this month in 20th century history

This Month In 20th-Century History:
1976 (30 years ago): Entebbe, the daring Israeli raid to rescue 100 hostages in Uganda. Later to give Anthony Hopkins some work. Entebbe was perhaps the peak of the badass-Israeli-military vibe contemporary moviegoers caught last year in Munich.
1956 (50 years ago): Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal, which prompts the the Suez crisis — one of the first modern conflicts largely over oil (in this case, their shipping lanes) and one of the last breaths of old-style European colonialism.
1936 (70 years ago): The Spanish Civil War, likely the most important literary war of the modern era, began. A precursor to World War II, it drew enormous attention from the outside world, spurring many thousand volunteers from foreign lands, including the U.S. and Canada.
A surprising number of them were were writers, some of them of the first rank — Hemingway, Auden and Orwell, most prominently. (Go read that last link — it’s interesting.) It inspired For Whom the Bell Tolls, Homage to Catalonia, and (in part) Animal Farm. Most were on the left, as novelists tend to be, so they fought alongside the republicans, but a fair number (Evelyn Waugh, Ezra Pound) supported the Francoists.
I mention all this because I continue to be amazed at how little 20th-century history — in particular anything that didn’t directly involve the United States — gets taught in American schools. There are a ton of interesting stories out there.