Monthly Archives: August 2014

TRIVIA TRAIL # 21: JACK THE RIPPER

Question: Who was Jack the Ripper’s first victim? Answer: Mary Ann Nichols, who was killed August 31st, 1888 in the East End of London (Buck’s Row, Whitechapel). The serial killer who would become known as Jack the Ripper because of his brutal mutilations of his victims’ bodies went on to kill four more women until […]

HISTORY TIDBIT: ALBEMARLE STREET

Ever find yourself driving the wrong way down a one-way street in an unfamiliar city? Ever wonder how long one-way streets have been around? Well, in England, the answer is since 1617, when London’s Albemarle Street in Mayfair became the first one-way street in an attempt to achieve better traffic flow. Apparently even horses and […]

HISTORIC SPEECHES: “I HAVE A DREAM”

* A day late, but here it is. Yesterday got away from me. People make speeches all the time, but some have more impact than others. It is over fifty years since civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Junior, made his famous “I Have A Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. […]

HISTORIC BAD IDEAS: THE INVASION OF RUSSIA

It is said that those who do not learn from the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them, and Germany’s Adolf Hitler obviously didn’t learn anything from a mistake made by that other proponent of world domination, Napoleon Bonaparte. By June of 1812, Napoleon was in control of almost all of Continental Europe, but […]

HISTORIC THEATRES: REGENT’S PARK OPEN-AIR THEATRE

The Regent’s Park Open-Air Theatre began as a makeshift theatre for a 1932 production of Twelfth Night, which was transferred there after being brought in as a replacement play for the New Theatre (now the Noel Coward Theatre) after the early closing of a play by the Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini. (Just think how different […]

HISTORIC HURRAH: THE LIBERATION OF PARIS

The Invasion of Normandy on June 6th, 1944 led to the liberation of many European cities, but the liberation of Paris on August 25th, 1944 was one of the most celebrated. Adolf Hitler had ordered the Commander of Paris, General Dietrich von Cholitz, to defend the city to the last man and destroy key sections […]

HISTORIC HEISTS: THE MONA LISA

Despite all the pretty much identical copies around, someone once just had to have the real Mona Lisa. Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting vanished from the walls of the Salon Carré in the Louvre Museum on August 21st, 1911 – and it actually took a while for anyone to notice! A visiting artist, Louis Béroud, […]

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