Friday, July 16, 2010

POPnews - July 16th

[Known as 'the gadget' the nuclear device detonated at the White Sands Proving Ground during the Trinity Test produced this fireball about 200 meters (600 ft) wide at the 0.016 second mark; for a sense of scale consider that the tiny black dots along the bottom of the photo are trees.]

1377 - England's 10 year-old King Richard II was crowned at Westminster Abbey, having succeeded his grandfather Edward III on June 22nd.

1769 - Father Junipero Serra founded Mission San Diego de Alcalá, the first of 21 missions to be founded by the Spanish in Alta California; it would later evolve into the city of San Diego.

1782 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera The Abduction from the Seraglio debuted at Vienna's Burgtheater.

- With the signing of the Residence Act, a site was established alongside the Potomac River which would later become the District of Columbia.

1880 - Emily Howard Stowe became Canada's second woman doctor - having already obtained a degree in New York State after being refused entrance at any Canadian university; Stowe's daughter, Augusta Stowe-Gullen, would become the first Canadian woman to earn her degree in Canada. The country's first woman doctor, Jennie Kidd Trout, was a friend and colleague of Dr. Stowe's, and with whom she endured the appalling behaviour of the all-male medical establishment.

1931 - Ethiopia's Emperor Haile Selassie signed his country's first constitution, which provided for a bicameral legislature, as well as holding the governing nobility to democratic (as opposed to autocratic) standards.

1935 - The world's first parking meter - itself the invention of one Carl C. Magee - was installed in Oklahoma City.

1942 - During the Nazi Occupation of France the Vichy Government ordered French police to round up between 13,000 and 20,000 Jews, then imprisoned them in the Winter Velodrome as part of its Operation Spring Breeze, also known as Rafle du Vel'd'Hiv; following their transfers to Drancy, Compiègne, Pithiviers and Beaune-la-Rolande concentration camps, those seized were sent to Auschwitz, from whence very few returned.

1945 - The Atomic Age began when the United States successfully detonated a plutonium-based nuclear weapon near Alamogordo, New Mexico, as part of the Manhattan Project. Within weeks, this terror of the modern age would be unleashed upon Japan, first at Hiroshima and then at Nagasaki...

1948 - The city of Nazareth, hometown of Jesus, capitulated to Israeli troops led by Ben Dunkelman during Operation Dekel, after little more than token resistance, during 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

1951 - In order to preserve the monarchy in postwar Belgium, the unpopular Leopold III, King of the Belgians, (who had surrendered to the Nazis in 1940 rather than see his country bombed to shit) abdicated in favour of his son, who came to be known as Baudouin I.

1957 - US Marine Major John Glenn flew an F8U Crusader supersonic fighter jet from California's NAS Los Alamitos to Floyd Bennett Field in New York; in all the flight took 3 hours, 23 minutes and 8 seconds, and set a new transcontinental speed record.

1969 - Apollo 11 - the first manned space mission to land on the Moon - was launched from the Kennedy Space Center at Florida's Cape Canaveral with Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin Eugene 'Buzz' Aldrin, Jr on board.

1979 - Saddam Hussein became President of Iraq following the resignation of General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr.

1994 - Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 collided with Jupiter; impacts would continue until July 22nd.

1999 - John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and her sister Lauren Bessette were killed when the Piper Saratoga aircraft Kennedy was piloting crashed into the ocean near Martha's Vineyard.

2004 - Millennium Park, considered Chicago's first and most ambitious architectural project of the early 21st Century, was opened to the public by Mayor Richard M. Daley.

2005 - J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was published; worldwide, the book sold in excess of a quarter million copies an hour in the first 24 hours after it was released.

2007 - An earthquake of magnitude 6.8 and with aftershocks of 6.6 occurred off the Niigata coast of Japan, killing 8 people with at least 800 injured and damaging a nuclear power plant.

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