Richard Burns

RallyFinlandia2001-RBurns-SubaruImprezaWRCLate great English rally driver Richard Burns sadly died 25 November 2005 from Astrocytoma, a type of Malignant Brain tumor after being in a coma. He was Born in Reading, Berkshire on 17 January 1971. He started driving at the age of eight, in his father’s old Triumph 2000. At eleven Burns joined the Under 17 Car Club, where he became driver of the year in 1984. Two years later Burns drove a Ford Escort at Churchill’s Welsh Forest Rally School near Newtown, Powys for the day and from that moment on he knew what he wanted to do. He joined the Craven Motor Club in Reading where his talent was spotted by rally enthusiast David Williams. In 1988 he entered his first rallies in his own Talbot Sunbeam. The car was too basic to make much impression and in 1989 he had to borrow other competitors cars in order to progress, he also rallied the stages of Panaround, Bagshot, Mid-Wales, Millbrook, Severn Valley, Kayel Graphics and the Cambrian Rally. In 1990 he joined the Peugeot Challenge in a Peugeot 205 GTI & got his first taste of a World Rally Championship event in Great Britain as a prize for winning the Peugeot Challenge that year. In 1991 Burns met Robert Reid,who became his co-driver for the next 12 years. For 1992 Williams bought Burns a Group N Subaru Legacy and with the support of Prodrive won the National Championship. Prodrive saw him as a promising driver for the future.In 1993 he joined the Subaru Rally Team for the British Rally Championship alongside Alister McRae, driving a Subaru Legacy. He won four rounds, the Vauxhall Sport, Pirelli, Scottish, and Manx International, and became the youngest ever British Champion. He finished seventh on that year’s snowy RAC Rally.

In the wake of his 1993 success, Burns remained with Subaru for the 1994 and 1995 seasons, contesting the Asia Pacific Rally Championship, which included the New Zealand and Australia Rallies, and also his home WRC round. His best result was third on the 1995 RAC Rally, behind team mates Carlos Sainz and winner and world champion Colin McRae. During 1996 he drove for Mitsubishi Ralliart at international level, winning the 1996 Rally New Zealand in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo . In 1998, he won the Safari Rally, piloting a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. He also won that year’s Rally Great Britain & the constructors’ Championship went to Mitsubishi.Burns moved to the Prodrive-run Subaru World Rally Team under David Richards for the 1999 season, joining Juha Kankkunen and Bruno Thiry as part of the factory team driving Subaru Impreza WRCs, replacing Colin McRae. Burns worked his way to a career high of second place in the drivers’ standings. He also led Subaru to second in the constructors’ series behind the Toyota team. He was a long-time contender for the title in 2000, but crashed out on the Rally Finland in mid-season handing the championship to Marcus Grönholm who had been competing in his first year as a full-time factory driver. Sadly Burns failed to finish the 2001 Monte Carlo Rally or the 2001 Swedish Rally, although he finished Fourth in Portugal and second in Argentina and Cyprus behind Ford’s Colin McRae. Burns won his first and only individual rally victory of the season in New Zealand, Burns then finished second on the Rally Australia. Burns’ finished the 2001 Rally of Great Britain in third place behind Peugeot duo Marcus Gronholm and Harri Rovanpera after his two main rivals for the Championship,Carlos Sainz and Colin Mcrea both crashed out enabling him to become the first Englishman to win the World Rally Championship. When Richard passed the finishing line at the final stage of the final rally in 2001, Burns uttered words thought to be paying tribute to his codriver Robert Reid: “You’re the best in the world”. To commemorate the title success, Subaru produced a special edition of the Subaru Impreza in the UK called the RB5. Burns joined Peugeot for the 2002 season, but could not match the pace of team-mates Marcus Grönholm and Gilles Panizzi . Burns rejoined Subaru, for the 2004 season.

Sadly, In November 2003 Burns suffered a blackout while driving with Ford driver Markko Märtin to the rally. He was withdrawn from the event and was later diagnosed with an astrocytoma, a type of malignant brain tumour. He had Treatment during 2004 followed by surgery in April 2005 which was described as “very successful”. However the tumour could not be completely destroyed. On August 2005 a fan day was made, where his fans were invited to see his private car collection, but he was unable to drive himself so his co-driver Robert Reid drove his private cars on his behalf. A memorial service for Burns was held at St Luke’s Church, Chelsea on Thursday 22 December 2005, with readings from BBC TV’s Jeremy Clarkson and Steve Rider, and a tribute paid by one of Burns’ closest friends, photographer Colin McMaster. Subaru also paid tribute to Burns at Castle Combe in 2006, when over 50 Subaru Impreza RB5s took to the track, including the RB5 number #001 driven by Alex Burns, Richard’s father. During the 2006 Goodwood Festival of Speed, a charity was founded in his name with a purpose to “inspire and support people with serious injury and illness”, named RB Foundation. The foundation also raises money for the Michael Park Fund, which deals with improving safety in motorsport events.Subaru released a special edition Impreza WRX STI in 2007 – the RB320 – in memory of Burns

