To find out and represent the position of the heavenly bodies at the time of people's births in order to make astrological predictions.
Fact of the Day
The eighteenth-century evangelical preacher George Whitefield considered it a badge of honour that, along with rotten fruit, he might be pelted by 'pieces of dead cats'.
Quote of the Day
"It's ever been the British way, that we are powerless to expel foreigners, but puissant and bold when it comes to making civil war. "
~ Gildas (6th century)
On This Day
1016 Cnut defeated Edmund Ironside at the Battle of Assandun, forcing Edmund to make a peace with the invading Danes: he got to keep Wessex, but the rest of England came under Danish rule. A month later, he had died of 'natural causes' so Wessex, too, went to Cnut.
1216 King John died of dysentery. He was succeeded by his nine year old son, Henry III.
1867 The US officially took possession of Alaska. It wasn't a popular decision at the time.
1922 The BBC was founded.