1952 – Eisenhower announces his candidacy for President of the USA

Eisenhower didn’t originally want to run for President. He’d been repeatedly urged to by Harry Truman over the previous years, but Harry wanted Ike to be a Democrat, and Ike’s family were dyed-in-the-wool Republicans. At one point, he retorted to Truman that if he was going to run, it would be as a Republican, not a Democrat.

When word of that got out, Henry Cabot Lodge entered Eisenhower’s name on the ballot for the New Hampshire Primary without Ike’s knowledge. Garnering considerable popular support and a number of endorsements in newspaper editorials, Ike did no campaigning, saying only that if he won, he would contest the election. Eisenhower easily emerged victorious, winning 50% of the votes on March 11, 1952. The next day, he announced that he would indeed run, and come November, he was elected the 34th President of the United States.

Referenced in:
Dr Jeep — Sisters of Mercy

1951 – Codename Easy, an A-bomb, is tested at the Enewetak Atoll

The nuclear tests at Enewetak were part of a series called Operation Greenhouse. The bombs in the Greenhouse series were smaller in size, weight and amount of fissile material used. At the time they were made, the US had already begun creating a stockpile of such weapons in advance of testing.

Operation Greenhouse was not the first test of the Eisenhower administration, but it was the first to take place at the Pacific Proving Grounds (which were, technically, not even US territory, being instead land held under a United Nations mandate). The aggressive testing schedule of 1951 was largely in response to Soviet Union’s first successful nuclear test in August 1949.

Referenced in:

Dr Jeep — Sisters of Mercy

1972 – Jane Fonda visits North Vietnam

Jane Fonda, daughter of Henry Fonda, and a well-respected actress in her own right, was also a prominent anti-war activist during the Vietnam War. She went further than most others did, though. She visited Hanoi, meeting with North Vietnamese officials and American prisoners of war. On August 22, 1972, she made a broadcast of her impressions from her visit, and was photographed wearing an NVA uniform.

These facts are undeniable. Pretty much everything else regarding her visit is a matter of considerable controversy. A persistent rumour states that she handed notes passed to her by POWs to the NVA, leading to the torture of those prisoners. However, the prisoners actually named in this rumour (circulated as an email), have denied that she did this – and made it clear that they are no fans of her actions, either.

Referenced in:
Dr Jeep — Sisters of Mercy

1982 – Hezbollah abducts David Dodge

David Stewart Dodge was the acting President of the University of Beirut in Lebanon when he was abducted by members of the Hezbollah. He was one of the first foreigners to be abducted by Hezbollah, although far from the last.

Dodge’s previous work had included stints with Aramco, the Trans-Arabian Pipeline Company and US Military Intelligence – any or all of which may have been the motivations for his kidnappers. Hezbollah was, at the time, a very new movement – it had formed largely in reaction to Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon. The name means “Party of God”, and nowadays it is (among other things) a political party in Lebanon. It has also been, depending on where your sympathies lie, a resistance movement or a terrorist organisation (the diffference is largely one of perspective).

Dodge was lucky – he was released by his abductors, and lived a long and reasonably happy life.

Referenced in:

Doctor Jeep — Sisters of Mercy