Wednesday, June 10, 2009

This Day In History - 10 June: A Witch Is Hung, Socialism Is Born, & Alexander The Great Dies

Art: Anne-Louis Girodet De Roucy-Trioson, Ossian Receiving the Ghosts of French Heroes, 1802

1190 – The Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick I Barbarossa was one of the great figures of the Medieval Age. He fought in many campaigns throughout Europe, with the campaign to capture Milan seeing him excommunicated by Pope Alexander III in 1160. Their schism would end with the Peace of Venice in 1177 when Frederick, having failed to defeat the Lombard League in his Italian campaign, sued for peace. Frederick would answer the Pope's call in 1190 for the Third Crusade, but then drowned in the river Saleph on this date while leading an army to Jerusalem.

1619 – During the incredibly costly Thirty Years' War, on this date a Roman Catholic army of Karel Bonaventura Buquoy defeated a Protestant army of Ernst von Mansfeld at the Battle of Záblatí, marking a turning point in the Bohemian Revolt.

1692 – The Salem Witch Trials claims its first victim when Sixty year old Bridget Bishop is executed by hanging at Gallows Hill near Salem, Massachusetts, for "certaine Detestable Arts called Witchcraft & Sorceries."

1719 – Jacobite Rising - Jacobites, i.e., those who supported James VII, the last Catholic King of England, attempted several uprisings from about 1688 and 1746. One such uprising involved an alliance of Jacobite rebels and Spanish forces that was defeated by the English forces at the Battle of Glen Shiel on this day.

1770 – British explorer Captain James Cook, discovered Australia - or at least came close to it - when on this date he ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef.
1793 – The Jardin des Plantes museum opens in Paris. A year later, it becomes the first public zoo.

1793 – Socialism, long tended in the womb by philosophers, was born on this day as part of the French Revolution when, following the arrests of Girondin leaders, the Jacobins gained control of the Committee of Public Safety and installed a revolutionary dictatorship. They became infamous for their the Reign of Terror and their war on the Church.

1805 – America's first war, the First Barbary War, begun in 1801, came to an end when the Bashaw of Tripoli, Yussif Karamanli, signed a treaty ending hostilities with the United States. He had warred against the U.S. because our ships made easy targets without naval escort and because, as the ambassador from the Barbary states said, "written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave.” That is a precept still being taught in Saudi schools and Madrassas around the world.

1871 – Sinmiyangyo refers to a first diplomatic attempt to establish trade with Korea that, through a series of misunderstandings, developed into a minor military conflict, one of whose battles took place on this date when Captain McLane Tilton led 109 Marines in naval attack on Han River forts on Kanghwa Island, Korea.

1898 – U.S. Marines land on the island of Cuba as part of the Spanish-American War. By August, 1998, a combined arms force of Marines and Army soldiers secured the island.
1935 – Dr. Robert Smith takes his last drink, and Alcoholics Anonymous is founded..

1940 – Italy's facist dictator Il Duce declared war on France and the UK. FDR denounced Italy's actions with his "Stab in the Back" speech at the graduation ceremonies of the University of Virginia while Canada declared war on Italy. Also on this day, German forces, under General Erwin Rommel, reach the English Channel and Norway surrendered to Germany.

1942 – Nazis burn the Czech village of Lidice in reprisal for the killing of Reinhard Heydrich.

1944 – 642 men, women and children are killed in the Oradour-sur-Glane Massacre in France while in Distomo, Boeotia Prefecture, Greece 218 men, women and children are massacred by German troops.

1967 – Six-Day War ends as Israel and Syria agree to a cease-fire.

1973 – John Paul Getty III, grandson of billionaire J. Paul Getty, was kidnapped in Rome, Italy. His kidnappers demanded ransom and sent the boy's ear and some hair to his father, who finally agreed to pay $3 million. Getty was released and his kidnappers never found.

1999 - NATO suspends air strikes on Serbia after Milošević agrees to withdraw Serbian forces from Kosovo.

2001 – Pope John Paul II canonizes Lebanon's first female saint Saint Rafqa

2002 – The first direct electronic communication experiment between the nervous systems of two humans is carried out by Kevin Warwick in the United Kingdom.

2003 – The Spirit Rover is launched, beginning NASA's Mars Exploration Rover mission.


1933 – F. Lee Bailey, American attorney

1967 – John Yoo, American attorney and target of some serious left wing angst.


323 BC – Alexander the Great, Macedonian king and conqueror of much of the known world. A student of Aristotle, he began his military career at age 16 when he led a force to crush the revolt of the Thracian Maedi. His campaigns finally came to an end when he died at age 32 in palace of Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon.

1190 – Frederick Barbarossa, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1122)

1967 – Spencer Tracy, American actor (b. 1900)

1973 – Erich von Manstein, German military commander (b. 1887)

1988 – Louis L'Amour, American author (b. 1908)

2002 – John Gotti, American gangster (b. 1940)

2004 – Ray Charles, American musician (b. 1930)

Holidays and observances

In the Roman Catholic Church, today is the feast day of St. Margaret, queen of Scotland. She was the wife of Malcolm III, King of Scots. Dying in 1093, Saint Margaret was canonised in the year 1250 by Pope Innocent IV in recognition of her personal holiness, fidelity to the Church, work for religious reform, and charity. She attended to charitable works, and personally served orphans and the poor every day before she ate. She rose at midnight to attend church services every night. She was known for her work for religious reform. She was considered to be an exemplar of the "just ruler", and also influenced her husband and children to be just and holy rulers.

And see Rougeclassicism's This Day In Ancient History.

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