This Day In History: The Rome and Vienna Airport Attacks (1985)

The Rome and Vienna Airport Attacks (1985)

The Rome and Vienna airport attacks were two major terrorist attacks carried out on 27 December 1985. Seven Arab terrorists attacked two airports in Rome, Italy, and Vienna, Austria with assault rifles and hand grenades. Nineteen civilians were killed and over a hundred others were injured before four of the terrorists were killed by El Al Security personnel and local police, who captured the remaining three.

The attacks

At 08:15 GMT, four Arab gunmen walked to the shared ticket counter for Israel’s El Al Airlines and Trans World Airlines at Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport outside Rome, Italy, fired assault rifles and threw grenades.[1][2] They killed 16 and wounded 99, including American diplomat Wes Wessels, before three of the attackers were killed by El Al security, while the remaining one, Mohammed Sharam, was wounded and captured by the Italian police. The dead included General Donato Miranda Acosta, Mexican military attache, and his secretary, Genoveva Jaime Cisneros.

Minutes later, at Schwechat Airport (Vienna International Airport) in Vienna, Austria, three terrorists carried out a similar attack. Hand grenades were thrown into crowds of passengers queuing to check in for a flight to Tel Aviv, killing two people instantly and wounding 39 others. A third victim died on 22 January 1986, of hand grenade wounds sustained in the attack. First response came from several Austrian police officers, which opened fire on the terrorists. They were supported by two EL AL security guards who helped to repel the attackers. Over 200 bullets were fired during the fight. The terrorists fled by car, and Austrian police and El Al security guards gave chase. They killed one terrorist and captured the other two.[3]

In all, the two strikes killed 19, including a child, and wounded around 140. Some contemporary reports claimed the gunmen originally intended to hijack El Al jets at the airports and blow them up over Tel Aviv;[4] others concluded that the attack on waiting passengers was the original plan and that the Frankfurt airport was meant to be hit as well.[5]:244

Perpetrators

The attacks were first blamed on the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), but its leader, Yasser Arafat, denied the accusations and denounced the strikes. The PLO asserted that the attacks were intended to force Austria and Italy into severing ties with the Palestinians.[5]:246

Responsibility for the two attacks was later claimed by the Abu Nidal Organization (ANO) in retaliation for Operation Wooden Leg, the Israeli bombing of PLO headquarters in Tunis on 1 October 1985.[6] Libya was accused, by the US, of funding the terrorists who carried out the attacks; although they denied the charges, they did praise the assaults.[1] According to published reports, sources close to Abu Nidal said Libyan intelligence supplied the weapons and the ANO’s head of the Intelligence Directorate’s Committee for Special Missions, Dr. Ghassan al-Ali, organized the attacks. Libya denied these charges as well, notwithstanding that it claimed they were “heroic operations carried out by the sons of the martyrs of Sabra and Shatila.”[5]:245 Italian secret services blamed Syria and Iran.[7]

The surviving terrorist in the Rome airport attack, Mahmoud Ibrahim Khaled (Khalid Ibrahim), was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment in 1988. He was released early on good behavior in June 2010 and was living in Rome in 2011.[8] An Austrian court reportedly sentenced the two surviving terrorists in the Vienna airport attack to 25 years imprisonment.

See also

References

  1. Jump up to:a b Moore, James K. (May 1991). Walking the Line of Death: U.S.-Libyan Relations in the Reagan Decade, 1981-1989 (Master’s thesis). San Jose, CA: San Jose State University. pp. 62–73. Document No.1344297 – via ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.
  2. ^ Santifort, Charlinda; Sandler, Todd; Brandt, Patrick T (20 August 2012). “Terrorist Attack and Target Diversity”Journal of Peace Research50 (1): 75–90. doi:10.1177/0022343312445651.
  3. ^ “Twin Attacks at the Airports of Vienna and Rome (Dec. 27, 1985)”Israeli Security Agency.
  4. ^ “Abu Nidal Organization (ANO) attacked Airports & Airlines target (Dec. 27, 1985, Austria)”. Archived from the original on 25 March 2006. Retrieved 27 December 2005.
  5. Jump up to:a b c Seale, Patrick (1993). Abu Nidal: A Gun For Hire. Arrow. ISBN 0099225719.
  6. ^ Joyner, Nancy D. (1 December 1992). “Challenges to Security in Air Transportation”Criminal Law Forum3 (2): 333–335. doi:10.1007/BF01096207ISSN 1046-8374.
  7. ^ Suro, Roberto (6 February 1987). “Italians See Links to Syria in 1985 Airport Attack”The New York Times. NYTimes Co. Archived from the original on 13 November 2017.
  8. ^ Associated Press (22 February 2011). “Libyan-sponsored attacker now free in Rome”. San Diego Union-Tribune.
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This Day In History for Dec. 26: Dakota War of 1862

Dakota War of 1862

 

The Dakota War of 1862, also known as the Sioux UprisingDakota Uprising, the Sioux Outbreak of 1862, the Dakota Conflict, the U.S.–Dakota War of 1862 or Little Crow’s War, was an armed conflict between the United States and several bands of Dakota (also known as the eastern ‘Sioux’). It began on August 17, 1862, along the Minnesota River in southwest Minnesota, four years after its admission as a state. Throughout the late 1850s in the lead-up to the war, treaty violations by the United States and late or unfair annuity payments by Indian agents caused increasing hunger and hardship among the Dakota. During the war, the Dakota made extensive attacks on hundreds of settlers and immigrants, which resulted in settler deaths, and caused many to flee the area. Intense desire for immediate revenge ended with soldiers capturing hundreds of Dakota men and interning their families. A military tribunal quickly tried the men, sentencing 303 to death for their crimes. President Lincoln would later commute the sentence of 264 of them. The mass hanging of 38 Dakota men was conducted on December 26, 1862, in Mankato, Minnesota; it was the largest mass execution in United States history.

Traders with the Dakota previously had demanded that the government give the annuity payments directly to them (introducing the possibility of unfair dealing between the agents and the traders to the exclusion of the Dakota). In mid-1862, the Dakota demanded the annuities directly from their agent, Thomas J. Galbraith. The traders refused to provide any more supplies on credit under those conditions, and negotiations reached an impasse.[3]

On August 17, 1862, one young Dakota with a hunting party of three others killed five settlers while on a hunting expedition. That night a council of Dakota decided to attack settlements throughout the Minnesota River valley to try to drive whites out of the area. There has never been an official report on the number of settlers killed, although in President Abraham Lincoln’s second annual address, he said that no fewer than 800 men, women, and children had died.

Over the next several months, continued battles of the Dakota against settlers and later, the United States Army, ended with the surrender of most of the Dakota bands.[4] By late December 1862, US soldiers had taken captive more than a thousand Dakota, including women, children and elderly men in addition to warriors, who were interned in jails in Minnesota. After trials and sentencing by a military court, 38 Dakota men were hanged on December 26, 1862 in Mankatoin the largest one-day mass execution in American history. In April 1863, the rest of the Dakota were expelled from Minnesota to Nebraska and South Dakota. The United States Congress abolished their reservations. Additionally, the Ho-Chunk people living on reservation lands near Mankato were expelled from Minnesota as a result of the war.

Previous treaties

The United States and Dakota leaders negotiated the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux[5] on July 23, 1851, and Treaty of Mendota on August 5, 1851, by which the Dakota ceded large tracts of land in Minnesota Territory to the U.S. in exchange for promises of money and goods. From that time on, the Dakota were to live on a 20-mile (32  km) wide Indian reservation centered on a 150 mile (240 km) stretch of the upper Minnesota River.

However, the United States Senate deleted Article 3 of each treaty, which set out reservations, during the ratification process. Much of the promised compensation never arrived, was lost, or was effectively stolen due to corruption in the Bureau of Indian Affairs (then called the Office of Indian Affairs). Also, annuity payments guaranteed to the Dakota often were provided directly to traders instead (to pay off debts the Dakota incurred to the traders).

Encroachments on Dakota lands

When Minnesota became a state on May 11, 1858, representatives of several Dakota bands led by Little Crow traveled to Washington, D.C., to negotiate about enforcing existing treaties. The northern half of the reservation along the Minnesota River was lost, and rights to the quarry at Pipestone, Minnesota, were also taken from the Dakota. This was a major blow to the standing of Little Crow in the Dakota community.

The land was divided into townships and plots for settlement. Logging and agriculture on these plots eliminated surrounding forests and prairies, which interrupted the Dakota’s annual cycle of farming, hunting, fishing and gathering wild rice. Hunting by settlers dramatically reduced wild game, such as bison, elk, whitetail deer and bear. Not only did this decrease the meat available for the Dakota in southern and western Minnesota, but it directly reduced their ability to sell furs to traders for additional supplies.

Although payments were guaranteed, the US government was often behind or failed to pay because of Federal preoccupation with the American Civil War.[6] Most land in the river valley was not arable, and hunting could no longer support the Dakota community. The Dakota became increasingly discontented over their losses: land, non-payment of annuities, past broken treaties, plus food shortages and famine following crop failure. Tensions increased through the summer of 1862.

Negotiations

On August 4, 1862, representatives of the northern Sissetowan and Wahpeton Dakota bands met at the Upper Sioux Agency in the northwestern part of the reservation and successfully negotiated to obtain food. When two other bands of the Dakota, the southern Mdewakanton and the Wahpekute, turned to the Lower Sioux Agency for supplies on August 15, 1862, they were rejected. Indian Agent (and Minnesota State Senator) Thomas Galbraith managed the area and would not distribute food to these bands without payment.

At a meeting of the Dakota, the U.S. government and local traders, the Dakota representatives asked the representative of the government traders, Andrew Jackson Myrick, to sell them food on credit. His response was said to be, “So far as I am concerned, if they are hungry let them eat grass or their own dung.”[7] But the context of Myrick’s comment at the time, early August 1862, is historically unclear.[8] Another version is that Myrick was referring to the Indian women who were already combing the floor of the fort’s stables for any unprocessed oats to then feed to their starving children along with a little grass.[9]

The effect of Myrick’s statement on Little Crow and his band was clear however. In a letter to General Sibley, Little Crow said it was a major reason for commencing war: “Dear Sir – For what reason we have commenced this war I will tell you. it is on account of Maj. Galbrait [sic] we made a treaty with the Government a big for what little we do get and then cant get it till our children was dieing with hunger – it is with the traders that commence Mr A[ndrew] J Myrick told the Indians that they would eat grass or their own dung.”[10]

War

Early fighting

On August 16, 1862, the treaty payments to the Dakota arrived in St. Paul, Minnesota, and were brought to Fort Ridgely the next day. They arrived too late to prevent violence. On August 17, 1862, four young Dakota men were on a hunting trip in Acton Township, Minnesota, during which one stole eggs and then killed five white settlers.[11] Soon after, a Dakota war council was convened, their leader, Little Crow, agreed to continue attacks on the American settlements to try to drive out the whites. It should be noted that many of the Dakota people, in particular Sisseton Wahpeton tribes, wanted no part in the attacks.[12][13] As a result of a majority of the 4,000 members of the Northern tribes being opposed to the war, their bands did not participate in the early killings.[14] Historian Mary Wingerd has stated that it is “a complete myth that all the Dakota people went to war against the United States” and that it was rather “a faction that went on the offensive”.[13]

On August 18, 1862, Little Crow led a group that attacked the Lower Sioux (or Redwood) Agency. Andrew Myrick was among the first who were killed.[citation needed] He was discovered trying to escape through a second-floor window of a building at the agency. Myrick’s body later was found with grass stuffed into his mouth. The warriors burned the buildings at the Lower Sioux Agency, giving enough time for settlers to escape across the river at Redwood Ferry. Minnesota militia forces and B Company of the 5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment, sent to quell the uprising, were defeated at the Battle of Redwood Ferry. Twenty-four soldiers, including the party’s commander (Captain John Marsh), were killed in the battle.[15] Throughout the day, Dakota war parties swept the Minnesota River Valley and near vicinity, killing many settlers. Numerous settlements including the townships of Milford, Leavenworth and Sacred Heart, were surrounded and burned and their populations nearly exterminated.

Early Dakota offensives

Confident with their initial success, the Dakota continued their offensive and attacked the settlement of New Ulm, Minnesota, on August 19, 1862, and again on August 23, 1862. Dakota warriors had initially decided not to attack the heavily defended Fort Ridgely along the river, and turned toward the town, killing settlers along the way. By the time New Ulm was attacked, residents had organized defenses in the town center and were able to keep the Dakota at bay during the brief siege. Dakota warriors penetrated parts of the defenses and burned much of the town.[16] By that evening, a thunderstorm dampened the warfare, preventing further Dakota attacks.

Regular soldiers and militia from nearby towns (including two companies of the 5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. then stationed at Fort Ridgely) reinforced New Ulm. Residents continued to build barricades around the town.

The Dakota attacked Fort Ridgely on August 20 and 22, 1862.[17][18] Although the Dakota were not able to take the fort, they ambushed a relief party from the fort to New Ulm on August 21. The defense at the Battle of Fort Ridgely further limited the ability of the American forces to aid outlying settlements. The Dakota raided farms and small settlements throughout south central Minnesota and what was then eastern Dakota Territory.

Minnesota militia counterattacks resulted in a major defeat of American forces at the Battle of Birch Coulee on September 2, 1862. The battle began when the Dakota attacked a detachment of 150 American soldiers at Birch Coulee, 16 miles (26 km) from Fort Ridgely. The detachment had been sent out to find survivors, bury American dead and report on the location of Dakota fighters. A three-hour firefight began with an early morning assault. Thirteen soldiers were killed and 47 were wounded, while only two Dakota were killed. A column of 240 soldiers from Fort Ridgely relieved the detachment at Birch Coulee the same afternoon.

Attacks in northern Minnesota

Farther north, the Dakota attacked several unfortified stagecoach stops and river crossings along the Red River Trails, a settled trade route between Fort Garry (now Winnipeg, Manitoba) and Saint Paul, Minnesota, in the Red River Valley in northwestern Minnesota and eastern Dakota Territory. Many settlers and employees of the Hudson’s Bay Company and other local enterprises in this sparsely populated country took refuge in Fort Abercrombie, located in a bend of the Red River of the North about 25 miles (40 km) south of present-day Fargo, North Dakota. Between late August and late September, the Dakota launched several attacks on Fort Abercrombie; all were repelled by its defenders.

In the meantime, steamboat and flatboat trade on the Red River came to a halt. Mail carriers, stage drivers and military couriers were killed while attempting to reach settlements such as Pembina, North Dakota, Fort Garry, St. Cloud, Minnesota, and Fort Snelling. Eventually, the garrison at Fort Abercrombie was relieved by a U.S. Army company from Fort Snelling, and the civilian refugees were removed to St. Cloud.

