Welcome to For History Lovers

As Machiavelli once said "Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results." It is these passions that we search for while delving into our history, a way of connecting to the great men and women who came before us. We reach back and learn from their mistakes and victories and gain a sense of belonging to the great cycle of life. For History Lovers is a place to explore our past and debate on the significance of major and minor historical events.

What do you think is the greatest architectural accomplishment of the ancient world?

Monday, June 28, 2010

This Week in History June 28 - July 4

Monday, June 28, 2010
  • JUNE 28, 1914- Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife are assassinated by Serbian nationalist, Nedjelko Cabrinovic while in Sarajevo, Bosnia. He was the nephew of Emperor Franz Josef and heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and his death sparked the beginning of World War I.
  • JUNE 29, 1974- With her husband, President Juan Peron on his deathbed, Isabela Peron who was serving as his Vice President, is named President of Argentina. She would be the first female head of government in the Western Hemisphere, however, she was unable to gain political support and in 1976 she was deposed and imprisoned by the military for five years.
  • JUNE 30, 1520- Spanish forces under the command of conquistador, Hernan Cortes flee from the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. In what is know to the Spanish as the Night of Sadness, many Spanish soldiers drowned when a ship carrying Cortes' hoard of Aztec treasure sunk. Instead of regrouping for an attack, Cortes continued to Cuba where he fought of rivals newly arrived from Spain. He would later return to Tenochtitlan and cause the fall of the Aztec Empire.
  • JULY 1, 1867- Canada gains independence from England.During the 1860s there became a need of a Canadian federation so that common defense, a national railroad system and the smoothing over of French and English differences was possible. So on this date in 1867 the British North America Act was passed and the Dominion of Canada was established as a self-governing nation within the British Empire.
  • JULY 2, 1937- While attempting to fly around the world, Amelia Earhart and her navigator Frederick Noonan disappear near the Pacific, Howland Island. They  had radioed that they were out of fuel but the crew of the Itasca, a Coast Guard cutter sent to help Earhart's flight, couldn't pin point their location and they went down before they could reach land. The Coast Guard did a thorough search of the area but the plane, Earhart or Noonan have never been found.
  • JULY 3, 1863- The third day of the Battle of Gettysburg ends in disaster for General Robert E. Lee as he fails to break the Union line and thus brings an end to the battle. The Battle of Gettysburg would be the turning point in the American Civil War. on November 19 of the same year Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address at the dedication a new nation cemetery at the site of the battle.
  • JULY 4, 1776- The United States declares independence from Great Britain. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Continental Congress signs the Declaration of Independence, one of the most famous  documents in American history. After another eight years of the American War for Independence, America became an independent nation with the signing of the Treaty of Paris.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

This Week in History June 21-27

Tuesday, June 22, 2010
  • JUNE 21, 1788- The United States Constitution was ratified thus making it law. The US Constitution is the oldest constitution still in use around the world today.
  • JUNE 22, 1986- Diego Maradona scores two goals for Argentina to lead his team to victory over England in the World Cup semi-finals. The first of those goals would become known as the "Hand of God" goal which the officials failed to see that it came off his hand. The second goal was named the best goal in World cup history in 2002.
  • JUNE 23, 1940- Adolf Hitler tours Paris, France. While in the French capital, Hitler visited Napoleon's tomb and even moved the French Emperor's son to lie beside his father. He also ordered the destruction of two war monuments, one to General Charles Mangin and one to British nurse, Edith Cavell.
  • JUNE 24, 1995- President Nelson Mandela cheers the South African Springboks to a Rugby World Cup win against the New Zealand All Blacks. The year before Mandela became the first president to be elected in a completely representational democratic election and had been attempting to bridge the gap between black and white South Africans after apartheid. Mandela's appearance at the tournament was regarded as the greatest moment in World Cup history in 2007.
  • JUNE 25, 1876- Lieutenant Colonel George Custer leads 200 men into battle against 3,000 Native Americans lead by Chief Crazy Horse and Chief Sitting Bull at the Battle of Little Bighorn (also known as Custer's Last Stand). Within an hour, Custer's battalion were completely wiped out with only one survivor, a horse named Comanche. The Battle of Little Bighorn would be the most decisive Native American victory in the Plains Indians War.
  • JUNE 26, 1541- Francisco Pizarro, the Governor of Peru and the man who conquered the Inca civilization was assassinated by Spanish rivals in Lima. One of the most famous conquistadors of his time, he had allied with Diego de Almagro when he heard of the great wealth of the Incas. However after two unsuccessful expeditions, Pizarro secured a guarantee that he and not Almagro  would become Governor as well as receive most of the expedition's profits. In 1541, Almagro's followers hired a group of men to kill Pizarro and shortly afterwards, Almagro's son was proclaimed Governor of Peru.
  • JUNE 27, 1939- One of the most famous scenes in film history is shot featuring Vivian Leigh and Clark Gable. The film was Gone With the Wind, the line "Frankly my Dear, I don't give a damn." The scene was alternately shot without the word "damn" in case the censors wouldn't allow the curse. The film would be released on December 15, 1939 after two and a half years in production. It would go on to be nominated for over twelve Oscars, winning nine of those nominations including Best Picture.

