[Daily article] March 27: Coalhouse Fort

Coalhouse Fort is an English artillery fort built in the 1860s to guard
the lower Thames from seaborne attack. It stands at Coalhouse Point in
Essex on the north bank of the river, at a location near East Tilbury
that was vulnerable to raiders and invaders. It was the last in a series
of fortifications dating back to the 15th century and was the direct
successor to a smaller mid-19th century fort on the same site. It was
initially a front-line fortification, supported by Shornemead Fort and
Cliffe Fort on the Kent shore. Over time, as batteries and forts further
downriver became the front line of the Thames defences, its main weapons
were replaced with smaller quick-firing guns intended for use against
fast-moving surface and aerial targets. Its last military use was as a
training facility after the Second World War. Decommissioned in 1949,
the fort fell into dereliction, despite its historical and architectural
significance. Its restoration has been funded in part by the Heritage
Lottery Fund and the Warner Bros. film studio, which used it as a
location for the opening scenes of the 2005 film Batman Begins.

Read more:

Today’s selected anniversaries:


San Diego, the first European settlement in what is now
California, was incorporated as a city.


Philippine–American War: For the only time during the course
of the war, Philippine President Emilio Aguinaldo personally led troops
against the U.S. in the Battle of Marilao River.


Encouraged by the British Special Operations Executive, a group
of pro-Western Serb-nationalist Royal Yugoslav Air Force officers
planned and conducted a coup d’état after Yugoslavia joined the Axis


First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Nikita Khrushchev also took over the role of Premier.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drug
sildenafil (chemical structure pictured), better known by the trade name
Viagra, for use as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, the first pill
to be approved for this condition in the United States.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

1. Pale, sickly-looking.
2. Dim, faint.
3. Bland, uninterested.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  The thought of every group is seen as arising out of its life
conditions. Thus, it becomes the task of the sociological history of
thought to analyse without regard for party biases all the factors in
the actually existing social situation which may influence thought. This
sociologically oriented history of ideas is destined to provide modern
men with a revised view of the whole historical process.  
–Karl Mannheim

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