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Sunday, 28 May 2017

The 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. www.localhistories.org/pun.html 

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Copernicus

One of the greatest Poles, Mikolaj Kopernik died on 24 May 1543. Most of us know him better as Nicolaus Copernicus www.localhistories.org/copernicus 

Monday, 22 May 2017

Roman Women

Evolution in Ancient Greece

The Ancient Greeks invented the idea of evolution 2,500 years before Darwin. They could not explain how or why evolution happens. Darwin was the genius who discovered the mechanism - natural selection. Some Ancient Greek ideas were completely wrong. Nevertheless they were brilliant thinkers. http://launchistory.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/theory-of-evolution-in-ancient-greece.html 

Friday, 19 May 2017

Emily Davison

In 1913 a suffragette named Emily Davison ran onto a race course. She was hit by a horse and killed. Germaine Greer argues she did not help the cause of women's suffrage: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-politics/10089541/Emily-Davison-was-she-really-a-suffragette-martyr.html 

Monday, 15 May 2017

Machine Gun

On 15 May 1718 James Puckle patented the first machine gun. However it was not a successful invention. In the 19th century many people experimented with machine guns. In 1862 Richard Gatling invented the Gatling gun. However the first really successful machine gun was the maxim gun, invented by Hiram Maxim in 1884. It was adopted by the British army in 1889. www.localhistories.org/weaponshist.html 

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Edward Jenner

On 14 May 1796 Edward Jenner vaccinated a boy against smallpox. He wasn't the first to vaccinate but he popularised the smallpox vaccine. www.localhistories.org/jenner

Monday, 8 May 2017

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. Joan of Arc was a great woman of the Middle Ages even though she was a whack job who heard voices. www.localhistories.org/joan.html 

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Germany surrenders

On 7 May 1945 the Germans signed a document of surrender. The Second World War officially ended at one minute past midnight on the night of 8-9 May 1945. www.localhistories.org/nazigermany 

Friday, 5 May 2017

First American in Space

On 5 May 1961 Alan B Shepard became the first American in space www.localhistories.org/space  He made a 15 minute sub orbital flight reaching a height of 116 miles and lasting 15 minutes.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Catherine the Great

Happy birthday Catherine the Great (2 May 1729)

Peter III became Tsar in 1762 but he reigned for only a few months. Supporters of his wife Catherine assassinated him in 1762. She became known as Catherine the Great.

Although she liked to be seen as an enlightened despot and she corresponded with philosophers like Voltaire and Diderot many of Catherine's subjects were poor and oppressed. In 1773 man named Yemelyan Pugachev led a rebellion. The rebellion had considerable success but it was finally crushed in 1774. Pugachev was brought to Moscow in an iron cage. He was beheaded and his body was cut into quarters. Afterwards, in 1775, Catherine reformed local government. In 1785 she gave the gentry (wealthy landowners) a charter (a document granting or confirming certain rights).

Meanwhile Russia expanded in the 18th century. Russia fought a successful war with the Turks in 1768-1774. As a result the Russians gained land by the Black Sea. In 1783 Russia took the Crimea. The Turks lost still more territory after a war in 1787-1791. Meanwhile Russia took parts of Poland. In 1772 Russia, Prussia and Austria helped themselves to a slice of Polish territory each. Russia and Prussia helped themselves to more Polish territory in 1793. Finally in 1795 Russia, Prussia and Austria divided up what was left of Poland between them.

During the 18th century Russian territory and population greatly increased. Russia's new territory in the south was called New Russia and many people migrated there. Meanwhile Russians settled in the east. Russian industry also grew at this time and foreign trade expanded rapidly. By the time Catherine died in 1796 Russia was very powerful.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Friday, 21 April 2017

San Jacinto

On 21 April 1836 the Texans defeated the Mexicans at the battle of San Jacinto. Afterwards Texas became an independent republic. www.localhistories.org/texas.html 

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Fort Sumter

On 12 April 1861 confederate General Beauregard fired on the union held Fort Sumter. It was the first action of the American Civil War. http://www.localhistories.org/americancivilwar.html

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Happy birthday Isambard Kingdom Brunel. He was one of the greatest engineers of the 19th century. Brunel was born in Portsmouth on 9 April 1806. www.localhistories.org/brunel 

Friday, 7 April 2017

Dick Turpin



On 7 April 1739 Dick Turpin was hanged. Although we remember him as a highwayman he was hanged for horse stealing. And far from being a dashing hero he was a thug. www.localhistories.org/highwaymen

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Anesthetics

Modern anesthetics were 'born' on 30 March 1842 when an American doctor called Crawford Young used ether during an operation. www.localhistories.org/surgery

Monday, 27 March 2017

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Bach

Happy birthday Johann Sebastian Bach (21 March 1750). He is my dog's favourite composer. My dog also likes Hound Dog by Elvis Presley and he likes the Korgis. But he hates Cool for Cats by Squeeze.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Monday, 13 March 2017

