Friday, October 24, 2008

On October 24

On this day in ...

... 1648 (360 years ago today), the Peace Treaty between the Holy Roman Emperor and the King of France and their respective Allies was signed at Westphalia. This Peace of Westphalia ended the 30 Years War that had devastated the European continent. Yet its legacy extends far beyond that achievement: the "Westphalian system," by which nation-states are deemed sovereign, independent, equal, and primary actors in international law and politics, retains influence to this day. (credit for Gerard Terborch's 1648 painting of the treaty signing)
... 1962, as of 2 p.m. Greenwich time, by an order that President John F. Kennedy had given 2 days earlier, "U.S. armed forces" were instructed "'interdict the delivery of offensive weapons and associated material to Cuba,'" thus beginning the blockade that was a key component of the Cuban Missile Crisis. (photo credit)

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