Monday, September 27, 2010

August 13th in History

Apologies to readers, power outages and other storm difficulties have delayed the posting today's history edition.

3114 BC   According to the Lounsbury correlation, the start of the Maya calendar.  Lounsbury, from Wisconsin, had a fascinating career in understanding the languages and images of Native American peoples, ancient and modern.  Looking at the accompanying image, calendar is not my first thought.

  586   Death of Radegund, Frankish princess consort of King Chlothar I (b. c. 520).

1521    Tenochtitlán (present day Mexico City) falls to conquistador Hernán Cortés.

1536     Buddhist monks from Kyōto's Enryaku-ji temple set fire to 21 Nichiren temples, a rival branch of Buddhism, in the Tenbun Hokke Disturbance.


1553   Michael Servetus is arrested on the orders of French protestant minister John Calvin, founder of Presbyterianism, in Geneva as a heretic. Servetus was executed for heresy under orders of the Geneva council, by being burned at the stake.  The heresy for which Servetus was condemned, to be fair condemned equally by the Protestants and Roman Catholicism, was rejection of the trinity. Servetus was a Spaniard, a polymath, he made important contributions in the fields of medicine, anatomy, including describing pulmonary circulation, and pharmacology.  Other areas of study in which Servetus excelled included mathematics, geography, meteorology, and jurisprudence.  He was also a scholar of biblical languages.  The history of our religious intolerance within Christianity is important as a contextual background to issues of religion and politics in current events.

1792   King Louis XVI of France is formally arrested by the National Tribunal, and declared an enemy of the people.  He was later guillotined.

1806    Battle of Mišar during the Serbian revolution begins. The battle will end two days later, with a decisive Serbian victory over the Ottomans.  Part of the continuing Balkan buffer zone conflicts between Muslim and Christian regions.
1814    The Convention of London, a treaty between the United Kingdom and the United Provinces, is signed in London exchanging imperial colonial areas and agreeing to expenditures for mutual defense.  The treaty also ended the Dutch involvement in the slave trade in British ports.

Lucy Stone

1818   Birth of Lucy Stone, American suffragette and abolitionist, she was one of the founders of the woman's suffrage and feminist movements (d. 1893).  She was a noted orator, and organizer at the state level to gain the vote for women.

1831   Nat Turner sees a solar eclipse, which he believes is a sign from God. Eight days later he and 70 other slaves kill approximately 56 whites in Southampton County, Virginia.  Turner, and 56 other slaves accused of participating were directly executed for the uprising, sometimes called a slave rebellion.  Militias and other mobs beat to death another 200 black slaves.  The Turner Rebellion lead to laws in southern states prohibiting the education of slaves, restrictions on the civil rights of free blacks.  The rights of freedom of religion and freedom of assembly were specially affected with laws requiring white ministers be present at all black worship services.


1863   Death of Eugène Delacroix, French painter (b. 1798)

1889   German Ferdinand von Zeppelin patents his Navigable Balloon.

famous Hitchock logo

1899    Birth of Alfred Hitchcock, English film director (d. 1980)
            Otto Witte, an acrobat, is purportedly crowned King of Albania.

1910    Death of Florence Nightingale, English nurse (b. 1820)

1913    First production in the UK of stainless steel by Harry Brearley.

1918    Women enlist in the United States Marine Corps for the first time. Opha Mae Johnson is the first woman to enlist.
Birth of Frederick Sanger, English chemist, double Nobel Laureate for chemistry. He is the only living Nobel Laureate of four to have received the honor twice.
           Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) established as a public company in Germany.
1937   The Battle of Shanghai begins between the Nationalist Chinese Party and the Japanese Empire; the battle lasted for three months of house to house fighting, and involved a million combatants.

1946   Birth of H. G. Wells, English writer, most notably of science fiction (b. 1866).

1961   The German Democratic Republic of East Germany closes the border between the eastern and western sectors of Berlin to thwart its inhabitants' attempts to escape to the West by erecting the infamous Berlin Wall.

1976  First celebration of International Lefthanders Day

2004   Hurricane Charley, a Category 4 storm, strikes Punta Gorda, Florida and devastates the surrounding area.
           156 Congolese Tutsi refugees are massacred at the Gatumba refugee camp in Burundi.

2008    Michael Phelps sets the Olympic record for the most gold medals won by an individual in Olympic history with his win in the men's 200m butterfly, making 8 in a single Olympics. Phelps won 16 medals overall, in two Olympics, and groke 38 world records in swimming.

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