Mulholland Collapse Of The San Francis Dam
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St. Francis Dam Disaster Site of 1928
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As he marched into Russia, it was typhus-carrying lice, not enemy soldiers, that began to take a toll on his forces. But despite typhus and trench fever, a weakened French army reached Moscow on Sept. On the return trip, however, temperatures plummeted to degrees Fahrenheit Celsius , freezing the beleaguered soldiers' lips together and killing thousands of horses. Facing such harsh conditions with little food, as few as 10, men made it back home [source: Minard ]. Fast-forward to as Hitler's army began its own June invasion of Russia, known as Operation Barbarossa. Believing victory would take only a few months — and despite owning several books about Napoleon — the Nazi leader sent his troops into battle ill prepared for the impending winter. Again, plummeting temperatures and a lack of warm coats and hats meant many returned home without ears, noses, fingers and even eyelids [source: Roberts].
In late the United States economy went into a tailspin. The stock market dropped like a lead elephant while the only thing going up, it seemed, was unemployment. Predictably, commentators soon began to make doomsday comparisons between the " Great Recession ," as it became known, and the Great Depression of the s. But was this really a repeat?
Certainly, the similarities were concerning. Both were preceded by periods of prosperity. Both came at a time when banks were experimenting with new ways of doing business consumer credit in the s and pooling mortgage debt in the s. Both even followed asset bubbles, which occur when prices exceed what something is actually worth Florida real estate and the stock market in the s, and tech companies and real estate in the s [source: Geewax ]. And then there was the sharp stock market decline in the first 18 months after the initial crash: 45 percent during the Great Depression and 54 percent during the Great Recession [source: Jacobsen ]. By and large, however, the Great Depression was much worse.
Its month duration made the month Great Recession seem mild by comparison. In the period after the crash, unemployment went up And remember all the banks that failed during the Great Recession? There were , which seems high until you consider that some 9, closed during the Great Depression [source: Geewax ]. You know those messages that get forwarded around email or Facebook claiming to reveal supposedly shocking coincidences between two historical events? If you're like many people, you probably can't find the delete button fast enough. But if not, you might have seen the one about the remarkable similarities between the assassinations of Abraham Lincoln and John F.
While some of those claims have been debunked it is the Internet after all , some are true. Yep, both presidents were shot on Friday with a fatal bullet to the head after being warned not to go out. Their successors were both named Johnson; Andrew was born in and Lyndon in And, most peculiarly, Booth escaped from a theater and was captured in a warehouse well, a tobacco shed , and Oswald fled a warehouse and was caught in a theater [source: Snopes ]. These are pretty intriguing similarities, but before we declare a rip in the space-time continuum, consider this: There are a lot of other things that weren't similar. Lincoln and JFK weren't shot with the same gun.
It wasn't the same time of day. Heck, it wasn't even in the same city. Perhaps, as some experts believe, it's simply human nature to look for patterns even if there really aren't any [source: Shermer ]. When people think of genocide, chances are their minds quickly turn to the Holocaust. During the horrific event, Nazi Germany systematically rounded up and imprisoned Jewish, gays, Roma people, communists and others who did not fit into Hitler's worldview.
There, some 11 million concentration camp prisoners ultimately died from starvation, exhaustion or execution. It was so terrible, in fact, that German schools now mandate teaching of the Holocaust in hopes that future generations will never repeat the mistakes of their past [source: Frontline ]. And other countries have pledged to stop it if it does happen. But did you know there have been as many as two dozen instances of genocide since the Holocaust? Take Cambodia's Khmer Rouge, which, between and , killed as many as 2 million political dissidents — a shocking one-third of the country's population. Just 15 years later, during a day span in , Rwanda's Hutu government killed between one-half and 1 million Tutsis.
Such crimes continue in the s, as some leaders have accused Syrian president Bashar al-Assad of killing his own people to retain power [source: Holocaust Museum, Cases ]. It's a classic Hollywood storyline: A new disease pops up and spreads worldwide, much faster than science can come up with a cure. But this isn't just the stuff of action films. It's called a pandemic, and it's happened more than once in our history.
One that's still pretty well-known, despite the passage of several hundred years, is the Black Death. The plague originated in Asia, reaching Europe by the late s where it killed a staggering number of people. Because the records back then weren't entirely thorough, no one is completely sure how many died, but estimates range from 25 million to million [source: Filip ]. Either way, it was nothing to sneeze at. In some cities, so few people survived that there was no one to bury the dead [source: Kennedy ]. That kind of stuff only happened before modern medicine, right? Not exactly. There's another pandemic that started just four decades ago and continues to claim lives today: AIDS. This disease originated in Africa as early as but didn't spread worldwide until the s [source: McCoy ].
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