Wednesday, April 30, 2014

American Civil War Fact Twenty One

Dr Mary Edwards Walker was the first female surgeon in U.S. military history and the only woman to date to receive the Medal of Honor. She graduated from Medical School in 1855 and when the war started she volunteered for the Union army. She was initially only allowed to serve as a nurse. In September of 1863 she was contracted as a civilian assistance surgeon by the Army of the Cumberland. Dr Walker was later appointed as an assistant surgeon to the 52nd Ohio Infantry. On April 10, 1864 she was captured by Confederate troops and arrested as a spy and remained imprisoned until August 12, 1864 when she was released as part of a prisoner exchange. 

American Civil War page

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ancient Egypt Fact Twenty One

Buto was an ancient city in the Nile Delta of Egypt that was 95 km or 59 miles east of Alexandria. Originally there were two cities called Pe and Dep which merged into one which the Egyptians called Per-Wadjet. Wadjet was a local goddess represented by a cobra and was the patron diety of Lower Egypt. The city was the primary site of cultural development for nearly ten thousand years until 3100 BC. It lost its standing after the unification of Lower and Upper Egypt. The name was changed to Buto when they were under Greek rule from 305 to 30 BC. Buto was the Greek name for the same goddess Wadjet.

Ancient Egypt page

Monday, April 28, 2014

Pirate Fact Twenty One

A privateer was an individual or ship that had the backing of their respective government to launch attacks on foreign vessels during times of war. They were given official papers called a letter of marque and reprisal. Within the letter it named the person who was allowed to pass their national borders with forces under their command, the specific nationalities they were to target, the authorization to destroy or seize assets of the target nationality, any seized assets would be split between the privateer and the government and any restrictions on the reprisal such as time, manner, place or amount.

Pirate page

Sunday, April 27, 2014

St Anicetus 11th Pope

St Anicetus was the eleventh Pope from 154 to 168. He was born in Emesa, Syria. Around 162 he had a meeting with St Polycarp of Smyrna over the Pascal or Passover controversy. Those in the East that included Polycarp's Church of Smyrna celebrated on the feast on the 14th of the month of Nisan or the first month on the Assyrian calendar. The Roman Church celebrated the Passover on a week day before Easter Sunday. Jesus was celebrating Passover during the Last Supper which is associated with Holy Thursday. Anicetus and Polycarp did not reach an agreement over the issue but parted on friendly terms. Pope St Anicetus also spent much time countering other religious views growing in Rome such as Manichaeism. He is listed as a martyr but whether the Roman Emperor Lucius Verus actually had him put to death is unclear. His Feast day is celebrated on April 20.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ancient Seven Wonders of the World Fact Twenty

Scopas was a Greek sculptor and architect who worked on two of the Ancient wonders: the temple of Artemis at Ephesus and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. 

Ancient Seven Wonders page

Friday, April 25, 2014

Knights Templar Fact Twenty

While the initial pilgrimages to the Holy Land were by land routes the Knights Templar took many groups via the sea on their own ships. From the port in Venice, Italy it took about six weeks to reach the Holy Land.

Knights Templar page

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Viking Fact Twenty

Vikings made jewelry primarily out of bronze, gold, silver and bone. Bronze was most common while those of upper status favored the gold and silver jewelry. Goldsmiths made neck and arm rings which were high status objects. The jewelry makers, goldsmiths and silversmiths were looked upon with high favor in Viking society.

Viking page

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

American Civil War Fact Twenty

There were between 30,000 to 50,000 Canadians that served with Union forces in the American Civil War, about 10,000 fought with the Confederacy and four were Generals in the Union army. John McNeil was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and was an insurance company president in St Louis prior to the war and served out of Missouri. John Franklin Farnsworth was born in Compton City, Quebec and was an elected U.S. Representove to Illinois prior to the war and served out of Illinois. Jacob Cox was born in Montreal, Quebec and was a college professor turned lawyer prior to the war in Ohio where he served. Martin Thomas McMahon was born in LaPrairie, Quebec and was a lawyer in California prior to the war but served most of his time in the Army of the Potomac starting as an aide to General George McClellan and eventually rising to General himself.

