Quote of the day

July 9, 2015

Zig Ziglar's photo.

Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm – Winston Churchill.


Where were you when . . .

May 4, 2010

My earliest memory of a major international event was the assassination of John Kennedy but I was too young to understand its significance.

I have a vague memory of watching the funeral of Winston Churchill on TV but don’t think I knew much about him at the time.

I would have been at primary school when the first man walked on the moon and while I’m sure we were taught about it so I would have understood what an achievement that was I can’t remember where I was or what I was doing when it happened.

My first clear memory of an historic event is learning that Margaret Thatcher had become Britain’s first female Prime Minister which happened 31 years ago today.

I was supervising correspondence school lessons on Great Mercury Island that year but it must have been school holidays because I heard the news on a radio while on a bus in Auckland.

It prompted excited conversation among the passengers and we wondered how long it would be before a woman led New Zealand.


April 24 in history

April 24, 2010

On April 24:

1479 BC – Thutmose III ascended to the throne of Egypt, although power effectively shifted to Hatshepsut.

1184 BC – The Greeks entered Troy using the Trojan Horse (traditional date).

 

1533 William I of Orange (d. 1584), was born.

1558 Mary, Queen of Scots, married the Dauphin of France, François, at Notre Dame de Paris.

 

1581 Vincent de Paul, French saint (d. 1660), was born.

1620  John Graunt, English statistician and founder of the science of demography (d. 1674), was born.

1704 The first regular newspaper in the United States, the News-Letter, was published.

 

1800 The United States Library of Congress was established when President John Adams signed legislation to appropriate $5,000 to purchase “such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress”.

Logo

1815 Anthony Trollope, English novelist (d. 1882), was born.

1862 American Civil War: A flotilla commanded by Union Admiral David Farragut passed two Confederate forts on the Mississippi River on its way to capture New Orleans.

 

1877  Russo-Turkish War: Russia declared war on Ottoman Empire.

1898 The Spanish-American War: The United States declared war on Spain.

1904 The Lithuanian press ban was lifted after almost 40 years.

 

1907 Hersheypark, founded by Milton S. Hershey for the exclusive use of his employees, was opened.

Hersheypark.png

1913 The Woolworth Building skyscraper in New York was opened.

WoolworthBuilding.JPG

1915  The Armenian Genocide began when Ottoman authorities arrested some 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople.:

 

1916 Easter Rising: The Irish Republican Brotherhood led by nationalists Patrick Pearse, James Connolly, and Joseph Plunkett started a rebellion.

Easter Proclamation of 1916.png

1916 Ernest Shackleton and five men of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition launched a lifeboat from uninhabited Elephant Island to organise a rescue for the ice-trapped ship Endurance.

 Men with digging tools removing ice surrounding the ship's hull, creating an icy pool of water 

1918 First tank-to-tank combat, at Villers-Bretonneux, when three British Mark IVs met three German A7Vs.

 

1922 New Zealand’s first Poppy Day.

New Zealand's first poppy day

1926 The Treaty of Berlin was signed. Germany and the Soviet Union each pledged neutrality in the event of an attack on the other by a third party for the next five years.

1932 Benny Rothman led the Mass trespass of Kinder Scout, leading to substantial legal reforms in the United Kingdom.

 

1953 Winston Churchill is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

 

1955 – The Bandung Conference ended Twenty-nine non-aligned nations of Asia and Africa finished a meeting that condemned colonialism, racism, and the Cold War.

 

1957 Suez Crisis: The Suez Canal was reopened following the introduction of UNEF peacekeepers to the region.

1960 A severe earthquake shook Lar in Fars province, Iran, killing more than 200 people.

1961 The 17th century Swedish ship Vasa was salvaged.

Vasa

1963 Marriage of Princess Alexandra of Kent to Angus Ogilvy at Westminster Abbey.

1965 Civil war broke out in the Dominican Republic when Colonel Francisco Caamaño, overthrew the triumvirate that had been in power.

1967 Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov died in Soyuz 1 when its parachute failed to open. He was the first human to die during a space mission.

 

1967 – Vietnam War: American General William Westmoreland said in a news conference that the enemy had “gained support in the United States that gave him hope that he could win politically that which he cannot win militarily.”

Gen William C Westmoreland.jpg

1970 The first Chinese satellite, Dong Fang Hong I, was launched.

1970 – The Gambia became a republic with Dawda Jawara as the first President.

1971 Soyuz 10 docked with Salyut 1.

Soyuz 10.png

1980 Eight U.S. servicemen died in Operation Eagle Claw as they attempted to end the Iran hostage crisis.

Eagle Claw wrecks at Desert One April 1980.jpg

1990 STS-31: The Hubble Space Telescope was launched by the Space Shuttle Discovery.

 

1990 – Gruinard Island, Scotland, was officially declared free of the anthrax disease after 48 years of quarantine.

Gruinard Island is located in Scotland

 

1993 – An IRA bomb devastated the Bishopsgate area of London.

1996  In the United States, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 was introduced.

2004 The United States lifted economic sanctions imposed on Libya 18 years previously, as a reward for its cooperation in eliminating weapons of mass destruction.

200 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was inaugurated as the 265th Pope taking the name Pope Benedict XVI.

Pope, 13 march 2007.jpg
 

2005  Snuppy, the world’s first cloned dog was born in South Korea.

2006  King Gyanendra of Nepal gave into the demands of protesters and restored the parliament that he dissolved in 2002.

2007 Iceland announced that Norway would shoulder the defense of Iceland during peacetime.

2007 – Gliese 581 d discovered by a Chilean observatory and believed to be a planet capable of holding extraterresial life.

Gliese 581 d-v1.jpg

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


April 5 in history

April 5, 2010

On April 5:

456  St. Patrick returned to Ireland as a missionary bishop.

 

1242 During a battle of the ice of Lake Peipus, Russian forces, led by Alexander Nevsky, rebuffed an invasion attempt by the Teutonic Knights.

 Depiction in the illuminated manuscript Life of Alexander Nevsky.

1254  Willen van Rubroeck, a Flemish Franciscan, meets the Mongolian Khan Möngke

1566 Two-hundred Dutch noblemen, led by Hendrik van Brederode, forced themselves into the presence of Margaret of Parma and present the Petition of Compromise, denouncing the Spanish Inquisition in the Netherlands.

1609Daimyo (Lord) of the Satsuma Domain in southern Kyūshū, Japan, completed his successful invasion of the Ryūkyū Kingdom in Okinawa.

1614 Pocahontas married English colonist John Rolfe.

 

1621 The Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, Massachusetts on a return trip to Great Britain.

MayflowerHarbor.jpg

1649  Elihu Yale, American benefactor of Yale University, was born.

1722 The Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen discovered Easter Island.

1792  U.S. President George Washington exercised his authority to veto a bill, the first time this power is used in the United States.

1804 High Possil Meteorite: The first recorded meteorite in Scotland fell in Possil.

1818 In the Battle of Maipú, Chile’s independence movement – led by Bernardo O’Higgins and José de San Martín – won a decisive victory over Spain, leaving 2,000 Spaniards and 1,000 Chilean patriots dead.

Battle of Maipu.jpg

1827 Joseph Lister, English surgeon (, was born.

1837 Algernon Charles Swinburne, English poet, was born.

 

1862 American Civil War: The Battle of Yorktown started.

 

1874 Birkenhead Park, the first civic public park,opened in Birkenhead.

1879  Chile declared war on Bolivia and Peru, starting the War of the Pacific.

Wotp.en.svg

1897  The Greco-Turkish War, also called “Thirty Days’ War”, was declared between Greece and the Ottoman Empire.

1900 Spencer Tracy, American actor, was born.

1904 The first international rugby league match was played between England and an Other Nationalities team (Welsh & Scottish players) in Central Park, Wigan.

1908 Bette Davis, American actress, was boprn.

 

1916 Gregory Peck, American actor, was born.

1920 Arthur Hailey, American writer, was born.

Airport Hailey 1968.jpg

1923 Firestone Tire and Rubber Company began production of balloon-tyres.

 

1928 Tony Williams, American singer (The Platters), was born.

1929 Nigel Hawthorne, British actor, was born.

1930  In an act of civil disobedience, Mohandas Gandhi broke British law after marching to the sea and making salt.

1932 Champion race horse Phar Lap died.

Death of Phar Lap

  1932  Alcohol prohibition in Finland ended. Alcohol sales begin in Alko liquor stores.

Alko logo.png

1932 – Dominion of Newfoundland: 10,000 rioters seized the Colonial Building leading to the end of self-government.

 

1933  U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6102 “forbidding the Hoarding of Gold Coin, Gold Bullion, and Gold Certificates” by U.S. citizens.

1936 Tupelo-Gainesville tornado outbreak: An F5 tornado killed 233 in Tupelo, Mississippi.

1937 Colin Powell, U.S. Army General, 12th Chairman of the Joint Cheifs of Staff; and 65th Secretary of State, was born.

1937 Allan R. Thieme, American inventor, was born.

 

1942 World War II: The Japanese Navy attacked Colombo. Royal Navy Cruisers HMS Cornwall and HMS Dorsetshire were sunk southwest of the island.

 

1944 World War II: 270 inhabitants of the Greek town of Kleisoura were executed by the Germans.

1945 Cold War: Yugoslav leader Josip “Tito” Broz signed an agreement with the USSR to allow “temporary entry of Soviet troops into Yugoslav territory.”

1946 Jane Asher, British actress, was born.

 

1946 Soviet troops left the Danish  island of Bornholm after an 11 month occupation.

1949 Fireside Theater debuted on television.

1949 – A fire in a hospital in Effingham, Illinois, killed 77 people and leads to nationwide fire code improvements in the United States.

1950 Agnetha Fältskog, Swedish singer (ABBA), was born.

1955 Winston Churchill resigned as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom amid indications of failing health.

 

1956 Fidel Castro declared himself at war with the President of Cuba.

 

1956  In Sri Lanka, the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna won the general elections in a landslide and S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike was sworn in as the Prime Minister.

1957 In India, Communists won the first elections in united Kerala and E.M.S. Namboodiripad was sworn in as the first chief minister.

1958 Ripple Rock, an underwater threat to navigation in the Seymour Narrows in Canada was destroyed in one of the largest non-nuclear controlled explosions of the time.

1966 Mike McCready, American musician (Pearl Jam), was born.

1969 Vietnam War: Massive antiwar demonstrations occured in many U.S. cities.

1971 In Sri Lanka, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna launched insurrection against the United Front government of Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranaike.

1976 The April Fifth Movement led to the Tiananmen incident.

1986 Three people were killed in the bombing of the La Belle Discothèque in West Berlin.

1991 An ASA EMB 120 crashed in Brunswick, Georgia, killing all 23 aboard.

1992 Several hundred-thousand abortion rights demonstrators marched in Washington, D.C.

1992 Alberto Fujimori,  president of Peru, dissolvesd the Peruvian congress by military force.

1992 The Siege of Sarajevo began when Serb paramilitaries murder peace protesters Suada Dilberovic and Olga Sucic on the Vrbanja Bridge.

Evstafiev-sarajevo-building-burns.jpg

1998 The Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge linking Shikoku with Honshū and costing about $3.8 billion, opened to traffic, becoming the largest suspension bridge in the world.

1999 Two Libyans suspected of bringing down Pan Am flight 103 in 1988 were handed over for eventual trial in the Netherlands.

2009 North Korea launched its controversial Kwangmyŏngsŏng-2 rocket.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


February 26 in history

February 26, 2010

On February 26:

747 BC Epoch of Ptolemy‘s Nabonassar Era.

 

364 Valentinian I was proclaimed Roman Emperor.

 

1266 Battle of Benevento: An army led by Charles, Count of Anjou, defeated a combined German and Sicilian force led by King Manfred of Sicily who was killed.

The Battle of Benevento from Giovanni Villani's Nuova Cronica.

1361 Wenceslaus, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia, was born.

 

1564 Christopher Marlowe, English dramatist, was born.

1658 Treaty of Roskilde: After a devastating defeat in the Northern Wars (1655-1661), King Frederick III of Denmark-Norway was forced to give up nearly half his territory to Sweden to save the rest.

1794 Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen burnt down.

 

1802 Victor Hugo, French writer, was born.

 

 

 

1815 Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from Elba.

Photo of a coastline with the sea, greyish cliffs, vegetation and beige buildingsNapoleon’s Villa Mulini on Elba

1829 – Levi Strauss, German-born clothing designer, was born.

1844 Two Wellington lawyers, William Brewer and H. Ross, undertook a duel as the result of a quarrel that had arisen from a case in the Wellington County Court. When the two men faced off in Sydney Street, Brewer fired into the air but ‘received Mr. Ross’ ball in the groin’. He died a few days later.

'Pistols at dawn': deadly duel in Wellington
 
1846 William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, American frontiersman, was born.

1848 The second French Republic was proclaimed.

   

1852 John Harvey Kellogg, American surgeon, advocate of dietary reform, was born.

1861  Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya, Russian revolutionary, Lenin’s wife, was born.

 

1863 U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signed the National Currency Act into law.

1866 Herbert Henry Dow, American chemical industrialist, was born.

1870 In New York City, a demonstration of the first pneumatic subway opened to the public.

 

1885 The Berlin Act, which resulted from the Berlin Conference regulating European colonization and trade in Africa, was signed.

1887 – At the Sydney Cricket Ground, George Lohmann became the first bowler to take eight wickets in a Test innings.

