Archive for the ‘History’ Category

The First Annulment!

December 9, 2018

Annulments have traditionally fallen within the realm/jurisdiction of the Church from the beginning.  But on this date in 1639, the first annulment of a marriage by court decree occurred in Boston, Massachusetts, as stated . . .

“James Luxford, being presented for haveing two wifes, his last marriage was declared voyde, or a nullity thereof and to bee divorced, not to come to the sight of her whom hee last tooke, and hee to be sent away to England by the first opportunity; all that hee hath is appointed to her whom hee last married for here and her children; he is also fined 110t. and to bee set in the stocks an houre upon a market day after the lecture, the next lecture day if the weather permit, or else the next lecture day after (3rd of the 10th month 1639).”

Source: Famous First Facts by Joseph Nathan Kane, Steven Anzovin, and Janet Podell.

Ancient History, Number Four!

November 27, 2018

By “ancient history,” I will be referencing events from November 26th, that occurred pre-1492 (i.e., before “Columbus sailed the ocean blue”).  Note: most of these will be from the medieval world (476 AD – 1492 AD) as many earlier events don’t always have specific dates.

  • Saladin, aspiring to take over the late Nurad-Din’s Zangid empire, takes possession of the Syrian city of Damascus.  (1174 AD)
  • King Alfonso X of Castile and León and King Philip III of France make a truce by the mediation of King Edward I of England.  (1279 AD)
  • Pope Urban V dismisses Cardinal Albornozas legate in the papal states.  (1363 AD)

Source: Volume 1 of the Chronology of World History: Prehistory — AD 1491: The Ancient and Medieval World.

That Was Quite a Bounty!

November 5, 2018

Twenty years ago today was the first time in history that a bounty of $5 million was offered (by the State Department) for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a certain “enemy of the United States.”  At the time, this was the largest bounty ever offered by the State Department.

Who: Saudi Arabian national Osama bin Laden.
What: charged in a Manhattan court (238-count indictment) for masterminding the August 7th bombings of American embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Source: Famous First Facts, by Joseph Nathan Kane, Steven Anzovin, and Janet Podell

Ancient History, Number Three!

October 27, 2018

By “ancient history,” I will be referencing events from October 27th, that occurred pre-1492 (i.e., before “Columbus sailed the ocean blue”).  Note: most of these will be from the medieval world (476 AD – 1492 AD) as many earlier events don’t always have specific dates.

  • King Athelstan of England dies and is succeeded by his brother, Edmund.  (939 AD)
  • Alexander II is declared  to be the true pope in a synod held in Augsburg, defeating his challenger, Honorius II. (1062 AD)
  • Muhammed ad-Damiri, Muslim theologian and mystic, author of a noted encyclopedia of animals, dies in Cairo.  (1405 AD)
  • Grand Duke Vitold of Lithuania dies.  Svidrigello, brother of King Wladyslaw Jagiello of Poland, is elected as his successor.  (1430 AD)

Source: Volume 1 of the Chronology of World History: Prehistory — AD 1491: The Ancient and Medieval World.

See the Organs Working!

October 2, 2018

Today marks the day in 1937 that the very first x-ray movie of human organs in action was created.   A movie camera had been placed in front of a flouroscopic screen; the pictures showed the motion of assorted internal organs, including the heart, stomach, diaphragm, and lungs.

Where: New York City.
Who: Dr. William Holmes Stewart, Dr. William Joseph Hoffman, and Dr. Francis Henshall Ghiselin.
What: at the convention of the American Roentgen Ray Society.

Source: Famous First Facts, by Joseph Nathan Kane, Steven Anzovin, and Janet Podell

Ancient History, Number Two!

September 27, 2018

By “ancient history,” I will be referencing events from September 27th, that occurred pre-1492 (i.e., before “Columbus sailed the ocean blue”).  Note: most of these will be from the medieval world (476 AD – 1492 AD) as many earlier events don’t always have specific dates.

  • Roger II, Count of Sicily and Duke  of Apulia, undertakes to recognize Anacletus II  as pope in return for Anacletus making him king of Sicily  and Apulia.  (1130 AD)
  • Raymond VII, Count of Toulouse dies; he is succeeded by his son-in-law, Alfonse of Pontiers, , the brother of King Louis IX of France, marking the definitive integration of Languedoc into France (1249 AD)
  • King Wladyslaw I of Poland defeats the Teutonic Knights  at Plowse, Poland.  (1331 AD)
  • Cosimo de’ Medici the Elder, financier and stateman, born in Florence, Italy. (1389 AD)
  • by the Treaty of Mielno, the Teutonic Knights (a German Christian military order) end their war with Poland and Lithuania.  (1422 AD)

Source: Volume 1 of the Chronology of World History: Prehistory — AD 1491: The Ancient and Medieval World.

The First Century-Ride!

September 6, 2018

According to wikipedia, “a century ride is a road cycling ride of 100 miles (160.9 km) or more within 12 hours, usually as a cycling club-sponsored event.”  Did you know that the very first century ride occurred on September 6th in 1882?

Who: the Boston Bicycle Club (Boston, MA)
Route: from Worcester to Boston (102.5 miles) via South Framington, Natick, Wellesley, Dedhamm, Stoughton, Brockton, Randolph, Braintree, Quincy, Mattapan, Waltham, and Newton.
Start time: 4:38 AM; End time: 9:30 PM (12 hours and 6 minutes of actual riding time)

Seven men completed the entire length of the ride.

Source: Famous First Facts, by Joseph Nathan Kane, Steven Anzovin, and Janet Podell

Ancient History, Number One!

August 26, 2018

By “ancient history,” I will be referencing events from August 26th, that occurred pre-1492 (i.e., before “Columbus sailed the ocean blue”).  Note: most of these will be from the medieval world (476 AD – 1492 AD) as many earlier events don’t always have specific dates.

  • the basilica of St. Peter and other places outside the walls of Rome are plundered by Arab raiders from the Aghlabid Emirate of Ifriqiya. (846 AD)
  • King Louis IX sails from France on the Seventh Crusade.  (1248 AD)
  • English King Edward III uses cannons against the French at the battle of Crecy, but the battle is actually won by skilled English archers using longbows.  (1346 AD) England defeated the French; King Phillip VI of France escapes, to Amiens, France.  Among those killed on the French side:
    • King John I of Bohemia (succeeded by Charles)
    • Louis of Neves, Count of Flanders (succeeded by  his son Louis de Maele
  • Tokhtamysh, Khan of the “Golden Horde,” sacks Moscow, Russia, and then withdraws after having restored his suzerainty over Russia.  (1382 AD
  • the Swiss are defeated at St. Jakob on the Birs by French freebooters sent by King Charles VII of France to assist Frederick of Austria.  (1444 AD)

Source: Volume 1 of the Chronology of World History: Prehistory — AD 1491: The Ancient and Medieval World.

Snatched!

July 8, 2018

Happy Sunday!  Kidnapping, i.e., “the unlawful carrying away (asportation) and confinement of a person against his or her will,” has been around for quite some time.  But did you know that the very first “recorded” kidnapping occurred on this date in 1524, in a letter from Giovanni da Verrazano to Francis I (then King of France)?  The letter claims that Verrazano’s crew

“tooke a [Native Amercan] childe . . .  [an] olde woman to being into France, and going about to take . . . [a] young woman which was very beautiful and of tall stature, they could not possibly, for the great out cries that she made, bring her to the sea; and especially having great woods to pass through adn being farre from teh ship, we purposed to leave her behinde, beareing away the childe only.”

Giovanni da Verrazzano was the first European explorer (Italian)  to sail into New York Harbor and is credited with charting the Atlantic coast of North America between the Carolinas and Newfoundland. The Verrazano–Narrows Bridge in New York was named after him.

All Hail, the Bookseller!

June 7, 2018

Bookselling has been around for centuries and represents “the retail and distribution end of the publishing process” (Wikipedia).  But did you know that the first “organization of booksellers” wasn’t established until this date in 1801?  Yep, it was the American Company of Booksellers (in New York City).  Their mission: “to improve quality, to avoid interference, to discontinue importations, to favor a literary fair, to recommend correspondence, and to promote the general interest.”  Mathew Carey (from Philadelphia, PA) was the first president of this organization.  Interestingly enough, the very first “book fair” occurred less than a year after the formation of this organization (June 1, 1802) and was held in the Coffee House on Beaver Street (New York City) to display the offerings of various publishers and bookseller.  This first event was attended by forty-six booksellers and was so successful that a similar event was held the following year in Philadelphia.  Moving forward, it became an annual event that alternated between New York and Philadelphia.

Source: Famous First Facts by Joseph Nathan Kane, Steven Anzovin, and Janet Podell, p. 336.