Saturday, November 12, 2011

Zachary Taylor

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Famous as             Military Leader and the 12th President of United States
Born on                24 November 1784
Born in                Barboursville, Virginia
Died on                09 July 1850
Nationality        United States
Works & Achievements War of 1812, Black Hawk War, Second Seminole War, Mexican-American War, Battle of Monterrey Battle of Buena Vista

Zachary Taylor served as the 12th president of the United States from the period 1849 to 1850. He was a successful military leader and his contribution as a military leader was immense. He fought the Presidential election as a Whig party candidate in 1848 and went on to win it by defeating his opponent Lewis Cass. He was the last Whig to win the presidential election and hold slaves under him. His military career lasted for a period of forty years while serving in the United States Army. He led the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War and the Second Seminole War as a military leader. He headed the American troops to victory in the Battle of Palo Alto and the Battle of Monterrey during the Mexican-American War. He faced criticism for his moderate approach on the issue of slavery. He also urged the settlers of New-Mexico and California to form statehood and hereby set the stage for the Compromise of 1850. He served as President for just sixteen months and died of gastroenteritis. It's the shortest tenure served by any U.S. President.

Zachary Taylor Childhood & Early Life
Zachary Taylor was born in a well-to-do prominent family of planters on 24th November, 1784 in Orange County Virginia. He was the youngest of all the nine children in the family. He was born to Richard Taylor and Sarah Strother Taylor. His father had served under George Washington during the American Revolution. His father Taylor was a direct descendant of the Elder William Brewster, the Pilgrim colonist leader and spiritual elder of the Plymouth Colony. He was a passenger aboard the Mayflower and one of the persons signing the Mayflower Compact along with Isaac Allerton Jr., the son of Mayflower Pilgrim Isaac Allerton and Fear Brewster.

Education and Early Life
Zachary graduated from the Harvard College became a merchant in Colonial America. It was his first venture in business with his father in New England, and after his father's death he served as a Burgess for Northumberland County and also as a Councillor of Virginia. He was an active member of the Virginia militia and was promoted to the rank of colonel. James Madison was his second cousin, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Robert E. Lee were his kinsmen.

He lived on the frontier in Louisville, Kentucky, in his youth and he stayed there in a small wood cabin during his entire childhood. He later moved to a brick house after his family prospered financially. He lived there with all his seven brothers and sisters. His father was a proud owner of 10,000 acres of land in Louisville and his father owned 10,000 acres (40 km2), town lots in Louisville, and twenty-six slaves by 1800.

Taylor did not attend any school since there was none on the Kentucky frontier. His only source of primary education was his tutors appointed by his father to teach him during his early years. He was not a very bright student when it came to studies. His handwriting, spelling, and grammar were described as "crude and unrefined throughout his life." As he grew up, he decided to join the military.

Military Career
Taylor joined the U.S. Army on May 3, 1808 after receiving a commission as a first lieutenant of the Seventh Infantry Regiment from his cousin James Madison. He was posted to the Indiana Territory, and was later promoted to the rank of captain in November 1810. He took command of Fort Knox and held it until 1814.

Taylor’s military career started off with a success after he defeated Fort Harrison in Indiana Territory, following an attack by Indians in the War of 1812 under the command of Shawnee chief Tecumseh. Post this victory, Taylor was promoted to the temporary rank of major and led the 7th Infantry in a campaign putting an end to the Battle of Wild Cat Creek. Taylor was also chosen as the commander of Fort Johnson (1814) for a short period and his troops retreated to Fort Cap au Gris. He was then demoted to the rank of captain after the war in 1814. He then resigned from the army and took re-entry only after he was re-commissioned as a major a year later. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1819, and later to a higher position of colonel in 1832.

In 1821 he was stationed along with the remaining of 7th Infantry. In March 1822, Colonel Taylor took command of Fort Jesup originally called Shield's spring. Taylor led the 1st Infantry Regiment during the Black Hawk War in 1832. In 1837, he was sent to Florida where he defeated the Seminole Indians. Hereafter, he was promoted to the position of Brigadier General. He then had the sole command over all the American troops in Florida. He later became the commander of the southern division of the United States Army in 1841.

Mexican-American War
In 1845, Texas became a U.S state. In order to avoid any dispute and guard against Mexico’s attempt to take it back in 1836, President James K. Polk deployed Taylor and his troops on the Texas-Mexico border.  Taylor was vested with the command of American troops on Rio Grande and the Army of Occupation on April 23, 1845. An attack on Taylor’s army by the Mexican forces initiated the start of the American-Mexican war in 1846. The same month, Taylor commanded the American troops in the Battle of Palo Alto and also defeated the Mexican forces at the Battle of Monterrey. Taylor’s army was then asked to join General Winfield Scott’s soldiers after they had seized Veracruz. Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna, with the intention of defeating Taylor’s 6000 men, went with an army of 20,000 men to attack Taylor at the Battle of Buena Vista in February 1847. This resulted in 672 American and 1,800 Mexican casualties. Taylor’s success in the Buena Vista war with much lesser military strength turned him to a hero among the mass. He was then compared to the likes of George Washington and Andrew Jackson in the American popular press.

He served as the President from 4th March, 1849 to 9th July, 1850. He went on to become the 12th President of the United States. Taylor defeated his democratic candidate Lewis Cass and the Free Soil candidate Martin Van Buren.

Taylor got married to Margaret Smith in 1810, and together they had six children. Among them their only son Richard, became the Lieutenant General in the Confederate Army. Sarah Knox Taylor was one of Taylor's daughters who decided to marry Jefferson Davis, the future President of the Confederate States of America who was then serving as a lieutenant in 1835. Taylor's another daughter, Margaret Anne, died of liver failure at the age of 33.

It is assumed that Taylor died of gastroenteritis on 9th July, 1850 at the age of 65 in Washington D.C.

Zachary TaylorTimeline:
1784- He was born on 24th November in Barboursville, Virginia
1810- Taylor got married toMargaret Smith
1849-1850- He served as the President of the United States
1850- Taylor died on 9th July, at the age of 65 in Washington D.C.

Joseph Stalin

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Famous as         Communist Revolutionary & Ruler of former USSR
Born on                 21 December 1879
Born in                Gori, Georgia
Died on                05 March 1953
Nationality        Georgia
Works & Achievements General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

Joseph Stalin was one of the greatest leaders of the former Soviet Union and General Secretary of the Communist party of the Soviet Union serving from 1922 until his death in 1953. While in power, Joseph crushed his contemporary prominent party leaders and opponents he gained popularity among the low-working class people for his socialist-economic policies. He introduced the concept of "Five-Year-Plan" in Soviet Union seeking a rapid industrialization and economic collectivization. In the late 1030's, Stalin instigated a campaign against corruption and treachery both within the party and outside it what he called 'The Purge'. It resulted in a number of executions of party members as well as other sectors of the Soviet Union who appeared to be suspicious and not loyal to Stalin. Under his leadership, the country joined the ally forces against the Nazi Germany after it violated the non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union that resulted in the defeat of Germany and a huge death toll in the Soviet Union.

Joseph Stalin was born in Gori, Georgia on 21 December, 1879. Georgia was then a part of the Russian empire. Stalin’s original name was Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili. His father was a cobbler and an alcoholic. His mother worked as maid. As a child, Joseph experienced the poverty that most peasants had to endure in Russia at the end of the nineteenth century. At the age of seven he suffered from smallpox. He survived but the scars remained on his face. Due to this, he was called as “pocky” by his friends.

Stalin's mother tongue was Georgian and was very strong in the Georgian accent. Even after long years, Stalin could speak in perfect Georgian accent. He studied the basic education, at Gori Church School, where every child, as per Tsar Alexander III’s policy, was forced to speak Russian only.

In, 1894, Stalin received a scholarship to the Tiflis Theological Seminary in the Georgian capital. Instead of devoting his time to the studies he involved himself into the revolutionary movement against the Russian monarchy. He joined a secret revolutionary organization called, “Messame Dassy”. They were demanding an independent Georgia from the clutches of Russian Monarch.
It was through the people he met in this organization that Stalin first came into contact with the ideas of Karl Marx and Engel. However, when his allegiance to revolutionary activities was discovered, Stalin was expelled from the Seminary.

Revolutionary Activities
After being thrown out of the seminary, Stalin started giving private lessons to middle class children. Since, the job he was doing was not a regular and time bound, Stalin had sufficient time to motivate workers and peasants in organizing strikes and shutdown. He soon became popular among the laborers and low class working people. His popularity also caught attention of the “Okhrana”, secret police of the Monarch. On 3 April, 1901, the police launched a manhunt to capture the persons involved with revolutionary activities. Fearing his arrest, Stalin went underground. To enlighten the workers and peasants Stalin wrote many provocative articles for a Georgian newspaper, called Brdzola Khma Vladimir. He spent the next few years as an activist and for a number of occasions was arrested and exiled to Siberia.

Joins Bolshevik
In 1903, while he was in Siberia, Stalin came to know about the split in the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party. The faction under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin came to be known as the Bolsheviks while the admirers of Julius Martov formed the Mensheviks. Meanwhile, Stalin, producing false documents and certificates managed to return to Russia.

He joined the Bolshevik faction of the party and started working very religiously against both the Mensheviks and Tsar Nicholar II. Vladimir Lenin was impressed with Stalin's efforts and achievements. In 1912, Stalin became the editor of Pravda, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of Russia.

Following the end of Tsarist rule, Alexander Kerensky formed a provisional government in Russia. After his return to Russia, Lenin on 3rd April, 1917, Lenin refusing to accept the Kerensky government urged the Bolshevik revolutionaries to pull down the government. Stalin and other members of the Bolshevik Party were severely rebuked by Lenin for supporting the Kerensky government.

Post Kerensky Period
In mid-July 1917, armed revolutionaries under the leadership of Lenin came out in huge numbers to the streets of Petrograd. The masses were divided into two groups, led by Trotsky and Stalin. They seized Petrograd and formed the new revolutionary authority, the Council of People's Commissars. The entire power of the organization was concentrated into the hands of Lenin. He formed a five-member Politburo that included Stalin and Trotsky. During this time, only Stalin and Trotsky were granted the permission to see Lenin without any prior appointment Lenin also appointed Stalin as People's Commissar for Nationalities' Affairs. His task was to win over the people non-Russian origins and persuade them to support Lenin.

Besides, a political commissar in the Red Army, Stalin was also appointed as People's Commissar of the Workers and Peasants Inspection in 1919, a member of the Revolutionary Military Council of the republic in 1920 and a member of the Central Executive Committee of the Congress of Soviets in 1917.

Post Lenin Period
There were lot of frictions between Stalin and Trotsky over a number of decisions of the party. Stalin even wrote to Lenin asking that Trotsky be relieved of his post. Lenin believed that Trotsky would prove a better leader than Russia. The difference between the two became more evident after the death of Lenin in January 1924. Lenin had wished Trotsky to serve as the Commander of the Communist Party after him. But it did not happen. Stalin shedding the traditional emphasis of the Bolshevik on international revolution framed a new policy of establishing "Socialism in Soviet. Trotsky wanted to spread the revolution across the world. He termed it “Permanent Revolution”.

Stalin was so cunning and desperate to become the leader of the party that he manipulated his opponents and played them off against each other. He created the enmity between Trotsky and other prominent leaders like Zinoviev and Kamenev. Taking the opportunity, Stalin started campaigning against both Trotsky and Zinoviev. He claimed that there were lot of differences between Lenin and Trotsky. In 1927, both Trotsky and Zinoviev were expelled from the party and also sent to exile.

Stalin’s Dictatorship
Following the exile of Trotsky and Bukharin, Stalin had become the supreme authority of Soviet. In 1928, Stalin launched the first Five-Year Plans in Soviet Union, emphasizing on the heavy industry to lay the foundations for future industrial growth. His policies gained popularity among the peasants and poor working class. Stalin's reign also stressed on the concept of collectivization of agriculture. This was done to increase agricultural output and bring the peasantry under more direct political control. Stalin was the head of the Politburo and enjoyed absolute power and authority. Besides the reforms on the path of socialism, Stalin also justified expelling opportunists and counter-revolutionary infiltrators.

During Second World War, Stalin conducted a series of mass scale deportations estimating around 3.3 million to Siberia and the Central Asian republics. The reasons of the deportation, as cited by the authority, were separatism, resistance to Soviet rule and collaboration with the invading Germans The deportations had a profound effect on the peoples of the Soviet Union. The memory of the deportations played a major part in the separatist movements in the Baltic States, Tatarstan and Chechnya, even today. The archives of Russia record that about 800,000 prisoners were executed under Stalin for either political or criminal offences, while around 390,000 perished during kulak forced resettlement.

On March 1, 1953, after an all-night dinner in his residence in Krylatskoye, near Moscow with Lavrentiy Beria and Georgy Malenkov, Nikolai Bulganin and Nikita Khrushchev, Stalin did not emerge from his room, having probably suffered a stroke that paralyzed the right side of his body. He died on March 5, 1953, at the age of 74.

