"We have no inheritance of political buncombe"

Women’s suffrage in the United States begins with a series of loses. From 1777 through 1807, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and eventually throughout the United States, lost the right to vote. For over a century afterward, activists worked to restore the right. 

One hundred and five years ago, on January 12, 1915, the United States House of Representatives rejected a voted, 204-174 (here is a breakdown by state and political party, or a more colorful depiction), to reject a constitutional amendment to give women the right to vote. This was the second time that the women’s suffrage had been defeated in less than a year, and the third vote overall. The previous vote was he’d in March 1914, shortly before World War II began. The first time that the suffrage amendment was brought to Congress was 1868.

It would be another four years before the amendment was passed. In the meantime, in 1918, the amendment passed the House but failed in the Senate by two votes. In 1919, the 19th Amendment passed, declaring that the right “to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

Politicians wanted the amendment to become effective before the 1920 general election, so President Wilson called a special session of Congress and the bill was brought before the House again. The amendment, known as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment passed 304 to 89 on May 21, 1919. After the senate ratified the amendment, 36 states needed to ratify it to become law. On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state. The 1920 federal election was the first which allowed women to vote, which historians believe was the reason that Warren G. Harding won the presidency

What is often overlooked is that the 19th amendment only granted suffrage to white women. The 1924 Indian Citizenship Act initially stated that “full” citizenship would be granted to Native Americans, but the Senate removed the word “full” and did not include suffrage. It was not until 1948 that the last prohibitions against Native American suffrage were removed. Chinese-Americans were granted suffrage in 1943 under the Magnuson Act, also known as the Chinese Exclusion Repeal Act. The McCarran-Walter Act removed barriers for all Asians in 1952. Finally the Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibited discriminatory restrictions on voting rights, allowing blacks, who had been prevented by lynching, literacy tests, and other barriers, to vote. In 1971, the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18., as Vietnam War protestors argued that those who were old enough to fight were old enough to vote.

Switzerland was one of the last countries in western Europe to grant female suffrage, in 1971. But within thirty years, it was one of the few countries to have more women serving in the government. Saudi Arabia granted women suffrage in 2011, allowing them to vote in 2015.  

Hattie Caraway

Seventeen years after the vote failed in the House of Representatives, on January 12, 1932,  Hattie Ophelia Wyatt Caraway becomes the first woman elected to the United States Senate. She served for fourteen years.

Hattie Caraway (February 1, 1878-December 21, 1950) was born on a farm near Bakerville, Tennessee to William Carroll Wyatt, a farmer and shopkeeper, and Lucy Mildred Burch Wyatt. She received a B.A. in 1896 from the Dickson (Tennessee) Normal College and taught school for several years in rural Arkansas, with her fiancé , Thaddeus Horatio Caraway. They had three sons, Robert, Paul, and Forrest, who all became West Point cadets. Thaddeus became an attorney, and eventually served four terms in the House and two terms in the Senate. Though Hattie’s public role was limited, in private she place a critical role in his career, working at campaign headquarters, speaking on his behalf, and receiving much of the credit for his victory in the 1920 election.

Thaddeus died on November 6, 1931, and a few days after his funeral, Governor Harvey Parnell named Hattie as his successor, because “I feel she is entitled to the office held by her distinguished husband, who was my friend..,and his widow is rightfully entitled to the honor.”

The Washington Post protested that, “Mrs. Caraway should have been given the appointment on her own merit and not on the basis of sentimentality or family claim upon the seat.” 

A month later, on December 8, Hattie claimed her Senate seat, and her place was guaranteed through the end of term in early 1933. On January 12, 1932, Hattie won the special election against two Independent candidates. The election led to the Arkansas Women’s Democracy Club being created to get out the vote and raise money. On May 10, the deadline for filing for the August 10 Democratic primary, Hattie announced her candidacy. She won 44.7 percent of the vote, carrying 61 of the state’s 75 counties and won the Senate seat.

During her 14-year career, she was known as “Silent Hattie” because she only spoke 15 times. She became the first named chair of the Enrolled Bills Committee in 1933, the first female Senate committee chair, where remained there until she left Congress in 1945. Hattie was also the first woman to preside over the Senate, the first senior woman Senator (after Joe Robinson died in 1937), and the first woman to run a Senate hearing. She was also assigned to the Commerce Committee and the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry

Her civil rights record was mixed, as she voted for the Lucretia Mott Equal Rights Amendment in 1943, but she voted against the antilynching law of 1938 and, in 1942, joined other southern Senators in a filibuster to block a proposed bill that would have eliminated the poll tax.

In 1938, Hattie ran again, supporting New Deal legislation, and defended her gender and age through her campaign. She won the general election, but in 1944, she finished last among the Democratic contenders. In 1945, President Roosevelt nominated her for the Federal Employees’ Compensation Commission. After serving for a year, President Truman promoted her to the commission’s appeals board, where she remained until she died on December 21, 1950.

“Seldom, very seldom does complete truth belong to any human disclosure"

Jane Austen’s (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817)) fourth novel (after Sense and Sensibility in 1811, Pride and Prejudice in 1813, and Mansfield Park in 1814) Emma was published on December 23, 1815.  Austen wrote Emma from January 21, 1814 to March 29, 1815. Instead of using the same publisher as she had for Mansfield Park, Austen went to John Murray, The Quarterly Review publisher. Some of his clients include Lord Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage  in 1811 and Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species in 1859.

Although the novel went on sale on December 23, 1815, as it was so close to the end of the year, the publication date on the title page is listed as 1816. As she had with her previous novels, Austen published Emma anonymously, and the title page reads, “by the Author of ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ etc, etc.” However, there was a difference in this work: a dedication to the Prince of Wales, who admired her work, though Austen disliked him. She had met him and his librarian, James Stanier-Clarke while visiting her brother a few months earlier. During a tour of Carlton House, Stanier-Clarke wrote that Austen “was at liberty to dedicate any future work” to the Regent.

A few weeks before Emma was published, Austen wrote to Murray, expressing concerns about how her novel would be received: “I am very strongly haunted by the idea that to those Readers who have preferred P&P. it will appear inferior in Wit, & to those who have preferred MP. very inferior in good Sense.” Her fears were somewhat justified, as some of her family liked it, some disliked it, and most thought it somewhere between Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park. The public was also ambivalent about Emma and by October 1816, only 1,248 copies had been sold. Only in February 1817 did Austen finally received any profit from Emma, though a quarter of the print run still unsold.

While the plot, form, and technique were not revolutionary, its narrative was. Emma is a “self-deluded young woman with the leisure and power to meddle in the lives of her neighbours” and the narrative “was designed to share her delusions.” Not until the twentieth century did this style of writing have a name: free indirect style (from the French: style indirect libre), which “describes the way in which a writer imbues a third-person narration with the habits of thought or expression of a fictional character.”

Emma though unpopular initially has been turned into films, including Clueless released in 1995. It was announced in October 2018 that there will be remakes of both Emma and Clueless in the near future. The novel was adapted into Jane Austen’s Emma: The Musical, released in 2007.

Yohl Ik'nal.svg

Mały koleżka 

Yohl Ikʻnal, also known as Lady Kan Ik and Lady K’anal Ik’nal, whose name means “Lady Heart of the Wind Place,” (Died November 4, 604) acceded to the throne on December 23, 583, as queen of the Maya city-state of Palenque until she died in 604. She was the first female ruler of Lakam Ha (Palenque).

She was either the daughter or sister of Kan Bahla I, who had preceded her. During her reign, her rival Kalakmul attacked twice, but she defeated him. She had at least one son, Ajen Ohl Mat, who succeeded her on January 1, 605 and ruled until he died on August 8, 612.

Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears

First Ellis Island Immigrant Station, built in 1892

The cluster of islands, including what would become known as Ellis Island, were known to the Algonquin as “Oyster Islands.” Ellis Island was know as “Little Oyster Island,” despite being the second largest. Though probably not used for permanent settlement, the island was still considered Native American territory, so when the Dutch wanted to obtain rights to it in 1630, they made a purchase agreement. The island changed hands several times and began serving other purposes. From the mid-1700s through at least the 1830s, it became a place for public executions, including “Pirate Anderson,” who was publicly hanged in 1765.

In 1774 Samuel Ellis purchased the island and it was re-named for him. The island passed to his heirs until New York City bought it in 1808. It continued to be used for military purposes to varying degrees, until 1890 when it began to be used primarily for immigration. The island changed dramatically as the federal government built new facilities to accommodate the thousand of immigrants who came through the port, including buildings for medical care, processing, and housing.

Until 1875, immigration was handled by each state, except for minor quotas. That year, the federal government enacted the first exclusion law, barring criminals and prostitutes. In 1882, it added “any convict, lunatic, idiot, or any person unable to take care of himself or herself without becoming a public charge.” In 1885, the Alien Contract Labor Law, aimed at Chinese laborers, made it “unlawful to import aliens for labor under contract.” These restrictions, and the difficulty that states had to care for sick or indigent migrants led immigration to become centralized under the federal government. New York’s state immigration facility at Castle Garden was deemed inadequate, and a new location was sought. Opposition to using Bedloe’s Island, where the Statue of Liberty stood, Ellis Island was chosen in 1890.

The site official opened on January 1, 1892 and seven hundred immigrants landed on the island. The first was Annie Moore from Ireland. She arrived with her two brothers to join their parents in New York, the event immortalized in the ballad “Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears.” However, the song was among many misconceptions about Annie Moore. She was seventeen, not fifteen, and instead of moving to Texas, she spent the rest of her life in New York, though this was not corrected until 2006.

Over the next several decades, the site grew, as more land and buildings, including dormitories, a greenhouse, and hospital were added. As immigration decreased in the 1920s, the site changed in the 1930s to a detention center. It officially closed on November 12, 1954. In 1965, it the National Park Service designated it as a national park, rehabilitating the main immigration building and landscape.

Many books, both fiction and non-fiction include immigrants’ experiences at Ellis Island. Ellis Island Interviews: In Their Own Words explores immigration across Europe, Chinese immigration in New York City’s Chinese Community, though most Asian immigrants arrived on the west coast through Angel Island, and parts of black immigration in Caribbean Americans in New York City 1895-1975. Black immigrants came from the Caribbean, and from the southern United States.

Some of the well-known people who passed through Ellis Island include Antonius Dvorak, who arrived on September 27, 1892. He wrote “The New World Symphony” while serving as the director of the National Conservatory of Music of America from 1892-5. The them from the “Largo” portion of the symphony was adapted into “Goin’ Home” by Dvorak’s pupil William Arms Fisher, who wrote the lyrics in 1922. W.E.B Du Bois, African-American scholar and civil rights activist, passed through Ellis Island on March 18, 1924 when he returned to the United States from France. Lin Yu’Tang, a Chinese scholar who popularized classic Chinese literature in the West came to attend university. When he returned to the United States in 1931, he was briefly detained for inspection, and he was nearly deported for his leftist views.

“If I can create the minimum of my plans and desires, there shall be no regrets”

Women in Aviation International (WAI) began in 1990 with its first International Women in Aviation Conference was held in Prescott, Arizona and became a nonprofit in 1994. WAI encourages and advances women in aviation and includes astronauts, pilots, maintenance technicians, air traffic controllers, educators, flight attendants, airshow performers, airport managers, and others. Membership includes mostly aviation professionals and enthusiasts in the U.S., and high school and college and university students, international and corporate members.

WAI provides resources to assist women and encourage women to consider aviation and related careers, including education outreach to industry, educators and industry members about women such as Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly across the Atlantic, and many other firsts, Bessie Coleman, the first civilian licensed African-American pilot, Eileen Collins, first (and so far only) female Shuttle commander, Jeana Yeager, who along with co-pilot Dick Rutan, completed the first nonstop, non-refueled flight around the world in 9 days, Nicole Malachowski, the first female Thunderbird pilot, and many others.

Their latest venture, is the Girls in Aviation Day program for girls 8 to 17 (though the promotional material for the first event lists the maximum age as 16), launched on September 26, 2015. WAI sent proclamations to all governors requesting that they declare September 26, 2015 as Girls in Aviation Day, which many states did. Events across the country led several organizations such as the WAI North Texas Chapter and Lone Star Aviators Chapter to collaborate for their event at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, which included panel discussions and a ride on a former American Airlines Flagship Detroit, a restored DC-3 airplane. The “Smithsonian Day” activities included events Such as…

The Florida Memorial University Chapter event included speakers and breakout sessions by topic, such as air traffic control, pilots, airport operations and human resources, and a visit to Endeavor Flight School to learn about the university’s Cessna 172s.

The event was also international, with the WAI Hong Kong Chapter promoting an essay contest for girls on “How Aviation Inspires Me.” The top ten essayists were given a tour of Cathay Pacific’s training center in Hong Kong, including the A300 simulator.

From 2015 to 2017, Girls in Aviation Day was celebrated on the last Saturday in October. However, beginning in 2018, it was moved to October and this year will be celebrated on October 5. A Girl Scout Patch was created in 2016, to be worn on the back of the vest “to show participation and interest in a subject or activity.”

This year, there are events in Australia, Africa (Botswana, Cameroon, South Africa, Zambia, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana), England, India, Spain, and several other countries.

Girls in Aviation Day coincides with the beginning of World Space Week, October 4-10, “to celebrate each year at the international level the contributions of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition.” The event was established in 1999 and by 2012, it was “the largest annual space event in the world.” In 2017, there were over 3,700 events in 80 nations, according to the World Space Week Association (WSWA).

That week was selected because it included the date that Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite in 1957, and October 10, the day the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, or “Outer Space Treaty” was signed in 1967.

The UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), the International Astronomical Union, and the Ethiopian Space Science Society organized a workshop on astronomy for secondary teachers in Ethiopia, following a similar in 2011 in Bangladesh. The workshops would help secondary school teachers learn astronomy to include in curricula, including basic astronomy and telescope demonstrations.

The 2019 theme is “The Moon: Gateway to the Stars,” to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing. The 2018 theme was “Space Unites the World,” including “Ladies Do Launch,” a series of panel interviews with women working in the space industries across the United States. There were events in Iran, Thailand, Syria, Lebanon, India, and many other countries.

A few weeks after World Space Week, the US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) had its first all-female space walk on October 18. To celebrate the event, Delta Airlines flew 120 girls to NASA with an all-female crew. Stephanie Wilson communicated from Johnson Space Center.

“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown”

Two men became rulers 121 years apart on September 30.

The first was King Henry IV of England (April 1367-March 20, 1413), known as Henry Bolingbroke, in 1399. His parents were John of Gaunt, the third surviving son of King Edward III of England and his mother was Blanche of Lancaster, who were third cousins through their great-great grandfather King Henry III of England.

Henry IV succeeded his cousin King Richard II (January 6, 1367-February 1400). Richard was the son of Edward, the black Prince, son of King Edward III, who died a year apart, making Richard king at age 10 in 1377. As he was a minor, his uncle John of Gaunt ruled until he came of age. But once Richard came of age, he made several unpopular decisions, including gathering some unwelcome favourites, and asking Parliament to fund a war with France. Parliament demanded that Richard’s favourites be dismissed, which Richard refused and provoked Parliament to impeach his chancellor, the Earl of Suffolk and create a commission to oversee his activities. Richard declared these acts treasonable, and Parliament and his opponents outlawed his closest friends in 1388. Some were executed and Richard submitted to the demands of the five ‘Lords Appellant’.

For eight years, Richard appeared to get along with Gaunt and the Lords Appellant, but was actually forming a stronger royalist party. In 1397, he arrested and tried three of the appellants. Two were murdered and one was exiled.

In September the following year, Henry Bolingbroke and Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, to former appellants quarreled and were banished. When Henry Bolingbroke’s father John of Gaunt died in February 1399, Richard confiscated his estates and exiled him for life.

In May, Richard left to campaign in Ireland. While he was gone, Bolingbroke invaded England, rallying nobles and commoners. When Richard returned in August, he surrendered. In September, he abdicated and Bolingbroke became King Henry IV. In October, Richard was imprisoned in Pontefract Castle, where he died the following February.

King Henry IV’s reign was also turbulent. He had to consolidate his power bu crushing rebellions in Wales and Scotland, and waging war with France. Like Richard, Henry asked Parliament for funds, which were granted, but he was accused of mismanagement and Parliament eventually acquired power over royal expenditures and appointments.

But his troubles were far from over. As Henry’s health declined, two factions appeared, one headed by his favourite Thomas Arundel, archbishop of Canterbury, and the by one of his half-brothers and son, Prince Henry. The King’s uneasy relationship with his son lasted until he died. Prince Henry succeeded his father as King Henry V, who became “one of the greatest warrior kings of medieval England” who won the Battle of Agincourt.

King Henry IV was the subject of one of many of William Shakespeare’s plays about English royals. Henry IV Part I was published in 1598 and Part II in 1600.

Sultan Suleyman I (April 27, 1495-September 7, 1566) was proclaimed sultan of the Ottoman Empire on September 30, 1520. He was the son of Sultan Selim I and Hafsa Sultan who reigned for forty-six years and was given the appellations “the Magnificent” or “the Great” by Europeans and “the Lawgiver” (kanun) and “lord of his century” by his subjects.

