December 17 in history

17/12/2009

1538  Pope Paul III excommunicates Henry VIII of England.

1577  Francis Drake set sail from Plymouth, England, on a secret mission to explore the Pacific Coast of the Americas for English Queen Elizabeth I.

1590 or later Marcus Gheeraerts, Sir Francis Drake Buckland Abbey, Devon.jpg

1773 At Wharehunga Bay, Queen Charlotte Sound, 10 men who were with James Cook’s navigator Tobias Furneaux died at the hands of Ngati Kuia and Rangitane, led by their chief, Kahura.

Ten crew of Cook's ship <em> Adventure </em>  killed and eaten

1819  Simón Bolívar declared the independence of the Republic of Gran Colombia in Angostura (now Ciudad Bolívar in Venezuela).

1834 The Dublin and Kingstown Railway, the first public railway in Ireland opened.

1865 First performance of the Unfinished Symphony by Franz Schubert.

1889 New Zealand’s Eifel tower opened at the South Seas Exhibition.

New Zealand’s own Eiffel Tower opens

1904 Paul Cadmus, American artist, was born.

1915 André Claveau, French singer, was born.

1918 Culmination of the Darwin Rebellion as some 1000 demonstrators march on Government House in Darwin.

1935 First flight of the Douglas DC-3 airplane.

A DC-3 operated by Flygande Veteraner in Sweden

1936  Tommy Steele, English singer and actor, was born.
 
1937 Kerry Packer, Australian businessman, was born.
1938  Peter Snell, New Zealand runner, was born.
1939  Battle of the River Plate – The Admiral Graf Spee was scuttled by Captain Hans Langsdorff outside Montevideo.

Graf Spee at Spithead.jpg

1944 Major Major, No. 1 Dog, 2NZEF, and member/mascot of 19 Battalion since 1939, died of sickness in Italy. He was buried with full military honours at Rimini.

Major Major, mascot of 19 Battalion, dies of sickness

1947  First flight of the Boeing B-47 Stratojet strategic bomber.

Boeing B-47E-65-BW (AF Serial No. 51-5257)during rocket-assisted takeoff test.

1961 Sara Dallin, English singer (Bananarama), was born.

1967  Prime Minister of Australia Harold Holt disappearsed while swimming near Portsea, Victoria and was presumed drowned.

1969 The SALT I (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks) began.

1969  Project Blue Book: The United States Air Force closed its study of UFOs, stating that sightings were generated as a result of “A mild form of mass hysteria, Individuals who fabricate such reports to perpetrate a hoax or seek publicity, psychopathological persons, and misidentification of various conventional objects.”

1983 The IRA bombed Harrods Department Store in London, killing six people.

1989 Pilot episode of The Simpsons aired in the United States.

Simpsons FamilyPicture.png

2003  SpaceShipOne flight 11P, piloted by Brian Binnie, makes its first supersonic flight.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


December 13 in history

13/12/2009

On December 13:

1577 Sir Francis Drake set out from Plymouth, England, on his round-the-world voyage.

1590 or later Marcus Gheeraerts, Sir Francis Drake Buckland Abbey, Devon.jpg

1642  Towards noon the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted ‘a large land, uplifted high’. This was the first recorded sighting of New Zealand by a European.

First recorded European sighting of NZ

1769 Dartmouth College was founded by the Rev. Eleazar Wheelock, with a Royal Charter from King George III.

1816 Ernst Werner von Siemens, German engineer, inventor, and industrialist, was born.

1903 Carlos Montoya, Spanish guitarist, was born.

1906 Sir Laurens van der Post, South African author, was born.

1925 Dick Van Dyke, American actor and comedian was born.

1929 Christopher Plummer, Canadian actor, was born.

1936 Prince Karim Aga Khan (Aga Khan IV), Imam (leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, was born.

1939 Battle of the River Plate : At 6.21 a.m. on 13 December 1939, the cruiser HMS Achilles opened fire on the German ‘pocket battleship’ Admiral Graf Spee in the South Atlantic. It became the first New Zealand unit to strike a blow at the enemy in the Second World War.

Battle of the River Plate

1948 Jeff Baxter, American guitarist (Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers).

1949 Paula Wilcox, English actress, was born.

1954 Tamora Pierce, American author, was born.

1959 Archbishop Makarios became the first President of Cyprus.

1961 Irene Saez, Miss Universe 1981 and Venezuelan politician, was born.

 

1974 Malta became a republic.

1981 General Wojciech Jaruzelski declared martial law in Poland to prevent dismantling of the communist system by Solidarity.

1996 Kofi Annan was elected as Secretary-General of the United Nations.

2003  Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was captured near his home town of Tikrit (see Operation Red Dawn).

2004 Former Chilean dictator, General Augusto Pinochet was put under house arrest, after being sued under accusations over 9 kidnapping actions and manslaughter. The house arrest was lifted the same day on appeal.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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