Welcome to Krazy Kats - a friendly informal online community discussing life issues that we care about. Open 24/7 for chat & chill. Come and join us!

COVID-19: All the latest LIVE worldwide updates - today's updates are also on our Portal page, here)

On this day in history ...


Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty On this day in history ...

Post by Kitkat Fri Nov 16 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

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty Re: On this day in history ...

Post by Kitkat Sat Nov 17 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.
- * (see my next post)

[ Deleted - cos that didn't work; it still changed automatically! ]

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty Re: On this day in history ...

Post by Kitkat Sat Nov 17 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: )

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.


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.


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.


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.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty King's Cross fire - 18 November (1987)

Post by Kitkat Sun Nov 18 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.


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?"


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.


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.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 19 November

Post by Kitkat Mon Nov 19 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.


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.


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.


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. ( )


“ 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.

Posts : 1870

On this day in history ... Empty Re: On this day in history ...

Post by Whiskers Mon Nov 19 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.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty Re: On this day in history ...

Post by Kitkat Mon Nov 19 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.  

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

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty Re: On this day in history ...

Post by Kitkat Tue Nov 20 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.


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.


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.


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.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 21 November - First Manned, Untethered, Hot Air Balloon Flight

Post by Kitkat Wed Nov 21 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

On this day in history ... 170px-Montgolfier_Balloon

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.


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.


Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 22 November - Cutty Sark is launched

Post by Kitkat Thu Nov 22 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

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 23 November - Dr Crippen hanged for wife's murder

Post by Kitkat Fri Nov 23 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 )

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 24 November - Mysterious Hijacker Parachutes from Plan with $200,000 Ransom

Post by Kitkat Sat Nov 24 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

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 25 November - Elias Howe Patents a Precursor to the Zipper

Post by Kitkat Sun Nov 25 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..

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 26 November 1942 - 'Casablanca' Premieres

Post by Kitkat Mon Nov 26 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 ...

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 27 November - The 1755 Lisbon Earthquake

Post by Kitkat Tue Nov 27 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 ...

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 28 November - The Cocoanut Grove Nightclub Fire

Post by Kitkat Wed Nov 28 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 ...

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 29 November - The November Uprising Begins

Post by Kitkat Thu Nov 29 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...

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 30 November - Meteorite strikes Ann Elizabeth Hodges

Post by Kitkat Fri Nov 30 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


Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 1 December - The Taman Shud Case: Mystery Man Found Dead on Somerton Beach

Post by Kitkat Sat Dec 01 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.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 2 December

Post by Kitkat Sun Dec 02 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.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 3rd December

Post by Kitkat Mon Dec 03 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.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 4 December

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 04 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.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 5th December

Post by Kitkat Wed Dec 05 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.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 6th December

Post by Kitkat Thu Dec 06 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.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty Re: On this day in history ...

Post by Kitkat Fri Dec 07 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.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty On this day in history ... 8 December

Post by Kitkat Sat Dec 08 2018, 11:57

Shooter Opens Fire at Damageplan Concert, Killing Four

Not long after American heavy metal band Pantera disbanded and two of its founding members, brothers "Dimebag" Darrell and Vinnie Paul Abbott, formed the band Dmageplan, the group released its debut album.  Sadly, it would also be its last.  During a concert in Columbus, Ohio, later that year, former US Marine Nathan Gale went on a shooting rampage, killing Darrell along with a fan, a roadie, and a security guard before being fatally shot by a police officer.  Why did Gale do it?   More...

  • 1991 Belavezha Accords signed

    The Belavezha Accords, that disbanded the USSR and replaced it with Commonwealth of Independent States was signed
  • 1991 Romanian Constitution comes into force

    Passed through a referendum, the Constitution marked a return to democracy for Romania after 42 years of Communist rule.
  • 1991 Creation of Commonwealth of Independent States

    The international organization was formed by Belarus, Ukraine, and the Russian Federation as a political forum for members of the former Soviet Union.
  • 1987 First Intifada begins

    The Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories began after an Israeli army truck attacked a car and killed 4 Palestinians. The Intifada ended in 1991 after the Madrid Conference.
  • 1941 U.S. enters WWII

    One day after the Japanese Imperial Navy launched an attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States declared war on Japan and entered World War II.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 9 December

Post by Kitkat Sun Dec 09 2018, 13:50

The Subsequent Nuremberg Trials:  Doctors' Trial Begins

The Doctors' Trial was the first of 12 post-World War II trials collectively called the "Subsequent Nuremberg Trials", which the US held in its occupation zone in Nuremberg, Germany.  Of the 23 defendants, 20 were medical doctors,and they faced charges for war crimes that included experimenting on human subjects without their consent.  The Nuremberg Code was thus established to protect the rights of humans participating in medical research.  How many of the defendants received death sentences?  More...

  • 1979 Smallpox declared eradicated

    The World Health Organization officially certified that after a number of concentrated vaccination campaigns around the world smallpox had been eradicated. Only two infectious diseases have been completely eradicated in history; the other is Rinderpest, which is an infectious disease of cattle that was eradicated in 2011.
  • 1965 Charlie Brown Christmas makes airs for the first time on television

    The popular animated musical special about Christmas was based on Charles M. Schulz's comic strip called Peanuts. The special was critically acclaimed as a telling commentary on the loss of the spirit of Christmas among Americans. It is now screened every year at Christmas time around the world.
  • 1961 Tanganyika gains independence

    The Republic of Tanganyika was administered by the British from 1916 until 1961. Part of German East Africa, the territory was officially handed over to the British by League of Nations mandate in 1922. The Republic was short-lived. In April 1964, it joined the People's Republic of Zanzibar and Pemba to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which became the United Republic of Tanzania in 1965.
  • 1960 First episode of Coronation Street airs

    The longest running TV soap opera, this British production follows the life of people living on Coronation Street, a fictional street in a fictional suburb of Manchester.
  • 1893 Auguste Vaillant bombs the French Chamber of Deputies

    Auguste Vaillant, a French anarchist, bombed the French Chamber of Deputies. No one was hurt in the attack, but Vaillant was sentenced and executed for his actions.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 10 December

Post by Kitkat Mon Dec 10 2018, 13:06

Imperial Japanese Navy Sinks Two British Warships

Japanese aggression in late 1941 prompted Britain to send two of their largest warships - HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse - to the Pacific as a deterrent. However, war in the Pacific escalated with the bombing of Pearl Harbour on December 7.  Three days later, Japanese forces destroyed the Prince of Wales and Repulse near Singapore.  The warships were the first sunk by aircraft while at sea.  How did British Prime Minister Winston Churchill react to the sinkings?  More...

  • 2007 Argentina swears in first female elected President

    Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner became the first elected female President of Argentina.
  • 2001 Release of the first film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy

    The award winning movie called The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was directed by Peter Jackson and was based on J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.
  • 1948 U.N. General Assembly adopts Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    The document proclaimed, for the first time, fundamental human rights were to be universally protected.
  • 1901 First Nobel prize awarded

    Five years after the death of Swedish chemist and inventor, Alfred Nobel's, the first Nobel Prizes were awarded.
  • 1817 Mississippi becomes 20th state

    Mississippi becomes the 20th state in the United States.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 11 December

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 11 2018, 11:10

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Established

The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) - now the United Nations Children's Fund - was founded in 1946 for the purpose of providing relief to children in countries devastated by World War II.  After 1950, it turned to general children's welfare programs, winning the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1965.  Today, it focuses on areas in which relatively small expenditures can have a significant impact.  How did its famous "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF" fundraising campaign begin?  More...

  • 2008 Bernard Madoff arrested

    Popularly known as Bernie Madoff, the founder and chairman of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, was arrested and subsequently convicted of fraud. The Ponzi scheme he was involved in was the biggest such fraud in the history of the United States.
  • 1997 Kyoto Protocol adopted

    The Protocol is a part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, an international treaty that calls for the restriction of greenhouse gasses by the signatories. The United States signed the treaty but did not ratify it.
  • 1941 U.S. declares war on Germany and Italy

    The U.S. responded to Italy and Germany's declaration of war, by declaring war on the two countries.
  • 1936 King Edward VIII abdicates from the British throne

    King Edward VIII abdicated from the British throne to marry American Wallis Warfield Simpson.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 12 December

Post by Kitkat Wed Dec 12 2018, 16:13

Clapham Junction Rail Crash

Near London on the morning of December 12, 1988, the driver of the 7:18 train from Basingstoke to Waterloo saw a signal in front of him abruptly change from green to red.  He stopped his train and called the signalman, who told him to proceed.  Before he could, however, the 6:14 from Poole rammed into his train's rear at about 40 mph (64 km/h).  Then, an empty train travelling in the opposite direction hit the wreckage.  The crashes killed 35 and injured hundreds more.  What caused the signal failure?  More...

  • 2009 Houston gets openly gay mayor

    The city of Houston, Texas elected Anise Parker to become the largest city in the United States to have an openly gay mayor
  • 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing

    A bomb exploded at the building of the National Agrarian Bank, Milan, Italy, killing 17 people and injuring 88.
  • 1963 Kenyan independence

    Kenya declared its independence from the UK.
  • 1787 Pennsylvania becomes the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

    It was the first of the larger states to vote to ratify the document.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 13 December

Post by Kitkat Thu Dec 13 2018, 17:07

Council of Trent Convened

The Council of Trent made sweeping reforms to the Catholic Church over 18 years, eliminating many abuses criticized in the Protestant Reformation.  Convened by Pope Paul III at Trento, Italy - 28 years after Martin Luther issued his 95 Theses - the council fixed the canon of the Old and New Testaments, set the number of sacraments at seven, defined the nature of original sin, and confirmed the doctrine of transubstantiation.  How many years was it until the next ecumenical council?  More...

  • 2003 Saddam Hussein Captured

    Saddam Hussein, the fifth president of Iraq, was found hiding in a camouflaged hole in the ground and was captured by American forces near Tikrit, Iraq. The military operation that led to his capture was called Operation Red Dawn. He was subsequently handed over to the interim Iraqi government. After a trial where he was found guilty of crimes against humanity, he was executed 3 years after his capture in December 2006.
  • 2001 Attack on Indian parliament

    The Indian parliament, the Sansad, was attacked by terrorists. 15 people, including the terrorists were killed during the attack.
  • 1972 Last human landing on the Moon

    Apollo 17 was the last mission of the United States' Apollo lunar landing program. It was also the sixth and the last time humans landed on the Moon.
  • 1795 Meteorite crashes into Wold Newton in Yorkshire, England.

    Major Edward Topham owned the land where the meteorite crashed. He exhibited it later, and today it is in the Natural History Museum in London.
  • 1642 First European to Reach New Zealand

    Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer and merchant, reached the coast of South Island in New Zealand, and named it Staten Landt. Tasman was also the first European in recorded history to step foot on Tasmania, an island state in Australia. Tasman claimed the island for the Dutch crown. It is named after him as well.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 14 December

Post by Kitkat Sat Dec 15 2018, 13:17

Oops!  Didn't get this one up in time on the day: (14th December)

USSR Expelled from the League of Nations

The League of Nations was an international confederation of countries created after World War I and disbanded following World War II when many of its functions were transferred to the United Nations.  The League collapsed when faced with threats to international peace from all sides in the 1930s, including the Spanish civil war, Japan's resumption of war against China, and the appeasement of Adolf Hitler at Munich.  Its last important act was to expel the Soviet Union in 1939 for doing what?  More...

  • 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting

    Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children and 6 adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
  • 1961 Tanzania joins the United Nations

    Tanzania was created as a merger of Tanganyika and the Zanzibar Archipelago, both of which were under British rule until independence.
  • 1958 Soviets Reach the Southern Pole of Inaccessibility

    A Pole of Inaccessibility is a location on Earth that is extremely difficult to access. In the North, it is the point in the Arctic Ocean that is farthest from land, while in the Southern Hemisphere it is the point farthest from the Southern Ocean on Antarctica. In 1958, a Soviet team led by Yevgeny Tolstikov became the first people in history to reach the Southern Pole of Inaccessibility, which is 546 miles (878 kilometers) from the geographic South Pole. Temperatures at this location averages around – 73 degree F (–58 degrees C).
  • 1939 USSR expelled from the League of Nations

    The Soviet Union was expelled from the League of Nations for making aggressive demands of Finland.
  • 1911 Roald Amundsen reaches South Pole

    Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and his team reached the South Pole, becoming the first men in recorded history to set foot on the most southern point on Earth.

AND of course, not forgetting ...  On this day in history ... 2399524177   On this day in history, I was born !
On this day in history ... 3480511625 to me...

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 15 December

Post by Kitkat Sat Dec 15 2018, 13:27

Billionaire's Grandson Found Alive - But Maimed - after Kidnapping

In 1973, 16-year-oldJohn Paul Getty III - grandson of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty - was kidnapped in Rome.  His family initially dismissed a $17-million ransom demand as a joke by the rebellious teen, but a second note convinced his father to ask J. Paul to pay it.  He refused.  The frustrated kidnappers then cut off John's ear and sent it along with a note saying he would "arrive in little pieces" if their demands were not met.  At this, the elder Getty relented, paying over $2 million on what condition?  More...

  • 2009 Maiden flight of Boeing 787 Dreamliner

    Considered to be one of Boeing's most fuel-efficient airplanes, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner has suffered from problems associated with its lithium-ion batteries.
  • 1978 US recognizes China

    30 years after the creation of the People's Republic of China, President Jimmy Carter announced that the United States would formally recognize the communist country starting January 1, 1979. The announcement also called for the severing of relations with Taiwan, a position that was quickly reversed under protests.
  • 1939 Premier of the Gone with the Wind

    The award winning film was adapted from the Pulitzer winner Margaret Mitchell's book by the same name.
  • 1933 Twenty-first Amendment to U.S. Constitution comes into effect

    Ratified on December 5 of the same year, the amendment repealed the prohibition on alcohol in the United States which had come into force on January 17, 1920, when the 18th amendment took effect.
  • 1791 U.S. Bill of Rights becomes law

    The first 10 amendments to the Constitution of the United States are known as the Bill of Rights. They became law after Virginia ratified the amendments.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty On this day in history : 17 December

Post by Kitkat Mon Dec 17 2018, 12:57

US Brigadier General James Dozier Kidnapped by Italian Terrorists

In 1981, US Brigadier General James Dozier was kidnapped from his apartment in Italy by men posing as plumbers.  The kidnappers were members of the Red Brigades, an extreme left-wing terrorist organization that sought to undermine the Italian state and pave the way for Marxist upheaval.  Dozier, who was serving as deputy chief of all staff at NATO's Southern European land forces headquarters in Verona, was the first American general ever abducted by a terrorist group.  How long was  he held captive? More...

  • 2010 Mohamed Bouazizi sets himself on fire

    The Tunisian street vendor self-immolated as a protest against the economic conditions in Tunisia. He died 18 days after at the age of 26. His protest and death were a catalyst for the Tunisian revolution and similar revolutions and protests around the Arab world.
  • 2010 The beginning of the Arab Spring

    The multi-country protests and demands for change in the Arab world are thought to have begun with street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi's self-immolation in Tunisia. Bouazizi's attempt and death 18 days later was the catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution which forced then-president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to step down from his post.
  • 1989 First episode of The Simpsons aired

    The popular American animated series directed by Matt Groening is set in the fictional town of Springfield and it follows the life of the Simpson family.
  • 1903 First flight of the Wright Flyer

    The powered aircraft was made by the Wright brothers and was the first such aircraft to take flight.
  • 1790 Discovery of the Aztec calendar stone

    Also known as the Stone of the Five Eras, the sculpture was excavated in Mexico City.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 18 December

Post by Kitkat Tue Dec 18 2018, 21:24

Discovery of Piltdown Man Announced

In the early 20th centry, amateur archaeologist Charles Dawson announced thata fossilized skull belonging to a previously unknown species of prehistoric man had been found in Piltdown, England.  It took 40 years to definitely determine that the skull was not that of a priimitive hominid but rather a fakeconstructed from a human cranium and the jawbone of an ape.  The perpetrator of the hoax has never been identified, though many have fallen under suspicion, including what famous author?   More...

  • 1966 Saturn's Moon, Epimetheus, discovered

    One of Saturn's 150 natural satellites or moons, Epimetheus shares its orbit with another moon, Janus. Saturn's largest moon is Titan, which is the only natural satellite in the Solar System with an atmosphere.
  • 1958 World's first communication satellite launched

    A product of a highly secretive project, SCORE (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment) was launched aboard the Atlas rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Once in orbit, it relayed the first message sent to Earth from space - a short statement by American President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
  • 1892 The Nutcracker makes it debut in St. Petersburg, Russia

    The two-part ballet was inspired by German author Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann's novella The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. Even though the ballet's score was composed by the famous Russian composer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, it did not get good reviews. It was only in the mid-20th century, that The Nutcracker gained popularity among theater goers, especially during Christmas time in the United States.
  • 1865 Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution adopted

    The first of the 3 Reconstruction Amendments, the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery and involuntary servitude. The other two Reconstruction Amendments – the Fourteenth and the Fifteenth Amendments – extended citizenship rights, equal protection of the law, and the right to vote to all Americans irrespective of their "race, color, or previous condition of servitude."

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 19 December

Post by Kitkat Wed Dec 19 2018, 18:09

Operation Vijay:  India Annexes Daman and Diu

Spanning less than 50 square miles (130 sq km) on the coast of India, Daman and Diu became Portuguese colonies in the 16th century, along with the port of Goa.  After India gained independence from the UK in 1947, its government began working toward the return of all Indian colonies held by Portugal.  Portugal, however, violently suppressed peaceful Indian activists opposed to its continued rule.  After Indian forces invaded, how many days did it take for them to annex Daman and Diu?   More...

  • 2012 Election of First female President of South Korea

    Park Geun-hye is the eleventh President of South Korea and also holds the distinction of being the first female head of state in Northeast Asia. She assumed office in February 2013.
  • 1984 Hong Kong Treaty Signed

    Formally known as the Joint Declaration of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the People's Republic of China on the Question of Hong Kong, the Sino-British Treaty was signed by Zhao Ziyang of China and Margaret Thatcher of the United Kingdom in Beijing. The treaty decided the fate of Hong Kong as a territory of China from July 1, 1997.
  • 1972 Apollo 17 returns to Earth

    The last mission of the United States' Apollo program spent 12 days in space and was the first human spaceflight launched at night from the United States. The three-member crew spent more time orbiting the Moon and on the surface of the Moon than during any other Moon landings. It was also the last time humans set foot on Earth's only natural satellite.
  • 1971 A Clockwork Orange released

    The dystopian film was directed by Stanley Kubrick and was based on a novella of the same name by British author, Anthony Burgess. Based in a futuristic London, the film opened with critical acclaim, though the centrality of violence in it drew a lot of mainstream criticism. Today, the movie is considered to be one of the best movies of the 20th century.
  • 1886 Sherlock Holmes' The Adventure of Beryl Coronet begins on this date

    The short detective story written by Arthur Conan Doyle and featuring detective Sherlock Holmes and his friend and assistant Dr. Watson began on this date with the theft of 3 precious crystals from a coronet. The story is the 11th in a series of 12 stories contained in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 20 December

Post by Kitkat Thu Dec 20 2018, 17:13

Tragedy at Sea:  MV Doña Paz Passenger Ferry Sinks

The passenger ferry MV Doña Paz was travelling along the Tablas Strait in the Philippines when it collided with the MT Vector, an oil tanker carrying 8,800 barrels of petroleum products.  The cargo ignited, causing a fire that spread onto the Doña Paz.  Survivors had to jump ship, and both vessels quickly sank in shark-infested waters.  The accident claimed over 4,000 lives, as the Doña Paz was grossly overcrowded.  How many passengers was it supposed to hold?  More...

  • 2007 Queen Elizabeth becomes the longest-living British monarch

    The previous longest living monarch - Queen Victoria - died on Jan 22, 1901, when she was 81 years, 7 months, and 29 days old. Queen Elizabeth, who was born on 21 April 1926, turned 81 years, 7 months and 30 days on this day.
  • 1999 Portuguese transfer sovereignty of Macau to China

    Portugal ruled over the special administrative region of China from the mid-16th century to 1999. Macau has a high degree of independence from China, and has control over its legal system, monetary system, and immigration policy.
  • 1989 United States' invasion of Panama begins

    Also known as Operation Just Cause, the invasion took place under the leadership of President George H. W. Bush and led to the deposing of the dictator, Manuel Noriega. The invasion ended on January 31, 1990.
  • 1973 Spanish Prime Minister Carrero Blanco assassinated

    A confidant of dictator Francisco Franco, Blanco was assassinated by the Basque nationalist and separatist group Euskadi Ta Askatasuna or ETA.
  • 1803 Louisiana Purchase completed

    The United States was officially handed over the territory of Louisiana by the French. The French had regained control of the territory that spans over 15 present-day states and 2 Canadian territories in 1800. In 1762, Spain had taken over the territory.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 23 December

Post by Kitkat Sun Dec 23 2018, 12:28


The holiday of Festivus, celebrated on December 23, was popularized by an episode of the 1990s TV show Seinfeld.  Unfulfilled by the year-end holidays, character Frank Costanza invents Festivus "for the rest of us".  The centrepiece of Festivus is a plain, unadorned aluminium pole place in a bucket of cement.  One by one, attendees grab the pole and air their grievances, detailing how other people have disappointed them in the past year.  What happens after this gripe session?   More...

  • 1994 Organized crime boss Whitey Bulger goes into hiding

    The convicted murderer stayed out of sight for 16 years causing great embarrassment to the American Federal Bureau of Investigations. He was finally arrested in 2011.
  • 1990 Slovenian referendum on independence from Yugoslavia

    The Eastern European country had joined the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as a socialist republic state in 1945. Actual independence for the country did not occur until June of 1991, when the Slovenians rejected Yugoslavian interference in the form of a 10-day war that ended on July 7, 1991. A new constitution for the country came into force on December 23, 1991.
  • 1975 Metric Conversion Act signed by U.S. President Gerald Ford

    The act made the metric system the preferred system of weights and measures in the United States. Today, the metric system is predominantly only used by scientists and academics in the U.S. Common people tend to follow the customary units that were developed before American Independence. The U.S. is 1 of 3 countries in the world that do not use the metric system. Liberia and Burma are the other two.
  • 1958 Tokyo Tower opened to the public

    At 333 meters tall, it is world's tallest, self-supported steel tower. It is based on the Eiffel Tower and is used for communication purposes.
  • 1888 Vincent van Gogh cuts off his ear

    It is now believed that the Dutch painter was suffering from a psychotic break at the time of the event. After cutting off his left ear, van Gogh bandaged his head and took the severed ear to a prostitute for safekeeping.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty Re: On this day in history ...

Post by Kitkat Thu Dec 27 2018, 09:50

Missed out on a few days there.  Can anyone fill in something for those days?  Two days actually - 24th and 25th December.

Did anyone even notice? surprised   Is anyone even interested in this thread? rock   Or am I just talking to myself?  wary    Oh well ...  shrug  I'll continue  .....

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 26 December

Post by Kitkat Thu Dec 27 2018, 09:52

Largest Mass Execution in US History

Though the US government and the Sioux concluded several treaties during the first half of the 19th century, relations had deteriorated by 1862 when a Sioux uprising killed more than 800 white settlers and soldiers in Minnesota.  Military tribunals convicted 303 Sioux prisoners of murder and rape and sentenced them to death.  US President Abraham Lincoln commuted most sentences, but the public hanging of 38 prisoners was still the largest mass execution in US history.  What became of the bodies?  More

  • 2004 Massive tsunami causes damage and kills thousands in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Thailand

    The tsunami was precipitated by a 9.1 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The earthquake was the third strongest earthquake ever measured using the Richter scale in recorded history. The other two were the Valdivia earthquake in Chile in 1960, with a magnitude of 9.5 and the Prince William Sound earthquake in Alaska in 1964, with a magnitude of 9.2. The Indian Ocean earthquake killed about 200,000 people and is considered one of the deadliest natural disasters in recent history.
  • 1982 The December issue of Times magazine proclaimed the personal computer as the "Man of the Year"

    The Man of the Year tradition began in 1927 at Time magazine as a way to identify and showcase those that influenced the year and its events significantly. In 1999, the feature was renamed Person of the Year.
  • 1966 First Kwanzaa celebrations

    The week-long cultural holiday is celebrated among African diaspora in the United States and was created by Maulana Karenga, a professor of Africana Studies and a key figure in the Black Power movement. The holiday is celebrated annually from December 26 to January 1, and it is a recognition of African culture and heritage.
  • 1941 Fourth Thursday of November set as Thanksgiving Day in the US

    The holiday has been celebrated officially in the United States since 1863. The first Thanksgiving is thought to have been observed by early settlers in the Massachusetts Bay Colony after their first harvest in 1621.
  • 1898 The Curies announce the existence of Radium

    The radioactive element has an atomic number of 88 and is known by the symbol Ra. In its pure form, it is a highly toxic element and is not used extensively for scientific purposes.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 27 December

Post by Kitkat Thu Dec 27 2018, 09:58

The Rome and Vienna Airport Attacks

Nearly three months after Israel's bombing of Palestine Liberation Organization headquarters in Tunisia, terrorists retaliated in two nearly simultaneous attacks at Europen airports.  At Leonarda da Vinci Airport in Rome, Italy, gunmen opened fire and threw grenades at the Israeli airline's ticket counter, while at an airport in Vienna, Austria, terrorists threw grenades into a crowd awaiting a flight to Tel Aviv.  In all, 19 people were killed and more than 10 hurt.  Who claimed responsibility?  More...

  • 2007 Benazir Bhutto assassinated

    The former Prime Minister of Pakistan was killed after a shooting and the detonation of a suicide bomb while campaigning for the upcoming elections in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
  • 1949 Indonesian Independence

    The Southeast Asian country's independence came after 4 years of revolution and struggle. In August 1945, Sukarno signed the Proclamation of Indonesian Independence, which was formally accepted and recognized by the Dutch in 1949.
  • 1918 Greater Poland Uprising of 1918–1919 begins

    The revolt against the Germans began in Poznań after a speech by the Polish Prime Minster, Ignacy Paderewski. The uprising led to newer territory being added to Poland in the Treaty of Versailles.
  • 1845 Anesthesia used for the first time for childbirth

    Dr. Crawford W. Long, an American physician, gave ether to his wife during the birth of their second child. The event revolutionalized the use of anesthesia in medicine and surgery.
  • 1831 Charles Darwin begins his journey on the HMS Beagle

    It was during this 5-year long voyage that the English naturalist worked on his Theory of Evolution. He published the evidence supporting it in his 1859 book, On the Origin of Species.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 28 December

Post by Kitkat Fri Dec 28 2018, 18:38

The Messina Earthquake

Messina is a busy seaport and commercial center in northeastern Sicily, Italy, opposite the Italian mainland.  On the morning of December 28, 1908, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit Messina, followed by a 40-foot (12-meter) tsunami.  About 80,000 people were killed, and at least 90 percent of Messina's buildings, including its churches and palaces, were destroyed.  Afterward, the city was completely rebuilt under standards for quake-resistant construction.  What happened to the survivors?  More

  • 2007 Nepal abolishes monarchy

    The amendment to the Nepalese constitution that declared the country a federal republic was passed by the parliament. The transition was completed on May 28, 2008. Established in 1768 by Prithvi Narayan Shah, the Kingdom of Nepal lasted for over 200 years. Nepal is the world's only country with Hinduism as the state religion.
  • 1972 Kim il Sung becomes first president of North Korea

    Kim Il-sung became the first and only president of South Korea under an amended constitution. He was elected to the post by the members of the North Korean parliament, which is also known as the Supreme People's Assembly. The post was abolished in 1998, and Kim II-sung was given the title of Eternal President of Korea.
  • 1968 Israel raid on Beirut Airport

    The Israeli Defence Forces mounted a special operation, also known as Operation Gift, on Beirut Airport. The raid was in retaliation to the attack on El Al Flight 253, which was en route from Tel Aviv to New York. During its layover in Athens, Greece, two Palestinians fired at passengers and crew and killed 1 person. In retaliation, Israel destroyed several passenger and cargo planes parked at Beirut Airport. There were no fatalities during the raid.
  • 1885 Indian National Congress founded

    The party is one of the two main political parties in India. Created by the members of the Theosophical Society, the party was a major player in India's independence movement against the British. After Independence, the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru belonged to the INC.
  • 1836 South Australia becomes a British colony

    The central southern state of Australia was first established as a province in 1834 by the British Parliament under the South Australia Act. The day was observed as Proclamation Day in the state, which was later turned into an extra holiday after Christmas Day.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 29 December

Post by Kitkat Sat Dec 29 2018, 18:36

Ashtabula River Railroad Disaster

As the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway train plowed ahead through deep snow on December 29, 1876, a bridge over Ohio's Ashtabula River fractured with a loud crack, plunging every train car except the lead engine into the river about 70 ft (21 m) below.  The wooden cars, equipped with kerosene lamps and stoves, became an inferno.  Ninety-two people died, many burned beyond recognition. The accident initiated the standardization of bridge inspection.  What became of the bridge's designers?  More...

