Historical Events, Birthdays And Quotations

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This Day in History


Thu, 27 Feb 2020 05:00:00 GMT

The Reichstag Fire (1933)

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 05:00:00 GMT

The 1933 fire at the German Parliament building known as the Reichstag was a pivotal event in the establishment of Nazi Germany. Allegedly set by a Dutch communist, the fire was used by Adolf Hitler to turn public opinion against his opponents, especially the communists. Immediately after the fire, he enacted a decree suspending constitutional protection of personal rights, effectively establishing the Nazi Party dictatorship. Why do some believe the fire was set by the Nazis themselves? Discuss

Grand Teton National Park Established (1929)

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Before US President Calvin Coolidge signed a bill creating Grand Teton National Park, the National Park Service and homesteaders around Jackson Hole, Wyoming, fought for decades about the best way to preserve the landscape there. Much of the steep Teton Range lies within the boundaries of the park. Its peaks rise above deep valleys, called "holes" by the first white trappers and traders in the area. It has been suggested that early French trappers named the Teton Range after what body part?

Samuel Colt Issued Patent for His Revolving Gun (1836)

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Colt did not invent the revolver, but his design was the first practical, working version of one, and he developed assembly-line techniques that drove down manufacturing costs. Even so, securing funding for his novel production system proved difficult, and his fledgling company struggled and eventually folded. He then turned to work on underwater mines and telegraph lines. In 1847, Colt reestablished his gun manufacturing business after what famous lawman placed an order for 1,000 revolvers?

Word Trivia


Thu, 27 Feb 2020 05:00:00 GMT


Thu, 27 Feb 2020 05:00:00 GMT

eisegesis - The interpretation of a word or passage by reading into it one's own ideas. More...

hermeneutic - An adjective meaning "concerned with interpretation," especially of scripture. More...

case-sensitive - If something is case-sensitive, there is a different meaning or interpretation based on upper- and lower-cased letters. More...

semiotics - The study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation. More...


Wed, 26 Feb 2020 05:00:00 GMT

whatnot - A series of open shelves supported by two or four upright posts, for displaying knickknacks. More...

oriel - A large, upper-story bay window, usually supported by brackets or on corbels. More...

portico - Describes a covered walkway with a roof supported by columns and usually attached as a porch to a building. More...

felly, felloe - The felly or felloe is the exterior rim on a wheel or the section of rim supported by a spoke. More...


Tue, 25 Feb 2020 05:00:00 GMT

confuse - Originally meant "rout" or "bring to ruin." More...

naufrage - An old word for shipwreck or ruin. More...

defeature - The undoing or ruin of something. More...

fordo - "To do away with," "to destroy, ruin." More...

Today's Birthdays


Thu, 27 Feb 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Hugo LaFayette Black (1886)

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Black was a US Supreme Court Justice for 34 years. A prominent supporter of the New Deal, he was also in the majority that struck down mandatory school prayer and guaranteed the availability of legal counsel to suspected criminals. He was known for an absolutist belief in the Bill of Rights, and his last major opinion supported the right of The New York Times to publish the Pentagon Papers, which revealed improper government conduct. To what secret society did Black once belong? Discuss

Christopher Marlowe (1564)

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 05:00:00 GMT

A shoemaker's son, Marlowe attended Cambridge University and then became an actor and dramatist in London. His plays, such as Dr. Faustus and The Jew of Malta, often center on a heroic personality ruined by his own ambition. Most critics hold that the poetic beauty of his language elevates his plays' violence to high art, and many believe that he influenced Shakespeare's work. At 29, he was stabbed to death in a tavern brawl, possibly due to his involvement in what covert activity?

Robert Larimore "Bobby" Riggs (1918)

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Riggs began playing tennis at the age of 11, won Wimbledon when he was 21, and became one of the top-rated male tennis players of the 1940s. He retired in the early 1950s and was largely forgotten until 1973, when he proclaimed men superior to women in athletics and came out of retirement to challenge two of the top female tennis players in the world. After beating Margaret Court, he played Billie Jean King in one of the most famous tennis events of all time, "The Battle of the Sexes." Who won?

Article of the Day


Thu, 27 Feb 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Argumentum ad Ignorantiam

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Argument from ignorance is an informal logical fallacy that asserts that an argument is necessarily true because it has not been proven false or vice versa. Instead of providing evidence to support a claim, the argument simply demonstrates that others cannot provide evidence to the contrary. For example, to say that ghosts exist because no one has proven otherwise would be a case of argumentum ad ignorantiam. Usually trickery, this argument is used in what highly esteemed legal principle? Discuss

Blood Brothers

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Many cultures around the world have long held that unrelated people can be bound to each other as kin through a ceremony in which their blood is mingled. The Scythians mixed participants' blood with wine and drank it from a shared cup, while the Lydians licked the blood from each other's nicked forearms. Blood brother ceremonies persist even today, though they have fallen out of favor due to the risk of disease. In Greece, what tradition establishes blood brotherhood without any actual blood?

Courtly Love

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Courtly love was a medieval European philosophy of nobly and chivalrously expressing one’s love for a noblewoman, who was often married to another. This form of adulterous, romantic love arose in part because upper-class marriages at the time were generally arranged for economic or political purposes. Its exact origins are obscure, but its literary origins are traceable to the works of Ovid and the troubadours, whose songs bore Middle Eastern ideas about love. Who else wrote about courtly love?

Quotations of the Day


Thu, 27 Feb 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Virginia Woolf

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 05:00:00 GMT

I meant to write about death, only life came breaking in as usual. Discuss

Lucy Maud Montgomery

Wed, 26 Feb 2020 05:00:00 GMT

I do know my own mind…The trouble is, my mind changes and then I have to get acquainted with it all over again.

Jane Austen

Tue, 25 Feb 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised, or a little mistaken.

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