This Day in History (25-Feb- 1932) – Adolf Hitler obtains German citizenship by naturalization, which allows him to run in the 1932 election for Reichspräsident

Adolf Hitler was an Austrian German. He lost his father at the age of 13. Throughout his youth, Hitler dreamed of becoming an artist. He applied twice to the Vienna Academy of Art but was denied entrance both times. After his mother’s death in 1908, Hitler spent four years living on the streets of Vienna, selling postcards of his artwork to make a little money. it is just as likely that Hitler picked up a hatred for Jews while living on the streets of Vienna, a city known at the time for its antisemitism.

Hitler volunteered to serve in the German army once World War I began. Hitler endured and survived four years of war. During this time, he was awarded two Iron Crosses for bravery. He sustained two major injuries during the war. The first occurred in October 1916 when he was wounded by a grenade splinter. The other was in October 1918, when a gas attack caused Hitler to go temporarily blind. It was while Hitler was recovering from the gas attack that the war got over. Hitler was furious that Germany had surrendered and felt strongly that Germany had been “stabbed in the back” by its leaders. Furious at Germany’s surrender, Hitler returned to Munich after the end of World War I, determined to enter politics. In 1919, Hitler became the 55th member of a small antisemitic party called the German Worker’s Party and soon became a party leader. He designed the swastika logo and renamed party to Nazi party.

Hitler had formally renounced his Austrian citizenship in 1925, but at the time did not acquire German citizenship. For almost seven years he was stateless, unable to run for public office, and faced the risk of deportation from Germany.  On 25 February 1932, the interior minister of Brunswick, who was a member of the Nazi Party, appointed Hitler as administrator for the state’s delegation to the Reichsrat in Berlin, making Hitler a citizen of Brunswick, and thus of Germany.

In 1932, Hitler ran against von Hindenburg in the presidential elections. Hitler came in second in both rounds of the election, garnering more than 35 per cent of the vote in the final election. Although he lost to Hindenburg, this election established Hitler as a strong force in German politics.

 

Reference:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/February_25

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler

http://history1900s.about.com/od/hitleradolf/a/Hitler-Facts.htm

This Day in History (16-Jan-1945) – Hitler descends into his bunker

After the Battle of the Bulge of World War II, Hitler had fallen into a state of deep despair and wearily returned to Berlin from his headquarters on the Western Front, setting up new headquarters inside the Reich Chancellery building, already partially damaged by Allied bombing. He remained there for 105 days until he committed suicide. During his daily military briefings he listened to gloomy reports concerning the unstoppable advance of largest combined military force the world had ever seen, now roaring into the Fatherland from East and West.

Throughout his life, Adolf Hitler had never been able to admit a single mistake or accept responsibility for any failure. On the west front, unwisely, Hitler ignored advice from Field Marshal Rundstedt to position his troops on the right bank of the river, thereby forcing the Allies to cross the water to attack. Instead, he left them as-is on the left bank, nearer the invaders, resulting in the loss of 350,000 soldiers and their equipment by the end of the month. For this, Hitler blamed Rundstedt and sacked him. Germans had failed to destroy a huge railroad bridge spanning the river in time to prevent American troops and tanks from seizing it. A furious Hitler ordered the execution of the eight Army officers who had bungled the bridge’s defense. This marked the beginning of a do-or-die phase for German troops at the hands of their vengeful Führer.

Mishaps and mistakes were now punishable by death. “If the war is lost,” Hitler told his Minister of Armaments, Albert Speer, “the nation will also perish. This fate is inevitable. Those who will remain after the battle are only the inferior ones, for the good ones have all been killed.”

On April 29, Hitler married Eva Braun in their bunker hideaway. Eva Braun met Hitler while working as an assistant to Hitler’s official photographer. Loyal to the end, she refused to leave the bunker even as the Russians closed in. Only hours after they were united in marriage, both Hitler and Eva committed suicide. Both he and his wife swallowed cyanide capsules (which had been tested for their efficacy on his “beloved” dog and her pups). For good measure, he shot himself with his pistol.

Reference:

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/hitler-descends-into-his-bunker

http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/defeat/enter-bunker.htm

This Day in History (14-Dec-1901) – 1st table tennis tournament is held (London Royal Aquarium)

Like many other sports, Table Tennis began as a mild social diversion. Though Table Tennis evolved, along with Badminton and Lawn Tennis, from the ancient game of Tennis (also known as Jeu de Paume, Real tennis, Court Tennis or Royal Tennis), the game was developed after Lawn Tennis became popular in the 1880s. Game manufacturers tried many experiments to market an indoor version of Lawn Tennis, including board and dice games, card games, racket and balloon games and others. The 1887 catalog of George S. Parker (USA) includes an entry for “Table Tennis: This game is laid out like a Lawn Tennis court, played and counted just the same, all the rules being observed.” However, this was a board and dice game by J.H. Singer (NY), whose name also appears on the catalog.

The earliest surviving action game of Tennis on a table is a set made by David Foster, patented in England in 1890: Parlour Table Games, which included table versions of Lawn Tennis, Cricket and Football. This game featured strung rackets, a 30mm cloth covered rubber ball, a wooden fence set up around the perimeter of the table, and large side nets extending along both sides. One year later famous game makers Jaques of London released their GOSSIMA game. This game borrowed the drum style battledores from the Shuttlecock game, and used a 50mm webbed wrapped cork ball, with an amazing 30cm high net that was secured by a belt-like strap under the table.

Neither of these action games were successful, due to the ineffective ball: the rubber ball had too wild a bounce, while the cork ball had too poor a bounce. Jaques continued to advertise Gossima throughout the 1890s, but it was not until 1900, when the celluloid ball was introduced to the game, that the concept of tennis on a table became successful. The name Ping Pong is traced to an 1884 song by Harry Dacre. The distinct sound of the celluloid ball bouncing off the drum rackets quickly led to the use of the same name. Gradually the two most popular names prevailed: Ping Pong, and Table Tennis. The game gained popularity after establishment of International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) in Berlin.

Reference:

http://www.historyorb.com/day/december/14

http://www.ittf.com/museum/history.html

This Day in History (23-Sep-1846) – Astronomers Discover Neptune

After first being sighted in the night sky by Galileo in 1612, it took well over two centuries for scientists to determine the bright object near Jupiter in the famous Italian’s notes was not a star.  Urbain Le Verrier and Johann Gottfried Galle, working together on the European continent, and John Couch Adams, making calculations independently in England, learned the heavenly body was actually the planet Neptune on September 23, 1846.

Alexis Bouvard, attempting to determine the orbits of the planets in 1821, realized the planet Uranus seemed to be swayed and theorized another large object nearby might be affecting it. Two decades later, Adams focused his energies on the same issue.  Unsatisfied with the limited data he had managed to gather, he made an inquiry with the Astronomer Royal, George Airy, in search of more information to help him with his search for a new planet.  Upon receiving a large number of observations in February 1844, he spent two-and-a-half years attempting to determine where this unknown celestial body might be.

At the same time, Le Verrier focused his attention on determining what Bouvard had found.  Unable to muster much in the way of interest, he published a series of estimates in June 1846.  Le Verrier, struggling to find scientists in his own country willing to pay attention and collaborate, wrote a letter to Galle at the Berlin Observatory detailing his findings.  Arriving on the morning of September 23, 1846, Le Verrier’s note proved to be the final catalyst to the discovery of Neptune.  After nightfall, Galle located the planet just one degree away from where Le Verrier had predicted it would be and 12 degrees away from Adams’ calculated location.  The eighth planet in Earth’s solar system had been officially discovered. After the discovery, there was rivalry between England and France about who should get credit for finding Neptune, Adams or Le Verrier. The international astronomy community agreed that the two astronomers should share credit for the discovery.

Late in 1846, the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences pushed Le Verrier’s first suggestion for name — Neptune — to the fore.  Honoring the Roman god of the sea, it remains the farthest planet from the sun.

 

Reference:

http://www.mapsofworld.com/on-this-day/september-23-1846-ce-astronomers-discover-neptune

http://www.universetoday.com/21621/who-discovered-neptune/