11 May 2007

This day in history: 11 May

1502: Christopher Columbus departed Cádiz, Spain, with four ships - Capitana, Gallega, Vizcaína and Santiago de Palos - on his fourth (and final) voyage to the Americas.

1820: HMS Beagle, a 10-gun sloop, was launched at Woolwich Dockyard.

1841: Lt Charles Wilkes, commander of the United States Exploring Expedition, landed at Fort Nisqually, in Puget Sound.

1857: Mutineers attempted to seize the magazine in the city of Delhi. Defenders held the enemy off for five hours, but blew up the magazine, to deny the enemy the use of the weapons and ammunition stored there, when it became obvious the mutineers would take the magazine. Six of the nine defenders, along with many mutineers, were killed in the blast; the three survivors - Lieutenants William Raynor and George Forrest, and Deputy Assistant Commissary John Buckley - all received the Victoria Cross. (Lt Raynor is the oldest person to have been awarded the VC.)

1858: Minnesota was admitted to the Union as the 32nd state.

1862: CSS Virginia was scuttled in the James River, northwest of Norfolk, Virginia, to prevent her capture by Union forces.

1864: Major General J E B Stuart was shot by Private J A Huff, 5th Michigan Cavalry, during the Battle of Yellow Tavern, Virginia; he died the following day.

1910: President William Howard Taft signed the bill creating Glacier National Park.

1941: A Short Stirling bomber, N3654, from Number 15 Squadron RAF, was shot down near the Dutch village of Opmeer by a German night fighter. The body of the pilot, Wing Commander H R Dale RAF, was recovered and buried in the nearby town of Bergen; the bodies of the rest of the crew were not found.

1943: American troops invaded Attu, in the Aleutian Islands, in an attempt to expel occupying Japanese forces.

1953: 114 people were killed and 597 injured when a tornado hit Waco, Texas.

1960: Adolf Eichmann, living In Buenos Aires, Argentina, as Ricardo Klement, was captured by Israeli Mossad agents.

1996: 110 people died when ValuJet Flight 592 (a Douglas DC-9) crashed in the Florida Everglades.

2004: The remaining six members of Wg Cdr Dale's crew - Plt Off P R S Bird RAFVR, Plt Off D McL Campbell RNZAF, Sgt F A S Smith RAF, Sgt N H Nuttall RAFVR, Sgt S P Plumb RAFVR and Sgt E R Lucas RNZAF - were buried at Bergen next to their pilot. Their remains had been recovered when the aircraft was excavated the previous year.

William Pitt "the Elder," 1st Earl of Chatham (1708–1778), Sir John Herschel Bt (1792–1871), Alexandre Edmond Becquerel (1820-1891), Lex Barker (1919-1973), Chester Gould (1900–1985), H A R "Kim" Philby (1912–1988) and Joseph Bonanno (1905–2002) died on this date.

And happy birthday to Chang and Eng Bunker (1811–1874), Irving Berlin (1888–1989), Willis A Lee Jr (1888–1945), Lise de Baissac MBE (1905-2004), Phil Silvers (1911–1985), Foster Brooks (1912-2001), Richard Feynman (1918—1988), Mort Sahl (1927-TBD), Doug McClure (1935–1995), and Robert Jarvik (1946-TBD).

1 comment:

Peter Mc said...

Coot, thank you for that reminder about HMS Beagle's birthday. Duly noted (and linked) on The Beagle Project weblog. Submarines: respect, sir.