Giselle premierred on June 28, 1841.

Silent Movie


Happy birthday Mel Brooks –  84 today.

Silent Movie was very funny in 1976 (maybe ’77)  when I took a break from end of year exam preparation to go the the pictures. I haven’t had a chance to watch it again to see if it’s still funny.

Monday’s Quiz


1. Who uses these phrases and what do they stand for:  Dirty Gerttie, Tweak of the Thumb and Red Raw?

2. Which countries are members of the G8?

3. It’s farfalla in Italian, mariposa in Spanish and papillon in French – what is it in English?

4. Who said: “If you want something said, ask a man . . . if you want something done, ask a woman.” 

5. The first four lines of our National anthem in Maori are: E Ihowa Atua/O nga iwi matou ra/Ata whakarongona;
/Me aroha noa .
What are the next four lines?

Right where it hurts


The billboard was hard to miss as we walked past the Custom House in Wellington last week:

 The big print says: It’s kicking the country right where it hurts.

The smaller print says that Kiwifruit regulations are sstrangling innovation and export earnings.

It’s part of a campaign by Turners and Growers which wants to export independently of Zespri.

Political corpse stirs


The vital signs  have been hard to distinguish for months, but the corpse of the Progressive Party has stirred again.

It’s re-registered as a political party even though its leader told members to join the Labour Party.

Is there any reason for doing so apart from allowing Jim Anderton to get the extra funding as a party leader while he campaigns to be Chrsitchurch mayor?

That it’s managed to come up with the 500 members required for registration is evidence the bar is set far too low.

If the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association has 39,700 members, surely it’s not expecting too much to require a group which might end up in parliament to have at least a couple of thousand members?

June 28 in history


On June 28:

1098  Fighters of the First Crusade defeated Kerbogha of Mosul.


1389  Ottomans defeated Serbian army in the bloody Battle of Kosovo, opening the way for the Ottoman conquest of Southeastern Europe.

Battle of Kosovo 1389.PNG

1491 Henry VIII  was born  (d. 1547).


1519  Charles V elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

1577 Peter Paul Rubens, Flemish painter, was born (d. 1640).


1635 Guadeloupe became a French colony.

1651  Battle of Beresteczko between Poles and Ukrainians started.

Bohun k.jpg

 1703 John Wesley, English founder of Methodism, was born (d. 1791).


1712 Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Swiss philosopher, was born (d. 1778).

1776  American Revolutionary War: Carolina Day – commemorates the defense of Fort Moultrie during the Battle of Sullivan’s Island.


1776  American Revolutionary War: Thomas Hickey, Continental Army private and bodyguard to General George Washington, was hanged for mutiny and sedition.

1778  American Revolutionary War: Battle of Monmouth fought between the American Continental Army under George Washington and the British Army led by Sir Henry Clinton.


1807  Second British invasion of the Río de la Plata; John Whitelock landed at Ensenada on an attempt to recapture Buenos Aires and was defeated by the fierce resistance of the locals.

Invasiones Inglesas.jpg

1838  The coronation of Queen Victoria.

A painting of a richly dressed young woman gazing at the painter. 

1841 The Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique in Paris premiered the ballet Giselle.

Giselle -Carlotta Grisi -1841 -2.jpg

1859  First conformation dog show is held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

1865  The Army of the Potomac was disbanded.

Potomac Staff.jpg

1880  Ned Kelly the Australian bushranger was  captured at Glenrowan.

Head of a young man with a long, untrimmed beard, and with hair cropped above the ears, but longer and slicked strikingly up and back on the top. His mustache and beard are so long that his mouth and shirt front can barely be seen. His eyes look over the viewer's right shoulder .

1881 Secret treaty between Austria and Serbia.

1882  Anglo-French Convention of 1882 signed marking territorial boundaries between Guinea and Sierra Leone.

1895  El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua formed the Central American Union.


1896  An explosion in the Newton Coal Company’s Twin Shaft Mine in Pittston City, resulted in a massive cave-in that killed 58 miners.

1902 Richard Rodgers, American composer, was born (d. 1979).

1902  The U.S. Congress passed the Spooner Act, authorising President Theodore Roosevelt to acquire rights from Colombia for the Panama Canal.

1904  The SS Norge ran aground and sank.

SS Norge

1909 Eric Ambler, English writer, was born (d. 1998).

Ambler - Passage of Arms.jpg

1914  Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria and his wife Sophie were assassinated in Sarajevo by young Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip, the casus belli of World War I.


1919  The Treaty of Versailles was signed in Paris, formally ending World War I between Belgium, Britain, France, Italy, the United States and allies on the one side and Germany and Austria Hungary on the other side.

Treaty of Versailles, English version.jpg

1922  The Irish Civil War began with the shelling of the Four Courts in Dublin by Free State forces.

1926 Mel Brooks, American filmmaker, was born.


1928  Harold Evans, English journalist and writer; editor of The Sunday Times, was born.

Sir Harold Evans 6 Shankbone 2009 NYC.jpg

1936  The Japanese puppet state of Mengjiang was formed in northern China.

1940 Romania ceded Bessarabia (current-day Moldova) to the Soviet Union.

1948  Cominform circulated the “Resolution on the situation in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia”; Yugoslavia was expelled from the Communist bloc.

1948  Boxer Dick Turpin beat Vince Hawkins to become the first black British boxing champion in the modern era.

1950  Seoul was captured by troops from North Korea.

1954  A. A. Gill, British writer and columnist, was born.

1956  Protests and demonstrations in Poznań.

Poznan 1956.jpg

1964  Malcom X formed the Organization of Afro-American Unity.


1967  Israel annexed East Jerusalem.

1969  Stonewall riots began in New York City.

A black and white photograph showing the backs of three uniformed police officers and a man with short-cropped hair in a suit pushing back a crowd of young men with longer hair dressed in jeans and contemporary clothing for the late 1960s, arguing and defying the police; other people in the background on a stoop are watching 

1971 Louise Bagshawe, British novelist and politician, was born.

1973 HMNZS Otago sailed for the Mururoa nuclear test zone.

HMNZS <em>Otago</em> sails for Mururoa test zone

1973  Elections were held for the Northern Ireland Assembly, which led to power-sharing between unionists and nationalists in Northern Ireland for the first time.

1976  The Angolan court sentenced US and UK mercenaries to death sentences and prison terms in the Luanda Trial.

1978  The United States Supreme Court, in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke barred quota systems in college admissions.

1981  A powerful bomb exploded in Tehran, killing 73 officials of Islamic Republic Party.

1983  The Mianus River Bridge collapsed killing 3 drivers in their vehicles.

1986  ¡A Luchar! held its first congress in Bogotá.

1990  Paperback Software International Ltd. found guilty by a U.S. court of copyright violation for copying the appearance and menu system of Lotus 1-2-3 in its competing spreadsheet program.

1992  The Constitution of Estonia was signed into law.

1994  Members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult released sarin gas attack at Matsumoto, 7 persons killed, 660 injured.

1996  The Constitution of Ukraine was signed into law.

1997 Mike Tyson vs Evander Holyfield II – Tyson was disqualified in the 3rd round for biting a piece from Holyfield’s ear.

Mike Tyson festival de Cannes.jpgEvander Holyfield.jpg

2004  Sovereign power was handed to the interim government of Iraq by the Coalition Provisional Authority, ending the U.S.-led rule of that nation.

2005 War in Afghanistan: Three U.S. Navy SEALs and 16 American Special Operations Forces soldiers were killed during Operation Red Wing, a failed counter-insurgent mission in Kunar province.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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