A complex of territories in central Europe, covering at various times modern-day Germany Switzerland, Austria, the Low Countries, and parts of northern Italy and the Czech Republic. It developed during the Early Middle Ages and existed through the Early Modern period.
Holy Roman Empire
Fact of the Day
Since 1558, England has had a female head of state for 41% of the time.
Quote of the Day
"Is life not a hundred times too short - to get bored? "
On This Day
1720 Calico Jack Rackham's pirate ship was captured, along with Jack and other famous pirates Mary Read and Anne Bonny.
1803 The US Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase, where the United States purchased the territory of Louisiana (almost one million square miles for the bargain price of $15million) from the French. However, the French only controlled a small fraction of that territory: the rest were Native American lands.
1818 The Convention of 1818 was signed by the United States and the United Kingdom. It set and defined the border between America and Canada at the 49th parallel of latitude.
1827 A combined British, French, and Russian force won a decisive naval victory over the Turkish and Egyptians at the Battle of Navarino during the War of Greek Independence. It was also the last major naval battle to be fought entirely by wooden sailing ships, and it thus marks the end of the sailing-ship era.
1960 The trial of Penguin Books for the publication of 'obscene material' in DH Lawrence's 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' began at the Old Bailey. The jury found for the defendant, leading to the liberalisation of the publishing industry.
1973 The Sydney Opera House opened. Its unique design makes it one of the most recognisable - and most photographed - landmarks in the world.