Thursday, October 21, 2010

POPnews - October 21st

[Frank Lloyd Wright's only New York Building was also his last commissioned work; the struggles involved in getting his design from the drawing board to the corner of Fifth Avenue and E. 89th Street are legendary, not least of which was challenging the orthodoxy of concrete boxes which were then the prevailing norm in Manhattan architecture.]

1600 - Tokugawa Ieyasu defeated the leaders of rival Japanese clans at the Battle of Sekigahara, marking the beginning of the Tokugawa shogunate, which would rule Japan until the mid-nineteenth century.

1797 - The 44-gun US Navy frigate USS Constitution was launched at Edmund Hartt's shipyard in Boston Harbor; named by US President George Washington and one of six authorized by the Naval Act of 1794, she is today the oldest commissioned vessel afloat in the world.

1805 - At the Battle of Trafalgar, the Royal Navy defeated a combined French and Spanish fleet under Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve; in striking at the heart of Napoleon Bonaparte's ambitions for the domination of Europe, Viscount Horatio Nelson inspired a burgeoning British Empire too fond of boats to have designs on European soil.

1816 - The Penang Free School - the oldest English-language school in Southeast Asia - was founded in George Town by the Reverend Sparke Hutchings.

1854 - Florence Nightingale and a staff of 38 nurses were despatched to the Crimean War...  Although Nightingale's mission of mercy would prove a disaster - troops consigned to her field hospital at Scutari faced higher than normal mortality rates due mainly to the lack of hygiene - in her later years she learned much from the ordeal, and modern nursing would not exist in the form it does today were it not for her pioneering work.

1867 - The landmark Medicine Lodge Treaty was signed near the Kansas town of Medicine Lodge by leaders of Kiowa and Comanche nations, requiring them to relocate to a reservation in western Oklahoma. Another, with the Plains Apache, was signed later that day, while a third a week later sealed the Fates of the Southern Cheyenne, and Southern Arapaho.

1892 - Opening ceremonies for the World's Columbian Exposition were held in Chicago, though because construction was behind schedule, the exposition did not open until May 1893.

1895 - The short-lived Republic of Formosa collapsed as Japanese forces invaded the island now called Taiwan.

1921 - President Warren G. Harding delivered a speech which called for the abolition of lynching, apparently.

1944 - The first kamikaze attack was carried out when HMAS Australia was hit by a Japanese plane carrying a 200 kg (441 pound) bomb off Leyte Island, as the Battle of Leyte Gulf began.

1945 - Future tinpot dictator and flabby Argentinian strongman Juan Perón discovered what the term 'better half' meant when he married erstwhile actress Eva Duarte, a charisma monster soon to be renowned for her legendary portrayal of Evita.

1959 - Frank Lloyd Wright's only major New York City building - the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum - opened to the public.

1966 - A coal tip avalanche devastated the Welsh town of Aberfan, killing 144, including 116 children aged 7 to 10.

1969 - A coup d'état in Somalia brought Siad Barre to power.

1977 - The European Patent Institute was founded.

1978 - Australian civilian pilot Frederick Valentich vanished while flying a Cessna 182 over the Bass Strait south of Melbourne, after reporting contact with an unidentified aircraft.

1987 - Formerly the first Jewish Miss America, Ed Koch's best fruit-fly Bess Myerson was arrested for her involvement in an alimony-fixing scam; she was later acquitted.

1990 - The first Apple Day was held in London's Covent Garden.

1994 - 32 people were killed and 17 injured when Seoul's Seongsu Bridge collapsed.
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