History of the Tower of London

The Tower of London. For nearly a thousand years, this great fortress, palace, and prison played a central role in England’s turbulent history. Through its gates passed kings, queens, courtiers, churchmen, politicians, and judges—some to emerge in triumph, others never to be seen alive again. inside its walls shaped the course of English history. The Royal Fortress After Duke William of Normandy invaded England in 1066, he constructed a series of castles to intimidate the hostile Anglo-Saxons. The most formidable building came to be in the city of London. The wooden fort initially erected inside the southeast corner of theold Roman walls was soon replaced…

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Coco-De-Mer-The World’s Largest Seed

Coco-De-Mer, discovered in the middle of the 18th century. is a type of palm tree found only in the Seychelles, a small group of islands in the Indian Ocean. The largest concentration of the Coco-De-Mer is found in the Vallée de Mai, on the island of Praslin. These palms can reach up to 100 feet [30 m] in height and are estimated to live for hundreds of years. One fascinating fact about the Coco-De-Mer is that it is dioecious; there are male trees and female trees. For the female to produce fruit, it must be pollinated by a male Coco-De-Mer. So…

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Origin of the Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is characterized by a well-rounded head, wide-set luminous eyes, a saucy expression, and erect ears, which flare to the sides when in repose. They have short soft hair or long silky hair, and some may be red, blond, blue, or chocolate-colored as well as solid, marked, or splashed. A unique feature of most Chihuahua puppies is the soft spot on the crown, similar to that of a newborn baby.While there are different theories regarding the origin of the Chihuahua as a breed, it appears to have descended from a small dog…

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How Korean Language (Hankul)was Invented

BEFORE Hankul was created, the Korean language did not have its own script. For more than a thousand years, educated Koreans wrote their language using Chinese characters. Over the years, however, various attempts were made to devise a better writing system. But since all of them were based on Chinese characters, only the well-educated could use them. An Alphabet Ordered by a King In the 15th century C.E., King Sejong of the Korean Yi dynasty began to contemplate the frustrations of his subjects who could neither read nor write. Most had no…

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The Origin of Medicine

In 805 C.E., CALIPH HARUN AR-RASHID established a hospital in his capital, Baghdad. From the 9th century through the 13th, other rulers built and maintained hospitals throughout the Islamic empire, from Spain to India. These hospitals welcomed the rich and the poor of all religions. Professional physicians not only treated the sick there but also did research and trained new practitioners. Separate wards were set aside for different specialties—internal medicine, ophthalmology, orthopedics, surgery, contagious disease, and mental infirmity. Doctors, accompanied by their students, examined the sick each morning and prescribed diets and…

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CAHOKIA- The origin of Native Americans

CAHOKIA- The origin of Native Americans WHEN you think of historic cities, which ones come to mind? Rome, London, Paris? What about Cahokia? ‘Cahokia?’ you might ask. Yes, Cahokia—located in Illinois, eight miles [13 km] east of St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A. Large, sophisticated, and well planned, it ranked as an outstanding American Indian city for 500 years. At the height of its civilization, about 1150 C.E., Cahokia was bigger than either London or Rome of that time. Encompassing more than five square miles [13 km2], according to one source, Cahokia “was unquestionably the largest prehistoric…

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INVENTION OF PENCIL 

In the 16th century, lumps of a strange black substance were found beneath the hillside of Borrowdale, a valley in the Lake District of northern England. Although the mineral looked like coal, it did not burn; and it left a shiny, black, easily erased mark on a writing surface. Initially, the substance had a variety of names—black lead, wad, and plumbago, meaning “that which acts like lead.” Because it had a greasy texture, people wrapped chunks of it with sheepskin or short sticks of it with string. No one knows who…

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THE ORIGIN OF FIREWORKS

Fireworks have become synonymous with celebration. Eruptions of light commemorate Independence Day in the United States, celebrate Bastille Day in France, and illuminate the skies over nearly every major city in the world each New Year’s Eve. Most historians agree that the Chinese invented fireworks about the tenth century of our Common Era, when Oriental chemists discovered that combining saltpeter (potassium nitrate) with sulfur and charcoal produces an explosive compound. Western explorers, such as Marco Polo, or possibly Arab traders were responsible for bringing this volatile substance to Europe, and…

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Crude Oil Discovery”The Black Gold”

In 1859, Edwin L. Drake, a retired railroad conductor, using an old steam engine, drilled a well 70 feet [22 meters] deep to the first crude oil discovered near Titusville, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. That marked the beginning of the oil era. As oil was discovered in many parts of the world, it caused great economic and political repercussions. It proved to be the high-quality source of artificial light that the world eagerly awaited. Soon, frantic buying of land and drilling of wells was a major activity in the so-called oil regions of…

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Salt, an Essential Commodity

Salt, an Essential Commodity Throughout history, salt (sodium chloride) has been such a precious commodity that wars were even fought over it. One of the contributing causes of the French Revolution was the high tax on salt imposed by Louis XVI. Salt was also used as a valuable medium of exchange. Moorish merchants traded salt for gold, gram for gram, and some central African tribes used slabs of rock salt as money. The English word “salary” comes from the Latin salarium (from sal, salt), referring to the early Roman soldier’s wages,…

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Mongolian Conquest

Mongolian Conquest  Mongols, a people who hailed from the grassland plateau of what is today Mongolia, in central and northeast Asia. Their lightning conquests, beginning in the early 13th century C.E., changed the face of Asia and of half of Europe. In just 25 years, the Mongols subjugated the inhabitants of more territories than the Romans had conquered in four centuries. At the apex of their power, they ruled from Korea to Hungary and from Siberia to India—the largest contiguous land empire in recorded history! Who Were the Mongols? The Mongols…

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America Discovery “Conflicting Facts”

America Discovery”Conflicting Facts” Who discovered America? Nobody really knows for sure. The answer depends greatly on how you define “discover” and “America.” After all, this vast land was populated for many centuries before Europeans even knew that it existed. Early in 1493, Christopher Columbus returned to Europe with eyewitness accounts of his first voyage to the Americas. He actually landed on the islands of the West Indies. But he was not the first European to reach this amazing new world. A band of fair-haired Scandinavians had evidently reached the North…

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