April 28 in history

April 28, 2011

On April 28:

1192  Assassination of Conrad of Montferrat (Conrad I), King of Jerusalem, in Tyre, two days after his title to the throne was confirmed by election.

 

1253 Nichiren, a Japanese Buddhist monk, propounded Nam Myoho Renge Kyo for the very first time and declared it to be the essence of Buddhism, in effect founding Nichiren Buddhism.

 

1611 Establishment of the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, The Catholic University of the Philippines, the largest Catholic university in the world.

1715 Franz Sparry, composer, was born (d. 1767).

1758 James Monroe, 5th President of the United States, was born. (d. 1831).

1789 Mutiny on the Bounty: Captain William Bligh and 18 sailors were set adrift; the rebel crew returned to Tahiti briefly and then set sail for Pitcairn Island.

 

1792  France invaded the Austrian Netherlands (present day Belgium), beginning the French Revolutionary War.

Varoux.jpg
 

1796  The Armistice of Cherasco was signed by Napoleon Bonaparte and Vittorio Amedeo III, the King of Sardinia, expanding French territory along the Mediterranean coast.

Cherasco is located in Italy

1862 American Civil War: Admiral David Farragut captured New Orleans.

1864 The assault of Gate Pa began.

Assault of Gate Pa begins

 1902  Using the ISO 8601 standard Year Zero definition for the Gregorian calendar preceded by the Julian calendar, the one billionth minute since the start of January 1, Year Zero occured at 10:40 AM on this date.

1912 Odette Sansom, French resistance worker, was born (d. 1995).

1916 Ferruccio Lamborghini, Italian automobile manufacturer, was born (d. 1993).

1920 Azerbaijan was added to the Soviet Union.

1922 Alistair MacLean, Scottish novelist, was born (d. 1987).

1926 Harper Lee, American author, was born.

1930 The first night game in organised baseball history took place in Independence, Kansas.

1932 A vaccine for yellow fever was announced for use on humans.

1937 – Saddam Hussein, President of Iraq, was born (d. 2006).

1941 Ann-Margret, Swedish-born actress, was born.

1945 Benito Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci were executed by a firing squad consisting of members of the Italian resistance movement.

1947 Thor Heyerdahl and five crew mates set out from Peru on the Kon-Tiki to prove that Peruvian natives could have settled Polynesia.

 

1948 Terry Pratchett, English author, was born.

1949  Former First Lady of the Philippines Aurora Quezon, 61, was assassinated while en route to dedicate a hospital in memory of her late husband; her daughter and 10 others are also killed.

1950 Jay Leno, American comedian and television host, was born.

JayLeno.jpg

1950  Bhumibol Adulyadej married Queen Sirikit.

 

1952 Dwight D. Eisenhower resigned as Supreme Commander of NATO.

 

1952 Occupied Japan: The United States occupation of Japan ended with the ratification of Treaty of San Francisco.

 

1952 The Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty (Treaty of Taipei) iwa signed in Taipei between Japan and the Republic of China to officially end the Second Sino-Japanese War.

1956 Jimmy Barnes, Scottish-born singer, was born.

1960  Ian Rankin, Scottish novelist, was born.

1965 United States troops landed in the Dominican Republic to “forestall establishment of a Communist dictatorship” and to evacuate U.S. Army troops.

1967  Expo 67 opened to the public in Montreal.

 

1969 Charles de Gaulle resigned as President of France.

1969 – Terence O’Neill announced his resignation as Prime Minister of Northern Ireland.

1970 Vietnam War: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon formally authorised American combat troops to fight communist sanctuaries in Cambodia.

1974 Penélope Cruz, Spanish actress, was born.

1977 The Red Army Faction trial ended with Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin and Jan-Carl Raspe found guilty of four counts of murder and more than 30 counts of attempted murder.

RAF-Logo.svg

1977 The Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure was signed.

1978 President of Afghanistan, Mohammed Daoud Khan, was overthrown and assassinated in a coup led by pro-communist rebels.

1981  Jessica Alba, American actress, was born.

Head shot of a brown-eyed young woman smiling. She has long brown hair and bangs.

1986 The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise became the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to transit the Suez Canal, navigating from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea to relieve the USS Coral Sea.

Enterprise underway in the Atlantic Ocean during Summer Pulse 2004.

1987 American engineer Ben Linder was killed in an ambush by U.S. funded Contras in northern Nicaragua.

1988  Near Maui, Hawaii, flight attendant Clarabelle “C.B.” Lansing was blown out of Aloha Flight 243, a Boeing 737 and fell to her death when part of the plane’s fuselage rips open in mid-flight.

