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Here's one I made earlier[edit]

Here are pre-written blurbs for some featured articles of mine which have not been on the main page yet. Feel free to use them to fill in gaps if there is some kind of scheduling crisis.

Paul Kruger[edit]

Kruger in 1900

Paul Kruger (1825–1904), nicknamed Oom Paul ("Uncle Paul"), served as President of the South African Republic (or Transvaal) from 1883 to 1900. Born in the Cape Colony, he took part in the Great Trek as a child and, having almost no education apart from the Bible, believed the Earth was flat. He played a prominent role in the forging of the South African Republic and was its Commandant-General between 1863 and 1873. Elected Vice-President shortly before Britain annexed the Transvaal in 1877, he became the leading figure of the Transvaal independence movement, culminating in the Boer victory in the First Boer War of 1880–81. Following the Witwatersrand Gold Rush of 1886, the uitlander problem and associated tensions with Britain dominated Kruger's attention, and led to first the Jameson Raid of 1895–96, then the Second Boer War of 1899–1902. Kruger became a household name across the world as the face of the Boer cause against Britain. He left for Europe as the war turned against the Boers in 1900 and spent the rest of his life in exile. After he died in Switzerland in 1904, his body was repatriated and buried in Pretoria. Kruger remains a controversial and divisive figure; admirers venerate him as a tragic folk hero, while critics view him as the obstinate guardian of an unjust cause. (Full article...)

Air Rhodesia Flight 825[edit]

Recommend running this on the anniversary on 3 September; perhaps for the 40th anniversary in 2018
A Vickers Viscount of Air Rhodesia, similar to the Hunyani
A Vickers Viscount of Air Rhodesia, similar to the Hunyani

Air Rhodesia Flight 825 was a scheduled passenger flight that was shot down by Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) insurgents on 3 September 1978, during the Rhodesian Bush War. The aircraft involved was a Vickers Viscount operated by Air Rhodesia, flying from Kariba to Salisbury. Soon after take-off ZIPRA guerrillas scored a direct hit with a Soviet-made Strela 2 missile, forcing an emergency landing, which was unsuccessful. Of the 52 passengers and four crew, 38 died in this crash. The insurgents then approached the wreckage and massacred the 10 survivors they could see with automatic gunfire. Three passengers survived by hiding in the surrounding bush, while a further five lived because they had gone to look for water. ZIPRA leader Joshua Nkomo claimed responsibility for the shootdown, saying the aircraft had been used for military purposes, but denied that his men had killed survivors. The attack was widely perceived in Rhodesia as an act of terrorism, but there was almost no acknowledgement of it by overseas governments, much to the Rhodesian government's indignation. Five months later, in February 1979, ZIPRA shot down Air Rhodesia Flight 827, another civilian flight, in an almost identical incident. (Full article...)

Rhodesia's Unilateral Declaration of Independence[edit]

Scheduled to run on 11 November 2015, the 50th anniversary
Zimbabwe in Africa.svg

Rhodesia's Unilateral Declaration of Independence was adopted by the mostly white minority government of Prime Minister Ian Smith on 11 November 1965. It announced that the British colony of Rhodesia, self-governed since 1923, regarded itself as a sovereign state. The culmination of a protracted dispute between the British and Rhodesian governments, it was the first unilateral breakaway by a British colony since the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776. It was largely motivated by the perception among white Rhodesians that they were due independence following four decades of self-government and that Britain was betraying them by insisting on majority rule as a condition; the white minority of about 5% was loath to transfer power to black nationalists because of racial tensions and reservations about the country's stability. Britain, the Commonwealth and the United Nations deemed Rhodesia's declaration illegal, and economic sanctions, the first in the UN's history, were imposed on the breakaway colony. Rhodesia continued as an unrecognised state until the Lancaster House Agreement of 1979, and became Zimbabwe in 1980. (Full article...)

Ian Smith[edit]

Smith, c. 1954

Ian Smith (1919–2007) was the 8th Prime Minister of Rhodesia, in office from 1964 to 1979. The son of British immigrants, he served as a Royal Air Force fighter pilot in World War II before returning home to farm; he entered politics in 1948. His country's first native-born premier, he led the mostly white minority government that unilaterally declared independence from Britain in 1965 following prolonged dispute over the terms. Rhodesia was almost totally isolated thereafter. Smith oversaw the country's security forces during most of the Bush War against communist-backed black nationalist guerrilla groups, and worked to find a settlement. After the country became Zimbabwe in 1980, he was Leader of the Opposition during Robert Mugabe's first seven years in power; he retired in 1987. A stridently vocal critic of the Mugabe government, he won new popularity in later life among Zimbabwean opposition supporters. He remained in Zimbabwe until 2005 and died in South Africa two years later. Smith and his legacy remain highly controversial—supporters venerate a man of integrity and vision "who understood the uncomfortable truths of Africa", while critics describe an unrepentant racist whose actions caused the deaths of thousands and contributed to Zimbabwe's later crises. (Full article...)

Military service of Ian Smith[edit]

Smith in his Royal Air Force uniform

The military service of Ian Smith, the 8th Prime Minister of Rhodesia (1964–79), was in the British Royal Air Force during the Second World War (1939–45). Smith interrupted his studies at Rhodes University in South Africa to join up in 1941. He was posted to No. 237 (Rhodesia) Squadron, then stationed in the Middle East, in 1942. A crash during a night takeoff in the Western Desert in October 1943 resulted in a number of serious injuries, including facial disfigurements. Rejoining No. 237 Squadron in Corsica in May 1944, Smith was shot down by flak in northern Italy in late June 1944, and spent three months working with the local resistance movement before trekking westwards, across the Maritime Alps, to join up with Allied forces in southern France. He was posted to No. 130 (Punjab) Squadron in western Germany in April 1945, and returned home at the end of that year. Becoming Prime Minister amid a dispute with Britain regarding the terms for full independence, he was influenced as a politician by his wartime experiences. Rhodesia's military record on the mother country's behalf became a fundamental part of his sense of betrayal by post-war British governments, which partly motivated his administration's Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965. (Full article...)

Old TFAs[edit]

These featured articles of mine have already appeared on the main page. The date given beside each article's title is when it was featured on Wikipedia's front page.

Luton Town F.C. (10 June 2011)[edit]

Kenilworth Road in 2007

Luton Town Football Club (home stadium pictured) is an English professional football club based since 1905 at Kenilworth Road, Luton, Bedfordshire. The club currently competes in the fifth tier of English football, the Conference National. Formed in 1885, it was the first club in southern England to turn professional, making payments to players as early as 1890 and turning fully professional a year later. It did not reach the top division of English football until 1955–56, and did not reach a major final until the 1959 FA Cup Final. Relegated from the top division in 1959–60, the team was demoted twice more in the following five years, reaching the Fourth Division for the 1965–66 season, before being promoted back to the top level by 1974–75. Luton Town's most recent successful period began in 1981–82, when the club won the Second Division and was promoted to the First Division. Winning the League Cup in 1987–88, Luton remained a First Division club until relegation in 1991–92 signalled the end of major success. More recently, financial difficulties have caused the club to fall, in just three years, from the second tier of English football to the fifth, ending its 89-year spell as a member of The Football League. (Full article...)

Mathew Charles Lamb (11 January 2012)[edit]

Mathew Charles Lamb (1948–1976) was a Canadian spree killer. Seventeen days after his release from jail in June 1966, Lamb took a shotgun from his uncle's house and went on a shooting spree around his home-town of Windsor, Ontario, killing two strangers and wounding two more. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity in January 1967, so he avoided Canada's mandatory death penalty for capital murder, but was committed for an indefinite time in psychiatric care. He displayed a profound recovery over the course of six years at Penetanguishene Mental Health Centre's maximum security Oak Ridge unit. The Executive Council of Ontario released Lamb in early 1973 on the condition that he spend a year under the supervision of Dr Elliot Barker, his long-time psychiatrist at Oak Ridge. With Barker's encouragement, Lamb volunteered for the Rhodesian Security Forces in late 1973. He served with distinction in the Rhodesian Light Infantry and Special Air Service until he was killed in action on 7 November 1976, soon after his promotion to lance-corporal. He received what Newsweek called "a hero's funeral" in the Rhodesian capital, Salisbury, before his ashes were returned to Windsor. (Full article...)

Eduard Streltsov (21 July 2012)[edit]

A commemorative two-ruble coin bearing Streltsov's likeness was issued in 2010.

Eduard Streltsov (1937–1990) was a Soviet football forward who represented Torpedo Moscow and the Soviet national team. He was widely regarded as one of the Soviet Union's finest players, earning the nickname "the Russian Pelé". Streltsov joined Torpedo in 1953, aged 16, and made his international debut two years later; he then played a key role in winning the gold medal for the USSR at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. Ranked among the top seven footballers in Europe during 1957, he was accused of rape the following year. Evidence against Streltsov was inconclusive, but government agents told him that he would be retained in the USSR's 1958 World Cup team if he confessed. When he did so, he was instead convicted and sentenced to twelve years in the Gulag. He was released after five, and received a hero's welcome from fans when he resumed his football career with Torpedo Moscow in 1965. In the first season of Streltsov's comeback, Torpedo won the Soviet Championship. He returned to the national team in 1966, and was twice named Soviet Footballer of the Year before he retired in 1970. Since Streltsov's death in 1990, Torpedo's home stadium has been renamed after him, and two statues depicting his likeness have been erected in Moscow. (Full article...)

Rhodesian mission in Lisbon (17 January 2013)[edit]

(ran as Lisbon Appointment, renamed soon thereafter)
Coat of arms of Rhodesia

The Lisbon Appointment was the decision in 1965 by Britain's self-governing colony in Rhodesia to open its own diplomatic mission in Lisbon, the Portuguese capital, which would operate independently from the British embassy there. Britain objected to the proposal when it was put forward in June 1965, and tried unsuccessfully to block it. The affair came amidst the larger dispute between Whitehall and Salisbury about sovereign independence for the colony. Whitehall insisted that there could be no independence before majority rule, which was opposed by Rhodesia's mostly white government. Rhodesia's staunch opposition to immediate majority rule and its disillusionment regarding Britain propelled it towards Portugal, which governed the neighbouring territories of Angola and Mozambique. Portugal, while insisting it was neutral regarding Rhodesia, officially recognised Harry Reedman as "Chief of the Rhodesian Mission" in September 1965. It was careful to avoid provoking Britain, omitting the word "diplomatic" from the titles given to Reedman and his mission, but the Rhodesians still regarded themselves as victorious. Less than two months later, Rhodesia unilaterally declared independence. (Full article...)

Rudd Concession (30 October 2013; 125th anniversary)[edit]

Charles Rudd

The Rudd Concession, a written concession for exclusive mining rights in Matabeleland, Mashonaland and other adjoining territories in southern Africa, was granted by King Lobengula of Matabeleland to Charles Rudd (pictured), James Rochfort Maguire and Francis Thompson, three agents acting on behalf of the politician and businessman Cecil Rhodes, on 30 October 1888. The concession conferred on the grantees the sole rights to mine throughout Lobengula's country, as well as the power to defend this exclusivity by force, in return for weapons and a regular monetary stipend. Despite Lobengula's retrospective attempts to disavow it on the grounds of alleged deceit by the concessionaires regarding the settled terms, it proved the foundation for the royal charter granted by the United Kingdom to Rhodes' British South Africa Company in October 1889, and thereafter for the Pioneer Column's occupation of Mashonaland in 1890, which marked the beginning of white settlement, administration and development in the country. The Company officially named the territory Rhodesia, after Rhodes, in 1895, and governed it until 1923. (Full article...)

Shangani Patrol (18 March 2014)[edit]

Major Allan Wilson

On 4 December 1893, the Shangani Patrol, comprising 34 soldiers of the British South Africa Company, was annihilated by over 3,000 Matabele warriors during the First Matabele War, in Rhodesia (modern-day Zimbabwe). Major Patrick Forbes was attempting to capture the Matabele King Lobengula. A patrol, headed by Major Allan Wilson (pictured), was scouting ahead on the north side of the Shangani River. When Wilson's patrol moved in to capture Lobengula, it was ambushed by Matabele riflemen and warriors near the king's wagon. Surrounded and outnumbered about a hundred-fold, the patrol made a last stand as three of its number rode back to the river for reinforcements – without success as the Shangani was now in flood and Forbes was also involved in a skirmish. After fighting to the last cartridge, and killing over ten times their own number, Wilson and his men were annihilated. The patrol's members were regarded as national heroes for endeavour in the face of insurmountable odds. The anniversary of the battle became an annual public holiday in Rhodesia in 1895, and was an official non-work day until 1920. A film depicting the episode, Shangani Patrol, was released in 1970. (Full article...)

