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Events, deaths, births, of JUL 15
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[For Jul 15 Julian go to Gregorian date: 1583~1699: Jul 251700s: Jul 261800s: Jul 271900~2099: Jul 28]
^  On a 15 July:
2002 The euro trades above $1 for the first time since February 2000.
^ 2002 Worst beginning for a novel wins prize        
      “On reflection, Angela perceived that her relationship with Tom had always been rocky, not quite a roller-coaster ride but more like when the toilet-paper roll gets a little squashed so it hangs crooked and every time you pull some off you can hear the rest going bumpity-bumpity in its holder until you go nuts and push it back into shape, a degree of annoyance that Angela had now almost attained.”
      This beginning of an imaginary novel wins for Ms. Rephah Berg, of Oakland, California, the top prize of $250 in the 2002 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (“where WWW means Wretched Writers Welcome”) for bad writing given annually by San Jose State University since 1982. It is named after novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton, whose 1830 novel Paul Clifford began with: “It was a dark and stormy night...” and continued with: “the rain fell in torrents--except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.” [Chapter 1, complete, with comments]
— [For your reading pleasure: the 2001 winners, including, in the Detective category, already Rephah Berg: “The graphic crime-scene photo that stared up at Homicide Inspector Chuck Venturi from the center of his desk was not a pretty picture, though it could have been, Chuck mused, had it only been shot in soft focus with a shutter speed of 1/125 second at f 5.6 or so.”]
— [see below some entries in the Vile Pun category]
— BULWER~LYTTON ONLINE: [beginning of novels quoted]:
Vril, The Power of the Coming Race _ Vril, The Power of the Coming Race
The Last Days of Pompeii
[“HO, Diomed, well met! Do you sup with Glaucus to-night?” said a young man of small stature, who wore his tunic in those loose and effeminate folds which proved him to be a gentleman and a coxcomb.]
Rienzi —[It was on a summer evening that two youths might be seen walking beside the banks of the Tiber, not far from that part of its winding course which sweeps by the base of Mount Aventine.]
[At Naples, in the latter half of the last century, a worthy artist named Gaetano Pisani lived and flourished. He was a musician of great genius, but not of popular reputation; there was in all his compositions something capricious and fantastic which did not please the taste of the Dilettanti of Naples.]
The Lady of Lyons
(an 1838 play)
2001 The New York Times, in one of its longest stories ever (over 4 pages), reports that many of the Florida absentee ballots in the 2000 presidential election were illegally counted for George W. Bush.
2001 In the state of San Luis Potosí, Mexico, police stop a speeding car with US licence plates driven by Eduardo del Refugio. In the trunk they find a 7-kg Siberian tiger cub. There are only some 200 Siberian tigers in the wild. They are a highly protected endangered species.
2000 The United Nations launched a successful military operation to help 222 Indian peacekeepers and 11 military observers break out of a rebel stronghold in Sierra Leone
1998 No to Lockheed + Grunman        
      The Pentagon intensifies its efforts to scuttle Lockheed Martin’s slated mega-merger with fellow defense giant Northrop Grumman. The administration announces plans to bring Lockheed to court on anti-trust charges. The Pentagon’s hardball play comes a few months after it has first announced its opposition to the proposed $10.7 billion deal.
      During the intervening time, the government had attempted to work with both Lockheed and Northrop to make their union more palatable. But, despite Lockheed’s willingness to divest nearly $1 billion in assets, the Pentagon still felt that the merger would staunch competition in the defense industry. The government also feared that a Lockheed/Northrop union would clog up a disproportionate share of the industry’s electronic assets.
      While Lockheed disputed these charges, they nonetheless wilted at the thought of a court battle with the Pentagon: on July 16, Lockheed officials announced that they were scrapping the multi-billion dollar merger. But, even in the wake of this decision, Lockheed refused to cede the point to the government. Rather, company chief Vance Coffman downplayed the failed merger, stating that “continuing litigation…is not in the best interests of the” company and its “customers, shareholders, (and) employees.”
^ 1998 Pointcast calls off IPO        
      PointCast announces that it is calling off its long-awaited initial public stock offering. CEO David Dorman says that the company is entering discussions about strategic alliances with potential partners instead. Tremendous hype had surrounded the company's "push" technology in 1997, but subscribership failed to grow as rapidly as predicted. Some companies balked at adopting the system because of fears it would overload corporate networks.
1991 US troops leave northern Iraq
1991 Group of Seven leaders opened their 17th annual economic summit in London, plunging into debate over aid to the Soviet Union.
1987 John Poindexter testifies at Iran-Contra hearings
1985 Aldus ships PageMaker, the first desktop publishing program. Overnight, the software would spawn the new industry of desktop publishing. With the introduction of powerful layout and design tools, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, and other publications no longer had to be laid out by hand through a painstaking cut-and-paste process. Aldus PageMaker quickly became the "killer application" for the Mac, driving sales just like VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet, had driven sales of the Apple II.
1982 Senate confirms George Shultz as 60th sec of state by vote of 97-0
1976 36-hr kidnap of 26 schoolchildren & their bus driver in Calif
1976 A 36-hour kidnap ordeal begins for 26 schoolchildren and their bus driver as they are abducted near Chowchilla, Calif., by three gunmen and imprisoned in an underground cell. (The captives would escape unharmed.)
