" Please do not shoot the pianist. He is doing his best. "
Oscar Wilde

Back in the day


King Henry VIII Marries Fourth Wife

Henry VIII, a monarch famed for having married six times, wed his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, in 1540. He found her entirely unattractive, privately describing her as a "Flanders Mare," and soon decided to annul the marriage. Anne wisely cooperated, testifying that their union had never been consummated. Just four years earlier, Henry had his second wife, Anne Boleyn, executed after she failed to produce a male heir. How was Henry's fifth wife, Catherine Howard, related to Anne Boleyn?



The History of Firefighting

The practice of firefighting has come a long way since the Roman Empire, when fire patrols relied on bucket brigades and pumps to extinguish blazes. The first fire engines arrived in Europe in the 17th century. Around this time, insurance companies—motivated by the Great Fire of London—formed private fire brigades, but they protected only the buildings they insured. In the early 18th century, France established the first modern brigades as a fee-based service. Why was the fee soon eliminated?

Born on a day like today


Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett

Barrett, an English singer, songwriter, guitarist, and artist, is best remembered for his role as one of the founding members of Pink Floyd. He joined the band in 1965, and it soon became the most popular group in the "London Underground" psychedelic music scene. As the group's popularity grew, Barrett began behaving increasingly erratically, and the band elected to replace him. After a short-lived solo career, Barrett retreated from public life and returned to doing what?

Last updated on Wednesday, 6th January 2010

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