A victory that is so costly in terms of men and resources that it seems no different from losing. It comes from King Pyrrhus of Epirus, who was fighting against the Romans in the Pyrrhic Wars (c.280BCE). Pyrrhus is supposed to have said 'If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined' (Plutarch, Life of Pyrrhus, 21:8).
Fact of the Day
Between 1040 and 1746, only three English monarchs did not invade Scotland and/or repel a Scottish invasion of England.
Quote of the Day
"Pray for me, now my calamity is at hand! "
~ John Stubbs, just before having his hand removed for seditious writing, 1579
On This Day
1265 England's first Parliament met at Westminster Hall in London, convened by the Earl of Leicester, Simon de Montfort.
1356 Edward Balliol, King of Scotland, surrendered his claim to the throne to Edward III in exchange for an English pension.
1649 Charles I went on trial for treason against England. He refused to enter a plea, not recognising the authority of the court.
1783 Britain signed preliminary peace treaties with France and Spain, ending hostilities in the American Revolutionary War.
1841 British forces occupied Hong Kong, after the Qing authorities refused to support British opium imports.
1936 George V, the last British monarch to have been murdered (technically), died of a lethal injection of cocaine and morphine.
1936 Edward VIII succeeded his father, George V, to the British throne. Something of a PR disaster, he abdicated the same year.
1942 Nazi officials met to discuss the 'final solution' of the 'Jewish question' at the Wannsee Conference.
1981 The Iranian Hostage Crisis ended. More than 60 people had been held hostage in the American Embassy in Tehran for 444 days.
1987 Terry Waite was kidnapped in Beirut whilst attempting to win freedom for hostages. He was held for 1,763 days.