Sunday, May 16, 2010

POPnews - May 16th

[Not only was Andrew Johnson the first US President to be impeached, there were two attempts... The first, begun in November 1867, failed by a vote of 57-108 in the House of Representatives in December 1867; the second, more serious, attempt began in February 1868 and concerned Johnson's removal from office of Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton and replacing him with Lorenzo Thomas, for which the President was charged with High Crimes and Misdemeanors in violation of the Tenure of Office Act. Johnson's real crime - namely being the sort of douchebag who was opposed to black suffrage - wasn't, alas, a crime.]

1204 - Baldwin IX, Count of Flanders was crowned the first Emperor of the Latin Empire.

1532 - Legend has it Sir Thomas More resigned as Lord Chancellor of England.

1770 - 14-year old Austrian archduchess Marie Antoinette married 15-year-old French Dauphin, Prince Louis-Auguste - the future Louis XVI - at the Palace of Versailles; she'd already married him by proxy on April 19th in Vienna.

1771 - The Battle of Alamance, a pre-American Revolutionary War battle between local militia commanded by Governor William Tryon and a group of rebels called 'The Regulators', occurred in present-day Alamance County, North Carolina; the Regulators were decimated, ending the so-called War of the Regulation.

1777 - Lachlan McIntosh and Button Gwinnett shot each other during a duel in a field owned by James Wright near Savannah, Georgia; while McIntosh recovered from his injury Gwinnett, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, died three days later.

1811 - During the Peninsular War the allied forces of Spain, Portugal and Britain under William Beresford and Joaquin Blake defeated a French army commanded by Jean de Dieu Soult at the Battle of Albuera.

1836 - Edgar Allan Poe married his 13-year-old first cousin Virginia Clemm.

1866 - Philadelphia's Charles Elmer Hires invented root beer, apparently as a substitute to regular beer; his product, Hires Root Beer, is still widely available and is thought to be the oldest continuously produced soft drink in the US, a claim shared by Vernor's ginger ale.

1868 - President Andrew Johnson was acquitted by one vote - that of Edmund G. Ross, the junior Senator from Kansas - during his impeachment proceeding in the US Senate. There would be two more votes, on May 26th, before the matter would be put to rest.

1877 - When royalist President Marshall MacMahon dismissed moderate republican Prime Minister Jules Simon it caused a political crisis in France's Third Republic; a subsequent republican election victory meant that a parliamentary interpretation of the constitution prevailed over a presidential one, eliminating any hope for a restored monarchy in that country.

1910 - The US Congress authorized the creation of the United States Bureau of Mines.

1918 - The Sedition Act of 1918 was passed by the US Congress, making criticism of the government an imprisonable offense; despite being upheld at the time by such cases as Debs v. United States it was later repealed as unconstitutional, just one of many abuses of power condoned by the administration of Woodrow Wilson.

1920 - Pope Benedict XV canonized Joan of Arc, officially making her a saint.

1943 - The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was crushed by the Nazis.

1966 - The Communist Party of China issued the May 16 Notice, marking the beginning of the Cultural Revolution.

1969 - The Soviet space probe Venera 5 landed on Venus; during the 53 minute descent the data it collected regarding the planet's atmosphere was transmitted back to Earth.

1975 - India annexed Sikkim after the mountain protectorate held a referendum in which the popular vote was in favour of the merger, making it the nation's 22nd (northernmost, and least populous) state.

1992 - The Space Shuttle Endeavour landed safely after a successful maiden voyage, mission STS-49.

2003 - 33 civilians were killed and more than 100 people injured in a series of terrorist attacks carried out by twelve suicide bombers in the Moroccan city of Casablanca, the worst in that country's history.
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