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Old 02-12-2010, 01:13 AM
Location: Pacific Northwest
589 posts, read 7,567,460 times
Reputation: 1171


~660 BC – This is the traditional date given for the foundation of Japan by Emperor Jimmu.

~55 – Tiberius Claudius Caesar Britannicus, heir to the Roman Emperorship, was assassinated 1 day short of his 14th birthday upon orders of the murderous Nero. (It's too bad that bastard Nero didn't die a dog's death at a very young age.)

~731 - Died this day: Pope Saint Gregory II.

~824 - Died this day: Pope Paschal I.

~1659 – The Assault on Copenhagen by Swedish forces was beaten back with heavy losses incurred by the Swedes.

~1752 – Pennsylvania Hospital, the first hospital in the United States, was opened by Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Bond.

The Pennsylvania Hospital (c.1755)

Engraver: Samuel Seymour (1796-1823)

~1808 – Anthracite coal was first experimentally burned as a residential heating fuel by Judge Jesse Fell in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on an open grate in a fireplace. Anthracite differs from wood in that it needs a draft from the bottom, and Judge Fell proved with his grate design that it was a viable heating fuel.

~1809 – In New York, crews working under Robert Fulton launched the North River Steamboat. She was America's first steam ship and entered service the following August.

~1812 – Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry, by supporting the redistricting bill, "gerrymandered" for the first time.

~1826 – University College London (UCL) was founded under the name University of London.

The August 1827 drawing "The London University"

Sketch by Thomas Hosmer Shepherd (1792–1864)

~1826 – Swaminarayan completed writing the Shikshapatri. It is a dharma text, providing detailed instructions on how to live.

Swaminarayan writing the Shiskhapatri

Image courtesy Around The Globe

~1840 – Gaetano Donizetti's opera La Fille du Régiment was first performed, at the (2nd) Salle Favart in Paris.

Lithograph of the second salle Favart

Artist unknown

~1843 – Giuseppe Verdi's opera I Lombardi was first performed, at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan.

~1855 – Following the defeat of Dejazmach Wube, Kassa Hailu was crowned Tewodros II Emperor of Ethiopia, by Abuna Salama III in a ceremony at the church of Derasge Maryam.

~1858 - The Blessed Virgin Mary reputedly appeared to Saint Bernadette Soubirous of Lourdes. (And old Bernadette reputedly spent the whole day in the bar just before that...)

~1873 – The Spanish Abdication: The artillery corps of the Spanish army went on strike, and the government instructed King Amadeo I of Spain to discipline them. With the possibility of reigning without popular support, Amadeo issued an order against the artillery corps and then immediately abdicated from the Spanish throne. At 10 o'clock that same night, Spain was proclaimed a republic. At this time Amadeo made an appearance before the Cortes, proclaiming the Spanish people ungovernable.

~1889 – Japn's Meiji Constitution was promulgated by Emperor Meiji but only came into effect on November 29th, 1890. The first Imperial Diet of Japan, a new representative assembly, convened on the day the Meiji Constitution came into force.

~1903 – Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 9 in D minor, the last symphony upon which he worked, was premiered under Ferdinand Löwe in Vienna, after Bruckner's death. Bruckner dedicated this symphony "to the beloved God" (in German, "dem lieben Gott").

~1916 – Emma Goldman was arrested and charged with violation of the Comstock Law for lecturing on birth control.

Emma Goldman addressing a crowd at Union Square, New York in 1916

Photographer unknown

~1919 – Friedrich Ebert (SPD), was elected the first President of Germany in the Weimar Republic.

~1928 - The II Olympic Winter Games opened in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

~1929 – Fascist Italy and the Vatican signed the Lateran Treaty, ending the "Roman Question". It was ratified on June 7th of that year.

~1937 – The Flint Sit Down Strike ended when General Motors agreed to recognize the United Auto Workers Union (UAW) as the exclusive bargaining representative for GM's employees who were members of the union.

Strikers guarding window entrance to Fisher body plant number 3 in Flint, Michigan
(February, 1937)

Photo by Sheldon Dick, courtesy the Farm Security Administration -
Office of War Information Photograph Collection (Library of Congress)

~1938 – BBC Television produced the world's first ever science fiction television program, a 35 minute long adaptation of a section of the Karel Capek play R.U.R., which coined the term "robot".

~1939 – A Lockheed XP-38 set a speed record by flying from California to New York in 7 hours and 2 minutes, but was downed by carburetor icing just short of the Mitchel Field runway in Hempstead, New York, and was wrecked.

~1941 – The first gold record was presented to Glenn Miller, celebrating 1,200,000 sales of Chattanooga Choo Choo.

~1942 – The Battle of Bukit Timah was fought in Singapore between Allied troops and Japanese forces. By February 10th the Japanese had landed in full force on Singapore Island. They controlled the entire western part of the island, and much of the north. Their next objective was Bukit Timah and the capture of vital water, food, ammunition, vehicles, machine parts and other supplies. Now, flushed with success, the Japanese again advanced in full force. By midnight, the Japanese had overwhelmed the defenders and captured Bukit Timah.

Japanese troops assaulting
Bukit Timah hill, under Allied fire.

Photo courtesy the
Australian War Memorial

~1943 – US General Dwight Eisenhower was selected to command the allied armies in Europe.

~1945 – The Yalta Conference concluded.

~1953 – President Dwight Eisenhower refused a clemency appeal from Pope Pius XII for Ethel and Julius Rosenberg.

~1963 - The Beatles taped 10 tracks for their first album, including Please, Please Me at EMI Studios in London.

~1964 – The Republic of China (Taiwan) broke off diplomatic relations with France. (Probably a good move on the Taiwanese side...)

~1968 – Border clashes erupted between Israelis and Jordanians.

~1971 – 87 countries, including the US, UK, and USSR, began signing the Seabed Treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons on the ocean floor of international waters.

~1979 – The Iranian Revolution: The royal regime of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran collapsed when guerrillas and rebel troops overwhelmed troops loyal to the Shah in armed street fighting. An Islamic theocracy under the leadership of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was established in its place.

Asura demonstration in freedom square, Tehran, during the 1979 Iranian Revolution

Photographer unknown

~1981 – More than 100,000 US gallons of radioactive coolant leaked into the containment building of the TVA Sequoyah 1 nuclear plant in Tennessee, contaminating 8 workers.

~1987 – The current Philippines constitution was proclaimed ratified and took effect.

~1990 – After 27 years as a political prisoner, Nelson Mandela was released from Victor Verster Prison outside Cape Town, South Africa. The event was broadcast live all over the world.

~1990 – James Buster Douglas, a 42 to 1 underdog, dealt Mike Tyson his first professional loss with one of the biggest upsets in boxing history to became the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.

~1997 – Space Shuttle Discovery was launched on mission STS-82, to service the Hubble Space Telescope.

~1999 - Pluto, a planet with an irregular orbit, changed from the 8th to 9th planet furthest from the sun. It had been the 8th furthest since 1979.

~2006 – US Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot Harry Whittington in the face, neck, and upper torso with a shotgun while hunting quail on a ranch in Kenedy County, Texas. On February 14th Whittington suffered a non fatal silent heart attack and atrial fibrillation due to at least one lead shot pellet lodged in or near his heart. Cheney did not speak publicly about the incident until February 15th in an interview with Fox News. (Shouldn't of done that, Dick...old Harry's a lawyer!)

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Old 02-12-2010, 07:40 PM
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Default February 12


~881 – Pope John VIII crowned Charles the Fat, the King of Italy, Holy Roman as Emperor. ("Charles the Fat"...Oh, I could have SO much fun with this one!)

~1354 – The Treaty of Stralsund was signed, settling border disputes resulting from the wars for Rugian Succession between the duchies of Mecklenburg and Pomerania.

~1429 – Hundred Years' War: During the Seige of Orleans, English forces under Sir John Fastolf successfully defended a supply convoy carrying rations (including barrels of herring) to the besieging army from attack by the Comte de Clermont and John Stuart at the Battle of the Herrings.

~1502 – Vasco da Gama set sail from Lisbon, Portugal, on his second voyage to India with a fleet of twenty warships, the object of his mission being the enforcing of Portuguese interests in the east.

~1541 – Santiago, Chile was founded by Spanish Conquistador Pedro de Valdivia with the name Santiago del Nuevo Extremo, as a homage to Saint James and Extremadura, Valdivia's birth place in Spain. The founding ceremony was held on Huelén Hill (later renamed Cerro Santa Lucía). Valdivia chose the location of Santiago because of its climate, abundant vegetation and the ease with which it could be defended.

The 1889 painting Founding of Santiago

Artist unknown (signature illegible)

~1554 – 7 months after claiming the throne of England (for 9 days) Lady Jane Grey was beheaded for treason.

The 1833 oil on canvas, The Execution of Lady Jane Grey. Currently on display at the National Gallery in London

Artist: Paul Delaroche (1797-1859)

~1689 – The Convention Parliament convened and declared that the flight of King James II to France in 1688 constituted an abdication of the throne.

~1719 – The Onderlinge van 1719 u.a., the oldest existing life insurance company in the Netherlands was founded, originally as Begrafenisbos De Vrijwillige Liefdebeurs, with the motto "In Alles Ghetrou" (faithful in everything).

~1733 – 113 settlers aboard the ship Anne landed at what was to become the city of Savannah in the newly founded (13th) colony of Georgia. This day is now known as Georgia Day, it is not an official public holiday but is observed in schools and by some local civic groups.

~1771 - Died this day: King Adolf Frederick of Sweden.

~1771 – Gustav III ascended the throne of Sweden upon the death of his father King Adolf Frederick.

~1809 – Born this day: Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States (d. 1865)

~1809 – Also born this day: Charles Darwin, English naturalist descended from apes, created the Theory of Evolution (d. 1882)

~1816 – The Teatro di San Carlo, the oldest working opera house in Europe, was destroyed by fire.

~1817 – An Argentine-Chilean patriotic army, after crossing the Andes, defeated Spanish troops at the Battle of Chacabuco.

Chilean and Argentinean troops going to the Battle of Chacabuco on
February 12th, 1817, led by José de San Martín

Artist: Pedro Subercaseaux (1880-1956)

~1818 – Supreme Director (Chilean President) Bernardo O'Higgins formally approved the Chilean Declaration of Independence near Concepción, Chile.

~1825 – The Muskogee Indians ceded the last of their lands in Georgia to the United States government, and accepted relocation west of the Mississippi River to an equivalent parcel of land along the Arkansas River.

~1832 – Ecuador annexed the Galápagos Islands, naming them the Archipelago of Ecuador.

~1855 – Michigan State University was founded in East Lansing, Michigan.

~1894 – Anarchist Émile Henry hurled a bomb into Paris's Cafe Terminus, killing 1 and wounding 20 others.

A work depicting Émile Henry's capture

Artist alleged to be Desconhecido
(The date given on this piece is 1893, the year before
the incident actually happened...so I'm having trouble
believing anything about the accreditations supplied with it.)

~1909 – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded, in New York City.

~1912 – The Last Emperor: 6 year old PuYi, Xuantong Emperor of the Manchu Qing dynasty, was forced to abdicate.

PuYi (standing) at age 3

Photographer unknown, taken on February 28th, 1909: as published in the Illustrated London News

~1914 – In Washington, D.C., the first stone of the Lincoln Memorial was put into place.

~1934 – The February Uprising: The first of a series of skirmishes lasting 5 days broke out between socialist and conservative-fascist forces in Austria. The clashes started in Linz and took place principally in the cities of Vienna, Graz, Bruck an der Mur, Judenburg, Wiener Neustadt and Steyr, but also in some other industrial cities of eastern and central Austria.

~1934 – In Spain the national council of Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista formulated its intention to merge with the Falange Española of José Antonio Primo de Rivera. The merger formed the Falange Española de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista, or FE-JONS. (I suppose this is important somehow...)

~1935 - The USS Macon, a rigid airship built by Goodyear-Zeppelin and operated by the US Navy for scouting, was damaged in a storm and lost off California's Big Sur coast. Most of her crew were saved. She had served as a flying aircraft carrier that launched Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk biplane parasite fighters that were stowed aboard and launched/recovered via a grappling hook system.

USS Macon over Moffett Field on December 17th, 1933

US Navy photo, courtesy NASA

A Curtiss F9C-2 Sparrowhawk (BuNo 9058) in flight over Moffet Field, California in 1934, flown by Lt. 'Min' Miller.
This aircraft was lost with the USS Macon.

Photo courtesy the US Navy

~1946 – Operation Deadlight ended after the scuttling 121 of 154 surrendered U-boats. U 3514 had the dubious honor of being the last U-boat sunk in the excercise. (And the purpose of destroying all these perfectly good ships was...?)

52 surrendered U-boats moored at Lisahally,
Northern Ireland (June 12th, 1945)

Photo courtesy the Imperial War Museum

~1951 - Soraya Esfandiary Bakhtiari married the Shah of Iran Reza Pahlavi at Golestan Palace in Teheran, at the age of 18. (I'll bet you never thought you'd live to see THAT one blow up in your face, did you, girl!)

~1961 – The U.S.S.R. launched Venera 1, the first planetary probe, towards Venus. Its 11D33 engine was the world's first staged combustion cycle rocket engine, and also the first use of a ullage engine to allow a liquid fuel rocket to start under the weightlessness of space.

The Venera 1 spacecraft

Photo courtesy NASA

~1966 – Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, announced the Six Points in Karachi as the election manifesto of the Awami League, that later led to formation of Bangladesh.

~1974 – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1970, was arrested because the KGB had found the manuscript for the first part of his book The Gulag Archipelago. The next day he was deported from the Soviet Union to Frankfurt, West Germany and stripped of his Soviet citizenship. (Pinkos Inc. didn't like it when the truth was told about them...)

~1976 – Actor Sal Mineo, The Switchblade Kid, was stabbed to death in West Hollywood.

~1978 - The end of a legend; The last civilian model Boeing 707 was delivered after a production run of 1,010 aircraft spanning 20 years.

An ex-Qantas Boeing 707-138B, owned by John Travolta, repainted in vintage Qantas livery

Photo by Carlos Ponte

~1990 – Dr. Carmen Lawrence became Premier of Western Australia. She was the first female Premier in Australian history. (Way to go, Doc!!!)

~1994 - the XVII Olympic Winter Games opened in Lillehammer, Norway.

~1997 – Hwang Jang-yop, secretary in the Workers' Party of Korea and a prime architect of North Korea's Juche doctrine, defected at the South Korean embassy in Beijing along with his aide, Kim Dok-hong.

~1998 - The presidential line-item veto was declared unconstitutional in a judgement by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas F. Hogan.

~1999 – President Bill Clinton was acquitted by the United States Senate in his impeachment trial.

~2001 – The spacecraft NEAR Shoemaker made a slow controlled descent to the surface of 433 Eros, just to the south of the saddle-shaped feature Himeros, becoming the first spacecraft to land on an asteroid.

The NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft approaching 433 Aros

Image courtesy NASA

~2002 – The trial of former President of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milošević began at the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague, with Milošević defending himself while refusing to recognize the legality of the court's jurisdiction. The trial would still be ongoing 4 years later when the "Butcher of the Balkans" died of natural causes.

~2002 – US Secretary of Energy made the decision that Yucca Mountain was a suitable site for the second deep geological repository for the United States. The project is still on hold.

~2002 – An Iran Air Tours Tupolev Tu-154 crashed into the Sefid Kouh mountains outside Khorramabad, Iran. The aircraft impacted high ground in the mountains with adverse rain, snow and dense fog at the time of the crash, while descending for Khorramabad. All 12 crew members and 107 passengers were killed.

~2004 – The city of San Francisco, California began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in response to a directive from Mayor Gavin Newsom.

~2004 - Mattel Inc. spokespeople announced the sorrowful break up of Barbara Millicent Roberts and Ken Carson after 43 years of dating. (After catching Ken coming out of the shower in the New Barbie Playhouse, Barbie finally discovered that Ken wasn't adequately equipped, anatomically speaking, to fulfill his husbandly duties...)

~2006 – The Blizzard of 2006: A powerful winter storm blanketed the Northeastern United States, and Canada's Maritime Provinces, with 1 to 2 feet of snow from Washington D.C. to Boston, Massachusetts. The storm dumped a record 26.9 inches of snow in New York City.

~2007 – The Trolley Square Shooting: A gunman opened fire in a mall in Salt Lake City, killing 5 people wounding 4 others.

~2009 – Colgan Air Flt. 3407, a Bombardier Dash 8, crashed into a house near Buffalo, New York. 50 people were killed in the incident including 1 on the ground.


Last edited by Da Grouch; 02-12-2010 at 08:06 PM..
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Old 02-13-2010, 06:49 PM
Location: Pacific Northwest
589 posts, read 7,567,460 times
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Default February 13


~711 BC – Born this day: Japanese emperor Jimmu (d. 585 BC) (Yup, I've checked 7 different sources for this and they all claim that he lived to be 126 years old...go figure the odds!)

~858 - Died this day: Cináed mac Ailpín (Kenneth MacAlpin or Kenneth I) the first king of Scots. (b circa 810 )

~1130 - Died this day: Pope Honorius II (b. 1036)

~1503 – Disfida di Barletta (The Challenge of Barletta) took place near Barletta. It was a famous challenge where 13 Italian and 13 French knights fought it out over an insult made by one of the French knights. The Italians won the engagement. (I love it when the French lose...!)

Commemoriative poster for the 4th centenary of the Disfida (1903)
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/3b/Manifesto_disfida_di_barletta.jpg (broken link)
From the book La Disfida di Barletta by R. Russo (1994)

~1542 – Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII of England, was executed for adultery. (As Henry would say: "NEXT!!!")

~1575 – Henry III of France was crowned at Rheims.

~1660 - Died this day: King Charles X of Sweden.

~1660 - Charles XI ascended the throne of Sweden upon the death of his father Charles X.

~1668 – The 1668 Treaty of Lisbon: A peace treaty between Portugal and Spain was concluded at Lisbon, through the mediation of England, in which Spain recognized the sovereignty of Portugal's new ruling dynasty, the House of Braganza.

~1689 – William and Mary were proclaimed co-rulers of England.

~1692 – Mort Ghlinne Comhann (Murder of Glen Coe): The massacre began simultaneously in three settlements along the glen at Invercoe, Inverrigan, and Achnacon, although the killing took place all over the glen as fleeing MacDonalds were pursued. 38 MacDonalds from the Clan MacDonald of Glencoe were killed by the guests who had accepted their hospitality, on the grounds that the MacDonalds had not been prompt in pledging allegiance to the new monarchs, Mary II and William III. Another 40 women and children died of exposure after their homes were burned.

~1815 – The Cambridge Union Society was founded as a union of three debating societies, The Union quickly rose to prominence in university life. Amongst the early officers is included historian and essayist Thomas Macaulay, many subsequent officers have gone on to become influential leaders in a wide variety of fields and professions.

~1866 - The first daylight armed bank robbery in the United States in peacetime took place with the robbery of the Clay County Savings Association in the town of Liberty, Missouri. The James brothers may have been part of the gang who pulled off the job.

~1867 – Work began on the Covering of the Senne, burying Brussels's primary river and creating the modern central boulevards.

The beginning of construction in 1867

Photographer unknown, possibly Maurice Gagnon

~1880 – Thomas Edison first observed Thermionic Emission, the heat induced flow of charge carriers from a surface or over a potential energy barrier.

~1881 – The feminist newspaper La Citoyenne was first published in Paris by the activist Hubertine Auclert and appeared bi-monthly after that. The paper was a forceful and unrelenting advocate for women's enfranchisement, demanding changes to the Napoleonic Code that relegated women to a vastly inferior status. It further demanded that women be given the right to run for public office, claiming that the unfair laws would never have been passed had the views of female legislators been heard. In its heyday notable feminists such as Marie Bashkirtseff wrote articles for the paper.

~1900 - The pre-dreadnought battleship Kaiser Wilhelm II was commissioned into the Seiner Majestät Schiff (SMS).

SMS Kaiser Wilhelm II (c. 1910)
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a1/SMS_Kaiser_Wilhelm.JPG (broken link)
Photo courtesy the Deutsches Bundesarchiv
(German Federal Archive)

~1914 – The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) was founded by composer Victor Herbert in New York City to protect the copyrighted musical compositions of its members. Most of the initial members were writers and publishers associated with New York’s Tin Pan Alley. ASCAP’s earliest members included the era’s most active songwriters: Irving Berlin, Otto Harbach, James Weldon Johnson, Jerome Kern and John Philip Sousa. Subsequently, many other prominent songwriters became members.

~1920 – The Negro National League was formed. This during the period in the US when organized baseball was segregated. Led by Rube Foster, owner and manager of the Chicago American Giants, the NNL was established by a coalition of team owners at a meeting in a Kansas City YMCA.

~1934 – The Soviet steamship Cheliuskin sank in the Arctic Ocean when she was crushed by ice packs. The Cheliuskin was a steamship reinforced to navigate polar ice that became ice bound in Arctic waters during navigation along the Northern Maritime Route from Murmansk to Vladivostok. The expedition's task was to determine possibility of travel by non-icebreakers through Northern Maritime Route in a single navigation season. (OUCH! And she was only 9 months old at the time...THAT must have hurt the old pocketbook!)

(Lousy) photo of the Cheliuskin sinking

Photographer unknown
(Or too ashamed to admit it)

~1935 – A jury in Flemington, New Jersey found Bruno Hauptmann guilty of the 1932 kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby, the son of aviation pioneers Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. (Certainly one of history's most blatant frame ups...)

~1937 - In China, 658 people died in the Antoung Movie Theater Fire.

~1945 – The Siege of Budapest concluded with the unconditional surrender of German and Hungarian forces to the Red Army. The Soviet forces besieging the city were part of Rodion Malinovsky's 2nd Ukrainian Front. Arrayed against the Soviets was a conglomeration of German Army (Wehrmacht Heer), Waffen-SS, and Hungarian Army (Honvédség) forces. The Siege of Budapest was one of the bloodiest sieges of World War II, with the total number of casualties, including wounded, exceeding 510,000.

A Soviet soldier writing "Budapest"
in Russian after the Siege of Budapest

Photographer unknown

~1945 – The Destruction of Dresden: The RAF and the USAAF began bombing the city of Dresden, Germany. 3 days later more than 60,000 German civilians were dead and the world’s largest city of Teutonic and medieval architecture lay in ruins.

Dresden after the bombing (spring 1945):
Over 90 percent of the Dresden's city centre was destroyed

Photo courtesy the Deutsches Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archive)

~1960 – Black college students staged the first of the ultimately successful Nashville Sit-Ins at 3 lunch counters in Nashville, protesting racial segregation. (Sometimes you have to raise a little hell to get things done...)

Rodney Powell (standing) talks with other sit in participants at
Walgreens drugstore in Nashville, Tennessee.
(Photographed March 25, 1960; published March 26, 1960)
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/31/Rodney_Powell_Nashville_sit-ins_1960.jpg (broken link)
Photograph by James Garvin Ellis (1921–1982), staff photographer
for The Tennessean - Originally published with the article
"Negro Sit-Ins Resumed Here", in The Tennessean on March 26, 1960

~1970 – Black Sabbath, arguably the very first heavy metal album, was released on Vertigo Records. (I'd argue for Led Zepplin released a year earlier.)

~1971 – Although, backed by American air and artillery support, the advance into Laos by South Vietnamese troops stalled.

~1975 – At the World Trade Center in New York a 3 alarm fire broke out on the 11th floor of the North Tower. Fire spread through the core to the 9th and 14th floors by igniting the insulation of telephone cables in a utility shaft that ran vertically between floors. Areas at the furthest extent of the fire were extinguished almost immediately and the original fire was put out in a few hours. Most of the damage was concentrated on the 11th floor, fueled by cabinets filled with paper, alcohol-based fluid for office machines, and other office equipment. Fireproofing protected the steel from melting and there was no structural damage to the tower.

~1978 – The Hilton Bombing: A bomb exploded inside a garbage truck outside the Hilton Hotel in Sydney, Australia, killing two garbage collectors and a police officer.

~1979 – Washington state's Hood Canal Bridge suffered catastrophic failure during the infamous February 13th Windstorm. During the night the bridge had withstood sustained winds of up to 85 mph (137 km/h) and gusts estimated at 120 mph (193 km/h) befgore finally finally succumbing at about 7:00 a.m. the following morning. The western drawspan and the pontoons of the western half had broken loose and a 1/2-mile-long section sank, despite the drawspan being opened to relieve lateral pressure.

~1981 – A series of sewer explosions destroyed more than 2 miles of streets in Louisville, Kentucky. The blasts were caused by the ignition of hexane vapors which had been illegally discharged from a Ralston-Purina soybean processing plant located near the University of Louisville.

~1982 – The first of the Río Negro Massacres occurred in Guatemala. 74 people from Río Negro, 55 men and 19 women, went to Xococ to recover their identity cards. Once there, they were executed (murdered) by government patrollers.

~1983 - The Cinema Statuto Fire: A movie theater located in Turin, Italy erupted into flame during the showing of the film La Chèvre. The fire caused the death of 64 people as a result of smoke inhalation. According to statements by Raimondo Cappella, the owner of the cinema, the flames spread from an old curtain. The victims tried to escape but found the exits closed and locked. No one inside could could not avoid the fumes of hydrogen cyanide, a product of combustion of fire-resistant fabric chairs. Cappella was sentenced to 8 years and ordered to compensate the relatives of the victims with a sum of 3 billion lire. As well, all his assets were seized.

~1984 – Konstantin Chernenko succeeded the late Yuri Andropov as general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Chernenko was also Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet from April 11th, 1984 until his death 13 months later.

~1985 - The rebuilt Semperoper opened in Dresden, exactly 40 years after it was destroyed during the World War II bombing of Dresden, with the same opera that was last performed before its destruction, Der Freischutz by Carl Maria von Weber. Semperoper is the opera house of the Saxon State Opera Dresden (Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden) and the concert hall of the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden. It was first built in 1841, by architect Gottfried Semper.

The reconstructed Semperoper in Dresden

The photographer wants to receive accreditation for this photo but doesn't bother to give his/her name or the date it
was taken...So what's a dog to do?

~1988 - The XV Olympic Winter Games opened in Calgary, Alberta.

~1991 – During the Gulf War, 2 US laser-guided "smart bombs" destroyed the Amiriyah Shelter in Baghdad. Allied forces claimed the bunker was being used as a military communications outpost, but over 400 Iraqi civilians inside were killed. The dead were overwhelmingly women and children because men and boys over the age of 15 had left the shelter to give the women and children some privacy. The blast sent shrapnel into surrounding buildings, shattering glass windows and splintering their foundations.

A US Paveway III laser-guided Bunkerbuster striking its target

Photo(s) courtesy the US Department of Defense

~1996 - The Nepalese People's War was started by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) with the aim of overthrowing the Nepalese monarchy and establishing the "People's Republic of Nepal." It ended with the removal of the monarchy and a Comprehensive Peace Accord signed on November 21st, 2006 which is now monitored by United Nations Mission in Nepal.

~2000 – The last original Peanuts comic strip appeared in newspapers one day after Charles Schulz died.

(Low-rez image of) The first Peanuts strip from October 2nd, 1950

Comic strip by Charles M Schulz

~2001 – An earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter Scale struck El Salvador, exactly 1 month after a devasting magnitude 7.8 hit the region. In this quake the death toll was (minimum) 315 with a further 3,400 injured. There was extensive damage and numerous landslides, especially in the San Juan Tepezontes-San Vicente-Cojutepeque area.

~2002 - Elizabeth II of Britain granted former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani an honorary knighthood for his leadership on and after the September 11th, 2001 attacks. (I dunno, there's just something about "Sir Rudolph" that doesn't sound right to me...)

~2004 – The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics announced the discovery of the universe's largest known diamond, white dwarf star BPM 37093. Astronomers named this star "Lucy" after The Beatles' song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".

~2007 – Taiwan opposition leader Ma Ying-jeou resigned as the chairman of the Kuomintang party after being indicted by the Taiwan High Prosecutors Office on charges of embezzlement during his tenure as the mayor of Taipei. Ma subsequently announced his candidacy for the 2008 presidential election. (Ma has since been cleared of all charges.)

~2008 – As the parliament's first order of business, newly elected Australian Prime Minister KevinRudd read an apology directed to "Indigenous Australians" for the "stolen generations". The apology, for the policies of successive parliaments and governments, was passed unanimously as a motion by both houses of parliament.


Last edited by Da Grouch; 02-13-2010 at 08:00 PM..
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Old 02-15-2010, 01:43 AM
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Default February 14


~270 - St. Valentine was buried, marking the first Valentines Day.

~1009 - The first written mention of Lithuania was made in the Quedlinburg Chronicle, a medieval German manuscript.

~1014 – Pope Benedict VIII crowned Henry of Bavaria the fifth and last Holy Roman Emperor of the Ottonian Dynasty.

~1349 – The Strasbourg Pogrom: Over 2,000 Jews were burned to death by mobs or forcibly removed from the city of Strasbourg.

~1405 - Died this day: Timur, Mongol conqueror (b. 1336)

~1556 – Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, was declared a heretic.

~1778 – The United States Flag was formally recognized by a foreign naval vessel for the first time, when French Admiral Toussaint-Guillaume Picquet de la Motte rendered a nine gun salute to the USS Ranger, commanded by John Paul Jones.

~1779 – British explorer Captain James Cook was killed by native Hawaiians near Kealakekua in the Sandwich Islands. (Thus becoming the first tourist to be murdered in Hawaii.)

The 1784 painting Death of Cook
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/cd/Deathofcookoriginal.jpg (broken link)
Artist: John Cleveley

~1797 – The Battle of Cape St. Vincent: John Jervis, 1st Earl of St Vincent and Horatio Nelson (later 1st Viscount Nelson) led the British Royal Navy to victory over a Spanish fleet in an action near Gibraltar.

The painting The Battle of Cape St Vincent, 14 February 1797

Artist: Robert Cleveley (1747-1809)

~1803 – During the landmark Marbury v. Madison case, Chief Justice John Marshall declared that any act of the U.S. Congress that conflicts with the Constitution is void.

~1804 – The First Serb Uprising: In the small Šumadija village of Orašac, nearby modern Aranđelovac, Serbia, in Marićevića jaruga, the Serbs gathered and decided to undertake an uprising against the Ottoman Empire. Karađorđe Petrović was elected as the leader of the uprising, which started immediately. That afternoon, a Turkish inn (caravanserai) in Orašac was burned and its residents fled or were killed. Similar actions were undertaken in surrounding villages and then spread further. Soon the cities Valjevo and Požarevac were taken, and the Siege of Belgrade began.

~1831 –The Battle of Debre Abbay: An engagement took place between the forces under Ras Marye of Yejju, Regent of the Emperor of Ethiopia, and those led by his rival from Tigray, Dejazmach Sabagadis of Agame. Although Ras Marye lost his life in this battle, Dejazmach Sabagadis was defeated, and after surrendering was executed by Ras Marye's Oromo followers.

~1835 – The original Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was formed in Kirtland, Ohio.

~1849 – In New York City, James Knox Polk became the first serving President of the United States to have his photograph taken. (This is where the quote "I don't like cheese" originated...and no, I'm not kidding.)

The February 14th, 1849 Daguerrotype of President Polk

Photo by Mathew Brady

~1855 – Texas was linked by its first telegraph to the rest of the United States, with the completion of a connection between New Orleans and Marshall, Texas.

~1859 – Oregon was admitted as the 33rd state of the Union.

~1876 – Alexander Graham Bell applied for a patent for the telephone on the same day as Elisha Gray did.

~1879 – The War of the Pacific broke out when Chilean armed forces occupied the Bolivian port city of Antofagasta without a prior declaration of war.

~1891 - Died this day: US Army General William Tecumseh Sherman (b. 1820)

~1895 - Oscar Wilde's last play The Importance of Being Earnest premiered at St James's Theatre in London.

Photograph of the original production of The Importance of Being Earnest

Photographer unknown

~1900 – The Second Boer War: 20,000 British troops attacked the Boer army of Louis Botha at the Battle of Tugela Heights, which ultimately resulted in lifting the Seige of Ladysmith.

~1900 – The Second Boer War: A British cavalry division under Major General John French launched a major attack to relieve Kimberley. Although encountering severe fire, a massed cavalry charge split the Boer defences the following day, opening the way for French to enter Kimberley that evening and ending its 124 day siege.

~1903 – The United States Department of Commerce and Labor was established. It was later split into the Department of Commerce and the Department of Labor.

~1912 – Arizona was admitted as the 48th state of the Union.

~1919 – The Polish-Soviet War began with the Skirmish of Bereza Kartuska, the first armed conflict between the organised forces of the Second Polish Republic and Soviet Russia. 57 Polish soldiers and 5 officers attacked Soviet forces in the town of Biaroza (Polish: Bereza), a small city to the east of Brzesc. They captured 80 soldiers of the Red Army in the raid.

~1929 – The Saint Valentine's Day Massacre: 7 people, 6 of them rivals of Al Capone's gang from the North Side Irish gang led by Bugs Moran, were machine gunned into oblivion in a Chicago garage.

~1942 – The Battle of Pasir Panjang: Japanese forces were victorious in several engagements which would contribute to the fall of Singapore.

~1943 – After a 7 month occupation, the devastated city of Rostov-on-Don in Russia was liberated from the German army. It took 10 years to raise the city from the ruins and restore it.

~1943 – The Tunisia Campaign: At the Battle of Sidi Bou Zid the 10th Panzer Division and the 21st Panzer Division of the Fifth Panzer Army commanded by Colonel General (Generaloberst) Hans-Jurgen von Arnim, launched a concerted attack against US held positions in Tunisia. The mission resulted in a German victory 3 days later, due in large part to the ill conceived plans of the seriously outclassed US General Lloyd Fredendall.
~1945 – On the first full day of the Bombing of Dresden, the RAF and the USAAF began fire bombing the German city into an inferno.

~1945 – Prague was bombed, this was probably due to a mistake in the orientation of the pilots bombing Dresden.

~1945 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt met with King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia aboard the USS Quincy, officially starting the U.S.-Saudi diplomatic relationship.

~1946 – Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC), the first general purpose electronic computer, was unveiled at the University of Pennsylvania, having cost almost $500,000.

2 women operating the ENIAC's main control panel while the machine was still located at the Moore School

U.S. Army Photo from the archives of the ARL Technical Library

~1949 – The Israeli Knesset convened for the first time.

~1949 – The Asbestos Strike began in Quebec. Miners walked off the job at 4 asbestos mines in the Eastern Townships, near Asbestos, Quebec and Thetford Mines. Although these mines were owned by either American or English-Canadian companies, almost all the workers were francophones. The strike marked the beginning of the Quiet Revolution.

~1952 - The VI Olympic Winter Games opened in Oslo, Norway.

~1956 – The landmark XX Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union began in Moscow. A speech made there by Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev would change history.

~1961 – Element 103, Lawrencium, was made by Albert Ghiorso, Torbjørn Sikkeland, Almon Larsh, and Robert M. Latimer at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory (now called Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) on the University of California, Berkeley campus. It was produced by bombarding a 3 milligram target composed of 3 isotopes of californium with boron-10 and B-11 ions in the Heavy Ion Linear Accelerator (HILAC).

~1962 – First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy took television viewers on a tour of the White House with Charles Collingwood of CBS.

~1966 – The Australian dollar was introduced, replacing the Australian pound with a decimal currency.

~1979 – In Kabul, Muslims kidnapped the American ambassador to Afghanistan, Adolph Dubs. He was later killed during a gunfight between his kidnappers and Afghan security forces.

~1980 - The XIII Olympic Winter Games opened in Lake Placid, New York. This was the second time the upstate New York village hosted the Games, after 1932. The only other candidate city to bid for the Games was Vancouver-Garibaldi, British Columbia; they withdrew before the final vote. (Hmmm...I wonder if they'll ever get around to hosting the games.)

~1980 - Walter Cronkite announced his retirement from the CBS Evening News.

~1981 – The Stardust Disaster: A fire broke out at the Stardust nightclub in Artane, Dublin, Ireland in the early morning hours. Some 841 people had attended a disco there and of these 48 died while 214 were injured due to the blaze. The cause of the inferno has never been fully determined but it is believed that an arsonist was to blame.

~1983 – The United American Bank of Knoxville, Tennessee collapsed. It was the 4th largest bank failure in US history up to that time. Its president, Jake Butcher was later convicted of fraud.

~1985 - American journalist Jeremy Levin escaped from his captors in the Beqaa Valley. Shia militants claimed they had allowed him to escape and the U.S. publicly thanked Syria for intervening on his behalf.

~1989 – On Radio Tehran, Iranian leader Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa encouraging Muslims to kill the author of The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie.

~1989 – The first of 24 Block-II satellites of the Global Positioning System was placed into orbit.

~1990 – Indian Airlines Flt. 605, an Airbus A-320, crashed on final approach to Bangalore Airport, killing 92 of the 146 people aboard.

~1996 – China launched a Long March 3 rocket carrying the Intelsat 708 satellite. The rocket flew off course 2 seconds after liftoff and crashed into a rural village, killing and injuring many.

Images of the failure of the Long March rocket carrying
Intelsat 708 on February 15, 1996.

Photos taken from the Cox Report, courtesy the US Government

~2004 – In a suburb of Moscow, Russia, the roof of the Transvaal water park collapsed, killing more than 25 people and injuring more than 100 others. Engineer Nodar Kancheli, who had designed the structure, claimed that terrorists likely attacked the attraction but the cause turned out to be a faulty design.

~2005 – Lebanese self made billionaire, business tycoon, and former Prime Minister of Lebanon Rafik Hariri was killed along with 21 others when explosives equivalent to around 1,000 kg of TNT were detonated as his motorcade drove near the St. George Hotel in Beirut.

~2008 – The Northern Illinois University Shooting took place. A gunman opened fire in a lecture hall of the DeKalb County, Illinois university. 5 people died and 18 others were wounded in the incident. The shooter turned a gun on himself before police arrived. (He'd gone off his meds.)

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Old 02-16-2010, 12:51 AM
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Default February 15


~1145 – Died this day: Pope Lucius II

~1637 - Died this day: Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor

~1637 – Ferdinand III became Holy Roman Emperor.

~1805 – The Harmony Society, a Christian theosophy and pietist society, was officially formed.

~1835 – The first constitutional law in modern Serbia was adopted. Deemed radical by many, it was replaced by a more conservative Constitution in 1838.

~1852 – Great Ormond St. Hospital for Sick Children, London, admitted its first patient.

~1862 – Union troops under General Ulysses S. Grant mounted a counter-attack on rebel forces attempting to open an avenue of escape at Fort Donelson, Tennessee.

~1879 – US President Rutherford B. Hayes signed a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases before the Supreme Court of the United States.

~1898 – The Spanish-American War: The USS Maine exploded and sank in Havana harbor in Cuba, killing 274 of the 363 aboard. The event led the United States to declare war on Spain. Advocates of the war used the rallying cry, "Remember the Maine! To hell with Spain!"

Wreckage of the Maine

Photo courtesy the US Navy

~1906 – In Britain, the Labour Representation Committee (LRC) formally adopted the name The British Labour Party.

~1909 – In Acapulco, the Flores Theater Fire left more than 250 dead.

~1933 – In Miami, an assassin attempted to kill President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt. Unable to get a clear shot he fired his revolver wildly and hit other 5 people. One of these 5 was Chicago, Illinois Mayor Anton J. Cermak, who died of his wounds the following March 6th.

~1939 - The Bücker Bü 181 Bestmann, the Luftwaffe's most prolific advanced trainer flew for the first time.

Bücker Bü 181 on display

Photo by Stahl Kocher

~1942 – The Fall of Singapore: Unable to launch a counter-attack following an assault by Japanese forces, British General Arthur Percival surrendered. Over 80,000 Indian, United Kingdom and Australian soldiers become prisoners of war, the largest surrender of British led military personnel in history.

Lt. General Arthur Percival marches under a flag of truce
in order to sue for surrender of the British forces to the
Japanese on 15th, February 1942

Photo courtesy the Imperial War Museum

~1944 – The Bombing of Monte Cassino: 142 B-17 Flying Fortresses together with 47 B-25 Mitchell and 40 B-26 Marauder medium bombers dropped 1,150 tons of high explosives and incendiary bombs on the abbey, reducing the entire top of Monte Cassino to a smoking mass of rubble. Between bomb runs, the II Corps artillery pounded the mountain. Pope Pius XII was to remain silent after the bombing; however, his secretary of state, Cardinal Maglione, bluntly stated to the senior U.S. diplomat to the Vatican, Harold Tittmann, that the bombing was "a colossal blunder...a piece of a gross stupidity." What is certain from every investigation that followed since the event, is the fact that the only people killed in the monastery by the bombing were Italian civilians seeking refuge in the abbey. There has never been any evidence that the bombs dropped on the Monte Cassino monastery that day ever killed any German troops.

Monte Cassino in ruins following the bombing

Photo by G. Wittke, courtesy the Deutsches Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archive)

~1946 - One of the greats, the Douglas DC-6, took to the skies over California on its maiden flight.

A DC-6 (G-APSA) displaying at Hamburg on September 16th, 2007

Photo by Tom Everitt

~1950 – The Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China signed the Treaty of Friendship, Alliance, and Mutual Assistance.

~1952 – The funeral for King George VI of Britain took place in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

~1961 – Sabena Flt. 548, a Boeing 707, crashed on final approach to Brussels Airport, killing all 72 aboard, including the entire United States figure skating team, and 1 person on the ground.

~1965 – The new red and white Maple Leaf was adopted as the flag of Canada, replacing the old Canadian Red Ensign banner. (A great many of us still flip it the finger every chance we get.)

~1970 – The Dominicana DC-9 Disaster: A Douglas DC-9 crashed into the sea when both engines failed during takeoff from Santo Domingo. The cause was later determined to be due to contaminated fuel. All 102 aboard perished.

~1970 - Died this day: Sir Hugh Dowding, commander of RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain (b. 1882)

Air Marshal Hugh Dowding (c. 1935)

RAF photo courtesy the Imperial War Museum

~1971 – The decimalisation of British currency was completed on Decimal Day.

~1972 - The Sound Recording Amendment of 1971 came into effect, granting sound recordings U.S. federal copyright protection for the first time.

~1982 – The drilling rig Ocean Ranger sank during a fierce storm off the coast of Newfoundland, killing 84 rig workers.

~1989 – The Soviet War in Afghanistan: The last Soviet soldier left Afghanistan, returning to Soviet soil.

~1991 – The Visegrád Agreement, establishing cooperation to move toward free market systems, was signed at a summit meeting of the heads of state of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland.

~1995 - After a well publicized pursuit, the FBI arrested Kevin Mitnick at his apartment in Raleigh, North Carolina on federal offenses related to a 2½-year computer hacking spree.

~1999 – Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), was captured in Kenya by Turkish agents.

~2002 - At the Tri-State Crematory in La Fayette, Georgia, investigators find that bodies that were supposed to have been cremated were in fact disposed of in the woods and buildings on the crematorium's property. The discovery revealed one of the worst incidents of abuse in the funeral service industry. (Don't read up on this one unless you have a strong stomach...)

~2003 – Protests against the Iraq war occurred in over 600 cities worldwide. It is estimated that as many as 30 million people took part, making it the largest peace demonstration in the history of the world.

~2005 - YouTube: www.youtube.com was activated and the website was developed over the subsequent months. The first YouTube video was entitled Me at the zoo and shows founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo. The video was uploaded on April 23rd, 2005 and can still be viewed on the site. (It's a lame video...)

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Old 02-16-2010, 11:23 PM
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Default February 16


~1032 - Born this day: Emperor Yingzong of China (d. 1067)

~1279 - Died this day: Afonso III, the fifth King of Portugal. (b. 1210)

~1279 - Denis I ascended the throne of Portugal upon the death of his father Afonso III.

~1646 – The Battle of Great Torrington, in Devon, was fought. It was the last major battle of the first English Civil War. The Parliamentary victory marked the end of Royalist resistance in the west country.

~1742 – Spencer Compton, 1st Earl of Wilmington, became Britain's (puppet) Prime Minister. (Yes, Massuh Carteret...whudebber youze sayez, Massuh Carteret!!!)

~1804 – Stephen Decatur led a successful raid to burn the pirate held frigate the USS Philadelphia which had run aground in October 1803.

The USS Philidelphia

1803 stipple engraving by Wells

~1852 – Studebaker Brothers wagon company, precursor of the automobile manufacturer, opened its doors for business.

1902 Studebaker advertisement

Creator(s) unknown

~1857 - Columbia Institution for the Deaf (later renamed Gallaudet University) was established in Washington, DC becoming the first school for the advanced education of the deaf.

Columbia Institution for the Deaf, (c. 1893)
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/8d/Columbia_institution_for_the_deaf_circa_1893.jpg (broken link)
From the book: Histories of American Schools for the Deaf, volume 2, 1893

~1859 – The French Government passes a law to set the A-note above middle C to a frequency of 435 Hz, in an attempt to standardize the pitch. (Well, there ya go...I guess they had nothing better to do that day.)

~1862 – Union forces under General Ulysses S. Grant captured Fort Donelson in Tennessee.

The painting Battle of Fort Donelson - Capture of General S.B. Buckner and his army, February 16th 1862

Artists: Kurz & Allison, courtesy the Library of Congress

~1883 - The Ladies Home Journal was published for the first time. It became one of the leading women's magazines of the 20th century in the United States. It is currently published by the Meredith Corporation.

~1899 – The President of France, Félix Faure, died while in office. (Now that wasn't very considerate on his part.)

~1918 – The Act of Independence of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Nepriklausomybės Aktas) was signed by the Council of Lithuania proclaiming the restoration of an independent State of Lithuania, governed by democratic principles, with Vilnius as its capital. The Act was signed by all 20 representatives, chaired by Jonas Basanavičius.

~1923 – Howard Carter unsealed the burial chamber of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, where he got his first glimpse of the sarcophagus.

Painted walls in the burial chamber

Photo by Hajor (December, 2002)

~1934 – The Austrian Civil War ended on the 5th day with the defeat of the Social Democrats and the Republican Schutzbund by the Austrofascists.

~1934 – The Commission of Government was sworn in as form of direct (non-elected) rule for the Dominion of Newfoundland, replacing the failed (elected) House of Assembly.

~1940 - The Altmark Incident: The German tanker Altmark, with 299 British prisoners aboard, was boarded in neutral Norwegian waters by sailors from the British destroyer HMS Cossack and the prisoners set free, a breach of Norwegian neutrality at the beginning of World War II.

Flag-draped coffins containing German dead are brought ashore for burial after the Altmark Incident in Jøssingfjord, Norway.

Photographer unknown

~1943 – The city of Kharkov was successfully retaken by Soviet troops. They would hold it for exactly 1 month before German forces would capture it again.

~1945 – American and Filipino liberation forces landed on Corregidor in the Philippines. They would recapture the island from the defending Japanese garrison 10 days later.

~1957 – The Toddlers' Truce, a controversial television shutdown between 6:00 PM and 7:00 PM was abolished in Britain.

~1959 – Fidel Castro was sworn in as Prime Minister of Cuba after dictator Fulgencio Batista was overthrown on January 1st.

~1961 – The Explorer Program: Explorer 9 (S-56a) was launched on a mission to take atmospheric density measurements.

~1968 – In Haleyville, Alabama, the first 9-1-1 emergency telephone system went into service.

~1978 – The first computer bulletin board system was created (CBBS in Chicago, Illinois).

~1983 – The Ash Wednesday Bushfires erupted in Victoria and South Australia. Years of severe drought and extreme weather combined to create one of Australia’s worst fire days in a century. With 75 dead the bushfires became the deadliest in Australian history until the Black Saturday Bushfires in 2009.

(Low res) image of the Ash Wednesday fires in 1983
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/84/Ashwednesday1.jpg (broken link)
Photo courtesy DSE

~1986 – The Soviet liner MS Mikhail Lermontov struck submerged rocks and sank in New Zealand's Marlborough Sounds.

~1991 – Nicaraguan Contras leader Enrique Bermúdez was gunned down after being lured to a meeting at Managua's InterContinental Hotel. He was shot in the hotel's parking lot as he departed the hotel after those with whom he was meeting failed to show.

~1993 – Western Australia's and Australia's first female Premier, Carmen Lawrence, left office following an election defeat.

~1998 - China Airlines Flt 676, an Airbus A300-622R, crashed after a failed missed approach at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. 205 people were killed, including 6 on the ground.

~2005 – The Kyoto Protocol came into force, following its ratification by Russia.

~2006 – The last Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) was decommissioned by the United States Army.

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Old 02-18-2010, 01:16 AM
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Default February 17


~364 - Died this day: Roman Emperor Flavius Iovianus (Jovian). (b. 331)

~1370 – The Battle of Rudau: The Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Teutonic Knights fought a pitched medieval battle near Rudau village north of Königsberg. According to the Teutonic chronicler Wigand of Marburg and the Livonian chronicle of Hermann de Wartberge the Lithuanians suffered a great defeat.

~1500 – The Battle of Hemmingstedt was fought south of the village of Hemmingstedt in the western part of present day Schleswig-Holstein in Germany. It was an attempt by Duke Friedrich and Duke Johann King of the Kalmar Union to subdue the peasantry of Dithmarschen who had established a peasants' republic on the coast of the North Sea. The peasant defenders achieved a decisive victory by opening at least one dyke sluice, flooding the land and drowning more than 7,000 of the Dutch and Danish troops.

~1600 – Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician and astronomer Giordano Bruno who is best known as a proponent of the acentrism and the infinity of the universe, was burnt at the stake at Campo de' Fiori in Rome after the Roman Inquisition found him guilty of heresy. His cosmological theories went beyond the Copernican model in identifying the sun as just one of an infinite number of independently moving heavenly bodies. He was the first man to have conceptualized the universe as a continuum where the stars we see at night are identical in nature to the Sun. After his death he gained considerable fame. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, commentators focusing on his astronomical beliefs regarded him as a martyr for free thought and modern scientific ideas.

~1621 – Myles Standish was appointed as the first commander of Plymouth colony.

~1801 – An electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr was resolved when Jefferson was elected President of the United States and Burr Vice President by the United States House of Representatives.

~1809 – Miami University was chartered by the State of Ohio.

~1814 – The War of the Sixth Coalition: At the Battle of Mormans, Napoleon's army defeated the Russians and Württembergers led by the treacherous Count Pahlen.

~1838 - The Weenen Massacre: After the murder of Piet Retief and his delegation, the Zulu chief Dingane sent his impis to exterminate the remaining Voortrekkers who were camped at Doringkop, Bloukrans, Moordspruit, Rensburgspruit and other sites along the Bushman River, in the present province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Of the Voortrekkers, 41 men, 56 women and 185 children were killed. In addition another 250+ Hottentot and Basuto that accompanied the Voortrekkers were wiped out.

~1854 – Britain recognized the independence of the Orange Free State.

~1864 – The CSS H L Hunley became the first submarine to engage and sink a warship, the screw sloop of war USS Housatonic, by utilizing a spar torpedo.

Sepia wash drawing by R.G. Skerrett, 1902,
after a painting then held by the Confederate
Memorial Literary Society Museum in Richmond.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph
courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, DC.

The USS Housatonic

Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, DC.

~1865 – Columbia, South Carolina, was destroyed by fire while being occupied by Union troops under the command of General William Tecumseh Sherman.

The ruins, as seen from the State House
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/8b/Columbia_sc_ruins.jpg (broken link)
Photo by George N. Barnard

~1867 – According to 2 different sources, the first ship passed through the Suez Canal. (I find this interesting since the canal didn't open to shipping until more than 2 1/2 years later on November 17th, 1869.)

~1871 – The victorious Prussian Army paraded though Paris, France after the Siege of Paris ended with the city's surrender. Otto von Bismarck honored the armistice by sending train loads of food into Paris and withdrawing Prussian forces to the east of the city.

~1904 – Giacomo Puccini's opera Madama Butterfly premièred at La Scala in Milan. Surprisingly, the first show was poorly received in spite of some big names in the cast.

~1909 – Died this day: Geronimo, the great Apache leader (b. 1829)

Geronimo (right) and his warriors in northern Mexico (1886)

Photographer unknown, courtesy the Arizona Historical Society

~1913 – The Armory Show (International Exhibition of Modern Art), organized by the Association of American Painters and Sculptors, opened in New York City's 69th Regiment Armory, on Lexington Avenue. It became a legendary watershed event in the history of American art, introducing astonished New Yorkers who were accustomed to realistic art, to modern art.

Exhibits at the Armory Show

Photo by Percy Rainford

~1924 – In Miami, Florida, Johnny Weissmuller sets a new world record in the 100 yard freestyle swimming competition with a time of 52.4 seconds. Weissmuller, winner of 5 Olympic gold medals, never lost a race and retired from his amateur swimming career undefeated.

~1933 – The first edition of Newsweek magazine was published.

Cover of the February 17th, 1933 (vol. 1 issue 1), first issue of News-Week magazine (now Newsweek). The issue
featured seven photographs from the week's news on the cover. Featured are: Adolph Hitler, Franklin D. Roosevelt,
Joseph Stalin and Franz von Papen. The issue had 32 pages and cost 10 cents.

Image courtesy Instant History

~1933 – The Blaine Act, sponsored by Wisconsin senator John J. Blaine, was passed by the United States Senate. It repealed the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (also known as the Prohibition of alcohol). The repeal was formally adopted as the Twenty First Amendment to the United Strates Constitution on December 5, 1933.

~1944 – The Battle of Eniwetok Atoll began in the Marshall Islands. The object of the attack was to seize an airfield and harbour to support attacks on the Mariana Islands to the northwest. Earlier that day Vice Admiral Raymond Spruance preceded the invasion by Operation Hailstone, a carrier strike against the Japanese base at Truk in the Caroline Islands. This raid destroyed 15 warships and more than 250 planes, cutting off Eniwetok from support and supply.

A Japanese freighter in Truk Atoll is hit by a torpedo dropped from a VT-10 Avenger during
Operation Hailstone on February 17th, 1944

Photo courtesy the US National Archives

~1957 – The Warrenton Nursing Home Fire took place at the Katie Jane Memorial Home for the Aged in Warrenton, Missouri and killed 72 people. The 2 1/2 story facility, located 60 miles west of St. Louis, housed 155 elderly people and had been converted just two years earlier after having previously served as the site of Central Wesleyan College.

~1958 – Pope Pius XII declared Saint Clare of Assisi (1193-1253) the patron saint of television. (Got into the communion wine a little too much that day, Popesy?)

~1959 – Project Vanguard: Vanguard 2, the first weather satellite, was launched. The satellite was designed to measure cloud cover distribution over the daylight portion of its orbit for a period of 19 days, and to provide information on the density of the atmosphere for the lifetime of its orbit (~300 years).

~1962 – A European windstorm with peak wind speeds of 200 km/h pushed water into the German Bight, leading to a water surge the dykes could not withstand. Breaches along the coast and the rivers Elbe and Weser led to widespread flooding of huge areas. In Hamburg, on the river Elbe, ( a full 100 km away from the coast) the residential area of Wilhelmsburg was most affected. 315 people died in this area alone.

Strumflut (Storm flood) 1962 in Wilhelmsburg

Photo by Gerhard Pietsch

~1964 – In Wesberry v. Sanders the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that congressional districts have to be approximately equal in population.

~1964 – Gabonese president Leon M'ba was toppled by a coup and his rival, Jean-Hilaire Aubame, was installed in his place. The French military, however, intervened and restored M'ba to power.

~1965 – Project Ranger: The Ranger 8 probe was launched on its mission to photograph the Mare Tranquillitatis region of the Moon in preparation for the manned Apollo missions. Mare Tranquillitatis or the Sea of Tranquility would become the site chosen for the Apollo 11 lunar landing.

~1972 – Volkswagen Beetle No. 15,007,034 was produced. With this Beetle production surpassed that of the previous record holder, the Ford Model T.

1973 VW Beetle

Photo by Alvero Ibanez, as originally posted to Flickr

~1974 – Robert K. Preston, a disgruntled U.S. Army private, stole a United States Army helicopter from Fort Meade, Maryland and flew it to Washington, D.C. where he hovered for 6 minutes over the White House before descending on the south lawn about 100 yards from the West Wing. There was no initial attempt from the Executive Protective Service to shoot the helicopter down and he later took off, being chased by 2 Maryland State Police helicopters. Preston forced one of the police helicopters down through his maneuvering of the army helicopter, and then returned to the White House. This time, as he hovered above the south grounds, the Executive Protective Service fired at him with shotguns and submachine guns. Preston was injured slightly, and landed the stolen chopper.

~1978 – The Le Mon Restaurant Bombing: The Provisional IRA detonated an incendiary bomb at the La Mon restaurant, near Belfast, killing 12 people. A further 30 were injured by the blast, many of them critically. Some were still receiving treatment 20 years later.

~1979 – The Sino-Vietnamese War began. The brief but bloody border war which lasted only a month was fought between the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The PRC launched the offensive in response to Vietnam's invasion and occupation of Cambodia, which ended the reign of the PRC backed Khmer Rouge.

~1995 – Colin Ferguson was convicted of 6 counts of murder for the December 1993 Long Island Rail Road Shootings. He was also convicted of attempted murder for wounding 19 passengers during the shooting spree. He received 315 years and 8 months to life, meaning his current earliest possible parole date is August 6, 2309. Ferguson is currently serving his sentence at the Attica Correctional Facility in western New York. (Whoa, 315+ years in Attica...finally, some justice!)

~1995 – The Cenepa War between Peru and Ecuador officially ended on a cease fire brokered by the UN. In spite of this fighting continued until February 28th.

~1996 – NASA's Discovery Program began as the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft lifted off on the first mission ever to orbit and land on an asteroid, 433 Eros.

~2003 – The London Congestion Charge scheme came into operation in parts of Central London.

~2006 - The Southern Leyte Mudslide: The deadly landslide followed a 10 day period of heavy rains and a minor earthquake of magnitude 2.6 on the Richter scale. The official death toll was set at 1,126.

~2008 – Kosovo declared its independence. Over the following days, a number of nations, including the United States, Turkey, Albania, Austria, Germany, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, the Republic of China (Taiwan), Australia, Poland and others announced their recognition, despite protests by Russia and others in the UN. Currently, 65 UN states recognise the independence of Kosovo and it has become a member country of the IMF and World Bank as the Republic of Kosovo. (If the UN is against it then it must be a good thing...)


Last edited by Da Grouch; 02-18-2010 at 01:31 AM..
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Old 02-19-2010, 01:06 AM
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Default February 18


~3102 BC – The epoch of the Kali Yuga, the last of the 4 stages that the world goes through as part of the cycle of yugas described in the Indian scriptures.

~1268 – The Livonian Brothers of the Sword (of the Teutonic Knights) were defeated by the forces of Dovmont of Pskov and a coalition of Russian princes at the Battle of Rakvere, in Estonia. The Knights were defeated so thoroughly that they would not undertake a new campaign against Northern Russia for the next 30 years.

~1478 – George, Duke of Clarence, convicted of treason against his older brother Edward IV of England, was executed in private at the Tower of London.

~1745 – The city of Surakarta, Central Java was founded on the banks of Bengawan Solo river, and became the capital of the Kingdom of Surakarta.
~1797 – Spanish rule over Trinidad, which nominally began in 1498, ended when the final Spanish Governor (Don José Maria Chacón) surrendered the island to a British fleet of 18 warships under the command of Sir Ralph Abercromby.

~1814 – The Battle of Montereau: A day after Napoleon stopped the advance on Paris at Mormant (about 30 miles from Paris), some French units had to march 60 miles in 36 hours to reach Mormant. In spite of this arduous trek the engagement resulted in the victory of the French under Bonaparte against the Austrians and the Württembergeois under Royal Prince of Württemberg.

~1846 – The Galician Peasant Revolt began. It would lead to the Galician Slaughter, in which many nobles and their families were murdered by the peasants. Szela units surrounded and attacked manor houses and settlements located in three counties: Sanok, Jasło and Tarnów.

~1856 – The Know-Nothings, a nativist American political movement, convened in Philadelphia to nominate their first Presidential candidate, former US President Millard Fillmore. The party was empowered by popular fears that the country was being overwhelmed by German and Irish Catholic immigrants, who were often regarded as hostile to U.S. values and controlled by the Pope in Rome. Mainly active from 1854 to 1856, it strove to curb immigration and naturalization, though its efforts met with little success.

~1861 – In Montgomery, Alabama, Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as the first (and only) President of the Confederate States of America.
On the steps of the Alabama State Capital: Jefferson Davis Being sworn in as President of the Confederate States of America, February 18th, 1861

Photographer unknown

~1861 – Victor Emmanuel II of Piedmont, Savoy and Sardinia assumed the title King of Italy to become the first king of a united Italy, a title he held until his death in 1878.

~1873 – Bulgarian revolutionary leader Vasil Levski was executed by hanging in Sofia by the Ottoman authorities.

~1878 – John Tunstall was murdered by a posse (most likely outlaw Jessie Evans), sparking the Lincoln County War in Lincoln County, New Mexico.

~1885 – Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published for the first time in America (December 10th, 1884 in Canada and England).

The 1st edition book cover
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c1/Huckleberrycover.jpg (broken link)
Original artwork possibly by S. L. Clemens

~1901 – Winston Churchill, then member for Oldham, made his first speech in the House of Commons.

~1906 – In the Hotel Ravenstein in Brussels, Edouard de Laveleye formed the Belgian Olympic Committee and was elected the group's first president. It was in this role that he posted a bid for Belgium in March, 1912 to host the 1920 Olympic Games (Games of the VII Olympiad). The games were successfully awarded to Antwerp, much because of his influence and the effect World War I had on the nation. This was the only time the games have been held in Belgium.

~1911 – The first official flight with air mail took place in Allahabad, British India. Henri Pequet, a 23 year old pilot in India for an airshow, delivered about 6,500 letters when he flew from Allahabad to Naini, about 10 kilometers away. He flew a 50 horsepower Sommer biplane and made the journey in 13 minutes. The letters were marked "First Aerial Post, U.P. Exhibition Allahabad 1911." (Whoa! 13 minutes...what an endurance flight!)
~1913 – Raymond Poincaré became President of France. (zzzzzz...)

~1929 – The first Academy Awards were announced. They were presented on May 16th of that year. (They were dismal then and they've been dismal ever since!)

~1930 – While studying photographs taken in January of the same year, Clyde Tombaugh discovered the planet Pluto.

~1930 – Elm Farm Ollie became the first cow to fly in a fixed wing aircraft and also the first cow to be milked in an aircraft. (I suppose this was important enough to somebody back then to make note of it. A St. Louis newspaper trumpeted her mission as being "to blaze a trail for the transportation of livestock by air.")

