Category Archives: HISTORY

Toussaint Louverture

Toussaint Louverture


The Chateau de Joux, high in the mountainous region of Franche-Comté close to the Swiss border, was one of the great state prisons of France, along with the Bastille and the Chateau d’If (described by Dumas in The Count of Monte-Cristo). The huge fortress dates back nearly 1,000 years, its medieval walls augmented by Charles V, Vauban and finally by the young Joffre as engineer officer.

Swearing, cursing and the English law

Swearing, cursing and the English law

Statutes passed between the reigns of  James I (1603 – 1625) and George III (1760 – 1820) criminalised swearing. These laws drew careful distinctions between swearing and cursing, imposed fines or the stock, and banded the penalties according to social rank.

The regalia of United Kingdom

The regalia of United Kingdom

The institution of an hereditary coronation regalia, serving as symbols of kingship, is attributed to the eleventh-century abbots of Westminster. Regarded as “monuments of superstition and idolatry” by the Commonwealth authorities, much of it was sold or melted down for coinage in 1649, so new regalia was required for the coronation of Charles II in 1661.

A short history of Father’s Day

A short history of Father’s Day

Father’s Day is coming up, so we look into the history of Father’s Day. Sadly, retailers and marketers, in an effort to make a quick buck, have bastardized the original meaning of Father’s Day. A holiday that was supposed to honor dad and enumerate his special qualities, now is used to sell chili pepper ties and shop vacs. Hopefully by understanding why the concept of Father’s Day was created, we can better celebrate and honor the fathers who raised us into men.

The battle of Civitate

The battle of Civitate

Five Norman brothers, sons of Tancred of Hauteville, carved out a principality in the Byzantine Empire’s territory in Southern Italy in the eleventh century. Normans first arrived there as mercenaries, found rich pickings and started to take the country for themselves. In 1042 they chose the oldest of the Hauteville brothers, William ‘Iron Arm’, as their Count of Apulia with his base at Melfi, on the lower slopes of the Apennines.