Southern Rhodesia in World War I (5 August 2014; 100th anniversary)[edit]

Southern Rhodesians in the British Army in 1914

The involvement of Southern Rhodesia in World War I began on 5 August 1914, when it learned that the United Kingdom had declared war on Germany a day earlier. The British territory of Southern Rhodesia provided over 8,000 soldiers to the British Army during the hostilities, including 1,720 officers. About two-thirds of these servicemen came from the country's white minority—about 40% of the colony's white men enlisted—and these fought primarily on the Western Front in Belgium and France (Rhodesian platoon pictured). Other Southern Rhodesian troops, including 2,500 black soldiers, took part in the South-West African and East African campaigns. Over 800 Southern Rhodesians of all races lost their lives on operational service. The colony's contributions played a part in the UK's decision to grant self-government in 1923, and remained prominent in the Rhodesian national consciousness for decades. Since 1980, when the country became Zimbabwe, the government has removed many memorial monuments and plaques from public view, regarding them as unwelcome vestiges of white minority rule and colonialism. The country's war dead today have no official commemoration, either there or overseas. (Full article...)

Zimbabwe women's national field hockey team at the 1980 Summer Olympics (10 May 2015)[edit]

The Zimbabweans celebrate after beating Poland

The 1980 Zimbabwe women's national field hockey team won the gold medal at that year's Summer Olympics in Moscow in the Soviet Union. The 16 teammates, all from Zimbabwe's white minority, were assembled less than a month before the Olympics, after an American-led boycott reduced the number of teams competing. It was the first time the women's field hockey event had been held at the Olympics. After beating Poland and the Soviet Union and drawing with Czechoslovakia and India, the Zimbabweans secured the gold on the final day with a 4–1 victory over Austria. Their victory was considered a huge upset, particularly considering the short time the team had to prepare. Won at a time of great transition in Zimbabwe (as Rhodesia, the country had been barred from the previous three Olympics), the gold medal was the nation's first Olympic medal of any colour. The players were dubbed the "Golden Girls" by the Zimbabwean press and were briefly national celebrities. Zimbabwe did not win another Olympic medal until 2004. (Full article...)

Robin Friday (29 June 2015)[edit]

Robin Friday (1952–1990) was an English football forward who played for Reading and Cardiff City during the mid-1970s. Born and raised in Acton in west London, Friday joined Reading in 1974, quickly becoming a key player and helping Reading win promotion to the Third Division during the 1975–76 season. Friday won Reading's player of the year award in both of his full seasons there as their leading goal scorer. Many contemporaries would later assert that he was good enough to play for England, but his habit of unsettling opponents through physical intimidation contributed to a heavily tarnished disciplinary record, and his personal life was one of heavy smoking, drinking, womanising and drug abuse. His intensifying drug habit led Reading to sell him to Cardiff in 1976. Following incidents on and off the field—including kicking Mark Lawrenson in the face mid-game—Friday retired from football in 1977. He died in Acton in 1990, aged 38, after suffering a heart attack. Despite his short career, Friday remains prominent in the memory of Reading and Cardiff supporters, as a player and a personality. He has been voted Reading's best ever player three times. (Full article...)

My stuff[edit]

Photographs taken by me[edit]

Luton fans at Wembley 2012.png Luton Town supporters at Wembley Stadium 20 May 2012
RLI Trooper Statue at Hatfield, April 2014, 1.JPG The Rhodesian Light Infantry's Troopie statue, resting far across the sea at Hatfield, England 17 April 2014
RLI Trooper Statue at Hatfield, April 2014, 2.JPG The plaque on the Troopie statue 17 April 2014
RLI Trooper Statue at Hatfield, April 2014, 3.JPG The Troopie looking out over the River Lea 17 April 2014
Nick Owen at Kenilworth Road, 21 April 2014.jpg Nick Owen talks to Luton fans at Kenilworth Road 21 April 2014
Luton Town lift Conference championship trophy 2014.jpg Luton Town F.C., Football Conference champions 2013–14 21 April 2014

Resolved comments[edit]