Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween Is Today

Here is the first stanza of Robert Burns' poem Halloween published in 1785.

Upon that night, when fairies light,
On Cassilis Downans dance,
Or owre the lays, in splendid blaze,
On sprightly coursers prance;
Or for Colean the rout is ta’en,
Beneath the moon’s pale beams;
There, up the Cove,to stray an’ rove,
Amang the rocks and streams
To sport that night;
Here's the rest of the poem:

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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sir Francis Drake Attacks Cartegena

In 1586 Cartegena was the richest and the most fortified port on the Spanish Main.

Located in today's country of Columbia, the city was encircled by a broad creek, which ran round it from the inner harbor to the sea in such a way as to form a wide natural moat, rendering the city unapproachable from the mainland except by a bridge. This bridge was also commanded by the harbor fort, nor were land operations possible at any other point except from that part of the spit which lay between the city and the Bocca Grande. So finely, however, did this narrow down before the city could be reached, that between the inner harbor and the sea it was but fifty paces wide, and here the Spaniards had had time to prepare defenses that looked impregnable. From shore to shore a formidable entrenchment completely barred the way; and not only was its front so staked and encumbered as to render a night attack impossible, but its approaches were swept by the guns and small-arms of a great galeas and two galleys which lay in the inner harbor.

 For more on Drake's opening moves here is an installment from Drake Captures Cartegena; Raids Cadiz by Julian Corbett:


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Sunday, October 9, 2016

History Moments Crosses 1,000 Pages

A good history blog is more like a library than a diary.  It is a collection of short passages.  Entries made in prior years are just as important as the latest ones.


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Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Cold War Series

Did you see the series on CNN or on the BBC? While it had its problems, at 24 episodes it is the most comprehensive history of the "war" yet seen. Its major omission in my opinion is a summary of the chief beliefs of communism. One cannot really understand the Cold War Era without understanding how communism differs from socialism and from the other major isms of the era.

 For more information: 


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Friday, October 7, 2016

Past Quotes from Trump and Clinton

While these are contemporary people, I believe that a look back at statements they have made in past years gives an historical perspective. Since the news emphasizes their bad statements, this series looks at positive ones. Moreover, both people have said wise thing that we can put to use in our own lives. and Don't forget The Basic History Library (free). ------------->

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Native Americans Before French Canada

We call of the various communities speaking dialects of the generic tongue of the Iroquois the Huron-Iroquois Family of Indian nations. Through most of North America the structure of the clan formed the basis of their societies. The Iroquois separated into five distinct nations, cantoned from east to west along the centre of New York, in the following order: Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas to form the Iroquois Confederation. For more information on Natives in Eastern Canada and Northeastern United Stated before contact with settlers from Europe here is an installment from France in North America by Francis Parkman: and Don't forget The Basic History Library (free). ------------->

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Joan of Arc Captured

on May 24, 1430.  She was 19 years old.  After being transferred to the English in November, trial began on February 21, 1431.  For part of that she was kept in an iron cage.  On May 30, she was condemned.  Then she was burned at the stake.

Today we're beginning a new series Joan of Arc’s Trial and Execution by Jules Michelet:


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