On this day: the world’s first cruise ship

The Prinzessin Victoria Luise, recognised as the world’s first cruise ship, was launched on the 29th of June, 1900.

711px-Prinzessin_Victoria_Luise_LOC_det_4a15439

Her maiden voyage came on the 5th of January the following year, travelling from Hamburg to New York.

1901 Scientific American cover showing photos of the German cruise ship Prinzessin Victoria Luise, the first of its kind.

1901

Only five years later her career came to an end when the ship became lodged on rocks in Jamaica. The captain shot himself in his cabin, and the passengers were not rescued until the following morning.

The ship was declared a total loss soon after.

On this day: the sinking of the SS Norge

SS Norge was a Danish passenger liner sailing from Copenhagen, Kristiania and Kristiansand to New York, mainly with emigrants, which sank off Rockall in 1904.

SS Norge in the late nineteenth century. X

On the 28th of June, 1904 Danish passenger liner SS Norge ran aground near Rockall in the North Atlantic Ocean and sank.

Rockall is an uninhabited granite islet within the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the United Kingdom.

Over 635 people died, with the highest number of victims coming from Norway.

The liner sank twelve minutes after the accident, pulling many who had tried to jump to safety underwater with it, and drowning them.

Herman Wildenvey (20 July 1885 – 27 September 1959), born Herman Theodor Portaas, was one of the most prominent Norwegian poets of the twentieth century.

Herman Wildenvey

Those who survived were saved by British and German ships. One of the survivors was Norwegian poet Herman Wildenvey.

On this day: the Tiflis bank robbery

The information card on Joseph Stalin, from the files of the Tsarist secret police in St. Petersburg. Stalin's_Mug_Shot

Russian police file on Joseph Stalin

On the 26th of June, 1907, armed Bolsheviks stole a bank cash shipment in Tiflis (now Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia). Using bombs and guns, the attackers surrounded military and police in Yerevan (now Freedom) Square.

Amongst those involved in organising the robbery were future Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, and Vladimir Lenin.

Forty people were killed and fifty others were injured in the attack.

Tbilisi in XIX century, Freedom Square. 19th century. Georgia.

Yerevan Square in the 19th century. X

The equivalent of millions of dollars were stolen, but in the end much of the money could not be used to fund Bolshevik activities, as the banknotes’ serial numbers were known to authorities.

On this day: the last shot of the US Civil War

America’s Civil War ended on the 9th of May, 1865. However, the final shot fired was on the 22nd of June that year.

The shot was fired from the Confederate-operated CSS Shenandoah. The event took place near the Aleutian Islands in the Northern Pacific Ocean.

The Shenandoah was photographed here in Williamstown in Melbourne, Australia in 1865.

X

CSS Shenandoah in dry dock in Williamstown, Victoria, Australia, 1865. The last shot fired in the US American Civil War 22nd June.

On this day: a new Queen

At 6am on the 20th of June, 1837, eighteen-year-old Victoria was woken to the news she was now Queen of the United Kingdom.

This marked the beginning of the long Victorian era, which concluded with her death in 1901.

The image below, created in 1887, depicts Victoria receiving the news of her accession.

Queen Victoria receiving the news of her accession to the throne, 20 June 1837.

And as illustrated in 1895:

NPG D33592; 'Your Majesty' (William Howley; Francis Nathaniel Conyngham, 2nd Marquess Conyngham; Queen Victoria) published by The Graphic, after  Mary Louisa Gow

I’m Back

I haven’t really mentioned it on this blog (whereas I’ve been spamming my followers with photographs on others!), but I have been in Europe – Ukraine and Italy – for the past two months.

I am sitting at home now after a thirty-eight hour journey to get here, in which we flew from Rome to Zurich to Singapore to Sydney, and finally to Canberra, and I have just had a much-needed shower! I fully expect to pass out soon. It usually catches up with me in an instant, and when I least expect it.

In other words, it has been two months since I have sat down and looked at comments and things on this blog (all of my posts were scheduled in advance).

So maybe now I can get back to responding to people, and create some new posts!

Sonya Heaney Kyiv Ukraine

Sonya Heaney Sulmona Italy.

Sonya Heaney western Ukraine

Sonya Heaney Trevi Fountain Rome

Sonya Heaney Lviv Ukraine

Sonya Heaney Spello Italy.

Sonya Heaney Golden Gate Kyiv Ukraine

Sonya Heaney Norcia Italy.

On this day: the executions of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, separated by heavy wire screen as they leave U.S. Court House after being found guilty by jury.

The couple after being found guilty. X

On the 19th of June, 1953 Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed by electric chair in Ossining, USA after being convicted of spying for the Kremlin.

Alongside several others, who were imprisoned but not executed (including Ethel’s brother), they were found guilty of passing on information to Moscow about the atomic bomb.

Julius_Rosenberg_mugshotPolice booking photograph of Julius Rosenberg after his arrest.

Ethel_Rosenberg_mugshotPolice booking photograph of Ethel Rosenberg.

Julius and Ethel under arrest.

The Rosenbergs were the only two people in the United States executed for espionage during the Cold War. Their crime was considered worse because the judge also considered them responsible for deaths in the Korean War.