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 On this day in history Round One

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Temperance
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PostSubject: On this day in history Round One   Tue 21 Feb 2012, 19:42

On February 21st 1764, the House of Lords decided to expel John Wilkes from Parliament.

Wilkes (who had been born, of course, in Clerkenwell) had offended and disgusted the Lords Temporal and Spiritual by the penning - several years previously actually - of an undoubtedly dodgy poem, "An Essay on Women", a parody of Pope's "Essay on Man".  He wrote it in an idle moment with a friend (Thomas Potter) for the private delight of friends.

Lord Sandwich, gunning for Wilkes, amid excited cries of "Go on! Go on!" from their Lordships,  read out in the Upper Chamber these immortal lines:

"Life can little more supply

Than just a few good f**ks and then we die."

(It was later to take D. H. Lawrence page after tedious page of pretentious prose to say much the same thing.)

In what has been described as "a golden moment in the long history of British hypocrisy", the Lords then declared that, because of his obscene and blasphemous libel, Wilkes should be declared "outlaw". He was out.

But in 1774 he was back - Middlesex kept electing him.
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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: On this day in history Round One   Tue 21 Feb 2012, 22:32

Temperance wrote:
On February 21st 1764, the House of Lords decided to expel John Wilkes from Parliament.

Wilkes (who had been born, of course, in Clerkenwell) had offended and disgusted the Lords Temporal and Spiritual by the penning - several years previously actually - of an undoubtedly dodgy poem, "An Essay on Women", a parody of Pope's "Essay on Man".  He wrote it in an idle moment with a friend (Thomas Potter) for the private delight of friends.

Lord Sandwich, gunning for Wilkes, amid excited cries of "Go on! Go on!" from their Lordships,  read out in the Upper Chamber these immortal lines:

"Life can little more supply

Than just a few good f**ks and then we die."

(It was later to take D. H. Lawrence page after tedious page of pretentious prose to say much the same thing.)

In what has been described as "a golden moment in the long history of British hypocrisy", the Lords then declared that, because of his obscene and blasphemous libel, Wilkes should be declared "outlaw". He was out.

But in 1774 he was back - Middlesex kept electing him.

Is that why they abolished Middlesex? I thought it was for reasons of political correctness!
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 22 Feb 2012, 03:19

Not quite suited to follow this banter, but today (22nd Feb) is the first anniversary of the fatal Christchurch earthquake which killed 185 people. There has been a lot of media coverage and today a big service with bravery and other awards to 140 people. I haven't heard much of it, but someone on the radio reporting just now who said he was himself a Christian felt the service was overly Christian and there would have been Muslims and people of no religion and others in the crowd - he felt it was a bit excessive. I did notice something earlier about the PM reading from the Bible.

The names of the victims were called out. There is still a huge amount of work to do before the city centre is rebuilt - the Cathedral has been deconsecrated, and whole streets are gone - and houses fixed. Insurance premiums have gone up everywhere (our museum's has doubled in an area that has few earthquakes), and standards have been increased so many buildings must be strengthed before they are allowed to be lived in.

We were in Northumberland when we got a text from my son's mother-in-law telling us of this - she just said, "Terrible news in Christchurch" which left us wondering. But we got one soon after from my son, telling us that all our family on both sides were fine.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/ (the general online NZ news site, so I suppose the subject will change tomorrow)

Caro.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 22 Feb 2012, 05:05

Gilgamesh of Uruk wrote:
Is that why they abolished Middlesex? I thought it was for reasons of political correctness!

In that case Sussex, Wessex and Essex should be abolished too!
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 22 Feb 2012, 06:05

On this day 22nd Feb in 1797 Over 1,000 French troops attempted to invade Britain and landed at Fishguard, but were soon captured by the brave ladies of the town. No other foreign force has managed to invade mainland Britain since.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 22 Feb 2012, 09:25

1630 Indians introduce Europeans to popcorn at Thanksgiving.

Black day indeed.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 22 Feb 2012, 09:40

Why did it take one thousand six hundred and thirty Indians to introduce popcorn?

