Sunday, 31 December 2017

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all my readers. This is my history of New Year

Saturday, 30 December 2017


On 30 December 1916 Rasputin was killed. There is an enduring myth that Rasputin was some kind of superman and it was very difficult to kill him. When I was a teenager I read they tried to poison him with wine and cakes laced with cyanide but it had no effect. They then shot him but Rasputin was still moving so they battered him around the head. They then tied him up and threw him into a river. Rasputin drowned but not before he managed to get one of his arms free. In reality he was just as easy to kill as any other person. The pathologist found no trace of poison in his body and his family said he did not like sweet things and did not eat cakes. He was shot 3 times, twice in the chest and once in the head. (They probably shot him in the chest then shot him in the head at close range to finish him off). There was no water in his lungs so he was dead when he was thrown in the river (not surprising if he was shot in the head). Rasputin was no superman.

Thursday, 28 December 2017


On 28 December 1694 Queen Mary of England and Scotland died of smallpox. It was a terrible disease. It left many people dead and others blind or pockmarked. Hooray for Edward Jenner who introduced vaccination in 1796. 

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Sunday, 24 December 2017

King John

King John was born on 24 December 1166. I am not sure whether to say happy birthday! But at least he did found one of our great cities, Liverpool.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Crossword Puzzle

Happy birthday crossword. The first crossword puzzle was published on 21 December 1913 in the New York World. It was written by an Englishman called Arthur Wynne. Well done Arthur. 

Thursday, 14 December 2017

The South Pole

Man of the day: On 14 December 1911 Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the South Pole

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Monday, 11 December 2017

Saturday, 9 December 2017

John Milton

John Milton was born on 9 December 1608. He was a great writer but also a defender of freedom of speech. 

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Halifax Disaster

Its exactly 100 years since disaster struck Halifax, Nova Scotia. On 6 December 1917 a Norwegian ship collided with a French munitions ship called the Mont Blanc. The Mont Blanc caught fire then exploded killing more than 1,800 people and wrecking many buildings.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Monday, 27 November 2017

Friday, 24 November 2017

Charles Darwin

Man of the day: on 24 November 1859 Charles Darwin published his great work, On the Origin of Species 

Wednesday, 22 November 2017


Man of the day: Ladislao Biro invented the pen named after him. Biros went on sale in Britain on 22 November 1946  

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Sunday, 12 November 2017

King Canute

The great king Canute died on 12 November 1035. Not only was he king of England he was also king of Denmark and Norway.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Edmund Halley

The great astronomer Edmund Halley was born on 8 November 1656. He has a comet named after him. (He also lived to be 85. In those days some people did live to their 80s. It was unusual but not impossible. 

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Marie Curie

Famous Polish scientist Marie Curie was born on 7 November 1867 (She was born Marya Sklodowska in Warsaw, Poland) 

Monday, 6 November 2017

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Monday, 30 October 2017

Women's Education

On 30 October 1838 Oberlin College became the first US institution to admit women to study for degrees. 

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Thursday, 19 October 2017


On 19 October 1781 a British army surrendered at Yorktown during the American War of Independence ensuring US independence

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Alaska Day

On 18 October 1867 Alaska ceased to belong to Russia and it passed to the USA. Happy Alaska Day!.

Monday, 16 October 2017


On 16 October 1384 a woman named Jadwiga was crowned KING of Poland to make it clear she ruled in her own right. She wasn't a queen just because she married a king. 


Man of the day: On 16 October 1846 American dentist T G Morton used ether in an operation to remove a tumour on a jaw 

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Battle of Hastings

On 14 October 1066 the Normans won the battle of Hastings, changing English and so world history forever.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Saturday, 7 October 2017


On 7 October 1571 a Christian fleet crushed the Turkish fleet at the battle of Lepanto. 12,000 Christian galley slaves were set free.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Monday, 2 October 2017

Texas rebels

Texas rose in rebellion in 1835. The Mexicans tried to take back a cannon that had been given for defense against Native Americans. The Texans refused to let the Mexicans take it. On 2 October 1835 they flew a flag with the words 'come and take it' and they repulsed a group of Mexican soldiers.

Sunday, 17 September 2017


Hildegard died on 17 September 1179. She was a great woman writer and scholar of the Middle Ages

Saturday, 16 September 2017

The Mayflower

On 16 September 1620 a group of people set sail from Plymouth for the New World in a ship called the Mayflower 

Friday, 15 September 2017

Tanks 1916

On 15 September 1916 tanks were used for the first time. The British used them on the Somme.  

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Famous Women in History

Its a myth there were no great or influential women before the 19th century. I made a video about 50 of them.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017


On 13 September 1759 General Wolfe won a decisive victory at Quebec ensuring Canada became British

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Monday, 28 August 2017

Mary Anning

I wrote about Mary Anning the famous palaeontologist. She is an example of a great early woman scientist.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

The Right to Vote

On 26 August 1920 the 19th amendment was ratified giving all women in the USA the vote (although some states allowed them to vote before then) 

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Hilda of Whitby

I wrote a little bio of Hilda of Whitby an influential abbess in Anglo-Saxon England. (Its a myth that women had no influence in the Middle Ages)

Brazil declares war

On 22 August 1942 Brazil declared war on Germany and Italy

Friday, 18 August 2017

Contraceptive Pill

On 18 August 1960 the contraceptive pill became available in the USA. Women in Britain had to wait another year. 

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

A History of Women's Education

My video about the history of women's education is 3 years old. Its a myth that women in the past were never educated. Upper class women were often highly educated. 

Monday, 14 August 2017

Beatrix Potter

I wrote a little bio of Beatrix Potter 

Beauty contest

On 14 August 1908 the first international beauty contest was held in Folkestone, Kent, England. Women came from Germany, Denmark, France, Italy and Spain. However an Englishwoman named Nellie Jarman won.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Berlin Wall

On 13 August 1961 Berliners awoke to find barbed wire separating east and west Berlin. Communists had begun building the Berlin Wall

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Bottle Tops

On 10 August 1889 Dan Rylands invented the screw bottle top. Thanks Mr Rylands, I hate trying to get corks out of bottles. 

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong was born on 5 August 1930. In 1969 he became the first man on the Moon.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Ancient Egypt

There were some women doctors in Ancient Egypt. Merit Ptah was a famous woman doctor who lived around 2,700 BC.  

Monday, 31 July 2017

The Egyptian Goddess of Writing

The Ancient Egyptians had a goddess of reading, writing and arithmetic. Her name was Seshat. I find it interesting they had a goddess not a god of those things. Its a myth that women were never educated in the past. There were always some educated women.  

Friday, 28 July 2017

A History of Washing

Joel Houghton invented the first dishwasher in 1850. However it was not a success. Josephine Cochrane invented the first successful dishwasher in 1886. 

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Inventors who are not famous

Some inventors who are not famous but nevertheless made out lives a bit more comfortable. 

Friday, 21 July 2017

The Moon

On 21 July 1969 Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon. Well done Neill.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Sirimavo Bandaranaike

On 20 July 1960 Sirimavo Bandaranaike became prime minister of Sri Lanka. She was the first woman prime minister in the world.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Roald Amundsen

Roald Amundsen was born on 16 July 1872. He was the first man to reach the South Pole

Ancient India

In Ancient India surgeons were highly skilled. They were pioneers of plastic surgery. They performed an operation to reconstruct the nose (rhinoplasty). There were also hospitals in India and Sri Lanka before 200 BC. The Indians also produced brilliant mathematicians. Our numerals, 1,2,3 etc are derived from Indian numerals.

Friday, 14 July 2017


According to legend coffee was discovered by an Ethiopian goat herd called Kaldi. He noticed that goats who ate certain beans became very lively.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Women in Ancient Egypt

I found an interesting article about women in Ancient Egypt. They had a great deal of freedom and virtually the same rights as men. 

