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Marie-Antoinette loses her head

Nine months after the execution of her husband, the former King Louis XVI of France, Marie-Antoinette follows him to the guillotine. The daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor Francis I, she married Louis in 1770 to strengthen the French-Austria alliance. At a time of economic turmoil in France, she lived extravagantly and encouraged her husband to resist reform of the monarchy. In one episode, she... Read more >

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Oscar Wilde’s birthday

Oscar Wilde is born on this day in Dublin, Ireland. He grew up in Ireland and went to England to attend Oxford, where he graduated with honors in 1878. A popular society figure known for his wit and flamboyant style, he published his own book of poems in 1881. He spent a year lecturing on poetry in the United States, where his dapper wardrobe and excessive devotion to art drew ridicule from som... Read more >

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Stampede kills 84 at World Cup match

A stampede of football fans before a World Cup qualifying match in Guatemala City kills 84 people and seriously injures more than 100 on this day in 1996. The Guatemala national team was set to face off against Costa Rica on a Wednesday night in Guatemala City. Approximately 60,000 fans, most dressed in blue and white, the country’s traditional colors, came to the stadium, which has a capaci... Read more >

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Chinese Communists embark on ‘The Long March’

On this day in 1934, the embattled Chinese Communists break through Nationalist enemy lines and begin an epic flight from their encircled headquarters in southwest China. Known as Ch'ang Cheng – the "Long March" – the retreat lasted 368 days and covered 6,000 miles. Civil war in China between the Nationalists and the Communists broke out in 1927. In 1931, Communist leader Mao Zedong was ele... Read more >

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The Great Storm of 1987

Something Fishy

If you’re Michael Fish, a member of the Fish family, or a tree, you may want to leave the room now. Because October 16th marks the anniversary of The Great Storm of 1987; a storm so great that it wasn’t given any sort of name other than The Great Storm of 1987. It was Michael Fish, of course, who famously told us that there wasn’t a hurricane approa... Read more >