The name given to the large parallel lengths of banks with external ditches, which at one time were believed to be Roman athletic courses.
Fact of the Day
Henry II famously beat a Cistercian abbot in a drinking (‘toasting’) contest.
Quote of the Day
"I have no political ambitions for myself or my children. "
~ Joseph P. Kennedy
On This Day
1707 Four ships of the fleet led by Sir Cloudesley Shovell were shipwrecked on the Isles of Scilly after bad weather and navigational mistakes sent them off course. Between 1,400 and 2,000 people were killed, making it one of the worst maritime disasters in British history.
1797 André-Jacques Garnerin made the first notable parachute jump from a hydrogen balloon 3,200 ft above Paris. He landed shaken but in one piece half a mile away from the take-off site.
1877 Two hundred and seven people died in Scotland's worst mining disaster, when firedamp ignited at Blantyre Colliery. It would not be the last time the mine experienced disaster: further explosions occurred in 1878 and 1879.
1975 The Soviet unmanned space probe Venera 9 landed on Venus. It was the first such probe to return images from the surface of another planet.