On this date in 1947, U. S. Air Force pilot Charles Yeager first ‘broke the sound barrier’ by flying faster than Mach 1 in a Bell X-1 rocket-plane.
On September 30, 1938, the Munich Agreement was signed by Neville Chamberlain, Édouard Daladier, Benito Mussolini, and Adolf Hitler to allow Nazi Germany to seize portions of Czechoslovakia that bordered Germany.
Hitler had been encouraged by Mussolini’s imperialist expansion, and he wanted to annex the coal mines, power plants, and border defenses in neighboring Czechoslovakia. So he had Mussolini propose a plan that Germany had drafted.
Czechoslovakia had not been invited to the conference and was betrayed by its military allies France and Britain. Czechs and Slovaks call the Munich Agreement the “Munich Betrayal.”
Chamberlain’s successor as Britain’s Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, denounced the Munich Agreement: “England has been offered a choice between war and shame. She has chosen shame, and will get war.” (October 3)
“You will find that in a period of time which may be measured by years, but may be measured by months, Czechoslovakia will be engulfed in the Nazi régime. We are in the presence of a disaster of the first magnitude … we have sustained a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road … we have passed an awful milestone in our history, when the whole equilibrium of Europe has been deranged … And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.”
“Sometimes when I sleep at night I think of (Dr. Seuss’s) Hop on Pop.” — U.S. President George Bush – April 2, 2002
“Security is the essential roadblock to achieving the road map to peace.” — U.S. President George Bush – July 25, 2003
“I was not pleased that Hamas has refused to announce its desire to destroy Israel.” — U.S. President George Bush – May 4, 2006
On this date in 1066, William the Conqueror and his fleet of approximately 600 ships landed at Pevensey, Sussex, England, thus beginning the “Norman conquest.”
On this date in 1928, Scottish biologist and pharmacologist Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin when he noticed that a bacteria-killing mold was growing in his laboratory.