Rainilaiarivony (1828–1896) was the Prime Minister of Madagascar from
1864 to 1895. Named Commander-in-Chief of the Army by King Radama II
upon the death of Queen Ranavalona I in 1861, Rainilaiarivony played a
key role in transforming Madagascar's government from an absolute to a
constitutional monarchy. He was promoted to Prime Minister in 1864 and
remained in power for the next 31 years by marrying three queens in
succession: Rasoherina, Ranavalona II and Ranavalona III. As Prime
Minister, Rainilaiarivony modernized state administration and
legislated the Christianization of the monarchy. His diplomatic and
military acumen preserved Madagascar's sovereignty from colonial
interests until the French capture of the royal palace in September
1895. Although holding him in high esteem, the French colonial
authority deposed the prime minister and exiled him to French Algeria,
where he died less than a year later in August 1896.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
British explorer James Cook and the crew of HMS Endeavour became the
first European ship to land on Australia on the coast of Botany Bay
near present-day Sydney.
American Civil War: Union forces under David Farragut captured New
Orleans, securing access into the Mississippi River.
The controversial musical Hair, a product of the hippie counter-culture
and sexual revolution of the 1960s, opened at the Biltmore Theatre on
Broadway, with its songs becoming anthems of the anti-Vietnam War
Vietnam War: The South Vietnamese Army launched incursions into
Cambodia to attack communist jungle bases.
A worldwide television audience of 300 million people watched the
wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine Middleton at
Westminster Abbey in London.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
To be astride something, to sit on with legs on either side, especially
to sit on a horse
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