^ 1971 Nixon announces trip to China
      During a live television and radio broadcast, President Richard Nixon stuns the nation by announcing that he will visit communist China the following year. The statement marked a dramatic turning point in U.S.-Chinese relations. At first glance, Nixon seemed like the last American president who would ever consider a visit to the People's Republic of China. Since the communists came to power in China in 1949, Nixon had been one of the most vociferous critics of American efforts to establish diplomatic relations with the Chinese. He was known as a fervent Cold Warrior, and had been one of the leading figures in the post-World War II Red Scare, during which the U.S. government launched massive investigations into possible communist subversion in America. By 1971, however, a number of factors pushed the anticommunist Nixon to make the dramatic decision to begin a rapprochement with communist China. First and foremost was the Vietnam War. In 1969, shortly after taking office, Nixon promised the American people "peace with honor" in Vietnam. Two years later, and with thousands more Americans having been killed in the conflict, peace seemed no closer than before.
      The United States was also aware that the Chinese were eager to improve relations. The Chinese split with Russia in the mid-1960s left the Chinese communists looking for new allies, and diplomatic relations with America would mean increased trade possibilities, something the growing Chinese economy desperately wanted. Following the advice of National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, Nixon hoped to use the promise of closer relations with the United States to convince the Chinese to put increased pressure on North Vietnam--a Chinese ally--to reach an acceptable peace settlement in the war. Other factors encouraging the visit included the constant demands of U.S. businesses for diplomatic relations with China so that its markets would open to American trade and investment; Nixon's need for a dramatic act to revive his sagging popularity with the American people; and Kissinger's hope that closer relations with China would make the Soviet Union more receptive to U.S. diplomatic initiatives.
      It was with these ideas in mind that Nixon announced on 15 July 1971, that he was going to make a "journey for peace" to communist China in May 1972, at the invitation of the Chinese government. Nixon undertook his historic visit to China the following year, thus beginning a long and slow process of normalization of relations between the People's Republic of China and the United States. The immediate diplomatic and political rewards of Nixon's initiative were not readily apparent. The war in Vietnam dragged on until January 1973, with the Chinese apparently having little, if any, impact on North Vietnam's negotiating stance. Nixon's trip to China did inspire a good deal of anxiety in Moscow, but whether the policy of detente was helped or not is debatable. The 1972 trip was certainly front-page news in the United States, and may have been one small factor in Nixon's resounding victory in the presidential election of that year.
     In a surprise announcement, President Richard Nixon says that he will visit Beijing, China, before May 1972. The news, issued simultaneously in Beijing and the United States, stunned the world. Nixon reported that he was visiting in order "to seek normalization of relations between the two countries and to exchange views on questions of concern to both sides." Privately, Nixon hoped that achieving a rapprochement with China, North Vietnam's major benefactor, would convince Hanoi to negotiate a peaceful settlement to the Vietnam War. The announcement was preceded by an April 6 invitation for the U.S. Table Tennis team to visit China, and by Nixon's end to the 20-year U.S. trade embargo against China. On July 22, the North Vietnamese announced that they viewed Nixon's visit to China as a divisive attempt by the United States to drive a wedge between Hanoi and Beijing.
1965 Mariner 4 studies Martian surface        
      The unmanned spacecraft Mariner 4 passes over Mars at an altitude of 2000 m, and sends back to Earth the first close-up images of the planet. Launched on November 28, 1964, Mariner 4 carried a television camera and six other science instruments to study Mars and interplanetary space within the solar system.
      Reaching Mars on July 14, 1965, the spacecraft begins sending back television images of the planet just after midnight on July 15. The pictures--twenty-two in all--reveal a vast, barren wasteland of craters and rust-colored sand, dismissing nineteenth-century suspicions that an advanced civilization might exist on the planet. The canals that American astronomer Percival Lowell spied with his telescope in 1890 proved to be an optical illusion, but ancient natural waterways of some kind seemed to be evident in some regions of the planet. Once past Mars, Mariner 4 journeyed on to the far side of the sun before returning to the vicinity of earth in 1967. Communication with the spacecraft--nearly out of power by then-- was terminated on December 21, 1967.
^ 1964 Goldwater nominated for US president by GOP.        
      Senator Barry Goldwater (R-Arizona) is nominated by the Republican Party as its candidate for president of the US. During the subsequent campaign, Goldwater said that he thought the United States should do whatever was necessary to win in Vietnam. At one point, he talked about the possibility of using low-yield atomic weapons to defoliate enemy infiltration routes, but he never actually advocated the use of nuclear weapons in Southeast Asia. Although Goldwater later clarified his position, the Democrats very effectively portrayed him as a trigger-happy warmonger. This reputation, whether deserved or not, was a key factor in his crushing defeat at the hands of Lyndon B. Johnson, who won 61 percent of the vote to Goldwater's 39 percent.
1962 Première descente abyssale pour le "Archimède I" Le bathyscaphe créé par le FNRS (Fond National de la Recherche Scientifique) en France, descend dans la fosse des Kouriles (Japon) à plus de 9000 m ; première mondiale, record absolu Plus tard il dépassera les 9500 m. et par la suite dans l’Archipel des Mariannes (Guam), à plus de 11'000 m.
