This Day In History – June 8th
THE DEATH OF MUHAMMAD, PROPHET OF ISLAM – JUNE 8, 632
Mohammed receiving his first revelation from the angel Gabriel. Miniature illustration on vellum from the book Jami’ al-Tawarikh by Rashid al-Din, published in Tabriz, Persia, 1307 A.D.
Muhammad (also spelled Muhammed or Mohammed) (ca. 570/571 – June 8, 632), was the founder of the religion of Islam, and is considered by Muslims to be a messenger and prophet of God, the last law-bearer in a series of Islamic prophets, and, by most Muslims, the last prophet of God as taught by the Qur’an.
Muslims thus consider him the restorer of an uncorrupted original monotheistic faith of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and other prophets. He was also active as a diplomat, merchant, philosopher, orator, legislator, reformer, military general, and, according to Muslim belief, an agent of divine action.
Born in 570 in the Arabian city of Mecca, he was orphaned at an early age and brought up under the care of his uncle Abu Talib. He later worked mostly as a merchant, as well as a shepherd, and was first married by age 25. Discontented with life in Mecca, he retreated to a cave in the surrounding mountains for meditation and reflection. According to Islamic beliefs it was here, at age 40, in the month of Ramadan, where he received his first revelation from God. Three years after this event Muhammad started preaching these revelations publicly, proclaiming that “God is One”, that complete “surrender” to Him is the only way acceptable to God, and that he himself was a prophet and messenger of God, in the same vein as other Islamic prophets.
Muhammad gained few followers early on, and was met with hostility from some Meccan tribes; he and his followers were treated harshly. To escape persecution, Muhammad sent some of his followers to Abyssinia before he and his remaining followers in Mecca migrated to Medina (then known as Yathrib) in the year 622. This event, the Hijra, marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar, which is also known as the Hijri Calendar. In Medina, Muhammad united the conflicting tribes, and after eight years of fighting with the Meccan tribes, his followers, who by then had grown to 10,000, conquered Mecca.
In 632, a few months after returning to Medina from his Farewell pilgrimage, Muhammad fell ill and died. By the time of his death, most of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam, and he had united the tribes of Arabia into a single Muslim religious polity.
The revelations-which Muhammad reported receiving until his death–form the verses of the Qur’an, regarded by Muslims as the “Word of God” and around which the religion is based. [Source: Wikipedia]
Photograph by Omar Chatriwala
Al-Masjid al-Nabawi, often called the Prophet’s Mosque, is a mosque situated in the city of Medina. As the final resting place of the Prophet Muhammad, it is considered the second holiest site in Islam by Muslims (the first being the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca) and is one of the largest mosques in the world. [Source: Wikipedia]
Photograph by Swerveut
ARCHITECT FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT IS BORN – JUNE 8, 1867
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City
Frank Lloyd Wright (born Frank Lincoln Wright, June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) was an American architect, interior designer, writer and educator, who designed more than 1,000 projects, which resulted in more than 500 completed works. Wright promoted organic architecture (exemplified by Fallingwater), was a leader of the Prairie School movement of architecture (exemplified by the Robie House, the Westcott House, and the Darwin D. Martin House), and developed the concept of the Usonian home (exemplified by the Rosenbaum House). His work includes original and innovative examples of many different building types, including offices, churches, schools, skyscrapers, hotels, and museums. Wright also often designed many of the interior elements of his buildings, such as the furniture and stained glass.
Wright authored 20 books and many articles, and was a popular lecturer in the United States and in Europe. His colorful personal life often made headlines, most notably for the 1914 fire and murders at his Taliesin studio. Already well-known during his lifetime, Wright was recognized in 1991 by the American Institute of Architects as “the greatest American architect of all time”.
Photograph by Sturmvogel 66
Fallingwater or Kaufmann Residence is a house designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935 in rural southwestern Pennsylvania, 50 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. The home was built partly over a waterfall on Bear Run in the Mill Run section of Stewart Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, in the Laurel Highlands of the Allegheny Mountains.
Hailed by Time shortly after its completion as Wright’s “most beautiful job”, it is listed among Smithsonian’s Life List of 28 places “to visit before you die.” It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966. In 1991, members of the American Institute of Architects named the house the “best all-time work of American architecture” and in 2007, it was ranked twenty-ninth on the list of America’s Favorite Architecture according to the AIA. [Source: Wikipedia]
Photograph by Jeff Zoline
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Studio
Photograph by Dan Smith
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House on the campus of the University of Chicago
Photograph by J. Crocker
The Nathan G. Moore House in Oak Park, IL by Frank Lloyd Wright
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS IS FOUNDED – JUNE 8, 1912
Founded in 1912 by Carl Laemmle, Universal Studios is one of the oldest American movie studios still in continuous production. On May 11, 2004, the controlling stake in the company was sold by Vivendi Universal to General Electric, parent of NBC. The resulting media super-conglomerate was renamed NBC Universal, while Universal Studios Inc. remained the name of the production subsidiary. In addition to owning a sizable film library spanning the earliest decades of cinema to more contemporary works, it also owns a sizable collection of TV shows through its subsidiary NBC Universal Television Distribution. It also acquired rights to several prominent filmmakers’ works originally released by other studios through its subsidiaries over the years.
Its production studios are at 100 Universal City Plaza Drive in Universal City, California. Distribution and other corporate offices are in New York City. Universal Pictures is the second-longest-lived Hollywood studio; Viacom-owned Paramount Pictures is the oldest by a month. [Source: Wikipedia]
GEORGE ORWELL’S 1984 IS PUBLISHED – JUNE 8, 1949
Nineteen Eighty-Four (sometimes written 1984) is a 1948 dystopian novel written by George Orwell, about an oligarchical, collectivist society. As literary political fiction, Nineteen Eighty-Four is considered a classic novel of the social science fiction subgenre. Since its publication in 1949, many of its terms and concepts, such as Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, and Memory hole, have become contemporary vernacular. In addition, the novel popularised the adjective Orwellian, which refers to lies, surveillance, and manipulation of the past in the service of a totalitarian agenda.
In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Nineteen Eighty-Four 13th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. [Source: Wikipedia]
Photograph by Brian Robert Marshall
The modest grave of Eric Arthur Blair (George Orwell), All Saints, Sutton Courtenay
USPS DELIVERS FIRST AND ONLY PIECE OF MISSILE MAIL – JUNE 8, 1959
In 1959 the U.S. Navy submarine USS Barbero assisted the Post Office Department, predecessor to the United States Postal Service (USPS) in its search for faster mail transportation with the only delivery of “Missile Mail”. On 8 June 1959, Barbero fired a Regulus cruise missile — its nuclear warhead having earlier been replaced by two Post Office Department mail containers — at the Naval Auxiliary Air Station in Mayport, Florida. Twenty-two minutes later, the missile struck its target.
Upon witnessing the missile’s landing, Postmaster General Summerfield stated, “This peacetime employment of a guided missile for the important and practical purpose of carrying mail, is the first known official use of missiles by any Post Office Department of any nation.” Summerfield proclaimed the event to be “of historic significance to the peoples of the entire world”, and predicted that “before man reaches the moon, mail will be delivered within hours from New York to California, to Britain, to India or Australia by guided missiles. We stand on the threshold of rocket mail.”
Notwithstanding the Postmaster General’s enthusiasm, in reality the Department of Defense saw the measure more as a demonstration of U.S. missile capabilities. Experts believe that the cost of using missile mail could never be justified. [Source: Wikipedia]
THE USS LIBERTY ‘INCIDENT’ – JUNE 8, 1967
The USS Liberty incident was an attack on a United States Navy technical research ship, USS Liberty, by Israeli Air Force jet fighter aircraft and Israeli Navy torpedo boats, on June 8, 1967, during the Six-Day War. The combined air and sea attack killed 34 crew members (naval officers, seamen, two Marines, and one civilian), wounded 170 crew members, and severely damaged the ship. At the time, the ship was in international waters north of the Sinai Peninsula, about 25.5 nmi (29.3 mi; 47.2 km) northwest from the Egyptian city of Arish.
Both the Israeli and U.S. governments conducted inquiries and issued reports that concluded the attack was a mistake due to Israeli confusion about the identity of the USS Liberty. Most survivors, in addition to some U.S. diplomats and intelligence officials involved in the incident, continue to dispute these official findings, saying the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty was not a mistake, and it remains “the only maritime incident in U.S. history where [U.S.] military forces were killed that was never investigated by the [U.S.] Congress.”
In May 1968, the Israeli government paid US$3,323,500 as full payment to the families of the 34 men killed in the attack. In March 1969, Israel paid a further $3,566,457 in compensation to the men who had been wounded. On 18 December 1980, it agreed to pay $6 million as settlement for the U.S. claim of $7,644,146 for material damage to the Liberty itself.
Purportedly, on December 17, 1987, the issue was officially closed by the two governments through an exchange of diplomatic notes. [Source: Wikipedia]
NICK UT TAKES PULITZER PRIZE WINNING PHOTO – JUNE 8, 1972
Photograph by Nick Ut
Phan Thi Kim Phuc, (born 1963) is a Vietnamese-Canadian best known as the child subject of a Pulitzer Prize winning photograph taken during the Vietnam War on June 8, 1972. The iconic photo taken in Trang Bang by AP photographer Nick Ut shows her at about nine years of age running naked on a road after being severely burned on her back by a South Vietnamese napalm attack. [Source: Wikipedia]
Thumbnails of Vietnam War film shot by Alan Downes of ITN, before and after the iconic photograph was taken
TRANSIT OF VENUS – JUNE 8, 2004
Photograph via Mswggpai
A transit of Venus across the Sun takes place when the planet Venus passes directly between the Sun and Earth, obscuring a small portion of the solar disk. During a transit, Venus can be seen from Earth as a small black disk moving across the face of the Sun. The duration of such transits is usually measured in hours (the transit of 2004 lasted six hours). A transit is similar to a solar eclipse by the Moon, but, although the diameter of Venus is almost 4 times that of the Moon, Venus appears smaller because it is much farther away from Earth.
Transits of Venus are among the rarest of predictable astronomical phenomena and currently occur in a pattern that repeats every 243 years, with pairs of transits eight years apart separated by long gaps of 121.5 years and 105.5 years. Before 2004, the last pair of transits were in December 1874 and December 1882. The first of a pair of transits of Venus in the beginning of the 21st century took place on 8 June 2004 and the next will be on 6 June 2012. After 2012, subsequent transits of Venus will be in December 2117 and December 2125. [Source: Wikipedia]
First observation of the transit of Venus by William Crabtree in 1639. Photogravure from an old etching
AKIHABARA MASSACRE – JUNE 8, 2008
Photograph by Carpkazu
The Akihabara massacre was an incident of mass murder that took place on Sunday, June 8, 2008, in the Akihabara shopping quarter for electronics, video games and comics in Sotokanda, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. At 12:33 p.m. JST, a man hit a crowd with a truck, eventually killing three people and injuring two; he then stabbed at least 12 people using a dagger killing four people and injuring eight.
Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department arrested Tomohiro Kato, 25, on suspicion of attempted murder. The suspect, dressed then in a black T-shirt with a jacket and off-white trousers, was a resident of Susono, Shizuoka. He was held at the Manseibashi Police Station. Two days later on June 10, he was sent to the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office. He was later re-arrested by the police on June 20 on suspicion of murder. During the trial, prosecutors sought the death penalty, and the Tokyo District Court agreed, sentencing Kato to death. [Source: Wikipedia]
Photograph by Carpkazu
This is the rented truck that was used to run into the crowd