Among the many people who bought coats of arms at the beginning of the seventeenth century was the common hangman of London, Gregory Brandon.
Quote of the Day
"No-one loves armed missionaries
~ Robespierre, 1792
On This Day
1814Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, the doctor who gave his name to the guillotine but who didn't invent it, died aged seventy-five. His family were so embarrassed by the connection that they ended up changing their name.
1827One of the greatest composers of all time, Ludwig van Beethoven, died during a thunderstorm, aged fifty-six. The autopsy showed severe liver damage, probably caused by excessive drinking.
1945After a month of fighting, American forces captured the strategically-important island of Iwo Jima from the Japanese.
1971Bangladesh declared its independence from Pakistan.
1973Women were first allowed on the floor of the London Stock Exchange.