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On This Day in History - remembering 10 April

Well, it is April. The days are getting longer, the temperature is rising, and History is being made all the time. As things have been a bit quiet, I am going to be posting about events from the past and why they matter - and also posting about some of the artefacts I use in my role as a history educator.


On 10 April 1815, Mount Tambora in Indonesia began a three-month long eruption. This volcano is less well known than Krakatoa which erupted in the 1880s - but it's effects were huge. Over 71000 people were killed, and the climate of the planet was affected for several years. In Europe, the significance was that coming as it did at the end of the Napoleonic Wars which had left much devastation in the continent, this led to widespread harvest failure and famine. Many historians argue that this event sowed many of the seeds that would show eventually with the revolutions in Europe in the 1830s and 1840s.


On 10 April 1912, the RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton bound for New York. The story of that fateful voyage is so well known - but what is less well known is that in many ways, it was the start of the end of an era. The class-system on the ship is well documented, but less often considered is that in many ways, it was the beginning of the end of deference and respect for the Upper Classes. Never again would the rich have it quite as good, or women be treated quite the same. The Suffragette movement, the 1st World War and the extension of the vote saw a much changed world after 1918. The Titanic is partly remembered as the last hurrah of traditions that had existed for many years.


Finally for today, on 10 April 1829, William Booth was born in Nottingham. The founder of the Salvation Army, and a genuine believer in the power of 'doing good' for the masses. Both was born into poverty, but after learning to read, had a religious conversion and became an evangelical fighter against sin, and the love of your fellow man. His slogan at his first ministry in Brighouse was 'Fair Wages for Fair Work'. Like all Victorian evangelicals and philanthropists, there was an element of sanctimonious belief about his actions; but the work done by the Salvation Army both then and today has helped countless people. It is ironic that his first mission is now a Wetherspoons Pub - welcome to Britain.


Next week, I will tell the events of another week. In the meantime, look out for the first couple of artefacts - one Roman and one from the 1st World War. Every day is a history day. ,

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