"On this day" is a feature on the Horrible Histories Website. It tells of a horrible historical deed that happened on the occuring date.
Below is an archive of old "On this days", sorted by the month.
St David's DayEdit
St David is the patron saint of Wales – that’s the country, not Moby Dick’s family. Today you should wear a leek and a daffodil (one in each ear looks very attractive). Saint David suggested that Welsh warriors should wear leeks in their hats so they’d know a fellow Welshman when they saw him (or smelled him).
London. Sir Edmund Halley is well known for his astronomy. He gave his name to Halley’s Comet – and the comet never said thank you. But this month Halley sees a brightly lit object hovering in the sky. The great astronomer says it isn’t a star. So what is it? A very early UFO – or a glow-worm in his telescope?
Scotland. Alexander Graham Bell is born. The man who grew up to invent the telephone – a machine that waits until you’re in the bath before it decides to ring. Alexander’s mum and his wife are not bothered by this – they are both deaf!
Scotland. At last the Forth railway bridge is opened. It’s the longest in Britain at 1710 feet. (In metres that’s . . . er . . . a lot!) The old joke is that no sooner do they finish painting it than they have to start again at the other end. We forget that 57 people died building the bridge. And that’s no joke.
Texas, USA. Mother-in-law Day . . . at least that was the idea. The editor of a Texas paper suggests it for this day but it proves as popular as a ‘Club Baby Seals to Death Day’. Still, you may like to suggest your parents try buying mother-in-law presents this year?
Alamo Fort, USA. A Mexican army attacks the Alamo Fort and kills every one of the 180 American defenders. The Mexican ‘winners’ managed to lose over 600 men, so who won? The answer is American writers and film-makers who had a great story to tell for the next 150 years. The American revenge is quick and deadly: their army catch the Mexican army napping – literally, for it is ‘siesta’ time. They kill 630 in the 21 April Battle of San Jacinto that lasts just 18 minutes.
La Haye, France. Jean Pierre Blanchard was the first man to cross the English Channel by air – in a balloon. Today he jumps out of his balloon to test a parachute. He’s made many successful jumps – today he makes his only unsuccessful one. Splatt!
New York, USA. Captain Nathaniel Gordon becomes the last known pirate to be executed on this day. Unfortunately the execution comes too late to save innocent lives. When his ship was searched he was trying to smuggle 967 slaves into America. Over 300 slaves had already died in chains.
Edinburgh, Scotland. A murderous merry-go-round starts. Mary Queen of Scots has a favourite musician called David Rizzio and today her jealous husband has him murdered. But, within a year, Mary’s husband dies when his house is blown up. Mary marries the man who probably killed her husband!
Kansas, USA. Doctor York tells his friends that he is going to the Bender family’s inn for a meal on his way home. But Doctor York is never seen alive again. The friends search for him and the Benders tell them that York must have been attacked after he left them. But when the friends go back the bloodthirsty Bender family has fled . . . leaving 12 ‘guests’ behind – under the floor. They are never caught.
Britain. National No Smoking Day. This campaign is organized by Action on Smoking and Health – ASH. But they’re a week too late. Last Wednesday was Ash Wednesday! They say today’s a great success and 50,000 have given up smoking. They don’t say how many have taken it up!
Bermuda. The island of Bermuda becomes a British colony on this day. But would the Brits take it over if they knew about the dreaded ‘Bermuda Triangle’? An area where ships and planes and people disappear without trace, without a sound and sometimes without their breakfast