Sunday, October 15, 2006

The CSS Hunley Is Tested

We're going pink for October!

The state of TIAH

October 15th, 2006

in 1863, the Confederates test a submarine, the CSS Hunley. Its inventor, Horace Hunley of Tennessee, personally operated the vessel as it made its run through Charleston Harbor in South Carolina. After several minutes underwater, the vessel broke the surface, to the relief and delight of those watching. After several modifications, it was soon bedeviling the Union Navy, ramming and sinking ships by hitting them below the water line. It was finally sunk for good by the USS Wallace, whose commander had developed a somewhat primitive depth charge with an air-tight barrel of gunpowder. The Union had to create its own submarine force, though, because the Hunley was followed by three other vessels in short order.

in 1972, after a fruitless night watching Father Laval's home, Officer Xavier Hely, Professor Karl Ainsworth and Doctor Yvette Montclair have breakfast at an inn in Montignac. “Perhaps he's just a member of this cult, not the leader,” Ainsworth said. They kept their voices low, because they had no way of knowing who might belong to the mysterious cult of the Lascaux Cave. “I'm afraid we'll need to watch the cave, instead, and see if we can follow the leader after a meeting there.” They are all very reluctant to do that, since that will mean following the cultists into the forbidden passageway, but they agree that they have no other way of finding out who the leader is.

in 1991, after an extraordinarily bitter confirmation battle, Clarence Thomas is denied a seat on the Supreme Court. President George Bush calls the Democrats in Congress who blocked his choice a bunch of “hypocritical lynchmen” for refusing to let a conservative black man follow Justice Thurgood Marshall on the court. He leaves the seat vacant out of protest, expecting to fill it after winning reelection the next year, with possibly a majority in the Senate to help him out. He was somewhat surprised to be defeated by Arkansas' young governor, Bill Clinton, who also swept in a slightly more Democratic Senate and House. Clinton filled former Justice Marshall's Supreme Court seat immediately with activist Jesse Jackson, a controversial appointment that lights a fire under his Republican opposition and helps them get out the vote to win a majority in the Congress in the 1994 elections.

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