This day in history...

Discussion in 'New Roundtable' started by shane0911, Jul 20, 2019.

  1. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    On April 18, 1945, war correspondent Ernie Pyle is killed in the line of duty. A popular civilian columnist who was already syndicated in about 200 papers nationwide when he agreed to go to war in 1942, Pyle was noted for covering the personal experiences of the common G.I. rather than accounts of battles. He went ashore with the invasions of Sicily, Italy and Normandy and earned a Pulitzer Prize for his work in 1944. Sent to the Pacific when the war in Europe ended, Pyle was cut down by machine gun fire on the island of Ie Shima. He is buried at the National Cemetery of the Pacific on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.
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  2. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    Worth repeating....

    At about 5 a.m, April 19, 1775, 700 British troops arrive at Lexington, Massachusetts. Their objective: to capture Patriot leaders there and then advance to nearby Concord to seize a Patriot arsenal. But they arrive in Lexington to find 77 armed minutemen under Captain John Parker waiting for them on the town’s common green. British Major John Pitcairn ordered the outnumbered Patriots to disperse, and after a moment’s hesitation the Americans began to drift off the green. But someone - no one knows who, but American lore suggests it was a Patriot - fires his musket, and others quickly join in. Within moments, eight Americans lay dead or dying and 10 others are wounded. One British soldier is injured, and the regiment moves on Concord. Here they find several hundred armed Patriots waiting. They successfully destroy the arsenal, but take casualties and Pitcairn orders the return to Boston. Its only a 16-mile march, but the British are peppered the entire time by Patriot marksmen firing from concealed positions. By the time the unit arrives in Boston, the casualty count - killed, wounded or missing - is near 300, and the American Revolution is officially begun. (Below: The Battle of Lexington, from the film April Morning)
     
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  3. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    Let's see if I can get this thread revived....

    On June 28, 1926, German companies Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft and Benz & Cie merge to form Daimler Benz. Karl Benz (left) is widely considered the inventor of the automobile by putting a motor on a carriage in 1886. On the other hand, automobiles were just one concern of D-M-G, though a lucrative one, having developed the car it called the Mercedes in 1901. Founder Gottlieb Daimler (right) had sold his interest in the company 15 years earlier and had an adversarial relationship with Benz stemming from a patent dispute. Shortly after the merger, the company's new directors attached the Benz name to the Mercedes, and soon the company itself came to be known as Mercedes Benz.
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    On June 28, 1776, Thomas Hickey becomes the first soldier of the Continental Army (and by extension the U.S. military) to be executed for mutiny. The Irish-born Hickey had been a British general's combat field servant (orderly) during the Seven Years' War and was assigned similar duties for George Washington when he joined the Continental Army. Arrested for passing counterfeit money the previous spring, Hickey was overheard bragging to a fellow prisoner that he was part of a conspiracy of soldiers who planned to defect to the British army when their anticipated invasion came. He may also have been involved in a plot to assassinate Washington. Hickey was found guilty of mutiny and sedition by court martial and hanged. No other "conspirators" surfaced, though Loyalist New York City Mayor David Mathews was briefly imprisoned for allegedly bribing Continental soldiers to mutiny. (Hickey as portrayed on an Assassin's Creed fan page)
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    On June 28, 1911, a number of residents of the Abu Hummus district of Egypt witness a meteorite falling to Earth. About 40 pieces of the Nakhla (the word means "palm tree" in Arabic) meteorite would be recovered. Geologists would determine that the meteorite originated from the planet Mars. Microscopic exams conducted on one of the samples by NASA in 1999 provided the first evidence that aqueous processes (water) are present on Mars, and the later discovery of carbon in the fragments suggest that Mars did once have life.
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  4. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    On July 2, 1962, the first Wal-Mart Discount City opens in Rogers, AK. Owner Sam Walton made his bones in the retail business first as a J.C. Penney employee, then purchasing and rebranding a five-and-dime store in his hometown Bentonville, AK in 1945. The first few years of that store's history were lean, but Walton turned it around by undercutting his competition with lower pricing and relying on volume business. He expanded the product line for his Discount City stores, and was operating over 100 stores in 5 states by 1970. In the early 80's, the renamed Walmart opened its first Hyper-Mart (later rebranded Supercenter), adding groceries, pharmacy, video arcades and other amenities to its discount store concept. Today Walmart is the largest company in the world in revenues, clearing over $570 billion last year. It's also the world's largest private employer, with over 2.2 million employees in 24 countries. The original Walton's 5-and-dime (below) is now the Walmart museum.
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    On July 2, 1980, Paramount Pictures releases Airplane!. For several years, writers Jim Abrahams and Larry and David Zucker had been taping late night TV for ideas for their Kentucky Fried Theatre comedy troupe (and subsequent Kentucky Fried Movie.) One morning they found they had recorded a low-budget drama called Zero Hour!, about a troubled ex-fighter pilot who's forced to take control of a passenger flight when its crew becomes incapacitated. They wrote a parody script sending up the movie in particular, and the disaster film genre in general, casting KFT veterans Robert Hays and Julie Hagerty in the lead roles. But the genius move came in casting dramatic actors Leslie Nielsen, Robert Stack, Chad Everett and Lloyd Bridges in support roles, instructing them to play the roles straight-laced. Everett was known to repeatedly question the script (not getting the jokes), until Stack told him, "just do what they tell you. We're the jokes." Airplane! launched Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker to behind-the-lens stardom in Hollywood. It appears on numerous lists of the funniest films ever, and in 2010 was selected for preservation in the U.S. Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
     
