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.
Earlier, we explored some of the lesser-known martial exploits of the Burgoyne family — specifically that of John Fox Burgoyne at Sevastopol.
Today, though, is the 237th anniversary of the Burgoyne’s most infamous failure: Big John capitulating to the American upstarts in Saratoga, turning the tide of the Revolution to the Patriots.
One of the great misconceptions about Saratoga is that it was one single battle that ended with Burgoyne turning his sword over to Horatio Gates. In fact, it was a series of lengthy battles, almost six weeks long. Americans needed a win, particularly in the North. Gates had taken over the Northern Department after the surrender of the (thought-to-be-impenetrable) Fort Ticonderoga. He was able to raise armies, restructure the militias and start to very slowly encircle Burgoyne, who was losing supply lines because General William Howe had decided to send the occupying army from New York City south to attack Philadelphia rather than north to reinforce Burgoyne in Albany.
It’s finally that time of year again. The leaves are turning, the air is beginning to get a little brisk, and the Conference III Crown of Fecal Matter is fresh, odorous, and steamy. For the uninitiated reader, the infamous S— Stetson was introduced last season to be the yin to the Conference III Championship Belt’s yang.
The Winnipeg Jets ended last season with the S— Lid, losing to Minnesota, and they therefore begin the season with the fresh Fecal Fedora resting untidily atop their flow and occasionally dribbling down their faces. However, it’s a new season. The record book is reset. Winnipeg can divest itself of the Merde Millinery and regain their pride—or shamefully retain it until a matchup with another Conference III foe later in October.