Politics

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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RETRO

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

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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RETRO

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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RETRO

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

Napoleon’s Second Funeral

Napoleon was buried in an unmarked grave in St. Helena. But, 19 years later, on 15th December, 1840, he got buried again: this time at Les Invalides, Paris. It was an ornate state occasion, involving multiple caskets, 500 sailors, 14 semi-naked female statues… and a lot of lardy cakes.  In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and

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RETRO

Napoleon was buried in an unmarked grave in St. Helena. But, 19 years later, on 15th December, 1840, he got buried again: this time at Les Invalides, Paris. It was an ornate state occasion, involving multiple caskets, 500 sailors, 14 semi-naked female statues… and a lot of lardy cakes.  In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and

Dubya Dodges A Shoe-ing

When George W Bush flew to Baghdad for a press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on 14th December, 2008, he had hoped the headlines would reflect his triumphant appraisal of his deployment of American troops. Instead, it became known as the day he got some shoes thrown at him. The man throwing the

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RETRO

When George W Bush flew to Baghdad for a press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on 14th December, 2008, he had hoped the headlines would reflect his triumphant appraisal of his deployment of American troops. Instead, it became known as the day he got some shoes thrown at him. The man throwing the

Concorde – The Future of Flight

Supersonic aircraft took a giant leap forward when the French and British governments signed a treaty to join forces on designing Concorde on 29th November, 1962. Up until this point, the two countries had been developing their aircraft separately – which had already cost the United Kingdom £150 million. Technologically superior and far more luxurious

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RETRO

Supersonic aircraft took a giant leap forward when the French and British governments signed a treaty to join forces on designing Concorde on 29th November, 1962. Up until this point, the two countries had been developing their aircraft separately – which had already cost the United Kingdom £150 million. Technologically superior and far more luxurious

Roosevelt’s Panamanian Photoshoot

Presidential diplomacy now routinely involves hundreds of trips on Air Force One – but, until Theodore Roosevelt travelled to inspect the Panama Canal on 9th November, 1906, no serving US President had ever ventured abroad. It was the biggest infrastructure project a President had ever undertaken, costing hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of

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RETRO

Presidential diplomacy now routinely involves hundreds of trips on Air Force One – but, until Theodore Roosevelt travelled to inspect the Panama Canal on 9th November, 1906, no serving US President had ever ventured abroad. It was the biggest infrastructure project a President had ever undertaken, costing hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of

Kublai Khan’s Kamikaze Climbdown

The Mongols attempted to invade Japan on 5th November, 1274. Despite having a fleet of 900 ships, they failed – in part due to a ‘kamikaze’ typhoon that whooshed their boats back to Korea. Then they tried again – and failed again. In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly consider how a gunpowder-armed Army was

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RETRO

The Mongols attempted to invade Japan on 5th November, 1274. Despite having a fleet of 900 ships, they failed – in part due to a ‘kamikaze’ typhoon that whooshed their boats back to Korea. Then they tried again – and failed again. In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly consider how a gunpowder-armed Army was

The Day The (Rave) Music Died

Attending or producing raves was made illegal in Britain with the passing of the Criminal Justice Act on 3rd November, 1994. The government even legislated against electronic dance music, “wholly or predominantly characterized by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats” These unprecedented restrictions were partly in reaction to the moral panic caused after

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RETRO

Attending or producing raves was made illegal in Britain with the passing of the Criminal Justice Act on 3rd November, 1994. The government even legislated against electronic dance music, “wholly or predominantly characterized by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats” These unprecedented restrictions were partly in reaction to the moral panic caused after

The M25 – Britain’s Biggest Carpark

Margaret Thatcher finally opened London’s first ring road – construction on which had begun in the 1970s – on 29th October, 1986, declaring: “I can’t stand those who carp and criticise when they ought to be congratulating Britain on a magnificent achievement and beating the drum for Britain all over the world”. A 58-page commemorative

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RETRO

Margaret Thatcher finally opened London’s first ring road – construction on which had begun in the 1970s – on 29th October, 1986, declaring: “I can’t stand those who carp and criticise when they ought to be congratulating Britain on a magnificent achievement and beating the drum for Britain all over the world”. A 58-page commemorative