One of most powerful political organisations in the late Middle Ages. Their ranks were filled by the richest aristocratic families of Europe. Formed in Jerusalem in the 11th Century to provide hospital care and protection for Christian pilgrims visiting the Holy Land. Still exist today though split into many Orders.
Fact of the Day
Some Anglo-Norman's French accents were so bad it was rumoured there was a cursed spring in Marlborough, Wiltshire. Those who drank from it would end up speaking 'Marlborough French'.
Quote of the Day
"They are well named, for they have the countenance of angels, and as such should be coheirs with the angels in heaven. "
~ Pope Gregory I on the Angles, recorded by Bede
On This Day
98 Trajan became Roman Emperor. By the time of his death, the territories of the Roman Empire had extended to their maximum extent.
1343 Pope Clement VI sanctioned the selling of indulgences, whereby a person could buy a pardon for sins committed.
1596 Francis Drake, privateer, slaver and circumnavigator of the globe, died of dysentery in Panama.
1606 The trial of Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators began. Unsurprisingly, they were all found guilty of high treason.
1756 Child prodidgy and composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria.
1943 The US Air Force launched the first American bombing raid in Germany during World War II.
1944 The Siege of Leningrad ended, 872 days after it began. 632,000 residents had died and the Red Army suffered about 3.5 million casualties
1945 The Soviets liberated Auschwitz concentration camp. Among other things, they found 7.7 tonnes of hair.
1967 Three astronauts died in a fire during tests for the Apollo 1 space mission. They were the first Americans to die in a spacecraft.
1973 The Paris Peace Accords was signed, with the intention of ending the Vietnam War.
1993 Veronica Bland became the first person in the UK to win compensation for injury at work due to passive smoking.