a 01 December:
2010 The Pope's prayer intentions for December 2010:
General: The Experience of Personal Suffering as a Help to Others who Suffer — That our personal experience of suffering may be an occasion for better understanding the situation of unease and pain which is the lot of many people who are alone, sick or aged, and stir us all to give them generous help.
Missionary: Opening Our Doors to Christ — That the peoples of the earth may open their doors to Christ and to His Gospel of peace, brotherhood and justice. —(091216)
2009 The Pope's prayer intentions for December 2009:
General: That children may be respected and loved and never be the victims of exploitation in its various forms.
Mission: That at Christmas the peoples of the earth may recognize in the Word Incarnate the light which illuminates every man and that the Nations may open their doors to Christ, the Saviour of the world. —(090301)
2000 Vicente Fox [photo >] takes office as President of Mexico for a 6-year term. This is the first peaceful transfer of power to an opposition party in the history of Mexico. It ends the 71-rule of the Partido Revolucionario Institucional. Fox's party is the Partido Acción Nacional..
1999 . An international team of scientists announces that it has mapped almost an entire human chromosome.
1999 On World AIDS Days, the UN releases a report estimating that 11 million children worldwide had been orphaned by the pandemic.
1996 America Online starts flat pricing
America Online shifts to a flat $19.95-per-month fee for unlimited access on 01 December 1996. Previously, members had been billed for the number of minutes they spent online, but AOL was feeling pressured by the flat-fee, unlimited services offered by many Internet access providers. AOL's switch to a flat fee immediately doubled the use of the online service and significantly boosted membership. Unfortunately, AOL was unable to scale up its networks equally quickly, and users were greeted with frequent busy signals and bottlenecks. Some seventeen thousand e-mails flamed AOL chairman Steve Case, and rival CompuServe launched a television ad mocking the company for its busy signals. The attorneys-general of several states threatened to sue AOL for false advertising and fraudulent promises. In January 1997, AOL agreed to give cash refunds to users denied access in December and January.
1995 Drugstore chain chief guilty of embezzling.
Michael Monus, the former president of the Phar-Mor drug store chain, was found guilty of embezzling roughly $1 billion from the company. Following a long and arduous trial, Monus received a twenty-year prison sentence and a $1 million fine. According to prosecutors, Monus funneled money from Phar-Mor to finance his high-flying habits, as well as to prop up a profit-poor minor league basketball venture. While the scheme may have supported Monus's extravagant lifestyle, it almost ruined Phar-Mor: the company was bled dry, forcing massive layoffs and extensive store closings. At one point, the situation became so dire that Phar-Mor had to head to federal court to stave off bankruptcy.
1995 The NATO alliance choses Spanish Foreign Minister Javier Solana to be its new secretary general.
1991 Ukranian people vote for independence
1990 Iraq accepts Bush (Sr.)'s offer for talks.
1990 Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia hold their first joint session.
1990 Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Agostino Casaroli resigns, Pope John Paul II replaces him with Archbishop Angelo Sodano (born on 23 November 1927).
| 1990 Chunnel goes through
Engineers digging a rail tunnel under the English Channel link up between England and France at a point forty meters beneath the seabed, and the island of Britain is connected with the European mainland for the first time since the Ice Age. Workers meet and shake hands as they knock out a passage in a service tunnel large enough to walk through. The channel tunnel, or Chunnel, connects Folkestone, England, with Calais, France, nearly forty kilometers away. Napoleon's engineer, Albert Mathieu, planned the first tunnel under the English Channel in 1802, incorporating an underground passage with ventilation chimneys above the waves. In 1880, the first real attempt was made by Colonel Beaumont, who bore 2000 meters into the earth before abandoning the project. Other efforts followed in the twentieth century, but none on the scale of the current tunnels begun in 1987. At a cost of over thirteen million dollars, more than seventeen million tons of earth were moved to build the two rail tunnels--one for northbound and one for southbound traffic--and one service tunnel. In May of 1994, the Chunnel is officially opened during a ceremony presided over by England's Queen Elizabeth II and French President Francois Mitterand.
|1988 Benazir Bhutto, is sworn in as prime minister
of Pakistan, by acting President Ghulam Ishaq Khan. He in
turn is elected to a five-year term as president by the National Assembly
and the Senate. After the August 17 death of dictator Zia, court actions
had ended the nonparty basis for elections, and parties permitted to participate.
A technicality--the failure to register as a political party--that would
have prohibited the PPP from taking part was also voided. The election gave
a plurality, not a majority the PPP. Its leader, Benazir Bhutto, was able
to gain the assistance of other groups.
Benazir Bhutto, the first woman prime minister of a modern Muslim state, clearly happened to be the beneficiary of dynastic politics and of the emotional ties of a large section of the electorate to her charismatic family. However, this legacy as the daughter of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto has proven to be a mixed political blessing. Although she inherited her father's party, the PPP, and has led it to victory, the party won a very narrow plurality in the 1988 elections and was therefore forced to enter into a coalition with the MQM (representing Pakistan's muhajir community) and several other parties in order to form a government.
Benazir wanted to repeal the Eighth Amendment in order to strengthen her position as prime minister but could not muster sufficient political support and soon abandoned the effort. Benazir also faced not only the old problems of the political role of the military forces, the division of power between the central and provincial governments, and the role of Islam, but also pressing new ones, including a large budget deficit and growing ethnic violence. Several early actions appeared to strengthen Benazir's ability to deal with these problems. In choosing her cabinet, for example, Benazir kept the portfolios of finance and defense for herself but appointed a seasoned bureaucrat, Wasim Jafari, as her top adviser on finance and economic affairs. Her retention of Zia's foreign minister, Sahibzada Yaqub Khan, signaled continuity in pursuit of the country's policy on Afghanistan.
Also, when working out their political coalition, the MQM agreed to support the PPP government at both federal and provincial levels. The agreement, signed by the Sindh-based MQM and the head of the PPP in Sindh, pledged to protect and safeguard the interests of all the people of Sindh, regardless of language, religion, or origin of birth, as well as to stamp out violence and to support the rule of law. The agreement, that turned out short-lived, was an effort to achieve peace and cooperation between the indigenous population and the muhajirs in Benazir's troubled home province.
Policy and Performance
Benazir's assumption of office brought great expectations from inside as well as outside Pakistan. In her first address to the nation, Benazir pledged to work for a progressive and democratic Pakistan--one guided by Islamic principles of brotherhood, equality, and tolerance. At the same time, she invoked the Quaid-i-Azam's vision for a Pakistan that would grow as a modern state. Benazir's rhetoric soared, promising much to an expectant nation: strengthened relations with the United States, the Soviet Union, and China; protected minority rights; increased provincial autonomy; improvement of education; introduction of a comprehensive national health policy; enhanced rights for women, with equal pay for equal work; and the like.
When faced with the hard realities of government, however, most of Benazir's rhetoric did not translate into action. Although she was successful in advancing the democratization process in Pakistani politics and was able to achieve warmer relations with the United States and, for a short while, with India as well, Benazir's first term in office is usually looked back upon, by both foreign and domestic observers, as ineffectual--a period of governmental instability. Within months she had lost much of her political support.
The scion of the feudal elite of Sindh, the Harvard and Oxford-educated Benazir was often described as autocratic during her first term. Although she spoke of healing wounds and putting an end to the past, she was inexorably tied to her father's political legacy, which included harsh repression of political opposition. Further, her appointment of her mother, Nusrat, as a senior minister without portfolio, followed by the selection of her father-in-law as chairman of the parliamentary public accounts committee, was viewed in some quarters as ill-advised nepotism.
Benazir's government also set up the controversial Placement Bureau, which made political appointments to the civil bureaucracy, although the bureau was later abolished. Benazir let the political legacy of her family intrude, for example, when able public servants, who had earlier harbored disagreements with her father, were dismissed for reasons other than job performance.
Political Oppsition and People
Benazir also had to contend with growing political opposition. As a political power broker, she was in the late 1980s no match for her main rival, then chief minister of Punjab, Nawaz Sharif. In the 1988 elections that brought Benazir to power, her party had won the largest number of seats in the National Assembly but controlled only one of the four provinces. Punjab, the most populous province, with over half of Pakistan's population, came under the control of the opposition IJI and of its leader, Nawaz Sharif, who was the only major political figure from the Zia era to survive the reemergence of the PPP.
To maintain her power and implement her programs, Benazir would have needed to maneuver successfully between a powerful president and the military elite and to reach a political accommodation with Nawaz Sharif. Instead, she pursued a course of confrontation, including unsuccessful efforts to overthrow him in the provincial assembly. In addition, the failure of the PPP to share power and spoils with its coalition partners caused further alienation, including the withdrawal of the MQM from the government in October 1989.
The public's sense of disillusionment deepened as the government failed to deliver its promised employment and economic development programs. Inflation and unemployment were high, and the country's burgeoning population put increased pressure on already overburdened education and health systems. The government also failed to deal with the country's growing drug abuse problem, and there was opposition from religious conservatives who distrusted the degree of Benazir's commitment to the state's Islamic principles.
Despite tensions, disagreements, and mutual misgivings, however, Benazir continued to be supported by the armed forces. The chief of the army staff, General Mirza Aslam Beg, publicly stated his intention to maintain a politically neutral army. Benazir narrowly survived a no-confidence motion in the National Assembly in October 1989. Her government did not compile a record of accomplishment that might have helped to offset her other difficulties. No new legislation was passed, and fewer than a dozen bills, all minor amendments to existing legislation, passed the National Assembly. Benazir complained that legislation was stymied because the Senate was dominated by her opposition.
Benazir's problems were further accentuated in February 1990 when an MQM-directed strike in Karachi escalated into rioting that virtually paralyzed the city. The strike had been called to protest the alleged abduction of MQM supporters by the PPP. The resulting loss of life and property forced Benazir to call in the army to restore order. In addition to the violence in Sindh and elsewhere, she had to cope with increasing charges of corruption leveled not only at her associates, but at her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, and father-in-law. On the international front, Pakistan faced heightened tensions with India over Kashmir and problems associated with the unresolved Afghan war.
Finally, on August 6, 1990, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan dismissed the Benazir government, dissolved the National Assembly as well as the Sindh and North-West Frontier Province provincial assemblies, and appointed a caretaker government headed by Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi, the leader of the Combined Opposition Parties in the National Assembly. http://www.leisurecraft.com/pakview/History/History_Contents/Dmc_Process/dmc_process.htm
1988 RMI: subside aux français sans travail.
La France adopte le R.M.I.(revenu minimum d’insertion) Assurer des moyens convenables d’existence à toute personne qui, en raison de son âge, de son état physique ou mental, de la situation de l’économie et de l’emploi, se trouve dans l’incapacité de travailler, tel est l’objet de la loi du 1er décembre 1988 qui a institué en France le revenu minimum d’insertion (R.M.I.).
Une nouvelle forme de pauvreté tend en effet à s’installer dans les sociétés industrielles ; liée à la situation préoccupante de l’emploi, elle appelle des solutions adaptées et urgentes. L’ampleur du phénomène a déjà justifié la mise en place, dans de nombreux pays européens, d’un dispositif de ce type (Royaume-Uni, république fédérale d’Allemagne, Belgique, Pays-Bas).
Le système adopté par la France repose sur l’idée de solidarité : un droit nouveau est reconnu, celui d’obtenir de la collectivité des moyens d’existence, le financement étant assuré pour partie par l’impôt de solidarité sur la fortune. L’allocation est réservée à ceux dont les ressources n’atteignent pas un niveau déterminé. Elle est différentielle, ce qui signifie que l’allocation versée représente la différence entre les ressources du foyer et le revenu minimum garanti. Enfin, et cela explique le nom qui lui a été donné, le dispositif repose sur un lien entre le versement de l’allocation et l’insertion sociale et professionnelle des bénéficiaires : il s’agit ainsi de limiter le risque de désincitation au travail et de moraliser le fonctionnement du système tout en limitant son coût.
Les bénéficiaires potentiels du revenu minimum d’insertion sont les personnes physiques, résidant en France, âgées d’au moins vingt-cinq ans ou assumant la charge d’un ou de plusieurs enfants, et n’ayant pas la qualité d’étudiant. Les étrangers n’en sont pas exclus dès lors qu’ils ont manifesté une certaine stabilité dans leur installation en France.
Deux préoccupations ont présidé à la fixation du montant du revenu minimum d’insertion : assurer la satisfaction des besoins élémentaires des allocataires et de leurs familles, tout en maintenant le niveau de ce revenu nettement en deçà du S.M.I.C. pour inciter les bénéficiaires à préférer la vie active. Le revenu minimum, qui varie en fonction de la composition du foyer et du nombre de personnes à charge, a donc été fixé à 2000 francs si l’allocataire est un isolé, à 3000 francs si le foyer comporte deux personnes ; il augmente ensuite à raison de 600 francs par personne supplémentaire à charge. Ces chiffres suivront l’évolution des prix.
