ON THIS DAY: 26 March 1998

Marshall Applewhite

21 women and 18 men were found dead at 18341 Colina Norte in Rancho Santa Fe, California. All were members of a cult named Heaven’s Gate, and they had committed suicide by drinking vodka laced with phenobarbital and apple sauce. The cult leaders, Peep (Marshall Herff Applewhite) and Bo (Bonnie Lu Nettles), were convinced that … Read more

ON THIS DAY: 14 March 1959

Hai ba trung Dong Ho

In Saigon, Vietnam, a celebration was organised to commemorate two sisters who, in 43 AD, led an uprising to banish their Chinese occupiers. The Trưng sisters hailed from a tribal, Lạc Việt aristocratic family in a district that is now part of modern-day Hanoi. When Trưng Trắc’s husband was executed for opposing the Han regime, … Read more

ON THIS DAY: 3 March 1845

Oyster Eaters by Jacob Lucasz Ochtervelt circa 1665-1669 Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

An advertisement appeared in The Times asking for an oyster dealer ‘who does not wash his hands in the same water as the oysters, and who is not fronted when civilly asked to wash them before he uses them to open the oysters’. Nowadays we associate oysters with champagne and luxury. But in the nineteenth century they … Read more