Monday OT - July 6: Zheng He's Third Return
Boomtime, Confusion 41, 3186 YOLD (Discordian)
And let us not forget 188.8.131.52.14 mlc (the Mayan Long Count)
WOW! On July 6, 1411, Zheng He returned to Nanjing after the Third Treasure Voyage. So? This is one prodigious piece of a prodigious series of events. In context, it boggles the mind. This third voyage started in the fall of 1409 and went to such places as Java, Malacca, Ceylon, Quilon, Cochin, and Calcutta. Like the first two such voyages, it stopped and turned around at Calcutta. The next one, 1413 to 1415, continued on to Hormuz, and the final three, ending July 22, 1433 continued as far as the east coast of Africa. In all they visited many places, often several times, throughout the South China Sea, Indian Ocean, Arab Gulf and Africa, such as: Brunei, Siam, Southeast Asia, Java, Ceylon, Malacca, Hormuz, Aden, Mecca, the Maldives, Mogadishu, Brava, Zhubu, and Malindi.
CONSIDER: It wasn't until 1484 that Diogo Cão out of Portugal found the mouth of the Congo River. Furthermore, it was really a major BFD for Portugal and Europe when Portugal's Bartolomeu Dias made it all the way around the tip of Africa to Boesman's River on the eastern cape. The truly fun fact, as to the timelines is that Diogo Cão and Bartolomeu Dias were explorers, but not Zheng He. He was on a trade mission, and was following a well established Chinese trade route as far as Hormuz. Africa was a stretch, but the Arabs had been trading and more in Africa for some time and no doubt provided charts and guides. How Well Established was this route? Since at least the Han Dynasty, 202 BCE to 222 CE.
Hello? 200 CE , early third century, hmmm.
NOW The Good Part The first of Sheng He's voyages, which sailed on July 11, 1405, consisted of 317 ships with 28,000 crew. Unheard of and unimaginable at that date. Phillip The Sap's great Spanish Armada consisted of 130 ships. The combined fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar contained 60 ships of the line, 9 frigates and 4 lesser vessels. Perhaps the Chinese fleets were so huge because their ships were too small to carry much? Bwahahaha. Those ships measured from 370 to 440 feet long and 150 to 180 feet in beam (width). Comparisons -
Columbus' three 1492 ships were 67, 70 and 74 feet long. Admiral Nelson's flagship at Trafalgar, the HMS Victory, was 227 feet long and 52 feet in beam. But, that was a warship, how about merchants? There was a period of great maritime trade between Europe and India during the 17th through 19th centuries. The typical East Indiaman was roughly 120 to 150 feet long. How about direct trade to china? The queen of them all, Donald McKay's phenomenally gorgeous Flying Cloud, launched in 1831, 420 years later that this voyage, was 235 feet long with a 41 foot beam.
On this day in history:
371 BCE – The Battle of Leuctra, where Epaminondas destroyed Sparta's military supremacy with an inferior force and a clever tactic. Though this tactic (oblique order) was once partial proof of his military genius, some revisionists now seem to assert that it was an accident or something, perhaps because both he and his crack troops, The Sacred Band of Thebes, were all gay.
1411 – China's Admiral Zheng He returned to Nanjing after the third treasure voyage
1415 – Jan Hus was condemned as a heretic and sentenced to be burned at the stake.
1484 – Portuguese sea captain Diogo Cão found the mouth of the Congo River.
1535 – Sir Thomas More was executed for treason against King Henry VIII of England.
1885 – Louis Pasteur successfully tested his vaccine against rabies on Joseph Meister
1887 – David Kalakaua, monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii, was forced to sign the Bayonet Constitution,
1892 – Striking steelworkers engaged battled with Pinkerton agents during the Homestead Strike
1917 – Arabian troops led by T. E. Lawrence and Auda ibu Tayi captured Aqaba from the Ottoman Empire during the Arab Revolt. The Brits screwed the Arabs anyway.
1940 – Story Bridge, in Brisbane, Australia's longest cantilever bridge iformally opened.
1942 – Anne Frank and her family went into hiding in the "Secret Annexe"
1944 – Jackie Robinson refused to move to the back of a bus, leading to a court-martial.
1947 – The AK-47 went into production in the Soviet Union.
1957 – Althea Gibson wonthe Wimbledon championships
1957 – John Lennon and Paul McCartney met for the first time
1962 – The Sedan nuclear test takes place scattering fallout far and wide
1967 – Nigerian forces invaded Biafra, beginning Nigerian Civil War
1988 – The Piper Alpha drilling platform was destroyed by explosions and fires.
1990 – The Electronic Frontier Foundation was founded.
2013 – A 73-car oil train derails in the town of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec and exploded into flames, killing at least 47 people and destroying more than 30 buildings in the town's central area. Ah, but that's the ahl bidness.
Born this day in:
1766 – Alexander Wilson, poet, ornithologist, and illustrator (d. 1813)
1781 – Stamford Raffles, politician, founded Singapore (d. 1826)
1799 – Louisa Caroline Huggins Tuthill, author (d. 1879)
1840 – José María Velasco Gómez, painter and academic (d. 1912)
1887 – Marc Chagall, painter and poet (d. 1985)
1907 – Frida Kahlo, painter and educator (d. 1954)
1912 – Molly Yard, feminist (d. 2005)
1924 – Louie Bellson, drummer, composer, and bandleader (d. 2009)
1925 – Bill Haley,singer, songwriter, and guitarist
1926 – Dorothy E. Smith, sociologist
1928 – Bernard Malgrange, mathematician
1937 – Gene Chandler, singer, songwriter, and producer
1939 – Jet Harris, bass player (The Shadows, The Jeff Beck Group, and The Vipers Skiffle Group) (d. 2011)
1949 – Phyllis Hyman, singer, songwriter ,and actress (d. 1995)
1949 – Michael Shrieve, composer, drummer, and percussionist
1953 – Nanci Griffith, singer, songwriter, and guitarist
1967 – Heather Nova, singer, songwriter, and guitarist
1970 – Martin Smith, singer, songwriter ,and guitarist
Died this day in:
V = IR
1415 – Jan Hus, priest, philosopher, and reformer (b. 1369)
1535 – Thomas More, lawyer and politician,
1813 – Granville Sharp, activist (b. 1735)
1854 – Georg Ohm, physicist and mathematician (b. 1789)
1893 – Guy de Maupassant, short story writer, novelist, and poet (b. 1850)
1961 – Scott LaFaro, bassist (b. 1936)
1962 – William Faulkner, novelist and short story writer
1971 – Louis Armstrong, singer and trumpet player (b. 1901)
1979 – Van McCoy, singer, songwriter, and producer (b. 1940)
1992 – Marsha P. Johnson, drag queen performer and activist (b. 1945)
1999 – Joaquín Rodrigo, pianist and composer (b. 1901)
2003 – Buddy Ebsen, actor, singer, and dancer (b. 1908)
2004 – Syreeta Wright, singer and songwriter (b. 1946)
2019 – João Gilberto, singer, songwriter, and guitaris
Holidays, Holy Days, Festivals, Feast Days, Days of Recognition, and such:
International Kissing Day (informally observed)
National Fried Chicken Day (United States)
National Air Traffic Control Day
Music goes here, iirc, well, With apologies
Image is public domain
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