^ 1960 Gabon libre        
      Accession à la pleine souveraineté de la République du Gabon. En 1959, le Gabon était devenu État membre de la Communauté française, dans le cadre de la Constitution de 1958, que la population avait adoptée lors du référendum du 28 septembre 1958.
      Le Gabon est situé en Afrique équatoriale, son territoire a une superficie de 268'000 km2 environ et est bordé à l’ouest par l’océan Atlantique, au nord par la Guinée équatoriale et le Cameroun, à l’est et au sud par la république populaire du Congo. Le Gabon est un pays typiquement équatorial, puisque le parallèle zéro le traverse en son milieu. La situation géographique a une influence déterminante sur le climat et l’hydrographie du Gabon. La moyenne nationale de température annuelle est de 26°C, et le régime de fortes précipitations donne un climat chaud et humide.
      Il existe de nombreux cours d’eau et un grand fleuve, l’Ogooué, qui sont rarement navigables et n’offrent pas de moyens de communication naturels à un pays qui en manque cruellement en raison du caractère tourmenté du relief et de l’importance d’un massif forestier difficilement pénétrable. Ce pays est peu peuplé, même si le nombre exact de la population n’est pas connu. Les évaluations varient entre 600'000 habitants environ en 1993, selon les chiffres donnés par l’UNE.S.C.O. , et 1'300'000 habitants d’après les indications du gouvernement gabonais.
      Le Gabon possède d’importantes richesses naturelles: bois tropicaux (notamment l’okoumé), pétrole et minerais, tels que le manganèse et l’uranium. Il est le pays africain où le revenu par tête d’habitant est le plus élevé. Il s’est doté d’un régime politique caractérisé par la présence d’un parti unique et par les pouvoirs très étendus accordés au président de la République El Hadj Omar Bongo, successeur de Léon M’Ba, fondateur de la République.
1958 Pres Eisenhower sends US troops to Lebanon; they stay 3 months
1954 1st commercial jet transport plane built in US tested (Boeing 707)
1952 1st transatlantic helicopter flight begins
1948 Pres Truman nominated for another term
1941 Florey & Heatley present freeze dried mold cultures (Penicillin).
^ 1941 Double agent starts deceiving the Nazis        
      Master spy Juan Pujol Garcia sends his first communiqué to Germany from Britain. But who was he spying for? Juan Garcia, a Spaniard, ran an elaborate multiethnic spy network that included a Dutch airline steward, a British censor for the Ministry of Information, a Cabinet office clerk, a U.S. soldier in England, and a Welshman sympathetic to fascism. All were engaged in gathering secret information on the British-Allied war effort, which was then transmitted back to Berlin. Garcia was in the pay of the Nazis. The Germans knew him as "Arabel," whereas the English knew him as Garbo.
      The English knew a lot more about him, in fact, than the Germans, as Garcia was a British double agent. None of Garcia's spies were real, and the disinformation he transmitted to Germany was fabricated-phony military "secrets" that the British wanted planted with the Germans to divert them from genuine military preparations and plans.
      Among the most effective of Garcia's deceptions took place in June 1944, when he managed to convince Hitler that the D-Day invasion of Normandy was just a "diversionary maneuver designed to draw off enemy reserves in order to make a decisive attack in another place"--playing right into the mindset of German intelligence, which had already suspected that this might be the case. (Of course, it wasn't.)
      Among the "agents" that Garcia employed in gathering this "intelligence" was Donny, leader of the World Aryan Order; Dick, an "Indian fanatic"; and Dorick, a civilian who lived at a North Sea port. All these men were inventions of Garcia's imagination, but they lent authenticity to his reports back to Berlin--so much so that Hitler, while visiting occupied France, awarded Garcia the Iron Cross for his service to the Reich! That same year, 1944, Garcia received his true reward, the title of MBE--Member of the British Empire--for his service to the England and the Allied cause. This ingenious Spaniard had proved to be one of the Allies' most successful counterintelligence tools.
1937 Japanese attack Marco Polo Bridge, invade China
1933 Wiley Post began 1st solo flight around the world
1922 1st duck-billed platypus publicly exhibited in US, at NY zoo
1918 2nd Battle of Marne began during WW I
1914 Wednesday : in the aftermath of the June 28 assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand:
  • Poincaré and Viviani depart France for their visit to Russia.
  • 1912 British National Health Insurance Act goes into effect
    1893 Commodore Perry arrives in Japan
    1888 Bandai volcano (Japan) erupts for 1st time in 1000 years
    1870 Georgia became the last Confederate state readmitted to the Union.
    1870 Hudson's Bay & Northwest Territories transferred to Canada
    1870 Manitoba becomes 5th Canadian province & NW Territories created.
    1863 Confederate raider, Bill Anderson, and his Bushwackers attack Huntsville MI, where they steal $45'000 from the local bank.
    1863 Siege of Fort Wagner, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina continues.
    ^ 1862 CSS Arkansas attacks Union ships
          The CSS Arkansas, the most effective ironclad on the Mississippi River, battles with Union ships commanded by Admiral David Farragut, severely damaging three ships and sustaining heavy damage herself. The encounter changed the complexion of warfare on the Mississippi and helped to reverse Rebel fortunes on the river in the summer of 1862.
          In August 1861, the Confederate Congress granted funds to build two ironclads in Memphis, Tennessee. The ships were still under construction when Union ships captured the city in May 1862. Confederates burned one of them to prevent capture, while the Arkansas was towed further south. Similar in design and appearance to the more famous CSS Virginia (Merrimack), the vessel was completed by early July. Setting sail with a crew of 100 sailors and 60 soldiers and commanded by Isaac Brown, the Arkansas steamed to Vicksburg, where Farragut's gunboats were rapidly dominating the river from New Orleans northward.
          At the mouth of the Yazoo River on 15 July 1862, the Arkansas engaged in a sharp exchange with the three Union ships sent to intercept the ironclad. After fighting through these ships, the Arkansas headed for the bulk of Farragut's fleet. It then sailed through the flotilla, damaging 16 ships. Farragut was furious that a single boat wreaked such havoc on his force. The engagement temporarily shifted Confederate fortunes on the Mississippi, but not for long. The Arkansas, pursued by the Union ironclad Essex, fled down the river and experienced mechanical problems. On August 6, the ship ran aground, and the crew blew it up to keep it from falling into Yankee hands.
    1856 Natal established as a British colony separate from Cape Colony
    1815 Napoléon Bonaparte captured
    ^ 1806 Expedition to explore US Southwest        
          Zebulon Pike, the U.S. Army officer who in 1805 led an exploring party in search of the source of the Mississippi River, sets off with a new expedition to explore the American Southwest. Pike was instructed to seek out headwaters of the Arkansas and Red rivers and to investigate Spanish settlements in New Mexico.
          Pike and his men left Missouri and traveled through the present-day states of Kansas and Nebraska before reaching Colorado, where he spotted the famous mountain later named Pike's Peak in his honor. From there he traveled down to New Mexico, where he was stopped by Spanish officials and charged with illegal entry into Spanish-held territory. His party was escorted to Santa Fe, then down to Chihuahua, Mexico, back up through Texas, and finally to the border of the Louisiana Territory, where they were released.
          Soon after returning to the east, Pike was implicated in a plot with former Vice President Aaron Burr to seize territory in the Southwest for mysterious ends. However, after an investigation, Secretary of State James Madison fully exonerated him.
          The information he provided about the little explored U.S. territory in Kansas and Colorado was a great impetus for future U.S. settlement, and his reports about the weakness of Spanish authority in the Southwest stirred talk of future U.S. annexations. Pike later served as a brigadier general during the War of 1812, and in April of 1813 he was killed by a British gunpowder bomb after leading a successful attack on York, Canada.
    ^ 1800 Concordat        
        Depuis dix mois, les négociations sont ardues et le travail que demande chacun des articles est infini. Le secrétaire d'Etat du pape Pie VII, monseigneur Consalvi, par sa finesse et son habileté permet l'élaboration d'un document définitif que l'on commence de signer en ce jour. La religion catholique est considérée comme "celle de la majorité des Français". Il revient au gouvernement de désigner les évêques que le pape institue. L'Etat garantit aux prêtres et aux évêques un traitement. L'Eglise, pour sa part, s'engage à ne pas inquiéter ceux qui ont fait l'acquisition de biens ecclésiastiques. La date varie suivant les sources !
    1789 Le Marquis de La Fayette, le héros de l’indépendance Américaine, est nommé commandant en chef de la Nouvelle garde Nationale créée le 13 par les États - Généraux Il invente la fameuse Cocarde tricolore, Bleu, blanc, rouge …
    1662 Charles II grants charter to establish Royal Society in London
    ^ 1410 Battle of Tannenberg (Polish: Stebark) in northeastern Poland (formerly East Prussia).        
         It is a major Polish-Lithuanian victory over the Knights of the Teutonic Order.
          Victoire des Polonais sur la lourde armée des "Chevaliers Teutoniques", entre Grünnenwald et Tannenberg. Les chevaliers Teutoniques, Ordre religieux et militaire, représentaient un mouvement Chrétien pour lutter contre la paganisation de l’Europe centrale et orientale. Il marque aussi un mouvement d’expansion économique et social vers l’Est (Drang nach Oost) pour disposer de territoires peu peuplés susceptibles d’accueillir et de "nourrir" le trop plein de la population germanique en expansion constante depuis les améliorations techniques de l’agriculture des XII° et XIII° siècles. En effet ces améliorations techniques (harnais de poitrail, charrue à soc versoir, moulins à vent), en augmentant le niveau de production, avaient contribué à faire croître très fort la population, au point de devoir ouvrir à la "colonisation" de nouvelles terres.
    1224 Siége de La Rochelle par Louis VIII, soutenu par Hugues de Lusignac. Il avait répondu au roi Henri III d'Angleterre, qui exigeait la restitution des biens Plantagenêts, en envahissant le Poitou, en prenant Niort, et il prendra La Rochelle le 3 août.
    < 14 Jul 16 Jul >
    ^  Deaths which occurred on a 15 July:

    2006 Dr. Nicholas Bartha M.D., from injuries suffered in the 10 July 2006 gas explosion by which he attempted suicide and destroyed his $6.4 million 4-story house on 62nd Street between Park and Madison avenues in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, so that it could not be sold to pay for a $4 million judgment in favor of his Jewish, Dutch-born ex-wife, Cordula Bartha, whom he hated. 10 firefighters and 4 other persons were injured as a result of the explosion. Nicolae (= Miklos in Hungarian) Bartha was born on 16 January 1940 in Romania, in a family of Hungarian origin. — Nicholas Bartha s-a nascut in 1940 la Rosia Montana, Veres Patak, Transylvania, a inceput scoala primara la bunica sa din Cluj, iar cand avea 12 ani tatal lui a fost arestat pentru a spune unde a ascuns mai multe kilograme de aur si a fost condamnat la doi ani de inchisoare. In 1960 a intrat la Medicina si a fost exmatriculat doi ani mai tarziu, din cauza aceleiasi probleme. In 1964 a putut sa paraseasca tara. A plecat intai in Israel, iar dupa ce tatal sau a fost eliberat din inchisoare, s-au intalnit la Roma, prin intermediul unui preot de la Vatican, si un an mai tarziu au emigrat in SUA, unde pana la urma a ajuns si mama Ethel Bartha [25 Apr 1918 – 25 Jun 1997], sa. — Bartha's bitterly autobiographical final E-mail — (060716).

    2002 Samantha Runnion, 5 [photo >], sexually abused, and murdered by suffocation after being abducted kicking and screaming by Alejandro Avila who drove up making a U-turn and asked for help finding his dog, as Samantha was sitting on a wall 50 m from her townhouse complex home in Stanton, California, playing a board game with a friend, Sarah Ahn, 5, who would give police an amazingly accurate description of the abductor and of his car. Samantha's nude body, would be found the next day 120 km away, on the edge of the Cleveland National Forest. Avila would be arrested on 19 July 2002. In 2000 Avila was acquitted by a jury of molesting two girls in Riverside County. One of the girls, the 9-year-old daughter of Avila's ex-girlfriend Mrs. Elizabeth Veglahn Coker, lived in the same townhouse complex as the Runnions.
    2001 Ramesh Narayanan, 38, his wife Kanchana, 34, and their three daughters, ages 10, 9, 1.        
          Their bodies are found early the next morning on a bed in their home in the Anna Nagar neighborhood of Chennai, India. A couple of soft drink bottles, five empty glasses and a vial with an insecticide label are found on a nearby table. A suicide note by Narayanan implies that police harassment drove him to kill himself. Suicide or murder masquerading as suicide? Narayanan was a wealthy civil contractor and a close associate of Chennai Mayor M.K. Stalin.
    2000 John O. Pastore, 93, former Rhode Island governor and longtime U.S. senator.
    ^ 1997 Gianni Versace, murdered, fashion designer.        
          Spree killer Andrew Cunanan murders world-renowned Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace on the steps outside his Miami mansion. Versace was shot twice in the head, and Cunanan fled. Andrew Cunanan had no criminal record before the spring of 1997, when he began a killing spree in Minneapolis. On 27 April 1997, after traveling from San Diego, Cunanan bludgeoned Jeffrey Trail to death. Trail was an acquaintance of David Madson, an ex-lover of Cunanan's whom Cunanan in turn murdered on 03 May. Cunanan shot Madson in the head, dumped his body near a lake outside Minneapolis, and took his red Jeep Cherokee.
          Two days later, in Chicago, he gained access to the estate of wealthy developer Lee Miglin, beat him to death, and stole his Lexus. On 09 May Cunanan abandoned Miglin's automobile in Pennsville, New Jersey, and shot cemetery caretaker William Reese to death for his red pickup truck. With a massive FBI manhunt for Cunanan already underway, he drove down to Miami Beach and on July 11 was recognized by a fast-food employee who had seen his picture on the television show America's Most Wanted. However, the police arrived too late, and four days later Cunanan shot Versace to death outside his South Beach mansion. Although Cunanan and Versace were both openly gay and ran in similar circles, the police failed to find evidence that they had ever met. Versace's killing set off a nationwide manhunt for Cunanan, who was famous for his chameleon-like ability to appear differently in every picture taken of him. However, on 23 July, the search ended just 40 blocks away from Versace's home on a two-level houseboat that Cunanan had broken into. There, police found him dead from a self-inflicted bullet wound from the same gun that took the lives of two of his victims. He left no suicide note.
    1992 Darrell Ferguson, 19, in Alexandria, Virginia, shot by Robert “Bobby” Lee Ramdass, 20, who would be sentenced to life imprisonment for this and the 30 August 1992 attempted murder of an Arlington County cab driver. On 10 October 2000 Ramdass would be executed for the 02 September 1992 murder of Mohammad Z. Kayani, a Fairfax County convenience store clerk born in Afghanistan. — (060808)
    1961 Nina Karlovna Bari, hit by a Moscow subway train in front of which she fell (or jumped?), Russian mathematician born on 19 November 1901.
    1948 John J. Pershing, 87, US General (WW I)
    1931 Ladislaus Josefovich Bortkiewicz, Russian mathematician born on 07 August 1868.
    1916 (05 July?) Georges Lemmen, Belgian Art Nouveau painter born on 25 November 1865. — MORE ON LEMMEN AT ART “4” JULY with links to many images.
    1904 (02 July Julian) Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, of tuberculosis, in Badenweiler, Germany, great Russian playwright, story writer [biografiya] born on 29 January (17 January Julian) 1860.
    CHEKHOV ONLINE (in the original Russian):
  • Complete works
  • Ivanov
  • Dama s sobachkoy
  • Rasskazy
  • Imeniny
  • Palata No 6
  • Duel'
  • Kashtanka
  • Pis'mo k uchenomu sosedu
  • Vishnevyy sad
  • Chayka
  • Dyadya Vanya
  • Tri sestry
  • CHEKHOV ONLINE (in English translations):
  • The Bishop and Other Stories
  • The Cherry Orchard
  • The Chorus Girl and Other Stories
  • Complete short stories.
  • The Cook's Wedding and Other Stories
  • The Darling and Other Stories
  • The Duel and Other Stories
  • The Horse Stealers and Other Stories
  • Selected works
  • Ivanoff
  • The Lady with the Dog and Other Stories
  • Love and Other Stories
  • The Party and Other Stories
  • The Schoolmaster and Other Stories
  • The Schoolmistress and Other Stories
  • The Schoolmistress and Other Stories
  • The Sea Gull
  • The Three Sisters
  • Uncle Vanya
  • Uncle Vanya
  • The Wife, and Other Stories
  • The Wife, and Other Stories
  • The Witch and Other Stories
  • The Witch and Other Stories
  • 1890 Gottfried Keller, Swiss writer born on 19 July 1819.
    1881 William "Billy the Kid" Bonney killed by Pat Garrett.
    1875 Jean Charles Joseph Remond, French artist born on 19 April 1795.
    1869 A. J. Hayne, Black captain of Arkansas militia, assassinated.
    ^ 1863 The victims of the third day of the New York City Draft Riots        
          During the Civil War, major riots break out in New York City against the implementation of the first wartime draft in US history. The majority of the rioters are Democratic Irish laborers outraged that exemptions from the draft can be legally bought for $300, a small fortune out of reach of the average worker. Many of the rioters are also opposed to the Union war effort because of fears of losing their jobs to emancipated African-American slaves.
          The conscription act, passed by Congress on 03 March, called for registration of all males between the ages of twenty and forty-five years by 01 April. On 11 July, the first names of draftees were drawn in New York City. Two days later, a mob swarmed into the draft office at 3rd Avenue and 45th Street in Manhattan, set it on fire, and nearly beat the superintendent to death. Within an hour, the entire block was burning, the riot was spreading, and looting had begun. The Federal troops usually stationed in the city had not yet returned from Gettysburg, so New York City police faced the enraged mobs alone. Well-dressed men on the street were beaten, a police captain was killed, and several Protestant churches were burned. The mob then turned it anger against African Americans, and eleven people were lynched, burned alive, or beaten to death.
          By 15 July several dozen protesters had been killed along with another policeman, and the first troops hastily marching back from Gettysburg arrived. Before the riot was suppressed the next day, eight soldiers and scores of rioters had been killed. In total, over one hundred people perished during the four days of violence. Protests and riots against the draft also erupted elsewhere, but none as costly as those that occurred in New York. New York’s city council later announced that city funds would pay the $300 commutation fee for any man too poor to pay it himself, and in August, the draft act was suspended all across the Union.
    1853 (1855?) Wilhelm Alexander Wolfgang von Kobell, German painter, printmaker, and teacher, born on 06 April 1766. — MORE ON VON KOBELL AT ART “4” APRIL with links to images.
    1841 Félix Savary, French mathematician, astronomer, physicist, born on 04 October 1797. He worked on electromagnetism and electrodynamics; he wrote Mémoire sur l'application du calcul aux phenomènes élecro-dynamique (1823). He proved Savary's theorem on the curvature of a roulette (curve traced out by a point on a curve which rolls on another curve). He wrote on the rotation of magnets, applied the laws of gravity to determine the orbits of double stars in close orbit round each other (1827), and studied the intensity of magnetism through an electrical discharge (1827).
    1823 St Paul's Outside the Walls, destroyed by a fire. The original church was erected in Rome in AD 324 by emperor Constantine.
    1821 (25 July?) John Lewis Krimmel, US painter born German on 30 May 1786. — MORE ON KRIMMEL AT ART “4” JULY with links to many images.
    1765 Charles André van Loo, French artist born on 15 February 1705. — more
    1609 Annibale Carracci, Italian painter born on 03 November 1560. — MORE ON CARRACCI AT ART “4” JULY with links to many images.
    1099 Un massacre marque la fin "officielle" de la première Croisade, après que les Infidèles eussent restitué les Lieux Saints (Tombeau du Christ) aux Croisés, sous l’autorité de Godefroy de Bouillon (selon le poète italien Le Tasse). — The Muslim citizens of Jerusalem surrender their city to the armies of the First Crusade. The Crusaders then proceeded, through misguided religious zeal (??!!), to massacre thousands of unarmed men, women and children.
    0998 Mohammad Abu'l-Wafa al-Buzjani, Persian mathematician and astronomer born on 10 June 940.
    < 14 Jul 16 Jul >
    ^  Births which occurred on a 15 July:

    1996 MSNBC debut, all-news cable TV channel, a joint venture between Microsoft and NBC. A companion Web site scheduled for simultaneous launch appears online several hours late due to technical problems.
