Monday, March 31, 2014

Some Affordable European Capitals

Writing about the Eiffel Tower (or rather, writing an introduction to an older previously published piece I wrote about the Eiffel Tower) got me in the mood to reminisce about Europe. It usually does not take much for me to think about this topic, but on top of it, I had happened on this article before.

So, I am really in the mood. But, being broke and stuck in suburban New Jersey at the moment, it seemed the next best thing would be to at least write about the topic.

This article actually specifies European capitals, and I really have only been to a few of those. Paris, obviously. After all, I am French, and despite the country being far bigger and more diverse than most people on the outside assume, my family does come from the Île-de-France, which is to say the greater Parisian metropolitan area.

Obviously, Paris is the capital, and largest city, of France. But I've also been to Brussels, back when I was yet a little kid. And last year, on the trip to visit Poland, my girlfriend's home country, we were blessed to be able to stop and visit Berlin for a day, which is also a beautiful, and obviously historically rich, city.

That's it for me with European capitals for the moment, although obviously, I would love to visit more someday.

And perhaps so would you. So, you might want to check this piece out about affordable European capitals. the link is below:

"6 affordable European capitals to conquer" by Sharon McDonnell •

The Eiffel Tower/ La Tour Eiffel

Today is the anniversary of the opening of the Eiffel Tower. And as such, it seemed appropriate that I honor it, somehow, in some way.
Then, a kind of inner bell started ringing, because I remembered, dimly, at first, then with more and more clarity, that I actually had written about the Eiffel Tower at some point on this website.
So, I did a little hunting and, viola! it was much further back than I remember it being (I thought it was last year, and at least, late in 2012). But in fact, I wrote and published this on New Year's Eve back in 2011, which was a bit of a mild surprise, admittedly.
The last time that I was in Paris (almost a decade and a half ago!), I got a fairly decent sized model of it. But it stayed in the box, because I never had built a model before, and did not trust myself to do it without screwing up. Figured maybe I would build a model car for my son, or something like that, and work my way up to the Eiffel Tower model. 
But then, I had a coworker at the weekend job (yes, the same one that I was laid off from early last month) who seemed to be an expert in modeling. He would spend most of the considerable downtime on that quiet weekend job building models, and sometimes studying the manuals, or reading history books related to the models (mostly World War II-era ships and planes).
So, I approached him with the idea, and he seemed interested. I finally brought it in, and he told me that some of the pieces had warped due to aging, but it was salvageable. And sure enough, right around Christmastime for 2011, he completed the model, and it was beautifully done! It looks like the real thing, not just like some cheap souvenir that you would find on Parisian streets.
I still love it, and when I look at it, it reminds me of him and his kind gesture. As a token of my thanks, I got him an identical Eiffel Tower model, which he built with his daughter, who was studying French, and seems to love French culture and things in general (she's apparently a Francophile).
That got me in the mood to write about the Eiffel Tower, and so that was the reason for this particula blog entry about it.
So, without further ado, here is the tribute to the Eiffel Tower, and it's rather fascinating history, that I published on The Charbor Chronicles back in December 31, 2011:

It is hard to imagine Paris without the Eiffel Tower. Yet, when it was first being built, it came with widespread opposition, and was only supposed to be a temporary structure for the Exposition Universelle (World's Fair) of 1889, to mark the centennial of the French Revolution. It was supposed to be taken down fairly shortly thereafter.
            It was controversial, and many people absolutely hated the idea of it, at least initially. It looked like a monstrosity to them, like a skeletal building that would mar the skyline of Paris, being visible from all over the city. Situated on the beautiful and historic Champ de Mars, a lot of people figured it would ruin the area, and stick out as an all too obvious, unavoidable eyesore.
            Yet, Gustave Eiffel, the architect behind the tower, and the man for whom it would be named, was very persuasive, not to mention, very knowledgeable and talented. He knew not only how to make it, but how to make it withstand the test of time, making it very wind resistant, as well as with a beautiful style. It also was designed in such a way that the weight of it put minimal pressure on the ground below, which is predominately clay, and quite near the banks of the River Seine.
There are parallels to the history of France and the celebration of the Revolution at this time, a celebration that was predictably snubbed by royal families all over the world, because it honored an event that had brought an end, albeit temporary, to the monarchical system in France. The French Revolution remains controversial today, having only been recently replaced as the most written about subject in history by World War II and the Holocaust. Many people still view it in heroic terms, while others view it negatively, with it's bloodshed and attacks on the monarchical system, as well as on religion in general. Being credited on some level with initiating democracy, communism, and even fascism, the Revolution is credited with both positive and negative trends and, among many respected historians, this epic event is seen as the event that ushered in the modern era. There was the world as it was before the Revolution, and then there is the world since. Nary a revolution occurred between then and the Iranian Revolution in the 1970's that was not influenced in some way by the French Revolution.
Yet, many still only saw the Revolution as a blight on human history. It removed the shackles of a very oppressive feudal system of absolute monarchy, a system that likely could not have lasted long, and was itself a source of shame and injustice. Still, the Revolution was often dismissed as needlessly bloody and violent, and many still resented the attack against religion (some of the Jacobin leaders even tried to introduce a new calendar that scrapped the traditional, religiously based calendar always in use up until then, and which remains in use to the present day).
So not only was the celebration of the 100th anniversary controversial on those grounds, but the celebration was an attempt by the Republic to promote democracy and faith in science and technological progress. The Eiffel Tower in particular was supposed to represent the capabilities of science. It was to be the tallest manmade structure in the world, and the only one, other than the Washington Monument that had formerly held that lofty title, that was not religious in theme. All of the other truly tall structures of the time, from the Great Pyramid to the great cathedrals of Europe, including the cathedral in Cologne as well as the one in Rouen, and St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, were testaments to religion.  
The Eiffel Tower was not only to surpass these by far, but it was to promote the power of science to help humankind progress. To this end, Gustave Eiffel himself made sure that the tower would be very useful for science, opening it up to all manner of scientific experiments and uses, in hopes of it becoming indispensible to the city. He did not want to see his tower torn down, after all. He wanted it to stand permanently, as a testament to science.
It was built in two years, two months, and two days, and was erected without a single fatality. It was also completed without our modern tools, and it was built in style. Despite it being made of metal, there are gentle curves and arches, and the skeletal structure, far from being a monstrosity that destroys the Parisian landscape, actually greatly enhances it, serves to make it more beautiful. Many of the same people that were opposed to it initially became converts, including one musician, Charles Gounod, who later had a concert up in the tower, and called it  the "Concert in the Clouds". .
Today, the tower is repainted once every seven years, with the three levels being painted slightly different colors, the bottom being the darkest, the top being the lightest – although the shift is very subtle. It was initially 300 meters (986 feet) high, but with the new antenna that has since been put up, it presently is 324 meters (1,063 feet) tall, barely overtaking the Chrysler Building that had initially overtaken it for the title of world's tallest manmade structure.
I personally used to have a fascination with skyscrapers and tall, manmade structures. I still have somewhat of a fascination for them, although nowadays, it is more towards those that actually have style and an element of beauty to them. The Eiffel Tower would certainly qualify, as would the Chrysler Building, and the Empire State Building. There may be others beyond that, but there seems to have been a focus on simply being able to boast the tallest manmade structure in the world, for the sake of boasting. That seems to be the case when Dubai erected it's tower of well over 2,000 feet (which stands mostly empty), and the ones being designed in China presently, as well as some other areas in the world. Here in the United States, which used to be the leader of skyscrapers that ranked among the tallest in the world, enthusiasm cooled considerably, and understandably, following the attacks on September 11th.
It should be noted here, that the Eiffel Tower actually was targeted by terrorists years before September 11th, and France warned the United States that it would likely itself be targeted in such a manner. Just another unusual chapter in the history of a structure that is rich in history, and stood tall throughout, even when Hitler was visiting, triumphant in his victory over France. There was talk even of relocating it once, for Montreal's World Fair, Expo '67 (where the late baseball team derived it's name "Montreal Expos" from), but that obviously did not happen. What did happen, however, was that a replica of it was built in Las Vegas, on the exact model and specifications of the original designs of the original tower. Yet, this is not nearly as high as the original, nor as beautiful in my humble opinion, since it is more crowded with building all around it. Part of the beauty of the Eiffel Tower in Paris would be the open spaces around it, from which you can get many different angles of the tower. Also, since the cirty is not dominated with skyscrapers, like many North American cities are, you can pretty well see the tower from much of the city and the surrounding area. When in New York City, there may be points where you are a block away or so from the Empire StateBuilding, and still can't see it and would never know it's there.
So, it is a fascinating history that this tower has. It no longer is anywhere near the tallest manmade structure in the world, and indeed, it is not even the tallest manmade structure in France any longer. Yet, it has a rich history and beauty that few other structures can even come close to, let alone parallel. It is a history that would be too long to get into here, in a brief piece on the tower, but there are some numerous fascinating elements to it's history.
Mostly, though, it is a beautiful structure to be admired and appreciated.

On This Day in History - March 31 Eiffel Tower Opens

Once again, it should be reiterated, that this does not pretend to be a very extensive history of what happened on this day (nor is it the most original - the links can be found down below). If you know something that I am missing, by all means, shoot me an email or leave a comment, and let me know!

Mar 31, 1889: Eiffel Tower opens

On March 31, 1889, the Eiffel Tower is dedicated in Paris in a ceremony presided over by Gustave Eiffel, the tower's designer, and attended by French Prime Minister Pierre Tirard, a handful of other dignitaries, and 200 construction workers.

In 1889, to honor of the centenary of the French Revolution, the French government planned an international exposition and announced a design competition for a monument to be built on the Champ-de-Mars in central Paris. Out of more than 100 designs submitted, the Centennial Committee chose Eiffel's plan of an open-lattice wrought-iron tower that would reach almost 1,000 feet above Paris and be the world's tallest man-made structure. Eiffel, a noted bridge builder, was a master of metal construction and designed the framework of the Statue of Liberty that had recently been erected in New York Harbor.

Eiffel's tower was greeted with skepticism from critics who argued that it would be structurally unsound, and indignation from others who thought it would be an eyesore in the heart of Paris. Unperturbed, Eiffel completed his great tower under budget in just two years. Only one worker lost his life during construction, which at the time was a remarkably low casualty number for a project of that magnitude. The light, airy structure was by all accounts a technological wonder and within a few decades came to be regarded as an architectural masterpiece.

The Eiffel Tower is 984 feet tall and consists of an iron framework supported on four masonry piers, from which rise four columns that unite to form a single vertical tower. Platforms, each with an observation deck, are at three levels. Elevators ascend the piers on a curve, and Eiffel contracted the Otis Elevator Company of the United States to design the tower's famous glass-cage elevators.

The elevators were not completed by March 31, 1889, however, so Gustave Eiffel ascended the tower's stairs with a few hardy companions and raised an enormous French tricolor on the structure's flagpole. Fireworks were then set off from the second platform. Eiffel and his party descended, and the architect addressed the guests and about 200 workers. In early May, the Paris International Exposition opened, and the tower served as the entrance gateway to the giant fair.

The Eiffel Tower remained the world's tallest man-made structure until the completion of the Chrysler Building in New York in 1930. Incredibly, the Eiffel Tower was almost demolished when the International Exposition's 20-year lease on the land expired in 1909, but its value as an antenna for radio transmission saved it. It remains largely unchanged today and is one of the world's premier tourist attractions.

Mar 31, 1991: Warsaw Pact ends

After 36 years in existence, the Warsaw Pact—the military alliance between the Soviet Union and its eastern European satellites—comes to an end. The action was yet another sign that the Soviet Union was losing control over its former allies and that the Cold War was falling apart.

The Warsaw Pact was formed in 1955, primarily as a response to the decision by the United States and its western European allies to include a rearmed West Germany in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). NATO had begun in 1949 as a defensive military alliance between the United States, Canada, and several European nations to thwart possible Soviet expansion into Western Europe. In 1954, NATO nations voted to allow a rearmed West Germany into the organization. The Soviets responded with the establishment of the Warsaw Pact. The original members included the Soviet Union, East Germany, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, and Albania. Although the Soviets claimed that the organization was a defensive alliance, it soon became clear that the primary purpose of the pact was to reinforce communist dominance in Eastern Europe. In Hungary in 1956, and then again in Czechoslovakia in 1968, the Soviets invoked the pact to legitimize its interventions in squelching anticommunist revolutions.

By the late-1980s, however, anti-Soviet and anticommunist movements throughout Eastern Europe began to crack the Warsaw Pact. In 1990, East Germany left the Warsaw Pact in preparation for its reunification with West Germany. Poland and Czechoslovakia also indicated their strong desire to withdraw. Faced with these protests—and suffering from a faltering economy and unstable political situation—the Soviet Union bowed to the inevitable. In March 1991, Soviet military commanders relinquished their control of Warsaw Pact forces. A few months later, the pact's Political Consultative Committee met for one final time and formally recognized what had already effectively occurred—the Warsaw Pact was no more.

Mar 31, 1959: Dalai Lama begins exile

The Dalai Lama, fleeing the Chinese suppression of a national uprising in Tibet, crosses the border into India, where he is granted political asylum.

Born in Taktser, China, as Tensin Gyatso, he was designated the 14th Dalai Lama in 1940, a position that eventually made him the religious and political leader of Tibet. At the beginning of the 20th century, Tibet increasingly came under Chinese control, and in 1950 communist China invaded the country. One year later, a Tibetan-Chinese agreement was signed in which the nation became a "national autonomous region" of China, supposedly under the traditional rule of the Dalai Lama but actually under the control of a Chinese communist commission. The highly religious people of Tibet, who practice a unique form of Buddhism, suffered under communist China's anti-religious legislation.

After years of scattered protests, a full-scale revolt broke out in March 1959, and the Dalai Lama was forced to flee as the uprising was crushed by Chinese troops. On March 31, 1959, he began a permanent exile in India, settling at Dharamsala in Punjab, where he established a democratically based shadow Tibetan government. Back in Tibet, the Chinese adopted brutal repressive measures against the Tibetans, provoking charges from the Dalai Lama of genocide. With the beginning of the Cultural Revolution in China, the Chinese suppression of Tibetan Buddhism escalated, and practice of the religion was banned and thousands of monasteries were destroyed.

Although the ban was lifted in 1976, protests in Tibet continued, and the exiled Dalai Lama won widespread international support for the Tibetan independence movement. In 1989, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in recognition of his nonviolent campaign to end the Chinese domination of Tibet.

Mar 31, 1854: Treaty of Kanagawa signed with Japan

In Tokyo, Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry, representing the U.S. government, signs the Treaty of Kanagawa with the Japanese government, opening the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to American trade and permitting the establishment of a U.S. consulate in Japan.

In July 1853, Commodore Perry sailed into Tokyo Bay with a squadron of four U.S. vessels. For a time, Japanese officials refused to speak with Perry, but eventually they accepted letters from U.S. President Millard Fillmore, making the United States the first Western nation to establish relations with Japan since it was declared closed to foreigners in 1683.

After giving Japan time to consider the establishment of external relations, Perry returned to Tokyo in March 1854, and on March 31 signed the Treaty of Kanagawa, which opened Japan to trade with the United States, and thus the West. In April 1860, the first Japanese diplomats to visit a foreign power reached Washington, D.C., and remained in the U.S. capital for several weeks discussing expansion of trade with the United States.

Mar 31, 1492: Jews to be expelled from Spain

In Spain, a royal edict is issued by the nation's Catholic rulers declaring that all Jews who refuse to convert to Christianity will be expelled from the country. Most Spanish Jews chose exile rather than the renunciation of their religion and culture, and the Spanish economy suffered with the loss of an important portion of its workforce. Many Spanish Jews went to North Africa, the Netherlands, and the Americas, where their skills, capital, and commercial connections were put to good use. Among those who chose conversion, some risked their lives by secretly practicing Judaism, while many sincere converts were nonetheless persecuted by the Spanish Inquisition. The Spanish Muslims, or Moors, were ordered to convert to Christianity in 1502

Here's a more detailed look at events that transpired on this date throughout history:

1084 - Anti-pope Clemens crowns German emperor Hendrik IV
1146 - Bernard of Clairvaux preaches his famous sermon in a field at Vézelay, urging the necessity of a Second Crusade. Louis VII is present, and joins the Crusade.
1492 - Queen Isabella of Castilia & Ferdinand of Aragon expels Jews
1504 - France & Spain signs ceasefire
1521 - Magelhaes takes possession of Homohon, Archipelago of St Lazarus
1547 - Henry II succeeds Francois I as king of France
1644 - Pope Urbanus VIII & duke of Parma signs Peace of Ferrara
1651 - Great earthquake at Cuzco Peru
1657 - English Humble Petition offers Lord Protector Cromwell the crown
1667 - France/England signs anti-Dutch military accord
1683 - Emperor Leopold I/Poland signs covenant against Turkey
1717 - A sermon on "The Nature of the Kingdom of Christ" by Benjamin Hoadly, the Bishop of Bangor, provoked the Bangorian Controversy.
1745 - Jews are expelled from Prague
1796 - Johann Wolfgang von Goethes "Egmont," premieres in Weimar
1808 - French created Kingdom of Westphalia orders Jews to adopt family names
1814 - Forces allied against Napoleon capture Paris
1822 - The massacre of the population of the Greek island of Chios by soldiers of the Ottoman Empire following a rebellion attempt, depicted by the French artist Eugène Delacroix.
1831 - Mainzer Rijnvaart Convention ends
1831 - Quebec & Montreal incorporated
Social Philosopher Johann Wolfgang von GoetheSocial Philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1841 - 1st performance of Robert Schumann's 1st Symphony in B
1849 - Col John W Geary arrives as 1st postmaster of SF
1850 - US population hits 23,191,876 (Black population: 3,638,808 (15.7%))
1854 - Treaty of Kanagawa: Commodore Perry forces Japan to opens ports to US
1861 - Confederacy takes over mint at New Orleans
1862 - Civil War action at Island #10 on Mississippi River
1863 - Battle of Grand Gulf MS & Dinwiddie Court House VA
1865 - Battle of Boydton, VA (White Oaks Roads, Dinwiddie C H)
1865 - Gen Pickette moves to 5 Forks, abandoning the defense of Peterburg
1866 - The Spanish Navy bombs the harbor of Valparaíso, Chile.
1868 - Chinese Embassy arrives aboard steamship China
1870 - 1st black to vote in US (Thomas P Mundy of Perth Amboy NJ)
1877 - British high director/governor sir Bartle Frere arrives in Capetown
1877 - Test Cricket debut of Fred "Demon" Spofforth, Aust v Eng MCG
1877 - The family with samurai antecedents who responded to the Saigo army in Ōita Nakatsu rebels.
1880 - 1st town completely illuminated by electric lighting (Wabash, IN)
1883 - 1st performance of Caesar Franck's "Le Chasseur Maudit"
1883 - Utrecht begins water pipe system
1885 - Great Britain declares Bechuanaland a protectorate
1889 - 300m Eiffel Tower officially opens (commemorates French Revolution)
1900 - Brig-General Broadwoods troops fall into guerrilla hands
1903 - Richard Pearse flies monoplane several hundred yards (NZ)
1905 - German emperor Wilhelm II visits Tanger
1906 - GB Shaws German version of "Caesar & Cleopatra," premieres in Berlin"
1907 - Romanian Army puts down Moldavian farmers' revolt
1909 - Baseball rules players who jump contracts are suspended for 5 years
1909 - Gustav Mahler conducts NY Philharmonic for his 1st time
1916 - Dutch government ends all milt engagements
1917 - US purchases Danish West Indies for $25M & renames them Virgin Islands
1918 - 1st daylight savings time in US goes into effect
1919 - Strike against Ruhrgebied government of Scheidemann
1920 - British parliament accept Irish "Home Rule"-law
1921 - British coal miners goes on strike
1922 - KFI-AM in Los Angeles CA begins radio transmissions
1922 - Prince Hendrik opens trade fair building in Amsterdam
1923 - 1st dance marathon-NYC-Alma Cummings sets record of 27 hrs
1923 - French soldiers fire on workers at Krupp factory in Essen; 13 die
1923 - Stanley Cup: Ottawa Senators (NHL) sweep Edm Eskimos (WCHL) in 2 games
1924 - Croydon Airport: 1st British mig aircraft Imperial established
1924 - London public transport strike ends
1925 - WOWO-AM, Ft Wayne Indiana begins radio transmission (500 watts)
1926 - German Special Court of Justice for state security disbands
1930 - The Motion Pictures Production Code is instituted, imposing strict guidelines on the treatment of sex, crime, religion and violence in film for the next thirty eight years.
1932 - 150 wild swans die in Niagara waterfall
1932 - Ford publicly unveils its V-8 engine
1933 - 1st newspaper published on pine pulp paper, "Soperton News" (Ga)
1933 - Congress authorizes Civilian Conservation Corps
Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf HitlerDictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler 1933 - German Republic gives power to Hitler
1934 - Netherlands Indies BC Ltd begins radio transmission (Indonesia)
1935 - Fusahige Suzuki runs world record marathon (2:27:49)
1939 - Britain & France agree to support Poland if invaded by Germany
1940 - Karelo-Finnish SSR becomes 12th Soviet republic (until 1956)
1941 - Ground broken for Union Square Garage, SF
1943 - US errantly bombs Rotterdam, kills 326
1944 - Hungary orders all Jews to wear yellow stars
1945 - 3rd Algerian division crosses the Rhine
1945 - Sicherheitsdienst murders 10 political prisoners in Zutphen
1945 - Tennessee Williams' "Glass Menagerie," premieres in NYC
1945 - US artillery lands on Keise Shima/begins firing on Okinawa
1946 - Belgian government of Acker, forms
1946 - The first election is held in Greece after World War II.
1948 - Congress passes Marshall Aid Act to rehabilitate war-torn Europe
Playwright Tennessee WilliamsPlaywright Tennessee Williams 1949 - Newfoundland becomes Canada's 10th province
1951 - US tanks exceed 38° of latitude in Korea
1953 - Department of Health, Education & Welfare established
1953 - UN Security Council nominates Dag Hammarskjoeld secretary-general
1954 - US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs Colo, established
1954 - USSR offers to join NATO
1955 - Collie Smith scores 104 on cricket debut WI v Aust, Kingston
1955 - US Assay Office in Seattle, Washington closes Chase National (3rd largest bank) & Bank of the Manhattan Company (15th largest bank) merge to form Chase Manhattan
1958 - US Navy forms atomic sub division
1958 - USSR suspends nuclear weapons tests, & urges US & Britain to do same
1959 - Dalai Lama fled China & was granted political asylum in India
1960 - Gore Vidal's "Best Man," premieres in NYC
1961 - Aklilou Habtewold becomes 1st premier of Ethiopia
1963 - LA ends streetcar service after 90 years
1964 - Pres Jango Goulart of Brazil chased out of office by military
1965 - US ordered the 1st combat troops to Vietnam
1965 - Iberia Airlines Convair 440, crashed into the sea on approach to Tangier killing 47 of 51 occupants.
1966 - 25,000 anti war demonstrators march in NYC
1966 - Labour Party wins British parliamentary election
1966 - USSR launches Luna 10, 1st lunar orbiter
Rock Guitarist Jimi HendrixRock Guitarist Jimi Hendrix 1967 - 1st time Jimi Hendrix burns his guitar (London)
1968 - LBJ announces he will not seek re-election
1968 - Mickey Wright wins LPGA Palm Beach County Golf Open
1968 - Pirate Radio Station Pegaus (NZ) begins transmitting
1968 - Seattle's AL club is named Pilots
1969 - George Harrison & Patti Boyd are fined £250 each for illegal drugs
1970 - Federal bankruptcy court allows Seattle Pilots to be sold to Milwaukee
1970 - Explorer 1 re-enters the Earth's atmosphere (after 12 years in orbit).
1971 - South Africa national debt hits 5.45 billion
1971 - William Calley sentenced to life for Mi Lai Massacre
1972 - Official Beatles Fan Club, closes down
1973 - Flyers score 8 goals in 1 period vs Islanders, on 60 shots
1973 - Ken Norton defeats Muhammad Ali in a 12 round split decision
1975 - 37th NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: UCLA beats Kentucky 92-55
1975 - John Wooden's final game, UCLA, wins 10th NCAA championship in 12 yrs
Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad AliHeavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali 1976 - Cleveland Cavaliers clinch their 1st ever NBA playoff bearth
1976 - NJ Court rules Karen Anne Quinlan may be disconnected from respirator
1977 - Michael Cristofer's "Shadow Box," premieres in NYC
1978 - Red Rum wins 3rd consecutive Grand National & retires
1978 - USSR launches Kosmos 1000 navigational satellite
1978 - Wings release "London Town" album
1979 - The last British soldier leaves the Maltese Islands. Malta declares its Freedom Day (Jum il-Helsien).
1980 - Larry Holmes TKOs Leroy Jones in 8 for heavyweight boxing title
1980 - Mike Weaver KOs John Tate in 15 for heavyweight boxing title
1980 - President Jimmy Carter deregulates banking industry
1980 - The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific railroad operates its final train after being ordered to liquidate its assets due to bankruptcy and debt owed to creditors.
1981 - 1st Golden Raspberry Awards: Can't Stop the Music wins
1981 - 53rd Academy Awards - "Ordinary People," R De Niro & Sissy Spacek win
1982 - Arkas tanker at Montz La, spills 1.47 million gallons of oil
1982 - Rock group Doobie Brothers split up
1983 - Earthquake in Colombia kills some 5,000 people
1983 - Marsha Norman's "'night, Mother," premieres in NYC
1984 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
1985 - 15th Easter Seal Telethon raises $27,400,000
1985 - 4th NCAA Women's Basketball Championship: Old Dominion beats Ga 70-65
1985 - El Salvador's Pres Duartes Christian-Democrats win election
1985 - Wrestlemania I at Madison Square Garden NY, Hogan & Mr T beat Piper & Orndorf
1986 - 167 die when Mexicana Airlines Boeing 727 crashes
1986 - 48th NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Louisville beats Duke 72-69
1986 - English Hampton Court palace destroyed by fire, 1 dead
1986 - Six metropolitan county councils are abolished in England.
1987 - 49th NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Indiana beats Syracuse 74-73
1988 - Last East Limburg coal mine closes in Gent Belgium
1988 - NY Islanders celebrate Denis Potvin night
1988 - Pulitzer prize awarded to Toni Morrison for "Beloved"
Businessman & T.V. Personality Donald TrumpBusinessman & T.V. Personality Donald Trump 1989 - Donald Trump purchases Eastern's Northeast Shuttle
1990 - "Carol & Company" starring Carol Burnette premieres on NBC-TV
1990 - Dionisio Castro cycles world record 20km (57:18.4)
1990 - Riots began in London over the new poll tax laws
1991 - 10th NCAA Women's Basketball Championship: Tennessee beats Virginia 70-67
1991 - 20th Nabisco Dinah Shore Golf Championship won by Amy Alcott
1991 - Albania offers 1st multi-party election in 50 years
1991 - Danny Bonaduce attacks a transvestite prostitute in Phoenix Az
1991 - Georgian SSR votes on whether to remain in the Soviet Union
1991 - Musical "Will Rogers Follies," premieres in NYC
1991 - Soviet Rep of Georgia endorsed independence; Warsaw Pact dissolves
1991 - St Louis Blues Brett Hull scores his 86th goal
1991 - The Establishment of Islamic Constitutional Movement - Hadas in Kuwait.
1992 - Delhi beat Tamil Nadu on 1st innings to win cricket Ranji Trophy
1992 - UN Security Council voted to ban flights & arms sales to Libya
1994 - James Farentino pleads no contest to stalking ex-girl Tina Sinatra
1994 - Walkway from Cleveland's Tower City to Jacobs Field officially opens
1994 - Human evolution: The journal Nature reports the finding in Ethiopia of the first complete Australopithecus afarensis skull.
1995 - 1st game at Coors Stadium Colo (replacement Rockies beat Yanks 4-1)
1995 - Bombay beat Punjab on 1st innings to win cricket Ranji Trophy
1995 - Federal judge orders injunction to end baseball strike
1996 - "Getting Away With Murder" closes at Broadhurst NYC after 17 perfs
1996 - "Midsummer Night's Dream" opens at Lunt-Fontanne NYC for 66 perfs
1996 - 15th NCAA Women's Basketball Championship: Tenn beats Georgia 83-65
1996 - 1st Opening Day in history in March takes place in Seattle
1996 - 25th Nabisco Dinah Shore Golf Championship won by Patty Sheehan
1996 - Karnataka defeat Tamil Nadu on 1st innings to win Ranji Trophy
1996 - Radio Canada International's final shortwave broadcast
1996 - Space Shuttle STS 76 (Atlantis 16), lands
1996 - Wrestlemania XII - Shawn Michaels beats Brett Hart for WWF title
1997 - "Daytime to Remember" a series showing old soaps premieres on ABC-TV
1997 - 59th NCAA Mens Basketball Championship: Ariz beats Kentucky 84-79 (OT)
1997 - Pioneer 10, ends its mission
1998 - Tampa Bay Devil Rays 1st game they host Detroit Tigers
2002 - 21st NCAA Women's Basketball Championship: at San Antonio
2004 - In Fallujah, Iraq, 4 American private military contractors working for Blackwater USA, are killed and their bodies mutilated after being ambushed.
2007 - In Sydney, Australia, 2.2 million people take part in the first Earth Hour.
2008 - Aloha Airlines, a bankrupt airline, permanently ends passenger service
2012 - Fiji Floods kill 2 people and force thousands to be evacuated
2013 - 14 Boko Haram suspects are killed in a Nigerian Army raid
2013 - 11 people are killed in flooding at Port Louis, Mauritius
2013 - 2 people die from bird flu (type H7N9) in China

