Monday, July 05, 2010

POPnews - July 5th

[Although she lived just six years, Dolly the sheep's brief life raised all sorts of ethical questions about cloning, in addition to raising hopes that such a technique might one day be used to bring species such as the Pyrenean ibex back from extinction - which in itself is bound to raise a whole other set of issues... Aside from that the only ethical issue I have with Dolly is in regards to her name; since the cell used to replicate her was taken from a mammary gland, the first cloned mammal in history was named after the famously busty entertainer and humanitarian Dolly Parton - which I think says more about Ian Wilmut, Keith Campbell and their colleagues at Edinburgh's Roslin Institute than I dare to!]

1687 - Isaac Newton published his three-volume Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, which he'd written over the previous two years.

1775 - The Second Continental Congress adopted the Olive Branch Petition, a letter written to George III in a last-ditch effort to prevent bloodshed in the looming American Revolution; it was sent three days later, and when it was received by the King six weeks after that it was discarded and its requests ignored.

1809 - The Battle of Wagram began, near Vienna, pitting the Duke of Teschen against the Corsican Over-Compensator himself; when it ended the following day it had become the largest battle yet of the Napoleonic Wars, and ended the War of the Fifth Coalition.

1811 - Venezuela's Congress declared independence from Spain by ratifying a document written by Juan Germán Roscio, precipitating the Venezuelan War of Independence, which lasted until the Spanish were soundly defeated by José Prudencio Padilla at the Battle of Lake Maracaibo in July 1823. Today is celebrated as Independence Day in Venezuela.

1814 - During the War of 1812 American Major General Jacob Brown defeated British General Phineas Riall at the Battle of Chippawa.

1830 - France invaded Algeria, thereby inflicting 132 years of French colonial rule on that North African country.

1833 - Admiral Charles Napier defeated the navy of the Portuguese usurper Dom Miguel at the third Battle of Cape St. Vincent.

1934 - At an incident which came to be known as Bloody Thursday police opened fire on striking longshoremen in San Francisco, killing Nicholas Bordois and Howard Sperry.

1937 - Spam, the luncheon meat, was first offered for sale by the Hormel Foods Corporation.

1946 - The bikini was introduced during a fashion show at Piscine Molitor in Paris; allegedly invented by engineer Louis Réard and designer Jacques Helm, there are depictions of similar garments from Ancient Rome.

Photobucket1947 - Larry Doby signed a contract with Bill Veeck and the Cleveland Indians, making him the first black player in the American League... Unfortunately for Doby Jackie Robinson had broken the color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers in the National League just 11 weeks earlier, which pretty much stole all of Doby's thunder. Doby was, however, the first black man to hit a home run during a World Series game - which he did in 1948, the year Cleveland trounced the Boston Braves. Previously a member of the Newark Eagles of the Negro Leagues, Doby ended his American playing career in June 1959 with the Chicago White Sox, passing through the locker room of the Detroit Tigers along the way; following his retirement from the majors state-side, Doby played with the Chunichi Dragons of Nippon Professional Baseball in Nagoya, Japan. He also coached for the Montreal Expos and the Indians, and later served as manager for the White Sox in 1978 - ironically making him the second black manager in the majors, following a different Robinson (Frank Robinson) into the record books! Doby was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998.

1950 - The Knesset passed the Law of Return, granting all Jews the right to immigrate to Israel.

1954 - India's Andhra Pradesh High Court was established.

1962 - Following the Algerian War of Independence that country declared its own independence from France, two days after French President Charles de Gaulle had declared it for them and 132 years to the day after the French initially invaded.

1970 - During a stopover en route from Montreal to Los Angeles Air Canada Flight 621 crashed near Toronto International Airport, killing 109 people.

1975 - Cape Verde gained its independence from Portugal following the fall of the latter's dictator António de Oliveira Salazar - whose hardline approach to the independence of Portugese colonies caused the majority of them to be lost anyway following his ouster.

1977 - During a military coup in Pakistan, that country's first democratically elected Prime Minister - Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto - was overthrown.

1989 - Oliver North was sentenced by US District Judge Gerhard A. Gesell to a three-year suspended prison term, two years probation, $150,000 in fines and 1,200 hours community service for his part in the Iran-Contra Affair.

1996 - Dolly the sheep became the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell.
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