Bored? Take a virtual murder tour of medieval London!

On the Wednesday September 14, 1337 the Coroner and Sheriffs were informed that Juliana Prickfield, a washerwoman, had been found dead at the Hospital of St Katherine. The jurors found that at midnight on the preceding Tuesday, Thomas Long of Sandwich, a skinner, had broken into Juliana’s house near the Hospital of St Katherine and attacked her with an ‘Irish knife’, inflicting wounds under the left breast and on her throat, from which she died immediately. The assailant stole a strongbox containing money and jewels and then fled, but the…

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#TodayInHistory – May 31

May 31 – Some important events on this day. 1279 BC 👉🏼 Ramesses II, also known as Ramesses the Great becomes Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt (19th Dynasty). Did you know? Ramesses II is the first (and probably the last) mummy to receive a passport! ✔️ READ THE ARTICLE! 1578 👉🏼 Martin Frobisher sails from Harwich, England, to Frobisher Bay, Canada. Eventually mines fools gold, famously used to pave the streets of London. 1669 👉🏼 Citing poor eyesight, English civil servant Samuel Pepys records the last event in his famous diary…

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Sarmizegetusa Regia: the legendary capital of the Dacians

We are in Romania. Hidden in the dense forests of the Carpathians, Sarmizegetusa Regia is one of the oldest, most surprising and mysterious historical attractions in the country. From the second century B.C., until the first century A.D., the kingdom of Dacia could be found west of the Black Sea and north of the Danube River. When the Romans conquered Dacia in 106, they destroyed its capital, Sarmizegetusa Regia, and established a new city some 40 kilometers away to serve as the capital of their new province. However, in the…

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Voltaire: writer, philosopher and…..rebel

As he lay dying on this day, May 30, 1778, the great French writer Voltaire noticed that the lamp next to his bed was violently flickering and flaring up. “What? The flames already?” he quipped. And they were the last words he spoke. Earlier, when a priest asked him to renounce Satan he refused, allegedly stating: “This is no time to make any more enemies!” Despite both anecdotes are of questionable authenticity, they so fit the personality of this remarkable man that they have been attributed to him in many…

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#TodayInHistory – May 30

May 30 – Some important events on this day. 1431 👉🏼 Hundred Years’ War: 19 year old Joan of Arc is burned at the stake by an English-dominated tribunal in Rouen, France. 1498 👉🏼 Christopher Columbus departs with 6 ships for 3rd trip to America 1539 👉🏼 Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto’s expedition of 10 ships and 700 men lands in Florida. Commissioned by the Spanish crown to conquer Florida, Hernando de Soto and his expedition landed on the coast of Florida on this day. He was then one of…

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Thai funeral cookbooks: to preserve recipes and memories~

If recently you’ve been to a wedding, probably you’ve been handed a wedding program upon your arrival, featuring photographs of the happy couple, tidbits about how they met, details about their families or the story of their first date. Little books like these can frequently be found in Thailand as well, but not for weddings. For funerals. Yes. Really for funerals. In Thailand the custom to give out gifts to attendees at funerals it has been a long-held tradition. These small memorial books, locally called nang sue ngam sop, are…

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#TodayInHistory – May 29

May 29 – Some important events on this day. 1176 👉🏼 Battle at Legnano: Lombard League beats Frederick Barbarossa and the Holy Roman Empire 1453 👉🏼 Constantinople, capital of the Eastern Roman Empire falls to the Turks under Muhammad II: ends the Byzantine Empire 1592 👉🏼 Battle of Sacheon: Korean navy led by Admiral Yi Sun Shin repels a Japanese fleet – first use of Korean Turtle ship 1660 👉🏼 On his 30th birthday Charles II returns to London from exile in the Netherlands to claim the English throne after…

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Kolmanskop – Namibia: the remains of diamond fever taken over by the desert.

We are in Namibia: people flocked to the area that later became known as Kolmanskop after the discovery of diamonds, in 1908. Here, Zacharias Lewala, a regular railway worker, picked up what he thought was an unusually shiny stone, and showed it to his supervisor, August Stauch, who immediately applied for a prospector’s license. Verification confirmed that the first diamond in the region had been found. The diamonds were in such supply that they could be picked off the ground by bare hands, and soon the area was flooded with…

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The history of Volkswagen, the “People’s Car”

Germany’s Volkswagen is the largest car maker in the world, after Toyota. Its 590,000 employees produce around the world nearly 41,000 vehicles daily. It currently owns 12 subsidiaries including Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Audi, Seat and Skoda, luxury brands such as Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche and Ducati, as well as Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Scania and Man. And, above all, it is a long way from its origins as part of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s vision to enable German families to own their first car! In all began on May 28, 1937,…

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#TodayInHistory – May 28

May 28 – Some important events on this day. 585 BC 👉🏼 Solar eclipse, as predicted by Greek philosopher Thales, while Lydians at war with the Medes leads to a truce. One of the cardinal dates from which other dates calculated. 🌚 1431 👉🏼 Joan of Arc is accused of relapsing into heresy by donning male clothing again, providing justification for her execution 1588 👉🏼 Spanish Armada under the Duke of Medina-Sidonia departs Lisbon to invade England 1742 👉🏼 1st indoor swimming pool opens (Goodman’s Fields, London) 🏊 1830 👉🏼…

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“The Death Camp” and the forgotten story of Germany’s first holocaust

Shark Island was founded in 1795 off the coast of Luderitz, Namibia. Originally named Star Island, the land sat amidst immense winds and crashing waters of the Atlantic for a century before being connected to the mainland and used as a concentration camp by the Germans from 1904 to 1908. But did you know there was a holocaust under the Second Reich of the Kaiser just as there was one under the Third Reich of Hitler? You may not have heard of the Herero and Nama peoples, and this is…

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#TodayInHistory – May 27

May 27 – Some important events on this day. 1679 👉🏼 Habeaus Corpus Act (strengthening person’s right to challenge unlawful arrest & imprisonment) passes in England1703 👉🏼 Saint Petersburg (Leningrad) founded by Russian Tsar Peter the Great 1849 👉🏼 Opening of the Great Hall at Euston station in London.The original Euston railway Station was London’s first mainline station and the first station to connect London with another city. Planned by George and Robert Stephenson, it was designed by Philip Hardwick and opened in 1837.When the station was first proposed its…

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Allegory of “The Tree of Life” in Segovia – Spain

We are in Segovia, Spain. In the local Cathedral, among the colors of the stained glass windows and the splendid Gothic architecture, there is also a curious painting hanging on the wall. It is called The Tree of Life, locally El Arbol de la Vida, and is one of many that hangs in the Immaculate Conception Chapel (Capilla de la Concepción) in Segovia Cathedral. A riotous party is taking place in the bough of a tree symbolizing life, complete with food, live music, and merriment. Meanwhile below, a sinister skeleton…

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#TodayInHistory – May 26

May 26 – Some important events on this day. 451 👉🏼 The Battle of Avarayr between Armenian rebels and the Sassanid Empire takes place. The Armenians are defeated militarily but are guaranteed freedom to openly practice Christianity.1637 👉🏼 Mystic Massacre: in 1st battle of Pequot War in Connecticut about 500 Pequot Native Americans are killed by Colonial forces1647 👉🏼 Alse Young becomes the first person executed as a witch in the American colonies, when she is hanged in Hartford, Connecticut 1868 👉🏼 US President Andrew Johnson avoids impeachment by 1…

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The mysterious “Turning Angel” monument in Natchez City Cemetery – Mississippi, to commemorate a local tragedy

It sounds a bit unusual to consider a cemetery a major must-see, but once you glimpse the beauty of the Natchez City Cemetery and to know the history of some of the characters buried there, it is easy understand why. One of the most famous monuments is the so-called Turning Angel. This beautiful angel monument is overlooking five headstones, each with the same date of death. The inscription at the bottom of the statue states, “Erected by the Natchez Drug Company to the memory of the unfortunate employees who lost…

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#May 25, 1904: The revenge of the witch of Yazoo

Urban legends are fascinating bits of history that often contain at least some kernel of truth. In Yazoo, located north of Jackson, in the western part of Mississippi, there’s a strange legend which may have more truth to it than skeptics would like to believe. According to legend, an old witch lived on the banks of the Yazoo River where she lured fishermen into her hut, tortured and killed them. When word finally got around to law enforcement, the local sheriff came looking for the missing men and he found…

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#TodayInHistory – May 25

May 25 – Some important events on this day 1720 👉🏼 The Ship “Le Grand St Antoine” reaches Marseille, bringing Europe’s last major plague outbreak. Kills around 100,000 🚢 1810 👉🏼 In the May Revolution, citizens of Buenos Aires expel the Spanish Viceroy Cisneros during Semana de Mayo. 1887 👉🏼 Gas lamp at Paris Opera catches fire. 200 die. 🔥 1895 👉🏼 Oscar Wilde sentenced to 2 years imprisonment for gross indecency 1904 👉🏼 Exactly 20 years later after a witch launch a curse, the town of Yazoo, Mississippi, caught…

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Why European plague doctors wore those strange beaked masks?

Four hundred years ago, dark figures with white beaks wandered the streets of Europe. But these were no boogeymen or other creepy figures, but healers, so dressed to stave off the current disease: the bubonic plague. The plague was once the most feared disease in the world, capable of killing hundreds of millions of people in seemingly unstoppable global pandemics and afflicting its victims with painfully swollen lymph nodes, blackened skin, and other macabre symptoms. Despite plagues were nothing new at the time, when outbreaks were routine in medieval Europe,…

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#TodayInHistory – May 24

May 24 – Some important events on this day 1595 👉🏼 Nomenclator of Leiden University Library appears, the first printed catalog of an institutional library 📚 1738 👉🏼 Co-founder of the Methodist Movement John Wesley is converted, launching the Methodist movement itself. This day is celebrated annually by Methodists as Aldersgate Day. 1844 👉🏼 Samuel Morse taps out “What hath God wrought” in the world’s first telegraph message. He contributed to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system based on European telegraphs and a co-developer of the Morse code. 1847…

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Hiljainen Kansa: the Silent People of Finland

An eerie art installation located in a barren field in the Finnish countryside recently went viral after someone accidentally stumbled upon it while searching something on Google Maps. With quarantine and isolation measures still in place in many countries around the world due coronavirus pandemic, people are spending a lot of time online looking for cool places to visit staying on their sofa. That’s exactly why some museums and libraries around the world have introduced virtual tours to visit their spaces also in quarantine. But not everyone is interested in…

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Hong Kong shop sell “tear gas” flavor Ice Cream in memory of recent protests

The pro-democracy demonstrations that filled the streets of Hong Kong last year have decreased in both number and intensity, because even the shared anger of the protests was temporarily stopped by stay-at-home orders and the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, however, demonstrators again filled a luxury shopping mall after 15 high-profile activists were arrested and accused of coordinating three massive protests last fall. Although the city isn’t echoing with the sound of defiance right now, the owner of one ice cream shop in Hong Kong has come up with…

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#TodayInHistory – May 23

May 23 – Some important events on this day 1568 👉🏼 The Netherlands declares independence from Spain 1618 👉🏼 Second Defenestration of Prague: Two Catholic Lords Regent and their secretary are thrown out of a window and amazingly are not seriously injured by the 21m fall. Triggers the Thirty Years’ War. 1701 👉🏼 Captain William Kidd is hanged in London after being convicted of piracy and the murder of William Moore. Pirate legend William Kidd is the only pirate known to have buried a treasure. 1785 👉🏼 Benjamin Franklin announces…

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An Giang: the Vietnamese province that attracted worldwide attention for its giant Loaves of Bread

Even though it sounds incredibile, the Vietnamese province of An Giang, in the Mekong Delta, is less known for its wonderful natural attractions than for the giant loaves of bread that went recently viral online! It all started a couple of years ago, in 2018, when a website published a list of the world’s strangest foods, including a giant loaf of bread that was supposedly very popular in Vietnamese province. Despite sceptics claimed the photos of the bread were either photoshopped or shot from a certain angle to create the…

