|On a February 16:
2003 Presidential elections in the Greek two-thirds of Cyprus, conservative Tassos Papadopoulos 69, gets 51.5% of the vote, defeating incumbent Glafcos Clerides, 83, with 38.8%, and eight other candidates. Clerides is seen as too accomodating towards Turkish Cypriots on the way to an accord with them prerequisite to Cyprus being admitted to the European Union, it is hoped that on 16 April 2003..
2002 Biologists from The Peregrine Fund release seven California Condors on top of the 300-meter Vermilion Cliffs, north of the Grand Canyon, in Arizona.
2001 Nortel Networks stock drops 33%
Shares of Nortel Networks (NT) fall nearly 33% on the NYSE, from $29.75 to $20.00, after the Canadian telecom equipment maker cut its 2001 profit forecast by two-thirds and said it now plans to cut 10'000 in 2001. 121 million of the 3 billion shares of NT are traded this day.
The Toronto Stock Exchange index, where NT has much influence, falls 574.10 (6.4%) to 8393.20. There 24 million shares of NT are traded, falling also 33% to ca$31.00 from ca$46.15 (the Canadian dollar is worth 65 US cents this day) (the DJIA falls 0.84%, the S&P500 1.9%, and the NASDAQ 5%).
After insisting for months that its robust forecasts could withstand the US economic slide, Nortel issued the profit warning after the stock market closed the previous day. The news threatened to douse the flickers of confidence investors have shown for technology shares this week. Those stocks have been hammered over the past month amid similar announcements from other major technology companies such as Cisco Systems saying business conditions are turning even weaker than expected in the United States.
Nortel, the world's top supplier of optical gear for telephone and Internet data networks, also said on 15 February that it will eliminate 6000 more positions in 2001 on top of the 4000 job cuts announced in January. 6000 of those 10'000 positions already have been eliminated.
Nortel is one of several major technology companies cutting jobs to cut costs in a weakening economy. Also on on 15 February, Dell Computer announced plans to cut 1700 jobs. Other planned job cuts announced in recent weeks include 16'000 at Lucent Technologies and 9370 at Motorola, both major rivals to Nortel.
The rapid economic slowdown has prompted the Federal Reserve to lower its lending rates twice since the start of 2001.
Nortel now expects just 15% growth in sales and a 10% gain in operating profits for the year, down from management's previously steadfast forecasts that those measures would improve 30 percent or better.
2001 La aviación estadounidense bombardea Bagdad, la capital iraquí.
2000 Norway becomes the 7th country (preceded by Senegal, Trinidad and Tobago, Italy, Fiji, and Ghana) to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (which has not been ratified nor even signed by the US)
2000 Lucy Edwards, a former Bank of New York executive, and her husband, Peter Berlin, pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan to laundering billions of dollars from Russian bankers in one of the biggest such crimes in US history.
2000 CAT SAVES ITS HUMAN, WHO DOES NOT
Micke Sahlstrom, 39, is sleeping peacefully in his home in Vetlanda, southern Sweden.
Suddenly, in the middle of the night, he awakes.
Zarah, his cat is hitting Micke's face with its paws, and yowling loudly.
The house is on fire! The man runs out... forgetting the cat.
But a few minutes later a firewoman rescues Zarah.
1999 Impeachment aftermath: cite Clinton for
(1) District Judge Susan Webber Wright, the judge who oversaw Paula Jones' sexual harassment suit against President Clinton says she'll consider citing the president for contempt because of his testimony about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
(3) The Blumenthal-Hitchens feud escalates when author Edward J. Epstein, a friend of Blumenthal, says that four years ago, Hitchens questioned whether the Holocaust had ever taken place. The Anti-Defamation League, which monitors anti-Semitism around the world, says Hitchens is not a Holocaust denier, and now Hitchens, a caustic critic of President Clinton, is accusing Epstein of launching a plot to destroy his reputation and is considering legal action against him.
|1999 Enraged Kurds seized embassies and held hostages
across Europe following Turkey's arrest of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah
Ocalan. — El líder del Partido de los Trabajadores del Kurdistán (PKK),
Abdulá Ocalan, es detenido en las proximidades de Ankara, capital de
Turquía, acusado de terrorismo y traición.|
1998 La Alta Comisionada de la ONU para Derechos Humanos y ex presidenta de Irlanda, Mary Robinson, recibe en París el premio al personaje europeo del año.
1996 In Philadelphia, world chess champion Garry Kasparov, with Black, after the Scotch 4-Knights opening, wins his 5th game against the IBM supercomputer "Deep Blue," making a Kasparov loss of the six-game match impossible, as he now leads 3 to 2. (Kasparov loses on 10 Feb Game 1 — wins on 11 Feb Game 2 — draws on 13 Feb Game 3 — draws on 14 Feb Game 4 — wins on 16 Feb Game 5 — wins on 17 Feb Game 6). The game:
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. d4 exd4 5. Nxd4 Bb4 6. Nxc6 bxc6 7. Bd3 d5 8. exd5 cxd5 9. O-O O-O 10. Bg5 c6 11. Qf3 Be7 12. Rae1 Re8 13. Ne2 h6 14. Bf4 Bd6 15. Nd4 Bg4 16. Qg3 Bxf4 17. Qxf4 Qb6 18. c4 Bd7 19. cxd5 cxd5 20. Rxe8+ Rxe8 21. Qd2 Ne4 22. Bxe4 dxe4 23. b3 Rd8 24. Qc3 f5 25. Rd1 Be6 26. Qe3 Bf7 27. Qc3 f4 28. Rd2 Qf6 29. g3 Rd5 30. a3 Kh7 31. Kg2 Qe5 32. f3 e3 33. Rd3 e2 34. gxf4 e1=Q 35. fxe5 Qxc3 36. Rxc3 Rxd4 37. b4 Bc4 38. Kf2 g5 39. Re3 Be6 40. Rc3 Bc4 41. Re3 Rd2+ 42. Ke1 Rd3 43. Kf2 Kg6 44. Rxd3 Bxd3 45. Ke3 Bc2 46. Kd4 Kf5 47. Kd5 h5. White resigns.
1994 Premier Alfonso Bustamente's government in Peru ends.
1994 Se inaugura oficialmente en La Haya la Europol, organismo de cooperación policial europea.
1994 Apple Computer announces Quick Take, a digital color camera that can download images directly to computers.
1993 Elías Yanes, arzobispo de Zaragoza, es elegido presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal Española.
