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History Bytez

Byte Sized bits of History

Month

March 2016

845 – Paris is sacked by Viking raiders

29 March

The Siege of Paris and the Sack of Paris of 845 was the culmination of a Viking invasion of the kingdom of the West Franks. The Viking forces were led by a Norse chieftain named “Reginherus”, or Ragnar, who traditionally has been identified with the legendary saga character Ragnar Lodbrok. Ragnar’s fleet of 120 Viking ships, carrying thousands of men, entered the Seine in March and proceeded sailing up the river. The West Frankish king Charles the Bald assembled a smaller army in response, but as the Vikings defeated one division, comprising half of the army, the remaining forces retreated. The Vikings reached Paris at the end of the month, during Easter. After plundering and occupying the city, the Vikings finally withdrew after receiving a ransom payment of 7,000 French livres (2,570 kilograms or 5,670 pounds) of silver and gold from Charles the Bald. Continue reading “845 – Paris is sacked by Viking raiders”

1977 – Tenerife airport disaster

27 March

The Tenerife airport disaster was a fatal runway collision between two Boeing 747s on this day in 1977, at Los Rodeos Airport (now Tenerife North Airport) on the Spanish island of Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands. The crash killed 583 people, making it the deadliest accident in aviation history. As a result of the complex interaction of organizational influences, environmental preconditions, and unsafe acts leading up to this aircraft mishap, the disaster at Tenerife has served as a textbook example for reviewing the processes and frameworks used in aviation mishap investigations and accident prevention. Continue reading “1977 – Tenerife airport disaster”

1809 – Peninsular War: the Battle of Ciudad Real

27 March

The Battle of Ciudad Real was fought on this day in 1809, and resulted in a French victory under General Sebastiani against the Spanish under General Conde de Cartojal. Continue reading “1809 – Peninsular War: the Battle of Ciudad Real”

1625 – Charles I becomes King of England, Scotland and Ireland

27 March

Charles I (19 November 1600 – 30 January 1649) was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland from this day in 1625 until his execution in 1649. Continue reading “1625 – Charles I becomes King of England, Scotland and Ireland”

1997 – Heaven’s Gate mass suicides

26 March

Heaven’s Gate was an American UFO religious Millenarian group based in San Diego, California, founded in the early 1970s and led by Marshall Applewhite (1931–1997) and Bonnie Nettles (1927–1985). On this day in 1997, police discovered the bodies of 39 members of the group who had committed mass suicide in order to reach what they believed was an alien space craft following Comet Hale–Bopp. Continue reading “1997 – Heaven’s Gate mass suicides”

1917 – World War I: First Battle of Gaza

26 March

The First Battle of Gaza was fought on this day in 1917 during the first attempt by the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) to invade the south of Palestine in the Ottoman Empire during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of the First World War. Fighting took place in and around the town of Gaza on the Mediterranean coast when infantry and mounted infantry from the Desert Column, a component of the Eastern Force, attacked the town. Late in the afternoon, on the verge of capturing Gaza, the Desert Column was withdrawn due to concerns about the approaching darkness and large Ottoman reinforcements. This British defeat was followed a few weeks later by the even more emphatic defeat of the Eastern Force at the Second Battle of Gaza in April 1917. Continue reading “1917 – World War I: First Battle of Gaza”

1351 – Combat of the Thirty

26 March

The Combat of the Thirty occurred on this day in 1351 and was an episode in the Breton War of Succession, a war fought to determine who would rule the Duchy of Brittany. It was an arranged fight between picked combatants from both sides of the conflict. Continue reading “1351 – Combat of the Thirty”

1993 – Discovery of Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9

24 March

Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 was a comet that broke apart and collided with Jupiter in July 1994, providing the first direct observation of an extraterrestrial collision of Solar System objects. This generated a large amount of coverage in the popular media, and the comet was closely observed by astronomers worldwide. The collision provided new information about Jupiter and highlighted its role in reducing space debris in the inner Solar System. Continue reading “1993 – Discovery of Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9”

1878 – The British frigate HMS Eurydice sinks, killing more than 300

24 March

HMS Eurydice was a 26-gun Royal Navy corvette which was the victim of one of Britain’s worst peace-time naval disasters when she sank in 1878. Continue reading “1878 – The British frigate HMS Eurydice sinks, killing more than 300”

1603 – James VI of Scotland becomes James I of England and Ireland

24 March

James VI and I (19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the Scottish and English crowns on this day in 1603 until his death. The kingdoms of Scotland and England were individual sovereign states, with their own parliaments, judiciary, and laws, though both were ruled by James in personal union. Continue reading “1603 – James VI of Scotland becomes James I of England and Ireland”

Grave of King Richard III recreated in 3-D

On the first year anniversary of the reinterment of Richard III when the coffin bearing the mortal remains first emerged from the Fielding Johnson Building at the University of Leicester Continue reading “Grave of King Richard III recreated in 3-D”

1997 – The Comet Hale–Bopp has its closest approach to Earth

22 March

Comet Hale–Bopp was perhaps the most widely observed comet of the 20th century and one of the brightest seen for many decades. It was visible to the naked eye for a record 18 months, twice as long as the previous record holder, the Great Comet of 1811. Continue reading “1997 – The Comet Hale–Bopp has its closest approach to Earth”

1963 – The Beatles’ first album, Please Please Me, is released in the United Kingdom

22 March

Please Please Me is the debut studio album by the English rock band the Beatles. Parlophone rush-released the album on this day in 1963 in the United Kingdom to capitalise on the success of the singles “Please Please Me” and “Love Me Do”. Continue reading “1963 – The Beatles’ first album, Please Please Me, is released in the United Kingdom”

1849 – The Battle of Novara

22 March

The Battle of Novara or Battle of Bicocca (Bicocca is a borough of Novara) was one of the battles fought between the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Sardinia during the First Italian War of Independence, within the era of Italian unification. Lasting the whole day of 22 March 1849 and ending at dawn on 23 March, it resulted in a severe defeat and retreat of the Piedmontese (Sardinian) army. Continue reading “1849 – The Battle of Novara”

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