Lawrence of Arabia dies 1935 T.E. Lawrence, known to the world as Lawrence of Arabia, dies as a retired Royal Air Force mechanic living under an assumed name. The legendary war hero, author, and archaeological scholar succumbed to injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident six days before. Thomas Edward Lawrence was born in Tremadoc, Wales, in 1888. In 1896, his family moved to Oxford. Lawrence studied architecture and archaeology, for which he made a trip to Ottoman (Turkish)-controlled Syria and Palestine in 1909. In 1911, he won a fellowship to join an expedition excavating an ancient Hittite settlement on the Euphrates River. He worked there for three years and in his free time traveled and learned Arabic. In 1914, he explored the Sinai, near the frontier of Ottoman-controlled Arabia and British-controlled Egypt. The maps Lawrence and his associates made had immediate strategic value upon the outbreak of war between Britain and the Ottoman Empire in October 1914. Lawrence enlisted in the war and because of his expertise in Arab affairs was assigned to Cairo as an intelligence officer. He spent more than a year in Egypt, processing intelligence information and in 1916 accompanied a British diplomat to Arabia, where Hussein ibn Ali, the emir of Mecca, had proclaimed a revolt against Turkish rule. Lawrence convinced his superiors to aid Hussein’s rebellion, and he was sent to join the Arabian army of Hussein’s son Faisal as a liaison officer. Under Lawrence’s guidance, the Arabians launched an effective guerrilla war against the Turkish lines. He proved a gifted military strategist and was greatly admired by the Bedouin people of Arabia. In July 1917, Arabian forces captured Aqaba near the Sinai and joined the British march on Jerusalem. Lawrence was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. In November, he was captured by the Turks while reconnoitering behind enemy lines in Arab dress and was tortured and sexually abused before escaping. He rejoined his army, which slowly worked its way north to Damascus, which fell in October 1918. Arabia was liberated, but Lawrence’s hope that the peninsula would be united as a single nation was dashed when Arabian factionalism came to the fore after Damascus. Lawrence, exhausted and disillusioned, left for England. Feeling that Britain had exacerbated the rivalries between the Arabian groups, he appeared before King George V and politely refused the medals offered to him. After the war, he lobbied hard for independence for Arab countries and appeared at the Paris peace conference in Arab robes. He became something of a legendary figure in his own lifetime, and in 1922 he gave up higher-paying appointments to enlist in the Royal Air Force (RAF) under an assumed name, John Hume Ross. He had just completed writing his monumental war memoir, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, and he hoped to escape his fame and acquire material for a new book. Found out by the press, he was discharged, but in 1923 he managed to enlist as a private in the Royal Tanks Corps under another assumed name, T.E. Shaw, a reference to his friend, Irish writer George Bernard Shaw. In 1925, Lawrence rejoined the RAF and two years later legally changed his last name to Shaw. In 1927, an abridged version of his memoir was published and generated tremendous publicity, but the press was unable to locate Lawrence (he was posted to a base in India). In 1929, he returned to England and spent the next six years writing and working as an RAF mechanic. In 1932, his English translation of Homer’s Odyssey was published under the name of T.E. Shaw. The Mint, a fictionalized account of Royal Air Force recruit training, was not published until 1955 because of its explicitness. In February 1935, Lawrence was discharged from the RAF and returned to his simple cottage at Clouds Hill, Dorset. On May 13, he was critically injured while driving his motorcycle through the Dorset countryside. He had swerved to avoid two boys on bicycles. On May 19, he died at the hospital of his former RAF camp. All of Britain mourned his passing. 1836 Young Texan girl kidnapped during Native American raid During a raid, Commanche, Kiowa, and Caddo Indians in Texas kidnap Cynthia Ann Parker (who was around 9 or 10 years old) and kill her family. Adopted into the Commanche tribe, she lived a happy life until Texas Rangers recaptured her and forced her to return to live again among Anglo-Americans. Silas and Lucy Parker moved their young family from Illinois to Texas in 1832. To protect themselves against the hostile Indians in the region, they erected a solidly constructed civilian stockade about 40 miles east of present-day Waco that came to be called Parker’s Fort. The tall wooden stockade was reportedly capable of holding off “a large enemy force” if properly defended. However, when no Indian attacks materialized for many months, the Parker family and the relatives who joined them in the fort became careless. Frequently they left the bulletproof gates to the fort wide open for long periods. On this day in 1836, several hundred Commanche, Kiowa, and Caddo Indians staged a surprise attack. During the ensuing battle, the Indians killed five of the Parkers. In the chaos, the Indians abducted nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker and four other white women and children. The Commanche and Caddo bands later divided women and children between them. The Commanche took Parker, and she lived with them for the next 25 years. Like many Plains Indian tribes, the Commanche had long engaged in the practice of kidnapping their enemy’s women and children. Sometimes these captives were treated like slaves who provided useful work and could be traded for valuable goods. Often, though, captives eventually became full-fledged members of the tribe, particularly if they were kidnapped as young children. Such was the case with Parker. Anglo-Texans first learned that the young girl might still be alive four years later. A trader named Williams reported seeing Parker with a band of Commanche near the Canadian River in northern Texas. He tried to purchase her release but failed. The Commanche Chief Pahauka allowed Williams to speak to the girl, but she stared at the ground and refused to answer his questions. After four years, Parker apparently had become accustomed to Commanche ways and did not want to leave. In 1845, two other white men saw Parker, who was by then 17 years old. A Commanche warrior told them he was now her husband, and the men reported “she is unwilling to leave” and “she would run off and hide herself to avoid those who went to ransom her.” Clearly, Parker had come to think of herself as Commanche. By all accounts, her husband, a rising young warrior named Peta Nocona, treated her well, and the couple was happily married. She gave birth to three children, two boys and a girl, and Nocona was reportedly so pleased with her that he rejected the common practice of taking several wives and remained monogamous. Unfortunately, Nocona was also a warrior engaged in brutal war with the Anglo-American invaders, and he soon attracted the wrath of the Texas Rangers for leading several successful attacks on whites. In December 1860, a Ranger force attacked Nocona’s village. The Rangers mortally wounded Nocona and captured Parker and her daughter, Prairie Flower. Returned to Anglo society against her will, Parker was taken to her uncle’s farm in Birdville, Texas, where she tried to run away several times. However, with her husband dead and her adopted people fighting a losing battle to survive, Parker apparently resigned herself to an unhappy life among a people she no longer understood. Prairie Flower, her one connection to her old life, died of influenza and pneumonia in 1863. Depressed and lonely, Parker struggled on for seven more years. Weakened by self-imposed starvation, she died of influenza in 1870. 1715 Oyster harvesting is restricted in early years of species protection The colony of New York passes a law making it illegal to “gather, rake, take up, or bring to the market, any oysters whatsoever” between the months of May and September. This regulation was only one of many that were passed in the early days of America to help preserve certain species. In recent years, endangered species laws have been enacted in order to criminalize poaching for the protection of animals. However, earlier versions of these laws were more concerned with insuring that hunters would have a steady supply of game. In 1699, Virginia passed a law to prevent people from shooting deer during half the year and Massachusetts made criminals out of those who exported raccoon furs or skins from the state in 1675. Fish and game laws were not restricted to the East, though. After the near extinction of the buffalo (it is estimated that many millions of these animals were killed during the western expansion of the mid-to-late 1800s), it became a felony to kill buffalo anywhere across the country.