#TodayInHistory – July 10
July 10 – Some important events on this day.
48 BC 👉🏼 Battle of Dyrrhachium: Julius Caesar barely avoids a catastrophic defeat to Pompey near the city of Dyrrachium (in what is now Albania)
1040 👉🏼 Lady Godiva rides naked on horseback through Coventry, according to legend, to force her husband, the Earl of Mercia, to lower taxes
1212 👉🏼 The most severe of several early fires of London burns most of the city to the ground
1778 👉🏼 American Revolution: Louis XVI of France declares war on the Kingdom of Great Britain.
1887 👉🏼 A dam breaks in Zug, Switzerland, killing 70 people in their homes and destroying a large section of the town.
1913 👉🏼 World’s official highest recorded temperature at Greenland Ranch, Death Valley, California at 56.7 °C
1940 👉🏼 Battle of Britain begins as Nazi forces attack shipping convoys in the English Channel
1985 👉🏼 French foreign intelligence agents blow up the Greenpeace boat Rainbow Warrior in Auckland harbor, New Zealand to prevent it interfering with French nuclear tests in the South Pacific. Dutch photographer Fernando Pereira is killed.
In 1985, French secret service agents planted two bombs and the Greenpeace flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, sinking the vessel and killing Portugal-born Greenpeace photographer Fernando Pereira.
The Rainbow Warrior was in Auckland, New Zealand preparing to sail to Mururoa Atoll to continue protesting against French nuclear testing in the Pacific.
The French government initially denied all knowledge of the operation, but it soon became obvious that they were involved.
Eventually, prime minister Laurent Fabius appeared on television and told a shocked public: “Agents of the DGSE (Secret Service) sank this boat. They acted on orders.”
Following the attack, two DGSE officers, Dominique Prieur and Alain Mafart, were arrested on 24 July. Both were charged with murder, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and were sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment.
The case caused the French government considerable embarrassment. While the attack was on an international organisation and not New Zealand as such, most Kiwis did not make this distinction.
The fact that it was carried out on New Zealand territory by a supposedly friendly nation caused outrage and seriously compromised relations between New Zealand and France.
1991 👉🏼 Boris Yeltsin sworn in as 1st elected President of the Russian Federation
2012 👉🏼 The American Episcopal Church becomes the first to approve a rite for blessing gay marriages