Browsing: Travel

A Brief History On August 24, 1349, 6,000 Jews were massacred in Mainz, Germany by being burned alive.  Blamed for so many ills, this time they were held responsible for spreading the bubonic plague.  History and Headlines Fact:  Mainz is the birthplace of the Gutenberg moveable type printing press. Digging Deeper On this same date in 1391, at least 300 Jews were murdered in Palma on the Balearic island of Majorca (Mallorca).  All across Spain Jews were being massacred, and their only hope for survival would be to readily agree to being baptized in the Christian faith and to convert to Christianity.  Previously,…

A Brief History On August 15, 1947, India became an independent country, thereby making George VI of the United Kingdom the last British emperor of India and signalling the end of one of history’s largest empires. Digging Deeper No leader has ever conquered the entire world. Some have conquered whole countries, while others have taken over the greater half of continents. Europe has been one of the most densely populated continents for centuries. The first humans arrived in Europe approximately 1.75 million years ago. Prehistoric Europe consisted of the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations that collapsed around 1,200 BC. The majority of early European…

A Brief History On August 14, 1880,  work on the Cathedral of Cologne was finally finished after it had been started 600 years earlier!  One of the most iconic landmarks in Germany, the cathedral survived World War II despite having been hit by at least 14 bombs in the many bombing raids on the city.  Allied bomber crews even used it as a navigation point.  Nonetheless, the product most often associated with Cologne is, of course, Eau de Cologne, a perfume.  Many products are associated with the names of cities.  Here 10 of them are listed, in no particular order.  What other products can you…

A Brief History On August 13, 1521, Cuauhtémoc, ruler of the Aztecs, was captured while fleeing Tenochtitlán by crossing Lake Texcoco in disguise with his wife, family and friends. He and the surviving pipiltin  (nobles) surrendered to Hernán Cortés and, according to Spanish sources, he offered Cortés his knife and asked to be killed. His death was a critical moment in the decline and fall of the Aztec Civilization! Digging Deeper History is told from the perspective of the winners. One can assume that many great civilizations have been lost to history. What does it mean to be a great civilization? The examples that come to mind…

A Brief History On August 11, 1934, the Federal Penitentiary located on the island of Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay opened for civilian prisoners.  Despite its exotic-sounding name, Alcatraz was a state-of-the-art maximum security prison designed to hold the toughest, most dangerous prisoners. Digging Deeper Some of the desperadoes held there included: Al “Scarface” Capone; “Doc” Barker; Robert Stroud (“The Bird Man of Alcatraz”); “Bumpy“ Johnson (“The Godfather of Harlem“); “Whitey” Bulger; Alvin “Creepy” Karpis; and “Machine Gun” Kelly.  Apparently having a nickname was a good way to end up on “The Rock!” Considered to be escape-proof, the prison could…

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