On this Day

Published in Editorial, Issue 4 (July/August 2015), Volume 23

July

02/1815
The Salvation Army was founded, following a revival meeting held by William Booth in Whitechapel, London.

06/1815
Charles (Carlo) Bianconi, Italian businessman, started his first car service, between Clonmel and Cahir, Co. Tipperary, carrying six passengers at a return fare of 2d.

07/1865
Mary Surratt and three others were hanged for conspiracy to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln. She was the first woman executed by the United States.

07/2005
Fifty-two civilians (including the perpetrators, four British Islamist men) were killed and over 700 others injured when bombs were detonated on three London Underground trains and on a double-decker bus.

11/1995
Over 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were massacred over a three-day period in and around the town of Srebrenica by Serb forces under the command of General Ratko Mladic.

15/1865
Alfred Harmsworth, Viscount Northcliffe, press baron who founded the Daily Mail (1896), the Daily Mirror (1903) and secured control of The Times (1908), born in Chapelizod, Co. Dublin.

17/1945
The Potsdam Conference, the last of the big wartime conferences, between the USSR, the USA and Britain, opened near Berlin.

26/1945
Clement Attlee became prime minister following a Labour landslide in the UK general election.

28/2005
Seven years after the Belfast Agreement, the IRA finally called an end to its armed campaign and promised to conclude decommissioning ‘as quickly as possible’.

29/1915
At its Árd Fheis in Dundalk, Conradh na Gaeilge (the Gaelic League) altered its constitution to include political independence as a primary aim. Douglas Hyde resigned as president and was replaced by Eoin MacNéill.

August

01/1915
Patrick Pearse (1879–1916) gave the graveside oration in Glasnevin Cemetery at the funeral of the Fenian Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa.

06/1945
At c. 8.15am an atomic bomb was dropped by a US Air Force B-29 on the central Japanese city of Hiroshima. At least 140,000 people were killed and two thirds of the city destroyed. Three days later, a similar nuclear bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki, killing a further 73,884.

09/1965
Singapore seceded from the federation of Malaysia and became an independent republic within the British Commonwealth.

12/1715
Nahum Tate, Dublin-born poet, playwright and Poet Laureate (1692) whose notorious happy-ending version of Shakespeare’s King Lear—in which Cordelia marries Edgar—superseded the original on the English stage until the 1850s, died.

14/1945
A day after a massive conventional air raid on Tokyo, Japan agreed to surrender, ending the Second World War. The formal surrender took place on board the battleship USS Missouri three weeks later.

24/1990
Brian Keenan, a teacher from Belfast, was released after spending almost five years imprisoned in extreme conditions as a hostage of a Shi’ah militia group in Beirut, Lebanon. His book on his time in captivity, An evil cradling (1992), sold half a million copies.

25/1865
Robert Lloyd Praeger, naturalist, author and librarian, best remembered for The way that I went (1937), a classic account of the Irish landscape, born in Hollywood, Co. Down.

28/1815
Mary Letitia Martin, novelist known as ‘the Princess of Connemara’, born in Ballynahinch Castle, Co. Galway.

29/1975
Eamon de Valera (92), revolutionary, co-founder of Fianna Fáil (1926), taoiseach (1932–48, 1951–4, 1957–9) and president of Ireland (1959–73), died.

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