On This Day
1568 – The Spanish Duke of Alba defeats a Dutch rebel force under William the Silent.
Fernando Álvarez de Toledo y Pimentel, 3rd Duke of Alba (29 October 1507 – 11 December 1582), known as the Grand Duke of Alba (Spanish: Gran Duque de Alba, Portuguese: Grão Duque de Alba) in Spain and Portugal and as the Iron Duke (Dutch: IJzeren Hertog or shortly ‘Alva’) in the Netherlands, was a Spanish noble, general and diplomat. He was titled the 3rd Duke of Alba de Tormes, 4th Marquess of Coria, 3rd Count of Salvatierra de Tormes, 2nd Count of Piedrahita, 8th Lord of Valdecorneja, Grandee of Spain and a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece. His motto in Latin was Deo patrum nostrorum (“To the God of our fathers”).
He was an adviser of King Charles I of Spain (Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor), and his successor, Philip II of Spain, Mayordomo mayor of both, member of their Councils of State and War, governor of the Duchy of Milan (1555–1556), viceroy of the Kingdom of Naples (1556–1558), governor of the Netherlands (1567–1573) and viceroy and constable of the Kingdom of Portugal (1580–1582). He represented Philip II in negotiating Philip’s betrothal to Elisabeth of Valois and Anna of Austria, who were the third and fourth (and last) wives of the king.
He has often been considered the most effective general of his generation as well as one of the greatest in military history. Although a tough leader, he was respected by his troops. He touched their sentiments, such as by addressing them in his speeches as “gentlemen soldiers” (señores soldados), but he was also popular among them for daring statements such as the following:
Kings use men like oranges, first they squeeze the juice and then throw away the peel.
Alba first distinguished himself in the conquest of Tunis (1535) during the Ottoman-Habsburg Wars when Charles defeated Hayreddin Barbarossa as part of a long conflict for predominance over the western Mediterranean Sea. He then commanded the Spanish troops at the Battle of Mühlberg (1547), where the army of Emperor Charles defeated the German Protestant princes.
On December 26, 1566, he received the Golden Rose, the blessed sword and hat granted by Pope Pius V, through the papal brief Solent Romani Pontifices, in recognition of his singular efforts in favor of Catholicism and for being considered one of his champions.
He is best known for his actions against the revolt of the Netherlands, where he instituted the Council of Troubles and repeatedly defeated the troops of William of Orange and Louis of Nassau during the first stages of the Eighty Years’ War. He is also known for the brutalities during the capture of Mechelen, Zutphen, Naarden and Haarlem. In spite of his military successes in the Spanish Netherlands, an already aged Alba was recalled to Spain and the Dutch revolt continued the following years. His last military successes were in the Portuguese succession crisis of 1580, winning the Battle of Alcântara.
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Born On This Day
888 – Zhu Youzhen, emperor of Later Liang (d. 923)
Zhu Zhen (朱瑱) (20 October 888 – 18 November 923), often referred to in traditional histories as Emperor Mo of Later Liang (後梁末帝, “last emperor”) and sometimes by his princely title Prince of Jun (均王), né Zhu Youzhen (朱友貞), known as Zhu Huang (朱鍠) from 913 to 915, was the emperor of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period state Later Liang from 913 to 923. He was the third and last emperor of Later Liang, the first of the Five Dynasties. He ordered his general Huangfu Lin (皇甫麟) to kill him in 923 when Emperor Zhuangzong of Later Tang (Li Cunxu), the emperor of Later Liang’s enemy Later Tang to the north, was on the cusp of capturing the Later Liang capital Daliang. His death marked the end of Later Liang, which was to be the longest among the Five Dynasties. Despite his ten-year reign being the longest of all the Five Dynasties emperors (if one does not count Li Cunxu’s reign as the Prince of Jin prior to taking imperial title) sources on his era are relatively scarce, as many Later Liang records were destroyed following the Later Tang conquest of Later Liang (as Later Tang viewed Later Liang as an illegitimate regime).
By MessyNessy 13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. DCXX): Teenagers in the Early 19th Century, from a Girl’s Sketchbook; Gravestones Before & After: Cleaned with a Toothbrush!; Safety Coffin Designs; Internal Memo titled “Principles” by Rob Strasser, Nike’s first head of marketing (1977); A navigation hotline in 1963, long before Google Maps; The music video for “Dog Police”, one of the strangest music videos ever made. (1982) And more ->
By Jon Guttman, Historynet: How Did the Swiss Army Knife Become the Original Multitool? They’ve gone from opening Swiss officers’ wine bottles to becoming standard NASA equipment for space missions. But what was the event that threatened the existence of the world’s favorite do-it-all pocket tool?
By Natasha Frost, Quartz: The 1997 Merger That Paved the Way For the Boeing 737 Max Crisis Only now, with the plane indefinitely grounded, are we beginning to see the scale of its effects.
Brad Dison: Paul Harvey – Sometimes It’s Okay to Be Late for Church Choir Practice – Rest of the Story
By Becky Duffett, Eater: How to Make the Juiciest Dumplings at Home According to Sandy Zheng of Beijing Restaurant and United Dumplings.
By Kim Sunée, ADN: Sweet and savory, these toffee-crunch cereal cookies will disappear quickly so make a double batch
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