Saturday, May 01, 2010

POPnews (US) - May 1st

[An event which would normally be the most embarrassing of another person's entire life wasn't even the most cringe-inducing incident in the eight long years of George W. Bush's presidency. His arrival on-board an aircraft carrier wearing a flight suit (and a codpiece besides!) was a PR stunt which did considerably more for comedy and/or umbrage than it did morale; to be fair, though, he later admitted he'd been wrong to do it, which was mighty white of him...]

1778 - The Battle of Crooked Billet began in Hatboro, Pennsylvania.

1848 - The fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta was founded at Jefferson College in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.

1893 - The World's Columbian Exposition opened in Chicago; as many as 27 million people - a number equivalent to half the US population at the time - would visit the fair during its six-month duration.

1898 - At the outset of the Spanish-American War, during the Battle of Manila Bay, the US Navy destroyed Spain's Pacific fleet; even though it was just the first major engagement of the war, it proved to be a pretty good indicator of how the rest of the hostilities would play out...

1900 - Utah's Scofield Mine Disaster killed 200, in what is the fifth-worst mining accident in US history to date.

1901 - The Pan-American Exposition opened in Buffalo, New York.

1915 - RMS Lusitania departed New York City on her two hundred and second crossing of the North Atlantic; it would also be her last...

1927 - The Union Labor Life Insurance Company was founded by the American Federation of Labor.

1930 - The name of the dwarf planet Pluto - chosen on March 24th from a suggestion by English schoolgirl Venetia Burney - was formally announced by the staff of Arizona's Lowell Observatory, where the existence of Percival Lowell's fabled Planet X had been discovered by Clyde W. Tombaugh only that February; contrary to popular belief the Disney character Pluto was named after the planetoid and not the other way around, which means Miss Burney also indirectly named Mickey Mouse's dog after the Greek god of the Underworld. For doing so, incidentally, she was given the considerable sum of £5 by her grandfather, Falconer Madan, who was himself a librarian at Oxford's Bodleian Library.

1960 - Francis Gary Powers, piloting a Lockheed U-2 spyplane, was shot down over the Soviet Union; the incident set in motion one the Cold War's foremost diplomatic schamozzle, the U-2 Crisis.

1971 - Amtrak (the National Railroad Passenger Corporation) was formed to take over US passenger rail service.

1982 - The 1982 World's Fair opened in Knoxville, Tennessee; its theme was 'Energy Turns the World'.  The fair is probably more famous, however, for its inclusion in the twentieth episode of the seventh season of The Simpsons - Bart on the Road.

1989 - The Disney-MGM Studios theme park opened at Walt Disney World near Orlando.

2003 - In what became notorious as the 'Mission Accomplished' speech, President George W. Bush declared that 'major combat operations in Iraq have ended' on board the USS Abraham Lincoln off the coast of California.

2007 - The May Day Mêlée occurred in Los Angeles' MacArthur Park when the LAPD's not unpredictable response to a peaceful pro-immigration rally was to use rubber bullets to break it up.

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