February 7 in history

February 7, 2010

On February 7:

457  Leo I became emperor of the Byzantine Empire.

Leo I Louvre Ma1012 n2.jpg

1074 Pandulf IV of Benevento was killed battling the invading Normans at the Battle of Montesarchio.

1238 The Mongols burnt the Russian city of Vladimir.

1301 Edward of Caernarvon (later King Edward II of England) became the first English Prince of Wales.

1478 Sir Thomas More, English statesman, humanist, and author, was born.

1497 – The bonfire of the vanities occured in which suppoters of Girolamo Savonarola burn thousands of objects including cosmetics, art, and books in Florence.

 Bernardino of Siena organising the vanities bonfire, Perugia, from the Oratorio di San Bernardino, by Agostino di Duccio, built between 1457 and 1461.

1795  The 11th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified.

1804 John Deere, American manufacturer (Deere & Company), was born.

1807  Battle of Eylau – Napoléon’s French Empire began fighting against Russian and Prussian forces of the Fourth Coalition at Eylau, Poland.

"Napoleon on the field of Eylau" by Antoine-Jean GrosNapoléon on the field of Eylau by Antoine-Jean Gros

1812 Charles Dickens, English novelist, was born.

1819 Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles left  Singapore after just taking it over, leaving it in the hands of William Farquhar.

1842  Battle of Debre Tabor: Ras Ali Alula, Regent of the Emperor of Ethiopia defeated warlord Wube Haile Maryam of Semien.

1856 The Kingdom of Awadh was annexed by the British East India Company after a peaceful abdication of Wajid Ali Shah, the king of Awadh.

Washah1.jpg

1856 – The colonial Tasmanian Parliament passed the first piece of legislation (the Electoral Act of 1856) anywhere in the world providing for elections by way of a secret ballot.

1863  The Royal Navy’s steam corvette HMS Orpheus, bringing supplies and reinforcements for the land wars, hit the Manukau Harbour bar and sank.  Of the 259 aboard, 189 died, making it New Zealand’s worst maritime disaster

   HMS Orpheus.jpgRichard Brydges Beechey‘s 1863 painting of the disaster.

1867 Laura Ingalls Wilder, American author, was born.

 

1870 Alfred Adler, Austrian psychologist

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1898  Émile Zola is brought to trial for libel for publishing J’Accuse.

1901  Arnold Nordmeyer, New Zealand politician, was born.

1904 A fire in Baltimore destroyed over 1,500 buildings in 30 hours.

1907 The Mud March was the first large procession organized by the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS).

 Millicent Fawcett

1922 Hattie Jacques, English actress, was born.

1943  Imperial Japanese naval forces completed the evacuation of Imperial Japanese Army troops from Guadalcanal during Operation Ke, ending Japanese attempts to retake the island from Allied forces in the Guadalcanal Campaign.

 Gunichi Mikawa, commander of the 8th Fleet

1956 Mark St. John, American musician (Kiss), was born.

1962  Garth Brooks, American singer, was born.

1962 Eddie Izzard, British actor and comedian, was born.

EddieIzzard.jpg

1962 – David Bryan, American musician (Bon Jovi), was born.

1962 The United States banned all Cuban imports and exports.

1967 Bushfires in southern Tasmania claimed 62 lives and destroy 2,642.7 square kilometres (653,025.4 acres) of land.

1974  Grenada gained independence from the United Kingdom.

 

 

 

1979  Pluto moved inside Neptune‘s orbit for the first time since either was discovered.

1984  STS-41-B Mission – Astronauts Bruce McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart made the first untethered space walk using the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU).

 

1986  Twenty-eight years of one-family rule ended in Haiti, when President Jean-Claude Duvalier fled.

1990  The Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party agreed to give up its monopoly on power.

1991  Haiti‘s first democratically-elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was sworn in.

1991 The IRA launched a mortar attack on 10 Downing Street during a cabinet meeting.

1992The Maastricht Treaty was signed, leading to the creation of the European Union.

 The signing of the Treaty

1995  Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, is arrested in Islamabad, Pakistan.

1999 – Crown Prince Abdullah became the King of Jordan on the death of his father, King Hussein.

2009  Bushfires in Victoria left 173 dead in the worst natural disaster in Australia’s history.

Black Saturday bushfiresMODIS Aqua satellite image of smoke and pyrocumulus cloud northeast of Melbourne during the afternoon of 7 February

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


Waitaki Dam’s 75th birthday

October 26, 2009

The Waitaki Dam was the first of eight to be built on the Waitaki River and the last to be to be built by the pick and shovel method .

Construction started in 1928. The decision to use labour rather than machines was a deliberate one to provide work during the Depression but it wasn’t easy work:

. . . working conditions were hard with cold winters, flooding, and earthquakes to work through. The work force often toiled in knee high water, and lived in temporary housing near the site. 

It was during these construction years that Kurow’s Presbyterian Minister, later to become Sir Arnold Nordmeyer, and local doctor Dr Harold McMillan, saw the working and housing conditions and the many who camped near the site hoping for work.  As a result these two men began the initial thinking around what was to become one of the world’s first social welfare assistance programmes – the Social Welfare Act (passed by Parliament in 1938).

The dam was commissioned in 1934 and Meridian Energy, which now owns it, hosted public celebrations for its 75th anniversary yesterday.

David Bruce  covered the dam’s history and interviewed some of the people who worked on it for the ODT.

Waitaki’s Deputy Mayor, Gary Kircher, blogs on yesterday’s celebrations.

This photo of the dam was taken earlier this year when Meridian was spilling water becasue the lakes were too full.

waitaki 09


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