Wednesday, April 14, 2010

POPnews - April 14th

[Shortly after noon on this day in 1935 a cloud of dust traveling 100 kilometres (60 miles) an hour came swirling out of the American West over the Great Plains... Not the first - and by no means the last - by 1940 dust storms such as this one had forced 2.5 million people to flee what was left of their farms for greener pastures, while an untold quantity of the once-fertile topsoil that had once upon a time made those farms bountiful ended up at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.]

43 BCE - At the Battle of Forum Gallorum Mark Antony - while besieging Julius Caesar's assassin Decimus Junius Brutus in Mutina - defeated the forces of the consul Pansa, who was killed.

1434 - The foundation stone of Cathedral St. Peter and St. Paul in Nantes was laid by John, Duke of Brittany and Jean de Malestroit, Bishop of Nantes; the first architect on the site was Guillaume de Dammartin, who was later replaced by Mathurin Rodier.

1471 - In England, Yorkist forces under Edward IV defeated their Lancastrian opponents under the Earl of Warwick at the Battle of Barnet, during which Warwick was killed and following which the deposed monarch was able to resume his throne - the first and only English King to do so*.

*Charles II technically became King upon the removal of his father Charles I's head in January 1649, but since Parliament under Oliver Cromwell had abolished the monarchy as it abolished its monarch, technically the succession was broken - at least in England.

1775 - The first abolition society in the North America - the Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage - was established in Philadelphia by Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush.

1846 - The Donner Party of pioneers departed for California from Springfield, Illinois, on what would become a year-long journey of hardship, cannibalism, and survival.

1865 - US Secretary of State William H. Seward and his family were attacked in his home by Lewis Powell at the same time as President Abraham Lincoln was being shot at Ford's Theatre by John Wilkes Booth; a third attack, against Vice President Andrew Johnson - meant to be carried out by George Atzerodt - was not.

1881 - The Four Dead in Five Seconds Gunfight erupted in El Paso, Texas.

1894 - Thomas Edison demonstrated the kinetoscope - a device for peep-show viewing using photographs that flip in sequence, a precursor to movies.

1912 - The British passenger liner RMS Titanic hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic just before midnight; the so-called un-sinkable ship sank within hours, with the loss of more than 1,500 lives.

1927 - The first Volvo rolled off the assembly line in Gothenburg.

1931 - The Spanish Cortes deposed King Alfonso XIII and proclaimed the 2nd Spanish Republic.

1935 - 'Black Sunday' - arguably the single worst dust storm of the US Dust Bowl - reduced visibility to five feet in some places, smothering wild and domesticated animals and people alike in its relentless advance; stretching from the Dakotas to Texas, drought coupled with unwise farming methods and a lack of understanding about conservation almost brought the once-rich agricultural output of the nation to a standstill.

1943 - James Boarman, Fred Hunter, Harold Brest and Floyd G. Hamilton took part in an attempted escape from Alcatraz. Boarman was shot in the water and is presumed dead; although his body was never found, his accomplices were all recaptured.

1958 - The Soviet satellite Sputnik 2 fell from orbit after a mission duration of 162 days.

1968 - At the 41st Academy Awards, an unprecedented tie between Katharine Hepburn (for The Lion in Winter) and Barbra Streisand (for Funny Girl) resulted in the two sharing that year's Best Actress Oscar.

1978 - At a series of demonstrations in Tbilisi, thousands of Georgians protested against the attempt by the Soviet authorities to change the constitutional status of their language.

1994 - In a friendly fire incident during Operation Provide Comfort in northern Iraq, two US Air Force aircraft mistakenly shot down two US Army helicopters, killing 26 people.

2002 - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez returned to office two days after being ousted and arrested by his country's military.

2005 - The Oregon Supreme Court nullified nearly 3,000 marriage licenses issued to gay couples a year earlier by Multnomah County.

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1 comment:

Seumas Gagne said...

The Oregon Supreme Court nullifying those marriages wound up being kind of a footnote after the San Francisco marriages were wiped out. My Nice Gay Neighbors, Chris and Ken were SF wed and appeared visibly shaken the day they were "forcibly divorced" as they said.

History will not remember those court actions kindly.