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Features This Week in History

Biden’s Inauguration: the making and breaking of tradition

Inauguration Day is as historically rooted as it is dynamic, ever reflective of the society each incoming leader exists in. As Joe Biden and Kamala Harris take their oaths, the backdrop is unlike any before- one of face masks and distance, of heightened security and a loud absence of both the usual crowds and the […]

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This week in History: the fall of the Berlin Wall

The course of world history was changed in Berlin on 9th November 1989; indeed, in the eyes of political scientist Francis Fukuyama, it came to an end altogether. The man responsible was Günter Schabowski: a member of the German Democratic Republic’s (GDR) ruling Politburo, who will be remembered as the man who started a revolution […]

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This Week in History: The foundation of the United Nations 24 October 1945

On 24 October 1945 the United Nations was established, replacing the League of Nations as the central organisation aiming for international cooperation.  The League of Nations had declined following failures through the 1930s, and officially closed down after World War Two broke out.  During the war international organisation grew as President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, […]

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This Week in History: the establishment of Yosemite National Part on 1 October 1890

A year ago the world was gripped by the nerve-racking rock-climbing film Free Solo (filmed on El Capitan in Yosemite). Another popular climbing film, Dawn Wall drew our attention to the same enormous rock face. Travis Scott even released a single titled ‘Yosemite’ supporting his number one album ‘Astroworld’. While the planet is torched with […]

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This Week in History: Hong Kong on 26th September 1984

The catalyst for the 2019 Hong Kong protests was the proposed extradition law which was strongly opposed by a majority of Hong Kong residents. The law essentially involves the right for fugitives to be transferred to jurisdictions with which Hong Kong hasn’t established an extradition deal. Mainland China is one of these jurisdictions, and this […]

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This week in history: William Burke was executed on 28 January 1829

William Burke, alongside William Hare, committed a string of murders in Edinburgh through the 1820s. Burke and Hare were both graverobbers, selling bodies to anatomy teachers for dissection and study. They then turned from robbing graves to murder and sold the bodies of 16 known victims before being discovered and arrested in November 1828. Burke […]

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This Week in History: 19 September 1893 New Zealand became the first country to grant women’s suffrage

Women in New Zealand achieved suffrage in 1893 – far earlier than any other liberal democracy. This day in 1893 marked a watershed moment in the history of women’s rights. This small, self-governing colony setting an example that would soon be followed by nations around the globe. That the change occurred when it did was […]

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This Week in History: 26th April 1986 Chernobyl disaster

On Saturday 26th April 1986, Ukraine experienced the biggest disaster in its history. In unit 4 of the nuclear power station at Chernobyl, staff were testing whether the turbines that powered the conductors could produce enough energy to keep the cooling pumps running before the emergency generator kicked in, in the event of a power […]