Browsing: Travel

A Brief History On September 9, 1850, in the middle of the California Gold Rush, California was admitted to the Union as the 31st state of the United States.  The second largest state at the time until the admission of Alaska, when it fell to third, California is currently the most populous U.S. state and has claim to many other reasons why it might be the greatest state. Digging Deeper The state that gave us Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, the politicians Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Richard Nixon, California also gives us world class wines and Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco treat. California is…

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.  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 history comes…

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…

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