Gunnhild, Mother of Kings (c. 910 - c. 980) was the wife of Erik Bloodaxe (king of Norway 930–34, "king" of Orkney c. 937–54, and king of Jórvík 948–49 and 952–54). Gunnhild is a prominent figure in many Norse sagas, including Fagrskinna, Egil's Saga, Njal's Saga, and Heimskringla. Many of the details of her life are disputed, including her parentage. Gunnhild lived during a time of great change in Norway. Her father-in-law Harald Fairhair had recently united much of Norway under his rule. Shortly after his death, Gunnhild and her husband were overthrown and exiled. She spent much of the rest of her life in exile in Orkney, Jorvik and Denmark. A number of her many children with Erik became co-rulers of Norway in the late tenth century. What details of her life are known come largely from Icelandic sources; because the Icelanders were generally hostile to her and her husband, scholars regard some of the more negative episodes reported in them as suspect.

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Today's selected anniversaries:


Gadsden Purchase: The United States bought approximately 29,600 square miles (77,000 km2) of land south of the Gila River and west of the Rio Grande from Mexico for US$10 million.


Philippine Revolution: Nationalist José Rizal was executed by a firing squad in Manila after Spanish authorities convicted him of rebellion, sedition, and conspiracy.


The Treaty on the Creation of the USSR, legalizing the creation of a union of several Soviet republics in the form of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was ratified.


The Ginza Line, the oldest underground subway line in the Far East, opened in Tokyo.


King Michael I was forced to abdicate as Romania became a People's Republic.

Wiktionary's word of the day:

jubilantly (adv)  With jubilation or triumph.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

The greatest book is not the one whose message engraves itself on the brain, as a telegraphic message engraves itself on the ticker-tape, but the one whose vital impact opens up other viewpoints, and from writer to reader spreads the fire that is fed by the various essences, until it becomes a vast conflagration leaping from forest to forest.   --Romain Rolland