October 25 in history

October 25, 2014

1147  The Portuguese, under Afonso I, and Crusaders from England and Flanders conquered Lisbon after a four-month siege.

1147  Seljuk Turks annihilated German crusaders under Conrad III at the Battle of Dorylaeum.

1415 The army of Henry V of England defeated the French at the Battle of Agincourt.

1616  Dutch sea-captain Dirk Hartog made second recorded landfall by a European on Australian soil, at Dirk Hartog Island off the Western Australian coast.

1747  British fleet under Admiral Sir Edward Hawke defeats the French at the second battle of Cape Finisterre.

1760 George III became King of Great Britain.

1813  War of 1812: Canadians and Mohawks defeated the Americans in the Battle of Chateauguay.

1825  Johann Strauss II, Austrian composer, was born (d. 1899).

1828 The St Katharine Docks opened in London.

1838 Georges Bizet, French composer, was born (d. 1875).

1854  The Battle of Balaklava during the Crimean War (Charge of the Light Brigade).

1861  The Toronto Stock Exchange was created.

1881 Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter and sculptor, was born (d. 1973).

1888 Richard E. Byrd, American explorer, was born (d. 1957).

1900  The United Kingdom annexed the Transvaal.

1917 Traditionally understood date of the October Revolution, involving the capture of the Winter Palace, Petrograd.

1920  After 74 days on Hunger Strike in Brixton Prison, England, the Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Cork, Terence MacSwiney died.

1924  The forged Zinoviev Letter was published in the Daily Mail, wrecking the British Labour Party’s hopes of re-election.

1938 The Archbishop of Dubuque, Francis J. L. Beckman, denounced swing music as “a degenerated musical system… turned loose to gnaw away at the moral fibre of young people”, warning that it leads down a “primrose path to hell”.

1941 Helen Reddy, Australian singer was born.

1941 Anne Tyler, American novelist, was born.

1944 Heinrich Himmler ordered a crackdown on the Edelweiss Pirates, a loosely organized youth culture in Nazi Germany that had assisted army deserters and others to hide from the Third Reich.

1944  The USS Tang under Richard O’Kane was sunk by the ship’s own malfunctioning torpedo.

1944  Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle in history,  between the Imperial Japanese Navy and the U.S. Third and U.S. Seventh Fleets.

1945 China took over administration of Taiwan following Japan’s surrender to the Allies.

1949 IHC was founded.

Foundation of IHC

1962  Cuban missile crisis: Adlai Stevenson showed photos at the UN proving Soviet missiles were installed in Cuba.

1962   Nelson Mandela  was sentenced to five years in prison.

1971  The Christchurch-Dunedin overnight express, headed by a JA-class locomotive, ran the last scheduled steam-hauled service on New Zealand Railways (NZR), bringing to an end 108 years of regular steam rail operations in this country.

End of the line for steam railways

1977  Digital Equipment Corporation released OpenVMS V1.0.

1980  Proceedings on the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction concluded.

1983  Operation Urgent Fury: The United States and its Caribbean allies invaded Grenada, six days after Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and several of his supporters were executed in a coup d’état.

1991 Three months after the end of the Ten-Day War, the last soldier of the Yugoslav People’s Army left the Republic of Slovenia.

1995 A commuter train slammed into a school bus in Fox River Grove, Illinois, killing seven students.

1997 Denis Sassou-Nguesso proclaimed himself the President of the Republic of the Congo.

2009 The 25 October 2009 Baghdad bombings killed 155 and wounded at least 721.

2010 – Mount Merapi in Central Java, Indonesia, began over a month of eruptions.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Word of the day

October 24, 2014

Longueur – a dull, protracted or tedious passage in a book, piece of music or performing art.


Friday’s answers

October 24, 2014

Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said: It is unnatural for a majority to rule, for a majority can seldom be organized and united for specific action, and a minority can. ?

2. In which year was  Queen Elizabeth II crowned?

3. It’s dominer in French,  dominare in Italian, regir in Spanish and  whakahaere tickanga  in Maori, what is it in English?

4.  Who is the monarch most recently crowned?

5. Monarchy, republic or?

Points for answers:

Andrei got four, J. Bloggs got three, Alwyn wins a virtual bunch of tulips for five, Teletext also gets a virtual bunch of tulips for five and a bonus for extra information and Paranormal gets one and a bonus for reasoning.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »


Could it happen here?

October 24, 2014

Canada and New Zealand have a lot in common.

Both were largely settled by similar people, both are still part of the Commonwealth, both  tend to be overshadowed by a bigger neighbour and until recently  neither would have been regarded as having a high risk of terrorism.

That changed yesterday when a soldier in Ottawa was shot dead in cold blood:

The stone halls of Parliament Hill echoed with gunfire and were stained with blood Wednesday as a terrorist struck at the heart of the federal government after gunning down a sentry at the National War Memorial.

The gunman was shot and killed near the Library of Parliament, according to Ottawa police sources, by House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, a former RCMP officer and the man responsible for security on the Hill.

A witness said the gunman, carrying the rifle at his hip, walked deliberately up the west ramp of Centre Block and through the main doors of Parliament as bystanders cowered. It was just before 10 a.m.

The gunman walked right past the Centre Block’s Reading Room — where Prime Minister Stephen Harper was meeting with the Conservative caucus — before being confronted and shot.

The dead gunman has been identified as Canadian-born Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, a man who had lived in Aylmer, Montreal and Vancouver, and had a criminal record for relatively minor offences in all cities. . .

In a televised address to the nation Wednesday night, Prime Minister Stephen Harper labelled the incidents “despicable attacks” and linked them to international terrorism. “In the days to come, we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had,” Harper said. “But this week’s events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world.”

He vowed that the nation will not be intimidated, nor will it back down from its commitment to wage war against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

“Canada will never be intimidated,” he repeated. “In fact, this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts.” . . .

Parliamentary Services  have closed all but two doors into our parliament as a precautionary measure:

. . . New Zealand’s Parliamentary Service has confirmed only two entrances will be open for MPs, staff and the general public, and they will be heavily monitored.

The main door to the Beehive, where people must pass through a security screen, and the entry to Bowen House from Lambton Quay will remain open.

Parliamentary Service general manager, David Stevenson said the decision to close all other entry points was made to keep staff and the public safe.

“This is an interim security measure we have decided to put in place to manage the safety and security of members, staff, officials and the general public who visit Parliament on a daily basis,” he said.

Stevenson said the access restriction might cause inconvenience and potentially longer processing times, particularly for the public given Parliament was in a sitting week. . .

This will be inconvenient for the people who regularly enter and leave parliament, including media, but it’s not an over0reaction.

The risk of a terror attack here might not be high, but it could happen anywhere and we have to have a balance between precautions to protect people and freedom of movement.


October 24 in history

October 24, 2014

69  Second Battle of Bedriacum, forces under Antonius Primus, the commander of the Danube armies, loyal to Vespasian, defeated the forces of Emperor Vitellius.

1147  After a siege of 4 months crusader knights led by Afonso Henriques, reconquered Lisbon.

1260  The Cathedral of Chartres was dedicated in the presence of King Louis IX of France.

1260  Saif ad-Din Qutuz, Mamluk sultan of Egypt, was assassinated by Baibars, who seized power for himself.

1360  The Treaty of Brétigny was ratified at Calais, marking the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years’ War.

1648  The Peace of Westphalia was signed, marking the end of the Thirty Years’ War.

1795 Partitions of Poland: The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was completely divided among Austria, Prussia, and Russia.

1812 Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Maloyaroslavets.

1830 – Marianne North, English naturalist and flower painter was born (d. 1890).

1838 – Annie Edson Taylor, American adventuress was born (d. 1921).

1840 – Eliza Pollock, American archer (d. 1919).

1857 Sheffield F.C., the world’s first football club, was founded.

1861  The First Transcontinental Telegraph line across the United States was completed, spelling the end for the 18-month-old Pony Express.

1882  Dame Sybil Thorndike, British actress, was born (d. 1976).

1892  Goodison Park, the world’s first association football specific stadium was opened.

1901  Annie Edson Taylor became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

1911 Orville Wright remained in the air 9 minutes and 45 seconds in a Wright Glider at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.

1912  First Balkan War: The Battle of Kumanovo concluded with the Serbian victory.

1913 Violent clashes between unionised waterside workers and non-union labour erupted two days after Wellington watersiders held a stopwork meeting in support of a small group of striking shipwrights.

Violence flares on Wellington wharves

1917 Battle of Caporetto; Italy was defeated by the forces of Austria-Hungary and Germany. (Also called Twelfth Battle of the Isonzo).

1917 The day of the October revolution, The Red Revolution.

1919 South Island explorer Donald Sutherland died.
Death of South Island explorer Donald Sutherland

1926  Harry Houdini‘s last performance.

1929  ”Black Thursday” stock market crash on the New York Stock Exchange.

1930 A bloodless coup d’état in Brazil ousted Washington Luís Pereira de Sousa, the last President of the First Republic. Getúlio Dornelles Vargas was then installed as “provisional president.”

1931  The George Washington Bridge opened to traffic.

1936 Bill Wyman, English musician (The Rolling Stones), was born.

1944  The Japanese aircraft carrier Zuikaku, and the battleship Musashi were sunk in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

1945  Founding of the United Nations.

1946 A camera on board the V-2 No. 13 rocket took the first photograph of earth from outer space.

1947  Walt Disney testified to the House Un-American Activities Committee, naming Disney employees he believes to be communists.

1954  Dwight D. Eisenhower pledged United States support to South Vietnam.

1957  The USAF started the X-20 Dyna-Soar programme.

1960  Nedelin catastrophe: An R-16 ballistic missile exploded on the launch pad at the Soviet Union’s Baikonur Cosmodrome space facility, killing over 100.

1964 Northern Rhodesia gained independence and became the Republic of Zambia.

1973 Jeff Wilson, New Zealand rugby player and cricketer, was born.

1973 Yom Kippur War ended.

1980 Government of Poland legalised Solidarity trade union.

1986  Nezar Hindawi was sentenced to 45 years in prison, the longest sentence handed down by a British court, for the attempted bombing on an El Al flight at Heathrow.

1990  Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti revealed to the Italian parliament the existence of Gladio, the Italian “stay-behind” clandestine paramilitary NATO army.

1998  Launch of Deep Space 1 comet/asteroid mission.

2002  Police arrested spree killers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, ending the Beltway sniper attacks in the area around Washington, DC.

2003  Concorde made its last commercial flight.

2005  Hurricane Wilma made landfall in Florida resulting in 35 direct 26 indirect fatalities and causing $20.6B USD in damage.

2006  Justice Rutherford of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice struck down the “motive clause”, an important part of the Canadian Anti-Terrorism Act.

2008  ”Bloody Friday“: many of the world’s stock exchanges experienced the worst declines in their history, with drops of around 10% in most indices.

2009  First International Day of Climate Action, organised with 350.org, a global campaign to address a claimed global warming crisis.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


Air NZ’s Hobbit epic

October 23, 2014

Air New Zealand has another safety video which is likely to keep the attention of passengers:

I suspect I’m in a small minority of New Zealanders who haven’t seen any of the Hobbit movies, but that doesn’t stop me preferring these safety videos to the more pedestrian ones most airlines use.


Word of the day

October 23, 2014

Pooter – a bottle for collecting small insects,  crustaceans or other small, fragile organisms, usually for scientific purposes, having one tube through which they are sucked into the bottle and another, protected by muslin or gauze, which is sucked; a crimping tool used to crimp a ruff, as worn during the reigns of Elizabeth and James I.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,408 other followers

%d bloggers like this: