Monday, July 19, 2010

POPnews - July 19th

[Thought to have been named for the sister of England's King Henry VIII - a lady who was once Queen of France but is best remembered today as Mary Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk - the Mary Rose was the flagship of the Royal Navy when she sank; likely because it could not be attributed to weather, maritime hazards, or warfare, her sinking entered the common lore of the English people in a way that numerous other wrecks of the era did not... Although she was accidentally discovered by fishermen in June 1836, and a few of her treasures were recovered by John Deane at that time, the site was largely forgotten by 1840; Alexander McKee began a new search in 1965, and in 1971 a springtide, combined with a severe gale, uncovered a layer of sediment, leaving several structural timbers clearly visible. The site came under the aegis of the Protection of Wrecks Act in February 1974, until such time as funds could be raised to rescue her from the seabed.]
711 CE - Muslim forces under Tariq ibn Ziyad defeated the Visigoths led by their king Roderic at the Battle of Guadalete; this early battle in the Islamic conquest of Hispania marks the point where seemingly random skirmishes against Europeans by Berbers became all-out war.

1333 - At the Battle of Halidon Hill - the final conflict of the Second War of Scottish Independence - the Scots under Sir Archibald Douglas were badly defeated by the army of England's King Edward III.

1544 - During the Italian War of 1542-6 - which you'll remember pitted France's King Francis I and Suleiman I of the Ottoman Empire against the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (who was also King of Spain) and Henry VIII - England's Duke of Suffolk undertook the Siege of Boulogne, which would last until the city was taken on September 18th... Whereupon the Emperor made peace with France, who then instigated the Second Siege of Boulogne in order to take the city back.

- The Tudor warship Mary Rose sank during the Battle of the Solent off Portsmouth as King Henry VIII looked on from the vantage point of nearby Southsea Castle; she was raised in October 1982 and is being painstakingly preserved while on display with over 19,000 artefacts from the wreck in Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard.

1553 - Lady Jane Grey was succeeded by Mary, eldest daughter of Henry VIII, as Queen of England after having held her title for just nine days; as Mary was being proclaimed by the people of London, Lady Jane was being escorted to the Tower of London, where she would meet her fate in February 1554.

1588 - The Spanish Armada was first sighted in the English Channel off Cornwall's St Michael's Mount.

1760 - The formal request to found the Puerto Rican city that became Mayagüez was filed by its founders - Faustino Martínez de Matos, Juan de Silva and Juan de Aponte; a charter would be granted by the Spanish Crown the following September 18th.

1843 - Isambard Kingdom Brunel's steamship the SS Great Britain was launched, becoming the first ocean-going craft with an iron hull or screw propeller and also becoming the largest vessel afloat in the world.

1848 - The two-day Women's Rights Convention opened in Seneca Falls, New York, at which bloomers were introduced.

1864 - The Third Battle of Nanking - the last major engagement of the Taiping Rebellion - pitted Zeng Guofan of the Qing Dynasty against Hong Xiuquan and Li Xiucheng; as many as 200,000 Taiping rebels died as the rebellion, which had begun on March 14th, faltered.

1879 - Doc Holliday and noted gunman John Joshua Webb were seated in a saloon in Las Vegas, New Mexico, when a former US Army scout named Mike Gordon began yelling loudly at one of the saloon girls. When Gordon stormed from the saloon, Holliday followed him; Gordon produced his pistol and fired one shot, missing. Holliday immediately drew his gun and fired, killing Gordon. It was the first killing committed by Holliday, but it wouldn't be the last, even though Holliday was later acquitted of the crime in court.

1908 - Dutch football club Feyenoord Rotterdam was founded.

1912 - A meteorite with an estimated mass of 190 kg exploded over Holbrook - in Navajo County, Arizona - scattering approximately 16,000 pieces of debris over the town.

1916 - At the same time as the Battle of the Somme was raging 80 kilometres (50 miles) to the south, the Battle of Fromelles marked the first time the Australian Imperial Force saw action on the Western Front in World War I, and was itself a slaughter; in all there were 5,533 Australian casualties on that day - an event described at Canberra's Australian War Memorial as 'the worst 24 hours in Australia's entire history' - and yet it was a decisive German victory, as Allied forces failed to gain any ground from the action.

1919 - Following Peace Day celebrations marking the end of World War I, ex-servicemen rioted and burnt down Luton Town Hall.

1947 - Burmese nationalist Aung San, 6 of his cabinet, and 2 others were assassinated.

1963 - Joe Walker flew a North American X-15 to a record altitude of 106,010 metres (347,800 feet) on X-15 Flight 90; by exceeding an altitude of 100 km, his flight qualified as a human spaceflight under international convention.

1976 - Nepal's Sagarmatha National Park was created.

1985 - The Val di Stava Dam collapse killed 268 people in Val di Stava, Italy.

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