The remarkable story of Eyam’s self-quarantine in the 17th century

November 1st 1666, All Saints Day. The plague takes away its latest victim in the remote village of Eyam, England. One of the many deaths from the Great Plague of 1665/66, but not only. Because this twenty-year-old boy, the last of the 260 people in the village taken away from the disease, perhaps he would have had a chance to save himself, like others, if he had not accepted a very difficult but sensible decision, made approximately four months earlier from all the inhabitants of Eyam. From 1665 to 1666,…

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Execution Rocks Lighthouse – New York

The solitary Execution Rocks Lighthouse in the Long Island Sound guards the way to mansions which inspired The Great Gatsby, but also hides a macabre history of murder. In the middle of Long Island Sound, equidistant from New Rochelle and Port Washington, stands the lighthouse built in the 1850s, when America was a British colony with a growing revolutionary spirit. Prior to 1850, there had been lights on this reef, but none were official or reliable. The tiny rocky island on which it was constructed was known as the Execution…

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#TodayInHistory – March 31

March 31 – Some Important Events on this day 1146 👉🏼 Bernard of Clairvaux preaches his famous sermon in a field at Vézelay, urging the necessity of a Second Crusade. Louis VII is present, and joins the Crusade. 1492 👉🏼 Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon issue the Alhambra Decree which expels Jews from their kingdoms 1521 👉🏼 Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan takes possession of Homohon, Archipelago of St Lazarus, Philippines 🇵🇭 1657 👉🏼 English Parliament makes the Humble Petition to Military and Political Leader…

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Friar’s Bush Graveyard: the big (and grisly) history of the oldest Christian burial ground in Belfast ~

The sense of ancient mystery enshrouding the old walled cemetery in south Belfast has long fascinated historians and local people alike. Though it’s only two acres in size, the oldest Christian burial ground in Belfast, Ireland, has seen more than its fair share of murder, body-snatching, and disease. Even the cemetery’s name, Friar’s Bush, came out of its bloodshed. With the foundation of Belfast in 1610, the site became a graveyard for people of all denominations, but especially for the increasing Catholic population drawn to the rising industrial city from…

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#March 30, 1282: when Sicilian’s bells rang out for freedom

On this day, March 30, 1282 Sicilians decided that they had had enough and in a brutal uprising known as the War of the Vespers turned on their oppressors: the result was a conflict lasting 20 years and a balance of power shift that went on for 400 years. French King Charles I invaded the Italian island of Sicily in 1266 and through conquest became the King of Sicily. As a result, the French imposed a rule of iron with high taxes and the Sicilian population were constantly insulted and…

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#TodayInHistory – March 30

March 30 – Some Important Events on this day 240 BC 👉🏼 1st recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet ☄️ 1282 👉🏼 The people of Sicily rebel against the Angevin king Charles I, in what becomes known as the Sicilian Vespers. ✔️ Read the article! 1796 👉🏼 Carl Friedrich Gauss, German mathematician, discovers the construction of the heptadecagon. 1814 👉🏼 Napoleonic Wars: Sixth Coalition forces march into Paris after defeating Napoleon. 1856 👉🏼 Russia signs the Treaty of Paris, ending the Crimean War. On that year Treaty of Paris settled…

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Tomino’s hell: the creepy legend of a cursed poetry.

Can some verses hurt someone? A popular Japanese story is about a poem called “Tomino’s Hell” (トミノの地獄). They say that you should only read with your mind, and never out loud. It’s said that the poem became known to modern audiences after Japanese writer and film critic Inuhiko Yomata (also known as Goki Yomata) included it in a book published in 1998 called The Heart Is Like A Rolling Stone (心は転がる石のように). However, the poem itself is much older, having originally been written by Saijo Yaso in his 27th collection of…

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#TodayInHistory – March 29

March 29 – Some Important Events on this day 1461 👉🏼 Wars of the Roses: Battle of Towton. Duke Edward of York defeats the Lancastrian army, deposes King Henry VI and Queen Margaret of Anjou and proclaims himself as King Edward IV. 1549 👉🏼 The city of Salvador da Bahia, the first capital of Brazil, is founded 🇧🇷 1673 👉🏼 English King Charles II accepts Test Act: Roman Catholics excluded from public functions 1792 👉🏼 King Gustav III of Sweden dies after being shot in the back at a midnight…

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The haunted Fox Tower at Dongbianmen – China

We are in Beijing, China. The Fox Tower at Dongbianmen (chinese 东便门 ) has been said to be haunted from pretty much the moment it was founded in 1564. Initially the tower was said to be inhabited by deadly fox spirits, but by the 20th century the historic fortification was haunted by the very real specter of a grim murder. Built by meanie isolationist emperor Jiajing, a man so cruel his own concubines tried to strangle him en masse, Dongbianmen’s probably seen more than one murder, and It’s one of…

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#TodayInHistory – March 28

March 28 – Some Important Events on this day 37 👉🏼 3rd Roman Emperor Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, better known as Caligula (which means “little soldier’s boots), accepts the titles of the Principate, entitled to him by the Senate. 364 👉🏼 Roman Emperor Valentinian I appoints his brother Flavius Valens co-emperor 845 👉🏼 Paris is sacked by Viking raiders, probably under Ragnar Lodbrok, who collects a huge ransom in exchange for leaving. A 5,000 strong fleet of Danish Vikings invaded Frankish lands in this year and only retreated after…

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Bheja Fry, the spicy brain dish speciality of Hyderabad – India.

We are in India. “Bheja (brain) Fry” is a common slang used in parts of Mumbai and Andhra Pradesh, often to describe a situation (or a person) who is so irritating that it almost fries your brains. In Hyderabad, brain fry isn’t just the resulting sensation from surrounding confusion and summer heat. The phrase is derived from a popular street food and in fact there hole-in-the-wall eateries and street vendors fry goat, sheep, or cow brain, and then smother it in spicy sauce and onions. Thus, eaters scoop up the…

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#March 27, 1887: Prince Albert Memorial’s architect died on this day

Sir George Gilbert Scott (in Photo), the English architect who designed the Albert Memorial, located in London’s Hyde Park, died on this day, March 27 1878. Queen Victoria was described as an “utterly broken-hearted and crushed widow” when in 1861 her beloved husband, Prince Albert, died in their Windsor Castle at the age of 42. In his honour, she had the Albert Memorial built at a cost of £120,000 – about £10.5 million ($17 million) in today’s money. Standing 54 meters high and featuring a huge seated gilt bronze statue…

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#TodayInHistory – March 27

March 27 – Some Important Events on this day 1513 👉🏼 Spaniard Juan Ponce de León and his expedition first sight Florida. The explorer first arrived in the Caribbean with Columbus’ 2nd voyage in 1493. In 1502 he served under the new governor of Hispaniola, Nicolás de Ovando and was involved with the massacre of the local population of Taínos. Later he became the governor of the eastern part of Hispaniola. In 1508 he founded the first European settlement in Puerto Rico, Camparra. Eventually, in 1513 with a royal contract…

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The New York City’s cemetery where ships go to die

As with the legendary elephants’ graveyard, ships go to die at Rossville on Staten Island, although this wasn’t always the original intent of the space. Squeezed between Staten Island and New Jersey is Arthur Kill waterway (“Kill” is merely a dutch word for “creek”, in this case not as creepy as it sounds) and the Witte Marine Equipment Company. Since the 1930s, the company would dredge, salvage, and resell materials from the wrecked and disused vessels of the New York and New Jersey waterways – the space originally being called…

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#March 26, 1726: one of the most grisly murder cases in English criminal history

A report on this day, March 26 1726 that a dismembered body had been discovered in London led to what was one of the most grisly murder cases in the annals of English criminal history. In short, a wife had arranged her husband’s death. Born in 1690, Catherine Hall married carpenter John Hayes when she was 16. They set up home in West London where, in 1725, Thomas Wood, a butcher, and Thomas Billings, a tailor, came to live with the couple. The promiscuous Mrs Hayes, by then the mother…

