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…

Read More

A Brief History On October 16, 1384, Jadwiga, a woman, was crowned KING of Poland.  In 1386, she married Władysław II Jagiełło who reigned as co-ruler of Poland with her for the remainder of her life and then as sole-ruler of Poland after her death.. 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 the Hungarian 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…

Read More

A Brief History On October 15, 1863, The H. L. Hunley, a Confederate (the South!) submarine, sank during a test, killing its inventor and namesake, Horace L. Hunley. Digging Deeper The Hunley was NOT the first submarine ever invented and certainly not the first one ever used for military purposes.  The first military submersible was most likely the Turtle invented by David Bushnell in 1775 for use in the American Revolutionary War.  Robert Fulton, another American inventor, invented the leaky Nautilus in 1800 and thus tried unsuccessfully to entice First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte of France to make use of the…

Read More

A Brief History On October 14, 1912, a certain badass former U.S. president was shot while giving a speech…and he continued to speak!? Digging Deeper Without any doubt, T.R., or “Teddy” Roosevelt, was just about one of the most manly of American presidents.  A war hero and big game hunter, T.R. had a forcefulness about him that few other presidents really matched.  Maybe George Washington who campaigned in fierce conditions in the French and Indian and American Revolutionary wars, Andrew Jackson who fought in duels, or Abraham Lincoln who was an accomplished wrestler merit recognition as physically imposing and brave…

Read More

A Brief History On October 13, 54 A.D., Roman Emperor Claudius was poisoned to death, possibly by his wife, via tainted mushrooms! Digging Deeper Claudius is most famous for being Roman Emperor when the Roman Empire added Britain to its territory.  As such, he is generally remembered for his expansion of Roman control over a territory that would remain in Roman possession for centuries.  Yet it is with his personal life, particularly in his marriages, that we find all sorts of less impressive accomplishments. His first marriage was to Plautia Urgulanilla (try saying that five times fast!).  This marriage ended…

Read More