a 29 September:
2005 Elections to the House of Representatives in Somalia.
2002 Presidential election in Serbia, which barely avoids getting annuled as it would have been if less than 50% of the electorate voted (55% did; the same rule applies to the run-off). Vojislav Kostunica, 58 [< photo] (president of Yugoslavia, due to be dissolved at end of 2002 while keeping loose Serbia-Montenegro ties), gets 31% of the votes to 28% for Miroljub Labus, 55 [photo >]. Since no one got 50% or more, there will be a runoff election between the two on 13 October 2002, in which Kostunica comes gets 67% of the vote and Labus 31%, but which is annulled because only 45% of the electorate votes. Vojislav Seselj (Serbian Radical Party), endorsed by genocidal Milosevic on trial at the Hague, gets 23% of the vote. The other candidates are Velimir Bata Zivojinovic (3.2%), a former actor; Vuk Draskovic (4.5%), a former key opposition leader who fell from grace after joining Milosevic's government during NATO's 1999 air war to end Milosevic's genocide of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo; Nebojsa Pavkovic (2%), Milosevic's former army commander; Branislav Ivkovic (1.1%), a Socialist Party dissident; Vuk Obradovic (4.5%) a former general; Borislav Pelevic (3.9%), an ultranationalist; businessman Dragan Radenovic (0.2%); and businessman Tomislav Lalosevic (0.7%). Serbia's current president, Milan Milutinovic, didn't seek re-election because he is wanted by the UN court on war crimes charges related to the war in Kosovo.
2002 Second and last day of local council elections in Zimbabwe. White legislator Roy Bennett of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change is arrested together with 8 others who are badly beaten; they include his bodyguard. President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party are using violence to win the election, just as he did in the Mach 2002 presidential election, and has been doing to disposses the White farmers who owned 70% of the land.
1999 Russian news media report start of Chechnya ground operation (CNN)
1997 Microsoft releases Windows CE version 2, designed to support processors embedded in hand-held devices and home appliances. The operating system supports 32-bit color screens and a variety of screen sizes. The new version of CE set the stage for a number of new mobile computing devices.
1996 The organization that supervised Bosnia's first post-war elections certifies the results - with victories by nationalist parties and the country's Muslim president, Alija Izetbegovic.
1991 California Gov. Pete Wilson vetoed a bill outlawing job discrimination against homosexuals, saying it could have led to unjustified lawsuits.
1988 UN peacekeeping forces win Nobel Peace prize
1979 Gold hits record $400.20 an ounce in Hong Kong
1979 Pope John Paul II becomes 1st pope to visit Ireland
1978 Pope John Paul I is found dead in his Vatican apartment just over a month after becoming head of the Roman Catholic Church
1959 Sultan of Brunei promulgates a constitution
1950 General Douglas MacArthur officially returns Seoul, South Korea, to President Syngman Rhee.
1946 Government official Bakaric addresses students at Zagreb University, Croatia, and tells them that the government's philosophy of religion is that of Marx and Lenin.
1944 Soviet troops invade Yugoslavia
1943 Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower and Italian Marshal Pietro Badoglio signed an armistice aboard the British ship Nelson off Malta.
1943 Adolf Hitler's book Mein Kampf is published in the United States.
1937 Pope Pius XI publishes his Ingravescentibus Malis, on the Rosary
1936 Radio used for 1st time for a presidential campaign
1932 A five-day work week is established for General Motors workers.
1930 Boquerón battle ends Paraguay border dispute
1915 The first transcontinental demonstration of radio telephone is a call transmitted from New York City to Arlington, Virginia, then to San Francisco and Honolulu. The work of Harold DeForest Arnold at Western Electric on thermionic tubes, which amplified radio and telephone signals, was instrumental in the long-distance transmission. Arnold later became the first director of research at Bell Telephone Labs.
1833 A civil war breaks out in Spain between Carlists, who believe Don Carlos deserves the throne, and supporters of Queen Isabela.
1795 Leaders of the French Revolution unify all anti-clerical laws into a single code.
1789 US Congress votes to create a unified United States Army, with a permanent strength of one thousand enlisted men and officers. The same day, Josiah Harmar is appointed the first commander-in-chief of the US Army.
