Episodes

Dom Perignon Tastes the Stars

Rerun. Benedictine monk Dom Perignon is said to have discovered champagne on 4th August, 1693. 200 million bottles are now produced and sold every year. The sparkliness was originally considered a defect – because carbonated wine caused the fragile bottles of the era to burst. Until stronger glass was developed in the mid-19th century, mass-produced […]

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RETRO

Rerun. Benedictine monk Dom Perignon is said to have discovered champagne on 4th August, 1693. 200 million bottles are now produced and sold every year. The sparkliness was originally considered a defect – because carbonated wine caused the fragile bottles of the era to burst. Until stronger glass was developed in the mid-19th century, mass-produced

Storming the Sacred City

Sir Francis Younghusband’s band of British troops reached Lhasa on 3rd August, 1904. Along the way, they’d massacred thousands of bewildered Tibetans – but justified their incursion with the (false) claim that Russia had been manipulating Tibet to gain ground in British India. Despite the disastrous violence wrought by his men, Younghusband was considered by

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RETRO

Sir Francis Younghusband’s band of British troops reached Lhasa on 3rd August, 1904. Along the way, they’d massacred thousands of bewildered Tibetans – but justified their incursion with the (false) claim that Russia had been manipulating Tibet to gain ground in British India. Despite the disastrous violence wrought by his men, Younghusband was considered by

Don’t Mess With Jeanne

Olivier Clisson III was beheaded for treason on 2nd August, 1343 – an event which triggered his wife Jeanne to violently avenge his death for years: a brutal killing spree that earned her the nickname ‘The Lioness of Brittany’. Despite being a fortysomething mother of two, she fitted out three warships with black paint and

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RETRO

Olivier Clisson III was beheaded for treason on 2nd August, 1343 – an event which triggered his wife Jeanne to violently avenge his death for years: a brutal killing spree that earned her the nickname ‘The Lioness of Brittany’. Despite being a fortysomething mother of two, she fitted out three warships with black paint and

Let’s Do The Twist

Chubby Checker’s “The Twist”, the most popular single in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, was released on 1st August, 1960. It was just a cover version of a B-side which had already been released by its writer, Hank Ballard – but after it appeared on The Dick Clark Show, the world slowly became

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RETRO

Chubby Checker’s “The Twist”, the most popular single in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, was released on 1st August, 1960. It was just a cover version of a B-side which had already been released by its writer, Hank Ballard – but after it appeared on The Dick Clark Show, the world slowly became

The Cult of Olaf

Viking King Olaf II Haraldsson was killed on 29th July, 1030, kicking off a campaign, led by an English clergyman, to declare him a Saint. The cult of Olaf continues in Norway still, with festivals, pilgrimages and prayers given in his honour – even though Olaf used extreme violence and suppression to force parts of

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RETRO

Viking King Olaf II Haraldsson was killed on 29th July, 1030, kicking off a campaign, led by an English clergyman, to declare him a Saint. The cult of Olaf continues in Norway still, with festivals, pilgrimages and prayers given in his honour – even though Olaf used extreme violence and suppression to force parts of

Fingerprints Go Legit

#throwbackthursday William James Herschel, a British colonial magistrate in India, first used fingerprints as a means of identification on 28th July, 1858 – not to catch a criminal, but to implement two-step verification on a contract. In Britain, the technology was first used to solve the theft of some billiard balls in 1902. These days,

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RETRO

#throwbackthursday William James Herschel, a British colonial magistrate in India, first used fingerprints as a means of identification on 28th July, 1858 – not to catch a criminal, but to implement two-step verification on a contract. In Britain, the technology was first used to solve the theft of some billiard balls in 1902. These days,

Let’s Go To Berni Inn

Famous for steaks, maroon banquettes, schooners of sherry and sexist advertising, family restaurant chain and ‘70s date night favourite Berni Inn first opened its doors at the historic Bristol pub The Rummer on 27th July, 1956.  Founded by Frank and Aldo Berni, the American-inspired concept had a staggeringly simple menu, so that customers wouldn’t be

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RETRO

Famous for steaks, maroon banquettes, schooners of sherry and sexist advertising, family restaurant chain and ‘70s date night favourite Berni Inn first opened its doors at the historic Bristol pub The Rummer on 27th July, 1956.  Founded by Frank and Aldo Berni, the American-inspired concept had a staggeringly simple menu, so that customers wouldn’t be

The Eccentric Outlaw

Charles E. Boles, otherwise known as ‘Black Bart’, was one of the Wild West’s most unlikely stagecoach robbers; being as he was a spiffy and quietly-spoken former teacher from Norfolk. But on 26th July, 1875 he made his name by robbing his first coach – without a gun. He targeted only Wells Fargo coaches, and

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RETRO

Charles E. Boles, otherwise known as ‘Black Bart’, was one of the Wild West’s most unlikely stagecoach robbers; being as he was a spiffy and quietly-spoken former teacher from Norfolk. But on 26th July, 1875 he made his name by robbing his first coach – without a gun. He targeted only Wells Fargo coaches, and

When Mao Went Swimming

Chairman Mao Zedong swam in the Yangtze River on 25th July, 1966. Despite being in his Seventies, the leader was said by party propagandists (and hence every newspaper in China) to have set a world-record pace of nearly 15 km in 65 min.  This piece of political theatre showed the world that the public face

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RETRO

Chairman Mao Zedong swam in the Yangtze River on 25th July, 1966. Despite being in his Seventies, the leader was said by party propagandists (and hence every newspaper in China) to have set a world-record pace of nearly 15 km in 65 min.  This piece of political theatre showed the world that the public face

When Longbows Defeated Scotland

William ‘Braveheart’ Wallace was defeated by fearsome English archers at the Battle of Falkirk on 22nd July, 1298; when Edward I’s army first used longbows against their Scottish adversaries, with devastating effect. Despite Wallace’s men deploying their famous ‘schiltron’ formation – whereby foot soldiers packed together to form a bristly spear-wall – the arrows the

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RETRO

William ‘Braveheart’ Wallace was defeated by fearsome English archers at the Battle of Falkirk on 22nd July, 1298; when Edward I’s army first used longbows against their Scottish adversaries, with devastating effect. Despite Wallace’s men deploying their famous ‘schiltron’ formation – whereby foot soldiers packed together to form a bristly spear-wall – the arrows the