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Events, deaths, births, of 27 MAY
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OXGN price chart^  On a 27 May:
2003 The tiny (10 employees) Swedish biopharmaceutical company Oxigene Inc. (OXGN) announces that it is forming a partnership with the charity Cancer Research UK to complete the preclinical and phase I trials of its compound OXi4503, designed to shut down the flow of blood to a tumor and starve it. On the NASDAQ 5.3 million of the 12.7 million OXGN shares are traded, surging from their previous close of $2.80 to an intraday high of $4.60 and closing at $4.35. They had traded as low as $0.78 as recently as 26 December 2002 and as high as $26.00 on 06 March 2000. [5~year price chart >] On 04 June 12.1 million OXGN share-transactions would be made (presumably some of the shares being traded several times during the day), surging from their 03 June close of $3.94 to an intraday high of $7.85 and closing at $7.23. This on the news that the US Food and Drug Administration is giving fast-track status to another Oxigene tumor-starving compound, Combretastatin A4 Prodrug, currently in Phase II studies for the treatment of anaplastic thyroid cancer, for which there is no current treatment.

2002 The United Nations opens a 5-day session on slavery. Anti-Slavery International publishes a report according to which there are some 27 million slaves in the world, citing the following facts, among others. Millions of girls working as domestics are being forced into sexual slavery. In Sudan, 5000 to 14'000 persons have been abducted into slavery since 1983. Hundreds of boys aged four to 10 are taken each year, primarily from South Asia to Gulf countries, especially the UAE, to race camels, a dangerous and sometimes fatal sport.
click for more^ 2001 Sun Myung Moon gets Catholic Archbishop married.
      In a group marriage ceremony presided by Sun Myung Moon [25 Feb 1920~], Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo [13 Jun 1930~] weds Marie Sung, 43, an acupuncturist from South Korea, which Moon had designated for him that same week. The Milingos plan to move to Africa.
      Milingo was born on 13 June 1930 and ordained a Catholic priest on 31 August 1958. He was consecrated a bishop on 01 August 1969 as the first native archbishop of Lusaka, Zambia, replacing the missionary Jesuit archbishop Adam Kozlowiecki [01 Apr 1911~] who was made a cardinal on 21 February 1998. Milingo had to resign as archbishop of Luzaka on 06 August 1983 because of his practices of faith healings and exorcisms. He was then given a job at the Vatican in the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, but persisted in his healings and exorcisms. He was retired in 2000. Now he says that the Church must change and everyone must get married. Moon teaches that Jesus' ministry as Messiah failed because he did not marry. Milingo says that he is not leaving the Church and does not care if he is excommunicated.
      [< click on photo for enlargement and more details]
      “His Grace” [should be “His Disgrace”] Archbishop Milingo has a web site in his name, but seemingly made by Moonies, on which views attributed to him are expounded.
     Milingo would soon repent and, after an audience with the Pope, he would go on a retreat and, on 11 August 2001, write a short letter to the Pope saying that he is recommitting his life “in the Catholic church with all my heart, renouncing my living together with Maria Sung and my relationship with the Rev. Moon and the Family Federation for World Peace.” and concluding with the formula: “I am your humble and obedient servant.”— MORE
      In the same ceremony, excommunicated Catholic priest of the Washington DC archdiocese George Augustus Stallings Jr. [17 Mar 1948~], who calls himself the archbishop of the “Imani Temple African-American Catholic Congregation”, marries Japanese Sayomi Kamimoto [1977~]. —(091227)
1999 The international war crimes tribunal indicts Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic [20 Aug 1941 – 11 Mar 2006] for war atrocities and the mass deportations carried out by his army in neighboring Kosovo. His trial would begin on 12 February 2002, and would still be ongoing when Milosevic dies in his cell of a heart attack, possibly intentionally provoked by him with smuggled drugs.
1998 Netscape beat market expectations by posting a small profit for the second quarter of 1998. The company was struggling in the wake of an aggressive attack by Microsoft. Ultimately, Netscape's recovery was too late: AOL purchased the company in late 1998.
^ 1996 Yeltsin and Chechen leader sign truce
      After nearly eighteen months of bloody conflict, Russian President Boris Yeltsin [01 Feb 1931~] and Chechen rebel leader Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev [12 Sep 1952 – 13 Feb 2004] reach a truce to end fighting in Chechnya. With the collapse of the USSR in 1991, Chechnya, like many of the other republics encompassed by the former Soviet Union, declared its independence.
      However, unlike other former Soviet states, Chechnya, a Connecticut-sized enclave of some one million largely Muslim people, has traditionally been considered a region of the country of Russia (by the Russians but not by the Chechens). Russian President Boris Yeltsin, who permitted the dissolution of the Soviet Union, would not tolerate an independence movement within Russia proper. On 11 December 1994, in the largest Russian military offensive since the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan, thousands of troops and hundreds of tanks poured into Chechnya. Encountering only light resistance, by the evening Russian forces had pushed to the outskirts of the Chechen capital of Grozny, where several thousand Chechen volunteers vowed a bitter fight against the Russians.
      Over the next eighteen months, the Chechen rebels indeed demonstrated a fierce resistance in Grozny, and thousands of Russian troops died. In mid-1996, a cease-fire was declared and Russia troop withdrawal began, and in 1997, Boris Yeltsin and his Chechen counterpart Aslan Maskhadov [21 Sep 1951 – 08 Mar 2005] signed a formal peace agreement, promising an end to hundreds of years of intermittent conflict, although no real compromise on the issue of Chechen independence was made and the conflict was not ended.
1994 CompuServe unveils CD-ROM plan
to publish a monthly CD-ROM, including music and movie previews. The company claims the CD-ROM would be the first ever provided by an online service. CompuServe says it will sell the disk to subscribers for $7.95, initially on a bi-monthly (then on a monthly) basis. CD-ROM drives had not yet become standard issue on personal computers: CompuServe estimated that about one-third of the company's two million subscribers owned a CD-ROM drive.
^ 1994 First International World Wide Web Conference ends
at CERN, the European Particle Physics Lab in Geneva. The two-day conference attracted some four hundred computer scientists from around the world. Sometimes referred to as the "Woodstock of the Web," the conference generated new ideas and directions for the Web. The Web had evolved at CERN under the guidance of British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee, who in 1989 had started work on a hypertext system that would let documents "link" to each other easily. By 1990, he had created the basic structure of the World Wide Web, which was posted on the Internet in the summer of 1991. Berners-Lee continued to develop the Web through 1993, working with feedback from Internet users. By late 1991 and early 1992, the Web was widely discussed, and in early 1993 Marc Andreessen and other computer graduate students at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois released the Mosaic browser, Netscape's precursor.
1991 Ethiopia ordered its troops to lay down their arms in the face of a rebel advance.
1990 Radical Democratic Party holds first political meetings in Moscow.
1987 Jim and Tammy Bakker appears on "Nightline" after PTL scandal
1985 In Beijing, representatives of Britain and China exchange instruments of ratification of the pact returning Hong Kong to the Chinese in 1997.
1979 Pope John Paul II [18 May 1920 – 02 Apr 2005] consecrates John Joseph O'Connor [15 Jan 1920 – 03 May 2000] as a bishop, auxiliary of the US Military. O'Connor would be appointed bishop of Scranton on 06 May 1983, archbishop of New York on 26 Jan 1984 and cardinal on 25 May 1985. —(091227).
1972 President Richard M. Nixon and Soviet Communist Party chief Leonid Brezhnev sign an arms reduction agreement that becomes known as SALT I (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks).
^ 1972 SALT agreements signed.
      Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev [01 Jan 1907 – 10 Nov 1982] and US President Richard Nixon [09 Jan 1913 – 22 Apr 1994], meeting in Moscow, sign the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT 1) agreements. At the time, these agreements were the most far-reaching attempts to control nuclear weapons ever. Nixon and Brezhnev seemed unlikely candidates for the US and USSR statesmen who would sign a groundbreaking arms limitation treaty. Both men carried reputations as hard-line Cold War warriors. Yet, by 1972, both leaders were eager for closer diplomatic relations between their respective nations. The Soviet Union was engaged in an increasingly hostile war of words with communist China; border disputes between the two nations had erupted in the past few years. The United States was looking for help in extricating itself from the unpopular and costly war in Vietnam. Nixon, in particular, wished to take the US public's mind off the fact that during nearly four years as president, he had failed to bring an end to the conflict. The May 1972 summit meeting between Nixon and Brezhnev was an opportune moment to pursue the closer relations each desired. The most important element of the summit concerned the SALT agreements. Discussions on SALT had been occurring for about two-and-a-half years, but with little progress. During the May 1972 meeting between Nixon and Brezhnev, however, a monumental breakthrough was achieved. The SALT agreements signed on 27 May addressed two major issues. First, they limited the number of antiballistic missile (ABM) sites each country could have to two. (ABMs were missiles designed to destroy incoming missiles.) Second, the number of intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles was frozen at existing levels. There was nothing in the agreements, however, about multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle missiles (single missiles carrying multiple nuclear warheads) or about the development of new weapons. Nevertheless, most Americans and Soviets hailed the SALT agreements as tremendous achievements. In August 1972, the US Senate approved the agreements by an overwhelming vote. SALT-I, as it came to be known, was the foundation for all arms limitations talks that followed.
1971 Sweden announces humanitarian aid to Viet Cong
      In Sweden, Foreign Minister Torsten Nilsson reveals that Sweden has been providing assistance to the Viet Cong, including some $550'000 worth of medical supplies. Similar Swedish aid was to go to Cambodian and Laotian civilians affected by the Indochinese fighting. This support was primarily humanitarian in nature and included no military aid.
^ 1965 US warships begin bombardment of Viet Cong targets
      Augmenting the vital role now being played by US aircraft carriers, whose planes participated in many of the raids over South and North Vietnam, US warships from the 7th Fleet begin to fire on Viet Cong targets in the central area of South Vietnam. At first, this gunfire was limited to 5-inch-gun destroyers, but other ships would eventually be used in the mission. Organized into Task Group 70.8, the ships were assigned from the fleet's cruiser-destroyer command, from the carrier escort units and amphibious units, from the Navy-Coast Guard Coastal Surveillance Force, and from the Royal Australian Navy. Ships and weapons included the battleship New Jersey, with 16-inch guns; cruisers with 8-inch and 5-inch guns; destroyers with 5-inch guns, and inshore fire support ships and landing ships. Naval gunfire support and shore bombardment ranged the entire coast of Vietnam, but most of the operations took place off the coast of the northernmost region of South Vietnam, just south of the Demilitarized Zone. During the 1968 Tet Offensive, Task Group 70.8 had as many as 22 ships at a time on the gun line, offering invaluable naval gunfire support to ground forces. In May 1972, as part of Operation Linebacker I, a 7th Fleet cruiser-destroyer group bombarded targets near Haiphong and along the North Vietnam coast, firing over 111'000 rounds at the enemy. One destroyer was hit by a MiG bombing attack and 16 ships were hit by communist shore batteries, but none were sunk.
^ 1963 Kenyatta elected
      Kenyan Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta [20 Oct 1892 – 22 Aug 1978], one of modern Africa's earliest nationalist leaders, was elected the first prime minister of a newly autonomous Kenya. Of Kikyu descent, Kenyatta became a leader of his tribal association in 1928. In that capacity, he campaigned zealously for land reform and political rights for his people. After World War II, he founded the Pan-African Federation with other African nationalists and became president of the Kenya African Union. In the early 1950s, he joined the Mau Mau, a secret militant organization established to force the expulsion of the British and Dutch colonists of Kenya. Comprised primarily of Kikuyu tribesman like himself, the Mau Mau began a campaign of guerrilla action in 1952 against settlers in Kenya's so-called "white highlands." The settlers and British authorities retaliated against the Mau Mau Rebellion, and in 1953, Kenyatta and five other other Mau Mau leaders were arrested, convicted, and sentenced to seven years of hard labor. By 1956, British troops had arrested or killed the remaining Mau Mau, and the entire Kikuyu tribe was interned within a guarded area. In 1959, Kenyatta was released from prison but remained under house arrest. In 1960, he was elected president of the newly founded Kenya African National Union while in internal exile, and in the next year, he negotiated with the British for Kenyan independence. In 1963, Kenya was granted autonomy and Kenyatta became prime minister. The following year, the country became an independent republic with Kenyatta as Kenya's first president.
1961 Pres Kennedy announces US goal to reach the Moon
1960 Military coup overthrows democratic government of Turkey
1944 General Douglas MacArthur lands on Biak Island in New Guinea.
^ 1942 Reinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich is mortally wounded.
      "Der Henker" (the Hangman) deputy Reichsprotektor for Bohemia and Moravia, is mortally wounded in an assassination attempt (and will die on 04 June) He was the German Nazi official who was Heinrich Himmler's chief lieutenant in the SS (Schutzstaffel). He played a key role in organizing the Holocaust during the opening years of World War II.
      Born on 07 March 1904, Heydrich joined a Freikorps gang in 1919 and entered the German navy in 1922, rising to the rank of first lieutenant before he was forced to resign in 1931 for having trifled with the affections of a shipyard director's daughter. That same year he joined the SS, where he soon became the closest collaborator of Himmler [07 Oct 1900 – 23 May 1945] and rose rapidly through the ranks, becoming chief of the Sicherheitsdienst (Security Service: SD).
      After Hitler [20 Apr 1889 – 30 Apr 1945] became chancellor on 30 January 1933, Heydrich was appointed chief of the political department of the Munich police force, and he soon helped bring the political police forces throughout Germany under Himmler's control. He was appointed SS chief for Berlin in 1934, and when Himmler became chief of all German police forces in 1936, Heydrich took charge of the SD, the criminal police (Kripo), and the Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei: secret political police).
      In 1939 Heydrich became head of the Reich Security Central Office, which was in charge of all security and secret police throughout the Third Reich. Heydrich masterminded the fake "Polish" attack on the Gleiwitz radio transmitter that provided Hitler with a pretext for invading Poland on 01 September 1939.
      Soon afterward Heydrich and Adolf Eichmann [19 Mar 1906 – 01 Jun 1962] began organizing the first deportations of Jews from Germany and Austria to ghettoes in occupied Poland. Heydrich also organized the Einsatzgruppen, mobile killing squads that murdered almost one million Soviet and Polish Jews in the occupied territories. On 31 July 1941, Hermann Göring [12 Jan 1893 – 15 Oct 1946] commissioned Heydrich to carry out a "final solution of the Jewish question," authorizing him to take all organizational and administrative measures necessary for the extermination of the Jews. Heydrich chaired the infamous Wannsee Conference (20 Janualy 1942), at which bureaucratic measures to implement the Final Solution were discussed.
      In September 1941 Heydrich had been appointed deputy Reichsprotektor for Bohemia and Moravia. He combined repressive measures and mass executions with an attempt to mollify Czech peasants and workers by improved social and economic conditions. The success of his measures in "pacifying" the Czech population lulled Heydrich into a false sense of security, and on 27 May 1942, two Free Czech agents bombed and shot him while he was riding in his car without an armed escort. He died on 04 June in a Prague hospital. Gestapo officials exacted vengeance for his death by wiping out the entire village of Lidice, starting by shooting its 172 men on 10 June 1942, then deporting its 90 women to the Ravensbrück concentration camp, making them Germans by adoption, and burning and dynamiting the village.
1942 German general Erwin Rommel [15 Nov 1891 – 14 Oct 1944] begins Operation Torch, a major offensive in Libya with his Afrika Korps.
1941 US President F. D. Roosevelt [30 Jan 1882 – 12 Apr 1945] proclaims an "unlimited national emergency"
1936 The Cunard liner RMS Queen Mary leaves Southampton for NY on maiden voyage
1935 The US Supreme Court declares President Franklin Roosevelt's National Recovery Act unconstitutional
1931 Auguste Piccard [28 Jan 1884 – 24 Mar 1962] and his assistant Paul Kipfer make first flight into stratosphere (to 15'781 m), by first use of pressurized cabin in a balloon. In Augsburg, Germany, they are airborne by 03:57 and rise to maximum altitude in half an hour. But it takes them 15 hours to come down, because a stuck valve prevents them from releasing hydrogen. At 21:00 they land amidst rugged mountains in the Austrian Tyrol. (Long ago President George Washington watched aeronaut Jean Pierre Blanchard make the first aerial voyage in the New World)
1924 The General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, meeting at Springfield, Maryland, repeals its ban on dancing and theater attendance.
1921 After 84 years of British control, Afghanistan achieves sovereignty
1920 Tatar ASSR established in Russian SFSR
1919 A US Navy seaplane completes the first transatlantic flight, in 11 days. (The US Army flew the first nonstop transcontinental flight from New York to San Diego in 1923)
1917 Benedict XV [21 Nov 1854 – 22 Jan 1922] promulgates the Codex iuris canonici. Divided into five books and 2414 regulations, the CIC is the first revision of canon law in the Catholic Church in modern times, and goes into effect at Pentecost 1918. It starts with Can. l. Licet in Codice iuris canonici Ecclesiae quoque Orientalis disciplina saepe referatur, ipse tamen unam respicit Latinam Ecclesiam, neque Orientalem obligat, nisi de iis agatur, quae ex ipsa rei natura etiam Orientalem afficiunt. ...and ends with Can. 2414. Antistita quae contra praescriptum can. 521, par. 3, 522, 523 se gesserit, a loci Ordinario moneatur; si iterum deliquerit, ab eodem officii privatione puniatur, illico tamen certiore facta Sacra Congregatione de Religiosis.
1907 Bubonic Plague breaks out in San Francisco.
^ 1905 Japanese destroy Russian fleet
      During the Russian-Japanese War, the Russian Baltic Fleet was nearly destroyed at the Battle of Tsushima Strait, convincing Russia that further resistance against Japan’s imperial designs for East Asia was hopeless.
      On 08 February 1904, following the Russian rejection of a Japanese plan to divide Manchuria and Korea into spheres of influence, Japan had launched a surprise naval attack against Port Arthur, a Russian naval base in China. It was the first major battle of the twentieth century, and Russian forces there were decimated.
      During the subsequent war, Japan won a series of decisive victories over the Russians, who underestimated the military potential of its non-Western opponent. In January 1905, the strategic naval base of Port Arthur fell to Japanese naval and ground forces under Admiral Heihachiro Togo [27 Jan 1848 – 30 May 1934], and, in March, Russian troops were defeated at Shenyang, China, by Japanese Field Marshal Iwao Oyama.
      Russian Czar Nicholas II hoped that the Russian Baltic fleet under Admiral Zinovi Rozhdestvenski would be able to challenge Admiral Togo’s supremacy at sea, but during a two-day battle in the Tsushima Strait beginning on 27 May thirty-three Russian ships were lost. The Japanese suffered only minor losses.
      In August, the stunning string of Japanese victories convinced Russia to accept the peace treaty mediated by US President Theodore Roosevelt at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Japan emerged from the conflict as the first modern non-Western world power, and set its sight on greater imperial expansion. However, for Russia, the disastrous outcome of the war was one of the immediate causes of the Russian Revolution of 1905.
^ 1895Oscar Wilde Oscar Wilde is sent to prison for sodomy
      The playwright Oscar Wilde [16 Oct 1854 – 30 Nov 1900] is taken to Holloway Prison in London after being convicted of sodomy. The famed writer of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest brought attention to his private life in a feud with John Sholto Douglas, the 9th Marquess of Queensberry [1844-1900], whose son Lord Alfred Bruce Douglas [22 Oct 1870 – 20 Mar 1945], was intimately involved with Wilde. The practice of homosexuality was a criminal offense and serious societal taboo at this time in Britain. Wilde had gone back and forth between hiding his sexual orientation and attempting to gain some measure of public acceptance.
     After Queensberry, a virulent opponent of homosexuality, began spouting his objections to Wilde's behavior to the public, Wilde felt compelled to sue Queensberry for libel. Although advised that he was sure to lose, especially given the fact that Queensberry's charges were indeed true, Wilde insisted on going forward with the case in March 1895. In his defense, Queensberry argued that Wilde had solicited 12 boys to commit sodomy between 1892 and 1894. The overwhelming evidence proving Wilde was homosexual produced a victory for Queensberry.
      This civil trial drew a great deal of public attention to Wilde's private life. Immediately after it was over, he was charged with indecency and sodomy by England's criminal courts. Rather than flee to France, Wilde decided to remain and stand trial. At a preliminary bail hearing, chambermaids testified that they had seen young men in Wilde's bed and a hotel housekeeper stated that there were fecal stains on his bed sheets. Wilde was denied bail. At Wilde's first criminal trial, he was cross-examined extensively on the "love that dare not speak its name." Wilde managed to secure a mistrial when a lone juror refused to vote to convict.
      The second trial began on 21 May. Although many of the potential witnesses refused to betray Wilde by testifying, he was convicted. The judge remarked at his sentencing, "It is the worst case I have ever tried. I shall pass the severest sentence that the law allows. In my judgment it is totally inadequate for such a case as this. The sentence of the Court is that you be imprisoned and kept to hard labor for two years." Wilde served his two years and then spent the last three years of his life in exile. He died suddenly of acute meningitis brought on by an ear infection. In his semiconscious final moments, he was received into the Roman Catholic church, which he had long admired. He was buried in Paris.
     Oscar Wilde won the Newdigate Prize in 1878 with a long poem, Ravenna. In 1881 he published Poems. In 1888 he published The Happy Prince and Other Tales, a romantic allegory in the form of a fairy tale. His only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray was published in 1890. In Intentions (1891), he grouped previously published essays. In 1891 also, he published two volumes of stories and fairy tales: Lord Arthur Savile's Crime, and Other Stories and A House of Pomegranates. Wilde is best known as the writer of the plays Lady Windermere's Fan, Salomé (in French), A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband and, above all, The Importance of Being Earnest.
more on the trials of Oscar Wilde
1864 Battle of Pickett's Mill, Georgia
1863 First assault on Port Hudson, Louisiana
1863 Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi continues
^ 1863 Ex parte Merryman is issued
      Chief Justice Roger B. Taney [17 March 1777 – 12 Oct 1864] issues ex parte Merryman, challenging the authority of Abraham Lincoln and the military to suspend the writ of habeas corpus in Maryland. Early in the war, President Lincoln faced many difficulties due to the fact that Washington was located in slave territory. Although Maryland did not secede, Southern sympathies were widespread. On 27 April 1861, Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus between Washington and Philadelphia to give military authorities the necessary power to silence dissenters and rebels. Under this order, commanders could arrest and detain individuals who were deemed threatening to military operations. Those arrested could be held without indictment or arraignment. On 25 May, John Merryman, a vocal secessionist, was arrested in Cockeysville, Maryland. He was held at Ft. McHenry in Baltimore, where he appealed for his release under a writ of habeas corpus. The federal circuit court judge was Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, who issued a ruling, ex parte Merryman, denying the president's authority to suspend habeas corpus. A Marylander himself, Taney shrilly denounced the heavy hand played by Lincoln in interfering with civil liberties and argued that only Congress had the power to suspend the writ.
      Lincoln did not respond directly to Taney's edict, but he did address the issue in his message to Congress that July. He justified the suspension through Article I, Section 9, of the Constitution, which specifies a suspension of the writ "when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it." Although military officials continued to arrest suspected Southern sympathizers, the incident led to a softening of the policy. Concern that Maryland might still secede from the Union forced a more conciliatory stance from Lincoln and the military. Merryman was remanded to civil authorities in July and allowed to post bail. He was never brought to trial, and the charges of treason against him were dropped two years after the war.
1862 Engagement at Hanover Court House (Slash Church), Virginia
1844 Samuel F.B. Morse completes first telegraph line
1813 Americans capture Fort George, Canada
1668 Three colonists are expelled from Massachusetts for being Baptists.
^ 1610 Ravaillac est déclaré coupable du meurtre de Henri IV.
      Henri IV [13 Dec 1553 – 14 May 1610] avait été assassiné à Paris, rue de la Ferronnerie, par Jean-François Ravaillac, né à Touvres (Charente) en 1578, qui avait été valet de chambre, clerc, puis maître d'école. Déséquilibré, Ravaillac aurait agi pour le parti espagnol et autrichien qui craignait l'attaque des Pays-Bas. Sont compromis : le duc d'Epernon, ancien favori de Henri III (sa maîtresse. Charlotte du Tillet, connaissait Ravaillac et lui donnait de quoi vivre ; le duc espérait prendre le pouvoir sous la régence de Marie de Médicis, mais se brouilla avec elle), la Marquise de Verneuil (maîtresse délaissée de Henri IV) et Marie de Médicis, manœuvrée par le parti espagnol et le parti italien à la cour (la veille, elle avait été couronnée reine, ce qui lui assurait la régence). Les dossiers de cette affaire disparaitront dans un incendie en 1618.
      Le 27 mai, Ravaillac est déclaré coupable. Le supplice eu lieu place de Grève: son bras, qui avait frappé le roi, fut plongé dans du soufre en feu; ses pectoraux furent arrachés par des tenailles: sur ses bras, cuisses et épaules, on déversa du plomb fondu, de l'huile et de la résine bouillantes; sur ses plaies on appliqua de la cire et du soufre brûlants; puis Ravaillac fut écartelé, la foule tirant sur les cordes pour aider les chevaux; Ravaillac ne dénonçant pas ses complices, l'écartèlement reprit et la foule lui arracha les membres à l'aide d'épées, couteaux et bâtons ; puis les lambeaux du corps furent portés dans divers quartiers et brûlés.
Arrêt de justice contre Ravaillac:
     Dit a esté que ladite Cour a déclaré et déclare ledit Ravaillac dûment atteint et convaincu du crime de lèse Majecté divine et humaine, au premier chef, pour le très méchant, très abominable, et très détestable parricide, commis en la personne du feu Roi Henri IV de très bonne et louable mémoire. Pour réparation duquel l’a condamné et condamne faire amende honorable devant la principale porte de l’Eglise de Paris où il sera mené et conduit dans un tombereay, là, nu en chemise, tenant une torche ardente du poids de deux livres, dire et déclarer que malheureusement et proditoirement il a commis ledit très méchant, très abominable et très détestable parricide, et tué ledit Seigneur Roi de deux coups de couteau dans le corps, dont se repent, demande pardon à Dieu, au Roi et à Justice ; de là, conduit à la place de Grève et un échafaud qui y sera dressé, tenaillé aux mamelles, bras, cuisses et gas des jambes, sa main dextre y tenant le couteau duquel a commis ledit parricide ard et brûlée de feu de soufre, et sur les endroits où il sera tenaillé, jeté du plomb fondu, de l’huile bouillante, de la poix raisine brûlante, de la cire et du soufre fondus ensemble. Ce fait, son corps tiré et démembré à quatre chevaux, ses membres et corps consommés au feu, réduits en cendres, jetés au vent. A déclaré et déclare tous et chacun ses biens acquis et confisqués au Roi. Ordonné que la maison où il a été né sera démolie, celui à qui elle appartient préalablement indemnisé, sans que sur le fonds puisse à l’avenir être fait autre bâtiment. Et que dans quinzaine après la publication du présent Arrêt à son trompe et cri public en la ville d’Angoulême, son père et sa mère videront le royaume avec défense d’y revenir jamais, à peine d’être pendus et étranglés, sans autre forme ni figure de procès. A fait et fait défenses à ses frères, soeurs, oncles et autres, porter ci_après ledit nom de Ravaillac, leur enjoint le changer en autre sur les mêmes peines. Et au subsitut du Procureur Général du Roi faire publier et exécuter le présent arrêt, à peine de s’en prendre à lui. Et avant l’exécution d’icelui Ravaillac, ordonné qu’il sera appliqué à la question pour la révélation de ses complices.
     Signé, Voysin
Suivant ledit Arrêt pour la révélation de ses complices, il fut appliqué à la question des brodequins : ce qui s’y passa est sous le secret de la Cour.
< 26 May 28 May >
^  Deaths which occurred on a 27 May:

2006 Spencer Van Dyk, 4; his brother Carl Van Dyk, 8; and their father Dr. Edward Van Dyk, 43, who throws them off the 15th-story balcony of a Miami Beach hotel, and then jumps at 08:20 (12:30 UT) seen by his wife, Dr. Qinuo Van Dyk, 40, who is just coming out of the bathroom. Their home is in Alton, Illinois, where Edward Van Dyk was medical director of the radiation oncology program at Alton Memorial Hospital.. — (060528)

2006 Some 7000 persons in magnitude 6.3 earthquake with epicenter 35 km deep at 7º59'S 110º19'E, 20 km SSW of Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia, at 05:54 (22:54 UT on 26 May). Thousands of people are injured. More have their homes destroyed and are left with little food or clean water. — (060531)
Lital Talker died on her 1st birthday
2005 (Friday) Some 50 persons including a suicide bomber, 22, at 11:15 (06:15 UT) at the Bari Imam Muslim shrine in Islamabad, Pakistan, during anniversary commemoration of the death of spiritual leader Shah Abdul Latif, who is buried there. Some 200 persons are injured. The shrine is behind the home of Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, where no one is hurt.
2003 Luciano Berio, Italian composer born on 24 October 1925.
2002 Ruth Peled, 56, her 18-month-old granddaugher Sinai Kainan, and suicide bomber Jihad Titi, of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, ountside a coffee shop and ice-cream parlor at the small Em Hamoshavot outdoor strip mall, on Gissin street in the center of Petach Tikvah, Israel, at about 18:40. 27 persons are injured. The suicide bomber is the brother of Mohammed Titi, who was assassinated by Israel on 24 May 2002.
2001 Lital Talker, 1 on this day, of dehydration suffered on 25 May when her daycare provider, Hana Haim, after picking up the baby girl [photo >] at 07:30 from her home in Be'er Sheva, Israel, forgot her in the car, in her safety seat, with the windows rolled up, on a very hot day, until 12:30 when she found her unconscious.
1997 Un retraité de 64 ans tue l'ami de son fils, son beau-frère et sa belle-sœur à Gassin (Var). Il se sucide après avoir tué un gendarme et en avoir blessé un autre.
1973 Jacques Lipchitz, Lithuanian~French cubist sculptor born on 30 August 1891. — links to images.
^ 1964 “Pandit” Jawaharlal Nehru, of his third stroke, (pandit in Hindi, means “pundit” i.e. "teacher"). He was the first prime minister of India, from its 15 August 1947 independence to his death, established parliamentary government and became noted for his “neutralist” policies in foreign affairs. Before that he was the foremost lieutenant of the chief independence leader “Mahatma” Gandhi [02 Oct 1869 – 30 Jan 1948] during the 1930s and 1940s.
Nehru      Nehru came of a family of Kashmiri Brahmans, noted for their administrative aptitude and scholarship, that had migrated to India early in the 18th century. He was born on 14 November 1889, the son of “Pandit” Motilal Nehru [06 May 1861 – 06 Feb 1931], a renowned lawyer. Jawaharlal was the eldest of four children, two of whom were daughters. A sister, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, later became the first woman president of the UN General Assembly.
      Until the age of 16, Nehru was educated at home by a series of English governesses and tutors. Only one of these, a young part-Irish, part-Belgian theosophist, Ferdinand T. Brooks, appears to have made any impression on him. Brooks introduced the theology of Annie Besant [01 Oct 1847 – 20 Sep 1933] to Jawaharlal, who was, however, not so much taken by her theosophy as by her silver-tongued oratory. He admired her daring and intellectual vivacity. Brooks also created in his student a love for poetry and an inquisitiveness into the mysteries of science. He developed a taste for Scott [15 Aug 1771 – 21 Sep 1832], Dickens [07 Feb 1812 – 09 Jun 1870], Thackeray [18 Jul 1811 – 24 Dec 1863], Wells [21 Sep 1866 – 13 Aug 1946], and Mark Twain [30 Nov 1835 – 21 Apr 1910]. In his ultimate approach to political problems, Nehru subscribed to the philosophical ethos of Mill [20 May 1806 – 08 May 1873], Gladstone [29 Dec 1809 – 19 May 1898], and Morely. He was also influenced by the writings of George Bernard Shaw [26 Jul 1856 – 02 Nov 1950] and Bertrand Russell [18 May 1872 – 02 Feb 1970].
      Jawaharlal also had a venerable Indian tutor who taught him Hindi and Sanskrit. In 1905 he went to Harrow, a leading English school, where he stayed for two years. Nehru's academic career was in no way outstanding. From Harrow he went to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he spent three years earning an honours degree in natural science. On leaving Cambridge he qualified as a barrister after two years at the Inner Temple, London, where in his own words he passed his examinations “with neither glory nor ignominy.”
      Four years after his return to India, on 08 February 1916, Nehru had a grandiose wedding with the bride his father, some four years earlier, had chosen for him, Kamala Kaul [01 Aug 1899–], who came from a Kashmiri family settled in Delhi. Their only child, Indira Priyadarshini, was born on 19 November 1917; she would later also serve as prime minister of India.
      On his return to India, Nehru at first tried to settle down as a lawyer. But, unlike his father, he had only a desultory interest in his profession and did not relish either the practice of law or the company of lawyers. At this time he might be described, like many of his generation, as aninstinctive nationalist who yearned for his country's freedom, but, like most of his contemporaries, he had not formulated any precise ideas on how it could be achieved.
      Nehru's autobiography discloses his lively interest in Indian politics. His letters to his father over the same period reveal their common interest in India's freedom. But not until father and son met Gandhi and were persuaded to follow in his political footsteps did either of them develop any definite ideas on how freedom was to be attained. The quality in Gandhi that impressed the two Nehrus was his insistence on action. A wrong, the Mahatma argued, should not only be condemned, it should be resisted. Earlier, Nehru and his father had been contemptuous of the run of contemporary Indian politicians, whose nationalism, with a few notable exceptions, consisted of interminable speeches and long-winded resolutions. Jawaharlal was also attracted by Gandhi's insistence on fighting Great Britain without fear or hate.
      Nehru met Gandhi for the first time in 1916 at the annual meeting of the Indian National Congress Party in Lucknow. Gandhi was 20 years his senior. Neither seems to have made any initially strong impression on the other. Nehru did not assume a leadership role in Indian politics, however, until his election as Congress president in 1929, when he presided over the historic Lahore session that proclaimed complete independence as India's political goal. Until then the objective had been dominion status.
      Nehru's close association with the Congress Party dates from 1919 in the immediate aftermath of World War I. This period saw a wave of nationalist activity and governmental repression culminating in the massacre of Amritsar in April 1919; 379 persons were killed and at least 1200 wounded when the local British military commander ordered his troops to fire on a crowd of unarmed Indians assembled for a meeting.
      When, late in 1921, the prominent leaders and workers of the Congress Party were outlawed in some provinces, Nehru went to prison for the first time. Over the next 24 years he was to serve another eight periods of detention, the last and longest ending in June 1945, after an imprisonment of almost three years. In all, Nehru spent more than nine years in jail. Characteristically, he described his terms of incarceration as normal interludes in a life of abnormal political activity.
      His political apprenticeship with the Congress lasted from 1919 to 1929. In 1923 he became general secretary of the party for two years and again, in 1927, for another two years. His interests and duties took him on journeys over wide areas of India, particularly in his native United Provinces, where his first exposure to the overwhelming poverty and degradation of the peasantry had a profound influence on his basic ideas for solving these vital problems. Though vaguely inclined toward Socialism, Nehru's radicalism had set in no definite mold. The watershed in his political and economic thinking was his tour of Europe and the Soviet Union during 1926–1927. Nehru's real interest in Marxism and his Socialist pattern of thought stem from that tour, even though it did not appreciably increase his knowledge of Communist theory and practice. His subsequent sojourns in prison enabled him to study Marxism in more depth. Interested in its ideas, but repelled by some of its methods, he could never bring himself to accept Karl Marx's writings as revealed scripture. Yet from then on, the yardstick of his economic thinking remained Marxist, adjusted, where necessary, to Indian conditions.
     After the Lahore session of 1929, Nehru emerged as the leader of the country's intellectuals and youth. Hoping that Nehru would draw India's youth, at that time gravitating toward extreme leftist causes, into the mainstream of the Congress movement, Gandhi had shrewdly elevated him to the presidency of the Congress Party over the heads of some of his seniors. The Mahatma also correctly estimated that, with added responsibility, Nehru himself would be inclined to keep to the middle way. After his father's death in 1931, Jawaharlal moved into the inner councils of the Congress Party and became closer to the Mahatma. Although Gandhi did not officially designate him his political heir until 1942, the country as early as the mid-1930s saw in Nehru the natural successor to Gandhi. The Gandhi–Irwin pact of March 1931, signed between the Mahatma and the British viceroy, baron Irwin (later 1st earl of Halifax) [16 Apr 1881 – 23 Dec 1959], started a brief truce between the two principal protagonists in India. It climaxed one of Gandhi's more effective civil-disobedience movements, launched the year before, in the course of which Nehru had been arrested.
      Hopes that the Gandhi–Irwin pact would be the prelude to a more relaxed period of Indo-British relations were not borne out; Lord Willingdon (who replaced Irwin as viceroy in 1931) jailed Gandhi in January 1932, shortly after the Mahatma's return from the Second Round Table Conference in London. He was charged with attempting to mount another civil-disobedience movement; Nehru was also arrested and sentenced to two years' imprisonment.
      The Round Table Conferences in London, held to advance India's progress to self-government, eventually resulted in the Government of India Act of 1935, giving the Indian provinces a system of popular autonomous government. Ultimately, it provided for a federal system composed of the autonomous provinces and princely states. Although federation never came into being, provincial autonomy was implemented. During the mid-1930s Nehru was much concerned with developments in Europe, which seemed to be drifting toward another world war. He was in Europe early in 1936, visiting his ailing wife, shortly before she died in a sanitarium in Switzerland. Even at this time he emphasized that inthe event of war India's place was alongside the democracies, though he insisted that India could only fight in support of Great Britain and France as a free country.
      When the elections following the introduction of provincial autonomy brought the Congress Party to power in a majority of the provinces, Nehru was faced with a dilemma. The Muslim League under Mohammed Ali Jinnah [25 Dec 1876 – 11 Sep 1948] (who was to become the founder of Pakistan) had fared badly at the polls. Congress, therefore, unwisely rejected Jinnah's plea for the formation of coalition Congress-Muslim League governments in some of the provinces, a decision on which Nehru had not a little influence. The subsequent clash between the Congress and the Muslim League hardened into a conflict between Hindus and Muslims that was ultimately to lead to the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan.
      When, at the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, the viceroy, Lord Linlithgow [24 Sep 1887 – 05 Jan 1952], committed India to war without consulting the autonomous provincial ministries, the Congress Party's high command withdrew its provincial ministries as a protest. Congress's action left the political field virtually open to Jinnah and the Muslim League. Nehru's views on the war differed from those of Gandhi. Initially, the Mahatma believed that whatever support was given to the British should be given unconditionally and that it should be of a nonviolent character. Nehru held that nonviolence had no place in defense against aggression and that India should support Great Britain in a war against Nazism, but only as a free nation. If it could not help, it should not hinder.
      In October 1940, Gandhi, abandoning his original stand, decided to launch a limited civil-disobedience campaign in which leading advocates of Indian independence were selected to participate one by one. Nehru was arrested and sentenced to four years' imprisonment. After spending a little more than a year in jail, he was released, along with other Congress prisoners, three days before the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. When the Japanese carried their attack through Burma to the borders of India in the spring of 1942, the British government, faced by this new military threat, decided to make some overtures to India. Prime Minister Winston Churchill [30 Nov 1874 – 24 Jan 1965] dispatched Sir Stafford Cripps [24 Apr 1889 – 21 Apr 1952], a member of the war Cabinet who was politically close to Nehru and also knew Jinnah, with proposals for a settlement of the constitutional problem. Cripps's mission failed, however, for Gandhi would accept nothing less than independence.
      The initiative in the Congress Party now passed to Gandhi, who called on the British to leave India; Nehru, though reluctant to embarrass the war effort, had no alternative but to join Gandhi. Following the Quit India resolution passed by the Congress Party in Bombay on 08 August 1942, the entire Congress working committee, including Gandhi and Nehru, was arrested and imprisoned. Nehru emerged from this, his ninth and last detention, only on 15 June 1945.
      Within two years India was to be partitioned and free. A final attempt by the viceroy, Lord Wavell [05 May 1883 – 24 May 1950], to bring the Congress Party and the Muslim League together failed. The Labour government that had meanwhile displaced Churchill's wartime administration dispatched, as one of its first acts, a Cabinet mission to India and later also replaced Lord Wavell with Lord Mountbatten. The question was no longer whether India was to be independent but whether it was to consist of one or more independent states. While Gandhi refused to accept partition, Nehru reluctantly but realistically acquiesced. On 15 August 1947, India and Pakistan emerged as two separate, independent countries. Nehru became independent India's first Prime Minister.
     In the 35 years from 1929, when Gandhi chose Nehru as president of the Congress session at Lahore, until his death as prime minister in 1964, Nehru remained, despite the Chinese debacle of 1962, the idol of his people. His secular approach to politics contrasted with Gandhi's religious and traditionalist attitude, which during the Mahatma's lifetime had given Indian politics a religious cast, misleadingly so, for, although Gandhi might have appeared tobe a religious conservative, he was actually a social nonconformist trying to secularize Hinduism. The real difference between Nehru and Gandhi was not in their attitude to religion but in their attitude to civilization. While Nehru talked in an increasingly modern idiom, Gandhi was harking back to the glories of ancient India.
      The importance of Nehru in the perspective of Indian history is that he imported and imparted modern values and ways of thinking, which he adapted to Indian conditions. Apart from his stress on secularism and on the basic unity of India, despite its racial and religious diversities, Nehru was deeply concerned with carrying India forward into the modern age of scientific discovery and technological development. In addition, he aroused in his people an awareness of the necessity of social concern with the poor and the outcast and of respect for democratic values. One of the achievements of which he was particularly proud was the reform of the ancient Hindu civil code that finally enabled Hindu widows to enjoy equality with men in matters of inheritance and property.
      Internationally, Nehru's reputation rose until October 1956, when India's attitude on the Hungarian revolt against the Soviets brought his policy of nonalignment under sharp scrutiny. In the United Nations, India was the only nonaligned country to vote with the Soviet Union on the invasion of Hungary, and thereafter it was difficult for Nehru to command credence in his calls for nonalignment. In the early years after independence, anticolonialism had been the cornerstone of his foreign policy, but, by the time of the Belgrade conference of nonaligned countries in 1961, Nehru had substituted nonalignment for anticolonialism as hismost pressing concern. In 1962, however, the Chinese threatened to overrun the Brahmaputra River valley as a result of a long-standing border dispute. Nehru called for Western aid, making virtual nonsense of his nonalignment policy, and China withdrew.
      Muslim-majority Kashmir, claimed by both India and Pakistan, remained a perennial problem throughout Nehru's term as prime minister and long thereafter. His tentative efforts to settle the dispute by adjustments along the cease-fire lines having failed, Pakistan, in 1948, made an unsuccessful attempt to seize Kashmir by force. In solving the problem of the Portuguese colony of Goa, the last remaining colony in India, Nehru was more fortunate. Although its military occupation by Indian troops in December 1961 raised a furor in many Western countries, in the hindsight of history, Nehru's action is justifiable. With the withdrawal of the British and the French, the Portuguese colonial presence in India had become an anachronism. Both the British and the French had withdrawn peacefully. If the Portuguese were not prepared to follow suit, Nehru had to find ways to dislodge them. After first trying persuasion, in August 1955 he had permitted a group of unarmed Indians to march into Portuguese territory in a nonviolent demonstration. Even though the Portuguese opened fire on the demonstrators, killing nearly 30, Nehru stayed his hand for six years, appealing meanwhile to Portugal's Western friends to persuade its government to cede the colony. When India finally struck, Nehru could claim that neither he nor the government of India had ever been committed to nonviolence as a policy.
      Nehru's health showed signs of deteriorating not long after the clash with China. He suffered a slight stroke in 1963, followed by a more debilitating attack in January 1964. He died a few months later from a third and fatal stroke.
      While assertive in his Indianness, Nehru never exuded the Hindu aura and atmosphere clinging to Gandhi's personality. Because of his modern political and economic outlook, he was able to attract the younger intelligentsia of India to Gandhi's movement of nonviolent resistance against the British and later to rally them around him after independence had beengained. Nehru's Western upbringing and his visits to Europe before independence had acclimatized him to Western ways of thinking. Throughout his 17 years in office, he held up democratic socialism as the guiding star. With the help of the overwhelming majority that the Congress Party maintained in Parliament during his term of office, he advanced toward that goal. The four pillars of his domestic policies were democracy, socialism, unity, and secularism. He succeeded to a large extent in maintaining the edifice supported by these fourpillars during his lifetime.
      Nehru's only child, Indira [19 Nov 1917 – 31 Oct 1984] who married Feroze Gandhi (unrelated to the Mahatma), served as India's prime minister from 1966 to 1977 and from 1980 until her assassination, when her son, Rajiv Gandhi [20 Aug 1944 – 21 May 1991], succeded her as Prime Minister until his assassination. Rajiv's widow, born on 09 December 1946 Sonia Maino, an Italian, but naturalized Indian, later became a leader of the Congress Party, but on 18 May 2004 declined the Prime Minister's post after the party's electoral victory.
^ Ripley holding shrunken head1949 Robert LeRoy Ripley, 55, in NY.
      He was the US cartoonist who was the founder of "Believe It or Not!," a widely popular newspaper cartoon presenting bizarre facts and oddities of all kinds. As an example, here is
Ripley holding a Shrunken Head during one of his many radio broadcasts.
      Ripley's stories of the odd and unusual entered millions of living rooms across America via radio. Amongst the rarest curiosities in the Ripley collection of unbelievable artifacts were shrunken heads from Ecuador, South America. Believe It or Not!, a shrunken head was once sent to Ripley with the following note: "Please take good care of this. It think it is one of my relatives!"
      The practice of shrinking heads was once common amongst the Jivaro Indians of Ecuador. It was a ritual that had been handed down through generations. The heads of slain warriors were valued as trophies or symbols of bravery. When a fighter killed his enemy, the victim's head was removed. The skin was then peeled away from the skull and hot stones and sand were poured into the cavity. The head was sewn shut and boiled in herbs until it had shrunk to the size of a fist.
1941:: Admiral Gunther Lutjens and another 2105 sailors of the 2221 aboard the the German battleship Bismarck as it is sunk by British naval and air forces off France three days after it sank the British battle cruiser Hood
^ 1940 Hell in Paradis: 97 POWs machine-gunned by SS
      As the Dunkirk evacuation continues, 80 km away units from Germany's SS Death's Head division battle British troops. After holding off an SS company until their ammo was spent, 99 Royal Norfolk Regiment soldiers retreat to a farmhouse in the village of Paradis. Agreeing to surrender, they start to file out of the farmhouse, waving a white flag tied to a bayonet. They are met by German machine-gun fire. They try again and the British regiment is ordered by an English-speaking German officer to an open field where they are searched and divested of everything from gas masks to cigarettes. They are then marched into a pit where machine guns had been placed in fixed positions. The German order comes: "Fire!"
      Those Brits who survive the machine-gun fire are either stabbed to death with bayonets or shot dead with pistols. Of the 99 members of the regiment, only two survive, both privates: Albert Pooley and William O'Callaghan. They lie among the dead until dark, then, in the middle of a rainstorm, they crawl to a farmhouse, where their wounds are tended. With nowhere else to go, they surrender again, to other Germans who make them POWs.
      Pooley's leg was so badly wounded he was repatriated to England in April 1943 in exchange for some wounded German soldiers. Upon his return to Britain, his story was not believed. Only when O'Callaghan returned home and verified the story was a formal investigation made. Finally, after the war, a British military tribunal in Hamburg found the German office who gave the "Fire" order, Captain Fritz Knochlein, guilty of a war crime. He was hanged.
1928 Arthur Moritz Schönflies, German mathematician born on 17 April 1853. He worked first on geometry and kinematics but became best known for his work on set theory and crystallography. He classified the 230 space groups in 1891.
1896, 255 by tornado in St. Louis, Missoury, and East St. Louis, Illinois.
1837 William Anderson, British artist born in 1757.
1831 Jedediah Smith, trapper-explorer, killed by Commanches on the Santa Fe Trail.
^ Condamnés à mort par la Révolution:
BABEUF François Noël, (dit Gracchus) révolutionnaire français né à Saint Quentin le 23 novembre 1760 - il fonda le journal Le Tribun du Peuple où il exposa ses théories communistes, chef de la conspiration des Egaux, * par le tribunal de Vendôme. — He was an early political journalist and agitator in Revolutionary France whose tactical strategies provided a model for left-wing movements of the 19th century and who was called Gracchus for the resemblance of his proposed agrarian reforms to those of the 2nd-century-BC Roman statesman of that name. The son of a tax farmer, Babeuf worked in the 1780s as a feudal law expert, maintaining records of dues owed and paid by the peasants to the local seigneuries. His increasing distaste for the injustices of this system led him to begin an active career as a political journalist (1788–1792). In 1789 he wrote a pamphlet advocating tax reform and went to Paris in hopes of becoming a journalist. He returned to his native Picardy, where he was arrested and briefly imprisoned in 1790. Following his release he founded a journal, Le Correspondant Picard. He advocated a programof radical agrarian reforms, including the abolition of feudal dues and the redistribution of land. During this period he served as an administrator in the Montdidier district of the Somme, but in February 1793 he returned to Paris, where, during the Reign of Terror, Maximilien Robespierre's radical-democratic regime, he was again arrested and imprisoned. After his release following Robespierre's fall in July 1794, he founded a new journal, Le Journal de la liberté de la presse (shortly thereafter renamed Le Tribun du peuple), in which he at first defended the Thermidorians and attacked the Jacobins. When he began to attack the Thermidorians, he was arrested (12 February 1795) and imprisoned at Arras. During this brief imprisonment, Babeuf continued to formulate his egalitarian doctrines, advocating an equal distribution of land and income, and after his release he began a career as a professional revolutionary. He quickly rose to a position of leadership in the Societé du Panthéon, which sought political and economic equality in defiance of the new French Constitution of 1795. After the society was dissolved in 1796, he founded a “secret directory of public safety” to plan an insurrection. On 08 May 1796, a general meeting of Babouvist, Jacobin, and military insurrectionary committees took place in order to plan the raising of a force of 17'000 men to overthrow the Directory and to institute a return to the Constitution of 1793, which the committee members considered the document most legitimately sanctioned by popular deliberation (Conspiration des Égaux). On 10 May 1796 (21 floréal an IV), however, the conspirators were arrested after an informant revealed their plans to the government. The trial took place between 20 February 1797 and 27 May 1797 (7 prairial an V). Of 47 indicted conspirators 40 were acquitted, 5 sentenced to deportation, and two to death: Babeuf and his companion, Augustin Darthé [01 Oct 1765 – 27 May 1797], both of whom were guillotined on this day. Babeuf was revered as a hero by 19th- and 20th-century revolutionaries because of his advocacy of communism and his conviction that a small elite could overthrow an undesirable government by conspiratorial means.
DARTHÉ Augustin Alexandre Joseph né à Saint-Pol sur Ternoise 01 octobre 1765, guillotiné à Vendôme. http://rcombes.ifrance.com/rcombes/
http://perso.wanadoo.fr/jesn.bon/ Augustin%20Alexandre%20Darth%8E%20%C4/ Genealogie_Darthe.html

1795 (8 prairial an III):
Domiciliés à Paris, par la commission militaire établie à Paris:
DUPUIS Ignace Nicolas, journalier, domicilié à Paris, comme convaincu d'être entré dans le sein de la convention et d'avoir participé à l'assassinat du représentant Ferraud, dans la révolte, du 1er prairial an 3.
HENNEQUIN Jean Nicolas, sculpteur, domicilié à Paris, comme convaincu d’avoir porté sur son chapeau, en signe de rébellion, les mots du pain et la constitution de 1793, et soupçonné d’avoir porté la tête du représentant Ferraud dans les journées des 1, 3 et 4 prairial an 3.
