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Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster...for when you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

-- Friedrich Nietzsche

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This Day in History
1776: Americans begin shelling British troops in Boston.

1797: The Directory of Great Britain authorizes vessels of war to board and seize neutral vessels, particularly if the ships are American.

1815: To put an end to robberies by the Barbary pirates, the United States declares war on Algiers.

1859: The Saginaw, the first Navy ship built on the West Coast of the United States, is launched at Mare Island.

1865: President Abraham Lincoln rejects Confederate General Robert E. Lees plea for peace talks, demanding unconditional surrender.

1865: Union General George Custers troops rout Confederate General Jubal Earlys force, bringing an end to fighting in the Shenandoah Valley.

1867: Colonel Jacob Zeilin, 7th Commandant of the Marine Corps, becomes the first Commandant promoted to Brigadier General.

1867: Over a presidential veto, Congress adopts the First Reconstruction Act, which divides the South into five military districts, temporarily imposes martial law, and calls for state conventions to draft new constitutions which had to incorporate black voting rights and disqualification from officeholding for former Confederate leaders.

1876: The Secretary of War is impeached for taking bribes to make political appointments.

1901: Congress passes the Platt amendment, which limits Cuban autonomy as a condition for withdrawal of U.S. troops.