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On this day in history ...


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On this day in history ... - Page 3 Empty 20th February

Post by Kitkat on Wed Feb 20 2019, 21:24

The Barber of Seville's Disastrous Debut

In 1816, Italian composer Gioacchino Rossini produced The Barber of Seville, based on the comedy by French playwright Pierre Beaumarchais.  Though Rossini created much of the opera's music in just weeks, it resounds with his brilliant arias, ensemble numbers,and famous crescendos.  Still, several  on-stage accidents and constant jeers from the audience, likely spurred by supporters of one of Rossini's rivals, made its debut in Rome a disaster.  What happened during the second performance?  More...

  • 1988 The Nagorno-Karabakh War is triggered by der Autonomous Oblast's secession from Azerbaijan

    Today, Nagorno-Karabakh is a de facto independent state, but the territory is still internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.
  • 1962 The first U.S. citizen to orbit the Earth lands safely in the Atlantic Ocean

    John Glenn's 5-hour spaceflight came almost a year after Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin orbited the Earth on April 12, 1961.
  • 1944 U.S. bombers attack German aircraft manufacturing centers, in a bombing campaign that became known as the “Big Week”

    The goal was to achieve air superiority to secure the invasion of Europe.
  • 1913 Works to build Australia's capital city commence

    Canberra is an entirely planned city and was chosen as the Australian capital as a compromise between rivals Sydney and Melbourne.
  • 1877 Tchaikovsky's ballet “Swan Lake” is premiered

    It is one of the world's best-known ballets.

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Post by Kitkat on Thu Feb 21 2019, 14:49

On this day in history ... - Page 3 KurtEisner

German Socialist Kurt Eisner Is Assassinated

Eisner was a German journalist and politician.  From 1898, he was editor of Vorwärts, the official Social Democratic Party newspaper.  He joined the Independent Social Democratic Party in 1917, later becoming its leader.  In November 1918, he organised a Socialist revolution that overthrew the monarchy in Bavaria, and he became the first prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of the new Bavarian republic.  In February 1919, Eisner was assassinated while on his way to do what?  More...

  • 1972 U.S. President Richard Nixon embarks on his historic visit to China

    The first visit of a U.S. President in China was an important step in normalizing relations between the two countries.
  • 1958 The peace symbol is designed by Gerald Holtom

    The symbol was commissioned by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and combines the semaphore symbols for the letters N and D - an abbreviation of “Nuclear Disarmament”.
  • 1878 The world's first telephone book is issued in New Haven, Connecticut

    The directory consisted of a single piece of cardboard and comprised 50 numbers.
  • 1848 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish “The Communist Manifesto”

    “Das Kommunistische Manifest” outlined the sociopolitical worldview today called “Marxism” and was translated from German into over 100 languages.
  • 1804 The world's first railway journey takes place in Wales

    The first full-scale steam locomotive, built by Richard Trevithick, traveled from the Pen-y-darren ironworks near Merthyr Tydfil to Abercynon.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Feb 22 2019, 10:26

The "Miracle on Ice"

Voted the greatest sports moment of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated magazine, the unlikely victory of the US men's hockey team over its Soviet counterpart during the 1980 Olympic Winter Games has been called the "Miracle on Ice".  The Soviet team was considered the world's best international hockey team, while the US team was made up of amateur and collegiate players.  Who scored the decisive goal in the game, allowing the US to go on to the gold-medal game against Finland?  More...

  • 2011 185 people are killed during an earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand

    The quake, while having a magnitude of only 6.3, had one of the highest intensities ever recorded in an urban area (MM IX).
  • 1986 The People Power Revolution begins in the Philippines

    The nonviolent campaign resulted in the fall of President Ferdinand Marcos and the restoration of the country's democracy.
  • 1983 The play “Moose Murders” flops spectacularly on Broadway

    According to critic Frank Rich, “a visit to Moose Murders is what will separate the connoisseurs of Broadway disaster from mere dilettantes for many moons to come.”
  • 1948 Czechoslovakia becomes a communist state following a coup d'etat

    The country became a parliamentary republic following the non-violent “Velvet Revolution” in 1989 and was split into the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic in 1993.
  • 1879 The first Woolworth store opens in Utica, New york

    Frank Woolworth's five-and-dime retail stores became one of the world's most successful trading companies with branches in many countries around the world

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Feb 23 2019, 15:58

Cato Street Conspiracy:  Plot to Kill British Cabinet Ministers Foiled

In 1816, Arthur Thistlewood, a member of the revolutionary Spencean Society in London, organised a public meeting at Spa Fields, at which a revolution was to be started.  However, the meeting was easily dispersed, and Thistlewood was arrested and narrowly escaped conviction for treason.  Undeterred, Thistlewood later plotted the assassination of cabinet members.  The government, apprised of the conspiracy, surprised the plotters at their arsenal in a Cato Street loft.  What became of Thistlewood?  More...

  • 1954 The first mass inoculation against polio is conducted

    Virologist Jonas Salk's vaccine is still one of the two versions used today, along with Hilary Koprowski's live polio vaccine.
  • 1947 The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) begins operating

    The ISO issues standards for everything from bicycle tires to date formats.
  • 1941 Glenn T. Seaborg and his team chemically identify Plutonium

    The radioactive element plays an important role as nuclear fuel or in nuclear weapons.
  • 1917 The February Revolution begins in Russia

    The demonstrations and armed clashes ultimately resulted in the demise of the Russian Empire.
  • 1455 The Gutenberg Bible is published

    Johannes Gutenberg's Bible edition was the first book ever printed in movable type, heralding the age of the printed book in the West.

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Post by Kitkat on Sun Feb 24 2019, 14:48

The Battle of Los Angeles

The "Battle of Los Angeles" is the name given by contemporary sources to the imaginary enemy attack and subsequent anti-aircraft artillery barrage that took place over Los Angeles, California, just months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour.  Reports of an immiment strike on the city led to the sounding of air raid sirens, the imposition of a blackout, and the firing of 1,400 shells at supposed Japanese aircraft, killing several US civilians.  What may have actually prompted the bombardment?  More...

  • 2010 Sachin Tendulkar becomes the first cricket player to score a double-century in the One Day International format

    The Indian sportsman is widely recognized as one of the greatest batsmen in cricket.
  • 1989 A Boeing 747 jumbo jet rips open over the Pacific Ocean

    United Airlines Flight 811 experienced an explosive decompression, resulting in the death of 9 passengers.
  • 1920 The German nazi party is founded

    Adolf Hitler became the party's leader in 1921.
  • 1607 The world's first opera is premiered

    Claudio Monteverdi's “L'Orfeo” is still performed regularly today.
  • 1582 Pope Gregory XIII orders the introduction of the Gregorian calendar

    Luigi Lilio's reform of the Julian calendar was first introduced in some European countries and is now the world's most widely used calendar.

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Post by Kitkat on Mon Feb 25 2019, 11:46

On this day in history ... - Page 3 Flag_of_PASO.svg

First Pan American Games Are Held in Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Pan American Games is a multi-sport even open to competitors from all nations of the Western Hemisphere.  Patterned after the Olympic Games and sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee, the games are held every four years in the year preceding the Summer Olympic Games.  Argentina took home more medals than any other country in the first Pan American Games, however, the US has since become the overall medal leader, with a current total of 3,915.  Who lights the Pan American torch?  More..

  • 1994 An Israeli doctor kills 30 unarmed Palestinians in the Mosque of Abraham

    The massacre by right-wing extremist Baruch Goldstein was widely condemned, also in Israel.
  • 1991 The Warsaw Pact is disbanded

    Following the end of the Cold War, the defense treaty between 8 communist states had lost its purpose. It had been signed in 1955 as an antagonist of NATO.
  • 1986 Corazon Aquino is sworn in as the 11th President of the Philippines

    Aquino's presidency ended 20 years of dictatorship. She was the first female president in Asia.
  • 1964 Muhammad Ali becomes world heavyweight champion

    Ali, who still used his original name Cassius Clay at the time, is considered one of the greatest heavyweight boxers in history.
  • 1947 The state of Prussia is dissolved

    At its peak, the most important state of the German empire encompassed parts of modern-day Germany, Poland, and Russia.

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Post by Kitkat on Tue Feb 26 2019, 18:47

The February 26 Incident

The February 26 incident was an attempted military coup in Japan lauched by a radical faction of the Imperial Japanese Army that sought to stamp out corruption and poverty in rural Japan by assassinating certain elder statesmen.  Before the coup was suppressed, the rebels managed to briefly occupy the centre of Tokyo and kill several leading politicians, including the finance minister.  The prime minister, however, survived thanks to a case of mistaken identity.  Who was killed in his place?  More...

  • 1993 A car bomb explodes below the World Trade Center in New York

    The attack was carried out by a group of Islamist militants. 6 people died in the blast.
  • 1991 The world's first web browser is presented to the public

    The browser “WorldWideWeb” (later renamed “Nexus”) was developed by Tim Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist best known as the inventor of the internet.
  • 1920 The first German Expressionist film is premiered

    “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” by Robert Wiene is considered one of the best silent film of the horror genre.
  • 1917 The world's first jazz record is created

    The “Original Dixieland Jass Band” recorded “Livery Stable Blues” for the Victor Talking Machine Company in New York.
  • 1909 A color motion picture is shown to the general public for the first time

    A series of 21 short Kinemacolor films were presented at the Palace Theatre in London.

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Post by Kitkat on Wed Feb 27 2019, 12:27

Carbon-14 Discovered

Carbon-14 is a radioactive isotope of carbon having a mass number of 14 and a half-life of approximately 5,700 years.  It occurs naturally, arising from cosmic rays,and is used as a tracer in studies of metabolism and in radiocarbon dating - a method of determining the age of carbonaceous, once-living material.  Carbon-14 was discovered by Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben at the University of California Radiation Laboratory, but its existence had been predicted six years earlier y whom?  More...

  • 2010 A massive earthquake strikes Chile

    The tremor measured 8.8 on the Richter scale and left more than 500 people dead and thousands injured.
  • 2002 A Muslim mob set fire to a train carrying Hindu pilgrims

    The attack killed 59 people, including many women and children.
  • 1943 Non-violent protests in Berlin prevent the deportation of 2000 jews

    The “Rosenstrasse protest” was carried out by the “Aryan” wives and relatives of detained Jewish men.
  • 1933 Germany's parliament building is set on fire

    The Nazis used the Reichstag fire to justify harsh repression against political opponents. The event is considered pivotal in the establishment of Nazi Germany.
  • 1932 The neutron is discovered

    English physicist James Chadwick was later awarded the Nobel Prize for his discovery.

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Post by Kitkat on Thu Feb 28 2019, 11:05

On this day in history ... - Page 3 Olof_Palme_statsminister%2c_tidigt_70-tal

Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme is Assassinated

Palme served as prime minister of Sweden from 1969 to 1976 and from 1982 to 1986.  In 1971, he led Sweden's rejection of a bid for membership in the European Community.  A pacifist, he criticised US policy in the Vietnam War, creating a diplomatic rift that ended in 1974.  Palme also opposed the nuclear arms race and South African apartheid.  He was assassinated in 1986, and his murder remains unsolved.  What did US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger reportedly say about his relationship with Palme?  More...

  • 2013 Pope Benedict XVI resigns

    The pope whose birth name is Joseph Ratzinger was the first leader of the Catholic Church to resign since 1415.
  • 1991 The first Gulf War ends

    The armed conflict had lasted a little over half a year and claimed over 100,000 civilian casualties.
  • 1986 Swedish prime minister Olof Palme is assassinated

    Even though over 130 people have confessed to the murder, the case has never been solved.
  • 1975 A London underground train crashes into the end of the tunnel at Moorgate station

    The Moorgate tube crash claimed 43 lives and was the deadliest accident in the London Underground in during peacetime.
  • 1935 Nylon is invented

    Wallace Carothers first produced the polymer at the DuPont Experimental Station in Wilmington, Delaware, United States.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Mar 01 2019, 13:29

On this day in history ... - Page 3 Montagem_Rio_de_Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is Founded

With a population of about 6 million, Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city and former capital of Brazil, as well as the country's cultural centre and a commercial, communications, and transportation hub.  It has one of the world's most beautiful natural harbours, surrounded by low mountain ranges whose spurs extend almost to the waterside, dividing the city. Among its natural landmarks are Sugar Loaf Mountain and Corcovado peak.  Rio was popularized by the hit song about the girl from where?  More...

  • 1998 Titanic becomes the first film to gross $1 billion

    James Cameron's epic account of the sinking of the Titanic had a budget of $ 200 million and grossed over $ 2 billion in the end.
  • 1995 Internet giant Yahoo! is incorporated

    The company was founded in January 1994 as Jerry's guide to the World Wide Web by Jerry Yang and David Filo.
  • 1947 The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is formed

    The IMF's primary goal of improving the economies of its member countries has frequently been overshadowed in the past by criticisms about the fund's alleged support of dictatorships and negative impact on the environment.
  • 1932 Aviator Charles Lindbergh's son is kidnapped

    The toddler's abduction and death was one of the most publicized crimes of the century.
  • 1896 Henri Becquerel discovers radioactivity

    The French physicist made his groundbreaking discovery while trying to prove his erroneous theory that phosphorescent uranium salts absorb sunlight and reemit it as X-rays.

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Mar 02 2019, 18:53

Charles the Good is Assassinated

As count of Flanders from 1119 until his death, Charles the Good strove to help the poor, distributing bread in times of famine and working to ensure that grain was sold to them at a fair price.  Angered by this policy, one influential family had Charles hacked to death while in church.  The popular count's brutal murder provoked public outrage, and though he was not formally beatified until the 19th century, he was almost immediately regarded popularly as a martyr.  What became of his murderers?  More...

  • 1995 The top quark is discovered

    The existence of this elementary particle, the bottom quark's counterpart, had been presumed since the 1970's.
  • 1970 Rhodesia declares itself an independent republic

    By severing the country's ties with the United Kingdom, white Prime Minister Ian Smith attempted to prevent the institution of black majority rule.
  • 1969 Concorde takes off on its maiden flight

    The supersonic airliner was retired in 2003, after Air France Flight 4590 crashed shortly after takeoff from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport on July 25, 2000.
  • 1959 Miles Davis records Kind of Blue

    It is considered the best-selling jazz album in history and one of the most influential works of jazz music ever produced.
  • 1933 The film King Kong premieres

    The black and white movie marked a milestone in the history of film, especially due to Willis O’Brien's stop-motion effects.

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Post by Kitkat on Sun Mar 03 2019, 13:17

Alexander II of Russia Signs the Edict of Emancipation

Signed by Czar Alexander II of Russia,the 1861 Edict of Emancipation granted liberty to more than 23 million serfs, about one-third of the Russian population.  The edict extended to the serfs the full rights of citizens, in particular, the right to own property - which they were to receive from the landlords and pay off over time.  However, the process by which they were to acquire this land was slow, complex, and expensive, and the discontent it generated eventually helped what revolution succeed?  More...

  • 1991 Footage of Los Angeles police officers severely beating Rodney King causes a global outcry

    The acquittal of the police officers involved sparked the Los Angeles riots in 1992.
  • 1985 The U.K. miners' strike ends

    The year-long dispute was the country's longest-running industrial dispute and a defining issue of Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government.
  • 1974 All 345 people on board a Turkish Airlines jet die as it plunges to the ground near Paris, France

    The crash of the DC-10 aircraft has the 4th highest death toll of any aviation accident in history.
  • 1938 The world's fastest steam locomotive is built

    The Mallard could reach a speed of over 100 miles per hour (160 km/h).
  • 1924 The last remnant of the Ottoman empire in Turkey is abolished

    The end of the Islamic caliphate marked the demise of the 600-year old empire and gave way to the formation of a reformed Turkey under Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

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Post by Kitkat on Mon Mar 04 2019, 16:12

On this day in history ... - Page 3 Chicago_city_seal

Chicago is Incorporated as a City

In 1803, the US Army built Fort Dearborn on a tract of land along the Chicago River that had been acquired from the Native Americans after the Northwest Indian War.  Overtime, the settlement that grew up around the fort was incorporated as a city.  A major port and the commercial, financial, industrial, and cultural centre of the Midwest, Chicago is now the third-largest city in the US.  Its name is derived from the Native American word shikaakwa, meaning "onion field", a reference to what?  More...

  • 2007 The world's first national internet election is held

    Estonia was the first country to allow its citizens to vote in a parliamentary election through the world wide web.
  • 1980 Robert Mugabe becomes Zimbabwe's first black prime minister

    A hero of the black struggle against the white minority rule in his country, Mugabe won a landslide victory. More recently, his oppressive style of leadership has been condemned domestically and internationally.
  • 1977 The Vrancea earthquake claims over 1500 lives

    Most of the victims were residents of Romania's capital Bucharest.
  • 1918 The first documented cases of the Spanish flu herald a deadly worldwide pandemic

    The disease quickly spread around the world, causing over 25 million deaths.
  • 1789 The U.S. Constitution is put into effect

    The law is one of the world's oldest constitutions still in use. The oldest is the Constitution of San Marino, which was issued in 1600.

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Post by Kitkat on Tue Mar 05 2019, 16:59

Winston Churchill's "Iron Curtain" Speech

The phrase "Iron Curtain" refers to the political, military, and ideological barrier erected by the USSR after WWII to seal itself and its dependent eastern European allies off from contact with the West.  Churchill's use of the phrase in a 1946 speech at a US college, though initially perceived as antagonistic, popularised the term.  The Iron Curtain largely ceased to exist in 1990, when the communists of eastern Europe finally abandoned one-party rule.  What are some earlier uses of the phrase?  More...

  • 1981 The home computer ZX81 is launched

    The British ZX81 was one of the world's first home computer and was sold over 1.5 million times.
  • 1970 The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty enters into force

    Nuclear powers China, Russia, U.S., U.K., and France initiated the treaty in 1968. It has since been ratified by 190 nations around the world.
  • 1960 Alberto Korda takes his famous picture of revolutionary Che Guevara

    The iconic photograph, called Guerrillero Heroico, was taken at a memorial service for the victims of the La Coubre explosion.
  • 1872 The air brake is patented

    George Westinghouse is credited with the design of the railway braking system that uses compressed air.
  • 1616 Nicolaus Copernicus' revolutionary book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium is banned by the Catholic Church

    In the book, Copernicus claimed that the Earth revolves around the sun. The Church maintained Ptolemy's geocentric system. The book is considered a milestone in the history of astronomy.

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Post by Kitkat on Wed Mar 06 2019, 13:07

Nasir Khusraw Embarks on Seven-Year Middle East Journey

Khusraw, a Persian poet, philosopher, scholar, and traveller, is considered one of the great writers of Persian literature.  His most famous work is the Safamama, an account of his seven-year journey through the Islamic world, during which time he made pilgrimages to the holy shrines of Mecca and Medina and visited many cities, including Jerusalem and Cairo.  The work stands out as the most authentic account of the Islamic world at that time.  He traversed what distance in those seven years?  More...

  • 1987 193 people die when a ferry capsizes in the North Sea

    The Herald of Free Enterprise sank just minutes after leaving the Belgian port of Zeebrugge.
  • 1967 Stalin's daughter defects to the West

    The Soviet dictator's daughter, Svetlana Alliluyeva, caused an international uproar when she approached the United States embassy in New Delhi and later became a naturalized U.S. citizen.
  • 1957 Ghana becomes the first African country to gain independence from colonial rule

    Ghana emerged as a sovereign state from the former British colonies Gold Coast and Togoland. Kwame Nkrumah was the country's first leader.
  • 1899 The painkiller Asprin is registered as a trademark

    Acetylsalicylic acid was first isolated in 1897 by German chemist Felix Hoffmann. Today, the medication is sold by Bayer and is on the World Health Organization's list of essential medicines.
  • 1869 The first periodic table of chemical elements is presented

    Dmitri Mendeleev presented the system to the Russian Chemical Society on that day.

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Post by Kitkat on Thu Mar 07 2019, 16:05

Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc.

Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc. was a landmark US Supreme Court case on intellectual property in which the court reviewed whether a parody of Roy Orbison's song, "Oh, Pretty Woman", by a rap group violated the Copyright Act of 1976. The court of appeals held that the parody did not constitute fair use, but the Supreme Court disagreed, holding that the commercial character of the song did not create a presumption that the parody violated fair use.  What rap group recorded the parody?  More...

  • 1971 A speech by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman helps spark the Bangladesh war of independence

    Bangladesh's founding leader made his historical speech at a time of mounting tensions between East Pakistan, which later became Bangladesh, and West Pakistan, which became present-day Pakistan.
  • 1965 Police brutally attack civil rights marchers in Selma, Alabama

    Scores of demonstrators were injured, and the day entered history books as Bloody Sunday. The event helped to shift public opinion in favor of the Civil Rights movement.
  • 1945 U.S. troops capture the Ludendorff Bridge and cross the Rhine at Remagen

    The legendary capture yielded little strategic advantage but it elevated the morale of the U.S. troops in pursuit of retreating German fighters,
  • 1926 The first two-way transatlantic telephone takes place

    The conversation between the post office in London and Bell Laboratories in New York was established using a short-wave radio signal.
  • 1900 The SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse becomes the first ship to send wireless signals to shore

    The German transatlantic liner was fitted with wireless communication by its owner, Norddeutscher Lloyd, in order to outdo its rival Hamburg America Line.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Mar 08 2019, 17:23

US President Ronald Reagan Dubs the USSR an "Evil Empire"

Reagan's strong anti-communist position, evident from the time he began his presidential career, was highlighted in a 1983 speech in which he referred to the USSR as an "evil empire".  The phrase became common in Cold War rhetoric and has since entered popular culture, taking on a nearly iconic status.  It has been used in a variety of contexts to refer to entities as varied as Wal-Mart and the British Empire.  Before what group was Reagan speaking the first time he used the phrase "evil empire"?  More...

  • 1979 The compact disc is presented to the public

    The CD was developed by Philips and Sony. The companies later collaborated to produce a standard format and CD players.
  • 1978 The first episode of the radio comedy The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is broadcast

    Douglas Adams' radio play was a major success with BBC Radio 4 listeners. The book version consisting of five novels - A Trilogy in Five Parts - became a worldwide success.
  • 1971 In the Fight of the Century, Joe Frazier triumphs over Muhammad Ali

    Ali had been stripped of his World Heavyweight Champion title in 1967 for refusing to serve in the armed forces. As he was still undefeated, Frazier had to beat him to be recognized as the world champion.
  • 1910 Raymonde de Laroche becomes the first woman with a pilot's license

    The French aviatrix was also the first woman to fly solo. She died at the age of 36 when her experimental plane crashed at Le Crotoy airfield in northern France.
  • 1817 The New York Stock Exchange is founded

    The NYSE at 11 Wall Street in New York City is the world's largest stock exchange.

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Mar 09 2019, 13:32

WWWII:  Bombing of Tokyo Kills 100,000

During WWII, Allied bombing devastated half of Tokyo, dstroyed or damaged many famous landmarks, and ruined nearly all of the city's industrial plants.  In the US firebombing raid that began on March 9, 1945, nearly 2,000 tons of incendiary bombs were dropped on the Japanese capital, killing roughly 100,000 people and destroying about 16 sq miles (41 sq km) of the city - making it the most destructive conventional bombing raid in history.  How did the destruction compare to that of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?  More

  • 2011 Space Shuttle Discovery completes its final mission

    The shuttle touched down at Kennedy Space Center in Florida after its journey to the International Space Station (ISS).
  • 1976 The deadliest cable car accident in history occurs in Italy

    43 people died when the cable car plunged 160 ft (50 meters) to the ground after the steel cable had snapped. 14-year-old Alessandra Piovesana was the only survivor.
  • 1961 Ivan Ivanovich, a human dummy, travels into space

    On its test flight on board the Soviet spacecraft Korabl-Sputnik 4 (also known as Sputnik 9), the mannequin was accompanied by a dog, reptiles, mice, and guinea pigs.
  • 1959 The Barbie doll goes on sale

    The American toy company Mattel claims that more than one billion Barbie dolls have been sold so far, with about 3 dolls being sold every second.
  • 1931 The electron microscope is invented

    German physicist Ernst Ruska is credited with the invention of the microscope. His first instrument allowed a resolution of 50 nanometers (billionths of a meter).

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Post by Kitkat on Sun Mar 10 2019, 13:16

Pink Floyd Releases Dark Side of the Moon

Dark Side of the Moon is a concept album by the rock group Pink Floyd that explores the nature of the human experience through themes such as money, war, mental illness, and death.  It is considered by many fans to be the band's magnum opus.  It is one of the best-selling albums of all time - it is estimated that one in every 14 people in the US under the age of 50 owns or owned a copy of this album.  Many fans claim that the album's music provides an alternative soundtrack to what 1939 film? More...

  • 2000 The dotcom bubble bursts when the NASDAQ Composite stock market index peaks at 5408.60

    The dotcom boom, which started in 1997, accompanied the advent of countless new Internet-based companies. When the speculative bubble burst, many small investors were affected.
  • 1959 A revolt erupts in Lhasa, sparking the Tibetan uprising

    Fearing the Dalai Lama's abduction by China, 300,000 Tibetans surrounded his palace.
  • 1952 Fulgencio Batista assumes power in Cuba after a coup

    The dictator was overthrown by rebels under the command of Che Guevara in 1959.
  • 1945 The most destructive bombing raid in history hits Tokyo

    About 100,000 Tokyo citizens died in the fires caused by the U.S. airforce's incendiary bombs.
  • 1876 The first telephone call is made

    Alexander Graham Bell transmitted the words “Mr. Watson, come here -- I want to see you” to his assistant, Thomas A. Watson, who was in the next-door room.

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Post by Kitkat on Tue Mar 12 2019, 13:38

The Great Blizzard of '88 Begins

The Great Blizzard of '88 was one of the most severe blizzards in US history. Snowfalls of 40 to 50 in (102 to 127 cm) fell in parts of New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, and snowdrifts exceeded 50ft (15 m) in some places.  Railroads were shut down, and people were confined to their houses for up to a week.  More than 400 people died from the storm and the ensuing cold, including 200 in New York City alone.  What infrastructure changes were made in the aftermath of the storm?  More...

  • 2011 The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster strikes Japan

    The nuclear meltdowns occurred after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami. It was the worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
  • 2004 191 people die as several bombs explode on Madrid commuter trains

    The bombings were conducted by an Islamist terrorist cell and came 3 days before Spain's general elections.
  • 1990 Lithuania becomes the first Soviet republic to declare its independence

    The Baltic country's secession marked an important step in the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
  • 1990 Patricio Aylwin becomes Chile's first democratically elected president since the end of Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship

    Pinochet had been in power since a CIA-backed coup d'état in 1973. Under his command, thousands of political opponents were interned, tortured, and killed.
  • 1851 Giuseppe Verdi's opera, Rigoletto, receives its premiere

    Rigoletto is one of the most popular operas of all time. The piece was premiered at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Italy.

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Post by Kitkat on Tue Mar 12 2019, 13:49

California's St. Francis Dam Fails

Constructed between 1924 and 1926, the St. Francis Dam was a concrete gravity-arch dam designed to act as a reservoir to store water for the Los Angeles Aqueduct.  In 1928, the dam catastrophically failed, and the resulting flood of 12 billion US gallons (45 billion litres) of water killed more than 450 people.  The dam's collapse was the worst American civil engineering failure of the 20th century and remains the second-greatest loss of life disaster in California's history, after what event?  More...

  • 1967 Suharto rises to power in Indonesia

    His presidency, which lasted 31 years, was overshadowed by crass human rights violations and the occupation of East Timor.
  • 1947 The Truman doctrine is proclaimed

    In his speech before Congress, U.S. President Harry S. Truman defined his foreign relations priorities, which included military and economic support to Turkey and Greece to prevent the spread of communism there.
  • 1938 Hitler invades Austria

    The occupation of Hitler's homeland is known as Anschluss, which is the German word for annexation.
  • 1930 Mahatma Gandhi embarks on his Salt March

    The 240-mile march was an act of civil disobedience to protest the British monopoly on salt. It was one of the most significant events during the Indian independence movement.
  • 1918 Moscow becomes Russia's capital city

    St. Petersburg lost its status as the Russian capital following the Revolution of 1917, which dismantled the Tsarist autocracy.

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Post by Kitkat on Wed Mar 13 2019, 13:37

On this day in history ... - Page 3 PhoenixLights1997model

The Phoenix Lights: Aliens or Air Force?

In 1997, thousands of people reported a series of optical phenomena - since known as the Phoenix Lights - taking place in the skies over the US states of Arizona and Nevada.  The sightings consisted of two events:  a triangular formation of lights observed passing overhead and a series of stationary lights seen in the Phoenix area.  Although the US Air Force identified the second group of lights as flares, many believe the first set of lights were those of a UFO, including what notable politican?  More...

  • 2013 Pope Francis succeeds Pope Benedict XVI

    Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina became the 266th leader of the Catholic Church, which has 1.2 billion members around the world.
  • 1943 German troops liquidate the Jewish ghetto in Kraków

    Thousands of men, women and children were murdered by the nazis or deported to extermination camps. The horrific event is portrayed in the film, Schindler's List.
  • 1845 Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto is premiered

    The German composer's opus 64 is one of the most frequently performed violin concertos in history.
  • 1781 Uranus is discovered

    German-born British astronomer William Herschel is credited with the planet's discovery. It is the third largest planet by radius in the solar system.

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Post by Kitkat on Thu Mar 14 2019, 15:32

Nazis "Liquidate" Poland's Kraków Ghetto

In 1941, the Nazis ordered all remaining Jews in the Polish city of Kraków - 15,000 of an original 68,000 - to move into a walled-off district of the city, thereafter known as the Kraków ghetto.  The systematic deportation of these Jews to concentration camps began in May 1942.  On March 13 and 14, 1943, the deporation of 8,000 Jews to a nearby camp and the killing of 2,000 in the streets completed the Nazi's "liquidation" of the ghetto.  What non-Jewish ghetto resident saved countless Jewish lives?  More...

  • 1991 The Birmingham Six are released

    The 6 men had been wrongly sentenced to life imprisonment in 1975 for the IRA Birmingham pub bombings.
  • 1979 Factory Plane Crash in China

    At least 200 people are killed when a plane crashes into a factory in China. According to some sources, the plane had previously been stolen by the pilot who was not qualified to fly it.
  • 1960 The leaders of Germany and Israel confer for the first time

    15 years after the end of World War II, West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion met at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York.
  • 1942 For the first time in history, a dying patient's life is saved by penicillin

    Although some claim that the pioneering trials at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford, England resulted in the first cures using penicillin, Orvan Hess and John Bumstead are generally credited with the first documented successful treatment.
  • 1910 The Lakeview Gusher causes the largest accidental oil spill in history

    The spill lasted 18 months and 9 million barrels of crude oil were released.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Mar 15 2019, 13:05

On this day in history ... - Page 3 T1rsz_10

First Commercial Internet Domain Name Registered

A domain name is an address of a computer, organisation, or other entity on a network, such as the Internet, that follows TCP/IP communications protocol.  Domain names must be unique on the Internet and must be assigned by a registrar accreited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.  They typically include the type and name of an orgnisation and identify the specific host server at the adress.  The first commercial Internet domain name was registered in 1985.  What was it?  More...

  • 1990 Mikhail Gorbachev becomes President of the Soviet Union

    His economic and political reforms, as well as his advocacy of free speech, strengthened pro-democracy movements in other Eastern European countries and ultimately led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War.
  • 1985 The world's first internet domain name is registered was registered by the Symbolics Computer Corporation of Massachusetts. There are over 1 billion domains today.
  • 1972 Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather is premiered

    The gangster movie based on Mario Puzo's novel is one of the most popular films of all time.
  • 1917 The last emperor of Russia abdicates

    Tsar Nicholas II of Russia abdicated following the February Revolution. He was later executed together with his family and some of his servants.
  • 1895 Enrico Caruso makes his stage debut

    The Italian tenor is arguably the most famous opera singer of all time.

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Mar 16 2019, 13:47

My Lai Massacre

During the Vietnam War, US troops searching for Viet Cong fighters massacred hundreds of civilians from the Vietnamese hamlet of My Lai.  Though they had not located any insurgents in My Lai, the soldiers opened fire on the villagers, killing men, women, and children.  The incident was initially covered up by army officers.  When it was revealed in the press nearly two years later, it divided the US public and incresed pressure to end the war.  How many soldiers were convicted for their crimes?  More...

  • 1988 A poison gas attack kills 5000 civilians in the Kurdish town of Halabjah

    The war crime was in all likelihood executed on the orders of Iraqi despot Saddam Hussein.
  • 1988 In Northern Ireland, an Ulster loyalist kills 3 people at a Provisional IRA funeral

    Michael Stone was later convicted of the Milltown Cemetary attack, which was filmed by news crews.
  • 1968 U.S. troops massacre hundreds of unarmed civilians in Vietnam

    The 504 victims of the My Lai Massacre included many children and infants.
  • 1960 Alfred Hitchcock's movie Psycho is premiered

    The film starring Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh is an all-time classic of the suspense movie genre.
  • 1926 Robert Goddard launches the first liquid-fuel rocket

    The idea for this revolutionary rocket engine first appeared in a book by Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky.

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Post by Kitkat on Mon Mar 18 2019, 18:32

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UK Recognises British Sign Language as Official Language

Making use of space and involving movement of the hands, body, face, and head, British Sign Language (BSL) is the preferred language of deaf people in the UK and thoe who communicate with them, such as relatives and interpreters.  BSL has regional and local dialects, and some signs go in and out of fashion or evolve over time, just like spoken words.  Although English is the predominant spoken language in both the UK and US, BSL differs from American Sign Language in what ways?

  • 1990 East Germany holds its first and only free parliamentary elections

    The election was held between the peaceful revolution leading to the demise of the German Democratic Republic in 1989 and the German reunification in 1990.
  • 1971 A 100 feet (30 meter) high wave destroys a Peruvian mining camp and kills hundreds of people

    The tsunami was caused by a massive rock avalanche that crashed into Lake Yanahuani from a height of 1300 feet (400 meters).
  • 1965 Russian cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov becomes the first person to walk in space

    During the tethered spacewalk, which lasted 12 minutes, Leonov ventured up to 10 meters from his spacecraft, Voskhod 2.
  • 1962 The Évian Accords are signed, ending the Algerian War

    Algeria gained its independence from France as a consequence.
  • 1892 Lord Stanley of Preston pledges to donate a challenge cup for the best ice hockey team in Canada

    Today, the Stanley Cup is the world's most prestigious ice hockey trophy.

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Post by Kitkat on Tue Mar 19 2019, 18:56

René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, Murdered by His Own Men

La Salle was a celebrated French explorer of North America.  He began exploring the Great Lakes in 1679, setting up forts in the region and organising a federation of native American tribes to fight the Iroquois.  Given power to colonise the region between Lake Michigan and the Gulf of Mexico, he set sail in 1684 for the mouth of the Mississippi River, which he was was ultimately unable to locate.  La Salle was killed by mutineers after having mistakenly landed where?  More...

  • 1962 Bob Dylan releases his first album

    Dylan is one of the world's most influential music artists. His songs “Blowin' in the Wind” and “The Times They Are a-Changin'” became anthems for the anti-war movement.
  • 1954 Willie Mosconi sets the world record for running most consecutive Pool balls without a miss

    Mr. Pocket Billiards, as the hugely successful American sportsman was often called, ran 526 consecutive balls.
  • 1945 Adolf Hitler orders the destruction of all industries in Germany

    The Nero Decree was issued in the light of Germany's imminent defeat in World War II. It was never fully executed.
  • 1911 The first International Women's Day is observed by over 1 million people in several European countries

    German socialists Clara Zetkin and Luise Zietz initiated the observance, which has become an annual global event.
  • 1895 The Lumière brothers record their first footage

    Sortie des Usines Lumière à Lyon showed workers leaving their factory in Lyon. The film is about 50 seconds long. Auguste and Louis Lumière were the earliest filmmakers in history.

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Post by Kitkat on Wed Mar 20 2019, 15:56

Dutch East India Company Established

Chartered by the parliament of the Netherlands to expand trade and assure close ties between the government and its colonial enterprises in Asia, the Dutch East India Company was the world's first multinational corporation.  It had quasi-governmental powers, including the ability to wage war, and wrested control of the Spice Islands trade from Portugal.  However, it was plagued by corruption and insolvency in the late 18th century and was dissolved.  What issues contributed to its decline?  More...

  • 2003 The United States invade Iraq, assisted by the United Kingdom, Australia, and Poland

    The Iraq War, which was termed illegal by then UN Secretary, Kofi Annan, caused hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths.
  • 1995 Japanese terrorists release poisonous gas in the Tokyo subway

    12 people died and thousands are wounded after members of the religious cult, Aum Shinrikyo, had places containers leaking sarin on 5 different trains.
  • 1969 John Lennon and Yoko Ono marry

    After the wedding in Gibraltar, the artists spent their honeymoon in Amsterdam with a Bed-In for Peace, which lasted a whole week.
  • 1916 Albert Einstein presents his general theory of relativity

    The revolutionary theory describes the interdependency of matter on the one hand and space and time on the other. It is one of the most influential theories in Physics.
  • 1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe publishes her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin

    The anti-slavery story played an important role in setting the scene for the American Civil War.

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Post by Kitkat on Thu Mar 21 2019, 11:34

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Bahá'i Calendar Begins

Founded in Iran in the mid-19th century by Bahá' Ullah, Bahá'i is a religion based on the unity of all faiths.  Adherents pray daily, fast 19 days a year, and follow a strict ethical code.  Because of the religion's 19 initial disciples, the number 19 is considered sacred, and the Bahá'i calendar, which began in 1844, consists of 19 months of 19 days, with four additional "intercalary" days.  Today is the first day of the 168th year of the Bahá'i Era.  On what day does the Bahá'i week begin?  More

  • 2006 Jack Dorsey sends the world's first Twitter message, or tweet

    The microblogging service revolutionized the communication and social networking landscape. In 2012, about 340 million tweets were posted per day.
  • 1985 South African Police kill at least 21 black people commemorating a similar mass shooting 25 years before

    The Sharpeville massacre in 1985 had left 69 unarmed people dead. It was a turning-point in the history of South Africa.
  • 1970 Earth Day is celebrated for the first time

    The first edition was limited to some cities in the United States. Today, Earth Day is observed by about 1 billion people around the world.
  • 1952 The world's first rock and roll concert is held in Cleveland, Ohio

    DJ Alan Freed presented the concert, which was closed down after only one song because of over-crowding.
  • 1943 A plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler by suicide bomb fails

    German Wehrmacht officer, Rudolf von Gersdorff, failed to blow up the dictator but managed to defuse his bombs just before they went off and avoid suspicion.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Mar 22 2019, 13:51

Clint Malarchuk'sCarotid Artery Slashed during Ice Hockey Game

Malarchuk is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender who played in the National Hockey League from 1981 to 1992.  He is perhaps best known for sustaining a life-threatening injury during a 1989 game, when two players collided in front of his goal, and one of the players' skate blades slashed Malarchuk's internal carotid artery.  Remarkably, Malarchuk was able to skate off the ice despite bleeding heavily.  He survived because his team's athletic trainer, a former army medic, did what?  More...

  • 1997 Tara Lipinski becomes the youngest female figure skating world champion

    The American athlete won the 1997 World Figure Skating Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland at the age of 14 years and 10 months.
  • 1993 The Intel Corporation produces the first Pentium microprocessor

    Intel holds about 80% of the world market share in the PC microprocessor business.
  • 1963 The Beatles release their first album

    Please Please Me, which included the hit single “Love Me Do” is regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time.
  • 1960 The laser is patented

    Charles Hard Townes and Arthur Leonard Schawlow received the first patent for their device, although Gordon Gould had previously filed a patent application for a similar contraption, which was turned down.
  • 1945 The Arab League is founded

    The organization was founded to promote political, economic, and cultural collaboration amongst its member states, which include 21 African, Asian, and Middle Eastern countries, from Mauritania in the west to Oman in the east.

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Post by Kitkat on Sat Mar 23 2019, 18:04

Not doing the Encyclopedia bit today, as the arthritic hands are playing up no end as far as pain and exertion is concerned.  So, just sticking with the c&p bit:

What Happened On This Day – 23 March

  • 2001 The Russian space station Mir plunges into the sea

    The legendary station was disposed of in a controlled crash after 15 years in space.
  • 1980 Archbishop Óscar Romero calls on members of the El Salvador armed forces to stop killing their fellow Salvadorians

    A death squad assassinated the archbishop only one day after his famous sermon.
  • 1956 Pakistan becomes the world's first Islamic republic

    The Dominion of Pakistan also included the area of modern-day Bangladesh or East Pakistan, which seceded in 1971.
  • 1933 The Enabling Act of 1933 grants Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers in Germany

    With the Ermächtigungsgesetz, Hitler was awarded the legal right to issue laws even if in breach of the German constitution.
  • 1888 The Football League meets for the first time

    The league featuring teams from England and Wales was the world's oldest Association Football league. In 1992, its top 22 teams formed the Premier League.

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Post by Kitkat on Sun Mar 24 2019, 15:03

On this day in history ... - Page 3 220px-TB_Culture

Robert Koch Announces Discovery of Tuberculosis Bacterium

Tuberculosis, a contagious, wasting disease that commonly attacks the lungs but may affect other organs and systems as well, is caused by several strains of mycobacteria, particularly Mycobacterium tuerculosis in humans.  First identified in 1882 by German bacteriologist Robert Koch, M. tuberculosis is unusual because of its lipid-rich cell wall and because it divides every 15 to 20 hours, when other bacteria divide in minutes.  Why are these bacteria sometimes called red snappers?  More

  • 1999 For the first time in its history, NATO attacks a sovereign country

    The military alliance bombed Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War - without a UN mandate.
  • 1989 Oil tanker Exxon Valdez runs aground in Prince William Sound, Alaska

    The mishap resulted in one of the most devastating environmental disasters in history, killing up to 250,000 seabirds and other wildlife.
  • 1965 Millions watch NASA spacecraft Ranger 9 crash into the Moon

    The U.S. space probe broadcast live pictures back to Earth, enabling TV viewers to follow its approach to the Moon and its controlled crash.
  • 1896 Aleksander Popov achieves the world's first radio transmission

    The Russian physicist transmitted the words “Heinrich Hertz” from one building of St. Petersburg University to another.

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Post by Kitkat on Tue Mar 26 2019, 14:06

I missed out on yesterday's entry.  Twas a bad day - in more ways than one.  As well as being one of my "two-stick" days, with feet playing up now as well as hands ... my laptop keyboard decided to end its life. It just doesn't work anymore.  The monitor is fine, just as normal and negotiates mouse strokes etc as normal, but if I want to type anything into a search bar, or log in to forums etc, zilch.  All keys are dead.  I do have an inbuilt "touch screen keyboard", but this is an insufferably time-consuming and frustrating task where I need to click on to each letter with the mouse (or with my finger - which is out of the question with the painful arthritic hands situation) and it types each letter/space/full-stop etc one-by-one with each click. hairpull (taking something like 20 mins per word!)  I investigated and followed all the suggested procedures to try and rectify the keyboard, but all of that just confirmed that the keyboard is finished - kaput.

Luckily, I already have a remote keyboard which works on Bluetooth, which I normally use on bad hand days to type in sms texts into my phone; means I don't have to hold the phone in one hand and try to negotiate the tiny letters on phone with one finger or phone.  It's an absolute life-saver on those bad hand days.
Well, I have now set that up to work with my laptop.  Hooray!  Works well.
It's obviously time to invest in a new laptop, but in the meantime this fill-in situation is working well.
There is also a "Talk to type and send etc" option for the phone, which I can alternatively use for the phone.

So, before I post up today's 'Day in History', here's a quick summary of yesterday's:
(Topically nteresting to note the creation of the EU on this day in 1957)!

What Happened On This Day – 25 March

  • 1995 WikiWikiWeb, the world's first wiki, is launched

    Ward Cunningham introduced the wiki, or user-editable website. Today, Wikipedia is the world's most well known and widely used wiki.
  • 1988 Thousands of people join the first peaceful demonstrations against the communist regime in Czechoslovakia

    The Candle Demonstration was brutally dispersed by the Police but was the first step towards the Velvet Revolution that resulted in the establishment of democracy in the country.
  • 1975 King Faisal of Saudi Arabia is assassinated by his nephew

    Despite the king's dying wish that the life of the assassin be spared, Faisal bin Musaid was publicly executed on June 18, 1975.
  • 1957 6 countries found the European Economic Community

    The EEC's establishment was an important step towards European integration and the creation of the European Union (EU).
  • 1949 The Soviet Union begins deporting some 90,000 Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians to some of Russia's most inhospitable areas

    Operation Priboi, also known as March deportation, was designed to weaken the Baltic nationalist movement. Most of the deportees, labeled “enemies of the people” by the Soviet authorities, were women and children.

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Post by Kitkat on Tue Mar 26 2019, 14:15

Heaven's Gate Cult Members Found Dead

Established in 1972, Heaven's Gate was a cult that advocated self-renunciation, to the point of castration, as preparation for the "transition" to a new life on a spaceship, which adherents believed was trailing behind the comet Hale-Bopp.  As the comet made its closest approach to Earth, 39 members of the group committed suicide.  Authorities found the dead lying neatly in their bunk beds, dressed identically and wearing armbands that read "Heaven's Gate Away Team".  How did the group fund itself?  More...

  • 2000 Vladimir Putin is elected President of Russia

    The ex-KGB officer has been lauded for leading Russia out of the 1990 economic crisis and criticized for building a regime that many have described as authoritarian and undemocratic.
  • 1995 The Schengen Agreement enters into force

    Within the Schengen Area, which encompasses most of Europe, regular border checks have been abolished.
  • 1991 4 South American countries establish Mercosur

    Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay were the founding members of the Southern Common Market.
  • 1979 The Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty is signed

    Egypt's President Anwar al-Sadat and Israel's Prime Minister Menachem Begin signed the treaty, which ended 30 years of war between the 2 countries.
  • 1975 The Biological Weapons Convention comes into effect

    The treaty bans the development, production and stockpiling of biological and toxin weapons. It has now been ratified by most countries worldwide.

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Post by Kitkat on Thu Mar 28 2019, 20:37

What Happened On This Day – 27 March

  • 1998 Viagra is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

    Pfizer's pill was the first drug against male impotence to be approved in the United States. In 2012, the company made 2 billion U.S. Dollars from Viagra alone.
  • 1994 Silvio Berlusconi rises to power in Italy

    In his 20 years in Italian politics, Berlusconi arguably made more headlines for his numerous affairs and scandals than for his policies. In 2013, he was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment for tax fraud.
  • 1980 The oil rig Alexander L. Kjelland collapses in high winds in the North Sea

    Only 89 of 212 crew survived the Norwegian platform's capsizing, which was caused by a fatigue crack in one of the legs.
  • 1977 The worst air crash in history occurs in Tenerife, Spain

    583 people died when 2 Boeing 747 aircraft collided on the runway.
  • 1871 England and Scotland compete in the first international rugby match

    Like association football, rugby is a British invention. Today, it is a popular sport mainly in large parts of the British Commonwealth.

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Post by Kitkat on Thu Mar 28 2019, 20:41

Constantinople Becomes Istanbul

The city now known as Istanbul was founded as the Greek colony of Byzantium in the 8th century BCE.  Eventually passing to Alexander the Great, it became a free city under the Romans in the 1st century CE.  Emperor Constantine I made the city the seat of the Eastern Roman Empire in 330, later naming it Constantinople.  It remained the capital of the subsequent Byzantine Empire after the fall of Rome in the late 5th century and then changed hands several times.  Why was it renamed Istanbul in 1830?  More...

  • 1990 Jesse Owens receives the Congressional Gold Medal

    The African American athlete dominated the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, which were held during the reign of Adolf Hitler's racist nazi regime.
  • 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear power plant experiences a partial meltdown and radioactive leak[/h3
    The coolant leak was the worst commercial nuclear accident in the United States. A continuous string of nuclear disasters, such as Three Mile Island (1979), Chernobyl (1986), and Fukushima (2011) continue to raise doubts about the security and environmental benefit of nuclear power.

  • [h3]1969 Greek poet Giorgos Seferis speaks out against the military juntaThe Nobel Prize laureate issued his now famous statement against Greece's repressive right-wing Regime of the Colonels on the BBC World Service.
  • 1963 Alfred Hitchcock's movie The Birds is released

    The film about a swarm of birds wreaking havoc in Bodega Bay, California has become a classic of the horror movie genre.
  • 1910 The first seaplane in history takes off

    French inventor Henri Fabre's Canard (Fabre Hydravion) was the first floatplane to take off from water under its own power. The first flight measured 457 meters.

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Post by Kitkat on Mon Apr 01 2019, 16:09

The Alhambra Decree is Issued

Fourteen years after Ferdinand II and Isabella I, the "Catholic Monarchs" of Spain, established the Spanish Inquisition to discover and punish converted Jews - and later Muslims - who were insincere, they issued the Alhambra Decree, an edict ordering the expulsion of all Jews who refused to convert to Christianity.  Any Jew who did not convert or leave by the deadline faced execution.  Non-Jews had all of their belongings seized.  When was the edict officialy revoked?  More...

  • 1999 The film The Matrix is released

    The science fiction story about the adventures of computer programmer, Neo, was not only a commercial success but also left a lasting impression on action film-making through its creative use of slow-motion and spinning cameras.
  • 1985 The first edition of WrestleMania is held in New York

    The annual event is the world's most important wrestling meet. It is the biggest event organized by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
  • 1964 Following a coup d'etat, a military dictatorship takes charge in Brazil

    The regime under Humberto Castelo Branco suppressed the left-wing opposition, leading to widespread social unrest and strike action, especially in 1968.
  • 1918 The United States switch to DST for the first time

    Most areas in the U.S. change the clocks twice a year. Exceptions include Hawaii and most of Arizona. The first country to ever use DST was Germany in 1916.
  • 1889 The Eiffel Tower is opened

    French engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel unfurled a French flag from the top of the tower, which has since become the most iconic landmark of Paris.

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Post by Kitkat on Mon Apr 01 2019, 16:16

Project Tiger Launched

Though trophy hunting of tigers is no longer the popular "sport" it once was, things like habitat loss, loss of prey, and poaching continue to threaten tiger populations.  In the past century alone, tiger populations shrank by over 90%.  In 1973, India launched a wildlife conservation movement called Project Tiger to protect tigers in specially designated reserves throughout India.  What do the latest estimates indicate about the current tiger populatioin in India?  More...

  • 2001 The Netherlands becomes the first country to allow same-sex marriage

    Despite opposition from conservative factions, gay and lesbian couples are today allowed to marry in many other countries also.
  • 2001 Slobodan Milošević is arrested

    The former President of Serbia was arrested on corruption charges. Later he was put on trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague for war crimes during the Yugoslav wars.
  • 1976 Apple Inc. is founded

    The computer company, which has evolved into a multinational corporation and whose best-known product is the iPhone, was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. In 2012, the company's global revenue amounted to $156 billion.
  • 1957 The BBC broadcasts the spaghetti tree hoax

    The 3-minute film shown on the current affairs program, Panorama, portrayed a Swiss family apparently harvesting spaghetti from a tree. A number of viewers later contacted the BBC to inquire where to find and how to grow such a plant. The hoax is regarded as one of the best April Fools jokes ever pulled.
  • 1939 General Franco proclaims victory in the Spanish civil war

    The dictator ruled Spain until his death in 1975. His regime was responsible for gross human rights violations, including murdering numerous political opponents.

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Post by Kitkat on Tue Apr 02 2019, 15:20

On this day in history ... - Page 3 Toront10

CN Tower Becomes World's Tallest Free-Standing Structure

In 1975, the final portion of the antenna atop Canada's CN Tower was set in place, completing the tower and officially making it the tallest free-standing structure on land.  AT 1,,815 ft (553 m) in height, the CN Tower surpassed the previous record holder.  Russia's Ostankino Tower, by 43 ft (13 m) but was itself surpassed in 2007 by Dubai's Burj Khalifa.  According to a study, the CN Tower is struck by lightning more than any other structure in Toronto.  How many times is it struck each year?  More...

  • 2002 Israeli forces besiege the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem

    The Israel Defense Force had occupied Bethlehem to capture wanted Palestinians. The 39-day siege ensued after some militants fled into the church, which is believed to stand on the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth.
  • 1982 Argentina occupies the Falkland Islands

    The invasion escalated a long-standing conflict between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the archipelago in the South Atlantic. It triggered the Falklands War, which was won by the U.K.
  • 1968 Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey receives its world premiere

    Upon release, the epic about human evolution, technology, and extraterrestrial life polarized audiences and critics alike. Today, it is considered a classic in its genre.
  • 1800 Ludwig van Beethoven's First Symphony is premiered

    The German composer conducted the orchestra himself. The premiere received exceptionally positive reviews.
  • 1792 The U.S. dollar is introduced

    The Mint Act of 1792 established the Dollar as U.S. currency. About two-thirds of global trade today is based on the U.S. Dollar.

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On this day in history ... - Page 3 Empty 3rd April

Post by Kitkat on Wed Apr 03 2019, 17:48

What Happened On This Day – 3 April

  • 1996 The Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, is arrested

    The mathematician who was driven by anarchist ideas sent out 16 letter bombs between 1978 and 1995, killing 3 people and injuring 23.
  • 1973 The first public mobile telephone call is placed on a Manhattan sidewalk

    Motorola's Martin Cooper called Joel Engel of Bell Labs. He later told the BBC that his first words were “Joel, I'm calling you from a 'real' cellular telephone. A portable handheld telephone.”
  • 1948 Harry S. Truman signs the Marshall Plan

    $12.4 billion was allocated to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War II and prevent communists from seizing control.
  • 1940 Soviet troops massacre about 22,000 Polish nationals

    The Katyn massacre is considered the worst massacre of prisoners of war in history. The order to execute all captive members of the Polish Officer Corps was signed by Joseph Stalin.
  • 1885 Gottlieb Daimler patents his engine design

    The German engineer's so-called “grandfather clock engine” was lighter than previous four-stroke engines and is considered a milestone for the invention of the automobile.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Apr 05 2019, 21:42

What Happened On This Day – 4 April

  • 1979 Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is executed

    The former President of Pakistan had been deposed by a coup d'etat. He was hanged despite international calls to stop the execution.
  • 1975 Bill Gates and Paul Allen establish Microsoft

    Microsoft has developed into a multinational corporation, and it is the world's largest software maker by revenue.
  • 1969 Denton Cooley implants the first artificial heart

    The machine kept patient Haskell Karp alive for 65 hours. He died before a human heart could become available.
  • 1968 Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated

    The civil rights activist was killed by James Earl Ray. Ray, a segregationist, received a 99-year prison sentence. He died in jail in 1998.
  • 1949 NATO is formed

    12 nations signed the North Atlantic Treaty to establish what is today one of the world's most important military alliances.

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Post by Kitkat on Fri Apr 05 2019, 21:52

Pocahontas Marries English Colonist John Rolfe

Pocahontas, daughter of the powerful Native American chief Powhatan, helped maintain peace between English colonnists and her own people by befriending the settlers at Jamestown, Virginia, and allegedly saving the life of colonial leader John Smith after he was captured by her father's men.  She later married colonist John Rolfe, which furthered efforts toward peace, and the two traveled to England, where she was received at court.  What happened on her journey back to America?  More...

What Happened On This Day – 5 April

  • 1998 The world's largest suspension bridge opens to traffic

    The Akashi Kaikyō Bridge in Japan features the world's longest central span, measuring 1991 meters (6532 feet).
  • 1986 A bomb kills 3 people at the La Belle in West Berlin

    The attack on the nightclub, which was frequented by U.S. soldiers, was later blamed on the Libyan secret service. In retaliatory strikes, at least 15 people were killed in Libya.
  • 1955 Winston Churchill resigns as U.K. Prime Minister

    Churchill was instrumental in initiating the alliance between the U.K., the U.S., and the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany. His political career spanned half a century.
  • 1951 Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are sentenced to death

    The U.S. couple was accused of passing information about nuclear weapons on to the Soviet Union. It later emerged that Ethel was not involved in her husband's activities. Both were executed in 1953.
  • 1895 Oscar Wilde loses his criminal libel case triggered by accusations of homosexuality

    The Marquess of Queensbury had left his calling card in the Albemarle Club with the added inscription, “For Oscar Wilde posing Somdomite” (sic).

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Post by Kitkat on Mon Apr 08 2019, 22:21

What Happened On This Day – 6 April

  • 1994 The Rwandan genocide begins

    The assassination of Rwandan President, Juvénal Habyarimana, and Burundian President, Cyprien Ntaryamira, triggered a mass slaughter of ethnic Tutsis with up to 1 million victims.
  • 1965 The first commercial communications satellite is launched

    Intelsat I, also known as Early Bird, facilitated the first live TV broadcast of a spacecraft splashdown when Gemini 6 landed in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • 1924 A team of aviators begins the first round-the-world flight in history

    Four aircraft left Seattle on a westbound route around the globe. 157 days later, two of them reached the same location.
  • 1909 Robert Peary allegedly becomes the first person to reach the North Pole

    Peary's claim has never been verified and is widely contested. The first undisputed journey to the North Pole was the 1948 Soviet Sever-2 expedition.
  • 1896 The first modern Olympic Games are opened in Athens

    241 athletes from 14 countries took part in the First Olympiad. The event took place over 1500 years after the last ancient Olympic Games, which originated in Olympia in south-western Greece.

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Post by Kitkat on Mon Apr 08 2019, 22:22

  • 1990 An arson attack on the passenger ferry, Scandinavian Star, kills 159

    Insurance fraud is today considered the most likely motive for the attack. According to a 2013 report, 9 crew members started the fire and sabotaged the fire crew's attempts to extinguish the blaze.
  • 1969 The internet is born

    The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) awarded a contract to build a precursor of today's world wide web to BBN Technologies. The date is widely considered as the internet's symbolic birthday.
  • 1948 The World Health Organization is established

    The WHO is a United Nations agency concerned with fighting disease and epidemics worldwide, building up national health services, and improving health education in its 194 member states.
  • 1827 The first friction match is sold

    English chemist John Walker produced and sold the first operable matches. They were soon banned in France and Germany because burning fragments would sometimes fall to the floor and start fires.
  • 1724 Johann Sebastian Bach's St. John Passion is premiered

    The sacred oratorio is the oldest extant Passion by the German composer. The highly popular work is a dramatization of the final days of Jesus Christ, according to the Gospel of John.

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On this day in history ... - Page 3 Empty 8th April

Post by Kitkat on Mon Apr 08 2019, 22:24

Entente Cordiale Signed by France and UK

The Entente Cordiale was an agreement that settled numerous colonial disputes and ended antagonisms between Britain and France.  It granted freedom of action to Britain in Egypt and to France in Morocco and resolved several other imperial disputes.  The agreement was consequently upsetting to Germany, which had benefited from their antagonism.  The Entente paved the way for Anglo-French diplomatic cooperation against Germany before World War I and for what later military alliance?  More...

What Happened On This Day – 8 April

  • 2005 Over 4 million people pay their last respects to Pope John Paul II

    Karol Józef Wojtyła from Poland was an immensely popular Pope. He was succeeded by German Pope Benedict XVI, born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger.
  • 1977 The Clash release their debut album of the same name

    The British combo around lead vocalist Joe Strummer is considered one of the most influential early punk rock bands.
  • 1959 One of the first modern programming languages is created

    The Common Business-Oriented Language or COBOL was primarily designed by a woman, Grace Hopper. Also known as Amazing Grace, she is regarded as one of the pioneers in the field.
  • 1953 Jomo Kenyatta is sentenced to 7 years hard labor

    Kenyatta led the Mau Mau movement against the British colonialists. He is considered to be Kenya's founding father and became the country's first President in 1964.
  • 1904 France and the United Kingdom sign the Entente cordiale

    The treaty, which was initially designed to regulate the countries' colonial interests in Africa, later evolved into the Triple Entente to fight Germany in World War I.

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On this day in history ... - Page 3 Empty 9th April

Post by Kitkat on Tue Apr 09 2019, 16:57

NASA Announces the "Merury Seven"

Project Mercury was the first successful manned spaceflight program of the US.  It ran from 1959 through 1963 with the goal of putting a man in orbit around the Earth.  The first Americans to venture into space were drawn from a group of 110 military pilots chosen for their flight test experience and their satisfaction of certain physical requirements; seven were selected to be astronauts in April 1959 and were quickly dubbed the "Mercury Seven".  How many of them went on to fly Mercury missions?  More...

  • 2005 Prince Charles marries Camilla Parker Bowles

    Charles was formerly married to Diana, Princess of Wales. His second marriage to Camilla made him the first member of the British Royal Family to have a civil wedding.
  • 1967 The first Boeing 737 takes off on its maiden flight

    The short-to-medium range plane is the best-selling airplane in history.
  • 1952 The Bolivian National Revolution overthrows Hugo Ballivián's government

    The nationalist movement initiated radical reforms, including universal suffrage, the nationalization of tin mines, and the inclusion of previously marginalized ethnicities into national life.
  • 1940 Germany invades Denmark and Norway

    The rationale of Operation Weserübung was to secure access to Swedish iron ore. In Norway, a resistance group around Max Manus and Gunnar Sønsteby successfully sabotaged the German war effort.
  • 1860 The world's first recording of the human voice is created

    French inventor Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville used his phonautograph, the earliest known sound recording device, to capture himself singing the French folk song “Au clair de la lune”.

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Post by Kitkat on Thu Apr 11 2019, 18:25

First Arbor Day Celebrated

Generally observed on the last Friday in April, Arbor Day is an unofficial US holiday designated as a day for planting trees.  The holiday was founded by agriculturist Julius Sterling Morrton, a Nebraska resident who believed that the prairies were in need of more trees to serve as windbreaks, hold moisture in the soil, and provide lumber for housing.  To this end, he proposed that a specific day be set aside for the planting of trees.  About how many trees were planted on the first Arbor Day?  More...

  • 2010 The President of Poland, Lech Kaczyński, dies in a plane crash

    Several high-ranking officials, senior members of the Polish clergy, as well as relatives of the Katyn massacre victims were killed. The accident was blamed on pilot error and bad weather.
  • 2001 Mercy killings become legal in the Netherlands

    In a controversial decision the Dutch senate approved a bill legalizing euthanasia for patients with unbearable, terminal illness.
  • 1998 Negotiators in Northern Ireland reach an historic peace deal

    The Good Friday Agreement ended 30 years of violent conflict about Northern Ireland's constitutional status (“The Troubles”).
  • 1970 The Beatles break up as Paul McCartney leaves the band

    In their ten years of existence, the British rock group became one of the most successful bands of all time, selling over a billion albums, according to EMI. McCartney's announcement came a week before the release of his debut solo album, the starting point of a successful solo career.
  • 1815 Mount Tambora explodes in one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history

    At least 71,000 people were killed by the eruption. The explosion was heard up to 2000 km (1200 mi) away.

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On this day in history ... - Page 3 Empty 11th April

Post by Kitkat on Thu Apr 11 2019, 18:34

Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak

During the Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak of 1965, as many as 78 tornados - 47 of which were confirmed - hit the midwestern US over the course of 11 hours.  Affecting Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Iowa, the outbreak resulted in 271 deaths, thousands of induries, and widespread damage.  In Indiana alone, it killed 137 people and injured more than 1,200, becoming the deadliest tornado outbreak in the state's history.  Overall, it was the third deadliest outbreak on record.  Which was the deadliest?  More

  • 2006 President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announces that Iran has enriched uranium

    The Iranian nuclear program has become a source of great controversy. Several countries, some of them possessing nuclear weapons themselves, accuse Tehran of developing an Iranian atom bomb.
  • 2006 Mafia boss Bernardo Provenzano is arrested

    Provenzano was one of Cosa Nostra's central figures. The mafioso was arrested near Corleone, Sicily after 40 years on the run.
  • 1979 Uganda's dictator Idi Amin is overthrown

    The despot's 8-year rule was characterized by extensive human rights abuse and repression. According to estimates, hundreds of thousands were killed as a result of his actions.
  • 1972 The first episode of I'm sorry I haven't a clue is aired

    The BBC's classic comedy show, which was chaired by Humphrey Lyttelton until his death in 2008, is one of the longest-running British radio shows of all time.
  • 1961 The trial of Adolf Eichmann begins

    The ex-Nazi was one of the main organizers of the Holocaust, in which millions of people were slaughtered. He was hanged for war crimes in 1962.

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On this day in history ... - Page 3 Empty 12th April

Post by Kitkat on Sat Apr 13 2019, 12:59

Euro Disney Resort, now Disneyland, Paris, Opens (1992)

Disneyland Paris is a resort complex located in the suburbs of Paris, France. Opened in 1992 as Euro Disney Resort, it features two theme parks, an entertainment district, and seven hotels. Initially, park attendance, hotel occupancy, and revenues fell below projections, but things began to turn around in 1995, with Euro Disney S.C.A. reporting its first quarterly profit. Today, the resort is one of Europe's leading tourist destinations. What were some of the objections to building this resort? More...

  • 1988 The Last Emperor receives nine Academy Awards

    Bernardo Bertolucci's biopic about Puyi, the last Emperor of China, was the first film to be awarded all the Oscars it was nominated for.
  • 1981 The Space Shuttle blasts off into space for the first time

    Two astronauts took off for Space Shuttle Columbia's first orbital test flight.
  • 1961 Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human in space

    The Soviet Cosmonaut orbited the Earth aboard the Vostok-3KA spacecraft (Vostok 1 mission). The first human spaceflight took 108 minutes from launch to landing.
  • 1937 The first aircraft jet engine is successfully tested

    Sir Frank Whittle invented and tested the engine, only a few months before German engineer Hans von Ohain ran his jet engine, which was to power the first ever all-jet aircraft.
  • 1861 The American Civil War begins

    The bombardment of Fort Sumter near Charleston, South Carolina marked the beginning of hostilities. The conflict was sparked by deepening economic, social, and political differences between the southern and northern states, which were most palpably embodied by the dispute about the legitimacy of slavery. The southern (pro-slavery) states, surrendered in 1865, ending the war.

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On this day in history ... - Page 3 Empty 13th April

Post by Kitkat on Sat Apr 13 2019, 13:00

On this day in history ... - Page 3 George_Frideric_Handel_by_Balthasar_Denner

George Frideric Handel's Oratorio Messiah debuts (1742)

Composed by Handel, the great master of baroque music, Messiah is one of the most popular choral works in the Western world. Its immense popularity has resulted in the erroneous conception of Handel as primarily a church composer. In truth, the contemplative, English-language oratorio stands apart from the rest of his 32 oratorios, which are dramatically conceived. How did it become tradition for audiences to stand during the performance of Messiah's "Hallelujah" chorus? More...

  • 1997 Tiger Woods becomes the youngest ever golfer to win the Masters Tournament

    The then 21-year old sportsman was also the first person of African heritage to win a major golf title. Tiger Woods is considered one of the most successful golfers of all time.
  • 1970 An oxygen tank explodes on Apollo 13, leaving the spacecraft crippled

    The emergency prompted Jack Swigert's famous quote “Houston, we've had a problem”. The crew managed to return to Earth safely.
  • 1970 Mikis Theodorakis is freed

    The Greek composer and politician was interned in the concentration camp of Oropos by the right-wing military junta. The solidarity movement demanding his release included Dmitri Shostakovich, Leonard Bernstein, and Harry Belafonte.
  • 1960 The world's first satellite navigation system is launched

    Transit 1B was primarily used by the U.S. Navy to update the navigation systems aboard their Polaris submarines.
  • 1919 British troops massacre around 400 unarmed civilians in India

    Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer ordered his men to shoot into the crowd, in his own words “to punish the Indians for disobedience.” The Indian independence movement grew considerably after the Amritsar massacre.

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On this day in history ... - Page 3 Empty 14th April

Post by Kitkat on Sun Apr 14 2019, 12:42

Donner Party Sets Out on Ill-Fated Journey from Illinois to California

The Donner Party was a group of families from Illinois and Iowa that set out for California following a little-used, supposedly shorter, route across Utah.  The shortcut only tired and delayed the party and while recovering at what is now Donner Lake in the Sierra Nevada, the group was trapped by early snow.  Many died, several while trying to get help, some reportedly resorted to cannibalism.  Rescuers reached the survivors in February 1847.  How many of the 87 pioneers survived the ordeal?  More...

  • 2003 The Human Genome Project is completed

    The project dedicated to mapping the genes of the human genome was started in October 1990.
  • 1988 The Soviet Union agrees to withdraw from Afghanistan

    Soviet troops had invaded the country in 1979 to support the communist rulers. They were defeated primarily by the Mujahideen, who were groups of militant Islamists sponsored by the CIA.
  • 1986 The heaviest hailstones ever recorded hit Bangladesh

    The lumps of ice weighed about 1 kg (2.2 lb). At total of 92 people reportedly died as a result.
  • 1912 Doomed passenger liner RMS Titanic hits an iceberg in the North Atlantic

    The subsequent sinking of the world's largest ocean liner of the time resulted in more than 1500 deaths. It was one of the worst peacetime maritime disasters in history.
  • 1865 U.S. President Abraham Lincoln is shot

    The assassin, John Wilkes Booth, wanted to revive the Confederate cause, mere days after their surrender to the Union Army, bringing the American Civil War to an end. Lincoln died the next day

    Current date/time is Tue Sep 29 2020, 17:29