1785 Chaidic sect is excommunicated in Cracow Poland
1513 Spanish explorer Vasco Nuñez de Balboa discovers the Pacific Ocean.
1493 Christopher Columbus leaves Cadiz, Spain, on his second voyage to the new world.
1399 Richard II of England is deposed. His cousin, Henry of Lancaster, declares himself king under the name Henry IV.
1349 People of Krems Austria accuse Jews of poisoning the wells.
0855 Benedict III begins his reign as Pope
0440 Pope Leo I, the Great, is consecrated. He strengthened the authority of the church, suppressed the Manichean heresy, wrote important letters, such as one on the doctrine of the Incarnation.
2006 All 155 aboard Gol Airlines flight 1907, a Boeing 737 bound for Brasilia from Manaus, which crashes near the Serra do Cachimbo, Pará state, Brasil, after colliding with Embraer Legacy 600 serial number 969 business jet, which lands safely at the Cachimbo Air Force Base with a damaged wing but no injuries. —(060930)
2005:: 42 persons after their bus falls into the Manzal Chapper nullah (= ravine), when the driver fails to negotiate a sharp curve on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, at Manjabari near Ramban, 5km from its destination, Tattapani, Indian-occupied Kashmir. 44 persons are injured. The bus came from Shangus in the Ananag District, overloaded with passengers going to the Tattapani hot spring believed to have medicinal values and to relieve skin diseases. 22 persons died on the spot, 5 on way to hospital, 15 in the hospital late that night. All the dead were from Shangus, Pehru, and Goru villages in Aantnag. —(050930)
2004 Tawfiq al-Shrafi, 22, of the Ezzedin al-Qassam Brigades; Ahmed Madi, 17; and Said Abu Eish, 14; by missiles fired from an Israeli helicopter at the Jabalya refugee camp, Gaza Strip. 17 persons are wounded. The AFP body count of the al-Aqsa intifada (provoked by Sharon on 28 September 2000) now stands at 4351, including 3332 Palestinians and 948 Israelis. [Dead Shrafi, at funeral this day, with son Mohammed Shrafi, 3 months >]
2004 Mohammed Jaber, 13, by Israeli soldiers firing on stone-throwing youths near the Jewish enclave settlement Netzarim, Gaza Strip.
2004 Dorit Inanso-Geneto, 2, and Yuval Abeba, 4, Israelis, after Qassam rockets fired by Hamas terrorists from the Gaza Strip strike the Negev town Sderot at 17:00 (15:00 UT). Close relatives, the children were playing outside. 15 persons are wounded.
2004 Majdi Khalifa, 25, of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, in the early hours, killed by Israeli troops, from which he was fleeing as they had stormed the Nablus, West Bank, neighborhood Jab'l Shibli in order to arrest another suspect, and when Halifa tried to escape the troops shot and killed him. According to Israel, Halifa had been involved in a number of suicide attacks, as well as shooting incidents.
2002 Zvi Kolitz, 89, in Manhattan, Lithuanian-born Jew, who lived in Italy and Israel before settling in the US, film and theatrical producer, and writer best known for short story Yosl Rakover Habla con Dios (Buenos Aires, 1946). In it, in the final days of the Warsaw Ghetto, a pious Jew challenges God: And so, my God, before I die, freed from all fear, beyond all terror, in a state of absolute inner peace and trust, I will allow myself to call you to account one last time in my life. and I believe in the God of Israel, even when he has done everything to make me cease to believe in him. Kolitz also wrote several works of fiction and Jewish philosophy, including The Tiger Beneath the Skin: Stories and Parables of the Years of Death (1947), Survival for What? (1969), The Teacher: An Existential Approach to the Bible (1982) and Confrontation: The Existential Thought of Rabbi J. B. Soloveitchik (1993).
2001 Yousef Abu Fayad, 17, shot in his head by Israeli troops responding to stone throwers, near the Jewish enclave settlement of Kfar Darom in the Gaza Strip.Hundreds of young Palestinians, many still carrying their school bags, threw stones at three army posts in the Gaza Strip. Some of the youngsters carried bundles of rocks and bottles as they made their way to the clash points. In one location, Palestinian police set up a roadblock to keep back demonstrators. The army said the rioters also hurled firebombs. However, an Associated Press reporter who witnessed clashes at the Netzarim Junction and the Erez Industrial Park said he did not see firebombs. Israeli troops fired tear gas and live rounds at the stone-throwers, killing, in addition to Fayad, another boy, age 14, and injuring 129. The injured ranged in age from 13 to 20, and 69 of them were hit by bullets.. Ten of the wounded are in critical condition.
2001 Ahmad Awaja, 24, Palestinian from Rafah, from injuries sustained from Israeli troops on a previous day.
2001 Mohamad Al Tariera, 10, Yasser Al Adhami, 24, Palestinians, by Israeli artillery bombardment of Hebron, West Bank, overnight.
1997 Roy Lichtenstein, US painter born on 27 October 1923. MORE ON LICHTENSTEIN AT ART 4 OCTOBER with links to images. —(060925)
1988 Charles Addams, 76, cartoonist (Addams Family), of heart attack
1987 Henry Ford II, 70, in Detroit
1959 Sir Matthew Smith, English painter born on 22 October 1879. MORE ON SMITH AT ART 4 SEPTEMBER with links to, and comments on images.
1941 Friedrich Engel, German mathematician born on 26 December 1861. He worked on Lie algebras, continuous groups, and partial differential equations.
1941 The first of 33'771 Jewish children, women, and men, as the Babi Yar
The Babi Yar Massacre of 33'771 Jewish men, women, and children begins near the city of Kiev, in the German-occupied Ukraine. Henrich Himmler sends four strike squads to exterminate Soviet Jewish civilians and other "undesirables." Over a two-day period, the majority of Kiev's Jewish residents are marched out of the city to Babi Yar, where they are systematically gunned down by Nazi soldiers and pushed over the edge of a ravine. Between 1941 and 1943, thousands of Gypsies and Soviet prisoners of war would be executed at the Babi Yar ravine in a similar manner.
Kiev was captured by the Twenty-ninth Corps and the Sixth German Army on 19 September 1941. Of its Jewish population of 160'000, some 100'000 had managed to flee before the Germans took the city. Shortly after the German takeover, from 24 to 28 September 1941, a considerable number of buildings the city center, which were being used by German military administration and the army, were blown up; many Germans (as well as local inhabitants) were killed in the explosions. After the war, it was learned that the sabotage operation had been the work of NKVD (Soviet security police) detachment that had been left behind in the city for that purpose.
On 26 September, the Germans held a meeting at which it was decided that in retaliation for the attacks on the German-held installations, the Jews of Kiev would all be put to death. Participating in the meeting were the military governor, Maj. Gen. Friedrich Georg Eberhardt; the Higher SS and Police Leader at Rear Headquarters Army Group South, SS Obergruppenfuhrer Friedrich Jeckeln; the officer commanding Einsatzgruppe C, SS-Brigadefuhrer Dr. Otto Rasch; and the officer commanding Sonderkommando 4a, SS-Standartenfuhrer Paul Blobel.
The implementation of the decision to kill all the Jews of Kiev was entrusted to Sonderkommando 4a. This unit consisted of SD (Sicherheitsdienst; Security Service) and Sicherheitspolizei (Security Police; Sipo) men; the third company of the Special Duties Waffen-SS battalion; and a platoon of the No. 9 police battalion. The unit was reinforced by police battalions Nos. 45 and 305 and by units of the Ukrainian auxiliary police.
On 28 September, notices were posted in the city ordering the Jews to appear the following morning, 29 September, at 08:00 at the corner of Melnik and Dekhtyarev streets; they were being assembled there, so the notice said, for their resettlement in new locations. (The text had been prepared by Propaganda Company No.637 and the notices had been printed by the Sixth Army printing press.)
Early on 29 September, masses of Jews repor to the appointed spot. They are directed to proceed along Melnik Street toward the Jewish cemetery at the southern end of the Babi Yar ravine and into an area comprising the cemetery itself and a part of the Babi Yar ravine. The area is cordoned off by a barbed-wire fence and guarded by Sonderkommando police and Waffen-SS men, a well as by Ukrainian policemen.
As the Jews approach the ravine, they are forced to hand over all the valuables in their possession, to take off all their clothes, and to advance toward the ravine edge, in groups of ten. When they reach the edge, they are gunned down by automatic fire. The shooting is done by several squads of SD and Sipo personnel, police, and Waffen-SS men of the Sonderkommando unit, the squads relieving one another every few hours. When the day ends, the bodies are covered with a thin layer of soil.
According to official reports of the Einsatzgruppe, in two days of shooting (29 September and 30 September), 33'771 Jews are murdered.
In the months that followed, many more thousands of Jews wauld be seized, taken to Babi Yar, and shot. Among the general population there were some who helped Jews go into hiding, but there were also a significant number who informed on them to the Germans. Babi Yar served as a slaughterhouse for non-Jews as well, such as Gypsies and Soviet prisoners of war. According to the estimate given by the Soviet research commission on Nazi crimes, 100'000 persons were murdered at Babi Yar.
From 18 August to 19 September 1943, as the Red Army was advancing, the Germans headed by Blobel erased traces by removing the corpses and incenarating them in furnaces made of the tombstones of the nearby Jewish cemetery. For 6 weeks a group of chained prisoners, Jews and Soviet prisoners of war, doomed to death as well, was forced to perform the operation.
. On 29 September 1943, the 325 forced-laborers at Babi Yar revolt and break out. 311 were shot. Only 14 survived. Among them were: Fyodor Zavertanny (escaped before), Vladimir Davydov, Jacob Kaper, Filip Vilkis, Leonid Kharash, I. Brodskiy, Leonid Kadomskiy, David Budnik, Fyodor Yarshov, Jakov Steiuk, Ostrovsky, Senya Berland, Volodya Kotlyar.
Not until 1974 was a monument erected at Babi Yar, and it does not mention Jews. // http://www.geocities.com/Paris/Rue/4017/BABIYAR.HTM [*Belostok: the site of the first and most violent Russian pogroms]
monument stands over Babi Yar.
A steep cliff only, like the rudest headstone.
I am afraid.
Today, I am as old
As the entire Jewish race itself.
I see myself an ancient Israelite.
I wander o'er the roads of ancient Egypt
And here, upon the cross, I perish, tortured
And even now, I bear the marks of nails.
It seems to me that Dreyfus is myself.
The Philistines betrayed me - and now judge.
I'm in a cage. Surrounded and trapped,
I'm persecuted, spat on, slandered, and
The dainty dollies in their Brussels frills
Squeal, as they stab umbrellas at my face.
I see myself a boy in Belostok *
Blood spills, and runs upon the floors,
The chiefs of bar and pub rage unimpeded
And reek of vodka and of onion, half and half.
I'm thrown back by a boot, I have no strength left,
In vain I beg the rabble of pogrom,
To jeers of "Kill the Jews, and save our Russia!"
My mother's being beaten by a clerk.
O, Russia of my heart, I know that you
Are international, by inner nature.
But often those whose hands are steeped in filth
Abused your purest name, in name of hatred.
I know the kindness of my native land.
How vile, that without the slightest quiver
The antisemites have proclaimed themselves
The "Union of the Russian People!"
It seems to me that I am Anna Frank,
Transparent, as the thinnest branch in April,
And I'm in love, and have no need of phrases,
But only that we gaze into each other's eyes.
How little one can see, or even sense!
Leaves are forbidden, so is sky,
But much is still allowed - very gently
In darkened rooms each other to embrace.
"No, fear not those are sounds
Of spring itself. She's coming soon.
Quickly, your lips!"
"They break the door!"
"No, river ice is breaking..."
Wild grasses rustle over Babi Yar,
The trees look sternly, as if passing judgement.
Here, silently, all screams, and, hat in hand,
I feel my hair changing shade to gray.
And I myself, like one long soundless scream
Above the thousands of thousands interred,
I'm every old man executed here,
As I am every child murdered here.
No fiber of my body will forget this.
May "Internationale" thunder and ring
When, for all time, is buried and forgotten
The last of antisemites on this earth.
There is no Jewish blood that's blood of mine,
But, hated with a passion that's corrosive
Am I by antisemites like a Jew.
