Author Topic: Today in History  (Read 6440 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Duke of Buckingham SETI.USA

  • Charity Cruncher
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
Today in History
« on: 08 January 2012 à 20:21:49 »
 :D :D :D

January 8

    307 – Jin Huidi, Chinese Emperor of the Jin Dynasty, is poisoned and succeeded by his son Jin Huaidi.
    871 – Alfred the Great leads a West Saxon army to repel an invasion by Danelaw Vikings.
    1297 – François Grimaldi, disguised as monk, leads his men to capture the fortress protecting the Rock of Monaco, establishing his family as the rulers of Monaco.
    1499 – Louis XII of France marries Anne of Brittany.
    1734 – Premiere performance of George Frideric Handel's Ariodante at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
    1746 – Second Jacobite Rising: Bonnie Prince Charlie occupies Stirling.
    1780 – An earthquake of estimated magnitude 7.7 hits the city of Tabriz, Iran, killing about 80,000 people and causing major damage.
    1790 – George Washington delivers the first State of the Union address in New York, New York.
    1806 – Cape Colony becomes a British colony.
    1811 – An unsuccessful slave revolt is led by Charles Deslondes in St. Charles and St. James, Louisiana.
    1815 – War of 1812: Battle of New Orleans – Andrew Jackson leads American forces in victory over the British.
    1835 – The United States national debt is 0 for the only time.
    1838 – Alfred Vail demonstrates a telegraph system using dots and dashes (this is the forerunner of Morse code).
    1863 – American Civil War: Second Battle of Springfield
    1867 – African American men are granted the right to vote in Washington, D.C.
    1877 – Crazy Horse and his warriors fight their last battle against the United States Cavalry at Wolf Mountain, Montana Territory.
    1889 – Herman Hollerith is issued US patent #395,791 for the 'Art of Applying Statistics' — his punched card calculator.
    1904 – The Blackstone Library is dedicated, marking the beginning of the Chicago Public Library system.
    1906 – A landslide in Haverstraw, New York, caused by the excavation of clay along the Hudson River, kills 20 people.
    1912 – The African National Congress is founded.
    1918 – President Woodrow Wilson announces his "Fourteen Points" for the aftermath of World War I.
    1920 – The steel strike of 1919 ends in a complete failure for the Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel and Tin Workers labor union.
    1940 – World War II: Britain introduces food rationing.
    1945 – World War II: Philippine Commonwealth troops under the Philippine Commonwealth Army units was enter the province of Ilocos Sur in Northern Luzon and attack Japanese Imperial forces.
    1956 – Operation Auca: Five U.S. missionaries are killed by the Huaorani of Ecuador shortly after making contact with them.
    1961 – In France a referendum supports Charles de Gaulle's policies in Algeria.
    1962 – The Harmelen train disaster killed 93 people in the Netherlands.
    1963 – Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa is exhibited in the United States for the first time, at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
    1964 – President Lyndon B. Johnson declares a "War on Poverty" in the United States.
    1971 – Bowing to international pressure, President of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto releases Bengali leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from prison, who had been arrested after declaring the independence of Bangladesh.
    1973 – Soviet space mission Luna 21 is launched.
    1973 – Watergate scandal: The trial of seven men accused of illegal entry into Democratic Party headquarters at Watergate begins.
    1975 – Ella T. Grasso becomes Governor of Connecticut, the first woman to serve as a Governor in the United States other than by succeeding her husband.
    1977 – Three bombs explode in Moscow, Russia, Soviet Union within 37 minutes, killing seven. The bombings are attributed to an Armenian separatist group.
    1979 – The tanker Betelgeuse explodes in Bantry Bay, Ireland.
    1981 – A local farmer reports a UFO sighting in Trans-en-Provence, France, claimed to be "perhaps the most completely and carefully documented sighting of all time".
    1982 – The break up of AT&T: AT&T agrees to divest itself of twenty-two subdivisions.
    1989 – The Kegworth air disaster. British Midland flight 92 crashes into the M1 motorway killing 47 people out of 127 on board.
    1989 – Beginning of Japanese Heisei period.
    1994 – Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov on Soyuz TM-18 leaves for Mir. He would stay on the space station until March 22, 1995, for a record 437 days in space.
    1996 – An Antonov 32 cargo turboprop powered plane crashes into the central market in Kinshasa, Zaire killing more than 350 people.
    2002 – President George W. Bush signs into law the No Child Left Behind Act.
    2003 – Turkish Airlines Flight 634 crashes near Diyarbakır Airport, Turkey, killing the entire crew and 70 of 75 passengers.
    2004 – The RMS Queen Mary 2, the largest passenger ship ever built, is christened by her namesake's granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.
    2005 – The nuclear sub USS San Francisco collides at full speed with an undersea mountain south of Guam. One man is killed, but the sub surfaces and is repaired.
    2010 – Gunmen from an offshoot the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda attacked the bus carrying the Togo national football team on its way to the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, killing three.
    2011 – An attempted assassination of Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and subsequent shooting in Casas Adobes, Arizona at a Safeway grocery store kills 6 people and wounds 13, including Giffords.
--------------------------------------------------
Emperor Hui of Jin
Emperor Hui of Jin, sim. ch. 晋惠帝, trad. ch. 晉惠帝, py. jìn huì dì, wg. Chin Hui-ti (259-poisoned January 8, 307), personal name Sima Zhong (司馬衷), courtesy name Zhengdu (正度), was the second emperor of the Jin Dynasty (265-420). Emperor Hui was a developmentally disabled ruler, and throughout his reign, there was constant internecine fighting between regents, imperial princes (his uncles and cousins), and his wife Empress Jia Nanfeng for the right to control him (and therefore the imperial administration), causing great suffering for the people and greatly undermining the stability of the Jin regime, eventually leading to Wu Hu rebellions that led to Jin's loss of northern and central China and the establishment of the competing Sixteen Kingdoms. He was briefly deposed by his granduncle Sima Lun, who usurped the throne himself, in 301, but later that year was restored to the throne and continued to be the emperor until 307, when he was poisoned, likely by the regent Sima Yue.
--------------------------------------------------
Ariodante
Ariodante (HWV 33) is an opera seria in three acts by Handel. The anonymous Italian libretto was based on a work by Antonio Salvi, which in turn was adapted from Canti 5 and 6 of Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso. Each act contains opportunities for dance, originally composed for dancer Marie Sallé and her company.

The opera was first performed in the Covent Garden Theatre, London, on 8 January 1735. Ariodante opened Handel's first season at Covent Garden and successfully competed against the rival Opera of the Nobility, supported by the Prince of Wales. Handel had the tacit and financial support of the King and Queen and, more vocally, of the Princess Royal. The opera received 11 performances during its premiere season at Covent Garden.

Like Handel's other works in the opera seria genre, Ariodante, despite its initial success, fell into oblivion for more than two hundred years. An edition of the score was published in the early 1960s, from the Hallische Händel-Ausgabe. In the 1970s, the work began to be revived, and has come to be considered one of Handel's finest operas. On March 29, 1971 the Handel Society of New York performed the American premiere of the work in a concert version with mezzo-soprano Sophia Steffan in the title role and Judith Raskin as Ginerva.

Charles Cudworth has discussed the influence of French dance music in the opera. Winton Dean has noted that act 2 of the opera, in its original version, is the only act in a Handel opera which ends with accompanied recitative.
--------------------------------------------------
State of the Union address
The State of the Union is an annual address presented by the President of the United States to the United States Congress. The address not only reports on the condition of the nation but also allows the president to outline his legislative agenda (for which he needs the cooperation of Congress) and his national priorities.

The practice arises from a command given to the president in the Constitution of the United States:
“    He shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.    ”
     
— Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution

By tradition, the President makes this report annually.

While not required to be a speech, every president since Woodrow Wilson has made the State of the Union report as a speech delivered before a joint session of Congress. Before that time, most presidents delivered the State of the Union as a written report.

Since Wilson, the State of the Union is given typically each January before a joint session of the United States Congress and is held in the House of Representatives chamber of the United States Capitol.

What began as a communication between president and Congress has become a communication between the president and the people of the United States. Since the advent of radio, and then television, the speech has been broadcast live on most networks, preempting scheduled programming. To reach the largest television audience, the speech, once given during the day, is now typically given in the evening, after 9 p.m. Eastern time (UTC−05).

Also, in recent decades, newly inaugurated presidents have chosen to deliver speeches to joint sessions of Congress in the early months of their presidencies, but have not officially considered them State of the Union addresses.
--------------------------------------------------
United States public debt
The United States public debt is the money borrowed by the federal government of the United States at any one time through the issue of securities by the Treasury and other federal government agencies. The US national public debt consists of two components:

    Debt held by the public comprises securities held by investors outside the federal government, including that held by investors, the Federal Reserve System and foreign, state and local governments.
    Intragovernment debt comprises Treasury securities held in accounts administered by the federal government, such as the Social Security Trust Fund.

Public debt increases or decreases as a result of the annual unified budget deficit or surplus. The federal government budget deficit or surplus is the cash difference between government receipts and spending, ignoring intra-governmental transfers. However, there is certain spending (supplemental appropriations) that add to the debt but are excluded from the deficit. The deficit is presented on a cash rather than an accruals basis, although the accrual basis may provide more information on the longer-term implications of the government's annual operations.

The public debt has increased by over $500 billion each year since fiscal year (FY) 2003, with increases of $1 trillion in FY2008, $1.9 trillion in FY2009, and $1.7 trillion in FY2010.[3] As of December 15, 2011 the gross debt was $15.098 trillion, of which $10.438 trillion was held by the public and $4.659 trillion was intragovernmental holdings. The annual gross domestic product (GDP) to the end of June 2011 was $15.003 trillion (July 29, 2011 estimate), with total public debt outstanding at a ratio of 100% of GDP, and debt held by the public at 69% of GDP.

In the United States, there continues to be disagreement between Democrats and Republicans regarding the United States debt. On August 2, 2011, President Barack Obama signed into law the Budget Control Act of 2011, averting a possible financial default. During June 2011, the Congressional Budget Office called for "...large and rapid policy changes to put the nation on a sustainable fiscal course."
--------------------------------------------------
Battle of Wolf Mountain
The Battle of Wolf Mountain, also known the Battle of the Wolf Mountains, Miles's Battle on the Tongue River, and the Battle of the Butte, occurred January 8, 1877 in the Montana Territory between the United States Army and a force of Lakota Sioux and Northern Cheyenne during the Great Sioux War of 1876. The Northern Cheyenne called it the Battle of Belly Butte. It was fought about four miles southwest of modern-day Birney, along the Tongue River. In 2001, the Wolf Mountains Battlefield was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was raised to the status of National Historic Landmark in 2008.

Miles marched out to the foothills of the Wolf Mountains, then set up a defensive perimeter on a ridge line. At 7:00 a.m., on January 8, Crazy Horse and Two Moons began a series of attacks on the U.S. soldiers. Frustrated by army firepower, they regrouped several times and tried again. Attempts to flank Miles' line also proved to be futile when Miles shifted his reserves to fill critical positions. Finally, Miles ordered an advance, which secured a vital ridge as artillery shells rained among the Indian positions. Crazy Horse withdrew as weather conditions deteriorated.
--------------------------------------------------
War on Poverty
The War on Poverty is the unofficial name for legislation first introduced by United States President Lyndon B. Johnson during his State of the Union address on January 8, 1964. This legislation was proposed by Johnson in response to a national poverty rate of around nineteen percent. The speech led the United States Congress to pass the Economic Opportunity Act, which established the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) to administer the local application of federal funds targeted against poverty.

As a part of the Great Society, Johnson believed in expanding the government's role in education and health care as poverty reduction strategies. These policies can also be seen as a continuation of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, which ran from 1933 to 1935, and the Four Freedoms of 1941.

The popularity of a war on poverty waned after the 1960s. Deregulation, growing criticism of the welfare state, and an ideological shift to reducing federal aid to impoverished people in the 1980s and 1990s culminated in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996, which, as claimed President Bill Clinton, "end[ed] welfare as we know it." Prof. Tony Judt, the late historian, said in reference to the earlier proposed title of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act that "a more Orwellian title would be hard to conceive" and attributed the decline in the popularity of the Great Society as a policy to its success, as fewer people feared hunger, sickness, and ignorance. Additionally, fewer people were concerned with ensuring a minimum standard for all citizens and social liberalism. Nonetheless, the aftermath of the War on Poverty remains in the continued existence of such federal programs as Head Start, Volunteers in Service to America, and Job Corps.
--------------------------------------------------
Betelgeuse incident
The Betelgeuse incident, also known as the Betelgeuse or Whiddy Island disaster, occurred on 8 January 1979, at around 1:00 a.m., when the oil tanker Betelgeuse exploded in West Cork, Ireland, at the offshore jetty of the Whiddy Island Oil Terminal, due to the failure of the ship's structure during an operation to discharge its cargo of oil. The tanker was owned by Total S.A., and the oil terminal was owned and operated by Gulf Oil.

The explosion and resulting fire claimed the lives of 50 people (42 French nationals, 7 Irish nationals and 1 United Kingdom national). Only 27 bodies were recovered. A further fatality occurred during the salvage operation with the loss of a Dutch diver.
--------------------------------------------------
No Child Left Behind Act
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) is a United States Act of Congress concerning the education of children in public schools.

NCLB was originally proposed by the administration of George W. Bush immediately after he took office. The bill received overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress.

NCLB supports standards-based education reform, which is based on the premise that setting high standards and establishing measurable goals can improve individual outcomes in education. The Act requires states to develop assessments in basic skills to be given to all students in certain grades, if those states are to receive federal funding for schools. The Act does not assert a national achievement standard; standards are set by each individual state.

Since enactment, Congress increased federal funding of education from $42.2 billion in 2001 to $54.4 billion in 2007. Funding tied to NCLB received a 40.4% increase from $17.4 billion in 2001 to $24.4 billion. The funding for reading quadrupled from $286 million in 2001 to $1.2 billion.

The act requires schools to rely on scientifically based research for programs and teaching methods. The act defines this as "research that involves the application of rigorous, systematic, and objective procedures to obtain reliable and valid knowledge relevant to education activities and programs." Scientifically based research results in "replicable and applicable findings" from research that used appropriate methods to generate persuasive, empirical conclusions.

Non-scientific methods include following tradition, personal preferences, and non-scientific research, such as research based on case studies, ethnographies, personal interviews, discourse analysis, grounded theory, action research, and other forms of qualitative research. These are generally not an acceptable basis for making decisions about teaching children under the act.

Offline Duke of Buckingham SETI.USA

  • Charity Cruncher
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
Re : Today in History
« Reply #1 on: 09 January 2012 à 16:56:25 »
Jan 9, 1493:

Columbus mistakes manatees for mermaids

On this day in 1493, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, sailing near the Dominican Republic, sees three "mermaids"--in reality manatees--and describes them as "not half as beautiful as they are painted." Six months earlier, Columbus (1451-1506) set off from Spain across the Atlantic Ocean with the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria, hoping to find a western trade route to Asia. Instead, his voyage, the first of four he would make, led him to the Americas, or "New World."

Mermaids, mythical half-female, half-fish creatures, have existed in seafaring cultures at least since the time of the ancient Greeks. Typically depicted as having a woman's head and torso, a fishtail instead of legs and holding a mirror and comb, mermaids live in the ocean and, according to some legends, can take on a human shape and marry mortal men. Mermaids are closely linked to sirens, another folkloric figure, part-woman, part-bird, who live on islands and sing seductive songs to lure sailors to their deaths.

Mermaid sightings by sailors, when they weren't made up, were most likely manatees, dugongs or Steller's sea cows (which became extinct by the 1760s due to over-hunting). Manatees are slow-moving aquatic mammals with human-like eyes, bulbous faces and paddle-like tails. It is likely that manatees evolved from an ancestor they share with the elephant. The three species of manatee (West Indian, West African and Amazonian) and one species of dugong belong to the Sirenia order. As adults, they're typically 10 to 12 feet long and weigh 800 to 1,200 pounds. They're plant-eaters, have a slow metabolism and can only survive in warm water.

Manatees live an average of 50 to 60 years in the wild and have no natural predators. However, they are an endangered species. In the U.S., the majority of manatees are found in Florida, where scores of them die or are injured each year due to collisions with boats.

Offline Duke of Buckingham SETI.USA

  • Charity Cruncher
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
Re : Today in History
« Reply #2 on: 11 January 2012 à 12:22:02 »
January 11

    630 – Muhammad leads an army of 10,000 to conquer Mecca.
    1055 – Theodora is crowned Empress of the Byzantine Empire.
    1158 – Vladislav II becomes King of Bohemia.
    1569 – First recorded lottery in England.
    1571 – Austrian nobility is granted freedom of religion.
    1693 – Mount Etna erupts in Sicily, Italy. A powerful earthquake destroys parts of Sicily and Malta.
    1759 – In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the first American life insurance company is incorporated.
    1779 – Ching-Thang Khomba is crowned King of Manipur.
    1787 – William Herschel discovers Titania and Oberon, two moons of Uranus.
    1794 – Robert Forsythe, a U.S. Marshal is killed in Augusta, Georgia when trying to serve court papers, the first US marshal to die while carrying out his duties.
    1805 – The Michigan Territory is created.
    1861 – Alabama "secedes" from the United States.
    1863 – American Civil War: Battle of Arkansas Post – General John McClernand and Admiral David Dixon Porter capture the Arkansas River for the Union.
    1863 – American Civil War: CSS Alabama encountered and sank the USS Hatteras (1861) off Galveston Lighthouse in Texas.
    1879 – The Anglo-Zulu War begins.
    1908 – Grand Canyon National Monument is created.
    1917 – The Kingsland munitions factory explosion occurs as a result of sabotage.
    1919 – Romania annexes Transylvania.
    1922 – First use of insulin to treat diabetes in a human patient.
    1923 – Occupation of the Ruhr: Troops from France and Belgium occupy the Ruhr area to force Germany to make its World War I reparation payments.
    1927 – Louis B. Mayer, head of film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), announces the creation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at a banquet in Los Angeles, California.
    1935 – Amelia Earhart is the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to California.
    1942 – World War II: The Japanese capture Kuala Lumpur.
    1943 – World War II: The United States and United Kingdom give up territorial rights in China.
    1943 – Italian-American Anarchist Carlo Tresca is assassinated in New York
    1946 – Enver Hoxha, First Secretary of the Party of Labour of Albania, declares the People's Republic of Albania with himself as head of state.
    1949 – The first "networked" television broadcasts take place as KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania goes on the air connecting the east coast and mid-west programming. [1]
    1949 – First recorded case of snowfall in Los Angeles, California.
    1957 – The African Convention is founded in Dakar, Senegal.
    1960 – Henry Lee Lucas, once listed as America's most prolific serial killer, commits his first known murder.
    1962 – An avalanche on Huascarán in Peru causes 4,000 deaths.
    1964 – Surgeon General of the United States Dr. Luther Terry, M.D., publishes a landmark report saying that smoking may be hazardous to health, sparking nation- and worldwide anti-smoking efforts.
    1972 – East Pakistan renames itself Bangladesh.
    1986 – The Gateway Bridge, Brisbane in Queensland, Australia is officially opened.
    1994 – The Irish Government announces the end of a 15-year broadcasting ban on the IRA and its political arm Sinn Féin.
    1996 – Space Shuttle program: STS-72 launches from the Kennedy Space Center marking the start of the 74th Space Shuttle mission and the 10th flight of Endeavour.
    1998 – Sidi-Hamed massacre takes place in Algeria, over 100 people are killed.
    2003 – Illinois Governor George Ryan commutes the death sentences of 167 prisoners on Illinois' death row based on the Jon Burge scandal.
----------------------------------------------------
Conquest of Mecca
Mecca was conquered by the Muslims in January 630 AD (20th of Ramadan, 8 AH).

Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, the leader of the Quraysh in Mecca, sensing that the balance was now tilted in Muhammad's favour and that the Quraish were not strong enough to stop the Muslims from conquering the city, travelled to Medina, trying to restore the treaty. During his stay, he was repulsed by Ali and by his own daughter Ramlah, who now was one of Muhammad's wives. Though Muhammad refused to reach an agreement and Abu Sufyan returned to Mecca empty handed, these efforts ultimately ensured that the conquest occurred without battle.

Muhammad assembled an army of approximately 10,000 men and marched towards Mecca.

Again Abu Sufyan travelled back and forth between Mecca and Muhammad, still trying to reach a settlement. According to the sources, he found assistance in Muhammad's uncle Al-Abbas, though some scholars consider that historians writing under the rule of Abbas' descendants, the Abbasid Dynasty, had exaggerated Abbas' role and downplayed the role of Abu Sufyan, who was the ancestor of the Abbaside's enemies.
----------------------------------------------------
1693 Sicily earthquake
The 1693 Sicily earthquake refers to a powerful earthquake that struck parts of southern Italy, notably Sicily, Calabria and Malta on January 11, 1693 around 9 pm local time. This earthquake was preceded by a damaging foreshock on January 9th. It had an estimated magnitude of 7.4 on the moment magnitude scale, the most powerful in Italian history, and a maximum intensity of XI (extreme) on the Mercalli intensity scale, destroying at least 70 towns and cities, seriously affecting an area of 5,600 square kilometres (2,200 sq mi) and causing the death of about 60,000. The earthquake was followed by tsunamis that devastated the coastal villages on the Ionian Sea and in the Straits of Messina. Almost two thirds of the entire population of Catania were killed. The epicentre of the disaster was probably offshore, although the exact position remains unknown. The extent and degree of destruction caused by the earthquake resulted in extensive rebuilding of the towns and cities of southeastern Sicily, particularly the Val di Noto, in a homogeneous late Baroque style, described as "the culmination and final flowering of Baroque art in Europe".

According to a contemporary account of the earthquake by Vincentius Bonajutus, published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, "It was in this country impossible to keep upon our legs, or in one place on the dancing Earth; nay, those that lay along on the ground, were tossed from side to side, as if on a rolling billow."
----------------------------------------------------
Ching-Thang Khomba
Ningthou Ching-Thang Khomba (also Rajarshi Bhagya Chandra, Jai Singh Maharaja) (1748–1799) was a Manipuri monarch of the 18th century CE. The inventor of the Ras Lila dance, he is a legendary figure in Manipur, and much of his actions as King had been mythologized. He is also credited with spreading Vaishnavism in Manipur after his grandfather Pamheiba made Hinduism the official religion and for creating a unified Manipur.

In 1775 he established his capital at Bishenpur and carved the Govinda murti at the hill of Kaina. On January 11, 1779 he was "re-crowned" amid many performances of his now-popular Rasa Lila.

During his reign, the Manipuris repelled the Burmese from Manipur. Though his exploits, did not equal Pamheiba's, his reign was characterized by security. He was a great patron of the arts and religion, and his strong Vaishnavism reflected on the Manipuris. He was an ardent devotee of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and during his reign a statue of Nityananda was created.

In 1796 C.E. he moved his capital to Kangla and a year later on February 5, 1798 CE he abdicated the throne to his eldest son Labeinyachandra. His last few years were on pilgrimage top various Vaisnavite holy sites, including Nabadwip. He died on December 25, 1798 CE in Murshidabad, West Bengal.
----------------------------------------------------
Michigan Territory
The Territory of Michigan was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from June 30, 1805, until January 26, 1837, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Michigan. Detroit was the territorial capital.

The earliest European explorers of Michigan saw it mostly as a place to control the fur trade. Small military forces, Jesuit missions to Native American tribes and isolated settlements of trappers and traders accounted for most of the inhabitants of what would become Michigan.
----------------------------------------------------
Battle of Fort Hindman
The Battle of Fort Hindman, or the Battle of Arkansas Post, was fought January 9–11, 1863, near the mouth of the Arkansas River at Arkansas Post, Arkansas, as part of the Vicksburg Campaign of the American Civil War.

Union boats began landing troops near Arkansas Post in the evening of January 9 and the troops started up river towards Fort Hindman. Sherman's corps overran the Confederate trenches, and the enemy retreated to the protection of the fort and adjacent rifle-pits. Flag Officer David D. Porter, on January 10, moved his fleet towards Fort Hindman and bombarded it, withdrawing at dusk. Union artillery fired on the fort from positions across the river on January 11, effectively silencing most of the Confederate guns in the fort, and the infantry moved into position for an attack. Union ironclads commenced shelling the fort and Porter's fleet passed it to cut off any retreat. As a result of this envelopment and the attack by McClernand's troops, the Confederate command surrendered in the afternoon, despite orders to Brig. Gen. Churchill to defend the fort at all costs.
----------------------------------------------------
Anglo-Zulu War
The Anglo-Zulu War was fought in 1879 between the British Empire and the Zulu Kingdom.

Following the imperialist scheme by which Lord Carnarvon had successfully brought about federation in Canada, it was thought that a similar plan might succeed with the various African kingdoms, tribal areas and Boer republics in South Africa. In 1874, Sir Henry Bartle Frere was sent to South Africa as High Commissioner for the British Empire to bring the scheme into being. Some of the obstacles to this plan were the presence of the independent states of the South African Republic and the Kingdom of Zululand and its army. Frere, on his own initiative, without the approval of the British government and with the intent of instigating a war with the Zulu, had presented an ultimatum on 11 December 1878, to the Zulu king Cetshwayo with which the Zulu king could not comply. Cetshwayo did not comply and Bartle Frere sent Lord Chelmsford to invade Zululand. The war is notable for several particularly bloody battles, including a stunning opening victory by the Zulu at Isandlwana, as well as for being a landmark in the timeline of imperialism in the region. The war eventually resulted in the end of the Zulu nation's independence.
----------------------------------------------------
STS-72
STS-72 was a Space Shuttle Endeavour mission to capture and return to Earth a Japanese microgravity research spacecraft known as Space Flyer Unit (SFU). The mission launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida on 11 January 1996.

STS-72, the 74th flight of the Space Shuttle program and the 10th of the orbiter Endeavour was launched at 3:41AM EST January 11th, 1996 after a brief delay due to communication issues. The nighttime launch window was in support of the mission's primary objective, the capture and return to Earth of a Japanese microgravity research spacecraft known as Space Flyer Unit (SFU). The 3,577 kilograms (7,890 lb) SFU was launched by Japan's National Space Development Agency (NASDA) from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan on 18 March 1995 aboard a Japanese H-II rocket (HII-3), and spent ten months in orbit conducting automated research in materials science, biology, engineering, and astronomy. Mission Specialist Koichi Wakata operated the orbiter's remote manipulator system arm on flight day three to pluck SFU from orbit. Both of the satellites's solar arrays had to be jettisoned prior to retrieval when sensors indicated improper latching following their retraction. This jettison procedure had been incorporated in preflight training as a contingency in the event of such an occurrence. The cannisters housing the arrays were jettisoned 12 minutes apart as Endeavour and the SFU traveled across Africa on the thirtieth orbit of the mission. The contingency procedure delayed the capture of the satellite by about an hour and half. Once in Endeavour's payload bay, the satellite's internal batteries were bypassed following connection of a remotely operated electrical cable to the side of the satellite.
----------------------------------------------------
Jon Burge
Jon Graham Burge (born December 20, 1947) is a convicted felon and former Chicago Police Department detective and commander who gained notoriety for allegedly torturing more than 200 criminal suspects between 1972 and 1991, in order to force confessions. A decorated United States Army veteran, Burge served tours in South Korea and Vietnam and continued as an enlisted United States Army Reserve soldier where he served in the military police. He then returned to the South Side of Chicago and began his career as a police officer. Allegations were made about the methods of Burge and those under his command. Eventually, hundreds of similar reports resulted in a decision by Illinois Governor George Ryan to declare a moratorium on death penalty executions in Illinois in 2000 and to clear the state's death row in 2003.

The most controversial arrests began in February 1982, in the midst of a series of shootings of Chicago law enforcement officials in Police Area 2, whose detective squad Burge commanded. Some of the people who confessed to murder were later granted new trials and a few were acquitted or pardoned. Burge was acquitted of police brutality charges in 1989 after a first trial resulted in a hung jury. He was suspended from the Chicago Police Department in 1991 and fired in 1993 after the Police Department Review Board ruled that he had used torture.

After Burge was fired, there was a groundswell of support to investigate his convictions. In 2002, a special prosecutor began investigating the accusations. The review, which cost $17 million, revealed improprieties that resulted in no action due to the statute of limitations. Several convictions were reversed, remanded, or overturned. All Illinois death-row inmates received reductions in their sentences. Four of Burge's victims were pardoned by then-Governor Ryan and subsequently filed a consolidated suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against the City of Chicago, various police officers, Cook County and various State's Attorneys. A $19.8 million settlement was reached in December 2007, with the "city defendants." Cases against Cook County and the other current/former county prosecutors continue as of July 2008. In October 2008, Patrick Fitzgerald had Burge arrested on charges of obstruction of justice and perjury in relation to a civil suit regarding the torture allegations against him. On April 1, 2010, Judge Joan Lefkow postponed the trial, for the fourth time, to May 24, 2010. Burge was convicted on all counts on June 28, 2010 and sentenced to four and one half years in federal prison on January 21, 2011.

Burge was accused of using a cattle prod

Offline Duke of Buckingham SETI.USA

  • Charity Cruncher
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
Re : Today in History
« Reply #3 on: 18 January 2012 à 14:00:02 »
Jan 18, 1919:
Post-World War I peace conference begins in Paris


On this day in Paris, France, some of the most powerful people in the world meet to begin the long, complicated negotiations that would officially mark the end of the First World War.

Leaders of the victorious Allied powers--France, Great Britain, the United States and Italy--would make most of the crucial decisions in Paris over the next six months. For most of the conference, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson struggled to support his idea of a "peace without victory" and make sure that Germany, the leader of the Central Powers and the major loser of the war, was not treated too harshly. On the other hand, Prime Ministers Georges Clemenceau of France and David Lloyd George of Britain argued that punishing Germany adequately and ensuring its weakness was the only way to justify the immense costs of the war. In the end, Wilson compromised on the treatment of Germany in order to push through the creation of his pet project, an international peacekeeping organization called the League of Nations.

Representatives from Germany were excluded from the peace conference until May, when they arrived in Paris and were presented with a draft of the Versailles Treaty. Having put great faith in Wilson's promises, the Germans were deeply frustrated and disillusioned by the treaty, which required them to forfeit a great deal of territory and pay reparations. Even worse, the infamous Article 231 forced Germany to accept sole blame for the war. This was a bitter pill many Germans could not swallow.

The Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, five years to the day after a Serbian nationalist's bullet ended the life of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and sparked the beginning of World War I. In the decades to come, anger and resentment of the treaty and its authors festered in Germany. Extremists like Adolf Hitler's National Socialist (Nazi) Party capitalized on these emotions to gain power, a process that led almost directly to the exact thing Wilson and the other negotiators in Paris in 1919 had wanted to prevent--a second, equally devastating global war.

Offline Duke of Buckingham SETI.USA

  • Charity Cruncher
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
Re : Today in History
« Reply #4 on: 20 January 2012 à 01:54:23 »
A Dream Within A Dream

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?


Edgar Allan Poe

Offline modesti

  • Administrateur
  • Charity Cruncher
  • *****
  • Posts: 453
  • dernière licorne
    • Forum des Electrons Libres de l'AF
Re : Today in History
« Reply #5 on: 20 January 2012 à 09:24:02 »
:love:

And here's the version of Alan Parsons Project : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZyNKrYo9I4
What a wonderful album :)
Last Unicorn of L'Alliance Francophone
---
Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of pressure, temperature, volume, humidity and other variables, the computer will do as it damn well pleases. (Harvard's Law, as Applied to Computers)

Offline Duke of Buckingham SETI.USA

  • Charity Cruncher
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
Re : Today in History
« Reply #6 on: 20 January 2012 à 16:08:59 »
Nice modesti. Today in history should be a thread to post new things and old feelings in any man history, because every men count. And every dream should be lived as if we were "Living Within a Dream". Nightmares are not alowed.

Jan 20, 1981:
Iran Hostage Crisis ends


Minutes after Ronald Reagan's inauguration as the 40th president of the United States, the 52 U.S. captives held at the U.S. embassy in Teheran, Iran, are released, ending the 444-day Iran Hostage Crisis.

On November 4, 1979, the crisis began when militant Iranian students, outraged that the U.S. government had allowed the ousted shah of Iran to travel to New York City for medical treatment, seized the U.S. embassy in Teheran. The Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran's political and religious leader, took over the hostage situation, refusing all appeals to release the hostages, even after the U.N. Security Council demanded an end to the crisis in an unanimous vote. However, two weeks after the storming of the embassy, the Ayatollah began to release all non-U.S. captives, and all female and minority Americans, citing these groups as among the people oppressed by the government of the United States. The remaining 52 captives remained at the mercy of the Ayatollah for the next 14 months.

President Jimmy Carter was unable to diplomatically resolve the crisis, and on April 24, 1980, he ordered a disastrous rescue mission in which eight U.S. military personnel were killed and no hostages rescued. Three months later, the former shah died of cancer in Egypt, but the crisis continued. In November 1980, Carter lost the presidential election to Republican Ronald Reagan. Soon after, with the assistance of Algerian intermediaries, successful negotiations began between the United States and Iran. On the day of Reagan's inauguration, the United States freed almost $8 billion in frozen Iranian assets, and the hostages were released after 444 days. The next day, Jimmy Carter flew to West Germany to greet the Americans on their way home.



Offline Duke of Buckingham SETI.USA

  • Charity Cruncher
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
Re : Today in History
« Reply #7 on: 21 January 2012 à 02:07:20 »
Jan 21, 1977:
President Carter pardons draft dodgers


On this day in 1977, U.S. President Jimmy Carter grants an unconditional pardon to hundreds of thousands of men who evaded the draft during the Vietnam War.

In total, some 100,000 young Americans went abroad in the late 1960s and early 70s to avoid serving in the war. Ninety percent went to Canada, where after some initial controversy they were eventually welcomed as immigrants. Still others hid inside the United States. In addition to those who avoided the draft, a relatively small number--about 1,000--of deserters from the U.S. armed forces also headed to Canada. While the Canadian government technically reserved the right to prosecute deserters, in practice they left them alone, even instructing border guards not to ask too many questions.

For its part, the U.S. government continued to prosecute draft evaders after the Vietnam War ended. A total of 209,517 men were formally accused of violating draft laws, while government officials estimate another 360,000 were never formally accused. If they returned home, those living in Canada or elsewhere faced prison sentences or forced military service. During his 1976 presidential campaign, Jimmy Carter promised to pardon draft dodgers as a way of putting the war and the bitter divisions it caused firmly in the past. After winning the election, Carter wasted no time in making good on his word. Though many transplanted Americans returned home, an estimated 50,000 settled permanently in Canada, greatly expanding the country's arts and academic scenes and pushing Canadian politics decidedly to the left.

Back in the U.S., Carter's decision generated a good deal of controversy. Heavily criticized by veterans' groups and others for allowing unpatriotic lawbreakers to get off scot-free, the pardon and companion relief plan came under fire from amnesty groups for not addressing deserters, soldiers who were dishonorably discharged or civilian anti-war demonstrators who had been prosecuted for their resistance.

Years later, Vietnam-era draft evasion still carries a powerful stigma. Though no prominent political figures have been found to have broken any draft laws, Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and Vice-Presidents Dan Quayle and Dick Cheney--none of whom saw combat in Vietnam--have all been accused of being draft dodgers at one time or another. Although there is not currently a draft in the U.S., desertion and conscientious objection have remained pressing issues among the armed forces during the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.


Offline Duke of Buckingham SETI.USA

  • Charity Cruncher
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
Re : Today in History
« Reply #8 on: 22 January 2012 à 11:27:37 »
Jan 22, 1998:
Ted Kaczynski pleads guilty to bombings


On this day in 1998, in a Sacramento, California, courtroom, Theodore J. Kaczynski pleads guilty to all federal charges against him, acknowledging his responsibility for a 17-year campaign of package bombings attributed to the "Unabomber."

Born in 1942, Kaczynski attended Harvard University and received a PhD in mathematics from the University of Michigan. He worked as an assistant mathematics professor at the University of California at Berkeley, but abruptly quit in 1969. In the early 1970s, Kaczynski began living as a recluse in western Montana, in a 10-by-12 foot cabin without heat, electricity or running water. From this isolated location, he began the bombing campaign that would kill three people and injure more than 20 others.

The primary targets were universities, but he also placed a bomb on an American Airlines flight in 1979 and sent one to the home of the president of United Airlines in 1980. After federal investigators set up the UNABOM Task Force (the name came from the words "university and airline bombing"), the media dubbed the culprit the "Unabomber." The bombs left little physical evidence, and the only eyewitness found in the case could describe the suspect only as a man in hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses (depicted in an infamous 1987 police sketch).

In 1995, the Washington Post (in collaboration with the New York Times) published a 35,000-word anti-technology manifesto written by a person claiming to be the Unabomber. Recognizing elements of his brother's writings, David Kaczynski went to authorities with his suspicions, and Ted Kaczynski was arrested in April 1996. In his cabin, federal investigators found ample evidence linking him to the bombings, including bomb parts, journal entries and drafts of the manifesto.

Kaczynski was arraigned in Sacramento and charged with bombings in 1985, 1993 and 1995 that killed two people and maimed two others. (A bombing in New Jersey in 1994 also resulted in the victim's death.) Despite his lawyers' efforts, Kaczynski rejected an insanity plea. After attempting suicide in his jail cell in early 1998, Kaczynski appealed to U.S. District Judge Garland Burrell Jr. to allow him to represent himself, and agreed to undergo psychiatric evaluation. A court-appointed psychiatrist diagnosed paranoid schizophrenia, and Judge Burrell ruled that Kaczynski could not defend himself. The psychiatrist's verdict helped prosecutors and defense reach a plea bargain, which allowed prosecutors to avoid arguing for the death penalty for a mentally ill defendant.

