Our Pages

Monday, October 10, 2011

And the Year Was. . . 1492

"In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue." We are all familiar with this rhyme, and I am fairly certain it helped most of us get that question correct on any history exam. Though Columbus Day is celebrated today, the anniversary is actually October 12th.

I also know there are several people who are against celebrating Columbus Day (though I am farily certain only a small precentage of American kids who are not sitting in a classroom today are among them). There has been outrage over the way the Native Americans were treated by Columbus and his men, as well as the diseases they brought to America. Then there are arguments that Columbus wasn’t the one who discovered America. It was the Vikings. But, that isn’t what this blog post is about because frankly, I hate arguing. I am the type of person who would rather agree to disagree and move on to more pleasant topics.

What I do love, however, is history. In honor of this holiday (though I must work) I delved into the archives of the internet to find out what else was happening in 1492. I checked on several websites, and they all seemed to have the same list so I won’t reference anyone individually.

So, while Columbus was preparing for his adventure and sailing around on the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria, this is what else was happening in the world:

1/16 The first grammar of a modern language, in the Spanish language, is presented to Queen Isabella.

1/23 “Pentateuch”(Jewish holy book) 1st printed
3/4 King James IV of Scotland concludes an alliance with France againstEngland

4/30 Spain announces it will expel all Jews

5/15 Cheese and Bread rebellion: German mercenaries kill 232 Alkmaarse

8/11 Rodrigo de Borja becomes Pope Alexander VI

10/2 King Henry VII of England invades France

10/12 Flemish rebel leader Philip von Kleef surrenders

10/13 English admiral Poynings fleet occupies Lock

10/24 Twenty four Jews are burned at stake in Mecklenburg Germany

10/26 Lead pencils first used

11/7 The Ensisheim Meteorite, the oldest meteorite with a known date of impact, strikes the earth in France

11/9 Peace of Etaples (Henry VII & Charles VIII)

12/31 100,000 Jews expelled from Sicily.

There is a reason Lead Pencils is bolded. I happened to reference a lead pencil in Compromised for Christmas, my short story to appear in Summons from His Grace, Book 4 of the Regency Christmas Summons (to be released November 1st), and I was questioned about the use of the pencil in 1812. They were used, but at that time the English pencil was far superior to the German one, and France was not yet producing them, or there was a reason there were none in France, which I can’t remember exactly why. I am sure it had something to do with Napoleon ;). I would be able to tell you if I had I kept my research. But, I can tell you, that wooden pencils were being used in America in 1812.

Hi, I am Jane Charles, and I am the latest Lady Scribes blogger, and I absolutely love history.

How do you feel about history? Is there a special era, country, topic that you like best? Or, do you only delve into history when forced to?

Jane Charles
Countess of Content


  1. Yeesh. Bad year for the Jews. But I love this list. I love weird little factoids about history. I am the mom who is always reading the kids mat at TGI Fridays before they spatter it with ketchup, and I read Wikipedia for fun. Because, it IS fun! Where else can you start reading about the history of French cuisine and end up reading about the origin of the hot air balloon? :D

  2. Welcome, Jane! So glad to have you aboard :) And yes...I, too, love history. I've always been drawn to it, excited by it...I was home-shcooled in 4th grade and my family traveled all over the U.S. I got to visit D.C., Plymouth Rock and Jamestown, and other great historical cities and landmarks at a very young age.

    But it wasn't until I started reading and learning about the Regency era that I became obsessed. I love, love, love it! I cried so many times when I finally got to visit London and all the places I had been reading and writing about for years. That town, that era...they can only be described as magical...well, for me, at least :)

  3. Olivia,

    I love reading the kids placemats too. I haven't read Wikipedia for fun but I have been sucked into research more times than I can count. I think it is impossible for me to go check on one simple fact and leave the internet. I always end up reading something interesting and clicking on a link, and so on until a good porition of the day is gone.

    Jerrica - one day I will visit London! I was lucky enough to visit Paris, and London is next for me. I've been to Jamestown, DC and Plymouth Rock but one of my favorite places is Williamsburg.

  4. Welcome to the Lady Scribes, Jane! Glad to have you on board. I'm a history fiend. If I have the choice between a historical book, movie, or TV show and a contemporary of the same, I will always, always, always pick the historical. Any era. Doesn't matter. I just have to have it.

    Though I am always drawn to Regency England. I'm sure that is a big shock to anyone who knows me. (My second favorite era and locale is Medieval Europe, in case anyone was wondering, though I wouldn't say anyone should expect to read anything set then from me any time soon.)

  5. I love all era's of history too, Catherine, though I tend to loose interest the more modern. My research and reading preferences tend to stop when the Civil War ends. I love reading historical fiction, such as Phillipa Gregory. And, I would love to try my hand a novel set during Charles II reign but it would be more historical romance than historical fiction. Maybe one day I will have the guts to try.

  6. Oh, I totally forgot about Williamsburg! I LOVE Williamsburg!!! I haven't been since I was a little, little girl, but one of these days I'm going to talk hubby into taking me back :)

  7. So, I'm sure it won't come as a surprise to anyone who knows me but -- I'm a little high maintenance. :) If I am going to get swept away in a book, I want it to be an historical. I really want it to be a Regency and if one isn't available, I'm happy to read a medieval.
    BUT... if I'm going to get swept away into a movie, I want it to be a contemporary... Unless it's Jane Austen (but the P&P version HAS to be Colin Firth or it's just not worth watching.)
    As for TV, I can go either way... usually a contemporary setting unless it's Game of Thrones (but does a medieval fantasy really count as a historical - I don't think so.)

    See, only a little high maintenance.

  8. Great post, Jane! I really liked all the other happenings in 1492--except the ones involving killing..er.

    Anyway, welcome to Lady Scribes. :)) Can't wait to read more posts from you!

  9. Ava, just a little high maintenance - lol.

    Thanks, Marquita.

  10. Jane,

    So glad to have you with us at Lady Scribes. What I love most about history is learning how people used to live. I love, love, love old homes that have been preserved. I could spend forever rambling around old houses and listening to stories about the people who lived there.

    La Crosse, Wisconsin has the most amazing houses that were built by lumber barons and brewery owners in the 1800s. There is one on the market right now, and I would so be there if they had an open house. Hmm... I wonder if I could pretend to be a buyer.

  11. Samantha, we have a number of Victorian Houses in the historical district that are often opened at certain times of the year. I love touring during the Christmas season.

  12. Jane, welcome to the Lady Scribes! I love, love, love history! Any history but I'm really weird and I love to read about historical battles and weapons, despite the fact that I'm a girl lol. But I seriously will read anything historical. I haven't touched contemporary in over a decade and probably never will again. History is fascinating and I haven't found anything about it that I don't like. Architecture, fashion, wars, political figures...I love it all.

    So glad to have another history lover join us!