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.
January 17 is the 17th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 348 days remaining until the end of the year (349 in leap years).
On this day in 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers his farewell address to the nation warning the American people to keep a careful eye on what he calls the “military-industrial complex” that has developed in the post-World War II years.
A fiscal conservative, Eisenhower had been concerned about the growing size and cost of the American defense establishment since he became president in 1953. In his last presidential address to the American people, he expressed those concerns in terms that frankly shocked some of his listeners.
Eisenhower began by describing the changing nature of the American defense establishment since World War II. No longer could the U.S. afford the “emergency improvisation” that characterized its preparations for war against Germany and Japan. Instead, the United States was “compelled to create a permanent armaments industry” and a huge military force. He admitted that the Cold War made clear the “imperative need for this development,” but he was gravely concerned about “the acquisition of unwarranted influence…by the military-industrial complex.” In particular, he asked the American people to guard against the “danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”
Military-industrial complex (MIC) is a concept commonly used to refer to policy relationships between governments, national armed forces, and the industrial sector that supports them. These relationships include political approval for research, development, production, use, and support for military training, weapons, equipment, and facilities within the national defense and security policy. It is a type of iron triangle.
The term is most often played in reference to the military of the United States, where it gained popularity after its use in the farewell address speech of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, though the term is applicable to any country with a similarly developed infrastructure.
It is sometimes used more broadly to include the entire network of contracts and flows of money and resources among individuals as well as institutions of the defense contractors, The Pentagon, and the Congress and executive branch. This sector is intrinsically prone to principal-agent problem, moral hazard, and rent seeking. Cases of political corruption have also surfaced with regularity.
A similar thesis was originally expressed by Daniel Guerin, in his 1936 book Fascism and Big Business, about the fascist government support to heavy industry. It can be defined as, “an informal and changing coalition of groups with vested psychological, moral, and material interests in the continuous development and maintenance of high levels of weaponry, in preservation of colonial markets and in military-strategic conceptions of internal affairs”.
38 BC – Octavian marries Livia Drusilla.
1287 – King Alfonso III of Aragon invades Minorca.
1377 – Pope Gregory XI moves the Papacy back to Rome from Avignon.
1524 – Giovanni da Verrazzano sets sail westward from Madeira to find a sea route to the Pacific Ocean.
1562 – France recognizes the Huguenots under the Edict of Saint-Germain.
1595 – Henry IV of France declares war on Spain.
1608 – Emperor Susenyos of Ethiopia surprises an Oromo army at Ebenat; his army reportedly kills 12,000 Oromo at the cost of 400 men.
1648 – England’s Long Parliament passes the Vote of No Addresses, breaking off negotiations with King Charles I and thereby setting the scene for the second phase of the English Civil War.
1773 – Captain James Cook and his crew become the first Europeans to sail below the Antarctic Circle.
1781 – American Revolutionary War: Battle of Cowpens – Continental troops under Brigadier General Daniel Morgan defeat British forces under Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton at the battle in South Carolina.
1799 – Maltese patriot Dun Mikiel Xerri, along with a number of other patriots, is executed.
1811 – Mexican War of Independence: In the Battle of Calderon Bridge, a heavily outnumbered Spanish force of 6,000 troops defeats nearly 100,000 Mexican revolutionists.
1852 – The United Kingdom recognizes the independence of the Boer colonies of the Transvaal.
1873 – A group of Modoc warriors defeat the United States Army in the First Battle of the Stronghold, a part of the Modoc War.
1885 – A British force defeats a large Dervish army at the Battle of Abu Klea in the Sudan.
1893 – The Citizen’s Committee of Public Safety, led by Lorrin A. Thurston, overthrows the government of Queen Liliuokalani of the Kingdom of Hawaii.
1899 – The United States takes possession of Wake Island in the Pacific Ocean.
1904 – Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard receives its premiere performance at the Moscow Art Theatre.
