Friday, June 12, 2009

This Day In History - 12 June: Peasants' Revolt, Oda Sneaks, & Reagan Calls For A Wall To Be Torn Down

1381 – The Peasants' Revolt got into full swing in England by June 12. Rebels arrived at Blackheath where they were treated to a sermon by Priest John Ball who asked the famous question: "When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?" (i.e. in the Garden of Eden, were there any class distinctions?"). The Peasant's Revolt was the most extreme and widespread insurrection in English history. It marked the beginning of the end of serfdom in medieval England. The causes of the revolt were excessive taxation and attempts by the aristocracy to limit the compensation peasants could be paid. Do those two sound familiar?

1560 – In one of the great battles of medieval Japan, Oda Nobunaga, outnumbered ten to one, defeated Imagawa Yoshimoto at the Battle of Okehazama with a surprise attack.

1665 – England installed a municipal government in the former Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam, today NYC.

1775 – British general Thomas Gage declared martial law in Massachusetts. He offered a pardon to all colonists who would lay down their arms, but for Samuel Adams and John Hancock, who, if captured, were to be hanged.

1830 – Beginning of the French colonization of Algeria: 34,000 French soldiers land 27 kilometers west of Algiers, at Sidi Ferruch.

1898 – General Emilio Aguinaldo declares the Philippines' independence from Spain.

1940 – 13,000 British and French troops surrender to Major General Erwin Rommel at Saint-Valery-en-Caux.

1942 – Anne Frank, the young girl whose writing has been a window into the horrors of the holocaust, received a diary for her thirteenth birthday.

1943 – Nazis liquidates the Jewish Ghetto in Berezhany, western Ukraine. 1,180 Jews are led to the city's old Jewish graveyard and shot.

1963 – Civil rights figure Medgar Evers is murdered in front of his home in Jackson, Mississippi by KKK member Byron De La Beckwith.

1964 – Anti-apartheid activist and ANC leader Nelson Mandela is sentenced to life in prison for sabotage in South Africa.

1967 – The United States Supreme Court, in Loving v. Virginia declares all U.S. state laws which prohibit interracial marriage to be unconstitutional.

1978 – David Berkowitz, the "Son of Sam" killer in New York City, is sentenced to 365 years in prison for six killings.

1987 – Ronald Reagan publicly challenges Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate.

1991 – Russians elect Boris Yeltsin as the president of the republic.

1994 – Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman are murdered outside her home in Los Angeles by ex-husband O.J. Simpson.

1997 – Shakespeare's Globe Theater is officially reopened in London by Queen Elizabeth II.

2004 – A 3 lbs. chondrite type meteorite strikes a house in Ellerslie, New Zealand causing serious damage but no injuries.


1924 – George H. W. Bush, 41st President of the United States

1929 – Anne Frank, German-born Dutch Jewish diarist and Holocaust victim (d. 1945)


816 – Pope Leo III, best remembered for his act on Christmas Day 800, when, to Charelemagne's surprise, Pope Leo crowned Charlemagne as Roman emperor. This symbolism suggested that leaders bore their authority at the pleasure of the Church, strengthening the Church and setting up an issue that would plague Church-monarch relations for close to the next millenium.

918 – Ethelfleda, the eldest daughter of England's King Alfred the Great, wife of Æthelred, ealdorman of Mercia, and after his death, ruler of Mercia. As befitting a daughter of Alfred, she proved a formidable military leader and tactician during her reign over Mercia.

1957 – Jimmy Dorsey, American musician (b. 1904)

2003 – Gregory Peck, American actor (b. 1916)

Today is the feast day for Saint Leo III who is discussed above, and for Saint Pharaildis, the patron Saint of Ghent. She was married against her will at a young age with a nobleman, even after having made a private vow of virginity. Her husband insisted she submit. She refuses and was beaten, but retained her virginity through her marriage and then until her death in 740 A.D. Her patronage includes childhood diseases, difficult marriages, physical abuse and widows.

Update: Crusader Rabbit has a great post up on a fascinating historical fact: ". . . a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's ass."

Don't miss Rougeclassicism, where they regularly post memorable dates from ancient history.

And for the best in current events, don't miss Larwyn's Linx at Doug Ross's Journal.

No comments: