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Author Topic: This Day in History Thread.........  (Read 83235 times)
Shizzo
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« Reply #50 on: August 20, 2013, 01:16:07 AM »

Aug 20, 1911


First around-the-world telegram sent, 66 years before Voyager II launch
   
 

On this day in 1911, a dispatcher in the New York Times office sends the first telegram around the world via commercial service. Exactly 66 years later, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sends a different kind of message--a phonograph record containing information about Earth for extraterrestrial beings--shooting into space aboard the unmanned spacecraft Voyager II.

The Times decided to send its 1911 telegram in order to determine how fast a commercial message could be sent around the world by telegraph cable. The message, reading simply "This message sent around the world," left the dispatch room on the 17th floor of the Times building in New York at 7 p.m. on August 20. After it traveled more than 28,000 miles, being relayed by 16 different operators, through San Francisco, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Saigon, Singapore, Bombay, Malta, Lisbon and the Azores--among other locations--the reply was received by the same operator 16.5 minutes later. It was the fastest time achieved by a commercial cablegram since the opening of the Pacific cable in 1900 by the Commercial Cable Company.

On August 20, 1977, a NASA rocket launched Voyager II, an unmanned 1,820-pound spacecraft, from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It was the first of two such crafts to be launched that year on a "Grand Tour" of the outer planets, organized to coincide with a rare alignment of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Aboard Voyager II was a 12-inch copper phonograph record called "Sounds of Earth." Intended as a kind of introductory time capsule, the record included greetings in 60 languages and scientific information about Earth and the human race, along with classical, jazz and rock 'n' roll music, nature sounds like thunder and surf, and recorded messages from President Jimmy Carter and other world leaders.

The brainchild of astronomer Carl Sagan, the record was sent with Voyager II and its twin craft, Voyager I--launched just two weeks later--in the faint hope that it might one day be discovered by extraterrestrial creatures. The record was sealed in an aluminum jacket that would keep it intact for 1 billion years, along with instructions on how to play the record, with a cartridge and needle provided.

More importantly, the two Voyager crafts were designed to explore the outer solar system and send information and photographs of the distant planets to Earth. Over the next 12 years, the mission proved a smashing success. After both crafts flew by Jupiter and Saturn, Voyager I went flying off towards the solar system's edge while Voyager II visited Uranus, Neptune and finally Pluto in 1990 before sailing off to join its twin in the outer solar system.

Thanks to the Voyager program, NASA scientists gained a wealth of information about the outer planets, including close-up photographs of Saturn's seven rings; evidence of active geysers and volcanoes exploding on some of the four planets' 22 moons; winds of more than 1,500 mph on Neptune; and measurements of the magnetic fields on Uranus and Neptune. The two crafts are expected to continue sending data until 2020, or until their plutonium-based power sources run out. After that, they will continue to sail on through the galaxy for millions of years to come, barring some unexpected collision.
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« Reply #51 on: August 21, 2013, 01:23:34 AM »

Aug 21, 1959


Hawaii becomes 50th state
   
 

The modern United States receives its crowning star when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs a proclamation admitting Hawaii into the Union as the 50th state. The president also issued an order for an American flag featuring 50 stars arranged in staggered rows: five six-star rows and four five-star rows. The new flag became official July 4, 1960.

The first known settlers of the Hawaiian Islands were Polynesian voyagers who arrived sometime in the eighth century. In the early 18th century, American traders came to Hawaii to exploit the islands' sandalwood, which was much valued in China at the time. In the 1830s, the sugar industry was introduced to Hawaii and by the mid 19th century had become well established. American missionaries and planters brought about great changes in Hawaiian political, cultural, economic, and religious life. In 1840, a constitutional monarchy was established, stripping the Hawaiian monarch of much of his authority.

In 1893, a group of American expatriates and sugar planters supported by a division of U.S. Marines deposed Queen Liliuokalani, the last reigning monarch of Hawaii. One year later, the Republic of Hawaii was established as a U.S. protectorate with Hawaiian-born Sanford B. Dole as president. Many in Congress opposed the formal annexation of Hawaii, and it was not until 1898, following the use of the naval base at Pearl Harbor during the Spanish-American War, that Hawaii's strategic importance became evident and formal annexation was approved. Two years later, Hawaii was organized into a formal U.S. territory. During World War II, Hawaii became firmly ensconced in the American national identity following the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

In March 1959, the U.S. government approved statehood for Hawaii, and in June the Hawaiian people voted by a wide majority to accept admittance into the United States. Two months later, Hawaii officially became the 50th state.
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« Reply #52 on: August 22, 2013, 01:24:44 AM »

Aug 22, 1992


Hurricane Andrew pounds Bahamas
   
 

Hurricane Andrew hits the Bahamas on this day in 1992. There and in South Florida, where it arrived two days later, the storm was responsible for the deaths of 26 people and an estimated $35 billion in property damage. Hurricane Andrew was so concentrated that it resembled a tornado in its effects.

On August 15, Andrew formed near Cape Verde in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. It then moved west, attaining hurricane status about 800 miles east of Miami. It was a Category 4 storm when it hit Eleutherea Island in the Bahamas, causing a 23-foot storm surge that devastated nearby Current Island. Andrew then moved due west toward Florida. With a very small diameter, it covered distances faster than most hurricanes. South Florida is vulnerable to hurricanes--as well as being in the likely path of many storms, it is only about 20 feet above sea level.

In the early morning of August 24, Andrew came ashore at Florida City, about 20 miles south of Miami. It had winds of 140 mph with gusts up to 212 mph. Rain was not a big factor in the storm, since it was moving very quickly and had a relatively compact punch, but it was still incredibly destructive. In Kendall and Homestead, Andrew uprooted every tree and destroyed 90 percent of the towns' homes. The Homestead Air Base was also demolished and all of Dade County lost its electricity. There were reports of trucks being thrown through the air and steel beams flying 150 feet. The 210-ton freighter Seaward Explorer lost its anchor and was carried over the entire landmass of Elliot Key.

In all, 25,000 homes, 8,000 businesses and 15,000 boats were lost to Hurricane Andrew. Even zoo animals were killed or pushed out of their homes. There was extensive reef damage and approximately $1 billion worth of crop losses. It took only 4 hours for Andrew to clear Florida and reach the Gulf of Mexico. Once there, it continued on to Louisiana, but, by that time, had lost considerable strength. Still, it spawned several tornadoes and retained hurricane status until August 26, when it was downgraded to a tropical storm.

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« Reply #53 on: August 23, 2013, 01:19:40 AM »

Aug 23, 1989


Pete Rose gets booted from baseball
   
 

On this day in 1989, as punishment for betting on baseball, Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose accepts a settlement that includes a lifetime ban from the game. A heated debate continues to rage as to whether Rose, a former player who remains the game’s all-time hits leader, should be given a second chance.


Although gambling on a sport you play or coach is now considered unacceptable in nearly all levels of sport, it was relatively common among those connected with baseball in the early 20th century. Some of baseball’s most talented and well-known players, such as "Turkey" Mike Donlin and Hal Chase, as well as manager John McGraw, who publicly won $400 dollars when his New York Giants won the World Series in 1905, were often suspected of gambling on their own games. Chase was considered a dangerous man to have on a team because of his willingness to make extra money by dropping fly balls or misplaying first base. This all changed, however, after the White Sox purposefully lost the World Series in 1919 for a payoff from gambler Arnold Rothstein. Outraged, a group of baseball’s faithful--including American League Commissioner Ban Johnson, former player and manager Christy Matthewson and White Sox owner Charles Comiskey, among others--made it a priority to clean up the game and repair its reputation. Kenesaw Mountain Landis, a former federal judge, was hired as Major League Baseball’s first commissioner to crack down on corruption.


One of Landis’ first moves was to ban eight White Sox players found to be involved in the World Series betting scandal from the game for life, including Chase and "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, one of the greatest players in baseball history. Major League Baseball Rule 21(d) now states that a player faces a ban of one year for betting on any baseball game, and a lifetime ban for betting on his own team. In addition, signs posted prominently in every clubhouse remind players that gambling is not permitted.


It was known in baseball circles since the 1970s that Pete Rose had a gambling problem. Although at first he bet only on horse races and football games, allegations surfaced in early 1989 that Rose was not only betting on baseball, but on his own team. Major League Baseball Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti began an inquiry, and hired Washington lawyer John Dowd to head the investigation. Dowd compiled hundreds of hours of testimony from numerous sources that detailed Rose’s history of gambling on baseball while serving as the manager of the Cincinnati Reds, including betting on his own team.


Although Rose continued to proclaim his innocence, he was eventually persuaded to accept a settlement that included a lifetime ban from the game. At a subsequent press conference, Giamatti characterized Rose’s acceptance of the ban as a no-contest plea to the charges against him.


In 2004, after years of repeated denials, Rose published My Prison Without Bars, in which he finally confessed to gambling on the Reds, though he added that had always bet on the Reds to win. Because of the lifetime ban, Rose cannot work in Major League Baseball and, despite his stellar playing career, he is not eligible for the Hall of Fame.
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« Reply #54 on: August 24, 2013, 04:06:52 AM »

Aug 24, 79


Vesuvius erupts
   
 

After centuries of dormancy, Mount Vesuvius erupts in southern Italy, devastating the prosperous Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum and killing thousands. The cities, buried under a thick layer of volcanic material and mud, were never rebuilt and largely forgotten in the course of history. In the 18th century, Pompeii and Herculaneum were rediscovered and excavated, providing an unprecedented archaeological record of the everyday life of an ancient civilization, startlingly preserved in sudden death.

The ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum thrived near the base of Mount Vesuvius at the Bay of Naples. In the time of the early Roman Empire, 20,000 people lived in Pompeii, including merchants, manufacturers, and farmers who exploited the rich soil of the region with numerous vineyards and orchards. None suspected that the black fertile earth was the legacy of earlier eruptions of Mount Vesuvius. Herculaneum was a city of 5,000 and a favorite summer destination for rich Romans. Named for the mythic hero Hercules, Herculaneum housed opulent villas and grand Roman baths. Gambling artifacts found in Herculaneum and a brothel unearthed in Pompeii attest to the decadent nature of the cities. There were smaller resort communities in the area as well, such as the quiet little town of Stabiae.

At noon on August 24, 79 A.D., this pleasure and prosperity came to an end when the peak of Mount Vesuvius exploded, propelling a 10-mile mushroom cloud of ash and pumice into the stratosphere. For the next 12 hours, volcanic ash and a hail of pumice stones up to 3 inches in diameter showered Pompeii, forcing the city's occupants to flee in terror. Some 2,000 people stayed in Pompeii, holed up in cellars or stone structures, hoping to wait out the eruption.

A westerly wind protected Herculaneum from the initial stage of the eruption, but then a giant cloud of hot ash and gas surged down the western flank of Vesuvius, engulfing the city and burning or asphyxiating all who remained. This lethal cloud was followed by a flood of volcanic mud and rock, burying the city.

The people who remained in Pompeii were killed on the morning of August 25 when a cloud of toxic gas poured into the city, suffocating all that remained. A flow of rock and ash followed, collapsing roofs and walls and burying the dead.

Much of what we know about the eruption comes from an account by Pliny the Younger, who was staying west along the Bay of Naples when Vesuvius exploded. In two letters to the historian Tacitus, he told of how "people covered their heads with pillows, the only defense against a shower of stones," and of how "a dark and horrible cloud charged with combustible matter suddenly broke and set forth. Some bewailed their own fate. Others prayed to die." Pliny, only 17 at the time, escaped the catastrophe and later became a noted Roman writer and administrator. His uncle, Pliny the Elder, was less lucky. Pliny the Elder, a celebrated naturalist, at the time of the eruption was the commander of the Roman fleet in the Bay of Naples. After Vesuvius exploded, he took his boats across the bay to Stabiae, to investigate the eruption and reassure terrified citizens. After going ashore, he was overcome by toxic gas and died.

According to Pliny the Younger's account, the eruption lasted 18 hours. Pompeii was buried under 14 to 17 feet of ash and pumice, and the nearby seacoast was drastically changed. Herculaneum was buried under more than 60 feet of mud and volcanic material. Some residents of Pompeii later returned to dig out their destroyed homes and salvage their valuables, but many treasures were left and then forgotten.

In the 18th century, a well digger unearthed a marble statue on the site of Herculaneum. The local government excavated some other valuable art objects, but the project was abandoned. In 1748, a farmer found traces of Pompeii beneath his vineyard. Since then, excavations have gone on nearly without interruption until the present. In 1927, the Italian government resumed the excavation of Herculaneum, retrieving numerous art treasures, including bronze and marble statues and paintings.

The remains of 2,000 men, women, and children were found at Pompeii. After perishing from asphyxiation, their bodies were covered with ash that hardened and preserved the outline of their bodies. Later, their bodies decomposed to skeletal remains, leaving a kind of plaster mold behind. Archaeologists who found these molds filled the hollows with plaster, revealing in grim detail the death pose of the victims of Vesuvius. The rest of the city is likewise frozen in time, and ordinary objects that tell the story of everyday life in Pompeii are as valuable to archaeologists as the great unearthed statues and frescoes. It was not until 1982 that the first human remains were found at Herculaneum, and these hundreds of skeletons bear ghastly burn marks that testifies to horrifying deaths.

Today, Mount Vesuvius is the only active volcano on the European mainland. Its last eruption was in 1944 and its last major eruption was in 1631. Another eruption is expected in the near future, would could be devastating for the 700,000 people who live in the "death zones" around Vesuvius.
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« Reply #55 on: August 25, 2013, 04:51:34 AM »

Aug 25, 325


Council of Nicaea concludes
 


The Council of Nicaea, the first ecumenical debate held by the early Christian church, concludes with the establishment of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Convened by Roman Emperor Constantine I in May, the council also deemed the Arian belief of Christ as inferior to God as heretical, thus resolving an early church crisis.

The controversy began when Arius, an Alexandrian priest, questioned the full divinity of Christ because, unlike God, Christ was born and had a beginning. What began as an academic theological debate spread to Christian congregations throughout the empire, threatening a schism in the early Christian church. Roman Emperor Constantine I, who converted to Christianity in 312, called bishops from all over his empire to resolve the crisis and urged the adoption of a new creed that would resolve the ambiguities between Christ and God.

Meeting at Nicaea in present-day Turkey, the council established the equality of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in the Holy Trinity and asserted that only the Son became incarnate as Jesus Christ. The Arian leaders were subsequently banished from their churches for heresy. The Emperor Constantine presided over the opening of the council and contributed to the discussion.
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« Reply #56 on: August 26, 2013, 03:49:00 AM »

Aug 26, 1939


First televised Major League baseball game
   
 

On this day in 1939, the first televised Major League baseball game is broadcast on station W2XBS, the station that was to become WNBC-TV. Announcer Red Barber called the game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, New York.

At the time, television was still in its infancy. Regular programming did not yet exist, and very few people owned television sets--there were only about 400 in the New York area. Not until 1946 did regular network broadcasting catch on in the United States, and only in the mid-1950s did television sets become more common in the American household.

In 1939, the World's Fair--which was being held in New York--became the catalyst for the historic broadcast. The television was one of fair’s prize exhibits, and organizers believed that the Dodgers-Reds doubleheader on August 26 was the perfect event to showcase America's grasp on the new technology.

By today's standards, the video coverage was somewhat crude. There were only two stationary camera angles: The first was placed down the third base line to pick up infield throws to first, and the second was placed high above home plate to get an extensive view of the field. It was also difficult to capture fast-moving plays: Swinging bats looked like paper fans, and the ball was all but invisible during pitches and hits.

Nevertheless, the experiment was a success, driving interest in the development of television technology, particularly for sporting events. Though baseball owners were initially concerned that televising baseball would sap actual attendance, they soon warmed to the idea, and the possibilities for revenue generation that came with increased exposure of the game, including the sale of rights to air certain teams or games and television advertising.

Today, televised sports is a multi-billion dollar industry, with technology that gives viewers an astounding amount of visual and audio detail. Cameras are now so precise that they can capture the way a ball changes shape when struck by a bat, and athletes are wired to pick up field-level and sideline conversation.

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Pan Germanism, Pax Britannica


« Reply #57 on: August 26, 2013, 05:46:27 AM »

Keep em coming Shizz, I really enjoy these.
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« Reply #58 on: August 26, 2013, 06:05:14 AM »

Keep em coming Shizz, I really enjoy these.
Appreciate it. I know it gives people a little something to read each morning. Like a newspaper column you can look forward to.  Wink
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« Reply #59 on: August 26, 2013, 09:24:02 AM »

Prohibition started in 1919 the USA.  Moonshiner's in the Blue Ridge Mountains made stills to get them and drink and sale it. Thats how Junior Johnson learned to drive race cars escaping law enforcement with moonshine in the trunk.
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« Reply #60 on: August 26, 2013, 09:28:58 AM »

Prohibition started in 1919 the USA.  Moonshiner's in the Blue Ridge Mountains made stills to get them and drink and sale it. Thats how Junior Johnson learned to drive race cars escaping law enforcement with moonshine in the trunk.
Awesome. I encourage people to add things to this thread. Just make sure it happened on the day that you post  Wink
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« Reply #61 on: August 26, 2013, 10:03:51 PM »

Awesome. I encourage people to add things to this thread. Just make sure it happened on the day that you post  Wink
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6rhSUF_Cjo" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6rhSUF_Cjo</a>
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« Reply #62 on: August 27, 2013, 01:16:05 AM »

Aug 27, 2007


NFL star Michael Vick pleads guilty in dogfighting case
   
 

On this day in 2007, Michael Vick, a star quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, formally pleads guilty before a Richmond, Virginia, judge to a federal felony charge related to running a dogfighting ring. That December, the 27-year-old Vick, once the highest-paid player in the NFL, was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison.

In April 2007, law-enforcement officials raided a 15-acre property owned by Vick in rural Surry County, Virginia, and discovered dozens of pit bulls, some of them neglected, along with evidence of illegal dogfighting activities. That July, Vick and three other men, Purnell Peace, Quanis Phillips and Tony Taylor, were charged with engaging in competitive dogfighting, obtaining and training pit bulls for fighting, and carrying out the enterprise across state lines. All four men pled not guilty to the charges. However, Vick’s three co-defendants later changed their pleas to guilty and agreed to testify that the quarterback had participated in the execution of a number of dogs and had bankrolled the gambling and operating funds for the venture, known as Bad Newz Kennels, which had reportedly been in existence for about five years. Animal-rights organizations as well as the general public expressed outrage against Vick and the barbaric details of the case—dogs that underperformed in fights were put to death by such means as drowning, electrocution and hanging.

On August 27, Vick, the Falcons’ starting quarterback since 2002, pled guilty to one count of "conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture." Vick, who in 2004 signed a record 10-year, $130 million contract with the Falcons, was suspended indefinitely without pay by the NFL and lost his lucrative endorsement deals.

In December 2007, a judge sentenced Vick to 23 months in federal prison. Because the judge believed the football player had refused to accept responsibility for his actions (Vick failed a drug test after his August 2007 guilty plea and also flunked a lie-detector test about his role in the executions of underperforming dogs), the sentence was stiffer than the 12 months to 18 months suggested by federal guidelines. In July 2008, while in prison, Vick filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. That November, he pled guilty in Virginia to state dogfighting charges and received a three-year suspended sentence.

In May 2009, Vick was released from prison in Leavenworth, Kansas. That July, he was conditionally reinstated by the NFL and the following month signed a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. While his public image remained tarnished, Vick went on to make a strong comeback on the football field
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« Reply #63 on: August 28, 2013, 01:19:18 AM »

Aug 28, 1879


Zulu king captured
   
 

King Cetshwayo, the last great ruler of Zululand, is captured by the British following his defeat in the British-Zulu War. He was subsequently sent into exile. Cetshwayo's defiance of British rule in southern Africa led to Britain's invasion of Zululand in 1879.

In 1843, Britain succeeded the Boers as the rulers of Natal, which controlled Zululand, the neighboring kingdom of the Zulu people. Boers, also known as Afrikaners, were the descendants of the original Dutch settlers who came to South Africa in the 17th century. Zulus, a migrant people from the north, also came to southern Africa during the 17th century, settling around the Tugela River region. In 1838, the Boers, migrating north to elude the new British dominions in the south, first came into armed conflict with the Zulus, who were under the rule of King Dingane at the time. The European migrants succeeded in overthrowing Dingane in 1840, replacing him with his son Mpande, who became a vassal of the new Boer republic of Natal. In 1843, the British took over Natal and Zululand.

In 1872, King Mpande died and was succeeded by his son Cetshwayo, who was determined to resist European domination in his territory. In December 1878, Cetshwayo rejected the British demand that he disband his troops, and in January British forces invaded Zululand to suppress Cetshwayo. The British suffered grave defeats at Isandlwana, where 1,300 British soldiers were killed or wounded, and at Hlobane Mountain, but on March 29 the tide turned in favor of the British at the Battle of Khambula.

King Cetshwayo was subsequently captured and sent into exile, but in 1883 he was reinstated to rule over part of his former territory. However, because of his defeats he was discredited in the eyes of his subjects, and they soon drove him out of Zululand. He died in exile in the next year.

In 1887, faced with continuing Zulu rebellions, the British formally annexed Zululand, and in 1897 it became a part of Natal, which joined the Union of South Africa in 1910.
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« Reply #64 on: August 29, 2013, 01:17:34 AM »

Aug 29, 2005


Hurricane Katrina slams into Gulf Coast
   
 

Hurricane Katrina makes landfall near New Orleans, Louisiana, as a Category 4 hurricane on this day in 2005. Despite being only the third most powerful storm of the 2005 hurricane season, Katrina was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States. After briefly coming ashore in southern Florida on August 25 as a Category 1 hurricane, Katrina gained strength before slamming into the Gulf Coast on August 29. In addition to bringing devastation to the New Orleans area, the hurricane caused damage along the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama, as well as other parts of Louisiana.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin ordered a mandatory evacuation of the city on August 28, when Katrina briefly achieved Category 5 status and the National Weather Service predicted "devastating" damage to the area. But an estimated 150,000 people, who either did not want to or did not have the resources to leave, ignored the order and stayed behind. The storm brought sustained winds of 145 miles per hour, which cut power lines and destroyed homes, even turning cars into projectile missiles. Katrina caused record storm surges all along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The surges overwhelmed the levees that protected New Orleans, located at six feet below sea level, from Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River. Soon, 80 percent of the city was flooded up to the rooftops of many homes and small buildings.

Tens of thousands of people sought shelter in the New Orleans Convention Center and the Louisiana Superdome. The situation in both places quickly deteriorated, as food and water ran low and conditions became unsanitary. Frustration mounted as it took up to two days for a full-scale relief effort to begin. In the meantime, the stranded residents suffered from heat, hunger, and a lack of medical care. Reports of looting, rape, and even murder began to surface. As news networks broadcast scenes from the devastated city to the world, it became obvious that a vast majority of the victims were African-American and poor, leading to difficult questions among the public about the state of racial equality in the United States. The federal government and President George W. Bush were roundly criticized for what was perceived as their slow response to the disaster. The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Michael Brown, resigned amid the ensuing controversy.

Finally, on September 1, the tens of thousands of people staying in the damaged Superdome and Convention Center begin to be moved to the Astrodome in Houston, Texas, and another mandatory evacuation order was issued for the city. The next day, military convoys arrived with supplies and the National Guard was brought in to bring a halt to lawlessness. Efforts began to collect and identify corpses. On September 6, eight days after the hurricane, the Army Corps of Engineers finally completed temporary repairs to the three major holes in New Orleans' levee system and were able to begin pumping water out of the city.

In all, it is believed that the hurricane caused more than 1,300 deaths and up to $150 billion in damages to both private property and public infrastructure. It is estimated that only about $40 billion of that number will be covered by insurance. One million people were displaced by the disaster, a phenomenon unseen in the United States since the Great Depression. Four hundred thousand people lost their jobs as a result of the disaster. Offers of international aid poured in from around the world, even from poor countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Private donations from U.S. citizens alone approached $600 million.

The storm also set off 36 tornadoes in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, resulting in one death.

President Bush declared September 16 a national day of remembrance for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

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« Reply #65 on: August 29, 2013, 01:43:29 AM »

Also on August 29th..........


Aug 29, 1533


Pizarro Executes Last Inca Emperor
   
 

Atahuallpa, the 13th and last emperor of the Incas, dies by strangulation at the hands of Francisco Pizarro's Spanish conquistadors. The execution of Atahuallpa, the last free reigning emperor, marked the end of 300 years of Inca civilization.

High in the Andes Mountains of Peru, the Inca built a dazzling empire that governed a population of 12 million people. Although they had no writing system, they had an elaborate government, great public works, and a brilliant agricultural system. In the five years before the Spanish arrival, a devastating war of succession gripped the empire. In 1532, Atahuallpa's army defeated the forces of his half-brother Huascar in a battle near Cuzco. Atahuallpa was consolidating his rule when Pizarro and his 180 soldiers appeared.

Francisco Pizarro was the son of a Spanish gentleman and worked as a swineherder in his youth. He became a soldier and in 1502 went to Hispaniola with the new Spanish governor of the New World colony. Pizarro served under Spanish conquistador Alonso de Ojeda during his expedition to Colombia in 1510 and was with Vasco Nunez de Balboa when he discovered the Pacific Ocean in 1513. Hearing legends of the great wealth of an Indian civilization in South America, Pizarro formed an alliance with fellow conquistador Diego de Almagro in 1524 and sailed down the west coast of South America from Panama. The first expedition only penetrated as far as present-day Ecuador, but a second reached farther, to present-day Peru. There they heard firsthand accounts of the Inca empire and obtained Inca artifacts. The Spanish christened the new land Peru, probably after the Vire River.

Returning to Panama, Pizarro planned an expedition of conquest, but the Spanish governor refused to back the scheme. In 1528, Pizarro sailed back to Spain to ask the support of Emperor Charles V. Hernan Cortes had recently brought the emperor great wealth through his conquest of the Aztec Empire, and Charles approved Pizarro's plan. He also promised that Pizarro, not Almagro, would receive the majority of the expedition's profits. In 1530, Pizarro returned to Panama.

In 1531, he sailed down to Peru, landing at Tumbes. He led his army up the Andes Mountains and on November 15, 1532, reached the Inca town of Cajamarca, where Atahuallpa was enjoying the hot springs in preparation for his march on Cuzco, the capital of his brother's kingdom. Pizarro invited Atahuallpa to attend a feast in his honor, and the emperor accepted. Having just won one of the largest battles in Inca history, and with an army of 30,000 men at his disposal, Atahuallpa thought he had nothing to fear from the bearded white stranger and his 180 men. Pizarro, however, planned an ambush, setting up his artillery at the square of Cajamarca.

On November 16, Atahuallpa arrived at the meeting place with an escort of several thousand men, all apparently unarmed. Pizarro sent out a priest to exhort the emperor to accept the sovereignty of Christianity and Emperor Charles V., and Atahuallpa refused, flinging a Bible handed to him to the ground in disgust. Pizarro immediately ordered an attack. Buckling under an assault by the terrifying Spanish artillery, guns, and cavalry (all of which were alien to the Incas), thousands of Incas were slaughtered, and the emperor was captured.

Atahuallpa offered to fill a room with treasure as ransom for his release, and Pizarro accepted. Eventually, some 24 tons of gold and silver were brought to the Spanish from throughout the Inca empire. Although Atahuallpa had provided the richest ransom in the history of the world, Pizarro treacherously put him on trial for plotting to overthrow the Spanish, for having his half-brother Huascar murdered, and for several other lesser charges. A Spanish tribunal convicted Atahuallpa and sentenced him to die. On August 29, 1533, the emperor was tied to a stake and offered the choice of being burned alive or strangled by garrote if he converted to Christianity. In the hope of preserving his body for mummification, Atahuallpa chose the latter, and an iron collar was tightened around his neck until he died.

With Spanish reinforcements that had arrived at Cajamarca earlier that year, Pizarro then marched on Cuzco, and the Inca capital fell without a struggle in November 1533. Huascar's brother Manco Capac was installed as a puppet emperor, and the city of Quito was subdued. Pizarro established himself as Spanish governor of Inca territory and offered Diego Almagro the conquest of Chile as appeasement for claiming the riches of the Inca civilization for himself. In 1535, Pizarro established the city of Lima on the coast to facilitate communication with Panama. The next year, Manco Capac escaped from Spanish supervision and led an unsuccessful uprising that was quickly crushed. That marked the end of Inca resistance to Spanish rule.

Diego Almagro returned from Chile embittered by the poverty of that country and demanded his share of the spoils of the former Inca empire. Civil war soon broke out over the dispute, and Almagro seized Cuzco in 1538. Pizarro sent his half brother, Hernando, to reclaim the city, and Almagro was defeated and put to death. On June 26, 1541, allies of Diego el Monzo—Almagro's son—penetrated Pizarro's palace in Lima and assassinated the conquistador while he was eating dinner. Diego el Monzo proclaimed himself governor of Peru, but an agent of the Spanish crown refused to recognize him, and in 1542 Diego was captured and executed. Conflict and intrigue among the conquistadors of Peru persisted until Spanish Viceroy Andres Hurtado de Mendoza established order in the late 1550s.
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« Reply #66 on: August 30, 2013, 01:13:56 AM »

Aug 30, 30 B.C.


Cleopatra commits suicide
   
 

Cleopatra, queen of Egypt and lover of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, takes her life following the defeat of her forces against Octavian, the future first emperor of Rome.

Cleopatra, born in 69 B.C., was made Cleopatra VII, queen of Egypt, upon the death of her father, Ptolemy XII, in 51 B.C. Her brother was made King Ptolemy XIII at the same time, and the siblings ruled Egypt under the formal title of husband and wife. Cleopatra and Ptolemy were members of the Macedonian dynasty that governed Egypt since the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. Although Cleopatra had no Egyptian blood, she alone in her ruling house learned Egyptian. To further her influence over the Egyptian people, she was also proclaimed the daughter of Re, the Egyptian sun god. Cleopatra soon fell into dispute with her brother, and civil war erupted in 48 B.C.

Rome, the greatest power in the Western world, was also beset by civil war at the time. Just as Cleopatra was preparing to attack her brother with a large Arab army, the Roman civil war spilled into Egypt. Pompey the Great, defeated by Julius Caesar in Greece, fled to Egypt seeking solace but was immediately murdered by agents of Ptolemy XIII. Caesar arrived in Alexandria soon after and, finding his enemy dead, decided to restore order in Egypt.

During the preceding century, Rome had exercised increasing control over the rich Egyptian kingdom, and Cleopatra sought to advance her political aims by winning the favor of Caesar. She traveled to the royal palace in Alexandria and was allegedly carried to Caesar rolled in a rug, which was offered as a gift. Cleopatra, beautiful and alluring, captivated the powerful Roman leader, and he agreed to intercede in the Egyptian civil war on her behalf.

In 47 B.C., Ptolemy XIII was killed after a defeat against Caesar's forces, and Cleopatra was made dual ruler with another brother, Ptolemy XIV. Julius and Cleopatra spent several amorous weeks together, and then Caesar departed for Asia Minor, where he declared "Veni, vidi, vici" (I came, I saw, I conquered), after putting down a rebellion. In June 47 B.C., Cleopatra bore a son, whom she claimed was Caesar's and named Caesarion, meaning "little Caesar."

Upon Caesar's triumphant return to Rome, Cleopatra and Caesarion joined him there. Under the auspices of negotiating a treaty with Rome, Cleopatra lived discretely in a villa that Caesar owned outside the capital. After Caesar was assassinated in March 44 B.C., she returned to Egypt. Soon after, Ptolemy XIV died, likely poisoned by Cleopatra, and the queen made her son co-ruler with her as Ptolemy XV Caesar.

With Julius Caesar's murder, Rome again fell into civil war, which was temporarily resolved in 43 B.C. with the formation of the second triumvirate, made up of Octavian, Caesar's great-nephew and chosen heir; Mark Antony, a powerful general; and Lepidus, a Roman statesman. Antony took up the administration of the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire, and he summoned Cleopatra to Tarsus, in Asia Minor, to answer charges that she had aided his enemies.

Cleopatra sought to seduce Antony, as she had Caesar before him, and in 41 B.C. arrived in Tarsus on a magnificent river barge, dressed as Venus, the Roman god of love. Successful in her efforts, Antony returned with her to Alexandria, where they spent the winter in debauchery. In 40 B.C., Antony returned to Rome and married Octavian's sister Octavia in an effort to mend his strained alliance with Octavian. The triumvirate, however, continued to deteriorate. In 37 B.C., Antony separated from Octavia and traveled east, arranging for Cleopatra to join him in Syria. In their time apart, Cleopatra had borne him twins, a son and a daughter. According to Octavian's propagandists, the lovers were then married, which violated the Roman law restricting Romans from marrying foreigners.

Antony's disastrous military campaign against Parthia in 36 B.C. further reduced his prestige, but in 34 B.C. he was more successful against Armenia. To celebrate the victory, he staged a triumphal procession through the streets of Alexandria, in which he and Cleopatra sat on golden thrones, and Caesarion and their children were given imposing royal titles. Many in Rome, spurred on by Octavian, interpreted the spectacle as a sign that Antony intended to deliver the Roman Empire into alien hands.

After several more years of tension and propaganda attacks, Octavian declared war against Cleopatra, and therefore Antony, in 31 B.C. Enemies of Octavian rallied to Antony's side, but Octavian's brilliant military commanders gained early successes against his forces. On September 2, 31 B.C., their fleets clashed at Actium in Greece. After heavy fighting, Cleopatra broke from the engagement and set course for Egypt with 60 of her ships. Antony then broke through the enemy line and followed her. The disheartened fleet that remained surrendered to Octavian. One week later, Antony's land forces surrendered.

Although they had suffered a decisive defeat, it was nearly a year before Octavian reached Alexandria and again defeated Antony. In the aftermath of the battle, Cleopatra took refuge in the mausoleum she had commissioned for herself. Antony, informed that Cleopatra was dead, stabbed himself with his sword. Before he died, another messenger arrived, saying Cleopatra still lived. Antony had himself carried to Cleopatra's retreat, where he died after bidding her to make her peace with Octavian. When the triumphant Roman arrived, she attempted to seduce him, but he resisted her charms. Rather than fall under Octavian's domination, Cleopatra committed suicide on August 30, 30 B.C., possibly by means of an asp, a poisonous Egyptian serpent and symbol of divine royalty.

Octavian then executed her son Caesarion, annexed Egypt into the Roman Empire, and used Cleopatra's treasure to pay off his veterans. In 27 B.C., Octavian became Augustus, the first and arguably most successful of all Roman emperors. He ruled a peaceful, prosperous, and expanding Roman Empire until his death in 14 A.D. at the age of 75.
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« Reply #67 on: August 31, 2013, 03:29:11 AM »

Aug 31, 1888


Jack the Ripper claims first victim
   
 

Prostitute Mary Ann Nichols, the first victim of London serial killer "Jack the Ripper," is found murdered and mutilated in Whitechapel's Buck's Row. The East End of London saw four more victims of the murderer during the next few months, but no suspect was ever found.

In Victorian England, London's East End was a teeming slum occupied by nearly a million of the city's poorest citizens. Many women were forced to resort to prostitution, and in 1888 there were estimated to be more than 1,000 prostitutes in Whitechapel. That summer, a serial killer began targeting these downtrodden women. On September 8, the killer claimed his second victim, Annie Chapman, and on September 30 two more prostitutes--Liz Stride and Kate Eddowes--were murdered and carved up on the same night. By then, London's police had determined the pattern of the killings. The murderer, offering to pay for sex, would lure his victims onto a secluded street or square and then slice their throats. As the women rapidly bled to death, he would then brutally mutilate them with the same six-inch knife.

The police, who lacked modern forensic techniques such as fingerprinting and blood typing, were at a complete loss for suspects. Dozens of letters allegedly written by the murderer were sent to the police, and the vast majority of these were immediately deemed fraudulent. However, two letters--written by the same individual--alluded to crime facts known only to the police and the killer. These letters, signed "Jack the Ripper," gave rise to the serial killer's popular nickname.

On November 7, after a month of silence, Jack took his fifth and last victim, Irish-born Mary Kelly, an occasional prostitute. Of all his victims' corpses, Kelly's was the most hideously mutilated. In 1892, with no leads found and no more murders recorded, the Jack the Ripper file was closed.

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« Reply #68 on: September 01, 2013, 04:08:02 AM »

Sep 1, 1802


Richmond Recorder publishes report of presidential concubine
 


On this day in 1802, the Richmond Recorder publishes a report that Thomas Jefferson, at the time temporarily retired from politics and living on his plantation, Monticello, kept one of his female slaves as a mistress.  The article gave only the woman's first name, "Sally," but was most likely referring to Sally Hemings, a slave who had once served as a maid and seamstress to Jefferson's deceased wife, Martha. After Martha's death, Hemings became an attendant to Jefferson's daughter, Maria.


At the time, newspapers and broadsheets were venues through which some of America's top political personalities could unleash their unbridled criticism of an opponent behind a veil of anonymity. Rivals issued both personal and political attacks in attempts to shame or discredit each other. In 1792, publisher James Callendar—then a supporter of Jefferson's whose paper was secretly funded by Jefferson and his Republican allies--published a report of Alexander Hamilton's adulterous affair with a colleague's wife, to which Hamilton later confessed. In 1802, when then-President Jefferson snubbed Callendar by denying his request for a political appointment, Callendar retaliated with an exposé on Jefferson's "concubine," Hemings, who also happened to be the half- black half-sister of Jefferson's deceased wife. The article also charged that Hemings' son, John, bore a "striking...resemblance to those of the President himself." Jefferson chose not to respond to the allegations.


The belief that the widowed Jefferson was having an affair with one of his slaves persists to this day. Not only did it tarnish, for some, Jefferson's legacy as America's foremost proponent of equality, it spawned years of scholarly and scientific research regarding his and Hemings' alleged progeny. In 2000, a scholarly committee used DNA test results, original documents, oral histories and statistical data to conclude that Jefferson fathered at least one of Hemings' six children. Another committee, using the same data, concluded that Jefferson's younger brother Randolph was Hemings' lover and the father of her children.


Hemings left no written records. Jefferson never officially freed her, but did free her children. She left Monticello after Jefferson's death in 1826.
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« Reply #69 on: September 02, 2013, 06:07:30 AM »

Sep 2, 1789


Congress founds U.S. Treasury
   
 

On this day in 1789, the United States Treasury Department is founded.

The institution's roots can be traced to 1775, when America's leaders were looking for ways to fund the Revolutionary War. Their solution--issuing cash that doubled as redeemable "bills of credit"--raised enough capital to fuel the revolution. but also led to the country's first debt. The Continental Congress attempted to reign in the economy, even forming a pre-Constitutional version of the Treasury. Neither this move, nor the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which enabled the U.S. to seek loans from foreign countries, proved effective. The debt kept mounting, while war notes rapidly deflated in value.

With the ratification of the Constitution in 1789, the American government established a permanent Treasury Department in hopes of controlling the nation's debt. President George Washington named his former aide-de-camp, Alexander Hamilton, to head the new office. The former New York lawyer and staunch Federalist stepped in as Secretary of the Treasury on September 11. Hamilton soon outlined a practical plan for reviving the nation's ailing economy: the government would pay back its $75 million war debt and thus repair its badly damaged public credit.

Hamilton had been elected to the Continental Congress from New York in 1782. He demonstrated a near-reactionary political philosophy and quickly became known as a determined proponent of a stronger national government. Hamilton published several papers with James Madison and John Jay arguing for the ratification of the U.S. Constitution that are now known as the "Federalist Papers." As the first secretary of the treasury, Hamilton established most of the centralized monetary institutions of the new nation, including the national bank, before resigning in January 1795. Hamilton then returned to the private sector and a law practice in New York City, but remained a close advisor to President Washington.

In 1800, Hamilton became embroiled in a bitter dispute when he threw his support behind President John Adams' reelection campaign instead of presidential candidate Aaron Burr's. After his defeat, Burr ran for governor of New York in 1804; Hamilton again opposed his candidacy. Humiliated, Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel on July 11, 1804, in Weehawken, New Jersey. Alexander Hamilton was shot in the duel and died of his wound the following day, July 12, in New York at the age of 49.
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« Reply #70 on: September 03, 2013, 01:11:49 AM »

Sep 3, 1783


Treaty of Paris signed
   
 

The American Revolution officially comes to an end when representatives of the United States, Great Britain, Spain and France sign the Treaty of Paris on this day in 1783. The signing signified America's status as a free nation, as Britain formally recognized the independence of its 13 former American colonies, and the boundaries of the new republic were agreed upon: Florida north to the Great Lakes and the Atlantic coast west to the Mississippi River.

The events leading up to the treaty stretched back to April 1775, on a common green in Lexington, Massachusetts, when American colonists answered King George III's refusal to grant them political and economic reform with armed revolution. On July 4, 1776, more than a year after the first volleys of the war were fired, the Second Continental Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence. Five difficult years later, in October 1781, British General Charles Lord Cornwallis surrendered to American and French forces at Yorktown, Virginia, bringing to an end the last major battle of the Revolution.

In September 1782, Benjamin Franklin, along with John Adams and John Jay, began official peace negotiations with the British. The Continental Congress had originally named a five-person committee--including Franklin, Adams and Jay, along with Thomas Jefferson and Henry Laurens--to handle the talks. However, both Jefferson and Laurens missed the sessions--Jefferson had travel delays and Laurens had been captured by the British and was being held in the Tower of London. The U.S. delegation, which was distrustful of the French, opted to negotiate separately with the British.

During the talks Franklin demanded that Britain hand over Canada to the United States. This did not come to pass, but America did gain enough new territory south of the Canadian border to double its size. The United States also successfully negotiated for important fishing rights in Canadian waters and agreed, among other things, not to prevent British creditors from attempting to recover debts owed to them. Two months later, the key details had been hammered out and on November 30, 1882, the United States and Britain signed the preliminary articles of the treaty. France signed its own preliminary peace agreement with Britain on January 20, 1783, and then in September of that year, the final treaty was signed by all three nations and Spain. The Treaty of Paris was ratified by the Continental Congress on January 14, 1884.

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« Reply #71 on: September 05, 2013, 01:30:35 AM »

Sep 4, 2013


The Great Getbig server crash.

Many wept.
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« Reply #72 on: September 05, 2013, 01:31:12 AM »

Sep 5, 1972


Arab terrorists take Israeli hostages at the Olympics
   
 

In the early morning hours of September 5, six members of the Arab terrorist group known as Black September dressed in the Olympic sweat suits of Arab nations and jumped the fence surrounding the Olympic village in Munich, Germany, carrying bags filled with guns. Although guards spotted them, they paid little attention because athletes often jumped the fence during the competition to return to their living quarters.

After changing into disguises, the terrorists, toting machine guns, burst into the apartments of 21 Israeli athletes and officials. Yossef Gutfreund, a wrestling referee who valiantly tried to keep the terrorists out, saved Tuvia Sokolovsky, who was able to climb out a window and escape. In another apartment, Moshe Weinberg was shot 12 times but still managed to wound one of the terrorists and save the life of one of his teammates.

Created in 1970 by a few survivors of the "ten terrible September days" of fighting against Jordan for a Palestinian homeland, Black September succeeded in taking nine hostages before demanding the release of 234 prisoners-most of whom were Arab terrorists. The demands were categorically refused, but it was eventually agreed that the terrorists and the hostages would be taken to the Furstenfeldbruck airport by helicopter and given a plane.

The German government planned an ambush at the airport, stationing sharpshooters around the runway and officers in the airplane. However, the plan quickly disintegrated when the officers in the plane, worried about their lack of preparation, deserted. There weren't nearly enough sharpshooters to effectively take down all of the terrorists either, partly because the Germans didn't realize that two other terrorists had joined the Black September attack.

Still, the ambush was carried out. Three terrorists were taken out in the first wave of shots, but the others were able to hide out of range. One threw a grenade into a helicopter where five hostages were still tied up, instantly killing them all. Another terrorist fired his machine gun into another helicopter, killing the remaining hostages.

Twenty hours after Black September had begun their attack, a German police official, 5 Palestinian terrorists, and 11 Israeli athletes lay dead. Three of the terrorists who survived were imprisoned but were set free a month later when Arabs hijacked a Lufthansa 727 and demanded their release.

A few days after the tragic event at the Olympics, Israel retaliated with air strikes against Syria and Lebanon, killing 66 people and wounding dozens. In addition, Israel sent out assassination squads to hunt down members of Black September while Israeli troops broke through the Lebanese border, igniting the heaviest fighting since the Six-Day War of 1967.
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« Reply #73 on: September 06, 2013, 01:15:25 AM »

Sep 6, 1522


Magellan's expedition circumnavigates globe
   
 

One of Ferdinand Magellan's five ships--the Vittoria--arrives at SanlÚcar de Barrameda in Spain, thus completing the first circumnavigation of the world. The Vittoria was commanded by Basque navigator Juan SebastiÁn de Elcano, who took charge of the vessel after the murder of Magellan in the Philippines in April 1521. During a long, hard journey home, the people on the ship suffered from starvation, scurvy, and harassment by Portuguese ships. Only Elcano, 17 other Europeans, and four Indians survived to reach Spain in September 1522.

On September 20, 1519, Magellan set sail from Spain in an effort to find a western sea route to the rich Spice Islands of Indonesia. In command of five ships and 270 men, Magellan sailed to West Africa and then to Brazil, where he searched the South American coast for a strait that would take him to the Pacific. He searched the RÍo de la Plata, a large estuary south of Brazil, for a way through; failing, he continued south along the coast of Patagonia. At the end of March 1520, the expedition set up winter quarters at Port St. Julian. On Easter day at midnight, the Spanish captains mutinied against their Portuguese captain, but Magellan crushed the revolt, executing one of the captains and leaving another ashore when his ship left St. Julian in August.

On October 21, he finally discovered the strait he had been seeking. The Strait of Magellan, as it became known, is located near the tip of South America, separating Tierra del Fuego and the continental mainland. Only three ships entered the passage; one had been wrecked and another deserted. It took 38 days to navigate the treacherous strait, and when ocean was sighted at the other end Magellan wept with joy. He was the first European explorer to reach the Pacific Ocean from the Atlantic. His fleet accomplished the westward crossing of the ocean in 99 days, crossing waters so strangely calm that the ocean was named "Pacific," from the Latin word pacificus, meaning "tranquil." By the end, the men were out of food and chewed the leather parts of their gear to keep themselves alive. On March 6, 1521, the expedition landed at the island of Guam.

Ten days later, they dropped anchor at the Philippine island of Cebu--they were only about 400 miles from the Spice Islands. Magellan met with the chief of Cebú, who after converting to Christianity persuaded the Europeans to assist him in conquering a rival tribe on the neighboring island of Mactan. In subsequent fighting on April 27, Magellan was hit by a poisoned arrow and left to die by his retreating comrades.

After Magellan's death, the survivors, in two ships, sailed on to the Moluccas and loaded the hulls with spice. One ship attempted, unsuccessfully, to return across the Pacific. The other ship, the Vittoria, continued west under the command of Juan SebastiÁn de Elcano. The vessel sailed across the Indian Ocean, rounded the Cape of Good Hope, and arrived at the Spanish port of SanlÚcar de Barrameda on September 6, 1522, becoming the first ship to circumnavigate the globe. The Vittoria then sailed up the Guadalquivir River, reaching Seville a few days later.

Elcano was later appointed to lead a fleet of seven ships on another voyage to Moluccas on behalf of Emperor Charles V. He died of scurvy en route.
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« Reply #74 on: September 07, 2013, 12:36:45 AM »

Sep 7, 1996


Tupac Shakur is shot
   
 

Actor and hip-hop recording artist Tupac Shakur is shot several times in Las Vegas, Nevada, after attending a boxing match. Shakur was riding in a black BMW with Death Row Records founder Marion "Suge" Knight when a white Cadillac sedan pulled alongside and fired into Shakur's car. Knight was only grazed in the head, but Shakur was hit several times. He died in a hospital several days later.

Although Shakur's killer was never identified, some believe Orlando Anderson, a member of the Los Angeles gang Southside Crips, was responsible. Earlier in the evening, prior to the Mike Tyson-Bruce Seldon heavyweight fight, Anderson had been attacked in the lobby of the MGM Grand Hotel by a group from Death Row Records, including Suge Knight. When a videotape of the attack came to light, Knight, who was out on parole at the time, had to return to prison to serve out a nine-year sentence. Suspecting revenge as a motive, Shakur's mother filed suit against Anderson for her son's death; but the case was never resolved because Anderson was shot to death in May 1998 in a shoot-out outside a Los Angeles car wash.

Shakur had been involved in a string of violent encounters before the shooting in Las Vegas. In 1993, he was convicted of assault and battery after an attack on a music video producer. That same year, a limousine driver claimed that Shakur had severely beaten him. In 1995, while on trial for sexually abusing a young woman in a hotel room, Shakur was shot five times during an alleged robbery attempt at a New York recording studio. He was later convicted of sexual assault. In 1996, he was sent to prison for violating probation and for failure to complete his mandated community service.

Before his death, Shakur was also the defendant in a couple of civil lawsuits. When Ronald Ray Howard shot a Texas state trooper to death after listening to Shakur's songs in 1993, the trooper's widow filed suit against Shakur for manufacturing and distributing music that allegedly incited "imminent lawless action." In October 1994, two 17-year-old kids in Milwaukee killed a police officer in a sniper attack after claiming they had been "geeked up" by Shakur's music.
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