Advertisements

Gerald Seymour

Having read both A Line in the Sand and No Mortal Thing. I thought I would write about prolific Bitish novelist Gerald Seymour who was born 25 November 1941 in Guildford, Surrey. He worked. Initially as a journalist, before joining ITN in 1963, covering such topics as the Great Train Robbery, Vietnam War, The Troubles, the Munich Olympics massacre, Germany’s Red Army Faction, Italy’s Red Brigades and Palestinian militant groups. His first book, Harry’s Game, was published in 1975, and Seymour then became a full-time novelist, living in the West Country. In 1999, he featured in the Oscar-winning television film, One Day in September, which portrayed the Munich massacre. He has been a full-time writer since 1978. Many Television adaptations have also been made of his books including Harry’s Game, The Glory Boys, The Contract, Red Fox, The Informant based on Field of Blood, A Line in the Sand and The Waiting Time. His bibliography includes:
Harry’s Game (1975),
A British cabinet minister is gunned down by an IRA assassin, leaving an undercover agent to track down the killer.
The Glory Boys (1976), 
An Arab terrorist, the only survivor of a three-man hit squad ambushed by Israeli Intelligence in France, plans to murder Israel’s leading nuclear scientist on a visit to London. McCoy, an IRA mercenary, is to provide him with the weapons. Jimmy, who works for British Intelligence, must find them. It was made into a 3-part TV mini-series in 1984 by Yorkshire Television, starring Rod Steiger, Anthony Perkins, Alfred Burke and Joanna Lumley.
Kingfisher
A story of three Soviet dissidents, Ukrainian Jews, who hijack a plane to escape to the West. They land in England but it is not certain how they will be treated – as political refugees or murderous criminals?
Red Fox 
When Italy’s most ruthless terrorist is captured, her lover uses a British businessman, who has been kidnapped in Rome, as a bargaining tool to free her and unleashes forces which threaten to escape everyone’s control. It was made into a TV mini-series in 1991, starring John Hurt, Jane Birkin and Brian Cox, but reset in France with the terrorists members of Action directe.
The Contract
Set against a backdrop of the treacherous East/West German border, this tells of the journey to redemption of a disgraced British army officer who requires the defection of a top flight Soviet scientist.
Archangel
Running a small errand for the British Intelligence Service turns into a nightmare for a young man when he is arrested by the Soviet Secret Police and sentenced to 15 years in a desolate labour camp.
In Honour Bound 
Barney Crispin, SAS captain, is sent urgently to the Afghanistan border on the direct order of the Foreign Secretary. His mission is to organise the destruction of one of the new Soviet helicopters and to bring its secret parts back to Britain.
Field of Blood 
Two men, one ex-IRA, the other a reluctant British Lieutenant, become pawns in a deadly political game of cat-and-mouse.
A Song in the Morning
Jeez Curwen, a British undercover agent, is captured taking part in a terrorist attack in apartheid-era South Africa. By the time his son Jack discovers that the British government has washed its hands of his father’s case, Jeez has only three weeks to live. Aided by the ANC, Jack decides to free him.
At Close Quarters 
A diplomat and an Israeli master sniper plan to walk by night into the Beqa’a valley in east Lebanon, home of Palestinian revolutionary groups, in search of one man. They are far into the Beqa’a, out of reach, when their cover is blown and Syrian Intelligence alerted to their approach.
Home Run
Mattie Furniss is ordered to Iran by British Intelligence to fortify his remaining agents and stimulate a flow of information. Unknown to him, Mattie’s mission is about to be blown wide open by political pressures, and he is soon left alone in a hostile environment where his every move is tracked.
Condition Black 
A thriller set against the background of Saddam Hussein’s annexation of Kuwait and his efforts to arm Iraq with nuclear weapons. An attempt to recruit a British nuclear scientist falls foul of an FBI man’s vendetta against a British terrorist who killed his best friend.
The Journeyman Tailor
Gary Brennard is young and keen, just the qualities his MI5 desk chief seeks for an undercover operation in Northern Ireland. There is a suspicion that an informer is among the villagers of County Tyrone.
The Fighting Man 
Thrown out of the SAS, Gord Brown is working on a fish farm in Scotland when he is found by Central American Indians on a mission to recruit a “fighting man” for an uprising against the Guatemalan military dictatorship. Gord joins up as deputy leader of the rag-tag group in this adventure thriller.
The Heart of Danger 
The international community had promised it would hunt down the war criminals of Yugoslavia, but when the body of a young Englishwoman is exhumed from a mass grave in Croatia, her mother cries for justice and is ignored. Private investigator Bill Penn takes on the case.
Killing Ground
