Friday, August 12, 2011

12th of August

Today is the 224th day of the year with only 141 days remaining.

It is the peak of the Perseid meteor shower.  Surprisingly, it is also know as the "Glorious Twelfth" in the United Kingdom, as it marks the traditional start of the grouse shooting season.

30 BC - Cleopatra VII Philopator, the last ruler of the Egyptian Ptolemaic dynasty, commits suicide, allegedly by means of an asp bite.

1099 AD - Battle of Ascalon during the First Crusade, under the command of Godfrey of Bouillon defeats Fatimid forces led by Al-Afdal Shahanshah.  This is considered the last engagement of the great crusade.

1281 - The Mongolian fleet of Kublai Khan is destroyed by a typhoon while approaching Japan.

1332 - Battle of Dupplin Moor during the Wars of Scottish Independence occurs.  Scots under Domhnall II, Earl of Mar are routed by Edward Balliol.

1480 - The Battle of Otranto occurs, where Ottoman troops behead 800 Christians for refusing to convert to Islam.

1676 - Praying Indian John Alderman shoots and kills Metacomet, the Wampanoag war chief, ending King Philip's War.

1851 - Isaac Singer is granted a patent for his sewing machine.

1880 - American baseball player Christy Mathewson is born.

1898 - An armistice ends the Spanish-American War.

1898 - The Hawaiian flag is lowered from Iolani Palace in an elaborate annexation ceremony and replaced with the flag of the United States to signify the transfer of sovereignty from the Republic of Hawai'i to the United States.

1914 - The United Kingdom declares war on Austria-Hungary; the countries of the British Empire follow suit.

1943 - Alleged date of the first Philadelphia Experiment test on United States Navy ship USS Eldridge.

1944 - Waffen SS troops massacre 560 people in Sant'Anna di Stazzema.

1944 - Alencon is liberated by General Leclerc, the first city in France to be liberated from Nazis by French forces.

1944 - Joseph Kennedy Jr., the eldest of the Kennedy family, dies while flying during World War II.  He was aboard BQ-8 when 21,170 lbs (9600 kg) of Torpex prematurely detonated and destroyed the aircraft.

1964 - Ian Fleming was a British author famous for his creation of the fictional spy James Bond and his series of novels, passes away at the age of 56. 

1980 - Matthew Thiessen, Canadian singer-songwriter and front man of band Relient K, is born.

1994 - Major League Baseball players go on strike.  This will force the cancellation of the 1994 World Series.

2007 - Merv Griffin, American television host, media mogul, and creator of game shows Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, passes away at the age of 82.

2009 - Les Paul, pioneer in the development of the solid-body electric guitar which made the sound of rock and roll possible, died at the age of 94.

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