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 On this day in history Round One

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Caro
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sun 11 Mar 2012, 04:30

For military buffs: In 1869 the New Zealand Cross was created since local soldiers weren't eligible for the VC. It was only awarded 23 times, all to soldiers in the NZ Wars.

(I have a Book of Days with on this day stuff, but I have just gone off it rather, since for March 10 it has a car ferry capsizing in Wellington Harbour in 1968, drowning over 200 people. This has to be the Wahine Disaster, which happened on 10 APRIL 1968 and drowned 51 people, with another dying a few weeks later and someone dying of their injuries in 1990. That's a long time later. But this has made me wonder how many other errors there are.)
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sun 11 Mar 2012, 08:04

March 11th does seem to be a disastrous day, doesn't it? Naval disasters in Greece, Volcanoes in Italy, nuclear accidents, Spanish Flu outbreaks, bombs in Madrid .... it just goes on and on.

However, there are some nice things too. Specially for MM, March 11th 1851 was the first time anyone heard this ...

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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sun 11 Mar 2012, 08:32

Plus today is the first anniversary of the Japanese tsunami, isn't it?
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sun 11 Mar 2012, 08:34

Forgotten about that - how depressing.

What we need is more Pavarotti - two generations even ...

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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sun 11 Mar 2012, 10:48

11 March was obviously an auspicious day for Signor Verdi, 16 years after the first performance of "Rigoletto" (1851), it was again debut night, this time for "Don Carlos" (1867)..... altogether a much darker opera, musically magnificent, but frankly I find it is quite disturbing, even terrifying, at times - and that is even before one starts to study the libretto:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAfHxtmniIQ

Needlesstosay audiences have always tended to prefer Verdi's "Rigoletto" over his "Don Carlos".
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 12 Mar 2012, 01:59

On this day 12th March 1689 The start of the Williamite War in Ireland; a conflict between Catholic King James II and Protestant King William of Orange over who would be King of England, Scotland and Ireland. The War was to have a lasting effect on Ireland, confirming British and Protestant rule over the country for over a century. The iconic Williamite victories of the Siege of Derry and the Battle of the Boyne are still celebrated by the Unionist community in Northern Ireland today.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 12 Mar 2012, 10:49

To Meles x2 I first saw Don Carlos at Covent Garden as a teenager. I was quite enjoying it until he took such a long time to die whilst belting out his final words. My grandmother was furious because I began to get restless with amusement. ... imagining what my gang would have made of it. Otherwise in culture we were somewhat more interested in The Goon Show at that time.

Now back to March 12th - sorry for the butt in.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 12 Mar 2012, 11:25

Meles meles wrote:
11 March was obviously an auspicious day for Signor Verdi, 16 years after the first performance of "Rigoletto" (1851)...Needless to say audiences have always tended to prefer Verdi's "Rigoletto" over his "Don Carlos".

Hi MM,

I have a book in my loo called "Great Operatic Disasters". Some great stories in it, but my favourite is about a performance of "Rigoletto" at the Paris Opera in 1954. Of all the things that can go wrong with "Rigoletto", the following is surely the worst, affecting what we might loosely describe as the emotional heart of the whole opera. The account tells us:

"At the very moment when the courtiers are brutally mocking him in Act II, Rigoletto's hump slid slowly down his back. As their taunts increased, the audience was puzzled to see a hunchback transformed before their eyes into a perfectly normal man - except for an enormous behind. But apparently even more bizarre were the baritone's efforts to push the hump back up again while singing the great cavatina beginning, 'la, la, la. Cortigiani, vil razza dannata.' "

Mmm. One would have thought they knew something about handling hunchbacks in Paris...

Another butt in, so to speak. Sorry. Will look for a sensible March 12th happening at once.

PS There's another story about how, in the middle of a Sadler's Wells production of "Carmen", a gigantic Pyrenean mountain dog wandered on to the stage. It didn't dance, but emitted a series of mournful barks in the general direction of the orchestra. Carmen was heard telling the animal to "PIss off!"


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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 12 Mar 2012, 11:40

Well, nearly keeping in line with the diversion while hauling us back to the current date;

On March 12th 1945 the good ol' US of A bombed the Vienna State Opera building - in a raid which seemed designed to do little other than demoralise an already pretty demoralised population in that it targeted the cultural heart of a capital already effectively out of the war, Germany undergoing its last few weeks of mayhem and retrenchment as the glorious Third Reich proved itself slightly less glorious or long lived as expected, and Austria having already been abandoned by them to the vagaries of military aggression.

