Welcome to the penultimate “Welcome to…”*
According to medieval calendars, June is the month for scything. Scything is a handy skill, and you’ll want to make sure your scythe is sharp because–ah, oh god, what is that thing? Run! Run! A giant crawdad is attacking! Grab your scythes! Oh, dear God, the pincers, the horrible pincers! Oh, the humanity!
- June 1, 1215 — The Battle of Beijing ends; Genghis Khan captures the city and puts some serious smack down on Emperor Xuanzong of Jin.
- June 1, 1495 — Scotch Whiskey leaves its first trace in the surviving documentary record, appearing in the Rolls of the Exchequer for this day (though, presumably they didn’t write those records until later–well after the hangover wore off, anyway).
- June 3, 1141 — Peter Abelard is convicted for heresy.
- June 8, 793 — The Vikings kick off their eponymous invasion with a rousing sack of Lindisfarne abbey.
- June 9, 1190 — Frederick I Barbarossa drowns while crossing the Sally River. Embarrassed, he slips off to Kyffhäuser for a good long sulk and develops an obsession with ravens.
- June 14, 1381 — Richard II meets with the revolting peasants (of the Peasants’ Revolt fame!) at Blackheath. Meanwhile, other peasants (also revolting) storm the Tower of London.
- June 15, 1215 — Bad Old King John signs the Magna Carta, a document granting rights and privileges to a small group of angry 13th-century Anglo-Norman nobles but which apparently somehow gives 21st-century Americans the power today to call their own citizen grand juries.
- June 17, 1462 — Vlad the Impaler attacks by night and fails to assassinate Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire. This doesn’t make it into the Dracula legend, but does spawn a collectible set of limited edition “Night Attack” plates.
- June 18, 1178 — According to Gervase of Canterbury, “two horns of light” appear on the moon. Possibly, the monks had just witnessed the meteor collision that formed the Giordano Bruno crater. But probably not.
- June 18, 1429 — Joan of Arc defeats Sir John Fastolf at the Battle of Patay. It’s like God was writing Shakespeare fan fiction with history.
- June 20, 1214 — Oxford University is chartered.
- June 26, 1284 — The Pied Piper abducts 130 children from Hamelin, Germany, according to local records.
*Any ideas for next year’s monthly recurring feature? Feast days, maybe?