Some crucial bits of history

A little, much needed, humour today from The Guardian. Seemingly, according to the Conservative Party, the study of history is crucial to a nation’s survival – Ah, you say, but which history (or, indeed, which nation)?… ANYway.. Guardian journalist Tanya Gold suggests some important facts for inclusion in the curriculum – Britain in Brief*It’s worth reading in chronological order but I’ll pick out some of my own favourites –

410 Romans go home. The Dark Ages begin; Saxons, Angles, Danes, Vikings, etc arrive (see The Vikings, starring Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis).

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1265 First House of Commons sits, then gets up, citing boredom.

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June 23 1348 A Gascon merchant ship docks in Weymouth Bay, bringing the Pestilence, also known as the Great Mortality and, later, the Black Death. A third of the population of England and Wales die. King Philip VI of France asks the priests for an explanation. They explain that God is angry. God is re-angered in 1361, 1368, 1374, 1379 and 1390.

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1546 Syphillis epidemic. Henry VIII implicated.

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1652 Coffee arrives, at last.

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1649-1660 Commonwealth and the Protectorate. Everyone wears black and pretends to believe in God. Great swathes of the population die of boredom.

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1848 Karl Marx writes The Communist Manifesto in the British Library’s Reading Room, while eating sandwiches and drinking coffee.

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1963 Sexual intercourse begins, according to the poet Philip Larkin.

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2002 Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, the last Empress of India, dies. Gin sales slump; vodka sales soar.

( * – I know, I know.. but them’s the facts )