A Brief History According to Orthodox Christian tradition, on October 27, 312 A.D., the night before the Battle of Milvian Bridge against the Roman Emperor Maxentius, the Emperor Constantine the Great adopted as his motto the Greek phrase “ἐν τούτῳ νίκα” after having a vision of a Christogram in the sky. Digging Deeper This episode is one of the most unusual and controversial stories in the history of Christianity, and probably the only time the Christian religion was involved so energetically in the military battlefield.  Of course, nothing can be officially proved, and this story is a matter of faith…

A Brief History On October 27, 1838, Missouri’s governor issued an order for all Mormons to leave the state or face extermination! Digging Deeper After Joseph Smith founded the Church of Christ (later called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or popularly known as the Mormon Church), he and his followers had a downright hellacious time finding acceptance in mid-nineteenth century America.  His journeys in Ohio and Missouri were filled with violent incidents.  For example, in 1832 a mob tarred and feathered the first Mormon leader. The late 1830s were not much kinder.  The situation for the…

A Brief History On October 26, 1689, Austrian General Piccolomini burned down the Macedonian city of Skopje to prevent the spread of cholera. Digging Deeper In the aftermath of the Ottoman Empire’s failed assault on Vienna in 1683, the Austrians retaliated by launching their own offenses into Ottoman territory in Europe.  These campaigns continued late in that decade. One of the commanders of such expeditions was Enea Silvio Piccolomini, a nobleman from Italy (his ancestors included TWO popes!) fighting in Austria’s service.  His campaign was intended to capture Bosnia, Kosovo, and Macedonia from the Ottoman Empire.  Although his army was…

A Brief History On October 25, 1854, the United Kingdom, the Ottoman Empire, and the French Empire fought against Russia in the Battle of Balaclava, which included the famous (and disastrous) “Charge of the Light Brigade”. Digging Deeper The Crimean War (October 1853 – February 1856) was an absolutely massive war, easily one of the most significant wars fought between Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo in 1815 and the onset of World War I in 1914.  An Alliance of France, the Ottoman Empire, Britain, and the Kingdom of Sardinia challenged the Russian Empire and Bulgaria.  The Franco-British-Ottoman alliance enjoyed a strength of…

A Brief History On October 24, 1901, Annie Edson Taylor became the first confirmed person to go over Niagra Falls in a barrel on her 63rd birthday! Digging Deeper Annie Edson Taylor was born on October 24, 1838.  She worked as a school teacher before traveling around searching for other employment opportunities.  In her later life, the future “Queen of the Mist” eventually decided to become the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel, earning her a ranking of seventh on a list of “Top 10 Daredevils”. To prepare for her short journey, she designed a special…

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