How A Bird Became A Person

Did you know that the word "sniper" comes from World War I? Before then, specialist marksmen were called "sharpshooters." But during World War I, British officers began referring to sharpshooters as ‘snipers’, recalling in late 1700s and 1800s when officers stationed in India would go bird hunting in the hills. The tiny snipe bird being one of the hardest of targets to hit. The slang implied that with their newfangled telescopic-sighted rifles, the specialist marksmen could likely hit snipes with ease.

From 1914 the word was widely adopted by the British press, and it spread from there.

What Happened To The Passenger Pigeon?

What was once the most populous bird in North America -- and maybe the world -- was extinct a century later. What happened?

Excellent Universal Character

When George Washington died in 1799, the British Royal Navy’s Channel Fleet lowered its flags to half mast. The London Courier wrote, “The whole range of history does not present to our view a character upon which we can dwell with such entire and unmixed admiration.”

The title of this post, by the way, comes from something John Adams said about George Washington in 1775.


"Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more often and steadily we reflect upon them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me."

Immanuel Kant

Movie-Style Caper Saves Simon Bolivar's Life

Simon Bolivar survived an attempt on his life because he decided to sleep in a different room at the last minute. Specifically, in his mistress's room. So the would-be assassin entered where Bolivar was supposed to be sleeping, and stabbed the hammock where Bolivar was supposed to be lying. And he successfully assassinated one of Bolivar's captains! But he missed the big man.

Its A Brass Rooster!

Made by the Edo, of Nigeria, it dates to the 1700s. Not much to say history-wise. Just think it is cool.

A Crown Fit For A King

This special crown, known as the Kiani Crown, is the traditional coronation crown during the Qajar dynasty of Iran (1796 – 1925). It is made from red velvet and literally thousands of jewels. We are talking 1,800 pearls, 1,800 rubies and spinels, and 300 emeralds. Plus an uncounted number of diamonds. All in all, a very impressive crown, which was designed to leave no doubt as to who the new ruler was.     Check out the portrait of Fath-Ali Shah Qajar in the image gallery. The second shah of Iran helped demonstrate his authority by wearing the Kiani Crown in one of his official portraits. Today it is owned by the Iranian government, as one of the crown jewels of Iran.

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    HISTORICAL NON-FICTION

    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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