One of history’s best diversion tactics

The rough Cullinan diamond before it was split. Source: Wikicommons

The Cullinan Diamond was the name given to a 3107-carat diamond found in the colony of Transvaal, South African by Frederick Wells in 1905. By far the largest natural diamond to ever be found, the gemstone was said to be worth around £150,000 in 1907. That would mean £15 million in today's money or around $21.5 million.

After being displayed in the Standard Bank of Johannesburg for 3 months the decision was made to sell the diamond. A British sales company under the name S. Neumann & Co. was assigned the task of finding a buyer for this colossal gem…


One of the only times in history cavalry was able to outmatch a country’s navy

The French cavalry take the battle fleet caught in the ice in the waters of Texel, 23 January 1795. Source: Charles Louis Mozin on Wikicommons

The War of the First Coalition from 1792 to 1797 brought about the rise of France as the leading military power on the continent. During this brief five year war, the newly declared French Republic managed to placate two of Europe’s greatest military powers, Prussia and Austria.

Much of the fighting in this war occurred in the Netherlands, a very prosperous region at the time due to its direct access to both overseas and inland trade routes. As a result of this geographical blessing, the Dutch boasted a large navy which they used for trade and warfare. …


The origins of the Prince Philip Movement and its reason to worship the British monarch

The Yaohnanen villagers of the southern island of Tanna in Vanuatu holding pictures of Prince Philip (left) and Prince Philip (right). Source: Images from Wikicommons spliced together by author.

The British colonial reach has been so widespread that after 300 years of global influence it is hard to find a part of the globe not impacted by the empire which once ruled the waves. From Europe to Africa, the Americas, Asia and Oceania, the former great empire colonised around 24% of the earth’s surface at its peak.

The far-reaching conquest of the empire brought them much influence over both global and local matters that most of the big wars during the 19th century involved the empire in some manner. …


The origins of the student’s biggest nemesis

Emperor Zhang of Han (left), a painting of a Chinese examination centre in 1590 (middle) and Emperor Wen of Sui (left). Source: Wikicommon’s images spliced by author.

For many of us lucky to receive an education the word ‘test’ or ‘exam’ might bring up some bad memories. The ever-present threat of a test forced many of us to ‘cram’ or work during times where such an activity was the last thing we wanted to do. As such many of us who had to partake in these rigorous tests of memory might be surprised at the discovery that schooling did not always contain such examinations.

To find the root of the student’s biggest nemesis we must look at 500 years of Chinese history and how the governmental structures…


Carelessness that could have ended in world-wide Armageddon

President Jimmy Carter (left). The ‘Nuclear Football’ being carried (right). Source: Wikicommons

The threat of all-out nuclear warfare was at its height during the early stages of the Cold War. With both the United States and the USSR having the capability to wipe out nearly all life on Earth with these heinous weapons their use had to be strictly controlled. A complicated process was required to authorise such drastic action.

The starting part of this process, at least in the United States, was to be performed by the current acting president. After the creation of the infamous ‘Nuclear Football’, this first step could be performed from anywhere on the planet at any…


How one small but very wealthy country nearly brought Alaska

Johann II, Prince of Liechtenstein (left) and Alexander II, Tsar of Russia (right). The backround is the flag of Liechtenstein. Source: Author’s Creation

In a previous article I spoke about the “Alaska Purchase”, an event more obscure to the general public than I thought. From the response to that article, I realised that a lot of people did not know that Alaska was once owned by Russia and was actually sold to the United States.

Although it did end up in the hands of the US, Russia offered its colonial land to other countries before finally striking a deal with the American president. …


An inspiring show of solidarity in the face of a rising evil

Hitler crossing the border into Austria, March 1938. Source: Wikicommons

The Anschluss of Austria by the Third Reich in 1938 was the start of Hitler’s campaign of expansion within Europe. With the fellow German state under his control, the creation of a “Greater Germany” was well underway. Although the League of Nations, the post-WWI equivalent of the United Nations, was meant to protest such aggressive feats of expansion, out of all of its members only one nation opposed the initial spread of Nazi influence across Europe.

The takeover of Austria

Although veiled under the guise of a ‘voluntary’ annexation, the takeover of the Bundesstaat Österreich (translated: Federal State of Austria) was anything but that…


A leader so ill but determined to fight alongside his troops

Richard the Lionheart on his way to Jerusalem by James William Glass.

War was a fact of life for the men and women who lived through the medieval time of our history. With conflicts raging across most of the world it is not surprising that much of the history that we learn of from this period includes some kind of warfare.

Through this global ‘trial-by-combat’ came some of the most interesting and bizarre stories. I would like to showcase one such story today, the story of an English king so determined to enter the fray that he had his troops carry him on a bed into battle.

Richard the Lionheart

Richard I was one of…


One of history’s weirdest diplomatic events

Boris Yeltsin and George Bush in 1993 during the START II talks in Moscow. Source: National Archives and Records Administration

The people of Russia are known worldwide for their alcohol consumption. Consistently ranking in the top 15 worldwide in terms of alcohol consumption per capita it’s hard to not notice the close cultural tie between the Russian people and alcohol. This love for drinking transcends class boundaries with people from the lower classes up to the leaders of the country partaking in the perhaps not so healthy hobby.

Although it is well known that the majority of Russians drink, most of those who hold high positions within the country’s government like to keep this fact as hidden as possible. How…


Hello dear readers, with the New Year upon us the History of Yesterday team wanted to extend our wishes to all of those who have enjoyed our content in 2020. We know that the previous year was hard on everyone and we hope that with a new year comes a new beginning of something better for everyone out there.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging on around the world and with many of you stuck inside, we promise to keep content coming to satiate your thirst for knowledge and to suppress that boredom that has grown from sitting inside for…

Calin Aneculaesei

Student of Philosophy, Politics and Economics. History fanatic. Contact: aneculaeseicg@gmail.com

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