As a precaution the management had long ago bricked off the foyer, state rooms, the magnificent main staircases and other areas to the front of the building. Von Schwind's beautiful frescoes therefore survived. The fire however completely destroyed the auditorium and stage, along with 150,000 costumes and the props for about 120 different operas.

After the war the opera company solicited financial aid from private donors to help the reconstruction. Ironically (or maybe not, given who the bombers had been) they received a large donation to this end from the USSR, even though at that time USSR citizens were effectively barred from ever visiting Vienna for the very long-term foreseeable future. In November 1955 it finally reopened (Beethoven's "Fidelio" being the production used to celebrate the occasion) and coincidentally became also the first ever transmission from ORF, the Austrian state TV channel. The US Foreign Minister John Dulles was guest of honour, despite no US aid in its reconstruction. History does not record if he clapped or not when the director's speech beforehand made effusive thanks to the Soviets for their committment to high art which had made what had once seemed impossible realisable.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 12 Mar 2012, 11:48

On March 12th 1994 the Church of England ordained women priests for the first time.

I had better quote Samuel Johnson before someone else does:

"Sir, a woman's preaching is like a dog's walking on its hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all."

Which just goes to show that even the cleverest men can say the daftest things at times.

PS: Boswell had been telling his friend about a Quaker lady's preaching - hence the acerbic comment.


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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 12 Mar 2012, 12:40

I'm beginning to detect a pattern with this guy. On March 12th 1857 Verdi's "Simon Boccanegra" premiered in Venice. It drew mixed reviews, which led Verdi to withdraw it for a few months while he thrashed out a new score, new structure and new chorus. Its new version proved a much better success.

And then came Placido Domingo in 2010 ....


But just for Caro here's Kiri Te Kanawailer in a nice bit;

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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Tue 13 Mar 2012, 03:27

Well thanks for the thought, though it is rather a shame that my taste in music somehow runs to not much more than 60s pop and country music. (There didn't seem much of Kiri in this - more of the men.)

Today it is now 13th March here. I didn't find a lot happening yesterday, but today NZ recorded its first cricket test victory (after only 45 attempts) in 1956 and then in 1974 finally beat Australia.

On a different note, it is the anniversary of the Dunblane school massacre, 1996. A crime novel I read recently said that there was imprisonment of five years for anyone owning a handgun in Britain which really surprised me. I expected there to be some licensing rules, but apparently having a license doesn't make a difference. These changes were due to Dunblane mostly, I believe.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Tue 13 Mar 2012, 03:34

On this day 13th March in 1926 Alan Cobham landed at Croydon Aerodrome, near London, after a 16,000-mile flight to Cape Town and back to establish a commercial air route across Africa. Formerly a member of the Royal Flying Corps in World War I, he became a test pilot for the de Havilland aircraft company, and was the first pilot for the newly formed de Havilland Aeroplane Hire Service. In 1932 he started National Aviation Day displays which toured the country and was generally known as 'Cobham's Flying Circus'.

He later pioneered in-flight refuelling and set up a large engineering company ‘Flight Refuelling’ at Wimborne in Dorset just 5 miles north of Poole. As subcontractors we were often called in to carry out routine maintenance work or assist in special experimental projects.

One such was to design, fabricate and fix a collapsible handrail to the top of road petrol delivery tankers. When I arrived to fix the first to the top of their own tanker it was raining heavily, no way was I working in that so I got it driven into a space at the end of one of their huge machine shops… it was a bit dodgy working on the top of a cylindrical tank slipping and sliding ten or fifteen feet in the air in the oil/water covering the tanker. They didn’t mind me falling off… but stopped me directly I started to flash away with my welding gear. Some of their blokes might get ‘Arc eye’, I had to have welding screens to protect their men from me. so after wasting three or four hours while we rigged up a curtain all around the tanker, I was given the go ahead by Mr Health and Safety.
These curtains went from 18 inches above ground level to about 6 feet high… I was working on the top of the tanker 10-15 feet above the ground where the curtain offered no protection whatsoever to their men… but it didn’t matter… I had welding screens in place, that’s all that mattered and I was instructed to hurry up, we’d wasted enough time already. Good ol Mr elf’n’safety.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 14 Mar 2012, 07:34

On this day 14th March 1757 British admiral John Byng was court-martialled and executed by firing squad on board HMS Monarch at Plymouth, for "failing to do his utmost" to relieve Minorca from the French fleet following the Battle of Minorca. In practice, his ships badly needed repair and he was relieved of his command before he could see to his ships or secure the extra forces he required.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 14 Mar 2012, 07:48

March 14th 1958.

