Wednesday, November 10, 2010

POPnews - November 10th

[When David Livingstone was discovered alive by Henry Stanley - on this day in 1871 - their initial meeting was responsible for one of the Victorian era's most indelible catch-phrases...]

1444 - At the Battle of Varna the crusading forces of King Vladislaus III of Varna* and János Hunyadi were crushed by a Turkish army commanded by Sultan Murad II, during which action His Majesty was also killed - thus ending the Crusade of Varna, and eventually leading to the fall of Constantinople in May 1453.

*AKA Ulaszlo I of Hungary and/or Wladyslaw III of Poland!

1520 - Following his successful invasion of Sweden in September, soldiers loyal to Denmark's King Christian II executed some 82 high-ranking Swedes (many of them members of the Sture Party) over a three-day period, in what came to be known as the Stockholm Bloodbath.

1766 - The last colonial governor of New Jersey, William Franklin, signed the charter of Queen's College (which was later renamed Rutgers University).

1775 - The United States Marine Corps was founded.

1793 - A Goddess of Reason was proclaimed by the French Convention at the suggestion of Pierre Gaspard Chaumette; a statue of the goddess - modeled on and by Thérèse Momoro, wife of the printer Antoine-François Momoro - was then placed on the high altar of Notre Dame de Paris.

1821 - The so-called Gesture of Rufina Alfaro set into motion a revolt which eventually led to Panama's independence from Spain (which occurred just in time for Panama to immediately thereafter become part of Colombia).

1847 - The passenger ship Stephen Whitney was wrecked in thick fog off the southern coast of Ireland, killing 92 of the 110 on board; the disaster resulted in the construction of the Fastnet Rock lighthouse.

- Major Henry Wirz - the Confederate superintendent of Camp Sumter - became the only American Civil War soldier executed for war crimes.

1871 - Henry Morton Stanley located the missing explorer and missionary, Dr. David Livingstone, in Ujiji near Lake Tanganyika, uttering the now-famous phrase 'Dr. Livingstone, I presume?'

1898 - The Wilmington Insurrection of 1898 - the only instance of a municipal government being overthrown in US history - began in Delaware; originally considered a race riot, it is now more appropriately termed a coup d'etat.

1924 - Dean O'Banion, leader of the North Side Gang, was assassinated in his flower shop by members of Johnny Torrio's gang, sparking a bloody gang war which would dominate life in Chicago for the remainder of the 1920s.

1928 - Michinomiya Hirohito was crowned the 124th Emperor of Japan; since his January 1989 death he's been known by his posthumous name, Emperor Shōwa.

1938 - The founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, died.

1944 - 3,800 tons of ordnance on the ammunition ship USS Mount Hood (AE-11) exploded while the vessel was docked in Seeadler Harbor at Papua New Guinea's Manus Island; all 350 men aboard ship were killed in the blast, as well as 82 members of the crew serving on the USS Mindanao (ARG-3), and some 22 other boats moored nearby were either sunk or severely damaged.

1954 - US President Dwight D. Eisenhower dedicated the USMC War Memorial (also known as the Iwo Jima Memorial) in Arlington National Cemetery.

1958 - The Hope Diamond was donated to the Smithsonian Institution by New York diamond merchant Harry Winston.

1969 - Sesame Street - created by Joan Ganz Cooney and Jim Henson - made its television debut on National Educational Television, the precursor to PBS.

1995 - In Nigeria, playwright and environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, along with eight others from the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (Mosop), were hanged by government forces.

2007 - The ¿Por qué no te callas? incident occurred, pitting Spain's King Juan Carlos I against Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. Try and guess whose side the Pop Culture Institute was on during this particular contretemps...
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