" Poetry has been to me its own exceeding great reward; it has given me the habit of wishing to discover the good and beautiful in all that meets and surrounds me. "
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Back in the day


Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II Is Excommunicated

Prior to being excommunicated the first of several times, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II had planned to go on a crusade. However, an epidemic waylaid him and a large part of his army, delaying the conquest. As a result, he was excommunicated by Pope Gregory IX. He eventually went on the postponed crusade and became king of Jerusalem. With Italy as the center of his power, Frederick, a religious skeptic, was in frequent conflict with the papacy. Frederick wrote the first book on what subject?



Henry V

Determined to regain the lands in France once held by his ancestors, King Henry V of England rekindled the Hundred Years' War and all but conquered France. His continuing victories—including his stunning success at the Battle of Agincourt—forced the French to sign a 1420 treaty naming him heir to the throne. However, he died two months before the French king and thus did not inherit the crown. At 16, Henry was shot in the face with an arrow. How did his physician remove it and save his life?

Born on a day like today


Gene Autry

Probably the most successful "singing cowboy" in American film, Autry began performing on the radio during the 1920s in Oklahoma. He moved to Hollywood in the early 30s and went on to star in nearly 100 films, becoming America's top Western star from 1937 to 1943. He usually played a singing hero astride his famous horse, Champion. He wrote and recorded hundreds of songs, including his signature song, "Back in the Saddle Again." What well-known Christmas song was Autry's biggest hit?

Last updated on Saturday, 29th September 2012

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