Grace Kelly (gosh, she was beautiful) married Prince Rainier in Monaco. I'll post a YouTube thingy when I've learnt how to do it.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 14 Mar 2012, 09:27

We went a whole day yesterday without Verdi premiering something - the man is getting slack!!!!!

March 14th 1847 however saw his "Macbeth" open at Florence's beautiful Teatro della Pergola. Verdi was so pleased with the premiere's reception (he later claimed it was his own favourite from all his works) that, in 1865, he then did what only a genius-cum-dipstick like Verdi could do - dismantle something that was short, musical and popular, and then rewrite it so that it became way too long, way too wordy and a total commercial flop. For this reason it has not gained the lustre and recognition of his other operas, however in recent years is enjoying something of a resurgence - namely because the original score and libretto has become the version of choice.

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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 14 Mar 2012, 15:28

Anything Verdi can do ...

14th March, this time in 1885, was also the day this little ditty first assaulted the ears of the public:

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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 14 Mar 2012, 18:26

Oh Nordmann .... much as I love Grand Opera I still always have a special affection for good old Gilbert and Sullivan.... still, very much under-rated I think.

Thankyou: "The Mikado" one of my favourites to be ranked (honstly I think so) alongside the likes of Verdi's "Aida", Bizet's "Carmen" or Mozart's "Magic Flute"... pure joy, thankyou!
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 14 Mar 2012, 21:40

Most "Grand" opera leaves me cold - my particular aversion to howling sopranos is the proximate cause, like Norman and modern art, it just doesn't get through to me at all, but I can tolerate G&S - though at the moment, B&S would be more appreciated.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 00:00

It's the Ides of March.



nuff said.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 01:03

On this day in history:

15th March 1672 King Charles II enacted the 'Declaration of Indulgence', a first step at establishing freedom of religion in England to Protestant nonconformists and Roman Catholics. It suspended the laws that punished those who did not attend the services of the Church of England. The following year the Cavalier Parliament compelled him to withdraw this Declaration. When Charles II's Catholic successor (James II) attempted to issue a similar Declaration it led to the Glorious Revolution that ousted him from the throne.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 04:38

Gilgamesh of Uruk wrote:
Most "Grand" opera leaves me cold - my particular aversion to howling sopranos is the proximate cause, like Norman and modern art, it just doesn't get through to me at all, but I can tolerate G&S - though at the moment, B&S would be more appreciated.

That is a relief Gil, I was beginning to think I was the only one. The years of training and dedication of the artists I can appreciate, but not the wailing. Don't get it at all.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 06:14

I can’t do musicals either… how unnatural is that… if you were engaging someone in a conversation at a street corner café and they started singing and jumping across the tables with all the other patrons joining in a chorus line… I’d be gone; you wouldn’t see my heels for dust. However some of the songs I do really like.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 09:10

normanhurst wrote:
I can’t do musicals either… how unnatural is that… if you were engaging someone in a conversation at a street corner café and they started singing and jumping across the tables with all the other patrons joining in a chorus line… I’d be gone; you wouldn’t see my heels for dust. However some of the songs I do really like.

Oh, Norman, you do make me laugh - in the nicest possible way. I've now got a vision of us all here doing that. Over on the Art 'n' Science thread, for instance, ferval mentions Karl Popper and Nordmann and Priscilla immediately respond by bursting into song. I twirl around them all, inanely brandishing a gaily coloured brolly. I love it!

Time for the Philosophers' Song, I think:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1MgCV6uGuc
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 14:36

Though raised in opera going I am not comfortable with it though I love musicals. The opening of Guys and Dolls, for instance of 'I have Horse Right here..." as gamblers thoughts become an intergrated medley.

Ah yes, I can see it now. The Res Historica Panto....... I always get the part of witch, hag, fairy godmother with satirical aside allowed and with my loud singing voice (trained as a child) can make the back row sit up ever so fast.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 14:45

Well then for all you lovers of musicals:

15 March 1956 - the debut of the musical, 'My Fair Lady' at the Mark Hellinger Theatre in New York.

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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 14:53

Aaah roll on the Res Historica panto or opera season… but be forever watchful of the back row… one may sit up ever so quickly and whip out his weapon… a fine gun stick and make short work of any witch, hag, fairy godmother or anything else on stage or flying on a broomstick above it uttering a squawking soprano number. Bang bang oi’ll ave e.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 17:41

Norman - are you & I fated to be the Broker's Men, or are we yet to audition for Buttons and Baron Hardup?
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Fri 16 Mar 2012, 09:11

16 March 1968.

The My Lai Massacre takes place during the Vietnam War
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Fri 16 Mar 2012, 09:29

Not a very good day for leaders of countries: in 1792 King Gustavus III was fatally shot during a masquerade party, and in keeping with the main theme of this thread recently, at the Royal Opera of Stockholm. And in 1978 the former Italian PM, Aldo Moro was kidnapped and later killed, and less traumatically in 1976 Harold Wilson announced his retirement.

I see Tiberius also died on this date in 37. (This might seem a silly question, but when people give dates before the Gregorian calendar change, does that mean the date it was then, or the date it would be if you worked back from the Gregorian dates? I suppose the former - people wouldn't want to bother working out the latter. But it means they don't exactly share the birthdays with others on that date, doesn't it?)
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Fri 16 Mar 2012, 10:01

16 March 1912 - Captain Oates, critically ill, left the others of Scott's South Polar expedition supposedly to save slowing them down, saying: "I am just going outside and may be some time."

Caro wrote:
(This might seem a silly question, but when people give dates before the Gregorian calendar change, does that mean the date it was then, or the date it would be if you worked back from the Gregorian dates? I suppose the former - people wouldn't want to bother working out the latter. But it means they don't exactly share the birthdays with others on that date, doesn't it?)
I wonder about that too: If someone was born on, say 25th December in about 1 AD, would it have been about the time of the winter solstice or several weeks off it due to the vagaries of the Julian calender then in force?

EDIT : actually that is a VERY bad example since the Julian corrections had only just come into force so had had hardly any time to get out of synchronisation.... what about the coronation of William I then, was that at about the winter solstice or quite a bit off? I also wonder about the exact years. When one says that today in 1660 the Long Parliament of England was dissolved do we mean 1660 or 1659 since then the new year started on 1st April? What date do the documents of the day state 1659 or 1660? I find it very confusing... and it makes a complete mockery of astrology but that's not hard to do!


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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Tue 20 Mar 2012, 09:13

20th March 1969 - John marries Yoko

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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Tue 20 Mar 2012, 13:52

Ah yes. Good ol' Yoko. She played a mean tambourine.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Tue 20 Mar 2012, 14:39

Is that what she did P? It was hard to tell what went on under all that hair.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 21 Mar 2012, 08:46

21 March 1918;

The "Kaiserschlacht", the German Spring Offensive to win World War One, is launched.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 21 Mar 2012, 12:28

March 21st 1349 - having just started to feel the worst effects of what was to become known as the Black Death the good citizens of Erfurt, capital of Thuringia, decided (in spite of evidence that their town was simply one of hundreds being similarly attacked by the disease) that it must have been the Jews who had poisoned their wells and promptly set about massacring them. By the end of the day they had performed their task with such efficiency and zeal that there wasn't a single member of the Jewish community left in the town, having either been incinerated or fled. History does not record any sheepish meetings of the town council in subsequent weeks and months as the plague continued to ravage their now Jewless city, but it was a remarkably few 8 years before Jews, even more remarkably, began to settle there once more. It wasn't to do them much good in the long run. in 1453 they again lost the protection of the city and the good citizens this time did a more thorough job. In 1458 a newly Jewless Erfurt passed a law forbidding them entry "for ever".

This treatment of the Jews in Erfurt has led to one of those little historical ironies - the city, as a result of having so early and so quickly evicted their Jewish citizens, and therefore having acquired a huge amount of real estate overnight which could be put to other uses, is now the owner of Europe's oldest extant synagogue. Its structure (including roof, amazingly) can be dated to the late 11th century.

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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 21 Mar 2012, 14:01

The Sharpeville Massacre took place in 1960 on the 21st March
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Fri 23 Mar 2012, 15:59

23rd March 1801, Tsar Paul I is assassinated
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Fri 23 Mar 2012, 20:21

Today in 1948 the John Wickliffe sailed into Dunedin's port carrying mostly Scottish immigrants, thereby changing the cultural landscape of the south forever, or at least for the forseeable future. And no doubt being the reason I was born down here. (I'm only third generation on my father's side, but they would have come to this area because of its Scottish associations.)

