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Showing posts from November, 2018

Croissants: An Austrian Gift to France

When you think of croissants, what country comes to mind? If you’re like most people, you probably thought of France, and indeed, the French do make great croissants. They even gave us the word for them. But as famous as the French are for them, the croissant is not a French invention. The origin of the croissant is actually a ways to the east, in Austria. Specifically they were invented in Vienna, in 1683. That year, the city of Vienna was under siege by a massive Ottoman army composed of approximately 140,000 soldiers. To put this in perspective, the population of the Ottoman Empire at the time was somewhere around 11 million, which meant that more than one out of every hundred Ottoman citizens were in Austria for the siege of one city. Less than 300 years later, the United States would deploy roughly one out of every 100 citizens to fight World War II, across Europe and the Pacific, over a four-year span. The Ottoman Empire was investing the equivalent in blood and money t…

Jumping the Shark

The Saturday Night Massacre

“When the president does it, that means it is not illegal.”—Richard Nixon, 1977

President Nixon in the famous Nixon/Frost interview, 1977 On June 17, 1972, a group of men were caught breaking into Democratic National Headquarters in the Watergate Hotel in Washington, DC.  This was the beginning of the famous Watergate scandal, when President Richard Nixon hired agents to conduct espionage on the Democratic Party, hoping to give himself an extra advantage in the presidential election that year.  When the election took place that November, Nixon won in a landslide, carrying 49 states.  Only Washington, DC and Massachusetts voted for his Democratic rival, Senator George McGovern.  Needless to say, Nixon was probably being a little too cautious where his reëlection was concerned.



Word got out, and the people and Congress started to call for an investigation.  Facing growing pressure, President Nixon asked Attorney General Elliot Richardson to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate.  T…