Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pop History Moment: The Election of Isabel Perón

On this day in 1974 Isabel Perón was sworn in as interim President of Argentina during what would be the final illness of her husband, President Juan Perón, who died two days later.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketAs Argentina's 42nd President, Perón was the first non-royal female head of state in the Western Hemisphere; what should have been a promising and ground-breaking career lasted less than two years. Alas, despite their various physical similarities, she was no Evita; when she was finally removed from office, in disgrace, Argentina did not cry for her*. Following a bloodless coup in March 1976 she was succeeded by Jorge Videla, whose own dictatorial rule was coyly known as the National Reorganization Process.

After five years of house arrest in Argentina, Perón was exiled to Spain in 1981, where early in 2007 she was arrested on charges that she ordered the disappearance of one of her political foes, Héctor Aldo Fagetti Gallego in 1975. In the intervening years she'd returned to Argentina on occasion, and otherwise lived a low-key life in her adopted homeland.

The extradition hoped for, which would have returned Perón to Argentina to answer to the National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons for her alleged crimes, was denied in March 2008.

*Except, perhaps, tears of joy.

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POPnews - June 29th

[Every year Canada House is the site of London's largest Canada Day celebration, drawing thousands of revellers to Trafalgar Square to celebrate the culture of Britain's quiet, well-behaved Commonwealth offspring; unlike Australia - which has pretty thoroughly insinuated itself into the rich tapestry of English life in the tried-and-true manner of a middle child - Canada and Canadians whether in the Mother Country or on the world stage have been content to sit back and not draw too much attention to themselves...]

1149 - Raymond of Poitiers was defeated and killed by Nur ad-Din at the Battle of Inab.

1194 - Sverre was crowned King of Norway.

1252 - Denmark's King Abel was murdered by a wheelwright named Henner on Husum Bridge near Eiderstedt, following the shortest reign in that country's history; since his son Valdemar was being held prisoner by the Archbishop of Cologne at the time, Abel's brother would be crowned Christopher I at Lund Cathedral on Christmas Day.

1444 - Albania's national hero Skanderbeg defeated an Ottoman invasion force commanded by Ali Pasha at the Battle of Torvioll.

1613 - London's Globe Theatre burnt to the ground during a performance of William Shakespeare's play Henry VIII when a shot from a prop cannon set the thatched roof on fire.

1644 - England's King Charles I defeated a Parliamentarian detachment under Sir William Waller at the Battle of Cropredy Bridge - making it the last battle won by an English King on English soil.

1659 - The Russians, led by Prince Trubetskoy were defeated by the Ukrainian armies of Ivan Vyhovsky in the Battle of Konotop.

1888 - George Frideric Handel's Israel in Egypt became the first music ever recorded, when the oratorio was preserved on a wax cylinder at The Crystal Palace by Col. George Gouraud.

1914 - Jina Guseva attempted to assassinate Grigori Rasputin while he was on a visit to his Siberian home town of Pokrovskoye; Rasputin survived the knife attack, and history does not record what became of Guseva following her placement in an asylum for having committed it.

1925 - Canada House was opened, in London's Trafalgar Square, by King George V and Queen Mary.

Photobucket1926 - Arthur Meighen (shown, at right) returned to office as Prime Minister of Canada; unlike his first term, which lasted a comparably lengthy 17 months between July 1920 and December 1921, this second term would not last twelve weeks*, at which time the fragile Conservative-Unionist coalition assembled by his predecessor Sir Robert Borden would topple before the mighty Liberal Party and its indefatigable leader, Mackenzie King.

*In addition to owning the historical footnote of Canada's shortest-serving head of government, Meighen was also the first Prime Minister to serve as a Member of Parliament from Manitoba.

1928 - The Outerbridge Crossing and Goethals Bridge in the New York City borough of Staten Island both opened.

1956 - The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 was signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, officially creating America's Interstate Highway System.

Photobucket1967 - Hollywood actress Jayne Mansfield died when when the car in which she was a passenger struck the rear of a tanker truck on US Highway 90 outside New Orleans...  Also killed was her driver, Ronnie Harrison; her three children - Miklós, Zoltán, and Mariska, who were passengers in the back seat of the 1966 Buick Electra 225 belonging to Mansfield's latest employer, supper club impresario Gus Stevens - were uninjured.  Mansfield, on the other hand, was scalped* as part of a massive head injury caused when the front end of the vehicle went under the truck.

*Not decapitated, as legend would have it.

1976 - The Seychelles became independent from the United Kingdom.

1995 - During NASA's STS-71 space shuttle mission Atlantis docked with the Russian space station Mir for the first time.

2001 - The British government announced that a £3.6m memorial fountain - designed by Kathryn Gustafson and dedicated to Diana, Princess of Wales - would be placed in London's Hyde Park; it was opened by HM The Queen in July 2006.

2006 - The US Supreme Court ruled, in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, that President George W. Bush's plan to try Guantanamo Bay detainees in military tribunals violated US and international law.

2007 - Apple Inc. released the iPhone for the United States market, resulting in the widespread tizzification of Apple acolytes everywhere.
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