Sunday, September 12, 2010

POPnews: September 12th

[Since 1983 a replica of the cave at Lascaux has been open specifically for tourists - located 200m away from the original - in order to spare some 16,000 priceless images the worst ravages of tourism: namely creeping black mold, exposure to carbon dioxide, and having to spend 40 years in close proximity to a horde of unwashed mouth-breathers.]

1213 - During the Albigensian Crusade England's Simon de Montfort, 5th Earl of Leicester, killed King Peter II of Aragon during the Battle of Muret.

1846 - Elizabeth Barrett eloped with Robert Browning.

1847 - The Mexican-American War's Battle of Chapultepec began, during which Chapultepec Castle was taken from Mexico's Nicolás Bravo by American commander Winfield Scott.

1848 - Switzerland became a Federal state.

1857 - The SS Central America sank about 160 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, drowning a total of 426 passengers and crew, including Captain William Lewis Herndon; the ship had been carrying 13-15 tons of gold from the California Gold Rush, and the loss of bullion triggered the Panic of 1857.

1874 - British Columbia's District of Maple Ridge was founded, a dozen years before Vancouver; now Vancouver is a world-class city and Maple Ridge... Uh... Isn't.

1910 - Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 8 received its world premiere in Munich (with a chorus of 852 singers and an orchestra of 171 players); Mahler's assistant conductor during rehearsals was Bruno Walter, who later made a name for himself as a maestro.

1940 - The world's single greatest trove of Paleolithic art was discovered near the village of Montignac, in the Dordogne département, by four teenagers - Marcel Ravidat, Jacques Marsal, Georges Agnel, and Simon Coencas - as well as Ravidat's dog, Robot.

1943 - Benito Mussolini - Fascist dictator of Italy between October 1922 and July 1943 - was rescued from house arrest on the Gran Sasso in Abruzzi during Operation Eiche by the German commando forces of Otto Skorzeny.

1959 - Bonanza, the first regularly-scheduled TV program presented in color, premiered on NBC; it would last until 1973 and make a star of Michael Landon - although it was Pernell Roberts who used to keep me up at night, if you know what I mean...

1964 - Utah's Canyonlands National Park was established.

1974 - Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was deposed by the Derg.

1977 - Steven Biko died of injuries received while in custody in South Africa; Biko's story came to light due to the work of the crusading journalist Helen Zille and, of course, crusading pop star Peter Gabriel.

1983 - A Wells Fargo depot in West Hartford, Connecticut, was robbed of approximately US$7 million by Los Macheteros during an operation called Aguila Blanca (White Eagle).

1992 - NASA launched the Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-47 which marked the 50th shuttle mission; on board were Mae Carol Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, Mamoru Mohri, the first Japanese citizen to fly in a US spaceship, and Mark C. Lee and N. Jan Davis, the first married couple in space. So we pretty much know what their mission, um, entailed...

1994 - Frank Corder fatally crashed a stolen Cessna into the South Lawn of the White House; he'd intended to crash it directly into the Executive Mansion, but owing to his intoxication at the time he thankfully pulled off an epic fail and missed. He was the only casualty. President Bill Clinton and his family weren't even in residence at the time, due to renovations, and were staying instead across the street at Blair House; anyway, Corder's friends said he had no grudge against the President, and may only have wanted to commit a very high profile suicide.

2001 - US President George W. Bush declared War on Terror, marking the first time a nation ever declared war on a concept; tyranny, rather than hilarity, ensued...

2005 - Hong Kong Disneyland opened in Penny's Bay on Lantau Island.

2007 - Former Philippine President Joseph Estrada was convicted of the crime of plunder.
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