The Franco-Mongol alliance was an attempted alliance between Frankish
Crusaders and the Mongol Empire against the Muslims, their common enemy.
Contact between Europeans and Mongols began around 1220, and tended to
follow a pattern: the Europeans asked the Mongols to convert to
Christianity, while the Mongols (who had already conquered many
Christian and Muslim nations in their advance across Asia) responded
with demands for submission and tribute (example letter pictured).
European attitudes began to change in the mid-1260s, from perceiving the
Mongols as enemies to be feared, to potential allies against the
Muslims. The Mongols sought to capitalize on this, promising a re-
conquered Jerusalem to the Europeans in return for cooperation. Attempts
to cement an alliance continued through decades of negotiations, without
success. The Mongols invaded Syria several times between 1281 and 1312,
sometimes in attempts at joint operations with Crusader forces, but the
forces were never able to coordinate in any meaningful way. The Mongol
Empire eventually dissolved into civil war, and the Crusaders lost
control of Palestine and Syria to the Egyptian Mamluks.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco-Mongol_alliance>
Today's selected anniversaries:
World War II: Both the German and Polish–Soviet sides claimed
victory as major fighting in the Battle of Bautzen ended.
Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form Tanzania with Julius
Nyerere as its first president.
The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant near Chernobyl, Ukrainian
SSR, suffered a steam explosion, resulting in a fire, a nuclear
meltdown, and the evacuation and resettlement of over 336,000 people
An editorial was published in the People's Daily denouncing the
growing unrest in Tiananmen Square, which would remain contentious
through the remainder of the protests.
Just prior to landing at Nagoya International Airport, the co-
pilot of China Airlines Flight 140 inadvertently pushed the wrong
button, causing the plane to crash and killing 264 of the 271 people on
Expelled student Robert Steinhäuser murdered 16 people and
wounded seven others before committing suicide at the Gutenberg-
Gymnasium Erfurt in Erfurt, Germany.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. (US, sports) Technical matters concerning baseball not apparent to
2. (US) Matters of interest only to insiders.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
No man — prince, peasant, pope, — has all the light, who says
else is a mountebank. I claim no private lien on truth, only a liberty
to seek it, prove it in debate, and to be wrong a thousand times to
reach a single rightness. It is that liberty they fear. They want us to
be driven to God like sheep, not running to him like lovers, shouting
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