Lightning strike armory, destroys most of fort

September 16, 1732 Campo Maior, Portugal Lightning strikes an armory, igniting gunpowder and causing an explosion which kills roughly 1,500 The lightning strike occurred at 3 a.m., hitting the 6,000 arroba (approx. 194,315 lbs. or 88,140 kg) of gunpowder and 5,000 units of ammunition stored within the fort’s armory. The explosion and resulting fires killed…

The Lisbon Massacre

April 21, 1506 Lisbon, Portugal The three-day Lisbon Massacre comes to an end Nine years before the massacre, the Jews in the area were forced to convert to Catholicism. The recently converted Jews were called New Christians, showing that though they were among the Catholic faith, they were still separate. The massacre is said to…

FLW: why did I do that?

Famous Last Words Sir William Erskine, 2nd Baronet Lisbon, Portugal February 13, 1813 "Now why did I do that?" Erskine had recently been relieved of his position in the British Army, being cashiered (ceremoniously disgracing of a military official by physically stripping them of medals, insignias, swords, and other status symbols and destroying them) after…

1755 Lisbon earthquake

November 1, 1755 Lisbon, Portugal An earthquake and seismic sea wave destroys the city Among the chaos of tens of thousands of people dying by drowning, being crushed, or burning to death, groups began looting the city as well. A good portion of the looters had escaped from jail when the earthquake destroyed the walls…