Tonight, the Minnesota Wild defend the Conference III Belt for the first time since winning both ends of a two-in-three set with the Avs to start the season. Their first Central Time challenger? The Dallas Stars, who will try to add the Conference III Belt to their Precog Stanley Cup.
Happy Halloween, you bunch of spooky dark [entrances to tunnels of terror]. It’s been too long! I know. I have so much [loving stink] going on in my professional and personal life that it’s been hard to carve out time for my normal in-season weekly forays into the ridiculous with you, you jovial [family men]. It’s good [positive developments], though, except for the part where it keeps me away from III Communication.
Here’s a quick wrap up of recent events around Conference III before I finish a 50+ slide powerpoint deck and head to the Halloween store to pick up this year’s costume…
Today In History
Perhaps the most important treaty in human history is signed as the concept of the modern nation-state is born with the signing of the final bits of the Peace of Westphalia October 24, 1648.
Coming at the end of a massive diplomatic congress — delegations were sent from 16 European states, 66 states of the Holy Roman Empire (which represented 140 total Imperial states), and 27 interest groups representing 38 interest groups — the three treaties of Westphalia ostensibly ended the Thirty Years War between the Protestants and Catholics in the Holy Roman Empire and the Eighty Years War between Spain and the Dutch.
What it, in fact, did was create the modern notion of sovereignty, a primary export of Western Europe for the ensuing 300 years.
Today In History
Near Leesburg, Virginia on October 21, 1861, Union and Confederate forces clash in the Battle of Ball’s Bluff, one of the early engagements of the Civil War.
Maj. Gen. George “Wha?” McClellan sent Brig. Gen. George McCall to see what had been going on down near Leesburg. Several reconnoitering expeditions resulted in very little, as did McClellan’s order that the 1st Minnesota make a “slight demonstration” to draw out the Confederates.
McClellan ordered McCall to return to Langley and, in the meantime, a scouting party from the 15th Massachusetts discovered a stand of trees which they mistook for a Confederate camp, thus they were ordered to take 300 men and attack this stand of trees.
Every Thursday we bring you III Communication’s Conference III Power Rankings, the Thursday Thirteen.
This week’s is the first song for your mixtape. It’s short just like your temper:
Today In History
What is known in English as the Battle of Leipzig — much more poetically, the Germans call it Völkerschlacht and the French Bataille des Nations — begins October 16, 1813 as the forces of the Sixth Coalition meet those of Napoleon near the city in Saxony.
It was to be the largest battle in Europe until World War I with some 600,000 belligerents in the field. On the Coalition side: Russians, Prussians, Austrians and Sweden. For Napoleon, not just French but Saxon, Polish and Italian troops.
Furthermore, each of the Coalition countries had, present in the field, their monarchs: Tsar Alexander I of Russia, Prussia’s Frederick William III and Emperor Francis I of Austria. This led to massive staffs and, one might call them “predictable” petty rivalries within the Coalition itself, already strained upon having lost the contributions of British and Portuguese forces (among others).
Nevertheless, all agreed that Napoleon’s German campaign had to be stopped and Leipzig was where they could make that happen.
Today In History
Minutes before giving a campaign speech in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Teddy Roosevelt is shot on October 14, 1912.
The would-be assassin is New York saloon owner John Flammang Schrank. Schrank said he made the attempt because he opposed presidents seeking a third term (can you imagine being so goosed about term limits that you’d try to shoot somebody?) and that he was advised by the ghost of William McKinley to take action (it will not surprise you to learn Schrank was committed and died in a mental hospital in 1943).
In any event, Roosevelt was not killed. Schrank’s bullet hit his eyeglasses case, the 50-page speech he was set to give and lodged in his chest, but Roosevelt, being something of an amateur anatomist (as one is), knew the bullet hadn’t entered his lung because he wasn’t coughing blood, so he gave the speech anyway.
After years of escalation — which included a war and a British-led raid to take Johannesburg — the Boer republics of Transvaal and the Orange Free State invade the British-held Cape Colony and Natal, beginning the Second Boer War. Talk about being united and divided simultaneously, eh?
The war began with rapid invasions by the Boers, who had the great advantage of having a fighting force that was nimble, familiar with the area, good on horses and fairly easy to mobilize. Within a few weeks, the Boers had made great inroads into British-held territory, driving back the British in some cases and laying siege to garrisons in others.
Spoiler alert: though the war pioneered the use of modern guerrilla warfare, the Brits ultimately win this one, the Boer territories are incorporated into the British colonies and the Union of South Africa comes to be in 1910…and then develops into a truly reprehensible country but then gets sort of OK again and then hosts the World Cup.