1989 El dirigente Sam Nujoma, líder del SWAPO, es elegido primer presidente de Namibia.
1989 William Hayden becomes governor-General of Australia
1989 Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and North Yemen form common market
1988 first documented combat action by US military advisors in El Salvador.
1988 Elección consensuada en las Cortes Españolas del Defensor del Pueblo, Alvaro Gil Robles, que sustituye a Joaquín Ruiz-Giménez.
1987 John Demjanjuk went on trial in Jerusalem, accused of being "Ivan the Terrible," a guard at the Treblinka concentration camp. He was convicted, but the Israeli Supreme Court overturned the ruling.
1986 French air force bombs Ouadi Doum airport in Chad
1986 Mário Soares (Socialist) is elected Portugal's first civilian president.
1984 José Rodriguez de la Borbolla, nombrado presidente de la Junta de Andalucía, tras dimitir Rafael Escuredo.
1982 Agatha Barbara elected as first female President of Malta
1980 Continuous traffic jam extends 176 km north of Lyons, France
1978 first Computer Bulletin Board System (Ward and Randy's CBBS, Chicago)
1972 German mass murderers "Three of Breda" freed
1962 Se equiparan en España los derechos laborales de la mujer con los del hombre.
1960 Nuclear sub begins around-the-world trip
The USS Triton, a nuclear-powered submarine, departs New London, Connecticut, on the first global circumnavigation by a submerged submarine. The submarine, commanded by Captain Edward L. Beach and featuring a crew of thirteen officers and 135 men, is 136-meters-long and weighs 7750 tons when submerged. On 24 February, the Triton crosses the equator, and on 24 Apri completes its journey underwater around the world, having traveled 67'000 km in eighty-four days. On 11 May , the submarine returns to New London, where it was constructed and launched in the late 1950s. The hull of the submarine was submerged during the entire trip, although the upper mast broached the surface twice for defense reasons. From 1957 to 1958, another US submarine had circumnavigated the earth’s oceans, but the vessel was forced to surface numerous times for refueling. With the completion of the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine in 1954, submarines now had the potential to remain submerged for a nearly unlimited time.
1959 Fidel Castro prend le pouvoir à La Havane.
Né le 13 Aug 1926, fils d'un immigrant espagnol, planteur de canne à sucre, Fidel Castro étudia le droit à l'université de La Havane, où il s'initia au militantisme politique. Il devint président de la Fédération des étudiants. En 1947, il participa à une tentative de débarquement à Saint-Domingue, visant à renverser le dictateur Rafael Trujillo, et adhéra au Parti du peuple cubain. Lorsque, en 1952, Fulgencio Batista parvint au pouvoir à l'issue d'un coup d'État, Castro mena l'opposition clandestine au dictateur. En 1953, il organisa l'attaque d'une caserne à Santiago de Cuba. Arrêté, condamné à quinze ans d'emprisonnement, il fut grâcié en 1955 et se réfugia au Mexique. En 1956, il débarqua à Cuba à la tête d'un commando de 82 hommes, parmi lesquels se trouvaient Che Guevara et Raoul Castro, frère de Fidel. Le débarquement fut un échec et 70 hommes périrent. Les autres trouvèrent refuge dans la sierra Maestra où ils menèrent la guérilla contre le régime de Batista. Le soutien populaire à la rébellion ne cessant de grandir, Castro et ses hommes marchèrent en décembre 1958 sur La Havane.
Après avoir chassé Trujillo, Castro devint Premier ministre le 16 Feb 1959 et, ayant ajourné les élections initialement prévues, établit un gouvernement personnel et autoritaire. Dirigeant nationaliste et charismatique, le " lider maximo " lança une vaste politique de nationalisation de l'industrie et de réforme agraire. L'expropriation des entreprises américaines, qui contrôlaient une grande partie des plantations et les raffineries de sucre, suscita l'hostilité des États-Unis contre le nouveau régime. Castro chercha alors le soutien économique de l'Union soviétique avec laquelle il signa, en 1960, un accord commercial. Cuba devint un des terrains d'affrontement de la guerre froide. En 1961, les Américains décrétaient un blocus économique contre l'île et soutenaient une tentative de débarquement d'opposants au castrisme dans la baie des Cochons. En octobre 1962 éclatait la crise des fusées qui allait précipiter l'adhésion de Fidel Castro au communisme.
Le castrisme était à l'origine une doctrine nationaliste et tiers-mondiste. En 1955, le dirigeant cubain avait, à Bandung, défendu le non-alignement des pays du tiers-monde. Son ralliement au communisme provoqua le départ de nombreux Cubains et le soutien populaire dont il avait bénéficié ne cessa de se réduire à mesure que son gouvernement personnel se transformait en dictature. En 1976, Castro renforça son pouvoir en cumulant les fonctions de premier secrétaire du Parti communiste cubain et de chef de l'État. Après la fin des années 1980, alors que les régimes communistes s'effondraient les uns après les autres, Fidel Castro a maintenu la ligne politique d'un régime de plus en plus isolé à l'extérieur et contesté à l'intérieur. L'arrêt de l'aide économique et financière autrefois apportée par les Soviétiques a entraîné une grave dégradation de l'économie.
En 1993, le régime a permis une très relative libéralisation économique. Le Parti communiste cubain demeure en revanche le seul parti autorisé, toute opposition au régime étant sévèrement réprimée. Les États-Unis, où réside une importante communauté cubaine, ont renforcé l'embargo contre Cuba, réaffirmant leur volonté d'abattre le régime de Fidel Castro. L'afflux massif de réfugiés, en août 1994, sur le territoire américain les a cependant contraints à signer avec Castro un accord visant à réduire l'immigration des Cubains. En mars 1995, la tension entre les deux pays fut ravivée après que l'armée cubaine eut abattu un avion transportant des militants anti-castristes qui avait pénétré dans l'espace aérien national. En 1998, la visite du Pape à Cuba a semblé donner une certaine caution au régime qui a autorisé à nouveau les pratiques religieuses sans contrainte.
^ Fidel Castro is sworn in as prime minister of Cuba after leading a guerrilla campaign that forced right-wing dictator Fulgencio Batista into exile. Castro, who became commander in chief of Cuba's armed forces after Batista was ousted on 01 January, replaced the more moderate Miró Cardona as head of the country's new provisional government.
Castro was born in the Oriente province in eastern Cuba, the son of a Spanish immigrant who had made a fortune building rail systems to transport sugar cane. He became involved in revolutionary politics while a student and in 1947 took part in an abortive attempt by Dominican exiles and Cubans to overthrow Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo. In the next year, he took part in urban riots in Bogotá, Colombia. The most outstanding feature of his politics during the period was his anti-American beliefs; he was not yet an overt Marxist.
In 1951, he ran for a seat in the Cuban House of Representatives as a member of the reformist Ortodoxo Party, but General Batista seized power in a bloodless coup d'etat before the election could be held. Various groups formed to oppose Batista's dictatorship, and on 26 July 1953, Castro led some 160 rebels in an attack on the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba — Cuba's second largest military base. Castro hoped to seize weapons and announce his revolution from the base radio station, but the barracks were heavily defended, and more than half his men were captured or killed.
Castro was himself arrested and put on trial for conspiring to overthrow the Cuban government. During his trial, he argued that he and his rebels were fighting to restore democracy to Cuba, but he was nonetheless found guilty and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Two years later, Batista felt confident enough in his power that he granted a general amnesty for all political prisoners, including Castro. Castro then went with his brother Raúl to Mexico, and they organized the revolutionary 26th of July Movement, enlisting recruits and joining up with Ernesto "Che" Guevara, an idealist Marxist from Argentina.
On 02 December 1956, Castro and 81 armed men landed on the Cuban coast. All of them were killed or captured except for Castro, Raúl, Che, and nine others, who retreated into the Sierra Maestra mountain range to wage a guerrilla war against the Batista government. They were joined by revolutionary volunteers from all over Cuba and won a series of victories over Batista's demoralized army. Castro was supported by the peasantry, to whom he promised land reform, while Batista received aid from the United States, which bombed suspected revolutionary positions.
By mid-1958, a number of other Cuban groups were also opposing Batista, and the United States ended military aid to his regime. In December, the 26th of July forces under Che Guevara attacked the city of Santa Clara, and Batista's forces crumbled. Batista fled for the Dominican Republic on 01 January 1959. Castro, who had fewer than 1000 men left at the time, took control of the Cuban government's 30'000-man army. The other rebel leaders lacked the popular support the young and charismatic Castro enjoyed, and on 16 February he is sworn in as prime minister.
The United States initially recognized the new Cuban dictator but withdrew its support after Castro launched a program of agrarian reform, nationalized US assets on the island, and declared a Marxist government. Many of Cuba's wealthier citizens fled to the United States, where they joined the CIA in its efforts to overthrow Castro's regime.
In April 1961, with training and support by the CIA, the Cuban exiles launched an ill-fated and unsuccessful invasion of Cuba known as the "Bay of Pigs." The Soviet Union reacted to the attack by escalating its support to Castro's communist government and in 1962 placed offensive nuclear missiles in Cuba. The discovery of the missiles by US intelligence led to the tense "Cuban Missile Crisis," which ended after the Soviets agreed to remove the weapons in exchange for a US pledge not to invade Cuba.
Castro's Cuba was the first Communist state in the Western Hemisphere, and he would retain control of it into the 21st century, outlasting nine US presidents who opposed him with economic embargoes and political rhetoric. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Castro lost a valuable source of aid, but he made up for it by courting European and Canadian investment and tourism. Cubans, though poor and politically repressed, enjoyed excellent education and other social services under the Castro regime.
|1956 Britain abolishes the death
1952 Grecia y Turquía se adhieren a la OTAN.
1945 Venezuela declares war on Nazi Germany .
1943 II Guerra Mundial: Himmler decide la liquidación del gueto de Varsovia.
1943 Le Service du travail obligatoire, STO, est institué en France. Plus de 1,5 million d'hommes seront requis. 875'000 d'entre eux sont contraints de partir pour l'Allemagne. Nombreux sont ceux qui, âgés entre vingt et un et trente-cinq ans, refusent l'obligation, entrent alors dans la Résistance ou tout simplement se cachent.
1943 Sign on Munich façade "Out with Hitler! Long live freedom!" done by "White Rose" student group, caught on 18 Feb, beheaded on 22 Feb.
1943 Red army conquers Kharkov.
1942 German submarines attack Aruba oil refinery.
1940 British search plane finds German Altmark off Norway.
1936 Spanish Frente Popular wins elections.
1934 Primer vuelo sobre Madrid del autogiro La Cierva, pilotado por su inventor.
1933 La casa alemana Krupp pone a punto el motor Diesel.
|1931 Extreme right wing Svinhufvud becomes President
of Finland |
1927 US restores diplomatic relations with Turkey
1923 Allies accept Latvia's occupation of Memel territory
1923 The burial chamber of Pharoah Tutankhamen's recently unearthed tomb is unsealed in Egypt by Howard Carter.
1919 Se prorroga el tratado de armisticio entre Alemania y los aliados.
1918 Lithuania declares independence from Russia and Germany (celebrates National Day) — Lituania, bajo la ocupación alemana y con Rusia en ruinas, se proclama país independiente.
1918 Los turcos incendian la biblioteca de Bagdad y queman 20'000 libros.
1917 The first synagogue in 425 years opens in Madrid.
1916 Russian troops conquer Erzurum Armenia
1913 President Taft agrees not to intervene in Mexico
1911 Primer transporte oficial de una carta por vía aérea, hecho que ocurrió en la India.
1909 Serbia mobilizes against Austria-Hungary
1894 British troops occupy Ilorin, Gold Coast
1861 Texas state troops seized the US Arsenal at San Antonio.
1846 Battle of Sobraon ends first Sikh War in India.
1840 American Charles Wilkes discovers Shackleton Ice Shelf, Antarctica.
1832 Darwin visits St.
Paul's Rocks in Atlantic Ocean ^
He makes this entry in The Voyage of the Beagle:
ST. PAUL'S ROCKS. — In crossing the Atlantic we hove-to during the morning of February 16th, close to the island of St. Paul's. This cluster of rocks is situated in 0 degs. 58' north latitude, and 29 degs. 15' west longitude. It is 540 miles distant from the coast of America, and 350 from the island of Fernando Noronha. The highest point is only fifty feet above the level of the sea, and the entire circumference is under three-quarters of a mile. This small point rises abruptly out of the depths of the ocean. Its mineralogical constitution is not simple; in some parts the rock is of a cherty, in others of a felspathic nature, including thin veins of serpentine. It is a remarkable fact, that all the many small islands, lying far from any continent, in the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic Oceans, with the exception of the Seychelles and this little point of rock, are, I believe, composed either of coral or of erupted matter. The volcanic nature of these oceanic islands is evidently an extension of that law, and the effect of those same causes, whether chemical or mechanical, from which it results that a vast majority of the volcanoes now in action stand either near sea-coasts or as islands in the midst of the sea.
The rocks of St. Paul appear from a distance of a brilliantly white colour. This is partly owing to the dung of a vast multitude of seafowl, and partly to a coating of a hard glossy substance with a pearly lustre, which is intimately united to the surface of the rocks. This, when examined with a lens, is found to consist of numerous exceedingly thin layers, its total thickness being about the tenth of an inch. It contains much animal matter, and its origin, no doubt, is due to the action of the rain or spray on the birds' dung. Below some small masses of guano at Ascension, and on the Abrolhos Islets, I found certain stalactitic branching bodies, formed apparently in the same manner as the thin white coating on these rocks. The branching bodies so closely resembled in general appearance certain nulliporae (a family of hard calcareous sea-plants), that in lately looking hastily over my collection I did not perceive the difference. The globular extremities of the branches are of a pearly texture, like the enamel of teeth, but so hard as just to scratch plate- glass. I may here mention, that on a part of the coast of Ascension, where there is a vast accumulation of shelly sand, an incrustation is deposited on the tidal rocks by the water of the sea, resembling, as represented in the woodcut, certain cryptogamic plants (Marchantiae) often seen on damp walls. The surface of the fronds is beautifully glossy; and those parts formed where fully exposed to the light are of a jet black colour, but those shaded under ledges are only grey. I have shown specimens of this incrustation to several geologists, and they all thought that they were of volcanic or igneous origin! In its hardness and translucency — in its polish, equal to that of the finest oliva-shell — in the bad smell given out, and loss of colour under the blowpipe — it shows a close similarity with living sea-shells. Moreover, in sea-shells, it is known that the parts habitually covered and shaded by the mantle of the animal, are of a paler colour than those fully exposed to the light, just as is the case with this incrustation. When we remember that lime, either as a phosphate or carbonate, enters into the composition of the hard parts, such as bones and shells, of all living animals, it is an interesting physiological fact to find substances harder than the enamel of teeth, and coloured surfaces as well polished as those of a fresh shell, reformed through inorganic means from dead organic matter — mocking, also, in shape, some of the lower vegetable productions.
We found on St. Paul's only two kinds of birds — the booby and the noddy. The former is a species of gannet, and the latter a tern. Both are of a tame and stupid disposition, and are so unaccustomed to visitors, that I could have killed any number of them with my geological hammer. The booby lays her eggs on the bare rock; but the tern makes a very simple nest with seaweed. By the side of many of these nests a small flying-fish was placed; which I suppose, had been brought by the male bird for its partner. It was amusing to watch how quickly a large and active crab (Graspus), which inhabits the crevices of the rock, stole the fish from the side of the nest, as soon as we had disturbed the parent birds. Sir W. Symonds, one of the few persons who have landed here, informs me that he saw the crabs dragging even the young birds out of their nests, and devouring them. Not a single plant, not even a lichen, grows on this islet; yet it is inhabited by several insects and spiders. The following list completes, I believe, the terrestrial fauna: a fly (Olfersia) living on the booby, and a tick which must have come here as a parasite on the birds; a small brown moth, belonging to a genus that feeds on feathers; a beetle (Quedius) and a woodlouse from beneath the dung; and lastly, numerous spiders, which I suppose prey on these small attendants and scavengers of the water-fowl. The often repeated description of the stately palm and other noble tropical plants, then birds, and lastly man, taking possession of the coral islets as soon as formed, in the Pacific, is probably not correct; I fear it destroys the poetry of this story, that feather and dirt-feeding and parasitic insects and spiders should be the first inhabitants of newly formed oceanic land.
The smallest rock in the tropical seas, by giving a foundation for the growth of innumerable kinds of seaweed and compound animals, supports likewise a large number of fish. The sharks and the seamen in the boats maintained a constant struggle which should secure the greater share of the prey caught by the fishing-lines. I have heard that a rock near the Bermudas, lying many miles out at sea, and at a considerable depth, was first discovered by the circumstance of fish having been observed in the neighbourhood. .
On 27 December 1831, British naturalist Charles Robert Darwin had set out from Plymouth, England, aboard the HMS Beagle, on a five-year surveying expedition of the southern Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Visiting such diverse places as Fernando Noronha island, Brazil, the Galapagos Islands, and New Zealand, Darwin acquired an intimate knowledge of the flora, fauna, wildlife, and geology of many lands. This information proves invaluable in the development of his theory of evolution, first put forth in his groundbreaking scientific work of 1859, The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. Darwin's theory of natural selection argues that species are the result of a gradual biological evolution of living organisms in which nature encourages, through natural selection, those species best suited to their environments to propagate future descendants. The Origin of Species is the first significant work on the theory of evolution, and is greeted with great interest in the scientific world, although it is also violently attacked because it contradicts the account of creation given in the Bible. Nevertheless, the work, unquestionably one of the most important in the history of science, eventually succeeds in gaining acceptance from almost all biologists.
The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life would be published in England on 24 November 1859. Darwin's theory of natural selection argues that species are the result of a gradual biological evolution of living organisms in which nature encourages, through natural selection, those species best suited to their environments to propagate future descendants.
The first printing of 1250 copies sells out in a single day. By 1872, it would have run through six editions, and become one of the most influential books of modern times. Darwin, the privileged and well-connected son of a successful English doctor, had been interested in botany and natural sciences since his boyhood, despite the discouragement of his early teachers. At Cambridge, he found professors and scientists with similar interests and with their help began participating in scientific voyages. He traveled around South America for five years as an unpaid botanist on the HMS Beagle. By the time Darwin returned, he had developed an outstanding reputation as a field researcher and scientific writer, based on his many papers and letters dispatched from South America and the Galapagos Islands, which were read at meetings of prominent scientific societies in London. Darwin began publishing studies of zoology and geology as soon as he returned from his voyage. Fearing the fate of other scientists, like Copernicus and Galileo, who had published radical scientific theories, Darwin held off publishing his theory of natural selection for years. He secretly developed his theory during two decades of surreptitious research following his trip on the Beagle. Meanwhile, he married and had seven children. He finally published Origin of Species after another scientist began publishing papers with similar ideas. His book laid the groundwork for modern botany, cellular biology, and genetics. He died in 1882.
Darwin, who was influenced by the work of French naturalist Jean Baptiste de Lamarck, and later by English scientist Alfred Russel Wallace, acquired most of the evidence for his theory during a five-year surveying expedition aboard the HMS Beagle during the 1830s. Visiting such diverse places as Brazil, the Galapagos Islands, and New Zealand, Darwin acquired an intimate knowledge of the flora, fauna, wildlife, and geology of many lands. This information, along with his experiments with variation and interbreeding after returning to England, proved invaluable in the development of his theory of natural selection. His On the Origin of Species is the first significant work on the theory of evolution, and is greeted with great interest in the scientific world, although it is also violently attacked because it contradicts the account of creation given in the Bible. Nevertheless, the work, unquestionably one of the most important in the history of science, eventually succeeds in gaining acceptance from almost all biologists.
Darwin, born 12 February 1809 the privileged and well-connected son of successful English doctor Robert Waring Darwin, had been interested in botany and natural sciences since his boyhood, despite the discouragement of his early teachers. At Cambridge, he found professors and scientists with similar interests and with their help began participating in scientific voyages, including the HMS Beagle's trip.
By the time Darwin returned, he had developed an outstanding reputation as a field researcher and scientific writer, based on his many papers and letters dispatched from South America and the Galapagos Islands, which were read at meetings of prominent scientific societies in London. Darwin began publishing studies of zoology and geology as soon as he returned from his voyage, while also secretly working on his radical theory of evolution.
Knowing that scientists who had published radical theories before had been ostracized or worse, Darwin held off on publishing his theory of natural selection for nearly two decades. Meanwhile, he married and had seven children. He finally published On the Origin of Species after another scientist began publishing papers with similar ideas. His book laid the groundwork for modern botany, cellular biology, and genetics. He died on 19 April 1882.
1808 Napoléon invades
During the Peninsular War, French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte orders a large French force into Spain under the pretext of sending reinforcements to the French army occupying Portugal. Over the next few weeks, the invading French troops capture Pamplona and Barcelona, and on March 23, four days after a palace coup deposes King Charles IV of Spain, they enter Madrid under Joachim Murat. Charles and the new Spanish king, Ferdinand VII, are subsequently called to Bayonne, France, by Napoléon, and in early May, are forced to abdicate in favor of Napoléon’s brother, Joseph. Meanwhile, a bloody uprising breaks out against the French in Madrid, and Murat brutally suppresses the Spanish rebels. On June 15, Joseph Napoléon is proclaimed king of Spain, leading to a general anti-French revolt across the Iberian Peninsula. In August, a British expeditionary force under Arthur Wellesley, later the Duke of Wellington, lands on the Portuguese coast and by mid-1809 has driven the French out of the country. Thus begins a long series of seesaw campaigns between the French and British in Spain, where the British are aided by small bands of Spanish irregulars known as guerillas. Finally, in June of 1813, allied forces under Wellesley rout the French forces of Joseph Bonaparte and Marshal Jourdan at Vitoria, Spain. By October, the Iberian Peninsula is liberated, and Wellesley launches an invasion of France. The allies have penetrated France as far as Toulouse when news of Napoléon’s abdication reaches them in April of 1814, ending the Peninsular War.
1804 Decatur daringly destroys US ship captured by
Barbary pirates. |
During the First Barbary War, US Lieutenant Stephen Decatur leads a military mission that famed British Admiral Horatio Nelson later calls the "most daring act of the age." In June of 1801, US President Thomas Jefferson ordered US Navy vessels to the Mediterranean Sea in protest of continuing raids against US ships by pirates from the Barbary states — Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, and Tripolitania. US sailors were often abducted along with the captured booty and ransomed back to the US at an exorbitant price. After two years of minor confrontations, sustained action began in June of 1803 when a small US expeditionary force attacked Tripoli harbor in present-day Libya. On 31 October 1803, the US frigate Philadelphia ran aground near Tripoli and was captured by Tripolitan gunboats. The Americans feared that the well-constructed warship would be used not only as a formidable addition to the Tripolitan navy, but also as an innovative model to build future Tripolitan frigates.
On 16 February 1804, hoping to prevent the Barbary pirates from gaining this dangerous military advantage, US Lieutenant Stephen Decatur led a daring expedition into Tripoli harbor to destroy the captured American vessel. After disguising himself and his men as Maltese sailors, Decatur’s force of seventy-four men, which included nine US Marines, sailed into Tripoli harbor on a small two-mast ship. The Americans approached the USS Philadelphia without drawing fire from the Tripoli shore guns, boarded the ship, and attacked its Tripolitan crew, capturing or killing all but two. After setting fire to the frigate, Decatur and his men escaped without the loss of a single American. The Philadelphia subsequently exploded when its gunpowder reserve was lit by the spreading fire. Six months later, Decatur returned to Tripoli Harbor as part of a larger US offensive, and emerged as a hero again during the so-called "Battle of the Gunboats," a naval battle that saw hand-to-hand combat between the Americans and the Tripolitans.
|1742 Earl of Wilmington becomes British
1682 (Monday) Alsace starts using the Gregorian calendar (yesterday there was Sunday 05 February 1682 Julian)
1677 Earl of Shaftesbury arrested/confined in London Tower.
1666 Netherlands and Brandenburg sign treaty.
1659 first known check (£400) (on display at Westminster Abbey)
1641 English king Charles I accept Triennial Act
1559 Pope Paul IV calls for deposition of sovereigns supporting heresy
1512 Battle at Valeggio French troops beat Venetians
1486 Diet of Frankfort. — Maximiliano I, rey de Austria, es elegido rey de Romanos en Frankfurt.
1349 Jews are expelled from Burgsdorf, Switzerland.
1279 Dionís de Portugal es proclamado rey tras la muerte de su hermano Alfonso III.
1147 “L'assemblée des grands” à Etampes, confie à l'abbé Suger la régence du royaume de France pour toute la durée de l'absence de Louis VII qui part en croisade.
0600 Pope Gregory I the Great decrees saying "God bless You" is the correct response to a sneeze
0374 9th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet
Deaths which occurred on a February
2004 An Iraqi child playing near an elementary school in Baghdad, Iraq, by the explosion of a grenade. Four children are wounded.
