Tuesday, December 14, 2010

POPnews - December 14th

[With Joe Strummer's howls and yelps and bloody great lungsful of primal screamery The Clash shoved punk rock's culture war against the Establishment even further into the mainstream with the UK release of London Calling; the title track's guitars grind like an abrupt changing of gears, pelleting the listener with drum beats, the whole thing driven by a bass line that swoops and soars with rumbling discontent. It's no coincidence that it came out the same year Margaret Thatcher was first elected Prime Minister.]

1287 - St. Lucia's Flood killed between 50,000 and 80,000 in Holland when the seawall holding back the Zuider Zee collapsed the day after St. Lucia's Day.

1542 - Mary, Queen of Scots, ascended the throne following the death of her father, James V; she was just six days old.

1751 - The Theresian Military Academy - the first such school in the world - was founded by Austria's Empress Maria Theresa at the castle in Wiener Neustadt.

1782 - The Montgolfier Brothers succeeded in lifting a hot-air balloon off the ground during their first test flight; they succeeded so well, in fact, they lost control of the balloon, which drifted for more than 2 km before crashing.

1819 - Alabama became the 22nd US state.

1836 - The Toledo War - declared between Ohio and Michigan over a strip of land along their joint border dubbed the Toledo Strip, containing such prime real estate as Toledo - unofficially ended following the intercession of US President Andrew Jackson.

1896 - Glasgow's subway opened.

1903 - The Wright Brothers made their first attempt to fly the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

1907 - The schooner Thomas W. Lawson ran aground and foundered near the Hellweather's Reef within the Scilly Isles in a gale; the pilot and 15 seamen died.

1911 - Roald Amundsen's team - comprising himself, Olav Bjaaland, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel, and Oscar Wisting - became the first to reach the South Pole.

1914 - Lisandro de la Torre and others founded the Democratic Progressist Party (the Partido Demócrata Progresista, or PDP) at the Hotel Savoy in Buenos Aires.

1918 - Finland's King Väinö I renounced the throne of the Kingdom of Finland, having only been elected by the Eduskunta little more than two months earlier; before that he was just plain old Prince Charles Frederick of Hesse.

1962 - Mariner 2 flew past Venus.

1964 - The US Supreme Court ruled in the case of Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States that Congress could use its Commerce Clause power to fight discrimination, an important victory for the American Civil Rights Movement.

1972 - Eugene Cernan became the last person to walk on the moon, after he and Harrison Schmitt completed the third and final Extra-vehicular activity (EVA) of Apollo 17; it would be the last manned mission launched by NASA's Apollo Program to the moon in the 20th century.

1979 - The Clash released their epic double album London Calling in the UK.

1981 - Israel's Knesset passed The Golan Heights Law, extending Israeli law to the area of the Golan Heights - which did wonders towards easing tensions in the Arab-Israeli Conflict*.


2003 - Former Pakistani Generalissimo Pervez Musharaf narrowly escaped an assassination attempt near Rawalpindi.

2004 - France's Millau Viaduct, currently the highest bridge in the world, was officially opened.

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