Les exclusions sont exceptionnelles : elles concernent essentiellement quelques prestations à objet spécialisé, les ressources procurées par la démarche d’insertion elle-même, et les aides personnelles au logement qui ne font l’objet que d’une exclusion partielle.
En ce qui concerne les non-salariés, la prise en considération des revenus effectifs se double d’un examen des revenus potentiels de l’outil professionnel, ce qui revient à soumettre à des conditions spécifiques l’accès au R.M.I. de cette catégorie de bénéficiaires.
Les commissions locales d’insertion, créées pour la mise en œuvre du dispositif, instruisent les dossiers. C’est le préfet qui prend la décision d’octroi ou de refus, et le service de l’allocation est assuré par les caisses d’allocations familiales. Le lien posé, dans le souci de ne pas faire du R.M.I. une allocation de pure assistance, entre le versement de l’allocation et l’insertion sociale et professionnelle des bénéficiaires, est concrétisé par un contrat dit d’insertion, mis au point par la commission locale avec la collaboration de l’intéressé, qui définit un projet d’insertion. La mise en œuvre de ce projet est ensuite périodiquement examinée, le non-respect du contrat pouvant entraîner la suspension du versement de l’allocation.
À l’échelon départemental, les actions menées en faveur de l’insertion sont coordonnées par un conseil départemental d’insertion qui élabore à cet effet un programme. L’État assume la charge financière de l’allocation. Le département l’aide à financer les actions d’insertion.
L’aide financière apportée aux plus démunis par l’allocation est complétée par la couverture sociale généralisée et gratuite des bénéficiaires et de leurs familles et par des mesures destinées à faciliter leur accès à un logement décent.
| 1987 Digging begins to link England & France under
the English Channel
1986 Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North pleads the 5th Amendment before a Senate panel investigating the Iran-Contra arms sale.
1982 Miguel de la Madrid inaugurated as President of Mexico
1978 President Carter more than doubles national park system size
1973 Australia grants self-government to Papua New Guinea
| 1970 Independent People's Republic of South Yemen becomes
the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen
1969 The US government holds its first draft lottery since World War II.
1968 The Walker Report is released: Rights in Conflict: The violent confrontation of demonstrators and police in the parks and streets of Chicago during the week of the Democratic National Convention of 1968
1965 Airlift of refugees from Cuba to US begins
1959 Treaty for scientific peaceful use of Antarctica.
In Washington, representatives of twelve nations, including the United States and the Soviet Union, sign the Antarctica Treaty, which bans military activity and weapons testing on that continent. It was the first arms control agreement signed in the Cold War period.
Since the 1800s a number of nations, including Great Britain, Australia, Chile, and Norway, laid claim to parts of Antarctica. These competing claims led to diplomatic disputes and even armed clashes. In 1948, Argentine military forces fired on British troops in an area claimed by both nations. Incidents of that sort, together with evidence that the Soviet Union was becoming more interested in Antarctica, spurred the United States to propose that the continent be made a trustee of the United Nations. This idea was rejected when none of the other nations with interests on the continent would agree to cede their claims of sovereignty to an international organization.
By the 1950s, some officials in the United States began to press for a more active US role in Antarctica, believing that the continent might have military potential as an area for nuclear tests. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, however, took a different approach. US diplomats, working with their Soviet counterparts, hammered out a treaty that set aside Antarctica as a military-free zone and postponed settling territorial claims for future debate. There could be no military presence on the continent, and no testing of weapons of any sort, including nuclear weapons. Scientific ventures were allowed, and scientists would not be prohibited from traveling through any of the areas claimed by various nations. A dozen nations signed the document. Since the treaty did not directly tamper with issues of territorial sovereignty in Antarctica, the signers included all nations with territorial claims on the continent. As such, the treaty marked a small but significant first step toward US-Soviet arms control and political cooperation. The treaty went into effect in June 1961, and set the standard for the basic policies that continue to govern Antarctica.
De plus en plus, les hommes de science voient, dans le district polaire austral, une manière de laboratoire idéal pour l’étude de la structure du globe et de son atmosphère. Ils défendent l’idée d’une Année géophysique internationale durant laquelle toutes les nations uniraient leurs efforts pour réaliser un programme de recherches concertées. Satisfaction leur est donnée en 1953 par les Nations unies, qui fixent à 1957-1958 la date de l’A.G.I.
Les préparatifs commencent aussitôt et douze nations répondent à l’appel lancé pour l’ouverture de stations scientifiques sur le continent antarctique. Les Américains battent, en 1955, le record de déchargement à McMurdo (10 000 t) et leurs aviateurs atterrissent pour la première fois au pôle, où ils installent la station Amundsen-Scott. De leur côté, les Soviétiques ont choisi d’implanter leurs stations aux lieux les plus difficiles d’accès : le pôle géomagnétique austral et le pôle d’inaccessibilité relative. Leurs hommes de science devront lutter contre les températures les plus basses et supporter les effets de l’altitude ; ils réaliseront, dans des conditions particulièrement sévères, le premier hivernage sur l’inlandsis, en 1957, à Pionierskaïa.
La Nouvelle-Zélande, qui a autorisé les États-Unis à utiliser son aérodrome de Christchurch comme escale sur la route de l’Antarctique, reçoit l’aide des techniciens américains pour ouvrir les stations de Scott et de Hallett. Le Japon fonde à son tour, en 1956-1957, la station de Siowa, bientôt imité par l’Afrique du Sud qui, en 1960, ajoute à sa station insulaire de Marion Island la base continentale de Norway, cédée par les Norvégiens. Argentins, Australiens, Belges, Britanniques, Chiliens, Français, Polonais rouvrent leurs stations temporaires ou en créent de nouvelles, si bien que 62 stations scientifiques fonctionneront dans l’Antarctique, de manière permanente ou temporaire, entre novembre 1955 et décembre 1958.
Dépourvue de toute arrière-pensée, la collaboration étroite qui a ainsi uni les savants de douze nations a préparé la voie à une utilisation purement pacifique de l’Antarctique, laquelle a été ultérieurement consacrée par le traité du 1er décembre 1959 qui y garantit la liberté d’accès et de recherche. Le nombre des stations scientifiques permanentes fonctionnant dans l’Antarctique est passé, entre la fin de l’A.G.I. et l’hiver de 1989, de cinquante-cinq à soixante-seize, les programmes de recherche, dont le contenu est coordonné par un comité scientifique international, se sont étendus et diversifiés, et le nombre des missions temporaires a fortement augmenté, les responsables de celles-ci ajoutant au travail scientifique des préoccupations d’ordre économique. On estime à un millier les personnes qui y travaillent en hiver, chiffre qui peut tripler ou quadrupler durant les campagnes d’été.
À l’hiver de 1989, l’Union soviétique restait le pays le plus actif, entretenant dix stations opérationnelles. Le Chili en prenait neuf en charge ; l’Argentine, les États-Unis et la Grande-Bretagne, huit chacun. L’Australie équipait six stations ; l’Afrique du Sud, cinq ; la France et l’Allemagne (ex-Allemagne de l’Ouest, 3 ; ex-Allemagne de l’Est, 1), quatre ; le Brésil, le Japon et la Nouvelle-Zélande, trois ; enfin, la Chine, l’Inde, l’Italie, la Pologne et l’Uruguay possédaient chacun une station de recherche sur le continent austral.
| 1959 A camera mounted on the nose of a Thor missile
takes the first color picture of Earth from space. The nose cone then plummets
to Earth with the camera and would washed up on a beach in the Bahamas in
1959 The people's court in Prague condemns six knights of the Order of St. Lazarus to 5-9 years in prison in ongoing repression of religious orders by the Communist government of Czechoslovakia.
1958 Central African Rep made autonomous member of Fr Comm (Nat'l Day)
1958 Our Lady of Angels School burns, killing 92 students & 3 nuns (Chic)
| 1942 The US government imposes gasoline quotas to conserve
fuel during the shortages of World War II. The armed forces overseas had
fuel aplenty, but stateside, gasoline became costly and hard to get. People
started using bicycles and their own two feet to get around.
1941 Great Britain declares a state of emergency in Malaya following reports of Japanese attacks.
1941 Pétain soumet enfin au maréchal du Reich Hermann Goering une liste de revendications diverses qui lui a été dressée par ses ministres. Toutes ces demandes sont ignorées avec mépris par Goering. Il fait signifier avec cynisme au chef de l'Etat français qu'il convient de se souvenir qui est le vainqueur.
1925 After a seven-year occupation, 7000 British soldiers evacuate Cologne, Germany.
1924 Plutarco Elías Calles becomes president of Mexico
1921 1st US helium-filled dirigible makes 1st flight
1921 The Detroit Steam Motors Corporation announced the Trask steam car, a favorite project of automobile distributor O.C. Trask. A steam-driven automobile had reached the world-record speed of 205.45 km/h in 1906, causing a steam-car craze that lasted through the 1920s. The last steam-powered cars in the US were made in 1926.
1919 Lady Astor was sworn in as the first female member of the British Parliament
1918 Iceland becomes independent state under the Danish crown
1918 An American army of occupation enters Germany.
1916 King Constantine of Greece refuses to surrender to the Allies.
1914 Following the outbreak of World War I in Europe, the nation's markets temporarily shut down to safeguard against a debilitating bear run. But, on 01 December 1914, traders were back at it again, at least on the West Coast, where the San Francisco Stock & Bond Exchange became the first US exchange to re-open its doors for business.
1913 The Ford Motor Company introduces the continuous moving assembly line. Ford's new assembly line could produce a complete car every 2 min 38 sec. The efficiency and speed of Ford's production lines allowed the company to sell cars for less than any competitor.
1913 The first drive-in automobile service station opened, in Pittsburgh.
1909 President William Howard Taft severs official relations with Nicaragua's Zelaya government and declares support for the revolutionaries.
1909 The Pennsylvania Trust Company in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, becomes the first financial institution in the US to set up Christmas Club accounts.
1908 The Italian Parliament debates the future of the Triple Alliance and asks for compensation for Austria's action in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1905 Twenty officers and 230 guards are arrested in St. Petersburg, Russia, for the revolt at the Winter Palace.
1900 Kaiser Wilhelm II refuses to meet with Boer leader Paul Kruger in Berlin.
1887 Sino-Portuguese treaty recognizes Portugal's control of Macao
1878 1st White House telephone
1864 Union General John Schofield's army evacuates Franklin and retreats into the Nashville, Tennessee defenses
1863 Siege of Knoxville, Tennessee continues
1863 Mine Run Campaign concludes in Virginia
1862 President Abraham Lincoln gives the State of the Union address to the 37th Congress.
1861 The US gunboat Penguin seizes the Confederate blockade runner Albion carrying supplies worth almost $100'000.
overdue for Notre Dame de Paris
According to an agreement with his publisher, French novelist Victor Hugo is due to turn in a draft of his book Notre Dame de Paris on this day. However, Hugo applies himself to other projects and extends the deadline several times.
[Hugo's photograph by Nadar (Gaspard-Félix Tournachon) >]
[next link is broken] Victor Hugo was born in Besançon on 26 February 1802, the son of one of Napoléon's officers. While still a teenager, Victor decided to become a writer. Although he studied law, he also founded a literary review to which he and other emerging writers published their work. Hugo published his first collection of poetry the same year as his marriage. It won him a pension from Louis XVIII.
On 14 October 1822, Victor Hugo married Adèle Foucher, his childhood sweetheart. They had numerous children, and the marriage survived notorious infidelities on both sides.
In 1823, Hugo published his first novel, Han d'Islande. About this time, he began meeting regularly with a group of Romantics. His 1827 play, Cromwell, embraced the tenets of Romanticism, which he laid out in the play's preface. The following year, despite a contract to begin work on a novel called Notre Dame de Paris, he set to work on two plays. The first, Marion de Lorme (1829), was censored for its candid portrayal of a courtesan purified by love. The second, Hernani ou L'honneur castillan, became the touchstone for a bitter and protracted debate between French Classicists and Romantics.
[< etching by Rodin]
On 15 January 1831, Hugo finally completed Notre-Dame de Paris, which pleaded for an aesthetic that would tolerate the imperfect, the grotesque. The book also had a simpler agenda: to increase appreciation of old Gothic structures, which had become the object of vandalism and neglect
In the 1830s, Hugo wrote numerous plays, many of which were written as vehicles for the actress Juliette Drouet, with whom Hugo was romantically connected starting in 1833. In 1841, Hugo was elected to the prestigious Académie Française, but two years later he lost his beloved daughter and her husband when they were drowned in an accident. His expressed his profound grief in a poetry collection called Les Contemplations (1856).