1492 - King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain issued the Alhambra edict expelling Jews who were unwilling to convert to Christianity.   1776 - Abigail Adams wrote to her husband John that women were "determined to foment a rebellion" if the new Declaration of Independence failed to guarantee their rights.   1779 - Russia and Turkey signed a treaty concerning military action in Crimea.   1831 - Quebec and Montreal were incorporated as cities.   1854 - The U.S. government signed the Treaty of Kanagawa with Japan. The act opened the ports of Shimoda and Hakotade to American trade.   1862 - Skirmishing between Rebels and Union forces took place at Island 10 on the Mississippi River.   1870 - In Perth Amboy, NJ, Thomas Munday Peterson became the first black to vote in the U.S.   1880 - Wabash, IN, became the first town to be completely illuminated with electric light.   1889 - In Paris, the Eiffel Tower officially opened.   1900 - The W.E. Roach Company was the first automobile company to put an advertisement in a national magazine. The magazine was the "Saturday Evening Post".   1900 - In France, the National Assembly passed a law reducing the workday for women and children to 11 hours.   1901 - In Russia, the Czar lashed out at Socialist-Revolutionaries with the arrests of 72 people and the seizing of two printing presses.   1902 - In Tennessee, 22 coal miners were killed by an explosion.   1904 - In India, hundreds of Tibetans were slaughtered by the British.   1905 - Kaiser Wilhelm arrived in Tangier proclaiming to support for an independent state of Morocco.   1906 - The Conference on Moroccan Reforms in Algerciras ended after two months with France and Germany in agreement.   1906 - The Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States was founded to set rules in amateur sports. The organization became the National Collegiate Athletic Association in 1910.   1908 - 250,000 coal miners in Indianapolis, IN, went on strike to await a wage adjustment.   1909 - Serbia accepted Austrian control over Bosnia-Herzegovina.   1917 - The U.S. purchased and took possession of the Virgin Islands from Denmark for $25 million.   1918 - For the first time in the U.S., Daylight Saving Time went into effect.   1921 - Great Britain declared a state of emergency because of the thousands of coal miners on strike.   1923 - In New York City, the first U.S. dance marathon was held. Alma Cummings set a new world record of 27 hours.   1932 - The Ford Motor Co. debuted its V-8 engine.   1933 - The U.S. Congress authorized the Civilian Conservation Corps to relieve rampant unemployment.   1933 - The "Soperton News" in Georgia became the first newspaper to publish using a pine pulp paper.   1939 - Britain and France agreed to support Poland if Germany threatened invasion.   1940 - La Guardia airport in New York officially opened to the public.   1941 - Germany began a counter offensive in North Africa.   1945 - "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams opened on Broadway.   1946 - Monarchists won the elections in Greece.   1947 - John L. Lewis called a strike in sympathy for the miners killed in an explosion in Centralia, IL, on March 25, 1947.   1948 - The Soviets in Germany began controlling the Western trains headed toward Berlin.   1949 - Winston Churchill declared that the A-bomb was the only thing that kept the U.S.S.R. from taking over Europe.   1949 - Newfoundland entered the Canadian confederation as its 10th province.   1958 - The U.S. Navy formed the atomic submarine division.   1959 - The Dalai Lama (Lhama Dhondrub, Tenzin Gyatso) began exile by crossing the border into India where he was granted political asylum. Gyatso was the 14th Daila Lama.   1960 - The South African government declared a state of emergency after demonstrations lead to the death of more than 50 Africans.   1966 - An estimated 200,000 anti-war demonstrators march in New York City. (New York)   1966 - The Soviet Union launched Luna 10, which became the first spacecraft to enter a lunar orbit.   1967 - U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed the Consular Treaty, the first bi-lateral pact with the Soviet Union since the Bolshevik Revolution.   1970 - The U.S. forces in Vietnam down a MIG-21, it was the first since September 1968.   1976 - The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that Karen Anne Quinlan could be disconnected from a respirator. Quinlan remained comatose until 1985 when she died.   1980 - U.S. President Carter deregulated the banking industry.   1981 - In Bangkok, Thailand, four of five Indonesian terrorists were killed after hijacking an airplane on March 28.   1985 - ABC-TV aired the 200th episode of "The Love Boat."   1986 - 167 people died when a Mexicana Airlines Boeing 727 crashed in Los Angeles.   1987 - HBO (Home Box Office) earned its first Oscar for "Down and Out in America".   1989 - Canada and France signed a fishing rights pact.   1991 - Albania offered a multi-party election for the first time in 50 years. Incumbent President Ramiz Alia won.   1991 - Iraqi forces recaptured the northern city of Kirkuk from Kurdish guerillas.   1993 - Brandon Lee was killed accidentally while filming a movie.   1994 - "Nature" magazine announced that a complete skull of Australppithecus afarensis had been found in Ethiopia. The finding is of humankind's earliest ancestor.   1998 - U.N. Security Council imposed arms embargo on Yugoslavia.   1998 - Buddy Hackett received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.   1998 - For the first time in U.S. history the federal government's detailed financial statement was released. This occurred under the Clinton administration.   1999 - Three U.S. soldiers were captured by Yugoslav soldiers three miles from the Yugoslav border in Macedonia.   1999 - Fabio was hit in the face by a bird during a promotional ride of a new roller coaster at the Busch Gardens theme park in Williamsburg, VA. Fabio received a one-inch cut across his nose.   2000 - In Uganda, officials set the number of deaths linked to a doomsday religious cult, the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments, at more than 900. In Kanungu, a March 17 fire at the cult's church killed more than 530 and authorities subsequently found mass graves at various sites linked to the cult.   2004 - Air America Radio launched five stations around the U.S.   2004 - Google Inc. announced that it would be introducing a free e-mail service called Gmail.

1492 Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain expelled Jews who would not accept Christianity. 1889 The Eiffel Tower in Paris officially opened. 1917 The United States took possession of the Virgin Islands. 1918 Daylight Saving Time went into effect in the United States. 1949 Newfoundland became Canada's tenth province. 1959 The Dalai Lama, fleeing Chinese repression of an uprising in Tibet, arrived at the Indian border and was granted political asylum. 1968 President Lyndon Johnson announced that he would not run for re-election. 1995 Mexican-American singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez, 23, is shot by the president of her fan club in Corpus Christi, Texas. 1995 Major League Baseball players agreed to end the sport’s longest strike in history after a judge ordered a preliminary injunction against team owners. 2005 Terry Schiavo died 13 days after her feeding tube was removed.

The following links are to web sites that were used to complete this blog entry:

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Schedules of Some of the Most Brilliant and Accomplished People in History

Both of my blogs today were based on things that I found on Facebook: the Dutch guy that offers his critique of mostly unfriendly and unaccommodating conditions for bicyclists in the United States, and here, a piece on the daily schedules of some of the most brilliant minds that humanity has ever known.

So, if you were wondering how Beethoven or Victor Hugo managed to create such brilliant works that have withstood the test of time, this might clue you in, and perhaps even provide some guidance or tips for your own life. I did not get a chance to really look at these in any detail, but I plan to!

Below is the link to the article:

"Here's How The World's Most Brilliant People Scheduled Their Days" by Kevin Short of The Huffington Post, March 29, 2014:

A Dutch Man Tackles Problems With Biking in America

We all know that riding bicycles is huge in the Netherlands, right? It is very common there, during every season. Even during the winter, when many people here in the United States would not think of bicycling (although it is becoming more common here, too, as I noticed more bicycle riders during this past, brutal winter, than any other winter before), bicycling is apparently very common in the Netherlands.

Well, here is a short video documentary piece, if you will, where a Dutch man provides commentary on conditions for bicyclists here in the United States. Much of it is highly critical, although he does point out some positives, and finally, towards the end, concludes that there is a bright future for biking in the United States.

That would be a good thing, given that Americans are, at least presently, the most overweight people in the world. That said, there is a strong, and growing, movement towards greater health consciousness in the States, and this is being reflected in many ways: diets, exercises, meditation practices, education, and all sorts of books, television shows, and articles geared towards providing greater health conscience. It was only natural, and probably inevitable, that bicycling, a relatively cheap, and often very useful exercise, would eventually grow in popularity, and be taken more seriously. I don't know if this is on a national scale or not, but I can personally attest that Hispanics in northern New Jersey have probably contributed to the popularity of biking, because I see them on bicycles everywhere - day and night! Riding a bike at night used to be extremely rare here. Now, you are starting to see it with a fair degree of frequency.

The main problem in the United States is that everything is geared towards being car friendly. So much is this the case, that Bill Bryson noticed it, and wrote about it, in his brilliant book, "A Walk in the Woods". And here, the Dutch guy is making the same observations in relation to bicycling. They both have a point, too. Really, how can Americans expect not to get fat when we are encouraged to eat supersize McDonald's meals and other crappy foods, and we get around everywhere by car?

One time, I was amazed to see someone get into their car to drive four or so houses down! That's laziness to the extreme!

We need to get healthier habits, and I don't think anyone is arguing that. Michelle Obama's personal campaign (each First Lady seems to have one) is personal fitness. Conservatives opposed to Obamacare often base their opposition that many Americans don't take care of themselves. The general consensus is that we, as a nation, have gotten into bad health habits, and need to change our ways to become more fit.

But that is not even what this man is talking about, because in the Netherlands, people do not bike just for fun, or even for fitness. They bike out of practicality, when they need to take trips that they can do with bicycle. Gas is more expensive, and of course, the Netherlands is generally flat, so it makes sense. Also, European towns tend to be more tightly packed together geographically than American ones, which often are spread apart quite a bit. But if more Americans would opt to take their bikes for short trips, that might make a huge difference right there!

When I saw this on Facebook, it was accompanied by someone (unidentified who exactly it was who said this) who wrote, "At first I was mad. But then I kept watching."

Not sure why they would automatically get mad. Was it because bicycling indeed is not taken seriously here in the United States? Or is it because it is a Dutch guy criticizing a certain aspect of the United States? If so, is this person aware of the concept of constructive criticism?

In any case, the point here is about bicycles, and how despite some considerable improvements for bikers over the course of years, there is still plenty of room for improvement.

