TODAY IN HISTORY

Mount Vesuvius stirs and the Stockholm syndrome is created

On August 23 in:

 

79, Mount Vesuvius begins stirring, on the feast day of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire;

 

1305, Sir William Wallace (Braveheart) is executed for high treason at Smithfield in London;

 

1904, The automobile tire chain is patented;

 

1927, Italian Anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti are executed after a lengthy, controversial trial and in

 

1973, A bank robbery gone wrong in Stockholm, Sweden, turns into a hostage crisis; over the next five days the hostages begin to sympathise with their captors, leading to the term "Stockholm syndrome". 

Where's the Mona Lisa?

 

On this day in:

1770, James Cook formally claims Australia for Great Britain, calling it New South Wales;

1897, Oldsmobile, the American auto company was founded;

1911, the Mona Lisa is stolen by a Louvre employee; and

1996, Netscape browser 3.0 is launched.

 

 

The American Civil War is officially over! The 1812 Overture debuts!

On August 20 in :

1858, Charles Darwin first publishes his theory of evolution through natural selection in The Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London, alongside Alfred Russel Wallace's same theory;

 

1866, President Andrew Jackson formally decalres the American Civil War over;

 

1882,  Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture debuts in Moscow, Russia;

 

1938, Lou Gehrig hits his 23rd career grand slam (a record that will stand until Alex Rodriguez breaks it in 2013);

 

1940, Leon Trotsky, exiled Russian revolutionary, is fatally wounded with an ice axe by Ramon Mercader in Mexico City, and dies the next day; and in 

 

1948, Robert Plant, English singer-songwriter (Led Zeppelin, Band of Joy, The Honeydrippers, and Page and Plant) is born. 

Witchcraft and the gold rush

On August 19 in:

 

1561, 18 year old, Mary, Queen of Scots returns to Scotland after spending 13 years in France;

 

1692, in Salem, Province of Massachusetts Bay, five people, one woman and four men, including a clergyman, are executed after being convincted of witchcraft;

 

1848, California Gold Rush:  the New York Herald breaks the news to the East Coast of the United States of the gold rush in California;

 

1909, the first automobile race is held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway;

 

1934, the creation of the position Fuhrer is approved by the German electorate with 89.9% of the popular vote;

 

1991, dissolution of the Soviet Union, August Coup:  Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev is placed under house arrest while on holiday in the town of Foros, Ukraine; and in

 

2010, Operation Iraqi Freedom ends, with the last of the United States brigade combat teams crossing the border to Kuwait. 

 

 

 

Witch Trials & Suffrage

On this day, in:

1612, the trials of the Pendel's witches, one of England's most famous witch trials, begins;

1868, Helium is discovered by French Astronomer Pierre Jannsen;

1920, The 19th Amendment to the US Constitution is ratified, granting woman suffrage; and

1958, Nobokov's Lolita is published in the United States.

Miles Davis releases a gem and Ethel goes to her reward!

On August 17 in:

 

1807, Robert Fulton's North River Steamboat leaves New York City for Albany on the Hudson River, inaugurating the first commerical steamboat service in the world;

 

1896, Bridget Driscoll is run over by a Benz car in the grounds of The Crystal Palace, London, the world's first motoring fatality;

 

1959, Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue, the much-acclaimed, highly influential, best-selling jazz recording of the twentieth century is released;

 

1962, East German border guards kill eighteen-year-old Peter Fechter as he attempts to cross the Berlin Wall into West Berlin and becomes one of the first victims of the wall; and in 

1979, American actress and singer Vivian Vance, best known as Ethel, Lucy's best friend and neighbor, dies at the age of  70.

A solar flare and the Toronto stock market

On August 16 in:

 

1906, an estimated 8.2 M earthquake hits Valparaiso, Chile, killing 3,886 people;

 

1913, the Royal Navy battlecruiser HMS Queen Mary is completed;

 

1945, an assassination attempt is made on Japan's prime minister, Kantaro Suzuki;

 

1954, the first issue of Sports Illustrated is published;

 

1974, punk rock pioneers the Ramones play their first show in a downtown New York club named CBGB;

 

1989, a solar flare from the Sun creates a geomagnetic storm that affects micro chips, leading to a halt of all trading on Toronto's stock market; and in

 

2010, China overtakes Japan as the world's second largest economy.

We're off to see the wizard!

On August 15, in:

1918, the animated short The Sinking of the Lusitania debuts. At 12 minutes, it's the longest piece of animation yet attempted, and notable for its somber subject matter

1939, The Wizard of Oz premieres in Hollywood;

1965, The Beatles play to 55,000 fans at Shea Stadium; and

1993, Nolan Ryan achieves his 324th and final victory, leading the Texas Rangers to a win against the Cleveland Indians. Ryan played in a MLB-record 27 seasons.

Japan accepts terms of surrender and The Rocky Horror Picture Show debuts!

On August 14 in;

 

1040, King Duncan I is killed in battle against his first cousin and rival Macbeth. The latter succeeds him as King of Scotland;

 

1935, The Social Security Act, creating a government pension system for the retired, is passed;

 

1936, Rainey Bethea is hanged in Ownesboro, Kentucky, in the last public execution in the United States;

 

1945, Japan accepts the Allied terms of surrender in WWII;

 

1975, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the longest-running release in film history, opens at the USA Theater in Westwood , Los Angeles, CA. and in 

 

2003, A widescale blackout affects the northeast United States and Canada. 

 

 

Welcome back Apollo 11

On this day in

 

1792, King Louis XVI of France is formally arrested by the National Tribunal, and declared an enemy of the people;

 

1831, Nat Turner sees a solar eclipse, which he believes is a sign from God.  Eight days later he and 70 other slaves kill approximately 55 whites in Southhampton County, Virginia;

 

1918, Women enlist in the United States Marine Corps for the first time.  Opha Mae Johnson is the first woman to enlist;

 

1942, Walt Disney's 5th full-length animated film, Bambi, is released to theaters;

 

1961, East Germany closes the border between the eastern and western sectors of Berlin to thwart its inhabitants' attempts to escape to the West; and in

 

1969, the Apollo 11 astronauts are released from a three-week quarantine to enjoy a ticker tape parade in New York, NY. 

 

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