The drift of the Antarctic exploration vessel SY Aurora was a 312-day ordeal during the Ross Sea section of Ernest Shackleton's expedition between 1914 and 1917. It began when the ship broke loose from its anchorage in McMurdo Sound during a gale. Caught in heavy pack ice, Aurora was carried into open waters with eighteen men aboard, leaving ten men stranded ashore with meagre provisions. With first officer Joseph Stenhouse in command, the ship suffered severe damage, including the loss of its rudder and anchors. It was finally freed from the ice in March 1916 after it had drifted north of the Antarctic Circle. It was able to reach New Zealand for repairs and resupply before returning to Antarctica to rescue the surviving members of the shore party. Stenhouse was removed from command by the organisers of the Ross Sea party relief expedition, but was later appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his service aboard the ship. (Full article...)
December 14: Martyred Intellectuals Day in Bangladesh (1971); Monkey Day
Aldfrith of Northumbria (d. 704 or 705) · Louis Marshall (b. 1856) · Lupe Vélez (d. 1944)
American director John Ford directed more than 140 films. Ford began working for the Fox Film Corporation in 1920. During the next ten years he directed more than 30 films. In 1931, Ford began working for other studios, starting with Arrowsmith for Samuel Goldwyn. In 1934, he began a lengthy association with producer Merian C. Cooper at RKO Radio Pictures. The following year he directed The Informer, which brought him his first Academy Award for Best Director. With the coming of World War II, Ford was appointed to the Office of Strategic Services as a field photographer in the United States Navy. During the war he made several documentaries. In 1947, Ford reunited with Merian Cooper and began making films for their own company, Argosy Productions. Over the next nine years they made Fort Apache, 3 Godfathers, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Rio Grande, The Quiet Man, and The Searchers. For The Quiet Man, Ford won his fourth Academy Award for Best Director. (Full list...)
Emmeline Pankhurst (née Goulden, 1858–1928) was a British political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement, who helped women win the right to vote. The first election with female voters was the general election of 14 December 1918, one hundred years ago today. In 1999 Time named Pankhurst as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century, stating "she shaped an idea of women for our time; she shook society into a new pattern from which there could be no going back". She was widely criticised for her militant tactics, and historians disagree about their effectiveness, but her work is recognised as a crucial element in achieving women's suffrage in the United Kingdom.
Photograph: Matzene of Chicago, restoration: Adam Cuerden
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