Historical Events, Birthdays And Quotations

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This Day in History


Tue, 20 Oct 2020 05:00:00 GMT

The Saturday Night Massacre (1973)

Tue, 20 Oct 2020 05:00:00 GMT

While investigating the Watergate scandal, special prosecutor Archibald Cox subpoenaed audiotapes of conversations implicating US President Richard Nixon in a cover-up of a burglary of the Democratic headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, DC. Nixon refused to produce the tapes and ordered the US attorney general and his deputy to fire Cox. On the same Saturday, both men resigned in protest, and public outcry eventually forced Nixon to surrender the tapes. What happened to Cox? Discuss

Black Monday: Dow Jones Industrial Average Falls 508 Points (1987)

Mon, 19 Oct 2020 05:00:00 GMT

On what is known in the financial world as Black Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 508 points, nearly 23%—the largest drop since 1914. Although the cause of the crash is still debated, its result was immediately apparent: it sent the value of markets plummeting worldwide. By the end of the month, markets in Hong Kong and Australia had lost over 40%. That December, a group of eminent economists predicted that the next few years could be the worst since the Great Depression. Were they?

Earthquake Destroys Basel, Switzerland (1356)

Sun, 18 Oct 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Estimated to have been greater than 6.0 in magnitude, the Basel earthquake of 1356 may have been the most serious seismological event in the recorded history of central Europe. The main earthquake struck around 10 PM. In the Swiss city of Basel, all the major buildings—including castles and churches—were destroyed by the quake and subsequent fires. Three hundred people are thought to have been killed. The event was felt across Europe, including as far away as what locations?

Word Trivia


Tue, 20 Oct 2020 05:00:00 GMT


Tue, 20 Oct 2020 05:00:00 GMT

low man - On an actual totem pole, it is really the most important man in the tribe. More...

tribe - From Latin tribus, it may refer to the three divisions of early Romans, the Latins, Sabines, and Etruscans. More...

tribunal - Originally referred to a seat or raised platform for judges, from Latin tribunus, "head of a tribe." More...

cannibal - When Columbus was trying to find the Spice Islands, he was told of a tribe of man-eating natives in Cuba and Haiti called Caribs (from which we get Caribbean) or Caniba (Columbus' rendition of the name); the word canib, meaning "brave and fierce," became cannibal, meaning "anthropophagite," a person who eats human flesh. More...


Mon, 19 Oct 2020 05:00:00 GMT

limited war - A war whose objective is of smaller scope than total defeat of the enemy. More...

institution - First a noun of action or process that became a general and abstract noun describing something objective and systematic. More...

purposely, purposefully - Purposely means "intentionally, on purpose," while purposefully means "with a specific purpose or objective in mind." More...

safe, secure - Safe and secure, now nearly synonymous, used to be more different; secure was subjective—man's own sense of the absence of danger—while safe was objective, the fact of such absence of danger. More...


Sun, 18 Oct 2020 05:00:00 GMT

crab-skuit - A small, open fishing boat with sails. More...

haul - Originally had the nautical meaning of "to trim the sails to sail closer to the wind." More...

sail - Once meant specifically "to travel on a ship with sails," and, later, "to travel on any ship"; figuratively, it means "to go through effortlessly," as in, "to sail through the exam." More...

three sheets to the wind - Pertains to chains that regulate the angle of sails; if the sheets were loose, the boat would become unstable and tipsy. More...

Today's Birthdays


Tue, 20 Oct 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Pauline Bonaparte (1780)

Tue, 20 Oct 2020 05:00:00 GMT

A woman of great beauty and considerable scandal, Pauline Bonaparte was Napoleon's favorite sister. She accompanied her first husband on an expedition to subdue Haiti, but he failed and died of yellow fever. Pauline then married a Roman nobleman, but she soon tired of him and returned to Paris, where her scandalous conduct earned her a reputation. Pauline was the only one of Napoleon's siblings to come to his aid when he was exiled to Elba, despite having incurred his disfavor for what? Discuss

John McLoughlin (1784)

Mon, 19 Oct 2020 05:00:00 GMT

A Canadian doctor and fur trader, McLoughlin became administrator of the far western region of England's Hudson's Bay Company in the 1820s. In spite of the strained relations between Britain and the US, "the Father of Oregon" offered help to American settlers in the disputed territory. After an 1846 treaty established the US-Canadian border farther north than he had hoped, he claimed a large tract of land whose ownership he disputed with the US until his death. Who was he accused of murdering?

Jan Gies (1905)

Sun, 18 Oct 2020 05:00:00 GMT

When the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands forced Otto Frank to resign from his own company because he was a Jew, his friend Jan Gies nominally took over. Soon after, the Franks and several friends went into hiding in a secret annex on the company's premises. For the next two years, Jan and his wife, Miep, sustained eight people in hiding, including Otto's daughter Anne, bringing them food and supplies until they were betrayed to the Nazis. How were the Nazis responsible for the Gies' marriage?

Article of the Day


Tue, 20 Oct 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Fritz Joubert Duquesne

Tue, 20 Oct 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Said to have been handsome, charming, and fluent in several languages, Duquesne was a South African Boer who led a life of intrigue. He was a secret agent, military officer, big game hunter, saboteur, and journalist. Imprisoned on numerous occasions, he narrowly avoided execution by firing squad and once escaped from prison by feigning paralysis. While spying for Germany, he and 32 others were arrested in the FBI's 1941 takedown of the Duquesne Spy Ring. Who is he suspected of assassinating? Discuss

French Indochina

Mon, 19 Oct 2020 05:00:00 GMT

The region that is today home to Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam came under French control in the late 1800s as French Indochina. Though occupied by Japan during World War II, the area did not achieve full independence from France until 1954. Soon after independence, the Vietnam War erupted. After World War II, US President Franklin Roosevelt unsuccessfully attempted to arrange for China to acquire the region before France could regain control. What was Chairman Chiang Kai-shek's emphatic response?

The Hittites

Sun, 18 Oct 2020 05:00:00 GMT

The Hittites were an ancient Indo-European people who flourished from 1600 to 1200 BCE in what is today Turkey and Syria. They either displaced or absorbed the previous inhabitants of the region, the Hattians, whose culture had a strong influence on that of the Hittites. For several hundred years, the Hittite Empire was the chief cultural and political force in West Asia. The loose confederation of the empire was eventually broken up by invaders, and its remnants were conquered by whom?

Quotations of the Day


Tue, 20 Oct 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Francis Bacon

Tue, 20 Oct 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Antiquities are history defaced, or some remnants of history which have casually escaped the shipwreck of time. Discuss

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mon, 19 Oct 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.

Louisa May Alcott

Sun, 18 Oct 2020 05:00:00 GMT

Rivalry adds so much to the charms of one's conquests.

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