Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

May 8, 2014

A look back

History reflects what’s happening today

— Former President Harry S Truman said, “The only thing new in the world is the history you do not know.”

Here’s a part of history that certainly has something to do with the way the world is today:

It was on May 9, 1944, that the Soviet Union recaptured Crimea by taking Sevastopol from the Germans during World War II.

Less than 10 years later, the Crimean peninsula was transferred to Ukraine by then-Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in what his daughter, Nina, said was a personal gesture to his favorite republic on the 300th anniversary of Ukraine becoming a part of the Russian tsardom.

Others say the intent was to link the Ukraine permanently to Russia because it was an important seaport and home to the Soviet Union’s Black Sea Fleet.

Also, the ceding of Crimea to Ukraine was said to be illegal because it was never subjected to a referendum — just as this year’s referendum in which Crimeans seemingly voted to become part of Russia is said by some to have been flawed.

May 9 — in 1457 B.C. — is believed to have been the date of the Battle of Megiddo between the Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III and the king of Kadesh, with a coalition of Canaanites.

How anyone knows this happened on May 9, considering there was no month by that name, is anyone’s guess — but this  is said to be the first battle in history to be recorded in relatively reliable detail. Mount Megiddo is also thought by some to be the site where the Battle of Armageddon will take place.

Other notable events took place on May 9, including these you won’t find in our Date Book that appears on Page 2A.

1671: Col Thomas Blood attempts to steal the British Crown Jewels. He almost got away with it, but was caught, and eventually was pardoned.

1788: Britain abolishes the slave trade.

1899: John Albert Burr patents an improved rotary blade lawn mower.

1965: The Beatles attend a Bob Dylan concert.

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