1994  Former C.I.A. official Aldrich Ames pleaded guilty to giving U.S. secrets to the Soviet Union and later Russia.

1996  Whitewater controversy: Bill Clinton gave a 4½ hour videotaped testimony for the defense.

1996 – In Tasmania Martin Bryant went on a shooting spree, killing 35 people and seriously injuring 21 more.

1997 – The 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention goes into effect, with Russia, Iraq and North Korea among the nations that have not ratified the treaty.

 

2001 – Millionaire Dennis Tito became the world’s first space tourist.

Dennis Tito.jpg

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Word of the day

April 27, 2011

Widdershins – anti-clockwise, backwards, in the reverse order or direction to normal, to take a course opposite the apparent motion of the sun.


Royal wedding questionaire

April 27, 2011

 On Friday evening (NZ time) you’ll be:

a)  In Westminster Abbey.

b) Outside Westminster Abbey.

c) Glued to the television watching the wedding.

d) I wasn’t going to watch it but we’ve been invited to a royal wedding theme party so I’ll give it the odd glance.

e) Glued to your television watching basketball and rugby.

f) Who knows?

g) Wedding, what wedding?


Vulgarity has its place . . .

April 27, 2011

The BSA decision to censure TVNZ for allowing the F word to be heard during a documentary on the Aromoana massacre has led to strong arguments both in support and opposition.

I find myself conflicted on this. If ever there’s an appropriate place for that word it’s in a description of such a tragedy but whether the time for airing it in full rather than disguised with a bleep is in the early evening is debatable.

I was, however, surprised at the decision. Given what it’s possible to see and hear on television at times it wouldn’t be unreasonable for children to be watching or listening I’d  thought the F word might no longer be regarded as something from which little ears should be spared.

That it is gives me some hope that there are still some standards of language and behaviour to which society pays a little more than lip service.

A well placed oath can be very effective but it loses its power when it peppers sentences indiscriminately so as to become little more than coarser versions of ums and ahs.

There is a place for vulgarity but as Theodore Dalrymple points out it isn’t anywhere and everywhere:

. . . we have completely lost sight of the proper place of vulgarity in the moral and cultural economy. We have made it king when it should be court jester. It is funny and valuable only when it mocks pretensions to gentility and recalls cultivated people to the limitations of their earthbound condition. Without a contrast with something else, something that is not itself vulgar, it becomes merely unpleasant, crude and stupid. In these circumstances it exerts a corrosive effect on minds and manners because, while it takes no effort at all to be vulgar and unrefined where vulgarity and lack of refinement are almost universal, it takes effort to be urbane and refined.

TVNZ is appealing the decision. I suspect it won’t be hard for them to find plenty more examples where the word was used with a lot less provocation than mass murder to back up their case.


Voters veer but not too far

April 27, 2011

Quote of the week:

If you’re going in for politics, one of the key attributes to cultivate is patience. Sure voters veer from centre-right to centre-left over sequential electoral cycles. But parties don’t, because they are founded – the enduring ones, anyway – on firm principles.

                                 – Jane Clifton in The Listener (preview here, full column online May 16).

One of the reasons Act is floundering is because the public isn’t sure what it’s principles are or worse suspects the party itself isn’t sure.

There is no doubt about Don Brash’s principles – he’s been quite clear about what he wants and why. He’s genuinely concerned about the state of the nation.

He wants to do something about it and has said if Act won’t have him he’ll start his own party.

It might not be hard for him to find 500 members, a name, constitution and meet the other requirements for registering a political party. But there’s a long way from forming a new party to getting into parliament, especially when a party’s principles are far further to the right than most voters are comfortable veering.

Of course under MMP you don’t need many voters – just enough to win an electorate or 5% of the vote. But it takes more than 500 members and a lot of money to do that, especially for a new party.


April 27 in history

April 27, 2011

On April 27:

1124 David I became King of Scots.

DavidIofScotland.jpg

1296 – Battle of Dunbar: The Scots were defeated by Edward I of England.

A man in half figure with short, curly hair and a hint of beard is facing left. He wears a coronet and holds a sceptre in his right hand. He has a blue robe over a red tunic, and his hands are covered by white, embroidered gloves. His left hand seems to be pointing left, to something outside the picture.

1495 Suleiman the Magnificent, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire was born (d. 1566).

1509 Pope Julius II placed the Italian state of Venice under interdict.

09julius.jpg

1521 Battle of Mactan: Explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed in the Philippines by people led by chief Lapu-Lapu.

MactanShrinePainting2.jpg

1539  Re-founding of the city of Bogotá, New Granada (now Colombia), by Nikolaus Federmann and Sebastián de Belalcázar.

 

1565  Cebu was established as the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines.

1578  Duel of the Mignons claimed the lives of two favourites of Henry III of France and two favorites of Henry I, Duke of Guise.

1650 The Battle of Carbisdale: A Royalist army invaded mainland Scotland from Orkney Island but was defeated by a Covenanter army.

Carbisdale castle.jpg

1667 The blind and impoverished John Milton sold the copyright of Paradise Lost for £10.

Milton paradise.jpg

1749 First performance of Handel’s Fireworks Music in Green Park, London.

 

1759  Mary Wollstonecraft, English philosopher and early feminist, author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, was born (d. 1797).

Left-looking half-length portrait of a slightly pregnant woman in a white dress 

1773 The British parliament the Tea Act, designed to save the British East India Company by granting it a monopoly on the North American tea trade.

1777 American Revolutionary War: The Battle of Ridgefield: A British invasion force engaged and defeated Continental Army regulars and militia irregulars.

1791 Samuel F. B. Morse, American inventor, was born (d. 1872).

1805 First Barbary War: United States Marines and Berbers attacked the Tripolitan city of Derna (The “shores of Tripoli” part of the Marines’ hymn).

 

1810 Beethoven composed his famous piano piece, Für Elise.

 

1813  War of 1812: United States troops captured the capital of Upper Canada, York (present day Toronto).

1822 Ulysses S. Grant, Civil War general and 18th President of the United States, was born. (d. 1885).

Ulysses S. Grant in a formal black and white photo. Grant is seated with arms folded. Grant looks weary and his beard is greying. This is the photo used for the $50.00 bill.

1840 Foundation stone for new Palace of Westminster was laid by Lady Sarah Barry,  wife of architect Sir Charles Barry.

   

1861 President of the United States Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus.

1865 The New York State Senate created Cornell University as the state’s land grant institution.

The Cornell University Seal

1865 – The steamboat Sultana, carrying 2,400 passengers, exploded and sank in the Mississippi River, killing 1,700, most of whom were Union survivors of the Andersonville and Cahaba Prisons.

 

1893 New Zealand’s Premier John Ballance died.

Death of Premier John Ballance

1904 The Australian Labor Party becomes the first such party to gain national government, under Chris Watson.

 
Australian Labor Party Logo

1904 Cecil Day-Lewis, Irish poet and writer, was born (d. 1972).

 

1909 Sultan of Ottoman Empire Abdul Hamid II was overthrown, and succeeded by his brother, Mehmed V.

1911 Following the resignation and death of William P. Frye, a compromise was reached to rotate the office of President pro tempore of the United States Senate.

1927  Carabineros de Chile (Chilean national police force and gendarmery) was created.

Roundel of Carabineros de Chile.svg

1927 Coretta Scott King, American civil rights activist and wife of Martin Luther King, Jr, was born (d. 2006).

1927 Sheila Scott, English aviatrix, was born (d. 1988).

1932 Pik Botha, South African politician, was born.

 

1941 – World War II: The Communist Party of Slovenia, the Slovene Christian Socialists, the left-wing Slovene Sokols (also known as “National Democrats”) and a group of progressive intellectuals established the Liberation Front of the Slovenian People.

1945 World War II: German troops were finally expelled from Finnish Lapland.

1945 World War II: The Völkischer Beobachter, the newspaper of the Nazi Party, ceased publication.

 

1945 World War II: Benito Mussolini was arrested by Italian partisans in Dongo, while attempting escape disguised as a German soldier.

 

1947 Peter Ham, Welsh singer and songwriter (Badfinger) was born  (d. 1975),.

1948  Kate Pierson, American singer (The B-52′s), was born.

1950  Apartheid: In South Africa, the Group Areas Act was passed formally segregating races.

1951 – Ace Frehley, American musician (Kiss), was born.

1959  The last Canadian missionary left China.

1959 Sheena Easton, Scottish singer, was born.

1960  Togo gained independence from French-administered UN trusteeship.

1961 Sierra Leone was granted its independence from the United Kingdom, with Milton Margai as the first Prime Minister.

 

1967 Expo 67 officially opened in Montreal with a large opening ceremony broadcast around the world.

 

1967 Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange, Dutch heir apparent, was born.

