Literally, 'nobles of the sword'. Noblemen of the oldest class of nobility in France dating from the Middle Ages and the Early Modern periods.
Fact of the Day
The Romans made a form of pancake, with milk, eggs, flour and oil. Instead of lemon and sugar, they used honey and pepper.
Quote of the Day
"I have offended God and mankind in not having laboured at my art as I ought to have done "
~ Leonardo da Vinci, speaking during his final illness to Francis I
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.