16 December 2012

Timeline December 16 & 17

December 16
1497  Vasco da Gama rounds the Cape of Good Hope, the point where Bartolomeu Dias had previously turned back to Portugal.
1653  Oliver Cromwell became lord protector of England, Scotland and Ireland.
1770  Ludwig van Beethoven, German composer and pianist, was born.
1773  Boston Tea Party – Members of the Sons of Liberty disguised as Mohawks dump crates of tea into Boston harbor as a protest against the Tea Act.
1775  Jane Austen, English novelist, was born. [We visited Winchester Cathedral and her memorial on our first trip to England in 2008.]
1916  Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin, the monk who had wielded powerful influence over the Russian court, was murdered by a group of noblemen.
1907  The Great White Fleet began its circumnavigation of the world
1917  Science fiction writer Sir Arthur C. Clarke was born in Minehead, England.
1947  William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain built the first practical point-contact transistor.

December 17
1538  Pope Paul III excommunicates Henry VIII of England.
1577  Francis Drake sailed from Plymouth, England, on a secret mission to explore the Pacific Coast of the Americas for English Queen Elizabeth I.
1600  Marriage of Henry IV of France and Marie de Medici.
1797  Joseph Henry, American scientist, was born. [There is a historic marker and a statue located in Academy Park, Albany, New York.]
1874  Mackenzie King, Canadian Prime Minister 1921-26, 1926-30, 1935-48, was born.
1894  Arthur Fiedler, the American conductor who conducted the Boston Pops Orchestra, was born.
1903  Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first successful man-powered airplane flight, near Kitty Hawk, N.C.
1938  Otto Hahn discovered the nuclear fission of the heavy element uranium, the scientific and technological basis of nuclear energy - thus opening the "Atomic Age" in the history of mankind.
1957  The United States successfully test-fired the Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time.

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