Wyrażanie przyszłości - be to, be due to, be about to
Dzisiaj ostatnie spotkanie z przyszłością, nie licząc zwięzłego podsumowania i ćwiczeń
sprawdzających :) Poznaliśmy już czas Present Simple i jego zastosowanie do wyrażania
przyszłości. Zwroty, które są przedstawione w tym odcinku wprawdzie występują w czasie
Present Simple, ale są omawiane osobno, aby zwiększyć czytelność tekstu i ułatwić ich
Powyższych zwrotów używamy do mówienia o czynnościach, które mają zostać wykonane w
przyszłości. Najczęściej używa się ich do wyrażania oficjalnych planów i ustaleń.
•The Prime Minister is to visit Ireland next month - Premier ma odwiedzić Irlandię w
•The meeting is to take place on Friday - Zebranie ma się odbyć w piątek.
•They are to arrive at noon - Mają przyjechać w południe.
be due to
•They are due to do that tomorrow - Mają to zrobić jutro.
•The train is due to arrive at eleven o'clock - Pociąg przyjeżdża (ma przyjechać) o jedenastej.
•The talks are due to take place at the end of the year - Rozmowy mają się odbyć pod koniec
be about to
Jeśli chcesz powiedzieć, że coś właśnie (za chwilę) ma się wydarzyć, możesz użyć zwrotu be
•The race is about to start - Wyścig ma się właśnie zacząć. Wyścig zaraz się zaczyna.
•She is about to call him - Za chwilę do niego zadzwoni. Ma właśnie do niego dzwonić.
•They are about to leave - Właśnie wychodzą. Właśnie mają wyjść.
I w ten sposób dobrnęliśmy do końca problemów z wyrażaniem przyszłości . Mam nadzieję,
że przekazane wam informacje okażą się przydatne. Na zakończenie dokonamy
podsumowanie i ćwiczenia.
Words for today
◦He gave her a reluctant smile. (On uśmiechnął się do niej z niechęcią.)
◦Doris seemed reluctant to join the discussion. (Doris wydawała się niechętna, żeby
przyłączyć się do dyskusji.)
◦I was reluctant to get into an argument with Roger. (Byłam niechętna, żeby wdawać się w
kłótnię z Rogerem.)
zobacz także: loath to do sth, averse, be disinclined to do sth
Here are two examples of potential use:
Ex 1.: He gave a reluctant answer to her question. No wonder. He hates being asked about his
Ex 2.: She's always been reluctant to cooking. She would rather die of hunger than cook
something for herself.
HEART ATTAC , formal cardiac infarction
◦My father had a heart attack - he's in hospital now. (Mój ojciec miał zawał serca - jest teraz
◦You nearly gave me a heart attack. (Prawie dostałem przez ciebie zawału.)
◦Smoking causes nearly 1.1 million heart attacks each year. (Palenie tytoniu jest przyczyną
blisko 1.1 miliona zawałów serca każdego roku.)
synonimy: heart failure, infarct
Definition : corn
Example : Please, taste maize.
1.badać palpacyjnie, macać
(verb) To examine or explore by touching (an organ or area of the body), usually as a
Usage: The nurse palpated the patient's stomach but felt nothing out of the ordinary.
Phrasal Verb of the day
Meaning: If you opt in, you choose to accept something, or do something, that is offered to
you as an option.
opt in When they're purchasing a product online, we give our customers the chance to
subscribe to our newsletter, but we only send it to those who've opted in.
opt in We have English classes for our workers. They don't have to attend, but if they
opt in they're expected to complete the course.
Customers who want the extended warranty have to opt in, which means they get it
b. if they choose to
c. without choosing to
Idiom of the day
recharge your batteries
Meaning: You recharge your batteries if you do something to regain your energy after a
period of hard work.
Vicky was really tired after organizing last month's seminar, so she's gone to one of
those spa-resorts for a few days to recharge her batteries.
What do you do when you need to recharge your batteries?
Origin: Metaphorical, and related to the fact that batteries used to power devices like mobile
phones can be recharged when necessary.
Our manager has gone to recharge her batteries
a. in the battery lounge
b. in a luxury resort in Malaysia
c. in a mental health facility
Slang of the day
Meaning: very big; extremely
Those guys who started software companies back in the seventies are mega rich by
The Beatles were one of the mega bands of the century, for sure.
Note: also used as a prefix, as in "megabucks" and "megastore"
Some guys at the beach said the surf was absolutely mega today. The waves were
a. really huge
b. fairly big
c. really small
Saying of the day
Make hay while the sun shines
Possible interpretation: If we want to make hay, we need sunny weather, so when the sun
comes we should take the opportunity to make hay. Thus the proverb suggests that we should
make good use of any opportunity while it lasts.
Note: hay (noun) = grass that has been cut and dried for feeding to farm animals
If we should "make hay while the sun shines", we should buy the summer clothes we want
a. during the summer sales
b. after the summer sales
c. after the shops close
Proverbs for today
"The cat would eat fish, but would not wet her feet."
A man is as old as he feels, and a woman as old as she looks.
A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for his client.
A miss is as good as a mile.
Quotes for today
Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) American poet, writer and editor
―Slang is a language that rolls up its sleeves, spits on its hands and goes to work. ―
slang (noun): a very informal kind of language, sometimes including bad language
roll up (verb): move up; fold up
sleeves (noun): the parts of your shirt that cover your arms
roll up your sleeves (expression): prepare to work or fight
spit (verb): forcibly eject saliva from your mouth
spit on your hands (expression): prepare to work or fight
"Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy, the whores are
―Confidence is the only way to win in life."
―Friends hold both the power to excel your life, or destroy it. ―
1.prześcignąć, prześcigać, górować
2.celować, wyróżniać się
Huey P. Long
―People say I steal. Well, all politicians steal.‖
Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804)
―A promise must never be broken.‖
Jokes for today
Q: Hear about the terrorist that hijacked a 747 full of lawyers?
A: He threatened to release one every hour if his demands weren't met.
Q: Why do Scotsmen wear kilts?
A: Because the sound of zippers scares the sheep away.
A woman sat on a plane heading for New York, when the pilot announces that because of
difficulties with the plane`s engines, he must make an emergency landing.
The woman, fearing that this may be the end of her life looks over to a man sitting next to her
and rips her shirt and bra off, and throws herself on him.
`Make me feel like a woman again!` she screamed.
So the man rips his shirt off and hands it to her. `Iron this.`
A man walks into a pub and says, `Give me three pints of Guinness, please.`
So the bartender brings him three pints and the man proceeds to alternately sip one, then the
other, then the third until they`re gone.
He then orders three more and the bartender says, `Sir, I know you like them cold, so you can
start with one and I`ll bring you a fresh one as soon as you`re low.`
The man says, `You don`t understand. I have two brothers, one in Australia and one in the
States. We made a vow to each other that every Saturday night we`d still drink together. So
right now, my brothers have three Guinness Stouts too and we`re drinking together.`
The bartender thinks it`s a wonderful tradition and every week he sets up the guy`s three beers
as soon as he enters in the bar.
