This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
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April 24 is the 114th day of the year (115th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 251 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1916, Easter Rebellion begins.
On Easter Monday in Dublin, the Irish Republican Brotherhood, a secret organization of Irish nationalists led by Patrick Pearse, launches the so-called Easter Rebellion, an armed uprising against British rule. Assisted by militant Irish socialists under James Connolly, Pearse and his fellow Republicans rioted and attacked British provincial government headquarters across Dublin and seized the Irish capital’s General Post Office. Following these successes, they proclaimed the independence of Ireland, which had been under the repressive thumb of the United Kingdom for centuries, and by the next morning were in control of much of the city. Later that day, however, British authorities launched a counteroffensive, and by April 29 the uprising had been crushed. Nevertheless, the Easter Rebellion is considered a significant marker on the road to establishing an independent Irish republic.
Following the uprising, Pearse and 14 other nationalist leaders were executed for their participation and held up as martyrs by many in Ireland. There was little love lost among most Irish people for the British, who had enacted a series of harsh anti-Catholic restrictions, the Penal Laws, in the 18th century, and then let 1.5 million Irish starve during the Potato Famine of 1845-1848. Armed protest continued after the Easter Rebellion and in 1921, 26 of Ireland’s 32 counties won independence with the declaration of the Irish Free State. The Free State became an independent republic in 1949. However, six northeastern counties of the Emerald Isle remained part of the United Kingdom, prompting some nationalists to reorganize themselves into the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to continue their struggle for full Irish independence.
The Act of Union 1801 united the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland, abolishing the Irish Parliament and giving Ireland representation at Westminster. From early on, many Irish nationalists opposed the union and what was seen as the exploitation of the country.
Opposition took various forms: constitutional (the Repeal Association; the Home Rule League), social (disestablishment of the Church of Ireland; the Land League) and revolutionary (Rebellion of 1848; Fenian Rising). Constitutional nationalism enjoyed its greatest success in the 1880s and 1890s when the Irish Parliamentary Party under Charles Stewart Parnell succeeded in having two Home Rule bills introduced by the Liberal government of William Ewart Gladstone, though both failed. The First Home Rule Bill of 1886 was defeated in the House of Commons, while the Second Home Rule Bill of 1893 was passed by the Commons but rejected by the House of Lords. After the fall of Parnell, younger and more radical nationalists became disillusioned with parliamentary politics and turned towards more extreme forms of separatism. The Gaelic Athletic Association, the Gaelic League and the cultural revival under W. B. Yeats and Lady Augusta Gregory, together with the new political thinking of Arthur Griffith expressed in his newspaper Sinn Féin and the organisations the National Council and the Sinn Féin League led to the identification of Irish people with the concept of a Gaelic nation and culture, completely independent of Britain. This was sometimes referred to by the generic term Sinn Féin.
The Third Home Rule Bill was introduced by British Prime Minister H. H. Asquith in 1912. The Irish Unionists, led by Sir Edward Carson, opposed home rule in the light of what they saw as an impending Roman Catholic-dominated Dublin government. They formed the Ulster Volunteer Force on 13 January 1913.
The Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) saw an opportunity to create an armed organisation to advance its own ends, and on 25 November 1913 the Irish Volunteers, whose stated object was “to secure and to maintain the rights and liberties common to all the people of Ireland”, was formed. Its leader was Eoin MacNeill, who was not an IRB member. A Provisional Committee was formed that included people with a wide range of political views, and the Volunteers’ ranks were open to “all able-bodied Irishmen without distinction of creed, politics or social group.” Another militant group, the Irish Citizen Army, was formed by trade unionists as a result of the Dublin Lockout of that year. However, the increasing militarisation of Irish politics was overshadowed soon after by the outbreak of a larger conflict-the First World War and Ireland’s involvement in the conflict.
1479 BC – Thutmose III ascends to the throne of Egypt, although power effectively shifts to Hatshepsut (according to the Low Chronology of the 18th Dynasty).
1558 – Mary, Queen of Scots, marries the Dauphin of France, François, at Notre Dame de Paris.
1704 – The first regular newspaper in the United States, the News-Letter, is published in Boston, Massachusetts.
1800 – The United States Library of Congress is established when President John Adams signs legislation to appropriate $5,000 USD to purchase “such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress”.
1862 – American Civil War: A flotilla commanded by Union Admiral David Farragut passes two Confederate forts on the Mississippi River on its way to capture New Orleans, Louisiana.
1877 – Russo-Turkish War: Russian Empire declares war on Ottoman Empire.
1898 – The Spanish-American War: The United States declares war on Spain.
1904 – The Lithuanian press ban is lifted after almost 40 years.
1907 – Hersheypark, founded by Milton S. Hershey for the exclusive use of his employees, is opened.
1913 – The Woolworth Building skyscraper in New York City is opened.
1915 – The arrest of 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Istanbul marks the beginning of the Armenian Genocide.
1916 – Easter Rising: The Irish Republican Brotherhood led by nationalists Patrick Pearse, James Connolly, and Joseph Plunkett starts a rebellion in Ireland.
1916 – Ernest Shackleton and five men of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition launch a lifeboat from uninhabited Elephant Island in the Southern Ocean to organise a rescue for the ice-trapped ship Endurance.
1918 – First tank-to-tank combat, at Villers-Bretonneux, France, when three British Mark IVs met three German A7Vs.
1922 – The first segment of the Imperial Wireless Chain providing wireless telegraphy between Leafield in Oxfordshire, England, and Cairo, Egypt, comes into operation.
1926 – The Treaty of Berlin is signed. Germany and the Soviet Union each pledge neutrality in the event of an attack on the other by a third party for the next five years.
1932 – Benny Rothman leads the mass trespass of Kinder Scout, leading to substantial legal reforms in the United Kingdom.
1953 – Winston Churchill is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
1955 – The Bandung Conference ends: 29 non-aligned nations of Asia and Africa finish a meeting that condemns colonialism, racism, and the Cold War.
1957 – Suez Crisis: The Suez Canal is reopened following the introduction of UNEF peacekeepers to the region.
1961 – The 17th century Swedish ship Vasa is salvaged.
1963 – Marriage of Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra of Kent to Angus Ogilvy at Westminster Abbey in London.
1965 – Civil war breaks out in the Dominican Republic when Colonel Francisco Caamano, overthrows the triumvirate that had been in power since the coup d’ètat against Juan Bosch.
1967 – Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov dies in Soyuz 1 when its parachute fails to open. He is the first human to die during a space mission.
1967 – Vietnam War: American General William Westmoreland says in a news conference that the enemy had “gained support in the United States that gives him hope that he can win politically that which he cannot win militarily.”
1968 – Mauritius becomes a member state of the United Nations.
1970 – The first Chinese satellite, Dong Fang Hong I, is launched.
1970 – The Gambia becomes a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations, with Dawda Jawara as the first President.
1971 – Soyuz 10 docks with Salyut 1.
1980 – Eight U.S. servicemen die in Operation Eagle Claw as they attempt to end the Iran hostage crisis.
1990 – STS-31: The Hubble Space Telescope is launched from the Space Shuttle Discovery.
1990 – Gruinard Island, Scotland, is officially declared free of the anthrax disease after 48 years of quarantine.
1993 – An IRA bomb devastates the Bishopsgate area of London.
1996 – In the United States, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 is introduced.
2004 – The United States lifts economic sanctions imposed on Libya 18 years previously, as a reward for its cooperation in eliminating weapons of mass destruction.
2005 – Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is inaugurated as the 265th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church taking the name Pope Benedict XVI.
2005 – Snuppy, the world’s first cloned dog is born in South Korea.
2006 – King Gyanendra of Nepal gives into the demands of protesters and restores the parliament that he dissolved in 2002.
2007 – Iceland announces that Norway will shoulder the defense of Iceland during peacetime.
* Christian Feast Day:
Ecgberht of Ripon
Fidelis of Sigmaringen
Wilfrid Anglican Church
April 24 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
* Concord Day (Niger)
* Democracy Day (Nepal)
* Earliest day on which National Arbor Day can fall, while April 30 is the latest; celebrated on the last Friday in Aprilv (United States)
* Earliest day on which Turkmen Racing Horse Festival can fall, while April 30 is the latest; celebrated on the last Sunday in April. (Turkmenistan)
* Genocide Remembrance Day (Armenia)
* Kapyong Day (Australia)
* Republic Day (The Gambia)
* World Day for Laboratory Animals (UN recognized)