    1946 Hassanal Bolkiah, who would become the 29th Sultan of Brunei in 1968. (National holiday).
    1930 Stephen Smale, mathematician who received the Fields medal in 1966 for his work on differential geometry
    ^ 1919 Iris Murdoch, author of 26 intellectually rigorous novels, in Dublin.        
          Murdoch's family moved to London when she was still an infant. Her father, who worked in the civil service, encouraged her to read and discuss books, and she resolved at an early age to become a writer. After earning her degree at Oxford, she worked for the British Treasury and the United Nations until the end of World War II, then returned to academia to become a philosophy professor. She began teaching at Oxford in 1948, where she met her future husband, John Bayley. Several years younger than Murdoch, Bayley fell in love with her at first sight as she rode by his room on a bicycle one day. The pair married in 1956.
          Murdoch published her first book, a philosophical study of Sartre, in 1953, and her first novel, Under the Net, was published the following year. She wrote two dozen novels, for example Severed Head, as well as numerous scholarly works and several plays. She won the Booker Prize for The Sea, the Sea (1978). Many of her works were turned into plays. Murdoch was named a Dame of the Order of the British Empire in 1987 and won many other awards during four decades of writing. In the mid-1990s, Murdoch was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and died in 1999; not long after, Bayley published Elegy for Iris, a critically acclaimed memoir of their marriage and her decline.
    1916 Pacific Aero Products, the future Boeing Co., founded in Seattle. was founded in Seattle.
    1909 William Gemmell Cochran, Scottish US mathematical statistician who died on 29 March 1980.
    1906 Adolf Andrei Pavlovich Yushkevich, Jewish Ukrainian historian of mathematics, who died on 17 July 1993.
    1898 Mead Schaeffer, US artist who died in 1980.
    1895 Ernst Huber, Austrian artist who died in 1960.
    1875 Rudolf Lévy, Orthodox Jewish German painter who died deported in northern Italy, in January 1944 after the 13th. — more
    1873 Hendrik Jan Wolter, Dutch artist who died in 1952.
    1869 Margarine, patented in Paris, for use by French Navy.
    1868 Bert Greer Phillips, US artist who died in 1956. — links to images.
    1865 Wilhelm Wirtinger, Ybbs-an-der-Donau Austrian mathematician with wide-ranging interests, who died on 15 January 1945.
    1861 Karl Hartmann, German artist who died in 1927.
    1854 Jacek Malczewski, Polish painter who died on 08 October 1929. — MORE ON MALCZEWSKI AT ART “4” OCTOBER with links to images.
    >1850 Maria Francesca “Frances Xavier” Cabrini [–22 Dec 1917], Italian-born, first US citizen to be declared a saint. She was born two months prematurely, the 10th of 11 siblings, of which only 4 lived long enough to become adults. She was frail and in poor health all her life, which is why she was refused admission to several religious orders, including the Daughters of the Sacred Heart, from whose school she graduated in 1868 as a teacher. — bio@mothercabrini.orgwikibio —(091113)
    1796 Thomas Bulfinch mythologist (Bulfinch's Mythology)
    1779 Clement Clarke Moore US, Episcopal educator. His fame endures today, not as a theologian, but as the author of a completely mythical poem: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' [A Visit from St. Nicholas] (1823).
    1718 Alexander Roslin, Swedish painter who died on 05 July 1793. — MORE ON ROSLIN AT ART “4” JULY 05 with links to images.
    1701 Pierre Joubert (Sr.) [–1766], who would become a cobbler, and who would be confused with his son, also named Pierre Joubert (Jr.) [09 Mar 1732 – 16 Nov 1814], who would therefore be believed to be the oldest known Canadian, at his death, 113 years and 124 days after the birth of Pierre Joubert Sr. The matter was further complicated by the fact that Pierre Joubert Jr. had a son Pierre François Joubert [11 Aug 1775–]. —(081113)
    click for complete painting1606 Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn , in Leiden. the great Dutch master painter,
          His humble origins may help account for the uncommon depth of compassion given to all the subjects of his paintings. Rembrandt prospered when he moved to Amsterdam, but fell out of favor in his later years. However, economic and personal miseries never affected his mastery in many mediums. (artist: 300 etchings, 1400 drawings, 600 paintings: The Night Watch
    [small detail of it >], Man with a Magnifying Glass, The Anatomy Lesson of Professor Tulp, Descent from the Cross , Rape of Ganymede)
    Rembrandt devient l'un des plus grands peintres de tous les temps. Son imagination et sa maîtrise force l'admiration. Après des études solides et des voyages initiatiques en Italie et en France,il se fixe à Amsterdam vers 1631 où il ouvre un atelier. Il connaîtra vite le succès et s’affirmera comme un grand maître de la peinture. Portraitiste de grand talent, il s’affirme par une science étonnante du Clair – Obscur et un souci humaniste qui dépasse le cadre étroit des peintures “commerciales”.La Ronde de nuit, Le Reniement de Saint-Pierre, Le Syndic des Drapiers, La Fiancée Juive,le Souper d’Emmaus, ne sont que quelques-uns des centaines de chefs d’oeuvre que l’on visite dans les grands musées. Mais son art ne se limite pas à la peinture, il a laissé de nombreux dessins, dont certains sont des esquisses de peinture mais d’autres des dessins à part entière. Graveur génial c’est aussi un aquafortiste éminent, (Jésus prêchant, La pièce de cent florins). Rembrandt devait mourir le 04 Oct 1669, pauvre et ignoré. Mais son génie fut finalement reconnu.
