On this day…

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The church in Eyam, circa 1890.

Tomorrow the village of Eyam in Derbyshire, England recognises “Plague Sunday”.

The day remembers the decision of the village’s reverend and his wife – in 1665 – to convince the plague-stricken residents to barricade themselves in so that the disease wouldn’t spread to other villages in the area.

Hundreds of people died, but other communities survived.

Below is a picture from last year, when we visited the old well on a hilltop outside the village, which is where others would come to leave the people of Eyam food.

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Dunluce Castle

I visited Dunluce Castle yesterday afternoon (and it was free because of a European heritage weekend!). That’s me in the last picture, rushing back to the car when it started pouring rain!

I’ve been to the castle before, but forgot how enormous it is, on the edge of a windy cliff. A few centuries ago some of the castle actually fell into the sea.

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Labour Day

A picnic to celebrate Labour Day in New South Wales in the first half of the twentieth century. The photograph was taken by Australian photojournalist Sam Hood (1872-1953).

Labour Day in 2017 falls on the 2nd of October in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and South Australia.

Ukrainian Christmas

The Adoration of the Shepherds, (Поклоніння пастухів). A Ukrainian religious painting taken from an iconostasis, and dated between 1650 and 1700.

The 6th of January is Christmas Eve for Ukrainians of all Christian denominations.

The main Christmas celebrations take place at this time.

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The banning of Christmas

The celebration of Christmas was banned by Puritans in Boston, Colonial America in 1659. The ban was revoked by an English governor in 1681, however Christmas celebrations did not gain popularity in the area until the middle of the nineteenth century.

Through these years the holiday continued to be observed in other parts of America. It fell out of favour after the American Revolution, but returned to favour some years afterwards.

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Guy Fawkes

Guy Fawkes Night is celebrated in Great Britain on the 5th of November. Below is an 1867 anti-Irish Guy Fawkes illustration from Punch magazine. Fenian refers to Irish nationalists.

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American magazine Harper’s Weekly ran a similar anti-Irish image, titled The Usual Irish Way of Doing Thingsin 1871.

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Guy Fawkes

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This is a confession by Guy Fawkes, a member of the failed Gunpowder Plot, to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London, on the 5th of November, 1605.

Fawkes was tortured for some time before his confession, and the damage done to him can be seen in his shaky signatures below. The first is under torture, and the second is eight days after torture:

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On the 31st of January, 1606 Fawkes either fell or jumped from the platform where he was supposed to hang, and broke his neck before he could be executed as intended.

Today the 5th is celebrated in Britain with bonfires and fireworks as Guy Fawkes Night.

On this day: the wedding of Pocahontas and John Rolfe

Pocahontas and John Rolfe portrait 1850s

An 1850s painting of the couple X

Famous Native American woman Pocahontas married English tobacco planter John Rolfe on the 5th of April, 1614.

Pocahontas by Simon van de Passe 1616

Pocahontas in English clothing in 1616 X

After having their son, Thomas, Pocahontas travelled to England, where she became something of a celebrity.

However, the marriage was a short one, as Pocahontas died of an unknown illness in March 1617, shortly after boarding a ship to return home. Her exact gravesite is unknown, as the church where she was buried was destroyed in 1727.