Thursday, April 08, 2010

POPnews - April 8th

[Despite its dramatic West Front, there's very little about Winchester Cathedral that would indicate the marvels to be found within its precincts; yet this is one of the largest churches in England and has both the longest nave and greatest overall length of any Gothic church in Europe. Dedicated to the Holy Trinity as well as St. Peter and St. Paul its name also commemorates one who is actually buried there, namely Saint Swithun, who was Bishop of Winchester until his death in 862 CE. Plus, it has a pop song written about it... Take that Brompton Oratory!]

217 CE - Roman Emperor Caracalla was assassinated by one of his bodyguards, Julius Martialis, while urinating at the side of the road near Harran; he was succeeded by his Praetorian Guard prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus, who was almost certainly complicit in the killing.

1093 - The new Winchester Cathedral was dedicated by Walkelin, the first Norman to serve as Bishop of Winchester; situated adjacent to the Old Minster - which was founded sometime in the 4th decade of the sixth century CE - the cathedral marks the resting place of Saxon royalty such as King Eadwig and his queen Ælfgifu as well as the notable novelist Jane Austen.

1149 - Pope Eugene III took refuge in the castle of Ptolemy II of Tusculum, where he would remain until November; while there he met France's King Louis VII and his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, who stopped over while on their way home from the disastrous Second Crusade.

1271 - Sultan Baibars conquered the Krak of Chevaliers in Syria, capturing it from the Knights Hospitaller by tricking them into thinking Bohemond VI, count of Tripoli, had enjoined them to surrender; the castle's design was later adapted by England's Edward I (who saw it while on the Ninth Crusade) to fortify his new vassal state of Wales.

1730 - Shearith Israel, New York City's first synagogue, was dedicated, apparently.

1808 - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Baltimore was promoted to an archdiocese, with the founding of the dioceses of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Bardstown (now Louisville) by Pope Pius VII.

1820 - The Venus de Milo was apparently discovered, on the Aegean island of Melos, by a peasant named Yourgos; sculpted of parian marble around 130 BCE and attributed to Alexandros of Antioch, the sculpture was subsequently seized by the Turkish then purchased by the French for the Louvre, where it still resides. For a statue she's had quite a life, as detailed in Disarmed: The Story of the Venus de Milo by Gregory Curtis.

1886 - Liberal Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone introduced the first Irish Home Rule Bill into the British House of Commons.

1895 - The US Supreme Court declared unapportioned income tax to be unconstitutional in Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co.; the opinion was delivered by Chief Justice Melville Fuller.

1904 - The French Third Republic and the United Kingdom signed the Entente cordiale, ending nearly a thousand years of conflict between the two nations.

1913 - The 17th Amendment to the US Constitution - requiring the direct election of Senators - became law.

1935 - The Works Progress Administration was formed when the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935 became law.

1950 - Pakistani Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan and Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru signed the Liaquat-Nehru Pact in an attempt to cool sectarian tensions between the two countries.

1953 - Jomo Kenyatta was sentenced to seven years' hard labour by Kenya's British rulers for organizing the Mau Mau movement and planning the Mau Mau Rebellion.

1973 - Pablo Picasso died at his villa at Mougins.

1974 - Hank Aaron hit his 715th career home run, surpassing Babe Ruth's 39-year-old record.

1986 - Actor-director Clint Eastwood was elected mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

1992 - Retired tennis great Arthur Ashe announced that he had AIDS, acquired from blood transfusions during one of his two heart surgeries.

2006 - The bodies of eight men, all shot to death, were found in a field 5 km north of Shedden, Ontario; the murders of what came to be known as the Shedden Massacre were soon linked to members of the Bandidos motorcycle gang.
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