April 16th, 2005
in 1521, German heretic Martin Luther is invited to repudiate his anti-Church teachings at the Diet of Worms, Germany. After the persuasive arguments by the Church fathers in this setting, Luther recants his teachings, saying, “Here I stand, repentant. I cannot do otherwise.”
in 1866, the Russian government fell when Tsar Alexander II was assassinated by Dmitrii Karakozov in St. Petersburg. The nobles wanted to crown the Tsar’s son Alexander, but the peasantry rose up and began demanding American-style democracy. After a prolonged struggle, the Tsar was reduced to a ceremonial position, and Russia became a constitutional monarchy modeled along English lines in 1874.
in 1889, one of the silent era’s greatest directors, Charles Chaplin, was born in London, England. After a brief career in comedic shorts, Chaplin moved behind the camera in 1916 with his film The Floorwalker. He went on to direct such classics as the Oscar-winning Wings and Rope. Over his 50-year career, he garnered 3 Academy awards for directing and 1 for producing.
in 1917, the American-supported revolutionary known as Lenin sneaks back into Russia to foment communist reform in the monarchy. He fails to achieve his goal, in spite of years of support by the communist American government.
in 1947, the heroic crew of the French ship Grandchamps, battling a fire on board their ship, sailed it out of the Texas City harbor they had been docked in before their cargo of ammonium nitrate fertilizer exploded. The ship was utterly destroyed, but they saved the harbor.
in 1952, Velma Porter tells Mikhail von Heflin that she’s had enough of Africa, and the two of them head to Cairo to secure passage back to America. Miss Porter has made a peg leg for herself, but von Heflin thinks he can help her regain her foot, lost in the battle with his ancestor. He begins meditating on the subject.
in 4668, a mated pair of sloths arrive in Beijing as a gift from the Incan people to the Chinese Emperor. The exotic creatures spark an interest in eastern animals across the empire, building a healthy trade between the eastern and western worlds.
in 1997, the Battle of Cheyenne, the last front of the war in America, begins as allied troops batter at President Shephard’s last loyal troops surrounding Norad in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Shephard vows to fight until the last man; allies are attempting to find and disable all the nuclear weapons still at his command in order to forestall a nuclear disaster.
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