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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July 15 is the 196th day of the year (197th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 169 days remaining until the end of the year.
Only one day after the fall of the Bastille marked the beginning of a new revolutionary regime in France, the French aristocrat and hero of the American War for Independence, Marie-Joseph Paul Roch Yves Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, becomes the colonel-general of the National Guard of Paris by acclamation. Lafayette served as a human link between America and France in what is sometimes known as The Age of Revolutions.
On 15 July, Lafayette was acclaimed commander-in-chief of the National Guard of France, an armed force established to maintain order under the control of the Assembly. Lafayette proposed the name and the symbol of the group: a blue, white and red cockade. On 5 October 1789, a Parisian crowd, composed mostly of rough women working in the markets selling fish, marched to Versailles in response to the scarcity of bread. Members of the National Guard followed the march, and when Lafayette said that this march is non-sense, the National Guard’s men openly defied his power and according to some sources, they said “We are going with you, or over you”, then Lafayette reluctantly led the National Guard army to Versaille. At Versailles, the king accepted the Assembly’s votes but refused requests to return to Paris. That evening, Lafayette replaced most of the royal bodyguards with National Guardsmen. At dawn, the crowd broke into the palace. Before it succeeded in entering the queen’s bedroom, Marie Antoinette fled to the king’s apartments. Lafayette took the royal family onto the palace balcony and attempted to restore order. The crowd insisted that the king and his family move to Paris where they were installed in the Tuileries Palace. At the balcony, King Louis simply appeared, and everyone started chanting “Vive le Roi!”. Then when Maria Antoinette appeared with her children, she was told to send the children back, afterwards, when she came out alone, people shouted to shoot her, but when she stood her ground facing almost certain death, no one opened fire. After several seconds and the lowering of rifles, people started to chant “Vive la Reine!” (“Long live the Queen”, now the crowd is including the Queen)As leader of the National Guard, Lafayette attempted to maintain order. On 12 May 1790, he instituted, along with Jean Sylvain Bailly (mayor of Paris), a political club called the “Society of 1789” . The club’s intention was to provide balance to the influence of the Jacobins. On 14 July 1790, Lafayette took the civic oath on the Champs de Mars, vowing to “be ever faithful to the nation, to the law, and to the king; to support with our utmost power the constitution decreed by the National Assembly, and accepted by the king.”
He continued to work for order in the coming months. On 20 February 1791, the Day of Daggers, Lafayette traveled to Vincennes in response to an attempt to liberate a local prison. Meanwhile, armed nobles converged around the Tuileries, afraid the unprotected king would be attacked. Lafayette returned to Paris to disarm the nobles. On 18 April, the National Guard disobeyed Lafayette and stopped the King from leaving for Saint-Cloud over Easter.
1099 – First Crusade: Christian soldiers take the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem after the final assault of a difficult siege.
1149 – The reconstructed Church of the Holy Sepulchre is consecrated in Jerusalem.
1207 – King John of England expels Canterbury monks for supporting Archbishop Stephen Langton.
1240 – Swedish-Novgorodian Wars: a Novgorodian army led by Alexander Nevsky defeats the Swedes in the Battle of the Neva.
1381 – John Ball, a leader in the Peasants’ Revolt, is hanged, drawn and quartered in the presence of King Richard II of England.
1410 – Polish-Lithuanian-Teutonic War: Battle of Grunwald – the allied forces of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania defeat the army of the Teutonic Order.
1685 – Monmouth Rebellion: James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth is executed at Tower Hill, England after his defeat at the Battle of Sedgemoor on 6 July 1685.
1741 – Alexei Chirikov sights land in Southeast Alaska. He sends men ashore in a longboat, making them the first Europeans to visit Alaska.
1789 – Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La Fayette, is named by acclamation colonel-general of the new National Guard of Paris.
1799 – The Rosetta Stone is found in the Egyptian village of Rosetta by French Captain Pierre-François Bouchard during Napoleon’s Egyptian Campaign.
1806 – Pike expedition: United States Army Lieutenant Zebulon Pike begins an expedition from Fort Bellefontaine near St. Louis, Missouri, to explore the west.
1815 – Napoleonic Wars: Napoléon Bonaparte surrenders aboard HMS Bellerophon.
1823 – A fire destroys the ancient Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls in Rome.
1838 – Ralph Waldo Emerson delivers the Divinity School Address at Harvard Divinity School, discounting Biblical miracles and declaring Jesus a great man, but not God. The Protestant community reacts with outrage.
1870 – Reconstruction era of the United States: Georgia becomes the last of the former Confederate states to be readmitted to the Union.
1870 – Rupert’s Land and the North-Western Territory are transferred to Canada from the Hudson’s Bay Company, and the province of Manitoba and the North-West Territories are established from these vast territories.
1888 – The stratovolcano Mount Bandai erupts killing approximately 500 people, in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.
1916 – In Seattle, Washington, William Boeing and George Conrad Westervelt incorporate Pacific Aero Products (later renamed Boeing).
1918 – World War I: the Second Battle of the Marne begins near the River Marne with a German attack.
1920 – The Polish Parliament establishes Silesian Voivodeship before the Polish-German plebiscite.
1927 – Massacre of July 15, 1927: 89 protesters are killed by the Austrian police in Vienna.
1929 – First weekly radio broadcast of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir radio show, Music and the Spoken Word.
1934 – Continental Airlines commences operations.
1954 – First flight of the Boeing 367-80, prototype for both the Boeing 707 and C-135 series.
1955 – Eighteen Nobel laureates sign the Mainau Declaration against nuclear weapons, later co-signed by thirty-four others.
1959 – The steel strike of 1959 begins, leading to significant importation of foreign steel for the first time in United States history.
1974 – In Nicosia, Cyprus, Greek Junta-sponsored nationalists launch a coup d’état, deposing President Makarios and installing Nikos Sampson as Cypriot president.
1979 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter gives his so-called “malaise” speech, where he characterizes the greatest threat to the country as “this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our nation” but in which he never uses the word malaise
1983 – A terrorist attack is launched by Armenian militant organisation ASALA at the Paris-Orly Airport in Paris; it leaves 8 people dead and 55 injured.
1996 – A Belgian Air Force C-130 Hercules carrying the Royal Netherlands Army marching band crashes on landing at Eindhoven Airport.
1997 – In Miami, Florida, serial killer Andrew Phillip Cunanan guns down Gianni Versace outside his home.
2002 – “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh pleads guilty to supplying aid to the enemy and to possession of explosives during the commission of a felony.
2002 – Anti-Terrorism Court of Pakistan hands down the death sentence to British born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and life terms to three others suspected of murdering Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.
2003 – AOL Time Warner disbands Netscape Communications Corporation. The Mozilla Foundation is established on the same day.
2011 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is released marking the last film to be released in the Harry Potter series.
* Christian Feast Day:
* Abhai (Syriac Orthodox Church)
* Dispersion of the Apostles
* Donald of Ogilvy
* Quiricus and Julitta
* Vladimir the Great (Eastern Orthodox; Roman Catholic)
* July 15 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
* Earliest day on which Birthday of Don Luis Munoz Rivera can fall, while July 21 is the latest; celebrated on the third Monday of July. (Puerto Rico)
* Earliest day on which Galla Bayramy can fall, while July 21 is the latest; celebrated on the third Sunday of July. (Turkmenistan)
* Earliest day on which Marine Day can fall, while July 21 is the latest; celebrated on the third Monday of July. (Japan)
* Earliest day on which President’s Day can fall, while July 21 is the latest; celebrated on the third Monday of July. (Botswana)
* Elderly Men Day (Kiribati)
* Festival of Castor and Pollux (Roman Empire)
* Festival of Santa Rosalia (Palermo, Sicily)
* Sultan’s Birthday (Brunei Darussalam)