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The Currier & Ives lithograph showing people fleeing the Great Chicago Fire of 1871

Great Chicago Fire

The Great Chicago Fire burned October 8 to 10, 1871, in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago, with its frequent high winds and countless wooden structures, was prone to fires even before the “Great Fire” tore through the city. However, none was so destructive as this one. It ultimately killed 300 people and destroyed more than 17,000 buildings. …Read More

Battles of Saratoga: "Surrender of General Burgoyne," by John Trumbull

Battles of Saratoga

The Battles of Saratoga were two Revolutionary War battles, fought on September 19 and October 7, 1777, near Saratoga, New York. Following the battles, British and German troops under British general John Burgoyne surrendered to American general Horatio Gates on October 17, turning the tide of the Revolutionary War in the Americans’ favor. Background In …Read More

Rosa Parks, circa 1955

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was an African American civil rights activist best known for her role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Born Rosa Louise McCauley in Tuskegee, Alabama, Rosa Parks grew up living with her mother and grandparents in Pine Level, Alabama. She was forced to quit school at age …Read More

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Flag of Texas

Texas

Texas is a U.S. state located in the south-central part of the country. It is the second-largest state in terms of both geography and population. Texas shares its southwestern border with Mexico, and the Gulf of Mexico lies to the southeast. Historically, its major industries have included agriculture (especially cattle and cotton), lumber, and oil; …Read More

Episode 3: The Impact of Industrial Disasters and An Enormous Rat

There’s a somewhat sombre tone to episode three, with Brad and Michala each sharing a story and research stemming from the tragic year of 1862 – from a boiler explosion in Leicestershire (reported in the Bury and Norwich Post, 25 Jan. 1862) to the Hartley Colliery disaster (covered by the Newcastle Weekly Courant, 24 Jan. …Read More

HMS Warspite and Malaya during the battle of Jutland

Battle of Jutland

On May 31, 1916, the British and German navies clashed in the North Sea, off the coast of Denmark, in the Battle of Jutland, the biggest naval battle of World War I. The battle lasted about 12 hours and engaged more than 100,000 men on 250 ships. Chance Encounter The Battle of Jutland began on …Read More

Episode 2: Old Jane Cakebread, A Near Miss and 19th Century Dentistry

In episode two, Michala tells the story of the colourful life and times of Old Jane Cakebread, who was making her 271st appearance before the North London Magistrates’ Court (as reported in the Huddersfield Chronicle and West Yorkshire Advertiser, Nov 1894) and Brad makes an impressive segue from a near drowning (covered by the Preston …Read More

'Behind The Headlines of History' podcast

Episode 1: The Great Bullion Robbery (a love story) and Hazelnut Theft

In the first episode of Series 1, Michala shares the love story behind The Great Bullion Robbery that was reported in the press in 1855, and Brad’s research reveals how the perpetrator of a hazelnut theft, covered by The Hampshire Advertiser in 1877, is linked to Downton Abbey! To round the episode off, this week’s …Read More

Destruction in Johnstown after the flood

Johnstown Flood

On May 31, 1889, South Fork Dam near Johnstown, Pennsylvania, collapsed, releasing the entire volume of Lake Conemaugh into the valley below. The ensuing disaster, known as the Johnstown Flood, resulted in the deaths of over 2,200 people. Johnstown In 1889, around 30,000 people lived in the booming steel mill city of Johnstown, located in …Read More

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