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On this day in history ...

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On this day in history ...

Post by Kitkat on Fri 16 Nov 2018, 16:54

I like these informative Free Dictionary articles so much; it's just a shame that as they change every day (to relate to the current date), all the information from yesterday and what went before is lost. It would be better, I think, if we had a permanent record of the memories for each date in question, which we can look back on - and learn from.

So, I've decided to open a thread to record here daily the articles related to each date. 


So here goes, starting with today's date: 16th November
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Re: On this day in history ...

Post by Kitkat on Sat 17 Nov 2018, 14:09

Hmmm ... This is not working the way I had hoped!  The articles posted for 16th November have automatically changed to today's date, 17th November!

OK, gonna try a slightly different input for today - and if it does the same thing tomorrow, will have to abandon this thread, cos it won't be doing what it's intended for.

Incidentally, The Luxor Massacre - in 1997 (third one down today's page) - I was actually there in Luxor, in that very place, in 1996, the year before that terrible happening!  - my first visit to Egypt.
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[ Deleted - cos that didn't work; it still changed automatically! ]
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Re: On this day in history ...

Post by Kitkat on Sat 17 Nov 2018, 14:31

In case today's details automatically change again tomorrow, here are the full details of the terrible massacre at Luxor on 17th November 1997.
(From the Free Dictionary:  https://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/November+1997+Luxor+massacre )

The Luxor Massacre

The Luxor Massacre refers to the killing of 62 people, mostly tourists, that took place on 17 November 1997, at Deir el-Bahri, an archaeological site and major tourist attraction located across the Nile River from Luxor in Egypt.

The attack is thought to have been instigated by exiled leaders of Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, an Egyptian Islamist organization, attempting to undermine the July 1997 "Nonviolence Initiative", devastate the Egyptian economy and provoke the government into repression that would strengthen support for anti-government forces. However, the attack led to internal divisions among the militants, and resulted in the declaration of a ceasefire to suspend hostilities. In mid June of 2013, the group denied that it was involved in the massacre.

Location

Deir el-Bahri is one of Egypt's top tourist attractions, most notably for the spectacular mortuary temple of 18th-dynasty female pharaoh Hatshepsut, known as "Djeser-Djeseru."

The attack

In the mid-morning attack on 17 November 1997, six gunmen from the Islamic Group and Jihad Talaat al-Fath ("Holy War of the Vanguard of the Conquest") massacred 62 people at the attraction. The six assailants were armed with automatic firearms and knives, and disguised as members of the security forces. They descended on the Temple of Hatshepsut at around 08:45. They dispatched two armed guards at the site. With the tourists trapped inside the temple, the killing went on systematically for 45 minutes, during which many bodies, especially of women, were mutilated with machetes. They used both guns and butcher knives. A note praising Islam was found inside one disemboweled body. The dead included a five-year-old British child and four Japanese couples on their honeymoons.

The attackers then hijacked a bus, but ran into a checkpoint of armed Egyptian tourist police and military forces. One of the terrorists was wounded in the shootout and the rest fled into the hills where their bodies were found in a cave, apparently having committed suicide together.

Casualties

Four Egyptians were killed in the massacre, including three police officers and a tour guide. Of the 58 foreign tourists killed, 36 were Swiss, ten were Japanese, six were from the United Kingdom, four from Germany, and two were Colombians. Six gunmen who perpetrated the massacre were also killed.

Reaction

After the attack, President Hosni Mubarak replaced his interior minister, General Hassan Al Alfi, with General Habib al-Adly.

The tourist industry – in Egypt in general and in Luxor in particular – was seriously affected by the resultant slump in visitors and remained depressed until sinking even lower with the September 11 attacks in the United States in 2001, the 23 July 2005, Sharm el-Sheikh attacks, and the 2006 Dahab bombings.

The massacre, however, marked a decisive drop in Islamist terrorists' fortunes in Egypt by turning Egyptian public opinion overwhelmingly against them. Spontaneous demonstrations broke out in Luxor almost immediately against the terrorists, demanding action by the government and leading to a visit by Mubarak to the region a few days later.

Organizers and supporters of the attack quickly realised that the strike had been a massive miscalculation and reacted with denials of involvement. The day after the attack, al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya leader Refa'i Ahmed Taha claimed the attackers intended only to take the tourists hostage, despite the evidence of the immediate and systematic nature of the slaughter. Others denied Islamist involvement completely. Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman blamed Israelis for the killings, and Ayman Zawahiri maintained the attack was the work of the Egyptian police.

In June 2013 Egypt's then-president Mohamed Morsi appointed Adel el-Khayat as governor of Luxor. El-Khayat is a member of the political arm of al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya.
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King's Cross fire - 18 November (1987)

Post by Kitkat on Sun 18 Nov 2018, 13:49

King's Cross fire

The King's Cross fire broke out on 18 November 1987 at approximately 19:30 at King's Cross St. Pancras tube station, a major interchange on the London Underground. The fire killed 31 people. As well as the mainline railway stations above ground and subsurface platforms for the Metropolitan lines, there were platforms deeper underground for the Northern, Piccadilly, and Victoria lines. The fire started on an escalator serving the Piccadilly Line and approximately 15 minutes after being reported, as the first members of the London Fire Brigade were investigating, the fire flashed over, filling the underground ticket office with heat and smoke.

The subsequent public inquiry determined that the fire had started due to a lit match being dropped onto the escalator and suddenly increased in intensity due to a previously unknown trench effect. London Underground were strongly criticised for their attitude toward fires. Complacent because there had never been a fatal fire on the Underground, staff had been given little or no training to deal with fires or evacuation.

The publication of the report led to resignations of senior management in both London Underground and London Regional Transport and to the introduction of new fire safety regulations.

Fire

At King's Cross, as well as the mainline railway station above ground and subsurface platforms for the Metropolitan line, there are platforms deeper underground for the Northern, Piccadilly, and Victoria lines. There were two separate escalator shafts leading down to the Victoria and Piccadilly lines; the Northern line was reached from the Piccadilly line. Stairs connected the Piccadilly and Victoria line platforms and from these there was a subway to platforms used by British Rail Midland City (later Thameslink) trains to Moorgate and an entrance in Pentonville Road.

At about 19:30 several passengers reported seeing a fire on a Piccadilly line escalator. Staff and police went to investigate and on confirming the fire one of the policemen went to the surface to radio for the fire brigade. Four fire appliances and a turntable ladder were dispatched at 19:36 by the London Fire Brigade. The fire was beneath the escalator, impossible to get close enough to use a fire extinguisher. There was water fog equipment but staff had not been trained in its use. The decision to evacuate the station was made at 19:39, using the Victoria line escalators. A few minutes later the fire brigade arrived and several firemen went down to the escalator to assess the fire. They saw a fire about the size of a large cardboard box and plans were made to fight it with a water jet using men with breathing apparatus.

At 19:45 flashover occurred and a jet of flames came from the escalator shaft filling the ticket hall with intense heat and thick black smoke, killing or seriously injuring most of the people in the ticket hall. This trapped several hundred people below ground, who escaped on Victoria line trains. A number of policemen with an injured man attempted to leave via the Midland City platforms, but found their way blocked by locked gates until these were unlocked by a cleaner. Staff and a policewoman trapped on a Metropolitan line platform were rescued by a train.

Thirty fire crews—over 150 firefighters—were deployed.] Fourteen London Ambulance Service ambulances ferried the injured to local hospitals, including University College Hospital. The fire was declared out at 01:46 the following morning.

Thirty-one people died and 100 people were taken to hospital, 19 with serious injuries. Fire Brigade station officer Colin Townsley was in charge of the first pump fire engine to arrive at the scene and was down in the ticket hall at the time of the flashover. He did not survive, his body being found beside that of a badly burnt passenger at the base of the exit steps to Pancras Road. It is believed that Townsley spotted the passenger in difficulty and stopped to help her.

An initially unidentified man, commonly known as "Michael" or "Body 115" after its mortuary tag, was eventually identified on 22 January 2004, when forensic evidence confirmed he was 73-year-old Alexander Fallon of Falkirk, Scotland. He was the subject of a 1990 Nick Lowe song, "Who Was That Man?"

Aftermath

The ticket hall and platforms for the Metropolitan line were undamaged and reopened the morning after the fire; the Victoria line, its escalators only slightly damaged, resumed normal operation on the following Tuesday. The ticket hall for the three tube lines was reopened in stages over a period of four weeks. The three escalators for the Piccadilly line had to be completely replaced, the new ones being commissioned on 27 February 1989, more than 16 months after the fire. Until that time, the only access to the Piccadilly line was via the Victoria line or Midland City platforms, and at peak hours was possible in one direction only.

Access to the Northern line platforms was indirect, its escalators connecting with the Piccadilly line. As the traffic from all three tube lines would have overcrowded the Victoria line escalators, Northern line trains ran through without stopping until repairs were complete. The nearly life-expired Northern line escalators were replaced as well and the Northern line station reopened, completing the return to normal operation, on 5 March 1989.

Investigation and report

A public inquiry into the incident was conducted by Desmond Fennell, OBE QC, assisted by a panel of four expert advisers. The inquiry opened at Central Hall, Westminster on 1 February 1988 and closed on 24 June, after hearing 91 days of evidence.

Wooden escalators at Greenford tube station in 2006, similar to those that caught fire at King's Cross

Although smoking had been banned on underground sections of the London Underground in February 1985 (a consequence of the Oxford Circus fire), the inquiry found the fire was most probably caused by a traveller discarding a burning match that fell down the side of the moving staircase on to the running track of the escalator. The possibility that the fire had been started deliberately was discounted by police, as there was no evidence that an accelerant had been used and access to the site of the fire was difficult. Investigators found charred wood in eight places on a section of skirting on an escalator and matches in the running track, showing that similar fires had started before but had burnt themselves out without spreading. These combustion points were on the right-hand side, where standing passengers are most likely to light a cigarette (passengers stand on the right to let walking passengers pass on the left). Smoking on Underground trains was banned in July 1984 and following a fire at Oxford Circus station the ban was extended to all underground stations but smokers often ignored this and lit cigarettes on the escalators on their way out. The investigators found a build-up of grease under the tracks, which was believed to be difficult to ignite and slow to burn once it started, but it was noted that the grease was heavily impregnated with fibrous materials. A test was conducted where lit matches were dropped on the escalator to see if ignition would occur. Matches dropped did ignite the contaminated grease and the fire began spreading, being allowed to burn for nine minutes before being extinguished.

This test replicated the initial eyewitness reports up to that point but four expert witnesses could not agree as to how the small fire flashed over, with some concern that the paint used on the ceiling had contributed to the fire. A model of King's Cross station was built at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment using computer simulation software; this showed the flames first spreading along the floor of the escalator, rather than burning vertically and suddenly producing a jet of flame into the ticket hall, matching the tube fire. A fire behaved as in the computer model during experiments with a third scale replica of the escalator. The metal sides of the escalator contained the flames and directed hot air ahead of the fire. Sensors indicated that wooden treads for 20 feet in front of the flames (corresponding to 60 feet of track in the actual-size disaster) quickly reached between 500°C and 600°C. When the treads of the escalator flashed over, the size of the fire increased exponentially and a sustained jet of flame was discharged from the escalator tunnel into the model ticket hall. The conclusion was that this newly discovered trench effect had caused the fire to flashover at 19:45.

London Underground were strongly criticised in the report for their attitude to fires underground, underestimating the hazard because no one had died in a fire. Staff were expected to send for the Fire Brigade only if the fire was out of control, dealing with it themselves if possible. Fires were called smouldering and staff had little or no training to deal with fires or evacuation.

Legacy

The publication of the report led to resignations of senior management of both London Underground and London Regional Transport. Wooden panelling was to be removed from escalators, heat detectors and sprinklers were to be fitted beneath escalators, and the radio communication system and station staff emergency training were to be improved.

The Fire Precautions (Sub-surface Railway Stations) Regulations 1989 were introduced. Smoking was banned in all London Underground stations, including on the escalators, on 23 November, five days after the fire. Wooden escalators were gradually replaced, some remaining into the early 2000s (Wanstead replacing theirs in 2003 and Marylebone in 2004) and as of 2013 only one remains at Greenford, which is above ground.

Six firemen received Certificates of Commendation for their actions at the fire, including Station Officer Townsley who was given the award posthumously. Station Officer Townsley was also posthumously awarded the George Medal.

Soon after the fire a commemoration service was held at held at St Pancras Church. Further commemoration services were held on 18 November 1997, the tenth anniversary of the blaze, on the twentieth anniversary in 2007 at the station itself and on the twenty-fifth anniversary in 2012 at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament near the station.

Memorial plaques commemorating the disaster were installed at St Pancras Church, unveiled by the Princess of Wales, and at King's Cross station.
https://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/King%27s+Cross+fire
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19 November

Post by Kitkat on Mon 19 Nov 2018, 12:52

Prestige oil spill

The Prestige oil spill was an oil spill off the coast of Galicia caused by the sinking of an oil tanker in 2002. The spill polluted thousands of kilometers of coastline and more than one thousand beaches on the Spanish, French and Portuguese coast, as well as causing great harm to the local fishing industry. The spill is the largest environmental disaster in the history of both Spain and Portugal.

Event

The Prestige was a Greek-operated, single-hulled oil tanker, officially registered in the Bahamas, but with a Liberian-registered single-purpose corporation as the owner.

The ship had a deadweight tonnage, or carrying capacity, of approximately 81,000 tons, a measurement that put it at the small end of the Aframax class of tankers, smaller than most carriers of crude oil but larger than most carriers of refined products. It was classed by the American Bureau of Shipping and insured by the London Steam-Ship Owners' Mutual Insurance Association, a shipowners' mutual known as the London Club.
The French, Spanish and Portuguese governments refused to allow the Prestige to dock in their ports.

On November 13, 2002, while the Prestige was carrying a 77,000 metric tons cargo of two different grades of heavy fuel oil, one of its twelve tanks burst during a storm off Galicia, in northwestern Spain. Fearing that the ship would sink, the captain called for help from Spanish rescue workers, with the expectation that the vessel would be brought into harbour. However, pressure from local authorities forced the captain to steer the embattled ship away from the coast and head northwest. Reportedly after pressure from the French government, the vessel was once again forced to change its course and head southwards into Portuguese waters in order to avoid endangering France's southern coast. Fearing for its own shore, the Portuguese authorities promptly ordered its navy to intercept the ailing vessel and prevent it from approaching further.

With the French, Spanish and Portuguese governments refusing to allow the ship to dock in their ports, the integrity of the single-hulled oil tanker was deteriorating quickly and soon the storm took its toll when it was reported that a 40-foot (12 m) section of the starboard hull had broken off, releasing a substantial amount of oil.

At around 8:00 AM on November 19, the ship split in half. It sank the same afternoon, releasing over 20 million US gallons (76,000 m3) of oil into the sea. The oil tanker was reported to be about 250 kilometers from the Spanish coast at that time. An earlier oil slick had already reached the coast. The Greek captain of the Prestige, Apostolos Mangouras, was taken into custody, accused of not co-operating with salvage crews and of harming the environment.

After the sinking, the wreck continued leaking oil. It leaked approximately 125 tons of oil a day, polluting the sea bed and contaminating the coastline, especially along the territory of Galicia. The affected area is not only a very important ecological region, supporting coral reefs and many species of sharks and birds, but it also supports the fishing industry. The heavy coastal pollution forced the region's government to suspend offshore fishing for six months.


Cleanup

In the subsequent months, thousands of volunteers were organized with the help of neither the Galician nor the Spanish Government -both belonging to the conservative Partido Popular- to help clean the affected coastline. The massive cleaning campaign was a success, recovering most portions of coastline from not only the effects of the oil spill but also the accumulated usual contamination. A year after the spill, Galicia had more Blue Flags for its beaches (an award for those beaches with the highest standards in the European Union) than in the previous years.

Initially, the government thought just 17,000 tons of oil had been lost, and that the remaining 60,000 tons would freeze and not leak from the sunken tanker. In early 2003, it announced that half of the oil had been lost. Now that figure has risen to about 63,000 tons according to some sources.[citation needed] In 2004 the remaining 13,000 m³ of cargo oil was removed from the wreck, by means of aluminium shuttles and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). In total, 20 million US gallons (76,000 m3) of oil were spilled.

More than eighty percent of the tanker's 77,000 tons of fuel oil is now thought to have been spilled off Spain's north-west coast.

Experts predicted marine life could suffer pollution from the Prestige for at least ten years due to the type of oil spilt, which contain light fractions called polyaromatic hydrocarbons. These toxic chemicals could poison plankton, fish eggs and crustaceans, leading to carcinogenic effects in fish and other animals higher in the food chain.

The environmental damage caused by the "Prestige" was most severe in the coast of Galicia, where local activists founded the environmental movement Nunca Máis (Galician for Never Again), to denounce the passiveness of the conservative government regarding the disaster.

Aftermath

In the two years following the sinking, engineers used ROVs to seal cracks in the tanker's hull, now 4000 meters below the sea surface, and slowed the leakage to a trickle of 20 litres a day. By 2004, engineers had removed the oil still in the tanker by drilling small holes in the wreck, using remotely operated submersible vehicles (ROVs) like the one that originally explored the wreck of the RMS Titanic. The oil was then pumped into large aluminium shuttles, specially manufactured for this salvage operation. The filled shuttles were then floated to the surface. The original plan to fill large bags with the oil proved to be too problematic and slow. After the oil removal was completed, a slurry rich in microbiologic agents was pumped in the hold to speed up the breakdown of any remaining oil. The total estimated cost of the operation was over €100 million.

A recent report by the Galicia-based Barrie de la Maza economic institute[citation needed] criticised the Spanish government's handling of the catastrophe. It estimated the cost of the clean-up to the Galician coast alone at €2.5 billion. The clean-up of the Exxon Valdez cost US$3 billion (almost €2.2 billion).

Since the disaster, oil tankers similar to the Prestige have been directed away from the French and Spanish coastlines. The then European Commissioner for Transport, Spaniard Loyola de Palacio, pushed for the ban of single-hulled tankers.

The government was criticized for its decision to tow the ailing wreck out to sea — where it split in two — rather than in to a port. World Wildlife Fund's senior policy officer for shipping Simon Walmsley believed most of the blame lay with the classification society. "It was reported as being substandard at one of the ports it visited before Spain. The whole inspection regime needs to be revamped and double-hulled tankers used instead," he says. The US and most other countries are phasing out single-hulled tankers by 2012.

Legal consequences

For the world maritime industry, a key issue raised by the "Prestige" incident was whether classification societies can be held responsible for the consequences of incidents of this type. In May 2003, the Kingdom of Spain brought civil suit in the Southern District of New York against the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), the Houston-based international classification society that had certified the "Prestige" as "in class" for its final voyage. The "in class" status states that the vessel is in compliance with all applicable rules and laws, not that it is or is not safe. On 2 January 2007, the docket in that lawsuit (SDNY 03-cv-03573) was dismissed. The presiding judge ruled that ABS is a "person" as defined by the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (CLC) and, as such, is exempt from direct liability for pollution damage. Additionally, the Judge ruled that, since the United States is not a signatory to the International CLC, the US Courts lack the necessary jurisdiction to adjudicate the case. Spain's original damage claim against ABS was some $700 million.

International maritime trade publications including TradeWinds, Fairplay and Lloyd's List regularly presented the dispute as a possibly precedent-setting one that could prove fateful for international classification societies, whose assets are dwarfed by the scale of claims to which they could become subject.

Among the legal consequences of the disaster was the arrest of the captain of the "Prestige", Captain Mangouras. Captain Mangouras sought refuge for his seriously damaged vessel in a Spanish port. This is a request the acceptance of which has deep historic roots. Spain refused and the criminal charges against Captain Mangouras included his refusal to comply immediately with the Spanish demand to restart the engines of the "Prestige" and steam offshore. It is an unanswerable question whether bringing the ship into port and booming around her to contain the leaking oil would have been less harmful than sending her back to sea and almost inevitable sinking. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/not_in_website/syndication/monitoring/media_reports/2496101.stm )

Investigation

“ The environmental devastation caused is at least on a par, if not worse, than the Exxon Valdez. The amount of oil spilled is more than the Valdez and the toxicity is higher, because of the higher temperatures. ”

—Simon Walmsley, World Wildlife Fund's senior policy officer for shipping.

The massive environmental and financial costs of the spill have resulted in an ongoing inquiry into how a structurally deficient ship was able to travel out to sea, much less approach Spain.

Investigators have since learned that prior to the spill, the "Prestige" had set sail from St. Petersburg, Russia, without being properly inspected. It traveled to the Atlantic via the shallow and vulnerable Baltic Sea. A previous captain who complained about numerous structural deficiencies within the ship was rebuffed, and later resigned in protest.

The ownership of the Prestige is unclear, making it difficult to determine exactly who is responsible for the oil spill. Evidence is now pointing to a secretive Greek family who allegedly registered the ship to a front company in Liberia.[citation needed] Thus the sinking of the "Prestige" has exposed the difficulties in regulations posed by flags of convenience.

Others have argued that the Spanish government's refusal to allow the ship to take refuge in a sheltered port was a major contributing factor to the scale of the disaster.

Spanish investigators have concluded that the failure in the hull of the "Prestige" was entirely predictable and indeed had been predicted already: her two sister ships, "Alexandros" and "Centaur", had been submitted to extensive inspections under the "Safe Hull" program in 1996. The organization in charge of the inspections, the American Bureau of Shipping, found that both "Alexandros" and "Centaur" were in terminal decline. Due to metal fatigue in their hulls, modeling predicted that both ships would fail between frames 61 and 71 within five years. "Alexandros", "Centaur" and a third sister-ship, "Apanemo", were all scrapped between 1999 and 2002. For some reason, however, "Prestige" was not scrapped, and, little more than five years after the inspection, as predicted, her hull failed between frames 61 and 71.


Health problems among cleaning staff

Five years later after the cleaning activities, a study found that people participating in the cleaning activities, many of them volunteers, suffered several health problems, such as pulmonary, cardiovascular, and chromosomal diseases. This was found among a study of 800 involved Spanish Navy personnel.

Recent developments

In March 2006, new oil slicks were detected near the wreck of the "Prestige", slicks which investigators found to match the type of oil the "Prestige" carried. A study released in December 2006 led by José Luis De Pablos, a physicist at Madrid's Center for Energetic and Environmental Research, concluded that 16,000 to 23,000 tons of oil remained in the wreck, as opposed to the 700 to 1300 tons claimed by the Spanish government; that bioremediation of the remaining oil failed; and that bacteria corroding the hull could soon produce a rupture and quickly release much of the remaining oil and create another catastrophic spill. The report urged the government to take "prompt" action.

In March 2009, eight years after the instruction of the "Prestige" case began in the Corcubion Court, UDNG, a small independentist Galician Party, analyzed some of the main facts in the instruction as evidence of strong corruption in Spain's judicial system.

Prestige oil spill trial date is finally set 10 years after Galicia coast was blighted. The date for the trial against officers and merchant shipping companies over the Prestige disaster has been set for October 16, 2012, the Galicia regional High Court announced on Monday, 14 June 2012. The initial hearing began on 16 June 2012 and is the expected to be adjorned until November - the tenth anniversary of the disaster. The trial will be held in a specially constructed courtroom in A Coruña’s exhibition complex, where it will consider evidence from 133 witnesses and 98 experts.
https://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Prestige+oil+spill
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Re: On this day in history ...

Post by Whiskers on Mon 19 Nov 2018, 18:50

Is working good now KK. :thumb: I presume you are now just copy and pasting This Day in History now?

I am loving these very interesting free dictionary articles. Pity though they disappear once you log in to the forum! This is a good idea to keep them for each day.
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Re: On this day in history ...

Post by Kitkat on Mon 19 Nov 2018, 20:37

Whiskers wrote:Is working good now KK.  :thumb:   I presume you are now just copy and pasting This Day in History now?

I am loving these very interesting free dictionary articles.  Pity though they disappear once you log in to the forum!  This is a good idea to keep them for each day.  

Whiskers,
The Free Dictionary widget disappears from the side bar when you are logged in to the forum and viewing the Home page - but you can still see and read all of them on the Portal page, whether logged in or not.  Just click the Portal button in the blue navigation bar towards top of the page and you'll find it right down the bottom of the page. Smile
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Re: On this day in history ...

Post by Kitkat on Tue 20 Nov 2018, 12:05

Lake Peigneur Drilling Disaster

Lake Peigneur is located in the U.S. State of Louisiana 1.2 miles (1.9 km) north of Delcambre and 9.1 miles (14.6 km) west of New Iberia, near the northernmost tip of Vermilion Bay.

History

The lake was a 10-foot (3 m) deep freshwater lake popular with sportsmen until an unusual man-made disaster on November 20, 1980, changed the structure of the lake and surrounding land.

Drilling disaster

On November 20, 1980, when the disaster took place, the Diamond Crystal Salt Company operated the Jefferson Island salt mine under the lake, while a Texaco oil rig drilled down from the surface of the lake searching for petroleum. Due to a miscalculation, the 14-inch (36 cm) drill bit entered the mine, starting a chain of events which turned an almost 10-foot (3.0 m) deep freshwater lake into a salt water lake with a deep hole.

It is difficult to determine exactly what occurred, as all of the evidence was destroyed or washed away in the ensuing maelstrom. One explanation is that a miscalculation by Texaco regarding their location resulted in the drill puncturing the roof of the third level of the mine. This created an opening in the bottom of the lake. The lake then drained into the hole, expanding the size of that hole as the soil and salt were washed into the mine by the rushing water, filling the enormous caverns left by the removal of salt over the years. The resultant whirlpool sucked in the drilling platform, eleven barges, many trees and 65 acres (260,000 m2) of the surrounding terrain. So much water drained into those caverns that the flow of the Delcambre Canal that usually empties the lake into Vermilion Bay was reversed, making the canal a temporary inlet. This backflow created, for a few days, the tallest waterfall ever in the state of Louisiana, at 164 feet (50 m), as the lake refilled with salt water from the Delcambre Canal and Vermilion Bay. The water downflowing into the mine caverns displaced air which erupted as compressed air and then later as 400-foot (120 m) geysers up through the mineshafts.

There were no injuries and no human lives lost. All 55 employees in the mine at the time of the accident were able to escape thanks to well-planned and rehearsed evacuation drills, while the staff of the drilling rig fled the platform before it was sucked down into the new depths of the lake, and Leonce Viator, Jr. (a local fisherman) was able to drive his small boat to the shore and get out. Three dogs were reported killed, however. Days after the disaster, once the water pressure equalized, nine of the eleven sunken barges popped out of the whirlpool and refloated on the lake's surface.

Salinity

The lake had salt water after the event, not as a result of water entering the salt mine, but from the salt water from the Delcambre Canal and Vermilion Bay, which are naturally salt or brackish water. The event permanently affected the ecosystem of the lake by changing the lake from freshwater to saltwater and increasing the depth of part of the lake.

Aftermath

The drilling company, Texaco and Wilson Brothers, paid $32 million to Diamond Crystal and $12.8 million to nearby Live Oak Gardens in out-of-court settlements to compensate for the damage caused. The mine was finally closed in December 1986.

Since 1994 AGL Resources has been using Lake Peigneur’s underlying salt dome as a Storage and Hub facility for pressurized natural gas.

There is currently concern from local residents to the safety of storing the gas under the lake and nearby drilling operations.

Unexplained bubbling/foaming discovered by residents in 2006 is one of several primary concerns pertaining to creating storage caverns in the Jefferson Island Salt Dome under Lake Peigneur. There are over 4000 residents, Delcambre town and schools within a one mile radius of Lake Peigneur. Additional concerns are the withdrawal of 5 million gallons each day for four years to create the caverns. Bayou Corne at the Napoleanville Salt Dome has had drinking water contamination and to-date a growing sinkhole which covers 15 acres resulting from salt cavern storage. The residents have been asking since 2006 for a federal standard Environmental Impact Statement that uses current data before any expansion begins.




Other Events On This Day – 20 November



  • 1998 First module of the International Space Station launched

    Called Zarya, the module is Russian-built and American owned. The International Space Station (ISS) is a manned artificial satellite was built and operated by 5 space agencies – the Canadian Space Agency, the European Space Agency, US’s NASA, Russia's Roscosmos, and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency. The brightest man-made object visible to the naked eye from Earth, ISS orbits the Earth at a speed of 17,500 miles per hour (28,000 kilometers per hour) at an average distance of 248 miles (400 kilometers) from Earth.



  • 1985 Windows 1.0 released

    Nearly two years after it was announced, Microsoft released its first graphical operating system. The OS made it easier for users to navigate on their computer screens. It came with Paint, Notepad, Calculator and a game called Reversi.



  • 1959 Declaration of the Rights of the Child

    The United Nations General Assembly adopted the document that laid out the rights of children around the world. The day is also annually celebrated as Universal Children's Day.



  • 1945 Nuremberg trials begin

    The trials were led by the International Military Tribunal and were held to prosecute high-ranking members of the Nazi party for war crimes committed during the Second World War. Of the 23 people tried, 14 were sentenced to death.



  • 1923 Traffic signal patented

    American Garret Morgan was awarded the patent for an automated traffic signal. Morgan’s invention was not the first of its kind, but unlike the other traffic signals which just had stop and go signals, his traffic light had a third signal that warned drivers about changes in the stop and go lights. This signal was the precursor for today’s yellow light.
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21 November - First Manned, Untethered, Hot Air Balloon Flight

Post by Kitkat on Wed 21 Nov 2018, 13:44

The pioneering ballooning efforts of the Montgolfier brothers of France made 1783 a noteworthy year in aviation history.  That year, the pair developed the first practical hot-air balloon - and demonstrated its safety by sending aloft a sheep, a duck, and a rooster.  Months later, Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier and Francois Laurent, Marquis d'Arlandes, made the first manned, untethered flight in a Montgolfier balloon, but they had not been the first choices to pilot the historic flight.

First manned flight



The brothers Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier developed a hot air balloon in Annonay, Ardeche, France, and demonstrated it publicly on September 19, 1783, making an unmanned flight lasting 10 minutes. After experimenting with unmanned balloons and flights with animals, the first balloon flight with humans aboard, a tethered flight, performed on or around October 15, 1783, by Jean-Francois pilatre de Rozier who made at least one tethered flight from the yard of the Reveillon workshop in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine. Later that same day, Pilatre de Rozier became the second human to ascend into the air, reaching an altitude of 26 m (85 ft), the length of the tether. The first free flight with human passengers was made a few weeks later, on November 21, 1783. King Louis XVI had originally decreed that condemned criminals would be the first pilots, but de Rozier, along with Marquis François d'Arlandes, petitioned successfully for the honor. The first military use of a hot air balloon happened in 1794 during the battle of Fleurus, when the French used the balloon l'Entreprenant for observation.

Today

Modern hot air balloons, with an onboard heat source, were developed by Ed Yost, beginning during the 1950s; his work resulted in his first successful flight, on October 22, 1960. The first modern hot air balloon to be made in the United Kingdom (UK) was the Bristol Belle, built in 1967. Presently, hot air balloons are used primarily for recreation. Hot air balloons are able to fly to extremely high altitudes. On November 26, 2005 Vijaypat Singhania set the world altitude record for highest hot air balloon flight, reaching 21,027 m (68,986 ft). He took off from downtown Mumbai, India, and landed 240 km (150 mi) south in Panchale. The previous record of 19,811 m (64,997 ft) had been set by Per Lindstrand on June 6, 1988, in Plano, Texas.

On January 15, 1991, the 'Virgin Pacific Flyer' balloon completed the longest flight in a hot air balloon when Per Lindstrand (born in Sweden, but resident in the UK) and Richard Branson of the UK flew 7,671.91 km (4,767.10 mi) from Japan to Northern Canada. With a volume of 74 thousand cubic meters (2.6 million cubic feet), the balloon envelope was the largest ever built for a hot air craft. Designed to fly in the trans-oceanic jet streams, the Pacific Flyer recorded the fastest ground speed for a manned balloon at 245 mph (394 km/h). The longest duration record was set by Swiss psychiatrist Bertrand Piccard, Auguste Piccard's grandson; and Briton Brian Jones, flying in the Breitling Orbiter 3. It was the first nonstop trip around the world by balloon. The balloon left Château-d'Oex, Switzerland, on March 1, 1999, and landed at 1:02 a.m. on March 21 in the Egyptian desert 300 miles (480 km) south of Cairo. The two men exceeded distance, endurance, and time records, traveling 19 days, 21 hours, and 55 minutes. Steve Fossett, flying solo, exceeded the record for briefest time traveling around the world on 3 July 2002 on his sixth attempt, in 320 h 33 min. Fedor Konyukhov flew solo round the world on his first attempt in a hybrid hot-air/helium balloon from 11 to 23 July 2016 for a round-the world time of 272h 11m, as of 17 September 2016 awaiting official confirmation as the new record.

readmore   https://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Hot+air+balloon
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22 November - Cutty Sark is launched

Post by Kitkat on Thu 22 Nov 2018, 13:38

Cutty Sark is launched

The tea trade in the 1860s and 70s was intensely competitive, with merchant ships racing to be the first to arrive in London with that year's crop from China.  It was for this purpose that the three-masted clipper Cutty Sark was originally built. She became one of the swiftest and most celebrated British clippers, but within a few years of her launch, steamships had largely supplanted clippers in the tea trade, so she began carrying other cargos. More
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23 November - Dr Crippen hanged for wife's murder

Post by Kitkat on Fri 23 Nov 2018, 23:20

Dr. Crippen Hanged for Wife's Murder

More than 100 years after Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen was hanged for the alleged murder, dismemberment, and basement burial of his second wife, the controversial case continues to captivate.  The case is compelling not only because it is so gruesome but also because Crippen became an international fugitive, fleeing with his lover aboard a Canada-bound ocean liner, and was the first criminal apprehended with the help of radiotelegraphy.  What new evidence has called Crippen's guilt into question?  ( More )
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24 November - Mysterious Hijacker Parachutes from Plan with $200,000 Ransom

Post by Kitkat on Sat 24 Nov 2018, 12:57

Mysterious Hijacker Parachutes from Plane with $200,000 Ransom

To this day, the true identity of the well-dressed man calling himself Dan Cooper - reported in the press as D.B. Cooper - who hijacked a passenger jet and then parachuted from the airborne Boeing 727 with a $200,000 ransom, remains a mystery.  Despite numerous leads and a great deal of media attention, the mystery man's true identity of and whereabouts continue to elude investigators, and the bulk of the money has never been reccovered. 
What are some theories about who he was and what became of him?   More
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25 November - Elias Howe Patents a Precursor to the Zipper

Post by Kitkat on Sun 25 Nov 2018, 12:00

Elias Howe Patents a Precursor to the Zipper

Five years after being granted a patent for the first practical sewing machine, Howe patented his design for a zipper-like garment fastener.  However, he never put much effort into marketing this invention, perhaps due to the great success of his sewing machine, and today, credit for the zipper's development is largely given to Whitcomb Judson, who demonstrated his innovative slide-fastener design 42 years later at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1983.  How did the zipper get its name?  More..
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26 November 1942 - 'Casablanca' Premieres

Post by Kitkat on Mon 26 Nov 2018, 13:15

Casablanca Premieres

One of the most iconic romantic films of all time and winner of three Oscars, Casablanca is a tale of love, heartbreak, and sacrifice.  Rick Blaine, played by Humphrey Bogart, is an American expatriate living in Casablanca, Morocco, in 1941, who "stick[s his] neck out for nobody."  But when his former lover, played by Ingrid Bergman, and her husband need his help, Blaine's resolve is tested.  To what did Bogart's son compare the controversial colorization of the black-and-white classic?  More ...
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27 November - The 1755 Lisbon Earthquake

Post by Kitkat on Tue 27 Nov 2018, 08:32

The 1755 Lisbon Earthquake

One of the deadliest earthquakes in history struck Lisbon, Portugal, in 1755, killing at least 30,000.  The earthquake, followed by a tsunami and raging fires, almost totally destroyed the city, leaving just 15% of its buildings standing.  The study of the quake's causes led to the beginnings of seismology.  Geologists today estimate that the temblor, with an epicentre in the Atlantic Ocean, approached magnitude 9 on the moment magnitude scale.  How did the quake influence philosophers of the time?  More ...
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28 November - The Cocoanut Grove Nightclub Fire

Post by Kitkat on Wed 28 Nov 2018, 10:53

The Cocoanut Grove Nightclub Fire

The deadliest nightclub fire in US history, the Cocoanut Grove fire claimed 492 lives.  When the fire broke out, the Boston, Massachusetts, club was packed well beyond capacity.  About 1,000 people were inside, with limited avenues of escape.  Side doors had been locked to prevent patrons from skipping out on tabs, and the main entrance, a revolving door, was rendered useless by the crush of the crowd, as were other unlocked doors that opened inward.  What is one theory as to what sparked the fire?  More ...
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29 November - The November Uprising Begins

Post by Kitkat on Thu 29 Nov 2018, 15:32

The November Uprising Begins

An attempt to overthrow Russian rule in Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine, the November Uprising was the result of long-simmering resentments that came to a head when news broke of a Russian plan to use the Polish Army to suppress revolutions in France and Belgium.  It began when a group of Warsaw-based Polish Imperial Russian Army cadets took up arms against the Russians and drove the Russian troops from the city.  The rebellion soon grew and spread.  How long did the fighting continue?  More...
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30 November - Meteorite strikes Ann Elizabeth Hodges

Post by Kitkat on Fri 30 Nov 2018, 10:05

Meteorite Strikes Ann Elizabeth Hodges

Thousands of people are struck by lightning every year, but in 1954, Ann Hodges of Sylacauga, Alabama, became the first person in modern history to be hit by a meteorite.  Hodges was napping on her couch when she was rudely awakened by a grapefruit-sized meteorite crashing through her roof, bouncing off her radio, and striking her on the hip.  The incident left her badly bruised.  Who prevailed in the dispute between Hodges and her landlord over ownership of the meteorite?  More...





