Feb-10: The 25th Amendment, Canada, Big Blue and Obama

February 10 is a significant day in American history.  The 1763 Treaty of Paris ultimately led to the American Revolution.  It is also the day the 25th Amendment on Presidential succession was ratified and the day Barack Obama began his campaign to become the first African-American President of the United States.

Throw in the first Gold Record, Eisenhower’s warnings about Vietnam, the exchange for Gary Powers on the Bridge of Spies and Big Blue beating chess champion Gary Kasparov and you have quite a day.


France Cedes Quebec to Great Britain in Treaty of Paris

The Treaty of Paris ended the Seven Year War which involved Great Britain, Prussia, Portugal and the Iroquois Confederacy against France, Austria, Russia, Spain and Sweden on the other and which spanned five continents, affecting Europe, the Americas, West Africa, India, and the Philippines.  In North America, the war is known as the French-Indian War and in the Treaty of Paris France ceded “New France (aka Quebec and portions of Ohio) to Great Britain and transferred Louisiana to Spain.

In return France got the sugar-rich Guadeloupe and their diplomats correctly predicted that the American colonies would eventually revolt.  The debt burden of the war led Great Britain to impose taxes on the colonies which sparked the revolt the French predicted.


First Gold Record

Glenn Miller was recognized with the first Gold Record for his hit “Chattanooga Choo-Choo” which sold 1.2 million records.  Today, Gold Records are issued after 500,000 sales.


Eisenhower – US Involvement in Vietnam Would Be Tragedy


In a press conference, President Eisenhower had the following exchanges indicating his opposition to American combat involvement in Vietnam.

Q. Marvin Arrowsmith, Associated Press: Mr. President, to go back for a moment to that question on Indochina, there seems to be some uneasiness in Congress, as voiced by Senator Stennis for one, that sending these technicians to Indochina will lead eventually to our involvement in a hot war there. Would you comment on that?

THE PRESIDENT. I would just say this: no one could be more bitterly opposed to ever getting the United States involved in a hot war in that region than I am; consequently, every move that I authorize is calculated, so far as humans can do it, to make certain that that does not happen.

Q. Daniel Shorr, CBS Radio: Mr. President, should your remarks on Indochina be construed as meaning that you are determined not to become involved or, perhaps, more deeply involved in the war in Indochina, regardless of how that war may go?

THE PRESIDENT. Wall, I am not going to try to predict the drift of world events now and the course of world events over the next months. I say that I cannot conceive of a greater tragedy for America than to get heavily involved now in an all-out war in any of those regions, particularly with large units.

So what we are doing is supporting the Vietnamese and the French in their conduct of that war; because, as we see it, it is a case of independent and free nations operating against the encroachment of communism.


Gary Powers Released at Bridge of Spies

Gary Powers, the U-2 pilot who was sentenced to 10 years in a Soviet prison after his plane was shot down in May 1960, was released in Berlin at the famed “Bridge of Spies” in exchange for convicted spy Colonel Rudolph Abel.

Negotiations over the release of Powers were depicted in Steven Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies.”


25th Amendment Ratified

The 25th Amendment clarifies the chain of succession in the event the President dies or is incapacitated and for appointment of a replacement Vice President.  In 1973, Gerald Ford became the first person appointed to Vice President pursuant to the 25th Amendment.  The next year he succeeded President Nixon upon his resignation and, again pursuant to the 25th Amendment, Nelson Rockefeller was appointed Vice President.

The Amendment has new found importance today, because some suspect that Vice President Pence and the cabinet may need to exercise Section 4 and submit a “written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers” to save the nation from Donald Trump.


Deep Blue Beats Kasparov

IBM computer Deep Blue won its first game against a world champion on February 10, 1996, when it defeated Garry Kasparov in game one of a six-game match. However, Kasparov won three and drew two of the following five games, defeating Deep Blue by a score of 4–2.  An upgraded Deep Blue won a rematch a year later.  The contests are depicted in the documentary “Game Over”.


Obama Announces His Candidacy

Barack Obama’s historic campaign to become the nation’s first African-American President began in Springfield, Illinois on this day.  The latest poll prior to his announcement had him substantially behind front runner Hillary Clinton who had a 45% – 12% advantage over Obama.


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