Pete’s History Picks: November 28th – December 4th

Fresh from his recent adventure in Tudor England, our very own time-travelling scholar, Pete Tollywash, returns to tell us some of the fascinating and important things that happened in this week in history. I now hand over to our guide.

Thanks Barford! Some really important stuff happened this week in history and a lot of it involved some very important women. Auntie Cheryl tells me you don’t see much about women in history. She says that’s for two main reasons - women weren’t normally allowed to get involved in political stuff and that men wrote the history. Anyway, it sounds like this was a very important week for women, as we’ll see.

November 28th, 1893, New Zealand is the first country to allow women to vote

You know that boring voting stuff grown-ups do? I’ve realised it might actually be a big thing. Apparently lots of people have protested and even been killed just so people could be allowed to vote. Women weren’t allowed to vote in Britain until 1918 and even then they had to be really ancient (like 30 years old!). New Zealand (apparently it’s some islands near Australia) was way ahead of Britain and the rest of the world on this and on this day in 1893, all women in the country were allowed to vote. At the same time, a woman was elected mayor of Onehunga (yeah, I dunno how you say that one either) in Auckland - the first woman mayor anywhere in the British Empire. Go Kiwis! Britain eventually caught up and on this same day in 1919, someone called Nancy Astor became the first female member of parliament.

November 29th, 1745, ‘Bonnie' Prince Charlie occupies Carlisle and sends soldiers into Manchester

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A monument to Bonnie Prince Charlie in Scotland - looks nice.

This one really surprised me! Auntie Cheryl was telling me that the Scottish and English haven’t always been the best of pals and in fact were at war in 1745. There was this guy called Charles Stuart, who apparently said his dad, James, was King of Great Britain because Charles's granddad, also James, had been king (are you still with me?). But Charles's granddad had been kicked out and replaced by Charles’s Aunt Mary and Uncle William. Quite a lot of people in Scotland wanted Charles’s dad to be king and egged Charles on to invade Britain. The French also liked the idea and said they’d help. Charles, or ‘Bonnie’ Prince Charlie as they nicknamed him, came to Scotland to begin the invasion. He had hoped that a French army would help him, but their ships got caught in storms. Even so, with the hep of local Scottish soldiers he managed to get control of Edinburgh and then marched into England. He took over a place called Carlisle and even got as far as Manchester, but apparently his mates told him the English had got a really big army and were coming to do him in. So, his mates decided to return to Scotland, even though Charlie didn’t want to. The English followed and in April 1746, his Scottish army was smashed at the Battle of Culloden. Charlie escaped and got back to France, but never returned to Scotland again.

December 1st 1955, Rosa Parks refuses to move to the back of the bus

We’re now about to meet one of the other important women of this week in history. This one sounds a bit like nothing, doesn’t it? In fact, surely the back of the bus is the best place to be? Away from the teachers, right? I’ve found out, though, that the back of the bus isn’t always a good place to be. In fact, in some parts of the United States of America, even in the 1960s, it was a really bad place to be. That’s because in some of the states of the US, they used to make black people sit in the back part of public buses while only white people could sit in the front. On this day in 1955, a lady called Rosa Parks was asked to give up her seat so a white person could sit down. She refused and was arrested. But it didn’t end there. She had inspired so many others that they launched a boycott of public buses in Montgomery and elected a man called Martin Luther King, Jr. to lead the boycott. This was the start of something called the Civil Rights Movement, which, over many years, led to improvements in the position of black people in America.

Apparently also on this day in 1988, Benazir Bhutto became the first female prime minister of a Muslim country. What a day for women!

December 4th, 1619 - Was this the first Thanksgiving?

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Apparently it might have looked something like this. Not so sure myself.

My mate Kev got punched by an angry lady trying to grab an Xbox off him in Asda on Black Friday last year. Auntie Cheryl said it’s probably the fault of some people who went to America in 1619. These people left England because they thought they’d have a better life in the ’New World’ (that’s what they called America). Sounds like it might not have turned out like that as some other people already lived there and weren’t that keen on sharing their land with the new guys. But anyway, these guys from England promised that when they landed in the New World, they would give thanks to God AND celebrate the anniversary of the day they landed every year after that. So this is how that Thanksgiving thing in America started. Dunno if these guys invented Black Friday as the day after Thanksgiving, probably not, but there wouldn’t be a Black Friday and Kev wouldn’t have got punched if these guys hadn’t invented Thanksgiving. So, you see, it’s their fault.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s history picks. Thanks for reading. See you again in a fortnight!

Pete’s History Picks: 14th – 20th November 2016

It gives me great pleasure to welcome back the hero of my ‘Pete’s Time-travelling Underpants’ adventures and Guildford’s premier historical scholar, Master Peter Tollywash, to fill us in on some of the interesting and exciting things that happened this week in history. Take it away Pete. Hello again! Thanks for coming back for more of my history picks (or welcome if it’s your first time). Auntie Cheryl says lots of stuff’s been going on recently that’s probably going to be important in the future. I think she might be right. Until I started doing this time travelling (I hope you haven’t told my mum about that), I thought that history stuff didn’t actually have anything to do with what’s going on now. In fact, I thought it was just stuff that history teachers probably made up so they could make children’s lives misery. But, yeah, it seems this stuff actually explains a lot about why things are like they are today. Anyway, here’s my picks for this week.

14th November, 1380

King Charles the Sixth crowned King of France aged 11

King Charles the Sixth of France was crowned on this day at the age of 11! If he can be king at 11, I don’t know why Mum won’t let me go to the corner shop at night on my own at 13. Charles became king right in the middle of the Hundred Years War, which might have been why he later became known as Charles the Mad, ‘cause he had some mental health issues (this seems a bit harsh). He really annoyed his son, also called Charles (bit confusing), by agreeing to the King of England, Henry the Fifth, being the French king after him. This other Charles got so cross he got some teenage girl called ‘Joan of Arc’ to help him fight against the English. Anyway, that’s enough on crazy King Charles the Sixth and his angry son.

16th November, 1532

Pizarro defeats the Incan Emperor Atahualpa

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Apparently some of those Inca guys lived here. Wow!
I always wondered why they speak Spanish in places like Mexico and Argentina. Apparently it’s because some Spanish guys called the ‘conquistadors’ (the conquerors) conquered those places. One of them was a guy called Pizarro (I thought he was a striker for AC Milan, but Wikipedia says not). He fought against these people called the Incas, who were the people living in Peru when the Spanish arrived there. Seems a bit odd, because I don’t think the Incas were much of a threat to Spain, what with being on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean and having no idea Spain existed and all. Auntie Cheryl says that someone had told Pizarro the Incas had loads of gold and that’s why he went after them. Anyway, on this day almost five hundred years ago, this Pizarro bloke captured the Incan Emperor Atahualpa after defeating him at the battle of Cajamarca. And that was the end of Atahualpa’s empire.

17th November, 1558

Queen Elizabeth the First crowned Queen of England

This is her - doesn't look too happy.
This is her - doesn't look too happy.
You may have heard that I’ve just come back from an adventure in the time of King Henry the Eighth. Well on this day in 1558, his daughter Elizabeth was crowned Queen of England. She’d had a bit of a hard time of it as her sister, Mary, who was queen before her, had put her in prison and wanted to chop her head off. What is with that family and wanting to chop people’s heads off? Actually, come to think of it, I’d quite like to chop my brother Jim’s head off, but Mum might not be very impressed. Anyway, Mary died before she could cut her little sister's head off, so then Elizabeth became queen instead. Apparently she also liked to chop people’s heads off and do other nasty things to them if they didn’t agree with her. Shame I don’t have that power.

18th November, 1916

The Somme Offensive comes to an end

As you probably know, we’ve just had this thing called Remembrance Day where we are meant to pay our respects to people who died in wars trying to keep us safe. Apparently it started after the First World War. On this day one hundred years ago one of the biggest battles of the war called the 'Somme offensive’ ended. It’s one of the worst battles ever because of the number of men who were killed. It was meant to make a big breakthrough and end the war. It didn’t. Anyway, I was thinking the other day that it seems a long time ago, but I guess it wasn’t really - my mate Kev’s great grandma is almost 100 years-old!

19th November, 1863

Abraham Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address

He's the one on the right.
He's the one on the right.
Apparently the Gettysburg Address is a speech and not a building. Auntie Cheryl says it’s an important event to talk about with what’s going on in America at the moment. The Republican President of America, Abraham Lincoln (who I had actually heard of before this, but I thought he was Bart Simpson’s grandad) gave a speech to some soldiers called Unionists at the opening of a cemetery for dead soldiers in Gettysburg. The Unionists were fighting in the American Civil War against soldiers called Confederates (who wanted to break away from America among lots of other complicated things I don’t really understand). This speech he gave is meant to be one of the most famous ever (not that I can think of many, if any, famous speeches). It spoke about the importance of democracy and the things that the people who declared independence from Great Britain believed in. I’ve had a look. It’s actually quite good. I hope you’ve found my history picks interesting. If you want to find out more about my adventures, you can do that here. My next adventure, ‘Tudor Trouble’, is out later this month!