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  5. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    On July 3, 987, Hugh Capet is elected and crowned King of the Franks. The crown was vacated a month earlier on the death of Louis V in a hunting accident. Louis was childless and his uncle Charles, Duke of Lower Lorraine, laid claim to the throne. However, at a convention of France's most powerful aristocrats, the archbishop of Reims argued that Charles was a vassal of Holy Roman Emperor Otto II and not entitled to the crown. He advocated Charles' cousin Capet, the Duke of the Franks, citing his exploits and nobility. Capet's rise to the throne ended the Carolingian line of Frankish kings. The Capetian line would control France for the next 800 years.
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    On July 3, 1839, the Normal School of Lexington (Massachusetts) is founded. It is the U.S.'s first normal school, an institution designed for training teachers. The name is from the French école normale, a reference to such a school's stated purpose of instructing its students in the "norms" of pedagogy (teaching) and curriculum. In the U.S. and most nations they have been replaced by "teaching colleges" within a university system. Mexico is among the largest nations still maintaining "normal schools." Normal School of Lexington (below) is now Framingham State University.
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    On July 3, 1913, more than 53,000 Civil War veterans (about 8,700 of whom are Confederates) from 46 of the 48 states are gathered on the third day of the Great Reunion. It was held in and around Gettysburg and timed to the 50th anniversary of that great battle, though the invites were not limited to Gettysburg participants. Organizers were concerned that the gathering could stir "unpleasant differences", as had happened at similar gatherings of European war vets. But on this day, the vets commemorate Pickett's Charge. Union vets stood at the stone wall that in 1863 was called The Angle, the focal point of the ill-fated attack. Their Confederate counterparts staged a short walk up the hill to the wall, where they were greeted with handshakes and hugs by their former enemies. (below: panoramic view of the encampment established by the War Department for the Great Reunion)
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  6. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    On July 10, 1962, Nils Bohlin, an engineer for Sweden's Volvo Car Corporation, is issued a U.S. patent for his "3-point automobile safety belt." At the time, seat belts were not mandatory in U.S-built cars, either for installation or use; an early concern when the 2-point belt (which fit over the lap only) was introduced was that it was tantamount to the manufacturer admitting that the car wasn't safe. There were also a number of injuries attributed directly to the 2-point belt. Bohlin's design (he came over to Volvo from the aerospace industry) incorporated a second strap that crossed the chest diagonally and met with the lap strap at the buckling point. Volvo introduced it in 1959 and immediately licensed it to car manuracturers world-wide. The U.S. made seatbelts mandatory equipment in 1968. Although there are no official stats, safety experts say use of the 3-point belt, which has changed little from Bohlin's original design, has cut traffic fatalities in half. (Bohlin models his seatbelt prototype)
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    On July 10, 1985, the Rainbow Warrior, flagship of the international conservation group Greenpeace, explodes at its temporary dock in Auckland, New Zealand, killing one person. The Rainbow Warrior was being prepared to sail to French Polynesia to protest a nuclear testing site, and suspicions immediately fell on the French government. Several months later, a British newspaper published evidence that the ship fell victim to a bomb attack ordered by French President Francois Mitterand and carried out by French intelligence. An admission of guilt soon followed, the two agents who carried out the bombing were sentenced to 10 years in a New Zealand prison (they were released after one year) and several members of Mitterand's cabinet were dismissed. Nuclear testing at French Polynesia was also halted, though it resumed in 1995. The Rainbow Warrior was refloated but deemed beyond repair; it was sunk as an artificial reef off the New Zealand coast in 1987.
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  7. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    On July 11, 1979, Skylab falls from orbit and breaks up in Earth's atmosphere, scattering debris across the Indian Ocean and uninhabited areas of western Australia. There were no injuries. Launched in 1973, the 82-feet long, 77 ton Skylab was man's first successful orbiting space station, having been occupied for 177 days by 3 separate 3-man crews during its 9 months of operation. Most of that time was devoted to study of the sun. Further use of the station would have been dependent on the space shuttle program, which would also have latched on to Skylab and re-oriented its orbit. But delays to the STS program and telemetry disruptions (ironically, due to solar activity) left NASA unable to prevent Skylab's orbit from eventually decaying.
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  8. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    On July 12, 1963, 16-year old Pauline Reade is kidnapped not far from her home in Gorton, England. She was the first victim of the "Moors Murderers," Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, who met 2 years earlier. The mousy Hindley became infatuated with Brady, a self-styled Nazi who would later be diagnosed as "psychopathic." Two years into their often sado-masochistic relationship, Brady convinced Hindley they could pull off the perfect murder. Over the next two years, they would kidnap, sexually molest and murder five children between the ages of 10 and 17 - beginning with Reade - burying their bodies in an isolated region called Saddleworth Moor (below, right). Their downfall came when they allowed Hindley's brother-in-law to witness the final murder, perhaps trying to recruit him into their circle. Instead, he informed the police, and the pair were sentenced to life in prison. They helped police find three of the graves. The remains of their first victim, Reade, were not discovered until 1987, and the fifth has yet to be found. The Moors Murderers died in prison, Hindley in 2002, Brady in 2017.
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    On July 12, 1957, Dwight Eisenhower becomes the first U.S. president to ride in a helicopter. The newly-created U.S. Air Force began experimenting with the use of helicopters in 1947, but it was Eisenhower himself who proposed to the Secret Service that whirlybirds would be a good alternative to motorcades as short distance Presidential transportation. He used helicopters frequently during his second term to fly to Camp David and his home in Gettysburg, PA. The first flight was in a Bell H-13-J Sioux (top photo) with room for only the pilot, the President and a Secret Service agent, but a larger Sikorsky UH-34 became the Presidential helicopter a year later. In 1976, responsibility for flying the President by helicopter was assigned exclusively to the Marine Corps, with the aircraft designated Marine One.
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  9. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    On July 14, 1099, Christian crusaders capture the city of Jerusalem. In 1095, Pope Urban II called on Christians to reclaim the Holy Land, especially Jerusalem, from Turkish Muslim control. The First Crusade was a hodgepodge of separate forces from various Western European nationalities, many of them little more than angry mobs. But one well-armed and supplied army (mostly from the Frankish kingdoms) made its way east starting in 1096 and, after liberating Nicaea and Antioch, arrived at Jerusalem in early June of 1099. After about 6 weeks of siege, troops under Godfrey of Bouillon (below) penetrated the walls and opened the Gate of Saint Stephen, allowing the army to pour into the city. Thousands of Muslims and Jews were slaughtered. The Christian army would repel a counter-attack by Egyptian forces a month later, essentially ending the First Crusade.
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    On July 14, 2016, a Tunisian member of the terrorist Islamic State drives a cargo truck into a crowd of Bastille Day celebrants in Nice, France, killing 86 people from 19 countries. Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel (below) accomplished the attack despite heightened security, France still being officially in a state of emergency following terrorist attacks in Paris the previous November. More than 30,000 celebrants were gathered on a closed-off street at Nice's seaside for a fireworks display. Moments after the show ended, Lahouaiej-Bouhlel broke through a security barrier in the rented truck and began zig-zagging through the crowd, driving more than a mile at speeds sometimes topping 55 mph, before the truck was too damaged to go any farther. He was shot and killed by police at that point. About 430 others in the crowd were injured. In the following days, police arrested five conspirators, none of whom were previously known by French intelligence. Investigators determined the conspirators planned the attack for more than a year.
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    On July 14, 1973, the rock and roll-pioneering Everly Brothers fail to complete their farewell concert. Born in Knoxville, TN, Phil and Don Everly were discovered by country music legend Chet Atkins while still in high school in 1956. Less than a year later, their first single, "Bye Bye Love," hit number 1 on the pop charts. They would hit number 1 three more times in the late 50's. Their U.S. popularity began to wain in the 60's as the public's tastes moved away from their country/rockabilly sound, though they continued to have hits in Europe and the U.K. Both brothers battled addiction to amphetamines at some point in their career. By the early 70's their time was about done, with Don telling a reporter he was "tired of being an Everly Brother." They billed a two-show engagement July 14 at Knott's Berry Farm in California to be their final shows, but Don showed up for the first show drunk. After Don screwed up the lyrics to several songs, Phil became fed up, smashing his guitar and walking off stage. The brothers did not speak again until meeting up at their dad's funeral ten years later. In 1986, the Everly Brothers would be part of the inaugural class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Phil passed away in 2014, Don in 2021. In 2015, Rolling Stone ranked the Everly Brothers the number one Rock and Roll Duo of all time. (photo is from a reunion show some time in the 80s)
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  10. mctiger

