Did you know Cromwell attacked Jamaica?

It was part of Oliver Cromwell’s war on Spain. In 1654, a huge fleet -- one of the largest English fleets ever assembled -- left Portsmouth headed for the Caribbean. Its target was the rich prize of Hispaniola. Unfortunately, it was a fiasco, and 3,000 English marines failed to take the island’s capital of Santo Domingo. The “invincible” New Army was defeated and the victors of the English Civil War were exposed as ineffective on the world stage. How could the head of the expedition save face? Attack Jamaica of course!

It was another Spanish island, but much less well defended. On May 10th, 1655 the admiral attacked, easily defeated the small Spanish garrison at Cagway Bay. It was hopeless for the Spanish and the admiral had a treat of surrender from the Spanish commander in 6 days. England annexed Jamaica just like that. And Jamaica speaks English to this day.

Charles Carroll III was the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence. He also had the highest education, was the wealthiest man, had the longest life, and was the last surviving signer. A very impressive man all around.

Did You Know A Woman Founded Miami?

Miami is the only major US city to have been founded by a woman. Julia Tuttle was an American businesswoman, who used the money from her parents' estate to purchase the James Egan grant of 640 acres (2.6 km2) in 1890. She was a major promoter of a new city in southern Florida, including working to get a railroad extension to the area, and giving up half of her land to make the new settlement a success. Her land became a small town, and quickly grew into the city of Miami.

The original Sony Walkman, when released in 1979, was called the "Soundabout" in the US, the "Freestyle" in Sweden and Australia, and the "Stowaway" in the UK.

Big Boat Find in Sweden

Two ship burials have been discovered on a construction site near Sweden’s eastern coast, and one appears to be intact! In the intact tomb have been discovered the remains of a man, a horse, and a dog, who had all been placed in the vessel’s stern. Artifacts found included horse equipment, an ornate comb, a sword, a spear, and a shield. The boat in the second tomb is thought to have measured about 23 feet long, and been slightly larger than the boat in the other burial, but it was damaged by previous construction at the site. Such high-status burials are thought to date to the Vendel Period (550–800 CE) or the Viking Age (800–1050 CE).

To continue today's sports theme...

There have been three Major League Baseball players with the first name "Aurelio." All three died in car accidents. And they were all within a ten-year age range (44 to 52) when they died!

Bronze Age Palace Uncovered By Iraqi Drought

Drought has revealed the remains of a 3,400-year-old palace in the Mosul Dam reservoir, in Iraq's Kurdistan region. The palace, at a site known as Kemune, once stood on an elevated terrace on the eastern banks of the Tigris River. It appears to be from the Mittanni Empire. For those (like me) whose history classes did not mention the Mittanni, it was a Bronze Age, Hurrian-speaking empire, which ruled parts of northern Mesopotamia and Syria in the 1400s and 1300s BCE.

There are a number of notable finds from archaeological examinations of Kemune. Ten cuneiform tablets were uncovered, which have been sent for translation. The palace's mudbrick walls are 6 feet thick and 6 feet high in some places. Suggesting when they were originally built, the walls were even taller and more impressive. There are also traces of rare red and blue wall-paint still detectable. That makes Kemune only the second site in the region where Mittanni wall paintings have been found. Unfortunately, the palace has been overtaken by the dam's water since the archaeological investigation took place. And no emergency archaeological efforts are planned -- just a wait until the next drought.

Fun Fact of the Day

Buzz Aldrin took communion on the moon. Which might make the Holy See of the Catholic Church the first interplanetary corporation?

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    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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