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#TodayInHistory – March 26

March 26 – Some Important Events on this day 127 👉🏼 Greek astronomer and mathematician Ptolemy begins his observations of the heavens (until 141 AD) ✨ 1027 👉🏼 Pope John XIX crowns Conrad II Holy Roman Emperor, founder of the Salian dynasty. 1726 👉🏼 one the most grisly murder cases in the annals of English criminal history. ✔️ Read the article! 1812 👉🏼 Earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale destroys 90% of Caracas, Venezuela and kills an estimated 15,000–20,000 people. The Caracas earthquake occurred at 4:37 p.m. Two major…

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The last execution in Iceland: a mysterious murder case that’s intrigued a country for nearly 200 years

For centuries, some small farms near the water on Iceland’s Vatnsnes peninsula are scattered among the grassy fields and rocky hills, more or less content to be living at the edge of the world. Cherry on the cake, the peninsula is known for a black basalt rock formation that’s said to be a petrified troll, and for the colonies of seals that come to sun themselves on the beach. On current days, this surreal zone is still almost as peaceful—and lonely—as it was the night in March 1828 when a…

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#March 25, 1887: The Rahway murder of the “Unknown Woman”.

March 25th, 1887 was a day that changed the town of Rahway, New Jersey, forever. In the cold hours of the early morning, a group of four brothers were walking to work at the local felt mill by Bloodgood’s Pond in Clark. As they passed the Rahway River, they found a woman lying on the ground a few hundred meters from the Central Avenue Bridge. She was well dressed and had been carrying a basket of eggs. The woman appeared to be in her early 20s, and was described as…

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#TodayInHistory – March 25

March 25 – Some Important Events on this day 31 👉🏼 1st Easter, according to calendar-maker Dionysius Exiguus 🐣 421 👉🏼 Friday at 12 PM – city of Venice founded 🇮🇹 1199 👉🏼 Richard I, Lion Heart, King o f England, is wounded by a crossbow bolt while fighting France, leads to his death on April 6 1436 👉🏼 Florentine cathedral Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore with dome by Filippo Brunelleschi consecrated by Pope Eugene IV 1609 👉🏼 Explorer and navigator Henry Hudson embarks on an exploration for Dutch…

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Ponce De Leon Inlet Lighthouse – Florida

With its 53 meters high, Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse is the third tallest lighthouse in America and it has stood guard over Florida’s coast since 1887. Its story began in 1835, when a lighthouse was built on the south side of what was then called Mosquito Inlet (now Ponce de Leon Inlet). A conical, brick tower and a dwelling were hastily completed and the first keeper assigned to the station was William H. Williams who received an annual stipend of $450. However Keeper Williams didn’t have much work to…

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#TodayInHistory – March 24

March 24 – Some Important Events on this day 1545 👉🏼 German Parliament opens in Worms 🇩🇪 1603 👉🏼 Scottish King James VI son of Mary Queen of Scots, becomes King James I of England in succession to Elizabeth I, thus joining the English and Scottish crowns 👑 1603 👉🏼 Tokugawa Ieyasu is granted the title of shogun, officially establishing the Tokugawa Shogunate which would rule Japan until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. He was also one of the three unifiers of Japan. 1664 👉🏼 Theologian and colonist Roger Williams…

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Lee Chapel Cemetery – Virginia, and the county’s grisliest murder

The Lee Chapel was a Methodist Episcopalian church that sat at the intersection of the former Pohick Road and Mill Road (now Fairfax County Parkway and Lee Chapel Road). It was built in 1871 to replace Mt. Carmel Methodist Church, which had stood about a block to the south and was burned during the Civil War. Property for the church was donated by John Mahon, a prominent landowner of the day, and it is surrounded by a cemetery where the oldest grave is reported to date from 1887. The church,…

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#TodayInHistory – March 23

March 23 – Some Important Events on this day 1490 👉🏼 1st dated edition of Maimonides “Mishneh Torah”, a code of Jewish religious law is published 1775 👉🏼 Patrick Henry proclaims “Give me liberty or give me death” in speech in favour of Virginian troops joining US Revolutionary war 🇺🇸 1808 👉🏼 Napoleon’s brother Joseph takes the throne of Spain 🇪🇸 1857 👉🏼 Elisha Otis installs his 1st elevator at 488 Broadway in New York City. Founder of the Otis Elevator Company, he invented a safety device that prevents elevators…

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10 hilariously bad reviews of Dublin’s Pubs

All we know that Dublin is the capital city of Ireland. Located on the East coast of the country, it is the most densely populated metropolis on the Island and home to history and heritage, culture and entertainment. St. Patrick’s Day was also recently celebrated, with its traditions now spread all over the globe. While Dublin is synonymous with the arts and literature, Irish history and Guinness, it is also often associated with pub culture. In fact, Dublin is home to over 700 pubs (exactly 772, in February 2018). For…

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#TodayInHistory – March 22

March 22 – Some Important Events on this day 1622 👉🏼 First American Indian (Powhatan) massacre of Europeans in Jamestown Virginia, 347 victims. 1765 👉🏼 Stamp Act passed – 1st direct British tax on American colonists, organized by Prime Minister George Grenville. 1778 👉🏼 Captain James Cook sights Cape Flattery, now in Washington state 1784 👉🏼 The Emerald Buddha is moved with great ceremony to its current place in Wat Phra Kaew, Thailand. Built in the 18th century, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Phra Kaew, is situated…

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Why in Havana a nude woman with a fork mount a rooster?

We are in Havana, Cuba, and there’s a mysterious brass statue in Plaza Vieja: A woman sits atop her big, feathery mount, her voluptuous form completely naked except for the stilettos on her feet. A massive forks rests on her right shoulder. And the rooster, ever so stoic, gazes ahead. No one knows the meaning behind the unusual sculpture. Its name is “Viaje Fantástico”, so perhaps the woman heading off on an adventure to some sort of nudist dinner party? Or, as some online theories speculate, could it have a…

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#March 21, 1152: Eleanor and the most expensive divorce in History!

In the 12th Century Eleanor, the Duchess of Acquitane, controlled about a quarter of all France and was by far the richest woman in Europe. She had been married to King Louis VII of France for nearly 15 years, probabably a great love, but that was about to end. Louis, in fact, wanted a son, but under Salic law no woman could inherit the throne of France and Louis desperately wanted a male heir. So desperately, in fact, that he was willing to let Eleanor go, along with her vast…

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#TodayInHistory – March 21

March 21 – Some Important Events on this day 1152 👉🏼 In what was the most expensive divorces in history, French King Louis VII is granted an annulment from Eleanor of Aquitaine on the grounds of consanguinity (being from the same kinship as another person) ✔️ Read the article! 1349 👉🏼 Between 100 and 3,000 Jews are killed in Black Death riots in Erfurt, Germany 🇩🇪 1804 👉🏼 Napoleonic Code adopted in France, stresses clearly written and accessible law 🇫🇷 1826 👉🏼 Beethoven’s “String Quartet No. 13” in B flat…

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Sheep Brains: things to try in Marrakesh

We are in Marrakesh, Morocco. If there’s one must do thing there, is to watch the food vendors set up their collective stalls at dusk in the Jemaa El-Fna square. The heart of the Old Medina transforms before your eyes, with movement in every direction, both turists and locals. Smoke from the open grills and the smell of meat and spices dominant the senses, but don’t stop there, make your way through the crowd of people, motorbikes and cars and sit down at one of the endless stalls serving up…

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#TodayInHistory – March 20

March 20 – Some Important Events on this day 1345 👉🏼 Saturn, Jupiter and Mars-conjunction: thought “cause of plague epidemic” 🪐 1616 👉🏼 Walter Raleigh released from Tower of London to seek gold in Guyana. Known for popularising tobacco in England and for his expedition to South America in search of a “City of Gold”, explorer Walter Raleigh published an exaggerated account of his experiences in a book that contributed to the legend of “El Dorado”. A favorite of Queen Elizabeth I, he was distrusted by Elizabeth’s successor, King James…

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