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Extremadura

Extremadura is an autonomous community of the western Iberian Peninsula whose capital city is Mérida, recognised by the Statute of Autonomy of Extremadura. It is made up of the two largest provinces of Spain: Badajoz, it is bordered by the provinces of Ávila to the north. Its official language is Spanish, it is an important area for wildlife with the major reserve at Monfragüe, designated a National Park in 2007, the International Tagus River Natural Park. The government of Extremadura is called Gobierno de Extremadura; the Day of Extremadura is celebrated on 8 September. It coincides with the Catholic festivity of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Extremadura is contained between 37° 57′ and 40° 85′ N latitude, 4° 39′ and 7° 33′ W longitude; the area of Extremadura is 41,633 km2, making it the fifth largest of the Spanish autonomous communities. It is located in the Southern Plateau. In the north is the Sistema Central with the highest point in Extremadura, 2,401 m high Calvitero; the main subranges of the Sistema Central in Extremadura are the Sierra de Sierra de Béjar.

In the centre is the Sierra de las Villuercas, which reaches an altitude of 1,603 m on the Pico de las Villuercas. Other notable ranges are Sierra de Montánchez and the Sierra de San Pedro, which form part of the greater Montes de Toledo system. To the south rises the Sierra Morena, which separates Extremadura from Andalusia, the Sierra de Tentudía, with the highest peak in Extremadura as Pico Tentudía at 1,104 m. There are four different hydrographic basins: The basin of the Tagus, with two principal tributaries: on the right, the Tiétar and the Alagón; the tributaries on the right edge carry a large quantity of water, which feed the gorges of the Sistema Central where the rainfall is abundant and the winter brings a great quantity of snow. The basin of the Guadiana, which has principal tributaries: to the right: Guadarranque and Ruecas to the left: Zújar River, its plentiful tributary and the Matachel; the basin of the Guadalquivir with only 1,411 km2 in Extremadura. The basin of the Douro with only 35 km2 in Extremadura.

The climate of Extremadura is hot-summer Mediterranean. It is characterized by its hot and dry summers, with great droughts, its mild winters due to the oceanic influence from its proximity to the Atlantic coast of Portugal; the yearly temperature fluctuates between an average minimum of 4 °C and an average maximum of 33 °C. In the north of Extremadura, the average temperatures are lower than those in the south, with temperatures rising south towards the Sierra Morena, where they drop because of the altitude. During the summer, the average temperature in July is greater than 26 °C, at times reaching 40 °C; the winters are mild, with the lowest temperatures being registered in the mountainous regions, with an average temperature of 7.5 °C. The average snowfall is 40 cm occurring in January and February on high ground. Lusitania, an ancient Roman province including current day Portugal and a central western portion of the current day Spain, covered in those times today's Autonomous Community of Extremadura.

Mérida became the capital of the Roman province of Lusitania, one of the most important cities in the Roman Empire. During the Andalusian period as of 711, present-day Extremadura was on the north-western marches—extremadura is from Latin words meaning "outermost hard", the outermost secure border of an occupied territory—with Mérida being its head city, it was part of the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba, but after its definite collapse in 1031 the Caliphate fragmented into small regional kingdoms, the lands of Extremadura were included in the Taifa of Badajoz on two taifa periods. The kingdom in turn broke up twice under Almohad push. After the Almohad disaster in Navas de Tolosa, Extremadura fell to the troops led by Alfonso IX of León in c.1230. Extremadura, an impoverished region of Spain whose difficult conditions pushed many of its ambitious young men to seek their fortunes overseas, was the source of many of the initial Spanish conquerors and settlers in America. Hernán Cortés, Francisco Pizarro, Gonzalo Pizarro, Juan Pizarro, Hernando Pizarro, Hernando de Soto, Andres Tapia, Pedro de Alvarado, Pedro de Valdivia, Inés Suárez, Alonso de Sotomayor, Francisco de Orellana, Pedro Gómez Duran y Chaves, Vasco Núñez de Balboa and many towns and cities in North and South America carry names from their homeland.

Examples include Mérida is the name of the administrative capital of Extremadura, of important cities in Mexico and Venezuela. The two Spanish astronauts, Miguel López-Alegría and Pedro Duque have family connections in Extremadura. King Ferdinand II of Aragon died in the village of Madrigalejo, Cáceres, in 1516. Pedro

Harrison Spring

Harrison Spring is the largest spring in the U. S. state of Indiana. It is located in west-central Harrison County, near the Blue River and just north of White Cloud. Several dye trace studies have shown that the drainage basin of Harrison Spring is, by Indiana standards large. Indian Creek is a major infeeder to the Harrison Springs drainage system as the entire summer flow of Indian Creek can disappear at the Sinks of Indian Creek and re-emerge at Harrison Springs in low-flow conditions, in about one hour. Given that Big Indian Creek – upstream of the Sinks of Indian Creek – drains an area between Corydon and Georgetown, as well as Little Indian Creek drains an area that runs east of Lanesville, the Indian Creek portion of the Harrison Spring drainage basin alone drains an area of at least 200 square miles; the other major known drainage basin is nearly subsurface karst drainage and includes a known area that runs from Harrison Spring to the north and northeast to Ramsey and Central Barren, just 2–3 miles south of Palmyra and contains an area of at least 39 square miles.

