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On this day: End of a fairy tale

In the summer of 1981 an estimated one billion people turned on their TV sets to witness the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. Sadly, the wedding of the celebrated royal couple ended on August 28, 1996. After the divorce Lady Diana hoped that she would become “a queen in people’s hearts,” but one year later in August of 1997 Diana lost her life in a car crash.

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In memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, who was killed in an automobile accident in Paris, France on August 31, 1997.

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Knights: The killing machines of the Middle Ages

Piety, virtue, mercy, respect towards the fairer sex, generosity, platonic love, and chastity – forget all these traits when discussing the knights of the medieval period. Thinking back on the men of valor from a thousand years ago, one tends to be reminded of exciting adventures, glory and fame, but reality paints a picture full of inconceivably brutal battles, a life of constant mortal danger, drunkenness, and a pursuit of carnal pleasures.

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On this day: Hellish annihilation

One of the most destructive volcanic eruptions in human history hit the Indonesian archipelago on August 27, 1883. The tragedy began with the sound of four gigantic outbursts of the Krakatau volcano, situated in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra, which could be heard several thousand miles away. The shock waves circumnavigated the Earth seven times and the force of the blast was four times stronger than the mightiest nuclear bomb ever detonated, the Russian Tsar Bomb.

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27th May 1883:  Clouds pouring from the volcano on Krakatoa (aka

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Women in the Imperial Harem

The Ottoman sultan’s harem, which gave home to the mothers, wives, female relatives and concubines of the sultans, played quite a marginal role in the Ottoman Empire for centuries. But when the central power of the empire weakened, the political influence of women living in the harem significantly grew.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, even 1,200 harem girls could live in the Imperial Harem, and the total number of the staff including guards and servants could reach up to several thousand.

Naturally, harem girls were selected for their beauty; but candidates had to undergo thorough inspections: even snoring at night was checked.

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Maradona, the “Hand of God”

He is considered to be the best football player of all time, a living legend, in honor of whom statues were erected in several countries. He came from the Argentinean slums and rose to luxury – his whole life is full of extremes. Success was followed by falls, glory by shame, but he wrote himself into the history of football with his career forever.

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