~1932 – The Empire of Japan declares Manzhouguo (the obsolete Chinese name for Manchuria) independent from the Republic of China. The Manchu State was proclaimed and recognized by Japan on September 16th. The city of Changchun, renamed Xinjing (literally "New Capital"), became the capital of the new entity. Chinese in Manchuria organized volunteer armies to oppose the Japanese and the new state required a war lasting several years to pacify the country.

~1942 - The Sook Ching Massacre began. A systematic extermination of perceived hostile elements among the Chinese in Singapore by the Japanese military took place during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore, after the British colony surrendered. Upwards of 100,000 people were murdered over a 15 day period.

~1943 – The Nazis arrested the members of the White Rose movement. The group became known for an anonymous leaflet campaign, lasting from June 1942 until February 1943, that called for active opposition to dictator Adolf Hitler's regime. The 6 core members of the group were arrested by the Gestapo and they were executed by decapitation. The text of their 6th leaflet was smuggled out of Germany, by Helmuth James Graf von Moltke, through Scandinavia to Britain. In July 1943 copies of it were dropped over Germany by Allied planes, retitled "The Manifesto of the Students of Munich".

Today, the members of the White Rose are honoured in Germany as amongst its greatest heroes, since they opposed the Third Reich in the face of almost certain death.

~1943 – Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels delivered his Sportpalast Speech to a large but carefully selected audience calling for a total war, as the tide of World War II was turning against Nazi Germany and its Axis allies.

~1944 - The Arethusa class light cruiser HMS Penelope was torpedoed and sunk by U-410 while returning from Naples to the Anzio beach head. 415 seamen were lost in the sinking.

HMS Penelope, as part of Force "K" returning to Malta November 9th, 1941
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/83/HMS_Penelope.png (broken link)
Photo courtesy the Imperial War Museum

~1955 – Operation Teapot: Teapot test shot "Wasp" was successfully detonated at the Nevada Test Site with a yield of 1.2 kilotons. Wasp was the first of 14 shots of the Teapot series.

~1957 – Kenyan rebel leader Dedan Kimathi was executed by the British colonial government. The British, who ruled Kenya at the time, considered him a terrorist, as did "loyalist" Kenyans who supported the British occupation and seizure of Kikuyu lands and opposed the Mau Mau Uprising.

~1965 – Gambia was granted independence from the United Kingdom and joined The Commonwealth.

~1969 – Hawthorne Nevada Airlines Flt. 708, a Douglas DC-3, crashed into Mount Whitney while enroute from Hawthorne, Nevada to Burbank, California. At 5:10 A.M., the plane hit a sheer cliff face on the east side of Mount Whitney at 11,770 feet. The main body of the wreckage then slid down the cliff and stopped some 500 feet back from the cliff, where it caught fire. All 32 passengers and 3 crew were killed.

~1970 – The Chicago Seven were found not guilty of conspiring to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

A political poster in support of the
Chicago Seven (8)

Original artist unknown (unsigned work)

~1972 – The California Supreme Court, in the case of People v. Anderson, invalidated the state's death penalty and commuted the sentences of all death row inmates to life imprisonment.

~1974 - The game show Tattletales debuted on CBS television in the slot vacated by the long running soap opera The Secret Storm.

~1977 – The Space Shuttle Enterprise test vehicle was carried on its maiden "flight" atop a Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.

~1979 – Snow fell in the Sahara Desert in southern Algeria for the only time in recorded history. The storm lasted only half an hour and the snow was gone within hours.

~1983 – 13 people died and 1 was seriously injured during the Wah Mee Massacre in Seattle, Washington. It is believed to be the largest robbery motivated mass murder in U.S. history. It also remains the deadliest mass murder in Washington state's history. (Jesse James would’ve been proud!)

~1985 - The famous mirror globe ident, first used in 1969, was seen for the last time in regular rotation on BBC1.

~1991 – The IRA detonated bombs in the early morning at Paddington station and Victoria station in London.

~2001 – FBI agent Robert Hanssen was arrested for spying for the Soviet Union and Russia over a 22 year period. He was ultimately convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

~2001 – Dale Earnhardt was killed when his stock car crashed into the wall on the final lap of the Daytona 500.

Dale Earnhardt's fatal crash in the 2001
Daytona 500

Photo by Michael Takash, Associated Press

~2003 – The Daegu Subway Fire: An arsonist set fire to a train stopped at the Jungangno Station of the Daegu Metropolitan Subway in Daegu, South Korea. The fire then spread to a second train which had entered the station from the opposite direction. The blaze killed at least 198 people and injured no less than 147 others.

~2003 – Comet C/2002 V1 (NEAT) made perihelion. This was seen by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. (I once had a comet make perihelion in my back yard...I had to go out with a shovel and scoop it into a plastic bag.)

~2004 – The Neyshabur Rail Disaster: A train carrying flammable goods derailed and caught fire near the town of Neyshabur in Iran. 5 hours later, during fire fighting and rescue work, a massive explosion destroyed the train and many nearby buildings. Approximately 300 people were killed, mainly fire and rescue workers but also the local governor and mayor along with the heads of the fire and rail services.


Note: I'm leaving for an out of town trip tomorrow morning, I'll be back on Sunday. Posts for Feb 19, 20 & 21 will be made.
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:12 PM
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Default February 19


~197 – The Battle of Lugdunum was fought near present day Lyon, France between the armies of the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus and of the Roman usurper Clodius Albinus. Severus' victory finally established him as the sole emperor of the Roman Empire. This battle is said to be the largest, most hard fought and bloodiest of all clashes ever between Roman forces, with upwards of 100,000 combatants taking part.

~1594 – Having already inherited the throne of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth through his mother Catherine Jagellonica of Poland, Sigismund III of the House of Vasa was crowned King of Sweden, succeeding his father John III of Sweden.

~1600 – The Peruvian stratovolcano Huaynaputina exploded in the most violent eruption in the recorded history of South America. When Huaynaputina blew, it produced about 30 cubic km of tephra and pyroclastic flows that traveled 13 km to the east and southeast. As well, lahars (volcanic mudflows) destroyed several villages and reached the coast of the Pacific Ocean, a distance of 120 km (74.5 mi) away. The eruption began with a Plinian plume that extended into the stratosphere, and the ashfall and accompanying earthquakes caused substantial damage to the major cities of Arequipa (70 km to the west) and Moquegua. Regional agricultural economies took over 150 years to fully recover.

~1674 – England and the Netherlands signed the Treaty of Westminster, ending the Third Anglo-Dutch War. A provision of the agreement transfered the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam to England, and it was renamed New York.

~1803 - President Jefferson signed the (1802) Ohio Constitution bill into law.

~1807 – In Alabama, former US Vice President Aaron Burr was arrested for treason and confined to Fort Stoddert.

~1819 – British explorer William Smith discovered the South Shetland Islands. He would later claim them in the name of King George III.

~1831 - The first practical US coal burning locomotive made its first trial run, in Pennsylvania.

~1847 – The first group of rescuers reached the Donner Party. (Welcome to our party...we'd LOVE to have you for dinner!)

~1856 - A tin-type camera was patented by Hamilton Smith, of Gambier, Ohio.

~1861 – The Russian Emancipation Reform: The 1861 Emancipation Manifesto proclaimed the emancipation of the serfs on private estates and of the domestic (household) serfs. By this edict more than 23 million people received their liberty. Serfs were granted the full rights of free citizens, gaining the rights to marry without having to gain consent, to own property and to own a business. The Manifesto prescribed that peasants would be able to buy the land from the landlords. Household serfs were the worst affected as they only gained their freedom and no land.

~1864 – The Knights of Pythias, a fraternal organization and secret society, was founded in Washington, DC by Justus H. Rathbone. The Knights of Pythias was the first fraternal organization to receive a charter under an act of the United States Congress.

~1878 – Thomas Edison was issued a patent for an "Improvement in Phonograph or Speaking Machines".

~1884 – The Enigma Tornado Outbreak occurred. It is thought to be among the largest and most widespread tornado outbreaks in American history with over 60 tornados striking no less than 10 states and leaving as many as 1,200 dead amongst the vast swaths of destruction.

~1906 - William K. Kellogg and Charles D. Bolin formed the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company in Battle Creek, Michigan, to make the breakfast cereal he created as a health food for US mental patients.

The First Kellogg's

Original artwork
producer unknown

~1910 - At a New York dinner party, Diamond Jim Brady amazed his guests by eating 5 helpings of roast beef, gallons of stewed fruit, 84 oysters and 3 gallons of orange juice to wash it all down. (No mention as to how much Alka-Seltzer he took afterwards...)

~1915 - British and French warships began their attacks on the Turkish forts at the mouth of the Dardenelles, in an abortive expedition to force open the straits of Gallipoli.

~1934 - Bob and Dolores Hope were married in Erie, Pennsylvania.

~1936 - Died this day: Billy Mitchell, American general and military aviation pioneer (b. 1879)

~1937 – During a public ceremony at the Viceregal Palace, the former Imperial residence in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, two Eritrean nationalists attempted to kill viceroy Rodolfo Graziani with a number of grenades. A bloody and indiscriminate repression followed in which Graziani came to be known as "the Butcher of Ethiopia".

~1940 - Born this day, William 'Smokey' Robinson, in Detroit, Michigan, singer, songwriter, producer, The Miracles, 1970 UK and US No.1 single The Tears Of A Clown, solo, 1981 UK No.1 and US No.2 single Being With You, vice President of Motown Records in 1972.

~1940 - The Yakovlev ***-1 was ordered into production. It would be the only truly up to date single engine fighter in the Soviet Air Force arsenal when the country entered into the Second World War with the German invasion in June, 1941.

Early-model ***-1 of the Soviet Air Force (c. summer 1940)
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9f/Yak1.jpg (broken link)
Photo courtesy the Russian Air Force Archives

~1942 – Nearly 250 Japanese warplanes attacked the northern Australian city of Darwin killing 243 people and causing extensive damage. The Japanese raids on Darwin were the largest attacks ever mounted by a foreign power against Australia. The attacks were the first of almost 100 air raids against Australia during 1942–43. (Ya' shouldn't a oughta pissed off the Auzzies, ya' goofs...it'll come back ta bite ya' in a BIG way!)

The explosion of an oil storage tank and clouds of smoke from
other tanks, hit during the first Japanese air raid at Darwin on
February 19th, 1942. In the foreground is HMAS Deloraine,
which escaped damage.

Photo courtesy the Royal Australian Navy

~1942 - The New York Yankees announced that 5,000 uniformed soldiers would be admitted free at each of their upcoming home games.

~1942 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, allowing the United States military to relocate Japanese-Americans to Japanese internment (concentration) camps. (Yup! They haven't done a thing wrong, most of them were born here and they're probably loyal to the country, but DAMMIT...they don't look like us!)

