Sunday, March 13, 2011

POPnews - March 13th

[Although mentions of Uncle Sam first occurred during the War of 1812 - when he was a counterpart to the British John Bull - this more common representation first appeared in 1917, when J. M. Flagg created it for a US military recruitment poster, which itself was based on a similar poster of Britain's Lord Kitchener, designed by Alfred Leete.]

1138 - Cardinal Gregorio Conti was elected Antipope as Victor IV, succeeding Anacletus II.

1781 - Sir William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus, along with a raft of puerile jokes.

1845 - Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto was premièred at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, featuring soloist Ferdinand David.

1852 - Uncle Sam made his debut as a cartoon in the New York Lantern, according to The New York Times.

1881 - Tsar Alexander II of Russia was killed* near his palace when a bomb was thrown at him by Ignacy Hryniewiecki, with the radical group Narodnya Volya, who also died in the attack; it had been the fifth attempt on the Tsar's life.

1884 - Troops loyal to Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad led the siege of Khartoum, which would continue until January 1885 when the commander of the city's defense - Charles George Gordon - was killed.

1897 - San Diego State University was founded.

1900 - British forces occupied Bloemfontein, in the Orange Free State, during the Second Boer War.

1920 - The Kapp Putsch briefly ousted the government of the Weimar Republic from Berlin.

1921 - Mongolia, under Baron Roman Ungern von Sternberg, declared its independence from China.

1925 - A law was passed in Tennessee known as the Butler Act which prohibited the teaching of evolution in that state's schools; the law would later be challenged during the famous Scopes Trial.

1943 - Nazi forces began liquidating the Jewish ghetto in Kraków under the supervision of SS-Sturmbannführer Amon Goth, who sent 8,000 to the Plaszow labor camp, ordered some 2,000 whom he deemed unfit to work summarily executed, and sent the remainder to Auschwitz; among the survivors of this horrific event was famed film director Roman Polanski.

1947 - The musical Brigadoon opened on Broadway at the Ziegfeld Theatre, where it ran for 581 performances.

1957 - Cuban student revolutionaries stormed the presidential palace in Havana in a failed attempt on the life of President Fulgencio Batista.

1962 - Lyman Lemnitzer, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, proposed committing either simulated or real acts of terrorism or other false flag operations against US forces in Guantanamo Bay (only to then blame them on Cuba) to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in a document called Operation Northwoods; not only was the proposal rightly scrapped but President John F. Kennedy refused to re-appoint Lemnitzer to his position. Far from being forced to live the rest of his life in disgrace, Lemnitzer later served as Supreme Allied Commander of NATO.

1969 - Apollo 9 returned safely to Earth, having successfully tested the Lunar Module.

1986 - Microsoft made its initial public offering.

1996 - At the Dunblane Massacre in Dunblane, Scotland, 16 children and 1 adult teacher were shot dead by a spree killer named Thomas Watt Hamilton, who then committed suicide.

1997 - India's Missionaries of Charity chose Sister Nirmala to succeed Mother Teresa as its leader, apparently.

*Although Russia was then on the Julian calendar - meaning this event took place on March 1st for them - Pop Culture Institute is on the Gregorian calendar; we therefore always try to post POPnews events accordingly.

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