Hugo was forced to flee France when Napoléon III came to power; he did not return for 20 years. While still in exile, he completed Les Misérables (1862), which became a hit in France and abroad. He returned to Paris during the Franco-Prussian War and was hailed a national hero. Hugo's writing spanned more than six decades, and he was given a national funeral and buried in the Panthéon after his 22 May 1885 death .
||IN ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS:
1821 Santo Domingo (Dominican Rep) proclaims independence from Spain
1742 Jews are expelled from Great Russia by Empress Elisabeth
1653 An athlete from Croydon is reported to have run 32 km from St Albans to London in less than 90 minutes
1641 Massachusetts becomes 1st colony to give statutory recognition to slavery
2004 Emma Verona Johnston, at home in Worthington, Ohio, the oldest person in the US since the death of Charlotte Benkner [16 Nov 1889 – 14 May 2004] and the second oldest in the world since the death of Ramona Trinidad Iglesias-Jordan de Soler [01 Sep 1889 – 29 May 2004]. Emma Verona Calhoun was born on 06 August 1890 in Indianola, Iowa, the eighth of the nine children of Civil War veteran Joseph Calhoun and Emma Speer Calhoun. Verona Johnston voted in every US election since women earned the right in 1920, including an absentee ballot in November 2004. She attended Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where she studied Latin and graduated in 1912. At the time, tuition was $54 per year. Verona Johnston taught Latin in high schools across Iowa. She married Harry Johnston [–1970], an Iowa physician. After his death, she traveled across Europe, taking notes to share with friends when she returned. She enjoyed books, reading large-print books with a magnifying glass until she had to switch to books on tape.
2004 US Army Spc. Isaac E. Diaz, 26, of Company B, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division (Light), when his military vehicle rolls over while on patrol in Sharona, Afghanistan. — (051108)
2002:: 47 of a crowd of some 10'000, mostly poor women, some with children, crushed in stampede in Gaibandha, Bangladesh, when, after waiting for hours, it surged through the gates of an abandoned jute mill when they were opened for the distribution of free saris by a local businessman ahead of the Islamic Eid ul Fitr festival, which marks the end of the month of Ramadan (in 2002 the last day of Ramadan is 04 December). Eid is an Arabic word derived from root of a-w-d; literally it means a recurring event. In Islam it denotes the festivals of Islam. Fitr means to break and it therefore marks the breaking of the fasting period and of all evil habits. Happiness is observed at attaining spiritual upliftment after a month of fasting.
2002 Edward Latimer Beach Jr., of cancer. Born on 20 April 1918 in New York City, he became a US Navy captain (like his father) and commanded the nuclear-powered submarine Triton when it made history's first round-the-world undersea voyage (49'420 km from 16 Feb to 10 May 1960). Author of Submarine! (1952, history of. undersea warfare against Japan in WW2), war novel Run Silent, Run Deep (1955), Around the World Submerged (1962), The Wreck of the ‘Memphis’ (1966, cruiser commanded by his father, hit in August 1916 by a tidal wave which killed 43 crewmen), Keepers of the Sea (1983, illustrated account of the modern US Navy), and The United States Navy: 200 Years (1986).
2002 Pierre Peugeot [photo >], born on 11 June 1932, a great-grandnephew of Armand Peugeot, who, continuing a family enterprise (started by Jean-Pierre Peugeot in the 18th century) that had manufactured, among many other things, coffee grinders, in 1885 founded a bicycle shop that would later make cars also. Pierre Peugeot was a leading executive of the Peugeot company, 28% owned by the family, which acquired Citroën in 1976 and Chrysler France in 1978, and is now PSA-Peugeot-Citroën.
2001 Yoni Korganov, 20; Elasha Yosef, 18; Yedidi Levy Moshe, 19; Golan Torgeman, 15; Asaf Avitan, 15; Srgt. Nir Chaftzadi, 19; Michael Moshe Dahan, 20;, Adam Weistein, 14; Guy Vaknin, 19 and Israel Ya'akov Daneinu, 17, and two suicide bombers (from Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem) in almost simultaneous explosions 40 m apart in the Ben Yehuda mall in dowtown Jerusalem, at 23:30. More than 180 persons are injured, of which Ido Cohen, 17, would die on 08 December 2001. Most of those killed were residents of Jerusalem.
