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 On this day in history Round One

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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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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 04 Apr 2012, 22:39

That period has been described as "making war by joint stock company".
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Thu 05 Apr 2012, 07:08

I just saw your response first, Gil, and thought you must have been referring to something very recent.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Fri 06 Apr 2012, 13:51

6 April 1917; the United States declares war on Germany
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Fri 06 Apr 2012, 20:11

Triceratops wrote:
6 April 1917; the United States declares war on Germany

Late for the kickoff as usual... but always first back to the clubhouse to snaffle all the best tea'n'cakes!
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sun 08 Apr 2012, 06:35

And speaking of late, for me this thread should be entitled yesterday in history.



7. April, 1873. Julius Vogel became premier of NZ. He has some unique features among our premiers/PMs. The only practicing Jew and the first NZer to write a science fiction novel. I think I will write more about Jewish PMs in NZ somewhere else.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sun 08 Apr 2012, 13:43

Might it be worth widening the scope from just NZ, Caro?
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 09 Apr 2012, 07:46

Easter Monday 1917 - April 9th.

Edward Thomas - the poet - died on the first day of the Battle of Arras. Walter de la Mare wrote:

"When...Edward Thomas was killed in Flanders, a mirror of England was shattered of so pure and true a crystal that a clearer and tenderer reflection of it can be found no other where than in these poems...England's roads and heaths and woods, its secret haunts and solitudes, its houses, its people - themselves resembling its thorns and junipers - its very flints and dust, were his freedom and his peace. He pierced to their being, not through dreams, or rhapsodies, not by the strange light of fantasy, rarely with the vision that makes of them a transient veil of the unseen..."

W. H. Auden and C. Day Lewis believed that Thomas was a poet they had "little or no hope of ever equalling", while Ted Hughes declared that "he was the father of us all."

But I think Thomas himself would have been most honoured by something Robert Frost wrote to Helen Thomas. Frost simply said: "I want to see him to tell him something. I want to tell him, what I think he liked to hear from me, that he was a poet."


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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 09 Apr 2012, 07:55

April 9th, 1483.

Edward IV died, posssibly of pneumonia, possibly after a stroke or heart attack.

His heir was a twelve-year-old boy who became - briefly - Edward V.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 09 Apr 2012, 08:00

April 9th, 1940



Nazi-Germany attacked and occupied neutral Denmark and after some fighting Norway.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Tue 10 Apr 2012, 09:48

April 10th 1633 was truly a momentous day in the history of English gastronomy - in his Snow Hill shop Thomas Johnson, the renowned herbalist, botanist and greengrocer, displayed for sale for the first time in recorded English history a bunch of "banemas". These exotic fruits, sold individually for the modern equivalent of £100 a stick, caused quite a stir in a London still enchanted and amazed by the steadily increasing availability of "exotica" from the new colonies managed by the Somers Isles Company, and it was claimed by Johnson that this recent acquisition had originated in the jewel of the company's crown - Bermuda.

Therein lying the historical mystery - while it is a matter of record that bananas were indeed being cultivated in Bermuda by 1633, there is no explanation as to how they could have been shipped to London at that time using conventional transport and arrive in a fit state to be sold and eaten. Johnson, a pioneer of greenhouse cultivation in England, may indeed have grown them himself, though why he should then lie about their origin is itself a mystery, especially since as any market gardener will tell you, bananas are notoriously difficult to grow in European climes even in a hothouse and this achievement would itself have almost eclipsed that of transporting them over the ocean without them going rotten.

Archaeology might recently have provided us with a clue however. A recent excavation of what was once a fish pond in Smithfield found, rather surprisingly, a rather well preserved banans skin from around 1500 - predating Johnson's bananas by over a century and showing that African bananas (it was tested for ethnicity) had indeed already "arrived". Moreover, "banema", the word Johnson used, is itself a Guinean word. A final clue might also be found in an Elizabethan decree by London Corporation concerning the growing "Moor" population ( a euphemism for African blacks at the time) who, along with their strange habits which included eating "yelloe fruit", were to be evicted from the city if her majesty approved (she didn't). Assuming that blacks in London were not all in the habit of sucking on lemons it appears that they had found a way to defy the English climate and manage to grow bananas locally, in fact the skin was found only a stone's throw from Johnson's own premises. If Johnson fibbed about the origin of his own "exotic" fruit it was therefore not modesty at his own hothouse prowess which prompted him but the knowledge that he was selling local produce to an unsuspecting public at a ridiculous mark-up. I only hope his black market gardener source got his rightful percentage!
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Tue 10 Apr 2012, 10:48

