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• War starts between the States... • Victòria d'Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya... • Guillotinés par la Révolution... • Fort Pillow massacre... • Bataan Death March's 3rd day... • Madame Bovary is published... • Franklin D. Roosevelt dies... • First launch of space shuttle... • Townshend Acts repealed... • GM drops Wankel engine project... • Labor Relations Act upheld... • MG founder is born...
Obasanjo^  On a 12 April:



2003 Election in Nigeria of the 360 Representatives and 109 Senators. Of the 30 political parties contending, the ruling People's Democratic Party of President Obasanjo comes out ahead. [after casting his vote, Obasanjo signals his confidence in victory >]. In the 19 April 2003 presidential election, Obasanjo would receive more votes than any of the other 19 candidates.


2003 In a referendum, Hungarian voters, by a decisive majority, approve their country's joining the European Union.

CRM 5-year price charlt2002 Venezuela's military forces depose President Hugo Chavez, 47, in a bloodless coup at about 15:00 and take him prisoner, announcing that he has resigned. The previous evening pro-Chavez gunmen had fired on 150'000 opposition protesters, killing 16 and injuring some 240. A general strike was in effect since 09 April, as business and labor leaders protested the leftist authoritarian measures taken by Chavez since November 2001, increasing his control of state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela, permiting the expropriation of farmland, ordering the closing of five private television stations which covered the protests. One consequence is that the shares of the Colombian chemical company Corimon (CRM) rise to close at the high for this day (a Friday), $16.50, from the previous day's close of $10.00, on the NY Stock Exchange, where it had started trading at $202.50 on 28 July 1997. However on the next trading day, Monday 15 April, CRM would plunge back down, to an intraday low of $11.00 and close at $11.85. [5~year price chart >]. However Chavez came into office in 1998. The US government is clearly pleased by the coup, but Latin American countries condemn it. Chavez supporters mount counter demonstrations on 13 April, the military releases Chavez, who denies having resigned, and he is back in office on 14 April.
2002 Russia expels Italian Father Stefano Caprio, who has served for 12 years as pastor of a Catholic parish northeast of Moscow,. The Russian government espouses the anti-Catholic stance of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Elian Gonzalez 0004122000 US Attorney General Janet Reno [21 Jul 1938~] meets in Miami with the US relatives of Elián González [06 Dec 1993~] [< photo], and refuses to consider any of their concerns, after which she orders them to bring the young boy to an airport the next day so he could be taken to a reunion with his father in Washington DC. On 22 April 2000 Elián would be seized by federal agents assaulting the home where Elián was staying. — (050927)
1996 Internet search engine Yahoo! becomes the third search engine within two weeks to launch an IPO. The company's stock opens at $24.50 and closes at $33 after peaking at $43.
1994 Israel and the PLO agree that 9000 Palestinian police officers will be stationed in Jericho and the Gaza Strip after the Israeli military withdrawal.
1992 The European Community announced that a cease-fire accord had been reached in Europe's newest nation of Bosnia- Herzegovina, a former Yugoslav republic. The truce did not last.
1992 Euro Disney opens in Marne-la-Vallée, France.
1991 Kurdish patriots report that the Iraqi army is attacking their guerrillas in northern Iraq.
1991 Apple Computer's chairman John Sculley secretly meets with top technical advisors from IBM to demonstrate a new Apple operating system, which could run on a variety of microprocessors. After months of top-secret discussions, the two companies announce that they would jointly develop the PowerPC, based on the RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) processor.
1990 Under pressure from environmentalists, three top US tuna canneries--H.J. Heinz, Van Camp and Bumblebee--announced "dolphin-safe" tuna-catching practices.
1989 In the USSR, ration cards are issued for the first time since World War II, due to a sugar shortage.
1988 Harvard University obtains a patent for a genetically altered mouse. It is the first patent for a life form.
1984 Astronauts aboard the space shuttle Challenger make the first satellite repair in orbit by returning the Solar Max satellite to space.
^1981 First launching of the space shuttle.
     The space shuttle Columbia is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, becoming the first reusable manned spacecraft to travel into space. Piloted by astronauts Robert L. Crippen and John W. Young, the Columbia undertook a fifty-four-hour space flight of thirty-six orbits before successfully touching down at California's Edwards Air Force Base on 14 April.
      On 17 September 1976, NASA publicly unveiled its first space shuttle, Enterprise, during a ceremony in Palmdale, California. Development of the aircraft-like spacecraft cost almost ten billion dollars and took nearly a decade. In 1977, the space shuttle Enterprise enjoyed the distinction of the first free atmospheric flight by a space shuttle when it was lifted to a height of twenty-five thousand feet by a Boeing 747 airplane, and then released, gliding back to Edwards Air Force Base on its own accord.
      Regular flights of the space shuttle began on 12 April 1981, with the launching of the Columbia into space on a fifty-four-hour mission. On 28 January 1986, NASA and the space shuttle program suffered a major setback when Challenger exploded seventy-four seconds after takeoff. All seven people aboard were killed. A similar disaster would destroy Columbia, killing all seven astronauts aboard, at the conclusion of a 16-day mission, on 01 February 2003.
1977 GM drops Wankel engine project
      General Motors announces it had abandoned plans to produce a Wankel rotary engine. The rotary engine is an old engineering principle originally pioneered by Elwood Haynes in 1893. Felix Wankel is credited with inventing the modern design in 1955. The Wankel rotary engine dispenses with separate pistons, cylinders, valves, and crankshafts, and its construction allows it to apply power directly to the transmission. The miracle of the rotary design is that a rotary engine can produce the same power as a conventional engine of twice its size comprised of four times as many parts. There is a tradeoff however: The Wankel rotary engine burns up to twice as much gasoline as a conventional engine, making it, among other things, a heavy polluter. Proponents of the engine argue that its smaller size would allow carmakers to install anti-pollution devices where they wouldn’t fit in a car carrying an ordinary engine. The basic unit of the rotary engine is a large combustion chamber in the form of a "pinched oval" or epitrochoid. Within the chamber all four engine functions take place in the three pockets formed by the rotor and the walls of the combustion chamber. In the same way that the addition of cylinders increases power in a conventional engine, the addition of pockets increases power in a rotary engine. GM, after having considered the production of a rotary engine for a decade, finally decided against the innovation on the grounds that its poor fuel economy would be prohibitive to sales.
^1975 US Embassy in Cambodia is evacuated
      In Cambodia, the US ambassador and his staff leave Phnom Penh when the US Navy conducts its evacuation effort, Operation Eagle. On 03 April 1975, as the communist Khmer Rouge forces closed in for the final assault on the capital city, US forces were put on alert for the impending embassy evacuation. An 11-man Marine element flew into the city to prepare for the arrival of the US evacuation helicopters. On 10 April, US Ambassador Gunther Dean asked Washington that the evacuation begin no later than 12 April. At 08:50 on 12 April, an Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service HH-53 landed a four-man Air Force combat control team to coordinate the operation. Three minutes later, it guided in a Marine Corps helicopter with the first element of the Marine security force. Marine and Air Force helicopters then carried 276 evacuees--including 82 Americans, 159 Cambodians, and 35 foreign nationals--to the safety of US Navy assault carriers in the Gulf of Thailand. By 10:00, the Marine contingency force, the advance 11-man element, and the combat control team had been evacuated without any casualties. On 16 April, the Lon Nol government surrendered to the Khmer Rouge, ending five years of war. With the surrender, the victorious Khmer Rouge evacuated Phnom Penh and set about to reorder Cambodian society, which resulted in a killing spree and the notorious "killing fields." Eventually, hundreds of thousands of Cambodians were murdered or died from exhaustion, hunger, and disease.
1961 Soviet Yuri Alexeyevich Gagarin becomes first person to orbit Earth (Vostok 1)
1961 Rostow recommends escalation of US effort in Vietnam.
      Walt W. Rostow, senior White House specialist on Southeast Asia and a principal architect of US counterinsurgency doctrine, delivers a memorandum to President John F. Kennedy asserting that the time has come for "gearing up the whole Vietnam operation." Rostow's proposals, almost all of which eventually became policy, included: a visit to Vietnam by the vice president; increasing the number of American Special Forces; increasing funds for South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem; and "persuading Diem to move more rapidly to broaden the base of his government, as well as to decrease its centralization and improve its efficiency."
1955 US federal health officials announce that the polio vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk was safe, potent and effective; 4 billion dimes marched
1946 Syria gains independence from France.
1944 The US Twentieth Air Force is activated to begin the strategic bombing of Japan.
1938 first US law requiring medical tests for marriage licenses (NY)
^1937 National Labor Relations Act upheld by US Supreme Court.
     A somewhat divided Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of the controversial National Labor Relations Act. First introduced by Senator Robert F. Wagner (NY), in February of 1935, the legislation was designed to codify and administer rights for the nation's workers. Along with protecting workers' freedom to strike, boycott and choose their own unions, the Labor Relations Act also laid down a list of employers' "unfair labor practices" that were now deemed punishable offenses. Though President Franklin Roosevelt initially opposed the National Labor Relations Act, Congress still passed the legislation. Roosevelt eventually changed his mind and adopted the National Labor Relations Act as part of the Second New Deal. Looking to keep a clamp on workers' rights, anti-labor forces challenged the bill's constitutionality, and eventually brought their case before the Supreme Court. There was great reason to believe that the largely conservative Court would strike down pro-Labor legislation; Roosevelt himself feared that the justices would turn their gavels against good chunks of the Second New Deal and in February of 1937, moved to add four new, pro-New Deal members to the bench. The push to "pack the Court" stirred a storm of protest from business interests and New Deal supporters alike; the outrage was only further fueled by the Court's ruling in favor of the National Labor Relations Act. Thus, the bill, while a victory for workers, was a bittersweet moment for the president, whose heretofore unblemished image was, at least temporarily, tainted.
1934 Highest velocity wind ever recorded on Mt Washington, NH, 372 km/h.
^1931 Victòria d'Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya
      Els resultats de les eleccions del 12 d'abril de 1931 donaren una victòria aclaparadora al prestigiós líder d'Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC), Francesc Maciá, el qual proclamà el 14 d'abril la República catalana dins una Federació de pobles ibèrics. Al cap d'unes hores, la segona República espanyola era proclamada a Madrid. Unes negociacions entre tots dos nous poders, de Madrid i Barcelona, desembocaren, el 17 Apr, en el restabliment provisional de la Generalitat de Catalunya, amb Francesc Macià com a primer President de la institució.
      Per decrets de 28 Apr, del President Macià, s'estructurava la Generalitat provisional i es nomenava el seu primer Govern amb majoria d'Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya. La Generalitat quedava integrada per un Consell o Govern provisional, per una Assemblea o Diputació provisional (quaranta-cinc diputats elegits pels regidors de tots els municipis catalans) i per uns comissaris delegats del Govern que es feien càrrec dels serveis de les desaparegudes diputacions provincials catalanes. Un dels primers actes de govern del President Macià havia estat la supressió d'aquestes corporacions provincials que no responien a una organització territorial autòctona.
      Així s'iniciava un nou capítol històric no exempt, però, de greus dificultats. Encara que el període històric corresponent va ser més aviat breu (1931-1939), i malgrat la suspensió de l'Estatut d'autonomia des de l'octubre de 1934 al febrer de 1936, fou suficient per establir les bases sobre les quals encara avui s'estructura el poder polític a Catalunya.
      A l'Assemblea provisional correspongué la responsabilitat de l'elaboració del projecte d'Estatut d'autonomia, que un cop plebiscitat pel poble fou presentat a la ratificació de les Corts de la República. Aquesta ratificació no es donà: les Corts van modificar-ne el contingut i en va limitar l'abast de competències. El 09 Sep de 1932 les Corts aprovaren aquest Estatut d'autonomia, i al cap de poques setmanes, se celebraven eleccions al Parlament de Catalunya, el qual es constutïa el 06 Dec de 1932, amb Lluís Companys com a primer President de la cambra legislativa.
      La Generalitat va quedar constituïda pel Parlament, el President de la Generalitat i el Govern. Poc després, a més dels poders executiu i legislatiu, Catalunya assumí facultats judicials amb la creació del Tribunal de Cassació (1934). Nous poders executius, incloent-hi els d'Ordre Públic, foren també assumits el gener de 1934 pel govern de la Generalitat en desaparèixer de l'estructura política la figura dels governadors civils, que representaven el govern espanyol a Catalunya. Però aquesta nova vertebració del poder a Catalunya i la cessió a la Generalitat de competències de govern no equivalia pas a una devolució de la sobirania anterior a l'abolició de la Generalitat per Felip V.
     El dia de Nadal de 1933 moria el president Macià, primer restaurador de la Generalitat, i el Parlament de Catalunya elegia per succeir-lo Lluís Companys.
      Sota el mandat de Lluís Companys (1933-1940), segon President de la Generalitat contemporània, fou quan el Parlament de Catalunya conegué l'etapa més dinàmica de la seva tasca legislativa. Es creà el tribunal de Cassació, s'aprovà la Llei municipal i altres nombroses lleis i disposicions de govern en matèria de Finances, Justícia, Treball, Cooperatives, Agricultura, Ensenyament, Cultura, Sanitat, Dret Civil, etc.
      El 06 octubre de 1934, considerant en perill l'estabilitat de la República i l'autonomia de Catalunya, el President Lluís Companys s'enfrontà asprament amb el Govern central i proclamà l'Estat català dins la República Federal espanyola. El moviment fou esclafat per l'exèrcit. L'Estatut d'autonomia fou suspès i el govern de Catalunya i molts altres ciutadans, revestits d'autoritat o no, foren empresonats i condemnats a llargues penes. El febrer de 1936, unes eleccions generals tragueren de presidi el Govern de Catalunya i la Generalitat reprengué les seves funcions.
      El 18 juliol de 1936 va tenir lloc l'alçament del General Franco contra la República. Era el cop d'estat i l'inici de la guerra civil espanyola. A Catalunya, el poble i la força pública comandada per la Generalitat van ofegar la revolta dels militars. Amb tot, l'alçament militar provocà una explosió revolucionària congriada ja abans sobretot per l'anarco-sindicalisme de la CNT-FAI, que originà fortes tensions amb el Govern de la Generalitat fins que a final del 1936 s'hi integraren consellers d'ideologia anarquista. L'experiència seria curta. El mes de maig de 1937 la CNT-FAI perdé l'hegemonia en benefici dels comunistes i del partit del Govern, Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya.
      Durant el primer període de la guerra civil, el Govern de la Generalitat assumí plens poders per afrontar la situació, cosa que féu possible prendre les decisions que imposava la defensa de les institucions de Catalunya. Així, foren prorrogades la legislatura i la presidència de Lluís Companys, atesa la impossibilitat de convocar eleccions legislatives.
      Cap al final del 1937 el Govern de Madrid recuperà poders sobre Catalunya que havia cedit amb l'Estatut d'autonomia de 1932, concretament l'ordre públic. A Catalunya les lluites internes de caràcter sociopolític un cop més repercutien negativament en l'autonomia política del país.
1927 The British Cabinet came out in favor of women voting rights.
1911 first non-stop London-Paris flight (Pierre Prier in 3h56m)
1908 Fire makes 17'000 homeless in Chelsea Massachusetts.
1892 Voters in Lockport, New York, become the first in the US to use voting machines.
1877 British annex Transvaal, in South Africa
1869 North Carolina legislature passes anti-Klan Law
1865 Mobile, Alabama surrenders
1864 Capture of Fort Pillow, Tennessee, by Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, who slaughters the Black Union troops there.
1864 Engagement at Blair's Landing, Louisiana (Red River Expedition)
1863 Siege of Suffolk, Virginia by Confederates continues
1862 Union volunteers led by James J. Andrews steal a Confederate train (General) at Kennesaw, train near Marietta, northwest Georgia (The Great Locomotive Chase). They would be later caught.
1862 Siege of Yorktown, Virginia continues.
^ 1861 The US Civil War begins.
      The bloodiest four years in US history begin when Confederate shore batteries under General Pierre G. T. Beauregard open fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina's Charleston Bay. Over the next thirty-four hours, fifty Confederate guns and mortars launch over four thousand rounds at the poorly supplied fort, and on 13 April, US Major Robert Anderson, commander of the Union garrison, surrenders. On 15 April, US President Abraham Lincoln issues a proclamation calling for seventy-five thousand volunteer soldiers to help quell the Southern "insurrection."
      As early as 1858, the ongoing conflict between the North and South over the issue of slavery had led Southern leadership to discuss a unified separation from the United States. By 1860, the majority of the slave states were publicly threatening secession if the Republicans, the anti-slavery party, won the presidency. Following Republican Abraham Lincoln's victory over the divided Democratic Party on 07 November 1860, South Carolina immediately initiated secession proceedings. On 20 December, the South Carolina legislature passed the "Ordinance of Secession," which declared that "the Union now subsisting between South Carolina and other states, under the name of the United States of America, is hereby dissolved."
      After the declaration, South Carolina set about seizing forts, arsenals, and other strategic locations within the state. Within six weeks, five more Southern states had followed South Carolina's lead. On 04 February, 1861, delegates from South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana convened to establish a unified government, and on 09 February, Jefferson Davis of Mississippi was elected the first president of the Confederate States of America.
      When Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated on 04 March 1861, seven states had seceded from the Union, and federal troops held only Fort Sumter in South Carolina, Fort Pickens off the Florida coast, and a handful of minor outposts in the South.
      On 12 April 1861, the American Civil War begins when Confederate General P. G. T. Beauregard attacks Fort Sumter in South Carolina. Four years later, the Confederacy would be defeated at the total cost of 620'000 Union and Confederate dead.
^ 1858 First non-Mormon governor arrives in Utah
      Salt Lake City offers an uneasy welcome to Alfred Cummings, its first non-Mormon governor, which signals the end of the so-called "Utah War." The Mormon acceptance of a gentile governor came after more than a year of tensions and military threats between the US government and Brigham Young's Utah theocracy. Sometimes referred to as the Utah War, this little-known conflict arose out of fundamental questions about the autonomy of the Mormon-controlled territory of Utah. Was Utah an American state or an independent nation? Could the Mormon Church maintain its tight controls over the political and economic fate of the territory while still abiding by the laws and dictates of the United States? When James Buchanan became president in March 1857, he was determined to assert federal control over Utah Territory, where most of the residents were Mormons. Buchanan dispatched a brigade of 2500 infantry and artillery soldiers for Salt Lake City under the command of the infamous General William ("Squaw Killer") Harney, who had a reputation for harsh methods. The troops were to establish a federal garrison in Utah and provide support for the new non-Mormon Utah Governor Alfred Cummings, who had been appointed by Buchanan to replace Young.
      Buchanan failed to fully inform Young of his intentions. As rumors spread of an impending US invasion, Young and other Mormon leaders reacted with alarm. Fearing the approaching federal army was actually just an armed mob similar to those that had previously driven the Mormons from Missouri and Illinois, Young was determined to make a stand. He mobilized the Mormon's huge militia, the Nauvoo Legion, and ordered it to implement a scorched earth policy in the Wasatch Mountains east of Salt Lake City to deprive the federal army of necessary forage and supplies. Meanwhile, Mormon citizens began manufacturing arms and ammunition in preparation for war. Much to the embarrassment of the Buchanan administration, severe weather and the Nauvoo Legion's scorched earth tactics initially stymied the federal troops.
      After a hard winter spent at the burnt out shell of Fort Bridger, the US force prepared to make another attempt to push through the Wasatch Mountains and down into Salt Lake. By this time, Young was ready for peace, but he remained so distrustful that he ordered some 30'000 persons to abandon Salt Lake and other northern settlements and make an unnecessary retreat southward. When Cummings finally arrived in Salt Lake on this day in 1858, the city was nearly deserted. Young peacefully relinquished the governorship and all of his other governmental roles, agreeing to become solely the spiritual leader of Utah Mormons. In exchange, Buchanan gave all Utah residents a blanket pardon for any involvement in the conflict. Several months later, two brigades of US soldiers established Camp Floyd south of Salt Lake City, the largest garrison in the nation until the Civil War. With the threat of a bloody conflict diminished, Mormon refugees began returning to their homes. Though tensions between the Mormons and the federal government continued for decades, the Utah War ended the dream of a Mormon state geographically and politically separated from nonbelievers. Henceforth, Utah Territory was clearly a part of the American union, and it was granted full statehood in 1896.
1811 First US colonists on Pacific coast arrive at Cape Disappointment, WA
1794 ARMENGAUD Paul Sylvestre, manœuvrier, volontaire au bataillon de l'Ariège, domicilié à Saverdun, canton de Mirepoix, département de l'Ariège, condamné à la déportation à Vie, comme complice des révoltés, par le tribunal criminel du département de l'Ariège.
1794 BARES Jean, ainé, gardien de chèvres, domicilié à Saverdun, canton de Mirepoix, département de l'Ariège, condamné à mort par contumace, comme instigateur de révolte, par le tribunal criminel du département de l'Ariège.
1794 BARES François, manœuvrier, domicilié à Saverdun, canton de Mirepoix, département de l'Ariège, condamné à mort par contumace, comme séditieux, par le tribunal criminel de l'Ariège.
1794 COSNUEL Jean, domicilié à Bazauge-la-Perouse département d'Ille-et-Vilaine, condamné comme contre-révolutionnaire à la détention jusqu'à la paix, puis au bannissement perpétuel, par le tribunal criminel dudit département.
^ 1770 Townshend Acts repealed.
      The British government moves to mollify outraged colonists by repealing almost all of the Townshend Acts. Initially passed in the summer of 1767, the Townshend Acts were the British government's fiscal and political play to maintain its power over the American colonies. The bills, named after their sponsor, Charles Townshend, not only suspended America's uppity body of representatives, but also levied a controversial package of revenue taxes, including duties on paint, paper and tea. While English leaders viewed colonial control as a historically justified stance, Americans were of a far different mind: they believed the acts smacked of undue meddling. This sent the colonies into a heated, and sometimes violent, frenzy of protest. America's outrage eventually prompted the British to roll back all of the acts and revenue duties, save for the now infamous tea tax.
Galileo Galilei ^1633 Galileo is convicted of heresy
      The inquisition of physicist and astronomer Galileo Galilei for holding the heretical belief that the Earth revolves around the Sun begins. The chief inquisitor was Father Vincenzo Maculano da Firenzuola, who was appointed by Pope Urban VIII. Galileo was forced to turn himself in to the Holy Office because standard practice demanded that the accused be imprisoned and secluded during the trial. This was the second time that Galileo was in the hot seat for refusing to accept Church orthodoxy that the Earth was the immovable center of the universe: In 1616, he had been forbidden from holding or defending his beliefs. In the 1633 interrogation, Galileo denied that he "held" belief in the Copernican view but continued to write about the issue and evidence as a means of "discussion" rather than belief. The Church had decided the idea that the Sun moved around the Earth was an absolute fact of scripture that could not be disputed, despite the fact that scientists had known for centuries that the Earth was not the center of the universe.
      This time, Galileo's technical argument didn't win the day. On 22 June 1633, the Church handed down the following order: “We say, pronounce, sentence, and declare, that thou, the said Galileo, by the things deduced during this trial, and by thee confessed as above, hast rendered thyself vehemently suspected of heresy by this Holy Office, that is, of having believed and held a doctrine which is false, and contrary to the Holy Scriptures, to wit: that the Sun is the centre of the universe, and that it does not move from east to west, and that the Earth moves and is not the center of the universe.” Along with the order came the following penalty: “We order that by a public edict the book of Dialogues of Galileo Galilei be prohibited, and We condemn thee to the prison of this Holy Office during Our will and pleasure; and as a salutary penance We enjoin on thee that for the space of three years thou shalt recite once a week the Seven Penitential Psalms.” Galileo agreed not to teach the heresy anymore and spent the rest of his life under house arrest. It took more than 300 years for the Church to admit that Galileo was right and to clear his name of heresy.
—      «Eppure, si muove», aurait-il dit de la Terre après avoir été obligé par les juges ecclésiastiques de renier ses découvertes astronomiques.
— Il 15 febbraio 1564 Galileo Galilei nacque a Pisa da Giulia Ammannati e Vincenzio Galilei, entrambi appartenenti alla media borghesia. Vincenzio, nato a Firenze nel 1520, ex liutista ed ex insegnante di musica, in passato era entrato in conflitto con la tradizione classica che attribuiva la consonanza tra tutti i suoni al controllo delle proporzioni numeriche ed aveva proposto idee proprie al riguardo.
      Era quindi ferrato in matematica, ma, intuendo le difficoltà pratiche che la professione di matematico presentava, spinse il figlio a studiare medicina proprio come un loro avo, quel Galileo Bonaiuti che nel XV secolo si era distinto nell'esercizio dell'arte medica ed in onore del quale un ramo della famiglia aveva preso il nome di Galilei. Galileo compì i primi studi di retorica, grammatica e logica nel monastero camaldolese di Vallombrosa ed entrò a far parte dell'ordine come novizio.
      La decisione non poté che contrariare Vincenzio, il quale, nutrendo appunto ben altri progetti per il figlio, lo fece tornare a Pisa e lo fece iscrivere a Medicina. I corsi della facoltà vertevano su Galeno e sui libri di scienza naturale di Aristotele, che costituirono i principali oggetti di critica da parte del giovane Galileo, sempre più attratto dalla matematica e dalla filosofia e sempre meno produttivo in veste di studente di medicina. Nel 1583 vi fu il suo incontro con Ostilio Ricci, un matematico probabile allievo di Tartaglia. Ricci era aggregato alla corte di Toscana e teneva le sue lezioni in volgare, come in volgare era scritto il testo di Euclide su cui basava i suoi corsi.
      Si trattava infatti della traduzione che ne aveva fatta lo stesso Niccolò Tartaglia, il quale, a differenza delle versioni latine, aveva chiarito la discrepanza esistente tra la teoria delle proporzioni di Eudosso e quella dell'aritmetica medievale, un chiarimento che si rivelò fondamentale per la formazione di Galileo. Le sue prime indagini nel campo della fisica lo portarono, tra l'83 e l'86, a determinare il peso specifico dei corpi tramite un congegno chiamato ‘bilancetta', simile ad un utensile già in uso presso i mercanti orafi. Nell'88 diede anche una prova della propria erudizione letteraria con delle lezioni su Dante tenute presso l'Accademia fiorentina.
      Nell'89, nonostante non si fosse laureato, grazie alla stima ed alla fama che si era guadagnato presso certe frange del mondo accademico ottenne la cattedra di Matematica all'Università di Pisa, un lavoro che gli assicurò l'indipendenza economica dal padre. A Pisa Galileo rimase 3 anni, durante i quali scoprì la legge di caduta dei gravi. Ma il periodo più sereno e fruttuoso della sua vita lo passò come insegnante di matematica presso l'Università di Padova, dove si trasferì nel 1592 e dove rimase per 18 anni. Qui continuò i suoi studi di meccanica e di astronomia, nell'ambito della quale abbracciò la teoria copernicana.
      Dal 1609 cominciò a perfezionare ed usare il cannocchiale come strumento per le osservazioni astronomiche. Il cannocchiale non era un'invenzione di Galileo (artigiani olandesi e italiani ne avevano già approntati diversi tipi) ma i miglioramenti che lo scienziato vi apportò inaugurarono l'epoca delle grandi scoperte astronomiche, di cui lo stesso Galilei diede annuncio nel Sidereus Nuncius (Ragguaglio astronomico) del 1610. I 4 maggiori satelliti di Giove, le montagne ed i crateri della Luna, le macchie solari, furono fenomeni fino ad allora sconosciuti che destarono meraviglia ed ammirazione tanto nel mondo accademico (Keplero riconobbe e confermò l'importanza delle scoperte di Galilei), quanto in certo ambiente politico (Cosimo dé Medici lo nominò matematico dello studio di Pisa), ma anche ostruzionismo ed astio da parte delle gerarchie ecclesiastiche (in particolare del cardinale Bellarmino) e degli aristotelici.
      Nel 1616 il Sant'Uffizio mise all'indice sia la cosmologia copernicana, sia le opere di Galileo, il quale venne convocato a Roma per giustificare le sue opinioni. Qui il suo tentativo di difendere le concezioni astronomiche copernicane (e le proprie) in quanto inoffensive nei confronti della Bibbia, venne respinto e lo scienziato fu intimato a non professarle più. Galileo continuò tuttavia ad approfondire ed ampliare i suoi studi e, nel 1623, compose in volgare Il Saggiatore, nel quale polemizzava con il padre gesuita Orazio Grassi riguardo alla natura delle comete e a problemi di ordine metodologico. Sempre nel '23 salì al soglio pontificio Urbano VIII, un Barberini che si era dimostrato disponibile nei suoi confronti, tanto che proprio all'ex cardinale, spirito illuminato ed aperto ai discorsi scientifici, Galileo aveva dedicato il Saggiatore.
      Nel 1632 pubblicò il Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo, un testo fondamentale per la scienza moderna in cui Galileo, sotto un'apparente neutralità, dava risalto all'astronomia copernicana a discapito di quella tolemaica. A causa dell'influenza di alcuni padri gesuiti, Urbano VIII ebbe allora un'involuzione e, nel 1633, Galileo venne processato a condannato al carcere a vita dal Sant'Uffizio, una pena da cui poté salvarsi solo abiurando le sue teorie. Il carcere a vita fu così commutato in isolamento, che Galileo scontò prima nel palazzo dell'Arcivescovado di Siena e poi nella sua villa di Arcetri.
      Morì a Firenze l'8 gennaio 1642, circondato da pochi allievi e nella quasi totale cecità. Galileo Galilei è stato formalmente assolto dall'accusa di eresia solo nel 1992, trecentocinquanta anni dopo la sua morte.