Close-up of Willem-Alexander wearing a military peaked cap

1967 Erik Thomson, Australian actor, was born.

Pttrtitle.png

1972  Constructive Vote of No Confidence against German Chancellor Willy Brandt failed under obscure circumstances.

1974 10,000 march in Washington, D.C. calling for the impeachment of US President Richard Nixon.

1977 28 people were killed in the Guatemala City air disaster.

1981 Xerox PARC introduced the computer mouse.

1987 The U.S. Department of Justice barred the Austrian President Kurt Waldheim from entering the United States, saying he had aided in the deportation and execution of thousands of Jews and others as a German Army officer during World War II.

1992 The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, comprising Serbia and Montenegro, was proclaimed.

1992 Betty Boothroyd becamethe first woman to be elected Speaker of the British House of Commons in its 700-year history.

1992 Russia and 12 other former Soviet republics became members of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

1993 All members of the Zambia national football team lost their lives in a plane crash off Libreville, Gabon in route to Dakar to play a 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Senegal.

Shirt badge/Association crest

1994  South African general election, 1994: The first democratic general election in South Africa, in which black citizens could vote.

Nelson Mandela.jpg

1996 The 1996 Lebanon war ended.

2002 The last successful telemetry from the NASA space probe Pioneer 10.

 

2005 The superjumbo jet aircraft Airbus A380 made its first flight from Toulouse.

 

2006 Construction began on the Freedom Tower for the new World Trade Centre.

Freedom Tower New.jpg

2007 Estonian authorities removed the Bronze Soldier, a Soviet Red Army war memorial in Tallinn, amid political controversy with Russia.

 

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

 

Word of the day

April 26, 2011

Tergiversation – evasion of straight forward action or clear cut statement;  equivocation; desertion of a cause, position, party or faith; betrayal.


Fuel tax increase canned

April 26, 2011

Some good news for tough times:

The planned fuel tax increase of 1.5 cents per litre which was due to come into effect on 1 July has been deferred while economic conditions remain tight, says Transport Minister Steven Joyce.

The increase was part of a package of changes agreed to by the government in March 2009, designed to make the funding of New Zealand’s land transport system simpler and more efficient.  The package included the cancellation of the economically inefficient regional fuel taxes and their replacement with smaller national increases.

Mr Joyce says given the ongoing economic impact of the global recession and the Christchurch earthquakes, it makes sense to hold off on the increase for another year so as not to add further costs to the economy.

This is a temporary reprieve but we can be grateful for small mercies when we get them.


From love poems to loo paper

April 26, 2011

Discussion with Jim Mora on Critical Mass began with a collection of poems for a wedding, royal or otherwise, chosen by British poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy (Hat Tip: Beatiies’ Book Blog)..

I especially liked: Anne Gray’s Love Listen which begins:

Let’s love, listen, take time
when time is all we have.
Let’s be unafraid to be kind,
learn to disregard the bad
if the good outweighs it daily. . .

and

Roger McGough’s Vow:

I vow to honour the commitment made this day
Which, unlike the flowers and the cake,
Will not wither or decay. A promise, not to obey
But to respond joyfully, to forgive and to console,
For once incomplete, we now are whole. . .

We moved from love to loo paper, the  really serious topic: under or over – how should the loo paper hang at Brainz?

If you follow the link above there’s a graphic with the pros and cons of each which says that when the paper is over the roll it’s easier to tear off desired number of sheets and grab the end and there’s less chance of scraping knuckles on wall/gathering germs.

 This is favoured by 70% of people, usually over achievers who like to take charge and be organised.

When the loose end is under the roll there’s  less chance of accidental unravelling eg in motor home or earthquake or if grabbed by cat or small child. It’s supposedly tidier that way.

 Under is preferred by 30% of people and they’re more laid back, artistic and dependable.

Wikipedia discussion on loo paper is twice as long as that on Iraq War.

Apropos of which, in public loos which have stacks of paper in clear containers I reckon the roll turns more easily if the loose end is over rather than under the roll.


Primary produce prices sustainable

April 26, 2011

Farmers are enjoying the welcome lift in prices of primary produce, but are they sustainable?

Rob Davis, executive director of Meat and Wool Economic Service* thinks so.

That is good news not just for farmers but the wider economy.

Farmers are being cautious. Previous booms have been followed fairly quickly by busts so paying down debt is the first priority.

That means we’ve got a tale of two economies – there’s optimism in the rural sector but it hasn’t yet flowed through to the cities.

