On This Day – Fool’s Gold and His Master’s Voice

31 May

Fool’s Gold

1578 English explorer Martin Frobisher sailed from Harwich to Frobisher Bay in Canada. Over time he brought home1500 tons of ‘gold ore’. After years of smelting, it was realized that the presumed gold was merely worthless iron pyrite (fool’s gold) that was later used to pave streets in London, leading to the myth that the streets of London were paved with gold.

Peeping Tom

1678 According to the popular story, Lady Godiva took pity on the people of Coventry, who were suffering grievously under her husband’s oppressive taxation. Her husband agreed to repeal the taxes if she would strip naked and ride through the streets of the town, clothed only in her long hair. She agreed, conditionally that all persons should stay indoors and shut their windows, but one person, a tailor known ever afterwards as Peeping Tom, disobeyed the proclamation and was struck blind.

His Master’s Voice

1889 A painting of a small dog listening to a phonograph was shown to the general manager of ‘The Gramophone Company’ in London by the painter, Francis Barraud. It was of his dog, Nipper. The phonograph was painted out and a gramophone substituted. It soon became the famous trademark for the company ‘His Master’s Voice’.

Boer War

1902 The Peace of Vereeniging ended the Boer War, in which British casualties numbered 5,774 killed (and 16,000 deaths from disease) against 4,000 Boers killed in action.

Girl Guides

Agnes Baden-Powell: The Story of the First Girl Guide

1910 Lord Baden-Powell’s sister Agnes formed the Girl Guides.

Launch of the Titanic

1911 The White Star liner Titanic was launched at Belfast. At the ceremony, a White Star Line employee claimed, ‘Not even God himself could sink this ship.’

The Battle of Jutland

1916 World War 1: The Battle of Jutland in which the Royal Navy lost one battleship, one cruiser and five destroyers. The Germans lost one battleship, one cruiser and one destroyer. At the end of the day, 2,545 men had been killed..

The Hanging

1962 Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the Nazi holocaust, was hanged in Israel for his crimes against humanity.

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Posted by on 31/05/2012 in Uncategorized


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