April 19 in history

April 19, 2010

On April 19:

1012Martyrdom of Alphege in Greenwich, London.

Painted statues of three men. The man in the centre is wearing a mitre and carrying a crozier and is staring straight forward. One of the two men flanking the central figure is carrying an axe.

1529 At the Second Diet of Speyer, a group of rulers and independent cities protested the reinstatement of the Edict of Worms, beginning the Protestant Reformation.

1587 Francis Drake sank the Spanish fleet in Cádiz harbour.

  

1713 With no living male heirs, Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, issued the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 to ensure that Habsburg lands and the Austrian throne would be inherited by his daughter, Maria Theresa of Austria (not actually born until 1717).

 

1770 Captain James Cook sighted Australia.

 

1770 Marie Antoinette married Louis XVI by Proxy marriage.

 

1775  American Revolutionary War began at the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

Battle of Lexington, 1775.png

1782 John Adams secured the Dutch Republic’s recognition of the United States as an independent government. The house which he had purchased in The Hague, became the first American embassy.

1809 An Austrian corps was defeated by the forces of the Duchy of Warsaw in the Battle of Raszyn, part of the struggles of the Fifth Coalition.

Raszyn 1809.JPG

1809 The Austrian main army was defeated by a First French Empire Corps led by Louis-Nicolas Davout at the Battle of Teugen-Hausen in Bavaria; part of a four day campaign which ended in a French victory.

1810 Venezuela achieved home rule: Vicente Emparan, Governor of the Captaincy General was removed by the people of Caracas and a Junta was installed.

1839 The Treaty of London established Belgium as a kingdom.

1847  New portico at British Museum opened

1855 Visit of Napoleon III to Guildhall, London.

1861 American Civil War: Baltimore riot of 1861, a pro-Secession mob in Baltimore, Maryland, attacked United States Army troops marching through the city.

1892 Charles Duryea claimed to have driven the first automobile in the United States.

1893 The Liberals subdivided the Cheviot Estate.

Liberals 'burst up' Cheviot Estate

 1919 Leslie Irvin of the United States made the first successful voluntary free-fall parachute jump using a new kind of self-contained parachute.

1927 Mae West was sentenced to 10 days in jail for obscenity for her play Sex.

1928  The 125th and final fascicle of the Oxford English Dictionary was published.

1935  Dudley Moore, English actor, comedian and composer, was born.

1936 First day of the Great Uprising in Palestine.

 

1937 – Joseph Estrada, actor and 13th President of the Philippines, was born.

1941 Alan Price, English musician (The Animals, The Alan Price Set), was born.

1942 World War II: In Poland, the Majdan-Tatarski ghetto was established, situated between the Lublin Ghetto and a Majdanek subcamp.

1943 World War II: German troops enter the Warsaw ghetto to round up the remaining Jews, beginning the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

1943 Eve Graham, Scottish singer (The New Seekers), was born.

1943 – Bicycle Day – Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann deliberately took LSD for the first time.

 

1946 Tim Curry, British actor, was born.

1951 – General Douglas MacArthur retired from the military.

MacArthur Manila.jpg

1954 – Constituent Assembly of Pakistan decided Urdu and Bengali to be national languages of Pakistan.

1955 The German automaker Volkswagen,  founded Volkswagen of America in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

VW-Logo.png

1956 Actress Grace Kelly married Rainier III of Monaco.

1960 Students in South Korea held a nationwide pro-democracy protest against their president Syngman Rhee, eventually forcing him to resign.

1961 The Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba ended in success for the defenders.

 

1971  Siaka Stevens became first president of Sierra Leone Republic.

1971 – Vietnam War: Vietnam Veterans Against the War begia a five-day demonstration in Washington, DC.

1971 – Launch of Salyut 1, the first space station.

1975 India’s first satellite Aryabhata was launched.

Aryabhata Satellite.jpg

1984 Advance Australia Fair was proclaimed as Australia’s national anthem, and green and gold as the national colours.

1987 The Simpsons premiered as a short cartoon on The Tracey Ullman Show.

Simpsons FamilyPicture.png

1989  A gun turret explodesd on the USS Iowa, killing 47 sailors.

1993 The 51-day siege of the Branch Davidian building outside Waco, Texas, ended when a fire broke out. Eighty-one people died.

Mountcarmelfire04-19-93-l.jpg

1993 – South Dakota governor George Mickelson and seven others were killed when a state-owned aircraft crashed in Iowa.

1995 Oklahoma City bombing: The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, was bombed, killing 168.

Several fire-damaged cars located in front of a partially destroyed multi-story building.