If Davis is right and good prices continue, confidence will grow, farmers will start spending again and that will flow beyond the farm gate into the wider economy.

* Beef + Lamb NZ has replaced Meat and Wool but the report I’ve linked to refers to Meat and Wool Economic Service.


Looking inward not way to electoral success

April 26, 2011

The dismal state of the Labour Party has commentators from left, right and centre diagnosing its problem.

Rob Hosking joins them in this week’s NBR (not online):

Labour’s problem is it is too obsessed with its own internal politics to pay enough attention to the needs of the rest of the country.

Quite.

Although John Key deservedly gets a lot of credit for National’s high polling, his popularity isn’t the only factor behind the public approval.

He’s leading a caucus which is unified, disciplined and focussed on governing.

Labour by contrast appears to be unified only by the lack of will to challenge its leader – yet.

It is difficult for voters to have much confidence that this party could sort out the nation’s problems when  it is demonstrably incapable of sorting out its own.

Given events of the weekend and Don Brash’s public challenge to Rodney Hide, the same thing could be said of Act.


No use being right in wrong environment

April 26, 2011

Had Don Brash led the National party to victory in 2005, as he very nearly did,  New Zealand would be a different place.

But how different?

Some of the expensive bribes with which Labour bought votes would not have been implemented. But unless National had won by a large majority many of the policies which then-leader Brash promoted would have been vetoed by his coalition partners – probably New Zealand First and the Maori Party.

It might have been able to pass some of the harder line policies but it would almost certainly have been a one-term government.

That is something that John Key and his caucus have been very mindful of, to the frustration of those further right.

Brash and others on the darker blue end of the political spectrum, including some National members and supporters, lament that the government hasn’t done enough this term.

In doing so they overlook the fact that the party swallowed several dead rats before the last election. Mindful of the damage broken promises did to the electorate’s trust of National in the past, it was determined to keep the rats down.

Critics also appear to forget that popular as the party and its leader is, they do not have a majority, they have to negotiate with coalition partners. They could pass legislation without one of those parties but would need Labour or the Green Party on side to enact anything without both of them and that is unlikely.

This is the reality of MMP and coalition governments which Brash appears to overlook in criticism of National and desire to lead Act

Whether or not he’s right in what he advocates in theory, it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to implement many of the policies he holds dear in practice. There would not be sufficient electoral support for them.

National spent nine long years in opposition watching the country go backwards. In spite of an unprecedented combination of financial and natural disasters, it has managed to tweak the tiller and get the supertanker of the economy going in the right direction again.

In doing so it has got the message through to a significant number of voters that borrow and spend policies can’t continue. The only way to deliver the economic, environmental and social policies most people want is through savings, investment and export-led growth.

It is possible that it could have done more – Act would almost certainly have supported a tougher stance on some policies. But that would have been a recipe for a one-term government.

We didn’t get in this mess overnight and we won’t get out of it in a single term.

National has its eye on long term change and knows that if it loses electoral support the hard-won gains will be lost.

A mini might have right of way when the traffic light turns green but it would be stupid to take it if a juggernaut was running a red light at the same intersection. That’s what’s called being right in the wrong environment and it’s not a safe place to be.

A party which takes the right of way and collides with public opinion in doing so will get crushed. 

Giving way on some things and taking people with them might frustrate people who see an urgent need for radical change.

But going a bit slower is more likely to be successful than lurching one way and losing electoral support which enables a new government to come in at the next election, lurch back and reverse any progress made.


April 26 in history

April 26, 2011

On April 26:

570 Muhammed, founder of Islam, was born according to the Shi’a sect. Other sources suggest April 20; (d. 632) .

 

1336 Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch) ascended  Mont Ventoux.

1478 The Pazzi attacked Lorenzo de’ Medici and killed his brother Giuliano during High Mass in the Duomo of Florence.

Portrait by Agnolo Bronzino

1564 Birthday of William Shakespeare, English poet and playwright (based on date of his baptism) (d. 1616).

1607  English colonists of the Jamestown settlement made landfall at Cape Henry, Virginia.

 

1802 Napoleon Bonaparte signed a general amnesty to allow all but about 1,000 of the most notorious émigrés of the French Revolution to return to France, as part of a reconciliary gesture with the factions of the Ancien Regime and to eventually consolidate his own rule.

Three-quarter length depiction of Bonaparte, with black tunic and leather gloves, holding a standard and sword, turning backwards to look at his troops 

1805 United States Marines captured Derne, Tripoli, under the command of First Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon.

PresleyOBannon.jpg

1856 Sir Joseph Ward, 17th Prime Minister of New Zealand (d. 1930), was born  (d. 1930), .

1865  American Civil War: Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered his army to General William Tecumseh Sherman at the Bennett Place near Durham, North Carolina.

Joseph Johnston.jpgWilliam-Tecumseh-Sherman.jpg

1865 Union cavalry troopers cornered and shot dead John Wilkes Booth, assassin of President Lincoln.

1879 Owen Willans Richardson, British physicist, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1959).

1888 Anita Loos, American writer was born, (d. 1981).

1889 Ludwig Wittgenstein, Austrian-born philosopher, was born (d. 1951).

1894 Rudolf Hess, Nazi official was born (d. 1987).

1900 Charles Richter, American geophysicist was born (d. 1985).

1916 Morris West, Australian writer was born  (d. 1999).

1925  Paul von Hindenburg defeated Wilhelm Marx in the second round of the German presidential election to become the first directly elected head of state of the Weimar Republic.

1933 Carol Burnett, American comedian, was born.

1933 The Gestapo, the official secret police force of Nazi Germany, was established.

1937  Spanish Civil War: Guernica, was bombed by German Luftwaffe.

 

1943 The Union Steam Ship Company freighter Limerick was topedoed in the Tasman.

  NZ ship torpedoed in Tasman

1945 World War II: Battle of Bautzen – last successful German tank-offensive of the war and last noteworthy victory of the Wehrmacht.

GedenksteinBautzen.jpg

1946 Father Divine, a controversial religious leader who claimed to be God, married the much-younger Edna Rose Ritchings, a celebrated anniversary in the International Peace Mission movement.

1954 The Geneva Conference, an effort to restore peace in Indochina and Korea, began.

 

1956 First container ship left Port Newark,  for Houston.

 

1956 Koo Stark, American actress, was born.

1960 Roger Taylor, English musician (Duran Duran), was born.

1962 NASA’s Ranger 4 spacecraft crashed into the Moon.

Ranger 4

1963 Amendments to the constitution transformed Libya into one national unity and allowed for female participation in elections.

1964 Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form Tanzania.

1965 A Rolling Stones concert in London, Ontario was shut down by police after 15 minutes due to rioting.

1966  An earthquake of magnitude 7.5 destroyed Tashkent.

1966  A new government was formed in the Republic of Congo, led by Ambroise Noumazalaye.

1970 The Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization entered into force

1982 57 people were killed by former police officer Woo Bum-kon in a shooting spree in Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea.

1982 Jon Lee, British singer (S Club), was born.

1986 A nuclear reactor accident occured at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

 

1991 Seventy tornadoes broke out in the central United States.

1994 – A China Airlines Airbus A300-600R crashed at Nagoya Airport, Japan killing all but seven passengers, with a death toll amounting to 264. See also China Airlines flight 140.

1994  Physicists announced first evidence of the top quark subatomic particle.

Top antitop quark event.svg

2002 Robert Steinhäuser infiltrated and kills 17 at Gutenberg-Gymnasium in Erfurt, Germany before dying of a self-inflicted gunshot.

 

2005 – Under international pressure, Syria withdrew the last of its 14,000 troop military garrison in Lebanon, ending its 29-year military domination of that country.

2005 Civil unions came into effect in New Zealand.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Word of the day

April 25, 2011

Duty -  An act or a course of action that is required of one by position, social custom, law, or religion: moral obligation; the compulsion felt to meet such obligation; a service, function, or task assigned to one, especially in the armed forces; function or work.

          A tax charged by a government, especially on imports; the work performed by a machine under specified conditions; a measure of efficiency expressed as the amount of work done per unit of energy used the total volume of water required to irrigate a given area in order to cultivate a specific crop until harvest.


The Waiareka Warriors

April 25, 2011

During the Anzac service at Enfield church each year the names of the men and women from the Waiareka Valley and the surrounding district, who were killed during the Boer War and World Wars I and II are read out.

This year those names mean more thanks to the work of local historian Lindsay Malcolm who has produced a book about the lives of the 76 who didn’t make it home.

The Waiareka Warriors is a tribute to those people. It is also a reminder to us of the ordinary lives of those who were called on to do extraordinary things and who died doing it.


They also served

April 25, 2011

For every man who left New Zealand to serve in the armed forces there were women left behind – the mothers, sisters, wives, fiancées, girlfriends, and workmates – who kept the home fires burning.

They raised children, worked in their communities and replaced men on farms, in factories, offices, schools and hospitals.