Where did this happen? Bengal? Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 22 Feb 2012, 09:57

Pope Gregory VII was having a field day on this day, February 22nd, in 1076. Not only did he depose the then Holy Roman Emperor, a young runt by the name of Henry IV, but excommunicated him (for the second time) and excommunicated anyone who had ever spoken with him. For good measure he also excommunicated St Benno of Meissen, then a bishop, for his opposition to Gregory (aka Hildebrand) upon his election as pope the previous year. Benno had voiced misgivings about Hildebrand's dabbling in black magic, his use of beds of rusty nails to torture opponents, his prediliction for executing "heretics" without trial, his hiring of assassins and the trifling matter of Gregory's penchant for burning the eucharist instead of celebrating it.

Gregory is, of course, now a saint himself and revered in the catholic church as a "great reformer".
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normanhurst
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 22 Feb 2012, 15:27

1944 World War II: Allied American aircraft mistakenly bombed the Dutch towns of Nijmegen, Arnhem, Enschede and Deventer, resulting in 800 dead in Nijmegen alone.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 22 Feb 2012, 21:53

Oh dear - February 22nd does seem to be a day of disasters. I looked it up and was relived to find it also the birthday of Albert Einstein, George Washington, Chopin - and me. On the other hand I saw Bruse Forsythe in the same list so it balances out in the end.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 22 Feb 2012, 23:08

Well, it would take more than a Brucie Bonus to undermine your contribution to the day's standing in history, Priscilla.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Thu 23 Feb 2012, 05:05

February 23 1689

The Dutch Orange Willy III proclaimed King of England.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Thu 23 Feb 2012, 10:51

Feb 23rd 1874 Major Walter Clopton Wingfield patented an outdoor game he called ‘Sphairistike’, later known as lawn tennis. Eventually it was adopted by the All England Croquet Club which sponsored the first Wimbledon championships in 1877.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Thu 23 Feb 2012, 11:31

Immediately known as Lawn Tennis, rather!

This from the Times front page in 1874, the first ever advertisement for the sport:



Ancient Greeks amongst us who realise the word means "Proficient at ball sports" will point out that Wingfield's term was never pronounced properly either, the English tending to rhyme it with "pike". Those few knowledgeable enough to realise this error still struggled with it and arrived at a Franglais term "Stické", which in turn became "Sticky".

Fortunately Wingham had anticipated this confusion and had, from the beginning, inserted a term in his ad accessible to the masses. This one eventually caught on and was shortened to "tennis", which angered those who practised the ancient game of the same name and therefore renamed their own sport to "real tennis". This in turn has been inaccurately rendered "royal tennis" as a result, a phrase which persists even today. I recall a BBC sport commentator even venturing an explanation for this inaccurate phrase involving Henry VIII, eggs and the playing fields of Eton in his summary, if I remember correctly. A fantastic etymology, but a good indication of how false attribution can become "real" in these cases if enough time elapses in the meanwhile.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Thu 23 Feb 2012, 13:49

23rd February 1820. Cato Street Conspiracy fails

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cato_Street_Conspiracy
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Thu 23 Feb 2012, 15:35

Feb 23rd 1920 The first regular broadcasting service in Britain started from Marconi’s studio in Writtle, near Chelmsford. The 30-minute programme was transmitted twice daily. Peter Eckersley opened with 'Hello! Hello! This is Two-Emma-Toc, Writtle testing.' Two-Emma-Toc stood for 2MT, the licence granted to Marconi by the General Post Office.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Fri 24 Feb 2012, 06:14

24th February 1909 Suffragettes attempted to break into the Houses of Parliament. The police made 29 arrests.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sat 25 Feb 2012, 05:43

25th February
1570 Queen Elizabeth I was excommunicated by Pope Pius V. He declared her a usurper for her severe persecution of Roman Catholics in England. It was the last such judgment made against a reigning monarch by any pope.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sat 25 Feb 2012, 13:43

Priscilla wrote:
Oh dear - February 22nd does seem to be a day of disasters. I looked it up and was relived to find it also the birthday of Albert Einstein, George Washington, Chopin - and me. ...

Courage, mon enfant, 'tis also the birthday of one of my great-nephews, who turned four on that day.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sun 26 Feb 2012, 09:33

On this day 26th Feb in 1914 The launch of HMHS (Her Majesty's Hospital Ship) Britannic, sister to the RMS Titanic, at Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast. She was the third and largest Olympic-class ocean liner of the White Star Line and was intended to enter service as a transatlantic passenger liner. However, she was launched just before the start of the First World War and was laid up at her builders in Belfast for many months before being put to use as a hospital ship in 1915. She struck a mine off the Greek island of Kea in November 1916, and sank with the loss of 30 lives.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sun 26 Feb 2012, 10:12

26 February 1815,

Napoleon escapes from exile on Elba with 600 men, landing on the French mainland near Antibes on 1 March, and thus starting the final Hundred Days leading up to Waterloo.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 27 Feb 2012, 08:38

27th February 1881, the Battle of Majuba Hill settles the First Boer War in favour of the Boers.
Exactly 19 years later, in the Second Boer War, General Piet Cronje's army surrenders at Paardberg, effectively bringing the first phase of that war to an end. Thereafter, the Boers rely on guerilla warfare.


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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 27 Feb 2012, 09:13

Trike,

Now on that subject we really need AA from the old BBC Boards, I once saw parts of a longer thread he did on the South African wars.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 27 Feb 2012, 10:11

On this day 27th Feb 2002 Spike Milligan, Irish comedian and writer died, aged 83. After the death of his friend Harry Secombe from cancer on 11th April 2001, Milligan said, "I'm glad he died before me, because I didn't want him to sing at my funeral." On his headstone is inscribed "I'Duirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite", which is Irish for "I told you I was ill." He was the favourite comic of Prince Charles who wrote a letter congratulating Milligan on winning a Lifetime Achievement Award, whereupon the comic, on live TV, jokingly labelled the Prince a "grovelling little bastard".
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Mon 27 Feb 2012, 17:58

Hmm. Good judge of character as well as a comedian.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Tue 28 Feb 2012, 06:06

On this day in history 28th Feb 1888

In a Belfast street, a small boy named Johnny Dunlop was riding his tricycle under the supervision of his father. The two rear wheels of the tricycle were the world's first pneumatic tyres and he was testing them. The test was so successful that his father was granted patent number 10607 on 23rd July.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 29 Feb 2012, 05:07

29th Feb 1796 The Jay Treaty between the United States and Great Britain came into force. It was credited with averting war, resolving issues remaining since the ending of the American Revolution and facilitated peaceful trade between the two nations.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Thu 01 Mar 2012, 03:29

On this day 1st March 1946 The British Government took control of the Bank of England, after 252 years.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Thu 01 Mar 2012, 19:15

March 1st 1943 - On the same day that three hundred elderly and disabled Jews were forcibly evacuated from a hospice in Amsterdam, all to die en route to concentration camps within a few weeks, Pope Pius XII declared Jews to be untrustworthy, demanding and ungrateful in a homily addressed to visiting cardinals at the Vatican.

But then karma works, even for popes. On March 1st 1944 the Vatican was bombed - by the Germans. Reliable sources indicate there wasn't a single untrustworthy, demanding, ungrateful Jew involved in the raid. They were busy offending Catholics elsewhere at the time by being very ungrateful for being exterminated.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Fri 02 Mar 2012, 13:39

2nd March 1476, the army of Charles the Bold of Burgundy is defeated by the Swiss Confederation at the Battle of Granson
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Fri 02 Mar 2012, 13:43

How embarrassing was that! No
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Fri 02 Mar 2012, 14:35

I don't know. The Swiss were a really tough bunch in the 15th century.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Fri 02 Mar 2012, 22:35

2nd March, 1933 - premiere of "King Kong"
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Fri 02 Mar 2012, 22:51

2nd March, 1939 - a beast clambers its way to the top of a structure and attempts in vain to swat away some well-aimed attacks by defenders of liberty and democracy. Or put another way - Pius XII is elected pope.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sun 04 Mar 2012, 17:32

March fourth ( i.e. March forth!) is the only date in the calendar year that constitutes a sentence.

March 4th 1681 King Charles II granted a Royal Charter to William Penn, entitling him to establish a colony in North America called Pennsylvania.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sun 04 Mar 2012, 18:03

We missed the the 3rd March - so for completeness how about:

3 March 1875 – Georges Bizet's opera Carmen receives its première at the Opéra Comique in Paris. Hoorah!

Or if that is too banal then:

3 March 1857 - Britain and France declare war on China (second opium war) ... because the dastardly Chinese were actually trying, and more importantly they were succeeding, in putting an end to piracy in their coastal waters, as well as clamping down on the international trade in hard drugs. And that was all very bad for British trade, so we sent a warship, or ten, to protect the pirates and keep the drugs flowing. .. Boooh!

So, Bizet aside, not a great day for western civillisation.



Last edited by Meles meles on Sun 04 Mar 2012, 19:01; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Tenses and spelling)
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sun 04 Mar 2012, 18:30

yesturday didnt happen until today for me remember...
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sun 04 Mar 2012, 18:43

Ah, but the 3rd March wasn't a Saturday in 1875...

Anyway I thought you were off parambulating the solar system yesterday - and so galactic-space-time applies, no?

But, If you do find any intelligent life out there... well, you know... !...(best keep it a secret actually).
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sun 04 Mar 2012, 19:05

I don’t think the little mathematical problem I posed yesterday was taken seriously enough for me to divulge any more information regarding me time travelling experiments meles. Bad enough I was caught on camera zipping across the sky and shown on TV news… it should never have happened.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sun 04 Mar 2012, 20:22

Your "problem" was taken more seriously than you seemed able to understand. When you restricted the poser to uniocular vision you decreased the effective scanning area to 60 degrees, since the 100 degree scope of a healthy eye involves 40 degrees of what you called "peripheral" vision. By reducing the 120 degree assumption to half that range you forced the point in space at which anything can be visually perceived as whole back a distance of two thirds again from the object and since you were discussing the diameter of the earth and this was the object you had stated must be "seen" as whole and entire by the human eye then you effectively increased the distance required for ocular recognition from approximately 2,000 miles to 2,666 miles. Even then you would not be "seeing" the entire object in one scan but you would be scanning it sufficiently quickly for your brain to allow you to perceive it as whole.


So, you see, not only was it taken seriously - it was answered for you.


But getting back to important stuff. On this day, March 4th, 1634 the first pub in what was later to become the US of A was opened in Boston by a far-sighted gentleman called Samuel Cole. He cannot be blamed for subsequent travesties in that field (such as Budweiser and confiscating car keys) but he showed with this one grand gesture how great this world could be if only everyone was a little bit sozzled all the time. His new outlet sold ale brewed by local native Americans as well as Dutch beer then being brewed in New Amsterdam to grateful lapsed puritans in the district, thereby in one stroke of mutuality allowing the injuns, the dutchies and the English (all hitherto on very strained speaking terms indeed) to live together in one jolly drunken haze.

The authorities, it is said, "disapproved" ...


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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sun 04 Mar 2012, 22:22

Well… what can I say, much as I’d like to say oh dear what a silly boy, the answer is there staring me in the face… I don’t actually understand a word of it, however, after giving the ‘problem’ a little more thought I can see a way of solving the maths myself now with my old friend Mr. Trig. and a few ideas from the chart table.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sun 04 Mar 2012, 23:31

Fine that you're doing that, norm. Can I ask you to try however to keep to the topic in each thread that is set on the site (even the ones you started yourself) and not spread connected observations about a particular topic over several non-related threads? Unless the site appears to conform to this simple rule it will be difficult for incidental guests to appreciate its purpose and will deter membership. The Tumbleweed Suite serves the purpose of allowing members to discuss what they wish that isn't historical without obfuscating the rationale behind the site's layout and organisation of categories. Thanks.

In my part of the world it is now March 5th. On this day in 1933 Hitler and his Nazi party won 43% of the Reichstag seats after a campaign which had seen his supporters use a level of open violence against their opponents that had shocked outsiders, but not apparently 43% of the German people. It had also seen the effective outlawing of his once biggest rival, the Communist party (who still came a respectable third), and the burning down of the Reichstag itself, the arson being blamed on "the Jews". It proved enough however for the man already deemed "chancellor" prior to this. With the help of enough like-minded cronies he was to get the "Enabling Act" through three weeks later which made the notion of majority meaning anything in the future a moot point since he was now dictator.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Tue 06 Mar 2012, 12:42

6 March 1853 – Giuseppe Verdi's "La Traviata" premiered at Venice's La Fenice opera house, but the performance was so bad even Verdi described it as a “fiasco”.

The main trouble was the casting of soprano Fanny Salvini-Donatelli in the lead role of Violetta. Supposed to be playing the role of a delicate young woman wasting away from tuberculosis, Salvatini-Donatelli was nearly 40 years old and notoriously fat. In the third act when the doctor announced that Violetta's illness had worsened and she had only hours to live, the first-night audience burst out laughing, with one wag shouting: "I see no consumption, only dropsy!"

Verdi wrote to his friend Muzio: "La Traviata last night a failure. Was the fault mine or the singers'? Time will tell."

"La Traviata" is now apparently the second most performed opera after Mozart’s "The Magic Flute".
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Tue 06 Mar 2012, 12:58

Reminds me of the Pia Zadora story when she opened as the title role in The Diary of Anne Frank on Broadway to rather less than rave reviews. On the opening night, as the young Anne, she was cowering in the attic when the Gestapo arrived to search the place - at which point the audience, sensing a golden opportunity to cut short their torment, all shouted to the Germans "She's in the attic!!!!!!!!"

Meles - March 6th 1825 was also the first public performance of Beethoven's String Quartet Number 12 in E Flat:



And of course ...

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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Wed 07 Mar 2012, 10:40

March 7 1933 I see the game of Monopoly was invented, but I don't know if that means the day they sat round their campfires coming up with the idea, or the day it was patented or the day it went on sale. We have always had trouble with it, anyway, in our house since the rules I played as a child meant that if someone landed on a property the rest of that colour were reserved for them. My children would prefer a more competitive game. I don't play if I'm not allowed Whitechapel and Old Kent Road. (That's never usually a great problem.)

March 7 1826 was a sad day in the annuls of NZ. Then its later founding father (well, of the NZ Company which brought lots of English settlers here on a scheme for a better Britain) kidnapped a 15-year-old heiress with the intention of marrying her. This seemed to be his second abduction of wealthy young women; the first one died after several years of marriage. A better Britain didn't seem to have to be founded by a particularly good Briton.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Thu 08 Mar 2012, 19:18

On this day 8th March 1702 Anne Stuart, sister of Mary II, becomes Queen regnant of England, Scotland, and Ireland after William III died in a riding accident. Despite seventeen pregnancies, Anne died without surviving children and was the last monarch of the House of Stuart. She was succeeded by her second cousin George I of the House of Hanover.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Thu 08 Mar 2012, 20:56

Another accession. March 8th 161 saw the appointment of Marcus Aurelius, the last of the "five good emperors", as Augustus Caesar upon the death of Antoninus Pius. From the beginning Marcus strove for stability, and his long immersion in stoic philosophy stood him in good stead in that respect. At first he ruled jointly with Verus, an arrangement that worked exceedingly well as both men divided the responsibility of defending the empire from without (Marcus in Germania and Verus in the East), and from within. His treatment of troublemakers was as reasoned as stoicism can get - invite them to stop and if they refuse then eliminate them. This policy extended to an increasingly vocal christian minority within his borders and the "martyrs" produced in his reign are suspiciously of high office in the nascent church, though he also was reputed to have a high regard for those soldiers in his armies of that faith. A statue of Marcus Aurelius survives to this day in Rome, the only pre-christian emperor of which this can be said, the christians having melted down or otherwise destroyed or removed any others. Some have put this down to a case of mistaken identity (thinking it was Constantine - though this is unlikely as his name is on it). Others reckon that even the church, having risen to the top of the heap two centuries later, were loath to remove the effigy of a man who still commanded respect amongst the locals.

His son was a creep though.
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normanhurst
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Fri 09 Mar 2012, 05:21

On this day 9th March 1566 David Rizzio, Italian courtier and private secretary to Mary, Queen of Scots, was murdered in the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh. Mary's husband, Lord Darnley, is said to have been jealous of their friendship, because of rumours that he had made Mary pregnant, and he joined in a conspiracy of Protestant nobles to murder him. The murder led to the downfall of Darnley who was himself murdered, apparently by strangulation, less than a year later.
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Fri 09 Mar 2012, 15:44

9 March 1862,

First battle between ironclads as CSS Virginia [ formerly USS Merrimac ] fights the USS Monitor.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: On this day in history Round One   Sat 10 Mar 2012, 12:51

10 March 241 BC - A Roman fleet decisively defeats a Carthaginian fleet at the Battle of the Aegates Islands off the western coast of Sicily, and so effectively brings the First Punic War to an end. And also for the first time establishes Rome as a naval power as well as a land one. At the outbreak of war, only some 25 years previous, Rome had virtually no naval forces and no experience of naval warfare, yet she pitted herself against the foremost naval power in the Med'.

But Rome quickly learned her lessons ... and the rest, as they say, is history.
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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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On this day in history Round One

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