2004 A US soldier from Task Force Iron Horse, 4th Infantry Division, by roadside bomb at 09:40 in the center of Baqouba, Iraq.
2004 A US soldier from the 1st Armored Division, by roadside bomb at 09:20 in the center of Baghdad, Iraq. Another US soldier is wounded.
2004 A woman, one of the six persons injured in fire which, the previous day, killed 39 women in village Wufeng, near Haining, Zheijiang province, China, in a 60-square-meter thatched bamboo hut, crowded with villagers engaged in “superstitious activities”, as the Communist government calls the traditional folk religion it has banned since it seized power in 1949.
2003 Nidal Farkhat, Akram Nasser, Ayman Muhana, Muhammad Silmi, Mufid Albul, and Iyal Shaldan, Hamas militants, by explosion in their car of a small remote-control glider which they intended to use for terrorism and which was probably booby-trapped by Israel, in a farm in the al-Zeitun neighborhood of Gaza City.
2003 Eleanor “Sis” Daley [04 Mar 2000 photo >], of a stroke, born Eleanor Guilfoyle on 04 March 1907 (70th anniversary of Chicago's incorporation as a city), widow of Chicago Mayor (20 Apr 1955 - 20 Dec 1976) Richard Joseph Daley [15 May 1902 – 20 Dec 1976] and mother of current Mayor (24 Apr 1989~) Richard Michael Daley [24 Apr 1942~], US Secretary of Commerce (1997-2000) William M. “Billy” Daley [08 Aug 1948~], Michael Daley, John Daley, and of three teachers: Patricia Daley, Mary Carol Daley, and Eleanor Rita “Ellie” Daley [-1998].
2003 Maria Carter, 2, of unknown causes after falling asleep on a couch in her home in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, where she is the first of 4 children (2 in Virginia Beach, 1 in Portsmouth, 1 in Hampton) below the age of 8 (as well as one in Richmond) who would die of unknown causes by 20 February 2003. Her mother, Awilda A. Carter, says that Maria was running around and playing, though she kept having a fever and occasionally vomiting.
2003 Darwin Enrique Argüello Isturiz, Ángel José Salas Lozano, Felix Pinto, 25, and Zaida Gabriela Perozo López, 28, shot in the early morning after they were kidnapped the previous evening together with a 14-year-old girl in Caracas, Venezuela, by 12 gunmen. The dead, some of them tortured, were opponents of President Hugo Chávez. Zaida Perozo, whose body is found the next day, was wounded along with 20 others in the 06 December 2002 Plaza Altamira massacre; she had been considering testifying against a suspect. — En la madrugada tres militares demócraticos de la Plaza Altamira, declarados en desobediencia legítima, son ajusticiados por hombres encapuchados. El cabo segundo (ejército) Argüello, el cabo segundo (armada) Salas y el cabo segundo (aviación) Pinto fueron secuestrados en Guatire, cerca de Caracas, cuando dos vehículos negros se detuvieron. Ocho hombres con pasamontañas, quienes portaban armas largas, dispararon contra los militares, asesinando también a Zaida Perozo. Los cadáveres de Argüello y Salas fueron encontrados en el parque Kaiser. Ambos presentaban heridas por armas de fuego en diferentes partes del cuerpo.El cadáver de Pinto fue localizado en una hacienda de Araira. También estaba el cuerpo de Zaida Perozo. Dado que los cadáveres de los tres militares estaban con manos atadas, caras tapadas, y con cintas adhesivas, todo apunta hacia la venganza política como móvil de los crímenes.
2002: 127 Nepalese, mostly policemen and soldiers, in attacks by Maoist rebels. Those killed include 26 policemen, 48 soldiers, and a senior administrator at the Achham district headquarters in Mangalsen, 22 policemen 25 km away at the Sanphebaga airport, 4 policemen in Lalbandi, Sarlahi district. Fighting continues past midnight.
2002 Israeli teenagers (a boy and a girl) and a Palestinian suicide bomber, at 19:45 outside the Yuvalim mall's pizzeria in the West Bank Jewish enclave settlement Karnei Shomron, which is between Qalqilya and Nablus and has about 1000 residents. 27 persons are injured.
2002 Hassan Al Sakran, 18, and Masoud Abu Jalal, 16, Palestinians, when Israeli troops backed by tanks and bulldozers raided the Al Bureij refugee camp south of Gaza City. More than ten persons are wounded.
2002 Nazih Abu Sabaa, Palestinian, by a car exploding near him as he was walking home from the school where he taught in Jenin, West Bank. The Israelis considered him as the local leader of Hamas responsible for numerous attacks on Israelis, including a suicide bombing in Haifa on 02 December 2001.
2002 John W. Gardner, 89, after 2 years of prostate cancer, founder of Common Cause in 1970, Republican US Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare in the Democratic administration of Lyndon B. Johnson. He was also a college teacher, a military intelligence officer, a philanthropic foundation executive, an author, a cabinet official, an adviser to presidents and, to many people, a personification of political reform and volunteerism in democratic society.
2001 Elad Shnior, 19, Israeli sergeant, when anti-tank rockets were fired at an Israel Defense Forces patrol in the area of Har Dov, along the border with Lebanon.
Three other Israeli soldiers were injured. Hezbollah assumed responsibility, saying it was to mark the 9th anniversary of the assassination by Israel of the former secretary-general of the Shi'ite Muslim organization, Abbas Musawi.
2001 William Howell Masters, sexólogo estadounidense.
1999 Juli Sund, 15, of Eureka, murdered early in the morning by Cary Stayner, 38, who the previous night had strangled her mother and her friend, while Juli was bound and gagged, in a motel near Yosemite National Park where Stayner worked as a handyman. Early this morning, Stayner drives Juli to a reservoir in the Sierra foothills, in the women's rental car, in the trunk of which he had put the two corpses. Then Stayner sexually assaults Juli and slashes her throad. He covers her naked body with brush on a hillside and leaves. Stayner ditches the rental car off a rural highway and takes a $125 cab ride back to Yosemite, concerned not about what he had done, but only about getting to work in time. He later returned to the car and torched it. Scores of law enforcement officers unsuccessfully scoured the region looking for clues to where they vanished, but there was barely a sign of the three for more than a month until the scorched car was found by a hunter. The two bodies, burned beyond recognition, were found in the trunk, on 18 March 1999. On 25 March 1999, investigators found the decomposing body of Juli. The three murders went unsolved until Stayner struck again, snatching Yosemite nature guide Joie Ruth Armstrong on 21 July 1999 and beheading her near her cabin in the park, when questioned by police about this, on 24 July 1999, Stayner confesses to killing Armstrong, and also the Sunds and Pelosso. After pleading guilty in federal court, on 30 November 2000, Stayner is sentenced, for the Armstrong murder, to life in prison without chance of parole. In a California trial, he was, on 26 August 2002, convicted of the 15-16 February 1999 murder of the three tourists, and, on 12 December 2002, sentenced to death. [MORE]
1998 Bendita Machado Felicio, dirigente campesina brasileña, una de las líderes del Movimiento de los Sin Tierra (MST), asesinada en el estado de São Paulo (Brasil)
