Deven Kane

This day in History – December 25, 1066 – William the Bastard is crowned King of England

The Norman Conquest is considered an epochal moment in English history – with good reason.  Until the conquest England was firmly a part of the Scandinavian cultural sphere – four English Kings in the eleventh century had been Danish.  The Normans may have started out as Viking marauders but by 1066 had been absorbed into …

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This Day in History – November 11, 1918 – All Quiet on the Western Front

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918 the guns finally fell silent across the battlefields of Europe.  It had been termed the “War to end all Wars” and until the onset of the next round of bloodletting a generation later would be referred to as “The Great War.” …

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This day in History – October 9, 1446 – The Hangul alphabet is published in Korea

Today is Hangul Day in Korea.  In commemorating their alphabet, Koreans acknowledge the remarkable script designed exclusively to fit the language. Like many countries in East Asia, Korea was heavily influenced by Chinese culture.  However, the Chinese characters were cumbersome when applied to Korean.  As a result only in elites were literate. To solve this …

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This day in History – August 26, 1071 – Battle of Manzikert

In its approximately 1000 years of history the Byzantine Empire had suffered a number of military disasters.  It survived the loss of Egypt, Syria and North Africa to the Arabs.  It fended off multiple sieges of Constantinople by the Persians, Arabs, Bulgars and other tribes.  The Empire survived the Slavic migration into the Balkans in …

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This day in History – August 21, 1959 – the American Flag gets its 50th Star

Hawaii was an unusual candidate for American statehood.  The Kingdom of Hawaii had long been under American influence (though it tried to play the Americans off against the British).  However, its economy was eventually dominated by the emigre Americans and Europeans.  In 1887 they forced King Kalākaua to accept the Bayonet Constitution – the monarchy’s …

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This Day in History – August 15, 1947 – “At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom”

India’s long struggle for freedom came to its bittersweet conclusion on August 15, 1947.  The day itself was chosen by the last Viceroy to coincide with V-J Day that concluded World War II.  India’s struggle for independence was unique at the time in being largely non-violent – though the rising surge of unrest in the …

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This Day in History – June 8, 793 – The fury of the Northmen hits England for the first time

“A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine” (“From the fury of the Northmen deliver us, O Lord”) This would be the despairing prayer uttered in coming years in churches and monastic institutions around Western Europe.  June 8, 793 is often used to mark the beginning of the Viking age.  A group of Norsemen (i.e. Northmen) suddenly …

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This Day in History- June 7, 1494 – Treaty of Tordesillas

In 1493, the year after Columbus sailed west and found “the Indies,” Pope Alexander VI (the notorious Borgia Pope) issued the Bulls of Donation dividing the New World between Spain and Portugal.  The problem was that Portugal felt the Papal grant gave it too little land and prevented their hoped for conquest of India.  So the …

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