Today in history, greetings, and social banter here. (More)
The Old St. Peter’s Basilica was consecrated today (326). Also, Innocent III excommunicated Otto IV (1210), Boniface VIII issued the Papal bull Unam sanctam (1302), William Tell shot an apple off his son’s head (1307), 10,000 people died as 72 Dutch villages were inundated when a seawall in the Zuiderzee dike collapsed, causing the St. Elizabeth’s Flood (1421), Christopher Columbus saw what is now Puerto Rico (1493), the new St. Peter’s Basilica was consecrated (1626), the Haitian Revolution concluded with a decisive victory over the French in the Battle of Vertières (1803), the New York Saturday Press published Mark Twain’s The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County (1865), U.S. and Canadian railroads instituted the five North American continental time zones (1883), the signing of the Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty gave the U.S. exclusive rights over the Panama Canal Zone (1903), Latvia declared independence (1918), Disney and UP Iwerks’ Steamboat Willie starring Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse was released (1928), 28 people died as a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck the Grand Banks and triggered a tsunami that flooded the south coast of Newfoundland’s Burin Peninsula (1929), Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda founded the Buddhist lay movement now known as Soka Gakkai (1930), John L. Lewis was elected as the first president of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (1938), 41 people died as a fire swept through the Ballantyne’s Department Store in Christchurch, New Zealand (1947), 21 miners were killed when police opened fire on strikers in Nigeria’s Iva Valley (1949), President John Kennedy dispatched 18,000 military advisors to South Vietnam (1961), the first push-button telephones went into service (1963), 918 people died in a mass murder-suicide at Jim Jones’ People’s Temple, hours after the murder of U.S. Representative Leo Ryan, who had flown to Guyana to investigate the cult (1978), 31 people died as a fire swept through London’s Kings Cross St Pancras subway station (1987), President Ronald Reagan signed a bill authorizing the death penalty for drug trafficking (1988), the House of Representatives ratified the North American Free Trade Agreement, on the same day 21 political parties approved the new Constitution of South Africa (1993), 12 people died when the 59-foot-tall Aggie Bonfire collapsed on the campus of Texas A&M University (1999), and Britain’s Local Government Act took effect, repealing a 1988 law that censored education about LGBTs, on the same day the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held overturned the state’s ban on marriage equality in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health (2003). And NASA launched the MAVEN probe toward Mars (2013).
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