Friday, June 18, 2010

POPnews - June 18th

[Named for the Aletsch Glacier located at its base, the Aletschhorn is less well-known by climbers than its neighbours to the north, Jungfrau and Eiger; the latter even features in a book, The Eiger Sanction, which became a film.  Alas, there's no such book-cum-movie called The Aletsch Sanction...  And by 'alas' I mean 'not alas'.]

618 CE - Li Yuan became Emperor Gaozu of Tang, initiating three centuries of Tang Dynasty rule over China; so influential was his reign that to this day there are still men who willingly allow themselves to be governed entirely by 'tang...

1178 - As reported by the chronicler Gervase, five monks at the abbey of Canterbury Cathedral saw what was in all likelihood the Giordano Bruno crater being formed, while star-gazing during that year's Taurid meteor shower; the theory was first posited by geologist Jack B. Hartung in 1976.

1264 - The Parliament of Ireland met at Castledermot in County Kildare, which is the first definitively known meeting of this legislative body.

1429 - French forces under the leadership of Joan of Arc defeated the main English army under Sir John Fastolf at the Battle of Patay, which turned the tide of the Hundred Years' War in favour of the French.

1767 - Samuel Wallis - an English sea captain at the helm of HMS Dolphin - sighted Tahiti; he is considered the first European to reach the island.

1812 - The US Congress declared war on Great Britain, a war which became known as the War of 1812.

1815 - At the very end of the Napoleonic Wars a decisive military defeat by Britain's Duke of Wellington and Prussia's Gebhard von Blücher at the Battle of Waterloo led to the abdication of Napoleon Bonaparte for the second and final time, as well as his exile on the remote island of Saint Helena.

1859 - The first ascent of Aletschhorn - the second-tallest summit in the Bernese Alps, after the Finsteraarhorn - was made by Francis Fox Tuckett, J. J. Bennen, V. Tairraz and Peter Bohren. While at the summit, Tuckett made a series of scientific measurements.

1887 - Germany and Russia signed the Reinsurance Treaty.

1900 - China's Empress Dowager Longyu ordered all foreigners killed, including foreign diplomats and their families, in support of the Boxer Rebellion.

1908 - The University of the Philippines was established.

1940 - The Appeal of June 18 by Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French Forces, led to the establishment of the French Resistance.

1953 - Following the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 the monarchy of King Farouk I was abolished and the Republic of Egypt was declared by the Revolution Command Council; serving as the country's first president was General Muhammad Naguib.

1954 - Pierre Mendès-France became Prime Minister of France.

1972 - 118 people were killed when their plane crashed less than 3 minutes after take off from London Heathrow Airport while en route to Brussels; the Staines air disaster would remain Britain's worst until the loss of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie just days before Christmas 1988.

1979 - The second Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty - or SALT II - was signed by US President Jimmy Carter and the Soviet Union's Leonid Brezhnev.

1983 - Astronaut Sally Ride became the first American woman in space on board NASA's STS-7 Space Shuttle mission.

1984 - A major clash between about 5,000 police and a similar number of miners took place at Orgreave, South Yorkshire, during the UK miners' strike of 1984-5; the incident later became known as the Battle of Orgreave. Not only was it mentioned in a Dire Straits song, Iron Hand, from the band's 1991 sixth and final album On Every Street, it was given a historical re-enactment in 2001, which was itself filmed by Mike Figgis for inclusion in a documentary on the strike by Britain's Channel 4.

2006 - Kazakhstan's first satellite, KazSat, was launched.
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