An ancient Roman festival of fertility, celebrated on the 15th February.
Fact of the Day
As a young officer, First World War general Douglas 'Butcher' Haig had spoken to Napoleon, with the aid of a medium and a seance.
Quote of the Day
"The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. "
~ Friedrich Engels
On This Day
350 General Magnentius deposes Roman Emperor Constans and proclaims himself Emperor.
1486 The Houses of York and Lancaster were united when Henry VII married Elizabeth of York (the eldest daughter of Edward IV).
1562 The Council of Trent was reconvened for its final time. It set out Catholicism's response to the Reformation.
1778 Captain James Cook became the first European to visit the Hawaiian Islands, which he named the Sandwich Islands.
1788 11 British ships with 800 convicts landed at Botany Bay, Australia, intending to found the first penal colony. They moved to a more suitable location eight days later.
1871 Wilhelm I was proclaimed German Emperor, 170 years to the day after Frederick I crowned himself King in Prussia.
1904 Hollywood's quintessential leading man, Cary Grant, was born in Bristol, as Archibald Leach.
1919 The Paris Peace Conference began. It resulted, among other things, in the Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations.
1936 Rudyard Kipling, Nobel Prize winner and author of The Jungle Book died. His ashes are buried in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey.