June 19th, 1864
The USS Kearsage sinks the CSS Alabama off the coast of France after the Alabama issued a stalwart challenge from a dock in Cherbourg, France (which is one of the bravest statements to be issued from a French dock during a time of… any war, really). After what proved to be a most awesome battle, with the Alabama firing at a rate of roughly one round per minute per gun (or 1 r/m/g in technical jargon) the USS Kearsage emerged victorious. Turns out that the Confederates, although quick on the gun (just ask a French “maiden”), are pretty terrible shots. Which sort of defeats the point.
They must’ve graduated from the Italian school of sharpshooting.
June 18th, 1178
Shortly after sunset, a group of 5 monks from Canterbury watch the moon explode into “fire, hot coal, and sparks” while the body of the moon “throbbed like a wounded snake”. Scientists currently believe that the explosion was caused by a large weapon of some kind fired from light years away in a distant galaxy. The intent of the shot, clearly the eradication of humanity from Earth, was frustrated by our orbiting moon (a detail that is both easy to miss from afar and hard for aliens to calculate the exact location at any time given the irregular orbit).
“Where’s the Kaboom?”
June 17th, 1397
Norway, Sweden, and Denmark formalize proper paying etiquette with the Calamari Union after Sweden fails to pick up the tab once too often. The rules laid out are very simple:
1) The country that plans the date is expected to pay for the date.
2) All joint plans will be evenly split and the round-robin system will be abandoned. If you “just order a salad”, that’s too bad. Eat real food next time.
3) Celebrating the birth of the nation shall be paid for by the other countries. It’s your day, enjoy it!
4) In the event that somebody offers to pay the tab, it shall go unquestioned.
Sweden still has never picked up the tab for their own meals. Scientists are baffled as to why this might be the case.
June 14th, 1789
Captain William Bligh (and 18 other members) of the HMS Bounty arrives at Timor in the East Indies, nearly 7 weeks after the mutiny of his crew, in a 23 ft (for those of you heathens reading in places that don’t use body parts as a unit of measurement: 7m). Captain Bligh was such an able seaman, that the only casualty was the result of “hostile natives” that didn’t take too kindly to the European sailors (whether they had blankets or not).
Although that’s what he gets for taking a light hand when it came to punishments.
June 13th, 1381
A mob, nay!, an ARMY of peasants march into London and beginning pillaging under the leadership of Wat Tyler in response to a number of oppressive laws passed by Richard II, whom encouraged landowners to enforce their “manorial rights” (I assume that’s noble-speak for rape, theft, and murder amongst other things). Unfortunately for Wat Tyler, it turns out that peasants can’t leave well enough alone and proceeded to continue revolting after being granted some sweeping concessions (including the abolishing of serfdoms and artificial marketplace restrictions). King Richard II opted to kill them all and rescind any concessions he had previously made.
Then the 14-year old king stole Tyler’s Charizard. It was quite a cruel squashening.
June 11th, 1509
Henry VIII marries Catherine of Aragon. Unable to bear him a mannish sort of offspring (Henry was actually amenable to a daughter capable of growing a beard), the couple soon went against the Roman Catholic Church and got a divorce. And founded the Church of England. Because that’s how you roll when you’re King of England, and the Pope is too far away to really do anything.
This iconic photo was actually taken moments before Henry VIII exposed his junk in the Pope’s general direction.
June 10th, 1692
The first “witch” to be hung as the result of the Salem Witch Trials dies after being unable to use her magical powers of magical magicalness to save herself. For reasons unexplainable, this didn’t tip off any of the Puritans to the possibility that maybe they were going a bit overboard with the whole “she’s a witch!” thing and a grand total of 18 more executions and more accusations than I care to look up soon followed. Eventually cooler heads prevailed when it turned out that the 9 year-old Elizabeth Parris and 11 year-old Abigail Williams had misheard members of their community refer to Sarah Goode as “a drunken bitch”.
It was just easier to let the whole thing go to trial than it was to sit down and talk to the children about what they heard.
June 7th, 1099
Crusaders during the First Crusade begin the siege of Jerusalem after a long journey filled with bringing the light of God to the Muslim non-believers in the East. This proved to be more difficult than initially expected, as the area around Jerusalem isn’t exactly ideal for camping (there are lots of tiny rocks laying about and not a whole helluva lot to eat).
“And then God said unto Ezekiel, Go forth and slay the non-believer for they are dogs and not worth the air they breathe, nor the water they drink.” - Ezekiel 15:9
June 6th, 1683
The Ashmolean opens in Oxford, England and becomes the world’s first university museum. The original collections were donated by a certain Elias Ashmole, a man known both for donating the collections to the University of Oxford and the acquisitive way in which he led his life (up to the point of marrying a rich widow… which is actually pretty brilliant).
He also made a killer milkshake.
June 5th, 1870
An Armenian girl trips on her own leg hair and sends a piece of hot coal flying through a nearby window causing a square mile of Constantinople to burn to the ground. Miraculously many churches and hospitals were still standing when the fire was finally subdued, which was taken by the religious population as a sign that God was looking out for them. The more sane folks noticed that the surviving buildings tended to be made out of stone, rather than kindling.
I prefer to look at it as God protecting his real-estate investments while those around him begged for their lives. To each their own.