1794 (8 prairial an II):
BINET Antoine Augustin, 27 ans, coupeur de velours, sergent au 8ème bataillon de la Somme, né et domicilié à Amiens (Somme), comme convaincu d'avoir crié vive le roi, vive la reine, et traité les membres de la Convention de scélérats et d'accapareurs.
LELIEVRE Marin, tailleur, domicilié à Mont-Jean (Mayenne), comme brigand de la Vendée, par la commission militaire de Laval.
BARAGNON Jean Antoine, ex avocat, domicilié à Uzès (Gard), comme fédéraliste, par le tribunal criminel dudit département.
GOIRAND Joseph Maurice, ex seigneur de la Beaume, juge du tribunal du district d'Uzès, domicilié à Uzès (Gard), par le tribunal criminel dudit département comme fédéraliste.
ROGER Hélène Françoise, âgée de 43 ans, née et demeurant à Arras, veuve de Develle Antoine Joseph, condamnée à mort
ADAM Louis Joseph, 30 ans, né à Nielles les Thérouanne, y demeurant, marchand de bestiaux, guillotiné à Arras .
Par le tribunal révolutionnaire séant à Cambray (Nord):
DOUAY Marie Anne Joséphine, ex vicomtesse de Baralle, âgée d'environ 92 ans, , par le tribunal révolutionnaire, séante à Cambray, département du Nord, comme convaincue de trahison envers la république.
Par le tribunal révolutionnaire de Paris:
JOURDAN Mathieu Jouve, chef d'escadron de gendarmerie, ci-devant négociant, 35 ans, né à St Génre (Haute Loire), domicilié à Avignon (Vaucluse), comme convaincu d'être complice d'un complot qui a existé dans le département des Bouches du Rhône, et particulièrement dans son district et de s'être procuré des biens nationaux à vil prix.
LECANDRE Etienne, 27 ans, capitaine au 17ème régiment de cavalerie, né et domicilié à Saintes (Charente Inférieure), comme contre-révolutionnaire.
      ...comme convaincus d'avoir été complices des manœuvres pratiquées de concert avec le traitre Dumourier, à l'époque de sa trahison, tendant à ébranler la fidélité des soldats en vers la nation, à marcher contre la Convention, et d’avoir voulu exécuter le projet de faire passer à l’ennemi deux escadrons du 1er régiment d’hussards:
ARNAUD Jean, 44 ans, né à Limoges, sous-lieutenant, au 17ème régiment de cavalerie.
BEAUREGARD Nicolas Jacques, 42 ans, sous lieutenant au 17ème régiment, domicilié à Versailles (Seine et Oise).
DONADIEU Jean, 50 ans, né et domicilié à Arles (Bouches du Rhône), maréchal des logis au onzième régiment de dragons, général de brigade de l'armée du Bas-Rhin.
FUREL Jacques Jean Laurent (dit Prébaron), 44 ans, chef d’escadron au 17ème régiment de cavalerie, né et domicilié à Salins (Jura).
HERY Emile Joseph Xavier, 19 ans, lieutenant au 17ème régiment, né et domicilié à Chinon (Indre et Loire).
PRISIE Pierre Claude Marie, 46 ans, chef de brigade au 17ème régiment, né et domicilié à Nevers (Nièvre).
PRUNEAU Pierre Félix, 52 ans, sous lieutenant au 17ème régiment, né et domicilié à Vaussay (Deux-Sèvres).
VERILLOT Etienne Philippe, 20 ans, sous-lieutenant au 7ème régiment, né et domicilié à Langres (Haute-Marne).
      ...comme conspirateurs:
AMAND Jean, sous-lieutenant au 17e régiment, domicilié à Limoges (Haute Vienne).
AVENET Jean Baptiste, dentiste, domicilié à St Germain-la-Campagne, canton de Bernay (Eure).
BONNOT Claude, 27 ans, né à Givet, adjudant au 17ème régiment domicilié à Genet, canton de Baumes (Doubs).
BUGNOLET Jean François, 25 ans, chirurgien major au 17ème régiment né et domicilié au Petit-Bay, canton de Gray (Haute-Saône).
HOURY Etienne, terrassier, 57 ans, né à Puzze-le-Robert, domicilié à Paris.
JOURDEUIL Etienne, sous lieutenant au 17ème régiment de cavalerie, 29 ans, né et domicilié à Bussière (Haute Marne).
JUDE Antoine Louis Michel, 46 ans, ex conseiller au Châtelet de Paris, domicilié à Paris.
JUY Claude, 26 ans, sous lieutenant au 17ème régiment de cavalerie, né et domicilié à Langres (Haute Marne).
LEVIS-MIREFOIX Charles Philibert Mý Gaston, 41 ans, ex comte et maréchal de camps, et ex constituant, né à Martin-Detreaux, domicilié à Paris.
MOLLET Joseph, 48 ans, sous lieutenant au 17ème régiment, né et domicilié à St Michel (Basses-Alpes).
SOUBRY Pierre Jacques, 33 ans, né dans la Flandre Autrichienne, laboureur, domicilié à Paris.
MATHIEU Catherine, femme Vigneron, 51 ans, et VIGNERON Suzanne, 23 ans, nées et domiciliées à Nancy (Meurthe), ...ayant entretenu des correspondances avec Vigneron, émigré.
BOROT Gilbert, maréchal, domicilié à Aigueperse, canton de Riom (Puy de Dôme), comme contre-révolutionnaire, par le tribunal criminel dudit département.
1785 Jean-Baptiste-Louis Le Paon, French artist born in 1736, 1737, or 1738.
1734 (28 May?) Claude Audran III, French painter born on 25 August 1658.
1733 Carel van Faleus, Dutch artist born on 24 November 1683.
1717 Nicolas Colombel, French painter born in 1644.
1647 Achsah Young becomes first woman known to be executed as a witch in Massachusetts.
1596 Pellegrino Tibaldi da Bologna, Italian painter born in 1527. — MORE ON TIBALDI AT ART “4” MAY with links to images.
1595 Philip Romolo Neri [22 Jul 1515–] “Apostle of Rome, Florentine saint canonized on 12 March 1622. His feast day is 26 May. He founded the Congregation of the Oratory, a society of secular priests approved by the pope on 15 July 1575.. —(080526)
1576 Admiral Louis de Boisot (Lodewijk van Boisot) lord of Ruart, born in 1530, drowns while commanding the Dutch fleet near Zierikzee during a battle to free that city from the Spanish rule. He was a Dutchman from a French Huguenot refugee family from Burgundy. He was the brother of Charles de Boisot, and son of Pierre de Boisot (treasurer-general in the Finance Ministry under Charles V [24 Feb 1500 – 21 Sep 1558] and Philip II [21 May 1527 – 13 Sep 1598), who was the younger brother of another Charles de Boisot [–1546] (adviser to Charles V). After 1567 he joined the watergeuzen (the largely Calvinist Dutch privateering forces whose 01 April 1572 capture of the port of Brielle in Zuid-Holland rallied popular support to the Netherlands' revolt against Spanish rule). In 1572 Louis de Boisot took part in a battle under William I of Orange [24 April 1533 – 10 Jul 1584]. Louis de Boisot was captured when he escorted William on his way to France, but he escaped. In 1573 he became Admiral of Zeeland and in 1574 Lieutenant-Admiral of Holland and Zeeland. At the Battle of Reimerswaal on 29 January 1574, he defeated a fleet under the command of Luis de Resquesens y Zúñiga [25 Aug 1528 – 05 Mar 1576] who on 17 November 1573 had become the Spanish governor of the Dutch Republic, succeeding the brutally tyrannical Fernando Álvarez de Toledo y Pimentel 3er duque de Alba [29 Oct 1507 – 11 Dec 1582]. This battle freed the city of Middelburg from Spanish rule.
1564 John Calvin, one of the dominant figures of the Protestant Reformation, in Geneva.
< 26 May 28 May >
^  Births which occurred on a 27 May
2000 Lital Talker, would die on her first birthday from having been left for 5 hours in a closed car on a hot day.
1996 Enliven
      Narrative Communications Corporation, a start-up run by former Lotus executives, unveiled Enliven, an Internet technology designed to deliver animation and compelling graphics over the Web. The company sought to give Web advertisers more options to create dynamic ads to replace small advertising banners on Web sites.
1944 Christopher J Dodd (Gov / Sen-D-Ct)
1937 The Golden Gate Bridge was opened to pedestrian traffic the previous day. This day at noon, President Franklin Roosevelt presses a telegraph key in the White House, and the bridge is opened to vehicular traffic. Until the Verrazano Narrows Bridge was completed in 1964, the Golden Gate's 1280-meter orange-painted structural steel suspension span was the longest in the world. (Today, the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge in Japan boasts the longest span at over 2000 meters.)
^ 1927 The very last Model T Ford.
      Production of the Ford Model T officially ended after 15'007'033 units had been built. The Model T sold more units than any other car model in history, until the Volkswagen Beetle eclipsed its record in the 1970s. That a car produced domestically in the first three decades of the century could compete in production numbers with a car first produced in the '60s and distributed worldwide is testament to the dramatic genius of the Model T.
      Before the "Tin Lizzy's" introduction, no car was reliable or affordable enough to be any good to the average man. In 1908, the Model T had a price tag of $850 and sold 6389 units. In 1910, the price had dropped to $690 and the Tin Lizzy sold 34'528 units. By 1915, the price tag of Ford's "people's car" had reached an astounding $350 and sold, accordingly, 472'350 units. Ford's mass-production miracle even exceeded his own prophetic expectations. The Model T may have accomplished what the Monroe Doctrine only proposed. Here is Henry Ford's vision: "I will build a motor car for the great multitude, constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise ... so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one — and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God's great open spaces."
1923 Henry Kissinger (Nobel Peace Prize winner for his efforts to end the Vietnam War.[1973] US Secretary of State: Nixon Administration (1973-77); political consultant: NBC News)
1921 Caryl Chessman kidnapper who got the death penalty (1960)
1917 Yasuhiro Nakasone, Japanese politician, leader of the Liberal-Democratic Party (LDP; 1982–1789), and prime minister of Japan (1982–1987).
1915 Herman Wouk, US novelist: The Caine Mutiny (1951), The Winds of War (1971), War and Remembrance (1978), Marjorie Morningstar (1955).
1913 Otto Alfred Wolfgang Schultze-Battmann Wols, German artist who died on 01 September 1951.
1911 Hubert Humphrey , US politician from Minnesota who died on 13 January 1978. He was the 38th vice president of the United States (1965–1969) in the Democratic administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson [27 Aug 1908 – 22 Jan 1973] and presidential candidate of the Democratic Party in 1968. A liberal leader in the United States Senate (1949–1965; 1971–1978), he built his political base on a Democrat–Farmer-Labor coalition reminiscent of the Populist Movement.
1907 Rachel Louise Carson, US biologist who died on 14 April 1964, renowned for her writings on environmental pollution and the natural history of the sea: Under the Sea-Wind (1941), The Sea Around Us (1951), The Edge of the Sea (1955), and especially Silent Spring (1962) which created a worldwide awareness of the dangers of environmental pollution.
1894 Louis-Ferdinand Destouches “Céline”, French writer and physician, who died on 01 July 1961. He became famous with his first novel Voyage au bout de la nuit (1932), the story of a man's tortured and hopeless search for meaning, written in a vehement and disjointed style. His reputation diminished starting in the late 1930 because of his fanatical anti-Jew and anti-French polemics, his increasingly vicious and hysterical misanthropy, his relentless despair, amorality, rage, and pornography.
^ 1894 Samuel Dashiell Hammett, who grew up to author The Maltese Falcon
      Hammett left school at age 13 and took a series of low-paying jobs, eventually landing at Pinkerton's detective agency. He worked as a detective for eight years and turned his experiences into fiction that set the mold for other writers like Raymond Chandler [23 Jul 1888 – 26 Mar 1959]. Hammett's deadpan description of violent or emotional events came to be known as the "hard-boiled" style of detective fiction.
      Hammett published short stories in his characteristic deadpan style, starting in 1929 with Fly Paper. He published two novels in the same style that year, Red Harvest and The Dain Curse. The following year, he published The Maltese Falcon, which introduced detective Sam Spade. The novel was filmed three times: once in 1931; once in 1936 under the title Satan Met a Lady, starring Bette Davis; and again in1941, starring Humphrey Bogart.
      Hammett became involved with playwright Lillian Hellman [20 Jun 1905 – 30 Jun 1984] (author of The Children's Hour in 1934 and The Little Foxes in 1939), who served as the model for Nora Charles in his 1934 comic mystery The Thin Man. The book was made into a movie the same year, starring William Powell and Myrna Loy, and the characters of Nick and Nora Charles inspired several sequel films. Hammett and Hellman remained romantically involved until Hammett's death on 10 January 1961.
1893 Hermann Dornemann, German who would still be alive on 16 April 2004.
1893 Maxie Aarons of Florida, who would die on 02 October 2003.
1887 (23 May?) Jakob Steinhardt, German Israeli printmaker and painter who died in 1968.
1883 Jessie Arms Botke, US decorative painter who died on 02 October 1971. — MORE ON BOTKE AT ART “4” MAY with links to images.
1881 Adolf Erbslöh, German artist who died in 1947.
1871 Georges-Henri Rouault, French Fauvist and Expressionist painter, printmaker, ceramicist, and stained glass artist, who died on 13 February 1958. — MORE ON ROUAULT AT ART “4” MAY with links to images.
1868 Charles E. Prendergast, US painter who died in 1948. — links to images.
1862 John Edward Campbell, British mathematician who died on 01 October 1924. He is remembered for the Campbell-Baker-Hausdorff theorem which gives a formula for multiplication of exponentials in Lie algebras.
1858 Juan Jiménez y Martín, Spanish artist who died in 1901.
1837 Wild Bill (James Butler) Hickok (US Marshall, frontiersman, army scout, gambler, legendary marksman)
^ 1819 Julia Ward Howe, US author and lecturer who died on 17 October 1910. She is best known for her "Battle Hymn of the Republic." [below].
     Julia Ward came of a well-to-do family and was educated privately. In 1843 she married educator Samuel Gridley Howe [10 Nov 1801 – 09 Jan 1876] and took up residence in Boston. Always of a literary bent, she published her first volume of poetry, Passion Flowers, in 1854; this and subsequent works, including a poetry collection,Words for the Hour (1857), a play, Leonora; or, the World's Own, produced in 1857, and A Trip to Cuba (1860), had little success.
      For a while Howe and her husband published the Commonwealth, an abolitionist newspaper, but for the most part he kept her out of his affairs and strongly opposed her involving herself in any sort of public life. In February 1862 The Atlantic Monthly published her poem “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” to be set to an old folk tune also used for “John Brown's Body.” The song, written during a visit to an army camp near Washington DC, in 1861, became the semiofficial Civil War song of the Union Army, and Howe became famous.
      After the war Howe involved herself in the woman suffrage movement. In 1868 she helped form and was elected the first president of the New England Woman Suffrage Association, an office she held until 1877, and from 1869 she took a leading role in the American Woman Suffrage Association. She helped found the New England Women's Club in 1868 and succeeded Caroline M. Severance [12 Jan 1820 – 10 Nov 1914] as its president in 1871. She was later active in the General Federation of Women's Clubs International. She also took up the cause of peace and in 1870 published her “Appeal to Womanhood Throughout the World,” a call for an international conference of women on the subject of peace. In 1871 she became first president of the US branch of the Woman's International Peace Association.
      Howe continued to write throughout her life, publishing travel books, poetry, collections of essays, and biographies. She founded a short-lived literary journal, Northern Lights, in 1867 and was a founder in 1870 and an editor for 20 years thereafter of the Woman's Journal . She was a frequent traveler until extreme old age. She was again president of the New England Woman Suffrage Association from 1893 to 1910. In 1908 she became the first woman to be elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She was a US public institution by the time of her death. Of her children, the best known was the writer Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards.
Battle Hymn of the Republic

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored,
He has loosed the fateful lightening of His terrible swift sword
His truth is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps
l can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps
His day is marching on. (Chorus)

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnish`d rows of steel,
"As ye deal with my contemners, So with you my grace shall deal;"
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel
Since God is marching on. (Chorus)

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on. (Chorus)

He has sounded form the trumpet that shall never call retreat
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on. (Chorus)

ln the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on. (Chorus)

1818 Amelia Jenks Bloomer, in Homer NY, suffragette known for her pantaloons.
^ 1794 Cornelius Vanderbilt, king of the Schooners and Rails, rail baron and arch-capitalist.
      Born to a poor family in Staten Island, Vanderbilt left school at age eleven and headed to New York’s waterfront to begin what proved to be a long and fruitful career. In 1810, Vanderbilt began his first entrepreneurial venture with the launch of a small ferry business between Manhattan and Staten Island. Though Vanderbilt’s ferry enterprise soon began to thrive, he sold his schooners in 1818, opting instead to learn the shipping business under the tutelage of captain Thomas Gibbons. Though still young, Vanderbilt was a savvy and fiercely competitive entrepreneur, and by 1829 he had purchased his first steamer.
      Thanks in large part to his aggressive fares and lavishly decorated steamers, Vanderbilt eventually came to rule the shipping industry. By 1862, the nation’s burgeoning rail network beckoned and, utilizing his handsome capital resources, Vanderbilt built an empire that included the New York and Harlem Railroad, as well as the New York Central Railroad. Towards the end of his life, Vanderbilt tempered his competitive zeal with altruism — he donated $1 million to Central University (later renamed Vanderbilt University) and masterminded the construction of New York’s Grand Central Terminal. Cornelius Vanderbilt passed away in New York City during in early 1877.
^ 1756 Maximilian I, first king of Bavaria, who died on 13 October 1825.
      Maximilian Joseph, the second son of Prince Frederick Michael of Palatinate-Zweibrücken, served in the French regiment of Alsace from 1777 to the outbreak of the French Revolution, developing the affinity for France that he was to retain for the rest of his life. In 1795, when he succeeded his older brother as duke of Zweibrücken, France was already in possession of the duchy; but on the death of the elector Charles Theodore of Bavaria and the Palatinate in 1799, he inherited all of the Wittelsbach territories as Maximilian IV Joseph. Widely scattered and ill-administered, most of them were occupied by Austria. With his able minister Maximilian, Graf von Montgelas [10 Sep 1759 – 14 Jun 1838], the new elector was to make Bavaria into an efficient, liberal state.
      Forced by Austrian pressure to enter the war against France (1799), Maximilian IV Joseph signed a separate peace in 1801, which, though formalizing the loss of his lands west of the Rhine, guaranteed compensation elsewhere. Distrustful of Austria, which tried repeatedly to annex Bavarian territories, the elector remained faithful to his French alliance for more than a decade. In 1803 he received Würzburg, Bamberg, Freising, Augsburg, and other lands. In 1805 Ansbach was added, and on 01 January 1806, the elector crowned himself king of Bavaria as Maximilian I.
      Bavaria's membership in the Confederation of the Rhine, the league of German princes sponsored by Napoleon, and contributions to the French war effort against Austria (1805), Prussia and Russia (1806–1807), and, again, Austria (1809), led to the acquisition of most of Western Austria. Thirty thousand men of the Bavarian contingent fought with Napoleon in Russia, but after the French defeat there Maximilian entered into an alliance with Austria in return for a guarantee of the integrity of his kingdom. After returning sections of Western Austria in 1814 and 1816, Bavaria received sizable territories on the west bank of the Rhine. With the restoration of peace (1815), Maximilian reorganized his administration. He dismissed Montgelas (1817) largely on the insistence of his son, the future Louis I [25 Aug 1786 – 29 Feb 1868]; and the kingdom, which already had received a liberal constitution in 1808, was granted a new charter in 1818, providing for a bicameral parliament. These measures made Bavaria one of Germany's most liberal states during the last years of Maximilian's reign. .
^ 1703 St. Petersburg
     After winning access to the Baltic Sea through his victories in the Great Northern War, Czar Peter I founded the city of St. Petersburg as the new Russian capital. The reign of Peter I, who had become sole czar in 1696, was characterized by a series of sweeping military, political, economic, and cultural reforms in Russia based on Western European models. Peter the Great, as he became known, led his country into major conflicts with Persia, the Ottoman Empire, and Sweden. Russian victories in these wars greatly expanded Peter’s empire and the defeat of Sweden won Russia territory on the Baltic Sea, a life-long obsession of the Russian leader. Here, Peter founded the new Russian capital of St. Petersburg, and Russia was now a major European power — politically, culturally, and geographically. In 1721, Peter abandoned the traditional Russian title of czar in favor of the European-influenced title of emperor. Four years later, he died and was succeeded by his wife, Catherine.
^ 1703 William II, prince of Orange, count of Nassau, stadtholder and captain general of six provinces of the Netherlands from 1647, who was the central figure of a critical struggle for power in the Dutch Republic. The son of Frederick Henry, prince of Orange [29 Jan 1584 – 14 Mar 1647], he was guaranteed, in a series of acts from 1630 onward, succession to all his father's offices.
      On 12 May 1641, William II married Mary Stuart [04 Nov 1631 – 03 Jan 1661], eldest daughter of Charles I of England. See an image of the painting Mary Stuart and William II, 1642 from the studio of Anthony van Dijck
      After his father's death, William II succeeded to the title of prince of Orange, to the stadtholdership of all the provinces except Friesland, and to the offices of captain general and admiral general of the Union.
      Early in 1648 peace was concluded at Münster, ending the Eighty Years' War for Dutch independence. The treaty, however, was concluded despite the wrathful opposition of William II. He did not abandon his dynastic and military ambitions. He corresponded with the French government and planned to resume the war in order to conquer part of the Spanish Netherlands (now Belgium). He also supported his brother-in-law Charles II [29 May 1630 – 06 Feb 1685], hoping to restore him to the throne of England.
      The States (assembly) of Holland, fearing that the high ambitions of William II would lead to war, disbanded some of the troops paid by them (04 Jun 1650). William II then turned to the States General, most of whom were jealous of Holland's influence, which granted him extraordinary power. On 30 July 1650, William II imprisoned six leading members of the States of Holland and ordered his army to march on Amsterdam. The attempt to occupy Amsterdam failed, but the States accepted a compromise. William II then met much opposition in trying to implement his foreign policy. He died of smallpox died on 06 November 1650, before his influence could really be tested.

1616 Antoon Goubau, Flemish painter who died on 21 March 1698. — more with an image.
^ 1265 Dante Alighieri
     Dante would grow up to be the Italian poet, prose writer, literary theorist, moral philosopher, and political thinker, best known for the monumental epic poem La commedia, a great work of medieval literature, a profound Christian vision of man's temporal and eternal destiny. On its most personal level, it draws on the poet's own experience of exile from his native city of Florence; on its most comprehensive level, it may be read as an allegory, taking the form of a journey through hell, purgatory, and paradise. The poem amazes by its array of learning, its penetrating and comprehensive analysis of contemporary problems, and its inventiveness of language and imagery. By choosing to write his poem in Italian rather than in Latin, Dante decisively influenced the course of literary development. Not only did he lend a voice to the emerging lay culture of his own country, but Italian became the literary language in western Europe for several centuries.
      In addition to poetry Dante wrote important theoretical works ranging from discussions of rhetoric to moral philosophy and political thought. He was fully conversant with the classical tradition, drawing for his own purposes on such writers as Virgil, Cicero, and Boethius. But, most unusual for a layman, he also had an impressive command of the most recent scholastic philosophy and of theology. His learning and his personal involvement in the heated political controversies of his age led him to the composition of De monarchia, one of the major tracts of medieval political philosophy. Dante died of malaria before dawn on 14 September 1321.
[click on image below for portraits of Dante]
Dante Alighieri La Divina Commedia
      Poema da Dante Alighieri in terza rima, iniziato nel 1307, composto di tre Cantiche (Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso) che comprendono 100 canti complessivi: 34 l'"Inferno", 33 ciascuno il "Purgatorio" e il "Paradiso". Argomento dell'opera è il viaggio compiuto da Dante nell'Oltretomba. Tre guide conducono il poeta: Virgilio nell'Inferno, e parte del Purgatorio, fino all'Eden; Beatrice, la donna amata da Dante in gioventù e il cui ricordo lo ha distolto dal traviamento, conduce il poeta fino all'Empireo, alla Rosa celeste; e San Bernardo che mostra a Dante la gloria di Dio. Il viaggio dura circa una settimana e ha inizio nella notte del Venerdì Santo, l'8 aprile 1300.
     Dante Alighieri nasce nel 1265 da una famiglia guelfa di Firenze, di piccola nobiltà. Amico di Guido Cavalcanti, di cui inizialmente subì l'egemonia culturale, partecipò con lui e con altri poeti al movimento del Dolce Stil Nuovo. Gran parte delle sue rime giovanili sono dedicate ad una "Beatrice", che viene tradizionalmente identificata con l'omonima figlia di Folco Portinari, sposata a Simone de' Bardi, e morta di parto l'8 giugno 1290. Il poeta tra il 1293 e il 1294 rielabora la storia spirituale del suo amore nella "Vita Nuova", un libriccino mescolato di versi e di prosa.
      Dopo questa data Dante comincia a partecipare alla vita politica di Firenze, del cui esercito ha fatto parte in diverse occasioni (nel giugno 1289 lo troviamo tra i "feditori" a cavallo nella battaglia di Campaldino contro i ghibellini di Arezzo, nell'agosto dello stesso anno è nell'esercito fiorentino che tolse ai pisani la fortezza di Caprona). Dante, che aveva trascorso un periodo di studi a Bologna, si iscrisse alla corporazione dei medici e degli speziali per iniziare la carriera politica (gli Ordinamenti di Giustizia di Giano della Bella riservavano il governo del comune solo ai cittadini iscritti a una delle corporazioni d'arti e mestieri).
      Nel 1300 le sue responsabilità politiche aumentarono, e Dante divenne uno dei Priori, dedicando la maggior parte delle sue energie a contrastare i piani del papa Bonifacio VIII. Questi infatti , approfittando del conflitto presente in Firenze fra i Bianchi, capeggiati dalla consorteria dei Cerchi, e i Neri guidati da quella dei Donati, cercava di di estendere la sua autorità su tutta la Toscana.
      Nell'ottobre del 1301 il papa inviò a Firenze Carlo di Valois, fratello del re di Francia, apparentemente come paciere: ma in realtà Carlo aveva l'incarico di debellare i Bianchi. Mentre Dante si trovava a Roma come ambasciatore del comune di Firenze presso il Pontefice, Corso Donati e i neri conquistarono, con uccisioni e violenze, il potere.
      Dante fu condannato all'interdizione perpetua dai pubblici uffici, a una multa e all'esilio per due anni, per furto del denaro pubblico, azioni ostili verso il papa e la città (non essendosi presentato a discolparsi fu condannato ad essere bruciato vivo se fosse caduto in mano al Comune). Dal 1302 comincia il periodo dell'esilio, che durerà fino alla morte del poeta. Iniziò un pellegrinaggio per l'Italia. Prese contatto con Bartolomeo della Scala a Verona e con i conti Malaspina in Lunigiana, e tra il 1304 e il 1307 compose il Convivio (poi rimasto interrotto) per acquisire meriti di fronte all'opinione pubblica (per lungo tempo coltivò l'illusione di poter essere richiamato nella sua città come riconoscimento della sua grandezza culturale). Appartiene allo stesso periodo il De Vulgari Eloquentia.
      Col passare degli anni Dante iniziò a vedere il suo esilio come simbolo del distacco dalla corruzione, dagli odi e dagli egoismi di parte, e si considerò guida per gli uomini alla riconquista di essa, della verità e della pace. Tale vocazione ispira la Divina Commedia, cominciata probabilmente dopo il 1307. Nel 1310 il nuovo imperatore Arrigo VII scese in Italia e Dante, scrisse delle lettere per esortare tutti ad accogliere colui che poteva riportare alla pace; scrisse inoltre il suo trattato politico più importante, la Monarchia. Ma nel 1313 Arrigo morì improvvisamente a Buonconvento presso Siena, e Dante abbandonò ogni speranza di tornare a Firenze. Negli ultimi anni, fu ospite di Can Grande della Scala a Verona e di Guido Novello da Polenta a Ravenna. Qui portò a termine l'ultima parte della Commedia, di cui era già stata pubblicata prima del 1315 la prima cantica, l'Inferno. Lo scrittore muore a Ravenna nella notte di 13 Sep a 14 Sep 1321.
A map of the earth showing Hell and Purgatory 
    Dante Alighieri's La Divina Commedia is the allegorical story of spiritual journey, one which began on Good Friday, 8 April 1300 — when Dante was 35 and thus midway through his allotted span — and lasted for just seven days; but it is also a bitter political polemic, excoriating those in authority in Italy, and above all in his native Florence, and denouncing the papacy for its wealth and corruption. It embraces the celestial and the terrestrial, the mythological and the historical, the practical and the ethical; it discusses reason and faith, of society and the individual;  finally, it claims to speak with the voice of God.
        The earth, we must understand, is the centre of the universe, of which only the northern hemisphere is inhabited. Within this hemisphere is hell, a vast funnel formed by the fall of Lucifer. The earth displaced by the fall descended to the southern hemisphere where it formed the mountain of purgatory, rising from the ocean.
      This too is conical, with seven ledges rising to its summit, paradise. Around the earth are nine concentric revolving heavens , encircling which is the empyrean, home to the nine orders or angels and the seat of God. Dante's journey therefore takes him through the entire universe. It begins in the dark wood of sin where he finds the poet Virgil, who undertakes to guide him. Down they go through the deepening circles, speaking with the damned, who are being punished according to their sins on earth.
      Some are mythological, some historical, some contemporary Florentines. Emerging in the southern hemisphere, Dante and Virgil sail to purgatory, on whose successive ledges they find those guilty of the seven deadly sins. They too suffer horribly but, unlike the denizens of Hell, they have hope; they are working up towards paradise. There the pagan Virgil must take his leave , while Dante finds his long-last Beatrice, through whom he is led to his final vision of God.
      Dante was not the first poet to write in Italian; but he, more than anyone, made his native Tuscan dialect the literary language of the whole peninsula. His limpid Italian might have been written yesterday. The work is not easy, but for anyone prepared to make the effort, the rewards are great.
     The Divine Comedy is a poem which describes the journey of Dante the Pilgrim as he is lead, firstly by Virgil through Hell and Purgatory and secondly by Beatrice through to Heaven. The poem is therefore separated into three volumes. Each volume (Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise) is of 33 cantos, except for Inferno which contains one extra introductory canto which serves as an overview to what will come.
     The interpretation of The Divine Comedy is much more than a simple poem. In fact Dante even tells us so in a letter he wrote. Dante says that in the literal sense his work is a description of 'the state of souls after death' but if his work is to be taken allegorically then the subject is ' Man-as, according to his merits or demerits in the exercise of his free will, he is subject to reward or punishment by Justice...'. The work therefore investigates Mankind's search for salvation where man must first descend into humility before he can raise himself to God. Before man can hope to climb the mountain of salvation he must first know what sin is. This is exactly what the Pilgrims journey represents as his pilgrimage takes Dante (who represents all Mankind) through all the types of sin in preparation for his ascent to God.

ART INSPIRED BY DANTE AT ART “4” MAY : links to images.

  • The Divine Comedy
  • The Divine Comedy
  • The Divine Comedy
  • HellPurgatoryParadise
  • HellPurgatoryParadise
  • The Vision: or, Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise
  • The Divine Comedy (in Italian and English)

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