    MOREMBRANDT AT ART “4” OCTOBER with links to many images.

    1600 Jan Cossiers
    , Flemish painter who died on 04 July 1671. — MORE ON COSSIERS AT ART “4” JULY 04 with links to images.
    1490 Francesco Maria Rondani, Italian artist who died in November 1548. — more
    Holidays Brunei : Sultan's Birthday / Japan : Bon Festival/Feast of Lanterns/Black Ship Day (1853) / Pakistan : Mohammed's Ascension
    ^ Transvectio equitum        
    Tous les 15 juillet, dans la Rome Antique, défilé de l’Ordre Equestre, les "Chevaliers", un corps d’élite au niveau militaire, aristocratique au niveau social et "dirigeant" au niveau politique. Comme c’était chaque citoyen romain qui payait son propre équipement militaire et l’entretenait, y compris son cheval, l’appartenance à ce corps n’était possible qu’aux citoyens fortunés. Le défilé partait d’une des portes de la ville et remontait jusqu’au Capitole en s’arrêtant au Temple de Castor sur le Forum. Castor était considéré comme le Patron des Cavaliers. Il faut noter que si en Grèce, le jumeau de Castor, Pollux, est vénéré au mêm titre que son frère (les Dioscures), à Rome, Pollux ne connaît aucun culte particulier.
    Religious Observances Anglican : St Swithin's Day l Muslim-Pakistan : Mohammed's Ascension / RC : Bl Anne Mary Javouhey, French virgin / Luth : Vladimir, 1st Christian ruler of Russia / Old Catholic : St Henry II, Holy Roman emperor (1014-24) / RC : St Bonaventure, bishop/confessor/doctor
    Abridged excerpts from the the 2002 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, Vile Pun category:
  • Winner Jerome Radding, M.D. — when the Russian space station burned up in its final descent through the atmosphere, so it cast a glow on the face of a young Fiji girl sitting on the beach, causing her boy friend sitting next to her to utter, "Bei MIR bist du schoen."
    — Dishonorable Mentions:
  • 1) Harry W. Hickey — The Sultan ... [decided] ... that though most computers in the Palace Administration should run under WINDOWS, yet the Harem Management must be served by UNIX.
  • 2) Harry W. Hickey — ... though his armor had been formed on German anvil, yet ... in that mail there was a Czech!
  • 3) David Bubenik — This is a story of twin Siamese kittens, or, more specifically, of their shared appendage; it is a tail of two kitties.
  • 4) Allan W. Eckert — Dispatched ... to interview ... spiritualist Serrafima Raire, in her grass shack, ... London Times ace reporter John Donne found her dying of jungle fever, forcing him to ... cable to the home office, "Medium Raire not well - Donne."

    Abridged excerpts from the the 2001 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, Vile Pun category:
  • Runner-Up Susan Blevins: While they listened to ... Wayne Newton, ... as Shane drew a final ... drag from his cigarette, an errant breeze hijacked an ember — only to release it into ... Tiffany's [hair]; but Shane ... could muster no plan of rescue until he heard Wayne Newton intone, "Dunk her, Shane."
    Dishonorable Mentions:
  • Glenn Wasson — ... as he dissected the ... sheep, [Dr. Doolittle declared] that the malady was ... contagious and that it was our ... duty to guard the [organs] from ... biological terrorists, so all through the night o'er the ram parts we watched.
  • Marian Booker — Bruce remained on bended knee in front of Sheila, who fixed him with a gaze as cold as a seven-bone roast which had been in the coldest part of the freezer for eight months, ... and then Bruce knew with certainty that, as usual, Sheila was going to give him the cold shoulder.
  • Wm. W. "Buddy" Ocheltree — It's hard to believe that Lucy and I are actually getting married, considering ... that her ... father owns the local NFL franchise, and I'm just a ... member of the grounds crew, ... painting the team logo on the field, ... . . . but I dye grass.

    Abridged excerpts from the the 2000 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, Vile Pun category:
    Dishonorable Mentions:
  • Bill Crowley — ... at Fleishacker Zoo, Norman ... [reflected on] the stupidity that had cost him ... his job — ... he forgot to put the locks on the Bay Gulls.
  • Rev. William F. Charles — The ... pregnant, kimono-clad bride, the ... groom with the odd shoes, the angry Japanese [noble]man with ... a really big sword — all the makings of a shogun wedding.
    click click

    Thoughts for the day:
    “It is better to live rich than to die rich.” — {not for your heirs, it isn't!}
    “It is better to live happy than to live rich.” — {but one is not necessarily incompatible with the other}
    blow your top instead   Clear enough for you?
    updated Friday 13-Nov-2009 22:51 UT
    Principal updates:
    v.8,60 Monday 14-Jul-2008 14:22 UT
    v.7.60 Sunday 15-Jul-2007 3:12 UT
    v.6.70 Tuesday 08-Aug-2006 19:31 UT
    v.5.61 Monday 18-Jul-2005 23:47 UT
    Tuesday 13-Jul-2004 1:54 UT

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