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Old 06-12-2006, 03:13   #166
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December 6

1988 ~ Roy Orbison dies

1957 ~ 1st U.S. attempt to launch a satellite fails - Vanguard rocket blows up
More: http://sputnikmovie.com/tiki/tiki-index.php

1949 ~ Huddie William Ledbetter (Leadbelly) dies

1917 ~ French munition ship "Mont Blanc" explodes in Halifax (1,900 die)
At 9:04:35 the munitions ship “Mont Blanc” explodes in Halifax harbor after being struck by another ship. It is the largest man-made explosion prior to the atomic age (about 2.9 kiloton). The ship was carrying 200 tons of TNT, 61 tons of gun cotton, 35 tons of Benzyl, and 2,300 tons of picric acid; the explosion destroys 325 acres of the city, leaving 1,900 people dead and injuring over 9,000.
More: http://www.halifaxfiremuseum.org/explosion.html
And: http://www.halifax.ca/community/explode.html



1877 ~ Thomas Edison makes1st sound recording ("Mary had a little lamb")
More: http://history.sandiego.edu/gen/recording/notes.html

1865 ~ US 13th Amendment ratified - slavery abolished
"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

1749 ~ La Verendrye dies
Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye was a Canadian soldier and explorer who traveled farther west than any previous European explorer had.
More: http://www.collectionscanada.ca/expl...24-1530-e.html


1631 ~ 1st predicted transit of Venus (Kepler) is observed
More: http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/sunear..._Activity3.pdf
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Old 06-12-2006, 10:57   #167
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December 6

The 1631 predicted transit of Venus did occur on Dec. 6, but no one observed it. The astronomers in Europe planned to make the observation, but the calculations of Kepler were not sufficiently accurate to show it would be visible from mid-pacific to middle-east; not in Europe. (It was first observed 4 December 1639.) The most recent transit was in 2004, and the next will be in 2012.

  • 1830 - The first U.S. Naval Observatory established at Washington, DC, under command of Lieutenant Louis Malesherbes.
  • 1917 - German submarine torpedoes sink USS Jacob Jones (DD-61) off England.
  • 2001 - Death of Sir Peter Blake, New Zealand sailor and environmentalist, (shot by pirates on the Amazon River)
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Old 07-12-2006, 04:22   #168
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December 7

1972 ~ “Apollo 17" launched - last manned lunar landing mission

1941 ~ Japanese attack Pearl Harbor

1894 ~ Ferdinand Marie Vicomte de Lesseps (Suez Canal) dies

1817 ~ Vice-Admiral William Bligh (HMS “Bounty”) dies
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Old 08-12-2006, 02:29   #169
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December 8

1982 ~ Norman Mayer holds Washington Monument hostage
Norman David Mayer was shot dead on December 8th, 1982 by the U.S. Park Police for threatening to blow up the Washington Monument. Mayer had driven his van (which he told police was loaded with explosives) to the base of the Monument, which he held hostage for ten hours.
Dressed in a snowsuit and motorcycle helmet, Mayer bluffed that he had a partner working with him, that the remote control in his hands was a detonator, and that there were 1,000 pounds of dynamite in his van.
Eight tourists were trapped inside at the time; Mayer let them go.
He planned to use the siege to draw attention to his cause: stopping the nuclear arms race. Among his demands was more media attention to the abolition of nuclear weapons. Mayer said, "They have been pretending that we are not threatened every day of our lives with annihilation. And whether by conclusion or otherwise, they refuse to give the real information about the precarious and uncontrollable situation the world finds itself in. It's up to the press."
He climbed back into the van and started driving away at 7:30 pm. Park Police opened fire, hitting Mayer twice in the arm, once on the chin, and once in the left temple. Police insist they were aiming for the van's engine.
Mayer was pronounced dead on the scene.


1980 ~ John Lennon, assassinated by Mark David Chapman

1963 ~ Boing 707 explodes after lightning strike (81 die)
The fuel tank of a Pan Am 707 exploded in flight near Elkton, Maryland, apparently after being struck by lightning. The lightning caused a spark that ignited fuel vapor in a tank.
Several airliner crashes have been caused by lightning. In 1976 near Madrid, Spain, all 17 people aboard an Iranian Air Force 747 jumbo jet died when a lightning strike to the wingtip ignited the jet fuel and blew the wing apart.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board's database one of the last reports of lightning causing any airline to crash was in 1981 and involved a small airliner in Germany. In 2000, a Chinese airliner was hit by lightning and crashed but no details were made available and it was not known if the plane had any lightning protection built in.
Boeing estimates that every commercial airplane is hit by lightning (on average) about twice a year.


