Monday, August 09, 2010

POPnews - August 9th

[Such a douchebag was US President Richard Nixon that when he was finally driven from office, tainted by scandal - on this day in 1974 - he didn't even have the courtesy or good sense to look upset.]

48 BCE - During what was known as Caesar's Civil War the leader of the Roman Republic's Populares faction, Julius Caesar, decisively defeated Pompey and his Optimates faction at the Battle of Pharsalus - which had been conveniently located near Pharsalus, in central Greece - after which Pompey fled to Egypt.

378 CE - A large Roman army led by Emperor Valens was defeated by the Visigoths at the Battle of Adrianople; Valens was killed in battle on the day along with over half of his army, making the engagement a stunning victory for the Visigoth commanders Fritigern, Alatheus, and Saphrax in the ongoing Gothic War.

1048 - Pope Damasus II died in Rome, following a reign of only 23 days; he would be succeeded by Leo IX, who - say what you will about him - at least managed to hang on for five years.

- Work began on the Tower of Pisa, which would take two centuries to complete; the amazing thing is that it was completed at all, seeing as it began to lean in 1178, following the completion of its third story.

- The Sistine Chapel was opened in the Vatican; renowned for the quality of its decoration, the Sistine Chapel is also the site of the Papal conclave, at which every new Pope has been chosen since 1492.

1842 - The Webster-Ashburton Treaty was signed, establishing the US-Canada border east of the Rocky Mountains.

1877 - At the Battle of Big Hole a small band of Nez Percé Indians in Montana led by Chief Joseph and Chief Looking Glass clashed with the US Army commanded by John Gibbon and Oliver Otis Howard during the Nez Perce War, a smaller sub-war of the greater conflict called the Indian Wars.

1892 - Thomas Edison received US Patent 480,567 for a two-way telegraph.

1902 - Edward VII and Queen Alexandra were crowned in Westminster Abbey; their coronation, originally scheduled for June 26th, had to be postponed because of His Majesty's bout with appendicitis. The service would be the last major rite conducted by the aged Archbishop of Canterbury, Frederick Temple, who died just four months later.

1907 - Robert Baden-Powell's first Boy Scout encampment concluded at Brownsea Island in Dorset's Poole Harbour.

1930 - Betty Boop made her cartoon debut, in the Fleischer Studios's Talkartoon Dizzy Dishes, directed by Dave Fleischer and produced by Max Fleischer.

1936 - Jesse Owens won the fourth and final of his gold medals at the Games of the XI Olympiad in Berlin, making him the first American to win four medals at an Olympiad.

1942 - Mahatma Gandhi was arrested in Mumbai for his involvement in Indian independence, having a movement called Quit India; held for two years at the Aga Khan Palace in Pune, it was during this incarceration that his wife Kasturba died.

1945 - The Japanese city of Nagasaki was devastated by an atomic bomb.

1965 - Singapore seceded from Malaysia, thus gaining its independence.

1969 - Charles Manson and his followers murdered Sharon Tate (the wife of director Roman Polanski), coffee heiress Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, celebrity hairdresser Jay Sebring, and Steven Parent at 10050 Cielo Drive in Los Angeles.

1974 - President Richard Nixon became the first US President to resign from office, due to his complicity in Watergate; his Vice-President, Gerald Ford, became President the same day.

1986 - Freddie Mercury played his final concert with Queen, at Knebworth.

1993 - Albert II was sworn is as Belgium's new king - having succeeded his father Baudouin I, who died on July 31st.
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