1800s

Killing Lincoln’s Killer

John Wilkes Booth was on the run for twelve days before being tracked down to a tobacco barn at Garrett’s Farm in Port Royal, Virginia, and shot in the neck. He died of his injuries on 26th April, 1865 – after several agonising hours bleeding out.  Despite numerous witnesses to his death, it continued to […]

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John Wilkes Booth was on the run for twelve days before being tracked down to a tobacco barn at Garrett’s Farm in Port Royal, Virginia, and shot in the neck. He died of his injuries on 26th April, 1865 – after several agonising hours bleeding out.  Despite numerous witnesses to his death, it continued to

The Man Who Cycled The World

Riding a Penny Farthing bicycle from the Sierra Nevada mountains to Yokohama, Japan, Thomas Stevens began his epic two-and-a-half year journey around the world on 22nd April, 1884. Along the way, he encountered mountain lions, Persian aristocracy, and thousands of supporters from bicycle clubs, who turned up to hear him speak. His journey was endlessly

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Riding a Penny Farthing bicycle from the Sierra Nevada mountains to Yokohama, Japan, Thomas Stevens began his epic two-and-a-half year journey around the world on 22nd April, 1884. Along the way, he encountered mountain lions, Persian aristocracy, and thousands of supporters from bicycle clubs, who turned up to hear him speak. His journey was endlessly

Murder at the Masked Ball

Gustav III was shot, in the back and at close range, at Stockholm’s Royal Opera House on 16th March, 1792. But he didn’t die for another two weeks. Which made things rather difficult for the conspirators who had assassinated him. During his two decades on the throne, Sweden’s ‘Culture King’ had increased religious freedom, widened

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Gustav III was shot, in the back and at close range, at Stockholm’s Royal Opera House on 16th March, 1792. But he didn’t die for another two weeks. Which made things rather difficult for the conspirators who had assassinated him. During his two decades on the throne, Sweden’s ‘Culture King’ had increased religious freedom, widened

Trashing the White House

When Andrew Jackson was inaugurated on 4th March, 1829, large crowds of recently emancipated, enthusiastic voters turned up to the Capitol to watch the former Army commander become President. But the event soon spiraled out of control, descending into, at best, chaos; and, at worst, a brawl.  Eyewitness Margaret Bayard Smith wrote: “No arrangements had

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When Andrew Jackson was inaugurated on 4th March, 1829, large crowds of recently emancipated, enthusiastic voters turned up to the Capitol to watch the former Army commander become President. But the event soon spiraled out of control, descending into, at best, chaos; and, at worst, a brawl.  Eyewitness Margaret Bayard Smith wrote: “No arrangements had

Britain Goes To School

The 1870 Education Act was the first to deal specifically with the provision of British schools. Speaking in the House of Commons, William Edward Forster MP proposed: “I believe that the country demands from us that we should… cover the country with good schools, and get parents to send their children to those schools.” But

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The 1870 Education Act was the first to deal specifically with the provision of British schools. Speaking in the House of Commons, William Edward Forster MP proposed: “I believe that the country demands from us that we should… cover the country with good schools, and get parents to send their children to those schools.” But

The Urinary Leash

The first women’s public toilets in London opened on Bedford St on 11th February, 1852 – attempting to capitalize on the success of George Jennings’ ‘monkey closets’, used by over 800,000 visitors to the 1851 Great Exhibition. Unfortunately, even though the facility had been fought for by campaigning women’s sanitary organizations, middle and upper class

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The first women’s public toilets in London opened on Bedford St on 11th February, 1852 – attempting to capitalize on the success of George Jennings’ ‘monkey closets’, used by over 800,000 visitors to the 1851 Great Exhibition. Unfortunately, even though the facility had been fought for by campaigning women’s sanitary organizations, middle and upper class

Who Killed Belle Starr?

The women of the Wild West mostly spent their lives laundering men’s clothes, bringing up children, and avoiding getting caught in the crossfire – but that didn’t stop a legend forming around them; not least dime novel heroine and ‘Bandit Queen’ Belle Starr, who was murdered on 3rd February, 1889. The ‘outlaw’ was riding home,

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The women of the Wild West mostly spent their lives laundering men’s clothes, bringing up children, and avoiding getting caught in the crossfire – but that didn’t stop a legend forming around them; not least dime novel heroine and ‘Bandit Queen’ Belle Starr, who was murdered on 3rd February, 1889. The ‘outlaw’ was riding home,

The Hashish Club

Theophile Gautier’s account of ‘green jam’ cannabis consumption at the drug-addled dinner parties of the ‘Club des Hachichins’ – alongside literary figures Alexandre Dumas, Victor Hugo and Honoré de Balzac – was first published in Revue des Deux Mondes on 1st February, 1846. The Club, founded by psychiatrist Dr Jacques Joseph Moreau to establish the psychedelic effects

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Theophile Gautier’s account of ‘green jam’ cannabis consumption at the drug-addled dinner parties of the ‘Club des Hachichins’ – alongside literary figures Alexandre Dumas, Victor Hugo and Honoré de Balzac – was first published in Revue des Deux Mondes on 1st February, 1846. The Club, founded by psychiatrist Dr Jacques Joseph Moreau to establish the psychedelic effects

Soundtracking the Royal Wedding

Walking down the aisle to Wagner’s ‘Here Comes The Bride’ and departing to Mendelssohn’s ‘The Wedding March’ remains a popular choice at wedding ceremonies – a precedent established by the Princess Royal Victoria and Prince Frederick of Prussia, who married at St James’s Palace on 25th January, 1858. Unfortunately for Mendelssohn, he’d been dead eleven

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Walking down the aisle to Wagner’s ‘Here Comes The Bride’ and departing to Mendelssohn’s ‘The Wedding March’ remains a popular choice at wedding ceremonies – a precedent established by the Princess Royal Victoria and Prince Frederick of Prussia, who married at St James’s Palace on 25th January, 1858. Unfortunately for Mendelssohn, he’d been dead eleven

The Night Before The Night Before Christmas

Before becoming the most valuable poem in American Literature, ‘A Visit From St. Nicholas’ was published anonymously in the Troy Sentinel on 23rd December, 1823 – its author remaining a secret for fourteen years. The work, commonly known as ‘The Night Before Christmas’, was eventually revealed to be written by philosopher and lecturer Clement Clark

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Before becoming the most valuable poem in American Literature, ‘A Visit From St. Nicholas’ was published anonymously in the Troy Sentinel on 23rd December, 1823 – its author remaining a secret for fourteen years. The work, commonly known as ‘The Night Before Christmas’, was eventually revealed to be written by philosopher and lecturer Clement Clark