18 May 2007

This day in history: 18 May

1152: Henry II married Eleanor of Aquitaine in Bordeaux Cathedral.

1268: The Principality of Antioch fell to the Mamluk Sultan Baybars.

1652: The General Court of Election in Rhode Island enacted the first colonial legislation limiting slavery, making perpetual enslavement of any person, black or white, illegal. The law was only enforced for about fifty years.

1803: The United Kingdom revoked the Treaty of Amiens and declared war on France.

1804: Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed Emperor of the French by the French Senate.

1848: The Frankfurt Parliament - Germany's first National Assembly - convened in St. Paul's Church, Frankfurt.

1863: The Siege of Vicksburg began; it would last until 4 July.

1869: The Ezo Republic, on Hokkaido, surrendered to Japan; the republic was dissolved on 27 June.

1876: Wyatt Earp started work as a deputy city marshal in Dodge City, Kansas.

1910: The Earth passed through the tail of Halley's Comet.

1917: The Selective Service Act was passed by the US Congress; men between the ages of 18 and 45 were required to register for the first draft since the US Civil War.

1927: Forty-four people were killed by bombs planted by a disgruntled school-board member in Bath Township, Michigan.

1941: Light cruiser HMS Coventry came to the aid of a hospital ship which was being attacked by German dive bombers south of Crete. Petty Officer Alfred E Sephton, manning a gun director on board Coventry, was mortally wounded by machine-gun fire from an attacking plane. Despite his wound, Sephton remained at his post until the air attack had been driven off. He died of his injuries the following day, and was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.*

1944: A reconnaissance group from the Polish 12th Podolski Lancers occupied Monte Cassino, which had been evacated by the Germans during the previous night.

1953: Jackie Cochran, flying a Canadair F-86 Sabre, became the first woman to break the sound barrier.

1956: Swiss mountaineers Ernst Reiss and Fritz Luchsinger completed the first ascent of 8516-metre Lhotse, the fourth highest mountain in the world.

1958: A Lockheed F-104A Starfighter, flown by Captain Walter W Irvin USAF, set a world speed record of 1,404.19 mph (2,259.82 km/h).

1967: Specialist Fourth Class Dale Wayrynen, 502nd Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, was assisting in the night evacuation of the wounded from an earlier enemy contact near Duc Pho when when the lead man of his platoon met face to face with a Viet Cong soldier. The lead man was wounded and knocked from his feet. Wayrynen, the second man in the formation, killed another enemy soldier who appeared, then dragged his injured companion back to cover. When an enemy grenade landed in the centre of the men, Wayrynen shouted a warning, pushed one soldier out of the way, and threw himself on the grenade. He received a posthumous award of the Medal of Honor.

1968: Specialist Fourth Class Peter Guenette, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, was engaged in a sweep of a suspected enemy base camp when his platoon came under light harassing fire from North Vietnamese Army regulars. As the platoon moved to within 10 meters of the fortified positions, the enemy fire became intense. Guenette and his assistant gunner immediately began to provide suppressing fire. An enemy grenade was thrown to Guenette's right; realising that the grenade would kill or wound at least 4 men and destroy his machine gun, he shouted a warning and smothered the grenade with his body. He received a posthumous award of the Medal of Honor.

1969: Apollo 10 (Thomas P Stafford, John W Young and Eugene A Cernan) was launched from Cape Canaveral, to return to Earth on 26 May.

1974: India successfully detonated its first nuclear weapon, becoming the sixth nation to do so.

1980: Mount St Helens, in the Cascade Mountains in southwestern Washington, erupted, killing 57 people.

1987: Three submarines - USS Sea Devil (SSN 664), USS Billfish (SSN 676) and HMS Superb (S 109) - rendezvoused at the North Pole.

1990: A modified TGV train achieved a new rail world speed record of 515.3 km/h (320.3 mph,) superseding the previous record of 406.9 km/h set on 1 May 1988 by the German InterCityExperimental (ICE) train.

1991: Soyuz TM-12 (A P Artsebarsky, S K Krikalyov and Helen Sharman) was launched from Baikonur. Sharman, the first British astronaut to reach orbit, returned to Earth 26 May on board Soyuz TM-11.

1992: The Archivist of the United States certified that the 27th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution had been ratified - after over 200 years.

In addition to Sp4c Wayrynen (1947-1967) and Sp4c Guenette (1948-1968), Jacques Marquette (1637–1675), Elias Ashmole (1617–1692), Aleksandr Vasil'yevich Suvorov (1729–1800), Arthur O'Connell (1908–1981), Daws Butler (1916–1988) and Elizabeth Montgomery (1933–1995) died on this date.

And happy birthday to Omar Khayyam (1048-1131), Tsar Nicholas II of Russia (1868–1918), Frank Capra (1897–1991), Meredith Willson (1902–1984), Perry Como (1912–2001), George Welch (1918–1954), Pernell Roberts (1928-TBD), Don Martin (1931–2000), Dwayne Hickman (1934-TBD), Diane Duane (1952-TBD) and George Strait (1952-TBD).

* PO Sephton's VC was stolen on 25 September 1990 whilst on display in Coventry Cathedral. It has not been recovered.

** The Burj Dubai, scheduled to be completed in 2008, will be taller.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

RE: Elizabeth Montgomery (1933–1995) died on this date.

Elizabeth Montgomery was a Babe with a capital B.

Whadda' cutie.

But, time marches on and an entire generation has entered the prime marketing years for greedy corporations whose only thoughts are the next quarter's profit so Elizabeth slowly retreats into ancient history replaced by the likes of that Hannah Montana pile of ugliness who will, in turn, be replaced by the next idol ad infinitum.

In a culture/society increasing obsessed with the pursuit of constant endless entertainment.

Cell phones glued to vacuous heads, bumbling through life, unaware of the immediate environment let alone anything outside of the typical bleating sheep American's minute universe.

No wonder America's elite class and corporate America has attained such immense power and wealth.


Onward through the fog.......