Sunday, May 09, 2010

POPnews - May 9th

[Although I've always been partial to the neo-classical designs of the Canadian legislatures and the Gothic pile on Ottawa's Parliament Hill, there's something to be said for the modernist home of Australia's government as well.]

1092 - Lincoln Cathedral was consecrated; from 1300 to 1549 (while its spire stood) it was the world's tallest building.

1450 - 'Abd al-Latif - Timurid monarch of Transoxiana - was assassinated; he was succeeded by his cousin ‘Abdullah, because he'd already killed his father Ulugh Beg and brother 'Abd al-'Aziz.

1671 - Thomas Blood attempted to steal the British Crown Jewels from the Tower of London while disguised as a clergyman.

1726 - Five men arrested during a raid on Mother Clap's molly house in London were executed at Tyburn; the house, once on Field Lane in Holborn, was demolished to make way for the Holborn Viaduct.

1868 - The city of Reno, Nevada, was founded by Myron C. Lake.

1873 - A crash on the Vienna stock market - known as Der Krach - heralded the so-called Long Depression.

1901 - Australia's Parliament convened for the first time, in Melbourne - first at the Royal Exhibition Building, then later at the Parliament House of the state of Victoria.

1904 - George Jackson Churchward's steam locomotive City of Truro became the first steam engine to exceed 100 mph (160 kph) during a special mail run from Plymouth to London's Paddington Station.

1927 - Australia's Parliament convened for the first time in Canberra, where it has sat ever since, although it has not been housed in what is now called the Old Parliament House since 1988.

1941 - The German submarine U-110 was captured by the Royal Navy's HMS Bulldog - not the US Navy, as implied by the Hollywood movie U-571 - as part of the Top Secret mission dubbed Operation Primrose; on board was the latest Enigma cryptography machine which Allied cryptographers working at Bletchley Park later used to break coded German messages.

1945 - As the Allied victory swept across Europe and the final German surrender was given to Marshal Georgy Zhukov at Berlin-Karlshorst - signed by Colonel-General Hans-Jürgen Stumpff as the representative of the Luftwaffe, Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel as the Chief of Staff of OKW, and Admiral Hans-Georg von Friedeburg as Commander-in-Chief of the Kriegsmarine - former Nazi second-in-command Hermann Göring was captured by the US Army in Bavaria and Norway's collaborationist Minister-President Vidkun Quisling surrendered to police at Møllergata 19 in Oslo.

1946 - Italy's King Victor Emmanuel III abdicated in favour of his son, who became Umberto II.

1949 - Rainier III became Prince of Monaco following the death of his grandfather Louis II.

1950 - L. Ron Hubbard first published Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.

1955 - Jim Henson's Sam and Friends - a five-minute show which aired twice daily - made its debut on WRC-TV, the NBC affiliate in Washington, DC. The program would air until 1961, and featured the nascent character Kermit, who was not as yet a frog.

1960 - The US Food and Drug Administration approved the sale of Enovid, the world's first oral contraceptive pill.

1974 - As the Watergate Scandal deepened, the Judiciary Committee of the US House of Representatives opened formal and public impeachment hearings against President Richard M. Nixon.

1988 - The new Australian Parliament House was opened in Canberra by the Queen of Australia.

1998 - Israeli transsexual Dana International won the Eurovision Song Contest with Tzvika Pick and Yoav Ginai's song Diva.

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