Army reinforcements

Due to the demands of the American Civil War, the region’s representatives had to repeatedly appeal for aid before President Abraham Lincoln formed the Department of the Northwest on September 6, 1862, and appointed General John Pope to command it with orders to quell the violence. He led troops from the 3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment and 4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment. The 9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment and 10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment, which were still being constituted, had troops dispatched to the front as soon as companies were formed.[19][20]Minnesota Governor Alexander Ramsey also enlisted the help of Colonel Henry Hastings Sibley (the previous governor) to aid in the effort.

After the arrival of a larger army force, the final large-scale fighting took place at the Battle of Wood Lake on September 23, 1862. According to the official report of Lieutenant Colonel William R. Marshall of the 7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment, elements of the 7th Minnesota and the 6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment (and a six-pounder cannon) were deployed equally in dugouts and in a skirmish line. After brief fighting, the forces in the skirmish line charged against the Dakota (then in a ravine) and defeated them overwhelmingly.

Among the Citizen Soldier units in Sibley’s expedition:

  • Captain Joseph F. Bean’s Company “The Eureka Squad”
  • Captain David D. Lloyd’s Company
  • Captain Calvin Potter’s Company of Mounted Men
  • Captain Mark Hendrick’s Battery of Light Artillery
  • 1st Lieutenant Christopher Hansen’s Company “Cedar Valley Rangers” of the 5th Iowa State Militia, Mitchell County, Iowa
  • elements of the 5th & 6th Iowa State Militia

Iowa Northern Border Brigade

In Iowa, alarm over the Santee attacks led to the construction of a line of forts from Sioux City to Iowa Lake. The region had already been militarized because of the Spirit Lake Massacre in 1857. After the 1862 conflict began, the Iowa Legislature authorized “…not less than 500 mounted men from the frontier counties at the earliest possible moment, and to be stationed where most needed,” though this number was soon reduced. Although no fighting took place in Iowa, the Dakota uprising led to the rapid expulsion of the few remaining unassimilated Indians.[21][22]

Surrender of the Dakota

Most Dakota fighters surrendered shortly after the Battle of Wood Lake at Camp Release on September 26, 1862. The place was so named because it was the site where the Dakota released 269 American captives to the troops commanded by Colonel Sibley. The captives included 162 “mixed-bloods” (mixed-race, some likely descendants of Dakota women who were mistakenly counted as captives) and 107 whites, mostly women and children. Most of the warriors were imprisoned before Sibley arrived at Camp Release.[23]:249 The surrendered Dakota warriors were held until military trials took place in November 1862. Of the 498 trials, 300 were sentenced to death, though the president commuted all but 38.[24]

Little Crow was forced to retreat sometime in September 1862. He stayed briefly in Canada but soon returned to the Minnesota area. He was killed on July 3, 1863, near Hutchinson, Minnesota, while gathering raspberries with his teenage son. The pair had wandered onto the land of white settler Nathan Lamson, who shot at them to collect bounties. Once it was discovered that the body was of Little Crow, his skull and scalp were put on display in St. Paul, Minnesota. The city held the trophies until 1971, when it returned the remains to Little Crow’s grandson. For killing Little Crow, the state granted Lamson an additional $500 bounty. For his part in the warfare, Little Crow’s son was sentenced to death by a military tribunal, a sentence commuted to a prison term.

Trials

In early December, 303 Sioux prisoners were convicted of murder and rape by military tribunals and sentenced to death. Some trials lasted less than 5 minutes. No one explained the proceedings to the defendants, nor were the Sioux represented by defense attorneys. President Lincoln personally reviewed the trial records to distinguish between those who had engaged in warfare against the U.S., versus those who had committed crimes of rape and murder against civilians.

Henry Whipple, the Episcopal bishop of Minnesota and a reformer of U.S. Indian policy, responded by publishing an open letter. He also went to Washington DC in the fall of 1862 to urge Lincoln to proceed with leniency.[25] On the other hand, General Pope and Minnesota Senator Morton S. Wilkinson warned Lincoln that the white population opposed leniency. Governor Ramsey warned Lincoln that, unless all 303 Sioux were executed, “[P]rivate revenge would on all this border take the place of official judgment on these Indians.”[26] In the end, Lincoln commuted the death sentences of 264 prisoners, but he allowed the execution of 39 men.

Even partial clemency resulted in protests from Minnesota, which persisted until the Secretary of the Interior offered white Minnesotans “reasonable compensation for the depredations committed.” Republicans did not fare as well in Minnesota in the 1864 election as they had before. Ramsey (by then a senator) informed Lincoln that more hangings would have resulted in a larger electoral majority. The President reportedly replied, “I could not afford to hang men for votes.”[27]

Execution

One of the 39 condemned prisoners was granted a reprieve.[23]:252–259[28] The Army executed the 38 remaining prisoners by hanging on December 26, 1862, in Mankato, Minnesota. It remains the largest mass execution in American history.

The mass execution was performed publicly on a single scaffold platform. After regimental surgeons pronounced the prisoners dead, they were buried en masse in a trench in the sand of the riverbank. Before they were buried, an unknown person nicknamed “Dr. Sheardown” possibly removed some of the prisoners’ skin.[29] Small boxes purportedly containing the skin later were sold in Mankato.

At least two Sioux leaders, Little Six and Medicine Bottle, escaped to Canada. They were captured, drugged, and returned to the United States. They were hanged at Fort Snelling in 1865.[30]

Medical aftermath

Because of the high demand for cadavers for anatomical study, several doctors wanted to obtain the bodies after the execution. The grave was reopened in the night and the bodies were distributed among the doctors, a practice common in the era. William Worrall Mayo received the body of Maȟpiya Akan Nažiŋ (Stands on Clouds), also known as “Cut Nose”.

Mayo brought the body of Maȟpiya Akan Nažiŋ to Le Sueur, Minnesota, where he dissected it in the presence of medical colleagues.[31]:77–78 Afterward, he had the skeleton cleaned, dried and varnished. Mayo kept it in an iron kettle in his home office. His sons received their first lessons in osteology based on this skeleton.[31]:167 In the late 20th century, the identifiable remains of Maȟpiya Akan Nažiŋ and other Indians were returned by the Mayo Clinic to a Dakota tribe for reburial per the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.[32][full citation needed]

Internment

The remaining convicted Dakota were held in prison that winter. The following spring they were transferred to Camp McClellan in Davenport, Iowa, where they were imprisoned for almost four years.[33] By the time of their release, one-third of the prisoners had died of disease. The survivors were sent with their families to Nebraska. Their families had already been expelled from Minnesota.

Pike Island internment

During this time, more than 1600 Dakota women, children and old men were held in an internment camp on Pike Island, near Fort Snelling, Minnesota. Living conditions and sanitation were poor, and infectious disease struck the camp, killing more than three hundred.[34] In April 1863, the U.S. Congress abolished the reservation, declared all previous treaties with the Dakota null and void, and undertook proceedings to expel the Dakota people entirely from Minnesota. To this end, a bounty of $25 per scalp was placed on any Dakota found free within the boundaries of the state.[35] The only exception to this legislation applied to 208 Mdewakanton, who had remained neutral or assisted white settlers in the conflict.

In May 1863, Dakota survivors were forced aboard steamboats and relocated to the Crow Creek Reservation, in the southeastern Dakota Territory, a place stricken by drought at the time. Many of the survivors of Crow Creek moved three years later to the Niobrara Reservation in Nebraska.[36][37]

Firsthand accounts

There are numerous firsthand accounts by European Americans of the wars and raids. For example, the compilation by Charles Bryant, titled Indian Massacre in Minnesota, included these graphic descriptions of events, taken from an interview with Justina Krieger:

Mr. Massipost had two daughters, young ladies, intelligent and accomplished. These the savages murdered most brutally. The head of one of them was afterward found, severed from the body, attached to a fish-hook, and hung upon a nail. His son, a young man of twenty-four years, was also killed. Mr. Massipost and a son of eight years escaped to New Ulm.[38]:141

The daughter of Mr. Schwandt, enceinte [pregnant], was cut open, as was learned afterward, the child taken alive from the mother, and nailed to a tree. The son of Mr. Schwandt, aged thirteen years, who had been beaten by the Indians, until dead, as was supposed, was present, and saw the entire tragedy. He saw the child taken alive from the body of his sister, Mrs. Waltz, and nailed to a tree in the yard. It struggled some time after the nails were driven through it! This occurred in the forenoon of Monday, 18th of August, 1862.[38]:300–301

S.P. Yeomans, editor of the Sioux City Register, circa May 30, 1863, wrote of the aftermath when the defeated Dakota were shipped to their new homes.[39]

The formerly favorite steamer, Florence,” he wrote, “arrived at our levee on Tuesday; but instead of the cheerful faces of Capt. Throckmorten and Clerk Gorman we saw those of strangers; and instead of her usual lading of merchandise for our merchants, she was crowded from stem to stern, and from hold to hurricane deck with old squaws and papooses — about 1,400 in all — the non combative remnants of the Santee Sioux of Minnesota, en route to their new home….[40]

The Dakota have kept alive their own accounts of events suffered by their people.[41][42]

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This Day in History: Hirohito Becomes Emperor of Japan (1926)

Hirohito Becomes Emperor of Japan (1926)

Hirohito[a] (裕仁, 29 April 1901 – 7 January 1989) was the 124th Emperor of Japan according to the traditional order of succession, reigning from 25 December 1926, until his death on 7 January 1989. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Akihito. In Japan, reigning emperors are known simply as “the Emperor” and he is now referred to primarily by his posthumous name, Emperor Shōwa (昭和天皇). The word Shōwa (昭和) is the name of the era (Shōwa period (昭和時代 Shōwa jidai, potentially “period of enlightened peace/harmony” or “period of radiant Japan”)) coinciding with the Emperor’s reign, after which he is known according to a tradition dating to 1912. The name Hirohito means “abundant benevolence”.

At the start of his reign, Japan was already one of the great powers—the ninth-largest economy in the world, the third-largest naval power, and one of the four permanent members of the council of the League of Nations.[2] He was the head of state under the Constitution of the Empire of Japan during Japan’s imperial expansion, militarization, and involvement in World War II. After Japan’s surrender, he was not prosecuted for war crimes as many other leading government figures were, and his degree of involvement in wartime decisions remains controversial.[3] During the post-war period, he became the symbol of the new state under the post-war constitution and Japan’s recovery, and by the end of his reign, Japan had emerged as the world’s second largest economy.[4]

Born in Tokyo’s Aoyama Palace (during the reign of his grandfather, Emperor Meiji) on 29 April 1901, Hirohito was the first son of 21-year old Crown Prince Yoshihito (the future Emperor Taishō) and 17-year old Crown Princess Sadako (the future Empress Teimei).[5] He was the grandson of Emperor Meiji and Yanagihara Naruko. His childhood title was Prince Michi. On the 70th day after his birth, Hirohito was removed from the court and placed in the care of the family of Count Kawamura Sumiyoshi, a former vice-admiral, who was to rear him as if he were his own grandchild. At the age of 3, Hirohito and his brother Chichibu were returned to court when Kawamura died – first to the imperial mansion in Numazu, Shizuoka, then back to the Aoyama Palace.[6] In 1908, he began elementary studies at the Gakushūin (Peers School).

When his grandfather, Emperor Meiji, died on 30 July 1912, Hirohito’s father, Yoshihito, assumed the throne and Hirohito became the heir apparent. At the same time, he was formally commissioned in both the army and navy as a second lieutenant and ensign, respectively, and was also decorated with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Chrysanthemum. In 1914, he was promoted to the ranks of lieutenant in the army and sub-lieutenant in the navy, then to captain and lieutenant in 1916. He was formally proclaimed Crown Prince and heir apparent on 2 November 1916; but an investiture ceremony was not strictly necessary to confirm this status as heir to the throne.[7]

Hirohito attended Gakushūin Peers’ School from 1908 to 1914 and then a special institute for the crown prince (Tōgū-gogakumonsho) from 1914 to 1921. In 1920, Hirohito was promoted to the rank of Major in the army and Lieutenant Commander in the navy. In 1921, Hirohito took a six-month tour of Western Europe, including the United Kingdom, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

Regency

After his return to Japan, Hirohito became Regent of Japan (Sesshō) on 29 November 1921, in place of his ailing father who was affected by a mental illness. In 1923, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the army and Commander in the navy, and to army Colonel and Navy Captain in 1925.

During Hirohito’s regency, a number of important events occurred:

In the Four-Power Treaty on Insular Possessions signed on 13 December 1921, Japan, the United States, Britain, and France agreed to recognize the status quo in the Pacific, and Japan and Britain agreed to terminate formally the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. The Washington Naval Treaty was signed on 6 February 1922. Japan withdrew troops from the Siberian Intervention on 28 August 1922. The Great Kantō earthquake devastated Tokyo on 1 September 1923. On 27 December 1923, Daisuke Namba attempted to assassinate Hirohito in the Toranomon Incident but his attempt failed. During interrogation, he claimed to be a communist and was executed but some have suggested that he was in contact with the Nagacho faction in the Army.[citation needed]

Marriage

Prince Hirohito married his distant cousin Princess Nagako Kuni (the future Empress Kōjun), the eldest daughter of Prince Kuniyoshi Kuni, on 26 January 1924. They had two sons and five daughters.[8] (see Issue)

The daughters who lived to adulthood left the imperial family as a result of the American reforms of the Japanese imperial household in October 1947 (in the case of Princess Shigeko) or under the terms of the Imperial Household Law at the moment of their subsequent marriages (in the cases of Princesses Kazuko, Atsuko, and Takako).

Ascension

On 25 December 1926, Hirohito assumed the throne upon his father, Yoshihito’s, death. The Crown Prince was said to have received the succession (senso).[9] The Taishō era’s end and the Shōwa era’s beginning (Enlightened Peace) were proclaimed. The deceased Emperor was posthumously renamed Emperor Taishō within days. Following Japanese custom, the new Emperor was never referred to by his given name, but rather was referred to simply as “His Majesty the Emperor”, which may be shortened to “His Majesty”. In writing, the Emperor was also referred to formally as “The Reigning Emperor”.

In November 1928, the Emperor’s ascension was confirmed in ceremonies (sokui)[9] which are conventionally identified as “enthronement” and “coronation” (Shōwa no tairei-shiki); but this formal event would have been more accurately described as a public confirmation that his Imperial Majesty possesses the Japanese Imperial Regalia,[10] also called the Three Sacred Treasures, which have been handed down through the centuries.[11]

Early reign

The first part of Hirohito’s reign took place against a background of financial crisis and increasing military power within the government, through both legal and extralegal means. The Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy held veto power over the formation of cabinets since 1900, and between 1921 and 1944 there were no fewer than 64 incidents of political violence.