Joseph StalinTimeline:
1941: Hitler invades Soviet Union
1942: February 1943: Battle of Stalingrad. Germans are defeated, marking the turning point in the war.
1953: Death of Stalin
1879: Birth of Joseph Stalin
1888: Stalin entered Gori Church School
1894: Stalin enrolled in Tiflis Theological Seminary
1899: Stalin was expelled from the Seminary
1902: Stalin arrested for the first time, exiled to Siberia
1903: The Social Democrats split into Bolsheviks and Mensheviks.
1905: Revolution in Russia. Nicholas II announces constitutional reforms
1912: Bolsheviks officially separate from Social Democrats, Stalin appointed to the Party's Central Committee by Lenin.
1914: Outbreak of World War I.
1917: Beginning of Russian Revolution. The Tsar's government falls, replaced with a Provisional Government. Bolsheviks, including Stalin, hasten to St. Petersburg.
1917: Lenin returns from Switzerland, rebukes Stalin for supporting the Provisional Government.
1917: Bolsheviks overthrow Provisional Government, seize power.
1918-1920: Civil war in Russia. Trotsky organizes Red Army; Stalin commands forces in, Petrograd.
1922: Official founding of Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
1922: Stalin elected General Secretary of the Communist Party
1923: Lenin suffers final stroke, loses his powers of speech
1924: Death of Lenin.
1924-25: Stalin publicly attacks Trotsky for being unfaithful to "Leninism."
1924: Stalin articulates his theory of "Socialism in One Country."
1925: Allied with Bukharin and the "Rightists," Stalin begins attacks on Zinoviev.
1926: At the Fifteenth Party Congress, Stalin attacks the "United Opposition" of Zinoviev, Kamenev, and Trotsky.
1927: Kamenev, Zinoviev and Trotsky sent to exile.
1928: Beginning of the first Five-Year Plan
1929: Bukharin removed from the Politburo
1931-32: Terrible famine across the Soviet Union; millions die
1936: First "Show Trial." Zinoviev, Kamenev, and their allies confess and are executed.
1939: Outbreak of World War II
1940: Trotsky assassinated, by Stalin's agents, in Mexico City.
1941: Hitler invades Soviet Union
1942: February 1943: Battle of Stalingrad. Germans are defeated, marking the turning point in the war.
1953: Death of Stalin

Jawaharlal Nehru

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Famous as      Former PM of India & Freedom Fighter
Born on             14 November 1889
Born in            Allahabad, India
Died on            27 May 1964
Nationality    India
Works & Achievements Authored the Discovery of India, Played an Important Role in Freedom Struggle

Born in an aristocratic family of Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru emerged as one of the greatest political leaders of the world, ever. Jawaharlal Nehru was an active member of the Indian National Congress Party and later elected as the first Prime Minister of independent India. Nehru was at the helm of the political craft and one of the key leaders to frame and execute the initial policies. Nehru was greatly influenced by the Stalinist form of socialism and wanted to follow the same in India and introduced the first Five-Year Plan in 1951. Nehru's contribution and role also changed the political equation during the cold war. He, along with world leaders like Gamal Abdel Nasser and Sukarno founded the Non Aligned Movement. The institution was formed to maintain equidistance from the power-blocs. This undoubtedly managed to create ripples in the centre of world politics. In 1944, during his stay in Ahmadnagar prison, Nehru wrote, "The Discovery of India". The book tells about the History of India - from ancient times, to the formation of British India and the Indian Independence Movement.

Jawaharlal Nehru was born on 14 November 1889 in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. His father, Motilal Nehru was a noted advocate and an influential political leader. His mother Swarup Rani was a religious lady. Though, the Nehru family descended from Kashmiri Brahmin heritage their lifestyle was different from that of other Indian well-to-do family. The Nehrus followed a pro-western culture and lifestyle. At that time, when English was considered as the “official” language of the “elite” and spoken only at the professional area Motilal Nehru encouraged the family members to speak English at home.

In an attempt to take a proper care, Motilal Nehru had appointed teachers of English and Scottish origin at home. Jawaharlal Nehru was first sent to Harrow school and then to Cambridge University in England for further education. There Nehru qualified as a barrister. Nehru, during his stay in London, was attracted by the ideas of liberalism, socialism and nationalism. This was the period, when his interest to join the nationalist movement developed. He returned to India in 1912, and joined the Allahabad High Court Bar.

After his return from London, Nehru was married to Kamala on 8 February, 1916. Nehru reportedly was not happy with the marriage. The huge differences in terms of lifestyle and perspective of Nehru and Kamala could be one of the reasons for his annoyance. Kamala was brought up in a traditional Hindu Brahmin family and was more focused on the family affairs. Kamala found her life in a completely different platform. It hardly had any resemblance. She, as a result, almost isolated herself from the rest of the family. On 19 November, 1917 Indira Gandhi was born. Her grandfather Motilal Nehru would call Indira as “Priyadarshini”.

Freedom Movement
Nehru’s political career started at the Lucknow Session of the Indian National Congress Party in 1916. Interestingly, members of both “moderate” and “extremist” factions had come to attend the Session and moreover all the members unanimously called for “Swaraj” (self rule).

It is believed that Nehru’s interest and enthusiasm in politics developed more during Gandhi’s period. In 1920, Mahatma Gandhi called for the non-cooperation movement against the oppressive tax policies levied by the British. Nehru faced imprisonment for the first time in 1921. Nehru later said that the imprisonment helped him in realizing the importance of freedom. He used his time in jail in understanding the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi and other political leaders. The imprisonment also increased Nehru’s popularity among the local leaders and grass root people.

Nehru started delivering political speeches to deal with the issues like Hindu-Muslim unity, self-reliance and poverty and employment. Nehru emerged as a popular political leader among the masses in northern India. His passion for social justice and equality attracted India's Muslims, women and other minorities. His popularity gained importance following the arrest of senior leaders like Gandhi, Motilal Nehru. Few days later, Jawaharlal Nehru was also imprisoned along with his mother and sisters. After a serious differences in the party, some prominent Congress leaders, including his father Motilal Nehru left to join the newly formed, Swaraj Party in 1923. The decision undoubtedly led to Nehru’s disappointment but he negated the possibility of leaving Congress and Gandhi.

In 1924, Nehru was elected as the president of the Allahabad municipal corporation. He served there for two years. During his office, Nehru launched various schemes to promote education, water and electricity supply and reduce unemployment. Discontented with the corruption amongst the civil servants, Nehru resigned from his post. This further assisted in consolidating his acceptance as a leader. In 1926, Nehru took his wife and daughter to European nations. The visit actually meant for the treatment of Kamala Nehru, who was suffering from tuberculosis. The traveling included the developed European nations like Germany, France and the Soviet Union. There, Jawaharlal Nehru met various leaders from Communists, Socialists, and radical background. Though he was critical of the Stalinist autocracy Nehru was impressed with the socialistic form of economy. In 1927, he became a member of the League against Imperialism created in Brussels, the capital city of Belgium.

