Category Archives: This day in History

Battle of Legnano (1176)

In 1160, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa was excommunicated for his support of a series of antipopes against Pope Alexander III. In 1167, the communes of Lombardy in northern Italy formed an alliance to resist Frederick. The Lombard League soundly defeated Frederick’s forces in the Battle of Legnano, after which Frederick reconciled with the pope and made peace with the Lombard cities. Why, if he survived, did Frederick’s wife go into mourning for her husband following the battle? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

First Kentucky Derby (1875)

The Kentucky Derby is a classic US thoroughbred horse race. Established in 1875, it is run annually on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs track in Louisville, Kentucky. The field is limited to three-year-old Thoroughbreds, and the track distance is 1.25 mi (2,000 m). With the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes, it makes up US racing’s coveted Triple Crown. In front of an estimated crowd of 10,000 people, the inaugural derby was won by jockey Oliver Lewis riding a colt named what? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Tomb of Herod the Great Is Discovered (2007)

Herod the Great was the Roman-appointed king of Judaea in the first century BCE. Infamous today for his role in the Biblical account of the slaying of the infants of Bethlehem, Herod was known during his lifetime for his ambitious building projects, including fortresses, aqueducts, and theaters. The location of his tomb, described by the first-century CE Roman-Jewish historian Josephus Flavius, remained a mystery until 2007, when an Israeli archeologist found it where? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Fall of Saigon (1975)

On April 30, 1975, Saigon, the largest city in Vietnam and the capital of South Vietnam, was captured by the National Liberation Front and the People’s Army of Vietnam. The event marked the end of the Vietnam War (1955-1975) and the reunification of Vietnam under communist rule. The city lost its status as the country’s capital and was renamed after what Vietnamese Marxist revolutionary leader and late president of North Vietnam? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Battle of Clontarf (1014)

The Battle of Clontarf was a decisive battle fought between Irish forces under the high king of Ireland, Brian Boru, and a Viking army formed by Sitric, king of the Dublin Norse. Brian’s forces defeated the Vikings at Clontarf, near Dublin, but he was killed shortly thereafter by fleeing Norsemen. Brian’s victory broke Viking power in Ireland, but, without a king, the country split into small, separate kingdoms that then fought one another. What was Wolf the Quarrelsome’s role in the battle? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Battles of Lexington and Concord (1775)

The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the opening engagements of the American Revolution. While marching from Boston to Concord to seize colonists’ military stores, a British force of 700 was met at Lexington by 77 local minutemen. After a brief exchange of shots, the outnumbered colonists fell back. The British continued on to Concord, where they were defeated by a militia of about 500. Who had been sent to warn the people of the Massachusetts countryside about the impending British attack? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Hillsborough Disaster (1989)

The Hillsborough Disaster occurred in 1989 during a soccer match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough stadium in England. When the match began, many fans were still attempting to enter the stadium, forming a bottleneck at the gate. When the gates were opened, the push from the crowd crushed many against barriers, resulting in the deaths of 96 people. It remains the deadliest stadium-related disaster in British history. What factors are believed to have led to the disaster? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Californium First Synthesized (1950)

The sixth transuranium element to be synthesized, californium is an artificially produced, radioactive metallic chemical element. A member of the actinide series of elements, it has isotopes with half-lives ranging from about 40 seconds to 900 years. One isotope, californium-252, is used as a neutron source in nuclear reactors. More than 50 years after it was first produced by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley, californium was used to create what superheavy element? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Maiden Voyage of World's Largest Ocean Liner, RMS Queen Mary 2 (2004)

The RMS Queen Mary 2 (QM2) is a Cunard Line ocean liner named after the earlier Cunard liner Queen Mary, which was, in turn, named after Mary of Teck, the Queen Consort of George V. With 15 restaurants and bars, 5 pools, a casino, a ballroom, a theater, and a planetarium, the QM2 is the largest ocean liner in the world, and, at the time of its construction, was the longest, widest, and tallest passenger ship ever built. What ship challenged that distinction in 2006? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Innocent III Is Pope (1198)

Lotario di Segni became Pope of the Catholic Church in 1198 at the age of 37, taking the name “Innocent III.” He believed that just as things of the spirit take preeminence over things of the body, so should earthly monarchs be subject to the pope, and he set out immediately to realize this ideal. He was the virtual overlord of Christian Spain, Scandinavia, Hungary, and the Latin East and launched the Fourth Crusade, which went awry when the crusaders did what instead of going to the Holy Land? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary