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Old 12-10-2009, 10:44 PM
Location: Pacific Northwest
589 posts, read 7,567,256 times
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~359 – Honoratus, the first known Prefect of the City of Constantinople, took office.

~969 – Byzatine Emperor Nikephoros II was assassinated by his wife Theofano and her lover, the later Emperor John I Tzimiskes. (A little bit of marital infidelity gone wild, mayhaps?)

~1282 – Llywelyn ap Gruffydd (Llywelyn the Last), the last native Prince of Wales, was killed at Cilmeri, near Builth Wells in south Wales.

~1602 – A surprise attack by forces under the command of the Duke of Savoy and his brother in law, Philip III of Spain, was repelled by the citizens of Geneva.

~1789 – The University of North Carolina received its charter from the North Carolina General Assembly.

~1792 – The French Revolution: King Louis XVI of France was put on trial for treason by the National Convention.

~1816 – Indiana became the 19th U.S. state.

~1838 – Born this day: John Labatt. An Irish-Canadian brewer whose company, Labatt's, has created some of the greatest beers and ales brewed in the New World. (d. 1915) (So when you're smiling, say Labatt's Blue, the true blue pilsener beer...Ah, the memories!)

~1905 – A workers' uprising occurred, establishing the Shuliavka Republic in Kiev.

An early 20th century Russian postcard with the photo of the Kiev Polytechnic Institute building, where the uprising was headquartered.

~1907 – The New Zealand Parliament Buildings were almost completely destroyed by fire.

~1917 – British General Edmund Allenby entered Jerusalem and declared martial law.

The victorious General Allenby dismounted, entering Jerusalem on foot, out of respect for the Holy City.

~1925 – Quas Primas Roman Catholic papal encyclical introduces the Feast of Christ the King.

~1927 – The Guangzhou Uprising: Communist militia and worker Red Guards launched an uprising in the Chinese city of Guangzhou, taking over most of the city and announced the formation of a Guangzhou Soviet.

~1931 – The British Parliament enacted the 1931 Statute of Westminster, which established legislative equality between the self governing dominions of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of Canada, the Irish Free State, Dominion of Newfoundland, the Dominion of New Zealand, and the Union of South Africa.

~1936 – Edward VIII's abdication as King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the British Dominions beyond the Seas, and Emperor of India became effective.

~1937 – The Second Italo-Abyssinian War: The League of Nations voted to condemn Italy for its invasion of Ethiopia and, as a result, Mussolini declared his country's withdrawal from the organization.

~1941 – Germany and Italy declared war on the United States, following the Americans' declaration of war on Japan in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor. In turn, the United States declared war on Germany and Italy. (One of the Axis Powers' dumber moves of the war...)

~1946 – The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was established.

~1958 – French Upper Volta gained self government from France, and became the Republic of Upper Volta, taking membership in the French Community. (The two Gong Shows deserve each other...)

~1960 – French forces crack down in a violent clash with protesters in French Algeria during a visit by French president Charles de Gaulle.

~1962 – The last execution ever in Canada took place when a murderer met his fate at the gallows.

~1964 - Sam Cooke was murdered in Los Angeles.

Sam Cooke on American Bandstand (1957)


~1964 – Che Guevara spoke at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. An unknown extremist fired a mortar shell at the building during the speech.

~1971 – The Libertarian Party of the United States was formed.

~1972 – Apollo 17 became the sixth Apollo mission to land on the Moon, in the Taurus-Littrow region.

~1980 – The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (also known as CERCLA or Superfund) was enacted by the U.S. Congress.

~1981 – The El Mozote Massacre: Armed forces in El Salvador killed more than 1,000 civilians in an anti-guerrilla campaign during The Salvadoran Civil War.

~1993 – 48 people were killed when a block of the Highland Towers collapsed near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Today all the towers are deserted.

The abandoned remaining Highland Towers (2008)
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/5f/Highland_Towers_2008.JPG (broken link)
Photo by Aaron Ramshaw

~1994 - A small bomb exploded on Philippine Airlines Flt. 434, a Boeing 747, killing 24 year old Japanese businessman Haruki Ikegami. The bombing was a field test done by Ramzi Yousef to test explosives that would have been used in Project Bojinka, a terrorist attack plan that was exposed after an apartment fire.

~1994 – The First Chechen War: Russian President Boris Yeltsin orders Russian troops into Chechnya. (Yeltsin lived to regret that one.)

~1997 – The Kyoto Protocol was initially adopted.

~1998 – Thai Airways International Flt. 261, an A310-200, crashed near Surat Thani Airport, killing 101 of the 146 people aboard.

~2001 – The People's Republic of China joined the World Trade Organization.

~2005 – The Buncefield Oil Depot Fire occurred in Hemel Hempstead, England.

The Buncefield fire just 10 minutes after the explosion (as seen from Hunters Oak)

Photo by Rick Martin

~2005 – The Cronulla Riots: Thousands of White Australians demonstrated against ethnic violence resulting in a riot against anyone thought to be Lebanese (and many who were not) in Cronulla, Sydney. These were followed up by retaliatory ethnic attacks on Cronulla.

~2006 – The International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust was opened in Tehran, Iran by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. (Sometimes known as Hatefest Inc.)

~2007 – 2 car bombs exploded at the Constitutional Court Building in Algiers and the United Nations office. 45 people were killed in the bombings.

~2008 – Bernard Madoff was arrested and charged with securities fraud in a $50 billion Ponzi Scheme.

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Old 12-12-2009, 02:51 PM
Location: Pacific Northwest
589 posts, read 7,567,256 times
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Default December 12


~627 – A Byzantine army commanded by Emperor Heraclius defeated Emperor Khosrau II's Persian forces, under the command of by General Rhahzadh, at The Battle of Nineveh in modern day Iraq.

~1098 – First Crusade: The Massacre of Ma'arrat al-Numan saw the Crusaders breach the town's walls and promise the Muslims safe conduct if they surrendered. The Muslims did surrender but, upon laying down their arms, the crusaders immediately began to massacre the population. More than 20,000 inhabitants of Ma'arrat were murdered.

~1408 – The Order of the Dragon, a monarchical chivalric order, was created by Sigismund of Luxembourg (then King of Hungary).

~1781 – A Royal Navy squadron, commanded by Rear Admiral Richard Kempenfelt in HMS Victory, defeated a French fleet led by Comte de Guichen at The Second Battle of Ushant.

~1787 – Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the United States Constitution.

~1862 – The USS Cairo sank on the Yazoo River, becoming the the first ship sunk by a naval mine.

The USS Cairo on the Mississippi River (circa 1862)

Photo courtesy the U.S. Naval Historical Center

~1870 – Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina was seated in the House becoming the first black to sit in the U.S. House of Representatives. (Good on you, Joe!)

~1897 – The city of Belo Horizonte was founded. It was the first planned city in Brazil.

~1901 – Guglielmo Marconi received the first trans-atlantic radio signal, on Signal Hill above St John's, Newfoundland.

~1911 – Delhi replaceds Calcutta as the capital of India.

~1911 – King George V of the United Kingdom and Mary of Teck were enthroned as Emperor and Empress of India. (I'm sure that all the everyday Indians were suitably impressed and overjoyed at this.)

~1913 - The Mona Lisa was recovered in Florence, Italy two years after it was stolen from The Louvre.

~1915 – The President of the Republic of China, Yuan Shikai, announced his intention to reinstate the monarchy and proclaim himself Emperor of China. (Nothing self-serving about that boy...)

