This Day in History – April 14 – Hijinx, Humor and Insight


NewsWhistle is pleased to present Gary Jenneke’s “This Day In History” column.

You can read the original on Gary’s THIS DAY IN HISTORY blog – or scroll down to enjoy Gary’s unique look at the comings and goings of life.




1858 – John Brown and Harriet Tubman meet.

Abolitionist John Brown and runaway slave Harriet Tubman met in Canada where Tubman helped Brown plan his uprising at Harpers Ferry. He valued his advice so much that he called him General Tubman. Tubman had been hit in the head with a heavy metal object as a child while enslaved and periodically suffered from the injury. She was suffering from such a fight at the time of Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry, so she did not accompany him. There are suggestions that she might have had second thoughts about her plan, which is why she wasn’t there. When the plan failed and he was executed for it, Tubman said, “He did more by dying than 100 men by living.”

I read about John Brown, and to me, despite pursuing a just cause, I was a crazed fanatic. In contrast, Tubman seemed rational. It’s hard for me to imagine a meeting between the two.


1881 – Four dead in a five-second shootout in El Paso, Texas.

A partial list of attendees: Dallas Stoudenmire, the city of El Paso sheriff, Gus Krempkou, a county constable, George Campbell, a former city sheriff, and his friend, rancher John Hale. Stoudenmire was a former gunman and Hale a suspected cattle rustler. Two vaqueros, searching for lost cattle, had been found dead near the Hale Ranch. Seventy-five armed Mexicans arrived in town in search of their compatriots. Two American cattle rustlers had been heard bragging about killing the two men. Krempkou, who was fluent in Spanish, served as an interpreter to prevent tension between Mexicans and Americans from erupting into violence. The two thieves were arrested and charged. Satisfied, the Mexicans leave the city. Situation defused, Krempkou entered a saloon where Campbell confronted him. Because of the way he had translated, Campbell thought he was being too friendly to Mexicans. Hale, drunk, was there too. Hale fired at Krempkou who, while stepping back, drew his own pistol. Stoudenmire came running while firing his gun, accidentally killing an innocent bystander. He shot Hale and Stoudenmire and Krempkou shot and killed Campbell. Krempkou then died of his gunshot wound. This started a feud between Stoudenmire and some of Hale’s friends, resulting in the deaths of Stoudenmire and his brother-in-law.

A perfect example of why we need more guns on the streets. As evidenced above, they offer a solution to almost any problem.


1912 – Titanic.

At 11:40 p.m., sailing in thick fog, the liner struck an iceberg. Two lookouts, without binoculars, ninety feet above the deck, did not see him in time. Two hours and forty minutes later, the Titanic was heading towards the bottom of the ocean. Some 1,500 people died that night. Passengers were given no information about emergencies and there were no lifeboat drills. A drill had been scheduled earlier on the 14th, but it was canceled and a church service was held instead.

Prophetically appropriate, given what ultimately happened.



1897 – Barbara Wootton.

British sociologist. Living in more conservative times, Wootton held views that often put her at odds with contemporary thought. Wootton and her second husband were conscientious objectors during World War II and she was one of the first women to sit in the House of Lords. There, she supported a bill to decriminalize homosexuality. She also supported the Patients’ Bill that would allow physician-assisted suicide, and her views on abortion caused her to be removed from an association. One of her brothers was killed in France during the First World War in 1916. She married Jack Wootton in 1917 and they only spent 36 hours together before he was shipped to France, where he was killed within weeks.

I can understand why she was a conscientious objector. I looked for her, without knowing anything about her, because I liked her name. And I found a strong, interesting woman.


1941-Julie Christie.

Actress. Born in India, raised in Wales, Christie started playing aged 16. She won the Best Actress Oscar in 1965 for her role in “Darling.” Other prominent roles were in “Dr. Zhivago”, “Shampoo” and “Heaven Can Wait”. His move to Hollywood in 1967 was precipitated by, in his words, “I was there because of a lot of little American friends.” Her career has not been as prolific as it could have been as she often turned down roles in big budget films. Christie’s last role was in 2012 and she lives in England and is active in causes such as animal rights, environmental protection and anti-nuclear energy.

“Shampoo” and “Heaven Can Wait” were two of my favorite movies.


1941 – Pete Rose. Baseball player.

Rose, who hits the switch, leads Major League Baseball in a number of categories, including hits and games played. He was on the winning World Series team three times, was named an All-Star seventeen times, and won Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards. After his playing career ended, he became the coach of the Cincinnati Reds. Despite all these accomplishments, Rose is not in the Hall of Fame. While managing the Reds, he was accused of betting on baseball games, including those involving the Reds. Rose denied it for years before finally admitting he did. For these indiscretions, Rose is permanently banned from baseball, including the Hall of Fame.

Pete Rose was one hell of a baseball player. As for judging him as a person, well, Peter Rose was one hell of a baseball player.



At various times in his life, Gary has been an indifferent elementary school student, a poor high school student, a good Navy radioman, a former hippie, a passable student, an inveterate traveler, a devoted writer, an erroneous accountant (at the exception of an interesting stint at a communist cafe), part-time screenwriting teacher, semi-proud veteran, failed retiree, and new blogger.

You can reach him at [email protected]



The above information comes from the following sites and newspapers:


Sir Jeremiah Harman –

We also thank the following photographers and videographers for the use of their images:

* Intro picture – Photo by NOAA on Unsplash – “Bow of the Titanic”

* The Good Lord Bird (TV episode clip) – SHOWTIME /

* Barbara Wootton (videos) – Thames TV /

*Julie Christie (video) – Oscars /

* Outro (Man-In-Museum cartoon) – SkyPics Studio /