The Dancing Plague of July 1518

Die_Wallfahrt_der_Fallsuechtigen_nach_MeulebeeckEngraving of Hendrik Hondius portrays three women affected by the dancing plague

An engraving by Hendrik Hondius portrays a similar outbreak in the 1560s.

In July of 1518, dancing mania – a phenomenon that occurred across Europe for several centuries – hit Strasbourg, Alsace (France). Approximately four-hundred people danced themselves to exhaustion, and even to their deaths.

The plague began when a woman named Mrs Troffea began to dance in the street.

At the time, it was decided that the people could be cured with more dancing, and so musicians were hired to encourage them – which resulted in more deaths.

One modern-day theory suggest that consumption of fungi containing psychoactive chemicals (similar to LSD) was to blame. Mass hysteria has also been suggested.

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On this day: a US air display in Germany

The United States Third Army Air Service, an organisation based in France and Germany immediately after the First World War, is shown here demonstrating Caquot Observation balloons at an

The United States Third Army Air Service, an organisation based in France and Germany immediately after the First World War, is shown here demonstrating Salmson 2A.2 of the 1st Aero Squa

The United States’ Third Army Air Service, an organisation based in France and Germany immediately after the First World War, is shown here demonstrating Caquot Observation balloons and planes at an air show in Coblenz, Germany on the 26th of April 1919.

The area was occupied by France in the aftermath of the war, and in a sign of defiance of the occupation, the Germans living in the region began using the alternative spelling of “Koblenz” – which is the name used today.

The American organisation was disbanded in July of the same year.

On this Day: British Royalty on the Front

German_Spring_Offensive_Q294 King George V escorted by Lieutenant Colonel Reginald B

30th March 1918: Britain’s King George V, escorted by Lieutenant Colonel Reginald B. Rickman, inspects troops who survived the Battle of Bullecourt the previous year. The photograph was taken in Hermin, France in the final year of the First World War.

Part of the bigger Second Battle of Arras between the German and British Empires, the conflict claimed hundreds of thousands of casualties.

From the collection of the Imperial War Museum.

March 1917

Ruins in the village of Puisieux, Pas-de-Calais, France. March 1917. First World War. The British entered the region on the 28th of February. World War One. By War Photographer Ernest Br

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British troops entered the commune of Puisieux, Pas-de-Calais, France on the 28th of February, 1917, and proceeded to document the destruction they found.

Operations_on_the_Ancre,_January-march_1917_Q1807Ruins in the village of Puisieux, which the British entered on 28th February 1917. First World War. World War One. By War Photographer Er

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The photographs were taken by Ernest Brooks, who was the British military’s first official war photographer, and who made a name for himself documenting the First World War.

A Christmas Drink, 1916.

Christmas_on_the_Western_Front,_1914-1918_Q1632British press chauffeurs drinking to the King's health at their Christmas dinner, Rollencourt Chateau, 25th December 1916. First World War

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Rollencourt Chateau, France: British press chauffeurs drinking to the King’s health at their Christmas dinner. 25th December 1916. First World War.

Winter at War

Mametz_Western_Front_(Frank_Crozier)Anzac soldiers in the snow near Mametz, France at the end of the Battle of the Somme. 1916-17. By Frank Crozier (1883–1948), Australian official war

Anzac soldiers in the snow near Mametz, France at the end of the Battle of the Somme. 1916-17. By Frank Crozier (1883–1948), Australian official war artist.

From the collection of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.