June 15, 1215: King John puts his seal to the Magna Carta.
June 16, 1816: Lord Byron challenges Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, Claire Clairmont, and John Polidori to write a ghost story at his villa in Italy.
June 17, 1839: In the Kingdom of Hawaii, Kamehameha III issues the edict of toleration which gives Roman Catholics the freedom to worship in the Hawaiian Islands.
June 18, 1815: The Battle of Waterloo results in the defeat of Napoleon Bonapart by the Duke of Wellington and Gebhard Leberecht von Blucher forcing him to abdicate the throng of France for the second time.
June 19, 1862: The US Congress prohibits slavery in United States territories, nullifying Dred Scott v. Sanford.
June 20, 1837: Queen Victoria succeeds to the British throne.
June 21, 1791: King Louis XVI of France and his immediate family begin the Flight to Varennes during the French Revolution.
I do like improbable combinations, and this week’s Favorite may just top them all. In time for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, the town itself has decided to put on an exhibition of of Napoleon’s life.
Built entirely of Legos.
Everything from Jacques Louis David’s Napoleon Crossing the Alps to the Arc de Triompnh to Napoleon’s bicorn hat are part of the massive display.
May 25, 240 BC: First recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet.
May 26, 1879: Russia and the United Kingdom sign the Treaty of Gandamak establishing an Afghan state.
May 27, 1703: Tsar Peter the Great founds the city of St. Petersburg.
May 28, 1503: James IV of Scotland and Margaret Tudor are married. A Treaty of Everlasting Peace between Scotland and England signed on that occasion results in a peace that lasts ten years.
May 29, 1886: Chemist John Pemberton places his first advertisement for Coca-Cola, which appears in the Atlanta Journal.
May 30, 1806: Andrew Jackson kills Charles Dickenson in a duel after Dickinson accused Jackson’s wife of bigamy.
May 31, 1859: The clock tower at the Houses of Parliament, which houses Big Ben, starts keeping time.
May 18, 1803: The United Kingdom revokes the Treaty of Amiens and declares war on France.
May 19, 1897: Oscar Wilde is released from Reading Gaol.
May 20, 1609: Shakespeare’s sonnets are first published in London by Thomas Thorpe.
May 21, 1502: The island of Saint Helena is discovered by the Portuguese explorer Jaõa da Nova.
May 22, 1816: A mob in Littleport, Cambridgeshire, England riots over high unemployment and rising grain costs.
May 23, 1813: South American independence leader Simon Bolivar enters Mérida and is proclaimed El Libertador (“The Liberator”).
May 24, 1798: The Irish Rebellion of 1798 begins, led by the United Irishmen against British rule.
May 11, 1812: Prime Minister Spencer Perceval is assassinated by John Bellingham in the lobby of the House of Commons, London.
May 12, 1821: The first big battle of the Greek War of Independence against the Turks occurs in Valtetsi.
May 13, 1787: Captain Arthur Phillip leaves Portsmouth, England with eleven ships full of convicts to establish a penal colony in Australia.
May 14, 1796: Edward Jenner administers the first smallpox vaccination.
May 15, 1800: George III survives an assassination attempt by James Hadfield, who is later acquitted by reason of insanity.
May 16, 1770: Fourteen-year-old Marie Antoinette marries fifteen-year-old Louis-Auguste, who later becomes Louis XVI of France.
May 17, 1809: Napoleon orders the annexation of the Papal States to the French Empire.
May 4, 1814: Napoleon arrives at Protoferraio on the island of Elba to begin his exile.
May 5, 1821: Napoleon dies in exile on the island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean.
May 6, 1527: Spanish and German forces sack Rome, and event considered by some historians to be the end of the Renaissance.
May 7, 1794: Robespierre introduces the Cult of the Supreme Being as the new state religion of the First French Republic.
May 8, 1899: The Irish Literary Theatre in Dublin opens.
May 9, 1874: The first horse-drawn bus begins operation in Mumbai, traveling two routes.
May 10, 1824: The National Gallery in London opens to the public.