#TodayInHistory – May 19

May 19 – Some important events on this day 1182 👉🏼 The high altar of Paris cathedral Notre Dame is consecrated by Cardinal Henri de Château-Marçay and Maurice de Sully 1536 👉🏼 Anne Boleyn, second wife of English King Henry VIII, is beheaded at the Tower of London on charges of adultery, incest and treason. 1643 👉🏼 Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut and New Harbor form the United Colonies of New England 1649 👉🏼 England is declared a Commonwealth by an act of the Rump Parliament making England a republic for…

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#TodayInHistory – May 18

May 18 – Some important events on this day 1291 👉🏼 After 100 years of Crusader control, Acre is the last Crusader stronghold reconquered and destroyed by the Mamluks under Sultan al-Ashraf Khalil 1302 👉🏼 Bruges Matins: the nocturnal massacre of the French garrison in Bruges by local Flemish militia 1652 👉🏼 Rhode Island enacts 1st law declaring slavery illegal 1765 👉🏼 Fire destroys a large part of Montreal, Quebec 1804 👉🏼Napoleon Bonaparte proclaimed Emperor of France by the French Senate 1848 👉🏼 Opening of the first German National Assembly…

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Is Saint Corona the patron saint of epidemics?

Did you know Aachen Cathedral, Western Germany, may be able to claim a special spiritual connection with the global coronavirus pandemic? It is said that the cathedral, one of Europe’s oldest, house the relics of Saint Corona herself. What’s more, Saint Corona is believed to be the patron saint of protection against plague. Ironically, locals had begun renewing its focus on Saint Corona more than a year ago, well before the novel virus had spread as a public health threat and, originally, Aachen Cathedral had planned to put the saint’s…

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#TodayInHistory – May 17

May 17 – Some important events on this day 218 👉🏼 7th recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet ☄️ 1527 👉🏼 Pánfilo de Narváez departs Spain to explore Florida with 600 men – by 1536 only 4 survive 1536 👉🏼 Anne Boleyn’s 4 “lovers” executed shortly before her own beheading. 1792 👉🏼 24 merchants form New York Stock Exchange at 70 Wall Street 1803 👉🏼 John Hawkins & Richard French patent the Reaping Machine 1824 👉🏼 The diaries of Lord Byron are burnt by six of the poet’s friends at…

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#TodayInHistory – May 16

May 16 – Some important events on this day 1204 👉🏼 Baldwin IX, Count of Flanders, is crowned as the first Emperor of the Latin Empire of Constantinople 1571 👉🏼 German astronomer Johannes Kepler, by his own calculations, is conceived at 4:37 AM 1792 👉🏼 Denmark abolishes slave trade 🇩🇰 1868 👉🏼 US Senate fails to impeach President Andrew Johnson by one vote 1920 👉🏼 Joan of Arc (Jeanne D’arc) canonized a saint 1943 👉🏼 Operation Chastise: No. 617 Squadron RAF begins the famous Dambusters Raid, bombing the Möhne and…

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How “Taco Friday” became a popular Swedish tradition

Fredagsmys, or “Cozy Friday”, is a popular beloved Swedish tradition. In the Scandinavian country, families stay home on Friday night, watch TV, and eat Tex-Mex-style tacos. This dinner choice is so common that, for most Swedes, the so called Cozy Friday is also know as Taco Fredag, in english Taco Friday. However, the cultural classic that is Swedish taco doesn’t actually have that much heritage behind it and was born out of a successful marketing campaign. In 1990, the country was emerging from a financial crisis, and Swedes were eager…

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#TodayInHistory – May 15

May 15 – Some important events on this day 1252 👉🏼 Pope Innocent IV issues the papal bull ad exstirpanda, which authorizes, but also limits, the torture of heretics in the Medieval Inquisition 1492 👉🏼 Cheese & Bread rebellion: German mercenaries kill 232 residents of Alkmaar, Netherlands 🇳🇱 1536 👉🏼 Anne Boleyn and her brother George, Lord Rochford, accused of adultery and incest. Anne Boleyn was the second wife of Henry VIII, who famously had six in total, and was perhaps the most famous. In 1523 Anne was to marry…

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Maglič fortress: a mysterious 13th century piece of serbian history

Maglič is a 13th century medieval castle about 15 km southwest of the town of Kraljevo, in central Serbia, located on a hilltop surrounded by the curvy Ibar river. It is said that its name, Maglič, come from the Serbian word “magla” meaning fog, as the hill underneath often disappears in the mist. It is the best preserved and one of the finest examples of the Serbian medieval fortifications, built along the important Medieval roads for protection and control of traffic and trade. It’s unknown when the castle was constructed,…

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May 14, 1948: the three-year-old’s brutal murder that begins an unusual investigation.

Three-year-old June Devaney, recovering from pneumonia at Queen’s Park Hospital in Blackburn, England, is kidnapped from her bed on this day, May 14 1948. Nurses discovered her missing at 1:20 a.m. the next day, and police were immediately summoned to investigate. Two hours later, her corpse was found with multiple skull fractures, and medical examiner determined that June had been raped and then swung headfirst into a wall. Luckily, two significant clues were found in the children’s ward that would prove helpful in catching the killer: footprints on the freshly…

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#TodayInHistory – May 14

May 14 – Some important events on this day 1607 👉🏼 English colonists establish the 1st permanent English settlement in America at Jamestown. Unknown to them they have landed amidst the worst drought in 800 years. 1610 👉🏼 Assassination of Henry IV of France, brings 9-year old Louis XIII to the throne 1787 👉🏼 Delegates gather in Philadelphia to draw up US Constitution 1796 👉🏼 English country doctor Edward Jenner administers the first inoculation against smallpox, using cowpox pus, in Berkeley, Gloucestershire 💉 1804 👉🏼 Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s…

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11 historic dishes born from tough times that you easily can make at home!

To limit supermarket trips during social distancing, and while restaurants in lot of coutries are still closed, many home chefs are looking for ways to use every last bit of what’s in their cupboard or refrigerator. Even though COVID-19 pandemic may feel like an uncharted experience, actually history is filled with examples of cooks more or less expert getting creative in times of hardship. Like this. From the crispy burger born during the Great Depression to the simple delights of “desperation pies,” but also an apple pie that tastes just…

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How Australia was born

Back in the the 1770s and 1780s, living conditions in the United Kingdom were literally catastrophic. The Industrial Revolution meant that many workers had been replaced by machines, and small farmers had been forced off their land as the rich and powerful used the Enclosure Acts to expand their agricultural holdings. Of course, there was no welfare state, so huge numbers of people just lived in poverty and squalor and, as a result, without work or food for their families, many turned to crime. Thus that prisons across the country…

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#TodayInHistory – May 13

May 13 – Some important events on this day 1637 👉🏼 Cardinal Richelieu of France reputedly creates the table knife 🔪 1643 👉🏼 Heavy earthquake strikes Santiago Chile, killing 1/3 of population 1767 👉🏼 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s first opera “Apollo et Hyacinthus”, written when he was 11 years old, premieres in Salzburg 🎶 1787 👉🏼 Arthur Phillip sets sails with 11 ships of criminals to Botany Bay, Australia. He led the First Fleet to Australia and founded the penal colony at Port Jackson, later the city of Sydney, in 1788.…

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La Mola Lighthouse – Illes Balears, Spain

We are at the eastern edge of Formentera, the most southern of the Balearic Islands. The “Far de la Mola”, also known as Far de Formentera) was drafted by the architect and engineer Emili Pou y Bonet. It was inaugurated in November 1861, at the time of Isabel II, and until 1973 it was not electrified and it used to work with wicks and oil vapor. The lighthouse is 21 meters tall and stands fiercely upon a 258-meter high cliff, the highest point of the island. According to some locals,…

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#TodayInHistory – May 12

May 12 – Some important events on this day 1215 👉🏼 English barons serve ultimatum on King John which eventually leads to the creation and signing of the Magna Carta. 1777 👉🏼 1st ice cream advertisement (Philip Lenzi in the NY Gazette) 🍦 1789 👉🏼 William Wilberforce makes his first major speech on abolition in the UK House of Commons, reasoning the slave trade morally reprehensible and an issue of natural justice 1792 👉🏼 Toilet that flushes itself at regular intervals is patented 🚽 1888 👉🏼 Crouching start 1st used…

