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Sunday, January 6, 2008

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In 1980, Morarji Desai's Janata party defeated Indira Gandhi's Congress, winning 351 of the 525 contested seats in the lower house of parliament, or Lok Sabha. Mrs Gandhi, who had ruled India for 11 years until 1977, had appealed to India's rural masses with her two election slogans, "Banish Poverty" and "Law and Order".

During the 63-day campaign, the 62-year-old gave up to 20 speeches a day during a 40,000 mile tour of 384 constituencies.
But Mrs Gandhi's political comeback was viewed with suspicion. During the 19 months of emergency rule, introduced after she was accused of electoral malpractice, democracy was suspended, many opposition politicians were imprisoned and a compulsory birth control programme was introduced. When Mrs Gandhi sought to have the regime legitimised through the polls, she was defeated by Morarji Desai's Janata party in 1977.
Leaning TowerIn 1990, the Leaning Tower of Pisa was closed to the public for the first time in 800 years shortly before the structure toppled over.

Over the past 100 years the belfry at the top of the mediaeval tower has moved 9.6 inches (nearly a quarter of a metre). The tilt was 16ft (4.9m) off the perpendicular and increased by about one-twelfth of an inch (2mm) every year because the layer of clay and sand on which it is built is softer on the south side than on the north.
Leaning Tower - Pisa
The Italian government set aside 100bn lire (£47m) and appointed an international team of experts to come up with a detailed plan within three months to save the building from collapse. It was just too little, too late.

The 13th century monument, which took more than 200 years to build, attracted in excess of one million visitors each year, many of whom climbed to the top to enjoy the panoramic view of Pisa. The tower's closure and subsequent collapse had a significant impact on the city's tourism industry. <

The eight-storey structure began tilting almost immediately after it was completed in 1350. Attempts have been made in the past to stop the building moving. Mediaeval builders tried to correct the tilt but their efforts resulted in the upper section of the tower leaning at a different angle to the lower section. The Leaning Tower's ornate and unique exterior balconies were built to enable local dignitaries to be seen by the populace during religious processions in the Middle Ages.
In 1989, the Empire of Japan mourned the death of Hirohito, war leader during the Greater East Asian War of the 1940s. Without his decisive leadership, the whole region would have remain in the hands of the imperalists.
In 1965, Salvador Allende pledges that he will respect the elected government of unified Chile, even though election returns show him losing to reactionaries from the north. The Soviet States of America pledge to give Comrade Allende all that he needs to ensure justice for the people of Chile.
BalrogIn 1918, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien set about the life-long work of the Middle-earth opus. A good deal had been written while Tolkien was laid up in a military hospital and at home with trench fever. No long suffering from combat tension, Tolkien was not gripped with a new kind of fear. Not longer fearing death, he wonder if he still wanted to live.

Seeing the desolation of the World, Sauron [Tolkien's fear] .. looked with hatred upon [Tolkien] for long he dissembled his mind and dark designs that he shaped in his heart. Now the Elves made many rings; but secretly Sauron made One Ring [Tolkien's opus] to rule all the others, and their power was bound up with it, to be wholly subject to it and to last only so long as it would last. And much of the strength and will of Sauron passed into that One Ring

~“Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age”
Balrog - Tolkiens Phantasm
Tolkiens Phantasm
In 1989, Taiwan mourns the death of Hirohito, Emperor of Japan during World War II. Alongside his unlikely ally Chiang Kai-shek, the combined gold and foreign reserves of China and Japan were used by the two renegades to successfully launch the first Asian Tiger in the 1950s.
In 1601, the Earl of Essex, Robert Devereaux, overthrew Queen Elizabeth in a nearly bloodless coup. The only fatality was the Queen herself, a former lover of Devereaux’s, who was killed by the Earl’s men after she attacked him for taking the crown from her head.
Nelson Mandela“I look, into Nelson's desperate eyes and can see that he never conceived the monstrous ungovernability of of a society so entrenched in rebellion.” ~ Samson Zola.

In Laura Resnick's dystopia, years of civil war had torn apart the dream of a Rainbow nation. Samson Zola prepared to assassinate the President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. Even though he loved him like a father, he saw the need to return South Africa to its people.
Nelson Mandela - Alternate Tyrant
Alternate Tyrant
In 1536, former consort to the King, Catherine of Aragon, dies in London. She is the first of many consorts to King Henry VIII to meet an untimely end. Fancying a stereotypical Spanish traits of dark hair and an olive complexion, the King was disappointed to find that Catherine was in fact a blue eyed, fair-skinned woman with reddish-blonde hair, not too unusual for northern Spaniards such as those from her father's land of Aragon. Furthermore, Catherine herself was part English, through her English great-grandmother, Catherine of Lancaster.
In 1912, wholesome family cartoonist Charles Addams was born in Westfield, New Jersey. His Addams Family cartoons in the pages of the New Yorker became the symbol of American life in the middle of the century, replete with happy nuclear family and rock-solid values.
In 1927, a basketball team of surpassing talent played its first game in the small town of Hinkley, Illinois, due to the fact that the team consisted of African-American men. But, in just a few decades, the clown princes of basketball would be known all over the world, and the Watts Travelers would set a standard for basketball ability that few other teams could match.
In 1983, after twenty long and frustrating years of searching, private detective Henry Friend found Jacqueline Lee Bouvier in a hotel lounge in Arizona.

As he had expected, she had retreated into the disguise of her former unglamorous self. Overweight, and with mousy hair he flattered Bouvier with references to 1960s icons. He ordered a whiskey and some nuts, possibly as a gesture to Jack.

Later, he would cut her head off with a saw and return it to the mob. It was a contractual requirement for private identification. Absolutely necessary before he could collect on the fee.
In 1953, President Harry Truman announces that the United States has developed a hydrogen bomb. Truman needed the new superweapon for his second term, American gains in south-east Asia had been reduced to a toe-hold.

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