Today in 1632, the Battle of Lutzen commenced. It would be a decisive victory for the Protestant Union against the Holy Roman Empire and Catholic Alliance. However in the midst of the battle, the Swedish King, Gustavus Adolphus was killed by gun shots.
Our first birthday today comes in 1479, as Joanna of Castile was born to Spain’s power couple, Ferdinand and Isabella. Joanna is best known, sadly, for her mental illness later in life, and is referred to sometimes now as ‘Juana la Loca’. Her oldest son would go on to be Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. And through her marriage the Hapsburgs would rule Spain for almost 200 years.
Next in 1494, Suleiman the Magnificent was born in modern day Turkey. He would become Sultan of the Ottoman Empire at 26 and rule into his 71st year. The Ottomans prospered and enjoyed a flourishing culture of art under him.
And in 1550 today, Karin Mansdotter was born in Sweden, only later to become first a mistress, then wife and Queen to Eric XIV of Sweden. Karin was a commoner and had been in service at Eric’s court.
Since we had a birthday of the first of the Habsburgs today, we also have a birthday of the last. Charles II of Spain was born today in 1661. Sadly Charles was mentally, physically, and emotionally disabled. He would have no children in two marriages and his death would kick off the War of Spanish Succession.
Our first death comes in 1650 today, when William II, Prince of Orange and Stadtholder of the Netherlands of smallpox. William’s only son would be born one week after his death and would also be named William. The younger William would go on to also be Stadtholder and also King of England as William III.
Then in 1656 today, John IV of Portugal died. He had fought for and won Portugal’s independence from Spain. He was also a patron of the arts, and built one of the largest libraries in the world in Lisbon.
Next in 1796, Empress Catherine II of Russia, or Catherine the Great, died of a stroke. She ruled Russia after overthrowing her husband and guided Russia into becoming a world power. She also founded Europe’s first institution of higher learning for women in 1764.
In 1836 today, Charles X of France died in Austria in exile. He had also lived in exile during the French Revolution and later became King in 1824, only to be forced to abdicate in 1830. He was also the brother of the ill fates Louis XVI of France.
Lastly in 1929, Prince Maximilian of Baden died in his home in Germany. He had been one of the principle players of the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II and became Chancellor of Germany during Armistice negotiations. He also oversaw Germany moving to a Parliamentary system.
Have an awesome day!!