While mapping parts of Binkley's Cave, the largest known cave in Indiana, the cavers of the Indiana Speleological Survey have noted that according to their cave mapping data, water in the Blowing Hole section of Binkley's appears to flow under the bed of Indian Creek, near the Sinks of Indian Creek, resurge at Harrison Spring. This is further proven by dye trace studies performed in the sinkhole plain containing Binkley's Cave. Surface water that sinks into the sinkhole plain in areas near the intersection of Shiloh Road and Indiana State Road 135 south of Corydon has been observed to flow through known parts of Binkley's Cave, subterraneally under Indian Creek, exit to the surface at Harrison Spring, flow to the Blue River. There may be a link under Indian Creek between Binkley's Cave; however the route would involve many long cave dives – nothing of which on such a scale has been attempted in Indiana. Such a connection would greatly expand the known lengths of both caves as there are still significant gaps of unexplored cave in between the two systems.

Binkley's measures around 44 miles in length – the longest known cave in Indiana and the seventh longest cave known in the United States – and its known extent is increasing due to the efforts of the ISS. Cave divers led by Dave Strickland have mapped several thousand feet of cave in Harrison Spring – all of, at a significant depth, underwater; the rise pool at Harrison Spring measures 120 feet by 95 feet. It is within an abandoned meander loop of Blue River. Divers have measured its depth to be about 45 feet. Harrison Spring has an average discharge of 100 cubic feet per second with a flood discharge of up to 900 cubic feet per second; the water from the spring overflows into an outlet that travels about 3⁄4 mile before merging with Blue River as a tributary. The spring is owned, it was once part of a large 600-acre farm owned by United States President William Henry Harrison, from whom it gains its name. The spring produced enough water to run a gristmill and sawmill downstream which began operating 1807, making it one of the first in the state.

The farm was known as Harrison Valley. Harrison had planned to make it a plantation similar to Grouseland, a shipyard. However, the outlawing of slavery by the Indiana Constitution of 1816 made this impossible; the spring is not open to the public. 2007 NSS Convention Guidebook: Bassett 2007: pages 212–217 Harrison Spring: One of the Largest in the Midwest Harrison Springs

Frederick Lister

Sir Thomas Frederick Lister CBE was the first chairman of the British Legion. Along with Field Marshal Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, Lister was a leading advocate for the foundation of the British Legion in the aftermath of the First World War. Lister was born in the son of insurance surveyor Thomas Lister, he was educated at Tranmere higher grade school, worked as insurance clerk in Liverpool. He was some 6 feet 6 inches tall, he married Isobel Lewis, daughter of a shipping clerk, on 31 July 1911. They had no children; when the First World War broke out in 1914, Lister joined the Royal Garrison Artillery, becoming a lance-bombardier. He was wounded and discharged in 1916. At the time, there was little assistance for disabled veterans, Lister joined the National Federation of Discharged and Demobilized Sailors and Soldiers. Early veterans organisations were split on political lines; the National Federation had links with the Liberal Party, its first president was a Liberal MP James Hogge. The National Association of Discharged Sailors and Soldiers was linked with the Labour Party and trades unions.

The non-partisan Officers Association split the veterans movements further. Lister was the National Federation's candidate in the December 1918 general election, in the Ashton-under-Lyne constituency. Lister lost to the Coalition Unionist candidate, Albert Stanley. After the Federation's poor showing at the election, Lister replaced Hogge as its president. Field Marshal Earl Haig pushed for the competing veterans organisations to unify, supported by Lister; the Federation invited the other organizations to a conference in August 1920, a series of meetings in 1920 and 1921 resulted in the amalgamation of the various groups into the new British Legion in July 1921, with Lister elected as its first chairman and Haig as its first president. Lister remained chairman of the British Legion until 1927, he continued as an active member of the British Legion's national executive council until his death in 1966. He was chairman of the United Services Fund from 1942-48, he was knighted in the 1961 New Year Honours.

Lister combined his duties with the British Legion with a full-time job as the accident department manager of an insurance company. He died at his home in Birkenhead, aged 79