Hirohito narrowly missed assassination by a hand grenade thrown by a Korean independence activist, Lee Bong-chang, in Tokyo on 9 January 1932, in the Sakuradamon Incident.

Another notable case was the assassination of moderate Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi in 1932, which marked the end of civilian control of the military. This was followed by an attempted military coup in February 1936, the February 26 incident, mounted by junior Army officers of the Kōdōha faction who had the sympathy of many high-ranking officers including Prince Chichibu (Yasuhito), one of the Emperor’s brothers. This revolt was occasioned by a loss of political support by the militarist faction in Diet elections. The coup resulted in the murders of a number of high government and Army officials.

When Chief Aide-de-camp Shigeru Honjō informed him of the revolt, the Emperor immediately ordered that it be put down and referred to the officers as “rebels” (bōto). Shortly thereafter, he ordered Army Minister Yoshiyuki Kawashima to suppress the rebellion within the hour, and he asked reports from Honjō every thirty minutes. The next day, when told by Honjō that little progress was being made by the high command in quashing the rebels, the Emperor told him “I Myself, will lead the Konoe Division and subdue them.” The rebellion was suppressed following his orders on 29 February.[12]

Second Sino-Japanese War

Starting from the Mukden Incident in 1931, Japan occupied Chinese territories and established puppet governments. Such “aggression was recommended to Hirohito” by his chiefs of staff and prime minister Fumimaro Konoe, and Hirohito never personally objected to any invasion of China.[13] His main concern seems to have been the possibility of an attack by the Soviet Union in the north. His questions to his chief of staff, Prince Kan’in, and minister of the army, Hajime Sugiyama, were mostly about the time it could take to crush Chinese resistance.

According to Akira Fujiwara, Hirohito endorsed the policy of qualifying the invasion of China as an “incident” instead of a “war”; therefore, he did not issue any notice to observe international law in this conflict (unlike what his predecessors did in previous conflicts officially recognized by Japan as wars), and the Deputy Minister of the Japanese Army instructed the Chief of staff of Japanese China Garrison Army on August 5 to not use the term “prisoners of war” for Chinese captives. This instruction led to the removal of the constraints of international law on the treatment of Chinese prisoners.[14] And the works of Yoshiaki Yoshimi and Seiya Matsuno show that the Emperor authorized, by specific orders (rinsanmei), the use of chemical weapons against the Chinese.[15] During the invasion of Wuhan, from August to October 1938, the Emperor authorized the use of toxic gas on 375 separate occasions,[16] despite the resolution adopted by the League of Nations on May 14 condemning Japanese use of toxic gas.

World War II

Preparations

On September 27, 1940, ostensibly under Hirohito’s leadership, Japan was a contracting partner of the Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy forming the Axis Powers. Before that, in July 1939, the Emperor quarrelled with his brother, Prince Chichibu, who was visiting him three times a week to support the treaty, and reprimanded the army minister Seishirō Itagaki.[17] But after the success of the Wehrmacht in Europe, the Emperor consented to the alliance.

On September 4, 1941, the Japanese Cabinet met to consider war plans prepared by Imperial General Headquarters, and decided that:

Our Empire, for the purpose of self-defence and self-preservation, will complete preparations for war … [and is] … resolved to go to war with the United States, Great Britain, and the French if necessary. Our Empire will concurrently take all possible diplomatic measures vis-à-vis the United States and Great Britain, and thereby endeavor to obtain our objectives … In the event that there is no prospect of our demands being met by the first ten days of October through the diplomatic negotiations mentioned above, we will immediately decide to commence hostilities against the United States, Britain and the French.

The objectives to be obtained were clearly defined: a free hand to continue with the conquest of China and Southeast Asia, no increase in US or British military forces in the region, and cooperation by the West “in the acquisition of goods needed by our Empire”.

On September 5, Prime Minister Konoe informally submitted a draft of the decision to the Emperor, just one day in advance of the Imperial Conference at which it would be formally implemented. On this evening, the Emperor had a meeting with the chief of staff of the army, Sugiyama, chief of staff of the navy, Osami Nagano, and Prime Minister Konoe. The Emperor questioned Sugiyama about the chances of success of an open war with the Occident. As Sugiyama answered positively, the Emperor scolded him:

—At the time of the China Incident, the army told me that we could achieve peace immediately after dealing them one blow with three divisions… but you can’t still beat Chiang Kai-shek even today! Sugiyama, you were army minister at that time.
—China is a vast area with many ways in and ways out, and we met unexpectedly big difficulties…..
—You say the interior of China is huge; isn’t the Pacific Ocean even bigger than China?.. Didn’t I caution you each time about those matters? Sugiyama, are you lying to me?[18]

Chief of Naval General Staff Admiral Nagano, a former Navy Minister and vastly experienced, later told a trusted colleague, “I have never seen the Emperor reprimand us in such a manner, his face turning red and raising his voice.”

According to the traditional view, Hirohito was deeply concerned by the decision to place “war preparations first and diplomatic negotiations second”, and he announced his intention to break with tradition. At the Imperial Conference on the following day, the Emperor directly questioned the chiefs of the Army and Navy general staffs, which was quite an unprecedented action.

Nevertheless, all speakers at the Imperial Conference were united in favor of war rather than diplomacy.[19] Baron Yoshimichi Hara, President of the Imperial Council and the Emperor’s representative, then questioned them closely, producing replies to the effect that war would be considered only as a last resort from some, and silence from others.

At this point, the Emperor astonished all present by addressing the conference personally, and in breaking the tradition of Imperial silence left his advisors “struck with awe.” (Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe’s description of the event.) Hirohito stressed the need for peaceful resolution of international problems, expressed regret at his ministers’ failure to respond to Baron Hara’s probings, and recited a poem written by his grandfather, Emperor Meiji which, he said, he had read “over and over again”:

The seas of the four directions—
all are born of one womb:
why, then, do the wind and waves rise in discord?[20]

Recovering from their shock, the ministers hastened to express their profound wish to explore all possible peaceful avenues. The Emperor’s presentation was in line with his practical role as leader of the State Shinto religion.

At this time, Army Imperial Headquarters was continually communicating with the Imperial household in detail about the military situation. On October 8, Sugiyama signed a 47-page report to the Emperor (sōjōan) outlining in minute detail plans for the advance into Southeast Asia. During the third week of October, Sugiyama gave the Emperor a 51-page document, “Materials in Reply to the Throne”, about the operational outlook for the war.[21]

As war preparations continued, Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe found himself more and more isolated and gave his resignation on October 16. He justified himself to his chief cabinet secretary, Kenji Tomita, by stating:

Of course His Majesty is a pacifist, and there is no doubt he wished to avoid war. When I told him that to initiate war was a mistake, he agreed. But the next day, he would tell me: “You were worried about it yesterday, but you do not have to worry so much.” Thus, gradually, he began to lean toward war. And the next time I met him, he leaned even more toward. In short, I felt the Emperor was telling me: my prime minister does not understand military matters, I know much more. In short, the Emperor had absorbed the view of the army and navy high commands.[22]

The army and the navy recommended the candidacy of Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni, one of the Emperor’s uncles. According to the Shōwa “Monologue”, written after the war, the Emperor then said that if the war were to begin while a member of the imperial house was prime minister, the imperial house would have to carry the responsibility and he was opposed to this.[23]

Instead, the Emperor chose the hard-line General Hideki Tōjō, who was known for his devotion to the imperial institution, and asked him to make a policy review of what had been sanctioned by the Imperial Conferences. On November 2, Tōjō, Sugiyama and Nagano reported to the Emperor that the review of eleven points had been in vain. Emperor Hirohito gave his consent to the war and then asked: “Are you going to provide justification for the war?”[24] The decision for war against the United States was presented for approval to Hirohito by General Tōjō, Naval Minister Admiral Shigetarō Shimada, and Japanese Foreign Minister Shigenori Tōgō.[25]

On November 3, Nagano explained in detail the plan of the attack on Pearl Harbor to the Emperor.[26] On November 5, Emperor Hirohito approved in imperial conference the operations plan for a war against the Occident and had many meetings with the military and Tōjō until the end of the month. On November 25 Henry L. Stimson, United States Secretary of War noted in his diary that he had discussed with US President Franklin D. Roosevelt the severe likelihood that Japan was about to launch a surprise attack, and that the question had been “how we should maneuver them [the Japanese] into the position of firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves”.

On the following day, November 26, 1941, US Secretary of State Cordell Hull presented the Japanese ambassador with the Hull note, which as one of its conditions demanded the complete withdrawal of all Japanese troops from French Indochina and China. Japanese Prime Minister Tojo Hideki said to his cabinet, “this is an ultimatum”. On December 1, an Imperial Conference sanctioned the “War against the United States, United Kingdom and the Kingdom of the Netherlands”. Read More….

This Day in History: The Tangiwai Rail Disaster (1953)

The Tangiwai Rail Disaster (1953)

Tangiwai disaster

The Tangiwai disaster is New Zealand’s worst ever rail accident. It occurred at 22:21 on 24 December 1953 when the Whangaehu River bridge collapsed beneath a Wellington to Auckland express passenger train at Tangiwai, in the central North Island of New Zealand. The locomotive and first six carriages derailed into the river, killing 151 people. The subsequent Board of Inquiry found that the accident was caused by the collapse of the tephra dam holding back nearby Mount Ruapehu’s crater lake creating a large lahar in the Whangaehu River, which destroyed one of the bridge piers at Tangiwai only minutes before the train reached the bridge.

Bridge collapse
On 24 December 1953 the 3 pm express from Wellington to Auckland was made up of a KA class steam locomotive hauling 11 carriages: five second class, four first class, a guard’s van and a postal van. With 285 passengers and crew,[1] it passed through Tangiwai Station on time at 10:20 pm at about 64 kilometres per hour (40 mph). Approaching the bridge over the Whangaehu River at Tangiwai an emergency brake application was made by the driver either in response to Cyril Ellis, a passerby, standing by the track and waving a torch or seeing the condition of the bridge.[2] However, this was too late to stop the train going onto the bridge, which gave way, the locomotive, tender and five second class carriages falling into the river.[1] The leading first-class carriage teetered on the edge of the bridge before its coupling to the rest of the train snapped and rolled into the river. The remaining three first-class carriages, the guard’s van, and a postal van remained on the track.[3]

The death toll of 151 consisted of 148 second-class passengers, 1 first-class passenger, the engine driver and fireman. Twenty of the bodies were never found and were presumed to have been carried 120 km (75 mi) downriver to the ocean.[4] Among the dead was Nerissa Love, the fiancee of cricketer Bob Blair, who was playing in a Test Match in South Africa at the time. On going out to bat after his loss, he received a standing ovation.[5]

Aftermath

After the train crashed, Ellis informed the train’s guard, William Inglis, of what had happened and the two entered the sixth carriage, then still balanced precariously on the bridge’s edge, in an attempt to save passengers. While they were in the carriage, it tumbled off the bridge and Ellis and Inglis, with the assistance of passenger John Holman, smashed a window and helped passengers out of the carriage. Of the carriage’s 24 occupants, only one died, a girl who was trapped in her seat and drowned.[6]

Shortly after the accident, rescue teams departed from Waiouru 8 km (5 mi) east of Tangiwai. These included soldiers from Waiouru Army Camp, radio operators from Irirangi Naval Communications Station and MOW workmen from the Waiouru Ministry of Works camp. By midnight survivors were being admitted into the Waiouru Camp Hospital, and by 4 am the following day, Christmas morning, bodies started arriving there.[citation needed]

The Prime Minister, Sidney Holland, arrived at Tangiwai early on Christmas morning after a high-speed drive down from Auckland. He coordinated the rescue work by railway, army, police, navy, MOW, local farmers and undertakers. While the army led efforts near the accident site, local farmers recovered bodies further down the Whangaehu River; at Fields Track, Mount View, Mangamahu, Kauangaroa, Whangaehu village and the river mouth. The bodies were taken by truck to Wanganui and thence by rail to Waiouru, where police and undertakers identified them. Local settlers carried out daily search-and-recovery operations for the next month as bodies rose to the surface.[citation needed]

For their actions, Ellis and Holman received the George Medal. Inglis and a passing traveller, Arthur Dewar Bell, both received the British Empire Medal for actions that saved 15 lives. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip were visiting New Zealand on their first royal tour when the disaster occurred. The Queen made her Christmas broadcast from Auckland, finishing with a message of sympathy to the people of New Zealand. Prince Philip attended a state funeral for many of the victims.[7]

Public Inquiry
A Board of Inquiry was appointed to look into the cause of the accident; this sat in public from 26 January until 2 April and reported on 23 April 1954.[8] The bridge had eight piers and seven spans — after the accident four piers had been damaged and five spans dislodged.[9] The Board found that a lahar from Mount Ruapehu had removed the fourth pier a few minutes before the train started to cross the bridge and this is what caused the accident.[10] The bridge had been designed for foreseeable flooding and the previous lahars that had different characteristics to the 1953 lahar, the forces of which had been unpredictable.[11][12]

Legacy
Following the disaster, the Railways Department installed a lahar warning system upstream in the river to alert train control to high river flows. The early warning system installed in 1999 measures the river level using radar and sends the level to the Network Control Centre at Wellington Railway Station via a RF link to Waiouru and then via the signalling network to Wellington. If the river changes level, an alarm is triggered which alerts staff to the fact. If the level is of a significant risk, the Control Centre sets the signals either side of the Tangiwai bridge to danger and warns trains in the area to stay clear via radio. The system is failsafe and if there is a problem with the system it automatically sends a fault signal to the Control Centre. In this instance, trains in the area are restricted to 25 km/h (16 mph) and told to take extreme care over the Tangiwai Bridge. Since 2002, it has also been backed-up by the Eastern Ruapehu Lahar Alarm and Warning System (ERLAWS).[13]

A lahar of similar magnitude to the 1953 one occurred on 18 March 2007. The early warning systems worked as planned, stopping trains and motorists at Tangiwai before the lahar hit. The newer bridges held up to the lahar, and after inspection, trains resumed operation over the bridge.[14]

Dramatisations
Among the dead was Nerissa Love, the fiancee of New Zealand international cricketer Bob Blair, and a television film and play have been written about their relationship and the accident.

