What does the history of doors have to do with Viking death? How are Roman walls subversive? And how on earth does the history of puppets link to the struggle for freedom in the Second World War? Histories of the Unexpected tells all!
English law still requires that official copies of acts of parliament be printed and preserved on animal skin.
Quote of the Day
"And if I am to estimate the penalty justly, I say that maintenance in the Prytaneum is the just return.
~ Plato reporting Socrates' suggestion for punishment
On This Day
1579Thomas Gresham, merchant, financier, and founder of the Royal Exchange, died suddenly, apparently of apoplexy. He bequeathed his estate, after the death of his wife, to the Corporation of London and the Mercers' Company to set up a college to provide free lectures to the public; Gresham College thus became London's first institution of higher education.
1916The hospital ship Britannic, sister-ship of Titanic, hit a mine and sank, killing 30.
1918Ten days after the Armistice, the German navy surrendered to the British in the Firth of Forth.
1920The assassinations of British intelligence officers ordered by Michael Collins in the Irish War of Independence led to thirty-one dead (from both sides) in what became known as 'Bloody Sunday'.
197421 people were killed and 182 injured when bombs exploded in two Birmingham pubs. The IRA was probably responsible, but the real culprits have never been found. The Birmingham Six, originally convicted of the bombings, were released because of dodgy police practices.
1981The proceedings of the House of Commons were televised live for the first time.