(1949) ‘First Lightning’ detonates and the atomic arms race is onTwenty kilotons of nuclear fission flatten a purpose-built ‘town’ in a remote part of the USSR’s Kazakh Republic, and the Soviet Union is now on par with the US as the only other nuclear power on the globe. Called ‘First Lightning,’ the Soviet’s atom bomb is born of espionage and scientific brilliance.The RDS-1, also known as Izdeliye 501 and First Lightning, was the nuclear bomb used in the Soviet Union’s first nuclear weapon test. The United States assigned it the code-name Joe-1, in reference to Joseph Stalin. It was detonated on 29 August 1949 at 7:00 a.m., at Semipalatinsk, Kazakh SSR, after top-secret research and development as part of the Soviet atomic bomb project.
Photograph of the first Soviet atomic bomb.
wiki/RDS-1(2005) US Gulf Coast hammered by Hurricane KatrinaOnce roiling with Category 5 strength over the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Katrina has weakened, but it’s still packing ferocious winds, as it makes landfall near New Orleans, Louisiana. A massive storm surge will breach levies, devastating that city as Katrina becomes one of the worst natural disasters in US history.Hurricane Katrina was the eleventh named storm and the fifth hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. It was the costliest natural disaster and one of the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States.
Damages: $108 billion USD (2005) Formed: Aug 23, 2005 Dissipated: Aug 31, 2005 Highest winds: 173.98 mph (280 km/h) Total fatalities: 1,833 Affected areas: New Orleans · Louisiana · Bahamas · Mississippi · Alabama · Cuba · New York · Florida Panhandle · Georgia · Pennsylvania · Ohio · New Jersey · South Florida · Virginia · Tennessee “Katrina is comparable in intensity to Hurricane Camille of 1969, only larger,” warned the National Hurricane Center on Sunday, August 28, 2005. By this time, Hurricane Katrina was set to become one of the most powerful storms to strike the United States, with winds of 257 kilometers per hour (160 miles per hour) and stronger gusts. The air pressure, another indicator of hurricane strength, at the center of this Category 5 storm measured 902 millibars, the fourth lowest air pressure on record for an Atlantic storm. The lower the air pressure, the more powerful the storm. Two hours after the National Hurricane Center issued their warning, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) captured this image from NASA’s Terra satellite at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time. The massive storm covers much of the Gulf of Mexico, spanning from the U.S. coast to the Yucatan Peninsula.
(1949) Hank Williams makes his rapturous Grand Ole Opry debut ‘Lovesick Blues’ is a huge hit and is Hank Williams’ ticket to country music’s Mecca, the Grand Ole Opry, where Hank and his Drifting Cowboys wow the crowd and play a record six encores. Williams’ meteoritic rise will flame out when he dies, due in part to alcohol abuse, at the age of 29.
Hiram King “Hank” Williams (September 17, 1923 – January 1, 1953) was an American country music singer-songwriter and musician. Regarded as one of the most significant and influential American singers and songwriters of the 20th century, Williams recorded 35 singles (five released posthumously) that reached the Top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart, including 11 that ranked number one (three posthumously).
Born in Mount Olive, Butler County, Alabama, Williams moved to Georgiana, where he met Rufus Payne, who gave him guitar lessons in exchange for meals or money. Payne had a major influence on Williams’ later musical style, along with Roy Acuff and Ernest Tubb. During this time, Williams informally changed his name to Hank, believing it to be a better name for country music. He moved to Montgomery, where he began his music career in 1937, when producers at radio station WSFA hired him to perform and host a 15-minute program. He formed as backup the Drifting Cowboys band, which was managed by his mother, and dropped out of school to devote his time to his career.
When several of his band members were conscripted into military service during World War II, Williams had trouble with their replacements, and WSFA terminated his contract because of his alcohol abuse. Williams eventually married Audrey Sheppard, who was his manager for nearly a decade. After recording “Never Again” and “Honky Tonkin'” with Sterling Records, he signed a contract with MGM Records. In 1947 he released “Move It on Over”, which became a hit, and also joined the Louisiana Hayride radio program. One year later, he released a cover of “Lovesick Blues”
recorded at Herzog Studio in Cincinnati, which carried him into the mainstream of music. After an initial rejection, Williams joined the Grand Ole Opry. He was unable to read or notate music to any significant degree. Among the hits he wrote were “Your Cheatin’ Heart”, “Hey, Good Lookin'”, and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”.
In 1952, he divorced Sheppard and was dismissed by the Grand Ole Opry because of his unreliability and alcohol abuse. On January 1, 1953, he suffered heart failure while traveling to perform at a concert in West Virginia, and died as a result. His death came in the wake of many years of back pain, alcoholism and prescription drug abuse which lead to his poor health and death. Despite his short life, Williams is one of the most celebrated and influential musicians of the 20th century, especially country music. The songs he wrote and recorded have been covered by numerous artists and have been hits in various genres. He has been inducted into multiple music halls of fame, such as the Country Music Hall of Fame (1961), the Songwriters Hall of Fame (1970), and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1987).
wiki/Hank_Williams(1955) Europe’s prestigious Le Mans car race turns deadlyIn the worst accident in the history of motorsports, the collision between a Mercedes-Benz and an Austin-Healy in France’s 24 Hours of Le Mans catapults one car onto an embankment where it breaks apart, sending debris hurtling into the crowd, killing 83 and injuring upwards of 100.The 1955 Le Mans disaster occurred during the 24 Hours of Le Mans motor race in Le Mans, France on 11 June 1955, when a major crash caused large fragments of debris to fly into the crowd. Eighty-three spectators and French driver Pierre Bouillin, who raced under the name Pierre Levegh, were killed and nearly 180 more sustained injuries in the most catastrophic accident in motorsport history which led Mercedes-Benz to retire from motor racing until 1989. wiki/1955_Le_Mans_disaster(1962) Inmates escape from ‘The Rock’ and disappear into the bayThe infamous Alcatraz Island penitentiary has been thought escape-proof, but The Rock loses three of its inmates today as they pose dummy heads in their bunks, crawl through spoon-dug holes, scale the prison fence, and shove off into San Francisco Bay on rafts made with prison raincoats.The June 1962 Alcatraz escape may have been the only successful escape from Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary in that facility’s history. Late on the night of June 11 or early morning of June 12, inmates Clarence Anglin, John Anglin, and Frank Morris tucked papier-mâché heads resembling their own likenesses into their beds, broke out of the main prison building via an unused utility corridor, and departed Alcatraz Island aboard an improvised inflatable raft to an uncertain fate.
Date: Jun 11, 1962
wiki/June_1962_Alcatraz_escape(1986) ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ releasedJohn Hughes’ comedy about a high school student’s elaborate plan to skip school hits theaters. It will become a box office success and produce quotes and catch phrases that will permeate pop culture for years to come. It’s over. Go home. Go.Ferris Bueller is a clever and tricky fast talker, a legend in his own time. He decides to call out sick from school, feigning illness, to embark on a wild adventure involving his girlfriend, Sloane Peterson, his best friend Cameron Frye, and a Ferrari. From Wrigley Field to the Art Institute of Chicago to a Polish Pride parade, Bueller and friends intend on making the most of their day off. However, Ferris’ sister and the school dean, Ed Rooney, suspect that Ferris is simply pretending to be ill. Both Rooney and Ferris’ sister Jeanie are hot on Ferris’ trail and are determined to catch him and his friends in the act of class-cutting.
Release date: Jun 11, 1986 (United States) Director: John Hughes Gross revenue: $70.10 million USD Estimated budget: $6 million USD Featured songs: Love Missile F1-11 · BAD · Twist and Shout · Danke Schoen · Taking the Day Off · I’m Afraid · Oh Yeah · The Edge of Forever · Main Title · Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want (instrumental) · Jeannie · Rebel Blockade Runner · March of the Swivelheads · Beat City · Radio People Screenwriter: John Hughes
(793) Shocking raid from the north ushers in a new ageThe Kingdom of Northumbria sees uninvited guests arrive on Lindisfarne, an island off of England’s northeast coast. What these ‘Northmen’ do there, including destroying the abbey and killing its monks, will jolt Europe and earn the Vikings a fierce reputation for the ages.The Viking Age is the period from the late 8th century to the mid-11th century in European history, especially Northern European and Scandinavian history, between the Germanic Iron Age and the Middle Ages, from a general Scandinavian perspective. It is the period of history when Scandinavian Norsemen explored Europe by its seas and rivers for trade, raids, colonisation and conquest. In this period, the Norsemen settled in Norse Greenland, Newfoundland, and present-day Faroe Islands, Iceland, Norway, Scotland, England, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, Ukraine, Russia, and Turkey. Though Viking travellers and colonists were seen at many points in history as brutal raiders, many historical documents suggest that their invasion of other countries was retaliation in response to the encroachment upon tribal lands by Christian missionaries, and perhaps by the Saxon Wars prosecuted by Charlemagne and his kin to the south, or, were motivated by overpopulation, trade inequities, and the lack of viable farmland in their homeland. Information about the Viking Age is drawn largely from what was written about the Vikings by their enemies, and primary sources of archaeology, supplied with secondary sources like the Icelandic Sagas. But the Vikingers were not illiterates. Some history can be found on Runestones, a good example of this is the larger of the two Jelling Stones. Further did travellers like Adam of Bremen and Ansgar visit Scandinavia by the end of the Viking Age, and wrote imperative works of chronicle-style. And later did Saxo do the same. Also some Scandinavian early Middle-Ages works like Hávamál, Codex Regius, the Scanian Law have also been of historical help.
Start date: 800 AD End date: 1066
wiki/Viking_Age(1949) Big Brother is watching you as ‘1984’ is publishedNewspeak, thoughtcrimes, and Big Brother are introduced as George Orwell’s vision of a dystopian future is published. ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ will be seen as both a great literary work and an accurate warning of the “double plus ungood” rise of totalitarianism and surveillance.Nineteen Eighty-Four, often published as 1984, is a dystopian novel published in 1949 by English author George Orwell. The novel is set in Airstrip One, a province of the superstate Oceania in a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, and public manipulation. The superstate and its residents are dictated to by a political regime euphemistically named English Socialism, shortened to “Ingsoc” in Newspeak, the government’s invented language. The superstate is under the control of the privileged elite of the Inner Party, a party and government that persecutes individualism and independent thinking as “thoughtcrime”, which is enforced by the “Thought Police”.
Author: George Orwell First published: Jun 08, 1949 Number of pages: 298 Characters: Big Brother · Winston Smith · Emmanuel Goldstein · O’Brien · Julia · Syme Preceded by: Animal Farm Adaptations: Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) · 1984 (1956) · Brazil (1985) · Nineteen Eighty-Four (1954) · 1984 · 1984: A Personal View of Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’ (1983) · 1984 · 1984
wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four(1959) US Post Office delivers mail by rocketThree thousand letters streak through the sky at 600 mph, encased in a guided missile shot from the nuclear submarine USS Barbero. This newfangled airmail travels a distance of more than 100 miles in 22 minutes, but Missile Mail delivery will prove cost-prohibitive and won’t catch on.Rocket mail is the delivery of mail by rocket or missile. The rocket lands by deploying an internal parachute upon arrival. It has been attempted by various organizations in many different countries, with varying levels of success. It has never become widely seen as being a viable option for delivering mail, due to the cost of the schemes and numerous failures. wiki/Rocket_mail(1968) Suspected killer of Martin Luther King, Jr. arrestedTwo months after civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. was gunned down in Memphis, Tennessee, his suspected assassin is apprehended at London’s Heathrow Airport. James Earl Ray will be extradited back to the US, stand trial, and be convicted and sentenced to 99 years in prison.James Earl Ray was a convicted murderer who assassinated Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. Ray was convicted on his 41st birthday after entering a guilty plea to forgo a jury trial. Had he been found guilty by jury trial, he would have been eligible for the death penalty.
Born: Mar 10, 1928 · Alton, IL Died: Apr 23, 1998 · Nashville, TN Movies: Who Killed Martin Luther King? Parents: Lucille Ray (Mother) · James Gerald Ray (Father)
1959: In 1959 he was caught stealing $120 in an armed robbery of a St. Louis Kroger store.
1968: Arriving in Atlanta on March 24, 1968, Ray checked into a rooming house.
1968: There, on March 30, 1968, he bought a Remington Model 760 Gamemaster .30-06-caliber rifle and a box of 20 cartridges from the Aeromarine Supply Company.
1968: On April 4, 1968, Ray killed Martin Luther King with a single shot fired from his Remington rifle, while King was standing on the second-floor balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.
1968: On June 8, 1968, two months after King’s death, Ray was arrested at London’s Heathrow Airport while trying to leave the United Kingdom on the false Canadian passport.
1998: Ray died at age 70 on April 23, 1998, at the Columbia Nashville Memorial Hospital from complications related to kidney disease and liver failure caused by hepatitis C.
(907) Powerful and cultured Chinese dynasty endsRuling over an estimated 80 million people from Chang’an, China, the most populous city in the world, Emperor Ai of the Tang Dynasty is deposed by Zhu Wen, a military governor, after famines, marauding bandit armies, and a collapsing political structure leaves the dynasty vulnerable.The Tang dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. It is generally regarded as a high point in Chinese civilization, and a golden age of cosmopolitan culture. Its territory, acquired through the military campaigns of its early rulers, rivaled that of the Han dynasty, and the Tang capital at Chang’an was the most populous city in the world.
Founded: 618 AD
wiki/Tang_dynasty(1328) Last Imperial Antipope is consecrated With a claim to the papacy backed by the Holy Roman Emperor, Pietro Rainalducci is consecrated as Antipope Nicholas V in Rome. His competing claim to head the Catholic Church will fizzle after he’s excommunicated by the reigning pope, and later “honourably imprisoned” for life.Nicholas V, born Pietro Rainalducci was an antipope in Italy from 12 May 1328 to 25 July 1330 during the pontificate of Pope John XXII at Avignon. He was the last Imperial antipope, that is, set up by a Holy Roman Emperor.
Born: 1260 · Borgorose, Italy Died: Oct 16, 1333 · Avignon, France
1310: He joined the Franciscan order after separating from his wife in 1310, and became famous as a preacher.
1328: He was elected through the influence of the excommunicated Holy Roman Emperor, Louis the Bavarian, by an assembly of priests and laymen, and consecrated at Old St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome, on 12 May 1328 by the bishop of Venice.
1328: After spending four months in Rome, he withdrew with Louis IV to Viterbo, but in December 1328 the papal legate Cardinal Orsini began a campaign against Viterbo and Corneto.
1329: Nicholas V was excommunicated by John XXII in April 1329, and sought refuge with Count Boniface of Donoratico near Piombino.
1330: Having obtained assurance of pardon, he presented a confession of his sins first to the archbishop of Pisa, and then at Avignon on 25 August 1330 to John XXII, who absolved him.
1333: He remained in honourable imprisonment in the papal palace, Avignon until his death in October 1333.
wiki/Antipope_Nicholas_V(1942) German sub sinks US ship at mouth of Mississippi Gliding through the dark waters of the Gulf of Mexico, German submarine U-507 spots the SS Virginia just off the mouth of the Mississippi River, and torpedoes the 10,000-ton tanker, sinking her. Twenty-seven sailors perish in the audacious attack that will shock Americans.German submarine U-507 was a Type IXC U-boat of Nazi Germany’s Kriegsmarine built for service in the Second World War and the Battle of the Atlantic. She was mainly notable for two patrols she conducted during the “Second Happy Time” in mid-1942, during the first of which she caused havoc in the Gulf of Mexico amongst unprotected American shipping, and then in the second she attacked ships along the coast of Brazil, in an inexplicable and shocking attack on a neutral nation’s shipping in its own waters which almost single-handedly provoked the Brazilian declaration of war on Germany.
Keel laid: Sep 11, 1940 Launched: Jul 15, 1941
wiki/German_submarine_U-507(1949) Soviets lift their blockade of BerlinAlmost a year into their effort to isolate Germany’s capital after WWII, Soviet occupiers reopen supply routes to West Berlin. Over 200,000 flights delivering food and fuel to the blockaded city from the US, UK, and others had severely undermined the USSR’s expansionist plans.The Berlin Blockade was one of the first major international crises of the Cold War. During the multinational occupation of post–World War II Germany, the Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies’ railway, road, and canal access to the sectors of Berlin under Western control. The Soviets offered to drop the blockade if the Western Allies withdrew the newly introduced Deutsche mark from West Berlin.
(1775) Paul Revere starts his ‘midnight ride’ of warningMassachusetts silversmith Paul Revere saddles up and heads off into the night to alert his fellow colonial militia members of the British force’s imminent arrival and their intent to commandeer the American’s arms as well as to arrest patriots Samuel Adams and John Hancock.Paul Revere was an American silversmith, engraver, early industrialist, and a Patriot in the American Revolution. He is best known for alerting the colonial militia to the approach of British forces before the battles of Lexington and Concord, as dramatized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride”.
Born: Jan 01, 1735 · North End, MA Died: May 10, 1818 · Boston, MA Spouse: Rachel Walker (m. 1773 – 1813) · Sarah Orne (m. 1757 – 1773) Children: Joseph Warren Revere (Son) · Harriet Revere (Daughter) · Joshua Revere (Son) · Mary Revere (Daughter) · Isanna Revere (Daughter) · Paul Revere Jr. (Son) · John Revere (Son) · Lucy Revere (Daughter) Parents: Apollos Rivoire (Father) · Deborah Hitchborn (Mother)
1757: On August 4, 1757, he married Sarah Orne (1736–1773); their first child was born eight months later.
1775: When British Army activity on April 7, 1775 suggested the possibility of troop movements, Joseph Warren sent Revere to warn the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, then sitting in Concord, the site of one of the larger caches of Patriot military supplies.
1792: Beginning in 1792 he became one of America’s best-known bell casters, working with sons Paul Jr. and Joseph Warren Revere in the firm Paul Revere & Sons.
1800: Finally in 1800 he became the first American to successfully roll copper into sheets for use as sheathing on naval vessels.
1801: The copper works founded in 1801 continues today as the Revere Copper Company, with manufacturing divisions in Rome, New York and New Bedford, Massachusetts.
1818: Revere died on May 10, 1818, at the age of 83, at his home on Charter Street in Boston.
wiki/Paul_Revere(1906) San Francisco leveled by colossal earthquake and firesAt 5:12 AM an extremely powerful earthquake, later estimated at 7.8 magnitude, convulses the bustling metropolis of San Francisco, California. The quake and resulting fires will destroy 80 percent of the city, kill 3,000, and leave upwards of 300,000 homeless.The 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck the coast of Northern California at 5:12 a.m. on April 18 with an estimated moment magnitude of 7.8 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI. Severe shaking was felt from Eureka on the North Coast to the Salinas Valley, an agricultural region to the south of the San Francisco Bay Area. Devastating fires soon broke out in the city and lasted for several days. As a result, about 3,000 people died and over 80% of the city of San Francisco was destroyed. The events are remembered as one of the worst and deadliest natural disasters in the history of the United States. The death toll remains the greatest loss of life from a natural disaster in California’s history and high in the lists of American urban disasters.
Fatalities: 3,000 Date: Apr 18, 1906
wiki/1906_San_Francisco_earthquake(1949) Republic of Ireland officially sheds ties to the UKFive-sixths of Ireland is no longer part of the United Kingdom’s Commonwealth, as the Republic of Ireland Act takes effect. While peace comes to the Republic, ‘The Troubles’ in Northern Ireland will continue into the second half of the 20th century.
The Republic of Ireland Act 1948 (No. 22 of 1948) is an Act of the Oireachtas (parliament) which declared that Ireland may be officially described as the Republic of Ireland, and vested in the President of Ireland the power to exercise the executive authority of the state in its external relations, on the advice of the Government of Ireland. The Act was signed into law on 21 December 1948 and came into force on 18 April 1949, Easter Monday, the 33rd anniversary of the beginning of the Easter Rising.
The Act ended the remaining statutory role of the British monarchy in relation to the state, by repealing the 1936 External Relations Act, which had vested in George VI and his successors those functions which the Act now transferred to the President.
wiki/Republic_of_Ireland_Act_1948(1956) Grace Kelly becomes a princessThe movie star marries Prince Rainier III of Monaco in a civil ceremony, effectively ending her acting career. The formal church ceremony will happen the next day, watched by millions on live TV. Prince Rainier III and the Princess consort will remain married until her death in 1982.
Grace Patricia Kelly was an American actress who became Princess of Monaco after marrying Prince Rainier III, in April 1956. After embarking on an acting career in 1950, at age 20, Kelly appeared in New York City theatrical productions and more than 40 episodes of live drama productions broadcast during the early 1950s Golden Age of Television. In October 1953, she gained stardom from her performance in the film Mogambo, which won her a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination in 1954. Subsequently, she had leading roles in five films, including The Country Girl, for which her deglamorized performance earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress. Other films include High Noon with Gary Cooper, Dial M for Murder with Ray Milland, Rear Window with James Stewart, To Catch a Thief with Cary Grant, and High Society with Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby.
Lived: Nov 12, 1929 – Sep 14, 1982 (age 52) Height: 5′ 7″ (1.69 m) Spouse: Rainier III, Prince of Monaco (m. 1956 – 1982) Children: Princess Stéphanie of Monaco (Daughter) · Caroline, Princess of Hanover (Daughter) · Albert II, Prince of Monaco (Son) Awards: Academy Award for Best Actress (1955) · Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture (1954) · Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama (1955) · National Board of Review Award for Best Actress
Rainier III ruled the Principality of Monaco for almost 56 years, making him one of the longest ruling monarchs in European history. Though internationally known for his marriage to the American actress Grace Kelly, he was also responsible for reforms to Monaco’s constitution and for expanding the principality’s economy beyond its traditional casino gambling base. Gambling accounts for only approximately three percent of the nation’s annual revenue today; when Rainier ascended the throne in 1949, it accounted for more than 95 percent.
Lived: May 31, 1923 – Apr 06, 2005 (age 81) Spouse: Grace Kelly (m. 1956 – 1982) Children: Princess Stéphanie of Monaco (Daughter) · Albert II, Prince of Monaco (Son) · Caroline, Princess of Hanover (Daughter) Siblings: Princess Antoinette, Baroness of Massy (Sister) Parents: Prince Pierre, Duke of Valentinois (Father) · Princess Charlotte, Duchess of Valentinois (Mother)
1944: In 1944, upon his 21st birthday, Rainier’s mother renounced her right to the Monegasque throne and Rainier became Prince Louis’s direct heir.
1944: In World War II Rainier joined the Free French Army in September 1944, and serving under General de Monsabert as a second lieutenant, and seeing action during the German counter-offensive in Alsace.
1949: Rainier became the Sovereign Prince of Monaco on the death of Louis II on 9 May 1949.
1950: Rainier established a postal museum in 1950: the Museum of Stamps and Coins, in Monaco’s Fontvieille district by using the collections of the Monegasque princes Albert I and Louis II.
1956: Rainier III, Prince of Monaco married Grace Kelly on April 18, 1956; their marriage lasted 26 years till September 14, 1982.
1962: As Prince of Monaco, Rainier was also responsible for the principality’s new constitution in 1962 which significantly reduced the power of the sovereign.