19th July

1545 the Mary Rose sinks – if you’re near Portsmouth better go and visit!

1843 Brunel’s SS Great Britain launched – if you’re near Bristol better go and visit!

If not, looks like a day to make paper boats:

Degas born 1834

Nicaragua Liberation Day

Nicaragua was originally inhabited by Mesoamerican/Andean people. In 1502 Christopher Columbus discovered it and the first Spanish settlers arrived in 1524. The Spanish fought each other and the natives.

In 1821 Nicaragua became part of the First Mexican Empire; two years later that was overthrown and it became part of the United Provinces of Central America; then became independent in 1838.

Nicaragua was occupied by the US Marines in 1912-33 because it kept having civil wars. In 1927-79 Nicaragua was ruled by the Somoza family, a military hereditary dictatorship supported by the US.

In WWII Nicaragua joined our side; their efforts went basically as far as confiscating property from German-born citizens.

The Sandanistas took over in 1979 but America didn’t like them (they were a socialist party) and funded a rebel resistance movement who ran around torturing everyone and destroying all the schools and health centres the government was building. America’s support was later found to be illegal and they were ordered to repay Nicaragua for the damages.



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