#TodayInHistory – January 7

January 7 – Some important events on this day 1584 👉🏼 Last day of the Julian calendar in Bohemia & Holy Roman empire 1610 👉🏼 Galileo Galilei discovers the first three moons of Jupiter: Io, Europa & Ganymede 1714 👉🏼 Typewriter patented by Englishman Henry Mill (built years later) 1785 👉🏼 1st balloon flight across English Channel by Jean Pierre Blanchard and John Jeffries 1797 👉🏼 The modern Italian flag is first used 1894 👉🏼 Early 5 second film of Fred Ott sneezing shot by Edison Manufacturing – 1st ever…

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#TodayInHistory – January 6

January 6 – Some important events on this day 1494 👉🏼 The first Mass in the New World is celebrated at La Isabela, Hispaniola 1497 👉🏼 Jews are expelled from Graz in Styria, Austria 1649 👉🏼 The English Rump Parliament votes to put Charles I on trial for treason and other “high crimes” 1681 👉🏼 1st recorded boxing match (Duke of Albemarle’s butler vs his butcher) 1838 👉🏼 Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail demonstrate their telegraph machine in New Jersey. In the 19th century, technological innovations were beginning to widely…

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#TodayInHistory – January 5

January 5 – Some important events on this day 1463 👉🏼 French poet Francois Villon banished from Paris 1477 👉🏼 Battle of Nancy, Burgundy vs Switzerland, 7,000 + killed including their leader Charles Duke of Burgundy 1554 👉🏼 Great fire in Eindhoven, Netherlands 1709 👉🏼 The Great Frost begins during the night, a sudden cold snap that remains Europe’s coldest ever winter. Thousands are killed across the continent and crops fail in France. During the winter of 1709, an extreme cold snap occurred in Europe that remains the coldest European…

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4th January: Fufluns Festival

Fufluns (or Puphluns) was the Etruscan was a god of plant life, grape harvest, happiness, wine, health, and growth in all things, equivalent to the Greek Dionysus and the Roman Bacchus. He was worshipped at Populonia, in Tuscany region, central Italy (Etruscan Fufluna or Pupluna) and apparently he is the namesake of that town. He was the son of the thunder god Tinia and the earth goddess Semia. Taurine sacrifices were performed in his honor, as the bull was the animal consecrated to him. Fufluns is usually depicted as a…

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#TodayInHistory – January 4

January 4 – Some important events on this day 1490 👉🏼 Anna of Brittany announces that all those who would ally with the king of France will be considered guilty of the crime of lese-majesty. 1642 👉🏼 King Charles I with 400 soldiers attacks the English parliament 1847 👉🏼 Samuel Colt sells his first revolver pistol to the United States government 1847 👉🏼 Manuscripts of Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights” and Anne Brontë’s “Agnes Grey” sent to publisher T.C. Newby (published December 1847) 1863 👉🏼 4 wheeled roller skates patented by…

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#TodayInHistory – January 3

January 3 – Some important events on this day 1496 👉🏼 Leonardo da Vinci unsuccessfully tests a flying machine 1521 👉🏼 Martin Luther is Excommunicated by Pope Leo X from the Roman Catholic Church for failing to recant parts of his Ninety-five Theses which started the Protestant Reformation. By 1521, the religious revolution started by Martin Luther in 1517 when he nailed his Ninety-Five theses on the door of a church in Wittenburg, Germany, had reached a crescendo. The Catholic pope Leo X, against whose church the Ninety-Five theses were…

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January 2: Berchtoldstag

In some areas of Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Berchtold Day, or locally Berchtoldstag, is celebrated on this day, January 2. The name of the Alemannic tradition does not refer to a Saint (there is no St. Berchtold) but is derived from the verb berchten, meaning “to walk around, asking for food”, which we find throughout Europe in the period from the day of the Dead to the Epiphany, even if there are various theories concerning the holiday’s name. Blessed Berchtold of Engelberg Abbey, for istance, died circa 2 November 1197, and…

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#TodayInHistory – January 2

January 2 – Some important events on this day 366 👉🏼 The Alamanni cross the frozen Rhine River in large numbers, invading the Roman Empire 1492 👉🏼 Muhammad XII, the last Emir of Granada, surrenders his city to Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabel I of Castile, ending both the Reconquista and centuries of Muslim rule in the Iberian peninsula. The Muslim forces of the Umayyad dynasty invaded and conquered much of the Iberian peninsula in the 8th century, beginning a 780 year process by Christian forces of recapturing the…

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#TodayInHistory – January 1

January 1 – Some important events on this day 45 BC 👉🏼 The Julian calendar takes effect for the first time 1 👉🏼 Origin of the Christian Era 104 👉🏼 Triumphal procession for the Roman General Gaius Marius with the defeated Numidian King Jugurtha led in chains though Rome 404 👉🏼 Last gladiator competition in Rome 630 👉🏼 Prophet Muhammad sets out with his army towards Mecca, capturing it bloodlessly 1660 👉🏼 1st entry in English civil servant Samuel Pepys’ diary 1710 👉🏼 Paris merchant Jean Marius obtains 5-year royal…

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Greece’s New Year tradition: Vasilopita and the Golden Coin

We are in Greece where, on New Year’s Day, a centuries-old tradition is observed in almost every household, that of Vasilopita (meaning St. Basil’s Cake), a sweet-tasting lucky treat. Across the country, recipes are quite a few, but they all have one basic ingredient: the much sought-after flouri, or lucky coin. Its story began in the Greek antiquity period, when ancient Greeks would offer bread and honey-kneaded sweets to honour the gods during the major harvest festivals. Today the New Year’s Day Cake custom is kept everywhere in Greece, and…

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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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29/30/31 January: the Merla days (hen blackbird), according to tradition are the coldest days of the year ~

It was a very, very cold Winter. That year the month of January put every effort to live up to his reputation as a freezing, windy month. The snow was high, and a layer of ice covered fountains, streams and ponds. Even the fire lit in every small and big house in the countryside, did not seem warm enough, in the bedrooms and in the attic, sometimes in the morning it was discovered that the chill night had even turned into ice the water in buckets and basins. People walked…

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La Giubiana: a curious tradition linked to the last Thursday of January in Northern Italy

A great fire that will illuminate the darkness, with the hope that it will burn well and quickly so as to drive away the winter and propitiate the year that has just begun. The traditional ceremony, which this year falls just today, on January 30th, includes a large bonfire where a straw puppet dressed in rags (the Giubiana) is burned, which represents the malaise of winter and the troubles of the past year. The Giübiana, or feast of Giobia is a traditional recurrence very popular in northern Italy, especially in…

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January 1985-2020: the anniversary of the greatest snowfall of the (last) century.

The snowfall of January 1985 in Italy is very popular still today: between 13 and 17 January many cities in the north of the country found themselves covered by almost a meter of snow. The legendary snowfall in these days turns 35. And the memory remains indelible: who was there will never forget it, and who has not lived it surely have heard of it. The beginning was on January 13th, exactly 35 years ago. A very cold day, with the thermometer dropped over 10 degrees below zero. In the…

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