~1917 – In Nebraska, Father Edward J. Flanagan founded Boys Town as a farm village for wayward boys.

~1918 – The Flag of Estonia was raised atop the Pikk Hermann and flew for the first time.

~1925 – The Majlis of Iran voted to crown Reza Khan as the new Shah of Persia.

~1936 – The Xi'an Incident: The Generalissimo of the Republic of China, Chiang Kai-shek, was kidnapped by Zhang Xueliang.

~1937 – The Panay Incident: Japanese aircraft bombed and sunk the gunboat USS Panay on the Yangtze River in China.

Photo taken by the US Signal Corps

The USS Panay (River Gunboat PG45) underway on August 30th, 1928

Photo courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

~1939 – At The Battle of Tolvajärvi Finnish forces defeated those of the Soviet Union in their first major victory of The Winter War.

~1939 – The destroyer HMS Duchess sank after a collision with the battleship HMS Barham off the coast of Scotland. 124 men were lost in the incident. (Size-wise this is similar to running over a Smart Car with a Peterbilt.)

HMS Duchess (circa 1933)

Photo courtesy the Royal Navy

~1940 – More than 70 people were killed in the Marples Hotel in Sheffield as a result of a direct bomb hit during a Luftwaffe air raid.

~1941 - 54 Japanese Zero fighters raided Batangas Field in the Philippines. Jesus Villamor and four Filipino fighter pilots were able to fend them off but famed pilot Cesar Basa was killed.

~1941 – USMC F4F Wildcat fighters sank the first 4 major Japanese ships off Wake Island.

Grumman F4F Wildcat

Photo courtesy US Navy

~1941 – Britain declared war on Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania declared war on the United States and (not to be left out of the party) India declared war on Japan.

~1941 – Hitler declared "the imminent destruction of the Jewish race" at a meeting in the Reich Chancellery.

~1941 -The United States seized the French luxury liner Normandie, moored in New York.

~1942 – A fire in a hostel in St. John's, Newfoundland killed 100 people.

~1946 – A fire at a New York City ice plant spread to a nearby tenement building and killed 37 people.

~1948 – The Batang Kali Massacre: 14 members of the Scots Guards stationed in Malaysia allegedly massacred 24 unarmed civilians and set fire to the village. Later, Scotland Yard set up a special task team to investigate the matter however a total lack of evidence caused the investigation to eventually be dropped.

~1950 – Paula Ackerman, the first woman appointed to perform rabbinical functions in the United States, led the congregation in her first services.

~1956 – The beginning of the Irish Republican Army's "Border Campaign".

~1958 – Guinea joined the United Nations.

~1963 – Kenya was granted its full independence from Great Britain.

~1964 – Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta became the first President of the Republic of Kenya.

~1969 – The Piazza Fontana Bombing – The offices of Banca Nazionale dell'Agricoltura in Piazza Fontana, Milan, were bombed by terrorists. 17 people were killed in the blast and another 88 injured.

~1979 – The Coup d'état of December Twelfth: South Korean Army Major General Chun Doo-hwan ordered the arrest of Army Chief of Staff General Jeong Seung-hwa, without authorization from President Choi Kyu-ha, alleging Seung-hwa's involvement in the assassination of ex-President Park Chung Hee.

~1979 – The President of Pakistan, Zia-ul-Haq, conferred Nishan-e-Imtiaz (the highest honor given to any civilian in Pakistan) on Nobel laureate Dr. Abdus Salam.

~1979 – Rhodesia changed its name to Zimbabwe-Rhodesia. (May you rot, Mugabe!)

~1979 – A major earthquake and tsunami killed 259 people in Colombia and injured hundreds more while leaving thousands homeless.

~1982 – The Women's Peace Protest at Greenham Common: 30,000 women held hands and formed a human chain around the 14.5 kilometres (9.0 mi) perimeter fence at RAF Station Greenham Common in Berkshire.

~1983 - Dallos, the first OAV (Original Animation Video) ever, was released.

~1984 – Maaouiya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya became the third president of Mauritania after a coup d'état overthrew Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla while he was absent attending a summit.

~1985 – Arrow Air Flt. 1285 crashed shortly after takeoff in Gander, Newfoundland. 256 were killed in the mishap including 248 members of the United States Army's 101st Airborne Division.

Arrow Air DC-8-62CF (similar to that of Flight 1285)

Photo by Jefferry

~1988 – The Clapham Junction Rail Crash killed 35 and injured hundreds more after two collisions of three commuter trains in southwest London.

~2000 – The United States Supreme Court released its decision in the Bush vs. Gore Florida election recount, deciding the final outcome of the 2000 presidential election.

~2005 – Gebran Tueni, a Lebanese journalist and politician, was assassinated.

~2006 – The end of an era: Peugeot produced its last car at the Ryton Plant, signalling the end of mass car production in Coventry, England. It had formerly been a major center of the British motor industry since the mid 1890's.

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Old 12-13-2009, 12:15 AM
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Default December 13


~1294 – Saint Celestine V resigned the papacy after only 5 months. He had hoped to return to his previous life as an ascetic hermit. (But it didn't quite work out that way for him, he never got his wish.)

~1545 – The Council of Trent began. Considered to be one of the Catholic Church's most important councils the Council fathers met for 25 sessions over the following 18 years.

The Council of Trent in Santa Maria Maggiore church, Museo Diocesano Tridentino, Trento

Artist unknown (circa 1690)

~1577 – Sir Francis Drake set out from Plymouth, England on his second attempt to circumnavigate the world. (This time he made it!)

~1636 – The Massachusetts Bay Colony organized three militia regiments to defend the colony against the Pequot Indians. This organization is recognized today as the founding of the United States National Guard.

~1642 – Abel Janszoon Tasman and the crewmen of his ships became the first Europeans to reach New Zealand.

~1643 – The Parliamentary army of William Waller defeated the Royalist forces led by Sir Ralph Hopton at The Battle of Alton in Hampshire.

~1769 – Dartmouth College was founded by the Rev. Eleazar Wheelock, with a Royal Charter from King George III, on land donated by Royal Governor John Wentworth.

~1862 – At The Battle of Fredericksburg, the Confederate army of General Robert E. Lee defeated the Union forces of Major General Ambrose E. Burnside in the most one-sided battle of The Civil War.

~1867 – A Fenian bomb exploded in Clerkenwell, London, killing 6.

~1937 – The Battle of Nanjing: Nanjing, defended by the National Revolutionary Army under the command of General Tang Shengzhi, fell to Japanese forces. (Nice of the Chinese military brass to tuck their tails up and run like the wind while leaving their troops behind to be slaughtered like pigs at the hands of the Japanese.)

~1937 – The Nanjing Massacre: Japanese troops began carrying out several weeks of raping and killing civilians along with suspected Chinese resistance members after the fall of Nanjing. Over 300,000 were murdered in the protracted massacre.

~1938 – The Neuengamme concentration camp opened in the Bergedorf district of Hamburg, Germany.

~1939 – The Battle of the River Plate: The German Deutschland class cruiser (pocket battleship) Admiral Graf Spee engaged the Royal Navy cruisers HMS Exeter, HMS Ajax and HMNZS Achilles in the estuary of the River Plate off the coast of Argentina and Uruguay.

The cruiser HMS Achilles seen from the deck of HMS Ajax at the Battle of the River Plate

Photo courtesy the Royal Navy

~1941 – Hungary and Romania declared war on the United States.

