February 13 in history

February 13, 2016

711 BC  Jimmu, Japanese emperor, was born (d. 585 DC).

1322 – The central tower of Ely Cathedral fell on the night of 12th-13th.

1462 – The Treaty of Westminster was finalised between Edward IV of England and the Scottish Lord of the Isles.

1503 Disfida di Barletta challenge between 13 Italian and 13 French knights near Barletta.

1542 – Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VII , was executed for adultery.

1575 Henry III of France was crowned at Rheims and married Louise de Lorraine-Vaudémont on the same day.

1633 Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome for his trial before the Inquisition.

1668 Spain recognised Portugal as an independent nation.

1689 William and Mary were proclaimed co-rulers of England.

1692 Massacre of Glencoe: About 78 Macdonalds at were killed early in the morning for not promptly pledging allegiance to the new king, William of Orange.

1728 John Hunter, Scottish surgeon, was born (d. 1793).

1743 Joseph Banks, English botanist and naturalist, was born (d. 1820).

1815 The Cambridge Union Society was founded.

1835 Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, was born ( d 1908).

1849 Lord Randolph Churchill, British statesman, was born (d. 1895).

1869 A Ngati Maniapoto war party led by Wetere Te Rerenga attacked Pukearuhe. They killed  Lieutenant Gascoigne, his wife and three children and a Wesleyan missionary John Whiteley.

Killings at Pukearuhe

1880 Work began on the covering of the Zenne, burying Brussels’s primary river and creating the modern central boulevards.

1880 – Thomas Edison observed the Edison effect.

1881 The feminist newspaper La Citoyenne was first published in Paris by the activist Hubertine Auclert.

1891 Kate Roberts, Welsh nationalist and writer, was born (d. 1985).

1894 Auguste and Louis Lumière patented the Cinematographe, a combination movie camera and projector.

1914 The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers was established to protect the copyrighted musical compositions of its members.

1920 The Negro National League was formed.

1934 The Soviet steamship Cheliuskin sank in the Arctic Ocean.

1942 Peter Tork, American musician and actor (The Monkees), was born.

1944 Jerry Springer, American television host, was born.

1945 The siege of Budapest concluded with the unconditional surrender of German and Hungarian forces to the Red Army.

1945 World War II: Royal Air Force bombers were dispatched to Dresden to attack the city with a massive aerial bombardment.

1950 Peter Gabriel, English musician (Genesis), composer and humanitarian, was born.

1955 Israel obtained 4 of the 7 Dead Sea scrolls.

1960 With the success of a nuclear test codenamed “Gerboise Bleue“, France became the fourth country to possess nuclear weapons.

1960 Black college students staged the first of the Nashville sit-ins at three lunch counters in Nashville, Tennessee.

1967 American researchers discovered the Madrid Codices by Leonardo da Vinci in the National Library of Spain.

1970 Black Sabbath, arguably the first heavy metal album, was released.

1978 Hilton bombing: a bomb exploded in a refuse truck outside the Hilton Hotel in Sydney, killing two refuse collectors and a policeman.

1979 An intense windstorm struck western Washington and sank a 1/2-mile-long section of the Hood Canal Bridge.

1982  Río Negro massacre in Guatemala.

1981 A series of sewer explosions destroyed more than two miles of streets in Louisville, Kentucky.

1984 Konstantin Chernenko succeeded the late Yuri Andropov as general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1990 German reunification: An agreement was reached on a two-stage plan to reunite Germany.

1991 Gulf War: Two laser-guided “smart bombs” destroyed the Amiriyah shelter in Baghdad.

2000 The last original “Peanuts” comic strip appeared in newspapers one day after Charles M. Schulz died.

Peanuts gang.png

2001 An earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter Scale hit El Salvador, killing at least 400.

2004 The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics announced the discovery of the universe’s largest known diamond white dwarf star BPM 37093. Astronomers named this star “Lucy” after The Beatles’ song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”.

2008 Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made an historic apology to theIndigenous Australians and the Stolen Generations.

2011 – For the first time in more than 100 years the Umatilla, an American Indian tribe, were able to hunt and harvest a bison just outside Yellowstone National Park, restoring a centuries-old tradition guaranteed by a treaty signed in 1855.

2012 – The European Space Agency (ESA) conducted the first launch of the European Vega rocket from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

2013  – A plane crash killed five people and injured nine others in Donetsk, Ukraine.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


Word of the day

February 12, 2016

Calumny – the making of false and defamatory statements about someone in order to damage their reputation; slander;  act of uttering false charges maliciously or a misrepresentation intended to harm another’s reputation.


366 days of gratitude

February 12, 2016

My father smoked when he was serving in the army but he was a Scot and gave up when he had to pay retail prices for cigarettes.

That was long before I was born and I grew up knowing my parents as non-smokers.

In spite of that they had an ashtray in the sitting room. In those days smokers wouldn’t have thought of asking permission to smoke and non-smokers wouldn’t have thought of refusing them had they asked.

That slowly changed but even though I hated the smell that clung to clothes and furniture it took me a while to realise that I had the right to send smokers outside.

Thankfully now I don’t know any smokers who’d light up in other people’s houses and they aren’t permitted to smoke in inside public places.

Today I’m grateful that I don’t have to put up with other people’s smoke.


Friday’s answers

February 12, 2016

Thanks Andrei and J Bloggs for posing the questions.

I think Teletext has once again answered them all, but should some of those answers be wrong you can claim a bunch of precious platinum roses by leaving the answers below.


Quote of the day

February 12, 2016

Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.  ― Judy Blume who was born on this day in 1938.


February 12 in history

February 12, 2016

881 Pope John VIII crowned Charles the Fat, the King of Italy.

1429  English forces under Sir John Fastolf defended a supply convoy carrying rations to the army besieging Orleans from attack by the Comte de Clermont and John Stuart in the Battle of Rouvray (also known as theBattle of the Herrings).

1502 Vasco da Gama set sail from Lisbon on his second voyage to India.

1541 – Santiago, Chile was founded by Pedro de Valdivia.

1554 A year after claiming the throne of England for nine days, Lady Jane Grey was beheaded for treason.

1567 Thomas Campion, English composer and poet, was born (d. 1620).

1700 The Great Northern War began in Northern Europe.

1719 The Onderlinge van 1719 u.a., the oldest existing life insurance company in the Netherlands was founded.

1771 Gustav III became the King of Sweden.

1809 Charles Darwin, English naturalist, was born (d. 1882).

1809 Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States, was born (d. 1865).

1816 The Teatro di San Carlo, the oldest working opera house in Europe, was destroyed by fire.

1817 An Argentine/Chilean patriotic army, after crossing the Andes, defeated Spanish troops on the Battle of Chacabuco.

1818 Bernardo O’Higgins formally approved the Chilean Declaration of Independence near Concepción, Chile.

1825 The Muscogee (Creek )ceded the last of their lands in Georgia to the United States government, and migrate west.

1828 George Meredith, English writer, was born (d. 1909).

1832 Ecuador annexed the Galápagos Islands.

1855 Michigan State University was established.

1879 The first artificial ice rink in North America opened at Gilmore’s Park in New York City.

1881 Anna Pavlova, Russian ballerina, was born  (d. 1931).

1894 Anarchist Émile Henry hurled a bomb into Paris’s Cafe Terminus, killing one and wounding 20.

1909 SS Penguin was wrecked in Cook Strait.

SS <em>Penguin</em> wrecked in Cook Strait

1909 The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People(NAACP) was founded.

1911 Stephen H. Sholes, American recording executive, was born  (d. 1968).

1912 Xuantong Emperor of the Manchu Qing dynasty, the last Emperor of China, abdicated.

1914 The first stone of the Lincoln Memorial was put into place.

1915 Lorne Greene, Canadian actor, was born  (d. 1987).

1923 – Franco Zeffirelli, Italian film and opera director and designer, was born.

1924  Calvin Coolidge became the first President of the United States to deliver a political speech on radio.

1934 The Austrian Civil War began.

1934 In Spain the national council of Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista was inaugurated.

1938 Judy Blume, American author, was born.

1945 David Friedman, American economist, was born.

1946 Operation Deadlight ended after scuttling 121 of 154 captured U-boats.

52 surrendered U-boats moored at HMS Ferret,Lisahally, Northern Ireland

1948 Raymond Kurzweil, American inventor and author, was born.

1949 – Joaquín Sabina, Spanish singer and songwriter, was born.

1950 Steve Hackett, English guitarist (Genesis), was born.

1961 U.S.S.R. launched Venera 1 towards Venus.

1966 Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, announced the Six Points in Karachi as the election manifesto of Awami League, that led to formation of Bangladesh.

1973 The first United States prisoners of war were released by the Viet Cong.

1974 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, winner of the Nobel Prize in literature was exiled from the Soviet Union.

1990 Carmen Lawrence became the first female Premier in Australian History when she became premier of Western Australia.

1997 Hwang Jang-yop, secretary in the Workers’ Party of Korea and a prime architect of North Korea’s Juche doctrine, defects at the South Korean embassy in Beijing along with his aide, Kim Dok-hong.

1999 President Bill Clinton was acquitted by the United States Senate in his impeachment trial.

2001 NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft touchdown in the “saddle” region of 433 Eros becoming the first spacecraft to land on an asteroid.

2002 – The trial of former President of Federal Republic of YugoslaviaSlobodan Milošević began.

2002 – An Iran Air Tupolev Tu-154 crashed in the mountains outside Khorramabad, Iran while descending for a landing at Khorramabad Airport, killing 119.

2004 The city of San Francisco,  began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in response to a directive from Mayor Gavin Newsom.