They also served in the armed forces – as nurses, drivers, in communications and administration.

Some, like my mother who spent most of World War II at Trentham, served in New Zealand.

Others went overseas.

In North Otago we especially remember 22/108 Staff Nurse Isabel Clark, of the New Zealand Army Nursing Service. She was one of 36 nurses on board the troop ship  Marquette  which sank after being torpedoed by a German subarine on October 23rd 1915. She was only 30 years old and one of 10 nurses who were killed in the sinking.

The others were: Marion S Brown, Catherine A Fox, Mary Gorman, Nona M Hildyard, Helena K Isdell, Mabel E Jamieson, Mary H Rae, Lorna A Rattray and Margaret Rogers.

The Christchurch Nurses Memorial Chapel was built in memory of those who died on the ship.


Living and learning

April 25, 2011

In between the heroics and horrors of battles, Anzac soldiers faced the difficulty of every day life:

“They say ‘live and learn’. Well, if we live we’ll learn.”

They did. They learned to adapt themselves to desert conditions, to live on its meagre and obnoxious water supplies, to take advantage of its scant cover, to boil a mess-tinn or quartpot of tea on a handful of dry camel-bush twigs and to find their way with unerring accuracy across its undulating sandy wastes. They learned to shave and wash in a mess-tin of brackish water and go for weeks without the luxury of a bath. Bit by bit they developed an eye for the country, so that never again were they caught in a trap of their own making.

- From Cattleman by R.S. Porteous.


Your sons are our sons

April 25, 2011

“Those heroes that shed their blood
and lost their lives;
You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.
Therefore rest in peace.
There is no difference between the Johnnies
and the Mehemets to us where they lie side by side
here in this country of ours.
You, the mothers,
who sent their sons from far away countries,
wipe away your tears;
your sons are now lying in our bosom
and are at peace.
After having lost their lives on this land they have
become our sons as well.”

- Mustafa Kemel Atatürk -


April 25 in history

April 25, 2011

On April 25:

1214  King Louis IX of France was born (d. 1270).

1228 Conrad IV of Germany was born (d. 1254).

 

1284 King Edward II of England was born (d. 1327).

1599 Oliver Cromwell, English statesman, was born (d. 1658).

 

1607 Eighty Years’ War: The Dutch fleet destroyed the anchored Spanish fleet at Gibraltar.

1707 The Habsburg army was defeated by Bourbon army at Almansa in the War of the Spanish Succession.

Armas de Carlos I de España.svgGrand Royal Coat of Arms of France.svg

1775 Charlotte of Spain, Spanish Infanta and queen of Portugal, was born (d. 1830).

1792  Highwayman Nicolas J. Pelletier became the first person executed by guillotine.

1792 – La Marseillaise was composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.

Pils - Rouget de Lisle chantant la Marseillaise.jpg

1829 Charles Fremantle arrived in the HMS Challenger off the coast of modern-day Western Australia prior to declaring the Swan River Colony for the United Kingdom.

 

1846 Thornton Affair: Open conflict began over the disputed border of Texas, triggering the Mexican-American War.

1847 The last survivors of the Donner Party were out of the wilderness.

 

1849 The Governor General of Canada, Lord Elgin, sigeds the Rebellion Losses Bill, outraging Montreal’s English population and triggering the Montreal Riots.

1859 British and French engineers broke ground for the Suez Canal.

 

1861nAmerican Civil War: The Union Army arrived in Washington, D.C.

1862  American Civil War: Forces under Union Admiral David Farragut captured the Confederate city of New Orleans, Louisiana.

1864 American Civil War: The Battle of Marks’ Mills.

1873 Walter de la Mare, English poet, was born (d. 1956).

 

1898 Spanish-American War: The United States declared war on Spain.

1901 New York became the first U.S. state to require automobile license plates.

1905 George Nepia, New Zealand rugby player was born (d. 1986).

George Nepia.jpg

1915 New Zealand troops landed at Gallipoli.

NZ troops land at Gallipoli
The start of the Battle of Gallipoli – trrops from Australia, Britain and France were also part of the landings at  Anzac Cove and Cape Helles..
  
 
 
1916 Easter Rebellion: The United Kingdom declared martial law in Ireland.
 
 

1916 – Anzac Day was commemorated for the first time, on the first anniversary of the landing at Anzac Cove.