~1943 – The Massacre of Kalavryta took place, by the German occupying forces in Greece who killed over 675 people and burnt the town in retaliation for attacks by the Greek resistence guerillas.

German troops in the burning town of Kalavryta
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/31/Kalavryta_massacre.jpg (broken link)
Photo source unknown

~1949 – The Knesset voted to move the capital of Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

~1959 – Archbishop Makarios won the presidential election in Cyprus.

~1962 – NASA launched the first Delta B rocket. Relay 1, the first active repeater communications satellite, was part of its payload. Though now long defunct, after 47 years Relay 1 is still in orbit.

LV Thor Delta B ready to launch with TIROS 8 satellite (December 21st, 1963)

Photo courtesy USAF

~1967 – King Constantine II of Greece attempted an unsuccessful counter-coup against the Regime of the Colonels.

~1968 – Brazilian president Artur da Costa e Silva decreed the AI-5 (or the 5th Institutional Act), which lasted until 1978 and marked the beginning of the hard times of Brazilian military dictatorship.

~1969 - Died this day: The tactical genius known as "Electric Brain", United States Navy Admiral Raymond A. Spruance (b. 1886).

Admiral Raymond A. Spruance (April 1944)

Photo courtesy US Navy

~1972 – Astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt began the third and final Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) or "Moonwalk" of Apollo 17. This was the last manned mission to the moon of the 20th century.

~1974 – Malta became a republic within the British Commonwealth.

~1977 – A Douglas DC-3 chartered from the Indianapolis based National Jet crashed near Evansville Regional Airport, killing 29. Included were the University of Evansville basketball team, support staff and boosters of the team.

~1979 – The minority Canadian Progressive Conservative Government of Prime Minister Joe Clark was defeated in the House of Commons on a motion of non confidence, prompting the 1980 Canadian election.

~1981 – General Wojciech Jaruzelski declared martial law in Poland to prevent the dismantling of the communist system by Solidarity.

~1989 – Attack on Derryard Checkpoint: The Provisional Irish Republican Army launched an attack on a British Army permanent vehicle checkpoint near Rosslea, Northern Ireland. 2 British soldiers were killed and 1 badly wounded.

~1989 – The last issue of Gnistan (The Spark), the organ of the Solidaritetspartiet, was published in Sweden.

~2000 – The Texas 7 escaped from the John Connally Unit near Kenedy, Texas and went on a robbery spree. During their time at large police officer Aubrey Hawkins was shot and killed by the group.

~2000 – American Vice President Al Gore delivered his concession speech, effectively ending his hopes of becoming the 43rd President of the United States.

~2001 – the Indian Parliament Sansad was attacked by terrorists. 15 people were killed, including all the terrorists.

~2003 – Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was captured hiding in a hole in the ground near his home town of Tikrit. (Awww...didn't have a good day, Saddam?)

~2004 – Former Chilean dictator, General Augusto Pinochet, was put under house arrest after being sued under accusations over 9 kidnapping actions and manslaughter. The house arrest was lifted the same day on appeal.

~2006 – The Baiji, or Chinese River Dolphin, was declared extinct.


Image by Alessio Marrucci

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Old 12-14-2009, 01:38 AM
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Default December 14


~867 - Adrian II became Pope.

~872 - John VIII became Pope.

~1287 – St. Lucia's Flood: The Zuider Zee sea wall in the Netherlands collapsed killing over 50,000 people.

~1542 – Princess Mary Stuart was appointed Queen Mary I of Scotland, at the great advanced age of 6 days old.

~1702 - The Forty-Seven Ronin, under the command of Ōishi Kuranosuke, avenged the death of their master.

~1790 - Alexander Hamilton proposed the creation of a Bank of the United States.

~1751 – The Theresian Military Academy was founded as the first Military Academy in the world.

~1782 – In France, the Montgolfier brothers first balloon became airborne on its first test.

A model of the Montgolfier brothers' balloon at the London Science Museum

Photo by Mike Young

~1812 – The French invasion of Russia came to an end as the remnants of the Grande Armée were expelled from Russia.

~1819 – Alabama became the 22nd state of the Union.

~1825 – Advocates of Liberalism in Russia rose up against Tsar Nicholas I and were put down during The Decembrist Revolt, in St. Petersburg.

~1836 – The Toledo War (?) unofficially ended.

~1896 – The Glasgow Underground Railway was opened by the Glasgow District Subway Company. An accident closed it the same day and it did not reopen until January 19th, 1897.

~1900 – Quantum Mechanics: Max Planck presented a theoretical derivation of his Black Body Radiation Law.

~1902 – The Commercial Pacific Cable Company laid the first Pacific telegraph cable from San Francisco to Honolulu.

~1907 – The schooner Thomas W. Lawson ran aground and foundered near the Hellweather's Reef within the Scilly Isles during a gale. The pilot and 15 seamen died.

The Thomas W. Lawson on her maiden voyage (September. 1902)

Photographer unknown

~1911 – Roald Amundsen's team, comprising himself, Olav Bjaaland, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel, and Oscar Wisting, became the first humans to reach the South Pole.

~1914 – Lisandro de la Torre and others founded the Democratic Progressist Party (Partido Demócrata Progresista, PDP) at the Hotel Savoy in Buenos Aires. (It was a slow news day back in '14.)

~1918 – Just 65 days after being elected King Väinö I by the Parliament of Finland, Friedrich Karl von Hessen, a German prince, renounced the Finnish throne without ever even arriving in the country, much less taking up his position. Finland subsequently adopted a republican constitution.

~1939 – The Winter War: The Soviet Union was expelled from the League of Nations for invading Finland.

~1946 – The UN General Assembly voted to establish its headquarters in New York City.

~1955 – Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Laos, Portugal, Romania and Spain joined the United Nations. (Another slow news day...)

~1958 – The 3rd Soviet Antarctic Expedition became the first expedition to reach The Pole of Relative Inaccessibility in the Antarctic.

~1962 – NASA's Mariner 2 became the first spacecraft to fly by Venus.

~1962 - The Mona Lisa was assessed at US$100 million, the highest insurance valuance for a painting in history at that time.

~1964 – The American Civil Rights Movement: Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States. The United States Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Congress could use its Commerce Clause power to fight discrimination.

~1979 - The punk rock band The Clash released the influential double album London Calling.

~1981 – The Arab-Israeli Conflict: Israel's Knesset passed The Golan Heights Law, extending Israeli law to the area of the Golan Heights. (Contrary to Israeli assurances otherwise...it was indeed an annexation.)

~1983 – The 3rd Congress of the Communist Youth of Greece got underway. (Yet another slow news day.)

~1989 - Chile held its first free election in 16 years. Patricio Aylwin was elected president.

~1989 - In Akaska, the volcanic Mount Redoubt erupted. This eruption was the first ever to be successfully predicted through the observation of long period seismic events.

The Mount Redoubt eruption (April 21st, 1990)

Photo by R. Clucas, courtesy the US Geological Survey

~1991 - In New Zealand a rock slide took off over 10 metres of Mount Cook's elevation.

~1994 – Construction began in China on the Three Gorges Dam situated on the Yangtze River.

~1995 – The Yugoslav Wars: The Dayton Agreement was signed in Paris by leaders of the various affected governments.

~1999 - Charles M. Schulz, the creator of the comic strip Peanuts, announced his retirement.

