Category Archives: This day in History

Battle of Tigranocerta (69 BCE)

Through an alliance with his father-in-law, Mithradates VI of Pontus, Armenian King Tigranes the Great extended his conquests across Asia Minor and founded Tigranocerta—the modern Siirt, Turkey—as the capital of his large empire. In 69 BCE, Roman forces led by General Lucullus captured Tigranocerta. With the aid of Tigranes’s son, Pompey vanquished Tigranes, who lost all of his conquests and had to pay tribute to Rome. What early form of chemical warfare was employed during the battle? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Paddington Tram Depot Fire (1962)

In 1962, the Paddington Tram Depot in Brisbane, Australia, and 65 of its trams were destroyed in one of the largest fires in the city’s history. The strain that the destruction put on local transportation resources is generally considered to have brought about the beginning of the end for Brisbane’s tram system, which closed in 1969. After the fire, parts were salvaged from the destroyed trams and incorporated into new ones. What mythical creature adorns the trams bearing the salvaged parts? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Concordat of Worms (1122)

The Concordat of Worms was an agreement reached by Pope Calixtus II and Holy Roman Emperor Henry V that put an end to the first phase of the power struggle between Rome and what was becoming the Holy Roman Empire. Under its terms, the king was recognized as having the right to invest bishops “by the lance” but not “by ring and staff,” meaning he could grant them secular but not sacred authority. What message about the divine right of kings did the concordat convey? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Battle of Tannenberg Ends (1914)

The Battle of Tannenberg was a decisive engagement between Russian and German forces in WWI. After invading German East Prussia, the Russian First and Second armies became separated. German forces then attacked one of the isolated armies and forced its retreat, killing and capturing tens of thousands in the process. Though disastrous for Russia, the battle forced Germany to divert troops from the Western Front during the first critical weeks of the war. Why was the battle named after Tannenberg? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Battle of Bosworth Field (1485)

The Battle of Bosworth Field was the penultimate battle of the Wars of the Roses in which Henry Tudor defeated the royal forces of Richard III, the last king of the House of York. Richard was killed in battle, and Henry advanced to London and was crowned as Henry VII. In 1486, Henry married Edward IV’s daughter, Elizabeth, thus uniting the houses of York and Lancaster, ending the Wars of the Roses and founding the Tudor royal dynasty. This battle is featured in which of Shakespeare’s plays? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Mona Lisa Stolen by a Louvre Employee (1911)

In 1911, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa disappeared from the Louvre and was believed to be lost forever. Two years later, former Louvre employee Vincenzo Peruggia was caught trying to sell the masterpiece to a gallery owner in his native Italy. It turned out that Peruggia had stolen the painting by hiding in a closet, waiting until the museum had closed, taking it down, and simply walking out with it hidden under his coat. How much time did Peruggia serve in jail for his crime? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Battle of Aljubarrota (1385)

At a time of war, famine, and plague in Europe, the Portuguese village of Aljubarrota became the site of a momentous battle in which the Portuguese, aided by English archers, defeated the forces of the Spanish King John I of Castile, assuring Portuguese independence from the Castilian crown. Nuno Álvares Pereira, the man who led the revolt against Castilian domination, emerged from the battle a hero. He later became a monk and was recently canonized. Who was the Portuguese king at the time? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Battle of Dogger Bank (1781)

The Battle of Dogger Bank was a naval battle that took place in the North Sea during the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War, which broke out over Dutch trade with Britain’s enemies during the American Revolution. The battle is therefore considered part of the American War of Independence. The clash began after the British spotted and began to chase a Dutch merchant fleet being escorted by a convoy of warships. Both sides suffered significant casualties during the three-hour skirmish. Who emerged the victor? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Battle of Edgecote Moor (1469)

The Battle of Edgecote Moor was an important turning point in the series of dynastic civil wars for the English throne known as the Wars of the Roses (1455-1485). The battle pitted the forces of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, against those of King Edward IV. Warwick had once been loyal to Edward and had even helped put him on the throne, but Edward began to resent him and suppress his influence. Angered, Warwick allied with Edward’s brother, George, and rose in rebellion. Who won the battle? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Battle of Falkirk (1298)

The Battle of Falkirk was a major battle in the First War of Scottish Independence. It was fought between the leader of the Scots, William Wallace, and King Edward I of England, also known as the Hammer of the Scots. In 1298, Edward I invaded Scotland and defeated a smaller force led by Wallace at Falkirk. Edward’s longbowmen and cavalry decimated Wallace’s spearmen, forcing him to retreat. Though victorious, Edward’s troops also retreated following the battle, and many deserted thereafter. Why? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary