On This Day
1588 – The last ship of the Spanish Armada sets sail from Lisbon heading for the English Channel.
The Spanish Armada (Spanish: Grande y Felicísima Armada, lit. ’Great and Most Fortunate Navy’) was a Spanish fleet of 130 ships that sailed from Lisbon in late May 1588 under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia, with the purpose of escorting an army from Flanders to invade England. Medina Sidonia was an aristocrat without naval command experience but was made commander by King Philip II. The aim was to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I and her establishment of Protestantism in England, to stop English interference in the Spanish Netherlands, and to stop the harm caused by English and Dutch privateering ships that disrupted Spanish interests in the Americas.
English ships sailed from Plymouth to attack the Armada. They were faster and more manoeuvrable than the larger Spanish galleons, enabling them to fire on the Armada without loss as the Armada sailed east off the south coast of England. The Armada could have anchored in The Solent between the Isle of Wight and the English mainland and occupied the Isle of Wight, but Medina Sidonia was under orders from King Philip II to meet up with Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma’s forces in the Netherlands so England could be invaded by Parma’s soldiers and other soldiers carried in ships of the Armada. English guns damaged the Armada, and a Spanish ship was captured by Sir Francis Drake in the English Channel.
The Armada anchored off Calais. While awaiting communications from the Duke of Parma, the Armada was scattered by an English fireship night attack and abandoned its rendezvous with Parma’s army, that was blockaded in harbour by Dutch flyboats. In the ensuing Battle of Gravelines, the Spanish fleet was further damaged and was in risk of running aground on the Dutch coast when the wind changed. The Armada, driven by southwest winds, withdrew north, with the English fleet harrying it up the east coast of England. As the Armada returned to Spain around Scotland and Ireland, it was disrupted further by storms. Many ships were wrecked on the coasts of Scotland and Ireland, and more than a third of the initial 130 ships failed to return to Spain. As historians Martin and Parker explain, “Philip II attempted to invade England, but his plans miscarried. This was due to his own mismanagement, including the appointment of an aristocrat without naval experience as commander of the Armada, but also to unfortunate weather, and the opposition of the English and their Dutch allies, which included the use of fireships sailed into the anchored Armada.”
The expedition was the largest engagement of the undeclared Anglo-Spanish War. The following year, England organised a similar large-scale campaign against Spain, the English Armada, sometimes called the “counter-Armada of 1589”, which was also unsuccessful.
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Born On This Day
1010 – Ren Zong, Chinese emperor (d. 1063)
Emperor Renzong of Song (30 May 1010 – 30 April 1063, Chinese calendar: 14 April 1010 (the 3rd year of Dazhongxiangfu, 大中祥符三年) – 29 March 1063 (the 8th year of Jiayou, 嘉祐八年)), personal name Zhao Zhen, was the fourth emperor of the Song dynasty of China. He reigned for about 41 years from 1022 to his death in 1063, and was the longest reigning Song dynasty emperor. He was the sixth son of his predecessor, Emperor Zhenzong, and was succeeded by his cousin’s son, Zhao Shu who took the throne as Emperor Yingzong because his own sons died prematurely. His original personal name was Zhao Shouyi but it was changed by imperial decree in 1018 to “Zhao Zhen”, which means ‘auspicious’ in Chinese.
On 19 March 2018, almost five years after being diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer, thirty-eight-year-old Julie Yip-Williams died, leaving behind a husband and two daughters. Her early years had been anything but easy. Born blind in Vietnam, at two months of age she was almost euthanised on the orders of a grandmother who deemed her to be defective; years later, as an older child, she sailed to Hong Kong with her family and hundreds of other refugees in search of a more peaceful life, eventually settling down in the US where her life improved drastically. She was soon given partial sight by a surgeon, studied at Harvard, and became a successful lawyer, but then, in her thirties, she was struck down by the illness that would kill her. It was then that she began to write what would become a posthumously published memoir, The Unwinding of the Miracle. In July 2017, a year before she passed away, Yip-Williams wrote the following letter to her young daughters. Read more ->
WTSP: Cape Coral 5th grader arrested for threatening to start a mass shooting Deputies say the 10-year-old boy sent a text message threatening to create a mass shooting at his elementary school.
“Right now is not the time to act like a little delinquent. It’s not funny. This child made a fake threat, and now he’s experiencing real consequences,” stated Marceno.
Rare Historical Photos: Vivid photos capture everyday life of Chicago’s African-American community in the 1970s
Karin’s Kottage: Chocolate chip cookies with apple cider vinegar?
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