A ruler with total power over a country.
Fact of the Day
At some point before May 1380, Chaucer, the famous medieval poet, was accused of raping Cecilia Chaumpaigne. She later withdrew the accusation.
Quote of the Day
"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. "
On This Day
1054 A supernova, known as SN 1054, was seen across the northern hemisphere and possibly in Australia. It burnt so brightly that it could be seen during the day for several months, and its remnants went on to form the Crab Nebula.
1533 The martyr John Frith was burnt at the stake for heresy, having denied the truth of transubstantiation and purgatory.
1776 The US Declaration of Independence, prepared by Thomas Jefferson, was approved and signed.
1826 Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States and signatory to the Declaration of Independence, died. A few hours later John Adams, second president of the United States, followed suit.
1914 The funeral of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie takes place in Vienna, six days after their assassinations.
1987 Klaus Barbie, the Gestapo chief known as the 'Butcher of Lyon', was finally found guilty of crimes against humanity. Despite having personally tortured hundreds of 'undesirables' - including children - he had managed to flee Europe after the war with American help.