1917 Ella Fitzgerald, American singer, was born (d. 1996).

1927 Albert Uderzo, French cartoonist, was born.

1929  Yvette Williams First New Zealander woman to win an Olympic gold medal, was born.

1932 Foundation of the Korean People’s Army of North Korea. “4.25″ appeared on the flags of the KPA Ground Force and the KPA Naval Force.

The flag of the Korean People's Army

1932 William Roache, British television actor (Coronation Street), was born.

K Barlow 2008.jpg

1938 U.S. Supreme Court delivereds opinion in Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins and overturned a century of federal common law.

1939  DC Comics published its second major superhero in Detective Comics #27; – Batman.

1940  Al Pacino, American actor, was born.

1943 The Demyansk Shield for German troops in commemoration of Demyansk Pocket was instituted.

Demjanskschild.jpg

1944 The United Negro College Fund was incorporated.

UNCF.svg

1945 Elbe Day: United States and Soviet troops met in Torgau along the River Elbe, cutting the Wehrmacht in two, a milestone in the approaching end of World War II in Europe.

 

1945 – The Nazi occupation army surrendered and left Northern Italy after a general partisan insurrection by the Italian resistance movement; the puppet fascist regime dissolved and Mussolini tried to escape. This day is taken as symbolic of the Liberation of Italy.

 

1945 – Fifty nations gathered in San Francisco to begin the United Nations Conference on International Organisations.

1945 Last German troops retreated from Finland’s soil in Lapland, ending the Lapland War.

 

1948 Yu Shyi-kun, former Premier of Taiwan, was born.

1953 Francis Crick and James D. Watson published Molecular structure of nucleic acids: a structure for deoxyribose nucleic acid describing the double helix structure of DNA.

FirstSketchOfDNADoubleHelix.jpg

1959  The St. Lawrence Seaway, linking the North American Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean, officially opened to shipping.

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1961 Robert Noyce was granted a patent for an integrated circuit.

 

1966 The city of Tashkent was destroyed by a huge earthquake.

Memorial to victims of the earthquake

1972  Vietnam War: Nguyen Hue Offensive – The North Vietnamese 320th Division forced 5,000 South Vietnamese troops to retreat and traps about 2,500 others northwest of Kontum.

1974 Carnation Revolution: A leftist military coup in Portugal restored democracy after more than forty years as a corporate authoritarian state.

 Prime Minister Marcelo Caetano, overthrown in the Carnation Revolution (Revolução dos Cravos).

1975 As North Vietnamese forces closed in on the South Vietnamese capital Saigon, the Australian Embassy was closed and evacuated, almost ten years to the day since the first Australian troop commitment to South Vietnam.

1976 Chicago Cubs’ outfielder, Rick Monday, rescued the American flag from two protestors who had run on to the field at Dodger Stadium. The two people covered the flag In lighter fluid but before the match was put to the flag, Monday, sprinted in and grabbed it away from them.

 

1981  More than 100 workers were exposed to radiation during repairs of a nuclear power plant in Tsuruga.

1982 Israel completed its withdrawal from the Sinai peninsula per the Camp David Accords.

1983 American schoolgirl Samantha Smith was invited to visit the Soviet Union by its leader Yuri Andropov after he read her letter in which she expressed fears about nuclear war.

1983 – Pioneer 10 traveled beyond Pluto’s orbit.

Pioneer 10 at Jupiter.gif

1986  Mswati III was crowned King of Swaziland, succeeding his father Sobhuza II.

1988 In Israel, John Demjanuk was sentenced to death for war crimes committed in World War II.

1990  The Hubble Telescope was deployed into orbit from the Space Shuttle Discovery.

HST-SM4.jpeg

2003 The Human Genome Project came to an end 2.5 years before first anticipated.

 

2005 The final piece of the Obelisk of Axum was returned to Ethiopia after being stolen by the invading Italian army in 1937.

 

2005 Bulgaria and Romania signed accession treaties to join the European Union.

Circle of 12 gold stars on a blue background.

2005 – 107 died in Amagasaki rail crash in Japan.

Fukuchiyama joko20051.jpg

2007  Boris Yeltsin‘s funeral – the first to be sanctioned by the Russian Orthodox Church for a head of state since the funeral of Emperor Alexander III in 1894.

 

2010: Flight Lieutenant Madsen,  Flying Officer Dan Gregory and Corporal Ben Carson, were killed when the Iroquois they were in crashed on its way to a Wellington Anzac Day service.

Sourced from NZ History Online, Wikipedia & Manawatu Standard

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Word of the day

April 24, 2011

Quaesitum – the object of a search, that which is sought; answer to a problem; the true value.


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