Suleyman’s father Selim emphasized his education. His first teacher was his grandmother Gulbahar Hatun. At seven, Suleyman was sent to his grandfather Sultan Bayezid II in Istanbul where he studied history, science, literature, and theology, war tactics and techniques. He returned to his father until he left to be the governor of several provinces.

When Sultan Selim I succeeded his father, Suleyman went to Istanbul as his father’s regent while serving as governor of Saruhan province. After Selim I died Suleyman succeeded him.

Suleyman is called “the lawgiver” because he made the final revisions to what became known as the “Ottoman laws.” The kanun refers situations that are not covered by the Shari’ah or laws derived from the Qur’an. Mehmed the Conqueror collected the laws and divided them into two sets, dealing with government and military organization, and taxation and treatment of peasants. Suleyman revised the codes, but kept them almost identical to its original form, but he created the final version.

Suleyman territory picture: Chapter 27: The islamic Empires

Suleyman was also a conqueror, who acquired vast territory, conquering Rhodes, most of Greece, Hungary, and part of the Austrian Empire, which nearly included Vienna. He nearly invaded Rome, and though he never occupied them, claimed them for himself. Under his reign, the Ottoman empire stretched from the western Carpathians and the Persian Gulf, almost to the Caspian Sea and the Straights of Gibraltar. He also helped any Muslim country threatened by European expansion.

While conquering vast territories, Suleyman also built up his empire, including bridges, mosques, and palaces. Istanbul became the center of art, music, writing, and philosophy, making this the most creative Ottoman period. However, this was the high point of Ottoman culture and history. Under Suleyman’s successor, his son Sultan Selim II Ottoman power began to decline internally and externally.

Suleyman died the day that the Ottomans conquered Szigetvar in Austria. However, his death was kept a secret for over a month. He was the longest-reigning Ottoman sultan.

His body was taken to Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul. But during his journey, his organs were removed and said to have been buried in a golden coffin under the encampment where he died. This tomb was found in 2016 during an archaeological dig.

“Mushrooms were the roses in the garden of that unseen world”

September is National Mushroom Month,established on November 28, 1990 with the Mushroom Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act of 1990. But it did not become effective until January 8, 1993 to give the Council time to establish rules. The Council collects information on mushrooms import and production in the US, Puerto Rico, and D.C. totaling over 500,000 pounds annually.

Mushrooms were revered worldwide. Ancient Egyptians believed they bestowed immortality and were decreed food for royalty. Commoners were prohibited from touching them. Russia, China, Greece, Mexico, and Latin American civilizations had mushroom rituals and they were believed to produce super-human strength, find lost objects, and lead the soul to the gods.

King Louis XIV is believed to be the first modern European mushroom cultivator. They were grown in special caves near Paris. The English found it an easy crop to grow and experimented. However, when they tried to bring mushroom cultivation to the United States, they failed as the spawn deteriorated during travel. So, the United States began growing its own. In 1903, Louis F. Lambert, a French mycologist in St. Paul, Minnesota and his company the American Spawn Company produced the first “pure culture virgin spawn.” In 1930, the Census Bureau found 516 mushroom growers, 350 of which were in Chester County, Pennsylvania. By 2012-3, the National Agricultural Statistic Service found that the number had decreased to 298. There are over 38,000 varieties of mushrooms including over 3,000 in North America.

Kennett, PA is the self-proclaimed Mushroom Capitol of the World, which produces around 65 percent of the nation’s mushrooms. It is also where the annual Mushroom Festival is held during the second weekend of September in Kennett Square. The festival began as informal annual dinners in the early 1980s and when Mushroom Month became official, the governor of Pennsylvania formalized the Mushroom Festival.

The Mushroom Council’s website provides information on mushroom varieties and recopies. Mushrooms have no fat or cholesterol, low sodium, calories, and carbohydrates, but are high in antioxidants, vitamin B, and vitamin D – the only produce to produce vitamin D naturally – which was only discovered recently.

Here are some of the mushrooms in the area. A local mushroom farm grows shiitake and oyster mushrooms (pictured).

My family’s shiitake mushrooms

Here are some of the mushrooms I’ve seen recently. I would love it if any mycologists could tell me what some of them are! I’m assuming the white ones in various sizes are the same species at various stages.

September is also National Honey Month, initiated by the National Honey Board which collaborated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1989. They chose September to coincide with the end of the honey collection season in the United States. There are 20,000 bee species, 4,000 native to the United States. One worker bee produces 1.5 teaspoon of honey in a lifetime and it takes around 22,700 bees to fill a honey jar. Americans consume about 1.3 pounds of honey per person annually.

In 2012 archaeologists discovered “the world’s oldest bee” in a ceramic jar in the country of Georgia, estimated to be 5,500 years old. An 8,000 year-old cave painting in Spain depicts honey harvesting and it has been used as medicine and food worldwide.

Despite Utah’s state emblem featuring a beehive and its nickname being “The Beehive State,” in 2016, it was not among the top 10 honey-producing states. They were: North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, California, Florida, Texas, Minnesota, Michigan, Louisiana, and Georgia.

Honey comes in a variety of colors and flavors, including blue and purple. States in the southeastern United States produce purple honey

Here are some pictures of local bees and honey.

Scientists have recently begun to experiment to see if mushrooms can save the declining honeybee population, because mushrooms can help the bees fight off the varroa mite infection.

A World of Wonders Revealed

Empress Theodora Porphyrogenita (980-August 31, 1056) was the youngest daughter of Emperor Constantine VII (960-1028) and Empress Helena of Byzantium. She was “born in purple”, referring to babies born while their parents reigned. Her elder sisters were Eudokia, who became a nun, and Zoe (c. 978-1050), who would become regent or co-emperor to five emperors between 1028 and 1050, while Theodora co-reigned with two emperors and ruled alone for a year.

At sixteen, she was her father’s first choice as a bride for the Holy Roman Emperor Otto III. But he died before they could be married. After that, Theodora lived in the gynaeceum, the women’s quarters in the inner section of an ancient Greek house.

After her uncle Emperor Basil II (976-1025) died without children, her father became Emperor Constantine VIII. But he did not have any sons and wanted Theodora to marry Romanos Argyros, who would succeed him. Theodora defied him, on the grounds that his wife had become a nun so that Romanos could marry into the imperial family and that they were third cousins. Constantine forced Zoe to marry Romanos in 1028.

After Constantine died, Romanos and Zoe ruled until Romanos died in 1034. Zoe remarried and her husband became Emperor Michael IV until he died in 1041 after which, Zoe ruled alone for a short time. In 1042, Zoe and Theodora became co-empresses for two months, with Zoe as the senior empress and Theodora as the junior. The pair curbed selling public offices and focused on administering justice. Zoe replaced incompetent rules with officials who gained their position through merit. Still jealous that her father had favored Theodora, Zoe tried to force Theodora back to the monastery, but the Senate overruled Zoe and demanded that the sisters rule jointly. This lasted for two months. Zoe married for a third time, to Constantine, who became Emperor Constantine IX Monomachos.

Zoe died in 1050 and Constantine IX in 1055, allowing seventy-year-old Theodora to assert her right to rule. She became sole empress. During her short reign, there were no conspiracies and the empire prospered, without plundering or warfare. But her reign was short. In 1056, she died of an intestinal disorder. As she was childless and the last member of her dynasty, she chose her former military finance minister as her successor and he became Emperor Michael VI Bringas. But after she died, conflicts arose between the noble families who wanted the throne, which lasted until Alexios I Komnenos took the throne in 1081, beginning the Komnenian dynasty.

Though many coins were issued for Zoe’s uncle, father, husbands and some for Theodora, there were only a few for her sole reign in 1041 and her co-reign with Theodora in 1042.

The Honorable Mrs. Mary King Ward (April 27, 1827-August 31, 1869), was an Irish astronomer, microscopist, artist, and entrepreneur. She was born in Ballylin in County Offaly, Ireland, the youngest of four children of Reverend Henry and Hariette Lloyd King. Her maternal aunt Alice was the mother of the famous astronomer William, third Earl of Rosse.

As a child, she became interested in insects and when she received a microscope as a teenager, she studied plants and insects. King was also a talented painted and draughter and her illustrations appeared in scientific publications. She also wrote educational children’s books on how to use a microscope and telescope.

She married the Honorable Henry Ward of Castle Ward in northern Ireland. His elder brother was Lord Bangor. The couple had eight children.

Despite her accomplishments, she is best known for how she died. At 42, she returned to Birr for a memorial service for the 3rd Earl of Rosse. While riding a steam carriage which her cousin Charles Parson had built, she fell from the car when it turned sharply. She died instantly. This is said to be Ireland’s first motorcar accident.

An inquest occurred the following day at Birr Castle, where the jury deemed it an accidental death. Mary Ward is the great-grandmother of English actress Lalla Ward, who played Romana on the BBC’s Dr. Who.