Toby's experience comes from website design as well as experience running large forums and communities. After he married Debbie he developed a keen interest in history and found himself discussing history quite a lot!
Fact of the Day
In 1252 Henry III was given a polar bear by King Haakon of Norway. He kept it in the Tower of London on a long chain so it could swim in the Thames.
Quote of the Day
"He so beautified the city [Rome] that he justly boasted that he found it brick and left it marble.
~ Suetonius on Augustus
On This Day
837Halley's Comet made its closest approach to Earth, with the distance between the two being just 3.7 million miles.
1633Bananas went on display in Thomas Johnson's shop in London. It was the first time the fruit was seen in Britain.
1660The Civil War general John Lambert escaped from the Tower of London by descending a silk rope and fleeing by barge. He attempted to rekindle the civil wars against the Restoration, but was defeated and recaptured, and spent the remaining twenty-four years of his life in prison.
1809The War of the Fifth Coalition against Napoleon began when Austrian troops invaded Bavaria. It finished later that year with victory for the French and a harsh treaty against Austria.
1815Mount Tambora in Indonesia began to erupt after being dormant for a thousand years. The explosion was one of the most powerful in recorded history, with a Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) of 7 (the highest being 8), and reduced the volcano's height by about a third. The initial explosion killed at least 10,000 people, but tens of thousands more were to die from the effects it had on the Earth's climate over the subsequent two years.
1912Titanic set off from Southampton for her maiden, and only, voyage.
1932Paul von Hindenburg defeated Adolf Hitler by six million votes in the German presidential elections. Sadly, this didn't stop the Nazi's rise to power, and less than a year later Hindenburg appointed Hitler to the German chancellorship.
1938Nazi Germany formally annexed Austria when the referendum following March's Anschluss delivered an approval rate of 99.73%.
1962Stuart Sutcliffe, the original Beatles bass guitarist who is sometimes called the 'fifth Beatle' died of a brain haemorrhage, aged twenty-one.
1998The British and Irish governments, and the political parties of Northern Ireland, reached a deal - the Good Friday Agreement - to help bring the Northern Irish Troubles to an end.