1914 ~ The Battle of the Falkland Islands
A month after German naval forces, led by Admiral Maximilian von Spee, inflicted the Royal Navy’s first defeat in a century by sinking two British cruisers with all hands off the southern coast of Chile, Spee’s squadron attempts to raid the Falkland Islands, only to be thwarted by the British navy, under the command of Admiral Doveton Sturdee.
Germany lost four warships and more than 2,000 sailors in the Falkland Islands, compared with only 10 British deaths.
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Old 08-12-2006, 13:09   #170
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A couple more...

  • 1941 - USS Wake (PR-3), a river gunboat moored at Shanghai, is only U.S. vessel to surrender during World War II.
  • 1966 - The Greek ferry Heraklion sinks in a storm in the Aegean Sea, killing over 200.
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Old 09-12-2006, 03:40   #171
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Good catch on the “Wake”, Amgine.

From http://www.navsource.org/archives/12/09043.htm
River Gunboat USS “Wake” (PR 3):
”Surrendered to Japanese forces at Shanghai, 8 December 1941; Struck from the Naval Register, 25 March 1942; Renamed HIJNS Tatara by Japan; Recovered by U.S. forces in August 1945; Transferred to Nationalist China in 1946 and renamed RCS Tai Yuan; Captured by Communist Chinese forces in 1949. Fate unknown.”

I believe she was the only American man-of-war to be captured intact by the enemy, in World War II.
More: http://www.historycentral.com/navy/PF/Wake.html
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Old 09-12-2006, 05:50   #172
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December 9

1958 ~ Robert H.W. Welch, Jr.,establishes the John Birch Society

1938 - Battleship USS “New York” (BB-34) gets prototype shipboard radar
The fifth USS “New York” (BB-34) installed and tested the first operational U.S. radar, the XAF
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Old 09-12-2006, 11:04   #173
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one more...

1508 - Birth of Gemma Frisius, cartographer and mathematician. (d. 25 May 1555)
Mercator's instructor, described how to use an accurate clock to calculate longitude.
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Old 10-12-2006, 05:07   #174
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December 10

1941 ~ British battleship HMS “Prince of Wales” sunk off Singapore
HMS “Prince of Wales” and HMS “Repulse” (Force Z under the command of Admiral Tom Phillips) were sunk on 10 December 1941 by Japanese warplanes, about 50 miles from the coast of Kuantan in Malaya. The loss of life was the greatest ever experienced by the Royal Navy in one incident; over 840 officers and men died.
More: The sinking of HMS
And: British Navy Ships--HMS Prince of Wales (1941-1941)
And: British Navy Ships--HMS Repulse (1916-1941)


1898 ~ Treaty of Paris ends Spanish-American War

1896 ~ Alfred Nobel dies at 63
When Alfred Nobel died on December 10, 1896, it was discovered that he had left a will, dated November 27, 1895, according to which most of his vast wealth was to be used for five prizes, including one for peace. The prize for peace was to be awarded to the person who "shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding of peace congresses." The prize was to be awarded "by a committee of five persons to be elected by the Norwegian Storting." It was to take three years of various legal actions before the first Nobel Prizes could actually be awarded.
The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to 94 persons and 19 organizations since 1901.
More: The Norwegian Nobel Institute
And: Alfred Nobel
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Old 10-12-2006, 09:00   #175
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history.navy.mil

I've spent several months trying to figure out what's going on, because I simply cannot get access to DANFS or anything else on history.navy.mil. Even when following a link from elsewhere on navy.mil. Gord, are you actually getting through to the server? I had been thinking it might be that navy was firewalling all non-USA IPs...

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Old 10-12-2006, 09:16   #176
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The US Navy came under electronic attack and their network was infiltrated by unknown hackers. Until they can locate the intruder and determine the level and method of compromise they've locked down a considerable amount of their public facing web services. I think the primary point of intrusion was the US Naval War College in Newport RI. A lot of Gov't sites have come under considerable increase in intrusions over the last while, ours included. You'll probably notice a rollback in web services from a lot of Gov't sites while the IT security guys are hardening their systems against intrusion. I've personally learned more about IT security in the past week than I cared to.

CANOE -- Technology: Tech 9-1-1 Hackers attack Naval War College
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Old 10-12-2006, 11:05   #177
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::grumbles::

Security/intrusions are nearly so annoying as PWCs. Especially when trying to track down maritime history...

btw, anyone want to write up an article on SailWiki for SS Automedon?
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Old 11-12-2006, 03:15   #178
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[December 11

1992 ~ Epic Nor'easter storm hits NE
A severe weather system of snow, sleet, rain, and high winds struck Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and West Virginia. The highest recorded winds from this winter storm, called a nor'easter, were 80 miles per hour (mph) gusts at Cape May, New Jersey, with sustained winds of 20-30 mph. The tidal surge was 1-4 feet above normal, and wave heights were 20-25 feet near the shore. The 24-hour snowfall was 27 inches in the hills west of Boston. Flooding was recorded at 4-5 feet in both Boston and New York City. In the Berkshire Mountains in western Massachusetts, 4 feet of snow fell, with drifts as high as 10 feet.
The National Weather Service called this storm "one of the epic storms of all time". Insured losses mounted to $ 850 million, with total damages around $ 2 billion, and nine deaths. High storm surges caused many mandatory evacuations in coastal areas.


1981 ~ Muhammad Ali's 61st and last fight, losing to Trevor Berbick

1967 ~ People's front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) established

1961 ~ Adolf Eichmann is found guilty of war crimes

1954 ~ USS “Forrestal” christened in Newport News, Va

1941 ~ Germany declares war on the United States

1936 ~ Edward VIII abdicates British Throne

1931 ~ British Statute of Westminster
The Statute granted the Dominions of Canada, Newfoundland, New Zealand, Australia, the Union of South Africa and the Irish Free State what amounted to independence.
It excluded revisions of the Acts of Parliament upon which the constitutions of Canada and Australia were founded.
More: Modern History Sourcebook: Statute of Westminster, 1931


1866 ~ 1st trans-Atlantic yacht race
The Great Ocean Race, as the newspapers call it, begins off New Jersey’s Sandy Hook point in New York Harbor. James Gordon Bennett, publisher of the New York Herald, helms "Henrietta" to victory as she reaches Lizard Point, England, in 13 days, 21 hours, and 55 minutes.
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Old 11-12-2006, 08:35   #179
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Very nice!

I had no clue about the first transat! ::groans:: Now I have a bunch more articles to write up at some point.

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Old 12-12-2006, 02:49   #180
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December 12

1997 ~ Terrorist/revolutionary “Carlos the Jackal” goes on trial in Paris
More on Ilich Ramírez Sánchez: Carlos the Jackal: Trail of Terror

1941 ~ United States seizes French liner “Normandie”
At the end of her 139th Atlantic crossing, the French Line's “Normandie” arrived in New York on 28 August 1939, and would never sail again. Mothballed at Pier 88, she was taken into custody by the U.S. Coast Guard when France was occupied in June 1940, and less than a week after Pearl Harbor she was taken over by the U.S. Maritime Commission and was renamed U.S.S. “Lafayette”.

1939 ~ “Indigirka” capsizes in blizzard off Japanese coast (2,470 die)
Soviet prison ship “Indigirka”, carrying 2,500 prisoners ,capsizes in blizzard off Japanese coast.

1937 ~ USS “Panay” sunk by Japanese warplanes
More: PR-5 USS Panay

1901 ~ Marconi receives 1st transatlantic radio signal
Using a 122-metre (400-foot) kite-supported antenna, Guglielmo Marconi recieves the first radio transmission sent across the Atlantic Ocean. The message (the Morse-code signal for the letter "s") traveled more than 2,000 miles from Poldhu in Cornwall, England, to Signal Hill at St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.
More: Radio's First Message -- Fessenden and Marconi


1862 ~ Torpedo-mine”sinks USS “Cairo” in the Yazoo River
More: Historic Naval Ships Visitors Guide - USS Cairo

1098 ~ Crusaders capture & plunder M'arrat-an-Numan
Christian Crusaders (first crusade) capture the city of M'arrat-an-Numan, a small city east of Antioch. According to reports, Crusaders are observed eating the flesh of both adults and children; as a consequence, the Franks would be labeled "cannibals" by Turkish historians.
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