Friday, April 23, 2010

POPnews - April 23rd

[Originally opened in May 1779, the Molen De Adriaan had already been damaged by a storm in 1930 when it burnt to the ground on this day in 1932; the cause of the fire remains a mystery, but the reason it took as long as it did to rebuild is an all-too familiar tale. Bureaucratic wrangling and a lack of funds stalled the project until 1999, when reconstruction began; it was reopened in 2002, 70 years to the day after its fiery demise.]

1014 - At the Battle of Clontarf near Dublin the King of Munster Brian Boru and the King of Leinster, Máel Mórda mac Murchada, defeated Viking invaders; both, however, were killed in battle, as was Boru's son Machad.

1343 - During the St. George's Night Uprising Estonian peasants revolted against their German-dominated aristocracy, killing (by some reports) as many as 1,800; although it began on this night, the uprising lasted for two years. Long considered an attack against all Christianity by the still-pagan Estonians, it's now thought that most of their grievances were with the Livonian Order alone.

1348 - The founding of the Order of the Garter by England's King Edward III was announced on St George's Day.

1597 - The first recorded performance of William Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor was given at Windsor Castle, with Queen Elizabeth I in attendance, during that year's Garter Feast.

1635 - Boston Latin School, the first public school in the United States, was founded - predictably enough, in Boston.

1660 - The Treaty of Oliwa settled peace between Sweden and Poland - ending the so-called Deluge, or the Swedish invasion of Poland-Lithuania - when it was signed by Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I, Elector Frederick William of Brandenburg-Prussia, King Charles X of Sweden, and King John II Casimir of Poland.

1661 - England's Charles II was crowned amidst even greater pomp than usual at Westminster Abbey.

1815 - The Second Serbian Uprising - the second phase of a revolution by the Serbs against their occupiers - erupted shortly after the annexation of the country to the Ottoman Empire.

1920 - The Grand National Assembly of Turkey was founded in Ankara.

1932 - A 153-year old windmill known as De Adriaan, located in the Dutch town of Haarlem, burnt down.

1935 - The Polish Constitution of 1935 was adopted.

1940 - The Rhythm Night Club fire at a dance hall in Natchez, Mississippi, killed 198 people, including bandleader Walter Barnes.

1941 - The Greek government of Ioannis Metaxas and the family of King George II evacuated Athens shortly before the invading Wehrmacht arrived, occupying the city by April 27th and shortly thereafter all of Greece.

1942 - During the so-called Baedeker Blitz German bombers hit Exeter, Bath and York in retaliation for the British raid on Lübeck; the point of the raid wasn't to interfere with Britain's industrial output but to weaken morale by attacking its loveliest and most historically significant locales.

1955 - The Canadian Labour Congress was formed by the merger of the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada and the Canadian Congress of Labour.

1979 - Fighting in London between the Anti-Nazi League and the Metropolitan Police's Special Patrol Group resulted in the death of anti-fascist activist protester Blair Peach.

1982 - The Conch Republic was established when Key West jokingly seceded from the United States.

1985 - Coca-Cola changed its formula and released New Coke; the response was overwhelmingly negative, and the original formula was back on the market in less than 3 months, cleverly marketed as Coke Classic.

1992 - The divorce of The Princess Royal and Capt. Mark Phillips became final, marking the first event in Elizabeth II's famed 'annus horribilis'.

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