Other events on this day:

1936 - Great Britain -- Crystal Palace
1936 : Crystal Palace which had been built for the Great Exhibition of 1851 is destroyed by fire. The Crystal Palace also featured the first public conveniences in use in England / Monkey Closets and during the exhibition 827,280 visitors paid one penny each to use them which is where the British saying "to spend a penny" comes from.
More about the Crystal Palace
 



1979 - UK -- Pink Floyd release "The Wall"
Pink Floyd release the 4th in their series of multi award winning concept albums "The Wall" which is later made into a movie. The Wall featured the most popular single ever released by Pink Floyd "Another Brick in the Wall" which became a number one hit throughout the world.
 



1950 - U.S.A. -- Korea
1950 : President Harry S. Truman announces during a press conference that he is prepared to authorize the use of atomic weapons in order to achieve peace in Korea.




1925 - U.S.A. -- Illegal Liquor Distillery
1925 : Federal Prohibition Officer Gus J. Simmons, Captain J. R. Brockus, and C.M. Arbogast were all on trial for murder. The officers claimed that the man was murdered while resisting arrest for operating an illegal liquor distillery.
 



1934 - Great Britain -- Flying Scotsman Land speed record for railed vehicles
The Flying Scotsman becomes the first steam locomotive to be officially recorded at 100 mph, to put this in perspective 100 years earlier in 1930 Stephenson's Rocket got to 30 MPH and in 2007 A French TGV recorded 357 MPH.
 



1939 - Finland -- Soviet Union Attacks
1939 : Following it's attack on Poland Russia attacks Finland with 540,000 men, 2485 tanks, and 2000 guns. Finnish troops led by Field Marshall Gustaf Mannerheim over the next two weeks, resisted the invasion using forest combat to inflict heavy damage on the Russian invaders, But by March the following year due to the sheer volume of Russian Invaders the "Peace of Moscow" treaty was signed, and Finland ceded 16,000-square miles of land to the Soviet Union.




1960 - Argentina -- Riots
Members of the right-wing political group protested in cities such as Rosario, near Buenos Aires. Other riots broke out near two oil towns in Northern Argentina.
 



1966 - Barbados -- Independence
Barbados gains it's independence from that of a self-governing colony to full independence from the United Kingdom.
 



1972 - Italy -- Fireworks Factory Explodes
1972 : An illegal fireworks factory being run in an eight floor apartment building, exploded in Rome with 15 killed and 100 injured in the blast.
 



1973 - Cambodia -- Khmer Rouge Guerrillas
Khmer Rouge Guerrillas backed by the Cambodian government moved swiftly. First they attacked in Vihear Suar where they were stationed before they advanced 12 miles east to Phnom Penh. Within a few days hundreds of troops of civilians were dead or missing.
 



1983 - Israel -- Lebanon
The bond between Israel and America has been strengthened as they joined forces. These two countries stood fast in Lebanon, making the statement to Syria of their desire to block Soviet Troops.
 



1989 - U.S.A. -- Aileen Wuornos
1989 : Aileen Wuornos murders her first victim Richard Mallory, over the next 12 months she murders 7 more men in Florida. She was arrested on 9th January, 1991 and her live in partner agreed to get a confession from Wuornos in exchange for prosecutorial immunity. Aileen Wuornos was found guilty of 6 murders and received six death sentences and was executed via lethal injection on October 9, 2002


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1 December - The Taman Shud Case: Mystery Man Found Dead on Somerton Beach

Post by Kitkat on Sat 01 Dec 2018, 12:32

The Taman Shud Case:  Mystery Man Found Dead on Somerton Beach

On the night of November 30, 1948, passersby on Australia's Somerton Beach saw a man they believed to be drunk or sleeping.  The next day, the mystery man was determined to be dead, which opened the still unsolved Taman Shud Case.  The dead man has never been identified.  Though investigators promptly searched the body and found normal things like chewing gum in the mystery man's pocket, something strange was later found, taking the case in a new - but equally elusive - direction.  What was it?  More...






  • 2009 Treaty of Lisbon comes into force

    The Treaty of Lisbon, which amended the two treaties - the Maastricht Treaty and the Treaty of Rome - that form the constitutional basis of the European Union came into force after being signed by 13 countries in 2007.
  • 1958 French colony of Ubangi-Shari gains autonomy

    The French colony of Ubangi-Shari, now known as the Central African Republic, gained autonomy from France. 2 years later, the country became independent and adopted its current name.
  • 1943 Tehran Conference ends

    The Tehran Conference between the US, the UK, and the Soviet Union ended with the three countries deciding to open up a second front against Germany in France, and the Soviet Union agreeing to declare war against Japan.
  • 1919 Nancy Astor becomes to the first woman to join the British House of Commons

    Nancy Witcher Langhorne also known as Nancy Astor became the first woman to join the British House of Commons.
  • 1918 Kingdom of Iceland established

    The Kingdom of Iceland was established with the signing of the Act of Union with Denmark. The act recognized Iceland as a sovereign state under a common monarch with Denmark, and the Kingdom lasted until 1944 when a national referendum created the Republic of Iceland.
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2 December

Post by Kitkat on Sun 02 Dec 2018, 11:33

Barney Clark receives world's first permanent artificial heart


In the late 1940s, doctors at the Yale School of Medicine used parts from an Erector Set to build the first artificial heart pump. The device bypassed the heart of a dog for more than an hour.  However, an artificial heart would not be implanted in a human until decades later.  Barney Clark, a Seattle dentist with congestive heart failure, was the first recipient.  Though the surgery was successful, Clark never recovered enough to leave the hospital and died of complications after how long?  More...





  • 2001 Enron Files for Bankruptcy

    The Houston, Texas-based energy company filed for Chapter Eleven bankruptcy after reports of widespread accounting fraud became public. At that time, the company became the largest company in the history of the United States to declare bankruptcy.
  • 1988 Benazir Bhutto is sworn in as Prime Minister

    Benazir Bhutto takes office as Pakistan's Prime Minister, becoming the first woman PM of Pakistan.
  • 1939 LaGuardia Airport in New York City opens its doors

    The airport was named after New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia. American Airlines was the first carrier to regularly provide passenger service.
  • 1804 Napoleon is crowned Emperor of France

    Napoleon Bonaparte had risen through the ranks of the French army during the French revolution and became one of the most influential political figures of his era. His self-coronation as Napoleon I took place in Notre Dame in Paris, France.
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3rd December

Post by Kitkat on Mon 03 Dec 2018, 10:57

The Who Riverfront Coliseum Stampede


After starting out as The High Numbers, British rock band The Who gained international fame in the 1960s and 70s with songs like "My Generation", "Pinball Wizard", and "Won't Get Fooled Again".  The band's incredibly loud concerts and penchant for destroying their instruments onstage boosted their appeal to rock fans, but offstage destruction overshadowed the music on December 3, 1979, when a stampede prior to The Who's show at the Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati, Ohio, killed how many fans?  More...





  • 1984 Bhopal Gas Disaster

    A gas leak from a Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant in the city of Bhopal, India killed over 2000 people and affected thousands of others. It is said to be the world's worst industrial disaster.
  • 1970 Ayatollah Khomeini takes office

    The Iranian religious leader was a leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
  • 1927 First Laurel & Hardy movie released

    Putting Pants on Philip, a short silent film starring the comedy duo marked the beginning of a long partnership.
  • 1910 First public demonstration of neon lights

    Seen in most urban settings and cities today, the neon light was invented by French inventor and engineer, Georges Claude. They were first displayed at the Paris Motor Show.
  • 1818 Illinois joins the Union

    The midwestern state became the 21st state to be part of the United State. 3 U.S. presidents call it their home state.
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4 December

Post by Kitkat on Tue 04 Dec 2018, 14:35

Lebanon Hostage Crisis: Last US Captive Released after 7 Years

After reporting from Vietnam as a war correspondent, American journalist Terry A. Anderson became chief correspondent for the Associated Press in Lebanon.  In March 1985, he was abducted from a Beirut street by Shiite Hezbollah militants retaliating against the US for supplying Israel with weapons.  Held with other American hostages taken at around the same time.  Anderson remained in captivity for nearly seven years and was the last to be released.  What has he done since regaining his freedom?  More...






  • 1991 Pan Am ceases operations

    The Pan American World Airways, the largest airline in the United States began operations in October 1927.
  • 1982 China adopts its current constitution

    The Constitution of the People's Republic of China replaced the Constitutions of 1954, 1975, and 1978.
  • 1980 Led Zeppelin disbands

    The British rock band announced that it was disbanding 12 years after coming on the music scene after the death of drummer John Bonham.
  • 1978 Dianne Feinstein became the first female mayor of San Francisco

    A United States Senator from California, Feinstein became the 38th mayor of San Francisco after the murder of George Moscone.
  • 1791 First Sunday paper published

    The Observer, a British newspaper became the first newspaper in the world to be published and read on a Sunday.
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5th December

Post by Kitkat on Wed 05 Dec 2018, 19:49

Great Smog Blankets London

Early in December 1952, a cold fog caused Londoners to burn more coal than usual.  When the resulting pollution was trapped by the dense mass of cold air, concentrations of pollutants built up dramatically.  By the time it lifted, the smog had caused or advanced the deaths of thousands of people - most of whom were very young  or elderly or had pre-existing respiratory problems - leading to a new focus on the dangers of air pollution.  Even indoor events were cancelled during the Great Smog.  Why?  More...





  • 2005 UK's Civil Partnership Act of 2004 comes into force

    UK's Civil Partnership Act of 2004 came into force almost a year after it was passed.
  • 1977 Egypt breaks all relations with Arab countries

    President Anwar al-Sadat broke all relations with Syria, Libya, Algeria, and South Yemen in response to these countries and the Palestinian Liberation Organization signing the Declaration of Tripoli. The declaration followed Sadat's visit to Israel.
  • 1936 Establishment of the Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic

    The Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic was established as a republic of the Soviet Union.
  • 1933 End of prohibition in the U.S.

    A national ban on alcohol in the U.S. first instituted in 1920 by the 18th amendment, ended on this day after the ratification of the 21st amendment.
  • 1766 Christie's hold their first sale

    Art auction house Christie's founder James Christie made his first art sale.
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6th December

Post by Kitkat on Thu 06 Dec 2018, 13:43

The Banana Massacre

In December 1928, after a month-long strike to secure better working conditions, United Fruit Company workers from the Colombian town of Cienaga gathered with their families in the town square to hear a scheduled gubernatorial address.  Instead of words they were met with bullets fired by government troops.  An unknown number died that day.  The government took such decisive - and deadly - action to end the strike partly out of fear that US interests in the United Fruit Company would lead to what?  More...





  • 1977 South Africa grants independence to Bophuthatswana


    The Republic of Bophuthatswana was never internationally recognized. In 1994, after a series of coups, it reintegrated with South Africa.
  • 1967 World's first pediatric heart transplant


    3 days after the first heart transplant in the world occurred in South Africa, Adrian Kantrowitz and his team of surgeons performed United States' first heart transplant and the world's first pediatric heart transplant at the Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn.
  • 1922 Establishment of the Irish Free State


    The Anglo-Irish Treaty signed between the British and Irish representatives in 1921 paved the way for the establishment of the Dominion of the British Empire. The state lasted until December 1937.
  • 1917 Finnish Declaration of Independence


    The declaration ended 109 years of Finland being a Grand Duchy in the Russian Empire. The Northern European country came under the control of the Russian Empire in 1809. After the October Revolution in Russia, which created the Soviet Union, the Finnish Parliament declared independence on this day.
  • 1865 Adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution


    The amendment abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime.
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Re: On this day in history ...

Post by Kitkat on Fri 07 Dec 2018, 20:28

Mary Toft Admits That She Did Not Really Give Birth to Rabbits

Toft, an english servant, had a bizarre 15 minutes of fame in 1726 when she convinced doctors that she had given birth to a litter of rabbits.  At age 25, Toft suffered a miscarriage.  About a month later, she appeared to go into labour and proceeded over the next few weeks to "birth" several animal parts along with nine baby bunnies.  The episode was attributed to a fascination with rabbits that Toft had developed during her pregnancy - until it was revealed to be a hoax.  How had she pulled it off?   More...





Hmmm - interesting to see what that site (The Free Encylopedia) considers the 'priority' news of any day in history. rabbit
Just as well we've got an alternative record listing some rather more meaningful news events of the day:


  • 2004 Hamid Karzai takes office

    The Afghan politician took office as the President of the Islamic Republic in Afghanistan's first direct democratic elections in history.
  • 1982 December Murders in Suriname

    Fifteen prominent Surinamese men were kidnapped and subsequently murdered over 3 days by the military government. The men were known to have criticized the military dictatorship.
  • 1941 Attack on Pearl Harbor

    The Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The attack was the impetus for the U.S.'s entry into World War II.
  • 1787 First state to ratify the U.S. Constitution

    Delaware became the first state to ratify the United States Constitution. Because of this, it is sometimes called the First State.
  • 1732 Royal Opera House opens its doors

    The popular performing arts venue in Covent Garden, London houses the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet.

    Current date/time is Wed 19 Dec 2018, 16:08