1997 – The Red River Flood of 1997 overwhelms the city of Grand Forks, ND. Fire breaks out and spreads in downtown Grand Forks, but high water levels hamper efforts to reach the fire, leading to the destruction of 11 buildings.

The Sorlie Bridge connecting Grand Forks and East Grand Forks became submerged on April 17

1999 The German Bundestag returned to Berlin.

2005 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger elected Pope Benedict XVI on the second day of the Papal conclave.

Pope, 13 march 2007.jpg
 

2008 Bowie Seamount on the coast of British Columbia became a Marine Protected Area.

 Bowie Seamount map.jpg

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia


Property rights sacrosanct

August 11, 2008

The ODT editorlialises on the Walking Access Bill and concludes:

There will be regret in several quarters that private property rights have been protected seemingly to a greater degree than the public’s rights of access, and that this Bill amounts to a concession that the original admittedly ambitious proposals were simply too difficult to reconcile with the level of objection.

The pity would have been had property rights not been protected because they are one of the basic planks of democracy.

No-one has the right wander on to someone else’s quarter acre section and use it for a picnic, exercise, walking dogs, hunting, having sex, or as a loo. 

I know people who have come across uninvited visitors doing all of these things. The reasons that make that unacceptable in a city section apply just as much in the country and regardless of how much bigger the property is.

Private Property rights go back to the Magna Carta and if the land owner has to give them away it must be by negotiation and, if appropriate, with compensation.


Choosing Gender

June 24, 2008

After our second son died someone said what a pity it was the boys who died, because of the farm.

I’ll put to one side the fact that we could have had any number of sons who might not have wanted to farm and any number of daughters who might have choosen to and concentrate on the issue: would the death of a daughter somehow be less distressing than that of a son? Of course not.

Among the many things I learnt from the short lives and early deaths of my sons was the truth in the words expressed so often by prospective parents, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a boy or a girl, as long as the baby  is happy and healthy.

No doubt that colours my view in the debate surrounding the Bioethics Council recommendation that parents undergoing IVF be allowed to choose the gender of their chidlren.

I don’t agree with  Rev Dr Michael McCabe and John Kelinsman  who said:

Catholic teaching on human dignity asserts the inviolable right to life from the moment of fertilisation to death. This right is totally unrelated to questions regarding the quality of life.

We are disturbed that there is a growing trend among some to equate the right to life with the absence of disease or with a certain notion of normality.

From a Catholic perspective, all embryos are equal and deserve unconditional respect. Therefore, embryos with genetic abnormalities have as much right to exist and be selected as those who are supposedly free of genetic abnormalities.

I loved my sons inspite of their disabilities which meant they passed none of the developmental milestones and could do no more the day they died than they could the day they were born at 20 weeks and five years respectively.  But if I was a prospective parent undergoing IVF and could choose an embryo with or without a disability, I would not hesitate to choose the one without.

But I am hesitant about the next step to allow choosing gender, even if as the ODT says:

On the face of it, there is much that could be said in favour of this, not least its logic.

The parents-to-be will have made a number of challenging, potentially life-changing decisions to progress their status to this point and it can be argued, as the council has indeed done, that there are simply insufficient reasons to withold that final decision from the persons involved.

But:

It comes back to such broad concepts as “interfering with nature”, “designing babies”, manipulating genetic material for shallow or unethical ends, and so on.

For while the council was recommending sex selection in the most narrow of circumstances, many would see the move as a dangerous precedent: an open invitation for the advancement of other selection crtieria for “social” reasons.

Whatever one’s cultural or spiritual background and beliefs, there is something inherently disturbing about the prospect of a world in which babies are pre-selected according to a set of supposedly desirable genetic traits and characteristics – which is where opponents of the sex selection report can see this ultimately headed.

After our sons died a lot of people said we were lucky we still had a daughter. It’s hard to appreciate luck when you’ve just buried a child, but I understood what they meant. However, I am not sure if they would have understood if I’d explained that one of the lucky things about having a healthy child was that it taught me to be realistic about parenting.

Had none of our children survived I might have harboured romantic ideas that I could have been the perfect mother of a perfect child. As it was I learned from experience perfection and parenting are mutually exclusive and that we carry on loving our children inspite of the imperfections – theirs and ours.

Parenting, at least as much as marriage is for better and for worse and the idea that a certain number of girls or boys would make a family better just buys in to the false idea that that there is a “right” number and gender balance for a family.

I have no problem with choosing the sex of a baby to avoid a gender-linked health problem. But I am uncomfortable about taking that extra step to allow choosing a boy or a girl to gender balance families.

Professor Lord Robert Winston discussed this on Nine To Noon  this morning.


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