In the Guwahati Session of the Indian National Congress Party in 1928, Mahatma Gandhi sent an ultimatum to the British government asking it to grant dominion status to India within next two years. The time-period was later reduced to one year, reportedly under the pressure of Nehru and Subhash Chandra Bose. Meanwhile, Motilal Nehru framed, what came to be known as “Nehru Report” in 1928, favoring the concept of a “dominion status for India within the British rule”. Congress leaders, including Jawaharlal Nehru rejected the report and its recommendations. The dialogue with the British government over the “dominion status of India” failed. This increased the anti-British sentiment among the Congress leaders. In the Lahore session of the Indian National Congress Party in December 1929, Mahatma Gandhi advocated Nehru as the next president of the Congress. The decision of supporting Nehru was reportedly dome to abate the intensity of “communism” in the Congress.

Jawaharlal Nehru hoisted the flag of independence along the banks of the River Ravi on 31 December 1929. In 1931, Motilal Nehru passed away. Despite his death, Nehru family remained at the forefront of the nationalist movement. Nehru was arrested in 1931 and was imprisoned for four months. However, his popularity grew enormously and in 1936, Nehru was re-elected as the president of the Indian National Congress. Nehru as PM: In 1946, the Indian National Congress Party held a presidential election. The importance of the election's stemmed from the fact that the chosen President would become the Prime Minister of independent India.
On 15 August, 1947, Nehru became the first Prime Minister of India to hoist the national flag and make a speech from the ramparts of Red Fort.

In 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse. The incident left Jawaharlal Nehru disappointed and alone. Acting towards the concept of socialism, Nehru in 1951, launched the country’s “First Five-Year Plan” emphasizing on the increase in the agricultural output. Nehru, being a follower of anti-imperialist policy, declared to support the efforts of small and colonized nations, in their liberation. Nehru was one of the founder members of the Non-Alignment Movement and kept India away from being a part of the global bifurcation.

In 1964, Jawaharlal Nehru suffered a stroke and a heart attack. On 27 May 1964, Nehru passed away. Nehru was cremated at the Shantivana on the banks of the Yamuna River, Delhi. In 1951, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).

Jawaharlal NehruTimeline:
1889: Birth of Jawaharlal Nehru, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh
1912: Nehru joined Allahabad High Court Bar
1916: 8 February: Married to Kamala
1917: 19 November: Birth of Indira Gandhi
1921: Nehru’s first imprisonment
1923: Motilal Nehru, his father, left the Congress Party
1924: Elected as president of the Allahabad Municipal Corporation
1926: Visit European Nations
1929: Elected as Congress President
1931: Death of Motilal Nehru
1944: He authored “The Discovery of India”.
1947: Nehru became the first Prime Minister of India
1948: Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi
1951: Nehru launched the first Five Year Plan
1964: 27 May: Jawaharlal Nehru passed away.

Indira Gandhi

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Famous as             Former Prime Minister of India
Born on                    19 November 1917
Born in                    Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh
Died on                    31 October 1984
Nationality            India
Works & Achievements First Woman Prime Minister of India; Lenin Peace Prize (for 1983-1984)

Indira Gandhi was the first woman Prime Minister of India. Political thinkers, even today consider Gandhi as the most controversial Premier of the nation. She was so much interested and inclined towards the national politics that she had decided to stay with Prime Minister father in Delhi. Her husband, Feroze Gandhi stayed back in Allahabad. It was during her period in office, India was enveloped into "a state of emergency". In order to suppress the rising movement for a separate state called "Khalistan" Gandhi ordered the army to launch a manhunt inside the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The event was termed as the "Operation Blue-Star". She was accused of unfair treatment to the Sikhs and the anger was so intensified that on 31 October 1984, she was shot by two of her Sikh bodyguards. Indira Gandhi was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize (for 1983-84).

Indira Gandhi was born in an aristocratic family of Nehru on 19 November, 1917, in Allahabad. Her father, Jawaharlal Nehru was a lawyer and also leader of the Indian Nationalist Movement. Indira's mother, Kamala, was a religious lady. It was reported that there was a huge difference between the lifestyle of Jawaharlal Nehru and his wife Kamala. The Nehrus, for traditions, followed a more-western and sophisticated lifestyle. This is one of the reasons her mother had nearly-isolated herself from the values of the Nehrus.

Indira’s Grandfather, Motilal Nehru was a renowned barrister of that period. He was also a prominent member of the Indian National Congress Party. Due to this, lot of noted leaders and party activists would visit the “Nehru House”. Mahatma Gandhi was one of them. Therefore, since childhood, Indira Gandhi had developed an interest in the affairs of country’s politics. Indira Gandhi attended prominent schools including Shantiniketan, Badminton School and Oxford, but she showed no great aptitude for academics, and was detained from obtaining a degree. In 1936, her mother, Kamala Nehru, finally succumbed to tuberculosis after a long struggle. She was eighteen at the time. Jawaharlal Nehru was languishing in the Indian jails that time.

Marriage Life and Politics
After returning from Oxford University, Indira started participating enthusiastically in the national movement. In 1941, Indira married Feroze Gandhi, a journalist and key member of the Youth Congress. Though Nehru had raised a strong objection to the marriage of his daughter with a Parsi, but could not prevent Indira. In 1944, Indira gave birth to Rajiv Gandhi followed two years later by Sanjay Gandhi. Feroze later became editor of a newspaper of the Indian National Congress Party in Allahabad. Indira and Feroze were happily settled there in Allahabad but things worsened after Indira decided to shift to Delhi, with her father. She moved to Delhi, with two sons, while Feroze Gandhi stayed back

During the 1951-52 Parliamentary Elections, Feroze Gandhi was asked to contest election from Rae Bareli. He eventually won the elections and moved to Delhi, but opted to live in a separate house. Feroze, with time gained popularity and soon became a prominent face against corruption. His popularity increased, especially after he exposed a major financial scandal in the Nehru led cabinet. It was reported that the then Finance Minister T.T. Krishnamachari, a close aided of Nehru, was involved in the scandal that would benefit the major insurance companies. . On 8 September 1960, Feroze died after a major cardiac arrest.

Indira as Congress President
Indira Gandhi was a devoted partisan of the Congress Party and became one of the political advisors of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. In 1959, she was elected as the President of the Indian National Congress Party. After Jawaharlal Nehru passed away on 27 May 1964, Indira Gandhi contested elections and eventually elected. She was appointed as the Information and Broadcasting Minister during Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri.

At that time, people in southern parts of India were protesting over Hindi being considered as the national language. With each day, the situation was worsening in the region. In order to pacify the anger of community leaders, Indira Gandhi visited Madras (now Chennai).  Indira Gandhi had a very good manipulating the media and she used them as an instrument of image-making. During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Indira Gandhi was on a holiday trip to Srinagar. Despite repeated warnings by the security forces that Pakistani insurgents had entered very close to the hotel, she was staying, Gandhi refused to move. The incident fetched her huge national and international media attention.

As Prime Minister
Following the death of Lal Bahadur Shastri on 11 January 1966, in Tashkent, the party countered a serious trouble, as, some of the senior leaders of the Congress party desired to contest. Unable to reach at a consensus, the high-command led by K Kamaraj picked Indira as their contender. Senior Congress leader Morarji Desai opposed Indira’s nomination for the coveted throne and decided to contest against her. During voting, Desai gained only 169 votes as compared to Indira’s 355 votes. The virtual reason behind Indira’s selection for the post was the belief that “Indira is not so competent in taking decisions and thus she would, indirectly be controlled by the top leadership.” But Indira Gandhi, in contrast to the high-command, showed extraordinary political skills and elbowed the Congress stalwarts out of power.

The election of Indira Gandhi increased the differences of opinion between the top Congress leaders. The split looked evident as the members hardly looked united on any issue. To dispel the growing chances of split-up, Indira Gandhi inducted Morarji Desai in the cabinet. He was appointed as Deputy Prime Minister and then Finance Minister of the country. In 1969, Gandhi issued order to nationalize all the banks of the country.

In 1971, to solve the Bangladeshi refugee problem, she declared war, on Pakistan, on the side of the East Pakistanis, who were fighting for their independence. The US President Richard Nixon, supporting West Pakistan sent its Seventh Fleet to the Bay of Bengal as a warning to India keep away from East Pakistan. This move had further alienated India from the First World and brought close to the USSR further. To strengthen the national security, in 1974, India successfully conducted an underground nuclear test, at Pokhran in Rajasthan.

Declaration of Emergency
During 1975, the Opposition parties joined by local groups and NGOs staged regular demonstrations in almost all the states of the country protesting against the rising inflation and unchecked corruption in the government. The intensity of protest was increasing day by day. The government failed to pacify them and contain the movement. At the same time, Allahabad High Court, hearing a petition against Indira Gandhi ruled that she had used illegal practices during the election. The Court also ordered her to vacate the seat, immediately. The ruling helped in adding fuel to the ongoing political fire. The agitation and anger of the people amplified. Realizing the consequences, Indira Gandhi, on 26 June, 1975, declared “a state of emergency, due to the turbulent political situation in the country”.

Now, the political baton came into the hands of Indira Gandhi, which she used very tactfully. All her political rivals were imprisoned, constitutional rights of the citizens were abrogated, and the press placed under strict censorship. It was reported that the leaders of the Opposition parties were beaten and assaulted in the jail.

Taking advantage of the situation, her younger son, Sanjay Gandhi, began to run the country as a dictator. He ordered the removal of slum dwellings, and in an attempt to curb India's growing population, initiated a highly resented program of forced sterilization. In 1977, Indira Gandhi called for elections. It was reported that the call for an election was taken after she apprehended a threat of military coup.

Post Emergency Period
In the next elections, Indira Gandhi was completely defeated by the Janata Dal, led by Morarji Desai and Jai Prakash Narayan. Congress managed to win only 153 Lok Sabha seats, as compared to 350 seats it grabbed in the previous Lok Sabha. During the electoral campaign, Janata Dal leaders urged the people to choose between “democracy and dictatorship”.

Though the Janata Dal emerged victorious by a huge margin it could not keep the coalition intact for longer. The allies were concentrated more on the self-development. They would fight almost on all the issue and every ally threatened to quit it their interest is not served. The internal strife became evident within months of taking charge.

To divert the attention of the people from their failure the Janata Dal ordered to arrest Indira Gandhi. However, the strategy crashed disastrously and gained Indira Gandhi, a great sympathy. Indira Gandhi started giving out speeches and highlighted the wrong policies of the Janata government. In the next elections held in January 1980, Congress returned to power with a landslide majority. Political experts viewed the victory of the Congress as a result of inefficient and ineffective “Janata Dal”.

Operation Blue Star and Her Assassination
Two events of the Indian political history that tarnished the image of Indira Gandhi were declaration of emergency in 1975 and launching of Operation Blue Star in Punjab. In September 1981, a Sikh militant group led by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale demanded a separate state of Khalistan. They started motivating people in Punjab and organized several outfits to carry out their plans.

In June, they entered into the premises of the Golden Temple, Amritsar to take shelter. Indira Gandhi asked Lieutenant General S.K. Sinha, then Vice Chief of Indian Army to prepare a position paper for assault on the Golden Temple. Sinha advised her against any such move suggested to adopt an alternative solution. But Indira Gandhi stuck to her idea and on the night of June 5 the Indian Army stormed the Golden Temple led by Major General Kuldip Singh Brar. The security forces had managed to kill Bhindranwale along with other separatists but a large number of followers and innocent civilians were also killed in the exchange of fire inside the holy shrine.

The act was viewed as an unparalleled tragedy in the Indian political history. The impact of the onslaught increased the communal tensions in the country as many Sikhs resigned from the armed and civil administrative office and also returned their government awards. On 31 October 1984, Indira Gandhi’s bodyguards Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, as avenge of the Golden Temple assault, assassinated the Prime Minister at her Safdarjung Road residence.

Indira GandhiTimeline:
1917: Indira Gandhi was born in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh
1936: Her mother died of tuberculosis
1942: Indira Gandhi married Feroze Gandhi.
1944: Rajiv Gandhi was born.
1946: Birth of Sanjay Gandhi.
1960: Feroze Gandhi died.
1966: Indira Gandhi is elected as Prime Minister of India.
1975: Declaration of state of emergency
1975: Sterilization enforced.
1980: Indira Gandhi re-elected as Prime Minister.
1980: Sanjay dies in plane crash.
1984: Golden Temple Massacre.
1984: Indira Gandhi is assassinated.

Henry Kissinger

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Famous as             Diplomat, National Security Advisor (America)
Born on                     27 May 1923
Born in                     Furth Bavaria, Germany
Nationality            United States
Works & Achievements Nobel Peace Prize (1973), Foreign Policy of Detente, Ceasefire With Vietnam

Henry Kissinger is a German-born American political scientist, bureaucrat and diplomat who served America as National Security Advisor and later as Secretary of State under the presidency of Richard Nixon and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973. As National Security Advisor and Secretary of States, Kissinger adopted the policy of detente in foreign affairs which improved America's deteriorating relations with the world's two super powers - Soviet Union and China. However, his landmark achievement till this day is a ceasefire with Vietnam which brought an end to the long time war between the two countries for which he was awarded the honorary Nobel Peace Prize in 1973. He was one of the few officials of President Nixon to come out with a clean image from the widely condemned Watergate scandal and despite several accusations and impeachments, has continued to hold important positions in the American Government. In addition to the Nobel Peace Prize, he has been given the Wilson Award and the Hopkins-Nanjing Award in June 2007.

