Saturday, 26 November 2016

History Facts for November 26

History Fun Facts for November 26th
On This Day in 1778, Captain James Cook became the first European to set foot on Maui.
On This Day in 1789, after a request from Congress, President George Washington proclaimed this day would observe a national Thanksgiving day.
On This Day in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed November 26th as a National Thanksgiving day. It would from this day forwards be celebrated on the last Thursday of November every year.
However, since 1941, it has been held on the fourth Thursday of November each year.
On This Day in 1922, Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon became the first people to set foot in the tomb of the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun in over 3000 years.
On This Day in History in 1942, Casablanca premiered in New York City.

Friday, 25 November 2016

History Fun Facts November 25

HISTORICAL FUN: On This Day In History Fun Facts for November 25th
On This Day In History in 885, Vikings, yes, they are at it again, sieged Paris after sailing their fleet up the River Seine.
Vikings, Vikings, yes we are,
Sail our ships, we came so far,
To kill you.
Die non-Vikings, DIE.
On This Day in History in 1120, William Adelin was killed when his ship, The White Ship, sank in the English Channel.
William Adelin was the son and heir of King Henry I of England. His death caused a succession crisis after his father died without issue that caused a period in England called The Anarchy.
Read some Historical Fun with FUN FACTS ABOUT KING HENRY I of ENGLAND.
On This Day in 1487, Elizabeth of York was crowned Queen of England.
Elizabeth of York was the wife of King Henry VII of England and the first ever Tudor Queen.
She could also be the inspiration to George RR Martin for his character Sansa Stark in the popular Game of Thrones.
Elizabeth of York was not only wife of Henry VII of England and Queen Consort, she was also the daughter of King Edward IV of England. Plus, the niece of King Richard III of England.
And to top it off, she was the mother of the only Henry that matters (nope, not the hoover), we're talking the King of the Many Numbers, King Henry VIII of England and loads-of-pies.
This made Elizabeth of York, wife, daughter, sister, niece and mother of successive Kings of England. 

Thursday, 24 November 2016

History Fun Facts November 23

On This Day In History in 1499, Perkin Warbeck was hanged after attempting to escape from the Tower of London.
Perkin Warbeck was a pretender to the English throne. He invaded England with an army, more like a couple of friends on a Stag weekend, claiming to be the long lost son of King Edward IV of England.
Perkin Warbeck claimed he was Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York.
You might not even recognise that name right away.
Richard, Duke of York, was the younger son of King Edward IV of England. And also the younger brother of King Edward V of England.
Together, King Edward V of England and Richard, Duke of York, made up the duo known as The Princes in the Tower.
The Princes in the Tower were later murdered by King Richard III of England. their evil uncle.
Warbeck was captured in 1497 and interrogated under close scrutiny of King Henry VII, of the Tudor clan, who did not want another claimant to the English throne that could undermine his reign as King.
He wasn't the first or last to claim he was one of the Prince's in the Tower.
After the initial torture, which was quite severe, and involved pokey things that were red hot, and holes that were not made for hot pokey things, Warbeck withdrew his claim.
After that, King Henry treated him well. Even gave him some cream, and a bucket of ice water for bottom dipping.
Warbeck was released from the Tower of London and given a room at Henry's court. Henry even allowed him to attend royal banquets.
However, he was kept under guard for the entire time, and wasn't even allowed to sleep with his wife. Hookers, yes. Wife no. Not that his wife complained. She hated him.
Not content with the banquets and hookers, and the lavish lifestyle the king allowed him, Warbeck attempted to escape.
The moron was captured and placed in solitary confinement. No more hookers for him.
Inside the solitary confinement, which was not entirely solitary, he met Edward, Earl of Warwick, also in solitary confinement. Not sure they understood what the word "solitary" meant back in the day.
The two cell mates tried to escape, again.
And again, Warbeck was captured.
If only he'd read the Shawshank Redemption.
Perkin Warbeck was then drawn on a hurdle from the Tower of London to Tyburn Gallows and forced to read out a confession before he was hanged. TO DEATH.
Also in the news
On This Day In History in 1890, King William III of the Netherlands died without a male heir. This led to a special law which passed allowing his daughter, Princess Wilhelmina to succeed to the throne.
On This Day In History in 1910, Johan Alfred Ander became the last person to be executed in Sweden.
On This Day in History in 1963, An Unearthly Child was broadcast by the BBC.
An Unearthly Child was the first ever episode of the world's longest running Sci-Fi show, Doctor Who, starring William Hartnell.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

History fun facts November 22

On This Day in 1718, Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, the infamous and notorious and bulbous Pirate, was defeated in battle.
The boarding party, led by Royal Navy Lieutenant, Robert Maynard, found Blackbeard and ran him through real good, resulting in the pirate's death.
Edward Teach was born in or around 1680, and in or around the English city of Bristol. There really isn't much to go on when it comes to Edward Teach's early life. We do know he was born as a baby which had an extraordinary amount of facial hair, even for a baby from Bristol, which is saying something.
Did you know: Blackbeard could read and write.
Now, I know what you're thinking. Big deal?
Well, it actually was at the time. Education back then wasn't as freely available as it is today. This means we could assume Edward Teach, "if that's even your real name," was born into a reasonably respectable and wealthy family.
We know he could read and write as he communicated with merchants, made contracts, and when he was killed, he had a letter addressed to him from the Chief Justice and Secretary of the Province of Carolina.
Edward Teach had been a pirate for years when he captured a large French merchant vessel called La Concorde. He renamed the ship the Queen Anne's Revenge, refitted it from head to toe, stern to bow, and installed 40 guns.
For the next few years, Teach pirated the living daylights out of anything and everything he could. Movies, music, Game of Thrones. He didn't care what he pirated. His reputation for ruthlessness spread and soon every ship that sailed the seven seas, and some rivers, and a few bathtubs, feared him.

The guy was actually crazy.
And I really do mean Nutso-Whacko-Jacko crazy. To give an example, he tied lit fuses under his hat to frighten his enemies. Seriously, lit fuses. They go Kaboom.
"You were only supposed to blow the bloody hat off."
He actually retired at one point.
Yep, he'd had enough. He sailed the Queen Anne's Revenge aground on a sandbar and retired with a royal pardon.
The quiet life didn't agree with him, though. He returned to sea, as it's a pirate's life for me. Yo-Ho-Ho, and a bottle of rum, me matey.
He was killed on the 22nd November 1718 after a ferocious battle of battles. There was something wrong with his Poop Deck. It had been blown off. Ouch.
His ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge, was sunk and lost to the sea.
Also on this day in history
On This Day In History in 845, Nominoe, build them up and knock them over, the first King of all Brittany, defeated the Frankish King Charles the Bald at the Battle of Ballon.
Ironically, despite being Frank, Charles the Bald wasn't happy about the constant references to his lack of hair. This led to him being distracted during the battle after chasing his wig after a strong gust of wind blew it off his head.
On This Day In History in 1869, the clipper Cutty Sark was launched from Dumbarton, Scotland. It was one of the last clippers built, and the only surviving one to this day.
On This Day in History in 1963, John F. Kennedy, President of the United States of America, was assassinated in Texas by Lee Harvard Oswald.
On This Day In History in 1975, Juan Carlos was declared King of Spain after the death of Francisco Franco.
On This Day in 1990, Margaret Thatcher, the British Prime Minister, pulled out of the Conservative Party Leadership election, ending her reign as Prime Minister.
On This Day in 1995, Toy Story was released. It was the first feature-length movie created entirely by using CGI.

Monday, 21 November 2016

History Fun Facts November 21st

Quick History Facts for November 21st

On This Day In History in 164 BC, Judas Maccabeus restored the Temple in Jerusalem and is now commemorated each year by the festival of Hanukkah.
On This Day in 1877, Thomas Edison announced he had invented the phonograph, a magical machine that captured the souls of the living. Or, at least, their voices. Burn the witch.
On This Day in History in 1922, Rebecca Latimer Felton of Georgia took the oath of office to become the first female senator in the United States of America.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

History Fun Facts November 20

On This Day In History in 1407, John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, and Louis of Valois, Duke of Orleans, agreed a truce.
Unfortunately, John the Fearless was also John the utter-git. He had Louis of Valois assassinated three days later. Yep, what-a-git.
The two Dukes were in a state of war with each other up until the truce was signed. Both were trying to fill a void left by the King of France, Charles VI of France, who was ever so slightly whacko-nutso-bonkers.
Louis of Valois, who was not only the Duke of Orleans, but also the younger brother of the King of France, was minding his own business in Paris when 15 assassins leapt on him as he was trying to mount his horse.
We are assuming he was trying get on the horse to ride it, rather than anything else. But, with Louis of Valois, you never know. He was a dirty little sicko, by all accounts. Or at least by the account of John the Fearless, who had ordered the assassination.
The fifteen masked men repeatedly stabbed Louis of Valois over and over in the chest, back, legs, and once up the butt. Whether that one was deliberate, or an accidental slip-up caused by all the chaos, no one is quite certain.
Thomas Walsingham recounts the tale and was sure Louis of Valois had got what was coming to him. Yeah, real good. Right up the butt.
Louis of Valois, Duke of Orleans, had been, it seems, taking his pleasure with whores, harlots, and all manor of creatures, and that's not including the incest, or committing adultery with the wife of an unnamed knight.
Dirty boy.
On This Day in 1820, an 80-tonne sperm whale attacked a whaling ship from Nantucket called the Essex, 2,000 miles from the western coast of South America.
This story, in part, is what inspired Herman Melville to write his novel, Moby Dick, which was later published in 1851.
On This Day In History in 1947, Princess Elizabeth (later to be known as Queen Elizabeth II) married a dashing young Lieutenant from the Royal Navy, Philip Mountbatten. He is later known as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
On This Day In History in 1985, Microsoft Windows 1.0 is released. And it's still trying to load to this day.
Also On This Day In History
On this day in 869, Edmund the Martyr died.
Edmund was an English king of East Anglia who ruled between 855 and 869.
Not much is known about Edmund or his reign as King of East Anglia. Even his death is speculative.
The Vikings were to blame, as was normal back in the day. The Great Heathen Army invaded East Anglia, defeating the East Anglian army and killing King Edmund the Martyr.
The Danes captured King Edmund and demanded he renounce Christ.
Edmund refused, such was his love and commitment to Christ. He believed Christ would save him.
The Danes beat the living daylights out of Edmund, shot him with three dozen arrows, and to top it off, they chopped off his head.
One legend has it, Edmund's head was taken into the forest by Ivar the Boneless and his brother Ubba, not by another mother. They threw it as far as they could and it bounced several miles until coming to a stop where no one would find it.
However, it was actually found by men loyal to Edmund after cries from a wolf. It called, "Hic, Hic, Hic," or "Here, Here, Here."
As a besides: Very similar deaths were apparently bestowed on St Sebastian, St Denis and St Mary of Egypt.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

History Fun Facts November 19th


On This Day In History, 1600, King Charles I of England was born.

Charles was the second son of King James VI of Scotland, who was soon to get an upgrade and become King James I of England.

The eldest son of King James-The-Sixth-Soon-To-Be-First was Henry Frederick, the Prince of Wales. When Henry Frederick died in 1612, Charles became the Heir Apparent and the new Prince of Wales.

Charles spent his first few years in Scotland. Even when his father became King of England, Charles remained in Scotland as he was quite a sickly child. And rather annoying. His father couldn't stand the winging little git and left for England without him.

Charles wasn't seen as worthy until he could walk the length of the Great Hall at Dunfermline Palace with help, and scoff down a whole haggis without throwing up.

Just before the age of four, Charles achieved both and was immediately sent to join his family in London.

However, the interesting stuff happened later.

Charles-The-First-King-Of-England-To-Be-Tried-And-Executed, had his head separated from his shoulders by way of a really sharp axe in January, 1649.

On the 18th June 1633, Charles I was crowned King of Scotland in Edinburgh.

He had been king of England since 1625 and king of Scotland since that date, too. However, keen to avoid travelling back to Scotland, he waited 8 years to be crowned.

Charles struggled with some personal issues just before his reign as king ended. The main issue, which was rather personal, was his head being separated from his body.

He had fought a civil war with Parliament during the 1640s. There was a lot of back and forth, until King Charles was finally defeated and captured by Oliver Cromwell's army.

After losing the English Civil war, King Charles-Not-A-Spaniel was imprisoned and tried for treason, and for kicking a sick puppy when he was a kid.

Little did the King know, that his days were numbered when the trial started.
In fact, the king always believed he would be found innocent of all crimes, including puppy-kicking. He couldn't imagine, along with most of the country, that Parliament would not only find him guilty, but they'd also give him the death sentence.
The sentencing was driven by Oliver Cromwell, who hated the king and the monarchy. And puppies. He kicked more than a few in his time. But he had to be seen as a man of the people. So he switched to kicking kittens instead.
Most people break down before they are executed. They cry, they scream, they beg for their life.
Not Charles-Needed-A-Different-Lawyer. The King asked to wear two shirts. The weather was biting cold, and he didn't want it to cause him to shiver. If the crowds observed him shivering, they might mistake it for fear.
An eyewitness to the execution was interviewed for the BBC News channel afterwards. "We all gasped, we did. They keel'd te king. T'was terrible. An awful thing. But fun."
The eyewitness continued: "They showed his head. Lifted it right up, they did. Dripped blood all over. So we dipped our handkerchiefs in it."
The spectators wanted a souvenir of the day. And those who were close enough, dipped their handkerchiefs into the pools of blood dripping on the floor as the King's head was raised and shown to the crowds.
The eyewitness concluded: "That Oliver Cromwell, the one who beat the king, and killed him proper, he did. He watched and smiled. Real pleased with himself, he was. Right proud to kill a king. Watta-git."

Also On This Day In History

On this day in 1831 James A Garfield was born.

James A Garfield was the 20th President of the United States of America between March 4th, 1881, and September 19th, 1881.

He was later assassinated by a bloke in a dress. READ MORE ABOUT GARFIELD'S ASSASSINATION.

Plus, on November 19th in 1816 Warsaw University was established.

And on this day in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address in Pennsylvania.

Friday, 18 November 2016

History Facts for November 18

History Fun Facts for November 18th

On This Day In History, 1305, John II, Duke of Brittany, was assassinated by a wall.

A slightly unusual death for the Duke. As well as the Duke of Brittany, he was also the Earl of Richmond in England. He took part in a few crusades, which was just an elaborate cover to conceal the fact they were playing Pokémon Go.

With all the fighting and wars this guy was involved in, which included wars between England and France, you'd have thought he'd have been poked to death by a spear.

Nope. He was attending the coronation of Pope Clement V, leading the Pope's horse through a crowd, when a wall collapsed on him due to too many spectators piling on top. He was crushed, as was his horse.

On This Day In History in 1307, William Tell shot an apple off his son's head.

Not an interesting death, but an almost, holy cow, he got the apple, not the head. That was lucky.

William Tell was a famous marksman and folk hero back in the day in Switzerland.

When the newly appointed Austrian Kingy Person, Gessler, hoisted his hat on a pole and demanded the locals ALL BOW DOWN BEFORE THE HAT, William Tell refused.

"But it's my hat."

"Don't care."


"Sod off."

This pissed off Gessler and he had William Tell arrested.

"But, tell you what, Tell, I am curious about your magical marksmanship powers."


"I will not kill you."

"However, you must shoot an arrow from your crossbow at an apple on your little boy's head. If you shoot the apple, you and your son will live. Deal?"

"Dad, don't do it, you're not the Green Arrow?"

"It'll be fine. I've only had three vodka's and 4 litres of undiluted blackcurrant juice."

William Tell placed the apple on his son's head and said, "Stop shaking you little cry baby, Daddy's the best."

And to his promise, William Tell gripped it well, aimed for the middle, and didn't miss, not even a little. His son did, however, crap his pants.

Gessler then noticed that Tell had taken two crossbow bolts from his quiver and asked why?

William Tell was more than a little reluctant to answer, but after Gessler promised his life was spared, Tell told him.

"If I had killed my son with the first shot, the second would have killed you."

"Dad? WTF?"

Thursday, 17 November 2016

History Fun Facts November 17


On This Day in 887, Charles the Fat was deposed as the Carolingian Emperor and Arnulf of Carinthia is elected as King of the East Frankish Kingdom.

Charles the Fat didn't much appreciate the name people called him, and much preferred to be known as Charles III. However, he was rather chubby. Well, huuuuge. So it wasn't as if he could move fast enough to catch those who called him THE FAT.

On This Day In History in 1558, Mary I of England died, and was succeeded by her half-sister, Elizabeth I of England.

Elizabeth-The-First-Of-Her-Name ruled all England for a Golden Age of 44 years.

She became Queen on the 17th November 1558 after her big, and very ugly, sister died (big as in older, not as in bigger, although she was plump).

Elizabeth reigned until she eventually kicked the bucket, which had a family of hedgehogs living inside, who also died, on the 24th March 1603. The Tudor Dynasty was at an end.

Her reign was the third longest reign of a British Queen (Victoria and Elizabeth-Part-Two-Never-Gonna-Give-This-Up, being top), and the Eighth longest ruling British Monarch.

During Elizabeth's Elizabethan Era, she oversaw the defeat of the Spanish Armada, the introduction of tobacco and potatoes, and the still-popular tradition of giving life-sized gingerbread men to people she liked.

She was a big fan of the sugar, was our virgin Queen. Oh, and she was a virgin. Sheesh, almost forgot to mention that little fact. She didn't bonk anyone. At all. Which is the official line and we're sticking to it.

She did have loads of marriage proposals, though, but turned them all down in favour of a marriage with England.

Makes me wanna stand up and sing God Save the Queen. Or at least Bohemian Rhapsody by the Queen. Wow, she is talented.
Elizabeth was crowned on the 15th January 1559 in a ceremony fit for a king.

However, there were no Kings available, so Elizabeth got the job.

As we all know (and this won't happen for much longer, as legislation has all ready been passed to make boys and girls equal in the line of succession), a boy will inherit the throne before a girl. Even if the girl is older.

Elizabeth was the daughter of Henry-Of-The-Way-Too-Many-Numbers and Anne-The-Sod-Had-Me-Head-Chopped-Off-Boleyn.

But she wasn't the eldest daughter. Nope, that went to Mary, who was the daughter of Henry-The-Eighth-Portion-Of-Steak-And-Roast-Potatoes-Didn't-Fill-Me-Up and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.

So Mary got dibs on the throne first.

Although, as boys inherit the throne before girls, it actually went to their younger half-brother, Edward-I'm-A-Prince-Not-A-Pauper, son of Henry-The-Eighth-I-Am-I-Am by his third wife, Jane Seymour.

But he died. So it went to Mary. Then she died. So it went to Elizabeth.
Elizabeth was only a princess for the first two years of her life. After her mum died from a serious and fatal case of axe-to-neck, her father stripped the Princess Elizabeth of her royal title, demoting her to Lady Elizabeth instead.

If that wasn't bad enough, she also had her iPad and iPhone confiscated and could only get access to twitter by plugging a swan into next-door's WiFi and a woodpecker into the swan.

And when her big sister (who hated Elizabeth) became Queen of England, Mary stormed into Elizabeth's bedroom and pulled down all her One Direction posters.

Elizabeth was a very beautiful Queen. Well, maybe, maybe not.

It's said she had black teeth from eating too much sugar, took a bath only once a month, and wore a bucket load of white make-up, not to denote her virginity, but to hide the scars from a bout of smallpox.

So, kissing her would be like kissing one of the Aliens Sigourney Weaver romped about with. Yep, Elizabeth would be one helluva surprise on your blind date. Take mints. And air-freshener. And a life-sized gingerbread man.

On This Day in 1603, Sir Walter Raleigh went on trial for treason.

Sir Walter Raleigh was the one-time favourite of Queen Elizabeth-I-Am-Ginger-It's-Not-A-Wig. Although they did have their rocky patches in an on-off and off-on and almost Off-With-His-Head relationship.
However, when James I of England became King, things got serious.
On the 17th November, 1603, the trial began in the Great Hall of Winchester Castle.
Although, some might say, the outcome had all ready been decided. But not me. All those present approached the trial free from any preconceived ideas of Raleigh's guilt. They'd look at the evidence and decided fairly.
The main evidence against Sir Walter Raleigh at his trial consisted of a sworn confession from Henry Brooke, the 11th Baron Cobham. Incidentally, Raleigh and Cobham were best of friends. Obviously not after Raleigh found out Cobham had just stabbed him in the back. But, back in the day, they used to do a spot of ten-pin hedgehog bowling at the local pub.
Sir Walter Raleigh demanded Cobham be summoned to testify at the trial.
On the first day, Raleigh spoke quite passionately and insisted the evidence was mere hearsay: "Let my accuser come face to face and be deposed. Were the case but for a small copyhold, you would have witnesses or good proof to lead the jury to a verdict. And I am here for my LIFE."
Nothing worked. The court refused to summon Cobham and allow him to be cross-examined by Raleigh, who was acting as his own attorney. Not a great idea. But given the foregone conclusion of the outcome of the trial, it probably didn't matter.
Sir Walter Raleigh was found guilty of treason.
Sheesh, what is wrong with you guys?
Not "off with his head". King James decided to spare Raleigh's life. Instead, he was imprisoned in the Tower of London, never to be set free.
However, on the 20th of March, 1616, Raleigh walked free from the Tower.
Fun Fact: Walter Raleigh's son, Carew, was conceived and born whilst Raleigh was imprisoned in the Tower of London.
The following year, in 1617, Raleigh was pardoned by the King. He was then told to sail across the oceans in a great second expedition to Venezuela in search of El Dorado and its famous stash of gold.
And if you happen to find any dinosaurs, bring one of those back, too. Preferably a T-Rex. There're awesome.
But, alas, no gold and no dinosaurs. What a jerk.
Sir Walter Raleigh was eventually executed in an Off-With-His-Head ceremony. But that's another story.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

History Fun Facts November 16


On This Day In History in 42 BC, the Roman Emperor Tiberius was born.

And yet he died in 37 BC. That isn't confusing at all.

The Emperor Tiberius was assassinated. By a pillow.

The pillow may have just been where his head was resting whilst he slept. Or it may have been above his head, being pressed down, really hard, by Caligula. No one is quite sure.

Tiberius died in Misenum, aged 78, after placing himself in exile for the last years of his life. Everyone had it in for him. That bloke. The bloke over there. The geezer sitting down. The fairy on top of the Christmas tree. The gnome in his neighbour's front garden. Everyone.

The guy was a little paranoid.

And not well liked.

When news spread to Rome about the death of Emperor Tiberius, the crowd rejoiced. Then went silent when they were told he had recovered. And then rejoiced again when they heard Caligula and Macro had smothered him with an inflatable hedgehog. Pillow. They smothered him with a pillow.

The Roman Senate didn't like him either.

After Tiberius succumbed to the ravages of an inflatable hedgehog, or time, the geezer was really old, they refused to vote him divine honours.

The mobs took to the streets chanting, "To the Tiber with Tiberius."

It was a tradition back in Rome, back in the good old days, to carry dead criminals to the Tiber and dump them in the river. The Senate didn't take any notice of the crowds. They cremated the Emperor with the body of a house elf and ejaculated, "Tiberius Expelliarmus." And laid his ashes to rest in the Mausoleum of Augustus.

Emperor Tiberius had left a will.

He dictated his powers should be jointly shared with Caligula, his grand nephew and adoptive grandson, and Tiberius Gemellus, his actual grandson.

Best laid plans, and all that...

As soon as Caligula was granted the powers of the Emperor, his first act was to make void the will of Tiberius. His second act was to kick a puppy. His third act was to have his cousin and co-Emperor, Tiberius Gemellus executed.

Caligula did give a reason for the execution: the eighteen-year-old had bad breath.

Gemellus had been taking medicine for a bad cough. It was quite persistent and he couldn't shift it. Pneumonia may have taken hold, and the young man may not have survived long anyway.

But Caligula believed, or at least that's what he told people, that his cousin had insulted him by taking an antidote against poison. And that his breath stank of it.

That means there was only one thing the new Emperor could do: Send a military tribune to the house of Gemellus and have him shove a Gladius into his belly.

If that won't cure pneumonia, nothing will.

Caligula then went about stealing the fortunes of Tiberius and spending it on drugs, ninjas, and monkey hookers.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Historical Fun Fact for November 15

History Fun Fact for November 15th
On This Day In History in 1915, Winston Churchill resigned from his Government and headed to the Western Front to take command of the 6th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers.
This guy was the serious, real deal.
Did You Know: Churchill was a prisoner of war.
A few weeks after he arrived in South Africa during the 2nd Boer War, he accompanied a Scouting trip (why the heck are they sending boy scouts into a war zone?) in an armoured train.
The train was ambushed. Churchill fought bravely and with courage and valour, however, he was taken prisoner and sent to a POW camp in Pretoria.
Churchill staged a very daring jail break. As the saying goes: Never give up, never surrender.
Even when you're a prisoner. Churchill had a cunning plan. To escape. Which he did by climbing a very large wall in the pitch black of night. It was dangerous. Very dangerous. So dangerous that two of his fellow prisoners turned back.
Churchill kept going, though. And going. All through the night.
Luck happened upon him. He bumped into the house of a British coal mine manager. Well, it was dark. The fellow Brit hid him in a mineshaft for three days.
After that, when the heat had died down, Churchill made the 300 mile trek to Mozambique and safety.
Churchill returned to England a hero. But didn't stay. He re-enlisted in the army, rushed back to Pretoria and fought on the front lines, capturing the city.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Fun Facts About Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales

Prince Charles: I'm so cool, I'm going to be King one day.

On This Day In History, November 14th, in 1948, Prince Charles was born.
Or to give him his full official title: His Royal Highness, Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales, KG, KT, GCB, OM, AK, QSO, PC, ADC, Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland.
Wowser, that's a mouthful.
Which, as it happens, was what Camilla, his current wife, said on their wedding night.
And, to her astonishment, and as the rumour-mill in the Palace has it as fact, the Prince of Wales sleeps in the nude. Imagine that: Prince Charles, sleeping nekkid, with nekkid Camilla.
Stop imagining that, you bunch of sick perverts.
Prince Charles is the eldest child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. As such, he is also the heir apparent to the British throne. Yep, he'll be Kingy one day, assuming his mother doesn't outlive him. Which is actually more likely now. She's like the Duracell battery.
Prince Charles became the heir apparent after the death of his grandfather, King George VI. And is now the longest serving heir apparent in British history. Poor thing. Always a bridesmaid, never the bride.
He became the 21st Prince of Wales when he was invested as the Prince of Wales at Caernarvon Castle, Wales, in July 1969.
In 1980, Prince Charles wrote and had published a children's book called The Old Man of Lochnager. It was originally written for his younger brother, Prince Edward, the useless one.
It's difficult being a Prince, especially when your father is Prince Philip. He's a real nut-buster. And not the easiest of people to get along with.
Prince Charles was said, and still is, to be scared Shih-tzu of his father. In fact, the Prince of Wales has only ever stood up to his father once.
Back a few years ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the father and son were arguing. Prince Charles shouted, "Remember who you are speaking to: a future King!"
Now that, by any standards, is the perfect come-back.
Prince Charles then quickly added, "So sorry, please don't have me assassinated like you did to my first wife."
After finishing school and earning a degree at Cambridge University, and becoming the first member of the Royal family to earn a degree, he joined the RAF (Royal Air Force) in March, 1971.
In August of the same year he earned his wings. Although at that point he already had a Private Pilot's Licence.
Not content with graduating from the RAF College at Cranwell, Prince Charles joined the Navy as a sub-lieutenant, attending the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth.
One of his first assignments was aboard HMS Norfolk, a guided-missile destroyer.
"Don't order me to do stuff, I'm going to be Kingy one day."
Fed up with that, in October 1974, he took up flying again and trained and qualified as a helicopter pilot.
Two years later, he took command of HMS Bronington, a coastal Minehunter. And later that year, after a quick spin around the block, he left the Navy. Although he does now hold the rank of Admiral.
Actually, since 2009, Prince Charles holds the second highest ranks in all three branches of the Canadian Armed Forces.
And on June 17th, 2012, the Queen awarded Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, an honorary five-star rank in all three branches of the British Armed Forces. He is Admiral of the Fleet in the Royal Navy, Field Marshal in the British Army, and Marshal of the Royal Air Force.
When he left the Navy in 1976, he was given a severance pay of £7,400. Instead of heading down the local strip club to flutter away those pound notes on some exotic dancers, Prince Charles used it to set up the Prince's Trust.
It is now a hugely successful and extremely helpful charity. Since it started, The Prince's Trust has helped over half a million unemployed young people attain the skills they need to find work.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

History Fun Facts November 13

HISTORICAL FUN: History Fun Facts for November 13

On This Day in History, November 13th, 1312, King Edward III of England was born.
King Edward III of England reigned for fifty years between January 25th, 1327, and June 21st, 1377, beginning his reign at the age of 14.
Edward III became king earlier than expected. His mother, Isabella of France, and the guy she was diddling at the time, which was not her husband, who happened to be King Edward II of England, but a rather dashing and morally corrupt guy called Roger Mortimer, deposed his father, King Edward-The-Second-Ball-Hasn't-Dropped-Yet of England.
The She-Wolf-Of-France, as Isabella of France was often called, or You-Backstabbing-Hoar-Of-A-Female-Dog by her husband, took control of England whilst her son was still a kid.
Isabella ruled England as regent for her son alongside Roger Mortimer until Edward III grew a pair and overthrew Mortimer and his mother in a coup.
Fun Facts About Edward III of England
King Edward III adopted George-The-Dragon-Killer as the patron saint of England in 1348. Before that date, the Parton Saint of England was Edward the Confessor.
On June 13th, 1378, Edward III of England signed the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty with King Ferdinand and Queen Eleanor of Portugal.
It's the oldest active treaty in the world and established "Perpetual friendships, unions and alliances" between England (later the United Kingdom) and Portugal.
The Treaty was activated during World War 2 and also in 1982 during the Falklands war between the United Kingdom and Argentina.
On This Day In History in 1160, Louis VII of France married Adela of Champagne.
Louis VII married Adela, his third wife, just five weeks after his second wife, Constance of Castile, died in childbirth. That guy didn't hang around.
Louis VII had his marriage to his first wife, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, annulled after she couldn't produce a male heir.
They had married when she was just seventeen-years-old. Some said he wed her for the love of a beautiful, young duchess.
However, nope, not that. She was rich. Rich beyond the King's wildest dreams.
However, having a boy child to succeed him to the throne was of paramount importance to Louis VII, and so Eleanor of Aquitaine had to go. As a besides, she then went on to marry King Henry II of England.
Louis VII then went on to marry Constance of Castile.
Her days would also have been numbered if not for the fact her days were actually numbered. She also didn't produce a male heir for the throne. Just a couple of daughters. And they are of no use to a French King in the 12th century.
Louis VII then married Adela of Champagne five weeks after the death of Constance of Castile, not just for the love of a beautiful, fertile woman. Also for the booze. Yep, lovely, beautiful, fizzy booze.
Queen Adela did give Louis want he wanted.
Nope, not the fizzy wine, or the testicle tickling, but a boy child. She gave birth to King Louis VII's only son, who later went on to become King Philip II of France. There was also a daughter, but that doesn't count.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Historical Fun: Facts for November 12

