Saturday, March 27, 2010


1583 - As a result of a memorial sent by Bishop Salazar containing an account of the tyranny to which the natives of the newly conquered islands of the Philippines were subjected to by the encomenderos, King Philip II of Spain issues an order directing colonial government members to prevent slave owners from engaging in such conduct and requesting the bishop to keep him informed of the results; in 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan claimed the Southeast Asian archipelago in the name of Spain (he would later be killed by a native chieftain Lapu-Lapu) and in 1565, colonization will begin as Miguel Lopez de Legaspi forms the first settlements in Cebu.

196  BC - The Decree of Memphis that stipulates the terms of an agreement between Ptolemy V, the Macedonian ruler of Egypt, and a general synod of the kingdom's Egyptian priests are inscribed in hieroglyphic script, in Greek, and in demotic on what will be known as the Rosetta stone; centuries later, the stone will provide the first key to the ancient Egyptian language, thus forming the the foundation of modern Egyptology.

1958 - Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev becomes the Premier of the Soviet Union in addition to being First Secretary of the Communist Party following the dutiful and unanimous vote by the Soviet legislature; the 63-year-old Khrushchev is a former mine mechanic who, in the five years since Stalin's death, has emerged from the collective leadership and advanced to overwhelming responsibility and power.

1977 - 583 people die as two jumbo jets collided while taxiing for take-off on a runway in the holiday destination of Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, in what has been called the history's worst aviation disaster involving aircraft on the ground; a KLM Boeing 747 has failed to check if his plane was already clear for take-off and collided with the Pan American 747 in the dense fog, the resulting explosion being heard across the island.

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