Childhood, Education & Early Career
Henry Kissinger was born on 27 May 1923 in Furth Bavaria, Germany to Jewish parents Louis Kissinger; who was a school teacher, and Paula Stern. Hennery Kissinger has a younger brother Walter. Following the mass killing of Jewish community in Germany by Nazis, Kissinger’s family moved to New York in 1938, where his original name Heinz Alfred Kissinger was changed to Henry Kissinger and was granted the U.S. citizenship on 19 June 1943.

Kissinger received his primary education from the George Washington High School which he attended during night while working in a factory during the day time; and later enrolled in the City College of New York and Harvard College in 1950, where he was awarded an A. B. degree in 1950.  He joined the U.S. army in South Carolina in 1943; while still in the City College of New York, and was made a German interpreter for the Counter Intelligence Corps. He received two more degrees in future from the Harvard University; A.M. in 1952 and a Ph.D. in 1954.

While in Harvard, Kissinger held numerous key positions in the management and security department; that include the position of Associate Director of the Center for International Affairs in 1957 and prior to that, a consultant to the National Security Council’s Operations Coordinating Board in 1955. He became study director in Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy and served until he was appointed by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund as its director in 1958. During 1958 and 1971, Kissinger served as a Director of the Harvard Defense Studies Program and meanwhile remained the Director of Harvard International Seminar, the position he was appointed to in 1951.

Marriages, Children & Personal Life
Kissinger's first wife was Ann Fleischer with whom; he had two children - daughter Elizabeth and son David. The couple divorced in 1964 and he married his second wife Nancy Maginnes in 1973. Meanwhile, Kissinger became the head of the Kissinger Associates, a consulting firm and the couple began living in Kent Connecticut. His second marriage at least put an end to the endless link-ups with several high profile women.

Throughout his college days and youth, Henry remained an ardent fan of Soccer, and is now a member of the German soccer club Spielvereinigung Greuther Furth. He was honored as Harlem Globetrotter in 1976. In 1982, a triple coronary bypass surgery was performed on him following severe heart problems.

Kissinger as the Secretary of State
Between 1969 and 1977, Kissinger largely influenced the American foreign policy as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State and employed a policy of détente to normalize relations with the Soviet Union and China. The policy led a key role in slackening the strained relations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union and also paved the way to open a dialogue with China, culminating in cordial relations with the both superpowers of the world. Under his guidance, the United States maintained a balanced and cordial relation with anti-communist and non-communist groups, democracy and authoritarian groups in a similar way, which can be viewed as an attempt to consolidate good friendship with powerful nations. With his constant efforts, he succeeded in establishing a ceasefire between Vietnam and the United States for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973.

Vietnam War
Richard Nixon came in power with his promise to end the ongoing war with Vietnam, and soon after his election in 1968, he embarked on a policy of Vietnamization with a view to evacuate Vietnam while defending South Vietnam, which was under the threat of National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam and Vietnamese Army. Kissinger contributed to the mission by instigating a series of bombing on Cambodia and successfully negotiated a ceasefire between America and Vietnam. Though North Vietnam violated the terms of the ceasefire by invading and capturing South Vietnam in 1975, Kissinger was awarded Nobel Prize for his efforts and contribution towards restoring peace in Vietnam.

U.S. Intervention In Chile
Kissinger has been in constant controversy for his alleged involvement in the failed attempt to prevent the Chilean socialist presidential candidate Salvador Allende from coming to power, who had certainly become a threat to the U.S. with his Marxist and pro-Cuban politics. The then U.S. President Richard Nixon ordered to set off a military coup to organize anti- government strikes and declared Allende a communist. Though the plan was not successful and Allende assumed the power; both Chile and the U.S. continued the hostility towards each other until 1973, when Allende was killed in a military coup launched by Commander-In-Chief, Augusto Pinochet.

Later Role in U.S. Politics
Kissinger had a dominant role in the decision making process throughout the Richard Nixon’s presidency in America which began to decline with Ronald Regan coming to power during 1980’s, though he continued political speaking and writing as a foreign-policy commentator. He held an important position under the George Bush led government and was appointed to chairmanship to a committee investigating the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001; however several political reasons combined made him resign on 13 December 2002. During last recent years, he has remained active and actively participated in the strategy making of the America-Iraq War.

Accusations & Criticism
Kissinger’s foreign policy in Vietnam and Asian countries — Cambodia and Chile — caused global controversy and evoked opposition from journalists and human rights NGOs. He has been criticized for ignoring atrocities committed by the ally countries that are seemingly powerful and have geographical advantage, especially countries like Turkey and East Pakistan. During Indo-Pakistan War, President Nixon had supported Pakistan fearing the Soviet Union’s expansion in India as a result of treaty signed by them.

Operation Condor
Henry Kissinger was charged with his alleged role in the murder campaign of intelligence and security officers in Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Chile. The campaign, known as the Operation Condor, killed five French nationals in Chile. In addition to that, on 10 September 2001, a civil suit was filed against Henry Kissinger charging him with the murder of Chilean Commander-In Chief, Rene Schneider, who had opposed Kissinger’s plans for a military coup. On 11 September 2001, Chilean human rights lawyers filed a case against him along with Augusto Pinochet and several others for their suspected role in the Operation.

Later Life
In his later life during 1970’s, Kissinger was elected to Georgetown University’s Centre for Strategic and International Studies before founding a consulting firm, Kissinger Associates in 1989 and served on the board of directors in a Chicago newspaper, Hollinger International. Despite a number of impeachments and indictments, Henry Kissinger continued to hold prestigious positions in various organizations and departments; Chancellor of William and Mary and Political Advisor to the Indonesian President are to name a few. Kissinger was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service in April 2006, and before that he had received the citizenship of his birthplace Furth, Germany, in 1998. In addition to the Wilson Award, he received the Hopkins-Nanjing Award in June 2007, which was presented by the Presidents of Nanjing University and Johns Hopkins University together.

Henry KissingerTimeline:
1923 - Henry Kissinger was born on 27 May.
1938 - Kissinger’s family moved to New York.
1943 - Henry was granted the U.S. citizenship on 19 June. He joined the U.S. army in South Carolina.
1950 - Kissinger went to the Harvard University.
1955 - He became aconsultant to the National Security Council’s Operations Coordinating Board.
1957- Hewas elected Associate Director of the Center for International Affairs.
1958 - He served as a Director of the Harvard Defense Studies Program till 1971.
1964- Henry Kissinger divorced his first wife Ann Fleischer.
1968 - Richard Nixon came in power in 1968.
1973 - Henry became the 56th State Secretary of the United Nations. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
1973- He married his second wife Nancy Meggines.
1976- He was honored as Harlem Globetrotter in 1976.
1977- Henry served as the State Secretary of the United States till 1977.
1982- A bypass surgery was performed on Kissinger.
1989 - Henry Kissinger founded a consulting firm, Kissinger Associates.
2001- A civil suit was filed against Henry Kissinger on 11 September.
2006 - Kissinger was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service in April.
2007 - He was awarded the Hopkins-Nanjing Award in June.

