helicopter. credit: WABC 7/ Salient Stills; Hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston crashes into the South Tower of the World Trade Center and explodes at 9:03 a.m. on September 11, 2001 in New York City, credit Spencer Platt / Getty Images.
Madrid-Barajas International Airport terrorist attack.


December 31st, 2004

On January 4th, 2010, Burj Khalifa officially opened as the tallest manmade structure in the world; On October 17th, 2003, the pinnacle is fitted on the roof of Taipei 101, a 101-floor skyscraper in Taipei, allowing it to surpass the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur by 56 metres (184 ft) and become the World's tallest highrise

The official opening of Taipei 101 the tallest skyscraper at that time in the world, standing at a height of 509 metres (1,670 ft).

Wikipedia  Photo: On January 4th, 2010, Burj Khalifa officially opened as the tallest manmade structure in the world; On October 17th, 2003, the pinnacle is fitted on the roof of Taipei 101 a 101-floor skyscraper in Taipei, allowing it to surpass the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur by 56 metres (184 ft) and become the World's tallest highrise.