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|858||St. Nicholas I begins his reign as Catholic Pope.|
|1519||Envoys of Montezuma II attend the first Easter mass in Central America.|
|1547||Charles V’s troops defeat the Protestant League of Schmalkalden at the Battle of Muhlberg.|
|1558||Mary, Queen of Scotland, marries the French dauphin, Francis.|
|1792||Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle composes “La Marseillaise”. It will become France’s national anthem.|
|1800||The Library of Congress is established in Washington, D.C. with a $5,000 allocation.|
|1805||U.S. Marines attack and capture the town of Derna in Tripoli from the Barbary pirates.|
|1833||A patent is granted for the first soda fountain.|
|1877||Russia declares war on the Ottoman Empire.|
|1884||Otto von Bismarck cables Cape Town, South Africa that it is now a German colony.|
|1898||Spain declares war on United States, rejecting an ultimatum to withdraw from Cuba.|
|1916||Irish nationalists launch the Easter Uprising against British occupation.|
|1944||The first B-29 arrives in China, over the Hump of the Himalayas.|
|1948||The Berlin airlift begins to relieve the surrounded city.|
|1953||Winston Churchill is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.|
|1961||President John Kennedy accepts “sole responsibility” for the failed invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs.|
|1968||Leftist students take over Columbia University in protest over the Vietnam War.|
|1980||A rescue attempt of the U.S. hostages held in Iran fails when a plane collides with a helicopter in the Iranian desert.|
|1981||The IBM Personal Computer is introduced.|
|1989||Thousands of Chinese students strike in Beijing for more democratic reforms.|
According to The Guardian, the government said that Emmanuel Momoh found the gem in an artisanal mine in the village of Koyadu within the diamond-rich Kono region. It weighs in at 706 carats. The stone was presented on Thursday and will be sold in a government-held transparent auction in the Sierra Leone to benefit the community."I have to help the government and my people, so all of us can benefit," presidential spokesman Abdulai Bayraytay quoted Momoh as saying.The diamond still needs to be analyzed by experts, but it's probable that it's among the largest, behind the 3,106-carat Cullian diamond and a 1,111-carat diamond discovered in 2015. Diamond expert Paul Zimnisky told the AFP news agency that it could possibly rank "between the 10th and 15th largest dem-diamonds ever recovered."
An 1888 anonymous writer to the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal voiced concerns about the fashion of the time in a letter headed simply “Bustles.”Read about the rise and fall of the bustle and other 19th-century undergarments at Smithsonian.
The writer reels off the numerous health problems they see with everyday women’s fashion: corsets squeezing organs, shoes too small and pointed at the toe deforming the foot and particularly the bustle. “The woman with a bustle can never sit down in a natural position,” the letter records. “It is absolutely impossible for her to rest her back against the back of any seat of ordinary construction. I have no doubt some of the severe backaches in women whose duties keep them seated all day are due to, or at least aggravated by, this disability.”
Sometimes it takes a malcontent to disturb something as intractable as Hollywood accounting practices. By the terms of the contract they signed in 1982 with Embassy Pictures, the four creators of Spinal Tap are entitled to a portion of income from the film, including merchandise and music, provided certain benchmarks are hit. Given the wild afterlife of This Is Spinal Tap, it seems impossible that anyone with a piece of the movie hasn’t made money. And yet this is Hollywood, where studios have claimed that some of the highest-grossing films—hits such as Return of the Jedi, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy—somehow haven’t turned a profit. As David Zucker, one of the creators of Airplane!, once said of his own sleeper hit, “It made so much money that the studio couldn’t hide it fast enough.”An investigation into the film's accounting showed that the four were owed $81 in merchandizing income and $98 in album income. Smelling a rat, Shearer filed a $125 million lawsuit last year. In 2017, Reiner, McKean, and Guest joined the lawsuit and raised the amount to $400 million, plus reversion of the copyright to the name Spinal Tap.
With Embassy out of business, the theatrical rights to Spinal Tap bounced around from Coca-Cola to De Laurentiis Entertainment Group to a L’Oréal property named Parafrance to, around 1990, Studiocanal, a subsidiary of the French company Vivendi SA. The home-video rights followed a separate path and landed with Sony Music Entertainment. None of those companies paid the four creators, and no one did anything about it until Shearer finally lost his patience. “We were approaching the 30th anniversary,” he says, “and this low-burning lightbulb begins to go off—‘Hey, wait a minute, what’s going on here?’ ”
Vivendi, in its response to the lawsuit, argued that the creators made the film as a work for hire, and were hence not entitled to the copyright. It seems crazy, given that there’s plenty of evidence the four of them invented the band years before making their deal with Embassy, but calling a contribution work-for-hire is fairly common in copyright cases. In Shearer’s latest filing, he calls Vivendi’s position on the copyright a threat to scare him away from pressing his profit case. He also says it’s hypocritical for the company to cling to a film’s copyright while suggesting, based on what it claims is the film’s poor performance, there’s no money to be made with it.You can read the details of the story, and some background on Hollywood accounting, at Bloomberg. -