On this day: Burghley House in 1887

This image of Burghley House in Cambridgeshire, England was taken on the 31st of January, 1887.

The sixteenth-century house has been featured in numerous movies.

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Exterior of Burghley House, Cambridgeshire, viewed from the north-west.. Photograph taken on the 31st of January 1887.

January 1959

These aerial images of Alnwick Castle and the town of Alnwick blanketed in snow were taken in January of 1959.

Alnwick Castle is the seat of the Duke of Northumberland, and was built following the Norman Conquest, with parts of the castle dating to around 1096.

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Aerial_view_of_Alnwick_Castle,_1959_(16130432047)

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Aerial view of Alnwick, Northumberland, January 1959 Alnwick Castle England Britain Black and White Vintage

On this day: the death of Frederic Leighton

1880_Frederic_Leighton_-_Self_portrait Frederic Leighton, 1st Baron Leighton PRA (3 December 1830 – 25 January 1896). English painter.

Self-portrait, 1880.

On the 25th of January, 1896, the bearer of the shortest-lived title in the history of the English peerage died aged sixty-five.

Famous painter and sculptor Frederic Leighton, known as 1st Baron Leighton at the time of his death, succumbed to angina pectoris only one day after being awarded the title.

Flaming_June,_by_Frederic_Lord_Leighton_(1830-1896) Flaming June, by Frederic Lord Leighton English Painting Art 1895.

One of his most famous works, Flaming June, painted the year before his death.

Leighton was also an enthusiastic volunteer soldier, and his funeral at St Paul’s Cathedral in London was accompanied by a guard of honour.

On this day: Australian Troops in Libya

Tobruk Libya 22 January 1941. Members of C Company Australian 2-11th Infantry Battalion having penetrated the outer defences of Tobruk, assemble on the south side of the harbour after at

Australian troops photographed by Frank Hurley in Tobruk on the 22nd of January, 1941.

The harbour town in Libya became the focus of a 241-day siege a few months later. 14 000 Australians – known as the Rats of Tobruk – fought a combined force of Nazis and Italians. Control of the town was crucial to Allied interests in North Africa.

On this day: Nixon’s Secretary Dies

Rose Mary Woods, secretary to doomed US President Richard Nixon, died on the 22nd of January, 2005 at the age of eighty-seven. The Ohio-born woman who lost her fiancé in the Second World War is infamous for her part in the 1970s Watergate scandal that eventually resulted in Nixon’s resignation.

Rose Mary Woods demonstrates how she claims she erased Watergate scandal tapes. President Richard Nixon Secretary. 1970s.

Woods can be seen above demonstrating the so-called “Rose Mary Stretch”. She claimed this was how potentially incriminating tapes connected to the Watergate scandal were “accidentally” deleted.

Nixon ended up resigning over the scandal before he could be impeached.

On this day: the USS Missouri aground

21st of January, 1950, and shows US Navy battleship USS Missouri (BB-63) four days after running aground near Thimble Shoal Light in Virginia, USA.

This photograph is from the 21st of January, 1950, and shows US Navy battleship USS Missouri (BB-63) four days after running aground near Thimble Shoal Light in Virginia, USA. She was trapped there until the 1st of February, when she was refloated and repaired.

The Missouri is famous for being the site of the surrender of the Empire of Japan in 1945, ending the Second World War.

In the years following the accident in Virginia, the ship was used in the Korean and Gulf Wars before being transformed into a museum ship at Pearl Harbor.

On this day: the birth of the Duchess of Northumberland

Elizabeth Diana Percy, Duchess of Northumberland (née Montagu Douglas Scott; 20 January 1922 – 19 September 2012)

Photographed as a teenager in 1935.

Elizabeth Diana Percy, Duchess of Northumberland (née Montagu Douglas Scott) was born on the 20th of January, 1922, to parents the future Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch.

During the Second World War she served in both the Civil Nursing Reserve and the Women’s Royal Naval Service, and worked on the RMS Mauretania and in Australia.

She married Hugh Percy, 10th Duke of Northumberland in 1946 and went on to have seven children. Her husband ascended to the title after his brother, the 9th Duke, was killed in action in the war in 1940.

The Duchess outlived her husband, dying in Surrey, England in 2012.

Fifteen Years

I’ve mentioned this disaster before, but today is the fifteenth anniversary of the freakish firestorm that tore through Canberra, Australia’s capital city. Unlike other bushfires, this one burnt into the city itself, claiming lives and destroying many hundreds of buildings.

Watch from 1:08 in to see what the suburban streets looked like that afternoon.

The images below (from Wikimedia Commons) are from before the sky turned blacker than night, and then bright red. All the photos are of places I was on that day. When everything went black, it started raining embers, and the flames started rolling down the mountains that surround us, things got really scary in this part of town. (What looks like lights in the first picture is all fire.)

People I know lost everything, but we got lucky and the firebombing helicopters were just over us and stopped it before it jumped the road to our side.

2003_Canberra_Firestorm-Woden 2003 Canberra Firestorm. 18th January 2003 Canberra_hills-18-01-2003

2003_Canberra_Firestorm-Woden Photo of Woden Town Centre during the height of the 2003 Canberra Firestorm. 18th January 2003

2003_Canberra_Firestorm- 2003 Canberra Firestorm. 18th January 2003 Canberra_hills-18-01-2003 2003CanberraBushfires.