The Imaginary Realms of
Gilbert M. Stack



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Today in History: The Pope Returns to Rome

Posted by Gilbert Stack on January 17, 2018 at 4:55 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (January 17) in 1377 Pope Gregory XI moved the papacy back to Rome from Avignon, France where it had resided since 1309. Gregory died shortly after the move and the cardinals elected Urban VI at the instigation of a mob who demanded a Roman pope out of fear that another French pope would return to Avignon. The cardinals were then angered that Pope Urban was not pliant to their demands so many of them returned to Avignon where they deposed Urban VI and elected Clement VII. Urban VI did not recognize their power to depose him and did not step down. Clement VII is considered to be an anti-pope.

Today in History: Mining Disaster

Posted by Gilbert Stack on January 16, 2018 at 5:00 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (January 16) in 1862 the Hartley Colliery disaster occurred in a mine in Northumberland that would eventually result in the deaths of 204 men. There was only a single shaft into the mine that handled all air flow, ingress and egress and evacuation of material. The largest pump in Northumberland hung from a beam at the top of the shaft to combat water seepage in the depths of the mine. At 10:30 in the morning the beam holding the pump snapped and the pump fell into the shaft causing a substantial blockage. Rescuers worked for days to try and free the miners, but were impeded by two collapses of the upper mine shaft. When the breakthrough finally occurred, it was clear that the miners had labored from the bottom of the shaft to clear an exit, but had ultimately failed. Parliament passed legislation as a result of this disaster mandating that in the future two exit shafts be dug for every mine.

On This Day: the Coca Cola Company Was Incorporated

Posted by Gilbert Stack on January 15, 2018 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (January 15) in 1889 the Coca-Cola Company was incorporated. It was then called the Pemberton Medicine Company. Confederate Colonel John Pemberton invented the original Coca-Cola searching for a substitute for morphine (which he was addicted to). He sold Coca-Cola for five cents as a patent medicine and claimed it cured morphine addiction, indigestion, nerve disorders, headaches and impotence. By 1889, Asa Candler had bought up control of the Coca-Cola name and formula and did the actual incorporating. Hey, it’s the real thing, even if it doesn’t have cocaine in it anymore. (And you thought the caffeine made it addicting.)

Today in History: Roald Amundsen Starts for the South Pole

Posted by Gilbert Stack on January 14, 2018 at 11:05 PM Comments comments (0)

On this day (January 14) in 1911 Roald Amundsen made landfall on the eastern edge of the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica. His expedition would be the first to reach the South Pole. Theirs was a well-planned expedition which reached the pole and returned without casualties. Robert Falcon Scott would start five weeks later and try to beat Amundsen. Unlike Amundsen, he took reckless risks that ultimately led to the death of him and his team. Amundsen reached the South Pole five weeks ahead of Scott.

Check Out My Review of Will Hahn's Shards of Light

Posted by Gilbert Stack on January 14, 2018 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)

The fourth and final book of William L. Hahn's Shards of Light series is finally out and the mayhem and excitement is everything you've been hoping for! Check out my review here

Today in History: The Revolutions of 1848 Begin

Posted by Gilbert Stack on January 12, 2018 at 4:55 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (January 12) in 1848, the first of the revolutions that would sweep across Europe that year began with the Palermo Rising in Sicily. These revolutions are the last of the great Liberal Revolutions in Europe that sought to bring about political change to empower non-noble liberal elites (such as businessmen, doctors, lawyers, etc.) These revolutionaries often used the unhappy masses of workingmen and women to further their aims, but they were opposed to engaging in the social revolutions that those people were seeking. Most of the Revolutions of 1848 ultimately failed.

Today in History: England's First Lottery

Posted by Gilbert Stack on January 11, 2018 at 5:10 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (January 11) in 1569, England held its first lottery. The lottery was a revenue raising scheme by the court of Elizabeth I. In 1566 they sold the lottery tickets with the promise that each ticket holder would win a prize and that the total value of the prizes would be equal to the amount of money raised by selling tickets. The value to the crown was that they got the use of the lottery money for three years interest free. Prizes took the form of such valuable items as silver plate.

Today in History: The Treaty of Versailles

Posted by Gilbert Stack on January 10, 2018 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (0)

On this day (January 10) in 1920, The Treaty of Versailles went into effect, officially ending World War I. The Treaty is quite controversial today with many people believing that it was one of the principle factors causing World War II. It certainly made good propaganda for Hitler and others who wished to reverse the outcome of World War I. Among its many clauses, it forced Germany to accept total responsibility for the outbreak of WWI, took territory from Germany and its empire, limited the size of the German army and demanded 132 billion marks in reparations.

Today in History: Common Sense

Posted by Gilbert Stack on January 10, 2018 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (January 10) in 1776, Thomas Payne published Common Sense—a moral argument for the independence of the American Colonies. This work was hugely influential. When sales are compared as a ratio to the population of the time (2.5 million people) it is the best selling and highest circulating book published in American history. It helped to motivate and mobilize the population to fight for their independence.

Today in History: Shards of Light

Posted by Gilbert Stack on January 10, 2018 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

On this day (January 10) in 2018, my friend, Will Hahn's, novel, Shards of Light, was published. This is the fourth and last book in his series of the same name and it's packed with action and intrigue. Will is a master of crafting unique voices for his characters and it's critical to the story as he weaves through the POVs of the past three books to bring this one to an exciting and impressive conclusion. There are a lot of surprises here. Really well done, Will! Congratulations! I'll have my review up later today.