war/crime

Waterloo and the European Balance of Power

Waterloo and the European Balance of Power

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 Napoleon’s rule as Emperor of the…
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The Assassination of Wallenstein

The Assassination of Wallenstein

On February 25, 1634, Bohemian military leader and politician Count Albrecht von Wallenstein was assassinated at Cheb in Bohemia. An imperial generalissimo of the Thirty Year’s War, and Admiral of the Baltic Sea, he had made himself ruler of the lands of the Duchy of Friedland in northern Bohemia. Wallenstein found himself released from imperial service in 1630 after Emperor Ferdinand grew wary of his ambition. “We act as we must. So…
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La Voisin and the Scandalous Affair of the Poisons

La Voisin and the Scandalous Affair of the Poisons

On February 22, 1680, Catherine Deshayes Monvoisin, aka La Voisin, was sentenced to death for witchcraft and poisoning, and burned at the stake. This Affair of the Poisons (L’affaire des poisons) was a major murder scandal in France which took place in 1677–1682, during the reign of King Louis XIV. During it, a number of prominent members of the aristocracy were implicated and sentenced on charges of poisoning and witchcraft. The scandal…
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The Sinking of the H.L. Hunley

The Sinking of the H.L. Hunley

On the night of February 17, 1864, the submarine H.L.Hunley of the American Confederate Army sank the steamship USS Housatonic with a torpedo and became the very first submarine to attack and sink an enemy vessel. The Hunley was lost at some point following her successful attack and all crewmen were lost. Although the Hunley only played a small part in the American Civil War, it was a large role in the…
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The Last Safari – The Phenomenon Ernest Hemingway

The Last Safari – The Phenomenon Ernest Hemingway

He was one of the most successful and best known American authors of the 20th century. He also was a journalist, war reporter, foreign correspondent. Four times he was married, for most of the time of his life he was a heavy drinker, and he had a passion for big game hunting in Africa. For his novell ‘The Old Man and the Sea‘ – you know the story with the fisherman catching…
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Nothing Really Mattered to Ambrose ‘Bitter’ Bierce

Nothing Really Mattered to Ambrose ‘Bitter’ Bierce

Author, journalist, satirist, and critic Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce was born on June 24, 1842. He had a great influence in the literature of the 20th century through his works, most of them dealing with the American Civil War. A prolific and versatile writer, Bierce was regarded as one of the most influential journalists in the United States. “Happiness, n. An agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.” — The Devil’s Dictionary,…
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Friedrich Spee and the Cautio Criminalis

Friedrich Spee and the Cautio Criminalis

On February 25, 1591, German Jesuit and poet Friedrich Spee was born, who is best known for his book Cautio Criminalis, in which he argued publicly against the trials for witchcraft and against torture in general. He was one of the noblest and most attractive figures of the awful era of the Thirty Years’ War. Friedrich Spee and the Thirty Years War Friedrich Spee von Langenfeld was born to a noble family…
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Henry Faulds and the Forensic Use of Fingerprints

Henry Faulds and the Forensic Use of Fingerprints

On June 1, 1843, Scottish physician and missionary Henry Faulds was born. Faulds became a missionary in Japan, where he worked as a surgeon superintendent at a Tokyo hospital, taught at the local univeristy, and founded the Tokyo Institute for the Blind. He is probably best known for his study of fingerprints, where he became convinced that each individual had a unique pattern. Historic Use of Fingerprints It is believed that fingerprints…
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Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans

Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans

On May 30, 1431, Joan of Arc aka the Maid of Orleans was burnt at the stake. Joan of Arc is considered a heroine of France for her role during the Lancastrian phase of the Hundred Years’ War, and was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint. Joan of Arc was probably born around 1412. She did not lean to read and write, but her mother sparked the young girl’s interest in the…
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The Case of Klaus Fuchs

The Case of Klaus Fuchs

On December 29, 1911, German-born British theoretical physicist and atomic spy Emil Julius Klaus Fuchs was born. In the time of the development of the atomic bomb at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Fuchs was responsible for many significant theoretical calculations relating to the first nuclear weapons, and later, early models of the hydrogen bomb. In 1950, Fuchs was convicted of supplying information from the American, British, and Canadian Manhattan Project to the…
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