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Aceasta zi in istorie - This day in history

Hosted at the dawn of the Space Age, the 1962 World's Fair featured a glittering array of futuristic technology. Nearly 10 million people came to see the new cars and gadgets or ride to the top of the new Space Needle. While its technology was advanced, the fair anticipated none of the social changes soon to come—the society of the future looked like that of 1950s, but with gyrocopters. Why did US President John F. Kennedy lie, claiming to be too sick to attend the closing ceremony? Discuss
Liberia was founded in the 1820s by former slaves from the US, and tensions between the Americo-Liberian minority and the indigenous majority have persisted since that time. On April 12, 1980, a group of soldiers led by Samuel Kanyon Doe stormed the executive mansion, killing Americo-Liberian President William R. Tolbert and 27 other government leaders. Doe, a member of the ethnic Krahn tribe, then declared himself president. How had a rice scandal seriously undermined Tolbert? Discuss
Considered to be Fitzgerald's masterpiece, The Great Gatsby is a devastating critique of the American Dream and materialism at the height of the Roaring Twenties. It is the story of a bootlegger, Jay Gatsby, whose obsessive dream of wealth and lost love is destroyed by a corrupt reality. Today used as required reading in many high schools, the book has been cited as the paragon of the Great American Novel. Why did Fitzgerald dislike the title, and what did he want to call his novel? Discuss
Intending to kidnap Queen Elizabeth II's only daughter and collect a £2 million ransom, Ball attacked Princess Anne's chauffeur-driven limousine as it returned to Buckingham Palace. He shot the chauffeur, two policemen, and a passerby who tried to intervene, but Anne got away with the help of another passerby. Ball was then captured. His victims recovered, and all six who tried to help Anne were awarded medals. What was Anne's famously feisty retort when Ball ordered her out of the car? Discuss
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? Discuss
Santiago is the capital and the largest city of Chile. Just months after it was founded on the banks of the Mapocho River by Spanish conquistadors, the settlement was nearly wiped out by the indigenous Mapuche peoples. Today, it is one of the largest cities in South America, having survived the 1647 earthquake that leveled the city, frequent flooding from the Mapocho, and a number of other calamities. What meteorological phenomenon traps smog in the city? Discuss
Though Darnley's murder remains an unsolved mystery, one certainty is that at the time of his death, he was not well-liked. In line for the English throne, he infuriated Queen Elizabeth by marrying Mary Queen of Scots. He then alienated Mary by accusing her of infidelity and stabbing her secretary to death in front of her. Mary distanced herself from him, and shortly thereafter, his house exploded. He was found dead—but not from the blast. How was he killed, and who is suspected of his murder? Discuss
British statesman Harold Macmillan held several government posts during World War II, including minister resident in North Africa. After serving in several other positions, he became prime minister in 1957. Macmillan accelerated Britain's decolonization, especially in Africa. In a memorable speech to the South African parliament in 1960, he said a "wind of change" was sweeping across Africa, which was experiencing a growth in national consciousness. What were the reactions to the speech? Discuss
During WWI, Luxemburg and Liebknecht formed a revolutionary, antiwar socialist group in Germany that became the Spartacus League. After the proclamation of the German republic in 1918, they opposed the moderate government formed by the Social Democrats and advocated its violent overthrow, to be replaced by a dictatorship of the proletariat. They transformed their league into the German Communist Party and led an uprising, which was crushed. Arrested, they were murdered by whom while in custody? Discuss
Orsini was an Italian revolutionary in the movement for Italian unification. In 1858, he made an attempt on the life of Napoleon III, whom he held responsible for the failure of the Italian revolutions of 1848 to 1849. Although ably defended by French statesman Jules Favre, Orsini was executed. His act, designed to arouse world interest in the Italian cause, paradoxically influenced Napoleon's own decision to intervene in favor of Italian unification. How did Orsini try to kill Napoleon? Discuss
