British troops occupying Peking, China loot and burn the Yuanmingyuan, the summer residence of the Manchu emperors, originally built in the 18th century. China’s Qing leadership surrendered to the Franco-British expeditionary force soon after, ending the Second Opium War and Chinese hopes of reversing the tide of foreign domination in its national affairs.
In the 1870s, Chinese Empress... Read more >
Lovers of frilly, neck-based dandiness, rejoice! Today is specifically Cravat Day in Croatia and generally International Necktie Day the whole world over. But why cravats and why Croatia, I hear you ask? According to legend, during the Prussian war in the 17th Century, Croatian mercenaries were seen to keep their shirt collars shut using lengths of cloth.Obviously, French aristocrats loved that... Read more >
League Of Their Own
Sheffield has spawned many great things. Sean Bean. The Human League. The Oasis food court at Meadowhall Centre. But surely the most impressive is the indomitable Sheffield FC, the oldest football club in the world. Founded on this day in 1857, they’re still going strong. Two forward thinking individuals, Nathaniel Creswick and William Prest, decide... Read more >
Ferdinand of Aragon marries Isabella of Castile in Valladolid, thus beginning a cooperative reign that would unite all the dominions of Spain and elevate the nation to a dominant world power. Ferdinand and Isabella incorporated a number of independent Spanish dominions into their kingdom and in 1478 introduced the Spanish Inquisition, a powerful and brutal force of homogenization in Spanish soc... Read more >
On this day in 1998, a pipeline explosion in Jesse, Nigeria, kills 700 people. The resulting fire burned for nearly a week. Nigeria is an oil-rich country on the west coast of Africa. The oil fields are controlled by several multi-national corporations in cooperation with the Nigerian government. Very little of the proceeds from oil exports reaches the average citizen of the country and million... Read more >