18 December

1271     Kublai Khan renames his empire “Yuan” (元 yuán), officially marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of Mongolia and China. 1655     The Whitehall Conference ends with the determination that there was no law preventing Jews from re-entering England after the Edict of Expulsion of 1290. 1737     Antonio Stradivari (died), Italian violin maker (born 1644)… Continue reading

17 December

546    Siege of Rome: The Ostrogoths under king Totila plunder the city of Rome, by bribing the Byzantine garrison. 1538     Pope Paul III excommunicates Henry VIII of England. 1577     Francis Drake sails from Plymouth, England, on a secret mission to explore the Pacific coast of the Americas for Queen Elizabeth I of England. 1600     Marriage… Continue reading

16 December

1431     Henry VI of England is crowned King of France at Notre Dame in Paris. 1485    Catherine of Aragon (born) (died 1536) 1497    Vasco da Gama rounds the Cape of Good Hope, the point where Bartolomeu Dias had previously turned back to Portugal. 1653    The Protectorate – Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of the Commonwealth… Continue reading

15 December

1683     Izaak Walton (died), English author (born 1593) 1791     The United States Bill of Rights becomes law when ratified by the Virginia General Assembly. 1832     Gustave Eiffel (born), French engineer and architect, co-designed the Eiffel Tower (died 1923) 1852     Henri Becquerel (born), French physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (died 1908) 1855     Jacques Charles François Sturm (died),… Continue reading

14 December

1287     St. Lucia’s flood: The Zuiderzee sea wall in the Netherlands collapses, killing over 50,000 people. 1503     Nostradamus (born), French astrologer (died 1566) 1542     Princess Mary Stuart becomes Mary, Queen of Scots. 1782     The Montgolfier brothers’ first balloon lifts off on its first test flight. 1794     Erastus Corning (born), American businessman and politician (died 1872)… Continue reading