To­day in his­tory

Otago Daily Times - - DIVERSIONS -

To­day is Satur­day, De­cem­ber 8, the 342nd day of 2018. There are 23 days left in the year. High­lights in his­tory on this date:

1854 — Pope Pius IX pro­mul­gates the dogma of the Im­mac­u­late Con­cep­tion of the Blessed Vir­gin Mary.

1860 — The Taieri Agri­cul­tural So­ci­ety is formed.

1863 — Im­pe­rial forces oc­cupy a de­serted pa at Ngaru­awahia and hoist the Bri­tish flag on the Maori king’s flagstaff.

1865 — Black swans are lib­er­ated on Lake


1892 — Na­tive Af­fairs Minister Mr A. J. Cad­man meets Maori at Otakou in con­nec­tion with griev­ances they have con­cern­ing the Gov­ern­ment’s obli­ga­tions re the sale of the Otago block.

1897 — An earth­quake mea­sur­ing 7 on the

Richter scale hits the lower North Is­land.

1902 — A ca­ble run­ning across the Pa­cific Ocean from Van­cou­ver Is­land to Doubt­less Bay, North­land, be­gins op­er­a­tions. The ser­vice al­lows tele­graphic com­mu­ni­ca­tions with the United King­dom at three shillings a word.

1914 — The Bri­tish de­stroy a Ger­man cruiser squadron un­der the com­mand of Ad­mi­ral Graf Max­i­m­il­ian von Spee in the Bat­tle of the Falk­land Is­lands in World War 1.

1941 — The United States, Bri­tain, Aus­tralia and New Zealand de­clare war on Ja­pan fol­low­ing its at­tacks on Pearl Har­bour, Thai­land and Malaya.

1942 — Ward 5 of Sea­cliff Mental Hos­pi­tal near Dunedin catches fire. Thirty­seven fe­male pa­tients locked in the ward overnight die in the blaze.

1955 — Us­ing a Van de Graaff high­volt­age gen­er­a­tor as a power sup­ply, mem­bers of the physics depart­ment at the Univer­sity of Otago split the flu­o­rine atom.

1956 — A call for a gen­eral strike in Hun­gary

leads to martial law and mass ar­rests.

1962 — The Brunei re­bel­lion breaks down within its first hours of op­er­a­tion, hav­ing failed to achieve key ob­jec­tives such as the cap­ture of the oil town of Se­ria and the sul­tan. The re­volt is seen as one of the first stages of the In­done­sia­Malaysia con­fronta­tion.

1964 — The United Nations Se­cu­rity Coun­cil holds an ur­gent ses­sion at the re­quest of 21 nations that had crit­i­cised the US and Bel­gian op­er­a­tions to res­cue hostages in the Congo. 1966 — The Greek ferry SS Her­ak­lion sinks near

the is­land of Me­los, killing 234.

1972 — Nor­man Eric Kirk takes of­fice as prime minister in New Zealand’s Third Labour Gov­ern­ment.

1974 — Greece votes de­ci­sively to be­come a repub­lic and elim­i­nate the monar­chy, which dated back to 1832.

1978 — Golda Meir, Is­rael’s first fe­male prime

minister (1969­74), dies.

1990 — The prime minister of Thai­land,

Chatichai Choonha­van, re­signs, but is reap­pointed within 24 hours.

1994 — Ed­uardo Robledo Rin­con takes of­fice as gover­nor of Chi­a­pas, Mex­ico, the site of an In­dian­led in­sur­gency.

1995 — China en­thrones a new 6­year­old Panchen Lama, press­ing Ti­betans to ac­cept its choice over the one named by the ex­iled Dalai Lama.

1997 — Prime Minister Jim Bol­ger re­signs, clear­ing the way for New Zealand’s first fe­male prime minister, Jenny Ship­ley.

1999 — A jury hear­ing a wrong­ful death law­suit

filed by the Rev Martin Luther King jun’s fam­ily finds that the civil­rights leader was the vic­tim of a vast mur­der con­spir­acy, not a lone as­sas­sin.

To­day’s birthdays:

Mary, Queen of Scots (1542­87); Eli Whit­ney, US in­ven­tor of the cotton gin (1765­1825); Jean Si­belius, Fin­nish com­poser (1865­1957); Sammy Davis jun, US singer­ac­tor (1925­90); James Gal­way, Ir­ish flautist and con­duc­tor (1939­); Jim Mor­ri­son, US mu­si­cian (1943­71); Bill Bryson, Amer­i­can au­thor (1951­); Kim Basinger, US ac­tress (1953­); Keith Mackay, New Zealand foot­ball in­ter­na­tional (1956­); Teri Hatcher, US ac­tress (1964­); Sinead O’Con­nor, Ir­ish singer (1966­); Do­minic Mon­aghan, Bri­tish ac­tor (1976­); Daneka Wipi­iti, New Zealand net­ball in­ter­na­tional (1982­); Nicki Mi­naj, Trinida­dian­born singer/rap­per (1982­).

Thought for to­day:

Sea­cliff Mental Hos­pi­tal

Chatichai Choonha­van

Pope Pius IX

Jenny Ship­ley

James Gal­way

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