Author: Dr. Zar

Dr. Zar graduated with a B.A. in French and history, a Master’s in History, and a Ph.D. in History. He currently teaches history in Ohio.

A Brief History Due to the implementation of the Gregorian calendar, October 7th was skipped in Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain in 1582. Digging Deeper Our calendar has changed a number of times in history and with those changes came the skipping and in some cases outright elimination of certain days of the year.  October 7, 1582 was one such date that does not exist in several countries’ history.  The omission of this particular date came with one of history’s most significant updates to the calendar most widely used in the world today: the Gregorian calendar. Prior to 1582, people…

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A Brief History On October 6, 1945, Billy Sianis and his pet billy goat were ejected from Chicago’s Wrigley Field during Game 4 of the 1945 World Series thereby (allegedly) cursing the Chicago Cubs for at least the next sixty years!  Thus, one of the greatest of sports curses was born. Digging Deeper First off, while those in Chicago are probably more apt to be familiar with this story than our many followers from outside of Chicago, please dear non-Chicagoans rest assured that we are not making up this entry in our daily reporting on cracked events in world history!…

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A Brief History On October 5, 1789, the women of Paris marched to Versailles to confront King Louis XVI about his refusal to abolish feudalism, to demand bread, and to force the King and his court to move to Paris. Digging Deeper English playwright and poet William Congreve (January 24, 1670 – January 19, 1729) famously noted, “Heav’n has no rage like love to hatred turn’d, Nor Hell a fury, like a woman scorn’d.”  Perhaps his words were prescient for the violent chaos of the French Revolution as best exhibited when a veritable mob of weapons wielding women wanted to…

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A Brief History On October 4, 610 A.D., Heraclius arrived by ship from Africa at Constantinople, overthrew Byzantine Emperor Phocas in one of the most badass coups in history, and became Emperor. Digging Deeper Future emperor Phocas, seen on the coin above, did not have an easy life. When he and others in the Byzantine army attempted to express their grievances to then Emperor Maurice’s government, not only were their requests rejected, but Phocas was himself humiliated by court officials by being slapped. Subsequently, Phocas led a rebellion of Byzantium’s Balkan army that forced Maurice to abdicate, but that was…

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A Brief History On October 3, 1283, Dafydd ap Gruffydd, prince of Gwynedd in Wales, became the first nobleman executed by being hanged, drawn and quartered. Digging Deeper The drawing above shows the “drawing” of William de Marisco in the mid-thirteenth century.  The horrific fate of this man who was not only executed and subsequently dismembered but also tortured en route to the place of execution was a fate perhaps most famously shared by Scottish hero Sir William Wallace in 1305.  The Oscar-winning film Braveheart depicts some of what Wallace endured for defying Edward Longshanks (“Long legs”) the Hammer of…

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