[On the face of it, Dark Shadows shouldn't have been nearly as successful as it was; combining the run-of-the-mill melodrama of a daily soap opera with some very unique supernatural goings-on and a considerable dash of old school Gothic bodice-ripping besides, Dan Curtis' attempt at livening up what was then the moribund field of daytime with some distinctly undead creatures - none of which were even mentioned in the show's 'bible', written by Art Wallace - has remained a cult classic to this day... There's even talk that the dream team of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp may combine their powers for the eighth time to resurrect it for the big screen - with Depp tipped to play the show's break-out character, the vampire Barnabas Collins!]
1743 - At the Battle of Dettingen in Bavaria - during the War of the Austrian Succession - George II (shown, at right, on the obverse of a half-crown*) personally led troops into battle; it would be the last time a British monarch would command an army in the field, although he mainly did so in his role as Elector of Hanover rather than as King of England. For the record, His Majesty's men soundly defeated the troops of France's duc de Noailles and duc de Gramont in support of Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI's Pragmatic Sanction of 1713, which had guaranteed the accession of Maria-Theresa as ruler of Austria and Hungary in 1741 - although they'd mainly done so to piss off France, who had long been opposed to the idea of a woman serving as sovereign**. Both the Dettingen Te Deum and Dettingen Anthem were composed by George Frideric Handel immediately following the hostilities in commemoration and first performed in the King's presence that November; even more lastingly the gentlemanly refusal to treat wounded soldiers on either side as prisoners of war is said to have served as the forerunner of the Geneva Convention.
*Minted from silver seized from a Spanish treasure fleet off the Peruvian capital.
**In fact, ever since their King Philip V enthusiastically embraced the Salic Law (originally codified by Clovis I early in the 6th Century) in order to prevent the agnatic succession of his niece Joan in 1316.
1806 - The city of Buenos Aires was captured during the British invasions of the Río de la Plata.
1844 - Joseph Smith, Jr. - founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - and his brother Hyrum Smith were murdered by a mob at the jail in Carthage, Illinois.
1898 - Canadian Joshua Slocum sailed into Newport, Rhode Island, having completed the first solo circumnavigation of the Earth onboard Spray, and having sailed some 74,000 km (46,000 miles) since their departure from Boston in April 1895.
1905 - Sailors mutinied aboard the Russian battleship Potemkin, an event later made even more famous in the film by Sergei Eisenstein.
1923 - Capt. Lowell H. Smith and Lt. John P. Richter performed the first ever aerial refueling, in a DH-4B biplane.
1941 - Nazi troops capture the city of Białystok during Operation Barbarossa.
1950 - The US - backed by the United Nations - decided to send troops to fight in the Korean Conflict.
1954 - The world's first nuclear power station opened at Obninsk, near Moscow.
1957 - Hurricane Audrey made landfall near the Louisiana/Texas border, eventually killing 500 people.
1966 - The daily soap opera Dark Shadows debuted on ABC-TV; it would eventually run for 1,225 episodes before it was taken off the air in April 1971.
1967 - The first electronic Automated Teller Machine (or 'ATM', as the kids have taken to calling them these days) was installed by Barclay's at Enfield Town, in North London; designed by John Shepherd-Barron for the printing firm De La Rue, its first user was Reg Varney, the popular star of ITV's successful sitcom On The Buses (shown at right, demonstrating the machine). Rather than a plastic card this early ATM took special cheques, and dispensed at most £10 with the aid of a four-digit PIN number, the concept of which had occurred to James Goodfellow as early as 1965... A year after Barclay's machine opened an American inventor from Dallas named Donald Wetzel created the networked ATM, and the world was changed forever. Of course the first such machine - which was merely mechanical and not electronic, as designed and built by Luther George Simjian - had been installed at a branch of City Bank of New York in 1939; that one, though, was removed after just six months when it failed to garner enough customer interest.
1973 - Juan María Bordaberry, President of Uruguay, dissolved Parliament and headed a coup d'état.
1976 - Air France Flight 139 (on a flight from Tel Aviv to Paris via Athens) was hijacked en route by the PLO and redirected to Uganda's Entebbe Airport... Operation Entebbe - originally called Operation Thunderball but later renamed Operation Yonatan for Sayeret Matkal commander Lt.-Col. Yonatan 'Yoni' Netanyahu* who was killed during the action - would later be carried out on the night of July 3rd-4th to rescue the hijacked passengers; the incident inspired several dramatizations, the most popular of which were Marvin J. Chomsky's Victory at Entebbe (1976) and Raid On Entebbe (1977), directed by Irvin Kershner.
1985 - America's fabled Route 66 - first opened in November 1926 between Chicago to Los Angeles - ceased to be an official highway, although traces of it have been preserved for the purpose of tourism.
1991 - Two days after Slovenia declared its independence the newly minted country was invaded by its former overlord, Yugoslavia, which sent in troops, tanks, and aircraft - provoking the Ten-Day War.
2003 - The United States National Do Not Call Registry - created to combat unwanted telemarketing calls and administered by the Federal Trade Commission - enrolled almost three-quarters of a million phone numbers on its first day.
2007 - Prime Minister Tony Blair formally submitted his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II. About five years too late, but there you have it...
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