George Lohmann.jpg

1909  Fanny Cradock, English food writer and broadcaster, was born.

1914 Robert Alda, American actor, was born.

1914 HMHS Britannic, sister to the RMS Titanic, was launched at Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast.

Britannic hospital.jpg

1916  Jackie Gleason, American actor, writer, composer, and comedian, was born.

1917 The Original Dixieland Jazz Band records the first ever jazz record for the Victor Talking Machine Company in New York.

1919 An act of the U.S. Congress established most of the Grand Canyon as the Grand Canyon National Park.

 

1928 Fats Domino, American musician, was born.

1928 Ariel Sharon, Israeli Prime Minister, was born.

1929 The Grand Teton National Park was created.

1932 Johnny Cash, American singer, was born.

1935 The Luftwaffe was re-formed.

1935 The Daventry Experiment, Robert Watson-Watt carried out a demonstration near Daventry which led directly to the development of RADAR in the United Kingdom.

1936 Adolf Hitler opened the 1st Volkswagen plant in East Germany.

VW-Logo.png

1936 – In the February 26 Incident, young Japanese military officers attempted to stage a coup against the government.

 

1947 Sandie Shaw, English singer, was born.

1949 Elizabeth George, American novelist, was born.

1950 Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, was born.

 

1952 British Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced that his nation had an atomic bomb.

1954 Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of Turkey, was born.

1954 Ernst August, Prince of Hanover, heir to the deposed Kingdom of Hanover and a husband of Princess Caroline of Monaco., was born.

1955 Andreas Maislinger, founder of Austrian Holocaust Memorial Service, was born.

 Andreas Maislinger in middle

1958 Susan J. Helms, Astronaut, was born.

Helms sj2.jpg

1966 Apollo Programme: Launch of AS-201, the first flight of the Saturn IB rocket.

Saturn Apollo insignia

1968  Tim Commerford, American bass player (Rage Against the Machine), was born.

1971  U.N. Secretary Generlal U Thant signed United Nations proclamation of the vernal equinox as Earth Day.

1972 The Buffalo Creek Flood caused by a burst dam killed 125 in West Virginia.

 

1987 Iran-Contra affair: The Tower Commission rebuked President Ronald Reagan for not controlling his national security staff.

1990 The Sandinistas were defeated in Nicaraguan elections.

FSLN.png

1991  Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein announced the withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait.

1993 World Trade Center bombing: A truck bomb parked below the North Tower of the World Trade Center exploded, killing 6 and injuring more than a thousand.

1995 The United Kingdom’s oldest investment banking institute, Barings Bank, collapsed after a securities broker, Nick Leeson, lost $1.4 billion by speculating on the Singapore International Monetary Exchange using futures contracts.

Barings.png

2000 Mount Hekla in Iceland erupts.

 

2001 The Taliban destroyed two giant statues of Buddha in Bamyan, Afghanistan.

Afghanistan Statua di Budda 1.jpg

2003 War in Darfur started.

Darfur map.png

2004 – F.Y.R.O.M. President Boris Trajkovski was killed in a plane crash near Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

2005 Hosni Mubarak the president of Egypt ordered the constitution changed to allow multi-candidate presidential elections before September 2005 by asking Egyptian parliament to amend Article 76.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


February 18 in history

February 18, 2010

On February 18:

3102 BC Epoch of the Kali Yuga.

Aum

1229 The Sixth Crusade: Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor signed a ten-year truce with al-Kamil, regaining Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem with neither military engagements nor support from the papacy.

Al-Kamil Muhammad al-Malik and Frederick II Holy Roman Emperor.jpgFrederick II (left) meets al-Kamil (right).

1268 The Livonian Brothers of the Sword were defeated by Dovmont of Pskov in the Battle of Rakvere.

1478 George, Duke of Clarence, who was convicted of treason against his older brother Edward IV of England, was executed.

1685 Fort St. Louis was established by a Frenchman at Matagorda Bay thus forming the basis for France’s claim to Texas.

1745 The city of Surakarta, Central Java was founded on the banks of Bengawan Solo river, and became the capital of the Kingdom of Surakarta.

1797 Trinidad was surrendered to a British fleet under the command of Sir Ralph Abercromby.

Sir Ralph Abercromby by John Hoppner.jpg

1814 The Battle of Montereau.

1841 The first ongoing filibuster in the United States Senate began and lasted until March 11.

1846 Beginning of the Galician peasant revolt.

1861 Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as the provisional President of the Confederate States of America.

1861 King Victor Emmanuel II of Piedmont, Savoy and Sardinia assumed the title of King of Italy.

1873 Bulgarian revolutionary leader Vasil Levski was executed in Sofia by the Ottoman authorities.

1878 John Tunstall was murdered by outlaw Jessie Evans, sparking the Lincoln County War in Lincoln County, New Mexico.

 Jessie Evans.

1884 Mark Twain‘s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published for the first time.

 
Huckleberrycover.jpg

1901 Winston Churchill made his maiden speech in the House of Commons.

 

1906 Hans Asperger, Austrian pediatrician.

A white-coated man in his thirties sits at a table across from a boy. He looks intently at the boy through his rimless glasses. His hair is cropped fairly short on the sides and is wavy on top. The boy, seated in the foreground with his back toward the viewer, sits straight up, with one arm resting on the arm of a wooden chair.

1911 The first official flight with air mail took place in Allahabad, British India, when Henri Pequet, a 23-year-old pilot, delivers 6,500 letters to Naini, about 10 km away.

1913 Raymond Poincaré becomes President of France.

1922 Helen Gurley Brown, American editor, was born.

Helen Gurley Brown 1964.jpg
 

1929 The first Academy Awards  were announced.

1930 Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto.

 

1930 – Elm Farm Ollie becomes the first cow to fly in a fixed-wing aircraft and also the first cow to be milked in an aircraft.

 

1932 – The Empire of Japan declared Manzhouguo (the obsolete Chinese name for Manchuria) independent from the Republic of China.

1933  Yoko Ono, Japanese-born singer, was born.

1933  Mary Ure, Scottish actress, was born.

1936 Jean Auel, American writer, was born.

1943 – The Nazis arrested the members of the White Rose movement.

 Monument to the “Weiße Rose”

1943 – Joseph Goebbels delivered the Sportpalast speech.

 

1946 Jean-Claude Dreyfus, French actor, was born.

1948 Eamon de Valera resignsed as Taoiseach of Ireland.

1948 Keith Knudsen, American drummer and songwriter (The Doobie Brothers), was born.

1950 Cybill Shepherd, American actress, was born.

1953 Robbie Bachman, Canadian drummer (Bachman-Turner Overdrive), was born.

1954 John Travolta, American actor, was born.

1954 The first Church of Scientology was established in Los Angeles, California.

1955 Operation Teapot: Teapot test shot “Wasp” was successfully detonated at the Nevada Test Site with a yield of 1.2 kilotons.

 

1957 Walter Bolton, a Wanganui farmer was the last man to be hanged in New Zealand.

1957  Kenyan rebel leader Dedan Kimathi was executed by the British colonial government.

 

1960  Greta Scacchi, Australian actress, was born.

 

1965 The Gambia becomes independent from the United Kingdom.

1969 The Hawthorne Nevada Airlines Flight 708 disaster occurred, killing all on board.

1972 The California Supreme Court in the case of People v. Anderson, 6 Cal.3d 628 invalidates the state’s death penalty and commutes the sentences of all death ro innmates to life in prison.

1977  The Space Shuttle Enterprise test vehicle was carried on its maiden “flight” sitting on top of a Boeing 747.

Space Shuttle Enterprise

1979 Snow fell in the Sahara Desert in southern Algeria for the only time in recorded history.

1982 “Queen of Crime” Dame Ngaio Marsh died.

'Queen of Crime' Ngaio Marsh dies

 1983 Thirteen people die and one is seriously injured in the Wah Mee Massacre in Seattle, Washington. It is said to be the largest robbery-motivated mass-murder in U.S. history.

1991 The IRA exploded bombs in the early morning at both Paddington station and Victoria station in London.

2001 FBI agent Robert Hanssen was arrested for spying for the Soviet Union.

2003 Nearly 200 people died in the Daegu subway fire in South Korea.

 

2003 Comet C/2002 V1 (NEAT) made perihelion, seen by SOHO.

2004 Up to 295 people, including nearly 200 rescue workers, died near Neyshabur in Iran when a run-away freight train carrying sulfur, petrol and fertilizer caught fire and exploded.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Computer fails Churchill’s speech

November 20, 2009

Winston Churchill’s fight on the beaches  speech might have stirred the hearts and minds of the people to whom it was addressed, but it failed to impress a computer marker.

David Wright, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors (CIEA), an umbrella body for exam boards and other organisations, said that Churchill’s speeches to the nation in 1940 had not impressed the computer. It criticised his repetition of the words “upon” and “our” and did not identify “broad, sunlit uplands” as a metaphor.

The computer didn’t think much of the prose of Ernest Hemingway or William Golding either.

The idea that a computer could mark an English essay doesn’t altogether thrill me. But its assessment of Churchill’s speech and the other writers’ work makes me feel much better about the arguments I have with the grammar checker on my PC.

Hat Tip: Society of Authors’ newsletter.


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