On this day: the death of Pope Pius IX

IX__Piusz_pápaPope Pius IX, born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, who reigned from 16 June 1846 to his death in 1878.

Pope Pius IX, head of the Catholic Church, died in the Apostolic Palace in Rome on the 7th of February, 1878.

Pio_IX_04Foto scattata nel 1862 ad Anzio - autore naturalmente deceduto da oltre 100 anni Pope Pius IX 19th Century Catholicism Christian

Photographed in the 1860s

Born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti in 1792, the Italian port town of Senigallia, Pius IX became the longest-running elected Pope in the history of the Catholic Church, with a papacy that lasted for over thirty-one years, from the 16th of June, 1846 until his death.

The Pope was beatified on the 3rd of September, 2000.


The aftermath of a battle.

The region of Nervesa della Battaglia in northern Italy was retaken from the Austro-Hungarians in June of 1918.

This photograph was taken as Italian forces returned to the region to survey the destruction.

WWI_-_Nervesa_after_Italian_forces_retook_it World War 1 - Italian Army Nervesa after Italian forces retook it 1918

On this day: the downing of Aerolinee Itavia Flight 870


The recovered wreckage in 2007. X

On the 27th of June, 1980, Aerolinee Itavia Flight 870 disappeared from the sky during a flight from Bologna to Palermo, Italy.

The plane crashed into the Tyrrhenian Sea, killing all eighty-one people on board.


While it was concluded by British investigators that a bomb on the aircraft caused the disaster, to this day Italian officials insist a missile was fired at the plane.

The disaster occurred in the middle of a wave of terrorist acts to hit Italy (such as the Bologna Bombing), fuelled by far left and right-wing groups in the country’s north.


On this day: Preparing for Battle

This photograph, dated the 24th of June, 1918, shows Italian troops at 10am, waiting for battle.

They are in the commune of Nervesa, in the northern Italian Veneto region, an area that was largely destroyed in battle in the days immediately before.

The soldiers retook the region from the Austro-Hungarians.

World War 1 - Italian Army Nervesa - Italian troops at 10am on 24th June 1918 near the train station before the battle


On this day: Italy declares war.

Italy’s fascist dictator Benito Mussolini stands on the balcony of the Palazzo Venezia in Rome to declare war on France and Great Britain on the 10th of June, 1940.


Mussolini_DOW_10_June_1940 Italian leader Benito Mussolini delivering his war declaration on France and Great britain from the Palazzo Venezia Balcony in Rome. Fscist dictator.

Meanwhile, in Turin in the north of the country, people gather in a piazza to listen to the declaration on the radio.


Turin-10-6-1940 People in Charles Albert Square, Turin, listening to the radio message of Benito Mussolini from Rome, announcing the italian declaration of war, 10th June 1940.


On this day: Easter in 1865

This photograph is from Easter in 1865, which fell on the 16th of April. Pope Pius IX conducts Easter Mass in St Peter’s Square in Rome.


Ostermesse_auf_dem_Petersplatz_Rom Easter Mass at St. Peter's Square, Roma, presided by Pope Pius IX. 16th April 1865.


On this day…

Mount Vesuvius in Italy erupted in March, 1944, destroying a number of villages.

North American soldiers were in the area at the time, fighting in the Second World War.

The original caption of the picture reads:

Crew member cleaning the ashes and cinders off the wing of a North American B-25 of the 340th Bomb Group. This was caused by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius on 23 March 1944.