Saturday, September 11, 2010

POPnews: September 11th

[The Hope Diamond, currently housed in the Smithsonian Institution's
Natural History Museum, has had a long and storied history; it's
so long, in fact, that some of the stories about it are even true!

9 CE - The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest ended (three days after it began, on September 9th) with a victory by the Germanic armies of Arminius over three Roman legions commanded by Publius Quinctilius Varus; as a result the northern border of the Roman Empire would be set at the Rhine river for the next four centuries.

1185 - Isaac II Angelus killed Stephanus Hagiochristophorites and then appealed to the people, resulting in the revolt that deposed Andronicus I Comnenus and placed Isaac on the throne of the Byzantine Empire.

1297 - William Wallace defeated English forces led by the Earl of Surrey and Hugh de Cressingham at the Battle of Stirling Bridge; work on a monument to Wallace would be completed on this day in 1869.

1541 - Michimalonco led a band of Mapuche warriors in the destruction of Santiago, Chile; defense of the village was left to the conquistadora Inés de Suárez, as her lover Pedro de Valdivia was away. The skirmish was an early engagement in the Arauco War, which was not settled until 1881 by a process known as the Pacification of the Araucania.

1609 - English sailor Henry Hudson entered the mouth of Upper New York Bay, landing on the island of Manhattan in order to take on provisions before sailing up the river that would one day be named after him - the Hudson River - on behalf of his employer, the Dutch East India Company.

1649 - The Siege of Drogheda ended when Oliver Cromwell's English Parliamentarian troops took the Irish town and executed its garrison.

1789 - Alexander Hamilton was appointed first US Secretary of the Treasury by President George Washington.

1792 - The Hope Diamond was stolen along with the other Crown Jewels of France when six men broke into the house where they were stored.

1921 -Silent film star Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle was arrested for raping Virginia Rappe on September 5th; she died three days later, some said as a result of injuries arising from that rape. Despite three subsequent acquittals for his involvement in the crime, the old maxim 'where there's smoke there's fire' killed Arbuckle's career as surely as someone had killed Rappe...

1940 - Buckingham Palace was damaged by Nazi bombs during the Blitz, the first of seven such attacks during World War II on the London home of King George VI, prompting the Queen* to famously state ' the palace has been bombed, I feel now that I can look at the people of the East End straight in the eye'.

*Subsequently the Queen Mother.

1941 - Construction began on the Pentagon with a groundbreaking ceremony attended by President Franklin D. Roosevelt; more ground would be broken there 60 years later to the day when, in 2001, 'American Airlines Flight 77' crashed into it.

1956 - People to People International was founded by US President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

1961 - The World Wildlife Fund was formed in Morges, Switzerland, a suburb of Lausanne; it was the brainchild of Julian Huxley and Max Nicholson.

1970 - The Ford Pinto was introduced.

1972 - Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) began regular service in San Francisco.

1973 - A coup in Chile orchestrated by General Augusto Pinochet toppled the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende.

1992 - Hurricane Iniki devastated Hawai'i, killing 6 people and causing $1.8 billion in damages.

1994 - Frank Eugene Corder stole a Cessna plane shortly before midnight, intending to crash it into the White House...

1997 - NASA's Mars Global Surveyor reached Mars - technically the landing was called an 'orbital insertion', which is dirty talk for sci-fi fans.
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1 comment:

michael sean morris said...

This picture of the Hope Diamond is one of the most beautiful pictures I've ever posted, in my opinion. I could look at it for hours.