A young English schoolteacher, Charlotte Parsons, is invited to resume her job as nanny to the children of a well-to-do Sicilian family. But this time Charley is the central figure in a desperate plot by the US Drug Enforcement Administration to trap Mario Ruggerio, would-be head of the Sicilian Mafia.
The Waiting Time 
On a winter’s night at the height of the Cold War, in a small town on the Baltic coast of East Germany, a young man is dragged from the sea and killed by the regime’s secret police. The witnesses are terrorised into silence. A decade later the man’s lover sets out to attain justice.
A Line in the Sand 
In a village on the Suffolk coast, Frank Perry waits for his past to arrive. A decade ago, he spied for the government on the Iranian chemical and biological weapons installations. Now Iran has despatched its most lethal assassin to take revenge. Can Perry’s protectors stop him?
Holding the Zero
A suspense novel set against the backdrop of the Gulf War, where two of the world’s greatest snipers fight a duel in the hills of northern Iraq.
The Untouchable
Albert Packer is master of all he surveys. He rules the manor with an iron fist. For 20 years, he has had it all his own way – the police and intelligence services have targeted him but have yet to get close to any sort of effective prosecution.
Traitor’s Kiss
Officially the Cold War is over. Between former enemies, the hand of friendship is exchanged in public. In private, though, the intelligence war goes on.
The Unknown Soldier
Hidden in the empty vastness of the world’s greatest desert a tiny caravan of fugitives and camels moves painfully slowly towards its goal. However Above them, quartering the desert, is the unmanned Predator aircraft that is invisible in the cloudless skies and that carries Hellfire missiles and is aiming to stop them
Rat Run 
When word spreads that Military Intelligence officer Malachy Kitchen, posted to Iraq, was ‘yellow’ under hostile fire, his life starts to disintegrate. Kicked out of the army, he becomes an isolated recluse on a drugs-infested London estate. But the mugging of an elderly widow draws him to regain his lost pride.
The Walking Dead 
A young man starts a journey from a village in Saudi Arabia. He believes his life will end in faraway England. There, David Banks is a Metropolitan Police armed protection office charged with neutralising the terrorist threat. On a spring morning in a suburban town these two men’s paths will cross. Before then their commitment will be shaken by the journeys that take them there.
Time Bomb
Fired from a top-secret Soviet nuclear base a Russian KGB officer steals a suitcase bomb – a tactical nuclear weapon. Fifteen years later, still harbouring resentment over being discarded and abandoned, the Russian aims to sell it to the highest bidder – the Russian Mafia. Against them a small and dedicated MI6 team and a Metropolitan Police undercover man. With the clock ticking down to the handover the MI6 team must find the Russian Mafia gang and their undercover man and stop the sale of the bomb. The novel attracts interest on a number of levels. Firstly, it presents graphic descriptions of Nazi brutality. It is this brutality that shaped willingness of a man two generations later to participate in this scheme, even though he had no need for the large sum he would obtain through brokering the transaction. Further, it describes the undercover man, and his exposure to events conducive to the “Stockholm Syndrome.”
The Collaborator 
The prime reason Immacolata Borelli came to Britain was to look after her gangster brother, wanted for multiple murders back home in Naples. The Borelli clan are major players in the Camorra, and they will not lose their criminal empire without a vicious fight. They will use any tactic and any person in a brutal struggle to keep control of their territory in the city, and to prevent her from giving evidence against them. This novel throws a stunning light into the dark world of the Camorra.
The Dealer and the Dead
Eighteen years after the barbarous war with the Serbs that tore their communities apart, a group of Croatian villagers discover the identity of the Englishman who they believe betrayed them by welching on a deal to supply arms. With revenge in sight at last, they hire a professional killer from London to track him down …but is the story as simple as they think? A brilliant, bruising thriller, told in a unique way, about what happens when the hand of the past suddenly reaches out to the present – and is holding a gun. Benjamin Cumberland Arbuthnot (Benjie) and his wife Deidre are significant to the story. He is a retired senior SIS officer.
A Deniable Death
“Two British operatives, known as Badger and Foxy, experts in covert surveillance, are sent to the Iran-Iraq border to watch the house of a man they call the Engineer for his deadly, expert combinations of high explosives and circuit boards that are causing havoc among NATO troops in Iraq. The tradecraft of silent watching and the discomfort, thirst and increasing claustrophobia of the hideout are brought … to life…. Asis the grim landscape of the border region and the harsh lives of its inhabitants…: the flat plains and marshes…, the minefields and burned-out tanks still rusting from the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, the wretched locals who make a living, and dying, by digging up ordnance and selling it for scrap. The Engineer believes himself a soldier at war and a patriot, just as his victims do. His wife Naghmeh, a doughty activist demanding that the minefields be cleared, is suffering from a terminal brain tumour and needs urgent medical treatment in the West. Death duly comes, but to more places than expected.”
The Outsiders
“Winnie Monks, known as ‘the Boss’, is in charge of the Organised Crime Group. When one of the team is kicked to death and his hand severed, Winnie vows she will bring his killer to justice. Years pass, and government cuts reduce her team. But she learns that the killer is ‘the Major’, a Russian gangster en route to Marbella…. Winnie mounts an operation to bring about his destruction….
The Corporal’s Wife
“An Iranian soldier sits in an MI6 safe house. He may only be a corporal, but as chauffeur to a top general he knows many secrets, such as the location of nuclear sites. But the Corporal won’t talk unless they bring his wife out of Iran, too. So the SAS are asked to do the job – but they say it’s impossible. Which is how Zach Bennett, a university drop-out recruited for his language skills, and a rag-tag team of three ex-soldiers find themselves on a mission to Tehran. If they are caught, it will mean certain death. And the Corporal’s wife – fiery, independent and beautiful – is not the kind of person Zach was expecting. In fact, she’s not like anyone he’s ever met in his life.”
Vagabond
“Danny Curnow, known in the army family by his call sign, Vagabond, ran agents, informers. Played God with their lives and their deaths, and was the best at his job – and he quit when the stress overwhelmed him. Now he lives in quiet isolation and works as a guide to tourists visiting the monuments and cemeteries of an earlier, simpler, conflict on Normandy’s D-Day beaches. Until the call comes from an old boss, Bentinick. Violence in Northern Ireland is on the rise again. Weapons are needed for a new campaign. Gaby Davies of MI5, sparky and ambitious, runs the double agent Ralph Exton, who will be the supposed middle man in brokering an arms deal with a Russian contact, Timofey. The covert world of deception and betrayal was close to destroying Danny across the Irish Sea. Fifteen years later the stakes are higher, the risks greater, and there is an added agenda on the table. If he wants to survive, Danny will have to prove, to himself, that he has not softened, that he is as hard and ruthless as before.”
No Mortal Thing” 
“Two young men – Jago and Marcantonio – both studying business and finance and a woman who knows where evil lives. Jago is a kid from a rough part of London who has worked hard to get a job in a bank and is now on a fast-track secondment to the Berlin office. Marcantonio is one of the new generation in the ‘Ndrangheta crime families from Calabria, Southern Italy. He is in Germany to learn how to channel their illicit millions towards legitimate businesses all over Europe. When Jago witnesses Marcantonio commit a vicious assault and the police seem uninterested, the Englishman refuses to let the matter drop. But by pursuing the gangster to his grandfather’s mountain lair, Jago is stepping into the middle of a delicate surveillance operation, which sets alarm bells ringing in Rome, London and Berlin. It also leads him to Consolata, a young woman who sees in Jago the chance to turn her non-violent protest campaign against the crime families into something altogether more lethal…”
Jericho’s War”
“In a moment of nerve shredding suspense that will affect many thousands of lives, a handful of men and women will converge on a barren stretch of Yemeni desert. Each of them will need spirit, courage and immense luck to survive the next forty-eight hours. Corrie Rankin is already a legend at MI6 when he is called back with little regard for the horrors of his recent past. Corrie is sent to take advantage of a chance to take down a high value player in the war against Al Qaeda – and, a chance for the Brits to succeed without begging help from the Americans. The sniper and his spotter who will go with Corrie are less than top team, but the best that can be found if the mission is to stay ‘deniable’. And once the three misfits are in-country, they must rely on intelligence brought to them by a young British Jihadi – on the ground and close to the target – and now turned. And, close to him, is an archaeologist digging in the ruins of the Queen of Sheba’ civilisation who will be their cut-out contact point. The mission is the brain-child of an apparently old, fat fool in a striped cricket blazer, a sweating figure of fun among the ex-pat community across the border in Muscat. This is Jericho … not as old or fat or foolish as he appears, nor as harmless. This is Jericho’s War. The weapons it deploys, the brutal aims it pursues, are state of the art. The fear it breeds and the raw bravery it demands are as timeless as the desert itself.”

Percy Sledge

Legendary American R&B, soul and gospel singer Percy Sledge was born November 25, 1940 in Leighton Alabama. He is best known for the song “When a Man Loves a Woman”, a No. 1 hit on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B singles charts in 1966. It was awarded a million-selling, Gold-certified disc from the RIAA.

Sledge worked in a series of agricultural jobs in the fields in Leighton before taking a job as an orderly at Colbert County Hospital in Sheffield, Alabama. Through the mid-1960s, he toured the Southeast with the Esquires Combo on weekends, while working at the hospital during the week. A former patient and mutual friend of Sledge and record producer Quin Ivy introduced the two. An audition followed, and Sledge was signed to a recording contract. He achieved success in the late 1960s and early 1970s with a series of emotional soul songs. In later years, Sledge received the Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s Career Achievement Award. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Sledge’s soulful voice was perfect for the series of soul ballads produced by Ivy and Marlin Greene, which rock critic Dave Marsh called “emotional classics for romantics of all ages”. “When a Man Loves a Woman” was Sledge’s first song recorded under the contract, and was released in March 1966.According to Sledge, the inspiration for the song came when his girlfriend left him for a modelling career after he was laid off from a construction job in late 1965, and, because bassist Calvin Lewis and organist Andrew Wright helped him with the song, he gave all the songwriting credits to them. It reached No. 1 in the US and went on to become an international hit. The song was also the first gold record released by Atlantic Records. The soul anthem became the cornerstone of Sledge’s career, and was followed by “Warm and Tender Love” (covered by British singer Elkie Brooks in 1981), “It Tears Me Up”, “Take Time to Know Her” (his second biggest US hit, reaching No. 11; the song’s lyric was written by Steve Davis), “Love Me Tender”, and “Cover Me”. In the 1970’s Sledge released “I’ll Be Your Everything” and “Sunshine” and became an international concert favorite throughout the world, especially in the Netherlands, Germany, and on the African continent; he averaged 100 concerts a year in South Africa.

Sledge’s career enjoyed a renaissance in the 1980s whenWhen a Man Loves a Woman” was a hit twice in the UK, reaching No. 4 in 1966 and, on reissue, peaked at No. 2 in 1987 behind the reissued Ben E. King classic “Stand by Me”, after being used in a Levi’s commercial. In the early 1990s, Michael Bolton brought “When a Man Loves a Woman” back into the limelight again on his hit album Time, Love, & Tenderness. On the week of November 17 to November 23, 1991, Bolton’s version also hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, exactly 25½ years to the week after Percy’s did in 1966.

In 1994, Saul Davis and Barry Goldberg produced Sledge’s album, Blue Night, which featured Bobby Womack, Steve Cropper, and Mick Taylor among others. Blue Night received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album, Vocal or Instrumental, and in 1996 it won the W.C. Handy Award for best soul or blues album. In 2004, Davis and Goldberg also produced the Shining Through the Rain album, which preceded his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Songs on the CD were written by Mikael Rickfors, Steve Earle, the Bee Gees, Carla Olson, Denny Freeman, Allan Clarke and Jackie Lomax. Percy also recorded a live album with his band Sunset Drive entitled Percy Sledge and Sunset Drive – Live in Virginia.

In May 2007, Percy was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame in his home city of Baton Rouge, LA and In December 2010, Rhino Handmade issued a four-CD retrospective, The Atlantic Recordings, which covers all of the issued Atlantic masters, as well as many of the tracks unissued in the United States (although some were simply the mono versions of songs originally issued in stereo; Disc 1 comprises Sledge’s first two LPs. In 2011 Sledge toured with Sir Cliff Richard during his Soulicious tour, performing “I’m Your Puppet”. Sledge married twice and was survived by his second wife, Rosa Sledge, who he married in 1980. He had 12 children, two of whom became singers. Sledge died of liver cancer at his home in Baton Rouge on April 14, 2015, at the age of 74. His interment was in Baton Rouge’s Heavenly Gates Cemetery.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

November 25 has been designated International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women by the United Nations General Assembly. The date marks the anniversary, of 25 November 1960, when the Mirabal Sisters (Patria, Minerva, Maria & Dede) who were Dominican political dissidents and activists, were assassinated  for opposing the dictatorship of Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo (1930–1961). Rafael Trujillo, was the country’s president from 1930 to 1938 and from 1942 to 1952, but ruled as a dictator from 1930 until his assassination in 1961.

Minerva Mirabal studied law in order to earn a Law Degree and become a Lawyer, and became involved in the political movement against Rafael Trujillo after she was refused a licence to practice law because she declined Trujillo’s romantic advances.Her sisters followed suit, first Maria Teresa, who joined after staying with Minerva and learning about their activities, and then Patria, who joined after witnessing a massacre by some of Trujillo’s men . Dedé joined later, due to having been held back by her husband Jaimito, and they formed a group called the Movement of the Fourteenth of June (named after the date of the massacre Patria witnessed), to oppose the Trujillo regime. They distributed pamphlets about the many people whom Trujillo had killed, and obtained materials for guns and bombs to use when they finally openly revolted. Within the group, the Mirabals called themselves Las Mariposas (“The Butterflies”), after Minerva’s underground name. Minerva and Maria Teresa were incarcerated Amid mounting international opposition to Trujillo’s regime. Three of the sisters’ husbands (who were also involved in the underground activities) were incarcerated at La Victoria Penitentiary in Santo Domingo. Despite these setbacks, they persisted in fighting to end Trujillo’s leadership.In 1960, the Organization of American States condemned Trujillo’s actions and sent observers. Minerva and Maria Teresa were freed, but their husbands remained in prison.

Sadly On November 25, 1960, while Patria, Minerva, Maria Teresa, and driver Rufino de la Cruz were visiting Patria and Minerva’s incarcerated husbands, they were stopped by Trujillo’s henchmen. The sisters and the driver were separated and were clubbed to death. The bodies were then gathered and put in their Jeep where it was run off the mountain road to look like an accident. After Trujillo was assassinated in May 1961, General Pupo Román admitted to having personal knowledge that the sisters were killed by Victor Alicinio and Peña Rivera, who were Trujillo’s right-hand men. The sisters’ assassinations “had greater effect on Dominicans than most of Trujillo’s other crimes”, noting that “it did something to their machismo” and paved the way for Trujillo’s own assassination six months later.

After the death of her sisters, Dedé Mirabal devoted her life to the legacy of her sisters. She raised her sisters’ six children, including Minou Tavárez Mirabal, Minerva’s daughter, who served as deputy for the National District in the lower House since 2002 and served as deputy foreign minister from 1996 to 2000. Of her own three children, Jaime David Fernández Mirabal, is the current Minister for Environment and Natural Resources and former vice president of the Dominican Republic. In 1992, she founded the Mirabal Sisters Foundation and in 1994 the Mirabal Sisters Museum in her hometown Salcedo. She published a book, Vivas en su Jardín, on August 25, 2009. She lived in the house where the sisters were born in Salcedo until her death.

The Mirabal sisters were eventually recognised as Public Martyrs and there are many homages to the Mirabal sisters, including an exhibition of their belongings at the National Museum of History and Geography and the transformation of Trujillo’s obelisk into a mural dedicated in their honor. Since 1981Women’s activists have marked November 25 as a day to fight violence against women and The UN has invited governments, international organizations and NGOs to organize activities designated to raise public awareness of the problem which affects Women around the world, who are subject to rape, mental cruelty, domestic violence and other forms of violence. There is more information about the history of this day, and publications relating to violence against women, at the UN’s Dag Hammarskjöld Library and the The UNIFEM (United Nations Development Fund for Women).

Martin B-26 Marauder

On 25 November1940 The Martin B-26 Marauder made its first fight. The Martin B-26 Marauder was a World War II twin-engined medium bomber built by the Glenn L. Martin Company. First used in the Pacific Theater in early 1942, it was also used in the Mediterranean Theater and inWestern Europe.After entering service with the U.S. Army, the aircraft received the reputation of a “Widowmaker” due to the early models’ high rate of accidents during takeoff and landings. The Marauder had to be flown at exact airspeeds, particularly on final runway approach and when one engine was out. The 150 mph (241 km/h) speed on short final runway approach was intimidating to pilots who were used to much slower speeds, and whenever they slowed down below what the manual stated, the aircraft would stall and crash.

The B-26 became a safer aircraft once crews were re-trained, and after aerodynamics modifications (an increase of wingspan and wing angle-of-incidence to give better takeoff performance, and a larger vertical stabilizer and rudder).After aerodynamic and design changes, the aircraft distinguished itself as “the chief bombardment weapon on the Western Front” according to a United States Army Air Forces dispatch from 1946. The Marauder ended World War II with the lowest loss rate of any USAAF bomber.A total of 5,288 were produced between February 1941 and March 1945; 522 of these were flown by the Royal Air Force and the South African Air Force. By the time the United States Air Force was created as an independent service separate from the Army in 1947, all Martin B-26s had been retired from US service. The Douglas A-26 Invader then assumed the B-26 designation.

De Havilland Mosquito

De Havilland Mosquito

De Havilland Mosquito

The First flight of the de Havilland Mosquito took place 25 November 1940.The de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito was a British multi-role combat aircraft with a two-man crew that served during the Second World War and the postwar era. The Mosquito was one of the few operational front-line aircraft of the World War II era to be constructed almost entirely of wood and, as such, was nicknamed “The Wooden Wonder”The Mosquito was also known affectionately as the “Mossie” to its crewsOriginally conceived as an unarmed fast bomber, the Mosquito was adapted to many other roles during the air war, including low- to medium-altitude daytimetactical bomber, high-altitude night bomber, pathfinder, day or night fighter,fighter-bomber, intruder, maritime strike aircraft, and fast photo-reconnaissance aircraft. It was also used by the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) as a transport.When the Mosquito entered production in 1941, it was one of the fastest operational aircraft in the world. Entering widespread service in 1942, the Mosquito first operated as a high-speed, high-altitude photo-reconnaissance aircraft, and continued to operate in this role throughout the war.

