Don’t Wear Orange


Dutch patriots are now regularly spotted sporting orange wigs, orange clothes, orange banners and orange face paint. But, on 16th June, 1784, they were BANNED from wearing anything orange.  The intention was to silence supporters of the ‘stadtholders’. And the colour – descending, in the public imagination, from William of Orange – had become so …

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Let’s Censor Hollywood


The Production Code Administration – which policed standards of decency on all US cinema releases for twenty years – was established on 13th June, 1934, following a patch of unconvincing Hollywood self-censorship. ‘Excessive or lustful kissing’ and ‘sex perversion’ were no longer allowed – but nor was ‘depictions of safe-cracking’, ‘childbirth,’ and ‘dynamiting’. In this …

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Dmitry The Undead


Three imposters claimed to be the assassinated son of Ivan the Terrible, Prince Dmitry – but the first of the fraudsters got the furthest, actually being crowned Tzar on 10th June, 1605, and reigning over Russia for almost a year. His name was Grigory Otrepiev – now more often known as ‘False Dmitry I’ – …

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Meet The Vikings


Northumbria’s ‘holy island’, Lindisfarne, was invaded by Vikings on 8th June, 793 in a smash-and-grab, ‘shock and awe’ attack that left locals reeling for decades.   The completely unexpected incursion was not, in fact, the first time Viking forces invaded the English coastline, but was, undoubtedly, the moment their reputation as merciless warriors and pirates …

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