In the 1984 World Chess Championship, 1980 World Junior Champion and international grandmaster Gary Kasparov faced reigning world champion Anatoly Karpov. The longest title match in chess history, it was aborted after 5 months of play and 48 games, after chess officials concluded that it was taking too great a psychological and physical toll on Karpov, who was leading but appeared likely to lose. Kasparov won a rematch 6 months later, becoming the youngest world champion ever. How old was he? Discuss
In 1960, Kennedy, a US senator, earned the Democratic nomination for president. In the campaign that followed, he engaged in a series of televised debates with his Republican opponent, Richard M. Nixon. After a vigorous campaign managed by his brother Robert F. Kennedy and aided financially by his father, Joseph P. Kennedy, he defeated Nixon by a narrow popular margin. At 43, he became the youngest person ever, and the first Catholic, elected president. How did the debates affect the election? Discuss
As a US senator, Davis advocated states' rights but tried to discourage secession. Still, when Mississippi seceded, he resigned from the Senate, was appointed major general of the Mississippi militia, and soon was chosen to be president of the Confederacy. After Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered without Davis's approval in 1865, Davis fled Richmond, Virginia, the Confederate capital, hoping to continue the fight until he could secure better terms from the North. What happened to him? Discuss
During a bid for the presidency in 1912, Roosevelt was shot by saloonkeeper John Schrank. The bullet lodged in his chest after penetrating a steel eyeglass case and a folded copy of the 50-page speech he was carrying in his jacket, but he refused to go to the hospital until after he had delivered his scheduled speech. Doctors deemed it too dangerous to remove the bullet, and it remained in Roosevelt's chest for the rest of his life. What did Roosevelt say about the shooting during his speech? Discuss
OPEC is a multinational organization that was established in 1960 to coordinate the petroleum production and export policies of its original members, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. Other nations have since joined the organization. In 1973, OPEC began a series of oil price increases in retaliation for Western support of Israel in the Yom Kippur War, and its members' income greatly increased as a result. What member country withdrew from OPEC in 2008? Discuss
Elizabeth Barrett's Poems, published in 1844, brought her immediate fame and became a favorite of the poet Robert Browning. The two began to correspond, fell in love, and, after a courtship kept secret from her tyrannical father, married and settled in Italy. The once frail and sickly Elizabeth grew stronger and, at age 43, gave birth to a son. Her poetic reputation rests chiefly on the love poems written during their courtship, Sonnets from the Portuguese. Who is "the Portuguese"? Discuss
Diana's beauty and unprecedented popularity as a member of the royal family attracted intense press attention, and she became one of the most photographed women in the world. After her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996, she remained highly visible and continued her activities on behalf of numerous charities. In 1997, she was killed in a car crash in Paris, along with her companion, Dodi al-Fayed, and their driver. Who was blamed for the accident in subsequent investigations? Discuss
Located off what is now the North Carolina coast, Roanoke Island was the site of the first English settlement in North America. Its original colonists, sent by Walter Raleigh, arrived in 1585 but stayed only a year. A second group led by John White arrived in 1587. Shortly thereafter, White returned to England for supplies. When he finally returned to the island, he found that all of the colonists had vanished. Their fate is still unknown. What possible clue was found carved into a tree there? Discuss
Titov was a Soviet cosmonaut and the second man to orbit the Earth, preceded just months earlier by Yuri Gagarin, with whom he had trained. At 25 years old, Titov was selected to fly the Vostok 2 mission and spent 25 hours in space, completing 17 Earth orbits. The mission brought him several impressive designations: youngest person to fly in space, first person to experience space sickness, and first person to sleep in space. Though he overslept, what strange occurrence initially kept him up? Discuss
In 1497, da Gama began his epochal voyage to India, becoming the first European to journey there directly by sea. With four vessels, he rounded the Cape of Good Hope, passed the easternmost point reached by Bartolomeu Dias in 1488, continued up the coast of Africa to Malindi, and sailed across the Indian Ocean to Calicut. His voyage opened up a way for Europe to reach the Indies and marked the beginning of the Portuguese Empire. For what brutal methods was da Gama known during his travels? Discuss
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