Strawberry Moon: June’s full moon

As we already know, in ancient times, it was common to track the changing seasons by following the lunar month rather than the solar year, which the 12 months in our modern calendar are based on. For millennia, people across Europe, as well as Native American tribes, named the months after features they associated with seasons. However, some years have 13 Full Moons, which makes one of them a so-called Blue Moon, as it doesn’t quite fit in with the traditional Full Moon naming system, even if this is not…

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Midsummer: history, folklore and magic

Litha, or Midsummer, is a celebration that has been observed for centuries, in one form or another. Its exact dates vary among different cultures, but is primarily held close to the summer solstice. The celebration predates Christianity, and has existed under different names and traditions around the world. It is no surprise, then, that there are plenty of myths and legends associated with this time of year. We all have heard of the ancient summer solstice celebrations held at holy places like Stonehenge and Chichen Itza, and we have read…

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The Month of June 2021: holidays, curiosities and folklore

“It is the month of June, The month of leaves and roses, When pleasant sights salute the eyes, And pleasant scents the noses.” –N. P. Willis (1807-67) The month of June brings beautiful flowers, delicious fruits and vegetables, and an urge to get out there and enjoy the sunshine. June was most likely named for the Roman goddess Juno, patroness of marriage and the well-being of women, or from Lucius Junius Brutus, the one who drove out the last king of Rome and founded the Republic. Another version says that…

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Louis Réard and the birth of the Bikini

Millions of men would come to be grateful that Frenchman Louis Réard, a car mechanic, had an unlikely sideline in the 1940s: he also looked after his mother’s lingerie boutique in Paris. And from there he created the bikini, which was unveiled on this day, July 5, 1946! European women first began wearing two-piece bathing suits that consisted of a halter top and shorts in the 1930s, but only a sliver of the midriff was revealed and the navel was vigilantly covered. In the United States, the two-piece made its…

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Tunguska Event: the mystery that puzzled scientists for almost 100 years

A huge mysterious blast rocked eastern Siberia on this day, June 30, 1908, leaving millions of trees lying on the ground, mostly pointing in the same direction, over an area of many kilometres. The reports describe a fireball in the sky, like a second sun, and a series of explosions “with a frightful sound,” followed by shaking of the ground as “the earth seemed to get opened wide, and everything would fall in the abyss.” The indigenous Evenks and Yakuts believed a god or shaman sent the fireball to destroy…

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#TodayInHistory – June 30

June 30 – Some important events on this day. 1294 👉🏼 Jews are expelled from Berne, Switzerland 🇨🇭 1520 👉🏼 Spanish conquistadors are expelled from Tenochtitlan following an Aztec revolt against their rule under Hernán Cortés during “La Noche Triste” (the Night of Sadness). Many soldiers drown in the escape, and Aztec emperor Montezuma II dies in the struggle. 1860 👉🏼 Famous debate on Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution held at the Oxford University Museum and dominated by arguments between Thomas Henry Huxley and Bishop Samuel Wilberforce 1863 👉🏼 Dutch…

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#TodayInHistory – June 29

June 29 – Some important events on this day. 512 👉🏼 A solar eclipse is recorded by a monastic chronicler in Ireland. 🌓 1534 👉🏼 Jacques Cartier discovers Prince Edward Islands Canada. He explored and claimed what is now Canada for France. In addition, he was the first European to describe and map the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the shores of the Saint Lawrence River. These he named “The Country of Canadas”, after the Iroquois names for the two big settlements he saw at Stadacona (Quebec City) and at…

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#TodayInHistory – June 28

June 28 – Some important events on this day. 1389 👉🏼 Ottomans defeat Serbian army in the bloody Battle of Kosovo, opening the way for the Ottoman conquest of Southeastern Europe 1519 👉🏼 King Carlos I elected Holy Roman Catholic Emperor Charles V 1776 👉🏼 Final draft of Declaration of Independence submitted to Continental Congress. Signed by representatives from 13 states on 4th July 1776 the declaration was a statement adopted by the Second Congressional Congress and the first step toward forming an independence United States. The declaration was drafted…

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#TodayInHistory – June 27

June 27 – Some important events on this day. 1358 👉🏼 Republic of Dubrovnik is founded 1542 👉🏼 Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo sets sail from the Mexican port of Navidad to explore the west coast of North America on behalf of the Spanish Empire. The first explorer to navigate the coast of what would become California, he also explored much of the West Coast of the United States on behalf of the Spanish Empire. 1652 👉🏼 New Amsterdam (now New York City) enacts first speed limit law in North America 1693…

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#TodayInHistory – June 26

June 26 – Some important events on this day. 363 👉🏼 Roman Emperor Julian is killed during retreat from the Sassanid Empire. General Jovian is proclaimed Emperor by troops on the battlefield. 1284 👉🏼 According to the Lüneburg manuscript, a piper leads 130 children of Hamelin away. This story bacame a popular tales, still today. ✔️READ THE ARTICLE! 1498 👉🏼 Toothbrush invented in China using boar bristles. 1541 👉🏼 Francisco Pizarro, conqueror of the Incas, assassinated 1794 👉🏼 Battle of Fleurus: major victory by forces of the First French Republic…

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#TodayInHistory – June 25

June 25 – Some important events on this day. 1183 👉🏼 Peace of Konstanz signed between Hohenstaufen Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and Italian Lombard League 1630 👉🏼 Fork introduced to American dining by Governor Winthrop 1638 👉🏼 Lunar eclipse is 1st astronomical event recorded in the American Colonies 1678 👉🏼 The Venetian Elena Cornaro Piscopia is awarded a doctorate in philosophy, the first woman to receive a university or research doctorate 1876 👉🏼 Battle of the Little Bighorn: US 7th Cavalry with Brevet Major General George Armstrong Custer blown away by…

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The mysterious case of dance mania that broke out in Medieval Europe

St. John’s Dance, known historically as St. Vitus Dance, was a social phenomenon involving a type of dance mania that gripped mainland Europe between the 14 th and 17 th centuries. On this day, June 24 1374, just several decades after the Black Death swept across Europe, one of the most well-known major outbreaks of dance mania in Medieval Europe broke out in the German city of Aachen, even if it spread to Liege, Utrecht, Tongres and other towns up and down the Rhine. What was the problem? Afflicted individuals…

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#TodayInHistory – June 24

June 24 – Some important events on this day. 843 👉🏼 Vikings destroy Nantes 972 👉🏼 Battle of Cedynia, the first documented victory of Polish forces. Mieszko I of Poland decisively defeated Odo I of Lusatia 🇵🇱 1314 👉🏼 Battle of Bannockburn; Scotland regains independence from England 1322 👉🏼 Jews are expelled from France for 3rd time 1374 👉🏼 Sudden outbreak of St. John’s Dance causes people in the streets of Aachen, Germany, to experience hallucinations and begin to jump and twitch uncontrollably until they collapse from exhaustion. ✔️ READ…

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The albumen of St. John: a curious Italian tradition

John the Baptist is the most depicted saint in art of all centuries. His night has always been considered magical and prodigious, probably because it immediately follows the summer solstice (June 22), when the sun reaches its peak on the horizon and gives strength and vigor to all creatures. The night of St. John is also called the second New Year, very similar to the first for the magical conception and the rituals connected to it, first of all the bonfires. The difference lies in the contents: if the New…

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#TodayInHistory – June 23

June 23 – Some important events on this day. 930 👉🏼 World’s oldest parliament, the Icelandic Parliament, the Alþingi (anglicised as Althing or Althingi), established. 🇮🇸 1683 👉🏼 William Penn signs friendship treaty with Lenni Lenape indians in Pennsylvania. It was only treaty “not sworn to, nor broken”. An early Quaker and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony and the future Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, William Penn was an early champion of democracy and religious freedom, notable for his good relations and successful treaties with the…

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#TodayInHistory – June 22

June 22 – Some important events on this day. 168 BC 👉🏼 Battle of Pydna: Romans under Lucius Aemilius Paullus defeat and capture Macedonian King Perseus, ending the Third Macedonian War. 1535 👉🏼 Cardinal John Fisher is beheaded on Tower Hill, London, for refusing to acknowledge Henry VIII as head of the Church of England. 1559 👉🏼 Jewish quarter of Prague burned and looted. 1611 👉🏼 Henry Hudson set adrift in Hudson Bay by mutineers on his ship Discovery and never seen again. ✔️READ THE ARTICLE! 1633 👉🏼 Galileo Galilei…

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#TodayInHistory – June 21

June 21 – Some important events on this day. 68 👉🏼 Roman General Vespasian conquers Jericho during the Great Jewish Revolt 1498 👉🏼 Jews are expelled from Nurenberg Bavaria by Emperor Maximillian 1547 👉🏼 Great fire in Moscow, 2-3,000 killed 🔥 1788 👉🏼 US Constitution comes into effect when New Hampshire is the 9th state to ratify it. The supreme law of the United States of America, the US Constitution was drafted by the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention which took place between May 25 and September 17, 1787. It was the…

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#TodayInHistory – June 20

June 20 – Some important events on this day. 451 👉🏼 Battle of the Catalaunian Plains: Roman and Visigoths forces defeat Attila the Hun in north east France 1214 👉🏼 The University of Oxford receives its charter 1756 👉🏼 Black Hole of Calcutta: 146 British soldiers, Anglo-Indian soldiers and Indian civilians are imprisoned in a small dungeon in Calcutta, India where most die from suffocation and heat exhaustion 1789 👉🏼 Tennis Court Oath (for a new constitution) in France made at Versailles 1791 👉🏼 King Louis XVI and the French…

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#TodayInHistory – June 19

June 19 – Some important events on this day. 1306 👉🏼 The Earl of Pembroke’s army defeats Robert the Bruce’s Scottish army at the Battle of Methven 1829 👉🏼 Sir Robert Peel introduces the Metropolitan Police Act 1829 into Parliament to establish a unified police force for London 1846 👉🏼 First offically recognised baseball game (played by Cartwright Rules) – NY Nines 23 defeat Knickerbockers 1 at Hoboken, New Jersey 1862 👉🏼 Slavery outlawed in US territories 1865 👉🏼 Union General Granger declares slaves are free in Texas, now the…

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#TodayInHistory – June 18

June 18 – Some important events on this day. 618 👉🏼 Coronation of the Chinese governor Li Yuan as Emperor Gaozu of Tang, the new Emperor of China, initiating three centuries of the Tang Dynasty’s rule over China 1155 👉🏼 Pope Adrian IV crowns Frederick I Barbarossa Roman-German Emperor 1583 👉🏼 Richard Martin of London takes out first life insurance policy, on William Gibbons; premium was £383 1682 👉🏼 William Penn founds Philadelphia, US. He was an early Quaker and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American…

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#TodayInHistory – June 17

June 17 – Some important events on this day. 656 👉🏼 Ali ibn Abu Talib elected the 4th Caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate. 1462 👉🏼 Vlad III the Impaler attempts to assassinate Mehmed II (The Night Attack) forcing him to retreat from Wallachia. Revered as a folk hero in Romania as well as other parts of Europe for his protection of the Romanian population both south and north of the Danube, Vlad was a three-time Voivode of Wallachia, ruling mainly from 1456 to 1462. As the moniker “The Impaler” suggests,…

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#TodayInHistory – June 16

June 16 – Some important events on this day. 1784 👉🏼 Holland forbids the wearing of orange clothes 🥻 1794 👉🏼 1st stone laid at biggest Dutch grain windmill De Walvisch in Schiedam 🇳🇱 1858 👉🏼 Abraham Lincoln says “A house divided against itself cannot stand” accepting Illinois Republican Party’s nomination for the Senate 1880 👉🏼 Salvation Army forms in London 1884 👉🏼 1st roller coaster opens. On this day, the first roller coaster opens at Coney Island, in Brooklyn, New York. Known as a switchback railway, it was the…

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#TodayInHistory – June 15

June 15 – Some important events on this day. 763 BC 👉🏼 Assyrians record a solar eclipse that will be used to fix the chronology of Mesopotamian history. 1215 👉🏼 King John signs Magna Carta. The Magna Carta or “the Great Charter” in Latin was agreed by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, on this day. First drafted by the Archbishop of Canterbury to make peace between the unpopular King and a group of rebel barons, it promised the protection of church rights, protection for the barons from…