From mid-1942 to mid-1943 Mosquito bombers were used in high-speed, medium- or low-altitude missions, attacking factories, railways and other pinpoint targets within Germany and German-occupied Europe. From late 1943, Mosquito bomber units were formed into the Light Night Strike Force and used as pathfinders for RAF Bomber Command’s heavy-bomber raids. They were also used as “nuisance” bombers, often dropping 4,000 lb (1,812 kg) “cookies”, in high-altitude, high-speed raids that German night fighters were almost powerless to intercept.As a night fighter, from mid-1942, the Mosquito was used to interceptLuftwaffe raids on the United Kingdom, most notably defeating the German aerial offensive, Operation Steinbock, in 1944. Offensively, starting in July 1942, some Mosquito night-fighter units conducted intruder raids overLuftwaffe airfields and, as part of 100 Group, the Mosquito was used as a night fighter and intruder in support of RAF Bomber Command’s heavy bombers, and played an important role in reducing bomber losses during 1944 and 1945.

as a fighter-bomber in the Second Tactical Air Force, the Mosquito took part in “special raids”, such as the attack on Amiens Prison in early 1944, and in other precision attacks against Gestapo or German intelligence and security forces. Second Tactical Air Force Mosquitos also played an important role operating in tactical support of the British Army during the 1944 Normandy Campaign. From 1943 Mosquitos were used by RAF Coastal Command strike squadrons, attacking Kriegsmarine U-boats(particularly in the 1943 Bay of Biscay offensive, where significant numbers of U-boats were sunk or damaged) and intercepting transport ship concentrations.The Mosquito saw service with the Royal Air Force (RAF) and many other air forces in the European theatre, and the Mediterraneanand Italian theatres. The Mosquito was also used by the RAF in the South East Asian theatre, and by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) based in the Halmaheras and Borneo during the Pacific War.

Karl Benz

2013-11-25-14-07-31--2043000597Generally regarded as the inventor of the gasoline-powered automobile, the German engineer & Automotive pioneer Karl Benz was born on November 25, 1844 in Mühlburg (Karlsruhe).Benz attended the local Grammar School in Karlsruhe. In 1853, at the age of nine he started at the scientifically oriented Lyceum. Next he studied at the Poly-Technical University. Benz had originally focused his studies on locksmithing, but went on to locomotive engineering. On September 30, 1860, at age fifteen, he passed the entrance exam for mechanical engineering at the University of Karlsruhe. During these years, while riding his bicycle, he developed a vehicle that would eventually become the horseless carriage.After his formal education, Benz had seven years of professional training in several companies, starting in Karlsruhe with two years of varied jobs in a mechanical engineering company. He then moved to Mannheim to work as a draftsman and designer in a scales factory. In 1868 he went to Pforzheim to work for a bridge building company Gebrüder Benckiser Eisenwerke und Maschinenfabrik. Finally, he went to Vienna to work at an iron construction company.

At the age of twenty-seven, Karl Benz joined August Ritter at the Iron Foundry and Mechanical Workshop in Mannheim, later renamed Factory for Machines for Sheet-metal Working. Karl Benz led in the development of new engines & in 1878 he began to work on new patents. First creating a reliable petrol two-stroke engine. Other German contemporaries, Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach were also working on similar engines, but Benz was the first to make the internal combustion engine feasible for use in an automobile. Karl Benz showed genius, through his successive inventions registered while designing what would become the production standard for his two-stroke engine. Benz soon patented the speed regulation system, the ignition, the spark plug, the carburettor, the clutch, the gear shift, and the water radiator.

in 1882 The company became Gasmotoren Fabrik Mannheim, but Benz left in 1883 and got a job at a bicycle repair shop in Mannheim owned by Max Rose and Friedrich Wilhelm Eßlinger. In 1883, the three founded a new company producing industrial machines: Benz & Company Rheinische Gasmotoren-Fabrik, (Benz & Cie) which began producing static gas engines as well. Benz continued his ideas for a horseless carriage. Using a similar technology to that of motorcycles he created an automobile, which had wire wheels with a four-stroke engine of his own design between the rear wheels and a very advanced coil ignition and evaporative cooling rather than a radiator. Power was transmitted by means of two roller chains to the rear axle. Karl Benz finished his creation in 1885 and named it the Benz Patent Motorwagen. This was the first automobile entirely designed to generate its own power, and not simply a motorized-stage coach or horse carriage.

The next year Benz created the Motorwagen Model 2, which had several modifications, and in 1887, the definitive Model 3 with wooden wheels was introduced, showing at the Paris Expo the same year. Benz began to sell the vehicle making it the first commercially available automobile in history, then In Early 1888 another gear was added to The Motorwagen allowing it to climb hills. To generate publicity and demonstrate the feasibility of using the Benz Motorwagen for travel, Benz’s wife Bertha took her first long distance automobile trip from Mannheim to Pforzheim , using one of the vehicles.Having to locate pharmacies on the way to fuel up, and repairing various technical and mechanical problems during the journey, Including adding leather to the brake blocks to make them more effective thus inventing brake lining. She arrived at her destination and sent Karl Benz a Telgram announcing the fact & Today the event is considered world’s first long-distance journey by automobile.This event is celebrated every two years in Germany with an antique automobile rally called the Bertha Benz Memorial Route and is signposted from Mannheim via Heidelberg to Pforzheim (Black Forest) and back. Benz’s Model 3 made its debut at the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris. there was a great demand Benz’s vehicles and By 1899 Benz was the largest automobile company in the world. In 1893 Benz created a less expensive vehicle suitable for mass production – the Victoria. This was a two-passenger automobile with a 2.2 kW (3.0 hp) engine, which could reach the top speed of 18 km/h (11 mph) and had a pivotal front axle operated by a roller-chained tiller for steering. The Benz Velo also participated in the world’s first automobile race, the 1894 Paris to Rouen, where Émile Roger finished 14th, after covering the 127 km (79 mi) in 10 hours 01 minute at an average speed of 12.7 km/h (7.9 mph). In 1895, Benz designed the first truck in history, some of these were subsequently modified to become the first motor buses.

In 1896, Karl Benz created the first flat engine. It had horizontally opposed pistons, where the corresponding pistons reach top dead centre simultaneously, thus balancing each other with respect to momentum. Flat engines with four or fewer cylinders are most commonly called boxer engines or horizontally opposed engines. This design is still used by Porsche, Subaru, and some high performance engines used in racing cars (Like the Subaru Impreza WRC) and BMW motorcycles. Competitions between Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft (DMG) in Stuttgart and Benz & Cie became intense. The main designer of DMG, Wilhelm Maybach, built the engine to the specifications of Emil Jellinek, who stipulated the new engine be named Daimler-Mercedes (after his daughter) and began racing the vehicles with great success. So Benz countered with the Parsifil, in 1903 with a vertical twin engine that achieved a top speed of 37 mph (60 km/h). In 1903 Karl Benz announced his retirement from design management but remained as director on the Board of Management through its merger with DMG in 1926 and, remained on the board of the new Daimler-Benz corporation until his death in 1929. Benz son Richard returned to the company in 1904 as the designer of passenger vehicles along with continuing as a director of Benz & Cie.

In 1906 Karl Benz, Bertha Benz, and their son, Eugen, then founded the private company, C. Benz Sons (German: Benz Söhne), producing automobiles and gas engines. The latter type was replaced by petrol engines because of lack of demand. The Benz Sons automobiles were of good quality and became popular in London as taxis.In 1909, the Blitzen Benz was built in Mannheim by Benz & Cie. The bird-beaked vehicle had a 21.5-liter (1312ci), 150 kW (200 hp) engine, and on November 9, 1909 in the hands of Victor Hémery of France, the land speed racer at Brooklands, set a record of 226.91 km/h (141.94 mph). on November 25, 1914, the seventy-year-old Karl Benz was awarded an honorary doctorate by his alma mater, the Karlsruhe University, thereby becoming—Dr. Ing. h. c. Karl Benz.

sports car racing became a major method to gain publicity for manufacturers and the Benz Velo participated in the first automobile race: Paris to Rouen. soon Unique race vehicles were being built. Including the Benz Tropfenwagen, which was introduced at the 1923 European Grand Prix at Monza and became the first mid-engine aerodynamically designed Racing car.In 1924 both Benz Cie and DMG started using standardized design, production, purchasing, sales, and advertising— marketing their automobile models jointly—although keeping their respective brands. Then in 1926, Benz & Cie. and DMG finally merged as the Daimler-Benz company, naming all of its automobiles, Mercedes Benz, after ten-year-old Mercédès Jellinek. A new logo was created, consisting of a three pointed star (representing Daimler’s motto: “engines for land, air, and water”) with the laurels from the Benz logo. Sadly On April 4, 1929, Karl Benz passed away at his home in Ladenburg at the age of eighty-four from a bronchial inflammation.The Benz home is historic and is now used as a scientific meeting facility for the Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz Foundation, which honors both Bertha and Karl Benz for their roles in the history of automobiles.