05/05 – The Battle on the Ice

A modern interpretation of Hermann's knights charging across Lake Peipus. (SF Girl) On this day in 1242, thousands of Crusading Knights faced off against the armed hordes of the Republic of Novgorod. No, this was not a televised figure-skating competition but a clash between the forces of Catholic Good™ and Orthodox Evil™. Seeking to expand…

05/04 – Inter Caetera: A World Split in Two

The Cantino planisphere, a 1502 map depicting a world carved in half by the Portuguese and Spanish. (Wikimedia Commons) On this day in 1493, a papal bull by the name of inter caetera ("Among other works") was issued by Pope Alexander VI from the Vatican. The decree stated that the Americas would be split into…

04/30 – The Philippine Women’s Suffrage Referendum

Filipino president Manuel L. Quezon, a proponent of women's rights, depicted in a 1937 editorial cartoon. (Flickr) On this day in 1937, women in the Philippines won the right to vote after a national referendum. A full 90% of participants supported women's suffrage, a surprise result in a country that still (in many areas) embraced…

04/24 – Operation Eagle Claw

Delta Force assaulters preparing for the rescue mission. Operators dressed in civilian clothes and concealed their weapons and ammunition beneath black-dyed BDU jackets. (Wikimedia Commons) On this day in 1980, Operation Eagle Claw - the US mission to rescue the 52 hostages held at the American embassy in Tehran, Iran - began after months of…

04/21 – The Red Baron

The "Red Baron" during WWI in front of his bright-red Fokker DR.I aircraft. Many sources indicate that Richthofen resented the publicity he gained from his combat record. (Pinterest) On this day in 1918, German Air Force pilot Manfred von Richthofen was killed while engaging in aerial combat over Vaux-sur-Somme, France. Richthofen - known as Der…

04/20 – Marie Curie’s Discovery

Curie at work in her lab around the turn of the century. Prolonged exposure to radioactive materials likely killed Curie, who died in 1934. (Biography.com) On this day in 1902, Polish scientist Marie Curie succeeded in refining radium-chloride (RaCl2), a salt compound used in cancer treatments and various other technologies. Aided by her husband Pierre,…

04/19 – The Kishinev Pogrom

An American political illustration from soon after the Kishinev pogrom. President Theodore Roosevelt is pictured, admonishing Tsar Nicholas II for his treatment of Russia's Jewish population. (Public Domain) On this day in 1903, an angry mob began attacking Jewish people in Moldova's capital city, Kishinev. Then a part of the Russian Empire, Kishinev had recently…

04/15 – Jackie Robinson’s Debut

Robinson early on in his career as "no. 42". Although he began his career on first base, Robinson - through relentless practice - eventually became one of the best hitters in the league. (Jackie Robinson.com) On this day in 1947, the Brooklyn Dodgers faced off against the Boston Braves at Ebbets Field, NYC. At first…

04/14 – Four Dead in Five Seconds

Downtown El Paso in the 1880s. During the "Wild West" period, El Paso was one of the most violent towns in the region. (Pinterest) On this day in 1881, the Four Dead in Five Seconds gunfight took place in El Paso, Texas. Earlier in the day, two cattle rustlers (thieves) under the employ of John…

04/13 – Project MK-Ultra

In footage from Operation Delirium, a US soldier experiences a "controlled" mental breakdown in a secret Army test. The Army cooperated with the CIA throughout the duration of MK-Ultra, sharing the findings of their own dubious experiments. (The New Yorker) On this day in 1953, the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) began work on Project…