Wednesday, July 28, 2010

POPnews - July 28th

[As this contemporary newspaper photo shows, it's possible for a fully fueled aircraft to strike a skyscraper without knocking the whole thing down!]

1364 - At the Battle of Cascina the Republic of Florence's troops under Galeotto Malatesta scored a victory over those of the Republic of Pisa, whose army - led by the English mercenary John Hawkwood - had only recently pillaged the treasures of Florence.

1493 - Fire ravaged Moscow, clearing the way for the construction of Red Square.

1540 - England's King Henry VIII had Thomas Cromwell executed in the morning then married Catherine Howard in the afternoon.

1609 - When the first settlers arrived in Bermuda after their ship, the Sea Venture, foundered there during a storm while en route to the Jamestown Colony in Virginia, the event was immortalized by William Shakespeare in his play The Tempest.

1794 - In a stunning example of 'what comes around goes around', Maximilien Robespierre was taken to the Place de la Revolution in Paris and executed on the guillotine without trial, just like one of the estimated 17,000+ people he condemned to die in a similar way while in power.

1809 - During the Peninsular War, at the Battle of Talavera, Sir Arthur Wellesley's combined British, Portuguese and Spanish army defeated a French force under Joseph Bonaparte.

1821 - José de San Martín declared the independence of Peru from Spain.

1896 - The city of Miami, Florida, was incorporated.

1932 - President Herbert Hoover ordered US troops to forcibly remove the Bonus Army from Washington, DC; it was Hoover's callous disregard for these military veterans, as well as his cavalier attitude toward the suffering of ordinary Americans due to the worsening Great Depression, which would ultimately cost him re-election in November.

1945 - At 9:49 AM on a foggy Saturday morning pilot Lieutenant Colonel William F. Smith, Jr. accidentally flew a B-25 bomber into the the north side of the Empire State Building between the 79th and 80th floors (actually the offices of the National Catholic Welfare Council) killing 14 and injuring 26. One survivor, Betty Lou Oliver, made a record-breaking 75 story free fall in a disabled elevator.

1958 - Lord Jellicoe made his maiden speech in the House of Lords.

1972 - Dockworkers in Britain went on strike.

1973 - 600,000 people attend a rock festival at the Watkins Glen International Raceway; Summer Jam at Watkins Glen attracted such headliners as The Allman Brothers Band, The Band, and the Grateful Dead.

1976 - The Tangshan earthquake - with a moment magnitude measuring between 7.8 and 8.2 - struck the Chinese city of Tangshan, killing 242,769 and injuring 164,851.

1988 - Paddy Ashdown defeated Alan Beith to be elected leader Britain's perennial third party, the newly formed SDP-Liberal alliance - which had only recently been formed by the merger of the Liberal Party with the Social Democrats.

1996 - The prehistoric remains of Kennewick Man were discovered on the banks of the Columbia River near Kennewick, Washington.

2002 - Nine coal miners trapped in the flooded Quecreek Mine in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, were rescued after 77 hours underground.

2005 - The Provisional Irish Republican Army declared an end to its thirty year long armed campaign in Northern Ireland.

2008 - The historic Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare burnt down for the second time in 80 years; it is currently being rebuilt, and is scheduled to open in June 2010.

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