Day 294 of the Year Twenty & 13
On this day…
In 1521 Martin Luther joins the faculty at Wittenberg.
In 1520 Ferdinand Magellan discovers a straight that leads from the Atlantic to the Pacific. He calls it, “The Straights of Magellan,” after himself.
In 1774, American Colonials at Taunton, Massachusetts raise a flag that bears the word “Liberty.” It is the first use of such a flag in defiance of Great Britain.
In 1805 the Royal Navy defeats the French Navy at the Battle of Trafalgar. Lord Nelson is killed in the fight, his body is stored in a cask of wine for transport home to a burial in Westminster Abbey. It is the last time the French ever even pretend to have a Navy.
In 1861 Colonel Edward Baker is killed at the Battle of Ball’s Bluff. Baker is a close friend of President Lincoln and the embarrassing defeat results in a Congressional investigation into the affair, the first of many Congressional investigations into the conduct of the Civil War and is a great example of both political targeting and stupidity.
In 1921 President Warren G. Harding, who will not be one of the most well regarded Presidents, delivers a address in which he becomes the first sitting President to speak out against the practice of lynching.
In 1944 the first Japanese Kamikaze attack takes place off at the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
In 1959 the Guggenheim Museum opens to the public.
In 1967 100,000 people gather in Washington, D.C. to protest the Vietnam War. There are fights between the protestors and soldiers assigned to guard the City. Many are arrested by US Marshals during a march to the White House.
In 1983 the metre is defined as the “distance light travels in a vacuum in 1/299,792,458th’s of a second. That’s pretty fast.