Browsing: July 5

A Brief History On July 5, 1809, the forces of the French Empire (and her allies) fought the forces of the Austrian Empire (and her allies) at Wagram, Austria, an enormous battle that cost both sides a combined 80,000 casualties and was fought between over 300,000 soldiers fielding over 1000 pieces of artillery, making it perhaps the largest battle in European history up to its time and also the bloodiest military engagement of the entire Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars thus far. Digging Deeper The Battle of Wagram was a French victory, but a costly one. Napoleon had been distracted by…

A Brief History Swimsuits (or bikini, if you will) have always been popular.   While the two-piece swimsuit as a design existed in classical antiquity, the modern design first attracted public notice in Paris on July 5, 1946.  French mechanical engineer Louis Réard introduced a design he named the “bikini”, taking the name from the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean.  Four days earlier, the United States had initiated its first peace-time nuclear weapons test at Bikini Atoll as part of Operation Crossroads. Réard hoped his swimsuit’s revealing style would create an “explosive commercial and cultural reaction” similar to the explosion at…

A Brief History On July 5, 2010, the City of London, England could boast of having the tallest building in Europe, when the 95 story (storey if you are English) “Shard” was completed.  Alas, London could make the claim of having the tallest European building only for a year, when the Mercury City Tower in Moscow, Russia passed it in 2013.  In fact, recent years have seen frequent changes in buildings claiming to be the tallest in Europe, and here we list the 10 Tallest Buildings in Europe (as of July 2017).  (In deference to European sensitivities, we are noting…

A Brief History On July 5, 1937, Hormel Foods Corporation introduced Spam to a Depression weary world.  A cooked, ready to eat meat product in a can, Spam was just the ticket for soldiers in the field in the upcoming World War.  It was also ideal for shipping to hungry allies.  Unfortunately, many folks think the salty, greasy, fat laden stuff in better suited as dog food, especially if you do not like your dog.  Britain and Australia got their share shipped to them, and Spam became a Monty Python joke.  Even unwanted emails are called Spam!  Still, it now comes in several flavor varieties (as many as 15)…

A Brief History On July 5, 2009, in an English field near the village of Hammerwich, a man looking for curios with a metal detector in a freshly plowed field found gold and silver objects dating back to the 7th Century. Digging Deeper Over the next 5 days he filled 244 bags with the gold and silver combat and arms related objects (such as adornments for weapons), but no female oriented jewelry and the like.  At this point the lucky man and the land owner notified authorities and gave permission to excavate the site, which was done by Birmingham Archaeology (funded by English…

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