American Civil War page

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ancient Egypt Fact Twenty

The ancient Egyptians were the first to invent toothpaste. One formula found on a papyrus listed the ingredients as rock salt, mint, dried iris flower and pepper. Once crushed into a paste it was usually applied with the end of a frayed twig.

Ancient Egypt page

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pirate Fact Twenty

William Dampier was a British privateer who was the first person to circumnavigate the world three times. The first happened over the period 1679 to 1691. The second took place 1703 to 1707. The third and final went from 1708 to 1711. Dampier was the first to explore parts of Australia. He kept very detailed journals which Charles Darwin used as a guide for his journeys starting in the 1831.

Pirate page

Sunday, April 20, 2014

St Pius I Tenth Pope

St Pius I was the tenth Pope from 140 to 154. It was believed he was born at Aquileia, Italy which was about 400 miles or 644 km northeast of Rome. He decreed that Easter should only be celebrated on Sunday. Much of his time was spent warding off the corruption of several heretics in Rome and he had the assistance of St Justin in defending the Christian doctrine. The oldest church in Rome was also built during his pontificate as the original church of Santa Pudenziana was constructed. His Feast day is celebrated on July 11.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ancient Seven Wonders of the World Fact Nineteen

Sostratus of Cnidus was the Greek architect who designed the Lighthouse of Alexandria. He had also designed the sanctuary of Apollo in Delphi and the sanctuary to Apollo on Delos.

Ancient Seven Wonders page

Friday, April 18, 2014

Knights Templar Fact Nineteen

There were many criminal knights that were forced to join the Templars as rehabilitation. It was seen as a two fold benefit with the undesirable element out of the communities and it gave more forces to fight in the Crusades. The most famous was a knight named Bertran who had killed a bishop in 1224 and Pope Honorius III told the Templars to accept him into the Order for seven years to do his penance.

Knights Templar page

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Viking Fact Nineteen

The Vikings far reaching trade routes extended to Constantinople. The Vikings called the city Mikkelgard or Miklagard which meant The Great City.

Viking page

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

American Civil War Fact Nineteen

There were 37,574 discarded rifles collected after the Battle of Gettysburg and then shipped back to Washington D.C. where they were inspected and reissued. Approximately 24.000 were documented as being still loaded: 6,000 with one round in the barrel, 12,000 had two rounds in the barrel and 6,000 had three to 10 rounds in the barrel. One was listed as loaded to the top with 23 rounds in the barrel.

American Civil War page

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ancient Egypt Fact Nineteen

The Papyrus was a reed that the Egyptians utilized to make sheets to record information on. The process to transform it from plant to paper included cutting them into strips, pressing them together, pounding them flat and then allowing them to dry to make sheets. It was readily found along the Nile River and referred to as Nile grass. Today it is nearly extinct in the Nile Delta.

Ancient Egypt page

Monday, April 14, 2014

Pirate Fact Nineteen

Anyone that brought bad luck to a ship was called a "Jonah". Pirates were very superstitious and if they learned a crew mate had the name Jonah they would throw him overboard. Tales linking bad luck to the name Jonah date back to around 1610 prior to the Golden Age of Piracy.

Pirate page

Sunday, April 13, 2014

St Hyginus Ninth Pope

St Hyginus was the ninth Pope from 138 to 140. There had been a short gap after the death of his predecessor St Telesphorus. Hyginius was the second consecutive Pope who was Greek by birth. He is given credit for establishing the ecclesiastical hierarchy of the bishops, priests and deacons. He is also given credit for establishing the order of ecclesiastical precedence which was the order promotions were given. The practice of including godparents at the baptism of the newly born to assist them during their Christian life was also started by Hyginus. A fourth accomplishment was that Hyginus decreed all churches be consecrated which made them sacred. His Feast day is January 11.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014

Knights Templar Fact Eighteen

The Knights Templar helped Portugal gain its independence as the first nation-state in Europe. Bernard of Clairvaux was the nephew of both Andre de Montbard and Dom Henrique. Andre de Montbard was one of the founder Templars and Dom Henrique was the father of Portugal's first King Alfonso I.

Knights Templar page

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Viking Fact Eighteen

The early Viking exploits were first reported by their initial victims as the Christian monks wrote about the raids. The Vikings viewed the Christian churches and monasteries as easy targets full of great riches. 