2006 A powerful winter storm blanketed the Northeastern United States dumping 1 to 2 feet of snow from Washington D.C. to Boston, and a record 26.9 inches of snow in New York City.

2007 A gunman opens fire in a mall in Salt Lake City killing 5 people wounding 4 others in the Trolley Square shooting.

2009 Colgan Air Flight 3407 crashed into a house near Buffalo, New York killing 50 people.

2014 – A massive winter storm across states in the southern United States causes widespread power outages, travel disruptions and dangerous road conditions.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


Finlayson tribute to Groser

February 11, 2016

Minister for Treaty Negotiations Chris Finlayson is one of parliament’s best debaters.

In the debate on the Prime Minister’s statement he pays tribute to Trade Negotiations Minister Tim Groser who left without delivering a valedictory statement.

Hon CHRISTOPHER FINLAYSON (Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations): It is great to be back after a glorious summer in this magnificent capital city. I had a great summer. There is nothing more enjoyable than charging up Mount Kawakawa to look out on this city—the best views in Wellington .

Unlike the previous speaker, Jacinda Ardern , I thought that the Prime Minister gave an outstanding address to inaugurate the political year. I was particularly interested when the Prime Minister outlined a number of significant New Zealand sporting achievements. He mentioned the Sevens , our great cricket team, and Lydia Ko’s brilliance. I was just a little disappointed that he did not mention another great New Zealand sporting achievement, namely, my hole in one on the 11th at the Royal Wellington Golf Club at 1.30 p.m. on 29 December 2015. Mr Faafoi would be interested in this, because I know he plays at Heretaunga . It was a 7 wood, brilliantly teed-off, went slightly to the left in—well, it was about 160 metres in a northerly. It jumped the bunker and slid into the hole. I was very proud of that.

I want to begin by paying tribute to my colleague Tim Groser , who is about to leave for the United States . He and I came into Parliament together in 2005, and I was his associate arts, culture and heritage spokesperson until Tim was reshuffled out of that role and I took it for myself. In 2014 Tim and I won the party vote in New Lynn and Rongotai , embarrassing our high-profile opponents. In fact, Tim almost became the member of Parliament for New Lynn, which was slightly better than I have ever achieved against Mrs King , although Tim did have the benefit of being up against David Cunliffe . I am very interested to hear that Annette King may be standing down as the MP for Rongotai—a very important political development, because it will have the effect of turning Rongotai into a hair-trigger marginal. Whenever I am out campaigning with the people in Rongotai, the voters always say they will switch to me once Mrs King retires. So I used to say I would win the seat in 2038, but I have been doing some very hasty recalculations and I think it could be as early as 2023.

Tim and I were bench mates for our first term. We used to sit in the second row, where David Shearer sits now, and we often used to come down to question time reading our Spectators until Marian Hobbs , the then-MP for Wellington Central , told us that, no, that was not very wise. We should try to look riveted when the speaker is asking questions—very sound advice that I have always remembered. I am very sorry that Tim has left our presence without giving a valedictory speech, so I thought I would give one for him. I would like to outline what I think are his top five contributions in office, even if Tim would have done a far better job telling us about his achievements than I will be able to do. Over the course of my speech, I will avoid quotes from Napoleon, Juvenal , and Thucydides .

Tim’s achievements were momentous. The first one, of course, was the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. It is the obvious one. He achieved what many people thought was unachievable. Secondly, there was the Taiwan economic agreement and the Hong Kong free-trade agreement, which made New Zealand the first country to have trade deals with all of China. He concluded a free-trade agreement with the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand arrangement. He positioned New Zealand’s trade relationship with Asia in a very effective manner. He also concluded a free-trade agreement with Korea. These all prove the value of free-trade agreements, as traditional Labour leaders have always said. The rise in the volume of New Zealand’s exports has been huge, and the same will happen with the TPP agreement, which makes Labour’s approach both so bizarre and so disappointing given its very positive contribution to trade over the years.

Tim was a very respected voice overseas for New Zealand business, and I am sure he is going to continue to be so in his new role. He spearheaded overseas business trade missions to introduce New Zealand companies to new markets. Whether at the World Trade Organization , whether at Washington or Beijing, people listened to him—they had no choice—and New Zealand businesses all benefited from it. Finally, he was a very effective Minister for climate change issues. The work he did behind the scenes on international agreements earned him significant respect. The recent Paris agreement was based on the New Zealand proposal. I know the Greens are looking disconsolate because they think they have a monopoly of virtue on these matters, but Tim was a very effective Minister in that area. I should not finish without mentioning his glorious reign as the Minister of Conservation between 2008 and 2010—as Tim himself calls it, “the golden age of conservation in New Zealand”—until he was fired by the Prime Minister. I am sure all of us wish him all the very best for the future, and I know that he will be a very effective ambassador to the United States. . . 


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