John’s Believe It Or Not… June 8th

In 1944 – D-DAY + 2 – About 156 Canadian POWs murdered. In 1968 King assassination suspect arrested. In 1967 Israel attacks USS Liberty. In 1999 Hannibal by Thomas Harris hits bookstores. In 632 Founder of Islam dies.

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John Fioravanti Stands at the front of his classroom in 2006

It’s Therapeutic Thursday! Did you know…

* 1944 – D-DAY + 2 – About 156 Canadian POWs murdered by 12th SS Hitler Youth Panzers. (Canadians move inland from Juno Beach, capture 12 towns in Normandy; Erwin Rommel orders Kurt Meyer’s 12th SS Hitlerjugend Panzer Grenadiers to attack the Canadian 7th Brigade at Putot-en-Basin (8 km west of Caen). They cross the railway and outflank the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, destroying the three forward companies; the rest are beaten back, leaving their wounded behind; the Canadian Scottish, Canscots and 1st Hussars then use an artillery barrage from the 12th and 13th field regiments to retake Putot, but Meyer counter-attacks with 22 Panther tanks; the Regina Rifles fight a night-long battle and hold. During these fights, the SS murder several Canadian POWs, including six Winnipeg Rifles, and a Red Cross stretcher-bearer, who are ordered into a wood and shot in the temple; 13 more Canadians are executed within 100 yards of the Command post; the bodies of 7 more are found nearby, all shot in the head with small arms; finally, 40 Winnipegs and Cameron Highlanders are marched into a field, ordered to sit together with the wounded at their centre, and machine-gunned; 5 escape.)

Two captured German POWs of the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth)
Two captured German POWs of the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth) (Pinterest)

* 1968 King assassination suspect arrested. (James Earl Ray, an escaped American convict, is arrested in London, England, and charged with the assassination of African American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. On April 4, 1968, in Memphis, King was fatally wounded by a sniper’s bullet while standing on the balcony outside his second-story room at the Motel Lorraine. That evening, a Remington .30-06 hunting rifle was found on the sidewalk beside a rooming house one block from the Lorraine Motel. During the next several weeks, the rifle, eyewitness reports, and fingerprints on the weapon all implicated a single suspect: escaped convict James Earl Ray. A two-bit criminal, Ray escaped a Missouri prison in April 1967 while serving a sentence for a holdup. In May 1968, a massive manhunt for Ray began. The FBI eventually determined that he had obtained a Canadian passport under a false identity, which at the time was relatively easy. On June 8, Scotland Yard investigators arrested Ray at a London airport. Ray was trying to fly to Belgium, with the eventual goal, he later admitted, of reaching Rhodesia. Rhodesia (now called Zimbabwe) was at the time ruled by an oppressive and internationally condemned white minority government. Extradited to the United States, Ray stood before a Memphis judge in March 1969 and pleaded guilty to King’s murder in order to avoid the electric chair. He was sentenced to 99 years in prison. Three days later, he attempted to withdraw his guilty plea, claiming he was innocent of King’s assassination and had been set up as a patsy in a larger conspiracy. He claimed that in 1967, a mysterious man named “Raoul” had approached him and recruited him into a gunrunning enterprise. On April 4, 1968, however, he realized that he was to be the fall guy for the King assassination and fled to Canada. Ray’s motion was denied, as were his dozens of other requests for a trial during the next 29 years. Over the years, the assassination has been reexamined by the House Select Committee on Assassinations, the Shelby County, Tennessee, district attorney’s office, and three times by the U.S. Justice Department. All of these investigations have ended with the same conclusion: James Earl Ray killed Martin Luther King, Jr. The House committee acknowledged that a low-level conspiracy might have existed, involving one or more accomplices to Ray, but uncovered no evidence definitively to prove this theory. In addition to the mountain of evidence against him, such as his fingerprints on the murder weapon and admitted presence at the rooming house on April 4, Ray had a definite motive in assassinating King: hatred. According to his family and friends, he was an outspoken racist who told them of his intent to kill King. Ray died in 1998.)

James Earl Ray, Martin Luther King assassination suspect arrested, June Extradited to the United States.
James Earl Ray, Martin Luther King assassination suspect arrested, June Extradited to the United States. (Pinterest)

* 1967 Israel attacks USS Liberty. (During the Six-Day War, Israeli aircraft and torpedo boats attack the USS Liberty in international waters off Egypt’s Gaza Strip. The intelligence ship, well-marked as an American vessel and only lightly armed, was attacked first by Israeli aircraft that fired napalm and rockets at the ship. The Liberty attempted to radio for assistance, but the Israeli aircraft blocked the transmissions. Eventually, the ship was able to make contact with the U.S. carrier Saratoga, and 12 fighter jets and four tanker planes were dispatched to defend the Liberty. When word of their deployment reached Washington, however, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara ordered them recalled to the carrier, and they never reached the Liberty. The reason for the recall remains unclear. Back in the Mediterranean, the initial air raid against the Liberty was over. Nine of the 294 crewmembers were dead and 60 were wounded. Suddenly, the ship was attacked by Israeli torpedo boats, which launched torpedoes and fired artillery at the ship. Under the command of its wounded Captain, William L. McGonagle, the Liberty managed to avert four torpedoes, but one struck the ship at the waterline. Heavily damaged, the ship launched three lifeboats, but these were also attacked–a violation of international law. Failing to sink the Liberty, which displaced 10,000 tons, the Israelis finally desisted. In all, 34 Americans were killed and 171 were wounded in the two-hour attack. In the attack’s aftermath, the Liberty managed to limp to a safe port. Israel later apologized for the attack and offered $6.9 million in compensation, claiming that it had mistaken the Liberty for an Egyptian ship. However, Liberty survivors and some former U.S. officials believe that the attack was deliberate, staged to conceal Israel’s pending seizure of Syria’s Golan Heights, which occurred the next day. The ship’s listening devices would likely have overheard Israeli military communications planning this controversial operation. Captain McGonagle was later awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic command of the Liberty during and after the attack.)

49 Years Ago the US Covered Up an Israeli False Flag Attack that Killed 34 Americans, Wounded 173
49 Years Ago the US Covered Up an Israeli False Flag Attack that Killed 34 Americans, Wounded 173 (www.activistpost.com)

* 1999 Hannibal by Thomas Harris hits bookstores. (Some 1.3 million copies of Hannibal, the final book in the Hannibal Lecter series by Thomas Harris, arrive at bookstores around the country. Hannibal quickly tops the bestseller charts, despite—or perhaps because of—an intensely gruesome plot. Hannibal Lecter, the brilliant psychiatrist/serial killer with a taste for human flesh, first appeared in Harris’ 1981 book, Red Dragon, as a minor character. He played a larger role in The Silence of the Lambs (1988), which sold some 10 million copies and was made into an Academy Award-winning movie in 1991, starring Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster. Hannibal was made into a film starring Hopkins and Julianne Moore in 2001. Harris was born in 1940 in Richmond, Mississippi, the son of a biology teacher and an electrical engineer. In 1968, he took a job in New York with the Associated Press. While working for the news agency, Harris and two friends had an idea for a novel about hijackers seizing the Goodyear blimp during the Super Bowl. Harris turned the idea into the bestselling Black Sunday (1975). He has turned out bestsellers ever since. Like his anti-hero Hannibal Lecter, Harris is a gourmet chef with a taste for fine wines. He divides his time between Sag Harbor, Miami, and Paris.)

Hannibal by Thomas Harris hits bookstores.
Hannibal by Thomas Harris hits bookstores. (Twitter)

* 632 Founder of Islam dies. (In Medina, located in present-day Saudi Arabia, Muhammad, one of the most influential religious and political leaders in history, dies in the arms of Aishah, his third and favorite wife. Born in Mecca of humble origins, Muhammad married a wealthy widow at 25 years old and lived the next 15 years as an unremarkable merchant. In 610, in a cave in Mount Hira north of Mecca, he had a vision in which he heard God, speaking through the angel Gabriel, command him to become the Arab prophet of the “true religion.” Thus began a lifetime of religious revelations, which he and others collected as the Qur’an. These revelations provided the foundation for the Islamic religion. Muhammad regarded himself as the last prophet of the Judaic-Christian tradition, and he adopted the theology of these older religions while introducing new doctrines. His inspired teachings also brought unity to the Bedouin tribesmen of Arabia, an event that had sweeping consequences for the rest of the world. By the summer of 622, Muhammad had gained a substantial number of converts in Mecca, leading the city’s authorities, who had a vested interest in preserving the city’s pagan religion, to plan his assassination. Muhammad fled to Medina, a city some 200 miles north of Mecca, where he was given a position of considerable political power. At Medina, he built a model theocratic state and administered a rapidly growing empire. In 629, Muhammad returned to Mecca as a conqueror. During the next two and a half years, numerous disparate Arab tribes converted to his religion. By his death on June 8, 632, he was the effective ruler of all southern Arabia, and his missionaries, or legates, were active in the Eastern Empire, Persia, and Ethiopia. During the next century, vast conquests continued under Muhammad’s successors and allies, and the Muslim advance was not halted until the Battle of Tours in France in 732. By this time, the Muslim empire, among the largest the world had ever seen, stretched from India across the Middle East and North Africa, and up through Western Europe’s Iberian peninsula. The spread of Islam continued after the end of the Arab conquest, and many cultures in Africa and Asia voluntarily adopted the religion. Today, Islam is the world’s second-largest religion.)

Map: Early Expansion of Islam
(Wait But Why)

Acknowledged Sources:

* Canadian History Timeline – Canada’s Historical Chronology  http://canadachannel.ca/todayincanadianhistory/index.php

* This Day In History – What Happened Today        http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/

 

Author: John Fioravanti

I'm a retired History teacher (35 years), husband, father of three, grandfather of three. My wife, Anne, and I became business partners in December, 2013, and launched our own publishing company, Fiora Books (http://fiorabooks.com), to publish my books. We have been married since 1973 and hope our joint business venture will be as successful as our marriage.

10 thoughts on “John’s Believe It Or Not… June 8th”

  1. Another amazing blog! I always learn so much from your “Believe it or not” stories, John. I was unaware of the attack on the USS Liberty, but reading about it prompted the unsettling thought that we minions are pawns to those in positions of power. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we are, Gwen. I didn’t know about the USS Liberty either – coverup. I’m sure the stuff governments hide from us would make our hearts stop. Ignorance is bliss! Thanks for your kind words and for sharing your insights, Gwen!

      Liked by 1 person

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