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Friday, 30 May 2014

Chicago

I wrote a little history of Chicago. From being a tiny settlement in 1830 it has grown to be one of North America's largest cities. www.localhistories.org/chicago 

Monday, 26 May 2014

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Copernicus

On 24 May 1543 the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus died. He is famous for his revolutionary theory that the Earth orbits the Sun and not the other way round. www.localhistories.org/copernicus  

Friday, 23 May 2014

World Turtle Day

Today (23 May) is World Turtle Day. It was begun by American Tortoise Rescue in 2000. I don't know anything about turtles or tortoises except that their shell was used for decoration.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Toilets in the Middle Ages

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD sophisticated plumbing disappeared from Europe for centuries. In Saxon times toilets were simply pits in the ground with wooden seats over them. (For ordinary people that remained the case for centuries afterwards).

However in the Middle Ages monks built stone or wooden lavatories over rivers. At Portchester Castle in the 12th century monks built stone chutes leading to the sea. When the tide went in and out it would flush away the sewage.

In castles the toilet was called a garderobe and it was simply a vertical shaft with a stone seat at the top. Some garderobes emptied into the moat.

In the Middle Ages wealthy people might use rags to wipe their behinds. Ordinary people often used a plant called common mullein or woolly mullein. www.localhistories.org/toilets 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Smallpox

On 14 May 1796 English doctor Edward Jenner carried out the first vaccination against smallpox on an 8 year old boy. Smallpox was a terrible disease. Queen Elizabeth I nearly died from it in 1562. Even if you survived smallpox it might leave you badly scarred. www.localhistories.org/medicine 

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Jamestown



On this day in 1607 the first permanent English colony was founded in North America at Jamestown. www.localhistories.org/colonial 

Monday, 12 May 2014

Florence Nightingale

On 12 May 1820 Florence Nightingale was born. Everyone in Britain has heard of her. She was a famous nurse during the Crimean War 1854-56 and she helped to reform nursing in this country. However there was another nurse, a Jamaican called Mary Seacole who was equally famous in her own day. But she was almost entirely forgotten until recently, probably because she was black. www.localhistories.org/nightingale 

Friday, 9 May 2014

Crown Jewels

On 9 May 1671 Colonel Thomas Blood stole the English crown jewels. He is (so far) the only person to steal them. However he didn't get far before he was arrested. Yet King Charles II pardoned him. 

Monday, 5 May 2014

Youtube Channel

This is my Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtpO50M3p6aGlnjAdOmHsnw 

Saturday, 3 May 2014