Depiction, by an unknown Vietnamese artist, of the French capture of the town of Hưng Hóa (in today’s Phú Thọ, Vietnam) on April 12, 1884. The taking of the town was a major victory in France’s Tonkin Campaign (1883–86) to take northern Vietnam and turn it into a French protectorate. France also created a protectorate in Annam (central Vietnam) after a nationalist uprising there in 1885.

FIFA prevented women's soccer from growing and competing with their men's games by banning association member stadiums from holding women's matchs. For 50 years! The ban was in place from 1921 to 1971.

Can You Guess This Animal?

Answer: dragon! It is a dragon-shaped jade pendant from the Eastern Zhou Dynasty, dating to China in the 300s to 200s BCE.

This is the Mesha Stele. Written around 850 BCE, it was commissioned by King Mesha of Moab, a small nation around what is today Jordan. The basalt stele describes how Chemosh, the god of Moab, had previously been angry with his people and had allowed them to be subjugated to Israel but he eventually returned to his people and helped them gain their freedom from Israel. The stone then details King Mesha's building projects.

The Mesha Stele roughly agrees with the Israelites version of events in the Books of Kings (2 Kings 3:4–8). Which makes it really, really important historically. The stele is also the most extensive inscription ever recovered that refers to the kingdom of Israel and it bears the earliest certain reference to the Israelite god Yahweh outside of the Bible itself.

What Is This Used For?

It's not just pretty -- its for drinking out of! Known as a rhyton, this particular example is in the form of a goat's head. It was found at Ecbatana, the one-time capital of Iran's Achaemenid Empire.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the longest-reigning English monarch at 68 years on the throne. But she needs to reign for four more years to catch up with Louis XIV of France, the Sun King, who reigned for 72 years! The other two monarchs who have reigned longer, by the way, are Rama IX of Thailand (1946 - 2016) and Johann II of Liechtenstein (1858 - 1929).

The Two Ancient Mass Suicides of Xanthos

Xanthos was an important city in Lydia, a region of eastern Turkey, in ancient times. The Lydians were known for their fierce independence. Xanthos' people demonstrated this by committing mass suicide rather than being captured -- twice in recorded history! The first time was to avoid capture by the Persian Empire. The second time, 500 years later, was to avoid capture by the Roman Empire.

In 42 BCE, Brutus (yes, the famous one) attacked the city during the Roman civil wars that came after Caesar's assassination. Brutus wanted to recruit troops and raise money. But the Lydians responded by killing themselves and setting fire to the city. Brutus was apparently shocked, and offered rewards for his soldiers if they could save a Lydian; only 150 were saved from themselves.

Black July

On July 24th 1983, anti-Tamil rioting started in Sri Lanka's capital of Colombo. The riots started in response to a deadly ambush of Sri Lankan soldiers by the Tamil militant group "Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam." The rioting quickly spread to other parts of the country. In seven days, mainly Sinhalese mobs killed between 400 and 3,000, and made about 150,000 homeless by burning neighborhoods and shops. It became known as "Black July" and is still seen as the starting point for Sri Lanka's long civil war.

In 1963, the Moscow-Washington hotline was installed to let the two countries talk quickly without the usual delay of diplomatic channels. To test the line, the first message sent was "THE QUICK BROWN FOX JUMPED OVER THE LAZY DOG'S BACK 1234567890." It quite confused the English translators in Moscow!

Traces of Northeast Vietnam's Early Humans Found in Caves

Evidence of human habitation in caves in northeastern Vietnam’s Ba Be National Park have been found which date back 20,000 years. Most of the finds were found in Tham Kit Cave including stone tools, traces of an oven, and animals' teeth and bones. Tham Kit Cave is relatively large at nearly 3,000 square meters, separated into three rooms with smooth floors and many small corners. Importantly, the cave is near a lake so early humans would have had access to water.

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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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