May 15, 1999 -
This week...a very special
It was the spring of 1901. The new century had just begun. In America, it was a time of unprecedented prosperity...
William McKinley had just been sworn in to his second term as President when in Buffalo, New York, while visiting the Pan-American Expositon a deranged anarchist, emerged from the crowd, and fired two shots at the President. McKinley would die within days from his wounds.
The assassin, Leon Czolgosz, would be executed for the crime some two months later. An event which was captured by inventor Thomas Edison, who simulated the electrocution of Czolgosz and recorded it as a "Moving Picture" on film.
The same type of film that would be used nearly 100 years later to shoot Star Wars - EPISODE 1: The Phantom Menace.
The world was still at war in the Autumn of 1944. The German Army had suffered several defeats in Europe since the Americans landed at Normandy. While in the East, the Soviet Union was making headway against Hitler's troops in Poland. With their backs against the wall, the Nazi's tried desperately to complete their "final solution" in what would be one of the greatest Crimes Against Humanity man has ever known.
But one German, a factory owner in the Moravian town of Brunnlitz, actually used his influence to protect over a 1000 Jews who were destined for the gas chambers. Oskar Schindler, was portrayed some 50 years later in a 1993 film, by actor, Liam Neeson. The same Liam Neeson who would go on to appear as Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars - EPISODE 1: The Phantom Menace.
In the 1980's, after our hostages were freed in Tehran, America was on the rebound But the American military lacked both funding and confidence and it was feared we were losing the long Cold War to the Soviet Union. The same Soviet Union, that President Ronald Reagan had called the "Evil Empire".
So to protect against this "Evil Empire", the president announced a plan in 1983, called the Strategic Defense Initiative. The plan was to create a protective umbrella of anti-missile satellites in space that would safeguard the nation in the event of a nuclear attack by this "Evil Empire".
The plan, or SDI, eventually became known as an unworkable and costly initiative, that would be seen as unnecessary after the fall of the Soviet Union in the late 80's
And that's this century's, This Century in Crime...