[Daily article] April 3: Alan McNicoll

Alan McNicoll (1908–1987) was a senior officer in the Royal Australian
Navy (RAN) and a diplomat. He graduated from the Royal Australian Naval
College in 1926. Attached to the Royal Navy in the Second World War, he
was decorated with the George Medal in 1941 for disarming enemy
ordnance. He was posted for staff duties with the Admiralty in September
1943 and helped plan the Normandy landings, then returned to Australia
in October 1944. After serving in a series of naval commands and
chairing the planning committee for the British nuclear tests on the
Montebello Islands, he returned to London to attend the Imperial Defence
College in 1955. He occupied staff positions in London and Canberra
before being posted to the Naval Board as Chief of Personnel in 1960.
This was followed by a term as Flag Officer Commanding HM Australian
Fleet and, in 1965, a promotion to vice admiral and Chief of Navy,
overseeing an extensive modernisation of the Australian fleet. Knighted
the next year, he presided over the RAN contribution to the Vietnam War
before serving as the inaugural Australian Ambassador to Turkey for five

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Today’s selected anniversaries:


Edward the Confessor was crowned King of England, the last king
of the House of Wessex.


The libel trial instigated by Irish author Oscar Wilde began,
eventually resulting in Wilde’s arrest, trial and imprisonment on
charges of gross indecency.


Joseph Stalin became the first General Secretary of the
Communist Party of the Soviet Union.


Imperial Japanese Army officer Masaharu Homma was executed for
war crimes relating to the Bataan Death March.


A US Air Force CT-43 crashed into a mountainside while
attempting an instrument approach to Dubrovnik Airport in Dubrovnik,
Croatia, killing Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown and all the other 34
people on board.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

A stringy, mucilaginous or film- or membrane-like substance (consisting
of acetobacters) which develops in fermenting alcoholic liquids (such as
wine, or cider), and turns the alcohol into acetic acid with the help of
oxygen from the air.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  The most important thing is to actually think about what you do.
To become aware and actually think about the effect of what you do on
the environment and on society. That’s key, and that underlies
everything else.  
–Jane Goodall

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