English for everyone

Category Archive: немного истории

Great Depression

great depression

This photograph, taken by Dorothea Lange, was widely published and symbolized the Great Depression.

One Thursday afternoon in October 1929, a workman outside an upper floor window of a Wall Street office found himself staring into the eyes of four policemen. They reached out to catch hold of him. “Don’t jump!” shouted one of the policemen. “It’s not that bad.” “Who’s going to jump?” asked the surprised worker. “I’m just washing windows!”
To understand this incident we need to look at what had been happening in Wall Street in the months and years before that October afternoon in 1929.
Wall Street is the home of the New York Stock Exchange. Here dealers called stockbrokers buy and sell shares.
Owning shares in a business gives you the right to a share of its profits. But you can make money from shares in another way. You can buy them at one price and then, if the company does well, sell them later at a higher one.
More and more people were eager to get some of this easy money. By 1929, buying and selling shares had become almost a national hobby.
More »

Welcome to the Tower of London

Welcome to the Tower of London

Tower of London

The Tower of London was started in 1066 by William the Conqueror. He built his fortress beside the River Thames to protect London from enemies. The Tower has been many things throughout its 900-year history: a palace, a fortress, a prison, a place of execution, and even a zoo. Today, the Tower is a historical museum. There are about 150 people and eight ravens live in the Tower. Some people think there are also ghosts there.
The White Tower is the oldest building on the territory. English kings ate, slept and ran the country there. But the first person to live in the White Tower in 1100 was a prisoner named Ranulf Flambard, who escaped down a rope from an upper window. Later the Tower was made larger and stronger. The Queen’s House built for Queen Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII was the last palace built in the Tower. But she lived there only as a prisoner for 18 days awaiting her execution. She was beheaded not far from the palace — on Tower Green.
More »

Some useless facts about American presidents

George Washington

The first US president

There have been 44 presidents in the United States.

1. George Washington (1732—1799)
2. John Adams (1735—1826)
3. Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
4. James Madison (1751—1836)
5. James Monroe (1758-1831)
6. John Quincy Adams (1767-1848)
7. Andrew Jackson (1767—1845)
8. Martin Van Buren (1782-1862)
9. William H. Harrison (1773-1841)
More »

Madam Tussaud

Madam Tussaud's Museum

Madam Tussaud’s Museum

Madam Tussaud’s is the most popular waxworks museum in the world. There are wax models of the famous and infamous, both living and dead. You can meet great characters of history and art. There are actors, film stars, pop-singers, criminals, politicians and members of the Royal family here. There is a place where you can see all the celebrities at once.
The museum is situated in Marylebone Road, not far from the street which is famous as the home of the first great detective in fiction, Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.
There are several halls at Madam Tussaud’s: the Grand Hall, the Chamber of Horrors and The Spirit of London exhibition.
The wax figures are extremely realistic. When they look at you their eyes are sparkling and you feel uncomfortable. Computer-controlled figures (audioanimatronics) are especially popular with the visitors. Their speech and sound are recordered onto CDs and synchronized with the movements.
In the Grand Hall you will find all kinds of celebrities and there is a special place for the Royal family.
Most people agree to be portrayed, but some refuse. Mother Teresa was one of the few who declined, saying her work was important, not her person.
More »

Happy Birthday, America!

Independence Day
Independence Day is the most important American holiday. United States of America were born on July 4, 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was signed and America started the fight for freedom from British rule.
Before this date, the King of England, George III, ruled the thirteen colonies in America.
In 1767, the British government placed new taxes on tea and paper that the colonists imported from abroad. The colorists got angry and refused to pay. George III sent soldiers to keep order.
In 1772, a group of colonists dressed up as Indians threw 542 chests of tea belonging to the East India Company into the waters of Boston harbor – it was so called Boston tea party. King George didn’t think it was funny and closed Boston harbor until the tea was paid for.
More »

Profession Bodyguard

Kevin Costner in the film The Bodyguard

Kevin Costner in the film The Bodyguard

Have you seen Kevin Costner in the film The Bodyguard? His character in the film, Frank Farmer, is a professional bodyguard who got his training in the Secret Service. Before he hired himself to protect Rachel Marron (Whitney Huston) he had worked for President Reagan. He still blames himself for the fact that Ronald Reagan got shot.
Altogether, four American presidents have been assassinated and attempts have been made on the lives of others. The first president to be killed was Abraham Lincoln. He was shot while attending the theatre in Washington. James Garfield was shot a few months after his inauguration and died at the age of forty-nine. William McKinley was killed in Buffalo, New York in 1901. John Kennedy was killed in Dallas, Texas in 1963.
More »

Mausoleum at Halicarnassus

Mausoleum at Halicarnassus

Mausoleum at Halicarnassus

Halicarnassus was one of the most beautiful and richest cities of Asia Minor. It was the capital of the kingdom of Caria, a province of the Persian Empire in what is now south-west Turkey. Halicarnassus was the native city of Herodotus, «father of History». The magnificent temples of Halicarnassus, made of white marble, beautiful palaces, theatres, gardens and fountains attracted visitors from many countries. One of the fountains near the temple of Aphrodite was especially popular. People believed that its magic water could return love and bring happiness to lovers.
When the Persians made Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, Northern India, Syria and Egypt part of their kingdom, the King of Persia found it difficult to control his vast empire. He could do it only with the help of local rulers, the satraps.
More »