The Star Spangled Banner

On September 14, 1814, 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key began writing a poem he called “Defence of Fort M’Henry” after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in Baltimore Harbor during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. Key was inspired by the large American flag known as the Star-Spangled Banner flying triumphantly above … Continue reading The Star Spangled Banner

St. Helena #118 (1938)

Saint Helena is a volcanic tropical island located in the South Atlantic Ocean on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, more than 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) from the nearest major landmass, 2,500 miles (4,000 km) east of Rio de Janeiro and 1,210 mies (1,950 km) west of the Cunene River, which marks the border between Namibia and Angola in southwestern Africa. The island, one of the most remote … Continue reading St. Helena #118 (1938)

French Somali Coast #81 (1915)

French Somaliland (Côte française des Somalis, literally “French Coast of Somalis” in French or Dhulka Soomaaliyeed ee Faransiiska in Somali) was a French colony in the Horn of Africa on the Gulf of Tadjourna between the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. The area has long been occupied by two nomadic groups: the Afars of the north, and the Somali-speaking Issas of the south. Both … Continue reading French Somali Coast #81 (1915)

Ottoman Empire #256 (1914)

The Ottoman Empire (دولت عليه عثمانیه‎ — Devlet-i ʿAlīye-i ʿOsmānīye in Ottoman Turkish or  Osmanlı İmparatorluğu/Osmanlı Devleti in Modern Turkish), also known as the Turkish Empire or Ottoman Turkey, was an empire founded at the end of the thirteenth century in northwestern Anatolia in the vicinity of Bilecik and Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and … Continue reading Ottoman Empire #256 (1914)

Réunion #133 (1933)

Réunion (La Réunion), previously called Île Bourbon is an island and region of France in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar and 109 miles (175 kilometers) southwest of Mauritius. As of 2016, it had a population of 850,996. It is the most prosperous island in the Indian Ocean, having the highest GDP per capita in the region. The island is 39 miles (63 km) long, 28 … Continue reading Réunion #133 (1933)

British Mandate of Palestine #67 (1927)

Mandatory Palestine (فلسطين‎‎ — Filasṭīn in Arabic, פָּלֶשְׂתִּינָה (א”י‎ — Pālēśtīnā (EY) in Hebrew, where “EY” indicates “Eretz Yisrael”, Land of Israel) was a geopolitical entity under British administration, carved out of Ottoman Southern Syria after World War I. The British civil administration in Palestine operated from 1920 until 1948. During its existence the territory was known simply as Palestine, but, in later years, a variety of … Continue reading British Mandate of Palestine #67 (1927)

Orange River Colony #57 (1902)

The Orange River Colony (Oranjerivierkolonie) was the British colony created after Britain first occupied (1900) and then annexed (1902) the independent Orange Free State (Oranje-Vrijstaat in Dutch) in the Second Boer War. The colony ceased to exist in 1910, when it was absorbed into the Union of South Africa as Orange Free State Province. Extending between the Orange and Vaal rivers, its borders were determined by … Continue reading Orange River Colony #57 (1902)