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Events, deaths, births, of 27 OCT
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^  On a 27 October:
2006 The last Ford Taurus car is manufactured, sold, and delivered (across the street). —(061029)
2004 Total eclipse of the moon centered on 03:04 UT 28 October (which is 27 October 23:04 EDT or 20:04 PDT), noticeable from about 2 hours before to 2 hours after, and total from 41 minutes before to 41 minutes after (of course to be visible it has to be night, a clear one, at the place from which it is observed, which will be the case in almost all the places where its local time is on 27 October). The last total lunar eclipse was on 04 May 2004. The next two will be on 03 March 2007 (centered on 23:21 UT) and 28 August 2007 (centered on 10:37 UT).
2003 Mars is closer to Earth than at any time in several thousand years: 55.76 million km (beating the 22 Aug 1924 record of 55.78 million km).
2002 Runoff presidential election in Brazil. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, 56, of the Workers' Party, wins 61% to 39% over José Serra, 60, of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party which has been in power since 1994. In the first round on 06 October, da Silva won 46% of the vote, Serra 23%, and just over 30% went to two other candidates who have since thrown their support to da Silva.
2002 Polish voters choose mayors directly for the first time since the end of Communism. 21 parties are competing, and thousands of independent candidates. Voters vote for mayors in 2500 cities, towns and villages — previously elected by local councils. The election is also for a total of 46'830 seats in nearly 2900 councils at provincial, district and county levels.
2000 Japanese archeologist makes sensational (but fake) find.
     Early in the morning prominent Japanese archeologist Shinichi Fujimura [1950~] secretly plants eight stoneware pieces at an excavation site, where it is believed humans lived 600'000 years ago. Later in the day he simulates discovering Japan's oldest stoneware and announces it, to the admiration of his colleagues. However a newspaper discovers the fraud and, on 05 November 2000, on TV, Fujimura admits that he had fabricated the findings at the Kamitakamori ruins in Miyagi Prefecture and the Soshin-Fudozaka site in Hokkaido. Fujimura says that he has collected some of the stone tools purported to have been found in Kamitakamori at a nearby site and collected others in Mount Yakurai in northern Miyagi for the Hokkaido ruin. Fujimura admits to staging the discovery of 61 of the 65 tool fragments at Kamitakamori and 29 in Hokkaido in an excavation conducted in September and October 2000. In a brief press interview on 18 December 20001 Fukimora denies rumors that more dig finds he was involved in were also fakes.
1999 Russian jets bomb central Grozny (CNN)
1997 Wall Street halts trading
      When the opening bell sounded on this day, traders were a little jittery. News of a 6 percent decline on the Hong Kong index had spread to Wall Street, priming investors for a sell-off. At first there was a wave of steady, though hardly panicked selling, but by 2:00 P.M., the Dow-Jones Industrial Average had dropped 323.42 points. Looking to prevent a crisis, market officials took action and pulled the plug on trading, the first time that Wall Street invoked the so-called "circuit-breaker rules.” Passed in the wake of the '87 crash, the rules mandated trading halts or "cooling off" periods to be invoked when the market drops so many points that it seems headed for disaster. The next day, traders were back at work with renewed vigor and the Dow surged to a record gain of 337.1 points.
^ 1996 Paul Sagan, head of Pathfinder, resigns
      Paul Sagan, the president of new media at Time Warner, announced he would resign at the end of the year. The announcement clouded the future of Pathfinder, a sprawling Web site launched in 1994 that incorporated content from many Time Warner magazines, including Time, Sports Illustrated and Entertainment Weekly. Sagan had been in the position for less than a year.
1994 US prison population exceeds one million
      The US Justice Department announces that the US prison population exceeds one million for the first time in American history. The figure — 1'012'851 men and women in state and federal prisons — does not even include local prisons, where an estimated 500'000 prisoners are held, usually for short periods. The recent increase, due to tougher sentencing laws, makes the United States second only to Russia in the world for incarceration rates.
      The vast majority of prisoners are male and with drug-related convictions. More than half the US's prisoners are African American. This racial imbalance is also present in the 2890 prisoners under sentence of death in 1994 — 42% of the prisoners on death row are African-American, while only 13% of the total US population is African-American.
1992 Economy upturn too late to get Bush re-elected
      The economy stumbled through the early 1990s, dragging down President Bush's poll ratings and his re-election bid in the process. However, on the eve of the 1992 election, there was a small burst of hope for Bush's campaign when the government released a report indicating that the economy was emerging from the slump. Unfortunately for Bush, the news did little to persuade the electorate that he could lead the nation to a richer fiscal future. A few weeks later, Democratic challenger Bill Clinton rolled to victory.
^ 1987 First use of DNA evidence at a trial
      On 09 May 1986, Nancy Hodge was raped by a knife-wielding attacker in her Orlando, Florida, home. Over the next nine months, 23 local women were assaulted by the same serial rapist. Although he was always careful not to let his victims see his face, the attacker left behind incriminating physical evidence. On 01 March 1987, an Orlando woman called to report a prowler. Police, who had stepped up their surveillance of certain neighborhoods after Hodge's attack, were immediately on the scene and initiated a high-speed chase of the prowler's car. The driver, Tommie Lee Andrews, spun out of control and crashed. Andrews' fingerprints matched a pair that had been found at the scene of a different rape. But police wanted to connect Andrews to multiple attacks so that he could be put behind bars permanently. While his blood type matched the semen samples taken from the victims, so did a significant portion of the population. Aware of the fact that England was already using DNA tests to identify criminals, the prosecution brought in a cutting-edge American firm, Lifecodes, to try out the new tests on their evidence.
      On 27 October 1987, Andrews stood trial for raping Nancy Hodge-the first trial where DNA typing was used against a defendant. However, Andrews had an alibi. Both his girlfriend and his sister claimed that he had spent the evening of 09 May at home with them. The prosecutor countered with the DNA evidence and claimed that the chance that someone else had the same DNA code was one in 10 billion. Unfortunately, the prosecution was unprepared to back up this assertion with any scientific facts, and it had to be retracted. The jury voted 11 to 1 for conviction; Andrews narrowly escaped with a mistrial. After being convicted of the rape in which he left his fingerprints, Andrews was retried for Hodge's rape. This time, the prosecution was better prepared to present the DNA evidence, and on 05 February 1988, Andrews was found guilty. His sentences totaled 115 years. Although DNA typing is common in criminal cases now, there is still a debate over the statistical significance of a match. Many reputable scientists believe that people with similar DNA strands are more common than originally claimed by DNA advocates.
1987 South Korean voters overwhelmingly approved a new constitution
1985 Thieves steal 9 paintings, including 5 Monet's and 2 Renoir's
Flag of St.Vincent a t G1982 IBM ROM is capable of EGA graphics
1982 China announces its population at 1 billion people plus
1979 St Vincent and the Grenadines becomes an independent member of the Commonwealth (Nat'l Day) [flag >]
1978 The Norwegian Nobel Committee announces that it will award the Peace Prize for 1978 to Mohamed Anwar al-Sadat (25 Dec 1918 – 06 Oct 1981), President of Egypt (1970-1981), and Menachem Begin (16 Aug 1913 – ), Prime Minister of Israel, for their contribution to the two frame agreements on peace in the Middle East, and on peace between Egypt and Israel, which were signed at Camp David on 17 September 1978. MORE
1978 President Carter signs Hawkins-Humphrey full employment bill
1971 Republic of the Congo becomes Republic of Za‹re
1971 Cambodian government troops battle Communists
      Fighting intensifies as Cambodian government forces battle with Khmer Rouge, Viet Cong, and North Vietnamese forces northeast of Phnom Penh. In March 1970, a coup led by Cambodian General Lon Nol had overthrown the government of Prince Norodom Sihanouk in Phnom Penh. Lon Nol and his army, the Forces Armees Nationale Khmer (FANK), with US support and military aid, fought the Communist Khmer Rouge for control of Cambodia. In addition, the government forces had to contend with the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong, who continued to use Cambodia as a sanctuary for their forces attacking into South Vietnam. In this round of the fighting, the major engagements occurred around the provincial capitals of Kompong Thom and Rumlong. The Communists began a siege of these garrisons after their demolition frogmen destroyed a crucial bridge along Route 6, the main supply line for the 20'000 Cambodians on the northeast front. Some 400 government soldiers were reported dead as a result of the combat.
1969 St Vincent and the Grenadines gains associated status with Britain.
1969 Ralph Nader sets up a consumer organization known as Nader's Raiders
1966 US envoy to explain "Declaration of Peace" for Vietnam
      US Ambassador-at-Large Averell Harriman visits 10 nations to explain the results of the Manila conference and the current US evaluation of the situation in Southeast Asia.
      Harriman, acting as Johnson's personal emissary, visited leaders in Ceylon, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Iran, Italy, France, West Germany, Britain, and Morocco to explain the results of the Manila conference and the "Declaration of Peace" signed there by Allied leaders with troops in Vietnam. They pledged they would pull their troops out of Vietnam within six months after all North Vietnamese troops were withdrawn from South Vietnam. Harriman reported to the president on November 11 that the pledge was received favorably and "Every country in the world wants to see peace, with the exception of Red China and North Vietnam.” The Communist Chinese news agency Hsinhua had already denounced the Manila pledge as "out-and-out blackmail and shameless humbug.” The North Vietnamese did not respond favorably to the Manila pledge and it had no impact on the conduct of the war, which continued unabated.