Here is what the article from Rollie Williams of Upworthy (that introduces the video) says:

Apart from being able to deliver the nicest reprimand of all time, this Dutch cyclist's conclusion is inescapably accurate: America doesn't take bicycles seriously. If anyone out there sees a downside to more Americans riding bikes, please enlighten me. If you need me, I'll be the one lodged firmly underneath a truck tire.

Here is the link to the video that was the topic for this blog entry:

"A Dutch Guy Is Disgusted By America, But He Has A Hell Of A Point" by Rollie Williams of Upworthy,

On This Day in History - March 30 President Reagan Shot

Once again, it should be reiterated, that this does not pretend to be a very extensive history of what happened on this day (nor is it the most original - the links can be found down below). If you know something that I am missing, by all means, shoot me an email or leave a comment, and let me know!

Mar 30, 1981: President Reagan shot

On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by a deranged drifter named John Hinckley Jr.  

The president had just finished addressing a labor meeting at the Washington Hilton Hotel and was walking with his entourage to his limousine when Hinckley, standing among a group of reporters, fired six shots at the president, hitting Reagan and three of his attendants. White House Press Secretary James Brady was shot in the head and critically wounded, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy was shot in the side, and District of Columbia policeman Thomas Delahaney was shot in the neck. After firing the shots, Hinckley was overpowered and pinned against a wall, and President Reagan, apparently unaware that he'd been shot, was shoved into his limousine by a Secret Service agent and rushed to the hospital.  

The president was shot in the left lung, and the .22 caliber bullet just missed his heart. In an impressive feat for a 70-year-old man with a collapsed lung, he walked into George Washington University Hospital under his own power. As he was treated and prepared for surgery, he was in good spirits and quipped to his wife, Nancy, ''Honey, I forgot to duck,'' and to his surgeons, "Please tell me you're Republicans." Reagan's surgery lasted two hours, and he was listed in stable and good condition afterward.  

The next day, the president resumed some of his executive duties and signed a piece of legislation from his hospital bed. On April 11, he returned to the White House. Reagan's popularity soared after the assassination attempt, and at the end of April he was given a hero's welcome by Congress. In August, this same Congress passed his controversial economic program, with several Democrats breaking ranks to back Reagan's plan. By this time, Reagan claimed to be fully recovered from the assassination attempt. In private, however, he would continue to feel the effects of the nearly fatal gunshot wound for years.  

Of the victims of the assassination attempt, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and D.C. policeman Thomas Delahaney eventually recovered. James Brady, who nearly died after being shot in the eye, suffered permanent brain damage. He later became an advocate of gun control, and in 1993 Congress passed the "Brady Bill," which established a five-day waiting period and background checks for prospective gun buyers. President Bill Clinton signed the bill into law.  

After being arrested on March 30, 1981, 25-year-old John Hinckley was booked on federal charges of attempting to assassinate the president. He had previously been arrested in Tennessee on weapons charges. In June 1982, he was found not guilty by reason of insanity. In the trial, Hinckley's defense attorneys argued that their client was ill with narcissistic personality disorder, citing medical evidence, and had a pathological obsession with the 1976 film Taxi Driver, in which the main character attempts to assassinate a fictional senator. His lawyers claimed that Hinckley saw the movie more than a dozen times, was obsessed with the lead actress, Jodie Foster, and had attempted to reenact the events of the film in his own life. Thus the movie, not Hinckley, they argued, was the actual planning force behind the events that occurred on March 30, 1981.  

The verdict of "not guilty by reason of insanity" aroused widespread public criticism, and many were shocked that a would-be presidential assassin could avoid been held accountable for his crime. However, because of his obvious threat to society, he was placed in St. Elizabeth's Hospital, a mental institution. In the late 1990s, Hinckley's attorney began arguing that his mental illness was in remission and thus had a right to return to a normal life. Beginning in August 1999, he was allowed supervised day trips off the hospital grounds and later was allowed to visit his parents once a week unsupervised. The Secret Service voluntarily monitors him during these outings. If his mental illness remains in remission, he may one day be released.

Mar 30, 1940: Japanese set up puppet regime at Nanking

On this day, Japan establishes its own government in conquered Nanking, the former capital of Nationalist China.  

In 1937, Japan drummed up a rationale for war against Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist China (claiming Chinese troops attacked Japanese troops on maneuvers in a so-called "autonomous" region of China) and invaded northeastern China, bombing Shanghai and carving out a new state, Manchukuo.  

Money and supplies poured into Free China from the United States, Britain, and France, until the Burma Road, which permitted free passage of goods into China from the West, was closed after a Japanese invasion of Indochina. Making matters more difficult, Chiang was forced to fight on two fronts: one against the Japanese (with U.S. help in the person of Gen. Joseph Stillwell, Chiang's chief of staff), and another against his ongoing political nemesis, the Chinese Communists, led by Mao Tse-tung. (Although the United States advised concentrating on the Japanese first as the pre-eminent threat, Chiang was slow to listen.)  

The Japanese proceeded to prosecute a war of terror in Manchukuo. With the capture of Nanking (formerly the Nationalist Chinese capital, which was now relocated to Chungking) by the Central China Front Army in December 1937, atrocities virtually unparalleled commenced. The army, under orders of its commander, Gen. Matsui Iwane, carried out the mass execution of more than 50,000 civilians, as well as tens of thousands of rapes. Nanking and surrounding areas were burned and looted, with one-third of its buildings utterly destroyed. The "Rape of Nanking" galvanized Western animus against the Japanese.  

On March 30, 1940, Nanking was declared by the Japanese to be the center of a new Chinese government, a regime controlled by Wang Ching-wei, a defector from the Nationalist cause and now a Japanese puppet.

Mar 30, 1814: Allies capture Paris  

European forces allied against Napoleonic France march triumphantly into Paris, formally ending a decade of French domination on the Continent.  

Napoleon, one of the greatest military strategists in history, seized control of the French state in 1800, and in 1804 was crowned emperor. By 1807, he controlled an empire that stretched across Europe. In 1812, however, he began to encounter the first significant defeats of his military career, suffering through a disastrous invasion of Russia, losing Spain to the Duke of Wellington, and enduring total defeat against an allied force in 1814. Exiled to the island of Elba, he escaped to France in early 1815 and raised a new Grand Army that enjoyed temporary success before its crushing defeat at Waterloo. He was then exiled to the island of St. Helena, where he died six years later.

Mar 30, 1775: King George endorses New England Restraining Act

Hoping to keep the New England colonies dependent on the British, King George III formally endorses the New England Restraining Act on this day in 1775. The New England Restraining Act required New England colonies to trade exclusively with Great Britain as of July 1. An additional rule would come into effect on July 20, banning colonists from fishing in the North Atlantic.  

The British prime minister, Frederick, Lord North, introduced the Restraining Act and the Conciliatory Proposition to Parliament on the same day. The Conciliatory Proposition promised that no colony that met its share of imperial defenses and paid royal officials' salaries of their own accord would be taxed. The act conceded to the colonists' demand that they be allowed to provide the crown with needed funds on a voluntary basis. In other words, Parliament would ask for money through requisitions, not demand it through taxes. The Restraining Act was meant to appease Parliamentary hardliners, who would otherwise have impeded passage of the pacifying proposition.  

Unfortunately for North and prospects for peace, he had already sent General Thomas Gage orders to march on Concord, Massachusetts, to destroy the armaments stockpiled in the town, and take Patriot leaders John Hancock and Samuel Adams into custody. The orders were given in January 1775 and arrived in Boston before the Conciliatory Proposition. Thus, on April 18, 700 Redcoats marched towards Concord Bridge. The military action led to the Revolutionary War, the birth of the United States as a new nation, the temporary downfall of Lord North and the near abdication of King George III. The Treaty of Paris marking the conflict's end guaranteed New Englanders the right to fish off Newfoundland--the right denied them by the New England Restraining Act.

Mar 30, 1867: Seward's Folly

U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward signs a treaty with Russia for the purchase of Alaska for $7 million. Despite the bargain price of roughly two cents an acre, the Alaskan purchase was ridiculed in Congress and in the press as "Seward's folly," "Seward's icebox," and President Andrew Johnson's "polar bear garden."  