1996 Edmund G. "Pat" Brown, 90, former California governor, in Beverly Hills.
1994 At least 217 in Sumatra earthquake.
1992 Janio Quadros President of Brazil (1961)
1992 Abbas Musawi leader of Hezbollah, his wife and their 5-year-old son, assassinated by an Israeli Apache helicopter.
1991 Enrique B. Varela, commandant of Nicaraguan Contras.
1990 Keith Haring, of AIDS, US pop painter born on 04 May 1958. — more with links to images.
1989 Thomas Bernhard, escritor austriaco.
1983 José Luis Acquaroni Bonmati , escritor y periodista español.
1980 Edward Copson, mathematician.
1977 Péter, mathematician.
1950 Cecilio Guzmán de Rojas, pintor boliviano.
1941 Fritz von Wille, German landscape painter born on 21 April 1860. — MORE ON VON WILLE AT ART “4” FEBRUARY with links to images.
1929 Hugo Muhlig, German artist born on 09 November 1854.
1921 Ida Lee, by shotgun; John Lee Eberhardt, burned alive. That morning, Walter Lee, a White, left his home outside Watkinsville, Georgia, for work at a nearby mill, and his wife, Ida, started her morning chores. When she walked into the barn, a man surprised her and fired a double-barreled shotgun into her back and head. She was seven months pregnant. Suspicion fell on John Lee Eberhardt, a Black laborer who reportedly had borrowed a shotgun from the family. Police arrested him that afternoon at a University of Georgia fraternity house where he had done odd jobs. As the news spread, angry people poured into Athens from surrounding counties. After sunset, some of them broke into the jail, blow-torched their way into Eberhardt's cell and drove him back to a ravine across the road from the house where Ida Lee had died a few hours earlier. As a crowd of 2000 or more watched, the Eberhardt was chained to a pine tree and burned alive.
1917 Giulio Rosati, Italian artist born in 1858.
1915 Alfred von Wierusz-Kowalski, Polish artist born on 11 October 1849.
1904 José Frappa, Spanish artist born on 18 April 1854.
1899 François Félix Faure, 57, President of France (1895-1899)
1891 Hirst, mathematician.
1865 Pierre Joseph Proudhon, doctrinario, político y economista francés.
1760 Amerindian hostages killed in Ft Prince George SC
1823 Pierre-Paul Prud'hon, French Neoclassical painter and draftsman, born on 04 April 1758. — MORE ON PRUD'HON AT ART “4” FEBRUARY with links to images.
1819 Pierre Henri de Valenciennes, French painter specialized in landscapes, born on 06 December 1750. — MORE ON DE VALENCIENNES AT ART “4” FEBRUARY with links to images.
1771 Giuseppe Marchesi “il Sansone”, Bolognese painter born on 30 July 1699. — more with links to two images.
1738 Karel de Moor, Dutch painter and printmaker born on 25 February 1656. — more Moor
1699 Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer, Franco-Flemish flower-painter born on 19 July 1636. — MORE ON MONNOYER AT ART “4” FEBRUARY with links to images.
1680 Frans Janszoon Post (or Poost), Dutch landscape painter born in 1612. — MORE ON POST AT ART “4” FEBRUARY with links to images.
1636 Gellibrand, mathematician.
1600 Giordano Bruno, 51, burned at stake
1579 Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada, conquistador español, fundador del Nuevo Reino de Granada (actual Colombia).
1391 Johannes V Palaeologus Emperor of Byzantium (1341-1391)
1279 Afonso III King of Portugal (1248-1279)
0309 Saint Pamphilus of Caesarea Palestinian scholar/martyr, beheaded
|Births which occurred on a February 16:|
2001 Marikina City
Footwear Museum in Manila, which displays hundreds of
pairs of shoes, is opened by Imelda Marcos, who had left 1200 pairs in the
presidential palace when she and her late husband dictator Ferdinand
Marcos in disgrace fled the presidential palace on 25 February 25 1986 and
were whisked off to exile by a US Air Force plane the following day. Some
of her shoes are in the museum. |
Born on 02 July 1929, Imelda Romualdez Marcos [photo >] is a Filipina politician, widow of dictator Ferdinand Marcos, and presidential candidate in 1992. Born into the Romualdez family, Imelda Romualdez lived in poverty in her early years. Through her beauty and singing voice she entered Manila society and in 1953 won the (disputed) title of Miss Manila. In 1954 she married Ferdinand Marcos, then a member of the House of Representatives. When her husband became president in 1965, Marcos broke with tradition and took an active role in political life. She launched a number of expensive prestige projects, such as the construction of a cultural center in Manila Bay and the establishment of the Manila Film Festival. She also served as governor of the National Capital Region (1975-1986) and as minister of human settlements and ecology (1978-1986).
As Ferdinand Marcos's health deteriorated, she exerted more control over the government. Imelda Marcos and her husband used their power to amass private wealth. They siphoned foreign aid, loans, and the profits of domestic companies into private bank accounts. Imelda Marcos gained an international reputation for her enormous collection of clothes, shoes, and art, most of which are now on public display in the Malacañang Palace. In the 1986 elections, widespread fraud provoked a popular uprising that forced the Marcoses into exile in Hawaii and put Corazon Aquino in power. After the Marcoses' fall, a lengthy series of court cases were brought against them by the Philippine authorities, resulting in a relatively minor conviction for misappropriating about $1 million in public funds. The conviction carried a penalty of 18 to 24 years in prison, but as of 1996, Marcos was free pending her appeal. In 1992 Imelda Marcos returned to the Philippines and campaigned for the presidency in an attempt to revive the political following of her husband, who died in 1989; however, she received only a small percentage of the votes cast. In May 1995 Marcos won election to the House of Representatives representing a district in her home province of Leyte.
|1946 The first commercially designed helicopter is
tested in Connecticut.
1942 Kim Chong-Il [Yura], President of North-Korea (1994- ) [dictatorship inherited at the death of his father]
1938 The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation is created by the US Congress in order to protect farmers from poor crop output due to bad weather.
1934 Rafael Pérez Estrada, escritor y dibujante español.
1932 Un presse-purée. À 14:50, Jean Mantelet, petit industriel de Bagnolet (France), déposer à l'Institut national de la proprièté le brevet n° 732100 d'un presse-purée "à lame hélicoïdale", sans imaginer le succès mondial que son invention rencontrera. Jean Matelet ne créera "Moulinex" qu'en 1957, société qui en une quinzaine d'année passera du statuts de PME régionale à celui de multinationale.
1904 George F. Kennan Milwaukee WI, US ambassador (to Moscow)
1903 Beniamino Segre, mathematician.
1894 La Verbena de la Paloma, zarzuela con música de Tomás Bretón y Hernández y libreto de Ricardo de la Vega, se estrena, con éxito, en el Teatro Apolo de Madrid.
1892 Joaquín “Anselmo María” Albareda, OSB, ordained a Benedictine priest on 07 July 1915; made a cardinal on 19 March 1862; appointed an archbishop (without a see) on 05 April 1962 and consecrated bishop on 19 April 1962; died on 19 July 1966.
1868 The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is organized in New York
1866 Johann Strauss Austria, composer (Waltz King)
1861 Michal Wywiorski-Gorstkin, Polish artist who died in 1926.
1857 The National Deaf Mute College is incorporated in Washington, DC. It is the first school in the world for advanced education of the deaf. It would later be renamed Gallaudet College.
1852 Théodore Jacques Ralli, Greek artist who died on 02 October 1909.
1833 Jozef Szermentowski, Polish artist who died on 06 September 1876. — MORE ON SZERMENTOWSKI AT ART “4” FEBRUARY with links to images.
1831 (04 Feb Julian) Nikolay Semyonovich Leskov “Stebnitsky”, Russian novelist and short-story writer who died on 05 March (21 Feb Julian) 1895, considered by some to be the greatest Russian storyteller. His most popular story is Skaz o Tulskom kosom Levshe i o stalnoy Blokhe (“Tale of Cross-Eyed Lefty from Tula and the Steel Flea”) in which an illiterate smith outwits the skill of the most advanced British craftsman..
1822 Francis Galton, mathematician.
1822 Herman Frederik Carel Ten Kate, Dutch artist who died on 26 March 1891.
1812 Henry Wilson, Vice President of the United States (1873-75). He died on 22 November 1875.
1787 Andreas Schelfout, Dutch artist who died on 19 Apr 1870.
1776 Jean Lubin Vauzelle, French artist who died in 1837.
|^ 1751 Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard by Thomas Gray first published|
|The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness, and to me.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds:
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude Forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,
The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care:
No children run to lisp their sire's return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share,
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
How jocund did they drive their team afield!
How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!
Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
The short and simple annals of the Poor.
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Awaits alike th' inevitable hour:-
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Nor you, ye Proud, impute to these the fault
If Memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise,
Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.
Can storied urn or animated bust
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can Honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of Death?
|Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway'd,
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre:
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll;
Chill Penury repress'd their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.
Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
Some village—Hampden, that with dauntless breast
The little tyrant of his fields withstood,
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country's blood.
Th' applause of list'ning senates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
And read their history in a nation's eyes,
Their lot forbad: nor circumscribed alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined;
Forbad to wade through slaughter to a throne,
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind,
The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame,
Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride
With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray;
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenour of their way.
Yet e'en these bones from insult to protect
Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck'd,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.
Their name, their years, spelt by th' unletter'd Muse,
The place of fame and elegy supply:
And many a holy text around she strews,
That teach the rustic moralist to die.
For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing anxious being e'er resign'd,
Let the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing lingering look behind?
|On some fond breast the parting soul relies,|
Some pious drops the closing eye requires;
E'en from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
E'en in our ashes live their wonted fires.
For thee, who, mindful of th' unhonour'd dead,
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,
Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,'
Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn
Brushing with hasty steps the dews away,
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn;
'There at the foot of yonder nodding beech
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high.
His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
And pore upon the brook that babbles by.
'Hand by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove;
Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn,
Or crazed with care, or cross'd in hopeless love.
'One morn I miss'd him on the custom'd hill,
Along the heath, and near his favourite tree;
Another came; nor yet beside the rill,
Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he;
'The next with dirges due in sad array
Slow through the church-way path we saw him borne,-
Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay
Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.'
Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth
|GRAY ONLINE: The Bard — Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard (with other
poems) — Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College
Far from the Madding Crowd is the title taken from Gray’s Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard by Thomas Hardy for one of his ‘Wessex’ novels and the first of real substance. It takes place in the village of Weatherbury — unsophisticated compared to the modern city — where the central character Bathsheba Everdene who is loved by three men: the shepherd Gabriel Oak, Farmer Boldwood and Sergeant Troy. She marries the last of these three first, but each represents a different form of love. Troy is selfish and allows Fanny Robin to die in a workhouse after a misunderstanding and concurrently becomes involved with Bathsheba who he treats cruelly in turn over the course of their marriage. Troy disappears after the death. The story tells of Bathsheba’s life as Troy returns, is shot by Boldwood who is pronounce insane and as Gabriel’s simple and devoted love is finally appreciated. Although the novel is not Hardy’s most subtle, it is a convincing portrait of the rural life that the author knew so well and cherished in his years after London.
|1740 Giambattista Bodoni, Italian printer who
designed several typefaces. He died on 29 November 1813.|
1731 Marcello Bacciarelli, Italian Polish painter who died on 18 January 1818. — MORE ON BACCIARELLI AT ART “4” FEBRUARY with links to images.
1698 Bouguer, mathematician.
1620 Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg (1640-88) who died on 09 May 1688.
1519 Gaspard de Coligny, à Châtillon sur Loing (France). Nommé amiral par Henri II, ce grand homme de guerre se convertit au Protestantisme et devient le chef des Huguenots. Coligny sera la première victime du massacre de la Saint Barthélemy, le 24 Aug 1572.
1514 Georg Joachim Rheticus, mathematician. He died in 1574.
1497 Philipp Melanchthon Germany, Protestant reformer (Augsburgse Confessie)