Anniversaries and commemorations come and go daily. Most of us, even the best historians, miss most occasions. If we think of history as events then we are faced with a continually showering in the grains of sand. Nevertheless, we do pick out certain patterns in the remembrance of historical dates. The blog here reminds us of some dates where the local, state, national, and global perspectives entwine.
What Time is It? It is flow of a sandstorm that will on each day compress somewhere into a structure – sandstone, selected and only remembered in the longue durée.
On Sunday, 16 May 1920, Canonization of Joan of Arc: Over 30,000 people attend the ceremony in Rome, including 140 descendants of Joan of Arc’s family. Pope Benedict XV presides over the rite, for which the interior of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome is richly decorated.
On Sunday, 16 May 1920, A referendum in Switzerland favors joining the League of Nations.
On Wednesday, 16 May 1945, The German occupation of the Channel Islands in Alderney ends with their liberation by British troops.
On Monday, 16 May 1960, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev demands an apology from President Dwight D. Eisenhower for the U-2 reconnaissance plane flights over the Soviet Union, thus aborting the summit meeting scheduled for Paris in 1960.
On Monday, 16 May 1960, Theodore Maiman operates the first laser.
On Friday, 16 May 1980, Rookie Magic Johnson scores 42 points to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 123–107 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers to clinch the National Basketball Association championship for the Lakers, who prevail despite the absence of future Basketball Hall of Fame center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
On Tuesday, 16 May 1995, Japanese police besiege the headquarters of Aum Shinrikyo near Mount Fuji and arrest cult leader Shoko Asahara.
On Sunday, 16 May 2010, Australia wins the 2010 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 defeating New Zealand by 3 runs in the final at Bridgetown, Barbados. In the corresponding men’s event, Australia finish runners-up, losing the final to England by 7 wickets.
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