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#TodayInHistory – June 14

June 14 – Some important events on this day. 1276 👉🏼 While taking exile in Fuzhou, southern China, from advancing Mongol invaders, remnants of the Song Dynasty court hold coronation ceremony for young prince Zhao Shi, making him Emperor Duanzong of Song 1381 👉🏼 Richard II in England meets leaders of the Peasants’ Revolt on Blackheath. The Tower of London is stormed by rebels who enter without resistance. 1645 👉🏼 Battle of Naseby, Leicestershire: “New Model Army” under Oliver Cromwell & Thomas Fairfax beat royalists forces of English King Charles…

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#TodayInHistory – June 13

June 13 – Some important events on this day. 1373 👉🏼 Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of Alliance (world’s oldest extant) signed in London 1381 👉🏼 Peasant army marches into London. During the Peasants’ Revolt, a large mob of English peasants led by Wat Tyler marches into London and begins burning and looting the city. Several government buildings were destroyed, prisoners were released, and a judge was beheaded along with several dozen other leading citizens. The Peasants’ Revolt had its origins in a severe manifestation of bubonic plague in the late 1340s, which…

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#TodayInHistory – June 12

June 12 – Some important events on this day. 1381 👉🏼 Peasants’ Revolt: in England, rebels arrive at Blackheath 1830 👉🏼 Beginning of the French colonization of Algeria: 34,000 French soldiers land 27 kilometers west of Algiers, at Sidi Ferruch 1840 👉🏼 Meteorite hits Uden, Netherlands 🇳🇱 1849 👉🏼 Gas mask patented by Lewis Haslett (Louisville, Kentucky) 1864 👉🏼 The Battle of Trevilian Station, the bloodiest and largest all-cavalry battle of the American Civil War in Louisa County ends with Confederate tactical victory and Union successful retreat 1885 👉🏼 Roof…

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#TodayInHistory – June 11

June 11 – Some important events on this day. 1184 BC 👉🏼 Trojan War: Troy is sacked and burned, according to calculations by Eratosthenes 631 👉🏼 Emperor Taizong of Tang of China, sends envoys to the Xueyantuo bearing gold and silk for the release of Chinese prisoners captured during transition from Sui to Tang from northern frontier; succeeds in freeing 80,000 1144 👉🏼 Basilica of St Denis is dedicated near Paris, the first fully Gothic church ⛪️ 1231 👉🏼 Harderwijk (Netherlands) becomes a city 🇳🇱 1770 👉🏼 Captain James Cook…

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#TodayInHistory – June 10

June 10 – Some important events on this day. 1190 👉🏼 Third Crusade: Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa drowns while crossing the Saleph River (modern Turkey) leading an army to Jerusalem 1619 👉🏼 Thirty Years’ War: Battle of Záblatí, a turning point in the Bohemian Revolt 1692 👉🏼 The first victim of the Salem witch trials, Bridget Bishop, is hanged for witchcraft in the colony of Massachusetts. Perhaps the most notorious case of mass hysteria in colonial America, the Salem witch trials saw around 200 people accused of witchcraft,…

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#TodayInHistory – June 9

June 9 – Some important events on this day. 68 👉🏼 Roman Emperor Nero commits suicide, imploring his secretary Epaphroditos to slit his throat to evade a Senate-imposed death by flogging. He was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. He is infamously known as the Emperor who “fiddled while Rome burned” and as an early persecutor of Christians. His rule is often associated with tyranny and extravagance, and he was known for executing people he perceived as enemies, including his own mother. His…

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The mystery of WWII bomber plane that still lies in North Carolina’s Badin Lake

Apparently some North Carolina lakes of considerable depth generate as many legendary tales, expecially fish tales, but not only. Badin Lake, just outside the town of Albemarle, is not an exception. Created in 1917 by the damming of the Yadkin river, the 5300-acre lake reaches depths of over 60 meters and holds in its belly the remains of farmhouses and entire forests, as well as, according to a legend, the mysterious wreckage of a World War II B-25 Mitchell bomber. As story goes, Mary Elizabeth McDaniel hurried through an early…

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