Saturday, July 03, 2010

POPnews - July 3rd

[We at the Pop Culture Institute make no bones about the threat to humanity posed by the internal combustion engine - in fact, we'll witter on about it ad nauseum to anyone fool enough to listen; we do accept, though, that what we consider to be the greatest invention of all time - namely photography - may have enemies of its own.]

324 CE - At the Battle of Adrianople - during one of the Roman Empire's occasional civil wars - Constantine I defeated Licinius, who then fled to Byzantium.

987 CE - Hugh Capet was crowned King of France, thereby establishing the Capetian Dynasty, which ruled that country until the French Revolution swept it from power in 1792.

1608 - Québec City was founded by Samuel de Champlain.

1754 - During the French and Indian War, George Washington surrendered Fort Necessity to the French - an incident most famous today for having been referenced on The Simpsons in the classic episode Bart Gets an F.

1767 - Adresseavisen, Norway's oldest extant newspaper, published its first issue.

1778 - During the American Revolution Loyalist British forces led by Colonel John Butler killed 360 American Patriot men, women, and children in 45 minutes, then burned their village to the ground, in the Wyoming Valley Massacre; Butler was aided in his task by Seneca warriors Sayenqueraghta and Cornplanter of the Iroquois Confederacy.

1844 - The last pair of Great Auks were killed on the Icelandic island of Geirfuglasker by Jón Brandsson and Sigurður Ísleifsson.

1863 - The final day of the Battle of Gettysburg culminated with Pickett's Charge.

1866 - The Austro-Prussian War was decided at the Battle of Königgratz, resulting in Prussia taking over as the prominent German nation from Austria.

1886 - Karl Benz officially unveiled the Benz Patent Motorwagen – the first purpose-built automobile.

1890 - Idaho became the 43rd US state.

1898 - During the Spanish-American War the Spanish fleet, led by Pascual Cervera y Topete and moored at the Cuban port of Santiago, was destroyed by the US Navy.

1913 - Confederate veterans at the Great Reunion of 1913 reenacted Pickett's Charge; upon reaching the high-water mark of the Confederacy they were met by the outstretched hands of friendship from Union survivors.

1938 - The world speed record for a steam railway locomotive was set in England, by the Mallard, which reached a speed of 126 mph (203 km/h).

1940 - The French fleet of the Atlantic based at Mers el Kébir was bombarded by the British fleet, coming from Gibraltar, causing the loss of three battleships: Dunkerque, Provence and Bretagne. 1,200 sailors died in the raid.

1962 - The Algerian War of Independence against colonial rule ended with the proclamation of Algeria as an independent state by French president Charles De Gaulle; two days later the fledgling nation's Provisional Executive re-made the declaration - on the 132nd anniversary of the invasion of Algeria - which is the day still celebrated there as the country's real Independence Day.

1988 - Istanbul's Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge was completed, providing a second connection between the continents of Europe and Asia over the Bosphorus, the first being the Bosphorus Bridge, opened in October 1973.

1996 - The Stone of Scone was returned to Scotland from its opulent captivity within St. Edward's Chair, which itself sits at the heart of the most sacred precincts of Westminster Abbey; it currently resides in the very different (although entirely equal, as per EC regulations) splendour of Edinburgh Castle.

2004 - Bangkok's subway system was officially opened.
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