And that is why I call myself a Russian!
| 1939 Samuel
Dickstein, Polish patriot and mathematician, born on 12 May
1851, dies in a Nazi German bombing of Warsaw.|
1931 William Newenham Montague Orpen, Irish painter born on 27 November 1878. MORE ON ORPEN AT ART 4 NOVEMBER with links to, and comments on images.
1930 Ilya Yefimovich Repin, Ukrainian painter born on 05 August (24 July Julian) 1844. MORE ON REPIN AT ART 4 SEPTEMBER with links to many images.
1928 Ernst Steinitz, German mathematician born on 13 June 1871. He worked on the theory of fields.
1915: 275 die en hurricane in the Mississippi Delta
1910 Winslow Homer, US painter born on 24 February 1836, specialized in maritime scenes. MORE ON HOMER AT ART 4 SEPTEMBER with links to many images.
1905 Alexander Hay Japp, author. JAPP ONLINE: Robert Louis Stevenson: A Record, An Estimate, A Memorial
1902 William Topaz McGonagall, Knight of the White Elephant of Burmah, the worst and most conceited poet ever in the world, born in 1830 according to his autobiography, in March 1825 according to others.. McGONAGALL ONLINE: Poetic Gems Autobiographical Writings
1879 Nathan Meeker, Indian Affairs Agent, and nine other persons massacred by Ute Indians ("Meeker Massacre")
1806 Clément-Louis-Marie-Anne Belle, Parisian history painter and tapestry designer, born on 16 November 1722. — more
1804 Michael Hillegas, the United States' first treasurer. In 1775, the Continental Congress appointed Hillegas and George Clymer as joint treasurers. In 1777, Hillegas assumed the role on his own. Hillegas served a somewhat tumultuous tenure until 1789, when Congress officially established the Treasury Department, which was led by Alexander Hamilton.
1713 Jakob van Oost, Flemish artist born on 11 February 1637.
1674 Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, Dutch painter born on 19 August 1621. MORE ON VAN DEN EECKHOUT AT ART 4 AUGUST with links to images.
1197 Emperor Henry VI , in Messina, Sicily.
0855 Lothaire meurt à Prüm. Charles le Chauve va se consacrer à la guerre contre son frère Louis pour s'emparer des restes de son royaume.
0235 St Pontianus, Pope.
1996 Rilya Shenise Wilson [< photo at age 3~1/2], in Miami [named for Remember I Love You Always]. Her mother was a crack addict and former prostitute who was sometimes homeless and would give Rilya to an acquaintance. Florida's Department of Children & Families would have Rilya under its care so careless that it would notice only on 25 April 2002 that she had disappeared on 18 January 2001 when a state child-welfare worker had taken her away for evaluation, according to probably lying Geralyn Graham (one of over 40 aliases), who had claimed to be her paternal grandmother, with whom Rilya was living together with Pamela Graham, Geralyn's alleged half-sister, who had custody of Rilya.
1987 Compaq introduces a portable computer equipped with a 386 chip, the newest and most powerful chip on the market at the time. The Compaq Portable 386 is priced $8000 $10'000 and weighs 9 kg. Compaq had introduced the first 386 model on the market in 1986.
1970 The New American Bible was published by the St. Anthony Guild Press. It represented the first English version Roman Catholic Bible to be translated from the original Biblical Greek and Hebrew languages. (The Rheims-Douai Version of 1610 had been based on Jerome's Latin Vulgate.)
1943 Lech Walesa, electrician at a Gdansk shipyards, Polish labor leader who founded the Solidarity union, later became the president of Poland, and then again an electrician at the shipyard.
1936 Silvio Berlusconi, in Milan. He has a degree in law. In 1962 he began his career as a property developer. He rapidly became Italy's leading developer of residential and large-scale retail real estate (Milano 2, Milano 3, Il Girasole). In 1980 he launched Canale 5, Italy's first national commercial television network, which was followed by Italia 1 in 1982 and Rete 4 in 1984. The success of commercial television led to the development of other initiatives under the umbrella of the Fininvest holding company, which was founded in 1978. He went on to develop commercial television in other countries in Europe: in France with La Cinq (1986), in Germany with Telefunf (1987) and in Spain with Telecinco (1989). With the acquisition of Mondadori, he became Italy's most important publisher of books and magazines. Through Mediolanum and Programma Italia, the Fininvest Group built up a solid position in banking, insurance and financial services. In 1986 he became Chairman of A.C. Milan which, under his leadership, went on to win the National League six times, the Champion's League three times, the World Club Championship twice, as well as various other international trophies. On 26 January 1994 he resigned all of his positions in Fininvest. He founded the Forza Italia movement and the coalition known as Polo delle Libertà e del Buongoverno. In the general election of March 1994 he obtained a majority of the votes and became Prime Minister. In June 1999 he was re-elected Member of the European Parliament with three million votes. From 1996 to 2001 he was leader of the opposition in Parliament. On 13 May 2001 he won the general election as the leader of the "Casa delle Libertà" coalition with 18 and a half million votes.
1925 John Tower (Sen-R-Tx)
1901 Enrico Fermi, Italian-born US physicist who led the group which created the first man-made nuclear chain reaction. (Nobel-1938)
1881 Alexander Kanoldt, German artist who died in 1939.
1857 Eugene Lawrence Vail, US-French artist who died on 28 December 1934. — more with link to a picture.
1850 George Hitchcock, US artist who died on 02 August 1913. MORE ON HITCHCOCK AT ART 4 SEPTEMBER with links to images.
1838 Charles Euphrasie Kuwasseg, French artist who died in October 1904
1829 Scotland Yard: London's reorganized police force, which would become known as Scotland Yard, goes on duty.
1815 Andreas Achenbach, German landscapist who died on 01 April 1910. MORE ON ACHENBACH AT ART 4 SEPTEMBER with links to images.
1812 Adolph Göpel, German mathematician who died on 07 June 1847.
1805 Christian Ernst Bernhard Morgenstern, German artist who died on 27 February 1867. — more with links to images.
1803 Charles-François Sturm, Swiss mathematician who died on 18 December 1855. He is best remembered for the Sturm-Liouville problem, an eigenvalue problem in second order differential equations.
1803 The first Roman Catholic Church in Boston is dedicated. (Catholics had not been permitted any religious freedom within this predominantly Puritan colony prior to the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780.)
1789 The US regular Army, with a strength of several hundred men, is established by the US War Department.
1759 Jorullo volcano is born, in Mexico. Earthquakes occurred prior to this first day of eruption. Once it begins erupting, it wouldn't quit for 15 years. Jorullo would grow 250 m from the ground in the first six weeks. The eruptions are phreatic and phreatomagmatic. They cover the area with sticky mud flows, water flows and ash falls. All but the youngest lava flows would be covered by this ash fall. Later eruptions would be magmatic with neither mud nor water flows. This 15 year eruption was the only one Jorullo ever had, and was the longest cinder cone eruption known.
1758 Horatio Nelson, naval hero of Trafalgar
Enfant chétif et maigre, il paraissait ne point devoir vivre. A 12 ans, il entre pourtant dans la marine au service d'un capitaine. Il deviendra l'idole de l'Angleterre en remportant de nombreuses batailles navales qui lui coutèrent un bras et un oeil. Devenu amiral, il trouvera la mort en 1805 pendant la bataille de Trafalgar.
Horatio Nelson, Britain's most celebrated naval hero, is born in Burnham Thorpe, England. In the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, he won a series of crucial victories and saved England from possible invasion by France.
The son of the village rector, he entered the British navy as a midshipman at the age of 12. He traveled the world's oceans and at age 20 was made a captain. After Spain joined France in its alliance with the rebellious American colonies, he raided Spanish holdings in Central America and the West Indies. In the years after the US War of Independence, his zealous enforcement of the Navigation Acts, which restricted England's carrying trade to English ships, made him unpopular. Between 1787 and 1792, he received no new naval commission. In 1793, however, war broke out with Revolutionary France, and he was immediately given command of the 64-gun Agamemnon.
