Historical Events, Birthdays And Quotations

Greek Art

This Day in History


Sun, 24 Sep 2023 05:00:00 GMT

Secret Executive Order Allegedly Establishes Majestic 12 (1947)

Sun, 24 Sep 2023 05:00:00 GMT

Majestic 12 is the purported code name of a secret committee of scientists, military leaders, and government officials supposedly formed in 1947 by an executive order of US President Harry S. Truman. A major part of alien conspiracy theories, the committee was purportedly formed to investigate the aftermath of the Roswell incident—the alleged crash of an unidentified flying object near Roswell, New Mexico. What documents have lent credence to the existence of such a committee? Discuss

El Grito de Lares: The Lares Uprising (1868)

Sat, 23 Sep 2023 05:00:00 GMT

The Lares rebellion of 1868 was the most notable uprising in a series of failed Puerto Rican rebellions against Spanish rule that began in the 1820s. Best known as El Grito de Lares, or The Cry of Lares, the revolt took place in the town of Lares, where rebels briefly declared independence. Though the rebellion was brutally and swiftly suppressed, Lares has come to be known as the birthplace of Puerto Rican nationalism. Who was declared the republic's first president during the rebellion?

The Vela Incident (1979)

Fri, 22 Sep 2023 05:00:00 GMT

In the 1960s, the US launched a group of satellites to monitor international compliance with a treaty prohibiting all tests of nuclear weapons except those conducted underground. In 1979, one of the satellites detected an unidentified double flash characteristic of an atmospheric nuclear explosion. The data were initially interpreted as evidence of a South African nuclear test, but experts later determined that the flash was likely not nuclear in origin and may have instead been caused by what?

Word Trivia


Sun, 24 Sep 2023 05:00:00 GMT


Sun, 24 Sep 2023 05:00:00 GMT

aforcing - The term for stretching the amount of a dish to accommodate more people. More...

extend, extent - Are based on Latin pandere, "stretch." More...

oscitancy, pandiculation - Oscitancy is the act of yawning; pandiculation is an all-over stretching and yawning, as upon waking, from Latin pandere. More...

racking one's brain - Figuratively, it means stretching, and is derived from the Tower of London's torture method. More...


Sat, 23 Sep 2023 05:00:00 GMT

baguette - Means "little rod" and is derived from Latin baculum, "staff, stick." More...

dough - As in money, it almost certainly came from bread (another slang term for it), because bread is the staff of life. More...

staff - From Germanic stabaz, "stick"; its sense as "employees" is probably an allusion to the carrying of a staff of office by a person in charge. More...

miter, mitre, crosier - The tall, pointy hat of a bishop or abbot is the miter/mitre—from Greek mitra, "headdress"; a crosier is a bishop's staff. More...


Fri, 22 Sep 2023 05:00:00 GMT

beseech - First meant "search for, try to obtain." More...

emulate - Means "try to equal or surpass, especially by copying." More...

experience, experiment, expert - Experience, experiment and expert derive from Latin experiri, "try." More...

quorum - First the genitive plural of Latin qui, "who," it originally referred to the "number of justices who need be present to try a case." More...

Today's Birthdays


Sun, 24 Sep 2023 05:00:00 GMT

Johan de Witt (1625)

Sun, 24 Sep 2023 05:00:00 GMT

De Witt was a Dutch statesman who played a vital role in the three successive Dutch Wars. He helped end the first in 1654, but the English Restoration was considered a threat to Dutch interests and the conflict was renewed in 1665. He was largely responsible for securing for the Dutch the favorable terms of the treaty that ended the second of the wars and helped form the Triple Alliance against Louis XIV, who nevertheless invaded Holland in 1672. Why was de Witt lynched shortly thereafter? Discuss

Typhoid Mary (1869)

Sat, 23 Sep 2023 05:00:00 GMT

Mary Mallon was the first person in the US to be identified as a healthy carrier of typhoid fever. In 1904, a typhoid epidemic was traced to homes where she had been a cook. She fled but was located by authorities and forcibly quarantined for several years. In 1910, she was released on the condition that she not take another food-handling job. Discovered cooking again in 1914, she was quarantined for life. Though she herself never had the disease, she infected about 50 people. How many died?

Joseph Valachi (1903)

Fri, 22 Sep 2023 05:00:00 GMT

Valachi, a New York gangster, was the first Mafia member to publicly acknowledge the organization's existence. A "soldier" in New York City's powerful Genovese crime family, he testified before a congressional committee on organized crime in 1963, disclosing details about the Mafia's history and operations and making "Cosa Nostra" a household name. Three years later, he attempted suicide in his prison cell but survived. Why did Vito Genovese put out a $100,000 contract on Valachi in 1962?

Article of the Day


Sun, 24 Sep 2023 05:00:00 GMT

The Water Clock

Sun, 24 Sep 2023 05:00:00 GMT

The clepsydra, or water clock, is an ancient timekeeper that operates by measuring the regulated flow of liquid into or out of a vessel. It is believed to have been used in Egypt as early as 2,000 BCE, making it one of the earliest known time-measurement devices. Early water clocks were calibrated with a sundial, and they remained the most accurate timekeeping devices until the invention of the pendulum clock in the 17th century. When did knowing the time become important to the common man? Discuss

Prometheus, The Tree

Sat, 23 Sep 2023 05:00:00 GMT

In 1964, Prometheus, a Great Basin Bristlecone Pine, was the oldest known non-clonal organism on Earth. That year, a graduate student cut down the 5,000- year-old tree to examine its ring growth patterns and derive information about the climate. It is unclear who suggested that Prometheus be cut down, why the action was deemed necessary, and whether its impact was fully understood at the time. Methuselah is currently the oldest known living tree. How old is it?


Fri, 22 Sep 2023 05:00:00 GMT

An o-ring is a rubber ring that is used in machinery as a seal against substances like oil and air. Although it is one of the most commonly used seals, it is forever linked to a catastrophic failure. After the space shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986, investigators determined that the o-ring seal in one of the shuttle's solid fuel rockets failed due to a loss of elasticity that resulted from the low temperature at launch time. How was this problem later demonstrated at a news conference?

Quotations of the Day


Sun, 24 Sep 2023 05:00:00 GMT

Willa Cather

Sun, 24 Sep 2023 05:00:00 GMT

If youth did not matter so much to itself it would never have the heart to go on. Discuss

Herman Melville

Sat, 23 Sep 2023 05:00:00 GMT

And yet self-knowledge is thought by some not so easy. Who knows, my dear sir, but for a time you may have taken yourself for somebody else? Stranger things have happened.

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Fri, 22 Sep 2023 05:00:00 GMT

Sublime is the dominion of the mind over the body, that for a time, can make flesh and nerve impregnable, and string the sinews like steel, so that the weak become so mighty.

Suggestions for Further Reading

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