Monday, August 23, 2010

POPnews - August 23rd

[The case of Sacco and Vanzetti electrified the punditocracy of
the 1920s - including the artist Ben Spahn, who created
this portrait of them in their honour in 1931-2.

1305 - Scottish patriot William Wallace was executed by order of England's King Edward I at London's Smithfield for high treason following a show trial; a plaque on the wall of the city's St. Bartholomew's Hospital marks the site today, and is itself a place of pilgrimage for his modern-day compatriots.

1328 - At the Battle of Cassel French troops under King Philip VI stopped a peasant revolt in Flanders led by Nicolaas Zannekin.

1514 - The Battle of Chaldiran - in what is now north-western Iran - ended with a decisive victory for Sultan Selim I of the Ottoman Empire over Shah Ismail I, founder of the Safavid Dynasty.

- Jacques Cartier made landfall at Stadacona (near the future Quebec City) during his Third Voyage to the New World.

1595 - Romania's Michael the Brave confronted an Ottoman army led by Sinan Pasha at the Battle of Calugareni, yielding a tactical victory for the Wallachian commander during the so-called Long War.

1614 - Holland's University of Groningen was established.

1708 - Meidingnu Pamheiba was crowned King of Manipur.

1784 - Eight counties in western North Carolina (now eastern Tennessee) declared themselves an independent state under the name of Franklin, with its capital at Greeneville... Despite appeals to its namesake, Benjamin Franklin, the fledgeling state never garnered much support; after just four years it became part of the Southwest Territory, while the would-be state's governor, John Sevier, went on to become the first governor of Tennessee.

1793 - During the French Revolution a levée en masse (or mass conscription) was decreed by the National Convention.

1813 - At the Battle of Grossbeeren, a combined force of Prussians and Swedish under Friedrich von Bülow and Crown Prince Charles John fought off the French army commanded by Nicolas Oudinot during the War of the Sixth Coalition. While Napoleon had ordered the battle in hopes of removing Prussia from the Sixth Coalition by capturing their capital the swampy terrain south of Berlin combined with poor weather and the ill-health of Marshal Oudinot all conspired against him.

1839 - The United Kingdom captured Hong Kong for use as a base of operations while it prepared to go to war with Qing China; the ensuing 3-year conflict would later become known as the First Opium War.

1873 - London's Albert Bridge, connecting Chelsea on the north bank of the River Thames with Battersea on the south, was opened without ceremony... Designed and built by Rowland Mason Ordish as an Ordish-Lefeuvre Principle modified cable-stayed bridge, when it soon proved structurally unsound - soldiers from the Chelsea Barracks who marched over it caused the bridge to shimmy, earning it the sobriquet 'The Trembling Lady' - it was redesigned as a suspension bridge by Sir Joseph Bazalgette; further modifications made in 1973 gave it elements of a beam bridge, making the current structure a rather unique hybrid of three different styles rarely seen in a single bridge.

1921 - Faisal I was crowned King of Iraq.

1927 - Sacco and Vanzetti were executed for the murders of Frederick Parmenter and Alessandro Berardelli and the the theft of $15,776.51 from the Slater-Morrill Shoe Company of South Braintree, Massachusetts.

1944 - Romania's King Michael dismissed the pro-Nazi government of General Ion Antonescu, who was then arrested, in what came to be known as King Michael's Coup; Romania then switched sides from the Axis to the Allies. The action distracted the Nazis long enough to allow the Red Army to occupy Romania, and may in fact have shortened World War II in Europe by as much as six months.

1948 - The World Council of Churches was formed, in Amsterdam, by the merger of the Faith and Order Movement and Life and Work Movement.

1977 - The Gossamer Condor won the Kremer prize for human powered flight.
1979 - Soviet dancer Alexander Godunov defected to the United States while on tour with the Bolshoi Ballet in New York City.

2006 - Natascha Kampusch - who was abducted in March 1998 at the age of 10 - managed to escape from her captor Wolfgang Priklopil after more than 8 years of captivity.

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