The Finnish Civil War (27 January – 15 May 1918) marked the transition
from the Grand Duchy of Finland, part of the Russian Empire, to an
independent state. Arising during World War I, it was fought between the
Reds, led by the Social Democratic Party, and the Whites, led by the
conservative Senate. In February 1918, the Reds carried out an
unsuccessful offensive, supplied with weapons by Soviet Russia. A
counteroffensive by the Whites began in March, reinforced by the German
Empire’s military detachments in April. The decisive engagements were
the battles of Tampere and Vyborg, won by the Whites, and the battles of
Helsinki and Lahti, won by German troops, leading to overall victory for
the Whites and the German forces. The 39,000 casualties included
political terror deaths. Although the Senate and Parliament were
initially pressured into accepting the brother-in-law of German Emperor
William II as the King of Finland, the country emerged within a few
months as an independent, democratic republic. The war would divide the
nation for decades.
Today’s selected anniversaries:
Trajan (bust pictured) succeeded his adoptive father Nerva as
Roman emperor; under his rule the Roman Empire reached its maximum
Pope Clement VI issued the papal bull Unigenitus to justify the
power of the pope and the use of indulgences.
The Brisbane River, which runs through the heart of Brisbane,
broke its banks and flooded the surrounding areas.
With the assistance of Canadian government officials, six
American diplomats who had avoided capture in the Iran hostage crisis
escaped to Zürich, Switzerland.
Porfirio Lobo Sosa became the new President of Honduras, ending
the constitutional crisis that had begun in 2009 when Manuel Zelaya was
forcibly removed from office.
Wiktionary’s word of the day:
1. (countable) A group sharing a common understanding, and often the same
language, law, manners, and/or tradition.
2. (countable) A residential or religious collective; a commune.
3. (countable, ecology) A group of interdependent organisms inhabiting the
same region and interacting with each other.
4. (countable, Internet) A group of people interacting by electronic means
for educational, professional, social, or other purposes; a virtual
5. (uncountable) The condition of having certain attitudes and interests in
Wikiquote quote of the day:
To call the world nuclear situation dire is to understate the
danger — and its immediacy. … Beyond the nuclear and climate
domains, technological change is disrupting democracies around the world
as states seek and exploit opportunities to use information technologies
as weapons, among them internet-based deception campaigns aimed at
undermining elections and popular confidence in institutions essential
to free thought and global security. … International diplomacy has
been reduced to name-calling, giving it a surreal sense of unreality
that makes the world security situation ever more threatening. Because
of the extraordinary danger of the current moment, the Science and
Security Board today moves the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock 30
seconds closer to catastrophe. It is now two minutes to midnight — the
closest the Clock has ever been to Doomsday, and as close as it was in
1953, at the height of the Cold War.
–Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
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