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.

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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

Sixteen_views_of_monuments_in_Delhi_Peacock_Throne_Red_Fort_Delhi_1850

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.

On this day: the Great New Orleans Fire

On the 21st of March, 1788, a fire broke out in a home in New Orleans, present-day Louisiana.

856 of the 1100 buildings in the town were destroyed.

Because the fire happened on Good Friday, priests wouldn’t allow church bells to be rung as a warning to residents.

Below is a map of the destroyed area, published in 1886. X

New Orleans Map of 1788 fire, published in 1886.

On this day: the Ku Klux Klan’s views on St Patrick’s Day

There were three movements of North America’s most infamous racist group, the Ku Klux Klan.

The second wave ran from around 1915 to 1944, and one of their aims was to “preserve American culture” by stopping European immigration (which was happening at a higher rate because of the two World Wars) into both the United States and Canada.

695px-KKK_-_St_Patricks_Day.In this 1927 cartoon the Ku Klux Klan chases the Roman Catholic Church, personified by St. Patrick, from the shores of America.

In this period, the US version of the KKK was supremely anti-Irish and anti-Italian (amongst other nationalities), and anti-Catholic. The Canadian version was concerned with trying to stop immigration from Eastern Europe, in an attempt to preserve Canada’s “British culture”.

800pxTheendkkkThe End Referring to the end of Catholic influence in the US. Klansmen Guardians of Liberty 1926.

1926

Because of these racist views, St Patrick’s Day was a target.