On January 22, 1998, Kaczynski accepted a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole in return for a plea of guilty to all federal charges; he also gave up the right to appeal any rulings in the case. Though Kaczynski later attempted to withdraw his guilty plea, arguing that it had been involuntary, Judge Burrell denied the request, and a federal appeals court upheld the ruling. Kaczynski was remanded to a maximum-security prison in Colorado, where he is serving his life sentence.


Offline Duke of Buckingham SETI.USA

  • Charity Cruncher
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
Re : Today in History
« Reply #9 on: 23 January 2012 à 12:24:23 »
Jan 23, 1957:
Toy company Wham-O produces first Frisbees


On this day in 1957, machines at the Wham-O toy company roll out the first batch of their aerodynamic plastic discs--now known to millions of fans all over the world as Frisbees.

The story of the Frisbee began in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where William Frisbie opened the Frisbie Pie Company in 1871. Students from nearby universities would throw the empty pie tins to each other, yelling "Frisbie!" as they let go. In 1948, Walter Frederick Morrison and his partner Warren Franscioni invented a plastic version of the disc called the "Flying Saucer" that could fly further and more accurately than the tin pie plates. After splitting with Franscioni, Morrison made an improved model in 1955 and sold it to the new toy company Wham-O as the "Pluto Platter"--an attempt to cash in on the public craze over space and Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs).

In 1958, a year after the toy's first release, Wham-O--the company behind such top-sellers as the Hula-Hoop, the Super Ball and the Water Wiggle--changed its name to the Frisbee disc, misspelling the name of the historic pie company. A company designer, Ed Headrick, patented the design for the modern Frisbee in December 1967, adding a band of raised ridges on the disc's surface--called the Rings--to stabilize flight. By aggressively marketing Frisbee-playing as a new sport, Wham-O sold over 100 million units of its famous toy by 1977.

High school students in Maplewood, New Jersey, invented Ultimate Frisbee, a cross between football, soccer and basketball, in 1967. In the 1970s, Headrick himself invented Frisbee Golf, in which discs are tossed into metal baskets; there are now hundreds of courses in the U.S., with millions of devotees. There is also Freestyle Frisbee, with choreographed routines set to music and multiple discs in play, and various Frisbee competitions for both humans and dogs--the best natural Frisbee players.

Today, at least 60 manufacturers produce the flying discs--generally made out of plastic and measuring roughly 20-25 centimeters (8-10 inches) in diameter with a curved lip. The official Frisbee is owned by Mattel Toy Manufacturers, who bought the toy from Wham-O in 1994.
--------------------------------------------------------------

Jan 23, 2006:
"Who Killed the Electric Car?" debuts


On this day in 2006, "Who Killed the Electric Car?," a documentary about the aborted attempt by the auto industry to create an electric vehicle, debuts at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. The movie posited that there was a conspiracy between oil companies, automakers and the government to kill the electric car.

The film focused on the efforts in the 1990s of several automakers, including General Motors (GM), to develop an eco-friendly, gas-free vehicle. In 1996, GM, then the world's biggest automaker, debuted its first electric car, dubbed the EV1. It was available in just two states, Arizona and California, and for lease-only. During its years in production, from 1996 to 1999, a total of around 2,500 EV1s were made. In late 2003, GM announced it was pulling the plug on the EV1 program and wouldn't renew any leases. The company cited the high cost of producing and maintaining the vehicles as a reason for the EV1's demise. However, as The Los Angeles Times noted in 2009: "The EV1 began in the 1990s as a response to a zero-emission vehicle mandate by California's Air Resources Board... When, finally, GM and other automakers managed to get California to soften its zero-emission mandate in 2002, [GM CEO Rick] Wagoner promptly canceled the program."

Electric vehicles have been around since the pioneering days of the auto industry. In the early 20th century, the Columbia Runabout, which could travel 40 miles on a single electric charge at speeds of 15 mph, was a best-seller, according to Time.com, which noted: "Before her husband Henry's mass production of gas-powered cars crushed the electric industry, Clara Ford drove a 1914 Detroit Electric, which could last 80 miles without a charge. The oil crisis of the 1970s, coupled with a burgeoning environmental movement, led to renewed interest in electric vehicles, although no automaker was able to develop a car that garnered mass appeal.

By 2008, GM, along with the rest of the American auto industry had been hit hard by a global economic crisis and slumping auto sales. GM accepted a multi-billion-dollar bailout loan from the federal government in order to remain in business. However, in March 2009, company CEO Wagoner was ousted by the Obama administration and in April of that same year, GM filed for bankruptcy. The company was criticized for continuing to focus on its sport-utility vehicles and small trucks despite a growing consumer demand for smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. (In 1999, GM acquired the Hummer brand, known for its oversized, gas-guzzling vehicles). The Los Angeles Times reported: "Wagoner has said the biggest mistake he ever made as chief executive was killing the EV1, GM's revolutionary electric car, and failing to direct more resources to hybrid gas-electric research. This admission is acutely painful for green-car advocates who know GM squandered its early lead in electric-hybrid technology."

Offline Duke of Buckingham SETI.USA

  • Charity Cruncher
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
Re : Today in History
« Reply #10 on: 24 January 2012 à 16:46:11 »
Jan 24, 1935:
First canned beer goes on sale


Canned beer makes its debut on this day in 1935. In partnership with the American Can Company, the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company delivered 2,000 cans of Krueger's Finest Beer and Krueger's Cream Ale to faithful Krueger drinkers in Richmond, Virginia. Ninety-one percent of the drinkers approved of the canned beer, driving Krueger to give the green light to further production.

By the late 19th century, cans were instrumental in the mass distribution of foodstuffs, but it wasn't until 1909 that the American Can Company made its first attempt to can beer. This was unsuccessful, and the American Can Company would have to wait for the end of Prohibition in the United States before it tried again. Finally in 1933, after two years of research, American Can developed a can that was pressurized and had a special coating to prevent the fizzy beer from chemically reacting with the tin.

The concept of canned beer proved to be a hard sell, but Krueger's overcame its initial reservations and became the first brewer to sell canned beer in the United States. The response was overwhelming. Within three months, over 80 percent of distributors were handling Krueger's canned beer, and Krueger's was eating into the market share of the "big three" national brewers--Anheuser-Busch, Pabst and Schlitz. Competitors soon followed suit, and by the end of 1935, over 200 million cans had been produced and sold.

The purchase of cans, unlike bottles, did not require the consumer to pay a deposit. Cans were also easier to stack, more durable and took less time to chill. As a result, their popularity continued to grow throughout the 1930s, and then exploded during World War II, when U.S. brewers shipped millions of cans of beer to soldiers overseas. After the war, national brewing companies began to take advantage of the mass distribution that cans made possible, and were able to consolidate their power over the once-dominant local breweries, which could not control costs and operations as efficiently as their national counterparts.

Today, canned beer accounts for approximately half of the $20 billion U.S. beer industry. Not all of this comes from the big national brewers: Recently, there has been renewed interest in canning from microbrewers and high-end beer-sellers, who are realizing that cans guarantee purity and taste by preventing light damage and oxidation.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jan 24, 1908:
Boy Scouts movement begins


On January 24, 1908, the Boy Scouts movement begins in England with the publication of the first installment of Robert Baden-Powell's Scouting for Boys. The name Baden-Powell was already well known to many English boys, and thousands of them eagerly bought up the handbook. By the end of April, the serialization of Scouting for Boys was completed, and scores of impromptu Boy Scout troops had sprung up across Britain.

In 1900, Baden-Powell became a national hero in Britain for his 217-day defense of Mafeking in the South African War. Soon after, Aids to Scouting, a military field manual he had written for British soldiers in 1899, caught on with a younger audience. Boys loved the lessons on tracking and observation and organized elaborate games using the book. Hearing this, Baden-Powell decided to write a nonmilitary field manual for adolescents that would also emphasize the importance of morality and good deeds.

First, however, he decided to try out some of his ideas on an actual group of boys. On July 25, 1907, he took a diverse group of 21 adolescents to Brownsea Island in Dorsetshire where they set up camp for a fortnight. With the aid of other instructors, he taught the boys about camping, observation, deduction, woodcraft, boating, lifesaving, patriotism, and chivalry. Many of these lessons were learned through inventive games that were very popular with the boys. The first Boy Scouts meeting was a great success.

With the success of Scouting for Boys, Baden-Powell set up a central Boy Scouts office, which registered new Scouts and designed a uniform. By the end of 1908, there were 60,000 Boy Scouts, and troops began springing up in British Commonwealth countries across the globe. In September 1909, the first national Boy Scout meeting was held at the Crystal Palace in London. Ten thousand Scouts showed up, including a group of uniformed girls who called themselves the Girl Scouts. In 1910, Baden-Powell organized the Girl Guides as a separate organization.

The American version of the Boy Scouts has it origins in an event that occurred in London in 1909. Chicago publisher William Boyce was lost in the fog when a Boy Scout came to his aid. After guiding Boyce to his destination, the boy refused a tip, explaining that as a Boy Scout he would not accept payment for doing a good deed. This anonymous gesture inspired Boyce to organize several regional U.S. youth organizations, specifically the Woodcraft Indians and the Sons of Daniel Boone, into the Boy Scouts of America. Incorporated on February 8, 1910, the movement soon spread throughout the country. In 1912, Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts of America in Savannah, Georgia.

In 1916, Baden-Powell organized the Wolf Cubs, which caught on as the Cub Scouts in the United States, for boys under the age of 11. Four years later, the first international Boy Scout Jamboree was held in London, and Baden-Powell was acclaimed Chief Scout of the world. He died in 1941.


Offline Duke of Buckingham SETI.USA

  • Charity Cruncher
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
Re : Today in History
« Reply #11 on: 25 January 2012 à 11:35:41 »
Jan 25, 1905:
World's largest diamond found


On January 25, 1905, at the Premier Mine in Pretoria, South Africa, a 3,106-carat diamond is discovered during a routine inspection by the mine's superintendent. Weighing 1.33 pounds, and christened the "Cullinan," it was the largest diamond ever found.

Frederick Wells was 18 feet below the earth's surface when he spotted a flash of starlight embedded in the wall just above him. His discovery was presented that same afternoon to Sir Thomas Cullinan, who owned the mine. Cullinan then sold the diamond to the Transvaal provincial government, which presented the stone to Britain's King Edward VII as a birthday gift. Worried that the diamond might be stolen in transit from Africa to London, Edward arranged to send a phony diamond aboard a steamer ship loaded with detectives as a diversionary tactic. While the decoy slowly made its way from Africa on the ship, the Cullinan was sent to England in a plain box.

Edward entrusted the cutting of the Cullinan to Joseph Asscher, head of the Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam. Asscher, who had cut the famous Excelsior Diamond, a 971-carat diamond found in 1893, studied the stone for six months before attempting the cut. On his first attempt, the steel blade broke, with no effect on the diamond. On the second attempt, the diamond shattered exactly as planned; Asscher then fainted from nervous exhaustion.

The Cullinan was later cut into nine large stones and about 100 smaller ones, valued at millions of dollars all told. The largest stone is called the "Star of Africa I," or "Cullinan I," and at 530 carats, it is the largest-cut fine-quality colorless diamond in the world. The second largest stone, the "Star of Africa II" or "Cullinan II," is 317 carats. Both of these stones, as well as the "Cullinan III," are on display in the Tower of London with Britain's other crown jewels; the Cullinan I is mounted in the British Sovereign's Royal Scepter, while the Cullinan II sits in the Imperial State Crown.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jan 25, 1971:
Manson and followers convicted


In Los Angeles, California, cult leader Charles Manson is convicted, along with followers Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten, and Patricia Krenwinkle, of the brutal 1969 murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others.

In 1967, Manson, a lifetime criminal, was released from a federal penitentiary in Washington State and traveled to San Francisco, where he attracted a following among rebellious young women with troubled emotional lives. Manson established a cult based on his concept of "Helter Skelter"--an apocalyptic philosophy predicting that out of an imminent racial war in America would emerge five ruling angels: Manson, who would take on the role of Jesus Christ, and the four members of the Beatles. Manson convinced his followers that it would be necessary to murder celebrities in order to attract attention to the cult, and in 1969 they targeted Sharon Tate, a marginally successful actress who was married to Roman Polanski, a film director.

On the night of August 9, 1969, with detailed instructions from Manson, four of his followers drove up to Cielo Drive above Beverly Hills and burst into Polanski and Tate's home. (Polanski was not home and friends were staying with the pregnant Tate.) During the next few hours, they engaged in a murderous rampage that left five dead, including a very pregnant Sharon Tate, three of her friends, and an 18-year-old man who was visiting the caretaker of the estate. The next night, Manson followers murdered Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in their home in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles; this time, Manson went along to make sure the killings were carried out correctly. The cases went unsolved for over a year before the Los Angeles Police Department discovered the Manson connection. Various members of his cult confessed, and Manson and five others were indicted on charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

In January 1972, Manson and three others were found guilty, and on March 29 all four were sentenced to death. The trial of another defendant, Charles "Tex" Watson, was delayed by extradition proceedings, but he was likewise found guilty and sentenced to death. In 1972, the California Supreme Court abolished the death penalty in California, and Manson and his followers' death sentences were reduced to life imprisonment.


Offline Duke of Buckingham SETI.USA

  • Charity Cruncher
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
Re : Today in History
« Reply #12 on: 26 January 2012 à 12:20:59 »
Jan 26, 1788:
Australia Day


On January 26, 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip guides a fleet of 11 British ships carrying convicts to the colony of New South Wales, effectively founding Australia. After overcoming a period of hardship, the fledgling colony began to celebrate the anniversary of this date with great fanfare.

Australia, once known as New South Wales, was originally planned as a penal colony. In October 1786, the British government appointed Arthur Phillip captain of the HMS Sirius, and commissioned him to establish an agricultural work camp there for British convicts. With little idea of what he could expect from the mysterious and distant land, Phillip had great difficulty assembling the fleet that was to make the journey. His requests for more experienced farmers to assist the penal colony were repeatedly denied, and he was both poorly funded and outfitted. Nonetheless, accompanied by a small contingent of Marines and other officers, Phillip led his 1,000-strong party, of whom more than 700 were convicts, around Africa to the eastern side of Australia. In all, the voyage lasted eight months, claiming the deaths of some 30 men.

The first years of settlement were nearly disastrous. Cursed with poor soil, an unfamiliar climate and workers who were ignorant of farming, Phillip had great difficulty keeping the men alive. The colony was on the verge of outright starvation for several years, and the marines sent to keep order were not up to the task. Phillip, who proved to be a tough but fair-minded leader, persevered by appointing convicts to positions of responsibility and oversight. Floggings and hangings were commonplace, but so was egalitarianism. As Phillip said before leaving England: "In a new country there will be no slavery and hence no slaves."

Though Phillip returned to England in 1792, the colony became prosperous by the turn of the 19th century. Feeling a new sense of patriotism, the men began to rally around January 26 as their founding day. Historian Manning Clarke noted that in 1808 the men observed the "anniversary of the foundation of the colony" with "drinking and merriment."

Finally, in 1818, January 26 became an official holiday, marking the 30th anniversary of British settlement in Australia. And, as Australia became a sovereign nation, it became the national holiday known as Australia Day. Today, Australia Day serves both as a day of celebration for the founding of the white British settlement, and as a day of mourning for the Aborigines who were slowly dispossessed of their land as white colonization spread across the continent.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jan 26, 1979:
"The Dukes of Hazzard" premieres


On this day in 1979, "The Dukes of Hazzard," a television comedy about two good-old-boy cousins in the rural South and their souped-up 1969 Dodge Charger known as the General Lee, debuts on CBS. The show, which originally aired for seven seasons, centered around cousins Bo Duke (John Schneider) and Luke Duke (Tom Wopat) and their ongoing efforts to elude their nemeses, the crooked county commissioner "Boss" Jefferson Davis Hogg (Sorrell Booke) and the bumbling Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane (James Best).

"The Dukes of Hazzard" was known for its car chases and stunts and the General Lee, which had an orange paint job, a Confederate flag across its roof and the numbers "01" on its welded-shut doors, became a star of the show. The General Lee also had a horn that played the first 12 notes of the song "Dixie." Due to all the fast driving, jumps and crashes, it was common for several different General Lees to be used during the filming of each episode.

The General Lee also had a CB (Citizens Band) radio and Luke and Bo Duke's CB nicknames or "handles" were Lost Sheep #1 and Lost Sheep #2, respectively. "The Dukes of Hazzard" (along with the 1977 trucking movie "Smokey and the Bandit") helped promote the CB craze that swept America from the mid 1970s to the early 1980s.

Among the other cars featured on the show were Boss Hogg's white Cadillac Deville convertible, Uncle Jesse Duke's (Denver Pyle) Ford pickup truck and various tow trucks and vehicles belonging to Cooter Davenport (Ben Jones), the local mechanic. Bo and Luke's short-shorts wearing cousin Daisy Duke (Catherine Bach) drove a yellow Plymouth Roadrunner with black stripes and later a Jeep with a golden eagle emblem on the hood and the word "Dixie" on the doors.

The final episode of "The Dukes of Hazzard" originally aired on August 16, 1985. The show spawned several TV specials and a 2005 movie starring Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott and Jessica Simpson.

Offline Duke of Buckingham SETI.USA

  • Charity Cruncher
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
Re : Today in History
« Reply #13 on: 27 January 2012 à 14:33:00 »
Jan 27, 1888:
National Geographic Society founded


On January 27, 1888, the National Geographic Society is founded in Washington, D.C., for "the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge."

The 33 men who originally met and formed the National Geographic Society were a diverse group of geographers, explorers, teachers, lawyers, cartographers, military officers and financiers. All shared an interest in scientific and geographical knowledge, as well as an opinion that in a time of discovery, invention, change and mass communication, Americans were becoming more curious about the world around them. With this in mind, the men drafted a constitution and elected as the Society's president a lawyer and philanthropist named Gardiner Greene Hubbard. Neither a scientist nor a geographer, Hubbard represented the Society's desire to reach out to the layman.

Nine months after its inception, the Society published its first issue of National Geographic magazine. Readership did not grow, however, until Gilbert H. Grosvenor took over as editor in 1899. In only a few years, Grosvenor boosted circulation from 1,000 to 2 million by discarding the magazine's format of short, overly technical articles for articles of general interest accompanied by photographs. National Geographic quickly became known for its stunning and pioneering photography, being the first to print natural-color photos of sky, sea and the North and South Poles.

The Society used its revenues from the magazine to sponsor expeditions and research projects that furthered humanity's understanding of natural phenomena. In this role, the National Geographic Society has been instrumental in making possible some of the great achievements in exploration and science. To date, it has given out more than 1,400 grants, funding that helped Robert Peary journey to the North Pole, Richard Byrd fly over the South Pole, Jacques Cousteau delve into the sea and Jane Goodall observe wild chimpanzees, among many other projects.

Today, the National Geographic Society is one of the world's largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions. National Geographic continues to sell as a glossy monthly, with a circulation of around 9 million. The Society also sees itself as a guardian of the planet's natural resources, and in this capacity, focuses on ways to broaden its reach and educate its readers about the unique relationship that humans have with the earth.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jan 27, 1967:
Astronauts die in launch pad fire


A launch pad fire during Apollo program tests at Cape Canaveral, Florida, kills astronauts Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Edward H. White II, and Roger B. Chafee. An investigation indicated that a faulty electrical wire inside the Apollo 1 command module was the probable cause of the fire. The astronauts, the first Americans to die in a spacecraft, had been participating in a simulation of the Apollo 1 launch scheduled for the next month.

The Apollo program was initiated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) following President John F. Kennedy's 1961 declaration of the goal of landing men on the moon and bringing them safely back to Earth by the end of the decade. The so-called "moon shot" was the largest scientific and technological undertaking in history. In December 1968, Apollo 8 was the first manned spacecraft to travel to the moon, and on July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. walked on the lunar surface. In all, there were 17 Apollo missions and six lunar landings.

Offline Duke of Buckingham SETI.USA

  • Charity Cruncher
  • ***
  • Posts: 142
Re : Today in History
« Reply #14 on: 27 January 2012 à 21:37:58 »
When the world discovered the Nazi camps
On January 27, 1945, soldiers of the 60th body of the Red Army entered the concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau in southern Poland. There they found seven thousand deported in a state of indescribable agony.
The Nazis left those seven thousand dying without water or food, because they think the state they were not allowed in any way, their evacuation to another country. The remaining 60 000 prisoners were led into overdrive to camps in the West. It was the "death march" - most died from exhaustion, starvation or shooting in desperate attempts to escape.
The Third Reich settled in the largest factory of Auschwitz death, several of which set up between Germany and Poland. Then, between 1942 and 1945, were gassed with Zyklon B gas, then burned in crematoria, one million Jews from countries occupied by Germany. There were also Polish prisoners of war (80,000) and Soviet (15,000), Roma (20,000) and 12 000 of different nationalities. Auschwitz, by its enormous size, has the sad record of the largest cemetery history.
The Germans created the field soon after the invasion of Poland (September 1939). Construction began in summer 1940 from a former barracks in Oswiecim (Polish name for Auschwitz). Initially intended to Polish opponents, but from January 20, 1942 its purpose has become another. The meeting of the General Staff Nazi held in Wannsee, decided from there to the "Final Solution of the Jewish problem."
The field was gradually expanded until it reached Birkenau and occupied an area of ​​over 200 hectares. In 1941 was used for Soviet prisoners of war captured in Yugoslavia and resistant, France, Austria and Germany itself. Functioned as a reservoir of skilled labor for German industry. This has never ceased its function to be used, but from mid-1942 was also the primary unit of liquidation of Jewish and Gypsy people - considered "degenerate".
The waves of triads were deported on arrival: the elderly and children to one side to another adult, a barracks for men and women for others. Children, the elderly and the weak physical condition deportees were driven to the gas chambers disguised as showers. Sometimes, if the field had capacity to do so, were settled on the day they arrived.
Auschwitz also became a "space science" experimental. Josef Mengele, who was appointed chief physician of the camp in 1943, there has developed a research project of twins uniovular using human subjects.
It was the summer of 1942 that the field has expanded to Birkenau and equipped with rows of crematoria, Auschwitz being reserved for the reception of detainees and prisoners for forced labor.
The death industry improved and reached its climax in 1943 with 20 000 people to be settled daily in gas chambers and then cremated in the ovens. Trains coming from the various extremes of Nazi-occupied Europe, from France to Greece, the Baltic countries of Belgium, arrived in increasing pace, and they had priority over any other transport, including the military. Brought waves of humans discharging at the pier of Auschwitz, where, under a military force, the separation was processed according to age and sex.
The last months of life in the country were particularly harrowing, as the Nazi defeat was looming. Before leaving the camp, the Nazis tried to destroy the gas chambers and ovens. They could not do at all because the orders came from Berlin were to continue until the last moment with the "final solution".
The troops of the Soviet Army accelerated the march and there are precisely 53 years occupied the ground. It was the amazement that this reality has caused among the soldiers which led to the Nazi death camps are rapidly converted into places of memory.