17 January 1917

The USA paid Denmark $25 million for the Virgin Islands.

The Danish West Indies or Danish Antilles was a Danish colony in the Caribbean, consisting of the islands of Saint Thomas with 32 square miles; Saint John with 19 square miles; and Saint Croix with 84 square miles. The Danish West India Guinea Company annexed the uninhabited island of Saint Thomas in 1672 and St. John in 1675. In 1733, Saint Croix was purchased from the French West India Company. When the Danish company went bankrupt in 1755, the King of Denmark–Norway assumed direct control of the three islands. Britain occupied the Danish West Indies in 1801–02 and 1807–15, during the Napoleonic Wars.

Danish colonizers in the West Indies aimed to exploit the profitable triangular trade, involving the export of firearms and other manufactured goods to Africa in exchange for slaves who were then transported to the Caribbean to work the sugar plantations. The final stage of the triangle involved the export of cargos of sugar and rum to Denmark. The economy of the Danish West Indies depended on slavery. After a rebellion, slavery was officially abolished in 1848, leading to the near economic collapse of the plantations.

In 1852 the Danish parliament first debated the sale of the increasingly unprofitable colony. Denmark tried several times to sell or exchange the Danish West Indies in the late 19th and early 20th centuries: to the United States and to the German Empire respectively. The islands were eventually sold for 25 million dollars to the United States, which took over the administration on 31 March 1917, renaming the islands the United States Virgin Islands.

Merchants in Copenhagen asked King Christian IV for permission to establish a West Indian trading company in 1622, but by the time an eight-year monopoly on trade with the West Indies, Virginia, Brazil, and Guinea was granted on 25 January 1625, the failure of the Danish East India and Iceland Companies and the beginning of Danish involvement in the Thirty Years’ War dried up any interest in the idea. Prince Frederick organized a trading mission to Barbados in 1647 under Gabriel Gomez and the de Casseres brothers, but it and a 1651 expedition of two ships were unsuccessful. It was not until Erik Smit’s private 1652 expedition aboard the Fortuna was successful that interest in the West Indies’ trade grew into an interest in the creation of a new Danish colony.

Smit’s 1653 expedition and a separate expedition of five ships were quite successful, but Smit’s third found his two vessels captured for a loss of 32,000 rigsdaler. In August two years later, a Danish flotilla was destroyed by a hurricane. Smit returned from his fourth expedition in 1663 and formally proposed the settlement of St. Thomas to the king in April 1665. After only three weeks’ deliberation, the scheme was approved and Smit was named governor. Settlers departed aboard the Eendragt on 1 July, but the expedition was ill-starred: the ship hit two large storms and suffered from fire before reaching its destination, and then it was raided by English privateers prosecuting the Second Anglo-Dutch War. Smit died of illness, and a second band of privateers stole the ship and used it to trade with neighboring islands. Following a hurricane and a renewed outbreak of disease, the colony collapsed, with the English departing for the nearby French colony on Sainte-Croix, the Danes fleeing to Saint Christopher, and the Dutch assisting their countrymen on Ter Tholen in stealing everything of value, particularly the remaining Danish guns and ammunition.

Christiansted, the main town of St. Croix in the former Danish West Indies
The Danes formed a Board of Trade in 1668 and secured a commercial treaty with Britain, providing for the unmolested settlement of uninhabited islands, in July 1670. The Danish West India Company was organized in December and formally chartered by King Christian V the next year on March 11, 1671. Jørgen Iversen Dyppel, a successful trader on Saint Christopher, was made governor and the king provided convicts from his jails and two vessels for the establishment of the colony, the yacht Den forgyldte Krone and the frigate Færøe. Den forgyldte Krone was ordered to run ahead and wait but ended up returning to Denmark after the Færøe under Capt. Zacharias Hansen Bang was delayed for repairs in Bergen. The Færøe completed her mission alone, establishing a settlement on St. Thomas on May 25, 1672. From an original contingent of 190 – 12 officials, 116 company “employees”, and 62 felons and former prostitutes – only 104 remained, 9 having escaped and 77 having died in transit. Another 75 died within the first year, leaving only 29 to carry on the colony.

In 1675, Iversen claimed St. John and placed two men there; in 1684, Governor Esmit granted it to two English merchants from Barbados but their men were chased off the island by two British sloops sent by Governor Stapleton of the British Leeward Islands. Further instructions in 1688 to establish a settlement on St. John seem not to have been acted on until Governor Bredal made an official establishment on March 25, 1718.

The islands quickly became a base for pirates attacking ships in the vicinity and also for the Brandenburg African Company. Governor Lorentz raised enormous taxes upon them and seized warehouses and cargoes of tobacco, sugar, and slaves in 1689 only to have his actions repudiated by the authorities in Copenhagen; his hasty action to seize Crab Island prohibited the Brandenburgers from establishing their own Caribbean colony, however. Possession of the island was subsequently disputed with the Scottish in 1698 and fully lost to the Spanish in 1811.

St. Croix was purchased from the French West Indies Company in 1733. In 1754, the islands were sold to the Danish king, Frederick V of Denmark, becoming royal Danish colonies.

The first British invasion and occupation of the Danish West Indies occurred during the French Revolutionary Wars when at the end of March 1801 a British fleet arrived at St Thomas. The Danes accepted the Articles of Capitulation the British proposed and the British occupied the islands without a shot being fired. The British occupation lasted until April 1802, when the British returned the islands to Denmark.

The second British invasion of the Danish West Indies took place during the Napoleonic Wars in December 1807 when a British fleet captured St Thomas on 22 December and Saint Croix on 25 December. The Danes did not resist and the invasion was bloodless. This British occupation of the Danish West Indies lasted until 20 November 1815, when Britain returned the islands to Denmark.

By the 1850s the Danish West Indies had a total population of about 41,000 people. The government of the islands were under a governor-general, whose jurisdiction extended to the other Danish colonies of the group. However, because the islands formerly belonged to Great Britain the inhabitants were English in customs and in language. The islands of that period consisted of:

Merchants in Copenhagen asked King Christian IV for permission to establish a West Indian trading company in 1622, but by the time an eight-year monopoly on trade with the West Indies, Virginia, Brazil, and Guinea was granted on 25 January 1625, the failure of the Danish East India and Iceland Companies and the beginning of Danish involvement in the Thirty Years’ War dried up any interest in the idea. Prince Frederick organized a trading mission to Barbados in 1647 under Gabriel Gomez and the de Casseres brothers, but it and a 1651 expedition of two ships were unsuccessful. It was not until Erik Smit’s private 1652 expedition aboard the Fortuna was successful that interest in the West Indies’ trade grew into an interest in the creation of a new Danish colony.

Smit’s 1653 expedition and a separate expedition of five ships were quite successful, but Smit’s third found his two vessels captured for a loss of 32,000 rigsdaler. In August two years later, a Danish flotilla was destroyed by a hurricane. Smit returned from his fourth expedition in 1663 and formally proposed the settlement of St. Thomas to the king in April 1665. After only three weeks’ deliberation, the scheme was approved and Smit was named governor. Settlers departed aboard the Eendragt on 1 July, but the expedition was ill-starred: the ship hit two large storms and suffered from fire before reaching its destination, and then it was raided by English privateers prosecuting the Second Anglo-Dutch War. Smit died of illness, and a second band of privateers stole the ship and used it to trade with neighboring islands. Following a hurricane and a renewed outbreak of disease, the colony collapsed, with the English departing for the nearby French colony on Sainte-Croix, the Danes fleeing to Saint Christopher, and the Dutch assisting their countrymen on Ter Tholen in stealing everything of value, particularly the remaining Danish guns and ammunition.

Christiansted, the main town of St. Croix in the former Danish West Indies
The Danes formed a Board of Trade in 1668 and secured a commercial treaty with Britain, providing for the unmolested settlement of uninhabited islands, in July 1670. The Danish West India Company was organized in December and formally chartered by King Christian V the next year on March 11, 1671. Jørgen Iversen Dyppel, a successful trader on Saint Christopher, was made governor and the king provided convicts from his jails and two vessels for the establishment of the colony, the yacht Den forgyldte Krone and the frigate Færøe. Den forgyldte Krone was ordered to run ahead and wait but ended up returning to Denmark after the Færøe under Capt. Zacharias Hansen Bang was delayed for repairs in Bergen. The Færøe completed her mission alone, establishing a settlement on St. Thomas on May 25, 1672. From an original contingent of 190 – 12 officials, 116 company “employees”, and 62 felons and former prostitutes – only 104 remained, 9 having escaped and 77 having died in transit. Another 75 died within the first year, leaving only 29 to carry on the colony.

In 1675, Iversen claimed St. John and placed two men there; in 1684, Governor Esmit granted it to two English merchants from Barbados but their men were chased off the island by two British sloops sent by Governor Stapleton of the British Leeward Islands. Further instructions in 1688 to establish a settlement on St. John seem not to have been acted on until Governor Bredal made an official establishment on March 25, 1718.

The islands quickly became a base for pirates attacking ships in the vicinity and also for the Brandenburg African Company. Governor Lorentz raised enormous taxes upon them and seized warehouses and cargoes of tobacco, sugar, and slaves in 1689 only to have his actions repudiated by the authorities in Copenhagen; his hasty action to seize Crab Island prohibited the Brandenburgers from establishing their own Caribbean colony, however. Possession of the island was subsequently disputed with the Scottish in 1698 and fully lost to the Spanish in 1811.

St. Croix was purchased from the French West Indies Company in 1733. In 1754, the islands were sold to the Danish king, Frederick V of Denmark, becoming royal Danish colonies.

The first British invasion and occupation of the Danish West Indies occurred during the French Revolutionary Wars when at the end of March 1801 a British fleet arrived at St Thomas. The Danes accepted the Articles of Capitulation the British proposed and the British occupied the islands without a shot being fired. The British occupation lasted until April 1802, when the British returned the islands to Denmark.

The second British invasion of the Danish West Indies took place during the Napoleonic Wars in December 1807 when a British fleet captured St Thomas on 22 December and Saint Croix on 25 December. The Danes did not resist and the invasion was bloodless. This British occupation of the Danish West Indies lasted until 20 November 1815, when Britain returned the islands to Denmark.

By the 1850s the Danish West Indies had a total population of about 41,000 people. The government of the islands were under a governor-general, whose jurisdiction extended to the other Danish colonies of the group. However, because the islands formerly belonged to Great Britain the inhabitants were English in customs and in language. The islands of that period consisted of:

St. Thomas had a population of 12,800 people and had sugar and cotton as its chief exports. St. Thomas city was the capital of the island, then a free port, and the chief station of the steam-packets between Southampton, in England, and the West Indies.

St. John had a population of about 2,600 people.

St. Croix, though inferior to St. Thomas in commerce, was of greater importance in extent and fertility, and, with 25,600 people, was the largest in terms of population.

On 17 January 1917, according to the Treaty of the Danish West Indies, the Danish government sold the islands to the United States for $25 million, when the United States and Denmark exchanged their respective treaty ratifications. Danish administration ended on 31 March 1917, when the United States took formal possession of the territory and renamed it the United States Virgin Islands.

The United States had been interested in the islands since at least the 1860s. The United States finally acted in 1917 because of the islands’ strategic position near the approach to the Panama Canal and because of a fear that Germany might seize them to use as U-boat bases during World War I.

The Danish West Indies were inhabited by many different cultures, and each had its own traditions and religions. The king and the church worked closely together to maintain law and order; the church was responsible for people’s moral upbringing, and the King led the civil order. There was no state-sponsored religion in Denmark until 1849, but in the Danish West Indies there had always been a great deal of religious freedom. Danish authorities tended to be lenient towards religious beliefs, but required that all citizens had to observe Danish holidays. Freedom of religion was partially granted to help settle the islands, as there was a shortage of willing settlers from Europe. This worked to an extent, seeing that a large proportion of settlers were in fact Dutch and British natives fleeing religious persecution.

Jews began settling the colony in 1655, and by 1796 the first synagogue was inaugurated. In its heyday in the mid-19th century, the Jewish community made up half of the white population. One of the earliest colonial governors, Gabriel Milan, was a Sephardic Jew.

In spite of a general tolerance for religion, many African religions were not recognized because they typically revolved around belief in animism and magic, beliefs which were consistently met with scorn, and were regarded as immoral and subservient. A widespread viewpoint was that if you could convert slaves to Christianity, they could have a better life, and therefore many slaves were converted.

By 1900, with a population of 30,000, a fourth of the people were Roman Catholics, along with Anglicans, and some Moravians and other Protestant groups. For decades the Moravians had organized missions and also taken charge of the educational system.

Laws and regulations in the Danish West Indies were based on Denmark’s laws, but the local government was allowed to adapt them to match local conditions. For example, things like animals, land, and buildings were regulated according to Danish law, but Danish law did not regulate slavery. Slaves were treated as common property, and therefore did not necessitate specific laws.

The Høgensborg estate on Sankt Croix, 1833
In 1733, differentiation between slaves and other property was implied by a regulation that stated that slaves had their own will and thus could behave inappropriately or be disobedient.[not in citation given] The regulation also stated that the authorities were to punish slaves for participating in illegal activity, but many owners punished slaves on their own. There was a general consensus that if the slaves were punished too hard or were malnourished, the slaves would start to rebel. This was borne out by the 1733 slave insurrection on St. John where many plantation owners and their families were killed by the Akwamu, including Breffu, before it was suppressed later the following year. In 1755 Frederick V of Denmark issued more new Regulations, in which slaves were guaranteed the right not to be separated from their children and the right to medical support during periods of illness or old age. However, the colonial government had the ability to amend laws and regulations according to local conditions, and thus the regulations were never enacted in the colony, on grounds that it was more disadvantageous than advantageous.

By 1778, it was estimated that the Danes were bringing about 3,000 Africans to the Danish West Indies yearly for enslavement. These transports continued until the end of 1802 when a law by Crown Prince Regent Frederik that banned the trade of slaves came into effect.

When Denmark abolished slavery in 1848, many plantation owners wanted full reimbursement on the grounds that their assets were damaged by the loss of the slaves, and by the fact that they would have to pay for labor in the future. The Danish government paid fifty dollars for every slave the plantation owners had owned and recognized that the slaves’ release had caused a financial loss for the owners. However, the lives of the former slaves changed very little. Most were simply hired at the plantations where they had previously worked and were offered one-year contracts, a small hut, a little land and some money as part of a sharecropping system. However, as employees, former slaves were not the plantation owners’ responsibility and did not receive food or care from their employers.

16 January 1556

Philip II is crowned King of Spain.

Philip II SpanishFelipe II de HabsburgoPortugueseFilipe I  May 21, 1527 – September 13, 1598 was the first official King of Spain from 1556 until 1598, king of Naples and Sicily from 1554 until 1598, King of England  from 1554 to 1558, King of Portugal and the Algarves  from 1580 until 1598 and King of Chile from 1554 until 1556. He was born at Valladolid and was the only legitimate son of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.

The Estates General of the seven United Provinces passed an Oath of Abjuration of the Spanish king, who was also Sovereign of the Netherlands, in 1581 following the Union of Utrecht of 1579. It should be noted that the Netherlands were at this time a personal union under King Philip as he was lord of each separate Dutch Province. The rebel leader, William I, Prince of Orange was outlawed by Philip, and assassinated in 1584 by a Catholic fanatic after Philip had offered a reward of 25,000 crowns to anyone who killed William the Silent, calling him a ‘pest on the whole of Christianity and the enemy of the human race’. Nevertheless, the Dutch forces continued to fight on, and increasingly used their substantial naval resources to plunder Spanish ships and blockade the Spanish-controlled southern provinces.

Aside from draining state revenues for failed overseas adventurism, the domestic policies of Philip II further burdened Spain, that would, in the following century, contribute to its decline. For one, far too much power was concentrated in Philip’s hands. Unlike England, Spain was subject to separate assemblies: the Cortes in Castile along with the assembly in Navarre and three for each of the three regions of Aragon, each of which jealously guarded their traditional rights and laws inherited from the time they were separate kingdoms. This made Spain and its possessions cumbersome to rule. While France was divided by regional states, it had a single Estates-General. The lack of a viable supreme assembly would lead to a great deal of power being concentrated in Philip’s hands, but this was made necessary by the constant conflict between different authorities that required his direct intervention as the final arbiter. To deal with the difficulties arising from this situation authority was administered by local agents appointed by the crown and viceroys carried out instructions of the crown. Philip, a compulsive micro-manager, presided over specialized councils for state affairs, finance, war, and the Inquisition. A distrustful sovereign, Philip played royal bureaucrats against each other, leading to a system of checks and balances that would manage state affairs in a very inefficient manner, sometimes damaging state business. Calls to move capital to Lisbon from the Castilian stronghold of Madrid — the new capital Philip established following the move from Valladolid — could have perhaps lead to a degree of decentralization, but Philip adamantly opposed such efforts.

Philip’s regime severely neglected farming in favour of sheep ranching, thus forcing Spain to import large amounts of grain and other foods by the mid-1560s. Presiding over a sharply divided conservative class structure, the Church and the upper classes were exempt from taxation while the tax burden fell disproportionately on the classes engaged in trade, commerce, and industry.

Due to the inefficiencies of the Spanish state structure, industry was also greatly over-burdened by government regulations, though this was the common defect of all governments of the times. The dispersal of the Moriscos from Granada had serious negative economic effects, particularly in the region it affected.

Inflation throughout Europe in the sixteenth century was a broad and complex phenomenon, but the flood of bullion from Americas was the main cause of it in Spain. Under Philip’s reign, Spain saw a fivefold increase in prices. Due to inflation and a high tax burden for Spanish manufacturers and merchants Spanish industry was harmed and Spain’s riches were frittered away on imported manufactured goods by an opulent, status-obsessed aristocracy and Philip’s wars. Increasingly the country became dependent on the revenues flowing in from the mercantile empire in the Americas, leading to Spain’s first bankruptcy in 1557 due to the rising costs of military efforts. Dependent on sales taxes from Castile and the Netherlands, Spain’s tax base, which excluded the nobility and the wealthy church, had far too narrow a base to support Philip’s grand plans. Philip became increasingly dependent on loans from foreign bankers, particularly in Genoa and Augsburg. By the end of his reign, interest payments on these loans alone would account for 40% of state revenue.

 

Philip became King of Portugal, and the success of colonization in America improved his financial position, enabling him to show greater aggression towards his enemies. In 1580, the direct line of the Portuguese royal family ended when Sebastian of Portugal died following a disastrous campaign in Morocco. His death gave Philip, his uncle, the pretext for claiming the throne through his mother, who was also a Portuguese princess. As a matter of fact, Philip had been brought up by Portuguese courtesans during his early life and spoke Portuguese as his native tongue until the death of his mother. He met little resistance in Lisbon, and his power helped him to seize the throne, which would be kept a personal union for sixty years. Philip famously remarked upon his acquisition of the Portuguese throne: “I inherited, I bought, I conquered”, a variation on Julius Caesar and Veni, Vidi, Vici. Thus, Philip added to his possessions a vast colonial empire in AfricaBrazil, and the East Indies, seeing a flood of new revenues coming to the Habsburg crown. In the ruling of Portugal however, Philip showed tact, trimming his beard and wearing clothes in the Portuguese style, and ruling from Lisbon for the next couple of years, leaving Portuguese privileges and forals alone.

 

In the early part of his reign, Philip was concerned with the rising power of the Ottoman Empire under Suleyman the Magnificent. Fear of Islamic domination in the Mediterranean caused him to pursue an aggressive foreign policy.

In 1558 Turkish admiral Piyale Pasha captured the Balearic Islands, especially inflicting great damage on Minorca and enslaving many, while raiding the coasts of the Spanish mainland. Philip appealed to the Pope and other powers in Europe to bring an end to the rising Ottoman threat. Since his father’s losses against the Ottomans and against Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha in 1541, the major European sea powers in the Mediterranean, namely Spain and Venice, became hesitant in confronting the Ottomans. The myth of “Turkish invincibility” was becoming a popular story, causing fear and panic among the people.

In 1560 Philip II organized a Holy League between Spain and the Republic of Venice, the Republic of Genoa, the Papal States, the Duchy of Savoy and the Knights of Malta. The joint fleet was assembled at Messina and consisted of 200 ships and 30,000 soldiers under the command of Giovanni Andrea Doria, nephew of the famous Genoese admiral Andrea Doria who had lost three major battles against the Turks in 1538, 1541 and 1552.

On March 12, 1560, the Holy League captured the island of Djerba which had a strategic location and could control the sea routes between Algiers and Tripoli. As a response, Suleiman the Magnificent sent an Ottoman fleet of 120 ships under the command of Piyale Pasha, which arrived at Djerba on May 9, 1560. The battle lasted until May 14, 1560, and the forces of Piyale Pasha and Turgut Reis had an overwhelming victory at the Battle of Djerba. The Holy League lost more than 60 galleys and 20,000 men, and Giovanni Andrea Doria could barely escape with a small vessel. The Ottomans retook the Fortress of Djerba, whose Spanish commander, D. Alvaro de Sande, attempted to escape with a ship but was followed and eventually captured by Turgut Reis. In 1596 Ottoman forces took control of Tunis that had been nominally a Spanish protectorate since its conquest by Charles I in 1535 at the behest of Mulay Hassan.

The grave threat posed by the increasing Ottoman domination of the Mediterranean was reversed in one of history’s most decisive battles, with the destruction of nearly the entire Ottoman fleet at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, by the Holy League under the command of Philip’s half brother, Don John of Austria. A fleet sent by Philip, again commanded by Don John, reconquered Tunis from the Ottomans in 1573. However, the Turks soon rebuilt their fleet and in 1574 Uluç Ali Reis managed to recapture Tunis with a force of 250 galleys and a siege which lasted 40 days.

In 1585 a peace treaty was signed with the Ottomans.

 

Spanish hegemony and the Counter-Reformation achieved a clear boost when Philip married Mary Tudor — a Catholic — in 1554. However, they had no children Queen Mary, or “Bloody Mary” as she was known by English Protestants, died in 1558 before the union could revitalize the Catholic Church in England.

The throne went to the formidable Elizabeth, the Protestant daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. This union was deemed illegitimate by English Catholics, who did not recognize divorce and who claimed that Mary Queen of Scots, the Catholic great-granddaughter of Henry VII, was the legitimate heir to the throne.

The execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1587 ended Philip’s hopes of placing a Catholic on the English throne. He turned instead to more direct plans to return England to Catholicism by invasion. His opportunity came when England provided support for the Dutch rebels. In 1588 he sent a fleet of vessels, Spanish Armada, to lead an invasion. However, a so-called “Protestant Wind” thwarted Spanish ambitions, enabling the small, deftly maneuverable English ships to defeat the larger and less-maneuverable Spanish ships. Eventually, three more Armadas were deployed; two were sent to England, both of which also failed; the third was diverted to the Azores and Canarie Islands to fend off raids there. This Anglo-Spanish war would be fought to a grinding end, but not until both Philip II and Elizabeth I were dead.

The stunning defeat of the Spanish Armada gave great heart to the Protestant cause across Europe. Many Spaniards blamed the admiral of the Armada for its failure, but Philip was not among them. The Spanish navy was rebuilt, and intelligence networks were improved. An example of the character of Philip II can be given by the fact that he personally saw that the wounded of this expedition were treated and received a pension, which was unusual for the time.

While the invasion had been averted, England was unable to take advantage of this success. An attempt to use her newfound advantage at sea with a counter armada the following year failed disastrously. Likewise, English buccaneering and attempts to seize territories in the Caribbean were defeated by Spain’s rebuilt navy and her intelligence networks.

Even though Philip was bankrupt by 1596, in the last decade of his life more silver and gold was shipped safely to Spain than ever before. This allowed Spain to continue military efforts.

 

From 1590 to 1598 Philip was also at war against Henry IV of France, joining with the Papacy and the Duke of Guise in the Catholic League during the French Wars of Religion. Philip’s interventions in the fighting – sending Alessandro Farnese, Duke of Parma to relieve the siege of Paris in 1590, and again into Rouen in 1592 – to aid the Catholic faction, was disastrous in terms of the Dutch Revolt, allowing the Dutch forces opportunities time to regroup and refortify their defenses. Henry IV of France was also able to use his propagandists to identify the Catholic faction with a foreign enemy. In 1593, Henry agreed to convert to Catholicism; this caused most French Catholics to rally to his side against the Spanish forces. In June 1595 the redoubtable French king defeated the Spanish supported Holy League in Fontaine-Francaise in Burgundy and reconquered Amiens from the overstretched Spanish forces in September 1597. The 1598 Treaty of Vervins was largely a restatement of the 1559 Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis; meanwhile, Henry issued the Edict of Nantes, which offered a high degree of religious toleration for French Protestants. The military intervention in France thus ended in a disappointing fashion for Philip, as it failed to either oust Henry from the throne or suppress Protestantism in France. However, the conversion of Henry also ensured that Catholicism would remain France’s majority faith.

 

Under Philip II Spain reached the peak of its power but also met its limits. Having nearly reconquered the rebellious Netherlands, Philip’s unyielding attitude led to their loss, this time permanently, as his wars expanded in scope and complexity. So in spite of the great and increasing quantities of gold and silver flowing into his coffers from the American mines, the riches of the Portuguese spice trade and the enthusiastic support of the Habsburg dominions for the Counter-Reformation he would never succeed in suppressing Protestantantism or defeating the Dutch rebellion. Early in his reign the Dutch may have laid down their weapons if he had desisted in trying to suppress Protestantism, but his devotion to Roman Catholicism and the principle of cuius regio, eius religio, as laid down by his father, would not permit him. He was a fervent Roman Catholic, and exhibited the typical 16th century disdain for religious heterodoxy.

Philip’s wars against what he perceived to be heresies led not only to the persecution of Protestants, but also to the harsh treatment of the Moriscos, causing a massive local uprising in 1568. The damage of these endless wars would ultimately undermine the Spanish Habsburg empire after his passing. His endless meddling in details, inability to prioritise and failure to effectively delegate authority hamstrung his government and led to the creation of a cumbersome and overly centralised bureaucracy. Under the weak leadership of his successors it would drift towards disaster. Yet such was the strength of the system he and his father had built this did not start to become clearly apparent until a generation after his death.

However Philip II’s reign cannot simply be characterised as a failure. He consolidated Spain’s overseas empire, succeeded in massively increasing the importation of silver in the face of English, Dutch and French privateering, and ended the major threat posed to Europe by the Ottoman navy. He succeeded in uniting Portugal and Spain through personal union. He dealt successfully with a crisis that could have led to the secession of Aragon. His efforts also contributed substantially to the success of the Catholic Reformation in checking the religious tide of Protestantism in Northern Europe. Philip was a complex man, and though given to suspicion of members of his court, was not the cruel tyrant that he has been painted by his opponents. Philip was known to intervene personally on behalf of the humblest of his subjects. Above all a man of duty; he was also trapped by it.

He died in 1598 and was succeeded by his son, King Philip III. Philip II’s enemies (generally Protestant propagandists) were instrumental in the creation of the Black Legend of Spain, which painted the king as a merciless, bloodthirsty tyrant and the Spanish empire as being built upon greed, deception, and destruction.

 

15 January 1759

The British Museum opens.

In 1753 Sir Hans Sloane, an Irish-born physician and naturalist, left his collection of 71,000 books, manuscripts, natural specimens and other objects to the nation in his will, in return for a payment of £20,000 to his heirs. The collection was used as the basis for the British Museum, the world’s first national public museum, which was established by an Act of Parliament on 7 June 1753. It opened on 15 January 1759, offering free admission to all “studious and curious persons”.

The museum was first located in Montagu House in Bloomsbury. During the 18th century it attracted around 5,000 people per year, but its popularity increased greatly in the 1800s. In 1823 George IV donated the King’s Library to the collection and this led to the construction of the main quadrangular building and the circular Reading Room that are the centre of the museum today.

These were completed in 1857. To allow room for expansion, the museum’s natural history collection was relocated to a new building in South Kensington during the 1880s, which is now called the Natural History Museum.

The book collection, which had been housed in the Great Court around the Reading Room, moved to the new British Library building in St Pancras in 1997. The Great Court, which had effectively been closed to the public since 1857, was then refurbished at a cost of £100m, including the construction of a new glass and steel roof that made it the largest public square in Europe. Today, the British Museum has over 3.5 million objects on display and attracts more than six million people every year.

14 January 1950

The first prototype of the USSR’s MiG-17 makes its maiden flight.

Another prototype of Mikoyan Gurevich fighter I-330 SI made its first flight on the 14th of January 1950 piloted by Ivan Ivashchenko. The aircraft, the improved version of the I-310 or the first prototype of MiG-15, was developed to be the advanced version of MiG jet fighter, the MiG 17.

The MiG-17 was a single-seat, single engine fighter armed with cannon, and capable of high subsonic and transonic speed.

The prototype’s wings were very thin and this allowed them to flex. The aircraft suffered from “aileron reversal,” in that the forces created by applying aileron to roll the aircraft about its longitudinal axis were sufficient to bend the wings and that caused the airplane to roll in the opposite direction.

The first prototype I 330 SI developed “flutter” while on a test flight, 17th of March 1950. This was a common problem during the era, as designers and engineers learned how to build an airplane that could smoothly transition through the “sound barrier.” The rapidly changing aerodynamic forces caused the structure to fail and the horizontal tail surfaces were torn off. The prototype went into an unrecoverable spin. Test pilot Ivashchenko was killed.

Two more prototypes, SI 02 and SI 03, were built. The aircraft was approved for production in 1951.

More than 10,000 MiG 17 fighters were built in the Soviet Union, Poland and China. The type remains in service with North Korea.

Ivan T. Ivashchenko was born at Ust-Labinsk, Krasnodar Krai, Russia, 16th of October 1905. He served in the Red Army from 1927 to 1930. Ivashchenko was trained as a pilot at the Lugansk Military Aviation School at Voroshilovgrad, and a year later graduated from the Kachin Military Aviation College at Volgograd.

In 1939, he fought in The Winter War. During the Great Patriotic War, Ivan Ivashchenko flew with a fighter squadron in the defense of Moscow.

From 1940 to 1945, Ivan Ivashchenko was a test pilot and flew the Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik fighter bomber extensively. In 1945 Ivashchenko was reassigned to OKB Mikoyan, where he worked on the development of the MiG 15 and MiG 17 fighters. He participated in testing ejection seat systems and in supersonic flight.

Ivan T. Ivashchenko was a Hero of the Soviet Union, and was awarded the Order of Lenin, Order of the Red Banner and Order of the Patriotic War. He was killed in at the age of 44 years.

13 January 2018

A false emergency alert warning is sent out of an impending missile strike in Hawaii causing widespread panic in the state.

On Saturday morning, January 13, 2018, a false ballistic missile alert was issued via the Emergency Alert System and Commercial Mobile Alert System over television, radio, and cellphones in the U.S. state of Hawaii. The alert stated that there was an incoming ballistic missile threat to Hawaii, advised residents to seek shelter, and concluded “This is not a drill”. The message was sent at 8:07 a.m. local time. However, no civil defense outdoor warning sirens were authorized or sounded by the state.

A second message, sent 38 minutes later, described the first as a “false alarm”. State officials blamed a miscommunication during a drill at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency for the first message. Governor David Ige publicly apologized for the erroneous alert, which caused panic and disruption throughout the state. The Federal Communications Commission and the Hawaii House of Representatives launched investigations into the incident, leading to the resignation of the state’s emergency management administrator.

Escalating tensions between North Korea and the United States, including threats by both countries that they could use nuclear weapons against one another, prompted a heightened state of readiness in Hawaii. North Korea had conducted several intercontinental ballistic missile tests over the past year, most recently in November 2017, enhancing its strike capabilities. It is possible that North Korea has the capability to deliver nuclear missiles to Hawaii. Hawaii is located roughly 4,600 miles from North Korea, and a missile launched from North Korea would leave perhaps 12 to 15 minutes of warning time.

Hawaii officials had been working for some time to refresh the state’s emergency plans in case of a nuclear attack from North Korea. An October 2017 email from the University of Hawaii to students with the subject line “In the event of a nuclear attack”, containing instructions from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency on how to react in case of a nuclear attack, caused controversy; a university spokesman ultimately apologized for “any needless concern it may have caused”. Testing of the civil defense warning sirens and attack drills were also conducted in the state on the first business day of the month beginning in December 2017. On December 1, 2017, a nuclear threat siren was tested in Hawaii for the first time in more than 30 years, the first of what state officials said would be monthly drills. At 11:45 a.m. on January 2, 2018, the state conducted its monthly test of the civil defense outdoor warning siren system including the sounding of a one-minute Attention Alert Signal followed by a one-minute Attack Warning Signal. There was no exercise or drill accompanying the test. Prior to January 13, 2018, 26 drills had been conducted. Vern Miyagi, administrator of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, explained that state leaders “couldn’t ignore these constant threats and missile tests from North Korea” and felt the need to prepare residents for the possibility of an attack. Officials also outlined what would happen if an emergency alert were sent: a push alert to smartphones and a message interrupting television and radio broadcasts. The J-Alert used in Japan to warn of tsunamis, etc., also uses the push message notifications.

Earlier in January 2018, U.S. Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai said the commission planned to vote to overhaul the wireless emergency alert system. The proposed reforms include providing more detailed information in alerts and confining emergency notifications to a more specific geographic area. Pai said he hoped the reforms, which would take effect in late 2019 if approved by the FCC, would lead to greater use of the alert system in local emergency situations and prompt people to take alerts they receive more seriously.

The alert was sent at 8:07 a.m. Hawaii–Aleutian Standard Time. People in Hawaii reported seeing the alert on their smartphones. Many screenshots of the push alert were shared on social media platforms, such as Twitter. The alert read, in all capital letters:

BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

Local television broadcasts, including a college basketball game between Florida and Ole Miss being shown on CBS affiliate KGMB and a Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Everton on NBC affiliate KHNL, were also interrupted by a similar alert message, broadcast as a Civil Danger Warning. The alert message on television broadcasts took the form of both an audio message and a scrolling banner. It stated in part:

The U.S. Pacific Command has detected a missile threat to Hawaii. A missile may impact on land or sea within minutes. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. If you are indoors, stay indoors. If you are outdoors, seek immediate shelter in a building. Remain indoors well away from windows. If you are driving, pull safely to the side of the road and seek shelter in a building or lay on the floor. We will announce when the threat has ended. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. Take immediate action measures.

An alert message also interrupted radio broadcasts in the state. In Lihue, a resident reported hearing a message on the radio advising of “an incoming missile warning for the islands of Kauai and Hawaii”.

Culpability for the false alert was attributed to an employee at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, who officials said was a 10-year agency veteran who had previously exhibited behavior that had troubled coworkers, according to The Washington Post. Vern Miyagi, then-administrator of HI-EMA, said the alert had been inadvertently triggered by the employee as he was working at the Diamond Head Crater headquarters during a shift change. During the shift change, a supervisor ran an unscheduled drill in which he contacted emergency management workers in the guise of an officer from U.S. Pacific Command, according to state officials. The supervisor deviated from the script, officials said, erroneously stating at one point, “This is not a drill,” although he reportedly did state before and after the message, “Exercise, exercise, exercise,” agency code to indicate a test rather than an actual emergency.

Officials said that upon hearing the supervisor’s statement, the employee, who had a reported history of having “confused real life events and drills” at least twice before and later attested in a written statement that he believed there was an actual emergency, clicked the button to send out an actual notification on Hawaii’s emergency alert interface during what was intended to be a test of the state’s ballistic missile preparations computer program and then clicked through a second screen, which had been intended as a safeguard, to confirm. An agency spokesman told The Washington Post that the employee, prompted to choose between the options “test missile alert” and “missile alert”, had selected the latter, initiating the alert sent out across the state. The employee later claimed to the Associated Press that he had not heard the “exercise” part of the phone call because a co-worker had placed it on speakerphone partway into the message, and as a result, he had been “100 percent sure” the attack was real. State officials said five other workers were present at the agency at the time and all of them recognized the phone call as an impromptu drill.

State response
By 8:10 a.m. HST, officials later said, Hawaii National Guard Adjutant General Arthur “Joe” Logan had contacted U.S. Pacific Command and confirmed there had been no missile launch. At that time, the Honolulu Police Department was notified that the alert had been a false alarm. Officials used the State Warning Point system at 8:13 a.m. to cancel the alert, preventing it from being sent out to any phones that had not already received it, such as those that were switched off or did not have reception. The employee who originally sent out the erroneous notification did not respond when directed to cancel the alert, according to state officials. He later said he felt like he had been dealt a “body blow” upon realizing the supposed attack had been a drill, the Associated Press reported. Another unidentified worker grabbed the employee’s computer mouse and cancelled the alert when the first employee failed to respond.

Official messages refuting the emergency alert were not sent out until 8:20 a.m., according to the timeline released by officials after the incident. Hawaii Emergency Management Agency accounts on Facebook and Twitter posted messages at that time urging people to disregard the erroneous alert. Minutes later, Governor David Ige retweeted the HI-EMA message on Twitter and posted a similar message on Facebook to notify followers that the alert had been canceled. Ige later said the delay was caused in part by the fact he did not know his Twitter login information. An email from the state was also sent at about 8:25 a.m. advising that the initial alert was not correct, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

Electronic highway signs were also used to spread the word that the alert had been issued “in error” and that there was no threat to Hawaii.

Second alert
At 8:45 a.m. HST, 38 minutes after the initial alert was sent to smartphones in Hawaii, a second emergency alert was sent, which stated:

There is no missile threat or danger to the State of Hawaii. Repeat. False Alarm.

The second alert was sent “well after everyone from Hawaii’s congressional delegation to the U.S. Pacific Command had assured the world on Twitter that it was a false alarm”, Pacific Business News remarked.

Governor David Ige explained at a news conference that afternoon that officials “had to initiate a manual process” and obtain authorization from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in order to send the second alert, because there was no automated way to countermand the first alert. Those procedures accounted for the delay more than 30 minutes after officials had confirmed internally that the alert was inaccurate, according to officials.

Impact
During the 38 minutes between the first and second alerts, Hawaii’s siren warning system — which had been tested as part of a missile preparedness exercise the previous month for the first time since the Cold War — was not formally activated. Had a missile truly been launched, the Hawaii push alert should have been followed up with another set of alarms with sirens, which did not happen, as observed by some residents. Nevertheless, officials stated that some sirens did appear to go off in some communities, with some residents reporting sirens activated on Oahu a few minutes after the push notification. Little to no activity was reported at military bases in the state. Some commercial flights were reportedly delayed for a short time, although the Hawaii Department of Transportation said there were no widespread impacts at the state’s airports and harbors.

Disruptions were reported across the state. Honolulu Civil Beat reported that motorists parked inside the Interstate H-3 tunnel on the island of Oahu for shelter. Hawaii News Now reported that alarms sounded at Aloha Gymfest, an international gymnastics meet in Kailua, sending hundreds of people running for cover. Students at the University of Hawaii at Manoa reportedly headed for marked fallout shelters on campus but, finding them locked, ended up taking shelter in nearby classrooms instead. Officials at the Sony Open PGA Tour golf tournament on Oahu ordered an evacuation of the media center, while staff members sought cover in the kitchen and players’ locker room. Tourists at Kualoa Ranch in Kaneohe were reportedly taken up to a concrete bunker in the mountains by staff and told to shelter in place there. Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa later said her husband had been driving on a Honolulu-area freeway and saw cars speeding at up to 100 miles per hour after the alert was sent out. Many Hawaii residents and visitors sought shelter or rushed through emergency preparations where they were. Some discounted the alarm when they realized that they heard no sirens, and that they personally saw no immediate coverage on television or local radio. Others were in areas where sirens did go off; in addition, some television stations did broadcast the alert.

The incident also created a strain on Hawaii’s telephone system. Civil Defense offices in Hawaii were inundated with calls from frightened residents asking for advice or more information, the New Zealand Herald reported. Many calls to 9-1-1 would not go through. Many wireless data services were likewise initially jammed, leaving many unable to access the Internet to confirm whether the alarm was real. Some residents called friends or family members to say goodbye.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis reported that the false alert did not appear to have prompted any sort of reaction from the North Korean government.

State officials held a news conference in the afternoon of January 13 to address the incident. State officials placed former Hawaii Army National Guard commander Bruce E. Oliveira in charge of internally investigating the events that resulted in the false alert being sent out. In his report, published January 30, Oliveira faulted “insufficient management controls, poor computer software design, and human factors” for the incident.

Officials did not name the employee responsible for the error. Hawaii Emergency Management Agency head Vern Miyagi initially declined to say whether the employee, who he said felt “terrible” about the false alert, would face discipline. An agency spokesman said January 14 the employee had been “temporarily reassigned” to a position that did not allow him access to the emergency warning system, pending the result of the internal investigation. The employee was ultimately fired on January 26, following findings in Oliveira’s investigation regarding his work history and failure to follow directions. A second employee, who was also not identified and whose role in the incident was not disclosed, was suspended without pay. Toby Clairmont, HI-EMA’s executive officer, announced January 20 he planned to retire by the end of the year.

The Federal Communications Commission also announced that it would conduct a full investigation into the incident. On January 25, an FCC official announced that the former employee responsible for sending the false report was refusing to cooperate with the FCC probe of the incident. The FCC report, released January 30, faulted the state for failing to quickly notify the public and not having safeguards in place sufficient to prevent the error. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai stated:

Every state and local government that originates alerts needs to learn from these mistakes. Each should make sure they have adequate safeguards in place. … The public needs to be able to trust that when the government issues an alert it is indeed a credible alert.

Miyagi resigned as HI-EMA administrator the same day the state and federal reports were released. Clairmont announced his resignation a day later.

Other official actions
Then-administrator Vern Miyagi said the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency suspended tests while assessing what had happened following the incident. He also announced the agency immediately changed its procedures to require two people, instead of just one, to send out both test alerts and actual alerts. HI-EMA employees will be “counseled and drilled so this never happens again”, Miyagi said January 14.

Governor David Ige announced January 15 that he was appointing Brigadier General Kenneth Hara, Hawaii’s deputy adjutant general, to oversee a review of the state’s emergency management systems and procedures and implement reforms.[98] The agency also moved quickly to implement a cancellation command that officials said can be triggered within seconds of an erroneous alert being sent out, which it reportedly lacked before the January 13 incident. The Hawaii emergency alert interface screen was updated with a BMD False Alarm selection the same day, addressing a system deficiency that made it difficult for the state to countermand an alert sent in error.

HI-EMA reported that some of its employees received death threats after the false alert incident. In a rare public address, Ige called the threats “completely unacceptable” and said he was “ultimately responsible” for the error.

Although Governor Ige’s office issued on February 27, 2018, a Siren and Emergency Alert System Test for March 1, 2018, the state of Hawaii did not test the nuclear warning siren in March and dropped its monthly test of the nuclear warning siren beginning on March 1, 2018.

In July 2018, the FCC issued a report and order which makes changes to EAS regulations to “improve the integrity, efficacy, and reliability” of the system and “minimize the potential for false alerts.” The changes require EAS participants to configure their hardware to “reject Common Alerting Protocol-based alerts that contain an invalid digital signature and legacy based alerts whose expiration time falls outside of specific time limits”, and report any false alarms to the FCC. The commission also implemented procedures for authorizing voluntarily participation in “live code” tests—public exercises that simulate an actual emergency in order to “promote greater proficiency” in the system by EAS operators and participants. These changes were the result of recommendations from the FCC’s report on the Hawaii incident.

At 8:18 a.m. HST on October 3, 2018, the first national Wireless Emergency Alert test, also known as the Presidential Alert text system, was broadcast by FEMA in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission through cell phone towers to wireless devices. The subject read, “Presidential Alert” and the text message sent read, “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” Since the WEA test was issued on behalf of the President, no one could opt out. The 8:18 a.m. HST WEA test lasted for 30 minutes and was followed at 8:20 a.m. HST with the fourth nationwide Emergency Alert System test which lasted about a minute and involved radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers. These two tests were scheduled for September 20, 2018, but the occurrence of Hurricane Florence caused the two tests to be postponed. Although FEMA called this a national test of Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, neither the National Weather Service nor the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radios participated in the tests.

12 January 2005

Deep Impact launches from Cape Canaveral.

Deep Impact was a NASA space probe launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on January 12, 2005. It was designed to study the interior composition of the comet Tempel 1, by releasing an impactor into the comet. At 05:52 UTC on July 4, 2005, the Impactor successfully collided with the comet’s nucleus. The impact excavated debris from the interior of the nucleus, forming an impact crater. Photographs taken by the spacecraft showed the comet to be more dusty and less icy than had been expected. The impact generated an unexpectedly large and bright dust cloud, obscuring the view of the impact crater.

Previous space missions to comets, such as Giotto, Deep Space 1, and Stardust, were fly-by missions. These missions were able to photograph and examine only the surfaces of cometary nuclei, and even then from considerable distances. The Deep Impact mission was the first to eject material from a comet’s surface, and the mission garnered considerable publicity from the media, international scientists, and amateur astronomers alike.

Upon the completion of its primary mission, proposals were made to further utilize the spacecraft. Consequently, Deep Impact flew by Earth on December 31, 2007 on its way to an extended mission, designated EPOXI, with a dual purpose to study extrasolar planets and comet Hartley 2. Communication was unexpectedly lost in September 2013 while the craft was heading for another asteroid flyby.

The Deep Impact mission was planned to help answer fundamental questions about comets, which included what makes up the composition of the comet’s nucleus, what depth the crater would reach from the impact, and where the comet originated in its formation. By observing the composition of the comet, astronomers hoped to determine how comets form based on the differences between the interior and exterior makeup of the comet. Observations of the impact and its aftermath would allow astronomers to attempt to determine the answers to these questions.

The mission’s Principal Investigator was Michael A’Hearn, an astronomer at the University of Maryland. He led the science team, which included members from Cornell University, University of Maryland, University of Arizona, Brown University, Belton Space Exploration Initiatives, JPL, University of Hawaii, SAIC, Ball Aerospace, and Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik.

The spacecraft consists of two main sections, the 372-kilogram copper-core “Smart Impactor” that impacted the comet, and the 601 kg “Flyby” section, which imaged the comet from a safe distance during the encounter with Tempel 1.

The Flyby spacecraft is about 3.3 meters long, 1.7 meters wide and 2.3 meters high. It includes two solar panels, a debris shield, and several science instruments for imaging, infrared spectroscopy, and optical navigation to its destination near the comet. The spacecraft also carried two cameras, the High Resolution Imager, and the Medium Resolution Imager. The HRI is an imaging device that combines a visible-light camera with a filter wheel, and an imaging infrared spectrometer called the “Spectral Imaging Module” or SIM that operates on a spectral band from 1.05 to 4.8 micrometres. It has been optimized for observing the comet’s nucleus. The MRI is the backup device, and was used primarily for navigation during the final 10-day approach. It also has a filter wheel, with a slightly different set of filters.

The Impactor section of the spacecraft contains an instrument that is optically identical to the MRI, called the Impactor Targeting Sensor, but without the filter wheel. Its dual purpose was to sense the Impactor’s trajectory, which could then be adjusted up to four times between release and impact, and to image the comet from close range. As the Impactor neared the comet’s surface, this camera took high-resolution pictures of the nucleus that were transmitted in real-time to the Flyby spacecraft before it and the Impactor were destroyed. The final image taken by the Impactor was snapped only 3.7 seconds before impact.

The Impactor’s payload, dubbed the “Cratering Mass”, was 100% copper, with a weight of 100 kg. Including this cratering mass, copper formed 49% of total mass of the Impactor; this was to minimize interference with scientific measurements. Since copper was not expected to be found on a comet, scientists could ignore copper’s signature in any spectrometer readings. Instead of using explosives, it was also cheaper to use copper as the payload.

Explosives would also have been superfluous. At its closing velocity of 10.2 km/s, the Impactor’s kinetic energy was equivalent to 4.8 metric tons of TNT, considerably more than its actual mass of only 372 kg.

The mission coincidentally shared its name with the 1998 film, Deep Impact, in which a comet strikes the Earth.

Following its launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station pad SLC-17B at 18:47 UTC on January 12, 2005, the Deep Impact spacecraft traveled 429 million km in 174 days to reach comet Tempel 1 at a cruising speed of 28.6 km/s. Once the spacecraft reached the vicinity of the comet on July 3, 2005, it separated into the Impactor and Flyby sections. The Impactor used its thrusters to move into the path of the comet, impacting 24 hours later at a relative speed of 10.3 km/s. The Impactor delivered 1.96×1010 joules of kinetic energy—the equivalent of 4.7 tons of TNT. Scientists believed that the energy of the high-velocity collision would be sufficient to excavate a crater up to 100 m wide, larger than the bowl of the Roman Colosseum. The size of the crater was still not known one year after the impact. The 2007 Stardust spacecraft’s NExT mission determined the crater’s diameter to be 150 meters.

Just minutes after the impact, the Flyby probe passed by the nucleus at a close distance of 500 km, taking pictures of the crater position, the ejecta plume, and the entire cometary nucleus. The entire event was also photographed by Earth-based telescopes and orbital observatories, including Hubble, Chandra, Spitzer, and XMM-Newton. The impact was also observed by cameras and spectroscopes on board Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft, which was about 80 million km from the comet at the time of impact. Rosetta determined the composition of the gas and dust cloud that was kicked up by the impact.

11 January 1908

The Grand Canyon National Monument is created.

January 11, 1908 Grand Canyon National Monument is created

Declaring that “The ages had been at work on it, and man can only mar it,” President Theodore Roosevelt designates the mighty Grand Canyon a national monument.

Home to Native Americans for centuries, the first European to see the vast brightly colored spectacle of the Grand Canyon was Don Garcia Lopez de Cardenas, who traveled through northern Arizona in 1540 with the Spanish explorer Coronado. Subsequent explorers also marveled at the amazing view from the rim, but few dared to attempt the treacherous descent into the 5,000-foot-deep canyon and explore the miles of maze-like twists and turns.

Even as late as the 1860s, the Grand Canyon remained terra incognita to most non-natives. In 1869, though, the geologist John Wesley Powell made his first daring journey through the canyon via the Colorado River. Powell and nine men floated down Wyoming’s Green River in small wooden boats to its confluence with the Colorado River, and then into the “Great Unknown” of the Grand Canyon. Astonishingly, Powell and his men managed to guide their fragile wooden boats through a punishing series of rapids, whirlpools, and rocks. They emerged humbled but alive at the end of the canyon in late August. No one died on the river, though Indians killed three men who had abandoned the expedition and attempted to walk back to civilization, convinced their chances were better in the desert than on the treacherous Colorado.

By the late 19th century, the growing American fascination with nature and wilderness made the canyon an increasingly popular tourist destination. Entrepreneurs threw up several shoddily constructed hotels on the south rim in order to profit from the stunning view. The arrival of a spur line of the Santa Fe railroad in 1901 provided a far quicker and more comfortable means of reaching the canyon than the previous stagecoach route. By 1915, more than 100,000 visitors were arriving every year.

10 January 1870

John D Rockefeller starts Standard Oil.

By the end of the American Civil War, Cleveland was one of the five main refining centers in the U.S.. By 1869 there was triple the kerosene refining capacity than needed to supply the market, and the capacity remained in excess for many years.

On January 10, 1870, Rockefeller abolished the partnership of Rockefeller, Andrews & Flagler, forming Standard Oil of Ohio. Continuing to apply his work ethic and efficiency, Rockefeller quickly expanded the company to be the most profitable refiner in Ohio. Likewise, it became one of the largest shippers of oil and kerosene in the country. The railroads competed fiercely for traffic and, in an attempt to create a cartel to control freight rates, formed the South Improvement Company offering special deals to bulk customers like Standard Oil, outside the main oil centers. The cartel offered preferential treatment as a high-volume shipper, which included not just steep discounts/rebates of up to 50% for their product but rebates for the shipment of competing products.

Part of this scheme was the announcement of sharply increased freight charges. This touched off a firestorm of protest from independent oil well owners, including boycotts and vandalism, which led to the discovery of Standard Oil’s part in the deal. A major New York refiner, Charles Pratt and Company, headed by Charles Pratt and Henry H. Rogers, led the opposition to this plan, and railroads soon backed off. Pennsylvania revoked the cartel’s charter, and non-preferential rates were restored for the time being. While competitors may have been unhappy, Rockefeller’s efforts did bring American consumers cheaper kerosene and other oil by-products. Before 1870, oil light was only for the wealthy, provided by expensive whale oil. During the next decade, kerosene became commonly available to the working and middle classes.

Undeterred, though vilified for the first time by the press, Rockefeller continued with his self-reinforcing cycle of buying the least efficient competing refiners, improving the efficiency of his operations, pressing for discounts on oil shipments, undercutting his competition, making secret deals, raising investment pools, and buying rivals out. In less than four months in 1872, in what was later known as “The Cleveland Conquest” or “The Cleveland Massacre,” Standard Oil absorbed 22 of its 26 Cleveland competitors. Eventually, even his former antagonists, Pratt and Rogers, saw the futility of continuing to compete against Standard Oil; in 1874, they made a secret agreement with Rockefeller to be acquired.

Standard Oil Trust Certificate 1896
Pratt and Rogers became Rockefeller’s partners. Rogers, in particular, became one of Rockefeller’s key men in the formation of the Standard Oil Trust. Pratt’s son, Charles Millard Pratt, became secretary of Standard Oil. For many of his competitors, Rockefeller had merely to show them his books so they could see what they were up against and then make them a decent offer. If they refused his offer, he told them he would run them into bankruptcy and then cheaply buy up their assets at auction. However, he did not intend to eliminate competition entirely. In fact, his partner Pratt said of that accusation “Competitors we must have … If we absorb them, it surely will bring up another.”

Instead of wanting to eliminate them, Rockefeller saw himself as the industry’s savior, “an angel of mercy” absorbing the weak and making the industry as a whole stronger, more efficient, and more competitive. Standard was growing horizontally and vertically. It added its own pipelines, tank cars, and home delivery network. It kept oil prices low to stave off competitors, made its products affordable to the average household, and, to increase market penetration, sometimes sold below cost. It developed over 300 oil-based products from tar to paint to petroleum jelly to chewing gum. By the end of the 1870s, Standard was refining over 90% of the oil in the U.S.[54] Rockefeller had already become a millionaire.

He instinctively realized that orderliness would only proceed from centralized control of large aggregations of plant and capital, with the one aim of an orderly flow of products from the producer to the consumer. That orderly, economic, efficient flow is what we now, many years later, call ‘vertical integration’ I do not know whether Mr. Rockefeller ever used the word ‘integration’. I only know he conceived the idea.

—?A Standard Oil of Ohio successor of Rockefeller

Share of the Standard Oil Company, issued May 1, 1878
In 1877, Standard clashed with Thomas A. Scott, the president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Standard’s chief hauler. Rockefeller envisioned pipelines as an alternative transport system for oil and began a campaign to build and acquire them. The railroad, seeing Standard’s incursion into the transportation and pipeline fields, struck back and formed a subsidiary to buy and build oil refineries and pipelines.

Standard countered, held back its shipments, and, with the help of other railroads, started a price war that dramatically reduced freight payments and caused labor unrest. Rockefeller prevailed and the railroad sold its oil interests to Standard. In the aftermath of that battle, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania indicted Rockefeller in 1879 on charges of monopolizing the oil trade, starting an avalanche of similar court proceedings in other states and making a national issue of Standard Oil’s business practices. Rockefeller was under great strain during the 1870s and 1880s when he was carrying out his plan of consolidation and integration and being attacked by the press. He complained that he could not stay asleep most nights. Rockefeller later commented:

All the fortune that I have made has not served to compensate me for the anxiety of that period.

9 January 2007

Apple announces original iPhone at Macworld in San Francisco.

MACWORLD SAN FRANCISCO—January 9, 2007—Apple® today introduced iPhone, combining three products—a revolutionary mobile phone, a widescreen iPod® with touch controls, and a breakthrough Internet communications device with desktop-class email, web browsing, searching and maps—into one small and lightweight handheld device. iPhone introduces an entirely new user interface based on a large multi-touch display and pioneering new software, letting users control iPhone with just their fingers. iPhone also ushers in an era of software power and sophistication never before seen in a mobile device, which completely redefines what users can do on their mobile phones.
“iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We are all born with the ultimate pointing device—our fingers—and iPhone uses them to create the most revolutionary user interface since the mouse.”

iPhone is a revolutionary new mobile phone that allows users to make calls by simply pointing at a name or number. iPhone syncs all of your contacts from your PC, Mac® or Internet service such as Yahoo!, so that you always have your full list of up-to-date contacts with you. In addition, you can easily construct a favorites list for your most frequently made calls, and easily merge calls together to create conference calls.
iPhone’s pioneering Visual Voicemail, an industry first, lets users look at a listing of their voicemails, decide which messages to listen to, then go directly to those messages without listening to the prior messages. Just like email, iPhone’s Visual Voicemail enables users to immediately randomly access those messages that interest them most.
iPhone includes an SMS application with a full QWERTY soft keyboard to easily send and receive SMS messages in multiple sessions. When users need to type, iPhone presents them with an elegant touch keyboard which is predictive to prevent and correct mistakes, making it much easier and more efficient to use than the small plastic keyboards on many smartphones. iPhone also includes a calendar application that allows calendars to be automatically synced with your PC or Mac.
iPhone features a 2 megapixel camera and a photo management application that is far beyond anything on a phone today. Users can browse their photo library, which can be easily synced from their PC or Mac, with just a flick of a finger and easily choose a photo for their wallpaper or to include in an email.
iPhone is a quad-band GSM phone which also features EDGE and Wi-Fi wireless technologies for data networking. Apple has chosen Cingular, the best and most popular carrier in the US with over 58 million subscribers, to be Apple’s exclusive carrier partner for iPhone in the US.

iPhone is a widescreen iPod with touch controls that lets music lovers “touch” their music by easily scrolling through entire lists of songs, artists, albums and playlists with just a flick of a finger. Album artwork is stunningly presented on iPhone’s large and vibrant display.
iPhone also features Cover Flow, Apple’s amazing way to browse your music library by album cover artwork, for the first time on an iPod. When navigating your music library on iPhone, you are automatically switched into Cover Flow by simply rotating iPhone into its landscape position.
iPhone’s stunning 3.5-inch widescreen display offers the ultimate way to watch TV shows and movies on a pocketable device, with touch controls for play-pause, chapter forward-backward and volume. iPhone plays the same videos purchased from the online iTunes® Store that users enjoy watching on their computers and iPods, and will soon enjoy watching on their widescreen televisions using the new Apple TV™. The iTunes Store now offers over 350 television shows, over 250 feature films and over 5,000 music videos.
iPhone lets users enjoy all their iPod content, including music, audiobooks, audio podcasts, video podcasts, music videos, television shows and movies. iPhone syncs content from a user’s iTunes library on their PC or Mac, and can play any music or video content they have purchased from the online iTunes store.

iPhone is a Breakthrough Internet Communications Device
iPhone features a rich HTML email client which fetches your email in the background from most POP3 or IMAP mail services and displays photos and graphics right along with the text. iPhone is fully multi-tasking, so you can be reading a web page while downloading your email in the background.
Yahoo! Mail, the world’s largest email service with over 250 million users, is offering a new free “push” IMAP email service to all iPhone users that automatically pushes new email to a user’s iPhone, and can be set up by simply entering your Yahoo! name and password. iPhone will also work with most industry standard IMAP and POP based email services, such as Microsoft Exchange, Apple .Mac Mail, AOL Mail, Google Gmail and most ISP mail services.
iPhone also features the most advanced and fun-to-use web browser on a portable device with a version of its award-winning Safari™ web browser for iPhone. Users can see any web page the way it was designed to be seen, and then easily zoom in to expand any section by simply tapping on iPhone’s multi-touch display with their finger. Users can surf the web from just about anywhere over Wi-Fi or EDGE, and can automatically sync their bookmarks from their PC or Mac. iPhone’s Safari web browser also includes built-in Google Search and Yahoo! Search so users can instantly search for information on their iPhone just like they do on their computer.
iPhone also includes Google Maps, featuring Google’s groundbreaking maps service and iPhone’s amazing maps application, offering the best maps experience by far on any pocket device. Users can view maps, satellite images, traffic information and get directions, all from iPhone’s remarkable and easy-to-use touch interface.

iPhone’s Advanced Sensors
iPhone employs advanced built-in sensors—an accelerometer, a proximity sensor and an ambient light sensor—that automatically enhance the user experience and extend battery life. iPhone’s built-in accelerometer detects when the user has rotated the device from portrait to landscape, then automatically changes the contents of the display accordingly, with users immediately seeing the entire width of a web page, or a photo in its proper landscape aspect ratio.
iPhone’s built-in proximity sensor detects when you lift iPhone to your ear and immediately turns off the display to save power and prevent inadvertent touches until iPhone is moved away. iPhone’s built-in ambient light sensor automatically adjusts the display’s brightness to the appropriate level for the current ambient light, thereby enhancing the user experience and saving power at the same time.

Pricing & Availability
iPhone will be available in the US in June 2007, Europe in late 2007, and Asia in 2008, in a 4GB model for $499 and an 8GB model for $599, and will work with either a PC or Mac. iPhone will be sold in the US through Apple’s retail and online stores, and through Cingular’s retail and online stores. Several iPhone accessories will also be available in June, including Apple’s new remarkably compact Bluetooth headset.

iPhone includes support for quad-band GSM, EDGE, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0 EDR wireless technologies.
iPhone requires a Mac with a USB 2.0 port, Mac OS® X v10.4.8 or later and iTunes 7; or a Windows PC with a USB 2.0 port and Windows 2000, Windows XP Home or Professional. Internet access is required and a broadband connection is recommended. Apple and Cingular will announce service plans for iPhone before it begins shipping in June.

Learn More About iPhone
To learn more about iPhone, please visit Apple.com or watch the video of the iPhone introduction at www.apple.com/iphone/keynote.
Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning desktop and notebook computers, OS X operating system, and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital music revolution with its iPod portable music players and iTunes online store.