Originally a late-twelfth or early-thirteenth-century fortress in Paris, it became the main residence of the French kings in 1546. After Louis XIV moved his main residence to Versailles, it became a place to store the royal collection and later home to the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. The French National Assembly decreed it should become a museum and it opened in 1793. It is now the world's largest art museum.
Fact of the Day
According to Karl Marx, Napoleon III’s consort, the Empress Eugénie, had a farting problem.
Quote of the Day
"What recreation tooke I? How lawfull was it? ... Was it not affected with too much delight? "
~ Questions from the seventeenth-century puritan guidebook for women, 'A Fountaine of Tears'
On This Day
1314 The Scottish army, led by Robert the Bruce, won a decisive landmark victory over Edward II's English at the Battle of Bannockburn.
1509 Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon enjoyed a lavish joint coronation at Westminster Abbey. Thirteen days after their low-key wedding, it was intended to be their big celebration.
1519 Lucrezia Borgia, daughter of Pope Alexander VI, died, ten days after giving birth to her tenth child. To history, she is known - with no evidence - as a poisoner, but she was a powerful woman in her own right and reigned as the Governor of Spoleto, a position usually held by cardinals.
1812 Napoleon’s Grand Army crossed the Nieman River, beginning the ill-fated invasion of Russia. Despite gaining considerable land during the summer, the Army was defeated and pushed out of Russia within six months.
1947 Private pilot Kenneth Arnold reported what is widely thought to be the first post-war UFO sighting, of nine shiny objects speeding past Mount Rainier at about 1,200 mph.
1948 The Soviet Union began the Berlin Blockade, blocking the Western Allies' transport access to West Berlin following the introduction of the Deutsche Mark. It was the first key East-West conflict of the Cold War.