  • 1996 Guatemalan civil war comes to an end

    The 36-year long civil war fought between several leftist groups representing the indigenous people and poor and the government came to an end after Comandante Rolando Morán of the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity and president Álvaro Arzú signed a peace treaty under the supervision of the UN. Morán and Arzú received the Nobel Peace Prize for their role in bringing peace to the country.
  • 1937 Ireland established

    A new constitution, established by a national referendum, changed the name of the Irish Free state to Ireland. The Irish Free State was a part of the British Commonwealth and was established in 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty singed in 1921.
  • 1916 A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man published

    The first novel of Irish writer, James Joyce, the book follows the life of Stephen Dedalus, who many believe was the author's alter ego. It first came out as a series in the literary magazine, The Egoist and was then published by American publisher B. W. Huebsch. James Joyce is best known for his book Ulysses, which is about a single day in the life of advertising agent, Leopold Bloom. In honor of the book, fans of the author celebrate an unofficial holiday, Bloomsday on June 16.
  • 1911 Mongolian Independence

    The landlocked North East Asian country declared its independence from the Qing Dynasty, after the Mongolian Revolution of 1911. The country had been under the Qing rule for about 200 years.
  • 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre

    On this day, the U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry tried to disarm the members of the Lakota tribe who were camped at the Wounded Knee Creek. During their attempt, a shot was fired and the cavalry massacred over 150 members of the tribe including women and children. Many historians believe that the number of people massacred was much higher. Wounded Knee is near present day Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the state of South Dakota

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty Re: On this day in history ...

Post by Kitkat Sun Dec 30 2018, 15:09

The Iroquois Theatre Fire

Billed as "absolutely fireproof", Chicago's Iroquois Theatre was filled with mostly women and children - out of school for the holidays - for a matinée on December 30, 1903, when a curtain caught fire.  One actor tried calming the audience, but panic spread.  Many escape routes were unmarked, and a stampede ensued.  As people fled, the cold air they let in fed the inferno.  More than 575 people died - a death toll more than double that of the famed 1871 Chicago Fire.  What show had packed the theatre?  More

  • 2011 Samoa and Tokelau skipped December 30

    The South Pacific Ocean Islands changed their time zone and move west of the international dateline to align their time zone with their major trading partners, Australia and New Zealand. In doing so, they skipped December 30 and moved directly from December 29 to December 31. 119 years ago, Samoa had made a similar shift, eastwards of the dateline, to synchronize its time with the United States. Today, Samoa follows West Samoa Time, which is 13 hours ahead of UTC.
  • 2006 Saddam Hussein executed

    The deposed president of Iraq was hanged after he was found guilty of crimes against humanity. Hussein was the fifth president of Iraq and came to power after a coup in 1968.
  • 2004 Highest barometric pressure recorded

    At 2 am local time, the atmospheric pressure in Tosontsengel, Mongolia rose to 846.5 hPa (adjusted for height above sea level).
  • 1995 Lowest temperature ever recored in the UK

    Altnaharra, a small hamlet in northern Scotland, recorded a temperature of −27.2°C (-16.96 degrees Fahrenheit). The temperature had dipped this low once before in the UK - in Braemar, East Scotland on January 10, 1982
  • 1947 Last king of Romania steps down

    Michael I was forced to abdicate by the Communist Party of Romania. His first reign over the country was in 1927 as a 6-year old, and it lasted only 3 years until 1930. He was then reinstalled in 1940.

Posts : 566

On this day in history ... Empty Re: On this day in history ...

Post by Jamboree Wed Jan 02 2019, 05:13

This Day in History no longer renews to current day. Is that because of the new year?

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 2 January

Post by Kitkat Wed Jan 02 2019, 20:50

Jamboree wrote:This Day in History no longer renews to current day.  Is that because of the new year?  
Partly, Jamboree.  After all, 1st January is a holiday - a day of rest and recuperation for most.  Wink

Discovery of the Planet Vulcan Is Announced

To account for inconsistencies between Mercury's predicted and observed orbital path, French astronomer Urbain Jean Joseph Leverrier postulated that a tiny, hypothetical planet, which he named Vulcan, was present within Mercury's orbit.   Sightings of Vulcan were reported until 1878, and Leverrier died believing he had discovered another planet.
Eventually, however, the orbital anomalies were explained by Einstein's general theory of relativity.  After what was the hypothetical planet named?  More

  • 1981 The “Yorkshire Ripper” is caught

    Peter Sutcliffe confessed to murdering 13 women and was sentenced to life imprisonment.
  • 1971 66 football fans die in the Ibrox disaster

    Over 200 people were injured in the crush, which occurred at the end of an association football game between the Glasgow-based clubs, Rangers, and Celtic, at Ibrox Park.
  • 1967 Ronald Reagan is sworn in as Governor of California

    Reagan became the 40th U.S. president in 1981.
  • 1959 Luna 1 is launched

    The Soviet spacecraft was the first to reach the vicinity of the moon and orbit the sun.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty Re: On this day in history ...

