Wednesday, April 07, 2010

POPnews - April 7th

[On this day in 1805 the Lewis and Clark Expedition's intrepid Corps of Discovery broke camp at Fort Mandan - so named for its having been raised in the midst of the Mandan Nation of North Dakota in November 1804 - and resumed their journey West to the Pacific Ocean along the Missouri River. Upon their return voyage in August 1806 they found the fort burnt down; in subsequent years the advancing riverbank has swallowed up much of the historic ruin. This replica was built at the North Dakota Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, two and a half miles up-river.]

1348 - Prague's Charles University was founded by Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, who made the city his imperial capital.

1521 - Ferdinand Magellan arrived at Cebu during his ill-fated circumnavigation of the world; just three weeks later he would meet his fate in the Philippines, at the Battle of Mactan...

1541 - Francis Xavier left Lisbon on a mission to serve as Apostolic Nuncio in Goa.

1776 - Captain John Barry and the USS Lexington captured the British sloop Edward, a tender to the frigate Liverpool; although a good start at naval warfare for the would-be United States, the Lexington under Henry Johnson would herself be surrendered to Britain's John Bazely a-helm the 10-gun cutter Alert in September 1777.

1798 - The Mississippi Territory was organized from land ceded by Georgia and South Carolina; it would later be twice expanded to include disputed territory claimed by both the US and Spain.

1805 - The first public performance of Ludwig van Beethoven's Third Symphony - now known as Eroica but almost entitled Bonaparte - was conducted by the maestro himself at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna.

1868 - Thomas D'Arcy McGee, one of Canada's Fathers of Confederation, was assassinated - apparently by Patrick J. Whelan, a Fenian sympathizer who was anyway hanged for the crime; one of only two political assassinations in Canadian history (and the only one of a federal politician) it can be said to remain unsolved, as Whelan's supposed guilt looks more and more like a frame-up with each passing year.

1906 - The Algeciras Conference gave France and Spain control over Morocco.

Photobucket1940 - Booker T. Washington became the first African-American to be depicted on a United States postage stamp; his cautious approach to civil rights contrasted with the more radical methods favoured by W.E.B. DuBois in a similar - albeit more muted - contrast to that between Dr. King and Malcolm X two generations later.

1948 - The World Health Organization was established, by the United Nations.

1954 - US President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his Domino Theory speech during a news conference, outlining his own particular paranoia about the geopolitical threat posed by communism.

1956 - Spain relinquished its protectorate over Morocco - France having already done so in March - marking the independence of Morocco, during the reign of King Mohammed V.

1963 - The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia adopted a new constitution, making Josip Broz Tito its President for Life.

1964 - IBM announced System/360; I have no idea what it was or what it did, but I bet it made ugly computers run shitty software badly...

1969 - The publication of RFC 1 marked the symbolic birth date of the Internet.

1977 - West German Federal Prosecutor Siegfried Buback and his driver were shot and killed by two Red Army Faction members while waiting at a red light in Karlsruhe en route from Buback's home to the Bundesgerichtshof, the country's highest appeal court, where he worked. The shooter is thought to have been Stefan Wisniewski.

1983 - During STS-6, astronauts Story Musgrave and Don Peterson performed the first spacewalk from a Space Shuttle.

1989 - The Soviet submarine Komsomolets sank in the Barents Sea off the coast of Norway, killing 42 sailors.

2001 - The Mars Odyssey space probe was launched to scout for water and volcanic activity there.

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