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Today in History – 01 June 1926


Norma Jeane Mortenson (Norma Jeane Baker) was Born

On this day in 1926, Norma Jeane Mortenson was born (though raised as Norma Jeane Baker). Mortenson is best known as Marilyn Monroe.

Marilyn Monroe gained her first film contract in 1946 and starred in such films as ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953),’ ‘The Seven Year Itch (1955)’ and ‘Some Like It Hot (1959).’

However, it is probably her relationship with President John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, as well as her untimely death (with the many conspiracy theories that surround it) on the 5th August 1962 that are most prominent in her story.

For more visit:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marilyn_Monroe
 

 


Today in History – 21 May 1904


Football: FIFA is Formed

On this day in 1904 the International Federation of Association Football (Federation Internationale de Football Association), more commonly known as FIFA, was formed. Fifa is the international governing body for football (soccer). FIFA is made up of 208 national football associations and its president is currently Sepp Blatter.

FIFA seems to be more in the news these days for accusations of corruption than for its showpiece the FIFA World Cup of football.

For more on FIFA see:
http://www.fifa.com/

 


Today in History – 14 May 1955


The Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance is Signed

The Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, also known as the Warsaw Pact, was signed in Warsaw, Poland. This was the military alliance signed by the Eastern Bloc of nations, namely the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Albania. The treaty came about in response to West Germany being included in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on the 9 May 1955. These were the two major treaties to come out of post war (WWII) Europe and were the opposing parties of the Cold War.

For more information on the Cold War see:
http://www.coldwar.org/

Timeline of the Cold War:
http://library.thinkquest.org/10826/timeline.htm

 


Today in History – 11 May 1867


Luxembourg Independence Maintained

Luxembourg, known as the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a small country in western Europe bordered by Belgium, France and Germany. It has a population of about 500 000 people and is almost 1000 square miles (2 586 square kilometers) in size. It’s ‘life’ began as a small fortress in 963, from which a town developed and eventually the state of Luxembourg.

Luxembourg lost its initial independence in 1437 and from that point it was ruled by various states, but regained a form of independence following the defeat of Napoleon in 1815. From then however, it lost territory and was greatly reduced in size. Its independence was affirmed with two treaties, the first in 1839 and the second on this day in 1867, following what
is known as the Luxembourg Crisis.

For more on Luxembourg:
http://www.luxembourg.co.uk/
http://www.luxembourg.com/

 


Today in History – 27 April 1124


Scotland: David I Becomes King

On this day in 1124, upon the death of his brother Alexander I, David (Dabíd mac Maíl Choluim) made himself king of Scotland with the full backing of Henry I of England. He had been Prince of the Cumbrians (1113-1124) before becoming King of Scotland (1124-1153). Cumbria was in effect a separate kingdom to that of Scotland (known as Alba) to the north and became merged with it upon the ascension of David to King of Scotland.

His reign was one of warfare and expansion, with the first 10 years of his reign involving a struggle for power with his nephew (the son of Alexander I) Máel Coluim mac Alaxandair. With the death of Henry I of England, he came into conflict with King Stephen and expanding the Scottish Kingdom into northern England.

David I is seen as a ‘reformer’ in the Scottish Church, setting out to reorganise the church. The map in this post shows the boundaries of the various dioceses he put in place. He is also seen as a reformer of Scotland as a whole, bringing civility to a barbaric country.

David I was born between 1083 and 1085, and died on the 24th May 1153. He is buried in Dunfermline Abbey. He was succeeded by Malcolm IV.

 


Today in History – 26 April 1865


United States: John Wilkes Booth is Killed

On the 14th April 1865, John Wilkes Booth assassinated the President of the United States of America at Ford’s Theatre, in Washington D.C. Booth, a Confederate sympathizer, managed to escape the scene of his crime and fled on horseback to a farm in northern Virginia. It was here, 12 days after his attack on the president that Booth was shot and killed.

John Wilkes Booth was born on the 10th May 1838, into the well known Booth family and became a well known actor in his own right. But it would be his assassination of Abraham Lincoln that he would always be remembered for.

Eight other co-conspirators were tried and convicted for their parts in the assassination and other roles in the plot that resulted in the death of the president. Four of these were hung a short time later.

 


Today in History – 25 April 1915


ANZAC: First Landings at Gallipoli – Turkey

Around the world today, Australians and New Zealanders will be remembering the fallen, on what is now known to us as ANZAC Day. ANZAC Day is remembered annually on the anniversary of the first major military action fought by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during World War I. On this day in 1915, ANZAC troops landed on the beach of what is now Anzac Cove. Gallipoli was evacuated in December 1915. The campaign was a disaster, but a legend was born out of it, that of ANZAC.

ABOVE: Map Showing the Location of Gallipoli

ANZAC Day was officially held for the first time in 1916 with a number of ceremonies and services held in Australia, New Zealand, England and Egypt. It was not until 1927 however, that Australians held their first uniform remembrance day and it became more established after that.

From the Second World War, ANZAC Day took on a broader significance, as a day to remember the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country in both Australia and New Zealand.

For more visit these sites:

 


Today in History – 24 April 1731


England: Daniel Defoe Died

On this day in 1731, English author Daniel Defoe died. He is best known for his novel ‘Robinson Crusoe.’ Defoe is recognized as one of the earliest authors of English novels and wrote over 500 books, pamphlets and journals. He was also recognized as something of a financial journalist.

Daniel Defoe was born some time between 1659 and 1661 – the exact date of his birth being unknown. He was born Daniel Foe (the ‘De’ being added later).

In his youth his family survived the Great Fire of London (1666), which left only his family’s home, and two others standing, in their part of London. A year later he survived a Dutch fleet that sailed up the Thames and attacked Chatham.

Defoe was a Christian and a Dissenter. At one time he was jailed for his views and in an earlier time was also a bankrupt. It is thought that he may have died while in hiding from those seeking him out because of unpaid debts. Defoe died  on the 24th April 1731 and is buried in Bunhill Fields, London.

Among Defoe’s many works are ‘Robinson Crusoe’ and ‘Moll Flanders.’

A biography of Daniel Defoe by William Minto can be found at the Internet Archive:
http://www.archive.org/details/daniel00defoemintrich

The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe:
http://www.archive.org/details/lifeadventuresof00defouoft

Moll Flanders, by Daniel Defoe:
http://www.archive.org/details/fortunesandmisfo00defouoft

 


Today in History – 21 April 1509


King Henry VIII: Begins His Reign in England

Henry VIII was born Henry Tudor, to Henry VII (King of England) and Elizabeth of York on the 28th June 1491. His reign began on this day in 1509 and continued until his death on the 28th January 1547. He succeeded his father, Henry VII as King of England, Lord of Ireland and claimant to the throne of France. his reign lasted over 37 years and was perhaps one of the greatest (certainly one of the most powerful) kings in English history – not that this necessarily made him a great man.

Henry VIII is well known for his six wives and what became of them. He is also known for the part he played in the English Reformation. His split with the Roman Catholic Church saw the advance of Protestantism and the Reformation in England, though he remained theologically ‘Roman Catholic.’

For more on Henry VIII and the Tudor Dynasty, visit:
http://www.tudorhistory.org/

 


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