Monday, June 21, 2010

POPnews - June 21st

[The Winnipeg General Strike began on May 1st, and not only persisted but grew, even after the city fired its striking workers on May 4th; despite ongoing negotiations, by May 24th as many as 6,800 strikers from 13 separate trades were walking picket lines. Ten strike leaders (including J.S. Woodsworth and Abraham Albert Heaps) were arrested on June 17th as the city's media outlets the Winnipeg Free Press and Winnipeg Tribune (aided by their cronies in other major North American cities) continued to spew bigoted anti-strike propaganda, raising the spectre of Bolshevism mainly by using anti-Semitic language and imagery. At a peaceful demonstration held in the city's Market Square on this day in 1919 Mayor Charles Frederick Gray read the Riot Act, following which he ordered the RCMP to disperse the crowd, to predictable results; the day is still remembered there as 'Bloody Saturday'... The strike eventually ended on June 26th, and of course could have been entirely prevented save for the epic greed of a load of old war-profiteering plutocrats.]

1582 - The Incident at Honnō-ji - namely the forced suicide of daimyo Oda Nobunaga at the hands of samurai general Akechi Mitsuhide - took place in Kyoto. 

1734 - A black slave known by the name of Marie-Joseph Angélique - having been convicted for an act of arson which eventually destroyed much of the city of Old Montreal largely on circumstantial evidence and the testimony of a five-year-old girl named Amable Monière - was tortured and hanged by French authorities in a public ceremony that involved, among other atrocities, the amputation of one of her hands. 

1788 - New Hampshire became the 9th US state. 

1798 - During the Irish Rebellion of 1798 the British Army defeated a rebel force from County Wexford at the Battle of Vinegar Hill. 

1826 - Greek Maniots defeated Egyptian invaders under Ibrahim Pasha at the Battle of Vergas. 

1854 - The first Victoria Cross - created by Queen Victoria to reward acts of valour during the Crimean War - was unwittingly won by Charles Davis Lucas of the Royal Navy's HMS Hecla during the bombardment of Bomarsund in the Aland Islands; I say unwittingly because the VC wasn't even created until January 1856, and wouldn't be awarded until June 1857, but had been backdated to include all worthy recipients of that conflict, including Lucas - a ship's mate who would eventually rise through the ranks to become a rear-admiral. 

1864 - The Tauranga Campaign - part of the larger New Zealand Land Wars - ended. 

1877 - Ten members of the Molly Maguires, a terrorist group of Irish immigrants targeting coal fields, were hanged in Pennsylvania - six (Hugh McGeehan, Thomas Munley, James Carroll, James Roarity, James Boyle, Thomas Duffy) at the jail in Schuylkill County and four (Alexander Campbell, John 'Yellow Jack' Donohue, Michael Doyle and Edward Kelly) at its counterpart in Carbon County. 

1915 - The US Supreme Court handed down its decision in Guinn v. United States, striking down an Oklahoma law denying the right to vote to some citizens; three guesses what colour of voter they'd been trying to disenfranchise*... 

*Sorry to disappoint you, FOX News viewers, but 'white' is always going to be the wrong answer.

1919 - Members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, on horseback, stormed into a crowd of unemployed war veterans swinging batons during the Winnipeg General Strike; they then opened fire on the crowd, in all killing one protester and injuring 30.

1948 - The 'Manchester Baby' (SSEM) ran the first ever computer program stored in electronic memory.

Photobucket1957 - Ellen Louks Fairclough was sworn in as Canada's first woman Cabinet Minister, serving as Secretary of State for Canada, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and Postmaster General for Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. In all Fairclough served as MP for Hamilton West as a Progressive Conservative between 1950 and 1963; despite her sterling progressive credentials - she was an early outspoken proponent of pay equity, for instance - maybe fittingly she had her conservative side as well, opposing the hiring and promotion of homosexuals. In fact, her firing of the eminently qualified Alan Jarvis as director of the National Gallery in September 1959 (which may have been, at least in part, bias motivated) was later fictionalized in the novel What's Bred in the Bone by Robertson Davies. Fairclough died in November 2004, and on this day in 2005 her career and achievements were commemorated by Canada Post - the very agency she'd once been the first woman to oversee.

1964 - Three civil rights workers - Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Mickey Schwerner - were murdered in Mississippi's Neshoba County by members of the Ku Klux Klan; all three of the slain men were portrayed (albeit anonymously) in Alan Parker's historically spurious 1988 film Mississippi Burning.

1973 - In handing down their decision in Miller v. California, the US Supreme Court established the Miller Test, which now governs obscenity in American law.

1982 - John Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity for the March 1981 attempted assassination of US President Ronald Reagan - which he had done in an effort to impress actress Jodie Foster.

2000 - Section 28 - which had outlawed the 'promotion' of homosexuality in the United Kingdom since May 1988 - was repealed in Scotland by a 99 to 17 vote; the law would remain on the books in England and Northern Ireland, though, until November 2003.

2001 - A US federal grand jury indicted 13 Saudis and a Lebanese national for the June 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 American servicemen.

2004 - SpaceShipOne - developed by Scaled Composites - became the first privately funded spaceplane to achieve spaceflight; the following October it went on to win the Ansari X PRIZE by reaching 100 kilometers in altitude twice in a two-week period with the equivalent of three people on board, with no more than ten percent of the non-fuel weight of the spacecraft replaced between flights.

2006 - Pluto's newly discovered moons were officially named Nix and Hydra.
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