Viking page

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

American Civil War Fact Eighteen

The population of the Union states at the start of the Civil War was 18.5 million while the Confederate states had 9 million. The further breakdown of the Confederacy showed 5.5 million people who were free and 3.5 million that were enslaved.

American Civil War page

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ancient Egypt Fact Eighteen

Small groups of people gradually migrated from the Eastern Sahara in 15,000 BC to the Nile River valley by 7000 BC. 

Ancient Egypt page

Monday, April 7, 2014

Pirate Fact Eighteen

During the golden years of piracy the Bahamas was a favorite haunt. It became a haven for many pirates including Blackbeard and the locals were helpless as they got out of control. To deal with the situation the Bahamas was made into a British crown colony in 1718. The first Royal Governor Woodes Rogers succeeded at the difficult task of suppressing piracy during his four years in office. Rogers himself had been a privateer.

Pirate page

Sunday, April 6, 2014

St Telesphorus Eighth Pope

St Telesphorus was the eighth Pope from 125 to 138. His family was thought to be of Greek descent and he was born in Terranuova located in the Italian province of Calabria. He may have been an anchorite or hermit monk before ascending to the office. Pope Telesphorus is credited with establishing both the seven week lenten season that precedes Easter and the Christmas midnight Mass. He witnessed the persecution and deaths of many Christians under the reign of Roman Emperor Hadrian. He is the second Pope whose death as a martyrdom is not disputed. While the exact cause is not documented it was described as a glorious martyrdom that happened under the first year of the reign of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius. His Feast day is January 5th.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Ancient Seven Wonders of the World Fact Seventeen

All seven of the Ancient Wonders had ties to Alexander the Great. Five had been in existence during his time and all fell within the territory he eventually ruled. The Temple of Artemis was set ablaze the day he was born and was rebuilt after his death. There was a story he had visited the Great Pyramid of Giza after he conquered Egypt and ruled as their Pharoah 332 to 323 BC. He likely visited the Statue of Zeus while attending the Olympics and inspected the Mausoleum after conquering the city of Halicarnassus. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon may have been located near where he died in 323 BC. The Colossus of Rhodes was built after his death after two of his generals fought and it celebrated the victor. The Lighthouse of Alexandria was necessary because it was at one of the several cities he had founded in his name.

Ancient Seven Wonders page

Friday, April 4, 2014

Knights Templar Fact Seventeen

The Knights Templar built their first church in 1128 on donated land in the Holborn area of London, England. It was established by first Grand Master Hugh de Payens. The original temple was the first round church and the grounds also contained gardens, orchards and a cemetery. It became known as the Old Temple when the Templars later moved to a larger location to the south.

Knights Templar page

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Viking Fact Seventeen

The Vikings turned Dublin into the largest slave trade center in the world by 1000 AD. The slave trade was an important part of the Vikings commerce as they captured people from the British Isles and the lands along the Baltic Sea. Each year hundreds and sometimes thousands of young men and women were bought and sold there.

Viking page

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

American Civil War Fact Seventeen

There were more than 150 prisons established and utilized by both sides during the Civil War. About 195,000 Northerners spent time in Confederate prison camps and about 215,000 Southern soldiers were in the Union prisons. The casualties were high as over 30,000 or 15.5% of Union soldiers died in Southern prisons. Andersonville in Georgia was the worst claiming the lives of  about 13,000 or 29% of those who entered. On the other side nearly 26,000 or 12% of Confederate captives perished in Northern prisons. Elmira Prison in New York had the highest mortality rate with 25% or 2,963 deaths.

American Civil War page

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ancient Egypt Fact Seventeen

The people of Ancient Egypt believed that when a person died their soul split into two parts. The Ba would leave the body each morning to keep watch over the person's living family. The Ka would fly off to the Land of Two Fields which was their afterlife. Each night both the Ba and Ka returned to the body in the tomb to rest for the next day. A cartouche on the coffin helped the Ba and Ka find their way back. However if the preserved body was disturbed or damaged the Ba and Ka would be lost and a person would cease to exist in the afterlife. That is why grave robbery was considered such a vile crime and punishable by death.

Ancient Egypt page