He served in the Mediterranean, fighting at the port of Toulon and helping to capture Corsica. While ashore on Corsica assisting in the siege of Calvi, he lost the sight in his right eye after being injured by debris from a French shot. Four years later, on 14 February 1797, he acted boldly and without orders and single-handedly took on an entire squadron of Spanish ships that were about to surprise a British fleet off Portugal's Cape St. Vincent. For his heroic contribution to British victory at the Battle of Cape St. Vincent, Nelson was knighted and made a rear admiral. Later that year, he led the unsuccessful British assault on Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands and was shot in the right arm, forcing its amputation.
After his recovery, Nelson pursued a French expeditionary force to Egypt and succeeded in destroying the French fleet at the Battle of the Nile in August 1798, thereby stranding French General Napoleon Bonaparte and his army in Egypt. Nelson was hailed as a great hero and went with his squadron to Naples, where he began an affair with the wife of a British minister. Nelson had a wife in England. He aided Ferdinand, king of Naples, in his struggles against republican revolutionaries but later was recalled to England after he refused an order to take his ships to Minorca. Due to his overwhelming public popularity, however, Nelson was made a vice admiral instead of being punished when he returned to England.
[image: 1799 portrait of Rear Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson, by Lemuel Francis Abbott >]
In April 1801, Nelson engaged Danish naval forces at the Battle of Copenhagen. Ordered to withdraw by his superior officer during the fiercely contested battle, Nelson put his telescope to his blind eye and said, "I really do not see the signal." An hour later, victory was his. He was made an admiral and viscount and instructed to return to England to protect the Channel against an expected French invasion. In 1802, a brief interlude of peace with the French began, and Nelson lived with the minister's wife in the countryside.
Upon the renewal of war in 1803, he was given command of the Mediterranean fleet, and he blockaded the French port of Toulon, trapping a French fleet for nearly two years. Meanwhile, French Emperor Napoléon planned an invasion of Britain. He induced Spain to declare war against England and in 1805 ordered the French and Spanish fleets to break out of the British blockades and then converge as a single enormous fleet in the West Indies. The Franco-Spanish fleet, Napoléon hoped, would then win control of the English Channel, and an invasion force of 350'000 could cross to the British isle.
In March 1805, French Admiral Pierre de Villeneuve's fleet broke through Nelson's blockade at Toulon under cover of bad weather. Nelson set off in pursuit, chasing the French to the West Indies, where Villeneuve found himself alone at the appointed meeting place in the Antilles. Not daring to attack Nelson, he recrossed the Atlantic and retreated to the Spanish port of Cádiz, where a Spanish fleet lay. Napoleon called off his English invasion for the time being, and the British blockaded Cádiz.
In October, Napoleon ordered Villeneuve to run the blockade and sail to Italy to assist a French campaign. On 19 October, Villeneuve slipped out of Cádiz with a Franco-Spanish force of 33 ships, but Nelson caught him off Cape Trafalgar on 21 October 1805. Nelson divided his 27 ships into two divisions and signaled a famous message from the flagship Victory: "England expects that every man will do his duty." In five hours of fighting, the British devastated the enemy fleet, destroying 19 enemy ships and capturing Villeneuve. No British ships were lost, but 1500 British seamen were killed or wounded in the heavy fighting. The battle raged at its fiercest around the Victory, and a French sniper shot Nelson in the shoulder and chest. The admiral was taken below and died about 30 minutes before the end of the battle. Nelson's last words, after being informed that victory was imminent, were "Now I am satisfied. Thank God I have done my duty." [The death of Nelson pictured by Daniel Maclise in 1864]
Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar ensured that Napoleon would never invade Britain. Nelson, hailed as the savior of his nation, was given a magnificent funeral in St. Paul's Cathedral in London. A column was erected to his memory in the newly named Trafalgar Square, and numerous streets were renamed in his honor. The HMS Victory, where Nelson won his most spectacular victory and drew his last breath, sits preserved in dry-dock at Portsmouth.
| 1755 Robert Lord Clive, founded British empire in India
1703 François Boucher, French Rococo painter, engraver, and designer, who died on 30 May 1770. MORE ON BOUCHER AT ART 4 SEPTEMBER with links to images.
1642 Michel Corneille des Gobelins, French artist who died on 16 August 1708.
1561 Adriaan van Roomen, Flemish physician and mathematician, who died on 04 May 1615.