Sunday, October 24, 2010

POPnews - October 24th

[Chartres Cathedral was dedicated in the presence of France's King Louis IX on this day in 1260, having seen a number of its predecessors on the site go up in smoke; this incarnation nearly became rubble itself at the hands of a mob during the French Revolution, only to be saved by its more courageous townsfolk.]

69 CE - At the Second Battle of Bedriacum forces under Antonius Primus - the commander of the Danube armies, loyal to Vespasian - defeated the forces of Emperor Vitellius.

1147 - After a siege of 4 months crusader knights led by Afonso Henriques reconquered Lisbon.

1260 - The Mamluk sultan of Egypt, Saif ad-Din Qutuz, was assassinated by Baibars, who then seized power for himself.

1590 - John White, governor of the second Roanoke Colony, returned to England via Plymouth after an unsuccessful search for the 'lost' colonists.

1648 - The Peace of Westphalia was signed, marking the end of the Thirty Years' War.

1857 - Sheffield F.C. - the world's oldest football club - was formed.

1861 - America's first transcontinental telegraph line was completed, rendering the Pony Express obsolete.

1901 - Annie Edson Taylor became the first person to survive a trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

1917 - The Bolsheviks seized power in Russia, marking what is now generally called the Russian Revolution.

1926 - Harry Houdini made his final public appearance, at the Garrick Theatre in Detroit.

1929 - Black Thursday marked the initial crash of the New York Stock Exchange; Black Tuesday, five days later, finished the job.

1930 - A bloodless coup d'état in Brazil ousted Washington Luís Pereira de Sousa, the last President of the country's First Republic, and his heir apparent, Júlio Prestes; Getúlio Dornelles Vargas was then installed as 'provisional president' under a system known as Estado Novo. Vargas' steady drift to the right ensured that Brazil had become a fascist dictatorship by the time he left office for the first time in October 1945.

1931 - The George Washington Bridge, linking upper Manhattan to Fort Lee, New Jersey, was dedicated; it opened to traffic the following day.

1945 - The United Nations was founded once all five permanent members of the Security Council - the US, the UK, France, Russia, and China - had ratified its charter.

1980 - The government of Poland legalized the Solidarity trade union, which was a first within the Soviet bloc; the union was de-legalized two years later by Wojciech Jaruzelski.

1990 - Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti revealed to the Italian parliament the existence of Operation Gladio, a 'stay-behind' paramilitary force organized by NATO and the CIA in order to prevent the spread of Communism into Italy after World War II.

1998 - The Deep Space 1 mission was launched.

2002 - Washington, DC, area spree killers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo - the infamous Beltway Snipers - were arrested.

2003 - British Airways' last Concorde made its final commercial flight.
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