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On this day, 18 May

Today, we’re looking at two events that occurred on 18 May: the Khodynka Tragedy in 1896 and Jacqueline Cochran’s breaking of the sound barrier in 1953. Khodynka Tragedy The first took place in 1896 in the Khodynka Field, Moscow. The field was the site of festivities honouring the recent coronation of Emperor Nicholas II. Thousands gathered to celebrate and to, hopefully, receive rumoured gifts of food and a commemorative cup. With growing and increasingly frenzied crowds, the police force on

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Defying Superstitions – London’s Thirteen Club

We have all fallen victim to superstitions.  I avoid walking under ladders, never open an umbrella indoors, and dread spilling salt at the table.  Even Napoleon was influenced by superstitions.  Once when he was separated from his beloved Josephine, a picture of her fell over, and with haste, Napoleon sent a message to Josephine to make sure she was well.  A look through The British Newspaper Archive proves that people of all walks of life have been touched by fear

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11 unusual tales of terror from historical newspapers

The British Newspaper Archive is full of grisly stories about the unusual and the unexplained. We’ve selected some of the oddest tales, including a description of a monster with the head of a sea lion and a rumour that Germany was turning dead soldiers into explosives during WW1. Let us know if you’ve found a story to rival these. You can comment below or post on our Facebook page. 1) 1877: A bizarre 70-foot beast A very strange creature was sighted

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The start of WW1: Austria-Hungary declares war

World War One officially started on 28 July 1914 when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. There are currently 25 newspapers from 28 July 1914 available to view online at The British Newspaper Archive. You’ll find clippings from some of these newspapers below, showing how the start of the war was reported.   Explore newspapers from 1914   Austria-Hungary’s declaration of war starts WW1 The Serbian Prime Minister received a telegram at 12.30pm on 28 July 1914. It stated that ‘Austria-Hungary…

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