History Meme || {1/4} phrases
L E T  T H E M  E A T  C A K E ●

It’s one of the most famous quotes in history. At some point around 1789, when being told that her French subjects had no bread, Marie-Antoinette (bride of France’s King Louis XVI) supposedly sniffed, “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”—“Let them eat cake.” With that callous remark, the queen became a hated symbol of the decadent monarchy and fueled the revolution that would cause her to (literally) lose her head several years later. But did Marie-Antoinette really say those infuriating words? No, there is no record of her ever saying it.

That aside, what’s even more convincing is the fact that the “Let them eat cake” story had been floating around for years before 1789. It was first told in a slightly different form about Marie-Thérèse, the Spanish princess who married King Louis XIV in 1660. She allegedly suggested that the French people eat “la croûte de pâté” (or the crust of the pâté). Over the next century, several other 18th-century royals were also blamed for the remark, including two aunts of Louis XVI. Most famously, the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau included the pâté story in his “Confessions” in 1766, attributing the words to “a great princess” (probably Marie-Thérèse). Whoever uttered those unforgettable words, it was almost certainly not Marie-Antoinette, who at the time Rousseau was writing was only 10 years old—three years away from marrying the French prince and eight years from becoming queen.


HISTORY MEME: (3/6) women: Queen Elizabeth I

Elizabeth Tudor is considered by many to be the greatest monarch in English history. When she became queen in 1558, she was twenty-five years old, a survivor of scandal and danger, and considered illegitimate by most Europeans. She inherited a bankrupt nation, torn by religious discord, a weakened pawn between the great powers of France and Spain. She was only the third queen to rule England in her own right; the other two examples, her cousin Lady Jane Grey and half-sister Mary I, were disastrous. Even her supporters believed her position dangerous and uncertain. Her only hope, they counseled, was to marry quickly and lean upon her husband for support. But Elizabeth had other ideas.

She ruled alone for nearly half a century, lending her name to a glorious epoch in world history. She dazzled even her greatest enemies. Her sense of duty was admirable, though it came at great personal cost. She was committed above all else to preserving English peace and stability; her genuine love for her subjects was legendary. Only a few years after her death in 1603, they lamented her passing. In her greatest speech to Parliament, she told them, ‘I count the glory of my crown that I have reigned with your love.’ And five centuries later, the worldwide love affair with Elizabeth Tudor continues.


Anne’s life was a tragic but incredible one. Anne was able to control a powerful man with love; she was the catalyst of religious reformation, she brought down powerful men and gave birth to a great Queen. Anne Boleyn, love her or hate her has left a indelible mark on the world, until this day England is still a protestant nation. Anne may have suffered a cruel fate but in the end she won. She changed England and as a result changed the world. (x)


history meme: one of two natural disasters | the extinction of dinosaurs (theory)

The Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event, or the K-T event, is the name given to the die-off of the dinosaurs and other species that took place some 65.5 million years ago. For many years, paleontologists believed this event was caused by climate and geological changes that interrupted the dinosaurs’ food supply. However, in the 1980s, father-and-son scientists Luis (1911-88) and Walter Alvarez (1940-) discovered in the geological record a distinct layer of iridium—an element found in abundance only in space—that corresponds to the precise time the dinosaurs died. This suggests that a comet, asteroid or meteor impact event may have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. In the 1990s, scientists located the massive Chicxulub Crater at the tip of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, which dates to the period in question. {more}


HISTORY MEME: (4/10) people Mihrimah Sultan

Mihrimah Sultan (21 March 1522 – 25 January 1578) was the daughter of the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman I and his wife Hürrem Sultan.

Mihrimah traveled throughout the Ottoman Empire with her father as he surveyed the lands and conquered new ones. It is written in Persian literature that she traveled into battle with her father on an Arabian stallion called Batal at the Battle of Gizah in northern Egypt outside Alexandria.

In Constantinople on 26 November 1539, at the age of seventeen, Mihrimah was married off to Rüstem Pasha, the Grand Vizier under Suleiman. Though the union was unhappy, Mihrimah flourished as a patroness of the arts and continued her travels with her father until her husband’s death. The fact that Mihrimah encouraged her father to launch the campaign against Malta, promising to build 400 galleys at her own expense; that like her mother she wrote letters to Sigismund II the King of Poland; and that on her father’s death she lent 50,000 gold sovereigns to her brother Sultan Selim to meet his immediate needs, illustrate the political power which she wielded.


History Meme: 2/10 Moments

  • The 1914 Christmas Truce

"Now what I am going to tell you will be hard to believe, but it is quite true. There was no firing on Christmas Day and the Germans were quite friendly with us. They even came over to our trenches and gave us cigars and cigarettes and chocolate and of course we gave them things in return. Just after one o’clock on Christmas morning I was on look-out duty and one of the Germans wished me Good morning and a Merry Christmas. I was never more surprised in my life when daylight came to see them all sitting on top of the trenches waving their hands and singing to us. Just before we came out of the trenches (we came out of them on Christmas night) one of them shouted across, "Keep your heads down, we are just going to fire" and they sent about a dozen bullets flying over the top of our heads. Now who would believe it if they did not see it with their own eyes? It is hard enough for us to believe."—letter from soldier

The Christmas truce was a series of widespread, unofficial ceasefires that took place along the Western Front around Christmas 1914, during World War I. Through the week leading up to Christmas, parties of German and British soldiers began to exchange seasonal greetings and songs between their trenches; on occasion, the tension was reduced to the point that individuals would walk across to talk to their opposite numbers bearing gifts. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, many soldiers from both sides – as well as, to a lesser degree, from French units – independently ventured into “no man’s land”, where they mingled, exchanging food and souvenirs. As well as joint burial ceremonies, several meetings ended in carol-singing. Troops from both sides were also friendly enough to play games of football with one another.

The truce is seen as a symbolic moment of peace and humanity amidst one of the most violent events of modern history. It was not ubiquitous; in some regions of the front, fighting continued throughout the day, while in others, little more than an arrangement to recover bodies was made. The following year, a few units again arranged ceasefires with their opponents over Christmas, but the truces were not nearly as widespread as in 1914; this was, in part, due to strongly worded orders from the high commands of both sides prohibiting such fraternisation. In 1916, after the unprecedentedly bloody battles of the Somme and Verdun, and the beginning of widespread poison gas use, soldiers on both sides increasingly viewed the other side as less than human, and no more Christmas truces were sought. (x)(x)


history meme | 1/1 wars: the war of 1812

The War of 1812 was a war fought between the British Empire and the United States of America. It lasted two years and eight months, but ended without any territorial change. Among the reasons for war were the British employing impressment, the British supporting the Indians in their attacks on the Americans and the British impeding American trade with the French. The Americans swiftly identified the province of Upper Canada (later Ontario) as their easiest target. Lower Canada (later Quebec) was remote and protected by the city of Quebec. The Maritimes were well defended by the British Navy. As an added bonus, the British were greatly outnumbered by the Americans, as most of the British army were off fighting Napoleon. However, the British were well prepared under the control of Isaac Brock and took control of Michigan and Upper Mississippi. The British troops were greatly aided by the First Nations. The British then won at the Battle of Queenston Heights (October 13th, 1812), but Isaac Brock was killed. After Brock’s death, the British employed a new strategy: they went on the defense, compared to Brock’s ideas of attacking quickly. However, in May of 1813, the Americans struck back with the capture of Fort George. This was the low point of the war for the British Empire, as the Americans has also captured York (later Toronto) earlier in the year for a short period of time. On June 5th, at the Battle of Stoney Creek, the British took back Fort George. Worn down, the Americans left Canada. The next year (1814 if you’re keeping up), the Americans easily captured Fort Erie in July. Over in the Maritimes, the British took over most of the coast of Maine. The Americans left Fort Erie after a several month long standoff, but not before destroying it. This effectively ended the American time in Upper Canada. On December 24th, 1814, the Treaty of Ghent was signed in Ghent, Belgium, with the Russians as mediators. Unfortunately, communication was slow back in 1814, and news of the peace treaty did not reach North America until after a decisive American victory in New Orleans. Although it is debatable, Canadians consider the war a win, as they did not lose any territory to the Americans.


History Meme. 1 war → World War II 

World War II (WWII or WW2), also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, though some related conflicts in Asia began before 1939. It involved the vast majority of the world’s nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, and directly involved more than 100 million people, from more than 30 different countries. In a state of “total war”, the major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. Marked by mass deaths of civilians, including the Holocaust, the Three Alls Policy, the strategic bombing of enemy industrial and/or population centers, and the first use of nuclear weapons in combat, it resulted in an estimated 50 million to 85 million fatalities. These made World War II the deadliest conflict in human history. [read more]

HISTORY MEME | Charming Ladies [1/5} → Lady Anne Boleyn (1501-1536)

"Anne and Henry’s passion was something never seen before among the Royal Society, and less by the rest of the English people. Anne played a delicate game, she was talented in the arts of seduce a man without give herself to him; and that was a fire that kept Henry under her spell.   Anne’s versatility, charm, exotic beauty, intelligence and independence, were her elements of triumph." (x)


1/2 Queens: Elizabeth Woodville 

Elizabeth Woodville was born in 1437 into a house of solid supporters of Lancaster. Her first husband died in battle, leaving her with two young sons. Elizabeth met King Edward and the two fell in love immediately. They wed secretly, and when Edward announced the marriage to his court it caused uproar. Elizabeth was a commoner – the first to take the giant leap upwards to marry royalty. Elizabeth had to escape into sanctuary many times, and when her husband died, she plotted to keep her family safe and vowed to put her daughter, the Princess of York, on the throne. Her daughter married Henry Tudor and became Queen of England. She dealt with her two young sons disappearance, plots and rumours against her, and years of confinement. She died with the satisfaction of her daughter on the throne and the Prince of Wales as her grandson - who would lead on to become the infamous Henry VIII, King of England.


HISTORY MEME // 10 Moments : (1/10) The procession of President Kennedy’s casket to St. Matthews Cathedral on November 25th, 1963

President Kennedy’s casket was led by foot to St. Matthews Cathedral, on the same route often used by Jacqueline and the President on their way to Mass at the cathedral. This marked the first time that a first lady walked in her husband’s funeral procession. The two children, John Jr and Caroline, rode in a limousine behind their mother, Jacqueline, and their two uncles, Edward and Robert. The new President, Lyndon Johnson, and his wife, Lady Bird, as well as their two daughters, Luci and Lynda, also walked in the procession despite being warned not to in the wake of the late President’s assassination. Not since the funeral of the British King Edward VII had there been such a large gathering of royalty, prime ministers, and presidents. It was televised by NBC to twenty-three countries, including the Soviet Union and Japan.


History Meme: 1/1 War

  • The Trojan War

In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus king of Sparta. The war is one of the most important events in Greek mythology and has been narrated through many works of Greek literature, most notably through Homer’s Iliad and the Odyssey. The Iliad relates a part of the last year of the siege of Troy; the Odyssey describes Odysseus’s journey home. Other parts of the war are described in a cycle of epic poems, which have survived through fragments. Episodes from the war provided material for Greek tragedy and other works of Greek literature, and for Roman poets including Virgil and Ovid.

The war originated from a quarrel between the goddesses Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite, after Eris, the goddess of strife and discord, gave them a golden apple, sometimes known as the Apple of Discord, marked “for the fairest”. Zeus sent the goddesses to Paris, who judged that Aphrodite, as the “fairest”, should receive the apple. In exchange, Aphrodite made Helen, the most beautiful of all women and wife of Menelaus, fall in love with Paris, who took her to Troy. Agamemnon, king of Mycenae and the brother of Helen’s husband Menelaus, led an expedition of Achaean troops to Troy and besieged the city for ten years because of Paris’ insult. After the deaths of many heroes, including the Achaeans Achilles and Ajax, and the Trojans Hector and Paris, the city fell to the ruse of the Trojan Horse. The Achaeans slaughtered the Trojans (except for some of the women and children whom they kept or sold as slaves) and desecrated the temples, thus earning the gods’ wrath. Few of the Achaeans returned safely to their homes and many founded colonies in distant shores. The Romans later traced their origin to Aeneas, one of the Trojans, who was said to have led the surviving Trojans to modern-day Italy.