History Fun Facts for November 12th

On This Day In History, 12 November, 1035, King Cnut, or Canute, died.
King Cnut is famous for being exceptionally tall and strong, and the handsomest of all men, except for his nose. His nose looked like a penis after a semi-good beating from a baseball which had then been left to marinate in vinegar for seven weeks.
Cnut ruled England between 1016 - 1035. He was also King of Norway and Denmark. And some of the Swedes.
King Cnut's father was Sweyn Forkbeard, famous for shoving forks in his beard to scare his enemies, and his grandfather was Harald Bluetooth, who was famous for inventing the hands-free device that allows you to talk on your phone whilst driving.
There is a famous story of Cnut, or Canute, raising his hand up to hold back to the tide which, first told by Henry of Huntingdon.
Cnut placed his throne before the sea and commanded the incoming tide to stop and not wet his feet and robes. The tide continued unabated and soaked him.
The King leapt up and dashed backwards, shouting, "It got my balls, they shrivelled up inside me. Will no one rub them to make them better?"
Nope, he declared, "Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings, for there is none worthy of the name, but He whom heaven, earth, and sea obey by eternal laws."
He then dunked his donuts in the waters, hung his gold crown on a crucifix, and never wore it again, to honour the God, almighty King.
Also On This Day In History
On November 12th, 1912, the frozen body of Robert Scott, as well as his men, were discovered on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica.
Captain Robert Falcon Scott, of the Royal Navy, had led two expeditions to the Antarctic, the second turning into disaster for his group.
The first expedition was a great success. He made it to the Polar Plateau, somewhere near the south pole.
On his second expedition, he reached the South Pole on January 17th, 1912, but not first. He was four weeks behind Roald Amundsen and his Norwegian expedition.
Scott and his team were on the way back, only 150 miles from their base camp, they died from exhaustion, starvation and it being frigging freezing cold down there.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Remembrance Day - November 11th

Remembrance Day.

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 the Great War, later known as World War 1, ended after 4 years and 97 days, and at a cost of nearly 18 million lives.

This day is remembered around the world.

In the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Nations, which include Canada and Australia, it is called Remembrance Day.

In New Zealand, France, Belgium and Serbia, it is called Armistice Day.

In the United States of America, it is called Veterans Day.

No matter the name, no matter where you are, no matter who you are, it is a day to remember those who have fallen in battles. Not just The Great War, or World War 2, but all conflicts, everywhere.

On November 11th, 1918, the fighting continued all the way up to 11:00am.

There were almost 11,000 casualties on November 11th, and 2,738 men died on the last day of fighting of World War 1.

The last British soldier to die in the war was George Edwin Ellison of the 5th Royal Irish Lancers. He was killed at 9:30am in Belgium whilst out scouting.

The last Frenchman to die was Augustin Trebuchon, who died at 10:50am, ten minutes before the signing of the Armistice. He was shot and killed whilst on his way to tell his fellow soldiers that hot soup would be served after the ceasefire.

The last Canadian soldier killed was Private George Lawrence Price. He was shot and killed by a sniper as he was advancing into the town of Vill-sur-Haine. He died at 10:58am, two minutes before the Armistice.

The last soldier to die was an American, Henry Gunther. He was killed charging astonished German troops who knew about the Armistice and tried to frantically wave him off. Gunther kept going, and was shot and killed. He died 60 seconds before the Armistice at 10:59am.

Today is often called Poppy Day, as the Poppy has become the emblem of Remembrance Day because of the poem by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, In Flanders Fields.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016



On this day in history in 1226, King Louis VIII of France died.
His reign as King of France didn't last long, just a mere three years. And his reign as King of England didn't ever happen. There's a signed bit of paper saying so.
Yes, he was King of England. Well, not actually, but sort of, perhaps, nah he wasn't, get back to France you French pretender.
To cut a long story short, Louis came to England on holiday as a not-yet-king-of-France. Whilst holidaying in the south of England, he got really plastered on an all night piss-up celebrating the fact his last remaining virgin dog had just got his leg over. Okay, it was with a teddy bear, but it still counts.
Completely sploshed, Prince Louis climbed atop a large wall, pulled his pants down and declared, mid-stream, as he really needed to go, that he was the new King of England.
The longer version: The English barons were a bit miffed with King John (the most hated king in English history) during the First Barons' War, as the King had banned them playing Pokémon Go. Sheesh, and he wondered why nobody liked him.
The barons invited Prince Louis over to England, along with his almost-not-a-virgin poodle. And an army. When the Prince arrived, the barons offered him the crown of England, in return for the secret locations of Piccachuchuchu.
The Prince agreed, entered London, as did his pet poodle.

London was not just the capital city, but also the name of a local peasant dog who was down on his luck after losing to four other dogs at poker.
Lots of people were at St Paul's Cathedral to witness Louis declared as King, including King Alexander II of Scotland. All paid homage. Louis then went about conquering a few other cities, including Winchester and Milton Keynes which, back then, was just a cow shed and a red light district for lonely dogs.
It was going so well for Louis, he was sure they would crown him proper, not just pretend, when he returned to London.
But then King John died.
The barons realised they were following a French prince, and that was bad. Very bad. They did a quick about-turn and proclaimed John's nine-year-old son, Henry, as King of England. They then tagged the number 3 onto his name, just to make it official.
All of England rallied around the new boy king, Henry III, and defeated the evil French imposter, repelling him back to Dover. Since he was there anyway, Louis tried to conquer Dover. Not a chance Mr. Frenchy Prince, go back to Calais.
All's well that ends well.
At the Treaty of Lambeth, an amnesty was given to all English rebels who supported the French Prince and future King of France, Louis VIII.
There was also a pledge from Louis that he would never attack England again on the condition he was paid 10,000 marks. It was also a condition of the money that Louis sign a written statement saying he was not, and had never been, the legitimate King of England.
Also in the small print was an arrest warrant for the Prince's poodle for crimes against a tortoise.

Monday, 7 November 2016



On This Day In History in 1728, Captain James Cook was born.
Not the famous captain of the Starship Enterprise on a five year voyage to hook up with strange, new aliens. That was Kirk.
Captain James Cook was a British Captain in the Royal Navy. Britannia rules the waves.
He made loads of voyages, more than 7, which makes him better than Sinbad. He preferred limes rather than Spinach, which makes him slightly different to Popeye the Sailor Man, who lived in a caravan.
Captain Cook was famous for answering the age old question of what do you do with a drunken sailor, early in the morning.
It isn't what you'd think. You should not put him in a long-boat and make him bail her. Nor, put him in the guardroom till he gets sober. Nope, just whip the crap out of him with a cat-o'-nine-tails.
Captain Cook was the first recorded European to make contact with the East coast of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands. He was also the first to circumnavigate New Zealand.
Upon seeing that New Zealand was inhabited by dinosaurs and hobbits, he thought it safer to return to Hawaii.
Unfortunately, Hawaii wasn't that safe. He should have taken his chances with Frodo and the T-Rex.
St Valentine's day was meant to be a day of love and dangling your dingles in the nice, warm seas of the Caribbean island. Instead it turned into a nightmare for Captain James Cook of the Starship, Enterprise.
Well, it wasn't a Starship, it was a Royal Navy Sloop, the HMS Resolution, weighing in at 462 tonnes, slightly less than my grandmother.
Captain Cook had been on Hawaii for a month and was about to continue with his exploring of the Northern Pacific. Disaster struck. Their Wifi broke. As did their foremast.
Cook ordered the ship back to Kealakekua Bay for repairs.
It should have been simple. But arguments broke out between him and the locals. The tensions rose when a group of Hawaiians stole one of Cook's little boats.
A game of "come back here with my boat, you little gits" left Cook empty handed and he returned to his ship, without being able to catch that elusive wild goose that he chose to chase.
After mulling things over, he came up with a cunning plan: Kidnap the King.
He marched through the village to take the King, planning on holding him for ransom. The King actually went willingly.
But the King's favourite wife, of which he had many, had other plans. "You no take my Kingy, English scum."
At first she just sat down in front of him, begging him not to go.
When that didn't work, she resorted to other means.
She gathered a group of men and they cornered Captain Cook and his landing party as they neared the boats waiting to take them back to the ship.
One of the group, an old Kahuna Priest, distracted Cook by chanting rapidly whilst holding out a coconut. Because coconuts are really distracting.
Cook turned his back to help launch the boats. The villagers took their chance. One villager struck him over the head and another stabbed Cook to death as he fell into the water.
As well as Cook, four marines were also killed in the confrontation: Corporal James Thomas, Private Thomas Fatchett, Private John Allen, and Private Theophilus Hnks. Two more were wounded, but escaped.
The islanders took Cook's body back to the village and prepared it for his funeral.
They still held Cook in high regard, despite what happened, and gave him the rituals normally reserved for their Chiefs and Elders.
Captain James Cook was disembowelled, baked to a crisp which removed the flesh, his bones were then carefully cleaned for preservation.
They did return some of his remains to his crew for the Navy's formal burial at sea.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Stranger News: Have you seen a missing giant dog turd?

Stranger News: A look at some of the weirder stories hitting the headlines.
Missing: A big pile of crap.
A town in Spain has had its giant poo stolen. The town of Torrelodones, just outside Madrid, Spain, is facing a bill for 2,400 euros (nearly $3,000) after its 3 metre high inflatable dog turd was stolen.
I'm sure you are wondering why Torrelodones has a giant inflatable dog turd? It was part of a campaign aimed at dog owners to pick up their canine's droppings.
The town councillor, Angel Guirao, spoke to ABC newspaper, saying, "Staff were perplexed and shocked by the theft."
Adding, "Don't worry, though, we have already ordered a replacement excrement, as we know that the campaign has been a great success."
Have you seen anyone carrying a giant dog crap around town?
Probably not. It seems the thief was smart enough to wait until the Doggie Doo-Doo was deflated and stuffed into a carry case.
The massive pile of inflatable poop wasn't the only symbol of the campaign to get people to clean up their dog's number two.
They also have half a dozen concrete dog dungs dotted around the town bearing the message, "This is a big blockage to living together. If you have a dog, help us."
Do you have a weird sculpture in your town? Comment below.
Some other Stranger News Stories
Stranger News: Lord Heseltine brutally murdered his dog and over 350 squirrels.