Yesterday, the first automatic totalisator in the world operated at Auckland's Ellerslie racecourse in 1913. Long before that the Racing Conference had wanted totes to be the only form of betting and in 1911 bookies were banned. And have stayed banned. There was only on-course betting originally on the tote and illegal bookmakers were common off-course, but in 1949 the Totalisator Agency Board was established and I have never come across a bookmaker (though doubtless there are some, and others doing more informal betting schools) in New Zealand.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sat 24 Mar 2012, 08:55

Elizabeth I died on Thursday, 24th March 1603 - between two and three o'clock in the morning.

Her passing from this life was, apparently, without agony or struggle: "...mildly like a lamb, easily like a ripe apple from the tree."
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sun 25 Mar 2012, 10:14

25th March 1807, the Slave Trade Act,making the Slave Trade illegal, becomes law.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sat 31 Mar 2012, 08:40

31 March 1889 Inauguration of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Monsieur Eiffel led a party of government officials and press up the 300m tall tower. The lifts were not yet in operation so they had to ascend all the way by foot... it took them over an hour to get to the top and only about half a dozen of the original party made it. There, Eiffel hoisted a large tricoleur and a 25 gun salute was fired from the first level.

The tower had a permit to stand for only 20 years and it was intended to be dismantled in 1909 - but by then it had proved its worth for communications purposes and it was permitted to remain.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sat 31 Mar 2012, 10:50

31 March 1990 was the main day of riots in London against the Poll Tax which Margaret Thatcher wanted to bring in. Dozens injured and hundreds arrested and later the end of Mrs Thatcher's tenure as PM.

Luckily we seemed to forget This Day for a few days, otherwise I might have had to mention the 28th of March 1955 when NZ cricketers were all out for 26 against England, with Bert Sutcliffe top-scoring with 11. Odd, because they got 200 in the first innings.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sun 01 Apr 2012, 22:12

April Fool's Day jocolor

1 April 1924 : Adolf Hitler was sentenced by the German State to five years for his part in a failed revolution attempt (the so-called Beer Hall Putsch). Unfortunately for posterity young Adolf chose to spend his time in prison writing "Mein Kampf" rather than trying to better his darts average or working his way up the gaol's table-tennis ladder.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sun 01 Apr 2012, 22:19

I just heard or read in the last day or day someone saying that it might have been better if Germany had won the first world war, as it would have changed everything and meant no rise of Nazism and no WWII.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sun 01 Apr 2012, 22:23

Now that is an interesting "what if"... The world would certainly be different. But "better" ? Do we swap Naziism for continued unfettered colonialism? And what about the USA would it remain, for better or worse, isolationist? And how about the rise of Japan, which pre WW1 was on a roll having just defeated Russia? Would communism make such strides? What of China and India...?

But I fear we are veering off post....... and will soon get a sharp rap across the knuckles from the Dictator's ruler...
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sun 01 Apr 2012, 23:10

Not from me ... "on this day" always gets back on topic by itself.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sun 01 Apr 2012, 23:17

Well quite... so:

2 April 1982 : Argentine forces invade and occupy the Falkland Islands.

Need I say more..... ?



But then if you want something a bit more light-hearted:

2 April 1800 Beethoven conducts the premier performance of his First Symphony... at the Bugtheater in Vienna... With it's unusual cadences and changing tempi this was seen, as was intended, to mark the debut of a new musical force (un enfant terrible?) in the old Viennese stamping ground.

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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 02 Apr 2012, 12:32

2nd April 1502.

Prince Arthur, son and heir of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, died at Ludlow Castle.

He had been married to the Spanish princess, Catherine of Aragon, for about four and a half months.

No one knows what killed him - possibly the sweating sickness (Catherine was sick too) - but could have been testicular cancer (David Starkey's diagnosis).

Fortunately, Henry and Elizabeth had another son, so the succession was safe.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 04 Apr 2012, 14:17

I missed this one yesterday as my internet connection was down, but I couldn't let it pass by (especially for all you lovers of light opera):

3 April 1880 - Gilbert & Sullivan's "The Pirates of Penzance; or The Slave of Duty" opened in London at the Opera Comique (although it had premiered in New York 3 months previously in an attempt to forestall sales in America of plagiarised printed music from opera -the US and Britain then having no copywrite agreement).

So 3 April was the first time British audiences heard:



... which of course has subsequently been parodied many times, such as Tom Lehrer's:

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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 04 Apr 2012, 22:25

4 April 1581 - Francis Drake was knighted at Deptford aboard his ship "The Golden Hind" for completing a circumnavigation of the world.... and more importantly for bringing back a very rich cargo of spices and stolen Spanish treasure. Queen Elizabeth's half-share of the cargo surpassed the rest of the crown's income for that entire year.
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On this day in history Round One

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