On this day: the Yonge Subway Line

Canada’s first subway line opened in Toronto on the 30th of March, 1954. Called the Yonge subway when it opened, it ran from Union Station.

Front Street outside Union Station being excavated to create the tracks. 1950. X

Front_street_excavationFront Street in Toronto being excavated in 1950 for the new subway.

A 1950 image of houses demolished to make way for the line. X

750px-Yonge_subway_home_demolitionView after homes were demolished to make way for Toronto’s (and Canada’s) first subway line. 1950.

On this day: the US Embassy Bombing

On the 30th of March, 1965 the United States embassy in Saigon, Vietnam was bombed by the Viet Cong. The attack killed twenty-two people and injured 183 others.

The vehicle containing the bomb held 300 pounds of plastic explosives. Even though it was suggested, US President Lyndon B. Johnson refused to authorise retaliatory raids on North Vietnam.

1965 Embassy bombing 30th March 1965 US Embassy Vietnam.

On this day: the opening of the Royal Albert Hall

RAH_Grand_Opening_by_Queen_Victoria_29_March_1871_The_GraphicThe grand opening of the Royal Albert Hall in London by Queen Victoria on 29 March 1871 as illustrated in The Graphic, an illustrated newspaper of the time.

The Graphic illustrates the opening performance.

The Royal Albert Hall in London, named in honour of Queen Victoria’s late husband, was opened on the 29th of March, 1871.

Prince Edward, the future king, gave the speech, as Victoria was said to be too overcome to talk.

A concert followed the opening speech.

Happy Easter!

Catholic and Orthodox Christians in Ukraine will not celebrate Easter until the 1st of May, however here is a vintage Ukrainian Easter print by artist Jacques Hnizdovsky.

The writing in the print says: Христос Воскрес! (Khrystos Voskres!), with the response: Воїстину Воскрес! (Voyistynu Voskres!).

This means Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen! The interaction is heard frequently at Easter, and for some weeks afterwards.

Hnizdovsky_XrysVos1_UkrHnizdovsky_Easter Ukrainian Easter Card by Jacques Hnizdovsky Vintage

On this day: the world’s first passenger railway

Tram on the Swansea and Mumbles Railway in Wales 1897.

Photographed in 1897

On the 25th of March, 1807, the world’s first passenger railway opened in Britain.

Horsetrain_1870Horse-powered train on the Swansea and Mumbles Railway, Wales.


The Swansea and Mumbles Railway operated in Wales until 1960. The passenger cars were originally pulled by horses before being changed to steam locomotives, and then finally to electric trams.

William Morris’ 182nd Birthday

For a reason unknown to me my computer is set to the UK, so I had the privilege of seeing the series of William Morris-themed Google doodles today. However, apparently these aren’t being used elsewhere.

William Morris was a renowned English textile designer in the Victorian era. He was born on the 24th of March, 1834.






On this day: the assassination of Durham Stevens

DurhamWhiteStevensAmerican diplomat Durham Stevens was attacked by Korean independence activists Jang In-hwan and Jeon Myeong-un on the 23rd of March, 1908. He died two days later. 1903 Photograp.

Durham Stevens in 1903 X

American diplomat Durham Stevens was attacked by Korean independence activists Jang In-hwan and Jeon Myeong-un on the 23rd of March, 1908. He died two days later.

A picture of Jang In-hwan, assassin of Durham Stevens, taken while the subject was living in the United States. 1907A picture of Jeon Myeong-un, assassin of Durham Stevens, taken while the subject was living in the United States. 1907.

Jang In-hwan and Jeon Myeong-un, both photographed in 1907.

Both Korean men had moved to the United States, and the attack took place at the Fairmont San Francisco.

Stevens, who had been employed by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, had spoken out in favour of Japanese influence in Korea, and Japan’s annexation of the Korean peninsula.

1907 view of the Fairmont Hotel from Powell Street San Francisco

The Fairmont San Francisco in 1907 X

Japan’s annexation and occupation of Korea was complete two years after Stevens’ death.

Stevens is remembered by Koreans as a traitor to their sovereignty, though at the time of his assassination many spoke out in his favour.

On this day: the theft of the Peacock Throne


On the 22nd of March, 1739 Nader Shah of Persia (Iran) sacked the Indian city of Delhi and stole the jewels of the famous Peacock Throne. The seat of the Mughal emperors who ruled the north of India, the throne was never seen again.

NaderShahPaintingNāder Šāh Afšār or Nadir Shah (Persian نادر شاه افشار‎‎; also known as Nāder Qoli Beg - نادر قلی بیگ or Tahmāsp Qoli Khān - تهماسپ قلی خان) Shah of Persia (1736–47).

Nader Shah

A replacement throne was made, and existed until a rebellion in 1857.