A Brief History On October 20, 2011, the former King of Kings of Africa’s gruesome murder was recorded and posted all over the internet. Digging Deeper Muammar Gaddafi was once one of the longest “reigning” leaders in the world.  After a revolution overthrew Libya’s monarchy in 1969, Gaddafi seized power, holding a number of ever more lofty sounding titles.  From 1969 through 2011, he at various times referred to himself as the Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution in Libya, Prime Minister of Libya, Chairperson of the African Union, and yes, toward the end of his life, he even…

A Brief History October 19 marks the feast of Saint Frithuswith, also spelled Frideswide, who passed away on that date in 727 A.D., and for whom a king had died as he tried to force her into marriage! Digging Deeper Frithuswith was born as a princess in England, but became the first abbess of an Oxford double monastery.  As such, she is now the patron saint of Oxford. Before her canonization as a saint, young Princess Frithuswith founded St. Frideswide’s Priory.  As such, she became bound to celibacy.  Nevertheless, an English king named Algar wanted to marry her and despite her refusal,…

A Brief History On October 18, 1356, Basel, Switzerland was destroyed by what may have been the most significant historic earthquake ever to occur north of the Alps. Digging Deeper Basel, Switzerland is currently a city of nearly 200,000 people.  Its origins date back to at least Roman times and possibly even pre-Roman Celtic times.  During its perhaps 2000 odd years history, the town and then city has risen and fallen a number of times due to both man made and natural catastrophes.  For example, in 917 A.D., Magyars (the ancestors of Hungarians) destroyed Basel, eventually burning down notable monasteries…

A Brief History On October 17, 1091, a tornado with a strength thought to be about T8/F4, which means a severely devastating tornado with winds over 200 miles per hour, struck the heart of London, England. Digging Deeper When Americans think of tornadoes, they tend to envision twisters striking mostly flat ground in the American mid-west or accompanying Atlantic hurricanes.  We do not generally imagine tornadoes wrecking havoc on major capital cities of medieval kingdoms.  Nevertheless, on October 17, 1091, one such twister did just that! The London Tornado of 1091 is Britain’s earliest reported tornado.  Although nowhere near as…

A Brief History On October 16, 1384, Jadwiga, a woman, was crowned KING of Poland. Digging Deeper Jadwiga was the daughter of Louis I the Great, who reigned simultaneously as king of Hungary and Poland.  When Louis died, his eldest daughter, Mary, inherited that particular throne.  The Polish nobility, however, instead chose the younger daughter Jadwiga as their ruler.  To make it clear that she was not a mere queen consort, but a ruler in her own right, Jadwiga was crowned as king rather than “queen”.  She is one of maybe only five or so such women in all of…

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