    mctiger RIP, and thanks for the music Staff Member

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    On July 17, 1850, Harvard-based astronomer William Bond and photographer John Adams Whipple capture an image (below) of the star Vega. It is the first photo of a star other than the Sun ever taken. A little more than twice the size of the Sun, Vega is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra and is one of the most extensively studied stars in the Northern Hemisphere sky.
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    On July 17, 1918, the Cunard liner RMS Carpathia is torpedoed by a German U-boat south of Ireland. The Carpathia, famed as the ship that rescued the 706 survivors of the Titanic disaster, sank in a little under two hours (right photo). Five members of her engine room crew were killed, but the other 218 souls aboard survived. Although carrying only civilian pasengers at the time, the Carpathia had been used in troop transport several times during WWI. In 2000, American marine engineer and adventure novelist Clive Cussler announced that his deep sea exploration company NUMA had discovered the Carpathia at a depth of 500 feet.
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    On July 17, 1989, the Northrup Corporation test flies its ATB (Advanced Technology Bomber) prototype for the first time. Developed over a ten-year period in cooperation with Boeing, the plane that will become the B-2 "Spirit" bomber is the largest Stealth aircraft built to date. Its design recalls the "flying wing" bombers Northrup designed and built in the early 50's. The Spirit can carry either conventional or nuclear bombs, and is the only aircraft that can deploy large air-to-surface missiles while in stealth mode. Congress originally authorized the construction of 165 B-2's, but the end of the Cold War reduced their need, and when cost overruns skyrocketed to more than $900 million per plane, the program was halted in 2000 after the 21st plane was delivered. Twenty are still in service. The B-2 is expected to be phased out of service by 2032.
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