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Old 2019-05-04, 07:31   #122
Nick
 
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On 4 May 1945, the Nazis occupying the Netherlands surrendered, marking the end of the Second World War in this part of the world.
At 8pm (UTC+2) people stop for 2 minutes in remembrance of the victims of war.
Buses and trains stop, Dutch airspace is cleared, and we have silence.
The King lays a wreath at the Dam in Amsterdam, and there are local ceremonies throughout the country.
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Old 2019-05-04, 08:18   #123
LaurV
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May the 4th be with you all !


And happy cinco for tomorrow.
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Old 2019-05-04, 09:45   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurV View Post
May the 4th be with you all !
[...]
with a nod to Uncwilly, I hope.
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Old 2019-05-04, 13:10   #125
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May 4

On this day...

In 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago, a labor demonstration for an 8-hour work day turned into a deadly riot when a bomb exploded.

From the Encyclopedia of Chicago page Haymarket and May Day:
Quote:
On May 1, 1886, Chicago unionists, reformers, socialists, anarchists, and ordinary workers combined to make the city the center of the national movement for an eight-hour day.
<snip>
The crowd gathered on the evening of May 4 on Des Plaines Street, just north of Randolph, was peaceful, and Mayor Carter H. Harrison, who attended, instructed police not to disturb the meeting. But when one speaker urged the dwindling crowd to “throttle” the law, 176 officers under Inspector John Bonfield marched to the meeting and ordered it to disperse.

Then someone hurled a bomb at the police, killing one officer instantly. Police drew guns, firing wildly. Sixty officers were injured, and eight died; an undetermined number of the crowd were killed or wounded.

The Haymarket bomb seemed to confirm the worst fears of business leaders and others anxious about the growing labor movement and radical influence in it. Mayor Harrison quickly banned meetings and processions. Police made picketing impossible and suppressed the radical press. Chicago newspapers publicized unsubstantiated police theories of anarchist conspiracies, and they published attacks on the foreign-born and calls for revenge, matching the anarchists in inflammatory language. The violence demoralized strikers, and only a few well-organized strikes continued.

Police arrested hundreds of people, but never determined the identity of the bomb thrower. Amidst public clamor for revenge, however, eight anarchists, including prominent speakers and writers, were tried for murder. The partisan Judge Joseph E. Gary conducted the trial, and all 12 jurors acknowledged prejudice against the defendants. Lacking credible evidence that the defendants threw the bomb or organized the bomb throwing, prosecutors focused on their writings and speeches. The jury, instructed to adopt a conspiracy theory without legal precedent, convicted all eight. Seven were sentenced to death. The trial is now considered one of the worst miscarriages of justice in American history.
Many Americans were outraged at the verdicts, but legal appeals failed. Two death sentences were commuted, but on November 11, 1887, four defendants were hanged in the Cook County jail; one committed suicide. Hundreds of thousands turned out for the funeral procession of the five dead men. In 1893, Governor John Peter Altgeld granted the three imprisoned defendants absolute pardon, citing the lack of evidence against them and the unfairness of the trial.
Governor Altgeld knew that, by pardoning these men, he was signing his own political death warrant. The text of his pardon statement may be read here. The page contains an excerpt from Clarence Darrow's speech at Governor Altgeld's funeral:
Quote:
...Elected by the greatest personal triumph of any Governor ever chosen by a State, he fearlessly and knowingly bared his devoted head to the fiercest, most vindictive criticism ever heaped upon a public man, because he loved justice and dared to do the right.

In the days now past, John P. Altgeld, our loving chief, in scorn and derision was called John Pardon Altgeld by those who would destroy his power. We who stand today around his bier and mourn the brave and loving friend are glad to adopt this name. If, in the infinite economy of nature, there shall be another land where crooked paths shall be made straight, where heaven's justice shall review the judgments of the earth -- if there shall be a great, wise, humane judge, before whom the sons of men shall come, we can hope for nothing better for ourselves than to pass into that infinite presence as the comrades and friends of John Pardon Altgeld, who opened the prison doors and set the captive free.

Even admirers have seldom understood the real character of this great human man. These were sometimes wont to feel that the fierce bitterness of the world that assailed him fell on deaf ears and an unresponsive soul. They did not know the man, and they do not feel the subtleties of human life. It was not a callous heart that so often led him to brave the most violent and malicious hate; it was not a callous heart, it was a devoted soul. He so loved justice and truth and liberty and righteousness that all the terrors that the earth could hold were less than the condemnation of his own conscience for an act that was cowardly or mean....

