Today in History - March 9
Cardinal Mazarin dies
Battle of the Ironclads: the first armoured warship
Russia sends first dog into space
-- Compiled by James Finlayson-Bald. Edited and illustrated by David Paul Wagner.
A chromolithograph of the Battle of Hampton Roads (1862) during the American Civil War. This was the first battle involving an armoured warship.
Image: "The Monitor and Merrimac: The First Fight Between Ironclads", a chromolithograph of the Battle of Hampton Roads, produced by Louis Prang & Co., Boston.
On this date:
1152--Frederick I ("Barbarosa") was crowned King of Germany.
1661--Cardinal Jules Mazarln died. The protege of Cardinal Richelieu who recommeded him as his successor to Louis XIII. Mazarin retained his power when the boy-King Louis XIV came to the throne through the widow Queen, Anne of Austria, to whom he may have been secretly married. He brought the Thirty Years' War to a successful end with the acquisition for France of Alsace and the bishopries of Toul, Metz and Verdun, but immediately became involved in the wars of the Fronde, a last attempt by the nobles and legalists to avert a centralized autocracy. Successful again he went on to conclude an advantageous peace with Spain, and laid the foundations for the greatness France was to enjoy under Louis XIV.
1793--The punishment of imprisonment for debt was abolished in France.
1796--Napoleon Bonaparte married Josephine de Beauharnais.
1862--Battle of the "ironclads". The Confederate vessel Merrimack was forced to withdraw at Hampton Roads by the Union's Monitor. Merrimack was a frigate of 3500 tons and 40 guns which was converted but drew 22 ft of water, and took 30 minutes to turn, and had a top speed of 5 knots. Monitor was built by Captain John Ericsson in a revolutionary manner. She was so low in the water that waves washed over her deck which carried only an iron pilot-house and a revolving turret for the guns. The battle was indecisive but in the history of naval warfare it marked the opening of a new era -- that of the armoured warship
1882--The first American patent was issued for improved false teeth.
1899--Congress voted $50 million for defence in the Spanish-American War.
1961--Russia sent the first dog into space in Sputnik 9.
1963--A dynamite plant exploded at Madderfontein in South Africa.
-- William Cobbett, writer and politician (1763-1835).
-- Yuri Gagarin, cosmonaut (1934-68).
Thought for today:
"Popularity is exhausting. The life of the party almost always winds up in a corner with an overcoat over him."
-- William Mizner
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This article was compiled by James Finlayson-Bald.
It was edited and illustrated by David Paul Wagner (David Paul Wagner on Google+).