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Monday, 30 May 2016

Christopher Marlowe

On 30 May 1593 the great playwright Christopher Marlowe was killed in an argument www.localhistories.org/marlowe 

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Guillotine

Happy birthday Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, born 28 May 1738. He proposed that there should be a swift and humane method of executing people in France. The French Assembly agreed to his idea in 1791 and the first decapitating device was built. The first person to be executed by the new machine was Nicolas Jacques Pelletier in 1792. The guillotine was last used in France in 1977.

Monday, 23 May 2016

18th Century Women

There were a number of great women, writers and scientists in the 18th century. Maria Kirch (1670-1720) was a great astronomer. Laura Bassi (1711-1778) became professor of anatomy at Bologna University in 1732. Maria Agnesi (1718-1799) was a famous mathematician and Emilie du Chatelet was a woman physicist and mathematician. Caroline Herschel (1750-1848) was a famous astronomer. Catharine Macaulay was a famous historian. In 1792 Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) published a book called A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. In 1784 Elisabeth Thible became the first woman to travel in an untethered balloon

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Saskatoon

Saskatoon was founded in 1883 by a group of temperance Methodists from Toronto led by John Neilson Lake. It was probably named after a local berry. However at first Saskatoon was a tiny settlement. The railway reached Saskatoon in 1890 but it remained very small with a population only a little over 100. However in the early 20th century Saskatoon boomed. By 1911 its population had soared to 12,000 and by 1931 it was 43,000. www.localhistories.org/saskatoon

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Saxon Food

Saxon women brewed beer. Another Saxon drink was mead, made from fermented honey. (Honey was very important to the Saxons as there was no sugar for sweetening food. Bees were kept in every village). Upper class Saxons sometimes drank wine. The women cooked in iron cauldrons over open fires or in pottery vessels. They also made butter and cheese. Saxons ate from wooden bowls. 

Saxons were fond of meat and fish. However meat was a luxury and only the rich could eat it frequently. The ordinary people usually ate plain food such as bread, cheese and eggs. They ate not just chickens eggs but eggs from ducks, geese and wild birds. www.localhistories.org/food 

Monday, 16 May 2016

Chocolate

Chocolate is made from the fruit of the cocoa tree, which is native to Central America. It grows large round fruits containing seeds or beans, which are used to make chocolate. However for centuries people drank chocolate rather than ate it. People in Central America drank chocolate as early as 1,500 BC. Much later the Mayans and the Aztecs drank chocolate. The Aztecs called it xocolatl from which are word chocolate is derived. After the Spanish conquered Central America they bought cocoa beans back to Europe. The beans were roasted and ground and used to make a drink with hot water. The Spanish added sugar to make it taste sweeter and they stirred it with a wooden stick to make it foamy. At first chocolate was drunk only in Spain but in the 17th century chocolate spread from Spain to the rest of Europe. 

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale was a great woman of the 19th century. She helped to reform nursing. www.localhistories.org/nightingale Florence was born on 12 May 1820. She was named after the Italian city where she was born. 

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Joan of Arc

On 8 May 1429 the French, inspired by Joan of Arc broke the English siege of Orleans. It was a turning point in the Hundred Years War which ended with England losing all territory in France except Calais. www.localhistories.org/joan 

Monday, 2 May 2016

Catherine the Great

On 2 May 1729 Catherine the Great was born. She was empress of Russia 1762-1796. She was not the first woman to rule Russia but she was a formidable leader. She put down a rebellion and she enlarged Russia's borders.