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World History

Thursday, September 12, 1878. :   Cleopatra's Needle, an ancient Egyptian obelisk, is erected on London's Thames Embankment.

     Cleopatra's Needle is an ancient Egyptian obelisk of red granite, about 20m high, and inscribed with hieroglyphics. The obelisk actually has no connection with Cleopatra, but was originally erected in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis on the orders of Thutmose III. Rameses II added further inscriptions commemorating his military victories some 200 years later. There are in fact two Cleopatra's needles; one in London, the other in New York.

Cleopatra's needle in London was presented to England in 1819 by Mehemet Ali, viceroy of Egypt, in recognition of the victories of Lord Nelson at the Battle of the Nile and Sir Ralph Abercromby at the Battle of Alexandria in 1801. Transporting the obelisk was to prove too costly for the British government. It was not until 1877 that anatomist and dermatologist Sir William James Erasmus Wilson, sponsored its transportation to London at a cost of around 10,000. Engineer John Dixon designed a special iron cylinder, 28m long and 5m in diameter for transporting the obelisk. However, the obelisk was nearly lost at sea when it became separated from the ship towing it during a gale in the Bay of Biscay. After drifting for many days, it was rescued by an English ship and taken to Spain for repairs. The obelisk arrived in Gravesend on 21 January 1878, and was erected on the Embankment on 12 September 1878.


Today in History

Thought For Today
the humble will possess the land and enjoy prosperity and peace.
Psalms 37:11 (c) GNB
What is the fee for peace and prosperity? Simply an attitude change! But how many of us are willing to pay that price?

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