Sunday, March 20, 2011

POPnews - March 20th

[When John Lennon and Yoko Ono first met in November 1966 at an exhibition of hers in London's Indica Gallery she claimed to have never heard of either him or the Beatles, which isn't quite as disingenuous as it sounds; he was still married to Cynthia Lennon when he wrote The Ballad of John and Yoko, which is about the early stages of their relationship, by which time she was better informed.]

1760 - The first Great Fire of Boston destroyed 349 buildings; another even greater fire would cause considerably more damage to that city in November 1872.

1815 - Napoleon entered Paris after escaping from Elba - with a regular army of 140,000 and a volunteer force of around 200,000 - to begin his so-called Hundred Days rule.

1848 - Bavaria's King Ludwig I abdicated during the Revolutions of 1848 which swept through the German states; he was succeeded by his son, Maximilian II.

1852 - Harriet Beecher Stowe's controversial novel Uncle Tom's Cabin was published, having first appeared in June 1851 as a 40-week serial in the abolitionist newspaper National Era.

1888 - Children of the Forests, the very first Romani language operetta, was staged at Moscow's Maly Theatre; to call it a success would be an understatement, as it would eventually run for 18 years.

1899 - Having been sentenced to death for killing her stepdaughter Ida in February 1898 - and having been denied clemency by New York Governor Theodore Roosevelt - Martha M. Place became the first woman to be executed in an electric chair; executioner Edwin Davis did the deed at Sing Sing prison. Although she was the first woman to die in this way, the first woman sentenced to die in the electric chair was Maria Barbella, who following her acquittal disappears from history.

1913 - Sung Chiao-jen - founding member of the Chinese Nationalist Party or Kuomintang - was wounded in an assassination attempt; he died 2 days later.

1922 - The USS Langley was commissioned as the US Navy's first aircraft carrier, having previously served as the collier USS Jupiter.

1933 - Giuseppe Zangara was executed in Florida's electric chair for fatally shooting Chicago mayor Anton Cermak in an assassination attempt against President-elect Franklin Delano Roosevelt the month before.

1951 - Fujiyoshida - a city located in Japan's Yamanashi Prefecture, in the center of that country's main island of Honshū - was founded.

1956 - Tunisia gained its independence from France.

1964 - The precursor of the European Space Agency (once it merged with ELDO in 1975) the European Space Research Organization (ESRO) was established when the ESRO Convention - signed on June 1962 - went into force.

1966 - Football's World Cup trophy was stolen from where it was being exhibited at Westminster Central Hall; it was found a week later in a garden in the South Norwood neighbourhood of London by a dog named Pickles.

1969 - John Lennon married Yoko Ono in Gibraltar.

1985 - Libby Riddles became the first woman to win the 1,868 km (1,161 mile) Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

1995 - A sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway killed 12 and wounded more than 1,300.

1999 - Legoland California opened in Carlsbad, California.

2004 - Stephen Harper won the leadership of the newly created Conservative Party of Canada, thus becoming the first leader in the party's history.

2006 - Cyclone Larry made landfall near Innisfail in the eastern Australian state of Queensland, destroying most of the country's banana crop for that year.
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