-- Address of Clarence Darrow at the Funeral of John P. Altgeld (Friday, March 14, 1902)
Governor Altgeld has at least one public building named for him, the building housing the Department of Mathematics at the University of Illinois (UIUC).
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Old 2019-05-04, 19:15   #126
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A few other May 4 happenings:

o 1415 Religious reformers John Wycliffe and Jan Hus are condemned as heretics at the Council of Constance

o 1471 Battle of Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, final battle between the Houses of Lancaster and York: Prince of Wales, Edward of Westminster killed and King Edward IV restored to his throne. Re-restores political stability to England until his death in 1483 -- All that warring bought a mere decade-or-so of stability.

o 1896 1st edition of London Daily Mail (halfpenny)

o 1904 Construction begins by the United States on the Panama Canal

o 1916 Ned Daly, Willie Pearse, Michael O'Hanrahan and Joseph Plunkett are executed by British authorities following the Easter Rising, at Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin

o 1931 Mustafa Kemal Pasja becomes Turkish president -- attaboy, Atatürk!

o 1945 German forces in Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands surrender unconditionally to British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery at Luneburg Heath; German forces in Bavaria surrender unconditionally to American commander Jacob L. Devers

o 1970 National Guard kills 4 Vietnam war protesters at Kent State in Ohio

o 1979 Margaret Thatcher becomes the first woman to be elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom -- Together with Reagan on the US side of the Atlantic, Ms. "There is no such thing as society" ushered in 4 decades of neoliberal economics, marked by union-smashing, deregulation, corporate welfare, upward welath transfer, rampant financialization, elite looting and privatizion of common-pool resources. And neocon foreign policy as a bonus!

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Old 2019-05-05, 07:28   #127
petrw1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurV View Post
May the 4th be with you all !


And happy cinco for tomorrow.
If you are a Mexican Star Wars fan you will be celebrating May the 4th be with you and Cinco De Mayo back to back. God help you the next morning: Revenge of the Sixth.
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Old 2019-05-05, 13:01   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petrw1 View Post
If you are a Mexican Star Wars fan you will be celebrating May the 4th be with you and Cinco De Mayo back to back. God help you the next morning: Revenge of the Sixth.
May 4, 2019, being the first Saturday in May, was also Derby Day, as reflected in illuminated highway signs.

And, on to history!

May 5

On this day...

On May 5, 1821, Napoleon Bonaparte, 51, died in exile on the island of St. Helena.

From The story of Napoleon's exile on St Helena - Historic UK
Quote:
Imagine Napoleon’s dismay when he realised he was not being banished to America as he anticipated, but to the remote island of St. Helena in the mid-Atlantic instead. Located 1,200 miles from the nearest landmass off the west coast of Africa, St. Helena was the ideal choice for Napeoleon's exile; after all, the last thing the British wanted was a repeat of Elba!

Napoleon arrived in St. Helena on 15th October 1815, after ten weeks at sea on board the HMS Northumberland.

William Balcombe, employee of the East India Company and one-time family friend of the French emperor, put Napoleon up at Briars Pavilion when he first arrived on the island. However a few months later in December 1815, the emperor was moved to nearby Longwood House, a property said to have been particularly cold, uninviting and infested with rats.
<snip>
Today Longwood House is considered to be the most poignant and atmospheric of all the Napoleonic Museums, as it is preserved with its original furniture from 1821, complemented by over 900 artifacts. Thanks to the island’s Honorary French Consul, Michel Dancoisne-Martineau, with the support of the Fondation Napoleon and over 2000 donators, visitors to Longwood House can now also view an exact replica of the room where Napoleon died on 5th May 1821.
Napoleon was not the only famous resident of the island. An earlier resident, not yet famous, and there by choice, was Edmund Halley, who there compiled Edmond Halley’s southern star catalogue.
Quote:
In February 1677 Edmond Halley (1656–1742), a 20-year-old Oxford student, arrived on the British-owned island of St Helena in the south Atlantic to survey the southern stars.
<snip>
His instruments were excellent and he was skilled in using them, having observed with Flamsteed while at Oxford. But in other ways he was under-prepared. He had no clear idea of the terrain of St Helena or its climate. As it turned out, the weather on the island was far cloudier than he had hoped, allowing no more than an hour’s observing per night. Even when it was clear, he complained that his instruments and notebook rapidly became soaked with dew.
May 5 seems to be an inauspicious day for the French.

In 1862, Mexicantroops defeated French occupying forces in the Battle of Puebla.

From Outnumbered Mexican army defeats French at Battle of Puebla,
Quote:
In 1861, Benito Juarez became president of Mexico, a country in financial ruin, and he was forced to default on his debts to European governments. In response, France, Britain, and Spain sent naval forces to Veracruz to demand reimbursement.

Britain and Spain negotiated with Mexico and withdrew, but France, ruled by Napoleon III, decided to use the opportunity to carve a dependent empire out of Mexican territory. Late in 1861, a well-armed French fleet stormed Veracruz, landing a large French force and driving President Juarez and his government into retreat.

Certain that French victory would come swiftly in Mexico, 6,000 French troops under General Charles de Lorencez set out in May, 1862, to attack Puebla de Los Angeles. From his new headquarters in the north, Juarez rounded up a ragtag force of loyal men and sent them to Puebla.
<snip>
Though not a major strategic victory in the overall war against the French, Zaragoza’s victory at Puebla galvanized Mexican resistance, and six years later France withdrew. Later that same year, Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, who had been installed as emperor of Mexico by Napoleon in 1864, was captured and executed by a firing squad.
Happy Cinco de Mayo!


In 1925, schoolteacher John T. Scopes was charged in Tennessee with violating a state law that prohibited teaching the theory of evolution. (Scopes was found guilty, but his conviction was later set aside.)
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Old 2019-05-05, 20:14   #129
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Seeing as V-E day (May 8) and Cinco de Mayo are in close proximity, it is interesting to note the common theme in the rise to power of Hitler and the (eventual) victory of the anticolonialist movement in Mexico - both involved nations condemned to debt serfdom by foreign powers. Nowadays the IMF and World Bank busily continue such efforts.

Other May 5 notable events:

o 1260 Kublai Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan, becomes ruler of the Mongol Empire - for history buffs, I highly recommend Jack Weatherford's books on the Mongols

o 1494 On 2nd voyage to New World Christopher Columbus sights Jamaica, landing at Discovery Bay

o 1865 1st US train robbery (North Bend, Ohio)

o 1891 Music Hall (Carnegie Hall) opens in New York, Tchaikovsky is guest conductor

o 1893 Panic of 1893 causes a large crash on the NY Stock Exchange - An inflexible gold standard coupled with an experimental secondary silver market created to subsidize Western silver mining interests, overleveraged railroads and commodities speculators in South America, and no government backstop of bank deposits, oh my.

o 1920 US President Woodrow Wilson makes Communist Labor Party illegal -- Wilson, widely and dubiously touted as a great progressive president, was also the bankers' best friend, and purged blacks from the civil service, between celebratory White House screenings of Birth of a Nation.

o 1936 Edward Ravenscroft patents screw-on bottle cap with a pour lip -- they've been busy downsizing them ever since, god how I miss the 1L widemouth Aquafina bottles, I used to buy one and use it for months as an easy-to-refill lightweight and indestructible carry-around water bottle.

o 1941 First modern perfume Chanel No. 5 released by fashion designer Coco Chanel -- So what became of Nos 1-4?

o 1945 World War II: Admiral Karl Dönitz, leader of Germany after Hitler's death, orders all U-boats to cease offensive operations and return to their bases

o 1954 Military coup in Paraguay led by general Alfredo Stroessner -- Wikipedia tells the familiar tale: "A staunch anti-communist, Stroessner had the backing of the United States for most of his time in power. His supporters packed the legislature and ran the courts, and he ruthlessly suppressed all opposition. He kept his country in what he called a constant "state of siege" that overruled civil liberties, enforced a cult of personality, and tortured and killed political opponents ... Paraguay enjoyed close military and economic ties with the United States and supported US invasion of the Dominican Republic. The Stroessner regime even offered to send troops to Vietnam alongside the Americans. The United States played a "critical supporting role" in the domestic affairs of Stoessner's Paraguay. Between 1962 and 1975 the US provided $146 million to Paraguay's military government and Paraguayan officers were trained at the US Army School of the Americas."

o 1955 West Germany is granted full sovereignty by its three occupying powers

o 1961 Alan Shepard becomes 1st American in space (aboard Freedom 7)

o 1965 First large-scale US Army ground units arrive in South Vietnam

o 1973 99th Kentucky Derby: Ron Turcotte aboard Secretariat wins in 1:59.4 - this remains the fastest Kentucky Derby winning time ever, more than a half-second faster than #2, and nearly five sconds [!] faster than the winning time of 2018 Derby and eventual Triple Crown winner Justify. Secretariat in fact still holds the track records for all 3 TC races. It is speculated but unproven that a genetic quirk may be involved. Wikipedia: "At the time of Secretariat's death, the veterinarian who performed the necropsy, Dr. Thomas Swerczek, head pathologist at the University of Kentucky, did not weigh Secretariat's heart, but stated, "We just stood there in stunned silence. We couldn't believe it. The heart was perfect. There were no problems with it. It was just this huge engine." Later, Swerczek also performed a necropsy on Sham, who died in 1993. Swerczek did weigh Sham's heart, and it was 18 pounds (8.2 kg). Based on Sham's measurement, and having necropsied both horses, he estimated Secretariat's heart probably weighed 22 pounds (10.0 kg), or about 2.5 times that of the average horse ... An extremely large heart is a trait that occasionally occurs in Thoroughbreds, hypothesized to be linked to a genetic condition, called the "x-factor", passed down in specific inheritance patterns. The x-factor can be traced to the historic racehorse Eclipse, who was necropsied after his death in 1789. Because Eclipse's heart appeared to be much larger than the hearts of other horses, it was weighed, and found to be 14 pounds (6.4 kg), almost twice the normal weight. Eclipse is believed to have passed the trait on via his daughters, and pedigree research verified that Secretariat traces his dam line to a daughter of Eclipse. Secretariat's success as a broodmare sire has been linked by some to this large heart theory. However, it has not been proven whether the x-factor exists, let alone if it contributes to athletic ability."

o 1979 Voyager 1 passes Jupiter

o 1981 After 66 days on hunger strike, 26 year old Provisional IRA member and British MP Bobby Sands dies in the Maze Prision. Nine more hunger strikers die in the next 3 months.

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Old 2019-05-06, 02:47   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian-E View Post
with a nod to Uncwilly, I hope.
That for sure!
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Old 2019-05-06, 20:31   #131
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May 6:
o 1527 Spanish & German Imperial troops sack Rome; ending Renaissance
o 1541 King Henry VIII orders a bible in English be placed in every church in England - this nearly 6 years to the day after Henry had five Carthusian monks from London Charterhouse monastery hung, drawn and quartered at Tyburn, London, for refusing to acknowledge him as head of the Church of England. When ol' Hanky-Panky wanted something done, he didn't mess around.
o 1626 Dutch colonist Peter Minuit organizes the purchase of Manhattan Island from Native Americans for 60 guilders worth of goods, believed to have been Canarsee Indians of the Lenape -- I would've held out for at least 100.
o 1682 Louis XIV of France moves his court to Versailles
o 1753 French King Louis XV observes transit of Mercury at Mendon Castle -- Hmm, the transit time and perihelion seem just a bit off from what the astronomers predicted ... must be my !^$@! watch.
o 1794 Haiti, under Toussaint L'Ouverture, revolts against France
o 1837 John Deere creates the first steel plough -- The whole beating-swords-into-plowshares things is a lot easier in bronze, apparently. The company Deere founded is now a notorious offender in the "you can't fix this yourself" rent-extraction business.
o 1851 Dr John Gorrie patents a "refrigeration machine" -- cool!
o 1851 Linus Yale patents Yale lock -- ...and immediately misplaces the key the first of same.
o 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act: US Congress ceases Chinese immigration -- we brought 'em here to work for slave wages, not breed!
o 1882 Epping Forest, England, dedicated by Queen Victoria -- not to be confused with the much older Effing Forest, the one no one can see for the trees.
o 1889 Exposition Universelle (World's Fair) in Paris opens with the recently completed Eiffel Tower serving as the entrance arch -- And oh how the Parisians of the time hated Le Tour Eiffel.
o 1896 Samuel Pierpont Langley flies his unpiloted Number 5 aircraft using a catapult launch from a boat on the Potomac River, USA. The aircraft travels almost 3/4 of a mile - ten times further than any previous heavier-than-air flying machine. -- They later named a NASA research facility after him.
o 1903 Chicago White Sox commit 12 errors against Detroit Tigers -- That must've been some party the night before.
o 1906 Tsar Nicolas II of Russia claims right to legislate by decree and restricts the power of the Duma (Russian Parliament) -- The word "ukase" is from the Russian, after all.
o 1919 Paris Peace Conference disposes of German colonies; German East Africa is assigned to Britain and France, German South West Africa to South Africa -- Carve up those maps!
o 1937 German airship Hindenburg explodes in flames at Lakehurst, NJ (36 die) -- Amazingly, 62 of the 97 passengers & crew survived. Underreported is that a US Helium embargo forced the Germans to use hydrogen instead. Despite the many precautions the engineers took to make the H2 containment as safe as possible, catastrophe was unavoidably built in.
o 1940 Pulitzer prize awarded to John Steinbeck for "The Grapes of Wrath"
o 1941 Joseph Stalin becomes Premier of the Soviet Union
o 1942 Corregidor & Philippines surrender to Japanese Armies -- this was 8 weeks after MacArthur's "I shall return" escape from the Phiippines ... he did indeed eventually return, but some very bad things happened to the forces which were left behind.
o 1954 Roger Bannister of the UK becomes the 1st person to run a 4 minute mile, recording 3:59:4 at Iffley Road, Oxford
o 1955 West Germany joins NATO
o 1957 Last broadcast of "I Love Lucy" on CBS-TV
o 1960 US President Eisenhower signs Civil Rights Act of 1960 -- The US Civil War didn't really end until the civil rights era several years later.
o 1974 West German Chancellor Willy Brandt resigns amidst controversy over his aide Günter Guillaume's ties with the Stasi (East German secret service)

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Old 2019-05-06, 23:20   #132
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Soon wikipedia will come here to mine "This Day in History" data.
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