Lessons in the "History" Category

The Blood Countess

Today, let’s talk about the Blood Countess. Never heard of her? Well, while she was no relation to Count Dracula, her story is equally interesting!

Countess Elizabeth Bathory was actually a real person, as opposed to the fictional character of Count Dracula. Bram Stoker who created Dracula in 1897 is said to have been inspired by Bathory’s real life story.

The Blood Countess acquired her name as she is said to have tortured and killed between 80 to 650 girls. She liked to bathe in the blood of her victims, as she believed the blood of virgin girls would maintain her youthful looks.

Category: History / The Blood Countess / Central Europe

Biggest ever dinosaur discovered in Argentina

Recently, the biggest ever dinosaur was discovered in Argentina. The fossilised bones of the dinosaur, believed to be the largest creature ever to have walked the earth, were unearthed in Argentina.

Palaeontologists said, estimated on its huge thigh bone, it was 40m (130ft) long and 20m (65ft) tall. Weighing in at 77 tonnes, it was as heavy as 14 African elephants. That makes it seven tonnes heavier than the previous record holder, Argentinosaurus, which itself is bigger than a Tyrannosaurus rex!

Category: History / Dinosaurs / Discovery

Who started World War One?

Who started World War One? There are many answers to this. Your answer may depend on your nationality!

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie on the 28th June 1914 in Sarajevo is said to have triggered the start of World War One (WWI) or Great War, as it became known.

Category: History / World War One / Causes

Ukraine - What next?

Today, let’s talk about the Ukrainian crisis. To briefly recap events: In November 2013, President of Ukraine Victor Yanukovych rejected an EU pending association agreement, choosing instead to pursue a Russian loan bailout and have closer ties with Russia. This led to many protests in Kiev in Independence Square. These protests became known as ‘Euromaidan’ by the young pro-European Union Ukrainians.

Category: Ukraine / History / Eastern Europe

A brief history of electric cars

Thomas Parker is said to have invented the first electric car. It went onto the streets of London in 1884. Parker was responsible for innovations such as electrifying the London Underground.

A decade later Walter C. Bersey designed a fleet of electric London taxis. These started operating on London’s streets in 1897. They were soon nicknamed ‘the hummingbirds’ because of the humming noise they made.

Category: Technology / Electric cars / History

Nelson Mandela

Today, let’s talk about Nelson Mandela. The former South African leader was laid to rest in December 2013. There were emotional scenes at his funeral, the like of which the world has never seen, as South Africa’s first black president was buried at his ancestral home.

World leaders and Prince Charles flew in to pay tribute to him at the state funeral. Other high profile guests included Sir Richard Branson and Oprah Winfrey. Archbishop Desmond Tutu also attended after a dispute the day before.

Category: History / World leaders / Nelson Mandela

Why do we dream of a white Christmas? - 2

Why do we dream of a white Christmas? Why do we get Christmas cards with snow on them?

The culprit is the writer Charles Dickens. His childhood coincided with a decade of freakishly cold winters. Thus in his writings he describes persistently a Britain smothered in snow on Christmas Day, his inspiration coming from his childhood.

Six of Dickens’s first nine Christmases were white. One of these fell in the winter of 1813-14, when Britain’s last Frost Fair was held on a frozen River Thames in London and Dickens was nearly two years old.

Category: Christmas / Charles Dickens / Snow

Remember Remember the Fifth of November!

Today, we are going to talk about Guy Fawkes’ Night or Bonfire Night. The event is held every year in the United Kingdom on the evening of the fifth of November.

The annual commemoration is to remind us of the events of the 5th November 1605 when Guy Fawkes’, who was a Catholic, was caught and arrested in the cellars of the Houses of Parliament while guarding the gunpowder that was to be used to blow it up.

Category: History / Guy Fawkes’ / 5 November

Crystal Palace to be rebuilt

Crystal Palace in London is to be rebuilt. Plans and images have been unveiled that show how Crystal Palace will look when it is rebuilt as a modern day cultural attraction.

The original Crystal Palace was destroyed by fire in 1936. The massive iron and glass structure was originally erected in Hyde Park, London, to house the Great Exhibition of 1851. More than 14,000 exhibitors from around the world gathered to see the latest technology.

Category: Crystal Palace / History / Great buildings

The seven wonders of the world

Today is a bit of a history lesson as we’re going to talk about the seven wonders of the world. Can you remember what they are? For those of you that can’t in this lesson we will look at not only the seven classic wonders of the world but also seven modern wonders in the world today.

Category: History / Wonders of the World / Geography