Then one week, the man comes in and orders only two. He drinks them, then orders two more.
The bartender sadly says, `Knowing your tradition, I`d just like to just say that I`m sorry that
one of your brothers died.`
The man replies, `Oh, my brothers are fine - I just quit drinking.`
On the seventh day, God said, `Let there be football.`
And it was good.
Later that day, God said, `Let there be one team to rule the others and set the standard for
With that, he plucked a star from the heavens and placed it on the helmet of silver and blue.
God said, `Let it be called, `The Dallas Cowboys` - America`s team.`
Later that day, God said, `Even Cowboys need assholes.`
So he made their fans.
One day at a local buffet, a man suddenly called out, `My son is choking! He swallowed a
quarter! Help! Please, anyone! Help!`
A man from a nearby table stood up and announced that he was quite experienced at this sort
of thing. He stepped over with almost no look of concern at all, wrapped his hands around the
boy`s balls and squeezed. Out popped the quarter. The man then went back to his table as
though nothing had happened.
`Thank you! Thank you!` the father cried. `Are you a paramedic?`
`No,` replied the man, `I work for the IRS.`
The Lady Pharmacist
At the pharmacy, a man asked to talk to a male pharmacist. The lady at the counter said that
she herself was the pharmacist, and that she and her sister owned the store, so there were no
male employees. She then asked how she could help.
The man said that it was something he would be more comfortable discussing with a male
She reminded him that she was completely professional, and he could speak with her in the
"This is tough for me to discuss," he said, "but I have a permanent erection. So I was
wondering what you could give me for it."
"Just a minute", said the pharmacist, "I'll go consult with my sister."
She returned a few minutes later and said: "We discussed this at length. The absolute best we
can do is: one-third ownership of the shop, a company car, and $3,000 a month living
This day in history
Nelson Mandela released from prison, 1990
Georgia's governor escapes imprisonment, 1776
GM signs first autoworkers contract, 1937
Lincoln leaves Springfield, 1861
Burgess and Maclean resurface, 1956
Birth control pioneer arrested, 1916
Avalanches plague central Europe, 1952
Virgin Mary appears to St. Bernadette, 1858
Yalta Conference ends, 1945
The world's fourth space power, 1970
Tolkien heirs file Lord of the Rings lawsuit, 2008
Voltaire is welcomed home, 1778
The Payola scandal heats up, 1960
Sacagawea gives birth to Pompey, 1805
FDR and daughter Anna leave Yalta Conference, 1945
Underdog Buster Douglas knocks out Mike Tyson, 1990
Farm Gate aircraft crashes, 1962
World War I
Russia's General Kaledin commits suicide, 1918
World War II
The "Channel Dash", 1942
Feb 11, 1990:
Nelson Mandela released from prison
Nelson Mandela, leader of the movement to end South African apartheid, is released from
prison after 27 years on February 11, 1990.
In 1944, Mandela, a lawyer, joined the African National Congress (ANC), the oldest black
political organization in South Africa, where he became a leader of Johannesburg's youth
wing of the ANC. In 1952, he became deputy national president of the ANC, advocating
nonviolent resistance to apartheid--South Africa's institutionalized system of white supremacy
and racial segregation. However, after the massacre of peaceful black demonstrators at
Sharpeville in 1960, Nelson helped organize a paramilitary branch of the ANC to engage in
guerrilla warfare against the white minority government.
In 1961, he was arrested for treason, and although acquitted he was arrested again in 1962
for illegally leaving the country. Convicted and sentenced to five years at Robben Island
Prison, he was put on trial again in 1964 on charges of sabotage. In June 1964, he was
convicted along with several other ANC leaders and sentenced to life in prison.
Mandela spent the first 18 of his 27 years in jail at the brutal Robben Island Prison. Confined
to a small cell without a bed or plumbing, he was forced to do hard labor in a quarry. He
could write and receive a letter once every six months, and once a year he was allowed to
meet with a visitor for 30 minutes. However, Mandela's resolve remained unbroken, and
while remaining the symbolic leader of the anti-apartheid movement, he led a movement of
civil disobedience at the prison that coerced South African officials into drastically improving
conditions on Robben Island. He was later moved to another location, where he lived under
In 1989, F.W. de Klerk became South African president and set about dismantling
apartheid. De Klerk lifted the ban on the ANC, suspended executions, and in February 1990
ordered the release of Nelson Mandela.
Mandela subsequently led the ANC in its negotiations with the minority government for
an end to apartheid and the establishment of a multiracial government. In 1993, Mandela and
de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. One year later, the ANC won an
electoral majority in the country's first free elections, and Mandela was elected South Africa's
Feb 11, 1776:
Georgia's governor escapes imprisonment
On this day in 1776, Georgia's royal governor, Sir James Wright, escapes from his residence
in Savannah to the safety of a waiting British warship, the HMS Scarborough, anchored at the
mouth of the Savannah River, and returns to London. Governor Wright had been taken into
custody and placed under house arrest nearly a month earlier on January 18, 1776, by Patriots
under the command of Major Joseph Habersham of the Provincial Congress.
Parliament had taken control of Georgia from its corporate charter-holders in 1752.
Georgia's founders had hoped to establish a colony of worthy, poor white men able to defend
the wealthy slaveholders of South Carolina from the Spanish in Florida. Their vision of an
economically viable Southern colony without slaves failed. The trustees legalized slavery and
alcohol in a last-ditch effort to save their colony between 1750 and 1752. Wright, who
practiced law and held a large plantation in South Carolina, was serving as that colony's agent
in London when he was appointed lieutenant governor in 1760. Upon moving to Georgia, he
sold much of his South Carolina property and invested in Georgia. Wright became Georgia's
third royal governor in April 1761.
Wright was the only colonial governor and Georgia the only colony to successfully
implement the Stamp Act in 1765. As revolutionary fervor grew elsewhere in the colonies,
Georgia remained the most loyal colony, declining to send delegates to the Continental
Congress in 1774.
Although briefly removed from power, Wright organized a military action and retook
Savannah on December 29, 1778. He then resumed office as royal governor on July 22, 1779,
remaining in office until July 11, 1782, when the British abandoned Georgia for good. Wright
then moved to London, where he died three years later.
Feb 11, 1937:
GM signs first autoworkers contract
After a six-week sit-down strike by General Motors (GM) autoworkers at the Fisher Body
Plant No. 2 in Flint, Michigan, GM president Alfred P. Sloan signs the first union contract in
the history of the American auto industry. The strike was organized by the United Auto
Workers (UAW), which wanted to be recognized as the sole bargaining authority for
employees at GM factories. The UAW, founded in 1935, also demanded improved working
conditions and job security for GM autoworkers. At the time of the strike, GM, which was
founded in 1908 by William Durant, had been the world's largest automaker since the early
The strike began on December 30, 1936, and turned violent on January 11, 1937, when a
riot broke out after police tried to prevent the strikers from receiving food deliveries from
supporters on the outside. Officials had already shut off the heat in the factory. Both strikers
and police officers were injured in the melee, which was later nicknamed the "Battle of Bulls
Run." After the January 11 riot, Michigan governor Frank Murphy called in the National
Guard to surround the plant. However, the governor ultimately decided against ordering
troops into the plant. Many Americans voiced their support for the strike, and President
Franklin Roosevelt stepped in to help with the negotiations to end the conflict.
In the end, GM agreed to grant the UAW bargaining rights and start negotiations on a
variety of issues related to improving job conditions for autoworkers. The strike represented a
major victory for the UAW. Soon after, workers at Chrysler went on strike and ultimately
won the right to have the UAW as their representative. The Ford Motor Company was the last
hold out of the "Big Three" American automakers. Founder Henry Ford was strongly opposed
to unions, but his company finally signed a contract with the UAW in 1941.
Today, the UAW has expanded to include workers beyond the auto industry and is
officially known as the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural
Implement Workers of America. The UAW has more than 500,000 active members and more
than a half-million retired members in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.
Feb 11, 1861:
Lincoln leaves Springfield
President-elect Abraham Lincoln leaves home in Springfield, Illinois, as he embarks on his
journey to Washington.
On a cold, rainy morning, Lincoln boarded a two-car private train loaded with his family's
belongings, which he himself had packed and bound. Mary Lincoln was in St. Louis on a
shopping trip, and she joined him later in Indiana. It was a somber occasion. Lincoln was
leaving his home and heading into the maw of national crisis. Since he had been elected,
seven states of the lower South had seceded from the Union. Lincoln knew that his actions
upon entering office would likely lead to civil war. He spoke to the crowd before departing:
"Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and have passed from a young man to an old man.
Here my children have been born, and one is buried. I now leave, not knowing when, or
whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon
Washington. Without the assistance of that Divine Being... I cannot succeed. With that
assistance, I cannot fail... To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will
commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell."
A bystander reported that the president-elect's "breast heaved with emotion and he could
scarcely command his feelings." Indeed, Lincoln's words were prophetic—a funeral train
carried him back to Springfield just over four years later.
Feb 11, 1956:
Burgess and Maclean resurface
Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess, former members of the British Foreign Office who had
disappeared from England in 1951, resurface in Moscow. Their surprise appearance and
formal statement to the press put an end to one of the most intriguing mysteries of the early
Maclean and Burgess had been senior officials in the British Foreign Office and in 1951,
they seemed to disappear without a trace. There were rumors that they had been spies for the
Soviet Union and had left England to avoid prosecution. For five years, nothing was heard of
the pair. British intelligence suspected that they were in the Soviet Union, but Russian
officials consistently denied any knowledge of their whereabouts.
On February 11, 1956, the pair invited a group of journalists to a hotel room in Moscow.
Burgess and Maclean were there to greet them, give a brief interview, and hand out a typed
joint statement. In the statement, both men denied having served as Soviet spies. However,
they very strongly declared their sympathy with the Soviet Union and stated that they had
both been "increasingly alarmed by the post-war character of Anglo-American policy." They
claimed that the decision to leave England and live in Russia was due to their belief that only
in Russia would there be "some chance of putting into practice in some form the convictions
they had always had." They were convinced that the Soviet Union desired a policy of "mutual
understanding" with the West, but that many officials in the United States and Great Britain
were adamant in their opposition to any working relationship with the Russians. They
concluded by stating, "Our life in the Soviet Union convinced us we took at the time the
While the surprise news conference solved the mystery of where Burgess and Maclean
had been for the past five years, it did little to settle the question of why they had gone to the
Soviet Union in the first place. Their statement also did not clear up the issue of whether or
not they had spied for the Soviet Union. Evidence from both British and American
intelligence agencies strongly suggested that the two, together with fellow Foreign Office
workers Kim Philby and Sir Anthony Blunt, had engaged in espionage for the Russians. Both
men spent the rest of their lives in the Soviet Union. Burgess died in 1963 and Maclean
passed away in 1983.
Feb 11, 1916:
Birth control pioneer arrested
Emma Goldman, a crusader for women's rights and social justice, is arrested in New York
City for lecturing and distributing materials about birth control. She was accused of violating
the Comstock Act of 1873, which made it a federal offense to disseminate contraceptive
devices and information through the mail or across state lines. In addition to advocating for
women's reproductive rights, Goldman, who was later convicted and spent time in jail, was a
champion of numerous controversial causes and ideas, including anarchism, free speech and
atheism. Nicknamed "Red Emma," the forward-thinking Goldman was arrested multiple times
for her activist activities.
Goldman was born into a poor Jewish family in Russia in 1869. She fled her homeland as
a teenager in 1885 and ended up in Rochester, New York. There she was employed at a
factory and became involved in the labor movement, protesting poor working conditions and
advocating for unions and an eight-hour workday. She was influenced by the Haymarket Riot
in Chicago in 1886, in which a rally organized by anarchist workers turned into a violent
confrontation with police. The anarchists were later convicted and four were hanged.
Goldman later relocated to New York City, where she joined the anarchist movement and was
romantically linked to anarchist and fellow Russian Alexander Berkman. In 1892, Berkman
attempted to kill Henry Clay Frick, the owner of Carnegie Steel, following a violent workers'
strike in Homestead, Pennsylvania. Berkman was sent to prison, but Goldman, who was
believed to have known about the plan, went free due to a lack of evidence.
In New York, Goldman spent time working as a nurse and midwife among the poor. Her
experiences convinced her that birth control was essential to women improving their lives and
achieving economic and sexual equality. Goldman, a skilled writer, editor and orator, spoke
publicly about contraception and was a mentor to Margaret Sanger, the birth-control pioneer
who founded the organization that would become Planned Parenthood. In 1916, Sanger
opened America's first birth-control clinic in Brooklyn, New York; law enforcement officials
shut it down after 10 days. Sanger opened the first legal clinic in the United States in 1923. In
1936, in an amendment to the Comstock Act, American doctors gained the legal right to
prescribe and distribute contraceptive devices through the mail and across state lines. In 1960,
the FDA approved the first sale of a birth-control pill.
In addition to advocating for women's reproductive rights, Goldman was an anti-war
crusader. In 1917, she was arrested, along with Berkman, for protesting America's
involvement in World War I and the draft. Both spent two years in prison and were then
deported back to Russia. Goldman lived the rest of her life in Russia, Europe and Canada, and
died in Toronto in 1940 at age 70. She was buried in the German Waldheim Cemetery, near
Chicago, the burial place of the Haymarket anarchists and other political radicals.
Feb 11, 1952:
Avalanches plague central Europe
On this day in 1952, a series of deadly avalanches begins across central Europe. A storm
stalled over the middle of Europe the first week of February 1952, dumping a couple of feet
of snow in parts of France, Austria, Switzerland and Germany. In many places, activity came
to a standstill. Thousands of people and their shovels were recruited in German towns to make
the streets passable. In France, several people died when their roofs collapsed under the
weight of the accumulated snow.
The worst of the 10-day snowstorm was felt in Austria, where avalanches took a deadly
toll. At a ski resort in Melkoede, 50 people were sleeping in the early morning hours of
February 11 when a huge mass of snow suddenly crashed down the mountain above them.
Twenty people, almost all German tourists, were killed at the resort and another 10 were
seriously injured. In Switzerland and Austria, authorities issued warnings about potential
avalanches and some villages were evacuated.
Unfortunately, the following day brought more damaging avalanches. In Isenthal,
Switzerland, hundreds of cattle and several barns were buried by snow. In Leutasche, Austria,
a 12-year-old child was rescued by people who risked their lives digging while another
avalanche was poised to fall. Seven of the child's family members were killed.
Overall, it is estimated that 78 people died across Europe from the snowstorm and resulting
Feb 11, 1858:
Virgin Mary appears to St. Bernadette
In southern France, Marie-Bernarde Soubirous, a 14-year-old French peasant girl, first claims
to have seen the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ and a central figure in the Roman
Catholic religion. The apparitions, which totaled 18 before the end of the year, occurred in a
grotto of a rock promontory near Lourdes, France. Marie explained that the Virgin Mary
revealed herself as the Immaculate Conception, asked that a chapel be built on the site of the
vision, and told the girl to drink from a fountain in the grotto, which Marie subsequently
discovered by digging into the earth.
The concept of the Immaculate Conception, in which the Virgin Mary is regarded free
from original sin from the moment of her conception, had been accepted just four years
previous by Pope Pius IX. Marie's claims garnered widespread attention, but skeptical church
authorities subjected her to severe examinations and refused to accept her visions. After years
of mistreatment at the hands of the authorities and the curious public, she was finally allowed
to enter the convent of Notre-Dame de Nevers, where she spent her remaining years in prayer
and seclusion. She died of ill heath at the age of 35.
The sight of her manifestations subsequently became the most famous modern shrine of
the Virgin Mary, and in 1933 Marie-Bernarde Soubirous was canonized as St. Bernadette by
the Roman Catholic Church. Today, millions travel to Lourdes every year to visit St.
Bernadette's grotto, whose waters supposedly have curative powers.
Feb 11, 1945:
Yalta Conference ends
On February 11, 1945, a week of intensive bargaining by the leaders of the three major Allied
powers ends in Yalta, a Soviet resort town on the Black Sea. It was the second conference of
the "Big Three" Allied leaders--U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill, and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin--and the war had progressed mightily
since their last meeting, which had taken place in Tehran in late 1943.
What was then called the Crimea conference was held at the old summer palace of Czar
Nicholas II on the outskirts of Yalta, now a city in the independent Ukraine. With victory over
Germany three months away, Churchill and Stalin were more intent on dividing Europe into
zones of political influence than in addressing military considerations. Germany would be
divided into four zones of occupation administered by the three major powers and France and
was to be thoroughly demilitarized and its war criminals brought to trial. The Soviets were to
administer those European countries they liberated but promised to hold free elections. The
British and Americans would oversee the transition to democracy in countries such as Italy,
Austria, and Greece.
Final plans were made for the establishment of the United Nations, and a charter
conference was scheduled to begin in San Francisco in April.
A frail President Roosevelt, two months from his death, concentrated his efforts on
gaining Soviet support for the U.S. war effort against Japan. The secret U.S. atomic bomb
project had not yet tested a weapon, and it was estimated that an amphibious attack against
Japan could cost hundreds of thousands of American lives. After being assured of an
occupation zone in Korea, and possession of Sakhalin Island and other territories historically
disputed between Russia and Japan, Stalin agreed to enter the Pacific War within two to three
months of Germany's surrender.
Most of the Yalta accords remained secret until after World War II, and the items that
were revealed, such as Allied plans for Germany and the United Nations, were generally
applauded. Roosevelt returned to the United States exhausted, and when he went to address
the U.S. Congress on Yalta he was no longer strong enough to stand with the support of
braces. In that speech, he called the conference "a turning point, I hope, in our history, and
therefore in the history of the world." He would not live long enough, however, to see the iron
curtain drop along the lines of division laid out at Yalta. In April, he traveled to his cottage in
Warm Springs, Georgia, to rest and on April 12 died of a cerebral hemorrhage.
On July 16, the United States successfully tested an atomic bomb in the New Mexico
desert. On August 6, it dropped one of these deadly weapons on Hiroshima, Japan. Two days
later, true to its pledge at Yalta, the Soviet Union declared war against Japan. The next day,
the United States dropped another atomic bomb on Nagasaki, and the Soviets launched a
massive offensive against the Japanese in Manchuria. On August 15, the combination of the
U.S. atomic attacks and the Soviet offensive forced a Japanese surrender. At the end of the
month, U.S. troops landed in Japan unopposed.
When the full text of the Yalta agreements were released in the years following World
War II, many criticized Roosevelt and Churchill for delivering Eastern Europe and North
Korea into communist domination by conceding too much to Stalin at Yalta. The Soviets
never allowed free elections in postwar Eastern Europe, and communist North Korea was
sharply divided from its southern neighbor.
Eastern Europe, liberated and occupied by the Red Army, would have become Soviet
satellites regardless of what had happened at Yalta. Because of the atomic bomb, however,
Soviet assistance was not needed to defeat the Japanese. Without the Soviet invasion of the
Japanese Empire in the last days of World War II, North Korea and various other Japanese-
held territories that fell under Soviet control undoubtedly would have come under the sway of
the United States. At Yalta, however, Roosevelt had no guarantee that the atomic bomb would
work, and so he sought Soviet assistance in what was predicted to be the costly task of
subduing Japan. Stalin, more willing than Roosevelt to sacrifice troops in the hope of
territorial gains, happily accommodated his American ally, and by the end of the war had
considerably increased Soviet influence in East Asia.
Feb 11, 1970:
The world's fourth space power
From the Kagoshima Space Center on the east coast of Japan's Ohsumi Peninsula, Ohsumi,
Japan's first satellite, is successfully launched into an orbit around Earth. The achievement
made Japan the world's fourth space power, after the Soviet Union in 1957, the United States
in 1958, and France in 1965.
Two months after Japan's launching of Ohsumi, China became the world's fifth space
power when it successfully launched Mao 1 into space. The satellite, named after Mao
Zedong, the leader of communist China, orbited Earth broadcasting the Chinese patriotic song
The East Is Red once a minute.
Feb 11, 2008:
Tolkien heirs file Lord of the Rings lawsuit
In the latest of a series of legal battles involving J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved trilogy The Lord of
the Rings and film adaptations made of the books, several of Tolkien’s heirs join a group of
publishers in filing a $150 million lawsuit against New Line Cinema on February 11, 2008, in
Los Angeles Superior Court.
New Line, an independent movie studio owned by Time Warner since 1996, earned
critical acclaim (and struck box-office gold) with three Lord of the Rings films directed by
Peter Jackson: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002) and The Return of
the King (2003). According to the lawsuit, the three films together grossed more than $6
billion internationally. They were also nominated for a total of 30 Academy Awards. At the
2004 Oscars, The Return of the King won in all 11 categories it was nominated in, tying Ben-
Hur and Titanic for the most Academy Awards ever.
Behind the film trilogy’s phenomenal success, however, was a tangled web of legal
conflict, as recounted in a February 2008 New York Times article on the most recent lawsuit.
Film rights to Tolkien’s books were acquired in 1969 by United Artists, who in turn sold them
to the Saul Zaentz Company in 1976. Miramax, then owned by Harvey and Bob Weinstein,
licensed the rights in 1997 and sold them to New Line the following year. The Saul Zaentz
Company had already filed charges against New Line for preventing it from auditing the
accounting for the movies. For its part, Miramax had also sued New Line, alleging that the
other studio defrauded it of $20 million in foreign revenue from the Lord of the Rings films.
(That lawsuit was settled after a counter-suit from New Line.) Finally, in the Tolkien lawsuit,
the holders of a trust for J.R.R. Tolkien, who died in 1973, stated that they had failed to
receive any money from the films. According to the literary-rights agreement signed in 1969,
they said, the trust was entitled to 7.5 percent of the gross revenue from any film adaptation of
New Line’s troubles didn’t stop there: A group of supporting actors native to New
Zealand (where the films were shot) had previously filed a lawsuit accusing the company of
failing to pay them a share of an estimated $100 million profit made from film-related
merchandise. Finally, Jackson himself settled a bitter and lengthy lawsuit against New Line in
December 2007. The director, who also co-wrote and co-produced the Lord of the Rings
films, had accused New Line of cheating him out of tens of millions of dollar after they sold
subsidiary rights for books, DVDs and merchandise to other Time Warner companies for less
than market value.
For Tolkien fans, the settlement of Jackson’s suit was good news, as it meant he could
move ahead with his involvement in New Line’s long-anticipated film version of Tolkien’s
other classic novel, The Hobbit. It was announced that Jackson would co-write and co-
produce the film, but that Guillermo del Toro, the Mexican director of the acclaimed fantasy
film Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), would direct. Meanwhile, New Line’s other legal troubles wore
on, a complicated legacy of Tolkien’s novels, Jackson’s films and the passion they inspired.
Feb 11, 1778:
Voltaire is welcomed home
On this day in 1778, some 300 people visit Voltaire following his return to Paris. Voltaire had
been in exile for 28 years.
Born Francois-Marie Arouet to middle-class parents in Paris in 1694, Voltaire began to
study law as a young man but quit to become a playwright. He made a name for himself with
classical tragedies and also wrote poetry. In 1717, he was arrested for his satirical poem La
Henriade, which attacked politics and religion. Voltaire spent nearly a year in the Bastille as
Voltaire's time in prison failed to dry up his satirical pen. In 1726, government
disapproval of his work forced him to flee to England. He returned several years later and
continued to write plays. In 1734, his Lettres Philosophiques criticized established religions
and political institutions, and he was again forced to flee Paris. He retreated to the region of
Champagne, where he lived with his mistress and patroness, Madame du Chételet. In 1750, he
moved to Berlin on the invitation of Frederick II of Prussia and later settled in Switzerland,
where he wrote his best-known work, Candide. After 28 years, he returned to Paris and was
greeted by hundreds of intellectuals. He died in Paris in May 1778.
Feb 11, 1960:
The Payola scandal heats up
The Payola scandal reaches a new level of public prominence and legal gravity on this day in
1960, when President Eisenhower called it an issue of public morality and the FCC proposed
a new law making involvement in Payola a criminal act.
What exactly was Payola? During the hearings conducted by Congressman Oren Harris
(D-Arkansas) and his powerful Subcommittee on Legislative Oversight—fresh off its inquiry
into quiz-show rigging—the term was sometimes used as a blanket reference to a range of
corrupt practices in the radio and recording industries. But within the music business, Payola
referred specifically to a practice that was nearly as old as the industry itself: manufacturing a
popular hit by paying for radio play.
As the Payola hearings got under way in February 1960, the public was treated to tales of
a lavish disk-jockey convention in Miami bought and paid for by various record companies.
One disk jockey, Wesley Hopkins of KYW in Cleveland, admitted to receiving over the
course of 1958 and 1959 $12,000 in "listening fees" from record companies for "evaluating
the commercial possibilities" of records. Another DJ named Stan Richard, from station WILD
in Boston, also admitted to receiving thousands of dollars from various record promoters, and
though like Hopkins he denied letting such fees affect his choice of which records to play on
the air, he also offered a vigorous defense of Payola, comparing it to "going to school and
giving the teacher a better gift than the fellow at the next desk." He practically likened it to
Motherhood and Apple Pie: "This seems to be the American way of life, which is a wonderful
way of life. It's primarily built on romance—I'll do for you, what will you do for me?" It was
this comment that prompted President Eisenhower to weigh in on February 11, 1960, with his
condemnation of Payola.
But what explains the involvement of Congress in this issue? Technically, the concern of
the Harris Committee was abuse of public trust, since the airwaves over which radio stations
broadcast their signals are property of the people of the United States. However, 1960 was
also an election year, and Rep. Harris and his colleagues on the Subcommittee were eager to
be seen on the right side of a highly visible "moral" issue. Though it is widely agreed that the
famous 1960 hearings on Payola merely reorganized the practice rather than eradicating it,
those hearings did accomplish two very concrete things that year: they threatened the career
of American Bandstand's Dick Clark and they destroyed the man who gave rock and roll its
name, the legendary Cleveland disk jockey Alan Freed.
Feb 11, 1805:
Sacagawea gives birth to Pompey
Sacagawea, the Shoshone Indian interpreter and guide to the Lewis and Clark expedition,
gives birth to her first child, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau.
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark first met the young Sacagawea while spending the
winter among the Mandan Indians along the Upper Missouri River, not far from present-day
Bismarck, North Dakota. Still only a teenager, Sacagawea was the wife of a French-Canadian
fur trapper, Toussaint Charbonneau, who had purchased her from Hidatsa kidnappers the year
before. The Hidatsa had taken Sacagawea from her homeland along the Continental Divide in
modern-day southwestern Montana and southeastern Idaho, where she was the daughter of a
prominent Shoshone chief. Viewing such captives as little more than slaves, the Hidatsa were
happy to sell Sacagawea and another woman to Charbonneau, who used them as laborers,
porters, and sexual companions.
That winter, Lewis and Clark hired Charbonneau as an interpreter for their projected
expedition to the Pacific and back, provided he agreed to bring along his young wife. Lewis
and Clark knew they would have to obtain horses from the Shoshone to cross the Continental
Divide, and Sacagawea's services as an interpreter could prove invaluable. Charbonneau
agreed, and she became the only woman to join the Corps of Discovery.
Two months before the expedition was to depart, Lewis and Clark found themselves with
another co-traveler, who later proved useful in an unexpected way. On this day in 1805,
Sacagawea went into labor. Lewis, who would often act as the expedition's doctor in the
months to come, was called on for the first and only time during the journey to assist in a
delivery. Lewis was anxious to insure his new Shoshone interpreter was in good shape for the
arduous journey to come, and he later worriedly reported "her labour was tedious and the pain
violent." Told that a small amount of the rattle of rattlesnake might speed the delivery, Lewis
broke up a rattler tail and mixed it with water. "She had not taken [the mixture] more than ten
minutes before she brought forth," Lewis happily reported.
Named Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, the cries of the healthy young boy announced the
arrival of a new member of the Corps of Discovery. No one, it seemed, contemplated leaving
Sacagawea and her infant son behind--when the party set out up the Missouri in April 1805,
Sacagawea carried Jean Baptiste on her back in an Indian cradleboard. Nicknamed "Pomp" or
"Pompey" by Clark, who developed a strong attachment to the boy, Jean Baptiste
accompanied his mother on every step of her epic journey to the Pacific and back.
Mother and son both were invaluable to the expedition. As hoped, Sacagawea's services as a
translator played a pivotal role in securing horses from the Shoshone. Jean Baptiste's presence
also proved unexpectedly useful by helping to convince the Indians the party encountered that
their intentions were peaceful-no war party, the Indians reasoned, would bring along a mother
When the Corps of Discovery returned east in 1805, Charbonneau, Sacagawea, and Jean
Baptiste resumed the fur-trading life. Little is known of Sacagawea's subsequent fate, though
a fur trader claimed she died of a "putrid fever" in 1812 at a Missouri River trading post. True
to a promise he had made to Sacagawea during the expedition, Clark paid for Jean Baptiste's
education at a St. Louis Catholic academy and became something of an adoptive father to the
boy. A bright and charismatic young man, Jean Baptiste learned French, German, and
Spanish, hunted with noblemen in the Black Forest of Germany, traveled in Africa, and
returned to further explore the American West. He died in 1866 en route to the newly
discovered gold fields of Montana.
Feb 11, 1945:
FDR and daughter Anna leave Yalta Conference
A week of secret meetings between President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and
Joseph Stalin at the Black Sea port of Yalta ends on this day in 1945, and Roosevelt and his
daughter, Anna, begin their journey home. The meeting is Roosevelt's last appearance at an
As an Allied victory appeared increasingly imminent, The Big Three met to decide the
post-war boundaries of Europe and to discuss military strategy. FDR's health had become
increasingly delicate since his unprecedented re-election to a fourth term the previous fall and
he went into a serious physical and sometimes mental decline as a result of the 7,000-mile trip
to Yalta. Churchill's personal physician had observed that Roosevelt suffered from typical
symptoms of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Only two months later, he would be
dead from a stroke. At Yalta, Roosevelt spent what little energy he had left trying to get Stalin
to join the U.S. in the Pacific war against the Japanese and in privately reassuring Churchill
that he would not give away too much post-war control to the Soviets.
Roosevelt took his daughter, Anna, with him to Yalta instead of his wife, Eleanor, as he
and his advisors agreed that Anna would be best able focus on caring for the ailing president.
Demands on the globally popular Eleanor would not only risk revealing the secret nature of
the meeting, but would drag her away from the necessity of attending a very sick man. Anna
also served as Roosevelt's personal assistant and confidant. The president loved gossip and
Anna readily supplied it. Apart from overseeing Roosevelt's packed schedule, she also took
care of the tiniest details, including making sure there was an even number of guests at the
dinner table. Prior to one dinner at Yalta, Anna scrambled to add one more person with
appropriate security clearances to a table of 13 in order to placate her highly superstitious
The decision to invite Anna annoyed the first lady, though she had rarely joined her
husband on similar missions in the past, and it deepened a rift between the couple that had
increased steadily as his health failed. Roosevelt's former habit of consulting with his wife in
diplomatic matters began to wane and his ill health and her subsequent irritation with him
made the normally congenial couple snappish with each other. Upon the successful
completion of the conference, Roosevelt sent Eleanor a cursory report that concluded, I am a
bit exhausted but really all right. It has been grand hearing from you.
During the journey home, Roosevelt's closest advisor, Harry Hopkins, disembarked at
Algiers due to a serious illness, choosing to fly home at a later date. A cranky Roosevelt took
Hopkins' departure personally and his failure to forgive Hopkins soured their long-time
friendship. To make matters worse, Roosevelt's friend and military aid Pa Watson died of a
stroke two days into the return voyage. Roosevelt also felt burdened by the knowledge that his
concessions to Stalin would result in Eastern Europe's subjugation to communist control. The
combination of these factors drove Roosevelt into further physical decline and depression and
he stayed in his cabin for the duration of the voyage. However, in typical Roosevelt fashion,
he rallied the day before they docked at Newport News, Virginia, meeting Eleanor and the
nation with a sense of optimism.
Feb 11, 1990:
Underdog Buster Douglas knocks out Mike Tyson
In a major upset, Buster Douglas defeats Mike Tyson, the undisputed heavyweight champion
of the world, in 10 rounds at a boxing match in Tokyo, Japan.
James ―Buster‖ Douglas began boxing professionally in the 1980s and was considered a
talented fighter, but it was believed he lacked the motivation to become a champion. By
contrast, Tyson had become the youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history when he
defeated Trevor Berbick by knockout in 1986, when he was just 20 years old.
Nicknamed ―Iron Mike,‖ Tyson intimidated other boxers with his fast, powerful punches.
Going into the February 11, 1990, match with Buster Douglas, Tyson seemed invincible and
was considered a 42-1 favorite to win. However, from the start, Douglas managed to dominate
the fight. He was said to have been motivated by the pain of his mother’s death several weeks
before the match. Tyson, on the other hand, didn’t seem to have his heart in the fight,
although he knocked Douglas to the ground at the end of the eighth round. Douglas was able
to get back up and went on to knock out Tyson and win the fight in the 10th round of the
scheduled 12-round match. His victory was considered one of the biggest upsets in boxing
Douglas’s reign as heavyweight champ was short-lived. After defeating Tyson, he fought
Evander Holyfield in October 1990. Douglas lost the fight in three rounds and afterward
announced his retirement from boxing, although he staged a brief comeback in the late 1990s.
The loss to Douglas was the beginning of a long, downward spiral for Tyson: In 1992, he was
convicted on rape charges and served three years in prison. In 1996, he won the World
Boxing Council title but lost to Evander Holyfield later that year. During a 1997 rematch,
Tyson bit Holyfield’s ear and was temporarily banned from boxing. In 2002, after instigating
a pre-fight brawl with Lenox Lewis, Tyson’s Nevada boxing license was revoked. The match
was moved to Memphis, where Tyson lost the fight. In 2003, despite having earned hundreds
of millions of dollars, he declared bankruptcy and in 2006, he was arrested on drug charges.
Feb 11, 1962:
Farm Gate aircraft crashes
Nine U.S. and South Vietnamese crewmen are killed in a SC-47 crash about 70 miles north of
The aircraft was part of Operation Farm Gate, a mission that had initially been designed to
provide advisory support in assisting the South Vietnamese Air Force to increase its
capability. In December, President John F. Kennedy expanded the Farm Gate mission to
include limited combat missions by the U.S. Air Force pilots in support of South Vietnamese
ground forces--the downed aircraft was part of this expanded effort.
By late 1962, communist activity and combat intensity had increased so much that
President Kennedy ordered a further expansion of Farm Gate. In early 1963, additional
aircraft arrived and new detachments were established at Pleiku and Soc Trang. Farm Gate
was upgraded in early 1964 and then again in October 1965 when Secretary of Defense
Robert McNamara approved the replacement of South Vietnamese markings on Farm Gate
aircraft with regular U.S. Air Force markings. By this point in the war, the Farm Gate
squadrons were flying 80 percent of all missions in support of the South Vietnamese army.
With the build up of U.S. combat forces in South Vietnam and the increase in an U.S. Air
Force presence there, the role of the Farm Gate program gradually decreased in significance.
The Farm Gate squadrons were moved to Thailand in 1967, and from there they launched
missions against the North Vietnamese in Laos.
World War I
Feb 11, 1918:
Russia's General Kaledin commits suicide
Russian General Alexei Maximovitch Kaledin, a commander of Russian forces during World
War I and a staunch opponent of the Bolsheviks, commits suicide on this day in 1918.
Kaledin, born in 1861, was the son of a Don Cossack officer who early on began a
military career of his own. The Cossacks, a group of soldier-peasants of mostly Russian and
Ukrainian stock who lived mainly on the steppes that began north of the Black Sea and
Caucasus Mountains and extended eastward to the Altai Mountains in Siberia, established the
virtually independent Don Cossack republic along the Don River in 1635. By the mid-19th
century it had been taken over by the czarist government, which granted the Cossacks special
privileges in return for military service. In later years, the empire used Cossack troops as a
border patrol and as a special force to quell internal unrest, including the suppression of the
Revolution of 1905.
In 1915, Kaledin served with the celebrated general Alexei Brusilov on the front in
Galicia (in western Ukraine, then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire) and went on to earn
great acclaim as commander of the Eighth Army at the Battle of Lutsk in June 1916. This
battle launched the spectacularly successful Brusilov Offensive, in which the Russians retook
more than 15,000 square miles of territory on the Eastern Front, costing the Central Powers
315,000 casualties and 450,000 POWs, and nearly knocking Austria-Hungary out of the war.
Shortly after the February Revolution in 1917—during which the Cossacks refused to be used
again by the czar's government to suppress rebellion—Kaledin came out against military
reforms proposed by the new provisional government, leading to his dismissal from the army
in May 1917. He subsequently returned to the Don Cossack region, where he became a leader
of the local government, which shared his preference for a return to autonomous rule in the
In the aftermath of the Bolshevik ascent to power in November 1917, the Don Cossack
region asserted its virtual independence from the Soviet state, becoming a haven for political
and military figures who had been effectively exiled because of their opposition to the
Bolsheviks. Kaledin supported these refugees and oversaw the formation of an anti-Bolshevik
army. Almost immediately, the Bolsheviks sent their own military force to take back the
region, viewing the Cossacks as a threat to their successful consolidation of power. Facing an
army that severely outnumbered their own, the newly formed Don Cossack government voted
to submit to the Soviets, despite Kaledin's protests. Upon the vote, Kaledin resigned his
position, walked into the next room, and ended his life with a single gunshot to the chest.
World War II
Feb 11, 1942:
The "Channel Dash"
On this day, the German battleships Gneisenau and Scharnhorst, as well as the heavy cruiser
Prinz Eugen, escape from the French port of Brest and make a mad dash up the English
Channel to safety in German waters.
The Gneisenau and Scharnhorst had been anchored at Brest since March 1941. The Prinz
Eugen had been tied to the French port since the Bismarck sortie in May 1941, when it and the
battleship Bismarck made their own mad dash through the Atlantic and the Denmark Strait to
elude Royal Navy gunfire. All three were subject to periodic bombing raids--and damage--by
the British, as the Brits attempted to ensure that the German warships never left the French
coast. But despite the careful watch of British subs and aircraft, German Vice Admiral Otto
Ciliax launched Operation Cerberus to lead the ships out of the French port.
The Germans, who had controlled and occupied France since June 1940, drew British fire
deliberately, and the Gneisenau, Scharnhorst, and Prinz Eugen used the resulting skirmish as
a defensive smoke screen. Six German destroyers and 21 torpedo boats accompanied the ships
for protection as they moved north late on the night of February 11.
In the morning, German planes provided air cover as well; ace pilot Adolf Galland led 250
other fighters in an unusually well coordinated joint effort of the German navy and Luftwaffe.
The British Royal Air Force also coordinated its attack with the Royal Navy Swordfish
squadron, but a late start--the RAF did not realize until the afternoon of February 12 that the
German squadron had pushed out to sea--and bad weather hindered their effort. All three
German warships made it to a German port on February 13, although the Gneisenau and
Scharnhorst had been damaged by British mines along the way.
The British lost 40 aircraft and six Navy Swordfish in the confrontation, while the
Germans lost a torpedo boat and 17 aircraft. The "Channel Dash," as it came to be called, was
extremely embarrassing to the British, as it happened right under their noses. They would get
revenge of a sort, though: British warships sunk the Scharnhorst in December 1944 as the
German ship attempted to attack a Russian convoy. The Gneisenau was destroyed in a
bombing raid while still in port undergoing repairs, and the Prinz Eugen survived the war, but
was taken over by the U.S. Navy at war's end.
Feb 11 1808
Anthracite Coal First Burned as Residential Heating Fuel (1808)
Anthracite is a compact variety of coal that was first burned as a residential heating fuel in the
US by Judge Jesse Fell in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. It differs from wood in that it needs a
draft from below. By burning it on an open grate in a fireplace, Fell proved that it could be a
viable heating fuel. Fell's experiment took place 18 years after anthracite coal was said to
have been discovered in Pennsylvania by hunter Necho Allen. According to legend, how did
Allen "discover" anthracite? More...
Anthracite (Greek aνθρακίτης (anthrakítes), "coal-like," from άνθραξ (ánthrax), coal) is a
hard, compact variety of mineral coal that has a high luster. It has the highest carbon count
and contains the fewest impurities of all coals, despite its lower calorific content.
Anthracite is the most metamorphosed type of coal (but still represents low-grade
metamorphism), in which the carbon content is between 92.1% and 98%. The term is
applied to those varieties of coal which do not give off tarry or other hydrocarbon vapours
when heated below their point of ignition. Anthracite ignites with difficulty and burns with a
short, blue, and smokeless flame.
Other terms which refer to anthracite are black coal, hard coal, stone coal (not to be
confused with the German Steinkohle or Dutch steenkool which are broader terms meaning
all varieties of coal of a stonelike hardness and appearance, like bituminous and often
anthracite as well, as opposed to Lignite, which is softer), blind coal (in Scotland), Kilkenny
coal (in Ireland), crow coal (or craw coal from its shiny black appearance), and black
diamond. "Blue Coal" is the term for a once-popular, specific, trademarked brand of
anthracite, mined by the Glen Alden Coal Company in Pennsylvania, and sprayed with a blue
dye at the mine before shipping to its Northeastern U.S.A. markets to distinguish it from its
competitors. The imperfect anthracite of north Devon and north Cornwall (around Bude) in
England, which is used as a pigment, is known as culm. Culm is also the term used in
geological classification to distinguish the strata in which it is found and similar strata in the
Rhenish hill countries are known as the Culm Measures. In America, culm is used as an
equivalent for waste or slack in anthracite mining.
Anthracite is similar in appearance to the mineraloid jet and is sometimes used as a jet
Anthracite differs from ordinary bituminous coal by its greater hardness, its higher relative
density of 1.3–1.4, and lustre, which is often semi-metallic with a mildly brown reflection. It
contains a high percentage of fixed carbon and a low percentage of volatile matter. It is also
free from included soft or fibrous notches and does not soil the fingers when rubbed.
Anthracitization is the transformation of bituminous into anthracite.
The moisture content of fresh-mined anthracite generally is less than 15 percent. The heat
content of anthracite ranges from 22 to 28 million Btu per short ton (26 to 33 MJ/kg) on a
moist, mineral-matter-free basis. The heat content of anthracite coal consumed in the United
States averages 25 million Btu/ton (29 MJ/kg), on the as-received basis (i.e., containing both
inherent moisture and mineral matter). Note: Since the 1980s, anthracite refuse or mine waste
has been used for steam electric power generation.
Anthracite may be considered to be a transition stage between ordinary bituminous and
graphite, produced by the more or less complete elimination of the volatile constituents of the
former, and it is found most abundantly in areas that have been subjected to considerable
earth-movements, such as the flanks of great mountain ranges. Anthracite is a product of
metamorphism and is associated with metamorphic rocks, just as bituminous is associated
with sedimentary rocks. For example, the compressed layers of anthracite that are deep mined
in the folded (metamorphic) Appalachian Mountains of the Coal Region of northeastern
Pennsylvania are extensions of the layers of bituminous coal that are strip mined on the
(sedimentary) Allegheny Plateau of Kentucky and West Virginia, and Western Pennsylvania.
In the same way the anthracite region of South Wales is confined to the contorted portion
west of Swansea and Llanelli, the central and eastern portions producing steam coal, coking
coal and domestic house coals.
Structurally it shows some alteration by the development of secondary divisional planes
and fissures so that the original stratification lines are not always easily seen. The thermal
conductivity is also higher, a lump of anthracite feeling perceptibly colder when held in the
warm hand than a similar lump of bituminous at the same temperature. The chemical
composition of some typical anthracites is given in the article coal.
Because of its higher quality, anthracite is around 2–3 times the cost of regular coal. In June
2008, anthracite was US$150/short ton wholesale.
In southwest Wales, anthracite was burned as a domestic fuel from the medieval period or
earlier. It was mined near Saundersfoot.
In the United States, anthracite coal history began in 1790 in Pottsville, Pennsylvania,
with the discovery of coal made by the hunter Necho Allen in what is now known as the Coal
Region. Legend has it that Allen fell asleep at the base of Broad Mountain and woke to the
sight of a large fire because his campfire had ignited an outcropping of anthracite coal. By
1795, an anthracite-fired iron furnace had been built on the Schuylkill River.
Anthracite was first experimentally burned as a residential heating fuel in the USA on 11
February 1808, by Judge Jesse Fell in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on an open grate in a
fireplace. Anthracite differs from wood in that it needs a draft from the bottom, and Judge Fell
proved with his grate design that it was a viable heating fuel.
In the spring of 1808, John and Abijah Smith shipped the first commercially mined load
of anthracite down the Susquehanna River from Plymouth, Pennsylvania, marking the birth of
commercial anthracite mining in the United States. From that first mine, production rose to an
all-time high of over 100 million tons in 1917.
From the late 19th century until the 1950s, anthracite was the most popular fuel for
heating homes and other buildings in the northern United States, until it was supplanted first
by oil burning systems and more recently by natural gas systems as well. Many large public
buildings, like schools, were heated with anthracite-burning furnaces through the 1980s.
Current anthracite production averages around 5 million tons per year. Of that, about 1.8
million tons were mined in Pennsylvania in the United States. 
The principal use of anthracite today is for a domestic fuel in either hand-fired stoves or
automatic stoker furnaces. It delivers high energy per its weight and burns cleanly with little
soot, making it ideal for this purpose. Its high value makes it prohibitively expensive for
power plant use. Other uses include the fine particles used as filter media, and as an ingredient
in charcoal briquettes.
Anthracite is processed into different sizes by what is commonly referred to as a breaker
(see coal). The large coal is raised from the mine and passed through breakers with toothed
rolls to reduce the lumps to smaller pieces. The smaller pieces are separated into different
sizes by a system of graduated sieves, placed in descending order. Sizing is necessary for
different types of stoves and furnaces.
During the American Civil War, Confederate blockade runners burned anthracite as fuel
for their boilers to avoid giving away their position to the blockaders.
In the early 20th century United States, the Lackawanna Railroad started using only the
more expensive anthracite coal in its passenger locomotives, dubbed themselves "The Road of
Anthracite," and advertised widely that travelers on their line could make railway journeys
without getting their clothing stained with soot. The advertisements featured a white-clad
woman named Phoebe Snow and poems containing lines like "My gown stays white / From
morn till night / Upon the road of Anthracite". Similarly, the Great Western Railway in the
UK was able to use its access to anthracite (it dominated the anthracite region) to earn a
reputation for efficiency and cleanliness unmatched by other UK companies.
Formerly, anthracite was largely used, both in America and South Wales, as blast-furnace
fuel for iron smelting, but for this purpose it has been largely superseded by coke in the
former country and entirely in the latter. An important application has, however, been
developed in the extended use of internal combustion motors driven by the so-called "mixed",
"poor", "semi-water" or "Dowson gas" produced by the gasification of anthracite with air and
a small proportion of steam. This is probably the most economical method of obtaining power
known; with an engine as small as 15 horsepower the expenditure of fuel is at the rate of only
1 pound per horsepower-hour, and with larger engines it is proportionately less. Large
quantities of anthracite for power purposes were formerly exported from South Wales to
France, Switzerland and parts of Germany. Commercial mining has now ceased.
Anthracite is an authorised fuel in terms of the United Kingdom's Clean Air Act 1993,
meaning that it can be used within a designated Smoke Control Area such as the central
This Week in History
1988 USSR postage stamp commemorating 70th birthday of Nelson Mandela, two years
before his releas
(A new story every Monday)
1990: NELSON MANDELA IS FREED FROM JAIL
South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela is freed after nearly 30 years'
In 1990, Nelson Mandela was released after spending almost 30 years in jail for opposing
South Africa's apartheid regime. He then became the first democratically-elected State
President of South Africa, leading the country from 1994 to 1999. His leadership helped to
unite the country after many years of conflict between the black and white communities.
anti-apartheid (adjective): against racial separation
imprisonment (noun): the putting of a person in prison or jail
oppose (verb): be against; try to stop
democratically elected (adjective): chosen to hold a position through a fair public vote
unite (verb): bring together