This episode delves into the history of 26th June which includes the mysterious disappearance of 130 children in the year 1284 and the invention of the toothbrush in China in the year 1498.
History of 26th June includes quite a few incidents like the Victoria and Albert Museum which opened on this day in London in the year 1909, or the fact that it was this day when emergency was implemented in India in the year 1975. But what I found most fascinating are two incidents that I share from the history of 26th June.
The Mysterious Disappearance of the Children of Hamelin
The first story which I share from the history of 26th June is perhaps one of the most mysterious events in history. It was on this day in the year 1284 when 130 children disappeared from the streets of Hamelin a town in Germany. This is what is mentioned in the Lüneburg manuscript, an ancient document dating back to the 14th century.
The story goes that the town of Hamelin was plagued by an infestation of rats. The residents were desperate for a solution, and one day, a stranger clothed in colorful attire appeared. He claimed to be a skilled piper with the ability to rid the town of its vermin problem. The townspeople, eager for relief, agreed to pay him a handsome fee if he succeeded.
The piper, armed with a magical pipe or flute, began to play an enchanting melody. As the ethereal notes filled the air, all the rats of Hamelin emerged from their hiding places and followed the piper, mesmerized by the music. The piper led them to the nearby Weser River, where they all drowned.
However, upon returning to Hamelin to collect his reward, the piper was met with betrayal. The townspeople reneged on their promise and refused to pay him the agreed-upon sum. Infuriated by their deceit, the piper decided to exact his revenge.
On June 26th, 1284, the piper once again appeared in Hamelin, but this time he played a different tune—one that bewitched the town’s children. The melody was irresistible, and 130 boys and girls, ranging in age from toddler to adolescent, followed the piper as he led them out of the town.
According to the Lüneburg manuscript, the children disappeared into a mountainside or a cavern, never to be seen again. Only two children remained—one who was deaf and unable to hear the piper’s melody and another who informed the townspeople of the calamity that had befallen them.
Over the centuries, the tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin has captivated the imaginations of countless individuals and has been retold in various forms of literature, music, and theater. The story has inspired numerous interpretations and speculations, with theories ranging from an allegory for the Black Death to a cautionary tale about the consequences of broken promises.
While the historical accuracy of the event remains uncertain, the legend of the Pied Piper endures as a poignant reminder of the mysterious and enduring power of folklore.
With this, I come to my second story from the history of 26th June.
The invention of the toothbrush in China
What is the first thing we do after we wake up? Besides checking your mobile I mean. We brush our teeth, isn’t it? But do you know it was on the 26th of June 1498 when the toothbrush was invented in China?
Before this day various methods were employed to maintain dental hygiene like the use of twigs (which even to date some use), feathers, or even porcupine quills to clean teeth. However, the development of the toothbrush brought about a more effective and convenient solution.
The Chinese toothbrush consisted of a handle made of bamboo or bone, with hogs and boar bristles attached at one end. These bristles, known for their stiffness and durability, were ideal for scrubbing and cleaning teeth. The toothbrush’s design allowed for better access to all areas of the mouth, leading to improved oral hygiene practices.
The Chinese toothbrush quickly gained popularity and recognition for its effectiveness. Over time, its usage spread to other parts of Asia and eventually made its way to Europe and the rest of the world. The concept of the toothbrush evolved further, with different cultures and regions adapting the design to suit their preferences and available materials.
That’s all for the day, but before I say goodbye I would like to share the story of Aswini Bajaj. Aswini is a highly accomplished finance professional, renowned educator, and corporate coach. He holds 12 educational degrees and imparted his expertise to over 25,000 students across 100 countries. He has been recognized by the International Books of Record for training over 12,000 students in Personal Finance and also was honoured as the Best Finance Trainer in India by the India Education Awards in 2019. Join me in wishing Mr. Bajaj all the very best.
What's Your Reaction?
A devoted foodie with keen interest in wild life, music, cinema and travel Somashis has evolved over time . Being an enthusiastic reader he has recently started making occasional contribution to write-ups.