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Eugene Vidocq – The Father of Criminology

Eugene Vidocq – The Father of Criminology

Eugène François Vidocq(1775 – 1857) During the night of 23 to 24 July 1775, French criminal and criminalist Eugene Vidocq was born. Vidocq is considered the world’s first private detective and father of modern criminology. His life story inspired several writers, including Victor Hugo and Honoré de Balzac. Surprisingly, the later criminalist had a pretty turbulent childhood and youth. He stole his parent’s silverware at the age of 13 and was sent…
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Rome is Burning

Rome is Burning

The Torches of Nero, painting by Henryk Siemiradzki (1876) On July 19, 64 AD, the Great Fire of Rome (Latin: Magnum Incendium Romae) occurred and continued burning until July 26 during the reign of emperor Nero. According to the Roman historian Tacitus three of the 14 city districts were completely burned down, in seven districts only debris and rubble was left from the former buildings, and only 4 districts were not affected.…
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Thomas Cook Invents Organized Tourism

Thomas Cook Invents Organized Tourism

Thomas Cook(1808 – 1892) On 5 July 1841, British pioneer of organized tourism Thomas Cook arranged to take a group of 540 temperance campaigners from Leicester Campbell Street station to a rally in Loughborough, eleven miles away. This led him to start his own business founding the world’s first and most famous travel agency. Thomas Cook apprenticed at a cabinet maker and later became a Baptist preacher touring through the country to…
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Lucrezia Borgia – Femme Fatale or Political Tool?

Lucrezia Borgia – Femme Fatale or Political Tool?

Lucrezia Borgia (1480-1519) On June 24, 1519, Lucrezia Borgia, the daughter of Pope Alexander VI, and Vannozza dei Cattanei, passed away. Lucrezia’s family later came to epitomize the ruthless Machiavellian politics and sexual corruption alleged to be characteristic of the Renaissance Papacy. Lucrezia was cast as a femme fatale, a role she has been portrayed as in many artworks, novels, and films. The extent of her complicity in the political machinations of…
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Black Vinyl at 33⅓ RPM

Black Vinyl at 33⅓ RPM

Neumann Record Cutting MachineImage: JacoTen On June 21, 1948, Columbia Records introduced the long-playing record album, in short the LP, in a public demonstration at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, New York, which soon was adopted as a new standard by the entire record industry. Apart from relatively minor refinements and the important later addition of stereophonic sound capability, it has remained the standard format for vinyl “albums”. To take a…
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Waterloo and the European Balance of Power

Waterloo and the European Balance of Power

Battle of Waterloo by William Sadler On June 18, 1815, a battle was fought near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, which should be Napoleon’s last. An Imperial French army under the command of Emperor Napoleon was defeated by the armies of the Seventh Coalition, comprising an Anglo-Allied army under the command of the Duke of Wellington combined with a Prussian army under the command of Gebhard von Blücher. The defeat at Waterloo ended…
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Bartolomeo Platina and the Vatican Library

Bartolomeo Platina and the Vatican Library

The Sistine Hall of the Vatican Library On June 15, 1475, Pope Sixtus IV issued the papal bull ‘Ad decorem militantis Ecclesiae‘ in which he regulated the complex structure of the newly founded Vatican Apostolic Library and appointed Renaissance author Bartolomeo Platina as its first head librarian. For sure you will heave heard about the famous Vatican Library and even more about the Vatican Secret Archives, which are part of the library.…
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Index Librorum Prohibitorum – The List of Banned Books

Index Librorum Prohibitorum – The List of Banned Books

Title page of Index Librorum Prohibitorum(Venice 1564) On June 14, 1966, the Roman Catholic Church abolished their famous list of banned books, the Index Librorum Prohibitorum or shorter simply, the Index, that had been installed almost 500 years ago. Actually, it was soon clear, that the written word could also be dangerous, especially if it can be published in large quantities. Once Johannes Gutenberg had invented the printing press and the printing process…
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The Bridge of Spies and the biggest Agent Swap in History

The Bridge of Spies and the biggest Agent Swap in History

Glienicke Bridge Image: Tabea Tietz On June 11, 1985, the biggest agent swap known in history occurred at the Glienicke Bridge in Potsdam. The Glienicke Bridge became very famous during the Cold War, not only for its beauty, but for its function as an agent swapping location for the eastern and western governments. The bridge itself was built in the 17th century in order to guarantee the nobility a connection to Potsdam’s…
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Henry Dunant and the Red Cross

Henry Dunant and the Red Cross

On May 8, 1828, Swiss businessman and social activist Henry Dunant was born. He is best known for the creation of the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1863. Also the 1864 Geneva Convention was based on Dunant‘s ideas. In 1901 he received the first Nobel Peace Prize together with Frédéric Passy. “In one of the Cremona hospitals, an Italian doctor had said: “We keep the good things for our friends…
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