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Archive for September, 2010

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Steaming up the Mississippi

Posted in Anniversary, History, Travel on Monday, 20 September 2010

picture, Racing steamboats on the Mississippi

Racing steamboats on the Mississippi

1st October marks the anniversary of the first steamboat arriving at its destination in New Orléans, Louisiana, after sailing the Mississippi River in 1811. The steamboat was developed in the late 18th century and became widely used in the early 19th century. The first journey down the Mississippi began in the docks at Pittsburgh, the steamship travelling via the Ohio River to the Mississippi.

Steamships became such a popular mode of transport on the Mississippi – they became known as Mississippi Riverboats – that they remain in commercial operation nearly 200 years later.

More pictures of steamboats can be found here. Many more illustrations of ships throughout the ages can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

The Battle of Gaugamela

Posted in Anniversary, Famous battles, History on Monday, 20 September 2010

picture, Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great astride his horse Bucephalus. Illustration by James E. McConnell

1st October marks the anniversary of the defeat of Darius III of Persia at the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BC. The victor was Alexander the Great and the battle was the turning point in the fall of the Persian (Achaemenid) Empire. With a million troops at his command, Darius hoped to crush Alexander by sheer weight of numbers after the latter’s forces – around 50,000 in number – crossed the  Euphrates and Tigris and entered the heart of the Persian empire.

Faced with such vast numbers, Alexander attacked by night, driving a wedge of his troops through the Persian lines. Darius fled and was later killed by Bessus, a commander in the defeated army.

More pictures of Alexander the Great can be found here. Many more illustrations relating to famous historical battles can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

First performance of The Magic Flute

Posted in Anniversary, Music on Sunday, 19 September 2010

picture, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Illustration by Roger Payne

30th September marks the anniversary of the first performance of The Magic Flute, the opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1791. A child prodigy, Mozart was composing and performing from the age of 5.

The Magic FluteDie Zauberflöte – in its original German – was a two-act opera about a handsome prince and a bird catcher sent on a mission to rescue a captive princess. It remains one of the most popular and widely performed of all operas.

More pictures of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart can be found here. Many more pictures relating to music and musical instruments can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Discover of penicillin announced

Posted in Anniversary, Medicine on Sunday, 19 September 2010

picture, Dr Alexander Fleming

Dr Alexander Fleming discovers mould in his bacteria

30th October marks the anniversary of the announcement of the discovery of penicillin in 1928. It was the most significant antibiotic to be discovered as it was effective against many serious diseases which could previously not be easily treated.

It was discovered by Alexander Fleming by accident. A petri dish containing a Staphylococcus culture had been accidentally left open and Fleming noticed that the bacterial growth had been inhibited by a blue-green mould that had grown in the dish. This, he discovered, was a Penicillum mould.

More pictures of Dr. Alexander Fleming can be found here. Many more pictures relating to medicine and medical discovery can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Birth of Clive of india

Posted in Anniversary, Famous battles, History on Saturday, 18 September 2010

picture, Robert Clive of India, The Siege of Arcot

The Siege of Arcot. Illustration by C. L. Doughty

29th September marks the anniversary of the birth of Robert Clive, Baron Clive of Plassey – but better known by his nickname Clive of India – in 1725. Born in Shropshire, Clive was expelled from three schools but managed to obtain a job with the East India Company. In India, he earned a reputation for bravery during the Siege of Arcot (1751), the recapture of Calcutta and the Battle of Plassey (both in 1757).

picture, portrait, Robert Clive, Clive of India

A portrait of Clive of India. Illustration by Severino Baraldi

Clive eventually returned to England where he found himself criticised for the wealth he had accumulated. Ill and addicted to opium, he committed suicide in 1774, aged only 49.

More pictures of Clive of India can be found here. Many more pictures relating to the history, culture and wildlife of India can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

The police force reports for duty in London

Posted in Anniversary, History, Law on Saturday, 18 September 2010

picture, The police force were looked upon with suspicion for many years before winning the respect of the public

For years the police force were looked upon with nothing but suspicion. Illustration by Peter Jackson

29th September marks the anniversary of the first police force coming on duty in London in 1829. The Metropolitan Police Force was created by then Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel. The 1,000 constables employed were known as ‘bobbies’ or ‘Peelers’ after Peel. Although unpopular at first, they proved effective at cutting crime and in under thirty years all cities in the UK were obliged to have their own police force.

More pictures relating to Robert Peel can be found here.  Many more illustrations relating to the police and crime through the ages can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Birth of Caravaggio

Posted in Anniversary, Art on Friday, 17 September 2010

picture, Carravagio was often involved in fights

Caravaggio was often involved in fights. Illustration by Alberto Salinas

28th September marks the anniversary of the birth of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio in 1573. Born in Milan, Italy, Caravaggio trained locally under a master painter before moving to Rome in 1600 to produce religious-themed paintings for the Catholic Church. These combined realistic figurework and a chiaroscuro lighting which contrasted light and dark.

A noted brawler – and until then protected from the consequences by rich patrons – Caravaggio killed a young man during a fight in 1606 and had to flee Rome; his footsteps after that were dogged by other fights and flights until he settled in Tuscany, where he died of a fever in 1610, aged 38.

More pictures relating to Caravaggio can be found here. Many more pictures relating to art and artists through the ages can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

The Hanging Judge

Posted in Anniversary, Law on Friday, 17 September 2010

picture, Judge Jeffreys, the Hanging Judge

Judge Jeffreys, known as the Hanging Judge due to the severity of his sentences. Illustration by Ken Petts

28th September marks the anniversary of the appointment of Judge Jeffreys to the position of Lord Chancellor of England by King James II in 1685. Born in Wrexham in 1645, Jeffreys became the Common Serjeant of London in 1671. Five years later he became Solicitor General to the Duke of York, the future king. He became Lord Chief Justice in 1683.

Jefreys was notorious for the severity of the sentences he handed out in court. In 1865 he presided over the “Bloody Assizes”, sentencing 200 people to hang and 800 more to be transported following the Monmouth Rebellion. His actions earned him the nickname “The Hanging Judge”.

More pictures of Judge Jeffreys can be found here. Many more pictures relating to judges and the law can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Albert Einstein and his famous equation

Posted in Anniversary, Science on Thursday, 16 September 2010

picture, portrait, Albert Einstein

A portrait of Albert Einstein

27 September marks the anniversary of the publication of Albert Einstein’s paper “Ist die Trägheit eines Körpers von seinem Energieinhalt abhängig?” (“Does the Inertia of a body Depend Upon its Energy Content”) in the journal Annalen der Physik, in 1905. In it, Einstein developed the concepts that would give physics the most famous of its equations:  E= mc².

More pictures of Albert Einstein can be found here. Many more illustrations relating to discoveries in science through the ages can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

The Warren Report on the death of President John F. Kennedy

Posted in Anniversary, History, Mystery on Thursday, 16 September 2010

picture, The assassination of President John F. Kennedy

The assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Illustration by John Keay

27 September marks the anniversary of the publication of the Warren Report, an investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was killed by gunfire on 22 November 1962 and his reputed assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, arrested some hours later, only to be murdered by Jack Ruby.

A Commission headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren concluded in 1964 that Oswald was the sole assassin and that Ruby also acted alone. It became the most argued conclusion in American history. A later House Select Committee on Assassinations re-examined the evidence in 1978-79 and concluded that Oswald, although he killed JFK, was part of a conspiracy.

picture, The murder of Lee Harvey Oswald

The murder of Lee Harvey Oswald. Illustration by John Keay

Many more pictures relating to assassins and assassinations throughout history can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.