The ancient Greeks thought that the Trojan War was a historical event that had taken place in the 13th or 12th century BC, and believed that Troy was located in modern-day Turkey near the Dardanelles. By modern times, both the war and the city were widely believed to be non-historical. In 1868, however, the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann met Frank Calvert, who convinced Schliemann that Troy was at Hissarlik and Schliemann took over Calvert’s excavations on property belonging to Calvert; this claim is now accepted by most scholars. Whether there is any historical reality behind the Trojan War is an open question. Many scholars believe that there is a historical core to the tale, though this may simply mean that the Homeric stories are a fusion of various tales of sieges and expeditions by Mycenaean Greeks during the Bronze Age. Those who believe that the stories of the Trojan War are derived from a specific historical conflict usually date it to the 12th or 11th centuries BC, often preferring the dates given by Eratosthenes, 1194–1184 BC, which roughly corresponds with archaeological evidence of a catastrophic burning of Troy VIIa.

HISTORY MEME | Charming Ladies [3/5} → Catherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk (1519-1580)

Catherine was known for her wit, sharp tongue, and devotion to learning, by the last years of Henry VIII’s reign the Duchess of Suffolk was also an outspoken advocate of the English Reformation. She was certainly unafraid to speak her mind, informing her friend Lord Cecil that he was not bold enough. Diplomacy was well within her reach, but other things mattered more to Catherine. She was a deeply religious lady who took Hugh Latimer as Chaplain following the early death of her two sons. Catherine saw Henry VIII marry Anne, Jane, Anne, Katheryn and Catherine as well as Edward VI rise and fade. She saw her friend France’s daughter Jane become Queen and nine days later face rejection ending in execution. She and Bertie stayed on the Continent during Mary’s reign. She saw France’s second daughter Katherine and third daughter Mary both lose their lives for love under the fretful behavior of Queen Elizabeth I. ”We could almost wish that a lady of the courage and vivacity of Catherine of Suffolk had sat upon the English throne for a time. But the crown can strangle as much as empower. And perhaps she was able to accomplish more behind the scenes than she could ever had done on the fickle and turbulent stage of history.” (x)


HISTORY MEME: (1/10) peopleDiane de Poitiers

Diane de Poitiers (3 September 1499 – 25 April 1566) was a French noblewoman and a prominent courtier at the courts of kings François I and his son, Henri II of France. She became notorious as the latter’s favourite. Married young to Louis de Brézé, Grand Seneschal of Normandy, she was twenty-seven when she met Henri for the first time, when he was just seven. It was a tragic episode. Diane was part of the cortege accompanying Henri and his brother to Spain, where they were both to be future hostages in the place of their father, François I. Touched by the child’s distress, Diane gave him a kiss, which left a lasting impression. This strange passion for a woman twenty years older was the only folly of this cautious, serious prince. Diane de Poitiers was one of those rare women that become and remain famous simply for their beauty. As soon as he became king, Henri gave the widow the crown jewels and made her Duchesse de Valentinois…However passionately Henri loved her, Diane loved herself even more. She imposed the strictest discipline on herself to preserve her perfect beauty. At Chenonceau, she made sure she took cold baths daily in the Cher and skillfully distilled potions and ointments. A peerless housekeeper, at Chenonceau she knew how to combine pleasure and utility. She expanded the grounds and succeeded in tripling the estate’s yield.


History meme: 4/10 Moments

  • The Newsboys Strike of 1899

In July 1899, a large number of New York City newsboys refused to distribute the papers of Joseph Pulitzer, publisher of the World, and William Randolph Hearst, publisher of the Journal. The strikers demonstrated across the Brooklyn Bridge for several days, effectively bringing traffic to a standstill, along with the news distribution for most New England cities. Several rallies drew more than 5,000 newsboys, complete with charismatic speeches by strike leader Kid Blink.

So named because he was blind in one eye, Kid Blink (Louis Ballatt) was a popular subject among competing newspapers such as the New York Tribune, who often patronizingly quoted Blink with his heavy Brooklyn accent depicted as an eye dialect, attributing to him such sayings as “Me men is nobul.” Blink and his strikers were the subject of violence, as well. Hearst and Pulitzer hired men to break up rallies and protect the newspaper deliveries still underway. During one rally Blink told strikers, “Friens and feller workers. This is a time which tries de hearts of men. Dis is de time when we’se got to stick together like glue…. We know wot we wants and we’ll git it even if we is blind.” Although the World and the Journal did not lower their 60¢-a-bundle price, they did agree to buy back all unsold papers, and the union disbanded.

