" Let me not then die ingloriously and without a struggle, but let me first do some great thing that shall be told among men hereafter. "

Back in the day


The Battle of Dettingen

In 1713, Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI issued the Pragmatic Sanction, which stated that a female heir could inherit his lands. When his daughter Maria Theresa became queen in 1740, the War of Austrian Succession erupted. Austrian, British, German, and Dutch troops formed the Pragmatic Army, named in support of the sanction, and defeated French troops in the Battle of Dettingen, despite having no access to supplies. In the battle, what did King George II do that no British monarch has done since?



Soapy Smith

One of the best-known con men of the American Old West, Smith established criminal empires in Colorado and Alaska. His nickname comes from his main scam, in which he duped townsfolk into thinking he was selling them soap cakes wrapped in money. His cronies in the crowd would then buy all of the money-wrapped cakes, leaving paper-wrapped soaps for everyone else. However, Smith's seedy ways were his undoing, and he was shot in 1898 after stealing a miner's gold. What were his last words?

Born on a day like today


Louis XII of France

King of France from 1498 to 1515, Louis XII succeeded his cousin Charles VIII. Called the "Father of the People" by his subjects, Louis maintained his popularity by ruling with moderation. Despite early victories, he was unsuccessful in asserting French claims in Italy after he met resistance from Pope Julius II's "Holy League." Though his failures in Italy did not tarnish his image in France, they were the subject of a commentary in a famous work by what Italian political theorist of the time?

Last updated on Thursday, 27th June 2013

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