Wednesday, August 21, 2019

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Today is the 233rd day of 2019. There are 132 days left in the year.


1791: Slaves rise, beginning the Haitian Revolution


1673: Britain's Prince Rupert is defeated off Texel, ending British efforts to land troops in Holland and freeing Dutch coast from blockade.

1831: Former slave Nat Turner leads a violent insurrection in Virginia, United States, and is later executed.

1862: British sailor Billy Barker strikes gold in western Canada's Cariboo mountains, digging up $600,000 worth. His wife squanders the fortune and Barker dies penniless.

1886: Pro-Russian officers in Sofia, Bulgaria, kidnap the ruler, Prince Alexander, and hand him over to the Russians.

1939: The Soviet Union and Germany sign the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, a 10-year non-aggression treaty, with a secret addendum, to partition Poland. This treaty proved to be the fuse that ignited World War II.

1945: US President Harry S Truman ends the lend-lease programme that gave US$50 billion in aid to the allies in World War II.

1951: Construction of the first nuclear submarine is ordered. The same power used in the atomic bombs during World War II would be harnessed as an alternate energy source.

1959: Hawaii becomes 50th state of United States.

1963: Buddhists are arrested and martial law is imposed in South Vietnam.

1975: United States lifts 12-year ban on exports to Cuba by foreign subsidiaries of US companies, but embargo on direct trade between Cuba and United States remains in effect.

1983: Philippine Opposition leader Benigno Aquino is assassinated as he steps from a plane in Manila after three years of self-imposed exile in United States.

1986: More than 17,000 people die when toxic gas erupts from a volcanic lake in Cameroon.

1989: Colombian authorities seize cars and cattle belonging to drug cartel bosses in crackdown on drug trade.

1990: Some 100,000 people gather in Prague's Wenceslas Square for first free commemoration of 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia.

1993: Bosnian Croats give in to UN demands and promise to allow aid to reach tens of thousands of Muslims trapped in Mostar, as heavy fighting rages in the city.

1995: A bomb rips apart a bus during morning rush hour in Jerusalem, killing five people and injuring more than 100.

1999: Farmers dump manure in front of McDonald's eateries in southern France to protest US sanctions on European Union goods. The sanctions were imposed in response to the EU decision to ban US hormone-treated beef.

2000: Efforts to reach the sunken Russian nuclear submarine Kursk end when divers say none of the 118 sailors aboard survived the catastrophic explosion on the Barents Sea.

2001: Documents released by the National Security Archive, a US-based research organisation, show US officials knew of the Rwandan Government's involvement in the 1994 genocide.

2003: French President Jacques Chirac gives a rare televised speech to address a heatwave that had caused an estimated 10,000 deaths in Europe over the first three weeks of August.

2004: A series of bombs explode at an Opposition rally in Bangladesh's capital, killing at least 14 people and injuring hundreds.

2005: The US military orders a criminal investigation into the death of the 21-year-old cousin of Iraq's ambassador to the United Nations, who alleged that US Marines killed his unarmed relative in cold blood during a raid in western Iraq.

2006: Iran turns away UN inspectors from an underground site meant to shelter its uranium enrichment programme from attack, diplomats say, while the country's supreme leader insists Tehran will not give up its contentious nuclear technology.

2007: Saddam Hussein's cousin known as “Chemical Ali” and 14 others go on trial on charges of crimes against humanity in the brutal suppression of a Shiite uprising that killed tens of thousands after the 1991 Gulf War.

2008: Jamaica's Veronica Campbell Brown successfully defends her Olympic 200-m title at the Beijing Games, beating Allyson Felix of the US. Kerron Stewart takes the bronze. Pirates hijack an Iranian bulk carrier with a crew of 29, a Japanese-operated chemical tanker with a crew of 19, and a German-operated cargo ship with a crew of nine in the Gulf of Aden.

2009: The only man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing returns home to Libya to a cheering crowd after his release from a Scottish prison — an outrage to many relatives of the 270 people who perished when Pan Am Flight 103 exploded.

2010: About 150,000 Pakistanis are forced to move to higher ground as floodwaters from a freshly swollen Indus River submerge dozens more towns and villages in the south.

2011: Euphoric Libyan rebels move into the capital Tripoli and move close to centre with little resistance as Moammar Gadhafi's defenders melt away. The Opposition's leaders say Gadhafi's son and one-time heir apparent, Seif al-Islam, has been arrested.

2012: The death of Ethiopia's prime minister pushes his relatively unknown successor, Hailemiriam Desalegn, into the spotlight and he may be a placeholder or hang on to become the country's next long-time leader.


St Francis De Sales, French Roman Catholic bishop (1567-1622); Jean Baptiste Greuze, French artist (1725-1805); William Murdock, Scottish inventor (1754-1839); Jules Michelet, French historian (1798-1874); William “Count” Basie, US jazz musician (1904-1984); Britain's Princess Margaret (1930-2002); Melvin Van Peebles, US film actor/ director (1932-); Kenny Rogers, US country singer (1938- )

— AP/Jamaica Observer

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