1988 596 dead from cyclone in Bangladesh, half a million homeless
1985 Philip Larkin English poet
1987 James A Baldwin, 63, writer (Another Country)
1983 Mirsky, mathematician.
1973 David Ben-Gurion, 87, founding father and first prime minister of Israel, in Tel Aviv
1947 G. H. Hardy, mathematician.
1770 Giovanni Battista Cignarolli, Veronese artist born on 04 July 1706. — more
1750 Doppelmayr, mathematician.
1666 Jan Wouverman, Dutch artist born on 30 October 1629.
1581 Edmund Champion and other Jesuit martyrs are hanged at Tyburn, England, for sedition, after being tortured.
1563 Andrea Medulich (or Meldolla, Medulla) Schiavone, Italian artist born in Dalmatia in 1522. MORE ON SCHIAVONE AT ART 4 DECEMBER with links to images.
2001 Baby girl to Crown Princess Masako, 37*, and Prince Naruhito, 41, of Japan, at 14:43, to be named on 07 December by her grandfather the Emperor Akihito. [How about Pearl to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, when her great-grandfather Hirohito was Emperor? In fact he would choose the name Aiko, written with the Chinese characters for love and child]. She will not become Empress unless (as expected) a simple majority of the Diet overturns the law requiring the monarch to be a male [and even so she will have to outlive her paternal grandfather and her father (as expected)]. [*Masako was born on 09 December 1963]
1956 Candide, Leonard Bernstein musical based on Voltaire, opens on Broadway.
1929 BINGO invented by Edwin S Lowe
1923 Stansfield Turner, would become CIA director.
1904 W.A. Tony Boyle United Mine Workers president
1899 Robert Welch founded John Birch Society
1890 Fred Hale Sr., US postal clerk who retired in 1957, was the world's oldest licensed driver in 1995, and became the world's oldest living man before celebrating his 114th birthday.
1887 Sherlock Holmes first appears in print: A Study In Scarlet
1886 Rex Todhunter Stout, US mystery writer who died on 27 October 1975. He wrote genteel mystery stories revolving around the elegantly eccentric and reclusive detective Nero Wolfe and his wisecracking aide, Archie Goodwin. Stout worked odd jobs until 1912, when he began to write sporadically for magazines. After writing four moderately successful novels, Stout turned to the form of the detective story. In Fer-de-Lance (1934) he introduced Nero Wolfe, the obese, brilliant aesthete who solves crimes without leaving his New York City brownstone house. Wolfe has, as did Stout, a passion for gourmet foods and gardening. The mysteries are narrated by Archie Goodwin, Wolfe's link to the outside world. Stout wrote 46 Wolfe mysteries; the well-written books remained very popular. Stout was active in numerous organizations supporting democracy and world federalism, including the Writers Board for World Government. — STOUT ONLINE: Under the Andes, Under the Andes.
1884 Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, German Expressionist painter who died on 10 August 1976. MORE ON SCHMIDT~ROTTLUFF AT ART 4 DECEMBER with links to images.
1884 Willy Moralt, German artist who died in 1947.
1879 Robert Spencer, US artist who died on 10 July 1931.
1869 Konstantin Andreyevitch Somov, Russian Symbolist painter and graphic artist who died on 06 May 1939. MORE ON SOMOV AT ART 4 DECEMBER with links to images.
1800 Mihaly Vorosmarty Hungary, poet/dramatist (To a Day-Dreamer)
1798 Albert Barnes, American Presbyterian clergyman and Bible commentator. An active supporter of revivalism, Christian education and social reform, Barnes is best remembered today for his Notes on the Old Testament and Notes on the New Testament. BARNES ONLINE: The Church and Slavery -- Lectures on the Evidences of Christianity in the Nineteenth Century -- Prayers For the Use of Families, Chiefly Selected from Various Authors, With a Preliminary Essay, Together with a Selection of Hymns.
1792 Nikolay Lobachevsky, mathematician.
1761 Marie Grosholtz (Madame Tussaud), in Strasbourg. From 1780 until the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, she served as art tutor at Versailles to Louis XVI's sister, Madame Élisabeth, and she was later imprisoned as a royalist. During the Reign of Terror she had the gruesome responsibility of making death masks from heads--frequently those of her friends--freshly severed by the guillotine. She moved to England in 1802 and founded the famous Madame Tussaud's museum of wax figures. She died on 16 April 1850.
1751 Jean-François Huë, French painter who died on 26 December 1823. — more
1671 Keill, mathematician