Monday, September 06, 2010

POPnews: September 6th

[The Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo had many memorable sights - including its vast array of electric lighting - but is best remembered today for the shooting of US President William McKinley by Leon Czolgosz, which occurred there on this day in 1901.]

394 CE - The Christian Roman Emperor Theodosius I defeated and killed the pagan usurper Eugenius and his Frankish magister militum Arbogast at the Battle of the Frigidus.

1628 - Puritans settled Salem, which would later become part of Massachusetts Bay Colony and acquire something of an enduring reputation for its treatment of supposed witches during the Salem Witch Trials.

1781 - The Battle of Groton Heights took place near New London and Groton, Connecticut, resulting a British victory for the famed turncoat Benedict Arnold and Lieutenant-Colonel Edmund Eyre, who nevertheless died in battle; also dead as a result of these particular hostilities was the American William Ledyard, whom history records was killed by his own sword at the hands of the commanding officer of the battalion which had stormed and taken command of Fort Griswold from him.

1847 - Henry David Thoreau left Walden Pond and moved in with Ralph Waldo Emerson and his family in Concord, Massachusetts.

1870 - Louisa Ann Swain of Laramie, Wyoming, became the first woman in the United States to cast a vote legally after 1807.

1885 - Eastern Rumelia declared its union with Bulgaria, thus accomplishing the Unification of Bulgaria.

1901 - Anarchist Leon Czolgosz shot and fatally wounded US President William McKinley outside the Temple of Music at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. McKinley's death, a week later, has since been attributed to blood poisoning from a bullet lodged in his abdomen which doctors were unable to locate.

1930 - The democratically elected President of Argentina, Hipólito Yrigoyen, was deposed in a military coup by José Félix Uriburu - an act which instigated a period in that country's history known as the Infamous Decade.

1937 - The Battle of El Mazuco - itself a part of the War in the North campaign of the Spanish Civil War - commenced; lasting until September 22nd, it would give the Nationalist forces of José Solchaga Zala a victory, although it would allow the Republican resistance an opportunity to regroup. The battle became notorious for witnessing the first use of carpet bombing (courtesy of Nazi Germany's Condor Legion) against a military target.

1939 - The Battle of Barking Creek - one of the earliest World War II battles in Britain - also resulted in the first pilot fatality of the war when the Hurricane flown by Montague Hulton-Harrop of 56 Squadron was shot down by a Spitfire piloted by John Freeborn of 74 Squadron in a friendly fire incident. It turns out the air raid siren that had scrambled the Hurricanes out of Essex's North Weald Airfield was a false alarm and preparedness, just three days into the war, had been lax.

1940 - Romania's King Carol II abdicated, and was succeeded by his son Michael.

1944 - The Belgian city of Ypres was liberated by Allied forces.

1948 - Juliana became Queen of the Netherlands following the abdication of her mother Wilhelmina.

1949 - Howard Unruh, a former World War II sharpshooter from Camden, New Jersey, killed 13 of his neighbors with a souvenir Luger, making him the first single-episode mass murderer in US history.

1952 - Canada's first television station, CBFT-TV, opened in Montreal.

1966 - The architect of apartheid, South African Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd, was stabbed to death by Dimitri Tsafendas during a parliamentary meeting in Cape Town. Good times...

1968 - Swaziland gained its independence from the United Kingdom.

1991 - The name Saint Petersburg was restored to Russia's second largest city - which had been renamed Petrograd in 1914 and then Leningrad in January 1924, three days after the death of Vladimir Lenin.

1997 - Diana, Princess of Wales, was laid to rest in front of a television audience of more than 2.5 billion - including nearly 33 million in the UK alone, a record viewing audience for that country - while as many as a million people lined the 6.4 km (4 mile) processional route from her former home at Kensington Palace to her funeral at Westminster Abbey.
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