~2003 – The reopening of The Fenice Theater in Venice, Italy with an inaugural concert of Beethoven, Wagner, and Stravinsky.

~2003 – The President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharaf, narrowly escaped an assassination attempt. (I'd best not comment on this one...)

~2004 – The Millau Viaduct, the highest bridge in the world, situated near Millau, France was officially dedicated.

Le Viaduc de Millau (June 18th, 2006)

Photo by Vincent

~2004 – Cuba and Venezuela founded the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas. (Probably shouldn't say anything about this one, either...)

~2008 – President George W. Bush made his fourth and final planned trip to Iraq as president and was almost struck by two shoes thrown at him by Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi, during a farewell conference in Baghdad. (Ya' shoulda used bricks, Munty...)

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Old 12-15-2009, 02:17 AM
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Default December 15


~37 AD - Born this day: Nero (Nero Claudius Augustus Germanicus) the 5th emperor of Rome (54-68).

~533 – The army of Byzantine general Belisarius defeated the Vandals, commanded by King Gelimer, at The Battle of Ticameron.

~1167 – Sicilian chancellor Stephen du Perche moved the royal court to Messina to prevent a rebellion.

~1256 – Hulagu Khan captured and destroyed the Hashshashin stronghold at Alamut in present day Iran as part of the Mongol offensive on Islamic southwest Asia.

The ruins of the fortress today
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/47/Alamut2.JPG (broken link)
Photo by Dash Payam

~1467 – At The Battle of Baia, the army of Stephen III of Moldavia defeated that of Matthias Corvinus of Hungary. Matthius was wounded 3 separate times and almost died in the battle.

~1612 - Simon Marius, became the first personto observe the Andromeda Galaxy through a telescope.

A visible light image of the Andromeda Galaxy
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/71/M31_Lanoue.png (broken link)
Photo by John Lanoue

~1660 - In the Philippines Andres Malong’s rebels plundered Bagnotan.

~1791 – The United States Bill of Rights became law when it was ratified by the Virginia General Assembly.

~1791 - The first law school in the United States was established at the University of Pennsylvania. (And those damned lawyers have been making our lives a bloody hell ever since. *grumble grumble...*)

~1792 - The first life insurance policy was issued in the US, in Philadelphia. (And those damned life insurance salesmen have been making our lives a bloody hell ever since. *grumble grumble...*)

~1832 - Born this day: In Dijon, Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, French engineer. Designer of many notable bridges, viaducts and (his crowning achievement) the Eiffel Tower in Paris. (d. 1923)

~1836 - The Patent Office in Washington DC burned down. (Later, some comedian got kicked out on his ass when he tried to patent the fire-extinguisher.)

~1863 – In Romania the mountain railway from Anina to Oravita saw its first train take to the tracks.

~1864 – At The Battle of Nashville, Union forces under general George H. Thomas virtually destroyed the Army of Tennessee under CSA general John B. Hood.

~1868 – Shogunate rebels founded the Ezo Republic in Hokkaidō.

~1890 - Died this day: Sioux Indian chief Sitting Bull, killed while resisting arrest. (He wasn't resisting arrest and he was murdered by the police who came for him.)

~1891 – James Naismith introduced the first version of basketball, with thirteen rules, a peach basket nailed to either end of his school's gymnasium, and two teams of nine players.

~1899 - In The Second Boer War, the British under General Redvers Buller made a frontal attack at The Battle of Colenso aimed at relieving the besieged town of Ladysmith. The action failed and the British lost upwards of 1,350 men.

~1905 – The Pushkin House was established in St. Petersburg to preserve the cultural heritage of Alexander Pushkin.

~1906 – The London Underground's Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway was officially opened and carried its first passengers.

~1914 – The Serbian Army recaptured Belgrade from the invading Austro-Hungarian Army.

~1914 – A gas explosion at the Mitsubishi Hojyo coal mine in Kyūshū, Japan, killed 687 workers. This incident is still the worst coal mine disaster in Japanese history.

~1915 – Often described as Germany's Secret Weapon and The Butcher of the Somme, Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig replaced John French, 1st Earl of Ypres as Commander in Chief of the British Expeditionary Force. (Try as I might...I just can't find one good thing to say about that bastard.)

~1917 – An armistice was reached between the new Bolshevik government in Russia and the Central Powers. (Translation: Russia gave up.)

~1939 – Hollywood's classic epic film Gone with the Wind had its world premiere at Loews Grand Theatre, in Atlanta, Georgia. It was introduced by its producer David O. Selznick.

~1941 – The Holocaust: In a -15 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Farenheit) temperature, German troops executed over 15,000 Jews at Drobitsky Yar, a ravine southeast of the city of Kharkiv, Ukraine.

~1941 – The American Federation of Labor adopted a no strike policy in all war industries.

~1942 – The Battle of Mount Austen, the Galloping Horse, and the Sea Horse began during the Guadalcanal campaign.

~1943 - Died this day: Famed composer, blues singer, jazz pianist and pipe organ player (Thomas Wright) Fats Waller, in Kansas City, Missouri at the age of 39, from pneumonia. He was born May 21, 1904 in New York.

~1945 – General Douglas MacArthur ordered that Shinto be abolished as the state religion, during the Occupation of Japan.

~1949 - After more than a decade on radio, Captain Midnight was heard for the final time. (Put your secret decoder rings away now, kids.)

~1954 - An audience of 40 million tuned in to watch TV's Disneyland (The Wonderful World of Disney) and saw Fess Parker first portray the character of Davy Crockett. The nation's youth became entranced with Crockett (along with his coonskin cap) and there was a sudden and manic obsession for a man who had died 118 years earlier at The Alamo.

~1955 – Jens Olsen's World Clock was started by Swedish King Frederick IX and Jens Olsen's youngest grandchild Birgit.

~1960 – Richard P. Pavlick was arrested for attempting to assassinate the U.S. President-Elect, John F. Kennedy only 4 days earlier.

~1961 – In Jerusalem, Adolph Eichmann was sentenced to death after being found guilty of 15 criminal charges, including charges of crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people and membership of an outlawed organization.

~1962 - Died this day: English actor Charles Laughton (Mutiny on the Bounty 1935 - Hunchback of Notre Dame 1939), aged 63.

~1965 – The Gemini program: Gemini 6, crewed by Wally Schirra and Thomas Stafford, was launched from Cape Kennedy, Florida. 4 orbits into its mission it achieved the first space rendezvous with Gemini 7.

The rendevous between Gemini 6 and Gemini 7
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/02/Gemini6.jpg (broken link)
Photo courtesy NASA

~1967 – The Silver Bridge, spanning the Ohio river between Point Pleasant, West Virginia and Kanauga, Ohio collapsed. 46 people were killed in the mishap.

The Silver Bridge in Point Pleasant, West Wirginia, upon completion in 1928

Photo courtesy the US Department of Transportation

The Silver Bridge following its collapse

Photo courtesy the US Department of Transportation

~1967 - The movie version of Valley of the Dolls was released.

~1970 – The South Korean ferry Namyong Ho capsized off the Korean Strait. 308 of those aboard died.

~1973 – John Paul Getty III, grandson of American billionaire J. Paul Getty, was found alive near Naples, Italy, after being kidnapped by an Italian gang on the previous July 10th.

~1976 - The Argo Merchant ran aground on Fishing Rip (Nantucket Shoals) southeast of Nantucket Island, in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. It spilled it entire cargo of 7.7 million gallons of No. 6 fuel oil when it broke up on December 21st.

The Argo Merchant run aground. A silvery oil slick can be seen coming from the center holds.

Photo courtesy NOAA

~1978 - US President (and opportunistic hypocrite) Jimmy Carter announced that he would establish diplomatic relations with The People's Republic of China on January 1, 1979 and break off relations with Taiwan. (Well at least you knew how to treat our friends of over 40 years, Jimmy!)

~1979 – In a toothless decision, the World Court in The Hague ruled that Iran should release all US hostages. (Oh, you've got them Iranians on the ropes now, Jimmy!)

~1979 – U2 appeared at the Windsor Castle Pub on Harrow Road in London, admission was free.

~1979 – In Canada, Chris Haney and Scott Abbott came up with the idea for a game called Trivial Pursuit.

~1982 - Spain re-opened the border with Gibraltar. (Took ‘em long enough!)

~1984 - The USSR launched Vega 1 for a rendezvous with first Venus and then Halley's Comet. The mission was a total success.

~1990 - More than 400 American Roman Catholic theologians charged that the Vatican had been throttling church reforms and imposing “an excessive Roman centralization”. They contended that the Vatican had undercut a greater role for women, slowed the ecumenical drive for Christian unity and undermined the collegial functioning of national conferences of bishops. (Other than that, though, they thought things were going pretty good.)

~1991 - More than 470 people drowned when a ferry carrying mainly Egyptian pilgrims sank in the Red Sea.

~1993 - Steven Speilberg's haunting black & white film Schindler's List opened in US theatres nationwide. The movie won many awards, including Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director.

~1993 – The Downing Street Declaration was issued by British Prime Minister John Major and Irish Taoiseach Albert Reynolds.

~1994 - Liberian militia murdered 48 inhabitants of Monrovia. (Gutless slimeballs! How good are ya’ against armed opponents?)

~1995 - The United Nations Security Council authorized NATO to take over peacekeeping operations in Bosnia. The resolution spelled the end of one of the United Nations toughest field missions. (When the going gets tough, turn tail and run…there’s always NATO to go running to!)

~1995 – The Treaty of Bangkok was signed permitting the transformation of Southeast Asia into a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone.

~1997 – A chartered Tupolev TU-154 from Tajikistan crashed in the desert near Sharja, United Arab Emirates airport killing 85.

~1999 - Boy George was knocked unconscious when a mirror ball fell on his head during a show in Dorset. (Fortunately it hit him on the head or he may have been hurt!)

~2000 – In a London court, an intruder who had broken into George Harrison's home and stabbed the ex-Beatle was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

~2000 – The 3rd and final reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant was shut down. The decommissioning process is still underway today.

~2001 – The Leaning Tower of Pisa reopened after 11 years (and $27,000,000 to fortify its foundation) without fixing its famous lean.

~2002 – In Mitchellville, Maryland the Capital Center was demolished. The arena was the home of the Washington Bullets of the NBA from 1973–97, the Washington Capitals of the NHL from 1974–97 and the Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball team from 1981–97.

~2005 – Argentina's president Néstor Kirchner announced the early repayment of its external debt to the IMF.

~2005 – The Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 Raptor was introduced into USAF active service.

Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor fighter

Photo by Rob Shenk, as posted on Flickr

~2005 – The 2005 Atlantic Power Outage began.

~2006 – The first flight of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Julius Delos Reyes


Last edited by Da Grouch; 12-15-2009 at 02:26 AM..
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:02 AM
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Default December 16


~755 – An Lushan revolted against Chancellor Yang Guozhong at Fanyang, initiating The An Shi Rebellion during the Tang Dynasty of China. Over 36 million people may have died during the conflict which lasted for more than 7 years.

~1431 – England's Henry VI was crowned King of France at Notre Dame de Paris cathedral. (Just to irritate the French.)

~1497 – Vasco da Gama's ships rounded the Cape of Good Hope, the point where Bartolomeu Dias had previously turned back to Portugal, and sailed into waters previously unknown to Europeans.

~1575 – The Valdivia Earthquake occurred in Chile.

~1598 – The Battle of Noryang Point took place. This was the final battle of The Asian Seven Year War and was fought between the China and the Korean Allied Forces and the Japanese navies. The outcome was a decisive Allied Forces victory against the Japanese although Chinese admiral Yi was killed during the fight.

~1653 - Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland. (And a greater scumbag has never walked the face of the Earth.)

~1689 - The English Covention Parliament embodied the English Bill of Rights.

~1707 – The last eruption of Mount Fuji in Japan occurred and continued for 16 days. The volcano has been dormant ever since.

Mount Fuji

Photo by Swollib

~1761 – The Seven Years' War: After a 4 month siege, Russian forces under Pyotr Rumyantsev took the Prussian fortress of Kolobrzeg.

~1773 – In Massachusetts, a protest was made against a tax imposed on tea (amongst other things) by London. Members of the Sons of Liberty, some disguised as Mohawks, boarded a British ship and dumped its cargo of tea overboard into the harbor in what we now know as The Boston Tea Party.

The Boston Tea Party

Engraving by E. Newberry (c. 1789)

~1811 – The first two in a series of severe earthquakes occured in the vicinity of New Madrid, Missouri. The 3 so called Mega-quakes are believed to be an ongoing cataclysmic danger that could reprise the 1811-12 series of over 2,000 quakes that affected the lands of what would be 8 of today's heartland states of the US.

~1826 – Benjamin W. Edwards rode into Mexican controlled Nacogdoches, Texas and declared himself ruler of the Republic of Fredonia. (Old Benny was often given towards suicidal tendancies.)

~1838 – The Battle of Blood River: 464 Voortrekkers and just over 200 of their servants, led by Andries Pretorius, fought and defeated a Zulu army of 15,000 to 20,000 led by Dambuza (Nzobo) and Ndlela kaSompisi in what is today KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. While Voortrekker casuaties were only 3 slightly wounded, more than 3,000 Zulu warriors died in the battle.

~1850 - The first 4 ships, the Charlotte-Jane, Cressy, Sir George Seymour and the Randolph, brought the first of the Canterbury Pilgrims to Lyttelton to settle Christchurch, New Zealand.

~1893 – Antonín Dvořák's Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, "From The New World" was given its world première at Carnegie Hall.

~1907 – The Great White Fleet left Hampton Roads, Virginia to begin its circumnavigation of the world.

USS Kansas sails ahead of the USS Vermont as the fleet leaves Hampton Roads, Virginia

Photo by C.E. Waterman

Postcard of USS Connecticut (BB-18). It (#1268) was the first of a 24-card series printed of the Great White Fleet by Edward Mitchell.

Original photo taken by Enrique Muller, colored by Edward Mitchell (c. 1906)

~1910 - Henri Coanda made the first (unintentional) short flight in an aircraft powered by a jet engine.

The Coandă-1910

Photographer unknown

~1914 – World War I: German battleships under admiral Franz von Hipper bombarded the English ports of Hartlepool and Scarborough.

~1920 – The Haiyuan Earthquake, a magnitude 8.5, devastated the Gansu province in China, killing 234,117 people injuring twice that number and leaving over a million homeless.

~1922 – The President of Poland, Gabriel Narutowicz, was assassinated at the Zachęta Gallery in Warsaw just 5 days after taking office.

~1930 – Bank robbers Herman Lamm & co. engaged a posse of 200 in a fierce gun battle, following a botched bank robbery in Clinton, Indiana. Lamm and 2 others ended up dead while the 2 remaining gang members were captured. Lamm is widely considered one of the most brilliant and efficient bank robbers to have ever lived, and has been described as "the father of modern bank robbery". His techniques have been studied and imitated by other bank robbers across the country, including the infamous John Dillinger.

~1937 – Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe attempted to escape from the American federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, and may have made it; although several reputable reports were made there was never a confirmed sighting of either again.

~1938 - Adolph Hitler instituted the Cross of Honor of the German Mother. (I never cease to be amazed at what a total nutball this idiot was.)

~1942 – Porajmos: Heinrich Himmler ordered that Roma candidates for extermination be deported to Auschwitz.

~1944 - In the Ardennes, an enormous German counter-offensive began as the last of the Wehrmacht’s available armor was massed for a lightning drive to the English Channel. The assault would become, what is today known as, The Battle of the Bulge. This was Hitler's last ditch effort to end the war with a negotiated settlement.

~1944 – A German V-2 rocket hit the Rex Cinema in Antwerp killing 567 people.

~1947 – William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain devised the first practical point contact transistor.

~1950 – President Harry S. Truman declared a state of emergency, after Chinese troops entered the fight with communist North Korea during The Korean War. (Like, you didn't see that one coming, did you, Harry!)

~1960 – The New York Air Disaster: While approaching New York's Idlewild Airport, a United Airlines Douglas DC-8 was in collision with a TWA Lockheed Super Constellation during a blinding snowstorm over Staten Island. 134 were killed in the incident.

~1963 - Park Chung-Hee was sworn in as South Korea's fifth president, he took office the next day.

~1965 – US general William Westmoreland sent U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara a request for 243,000 more troops to be sent to Vietnam by the end of 1966.

~1971 - After receiving a tremendous 2 week long bare-bottomed spanking at the hands of the Indian military, a totally defeated and humiliated (as well as teary-eyed) Pakistani army surrendered to the Indo forces. This ended the India-Pakistani War of 1971 and led to the establishment of Bangladesh the following day. (Afterwards Pakistan had to stand in the corner with their pants down and their noses to the wall while promising to be good...no, they weren't allowed to rub their sore bums.)

~1985 - In New York City, mafia bosses Paul Castellano and Thomas Bilotti were shot dead when exiting from Sparks Steak House, making hit organizer John Gotti the leader of the powerful Gambino organized crime family.

~1989 - The Romanian Revolution began in the city of Timişoara as a protest against an attempt by the government to evict a dissident Methodist priest, László Tőkés.

~1989 – A nutcase began his terrorist bombing streak when he sent Judge Robert Smith Vance a bomb in the mail, instantly killing him at his home in Mountain Brook, Alabama.

~1991 – Resolutionville: The United Nations General Assembly Resolution 4686 revoked UN General Assembly Resolution 3379, which declared that Zionism is racism, after Israel made revocation of Resolution 3379 a condition of its participation in The Madrid Peace Conference of 1991. (Great at making resolutions...not so great at standing behind them.)

~1997 – The Dennō Senshi Porygonan (Computer Soldier Porygon) episode of Pokémon was aired in Japan. The special effects contained within the show induced seizures in hundreds of Japanese children. It has never been aired since.

~1998 - Operation Desert Fox: American and British troops began bombing Iraqi targets after Iraq obstructed UN weapons inspectors.

~2000 - NASA announced that there is an ocean beneath Jupiter moon Ganymede's icy surface.

Ganymede as photographed by the Galileo probe in 1995
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/2e/Ganymede_g1_true.jpg (broken link)
Photo courtesy NASA

~2003 - National Institute of Standards and Technology physicist Deborah Jin induced the formation of a fermionic condensate among fermionic atoms.

~2007 – Ron Paul raised a record amount of money online in a single day money bomb, over $6 million in just 24 hours.

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Old 12-17-2009, 02:29 AM
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Default December 17


~283 – St. Gaius became Pope.

~546 – The Ostrogoths of King Totila conquer Rome by bribing the Byzantine garrison during The Gothic War.

~942 – William I of Normandy was assassinated.

~1398 – Sultan Nasir-u Din Mehmud's armies in Delhi were defeated by

~1538 – Pope Paul III excommunicated Henry VIII of England. (I think it might have had something to do with Hank's married life...)

~1586 - The reign of Emperor Go-Yozei, the 107th imperial ruler of Japan, began.

~1600 – The marriage of Henry IV of France and Marie de' Medici took place.

~1637 – Japanese peasants led by Amakusa Shiro rose up against daimyo Matsukura Shigeharu starting The Shimabara Rebellion.

~1718 – Great Britain, France and Austria declared war on Spain.

~1807 - The Milan Decree was issued by Napoleon I of France, to enforce The Berlin Decree of 1806 which had initiated the Continental System. This system was the basis for his plan to defeat the British by waging economic warfare. The Milan Decree stated that no European country was to trade with the United Kingdom.

~1812 – U.S. forces attacked a friendly Lenape village at The Battle of the Mississinewa.

~1819 – Simón Bolívar declared the independence of The Republic of Gran Colombia in Angostura (now Ciudad Bolívar in Venezuela).

~1834 – The opening of the Dublin and Kingstown Railway, the first public railway in Ireland.

~1837 – The Winter Palace Fire occurred in St. Petersburg.

~1862 – Union general Ulysses S. Grant issued General Order No. 11, expelling Jews from Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky. (Funny how THAT one doesn't get talked about much...)

~1865 – The premiere performance of The Unfinished Symphony by Franz Schubert.

~1903 – The Age of Aviation dawned at Kittyhawk NC, when bicycle makers Orville and Wilbur Wright made the world’s first documented powered flight in a heavier than air craft, the Wright Flyer.

The Wright Flyer at Kittyhawk, North Carolina - December 17th, 1903

Photo courtesy Library of Congress

~1918 – The culmination of The Darwin Rebellion as more than 1,000 demonstrators march on Government House in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.

~1935 – A pivotal date in aviation history as one of the three most significant aircraft in history, the Douglas DC-3, takes to the air for the first time.

Douglas DC-3 of Aigle Azur (France) - April 3rd, 1953

Photo by RuthAS

~1939 – The German pocket-battleship Admiral Graf Spee was scuttled in the estuary of The River Plate off Montevideo, Uruguay by Captain Hans Langsdorff following The Battle of the River Plate.

The German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee in flames after being scuttled in the River Plate Estuary off Montevideo, Uruguay

Photo courtesy the Imperial War Museum

~1941 – Japanese forces landed in Northern Borneo.

~1944 - In The Malmédy Massacre over 80 American POW's of the 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion are executed by Waffen-SS troops of Jochen Peiper’s Kampfgruppe.

American soldiers murdered by German SS troops at Malmedy lie in the snow

Photo by Inconnu, courtesy the National Archives and Records Administration

~1947 – The first flight of the Boeing B-47 Stratojet strategic bomber.

The first Boeing XB-47 built (S/N 46-065), December 1947

Photo courtesy the US Air Force Museum

~1950 – The F-86 Sabre flew its first mission over Korea.

~1957 – The United States successfully launched the first Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

~1967 – Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared while swimming near Portsea, Victoria and was presumed drowned.

~1969 – Face to face talks between the US and the Soviet Union began on SALT 1 (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty).

