Friday, February 18, 2011

POPnews - February 18th

[Despite every effort to keep their wedding secret, pop singers Maurice Gibb and Lulu were mobbed by a crowd numbering nearly a thousand - mostly girls and young women - who swarmed around the green Rolls-Royce delivering the bride to St James' Church in Gerrards Cross, west of London; several children were reported injured in the ensuing scuffle by onlookers eager to catch a glimpse of the bride.]

1478 - George, the third Duke of Clarence, having been convicted of treason against his older brother King Edward IV of England, was privately executed in the Tower of London; the event is most famously (if inaccurately) depicted in William Shakespeare's play Richard III.

1797 - Trinidad was surrendered to a British fleet under the command of Sir Ralph Abercromby.

1861 - Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as the provisional President of the Confederate States of America in Montgomery, Alabama.

1865 - Union forces under Major General William T. Sherman set the South Carolina State House on fire during the burning of Columbia.

1885 - Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published in America for the first time, having been available in the UK and Canada since December 1884.

1901 - Winston Churchill made his maiden speech in the House of Commons as the Member for Oldham.

1930 - While studying photographs he'd taken in January, Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto.

1932 - The Empire of Japan declared Manzhouguo (an obsolete Chinese name for Manchuria) independent from the Republic of China; there they established a puppet regime - better known as Manchukuo - under the nominal leadership of former Chinese Emperor Puyi.

1943 - The Gestapo arrested the members of the White Rose movement - among them Sophie Scholl, her brother Hans Scholl, Alex Schmorell, Willi Graf, and Christoph Probst; all were summarily tried before the Volksgerichtshof, found guilty by Chief Justice Roland Freisler, and executed for distributing anti-Nazi propaganda at Munich University. Other members included the Scholl's sister Inge, who managed to escape the pogrom and lived until September 1998, and their philosophy professor Kurt Huber, who didn't. Huber, like the others, was also arrested, tried, and executed by guillotine at Stadelheim Prison.

1948 - Eamon de Valera resigned as Taoiseach of Ireland.

1957 - Dedan Kimathi, a leader in Kenya's Mau Mau Uprising, was executed by the British colonial government.

1965 - The Gambia became independent from the United Kingdom in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Kent; initially a monarchy within the Commonwealth, in April 1970 the country became a republic under the auspices of that organization.

1969 - Lulu married Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees in a ceremony in Gerrards Cross; they divorced amicably in 1973.

1970 - The Chicago Seven were found not guilty of conspiring to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

1983 - Thirteen people died and one was seriously injured in Seattle's Wah Mee Massacre, said to be the largest robbery-motivated mass-murder in US history.

1996 - London was rocked by IRA bombs.

2001 - FBI agent Robert Hanssen was arrested after he was caught spying for the Soviet Union, although his arrest wouldn't be announced for two days; he was ultimately convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

2003 - Nearly 200 people died in the Daegu subway fire in South Korea.

2005 - The United Kingdom banned fox hunting, hare coursing, and other sports in which domestic animals are used to hunt wild mammals.
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