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#TodayInHistory – May 11

May 11 – Some important events on this day 330 👉🏼 Constantinople (Byzantium) becomes the capital of the Roman Empire 868 👉🏼 The Diamond Sutra, the world’s oldest surviving, dated, printed, book printed in Chinese and made into a scoll 💎 1189 👉🏼 Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa and 100,000 crusaders depart Regensburg for the Third Crusade 1751 👉🏼 Pennsylvania Hospital founded by Dr. Thomas Bond and Benjamin Franklin 1772 👉🏼 Amsterdam theater destroyed by fire, 18 killed 🎭 1812 👉🏼 Waltz introduced into English ballrooms. Some observers consider…

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#TodayInHistory – May 10

May 10 – Some important events on this day 1497 👉🏼 Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci leaves for his first voyage to the New World 🗺 1503 👉🏼 Christopher Columbus discovers Cayman Islands 🇰🇾 1752 👉🏼 Benjamin Franklin tests the lightning conductor with his kite-flying experiment 1775 👉🏼 Second Continental Congress convenes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and issues paper currency for 1st time 1801 👉🏼 First Barbary War: The Barbary pirates of Tripoli declare war on the United States of America (1st US foreign war) 1857 👉🏼 Indian mutiny against rule by…

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Temple of Valadier: a refuge for the souls in Genga – Italy

We are in Italy, in Genga, Marche region, near the magnificent Frasassi Caves dug in limestone by the Sentino river. Here an elegant octagonal church rises among the pointed and beveled rocks of a gorge between the mountains: it is the Temple of Valadier. The Temple, designed by Giuseppe Valadier (Rome, 1762-1839), cuts a striking neo-classical silhouette against the rough hewn edges of the surrounding natural cave walls, looking like the temple itself was trying to seek refuge in the cave. In reality it was the local population that has…

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#May 9, 1971: Irish adventurer “Captain Blood” steals crown jewels

Thomas Blood tried to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London on this day, May 9, 1671. He failed, but remains the only would-be thief to attempt such an audacious robbery. At various times Blood, who called himself either “Captain” or “Colonel”, was an adventurer, a rebel, a master of disguise, a con-man and a spy but, above all, a likeable rogue. Born in Ireland in 1618, the son of a blacksmith, he came to England to fight for King Charles I when the English Civil War broke…

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#TodayInHistory – May 9

May 9 – Some important events on this day 1386 👉🏼 Treaty of Windsor between Portugal and England (oldest diplomatic alliance in the world still in force) 1502 👉🏼 Christopher Columbus leaves Spain on his 4th and final trip to the New World 1671 👉🏼 In London, Thomas Blood, an Irish adventurer better known as “Captain Blood,” is captured attempting to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London. ✔️ READ THE ARTICLE! 1768 👉🏼 Statesman John Hancock pays duties on 25 pipes of wine, only one fourth of…

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Bord för en: probably the only restaurant in the world that’s safe from Coronavirus!

While most regular restaurants and cafes around the world remain closed until further notice because of the Covid-19 pandemic, one Swedish restaurant claims to offer one of the safest dining experiences by only serving one person at a time, in the middle of an empty field. Saying to operate one of the world’s safest restaurants during a pandemic might seem a ridicoulous statement to make, but the creators of Bord för en (literally “Table for one”) can surely back it up. This eccentric restaurant consist of a simple wooden table…

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Sarah Ann Henley: the suicide girl who fluttered to safety

The beautiful England’s Clifton Suspension Bridge, originally designed by the great Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, stands 101 metres above the River Avon and spans a 400-metre wide gorge. Located just outside the city of Bristol, it has been considered an engineering marvel ever since it was opened in 1864….but also a magnet for people wanting to commit suicide. And this is not an urban legend, because official figures reveal that there were 206 suicides from the bridge between 1974 and 2007, and the chances of survival for anyone taking…

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#TodayInHistory – May 8

May 8 – Some important events on this day 1360 👉🏼 Treaty of Brétigny signed by English & French, ending the first phase of the Hundred Years’ War 1521 👉🏼 Parliament of Worms installs edict against Martin Luther. In 1517, an obscure German theologian by the name of Martin Luther published a document criticizing the Catholic selling of ‘indulgences’, or actions performed to reduce the amount of punishment for sin. He could not have known that his document and the subsequent events would change the face of Europe and Christendom…

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#TodayInHistory – May 7

May 7 – Some important events on this day 558 👉🏼 In Constantinople, the dome of the Hagia Sophia collapses. Emperor Justinian I immediately orders the dome rebuilt. 1429 👉🏼 English siege of Orleans broken by Joan of Arc and the French army 1664 👉🏼 Louis XIV, the Sun King of France, inaugurates The Palace of Versailles. 1697 👉🏼 Stockholm’s medieval royal castle is destroyed by fire, the Codex Gigas (world’s largest extant medieval illuminated manuscript) survives by being thrown out a window. 1718 👉🏼 The city of New Orleans…

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Malleus Maleficarum: the sacred text used to identify witches

Between 1227 and 1235, the Inquisition against witches and heretics was established with a series of papal decrees: Pope Innocent’s bull Ad Extirpanda of 1252 authorized the use of torture to extort confessions of witchcraft by suspected women. From 1257 to 1816 the Inquisition tortured and burned millions of innocent people at the stake accused of witchcraft and heresy against religious dogmas and judged, often without trial and in secret, with terrible torture. If they confessed, they were found guilty and they were considered witches, if they didn’t, they were…

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#May 6, 1994: English Channel tunnel opens

The Channel Tunnel, or “Chunnel,” linking England and France,was officially opened on this day, in a ceremony presided over by England’s Queen Elizabeth II and French President Francois Mitterrand, nearly 200 years after the idea was first suggested. The channel connected Britain and the European mainland for the first time since the Ice Age, linking Folkestone, England, with Coquelles, France. There were many misgivings, and the sea having protected for centuries what Shakespeare described as “this precious stone set in the silver sea…this fortress built by Nature for herself against…

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#TodayInHistory – May 6

May 6 – Some important events on this day 1527 👉🏼 Spanish & German Imperial troops sack Rome, ending Renaissance 1541 👉🏼 King Henry VIII orders a bible in English be placed in every church in England 1626 👉🏼 Dutch colonist Peter Minuit organizes the purchase of Manhattan Island from Native Americans for 60 guilders worth of goods, believed to have been Canarsee Indians of the Lenape. 1733 👉🏼 1st international boxing match: Bob Whittaker beats Tito di Carni 1840 👉🏼 World’s first adhesive postage stamp, the “Penny Black”, issued…

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Some wondrous museums you can visit from your home

Random-Times projects are all about wonder and exploration and, since many of our readers are spending time at home to stay safe and healthy, we’re highlighting ways you can travel no matter where you are. While world governments and medical workers face to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of us (including our collaborators, of course!) staying at home. Some public activities have paused their in-person programming as officials ask people to practice social distancing to limit the spread of the coronavirus. However, a growing number of institutions, including some wondrous libraries,…

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Þrídrangaviti Lighthouse – Iceland – is probably the loneliest in the world

A cluster of slender rock pillars jut out from the ocean’s surface, miles away from civilization. From a distance, it looks like a colorful bug has settled atop on the highest of the three rocks, called Háidrangur, or High Rock in English. If you look closer, you’ll see it’s a tiny red-roofed lighthouse, perhaps one of the loneliest in the world, and you’ll need wings to go to there, because the only access to the Þrídrangar lighthouse is by helicopter. The whitewashed lighthouse is perched atop the tallest of the…

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#TodayInHistory – May 5

May 5 – Some important events on this day 1260 👉🏼 Kublai Khan becomes ruler of the Mongol Empire. As Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, Kublai reigned from 1260 to 1294 over one fifth of the world’s inhabited land area. He was the grandson of Genghis Khan, the founder and first great leader of the Mongol Empire. If one counts the Mongol Empire at that time as a whole, his realm reached from the Pacific to the Black Sea, from Siberia to modern day Afghanistan. In 1271, Kublai founded…

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