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Restoration England – British history

By |2018-04-24T10:40:56+00:00August 14th, 2017|History, Modern Europe|

Charles II of England Oliver Cromwell tried to leave his job as Lord Protector to his son Richard when he died in 1658, but Richard was so useless that two years later Parliament invited Charles I's son, Charles II, to come be king in England after all: historians call this the Restoration, because it restored the [...]

Anarchists, Franco and modern Spain

By |2018-04-08T21:33:42+00:00August 5th, 2017|History, Modern Europe|

Anarchist militia (Barcelona, 1936) Just as with the Napoleonic Wars, World War I left Spain with the difficult problem of having close relationships with countries on both sides of the war: King Alfonso III was descended from French kings, but Spain had a long tradition of being allied with Austria/Germany too. So Alfonso chose to stay [...]

Why don’t people of color swim?

By |2017-06-23T23:15:07+00:00June 23rd, 2017|Games, History|

A Tibetan swimming contest in the Kyichu River (1695 AD) In most of the world, people kept on swimming after 1500 AD pretty much the same way they had before 1500 AD. But in Europe, soon after 1500 AD, people almost completely stopped swimming. In 1567 AD, a Cambridge University student drowned swimming [...]

Polyester fabric – World War II and the invention of polyester

By |2018-01-02T16:10:10+00:00June 8th, 2017|Clothing, Modern Europe|

Polyester fabric: a polyester shirt Who invented polyester fabric? The British scientists John Whinfield and James Dickson first invented polyester cloth in 1941 in England. World War II had made it hard to get cotton, and British people needed clothes to wear! After World War II was over, in 1945, the United States [...]