Random anniversaries (that are interesting)




On this day in 1940, 21 Fairey Swordfish “Stringbag” biplanes launched from the carrier HMS Illustrious successfully attacked the Italian fleet at Taranto. The attack heralded the shift from the battleship to the aircraft carrier as the prime naval capital ship and served as inspiration for Japanese planning in the attack on Pearl Harbor.



If it’s good enough for the daily doodle, it’s good enough for this thread:
could just as well be in the Random obsolete technologies thread


Also a candidate for the obsolete technologies thread:

48 years ago today the SS United States was withdrawn from passenger service. The last ocean liner to claim the mythical “Blue Riband” for the fastest time across the Atlantic, the ship, like all trans-Atlantic liners, was a victim of the jet age, along with rising oil prices and the withdrawal of a government subsidy. The once-proud ship continues to rot away at a pier in Philadelphia.

big urotting


The good old days…
Nov 17, 1973:


Imagine if he had Twitter!


And then there were 25 blissful years before those darn Canadians screwed it all up by adding daylight savings time.


35 years ago today. The Play:


100 years ago the first massed tank attack was launched by the British.



Deserves its own thread “Anniversary of the most awesome moment in the history of the universe”

Do I sound too much like a Cal grad desperately ignoring the recent history of the Big Game?


Have you watched this yet: Our World War ? I think you’d like it.


The E=mc^2 paper - Nov 21, 1905


101 years ago today, HMHS Britainnic, the Titanic’s sister ship, struck a German mine off the Greek Island of Kea and sank within 55 minutes. 30 people were killed, almost all of them in life boats that were sucked into the ship’s still turning propellers, when the stern lifted from the water. Britainnic, which was slightly larger than its sister, remains the largest passenger ship on the sea bottom to this day.



Almost missed posting this one on the right day:


On this day in 1919, Nancy Astor became the first female member of Parliament. She is also the subject of one of the most famous (and almost certainly apocryphal) Winston Churchill anecdotes:

Lady Astor: “If I were your wife I would put poison in your coffee,”
Churchill: “Nancy, if I were your husband I would drink it.”


This day in 1954, the first recorded modern instance of a meteorite striking a human being. Elizabeth Hodges of Sylacauga, Alabama, was sleeping on her couch when a meteorite crashed through the roof of her house and into the living room, bounced off a radio, and struck her on the hip. The space rock was a sulfide meteorite weighing 8.5 pounds and measuring seven inches in length. Ms. Hodges was not seriously injured, but suffered a nasty bruise along her hip and leg.


Under the direction of Enrico Fermi, on this day in 1942, the world’s first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction was produced in a reactor, which Fermi called a “pile,” under the stands of Stagg Field at the University of Chicago.


I have always been amazed/horrified at how much Fascism moved so much science to the western hemisphere.


On this day in 1979, the last AMC Pacer rolled off the assembly line. Marketed as a car of the future by AMC, the production run lasted only four years. Besides it odd looks, the car suffered from the bad combination of being under-powered and a gas hog. It’s odd width-to-length ratio also made it very difficult to parallel park. Its unusually large windows – the body was 37% glass – led some critics to call it the “rolling fish bowl.” Pictured is a scene from the Wayne’s World movie.