Pope Innocent VIII allegedly drank the blood of three young Jewish boys in the hope of capturing their youth. He is also reported to have had the first blood transfusion, in 1492.
Fact of the Day
Quote of the Day
"A desperate disease requires a dangerous remedy. "
~ Guy Fawkes
On This Day
1814 Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, the doctor who gave his name to the guillotine but who didn't invent it, died aged seventy-five. His family were so embarrassed by the connection that they ended up changing their name.
1827 One of the greatest composers of all time, Ludwig van Beethoven, died during a thunderstorm, aged fifty-six. The autopsy showed severe liver damage, probably caused by excessive drinking.
1945 After a month of fighting, American forces captured the strategically-important island of Iwo Jima from the Japanese.
1971 Bangladesh declared its independence from Pakistan.
1973 Women were first allowed on the floor of the London Stock Exchange.