Archives for posts with tag: 2004


Ten Years Ago (2004): Ireland bans smoking in pubs; the Beslan massacre happened; a huge tsunami hits the Indian Ocean coasts of South-east Asia, claiming 230,000 lives. New website called “Facebook” launched.

Twenty Years Ago (1994): The Rwandan genocide; an IRA ceasefire announced after 25 years of violence; Fred West is arrested, bodies discovered underneath his house on 25 Cromwell St; Nelson Mandela becomes president of South Africa.

Thirty Years Ago (1984): Announcement that HIV virus is responsible for AIDS; Ronald Reagan visits Ireland; Ethiopian famine prompts huge international reaction; Bhopal chemical disaster in India.

Forty Years Ago (1974): Dublin and Monaghan bombings; Birmingham pub bombings; Richard Nixon resigns as US President; worst tornado outbreak in US history; Rubik’s Cube invented.

Fifty Years Ago (1964): The Beatles take America by storm, Nelson Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment; Martin Luther King wins Nobel Peace Prize; Mary Poppins is released.

Sixty Years Ago (1954): First polio mass vaccinations; first kidney transplant from a live donor; Rock and Roll begins with “Rock Around The Clock”; Alan Turing commits suicide.

Seventy Years Ago (1944): Most recent eruption of Mount Vesuvius; Normandy D-Day invasions; Warsaw Uprising; Battle of the Bulge; “Doodlebug” bombs hit London; attempted assassination of Hitler; Asperger’s Syndrome first described.

Eighty Years Ago (1934): US Dust Bowl; Bonnie and Clyde killed; Night of the Long Knives; Hitler becomes “Führer” of Germany.

Ninety Years Ago (1924): Irish language made compulsory in schools; Hitler arrested for Munich Beer Hall Putsch; Vladimir Lenin dies; last vestiges of Ottoman Empire abolished.

One Hundred Years Ago (1914): Beginning of World War I; first successful blood transfusion; Irish Home Rule bill passed; electric traffic lights first introduced.

Two Hundred Years Ago (1814): Napoleon abdicates, is exiled to Elba; British forces burn down White House in Washington; end of the War of 1812.

Three Hundred Years Ago (1714): Longitude Prize announced; End of War of the Spanish Succession; King George I of Hanover takes UK throne after Queen Anne dies.

Four Hundred Years Ago (1614): Logarithms invented by John Napier; Moriscos – Muslim descendants – expelled from Spain; Juan Rodriguez becomes first European settler in what would later become New York City.

Five Hundred Years Ago (1514): Copernicus first outlines his theory of Heliocentrism.

Six Hundred Years Ago (1414): Council of Constance begins, ending the Western Schism, where rival popes contended for supreme authority of the Catholic Church.

Seven Hundred Years Ago (1314): The Scots defeat the English in the Battle of Bannockburn; Last of the Knights Templar burned at the stake.

Eight Hundred Years Ago (1214): The Mongol Army, under Ghengis Khan, lays siege to Beijing.

Nine Hundred Years Ago (1114): A crusade is launched on the Muslim held Balearic Islands.

One Thousand Years Ago (1014): Brian Boru defeats his enemies in the Battle of Clontarf. Brian is killed in during the subsequent rout.

One Thousand One Hundred Years Ago (914): Foundation of Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city.

One Thousand Two Hundred Years Ago (814): Death of Charlemagne, first Emperor of Europe since the collapse of the Roman Empire.

One Thousand Four Hundred Years Ago (614): Persians capture Jerusalem, carry off the True Cross, the Holy Lance and the Holy Sponge. Birth of Aisha, wife of Muhammad.

Two Thousand Years Ago (14): First Roman Emperor, Augustus, dies.

Two Thousand Three Hundred Years Ago (287 BC): Archimedes of Syracuse, mathematician, engineer and possible inventor of the Antikythera Mechanism, is born.

It’s now just over 4 years since the tsunami hit South Asia.

These two videos convey to me the horror of the event. They were both taken in Banda Aceh in Indonesia at the very moment the huge wave forced itself upon the city, causing unimaginable devastation and a legacy of suffering that will last a long, long time.

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