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China: woman sends to her faithless boyfiend 1,000 Kilos of onions because “It’s his turn to cry”

Chinese media recently reported the bizarre case of a heartbroken young woman who took revenge on her faithless boyfriend by sending a ton of onions to his doorstep so he could cry as much as she did over his treason. Maybe you didn’t know that, for most young Chinese couples, May 20 is a very special day, the equivalent of the western Valentine’s Day, but for a heartbroken woman who recently caught her boyfriend with another, the day could become really terrible! Reportedly, Miss Zhao, a young woman from Zibo,…

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#TodayInHistory – May 22

May 22 – Some important events on this day 334 BC 👉🏼 The Macedonian army of Alexander the Great defeats Darius III of Persia in the Battle of the Granicus. Alexander the Great was one of the most successful conquerors in human history, who took his Macedonian Empire from the shores of Greece to the borders of India. Part of this conquest included the destruction and subjugation of the Persian Empire, the great arch-nemesis of the Greek states. As he was expanding eastward, Alexander would have three major battles with…

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Festival Club: Ibiza’s first club

We are in Ibiza. The island wasn’t always the party hotspot it is today. It wasn’t until the late 1960s that it became a tourist destination, with hotels, restaurants and clubs popping up everywhere. In 1969, construction began on this once-lively club. Such a restricted location meant that the owners of the venue were required to build an access road in order to reach the structure, which officially opened its doors in 1972. In any case, back in the early 1970s, tourists were satisfied with being transported around the island…

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Who wouldn’t want a highway bridge literally 50 centimeters from his window?

Few days ago, authorities in Cairo, Egypt, have come under fire for approving the construction of an “essential” highway bridge in Al-Haram district, right next to several apartment buildings on Nasr El-Din Street. And if we say “right next to”, we mean that in the most literal sense, as the bridge is just 50 centimetres away from people’s homes. However, in a surprising reply, authorities announced that the bridge had all the necessary permits, and that it was the residential buildings that had been built without a permit. Therefore, an…

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#TodayInHistory – May 21

May 21 – Some important events on this day 1792 👉🏼 Mount Unzen on Japan’s Shimabara Peninsula, erupts creating a tsunami, killing about 15,000. It was Japan’s deadliest volcanic eruption 🌋1819 👉🏼 1st bicycles (swift walkers) in US introduced in NYC 🚲1832 👉🏼 1st Democratic National Convention (Baltimore)1846 👉🏼 1st steamship arrives in Hawaii 🌺1871 👉🏼 French regular troops start to attack Commune of Paris. 17,000 die 1881 👉🏼 In Washington, D.C., humanitarians Clara Barton and Adolphus Solomons found the American National Red Cross, an organization established to provide humanitarian…

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Lydia, the phantom hitchhiker of North Carolina

Phantom hitchhiker stories are not rare. Most entail someone driving on a road or highway when they come upon a person walking along side, flagging them down for a ride. A kind person might stop to get them a ride, only to discover the hitchhiker has disappeared. The Lydia’s story is no different. North Carolina has it share of ghost stories, unexplained phenomena, and tales of the supernatural. One such tale comes from Jamestown, in Guilford County. The legend begins in late December 1923 (the 23rd or 31st depending on…

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#TodayInHistory – May 20

May 20 – Some important events on this day 1293 👉🏼 Earthquake strikes Kamakura Japan, 30,000 killed 1310 👉🏼 Shoes were made for both right & left feet 👞 1498 👉🏼 Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama arrives at Calicut, India becoming the first European to reach India by sea 1506 👉🏼 Christopher Columbus dies in Valladolid, Spain 1609 👉🏼 Shakespeare’s Sonnets are first published in London, perhaps illicitly, by publisher Thomas Thorpe 1862 👉🏼 US President Abraham Lincoln signs into law the Homestead Act to provide cheap land for the…

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