~1969 – Project Blue Book: The United States Air Force closed its study of UFOs, stating that sightings were generated as a result of "A mild form of mass hysteria, Individuals who fabricate such reports to perpetrate a hoax or seek publicity, psychopathological persons, and misidentification of various conventional objects."

~1969 - Verna died. (Damn I miss you.)

~1970 – The 1970 Polish Protests: In Gdynia soldiers fired at workers emerging from trains on their way to work, hundreds of workers were killed or wounded..

~1973 – 30 people were killed in an attack by Palestinian terrorists on Rome's Leonardo da Vinci Airport.

~1981 – US Brigadier General James L. Dozier was abducted by the Red Brigade in Verona, Italy.

~1983 – The IRA bombed Harrods Department Store in London, killing 6 people.

~1989 – The first episode of television series The Simpsons, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", aired in the United States.

~1989 – In Romania, protests continued in Timişoara and rioters broke into the Romanian Communist Party's District Committee building, attempting to set
it on fire.

~2002 – The Second Congo War: The Congolese parties of the Inter Congolese Dialogue signed a peace accord which provided for transitional governance along with legislative and presidential elections within 2 years.

~2003 – The Soham Murder Trial ended at the Old Bailey in London, with Ian Huntley found guilty on 2 counts of murder. His girlfriend Maxine Carr was found guilty of perverting the course of justice.

~2003 – SpaceShipOne flight 11P, piloted by Brian Binnie, made its first supersonic flight.

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Old 12-18-2009, 01:15 AM
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Default December 18


~218 BC – At The Battle of the Trebia Hannibal's Carthaginian forces defeated the army of the Roman Republic during The Second Punic War.

~1271 – Kublai Khan renamed his empire "Yuan", officially marking the start of The Yuan Dynasty in Mongolia and China.

~1352 - Innocent VI became Pope.

~1620 – The Mayflower landed in present day Plymouth, Massachusetts with 102 Pilgrims on board.

Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor by William Halsall (1882)

~1642 – Abel Tasman and his crew became the first Europeans to land in New Zealand.

~1787 – New Jersey was admitted as the 3rd state of the Union.

~1793 – The surrender of the frigate La Lutine by French Royalists to Lord Hood took place, renamed HMS Lutine she later became a famous treasure wreck.

HMS Lutine

Artist unknown

~1865 - The 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery in the United States, was declared in a proclamation by Secretary of State William H. Seward.

~1878 – In Pennsylvania, John Kehoe was the last of the Molly Maguires to be executed.

~1878 – Sheikh Jassim took power in the state of Qatar.

~1888 – Richard Wetherill and Charlie Mason, cowboys from Mancos, found Cliff Palace in Mesa Verde after spotting the ruins from the top of the mesa. Wetherill gave the ruin its current name.

The Cliff Palace in 1891

Photo by Gustaf Nordenskiöld

~1898 – Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat set a the new land speed record going 39.245 mph (63.159 km/h), in a Jeantaud electric car. This is the first recognized land speed record. (We won't pop your bubble by telling you that some trains were already traveling at over 80 miles per hour at the time, Gaston.)

~1900 – The Upper Ferntree Gully to Gembrook Narrow-gauge (2 ft 6 in or 762 mm) Railway (now the Puffing Billy Railway) in Victoria, Australia was opened for traffic.

~1912 - The existence of the Piltdown Man, proven to be a hoax over 40 years later, was made public to the world. At a meeting of The Geological Society of London, Charles Dawson claimed to have been given a fragment of the skull four years earlier by a workman at the Piltdown gravel pit.

~1915 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson married Edith Bolling Galt Wilson.

~1916 – The Battle of Verdun ended when German forces under Chief of Staff Erich Von Falkenhayn were finally defeated by the French. The were over 715,000 casualties during the protracted 10 month long battle that came to be known as "The Mincer", including 306,000 dead.

French soldiers of the 87th Regiment, 6th Division, at Côte 304, (Hill 304), northwest of Verdun, 1916

Photographer unknown

~1932 – The Chicago Bears defeated the Portsmouth Spartans 9-0 in the first ever NFL Championship Game.

~1935 – The Lanka Sama Samaja Party, a Trotskyist political party, was founded in Ceylon.

~1944 – 77 B-29 Superfortress along with 200 other aircraft of U.S. 14th Air Force bombed Hankow in China, a Japanese supply base.

~1956 – Japan joined the United Nations. (*Yaaaawwwwnnn*)

~1961 – Indonesia attempted to invade Netherlands New Guinea, an overseas territory of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (from 1949 to 1962).

~1961 - In a military strike, codenamed Operation Vijay, India seized Goa from Portugal.

~1966 – Saturn's moon Epimetheus was discovered by Richard L. Walker.

Epimetheus, photographed by the Cassini orbiter on March 30, 2005 from a distance of 75,000 km (46,500 mi.)

Photo courtesy NASA

~1969 – Home Secretary James Callaghan's motion to make permanent The Murder Act 1965 (Abolition of Death Penalty), which had temporarily suspended capital punishment in England, Wales and Scotland for murder for a period of 5 years, was carried by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

~1971 – Capitol Reef National Park was established in Utah.

Hickman Bridge in Capitol Reef National Park

Photo by Bob Palin (October 2004)

~1972 – US President Richard Nixon announced that the United States would engage North Vietnam in Operation Linebacker II, a series of Christmas bombings, after peace talks collapsed with the North on December 13th. (He was SUCH a total moronic idiot!)

~1973 – Soyuz 13, crewed by cosmonauts Valentin Lebedev and Pyotr Klimuk, was launched from Baikonur in the Soviet Union.

~1987 – Larry Wall released the first version of the Perl programming language.

~1989 – The European Community and the Soviet Union signed an agreement on trade, commercial and economic cooperation.

~1996 – The Oakland, California school board passed a resolution officially declaring Ebonics a language or dialect. (Datz 'cuz dem yokels noze a langwitch when deyz heers zit!)

~1997 – HTML 4.0 is published by the World Wide Web Consortium.

~1999 – NASA launched into orbit the Terra platform carrying five Earth Observation instruments, including ASTER, CERES, MISR, MODIS and MOPITT.

~2002 – Then Governor of California Gray Davis announced that the state would face a record budget deficit of $35 billion, roughly double the figure reported during his re-election campaign one month earlier.

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Old 12-19-2009, 12:38 AM
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Default December 19

Happy birthday, Mom.

~324 – Licinius abdicated his position as Roman Emperor. (Although I can't find any solid evidence to substantiate this claim made by Britannica.)

~1154 – Henry II of England was crowned at Westminster Abbey.

~1187 - Clement III became pope.

~1490 – Anne, Duchess of Brittany, was married to Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor by proxy at the age of 13. (I wonder if she had any say in that.)

~1606 – The Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery departed England carrying settlers who founded, at Jamestown, Virginia, the first of the 13 colonies that became the United States.

~1776 – Thomas Paine published one of a series of pamphlets in the Pennsylvania Journal titled The American Crisis.

~1777 – George Washington's Continental Army went into winter quarters at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

~1828 – The Nullification Crisis: US Vice President John C. Calhoun penned The South Carolina Exposition and Protest, protesting the Tariff of 1828.

~1835 – The first issue of The Blade newspaper was published in Toledo, Ohio.

~1843 - Charles Dickens classic tale A Christmas Carol was first published in London by Chapman and Hall.

~1907 – A group of 239 coal miners died in a mine explosion in Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania.

