a December 20:
2001 As the 30-day state of siege declared the previous day in Argentina fails to quell food riots, looting, and peaceful and violent demonstrations protesting against austerity measures, President Fernando de la Rua resigns, following the resignation of Economy Minister Domingo Cavallo and the offer of resignation of the whole cabinet, rejected by de la Rua. In two days, 20 looters have already been killed by shopkeepers defending their stores.
1999 Ghana becomes the 6th country to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (which has not been ratified nor even signed by the US)
1999 The US Naturalization and Immigration Service drives Marisleysis Gonzalez to tears [< photo] and dismays Lazaro Gonzalez, by refusing to give them hope that their shipwrecked relative Elian Gonzalez, 6, can stay in the US, as desired by the boy's mother, Elizabet Brotons Rodriguez, who drowned shipwrecked as she was bringing her child out of Cuba to the US. Meanwhile Elian visits a psychiatrist, who finds that it would be traumatic for the child to be taken from his Miami relatives who opened their heart and their home to him. And in Cuba, Castro continues to orchestrate mass demonstration demanding the return of Elian to his father in Cuba, which shows no sign of wanting to go and fetch his son (perhaps Castro does not allow it, so as to exploit fully the propaganda advantage that the misguided Cuban exiles in Miami have handed him).
1999 The Vermont Supreme Court rules that homosexual couples are entitled to the same benefits and protections as wedded couples of the opposite sex.
1998 La banda terrorista ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna) difunde un comunicado, el primero desde el anuncio de alto el fuego, en el que acepta negociar con el Gobierno y se compromete a mantener la tregua iniciada en el mes de septiembre.
1997 Por primera vez la prensa oficial cubana publica un mensaje del Papa a los cubanos con motivo de la celebración de la Navidad.
1995 NATO assumes peacekeeping in Bosnia
During an official ceremony in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, General Bernard Janvier, head of the United Nations peacekeeping force, formally transfers military authority in Bosnia to Admiral Leighton Smith, commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Implementation Force. The ceremony clears the path for the deployment of 60'000 NATO troops to enforce the Dayton peace accords, signed in Paris, France, by the leaders of the former Yugoslavia on December 14. The US-backed peace plan was proposed during talks in Dayton, Ohio, earlier in the year, and was reluctantly accepted by the last of the belligerent parties on November 11, ending four years of bloody conflict in the former Yugoslavia. The United Nations peacekeeping mission began in early 1992, and although the UN force proved crucial in distributing humanitarian aid to the impoverished population of Bosnia, it was unable to stop the war. Approximately 25,000 UN peacekeepers served in Bosnia over a three-and-a-half year period, and during this time 110 of these soldiers were killed, 831 wounded, and hundreds were taken hostage. The NATO force, with its US support and focused aim of enforcing the Daytona agreement, proves more successful in maintaining the peace in the war-torn region.
1994 Newspapers report that an Internet user had taken revenge on a writer who attempted to market his book through Internet discussion groups. Writer Michael Wolff posted 150 messages on Usenet bulletin boards in December 1994. The postings generated controversy because many early Internet users felt that cyberspace should remain free of marketing and advertising. To make the point that marketing messages were not welcome on the Internet, a user calling himself "Cancelmoose" erased all of Wolff's messages with a cancelbot program.
1991 The Federal Executive Council President of Yugoslavia, Ante Markovic, a Croat, resigns after refusing to approve a federal budget of which four-fifths was earmarked for war against Croatia. Only Serbia and Montenegro remain in Yugoslavia.
1991 El Parlamento de Guinea Ecuatorial aprueba la ley de amnistía para todos los presos políticos, horas después de reconocer la libertad de reunión y manifestación.
1990 Pentagon warns Saddam that US air power is ready to attack on 1/15
1990 Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze resigns.
1988 Representantes de 49 países firman en Viena la convención contra el narcotráfico.
1988 Ranasinghe Premadasa, elegido presidente de Sri Lanka.
1986 White teenagers beat Blacks in Howard Beach NY
1984 33 unknown Bach keyboard works found in the Yale library
1983 PLO chairman Yasser Arafat and 4000 loyalists evacuate Lebanon under Israeli pressure and under the protection of the UN.
1980 USSR formally announces death of Alexei Kosygin
1978 H.R. Haldeman, Nixon's White House chief of staff released from jail
1976 Israel's PM Yitzhak Rabin resigns
|1971 Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto assumes power
Bhutto promises to make a new Pakistan out of the West Wing and to restore national confidence. He conveniently laid the entire blame for the 1971 war and Pakistan's defeat on Yahya Khan and his junta. Asserting the principle of civilian leadership, Bhutto introduced a new constitution with a modified parliamentary and federal system. He attempted to control and reform the civil service and took steps to revitalize a stagnant economy and ameliorate conditions for the poor under the banner of Islamic socialism.
Bhutto's most visible success, however, was in the international arena, where he employed his diplomatic skills. He negotiated a satisfactory peace settlement with India in 1972, built new links between Pakistan and the oil-exporting Islamic countries to the west, and generally was effective in repairing Pakistan's image in the aftermath of the war. Bhutto's program appeared to be laudable but fell short in performance. His near-monopoly of decision-making power prevented democratic institutions from taking root, and his overreaching ambitions managed in time to antagonize all but his closest friends.
The PPP (Bhutto's party) manifesto was couched in socialist terms. When Bhutto issued the Economic Reform Order on January 3, 1972, banking and insurance institutions were nationalized, and seventy other industrial enterprises were taken over by the government. The Ministry of Production, which incorporated the Board of Industrial Management, was established to oversee industry. Investment in the public sector increased substantially, and Bhutto maneuvered to break the power of the approximately twenty elite families who had dominated the nation's economy during the Ayub Khan period.
Trade unions were strengthened, and welfare measures for labor were announced. Although Bhutto's initial zeal diminished as he came face-to-face with economic realities and the shortage of capital, he tried to refurbish his populist image with another spate of nationalizations in 1976.
Bhutto purged the military ranks of about 1400 officers. He also created a paramilitary force called the Federal Security Force (which functioned almost as his personal bodyguard), a watchdog on the armed forces, and an internal security force. A white paper on defense issued in 1976 firmly subordinated the armed forces to civilian control and gave Bhutto, then also prime minister, the decisive voice in all matters relating to national security. In that role, Bhutto took credit for bringing home more than 90'000 prisoners of war without allowing any of them to come to trial in Bangladesh for war crimes.
In 1976 Bhutto replaced Tikka Khan, whose term had expired, with General Mohammad Zia ul-Haq as chief of staff of the army. Like Ayub Khan, Zia was appointed over several more senior generals. Also like Ayub Khan, Zia came from a community not heavily represented in the armed forces (the Arains from Punjab) and was thought to be without political ambition (big mistake!). In April 1972, Bhutto lifted martial law and convened the National Assembly, which consisted of members elected from the West Wing in December 1970 (plus two from the East Wing who decided their loyalties were with a united Pakistan).
The standing controversies about the role of Islam, provincial autonomy, and the form of government--presidential or parliamentary--remained on the agenda. There was much jostling for position among the three major political groups: the PPP, most powerful in Punjab and Sindh; the National Awami Party (NAP) and the Jamiat-ul-Ulama-i-Islam (JUI), both based in the North- West Frontier Province and Balochistan. The provincial assemblies were constituted from those elected in December 1970. There was much tension during the process of drafting a new constitution, especially from members from the North-West Frontier Province and Balochistan. Bhutto reached some accommodation with opposition leaders from those two provinces on the matter of gubernatorial appointment and constitutional principle.
Pakistan's third constitution was formally submitted on 31 December 1972, approved on 10 April 1973, and promulgated on independence day, August 14, 1973. Although Bhutto campaigned in 1970 for the restoration of a parliamentary system, by 1972 he preferred a presidential system with himself as president. However, in deference to the wishes of the opposition and some in his own cabinet, Bhutto accepted a formal parliamentary system in which the executive was responsible to the legislature. Supposedly in the interests of government stability, provisions were also included that made it almost impossible for the National Assembly to remove the prime minister.
The 1973 constitution provided for a federal structure in which residuary powers were reserved for the provinces. However, Bhutto dismissed the coalition NAP-JUI ministries in Balochistan and the North- West Frontier Province, revealing his preference for a powerful center without opposition in the provinces. Bhutto's power derived less from the 1973 constitution than from his charismatic appeal to the people and from the vigor of the PPP. Its socialist program and Bhutto's oratory had done much to radicalize the urban sectors in the late 1960s and were responsible for the popular optimism accompanying the restoration of democracy.
The ideological appeal of the PPP to the masses sat uneasily with the compromises Bhutto reached with the holders of economic and political influence--the landlords and commercial elites. Factionalism and patrimonialism became rife in the PPP, especially in Punjab. The internal cohesion of the PPP and its standing in public esteem were affected adversely by the ubiquitous political and bureaucratic corruption that accompanied state intervention in the economy and, equally, by the rising incidence of political violence, which included beating, arresting, and even murdering opponents.
| The PPP had started as a movement mobilizing
people to overthrow a military regime, but in Bhutto's lifetime it failed
to change into a political party organized for peaceful functioning in an
open polity. Provincial Identity Bhutto's predilection for a strong center
and for provincial governments in the hands of the PPP inevitably aroused
opposition in provinces where regional and ethnic identity was strong. Feelings
of Sindhi solidarity were maintained by Bhutto's personal connections with
the feudal leaders (wadera) of Sindh and his ability to manipulate offices
He did not enjoy the same leverage in the North-West Frontier Province or Balochistan. A long-dormant crisis erupted in Balochistan in 1973 into an insurgency that lasted four years and became increasingly bitter. The insurgency was put down by the Pakistan Army, which employed brutal methods and equipment, including Huey-Cobra helicopter gunships, provided by Iran and flown by Iranian pilots. The deep-seated Baloch nationalism based on tribal identity had international as well as domestic aspects. Divided in the nineteenth century among Iran, Afghanistan, and British India, the Baloch found their aspirations and traditional nomadic life frustrated by the presence of national boundaries and the extension of central administration over their lands. Moreover, many of the most militant Baloch nationalists were also vaguely Marxist-Leninist and willing to risk Soviet protection for an autonomous Balochistan.
As the insurgency wore on, the influence of a relatively small but disciplined liberation front seemed to increase. Bhutto was able to mobilize domestic support for his drive against the Baloch. Punjab's support was most tangibly represented in the use of the army to put down the insurgency. One of the main Baloch grievances was the influx of Punjabi settlers, miners, and traders into their resource-rich but sparsely populated lands. Bhutto could also invoke the idea of national integration with effect in the aftermath of Bengali secession.
External assistance to Bhutto was generously given by the shah of Iran, who feared a spread of the insurrection among the Iranian Baloch. Some foreign governments feared that an independent or autonomous Balochistan might allow the Soviet Union to develop and use the port at Gwadar, and no outside power was willing to assist the Baloch openly or to sponsor the cause of Baloch autonomy.
During the mid-1970s, Afghanistan was preoccupied with its own internal problems and seemingly anxious to normalize relations with Pakistan. India was fearful of further balkanization of the subcontinent after Bangladesh, and the Soviet Union did not wish to jeopardize the leverage it was gaining with Pakistan. However, during the Bhutto regime hostilities in Balochistan were protracted. The succeeding Zia ul-Haq government took a more moderate approach, relying more on economic development to placate the Baloch.
Bhutto proceeded cautiously in the field of land reform and did not fulfill earlier promises of distributing land to the landless on the scale he had promised, as he was forced to recognize and to cultivate the sociopolitical influence of landowners. However, he did not impede the process of consolidation of tenancy rights and acquisition of mid-sized holdings by servicemen. Punjab was the vital agricultural region of Pakistan; it remained a bastion of support for the government.
Bhutto specifically targeted the powerful and privileged Civil Service of Pakistan (CSP) and introduced measures of administrative reform with the declared purpose of limiting the paternalistic power of the bureaucracy. The CSP, however, had played the role of guardian alongside the army since independence. Many of its members reacted badly to Bhutto's politicizing appointments, for which patronage seemed a more important criterion than merit or seniority.
Relations with India were, at best, uneven during the Bhutto period. He accomplished the return of the prisoners of war through the Simla Agreement of 1972, but no settlement of the key problem of Kashmir was possible beyond an agreement that any settlement should be peaceful. Bhutto reacted strongly to the detonation of a nuclear device by India in 1974 and pledged that Pakistan would match that development even if Pakistanis had to "eat grass" to cover the cost.
Bhutto claimed success for his economic policies. The gross national product (GNP ) and the rate of economic growth climbed. Inflation fell from 25 percent in fiscal year 1972 to 6 percent in FY 1976, although other economic measures he introduced did not perform as well.
Bhutto pointed out that his foreign policy had brought Pakistan prestige in the Islamic world, peace if not friendship with India, and self-respect in dealings with the great powers. He felt assured of victory in any election. Therefore, with commitment to a constitutional order at stake, in January 1977 he announced he would hold national and provincial assembly elections in March. The response of the opposition to this news was vigorous. Nine political parties ranging across the ideological spectrum formed a united front--the Pakistan National Alliance (PNA). Fundamentalist Muslims were satisfied by the adoption of Nizam-i-Mustafa, meaning "Rule of the Prophet," as the front's slogan. Modern secular elements, however, respected the association of Air Marshal Asghar Khan.
The PNA ran candidates for almost all national and provincial seats. As curbs on the press and political activity were relaxed for the election campaign, an apparently strong wave of support for the PNA swept Pakistan's cities. This prompted a whirlwind tour of the country by Bhutto, with all his winning charm in the forefront. In the background lurked indirect curbs on free expression as well as political gangsterism. National Assembly election results were announced on March 7, proclaiming the PPP the winner with 155 seats versus thirty-six seats for the PNA.
Expecting trouble, Bhutto invoked Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which restricted assembly for political reasons. The PNA immediately challenged the election results as rigged and demanded a new election--not a recount. Bhutto refused, and a mass protest movement was launched against him. Religious symbols were used by both sides to mobilize agitation; for example, Bhutto imposed prohibitions on the consumption of alcoholic beverages and on gambling. Despite talks between Bhutto and opposition leaders, the disorders persisted as a multitude of frustrations were vented. The army intervened on July 5, took all political leaders including Bhutto into custody, and proclaimed martial law.
1963 Four thousand cross the Berlin Wall (1st time it opens to West Berliners) to visit relatives under a 17 day Christmas accord.
1960 National Liberation Front is formed by guerrillas fighting the Diem regime in South Vietnam.
1960 La Fundación Juan March dona, por 10 millones de pesetas, a la Biblioteca Nacional el códice del Cantar del Mío Cid. [otro sitio Cantar del Mío Cid -1- -2- -3-] [un tercer sitio: Cantar del Mío Cid]
1948 US Supreme Court announces that it has no jurisdiction to hear the appeals of Japanese war criminals sentenced by the International Military Tribunal.
1944 Battle of Bastogne, Nazis surround 101st Airborne (NUTS!)
1943 Soviet forces halt a German army trying to relieve the besieged city of Stalingrad.
1941 The Flying Tigers, American pilots in China, enter combat against the Japanese over Kunming.
| 1938 V.K. Zworykin receives patent on the Iconoscope
1933 The German Nazi government announces 400'000 citizens are to be sterilized because of hereditary defects.
1930 Thousands of Spaniards sign a revolutionary manifesto.
1930 Francis Chichester, aviador y marino inglés, comienza un viaje en solitario desde el Reino Unido hasta Australia.
1924 Adolf Hitler is released from prison after serving less than one year of a five year sentence for treason.
1922 14 republics form Union of Soviet Socialistic Republics (USSR)
1913 La Joconde est récupérée. Presque deux années et demie se sont écoulées depuis ce funeste beau matin d'été où la Joconde fut volée. Deux années de fastidieuse enquête jusqu'au miracle Florentin. La Joconde était retrouvé en parfait état. Vicenzo Perrugia, le voleur voulait réparer une injustice et la rendre à l'Italie sa terre natale.
1909 Una comisión de expertos rechaza en Copenhague la reivindicación del descubrimiento del Polo Norte por Frederick Albert Cook.
1904 The Russians at Port Arthur capitulate to the Japanese.
1893 First state anti-lynching statue approved, in Georgia
1879 Tom Edison privately demonstrates his incandescent light, at Menlo Park, New Jersey.
| 1864 Confederates evacuate Savannah, Georgia.
1862 Confederate cavalry led by General Earl Van Dorn raids Holly Springs, Mississippi
1848 Louis-Napoléon prête serment: " En présence de Dieu et devant le peuple français représenté par l'Assemblée nationale, je jure de rester fidèle à la république démocratique, une et indivisible, et de remplir tous les devoirs que m'impose la Constitution.
1845 La république du Texas décide de faire partie de l'Union. Ce vaste territoire est le plus grand des États Unis d'Amérique après l'Alaska, il a appartenu successivement à l'Espagne, la France et au Mexique. Le Texas est maintenant un état des plus riches où abondent les puits de pétrole et les industries ; on y élève aussi d'immenses troupeaux de boeufs.
| 1820 Missouri imposes a $1 annual tax on unmarried
men frow 21 to 50 years of age.
1699 Peter the Great orders Russian New Year changed 01 Sep to 01 Jan.
1669 1st jury trial in Delaware; Marcus Jacobson condemned for insurrection and sentenced to flogging, branding, and slavery
1592 Cédula de Felipe II declarando ciudad a La Habana.
1494 Los Reyes Católicos dictan el fuero para Las Palmas, capital del archipiélago canario.
1192 Richard Cœur de Lion est fait prisonnier par l’empereur Léopold. De retour de la IIIe Croisade, le roi a beau se déguiser et voyager avec seulement deux compagnons, il est reconnu et arrêté. Son absence prolongée délivre ses fidèles de leur promesse de ne pas servir son frère Jean sans Terre pendant au moins 3 ans.
which occurred on a December 20:
2002 Yitzhak Arameh, shot from ambush at 10:30, near Gush Katif block of enclave settlements, Gaza Strip, while driving toward the Afula area with his wife and their six children, none of whom is hurt. He was since 1995 the rabbi of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish enclave settlement Netzer Hazani.
2002 Abdul Aziz Mir, 40, by a bullet in the chest, in Srinagar, Indian-occupied Kashmir, as he came out of a mosque after offering Friday prayers. He was of the ruling Popular Democratic Party, a member of the “Jammu and Kashmir” legislative assembly, the first one to be killed since the Mufti government of the state came to power in October 2002.
2002: At least 18 policemen, in an ambush (started before midnight 19 December) on a police convoy in the Sanda forests, near Rourkhela, in Jharkhand state (India), south of Manoharpur in its West Singhbhum district bordering Orissa state, by guerrillas of the Maoist Communist Center guerillas. More than 20 policemen are wounded. This is retaliation for the 18 December 2002 killing by police of the MCC's top leader, Ishwari Mahato. More than 6000 deaths have resulted in five states of south and east India from these rebels' fighting, started in 1981. They mostly target rich landowners and police, as exploiters of farm workers. They are allied with other rebels, the People's War Group. One of the oldest demands for a separate state in India was fulfilled when the Lok Sabha (Parliament) passed the Bihar Reorganization Bill on 02 August 2000 to create, effective 15 November 2000, the state of Jharkhand, which comprises 22 districts of the erstwhile Bihar (18 at the time of separation). With an area of 74'677 sq km, the new state is bordered by Bihar, Chattisgarh, Orissa, and West Bengal to its north, west, south and east. The former Bihar had 35% in what is now Jharkhand, and derived 63% of its revenues from there, a poor region rich in forests and minerals..
|Un poème de Senghor.
TEDDUNGAL (dans Ethiopiques)
Sall ! je proclame ton nom Sall ! du Fouta-Damga au Cap-Vert
Le lac Baïdé faisait nos pieds plus frais, et maigres nous marchions par le Pays-haut du Dyêri.
Et soufflaient les passions une tornade fauve aux piquants des gommiers. Où la tendresse du vert au Printemps ?
Yeux et narines rompus par Vent d'Est, nos gorges comme des citernes sonnaient creux à l'appel immense de la poitrine. C'était grande pitié.
Nous marchions par le Dyêri au pas du boeuf-porteur l'aile du cheval bleu est pour les Maîtres-de-Saint-Louis - mais nos pieds dans la poussière des morts et nos têtes parées de nulle poudre d'or.
Or les scorpions furent de sable, les caméléons de toutes couleurs. Or les rires des singes secouaient l'arbre des palabres, comme peau de panthère les embûches zébraient la nuit.
Mille embûches des puissants: chaque touffe d'herbes cache un ennemi.
Nous avons ceint nos reins, affermi les remparts de notre coeur, nous avons repoussé lances et roses.
Roses et roses les navettes qui tissaient lêlés et yêlas, exquis les éloges des vierges quand la terre est froide à minuit.
Et leur tête était d'or, la lune éclairait le poème à contre-jour.
Belle ô Khasonkée parmi tes égales, à grande libellule les ailes déployées et lentement virant au flanc de la colline de Bakel
Jusqu'à ce mouvement soudain qui te brisait le cou, comme une syncope à battre mon coeur.
