Wednesday, October 13, 2010

October 13 - A Busy Day in History

Nero Fiddles While
Rome Burns
*54 – Nero ascends to the Roman throne – not a good thing for Rome or anyone else
Knight Templar

*409 – The Vandals cross the Pyrenees into Spain – not a good thing for civilization in general

*1307 – Hundreds of Knights Templar in France are arrested by agents of Philip the Fair. They were tortured until they confessed to heresy – not a good thing for the Templars. However, Philip the Fair enriched his coffers from the fabulous wealth of the Templars. “Fair” refers to the color of his hair not his treatment of others.

*1362 – The Chancellor of England opens Parliament with a speech in English for the first time. Prior to that, the address was made in French. In the same year a statute decreed that English was to be the official language of the courts, and English replaced French in the schools – good for the common folk who spoke only English.

*1777 – British General John Burgoyne prepares to surrender his army to the Continentals (aka, the Rebels). This feat of arms convinces the French to enter the war on the side of the revolutionaries – good for the Americans.

George III by Ramsay
*1792 – The cornerstone of the United States Executive Mansion (the President’s House) is laid – good for the Americans. The British burn the White House in 1814 during the War of 1812 – bad for the Americans.

Magdalen by Canova
Hermitage St. Petersburg

*1884 – Greenwich, in London, was adopted as Universal Time meridian of longitude (Greenwich Mean Time) at the International Meridian Conference of 1884. The 24 standard meridians, every 15 east and west of 0 at Greenwich, England, were designated the centers of the zones. The international dateline was drawn to generally follow the 180 meridian in the Pacific Ocean. – Good for everyone in the world. In this way, we know when to kick off our New Year’s Eve parties.

Born on this day:
1713 – Allan Ramsay, Scottish painter (d. 1784)
1853 – Lillie Langry, British actress (d. 1929)
1920 – Larraine Day, American actress (d. 2007) – a truly under rated actress
1925 – Margaret Thatcher, British statesman

Died on this day:
1822 – Antonio Canova, Venetian sculptor (b. 1757)

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