George Washington

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Famous as        First President of the United States
Born on               22 February 1732
Born in               Westmoreland County, Virginia
Died on              14 December 1799
Nationality      United States
Works & Achievements Victory in the American Revolutionary War

George Washington was the first President of the United States who led the Continental Army to victory in the American Revolutionary War against the Kingdom of Great Britain and saved the nation from the threat of collapse during its most crucial time. The commander-in-chief of the American Revolution Army, Washington became the President of the world's most powerful country in 1789 following the end of war with The Great Britain in 1783. As President, George Washington played a leading role in drafting the American Constitution in 1787 and extended his contribution by building a strong central government, establishing a national bank system and implementing an effective tax system. Washington first adopted the foreign policy of 'neutrality' in 1773, to avert international conflicts and intervention of other countries. His presidency lay down the foundation of the world's major power, making him the greatest President in the American history.

Childhood and Early Life
George Washington was born on 22 February 1732 near Colonial Beach in Westmoreland County in Virginia. He was the first son of Augustine Washington and his second wife Mary Ball Washington and had an older half-brother Lawrence Washington. He didn’t get any formal education, but was educated by his father and older brother at home. In early days of youth, George Washington worked as a surveyor before taking a career as a planter in 1748. In 1749, Washington was appointed as surveyor of the Culpeper County, and while working there he developed interest in the Ohio Company, which had a reputation for exploiting foreign lands.

After Lawrence’s death in 1752, Washington took charge of the colony as assistant officer, the position previously held by Lawrence. George Washington was made Major Washington at the age of 20, after his appointment as district adjutant general in the Virginia militia in 1752. The work included training the militia and moving ahead in his career, he became a Master Mason in the organization of Freemasons, a fraternal organization, at the age of 21.

In 1754, Washington was promoted to lieutenant colonel and was sent on a mission to drive out the French troops from Fort Duquesne. The mission could not be accomplished and George resigned upon returning to Virginia because he could not put up with the new Virginia Militia. After having worked as a brigadier general in the Forbes expedition, he resigned from the military in 1758 and engaged himself in his work as a planter and politician.

Marriage and Personal Life
George married a widow Martha Dandridge Custis on 6 January 1759 and the couple moved to Mount Vernon where together they raised Daniel Parke Custis and John Parke Custis, the two children which Martha had from her previous marriage. The couple never had their own children. Washington’s marriage to a wealthy widow brought him a fortune by increasing his property holding and social status and making him the wealthiest man in Virginia.

George Washington and American Revolution
After the American Revolution broke in 1775, Congress created the Continental Army on 14 June 1775 and Washington, who had the charisma and prestige to win people around him and had a reputation of being a true patriot, was appointed Major General and Commander-In Chief for the war. Washington came in charge of the Continental Army during the ongoing siege of Boston and despite a huge shortage of weapon and manpower; he forced the British Troops to evacuate Boston and further led his Army to New York City. The landslide victory in Boston gave him an image of a hero and a committed patriot. His bravery and qualities as a commander made their presence in every newspaper; even in British newspapers, where his courage, endurance and bravery were found worth praising.

In 1776, British troops under General William Howe instigated a series of land and marine attacks in an attempt to siege New York. The attacks resulted in the defeat of the Continental Army at the ‘Battle of Long Island’ and forced Washington to move back with his army. A series of defeat followed, and demands intensified to remove Washington from his position, which came to a halt after a rally came in his support. In a historical victory in 1781, Washington’s American army and French army, who was an ally in the war, captured a British army and forced them to surrender. After a number of defeats and personal suffering of Washington, the war came to an end when the British troops surrender at Yorktown on 17 October 1781.

The American army was disbanded on 2 November, with Washington’s final farewell to his soldiers after capturing the New York City and forcing British troops to evacuate the City on 25 November. On 4 December, Washington formally announced his resignation and in less than a month, he resigned from the position of commander-in-chief on 23 December. In 1787, Washington was invited to attend the Constitutional convention in Philadelphia, where he was elected President of the convention. The American Constitution was formed with electing Washington as First President of the United States.

Presidency of the United States (1789-1797)
George Washington was elected the first President of the United States and he took the oath under the American Constitution on 30 April 1789. He was the only President to receive 100 electoral votes. Though he first declined to accept any salary for his service as President, later he accepted it to avoid setting a standard for the Presidents who would lead the nation in future. Being a good administrator and a talented judge, he consulted his delegates before reaching any final decision. His commitment to serve common goal gained him huge appreciation and respect from the nation as well as from his delegates. Washington was elected for his second successive term.

Domestic and Foreign Policies
Washington himself was not a member of any party and held a view against it because he believed that it will cause conflicts and stop the growth of the country. Other policies he employed to build a strong nation include the establishment of national banking system and tax system in U.S. Furthermore, making a historical move in future, he appointed the first ten Justice of the Supreme Court during his presidency.

He adopted a no-interference policy in the domestic affairs of other states and following the same, he refused to become involve in the France war against Britain. During that period, he signed widely opposed Jay Treaty on 19 November 1794 with a hope to improve trade relations with Britain and resolve the financial debt accumulated since the Revolutionary War of America. The treaty smoothen the rough edge between the countries making The French feel enraged at the same time.

Farewell Address and Retirement
George Washington delivered his farewell speech, which he himself had drafted, in 1796. The letter that carried his advice of unity and morality, warned the Americans against foreign influence in America and America’s meddling in European affairs. He had a strong view that United States is republic and it should refrain from the policy of partisanship serving a common interest. He called for an Independent America saying the United States must concentrate on American interests while marinating a friendship and trade with all nations.

Washington took retirement from the presidency in 1797 and returned to Mount Vernon where he emerged himself in farming and gardening; something he had taken as career many years back. He remained active even after his retirement and was appointed Lieutenant General by the then President John Adams, for an expected war with France and between 13 July 1798 and 14 December 1799, he served as the senior officer of the United States Army.

Washington died on 14 December 1799, at the age of 67 with his close friends and personal secretary by his side. He was suffering from cold, bad throat and fever for the past two days before his death on 14 December and was diagnosed with a throat infection called quinsy, which had turned into laryngitis and pneumonia. After his death, Washington’s remains were buried at Mount Vernon. Washington’s death came as a big shock to the nation and the American Army wore black bands as a sign of grief for the next six months. Following his death, Britain Royal Navy lowered its flag at half mast and Napoleon declared ten days of mourning throughout France.

