Luís Alves de Lima e Silva, Duke of Caxias (1803–80) was an army
officer, politician and monarchist of the Empire of Brazil. He fought
against Portugal during the Brazilian War for Independence, and
thereafter remained loyal to the emperors Dom Pedro I and his son, Dom
Pedro II (to whom he became a friend and instructor in swordsmanship
and horsemanship). He commanded forces that put down uprisings from 1839
to 1845, including the Balaiada and the War of the Ragamuffins. He led
the Brazilian army to victory in the Platine War against the Argentine
Confederation and in the Paraguayan War against the Paraguayans. Caxias
was promoted to army marshal, the army's highest rank, and was the only
person made a duke during the 58-year reign of Pedro II. A member of
the Reactionary Party (which became the Conservative Party), he was
elected senator in 1846 and served as president (prime minister) of the
Council of Ministers three times. Historians have regarded Caxias in a
positive light and several have ranked him as the greatest Brazilian
military officer. He has been designated as the army's protector, and is
regarded as the most important figure in its tradition.
Today's selected anniversaries:
The Honourable Artillery Company, currently the oldest
surviving regiment in the British Army, was formed by Royal Charter from
King Henry VIII.
Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei demonstrated his first
telescope, a device that became known as a terrestrial or spyglass
refracting telescope, to Venetian lawmakers.
Althea Gibson entered into the U.S. Tennis Championships,
becoming the first African-American woman to be a competitor on the
world tennis tour.
The Voyager 2 spacecraft made its closest approach to Neptune
and provided definitive proof of the existence of the planet's rings.
American singer Aaliyah and various members of her record
company were killed when their overloaded airplane crashed shortly after
takeoff from Marsh Harbour Airport in Marsh Harbour, The Bahamas.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
(organic chemistry) A glycoprotein with anticoagulant properties, found
in the saliva of vampire bats.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
How transitory all human structures are, nay how oppressive the
best institutions become in the course of a few generations. The plant
blossoms, and fades: your fathers have died, and mouldered into dust:
your temple is fallen: your tabernacle, the tables of your law, are no
more: language itself, that bond of mankind, becomes antiquated: and
shall a political constitution, shall a system of government or
religion, that can be erected solely on these, endure for ever?
--Johann Gottfried Herder
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