Reflecting On an Author’s Death

It was this morning that I learned that the New York Times bestselling fantasy author, Terry Goodkind, passed away at the age of 72. For me, it was a shock to see, especially upon discovering that his death had been five days ago on the 17th. While he garnered criticism and scorn from elements of…

On This Day in History, September 12

In 490 BC, the Greeks—primarily Athenians—defeated the Persians at the Battle of Marathon, ending the First Persian invasion of Greece. On the advice of an exile Athenian, the Persians landed their forces at the Bay of Marathon in order to reach and punish Athens for their support of the Ionian Revolt. In the battle itself,…

On This Day in History, September 11

In 1297, the Scottish defeated the English at the Battle of Stirling Bridge, in the First War of Scottish Independence. Following England’s invasion of Scotland and their defeat at the Battle of Dunbar, the Scottish looked to the emergent leadership of William Wallace and Andrew de Moray to fight back the English invaders. They drew…

On This Day in History, September 10

In 1570, Jesuit missionaries loyal to Spain landed in Virginia, seeking to convert the American Indians in the region. The missionaries specifically landed somewhere on the Virginia Peninsula, bounded by the York and James Rivers, along with Hampton Roads and Chesapeake Bay. Known as the Ajacán Mission, it would fail a year later when nearly…

On This Day in History, September 9

In 1488, with the death of her father, Francis II, Anne of Brittany became the sovereign Duchess of that region. Given her father’s wish that she not allow Brittany to become subject to the King of France and terms in the recently signed Treaty of Sablé, her inheritance of the duchy would make her a…

On This Day in History, September 7

In 1652, about 15,000 Chinese peasants in Taiwan revolted against Dutch rule. Led by sugarcane farmer Guo Huaiyi, the force of revolting peasants stormed a Dutch fort, primarily armed with bamboo weapons. Their issues with Dutch rule came from a head tax levied onto solely Chinese farmers, and not the aboriginal Taiwanese, along with corruption…

On This Day in History, September 8

In 1380, Rus principalities under the leadership of Prince Dmitry Ivanovich of Moscow defeated a massive force of the Golden Horde at the Battle of Kulikovo. While his victory did not end Mongol rule over Rus, Russian historians have painted it as a turning point in resistance by the Russians against Mongol rule and raised…

On This Day in History, September 6

In 1870, Louisa Swain of Laramie, Wyoming, became the first woman to legally vote in an American election since 1807, when New Jersey revoked women’s suffrage. Having come to Laramie the year before with her husband to live near their son. She was 69 when she cast her vote, having decided that day to vote…

On This Day in History, September 5

In 1781, a French fleet led by Comte de Grasse and a British fleet led by Sir Thomas Graves fought in the Battle of the Chesapeake, a vital part of the Yorktown campaign that brought an end to the American Revolution. Both fleets had sailed south from New England, seeking to take control of the…

On This Day in History, September 4

In 1781, in accordance with local lore, a group of 44 Spanish settlers founded El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles, or The town of Our Lady Queen of Angels. This settlement would be the foundation of the modern metropolis of Los Angeles, California. The city would become part of the United…

On This Day in History, September 3

In 1260, the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt defeated the Mongol Empire at the Battle of Ain Jalut. While not the first time the Mongols were defeated in a battle, Ain Jalut was the first time they did not immediately respond with a larger force in turn. More importantly, the defeat prevented the Mongols from furthering…

On This Day in History, September 2

In 1192, the Treaty of Jaffa was signed between Muslim ruler Saladin and Richard the Lionheart of England, bringing an end to the Third Crusade. Guaranteeing a three-year truce between Christian and Islamic forces in the region, the treaty set down the status of Jerusalem, the capacity for pilgrims to visit the city, and the…

On This Day in History, September 1

In 1449, a force of approximately 20,000 Mongols defeated a Chinese force of a half million and captured the current emperor, Yingzong of the Ming dynasty in what is known as the Tumu Crisis. Having surrounded the Chinese force early that day, the Mongols were able to disorganize the Chinese force. They killed around 350,000…

On This Day in History, August 31

In 1864, Union forces under the command of General Sherman begin the Battle of Jonesborough, the final fight in the Atlanta Campaign. With this victory, Union forces would finally seize the city while the Confederate defenders fled west. Atlanta would be occupied until after the presidential election that year, in which this victory would play…

On This Day in History, August 30

In 1799, a British fleet accepted the surrender of a Bavarian fleet during the Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland as part of the War of the Second Coalition, one of a series of conflicts sparked by the French Revolution. The surrender of these ships occurred following a mutiny, sparked by sailors aboard a few ships noticing…

On This Day in History, August 29

In 1756, Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, invaded Saxony as a preemptive strike against the growing alliance led by his nation’s foes, France and Austria. This invasion would spark the Seven Years’ War in Europe, a war that was also fought in other parts of the globe. Prussia was allied with Britain, and together…

On This Day in History, August 28

In 1565, Spanish conquistador Pedro Menéndez de Avilés and his fleet sighted land before laying anchor off the north inlet of a tidal channel along the Floridian coast. A couple weeks later, he would return to that site and found a city, named for the saint whose feast day was that day his fleet laid…

On This Day in History, August 27

In 1776, British General William Howe inflicted a serious defeat upon Washington’s Continental Army at the Battle of Long Island, also called the Battle of Brooklyn. The British began by attacking fortifications along the Heights of Guan at points that are in the modern day Flatbush and Jamaica sections of Brooklyn and Queens. A flanking…

On This Day in History, August 26

In 1071, the Byzantine Empire suffered a critical defeat at the hands of the Seljuk Turks at the Battle of Manzikert. The Byzantine emperor, Romanos IV, was captured and held for a week, undermining his rule and further weakening Byzantine rule over Anatolia, which is now the nation of Turkey. While another four hundred years…

On This Day in History, August 25

In 1270, Louis IX, King of France and later called Saint Louis, died in Tunis from dysentery during the Eighth Crusade. Considered a just and moderate king, Louis’ reign in France was considered their medieval golden age. He reformed law at home, including the introduction of the presumption of innocence. Louis IX also faced conflict…