According to ancient Greek mythology, Europa was a beautiful Phoenician princess. She was the daughter of Agenor, king of Tyre. Zeus felt in love with Europa, so he decided to appear in front of her as a magnificent white bull to gain her trust. (He also wooed women as a swan, a shower of golden dust, and various other interesting forms.)
The princess climbed on the bull’s back and was immediately carried to Crete, where Zeus revealed himself to Europa in all his glory. The king of Gods and Europa had three children – Sarpedon, Minos and Rhadamanthys.
Etymologically speaking, the word Europe comes from ancient Greek and means broad, wide-gazing, broad of aspect. But that’s a lot less interesting.
Historians have long believed that the spark for the Scottish uprising in 1297 against the English Edward I was William Wallace’s killing of the English Sheriff of Lanark, William Hesilrig.
New evidence shows that Wallace did not work alone. William Wallace helped lead a band of resistance fighters that killed Hesilrig, but his close ally Richard of Lundie also led the group. The reason Lundie is less remembered is probably because a few weeks later it seemed the rebellion’s leaders would sue for peace. Lundie, to save himself, defected to the English.
This meant that when William Wallace and Sir Andrew Murray were preparing for the decisive Battle of Stirling Bridge, Lundie was under the command of the English Earl of Surrey. Interestingly, an English ballad from the time blames him for the rout of the English at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. Did Lundie defect again? We don’t know, since there is no record of him after the battle.
As the Revolutionary War approached, leaders in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County sought to ease tensions by urging the growing number of German immigrants with religious objections to war to demonstrate their patriotism by giving as much money as they could afford to the revolutionary cause. (Many of these are the immigrants who became the Amish we know today.)
The proposition is spelled out in a July 11, 1775 public notice known as a “broadside,” which is on display at the Moravian Archives & Museum in Pennsylvania. Experts recently confirmed it as the only known English-language copy.
West Sahara is an interesting outcome of a funny history. Here’s the facts:
- West Sahara is mainly desert, with the majority of its 500,000 residents living in one city
- It originally belonged to(by this, I mean was first claimed by a sovereign nation as we understand it today) the Spanish Empire
- At the Madrid Accords in 1975, Spain agreed to leave the territory
- It is now claimed by the Kingdom of Morocco and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
- SADR controlls 20 to 25%, Morocco the rest
- The UN has it as a non-decolonized territory on the “List of Non-Self-Governing Territories”
This guy was pretty freaking awesome (and extremely influential for a black guy pre-civil rights movement).
- He is named after George Washington. I know, duh, but the greatness can only increase after being named for the man who won one of the most uneven wars ever.
- He moved away from home at the age of 12 so that he could be educated — in a one-room schoolhouse.
- At the age of 30, he became the first black student of Simpson College.
- Carver discovered three hundred uses for peanuts.
- He also found recipes and/or improvements for adhesives, axle grease, bleach, buttermilk, chili sauce, fuel briquettes, ink, instant coffee, linoleum, mayonnaise, meat tenderizer, metal polish, paper, plastic, pavement, shaving cream, shoe polish, synthetic rubber, talcum powder and wood stain.
- Carver did all this while Director of Agriculture at Tuskegee, one of the most prestigious HBCUs.
- George Washington Carver only applied for three patents during his lifetime.
After having parleyed a long time, our brave captain-general answered ‘that he would make no promises, that they must surrender unconditionally, and lay down their arms, because, if he spared their lives, he wanted them to be grateful for it, and, if they were put to death, that that there should be no cause for complaint.’ Seeing that there was nothing else left for them to do, the sergeant returned to the camp; and soon after he brought all their arms and flags, and gave them up to the general, and surrendered unconditionally. Finding they were all Lutherans, the captain-general ordered them all put to death; but, as I was a priest, and had bowels of mercy, I begged him to grant me the favor of sparing those whom we might find to be Christians. He granted it; and I made investigations, and found ten or twelve of the men Roman Catholics, whom we brought back. All the others were executed, because they were Lutherans and enemies of our Holy Catholic faith. All this took place on Saturday (St. Michael’s Day), September 29, 1565.
—Father Francisco Lopez, on the massacre of French Huguenots in Florida by Spanish Catholics
I, Francisco Lopez de Mendoza Grajales, Chaplain of His Lordship, certify that the foregoing is a statement of what actually happened.