Historical Fact Of The Day

  • Home
  • Historical Fact Of The Day

Historical Fact Of The Day A new historical fact every day!
(3)

Today, my favourite football club turned 100 years old! Sèn Truin begot, ich haan van oech 💛💙
23/02/2024

Today, my favourite football club turned 100 years old! Sèn Truin begot, ich haan van oech 💛💙

Today, many celebrate Valentine's Day, a loving festival in honour of St Valentine, a figure about whom little is known....
14/02/2024

Today, many celebrate Valentine's Day, a loving festival in honour of St Valentine, a figure about whom little is known. In the medieval martyrologia, lists of Christian martyrs and saints, two Valentines are mentioned in connection with February 14. One of them was a priest from Rome and the other a bishop from Terni, Italy. Both saints were put to death because of their faith. From the late Middle Ages, influenced by the English writer Geoffrey Chaucer, Christians began to see the death anniversary of these saints as a special day for loved ones. Indeed, the author of The Canterbury Tales was the first to associate Valentine's Day with love in a series of poems. He did so because mid-February is often the time when birds start singing again and the cold winter slowly gives way to spring. Chaucer saw this phenomenon as a metaphor for budding love.

Image: devotional print my colleague and I found in the archives (we work for a university research centre).

30/01/2024
23/01/2024

Kylian Mbappé, the football star, received a staggering $1 billion offer from the Saudi Arabian team Al-Hilal. However, this offer wouldn't have made him anywhere near the richest athlete in history. Enter Gaius Appuleius Diocles, a Roman chariot racer from the province of Lusitania (modern-day Portugal), born in 104 AD.

Chariot racing was the Ancient Roman equivalent of today's football, with four "factiones" (teams): Green, Red, White, and Blue. Gaius joined the Whites, then later moved to the Greens and Reds. In his career spanning 15 years, he won over 1,000 races.

Gaius raced at the Circus Maximus in Rome, which could hold over 150,000 spectators. After his retirement, two monuments were erected in his honor, showcasing his impressive stats: 4,257 starts and 1,463 victories, with prize money estimated at around $15 billion in modern terms. This would have made him the wealthiest athlete in history, equivalent to over $100 billion in today's American sports terms.

This historical example sheds light on Ancient Roman society during the Empire, revealing the time and money available to support such a lucrative sporting scene. While debates about modern athletes' earnings continue, it's clear that Kylian Mbappé has a long way to go before reaching the level of wealth achieved by Gaius Appuleius Diocles in his chariot racing career.

Wonderful 4000-year-old statuette of calving from Ancient Egypt (Metropolitan Museum of Art).
11/01/2024

Wonderful 4000-year-old statuette of calving from Ancient Egypt (Metropolitan Museum of Art).

31/12/2023

Fellow history lovers, it's time to say goodbye. I started running this page (back then in Dutch) in 2011 and revived it in 2020. We had a good run, but now I'm going to focus my energy on other things in my life. I hope you all enjoyed the content, and I wish you the very best in your lives! If you want to, you can leave a message in the comments, I would appreciate that!

December 31, 406 – Vandals, Alans and Suebians cross the Rhine, beginning an invasion of Gaul. The crossing transgresses...
31/12/2023

December 31, 406 – Vandals, Alans and Suebians cross the Rhine, beginning an invasion of Gaul. The crossing transgresses one of the Late Roman Empire's most secure 'limites' or borders and so it is a climactic moment in the decline of the Empire. It initiated a wave of destruction of Roman cities and the collapse of Roman civic order in northern Gaul.
Image: Reconstruction of the sack of Gaul (407-409).
P.S.: Happy New Year's Eve, everybody! This will be the page's last post (see other post, linked in the comments, for more info).

December 30, 1916 - Russian mystic and advisor to the Tsar Grigori Rasputin is murdered by a loyalist group led by Princ...
30/12/2023

December 30, 1916 - Russian mystic and advisor to the Tsar Grigori Rasputin is murdered by a loyalist group led by Prince Felix Yusupov. He survives poisoned cake, tea and Madeira wine, and a gunshot to the chest, but finally succumbs to a shot in the forehead. His frozen body is discovered in a river three days later.
Soundtrack:

Boney M. - „Rasputin” (Official Audio)Der Song zur TikTok Challenge best of Boney M.: https://lnk.to/BoneyMSubscribe to the chann...

May 29, 1453 - Ottoman armies under Sultan Mehmed II Fatih capture Constantinople after a 53-day siege, ending the Byzan...
29/12/2023

May 29, 1453 - Ottoman armies under Sultan Mehmed II Fatih capture Constantinople after a 53-day siege, ending the Byzantine Empire.

December 28, 1895 - The Lumière brothers screen a movie for a paying audience in Paris. This is the first commercial mov...
28/12/2023

December 28, 1895 - The Lumière brothers screen a movie for a paying audience in Paris. This is the first commercial movie to be screened. It consists of a series of short scenes from everyday French life. Afterwards, the two enterpreneurial siblings open other theaters and send crews of cameramen around the world to shoot new material.
Image: a still from said movie showing workers leaving the Lumière factory.

December 27, 1831 - Charles Darwin embarks on his journey around the world aboard HMS Beagle, during which he will begin...
27/12/2023

December 27, 1831 - Charles Darwin embarks on his journey around the world aboard HMS Beagle, during which he will begin to formulate his theory of evolution. Darwin put forward that theory in 1859 in his famous work 'On The Origin of Species', in which he included evidence that he had collected on the Beagle expedition.
Fun fact, Darwin was only 22 when he started his journey on the HMS Beagle.

Image: the Beagle at the tip of South America, a painting by the ship's draughtsman.

December 26, 1898 - Marie and Pierre Curie announce the isolation of the chemical element radium, from the Latin word fo...
26/12/2023

December 26, 1898 - Marie and Pierre Curie announce the isolation of the chemical element radium, from the Latin word for ray. Earlier that year, they also discovered polonium, which was named after Marie's native country Poland. This, and other research, would earn Marie Curie two Nobel Prizes (the first of which she received with her husband).

December 25, 1991 - 32 years ago, Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as President of the Soviet Union. The union itself is dissol...
25/12/2023

December 25, 1991 - 32 years ago, Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as President of the Soviet Union. The union itself is dissolved the next day.
Image: The Soviet flag being lowered from the Kremlin and replaced with the flag of Russia on December 26, 1991.

Also: merry Christmas!

24/12/2023

December 24, 1865 - In the wake of the American Civil War, six former officers of the Confederate army form the Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist terrorist hate group. Its numerous chapters across the South were suppressed around 1871, through federal law enforcement.

Image: no image, because Facebook bans pages for stuff like this.

December 23, 1888 - The painter Vincent Van Gogh cuts off part of his left ear during an argument with fellow artist Pau...
23/12/2023

December 23, 1888 - The painter Vincent Van Gogh cuts off part of his left ear during an argument with fellow artist Paul Gaugain. He then presents it to a pr******te in a local brothel. This is a clear sign of the mental illness Van Gogh suffers from at that time. The video below tells more about this episode.

In Van Gogh Questions, our researcher Bregje Gerritse answers the most frequently asked questions about Vincent van Gogh. Subscribe to our channel and ask Bregje…

December 22, 1894 - Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a French artillery officer of Jewish descent, is convicted of treason. He is...
22/12/2023

December 22, 1894 - Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a French artillery officer of Jewish descent, is convicted of treason. He is sentenced to life imprisonment for communicating French military secrets to the German Embassy in Paris. Two years later, the conviction turns out to be unjustified, but high-ranking military officials suppress the new evidence because of viral antisemitism at that time. In 1906, Dreyfus is exonerated and reinstated as a major in the French Army. He serves during the whole of World War I, ending his service with the rank of lieutenant-colonel.
Image: Alfred Dreyfus is publicly stripped of his army rank.

December 21, 1913 – Arthur Wynne's "Word-Cross", the first crossword puzzle, is published in the 'New York World'. A few...
21/12/2023

December 21, 1913 – Arthur Wynne's "Word-Cross", the first crossword puzzle, is published in the 'New York World'. A few weeks after the first "Word-Cross" appeared, the name of the puzzle was changed to "Cross-Word" as a result of a typesetting error. Wynne's puzzles have been known as "crosswords" ever since.

Image: Recreation of Wynne's aforementioned crossword puzzle.

December 20, 1951 – The EBR-1 in Arco, Idaho becomes the first nuclear power plant to generate electricity. The electric...
20/12/2023

December 20, 1951 – The EBR-1 in Arco, Idaho becomes the first nuclear power plant to generate electricity. The electricity powered four light bulbs. The design purpose of EBR-I was not to produce electricity but instead to validate nuclear physics theory that suggested that this type of reactor should be possible.

December 19, 1843 - Publication of Charles Dickens' novella 'A Christmas Carol'. The book recounts the story of Ebenezer...
19/12/2023

December 19, 1843 - Publication of Charles Dickens' novella 'A Christmas Carol'. The book recounts the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an elderly miser (money hoarder) who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. After their visits, Scrooge is transformed into a kinder, gentler man.

December 18, 1916 - End of the Battle of Verdun. In only 10 months, more than 300,000 French and German soldiers are kil...
18/12/2023

December 18, 1916 - End of the Battle of Verdun. In only 10 months, more than 300,000 French and German soldiers are killed. The German strategy in 1916 was to inflict mass casualties on the French, a goal achieved against the Russians from 1914 to 1915, to weaken the French Army to the point of collapse. The French had to be drawn into circumstances from which the Army could not escape, for reasons of strategy and prestige.
Fighting in such a small area devastated the land, resulting in miserable conditions for troops on both sides. Rain and the constant artillery bombardments turned the clayey soil into a wasteland of mud full of debris and human remains; shell craters filled with water and soldiers risked drowning in them. Forests were reduced to tangled piles of wood by artillery fire and eventually obliterated. The effect of the battle on many soldiers was profound and accounts of men breaking down with insanity and shell shock were common.

December 17, 1989 - 'The Simpsons' premieres on television with the episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire". At the ...
17/12/2023

December 17, 1989 - 'The Simpsons' premieres on television with the episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire". At the end of this episode, the family's dog, Santa's Little Helper, is introduced. Fun fact: the episode lacks the opening sequence which is later added in the second episode, when Groening realises that a longer opening sequence results in less animation work.

December 16, 1773 - Boston Tea Party: The Sons of Liberty, a political organisation founded to advance the rights of the...
16/12/2023

December 16, 1773 - Boston Tea Party: The Sons of Liberty, a political organisation founded to advance the rights of the colonists in the Thirteen American Colonies, dump hundreds of crates of tea into the Boston harbour as a form of protest against the Tea Act, a tax passed by the British Parliament in 1773. Colonists objected to the Tea Act believing it violated their rights as Englishmen to "no taxation without representation", that is, to be taxed only by their own elected representatives and not by a parliament in which they are not represented. The British government responds harshly, and the episode escalates into the American Revolution.
Image: engraving from 1789.

December 15, 1973 – After extensive organising by gay rights activists, the American Psychiatric Association votes 13–0 ...
15/12/2023

December 15, 1973 – After extensive organising by gay rights activists, the American Psychiatric Association votes 13–0 to remove homosexuality from its official list of psychiatric disorders, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (also known as the DSM). The activism that resulted in changing the DSM began in the wake of the Stonewall riots in 1969, a series of spontaneous protests by members of the gay community of New York to fight back against the violent police force.

Address


Website

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Historical Fact Of The Day posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Videos

Shortcuts

  • Address
  • Alerts
  • Videos
  • Claim ownership or report listing
  • Want your museum to be the top-listed Museum?

Share