Monday, June 21, 2010

List of Medieval Titles in Order of Power and Influence

Monday, June 21, 2010
Royalty:

  • Emperor/ Empress
  • King/ Queen
  • Grand Duke/ Grand Duchess or Grand Prince/ Grand Princess
  • Prince/ Princess
Nobility:
  • Duke/ Duchess
  • Marquess/ Marchioness or Marquis/ Marquise
  • Margrave/ Margravine
  • Count or Earl/ Countess
  • Viscount/ Viscountess
  • Baron/ Baroness
  • Baronet/ Baronetess
Gentry:
  • Knight/ Lady or Dame
  • Esquire or Squire
  • Gentleman
Peasantry:
  • Peasants
  • Serfs
For more information on these titles check out:


Monday, June 14, 2010

This Week in History June 14-20

Monday, June 14, 2010
  • JUNE 14, 1777- The Stars and Stripes is adopted by Congress as the official flag of the United States of America. One hundred years later the anniversary of the flag became the first ever Flag Day, an observance that is still celebrated today.
  • JUNE 15, 1215- King John of England signs the Magna Carta as a means to seal peace with his barons and ensure their feudal rights as well as maintaining the laws of the nation and upholding the freedom of the church. The signing of the Magna Carta paved the way for the democratic system in England that still exists today.
  • JUNE 16, 1963- Soviet Cosmonaut, Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman to be sent into space. She spent 71 hours and did 48 orbits aboard Vostok 6, before returning to earth.
  • JUNE 17, 1885- The Statue of Liberty arrived in New York. A gift from France, the statue was shipped in over 200 crates and by October of the same year Lady Liberty would be on display to anyone entering the harbor.
  • JUNE 18, 1812- James Madison signs the declaration of war against Great Britain thus beginning the War of 1812. After two and a half years of fighting the Americans managed to reassert their independence.
  • JUNE 19, 1953- In the midst of Cold War paranoia, U.S. Army engineer, Julius Rosenberg and his wife Ethel were executed by the American government. They were suspected of selling information to the Soviets about the atomic bomb and became the first American citizens to be convicted and executed for espionage.
  • JUNE 20, 1943- Britain launches the first shuttle bombing raid of World War II over sites in Italy and Germany. Unknown to the British, Operation Bellicose, took out an assembly line that created V2 rockets, thus saving themselves unwittingly from retaliation from the powerful rockets.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Origins of Football (Soccer)

Saturday, June 12, 2010
While the world turns its attention to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, I have decided to delve into the history of the beautiful game. While the exact origins of the game are unknown, both the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and  Romans as well as the Chinese and Japanese all had their own ball games, some of which were played with the feet. From there it expanded into Europe and flourished in England particularly throughout the medieval period. The Medieval version of football would be nearly unrecognizable to modern footie fans, as the pitch could be any size and each team could field hundreds of players as contests were usually between two villages and everyone was involved, even on occasion women. These matches were typically violent affairs with players frequently being punched, kicked and even stabbed as well as considerable damage to fences, hedges, fields and even houses and buildings when the game traveled. Football was banned in England between 1324 and 1667 but the ban was difficult to enforce and by the 18th century the mostly rural game had reached London. The establishment of what we know as football today is owed mostly to the British public school system in the 16th century who decided it was too dangerous for school children to play the game in the current form. From then onward the game went from being a mob game to a structured game with a specific set of rules. Within the next few hundred years the game continued to grow first with the invention of football clubs and competitions and then modern air filled balls and finally modern passing tactics. Beginning in Cambridge in 1848 new sets of rules began emerging as the game began splitting into different variations, some of these include Sheffield Rules, Australian Rules, Association Football (the modern game) and Rugby. Football would later be split again, this time in North America with the beginning of American Football in the 20th century. Today football is the most played and watched sport in the world and the World Cup is humanity's most treasured sporting event.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Vlad Dracula... Patriotic Hero or Ruthless Villain?

Thursday, June 10, 2010
History has told us that Vlad Dracula (also known as Vlad the Impaler) was a merciless ruler who savagely tortured anyone who got in his way, yet most of what we know of the Wallachian prince comes in the form of propaganda fliers printed by his most hated enemy, the Ottoman Turks. These fliers have told us of forests of impaled corpses and untold thousands of tortured men, women and children and of wars and uprisings against the great Turkish army, but can they truly be believed? How can we possibly know that the Turks didn't greatly exaggerate his deeds to drum up support against him? We will probably never know the real truth about one of history's most colorful characters but while most of the world has taken the Turkish viewpoint, thanks in part to Bram Stoker's version of Dracula, many Romanian's still treasure the bravery of their great hero today.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Riddle of the Sphinx

Tuesday, June 8, 2010
The first thing you need to know about the Sphinx is that it is not an entirely Egyptian creature. Greeks, Phoenicians and Syrians all used the animal as a powerful symbol and it was the Greeks who came up with the myth about the Riddle of the Sphinx. The Greeks believe that if you crossed the path of the Sphinx it would pose the question "what walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon and three in the evening." If you could not answer the sphinx would devour you but if you could the beast would destroy itself. The Greek myth states that the only man to walk away from the Sphinx alive was Oedipus who came up with the correct answer "Man." We crawl when we are young then walk on two feet and finally end our lives walking with a cane.

Welcome to For History Lovers

As Machiavelli once said "Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results."  It is these passions that we search for while delving into our history, a way of connecting to the great men and women who came before us. We reach back and learn from their mistakes and victories and gain a sense of belonging to the great cycle of life. For History Lovers is a place to explore our past and debate on the significance of major and minor historical events. 
 
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