George WashingtonTimeline:
1732 - George Washington was born on 22 February.
1742- George washington's father died
1748 - George Washington took a career as a planter.
1749 - Washington was appointed as surveyor of the Culpeper County.
1752 - His older brother Lawrence Washington died and Washington was appointment as district adjutant general in the Virginia militia.  
1754 - Washington was promoted to lieutenant colonel.
1758 - Washington resigned from the military.
1759 - George married to Martha Dandridge Custis on 6 January.
1775 - The American Revolution broke out.
1775 - Congress created the Continental Army on 14 June.
1775 - Washington was appointed Major General and Commander-in chief.
1776 - British troops attacked in an attempt to siege New York.
1781 - British troops surrender at Yorktown on October 17.
1781 - British troops evacuated the City on 25 November.
1781 - He resigned from the position of Commander-In-Chief on 23 December.
1787 - Washington was invited to attend the Constitutional convention in Philadelphia.
1789 - Washington took the oath as the first President of America on 30 April.
1794 - He signed the Jay Treaty with Britain on 19 November.
1796 - George Washington delivered his farewell speech.
1797 - Washington took retirement from the presidency.
1799 - Washington died on 14 December at his home.

Cordell Hull

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Famous as         Secretary of State, USA
Born on                02 October 1871
Born in                Tennessee
Died on                23 July 1955
Nationality        United States
Works & Achievements Father of the United Nations; Nobel Peace Prize (1945)

Cordell Hull was a major political leader of Tennessee, USA and 47th Secretary of States of the United States. He is credited as the longest-serving Secretary of State remaining in the position for eleven consecutive years. Hull served the country from 1933 to 1944 and was a close ally to the then president Franklin Delano Roosevelt who called him the father of the 'United Nations' for his notable contribution in the creation of the organization. In 1945, the Norwegian Nobel Committee honored Hull with the Nobel Peace Prize for his contribution in the establishment of the United Nations. In a political career of ups and down, Cordell drew heavy criticism on his stand on the Jews (Victims of the Nazi Holocaust) entry in the country after he advised the president to refuse shelter. Hull died after suffering a series of strokes and cardiac arrests on 23 July 1955.

CordellHull was born October 2, 1871 near Byrdstown, Tennessee to William Paschal Hull and Elizabeth. Cordell was the third of five sons. His father was a farmer and a lumber merchant. Since childhood, Cordell developed an interest in learning and wanted to become a lawyer.

Cordell completed his elementary education from Mountvale Academy at Celina and went to the National Normal University at Lebanon, Ohio. In 1891, Hull graduated from Cumberland School of Law at Cumberland University and admitted to the Bar. From 1893 to 1897, Cordell Hull served in the Tennessee House of Representatives. For some years, Cordell Hull had gone to serve as captain of the Fourth Tennessee Regiment in the Spanish-American War. He served in Cuba as a captain in the Fourth Regiment of the Tennessee Volunteer Infantry.

In 1903, after his return into the earlier profession, Cordell Hull was appointed to fill an unexpired term as judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit of the States. He held the position until 1907. His interest in the politics and association with the political campaigns sparked his desire to run for the state legislature.

Political Career
In 1907, Cordell Hull was elected to Congress from the Fourth Tennessee District. Hull successfully served as a U.S. Representative until 1931, interrupted only by two years as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Hull also served as a member of the “House Ways and Means Committee” for eighteen years, and was the leader of the “movement for low tariffs”.

In 1931, Cordell was elected to the Senate and two years later, in 1933, he was appointed “Secretary of State” by Roosevelt. Hull served in this office for the longest tenure in American History. He occupied the post for almost twelve years. Cordell Hull led the American delegation to the London Economic Conference in June 1933. The conference was perceived as an unsuccessful attempt to persuade the business leaders to comply with the new norms.

In November 1933 at the Seventh Pan-American Conference in Montevideo, Uruguay, Cordell Hull signed a protocol declaring that intervention in the affairs of the independent states of the New World would be taken as “illegal”. The conference laid the foundation for the "Good Neighbor" Policy with Latin American nations, which has been held responsible for preventing Nazi subterfuge in that region. Hull was responsive to the problems arising in the world. He fought aggressively and successfully in putting into force numerous trade agreements.

Hull was the Secretary of State responsible for foreign relations before and during the attack on Pearl Harbor and conducted negotiations in the developing crisis with Japan. He took a firm stand against Japanese imperialism, while seeking to avoid actual armed conflict. In February 1942, Hull was appointed chairman of the Advisory Committee on Postwar Foreign Policy. The committee was set up to prepare recommendations for President Franklin D Roosevelt on the changing nature and state of the foreign policy in the post Second World War II scenario. He was the first person to head the committee.

In 1939, on the advice of Cordell Hull, President Roosevelt denied entry to the ship “SS St. Louis” carrying around 1000 Jews. Hull's decision sent these people back to Europe on the heels of the Nazi Holocaust. The steps attracted strong criticisms and both Roosevelt and Hull were severely censured.

United Nations
Shortly after the outbreak of the Second World War, Hull proposed the formation of a new organization in which the US would participate to avoid any situation of another World War. To accomplish this aim, in 1942 Cordell Hull formed an Advisory Committee on Postwar Foreign Policy comprising both Republicans and Democrats. Hull put his best efforts to protect the committee from being inclined to any of the political outfits. Hull and his staff drafted the "Charter of the United Nations" in mid-1943.

Last Years of Life
Due to serious illness, Cordell Hull had to resign from the office as Secretary of State on November 27, 1944, just before final ratification of the United Nations Charter in San Francisco. President Roosevelt was so impressed with the steps and measures of Cordell Hull that he offered him the seat of Vice President in his bid for election. However, because of his declining health, Hull refused to accept the offer and paved way for Harry Truman.

Recognizing Cordell Hull’s efforts to establish United Nations and in bringing forth the numerous economic reforms, the Norwegian Nobel Committee honored him with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1945. The condition of his health declined further and Hull passed on July 23, 1955 in Washington, DC. He is buried in the vault of the Chapel of St. Joseph of Arimathea in the Washington Cathedral.

Cordell HullTimeline:
1871: October 2: Birth of Cordell Hull
1891: Hull graduated from Cumberland School of Law and admitted to the bar
1893: Cordell Hull served in the Tennessee House of Representatives
1903: Cordell Hull was appointed to fill an unexpired term as judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit of the States
1907: Cordell Hull was elected to Congress from the Fourth Tennessee District
1931: Cordell Hull elected to the Senate
1933: Roosevelt appointed Cordell Hull as “the Secretary of state”
1933: Hull led the American delegation to the London Economic Conference in June 1933
1933: November: Cordell Hull led the US delegation to the Seventh Pan-American Conference in Montevideo, Uruguay
1942: February: Hull was appointed chairman of the Advisory Committee on Postwar Foreign Policy
1943: Cordell Hull and his staff drafted the "Charter of the United Nations"
1944, November 27: Cordell Hull resigned from the office due to serious illness
1945: Cordell Hull received the Nobel Peace Prize
1955: July 23: Cordell Hull died in Washington DC