Friday, June 25, 2010

POPnews - June 25th

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[The scene depicted in the Cornaro Window is the grueling test of wits that was the awarding of a 17th Century doctorate... There, in the Duomo di Padova and in the presence of University of Padua authorities - as well as the professors of all the faculties, the students, and the majority of the Venetian Senators, together with many invited guests from the Universities of Bologna, Ferrara, Perugia, Rome, and Naples - the Lady Elena spoke for an hour in classical Latin, explaining difficult passages selected at random from the works of Aristotle. It is said she was listened to with rapt attention, and when she had finished, received plaudits as Professor Rinaldini proceeded to award her with the insignia of the Doctorate, placing the wreath of laurel on her head, the ring on her finger, and an ermine mozetta around her shoulders. Uh... You GO girl!]

524 CE - At the Battle of V├ęzeronce, waged by the main claimants to the throne left vacant by the death of the Frankish King Clovis I - his four sons Childebert I, Chlodomir, Clotaire I, and Theuderic I - the Franks defeated the Burgundian King Sigismund, although Chlodomir was killed (tradition has it by Sigismund's brother Gundomar III).

1530 - The Augsburg Confession was presented at the Diet of Augsburg to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V by the Lutheran princes and Electors of Germany.

1678 - Elena Cornaro Piscopia became the first woman awarded a doctorate of philosophy, a scene illustrated today in the Cornaro Window (designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany) in the West Wing of the Thompson Memorial Library at Vassar College.

1741 - Maria Theresa of Austria was crowned King of Hungary - not the first time a woman had reigned over Hungary, but nearly... Mary I was also queen regnant, twice, in the late 14th Century. Despite the Pragmatic Sanction promoted by her father - Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor - Maria Theresa's accession to the throne of Austria had caused the War of Austrian Succession (better known in North America as the Seven Years' War) which broke out in 1740.

1788 - Virginia became the 10th US state.

1876 - At the Battle of the Little Bighorn Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer was killed, a rare First Nations victory during the Indian Wars for Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, and Chief Gall.

Photobucket1906 - Following their attendance at the premiere of the musical revue Mam'zelle Champagne, Pittsburgh millionaire Harry Thaw shot and killed prominent architect Stanford White at the roof garden of what was the second incarnation of Madison Square Garden (which White himself had designed and built); Thaw's ire was due to White's affair with Mrs. Thaw - better known as model and actress Evelyn Nesbit. The killing was fictionalized in the superlative 1975 novel Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow (which was later made into a movie and a stage musical) having already been the subject of the 1955 film The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing, starring Joan Collins, Ray Milland and Farley Granger - which had as a creative consultant none other than Nesbit herself.

1938 - Dr. Douglas Hyde was inaugurated the first President of Ireland.

1944 - The Battle of Tali-Ihantala, the largest battle ever fought in the Nordic Countries, began as part of the Continuation War, the second of two wars fought between Finland and the Soviet Union during World War II.

1947- The Diary of Anne Frank was first published, in Holland, as Het Achterhuis; Anne's father Otto Frank had been given the diaries by Miep Gies, who had not only been instrumental in hiding the family but had later rescued the diary from the Gestapo.

1948 - The Berlin Airlift was instituted as a means to relieve the situation caused by East Germany's Berlin Blockade.

1950 - The Korean War began with the invasion of South Korea by North Korea - an action condemned by the United Nations.

1975 - Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi compelled President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed to declare a State of Emergency in India under Article 352 of the Indian Constitution, suspending civil liberties and elections following Mrs. Gandhi's conviction by the Allahabad High Court on charges of corruption 13 days earlier.

1991 - Croatia and Slovenia declared their independence from Yugoslavia.

1993 - Kim Campbell was chosen as leader of the governing Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and thus became the country's first female Prime Minister. In political terms she was a sacrificial lamb, though; at the next federal election later that year her party was so soundly defeated she even lost her own seat, to political newcomer (and my MP) Hedy Fry.

1996 - The Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia killed 19 American servicemen.

1997 - An unmanned Progress spacecraft collided with the Russian space station, Mir.

1998 - In Clinton v. City of New York, the US Supreme Court decided that the Line Item Veto Act of 1996 was unconstitutional.

2008 - Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe had his honourary knighthood stripped by HM The Queen.
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