Tuesday, January 18, 2011

POPnews - January 18th

[Normally Tagish Lake in Canada's Yukon is as tranquil as this picture would suggest; certainly it was just before it was struck by a meteorite on this day in 2000, and indeed it would be again after more than 500 fragments - most the size and with the appearance of charcoal briquettes scattered over the lake's Taku Arm - had been gathered up and analyzed. Initially as large as 4 metres in diameter and weighing 56 tonnes, less than a quarter of the meteorite was ever recovered, suggesting it had experienced significant vaporization upon entering the Earth's atmosphere.]

474 CE - Leo II became Byzantine Emperor following the death of his grandfather Leo I; his reign would last just ten months, and after his suspicious death there were rumours he'd been poisoned by his mother Ariadne so her husband Zeno could become emperor, which he did.

1126 - Emperor Huizong abdicated the throne of China in favour of his son, Emperor Qinzong.

1213 - Georgia's Queen regnant Tamar died; she was succeeded by her son, George IV.

1471 - Japan's Emperor Go-Hanazono died; he'd already abdicated in favour of his son - who reigned as Emperor Go-Tsuchimikado - in 1464.

1591 - King Naresuan of Siam killed Crown Prince Minchit Sra of Burma in hand-to-hand combat - albeit while riding war elephants - which event is now observed as Royal Thai Armed Forces Day.

1701 - Frederick I, formerly the Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia, crowned himself the first King of Prussia - although to soothe the nerves of the Holy Roman Emperor, Leopold I, he styled himself King in Prussia instead.

1871 - Wilhelm I was proclaimed the first German Emperor in the Hall of Mirrors of the Palace of Versailles near the end of the Franco-Prussian War; the empire he commanded became known as the Second Reich.

1915 - Japan issued the Twenty-One Demands to the Republic of China in a bid to increase its power in East Asia.

1919 - The Paris Peace Conference - whose mandate was to divvy up a world recently devastated by World War I - opened at the Palace of Versailles. The story of the conference, and the numerous egos that ran it, is brilliantly told in Margaret MacMillan's Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World.

1943 - The first uprising of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto - oddly enough, known as the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising - took place.

1955 - The Battle of Yijiangshan occurred on the Yijiangshan Islands, pitting the National Revolutionary Army of Wang Shen-Ming against the victorious Zhang Aiping's People's Liberation Army during the First Taiwan Strait Crisis.

1958 - Canadian Willie O'Ree, the first black player in the NHL, made his debut when he took to the ice for the Boston Bruins against the Montreal Canadiens.

1977 - The worst rail crash in Australian history occurred at Granville, near Sydney, killing 83.

1990 - Washington, DC mayor Marion Barry was arrested for drug possession during an FBI sting.

1994 - During the Cando Event - a possible bolide impact over Cando, Spain - witnesses claim to have seen a fireball in the sky lasting for almost one minute.

1995 - Cave paintings estimated to be at least 17,000 years old were discovered at Vallon-Pont d'Arc in France.

1997 - Norway's Boerge Ousland became the first person to cross Antarctica alone and unaided.

2000 - The Tagish Lake Meteorite impacted the Earth at Tagish Lake in Canada's Yukon.

2003 - A bushfire killed 4 people and destroyed more than 500 homes in the Australian capital of Canberra.
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