[Daily article] March 29: Benjamin Franklin Tilley

Benjamin Franklin Tilley (March 29, 1848 – March 18, 1907) was an
officer in the United States Navy and the first acting governor of what
is now American Samoa. He entered the Naval Academy at age 15 during the
Civil War and graduated in 1866. In the wake of the Great Railroad
Strike of 1877, he participated as a lieutenant in the military’s
crackdown against workers. During the 1891 Chilean Civil War, Tilley and
a small contingent of sailors and marines defended the American
consulate in Santiago, Chile. Commanding the gunship USS Newport in the
Spanish–American War, he captured two Spanish Navy ships. After the
war Tilley was promoted to captain and became the acting governor of
Tutuila and Manua, present-day American Samoa, where he set legal and
administrative precedents for the new territory. Tilley’s successor,
Captain Uriel Sebree, praised his “great ability, kindness, tact and
sound common sense”. He was promoted to rear admiral after almost
41 years of naval service, but died within a month from pneumonia.

Read more:

Today’s selected anniversaries:


Viking raiders possibly led by the legendary Ragnar Lodbrok
captured Paris and held the city for a huge ransom.


Swedish settlers founded New Sweden near Delaware Bay, the
first Swedish colony in America.


The Royal Albert Hall in Albertopolis, London, was officially
opened by Queen Victoria.


Second World War: British Royal Navy and Australian Navy ships
intercepted and sank or severely damaged the ships of the Italian Regia
Marina near Crete.


NASA’s Mariner 10, launched in November 1973, became the first
spaceprobe to fly by the planet Mercury.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

1. (ecclesiastical) In the Catholic Church, a rare title conferred to or
claimed by the sees of certain archbishops, or the highest-ranking
bishop of a present or historical, usually political circumscription.
2. (ecclesiastical) In the Anglican Church, an archbishop, or the highest-
ranking bishop of an ecclesiastic province.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  Imaginative truth is the most immediate way of presenting ultimate
reality to a human being … ultimate reality is what we call God.
–R. S. Thomas

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