History – Good News stories

There is so many good news stories, that I thought we would have a section on Good News stories


What was the Silk Road?

The Silk Road was a network of trade routes from China to Europe that ran from the second century BC until the mid-15th century. It went for more than 4,000 miles becoming ….

Greek influence on
the US Constitution

Speaking in March 2019 in the White House, President Donald Trump said that

“the U.S and the whole western civilization has been shaped by the achievements of the Greek people.”

I think he was right.  Especially, as it appears that the founding fathers looked at the way the Greek city states ran their democracy.

You see, at the time of American independence, 13 independent colonies came ……

Nellie Bly’s record.
Around the world in 72 days

Nellie Bly was captivated by Phileas Fogg’s  Around the World in Eighty Days in which, fictionally, he went round the world in 80 days.  She told her editor she could better it, he didn’t like the idea of a woman going all that way on her own, he suggested sending a man. That she didn’t like! Eventually he relented and ………

The Queen of Sinking Ships
Yes, another Titanic Story

This is Violet Jessop, a stewardess on RMS Titanic.  She was also a stewardess on both RMS Olympic and RMS Britannic when they sank,  both sister ships of RMS Titanic!

So, she got the nickname “Miss Unsinkable”, especially as she lived to the ripe old age of 83, they also called her ………

The ‘dancing plague’

Today we dance for fun, we can dance all night, and we think nothing of it, but in the 14th century they thought it was a disease!  They called it the “Dancing Plague”.   From the 14th to 17th centuries across European towns people suddenly started dancing erratically, then others joined them, sometimes this grew to thousands. 

 Guess what? The religious authorities didn’t like it.   They ……

The History of Lotteries

They started in China around 200 BC, to fund major projects. For the Romans they were a dinner party game, until Augustus Caesar, the Roman Emperor, needed money to repair Rome, suddenly, he realised that there was easy way to raise money!    By the Middle Ages they were more popular than taxes!  

Guess what? Towns such as Ghent, Utrecht, and Bruges, in the Low Countries, used …….

Athens – where our
democracy started

Democracy started in 510 BC when the Athenians overthrew their tyrant, King Hippias, with the help of Cleomenes I, King of Sparta.

Naturally, he tried to put his own man on the throne.  That was not popular, so Sparta attempted an invasion. 

Eventually Cleisthenes, an Athenian lawyer, came back to Ath….…

Steamboat Willie the
first Mickey Mouse
cartoon with sound

“I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing that it was all started by a mouse.”

Walt Disney, Disneyland; October 27, 1954

With the first Disney Cartoon with sound, with Mickey’s voice provided by Walt …….

Canal of the Pharaohs

Everyone has heard of the Suez Canal, but did you know that 2,000 years ago the Egyptians had a canal called The Canal of the Pharaohs.

The Egyptians built one back in ancient times, which was used, with a few interruptions until 767AD.

It used existing waterways and a canal linking the River Nile to the Red Sea.

When was it built?

The Pharaohs begun it in …….

Newsflash –
Punch and Judy
is not English!!

If you thought it was a traditional British seaside entertainment, it wasn’t.

It came from Italy in the 16th-century from the Italian “commedia dell’arte” which had roots going all the way back to Roman times. 

So how did Punch and Judy come to England?

It all happened because of the Restoration of the Monarchy, when Charles II became king and the country had been fun-starved after years of Puritanism under ……….

Lady Pirates

On November 15th 1720 Anne Bonny, Mary Read, and Calico Jack were captured by Capt. Jonathan Barnet and brought to Spanish Town, Jamaica, for trial!

Anne Bonny and Mary Read were two amazingly successful women pirates, the amazing thing is ……..

Would you use this defence today? 

This is about a lady called Phryne, history tells us that she was an ancient Greek courtesan, who ended up as one of the wealthiest women in Greece.

Her fame came when in 350 BC she was prosecuted for “asebeia”.

She was a lady, was obviously guilty, but her lawyers defence was innovative. I’m not certain it would work today!

To get to the point, Phyrne was acquitted after the jury ……

What became of “Alice’s
Adventures Under Ground”

They became Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

All because a girl called Alice Liddell was being rowed down the Isis by Charles Dawson. As they rowed, 10-year-old Alice asked Charles to tell them a story, and he told them about a girl, called Alice, who fell into a rabbit-hole.

They loved the story …….

Did you really enjoy
Hans Christian Andersen

Many parents read us Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales the problem was they didn’t always have happy endings.  For example, in The Red Shoes Karen has her feet cut off to teach her not to be jealous!

In fact, each of his books has a message. Unfortunately, sometimes that message is put forward in the most painful way, to make the message hit home.

Then there were ………..

“Unsinkable Sam”
a special cat!

Sam, a black and white patched cat, supposedly owned by a crewman of the German battleship Bismarck.

When it was sunk Sam, the cat, was discovered floating on a piece of wood, by the crew of the HMS Cossack, part of the attacking flotilla.  They took him aboard and they gave him the name, Oscar!

You may ask, why? 

Well, ……….

Fairs on a frozen Thames

Today, we can’t imagine that the River Thames can actually freeze over, but years ago it not only froze over, it froze over so deeply that they held fairs on it. In the 17th century, they put on the posters advertising the fair, each time the Thames froze over.

Believe it or not the first fairs were held as early as the 7th century, in fact ……..