On This Day
1571 – Valletta is made the capital city of Malta.
Valletta (/vəˈlɛtə/, Maltese: il-Belt Valletta, Maltese pronunciation: [vɐˈlːɛtːɐ]) is the administrative unit and capital of Malta. Located on the main island, between Marsamxett Harbour to the west and the Grand Harbour to the east, its population within administrative limits in 2014 was 6,444. According to the data from 2020 by Eurostat, the Functional Urban Area and metropolitan region covered whole island and has a population of 480 134. Valletta is the southernmost capital of Europe,[note 1] and at just 0.61 square kilometres (0.24 sq mi), it is the European Union’s smallest capital city.
Valletta’s 16th-century buildings were constructed by the Knights Hospitaller. The city was named after Jean Parisot de Valette, who succeeded in defending the island from an Ottoman invasion during the Great Siege of Malta. The city is Baroque in character, with elements of Mannerist, Neo-Classical and Modern architecture, though the Second World War left major scars on the city, particularly the destruction of the Royal Opera House. The city was officially recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980. Today, with 320 monuments, is one of the most dense monuments areas in the world. Sometimes called an “open-air museum”. Valletta was chosen the European Capital of Culture 2018. Valletta is also the sunniest city in Europe.
The city is noted for its fortifications, consisting of bastions, curtains and cavaliers, along with the beauty of its Baroque palaces, gardens and churches.
Born On This Day
1820 – John Plankinton, American businessman, industrialist, and philanthropist (d. 1891)
John Plankinton (March 11, 1820 – March 29, 1891) was an American businessman. He is noted for expansive real estate developments in Milwaukee, including the luxurious Plankinton House Hotel designed as an upscale residence for the wealthy. He was involved with railroading and banking. The Plankinton Bank he developed became the leading bank of Milwaukee in his lifetime. He was involved in the development of the Milwaukee City Railroad Company, an electric railway.
Plankinton was a Milwaukee-based meatpacking industrialist. He started this trade as a butcher for his general store operating in the center part of the city. He was the city’s leading meat packer after his first year in the grocery business. He expanded this industry and eventually became acquainted with the meatpacking industrialist Philip D. Armour forming a company with him that lasted for 20 years.
Plankinton was noted for his generous philanthropy. He donated the land for the construction of the Perseverance Presbyterian church and supported the formation of a soup kitchen in Milwaukee for the poor that included the daily supply of meat needed. He also financed the construction of the first Milwaukee public library.
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