On This Day, April 6, 1776 – Continental Congress Says US Ports Open to World

1776 – The Continental Congress takes the first step toward American independence by announcing their decision to open all American ports to international trade with any part of the world that is not under British rule. It was the first act of independence by the Continental Congress that had so openly and publicly rejected the American Prohibitory Act passed by the British Parliament in December 1775. The act was designed to punish the American colonies for the rebellion against the king and British rule, which had begun with the Battle of Lexington and Concord in April 1775, by banning all British trade with America. It was, in essence, a declaration of economic warfare by Great Britain. For its part, the Continental Congress’ decision to open all ports to any country but those ruled by Britain constituted America’s declaration of economic independence. The economic relationship between Britain and the 13...

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Work to Begin on Nicaragua’s Interoceanic Grand Canal-What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

By Pakalolo, Daily Kos – Scientists and social activists have become very disturbed by the potential catastrophic consequences caused by the construction of a new canal through Nicaragua. Reuters reports that construction will begin 12-22-14. Der Spiegel has a fascinating read on this epic disaster just begging to happen. The waterway is to stretch from Río Brito on the Pacific coast to the mouth of the Punta Gorda river on the Caribbean coast. Beyond that, though, curiously little is known about the details of the project. Only Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his closest advisors know how much money has already been invested, what will happen with the people living along the route and when the first construction workers from China arrive. Studies regarding the environmental and social impact of the undertaking don’t exist.The timeline is tight. The first ship is scheduled to sail into Río Brito, which will become...

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On This Day, July 16, 1790 – DC Established as US Capital

  1790 – The District of Columbia, or Washington, DC, was established as the permanent seat of the United States Government. In 1790 with the passing of The Residence Bill, a site along the Potomac River was established as the nation’s capital. The land was surveyed by Andrew Ellicott with the help of Benjamin Banneker, who through astronomical calculations laid stones in mile increments outlining the city’s boundaries. Originally separated into the federal district called the Territory of Columbia and the federal city called The City of Washington, the name was changed to The District of Columbia in 1793.3 The design of the city was commissioned by George Washington who selected Pierre Charles L’Enfant, a French-born architect and engineer, as the designer. A competition was held separately for the design of the city’s main building, The White House. Nine proposals were submitted, the winner being Irish-born architect James Hoban....

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