Video Schmistory: February 14

History Schmistory: February 13. “I give up.”

1633: After a grueling twenty-three day trip, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, seventy years old and suffering from excruciating sciatica, arrives in Rome for his trial before the Inquisition. Having failed to convince the cardinals with his evidence, Galileo was to be tried for heresy for professing and detailing his belief that Earth revolves around the Sun. In order to avoid a particularly torturous jail sentence, the mark of any bona fide Inquisition, Galileo had no choice but to submit, renouncing his beliefs and denying a lifetime of work so he could go back home and live out his remaining days in peace.

Some folks were just too far ahead of their time…

History Schmistory: February 13. We Do Covers!

February 13, 1867. The Polluted River Zenne gets a cover-up.

Valentine’s Day Around the World Video!

Learn how they celebrate love in Scotland, Japan, Korea, France, Germany, Denmark, Singapore, Finland, England, and Italy!

History Schmistory: February 12. Bloody Mary, insane, beheads Lady Jane…

1554: Lady Jane Grey is beheaded for treason, only the year after reluctantly claiming the throne of England for nine days, the shortest stretch on the throne in the history of England. Jane was known as one of the most intelectual women of her time, fluent in French, Italian, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. She was certainly worthy of the throne and would likely have been one of England’s most upstanding rulers. But “Bloody Mary” would have none of it. The Princess, Mary Tudor rallied an army of supporters to march into London and usurp the throne for herself. Unfortunately, Jane’s supporters were lacking the spine to stand up to Mary, and one by one they swore allegiance to her. Mary wasted no time, locking Jane up in the Tower of London for political expediency. Since Jane was also a Protestant, Mary had no trouble elevating her sentence to treason, and a few months later, one of England’s most distinguished female minds was gratuitously chopped from its body. That’s seriously messed up. But really that’s the only thing Bloody Mary was good at.

History Schmistory: February 12. Don’t Scream!

February 12, 1994. Edvard Munch’s most iconic painting is stolen.

History Schmistory: February 11. Science fiction meets Television, and the “robot”.

1938: BBC Television produces the world’s first ever science fiction television program, an adaptation of the Karel Capek play R.U.R., (Rossum’s Universal Robots.) The play, first produced in Prague in 1921, introduced the term “robot” to the English language and to science fiction as a whole. The adaptation begins in Rossum’s humanoid factory, where subservient machines called robots are built. These popular robots were so incredibly lifelike and efficient, able to think comprehensively and make their own decisions, that they were often mistaken for humans. Of course, the robots at this point have begun to rebel against their owners and by the end they wipe out the entire human race.
-Oh yeah, spoiler alert! Pretty sure you saw that coming, though.
Well, R.U.R. is really where it all started!

OK, Edison, it is your birthday and all.

We must admit, we are guilty of giving Thomas Edison a lot of grief for being a back-stabbing, elephant-killing, meanie-head, but he certainly was a powerfully advantageous business man and a worthy icon for American progress and ingenuity. So, I guess we can at least say Happy Birthday to the dead guy. Here’s a great video from Jeremiah Warren that breaks down his legacy quite efficiently 🙂

History Schmistory: February 11. The Senate Show!

February 11, 1794. First US Senate session opens to the public.

History Schmistory: February 10. Now that’s a riot.

1355: The St. Scholastica’s Day riot breaks out in Oxford, England, leaving 63 scholars and as many locals dead in three days. And it all started with a bar brawl. Yeah, Oxford was a rough campus.

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