1961 Outer Mongolia and Mauritania become the 102nd and 103rd members of UN
1956 Fifth day of the Hungarian Revolution.
1948 Israel recaptures Nizzanim in the Negev
^ 1945 Porsche arrested by US military for Nazi manufacturing
      Born in Bohemia in 1875, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche devoted himself to mechanical engineering early in life, providing electric light for his family at the age of fifteen after constructing everything from the necessary generator to the light bulb. Porsche soon became involved in automotive design, climbing the ranks at Daimler, the Auto Union, and Mercedes-Benz. Famous Porsche-designed cars of this period include the Prince Henry Austro-Daimler, the 38/250 Mercedes-Benz, and the P-Wagon Auto Union Grand Prix car. In 1930, Porsche established a successful auto engine design company of his own, and in 1934 submitted a design proposal to Adolf Hitler's new German Reich government, calling for the construction of a small, simple, and reliable car that would be affordable enough for the average German.
      Nazi propagandists immediately embraced the idea, coining the name "Volkswagen," or "people's car," at an automobile show later in the year. The first completed model was introduced in 1938, available for $400. The simple, beetle-shaped automobile was sturdily constructed with a kind of utilitarian user-friendliness scarcely seen in an automobile before. But the outbreak of World War II prevented mass-production of the automobile, and the newly constructed Volkswagen factory turned to war production, constructing military vehicles such as the "Kubelwagen," a jeep-type vehicle, the "Schwimmwagen," an amphibious car, and the lethal "Tiger" tank. After the Allied victory in the war, Porsche, like other German industrialists who participated in the German war effort, was investigated on war crime charges.
      On this day, Ferdinand Porsche is arrested by US military officials for his pro-Nazi activities, and was sent to France where he was held for two years before being released. Meanwhile, the Allies approved the continuation of the original Volkswagen program, and Volkswagen went on to become a highly successful automobile company. As his brainchild Volkswagen grew, Porsche himself returned to sports car design and construction, completing the successful Porsche 356 in 1948 with his son Ferry Porsche. In 1951, Ferdinand Porsche suffered a stroke and died, but Ferry continued his father's impressive automotive legacy, achieving a sports car masterpiece with the introduction of the legendary Porsche 911 in 1963.
1941 Chicago Daily Tribune editorializes dismissing the possibility of war between US and Japan: "She cannot attack us. That is a military impossibility. Even our base at Hawaii is beyond the effective striking power of her fleet."
^ 1940 De Gaulle sets up the Empire Defense Council
      On this day in 1940, French General Charles de Gaulle, speaking for the Free French Forces from his temporary headquarter in equatorial Africa, calls all French men and women everywhere to join the struggle to preserve and defend free French territory and "to attack the enemy wherever it is possible, to mobilize all our military, economic, and moral resources…to make justice reign.”
      De Gaulle had a long history fighting Germans. He sustained multiple injuries fighting at Verdun in World War I. He escaped German POW camps five times, only to be recaptured each time. (At 6 feet, 4 inches tall, it was hard for de Gaulle to remain inconspicuous.)
      At the beginning of World War II, de Gaulle was commander of a tank brigade. He was admired as a courageous leader and made a brigadier general in May 1940. After the German invasion of France, he became undersecretary of state for defense and war in the Reynaud government, but when Reynaud resigned, and Field Marshal Philippe Petain stepped in, a virtual puppet of the German occupiers, de Gaulle left for England. On June 18, de Gaulle took to the radio airwaves to make an appeal to his fellow French not to accept the armistice being sought by Petain, but to continue fighting under his command. "I am France!" he declared. Ten days later, Britain formally acknowledged de Gaulle as the leader of the "Free French Forces," which was at first little more than those French troops stationed in England, volunteers from Frenchmen already living in England, and units of the French navy.
      Another Free French movement had begun in Africa, under the direction of Gen. Henri Giraud. De Gaulle eventually relocated to Africa after tension began to build between himself and the British. Initially, de Gaulle agreed to share power with Giraud in the organization and control of the exiled French forces-until Giraud resigned in 1943, unwilling to stand in de Gaulle's shadow or struggle against his deft political maneuvering.
      Whatever disagreements the British had had with de Gaulle, Prime Minister Winston Churchill was pleased with the French general's appeal to his countrymen's patriotism and the creation of the Empire Defense Council, which would organize necessary resources for military operations. Churchill believed it would "have a great effect on the minds of Frenchmen on account of its scope and logic. It shows de Gaulle in a light very different from that of an ordinary man.”
1920 Westinghouse receives broadcast license
      Westinghouse Electric in Pittsburgh received its radio broadcast license on this day in 1920. The first commercial radio station had initiated service the previous August in Detroit. Westinghouse decided to launch its own station after employee Frank Conrad had started broadcasting phonograph music and live performances from an amateur transmitter in his garage. A local department store started advertising radio receivers that could pick up Conrad's broadcasts for as little as $10. Westinghouse realized there might be a new market for radio receivers and encouraged Conrad to build a powerful transmitting station at its plant. The station began broadcasting on November 2, 1920, reporting on the presidential election returns.
1916 1st published reference to "jazz" appears (Variety)
1904 World's 1st subway, the IRT (Interborough Rapid Transit), opens in NYC, subway/bus fare is set at one nickel
1896 1st Pali Road completed in Hawaii (winds so strong streams flow UP!)
1878 Gang leader masterminds $3'000'000 heist
      Three million dollars are stolen from the Manhattan Savings Bank in New York City in a celebrated robbery accredited to the gang leader George "Western" Leslie. In the subsequent investigation, two of Leslie's associates are brought to trial and convicted, but insufficient evidence prevents the prosecution of their boss. In a sensational statement that only acts to advance Leslie's underworld reputation, New York's chief of police credits four-fifths of the bank holdups in the US to Leslie. The $3'000'000 are never found, but Leslie's prosperous crime career comes to an end in 1884 when he is murdered.
1871 Boss Tweed (William Macy Tweed), Democratic leader of Tammany Hall, arrested after NY Times exposed his corruption
^ 1870 Bazaine capitule à Metz
      Le maréchal Achille-François Bazaine [13 Feb 1811 – 28 Sep 1888] capitule à Metz avec son armée de 180'000 hommes. Déclenchée par l'imprudence de Napoléon III [20 April 1808 – 09 Jan 1873], la guerre entre la France et la Prusse avait conduit deux mois plus tôt à la capture de l'empereur, à Sedan (02 Sep 1870). L'armée de Bazaine était le dernier espoir de la France bien qu'elle fut assiégée à Metz par les Prussiens. Mais, renonçant à combattre, le maréchal est entré en négociation avec l'ennemi et l'ex-impératrice Eugénie dans l'espoir de récupérer le pouvoir à Paris (où la République avait été proclamée le 04 septembre). Sa reddition suscite la stupeur. Elle réduit à néant la tentative de Léon Gambetta [02 Apr 1838 – 31 Dec 1882] de résister à l'invasion et rend la défaite de la France inévitable. Trois ans plus tard, Bazaine passera en Conseil de guerre. Condamné à mort, il sera grâcié par le maréchal-président Mac-Mahon [13 Jul 1808 – 17 Oct 1893] (celui qui a été battu à Sedan). Bazaine trouvera en définitive le moyen de s'enfuir à l'étranger.
1864 Engagement at Fair Oaks and on Darbytown Road, Virginia 1864 Battle of Boydton Plank Road (Burgess' Mill), Virginia begins 1864 Confederate ironclad ram Albemarle sunk by Union torpedo boat at Plymouth, North Carolina
1858 RH Macy & Co opens 1st store, (6th Ave-NYC) Gross receipts $1106
1810 US annexes West Florida from Spain
1806, suite à ses victoires de Iéna et Auerstaedt, l'empereur Napoléon 1er entre à Berlin, capitale de la Prusse. La quatrième coalition, qui réunit l'Angleterre, la Russie et la Prusse, va définitivement s'effondrer l'année suivante après la défaite du tsar.
1795 Treaty of San Lorenzo, provides free navigation of Mississippi
1775 US Navy established
^ 1614 Les états généraux de 1614
      Les états généraux se réunissent à Paris. Ils mettent à mal l'autorité du jeune roi Louis XIII. Après l'assassinat d'Henri IV, c'est sa femme, Marie de Médicis, qui assure la régence. Les princes profitent de sa faiblesse pour obliger le roi à convoquer les états généraux. Ceux-ci sont réduits à l'impuissance par les rivalités entre le clergé, la noblesse et le tiers état, que représentent des officiers de justice et des parlementaires. Il faudra attendre 10 ans avant que Richelieu ne remette de l'ordre dans les affaires du pays. Les états généraux ne seront plus réunis avant... 1789.
0625 Honorius I begins his reign as Pope
< 26 Oct 28 Oct >
^  Deaths which occurred on a 27 October:

Father Messmer 2008 Father Otto Messmer SJ [14 Jul 1961–] (photo >), Russian born to an ethnic German family in Kazakhstan, beaten over the head in his 19 Ulitsa Petrovka apartment in Moscow, Russia, on his .return from a trip abroad. He was the Superior of the Russian Independent Region of the Society of Jesus and carried out pastoral work at the St. Louis Catholic Church on Ulitsa Malaya Lubyanka. His body would be discovered at 22:00 (19:00 UT) on 28 October 2008, together with that of Father Victor Betancourt SJ, who shared the apartment, where he was murdered on 25 October 2008. Father Messmer became a Jesuit on 01 September 1982 and was ordained a priest on 29 May 1988. Two of his brothers are also Jesuits, Bishop Nicolaus Messmer [19 Dec 1954~], who is the Apostolic Administrator of Kyrgyzstan, and Father Hieronymus Messmer in Germany. —(081030)
2008 Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow, 13, and a boy. Aisha is stoned to death by fifty men in the stadium of Kismayo, Somalia, before 1000 spectators. Her crime? Adultery, according to the terrorist al-Shabaab Islamic militia controling Kismayo, because she had reported being raped by three men. The boy, a bystander, was killed when militia men fired on some spectators who were attempting to save Aisha. —(081103)
2006 William Bradley Roland “Brad Will” [1970–], hit in the torso by gunfire from police assaulting a barricade of the Asamblea Popular del Pueblo de Oaxaca in the Santa Lucía del Camino suburb of the city of Oaxaca. As a video camaraman and reporter for the global Indymedia network, Brad was covering the repression of the APPO, an alliance of striking local teachers and other community organizations demonstrating for democracy in Mexico since the 14 June 2006 failed the violent attempted removal of the striking teachers from their encampment in the center of Oaxaca City by federal police _ 3 Mexican protesters are shot in separate similar incidents in Oaxaca City. 23 persons are wounded. —
2005 Zyed Benna, 17 (of Tunisian origin), and Bouna Traoré, 15 ( of Malian origin), electrocuted at 18:12 inside a transformer in Clichy-sous-Bois (Seine-Saint-Denis), France, where they were hiding from the police which they mistakenly thought was pursuing them while it had actually taken to the police station (at 17:50) 4 of the group of 9 youths which had included the two and Muhittin Altun, 17, (who survives electrocution gravely injured), seen by the police at 17:30, as the youths were getting out of a construction site in the neighboring Livry-Gargan, 800 meters from the transformer, where they seemed to have burglarized a shed. Many nights of rioting by youths ensue, fueled by the discrimination and neglect to which immigrants are subjected in France. —(051103)
2005 Wadah Ismail al-Sheik, of cancer. He was was director of the investigation department of the Jihaz al-Mukhabarat al-Amma (General Intelligence Directorate) at the time of the Dujail massacre in 1982 of which Saddam Hussein [28 Apr 1937~] and seven others are charged. Wadah Ismail Sheik gave on 23 October 2005 taped testimony to be used by the prosecution in the trial. —(051125)
2004 Leqaa Abdul Razzaq, 30, shot at 18:00 (15:00 UT) as she was going home the Dora district of Baghdad, Iraq. She was a TV anchorwoman for Al-Sharqiyah television, who read the news on one news and moderated a daily program about the Iraqi press. She had worked for the US-funded Iraqiya television until about a month earlier. Under Saddam Hussein's regime, she worked for Shabab (“Youth”) TV, which was owned by Saddam Hussein's son Odai. Her husband was murdered about two months before she was.
2003 Four innocent civilians, in Fallujah, Iraq, when US troops fire at bystanders after a roadside bomb explodes as their convoy was passing.
2003 (1424 Ramadan 01) Some 39 persons in Baghdad, Iraq, including 4 suicide drivers of car bombs which explode at the security barriers of : 1) at 08:30 (05:30 UT) the al-Baya'a police station in southern Baghdad, a police car driven by a man in police uniform; killing 15 Iraqis and one US soldier. — 2) at 08:35 the Red Crescent headquarters, in central Baghdad, an ambulance, killing two security guards and 10 passers-by. — 3) at 08:55 a police station near a marketplace in north Baghdad. — 4) at 09:15 the al-Khudra police station. Some 220 persons are wounded in the four attacks, including 65 policemen. At 10:15 another car bombing attempt is stopped at a police station in the eastern district of New Baghdad.
2002 (Sunday) Israelis Maj. (res.) Tamir Masad, 41, of Ben Shemen; Lt. Matan Zagron, 22, of Itamar; and Sgt.-Maj. Amihud Hasid, 32, of Tapuah; and Mohammed al-Kashir, 19, suicide bomber of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, whose explosive belt detonates as he falls shot in the head by Israeli troops, at 11:30, in the parking lot of the Sonol gasoline station outside the West Bank's largest enclave settlement, Ariel, which has 20'000 inhabitants. When the bomber had arrived at the gas station, he was spotted by a worker at the nearby cafeteria, who informed her boss that the man looked suspicious. The owner of the cafeteria and an attendant at the gas station wrestled the terrorist to the ground and shouted “Suicide terrorist! Suicide terrorist!”. Soldiers fired at the bomber, hitting him three times. 18 persons are injured, including some of the soldiers who were there, on the first day of the Israeli work week, to hitchhike back to their bases. This is the 80th suicide bombing of the al-Aqsa intifada; they have killed almost 300 persons. The Reuters total body count of the intifada is now “at least” 1630 Palestinians and 620 Israelis.
2002 Ahmad Jawad Allah, a senior Islamic Jihad activist, and Tanzim activists Allah Muflah and Ayad al-Kutub, in Nablus, West Bank, shot by undercover Israeli troops driving a car with Palestinian license plates shot. Three persons, including a child, are wounded.
2002 Nineteen rebels of the Ejercito de Liberación Nacional, in attack by the Colombian army, near Bosconia, Cesar state, Colombia.
2002:: 22 men of village Dadgiri, Assam, called out of their homes just after midnight, lined up and shot by NDFD separatist rebels of the ethnic Bodo tribe. 12 villagers survive wounded.
2002 William Harris, born on 26 October 1958, hit by a commuter train in Redfern station, Sydney, Australia, after he jumped off a platform when confronted by a drunk and aggressive 17-year-old man. Harris was a New Zealand Maori who had lived in Australia for 22 years. He was a quiet man who went out of his way to avoid fights.
2001 Feras Shehde Alsalahat, 28, by Israeli gunshot in Bethlehem, 7 days before his scheduled marriage, already several times postponed in mourning for other Palestinians killed by Israel.
2001 Firas Jaber, 24, Fatah activist, killed after three Israeli tanks drove about a kilometer into Tul Karm, prompting a fierce gunbattle with local gunmen.
2001 Nine Afghan civilians bombed by US warplanes in three villages near the front line in the plains north of Kabul, at about 10:00. The first village hit was Nikhahil on the Taliban side of the front line. Then two villages on the Northern Alliance (anti-Taliban, pro-US) side: Ghanikheil and then Raqi. Many others are injured.

1988 S.B. Fuller, 83, founder of Fuller products
1987 Jean Hélion , 83, artist/author.
^ 1981 Ura Alma Thompson, 76, found suffocated in her apartment.
      There are no witnesses to the crime. Malcolm Rent Johnson is arrested after officers go to his home to question him about an unrelated parole violation and notice items belonging to the victim. A search leads to the discovery of her apartment key in his nightstand. Johnson contends that all the items were given to him by a third party. No fingerprints matching Johnson's are found at the scene of the crime.
     At the trial in 1982, later disgraced police chemist Joyce Gilchrist tells jurors that semen stains on the woman's bedspread and pillow case matched Johnson's blood type. This constitutes the bulk of evidence used to tie Johnson to rape. But 30 July 2001 re-examination of those slides showed "spermatozoa is not present." The only other evidence stained by semen consistent with his blood type was a knee-high stocking, Gilchrist testified. That stocking has not been retested. A vaginal swab contained sperm, but not enough to test, Gilchrist told jurors. Gilchrist also testified that hair fragments matched Johnson's hair and that fibers matched a blue cotton shirt he owned.
      Johnson's trial marked the first time she had testified about fiber analysis. DNA analysis was not available at that time, and the court denied the defense's request for funds to hire its own forensics expert. Johnson's attorney argued during trial that blue cotton shirts were so ubiquitious that the fiber could not definitively be linked to Johnson.
      Johnson, who had served time for two previous rapes, insists that he is innocent. Nevertheless he is convicted, sentenced to death, and, on 06 January 2000, executed.
      Oklahoma County Chief Public Defender Robert Ravitz, who represented Johnson at trial, says on 28 August 2001: “It really calls into question whether the state of Oklahoma executed an innocent person," . Problems with Gilchrist's testimony in other cases have led to the release of three inmates who served long sentences, including one on death row.
     Oklahoma has more executions per capita than any other US state.
1979 Charles Coughlin, US Catholic priest and bigoted radio commentator, born on 25 October 1891.
1975 Rex Todhunter Stout, US mystery writer born on 01 December 1886. He wrote genteel mystery stories revolving around the elegantly eccentric and reclusive detective Nero Wolfe and his wisecracking aide, Archie Goodwin. Stout worked odd jobs until 1912, when he began to write sporadically for magazines. After writing four moderately successful novels, Stout turned to the form of the detective story. In Fer-de-Lance (1934) he introduced Nero Wolfe, the obese, brilliant aesthete who solves crimes without leaving his New York City brownstone house. Wolfe has, as did Stout, a passion for gourmet foods and gardening. The mysteries are narrated by Archie Goodwin, Wolfe's link to the outside world. Stout wrote 46 Wolfe mysteries; the well-written books remained very popular. Stout was active in numerous organizations supporting democracy and world federalism, including the Writers Board for World Government. — STOUT ONLINE: Under the Andes, Under the Andes.
^ 1972 Mariner 9
     The US unmanned space probe Mariner 9 goes dead 17 months after its 30 May 1971, launch on a mission to gather extensive scientific information on Mars. The 506-kg spacecraft entered the planet’s orbit on 13 November 1971, and circled Mars twice each day for almost a year, photographing the surface and analyzing the atmosphere with infrared and ultraviolet instruments. It gathered data on the atmospheric composition, density, pressure, and temperature of Mars, and also information about the surface composition, temperature, and topography of the planet.
      When Mariner 9 first arrived, Mars was almost totally obscured by dust storms, which persisted for a month. However, after the dust cleared, Mariner 9 proceeded to reveal a very different planet--one that boasted enormous volcanoes and a gigantic canyon stretching 5000 km across its surface. The spacecraft’s cameras also recorded what appeared to be dried riverbeds, suggesting the ancient presence of water and perhaps life on the planet. The first human spacecraft to orbit a planet other than earth, Mariner 9 sent back more than 7000 pictures of the "Red Planet," and succeeded in photographing the entire planet. Mariner 9 also sent back the first close-up images of the Martian moon. Its transmission ends on 27 October 1972.

^ 1962 Major Rudolf Anderson, USAF, on the most dangerous day in world history.
      As the Cuban Missile Crisis approaches a climax, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev, pressured by Soviet military commanders, publicly calls for the dismantling of US missile bases in Turkey in return for the removal of Soviet missiles in Cuba. The statement contradicts a private proposal made by Khrushchev the day before, in which the Soviet leader stated that all offensive Soviet weapons in Cuba would be removed in exchange for a US pledge to not invade Cuba.
      While Kennedy and his crisis advisors debate this dangerous turn in negotiations, a US U-2 spy plane strays into Soviet airspace over the Chukotski Peninsula, and narrowly escapes destruction by Soviet MiG fighter planes. Hours later, a U-2 reconnaissance plane is shot down over Cuba and its pilot, Major Rudolf Anderson, is killed. To the dismay of the Pentagon, Kennedy forbids a military retaliation unless any more surveillance planes are fired on over Cuba.
      The destroyer USS Beale drops depth charges on Soviet submarine B-59, one of four at the quarantine line. The US does not know that the Soviet subs carry nuclear-tipped torpedoes.  
     Later in the day, with full-scale confrontation imminent, Kennedy and his advisors agree to dismantle the Jupiter missile sites in Turkey in exchange for the removal of the Soviet missiles in Cuba, but at a later date, in order to prevent the protest of Turkey, a key NATO member. President Kennedy, meanwhile, prepares a secret letter with Secretary of State Dean Rusk to be handed over to UN Secretary General U. Thant if necessary, revealing their willingness to agree to an immediate public Turkey-for-Cuba missile trade in order to prevent war with the Soviet Union.
     Complicated and tension-filled negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union finally result in a plan to end the two-week-old Cuban Missile Crisis. A frightening period in which nuclear holocaust seemed imminent began to come to an end. Since President John F. Kennedy's 22 October address warning the Soviets to cease their reckless program to put nuclear weapons in Cuba and announcing a naval "quarantine" against additional weapons shipments into Cuba, the world held its breath waiting to see whether the two superpowers would come to blows. US armed forces went on alert and the Strategic Air Command went to a Stage 4 alert (one step away from nuclear attack). On 24 October, millions waited to see whether Soviet ships bound for Cuba carrying additional missiles would try to break the US naval blockade around the island. At the last minute, the vessels turned around and returned to the Soviet Union.
      On 26 October, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev responded to the quarantine by sending a long and rather disjointed letter to Kennedy offering a deal: Soviet ships bound for Cuba would "not carry any kind of armaments" if the United States vowed never to invade Cuba. He pleaded, "let us show good sense," and appealed to Kennedy to "weigh well what the aggressive, piratical actions, which you have declared the USA. intends to carry out in international waters, would lead to.” He followed this with another letter the next day offering to remove the missiles from Cuba if the United States would remove its nuclear missiles from Turkey.
      Kennedy and his officials debated the proper US response to these offers. Attorney General Robert Kennedy ultimately devised an acceptable plan: take up Khrushchev's first offer and ignore the second letter. Although the United States had been considering the removal of the missiles from Turkey for some time, agreeing to the Soviet demand for their removal might give the appearance of weakness. Nevertheless, behind the scenes, Russian diplomats were informed that the missiles in Turkey would be removed after the Soviet missiles in Cuba were taken away. This information was accompanied by a threat: If the Cuban missiles were not removed in two days, the United States would resort to military action. It was now Khrushchev's turn to consider an offer to end the standoff.

1959 Some 2000 in western Mexico, killed by rare Pacific hurricane.
1944 Léon Marie Gaussson, French artist born on 14 February 1860.
1921 Henry Woods, British artist born on 22 April 1846.
1921 Carl Kronberger, Austrian artist born on 07 March 1841.
^ 1864 Yanks and Rebs at Battle of Hatcher's Run (Burgess Mill)
      Union troops are turned back when they try to cut the last railroad supplying the Confederate force in Petersburg, Virginia. Since June, Union General Ulysses S. Grant had laid siege to Petersburg, just 25 miles south of the Confederate capital at Richmond. Confederate General Robert E. Lee's dwindling forces were stretched thin along miles of trenches, but the fortifications magnified the actual strength of his troops. Hatcher's Run was one of several attempts made by Grant in the summer and fall of 1864 to pry the Rebels from their positions.
      With winter approaching, Grant decided to make one last attempt to capture the Southside Railroad that supplied Petersburg from the west. He instructed the Army of the Potomac's commander, General George Meade, to direct the operation. He ordered parts of three army corps, commanded by Generals Winfield Hancock, Gouverneur K. Warren, and John Parke, to advance in the early morning rain of October 23. The target was the Confederate trenches along Hatcher's Run, seven miles southwest of Petersburg. The plan called for Parke's and Warren's forces to make an assault, if possible, while Hancock's troops moved west around the end of the Confederate lines. They were to turn north and cut the railroad. The effort would involve 40'000 Yankee soldiers and 3000 cavalry troopers.
      Parke's and Warren's men found the trenches much more heavily defended than expected. They continued to maneuver to draw attention away from Hancock's advance, but an uneven advance created a gap in the Union lines. Meade slowed the advance to close the gap. By late afternoon, Confederate counterattacks threw Hancock's Second Corps into disarray. The fighting continued after dark, but when it ended no territory had changed hands, and the siege continued.
      About 1700 Yankees were killed, wounded, and captured. Confederate losses were not reported but were thought to be less than 1000, most of them captured. The battle was a disaster for the Union and caused the Lincoln administration embarrassment just a week before the presidential election. However, recent Yankee military successes in the Shenandoah Valley around Atlanta and in Mobile, Alabama, were enough to secure Lincoln's reelection.
1823 Johann Josef Karl Henrici, German artist born on 15 January 1737.
1765 Micho Théobald Michau, Flemish artist born in 1676. — MORE ON MICHAU AT ART “4” OCTOBER with links to images.
1675 Gilles Personne de Roberval, French mathematician born on 10 August 1602. Roberval developed powerful methods in the early study of integration, writing Traité des indivisibles. He computed the definite integral of sin x, worked on the cycloid and computed the arc length of a spiral. Roberval is important for his discoveries on plane curves and for his method for drawing the tangent to a curve, already suggested by Torricelli. This method of drawing tangents makes Roberval the founder of kinematic geometry. In 1669 he invented the Roberval balance which is now almost universally used for weighing scales of the balance type.
^ 1659 William Robinson and Marmaduke Stevenson, Quaker martyrs
      Robinson and Stevenson, Quakers who came from England in 1656 to escape religious persecution, are hanged in the Massachusetts Bay Colony for their religious beliefs. The two had violated a law passed by the Massachusetts General Court the year before, banning Quakers from the colony "under the pain of death.”
      The Religious Society of Friends, whose members are commonly known as Quakers, was a Christian movement founded by George Fox in England during the early 1650s. Quakers opposed central church authority, preferring to seek spiritual insight and consensus through egalitarian Quaker meetings. They also advocated sexual equality, and were some of the most outspoken opponents of slavery in early America. Robinson and Stevenson, who were hanged from an elm tree on Boston Common in Boston, Massachusetts, were the first Quakers to be executed in America. Quakers found hospitality in Rhode Island and other colonies, and Massachusetts' anti-Quaker laws were later repealed.
      In the mid 18th century, John Woolman, an abolitionist Quaker, traveled the American colonies, preaching and advancing the anti-slavery cause. He organized boycotts of products made by slave labor and was responsible for convincing many Quaker communities to publicly denounce slavery. Another of many important abolitionist Quakers was Lucretia Mott, who worked on the Underground Railroad in the 19th century, helping lead fugitive slaves to freedom in the Northern states and Canada. In later years, Mott was a leader in the movement for women's rights.
1620 Ippolito Scarsella, Italian painter born in 1551. — MORE ON SCARSELLA AT ART “4” OCTOBER with links to images.
1599 Gillis Congnet (or Coignet), Aegidius Quinetus, Dutch artist born in 1538.
^ 1553 Michel Servet, brûlé au bûcher comme hérétique
     Michael Servetus, 42, Spanish physician, convicted for promulgating anti-Trinitarianism, was condemned for heresy and blasphemy, and is burned at the stake in Geneva.
      Condamné la veille au bûcher comme hérétique par le Conseil de Genève, il est brûlé à Champel, aux portes de la ville. Ce médecin de génie est né en Espagne en 1511. Il entrevoit le premier le système de la circulation sanguine (près d'un siècle avant l'anglais Harvey). Mais il ne s'en tient pas à des recherches scientifiques. Il a le front de développer des idées très personnelles sur le dogme de la Sainte Trinité dans un petit livre publié en 1531 sous le titre "De trinitatis erroribus" (Les erreurs de la Trinité). Il entame une correspondance discrète avec le réformateur Jean Calvin et publie en 1553 "Christianismi restitutio" (Restitution chrétienne) en réplique au livre fondamental de Calvin (L'Institution chrétienne). Il nie dans ce livre la divinité du Christ, comme les arianistes du IVe siècle.
      Un ami de Calvin le dénonce à l'Inquisition catholique. Michel Servet est alors emprisonné à Vienne (Dauphiné). Il arrive à s'échapper et se cache à Genève, où Calvin impose au nom de la Réforme protestante une très sévère discipline morale. Il est arrêté encore une fois. Son procès donne lieu à un débat très vif. Le Grand Conseil de la République de Genève consulte les autres villes suisses avant de prononcer la condamnation à mort. Calvin se rallie aux partisans de la condamnation faute de pouvoir faire autrement. L'époque ne se prête guère à la tolérance et à la libre discussion, tant du côté protestant que du côté catholique. Une stèle à l'emplacement du bûcher porte ces mots: "Fils respectueux et reconnaissants de Calvin, notre grand réformateur, mais condamnant une erreur qui fut celle de son siècle et fermement attachés à la liberté de conscience selon les vrais principes de la Réformation et de l'Evangile, nous avons élevé ce monument expiatoire" (1903).
1449 Ulugh Beg, 56, mathematician, astronomer.
— 15996 BC (+ or – 6000 years): Ebu Gogo, a female most of whose squeleton was discovered, with other bones of others of her 90-cm-tall species Homo Floresiensis, in September 2003 on the Pacific island Flores, and was reported in the 27 Oct 2004 Nature.

< 26 Oct 28 Oct >
^  Births which occurred on a 27 October:

1950 Fran Lebowitz, author.
1938 Nylon: DuPont announces this name for its new synthetic fiber.
^ 1932 Sylvia Plath, in Boston, poet and author of one novel.
      Her father, a German immigrant, was a professor of biology and a leading expert on bumblebees. An autocrat at home, he insisted his wife give up teaching to raise their two children. He died at home after a lingering illness that consumed the energy of the entire household and left the family penniless. Sylvia's mother went to work as a teacher and raised her two children alone.
      Plath was an outstanding student. She won a scholarship to Smith, published her first short story, "Sunday at the Mintons," in Mademoiselle while she was still in college, and won a summer job as "guest managing editor" at the magazine. After the job ended, she suffered a nervous breakdown, tried to commit suicide, and was hospitalized. She returned to school to finish her senior year, won a Fulbright to England, and went to Cambridge after graduation, where she met poet Ted Hughes in February 1956. They married four months later.
      Plath took a job teaching at Smith, which she kept for a year before quitting to write full time. She and Hughes lived in Boston, and she attended poetry workshops with Robert Lowell, whose confessional approach to poetry deeply influenced her. Hughes won a Guggenheim fellowship in 1959 and the couple returned to England, where Plath had her first child.
      Her first poetry collection, Colossus, was published in 1960 to favorable reviews. The couple bought a house in Devon and had a second child in 1962, the same year that Plath discovered her husband was having an affair. He left the family to move in with his lover, and Plath desperately struggled against her own emotional turmoil and depression. She moved to London and wrote dozens of her best poems in the winter of 1962.
      Her only novel, The Bell Jar, a semi-autobiographical account of a college girl who works at a magazine in New York and suffers a breakdown, was published in early 1963 but received mediocre reviews. With sick children, frozen pipes, and a severe case of depression, Plath took her own life on 11 February 1963. Hughes edited several volumes of her poetry, which appeared after her death, including Ariel(1965), Crossing the Water (1971), and Collected Poems (1981), which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1982.
1926 H.R. Halderman, US businessman, White House Chief of Staff (1969-1973), convicted of Watergate crimes.
1925 Warren M. Christopher, would be US Secretary of State.
1925 Water skis patented by Fred Waller
1924 The Uzbek SSR forms
1923 Roy Lichtenstein, US Pop art painter; painted comic book panels. He died on 29 September 1997.
1917 Oliver Tambo, Sauth African, president of the African National Congress. He died on 24 April 1993.
1914 Dylan Marials Thomas, Swansea, Wales, poet (Child's Christmas in Wales). Thomas established himself in 1934 with Eighteen Poems, a collection of emotionally and sexually charged pieces. His writing was celebrated for its forceful sound and rhythm, and the poet was acclaimed for readings of his own work. In 1953, he was on a reading tour of the United States when he died of an alcohol overdose in New York City. His most famous work, Under Milk Wood, which evokes the lives of the inhabitants of a Welsh seaside town, was published after his 09 November 1953 death.
^ 1904 New York subway opens
      The IRT (Interborough Rapid Transit), first rapid-transit subway system in the US, is opened in New York City by Mayor (1904 to 1909) George Brinton McClellan Jr. [23 Nov 1865 – 30 Nov 1940] {son of George Brinton McClellan [03 Dec 1826 – 29 Oct 1885], US general in the Civil War}. The first route of New York's subway runs north from City Hall, under Lafayette Street and Park Avenue to Grand Central Station, west along 42nd Street to Times Square, then north on Broadway to 145th Street. At 14:35 the first subway train emerges from the City Hall station with Mayor McClellan at the controls. And at 19:00, the subway officially opens and over 100'000 persons pay a nickel each to take a ride underneath the Manhattan. One hundred years later, the New York subway system is the largest in the world and the fare has risen to $2.
1889 Enid Bagnold novelist (1956 Award of Merit). BAGNOLD ONLINE: The Happy Foreigner
1880 Maurice Sys (or Sijs), Belgian artist who died in 1972.
1877 Walt Kuhn, US painter who died in 1949. — MORE ON KUHN AT ART “4” OCTOBER with links to images.
^ 1873 Improved barbed wire patent applied for.
     De Kalb, Illinois, farmer Joseph Glidden submits an application to the US Patent Office for his clever new design for a fencing wire with sharp barbs, an invention that will forever change the face of the American West.
      Glidden's was by no means the first barbed wire; he only came up with his design after seeing an exhibit of Henry Rose's single-stranded barbed wire at the De Kalb county fair. But Glidden's design significantly improved on Rose's by using two strands of wire twisted together to hold the barbed spur wires firmly in place. Glidden's wire also soon proved to be well suited to mass production techniques, and by 1880 more than 80 million pounds of inexpensive Glidden-style barbed wire was sold, making it the most popular wire in the nation. Prairie and plains farmers quickly discovered that Glidden's wire was the cheapest, strongest, and most durable way to fence their property. As one fan wrote, "it takes no room, exhausts no soil, shades no vegetation, is proof against high winds, makes no snowdrifts, and is both durable and cheap.”
      The effect of this simple invention on the life in the Great Plains was huge. Since the plains were largely treeless, a farmer who wanted to construct a fence had little choice but to buy expensive and bulky wooden rails shipped by train and wagon from distant forests. Without the alternative offered by cheap and portable barbed wire, few farmers would have attempted to homestead on the Great Plains, since they could not have afforded to protect their farms from grazing herds of cattle and sheep. Barbed wire also brought a speedy end to the era of the open-range cattle industry. Within the course of just a few years, many ranchers discovered that thousands of small homesteaders were fencing over the open range where their cattle had once freely roamed, and that the old technique of driving cattle over miles of unfenced land to railheads in Dodge City or Abilene was no longer possible.
1872 Emily Post authority on social behavior, writer (Etiquette). author. POST ONLINE: Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home (1922)
1859 Elizabeth Nourse, US painter who died in 1938. — MORE ON NOURSE AT ART “4” OCTOBER with links to images.
^ 1858 Theodore Roosevelt, 26th US President (1901-1909)
      Theodore Roosevelt would, as a young Republican, hold a number of political posts in New York in the 1880s and 1890s, and be a leader of reform Republicans in the state. On his 22nd birthday he would marry Alice Lee.
