December 9 in history

December 9, 2016

536 – Byzantine General Belisarius entered Rome while the Ostrogothic garrison peacefully left the city, returning the old capital to its empire.

730 – Battle of Marj Ardabil: the Khazars annihilated an Umayyad army and killed its commander, al-Djarrah ibn Abdullah.

1425 – The Catholic University of Leuven was founded.

1531 – The Virgin of Guadalupe first appeared to Juan Diego at Tepeyac, Mexico City.

1608  John Milton, English poet, was born (d. 1674).

1787 John Dobson, English architect, was born  (d. 1865).

1793 – New York City’s first daily newspaper, the American Minerva, was established by Noah Webster.

1824 – Patriot forces led by General Antonio José de Sucre defeated a Royalist army in the Battle of Ayacucho, ending the Peruvian War of Independence.

1851 – The first YMCA in North America was established in Montreal, Quebec.

1867 – The first passengers travelled through the Lyttelton tunnel.

First passengers traverse Lyttelton rail tunnel

1872 – In Louisiana, P. B. S. Pinchback became the first serving African-American governor of a U.S. state.

1886 Clarence Birdseye, American frozen food manufacturer, was born (d. 1956).

1888 – Statistician Herman Hollerith installed his computing device at the United States War Department.

1897 Activist Marguerite Durand founded the feminist daily newspaper, La Fronde, in Paris.

1899 New Zealand troops fired their first shots in the South African war.
NZ troops fire first shots during South African War

1902  Margaret Hamilton, American actress, was born (d. 1985).

1905 In France, the law separating church and state was passed.

1916 – Kirk Douglas, American actor, was born.

1922  Gabriel Narutowicz was announced the first president of Poland.

1929  Bob Hawke, 23rd Prime Minister of Australia, was born.

1931 The Constituent Cortes approved the constitution which establishes the Second Spanish Republic.

1933  Ashleigh Brilliant, American writer (Pot-Shots), was born.

1934  Dame Judi Dench, English actress, was born.

1935 – Walter Liggett, American newspaper editor and muckraker, was killed in gangland murder.

1937 – Second Sino-Japanese War: Battle of Nanjing – Japanese troops under the command of Lt. Gen. Asaka Yasuhiko launched an assault on Nanjing.

1940 – World War II: Operation Compass – British and Indian troops under the command of Major-General Richard O’Connor attacked Italian forces near Sidi Barrani in Egypt.

1941 Beau Bridges, American actor, was born.

1946 – The “Subsequent Nuremberg Trials” began with the “Doctors’ Trial“, prosecuting doctors alleged to be involved in human experimentation.

1950  Joan Armatrading, St. Kitts-born English singer, was born.

1953 John Malkovich, American actor, was born.

1953 – Red Scare: General Electric announced that all communist employees would be discharged from the company.

1957 – Donny Osmond, American singer and actor, was born.

1958  Nick Seymour, Australian bassist (Crowded House), was born.

1960 The first episode of Britain’s longest running television soap operaCoronation Street was broadcast.

1961 – The trial of Nazi Adolf Eichmann in Israel ended with verdicts of guilty on 15 criminal charges, including charges of crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people and membership of an outlawed organization.

1961 Tanganyika became independent from Britain.

1962  The Petrified Forest National Park was established in Arizona.

1968 NLS (a system for which hypertext and the computer mouse were developed) was publicly demonstrated for the first time in San Francisco.

1979 The eradication of the smallpox virus was certified, making smallpox the first and to date only human disease driven to extinction.

1988  The Michael Hughes Bridge in Sligo, Ireland was officially opened.

1990  Lech Wałęsa became the first directly elected president of Poland.

2003 – A blast in the center of Moscow killed six people and wounds several more.

2006 – Moscow suffered its worst fire since 1977, killing 45 women in a drug rehabilitation centre.

2008 – The Governor of Illinois, Rob Blagojevich, was arrested by federal officials for a number of alleged crimes including attempting to sell the United States Senate seat being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama’s election to the Presidency.

2013 – At least seven were killed and 63 injured following a train accidentnear Bintaro, Indonesia.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


366 days of gratitude

December 8, 2016

The left and the more excitable of the commentariat have been acting like Chicken Little.

Prime Minister John Key has announced his resignation but the sky isn’t falling and the National caucus is not falling apart.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bill English has more than enough support from his colleagues to become party leader and PM when they meet on Monday.

Minister Judith Collins and Jonathan who were keen for a contest have withdrawn and pledge their support for the PM in waiting.

The leader of the party and the country is changing but stable government, focussed on the issues that matter, maintaining careful management of finances to enable better public services will continue.

I’m very grateful for that.


Word of the day

December 8, 2016

Demulcent – relieving inflammation or irritation; serving to soothe or soften; a soothing, usually mucilaginous or oily substance, such as glycerine or lanolin, used especially to relieve pain in inflamed or irritated mucous membranes.


Thursday’s quiz

December 8, 2016

You are invited to pose the questions.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win a virtual batch of fruit mince pies.


English for Beginners

December 8, 2016

A Facebook meme states there are 12 days of Christmas and none of them are in November.

I agree with the spirit of that message but even though it’s more than 12 days until the 25th, I couldn’t resist this:


Another by-election

December 8, 2016

Labour MP, and former leader, David Shearer has been shoulder-tapped to lead a United Nations mission in South Sudan.

That will prompt another by-election in a safe Labour seat which is a cost to the taxpayer.

But the bigger cost will be to the party which will lose  another moderate MP

It won’t be a lot of fun going from Prime Minister to back bencher but John Key is staying in parliament so as not to trigger a by-election.

Retiring Labour MP, and another former leader, David Cunliffe, has also said he will stay long enough to not trigger a by-election.


Quote of the day

December 8, 2016

But that’s the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don’t want to know what people are talking about. I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can’t even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses Bill Bryson who celebrates his 65th birthday today.

He also said:

As my father always used to tell me, ‘You see, son, there’s always someone in the world worse off than you.’ And I always used to think, ‘So?’

And:

There are three stages in scientific discovery. First, people deny that it is true, then they deny that it is important; finally they credit the wrong person.

And

Black bears rarely attack. But here’s the thing. Sometimes they do. All bears are agile, cunning and immensely strong, and they are always hungry. If they want to kill you and eat you, they can, and pretty much whenever they want. That doesn’t happen often, but – and here is the absolutely salient point – once would be enough.


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