Cryptid – a creature whose existence is reputed, but which has not been verified scientifically. Examples include Big Foot, the Yeti and the creature first sighted in Scotland on this date.
The Loch Ness monster was described by an Irish monk in the seventh century as having attacked a group of Picts before it was miraculously dispatched by Colum Cille, better known as St. Columba. The incident was recorded by the Bishop of Iona in his life of the saint, although it happened in the Ness River rather than the loch.
The amount of time, energy and money devoted to the legend of the monster is staggering. Nearly every bit of documented evidence has been debunked, including the 1934 picture shown. It was the gold standard until the perpetrators confessed that it was actually a toy submarine with some plasticine attached.
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Sometime in 1912 or 1913, a young Vietnamese man got work as a waiter at the Parker House in Boston. From there, he moved to Brooklyn, where he worked as a domestic and spent his free time studying the ideas of Marcus Garvey. His name then was Nguyễn Ái Quốc (“Nguyen the Patriot”), though he had been born Nguyễn Sinh Cung and at the age of ten became Nguyễn Tất Thành (“Nguyen the Accomplished”).
He spent the 1920’s in Europe, the Soviet Union and China, eventually becoming an advisor to the Chinese army. He returned to Vietnam at the beginning of World War II as leader of the Viet Minh nationalist party. By then, he had become Ho Chi Minh, “bringer of light.”
The August Revolution against the French occupation began (approximately) on August 22, with the previous occupying force – the Japanese army – standing aside to let nationalists take over public buildings from the French. The Republic of Vietnam was declared on September 2.
But the French soon reasserted their control of Indochina, and a year later Vietnam reverted to its status as a colony. The struggle against France continued until 1954, when it was agreed that the Viet Minh would be the government of the north, centered in Hanoi.
A north-south struggle continued and included the Chinese, the French and finally, of course, the United States. North and south came close to a negotiated peace in 1963, but the U.S. engineered the overthrow of Ngo Dinh Diem in the south and took over France’s role. Ho Chi Minh did not live to see the outcome, dying at the age of 79 in 1969.
The photo shown here could not be more in the public domain – it appears on all Vietnamese currency.