Ton sourire était doux sous paupières déclives, et grondaient les tam-tams peints de couleurs furieuses.
Ah ! ce coeur de poète, ah ! ce coeur de femme et de lion, quelle douleur à le dompter.
Or nous avons marché tels de blancs initiés. Pour toute nourriture le lait clair, et pour toute parole la rumination du mot essentiel.
Et lorsque le temps fut venu, je tendis un cou dur gonflé de veines comme une pile formidable.
C'était l'heure de la rosée, le premier chant du coq avait percé la brume, fait retourner les hommes des milices dans leur quatrième sommeil.
Les chiens jaunes n'avaient pas aboyé.
Et contre les portes de bronze je proférai le mot explosif teddungal !
Teddungal ngal du Fouta-Damga au Cap-Vert. Ce fut un grand déchirement des apparences, et les hommes restitués à leur noblesse, les choses à leur vérité.
Vert et vert Wâlo et Fouta, pagne fleuri de lacs et de moissons.
De longs troupeaux coulaient, ruisseaux de lait dans la vallée.
Honneur au Fouta rédimé ! Honneur au Royaume d'enfance !
| 2000 Juan Miguel Gervilla, de 38 años de edad, guardia
urbano, asesinanado por dos miembros de ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna), en
una céntrica calle de Barcelona..
2000 Hani Youssef al-Sufi, 12, Palestinian, during a fierce gun battle between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian gunmen in the Rafah district of the Gaza Strip near the Egyptian border.
2000 Rifaat Feisal Abu Marzouk, 28, Palestinian, as the fire truck in which he is riding is riddled with gunfire from Israeli troops at the intersection of the main Gaza Strip north-south road with a road leading to a large Jewish settlement. In the same truck, Nidal Abu Aoun, 28, and a third emergency worker are critically wounded. This brings the death toll of the 12-week-old el-Aqsa intifada to 334, all but some 30 of them Palestinians.
1996 Carl Sagan, a los 62 años, astrónomo americano.
1995: 159 of the 163 aboard an American Airlines Boeing 757 en route to Cali, Colombia, which crashes into a mountain.
1994 Dean Rusk, 85, former US Secretary of State, in Athens, Georgia.
1987 More than 3000 (1749 at first count) in worst peacetime shipping disaster, Doña Paz, a Philippine passenger ship, collides with the tanker Vector off Mindoro island, setting off a double explosion.
1976 Richard J. Daley, Chicago mayor ("The police are not there to create chaos, the police are there to preserve chaos.). He was born on 15 May 1902.
1973 Luis Carrero Blanco, PM of Spain, assassinated con explosivos por terroristas de ETA (Euzkadi Ta Askatasuna).
1968 John Steinbeck, 66, US author, in New York.
1962 Emil Artin, mathematician.
1961 Moss Hart, 57, playwright
1929 Paolo Sala, Italian artist born on 14 January 1859.
1929 Émile François Loubet, ex presidente de la República Francesa.
1924 Ricardo Bellver y Ramón, escultor español.
1911 Joan Maragall, poeta español.
1900 Carl Ludwig Friedrich Becker, German artist born on 18 December 1820.
| 1900 Frederick Richard Pickersgill, British painter
born on 25 September 1820. — links
1892 Inflatable automobile tire.
Brown and George Stillman of Syracuse, New York, patented an inflatable automobile tire. Before the pneumatic tire, wheels were often made of solid rubber. This made travel a bumpy experience. After all, the streets of 1892 were made of dirt or cobblestone. Some horse-drawn carriages had been made with inflatable tires, but Brown and Stillman got the first patent for pneumatic automobile tires.
1876 Hannah Omish, 12, youngest ever lawfully hanged in US.
1817 Lié-Louis Périn-Salbreux, French artist born on 12 October 1753.
1812 Boinaiv Sacagawea Charbonneau, 26, Shoshone interpreter for the Lewis and Clark expedition. Her (imagined) effigy is on the US $1 golden-colored coin [photo >] first issued in 2000. (Toussaint Charbonneau married both Sacagawea and another Shoshone simultaneously. Some believe the one who died in 1812 is the other wife and that Sacagawea lived until 1884).
1783 Antonio Soler, compositor español.
1591 Juan de Lanuza, Justicia Mayor de Aragón, perece en el cadalso, por defender los fueros de Aragón, que con él terminaron.
