Thursday, April 22, 2010

POPnews - April 22nd

[What more can I say? We've only got one world... Meaning you can do your part to make it better or you can be like evangelicals and try and bring about the end times you crave so dearly. I know whose side I'm on.]

536 CE - Pope Agapetus I died; he was succeeded by Silverius on June 8th.

1500 - Portuguese navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral became the first European to sight Brazil.

1529 - The Treaty of Zaragoza was signed between the rulers of Spain and Portugal, specifying the anti-meridian to the line of demarcation specified in the Treaty of Tordesillas.

1809 - The second day of the Battle of Eckmühl saw the Austrian army under Archduke Charles defeated by Napoleon's First French Empire, then driven over the Danube at Regensburg.

1836 - A day after the Battle of San Jacinto during the Texas Revolution, forces under Texas General Sam Houston captured Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna.

1864 - The US Congress passed the Coinage Act, which mandated that the inscription In God We Trust be placed on all coins minted as United States currency.

1889 - At noon the Unassigned Lands were distributed, for which 50,000 people lined up; 160 acres were offered to anyone willing to settle on and improve them, at which time they would be given their deed free and clear. During the ensuing Oklahoma Land Rush, the towns of Oklahoma City and Guthrie sprang up within an afternoon. The events surrounding the opening of the future Oklahoma Territory to settlers were fictionalized by Edna Ferber in her novel Cimarron, which was later made into two films of the same name, the first of which won a Best Picture Academy Award for 1931.

1915 - 168 tons of chlorine gas were deployed along the 6.5 km front at the Second Battle of Ypres (more specifically, during the first phase of that campaign, the Battle of Gravenstafel) in the first gas attack in modern times. Within ten minutes, 6,000 French, Moroccan, and Algerian troops died of asphyxiation, and untold numbers of others died later as a result of damaged lung tissue.

1945 - Prisoners at the Jasenovac concentration camp in Croatia revolted; of the camp's 600 inmates, 520 were killed and 80 escaped. When the advancing Partisan army arrived they found the camp ruined and strewn with bodies, the Ustaše having attempted to disguise what had gone on there by dynamiting buildings and setting fire to the ruins.

1954 - At the height of the Red Scare, witnesses began appearing before the Army-McCarthy Hearings.

1959 - Prima ballerina Dame Margot Fonteyn was released from a Panamanian prison after an incarceration of twenty-four hours following an attempted coup by her husband, Dr. Roberto Arias (nephew of deposed ex-president Arnulfo Arias) against the government of Ernesto de la Guardia, Jr. - a coup attempt which had allegedly been funded by Fidel Castro.

1964 - The 1964 New York World's Fair opened at Flushing Meadow in Queens; its theme was 'Peace Through Understanding'.

1969 - British yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston completed the first solo non-stop circumnavigation of the world.

1970 - The first Earth Day was celebrated.

1983 - German newsmagazine Der Stern claimed to have discovered Hitler's Diaries, which experts had declared genuine without thoroughly examining them; less than two weeks after excerpts were published the diaries were exposed for the egregious fakes they were. They were the creation of notorious forger Konrad Kujau, who later spent 3 years in prison for fraud; following his release he frequently appeared on German television as a 'forgery expert'.

1991 - The Social Democratic Party of Albania was founded.

1993 - The Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, was dedicated; a target of far-right thugs practically from the moment it opened, in June 2009 the museum made news when 88-year-old anti-Semite James von Brunn shot Museum security guard Stephen Tyrone Johns. Johns died later that day and is permanently honoured within the facility, while von Brunn died in custody in January 2010.

1997 - 93 villagers were killed at the Haouch Khemisti Massacre in Algeria.

2000 - Elián González was seized from his uncle's home in Miami by a SWAT Team and returned to Cuba.
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