     In 1898, as assistant secretary to the US Navy, Roosevelt vehemently advocated war with Spain. When the Spanish-American War began, he formed the "Rough Riders," a volunteer cavalry that became famous for its contribution to the US victory at the Battle of San Juan Heights in Cuba.
      Roosevelt rode his military fame to the New York governor's seat in 1898, and to the vice-presidency in 1900. In 1901, President William McKinley was assassinated and Roosevelt at 43 became the youngest president ever to assume the office to that day. He s was elected to a second term in 1904.
      In 1906, Theodore Roosevelt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his mediation in the negotiations to end the Russo-Japanese War. In 1912, three-and-a-half years after finishing his second term, Roosevelt ran for president again as the Progressive Party candidate, but was defeated by Democrat Woodrow Wilson.
     On 06 January 1919, Roosevelt died.

— He would also be an author. THEODORE ROOSEVELT ONLINE:
  • Nobel Lecture (05 May 1910)
  • A Book-Lover's Holidays in the Open
  • History as Literature, and Other Essays
  • Hunting Trips of a Ranchman
  • New York: A Sketch of the City's Social, Political, and Commercial Progress from the First Dutch Settlement to Recent Times (1906)
  • Ranch Life and the Hunting-Trail (illustrated by Frederic Remington)
  • Ranch Life and the Hunting-Trail
  • The Rough Riders
  • The Strenuous Life: Essays and Addresses
  • Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography
  • Through the Brazilian Wilderness (1914)
  • co-author of Hero Tales From American History
  • 1858 Macy's. After a string of seven business failures, Roland Macy founds his own department store in New York City, was packed with a variety of useful products. It becomes an immediate success. In 2000, Macy's is, by volume of sales, the biggest department store in the world.
    1856 Ernest Hobson, mathematician
    1844 Klas Pontus Arnoldson, Swedish writer, politician, pacifist, formerly member of the Swedish Parliament and founder of the Swedish Peace and Arbitration League, 1908 Nobel Peace Prize co-laureate. MORE
    1827 Marcellin Berthelot, 10/27/1827 - 3/18/1907 French chemist who died on 18 March 1907.
    1811 Issac Merrit Singer inventor (first practical home sewing machine). He died on 23 July 1875.
    ^ 1793 Joaquín Baldomero Fernández Espartero y Álvarez de Toro “El Pacificador de España”, Spanish general and statesman, victor in the First Carlist War, and regent, who died on 08 Jan 1879.
    — Nota: Muchas biografías datan su nacimiento el 27 de octubre, incluso en su Hoja de Servicios se consigna esta fecha. No obstante él mismo, en telegrama de 11 de marzo de 1871 al ministro de la Guerra, rectifica la misma y la sitúa en el 27 febrero.
    Espartero      The last of the nine children of carriage-maker Manuel Antonio Fernández Espartero and his wife Josefa Álvarez de Toro, Baldomero Espartero entered the army at age 15 and fought with Spanish forces in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars and in the rebellious Americas. On the death of Ferdinand VII [14 Oct 1784 – 29 Sep 1833] he showed himself a strong supporter of the queen María Cristina [27 Apr 1806 – 23 Aug 1878], regent for her daughter Isabella II [10 Oct 1830 – 09 Apr 1904], and enthusiastically joined the forces opposed to Don Carlos (Carlos María Isidro de Borbón) [29 Mar 1788 – 10 Mar 1855]. Espartero was made commander in chief and, for his victory over the Carlists at the Battle of Luchana (December 1836), was named conde de Luchana. Later he opened up the negotiations that led to the Convention of Vergara (1839) and ended the civil war. This success earned Espartero the popular sobriquet “the Peacemaker of Spain” and the title duque de la Victoria. He had begun to dabble in politics in 1836; on his return to Madrid (1840) he became head of the government and selected a cabinet of ministers who agreed with his progressive ideas. María Cristina preferred to resign the regency (October 1840) rather than accept his program of reforms. Espartero was then himself appointed regent (May 1841) by the Cortes, or Spanish parliament.
          Espartero's regency revealed his faulty understanding of politics. The Progressive Party was not united, and when Agustín Argüelles was appointed tutor to young Isabella II by the Cortes, María Cristina's protests from Paris gained the support of the moderates. Generals Concha and Diego de Léon attempted to seize Isabella in September 1841, and the severity with which Espartero crushed their rebellion made his government unpopular. He put down a revolt in Barcelona in 1842 by bombarding the city. A republican revolt in 1842 was put down with equal harshness. In 1843 Generals Ramón Narváez [05 Aug 1800 – 23 Apr 1868] and Francisco Serrano [17 Dec 1810 – 26 Nov 1885] rose against Espartero and obliged him to flee to England, where he lived until 1849, when he returned to Spain and lived in retirement at Logroño.
          Espartero made his reappearance in politics in 1854 to share control of the government with General Leopoldo O'Donnell [12 Jan 1809 – 06 Nov 1867] during the so-called bienio progresista. He resigned in 1856 but remained a leader of the Progressive Party until he retired in 1864. He was nominated for the vacant throne following the revolution of September 1868, and later he was offered the presidency of the First Republic. Subsequently, he was awarded the title príncipe de Vergara, together with the style of royal highness, by King Amadeus [30 May 1845 – 18 Jan 1890].
    1787 The first of the Federalist Papers, a series of essays by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay calling for ratification of the US Constitution, is published in a New York newspaper. FEDERALIST PAPERS ONLINE: at site 1at site 2at site 3
    1782 Niccolo Paganini, Genoa, Italy, composer/violin virtuoso (Princess Lucca). He died on 27 May 1840.
    1744 Mrs Mary Lloyd Moser, British artist who died on 02 May 1819.
    1728 James Cook, captain / explorer, discovered Sandwich Islands (now called Hawaiian). He died on 14 February 1779 [but not of eating a sandwich of uncooked meat]. — COOK ONLINE: (all in page images) Directions for Navigating on Part of the South Coast of Newfoundland (1766) — The Three Voyages of Captain James Cook Around the World: volume I _ volume II _ volume III _ volume IV _ volume V _ volume VI _ volume VII (1821) / Co-author of: The Original Astronomical Observations Made in the Course of a Voyage to the Northern Pacific Ocean (from the Cook expeditions of 1776-1780)A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean: volume I _ volume II _ volume III _ volume IV (1784)A Voyage Towards the South Pole and Round the World: Performed in His Majesty's Ships the Resolution and Adventure, in the Years 1772, 1773, 1774 and 1775: volume I _ volume II (1777).
    1678 Pierre Rémond Montmort, Parisian mathematician who died on 07 October 1719. Author of Essay d'analyse sur les jeux de hazard (1708).
    1631 Johann Heinrich Roos, German painter who died on 03 October 1685. — MORE ON ROOS AT ART “4” OCTOBER with links to images.
    click for portrait^ 1466 Desiderius Erasmus, Dutch humanist who died on 12 July 1536. He was the greatest scholar of the northern Renaissance, the first editor of the New Testament, and also an important figure in patristics and classical literature.
    {click image for 1523 portrait, 43x33cm, by Hans Holbein the Younger [1497-1543] >}
          Using the philological methods pioneered by Italian humanists, Erasmus helped lay the groundwork for the historical-critical study of the past, especially in his studies of the Greek New Testament and the Church Fathers. His educational writings contributed to the replacement of the older scholastic curriculum by the new humanist emphasis on the classics. By criticizing ecclesiastical abuses, while pointing to a better age in the distant past, he encouraged the growing urge for reform, which found expression both in the Protestant Reformation and in the Catholic Counter-Reformation. Finally, his independent stance in an age of fierce confessional controversy, rejecting both Luther's doctrine of predestination and the powers that were claimed for the papacy, made him a target of suspicion for loyal partisans on both sides and a beacon for those who valued liberty more than orthodoxy.
          Erasmus was the second illegitimate son of Roger Gerard, a priest, and Margaret, a physician's daughter. He advanced as far as the third-highest class at the chapter school of St. Lebuin's in Deventer. One of his teachers, Jan Synthen, was a humanist, as was the headmaster, Alexander Hegius. The schoolboy Erasmus was clever enough to write classical Latin verse that impresses a modern reader as cosmopolitan.
          After both parents died, the guardians of the two boys sent them to a school in 's Hertogenbosch conducted by the Brethren of the Common Life, a lay religious movement that fostered monastic vocations. Erasmus would remember this school only for a severe discipline intended, he said, to teach humility by breaking a boy's spirit.
    click for portrait{click image for 1530 portrait, 33x25cm, by Hans Holbein the Younger >}
          Having little other choice, both brothers entered monasteries. Erasmus chose the Augustinian canons regular at Steyn, near Gouda, where he seems to have remained about seven years (1485–1492). While at Steyn he paraphrased the Elegantiae of Lorenzo Valla [1407 – 01 Aug 1457], which was both a compendium of pure classical usage and a manifesto against the scholastic “barbarians” who had allegedly corrupted it. Erasmus' monastic superiors became “barbarians” for him by discouraging his classical studies. Thus, after his ordination to the priesthood (April 1492), he was happy to escape the monastery by accepting a post as Latin secretary to the influential Henry of Bergen, bishop of Cambrai. His Antibarbarorum liber, extant from a revision of 1494–1495, is a vigorous restatement of patristic arguments for the utility of the pagan classics, with a polemical thrust against the cloister he had left behind: “All sound learning is secular learning.”
