" Before all else, be armed. "
Niccolo Machiavelli

Back in the day


George Washington Resigns as Commander-in-Chief

After demonstrating exemplary leadership as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolution, George Washington resigned his commission as commander-in-chief and retired to Mount Vernon, Virginia. This act established the important precedent that civilian elected officials, rather than military officers, possess ultimate authority over the armed forces. Six years later, Washington was elected US president. What was Washington's annual presidential salary?



Air France Robbery

In the 1960s, Air France was used to transport American money exchanged in France back to the US. Once the currency reached New York's JFK International Airport, it was locked in a secure strong room. In 1967, 23-year-old mobster Henry Hill orchestrated an audacious robbery of the Air France cargo terminal. Using a copy of the strong room key, Hill and his associates quietly stole $420,000. They raised no alarm and were never prosecuted for the crime. How did Hill procure the copied key?

Born on a day like today


Helmut Schmidt

Schmidt, a German political leader, rose to prominence as chancellor of West Germany. His administration was characterized by a tough approach to the worldwide economic recession of the 1970s. He was committed to improving relations with East Germany and the USSR, and he succeeded in cultivating ties with France, encouraging economic cooperation among western European nations, and maintaining close relations with the US. How did he earn the nickname "Schmidt-Schnauze"?

Last updated on Sunday, 23rd December 2007

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