Weren't bananas introduced to Spain by the Moors before 1000 BCE and wouldn't it have been possible to ship under ripe fruit from there? I don't know if these were eating bananas or a cooking variety more like plantains which may have travelled with fewer ill effects.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Tue 10 Apr 2012, 11:22

Trade with Spain in Elizabethan times would have been (to put it delicately) "difficult". However that is another possible explanation for why Johnson lied about their source. His bananas weren't black because they were black-market.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Thu 12 Apr 2012, 12:01

April 12th 1961 - Yuri Alexeyevitch Gagarin becomes the first earthling to go higher than the stratosphere, completing one orbit of the earth in his Vostok capsule in one hour twenty nine minutes before landing back in the Soviet Union.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Fri 13 Apr 2012, 09:57

April 13 1983 - Zhao Ziyang became the first Chinese premier to visit New Zealand. He was presented with a canister of bull semen as a gift described by a Chinese official as sowing the seeds of friendship. I'm surprised any more Chinese bothered to come at all, if that was to be their welcome!
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Tue 17 Apr 2012, 20:10

17 April 1970, Apollo 13 successfully returns to Earth after the aborted moon mission.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Tue 17 Apr 2012, 22:58

17th April 1961 - Bay of Pigs fiasco.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 18 Apr 2012, 05:46

18th April 1906 - earthquake strikes San Francisco killing over 1000 people.

19th April 1934 - the first laundromat opened at Fort Worth, Texas. Which means that people now come into my info centre and wonder where the laundromat is in our little town.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 18 Apr 2012, 17:45

18th April, 1521.

Martin Luther appears at the Diet of Worms and doesn't say, "Here I stand. I can do no other."

Hayley Mills is born (1946).
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 18 Apr 2012, 19:38

Caro wrote:


19th April 1934 - the first laundromat opened at Fort Worth, Texas. Which means that people now come into my info centre and wonder where the laundromat is in our little town.
Could always point them to the river and the rocks on the bank.

BTW - my best routine is reserved for supermarket sharks selling conservatories, gas, or electricity. Just tell them I live aboard a narrowboat .....
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sat 21 Apr 2012, 10:01

21st April 1918, Manfred von Richtofen [ the Red Baron ] is shot down and killed over the Western Front. For a long time,there was a dispute at to how he was killed,with the RAF and the Canadians crediting Captain Roy Brown and the Army, Australians and the Germans*, saying it was ground fire. It now seems certain that von Richtofen was brought down by ground fire.



*One German exception was Baroness von Richtofen, who insisted until her dying day that her son was killed by Captain Brown,a fellow pilot,officer and gentleman and not by some oink in a trench.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 23 Apr 2012, 10:16

April 23rd 1564 - the great Willie Wobbleweapon was (we think) born in Stratford-Upon-Avon. As a youth he attended (we think) a Stratford grammar school where he (might have) learnt Latin and read classical literature thereby preparing him for his future role as (probably) author of some of the most seminal and well-crafted works of English literature, the plays of some guy called Shakespeare, or Shakesper, or Shackspere, or Shaxpere, or Shexpere, or Shackespeare, or Bacon, or Marlowe.

April 23rd 1616 - Wobbleweapon snuffed it.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 23 Apr 2012, 19:22

April 23 - is UN World Book day - designed to encourage reading and the sharing of the world's written culture.

Here (French Catalonia... or rather North Catalonia, as we are increasingly being encouraged to call it) one is supposed to present a friend with both a rose and a book. Sant Jordi (St George) is the patron saint of Catalonia (symbol: the red rose). And the UN idea of giving a book is rather nice. But here the whole "Book & Rose" thing is now increasingly associated with the pro-independent-catalonia movement ... Which, whatever else one might think about it, does rather go against the whole original pan-global ideal.

As well as being the anniversary of the (supposed) death of Shakespeare it is also (and more reliably) the anniversary of the deaths of those other writers: Cervantes (1616) and Wordsworth (1850).
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Tue 24 Apr 2012, 11:29

April 24th 1184BCE

Brad Pitt and Sean Bean, disguised as Spartacus, hop out of a giant wooden horse which has been wheeled by unsuspecting Trojans into Mos Eisley.

Believe it or not, someone had the presence of mind at the time to make a note of the date and today is the day, though I somehow missed that bit in Homer's version.

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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Tue 24 Apr 2012, 15:07

Not only did Homer write the date, obviously he also used the Gregorian Calendar. Very forsightful of him.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 25 Apr 2012, 01:18

25th April, 1915. Gallipoli landing by Austrlian and NZ troops. Which means I have spent the morning at an Anzac service, where the speaker was a WWII veteran, about 93, talking of his experiences in Syria and Egypt. He ran out of time to get to Italy. My husband won't go because it's always run as quite a religious service. I could have done without them singing Abide with me, since it was my father's favourite hymn and played at his funeral.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Thu 26 Apr 2012, 09:58

26th April 1986

Chernobyl. Boom.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Thu 26 Apr 2012, 22:54

27th April, 1807. Moehanga of the Ngapuhi iwi/tribe was the first recorded Maori to set foot in England when he landed in London on the Ferret (who would call their ship Ferret?). He met King George III and Queen Charlotte. Apparently he liked to comment, often unfavourably, on the people he saw in London.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Thu 26 Apr 2012, 23:02

27th April, 4977BCE

The universe is created. Well, according to that otherwise pretty competent astronomer Johannes Kepler.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 11:33

It's good to be precise about these things. Otherwise people might feel they could argue about them.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 30 Apr 2012, 09:29

April 30th 1789 - George Washington is inaugurated in the USA as the country's 14th president, thereby going down in history as its first president. Go figure ...
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 30 Apr 2012, 09:52

Galerius's Edict of Toleration posted in Nicomedia, 30 April 311. That's when all the trouble really started!
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 30 Apr 2012, 10:13

He was rotting from the inside out with a particularly virulent (and apparently very smelly) strain of gangrene at that time and only had weeks to live. I always got the impression that he signed the "tolerance" when that little bastard Licinius presented him with the scroll and stylus looking for his signature as he was making a mad dash to the lavatorium. Constantine and Licinius were competing for control of the army and both had deduced that its large christian contingent would commit their particular christian bloodthirst and sadism to the service of whichever of the lads could legitimise their superstition (and outlaw Mithraism - also a part of the "tolerance" decree).
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 30 Apr 2012, 15:11

Today, in 1900, Casey Jones died at the throttle of the Cannonball Express so, all together now:
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 30 Apr 2012, 15:13

Oh so Casey trottled himself and someone didn't do it for him?
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 30 Apr 2012, 15:24

April 30th 1975 - ABC in the USA broadcast the premier of a new show ....




Since we're doing tacky TV
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 30 Apr 2012, 15:39

Excuse me, my offering was a historic event so less cheek please (thumbing her nose at authority since there isn't a 2 finger smilie).
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 30 Apr 2012, 15:47

What, you mean Starsky and Hutch didn't exist? Godt in Himmel, woman - who was keeping the streets of Bay City safe in the 70s then?

Next you'll be telling me that the Rollers didn't come from Bay City either!
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 30 Apr 2012, 15:50

Speaking of which; April 30th 1974 - this little gem entered the UK charts:

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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 30 Apr 2012, 16:03

Nah, it wasn't Starkers and Crutch, it was these guys keeping everyone safe

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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 30 Apr 2012, 16:15

Doesn't count, sorry. Has no April 30th connection.

Whereas this has ... from 1945


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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 30 Apr 2012, 16:54

And this

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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 02 May 2012, 12:19

On this day, May 2nd (which incidentally is International Scurvy Awareness Day) in 1982 the Argentinian ship Belgrano was sunk with the loss of 368 lives by a British submarine - despite the fact that it was outside the 200 mile exclusion zone designated by the British themselves during the Falklands/Malvinas War and the fact that it was sailing away from the conflict zone at the time.

Which in turn led to this glorious TV moment later ...

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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Fri 04 May 2012, 16:02

4 May 1982;

HMS Sheffield is hit by an Exocet missile during the Falklands War



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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sat 05 May 2012, 17:08



5 May 1821, Napoleon Bonaparte dies on St Helena
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sat 05 May 2012, 20:59

And it was Karl Marx 3rd birthday.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sun 06 May 2012, 17:50



6 May 1937, the Hindenburg crash
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 07 May 2012, 08:52



7 May 1915, RMS Lusitania is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-20.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 07 May 2012, 09:07

7th May 1824, the first public performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-mvutiDRvQ
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 07 May 2012, 09:53



figured it out at last!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Tue 08 May 2012, 09:03

7th May, 1928. The age at which British women could vote was lowered from 30 to 21 (finally).

8th May, 1902. Mt Pell, Martinique, erupts in the Caribbean and wipes out St Pierre, killing all but two of its 30,000 inhabitants. (How awful and peculiar it must feel to be one of those two. Presumably there were also some usual inhabitants out of the city at the time, too.) I have now read some more about this and there were people who left when the volcano's eruption became imminent. One of the survivors was a man who just got lucky (though badly burnt); the other one was in a dungeon for a crime and later joined a circus as an exhibit, stabbed someone and ended in jail again, then disappeared from view. I am surprised anyone actually found him in a dungeon two storeys down.
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