Saturday, 16 April 2016

History Facts - April 16th

On this day in history in 1319, John II, the future King of France, was born.
Instead of being fed breast milk, his mother raised him on a diet of frogs legs and snails. This may account for what happened after he was captured and imprisoned by the English.
During his captivity, France suffered. And it suffered a lot. Not least with the Black Death, which eliminated half the population.
King John (which really doesn't sound very French if you ask me), enjoyed a regal lifestyle as a prisoner in London. He was given the freedom to travel and was even allowed to buy his own horses, pets, clothes, and was fed five course banquets at every mealtime.
He even had his own astrologer and court band. Not kidding. That was all true. His people starved and died by the tens-of-thousands, but he partied until the early hours of the morning and then slept all day.
The prison system hasn't really changed much in England since that time.
King John II was released to find money for his ransom and returned to France for the funds. Upon seeing the state of the country, he decided to return to captivity in England, where he lived in a lavish lifestyle until his death a few months later.
On this day in history in 1912, Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly a plane across the English Channel.
On this day in 1972, Apollo 16 was launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
Apollo 16 was part of NASA's Apollo program to send men to the moon for a bit of buggy racing and a touch of golf. The crew of the Apollo 16 spent 3 days on the moon bouncing around.
On this day in history in 1646, the French architect, Jules Hardouin-Mansart was born. He designed the Chateau de Dampierre, and the Grand Trianon, a retreat for King Louis XIV of France and his mistress at the time.
On this day in history in 1867, Wilbur Wright was born.
Wilbur, along with his brother, Orville, were combined The Wright Brothers, the two siblings who invented the world's first successful airplane. They made the first controlled, powered flight on the 17th of December, 1903.
On this day in history in 1889, Charlie Chaplin was born.
Charlie Chaplin is an acting legend, specifically in the silent era of films.
But, did you know, he is also a "Sir". Yep, it's Sir Charlie Chaplin. He has a knighthood.
On this day in 1918, Spike Milligan was born. He is most famed for being a co-creator, main writer, and a member of the Goon Show.
Did you know: the epitaph on his tombstone reads, "Dúirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite" which translates as, "I told you I was ill."
On this day in history in 1942, Sir Frank Williams was born.
He had a brief career as a racing driver and a mechanic before founding the Formula One racing team, Williams F1. It's had a lot of success over the years, if not dramatic success recently, with racing driver Jacques Villenueve winning the title for the team in 1997, and British World Driver's Champion, Damon Hill winning it the year before.

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