22nd September


Autumnal Equinox: Day and night are the same length; first day of autumn.

1791 Michael Faraday born (electromagnetism)

Car Free Day (Europe, Canada)

Bulgarian Independence Day (from Ottoman Empire, 1908)

Prehistoric Bulgarians include the Stone-Age people who made the Kozarnika cave with its carved animal bones; and the Varnas, who left the Varna Necropolis, the world’s oldest treasure site.

The Thracians appeared in the Iron Age, later conquered by Alexander the Great and then the Romans. Under the Romans Bulgaria became Christian, even making the world’s oldest Germanic-language Bible, the Wulfila Bible, and setting up Europe’s oldest monastery, in the 4th century.

When the Roman Empire fell in the 5th century, it became part of the Byzantine Empire.

From the 6th century, South Slavs moved up and settled with the Thracians. In 680 the Bulgars, semi-nomadic Turkic tribes, drove out the Byzantine rulers and created the First Bulgarian Empire. It adopted the Cyrillic alphabet in the 9th century, when it was invented from the Glagolitic alphabet invented by Saints Cyril and Methodius. The Byzantine Empire reconquered Bulgaria in 1014.

In 1393 Bulgaria became part of the Ottoman Empire, who introduced Islam and made Christians second-class citizens.

In 1876 Ottomans killed 30,000 Bulgarians after they tried the Great Bulgarian Uprising; a year later Russia declared war on the Ottoman Empire because of this, and nearly created the Second Bulgarian Empire, except England and France were scared of a Balkan power and said no.So they just made a smaller Bulgaria that actually left out a lot of Bulgarians. This really annoyed Bulgaria and they kept trying to take their old land by force, becoming known as the Balkan Prussia.

From 1912 Bulgaria was involved in two Balkan Conflicts and fighting alongside Austria-Germany in WWI. Obviously that was the losing side, and Bulgaria lost more of its land again.

In WWII they again fought on the side of the Germans, but refused to join in with the Holocaust. In 1944 Russia invaded, and Bulgaria became Communist and fought for the Allies. Afterwards, Georgi Dimitroc led a Stalinist state that executed thousands of dissidents. It had its first free elections in 1990. It became part of the EU in 2007.

Hobbit Day – watch the Lego video here.

Mali Independence Day (France, 1960)

Mali was first part of the Ghana Empire, then the Mali Empire, then the Songhai Empire, all three being major West Agrican empires that ruled Saharan trade in gold, salt and slaves. But then sea trade became more important and the empires fell.

By 1905 most of Mali was ruled by France as part of French Sudan. Mali and Senegal became the Mali Federation, which gained independence from France on 20 June 1960. Then Senegal separated from it on 22 September.

(to be continued…)


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