1912 – Sir Robert Falcon Scott reaches the South Pole, one month after Roald Amundsen.
1913 – Raymond Poincare is elected President of France.
1917 – The United States pays Denmark $25 million for the Virgin Islands.
1929 – Popeye the Sailor Man, a cartoon character created by Elzie Segar, first appears in the Thimble Theatre comic strip.
1929 – Inayatullah Khan, king of the Emirate of Afghanistan abdicates the throne after only three days into his reign.
1941 – Franco-Thai War: French forces inflict a decisive victory over the Royal Thai Navy.
1945 – Soviet forces capture the almost completely destroyed Polish city of Warsaw.
1945 – The Nazis begin the evacuation of the Auschwitz concentration camp as Soviet forces close in.
1945 – Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg was taken into Soviet custody while in Hungary; he is never publicly seen again.
1946 – The UN Security Council holds its first session.
1949 – The Goldbergs, the first sitcom on American television, first airs.
1950 – The Great Brinks Robbery – 11 thieves steal more than $2 million from an armored car Company’s offices in Boston, Massachusetts.
1961 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers a televised farewell address to the nation three days before leaving office, in which he warns against the accumulation of power by the “military-industrial complex”.
1961 – Former Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba is murdered in circumstances suggesting the support and complicity of the governments of Belgium and the United States.
1966 – A B-52 bomber collides with a KC-135 Stratotanker over Spain, dropping three 70-kiloton nuclear bombs near the town of Palomares and another one into the sea in the Palomares incident.
1969 – Black Panther Party members Bunchy Carter and John Huggins are slain during a meeting in Campbell Hall on the campus of UCLA.
1977 – Convicted murderer Gary Gilmore is executed by a firing squad in Utah, ending a ten-year moratorium on Capital punishment in the United States.
1981 – President of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos lifts martial law eight years and five months after declaring it.
1982 – “Cold Sunday” – in the United States temperatures fell to their lowest levels in over 100 years in numerous cities.
1983 – The tallest department store in the world, Hudson’s, flagship store in downtown Detroit closes due to high cost of operating.
1989 – Stockton massacre: Patrick Purdy opens fire with an assault rifle at the Cleveland Elementary School playground, killing five children and wounding 29 others and one teacher before taking his own life.
1991 – Gulf War: Operation Desert Storm begins early in the morning. Iraq fires 8 Scud missiles into Israel in an unsuccessful bid to provoke Israeli retaliation.
1991 – Harald V becomes King of Norway on the death of his father, Olav V.
1992 – During a visit to South Korea, Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa apologizes for forcing Korean women into sexual slavery (Comfort women) during World War II.
1994 – 1994 Northridge Earthquake: A magnitude 6.7 earthquake hits Northridge, California.
1995 – The Great Hanshin earthquake: A magnitude 7.3 earthquake hits near Kobe, Japan, causing extensive property damage and killing 6,434 people.
1996 – The Czech Republic applies for membership of the European Union.
1997 – A Delta 2 carrying a GPS2R satellite explodes 13 seconds after launch, dropping 250 tons of burning rocket remains around the launch pad.
1998 – Lewinsky scandal: Matt Drudge breaks the story of the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky affair on his website The Drudge Report.
2001 – President Bill Clinton posthumously raises Meriwether Lewis’ rank from Lieutenant to Captain.
2002 – Mount Nyiragongo erupts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, displacing an estimated 400,000 people.
2007 – The Doomsday Clock is set to five minutes to midnight in response to North Korea nuclear testing.
2008 – British Airways Flight 38 crash lands just short of London Heathrow Airport in England with no fatalities. It is the first airline accident that resulted in a Boeing 777 hull loss.
2010 – Rioting begins between Muslim and Christian groups in Jos, Nigeria, which resulting in at least 200 deaths.
* Christian Feast Day:
o Anthony the Great (Roman Catholic and Eastern (Byzantine) Catholic Church)
o Blessed Amelbert