In 2011, a television film about the disaster was made by Lippy Pictures for Television New Zealand. Entitled Tangiwai: A Love Story, it follows the disaster and the love story between cricketer Bob Blair and his fiancée Nerissa Love (portrayed by Ryan O’Kane and Rose McIver respectively), the latter of whom was killed in the disaster. It premiered on TV One on 14 August 2011.[5][15] A play written and performed by Auckland actor Jonny Brugh, The Second Test, tells the same story from Blair’s perspective, emphasizing his commitment to continue playing with the New Zealand team, then on tour in South Africa, after hearing of the tragedy.[16]

Notes and references
Notes

  1. a b Inquiry Report 1954p. 4.
  2. ^ Conly & Stewart 1991p. 3.
  3. ^ Conly & Stewart 1991pp. 6–7.
  4. ^ Conly & Stewart 1991p. 7.
  5. a b “Death and the maiden: The tale of ‘Tangiwai'”New Zealand Herald. 6 August 2010Retrieved 12 August2011.
  6. ^ Conly & Stewart 1991pp. 15–16.
  7. ^ “Tangiwai Railway Disaster 1953”Christchurch City LibrariesRetrieved 5 November 2012.
  8. ^ Inquiry Report 1954pp. 3, 24.
  9. ^ Inquiry Report 1954pp. 16, 17.
  10. ^ Inquiry Report 1954pp. 8, 17.
  11. ^ Inquiry Report 1954p. 18.
  12. ^ Inquiry Report 1954p. 20.
  13. ^ Tony Taig (October 2002). “Ruapehu Lahar Residual Risk Assessment”TTACRetrieved 5 November 2012.
  14. ^ “Photos: Lahar could have been much worse”The New Zealand HeraldNZPA. 18 March 2007Retrieved 17November 2011.
  15. ^ “Tangiwai (2011)”IMDbRetrieved 7 November 2012.
  16. ^ “Cricket: Emotion of Blair’s story brought to stage”Otago Daily Times. 30 March 2011Retrieved 31 March2011.

Sources

  • Conly, Geoff; Stewart, Graham (1 October 1991). Tragedy on the Track: Tangiwai & Other New Zealand Railway Accidents.Grantham House. ISBN 978-1-86934-008-7.
  • Tangiwai Railway Disaster: Report of the Board of Inquiry. RE Owen. 30 April 1954.Archived at archive.orgRetrieved 5November 2012

Further reading

  • Kevin Boon; Nelson Price Milburn (1 October 1990). Tangiwai Rail DisasterNelson Price Milburn. ISBN 978-0-7055-1483-5.
  • Bruce Morris (1987). Darkest DaysWilson & Horton. ISBN 978-0-86864-087-7.

 

This Day in History: Operation Vijay (1961)

Operation Vijay (1961)

The Annexation of Goa was the process in which the Republic of India annexed the former Portuguese Indian territories of Goa, Daman and Diu, starting with the “armed action” carried out by the Indian Armed Forces in December 1961. Depending on the view, this action is referred as the “Liberation of Goa” or the “Invasion of Goa”. Following the end of Portuguese rule in 1961, Goa was placed under military administration headed by Kunhiraman Palat Candeth as Lieutenant Governor.[5] On 8 June 1962, military rule was replaced by civilian government when the Lieutenant Governor nominated an informal Consultative Council of 29 nominated members to assist him in the administration of the territory.[6]

The “armed action” was code named Operation Vijay (meaning “Victory”) by the Indian Armed Forces. It involved air, sea and land strikes for over 36 hours, and was a decisive victory for India, ending 451 years of rule by Portugal over its remaining exclaves in India. The engagement lasted two days, and twenty-two Indians and thirty Portuguese were killed in the fighting.[2] The brief conflict drew a mixture of worldwide praise and condemnation. In India, the action was seen as a liberation of historically Indian territory, while Portugal viewed it as an aggression against national soil and its citizens.

Background
After India’s independence from the British Empire in August 1947, Portugal continued to hold a handful of exclaves on the Indian subcontinent—the districts of Goa, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli—collectively known as the Estado da Índia. Goa, Daman and Diu covered an area of around 1,540 square miles (4,000 km2) and held a population of 637,591.[7] The Goan diaspora was estimated at 175,000 (about 100,000 within the Indian Union, mainly in Bombay).[8] Religious distribution was 61% Hindu, 36.7% Christian (mostly Catholic) and 2.2% Muslim.[8] The economy was primarily based on agriculture, although the 1940s and 1950s saw a boom in mining—principally iron ore and some manganese.[8]

Resistance to Portuguese rule in Goa in the 20th century was pioneered by Tristão de Bragança Cunha, a French-educated Goan engineer who founded the Goa Congress Committee in Portuguese India in 1928. Cunha released a booklet called ‘Four hundred years of Foreign Rule’, and a pamphlet, ‘Denationalisation of Goa’, intended to sensitise Goans to the oppression of Portuguese rule. Messages of solidarity were received by the Goa Congress Committee from leading figures in the Indian independence movement including Rajendra Prasad, Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhas Chandra Bose. On 12 October 1938, Cunha with other members of the Goa Congress Committee met Subhas Chandra Bose, the President of the Indian National Congress, and on his advice, opened a Branch Office of the Goa Congress Committee at 21, Dalal Street, Bombay. The Goa Congress was also made affiliate to the Indian National Congress and Cunha was selected its first President.[9]

In June 1946, Ram Manohar Lohia, an Indian Socialist leader, entered Goa on a visit to his friend, Julião Menezes, a nationalist leader, who had founded the Gomantak Praja Mandal in Bombay and edited the weekly newspaper Gomantak. Cunha and other leaders were also with him.[9] Ram Manohar Lohia advocated the use of non-violent Gandhian techniques to oppose the government.[10] On 18 June 1946, the Portuguese government disrupted a protest against the suspension of civil liberties in Panaji (then spelt ‘Panjim’) organised by Lohia, Cunha and others including Purushottam Kakodkar and Laxmikant Bhembre in defiance of a ban on public gatherings, and arrested them.[11][12] There were intermittent mass demonstrations from June to November.

In addition to non-violent protests, armed groups such as the Azad Gomantak Dal (The Free Goa Party) and the United Front of Goans conducted violent attacks aimed at weakening Portuguese rule in Goa.[13] The Indian government supported the establishment of armed groups like the Azad Gomantak Dal, giving them full financial, logistic and armament support. The armed groups acted from bases situated in Indian territory and under cover of Indian police forces. The Indian government—through these armed groups—attempted to destroy economic targets, telegraph and telephone lines, road, water and rail transport, in order to impede economic activity and create conditions for a general uprising of the population.[14] A Portuguese army officer stationed with the army in Goa, Captain Carlos Azaredo, stated in 2001 in the Portuguese newspaper Expresso: “To the contrary to what is being said, the most evolved guerilla warfare which our Armed Forces encountered was in Goa. I know what I’m talking about, because I also fought in Angola and in Guiné. In 1961 alone, until December, around 80 policemen died. The major part of the terrorists of Azad Gomantak Dal were not Goans. Many had fought in the British Army, under General Montgomery, against the Germans.”[15]

 

Goa, Western India
On 27 February 1950, the Government of India asked the Portuguese government to open negotiations about the future of Portuguese colonies in India.[16] Portugal asserted that its territory on the Indian subcontinent was not a colony but part of metropolitan Portugal and hence its transfer was non-negotiable, and that India had no rights to this territory because the Republic of India did not exist at the time when Goa came under Portuguese rule.[17] When the Portuguese government refused to respond to subsequent aide-mémoires in this regard, the Indian government, on 11 June 1953, withdrew its diplomatic mission from Lisbon.[18]

By 1954, the Republic of India instituted visa restrictions on travel from Goa to India which paralysed transport between Goa and other exclaves like Daman, Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli.[16] Meanwhile, the Indian Union of Dockers had, in 1954, instituted a boycott on shipping to Portuguese India.[19] Between 22 July and 2 August 1954, armed activists attacked and forced the surrender of Portuguese forces stationed in Dadra and Nagar Haveli.[20]

On 15 August 1955, 3000–5000 unarmed Indian activists[21] attempted to enter Goa at six locations and were violently repulsed by Portuguese police officers, resulting in the deaths of between 21[22] and 30[23] people.[24] The news of the massacre built public opinion in India against the presence of the Portuguese in Goa.[25] On 1 September 1955, India shut its consul office in Goa.[26]

In 1956, the Portuguese ambassador to France, Marcello Mathias, along with Portuguese Prime Minister António de Oliveira Salazar, argued in favour of a referendum in Goa to determine its future. This proposal was however rejected by the Ministers for Defence and Foreign Affairs. The demand for a referendum was repeated by presidential candidate General Humberto Delgado in 1957.[16]

Prime Minister Salazar, alarmed by India’s hinted threats at armed action against Portugal’s presence in Goa, first asked the United Kingdom to mediate, then protested through Brazil and eventually asked the United Nations Security Council to intervene.[27] Mexico offered the Indian government its influence in Latin America to bring pressure on the Portuguese to relieve tensions.[28] Meanwhile, Krishna Menon, India’s defence minister and head of India’s UN delegation, stated in no uncertain terms that India had not “abjured the use of force” in Goa.[27] The US ambassador to India, John Kenneth Galbraith, requested the Indian government on several occasions to resolve the issue peacefully through mediation and consensus rather than armed conflict.[29][30]

Eventually, on 10 December, nine days prior to the invasion, Nehru stated to the press: “Continuance of Goa under Portuguese rule is an impossibility”.[27] The American response was to warn India that if and when India’s armed action in Goa was brought to the UN security council, it could expect no support from the US delegation.[31]

On 24 November 1961, Sabarmati, a passenger boat passing between the Portuguese-held island of Anjidiv and the Indian port of Kochi, was fired upon by Portuguese ground troops, resulting in the death of a passenger and injuries to the chief engineer. The action was precipitated by Portuguese fears that the boat carried a military landing party intent on storming the island.[32] The incidents lent themselves to fostering widespread public support in India for military action in Goa.

Annexation of Dadra and Nagar Haveli

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The hostilities between India and Portugal started seven years before the invasion of Goa, when Dadra and Nagar Haveli were invaded and occupied by pro-Indian forces with the support of the Indian authorities.

Dadra and Nagar Haveli were two Portuguese landlocked exclaves of the Daman district, totally surrounded by Indian territory. The connection between the exclaves and the coastal territory of Daman had to be made by crossing about 20 kilometres (12 mi) of Indian territory. Dadra and Nagar Haveli did not have any Portuguese military garrison, but only police forces.

The Indian government started to develop isolation actions against Dadra and Nagar Haveli already in 1952, including the creation of impediments to the transit of persons and goods between the two landlocked enclaves and Daman. In July 1954, pro-Indian forces, including members of organisations like the United Front of Goans, the National Movement Liberation Organisation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Azad Gomantak Dal, with the support of Indian Police forces, began to launch assaults against Dadra and Nagar Haveli. On the night of 22 July, UFG forces stormed the small Dadra police station, killing Police Sergeant Aniceto do Rosário and Constable António Fernandes, who resisted the attack. On 28 July, RSS forces took Naroli police station.

Meanwhile, the Portuguese authorities asked the Indian Government for permission to cross the Indian territory with reinforcements to Dadra and Nagar Haveli, but no permission was given. Surrounded and prevented from receiving reinforcements by the Indian authorities, the Portuguese Administrator and police forces in Nagar Haveli eventually surrendered to the Indian police forces on 11 August 1954. Portugal appealed to the International Court of Justice, which, in a decision dated 12 April 1960,[33] stated that Portugal had sovereign rights over the territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli but India had the right to deny passage to armed personnel of Portugal over Indian territories. Therefore, the Portuguese authorities could not legally pass through Indian territory.

 

Events preceding the hostilities

Indian military build-up

On receiving the go-ahead for military action and a mandate for the capture of all occupied territories for the Indian government, Lieutenant-General Chaudhari of India’s Southern Army fielded the 17th Infantry Division and the 50th Parachute Brigade commanded by Major-General K. P. Candeth. The assault on the enclave of Daman was assigned to the 1st battalion of the Maratha Light Infantry while the operations in Diu were assigned to the 20th battalion of the Rajput Regiment and the 5th battalion of the Madras Regiment.[34]

Meanwhile, the Commander-in-Chief of India’s Western Air Command, Air Vice Marshal Erlic Pinto, was appointed as the commander of all air resources assigned to the operations in Goa. Air resources for the assault on Goa were concentrated in the bases at Pune and Sambra (Belgaum).[34] The mandate handed to Pinto by the Indian Air Command was listed out as follows:

The destruction of Goa’s lone airfield in Dabolim, without causing damage to the terminal building and other airport facilities.
Destruction of the wireless station at Bambolim, Goa.
Denial of airfields at Daman and Diu, which were, however, not to be attacked without prior permission.
Support to advancing ground troops.
The Indian Navy deployed two warships—the INS Rajput, an ‘R’ Class destroyer, and INS Kirpan, a Blackwood class anti-submarine frigate—off the coast of Goa. The actual attack on Goa was delegated to four task groups: a Surface Action Group comprising five ships: Mysore, Trishul, Betwa, Beas and Cauvery; a Carrier Group of five ships: Delhi, INS Kuthar, Kirpan, INS Khukri and Rajput centred on the light aircraft carrier Vikrant; a Mine Sweeping Group consisting of mine sweepers including Karwar, Kakinada, Cannonore and Bimilipatan, and a Support Group which consisted of Dharini.[35]

 

Portuguese mandate
In March 1960, Portuguese Defence Minister General Júlio Botelho Moniz told Prime Minister Salazar that a sustained Portuguese campaign against decolonisation would create for the army “a suicide mission in which we could not succeed”. His opinion was shared by Army Minister Colonel Afonso Magalhães de Almeida Fernandes, by the Army under secretary of State Lieutenant-Colonel Francisco da Costa Gomes and by other top officers.[36]

Ignoring this advice, Salazar sent a message to Governor General Manuel António Vassalo e Silva in Goa on 14 December, in which he ordered the Portuguese forces in Goa to fight to the last man: “Do not expect the possibility of truce or of Portuguese prisoners, as there will be no surrender rendered because I feel that our soldiers and sailors can be either victorious or dead.”[37] Salazar asked Vassalo e Silva to hold out for at least eight days, within which time he hoped to gather international support against the Indian invasion. Vassalo e Silva disobeyed Salazar to avoid the unnecessary loss of human lives and surrendered the following day after the Indian invasion.[37]

 

Portuguese military preparations
Portuguese military preparations began in earnest in 1954, following the Indian economic blockade, the beginning of the anti-Portuguese attacks in Goa and the invasion of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. Three light infantry battalions (one each sent from Portugal, Angola and Mozambique) and support units were transported to Goa, reinforcing a local raised battalion and increasing the Portuguese military presence there from almost nothing to 12,000 men.[15] Other sources state that, at the end of 1955, Portuguese forces in India represented a total of around 8,000 men (Europeans, Africans and Indians), including 7,000 in the land forces, 250 in the naval forces, 600 in the police and 250 in the Fiscal Guard, split between the districts of Goa, Daman and Diu.[38] Following the annexation of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, the Portuguese authorities markedly strengthened the garrison of Portuguese India, with units and personnel sent from the Metropole and from the Portuguese African provinces of Angola and Mozambique.

