14 May 2018

Overdrive

At the end of last month, Jeff Bezos gave an interview where he said: The only way that I can see to deploy this much financial resource is by converting my Amazon winnings into space travel. That is basically it. How much financial resource? $130.8 billion dollars. As one person worked out, that’s enough money to buy an entire house, at median US real estate prices, for every single homeless person in the USA — and still have $19. ... Read more

12 May 2018

This Is Actually Happening

I listen to a lot of podcasts. One I’ve just finished catching up on is “This Is Actually Happening”. It’s a little like Radio Diaries, or some episodes of This American Life, in that it’s basically just a person telling the story of something that happened to them. In the case of TIAH, however, the stories are generally cranked up towards 11, stories of the kind of experience you would have to remind yourself was real, and not just a bad dream. ... Read more

30 April 2018

The end of Camp Sumter

With the Civil War ending, so ended the Confederate prison at Andersonville, known as Fort Sumter. Built in early 1864, by late February it was receiving 400 new prisoners a day. By June, 26,000 were penned in an area designed to hold 10,000. Ultimately around 45,000 captured US soldiers were sent to Andersonville. Of those, almost 13,000 died from disease, malnutrition, or exposure.

29 April 2018

Maryland doesn't join the Confederacy

On 29 April 1861, Maryland’s legislature voted 53-13 against convening a secessionist convention. However, they also voted not to reopen rail links with the north, and requested that Lincoln remove federal troops from the state. Lincoln responded by giving the army limited authority to suspend habeas corpus. When the state militia demolished several railroad bridges, Militia Lieutenant John Merryman was arrested, charged with treason, and placed in custody. Chief Supreme Court Justice Taney issued a ruling in Ex parte Merryman stating that the President could not authorize the suspension of habeas corpus, but Merryman remained in custody, with Lincoln explaining that he had been authorized because Congress had been out of session at the time, and an invasion or rebellion could have taken place. ... Read more

27 April 2018

Birth of Ulysses S Grant

28 April marks the birth of Hiram Ulysses Grant, better known as Ulysses S Grant, Commanding General of US forces at the end of the Civil War. Following Lincoln’s assassination, Andrew Johnson became President. Grant was dissatisfied with Johnson’s approach to postwar reconstruction, which did not include giving protection to the former slaves. Johnson even attempted to veto the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which passed only because of a two thirds majority in both houses overruling him. ... Read more

© mathew 2017