Wednesday, 12 July 2017


In the 18th century if you died poor the local authorities had to pay for your funeral. In the village of Buriton in Hampshire an old woman was sick. Realising she was dying the authorities put her on a cart and took her to the town of Petersfield. They dumped her in the street. (Legally if she died in Petersfield they would have to pay for her burial). Thank you so much. (Petersfield refused to pay and they took the case to court. They won). 

Sunday, 9 July 2017

San Francisco

In 1846 the USA annexed California. On 9 July 1846 USS Portsmouth sailed into San Francisco Bay and sailors and marines went ashore and raised the US flag. The ship was named after Portsmouth, New Hampshire but it in turn was named after Portsmouth, England.  

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Strike in San Francisco

In May 1934 longshoremen in San Francisco went on strike. On 5 July 1934 ‘Bloody Thursday’ fighting began between police and strikers. Two of the strikers, Nick Bordaise and Howard Sperry were killed.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Saturday, 1 July 2017

The typewriter

On 1 July 1874 the first successful typewriter went on sale. it created new opportunities for women 

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Isabel Peron

On 29 June 1974 Isabel Peron became the first woman president of Argentina and the first woman president of any nation 

Sunday, 25 June 2017

George Orwell

My favourite author George Orwell was born on 25 June 1903. I don't normally like fiction but I love his novel 1984. 

Friday, 23 June 2017

Crime in World War II

Between 1939 and 1945 crime in Britain rose by more than 50%. The blackout (restrictions on showing lights) made crime easier. The sound of bombing disguised the sound of 
blowing safes or smashing windows to break into buildings. There were also, of course plenty or rich pickings from bombed houses. And you could steal things like rings from the  bodies of people killed by German bombing.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

St Pauls Cathedral

On 21 June the foundation stone of St Pauls Cathedral was laid. Wage accounts show that some of the carpenters who worked on it were women. (They were given the title 'widow'). It was common for women married to craftsmen to learn his trade and carry it on if he died.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Women's work in the Middle Ages

I found an interesting video about women's work in the Middle Ages. Its a myth that women did not work in the past. They did all sorts of jobs.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Women's Olympic Games

I knew Ancient Greek women were not allowed to participate in the Olympic Games but they had their own games, dedicated to the goddess Hera. 

Myths About Women's History

I wrote a new article - myths about women's history 

Sunday, 11 June 2017


On 10 June 1692 the first people were hanged in the Salem witch trials in North America. Both men and women were hanged. (Hanging was the normal method of execution for 'witches' both male and female in England and her North American colonies).

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Equal Pay Act

On 10 June 1963 President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act making it illegal to pay men and women different amounts for doing the same work. 

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Women's working hours

On 8 June 1847 the British parliament voted to ban women and children from working more than 10 hours in textile factories, to protect them from exploitation. In 1867 the law was extended to all factories. In 1878 a law forbade women in factories from working more than 56 hours a week.

George Orwell

On 8 June 1949 one of the world's greatest books was published. 1984 by George Orwell.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Monday, 5 June 2017

Hot air balloon

On 5 June 1783 the Montgolfier brothers made the first public demonstration of a hot air balloon. Well done gentlemen.  

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Shopping Carts

Shopping carts aka shopping trolleys were introduced on 4 June 1937. They were invented by a man named Sylvan Goldman. 

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Viking Women

This is a very interesting article about Viking Women. This is a quote from it: 'On the other hand, women were respected in Norse society and had great freedom, especially when compared to other European societies of that era. They managed the finances of the family. They ran the farm in their husband's absence. In widowhood, they could be rich and important landowners. The law protected women from a wide range of unwanted attention'. 

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Joan of Arc

On 30 May 1431 Joan of Arc was burned. Joan was mentally ill. She heard voices. But for a time the French king found her useful. If she claimed God sent her and the French soldiers believed her that suited her fine. But she was eventually captured. For a time she was held prisoner by the Duke of Luxembourg (an ally of the English). He offered to hand her over to the French in return for a ransom. They said 'thanks, but no thanks'. She had outlived her usefulness. So they sold her to the English instead

Christopher Marlowe

On 30 May 1593 the great playwright Christopher Marlowe was killed in an argument 

Monday, 29 May 2017


On 29 May 1919 Charles Strite patented the pop up toaster. Thank you Mr Strite. Believe it or not in 1978 they made a song about toast. 

Bank Holidays

Happy birthday bank holidays. Monday 29 May 1871 was the first ever bank holiday in Britain. 

Sunday, 28 May 2017

The Guillotine

Happy birthday Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, born 28 May 1738. He proposed that there should be a swift and humane method of executing people in France. The French Assembly agreed to his idea in 1791 and the first decapitating device was built. The first person to be executed by the new machine was Nicolas Jacques Pelletier in 1792. The guillotine was last used in France in 1977. 

Wednesday, 24 May 2017


One of the greatest Poles, Mikolaj Kopernik died on 24 May 1543. Most of us know him better as Nicolaus Copernicus 

Monday, 22 May 2017

Roman Women

Evolution in Ancient Greece

The Ancient Greeks invented the idea of evolution 2,500 years before Darwin. They could not explain how or why evolution happens. Darwin was the genius who discovered the mechanism - natural selection. Some Ancient Greek ideas were completely wrong. Nevertheless they were brilliant thinkers. 

Friday, 19 May 2017

Emily Davison

On 4 June 1913 a suffragette named Emily Davison ran onto a race course. She was hit by a horse and died on 8 June. Germaine Greerwrote this article: 

Monday, 15 May 2017

Machine Gun

On 15 May 1718 James Puckle patented the first machine gun. However it was not a successful invention. In the 19th century many people experimented with machine guns. In 1862 Richard Gatling invented the Gatling gun. However the first really successful machine gun was the maxim gun, invented by Hiram Maxim in 1884. It was adopted by the British army in 1889. 

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Germany surrenders

On 7 May 1945 the Germans signed a document of surrender. The Second World War officially ended at one minute past midnight on the night of 8-9 May 1945.  

Friday, 5 May 2017

First American in Space

On 5 May 1961 Alan B Shepard became the first American in space  He made a 15 minute sub orbital flight reaching a height of 116 miles and lasting 15 minutes.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Catherine the Great

Happy birthday Catherine the Great (2 May 1729)

Peter III became Tsar in 1762 but he reigned for only a few months. Supporters of his wife Catherine assassinated him in 1762. She became known as Catherine the Great. 

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Friday, 21 April 2017

San Jacinto

On 21 April 1836 the Texans defeated the Mexicans at the battle of San Jacinto. Afterwards Texas became an independent republic. 

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Fort Sumter

On 12 April 1861 confederate General Beauregard fired on the union held Fort Sumter. It was the first action of the American Civil War.

Thursday, 30 March 2017


Modern anesthetics were 'born' on 30 March 1842 when an American doctor called Crawford Young used ether during an operation.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Alaska Earthquake 1964

On 27 March 1964 Alaska was struck by an earthquake It measured 9.2 on the Richter Scale and killed 131 people. 

Tuesday, 21 March 2017


Happy birthday Johann Sebastian Bach (21 March 1750). He is my dog's favourite composer. My dog also likes Hound Dog by Elvis Presley and he likes the Korgis. But he hates Cool for Cats by Squeeze.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Monday, 13 March 2017

Potato Crisps

The first recipe for potato crisps (aka potato chips) was in a book by Dr William Kitchiner in 1817. Its not certain if he invented them or they existed before but thank you anyway Dr Kitchiner. 

Joseph Priestley

Joseph Priestley the great scientist who discovered oxygen was born on 13 March 1733 

Thursday, 9 March 2017


Happy birthday Barbie. She made her debut at the American Toy Fair on 9 March 1959.  

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Thursday, 2 March 2017


The Texan declaration of independence was signed on 2 March 1836. Sam Houston the first president of Texas was born on 2 March 1793.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Queen Mary

Queen Mary was born on 18 February 1516. She became the first woman to rule all of England in 1553.  

Friday, 17 February 2017


On 17 February 1883 the vacant/engaged sign for toilet doors was patented by Mr Ashwell  

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Monday, 13 February 2017

St Valentines Day History

My video about the history of St Valentines Day