It’s Monday! Did You Know…
* 1818 – Rush & Bagot agree to extend US Boundary from Lake of the Woods to Great Divide.
The Canada–United States border, officially known as the International Boundary, is the longest international border in the world between two countries. It is shared between Canada and the United States, the second- and fourth-largest countries by area, respectively. The terrestrial boundary (including portions of maritime boundaries in the Great Lakes, and on the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic coasts) is 8,891 kilometers (5,525 mi) long, of which 2,475 kilometers (1,538 mi) is Canada’s border with Alaska. Eight Canadian provinces and territories (Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick), and thirteen U.S. states (Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine) are located along the border.
The Rush–Bagot Treaty of 1817 provided a plan for demilitarizing the two combatant sides in the War of 1812 and also laid out preliminary principles for drawing a border between British North America (later Canada) and the United States.
London Convention (1818)
The 49th parallel north forms a border between the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba (to the north), and the U.S. states of Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, and Minnesota (to the south).
Westward expansion of both British North America and the United States saw the boundary extended west along the 49th parallel from the Northwest Angle at Lake of the Woods to the Rocky Mountains under the Treaty of 1818. That treaty extinguished British claims south of that latitude to the Red River Valley, which was part of Rupert’s Land. The treaty also extinguished U.S. claims to land north of that line in the watershed of the Missouri River, which was part of the Louisiana Purchase; this amounted to three small areas, consisting of the northern part of the drainages of the Milk River (today in southern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan), the Poplar River (Saskatchewan), and Big Muddy Creek (Saskatchewan).
Along the 49th parallel, the border vista is theoretically straight but in practice follows the 19th-century surveyed border markers and varies by several hundred feet in spots.
* 1746 Jacobite Rising 1745: Battle of Culloden
The Battle of Culloden was the final confrontation of the Jacobite rising of 1745. On 16 April 1746, the Jacobite forces of Charles Edward Stuart were decisively defeated by loyalist troops commanded by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, near Inverness in the Scottish Highlands.
Queen Anne, the last monarch of the House of Stuart, died in 1714, with no living children. Under the terms of the Act of Settlement 1701, she was succeeded by her second cousin George I of the House of Hanover, who was a descendant of the Stuarts through his maternal grandmother, Elizabeth, a daughter of James VI and I. The Hanoverian victory at Culloden halted the Jacobite intent to overthrow the House of Hanover and restore the House of Stuart to the British throne; Charles Stuart never again tried to challenge Hanoverian power in Great Britain. The conflict was the last pitched battle fought on British soil.
Charles Stuart’s Jacobite army consisted largely of Catholics and Scottish Episcopalians – mainly Scots but with a small detachment of Englishmen from the Manchester Regiment. The Jacobites were supported and supplied by the Kingdom of France from Irish and Scots units in French service. A composite battalion of infantry (“Irish Picquets”), comprising detachments from each of the regiments of the Irish Brigade plus one squadron of Irish in the French army, served at the battle alongside the regiment of Royal Scots (Royal Écossais) raised the previous year to support the Stuart claim. The British Government (Hanoverian loyalist) forces were mostly Protestants – English, along with a significant number of Scottish Lowlanders and Highlanders, a battalion of Ulstermen, and some Hessians from Germany, and Austrians. The quick and bloody battle on Culloden Moor was over in less than an hour when after an unsuccessful Highland charge against the government lines, the Jacobites were routed and driven from the field.
Between 1,500 and 2,000 Jacobites were killed or wounded in the brief battle. In contrast, only about 300 government soldiers were killed or wounded.
The battle and its aftermath continue to arouse strong feelings: the University of Glasgow awarded the Duke of Cumberland an honorary doctorate, but many modern commentators allege that the aftermath of the battle and subsequent crackdown on Jacobitism were brutal, and earned Cumberland the sobriquet “Butcher”. Efforts were subsequently made to further integrate the comparatively wild Scottish Highlands into the Kingdom of Great Britain; civil penalties were introduced to weaken Gaelic culture and undermine the Scottish clan system.
* 1943 Hallucinogenic effects of LSD discovered
In Basel, Switzerland, Albert Hofmann, a Swiss chemist working at the Sandoz pharmaceutical research laboratory, accidentally consumes LSD-25, a synthetic drug he had created in 1938 as part of his research into the medicinal value of lysergic acid compounds. After taking the drug, formally known as lysergic acid diethylamide, Dr. Hofmann was disturbed by unusual sensations and hallucinations. In his notes, he related the experience:
“Last Friday, April 16, 1943, I was forced to interrupt my work in the laboratory in the middle of the afternoon and proceed home, being affected by a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness. At home, I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant, intoxicated-like condition characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours, this condition faded away.”
After intentionally taking the drug again to confirm that it had caused this strange physical and mental state, Dr. Hofmann published a report announcing his discovery, and so LSD made its entry into the world as a hallucinogenic drug. Widespread use of the so-called “mind-expanding” drug did not begin until the 1960s when counterculture figures such as Albert M. Hubbard, Timothy Leary, and Ken Kesey publicly expounded on the benefits of using LSD as a recreational drug. The manufacture, sale, possession, and use of LSD, known to cause negative reactions in some of those who take it, were made illegal in the United States in 1965.
* 2007 Virginia Tech shooting leaves 32 dead
In one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history, 32 people died after being gunned down on the campus of Virginia Tech by Seung Hui Cho, a student at the college who later committed suicide.
The Virginia Tech shooting began around 7:15 a.m., when Cho, a 23-year-old senior and English major at Blacksburg-based Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, shot a female freshman and a male resident assistant in a campus dormitory before fleeing the building.
Police were soon on the scene; unaware of the gunman’s identity, they initially pursued the female victim’s boyfriend as a suspect in what they believed to be an isolated domestic-violence incident.
However, at around 9:40 a.m., Cho, armed with a 9-millimeter handgun, a 22-caliber handgun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, entered a classroom building, chained and locked several main doors and went from room to room shooting people. Approximately 10 minutes after the rampage began, he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The attack left 32 people dead and more than a dozen wounded. In all, 27 students and five faculty members died in the massacre.
Two days later, on April 18, NBC News received a package of materials from Cho with a timestamp indicating he had mailed it from a Virginia post office between the first and second shooting attacks. Contained in the package were photos of a gun-wielding Cho, along with a rambling video diatribe in which he ranted about wealthy “brats,” among other topics.
In the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shooting, authorities found no evidence that Cho, who was born in South Korea and moved to America with his family in 1992, had specifically targeted any of his victims. The public soon learned that Cho, described by students as a loner who rarely spoke to anyone, had a history of mental-health problems.
It was also revealed that angry, violent writings Cho made for certain class assignments had raised concern among some of his professors and fellow students well before the events of April 16.
In 2011, Virginia Tech was fined by the U.S. Department of Education for failing to issue a prompt campus-wide warning after Cho shot his first two victims.
School officials sent an email notification about the dorm shooting to students and faculty at 9:26 that morning. According to the Department of Education, the message was vague and did not indicate there had been a murder or that the gunman was still at large.
* 1977 David Soul – of Starsky & Hutch – has the #1 song on the U.S. pop charts
On April 16, 1977, David Soul’s smash-hit single “Don’t Give Up On Us Baby” reaches the top of the U.S. pop charts. But the story of a tough-but-sensitive TV detective’s journey to crossover success began a full 10 years earlier.
Ironside, Cannon, and The Rookies. But long before Starsky & Hutch provided the platform from which he launched his career in pop, David Soul had made another attempt at musical stardom—one of the strangest in pop history.
In 1967, David Soul was an aspiring folk singer with an apparently debilitating problem: his blond and chiseled Scandinavian good looks made it difficult for audiences to focus on his music. And so it was that David Soul became “The Covered Man,” making 25 appearances on The Merv Griffin Show with a guitar in his hands and a black wool ski mask covering his face. No, this was not a comedy act, but it was certainly a brilliant gimmick, and it worked like a charm—until David Soul decided it was safe to doff the ski mask, that is. As it turned out, Griffin and his audience lost all interest in the Covered Man once he becomes uncovered. Luckily for David Soul, television is an industry that does not discriminate against the beautiful. A talent scout who watched his unmasking on Merv Griffin scooped Soul up and sent him out to California for acting and karate lessons, laying the foundation for the acting success that would allow his musical talent to reemerge some 10 years later and peak on this day in 1977 with a #1 pop single.
* Canadian History Timeline – Canada’s Historical Chronology http://canadachannel.ca/todayincanadianhistory/index.php
* On This Day – History, Film, Music and Sport http://www.onthisday.com/
* This Day In History – What Happened Today http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/