On this day in history:
169 BC – – The menorah is lit to rededicate the Holy Temple of Jerusalem after two centuries of foreign rule and religious oppression and a seven-year
revolt. The menorah burns for eight days without the sufficient fuel needed to do so, birthing the holiday Hanukkah.
169 BC – – The menorah is lit to rededicate the Holy Temple of Jerusalem after two centuries of foreign rule and religious oppression and a seven-year revolt. The menorah burns for eight days without the sufficient fuel needed to do so, birthing the holiday Hanukkah.
418 – – – – Pope Boniface I is elected. Boniface reversed some of his predecessor’s policies regarding church administration. He reduced the vicariate authority giving Patroclus, Bishop of Arles, jurisdiction over other Gallic sees and restored the metropolitan powers of the chief bishops of provinces. He supported Hilary, Archbishop of Narbonne, in his choice of a bishop of the vacant See of Lodeve, against Patroclus, who tried to install someone else. He also insisted that Maximus, Bishop of Valence, should be tried for his alleged crimes, not by a primate, but by a synod of the bishops of Gaul, and promised to sustain their decision. Boniface supported St. Augustine in combating Pelagianism forwarding to him two Pelagian letters Boniface had received calumniating Augustine. In recognition of this solicitude Augustine dedicated to Boniface his rejoinder contained in Contra duas Epistolas Pelagianoruin Libri quatuor. And Boniface persuaded Emperor Theodosius II to return Illyricum to Western jurisdiction, and defended the rights of the Holy See.
484 – – – – Alaris II succeeds his father Euric and becomes king of the Visigoths. He establishes his capital at Aire-sur-l’Adour (Southern Gaul).
1065 – – – Westminster Abby is consecrated in England. King Edward the Confessor began rebuilding St Peter’s Abbey to provide himself with a royal burial church. It was the first church in England built in the Romanesque style. The building was completed around 1060 and was consecrated on 28 December 1065, only a week before Edward’s death on 5 January 1066. A week later, he was buried in the church; and, nine years later, his wife Edith was buried alongside him. His successor, Harold II, was probably crowned in the abbey, although the first documented coronation is that of William the Conqueror later the same year. The mainly abbey church in the City of Westminster, London, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster is one of the United Kingdom’s most notable religious buildings and the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English and, later, British monarchs. The building itself was a Benedictine monastic church until the monastery was dissolved in 1539. Between 1540 and 1556, the abbey had the status of a cathedral. Since 1560, the building is no longer an abbey or a cathedral, having instead the status of a Church of England – a church responsible directly to the sovereign. Since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066, all coronations of English and British monarchs have been in Westminster Abbey. There have been 16 royal weddings at the abbey since 1100.
1308 – – – The reign of Emperor Hnazono of Japan begins.
1832 – – – John C. Calhoun becomes the first Vice President of the United States to resign.
1836 – – – Spain recognizes the independence of Mexico with the signing of the Santa Maria-Calatrava Treaty.
1846 – – – Iowa is admitted as the 29th state.
1867 – – – United States claims Midway Atoll, the first territory annexed outside Continental limits.
1895 – – – Wilhelm Rontgen publishes a paper detailing his discovery of a new type of radiation which later will be known as x-rays.
1941 – – – World War II – Operation Anthropoid – plot to assassinate high-ranking Nazi officer Reinhard Heydrich, commences. Reinhard was the head of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (the Reich’s main security office), the combined security services of Nazi Germany, and acting Reichsprotektor of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. (He was a big deal in the Nazi world) He was one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany and an important figure in the rise of Hitler; and he was given overall charge of the “Final Solution to the Jewish question” (the Holocaust). The Czechoslovaks undertook the operation to help confer legitimacy on Edvard Benes’s government in exile in London, as well as for retribution against Heydrich’s brutally efficient rule. The operation was carried by Czechoslovak army-in-exile soldiers in Prague, on May 27, 1942, after preparation by the British Special Operation Executive with the approval of the Czechoslovak government-in-exile. Wounded in the attack, Heydrich died of his injuries on 4 June 1942. This was the only government-sponsored targeted assassination of a senior Nazi leader during the Second World War. His death led to a wave of reprisals by SS troops, including the destruction of villages and the mass killing of civilians.
1943 – – – (a) Soviet authorities launch Operation Ulussy, beginning the deportation of the Kalmyk nation to Siberia and Central Asia. Kalmyks are descendants of the Oirats, a west Mongolian group who were originally nomadic shepherds. This operation was the deportation of some 93,139 people of Kalmyk nationality in the USSR, as well as Russian women married to Kalmyks. They were deported in cattle wagons where they were sent to special settlements for force labor. Kalmyk women married to another nationality were exempted (go figure). All of this was because the Kremlin accused them of Axis collaboration, despite 23,540 Kalmyks serving in the Red Army, outnumbering around 5,000 Kalmyks who fought in the German-affiliated Kalmykian Cavalry Corps. The expulsion was executed by the NKVD chief Lavrentiy Beria on the orders of Stalin (old Uncle Joe). Up to 10,000 servicemen from the NKVD-NKGB troops participated in the deportation. It was a part of the Soviet forced settlement program and population transfers that affected several million members of Soviet ethnic minorities between the 1930s and the 1950s. The deportation caused over 16,000 fatalities among the deported Kalmyks, a 17 percent mortality rate. The Kalmyks were rehabilitated in 1956 following Nikita Khrushchev’s ascent to power and the process of de-Stalinization. Their exile, which began in 1943, ended in 1957. They were released from special settlements and allowed to return to their native land. I do note that if you are interested in another barbaric resettlement program of the time look up the history of the Crimean Tatars. They suffered a similar fate an were not allowed to return to Crimea until Ukraine achieved its independence but – in Stalinistic fashion malevolent Putin is trashing them once again.(b) After eight days of brutal house-to-house fighting, the Battle of Ortona concludes with the victory of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division over the German 1st Parachute Division and the capture of the Italian town of Ortona.
1973 – – – The Endangered Species Act is enacted in the United States.
Composed by Robert A. McConnell
Any opinions expressed herein are solely those of the writer and not necessarily those of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation.