Happy Birthday, General Lee

You people with your misunderstanding.  Not the General Lee from the Dukes of Hazzard.  The real General Lee – the confederate general.  We’re talking real history here…
Yes, September 16th 2006 is General Custis Lee’s 174th birthday.  So hats off to a man who played a large part in the civil war.  Oh, and note this little bit:

The eldest son and the second of seven children, Custis Lee, as his family called him, followed his father’s footsteps to West Point. At age 16, Custis had been denied entry into the military academy, but his father wrote an appeal to General Winfield Scott and so he was admitted the following year. Though he had needed his father’s influence to gain admission, once in West Point Lee made the most of his opportunity. He graduated first in his class of 46 in 1854. For the last two years of his studies, his father was superintendent of the academy.

Like so many children of the rich these days, it appears he couldn’t make the cut on his own, so he got Daddy to fix things and let him get where he wanted to be.  Not that he didn’t do well after this, but he couldn’t even get into the military academy on his own.  Think how history might have changed had daddy not written that letter.

[tags]Happy Birthday, General Lee’s birthday[/tags]

Happy Birthday Gary Larson

Yes, that Gary Larson.  The creator of The Far Side comic strip.  Larson was born today in 1950.

“The Far Side” first appeared in the Seattle Times in 1978. It was first syndicated in 1980 by Chronicle Features.

The strip continued until January 1, 1995, when Larson retired from writing the comic.

[tags]Gary Larson. The Far Side, Happy Birthday[/tags]

Happy Birthday, Fidel Castro

I almost made it through the day without wishing Mr. Castro a happy birthday (because, like, you know he totally reads my web site and is waiting for me to send well-wishes, and all). So, here’s a bit from The History Channel on our favorite communist dictator whofidel_castro_mug_3.jpg lives only miles from the US.

1926 Fidel Castro born

Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro is born in the Oriente province of eastern Cuba. The son of a Spanish immigrant who had made a fortune building rail systems to transport sugar cane, Fidel attended Roman Catholic boarding schools in Santiago de Cuba. He became involved in revolutionary politics while he was a student and in 1947 took part in an abortive attempt by Dominican exiles and Cubans to overthrow Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo. In the next year, he took part in urban riots in Bogotá, Colombia. The most outstanding feature of his politics during the period was his anti-American beliefs; he was not yet an overt Marxist.

The humorous part of Castro’s history?  In 1953, while trying to overthrow the current Cuban government with a band of rebels, roughly half of his troops were captured or killed.  Arrested for this, Castro argued he shouldn’t be jailed:

Castro was himself arrested and put on trial for conspiring to overthrow the Cuban government. During his trial, he argued that he and his rebels were fighting to restore democracy to Cuba, but he was nonetheless found guilty and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

So, Fidel, how’s that whole democratizing your nation going?

That said, happy birthday Fidel Castro.  We hope you get well from your recent surgery and all really soon.  And could you like, please stop being a communist dictator and all?

[tags]Happy Birthday, Fidel Castro, Cuban government[/tags]

More happy birthday wishes

Yes, we’ve already covered Sandra Bullock. But there are a number of other notables celebrating birthdays today. Enough that I wanted to point some of them out.

Of course, I highlight Shaw since I’ve recently returned from a trip to Ireland. The whole reason I went looking at other birthdays for today was because I heard recently that today is Huxley’s birthday. And the others I point out just because I figure plenty of folks will know who they are.

[tags]Happy Birthday, Kate Beckinsale, Brave New World[/tags]