Sunday, April 16, 2006

April 16: Cold War Day

On this date in 1947, Bernard Baruch, advisor to presidents on economic and foreign policy, coined the the term "Cold War." The occasion was the unvailing of Baruch's portrait at the South Carolina House of Representatives. Invited to speak in his home state, Baruch selected the topic of the struggle between the two post-World War II superpowers -- the United States and the Soviet Union:

Let us not be deceived, we are today in the midst of a cold war. Our enemies are to be found abroad and at home. Let us never forget this: Our unrest is the heart of their success. The peace of the world is the hope and the goal of our political system.; it is the despair and defeat of those who stand against us. We can depend only on ourselves.

Baruch's term stuck as an apt description of the hostilities between the West and the East that spawned a nuclear arms race but fell short of armed conflict. Below are other words and terms that became a part of the Cold War lexicon, according the the Twentieth Century Words (1):

Atom Bomb (1945)
fall out (1950)
N.A.T.O. (1950)
deterrent (1954)
conventional weapons (1955)
ICBM (1955)
unilateralism (1955)
Warsaw Pact (1955)
mushroom cloud (1958)
nuke (1959)

Today's Challenge: Cold Spell

Below are other two-word idioms that begin with "cold." Use the definitions, from The American Heritage College Dictionary (Third Edition), to guess the term.

1. Deliberate coldness or disregard, a slight or snub.
2. Actual currency (bills and coins.
3. A hard-hearted, unfeeling individual, one who shows no emotion.
4. To knock (another) unconscious.
5. Fearfulness or timidity preventing the completion of a course of action.
6. Lacking feeling or emotion.
7. Immediate, complete withdrawal from something on which one has become dependent, such as an addictive drug.

1. Cold shoulder
2. Cold cash
3. Cold fish
4. Cold cock
5. Cold feet
6. Cold blooded

Quote of the Day: They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one's country. But in modern war there is nothing sweet and fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason. --Ernest Hemingway

1 - Ayto, John. Twentieth Century Words. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.

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