The Newsboys Strike of 1899 has been credited with inspiring later strikes, including the Butte, Montana Newsboys Strike of 1914, and a 1920s strike in Louisville, Kentucky.


history meme: [1/1] wars - WORLD WAR II

World War Two was one of the largest armed combats the world has ever seen, lasting a total of six years and resulting in a death toll of over 60 million people, 2.5% of the world’s population. It involved most of the world’s potencies at the time and was a direct consequence of the alliance system and colonization of African and Asian territories. The war was also the stage of the Holocaust, perhaps one of the biggest atrocities ever witnessed by the human race. It also marked the beginning of the use of aircrafts as crucial military technology. The war effort relay largely on propaganda and war bonds purchased by citizens of battling nations. 




Saint Joan of Arc appeared before the Crown Prince of France after receiving visions she claimed were from God telling her to fight to take France back from the English late in the Hundred Years’ War. The uncrowned King Charles VII sent her to the siege at Orléans. She gained great recognition after she was able to lift the siege in only nine days. After several more swift victories, she led Charles VII to his coronation at Rheims. She is the only person ever recorded to have commanded the entire army of a nation at the age of seventeen. Despite sustaining wounds to the neck and head, she continued to lead the country to victory repeatedly. She was tried for heresy in a false court and burnt at the stake. Her trial was declared invalid by the Pope and she was canonized as a saint many years later.


HISTORY MEME | Captivating Kings + Queens [1/-}
 ♕ Philippa of Hainault (24/6/1314 - 8/15/1369)

Philippa married Edward at York Minster, on 24 January 1328, eleven months after his accession to the English throne. Soon after their marriage the couple retired to live at Woodstock Palace in Oxfordshire. Unlike many of her predecessors, Philippa did not alienate the English people by retaining her foreign retinue upon her marriage or by bringing large numbers of foreigners to the English court.

As Queen Dowager Isabella did not wish to relinquish her own status, Her coronation was postponed for two years. She eventually was crowned queen on 4 March 1330 at Westminster Abbey when she was almost six months pregnant. The following June, she gave birth to her first son, Edward, just nine days before her sixteenth birthday.

Philippa accompanied Edward on his expeditions to Scotland, and the European continent in his early campaigns of the Hundred Years War, where she won acclaim for her gentle nature and compassion. She is best remembered as the kind woman who, in 1347, persuaded her husband to spare the lives of the Burghers of Calais, whom he had planned to execute as an example to the townspeople following his successful siege of that city.

She acted as regent in England on several occasions when her husband was away from his kingdom. She also influenced the king to take an interest in the nation’s commercial expansion. Philippa was a patron of the chronicler Jean Froissart, and she owned several illuminated manuscripts, one of which currently is housed in the national library in Paris.

Joshua Barnes, a medieval writer, said “Queen Philippa was a very good and charming person who exceeded most ladies for sweetness of nature and virtuous disposition.” Chronicler Jean Froissart described her as “The most gentle Queen, most liberal, and most courteous that ever was Queen in her days.”



HISTORY MEME: (1/4) wars/conflicts Russo-Turkish War of 1877

The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 was a conflict between the Ottoman Empire and the Eastern Orthodox coalition led by the Russian Empire and composed of several Balkan countries. Fought in the Balkans and in the Caucasus, it originated in emerging 19th-century Balkan nationalism. Additional factors included Russian hopes of recovering territorial losses suffered during the Crimean War, re-establishing itself in the Black Sea, and supporting the political movement attempting to free Balkan nations from the Ottoman Empire.

As a result of the war, Russia succeeded in claiming several provinces in the Caucasus, namely Kars and Batumi. The principalities of Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, each of which had had de facto sovereignty for some time, formally proclaimed independence from the Ottoman Empire. After almost five centuries of Ottoman domination (1396–1878), the Bulgarian state was re-established as the Principality of Bulgaria, covering the land between the Danube River and the Balkan Mountains as well as the region of Sofia, which became the new state’s capital.