[Daily article] May 31: Japanese battleship Mutsu

Mutsu was the second of two Nagato-class dreadnought battleships built
for the Imperial Japanese Navy at the end of World War I. Named after
Mutsu Province, the ship was launched on 31 May 1920. In 1923, a year
after commissioning, she carried supplies for the survivors of the Great
Kantō earthquake. The ship was modernised in the mid 1930s with
improvements to her armour and machinery, and a rebuilt superstructure
in the pagoda mast style. Other than participating in the battles of
Midway and the Eastern Solomons in 1942, where she saw no significant
combat, Mutsu spent most of the first year of the Pacific War in
training. She returned to Japan in early 1943. That June, one of her aft
magazines detonated while she was at anchor, sinking the ship with the
loss of 1,121 crew and visitors. The navy conducted a perfunctory
investigation into the cause of her loss, concluded that it was the work
of a disgruntled crewmember, and dispersed the survivors in an attempt
to conceal the sinking within Japan. Much of the wreck was salvaged
after the war and many of its artefacts and relics are on display in
Japanese museums.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:


Mongol invasions: Mongol forces defeated a combined army of
Kiev, Galich, and the Cumans at the Kalchik River in present-day


Gilmore’s Garden in New York City was renamed Madison Square
Garden, the city’s first venue to use that name.


The Second Boer War came to an end with the signing of the
Treaty of Vereeniging.


An earthquake of magnitude 7.7 Mw struck Balochistan in the
British Raj, now part of Pakistan, killing between 30,000 and 60,000


An organized mob of police and government-sponsored
paramilitias began burning the public library in Jaffna, Sri Lanka,
destroying over 97,000 items in one of the most violent examples of
ethnic biblioclasm of the 20th century.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

One’s habitual way of doing things; custom, practice.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  Time, always without break, indicates itself in parts, What always
indicates the poet is the crowd of the pleasant company of singers, and
their words, The words of the singers are the hours or minutes of the
light or dark, but the words of the maker of poems are the general light
and dark, The maker of poems settles justice, reality, immortality, His
insight and power encircle things and the human race, He is the glory
and extract thus far of things and of the human race. The singers do not
beget, only the Poet begets, The singers are welcom’d, understood,
appear often enough, but rare has the day been, likewise the spot, of
the birth of the maker of poems, the Answerer, (Not every century nor
every five centuries has contain’d such a day, for all its names.)
–Song of the Answerer

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