Bethlem Royal Hospital is the oldest institution for the care and confinement of the mentally ill in England and one of the oldest in Europe. First founded as a priory in 1247, the building was converted to a hospital around 1400. A distortion of the hospital's name gave rise to the word "bedlam," which was once used as a generic term for a psychiatric hospital and has since been applied to any scene of turmoil and confusion. What notable patients have been housed at Bethlem Royal Hospital?
Back in the day
In 1910, amidst the Los Angeles Times's editorial crusade against local unions, two brothers belonging to the International Association of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers bombed the newspaper's headquarters with dynamite. The resulting fire killed 21 newspaper employees and injured dozens more. The American Federation of Labor hired noted trial attorney Clarence Darrow to represent the brothers, James and Joseph McNamara, who eventually pleaded guilty. What happened to them?
Born on a day like today
Besant was an English social reformer who, in 1889, embraced theosophy, a religious philosophy with mystical concerns. She served as international president of the Theosophical Society from 1907 until her death. After moving to India in 1893, she became an independence leader and established the Indian Home Rule League. She was president of the Indian National Congress in 1917 but later split with Gandhi. Besant lost custody of her children and was nearly imprisoned for publishing what in 1877?