1590 Ambroise Paré, 80, French surgeon
1552 Katherine von Bora, 53, a former nun and the widow of German reformer Martin Luther. Both unfaithful to their vows of celibacy, they married in 1525, when Luther was 42 and Katie was 26, and bore six children. Luther died in 1546; Katie, six years later.
1355 Stephen Urosh IV Dusan of Serbia, while marching to attack Constantinople.
1073 Santo Domingo de Silos, religioso español.
0639 Chintila, rey visigodo de España.
| Births which
occurred on a December 20:
1984 Megabit memory chip, Bell Labs announces that it had developed the long-awaited megabit memory chip. The chip could store more than one million bits of electronic data, quadrupling the capacity of existing chips.
1929 Manuel Losada Villasante, científico español
1929 Milan Panic, ingeniero químico y político yugoslavo.
1927 Kim Young Sam, presidente de Corea del Sur.
1919 Canadian National Railways established (N America's longest, 50'000 KM)
1918 Jean Marchand, Canadian politician who died on 28 August 1988.
1914 Robert Colquhoun, British artist who died on 20 September 1962. — more with links to images.
1911 Hortense Calisher novelist (Arts & Letters 1967)
1902 Sidney Hook, US anticommunist social philosopher (Paradoxes of Freedom). He died on 12 July 1989.
1902 Max Lerner, US educator and columnist, but always a Lerner. He died on 05 June 1992.
1901 Robert Van de Graaff Alabama, physicist and inventor (Mobility of Gaseous Ions). He died on 16 January 1967.
1895 Susanne Langer US, philosopher/educator (Philosophy in a New Key)
1894 Sir Robert Menzies Australian PM (1939-41, 1949-66). He died on 16 May 1978.
1875 T.F. Powys Wales, writer (Captain Patch, Goat Green)
1875 Cantelli, mathematician.
1868 Harvey S. Firestone US industrialist, where the rubber meets the road He died on 07 February 1938.
1858 Theodoor Jan Toorop, Dutch Symbolist painter who died on 03 March 1928. MORE ON TOOROP AT ART 4 DECEMBER with links to images.
1854 Charles Wilda, Austrian artist who died on 11 June 1907.
1843 Paul Tannery, mathematician.
1841 Ferdinand-Edouard Buisson France, educator (Nobel Peace Prize 1927)
1776 José María del Castillo y Rada, abogado y político colombiano.
1744 Jean François Pierre Peyron, French artist who died on 20 January 1814. — more with links to images.
1648 Tommaso Ceva, mathematician.
1494 Fine, mathematician
|ENIGMATICAL PROPHECIES [from the 1736
Almanack, with the original spelling].
Which they that do not understand, cannot well explain.
1. Before the middle of this year, a wind at N. East will arise, during which the water of the sea and rivers will be in such manner raised, that great part of the towns of Boston, Newport, New-York, Philadelphia, the low lands of Maryland and Virginia, and the town of Charlstown in South Carolina, will be under water. Happy will it be for the sugar and salt, standing in the cellars of those places, if there be tight roofs and cielings overhead; otherwise, without being a conjurer, a man may easily foretel that such commodities will receive damage.
2. About the middle of the year, great numbers of vessels fully laden will be taken out of the ports aforesaid, by a Power with which we are not now at war, and whose forces shall not be descried or seen either coming or going. But in the end this may not be disadvantageous to those places.
3. However, not long after, a visible army of 30000 musketers will land, some in Virginia and Maryland, and some in the lower counties on both sides of Delaware, who will over-run the country, and sorely annoy the inhabitants; but the air in this climate will agree with them so ill towards winter, that they will die in the beginning of cold weather like rotten sheep, and by Christmas the inhabitans will get the better of them.
[These 3 prophecies, reproduced in This Day in History for yesterday, did indeed come to pass, but Franklin's readers had to wait one year for the 1737 Almanack to understand them. I will not make you wait that long, Here is Franklin's 1737 explanation of the first prophecy. For the other two, make sure you read This Day in History for the next few days.]
In my last I published some enigmatical prophecies, which I did not expect any one would take for serious predictions. The explanation I promised, follows, viz.
1. The water of the sea and rivers is raised in vapours by the sun, is form'd into clouds in the air, and thence descends in rain. Now when there is rain overhead, (which frequently happens when the wind is at N.E.) the cities and places on the earth below, are certainly under water.