Home-distillation of alcohol came to be called "moonshining" in English speaking countries because it was usually conducted at night to avoid arrest for the production of illegal liquor. Home-distillation is, however, a world-wide phenomenon and is not illegal everywhere. In New Zealand, for example, stills are legally sold openly on the market along with instruction manuals. What used to be a common, perhaps unreliable, folk test for determining the presence of lead in moonshine?
Back in the day
Frederick Barbarossa was elected King of Germany in 1152 and crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1155. He was anxious to restore the Empire to the position it had occupied earlier and undertook multiple expeditions into Italy but was ultimately defeated. Among the lasting achievements of Frederick's reign are the foundations of new towns, the increase of trade, and the colonization and Christianization of Slavic lands in East Germany. Whom did Fredrick blame for his ultimate failure in Italy?
Born on a day like today
Henry the Navigator, a prince of Portugal, made important contributions to the art of navigation and exploration, facilitating Portugal's rise to prominence as a colonial empire in the 16th century. In 1416, he established in SW Portugal a base for explorations, and under his patronage, Portuguese sailors explored and colonized Madeira, the Cape Verde Islands, and the Azores. He was grand master of what order that succeeded the Knights Templar in Portugal?