Nov
23
2014
0

On this day

1936

Life magazine is launched in its new format by Henry Luce, revolutionising photojournalism

#OnThisDay in 1936, the first edition of Henry Luce’s Life magazine was published. Fulfilling the adage that a picture is worth a thousand words, Life’s focus on images brought it huge success and influence.

Cover of the 19 June 1944 issue of Life (magazine) with Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower By LIFE magazine, Time Inc., Official U. S. Army Photo in cover (Google images) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Life reached a peak circulation of a staggering 8.5 million, before this levelled off and fell as it came under increasing competition from other magazines, television and, ultimately, the internet.

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Written by IDC in: In This Week |
Nov
22
2014
0

On this day

1963

JFK is assassinated in Dallas

#OnThisDay in 1963, President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas. His death resulted in the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson and decades of conspiracy theories and both amateur and professional sleuthing.

Picture of President Kennedy in the limousine in Dallas, Texas, on Main Street, minutes before the assassination

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Written by IDC in: In This Week |
Nov
22
2014
0

How shall we remember them?

In 1919, London hosted a Victory Parade that marked a unique moment of national rejoicing, mourning and catharsis. The Parade, also known as the London Peace Parade, saw returning troops march through packed streets in the capital. The city’s iconic monuments were momentarily joined by a series of temporary structures erected to mark the march.

One of these, a plain but elegant wood and plaster cenotaph erected on Whitehall, would strike such a chord with the people that a permanent version would be built in its place. The stone-carved Cenotaph was unveiled the following year, and remains the focal point of national remembrance.

On 19 July 1919, London played host to 15,000 troops from across the British Empire. Their procession was  led by Field Marshal Douglas Haig and other senior military leaders. The capital was festooned with flags and bunting, the drab wartime caterpillar bursting into the vivid and victorious colour of an imperial butterfly.

The Cenotaph on Whitehall in London is designated as the United Kingdom’s primary war memorial. It commemorates the end of World War One.

The Union flag was proudly displayed alongside flags of the home nations, the dominions, the services and the banners of her allies. Whilst the Stars and Stripes and French Tricolour were popular, the defiant black, yellow and red of Belgium was a particularly poignant reminder of the start of the conflict.

Continue Reading…

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Written by IDC in: British History,History |
Nov
22
2014
0

The United States of Greater Austria

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Written by IDC in: Videos |
Nov
21
2014
0

On this day

1981

Over 80 million Americans tune in to Dallas to find out Who Shot JR

#OnThisDay in 1980, millions of people around the world were gripped to their televisions to find out who shot J.R. Ewing and get some resolution on one of TV’s most gripping and memorable season finale cliffhangers.

A promotional photograph of Larry Hagman as J. R. Ewing from the TNT television series Dallas. This image shows the character as depicted in 2012.

Although Dallas was first broadcast in 1978, its 12-season run would become one of the most defining popular cultural references of the 1980s. CBS’s Dallas would be joined by ABC’s Dynasty in 1981.

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Written by IDC in: In This Week |
Nov
20
2014
0

On this day

scriptina.regular

The Napoleonic Wars are formally concluded with the signing of the Treaty of Paris

Emperor Napoleon had abdicated for a second time in June 1815 following his astonishing return to power and almost as astonishing defeat at Waterloo. King Louis XVIII came back to occupy the throne for a second time on 8 July 1815.

Napoleon on the deck of HMS Bellerophon Charles Lock Eastlake [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AEastlake_-_Napoleon_on_the_Bellerophon.jpg

The Treaty of Paris was actually made up of four treaties, concluded between France and each of the four major powers of the Seventh Coalition: Austria, Great Britain, Prussia and Russia.

All four treaties were signed on this day in 1815.

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Written by IDC in: In This Week |
Nov
18
2014
0

On this day

1447

England’s first dated book is printed in London

#OnThisDay in 1477, William Caxton prints the ‘Dictes & Sayengis of the Phylosophers’. Although this is not thought to be the first book to be printed in England, it is the first one printed with a date.

Caxton Showing the First Specimen of His Printing to King Edward IV at the Almonry, Westminster: With Edward are his wife, Elizabeth Woodville, and their children, Elizabeth, Edward, and Richard.

As well as the date, it also had the first example of a printer’s colophon – an identifying mark of the printer which provides the name of the printer and the place of publication.

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Written by IDC in: In This Week |
Nov
17
2014
-

On this day

1558 (a)

Queen Elizabeth becomes Queen of England 

#OnThisDay in 1558, Queen Mary of England died. Until then, the Princess Elizabeth had lived at the mercy of her father and siblings. Now she was her own mistress as the Elizabethan Age began.

A legend arose about the new reaching Elizabeth at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire. The princess was said to be sitting under an oak tree in the gardens. Upon hearing the news of her sister’s death and her accession to the throne, reports suggested Elizabeth quoted Psalm 118:23 in Latin: “A Dominum factum est illud, et est mirabile in oculis notris“. As the English language Bishop’s Bible (see below) would later put it “This was the doyng of God: and it is marveylous in our eyes.”

Psalm 118-23 from The Holie Bible : conteynyng the Olde Testament and the Newe (1568) (the Bishop's Bible)  digitised by Princeton Theological Seminary Library

Later embellishments had the new Queen falling to her knees in grateful prayer. It is a dramatic scene, hinting at the release of tension that had built up during the dying days of the childless Mary. It was also a useful piece of religious propaganda demonstrating Elizabeth’s piety and enough conservatism to use Latin rather than English.

Elizabeth’s coronation was held just under three months later on 15 January 1559. She went on to reign for 44 years.

Note on dates: The day would have been 8 November 1558 using the Julian calender as used in England until 1753. Recalculated using today’s Gregorian calender, this date is 17 November 1558. 

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Written by IDC in: In This Week |
Nov
16
2014
-

On this day

1979

Anthony Blunt is revealed as the ‘fourth man’ in the Cambridge spy ring

On this day in 1979 Margaret Thatcher named Sir Anthony Blunt as the ‘fourth man’ in the Cambridge spy ring.

Blunt was an establishment figure; eductaed at Marlborough College and Trinity College, Cambridge, he went on to become a security service officer and then, most famously, served as the personal adviser on art to the Queen.

King's College Chapel, Cambridge By Marcos Leal (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Marcos Leal (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0] – hover or click for more details

The Prime Minister’s announcement was given in a written answer to the House of Commons. It effectly ended a 15-year cover-up as Blunt had confessed to the authorities in 1964 under a secret deal. He had been granted immunity from prosecution.

Soon after the Prime Minister’s statement, Buckingham Palace issued a press release confirming that Blunt would be stripped of his knighthood. Blunt later made his own statement saying that he had come to “bitterly regret” his spying activities, but, at the time, he had done so out of idealism. He died in disgrace three years later.

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Written by IDC in: In This Week |
Nov
15
2014
-

On this day

1492

Christopher Columbus makes the first recorded reference to smoking tobacco

On this day in 1492*, Columbus’s journal makes the first written reference to tobacco. His journal entry for the day reads:

“The two Christians met with many people on the road going home, men and women with a half-burnt weed in their hands, being the herbs they are accustomed to smoke”.

First known image of a man smoking, from Chute's pamphlet "Tabaco" By Anthony Chute (Tabaco) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

We have to wait until 1527 for Bartolomé de las Casas to provide more detail on a surprisingly contemporary sounding habit:

“They are dried leaves rolled up in the shape of the squibs made by the boys at Easter. Lighted at one end, the roll is chewed, and the smoke is inhaled at the other.

It has the effect of making them sleepy and almost intoxicated, and in using it they do not feel tired. These rolls of dried leaves are called by them tabacos.”

Las Casas goes on to note disapprovingly that there were Spaniards on Espanola who had presumably become the first European smokers. Even though smoking tobacco was seen as a vice, they said they could not leave off. Las Casas did not understand what pleasure or profit they found in it.

* The day was recorded as the 6 November 1492 using the Julian calender. Recalculated using today’s Gregorian calender, this date is 15 November 1492. 

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Written by IDC in: In This Week |

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