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Old 01-01-2009, 09:36 PM  
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This Day in History

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Old 10-04-2010, 06:49 AM   #736
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October 4

610. Heraclius and his father, Exarch of Africa, arrive by ship at Constantinople and overthrow the unpopular usurper Emperor of Byzantium, Phocas. He would rule for 31 years, win a number of important military battles, and be responsible for changing the language used in official documents from Latin to Ancient Greek, further Hellenizing the Empire.

1511. Formation of the Holy League, comprised of the Papal States and Venice, principally, but also Aragon for a considerable stretch of time. The Holy League is only the latest and a truly dizzying array of alliances, allegiances, secret protocols, etc. for control over the Italian peninsula and the power of the Papacy. Indeed, the irony in this particular league is tremendous, since it arose as a result of the prior efforts of the Pope to limit Venetian influence in "mainland" Italy. Those efforts had been tremendously successful, and Venice had been pushed to the brink. As a result, however, the Pope now feared the French - whom he had invited into the peninsula - and so switched sides, forming a new, Anti-French league. The Pope in question was Julius II, one of the most famous Popes of the late Middle Ages, also nicknamed the Warrior Pope and the Fearsome Pope. During his ten years, he caused a tremendous impact on the peninsula and Western European politics.

1582. Pope Gregory XIII implements the Gregorian Calendar. In the countries following his edict, October 4 is followed directly by October 15.

1853. The Ottoman Empire declares war on Russia, beginning the Crimean War. The war is notable on many fronts. First, it introduced the world to Florence Nightingale, who pioneered modern nursing standards while treating injured British troops. Second, it involved the famous but ill-advised Charge of the Light Brigade. Third, it introduced a number of new military technologies to the world, shortly before the American Civil War, including tactical use of railways and the telegraph.

1883. First run of the Orient Express, between Paris and Istanbul.

1927. Mount Rushmore first starts getting carved. Raise your hand if you could have told me that the artist was Gutzon Borglum, better known as John Borglum but officially and fully as Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum.

The project was originally contemplated by historian Doane Robinson to promote tourism to South Dakota, and was initially planned to only be a carving of George Washington. President Coolidge, however, in authorizing funds for the project, insisted that two Republicans (Coolidge was a Republican) and one Democrat be included in addition to Washington, resulting in the additions of Jefferson (Democrat) and Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt (Republicans).

The project would last until 1941 and he would die shortly before its completion, by his son.





Due to lack of funding, the more grandiose originally contemplated design was curtailed. The original design:



1958. The fifty-eighth, errr...., Fifth Republic of France is declared.

1965. Pope Paul VI visits New York, becoming the first Pope to visit North America, or the Western Hemisphere for that matter.
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:49 AM   #737
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1965. Pope Paul VI visits New York, becoming the first Pope to visit North America, or the Western Hemisphere for that matter.
That's pretty amazing. I guess it's reasonable that prior to air travel the Pope didn't do too much globetrotting, but 1965 is surprising.
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:56 AM   #738
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That's pretty amazing. I guess it's reasonable that prior to air travel the Pope didn't do too much globetrotting, but 1965 is surprising.
I sure as heck thought so. I mean, I can see not doing any globetrotting in the 1800s with sailing ships etc. for most of the century. But by 1900 you had steamships and travel was pretty darn safe by and large.

But then, I'm not sure how frequent travel was for ANY world leaders back then.

I'm trying ot think of the first time a sitting President left the country. The oldest would be Teddy Roosevelt visiting the digging of the Panama Canal, but I can't remember off-hand if that was during or after his Presidency.

Absent that, it's Woodrow Wilson going to Versailles I think.
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:32 AM   #739
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October 5

1550. Founding of Concepcion, Chile.

1864. A cyclone wipes out Calcutta, India, killing an estimated 60,000.

1914. First aerial combat resulting in a kill (during WWI).

1921. Baseball's World Series is first broadcast on radio.

1947. Harry S. Truman gives the first televised Presidential address.

1962. Dr. No, the first James Bond film, is released.
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:21 AM   #740
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October 6

1683. William Penn brings 13 German immigrant families to the colony of Pennsylvania -- the first German immigrants to America.

1928. Chaing Kai-shek becomes Chairman of the Republic of China.

1973. Egypt launches an attack on Israel, beginning the Yom Kippur War.

1976. After the death of Mao Zedong, his wife and three others, collectively known as the Gang of Four, are arrested, bringing a formal end to the Cultural Revolution which had uprooted the lives of tens of millions and caused the death, due to starvation and other causes of millions.

1981. The President of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, is assassinated.
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Old 10-07-2010, 06:51 AM   #741
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October 7

1571. The Battle of Lepanto is fought between the forces of the Ottoman Empire and the combined forces of Spain, Venice and Genoa. The "Holy League", which had been allied under the auspices of the Holy See, crush the Ottoman fleet, dealing a serious setback to Ottoman expansion.

1763. King George III issues the Royal Proclamation of 1763, closing Native American lands north and west of the Allegheny Mountains to colonial settlement. This goes over really well, as you can imagine...

1777. The Second Battle of Saratoga, also known as the Battle of Bemis Heights, results in a dramatic victory for Revolutionary Troops over the British, including (on October 17) the surrender of remaining British forces and their commander, General Burgoyne. As a result of the victory, the French decide to enter into negotiations with the Americans, which results in an alliance critical to the eventual American victory in the war.

1916. Go sportsmanship! Georgia Tech defeats Cumberland University 222-0 in the most lopsided game in American college football history.

1944. Executing a long coordinated plan, Jewish sonderkommandos -- the inmates kept separate from the rest of the Jewish population and forced to run the gas chambers and crematoria -- rise up in revolt against their SS overlords. They succeed, and also destroy, with explosives smuggled by women from the armaments factory at which they worked as slave labor, in destroying Crematorium IV. Hundreds of prisoners escape, but nearly all are recaptured and executed.
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Old 10-08-2010, 06:31 AM   #742
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October 8

451. The Council of Chalcedon, on the Asian side of the Bosporus, begins. The Fourth Ecumenical Council, it's decisions regarding the nature of Jesus Christ (full humanity and full divinity, and as second person of the Holy Trinity) are considered infallible as to their dogmatic determinations by both the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. Many, however, refused to accept its determinations, resulting in a major schism, especially in the eastern portion of what was then a (theoretically, at least) united Christian church.

1480. The Great Standoff on the Urga River begins -- a series of small clashes along the Urga River which results in Muscovy thwarting an attempt by the Great Horde (an offshoot/descendant of the Golden Horde, which was itself a part of the greater Mongol empire) to penalize it for failing to pay tribute as it had for something like 150 years. It is the first in a series of steps that leads to the end of Turko/Tartar/Mongol rule in that region.

1871. Four major fires break out along the shores of Lake Michigan, including the Great Chicago Fire.

1956. Don Larsen pitches the only perfect game in a World Series. A career journeyman pitcher, he went 3-21 with the Baltimore Orioles in 1954, which accounts for his overall losing record of 81-91. He had only two ten win seasons in his 14 year career. His start on this date was a surprise, since he had been yanked after only two innings a few days prior, during Game 2 of the World Series, when he allowed four runs and four walks.

1956. This same date, Vivien Larsen, wife of Don Larsen -- who was busy pitching a perfect game -- filed for divorce.
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Old 10-08-2010, 12:00 PM   #743
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October 9 (sorry, need to get ahead, busy weekend coming up)

768. Charlesmagne and his considerably less famous brother, Carloman I, are crowned Kings of the Franks.

1635. Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island, is banished by the religious nutjobs running the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

1701. The Collegiate School of Connecticut is chartered. It's name is too damn long, so some bright fellow later renames it Yale.

1760. Russian forces occupy Berlin as part of the Seven Years War.

1888. The Washington Monument opens.

1970. The Khmer Rouge are proclaimed in Cambodia. This turns out to be a stunningly bad idea overall.
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Old 10-08-2010, 12:11 PM   #744
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October 10

680. The Battle of Karbala. Hussain bin Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, is defeated by the Umayyad Caliph and beheaded.

732. The Battle of Tours. Charles Martel and his troops, Franks, defeat a large force of Moors near Poitiers, France, stopping the tide of Islam in Western Europe.

1973. Spiro Agnew, Vice President of the United States, resigns as part of an agreement after being charged with federal income tax evasion in connection with accepting bribes while Governor of Maryland. His resignation, and plea of nolo contendre to one count of income tax evasion, ends the Department of Justice's case against him.
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Old 10-08-2010, 12:15 PM   #745
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1888. The Washington Monument opens.
Didn't they get started on George's Obeldick before the Civil War, had to stop and then started up again after? And that's the reason there's a distinct color variation half way up?

Going from memory, but the quarry that was used for the first half was destroyed during the war, or something.
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Old 10-08-2010, 12:23 PM   #746
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October 8

1956. Don Larsen pitches the only perfect game in a World Series. A career journeyman pitcher, he went 3-21 with the Baltimore Orioles in 1954, which accounts for his overall losing record of 81-91. He had only two ten win seasons in his 14 year career. His start on this date was a surprise, since he had been yanked after only two innings a few days prior, during Game 2 of the World Series, when he allowed four runs and four walks.

1956. This same date, Vivien Larsen, wife of Don Larsen -- who was busy pitching a perfect game -- filed for divorce.
That's some darn good trivia right there.
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Old 10-08-2010, 12:24 PM   #747
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732. The Battle of Tours. Charles Martel and his troops, Franks, defeat a large force of Moors near Poitiers, France, stopping the tide of Islam in Western Europe.
After Super Bowl IV, that might be the biggest win ever.
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Old 10-08-2010, 12:33 PM   #748
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Didn't they get started on George's Obeldick before the Civil War, had to stop and then started up again after? And that's the reason there's a distinct color variation half way up?

Going from memory, but the quarry that was used for the first half was destroyed during the war, or something.
Not a clue, but I'll look it up and let you know.
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Old 10-08-2010, 12:44 PM   #749
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I remember reading that the ropes rotted on the scaffolding, so when construction restarted they couldn't initially figure out how to get back up to the construction area. they ended up tying a rope to a bird and then shooting it when it flew out of the inside work area.
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Old 10-08-2010, 12:58 PM   #750
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More on the Washington Monument.

At 555 feet and 5/8th inches, it is the world's tallest obelisk, and is made from marble, granite and sandstone. It is also the world's tallest stone structure. My initial reaction was to wonder about the pyramids, but the Great Pyramid of Giza is only about 480 feet tall. The Great Pyramid held the title of world's tallest structure for 3,800 years, however, and while the Monument took this tile from the Cologne Cathedral upon its completion, it only held its title for only a few years, being topped by the Eiffel Tower in 1889.

The construction of the Monument began in 1848, but took nearly 40 years to complete due to political strife, lack of funds, and the Civil War. The difference in shading of the structure about 150 feet up reflects the work stoppage.
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