Post by Kitkat Thu Jan 03 2019, 10:14

March of Dimes Established by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt

The March of Dimes is a US charity whose mission is to improve the health of babies.  It was founded with the goal of eradicating polio, one of the most dreaded diseases of the 20th century, during the tenure of President Roosevelt, who himself contracted what was thought to be polio in 1921.  The national, nonpartisan organisation initially raised funds for research by urging the public to contribute a dime to the effort and came to be called the March of Dimes, but its original name was what?   More...

  • 1994 Millions of people from the former Apartheid Homelands gain South African citizenship

    The apartheid regime had stripped the black inhabitants of the right to citizenship to ensure a white majority of the de jure population.
  • 1993 The second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II) is signed

    The U.S.A. and Russia agreed to reduce the number of nuclear warheads by about 3,000.
  • 1961 The United States breaks diplomatic relations with Cuba

    In April 1961, the U.S. government launched an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the Cuban government by invading the country at the bay of pigs.
  • 1959 Alaska becomes the 49th U.S. state

    The territory had been bought from Russia in 1867 for a mere $7.2 million.
  • 1957 The first electric watch is available

    The Hamilton Electric 500 came in “modern” asymmetrical designs to reflect the revolutionary technology.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty On this day in history ... 4 January

Post by Kitkat Fri Jan 04 2019, 11:26

Sofia Liberated from Ottoman Rule

Sofia was established as a Thracian settlement around the 8th century BCE and has since developed into a major world city and the capital of Bulgaria, due in part to its central position in the Balkans.  Today it is home to attractions like the 6th century Church of St. Sofia and 15th century Banya Bashi mosque.  During its long history, the city passed through the hands of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires.  After nearly 500 years of Turkish rule, Sophia was liberated by what country?   More...

  • 2010 Burj Khalifa is opened

    Burj Khalifa in Dubai is currently the world's tallest building, at 829.8 m (2,722 ft).
  • 1958 Sputnik 1 falls to Earth from orbit

    The Soviet Union was the first nation to send an artificial Earth satellite into space.
  • 1948 Burma gains independence from the United Kingdom

    Burma (Myanmar) came under British rule on January 1, 1886.
  • 1896 Utah becomes the 45th state of the U.S.A.

    One condition for statehood was that a ban on polygamy had to be written into the state constitution.
  • 1847 Samuel Colt sells his first revolver

    Captain Samuel Walker of the Texas Rangers placed an order for 1000 revolver pistols after having witnessed their devastating effect.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 5 January

Post by Kitkat Sat Jan 05 2019, 14:00

Louis XV of France Survives Assassination Attempt

Louis XV was king of France  from 1715 to  1774.  An orphan from age three, Louis succeeded to the throne upon the death of his great-grandfather Louis XIV, under the regency of the duke of Orléans.  In 1757, the unpopular king was stabbed in the side by Robert Damiens. Convinced he was dying, Louis called for a confessor and begged his wife to forgive his infidelities.  The small blade had, however, done little damage, and the king survived.  How did Voltaire  mock the king's allegedly shallow wound?  More...

  • 2005 The solar system's largest known dwarf planet is discovered

    The discovery of “Eris” ultimately lead to the International Astronomical Union (IAU) downgrading Pluto, which has roughly the same size, to a dwarf planet.
  • 1993 The oil tanker MV Braer runs aground on the coast of the Shetland Islands

    The oil tanker spilled twice as much crude oil as the Exxon Valdez in 1989.
  • 1968 The Prague Spring begins

    The period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia began with the election of Alexander Dubček as the country's leader.
  • 1933 Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge begins

    The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is one of the best-known symbols of the United States.
  • 1895 Alfred Dreyfus is sentenced to life imprisonment

    The French artillery officer was accused of treason. He was later exonerated.

Posts : 11343
Location : Around the bend

On this day in history ... Empty 6 January

Post by Kitkat Sun Jan 06 2019, 09:00

Maria Montessori Opens Her First School

Montessori was an educator and the first woman to receive a medical degree in Italy.  While working in a clinic for mentally disabled children, she developed a method of teaching that involves immersing children in an environment filled with "learning games" that naturally motivate learning and allow them to develop at their own pace.  She opened her first children's school in 1907 and spent the next 40 years traveling and promoting her method.  How many times was she nominated for the Nobel Prize?  More...

  • 1970 The Wiener Musikverein is inaugurated

    The famous concert hall is the home of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • 1929 Mother Theresa arrives in India

    Through her tireless work in helping the poor and ill, the Albanian religious sister later received the Nobel Peace Prize and was posthumously beatified.
  • 1912 German scientist Alfred Wegener presents his theory of continental drift

    His work laid the foundation for the theory of plate tectonics, which explains why continents move.
  • 1838 Samuel Morse presents the telegraph to the public

    Together with Alfred Vail, the inventor relayed the message “A patient waiter is no loser” over a distance of 2 miles (3 km).

    Current date/time is Mon May 17 2021, 14:33