Today it's 30 years ago the Multinational Force in Lebanon (MNF) was hit by two suicide bombers. Two trucks filled with explosives exploded at the barracks, killing 299 soldiers from the American and French contingent of the MNF. 6 Lebanese were killed in the attacks, as well as two suicide bombers.
6:20 a.m. - an explosion at Beirut International Airport, where the 1st Batalion 8th Marines of the U.S. 2nd Marine Division had its headquarters. A truck filled with explosives equivalent to 5400 kg Trinitrotoluene exploded and 241 American soldiers were killed; 220 from the Marine Corps, 18 from the Navy and three from the army. 60 Americans were wounded. A Lebanese caretaker was also killed in the attack.
6:22 a.m. - an explosion in the underground parking garage of Drakkar building where the French contingent had its headquarters. 58 paratroopers from the 11e brigade parachutiste died; 55 from 1er régiment de chasseurs parachutistes and 3 from the 9e régiment de chasseurs parachutistes. 15 french paratroopers were wounded. A Lebanese woman and her four children were also killed in the attack.
This double attack was the culmination of a series of attacks on the Multinational Force in Lebanon. The barracks bombing also led to MNF withdrawal in the period February-March 1984. French troops were the last to leave Beirut 31 March 1984.
It's assumed it was the Lebanese Shiite militia who carried out the bombings against the Multinational Force in Lebanon (MNF). Groups with Shiite militia is what we know today as Hezbollah, which officially announced it's existence in 1985. But the groups were already active after the Israeli invasion in 1982.
Location: 33°49′45″N, 35°29′41″E (HQ for United States MNF contingent)
Location: 33°52′10″N, 35°29′17″E (HQ for French MNF contingent)
Between the 16th and 18 September 1963 was the soundtrack for Henry Mancini's "The Pink Panther" album recorded. "The Pink Panther Theme" is Henry Mancini's best-known work and is the theme to "The Pink Panther" film series.
Henry Mancini had a long collaboration with Blake Edwards the director of "The Pink Panther" films. The first "The Pink Panther" movie was released in 1963.
Cover of Henry Mancini's soundtrack album "The Pink Panther".
Label: RCA Victor
Today, the British actor, producer and film director Sir Richard Attenborough are 90 years. His career as an actor stretches from 1942 to 2002. From 1960 to 2007 he also worked as a film producer and film director.
Movies worth to mention: The Great Escape (1963), A Bridge Too Far (1977), Gandhi (1982), A Chorus Line (1985), Jurassic Park (1993), The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) and Elizabeth (1998)
Sir Richard Attenborough (Toronto, 2007)
Photo: gdcgraphics (CC BY 2.0)
There are today 125 years ago Thomas Edward Lawrence was born. He was born outside of marriage by Sir Thomas Chapman and Sarah Junn in Tremadog, Wales, but the family moved to Oxford in 1896. Lawrence graduated with First Class Honours from Jesus College in the University of Oxford and became archaeologist in the Middle East.
Maybe is T. E. Lawrence better known as “Lawrence of Arabia” because of his involvement in the Arab Revolt between 1916 and 1918. The Arab Revolt was a revolt against the Ottoman Empire in Arabia and the Levant.
He wrote the book Seven Pillars of Wisdom, an autobiography about his war experiences in the Arab Revolt, which was released in 1922.
T. E. Lawrence was fatally injured after a motorcycle accident and died 19 May 1935 only 46 years old.
T.E. Lawrence on his motorcycle.
Photo: Unknown (Public domain)
Today 2 July 1893, 08:30 A.M. it's 120 years since the first Hurtigruten (coastal express) went from Trondheim with Hammerfest as destination, a journey of 67 hours and 10 calls along the coast. It was the steamship DS "Vesteraalen" with Captain Richard With (1846-1930) on the bridge. This was the first ship on the first round-trip journey from Trondheim, what we now 120 years later know as "The world’s most beautiful voyage". DS "Vesteraalen" was mostly in coastal express route in 39 years when it was replaced by DS "Lofoten".
DS «Sirius» was the second ship in the coastal express traffic from 1894, where she remained for 33 years. Captain Richard With got two Hurtigruten ships named after him, first the DS "Richard With" (1909-1941) and the second MS "Richard With" (1993- present). Captain Richard With is also known as "the father of Hurtigruten".
DS «Vesteraalen» near Bodø during the first sailing as coastal steamer in 1893
Photo: Unknown (Public domain)
Kyu Sakamoto's promotional video for Sukiyaki with audio from the first time stereo release synchronized up to the video
It is 30 years since "17 May Agreement" was signed by Israel, Lebanon and the United States. The agreement was negotiated by the United States in a attempt to end the state of war between Israel and Lebanon that had lasted since the Arab-Israeli War in 1948, a withdrawal of Israeli forces in Lebanon and the establishment of a safety zone with Leb Army in South Lebanon.
"17 May Agreement" was canceled after 9 months and 18 days when the collapse of the Lebanese army did not allow the army to take over Israeli positions in South Lebanon.
The "17 May Agreement" in full text.
CERN announced on 30 April 1993 that the Web protocol and code should be free for everyone to use. This happened almost 1 year and 9 months (6 August 1991) after Tim Berners-Lee at CERN created the first Web page who was put online.
CERN = European Organization for Nuclear Research
A link to a copy of the first webpage, created by Tim Berners-Lee
The NeXT workstation used as the first Web serve by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN
Photo: Coolcaesar (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Today it's 30 years since a suicide bomber struck United States embassy which was located in Dar El Mreisse District (عين المريسة), Beirut. At 13:00 local time a van with about 900 kilograms of explosives drove up to the main entrance to the embassy where it exploded. The result was 63 dead (and the suicide bomber), 32 were Lebanese employees, 17 Americans and 14 visitors and passers-by. There were also around 120 injured persons.
A representative from the Islamic Jihad Organization called immediately after the explosion a news agency and took the responsibility for the suicide bombing.
Coordinates: 33°54'5"N, 35°29'6"E
The Americam Embassy 21 April 1983, 3 days after the suicide bombing. The rescue work is still ongoing.
Photo: Claude Salhani, USMC (Public Domain)
It's been 40 years since the release of Pink Floyd's album 'The Dark Side of the Moon' in United Kingdom.
The album was recorded at Abbey Road Studios between May 1972 and January 1973. 'The Dark Side of the Moon' is Pink Floyd's eighth studio album and was an immediate success with more than 50 million copies sold.
The album 'The Dark Side of the Moon'
Label: Harvest, Capitol
The night between the 27th and 28 February 1943 a group from Company Linge carried out a sabotage blast at the heavy water plant at Rjukan. Some of the group had arrived Hardangervidda november 1942, these were reinforced with six new paratroopers in February 1943. While some of the soldiers forced their way into the plant at Rjukan kept the rest of the group security guard. The operation was successful and is one of the most famous sabotage missions during World War II. The group from Company Linge went to Sweden on skis after the sabotage, a distance they used over 2 weeks on.
Production of heavy water at the plant at Rjukan was an important part in Nazi Germany's attempts to create atomic bombs.
Vemork Hydroelectric Plant at Rjukan (1935)
Photo: Anders Beer Wilse (Public domain)
It is today 70 years since George Harrison was born in Liverpool. Harrison is known as a musician, singer, songwriter, music and film producer, but best known as a member of the British rock group The Beatles. After The Beatles break-up, Harrison had a solo career where he could shine as songwriter. Through his company Handmade Films he financed and produced films, including Monty Python's film "The Life of Brian". Along with Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty formed George Harrison group Traveling Wilburys in the late 80's. George Harrison died 29 November 2001 of lung cancer.
George Harrison with "My Sweet Lord"
Video: Jorgemadge at YouTube
24 January 1961 (52 years ago), a Boeing B-52G Stratofortress with two Mk 39 hydrogen bombs got problems and broke up in the air near Goldsboro, North Carolina.
Below is a brief narrative from the Pentagon about the incident:
During a B-52 airborne alert mission structural failure of the right wing resulted in two weapons separating from the aircraft during aircraft breakup at 2,000 - 10,000 feet altitude. One bomb parachute deployed and the weapon received little impact damage. The other bomb fell free and broke apart upon impact. No explosion occurred. Five of the eight crew members survived. A portion of one weapon, containing uranium, could not be recovered despite excavation in the waterlogged farmland to a depth of 50 feet. The Air Force subsequently purchased an easement requiring permission for anyone to dig there. There is no detectable radiation and no hazard in the area.
(50 feet = 15 ¼ meters)
Coordinates: 35°30′44.28″N, 77°50′46.68″W
Military personnel is dismantling the parachute pack on the second Mk 39 nuclear bomb.
Photo: USAF (Public Domain)
20 January 1976, the Christian city of Damour 9-10 kilometres south of Beirut International Airport was attacked from fractions of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The attack was a retaliation for the Karantina massacre two days before (18 January 1976).
As most massacres varies figures how many were killed. In Damour massacre is estimated between 150-582 civilians got killed, the remaining of the inhabitants had to flee the city.
Coordinates: 33°43′45.31″N, 35°27′22.62″E
Civilian victims of the massacre in Damour, Mount Lebanon Governorate.
Photo: Unknown (If anyone knows more about the image, contact me here)
Today it is 47 years since a Boeing B-52G Stratofortress and a Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker collided on a routine refuelling operation over the Mediterranean Sea off the Spain's coast. The 4 crew members at the Boeing KC-135 got killed when the plane's payload with fuel exploded, while three of the seven crew members on the Boeing B-52 got killed when the plane disintegrated. The B-52's payload was four B28RI hydrogen bombs where one atomic bomb landed in the sea while the other thee landed on the mainland near the village Palomares, Spain. The result was a wide dispersion of radioactive materials when the conventional explosives exploded in two of the B28RI nuclear bombs. The third nuclear bomb landed safely on the mainland when the parachute solved out. The fourth bomb that landed in the sea were found after an intensive search with marine vessels in four months.
A major operation to remove contaminated soil and vegetation were initiated and 4810 barrels of contaminated materials was sent to the United States for further processing and storage. Because of the hilly terrain the clean-up wasn't satisfactory and studies over the past 10 years has revealed some areas are still significantly contaminated. The Spanish government have sent request several times to United States to complete the cleaning of the contaminated areas, last time recently as 2012.
Coordinates: 37°14′57″N, 1°47′49″W
Folke Bernadotte, Count of Wisborg was born 2 January 1895 in Stockholm. Folke Bernadotte is the son of Prince Oscar Bernadotte of Sweden and Ebba Munck of Fulkila.
Count Bernadotte was educated as a cavalry officer with his graduation in 1915, he reached the degree as major in the years before World War II. During the World War II, Folke Bernadotte was appointed to vice-president of the Swedish Red Cross. Under the auspices of the Swedish Red Cross led Folke Bernadotte what is known as the "White Buses". According to the Swedish Red Cross 15345 prisoners at concentration camps in German and German-occupied areas was rescued, 7795 Scandinavians and 7550 from other countries.
After the war, Bernadotte was appointed to the "United Nations Mediator in Palestine" (20 May 1948) and 21 May he presented a proposal to the UN General Assembly about two independent states in the former British Mandate of Palestine. A week before, the 14 May 1948 proclaimed David Ben-Gurion Israel's declaration of an independence state. Friday 17 September 1948 Count Folke Bernadotte and UN observer Colonel André Serot got killed in Jerusalem.
The explosion of the Marine Corps building at Beirut Airport, Lebanon.
Photo: USMC (Public domain)
17 September 1948 at 17:30, the "United Nations Mediator in Palestine" Folke Bernadotte and UN observer Colonel André Serot got killed in Jerusalem in an assassination carried out by the Zionist terrorist group Lehi (better known as the Stern Gang).
The reason for the attack was Folke Bernadotte's mediation efforts were seen by many Israelis as a detriment to Israel. His proposal was a solution where together with the Jewish state also will be a Palestinian state and the Palestinian refugees had the right to return to their homes.
The assassination was planned by the Lehi's operating officer in Jerusalem Yehoshua Zetler and was approved by a steering group with Nathan Yellin-Mor, Yisrael Eldad and Yitzhak Shamir.
Portrait of Count Folke Bernadotte (circa 1945)
Photo: Unknown (Public Domain)
Credit: USHMM, courtesy of National Archives (USHMM ID: Photograph #80532)
It is now 40 years since the bloody coup in Chile took place. The democratic elected President Salvador Allende was overthrown by a military junta led by General Augusto Pinochet. General Pinochet was general military chief of President Salvador Allende government. The coup was supported by the United States and was the beginning of a terrorist regime where over 3500 people lost their lives. 1500 is still "disappeared". Somewhere between 300000 and 400000 Chileans were tortured and over 1 million Chileans fled the country. The dictatorship lasted for 17 years
United States support for the bloody coup in Chile shows once again the twisted worldview United States have, where it is okay with despots and dictatorship regimes if it is of the United States interest.
President Salvador Allende at the Moneda presidential palace.
Photo: Orlando Lagos - World Press Photo of the Year, 1973
It's 60 years since the democratic elected government and Prime Minister in Iran Mohammad Mosaddegh was overthrown. The coup was orchestrated by American CIA and the British MI6. This marked the transition with the rule of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi as regent. The new authoritarian and repressive rule of the Shah was highly dependent on American support until the last when the regime was overthrown in 1979 by the Iranian revolution.
The coup in 1953 where Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh and the democratic elected government was overthrown, can be seen in the context of the nationalization Anglo-Persian Oil Company and Iran's oil resources. The nationalized Anglo-Persian Oil Company was in August 1954 divided between five U.S. oil companies by 40%, British Petroleum with 40%, Royal Dutch / Shell with 14% and finally the Compagnie française des petrol (now Total SA) with 6%.
Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran leaving for the Iranian Embassy in Washington D.C. (1951)
Photo: Unknown (Public domain)
The massacre in Tel al-Zaatar refugee camp took place 12 August 1976 after several months of siege. The siege began at the same time as The Karantina massacre seven months earlier took place.
Tel al-Zaatar was a Palestinian refugee camp (UNRWA) in north-east of Beirut with approximately 50000 refugees. Somewhere between 1500-3000 Palestinian refugees were killed when the Christian militia attacked and took over the refugee camp. The remaining refugees were displaced to Damour where PLO had control. The refugee camp was razed to prevent Palestinian refugees to return.
Coordinates: 33°51'53"N 35°33'10"E
Today it is 50 years since the Japanese song "Sukiyaki" sung by Kyu Sakamoto reached the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. "Sukiyaki" was on the top for three weeks with the following dates June 15, June 22 and June 29 and is the only Japanese sung song that has reached the list. "Sukiyaki" was released already in 1961 for the Japanese marked with the 19-year-old Kyu Sakamoto.
The original Japanese title is "Ue o Muita Arukou" which translates to "I look up when I walk" and was written by lyricist Rokusuke Ei and composer Hachidai Nakamura. At the launch of the song in the United Sates and Europe the title was changed to "Sukiyaki" because of an easier pronunciation in Western countries. Originally Sukiyaki is a kind of Japanese stew and have nothing to do with the song.
Kyu Sakamoto was born December 10, 1941 in Kawasaki, Japan. The 16 August 1961 was the 19-year Kyu Sakamoto's big breakthrough as a singer during a program on NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) and the song was released 2 months later on vinyl.
Kyu Sakamoto died on 12 august 1985 when Japan Airlines Flight 123 crashed, plane crash is second deadliest in history in terms of deaths (520 fatalities).
15 May 1948 is for Palestinians marked as the beginning of the Nakba (النكبة), the day coincides with Israel's Declaration of Independence on 15 May 1948. Nakba (النكبة) is the designation of the Palestinian exodus where 520000 - 900000 Palestinians had to flee their homes. UN estimates is about 726000 Palestinian refugees.
With the downgrading of documents, researchers have got access to documentation that Israeli military was involved in ethnic cleansing of areas, such as the Palestinian villages Deir Yassin, Lydda and Ramle.
Palestinian refugees flee their homes in Galilee , Oct.-Nov. 1948
Photo: Fred Csasznik (Public Domain)
Today it's 70 years since the uprising in the Warsaw ghetto began and lasted until 16 May 1943. After the occupation of Poland the German occupation forces started to gather Polish Jews into ghettos. Warsaw Ghetto was the largest with about 400000 people. From the ghettos the Polish Jews was sent to Treblinka and long time the Jews believed they were sent to work camps. But the end of 1942 it became clear that deportation from the ghettos were part of the extermination process and it was decided to resist against the deportation.
19 April 1943 German forces went into the Warsaw ghetto but met quite heavy resistance, SS-Gruppenführer Jürgen Stroop was set to organize the purge of the ghetto. Houses were set on fire and destroyed, as well as the sewers and cellars were blasted. On 16 May, the uprising in Warsaw ghetto was knocked down and over 70000 Jews were killed or deported mainly to Treblinka extermination camp.
End of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
Photo: From the Stroop Report (Public Domain)
13 April 1975 occurred some incidents we know as the bus massacre, this triggered the Lebanese civil war which lasted for 15 years and 6 months. The armed confrontations were between Lebanese Christians and Palestinian factions in Beirut. It all began with a confrontation between a group of PLO and militia from the Phalangist party outside a church in the Christian district of Ain el-Remmaneh. The result ended in a PLO soldier was shot dead. A few hours later a new confrontation at the same church occured when a faction of the PLO opened fire on a group from the Christian Phalangists and killing four.
Both parties began to set up roadblocks to check identity and belonging after the confrontation in the district Ain el-Remmaneh. Later in the day a bus from the PLO on the way to the refugee camp Sabra came under fire from Phalangist militants when it passed through the district Ain el-Remmaneh. The results were 27 killed and 19 wounded Palestinian refugees. Over 300 were killed over a three day period in the battles that occurred throughout Lebanon.
The bus with Palestinian refugees who came under fire.
Photo: Unknown (If anyone knows more about the image, contact me here)
5 March 1960 the Cuban photographer Alberto Korda with his Leica M2 took the iconic image “Guerrillero Heroico” of Ernesto Guevara de la Serna (better known as Che Guevara). Fidel Castro and Che Guevara took part in a memorial service at the Colon Cemetery in Havana after the freighter La Coubre had exploded in Havana harbor the day before.
The explosion of the freighter La Coubre resulted in nearly 100 dead and around 200 wounded. The Intelligence Organisation CIA is often linked to the explosion of the freighter.
The iconic image “Guerrillero Heroico”
Photo: Alberto Korda (Public domain)
Today it is 80 years since the Reichstag building in Berlin burned. Adolf Hitler was appointed to Reich Chancellor 30 January 1933 imposes martial law 28 February after President Hindenburg had signed the decree that abolished personal rights, freedom of assembly and freedom of the press. This gave the Sturmabteilung (SA) free rein to run wild with their bestiality against all opposition.
Marius van der Lippe, a Dutchman and Communists were arrested at the Reichstag building. He confessed to arson and was sentenced to death, in one of Leipzig's prisons he was beheaded 10 January 1934.
The Reichstag in Berlin is burning.
Photo: Unknown (Public domain)
The 5 February 1958 (55 years) a Boeing B-47 Stratojet crashed with a North American F-86 Sabre during a training mission. F-86 Sabre crashed after the pilot ejected from the plane. The crew on the B-47 bomber got clearance to release it's cargo consisting one Mk-15 hydrogen bomb, to reduce weight and avoid a detonation if the B-47 bomber crashed. The dropp of the atomic bomb occurred in the sea off Tybee Island, Georgia, USA. In spite of serious damage to the B-47 bomber, the crew managed to bring the plane to Hunter Air Force Base. After extensive search for the hydrogen bomb it was never found.
Coordinates: 32°0′0″N, 80°51′0″W
Mk-15 nuclear bomb
Photo: USGOV (Public Domain)
It's 45 years since a cabin fire in a Boeing B-52G Stratofortress long-range strategic bomber forced the crew to abandon the aircraft. 6 of the aircraft's crew of seven survived while one died when they left the plane. The B-52 bomber crashed over the North Star Bay, Greenland with it's payload of four B28FI hydrogen bombs. The result was an extensive spread of radioactive material over a large area when the conventional high explosive components in the four nuclear bombs detonated at the impact.
In extreme weather conditions started United States and Denmark, an intensive cleanup. For nine months took the cleanup operation, which involved removal of contaminated ice and wreckage parts. This often without adequate protection or decontamination measures. The contaminated ice and wreckage were collected and sent by ship for further processing and safe disposal in the United States.
Declassified documents show that most of the three nuclear bombs were found and recovered, while the fourth bomb is missed.
Coordinates: 76°31′40″N, 69°16′55″W
Contaminated snow and ice being loaded into steel tanks for shipping to the United States for processing and safe disposal.
Photo: USAF (Public Domain)
The Karantina massacre happened 18 January 1976 (37 years ago) in a mainly Muslim slum district controlled by the PLO in the Christian East Beirut. It's estimated that 1000-1500 people were killed when the Lebanese Christian militias (Phalangists) overrun the Karantina quarter, located in Beirut between the Beirut river from the east, Beirut harbour from the west and north and south the highway. Fighting and killings also involved Maslakh quarter located next to Karantina.
In the same period of time the Palestinian refugee camp Tel al-Zaatar (UNWRA) was taken under siege and 7 months later the refugee camp was taken.
Coordinates: 33°54′1.67″N, 35°32′4.3″E
Palestinian refugees in the Karantina neighbourhood i Beirut
Photo: Françoise Demulder, France - World Press Photo of the Year, 1976
A Boeing B-52D (left) and a Boeing KC-135 (right) under a routine refuelling operation, in the same way as the two military aircraft in the incident of Palomares, Spain
Photo: USAF (Public Domain)
It is 11 years since the United States opened the Guantanamo Bay detention camp on Cuba. The detention camp was established by the United States to keep what they call "illegal enemy combatants" detained for an indefinite period without trial in their fight against terror. The rough and inhospitable treatment, and the use of torture has been criticized repeatedly by the Red Cross and Amnesty International. Also children have been brought to Guantanamo Bay detention camp and received the same hostile treatment as the adult detainees. Guantanamo Bay detention camp is still open despite President Barack Obama's promises to close the detention camp in his election campaign in 2008.
Also CIA's "black sites" have to be mentioned, where kidnapped people being led to secret and irregular prisons (black sites) outside U.S. territory and jurisdiction. This in United States "fight against terror".
Let Guantanamo Bay detention camp stand as a disgraceful symbol of all known and unknown detention facilities United States have around the world.
Coordinates: 19°54′8″N, 75°5′56″W
11 January 2002 - The first detainees arrived at Camp X-Ray at Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Photo: Shane T. McCoy, U.S. Navy (Public Domain)
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