The czarist government of Russia, which had established a presence in Alaska in the mid-18th century, first approached the United States about selling the territory during the administration of President James Buchanan, but negotiations were stalled by the outbreak of the Civil War. After 1865, Seward, a supporter of territorial expansion, was eager to acquire the tremendous landmass of Alaska, an area roughly one-fifth the size of the rest of the United States. He had some difficulty, however, making the case for the purchase of Alaska before the Senate, which ratified the treaty by a margin of just one vote on April 9, 1867. Six months later, Alaska was formally handed over from Russia to the United States. Despite a slow start in U.S. settlement, the discovery of gold in 1898 brought a rapid influx of people to the territory, and Alaska, rich in natural resources, has contributed to American prosperity ever since.

Here's a more detailed look at events that transpired on this date throughout history:

240 BC - 1st recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet.
804 - Liudger becomes 1st bishop of Munster
988 - Boudouin IV with the Beard becomes earl of Flanders
1282 - The people of Sicily rebel against the Angevin king Charles I, in what becomes known as the Sicilian Vespers.
1296 - Edward I sacks Berwick-upon-Tweed, during armed conflict between Scotland and England.
1422 - Ketsugan, Zen teacher, performs exorcisms to free aizoji temple
1456 - Prince Louis of Bourbon elected bishop of Liege
1474 - Duke Sigismund van Tirol ends contacts with Switzerland
1492 - King Ferdinand & Queen Isabella sign decree expelling Jews from Spain
1533 - Thomas Cranmer becomes archbishop of Canterbury
1603 - Battle at Mellifont: English army under Lord Mountjoy beats Irish
1778 - Playwright Voltaire crowned with laurel wreath
1814 - Napoleonic Wars: Sixth Coalition forces march into Paris after defeating Napoleon.
1814 - Murat issues the Rimini Declaration which would later inspire Italian Unification.
1822 - Congress combined East & West Florida into Florida Territory
1842 - Ether used as an anaesthetic for 1st time by Dr Crawford Long (Ga)
1856 - Russia signs Peace of Paris, ending the Crimean War
1858 - Pencil with attached eraser patented (Hyman L Lipman of Phila)
1863 - Danish prince Wilhelm Georg of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg chosen as king George of Greece
French Enlightenment Philosopher VoltaireFrench Enlightenment Philosopher Voltaire 1864 - Skirmish at Mount Elba, Arkansas
1865 - -4] Battle at 5 Forks Virginia
1866 - Bedrich Smetana's "Verkaufte Braut" (Sold Bride), premieres
1867 - US buys Alaska from Russia for $7,200,000 (2 cents an acre - Seward's Folly)
1870 - 15th Amendment passes, guarantees right to vote regardless of race
1870 - Texas becomes last confederate state readmitted to Union
1870 - Florida territorial government established.
1885 - The Battle for Kushka triggers the Pandjeh Incident which nearly gives rise to war between the British Empire and Russian Empire.
1889 - John T Reid opens 1st US golf course (Yonkers, NY)
1893 - Thomas F Bayard becomes 1st US ambassador in Great Britain
1895 - British inventor Birt Acres films Oxford and Cambridge boat race
1900 - Dutch 2nd Chamber accepts Compulsory education law
1909 - Queensboro Bridge opens, linking Manhattan & Queens
1910 - Mississippi Legislature founded The University of Southern Mississippi.
1911 - Lötschberg tunnel in Switzerland (13,735 m) completed
1912 - French protectorate in Morocco established
1916 - Stanley Cup: Montreal Canadiens (NHA) beat Portland Rosebuds (PCHA), 3 games to 2
1918 - Stanley Cup: Toronto Arenas (NHL) beat Vancouver Millionaires (PCHA), 3 games to 2
1919 - Belgian Army occupies Dusseldorf
Pacifist and Spiritual Leader Mahatma GandhiPacifist and Spiritual Leader Mahatma Gandhi 1919 - Gandhi announces resistance against Rowlatt Act
1919 - Paul Claudel's "Tête d'Or," premieres in Paris
1922 - KGY-AM in Olympia WA begins radio transmissions
1922 - WWL-AM in New Orleans LA begins radio transmissions
1923 - Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, formed at Howard U in 1920, incorporates
1925 - Stalin supports rights of non-Serbian Yugoslavians
1925 - Stanley Cup: Vict Cougars (WCHL) beat Canadiens (NHL), 3 games to 1
1930 - Babberich-H soccer team forms
1935 - Newfoundland changes time to 3½ hrs W of Greenwich, repeats 44 sec
1939 - The Heinkel He 100 fighter sets the world airspeed record of 463 mph.
1939 - First flight of the Australian C.A.C. CA-16 Wirraway.
1940 - 2nd NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Indiana U beats Kansas 60-42
1941 - German counter offensive in North-Africa
1942 - 1st RSHA-transport from France arrives in camp Birkenau
1942 - SS murders 200 inmates of Trawniki labor camp
Soviet Union Premier Joseph StalinSoviet Union Premier Joseph Stalin 1943 - 5th NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: U of Wyoming beat Georgetown 46-34
1943 - British 1st army recaptures Sejenane
1943 - Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!," premieres in NYC
1944 - 781 British bombers attack Neurenberg
1945 - 289 anti-fascists murdered by nazis in Rombergpark Dortmund
1945 - USSR invades Austria during WW II
1945 - World War II: a defecting German pilot delivers a Messerschmitt Me 262A-1 to Americans.
1946 - "St Louis Woman" opens at Martin Beck Theater NYC for 113 performances
1946 - Australia beats NZ in cricket at 3 30pm on 2nd day
1946 - Last Test Cricket appearance of Bill O'Reilly (5-14 & 3-19)
1949 - Riot breaks out in Austurvöllur square in Reykjavík, when Iceland joined NATO.
1950 - Phototransistor invention announced, Murray Hill, NJ
1952 - 6th Tony Awards: Fourposter & King & I win
1952 - Patty Berg wins LPGA New Orleans Women's Golf Open
1953 - Albert Einstein announces revised unified field theory
Theoretical Physicist Albert EinsteinTheoretical Physicist Albert Einstein 1954 - Test Cricket debut of Garry Sobers v England at Kingston
1955 - 27th Academy Awards - "On the Waterfront," Brando & Grace Kelly win
1956 - USSR performs nuclear test
1957 - 1st performance of Walter Piston's 4th Symphony
1959 - WNED TV channel 17 in Buffalo, NY (PBS) begins broadcasting
1961 - NASA civilian pilot Joseph A Walker takes X-15 169,600' (51,690 m)
1961 - The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is signed at New York.
1963 - France performs underground nuclear test at Ecker Algeria
1964 - Astronaut John Glenn withdraws from Ohio senate race
1965 - Vietnam War: A car bomb explodes in front of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, killing 22 and wounding 183 others.
1966 - Barbra Streisand stars on "Color Me Barbra" special on CBS
1967 - Cover picture of Beatles' "Sgt Pepper's" is photographed
1968 - General Ludvik Svoboda elected president of Czechoslovakia
1969 - Kathy Whitworth wins LPGA Port Malabar Golf Invitational
1970 - "Applause" opens at Palace Theater NYC for 900 performances
Jazz Musician Miles DavisJazz Musician Miles Davis 1970 - Miles Davis Bitches Brew released
1970 - Soap opera "Somerset" premieres
1970 - Strouse, Adams, Comden & Green's musical "Applause," premieres in NYC
1970 - USSR wins its 8th straight world hockey championship
1972 - "Funny Thing Happened..." opens at Lunt-Fontanne NYC for 156 perfs
1972 - North Vietnamese troops enter South Vietnam
1972 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
1973 - Ellsworth Bunker resigns as US ambassador to South Vietnam
1975 - Ron Lalonde scores the 1st hat trick by a Washington Capital
1976 - Israel kills 6 Palestinians protesting land confiscation
1978 - "History of the American Film" opens at ANTA Theater NYC for 21 perfs
1979 - Airey Neave, a British politician, is killed by a car bomb as he exits the Palace of Westminster. The Irish National Liberation Army claims responsibility.
1980 - Mark Medoff's "Children of a Lesser God," premieres in NYC
1980 - Nancy Lopez wins LPGA Women's Kemper Golf Open
1981 - 43rd NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Indiana beats North Carolina 63-50
US President & Actor Ronald ReaganUS President & Actor Ronald Reagan 1981 - Pres Reagan shot & wounded by John W Hinckley III
1982 - 3rd space shuttle mission-Columbia 3 lands at White Sands, NM
1982 - John Pielmeier's "Agnes of God," premieres in NYC
1983 - Ray Cooney's "Run for your Wives," premieres in London
1983 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
1984 - US ends participation in multinational Lebanon peace force
1986 - "Tango Argentino" closes at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC after 198 perfs
1986 - 5th NCAA Women Basketball Championship: Texas beats Southern Cal 97-81
1987 - 59th Academy Awards - "Platoon," Paul Newman & Marlee Matlin win
1987 - Vincent van Goghs "Sunflowers" sells for record 22.5M pounds ($39.7 million)
1988 - 2nd Soul Train Music Awards: Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston win
1988 - Tamil Nadu beat Railways by inns & 144 to win Ranji Trophy
1990 - Jack Nicklaus made his debut in the "Seniors" golf tournament
1991 - "Speed of Darkness" closes at Belasco Theater NYC after 36 perfs
1991 - 1st exhibition baseball games at Joe Robbie Stadium (Yanks-Orioles)
Golfer Jack NicklausGolfer Jack Nicklaus 1991 - Last issue of Dutch Newspaper "Vr˜e Folk" (Free People)
1991 - Northern Michigan wins its 1st NCAA hockey title
1991 - PBA National Championship Won by Mike Miller
1991 - William Kennedy Smith allegedly rapes a woman (found not guilty)
1992 - 64th Academy Awards - "Silence of Lamb," A Hopkins & Jodie Foster win
1992 - CBS TV premieres overnight news program "Up To The Minute"
1992 - Man accidentally backs in A's Jose Canseco's $225,000 Lamborghini
1992 - P J Patterson, resigns as 6th PM of Jamaica
1992 - WNSR-FM (105.1) changes callsign to WMXV-FM (NYC)
1993 - "Redwood Curtain" opens at Brooks Atkinson Theater NYC for 40 perfs
1993 - French government of Balladur forms
1993 - Jamaican premier Percival Patterson wins parliamentary election
1993 - Lanford Wilson's "Redwood Curtain," premieres in NYC
1993 - New South Wales beat Qld by eight wkts to win Sheffield Shield
1993 - Punjab beat Maharashtra by 120 runs to win Cricket's Ranji Trophy
1994 - ABC Masters Tournament won by Hobo Boothe
1994 - Bombay beat Bengal by 8 wickets to win Cricket's Ranji Trophy
1994 - England Cricket all out for 46 at Port-of-Spain
1995 - "Arcadia" opens at Vivian Beaumont Theater NYC for 204 performances
1996 - Lara hits 146 cricket not out in ODI vs NZ at Port-Of-Spain
1996 - NY Mets beats NY Yankees 5-3 in an exhibition game
Earl of Wessex Prince EdwardEarl of Wessex Prince Edward 1996 - Prince Edward & girl-friend Sophie visited Graystoke Castle
1997 - 16th NCAA Women's Basketball Championship: Tenn beats Old Dominion 68-59
1997 - 26th Nabisco Dinah Shore Golf Championship won by Betsy King
1997 - Southwestern Bell Dominion Senior Golf
1997 - Steve Elkington wins Golf's Players Championship
1997 - Five (channel) Begins broadcasting in the UK
1998 - 60th NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: at Alamodome San Antonio
2006 - Marcos Pontes is the first Brazilian astronaut in space.
2006 - UK Terrorism Act 2006 becomes law.
2012 - Spanish Government cuts 27 Billion Euros from its budget in one of its toughest austerity driver in history
2012 - Mastercard and Visa announce a massive breach in security with over ten million compromised credit card numbers
2012 - American Mega Millions lottery hits a world record lottery amount of 640 million dollars
2013 - North Korea declares it is at a state of war with South Korea
2013 - Uhuru Kenyatta is declared the rightful winner of the Kenyan presidential election by the Supreme Court

1533 - Henry VIII divorced his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.   1814 - The allied European nations against Napoleon marched into Paris.   1822 - Florida became a U.S. territory.   1842 - Dr. Crawford W. Long performed the first operation while his patient was anesthetized by ether.   1855 - About 5,000 "Border Ruffians" from western Missouri invaded the territory of Kansas and forced the election of a pro-slavery legislature. It was the first election in Kansas.   1858 - Hyman L. Lipman of Philadelphia patented the pencil.   1867 - The U.S. purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million dollars.   1870 - The 15th amendment, guaranteeing the right to vote regardless of race, was passed by the U.S. Congress.   1870 - Texas was readmitted to the Union.   1903 - Revolutionary activity in the Dominican Republic brought U.S. troops to Santo Domingo to protect American interests.   1905 - U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was chosen to mediate in the Russo-Japanese peace talks.   1909 - The Queensboro bridge in New York opened linking Manhattan and Queens. It was the first double decker bridge.   1909 - In Oklahoma, Seminole Indians revolted against meager pay for government jobs.   1916 - Pancho Villa killed 172 at the Guerrero garrison in Mexico.   1936 - Britain announced a naval construction program of 38 warships.   1940 - The Japanese set up a puppet government called Manchuko in Nanking, China.   1941 - The German Afrika Korps under General Erwin Rommel began its first offensive against British forces in Libya.   1944 - The U.S. fleet attacked Palau, near the Philippines.   1945 - The U.S.S.R. invaded Austria during World War II.   1946 - The Allies seized 1,000 Nazis attempting to revive the Nazi party in Frankfurt.   1947 - Lord Mountbatten arrived in India as the new Viceroy.   1950 - The invention of the phototransistor was announced.   1950 - U.S. President Truman denounced Senator Joe McCarthy as a saboteur of U.S. foreign policy.   1957 - Tunisia and Morocco signed a friendship treaty in Rabat.   1958 - The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater gave its initial performance.   1964 - "Jeopardy" debuted on NBC-TV.   1964 - John Glenn withdrew from the Ohio race for U.S. Senate because of injuries suffered in a fall.   1970 - "Applause" opened on Broadway.   1970 - "Another World - Somerset" debuted on NBC-TV.   1972 - The British government assumed direct rule over Northern Ireland.   1972 - The Eastertide Offensive began when North Vietnamese troops crossed into the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in the northern portion of South Vietnam.   1975 - As the North Vietnamese forces moved toward Saigon South Vietnamese soldiers mob rescue jets in desperation.   1981 - U.S. President Ronald Reagan was shot and wounded in Washington, DC, by John W. Hinckley Jr. Two police officers and Press Secretary James Brady were also wounded.   1982 - The space shuttle Columbia completed its third and its longest test flight after 8 days in space.   1984 - The U.S. ended its participation in the multinational peace force in Lebanon.   1987 - Vincent Van Gogh's "Sunflowers" was bought for $39.85 million.   1993 - In Sarajevo, two Serb militiamen were sentenced to death for war crimes committed in Bosnia.   1993 - In the Peanuts comic strip, Charlie Brown hit his first home run.   1994 - Serbs and Croats signed a cease-fire to end their war in Croatia while Bosnian Muslims and Serbs continued to fight each other.   1998 - Rolls-Royce was purchased by BMW in a $570 million deal.   2002 - An unmanned U.S. spy plane crashed at sea in the Southern Philippines.   2002 - Suspected Islamic militants set off several grenades at a temple in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Four civilians, four policemen and two attackers were killed and 20 people were injured.

1842 Anesthesia was used for the first time in an operation. 1856 The Treaty of Paris was signed, ending the Crimean War. 1867 A treaty for the purchase of Alaska from Russia for the sum of 7.2 million, approximately two cents an acre, was submitted to the U.S. Senate. 1870 The 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution went into effect, guaranteeing the right to vote regardless of race. 1964 The game show Jeopardy debuted on television. 1981 President Ronald Reagan was shot in the chest by John Hinckley as he left a Washington hotel. 2002 The Queen Mother Elizabeth of England died at the age of 101.

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