The recorded history of Gibraltar (pictured in 1782) spans over
2,900 years. First inhabited 50,000 years ago by the Neanderthals,
Gibraltar may have been one of their last refuges before their
extinction. To the Carthaginians and Romans it was one of the Pillars of
Hercules at the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea. Moors from North Africa
first settled and fortified it, calling it Jebel al-Tarik, later
corrupted into Gibraltar. Castile contested it and eventually conquered
it in 1462, after which it became part of Spain. An Anglo-Dutch force
seized it in 1704. It was ceded to Britain under the Treaty of Utrecht,
signed on 13 July 1713. Spain unsuccessfully besieged Gibraltar in 1704,
1727 and 1779–83; its status is still disputed. The territory became a
British Crown colony and an important trading post and base for the
Royal Navy during the Peninsular War. During the Second World War it was
a key British garrison, controlling access to the Mediterranean.
Gibraltar's fourteen sieges have led to it becoming "one of the most
densely fortified and fought over places in Europe". Today it is a self-
governing British Overseas Territory with an economy based largely on
financial services, shipping and tourism.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Gibraltar>
Today's selected anniversaries:
Charlotte Corday assassinated Jean-Paul Marat, a leader in both
the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror, in his bathtub.
Three days of rioting began in New York City by opponents of
new laws passed by the United States Congress to draft men to fight in
the ongoing American Civil War.
In an unprecedented action, British Prime Minister Harold
Macmillan dismissed seven members of his Cabinet.
Ethiopia and Somalia went to war over the disputed Ogaden
region in eastern Ethiopia.
French DGSE personnel aborted an operation to rescue Colombian
politician Íngrid Betancourt from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of
Colombia, causing a political scandal when details were leaked to the
press six days later.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
Sluggish; moving slowly.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
I believe that order is better than chaos, creation better than
destruction. I prefer gentleness to violence, forgiveness to vendetta. I
believe that in spite of the recent triumphs of science, men haven't
changed much in the last two thousand years; and in consequence we must
still try to learn from history. History is ourselves.