          Erasmus was not suited to a courtier's life, nor did things improve much when the bishop was induced to send him to the University of Paris to study theology (1495). He disliked the quasi-monastic regimen of the Collège de Montaigu, where he lodged initially, and pictured himself to a friend as sitting “with wrinkled brow and glazed eye” through Scotist lectures. To support his classical studies, he began taking in students; from this period (1497–1500) date the earliest versions of those aids to elegant Latin, including the Colloquia and the Adagia, that before long would be in use in humanist schools throughout Europe.
          In 1499 a student, William Blount lord Mountjoy, invited Erasmus to England. There he met Thomas More [07 Feb 1477 – 06 Jul 1535], who became a friend for life. John Colet [1467 – 16 Sep 1519] quickened Erasmus' ambition to be a “primitive theologian,” one who would expound Scripture not in the argumentative manner of the scholastics but in the manner of Jerome and the other Church Fathers, who lived in an age when men still understood and practiced the classical art of rhetoric. The impassioned Colet besought him to lecture on the Old Testament at Oxford, but the more cautious Erasmus was not ready. He returned to the Continent with a Latin copy of St. Paul's Epistles and the conviction that “ancient theology” required mastery of Greek.
    click for portrait{click image for portrait by Dürer >}
          On a visit to Artois, France (1501), Erasmus met the fiery preacher Jean Voirier, who, though a Franciscan, told him that “monasticism was a life more of fatuous men than of religious men.”Admirers recounted how Voirier's disciples faced death serenely, trusting in God, without the solemn reassurance of the last rites. Voirier lent Erasmus a copy of works by Origen, the early Greek Christian writer who promoted the allegorical, spiritualizing mode of scriptural interpretation, which had roots in Platonic philosophy. By 1502 Erasmus had settled in the university town of Louvain (Brabant) and was reading Origen and St. Paul in Greek. The fruit of his labors was Enchiridion militis Christiani (1504). In this work Erasmus urged readers to “inject into the vitals” the teachings of Christ by studying and meditating on the Scriptures, using the spiritual interpretation favored by the “ancients” to make the text pertinent to moral concerns. The Enchiridion was a manifesto of lay piety in its assertion that “monasticism is not piety.” Erasmus' vocation as a “primitive theologian” was further developed through his discovery at Park Abbey, near Louvain, of a manuscript of Valla's Adnotationes on the Greek New Testament, which he published in 1505 with a dedication to Colet.
          Erasmus sailed for England in 1505, hoping to find support for his studies. Instead he found an opportunity to travel to Italy, the land of promise for northern humanists, as tutor to the sons of the future Henry VIII's physician. The party arrived in the university town of Bologna in time to witness the triumphal entry (1506) of the warrior pope Julius II at the head of a conquering army, a scene that figures later in Erasmus' anonymously published satiric dialogue, Julius exclusus e coelis (written 1513–1514). In Venice Erasmus was welcomed at the celebrated printing house of Aldus Manutius, where Byzantine émigrés enriched the intellectual life of a numerous scholarly company. For the Aldine press Erasmus expanded his Adagia, or annotated collection of Greek and Latin adages, into a monument of erudition with over 3000 entries; this was the book that first made him famous. The adage “Dutch ear” (auris Batava) is one of many hints that he was not an uncritical admirer of sophisticated Italy, with its theatrical sermons and its scholars who doubted the immortality of the soul; his aim was to write for honest and unassuming “Dutch ears.”
    click for portrait{< click image for portrait by Massys}
          De pueris instituendis, written in Italy though not published until 1529, is the clearest statement of Erasmus' enormous faith in the power of education. With strenuous effort the very stuff of human nature could be molded, so as to draw out (e-ducare) peaceful and social dispositions while discouraging unworthy appetites. Erasmus, it would almost be true to say,believed that one is what one reads. Thus the “humane letters” of classical and Christian antiquity would have a beneficent effect on the mind, in contrast to the disputatious temper induced by scholastic logic-chopping or the vengeful amour propre bred into young aristocrats by chivalric literature, “the stupid and tyrannical fables of King Arthur.”
          The celebrated Moriae encomium (Praise of Folly), conceived as Erasmus crossed the Alps on his way back to England and written at the house of Thomas More, expresses a very different mood. For the first time the earnest scholar saw his own efforts along with everyone else's as bathed in a universal irony, in which foolish passion carried the day: “Even the wise man must play the fool if he wishes to beget a child.”
          Little is known of Erasmus' long stay in England (1509–1514), except that he lectured at Cambridge and worked on scholarly projects, including the Greek text of the New Testament. His later willingness to speak out as he did may have owed something to the courage of Colet,who risked royal disfavor by preaching a sermon against war at the court just as Henry VIII was looking for a good war in which to win his spurs. Having returned to the Continent, Erasmus made connections with the printing firm of Johann Froben [1460 – Oct 1527] and went to Basel to prepare a new edition of the Adagia (1515). In this and other works of about the same time Erasmus showed a new boldness in commenting on the ills of Christian society: popes who in their warlike ambition imitated Caesar rather than Christ; princes who hauled whole nations into war to avenge a personal slight; and preachers who looked to their own interests by pronouncing the princes' wars just or by nurturing superstitious observances among the faithful. To remedy these evils Erasmus looked to education. In particular, the training of preachers should be based on “the philosophy of Christ” rather than on scholastic methods. Erasmus tried to show the way with his annotated text of the Greek New Testament and his edition of St. Jerome's Opera omnia, both of which appeared from the Froben press in 1516. These were the months in which Erasmus thought he saw “the world growing young again,” and the full measure of his optimism is expressed in one of the prefatory writings to the New Testament: “If the Gospel were truly preached, the Christian people would be spared many wars.”
    click for portrait{click image for 1532 portrait by Holbein >}
          Erasmus' home base was now in Brabant, where he had influential friends at the Habsburg court of the Netherlands in Brussels, notably the grand chancellor, Jean Sauvage. Through Sauvage he was named honorary councilor to the 16-year-old archduke Charles, the future Charles V, and was commissioned to write Institutio principis Christiani (1516) and Querela pacis (1517). These works expressed Erasmus' own convictions, but they also did no harm to Sauvage's faction at court, which wanted to maintain peace with France. It was at this time too that he began his Paraphrases of the books of the New Testament, each one dedicated to a monarch or a prince of the church. He was accepted as a member of the theology faculty at nearby Louvain, and he also took keen interest in a newly founded Trilingual College, with endowed chairs in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. Ratio verae theologiae (1518) provided the rationale for the new theological education based on the study of languages. Revision of his Greek New Testament, especially of the copious annotations, began almost as soon as the first edition appeared. Though Erasmus certainly made mistakes as a textual critic, in the history of scholarship he is a towering figure, intuiting philological principles that in some cases would not be formulated explicitly until 150 years after his death. But conservative theologians at Louvain and elsewhere, mostly ignorant of Greek, were not willing to abandon the interpretation of Scripture to upstart “grammarians,” nor did the atmosphere at Louvain improve when the second edition of Erasmus' New Testament (1519) replaced the Vulgate with his own Latin translation.
         From the very beginning of the momentous events sparked by the challenge to papal authority by Martin Luther [10 Nov 1483 – 18 Feb 1546], Erasmus' clerical foes blamed him for inspiring Luther, just as some of Luther's admirers in Germany found that he merely proclaimed boldly what Erasmus had been hinting. In fact, Luther's first letter to Erasmus (1516) showed an important disagreement over the interpretation of St. Paul, and in 1518 Erasmus privately instructed his printer, Froben, to stop printing works by Luther, lest the two causes be confused. As he read Luther's writings, at least those prior to The Babylonian Captivity of the Church (1520), Erasmus found much to admire, and he could even describe Luther, in a letter to Pope Leo X, as “a mighty trumpet of Gospel truth.” Being of a suspicious nature, however, he also convinced himself that Luther's fiercest enemies were men who saw the study of languages as the root of heresy and thus wanted to be rid of both at once. Hence he tugged at the slender threads of his influence, vainly hoping to forestall a confrontation that could only be destructive to “good letters.” When he quit Brabant for Basel (December 1521), he did so lest he be faced with a personal request from the Emperor to write a book against Luther, which he could not have refused.
    De libero arbitrio      Erasmus' belief in the unity of the church was fundamental, but, like the Hollanders and Brabanters with whom he was most at home, he recoiled from the cruel logic of religious persecution. He expressed his views indirectly through the Colloquia, which had started as schoolboy dialogues but now became a vehicle for commentary. For example, in the colloquy “Inquisitio de fide” (1522) a Catholic finds to his surprise that Lutherans accept all the dogmas of the faith, that is, the articles of the Apostles' Creed. The implication is that bitter disputes like those over papal infallibility or Luther's doctrine of predestination are differences over mere opinion, not over dogmas binding on all the faithful. For Erasmus the root of the schism was not theology but anticlericalism and lay resentment of the laws and “ceremonies” that the clergy made binding under pain of hell. As he wrote privately to the Netherlandish pope Adrian VI (1522–1523), whom he had known at Louvain, there was still hope of reconciliation, if only the church would ease the burden; this could be accomplished, for instance, by granting the chalice to the laity and by permitting priests to marry: “At the sweet name of liberty all things will revive.”
          When Adrian VI [02 Mar 1459 – 14 Sep 1523] was succeeded by Clement VII [26 May 1478 – 25 Sep 1534], Erasmus could no longer avoid “descending into the arena” of theological combat, though he promised the Swiss reformer Huldrych Zwingli that he would attack Luther in a way that would not please the “pharisees.” De libero arbitrio (1524) defended the place of human free choice in the process of salvation and argued that the consensus of the church through the ages is authoritative in the interpretation of Scripture. In reply Luther wrote one of his most important theological works, De servo arbitrio (1525), to which Erasmus responded with a lengthy, two-part Hyperaspistes (1526–1527). In this controversy Erasmus lets it be seen that he would like to claim more for free will than St. Paul and St. Augustine seem to allow.
          The years in Basel (1522–1529) were filled with polemics, some of them rather tiresome by comparison to the great debate with Luther. Irritated by Protestants who called him a traitor to the Gospel as well as by hyper-orthodox Catholic theologians who repeatedly denounced him, Erasmus showed the petty side of his own nature often enough. Although there is material in his apologetic writings that scholars have yet to exploit, there seems no doubt that on the whole he was better at satiric barbs, such as the colloquy representing one young “Pseudo-Evangelical” of his acquaintance as hitting people over the head with a Gospel book to gain converts. Meanwhile he kept at work on the Greek New Testament (there would be five editions in all), the Paraphrases, and his editions of the Church Fathers, including Cyprian, Hilary, and Origen. He also took time to chastise those humanists, mostly Italian, who from a “superstitious” zeal for linguistic purity refused to sully their Latin prose with nonclassical terms (Ciceronianus, 1528).
          In 1529, when Protestant Basel banned Catholic worship altogether, Erasmus and some of his humanist friends moved to the Catholic university town of Freiburg im Breisgau. He refused an invitation to the Diet of Augsburg, where the Augsburg Confession (25 Jun 1530) of Philipp Melanchthon [15 Feb 1497 – 19 Apr 1560] was to initiate the first meaningful discussions between Lutheran and Catholic theologians. He nonetheless encouraged such discussion in De sarcienda ecclesiae concordia (1533), which suggested that differences on the crucial doctrine of justification might be reconciled by considering a duplex justitia, the meaning of which he did not elaborate. Having returned to Basel to see his manual on preaching (Ecclesiastes, 1535) through the press, he lingered on in a city he found congenial; it was there he died. Like the disciples of Voirier, he seems not to have asked for the last sacraments of the church.His last words were in Dutch: “Lieve God” (“dear God”).
         Always the scholar, Erasmus could see many sides of an issue. But his hesitations and studied ambiguities were appreciated less and less in the generations that followed his death, as men girded for combat, theological or otherwise, in the service of their beliefs. For a time, while peacemakers on both sides had an opportunity to pursue meaningful discussions between Catholics and Lutherans, some of Erasmus' practical suggestions and his moderate theological views were directly pertinent. Even after ecumenism dwindled to a mere wisp of possibility, there were a few men willing to make themselves heirs of Erasmus' lonely struggle for a middle ground, like Jacques-Auguste de Thou [08 Oct 1553 – 07 May 1617] in France and Hugo Grotius [10 Apr 1583 – 28 Aug 1645] in the Netherlands; significantly, both were strong supporters of state authority and hoped to limit the influence of the clergy of their respective established churches. This tradition was perhaps strongest in the Netherlands, where Dirck Volckertszoon Coornhert [1522 – 29 Oct 1590] and others found support in Erasmus for their advocacy of limited toleration for religious dissenters. Meanwhile, however, the Council of Trent and the rise of Calvinism ensured that such views were generally of marginal influence. The Catholic Index expurgatorius of 1571 contained a long list of suspect passages to be deleted from any future editions of Erasmus' writings, and those Protestant tendencies that bear some comparison to Erasmus' defense of free will, current among the Philippists in Germany and the Arminians in the Netherlands, were bested by defenders of a sterner orthodoxy. Even in the classroom, Erasmus' preference for putting students directly in contact with the classics gave way to the use of compendiums and manuals of humanist rhetoric and logic that resembled nothing so much as the scholastic curriculum of the past. Similarly, the bold and independent scholarly temper with which Erasmus approached the text of the New Testament was for a long time submerged by the exigencies of theological polemics.
          Erasmus' reputation began to improve in the late 17th century, when the last of Europe's religious wars was fading into memory and scholars like Richard Simon and Jean Le Clercq (the editor of Erasmus' works) were once again taking a more critical approach to biblical texts. By the time of Voltaire [21 Nov 1694 – 30 May 1778], it was possible to imagine that the clever and rather skeptical Erasmus must have been “un philosophe” before his time, one whose professions of religious devotion and submission to church authority could be seen as convenient evasions. This view of Erasmus, curiously parallel to the strictures of his orthodox critics, was long influential. Only in the past several decades have scholars given due recognition to the fact that the goal of his work was a Christianity purified by a deeper knowledge of its historic roots. Yet it was not entirely wrong to compare Erasmus with those Enlightenment thinkers who, like Voltaire, defended individual liberty at every turn and had little good to say about the various corporate solidarities by which human society holds together. Some historians would now trace the enduring debate between these complementary aspects of Western thought as far back as the 12th century, and in this very broad sense Erasmus and Voltaire are on the same side of a divide, just as, for instance, Machiavelli [03 May 1469 – 21 Jun 1527] and Rousseau [28 Jun 1712 – 02 Jul 1778] are on the other. In a unique manner that fused his multiple identities, as Netherlander, Renaissance humanist, and pre-Tridentine Catholic, Erasmus helped to build what may be called the liberal tradition of European culture.

    Moriae EncomiumScripta SelectaColloquiade Laude MatrimoniiQuerela PacisInstitutio Principis Christiani
    — // English translations: Complete On-Line WorksColloquiesThe Praise of FolieThe Praise of FollyThe Praise of Folly (illustrated)
    1156 Raimond VI comte de Toulouse, héros malheureux de la croisade contre les Albigeois.
    Holidays Cuba : Discovery Day (1492) / Iran : Imam Reza's Birthday / St Vincent Islands : Statehood Day (1969) / US : Navy Day (1775) / US : Francis E Willard Day-temperance day - ( Friday )

    Religious Observances RC :St Frumentius, bishop; founded Ethiopian church / Sainte Emeline: Vénérée en Champagne, Emeline vécut au XIIe siècle. Elle entraîna un groupe de femmes à vivre selon la règle austère de saint Bernard, près de l'abbaye cistercienne de Boulancourt, non loin de Troyes.

    + ZOOM IN +PUZZLING? (contribution of Nounou Zangossons)
    Two smiling faces. Are they related? If so, how?

    Se o lápis número 2 é o mais vendido, por que ele ainda é o número 2?
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    Thoughts for the day:
    “He cannot rule the great who cannot rule the small.”
    “He cannot rule the elephants who cannot rule the cockroaches.”
    “He cannot rule the turkeys who cannot rule the mosquitoes.”
    “He cannot rule Turkey who cannot rule the Mosquito Coast.”
    “He cannot rule the great who cannot delegate ruling the small.”
    “He cannot rule the kangaroos who cannot rule the fleas.”
    “He cannot rule the Greatest Show on Earth who cannot rule the flea circus.”
    “He cannot rule the aunts who cannot rule the ants.”
    “He cannot rule the great who can only rule the small.”
    “He cannot rule the great who can only think small.”
    “He cannot rule the great who thinks they are small.”
    “He cannot rule the geek who cannot rule this mall.”
    “He cannot rule the Greek who cannot rule the Maltese.”
    “He cannot rule the gorilla who cannot rule the snail.”
    “He cannot rule the grin who cannot rule the smile.”
    “He cannot rule the gross who cannot rule the smooth.”
    “He cannot rule the gross who cannot rule the dozen.”
    “He cannot rule Great Britain who cannot rule Somalia.”
    “He cannot rule the ledger who cannot rule the copy paper.”
    “Is the glass half full or half empty? — It depends on whether you're pouring or drinking.”
    “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” —
    US President James Madison [16 Mar 1751 – 28 Jun 1836].
    “If men were fallen angels, no government would be possible.”
    “Men not being angels, government by women is necessary.”
    {in Afghanistan first of all}
    updated Tuesday 04-Nov-2008 1:42 UT
    Principal updates:
    v.7.90 Friday 26-Oct-2007 22:13 UT
    v.6.92 Monday 30-Oct-2006 15:45 UT
    v.5.a0 Saturday 26-Nov-2005 16:47 UT
    Thursday 28-Oct-2004 16:03 UT

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