On this day on 1st October

On this day in 1569 Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, was arrested by Queen Elizabeth for conspiring to marry Mary Queen of Scots. Elizabeth Jenkins, the author of Elizabeth the Great (1958) has explained why Mary was interested in marrying Norfolk. "He had been discerned by Mary to be favourable to her cause. Though nominally a Protestant his connections were those of the ancient Catholic nobility; he had been married three times and at thirty-two was once again a widower. The urgent need to settle the succession, and Elizabeth's steady refusal to make an immediate marriage, were leading some people to say that whatever the rights or wrongs of the Scots, the English would be best served by recognizing, under suitable safeguards to the Protestant religion, Mary's claim as heiress presumptive, and marrying her to a distinguished Englishman. Norfolk, the premier Duke of England and head of the great family of Howard, who called himself a Protestant and at the same time was acceptable to the Catholics, might answer the wishes of a very numerous party, to whom the idea of such a marriage and of Mary's recognition seemed the likeliest way of laying the spectre of civil war. Norfolk himself was strongly drawn to the scheme, which gave a romantic and splendid turn to his own fortunes and had the exalted character of a high enterprise undertaken for the public good. He sounded Sussex, who did not altogether reject the plan but made it clear that if he were to have anything to do with it, it must be laid before the Queen, and no steps in the matter must be taken without her knowledge and concurrence. Other peers gave him a more discreet encouragement, among whom was Leicester."

Alan Turing
Mary Queen of Scots by François Clouet (c. 1559)

On this day in 1688 Prince William III of Orange accepts invitation of take up the British crown. Some members of the House of Commons sent messages to Holland inviting James's daughter, Mary Henrietta Stuart and her husband, William to come to England. Mary and William were told that, as they were Protestants, they would have the support of Parliament if they attempted to overthrow James. In November 1688, William, Prince of Orange and his Dutch army arrived in England. When the English army refused to accept the orders of their Catholic officers, James fled to France. As the overthrow of James had taken place without a violent Civil War, this event became known as the Glorious Revolution. William and Mary were now appointed by Parliament as joint sovereigns. However, Parliament was determined that it would not have another monarch that ruled without its consent. The king and queen had to promise they would always obey laws made by Parliament. They also agreed that they would never raise money without Parliament's permission. So that they could not get their own way by the use of force, William and Mary were not allowed to keep control of their own army. In 1689 this agreement was confirmed by the passing of the Bill of Rights.

Mary Henrietta Stuart and William, Prince of Orange by Gerard van Honthorst
Mary Henrietta Stuart and William, Prince of Orange by Gerard van Honthorst

On this day in 1746 Bonnie Prince Charlie flees to France. Later, as a result of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, it was agreed that Charles Stuart should live in Avignon. When James Stuart died in 1766, Pope Clement XIII, keen to improve relations with Britain, refused to accept Charles Stuart as king. Charles Stuart married Princess Louise of Stolberg in 1772 but produced no heirs and when he died in 1788 the Stuart claim to the throne came to an end.

Bonnie Prince Charlie flees to France.
Bonnie Prince Charlie flees to France.

On this day in 1814 Lord Castlereagh attended the opening of the Congress of Vienna, which redrew Europe's political map after the defeat of Napoléon Bonaparte.

Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna

On this day in 1867 Karl Marx published Das Kapital. A detailed analysis of capitalism, the book dealt with important concepts such as surplus value (the notion that a worker receives only the exchange-value, not the use-value, of his labour); division of labour (where workers become a "mere appendage of the machine") and the industrial reserve army (the theory that capitalism creates unemployment as a means of keeping the workers in check). "The result was an original amalgam of economic theory, history, sociology and propaganda". Marx also deals with the issue of revolution. Marx argued that the laws of capitalism will bring about its destruction. Capitalist competition will lead to a diminishing number of monopoly capitalists, while at the same time, the misery and oppression of the proletariat would increase. Marx claimed that as a class, the proletariat will gradually become "disciplined, united and organised by the very mechanism of the process of capitalist production" and eventually will overthrow the system that is the cause of their suffering.

Karl Marx
Karl Marx

On this day in 1898 Tsar Nicholas II expels Jews from major Russian cities. In 1902 Nicholas appointed the reactionary Vyacheslav Plehve as his Minister of the Interior. Plehve's attempts at suppressing those advocating reform was completely unsuccessful. In a speech he made in 1903 Plehve argued: "Western Russia some 90 per cent of the revolutionaries are Jews, and in Russia generally - some 40 per cent. I shall not conceal from you that the revolutionary movement in Russia worries us but you should know that if you do not deter your youth from the revolutionary movement, we shall make your position untenable to such an extent that you will have to leave Russia, to the very last man!"

19th Century engraving of a Jewish Progom
19th Century engraving of a Jewish Progom

On this day in 1910 an explosion at the Los Angeles Times killed 21 people. Harrison Gray Otis, the owner of the newspaper was a leading figure in the fight to keep the trade unions out of Los Angeles. This was largely successful but on 1st June, 1910, 1,500 members of the International Union of Bridge and Structural Workers went on strike in an attempt to win a $0.50 an hour minimum wage. Otis, the leader of the Merchants and Manufacturers Association (M&M), managed to raise $350,000 to break the strike. On 15th July, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously enacted an ordinance banning picketing and over the next few days 472 strikers were arrested. On 1st October, 1910, a bomb exploded by the side of the newspaper building. The bomb was supposed to go off at 4:00 a.m. when the building would have been empty, but the clock timing mechanism was faulty. Instead it went off at 1.07 a.m. when there were 115 people in the building. The dynamite in the suitcase was not enough to destroy the whole building but the bombers were not aware of the presence of natural gas main lines under the building. The blast weakened the second floor and it came down on the office workers below. Fire erupted and spread quickly through the three-story building, killing twenty-one of the people working for the newspaper. John J. McNamara and James B. McNamara were eventually convicted of the bombing.

John J. McNamara and James B. McNamara.
John J. McNamara and James B. McNamara

On this day in 1918 Arab forces under T. E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia") capture Damascus. Lawrence attended the Paris Peace Conference with Prince Feisal. He had meetings with Felix Frankfurter. His assistant, Ella Winter, recalled in her autobiography, And Not to Yield (1963): "The young, beautiful Prince Feisal was always followed by his group of tall, imposing, silent Arabs in long white robes and head dress, and by his shadow, Colonel T. E. Lawrence, also in native dress. Lawrence was short and fragile-looking, with a delicate, poetic face, but he appeared as much at home with the desert Bedouins and the prince he seemed so attached to as with European diplomats. Felix was as much intrigued by Lawrence's role in all the Middle Eastern politics as with his romantic appearance." Lawrence had been converted to the cause of the Arabs and felt they were betrayed by the treaties agreed at the Peace Conference. He was particularly concerned about the decision to give France control over Syria. He later wrote: "We lived many lives in those whirling campaigns, never sparing ourselves: yet when we achieved and the new world dawned, the old men came out again and took our victory to remake in the likeness of the former world they knew."

T. E. Lawrence
T. E. Lawrence

On this day in 1932 Oswald Mosley forms the British Union of Fascists. It originally had only 32 members and included several former members of the New Party: Cynthia Mosley, Robert Forgan, William E. Allen, John Beckett and William Joyce. Mosley told them: "We ask those who join us... to be prepared to sacrifice all, but to do so for no small or unworthy ends. We ask them to dedicate their lives to building in the country a movement of the modern age... In return we can only offer them the deep belief that they are fighting that a great land may live."

Attempts were made to keep the names of individual members a secret but supporters of the organization included Charles Bentinck Budd, Harold Harmsworth (Lord Rothermere), Norah Briscoe, Major General John Fuller, Jorian Jenks, Commander Charles E. Hudson, John Sidney Crosland, James Louis Crosland, Wing-Commander Louis Greig, A. K. Chesterton, David Bertram Ogilvy Freeman-Mitford (Lord Redesdale), Unity Mitford, Diana Mitford, Patrick Boyle (8th Earl of Glasgow), Malcolm Campbell and Tommy Moran. Mosley refused to publish the names or numbers of members but the press estimated a maximum number of 35,000.

Lord Rothermere with Adolf Hitler
The Daily Mail (22nd January 1934)

On this day in 1934 Adolf Hitler expands German army and navy, violating the Treaty of Versailles. By 1934 Hitler appeared to have complete control over Germany, but like most dictators, he constantly feared that he might be ousted by others who wanted his power. To protect himself from a possible coup, Hitler used the tactic of divide and rule and encouraged other leaders such as Hermann Goering, Joseph Goebbels, Heinrich Himmler and Ernst Roehm to compete with each other for senior positions.

Adolf Hitler addresses the German people on radio.
Adolf Hitler addresses the German people on radio.

On this day in 1974 the trial of the Watergate burglars began. Frank Sturgis, Virgilio Gonzalez, Eugenio Martinez, Bernard L. Barker and James W. McCord were all charged with placing electronic devices in the Democratic Party campaign offices in an apartment block called Watergate. They wanted to wiretap the conversations of Larry O'Brien, chairman of the Democratic National Committee and R. Spencer Oliver, executive director of the Association of State Democratic Chairmen. Later, other people closely associated with Richard Nixon, such as Gordon Liddy, John N. Mitchell, E.Howard Hunt, Jeb Magruder, H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman were also tried and convicted of being involved in this crime.

Virgilio Gonzalez, Eugenio Martinez, James W. McCord, Bernard L. Barker and Frank Sturgis
Virgilio Gonzalez, Eugenio Martinez, James W. McCord, Bernard L. Barker and Frank Sturgis

On this day in 1987 Black History Month was established in the UK. It was also the the centenary of the birth of Marcus Garvey and the 25th anniversary of the Organization of African Unity, an institution dedicated to advancing the progress of African states). Black History Month in the UK was organised through the leadership of Ghanaian analyst Akyaaba Addai-Sebo, who had served as a coordinator of special projects for the Greater London Council (GLC) and created a collaboration to get it underway.

Marcus Garvey
Marcus Garvey

On this day in 2012, the Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm. An Austrian Jew he fled to London when he was 16. He joined the Communist Party of Great Britain. During this period MI5 and police special branch officers tapped and recorded his telephone calls, intercepted his private correspondence and monitored his contacts. MI5 said the object of keeping checks on Hobsbawm was “to establish the identities of his contacts and to unearth overt or covert intellectual Communists who may be unknown to us”. Books by Hobsbawm included Primitive Rebels (1959), The Age of Revolution (1962), Labouring Men (1964), Industry and Empire (1968), Bandits (1969), Captain Swing (1969), Revolutionaries (1973), The Age of Capital (1975), History of Marxism (1978), Workers (1984), The Age of Empire (1987), Nations and Nationalism (1990), The Age of Extremes (1994), On History (1997), Uncommon People (1998), The New Century (1999), Interesting Times (2002) and Globalisation, Democracy and Terrorism (2008).

Eric Hobsbawm
Eric Hobsbawm