Potato Crisps

The first recipe for potato crisps (aka potato chips) was in a book by Dr William Kitchiner in 1817. Its not certain if he invented them or they existed before but thank you anyway Dr Kitchiner. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/10965628/Crisps-buoyed-Britain-in-its-darkest-hour.html 

Joseph Priestley

Joseph Priestley the great scientist who discovered oxygen was born on 13 March 1733 www.localhistories.org/priestley 

Friday, 10 March 2017

Women Scientists

I made a youtube video about famous women scientists who lived BEFORE the 19th century. There were a surprising number of them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SU0QIHFrzs

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Barbie

Happy birthday Barbie. She made her debut at the American Toy Fair on 9 March 1959. www.localhistories.org/toys 

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Texas

The Texan declaration of independence was signed on 2 March 1836. Sam Houston the first president of Texas was born on 2 March 1793. www.localhistories.org/texas

Monday, 20 February 2017

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Queen Mary

Queen Mary was born on 18 February 1516. She became the first woman to rule all of England in 1553. www.localhistories.org/mary 

Friday, 17 February 2017

Toilets

On 17 February 1883 the vacant/engaged sign for toilet doors was patented by Mr Ashwell www.localhistories.org/toilets 

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Friday, 10 February 2017

Queen Victoria marries

On 10 February 1840 Queen Victoria married her German cousin Albert. The Queen wore white. Wearing a white wedding dress was not about purity. Wearing white clothes was a status symbol/ Cleaning white clothes was very difficult so if you wore white it meant you had a lot of servants to clean them. However in the 19th century wearing a white wedding dress became much more common.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Catherine I

On 8 February 1725 Catherine I became the first woman to rule Russia. Although she is far more famous Catherine the Great was Catherine II! www.localhistories.org/russiatime

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Robert Peel

Happy birthday Robert Peel (5 February 1788) the man who formed the first real police force in Britain in 1829. They were called bobbies of peelers after him. www.localhistories.org/police  

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Friday, 3 February 2017

Africa

On 3 February 1488 Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias landed in what is now South Africa having sailed past the southern tip of Africa.http://www.localhistories.org/africanhistory.html 

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Public lavatories

Though the Romans had public lavatories and they existed in London in the Middle Ages the first modern one for men opened on 2 February 1852 www.localhistories.org/toilets

Monday, 30 January 2017

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Friday, 27 January 2017

Antarctica

The first man to actually see the continent of Antarctica was an Estonian named Fabian von Bellinngsingshausen on 27 January 1820.  But he didn't actually land. Who the first person was to set foot on Antarctica is a matter of debate. www.localhistories.org/antarctica  

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Australia

On 26 January 1788 the first European settlers landed at Port Jackson in Australia www.localhistories.org/australia

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

California Gold Rush

On 24 January 1848 James Marshall struck gold at Sutters Mill in California beginning the California gold rush. www.localhistories.org/california.html

Monday, 23 January 2017

Thursday, 19 January 2017

James Watt

The great engineer James Watt was born on 19 January 1736. Although he didn't actually invent the steam engine he greatly improved it. www.localhistories.org/watt  

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Women Doctors

There were women doctors in the Middle Ages. In 1292 there were 8 registered women doctors in Paris (it was then a town of about 80,000 people). In 1311 women in France were forbidden to practice as surgeons unless they passed an examination in front of master surgeons. (In those days exams were often oral rather than written). About 1100 Trota of Salerno was a famous doctor. (Salerno in Italy was famous for its medical school. Women were allowed to study there). Rebecca Guarna another famous woman doctor lived about 1200.

Monday, 16 January 2017

The TV Dinner

I found an interesting article about the evolution of the TV Dinner http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2013/08/peeling-back-the-foil-the-origin-of-the-tv-dinner/ 

Little known inventors

Today I will celebrate some little known inventors. Benjamin Waddy Maughan invented the gas water heater in 1868. Edwin Ruud invented the electric hot water heater in 1889. Thomas Ahearn invented the electric car heater in 1890. Meanwhile The electric fan was invented in 1882 by Dr Schuyler Wheeler Frank W Wolfe invented the fridge for use in the home in 1913. 

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Queen Elizabeth I myth

When she was dying Queen Elizabeth I is supposed to have said 'All my possessions for a moment of time'. But its a myth. Nobody knows what the last thing she said was. I found this interesting quiz: http://www.elizabethi.org/contents/myths/index7.html  

Friday, 13 January 2017

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Catherine of Aragon

Catherine of Aragon, 1st wife of Henry VIII died 7 January 1536. She was a highly educated woman. In 1513 Henry was at war with France. He made his wife Catherine regent and captain-general of the armed forces in England in his absence http://www.localhistories.org/aragon  

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Tuesday, 3 January 2017