A civil war in England between 1135 and 1153. Following the death of Henry I's only son, he tried to pass the throne on to his daughter, the Empress Matilda, but in 1135 Henry's nephew, Stephen of Blois seized the throne. The war reached a stalemate and eventually a negotiated peace recognized Matilda's son, the future Henry II, as Stephen's heir.
Fact of the Day
Living in the Dakota building, John Lennon and Yoko Ono apparently employed a man 'whose sole job was to polish the apartment's brass doorknobs' .
Quote of the Day
"Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its students. "
~ Hector Berlioz, composer
On This Day
1541 The German-Swiss Paracelsus, alchemist and 'herald of toxicology' who made significant contributions to the use of chemistry in medicine, died in Salzburg.
1645 Charles I suffered a personal defeat at the Battle of Rowton Heath when the army he was leading lost to the Parliamentarians and thus failed to relieve the Siege of Chester.
1652 Highwayman Captain James Hind was executed for treason. He had targeted Roundheads and become something of a Cavalier hero.
1869 Two speculators, Jay Gould and James Fisk, caused havoc on the New York Gold Exchange when they used insider information obtained through their friendship with US president Ulysses S. Grant to manipulate the price of gold. 'Black Friday' led to economic destabilisation, the ruin of thousands of businessmen, and questions over Grant's presidency, but Gould and Fisk managed to escape prosecution.