Americas

  • War breaks out in American colonies

    In 1774, following the infamous Boston Tea Party the previous December, when residents had dumped a cargo of imported tea into the Harbour at Boston, Massachusetts, the British governor to the state had been ordered, using amendments to the Massachusetts Colonial Government Charter, to disband the locally elected councils in favour of members appointed by the Governor. In retaliation, a shadow patriot government, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress was set up by the dissenters. They compiled their objections, the Suffolk Resolves, named so after Suffolk County, where Boston was the main city, to refuse to obey the Massachusetts Government act and threatened to boycott imported goods from Britain, unless the ‘Intolerable…

  • Darwin’s tortoises

    While visiting the Galapagos archipelago in 1835, Charles Darwin (1809-1882) encountered the giant tortoise and observed that, as with the finches, each island had its own unique types of tortoise. The most notable difference, it turned out, was in the shape of the shell – some giant tortoises were able to extend their necks higher than others depending on what food source was available to them. They had evolved to survive on each particular island. The giant tortoise was a staple part of the diet of the indigenous peoples and also a source of money and goods from sale and trade – Darwin ate giant tortoise on James Island. Forty…

  • Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

    “Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything. In a gun fight… You need to take your time in a hurry.” Words couldn’t have been truer than those spoken by Wyatt Earp. A total of thirty shots were fired in thirty seconds in the most famous shootout in the history of the American Old West. I will of course follow this article up with more about Wyatt’s vendetta, and biographies of the key players, but for now I will concentrate on the infamous gunfight itself. Tombstone, Arizona is located near the Mexican border. The Earps arrived on December 1, 1879, when the small town was mostly composed of tents as living…