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On This Date

April 24, 1800:
The Library of Congress , today the de facto national library of the United States, was established as part of an act of Congress providing for the transfer of the nation’s capital from Philadelphia to Washington, DC.

April 24, 1916:
Irish republicans led by teacher and political activist Patrick Pearse began the Easter Rising, a rebellion against British rule in Ireland, and proclaimed the Irish Republic an independent state.

April 24, 1990:
The Hubble Space Telescope was launched by the Space Shuttle Discovery in mission STS-31.

Go Hubble! It’s a shame they don’t have anything interesting to read in that library, though.

April 25, 1719:
Robinson Crusoe, a novel by English author Daniel Defoe about a castaway who spends 28 years on a remote tropical island near Venezuela, was first published.

April 25, 1898:
Spanish–American War: The United States retroactively declared war on Spain, stating that a state of war between the two countries had already existed for the past couple of days.

April 25, 1953:
Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid by molecular biologists James Watson and Francis Crick was first published in the scientific journal Nature, describing the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA.

Quote of the Day
The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it.
–Edward R. Murrow

1926 – The Treaty of Berlin is signed. Germany and the Soviet Union each pledge neutrality in the event of an attack on the other by a third party for the next five years.

2005 – Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is inaugurated as the 265th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church taking the name Pope Benedict XVI.

Mr. Murrow: “Damn Windows 98!”

April 26, 1865:
American Army soldiers cornered and fatally shot John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, in rural northern Virginia, ending a twelve-day manhunt.

April 26, 1964:
Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form Tanzania.

April 26, 1986:
The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant near Chernobyl, Ukrainian SSR, suffered a steam explosion, resulting in a fire and a nuclear meltdown, resulting in the evacuation and resettlement of over 336,000 people around Europe.

Quote of the Day
I had the good fortune and opportunity to come home and to tell the truth; many soldiers, like Pat Tillman … did not have that opportunity. The truth of war is not always easy. The truth is always more heroic than the hype.
–Jessica Lynch

And Ukraine’s still burning.

April 27, 1521:
Filipino natives led by chieftain Lapu-Lapu killed Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and over forty Spanish soldiers at the Battle of Mactan.

April 27, 1967:
The Expo 67 World’s Fair opened in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, with over 50 million visitors and 62 nations participating.

April 27, 1992:
Betty Boothroyd became the first female Speaker of the British House of Commons.

Quote of the Day
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly, is to fill the world with fools.
–Herbert Spencer

April 28, 1789:
Fletcher Christian led a mutiny aboard the Royal Navy ship HMAV Bounty against its commander William Bligh.

April 28, 1923:
London’s Wembley Stadium, then known as Empire Stadium, was opened to the public for the first time and held the 1923 FA Cup Final between Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United football clubs.

April 28, 1952:
The Treaty of San Francisco entered into force, ending the occupation of Japan by the former Allied Powers of World War II.

Quote of the Day
The pen is mightier than the sword … if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.
–Terry Pratchett

[quote]Slowhand wrote:
April 28, 1923:
London’s Wembley Stadium, then known as Empire Stadium, was opened to the public for the first time and held the 1923 FA Cup Final between Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United football clubs.

They’ve knocked it down and built a new one since then. :stuck_out_tongue:

Bigger and better, eh?

April 29, 1770:
British explorer James Cook and the crew of HM Endeavour made their first landfall on Australia on the coast of Botany Bay near present-day Sydney.

April 29, 1968:
The controversial musical Hair, a product of the hippie counter-culture and sexual revolution of the 1960s, opened at the Biltmore Theatre on Broadway, with its songs becoming anthems of the anti-Vietnam War movement.

April 29, 1992:
The acquittal of policemen who had beaten motorist Rodney King sparked civil unrest in Los Angeles that lasted for six days and killed over 50 people.

Quote of the Day
Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she’ll give you a baby. If you give her a house, she’ll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she’ll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she’ll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit.

I’ve heard that one before.

April 30, 1789:
George Washington took the oath as the first President of the United States at Federal Hall in New York City.

April 30, 1945:
World War II: As Allied forces were closing in on Berlin, Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide in the Führerbunker after being married for one day.

April 30, 2004:
The New Yorker magazine posted an article and supporting pictures online, postdated May 10, detailing accounts of torture and abuse by American personnel of prisoners held at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, Iraq.

Quote of the Day
The Gods do not protect fools. Fools are protected by more capable fools.
–Larry Niven

May 1, 1707:
Under the terms of the Acts of Union, the Kingdoms of England and Scotland merged to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, a single kingdom encompassing the entire island of Great Britain with a single parliament and government based in Westminster.

May 1, 1786:
The Marriage of Figaro, an opera buffa composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, premiered at the Burgtheater in Vienna.

May 1, 1851:
The Great Exhibition, the first ever World’s Fair, opened in London’s Hyde Park.

May 1, 1956:
A doctor in Japan reported an “epidemic of an unknown disease of the central nervous system”, marking the official discovery of Minamata disease.

May 2, 1808:
Beginning of the Peninsular War: The people of Madrid rebelled against French occupation of the city.

May 2, 1829:
Captain Charles Fremantle of the Royal Navy established the Swan River Colony, the first British settlement on the west coast of Australia.

May 2, 1945:
World War II: General Helmuth Weidling, commander of the German troops in Berlin, surrendered the city to Soviet forces led by General Georgy Zhukov, ending the Battle of Berlin.

May 3, 1791:
The Polish Constitution of May 3, one of the earliest codified national constitutions in the world, was adopted by the Sejm.

May 3, 1942:
World War II: Japanese forces began invading Tulagi and nearby islands in the Solomon Islands Protectorate, enabling them to establish a base so they could threaten and interdict the supply and communication routes between the United States and Australia and New Zealand.

May 3, 1947:
A new Constitution of Japan went into effect, providing for a parliamentary system of government, guaranteeing certain fundamental rights, and relegating the Japanese monarchy to a purely ceremonial role.

Quote of the Day
The lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves. One must therefore be a fox to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten wolves.
–Niccolò Machiavelli

May 4, 1493:
Pope Alexander VI issued the papal bull Inter caetera, establishing a Line of Demarcation dividing the New World between Spain and Portugal.

May 4, 1886:
An unknown assailant threw a bomb into a crowd of police, turning a peaceful labor rally in Chicago into the Haymarket massacre, resulting in the deaths of seven police officers and an unknown number of civilians.

May 4, 1979:
Margaret Thatcher became the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, following the defeat of James Callaghan’s incumbent Labour government in the previous day’s general election.

Quote of the Day
A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering cold iron.
–Horace Mann

May 5, 553:
The Second Council of Constantinople, believed to have been the fifth Christian Ecumenical Council, began to discuss the topics of Nestorianism and Origenism, among others.

May 5, 1789:
The Estates-General convened in Versailles to discuss a financial crisis in France, triggering a series of events that led to the French Revolution.

May 5, 1950:
Prince Bhumibol Adulyadej was crowned in Bangkok as King Rama IX of Thailand, currently the world’s longest-serving head of state.

Quote of the Day
If I have ventured wrongly, very well, life then helps me with its penalty. But if I haven’t ventured at all, who helps me then?
–Søren Kierkegaard