May 31, 1962: the Voghera massacre

May 31, 1962: it is a warm but not sultry night when the fate of 64 people is about to be marked. Shortly after midnight, at 0.02 am, the 8151 freight train from Milan Rogoredo station leaves from Lecco and goes to Arquata Scrivia. The convoy consists of 33 wagons. In the meantime, at 0.45 am, from another Milan station, the Central Station, the fast train 1391 also leaves, expected in Genova Brignole at 5.22 am. The passenger convoy stops at Voghera where it arrives at the third platform 15…

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May’s Full Flower Moon: Full Moon and Bonfire

As we already know, the full Moon names come from a number of places, including Native American, Colonial American, and European sources. May’s Flower Moon name should be no surprise, because flowers spring forth in abundance this month. Its name has been attributed to Algonquin peoples, but also May’s Moon other names tend to speak to the arrival of spring and all that it entails. The Cree names “Budding Moon” and “Leaf Budding Moon” celebrate the awakening of local flora, which really begin to leaf out now in many areas…

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Zhiva: the Slavic Goddess of Life

Zhiva, Dziwa, Zywa, Siwa, or Sewa are all names for the Slavic Goddess of Life. Words that derive from here name are zhizn/zycie/zhyttya, meaning life, zhivotnoye/zywiola, meaning animal/animals, zhivnost – critters, zhivot – stomach, and zhivitsa, meaning tree pitch. Zhiva is an all-Slavic Goddess of life and fertility, although Her cult is more noticeable among Western and Southern Slavs that know her as Vida. Medieval Polish sources mention Her as a daughter of Sventovit and Noncena, respectively deities of day and night, while late Polish sources call Her Dzidzilia (Great)…

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History and lore of Beltane, the ancient Celtic festival of May Day

Traditionally, Beltane honours life, and represents the peak of Spring and the beginning of Summer. This spring celebration is all about new life, fire, passion, and rebirth, in a time when the earth is lush and green, as new grass and trees return to life after a winter of dormancy, and flowers are abundant everywhere. The Beltane holiday is the time when, in some traditions, the male energy of the god is at its most potent. He is often portrayed with a large and erect phallus, and other symbols of…

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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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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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#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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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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#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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#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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#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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#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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#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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#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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#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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#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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#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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#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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#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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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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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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#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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