GALILEO ONLINE:
  • Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo (ZIP)
          Concepita nel 1610, l’opera ebbe un tempo di composizione molto lungo, dovuto principalmente a periodi di infermità dello scienziato ed in seguito, a causa della condanna da parte del Sant’Uffizio nel 1616, al timore di dichiarare troppo apertamente la sua adesione al sistema copernicano. Dedicato a Ferdinando II dé Medici, granduca di Toscana, il Dialogo, articolato in 4 giornate, si svolge tra il fiorentino Filippo Salviati, portavoce di Galileo, il veneziano Giovan Francesco Sagredo, uomo di ingegno e di idee progressiste, ed il peripatetico Simplicio, dalla rigida impostazione scolastica. Nella prima giornata si discute del moto, nella seconda si entra nel vivo del sistema copernicano, nella terza si affronta la teoria delle stelle fisse e nell’ultima si apre il dibattito sul flusso e riflusso del mare, secondo Salviati-Galileo uno degli argomenti più forti a favore del sistema eliocentrico. Il Dialogo fu completato all’inizio del 1630 ma dovette superare molti problemi per avere l’approvazione ecclesiastica, per assecondare la quale fu mutato il titolo originale (Dialoghi attorno al flusso e reflusso del mare) e vennero cambiati alcuni passaggi. Pubblicata il 21 febbraio 1632 a Firenze, l’opera venne aspramente perseguita da papa Urbano VIII, che ne vietò la diffusione ed intimò a Galileo di presentarsi a Roma, dove venne sottoposto al famoso processo che lo costrinse all’abiura.
  • Sidereus Nuncius (traduzione italiana) — Sidereus Nuncius (originale latino)
          L'opera per mezzo della quale Galileo dà notizia della scoperta dei satelliti medicei e del loro moto di rivoluzione intorno a Giove, scoperta resa possibile dall'invenzione del cannocchiale. L'opera è disponibile in latino ed in italiano ed è corredata da numerose immagini. Si ringrazia la Casa Editrice Ricciardi per aver consentito l'uso della traduzione italiana di Luisa Lanzillotta.
  • La bilancetta
  • Capitolo contro il portar la toga (zipped)
  • Due lezioni all'Accademia fiorentina circa la figura, sito e grandezza dell'Inferno di Dante (zipped)
  • Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche intorno a due nuove scienze
  • Discorso intorno alle cose che stanno in su l'acqua o che in quella si muovono
  • Lettere
  • Le mecaniche
  • Le operazioni del compasso geometrico e militare
  • Le opere Volume XVolume XIVolume XIIVolume XIIIVolume XIVVolume XV (zipped)
  • Il Saggiatore
  • Trattato di fortificazione
  • 1606 England adopts the original Union Jack as its flag.
    1204 The armies of the Fourth Crusade conquer Constantinople and establish the Latin Empire.
    TO THE TOP
    < 11 Apr 13 Apr >
    ^  Deaths which occurred on a 12 April:

    2003 Cecil Howard Green, of pneumonia, born in England on 06 August 1900, moved to Canada in 1902 and to the US in 1921, naturalized US citizen in 1936. After graduating from MIT in 1924 with a master's degree in electrical engineering, Green started working for General Electric, then, from 1926, for Raytheon, and in 1929 and again in 1931 for Federal Telegraph Company. On 06 December 1941, Green payed $15'000 to join Eugene McDermott [12 Feb 1899 – 24 Aug 1973], John Erik Jonsson [06 Sep 1901 – 01 Sep 1995], and Henry Bates Peacock [03 Mar 1894–] in buying Dallas-based Geophysical Service Inc. (co-founded in 1930 by McDermott), where he had worked briefly in 1930 and steadily since 1932, doing reflection seismic exploration for petroleum in various parts of the world. The next day the US was forced into World War II by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. During WW II, GSI branched into the production of submarine detection devices for the US military. In 1951, the company's name was changed to Texas Instruments, and GSI became a subsidiary, with Green as president and then, from 1955 to 1959, chairman; after which he continued as a member of the board of directors of TI until 1975. Electronics production was introduced into the business mix. In 2002 Texas Instruments had more than $8 billion in revenue.
    2003 “Mr. Mac”, 12, who had stopped eating a week earlier and then had been vomiting, due to a 5-cm-diameter toy ball blocking his small intestine, which would be discovered only after his death, during an autopsy. Mr. Mac had been asleep from December 2002 to March 2003, during which time he had not had any nourishment, yet he still weighed some 160 kg. He would hungrily swallow anything that looked to him like it might be food. He is survived by his wife and their son, who, like he did, live in an enclosure at the Wildlife Prairie State Park near Peoria, Illinois, into which a visiting kid must have tossed the ball, perhaps thinking that the three black bears would like to play with it.
    2002 Six Israelis and a woman suicide bomber of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, at a Jaffa Street pedestrian crossing next to a bus stop near Mahane Yehuda open-air market in downtown Jerusalem. 62 persons are injured.
    Smirnoff2002 Israeli Border Police staff-sergeant David Smirnoff, 22; a Palestinian laborer; and a gunman of Islamic Jihad who fires indiscriminately, and throws a hand grenade, near the Erez crossing, in the northern Gaza Strip, then is shot by a Border Police officer, who is among the 4 Israelis and 3 Palestinians wounded. Smirnoff [photo >] immigrated to Israel at age 10 from the Ukraine; he was a combat medic due to be discharged in a few days. — On 01 March 2003, Smirnoff's sister, Irena Starashnatzev, 29, from Kfar Sava, and a friend of her brother's, Alexander Gurlick, who was visiting acquaintances serving at the checkpoint, would drive to the Erez industrial zone. The two try to hit with the car a group of Palestinian laborers walking on the sidewalk, but they evade the car. A few minutes later, they try to hit a laborer in the industrial zone, but fail. At the time, Gurlick. On her third attempt, Starashnatzev runs over Palestinian laborer Ibrahim Martaga, 49, who suffers a head wound and falls into a coma. Starashnatzev would be indicted for that crime on 04 March 2003.
    2002 More than 30 persons in 5.8 earthquake, at 08:30:26, with epicenter at 35º88'N, 69º15'E at a depth of 33 km, in the Hindu Kush mountain region of northern Afghanistan, near the site of the 25 March 2002 quake that killed up to 1000 persons. Most of today's damage occurred in the village of Doabi, 140 km northeast of Kabul. It is the third quake to strike northern Afghanistan since the 03 March 7.2 quake hit measuring 7.2, the strongest in the Hindu Kush mountain region since 1983.
    2002 Hundreds of Nepalese policemen and attacking Maoist rebels, overnight . 60 policemen were killed in Satbariya, in Dang district, about 300 km west of Katmandu, while defending the house of Interior Security Minister Khum Bahadur Khadka from a rebel attack. Another 27 policemen who surrendered were beheaded, and two were burned alive.. About 30 policemen survived. 11 policemen were killed in an attack on a police station in nearby Lamahi. The two attacks set off overnight gunbattles that left hundreds of rebels dead. The bodies of at least 60 guerrillas could be seen half buried along a dry riverbed a few kilometers from the minister's house. Some of the bodies were headless, some were being eaten by dogs. Many corpses were half-buried with only their legs sticking above the shallow graves. The rebels are believed to have taken away many more fallen comrades in two trucks along with 95 rifles and three machine guns looted from the dead policemen. The minister's house was gutted and blackened by fire. Two burned sedans were parked outside the 3-meter-high boundary wall. On the ground were blotches of blood, shreds of police uniforms, destroyed sofas and cupboards, and twisted, blackened bicycles. Shards of broken glass were scattered across the town. The 120 paramilitary policemen guarding the house were surrounded by thousands of rebels. They killed policemen even after they surrendered. They were stripped naked, then paraded, and finally beheaded with khukris (Nepali knives). In the worst previous fighting, guerrillas killed 137 soldiers, police and civilians on 17 February 2002 in attacks in Mangalsen town in the northwestern Achham district. "The situation is so bad that I don't know how long I will live," said the Dang district's chief administrator, M.P. Yadav. "There is nobody to fight them. There is no equipment to fight them. We are helpless, hapless." Nepal has been under a state of emergency since 26 November 2001, after the rebels withdrew on 23 November from peace talks. The army has been mobilized to help the poorly equipped police fight the guerrillas, but rebel attacks have continued unabated.
    1989 Jean Marie Félix Canu, in Neuilly-sur-Seine American Hospital. Born in Paris on 19 May 1898, to Félix and Marie née Laviéville, Jean Canu grew up to be a history and geography teacher in French lycées, starting in Alger in 1918 (where, on his first day, students mistook him for a fellow studient); a French civilization lecturer at Bryn Mawr College, the University of Chicago, and Georgetown University (ssn 578-44-1326), and author (Les anglais chez eux 1939, Les américains chez eux, Barbey d'Aurévilly 1945, Histoire des Etats-Unis 1941, Histoire de la Nation Américaine 1947, Les ordres religieux masculins, Les Seigneurs de Tourlaville 1976, Autour de l'Amérique, La Basse-Normandie 1937, Louis XIII et Richelieu 1944, Villes et Paysages d'Amérique 1937, Flaubert auteur dramatique 1946 ...).
    1989 Abbie Hoffman, 52, yippie peace activist of the 60's.
    1980 Richard Wayne Whitehead, born on 02 July 1963, White, shot three times at 04:00 and robbed of his 1969 Ford Mustang, in Nash, Texas, by Delma Banks Jr. [30 Oct 1958–], a Black man with no prior criminal record, according to a flawed trial that got him a death sentence (from an all-White jury) in October 1980. Banks' execution would be stayed by the US Supreme Court a few minutes before its scheduled time on 12 March 2003. On 24 February 2004 the Supreme Court overturned Banks’s death sentence because the prosecution persistently failed to disclose evidence of the untrustworthiness of its witnesses. The Supreme Court ruled that Banks could appeal his conviction. —(070411)
    1971 Wolfgang Krull, German mathematician born on 26 August 1899. He proved the Krull-Schmidt theorem for decomposing Abelian groups and defined the Krull dimension of a ring.
    1962 Antoine Pevsner, French artist born on 18 January 1884.
    ^ 1945 Franklin Delano Roosevelt, of a cerebral hemorrhage, three months into his fourth term as US President.
         He was born on 30 January 1882, the only child of James and Sara Delano Roosevelt. The family lived in unostentatious and genteel luxury, dividing its time between the family estate in the Hudson River Valley of New York state and European resorts. Young Roosevelt was educated privately at home until age 14, when he entered Groton Preparatory School in Groton, Massachusetts. At Groton, as at home, he was reared to be a gentleman, assuming responsibility for those less fortunate and exercising Christian stewardship through public service.
          In 1900 Roosevelt entered Harvard, where he spent most of his time on extracurricular activities and a strenuous social life; his academic record was undistinguished. It was during his Harvard years that he fell under the spell of his fifth cousin, President Theodore Roosevelt [27 Oct 1858 – 06 Jan 1919], the progressive champion who advocated a vastly increased role for the government in the nation's economy. It was also during his Harvard years that he fell in love with Theodore Roosevelt's niece, Eleanor Roosevelt [11 Oct 1884 – 07 Nov 1962], who was then active in charitable work for the poor in New York City. The distant cousins became engaged during Roosevelt's final year at Harvard, and they were married on 17 March 1905. Eleanor Roosevelt would later open her husband's eyes to the deplorable state of the poor in New York's slums.
          Roosevelt attended Columbia University Law School but was not much interested in his studies. After passing the New York bar exam, he went to work as a clerk for the distinguished Wall Street firm of Carter, Ledyard, and Milburn, but he displayed the same attitude of indifference toward the legal profession as he had toward his education.
         Motivated by his cousin Theodore, who continued to urge young men of privileged backgrounds to enter public service, Roosevelt looked for an opportunity to launch a career in politics. That opportunity came in 1910, when Democratic leaders of Dutchess county, New York, persuaded him to undertake an apparently futile attempt to win a seat in the state senate. Roosevelt, whose branch of the family had always voted Democratic, hesitated only long enough to make sure his distinguished Republican relative would not speak against him. He campaigned strenuously and won the election. Not quite 29 when he took his seat in Albany, he quickly won statewide and even some national attention by leading a small group of Democratic insurgents who refused to support Billy Sheehan, the candidate for the United States Senate backed by Tammany Hall, the New York City Democratic organization. For three months Roosevelt helped hold the insurgents firm, and Tammany was forced to switch to another candidate.
          In the New York Senate Roosevelt learned much of the give-and-take of politics, and he gradually abandoned his patrician airs and attitude of superiority. In the process,he came to champion the full program of progressive reform. By 1911 Roosevelt was supporting progressive New Jersey governor Woodrow Wilson [28 Dec 1856 – 03 Feb 1924] for the Democratic presidential nomination of 1912. In that year Roosevelt was reelected to the state senate, despite an attack of typhoid fever that prevented him from making public appearances during the campaign. His success was attributable in part to the publicity generated by an Albany journalist, Louis McHenry Howe. Howe saw in the tall, handsome Roosevelt a politician with great promise, and he remained dedicated to Roosevelt for the rest of his life.
          For his work on behalf of Wilson, Roosevelt was appointed assistant secretary of the navy in March 1913. Roosevelt loved the sea and naval traditions, and he knew more about them than did his superior, navy secretary Josephus Daniels [18 May 1862 – 15 Jan 1948], with whom he was frequently impatient. Roosevelt tried with mixed success to bring reforms to the navy yards, which were under his jurisdiction, meanwhile learning to negotiate with labor unions among the navy's civilian employees.
          After war broke out in Europe in 1914, Roosevelt became a vehement advocate of military preparedness, and following US entry into the war in 1917, he built a reputation as an effective administrator. In the summer of 1918 he made an extended tour of naval bases and battlefields overseas. Upon his return, Eleanor Roosevelt discovered that her husband had been romantically involved with her social secretary, Lucy Mercer. She offered him a divorce; he refused and promised never to see Mercer again (a promise he would break in the 1940s). Although the Roosevelts agreed to remain together, their relationship ceased to be an intimate one.
         At the 1920 Democratic convention Roosevelt won the nomination for vice president on a ticket with presidential nominee James M. Cox [31 Mar 1870 – 15 Jul 1957]. Roosevelt campaigned vigorously on behalf of US entry into the League of Nations, but the Democrats lost in a landslide to the Republican ticket of Warren G. Harding [02 Nov 1865 – 02 Aug 1923] and Calvin Coolidge [04 Jul 1872 – 05 Jan 1933]. Roosevelt then became vice president of a bonding company, Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland, and entered into several other business ventures.
          In August 1921, while on vacation at Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada, Roosevelt's life was transformed when he was stricken with poliomyelitis. He suffered intensely, and for some time he was almost completely paralyzed. His mother urged him to retire to the family estate at Hyde Park, but his wife and Howe believed it essential that he remain active in politics. For his part, Roosevelt never abandoned hope that he would regain the use of his legs.
          Unable to pursue an active political career as he recovered from polio, Roosevelt depended on his wife to keep his name alive in Democratic circles. Although initially very shy, Eleanor Roosevelt became an effective public speaker and an adroit political analyst under Howe's tutelage. As a result of her speaking engagements allover New York state, Roosevelt never faded entirely from the political scene, despite what seemed to be a career-ending affliction. In 1924 he made a dramatic appearance at the Democratic convention to nominate Alfred E. Smith [30 Dec 1873 – 04 Oct 1944], governor of New York, for president, and he repeated his nomination of Smith at the 1928 convention. Smith, in turn, urged Roosevelt to run for governor of New York in 1928. Roosevelt was at first reluctant but eventually agreed.
          As he traveled by automobile around the state, Roosevelt demonstrated that his illness had not destroyed the youthful resilience and vitality that had led people such as Howe to predict great political success. He also showed that he had matured into a more serious person, one now with a keen appreciation for life's hardships. On election day Roosevelt won by 25'000 votes, even though New York state went Republican in the presidential election, contributing to the landslide victory of Herbert Hoover [10 Aug 1874 – 20 Oct 1964] over Smith.
          Succeeding Smith as governor, Roosevelt realized he had to establish an administration distinct from that of his predecessor. Accordingly, he declined to appoint Smith's cronies to state office and did not look to Smith, the “Happy Warrior,” for guidance. Smith, already stung by his defeat for the presidency, was hurt by Roosevelt's apparent lack of gratitude, and a breach developed between the two men.
          During his first term, Governor Roosevelt concentrated on tax relief for farmers and cheaper public utilities for consumers. The appeal of his programs, particularly in upstate New York, led to his reelection in 1930 by 725'000 votes. As the depression worsened during his second term, Roosevelt moved farther to the left, mobilizing the state government to provide relief and to aid in economic recovery. In the fall of1931 he persuaded the Republican-dominated legislature to establish the Temporary Emergency Relief Administration, which eventually provided unemployment assistance to 10 percent of New York's families. His aggressive approach to the economic problems of his state, along with his overwhelming electoral victory in 1930, boosted Roosevelt into the front ranks of contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1932.
          Because winning the nomination then required a two-thirds vote in the Democratic convention, even a leading contender could be stopped with relative ease. It soon became apparent that Roosevelt's strongest opposition would come from urban and conservative Eastern Democrats still loyal to Smith; his strongest support was in the South and West. The opposition became stronger when John Nance Garner [22 Nov 1868 – 07 Nov 1967] of Texas, speaker of the House of Representatives, won the California Democratic primary. But on the third ballot at the 1932 convention, Garner released his delegates to Roosevelt, who then captured the required two-thirds vote on the fourth ballot. Garner received the vice presidential nomination. Roosevelt then broke tradition by appearing in person to accept his party's nomination. In his speech before the delegates, he said, “I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people.”
          In 1932, at the height of the Great Depression, Governor Roosevelt of New York was elected the thirty-second president of the United States. In his inaugural address on 04 March 1933, President Roosevelt promised that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself" and outlined his "New Deal"--an expansion of the federal government as an instrument of employment opportunity and welfare. Although criticized by the business community, Roosevelt's progressive legislation improved the US's economic climate, and in 1936 he swept to re-election. During his second term, he became increasingly concerned with German and Japanese aggression, and so began a long campaign to awaken America from its isolationist slumber.
          In 1940, with World War II raging in Europe and the Pacific, Roosevelt agreed to run for an unprecedented third term. Re-elected by Americans who valued his strong leadership, he proved a highly effective commander-in-chief during World War II. Under Roosevelt's guidance, America became, in his own words, the "great arsenal of democracy," and succeeded in shifting the balance of power in World War II firmly in the Allies' favor. In 1944, with the war not yet won, he was re-elected to a fourth term. Three months after his inauguration, while vacationing in Warm Springs, Georgia, Roosevelt died at the age of sixty-three. Following a solemn parade of his coffin through the streets of the nation's capital, his body was buried on a family plot in Hyde Park, New York.
          Roosevelt's unparalleled thirteen years as president led to the 1947 passing of the Twenty-second Amendment to the US Constitution, limiting future presidents to a maximum of two elected terms in office.
         US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt dies of a cerebral hemorrhage in his home at Warm Springs, Georgia. The only man to be elected to four terms as president of the United States, Roosevelt is remembered, by friends and enemies alike, for his New Deal social policies and his leadership during wartime. Roosevelt was elected to a third term in 1940 with the promise of maintaining US neutrality as far as foreign wars were concerned: "Let no man or woman thoughtlessly or falsely talk of American people sending its armies to European fields." But as Hitler's war spread, and the desperation of Britain grew, the president fought for passage in Congress of the Lend-Lease Act, in March 1941,which committed financial aid to Great Britain and other allies. In August, Roosevelt met with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to proclaim the Atlantic Charter, which would become the basis of the United Nations; they also drafted a statement to the effect that the United States "would be compelled to take countermeasures" should Japan further encroach in the southwest Pacific.
          Despite ongoing negotiations with Japan, that "further encroachment" took the form of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, "--a day that would live in infamy." The next day Roosevelt requested, and received, a declaration of war against Japan. On 11 December 1941, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States. Certain wartime decisions by Roosevelt proved controversial, such as the demand of unconditional surrender of the Axis powers, which some claim prolonged the war. Another was the acquiescence to Joseph Stalin of certain territories in the Far East in exchange for his support in the war against Japan. Roosevelt is often accused of being too naïve where Stalin was concerned, especially in regards to "Uncle Joe's" own imperial desires.
          While on a vacation in Warm Springs, Georgia, President Roosevelt suffers a stroke and dies. His death marked a critical turning point in US relations with the Soviet Union, as his successor, Harry S. Truman, decided to take a tougher stance with the Russians. By April 1945, Roosevelt had been elected president of the United States four times and had served for over 12 years. He had seen the United States through some of its darkest days, from the depths of the Great Depression through the toughest times of World War II. In early 1945, shortly after being sworn in for his fourth term as president, Roosevelt was on the verge of leading his nation to triumph in the Second World War. Germany teetered on the brink of defeat, and the Japanese empire was crumbling under the blows of the American military.
          In February 1945, Roosevelt traveled to Yalta in the Soviet Union to meet with Russian leader Joseph Stalin and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to discuss the postwar world. Roosevelt returned from these intense meetings drawn and sick. He vacationed in Warm Springs, Georgia, but the rest did not lead to recuperation. On 12 April 1945, he suffers a massive stroke and dies. Roosevelt left a controversial legacy in terms of US-Soviet relations. Critics charged that the president had been "soft" on the communists and naive in dealing with Stalin. The meetings at Yalta, they claimed, resulted in a "sellout" that left the Soviets in control of Eastern Europe and half of Germany. Roosevelt's defenders responded that he made the best of difficult circumstances. He kept the Grand Alliance between the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain intact long enough to defeat Germany. As for Eastern Europe and Germany, there was little Roosevelt could have done, since the Red Army occupied those areas. Roosevelt's successor, Harry S. Truman, decided that a "tougher" policy toward the Soviets was in order, and he began to press the Russians on a number of issues. By 1947, relations between the two former allies had nearly reached the breaking point and the Cold War was in full swing.
    dripping blood
    ^ 1942 The victims of the 3d Day of the Bataan Death March
         Two days before, one day after the surrender of the main Philippine island of Luzon to the Japanese, the seventy-five thousand American and Filipino troops captured on the Bataan Peninsula had begun a forced march to a prison camp near Cabanatuan. During this infamous trek, known as the "Bataan Death March," the prisoners are forced to march 140 km in six days with only one meal of rice during the entire journey. By the end of the march, which was punctuated with atrocities by the Japanese guards, over five thousand Americans and many more Filipinos died.
          The day after Japan bombed the US naval base at Pearl Harbor, the Japanese invasion of the Philippines began. Within a month, the Japanese had captured Manila, the capital of the Philippines, and the US and Filipino defenders of Luzon were forced to retreat to the Bataan Peninsula. For the next three months, the combined US-Filipino army, under the command of US General Jonathan Wainwright, held out impressively despite a lack of naval and air support.
          Finally, on 07 April, with his army crippled by starvation and disease, Wainwright began withdrawing as many troops as possible to the island fortress of Corregidor in Manila Bay. However, two days later, seventy-five thousand Allied troops were trapped by the Japanese and forced to surrender.
          The next day, 10 April 1942, the Bataan Death March began, resulting in the deaths of over a third of the prisoners. Of those who survived to reach the Japanese prison camp near Cabanatuan, few lived to celebrate US General Douglas MacArthur's liberation of the Philippines in early 1945.
          In the Philippines, homage is paid to the victims of the Bataan Death March every April on Bataan Day, a national holiday that sees large groups of Filipinos solemnly rewalking parts of the death route.
    1921 Henri Adolphe Laissement, French artist born in 1854.
    1919 Rudolf Otto Rudolf Sturm, German mathematician born on 06 January 1841.
    ^1864: More than 300 Blacks in the Fort Pillow Massacre
         During the US Civil War, the Confederate raiders of Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest [13 Jul 1821 — 29 Oct 1877] attack the isolated Union garrison at Fort Pillow, in Jackson, Tennessee, overlooking the Mississippi River.
          The fort, an important part of the Confederate river defense system, was captured by federal forces in 1862. The Union garrison defending the fort consisted of 262 Blacks and 295 Whites. After an initial bombardment, General Forrest asked for the garrison's surrender. The Union commander refused. Conforming to Confederate policy of treating Black Union soldiers as slaves in insurrection, Forrest ordered his troops to “take no more Negro prisoners”. His 1500 cavalry troopers easily stormed and captured the fort, suffering only moderate casualties, and then burned or buried alive, or slaughtered in other ways the Black soldiers, as well as the Black women and children who had taken refuge within the fort, and the White officers commanding Black troops.
          The extremely high proportion of Union casualties -- 231 killed and over 100 seriously wounded -- raised questions about the Confederates' conduct after the battle. Union survivors' accounts, later supported by a federal investigation, concluded that Black troops were massacred in cold blood by Forrest's men after surrendering. Forrest was never tried as a war criminal after his May 1865 surrender, but was left undisturbed to make a fortune in the railroad business and to become a leading organizer and the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
          The enlistment of Blacks into the Union army began after the enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation on 01 January 1863, and by the war's end 180'000 Blacks had fought in the Union army and 10'000 in the navy. As they went into battle after April 1864, Black soldiers would shout “Remember Fort Pillow!”.
    According to The New York Herald Tribune of 02 May 1864:
         The first lieutenant, Company C, John D. Hill, was killed early in the morning. The second lieutenant, Company C, F. McClure, is wounded and prisoner. The captain of Company D, Delos Carson, was taken prisoner, as far as we have heard, and was shot two miles out from Fort Pillow, because he acknowledged to be a captain of a colored company. The lst sergeant of Company D, Melville Jenks, was shot while bearing a flag of truce to the Rebels, in token of his and his squad of men's surrender. He had got nearly up to them before they fired on him, then they murdered the squad of men that had thrown down their arms. The whole number killed will exceed 250; all but about 75 or 100 were murdered in cold blood after they were overpowered. They never surrendered, as has been published, but were taken by storm, fighting until completely crowded out of the little fort by the Rebels coming in.
    1909 Bartolomeo Giuliano, Italian artist born in 1825.
    1893 Jules Jacques Veyrassat, French artist born on 02 July 1828.
    1833 Polydore Roux, French artist born on 19 July 1792.
    ^ 1794 (23 germinal an II) Condamnés à mort par la Révolution:
    Domiciliés dans le département du Bouches du Rhône, par le tribunal criminel dudit département:
    DUPERRET Jean, propriétaire, domicilié à Aubagne, comme colporteur fanatique.
         ... domiciliés à Tarascon:
    MONIER Antoine, gendarme, et REYNAUD Joseph Antoine Rose, prêtre, comme persécuteurs de patriotes.
    ROUSSEAU Jean Baptiste, charcutier, comme contre-révolutionnaire.
    Par la commission militaire séante à Nantes ... comme brigands de la Vendée:
    BARDY François, domicilié à Châlonne, canton d'Angers, département de Mayenne et Loire.
    BONNEAU René, et DUROLE Pierre, domiciliés à Loroux, canton de Clisson, département de la Loire Inférieure.
         ... comme complices des brigands de la Vendée, domiciliées à Loroux, département de la Loire Inférieure:
    HIVERT Françoise, veuve Noël. — HIVERT Marie, veuve Le Cuit.
    Domiciliés à Saverdun, département de l'Ariège, par le tribunal criminel ou militaire dudit département:
    MAILLOT Pierre, colonel au 4ème bataillon de l'Ariège, comme complice de révoltés.
    MERCADIER Jean (dit Micou), tambour de la compagne franche de Saverdun, , comme contre-révolutionnaire.
    ROUIRE Jacques, perruquier, comme complice de contre-révolutionnaire.
    ROUMIEUX Jean, manœuvrier, déserteur de légion de la Montagne, comme complice de contre-révolutionnaire.
    SEGUELA Jean, cultivateur, volontaire au bataillon de l'Ariège, comme complice de révoltés.
    Ailleurs:
    CAPMARTIN Jean, menuisier, domicilié à Margremie, département de la Haute Garonne, comme contre-révolutionnaire , par le tribunal criminel dudit département.
    BABIN Modeste, ouvrière en linge, domiciliée à Poitiers, département de la Vienne, comme receleuse de Prêtres réfractaire, par le tribunal criminel du département de la Vienne.
    DECHARTRE Jean, ex vicaire, domicilié à Brai, près de Richelieu, département de l’Indre et Loire, comme réfractaire, par le tribunal criminel de la Vienne.
    DIOT Jean, âgé de 32 ans, né à Amiens, ex curé de Ligny sur Canche, à Arras.
    SAVARY Louis Joseph, âgé de 37 ans, cultivateur à Beaumetz les Loges, époux de Pigage Caroline, à Arras.
    DUMAS Auguste, ex noble, domicilié à Cairanne, département du Vaucluse, comme émigré, par le tribunal criminel dudit département.
    ORRE Claude Nicolas Marie, âgé de 45 ans, défenseur officier, natif de Thouars, département des Deux-Sèvres, domicilié à Bordeaux, département de la Gironde, par la commission militaire de Bordeaux, comme instigateur de faux témoins.
    RAGUENER Gabriel, prêtre, domicilié à Landudec, département du Finistère, comme réfractaire à la loi, par le tribunal criminel dudit département.
    1793 GABILLARD Joseph, jardinier, et LAINE Joseph, domestique, domiciliés à la Rossignolière, département d'Ille-et-Vilaine, condamnés à mort par le tribunal criminel dudit département, comme contre-révolutionnaires.
    1782 The dead of the Battle of the Saintes. During the US War of Independence, it was a major British naval victory in the West Indies, ending the French threat to British possessions in that area. Setting out from Martinique on 08 April1782, a French fleet of 35 warships and 150 merchantmen under the comte de Grasse [13 Sep 1722 – 11 Jan 1788] intended to descend upon Jamaica with Spanish help. They were intercepted at the Saintes Passage, between the islands of Dominica and Guadeloupe, by a British fleet of 36 ships commanded by Admiral Sir George Rodney [13 Feb 1718 – 24 May 1792]. After preliminary skirmishing, the main action takes place today, when a shift in the wind alters the course of two French ships, causing gaps in their line of battle that are quickly entered by the British. The French fleet is thus scattered and the ensuing British victory at the Saintes helps to restore Britain's naval prestige. As a result, in the Treaty of Paris (03 Sep 1783) Great Britain regained most of its islands in the West Indies.
    1761 Jacques de Lajoue, French artist born in July 1687.
    1727 Antoine Dieu, French artist born in 1662.
    1704 Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, French bishop born (full coverage) on 25 September 1627, who was the most eloquent and influential spokesman for the rights of the French church against papal authority. He is now chiefly remembered for his literary works, including funeral panegyrics for great personages. — (050927)
    1695 Jean-Baptiste Corneille, French painter born on 02 December 1649. — a bit more with link to an image.
    0352 Pope Saint Julius I. The papacy had been vacant four months when he was elected as St. Mark's successor on 06 February 337. Julius then became the chief support of orthodoxy against Arianism, a heresy that held Christ to have been human, not divine. In 339 he gave refuge at Rome to Bishop Saint Athanasius the Great of Alexandria [293 – 02 May 373], who had been deposed and expelled from his see by the Arians. At the Council of Rome in 340, Julius reaffirmed Athanasius' position. Julius then tried to unite the Western bishops against Arianism by convoking in 342 the Council of Sardica (now Sofia, Bulgaria). The council acknowledged the pope's supreme authority, enhancing his power in ecclesiastical affairs by granting him the right to judge cases of legal possession of episcopal sees. Thus Julius restored Athanasius and refuted all Arian charges; his decision was confirmed by the Roman emperor Constantius II (an Arian) at Antioch. Julius' letters are preserved in Athanasius' Apology Against the Arians.
     
    < 11 Apr 13 Apr >
    ^  Births which occurred on a 12 April:

    1958 Bernard Fellay,
    Swiss who would, on 29 June 1982, be ordained a priest of the schismatic Society of St. Pius X by its leader, apostate archbishop Marcel Lefebvre [29 Nov 1905 – 25 Mar 1991], who would (with schismatic bishop Antonio de Castro Meyer [20 Jun 1904 – 25 Apr 1991], on 30 June 1988, consecrate him and three other schismatic priests (Bernard Tissier “de Mallerais” [14 Sep 1945~], Richard Williamson [08 Mar 1940~], and Alfonso de Galarreta [14 Jan 1957~]) as bishops. In July 1994 Fellay would become the superior of the Society of St. Pius X. — See:Accord du 5 mai 1988 signed by cardinal Ratzinger and Lefebvre (who promptly violated it) _ Ecclesia Dei of 02 July 1988 by pope John Paul II. —(080422)
    ^ 1949 Scott Turow, legal thriller writer, in Chicago.
         Turow started writing as a child, inspired by his mother, who wrote articles for local publications outside Chicago. He attended Amherst College, then studied and taught fiction at Stanford before enrolling in Harvard Law School. Based on his experiences at Harvard, he wrote One L: What They Really Teach You at Harvard Law School (1977).
          He joined the US attorney's office in Chicago after law school, working on a sting operation to convict corrupt lawyers and judges. After eight years on the project, he left to practice criminal defense at a large Chicago law firm. While holding both jobs, he commuted to work on the train, where he wrote his first novel, Presumed Innocent (1987), in a spiral notebook. The book was made into a hit movie in 1990 starring Harrison Ford. Turow continued to work part time as an attorney while turning out more bestsellers, including The Burden of Proof (1990), Pleading Guilty (1993), The Laws of Our Fathers (1996), and Personal Injuries (1999). Turow is a pioneer in the legal thriller genre, paving the way for other bestselling writers such as John Grisham.
    1934 Tender Is the Night, by F. Scott Fitzgerald [24 Sep 1896 – 21 Dec 1940], is published.
    1903 Jan Tinbergen, Dutch mathematician and economist who won the Nobel Prize in 1969 for his work with econometric models. He died on 09 June 1994.
    1900 William John Youden Jr., Australian-born US mathematician who died on 31 March 1971.
    Kimber^ 1888 Cecil Kimber, founder of MG [photo >], in Dulwich, England.
          MG stands for Morris Garages, which was the name for the Oxford distributor of Morris cars, a company owned by William Morris [10 Oct 1877 – 22 Aug 1963]. When Kimber became general manager of Morris Garages in 1922, he immediately began work modifying Morris Cowleys, lowering the chassis and fitting sportier bodywork. In 1924 Morris Garages advertised the "MG Special four-seater Sports," the first car to bear the famous octagonal badge of M.G. Old Number One [photo below], as the car was called, was actually the 48th body built for Morris by the manufacturing firm Carbodies, but it is still considered the grandfather of all true MG sports cars. On 11 April 1925, Kimber drove "Old Number One" to victory in the Land's End Trial. Morris Garages outgrew its home in Oxford and moved to Abingdon in 1929 under the name MG Car Company.
          The early 1930s were the glory years of MG sports cars during which time the company’s road cars were promoted by its successful racing endeavors. For fiscal reasons, William Morris sold his private companies, which included MG, to the public holding company of Morris Motors. Purists contend that MG was never the same. Morris Motors diminished MG’s racing activity, limited the variety of the company’s products, and even placed the MG badge on company saloon cars. Cecil Kimber died on 04 February 1945 in a train crash. After his death, beautiful MG’s were still produced, despite what the purists say. The Midget, the MGA, the TC, and the MGB were all good cars. Indeed, it wasn’t until after Kimber’s death that the MG caught on as a small sports car in the US MG did, however, suffer after it was purchased by British Leyland, and the 1970s saw the company fall to pieces. Production at Abingdon stopped in 1980. In 1992 an MG revival was begun with the release of the MG RV8, a throwback to Kimber’s earlier vision for MG sports cars.
    -Old Number One-
    1885 Robert Delaunay, French Cubist painter who died on 25 October 1941. MORE ON DELAUNAY AT ART “4” APRIL with links to images.
    1884 Otto Meyerhof Germany, psychologist and biochemist who shared the 1922 Medicine Nobel Prize, and died on 06 October 1951.
    ^ 1871 Ioannis Metaxas, Greek general, dictator from 04 August 1936 to his 29 January 1941 death.
         After active service in the Greco-Turkish war (1897), Metaxas completed his military training in Germany. He distinguished himself on the Greek general staff during the Balkan Wars (1912–1913) and was appointed chief of staff in 1913 and promoted to general in 1916. During World War I he unsuccessfully fought to maintain Greek neutrality and opposed the plans of premier Eleuthérios Venizélos [23 Aug 1864 – 18 Mar 1936] for the conquest of western Anatolia, accurately predicting the military catastrophe that ultimately overtook the Greek offensive in Anatolia in 1921–1922. Strongly monarchist in his politics, he left the country after the deposition of King Constantine (1917), but returned after the King's restoration in1920. With the fall of the monarchy in 1923, Metaxas again temporarily left Greece, but later held ministerial office under the republic (1928).
          During the following years Metaxas provided doughty opposition to the government at the head of a small ultraroyalist party. After the monarchy's restoration in 1935 King George II [20 July 189001 Apr 1947] appointed him premier on 13 April 1936). On 04 August 1936, Metaxas inaugurated a dictatorship under royal authorization. His Fourth of August Regime vigorously suppressed political opposition and succeeded in carrying out some beneficial economic and social reforms. When Italy invaded Greece in 1940, Metaxas brought a united country into the Western alliance. He remained in power until his death.
    1867 Samuel Marinus Zwemer [–02 Apr 1952], who would be nicknamed “The Apostle to Islam”, Protestant missionary in Arabia between 1891 and 1905 and in other Muslim countries. He edited the publication The Moslem World for many years, and trained hundreds of Protestant missionaries. His approach consisted in trying to convince Muslims by using the Qur’an as his starting point and then comparing it to the Gospel. His greatest contribution was not so much in terms of the number of Muslims he converted but rather in stirring Christians to announce the Gospel to Muslims. —(071008)
    1861 Gyula Tornai, Hungarian artist who died on 24 November 1928. — links to images.
    1852 Carl Louis Ferdinand von Lindemann, German mathematician who died on 06 March 1939. He was the first to prove that p (pi) is transcendental,
    ^ 1857 Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert is published.
          Flaubert, born on 12 December 1821 the son of the chief surgeon of the hospital in Rouen, France, began writing stories in his teens. At the age of 16, he completed the manuscript of Mémoires d'un fou, which recounted his devastating passion for Elisa Schlésinger, 11 years his senior and the wife of a music publisher, whom he had met in 1836.   Elisa provided the model for the character Marie Arnoux in the novel L'Education Sentimentale. Before receiving its definitive form this work was to be rewritten in two distinct intermediate versions: Novembre (1842) and L'Éducation sentimentale (1843-45). It was expanded into a vast panorama of France under the July Monarchy, the period that preceded the coup d'état of 1851. In its final form, L'Éducation sentimentale appeared a few months before the outbreak of the Franco-German War of 1870
         In 1839 Flaubert was writing Smarh, the first product of his bold ambition to give French literature its Faust. He resumed the task in 1846-49 (La tentation de Saint-Antoine), in 1856 (La tentation de Saint-Antoine), and in 1870, and finally published the book as La tentation de Saint-Antoine in 1874. The four versions show how the author's ideas changed in the course of time. The version of 1849, influenced by Spinoza's philosophy, is nihilistic in its conclusion. In the second version the writing is less diffuse, but the substance remains the same. The third version shows a respect for religious feeling that was not present in the earlier ones, since in the interval Flaubert had read Herbert Spencer and reconciled the Spencerian notion of the Unknown with his Spinozism. He had come to believe that science and religion, instead of conflicting, are rather the two poles of thought. The published version incorporated a catalog of errors in the field of the Unknown (just as Bouvard et Pécuchet was to contain a list of errors in the field of science).
          In 1840, Flaubert went to Paris to study law but failed his exams. Three years later, he had a nervous breakdown. He retired to a small town outside Rouen to write. In 1846, he began a long, tempestuous affair with poet Louise Colet, 36, which ended bitterly in1855. Meanwhile, he traveled extensively with French writer Maxime du Camp, taking extended walking tours with him and journeying to Greece, Syria, and Egypt from 1849 to 1851 (Flaubert's journal entries of this were published posthumously as Par les champs et par les grèves).
          When Flaubert returned from the journey, he began work on Madame Bovary, which took five years to write. The book was serialized in La Revue de Paris beginning on 1 October 1856 and published in installments until 15 December 1856. The novel, about the romantic illusions of a country doctor's wife and her adulterous liaisons, scandalized French traditionalists. Flaubert was brought to trial for obscenity in January-February 1857. He was acquitted (the same tribunal found the poet Charles Baudelaire guilty on the same charge six months later). Madame Bovary became a popular success. The book's realistic, serious portrayal of humble characters and situations was a milestone of French realism.
         Eugéne Delamare was a country doctor in Normandy who died of grief after being deceived and ruined by his wife, Delphine (née Couturier). The story, in fact that of Madame Bovary, is not the only source of that novel. Another was the manuscript Mémoires de Mme Ludovica, an account of the adventures and misfortunes of Louise Pradier (née d'Arcet), the wife of the sculptor James Pradier, as dictated by herself. Apart from the suicide, it bears a strong resemblance to the story of Emma Bovary. Flaubert had continued to see Louise Pradier when the "bourgeois" were ostracizing her as a fallen woman, and she must have given him her strange document. But when asked him who served as model for his heroine, Flaubert replied, "Madame Bovary is myself." As early as 1837 he had written Passion et vertu, a short and pointed story with a heroine, Mazza, resembling Emma Bovary. For Madame Bovary he took a commonplace story of adultery and made of it a book of profound humanity. Madame Bovary, with its unrelenting objectivity--the dispassionate recording of every trait or incident that could illuminate the psychology of the characters--marks the beginning of a new age in literature.
          After Madame Bovary, Flaubert immediately began work on Salammbô, a novel about ancient Carthage, based on the author's trip to Tunisia in 1860. In it he set his somber story of Hamilcar's daughter Salammbô, an entirely fictitious character, against the authentic historical background of the revolt of the mercenaries against Carthage in 240-237 BC. He transforms the dry record of Polybius into richly poetic prose.
          A play, Le Château des cœurs, written in 1863, was not printed until 1880. Two plays, Le Sexe faible and Le Candidat (1904) had no success, though the latter was staged for four performances in March 1874.
          Trois contes (published in 1877) contains the three short stories Un cœur simple, a tale about the drab and simple life of a faithful servant; La Légende de Saint Julien l'Hospitalier; and Hérodias. This book, through the diversity of the stories' themes, shows Flaubert's talent in all its aspects and has often been held to be his masterpiece.
          The heroes of Bouvard et Pécuchet are two clerks who receive a legacy and retire to the country together. Not knowing how to use their leisure, they busy themselves with one abortive experiment after another and plunge successively into scientific farming, archaeology, chemistry, and historiography, as well as taking an abandoned child into their care. Everything goes wrong because their futile book learning cannot compensate for their lack of judgment.
          The profound meaning of Bouvard et Pécuchet is not a denial of the value of science, but of "scientism"--i.e., the practice of taking science out of its own domain, of confusing efficient and final causes, and of convincing oneself that one understands fundamentals when one has not even grasped the superficial phenomena.
          Flaubert died suddenly of an apoplectic stroke. He left unfinished the second volume of Bouvard and Pécuchet. Tired of experimenting, they were to go back to the work of transcribing and copying that they had done as clerks: a selection of quotations, a sottisier, Flaubert's notes for which have been published.
         In the last years of his life, Flaubert enjoyed the friendship of George Sand, Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev, and younger novelists--Émile Zola, Alphonse Daudet, and, especially, Guy de Maupassant, who regarded himself as Flaubert's disciple. Flaubert died on 08 May 1880.
              Fils d'un chirurgien, Gustave Flaubert connut dès l'enfance la monotonie de la vie en province (à Rouen) et s'en souviendra lorsqu'il écrira Madame Bovary (1857) et Le Dictionnaire des idées reçues (1911). Il tenta de tromper son ennui en s'adonnant très tôt à la littérature. Lecteur assidu, il composa dès le lycée ses premiers textes, la plupart à dominante sombre et mélancolique. Mémoires d'un fou, écrit en 1838 et publié en 1900, à titre posthume, fut sa première tentative autobiographique.
          Il commença sans enthousiasme ni assiduité de classiques études de droit à Paris mais, atteint d'une maladie nerveuse aux environs de l'année 1844, il dut les interrompre prématurément. Cette maladie, dont il devait souffrir jusqu'à la fin de son existence, lui permit de se consacrer exclusivement à la littérature.
          Devenu un rentier précoce, il vécut dès lors retiré à Croisset, petite localité proche de Rouen où sa famille acheta une propriété. Il profita de son désœuvrement pour finir une première version de l'Éducation sentimentale. À partir de cette retraite littéraire, la légende a fait de Flaubert une sorte d'ermite ou de bénédictin de la littérature, connu pour sa grande culture, son incroyable capacité de travail et ses exigences esthétiques rigoureuses.
          Il est vrai qu'il ne quitta plus Croisset et sa table d'écrivain que pour quelques voyages, en Orient d'abord avec son ami Maxime du Camp (1849-1851), puis en Algérie et en Tunisie (1858), mais il fit aussi de longs séjours à Paris où il fréquentait les milieux littéraires. Cet isolement relatif ne l'empêchait d'ailleurs pas d'être un ami fidèle, comme l'atteste la correspondance monumentale, émouvante et spirituelle, qu'il échangea avec ses amis et ses proches, notamment avec Louise Colet — qu'il rencontra en 1846 et qui fut sa maîtresse jusqu'en 1854 —, mais aussi avec George Sand, Théophile Gautier ou Maupassant. Cette correspondance est en outre riche de nombreuses informations biographiques qui permettent d'éclairer les œuvres.
          Dans la carrière de Flaubert, les échecs de librairie n'ont pas manqué, puisque ni L'Education Sentimentale, ni La tentation de Saint-Antoine, ni Le Candidat ne trouvèrent leur public. Flaubert eut cependant un succès de scandale avec Madame Bovary; Salammbô, son récit carthaginois, reçut également un bon accueil de la part du public mais fut systématiquement dénigré par la majorité des critiques, Sainte-Beuve en tête. Gustave Flaubert s'éteignit à Croisset le 08 May 1880.
    FLAUBERT ONLINE:
  • Trois contes 
  • Un cœur simple
  • Smarh
  • Salammbô
  • Bouvard et Pécuchet
  • L'Education Sentimentale
  • Madame Bovary : moeurs de province
  • Madame Bovary
  • La tentation de Saint-Antoine [version de 1849]
  • La tentation de Saint-Antoine [version de 1856]
  • La tentation de Saint-Antoine [version de 1874]
  • Le Dictionnaire des idées reçues
  • 1847 Egor Ivanovich Zolotarev, Saint-Petersburg mathematician who died on 19 July 1878.
    1840 Ferdinand Victor Léon Roybet, French artist who died on 10 April 1920.
    1794 (23 germinal an II) Germinal Pierre Dandelin, French Belgian mathematician who died on 15 February 1847.
    1777 Henry Clay, The Great Pacificator: US Secretary of State under John Quincy Adams; three time unsuccessful candidate for president of US, who said: "I would rather be right than president." and got at least not to be president. He died on 29 June 1852.
    1777 Leendert de Koningh, Dutch artist who died on 05 June 1849.
    1738 Francisco Tomás Garcés, Spanish Franciscan missionary-explorer, who died on 18 July 1781, near the junction of the Colorado and Gila rivers. From 1768 to 1775 he explored, alone and with Juan Bautista de Anza, commandant of the presidio at Tubac (now in Arizona), the Gila and Colorado rivers and sought a route from the province of Sonora to California. His attempt with Juan Díaz to found Indian missions ended in their death.
    1647 Maria Sibylla Merian, German painter, botanist and entomologist, who died on 13 January 1717. — more with links to images.
     
    Feasts which occur on a 12 April:
    2240 Easter Sunday
    2229 Easter Sunday
    2218 Easter Sunday
    2172 Easter Sunday
    2161 Easter Sunday
    2150 Easter Sunday
    2099 Easter Sunday
    2093 Easter Sunday
    2082 Palm Sunday
    2076 Palm Sunday
    2071 Palm Sunday
    2020 Easter Sunday
    2009 Easter Sunday
    1998 Easter Sunday
    1992 Palm Sunday
    1987 Palm Sunday
    1981 Palm Sunday
    1936 Easter Sunday
    1925 Easter Sunday
    1914 Easter Sunday
    1908 Palm Sunday
    1903 Easter Sunday
    1868 Easter Sunday

    1857 Easter Sunday

    1821 Easter Sunday

    1789 Easter Sunday

    1716 Easter Sunday

    1705 Easter Sunday

     
    Good Friday in 1895, 1963, 1968, 1974, 2047, 2058, 2069, 2115, 2120.
    Holy Thursday in 1900, 1906, 1979, 1990, 2001, 2063, 2074, 2085, 2096.

    Holidays Mauritius : Ougadi / North Carolina : Halifax Independence Day (1776)
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    Thought for the day:
    “Only the physician can suffer from good health.”
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    updated Friday 15-May-2009 19:10 UT
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