Monday, July 12, 2010

Pop History Moment: The Battle Of The Boyne


On this day in 1690 supporters of the deposed King James II and VII - who'd been removed from the throne of England during the Glorious Revolution of 1688 owing to his blatant Catholicism - were defeated by William III (who in best royal style was both his predecessor's nephew and son-in-law) near the Irish town of Drogheda. Largely due to his anti-Catholic tyranny, as well as his inability to respect the ancient sovereignty of Ireland, William III resides in the Irish imagination today alongside such villains as Oliver Cromwell.

Unique among battles in the British Isles, the Battle of the Boyne (shown above, in a painting by Jan Wyck, circa 1693) is still commemorated in Ireland by the Protestant Orange Order on the Twelfth of July, even though in reality the two armies who faced off against each other on the opposite sides of the River Boyne had a decidedly non-sectarian nature.  Nevertheless, it's provided ample opportunities over the years for Protestant interlopers to bash the heads of the poor Irish who, unlike the English, actually belonged there.

Owing to the perpetual clusterfuck of the whole Julian-Gregorian calendar mess, much of the celebratory tone of July 12th among Catholics is in commemoration of the Battle of Aughrim - which took place a year after Boyne and at which the English were handed a resounding defeat. Under the old Julian Calendar the Boyne had taken place on July 1st, but was moved up when the Gregorian calendar was adopted. Thus both Protestants and Catholics have an event of major bloodshed to celebrate on the 12th - which are all-too frequently celebrated with even more of the same, even now...
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"Songbird" by Christine McVie

Join me, won't you, in thrilling to birthday gal Christine McVie's timeless performance of Songbird; the tune forms the emotional core of Fleetwood Mac's smash 1977 album Rumours and even today serves the band in concert as their encore.
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POPnews - July 12th

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
[This shows what you can do with an Etch-a-Sketch.
The best I could ever manage was stairs.]

1191 - Saladin's garrison surrendered, ending the two-year Siege of Acre, following which Conrad of Montferrat (who had negotiated the surrender) raised the banners of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and of the Third Crusade leaders - England's Richard I, France's Philip II, and Austria's Leopold V - on the city's walls and towers.

- England's King Henry VIII married Catherine Parr who, unlike her predecessors, managed to keep her head while all those around her were losing theirs.

1580 - Ostrog Bible - the first such book to be printed in a Slavic language - was published by Ivan Fyodorov in Ostroh.

1790 - The Civil Constitution of the Clergy was passed by France's National Assembly during the French Revolution, subordinating the power and authority of the Roman Catholic Church to the French government - a measure favoured by such revolutionary priests as Pierre Claude François Daunou and Henri Grégoire, but acquiesced to only reluctantly by King Louis XVI.

1804 - Alexander Hamilton died at the home of William Bayard in Manhattan, of the injuries he received the previous day dueling Vice President Aaron Burr at Weehawken, New Jersey; he was later buried in Trinity Churchyard Cemetery.

1806 - Sixteen of Germany's imperial states left the Holy Roman Empire to form the Confederation of the Rhine.

1812 - The United States invaded Canada via Windsor, precipitating the War of 1812.

1862 - The Medal of Honor was authorized by the US Congress.

1917 - The Bisbee Deportation occurred as vigilantes kidnapped and deported nearly 1,300 striking miners and others from Bisbee, Arizona, to New Mexico under appalling conditions.

1918 - The Japanese Imperial Navy's battle ship Kawachi blew up - owing to the spontaneous ignition of unstable cordite in its ammunition magazine - while anchored at Tokuyama Bay, killing at least 621 of a crew numbering 1059.

1933 - The US Congress passed its first minimum-wage law, providing workers with a minimum of 33 cents per hour worked.

1960 - The first Etch-a-Sketch went on sale.

1962 - The Rolling Stones performed their first ever concert, at London's Marquee Club.

1973 - A fire destroyed the entire 6th floor of the US National Personnel Records Center located in the St. Louis suburb of Overland, Missouri; in all some 16-18 million military personnel records were lost in the blaze.

1975 - São Tomé and Príncipe declared their independence from Portugal.

1979 - The island nation of Kiribati declared its independence from Great Britain.

2002 - The Superior Court of Ontario ordered the government of that province to recognize same-sex marriages. (Supreme Court of Ontario: Look! There they are!)

2005 - Albert II assumed the throne of Monaco following the death of his father, Rainier III.

2006 - Hezbollah initiated Operation True Promise.
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