Today in history
- Fire Ravages Rome's Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls (1823)
In 1823, a worker repairing the roof of Rome's Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls accidentally started a fire that resulted in its almost total destruction. The church, built under Emperor Constantine in the 4th century, had retained its original character for nearly 1,500 years. Reconstruction work began almost immediately with the aim of recreating the original structure. The viceroy of Egypt contributed alabaster pillars to the rebuilding effort, while the Russian emperor sent what? Discuss
- The Darién Scheme: Ships Leave Scotland for Isthmus of Panama (1698)
In 1695, the Scottish Parliament passed an act chartering a trading company to open trade with Africa and the Indies in the hope that this would make Scotland a world trading nation. Backed by about a quarter of the country's liquid assets, the Darién Company tried to establish a colony on the Isthmus of Panama to compete with the Dutch and Spanish, but both of its expeditions failed, nearly bankrupting Scotland in the process. The failures led to what acts of Parliament?
- New York Draft Riots (1863)
The New York Draft Riots, in which more than 100 civilians were killed, were the largest civil insurrection in US history after the Civil War. The rioters were mainly working-class men who were angry because, for a $300 fee, the wealthy could buy their way out of the Civil War draft. The rioters burned draft headquarters and other buildings. Mobs also attacked African Americans, whom they blamed for the war. The riots are portrayed in an alternate-history novel co-written by what politician?