Fact of the day: April 24th

On this day in 1953 Winston Churchill was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, the British leader who guided Great Britain and the Allies through the crisis of World War II, is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

In July 1945, 10 weeks after Germany’s defeat, his Conservative government suffered an electoral loss against Clement Attlee’s Labour Party, and Churchill resigned as prime minister.

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He became leader of the opposition and in 1951 was again elected prime minister. Two years later, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature for his six-volume historical study of World War II and for his political speeches; Queen Elizabeth II also knighted him.

In 1955, he retired as prime minister but remained in Parliament until 1964, the year before his death.

Fact of the day: 23rd April

On this day in 1660 The Treaty of Oliwa was established between Sweden and Poland.

The Treaty or Peace of Oliva of 23 April was one of the peace treaties ending the Second Northern War (1655-1660). At Oliva peace was made between Sweden, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Habsburgs and Brandenburg-Prussia.

Sweden was accepted as sovereign in Swedish Livonia, Brandenburg was accepted as sovereign in Ducal Prussia, and John II Casimir Vasa withdrew his claims to the Swedish throne, though he was to retain the title of a hereditary Swedish king for life.

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All occupied territories were restored to their pre-war sovereigns. Catholics in Livonia and Prussia were granted religious freedom.

The signatories were the Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I, Elector Frederick William I of Brandenburg and King John II Casimir Vasa of Poland.

Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie, head of the Swedish delegation and the minor regency, signed on behalf of his nephew, King Charles XI of Sweden, who was still a minor at the time.

Game of Thrones: Season 4 Episode 3

Has everyone seen the latest Game of Thrones episode? Obviously this week it dealt with the aftermath of Joffrey’s death.

How many actually think it was Tyrion? Now I’ve read the book so I know who it was, but I’m curious to other peoples reactions. I think it’s obvious Tyrion is the scapegoat. But that leaves the question of who really did it.

Sansa has fled (making herself look guilty) with the help of Littlefinger. I don’t trust him. He’s up to something and it’s not going to end well. You can just tell.

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Margery Tyrell – also known as the unluckiest bride ever – has now been left wondering what her status is now. Obviously the Lannisters need the Tyrells more than the Tyrells need them. But what is next for her? Or who’s the unlucky fella who will have to marry her next?

Poor Tommen. His brother has died and he is now King, as Lord Tywin told him. Tywin really doesn’t do timing though. Surely there is a better time and place to mould someone into a King then when you’re saying goodbye to the previous King. I do worry for Tommen though, he will be a lot easier to manipulate than Joffrey.

Stanis is angry. No change there then. And the Onion Knight has a plan. Intriguing, is it not?

Jon Snow. Oh Jon Snow. The Wall isn’t prepared for Mance and the Wildings. Time is dwindling and options are running out. Will they be able to survive?

Dany. We haven’t seen her for a while. She’s now in Meereen, another slave city. For someone who wants the Iron Throne, she really is taking her time getting there, isn’t she?

This should leave us wondering what will be happening next week. Will the wildings attack? Will the real murderer of Joffrey be discovered? Will Jaime even visit his brother? Only six days to go!

Fact of the day: 22nd April

On this day in 1970 the first Earth Day was celebrated.

Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.

To turn Earth Day into a sustainable annual event rather than one that occurred every 10 years, Nelson and Bruce Anderson, New Hampshire’s lead organizer in 1990, formed Earth Day USA.

Building on the momentum created by thousands of community organizers around the world, Earth Day USA coordinated the next five Earth Day celebrations through 1995, including the launch of EarthDay.org. Following the 25th Anniversary in 1995, the coordination baton was handed to Earth Day Network.

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Fact of the day: 21st April

First of all today is my Dad’s birthday so – Happy Birthday!!!!

He’s not the only one celebrating a birthday though.

On this day in 1926 Queen Elizabeth II was born.

Elizabeth was born in London and educated privately at home. Her father acceded to the throne as George VI in 1936 on the abdication of his brother Edward VIII, from which time she was the heir presumptive.

She began to undertake public duties during the Second World War, in which she served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service.

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In 1947, she married Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, with whom she has four children: Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward. Her coronation service took place in 1953 and was the first to be televised.

Since Elizabeth rarely gives interviews, little is known of her personal feelings. As a constitutional monarch, she has not expressed her own political opinions in a public forum. She does have a deep sense of religious and civic duty and takes her coronation oath seriously.

Fact of the day: 20th April

On this day in 1653 Oliver Cromwell dissolved the Rump Parliament.

The Rump Parliament is the English Parliament after Colonel Pride purged the Long Parliament on 6 December 1648 of those members hostile to the Grandees’ intention to try King Charles I for high treason.

“Rump” normally means the hind end of an animal; its use meaning “remnant” was first recorded in the above context. Since 1649, the term “rump parliament” has been used to refer to any parliament left over from the actual legitimate parliament.

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In 1653, after learning that Parliament was attempting to stay in session despite an agreement to dissolve, and having failed to come up with a working constitution, Cromwell’s patience ran out. On 20 April he attended a sitting of Parliament and listened to one or two speeches. Then he stood up and harangued the members of the Rump.

Within a month of the Rump’s dismissal, Oliver Cromwell on the advice of Harrison and with the support of other officers in the Army sent a request to Congregational churches in every county to nominate those they considered fit to take part in the new government. On 4 July a Nominated Assembly, nicknamed the “Assembly of Saints” or Barebone’s Parliament (named after one of its members), took on the role of more traditional English Parliaments.

Fact of the day: 19th April

On this day in 1539 Charles V and Protestants signed the Treaty of Frankfurt.

The Treaty of Frankfurt (also spelled Treaty of Frankfort),  also known as the Truce of Frankfurt, was a formal agreement of peace between Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and Protestants on 19 April 1539.

The parties met at Frankfurt-on-the-Main and the Lutherans were represented by Philip Melancthon.

The treaty stated that the emperor would not take any violent actions against the Protestants, who had formed an alliance known as the Schmalkaldic League, for fifteen months starting 1st May during this time both parties could try and resolve the differences in their confessions.

As a result of this peace, the Schmalkaldic League lost the protection of France.

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