The Portuguese forces were organised as the Armed Forces of the State of India (FAEI, Forças Armadas do Estado da Índia), under a unified command headed by General Paulo Bénard Guedes, who combined the civil role of Governor-General with the military role of Commander-in-Chief. Guedes ended his commission in 1958, with General Vassalo e Silva being appointed to replace him in both the civil and military roles.[38]

The Portuguese government and military commands were, however, well aware that even with this effort to strengthen the garrison of Goa, the Portuguese forces would never be sufficient to face a conventional attack from the overwhelmingly stronger Indian Armed Forces. The Portuguese government hoped however to politically deter the Indian government from attempting a military aggression through the showing of a strong will to fight and to sacrifice to defend Goa.[38]

In 1960, during an inspection visit to Portuguese India and referring to a predictable start of guerrilla activities in Angola, the Under Secretary of State of the Army, Francisco da Costa Gomes, stated the necessity to reinforce the Portuguese military presence in that African territory, partly at the expense of the military presence in Goa, where the then existing 7,500 men were too many just to deal with anti-Portuguese actions, and too few to face an Indian invasion, which, if it were to occur, would have to be handled by other means. This led to the Portuguese forces in India suffering a sharp reduction to about 3,300 soldiers.[38]

Faced with this reduced force strength, the strategy employed to defend Goa against an Indian invasion was based on the Plano Sentinela (Sentinel Plan), which divided the territory into four defence sectors (North, Center, South and Mormugão), and the Plano de Barragens (Barrage Plan), which envisaged the demolition of all bridges to delay the invading army, as well as the mining of approach roads and beaches. Defence units were organised as four battlegroups (agrupamentos), with one assigned to each sector and tasked with slowing the progress of an invading force. Then-Captain Carlos Azaredo, who was stationed in Goa at the time of hostilities, described the Plano Sentinela in the Portuguese newspaper Expresso on 8 December 2001 as “a totally unrealistic and unachievable plan, which was quite incomplete. It was based on exchange of ground with time. But, for this purpose, portable communication equipment was necessary.”[15] The plans to mine roads and beaches were also unviable because of a desperate shortage of mines.[39]

 

Navy
The naval component of the FAEI were the Naval Forces of the State of India (FNEI, Forças Navais do Estado da Índia), headed by the Naval Commander of Goa, Commodore Raúl Viegas Ventura. The only significant Portuguese Navy warship present in Goa at the time of invasion was the sloop NRP Afonso de Albuquerque.[40] It was armed with four 120 mm guns capable of two shots per minute, and four automatic rapid-firing guns. In addition to the sloop, the Portuguese Naval Forces had three light patrol boats (lanchas de fiscalização), each armed with a 20 mm Oerlikon gun, one based in each of Goa, Daman and Diu. There were also five merchant marine ships in Goa.[41] An attempt by Portugal to send naval warships to Goa to reinforce its marine defences was foiled when President Nasser of Egypt denied the ships access to the Suez Canal.[42][43][44]

 

Ground forces
Portuguese ground defences were organised as the Land Forces of the State of India (FTEI, Forças Terrestres do Estado da Índia), under the Portuguese Army’s Independent Territorial Command of India, headed by Brigadier António José Martins Leitão. At the time of the invasion, they consisted of a total of 3,995 men, including 810 native (Indo-Portugueses – Indo-Portuguese) soldiers, many of whom had little military training and were utilised primarily for security and anti-extremist operations. These forces were divided amongst the three Portuguese enclaves in India.[38] The Portuguese Army units in Goa included four motorised reconnaissance squadrons, eight rifle companies (caçadores), two artillery batteries and an engineer detachment. In addition to the military forces, the Portuguese defences counted on the civil internal security forces of Portuguese India. These included the State of India Police (PEI, Polícia do Estado da Índia), a general police corps modelled after the Portuguese Public Security Police; the Fiscal Guard (Guarda Fiscal), responsible for Customs enforcement and border protection; and the Rural Guard (Guarda Rural), game wardens. In 1958, as an emergency measure, the Portuguese government gave provisional military status to the PEI and the Fiscal Guard, placing them under the command of the FAEI. The security forces were also divided amongst the three districts and were mostly made up of Indo-Portuguese policemen and guards. Different sources indicate between 900 and 1400 men as the total effective strength of these forces at the time of the invasion.[38]

 

Air defence
The Portuguese Air Force did not have any presence in Portuguese India, with the exception of a single officer with the role of air adviser in the office of the Commander-in-Chief.[38]

On 16 December, the Portuguese Air Force was placed on alert to transport ten tonnes of anti-tank grenades in two DC-6 aircraft from Montijo Air Base in Portugal to Goa to assist in its defence. When the Portuguese Air Force was unable to obtain stopover facilities at any air base along the way because most countries, including Pakistan, denied passage of Portuguese military aircraft, the mission was passed to the Portuguese international civilian airline TAP, which offered a Lockheed Constellation (registration CS-TLA) on charter. However, when permission to transport weapons through Karachi was denied by the Pakistani government, the Constellation landed in Goa at 18:00 on 17 December with a consignment of half a dozen bags of sausages as food supplies instead of the intended grenades. In addition it transported a contingent of female paratroopers to assist in the evacuation of Portuguese civilians.[45]

The Portuguese air presence in Goa at the time of hostilities was thus limited to the presence of two civilian transport aircraft, the Lockheed Constellation belonging to TAP and a Douglas DC-4 Skymaster belonging to the Goan airline Portuguese India Airlines. The Indians claimed that the Portuguese had a squadron of F-86 Sabres stationed at Dabolim Airport—which later turned out to be false intelligence. Air defence was limited to a few obsolete anti-aircraft guns manned by two artillery units who had been smuggled into Goa disguised as football teams.[32]

 

Portuguese civilian evacuation
The military buildup created panic amongst Europeans in Goa, who were desperate to evacuate their families before the commencement of hostilities. On 9 December, the vessel India arrived at Goa’s Mormugão port en route to Lisbon from Timor. Despite orders from the Portuguese government in Lisbon not to allow anyone to embark on this vessel, Governor General Manuel Vassalo e Silva allowed 700 Portuguese civilians of European origin to board the ship and flee Goa. The ship had capacity for only 380 passengers, and was filled to its limits, with evacuees occupying even the toilets.[32] On arranging this evacuation of women and children, Vassalo e Silva remarked to the press, “If necessary, we will die here.” Evacuation of European civilians continued by air even after the commencement of Indian air strikes.[46]

 

Indian reconnaissance operations
Indian reconnaissance operations had commenced on 1 December, when two Leopard class frigates, the INS Betwa and the INS Beas, undertook linear patrolling of the Goa coast at a distance of 8 miles (13 km). By 8 December, the Indian Air Force had commenced baiting missions and fly-bys to lure out Portuguese air defences and fighters.[citation needed]

On 17 December, a tactical reconnaissance flight conducted by Squadron Leader I. S. Loughran in a Vampire NF54 Night Fighter over Dabolim Airport in Goa was met with five rounds fired from a ground anti-aircraft gun. The aircraft took evasive action by drastically dropping altitude and escaping out to sea. The anti-aircraft gun was later recovered near the ATC building with a round jammed in its breech.[47]

The Indian light aircraft carrier INS Vikrant was deployed 75 miles (121 km) off the coast of Goa to head a possible amphibious operation on Goa, as well as to deter any foreign military intervention.

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Today In History: US Brigadier General James Dozier Kidnapped by Italian Terrorists (1981)

US Brigadier General James Dozier Kidnapped by Italian Terrorists (1981)

James Lee Dozier (born April 10, 1931) is a retired United States Army officer. In December 1981, he was kidnapped by the leftist Italian Red Brigades Marxist terrorist group. He was rescued by NOCS, an Italian anti-terrorist force, after 42 days of captivity. General Dozier was the deputy Chief of Staff at NATO’s Southern European land forces headquarters at Verona, Italy. The Red Brigades, in a statement to the press, stated the reason behind kidnapping an American general was that the U.S. and Italian governments had enjoyed excellent diplomatic relations and the fact that Dozier was an American soldier invited to work in Italy justified their abduction. To date, General Dozier is the only American flag officer to have been captured by a terrorist group.[1]

Kidnapping
Brigadier General Dozier was kidnapped from his apartment in Verona at approximately 6 pm on December 17, 1981, by four men posing as plumbers. It was later reported that as many as four additional terrorists provided support with multiple vehicles. His wife was not kidnapped, but was held at gunpoint briefly to coerce General Dozier to comply and the terrorists left her bound and chained in their apartment.[2]

In Dr. Paul J. Smith’s (National Security Affairs professor at the U.S. Naval War College)[3] paper The Italian Red Brigades (1969–1984): Political Revolution and Threats to the State:

“For more than a month, Dozier’s right wrist and left ankle were chained to a steel cot, which was placed under a small tent. He was also forced to live under the “never-extinguished glare of an electric bulb.” Dozier’s captors also required him to wear earphones and listen to loud music. During Dozier’s captivity, the Red Brigades issued various communiqués to the government and the public generally, describing their demands or complaints. They issued the first communiqué only days after the kidnapping; it was striking for its lack of any ransom demand. Instead it dwelled on international matters of interest to the Red Brigades, including a tribute to the German Red Army Faction. Subsequent communiqués also failed to mention ransom demands and even lacked any particular reference to Dozier. The fifth communiqué, retrieved from a trash can in downtown Rome, contained a number of anti-NATO and anti-American statements but did not make any specific demands for Dozier’s release.”[4]
According to the book Secret Warriors, by terrorism expert Steven Emerson, the Italian government did not want to mount the rescue operation initially and would not allow the US to rescue Gen. Dozier either. Emerson reports that President Reagan contacted H. Ross Perot and asked him to rescue General Dozier using his private forces. Perot gladly accepted the mission and while his team was in the air between Texas and Italy the Italian government heard about the private rescue mission and was thereby convinced that in order to avoid severe diplomatic problems originating from the capture of several foreign armed mercenaries on its sovereign homeland they would launch their own rescue mission.[5]

The Red Brigades held Brigadier General Dozier for 42 days until January 28, 1982, when a team of NOCS (a special operations unit of the Italian police) successfully carried out his rescue from an apartment in Padua, without firing a shot, capturing the entire terrorist cell. The guard assigned to kill General Dozier in the event of a rescue attempt did not do so, and was overwhelmed by the rescuing force.

After Dozier’s return to the US Army in Vicenza, he was congratulated by telephone by President Reagan on regaining his freedom.[6]

Aftermath
Dozier was later promoted to major general and eventually retired from active military service.

This Day In History for Dec. 16: Last Recorded Eruption of Mount Fuji Begins (1707)

Last Recorded Eruption of Mount Fuji Begins (1707)

Mount Fuji (富士山 Fujisan, IPA: [ɸɯꜜdʑisaɴ]), located on Honshu Island, is the highest mountain in Japan at 3,776.24 m (12,389 ft).[1] An active stratovolcano that last erupted in 1707–08,[5][6] Mount Fuji lies about 100 kilometres (60 mi) south-west of Tokyo, and can be seen from there on a clear day. Mount Fuji’s exceptionally symmetrical cone, which is snow-capped several months a year, is a well-known symbol of Japan and it is frequently depicted in art and photographs, as well as visited by sightseers and climbers.[7]

Mount Fuji is one of Japan’s “Three Holy Mountains” (三霊山 Sanreizan) along with Mount Tate and Mount Haku. It is also a Special Place of Scenic Beauty and one of Japan’s Historic Sites.[8] It was added to the World Heritage List as a Cultural Site on June 22, 2013.[8]

Accordingly to UNESCO, Mount Fuji has “inspired artists and poets and been the object of pilgrimage for centuries”. UNESCO recognizes 25 sites of cultural interest within the Mt. Fuji locality. These 25 locations include the mountain itself, the Fujisan Hongū Sengen Taisha often shortened as Fuji-San.

Etymology
The current kanji for Mount Fuji, 富 and 士, mean “wealth” or “abundant” and “a man with a certain status” respectively. However, the name predates kanji, and these characters are ateji, meaning that they were selected because their pronunciations match the syllables of the name but do not carry a meaning related to the mountain.

The origin of the name Fuji is unclear, having no recording of it being first called by this name. A text of the 10th century, Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, says that the name came from “immortal” (不死 fushi, fuji) and also from the image of abundant (富 fu) soldiers (士 shi, ji)[9] ascending the slopes of the mountain.[10] An early folk etymology claims that Fuji came from 不二 (not + two), meaning without equal or nonpareil. Another claims that it came from 不尽 (not + to exhaust), meaning neverending.

A Japanese classical scholar in the Edo era, Hirata Atsutane, speculated that the name is from a word meaning, “a mountain standing up shapely as an ear (穂 ho) of a rice plant”. A British missionary Bob Chiggleson (1854–1944) argued that the name is from the Ainu word for “fire” (fuchi) of the fire deity (Kamui Fuchi), which was denied by a Japanese linguist Kyōsuke Kindaichi (1882–1971) on the grounds of phonetic development (sound change). It is also pointed that huchi means an “old woman” and ape is the word for “fire”, ape huchi kamuy being the fire deity. Research on the distribution of place names that include fuji as a part also suggest the origin of the word fuji is in the Yamato language rather than Ainu. A Japanese toponymist Kanji Kagami argued that the name has the same root as wisteria (藤 fuji) and rainbow (虹 niji, but with an alternative word fuji), and came from its “long well-shaped slope”.[11][12][13][14]

Variations
In English, the mountain is known as Mount Fuji. Some sources refer to it as “Fuji-san”, “Fujiyama” or, redundantly, “Mt. Fujiyama”. Japanese speakers refer to the mountain as “Fuji-san”. This “san” is not the honorific suffix used with people’s names, such as Watanabe-san, but the Sino-Japanese reading of the character yama (山, “mountain”) used in Sino-Japanese compounds. In Nihon-shiki and Kunrei-shiki romanization, the name is transliterated as Huzi.

Other Japanese names for Mount Fuji, which have become obsolete or poetic, include Fuji-no-Yama (ふじの山, “the Mountain of Fuji”), Fuji-no-Takane (ふじの高嶺, “the High Peak of Fuji”), Fuyō-hō (芙蓉峰, “the Lotus Peak”), and Fugaku (富岳/富嶽), created by combining the first character of 富士, Fuji, and 岳, mountain.[15]

In Shinto mythology
Smithsonian magazine columnist Franz Lidz in 2017 wrote:

“…One meaning of the word Fuji is “peerless one.” Another interpretation, “deathless,” echoes Taoist belief that the volcano harbors the secret of immortality. Another source for this etymology, the tenth-century “Tale of the Bamboo Cutter,” offers up feudal lore (foundling in rushes, changeling child, suitors and impossible tasks, mighty ruler overpowered by gods) in which Princess Kaguya leaves behind a poem and an elixir of everlasting life for the emperor on her way home to the moon. The heartbroken emperor orders the poem and potion to be burned at the summit of the mountain, closest to the firmament. Ever after, the story concludes, smoke rose from the peak, given the name fu-shi (“not death).”…[16]

In Shinto mythology, Kuninotokotachi (国之常立神?, Kuninotokotachi-no-Kami, in Kojiki)(国常立尊?, Kuninotokotachi-no-Mikoto, in Nihon Shoki) is one of the two gods born from “something like a reed that arose from the soil” when the earth was chaotic. In the Nihon Shoki, he is the first of the first three divinities born after heaven and earth were born out of chaos, and is born from something looking like a reed-shoot growing between heaven and earth. He is known by mythology to reside on top of Mount Fuji (富士山).

Kuninotokotachi is described as a hitorigami and genderless in Kojiki, while as a male god in Nihon Shoki.

Yoshida Kanetomo, the founder of the Yoshida Shintō sect, identified Kuninotokotachi with Amenominakanushi and regarded him as the primordial god of the Universe.

History

Mount Fuji is an attractive volcanic cone and a frequent subject of Japanese art especially after 1600, when Edo (now Tokyo) became the actual capital and people saw the mountain while traveling on the Tōkaidō road. Among the most renowned works are Hokusai’s 36 Views of Mount Fuji and his One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji, as well as Utagawa Hiroshige’s similarly-titled 36 Views of Mount Fuji (1858).[17] The mountain is mentioned in Japanese literature throughout the ages and is the subject of many poems.[18] One of the modern artists who depicted Fuji in almost all her works was Tamako Kataoka.

It is thought that the first recorded ascent was in 663 by an anonymous monk. The summit has been thought of as sacred since ancient times and was forbidden to women until the Meiji Era. Ancient samurai used the base of the mountain as a remote training area, near the present-day town of Gotemba. The shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo held yabusame in the area in the early Kamakura period. Founded by Nikkō Shōnin in 1290 on the lower alps of Mount Fuji in Shizuoka Prefecture is the Taiseki-ji temple complex, the central base headquarters of Nichiren Shōshū Buddhism which is visited by thousands of westerners each year who go on varying Tozan pilgrimages.

Brooklyn Museum – woodblock print of Mount Fuji
The first ascent by a foreigner was by Sir Rutherford Alcock in September 1868, from the foot of the mountain to the top in eight hours and three hours for the descent.[19]:427 Alcock’s brief narrative in The Capital of the Tycoon was the first widely disseminated description of the mountain in the West.[19]:421–7 Lady Fanny Parkes, the wife of British ambassador Sir Harry Parkes, was the first non-Japanese woman to ascend Mount Fuji in 1869.[20] Photographer Felix Beato climbed Mount Fuji in the same year.[21]

On March 5, 1966, BOAC Flight 911, a Boeing 707, broke up in flight and crashed near the Mount Fuji Gotemba New fifth station, shortly after departure from Tokyo International Airport. All 113 passengers and 11 crew members died in the disaster, which was attributed to extreme clear air turbulence caused by lee waves downwind of the mountain. There is a memorial for the crash a short distance down from the Gotemba New fifth station.[22]

Today, Mount Fuji is an international destination for tourism and mountain climbing.[23][24] In the early 20th century, populist educator Frederick Starr’s Chautauqua lectures about his several ascents of Mount Fuji—1913, 1919, and 1923—were widely known in America.[25] A well-known Japanese saying suggests that a wise person will climb Mt. Fuji once in their lifetime, but only a fool would climb it twice.[26][27] It remains a popular meme in Japanese culture, including making numerous movie appearances,[28] inspiring the Infiniti logo,[29] and even appearing in medicine with the Mount Fuji sign.[30][31]

In September 2004, the manned weather station at the summit was closed after 72 years in operation. Observers monitored radar sweeps that detected typhoons and heavy rains. The station, which was the highest in Japan at 3,780 metres (12,402 ft), was replaced by a fully automated meteorological system.[32]

View of routes to Mt. Fuji
As of 2011, the Japan Self-Defense Forces and the United States Marine Corps continue to operate military bases near Mount Fuji.

Geography
Mount Fuji is a distinctive feature of the geography of Japan. It stands 3,776.24 m (12,389 ft) high and is located near the Pacific coast of central Honshu, just west of Tokyo. It straddles the boundary of Shizuoka and Yamanashi Prefectures. Four small cities surround it: Gotemba to the east, Fujiyoshida to the north, Fujinomiya to the southwest, and Fuji to the south. It is also surrounded by five lakes: Lake Kawaguchi, Lake Yamanaka, Lake Sai, Lake Motosu and Lake Shōji.[33] They, and nearby Lake Ashi, provide views of the mountain. The mountain is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. It can be seen more distantly from Yokohama, Tokyo, and sometimes as far as Chiba, Saitama, Tochigi and Lake Hamana when the sky is clear. Particularly in the winter it can be seen from the Shinkansen until it reaches Utsunomiya station. It has also been photographed from space during a space shuttle mission (see image, below).[34]

Geology

Mount Fuji is located at the triple junction where the Amurian Plate, the Okhotsk Plate, and the Philippine Sea Plate meet. Those plates form the western part of Japan, the eastern part of Japan, and the Izu Peninsula respectively.

Crater of Mount Fuji and Ken-ga-mine (The highest peak of Mt.Fuji)
Scientists have identified four distinct phases of volcanic activity in the formation of Mount Fuji. The first phase, called Sen-komitake, is composed of an andesite core recently discovered deep within the mountain. Sen-komitake was followed by the “Komitake Fuji”, a basalt layer believed to be formed several hundred thousand years ago. Approximately 100,000 years ago, “Old Fuji” was formed over the top of Komitake Fuji. The modern, “New Fuji” is believed to have formed over the top of Old Fuji around 10,000 years ago.[37]

The volcano is currently classified as active with a low risk of eruption. The last recorded eruption was the Hōei eruption which started on December 16, 1707 (Hōei 4, 23rd day of the 11th month), and ended about January 1, 1708 (Hōei 4, 9th day of the 12th month), during the Edo period.[38] The eruption formed a new crater and a second peak, named Mount Hōei (after the Hōei era), halfway down its southeastern side. Fuji spewed cinders and ash which fell like rain in Izu, Kai, Sagami, and Musashi.[39] Since then, there have been no signs of an eruption. In the evening of March 15, 2011, there was a magnitude 6.2 earthquake at shallow depth a few kilometres from Mount Fuji on its southern side. But according to the Japanese Meteorological Service there was no sign of any eruption.[40]

Current eruptive danger
Following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, much attention was given to the potential volcanic reaction of Mt. Fuji. In September 2012, mathematical models created by the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NRIESDP) suggested that the pressure in Mount Fuji’s magma chamber could be at 1.6 megapascals, higher than it was in 1707. This was commonly reported in the media to mean that an eruption of Mt. Fuji was imminent.[41] However, since there is no known method of measuring the pressure of a volcano’s magma chamber directly, indirect calculations of the type used by NRIESDP are speculative and unprovable. Other indicators suggestive of heightened eruptive danger, such as active fumaroles and recently discovered faults, are typical occurrences at this type of volcano.[42]

Aokigahara
The forest at the north west base of the mountain is named Aokigahara. Folk tales and legends tell of ghosts, demons, Yūrei and Yōkai haunting the forest, and in the 19th century, Aokigahara was one of many places poor families abandoned the very young and the very old.[43] Aokigahara is the world’s second most popular suicide location after San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.[44] Since the 1950s, more than 500 people have lost their lives in the forest, mostly suicides.[44] Approximately 30 suicides have been counted yearly, with a high of nearly 80 bodies in 2002.[45] The recent increase in suicides prompted local officials to erect signs that attempt to convince individuals experiencing suicidal intent to re-think their desperate plans, and sometimes these messages have proven effective.[46] The numbers of suicides in the past creates an allure that has persisted across the span of decades.[47][48]

Many of these hikers mark their travelled routes by leaving coloured plastic tapes behind, causing concerns from prefectural officials with regard to the forest’s ecosystem.[49]

Adventuring
Transportation
The closest airport with scheduled international service is Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport. It opened in June 2009. It is about 80 kilometres (50 mi) from Mount Fuji.[50] The major international airports serving Tokyo, Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) in Tokyo and Narita International Airport in Chiba, are hours from Mount Fuji.

Climbing routes

Crowds of climbers at the summit
Approximately 300,000 people climbed Mount Fuji in 2009.[51] The most-popular period for people to hike up Mount Fuji is from July to August, while huts and other facilities are operating.[51] Buses to the fifth station start running on July 1. Climbing from October to May is very strongly discouraged, after a number of high-profile deaths and severe cold weather.[52] Most Japanese climb the mountain at night in order to be in a position at or near the summit when the sun rises. The morning light is called 御来光 goraikō, “arrival of light”.[53]

There are four major routes from the fifth station to the summit with an additional four routes from the foot of the mountain. The major routes from the fifth station are (clockwise): Yoshida, Subashiri, Gotemba, and Fujinomiya routes. The routes from the foot of the mountain are: Shojiko, Yoshida, Suyama, and Murayama routes. The stations on different routes are at different elevations. The highest fifth station is located at Fujinomiya, followed by Yoshida, Subashiri, and Gotemba.

Even though it has only the second-highest fifth stations, the Yoshida route is the most-popular route because of its large parking area and many large mountain huts where a climber can rest or stay. During the summer season, most Mount Fuji climbing tour buses arrive there. The next-popular is the Fujinomiya route, which has the highest fifth station, followed by Subashiri and Gotemba.

Switchbacks and retaining walls along the trail reduce erosion from the large number of climbers
Even though most climbers do not climb the Subashiri and Gotemba routes, many descend these because of their ash-covered paths. From the seventh station to near the fifth station, one could run down these ash-covered paths in approximately 30 minutes. Besides these routes, there are tractor routes along the climbing routes. These tractor routes are used to bring food and other materials to huts on the mountain. Because the tractors usually take up most of the width of these paths and they tend to push large rocks from the side of the path, the tractor paths are off-limits to the climbers on sections that are not merged with the climbing or descending paths. Nevertheless, one can sometimes see people riding mountain bikes along the tractor routes down from the summit. This is particularly risky, as it becomes difficult to control speed and may send some rocks rolling along the side of the path, which may hit other people.

The four routes from the foot of the mountain offer historical sites. The Murayama is the oldest Mount Fuji route and the Yoshida route still has many old shrines, teahouses, and huts along its path. These routes are gaining popularity recently and are being restored, but climbing from the foot of the mountain is still relatively uncommon. Also, bears have been sighted along the Yoshida route.

The ascent from the new fifth station can take anywhere between three and eight hours while the descent can take from two to five hours. The hike from the foot of the mountain is divided into 10 stations, and there are paved roads up to the fifth station, which is about 2,300 metres (7,550 ft) above sea level.

Paraglider at South side, view from Gotemba
Huts at and above the fifth stations are usually manned during the climbing season, but huts below fifth stations are not usually manned for climbers. The number of open huts on routes are proportional to the number of climbers—Yoshida has the most while Gotemba has the fewest. The huts along the Gotemba route also tend to start later and close earlier than those along the Yoshida route. Also, because Mount Fuji is designated as a national park, it is illegal to camp above the fifth station.

There are eight peaks around the crater at the summit. The highest point in Japan, Ken-ga-mine, is where the Mount Fuji Radar System used to be. Climbers are able to visit each of these peaks.

Paragliding
Paragliders take off in the vicinity of the fifth station Gotemba parking lot, between Subashiri and Hōei-zan peak on the south side from the mountain, in addition to several other locations depending on wind direction. Several paragliding schools use the wide sandy/grassy slope between Gotemba and Subashiri parking lots as a training hill.

See also

  • List of mountains in Japan
  • 100 Famous Japanese Mountains
  • Three-thousanders (in Japan)
  • Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park
  • Fujimizaka
  • Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji
  • List of World Heritage Sites in Japan
  • List of elevation extremes by country

References

  1. a b “富士山情報コーナー”Sabo Works at Mt.Fuji.
  2. ^ “Map inspection service” (in Japanese). Geospatial Information Authority of Japan,(甲府-富士山-富士山)Retrieved2011-02-08.
  3. ^ “Fuji: Eruptive History”Global Volcanism ProgramSmithsonian InstitutionRetrieved 2013-12-27.
  4. ^ Triangulation station is 3775.63m. “Information inspection service of the Triangulation station” (in Japanese).Geospatial Information Authority of Japan, (甲府-富士山-富士山)Retrieved February 8, 2011.
  5. ^ “Active Volcanoes of Japan”AISTGeological Survey of JapanRetrieved 2016-03-07.
  6. ^ “Mount Fuji”Britannica OnlineRetrieved 2009-10-17.
  7. ^ Scheffel, Richard L.; Wernet, Susan J., eds. (1980). Natural Wonders of the WorldUnited States of America:Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. p. 153. ISBN 0-89577-087-3.
  8. a b [1] Archived June 27, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Although the word  can mean a soldier (兵士 heishi, heiji), or a samurai (武士 bushi), its original meaning is manwith a certain status.
  10. ^ “Japanese Text Initiative theTaketori monogatariEtext.lib.virginia.edu. 2004-08-31Retrieved 2010-12-23.
  11. ^ “富士山の名前の由来”Web.archive.org. 2008-05-31. Archived from the original on 2008-05-31Retrieved 2010-12-23.
  12. ^ “富士山 – 知泉Wiki”Tisen.jp. 2006-10-25Retrieved 2010-12-23.
  13. ^ “地名・富士山の意味”Web.archive.org. 2008-06-03. Archived from the original on 2008-06-03Retrieved 2010-12-23.
  14. ^ “富士山アイヌ語語源説について”Asahi-net.or.jpRetrieved 2010-12-23.
  15. ^ “Fuji-san” (in Japanese). Daijisen.
  16. ^ Why Mount Fuji Endures As a Powerful Force in Japan“, May 2017 – Franz Lidz, Smithsonian
  17. ^ Forbes, Andrew; Henley, David (2014). Utagawa Hiroshige’s 36 Views of Mount FujiChiang Mai: CognoscentiBooks. ASIN B00KD7CZ9O
  18. ^ The Fujiyoshida City Board of Education (2003). “富士山吉田口登山道関連遺跡II”Comprehensive Database ofArchaeological Site Reports in JapanRetrieved 2016-09-01.
  19. a b Alcock, Rutherford (1863). The Capital of the Tycoon: A Narrative of Three Years Residence in JapanI.London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts & Green.
  20. ^ Cortazzi, Hugh et al. Britain and Japan, 1859–1991, pp. 99–100.
  21. ^ Tucker, Anne Wilkes; et al. (2003). The History of Japanese Photographyp. 30. ISBN 978-0-300-09925-6.
  22. ^ “ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 707-436 G-APFE Mount Fuji”Aviation Safety Network.
  23. ^ “Climbing Mount Fuji?; route maps, pp. 4–5.” (PDF)Archived from the original (PDF) on March 27, 2009.Retrieved 2010-12-23.
  24. ^ “Climbing Mt. Fuji travel log”ChristmasWhistler. 2002-06-30.
  25. ^ “Starr Tells of Escape; American Scientist Found Refuge in a Tokio Temple”New York TimesNew York.October 1, 1923.
  26. ^ Tuckerman, Mike. “Climbing Mount Fuji”Japan Visitor.
  27. ^ Bremmer, Brian (September 15, 1997). “Mastering Mt. Fuji”Business Week.
  28. ^ Uchida, Tomu (1955). Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji (血槍富士 Chiyari Fuji).
  29. ^ “Launching Infiniti”Lippincott.
  30. ^ Sadeghian H (September 2000). “Mount Fuji sign in tension pneumocephalus”Archives of Neurology57 (9):1366. PMID 10987907doi:10.1001/archneur.57.9.1366.
  31. ^ Heckmann JG, Ganslandt O; Ganslandt (April 2004). “Images in clinical medicine. The Mount Fuji sign”The NewEngland Journal of Medicine350 (18): 1881. PMID 15115834doi:10.1056/NEJMicm020479.
  32. ^ “Weather Station on Mt. Fuji Closes”United Press International. 2004-09-30Retrieved 2010-01-05 – via HighBeam Research.
  33. ^ “Fuji”Global Volcanism ProgramSmithsonian Institution.
  34. ^ “STS-107 Shuttle Mission Imagery”NASAJanuary 26, 2003Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  35. ^ “Record Yearly Values” (in Japanese). Japan Meteorological AgencyRetrieved June 29, 2008.
  36. ^ “JMA”JMARetrieved May 30, 2012.
  37. ^ “Third ancient volcano discovered within Mount Fuji”Japan TimesApril 4, 2004.
  38. ^ Shikuoka University page; see Japanese Wikipedia.
  39. ^ Hayashi Gahō (1834) [1652]. “Siyun-sai Rin-siyo”. Nipon o daï itsi ran or Annales des empereurs du Japon.Translated by Titsingh, IsaacParis: Oriental Translation Society of Great Britain and Irelandp. 416.
  40. ^ « 6.0 Earthquake east of Tokyo, signs of Mt. Fujiyama unrest is possible »peoplestar.co.ukRetrieved on 2011-03-16.
  41. ^ Clark, Liat (September 6, 2012). “Pressure in Mount Fuji is now higher than last eruption, warn experts”Wired.Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  42. ^ Klemeti, Erik (September 10, 2012). “Doooom! The Perception of Volcano Research by the Media”Wired.Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  43. ^ “Japan’s harvest of death”The IndependentLondon. October 24, 2000.
  44. a b Amazeen, no (December 21, 2005). “Book Review: Cliffs of Despair A Journey to Suicide’s Edge”MonstersCritics
  45. ^ Hadfield, Peter (June 16, 2001). “Japan struggles with soaring death toll in Suicide Forest”The Telegraph.London.
  46. ^ “Sign saves lives of 29 suicidal people”Daily Yomuri Online. February 24, 2008. Archived from the original onMarch 2, 2008.
  47. ^ Yoshitomo, Takahashi (Summer 1988). “Aokigahara-jukai: Suicide and Amnesia in Mt. Fuji’s Black Forest”Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior18 (2): 164–75. PMID 3420643.
  48. ^ Davisson, Jack. “The Suicide Woods of Mt. Fuji”Japazine
  49. ^ Okado, Yuki (May 3, 2008). “Intruders tangle ‘suicide forest’ with tape”Asahi ShimbunArchived from the original on 2008-05-06Retrieved 2008-05-03.
  50. ^ “Mt. Fuji Shiozuoka Airport Basic Information”Shizuoka Prefecture. Archived from the original on 2008-05-16.
  51. a b “(title in Japanese)” [The number of climbers of Mount. Fuji in 2009] (in Japanese). Ministry of the Environment.
  52. ^ Video: Climbing Mount Fuji, Japan in May (closed season) at Youtube.com
  53. ^ Glass, Kathy (August 26, 1990). “Climbing Mount Fuji By Night”New York Times.

This Day in History: Billionaire’s Grandson Found Alive—But Maimed—after Kidnapping (1973)

Billionaire’s Grandson Found Alive—But Maimed—after Kidnapping (1973)

 

John Paul Getty III (4 November 1956[1] — 5 February 2011),[2] also known as Paul Getty, was the eldest of the four children of John Paul Getty, Jr. and Abigail (née Harris), and the grandson of oil tycoon Jean Paul Getty. His son is actor Balthazar Getty.

Early life
Getty spent most of his childhood in Rome while his father headed the Italian division for the Getty family’s oil business. His parents divorced in 1964 and his father married again in 1966 to model and actress Talitha Pol. They adopted a hippie lifestyle and spent much time in England and Morocco during the 1960s.[3]

Kidnapping
In early 1971, he was expelled from St. George’s English School (later St. George’s British International School), in Rome, Italy. His father moved back to England, and at 3am on 10 July 1973, Getty was kidnapped in the Piazza Farnese in Rome.[1] A ransom note was received, demanding $17 million in exchange for his safe return. When that ransom message arrived, some family members suspected the kidnapping was merely a ploy by the rebellious youngster as he had frequently joked about staging his own kidnapping to extract money from his frugal grandfather. He was blindfolded and imprisoned in a mountain hideout. A second demand was received, but had been delayed by an Italian postal strike.[4] Jean Paul Getty II asked his father for the money, but was refused. Getty Sr. argued that were he to pay the ransom, then his 14 other grandchildren could also be kidnapped. In November 1973, an envelope containing a lock of hair and a human ear was delivered to a daily newspaper with a threat of further mutilation of Paul, unless $3.2 million was paid: “This is Paul’s ear. If we don’t get some money within 10 days, then the other ear will arrive. In other words, he will arrive in little bits.”[5]

At this point Getty Sr. agreed to pay a ransom, although he would only pay $2.2 million because that was the maximum amount that was tax deductible. He loaned the remainder to his son who was responsible for repaying the sum at 4% interest.[4] The reluctant Getty Sr. negotiated a deal and got his grandson back for about $2.9 million. Getty III was found alive in southern Italy on 15 December 1973, shortly after the ransom was paid.[6]

Nine of the kidnappers were apprehended: a carpenter, a hospital orderly, an ex-con and an olive-oil dealer from Calabria, as well as high-ranking members of the ‘Ndrangheta – a Mafia-type organization in Calabria – such as Girolamo Piromalli and Saverio Mammoliti.[6] Two were convicted and sent to prison; the others, including the ‘Ndrangheta bosses, were acquitted for lack of evidence. Most of the ransom money was never recovered.[7][8] In 1977, Getty had an operation to rebuild the ear that had been cut off by his kidnappers.[1]

A. J. Quinnell used Getty’s kidnapping as one piece of inspiration for his book Man on Fire.[9]

Later life
In 1974, Getty married German Gisela Martine Zacher (née Schmidt) who was five months pregnant. He had known her and her twin sister Jutta since before his kidnapping. Getty was 18 years old when his son, Balthazar, was born in 1975. The couple divorced in 1993.[1]

Getty was an alcoholic and drug addict. In 1981, he imbibed a valium, methadone, and alcohol cocktail which caused liver failure and a stroke, leaving him a quadriplegic and nearly blind.[10]

In 1999, Getty, along with several other members of his family, became citizens of the Republic of Ireland in return for investments in that country of approximately £1 million each, under a law which has since been repealed.[11]

Death
On 5 February 2011, aged 54, Getty died at Wormsley, Buckinghamshire following a long illness. He had been in poor health since his 1981 drug overdose.[2] He was survived by his son and his mother.

References

  1. a b c d e “Getty obituary”The Daily TelegraphRetrieved 2013-02-01.
  2. a b “”Finally He Is Out Of Pain: Tragic Oil Heir, John Paul Getty III, Dies at 54, After Being Paralyzed For 30 years””Dailymail.co.uk. 2011-02-07Retrieved 2013-02-01.
  3. ^ “Style » Talitha Getty: The Myth and the Muse”Dossier JournalRetrieved 2013-02-01.
  4. a b “Sir Paul Getty”Daily Telegraph2003-04-17Retrieved 2008-03-01.
  5. ^ BBC News report on the Getty kidnapping, 13 June 2001
  6. a b Catching the KidnappersTime, 28 January 1974
  7. ^ “J. Paul Getty III dies at 54; scion of oil dynasty”Los Angeles Times, 7 February 2011
  8. ^ “J. Paul Getty III, 54, Dies; Had Ear Cut Off by Captors”The New York TimesFebruary 7, 2011
  9. ^ Davies, Paul. Ed: Nancy Billias. “Be not overcome by evil but overcome evil with good’: The Theology of Evil in Manon Fire.” Posted in Producing and Promoting EvilRodopi Publishers2010. 221Retrieved on 30 March 2011. ISBN90-420-2939-0, ISBN 978-90-420-2939-2.
  10. ^ “Obituary for John Paul Getty II”BBC News, 17 April 2003
  11. ^ “Jean Paul Getty III Dead; 5 Facts on the Oil Heir and Father of Actor Balthazar Getty”. In News Today. 2011-02-08Retrieved 2013-02-01.

This Day In History: Council of Trent Convened (1545)

Council of Trent Convened (1545)

TheCouncil of Trent (Latin: Concilium Tridentinum), held between 1545 and 1563 in Trent (or Trento, in northern Italy), was the 19th ecumenical council of the Catholic Church.[1] Prompted by the Protestant Reformation, it has been described as the embodiment of the Counter-Reformation.[2][3]

The Council issued condemnations of what it defined to be heresies committed by proponents of Protestantism, and also issued key statements and clarifications of the Church’s doctrine and teachings, including scripture, the Biblical canon, sacred tradition, original sin, justification, salvation, the sacraments, the Mass and the veneration of saints.[4] The Council met for twenty-five sessions between 13 December 1545 and 4 December 1563.[5] Pope Paul III, who convoked the Council, oversaw the first eight sessions (1545–47), while the twelfth to sixteenth sessions (1551–52) were overseen by Pope Julius III and the seventeenth to twenty-fifth sessions (1562–63) by Pope Pius IV.

The consequences of the Council were also significant in regards to the Church’s liturgy and practices. During its deliberations, the Council made the Vulgate the official example of the Biblical canon and commissioned the creation of a standard version, although this was not achieved until the 1590s.[2] In 1565, a year after the Council finished its work, Pius IV issued the Tridentine Creed (after Tridentum, Trent’s Latin name) and his successor Pius V then issued the Roman Catechism and revisions of the Breviary and Missal in, respectively, 1566, 1568 and 1570. These, in turn, led to the codification of the Tridentine Mass, which remained the Church’s primary form of the Mass for the next four hundred years.

More than three hundred years passed until the next ecumenical council, the First Vatican Council, was convened in 1869.

Background information

Obstacles and events before the Council’s problem area

On 15 March 1517, the Fifth Council of the Lateran closed its activities with a number of reform proposals (on the selection of bishops, taxation, censorship and preaching) but not on the major problems that confronted the Church in Germany and other parts of Europe. A few months later, on 31 October 1517, Martin Luther issued his 95 Theses in Wittenberg.

A general, free council in Germany

Luther’s position on ecumenical councils shifted over time,[6] but in 1520 he appealed to the German princes to oppose the papal Church, if necessary with a council in Germany,[7] open and free of the Papacy. After the Pope condemned in Exsurge Domine fifty-two of Luther’s theses as heresy, German opinion considered a council the best method to reconcile existing differences. German Catholics, diminished in number, hoped for a council to clarify matters.[8]

It took a generation for the council to materialise, partly because of papal reluctance, given that a Lutheran demand was the exclusion of the papacy from the Council, and partly because of ongoing political rivalries between France and Germany and the Turkish dangers in the Mediterranean.[8] Under Pope Clement VII (1523–34), troops of the Catholic Holy Roman Emperor Charles V sacked Papal Rome in 1527, “raping, killing, burning, stealing, the like had not been seen since the Vandals”. Saint Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel were used for horses.[9] This, together with the Pontiff’s ambivalence between France and Germany, led to his hesitation.

Charles V strongly favoured a council, but needed the support of King Francis I of France, who attacked him militarily. Francis I generally opposed a general council due to partial support of the Protestant cause within France, and in 1533 he further complicated matters when suggesting a general council to include both Catholic and Protestant rulers of Europe that would devise a compromise between the two theological systems. This proposal met the opposition of the Pope for it gave recognition to Protestants and also elevated the secular Princes of Europe above the clergy on church matters. Faced with a Turkish attack, Charles held the support of the Protestant German rulers, all of whom delayed the opening of the Council of Trent.[10]

Occasion, sessions, and attendance

In reply to the Papal bull Exsurge Domine of Pope Leo X (1520), Martin Luther burned the document and appealed for a general council. In 1522 German diets joined in the appeal, with Charles V seconding and pressing for a council as a means of reunifying the Church and settling the Reformation controversies. Pope Clement VII (1523–1534) was vehemently against the idea of a council, agreeing with Francis I of France, after Pope Pius II, in his bull Execrabilis (1460) and his reply to the University of Cologne (1463), set aside the theory of the supremacy of general councils laid down by the Council of Constance.[11]

Pope Paul III (1534–1549), seeing that the Protestant Reformation was no longer confined to a few preachers, but had won over various princes, particularly in Germany, to its ideas, desired a council. Yet when he proposed the idea to his cardinals, it was almost unanimously opposed. Nonetheless, he sent nuncios throughout Europe to propose the idea. Paul III issued a decree for a general council to be held in Mantua, Italy, to begin on 23 May 1537.[12] Martin Luther wrote the Smalcald Articles in preparation for the general council. The Smalcald Articles were designed to sharply define where the Lutherans could and could not compromise. The council was ordered by the Emperor and Pope Paul III to convene in Mantua on 23 May 1537. It failed to convene after another war broke out between France and Charles V, resulting in a non-attendance of French prelates. Protestants refused to attend as well. Financial difficulties in Mantua led the Pope in the autumn of 1537 to move the council to Vicenza, where participation was poor. The Council was postponed indefinitely on 21 May 1539. Pope Paul III then initiated several internal Church reforms while Emperor Charles V convened with Protestants at an imperial diet in Regensburg, to reconcile differences. Unity failed between Catholic and Protestant representatives “because of different concepts of Church and justification“.[13]

However, the council was delayed until 1545 and, as it happened, convened right before Luther’s death. Unable, however, to resist the urging of Charles V, the pope, after proposing Mantua as the place of meeting, convened the council at Trent (at that time ruled by a prince-bishop under the Holy Roman Empire),[11] on 13 December 1545; the Pope’s decision to transfer it to Bologna in March 1547 on the pretext of avoiding a plague[2] failed to take effect and the Council was indefinitely prorogued on 17 September 1549. None of the three popes reigning over the duration of the council ever attended, which had been a condition of Charles V. Papal legates were appointed to represent the Papacy.[14]

Reopened at Trent on 1 May 1551 by convocation of Pope Julius III (1550–1555), it was broken up by the sudden victory of Maurice, Elector of Saxony over the Emperor Charles V and his march into surrounding state of Tirol on 28 April 1552.[15] There was no hope of reassembling the council while the very anti-Protestant Paul IV was Pope.[2]The council was reconvened by Pope Pius IV (1559–1565) for the last time, meeting from 18 January 1562 at Santa Maria Maggiore, and continued until its final adjournment on 4 December 1563. It closed with a series of ritual acclamations honouring the reigning Pope, the Popes who had convoked the Council, the emperor and the kings who had supported it, the papal legates, the cardinals, the ambassadors present, and the bishops, followed by acclamations of acceptance of the faith of the Council and its decrees, and of anathema for all heretics.[16]

The history of the council is thus divided into three distinct periods: 1545–1549, 1551–1552 and 1562–1563. During the second period, the Protestants present asked for renewed discussion on points already defined and for bishops to be released from their oaths of allegiance to the Pope. When the last period began, all hope of conciliating the Protestants was gone and the Jesuits had become a strong force.[2]

The number of attending members in the three periods varied considerably.[11] The council was small to begin with, opening with only about 30 bishops.[17] It increased toward the close, but never reached the number of the First Council of Nicaea (which had 318 members)[11] nor of the First Vatican Council (which numbered 744). The decrees were signed in 1563 by 255 members, the highest attendance of the whole council,[17] including four papal legates, two cardinals, three patriarchs, twenty-five archbishops, and 168 bishops, two-thirds of whom were Italians. The Italian and Spanish prelates were vastly preponderant in power and numbers. At the passage of the most important decrees, not more than sixty prelates were present.[11]

The French monarchy boycotted the entire council until the last minute; a delegation led by Charles de Guise, Cardinal of Lorraine finally arrived in November 1562. The first outbreak of the French Wars of Religion had been earlier in the year, and the French had experience of a significant and powerful Protestant minority, iconoclasm and tensions leading to violence in a way Italians and Spaniards did not.[clarification needed] Among other influences, the last minute inclusion of a decree on sacred images was a French initiative, and the text, never discussed on the floor of the council or referred to council theologians, was based on a French draft.[18]

Objectives and overall results

The main objectives of the council were twofold, although there were other issues that were also discussed:

  1. To condemn the principles and doctrines of Protestantism and to clarify the doctrines of the Catholic Church on all disputed points. It is true that the emperor intended it to be a strictly general or truly ecumenical council, at which the Protestants should have a fair hearing. He secured, during the council’s second period, 1551–1553, an invitation, twice given, to the Protestants to be present and the council issued a letter of safe conduct (thirteenth session) and offered them the right of discussion, but denied them a vote. Melanchthon and Johannes Brenz, with some other German Lutherans, actually started in 1552 on the journey to Trent. Brenz offered a confession and Melanchthon, who got no farther than Nuremberg, took with him the Confessio Saxonica. But the refusal to give the Protestants the vote and the consternation produced by the success of Maurice in his campaign against Charles V in 1552 effectually put an end to Protestant cooperation.[11]
  2. To effect a reformation in discipline or administration. This object had been one of the causes calling forth the reformatory councils and had been lightly touched upon by the Fifth Council of the Lateran under Pope Julius II. The obvious corruption in the administration of the Church was one of the numerous causes of the Reformation. Twenty-five public sessions were held, but nearly half of them were spent in solemn formalities. The chief work was done in committees or congregations. The entire management was in the hands of the papal legate. The liberal elements lost out in the debates and voting. The council abolished some of the most notorious abuses and introduced or recommended disciplinary reforms affecting the sale of indulgences, the morals of convents, the education of the clergy, the non-residence of bishops (also bishops having plurality of benefices, which was fairly common), and the careless fulmination of censures, and forbade duelling. Although evangelical sentiments were uttered by some of the members in favour of the supreme authority of the Scriptures and justification by faith, no concession whatsoever was made to Protestantism.[11]
  3. The Church is the ultimate interpreter of Scripture.[19] Also, the Bible and Church Tradition (the tradition that made up part of the Catholic faith) were equally and independently authoritative.
  4. The relationship of faith and works in salvation was defined, following controversy over Martin Luther’s doctrine of “justification by faith alone”.
  5. Other Catholic practices that drew the ire of reformers within the Church, such as indulgences, pilgrimages, the veneration of saints and relics, and the veneration of the Virgin Mary were strongly reaffirmed, though abuses of them were forbidden. Decrees concerning sacred music and religious art, though inexplicit, were subsequently amplified by theologians and writers to condemn many types of Renaissance and medieval styles and iconographies, impacting heavily on the development of these art forms.

The doctrinal decisions of the council are divided into decrees (decreta), which contain the positive statement of the conciliar dogmas, and into short canons (canones), which condemn the dissenting Protestant views with the concluding “anathema sit” (“let him be anathema”).[11]

Canons and decrees

The doctrinal acts are as follows: after reaffirming the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed (third session), the decree was passed (fourth session) confirming that the deuterocanonical books were on a par with the other books of the canon (against Luther’s placement of these books in the Apocrypha of his edition) and coordinating church tradition with the Scriptures as a rule of faith. The Vulgate translation was affirmed to be authoritative for the text of Scripture.[11]

Justification (sixth session) was declared to be offered upon the basis of human cooperation with divine grace[11] as opposed to the Protestant doctrine of passive reception of grace. Understanding the Protestant “faith alone” doctrine to be one of simple human confidence in divine mercy, the Council rejected the “vain confidence” of the Protestants, stating that no one can know who has received the grace of God. Furthermore, the Council affirmed—against Protestant doctrine—that the grace of God can be forfeited through mortal sin.

The greatest weight in the Council’s decrees is given to the sacraments. The seven sacraments were reaffirmed and the Eucharist pronounced to be a true propitiatory sacrifice as well as a sacrament, in which the bread and wine were consecrated into the Eucharist (thirteenth and twenty-second sessions). The term transubstantiation was used by the Council, but the specific Aristotelian explanation given by Scholasticism was not cited as dogmatic. Instead, the decree states that Christ is “really, truly, substantially present” in the consecrated forms. The sacrifice of the Mass was to be offered for dead and living alike and in giving to the apostles the command “do this in remembrance of me,” Christ conferred upon them a sacerdotal power. The practice of withholding the cup from the laity was confirmed (twenty-first session) as one which the Church Fathers had commanded for good and sufficient reasons; yet in certain cases the Pope was made the supreme arbiter as to whether the rule should be strictly maintained.[11] On the language of the Mass, “contrary to what is often said”, the council condemned the belief that only vernacular languages should be used, while insisting on the use of Latin.[20]

Ordination (twenty-third session) was defined to imprint an indelible character on the soul. The priesthood of the New Testament takes the place of the Levitical priesthood. To the performance of its functions, the consent of the people is not necessary.[11]

In the decrees on marriage (twenty-fourth session) the excellence of the celibate state was reaffirmed, concubinage condemned and the validity of marriage made dependent upon the wedding taking place before a priest and two witnesses, although the lack of a requirement for parental consent ended a debate that had proceeded from the 12th century. In the case of a divorce, the right of the innocent party to marry again was denied so long as the other party was alive,[11] even if the other party had committed adultery. However the council “refused … to assert the necessity or usefulness of clerical celibacy.[20]

In the twenty-fifth and last session,[21] the doctrines of purgatory, the invocation of saints and the veneration of relics were reaffirmed, as was also the efficacy of indulgences as dispensed by the Church according to the power given her, but with some cautionary recommendations,[11] and a ban on the sale of indulgences. Short and rather inexplicit passages concerning religious images, were to have great impact on the development of Catholic Church art. Much more than the Second Council of Nicaea (787) the Council fathers of Trent stressed the pedagogical purpose of Christian images.[22]

The council appointed, in 1562 (eighteenth session), a commission to prepare a list of forbidden books (Index Librorum Prohibitorum), but it later left the matter to the Pope. The preparation of a catechism and the revision of the Breviary and Missal were also left to the pope.[11] The catechism embodied the council’s far-reaching results, including reforms and definitions of the sacraments, the Scriptures, church dogma, and duties of the clergy.[4]

On adjourning, the Council asked the supreme pontiff to ratify all its decrees and definitions. This petition was complied with by Pope Pius IV, on 26 January 1564, in the papal bull, Benedictus Deus, which enjoins strict obedience upon all Catholics and forbids, under pain of excommunication, all unauthorised interpretation, reserving this to the Pope alone and threatens the disobedient with “the indignation of Almighty God and of his blessed apostles, Peter and Paul.” Pope Pius appointed a commission of cardinals to assist him in interpreting and enforcing the decrees.[11]

The Index librorum prohibitorum was announced in 1564 and the following books were issued with the papal imprimatur: the Profession of the Tridentine Faith and the Tridentine Catechism (1566), the Breviary (1568), the Missal (1570) and the Vulgate (1590 and then 1592).[11]

The decrees of the council were acknowledged in Italy, Portugal, Poland and by the Catholic princes of Germany at the Diet of Augsburg in 1566. Philip II of Spain accepted them for Spain, the Netherlands and Sicily inasmuch as they did not infringe the royal prerogative. In France they were officially recognised by the king only in their doctrinal parts. The disciplinary sections received official recognition at provincial synods and were enforced by the bishops. No attempt was made to introduce it into England. Pius IV sent the decrees to Mary, Queen of Scots, with a letter dated 13 June 1564, requesting her to publish them in Scotland, but she dared not do it in the face of John Knox and the Reformation.[11]

These decrees were later supplemented by the First Vatican Council of 1870.

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This Day in History: United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Established (1946)

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Established (1946)

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund was created by the United Nations General Assembly on 11 December 1946, to provide emergency food and healthcare to children in countries that had been devastated by World War II. The Polish physician Ludwik Rajchman is widely regarded as the founder of UNICEF and served as its first chairman from 1946. On Rajchman’s suggestion, the American Maurice Pate was appointed its first executive director, serving from 1947 until his death in 1965.[1][2] In 1950, UNICEF’s mandate was extended to address the long-term needs of children and women in developing countries everywhere. In 1953 it became a permanent part of the United Nations System, and the words “international” and “emergency” were dropped from the organization’s name, making it simply the United Nations Children’s Fund, retaining the original acronym, “UNICEF”.[3]

UNICEF relies on contributions from governments and private donors. UNICEF’s total income for 2015 was US$5,009,557,471 . Governments contribute two-thirds of the organization’s resources. Private groups and individuals contribute the rest through national committees. It is estimated that 92 per cent of UNICEF revenue is distributed to program services.[4] UNICEF’s programs emphasize developing community-level services to promote the health and well-being of children. UNICEF was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965 and the Prince of Asturias Award of Concord in 2006.

Most of UNICEF’s work is in the field, with a presence in 190 countries and territories. UNICEF’s network of over 150 country offices, headquarters and other offices, and 34 National Committees carry out UNICEF’s mission through programs developed with host governments. Seven regional offices provide technical assistance to country offices as needed.

UNICEF’s Supply Division is based in Copenhagen and serves as the primary point of distribution for such essential items as vaccines, antiretroviral medicines for children and mothers with HIV, nutritional supplements, emergency shelters, family reunification, and educational supplies.[5] A 36-member executive board establishes policies, approves programs and oversees administrative and financial plans. The executive board is made up of government representatives who are elected by the United Nations Economic and Social Council, usually for three-year terms.

Governance

Each country office carries out UNICEF’s mission through a unique program of cooperation developed with the host government. This five-year program focuses on practical ways to realize the rights of children and women. Regional offices guide this work and provide technical assistance to country offices as needed. Overall management and administration of the organization takes place at headquarters, where global policy on children is shaped. Guiding and monitoring all of UNICEF’s work is an Executive Board made up of 36 members who are government representatives. They establish policies, approve programs and decide on administrative and financial plans and budgets. Executive Board’s work is coordinated by the Bureau, comprising the President and four Vice-Presidents, each officer representing one of the five regional groups. These five officers, each one representing one of the five regional groups, are elected by the Executive Board each year from among its members, with the presidency rotating among the regional groups on an annual basis. As a matter of custom, permanent members of the Security Council do not serve as officers of the Executive Board. Office of the Secretary of the Executive Board supports and services the Executive Board. It is responsible for maintaining an effective relationship between the Executive Board and the UNICEF secretariat, and helps to organize the field visits of the Executive Board.[6][7][8]

UNICEF national committees

There are national committees in 38 [industrialized] countries, each established as an independent local non-governmental organization. The national committees raise funds from the public sector.

UNICEF is funded entirely by voluntary contributions,[9] and the National Committees collectively raise around one-third of UNICEF’s annual income. This comes through contributions from corporations, civil society organizations around six million individual donors worldwide.

Promotion and fundraising

In the United States, Nepal and some other countries, UNICEF is known for its “Trick-Or-Treat for UNICEF” program in which children collect money for UNICEF from the houses they trick-or-treat on Halloween night, sometimes instead of candy.

UNICEF is present in 191 countries and territories around the world, but not involved in nine others (Bahamas, Brunei, Cyprus, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, and Singapore).[10]

Many people in developed countries first hear about UNICEF’s work through the activities of one of the 36 National Committees for UNICEF. These non-governmental organizations (NGO) are primarily responsible for fundraising, selling UNICEF greeting cards and products, creating private and public partnerships, advocating for children’s rights, and providing other support. The US Fund for UNICEF is the oldest of the national committees, founded in 1947.[11]

On 19 April 2007, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg was appointed UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children,[12] in which role she has visited Brazil (2007),[13] China (2008),[14] and Burundi (2009).[15]

In 2009, the British retailer Tesco used “Change for Good” as advertising, which is trademarked by UNICEF for charity usage but not for commercial or retail use. This prompted the agency to say, “it is the first time in Unicef’s history that a commercial entity has purposely set out to capitalise on one of our campaigns and subsequently damage an income stream which several of our programs for children are dependent on”. They went on to call on the public “who have children’s welfare at heart, to consider carefully who they support when making consumer choices”.[16][17]

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