Sign posted notifying people of Japanese descent to report for relocation

Image courtesy the Library of Congress
(OK, I'll give them this; They at least have the jam to allow this to be posted)

~1943 – The Battle of the Kasserine Pass in Tunisia began with the first engagements inside the 2 mile (3 km) wide gap in the Grand Dorsal chain of the Atlas Mountains in west central Tunisia. Significant as the first large scale meeting of American and German forces in World War II, the untested and poorly led American troops suffered heavy casualties and were pushed back over 50 miles (80 km) from their positions west of Faid Pass in a total rout. In the aftermath, the U.S. Army instituted sweeping changes from unit level organization to the replacing of commanders. When they next met, in some cases only weeks later, the U.S. forces were considerably more effective.

The 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment of the US Army marches into the Kasserine Pass

Photo courtesy the US Army Archives

~1945 – The Battle of Iwo Jima: Approximately 30,000 United States Marines landed on the Japnese held island of Iwo Jima. The battle produced some of the fiercest fighting in the Pacific Campaign of World War II over its 35 day course.

U.S. Marines landing on Iwo Jima, February 19th, 1945
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b9/USMC-M-IwoJima-cvr.jpg (broken link)
Photo courtesy the US Marines

~1945 - 980 Japanese soldiers were killed by long saltwater crocodiles that went on a killing spree over a period of 2 days in Ramree, Burma.

~1959 – Britain granted Cyprus its independence, which was then formally proclaimed on August 16th, 1960.

~1972 – The Asama-Sansō hostage standoff began in Japan. The hostage crisis and police siege took place in a mountain lodge near Karuizawa, Nagano prefecture, Japan and lasted from February 19th to February 28th. The police rescue operation on the final day of the standoff was the first marathon live broadcast in Japan, lasting 10 hours and 40 minutes.

~1976 – Executive Order 9066 was rescinded by US President Gerald R. Ford's Proclamation 4417, some 30+ years after the Second World War ended. No internee was ever charged with any treasonous or subversive offense.

~1978 – Egyptian forces raided Larnaca International Airport in an attempt to intervene in a hijacking, without authorisation from the Republic of Cyprus authorities. Earlier, 2 assassins had killed prominent Egyptian newspaper editor Youssef Sebai and then rounded up several Arabs who were attending a convention in Nicosia as hostages. As Cypriot forces were trying to negotiate with the hostage takers at the airport, Egyptian troops decided to launch their own assault without authorization from the Cypriots. The unauthorized raid led to the Egyptians and the Cypriots exchanging gunfire, killing or injuring more than 20 of the Egyptian commandos and destroying the Egyptian C-130 transport plane in open combat. As a result, Egypt and Cyprus severed political ties for several years after the incident.

~1982 - The infamous Boeing 757 took off from Seattle's Boeing Field on its maiden flight. Now out of production it still remains one of the most reliable workhorses of civil aviation throughout the world.

Boeing 757 belonging to the office of the Vice President of the United States.

Photo courtesy the US Air Force

~1985 – An Iberia Airlines Boeing 747 crashed into Mount Oiz in Spain, killing all 148 aboard.

~1986 – The Akkaraipattu Massacre: In the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka, approximately 80 minority Sri Lankan Tamil farm workers were murdered by Sri Lankan Army personnel. Later the bodies were piled on top of the dry rice harvest and burned.

~1986 – The Soviet Union launched its Mir Spacestation. Mir would prove to be extremely successful, remaining in orbit for 15 years and being occupied for 10 of those years.

Mir following separation from the Space Shuttle Discovery on June 12th, 1998

Photo courtesy NASA

~1999 – US President Bill Clinton issued a posthumous pardon for U.S. Army Lt. Henry Ossian Flipper.

~2001 – The Oklahoma City National Memorial Bombing Museum was dedicated.

~2002 – NASA's Mars Odyssey space probe began to map the surface of Mars using its thermal emission imaging system.


Last edited by Da Grouch; 02-22-2010 at 10:20 PM..
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:40 PM
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Default February 20


~702 – Died this day: K'inich Kan B'alam II, king of the Maya state of Palenque (b. 635)

~1472 – Orkney and Shetland were pledged by Christian I, in his capacity as king of Norway, as security against the payment of the dowry of his daughter Margaret, betrothed to James III of Scotland. As the money was never paid, the islands became the possessions of Scotland.

~1547 – Edward VI of England was crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey. He was 9 years old at the time.

~1673 - The first recorded wine auction took place in London.

~1725 - The first known scalping of Indians by white men was reported in the New Hampshire colony.

~1792 – The Postal Service Act, establishing the United States Post Office Department, was signed into law by President George Washington.

~1810 – Andreas Hofer, Tirolean patriot and leader of the rebellion against Napoleon's forces, was executed.

~1835 – Concepción, Chile was destroyed by a massive earthquake that required the rebuilding of the entire city.

~1864 – The Battle of Olustee: The largest battle fought in Florida during the Civil War took place near Lake City in Baker County and resulted in a decisive Confederate victory.

The oil on canvas painting Battle of Olustee 1864

Artist unknown, signature illegible

~1872 – In New York City the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened. It was originally located at 681 Fifth Avenue.

~1872 - Luther Crowell received a patent for a machine that manufactured paper bags.

~1909 – The Futurist Manifesto, written by the Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, was published in French as "Manifeste du futurisme" in Le Figaro. It launched the art movement futurism, that rejected the past, celebrated speed, machinery, violence, youth and industry while seeking the modernisation and cultural rejuvenation of Italy. (Well, good for Filippo...show of hands from all who care?)

~1913 – King O'Malley drove in the first survey peg to mark commencement of work on the construction of Canberra.

~1931 – The US Congress approved the construction of the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge across Yerba Buena Island.

Closeup view taken by the airship USS Akron of Yerba Buena Island to document progress of the construction of the
San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in July 1935

Photo courtesy the US Navy

~1933 – The Congress of the United States proposed the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution that would end Prohibition in the United States.

~1935 – Caroline Mikkelsen became the first woman to set foot on Antarctica.

~1939 - The Douglas DC-5, the least known of the famous DC airliner series, took to the sky on its maiden flight. It was a 16-22 seat, twin engine aircraft originally intended for shorter routes than the DC-3 or DC-4. However, by the time it entered commercial service in 1940, many airline were canceling orders; consequently, only 5 civilian DC-5s were ever built. With the Douglas Aircraft Company already converting to war production, the DC-5 was soon overtaken by events, although a number of military variants were produced.

Military variant of the Douglas DC-5 (US Navy Douglas R3D-2)

Photo courtesy the USMC

~1942 – Lieutenant Edward O'Hare became the US Navy's first World War II flying ace and Medal of Honor recipient. Edward O'Hare was killed in action on November 26th, 1943. In September, 1949 Chicago's Orchard Depot Airport was renamed O'Hare International Airport in his honor.

Lt. "Butch" O'Hare in a Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat carrying
the Felix the Cat insignia at Naval Air Station, Kaneohe,
Hawaii on April 10th 1942

Photo courtesy the US Navy

~1943 – American movie studio executives agreed to allow the Office of War Information to censor movies for the duration of the World War II.

~1943 – The Parícutin Volcano began to form in Parícutin, Mexico. The volcano began as a fissure in a cornfield owned by a P'urhépecha farmer, Dionisio Pulido. Pulido, his wife, and their son all witnessed the initial eruption of ash and stones first hand as they plowed the field. The volcano grew quickly, reaching five stories tall in just a week, and it could be seen from afar in a month.

Cinder cone of Paricutin in 1943

Photo courtesy the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

~1944 – The US Eighth Air Force and the Royal Air Force began "Big Week", a series of heavy bomber attacks against German aircraft production facilities.

~1951 – Emmett Ashford became the first black umpire in organized baseball by being authorized to be a substitute umpire in the Southwestern International League.

~1952 - John Huston's The African Queen, starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, debuted at the Capitol Theatre in New York City.

~1959 – The Avro Arrow program to design and manufacture supersonic jet fighters in Canada was cancelled by the Diefenbaker government amid much political furor. (John Diefenbaker should have been taken out and stood up against the brick wall of the House of Parliament and SHOT as a traitor!)

CF-105 Avro Arrow

Photo courtesy the Canadian Department of National Defence

~1962 – Project Mercury: While aboard Friendship 7, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth, making 3 orbits in 4 hours, 55 minutes.

John Glenn as he enters the spacecraft on February 20th, 1962

Photo courtesy NASA

~1965 – Ranger 8 crashed into the moon after a successful mission of photographing possible landing sites for the Apollo program astronauts. (And just who was the DITZ at the controls in mission command that day?)

~1987 – In Salt Lake City, a bomb exploded in a computer store. The device was later traced back to the Unabomber.

~1989 – In Ternhill, England 2 IRA bombers activated 2 bombs within the accommodation barracks at RAF Ternhill. At the time the 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment was located at the base. A sentry spotted 2 men behaving suspiciously and raised the alarm, the barracks were evacuated shortly before the bombs exploded and there were no casualties. One of the accommodation blocks was destroyed in the blast. The bombers escaped by hijacking a car from a house down the road from the barracks.

~1993 - Two 10 year old boys were charged by police in Liverpool, England, in the abduction and brutal murder of 2 year old James Bulger. The two boys were later convicted and sentenced to a minimum of 10 years in custody.

~1998 - 15 year old American figure skater Tara Lipinski became the youngest gold medalist in winter Olympics history when she won the ladies' figure skating title at Nagano, Japan.

~2002 – The Al Ayyat Train Disaster: A fire broke out on a train running from Cairo to Luxor. In its 5th carriage a cooking gas cylinder exploded and created a fire which spread as the train ran. Seven of its carriages, all 3rd class, were burnt virtually to cinders. The official figure given by officials at the time was of 383 people dead, all Egyptian. However, considering that 7 carriages were burnt to the chassis rails and each carriage was packed with at least double the maximum carrying capacity of 150, this figure is generally considered to be greatly underestimated.

~2003 – The Station Nightclub Fire: During a Great White concert in West Warwick, Rhode Island, a pyrotechnics display set the club ablaze, killing 100 and injuring over 200 others.

The Station nightclub fire at 40 seconds burn

Photo by Daniel R. Davidson

~2005 – Spain became the first country to vote in a referendum on ratification of the proposed Constitution of the European Union, passing it by a substantial margin, but on a low turnout.

~2009 – The Suicide Air Raid on Colombo: 2 Tamil Tigers aircraft packed with C4 explosives enroute to the national airforce headquarters were shot down by the Sri Lankan military before reaching their target, in a kamikaze style attack.

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