Messina: Europe’s deadliest earthquake and tsunami

In 1908, on approximately 5:20 AM the Earth shook around the city of Messina, Italy and the region surrounding it. The earthquake was so strong that it was felt within a 300-kilometer (186-mile) radius. It levelled almost all of Messina to the ground. It’s estimated that more than 75,000 lost their lives in the city. Approximately 25,000 died in other cities.

When everyone believed that there’s life on Mars

In 1877, Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli observed the night sky. Mars was especially interesting to him and when he checked it out a little more closely he made out a large system of canals. The illustration above was made by him.

The first submarine attack

The Submarine warfare of the Second World War is very well known.  Countless movies have been depicting it. However, the first successful act of submarine warfare was during the American Civil War, 75 years before the First World War would get started.

The man who built Switzerland

Nowadays the tiny country of Switzerland is one of the wealthiest and most famous nations on Earth. This was not always the case. For many hundreds of years, it struggled economically and was not well known.  Switzerland is now well known for its banking system, its leading educational institutions, its excellent insurance companies and its extensive and highly precise train system. …