Saturday, July 31, 2010

POPnews - July 31st

[Leave it to a bunch of men to find some way to get a car on the Moon!]

30 BCE - At the Battle of Alexandria Roman general Mark Antony achieved a minor victory over the forces of Octavian near the end of the Final War of the Roman Republic; although most of Antony's army subsequently deserted - which later led to his suicide - Octavian successfully invaded Egypt and became the first Roman Emperor.

1009 - Sergius IV succeeded John XVIII to become the 142nd pope.

1423 - During the Hundred Years' War a combined Scottish, Breton, and French army under John Stewart, 2nd Earl of Buchan was defeated at the Battle of Cravant, on the banks of the river Yonne; following the victory the English and Burgundian forces of Thomas Montacute, 4th Earl of Salisbury took more than 2,000 prisoners.

1451 - Jacques Cœur was arrested on the orders of France's King Charles VII, accused of poisoning in the February 1450 death of the King's mistress, Agnès Sorel.

1498 - On his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus became the first European to visit the island of Trinidad.

1667 - The Treaty of Breda ended the Second Anglo-Dutch War.

1777 - The Second Continental Congress passed a resolution that the services of Marquis de Lafayette 'be accepted, and that, in consideration of his zeal, illustrious family and connexions, he have the rank and commission of major-general of the United States.'

1856 - The city of Christchurch was granted a Royal Charter, a first for New Zealand.

1865 - The first narrow gauge mainline railway in the world opened at the Australian town of Grandchester.

1930 - The radio mystery program The Shadow was aired for the first time as part of the Detective Story Hour.

1945 - John K. Giles attempted to escape from Alcatraz aboard the Army launch General Frank M. Coxe; very nearly successful, he was apprehended at Fort McDowell on Angel Island and returned to prison.

1948 - New York City's Idlewild Field was rededicated New York International Airport (only to be later renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport).

1961 - The first All-Star Game tie in major league baseball history occurred when the game was stopped in the 9th inning because of rain at Biston's Fenway Park.

1964 - Ranger 7 sent back the first close-up photographs of the moon, including images 1,000 times clearer than anything ever seen from earth-bound telescopes.

1971 - Apollo 15 astronauts David Scott and James Irwin became the first to ride in a Lunar Rover on the moon while Alfred Worden orbited overhead with a camera, comprehensively mapping the lunar surface.

1981 - General Omar Torrijos - commander of the Panamanian National Guard and de facto leader of Panama - died in a plane crash; it is now thought that the crash was an assassination masterminded by the CIA, although the best source of information on that matter is Manuel Noriega. Best known for negotiating 1977's Torrijos-Carter Treaties, which returned sovereignty of the Panama Canal to Panama, in May 2004 his son, Martín Torrijos, won the presidential election, taking office the following September.

1998 - The British Government announced a total ban on the use of landmines, less than a year following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, whose last campaign before she died called for the elimination of the devices.

2006 - Fidel Castro handed over power temporarily to his brother Raúl Castro, which was a cause for celebration in Miami's La Pequeña Habana.

2007 - Operation Banner - the presence of the British Army in Northern Ireland, and the longest-running British Army operation ever - came to an end.
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