Politics

22 January 1901 – The Queen is Dead

The Queen is Dead

Queen Victoria spent the Christmas period in 1900 at one of her favourite retreats, Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight as had been her custom since the death of her beloved Albert. She must have known that her long life and her record-breaking reign were coming to an end as she told her doctor that she would like to ...

Read More »

1 October 1553 – Mary I is Crowned

Mary I

It was party time in England’s capital in the days leading up to 1 October 1553. A huge crowd of people, many of whom were likely to be feeling the effects of those previous few days, gathered to try and catch a glimpse of their new queen. 37-year-old Mary was the first woman to ascend to the throne of England ...

Read More »

18 September AD 96 – Domitian is Stabbed

Domitian

Disaffected aristocrats conspire to have the Roman emperor assassinated The Roman emperor Domitian had been ruling the empire for over 15 years by September 96, the longest reign of a Roman emperor since Tiberius. His skills as an administrator had earned him a good reputation as although he concentrated power in his own hands he managed to maintain popularity through ...

Read More »

9 September 1739 – Slaves Make a Bid for Freedom

The Stono Rebellion

The Stono Rebellion is the biggest revolt of its kind in British North America Twenty miles south-west of Charleston in South Carolina, near the Stono River, in the early hours of 9 September 1739, over twenty men gathered in a field. All of the men were slaves. Their leader was known as Jemmy, and was known among his contemporaries as ...

Read More »

9 August 1974 – Richard Nixon Resigns

Richard Nixon says farewell to his staff. 9 August 1974.

The Republican leader, Richard Nixon, becomes the most high-profile casualty of the Watergate scandal – and the only president to step down from office. Richard Nixon did not sleep well. It was after all, his last night as President of the United States of America, but it wasn’t uncommon for Nixon to sit up until the small hours working. This ...

Read More »

The Gettysburg Address

The Gettysburg Address

Coming in at a mere 278 words, the Gettysburg Address is one of the most famous speeches ever given by anyone, not just by an American president.  At the time President Abraham Lincoln gave it, he thought it was never going to amount to much, but the years since have told a different account.  There are five copies known to ...

Read More »

The Gunpowder Plot

The Gunpowder Plot

The Gunpowder Plot, the attempt by thirteen young men to blow up the Houses of Parliament, is remembered and commemorated each November 5th.  Guy Fawkes was the most famous of the group, but perhaps only because he was the one caught.  A different man was the actual ringleader. But what led these young men to attempt such a dramatic act ...

Read More »

Changing Calendars – The Switch to the Gregorian Calendar

The Switch to the Gregorian Calendar

Two hundred and sixty-two years ago, a very strange thing happened.  Everyone in Britain and her North American colonies became part Rip Van Winkle, in that they lost eleven days.  People went to bed on 2 September and awoke to find that it was 14 September 1752.  So where did those days go? And, perhaps more importantly, why? The Gregorian ...

Read More »

The Massachusetts Bay Colony

Massachusetts Bay Colony

Frustrations with the way King Charles was ruling in England in the 1600s paired with religious oppression against non-traditional groups led a spirited collection of people to flee the country and head across the Atlantic to the fledgling North American colonies. Had they stayed in their native England, they might have faced significant financial losses or even imprisonment. Instead, they ...

Read More »

Birth of the People’s Republic of China

The People's Republic of China

The creation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 was the culmination of a political battle that had gone on since the Revolution of 1911.  It ended with the creation of the Republic of China on the island of Taiwan and a complicated geopolitical landscape filled with tensions and uneasy alliances. Officially, the People’s Republic of China came into ...

Read More »

The Corn Laws

The Corn Laws

Profits, government protection, and international trade – who would have thought that all of this would be generated by one small grain?  In the United Kingdom in the early to mid-1800s it was necessary to protect the price of corn to defend all of the above.  The Corn Laws were an effort by the Tory government to protect the crop, ...

Read More »