Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Ivan the Terrible

On 16 January 1547 Ivan the Terrible was crowned Tsar of Russia 

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Joan of Arc

According to a tradition Joan of Arc was born on 6 January 1412. Not sure if it actually was that day but happy birthday anyway.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Highway of Tears

The Highway of Tears is a name given to highway 16 in British Columbia, Canada because of a number of tragic murders and disappearances of young women along it or nearby. The Highway runs from the town of Prince George to the port of Prince Rupert on the coast. Along the route are several small towns and villages separated from each other by long distances. Other murders or disappearances happened along highway 5 and highway 97 nearby. Some of the victims were hitchhiking when they disappeared. Hitchhiking may be dangerous but because the area is thinly populated there is a lack of public transport. So for people without a vehicle hitchhiking is a necessity.

The first victim was 26 year old Gloria Moody. She was last seen in the town of Williams Lake in central British Columbia on 25 October 1969 leaving a bar. Her body was found in a woods the next day 10 kilometers west of the town. The next victim was 18 year old Micheline Pare in July 1970. She had been hitchhiking. Two women dropped her off at the gates of a ranch along highway 29 near the small town of Hudsons Hope in Northeast British Columbia. Her body was found on 8 August 1970.

The next victim was 19 year old Gale Weys. She was last seen on 19 October 1973 hitchhiking from Clearwater to Kamloops. Her body was later found south of Clearwater. On 6 November 1973 19 year old Pamela Darlingon was murdered in Kamloops. She was last seen in a bar. Her body was found in a park the next day.

On 9 August 1974 16 year old Colleen MacMillen from Lac La Hache went hitchhiking to a friends house. Her body was found on 4 September 1974 near 100 Mile House. For 38 years her murder was unsolved until DNA evidence provided the name of the killer. In 2012 it was discovered that he was an American called Bobby Jack Fowler. He worked as a roofer in Prince George in 1974. However Fowler was sent to prison in the USA in 1995 for kidnapping a young woman who fortunately managed to escape from him. He died in a US prison in 2006. It is strongly suspected that Fowler killed 2 other young women, Gale Weys and Pamela Darlington in 1973.

Meanwhile a 15 year old schoolgirl from Thornhill named Monica Ignas was murdered. She went missing on 13 December 1974. (Its believed she was on her way home from school). Her body was found on 6 April 1975 east of the town of Terrace in British Columbia.The youngest victim was 12 year old Monica Jack. She disappeared on 6 May 1978 while riding her bike near Nicola Lake. Her skeletal remains was found in June 1995 near the town of Merritt.

On 8 May 1981 33 year old Maureen Mosie was last seen in Salmon Arm. It is believed she was hitchhiking. Her body was found the next day near the town of Kamloops. A 16 year old girl, Shelly Anne Bascu was last seen on 3 May 1983 walking home along highway 16 from a friends house near Hinton, Alberta. Some of her clothing was later found near the Athabasca River but her body is still missing. On 26 August 1989 24 year old Alberta Williams went missing from Prince Rupert. Her body was later found about 37 kilometers from the town by highway 16. Then on 14 June 1990 15 year old Delphine Nikal went missing while trying to hitchhike from the town of Smithers in British Columbia to her home in Telkwa. She has never been found.

On 11 June 1994 16 year old Ramona Wilson was hitchhiking to a friend's house in the small town of Smithers when she disappeared. Her body was found on 9 April 1995 near Smithers airport. Lana Derrick aged 19 went missing on 7 October 1995. She was last seen at a gas station in Thornhill.

On 21 June 2002 24 year old Nicole Hoar went missing. Nicole was from Red Deer, Alberta and she was working as a tree planter in Prince George, British Columbia. She was last seen at a gas station on the outskirts of Prince George. Nicole planned to hitchhike to Smithers to see her sister. On 21 September 2005 22 year old Tamara Chipman went missing. She was last seen in the outskirts of Prince Rupert intending to hitchhike to Terrace.

Then on 2 February 2006 a 14 year old girl, Aielah Saric Auger went missing. Her body was found on 11 February 2006 near Tabor Mountain 20 kilometers west of Prince George along highway 16. Meanwhile in 2005 the Royal Canadian Mounted Police formed Project E-PANA to investigate unsolved murders. In 2007 the investigation was widened to include 13 murders and 5 disappearances along highways 16, 5 and 97. Then on 28 May 2011 20 year old Madison Scott went missing while camping at Hogsback Lake 25 kilometers south of the small town of Vanderhoof.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Saturday, 30 December 2017


On 30 December 1916 Rasputin was killed. There is an enduring myth that Rasputin was some kind of superman and it was very difficult to kill him. When I was a teenager I read they tried to poison him with wine and cakes laced with cyanide but it had no effect. They then shot him but Rasputin was still moving so they battered him around the head. They then tied him up and threw him into a river. Rasputin drowned but not before he managed to get one of his arms free. In reality he was just as easy to kill as any other person. The pathologist found no trace of poison in his body and his family said he did not like sweet things and did not eat cakes. He was shot 3 times, twice in the chest and once in the head. (They probably shot him in the chest then shot him in the head at close range to finish him off). There was no water in his lungs so he was dead when he was thrown in the river (not surprising if he was shot in the head). Rasputin was no superman.

Friday, 29 December 2017

John Dalton

I wrote a little bio of the famous scientist John Dalton

Thursday, 28 December 2017


On 28 December 1694 Queen Mary of England and Scotland died of smallpox. It was a terrible disease. It left many people dead and others blind or pockmarked. Hooray for Edward Jenner who introduced vaccination in 1796. 

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Sunday, 24 December 2017

King John

King John was born on 24 December 1166. I am not sure whether to say happy birthday! But at least he did found one of our great cities, Liverpool.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Crossword Puzzle

Happy birthday crossword. The first crossword puzzle was published on 21 December 1913 in the New York World. It was written by an Englishman called Arthur Wynne. Well done Arthur. 

Thursday, 14 December 2017

The South Pole

Man of the day: On 14 December 1911 Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the South Pole

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Monday, 11 December 2017

Saturday, 9 December 2017

John Milton

John Milton was born on 9 December 1608. He was a great writer but also a defender of freedom of speech. 

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Halifax Disaster

Its exactly 100 years since disaster struck Halifax, Nova Scotia. On 6 December 1917 a Norwegian ship collided with a French munitions ship called the Mont Blanc. The Mont Blanc caught fire then exploded killing more than 1,800 people and wrecking many buildings.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Monday, 27 November 2017

Friday, 24 November 2017

Charles Darwin

Man of the day: on 24 November 1859 Charles Darwin published his great work, On the Origin of Species 

Wednesday, 22 November 2017


Man of the day: Ladislao Biro invented the pen named after him. Biros went on sale in Britain on 22 November 1946  

Friday, 17 November 2017

Queen Mary

On 17 November Queen Mary died. She was the first woman to rule the whole of England 

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Sunday, 12 November 2017

King Canute

The great king Canute died on 12 November 1035. Not only was he king of England he was also king of Denmark and Norway.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Edmund Halley

Edmund Halley the great astronomer with a comet named after him was born on 8 November 1656 

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Marie Curie

The great scientist Marie Curie was born on 7 November 1867 (She was born Marya Skoldowska in Warsaw, Poland) 

Monday, 6 November 2017

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Monday, 30 October 2017

Women's Education

On 30 October 1838 Oberlin College became the first US institution to admit women to study for degrees.