~1912 – William H. Van Schaick, captain of the SS General Slocum which caught fire and killed over 1,000 people, was pardoned by U.S. President William Howard Taft after serving 3 1/2 years of a 10 year sentence in Sing Sing prison.

The SS General Slocum (c. 1896)

Photographer unknown

~1915 - The first flight of the Sopwith 1½ Strutter. It is significant as the first British designed two seater tractor fighter, and the first British aircraft to enter service with a synchronized machine gun.

Sopwith1½ Strutter (c. 1917 )

Photo courtesy RAF

~1920 – King Constantine I ws restored as King of the Hellenes after the death of his son Alexander I of Greece, and a plebiscite.

~1924 – The last Rolls Royce Silver Ghost was sold in London, England.

The Rolls Royce Silver Ghost
Photograph by Malcolm Asquith (January 29th, 2006)

~1932 – The BBC World Service began broadcasting, as the BBC Empire Service. (And a damned fine broadcast it is, too.)

~1941 – Adolf Hitler became Supreme Commander in Chief of the German Army. (A fatal blow for Nazi Germany.)

~1946 – The First Indochina War (Franco-Vietnamese War) began. It would last until August, 1954 and end in a Viet Minh victory.

~1961 – Daman and Diu, part of Portuguese India, were incorporated into the Republic of India, by military conquest.

~1972 – The last manned lunar flight, Apollo 17, crewed by Eugene Cernan, Ron Evans and Harrison Schmitt, returned to Earth.

~1981 - The Penlee Lifeboat Disaster occurred off the coast of Cornwall, in the United Kingdom. The Penlee lifeboat went to the aid of the stricken coaster (coastal trading vessel) Union Star in heavy seas. Both vessels were lost with all hands leaving 16 dead, 8 from each vessel.

~1984 – The Sino-British Joint Declaration, which stated that the People's Republic of China would resume the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong and the United Kingdom would restore Hong Kong to China with effect from July 1st 1997, was signed in Beijing by Deng Xiaoping and Margaret Thatcher.

~1986 – Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev released Andrei Sakharov and his wife from internal exile in Gorky.

~1995 – The US Government restored federal recognition to the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indian tribe.

~1997 – SilkAir Flt. 185, a Boeing 737-300, crashed into the Musi River near Palembang in Indonesia, killing all 104 aboard.

~1998 – The Lewinsky Scandal: The United States House of Representatives forwarded articles I and III of impeachment against President Bill Clinton to the Senate.

~2001 – A record high barometric pressure of 1085.6 hPa (32.06 inHg) was recorded at Tosontsengel, Khövsgöl Province in Mongolia.

~2001 – The Argentine Economic Crisis: Riots erupted in Buenos Aires forcing the resignation of Argentine President Fernando de la Rua.

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Old 12-21-2009, 01:59 AM
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Default December 20


~1192 – King Richard the Lion Heart, was captured and imprisoned by Leopold V of Austria on his way home to England after signing a treaty with Saladin ending The 3rd Crusade.

~1522 – Suleiman the Magnificent accepted the surrender of the surviving Knights of Rhodes, who were allowed to evacuate. They eventually settled on Malta and became known as the Knights of Malta.

~1803 – Under the terms of The Louisiana Purchase France turned over New Orleans to the United States.

~1835 – The first signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence took place at Goliad, Texas.

~1860 – South Carolina became the first state to secede from the United States when it became apparent that Abraham Lincoln would be the next US President.

~1915 – The last Australian troops were evacuated from Gallipoli.

~1917 – Cheka, the first Soviet secret police, was created by a decree by Lenin and subsequently led by aristocrat turned communist Felix Dzerzhinsky.

~1924 – Hitler was released from Landsberg Prison in Landsberg am Lech, Bavaria after serving 8 months incarceration following his conviction on charges of treason following the botched Beer Hall Putsch in Munich. (If only they'd kept the bastard locked up and just let him rot till the end of his days...)

~1941 – The first battle of the American Volunteer Group (AVG), better known as the Flying Tigers, took place in Kunming, China.

~1942 – In India, the Japanese Bombed Calcutta for the first of several times during WWII.

~1951 – The Experimental Breeder Reactor I (EBR-1) in Arco, Idaho became the first nuclear power plant in the world to generate electricity. The electricity powered four 200 watt light bulbs.

~1952 – A USAF heavy-lift Douglas C-124 Globemaster II crashed and burned in Moses Lake, Washington killing 87.

C-124 Globemaster II

Photo courtesy USAF

~1955 – Cardiff was proclaimed the capital city of Wales, in a written reply by the Home Secretary Gwilym Lloyd George. Caernarfon had also vied for this title.

~1960 – The National Front for the Liberation of Vietnam (Vietcong) was formed.

~1968 – David Arthur Faraday, 17, and Betty Lou Jensen, 16 were shot and killed on Lake Herman Road just within the city limits of Benicia, California. They were the first confirmed victims of the Zodiac Killer.

A police sketch of the Zodiac killer based on witness testimonies

~1973 – The Spanish Prime Minister Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco was assassinated when 4 Basque members of ETA planted a bomb beneath his car in Madrid.

~1977 – Djibouti and Vietnam joined the United Nations. (Anybody and everybody who gives a damn please cheer now...)

~1984 – The Summit Tunnel Fire, the largest underground fire in history, occurred when a freight train carrying over 1 million litres of gasoline derailed near the town of Todmorden in the Pennines.

Summit Tunnel's southern portal at Littleborough on the Up L&Y line

Photo as originally posted on Flickr.com P4175206 by Ingy The Wingy (I kid you not, that's what he/she calls him/her self.)

~1987 – The worst peacetime sea disaster in history took place when the passenger ferry Doña Paz sank after colliding with the oil tanker Vector 1 in the Tablas Strait, Philippines. At least 4,375 people perished in the accident.

~1988 – The United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances was signed in Vienna. The Convention entered into force on November 11th, 1990.

~1989 – The US sent troops into Panama to overthrow the government of Manuel Noriega.

~1991 – A Missouri court sentenced the Palestinian militant Zein Isa and his wife Maria to death for the honor killing of their daughter Palestina. (No daughter of ours will ever date a black soldier and live to tell about it!)

~1995 – NATO began peacekeeping operations in Bosnia. (After the UN turned tail and ran!)

~1995 – American Airlines Flt. 965, a Boeing 757, crashed into a mountainside 50 km north of Cali, Colombia killing 159 of the 163 aboard.

~1996 – NeXT merged with Apple Computer, starting the path to Mac OS X.

~1999 – Macau was handed over to the People's Republic of China by Portugal.

~2002 – US Senator Trent Lott resigned as the Senate Minority Leader.

~2005 – US District Court Judge John E. Jones III ruled against mandating the teaching of intelligent design in his ruling of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.

~2006 – A judge ruled against the death penalty in the case of a gunman convicted in the shooting death and injuries at the Jewish Federation building in Seattle.

~2007 – Queen Elizabeth II became the oldest ever monarch of the United Kingdom, surpassing Queen Victoria, who lived for 81 years, 7 months and 29 days.

~2007 – The painting Portrait of Suzanne Bloch (1904), by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, was stolen from the São Paulo Museum of Art, along with O Lavrador de Café, by the major Brazilian modernist painter Candido Portinari. On January 8th, 2008, both works were recovered, undamaged, in Ferraz de Vasconcelos by the Police of São Paulo.

A digitalization of Portrait of Suzanne Bloch

Artist: Pablo Picasso (1904)

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